Announcement

Collapse

Apologetics 301 Guidelines

If you think this is the area where you tell everyone you are sorry for eating their lunch out of the fridge, it probably isn't the place for you


This forum is open discussion between atheists and all theists to defend and debate their views on religion or non-religion. Please respect that this is a Christian-owned forum and refrain from gratuitous blasphemy. VERY wide leeway is given in range of expression and allowable behavior as compared to other areas of the forum, and moderation is not overly involved unless necessary. Please keep this in mind. Atheists who wish to interact with theists in a way that does not seek to undermine theistic faith may participate in the World Religions Department. Non-debate question and answers and mild and less confrontational discussions can take place in General Theistics.


Forum Rules: Here
See more
See less

Moral Realism...

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #31
    Originally posted by Starlight View Post

    Believing that there appears to be convergence / a common core of ideas, is not the same as having perfect knowledge of what that common core is precisely though. Perhaps in 100 years moral philosophers will have nailed it down fully. At the moment, the best I can do is loosely describe the cluster of ideas that seem to be in that area of convergence, that common core, and they are things like: Valuing others, benevolence, caring for others rather than harming them, fairness and treating others equitably, treating others as you would want to be treated, promoting the happiness and wellbeing of all. Whether this can be best described as a single underlying moral principle that gives rise to these multiple facets, or whether there are multiple moral principles here that multiple truths about the world give rise to, I am not sure.

    But the ubiquity of these themes across cultures and apparent convergence toward them across time, makes me believe that there must be facts about the world and about humanity that give rise to this common core of moral ideas. And hence I describe that common core as being 'objective' and 'real', in contrast to 'arbitrary' or 'subjective'. Looking at surveys of modern philosophers on these subjects, it makes me think they mostly hold a similar view - they appear to generally agree that such a non-subjective common moral core does really exist (and hence report being 'moral realists'), but they are a bit uncertain or in disagreement about the details of nailing down precisely what that core actually consists of or how best to construct the internal logic of it and the connections between its parts.
    Even if there were common moral themes across cultures (which there are) that does not demonstrate moral realism. It could simply mean that the evolutionary process genetically predisposed us to particular behaviors. One could say that it is an objective fact that men morally act in specific ways, and these acts are cross cultural. But you can not leap to the claim that moral truths are objective in the sense that they are true or valid independent of what anyone thinks. As an example, if the majority of cultures and countries, came to believe that spousal rape was morally acceptable - it would be. There is no higher law or standard to mitigate against that view. We are the law. Unless you bring in a deity or something like Platonic forms.

    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by seer View Post
      Even if there were common moral themes across cultures (which there are) that does not demonstrate moral realism. It could simply mean that the evolutionary process genetically predisposed us to particular behaviors. One could say that it is an objective fact that men morally act in specific ways, and these acts are cross cultural. But you can not leap to the claim that moral truths are objective in the sense that they are true or valid independent of what anyone thinks. As an example, if the majority of cultures and countries, came to believe that spousal rape was morally acceptable - it would be. There is no higher law or standard to mitigate against that view. We are the law. Unless you bring in a deity or something like Platonic forms.
      It doesn't seem to me that there is any significant difference between the following two positions:

      1. The truth or falsity of moral propositions is dependent on the attitudes of people, but (at least some of) those attitudes are determined by objective facts about human nature. (a subset of ethical subjectivism)

      2. Ethical sentences express propositions that refer to objective features of the world (that is, features independent of subjective opinion), some of which may be true to the extent that they report those features accurately. (moral realism)

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by Stoic View Post

        It doesn't seem to me that there is any significant difference between the following two positions:

        1. The truth or falsity of moral propositions is dependent on the attitudes of people, but (at least some of) those attitudes are determined by objective facts about human nature. (a subset of ethical subjectivism)

        2. Ethical sentences express propositions that refer to objective features of the world (that is, features independent of subjective opinion), some of which may be true to the extent that they report those features accurately. (moral realism)
        How is the moral claim that rape is wrong an objective features of the world? How is that independent of subjective opinions?
        Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

        Comment


        • #34
          [QUOTE=seer;n1256666]

          So what? That is not the point. For Rawls, for experiment to work, he must assume that all men would be risk averse. That is both ahistorical and an assumption that can not be demonstrated. As far as a majority being exploited for the sake a few, China seems to be doing quite well with the majority of wealth being funneled to their party's oligarchy. With no human rights or equality I might add...[/QUOTE

          most men are risk-averse---I think that would be a correct assumption.
          The majority of any population simply want to live their lives in peace. In a dog-eat-dog world (or man destroy man world) there would not be much peace....since everyone would want to fight to be top dog. The only way a system would work is if the majority of the population accepts/buys into "the system".

          Wealth imbalance is not just a problem for China---it is happening all over the world. Our capitalist "system" has a systemic problem. It is structured for stagnation rather than flow. As long as we accept that "this is the only way"(buy into it)---we cannot come up with a creative solution.

          Human rights and equality are also a global problem---democracy has not guaranteed equality/rights, in particular for those who lack the wealth (and therefore power) to influence the judicial and political "systems".

          What is or is not "ahistorical" might be subjective?---you are approaching humanity from a Christian/original sin perspective---but this is a minority view in terms of global religio-philosophical understanding of human nature.

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by siam View Post
            most men are risk-averse---I think that would be a correct assumption.
            The majority of any population simply want to live their lives in peace. In a dog-eat-dog world (or man destroy man world) there would not be much peace....since everyone would want to fight to be top dog. The only way a system would work is if the majority of the population accepts/buys into "the system".

            Wealth imbalance is not just a problem for China---it is happening all over the world. Our capitalist "system" has a systemic problem. It is structured for stagnation rather than flow. As long as we accept that "this is the only way"(buy into it)---we cannot come up with a creative solution.

            Human rights and equality are also a global problem---democracy has not guaranteed equality/rights, in particular for those who lack the wealth (and therefore power) to influence the judicial and political "systems".

            What is or is not "ahistorical" might be subjective?---you are approaching humanity from a Christian/original sin perspective---but this is a minority view in terms of global religio-philosophical understanding of human nature.
            Siam, for Rawls' experiment to work all men must make the safe choice, if not we are just talking about subjective preference. And the point about China was they are doing quite well, they are not falling apart. They are not self-destructing as you suggested. And as far as equality and human rights are not Muslim countries the most egregious offenders?
            Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by seer View Post

              Siam, for Rawls' experiment to work all men must make the safe choice, if not we are just talking about subjective preference. And the point about China was they are doing quite well, they are not falling apart. They are not self-destructing as you suggested. And as far as equality and human rights are not Muslim countries the most egregious offenders?

              all men must make a safe choice---I think the point of Rawls was "selfish choice"---IMO, Western philosophers have 2 premises of human nature from which they begin their theories---1) Man is primarily selfish 2) and Man is an individual ---both of which are a bit problematic.....I think the starting premise should be that humanity is a) both selfish and altruistic and b) man is both individual and social---such a starting premise might yield better theories.....

              China is indeed doing well and will do well for some time---but as long as their model is based on the modern capitalist system---it will eventually self destruct. Consider, ---our capitalist system needs 2 things---1) cheap labor and 2) consumers. The reason cheap labor is required is because of inflation---the value of money is devalued over time because of interest. So---capitalist producers need to find cheap sources of labor all the time---otherwise goods are priced out and there wont be consumers. Without consumers there are no profits. The whole system is based on a viscous cycle of exploitation and over consumption. Any disruption of 1) or 2) and the system will encounter a problem. ....(and there may be signs that 1) cheap labor---might become a problem for China---it may need to go outside of China to find cheap labor...?....)

              Human rights---The East, in general, may not have a great human rights record regardless of religion (Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Christians, others....) However, many are recent democracies and they have had to contend with a legacy of colonialism which had a worse human rights record than whatever is happening now....so it depends on perspective....?....Nevertheless, humanity should do better---that is a goal we should never lose sight of.

              Also...it may appear that the West is doing good with human rights---but again---it may be a matter of perception---minorities, indigenous, immigrants, poor, "the other",....etc may have a different opinion of Western "human rights" record?

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by Stoic View Post
                It doesn't seem to me that there is any significant difference between the following two positions:

                1. The truth or falsity of moral propositions is dependent on the attitudes of people, but (at least some of) those attitudes are determined by objective facts about human nature. (a subset of ethical subjectivism)

                2. Ethical sentences express propositions that refer to objective features of the world (that is, features independent of subjective opinion), some of which may be true to the extent that they report those features accurately. (moral realism)
                I tend to agree with you, and have to agree I struggle to see how those two ideas are different to each other.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by seer View Post
                  Even if there were common moral themes across cultures (which there are) that does not demonstrate moral realism.
                  Why not? If there are common themes across cultures it demonstrates morality is not a matter of human whims, and is instead a product of / grounded in real facts about reality and humanity and does not vary arbitrarily beyond certain limits. The rest of your posts does not appear to supply any convincing arguments against this view.

                  It could simply mean that the evolutionary process genetically predisposed us to particular behaviors.
                  Indeed, and if they did, those moral behaviors would then not depend on human whims or personal subjective preferences, but rather be shared by all humanity and a product of truths about the world and humanity. I would view the resultant morality as being objective and universal rather than subjective and arbitrary/whimsical.

                  One could say that it is an objective fact that men morally act in specific ways, and these acts are cross cultural.
                  Indeed, and hence I conclude morality is objective...

                  But you can not leap to the claim that moral truths are objective...
                  ...well I think you can.

                  ...in the sense that they are true or valid independent of what anyone thinks.
                  I'm putting cause and effect the other way around - morality in my view is not arising because the majority of people think a certain way. Rather the majority of people think a certain way because of underlying truths about the world and about humanity. The existence of moral truths causes multiple societies to acknowledge them.

                  As an example, if the majority of cultures and countries, came to believe that spousal rape was morally acceptable - it would be.
                  If morality were different, one would expect the views of multiple societies to converge toward a different view. But morality isn't determined by their view. So your thought experiment doesn't show anything other than if morality were different, people would hold different views.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Starlight View Post
                    Why not? If there are common themes across cultures it demonstrates morality is not a matter of human whims, and is instead a product of / grounded in real facts about reality and humanity and does not vary arbitrarily beyond certain limits. The rest of your posts does not appear to supply any convincing arguments against this view.
                    That is because you are not getting the nuance.

                    Indeed, and if they did, those moral behaviors would then not depend on human whims or personal subjective preferences, but rather be shared by all humanity and a product of truths about the world and humanity. I would view the resultant morality as being objective and universal rather than subjective and arbitrary/whimsical.
                    If I follow that logic then the behaviors of rape, murder, greed, theft, fraud, etc... are also universal and objective since we find them in all cultures.

                    Indeed, and hence I conclude morality is objective...
                    Nope, for something to be objective it must exist independent of the person or viewer. The sun is objective - it would exist even if all minds were non existent. Murder being wrong is mind dependent and subjective. And it also depends on interpersonal relationships. No minds no morality. Ethics are not objective.

                    I'm putting cause and effect the other way around - morality in my view is not arising because the majority of people think a certain way. Rather the majority of people think a certain way because of underlying truths about the world and about humanity. The existence of moral truths causes multiple societies to acknowledge them.
                    You don't get to change the definition of objective. And like apes, I don't think, in a secular world, we act in certain ways because of underlying moral truths. We act that way because we are biologically geared towards that. We find the same primitive behaviors in higher primates. As far as multiple societies that is an argumentum ad populum.


                    If morality were different, one would expect the views of multiple societies to converge toward a different view. But morality isn't determined by their view. So your thought experiment doesn't show anything other than if morality were different, people would hold different views.
                    You missed the point. Most countries did not make spousal rape illegal until the late 20th century, many countries still accept it. Was it universal and objective back then? And like I said in the past, even if moral realism is true there are no enforcement mechanisms it would be functionally toothless.
                    Last edited by seer; 04-18-2021, 07:03 AM.
                    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by seer View Post
                      If I follow that logic then the behaviors of rape, murder, greed, theft, fraud, etc... are also universal and objective since we find them in all cultures.
                      You have applied my logic wrongly. I did not say a behavior is moral if found in all cultures, I said all cultures having a common core to their moral codes is indicative of the universality of those parts of the moral codes.

                      Nope, for something to be objective it must exist independent of the person or viewer.
                      That definition seems false to me - you can have objectively true facts about humans. If the humans didn't exist, those facts about them would obviously not exist, but given humans exist, objective facts about humans exist.

                      No minds no morality. Ethics are not objective.
                      I don't think this line of argument is valid. But I would point out, once again, that your own view that locates morality in the nature and mind of God falls as badly victim to this line of attack as my own view does.

                      You don't get to change the definition of objective.
                      You don't.

                      And like I said in the past, even if moral realism is true there are no enforcement mechanisms it would be functionally toothless.
                      I addressed that argument previously. Your objection was that it wasn't a response to your other argument.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Starlight View Post
                        You have applied my logic wrongly. I did not say a behavior is moral if found in all cultures, I said all cultures having a common core to their moral codes is indicative of the universality of those parts of the moral codes.
                        Let's stop here, do you believe that behaviors like rape, murder, greed, theft, fraud, selfishness, etc... are universal?

                        That definition seems false to me - you can have objectively true facts about humans. If the humans didn't exist, those facts about them would obviously not exist, but given humans exist, objective facts about humans exist.
                        That definition is not false, that is the definition of objective.

                        expressing or dealing with facts or conditions as perceived without distortion by personal feelings, prejudices, or interpretations

                        Not dependent on the mind for existence; actual.
                        Moral beliefs fail on both definitions. That is why, I believe, that Platonic forms are objective according to definition. At least that is a rational argument.


                        I don't think this line of argument is valid. But I would point out, once again, that your own view that locates morality in the nature and mind of God falls as badly victim to this line of attack as my own view does.
                        Fail how? I have said that God's law is subjective to him (I disagree with MM and William Craig on this). But it is universal, authoritative, and absolute.

                        You don't.
                        Show me where I changed the definition of objective. Like I said I have no problem with saying that it is an objective fact that men act in particular ways. But those ways include what you or I would subjectively call moral and immoral.

                        I addressed that argument previously. Your objection was that it wasn't a response to your other argument.
                        It does not change the fact that moral realism adds nothing to the conversation since it is toothless, unless you like navel gazing for the sake of navel gazing...
                        Last edited by seer; 04-19-2021, 07:11 AM.
                        Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                        Comment


                        • #42

                          Sorry, Quick question here:

                          "I have said that God's law is subjective to him (I disagree with MM and William Craig on this). But it is universal, authoritative, and absolute."-Seer

                          Is this what is referred to as Graded Absolutism?

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Machinist View Post
                            Sorry, Quick question here:

                            "I have said that God's law is subjective to him (I disagree with MM and William Craig on this). But it is universal, authoritative, and absolute."-Seer

                            Is this what is referred to as Graded Absolutism?
                            No, I was not speaking of GA. Though that is a whole discussion in itself.
                            Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by seer View Post

                              No, I was not speaking of GA. Though that is a whole discussion in itself.
                              Would it be possible, in a nutshell, to briefly describe the difference?

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Machinist View Post

                                Would it be possible, in a nutshell, to briefly describe the difference?
                                I'm not following you. And I'm not sure what I think about GA.
                                Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                                Comment

                                Related Threads

                                Collapse

                                Topics Statistics Last Post
                                Started by lee_merrill, 06-03-2021, 11:57 AM
                                1 response
                                38 views
                                0 likes
                                Last Post Christian3  
                                Started by Machinist, 05-26-2021, 10:52 AM
                                97 responses
                                519 views
                                0 likes
                                Last Post Stoic
                                by Stoic
                                 
                                Started by seer, 05-12-2021, 05:35 AM
                                541 responses
                                3,380 views
                                0 likes
                                Last Post seer
                                by seer
                                 
                                Started by Hypatia_Alexandria, 05-09-2021, 09:43 AM
                                21 responses
                                189 views
                                0 likes
                                Last Post Hypatia_Alexandria  
                                Started by Hypatia_Alexandria, 05-09-2021, 09:34 AM
                                144 responses
                                1,078 views
                                1 like
                                Last Post Hypatia_Alexandria  
                                Working...
                                X