Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
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23-11-2016, 04:11 AM (This post was last modified: 23-11-2016 04:43 AM by Velvet.)
Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
Hey guys, I hope you are all felling wonderful today, especially Jenny Bowing, so, a couple weeks ago one of my students, knowing I'm an atheist as him, asked about the bases for our morality.

(Keep in mind that english is not my first language, and try to ignore any horrendous errors that you might find)

What he was actually after tho (he told me this week) was an answer to this video:


Here we see W.L. Craig raping an unprepared guy, following with some maieutic... (Look at the way he looks at the guy like he is a tasty prey)

Well, i'm not a philosopher so I thought it was wise to think and research a bit more on the topic... and I found some very interesting piece of paper: a letter from an atheist to W.L. Craig about this same issue.

Now, I don't know if this is a fake from Craig, and even if it isn't it could still be someone trolling Craig...

The letter talks about the moral implications of setting morality as a social/cultural or/+ evolutionary construct, in which one who understands that both of those (or any combination of those) would not be objective, and ultimately, not meaningful as a basis for any moral judgment.

As a honest thinker, one is forced to apply skepticism to his moral intuitious, and until he is able to find rational justification he shouldn't regard them as anything more than his personal opinion, maybe learned from culture or "infused" by natural selection.

Then, now basically a Nihilist, one is unable to dish any moral judgment, and is rendered incapable of honestly telling why we shouldn't torture a child.

There is any validity to refer to right and wrong using bases of actions that maximize humanity's long term survival? Why it would be the case?

There's any validity to refer to right and wrong using bases of actions that minimize human suffering?

I'm interested in knowing you guys take on this subject, have you ever thought about it? What are your basis to say action X is wrong?

That which can be destroyed by the truth should be.”
-P.C. Hodgell - Seeker’s Mask - Kirien
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23-11-2016, 05:38 AM
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
Have we thought about it?

I'd say that about half the threads in TTA's Philosophy section are us thinking about it.

Big Grin

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23-11-2016, 06:05 AM (This post was last modified: 23-11-2016 06:22 AM by Velvet.)
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
(23-11-2016 05:38 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Have we thought about?

I'd say that about half the threads in TTA's Philosophy section are us thinking about it.

Big Grin
Its presently pulling me back to philosophy... as it is something I can't just "leave as it is now", and I'm asking people how they are doing that themselves...

One of my friends defended utilitarianism [EDIT: it was actually consequentialism], I debated him over the fact that something being useful raises the question "useful to whom?" and why the interests of the survival of humans would in any way be (necessarily) good?

Other of my friends defended his own morality model in which he claims it was possible to derive right and wrong, good and evil, from empathy (golden rule). I showed him that was not the case as I can have a different opinion from someone as "what I would rather people treat me like".

Sam Harris defends that we can derive good and evil from conscious beings's well being, and exemplifly that those values can be touched by science by making a comparison with economy and medicine.

He says, even if no one knows what is the correct plan to overcome a financial crisis, we can still point some plans that are definitely worst than others, some plans that are almost impossible to succeed in stabilizing the economy; and that just means that there are too many variables to account, the system is too complex but NOT that there isn't an objectively correct answer, even if we are (for now) unable to reach it.

And the same would be with morality from a science perspective.

His example of Medicine is a comparison with the concept of "healthy" he says, medicine knows what a healthy person is, regardless if the person says "he loves to vomit and we would rather vomit until he dies", it wouldn't make his opinion valid, he would just be wrong.

And that the same would apply to morality, we just don't have enough understanding of it...

...

I personally haven't been convinced by Sam Harris's arguments for his views on morality, I'm more inclined to consider total relativism, regardless of the "dreadful consequences" of such view.

That which can be destroyed by the truth should be.”
-P.C. Hodgell - Seeker’s Mask - Kirien
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23-11-2016, 06:45 AM
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
You want a universal basis for morality? There is none. The most one can say is that there's stuff that society as a whole generally endorses or generally repudiates. That is subject to change though. In earlier times marriage between races and homosexuality were regarded as heinous crimes, now they're seen as OK. Torturing enemy combatants and killing them horribly was seen as basic common sense, now it's seen as barbaric.

I fail to see how belief in some deity resolves anything with respect to morality. Plenty of people kill in the name of a loving God.

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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23-11-2016, 06:54 AM (This post was last modified: 23-11-2016 06:59 AM by Velvet.)
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
(23-11-2016 06:45 AM)morondog Wrote:  You want a universal basis for morality? There is none. The most one can say is that there's stuff that society as a whole generally endorses or generally repudiates. That is subject to change though. In earlier times marriage between races and homosexuality were regarded as heinous crimes, now they're seen as OK. Torturing enemy combatants and killing them horribly was seen as basic common sense, now it's seen as barbaric.

I fail to see how belief in some deity resolves anything with respect to morality. Plenty of people kill in the name of a loving God.

No, I want to know if it is possible to have any basis to judge or evaluate any act as good or bad, right or wrong, given everything that you just said.

And if its not possible then, what we supposed to do with our intuition about evil acts like rape, slavery, racism... discard it all because its just as supported as yesterday's "slavery is right"?

That which can be destroyed by the truth should be.”
-P.C. Hodgell - Seeker’s Mask - Kirien
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23-11-2016, 06:58 AM
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
We are humans, and most of us are infused with some degree of empathy, some of us more so, some less.

We don't need morals.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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23-11-2016, 07:03 AM
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
Morality makes more sense when you start from the position that we are a large group of greedy, selfish, evolving primates, alone in an uncaring universe.

We want someone/something to tell us what morality is so that we don't have to think about it, but we only want to listen to the parts we agree with.

We want simple answers to difficult questions and we don't want to admit that the consequences of both the answers and the questions are often beyond our comprehension.

My answer is that we determine our morality and it is our responsibility to our children and ourselves to establish a fair and just society.

Help for the living. Hope for the dead. ~ R.G. Ingersoll

Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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23-11-2016, 07:11 AM (This post was last modified: 23-11-2016 07:49 AM by Velvet.)
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
(23-11-2016 06:58 AM)Dom Wrote:  We are humans, and most of us are infused with some degree of empathy, some of us more so, some less.

We don't need morals.
And are we supposed to trust that empathy and that's it?

Because some people rather being happy and deluded, I prefer knowing the truth regardless of consequences, I think happiness is only valuable if it is based on a real reason to feel happines... I usually value knowledge more than happiness, most people don't feel that way.

Most of my friends disagree with me.

So if they are completely happy and their wife/husband is cheating on them, they rather not ever knowing it... and be happy for their whole lives if that's an opition.

While I say no fucking way this is what I would want for me.

This is just an example, but the point is that empathy doesn't accurately represents what would be a good thing to do, it only represents what you think it would be a good thing to do if you were that other person, and for that you are using your projection, imagination and your knowledge about that person to portrait yourself as them on that situation, a mechanism that fails (a lot).

I don't think its reasonable to say we don't need morality because we have empathy.

That which can be destroyed by the truth should be.”
-P.C. Hodgell - Seeker’s Mask - Kirien
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23-11-2016, 07:16 AM (This post was last modified: 23-11-2016 07:25 AM by Velvet.)
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
(23-11-2016 07:03 AM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  is our responsibility to our children and ourselves to establish a fair and just society.

Why?

That which can be destroyed by the truth should be.”
-P.C. Hodgell - Seeker’s Mask - Kirien
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23-11-2016, 07:17 AM
Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
A made up biased notion that sustaining life is good because life pushes for it for whatever developed reason (effectiveness basically being that reason)

Yeah about valuing truth or happiness I have a friend that do often feels he wishes he could be ignorant and blissful in envy of some mentally incapable of deep self analysis.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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