Science, reason and moral questions
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03-05-2017, 02:33 PM
RE: Science, reason and moral questions
(03-05-2017 01:06 PM)Naielis Wrote:  
(03-05-2017 10:18 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  By means of the axioms, the primacy of existence and the objective theory of concepts.

The proposal of axioms assumes moral judgments have truth values. It seems that this is an attempt to solve Hume's problem of how we arrive at ought statements from is statements. But the problem with this is that the axioms themselves lack truth value unless you posit the existence of goodness in the world.

No it doesn't. The axioms I speak of are baseline recognitions, the very base of knowledge. They come way, way before any thoughts of morality or the is/ ought problem. By definition an axiom does not assume any prior knowledge because there isn't any knowledge prior to the axioms. They are implicit in all knowledge. They are conceptually irreducible primaries.

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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03-05-2017, 02:43 PM
RE: Science, reason and moral questions
(03-05-2017 02:00 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(03-05-2017 10:38 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  I mean that life requires values. These values require action to achieve. The values an organism needs are determined by its nature. An organism that fails in that action dies, ceases to exist. Most lifeforms act automatically to gain these values. Plants put down roots to get nutrients. they grow towards the light.

You still seem rather vague here. Life requires values for what? To survive? What gave life these values? Natural Selection? If so does nature give and take away life’s values?

Survival of any organism, requires it to acquire whatever traits necessary for survival in the particular environment they find themselves in. Typically traits selected for by genetic mutation, in conjunction with natural selection.

Human life may entirely vanish, but life will likely continue to go on as a result of genetic mutation, and natural selection.

Our evolutionary produced brains, may be our most significant contributor to our current survival, and flourishing. but it can also be the death of us as well, damaging the very environment we’re dependent on for our survival, as result of our creativity and expansion, our conflicts over any number of competing values. Those thinking brains may the noose we hang ourselves on, the extension of humanity in general. Nature will not shed tear in our demise, our lives no more significant to it, than a cockroach. We’d just be another extinct species, that arose and thrived for a time, as a result of advantageous selected for traits, that where not as advantageous in less fortuitous environment.

How is this vague??? I don't think I could be any more clear. does life require values or doesn't it. Do you deny that you need food to live? Can you live without air? Can you live without clothing or shelter? Yes or no? As to what gives life the need for these values, I've already answered this question, the nature of biological organism's does. Do you deny this? Can a fish live the same way that a bird does? Each organism has a means of survival determined by its nature. I don't see how this could possibly be controversial.

"Human life may entirely vanish, but life will likely continue to go on as a result of genetic mutation, and natural selection." This is irrelevant. As long as some form of life lives it will still face the alternative of life or death and it will still need values to exist.

Edit: For some reason nothing is showing up in this post although I can't find anything wrong with it.
Mod edit: It was the extra [ quote ] tag that was included in post #40.

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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03-05-2017, 02:46 PM
RE: Science, reason and moral questions
Tomasia,

How am I being vague??? I don't think I could be any more clear. does life require values or doesn't it? Do you deny that you need food to live? Can you live without air? Can you live without clothing or shelter? Yes or no? As to what gives life the need for these values, I've already answered this question, the nature of biological organism's does. Do you deny this? Can a fish live the same way that a bird does? Each organism has a means of survival determined by its nature. I don't see how this could possibly be controversial.

"Human life may entirely vanish, but life will likely continue to go on as a result of genetic mutation, and natural selection." This is irrelevant. As long as some form of life lives it will still face the alternative of life or death and it will still need values to exist.

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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03-05-2017, 03:18 PM
RE: Science, reason and moral questions
I've given this example before, but humour me:

Let's say your kid, who is less than 1 year old, is diagnosed with a condition which means he will die at age 10.

There is a treatment that can be administered, which must be done before the kid reaches 1, that will extend the kid's life to 20. But it will also cause the kid to live with a certain amount of constant pain.

If there is some sort of objective morality, then there should be an objective answer as to what is the "correct" choice to make here, perhaps as a function of how severe the pain is. It's dead easy when we're just saying, "Shoot someone or don't shoot them", but moral choices become difficult when compromises have to be made. Time and resources are limited and different outcomes come into conflict. How can you possibly resolve these without resorting to a personal, subjective evaluation of the different elements involved?

It's my position that there is no correct answer. Anyone can just evaluate things using their own defined "objective morality", but that's of no practical use if a standard is not universally agreed. And it's quite clear that it isn't. We agree on an objective way of measuring things like length because it is of practical use.

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03-05-2017, 03:22 PM
RE: Science, reason and moral questions
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03-05-2017, 04:26 PM
RE: Science, reason and moral questions
(03-05-2017 03:18 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  I've given this example before, but humour me:

Let's say your kid, who is less than 1 year old, is diagnosed with a condition which means he will die at age 10.

There is a treatment that can be administered, which must be done before the kid reaches 1, that will extend the kid's life to 20. But it will also cause the kid to live with a certain amount of constant pain.

If there is some sort of objective morality, then there should be an objective answer as to what is the "correct" choice to make here, perhaps as a function of how severe the pain is. It's dead easy when we're just saying, "Shoot someone or don't shoot them", but moral choices become difficult when compromises have to be made. Time and resources are limited and different outcomes come into conflict. How can you possibly resolve these without resorting to a personal, subjective evaluation of the different elements involved?

It's my position that there is no correct answer. Anyone can just evaluate things using their own defined "objective morality", but that's of no practical use if a standard is not universally agreed. And it's quite clear that it isn't. We agree on an objective way of measuring things like length because it is of practical use.

why suppose that an objective moral principle requires anyone's acceptance much less universal acceptance. A principle's truth does not depend on anyone's acceptance. I can't answer your question with the limited context you give. I can tell you what principle I would use in deciding. I'd use the principle that one should never sacrifice a greater value for a lesser value or no value. So one would have to have a lot of information to make such a decision and even still one might make the wrong decision. But it does not follow from the fact that sometimes making moral judgments is hard and sometimes mistakes are made that there is no objective basis for morality. Sometimes we learn from our mistakes don't we? Also it might not be possible to predict how much pain the person will suffer. So there isn't enough context here to go by. I'll tell you if It were my child and I determined that the level of pain would be such that it would make life miserable, that it would make seeking any value out of life impossible then as the child's father I'd choose to let the child have 10 years of potential happiness rather than 20 years of suffering. life without values is not worth living. If I ever get to the point that I can seek no values in this life, I'll be ready to end it because there's nothing to live for at that point. But as long as there were a value to pursue I'd choose to live.

And as far as standards go, again it's life that makes any values possible in the first place so how can it not be the standard of morality. Without life there's no need for morality or values whatsoever. So it's life that is the source and the reason for values. Non-living things don't need them. A rock doesn't need them. Only biological organism's need values.

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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03-05-2017, 05:47 PM
RE: Science, reason and moral questions
(03-05-2017 03:18 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  I've given this example before, but humour me:

Let's say your kid, who is less than 1 year old, is diagnosed with a condition which means he will die at age 10.

There is a treatment that can be administered, which must be done before the kid reaches 1, that will extend the kid's life to 20. But it will also cause the kid to live with a certain amount of constant pain.

If there is some sort of objective morality, then there should be an objective answer as to what is the "correct" choice to make here, perhaps as a function of how severe the pain is.
Here is the danger from those that claim to have the knowledge.
They claim to know what is right and wrong and they will be highly motivated to gain control over the populace and to implement into law their knowledge of right and wrong.

Those that claim to not know, they will leave the decision up to the parents rather than legislate the ideals held by government officials.
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03-05-2017, 05:53 PM
RE: Science, reason and moral questions
(03-05-2017 04:26 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  And as far as standards go, again it's life that makes any values possible in the first place so how can it not be the standard of morality. Without life there's no need for morality or values whatsoever. So it's life that is the source and the reason for values. Non-living things don't need them. A rock doesn't need them. Only biological organism's need values.
Sure, but there is a difference between values and morals.

Values are a sliding scale of needs and wants.
Morals is a belief judgment as to whether decisions or actions are right or wrong.

Living things have needs hence must have values. We do not need moral beliefs.
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03-05-2017, 06:17 PM
RE: Science, reason and moral questions
(03-05-2017 05:53 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(03-05-2017 04:26 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  And as far as standards go, again it's life that makes any values possible in the first place so how can it not be the standard of morality. Without life there's no need for morality or values whatsoever. So it's life that is the source and the reason for values. Non-living things don't need them. A rock doesn't need them. Only biological organism's need values.
Sure, but there is a difference between values and morals.

Values are a sliding scale of needs and wants.
Morals is a belief judgment as to whether decisions or actions are right or wrong.

Living things have needs hence must have values. We do not need moral beliefs.

True. values are metaphysical, principles are epistemological. There's the values we need to live which are metaphysical, and then there's the principles by which we identify those values. Let me ask you, do you know when you are born what values you need to live. Are you born with this knowledge canned in your little mind or do you need to learn this knowledge? Is there a process that you go through in learning?

I've not said that we need moral beliefs. I've said we need objective moral principles. A belief and a principle are different things. belief is the confidence with which we accept that a proposition is true and it ranges from very tentative to near certainty. Beliefs are not irreducible primaries and neither are propositions since they in tern are reducible to concepts. What we need is a mental grasp of a fact/ facts relevant to man's life integrated into concepts. Then we need to integrate those concepts into propositions or principles, then we can judge whether or we accept the truth of that proposition.

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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03-05-2017, 06:29 PM
RE: Science, reason and moral questions
(03-05-2017 06:17 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  I've not said that we need moral beliefs. I've said we need objective moral principles. A belief and a principle are different things. belief is the confidence with which we accept that a proposition is true and it ranges from very tentative to near certainty. Beliefs are not irreducible primaries and neither are propositions since they in tern are reducible to concepts. What we need is a mental grasp of a fact/ facts relevant to man's life integrated into concepts. Then we need to integrate those concepts into propositions or principles, then we can judge whether or we accept the truth of that proposition.
I'm still not clear on what a moral principle is and how it differs from a moral belief.
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