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Is Moral Nihilism a Morality?
#21
RE: Is Moral Nihilism a Morality?
(May 12, 2019 at 10:19 pm)chimp3 Wrote: If you want to lump critical thinking into philososphy that is fine. Otherwise science has superceded philosophy.

I guess you have a point... why would I lump critical thinking in with philosophy?

Quote:The earliest documentation of critical thinking are the teachings of Socrates recorded by Plato. Socrates established the fact that one cannot depend upon those in "authority" to have sound knowledge and insight. He demonstrated that persons may have power and high position and yet be deeply confused and irrational. He established the importance of asking deep questions that probe profoundly into thinking before we accept ideas as worthy of belief.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_thinking#History

The scientific method wasn't plucked from thin air. It was painstakingly crafted by philosophers asking "How can we have consistent and reliable knowledge of things?"

Science was created out of philosophy. That's why it's called "the mother of all sciences." How can you have so much respect for science and yet no respect for something so awesome that it is capable of creating science.

And by the way, people were calling philosophy useless for over twenty centuries (since its inception, really)... well before it birthed the sciences or conceived of things like inalienable rights, balance of powers in government, empiricism, and civil disobedience.
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#22
RE: Is Moral Nihilism a Morality?
(May 12, 2019 at 2:36 pm)Alan V Wrote:
(May 12, 2019 at 11:08 am)Gae Bolga Wrote: Here's a q, that doesn't get a lot of play, if relativism and/or nihilism leaves a person looking elsewhere for moral propositions, what "elsewhere" is there to look toward?

Well, let's say someone just became and atheist and wanted to investigate alternative ethical systems to get away from theistic morality.  Per Wikipedia, he has a range of choices including nihilism:

Ethical theories that can be naturalistic

Cultural relativism and nihilism posit that each one of those systems is a farce.  I was wondering where a person who thinks that all morality is arbitrary looks to get their moral propositions.  I know they have them, lol.

(all ethical theories are "naturalistic")
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for a battle to commence then KPLOW, I hit em with the illness of my quill, Im endowed..with certain unalienable skills....  

-ERB


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#23
RE: Is Moral Nihilism a Morality?
(May 12, 2019 at 12:18 pm)Jörmungandr Wrote: I think it may be a bit disingenuous to hold that you lack a belief in god, yet ascribe to a model of reality that does not include gods. But I could be wrong. I haven't explored very far down that path.

Why ought someone who doesn't hold a belief in any gods subscribe to a model of reality that includes gods? And does a model of reality that doesn't include gods necessarily exclude them? I can see how it would be contradictory to call yourself an agnostic atheist and subscribe to a model of reality in which gods are not only not detectable, but not possible.
I'm not anti-Christian. I'm anti-stupid.
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#24
RE: Is Moral Nihilism a Morality?
(May 13, 2019 at 9:21 am)Mister Agenda Wrote:  And does a model of reality that doesn't include gods necessarily exclude them? 

No.   Most agnostics leave the possibility of gods open, but have no use for them in describing the functional aspects of our reality.  In that, gods could be very much like any other existent entity. 

Present in the universe, but not required, and not necessarily excluded from existence. For the majority of time that men have believed in gods...just as an amusing sidenote, this is how they conceived of them. Additional entities, immensely powerful, but not some component of the universe so inextricable that without their presence it could not exist or function. In classical pagan thought (which bled into early christianity) the gods themselves were derived beings. They were created, or born, or made, or a consequence of some other thing.

As an example, If I tell you that I don't think that zebras are required to make my engine start, that shouldn't be taken to mean that just because I've excluded zebras from the description of a functional engine that I have excluded them from reality. Similarly, if I told you that I don't believe in zebras on account of never have seen one outside of a fanciful story, I'm only telling you something about myself, not about zebras. From the point of view of agnosticism, nothing is being excluded from existence. I'm living in a zebra free worldview(even though zebras are very much real and existent), on the one hand because I don't think that the claim that zebras make my car start is true, and on the other hand because I think they're fairy tales. If we found a zebra, it would change my ideas about the entities that the world contains, but not my exclusion of zebras from how engines work. The functional aspects of my zebra agnosticism are unaffected by the presence or absence of zebras, neither claim, properly, refers to their existence in the first place.

It takes a gnostic commitment to necessarily exclude gods from existence (as a proposition). The difference can be expressed very simply with grade school level grammar. What is the subject noun and the action verb in each sentence?

I don't believe that gods exist.
Gods don't exist.

(believers tend to imagine that some sort of conceptual coup would take place, if only they could demonstrate their gods existence, as though an existent god would, by default, then also be required to explain this or that or make their additional claims true, or that we would fall to our knees on account of it's mere existence - but if they properly understood the worldviews atheists held they would realize that this isn't so, that all of their work was still ahead of them. Just as showing me a zebra wont change the fact that it has nothing to do with starting my car, nor would I immediately set out to build zebra shrines furnished with this picture. My worldview, even as a gnostic atheist, would be unchanged by the discovery of some existent god - I wouldn't expect an agnostic to have to deal with something meatier. )
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for a battle to commence then KPLOW, I hit em with the illness of my quill, Im endowed..with certain unalienable skills....  

-ERB


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#25
RE: Is Moral Nihilism a Morality?
(May 13, 2019 at 8:33 am)Gae Bolga Wrote: (all ethical theories are "naturalistic")

Not to nitpick... but the ethics of Plato, GE Moore, and (I think) Kant (but I'm not sure), are non-naturalistic (aka metaphysical).

And divine command... a piss-poor ethical theory... but an ethical theory nonetheless...
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#26
RE: Is Moral Nihilism a Morality?
(May 13, 2019 at 8:33 am)Gae Bolga Wrote:
(May 12, 2019 at 2:36 pm)Alan V Wrote: Well, let's say someone just became and atheist and wanted to investigate alternative ethical systems to get away from theistic morality.  Per Wikipedia, he has a range of choices including nihilism:

Ethical theories that can be naturalistic

Cultural relativism and nihilism posit that each one of those systems is a farce.  I was wondering where a person who thinks that all morality is arbitrary looks to get their moral propositions.  I know they have them, lol.

(all ethical theories are "naturalistic")

Actually, nihilism falls under the category of moral skepticism. So if nihilism says each one of these systems is a farce, then it is self-refuting.

That opens the door for nihilists to consider alternative perspectives.   Razz
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#27
RE: Is Moral Nihilism a Morality?
^ LOL I don't like wikipedia's listing there. "Moral skepticism is a naturalistic ethics" just doesn't ring true, y'know...

(Besides, "desire satisfaction theory" belongs on that list... and it ain't there.)
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#28
RE: Is Moral Nihilism a Morality?
(May 13, 2019 at 12:42 pm)vulcanlogician Wrote:
(May 13, 2019 at 8:33 am)Gae Bolga Wrote: (all ethical theories are "naturalistic")

Not to nitpick... but the ethics of Plato, GE Moore, and (I think) Kant (but I'm not sure), are non-naturalistic (aka metaphysical).

And divine command... a piss-poor ethical theory... but an ethical theory nonetheless...

You're thinking of the terms novel employment within certain meta-ethical theories.  Moores non-natural moral facts were only "non-natural" in that they weren't empirical.  He, like plato with his notions of wellbeing, assumed that these facts were just as natural (in the natural/supernatural) dichotomy as any other fact. Moore would tell you to watch a bad thing happen if you wanted to see what bad was. Plato would point to the consequences of poor thought and act. Kant referred back to a categorical imperative, a commandment of reason. I'll leave it to you to work out whether or not that evades "naturalistic" grounding.

Divine command is already covered under cultural relativism and nihilism.
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for a battle to commence then KPLOW, I hit em with the illness of my quill, Im endowed..with certain unalienable skills....  

-ERB


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#29
RE: Is Moral Nihilism a Morality?
(May 13, 2019 at 1:54 pm)Gae Bolga Wrote: You're thinking of the terms novel employment within certain meta-ethical theories.

True. I'm working with Moore's categorizations. But I think he hit the nail on the head.

Moore Wrote:The chapter began by dividing the views to be criticised into (a) those which, supposing good to be defined by reference to some supersensible reality, conclude that the sole good is to be found in such a reality, and may therefore be called Metaphysical, (b) those which assign a similar position to some natural object, and may therefore be called Naturalistic.
http://fair-use.org/g-e-moore/principia-...chapter-ii

I think "supersensible" is a key word here, and Moore would certainly place Plato in the "metaphysical" category given the nature of his forms. And I want to say that all deontology is directed toward this same supersensible kind of object... "supersensible" merely meaning "not assigned to a natural object (like pleasure with the hedonists). It would be an interesting thing to investigate: whether deontology/Kantian ethics would be metaphysical in Moore's conception. I think they would.
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#30
RE: Is Moral Nihilism a Morality?
All moral knowledge was non-natural, metaphysical in that sense, at least in moore's conception.

In the limited scope of the debate between non natural and natural realists, I'll say this for moore. If nothing else, he explained how realism didn't require naturalism so strictly defined. Leaving realists, and particularly natural realists, in the position of being able to say. "Well, this is our best explanation, but it doesn't have to be accurate to establish a realist concept".

The margin between some empirical thing about an act being "bad" and some empirical thing about an act just so happening to fit the non-empirical mold of what we call "bad" is slim - they can lend support to the same moral systems without modifying effect. Health and well-being are similarly ambiguous terms seen in this light for the same reasons. I wonder how many people might be willing to consider either of those non-natural in the relevant sense?
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for a battle to commence then KPLOW, I hit em with the illness of my quill, Im endowed..with certain unalienable skills....  

-ERB


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