Author Topic: Rapists doing god's work according to Santorum?  (Read 6325 times)

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Offline One Above All

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Re: Rapists doing god's work according to Santorum?
« Reply #174 on: February 18, 2012, 10:26:35 AM »
My analogy is not that objectivity is like the best football team. My analogy is that moral objectivity is like the best football team at the beginning of the season

The beginning of the season thing is part of the analogous item

At the beginning of the season it can still be demonstrated, although it takes time (the season itself).
Moral objectivism is not like the football team at the beginning of the season because there are no means to prove it.

There are rules on this forum.

I've asked you nicely. Respond to the arguments you ignored or face the consequences

Report me if you wish. I have nothing to fear. You're the one who keeps ignoring parts of my posts, as evidenced by this part of your post and every question I've dismissed.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2012, 10:36:27 AM by Lucifer »
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Rapists doing god's work according to Santorum?
« Reply #175 on: February 18, 2012, 11:12:24 AM »
I disagree that "red is the best color" is necessarily an incomplete thought. I believe it is an incorrect thought (The best color is not actually red IMO) but I think it's a perfectly coherent false idea, and nothing you have said has inclined me to think otherwise.

Then this is our specific point of contention.  You think it's coherent?  Fine.  What does it mean?  What is the standard by which you are judging red to (not) be the best colour?  "Best" on its own, without a standard of judgment means...what, exactly?  Spill it.

Something does not have to be best at everything to be best. Micheal Phelps is the best swimmer in the world. He is not the best at breaststroke

Excellent example.  Michael Phelps is the best person in the world at swimmingAt swimming is the goal you're using as a standard of judgment here, to make "best" meaningful.  Now, let's take it out and test your claim that a goal isn't needed for coherent meaning.  Let's just say that "Michael Phelps is the best in the world".  Is that a complete thought?  Does it convey the same meaning, or any useful meaning at all?  Why or why not?

I understand that you feel this is the important part, and it is not my desire to dismiss it flippantly, but I simply disagree and see no reason here why i should come to agree. As the Dude said  "That's just..like... Your opinion man"

Then why not address its content in some way, rather than, once again, dismissing it as opinion?
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Offline Lorax

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Re: Rapists doing god's work according to Santorum?
« Reply #176 on: February 18, 2012, 08:21:24 PM »
I understand that you feel this is the important part, and it is not my desire to dismiss it flippantly, but I simply disagree and see no reason here why i should come to agree. As the Dude said  "That's just..like... Your opinion man"

Then why not address its content in some way, rather than, once again, dismissing it as opinion?

You seem to think it's my choice whether what you've said is opinion or not.

I can't respond to content that isn't there
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I disagree that "red is the best color" is necessarily an incomplete thought. I believe it is an incorrect thought (The best color is not actually red IMO) but I think it's a perfectly coherent false idea, and nothing you have said has inclined me to think otherwise.

Then this is our specific point of contention.  You think it's coherent?  Fine.  What does it mean?  What is the standard by which you are judging red to (not) be the best colour?  "Best" on its own, without a standard of judgment means...what, exactly?  Spill it.
I responded to this for another poster. Grammatically it's awkward, but I'd argue "best color" means best at "being (good) a color" or "of the highest quality of color"
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Something does not have to be best at everything to be best. Micheal Phelps is the best swimmer in the world. He is not the best at breaststroke

Excellent example.  Michael Phelps is the best person in the world at swimmingAt swimming is the goal you're using as a standard of judgment here, to make "best" meaningful.  Now, let's take it out and test your claim that a goal isn't needed for coherent meaning.  Let's just say that "Michael Phelps is the best in the world".  Is that a complete thought?  Does it convey the same meaning, or any useful meaning at all?  Why or why not?

I do think that's a meaningful thought, you're right that does imply something much more along the lines of best at everything (or at least best at a great percentage of possible things). Since there is no second noun there I would probably interpret "best" as implicitly referring to Phelps's success at being a "thing" although it could also be interpreted to mean best "person" (since Phelps is clearly a person) so it's a but syntactically vague.

"Red is the best color" on the other hand is not vague. The best what? the best color.

Offline JeffPT

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Re: Rapists doing god's work according to Santorum?
« Reply #177 on: February 18, 2012, 09:04:24 PM »
I'm sorry to drag you back a few pages but I haven't checked this particular thread to see your response here.  I'd like to comment on it.  If you recall, I was the one who spoke about your favorite color and having there be a color out there that actually IS the best color. 

No that's a fair enough analogy.

There appears to exist imbedded within it some sort of pathetic (pathos oriented) argument. that objective morality is false because the existence of a best color is false (or is commonly believed to be false). You didn't make that argument yet, so i won't hold it against you, but if you did it would be silly.

Actually, I was trying to make you see that it is equally feasible to view our moral opinions in the same way we view our other non-moral opinions (such as color preference) without the need for our morals (or best colors) to actually be objective.  In other words, when you assert that our morals are actually objective, you are inserting a completely unnecessary postulate.  We don't need it for all of our other opinions, so I don't understand why you think we need it for our moral opinions too. 

I could offer another analogy, equally sound but with opposite pathos. Such as football teams. At the beginning of the season every college football fan has a different opinion of who the best team is, but despite this, there is in fact only one best team each year.

But we are sure that the BCS standings exist, right?  And that is what determines who gets the trophy.  The BCS standings are an objective measurement system we use to determine 'best' from all the others.   Your analogy is flawed because we KNOW that measurement system exists, but you are assuming some sort of moral BCS standings exists somewhere without a shred of evidence to back it up. 

If a year of football was played out without the BCS standings, what would we have at the end of the year?  A bunch of teams who believe they are the best, right?  I am saying this is exactly how our morals are.  To suppose that there is some sort of moral BCS standings existing somewhere is just not in evidence; nor is it required at all.  You are free to suggest there is, but to hold to that opinion as if it were true is unrealistic. 

Then (if I were unfair) I could taunt you and say that your logic would suggest that evenyone's opinions mean that there is no such thing as a national champion football team. Then i could rhetorically point and laugh at you.

Again, we know there is a BCS system.  You're analogy suggests that such a system exists for morality when that is just not in evidence.  In the absence of a BCS rating system, there IS no champion football team, correct?   Just everyone's opinion as to who is the best... 

All you are doing is assuming there is a moral 'BCS system' somewhere out there.  Why?  You don't need to.  The reality that we are faced with every day does not require that, nor is it in evidence. 

Sorry that was a long answer. Yes the analogy works. Proceed.

I believe I have shown you where your football analogy is flawed.  Can you please tell me whether or not you agree with me.  I believe my colors analogy is leaps and bounds better than yours because an objective measuring system must first be ASSUMED (in the absence of evidence that it does) for each analogy.  With the football one, we know it exists for sure.  That's a very big difference. 
Whenever events that are purported to occur in our best interest are as numerous as the events that will just as soon kill us, then intent is hard, if not impossible to assert. NDT

Offline jetson

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Re: Rapists doing god's work according to Santorum?
« Reply #178 on: February 18, 2012, 10:12:56 PM »

There are rules on this forum.

I've asked you nicely. Respond to the arguments you ignored or face the consequences

Lorax,

Please use the "Report to Moderator" button as opposed to an in-thread comment if you feel a rule has been broken.

Thanks,

Jetson

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Rapists doing god's work according to Santorum?
« Reply #179 on: February 18, 2012, 10:14:37 PM »
I've granted 12 times not that moral objectivitivism cannot be demonstrated. I'm not avoiding anything

Neither can football teams at the beginning of the season.

Bold for emphasis.
Moral objectivism cannot be demonstrated period. Football teams can. See the difference? That's why your analogy does not hold.

My analogy is not that objectivity is like the best football team. My analogy is that moral objectivity is like the best football team at the beginning of the season

The beginning of the season thing is part of the analogous item
This is nonsense.  You are basically saying that you cannot even get an idea of the relative abilities of various football teams at the beginning of football season.

Except that you can.  You can check the past performance of the coaches and players, you can check which teams have a reputation for winning, you can check lots of other things too.  All of these things go into which is "the best football team".  While you cannot get a perfect idea from those, you can get a pretty good one.

By contrast, you can't break moral objectivity into parts that can be collated and analyzed.

Offline Lorax

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Re: Rapists doing god's work according to Santorum?
« Reply #180 on: February 19, 2012, 12:10:25 AM »
\
This is nonsense.  You are basically saying that you cannot even get an idea of the relative abilities of various football teams at the beginning of football season.

Except that you can.  You can check the past performance of the coaches and players, you can check which teams have a reputation for winning, you can check lots of other things too.  All of these things go into which is "the best football team".  While you cannot get a perfect idea from those, you can get a pretty good one.

By contrast, you can't break moral objectivity into parts that can be collated and analyzed.

Thank you for saying that. I hadn't articulated it, but that is one reason I rather like my football analogy over the colors one.

Not all teams have an equal standing for being regarded as best at the beginning of the season. Some people stand behind Cal on a good year, or Ole Miss, while others try to convince us that Kent State Really has a chance this year (and they're not convincing anybody) for the most part though, everyone grabs on to their favorite local team.

So it is with morals. We're pretty sure it's moral to help people, and immoral to stab them. Some sociopaths think it's the other way around and they are dismissed like Kent state fans who can't possibly be right. Most people hold up their own familiar set of morals without really lookint too deeply into it. Monogamy? That could be moral Panamory? that could be moral too, whether or not you think so depends mostly on your upbringing.

Fans of their local team (say Iowa) will find reasons to think their team is best. But this is almost always after the fact. Forst I move to Iowa City. and then i decide that it's relevant that the Hawkeyes are a new team since coach Fernetz signed on and it should really only be their post Fenretz record that counts. Similarly, first I decide i don't like buying fair trade,and then I develop an argument that favors market economics over manipulation

You can indeed break morality into parts to be collated and analyzed. that's what ethics is There are Meta-Ethics, Normative Ethics, Business Ethics, Classical Ethics... the problem is that just like football, all the stats in the world don't really mean anything unless we play a championship game and find out they do.

JeffPT, You've also made a salient point against the football analogy. Proceed with the colors.

Offline JeffPT

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Re: Rapists doing god's work according to Santorum?
« Reply #181 on: February 19, 2012, 12:48:20 AM »
Well, TBH, I've been through way too many of these 'is morality objective or subjective' routines to ever think I could say something that I either haven't said before, or that someone else hasn't said.  The only difference is that I'd have to be saying it to you

For the record, just so you know my position up front, I personally believe that morality is completely subjective.

The difference between your stance and most of the other people I've battled with is that you fully admit that your entire moral system works subjectively in reality.  If you understand that, why do you need to move forward and add some sort of ultimate objectivity to it?  You can do that... just as I can move forward believing there is an ultimate objectivity to color schemes, but it's not necessary, nor is it in evidence.  And given the fact that we could literally assert  an infinite number of things about reality, asserting something without evidence is going to be wrong almost every single time.   

Bottom line... in order to understand how everyone in the world feels about colors, you have to ask them.  In order to understand how everyone in the world feels about killing, you have to ask them that too.  Like it or not, they are both opinions, and like it or not, neither of them require any objectivity at all.  In that respect, it is equally silly to say there is an ultimate judge dictating what color is the best as it is to say there is an ultimate judge dictating whether or not killing is bad in every situation.  I believe the only reason (that I can see) one could come up with to justify the belief that there is an objective morality judge would be because it's more emotionally satisfying to think our moral opinions are grounded elsewhere, and thus deserving of such an honor.  But that's not good enough... not good enough at all. 

What, other than some sort of emotional or perhaps psychological benefit, do you see as you reason for saying morality is ultimately objective?     
Whenever events that are purported to occur in our best interest are as numerous as the events that will just as soon kill us, then intent is hard, if not impossible to assert. NDT

Offline Lorax

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Re: Rapists doing god's work according to Santorum?
« Reply #182 on: February 19, 2012, 04:06:10 AM »
Just to be clear Jeff, I want to say that I'm talking about why I believe objectivity to be the case.

Some of your phrasing seemed to imply that you were speaking more practically about it "What benefit do you get from believing it?" and that's a whole different question.

The answer is (as I've said before) the sniff test. Subjectivism just sounds wrong it doesn't seem correct to me to believe that no moral truths exist in actuality. I could go to some lengths to talk about why not, and give examples. But I fear it would be mistaken for positive argument. I have no positive argument, and neither do you neither moral system is verifiable, so I've chosen the one which to me, seems more likely to be correct.

You have put forth a cogent argument concerning asserting something without evidence. And following the train of thinking inthat argument will lead us much deeper into the woods. That argument follows, only so long as you grant a particular epistemology called method ism. Methodism states essentially that in order to know anything it must be proven. It is a skeptical worldview. It asks first the question "how do we know" and then "what do we know"

The alternative to methodism is particularism. That's the view I hold. It first asks "what do we know" and then proceeds, based on that to ask "how do we know" (or "what are reliable ways of knowing) The particularist therefore is much less leery of intuitive presuppositions provided they follow to a logical end.

Unfortunately On particularism your argument is meaningless.

Offline jetson

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Re: Rapists doing god's work according to Santorum?
« Reply #183 on: February 19, 2012, 07:49:49 AM »
But, what is the point of asserting impractical things like this?  Is there something about the possibility of objective morals that makes it compelling in this case?  All learning starts with ignorance, I suppose.  And from that point, we hypothesize and ultimately peel back layers towards that hypothesis.  But somewhere along the way, we are forced to theorize and to anchor our hypothesis in something tangible and/or useful, and that can be tested and falsified.  This is how we get our best truths, in my opinion.

The other approach is to philosophize, which is how I categorize your argument.  I may be wrong, but given the complete impracticality of "objective morals" to humans, I just don't see how or why it needs to be argued as though there is a meaningful reason that may one day be revealed?  Do you believe that to be the case?

In other words, what good would objective morals do us if they existed?

Offline Lorax

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Re: Rapists doing god's work according to Santorum?
« Reply #184 on: February 19, 2012, 08:22:33 AM »
Jetson I feel as though I am at high risk of misunderstanding you, so could you clarify what you mean a bit more before you respond?

It seems like you're returning again to a practical question "What good is thinking this?" as opposed to an ontological question "Is this the case?" Is that what you mean to be doing, or am I misunderstanding you?

If we're asking the ontological question here, I don't see how your point makes any sense. Just because I'm a particularist doesn't mean I get to choose what Is real and what is not. The fact that something seems true within a field of philosophy that doesn't intersect evidence is not my doing. It's just the way it is.

Offline One Above All

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Re: Rapists doing god's work according to Santorum?
« Reply #185 on: February 19, 2012, 08:29:12 AM »
In other words, what good would objective morals do us if they existed?

For one we'd have an objective system by which to judge people. Good and evil would have actual meaning rather than being relative. We would never again wonder if something was good or evil; we'd just know.

Objective morality would be very useful, if it existed. Asserting its existence without a way to prove it, however, is not.
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Offline JeffPT

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Re: Rapists doing god's work according to Santorum?
« Reply #186 on: February 19, 2012, 08:47:27 AM »
Just to be clear Jeff, I want to say that I'm talking about why I believe objectivity to be the case.

That was clear.  But I haven't really seen any sort of reasoned argument for it.  More on that in a moment. 

Some of your phrasing seemed to imply that you were speaking more practically about it "What benefit do you get from believing it?" and that's a whole different question.

Well, what benefit DO you get from thinking it? 

Actually, if anything, I can understand WHY you might do it.  That's the easy part.  Morality just feels like it comes from the gut.  I get that.  Although MY gut  tells me that MY morals are the ones everyone should live by and that should be objective.  If you're honest with yourself, yours is probably saying the same thing.  I just don't believe it for a second, and I try not to live my life as though I do.  There is no evidence to back it up.  Everyone has their opinions. 

The answer is (as I've said before) the sniff test. Subjectivism just sounds wrong it doesn't seem correct to me to believe that no moral truths exist in actuality.

In the grand scheme of things, do you trust your gut to tell you the truth about the world, or do you trust reason, logic and evidence?  I guess it comes down to which you value more in terms of truth detection. 

Which (and be honest here) has a better record of truth detection.  Intuition, or evidence based reasoning? 

I could go to some lengths to talk about why not, and give examples. But I fear it would be mistaken for positive argument. I have no positive argument, and neither do you neither moral system is verifiable, so I've chosen the one which to me, seems more likely to be correct.

Do you disagree that our morals are our opinions about things that are more important to the way we live our lives, and that is the only thing that separates them from our opinions about colors? 

You have put forth a cogent argument concerning asserting something without evidence. And following the train of thinking inthat argument will lead us much deeper into the woods. That argument follows, only so long as you grant a particular epistemology called method ism. Methodism states essentially that in order to know anything it must be proven. It is a skeptical worldview. It asks first the question "how do we know" and then "what do we know"

Skepticism isn't the denial of every possible thing.  It just means I look for reasons to believe things before I look to my gut.  If you were to say there was an objectively best color in the universe, I would be approaching this argument in much the same way.  Isaac Asimov put it best...

“I believe in evidence. I believe in observation, measurement, and reasoning, confirmed by independent observers. I'll believe anything, no matter how wild and ridiculous, if there is evidence for it. The wilder and more ridiculous something is, however, the firmer and more solid the evidence will have to be."

Bolded by me.  I won't believe ridiculous things without evidence.  Where do you see a problem with that?  Your particularism almost seems to have something against evidence... as if it's a bad thing.  Why would you think that way? 

The alternative to methodism is particularism. That's the view I hold. It first asks "what do we know" and then proceeds, based on that to ask "how do we know" (or "what are reliable ways of knowing) The particularist therefore is much less leery of intuitive presuppositions provided they follow to a logical end.

This sets you up for literally believing in anything as long as you can come to some sort of logical conclusion.  The problem arises when you forget to take all the facts into account, or when you assume things to be fact that have not been proven.  Logic applied this way leads to errors.  It's what led people to think the world was flat, that the sun moved around the earth, and that supernatural beings exist.  All of those are intuitive propositions that led to a logical end.  They're all wrong.  /shrug. 

Unfortunately On particularism your argument is meaningless.

I'm quite proud to say you're right. 
Whenever events that are purported to occur in our best interest are as numerous as the events that will just as soon kill us, then intent is hard, if not impossible to assert. NDT

Offline jetson

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Re: Rapists doing god's work according to Santorum?
« Reply #187 on: February 19, 2012, 08:53:01 AM »
Jetson I feel as though I am at high risk of misunderstanding you, so could you clarify what you mean a bit more before you respond?

It seems like you're returning again to a practical question "What good is thinking this?" as opposed to an ontological question "Is this the case?" Is that what you mean to be doing, or am I misunderstanding you?

If we're asking the ontological question here, I don't see how your point makes any sense. Just because I'm a particularist doesn't mean I get to choose what Is real and what is not. The fact that something seems true within a field of philosophy that doesn't intersect evidence is not my doing. It's just the way it is.

Well, I tend to think that granting the existence of a god in order to have a conversation is philosophically fun, sometimes.  But ultimately, no god means no objective morals from an ontological perspective.  The argument fails out of the gate.

My position is that there are no objective morals.  Humans invented morals for survival, in my opinion.  Our larger brains evolved to allow us to consider that harming others is detrimental to survival.  Perhaps in more modern times, it is not as critical due to the population explosion, but in the earliest societies of humans, it probably was very important, hence its invention by those humans.  I have been told that dropping the atomic bombs on Japan was more moral than letting the war continue.

And yes, I dragged it back into the field of practicality.  Not to derail, but to say that we did not stumble upon something that has always been there, and that we have not yet fully discovered, but rather that we evolved towards empathy in a way that caused us to develop moral codes across cultures and religions.  And those codes have similarities and differences.  But nothing about them is objective, because of the nature of humans to pick and choose when something is good or bad.

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The fact that something seems true within a field of philosophy that doesn't intersect evidence is not my doing. It's just the way it is.

That's why I categorize philosophy as less practical than other fields of understanding.  Philosophy has its place, and it is valuable, but it loses its luster when it deviates from evidential support. 

Offline jetson

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Re: Rapists doing god's work according to Santorum?
« Reply #188 on: February 19, 2012, 08:57:08 AM »
In other words, what good would objective morals do us if they existed?

For one we'd have an objective system by which to judge people. Good and evil would have actual meaning rather than being relative. We would never again wonder if something was good or evil; we'd just know.

Objective morality would be very useful, if it existed. Asserting its existence without a way to prove it, however, is not.

I can't disagree technically.  But again, we are humans, and unfortunately we tend to disagree on things such as the age of the earth.  And given the nature of humans, if a set of objective morals did exist, and was as plain as the Grand Canyon, there would be disagreement.

Come to think of it, I often say that if there was a god, there would be no atheists.  But I think it would an interesting experiment with humans.  All evidence points to a god, and this god is clear and demonstrable, even falsifiable.  I somehow doubt that everyone would accept it!

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Rapists doing god's work according to Santorum?
« Reply #189 on: February 19, 2012, 09:15:43 AM »
Lorax:  Sorry, your football team analogy still falls flat, except that you cited the opinions of fans, which you noted are completely subjective.  But you then compared ethics to football players (this is just to simplify) in that they could be analyzed; the problem here is that ethics are subjective too, just like morals, while football players are not.  A person, standing outside of the whole football craze, can objectively analyze an individual player's abilities and various other aspects of the team in order to come up with an advance picture of how they will perform, and while there will be aspects they can't analyze in advance, they can objectively determine relative standings for each team even if that team has never played that sport before.  Even if no team has played that sport before.  And, chances are, if they did their calculations without subjective bias, they'll be much more right than wrong.

The problem is, we're all fans when it comes to morality.  There's nobody who demonstrably stands outside the whole morality thing - except psychopaths, who cannot understand morality well enough to judge it - who can really do those moral calculations from the outside, objectively.  That's the whole point of objectivity, that you have to not be involved to be objective.  I would argue that there is no one who can be objective in that way who can understand morality to begin with.  Whereas someone on the outside can understand football well enough to judge the teams, even if they don't get the point of playing.

Offline Lorax

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Re: Rapists doing god's work according to Santorum?
« Reply #190 on: February 19, 2012, 09:28:19 AM »
Well, I tend to think that granting the existence of a god in order to have a conversation is philosophically fun, sometimes.  But ultimately, no god means no objective morals from an ontological perspective.
Interesting. So you grant the axiological argument then? As well as it's contraposotion?

Which came first, out of curiosity? Your Denial of theism or your denial of objectivism?
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The argument fails out of the gate.
Sorry. Which argument?
Quote

My position is that there are no objective morals.  Humans invented morals for survival, in my opinion.  Our larger brains evolved to allow us to consider that harming others is detrimental to survival.  Perhaps in more modern times, it is not as critical due to the population explosion, but in the earliest societies of humans, it probably was very important, hence its invention by those humans.
mmkay
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  I have been told that dropping the atomic bombs on Japan was more moral than letting the war continue.
And do you suppose that's true or false?

Quote
And yes, I dragged it back into the field of practicality.  Not to derail, but to say that we did not stumble upon something that has always been there, and that we have not yet fully discovered, but rather that we evolved towards empathy in a way that caused us to develop moral codes across cultures and religions.  And those codes have similarities and differences.  But nothing about them is objective, because of the nature of humans to pick and choose when something is good or bad.
Beg your pardon. What?

So you are asking the practical question "What good is it?" But then you are answering it for yourself "It's essential for human survival" and then you seem to be forwarding that the fact that the theory is practical useful means it's aresult of evolution and therefore is evidence of it's...falsehood?

Am I getting that right?

Is that really the argument you want to go with?
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The fact that something seems true within a field of philosophy that doesn't intersect evidence is not my doing. It's just the way it is.

That's why I categorize philosophy as less practical than other fields of understanding.  Philosophy has its place, and it is valuable, but it loses its luster when it deviates from evidential support.

I don't think even a philosopher could forward a compelling argument that philosophy is more practical then things like Science, Law, and Auto Maintenance. More important, maybe, but no way is it more practical.

Offline Lorax

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Re: Rapists doing god's work according to Santorum?
« Reply #191 on: February 19, 2012, 09:38:46 AM »
Lorax:  Sorry, your football team analogy still falls flat, except that you cited the opinions of fans, which you noted are completely subjective.  But you then compared ethics to football players (this is just to simplify) in that they could be analyzed; the problem here is that ethics are subjective too, just like morals, while football players are not. <snip>

There are other problems with your argumentation, but I'd rather focus on this one:

It seems to be your opinion that in a discussion about whether ethics are subjective or not, all analogies forwarded by either side should be launched with the understanding that ethics are in fact subjective. And if they do not meet that criterion they should be discounted.

I'm not trying to single you out, I've gotten this a couple times, and even among the people who don't come right out and say it, that seems to be the main reason we dislike my football analogy.

There's a majorproblem with that assumption... Not that I rephrased it back to you I bet you can think of what it is. It rhymes with "turkular seasoning"

Offline One Above All

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Re: Rapists doing god's work according to Santorum?
« Reply #192 on: February 19, 2012, 09:40:30 AM »
I can't disagree technically.  But again, we are humans, and unfortunately we tend to disagree on things such as the age of the earth.  And given the nature of humans, if a set of objective morals did exist, and was as plain as the Grand Canyon, there would be disagreement.

Maybe.

Come to think of it, I often say that if there was a god, there would be no atheists.  But I think it would an interesting experiment with humans.  All evidence points to a god, and this god is clear and demonstrable, even falsifiable.  I somehow doubt that everyone would accept it!

At best you could say every rational human would accept it.
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Offline jetson

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Re: Rapists doing god's work according to Santorum?
« Reply #193 on: February 19, 2012, 10:14:07 AM »
Sorry. Which argument?
That morals are objective and from a god.

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And do you suppose that's true or false?
It's subjective.  Some think it was good, others think it was bad.

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Beg your pardon. What?

So you are asking the practical question "What good is it?" But then you are answering it for yourself "It's essential for human survival" and then you seem to be forwarding that the fact that the theory is practical useful means it's aresult of evolution and therefore is evidence of it's...falsehood?

Am I getting that right?

Is that really the argument you want to go with?
Nope.  Read it again.  And try not to conflate examples with my actual position.

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I don't think even a philosopher could forward a compelling argument that philosophy is more practical then things like Science, Law, and Auto Maintenance. More important, maybe, but no way is it more practical.
Arguing that there is an objective morality without evidence to support it is philosophical. 

Offline Lorax

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Re: Rapists doing god's work according to Santorum?
« Reply #194 on: February 19, 2012, 10:20:53 AM »
Sorry. Which argument?
That morals are objective and from a god.
Who said that?
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And do you suppose that's true or false?
It's subjective.  Some think it was good, others think it was bad.
What do you think?
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Beg your pardon. What?

So you are asking the practical question "What good is it?" But then you are answering it for yourself "It's essential for human survival" and then you seem to be forwarding that the fact that the theory is practical useful means it's aresult of evolution and therefore is evidence of it's...falsehood?

Am I getting that right?

Is that really the argument you want to go with?
Nope.  Read it again.  And try not to conflate examples with my actual position.
I read it several times, would you explain it to me please?
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I don't think even a philosopher could forward a compelling argument that philosophy is more practical then things like Science, Law, and Auto Maintenance. More important, maybe, but no way is it more practical.
Arguing that there is an objective morality without evidence to support it is philosophical.
I can't help that.

All ethics are philosophical
« Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 10:31:13 AM by Lorax »

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Rapists doing god's work according to Santorum?
« Reply #195 on: February 19, 2012, 11:56:44 AM »
There are other problems with your argumentation, but I'd rather focus on this one:

It seems to be your opinion that in a discussion about whether ethics are subjective or not, all analogies forwarded by either side should be launched with the understanding that ethics are in fact subjective. And if they do not meet that criterion they should be discounted.

I'm not trying to single you out, I've gotten this a couple times, and even among the people who don't come right out and say it, that seems to be the main reason we dislike my football analogy.

There's a majorproblem with that assumption... Not that I rephrased it back to you I bet you can think of what it is. It rhymes with "turkular seasoning"
This is a wrong assumption.  I certainly do not presume that everyone should consider ethics and morality to be inherently subjective.  However, I do expect that a person making an argument should be able to demonstrate something to provide a basis for that argument.  For example, I am arguing that morality is fundamentally subjective because it comes from within us and is based on our understanding of it.  That is the basis for the argument against ex post facto, that a person cannot be penalized for something that was not considered a crime at the time.

You are arguing that morality is objective.  For something to be objective, it must apply whether or not a person knows about it.  That is to say, it is separate from their subjective knowledge.  For example, the condition of "death" is clearly objective, because it can hold true regardless of whether a person knows about it beforehand.  If someone jumps into a spike-lined pit, the spikes do not suddenly pop into existence when the person becomes able to perceive them.  They were there beforehand because they had an objective existence.  So you must demonstrate that the concept of morality existed before people (not just a person, but everyone who has ever comprehended morality) became aware of it to show that morality is objective.

Offline jetson

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Re: Rapists doing god's work according to Santorum?
« Reply #196 on: February 19, 2012, 12:37:41 PM »
The entire idea of "morals" is completely wrapped up in natural evolution in my opinion.  We are here today because of evolution, and we happen to be the most intelligent species, and the ones that identified and created words to describe empathy, and all of its implications in morality.  If we were able to do what most animals have done in order to survive, before we had words to describe it, then all we have really done is make up words to describe morals, and spawned a gazillion perspectives on what is good and what is bad.

For those who attach morals to gods, they are simply connecting something they do not know, to something they think they know, and calling it complete, and objective.  All without evidence.  If there is a set of objective morals that come directly from a god, then people who make such claims should have ZERO problem showing everyone exactly what they are.  As far as I am aware, this has never happened.

There simply is no evidence at all for objective morality so far.  Perhaps if we keep digging into how our minds work, and why we act in the ways that we do, we may start to find ways to get better at treating each other respectfully.  That of course will not change what is true.  And the only thing I can see that is true, is that no one can agree on morals.


Offline Azdgari

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Re: Rapists doing god's work according to Santorum?
« Reply #197 on: February 19, 2012, 10:57:54 PM »
You seem to think it's my choice whether what you've said is opinion or not.

I can't respond to content that isn't there

So my paragraphs were devoid of meaning, according to you?  That's nice.

I responded to this for another poster. Grammatically it's awkward, but I'd argue "best color" means best at "being (good) a color" or "of the highest quality of color"

Being a "good" colour...at what?  Good at promoting human pleasure?  Good at promoting human displeasure?  Good at aiding eyesight?  Good at hindering eyesight?

Highest quality?  Care to unpack the meaning of that?  As for having addressed this with someone else - whom?  Because I don't think anyone else made precisely the same point that I did here.

By the way, when you have to use grammatically incoherent text in order to express a thought, what does that usually say about the thought in question?  I think it indicates that the thought itself isn't totally coherent.  What do you think?

I do think that's a meaningful thought, you're right that does imply something much more along the lines of best at everything (or at least best at a great percentage of possible things).

At every goal that he can be best at, he can also be best at the inverse of that goal, or best at being incapable of that goal.  It is logically impossible for someone or something to be the best at everything.

Since there is no second noun there I would probably interpret "best" as implicitly referring to Phelps's success at being a "thing" although it could also be interpreted to mean best "person" (since Phelps is clearly a person) so it's a but syntactically vague.

Best person at what?  What qualities does the "best person" have that the "non-best person" doesn't have?  Without an assumed goal to apply to "best", that question can't be answered.  "Best person" is meaningless without such an assumed goal.  "Swimmer" was the goal you'd put in before, explicitly.  That works.  Take it out and the meaning is no longer clear.  If goals were not necessary in order to make "this is the best" statements meaningful, then why does taking the explicitly stated goal out render the meaning of the sentence so utterly vague?

"Red is the best color" on the other hand is not vague. The best what? the best color.

It is precisely as vague.  Everything is the best at being itself.  That's trivial.  Phelps is the best at being Phelps, by virtue of the fact that he is Phelps.  My desk is the best thing in the universe at being my desk (present tense) by virtue of the fact that it is, at this moment, my desk.  Totally trivial, and conveys no information.  It's not worth saying, and when someone says "X is the best..." they are generally not saying that "X is the best at being itself" because that would be a totally useless thing to bother to say.

I mean, I could say - with that meaning you've expressed - that "Josef Stalin was the best".  And he certainly was the best...at being Josef Stalin.  The same could be said of anything in the universe.  So what?
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Offline Lorax

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Re: Rapists doing god's work according to Santorum?
« Reply #198 on: February 20, 2012, 02:34:48 AM »
So you must demonstrate that the concept of morality existed before people (not just a person, but everyone who has ever comprehended morality) became aware of it to show that morality is objective.

I'm not able to demonstrate that. I just feel like it's true. I know that's a lousy reason

Can you give me evidence to indicate that your viewpoint is true? If so I'll take your viewpoint. But otherwise I'll keep my lousy reason over your no reason

Offline One Above All

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Re: Rapists doing god's work according to Santorum?
« Reply #199 on: February 20, 2012, 02:36:58 AM »
I'm not able to demonstrate that. I just feel like it's true. I know that's a lousy reason

Actually that's not a reason at all. Feelings are virtually worthless as evidence for the existence of something.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
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We choose our own gods.

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Offline Lorax

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Re: Rapists doing god's work according to Santorum?
« Reply #200 on: February 20, 2012, 02:40:55 AM »
The entire idea of "morals" is completely wrapped up in natural evolution in my opinion.
<snip>
For those who attach morals to gods, they are simply connecting something they do not know, to something they think they know, and calling it complete, and objective.  All without evidence.
<snip>
There simply is no evidence at all for objective morality so far. 
<snip>

I tried to paraphrase you kindly, hopefully I'm not distorting anything. i take it this is the clarification to the paragraph I didn't understand above. at the time i thought it was an argument.

Good to know your opinion Jetson. It's true I have no evidence for my viewpoint. Do you have any evidence for yours?

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Rapists doing god's work according to Santorum?
« Reply #201 on: February 20, 2012, 03:00:34 AM »
Can you give me evidence to indicate that your viewpoint is true? If so I'll take your viewpoint. But otherwise I'll keep my lousy reason over your no reason

Have you heard of "Russel's tea-cup"?

If so, then consider:  There are two people.  One believes that in addition to the tea-cups on Earth, a primordial one is orbiting somewhere in the asteroid belt.  The other believes only in those tea-cups which have been made by humans on Earth.  In addition, the first person feels like there's a tea-cup out there.

Does that last part make the first person's set of beliefs (as stated) more reasonable than the second person's?  Are the beliefs otherwise equal, with the "feeling" breaking the tie rationally?
The highest moral human authority is copied by our Gandhi neurons through observation.

Offline jetson

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Re: Rapists doing god's work according to Santorum?
« Reply #202 on: February 20, 2012, 07:08:57 AM »
The entire idea of "morals" is completely wrapped up in natural evolution in my opinion.
<snip>
For those who attach morals to gods, they are simply connecting something they do not know, to something they think they know, and calling it complete, and objective.  All without evidence.
<snip>
There simply is no evidence at all for objective morality so far. 
<snip>

I tried to paraphrase you kindly, hopefully I'm not distorting anything. i take it this is the clarification to the paragraph I didn't understand above. at the time i thought it was an argument.

Good to know your opinion Jetson. It's true I have no evidence for my viewpoint. Do you have any evidence for yours?

If you notice, I do not claim there is no objective morals as a matter of fact.  I do it as a matter of opinion.  But more importantly, I am really arguing that the assertion that objective morals exist is currently unfounded. 

Some people come here and ask the atheist to prove there is no god.  But that burden is not on the atheist, it is on the theist.  In my case, I will concede that objective morals may exist, but I will remain unconvinced until there is actual facts and evidence to support the claim.