Naturalism = Nihilism?
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26-07-2014, 06:52 PM
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
@ GirlyMan

my beef is not with moral nihilism, my beef is with people who want to "have their cake and eat it to"
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26-07-2014, 06:53 PM (This post was last modified: 26-07-2014 07:13 PM by true scotsman.)
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
(26-07-2014 06:21 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(26-07-2014 03:39 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  I measure and quantify man's nature by direct observation.
The thing about observation of human nature is that we see diversity.
It is well within the bounds of human nature to:
Act out of kindness
Kill for fun
Be respectful of other people, their bodies, their wishes
Rape women
Be a pacifist, avoid violence, avoid harming animals
Create wars and kill people in mass to further ambition or ideals

(26-07-2014 03:39 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  I resolve disagreements with reason.
Reason alone is meaningless. What is reasonable to you may be unreasonable to someone else.

(26-07-2014 03:39 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  Honestly the issue of abortion is one of the only issues I have not reached a conclusion about. ...
I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on the subject.
I am not concerned with regards to the ethics or morality of abortion.
My concerns are whether myself and my loved ones are endangered, whether society becomes violent and unstable. If there is no danger to me or society then it is not my concern and I do not give government the power to decide.
Therefor I consider abortion to fall outside the realm of government and thus it is a concern for the mother, it is her choice, whether I like it or not.

Yes of course you see diversity of actions. That is proof of a fundamental attribute of man's nature, volitional consciousness. This is the validation of man's need for objective values. An action is not good because someone chooses to do it. Man has to choose the right actions to further his life. The most fundamental choice is whether to live or die. That choice determines the course of your life and necessitates all other choices. A plant has no volition. It acts automatically to further its own life. It can't act to destroy its own life. Man can and that is precisely why he needs a code of objective moral principles to guide his choices and actions. Self destructive behavior is rampant in our world. Maybe that is because people are taught that there are no objective moral principles. If two men disagree about a fact of reality then one of them is wrong and the other is right. If two men disagree about whether one has the right to murder the other then one of them is wrong and one of them is right and the only way to resolve the disagreement is an objective moral standard.

When you say that reason alone is meaningless I agree up to a point. Reason unconnected to percepts, or rationalization (can you say religion?), is meaningless. It can not give us reliable knowledge about reality. For that we have to look outward at existence (the primacy of existence again) to gain knowledge about reality. This is the objective orientation of the subject/ object relationship. This relationship between consciousness and existence is the most important philosophical issue there is. It is absolutely devastating to all theist arguments and blasts them all to hell. It is the most important issue in the world and almost no one knows about it. If all of us would have been taught the axioms and the primacy of existence from our earliest years it would transform the world in a wonderful way. Instead we are taught that existence doesn't exist (nihilism, skepticism, existentialism, Kantianism) and consciousness holds primacy over existence ( Idealism, faith, prayer, creationism, Platonism). The only philosophy in the history of the world which upholds the axioms of existence, consciousness, the law of identity and especially the primacy of existence is Objectivism. That is why it rejects any form of the supernatural.

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, 06:59 PM
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
(26-07-2014 05:28 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  Metaphysical pertains to the fundamental nature of existence. by metaphysically given I mean all of existence excluding the man made. The man made still exists but it did not have to be. For example stars, matter, energy, trees, glaciers, Hydrogen, neutrinos, Giraffes, DNA, lightning, gravity, and black holes are the metaphysically given. The man made refers to houses, watches, ice cream cones, hot air balloons and toothpaste.

And just how, exactly, is the metaphysical different from the physical ?

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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26-07-2014, 07:02 PM
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
(26-07-2014 06:52 PM)nietzsche101 Wrote:  @ GirlyMan

my beef is not with moral nihilism, my beef is with people who want to "have their cake and eat it to"

Of course he does. He's a Presupposionalist and cannot think or reason in any other terms. Anything else is "word games". He's got a "beef" yet cannot even demonstrate or define what it's all about. (He also has yet to prove his point with a poll of any group.) He presumes he knows what others he doesn't even know are thinking.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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26-07-2014, 07:04 PM
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
(26-07-2014 06:53 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  Instead we are taught that existence doesn't exist and consciousness holds primacy over existence (implicitly not explicitly)
If we take physics courses then we learn what can be known about reality. But this does not teach about consciousness and morality. They are concepts, interpretations of what people experience of complex physical structures e.g. life forms.

(26-07-2014 06:53 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  If two men disagree about a fact of reality then one of them is wrong and one of them is right.
Is it possible that both of them are incorrect?
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26-07-2014, 07:19 PM
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
@ Bucky

what is your point?

what's you beef?

How can I help you?
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26-07-2014, 07:26 PM (This post was last modified: 26-07-2014 07:30 PM by avalon.)
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
(26-07-2014 09:42 AM)nietzsche101 Wrote:  ^ could somebody else confirm to this guy he's wrong...?

saying something is inherently right/wrong, this is just another way of saying that it is objectively right/wrong.

so if anyone says that they think anything is inherently right/wrong, then it follows that they believe in objective morality.

A moral nihilist says "morality is not objective", so they would not think anything is inherently right/wrong.




@smurf, no I have no proof, and I'm not trying to argue for it either....
the topic for discussion is; does Naturalism = (moral)Nihilism?
Edward Westermarck wrote the following in 1906 concerning the origin of moral values:
"The objectivity ascribed to judgements which arise from our unconscience as intuitive knowledge comes from the similarity of the mental constitution of men."

Technically, they are not objective, but they FEEL that way.

He also wrote:"Our moral consciousness is part of our subconscience, which we cannot change as we please. We approve or disapprove because we cannot do otherwise. "

This makes them different from truly subjective choices.

Also: "Owing to their exceptional importance for human welfare, the facts of the moral consciousness are emphasied in much higher degree than would be ordinary subjective facts."

Moral choices differ from picking your favorite flavor of ice cream, for example.

Also: "As clearness and distinctness of the conception of an object easily produces the belief in it's truth, so the intensity of a moral emotion makes him who feels it disposed to objectivize the moral estimate to which it gives rise, in other words, to assign to it universal validity."

And: "There are different degrees of badness and goodness, a duty may be more or less stringent, and merit may be smaller or greater. These quantitative differences are due to the emotional origin of basic moral concepts. "

So, moral values originate within yourself. They are accompanied by strong, involuntary emotions which you cannot change nor ignore. This is why they are not merely subjective, yet not really objective (as in existing outside yourself) either.

Quote:Moral nihilists consider morality to be constructed, a complex set of rules and recommendations that may give a psychological, social, or economical advantage to its adherents, but is otherwise without universal or even relative truth in any sense"
As described above, moral values are much more than just "a complex set of rules and recommendations". They are closer to something like our survival instinct. You can no more ignore them and think otherwise than you could ignore the will to survive. But this does not indicate any sort of metaphysical origin.
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26-07-2014, 07:27 PM (This post was last modified: 26-07-2014 08:17 PM by true scotsman.)
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
(26-07-2014 07:04 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(26-07-2014 06:53 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  Instead we are taught that existence doesn't exist and consciousness holds primacy over existence (implicitly not explicitly)
If we take physics courses then we learn what can be known about reality. But this does not teach about consciousness and morality. They are concepts, interpretations of what people experience of complex physical structures e.g. life forms.

(26-07-2014 06:53 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  If two men disagree about a fact of reality then one of them is wrong and one of them is right.
Is it possible that both of them are incorrect?

We can certainly observe our consciousness at work and discover how it works. There are all kinds of studies into this area of knowledge. And we can also learn what actions are good for us and which are bad by a process of reason. Knowledge is knowledge. If we can learn the right way to grow a crop or build a rocket to Mars we can learn about morality. You should read about the objective theory of concepts in An Introcuction to Objectivist Epistemology.

But if you take a philosophy course or one of the soft sciences you will get all kinds of nonsense. Witness the young college graduates that come out of graduation and will tell you "we can't be certain about anything, truth is relative or cultural. We can't even be sure we exist!! We may just be a brain in a vat. You can't escape your western hegemonic imperialist perspective. Just look at some of the stuff coming out of the mouths of the occupy wall street contingent. I saw one video of a young lady on youtube that was a classic. She couldn't be sure she existed but she was absolutely sure that the minimum wage should be raised or big business was out to destroy her life. I was at Walmart the other day and overheard someone telling the guy in front of him in line that there was no such thing as truth. No wonder the world is falling apart.

Yes it is true that in my example both men could be wrong but if they are committed to reason as their only means of knowledge and guide to action they will at least have the means to discover their mistake or persuaded by logic that they are wrong. If they are rationalists or mystics they will be left helpless. What they need is a rock solid axiomatic starting point, a rational view of causality and an objective theory of concepts. The only place they will find all of that is Objectivism. They certainly won't find it in the Bible.

Edit: They could both be wrong in the first example but not in the second. Murder is objectively wrong.

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, 07:33 PM
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
(26-07-2014 07:19 PM)nietzsche101 Wrote:  @ Bucky

what is your point?

what's you beef?

How can I help you?

I have no beef. You cannot even help yourself, much less anyone else.
The question is "What is YOUR point ?"
Whatever it is, you have failed to make it.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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26-07-2014, 07:34 PM
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
(26-07-2014 06:59 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(26-07-2014 05:28 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  Metaphysical pertains to the fundamental nature of existence. by metaphysically given I mean all of existence excluding the man made. The man made still exists but it did not have to be. For example stars, matter, energy, trees, glaciers, Hydrogen, neutrinos, Giraffes, DNA, lightning, gravity, and black holes are the metaphysically given. The man made refers to houses, watches, ice cream cones, hot air balloons and toothpaste.

And just how, exactly, is the metaphysical different from the physical ?




There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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