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3rd June 2009, 19:08
RE: Moral Nihilism
Very good post padriac. The best in this thread acctually!
- Science is not trying to create an answer like religion, it tries to find an answer.
4th June 2009, 13:26
RE: Moral Nihilism
Padriac Wrote:My position: The belief,feelings and motivations of others is none of my business nor are mine any of theirs.We judge others and are judged by behaviour.
That sounds like a good philosophy of life, and a great way to go through life not caring what other people think. But I like to evaluate new ideas by carrying them to extremes. In this case, if I am voting for President and a candidate says he believes in witches and faeries and anal probing space aliens, well I just have to view that as very much my business. It is about rationality and our assessments of liklihoods that others will behave in a sane and rational manner in the future, regardless of past behavior exhibited by a person before they were given authority, control, responsibility, etc. And, given that religious people are HIGHLY irrational and know that they are irrational on some level, it does not surprise me that their collective cognitive dissonance manifests itself in little petty quibbles that seek to challenge all competing "beliefs" and to discredit science and rational thought and ultimately devolve into arguments about what words mean. I see it over and over again.
5th June 2009, 02:46 (This post was last modified: 5th June 2009 02:51 by padraic.)
RE: Moral Nihilism
Quote:That sounds like a good philosophy of life, and a great way to go through life not caring what other people think
That is not what I said,nor mean to imply. Of course there are people whose opinions I value,and about whose good regard I care,albeit not many.
My point was is has nothing to do with not caring.It's about in individual's right to think and believe whatever he/she wants without the interference of some intolerant twat whose agenda is to impose his views on others. Generally speaking, an individual is under no obligation to explain or justify anything,and most especially just because some dropkick asks a question.
Australia does not have a Presidential System. We vote for a party,aware that our candidate will almost invariably vote along party lines. Our Prime Minister is a normal member of the lower house.The Prime Minister is the leader of the ruling party. Under our constitution,he may be removed by the party at any time.
In principle ,I trust very little of what any politician says,and almost nothing said during election campaigns. I have never voted on personality or promises.My vote is made on my perception of which bunch of self seeking incompetents will make the least mess of my country,based on their written platform and previous record.. If I were American,I would not have voted FOR Obama,I would have voted AGAINST McCain and that appalling Palin woman. (especially against Palin, she scared the crap out of me;she's such a corrupt,pig ignorant fucking moron))
No matter who you vote for,you still end up with a politician---as Barrack Obama has already graphically demonstrated.
10th June 2009, 03:56
RE: Moral Nihilism
Quote:True, a future society may accept murder again, but I do have arguments to stop it. I do have reasons why I am against murder, same as most people on this planet. The result is hardly stalemate, the result is a majority wins situation. Change the majority, change the result.
This is merely a derivation of might makes right. Morality by counting noses.
Quote:I do have ground to condemn the actions. I don't find them moral, hence my condemnation. Granted, the people at the time who were doing these acts thought they were moral, but the fact they are not considered moral today is reason enough to condemn them. Likewise, I can come up with many arguments why such butchery is wrong.
All of which are based on your own individual or cultural relativism; your opinion or that of your culture’s. You have no objective standard to which you can appeal. It becomes simply a matter of opinion and who has the bigger army. A child’s sandbox ethics.
Quote:It only gives such licenses if the majority give them the license.
Precisely. What Stalin did wasn’t wrong per se, just wrong for you.
Quote:You are trying to argue against relative morality by assuming absolute morality. The majority morality of Hitler's Germany found the gassing of the Jews to be perfectly moral. The rest of the world didn't. The rest of the world just happens to be a lot bigger than Germany, hence the majority morality (of the world) wins. Trans-cultural morality counts for nothing if one country has the larger power.
So again, might makes right. What a wonderfully evolved ethic you have.
Quote:Was it right or wrong to kill innocent people to bring down Saddam? Simple enough question, I'd like to hear your answer (and your justification).
Wrong. Killing the innocent is immoral. War is a very imperfect and messy affair, but unlike the Salafists, we attempt to minimize the deaths of innocents rather than deliberately target them.
Quote:We are very much smarter than our forefathers; only an ignorant man would argue against that fact.
You and I are more intelligent than a Newton? Oh my, apparently atheism breeds arrogance as well.
Quote:As I've said before, science is a self-correcting process. It evolves over time, but is rarely ever wrong on a big scale. Small parts might be wrong, but the general level of evidence cannot be so easily refuted. The examples you gave were simply not examples of "leading scientific lights at the time getting it wrong", they were examples of science improving a current theory. Newtonian physics is not wrong on a large scale, neither is abiogenesis. Whether you include alchemy in "modern" science is a matter of opinionl; I personally don't, since it wasn't based on any scientific principles.
Those defending Ptolemy were not wrong on the “big scale”? Those defending the four basic elements were not wrong on the “big scale”? Uh huh.
Quote:Atheism does not entail nihilism since atheism does not have anything to do with morality. That has been my point from the beginning. Now, we know we have a sense of morality, a sense of right and wrong, so I attempt to explain that. In explaining why we have morality, I reject nihilism. I could just as easily say you are assuming the universe has a purpose when you argue your moral code. Unless you can prove God exists, your insistence that the universe has a purpose is nothing but assumption. I do not assume, I simply do not see an objective purpose to the universe.
I am not assuming that which I am trying to prove, for I am not trying to prove the existence of God in this post. I am merely drawing the logical inference (moral nihilism) from your own position of atheism. Thus the charge of circular reasoning cannot be leveled against me.
Quote:That doesn't answer the question. You are assuming I have an inconsistency, yet you have offered no proof or argument that stands in support of your view.
Perhaps your brief absence has affected your memory. I spelled out my argument (whether you agree with it or not) with a convenient numbering of the premises. You may call such a syllogism an “assumption”, or claim that I never made an argument, but that simply underscores your lack reasoning acumen and furious backpedaling.
Quote:You assume the universe has a purpose, I do not. I see morality as an attribute all humans have in order to function as a species, you see it as a god-given gift. You could just as easily substitute morality for "legs" in your argument, and claim that I should not use my legs, since I do not believe in God, and therefore there is no objective purpose to the universe or my legs. Your argument boils down to "If you don't believe in God, you don't believe in anything" which is fallacious. I say my legs have a subjective purpose, and my morality has a subjective purpose. We can observe both legs and morality, hence my reasons for believing in both of them.
You’re jumping way ahead here. I’m not assuming anything in this post regarding God’s existence or the purpose of the universe, I’m merely taking your worldview and criticizing its presuppositions.
Quote:1 is an assumption not based on any argument at all (all of your attempts have been refuted)
Again, you need to review the difference between a syllogistic argument, and an assumption. Don’t they teach logic in England anymore?
Quote:So is your argument above. You assume atheism entails nihilism without offering any proof.
Accept for the syllogistic argument which you continue to pretend I never offered. Just because you may not agree with the reasoning does not entail that I offered no reasoning to begin with. You’re sticking your head in the sand, my friend.
Quote:Again, Dawkins is talking objectively. There is no objective design, purpose, evil, good. There exists a subjective version of each of these however, because we feel they exist. We feel some things are good and some things are evil, yet different people find different things good and evil. This is a contradiction if good and evil are objective, hence the subjectivism. Wishing doesn't make it so, but the evidence suggests it is so.
It’s a contradiction only if each individual’s apprehension of what constitutes good and evil is correct.
Quote:It's not a standard, it's an function of morality itself. We only work as a society if we do good and not evil, hence why morality has us doing these things. Saying "One ought to move legs forward to move" is not a standard of walking, it is a function of our legs. You see morality as something that exists separate to us, but we see morality as something that exists in our species. Morality is as much a part of homo sapiens as our legs are.
“One ought to move legs forward” is not describing a function of legs or walking. “Ought” is a moral token, not a descriptive one.
Quote:I never said it was ok for the Nazis to do it. I said the Nazis themselves thought it was ok. There is a difference which you can't seem to wrap your head around. Of course the Nazis thought it was ok, that is a fact of history. The fact that the Nazis thought it was ok does not mean I think it is ok for Nazis to kill people but others not to. I don't think anyone should kill anyone else. Hence why we impose our morality on others; why we stop genecide.
Of course you don’t think its acceptable for the National Socialists to murder Jews, but they did, and you have nothing to appeal to condemn them for their behavior because their own moral code dictated that what they did was justifiable. Your only tiebreaker is that they ran out of soldiers before we did.
Quote:Yet you have shown me no examples of any moral standards (i.e. an example of something that someone can feel moral about) that are trans-cultural. Show me one and I will change my mind.
I did, but you dodged it: torturing babies for pleasure is immoral, under all circumstances and in all cultures.
Quote:Since the concepts of "good" and "evil" are part of morality itself, you cannot simply say "One must be good and not evil" is a cultural moral standard. It isn't a standard at all. A standard is something which people can either class as "good" or "evil".
No, a moral standard is that by which we judge behavior as being moral or immoral. “You shall not murder” would be an example of a trans-cultural moral standard.
Quote:It hardly ends the discussion, I can reason with him and get him to change his moral attitudes. This is how we rehabilitate people in prison. I doubt very much that a prisoner would be rehabilitated if you just told them over and over again that "You know this was wrong". You have to actually show someone how it is wrong in order to rehabilitate people. You have to reason with them.
But it all comes down to one opinion versus another opinion, doesn’t it. The victory goes to who has the bigger gun or who has the most people in his voting bloc. Sandbox ethics.
Quote:And how do you know that your creator is the right one to be obeyed? There are an infinite number of possible creators, so how do you know you are following the correct one? I hold that you cannot know for sure, and thus you cannot impose any "commandment" since it may be completely incorrect.
There are various ways I can know for sure, a topic for another post. I was just answering your question of how people hold to different morals.
Quote:Wow. So you can't think of any arguments that could change my mind, or change my morality? I honestly feel pity for you.
Its not that I can’t think of any, its that there aren’t any. Your opinion is no more valid or invalid than mine. Your cultural-dependent moral standard is no more valid or invalid than mine. I can appeal to all sorts of emotive rationales, but they wouldn’t advance my case. That’s what subjective relativism is all about, Tiberius, its subjective.
Quote:Yet you cannot think of any other arguments that would convince me? Shame.
No, because there are none.
Quote:You do realise that opinions can change? That chocolate ice-cream is tastier than vanilla is a fact to me (by my senses) and so not an opinion. However my opinion on abortion is only set in my mind, and is not based on my senses, so I don't see how you could not change my mind.
“Chocolate ice cream is better than vanilla, any fool knows that” is an opinion since there is no inter-personal standard by which it can be judged. “Abortion is an acceptable act” is likewise an opinion for the moral relativist since there is no non-relativist standard by which it can be judged. You can change your opinion daily, but its still your own opinion which casts no obligation on anyone else.
Quote:Irrelavent. I was talking about the state of the world in general, nothing to do with race. If we had exterminated all the Jews and black people, how do you know the world wouldn't be a better place to live?
It might be, as long as I’m not Jewish or black, otherwise it becomes pretty damn relevant. You never seem to consider those who would suffer in your moral calculus. The strong survive, screw the weak!
Quote:You don't. Hitler evidently thought so, and maybe if he'd won we would be talking about him as a hero rather than a villain. This is the point of relative morality. Nobody is correct, nobody is incorrect, but the majority morality always holds.
If nobody is correct, and nobody is incorrect, then why would I bother to argue the morality of abortion or genocide with you? Let’s just take a vote (or wage war) and see who wins. Sandbox ethics. Welcome back to the first grade.
Quote:Assumption, and bad logic. If trans-cultural morality or absolute morality existed, we would all know it, and we would all have the same morality. Your only answer to this is "rejection of a creator" which is a baseless assertion.
No, the answer, as previously stated, is sin. Not everyone has a correct understanding of the Law. It’s the result of the noetic effect of sin.
Quote:I'm not cool with that possibility at all.
Of course you are, you are advocating the position that it is true. You affirm MMS, not me.
Quote:But if it had happened, I wouldn't know any different would I? Try and think about these things 4th dimensionally (or 5th, whatever) for a while.
4th dimensional ethics. Good one. Any other nonsensical intuitions up your sleeve that will rescue you?
Quote:I'm pretty sure he'd be glad that the majority morality was against Hitler, and acted against him. Don't you?
Undoubtedly. I’m also pretty sure he won’t be glad to hear that you think that if Hitler had won, and his “morality” triumphed, oh well. After all, “nobody is correct, and nobody is incorrect”, right?
I see. You obviously require a review of deductive reasoning.
1. “You” are a member of the class of the universe.
2. “Your belief that you have subjective purpose” is likewise a member of the class of the universe.
3. Your “subjective purpose itself” is a member of the class of the universe.
4. The universe as a class has no purpose.
5. Therefore its members have no purpose.
6. Therefore “you” have no purpose.
7. Therefore “your belief that you have subjective purpose” has no purpose.
8. Therefore your “subjective purpose itself” has no purpose.
There is no such thing as “subjective” purpose in a purposeless universe.
Next you’ll be arguing that the number 3 is not a natural number even though it is a member of the class of natural numbers.
Quote:Your point was that there was some kind of link between atheism and evolution. I agree there is a relationship, but since it is not causal I fail to see the relavance of any such link. One could link theism with Hitler in the same way, or X with Y (where X is anything and Y is anything). A link doesn't prove anything.
If you don’t know any nominal Christians (or Jews, or Muslims, etc.) who became atheists after studying the orthodox view of evolution, you need to get out more.
Quote:Arguing with sematics gets you nowhere, so you shouldn't be proud of it.
I’m not proud of it, I’m forced to argue it because you foolishly think that subjective purpose exists in a purposeless universe.
Quote:If there is no distinction there wouldn't be separate definitions. A subjective purpose is created, an objective purpose already exists. A subjective purpose is in itself objectively purposeless, but that doesn't stop it from being a purpose that someone has created for something.
And a “subjective purpose” is an element in the set of a “purposeless universe” thereby sharing its purposelessness. Do I need to draw this out in a Venn diagram?
Quote:The reasoning is only irrational if you don't understand the different between objective and subjective purposes.
And since subjective purpose as you style it is itself purposeless, adding adjectives in front of the word “purpose” ends up still being purposeless. I can say the number zero is very, very big, but it still has the mathematical value of zero.
Quote:Objectively purposeless purposes are still purposes if they are subjective.
And I suppose black holes allow matter to escape their event horizon if you describe them as matter-expelling black holes. You’re living in a fantasy land of your own delusions if you think your life has purpose in a purposeless universe.
“Despair all ye who enter . . .”
Quote:Oh come on now, my asking why I should believe was directed at the belief itself (that god endorses slavery and created our moral law), not the fact that people believe it. You are just messing around now.
No, I’m trying to take you at your word and not read meaning into it. The lack of perspicuity is on your end, not mine.
Quote:Well since it's clear that you will never understand the words, I see no point in continuing it. I'll clear my dizzy head of all the circular arguments you made!
And you as well. I leave you with the warning of Hebrews 10:26-31, and the promise of Romans 10:9-10. Thanks, Tiberius.
10th June 2009, 04:01
RE: Moral Nihilism
(10th June 2009 03:56)Charles Wrote: So again, might makes right. What a wonderfully evolved ethic you have.
Your ethics are evolved too you know. Both biological (genetic) and cultural (memetic).
You keep saying 'might makes right'. Morality is subjective yes, but in my mind it is things like empathy and altruism that count. Yes that's subjective, but that doesn't mean it's not more moral in the sense of being better for people overall, etc.
If there is no objective morality, then there isn't for you either. You have to live with it, it does no good to complain if that's, indeed, true.
10th June 2009, 04:58
RE: Moral Nihilism
IMO Charles needs to reread the dictionary concerning objective and subjective purposes. I said I wouldn't respond, but I just wanted to say something concerning this disaster of an argument:
Quote:1. “You” are a member of the class of the universe.Points 1 - 8 I totally agree with, and he shows very effectively that subjective purpose has no objective purpose. I never argued such a thing.
He then says "Q.E.D" which usually means the end of the proof. He doesn't stop there though, because he then somehow tries to use the result "subjective purposes have no objective purpose" to conclude that subjective purposes do not exist.
He somehow thinks that without an objective purpose, things cannot exist, yet he has nothing to base this conclusion on. All he has done is taken a conclusion about the objective purpose of subjective purposes and turned it into a conclusion about the existence of subjective purposes.
It's like saying that because there was no reason for the killer to murder his victim, the killer (and possibly the victim) simply do not exist.
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