Author Topic: Introductory Questions  (Read 10519 times)

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Online median

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Re: Introductory Questions
« Reply #174 on: September 05, 2013, 09:41:21 AM »

     My issue is not that you "did not define 'human flourishing' in the way in which I would like"; my issue is that you have not made any effort to define it at all - no definition, nothing.  If someone asked my to describe the car that I drive and I simply said that my car is 'for me', would that tell them anything that they didn't already know? 

But that is a false analogy because the "nature" of cars is not being discussed there. Again, I haven't made a claim to the "nature of morality" (just like I haven't made a claim to the "nature of God" or the "nature of Unicorns"). So please stop asking me to defend a position I haven't made, and please defend the positive position you have presented and believe regarding an objective morality.


     Consider the following statement that you have made: "not all philosophical terms can be defined non-ambiguously".  Why doesn't the thrust of that statement apply to the words that make up that statement itself (e.g. 'philosophical', 'defined', 'non-ambiguously',...), and if that is the case then why, on your view, does that statement have any meaning at all?  Quine and Derrada might have theorized about the 'necessary and sufficient conditions' for prescribing meanings to the words we use, but I'll bet that regardless of their conclusions they actually had a genuine discussion with their detractors.  You are just compounding the excuses that you made in your last flurry of posts. 

NOPE. You can just continue to sit there a whine about thinking I'm avoiding this, or making excuses for that, but I'm going to continue to be unfazed because I haven't made a positive claim to any "nature" of morality and we have, thus far, been discussing (or debating, whichever way you want to look at it) the definitions of often contested terms. I don't see the terms you just mentioned in my statement on terms as being debated very highly and seemed to me that you did understand what I meant using those, but not the former.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Online median

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Re: Introductory Questions
« Reply #175 on: September 05, 2013, 09:45:23 AM »

     You’re not making a ‘positive claim to an objective morality’; no kidding, you are making a positive claim that morality is subjective in nature and as such you are required to back up your assertions. 

I have not made a positive claim regarding an objective morality AND I have not made a case regarding any "nature" of what you call morality. Nice try at putting words in my mouth again.

As I have said elsewhere, you don’t seem to have a clue what the ‘burden of proof’ fallacy is anyways; it’s just another one of those fancy terms that you like to throw out occasionally in an attempt to intimidate your opponent.  The same goes for your erroneous understanding of the ‘argument from authority’ fallacy – there is a difference between a legitimate and an illegitimate argument from authority.  Not that I actually expect you to take the time to research them, but if you want to accuse me of a logical fallacy you need to explain why I am guilty of it.  My disagreeing with you or asking you to clarify or support a position that you hold is not a criterion you will find in any debate handbook.

I actually know very well what those fallacies are, even if you don't agree (and I'm fine with you not agreeing - it doesn't faze me). And the difference between a sound argument from authority, and unsound one, is often debated quite heavily. Again, you should know that.

[font=]
     Yeah, it’s obvious that you don’t care; if you did it might be possible to have some kind of a discussion with you.  [/font]

The fact that we have continued this long demonstrates the opposite. Contrary to your words, we are (and have been) having a discussion.


« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 09:50:36 AM by median »
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Online median

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Re: Introductory Questions
« Reply #176 on: September 05, 2013, 11:09:21 AM »
     So besides the first sentence, none of the rest of your reply has any relevant bearing on the discussion at hand.  In this discussion I have not made any of the claims that you presume to ascribe to me.  If I present an argument, why should it be judged invalid because of other unstated beliefs that you presume I hold?  The best you could do is show that there is an inconsistency in my world view, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the argument at hand is wrong.  If a medical doctor proposed a cure for type I diabetes his research would not be invalidated by showing that he is a member of the flat earth society; his research would have to be judged on its own merits. 

However, this is another false analogy because the argument you keep pointing to regarding an objective morality is "intuition". If a doctor was proposing a cancer cure which only relied upon his "intuition" (personal feelings, etc) there wouldn't be sufficient reason for accepting such a proposal (which is why many of us here don't accept your personal intuition about "objective morality"). You don't believe there can be an objective morality without a "moral law giver" (a God), do you?


      It is, however, understandable why you keep attempting to present your guesses about what I believe as evidence against my argument considering your demonstrably erroneous views about the nature of natural theology. Again, as I have said elsewhere, personal biases are not logically necessary for an argument to be valid; they may provide motivation to pursue the argument in the first place but they cannot invalidate it.  The arguments of natural theology do not ‘presume’ the existence of god; you have, on numerous occasions, failed to even attempt to demonstrate that they do, so your claim that someone proposing that moral judgements are objective assumes God’s existence is without any merit.   
      One does not need to identify or ‘demonstrate’ God or any other possible foundation for morality to be able to recognize that moral judgements possess the quality of objectivity.  An atheist could quite conceivably recognize moral values to be objective (e.g. that they exist in some abstract sense) but simply deny the other premise in the moral argument.  Saying that morality is objective in nature does not presume God’s existence; one can only derive the conclusion ‘God exists’ by logically conjoining the objective nature of moral values with its complementary premise in the moral argument.

I apologize regarding the statement on natural theology and retract it. Upon further reflection and reading it seems I misunderstood where you were coming from (which happens very often in these types of forums). I agree that ones personal biases do not (in and of themselves) invalidate a proposed argument but in fact do often influence them. I hope you will understand though that this does not change anything for me very significantly regarding your arguments on objective morality etc.

An interesting video:

« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 01:01:03 PM by median »
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Online median

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Re: Introductory Questions
« Reply #177 on: September 10, 2013, 03:30:11 PM »
     Really, perhaps you should refer back to post #63 where you said, "morality is about human well being" and "perhaps the best place to start is to discuss/debate what morality is about".  Making a statement of the following nature, "morality is..." is making a statement about the nature of morality.  Also, in your second statement you said that we should "debate what morality is about"; you did not propose that we debate what morality is not about.  If you had said that morality is not about objective moral standards then perhaps I would bear a greater burden of proof; however, you didn't say that and to ignore your opening salvo in this debate is extremely disingenuous to say the least.  Incidentally, judging from previous experience, I should have known better than to think that when you proposed a 'debate' you actually meant it - I don't plan on making that mistake again. 
P.S. You also said in post #63 that "moral judgements are not just statements of opinion...many of those questions can be answered by science".  Now, you have on numerous occasions falsely accused me of ascribing 'objectivity' to your point of view.  Interesting, because I was under the impression that science makes objective claims about what is true or false; if science makes statements that are objectively true and you feel that moral questions can be answered by science then you actually have proposed an objective standard of morality - haven't you?
   

You actually nearly hit it on the head here (in one part early on) and again it seems to me (at least in part) that we've been talking past one another. I will try to be more clear here. Morality is not about 'objective standards'. There, I hope that is clear enough, but if not please ask for clarification. The term "objective morality" (under the context you are attempting to use it - moral prescription that exists independent of people) is nonsense. My statement regarding "moral judgment" was not one which pertained to what (I think) you were thinking regarding morality when I stated it (i.e. - the nature of "it", any 'objectivity' etc). Checkout the video I posted and you may have a little bit better of an understanding as to what I've been getting at.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline Greenandwhite

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Re: Introductory Questions
« Reply #178 on: September 12, 2013, 12:52:44 AM »
[font=]
     Yeah, it’s obvious that you don’t care; if you did it might be possible to have some kind of a discussion with you.  [/font]

The fact that we have continued this long demonstrates the opposite. Contrary to your words, we are (and have been) having a discussion.
     touche

Offline Greenandwhite

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Re: Introductory Questions
« Reply #179 on: September 12, 2013, 01:03:05 AM »
You don't believe there can be an objective morality without a "moral law giver" (a God), do you?
     No, but I do believe that a person can recognize objective moral values (if they exist of course) without believing in or demonstrating God's existence. 

     I apologize regarding the statement on natural theology and retract it. Upon further reflection and reading it seems I misunderstood where you were coming from (which happens very often in these types of forums). I agree that ones personal biases do not (in and of themselves) invalidate a proposed argument but in fact do often influence them. I hope you will understand though that this does not change anything for me very significantly regarding your arguments on objective morality etc.
     I appreciate your apology and recognize the fact that your gesture does not mean that you agree with me regarding my views on the nature of morality.  Also, thanks for the youtube link; I have not watched it yet but it is on my to do list. 


Offline Greenandwhite

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Re: Introductory Questions
« Reply #180 on: September 13, 2013, 12:46:58 AM »
     Well it is my contention that murder is considered morally wrong because people saw what it did to the community.  You bolster my claim that it is not transcendent because with in most communities there are exceptions to the murder is wrong moral code.  As you said a stranger or someone from another group is fine to be killed the immorality of murder typically is universal within your community but becomes more vague when you reach the fringes of your society.   
     I didn't say that the moral permissibility of murder becomes more 'vague' when considering people who occupy the fringes of society; rather, I asked: 'would a specific example of murder be wrong if it in no way affected community welfare'.  If you feel that the 'immorality of murder' in the example I gave is vague, then that judgement reflects more of your view of morality, not mine.

     Murdering people who have hurt your community was and is often not considered immoral.  For most of american society it is now immoral to kill for most any reason.  Our morality is changing as our culture changes.  In iraq it is moral to kill a woman who cheats on her husband.  their culture does not see it as a problem.  In bible culture it was ok to kill your child for not showing his parents respect.  Today it would be an abomination to murder someone who's only crime was homosexuality different cultures and time periods would not seem to define it that way. 
     There is a big difference between 'murder' and 'punishment'.  Supporting the death penalty is not the same thing as ascribing moral permissibility to acts of murder.  If it was, then a majority of the states in the US could be said to be actively promoting murder since the death penalty is still in effect in 32 states: http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/states-and-without-death-penalty . Is it not reasonable to assume that by supporting the death penalty a person or state is trying to convey the message that murder is not morally permissible?  You can certainly question whether the 'transgressions' you listed above merit punishment, and if so, how it should be carried out, but that has nothing to do with the question of whether or not murder is objectively wrong. 

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Re: Introductory Questions
« Reply #181 on: September 13, 2013, 02:12:56 AM »
Ordering someone's death, even behind legal laws, is still murder. It's referred to as: legal murder. Justifying it by the crime(s) committed by the one being executed isn't justification but an excuse.

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Online median

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Re: Introductory Questions
« Reply #182 on: September 14, 2013, 03:17:07 AM »
You don't believe there can be an objective morality without a "moral law giver" (a God), do you?
     No, but I do believe that a person can recognize objective moral values (if they exist of course) without believing in or demonstrating God's existence. 

I'm not sure what you mean when you say "objective moral values" (well, not exactly that is). Do you mean moral values that 'exist' without any person's perception or judgment (aka - 'independently of human minds')? If so, I would like to refer you to Scott Clifton's video (and his two follow up videos as well) prior to your next response - as it might help to further clarify where I'm coming from. Just a couple questions to ponder hereafter:

1. Why should we think that "human life is inherently valuable" (if that is what you do say)?
2. Why should we think "objective moral values" exist (at all) when merely recognizing/feeling "wrongness" doesn't imply objectivity?





« Last Edit: September 14, 2013, 03:24:28 AM by median »
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan