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ParkingPlaces



    Posts: 6125
  • Darwins +689/-3

I will ask you again, as I did before - what makes it wrong if there are no absolute moral truths?  You guys get upset when you don't think I answer a question or you think I'm dodging.  I'm not upset, but you are dodging.

We humans make that decision. Sometimes well, sometimes poorly. But we are also influenced by our genetics. Which is why we are generally able to cooperate in groups. We are biologically predisposed to do that.

Genes are also why we are predisposed to kill things. And in less civilized times, that meant other people. (Not that we don't kill other people now, but for it to be acceptable we have to be able to culturally make up a reason, and hire our government to do it for us.)

What makes it wrong is people calling it wrong. We at times disagree, so it becomes a less than perfect method, but it is the only method we have. We used to call dueling 'right', and it was a pretty common hobby. If you and I were disagreeing like this in 1750 either one of us could demand a duel to the death and unless one of us apologized, we were both expected to go out and shoot at each other. That was morally acceptable. In Christian Europe and North America.

It stopped because it was abhorrent and people basically figured that out. There was no voice of a god coming out of the clouds telling people to stop. Common sense kicked in.

Sadly, it doesn't always, and that is why bad stuff still happens.

If morals were absolute, how would we violate them? Just because we're sinners? Wouldn't certain talents also be required? Like being able to know exactly what those absolutes are so that we could violate them? You god didn't make the list until long after he had drowned somewhere between one and forty billion people (like everything else, christians can't seem to agree on how many people lived on the planet when the flood hit, but lots of them are willing to make semi-educated guesses. I should also note that if there were forty billion people, then your god drowned close to 45 million babies, which means that even your absolutes aren't very absolute if we can't trust your god to follow them as well. Of course, since you conveniently have no expectation that your god will follow those same absolutes you believe in, the least you could do is call them "semi-absolutes".)

Life is real short of absolutes. We used to think that monarchs had absolute power, passed down by god. We've outgrown that. Well, most of us have. We've made up a few, like legal ones, and we use the word much more loosely in astronomy to define star brightness. But moral absolutes don't exist. Unless you want to count our biological imperatives, which are, by definition, not absolute, because our genes change over time, and so too may our biological components that help shape our moral values.

There isn't even an "absolute" definition of absolute when it comes to this issue. Philosophically, some consider it some sort of unconditional reality separate from gods, while others say the same thing but require gods. So there isn't even a clear definition of absolute morality, because even if you and I agreed on principal, we would be arguing about the source.

You are demanding an answer to a question that presupposes it is correct, and you are wanting me to dismiss it on your terms and your terms only. If there are indeed no moral absolutes (and I don't think that there are), are you telling me that, should I want to harm someone you love, you wouldn't be able to come up with a single reason for me not to do it? If I wanted to bop you over the head, are you saying you wouldn't be able to come up with a single reason for me not to do it?

Personal preferences aren't that irrelevant. Empathy is not beside the point. Being human is not a situation where we are mere robots, responding only to your God's programming. We're not UNIVAC computers with only 2k of memory and a need to share the only punch card reader in the room. We are wiser and complex biological creatures who are clearly capable of being civilized, at least most of the time. That not everyone shares my precise view of morality means that I'll be upset when others violate my sense of propriety. And it means I will upset others who have different standards. But we need neither absolutes not gods to write our rules for us. We, both biologically and consciously, are the source of morals.

Apparently, people puzzled about why humans aren't perfect felt an imperfect need to make stuff up about the problem. And you believe them. That doesn't automatically make it true.

If you still think I'm dodging, perhaps we should be discussing absolutes in terms of the meanings of words. Because if that's the case, we'll have to straighten that out first before we can talk about anything else.
Changed Change Reason Date
Dante absolutely! December 31, 2013, 12:45:42 PM
Nam philosophical yet also poignant point. December 31, 2013, 12:50:48 PM
lotanddaughters It's just the way it is. December 31, 2013, 01:14:31 PM
xyzzy Outstanding December 31, 2013, 02:45:30 PM