The immoral argument.

EXC
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The immoral argument.

Doesn't the fact that morality is universally used as a tool to control the great unwashed masses and take their wealth prove that morality does not exist in the world? That everyone just seeks their own pleasure and convenience. There is no moral law, only the law of the jungle, therefore there is no moral lawgiver. Thus proving that Christian god can not possible exist?

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EXC wrote:Doesn't the fact

EXC wrote:

Doesn't the fact that morality is universally used as a tool to control the great unwashed masses and take their wealth prove that morality does not exist in the world?

 

No, but the fact that it is subjective proves that objective morality doesn't exist in the world.

 

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There is no moral law, only the law of the jungle, therefore there is no moral lawgiver. Thus proving that Christian god can not possible exist?

 

Insofar as Christians define their god as an objectively moral, it is logically impossible.  I find this to be the simplest and more basic disproof, yes.

 

 

Don't you mean "amoral" argument?


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Yea, Blake has it.  Plain

Yea, Blake has it.  Plain old evidence contradicts the idea of objective morality, and plain old evidence contradicts the Christian idea of a benevolent, omnimax deity.

It really isn't complicated either, but good luck getting your average theist to see that Smiling

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I don't think that

I don't think that descriptive relativism disproves absolute morality. They are not mutually exclusive. It does contradict an omnibenevolent God though.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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butterbattle wrote:I don't

butterbattle wrote:

I don't think that descriptive relativism disproves absolute morality. They are not mutually exclusive. It does contradict an omnibenevolent God though.

 

Please elaborate. (on both points)


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the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world...

 if anyone ever studies animal behavior, they will find that self-gratification is usually at the top of the priority list. if there is a god, it made us damn selfish. you can't fight biology. 

"I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God." -George Bush, Sr.


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Blake wrote:Please

Blake wrote:
Please elaborate. (on both points)

"I don't think that descriptive relativism disproves absolute morality. They are not mutually exclusive."

Some people believe in the theory of evolution and some people don't. How, then, can it be the case that evolution is absolutely true? Well, because truth exists independent of belief. For moral absolutists, morals are no different from statements of truth.  

I call the simple fact that people all over the world hold different moral beliefs descriptive relativism. Virtually all moral absolutists would also be descriptive relativists. I don't think there is a contradiction here; I don't think descriptive relativism disproves absolute morality. If, for example, adultery is absolutely wrong, the fact that a large portion of the world doesn't think it is absolutely wrong doesn't mean that it isn't. Whether something is absolutely right or wrong exists independent of people's beliefs.

"It does contradict an omnibenevolent God though."

Well, this is easy. God is omnibenevolent, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and any other omnis I might have missed. The traits of omnibenevolent and omnipotent are particularly important here. Assuming that God doesn't like kids gettting abused in the ass by their parents everyday, innocent people getting tied up and tortured by Catholics priests, women getting gang raped and then stoned for getting gang raped, etc. any God with these traits is absolutely incompatible with this universe. And the free will argument is just a completely retarded red herring. Any omnipotent God, if he was truly omnipotent, could easily provide us with free will AND persuade us all to worship him AND a create world where virtually no one suffered and everyone was happy.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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butterbattle wrote:Blake

butterbattle wrote:

Blake wrote:
Please elaborate. (on both points)

"I don't think that descriptive relativism disproves absolute morality. They are not mutually exclusive."

Some people believe in the theory of evolution and some people don't. How, then, can it be the case that evolution is absolutely true? Well, because truth exists independent of belief. For moral absolutists, morals are no different from statements of truth.  

 

 

That makes sense I suppose, but there isn't an objective way to show absolute morality exists or doesn't exist is there?  Don't you have to rely of subjective evidence since it is a subjective claim that isn't technically falsifiable?

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What you're saying can't be

What you're saying can't be true because it's impossible. Do people always promote what will actually give them pleasure and convenience, or do they promote what they think will give them pleasure and convenience?

In the other thread you seemed to settle on the first one. You said people always promote what is really in their self interest and that is self-gratification, satisfaction. But you concede that people sometimes get what they want and remain unsatisfied.

This clearly cannot be true because it's an obvious contradiction. You are saying that people obtain what they want and this satisfies them and it doesn't  satisfy them.
 

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nope, not quite accurate.

atheist6in6a6foxhole wrote:

 if anyone ever studies animal behavior, they will find that self-gratification is usually at the top of the priority list. if there is a god, it made us damn selfish. you can't fight biology. 

survival>1st biological priority, universally (you employ such a drive every time you go into a firefight, fyi)

fulfill midterm biological needs> 2nd biological priority. Stalking prey, attacking potential aggressors of family unit, finding water sources, locate nutrition for offspring, finding medicine

fulfill drive to reproduce> 3rd priority; AKA "sex drive" in nearly all sexually diamorphic animals

fulfill societal impulse> 4th, RARELY occurring biological priority. Found exclusively amongst Great Apes and Cetaceans. In both types of mammals, 3rd & 4th priorities are highly linked.

 

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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mellestad wrote:That makes

mellestad wrote:
That makes sense I suppose, but there isn't an objective way to show absolute morality exists or doesn't exist is there?  Don't you have to rely of subjective evidence since it is a subjective claim that isn't technically falsifiable?

Pretty much.

Every supposed source of absolute morality that I know of just ends in a naked assertion. There's just no objective place to refer to for any normative claim.

If you want to know whether or not the Earth oribts around the sun, you can just derive it from observations. How the hell do we derive that adultery is absolutey wrong? Observe the Bible?

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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butterbattle wrote:Some

butterbattle wrote:

Some people believe in the theory of evolution and some people don't. How, then, can it be the case that evolution is absolutely true? Well, because truth exists independent of belief. For moral absolutists, morals are no different from statements of truth.

 

That's a rather poor analogy; one is fact, and the other opinion.

 

It's true that the fact that people disagree is not proof of subjectivity of fact- the basis of morality is ontologically subjective as opinion.

 

Morality is definitively and factually relative to opinion- everybody could agree on it 100%, and it would still be subjective (in the same way, agreement does not indicate fact), because morality is the feeling that derives from those subjective ideas that we have.

 

Any "Absolute" would be something all together different than morality itself, and so there wouldn't be any objective argument to follow it.

 

 

butterbattle wrote:
If, for example, adultery is absolutely wrong, the fact that a large portion of the world doesn't think it is absolutely wrong doesn't mean that it isn't.

 

This statement is pretty much incoherent with regards to the nature of the moral question.

 

By the reasoning of the theist who proposes this, absolute morality is like a sound track of the universe, and personal morality is like a sense that detects it- the only problem with that is that everybody is wearing an MP3 player, and what morality really refers to (demonstrably) is that internal sound track.  The process of considering moral opinions is very evidently reflecting on one's past learned experiences and opinions on the matter.

That is, the question of morality itself is- "What do you have playing on your iPod?", and not "What do you hear playing in this room?"

 

The assumption of universal morality denies the nature of opinion- it is inherently absurd, and necessitates that we are merely tuning into a source, and incorrect perception is a matter of deficient sense of morality; some kind of deafness.

That many theist fancy that they are tuning into a god instead of their own opinions, and believe falsely that others aren't tuning into anything at all, is only ignorance of the process.

Were there anything to tune into beyond our own opinions, that would still just be an alternate opinion to which morality has been set, with, again, no objective argument to choose it over any other.

 

butterbattle wrote:
Whether something is absolutely right or wrong exists independent of people's beliefs.

Not when it's an opinion- that IS the belief.

 

butterbattle wrote:
Well, this is easy. God is omnibenevolent, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and any other omnis I might have missed. The traits of omnibenevolent and omnipotent are particularly important here.

 

You didn't qualify the god as omnipotent before- not all theist agree with this.  Some also assign potency to malevolent gods.

That said, though...

 

butterbattle wrote:
Assuming that God doesn't like kids gettting abused in the ass by their parents everyday, innocent people getting tied up and tortured by Catholics priests, women getting gang raped and then stoned for getting gang raped, etc.

 

Why would you assume this?

In accordance with some apologetics, even given an omnipotent god, those things "are for our own good". 

Either the person did something bad in a past life, or the actions are to prevent other evil, or perhaps those people don't really exist (maybe they are constructs), and are just there to teach us, who do exist.

If what is moral is up to the god, it can make the rules for morality just as complex as it pleases, so anything it permits can be inherently moral.

 

butterbattle wrote:
And the free will argument is just a completely retarded red herring. Any omnipotent God, if he was truly omnipotent, could easily provide us with free will AND persuade us all to worship him AND a create world where virtually no one suffered and everyone was happy.

 

No, free will is impossible because it is logically absurd.  However, if we define free will as a random will (which may not be as logically absurd, with the exception of the impossible information genesis), and that is considered the ultimate good according to this arbitrary moral classification, this god must surrender control over it to maximize goodness.

Such a god can be as arbitrary as it wants, qualifying good however by its actions.

 

The reason a benevolent god is impossible is that good is not objective- by nature, it is a matter of opinion.  Such a thing as omnibenevolence is inherently impossible.

 

 

 




Kapkao wrote:

Found exclusively amongst Great Apes and Cetaceans.


Bwah?  I think somebody is drawing an arbitrary qualifying line.  These qualities are found (arguably to a lesser extent) in monkeys and other social species.

I do believe you also left out Elephants, whom probably experience these as strongly as do Cetaceans.


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Blake wrote:That's a rather

Blake wrote:
That's a rather poor analogy; one is fact, and the other opinion.

You mean, the validity of evolution is a fact, and morals are opinions? Well, I agree. 

But, the moral absolutist thinks morals are facts. So, pointing out that people disagree on what is moral doesn't really address their position, because moral facts would exist independent of what people think is moral.  

Blake wrote:
It's true that the fact that people disagree is not proof of subjectivity of fact- the basis of morality is ontologically subjective as opinion.

Morality is definitively and factually relative to opinion- everybody could agree on it 100%, and it would still be subjective (in the same way, agreement does not indicate fact), because morality is the feeling that derives from those subjective ideas that we have.

Any "Absolute" would be something all together different than morality itself, and so there wouldn't be any objective argument to follow it.

Yes, of course, I agree with all of that.

All I'm saying is that pointing out descriptive relativism doesn't disprove their position, because truths exist independent of belief. To them, morals are truths.

Blake wrote:
By the reasoning of the theist who proposes this, absolute morality is like a sound track of the universe, and personal morality is like a sense that detects it- the only problem with that is that everybody is wearing an MP3 player, and what morality really refers to (demonstrably) is that internal sound track.  The process of considering moral opinions is very evidently reflecting on one's past learned experiences and opinions on the matter.

That is, the question of morality itself is- "What do you have playing on your iPod?", and not "What do you hear playing in this room?"

The assumption of universal morality denies the nature of opinion- it is inherently absurd, and necessitates that we are merely tuning into a source, and incorrect perception is a matter of deficient sense of morality; some kind of deafness.

That many theist fancy that they are tuning into a god instead of their own opinions, and believe falsely that others aren't tuning into anything at all, is only ignorance of the process.

Were there anything to tune into beyond our own opinions, that would still just be an alternate opinion to which morality has been set, with, again, no objective argument to choose it over any other.

Again, I agree.

butterbattle wrote:
Whether something is absolutely right or wrong exists independent of people's beliefs.

Blake wrote:
Not when it's an opinion- that IS the belief.

Right, of course. 

butterbattle wrote:
You didn't qualify the god as omnipotent before- not all theist agree with this.  Some also assign potency to malevolent gods.

That said, though... 

Right.

butterbattle wrote:
Assuming that God doesn't like kids gettting abused in the ass by their parents everyday, innocent people getting tied up and tortured by Catholics priests, women getting gang raped and then stoned for getting gang raped, etc.
 

Blake wrote:
Why would you assume this?

The sentence was a conditional statement. I just assumed it so I could get to, "any God with these traits is absolutely incompatible with this universe."

Blake wrote:
In accordance with some apologetics, even given an omnipotent god, those things "are for our own good". 

Either the person did something bad in a past life, or the actions are to prevent other evil, or perhaps those people don't really exist (maybe they are constructs), and are just there to teach us, who do exist.

If what is moral is up to the god, it can make the rules for morality just as complex as it pleases, so anything it permits can be inherently moral.

Aww, good point. They can just ad hoc it.  

Blake wrote:
No, free will is impossible because it is logically absurd.

...

The reason a benevolent god is impossible is that good is not objective- by nature, it is a matter of opinion.  Such a thing as omnibenevolence is inherently impossible.

Right, I agree.

I implicitly made many assumptions in that last post based on what the average Christian seems to believe. I like to point out why their beliefs are inconsistent from their point of view.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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butterbattle wrote:You mean,

butterbattle wrote:

You mean, the validity of evolution is a fact, and morals are opinions? Well, I agree. 

 

The natures of the questions are different.  One is about the fact of what happened, and one is about what a given person thinks.

Whether evolution is true or false is a question of fact.  Morality has no such quality, because of what it is.

 

Quote:
But, the moral absolutist thinks morals are facts.

 

Whether morality is absolute fact, or opinion is a question of fact.  As it tuns out, morality is opinion, and the people who believe that morality is absolute or factual in nature are holding an incorrect fact-- they are wrong.

 

Like I said, that people disagree on fact doesn't make it opinion- it has that nature regardless of agreement.

 

Quote:
So, pointing out that people disagree on what is moral doesn't really address their position, because moral facts would exist independent of what people think is moral.

 

No, but explaining that morality is a matter of opinion, and not a question of absolute fact, does.  Their disagreement with its quality doesn't change the quality of the fact.

That people disagree isn't evidence of opinion, but that people disagree and that none of them are wrong with respect to themselves because they are correctly referencing subjective ideas as answer to the question, which inherently is subjective, is evidence that the matter is opinion.  That the matter is ontologically and rationally necessarily an opinion is, further, proof positive.

 

It can help more to explain to them why they feel strongly that it is fact (because it is instinctually embedded by evolution), and that subjectivity doesn't dismiss personal importance.

 

Quote:
I like to point out why their beliefs are inconsistent from their point of view.

 

Then it is best to change their point of view slightly to demonstrate that inconsistency.

With regards to an argument that includes this principle, we should not just ignore their assertions that morality is absolute, but instead challenge them- that should be both the beginning and the end of the conversation.  Ignoring the assertion, or accepting an illogical claim for the sake of argument, is beginning with defeat and going down hill from there; you can't well hope to win with logic when you allow the other side to start out by cheating.

 

There are other modes of discrediting theism, but objective morality is by far the simplest if used well.


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You are correct there.

Blake wrote:

 

I do believe you also left out Elephants, whom probably experience these as strongly as do Cetaceans.

Elephants are highly intelligent and highly social. But that sentence only demonstrates a pedantic obsession with details; my general point remains largely unchallenged.

 

(in either case, a high intellect and a high drive to socialize with others are prime indicators of the presence of the 4th priority- society-building)

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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The argument put forth by

The argument put forth by these people tends to be that morality is given to us by god. Which is often  countered by the argument that morality existed before god otherwise we would not have survived as a species. The counter is that morality is innate in us because god gave it to us. If this is true then you most then name for me One action considered immoral by the abrahamic god which has been considered immoral by all cultures throughout history. Because if it is innate and given by god then surely you can do so. I find you can not. That is always my argument to objective morality if it is truley objective then surely you can do this.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.


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butterbattle wrote:If you

butterbattle wrote:

If you want to know whether or not the Earth oribts around the sun, you can just derive it from observations. How the hell do we derive that adultery is absolutey wrong? Observe the Bible?

How about observing the effects of adultery?

 

Also, I've always claimed that morals are objective without being absolute.  The latter word is often interpreted in a way that takes it too far.  For instance, if I say adultery is absolutely wrong, then people think I'm saying that no matter who you are or what circumstances you're in, adultery is wrong.  This just doesn't work.  However, the idea that the wrongness of adultery is objective can still make it dependent on circumstances, just not dependent on opinion.

The way I see it:  If morality is objective, then the statement "Alice performing action X in circumstances C is wrong" is either correct or incorrect, regardless of who makes or analyzes the statement, but its correctness may change if we replace Alice with Bob or C with D (and if it does then it's also relative).  If morality is absolute, then the statement "Alice performing action X in circumstances C is wrong" implies that anyone performing action X in any circumstances is wrong.  In this way, I see morality as both objective and relative.

Questions for Theists:
http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

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Zaq wrote:Also, I've always

Zaq wrote:

Also, I've always claimed that morals are objective without being absolute.[...]  In this way, I see morality as both objective and relative.

 

From this, apparently you are effectively a theist, wherein you hold to an objective god of permeating objective goodness that is merely incidentally impotent.

 

This is no great surprise... a disappointment, though.

Little is more inconsistent than a moral objectivist who pretends to be rational.

 

 

Morals are evolutionarily and memetically emergent opinions, and somewhat convergent for a majority of like-cases based on game-theory elements of practicality, but in no way are they objective.


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Uh, dude.  Do you realize

Uh, dude.  Do you realize that you just listed several ways in which morals are formed by objective means/in accordance with objective theories and then immediately claimed (as in in the same sentence) that they are in no way objective?  Do you realize how ridiculous that statement is?

 

"Alice performing action X in circumstances C is wrong"

Notice that this statement is about Alice.  If morals are different for Bob than this still doesn't pose a problem for objectivity because this statement says nothing about Bob.  If morals differ from person to person then we simply include the person in question as another parameter in the objective theory of morality.

Questions for Theists:
http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

I'm a bit of a lurker. Every now and then I will come out of my cave with a flurry of activity. Then the Ph.D. program calls and I must fall back to the shadows.


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Zaq wrote:Uh, dude.  Do you

Zaq wrote:

Uh, dude.  Do you realize that you just listed several ways in which morals are formed by objective means/in accordance with objective theories and then immediately claimed (as in in the same sentence) that they are in no way objective?  Do you realize how ridiculous that statement is?

 

Yes, not ridiculous at all.  What you are saying, however, in light of extreme ignorance, is ridiculous.  You clearly don't understand what objectivity means in this context.

Something can be emergent without being objective.

 

Taste- for example.  Most people think cheese tastes good; this is a result of the emergent property of taste buds reflecting nutritional content in an evolutionary context.

However, though the emergent property is to create an inclination towards deliciousness, not all people like cheese- cheese does not have the objective quality of good taste, rather people have the tendency to have the quality of liking cheese.

 

That is:  Cheese does not taste good- it has no taste value, as this is an opinion.  People have the tendency to usually think Cheese tastes good.

 

Are you capable of understanding the difference there?

 

 

Quote:
"Alice performing action X in circumstances C is wrong"

Notice that this statement is about Alice.  If morals are different for Bob than this still doesn't pose a problem for objectivity because this statement says nothing about Bob.  If morals differ from person to person then we simply include the person in question as another parameter in the objective theory of morality.

 

Wow... does it hurt when you think?  Seems like it should.

 

 

No, it says quite a bit about Bob.  Your statement is an objective claim of universal opinion.

 

That's like saying "Cheese tastes objectively good" says nothing about Bob- of course it says something about Bob!  It claims Bob also likes cheese, unless his taste is somehow objectively wrong or broken.

What you just said was:

 

"In Bob's opinion and in the opinion of every living creature and every creature to ever live or that could ever live, Alice performing action X in circumstances C is wrong."

 

You just said something about every living thing in the multiverse- your ill conceived attempt to distort opinion into objective fact is doing just that.

 

This is an acceptable statement:

 

"In Alice's opinion, Alice performing action X in circumstances C is wrong."

This says nothing about Bob.

This also says nothing about Bob, only something about Alice's opinion (which is subjective):

"In Alice's opinion, Bob performing action X in circumstances C is wrong."

 

THIS says something about Bob:

 

"In Bob's opinion, Alice performing action X in circumstances C is wrong."

 

...But nothing about Alice.

 

 

Is this sinking in at all?


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 Quote:Doesn't the fact

 

Quote:
Doesn't the fact that morality is universally used as a tool to control the great unwashed masses and take their wealth prove that morality does not exist in the world? That everyone just seeks their own pleasure and convenience. There is no moral law, only the law of the jungle...

....Well, until your crooked business practices land you in insolvency; then the fascist libertarian 'law of the jungle' can be tossed out the window and you can go the state demanding that they provide you a financial rescue because otherwise the entire country will burn to the ground. 

Isn't that right, EXC? Sticking out tongue

 

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"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Blake wrote:Yes, not

Blake wrote:

Yes, not ridiculous at all.  What you are saying, however, in light of extreme ignorance, is ridiculous.  You clearly don't understand what objectivity means in this context.

Something can be emergent without being objective.

 

Taste- for example.  Most people think cheese tastes good; this is a result of the emergent property of taste buds reflecting nutritional content in an evolutionary context.

However, though the emergent property is to create an inclination towards deliciousness, not all people like cheese- cheese does not have the objective quality of good taste, rather people have the tendency to have the quality of liking cheese.

 

That is:  Cheese does not taste good- it has no taste value, as this is an opinion.  People have the tendency to usually think Cheese tastes good.

 

Are you capable of understanding the difference there?

 

Thank you for completely missing my point.

So Alice likes cheese and Bob doesn't.  So what?

The point is that Alice likes cheese.  Assuming that cheese does in fact produce a positive taste response for Alice, she likes cheese.  The fact that she likes cheese is in no way diminished by the fact that Bob doesn't like cheese.  The statement "Alice likes cheese" is objective because it doesn't depend at all on what Bob thinks about cheese.  It doesn't reference Bob.  Bob's not liking cheese doesn't affect the statement "Alice likes cheese" in the slightest.

The statement I use is not the analog of "cheese is good."  Such statements are used in moral absolutism, which is not what I am supporting.  The statement I use is more the analog of "Alice likes cheese."  I'd call the idea moral objectivism, but I don't think such terminology is in common use.  I'm not sure what the official term for my stance is.

Blake wrote:

Quote:
"Alice performing action X in circumstances C is wrong"

Notice that this statement is about Alice.  If morals are different for Bob than this still doesn't pose a problem for objectivity because this statement says nothing about Bob.  If morals differ from person to person then we simply include the person in question as another parameter in the objective theory of morality.

 

Wow... does it hurt when you think?  Seems like it should.

 

 

No, it says quite a bit about Bob.  Your statement is an objective claim of universal opinion.

Ah, no.  My statement is an objective claim about what is moral for Alice.  It makes no claims about anyone's opinion.

Blake wrote:

That's like saying "Cheese tastes objectively good" says nothing about Bob- of course it says something about Bob!  It claims Bob also likes cheese, unless his taste is somehow objectively wrong or broken.

That is not at all like the statement I presented.  A more accurate analogy would be the statement "Alice likes cheese."  It says nothing about Bob.  Bob doesn't have to like cheese in order for the statement "Alice likes cheese" to be true.  The point is that this statement is true even when Bob is assessing its truth value.

Blake wrote:

What you just said was:

 

"In Bob's opinion and in the opinion of every living creature and every creature to ever live or that could ever live, Alice performing action X in circumstances C is wrong."

Bullshit.  My statement said nothing about opinion at all.  Unless you're trying to argue that everyone always agrees about objective matters (which is a ridiculous claim), then this is a very poor strawman.

Blake wrote:

You just said something about every living thing in the multiverse- your ill conceived attempt to distort opinion into objective fact is doing just that.

That's your 'ill-concieved attempt to distort opinion into objective fact' at work here.  Again, my statement said nothing about anyone's opinion.  The word "opinion" is found nowhere in my statement.  You introduced that word into your misrepresentations of my statement.

 

Blake wrote:

This is an acceptable statement:

 

"In Alice's opinion, Alice performing action X in circumstances C is wrong."

This says nothing about Bob.

This also says nothing about Bob, only something about Alice's opinion (which is subjective):

"In Alice's opinion, Bob performing action X in circumstances C is wrong."

 

THIS says something about Bob:

 

"In Bob's opinion, Alice performing action X in circumstances C is wrong."

 

...But nothing about Alice.

 

 

Is this sinking in at all?

Yes, those are all acceptable statements.  However, my statement is not like any of those.  Notice how all of those statements have the word "opinion" in them?  Of course morality is going to appear subjective if you only look at people's opinions about morality.  If you look at people's opinions about evolution  and conflate claims about evolution with claims about opinions about evolution, then evolution will look subjective.

The statement "Alice performing action X in circumstances C is wrong" doesn't say anything at all about anyone's opinions.  The fact that you can't seem to separate claims about morals from claims about opinions about morals demonstrates that you're working from the assumption that morality is subjective.  Nothing I say here will make any sense until you suspend that assumption.

Questions for Theists:
http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

I'm a bit of a lurker. Every now and then I will come out of my cave with a flurry of activity. Then the Ph.D. program calls and I must fall back to the shadows.


Blake
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Zaq wrote:The statement I

Zaq wrote:

The statement I use is not the analog of "cheese is good."  Such statements are used in moral absolutism, which is not what I am supporting.  The statement I use is more the analog of "Alice likes cheese."  I'd call the idea moral objectivism, but I don't think such terminology is in common use.  I'm not sure what the official term for my stance is.

 

Moral objectivism is moral absolutism.

You are saying every single person's morality is personal unto themselves, and then in effect, as long as they follow their hearts, they're always doing the right thing.

 

So, it's right for Bundy to kidnap, rape, and murder women, because he's Bundy.

It's right for the Jack the ripper to kill prostitutes, because he's the Jack.

It's right for Stalin to deliberately starve the peasants, because he's Stalin.

 

Unless it's wrong to them, then it's perfectly A-O.K.!

 

 

What you're saying sounds like "moral transcendentalism"- a truth is true for the person experiencing it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcendentalism

 

Although I would be more inclined to label it moralistic apathy.

 

Quote:

Ah, no.  My statement is an objective claim about what is moral for Alice.  It makes no claims about anyone's opinion.

 

You are either talking about the subjective (an opinion, although that word is appropriated for different things), or the objective (a fact).  The objective is a part of the nature of the universe- that is is inherently and absolutely moral.

 

You seem, primarily, to be very confused.

 

Quote:
Bullshit.  My statement said nothing about opinion at all.  Unless you're trying to argue that everyone always agrees about objective matters (which is a ridiculous claim), then this is a very poor strawman.

 

People get confused between facts and opinions.  People can know incorrect facts, or think facts are opinions, or opinions are facts (like you do here)- the idea that everybody has to agree on something in order to be objective is not valid; most people are wrong.

Morality is subjective- an opinion.

Whether or not evolution happened, that is objective- a fact.

 

People will disagree on both, but only subjective views can coexist without one being right and the other wrong- they have no truth value when states absolutely, only when put in their subjective frameworks.

It is a fact that Alice holds certain opinions- those opinions themselves, though, are opinions- only who does or does not hold them is a matter of fact.

 

You seem to be trying to have your cake and eat it too- some incoherent mishmash of subjective objectivity.

 

Quote:
The fact that you can't seem to separate claims about morals from claims about opinions about morals demonstrates that you're working from the assumption that morality is subjective.  Nothing I say here will make any sense until you suspend that assumption.

 

FYI, nothing makes sense outside of the assumption that morals are subjective, because objective morality introduces logical contradictions which break reality.

See:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principle_of_explosion


mellestad
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@Zaq:  I don't think you

@Zaq:  I don't think you are wrong, really, but when you use the word 'objective' in terms of morality it typically means you are making a statement about 'absolute' morality that applies as a universal constant.  If you get rid of that word I don't think Blake would be arguing with you.

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


Blake
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mellestad wrote:@Zaq:  I

mellestad wrote:

@Zaq:  I don't think you are wrong, really, but when you use the word 'objective' in terms of morality it typically means you are making a statement about 'absolute' morality that applies as a universal constant.  If you get rid of that word I don't think Blake would be arguing with you.

 

 

You are correct, sir.


NoMoreCrazyPeople
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exc wrote:Doesn't the fact

exc wrote:

Doesn't the fact that morality is universally used as a tool to control the great unwashed masses and take their wealth prove that morality does not exist in the world? That everyone just seeks their own pleasure and convenience. There is no moral law, only the law of the jungle, therefore there is no moral lawgiver. Thus proving that Christian god can not possible exist?

atheist6in6a6foxhole wrote:

if anyone ever studies animal behavior, they will find that self-gratification is usually at the top of the priority list. if there is a god, it made us damn selfish. you can't fight biology.

You guys aren't thinking like Christians.  Ok first bang your head against the wall a few times untill you forget or no longer undertand the logic of the moral thing.  Then put on your Christian hat.  Ready, k,  now be perfectly satisfied with the "jungle" way of nature because god didn't create animals with morality, that's what seperates us from them.  And then be perfectly satisfied with the fact humans act bat shit crazy too, because we are fallin from gods morality, uno because of the hole apple eating fiasco.  Common guys, seriously, it's all very clear in the bible.  
 


mellestad
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NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:exc

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:

exc wrote:

Doesn't the fact that morality is universally used as a tool to control the great unwashed masses and take their wealth prove that morality does not exist in the world? That everyone just seeks their own pleasure and convenience. There is no moral law, only the law of the jungle, therefore there is no moral lawgiver. Thus proving that Christian god can not possible exist?

atheist6in6a6foxhole wrote:

if anyone ever studies animal behavior, they will find that self-gratification is usually at the top of the priority list. if there is a god, it made us damn selfish. you can't fight biology.

You guys aren't thinking like Christians.  Ok first bang your head against the wall a few times untill you forget or no longer undertand the logic of the moral thing.  Then put on your Christian hat.  Ready, k,  now be perfectly satisfied with the "jungle" way of nature because god didn't create animals with morality, that's what seperates us from them.  And then be perfectly satisfied with the fact humans act bat shit crazy too, because we are fallin from gods morality, uno because of the hole apple eating fiasco.  Common guys, seriously, it's all very clear in the bible.  
 

 

It is nice, because you have an excuse for anything, anytime!  Brilliant!

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.