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Any Moral Relativists in the House?
#21
RE: Any Moral Relativists in the House?
(May 24, 2021 at 12:58 pm)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote:
(May 24, 2021 at 12:52 pm)Brian37 Wrote: Morality is not static. Never has been, never will be. Hitler thought he was moral, American slavery was once thought moral. 

Pro lifers today, live in an impossible utopia, and they also think they are moral.

I think the best humans can do is to simply try not to physically harm others, and where disagrements occur, make physical conflict the last resort.

But that takes too long. If I disagree with someone, I can either wait for us to work it out, or I can simply punch them in the mouth and get on with my day. I’ve got things to do, you know.

Boru
 
Pretty sure Martin Luther King Jr didn't think that way.
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#22
RE: Any Moral Relativists in the House?
(May 24, 2021 at 6:01 pm)Brian37 Wrote:
(May 24, 2021 at 12:58 pm)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote: But that takes too long. If I disagree with someone, I can either wait for us to work it out, or I can simply punch them in the mouth and get on with my day. I’ve got things to do, you know.

Boru
 
Pretty sure Martin Luther King Jr didn't think that way.

And just look what it got him.

Boru
‘Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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#23
RE: Any Moral Relativists in the House?
Quote:Pretty sure Martin Luther King Jr didn't think that way.
MLK wasn't a total pacifist
“The sun from far gives life. But get close to it and it burns anything down to ashes”

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#24
RE: Any Moral Relativists in the House?
(May 24, 2021 at 5:22 pm)vulcanlogician Wrote: So if you want to say morality is a fairy tale, fine. Maybe a "useful fiction" if you're feeling charitable. But that doesn't making it true relative to anything. That's why I think relativism is incoherent. That's what it does.
In cultural relativism, as you noted before, the truth assertion of any moral proposition is a fact of a given society -  not a fairytale, or fiction, even.  

Specifically and explicitly true of a system held by a culture. You think there's more or some other metric, but, ofc, that doesn't make relativism incoherent, merely wrong in your view and by repeated insistence of your view. That there's something else, something more, and cultures get that other thing wrong.
I am the Infantry. I am my country’s strength in war, her deterrent in peace. I am the heart of the fight… wherever, whenever. I carry America’s faith and honor against her enemies. I am the Queen of Battle. I am what my country expects me to be, the best trained Soldier in the world. In the race for victory, I am swift, determined, and courageous, armed with a fierce will to win. Never will I fail my country’s trust. Always I fight on…through the foe, to the objective, to triumph overall. If necessary, I will fight to my death. By my steadfast courage, I have won more than 200 years of freedom. I yield not to weakness, to hunger, to cowardice, to fatigue, to superior odds, For I am mentally tough, physically strong, and morally straight. I forsake not, my country, my mission, my comrades, my sacred duty. I am relentless. I am always there, now and forever. I AM THE INFANTRY! FOLLOW ME!
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#25
RE: Any Moral Relativists in the House?
@Angrboda

I'm going to let James Rachels do a little work for me here:





I grant you that "incoherent" may be too strong a term. I don't mind redacting that claim. But my main criticism of relativism is that it says nothing about the status of moral facts. That's something I would prefer a metaethical position do. The nihilists do this: "morality is a fairy tale." That says something about moral realism: "it is false." I appreciate that.

How does "culture A has this moral code, and culture B has some other moral code" relate coherently to the issue at hand in metaethics? (Namely: Are there moral facts or not?) It doesn't.

And, yes. One can use customs and mores to explain cultural practices, just as one can cite injustice to explain civil unrest. But the latter is a genuine metaethical position (ie. there are moral facts, and here is an example of one.) Questionable as a moral skeptic may find such a view, it makes a genuine metaethical argument.

A sociologist who examines the beliefs of a Catholic population may find that many believe in the healing power of a nearby spring. This has explanatory power concerning the behaviors and practices of that specific population of Catholics. But it says nothing about the healing powers of the spring. Likewise, what a given culture propagates as a moral norm (while it is factual that they propagate it) has nothing to do with it's truth or falsity as a moral fact.

As for individual relativism. I don't really mind it in a broader philosophical sense. It has a kind of Albert Camus charm to it. But it suffers the same faults as cultural relativism when discussing metaethics. It also says nothing about the status of moral realism.
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#26
RE: Any Moral Relativists in the House?
(May 25, 2021 at 7:55 am)vulcanlogician Wrote: @Angrboda

I'm going to let James Rachels do a little work for me here:





I grant you that "incoherent" may be too strong a term. I don't mind redacting that claim. But my main criticism of relativism is that it says nothing about the status of moral facts. That's something I would prefer a metaethical position do. The nihilists do this: "morality is a fairy tale." That says something about moral realism: "it is false." I appreciate that.

How does "culture A has this moral code, and culture B has some other moral code" relate coherently to the issue at hand in metaethics? (Namely: Are there moral facts or not?) It doesn't.

And, yes. One can use customs and mores to explain cultural practices, just as one can cite injustice to explain civil unrest. But that is a genuine metaethical position (ie. there are moral facts, and here is an example of one. Questionable as a moral skeptic may find such a view,

A sociologist who examines the beliefs of a Catholic population may find that many believe in the healing power of a nearby spring. This has explanatory power concerning the behaviors and practices of that specific population of Catholics. But it says nothing about the healing powers of the spring. Likewise, what a given culture propagates as a moral norm (while it is factual that they propagate it) has nothing to do with it's truth or falsity as a moral fact.

As for individual relativism. I don't really mind it in a broader philosophical sense. It has a kind of Albert Camus charm to it. But it suffers the same faults as cultural relativism when discussing metaethics. It also says nothing about the status of moral realism.

It's too early to think this morning, so I'll defer reading your excerpt. But my first blush would be to say that the morals of a society relate to the facts of that society in the same way that the radius to the circumference of a circle relate to each other yielding an objective constant. The emergence of morals from a society is no more mysterious than median income or average education level are. People occasionally suggest that within Hitler's society, certain things that we find abhorrent were held as moral, and that constitutes a problem. To which I'd respond that when you consider Nazi Germany's morals to our society's morals, you're not comparing morals, because then the social circle includes both us and them in a larger, composite society. Certain things are taken as holding across the breadth of all humans. And when our society expands to include cows, chickens, and chimpanzees, the morals will change as well. How does a moral realist handle the crossing of species boundaries and changes to who counts as a moral being? Unless you're absolutist, realist morals, taking into account context, change as well. How is that any different? The only refuge from context or society is absolutism, which suffers from serious anti-realist objections as well.

Anyway, I'm just spitballing, and haven't read your passage yet. Perhaps I'll have to backtrack once I do. We'll see. Anyway, you're still employing a stolen concept from what I can see from my rather inadequate glance.

Having quickly read your passage, my preliminary concern would be that other meta-ethical positions do not follow from any rational, deductive argument, either. A consequentialist can't assert his theory as anything but a brute fact.

And to finish my quick survey, there are moral facts, they're just not "out there" like an independent metaphysical reality independent of any facts, they are themselves the invariant that societies have an inherent relationship known as morals. A local professor once gave his view of morality as something that one can reason from a consideration of a consciousness' interests being universilizable and second order intention (or something, I'm still a little foggy). In his moral theory, morals arose from a generalization of facts about first, second, and third order intentions. Kant's silver rule was somewhat similar in that it emerged from holding certain things about self-interest and those things being universal implying a necessity for morals to be univerisizable. This may perhaps illicitly engage a moral value of fairness, but it seems that any moral facts which exist must ultimately resolve these issues, and these issues arise from basic relationships about individual constants that are invariant. Rawls' theory is similar. The only difference in relativism seems to be that instead of appealing to invariants that exist because of how and what individuals are, relativist morals emerge from those same invariants which apply at the group level. We are social creatures. That's a basic structural fact of our consciousness, just like space and time are basic facts which structure our reality in Kant's critique. How will or should those morals change if we examine a species with a different basic structure, such as the solitary anteater? And how do we reconcile those differences once we add them to our in-group?

Given the early hour and that I've only had two cups of coffee, I reserve the right to deny that I said any of the above. Tongue
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#27
RE: Any Moral Relativists in the House?
Objectivism posits that moral assertions are claims about an object which can be true or false. Relativism posits that moral assertions are claims about a set that can be true or false.

Nihilism rejects both equally and for the same reasons. It's pointless or absurd to say, as both a realist and relativist can and will say, that a person can be morally mistaken.
I am the Infantry. I am my country’s strength in war, her deterrent in peace. I am the heart of the fight… wherever, whenever. I carry America’s faith and honor against her enemies. I am the Queen of Battle. I am what my country expects me to be, the best trained Soldier in the world. In the race for victory, I am swift, determined, and courageous, armed with a fierce will to win. Never will I fail my country’s trust. Always I fight on…through the foe, to the objective, to triumph overall. If necessary, I will fight to my death. By my steadfast courage, I have won more than 200 years of freedom. I yield not to weakness, to hunger, to cowardice, to fatigue, to superior odds, For I am mentally tough, physically strong, and morally straight. I forsake not, my country, my mission, my comrades, my sacred duty. I am relentless. I am always there, now and forever. I AM THE INFANTRY! FOLLOW ME!
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#28
RE: Any Moral Relativists in the House?
(May 25, 2021 at 8:17 am)Angrboda Wrote: Given the early hour and that I've only had two cups of coffee, I reserve the right to deny that I said any of the above. Tongue

So I have the other problem. I'm fueled by quite a few espressos. So maybe we should discuss Rachels's "less caffeinated" version of the argument. There's also a Boghossian lecture that I'm drawing from that directly argues my thesis. I may rewatch it and try to reproduce some of his better points.

For now, I would specifically like to hear Nudger's opinion on Rachels's calling nonsequiteur on the provided relativist argument. Doesn't that at least somewhat speak to my point?
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#29
RE: Any Moral Relativists in the House?
Anybody else uncomfortable with the terms 'fact' and 'moral' being tied together?

Seems to me that all descriptive terms for moral philosophical positions fall under the term relative,.......... maybe excluding objective. They all fall somewhere of a moral sliding scale.

That's about as philosophical as I want to get. Dodgy
I don't have an anger problem, I have an idiot problem




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#30
RE: Any Moral Relativists in the House?
The conclusion provided may be a nonseq, but I think it misrepresents relativism. It's not a relativist argument so much as the statement that descriptive relativism is true followed by the conclusion that relativism is not objectivism, therefore subjectivism, imo.

To be fair to cultural relativism we should probably respect the distinction between the opinions of a subject and facts of a culture in which that subject resides, and acknowledge that objectivism, relativism and subjectivism all make assertions to truth-in-general, that a moral claim can be true or false and at least some are.
I am the Infantry. I am my country’s strength in war, her deterrent in peace. I am the heart of the fight… wherever, whenever. I carry America’s faith and honor against her enemies. I am the Queen of Battle. I am what my country expects me to be, the best trained Soldier in the world. In the race for victory, I am swift, determined, and courageous, armed with a fierce will to win. Never will I fail my country’s trust. Always I fight on…through the foe, to the objective, to triumph overall. If necessary, I will fight to my death. By my steadfast courage, I have won more than 200 years of freedom. I yield not to weakness, to hunger, to cowardice, to fatigue, to superior odds, For I am mentally tough, physically strong, and morally straight. I forsake not, my country, my mission, my comrades, my sacred duty. I am relentless. I am always there, now and forever. I AM THE INFANTRY! FOLLOW ME!
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