Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
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05-01-2017, 06:17 AM
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
(04-01-2017 01:00 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  You seem to be using the term belief in a strange and not entirely decipherable way. Perhaps a few questions will help.

Do all living organisms posses beliefs? Does a flower posses a belief that exposure to water and sunlight help it to grow?

Dunno. Do tell.... Shy

Do ants have beliefs? Do crayfish and fish have beliefs?

Fixed that for you.

I think crayfish believe it's bad to get eaten or thrown into boiling water.


If not, why not?

It hurts!

Quote:It is obvious that Christianity is a human construct.

And morality isn't?

Jumped on that one eh. Like a naked man onto a rhino.

Sadly though, your words show you agree both are human constructs.

Interesting...
Consider

Yet you seem able to claim a variety of things that cats and other non- human animals believe, without being able to ask them whether they believe this or not.

Have you asked them???

Mate was it like that scene in Harry Potter when he spoke to that snake at the zoo?

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
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05-01-2017, 08:24 AM
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
(04-01-2017 11:59 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I am not telling you if the animals have moral beliefs or not, I am merely telling you that they do have beliefs. They believe their eyes and ears and noses, they believe that some animals are edible, they believe that some situations are dangerous

You say a lot of things. You claimed that brains and consciousness are required for belief. It’s also not particularly clear whether you think all animals have consciousness. You didn’t answer whether ants have consciousness.

You also put a great deal of weight onto consciousness, claiming we wouldn’t be able to function without it, because without consciousness we wouldn’t have beliefs. Yet you seem to acknowledge that any variety of complex living organisms, like plants, are able to function just fine with out consciousness.

Robots and machines are able to perform a variety of complex functions without consciousness, just by being programmed to follow some set of rules. Imagine if you will a robot/computer able to detect human faces, from other objects, it can do so without consciousness. Or imagine if you will a robot programmed to avoid falling off cliffs, perhaps programmed to recognize some degree of depth, and avoid walking onto deep areas. He does so without any conscious awareness, or beliefs.

There’s been a variety of studies showing that we make a variety of decisions prior to actually being consciously aware of it. Or take what we learned from those with “blind sight”, people who are “cortically blind due to lesions in their striate cortex, also known as primary visual cortex” “Patients are asked to detect, localize, and discriminate amongst visual stimuli that are presented to their blind side, often in a forced-response or guessing situation, even though they don't consciously recognize the visual stimulus.” Patient are able to recognize objects and colors, without being consciously aware that they detected them, and are not consciously aware of any stimuli here. Challenging the assumption that “perceptions must enter consciousness to affect our behavior; it shows that our behavior can be guided by sensory information of which we have no conscious awareness.”

Take a frog eating flies. Perhaps you associate this function with consciousness. Perhaps you’d say the frog consciously sees a fly, recognizes it as food, believes that if he sticks his tongue out far enough he can catch it, and have something to eat. When in reality his behavior is likely determined by non-conscious factors, such as we see in patients with blind-sight. That his behavior is dictated by sensory information of which he has no conscious awareness of. Think of a robot following a programmed set of rules, as an analogy if that helps.

Our evolutionary history, natural selection, doesn’t operate in terms of beliefs, it operates it terms of our biology, and biological responses to a variety of different stimuli.

Quote:a4) I will die if I jump into a pot of boiling water.

An ant may avoid going directly into a fire. Perhaps you think this is impossible without beliefs, that the ant would have to believe something equivalent to a human believing he will die if he jumps into a pot of boiling water. That he’d have to believe something like if I go into that fire I’m going to get hurt.

Here’s the alternative without beliefs. The ant’s is biological programmed to avoid going directly into extreme heat sources, his biology produces an unpleasant sensation when moving in the direction towards the fire, and as the result of that unpleasant sensation he walks away from the source of it. He’s following a biological rule, that selected a variety of responses to a variety of different stimuli, with no more need for consciousness than a robot following a rule here.

Evolution selected for a series of physical responses in regards to physical stimuli, and not for any particular set of beliefs.

Quote:There are degrees of belief:
a) That which we hold to be facts are beliefs. They are "justified" beliefs.
b) There are also beliefs which we hold to be true which are unjustified but we "trust" the source and either can't be bothered to verify as the result has little consequence or we have not much evidence at our disposal to verify claims, such as historical claims.



All human constructs, requiring an epistemology. My dog lacks an epistemology, he can’t distinguish between a justified belief, and an opinion, facts from non-facts. As the biological creature that he is, he just takes in a variety of stimuli, that elicits a variety of biological responses from him. Some stimuli feels positive, other stimuli feels negative.

I also doubt, that when it comes to humans you’ll equate a fact, with every stimuli that leads us to hold certain beliefs as true. A fact is a man made abstract concept, it’s immaterial, it has no weight or shape, or mass. You wouldn’t be able to provide me a physical description of a fact, so that I can physically tell the difference between facts, and non-facts.

Quote:Christianity is all about a human-man god. About humans being made in the likeness of a god, about humans following the god's rules, about humans being judged and massacred by the angry god. About some humans going to heaven with the angry god.

Morality is about a belief in right and wrong behavior. Not necessarily the behavior of humans.


It’s kind of ironic that as a moral nihilist, you don’t see morality as a human-construct.

But clearly the idea of God is a human construct, yet religious views of morality, that assign right and wrong on the basis of what they see as their God as approving of or not, are not human constructs?

In order to judge actions as moral or immoral, you’d have to have some sort of foundation, or moral philosophy, to shape the very criteria of moral and immoral. And this criteria can very widely from person to person, culture to culture. Many atheists judge morality in terms of consequences, other people judge it based on intention, others on whether in aligns with the rules of their holy books, etc…

Morality is just as much a human construct as a religion is, hence the reason you can be a moral nihilist.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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05-01-2017, 02:25 PM
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
(05-01-2017 08:24 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  You say a lot of things. You claimed that brains and consciousness are required for belief. It’s also not particularly clear whether you think all animals have consciousness. You didn’t answer whether ants have consciousness.
I'm not a god, I don't know all the answers to your questions.


(05-01-2017 08:24 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  You also put a great deal of weight onto consciousness, claiming we wouldn’t be able to function without it, because without consciousness we wouldn’t have beliefs. Yet you seem to acknowledge that any variety of complex living organisms, like plants, are able to function just fine with out consciousness.
What happens when you are unconscious?
Do you eat? to you built shelter, do you get out of danger?

(05-01-2017 08:24 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Robots and machines are able to perform a variety of complex functions without consciousness, just by being programmed to follow some set of rules.
If we go down to the physics level, we are just programmed robots too.
But if we consider what happens to an unconscious animal, well, it just lies there, asleep, not feeding, not protecting itself.

(05-01-2017 08:24 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
Quote:a4) I will die if I jump into a pot of boiling water.

An ant may avoid going directly into a fire. Perhaps you think this is impossible without beliefs, that the ant would have to believe something equivalent to a human believing he will die if he jumps into a pot of boiling water. That he’d have to believe something like if I go into that fire I’m going to get hurt.

Here’s the alternative without beliefs. The ant’s is biological programmed to avoid going directly into extreme heat sources, his biology produces an unpleasant sensation when moving in the direction towards the fire, and as the result of that unpleasant sensation he walks away from the source of it.

Let's define consciousness as having an awareness of your environment, being able to react to the environmentby thinking through the choices and options available and understanding the impact on the self.

(05-01-2017 08:24 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  It’s kind of ironic that as a moral nihilist, you don’t see morality as a human-construct.
You know what I mean, you are just being an idiot here.
The concept of morality is recognition of right vs wrong. We don't presuppose that the actor is a human.

Christianity on the other hand asserts that god made man in his image, that we are all decendants of adam (a man) who god created earth for and gave us dominion over all the animals.

Tomasia stop being an idiot please. You are a troll and constantly you remind us of this fact.

Is it that you are just lonely and need to get someone in the world to interact with you, or perhaps you immature and just like to argue and get others arguing too.
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05-01-2017, 03:23 PM
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
(05-01-2017 02:25 PM)Stevil Wrote:  You know what I mean, you are just being an idiot here.
The concept of morality is recognition of right vs wrong. We don't presuppose that the actor is a human.

No, I’m being quite serious. Morality is a human construct, you’re the one that suggested other wise. You make claims otherwise, but say very little in support of them.

And secondly in most moral outlooks, it’s presupposed that the actor is human, or at least human like. We don’t tend to judge the behavior of other animals as moral or immoral, accuse the lion of being immoral for killing the gazelle, or the viper for biting an innocent child.

Quote:You are a troll and constantly you remind us of this fact.

Noone’s trolling you Stevil. I have no desire to piss you off, or illicit an emotional response from you. I disagree with you strongly, but I don’t care to get a rise out of you.

Quote: I'm not a god, I don't know all the answers to your questions.

You don’t know whether ants are conscious, therefore you don’t know whether or not they have beliefs, even though they do perform a variety of complex functions, like forming colonies. Yet you do claim that other non-human animals have beliefs.

You can’t have it both ways. If you can’t know whether ants are conscious or not, because you’re not god, then I’m not sure how you can know that cats, and fish are conscious. You suggested that both cats and fishes have beliefs earlier. And that beliefs require consciousness. Not sure how you were able to derive that fish and cats are conscious and have beliefs, but don’t know whether ants do. You’re just walking into your own contradictions here.

Quote:What happens when you are unconscious?
Do you eat? to you built shelter, do you get out of danger?

Ants eat, build shelter, get out of danger, but that doesn’t indicate they’re conscious. So are animals able to eat, build shelter, and get of danger without conscious? sure. In fact from an evolutionary perspective we can easily see why this would be possible. Just like non-animals can follow a variety of biological rules, in response to a variety of stimuli, so can animals. You can easily envision a robot we program to follow a variety of rules like other animals do, without consciousness. It fact it’s easier to produce robots that follow certain rules, than conscious ones.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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05-01-2017, 07:01 PM
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
(05-01-2017 03:23 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(05-01-2017 02:25 PM)Stevil Wrote:  You know what I mean, you are just being an idiot here.
The concept of morality is recognition of right vs wrong. We don't presuppose that the actor is a human.

No, I’m being quite serious. Morality is a human construct, you’re the one that suggested other wise. You make claims otherwise, but say very little in support of them.

And secondly in most moral outlooks, it’s presupposed that the actor is human, or at least human like. We don’t tend to judge the behavior of other animals as moral or immoral, accuse the lion of being immoral for killing the gazelle, or the viper for biting an innocent child.

Quote:You are a troll and constantly you remind us of this fact.

Noone’s trolling you Stevil. I have no desire to piss you off, or illicit an emotional response from you. I disagree with you strongly, but I don’t care to get a rise out of you.

Quote: I'm not a god, I don't know all the answers to your questions.

You don’t know whether ants are conscious, therefore you don’t know whether or not they have beliefs, even though they do perform a variety of complex functions, like forming colonies. Yet you do claim that other non-human animals have beliefs.

You can’t have it both ways. If you can’t know whether ants are conscious or not, because you’re not god, then I’m not sure how you can know that cats, and fish are conscious. You suggested that both cats and fishes have beliefs earlier. And that beliefs require consciousness. Not sure how you were able to derive that fish and cats are conscious and have beliefs, but don’t know whether ants do. You’re just walking into your own contradictions here.

Quote:What happens when you are unconscious?
Do you eat? to you built shelter, do you get out of danger?

Ants eat, build shelter, get out of danger, but that doesn’t indicate they’re conscious. So are animals able to eat, build shelter, and get of danger without conscious? sure. In fact from an evolutionary perspective we can easily see why this would be possible. Just like non-animals can follow a variety of biological rules, in response to a variety of stimuli, so can animals. You can easily envision a robot we program to follow a variety of rules like other animals do, without consciousness. It fact it’s easier to produce robots that follow certain rules, than conscious ones.

it's "elicit" not "illicit. Facepalm

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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05-01-2017, 08:39 PM
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
(05-01-2017 07:01 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  it's "elicit" not "illicit. Facepalm

Thank you good sir.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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06-01-2017, 12:53 AM
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
(05-01-2017 03:23 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Morality is a human construct, you’re the one that suggested other wise. You make claims otherwise, but say very little in support of them.

And secondly in most moral outlooks, it’s presupposed that the actor is human, or at least human like. We don’t tend to judge the behavior of other animals as moral or immoral, accuse the lion of being immoral for killing the gazelle, or the viper for biting an innocent child.

The concept of morality does not assume human actors.
For an actor to be part of the moral landscape that actor must have a belief in right and wrong and must be capable of freely choosing between.

Any creature that fits that can be a moral actor, the actor doesn't have to be a human.
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06-01-2017, 08:40 AM
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
(06-01-2017 12:53 AM)Stevil Wrote:  The concept of morality does not assume human actors.
For an actor to be part of the moral landscape that actor must have a belief in right and wrong and must be capable of freely choosing between.

Whose concept of morality? Pretty much every concept of morality assumes only human actors. Christian concepts of morality are reserved exclusively for human actors. Non-human animals are not a part of the equation.

And most people don't tend to judge that the actions of non-human animals as immoral, no one is inclined to accuse a Harambe of being immoral for hurting a child.

Secondly, regardless of you being a moral nihilist, those who subscribe to some form of morality will still judge your actions as moral or immoral regardless if you personally have a belief in right or wrong, unlike if you were a gorilla.

Quote:Any creature that fits that can be a moral actor, the actor doesn't have to be a human.

According to whose concept of morality? I'm not sure if you're aware that there is more than just one. Consequetalist, secular humanist, virtue ethicist, christians, etc.. don't tend to have the same concept of morality.

Secondly you haven't answered why you know that cats and fish have beliefs, but don't know whether ants do because you're not god? Maybe this is the point where you acknowledge you were perhaps mistaken about your original assumptions? There's nothing wrong with admitting that.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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06-01-2017, 01:02 PM
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
(06-01-2017 08:40 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(06-01-2017 12:53 AM)Stevil Wrote:  The concept of morality does not assume human actors.
For an actor to be part of the moral landscape that actor must have a belief in right and wrong and must be capable of freely choosing between.

Whose concept of morality? Pretty much every concept of morality assumes only human actors. Christian concepts of morality are reserved exclusively for human actors. Non-human animals are not a part of the equation.
We are not focusing on Christian definition of words. Christians don't rule the world.

The definition of moral concepts does not require the actor to be human. I have no interest in arguing this point with you. You may presuppose humans in morality, I don't. We can agree to disagree on this.


(06-01-2017 08:40 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  And most people don't tend to judge that the actions of non-human animals as immoral, no one is inclined to accuse a Harambe of being immoral for hurting a child.
Sure, but this doesn't support your argument.
Why are we arguing this point anyway?

(06-01-2017 08:40 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Secondly, regardless of you being a moral nihilist, those who subscribe to some form of morality will still judge your actions as moral or immoral regardless if you personally have a belief in right or wrong, unlike if you were a gorilla.
Yes, and those people are being either inconsistent with morality or their morality concept is so vague as to be useless.



(06-01-2017 08:40 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Secondly you haven't answered why you know that cats and fish have beliefs
I've answered this twice already I can't help you any further on this.

(06-01-2017 08:40 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  but don't know whether ants do because you're not god?
I don't know if ants sleep and I don't know if they can be knocked unconscious. Cats can be knocked unconscious,
I don't know about fish.
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06-01-2017, 08:44 PM
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
(06-01-2017 12:53 AM)Stevil Wrote:  The concept of morality does not assume human actors.
For an actor to be part of the moral landscape that actor must have a belief in right and wrong and must be capable of freely choosing between.

Any creature that fits that can be a moral actor, the actor doesn't have to be a human.
Exactly.

Morality is less nuanced and complex for, say, an Orca or a Chimp or a Gorilla, but it still exists. It is simply negotiated rules and conventions (implicit or explicit) for how to coexist or cooperate. For that all you need is a creature who has some social abilities and needs, which in turn provides some level of empathy. At the biological level, in other words, you need mirror neurons.

Many animals are tool users also, again, not nearly as complex or capable as our tools, but tools nonetheless. Language too ... dolphins don't have a language for example in the sense that we do, but they have a fairly involved communication system. Alot of concepts that humans like to think makes them unique, are not so unique. They are more developed in us, have reached a critical mass where we the sophistication is orders of magnitude greater, but are not actually unique.

Many theists resist this because of their belief in the soul or spirit as unique to man. If empathy, morality, tool-making and communication is less than unique to humans, it tends to make their fantasy of the human spirit / soul all the more forlorn. They want to amass as much "evidence" as possible that humans are uniquely endowed by the creator with special super-powers; it makes the soul a more superficially plausible concept.

In fairness to the religious, this is not purely something you can lay at the feet of theism. It is also just ordinary, everyday garden-variety anthropocentric hubris, too.
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