ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags ethics , morality

Reply
Old 9th August 2019, 09:44 AM   #321
Roboramma
Penultimate Amazing
 
Roboramma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 12,674
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Every discussion could have the same problem if one side wanted it to.

Again we could be having the exact same discussion about building bridges where everything discussion about whether to build a suspension bridge or a truss bridge over the river is intertwined with someone wanting to talk about metaphysical proof of the goodness of bridges... we just don't.

It's the "Talk About God" problem again. "This topic is different so we have to talk about it differently and my proof of this is that I'm demanding we talk about it differently" and then it becomes self feeding, we talk about it differently for so long that we can't get back.
To use your chess analogy, this discussion is akin to "what game should we play?" Some are suggesting that different people have different answers to that question and no one has an objective way figure out who is right.
__________________
"... when people thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was spherical they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together."
Isaac Asimov
Roboramma is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th August 2019, 09:57 AM   #322
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 19,519
Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
To use your chess analogy, this discussion is akin to "what game should we play?" Some are suggesting that different people have different answers to that question and no one has an objective way figure out who is right.
Yeah except some people are going "Hey here's a game, I bash your head in with a rock" and when you go "No I don't want to play that game" you still get "BUT THAT'S NO OBJECTIVE! NOBODY CAN SAY WHAT GAME TO PLAY!"

Again as in all discussions of morality/ethics we get to pure argumentative "Now give me a reason that will satisfy me not to be a psychopath and that your pain/suffering is something I should care about it all" and just... go nowhere.

If the questions have real world consequences, the questions have to have answers.
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th August 2019, 11:13 AM   #323
jrhowell
Muse
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 617
Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
To use your chess analogy, this discussion is akin to "what game should we play?" Some are suggesting that different people have different answers to that question and no one has an objective way figure out who is right.
And others come right back and say that there still must be one truly best game and that can be determined using science. (Obviously, it must be a game where everyone wins and no one loses since losing leads to suffering.)
jrhowell is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th August 2019, 11:24 AM   #324
Hellbound
Merchant of Doom
 
Hellbound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Not in Hell, but I can see it from here on a clear day...
Posts: 13,762
Joe, you're still missing the point.

Your bridge building analogy is entirely unlike what we're trying to say. At the point you're building a bridge, you've already made the subjective decision (the value judgement).

The more analogous question is should the bridge be built? And in order to answer that, you have to define what you value. Obviously you don't just build a bridge in a random location for no reason, it's built for a purpose. And that purpose has to be defined.

Let me try a better example. It's greatly simplified, but I'm hoping it will get across the point we're trying to make.

You're a judge in Exampleland. The King has decreed that one convicted criminal will be executed, and tasks you with choosing which one. Criminal A is a murder, who killed 8 victims. Criminal B is a child molester, who molested 15 children. Criminal C is a contractor, who used substandard materials and cut corners, resulting in the collapse of a building that killed 50 people. Which one should be executed?

There's no way to answer that without first setting values on the different things. Which is worth more, a life or a child's innocence? Is taking life intentionally the same as taking it through neglect? Or personally versus accidentally, even if you should have known better? Science can't answer these questions until you decide on what the goal will be.

Just like you can't answer whether or not you should build a bridge until you decide what your values are, so you can then evaluate whether the bridge will support those values or not.

And that isn't hair-splitting, that is the fundamental problem with moral debate and moral arguments. There is no objective answer. You have to choose a value system to be able to answer any question that asks whether one should or should not.

And the questions do have answers, they just aren't objective answers. And if someone has a value system different from yours, then they will never agree, because there isn't just one answer. You can argue consequences, you can try to appeal to the values they do have, but you can't scientifically prove that their values are wrong in a moral sense. You can only show the consequences. And the consequences only matter if they either support or detract from the values one starts with.

Your game example is a perfect one, frankly. No one can say what game you should play, except those involved. No one is arguing that you don't want to play that game; no one is saying you can't refuse. What we ARE saying is that you can't provide a logical or scientific argument to prove the game is wrong, without starting from a set of values.
__________________
Ideologies separate us. Dreams and anguish bring us together. - Eugene Ionesco
Hellbound is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th August 2019, 11:37 AM   #325
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 83,937
Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
The problem I have with morality being a social contract is that it doesn't actually fit the definition of morality that I have in my head.
Has anyone here suggested that? I think the social aspect is important but it's not necessary to it.
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

"My views are nonsense. So what?" - BobTheCoward


Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th August 2019, 11:38 AM   #326
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 83,937
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Every discussion could have the same problem if one side wanted it to.

Again we could be having the exact same discussion about building bridges where everything discussion about whether to build a suspension bridge or a truss bridge over the river is intertwined with someone wanting to talk about metaphysical proof of the goodness of bridges... we just don't.
Again, because the two are fundamentally different. The bridge's existence doesn't depend on your perspective.

Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
The more analogous question is should the bridge be built?
Yes. Yes. Absolutely this.
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

"My views are nonsense. So what?" - BobTheCoward



Last edited by Belz...; 9th August 2019 at 11:39 AM.
Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th August 2019, 11:42 AM   #327
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 19,519
Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
Joe, you're still missing the point.
I have a different opinion. Don't act like that means I'm not listening.

Quote:
Your bridge building analogy is entirely unlike what we're trying to say. At the point you're building a bridge, you've already made the subjective decision (the value judgement).
Well yeah if I don't agree the question is different, I'm not allowed in the discussion and if I do agree the question is different I'm trapped Jabba style in already agreeing you're correct before the conversation even starts.

Quote:
The more analogous question is should the bridge be built? And in order to answer that, you have to define what you value. Obviously you don't just build a bridge in a random location for no reason, it's built for a purpose. And that purpose has to be defined.
Yeah. We do that. All the time. And nobody "and why do that? Okay then why do that? Okay what's your reason for doing that?" us into nothingness when we do.

Again for all the "But it's different" special pleading it's not.

Here's I'll show you.

"Let's build a bridge."
"Why?"
"Because the the shopping is one side of the river and housing district is on the other side."
"Why does that matter?"
"Because building a bridge will allow people to travel from their houses to the stores in much less time."
"Why is that better?"
"Because it will save time and resources"
"And why is that better?"
"Because it will free up time and resources to spend on other things."
"And why is that better?"

And so on and so forth. That discussion is absolutely as intellectually valid. It's not any more or less absurd.

Quote:
You're a judge in Exampleland. The King has decreed that one convicted criminal will be executed, and tasks you with choosing which one. Criminal A is a murder, who killed 8 victims. Criminal B is a child molester, who molested 15 children. Criminal C is a contractor, who used substandard materials and cut corners, resulting in the collapse of a building that killed 50 people. Which one should be executed?
I don't trolley problems.

Quote:
There's no way to answer that without first setting values on the different things.
But NOBODY is setting these mythical values they start from. Since evidence and logic and reason aren't allowed when discussing them since "they're subjective" everyone just apparently starts at some random point and goes from there.

Just calling them "values" doesn't make "totally random context-less non-falsefiable intellectual starting points" a valid concept.

Quote:
Just like you can't answer whether or not you should build a bridge until you decide what your values are, so you can then evaluate whether the bridge will support those values or not.
Then how is all these bridges got built? If we can't do X until we do Y and but can't do Y because Y is defined as having no acceptable answer did all these bridges I see in reality just spring from the Earth?

How do we decide to do anything? Why don't we spend all day locked in this same "Turtles All the Way Down" recursive question overload?

For all the "We can't define values" we seem to get along just fine whenever the question is artificially crowbarred into the discussion.
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC

Last edited by JoeMorgue; 9th August 2019 at 11:48 AM.
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th August 2019, 11:53 AM   #328
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 19,519
Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Again, because the two are fundamentally different. The bridge's existence doesn't depend on your perspective.


Yes. Yes. Absolutely this.
Okay then how do bridges get built? How do we ever decide to build a bridge?

If the "Why build a bridge" question is the same/equivalent as a moral/ethical one then just use whatever mental process or framework we use to decide to build bridges then.
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC

Last edited by JoeMorgue; 9th August 2019 at 11:54 AM.
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th August 2019, 11:58 AM   #329
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 83,937
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I have a different opinion. Don't act like that means I'm not listening.
That's not what "missing the point" means.

Quote:
Well yeah if I don't agree the question is different
You don't think that whether or not you should build a bridge is a different question to which kind of bridge you should build?

Quote:
Again for all the "But it's different" special pleading it's not.
Again for all the "it's not", it is.

Quote:
"Let's build a bridge."
"Why?"
"Because the the shopping is one side of the river and housing district is on the other side."
"Why does that matter?"
"Because building a bridge will allow people to travel from their houses to the stores in much less time."
"Why is that better?"
"Because it will save time and resources"
"And why is that better?"
"Because it will free up time and resources to spend on other things."
"And why is that better?"
More on that later.

Quote:
Just calling them "values" doesn't make "totally random context-less non-falsefiable intellectual starting points" a valid concept.
Nobody said that.

Quote:
Then how is all these bridges got built?
Because most people will be convinced by the exchange you posted above, way before it gets to the end.
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

"My views are nonsense. So what?" - BobTheCoward


Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th August 2019, 12:27 PM   #330
jrhowell
Muse
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 617
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
If the "Why build a bridge" question is the same/equivalent as a moral/ethical one then just use whatever mental process or framework we use to decide to build bridges then.
The problem is that, like morality, there is no one objective decision making process. Sometimes it is because the citizens vote in someone who promises to get a bridge built. Sometimes it is because a lobbyist's brother in law is a bridge builder.
jrhowell is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th August 2019, 12:29 PM   #331
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 19,519
Originally Posted by jrhowell View Post
The problem is that, like morality, there is no one objective decision making process. Sometimes it is because the citizens vote in someone who promises to get a bridge built. Sometimes it is because a lobbyist's brother in law is a bridge builder.
Okay and?

A process doesn't have to be perfect to be useful. This quest for some perfect "morality" that works in every possible situation, including hypothetical ones specifically designed to "trip up" the process, confounds me.

Again there might not be "one objective decision making process" but that doesn't stop us from... usually building the bridges we need/want built.
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th August 2019, 01:11 PM   #332
Hellbound
Merchant of Doom
 
Hellbound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Not in Hell, but I can see it from here on a clear day...
Posts: 13,762
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
But this exact same kind of hair splitting is what stalls out real world discussions as well.
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Okay and?

A process doesn't have to be perfect to be useful. This quest for some perfect "morality" that works in every possible situation, including hypothetical ones specifically designed to "trip up" the process, confounds me.

Again there might not be "one objective decision making process" but that doesn't stop us from... usually building the bridges we need/want built.
There! That is what we've beentrying to say.

There's no objective answer; science can't prove "should". That doesn't mean there isn't an answer.

What trips up the discussions is when someone insists that their view is objectively right; that others must obviously value what they value in the same way. If you approach it as if there is an objective answer, you will fail, because you can't prove someone should value something that they don't. You can appeal to the values they do hold, though, to show why your way is better.

On your bridge example, let's expand a bit further. Group A wants to build the bridge between the housing area and the shopping center. Person B wants to build the bridge between the housing area and the city center, where the majority of residents work. Which one is "better" can't be answered without deciding how much you value the increased ease of shopping versus how much you value the reduced time to get to work. And neither is necessarily wrong.

So to get things done, a compromise has to be reached, somehow, between the two groups. Perhaps group A can show data that the increased financial transactions at the shopping center will produce enough extra revenue to build a bridge to the city center in three years. OR group B can show data proving that they could build two smaller bridges, one in each location, and both get some of what they want. Those aren't proving anything about which value is better, or morally right. That's appealing to the values the other side has.

Now the bridge example is fairly concrete, and easily answered even with compromise. What makes morality trickier is not only do people have different values, but they put different weights on what they value. You can prove a certain moral or ethical system will reduce violence, or increase trade, or promote knowledge, or whatever. But if Person A values knowledge over wealth, and person B values wealth over peace, and person C values peace over everything, there's no scientific way to say whose right or wrong.

It's not hair-splitting, it's the nature of the beast.

And no one has said they're "totally random context-less non-falsefiable intellectual starting points", any more than the axioms of mathematics are. Arbitrary does not mean random. Neither does subjective. No one said it's context-less. Those are all your mis-understandings, that we've been trying to explain.

They are non-falsifiable, though, because the basic values are assumptions. But that doesn't make them random, of useless, or anything else.
__________________
Ideologies separate us. Dreams and anguish bring us together. - Eugene Ionesco

Last edited by Hellbound; 9th August 2019 at 01:29 PM. Reason: Edited for tone
Hellbound is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th August 2019, 05:48 PM   #333
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 21,802
Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
There! That is what we've beentrying to say.

There's no objective answer; science can't prove "should". That doesn't mean there isn't an answer.

What trips up the discussions is when someone insists that their view is objectively right; that others must obviously value what they value in the same way. If you approach it as if there is an objective answer, you will fail, because you can't prove someone should value something that they don't. You can appeal to the values they do hold, though, to show why your way is better.

On your bridge example, let's expand a bit further. Group A wants to build the bridge between the housing area and the shopping center. Person B wants to build the bridge between the housing area and the city center, where the majority of residents work. Which one is "better" can't be answered without deciding how much you value the increased ease of shopping versus how much you value the reduced time to get to work. And neither is necessarily wrong.

So to get things done, a compromise has to be reached, somehow, between the two groups. Perhaps group A can show data that the increased financial transactions at the shopping center will produce enough extra revenue to build a bridge to the city center in three years. OR group B can show data proving that they could build two smaller bridges, one in each location, and both get some of what they want. Those aren't proving anything about which value is better, or morally right. That's appealing to the values the other side has.

Now the bridge example is fairly concrete, and easily answered even with compromise. What makes morality trickier is not only do people have different values, but they put different weights on what they value. You can prove a certain moral or ethical system will reduce violence, or increase trade, or promote knowledge, or whatever. But if Person A values knowledge over wealth, and person B values wealth over peace, and person C values peace over everything, there's no scientific way to say whose right or wrong.

It's not hair-splitting, it's the nature of the beast.

And no one has said they're "totally random context-less non-falsefiable intellectual starting points", any more than the axioms of mathematics are. Arbitrary does not mean random. Neither does subjective. No one said it's context-less. Those are all your mis-understandings, that we've been trying to explain.

They are non-falsifiable, though, because the basic values are assumptions. But that doesn't make them random, of useless, or anything else.
Morals are always a product of information and values. Science is a source of information and nothing more. I'm in favor of promoting science as it offers our best source of accurate information.

I think we SHOULD or OUGHT to value increasing overall well being and personal freedom. Well being doesn't mean necessarily a reduction in suffering or an increase in happiness and personal freedom doesn't mean you can do what you please. And there is no question at times these values can be conflicting. So it's not always easy to solve that dilemma.

But of course, this is a reflection of my values.
__________________
Try
Science, not superstition.
Reason, not revelation.
Education, not epiphanies
Intellect, not ignorance.
.
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th August 2019, 06:45 PM   #334
caveman1917
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 6,526
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
You want me not to kill millions of people, fine. But you want me to refrain, without you having to come over here and physically prevent me. You want me to refrain, without you having to figure out some way to make it unprofitable for me. You want some rational argument, that will convince me to refrain without coercion, and to my own detriment. But you have no such argument. All you have, in the end, is a weak-ass attempt to shame me with your expressions of frustration.

But I am a moral superman. I am not concerned with your "shame". Your frustration is your problem, not mine. If you have no rational argument, then you have no standing. If you cannot at least appeal to practicality and profitability, then you aren't even trying.
Exactly. Grève générale, insurrectionnelle et expropriatrice!
__________________
"Ideas are also weapons." - Subcomandante Marcos
"We must devastate the avenues where the wealthy live." - Lucy Parsons
"Let us therefore trust the eternal Spirit which destroys and annihilates only because it is the unfathomable and eternal source of all life. The passion for destruction is a creative passion, too!" - Mikhail Bakunin

Last edited by caveman1917; 9th August 2019 at 07:32 PM.
caveman1917 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th August 2019, 10:34 PM   #335
Roboramma
Penultimate Amazing
 
Roboramma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 12,674
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Yeah. We do that. All the time. And nobody "and why do that? Okay then why do that? Okay what's your reason for doing that?" us into nothingness when we do.

Again for all the "But it's different" special pleading it's not.

Here's I'll show you.

"Let's build a bridge."
"Why?"
"Because the the shopping is one side of the river and housing district is on the other side."
"Why does that matter?"
"Because building a bridge will allow people to travel from their houses to the stores in much less time."
"Why is that better?"
"Because it will save time and resources"
"And why is that better?"
"Because it will free up time and resources to spend on other things."
"And why is that better?"

And so on and so forth. That discussion is absolutely as intellectually valid. It's not any more or less absurd.
I don't think it's absurd: we actually follow that logic every time we build a bridge. We just come to a point where there's some base value that we all agree on and so don't need to ask why anymore. If you and I both agree that saving time is good, there's no reason to ask why it's better, but if we don't yet agree, you might ask me why I want to do that.

I don't need to ask why I want to have access to food and shelter, but if I did it would probably be because everything that I want is predicated on having access to those things before I can start to work toward my other goals. The next question "Why do your goals matter to you?" is non-sensical: there's no need to justify the blatant fact that my goals matter to me, that's what makes them my goals.

Moral questions, though, are faced with a further and more difficult to address question "why do your goals or preferences matter to me?" And the answer isn't tautological this time. It's not necessarily true that your goals should or do matter to me. If they do, then okay, we don't need to worry about this question and we can move on. If they don't, at least not for their own sake, then we are stuck with negotiation.

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Okay then how do bridges get built? How do we ever decide to build a bridge?

If the "Why build a bridge" question is the same/equivalent as a moral/ethical one then just use whatever mental process or framework we use to decide to build bridges then.
To the extent that the questions are the same, it's solvable because people have overlapping goals/preferences.
__________________
"... when people thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was spherical they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together."
Isaac Asimov
Roboramma is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th August 2019, 12:24 AM   #336
David Mo
Illuminator
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 4,232
Originally Posted by mumblethrax View Post
Someone who answers "Why did Rome fall?" with "Because it existed. You see, it was necessary for Rome to exist before it could fall" is just full of ****. That's not what we're asking when we ask "Why did Rome fall?" We are looking for specific causes, not any old necessary condition.

Similarly, someone who answers "What is the basis with morality?" with "Empathy is the basis of morality. You see, without empathy, morality could not exist" is full of ****. When we ask for a basis for morality, we are not asking for any old necessary condition. We are specifically looking for a logical and philosophical foundation.

I have no idea why you keep quoting my words back at me, given that I am trying to make it clear that these are totally different things that you are trying to conflate. I did get a laugh out of "sic", though.


Well, that's just wrong. Compassion, guilt, shame, etc. are all emotions that can motivate action. You're also trying to smuggle in morality by calling empathy a "moral feeling". What makes it so? And it does not "surpass the test of Hume's guillotine". You need an account for why we ought to be empathetic before you can do that.


It's clear that you plucked two paragraphs from totally different sections of that entry and dishonestly presented them as if one were an answer to the other.

I am familiar with Hume's ethics. He does not think that empathy does what you think it does.


This is not true. Ought implies an obligation, not merely "this is good." When I eat ice cream I might say "this is good", I might feel a positive emotion, but that is not equivalent to saying "I ought to eat ice cream".

In addition to waving in the direction of "positive emotions" as if they were synonymous with morality, you want to say that empathy engenders "disinterested action". If the reason I act is because I am feeling your emotional state, obviously my action is not disinterested, but self-serving. You are elaborating an especially bad version of hedonistic egoism, and at the same time declaring victory over the is-ought problem. If only you knew what you were talking about, you could find this embarrassing (another emotion that can motivate action, action like reading a book).


He does not give a solution to the is-ought problem.

He does develop an ethics.

To develop an ethics is not to provide a solution to the is-ought problem. To resolve the is-ought problem you need an account of normative truth. You do not need an account of normative truth to develop an ethics.
Hume solves the problem of be-ought by turning it into an emotional impulse. The obligation would be nothing more than a confused formulation of that impulse. It is a false problem that dissolves with a correct analysis of language.

To pretend that a selfless action is not selfless because I find pleasure in it is absurd. It makes it impossible to distinguish between actions that focus on helping others and actions that only seek personal satisfaction. If you cannot distinguish between these two manifestly different facts, you have a problem with the way you speak.

If you want to revive the concept of ought, you should show what it can be based on other than empathy. I look forward to hearing from you.

I would also like to know which of Hume's texts contradicts what I say.

Thank you.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th August 2019, 12:35 AM   #337
David Mo
Illuminator
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 4,232
Originally Posted by mumblethrax View Post
That is tribalistic. For example, there's no reason to exclude non-human animals from consideration that doesn't amount to tribalism.

But empathy is quite bad at the job of turning our concern to other men. Instead, we feel a great deal of empathy for people who are socially proximate, and very little for some poor beggar on the other side of the world. It's almost like it's something we developed when we were living in small kinship groups.


Well, yes, but you will then be saying very different things.

There are a million and one necessary conditions for engaging in moral reasoning. For example, the universe has to exist. And you have to be alive. But it would be foolish to say "The universe is the basis of morality" or "Being alive is the basis of morality." You are intentionally conflating different ideas in order to try to rescue a failed argument.


Neither is empathy. Earlier you intimated that we might be too empathic or not empathic enough. In what terms would you make that argument? What is the good you seek in hoping we will be ideally empathic? The answer can't be "Empathy!" which means there is some more fundamental value at work here, and empathy is therefore not the basis of your morality. Or you can keep insisting that it is, and flail around in the dark forever.


What you need is a normative basis that will make sense out of any of this. You can say "Empathy! Science! Serial killers!" but none of that does or can amount to morality.


No, you don't. You're still failing to appreciate what Hume means. You need an ought before you can get anywhere. Feelings are not normative. If I feel someone else's pain, that's just a declarative fact about the world. It does not imply that I ought to feel their pain.


This is gobbledygook. Hume does not present a solution to the is-ought problem.


This is you disingenuously retreating from what you initially claimed to a triviality (without even doing any work to establish that it's true).
I was explaining that you cannot use a remote condition as a cause ("generate" is your word). Causes must be specific conditions to a fact. Therefore, saying "and you have to be alive" might be a moral condition does not make sense. The conditions that are used as causes in an explanation must be specific. Empathy is specific. Not being alive.

Hume solves the problem of be-ought by turning it into an emotional impulse. The obligation would be nothing more than a confused formulation of that impulse. It is a false problem that dissolves with a correct analysis of language.

To pretend that a selfless action is not selfless because I find pleasure in it is absurd. It makes it impossible to distinguish between actions that focus on helping others and actions that only seek personal satisfaction. If you cannot distinguish between these two manifestly different facts, you have a problem with the way you speak.

If you want to revive the concept of ought, you should show what it can be based on other than empathy. I look forward to hearing from you.

I would also like to know which of Hume's texts contradicts what I say.

Thank you.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th August 2019, 09:02 AM   #338
Cavemonster
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 5,515
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Okay and?

A process doesn't have to be perfect to be useful. This quest for some perfect "morality" that works in every possible situation, including hypothetical ones specifically designed to "trip up" the process, confounds me.

Again there might not be "one objective decision making process" but that doesn't stop us from... usually building the bridges we need/want built.
Morality isn't all that different from other areas in this though.

Newtonian physics is useful. But through a process of exploring hypotheticals and creating experiments that are waaay outside of what we'd encounter naturally, we build a much better physics.

And it's important to note that the ways in which moral systems are imperfect DO have huge and terrible consequences. Sure it gets tangled up in mistakes of fact and dishonesty, but at the root of most wars, political conflicts and a fair share of couples arguments are moral systems which are ok for many day to day things but clash horribly where there is disagreement.

Just like the higgs boson, (even though we never seem to encounter one in the wild) can tell us about how matter works and what to expect in the universe, so far fetched thought experiments can be a window to what's really going on in a moral system. Just because you use something extreme to reveal and highlight a flaw, doesn't mean that flaw is free of consequences on a simpler level.

I use a similar technique debugging code. I used to make simple games, written in actionscript. I'm no professional, but I enjoyed it. When I made a new chunk of code and it didn't work right or I didn't know if it would work correctly, I had a testing method. I'd set it up to show all the relevant variable outputs numerically on screen and I'd hit it with a bunch of inputs in the expected range, then at the edges, then a bunch of inputs WAAAY outside of the expected range. It was fairly common that when a piece of code wasn't working right, that last group showed me why.

"Oh, I thought this was going generate random numbers for the placement on the X axis, but now that I'm seeing a million more iterations than I would use naturally, I see it's following this specific pattern. Oh I forgot a parenthesis around the random function!"

That **** happened ALL the time.
__________________
The weakness of all Utopias is this, ... They first assume that no man will want more than his share, and then are very ingenious in explaining whether his share will be delivered by motorcar or balloon.
-G.K. CHESTERTON
Cavemonster is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th August 2019, 12:10 PM   #339
epeeist
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 476
TL;DR: Going back to OP what should the rules be, I think there is absolute morality; codes of ethics (including societal laws) overlap with, but do not perfectly correspond with, morality.

Non-TL;DR:

We may also not always know morality. Slavery of innocents (as punishment for a crime is more complex) is and was immoral, but ethically, was/is considered proper in many societies, and many people thought it was moral (or convinced themselves it was, dictated biblically, warranted because might makes right, whatever) and didn't think it was immoral. I think they were wrong, there is an absolute morality, and I might wrongly think some things that are ethical and that I believe to be moral, are - when in actuality they're not. I'm not omniscient.

Note, while I am religious, I do think that some principles of morality may be found without religious belief. The golden rule and/or the Kantian ethical equivalent, etc. But how it is applied may be problematic. Some would say e.g.:

I am [insert religion], therefore everyone is free to follow the same religion. Or I am in a happy heterosexual marriage, therefore everyone else is free to be in a heterosexual marriage.

Others would see it more as, I am [insert religion], therefore the golden rule means everyone should be free to follow their choice of religion, or none, and change, as they wish. Or I am in a happy heterosexual marriage, therefore everyone else should be free to structure their relationships as they wish and try to be happy as I am.

That is, while I think some behaviour is immoral, my morality and the golden rule to me means that people should be free to pursue activities that I think are morally (absolutely) wrong. For instance, my values of free speech mean that I think the better moral view is to allow offensive speech to occur rather than punish it (with some limits e.g. defamation, direct immediate calls for specific violence, etc.) - even though I consider the offensive speech morally (absolutely) wrong, I think free expression an absolute moral good that requires the possibility of some immoral speech. And I want ethical rules (laws) to support that. Some others would argue that hate speech etc. should be punished, and maybe if there weren't such a history of punishing speech that violated societal norms - including at various times and places preaching religious freedom and tolerance, gender equality, anti-slavery, etc. - I'd be more open to such arguments.
epeeist is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th August 2019, 02:30 AM   #340
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 83,937
Originally Posted by epeeist View Post
TL;DR: Going back to OP what should the rules be, I think there is absolute morality; codes of ethics (including societal laws) overlap with, but do not perfectly correspond with, morality.

Non-TL;DR:

We may also not always know morality. Slavery of innocents (as punishment for a crime is more complex) is and was immoral, but ethically, was/is considered proper in many societies, and many people thought it was moral (or convinced themselves it was, dictated biblically, warranted because might makes right, whatever) and didn't think it was immoral. I think they were wrong, there is an absolute morality, and I might wrongly think some things that are ethical and that I believe to be moral, are - when in actuality they're not. I'm not omniscient.

Note, while I am religious, I do think that some principles of morality may be found without religious belief. The golden rule and/or the Kantian ethical equivalent, etc. But how it is applied may be problematic. Some would say e.g.:

I am [insert religion], therefore everyone is free to follow the same religion. Or I am in a happy heterosexual marriage, therefore everyone else is free to be in a heterosexual marriage.

Others would see it more as, I am [insert religion], therefore the golden rule means everyone should be free to follow their choice of religion, or none, and change, as they wish. Or I am in a happy heterosexual marriage, therefore everyone else should be free to structure their relationships as they wish and try to be happy as I am.

That is, while I think some behaviour is immoral, my morality and the golden rule to me means that people should be free to pursue activities that I think are morally (absolutely) wrong. For instance, my values of free speech mean that I think the better moral view is to allow offensive speech to occur rather than punish it (with some limits e.g. defamation, direct immediate calls for specific violence, etc.) - even though I consider the offensive speech morally (absolutely) wrong, I think free expression an absolute moral good that requires the possibility of some immoral speech. And I want ethical rules (laws) to support that. Some others would argue that hate speech etc. should be punished, and maybe if there weren't such a history of punishing speech that violated societal norms - including at various times and places preaching religious freedom and tolerance, gender equality, anti-slavery, etc. - I'd be more open to such arguments.
There's an objective morality but some people may hold another? How does that work? How do you determine what's good or bad, exactly?
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

"My views are nonsense. So what?" - BobTheCoward


Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th August 2019, 06:44 PM   #341
Roboramma
Penultimate Amazing
 
Roboramma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 12,674
Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
There's an objective morality but some people may hold another? How does that work? How do you determine what's good or bad, exactly?
I think the idea is that there is an objective morality but any individual may be wrong about what it is. He's confident that an answer exists but not that he has found the right answer.

That's how I read it anyway.
__________________
"... when people thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was spherical they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together."
Isaac Asimov
Roboramma is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th August 2019, 03:04 AM   #342
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 83,937
Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
I think the idea is that there is an objective morality but any individual may be wrong about what it is. He's confident that an answer exists but not that he has found the right answer.

That's how I read it anyway.
I don't know how that would even work. If there's an objective morality, but it makes zero difference to how the world works, then for all practical purposes there actually isn't an objective morality.
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

"My views are nonsense. So what?" - BobTheCoward


Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th August 2019, 04:28 AM   #343
Cheetah
Graduate Poster
 
Cheetah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,741
Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I don't know how that would even work. If there's an objective morality, but it makes zero difference to how the world works, then for all practical purposes there actually isn't an objective morality.

Gee, how many times do I have to say this?
What if the objective morality is the way the world works.
__________________
"... when you dig my grave, could you make it shallow so that I can feel the rain" - DMB
Cheetah is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th August 2019, 04:31 AM   #344
Roboramma
Penultimate Amazing
 
Roboramma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 12,674
Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I don't know how that would even work. If there's an objective morality, but it makes zero difference to how the world works, then for all practical purposes there actually isn't an objective morality.
Where did "it makes zero difference to how the world works" come from?
__________________
"... when people thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was spherical they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together."
Isaac Asimov
Roboramma is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th August 2019, 04:36 AM   #345
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 19,519
The longer we talk about this the less clear I am on what the bloody hell "Objective/Subjective" is even supposed to mean in this context.
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th August 2019, 04:40 AM   #346
Robin
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 9,943
Why do we build bridges?

Because enough people want to get to the other side.

It's simple.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th August 2019, 04:44 AM   #347
Roboramma
Penultimate Amazing
 
Roboramma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 12,674
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Why do we build bridges?

Because enough people want to get to the other side.

It's simple.
"Why shouldn't I steal from a stranger if I know I'll get away with it?"...

I'm not seeing an analogous answer.
__________________
"... when people thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was spherical they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together."
Isaac Asimov
Roboramma is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th August 2019, 04:55 AM   #348
Robin
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 9,943
Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
"Why shouldn't I steal from a stranger if I know I'll get away with it?"...

I'm not seeing an analogous answer.
Of course there is an analogous answer.

You should steal from the stranger if you want to.

You should not steal from the stranger if you don't want to.

I can't see how there is anything more to it than that.

What other kind of answer could there be?
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th August 2019, 04:57 AM   #349
Roboramma
Penultimate Amazing
 
Roboramma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 12,674
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Of course there is an analogous answer.

You should steal from the stranger if you want to.

You should not steal from the stranger if you don't want to.

I can't see how there is anything more to it than that.

What other kind of answer could there be?
I think that's an entirely consistent viewpoint.
__________________
"... when people thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was spherical they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together."
Isaac Asimov
Roboramma is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th August 2019, 04:59 AM   #350
Cheetah
Graduate Poster
 
Cheetah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,741
Which makes it irrelevant.
__________________
"... when you dig my grave, could you make it shallow so that I can feel the rain" - DMB
Cheetah is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th August 2019, 08:26 AM   #351
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 83,937
Originally Posted by Cheetah View Post
Gee, how many times do I have to say this?
What if the objective morality is the way the world works.
I don't understand what that would mean.

Quote:
Where did "it makes zero difference to how the world works" come from?
Well if no one needs to follow it and there are no consequences, what's the difference between it existing and not existing?
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

"My views are nonsense. So what?" - BobTheCoward


Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th August 2019, 08:41 AM   #352
Roboramma
Penultimate Amazing
 
Roboramma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 12,674
Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Well if no one needs to follow it and there are no consequences, what's the difference between it existing and not existing?
It may be that it's me who misunderstood the other poster. But I don't see anywhere where he suggested that there are no consequences or that no one needs to follow it.

Rather he just seems to be admitting that he doesn't actually know with confidence what the correct moral system is. He's admitting his ignorance while still believing that the things exists.

To go back to analogies of bridges, it's as though someone said he doesn't know the best way to build a bridge and so doesn't judge other people's bridge building techniques, but does think that some techniques are in fact better than others even if he's not completely confident about which ones.
To complete the analogy imagine people building bridges in a different country, and while they are using different techniques and by some measures their bridges seem to be worse (perhaps they require more repair work), we're also not sure about all the local conditions that might mean those techniques are actually more well suited than the ones we are familiar with, but on the other hand they may not be.

Sometimes there is a correct answer but you don't know what it is. That doesn't mean it's unknowable, though it may be.
__________________
"... when people thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was spherical they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together."
Isaac Asimov
Roboramma is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th August 2019, 09:51 AM   #353
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 36,892
Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Exactly. Grève générale, insurrectionnelle et expropriatrice!
I don't know what that means. The words are scrutable, but whatever talismanic import they have for you is lost on me.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th August 2019, 12:14 PM   #354
caveman1917
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 6,526
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I don't know what that means. The words are scrutable, but whatever talismanic import they have for you is lost on me.
Talismanic import? Strikes, and other forms of direct action, are unprofitable for the bourgeoisie. And nothing more unprofitable than being expropriated.

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
You want me not to kill millions of people, fine. But you want me to refrain, without you having to come over here and physically prevent me. You want me to refrain, without you having to figure out some way to make it unprofitable for me. You want some rational argument, that will convince me to refrain without coercion, and to my own detriment. But you have no such argument. All you have, in the end, is a weak-ass attempt to shame me with your expressions of frustration.

But I am a moral superman. I am not concerned with your "shame". Your frustration is your problem, not mine. If you have no rational argument, then you have no standing. If you cannot at least appeal to practicality and profitability, then you aren't even trying.
__________________
"Ideas are also weapons." - Subcomandante Marcos
"We must devastate the avenues where the wealthy live." - Lucy Parsons
"Let us therefore trust the eternal Spirit which destroys and annihilates only because it is the unfathomable and eternal source of all life. The passion for destruction is a creative passion, too!" - Mikhail Bakunin
caveman1917 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th August 2019, 06:20 PM   #355
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 83,937
Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
It may be that it's me who misunderstood the other poster. But I don't see anywhere where he suggested that there are no consequences or that no one needs to follow it.

Rather he just seems to be admitting that he doesn't actually know with confidence what the correct moral system is.
But how would we know, even in principle? That's my point. If there's no way to know, and if whether the hypothesis is true or not makes no difference, then it can be discared as superfluous.
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

"My views are nonsense. So what?" - BobTheCoward


Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th August 2019, 06:36 PM   #356
Roboramma
Penultimate Amazing
 
Roboramma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 12,674
Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
But how would we know, even in principle? That's my point. If there's no way to know, and if whether the hypothesis is true or not makes no difference, then it can be discared as superfluous.
Cheetah claims to be able to know by reasoned argument. I personally have a similar viewpoint, though I think the subject is complicated and there are some issues I don't think I have answers for yet.

But even if it turned out that we couldn't know the answer, there are plenty of questions which have definite answers but whose answers we will never know. That doesn't mean that those answers don't exist.
__________________
"... when people thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was spherical they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together."
Isaac Asimov
Roboramma is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th August 2019, 07:00 PM   #357
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 36,892
Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Talismanic import? Strikes, and other forms of direct action, are unprofitable for the bourgeoisie. And nothing more unprofitable than being expropriated.
Ah, no. You've missed the point. The idea is not that I should refrain from doing stuff when I'm threatened with some material loss. The idea is that I should refrain without having to be threatened. Because of morals.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th August 2019, 07:38 PM   #358
Robin
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 9,943
That is the thing. If there was an objective morality and I knew what that objective morality was then I could make reasoned arguments to show what is right and not right.

If others knew what the objective morality was then they would be able to set out those arguments.

But as I don't know any such arguments and have never heard any then, even if there was an objective morality then I don't know what it is and apparently neither does anyone else, so the only motivation for my actions is still that which I want.

And also, no-one has given me any reason to think that there should be any such thing as an objective morality, or what sort of thing it should be.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th August 2019, 08:07 PM   #359
caveman1917
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 6,526
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Ah, no. You've missed the point. The idea is not that I should refrain from doing stuff when I'm threatened with some material loss. The idea is that I should refrain without having to be threatened. Because of morals.
Well I think that's a stupid idea that doesn't work anyway, even assuming people could agree on what those morals would be. Your post referred to the Holocaust, but morals aren't what stopped it, what stopped it was the Red Army. Similar observations can be made about strikes/insurrections in relation to social welfare programs under capitalism.
__________________
"Ideas are also weapons." - Subcomandante Marcos
"We must devastate the avenues where the wealthy live." - Lucy Parsons
"Let us therefore trust the eternal Spirit which destroys and annihilates only because it is the unfathomable and eternal source of all life. The passion for destruction is a creative passion, too!" - Mikhail Bakunin
caveman1917 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th August 2019, 08:23 PM   #360
caveman1917
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 6,526
Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
I think that's an entirely consistent viewpoint.
Originally Posted by Cheetah View Post
Which makes it irrelevant.
Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Cheetah claims to be able to know by reasoned argument.
Looks to me like Cheetah only wants inconsistent axioms, which conveniently prove everything, but I'm not sure they'd be amenable to "reasoned argument."
__________________
"Ideas are also weapons." - Subcomandante Marcos
"We must devastate the avenues where the wealthy live." - Lucy Parsons
"Let us therefore trust the eternal Spirit which destroys and annihilates only because it is the unfathomable and eternal source of all life. The passion for destruction is a creative passion, too!" - Mikhail Bakunin
caveman1917 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:55 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.