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Moral Realism...

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  • seer
    replied
    Originally posted by Machinist View Post
    Ok cool. It reminded me of something else.

    So what you were saying then, is that God's laws are Absolute, but Subjectively Absolute within the GodHead?

    I have no problem with that. Was there an objection?
    If God's law is grounded in His immutable nature then they are absolute, universal and subjective to Him.

    Leave a comment:


  • Machinist
    replied
    Ok cool. It reminded me of something else.

    So what you were saying then, is that God's laws are Absolute, but Subjectively Absolute within the GodHead?

    I have no problem with that. Was there an objection?

    Leave a comment:


  • seer
    replied
    Originally posted by Machinist View Post
    "Graded absolutism is a theory of moral absolutism (in Christian ethics) which resolves the objection to absolutism (i.e., in moral conflicts, we are obligated to opposites). Moral absolutism is the ethical view that certain actions are absolutely right or wrong regardless of other contexts such as their consequences or the intentions behind them. Graded absolutism is moral absolutism but qualifies that a moral absolute, like "Do not kill," can be greater or lesser than another moral absolute, like "Do not lie". Also called contextual absolutism or the greater good view, is an alternative to the third alternative view and the lesser evil view, both discussed below, regarding moral conflict resolution." _ Wikipedia

    This seems to be the same thing as when you say that " 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."

    Like you, I have no problem with God's law being subjective to Himself...that is, His ways or morals are absolute within His own framework being the Self Exist One. All existence is derived from and resolves in Him. In this context, it makes sense that "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things..." - Isaiah

    I am leery of the greater good idea. It could apply to God since God would be omniscient. He would know the long term end or consequence of any act - good or evil. Our knowledge of future consequences is severely limited. Though there could be an immediate use of graded absolutism. Do you know who Corrie Ten Boom is? Her Dutch family was hiding Jews from the Nazis. When the Germans showed up to their door and asked if any Jews were living there Corrie and her sister lied, the Germans left. But they believed that the lie was a sin, and sincerely repented of that sin. Their attitude was not that it was acceptable to lie to save the Jewish family. I think that is the correct way to look at it. BTW - they were eventually found out - the Jews and her family ended up in concentration camps.

    Leave a comment:


  • Machinist
    replied
    "Graded absolutism is a theory of moral absolutism (in Christian ethics) which resolves the objection to absolutism (i.e., in moral conflicts, we are obligated to opposites). Moral absolutism is the ethical view that certain actions are absolutely right or wrong regardless of other contexts such as their consequences or the intentions behind them. Graded absolutism is moral absolutism but qualifies that a moral absolute, like "Do not kill," can be greater or lesser than another moral absolute, like "Do not lie". Also called contextual absolutism or the greater good view, is an alternative to the third alternative view and the lesser evil view, both discussed below, regarding moral conflict resolution." _ Wikipedia

    This seems to be the same thing as when you say that " 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."

    Like you, I have no problem with God's law being subjective to Himself...that is, His ways or morals are absolute within His own framework being the Self Exist One. All existence is derived from and resolves in Him. In this context, it makes sense that "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things..." - Isaiah


    Leave a comment:


  • seer
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Machinist
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • seer
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Machinist
    replied

    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • seer
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Starlight
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • seer
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Starlight
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Starlight
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • siam
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • seer
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:

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