Naturalism = Nihilism?
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26-07-2014, 02:22 PM
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
(26-07-2014 08:41 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  "a moral nihilist would say that killing someone, for whatever reason, is neither inherently right nor inherently wrong."

NO ONE HERE SAYS THAT. No one here has EVER said that. Therefore, you are 100 % wrong.
I absolutely agree that there is nothing inherently wrong or right with killing someone (for whatever reason).
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26-07-2014, 02:30 PM
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
(26-07-2014 01:23 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  1. If man is not exempt from the law of identity, if he possesses a specific nature, then there are objective moral principles or values that his life requires.

2. Man is not exempt from the law of identity.

3. Therefore there are objective moral principles or values that his life requires.

Premise one is self explanatory and I think unassailable true. Man's nature as man means that his life requires a specific course of action. Any other course is harmful to his life. Certain actions are objectively good for him and others are objectively bad.
I'd disagree with premise 1.
Sure, people need to breath to live, but that doesn't make breathing inherently good.
When we talk about good and bad we consider the freedom to make a choice. We really don't have a choice when it comes to breathing. Sure we could drown ourselves, but if we choose to do so, it isn't because we don't want to breath, it is because we don't want to live.
There is nothing inherently wrong with a person committing suicide.
Sometimes life can be perceived as worse than death. The distinction worse vs better is in the eye of the beholder. It is not objective and really it isn't a morality either it is just an opinion.
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26-07-2014, 02:41 PM
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
(26-07-2014 02:18 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(26-07-2014 08:35 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  So a god given morality is out the window and so is any claim that moral values are subjective. The only other alternative is that moral values are objective.
Have you considered the other alternative?
That morality doesn't exist.
That there are no moral truths, no moral obligations, no moral consequences.

That morality is non other than an unfounded belief system.

I have and I reject it for the reasons I have already stated. To say that moral principles don't exist is to deny the metaphysically given.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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26-07-2014, 03:00 PM
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
(26-07-2014 02:41 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  To say that moral principles don't exist is to deny the metaphysically given asserted.

Fixed that for you.

... this is my signature!
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26-07-2014, 03:02 PM
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
(26-07-2014 02:30 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(26-07-2014 01:23 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  1. If man is not exempt from the law of identity, if he possesses a specific nature, then there are objective moral principles or values that his life requires.

2. Man is not exempt from the law of identity.

3. Therefore there are objective moral principles or values that his life requires.

Premise one is self explanatory and I think unassailable true. Man's nature as man means that his life requires a specific course of action. Any other course is harmful to his life. Certain actions are objectively good for him and others are objectively bad.
I'd disagree with premise 1.
Sure, people need to breath to live, but that doesn't make breathing inherently good.
When we talk about good and bad we consider the freedom to make a choice. We really don't have a choice when it comes to breathing. Sure we could drown ourselves, but if we choose to do so, it isn't because we don't want to breath, it is because we don't want to live.
There is nothing inherently wrong with a person committing suicide.
Sometimes life can be perceived as worse than death. The distinction worse vs better is in the eye of the beholder. It is not objective and really it isn't a morality either it is just an opinion.

It is only to a living being that values are possible. Remember what I said in an earlier post; knowledge of right and wrong is like all other knowledge, it is contextual. The fact that knowledge is contextual does not make it subjective.

I agree that there is nothing wrong with committing suicide provided you do so for rational reasons in which case the context would change from life as your standard of value to death as your standard of value. If however you want to live then breathing is an objective value. Do you agree?

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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26-07-2014, 03:06 PM
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
(26-07-2014 03:02 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  
(26-07-2014 02:30 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I'd disagree with premise 1.
Sure, people need to breath to live, but that doesn't make breathing inherently good.
When we talk about good and bad we consider the freedom to make a choice. We really don't have a choice when it comes to breathing. Sure we could drown ourselves, but if we choose to do so, it isn't because we don't want to breath, it is because we don't want to live.
There is nothing inherently wrong with a person committing suicide.
Sometimes life can be perceived as worse than death. The distinction worse vs better is in the eye of the beholder. It is not objective and really it isn't a morality either it is just an opinion.

It is only to a living being that values are possible. Remember what I said in an earlier post; knowledge of right and wrong is like all other knowledge, it is contextual. The fact that knowledge is contextual does not make it subjective.

I agree that there is nothing wrong with committing suicide provided you do so for rational reasons in which case the context would change from life as your standard of value to death as your standard of value. If however you want to live then breathing is an objective value. Do you agree?


Also Stevil, I never said that moral values were inherent. They are not. But man's nature is inherent. That is the basis for objective morality. The concept "value" presupposes the answer to the question of value to whom and for what?

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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26-07-2014, 03:09 PM
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
(26-07-2014 03:02 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  If however you want to live then breathing is an objective value. Do you agree?
Breathing is a mechanism for generating energy by converting Carbon and Oxygen into Carbon Dioxide. It's not a value.

Please define "value" as you perceive it.
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26-07-2014, 03:11 PM
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
(26-07-2014 03:06 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  Also Stevil, I never said that moral values were inherent. They are not. But man's nature is inherent. That is the basis for objective morality. The concept "value" presupposes the answer to the question of value to whom and for what?
How do you measure and quantify the nature of humankind?
How do you resolve disagreements as to what is perceived as morally ambiguous?

A great example would be the morality of abortion.
How would you objectively resolve this long standing point of contention?
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26-07-2014, 03:27 PM
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
(26-07-2014 03:09 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(26-07-2014 03:02 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  If however you want to live then breathing is an objective value. Do you agree?
Breathing is a mechanism for generating energy by converting Carbon and Oxygen into Carbon Dioxide. It's not a value.

Please define "value" as you perceive it.

Air to breath is a value. If you don't have it you die.

Food to eat is a value. Knowledge is a value. Love is a value.



The concept "value" as I inform it is "that which man acts to gain or keep" but remember that values are contextual. I'm assuming that the standard of value is life for all of my examples. Of course it is possible to have a mixed standard just like it is possible to have a mixed philosophy with contradicting principles. If you have a contradictory set of standards you will be all over the place, acting to gain or keep contradictory values.

You're splitting hairs here. Obviously if your purpose is to live then breathing is a value.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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26-07-2014, 03:39 PM (This post was last modified: 26-07-2014 03:47 PM by true scotsman.)
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
(26-07-2014 03:11 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(26-07-2014 03:06 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  Also Stevil, I never said that moral values were inherent. They are not. But man's nature is inherent. That is the basis for objective morality. The concept "value" presupposes the answer to the question of value to whom and for what?
How do you measure and quantify the nature of humankind?
How do you resolve disagreements as to what is perceived as morally ambiguous?

A great example would be the morality of abortion.
How would you objectively resolve this long standing point of contention?

I measure and quantify man's nature by direct observation. I resolve disagreements with reason.

Honestly the issue of abortion is one of the only issues I have not reached a conclusion about. It bothers me a great deal to tell you the truth to not have an answer to your question. It is something I have struggled with for decades. I personally am opposed to abortion but I don't have a right to tell another person what to do with their body.

At issue is whether or not a fetus has rights. Rights pertain to action and a fetus can not take any action to further its own life. The basic principle I use is to never sacrifice an actual value for a potential one. I don't know. If I say that it is never right to abort a fetus then what do I say to a woman who has been raped. As far as I'm concerned she has no responsibility to carry that fetus to term but on the other hand it is either murder or it is not. I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on the subject.

If a woman chooses to have an abortion it does not affect my moral stature. I have no duty to run around the world saving unborn babies. My own life and happiness is my highest moral purpose just as your happiness is your highest purpose so long as we do not see each other as a means to each others ends.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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