Our server costs ~$56 per month to run. Please consider donating or becoming a Patron to help keep the site running. Help us gain new members by following us on Twitter and liking our page on Facebook!
Current time: August 21, 2019, 7:57 am

Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
[Serious] An Argument Against Hedonistic Moral Realism
#11
RE: An Argument Against Hedonistic Moral Realism
All part of the fun.  Wink

Here's another way to address mind independence as it's relevant to moral theories.

Can we reasonably believe each other when one of us claims to have a toothache?  If we suspected that the other person was lying (to get out of duty, for example)..is there some way to verify beyond their insistence that they have that toothache that they likely or probably or very certainly would be in pain?
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


Reply
#12
RE: An Argument Against Hedonistic Moral Realism
(June 14, 2019 at 1:38 pm)Gae Bolga Wrote: All part of the fun.  Wink

Here's another way to address mind independence as it's relevant to moral theories.

Can we reasonably believe each other when one of us claims to have a toothache?  If we suspected that the other person was lying (to get out of duty, for example)..is there some way to verify beyond their insistence that they have that toothache that they likely or probably or very certainly would be in pain?

Hydrocodone rx.
God(s) and religions are man made and the bane of humanity. 

Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most. Ozzy or Twain/take your pick
Reply
#13
RE: An Argument Against Hedonistic Moral Realism
(June 14, 2019 at 12:30 pm)SenseMaker007 Wrote: And, as I said on the other thread, if you're going to have a reasonable disagreement with somebody you have to be able to accurately characterize their viewpoint.

Anyways, back on topic. Hopefully, there will be some other takers because it's only Gae that seems to want to respond to me on philosophical matters today and I use "respond" in the loosest possible way.

Pompous? Moi?
It's amazing 'science' always seems to 'find' whatever it is funded for, and never the oppsite. Drich.
Reply
#14
RE: An Argument Against Hedonistic Moral Realism
Only pompous out of context. What I'm saying about Gae's behavior is true. But he's back off ignore because I wish to address some of his nonsense again.

Anyway, you're still confused and equivocating, Gae, if on the one hand you say that all philosophers mean by mind-independence is independent of opinion and then on the other hand you also attempt to justify it by saying "Well, causes of pain and pleasure are independent of minds because they're out there in the world." Which is it? Is it genuinely mind-independence or is it just independence of opinion so that suffering and pleasure themselves, not their causes out there in the world, can indeed be the foundation? Which is it? And don't pretend it's both as if you don't understand how it's a complete equivocation if you say that.

All I'm asking for is consistency but Gae flips back and forth without realizing it. See, this is why mind-independence is not a helpful description. Yes, many moral realists do indeed use mind-independence as a criterion but many others describe it as the independence of opinion as well. The latter description is clearly far better because without it you get equivocation from people like Gae. He claims that that is all that is meant by mind-independence anyway, but then why does he bother with a justification for things being out there and truly mind-independent in the literal sense, then? As per usual he makes no sense.

“The aim of philosophy, abstractly formulated, is to understand how things in the broadest possible sense of the term hang together in the broadest possible sense of the term.”

― Wilfrid Sellars

^^ This is the job of philosophy and philosophers who are not prepared to quibble with the definitions of philosophy are poor philosophers.

And it's completely missing the point to say that hedonists can still be moral realists because causes of pleasure and pain are out there in the world ... because the foundation for hedonists is pain and pleasure itself and not their causes. The causes of pain and pleasure only matter because they cause pleasure and pain. The causes are not the foundation the reason why the causes matter at all in the first place is the foundation.

And, again, you can't use that as an example of actual mind-independence if you're also going to claim it just means independence of opinion. It's frustrating when people so frequently equivocate but they're completely blind to their own equivocations.

If Gae doesn't think it's actual mind-independence then it makes zero sense for him to then go ahead and give an argument for how a hedonistic viewpoint actually can be actually mind-independent. If X is a misinterpretation of Y then why argue in favor of X?

The truth is that Gae is unable to make coherent sense out of the philosophical material that he reads.
Reply
#15
RE: An Argument Against Hedonistic Moral Realism
The mind independence that ethical theorists are discussing literally -is- what you're calling independence of opinion.  Mind independence, of this sort, is the central contention of realism.  Your premise two is "the only way realism can be true, is if moral realism is true".

To riff off of Boru, while it may not be immediately obvious that moral realism is true, that moral x's are mind independent, it is immediately obvious, at least, that for moral realism to be true, moral realism must be true.  

Both realists and subjectivists, people who think that moral x's are mind independent, and mind dependent..respectively, accept that pleasure and pain come from our minds.

-enjoy
Quote:Second, it is not clear that maintaining the “mind-independence” clause as a defining feature of the realism/anti-realism division really does make psychological realism a “non-starter.” Perhaps all that is needed is a more careful understanding of the type of independence relation in question. Certainly there is a trivial sense in which the truth or falsity of a psychological claim like “Mary believes that p” depends on a mental fact: whether Mary does believe that p. On the other hand, there is also a sense in which whether Mary has this belief is a mind-independent affair: The fact of Mary's believing that p is not constituted or determined by any of our practices of judging that she does so believe. We could all judge that Mary believes that p and be mistaken. Most people would accept that even Mary might be mistaken about this—erroneously judging herself to believe that p. In the same way, although the moral claim “Mary's action was morally wrong” may be true only in virtue of the pain that Mary's action caused (or because of Mary's wicked intentions), this may not be the right kind of mind-dependence to satisfy the non-objectivist clause.
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-anti-realism/

b-mine
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


Reply
#16
RE: An Argument Against Hedonistic Moral Realism
(June 14, 2019 at 9:14 am)SenseMaker007 Wrote: Here's an argument against Hedonistic Moral Realism:

Premise 1: For hedonistic moral realism to be true moral realism as a whole has to be capable of being true.

Premise 2: Moral realism as a whole is only true if the foundation of moral values is something mind-independent.

Premise 4: According to hedonistic moral realism the foundation of moral values is pain and/or pleasure.

Premise 5: Neither pain nor pleasure is something mind-independent.

Conclusion: Hedonistic Moral Realism is false.

Thoughts on this argument?

It does not bode well when premise 3 is entirely missing.
Reply
#17
RE: An Argument Against Hedonistic Moral Realism
(June 14, 2019 at 9:14 am)SenseMaker007 Wrote: Here's an argument against Hedonistic Moral Realism:

Premise 1: For hedonistic moral realism to be true moral realism as a whole has to be capable of being true.

Premise 2: Moral realism as a whole is only true if the foundation of moral values is something mind-independent.

Premise 4: According to hedonistic moral realism the foundation of moral values is pain and/or pleasure.

Premise 5: Neither pain nor pleasure is something mind-independent.

Conclusion: Hedonistic Moral Realism is false.

Thoughts on this argument?

I take issue with premise 2. Moral realism must be true regardless of our opinions, but nothing prevents a moral theory from being concerned with a mental state.

Hedonism makes a lot of sense as a moral theory. In fact, hedonism is one of the reasons I'm a pluralist. What good moral theory permits  acts that create large amounts of suffering? What moral assessment denies the importance of happiness as an end?

The hedonist considers pleasure/happiness good and pain/suffering bad. This is perfectly in line with our intuitions. When we experience pain we think "bad." And pleasure makes sense as an intrinsic good.
Reply
#18
RE: An Argument Against Hedonistic Moral Realism
(June 15, 2019 at 8:11 am)Gae Bolga Wrote: The mind independence that ethical theorists are discussing literally -is- what you're calling independence of opinion.  Mind independence, of this sort, is the central contention of realism.  Your premise two is "the only way realism can be true, is if moral realism is true".

To riff off of Boru, while it may not be immediately obvious that moral realism is true, that moral x's are mind independent, it is immediately obvious, at least, that for moral realism to be true, moral realism must be true.  

Both realists and subjectivists, people who think that moral x's are mind independent, and mind dependent..respectively, accept that pleasure and pain come from our minds.

-enjoy
Quote:Second, it is not clear that maintaining the “mind-independence” clause as a defining feature of the realism/anti-realism division really does make psychological realism a “non-starter.” Perhaps all that is needed is a more careful understanding of the type of independence relation in question. Certainly there is a trivial sense in which the truth or falsity of a psychological claim like “Mary believes that p” depends on a mental fact: whether Mary does believe that p. On the other hand, there is also a sense in which whether Mary has this belief is a mind-independent affair: The fact of Mary's believing that p is not constituted or determined by any of our practices of judging that she does so believe. We could all judge that Mary believes that p and be mistaken. Most people would accept that even Mary might be mistaken about this—erroneously judging herself to believe that p. In the same way, although the moral claim “Mary's action was morally wrong” may be true only in virtue of the pain that Mary's action caused (or because of Mary's wicked intentions), this may not be the right kind of mind-dependence to satisfy the non-objectivist clause.
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-anti-realism/

b-mine

The "more careful understanding" of it is not something you've provided by saying that hedonists can avoid the problem by talking about causes because those causes are out there externally in the world. If you think that the fact that causes are out there externally in the world avoids the problem then you're still using the ordinary definition of mind-independence and not a more nuanced one. It's important in philosophy to be clear ... so why use a term that leads people like yourself to equivocate rather than using another term that is far clearer?

(June 15, 2019 at 6:05 pm)Abaddon_ire Wrote:
(June 14, 2019 at 9:14 am)SenseMaker007 Wrote: Here's an argument against Hedonistic Moral Realism:

Premise 1: For hedonistic moral realism to be true moral realism as a whole has to be capable of being true.

Premise 2: Moral realism as a whole is only true if the foundation of moral values is something mind-independent.

Premise 4: According to hedonistic moral realism the foundation of moral values is pain and/or pleasure.

Premise 5: Neither pain nor pleasure is something mind-independent.

Conclusion: Hedonistic Moral Realism is false.

Thoughts on this argument?

It does not bode well when premise 3 is entirely missing.


Lol nicely spotted. I think that happened because there was originally going to be 5 but I realized I didn't need one of them.

(June 15, 2019 at 7:03 pm)vulcanlogician Wrote: I take issue with premise 2. Moral realism must be true regardless of our opinions, but nothing prevents a moral theory from being concerned with a mental state.

Yep!

And would you agree with me that because mind-indepdendence really refers to independence of opinion rather than literal mind-independence then it makes no sense to accept that while also saying that hedonists can avoid the problem because the causes are mind-independent? (1) Because you can't use an argument of literal mind-independence to support a position when you've already said that literal mind-independence is not the sort of mind-independence in question. And (2) Because the causes of pain and pleasure are not the foundation of hedonism because the only reason the causes of pain and pleasure matter, under hedonism, is because pain and pleasure matter.

Quote:Hedonism makes a lot of sense as a moral theory. In fact, hedonism is one of the reasons I'm a pluralist. What good moral theory permits  acts that create large amounts of suffering? What moral assessment denies the importance of happiness as an end?

Yes, and you can't knock back this argument by saying that the hedonist can consider the causes of pain and pleasure to be the foundation when those causes are external. Because causes of pain and pleasure are literally only meaningful to the hedonist because pain and pleasure themselves are. Pain and pleasure are the foundation and not their causes. It only matters that X causes Y if Y is pain or pleasure, to the hedonist. If Y is not pain or pleasure then they do not care about X cause.

Quote:The hedonist considers pleasure/happiness good and pain/suffering bad. This is perfectly in line with our intuitions. When we experience pain we think "bad." And pleasure makes sense as an intrinsic good.

Yep. Although I would say that pleasure is far more morally neutral than pain is. Why? Because if someone is in pain, or suffering a great deal, it makes sense to help that person. That person needs help. There's a moral obligation to help somebody a great deal, in that case. Now take somebody who isn't in pain at all and is quite okay. Is there really the same obligation to help a person that is totally fine just because that person is not, say, having a party? Pleasure is only really lacking when its absence causes distress, frustration, or dissatisfaction. If people are totally fine and not at all frustrated without pleasure ... then pleasure is merely absent. A lack of pleasure is usually bad because it is a symptom of depression. In itself there's nothing bad about a mere absence of pleasure and while it may be a good thing to have ... I don't see that it implies any sort of moral obligation. This is why I'm a prioritarian.

(June 15, 2019 at 8:11 am)Gae Bolga Wrote: The mind independence that ethical theorists are discussing literally -is- what you're calling independence of opinion.

I know, which is why ethical theorists use the terms "independent of mind" and "independent of opinion" interchangeably. But, as I've said, it makes no sense for you to use the argument that hedonists can still be moral realists because the causes of pain and pleasure are external/mind-independent even if pain and pleasure themselves are not. The problem with the term mind-independence is that it clearly leads people to equivocate. You point out that all it means is independence of opinion, anyway, but then you go ahead and make an argument as if it doesn't mean that. If there's a sense in which mind-independence does mean independence of opinion and a sense that it doesn't ... then it is much clearer to simply directly talk of independence of opinion as that is the less ambiguous term and less likely to lead people such as yourself into making logical errors.

(June 14, 2019 at 1:38 pm)Gae Bolga Wrote: Can we reasonably believe each other when one of us claims to have a toothache?  If we suspected that the other person was lying (to get out of duty, for example)..is there some way to verify beyond their insistence that they have that toothache that they likely or probably or very certainly would be in pain?

If there wasn't a way to verify it externally ... it would still be objective.

Even if all of pain is an illusion and the external evidence of it turned out to be a mass hallucination ... that wouldn't change the fact that it's objectively the case that pain still hurts.
Reply
#19
RE: An Argument Against Hedonistic Moral Realism
-and that's the only sort of objectivity or mind independence that matters in the difference between realism and subjectivism.

The reason that we don't call it "opinion- independence" is that both realists and subjectivists also claim that our moral propositions -are- our opinions. It is our opinion, at least, that statement x is true. That x purports to report a fact, rather than being something like "bleh" or "ugh" - the difference between cognitivist assertions like subjectivism and realism and non cognitivist assertions like emotivism.

I have opinions, you have opinions, we all have opinions. All of our collective opinions are in our heads. When some opinion of ours purports to report a fact, and does report a fact, it's said to be a realist proposition. When an opinion purports to report a fact but doesn't, it's an error. When an opinion purports to report a fact and does report a fact but, instead, refers to some fact of the opinion holder rather than the object (purportedly) being referred to - it's said to be subjective.
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


Reply
#20
RE: An Argument Against Hedonistic Moral Realism
(June 14, 2019 at 1:38 pm)Gae Bolga Wrote: Can we reasonably believe each other when one of us claims to have a toothache?  If we suspected that the other person was lying (to get out of duty, for example)..is there some way to verify beyond their insistence that they have that toothache that they likely or probably or very certainly would be in pain?

Yes.
Reply



Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Moral Oughts Acrobat 91 950 August 8, 2019 at 6:26 am
Last Post: Gae Bolga
  Is Moral Nihilism a Morality? vulcanlogician 140 2171 July 17, 2019 at 11:50 am
Last Post: DLJ
Video Neurosurgeon Provides Evidence Against Materialism Guard of Guardians 41 869 June 17, 2019 at 10:40 pm
Last Post: vulcanlogician
  Is Moral Responsibility Compatible With Determinism? mcc1789 44 833 June 11, 2019 at 1:34 pm
Last Post: SenseMaker007
  Argument against Intelligent Design Jrouche 27 727 June 2, 2019 at 5:04 pm
Last Post: Nomad
  Best arguments for or against God's existence mcc1789 22 450 May 22, 2019 at 9:16 am
Last Post: Gae Bolga
  Does anyone own "The Moral Landscape"? robvalue 191 3441 October 18, 2018 at 4:39 pm
Last Post: vulcanlogician
  The moral argument, for atheism! Jehanne 126 4571 July 21, 2018 at 9:47 am
Last Post: bennyboy
  The Argument Against God's Existence From God's Imperfect Choice Edwardo Piet 53 2498 June 4, 2018 at 2:06 pm
Last Post: Gae Bolga
  The Objective Moral Values Argument AGAINST The Existence Of God Edwardo Piet 58 5372 May 2, 2018 at 2:06 pm
Last Post: Amarok



Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)