The moral argument - Commentless
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25-03-2017, 04:16 PM
RE: The moral argument - Commentless
(25-03-2017 03:23 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(25-03-2017 03:21 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:  Morality is a product of evolution.

Evolution has created animals with brains. And therefor ability to feel pain, suffering and death because of actions of other beings. This ability to fell pain and suffering is the basis of human morality.

Partly true. Moral systems promote group survival. It's only partially about empathy.
There are many moral systems and theories debated and discussed in Philosophy. When a system is accepted as useful in certain situations, then that system can be "objectively" referenced for an ethical question. It's done ALL THE time, all over the world. Most hospitals have Ethics Committees, and they make life and death decisions every day, and never once mention a god or Jebus. The video promotes a falsehood. But we know Craig is a professional liar.

The effects of pain and suffering and other emotions are the basic underlying objective facts that are foundational to morality.

But we humans have abstract reasoning abilities that make actually creating a moral system hard. And bad ideologies can easily undermine that The downside to emotions. hate, rationalization, distrust of the other, the alien. That can give us the holocaust, or slavery and Jim Crow law.

Religion has most definitely given us bad ideologies aplenty to consider. So reason has to rein in religion's bad tendencies. Nor is there a moral ism that settles all issues correctly.

Is health care a right or a privilege? This is right now an issue playing itself out in American politics and religious right politicians don't seem to think of health care as a right. Is that a moral failure?

When I shake my ignore file, I can hear them buzzing!

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25-03-2017, 05:21 PM
RE: The moral argument - Commentless
(25-03-2017 04:16 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:  
(25-03-2017 03:23 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Partly true. Moral systems promote group survival. It's only partially about empathy.
There are many moral systems and theories debated and discussed in Philosophy. When a system is accepted as useful in certain situations, then that system can be "objectively" referenced for an ethical question. It's done ALL THE time, all over the world. Most hospitals have Ethics Committees, and they make life and death decisions every day, and never once mention a god or Jebus. The video promotes a falsehood. But we know Craig is a professional liar.

The effects of pain and suffering and other emotions are the basic underlying objective facts that are foundational to morality.

But we humans have abstract reasoning abilities that make actually creating a moral system hard. And bad ideologies can easily undermine that The downside to emotions. hate, rationalization, distrust of the other, the alien. That can give us the holocaust, or slavery and Jim Crow law.

Religion has most definitely given us bad ideologies aplenty to consider. So reason has to rein in religion's bad tendencies. Nor is there a moral ism that settles all issues correctly.

Is health care a right or a privilege? This is right now an issue playing itself out in American politics and religious right politicians don't seem to think of health care as a right. Is that a moral failure?

Actually Anthropology does not necessarily agree with you.
And religions don't invent moral systems. They sanction pre-existing cultural systems and norms, (such as the stuff in the Bible merely regurgitated what was already extant in that culture). It's not always "pain and suffering" that morality attempts to minimize. It's the group's survival that's promoted, primarily .. and maybe secondarily, if possible, pain minimized. There are countless examples of this in world cultures.

Health care is already a right in the US. No hospital can refuse a sick patient that walks in, in need of care. If they do, they get sued, and their Medicare gets yanked. The politicians are just idiots, and what they are fighting about is how to pay for what is already a well-established right, in law.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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25-03-2017, 06:49 PM
RE: The moral argument - Commentless
(25-03-2017 04:01 PM)JesseB Wrote:  The real problem for me is this really old, clearly flawed "argument" if you can call it that, is still being promoted by some people....

Anyone else get a sensation of Deja Vu? Almost like this argument has been made (and lost) before......

l always get a sensation of Deja vu when theists argue. Their behavior is similar to veteran trolls who spin out a lie - which is immediately refuted. Instead of admitting loss, the troll spins out another lie instead, that lasts as long as the first. Then s/he spins out the third lie.... and you can probably guess the rest.

Never stop. Never listen. Never admit defeat.
Not while there are idiots in this world who can't tell the difference between a spinning wheel and a moving car, ready to be exploited.
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25-03-2017, 11:12 PM
RE: The moral argument - Commentless
(25-03-2017 04:01 PM)JesseB Wrote:  The real problem for me is this really old, clearly flawed "argument" if you can call it that, is still being promoted by some people....

Anyone else get a sensation of Deja Vu? Almost like this argument has been made (and lost) before......

Yeah. It's often a conflation of two completely different concepts: morality based on wellbeing, and morality as dictated by an authority. As usual, defining what words mean and sticking to them is not in the interest of the apologist.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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26-03-2017, 09:32 AM (This post was last modified: 26-03-2017 09:42 AM by true scotsman.)
RE: The moral argument - Commentless
(25-03-2017 02:25 PM)Jokurix Wrote:  I stumbled upon this video and saw that the comments were disabled, which annoyed me and made me raise an eyebrow.

So, since the comments are disabled on youtube, why don't you guys comment on it?

Beware of the ending.




No it is the opposite. With God there are no objective moral principles since God would be the one who decides what is moral. Morality would be the product of and depend on a mind. That's the very definition of subjective.

Moral principles, to be objective, must identify facts which obtain independent of consciousness, anyone's consciousness. Man's life is conditional. This is a fact. Certain actions promote his life and others destroy it. This is a fact. It's a fact regardless of whether anyone likes it or not. An objective code of morals is one which identifies the facts which are relevant to man's life according to his nature which is what it is regardless of what anyone thinks, wishes, wants, desires, would prefer, dreams, feels or demands. That is what objectivity means metaphysically. This is known as the primacy of existence principle, that existence exists independently of anyone's conscious activity. It means that the objects of consciousness (facts) have primacy over the subject of consciousness (the knower)

Morality is conceptual though, not metaphysical. Objectivity in epistemology consists of adherence to the primacy of existence principle in identifying the facts of reality. In essence it means always recognizing the metaphysical fact that "wishing doesn't make things so".

A morality that says "it's right because God says so" is utterly subjective. Objective moral principles are right, i.e., true, regardless of what some imaginary being says or does not say in the imagination of some believer.

It is each individual's responsibility, if he chooses to live, to discover, not decide, what is moral based on man's life as the standard of value, not the wishes of some supernatural being's commands. Seeking to get one's morality from such a source as the Bible represents a total abdication of the responsibility to think objectively.

Morality is a type of knowledge. Bottom line, if you want knowledge then you must look outward at the facts and always recognize that they do not conform to anyone's will. As with so much of what is wrong with theism, this argument is a result of a total lack of any kind of understanding of the conceptual nature of knowledge. It is so sad too that these errors are so easily corrected. This stuff is not that difficult to understand and to validate. Just look at reality and learn what a concept is, how it's formed, how it relates to reality, how it is validated and integrated. But, you will search in vain to find any of that in any religious text, including the vaunted Bible. That's quite a glaring deficiency.

This argument commits the fallacy of the stolen concept by making use of the concept "objective" while denying the primacy of existence principle, which is it's genetic root. Therefore it is invalid.

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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26-03-2017, 10:09 AM
RE: The moral argument - Commentless
(26-03-2017 09:32 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  With God there are no objective moral principles since God would be the one who decides what is moral. Morality would be the product of and depend on a mind. That's the very definition of subjective.

Moral principles, to be objective, must identify facts which obtain independent of consciousness, anyone's consciousness.
The problem with positing a literally objective morality is that some actions can be very beneficial to one being and very harmful to another; beyond that, people have different perceptions of what's harmful or beneficial. Identifying harms and benefits that are the subject of morality, can be objective only relative to some arbitrary standard like "what theists claim god wants". It cannot be utterly objective.

A utilitarian will have one standard, a virtue ethicist may have another, etc.

I regard societal morality similar to a legislature, there are all sorts of views competing, negotiating, and jockeying for position, and eventually some kind of consensus is hammered out that totally pleases almost no one.
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26-03-2017, 11:06 AM
RE: The moral argument - Commentless
(26-03-2017 10:09 AM)mordant Wrote:  
(26-03-2017 09:32 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  With God there are no objective moral principles since God would be the one who decides what is moral. Morality would be the product of and depend on a mind. That's the very definition of subjective.

Moral principles, to be objective, must identify facts which obtain independent of consciousness, anyone's consciousness.
The problem with positing a literally objective morality is that some actions can be very beneficial to one being and very harmful to another; beyond that, people have different perceptions of what's harmful or beneficial. Identifying harms and benefits that are the subject of morality, can be objective only relative to some arbitrary standard like "what theists claim god wants". It cannot be utterly objective.

A utilitarian will have one standard, a virtue ethicist may have another, etc.

I regard societal morality similar to a legislature, there are all sorts of views competing, negotiating, and jockeying for position, and eventually some kind of consensus is hammered out that totally pleases almost no one.

Only if one drops a lot of contexts.

The fact that people have different standards does not mean that any of the standards they have are right. And basing morality on the consensus opinion is a subjective standard. suppose the majority of people in a society come to the consensus that it's OK to take the rightful property of one man and give it to another. This would not make it right. It would still be objectively wrong. Life requires the gaining and keeping of values, not there loss or destruction and by his nature man must produce what he needs to live. Food, shelter, clothing, knowledge, tools, etc. all have to be produced. To say that man must produce the values he needs to live but that he has no right to what he produces is a contradiction.

Morality is not isolated but must be considered as part of an integrated system of knowledge.

On the objective standard of man's life and his nature no benefit can be gotten from harming others. If you think it can then you must concede that others can obtain benefits by harming you. Such a principle can only be destructive of all Human life. You would never have any peace, but constant conflict which could only result in total destruction.

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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26-03-2017, 11:56 AM
RE: The moral argument - Commentless
I think the "objective vs subjective" thing has been beaten to death, and is utterly useless.

What I do find interesting are the things Carol Gilligan and Nel Noddings have written about the "Ethics of Care". It's much more useful, and I hear their ideas referenced when our Ethics Committee gets called to provide an opinion on a case in the hospital. If someone were to start talking like Kant, I doubt they would be on the committee for long. Morality has long ago moved out of the realm of religion.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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26-03-2017, 12:05 PM
RE: The moral argument - Commentless
(26-03-2017 11:06 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  
(26-03-2017 10:09 AM)mordant Wrote:  The problem with positing a literally objective morality is that some actions can be very beneficial to one being and very harmful to another; beyond that, people have different perceptions of what's harmful or beneficial. Identifying harms and benefits that are the subject of morality, can be objective only relative to some arbitrary standard like "what theists claim god wants". It cannot be utterly objective.

A utilitarian will have one standard, a virtue ethicist may have another, etc.

I regard societal morality similar to a legislature, there are all sorts of views competing, negotiating, and jockeying for position, and eventually some kind of consensus is hammered out that totally pleases almost no one.

Only if one drops a lot of contexts.

The fact that people have different standards does not mean that any of the standards they have are right.
Nor does it mean that any of them are wrong. Or that it's even a binary question of right / wrong.

Just to pick an example that's top of mind because of another discussion I'm in the middle of, I tried to participate in my adult son's life in various ways to make sure he was getting full benefit of the social safety net, the mental health care system, health care generally, etc. I did this because he was demonstrably not fully responsible for himself nor accountable to anyone who gave a useful damn in these areas.

From my point of view, I was making sure that he did not make poor judgments that would harm him in the short or long term.

From my son's point of view, I was well meaning but intrusive of his intensely private nature and always pushing him to do things he was uncomfortable doing.

From the point of view of some of his doctors, I was infantalizing my son (apparently they did not realize he had already infantalized himself). Or I was just another controlling helicopter parent or some other sort of dipshit that I superficially resembled if you didn't really pay attention.

From the point of view of some of his handlers, he was a clueless but harmless and relatively functional young adult; because I was the only one who ever had an opportunity to partially see the whole picture, they did not share my view that he was a danger to himself and, under certain circumstances, such as if he ever got hold of a vehicle while self-medicating, he was a danger to others.

So he fell through the cracks and died, eventually, despite my best efforts.

Now ... WHICH of these contexts would you have to take into account, and how would you weigh them all, to arrive at an objective view of what was moral, ethical, right OR necessary in this situation? And how would you do all that while guaranteeing you aren't being biased in any way?

I submit that you can't do it. You can approach it, and it's a worthy effort to do so, but if you don't have the epistemological humility to admit that you don't and can't perfectly know the morality of many things, and that some situations just are inherently morally ambiguous ... then you will not be able to understand that sometimes your best efforts aren't enough to carry the day, and sometimes you make it up as you go, of necessity.
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26-03-2017, 03:00 PM
RE: The moral argument - Commentless
(25-03-2017 05:21 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(25-03-2017 04:16 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:  The effects of pain and suffering and other emotions are the basic underlying objective facts that are foundational to morality.

But we humans have abstract reasoning abilities that make actually creating a moral system hard. And bad ideologies can easily undermine that The downside to emotions. hate, rationalization, distrust of the other, the alien. That can give us the holocaust, or slavery and Jim Crow law.

Religion has most definitely given us bad ideologies aplenty to consider. So reason has to rein in religion's bad tendencies. Nor is there a moral ism that settles all issues correctly.

Is health care a right or a privilege? This is right now an issue playing itself out in American politics and religious right politicians don't seem to think of health care as a right. Is that a moral failure?

Actually Anthropology does not necessarily agree with you.
And religions don't invent moral systems. They sanction pre-existing cultural systems and norms, (such as the stuff in the Bible merely regurgitated what was already extant in that culture). It's not always "pain and suffering" that morality attempts to minimize. It's the group's survival that's promoted, primarily .. and maybe secondarily, if possible, pain minimized. There are countless examples of this in world cultures.

Health care is already a right in the US. No hospital can refuse a sick patient that walks in, in need of care. If they do, they get sued, and their Medicare gets yanked. The politicians are just idiots, and what they are fighting about is how to pay for what is already a well-established right, in law.

No, that is not really health care. And when an indigent person ends up in the emergency room, the costs are passed on to those who do have insurance. It's not really free. Here in Houston Texas, in Harris County, Harris County Health Care runs one of America's best hospital districts. It has help many indigent or poor people with health care services, on a sliding scale.

Thanks to the idiocy of our Texas governor and GOP legislature, who cut state support to HCHC, last year they ran a $15 million deficit. This year it is up to $85 million deficit. We have direct experience here of GOP attitude to public health care. The Republicans don't give a rat's ass. Never did, never will. And they are trying to destroy all funding to Planned Parenthood that supplies low cost health care to many poorer women on top of all of this.

Here is moral evil, staring us right in the face.

When I shake my ignore file, I can hear them buzzing!

Cheerful Charlie
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