Morality vs. Legalism
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22-09-2015, 04:28 AM (This post was last modified: 22-09-2015 04:36 AM by Tomasia.)
Morality vs. Legalism
(20-09-2015 01:15 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(20-09-2015 05:01 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  "Illusions" are important here. As an atheists I don't expect any concession beyond the acknowledgement of an illusion. The "illusion" of I, the "illusion" of objective morality, the "illusion" of free will. The illusion of "truth".
By "illusion" we mean intuitive assumptions that are made.
Those assumptions being false.

We assume we have free will because from the perspective of our conscious mind we think we are free to make decisions. It is not visible to our minds the forces at play and that the strongest force will influence the electron.

We assume our knowledge is 100% correct (truth) however sometimes we forget that it takes one black swan to change our fact into fiction.

And what the difference between intuitive assumptions that are merely false, and intuitive assumptions that are false but also an illusion?

There persistence, the seeming inability to let go of them? Like a mirage, from a distance, it appears real, you see it quite vividly and clearly, and it's only when you move close enough to it that you recognize its an illusion.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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22-09-2015, 06:04 AM
RE: Morality vs. Legalism
(19-09-2015 12:44 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  There probably is a "core morality" among humans that evolved naturally as some sort of survival mechanism. What the hell does "core morality" have to do with "absolute morality".

All you need is one psychopath (black swan) to negate any theory of "core morality". All of the evidence I have seen shows that every single person has a different idea of morality.

(19-09-2015 12:44 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Truth is relative to an axiomatic framework for the umpteenth time. There is no "absolute truth". There is no "absolute morality".

"Absolute truth" is redundant. It's like saying "absolute death". Adding the word absolute, really adds nothing. It's either true or not, and if it's true, then it's absolutely true. There's really no need to add the word "absolute". A lot of people want to talk about "subjective truths", but that is an oxymoron. If it's subjective, then it's an opinion, not a fact.
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22-09-2015, 06:32 AM (This post was last modified: 22-09-2015 06:38 AM by Tomasia.)
Morality vs. Legalism
(22-09-2015 06:04 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(19-09-2015 12:44 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  There probably is a "core morality" among humans that evolved naturally as some sort of survival mechanism. What the hell does "core morality" have to do with "absolute morality".

All you need is one psychopath (black swan) to negate any theory of "core morality". All of the evidence I have seen shows that every single person has a different idea of morality.


(19-09-2015 12:44 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Truth is relative to an axiomatic framework for the umpteenth time. There is no "absolute truth". There is no "absolute morality".

"Absolute truth" is redundant. It's like saying "absolute death". Adding the word absolute, really adds nothing. It's either true or not, and if it's true, then it's absolutely true. There's really no need to add the word "absolute". A lot of people want to talk about "subjective truths", but that is an oxymoron. If it's subjective, then it's an opinion, not a fact.
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Yet they all have some concept of morality. And if any particular culture codified some set of their most important moral principles, you have a significant degree of parallel between them, cross culturally.

But let's do for truth what we've done for morality. There is no truth. That's its all just opinions, and utility.

Getting people to believe something is true, can be useful, just like getting people to believe something is immoral might be. It's like getting ants to build a colony.

It's all just useful illusions.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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22-09-2015, 06:44 AM
RE: Morality vs. Legalism
(22-09-2015 06:32 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  There is no truth. That's its all just opinions, and utility.

You still don't get it. It's not that there is no truth, it's that truth is relative.

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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22-09-2015, 06:47 AM
RE: Morality vs. Legalism
(22-09-2015 06:04 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(19-09-2015 12:44 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  There probably is a "core morality" among humans that evolved naturally as some sort of survival mechanism. What the hell does "core morality" have to do with "absolute morality".

All you need is one psychopath (black swan) to negate any theory of "core morality". All of the evidence I have seen shows that every single person has a different idea of morality.

(19-09-2015 12:44 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Truth is relative to an axiomatic framework for the umpteenth time. There is no "absolute truth". There is no "absolute morality".

"Absolute truth" is redundant. It's like saying "absolute death". Adding the word absolute, really adds nothing. It's either true or not, and if it's true, then it's absolutely true. There's really no need to add the word "absolute". A lot of people want to talk about "subjective truths", but that is an oxymoron. If it's subjective, then it's an opinion, not a fact.

It's not redundant, it's a more rigid defined philosophical term that was established because concepts & terms like truth can be expressed in many ways. It's a matter of stopping people from bickering like idiots meaning 3-4 different things at the same time when using 1 single word.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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22-09-2015, 06:49 AM
RE: Morality vs. Legalism
(22-09-2015 06:04 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(19-09-2015 12:44 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  There probably is a "core morality" among humans that evolved naturally as some sort of survival mechanism. What the hell does "core morality" have to do with "absolute morality".

All you need is one psychopath (black swan) to negate any theory of "core morality". All of the evidence I have seen shows that every single person has a different idea of morality.

A core morality does not require every individual to share it. What I mean by it is that the intersection of moral codes across different societies is not empty. The principle of reciprocity has been around for so long (like 2500 years) and is shared by so many cultures and virtually every religion that it could qualify.

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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22-09-2015, 06:49 AM
RE: Morality vs. Legalism
double post

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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22-09-2015, 06:57 AM
Morality vs. Legalism
(22-09-2015 06:44 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(22-09-2015 06:32 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  There is no truth. That's its all just opinions, and utility.

You still don't get it. It's not that there is no truth, it's that truth is relative.


I'm not sure what it would mean for truth to exist, and be relative.

If truth only exists in my mind, is relative to my mind. That would just seem to be another way of saying it doesn't exist at all.

It might be useful for me to believe it exists but that's about it. Just like believe my religion is true might be useful for building and being part of a community, and incapsulating my values with them.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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22-09-2015, 07:18 AM
RE: Morality vs. Legalism
Here's my take:

An external objective world exists.

We all experience it subjectively and cannot except by comparing our experiences, tell what is just inside our heads and what is really there.

When I say "true" I mean "corresponds to the external objective world". I can find this truth by using the scientific method, since it is designed to neutralise the subjectivity inherent in everyone's observations.

If you claim something is true in the external objective world, it is therefore useless to use your feelings, no matter how powerful, to make the claim. There is just no way to confirm that your subjective experience is in fact objective. *Also* we know that humans (including myself) can easily mistake subjective things for objective. Millions of Christians pray to God, millions of Hindus pray to their Gods. It is clear that mere popularity is no confirmation that a statement is true.

For example morals vary from culture to culture. Some people think eating your dead father is a heinous crime, others think it is the only true way to honour his memory.

If you want to claim a universal morality you need to show how you came to that conclusion, and if it's merely that a large number of people feel the same way, that doesn't cut it. You have to make some kind of scientific claim. Also, what does *universal* mean? Human cultures agree on a lot of things. Killing people for no reason is bad. Forcing people to do stuff against their will is bad. It's not rocket science that this should be so. But asserting that there is some deep *law of the universe* at work to explain this observation *does* require some kind of explanation of background reasoning.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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22-09-2015, 09:47 AM
Morality vs. Legalism
(22-09-2015 07:18 AM)morondog Wrote:  Here's my take:

An external objective world exists.

We all experience it subjectively and cannot except by comparing our experiences, tell what is just inside our heads and what is really there.

When I say "true" I mean "corresponds to the external objective world". I can find this truth by using the scientific method, since it is designed to neutralise the subjectivity inherent in everyone's observations.

If you claim something is true in the external objective world, it is therefore useless to use your feelings, no matter how powerful, to make the claim. There is just no way to confirm that your subjective experience is in fact objective. *Also* we know that humans (including myself) can easily mistake subjective things for objective. Millions of Christians pray to God, millions of Hindus pray to their Gods. It is clear that mere popularity is no confirmation that a statement is true.

For example morals vary from culture to culture. Some people think eating your dead father is a heinous crime, others think it is the only true way to honour his memory.

If you want to claim a universal morality you need to show how you came to that conclusion, and if it's merely that a large number of people feel the same way, that doesn't cut it. You have to make some kind of scientific claim. Also, what does *universal* mean? Human cultures agree on a lot of things. Killing people for no reason is bad. Forcing people to do stuff against their will is bad. It's not rocket science that this should be so. But asserting that there is some deep *law of the universe* at work to explain this observation *does* require some kind of explanation of background reasoning.

And here's how I would put it.

There's an external reality, or at least it's very useful for all of us to believe that there is one, or we'd end up falling off cliffs.

But our predicament is that we are trapped in our minds. Our minds were not selected for to discern the true nature of reality, and in fact human history shows that we're entirely in a haze about it, with an endless stream of competing mental pictures of reality. Our minds were selected for to find things that are useful, not necessarily true.

More for the sake of building a fire, than the figuring out the composition of the cosmos.

We're just ants building colonies for our survival and reproduction. Ants with more neural circuits, with more complex and malleable minds, that have led us to language and the corresponding thoughts that appear from movements in our neural/ electrical circuitry.

As a result, when we build colonies, our thoughts have to go along with it. Our pictures of reality have to go along with this endeavor as well.

Truth is word that has acquired a great deal of currency . It's perhaps the most valuable word man has devised. Everything has to be true. So much so that even Christians have to claim they believe in a God of truth.

It's important that it's true that my wife has never cheated on me. But why is this important? It's important because it keeps me assured in our relationship, of our love and commitment to each other. To leave me free of doubts about it, free of fear or worry that she's violated our commitments. So I can sustain my trust, and keeps nagging suspicions away.

You can see the usefulness of believing it's true here quite well. But you can see it's more important that I believe its true, and that I'm free of any nagging suspicions or worry in my life with her, than it actually being true.

Religious pictures of the world being held as true are entirely useful for building religious communities, and perhaps the very basis of culture and civilization itself, communities of shared values and commitments. A complicated and rich ant colony.

The scientific endeavor is to not one invested in so heavily for the sake of uncovering the truth. Perhaps in its early age, when people thought such endeavors would lead us to a better understanding of the nature of a God of truth, and for atheists who found something useful in certain observations in remove God out the picture entirely, and as means to close the coffin on religion.

It's invested in so heavily for its usefulness. J&J doesn't spend so much money on research for the sake of truth, but for the sake of economic gain. It's the usefulness of science in building and sustaining the ant colony that matters. To predict potential threats to it, to modify behavior accordingly to keep the colony thriving. To insure its workers can live longer, healthier, and stronger to contribute to its vitality.

It doesn't matter whether or not the scientific picture of reality is true, but it's been excessively useful. Though science doesn't claim it's picture of reality to be in fact true (there's no official endorsement of scientific worldview. Or requirement for potential new hires to subscribe to it). Fans and lovers of it have, sort of like fans of a sports team, filling up stadiums.

But getting people to believe that a scientific picture of the reality is true, is a good way to get folks lined up to join the profession. It keeps colleges thriving with potential students, churning out professionals who insure the viability of medical industries, technological progression, economic progress, etc.. That it turn work to keep us aware of any potential threats we have to plan for, to sustain our ant colony.

Yet there seems to be many atheist here who would say they believe in a scientific worldview, that the picture of reality that appears in their head from it is in fact the only authentic and true picture of the reality out there.

Yet only handful of them are actual scientist. So what use does subscribing to it provide for them? In fact it's diminished their participation in religious ant colonies. Nagging suspicions and worries arose for them when they were part of them previously, bad experiences with other religious folks may also have been evolved, eliminating their commitment to it, as well as their ability to identify with it's pursuits.

Yet here you are constructing an entirely new ant colony, Internet communities, life long friends you can identify with, values you can share amongst each other. Without some fidelity towards that picture, it might be harder to fit in here, to feel like your one of them. With it out it all might be a bit more gloomier, and lonelier.

There is no truth. But since the word has appropriated so much value, that one seems willing to sacrifice everything for it, and our commitments and identify are dependent on it, and anxieties and fears and kept are repelled by a confidence in it. It would be a word we can never truly discard. But it's just an illusion of the mind, a dress for utility

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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