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Moral Realism?

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  • #46
    Originally posted by Jedidiah View Post
    My only prior post in this thread was based upon a misunderstanding of your OP. My apologies.
    No problem.
    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

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    • #47
      Originally posted by Paprika View Post
      In some forms of theism, yes, but not in all.
      Only in all the wrong forms of theism.

      ~Formerly known as Chrawnus~

      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by seer View Post
        Recently a new member here at TWEB attack biblical ethics as being subjective, subjective to God. Which makes sense, but God's law would still be objective to mankind. He suggested or inferred that moral realism was preferable because it posed that objective moral facts actually exist;

        Here is a definition that I think is correct:



        The questions are, where do these moral facts exist? And how are we obligated to them if they do exist?
        As we have been debating in another thread, morals are not existing things in themselves, they are human social imperatives, derived of human minds, whether right or wrong in nature. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors wife, or thy neighbors house, are neither natural laws or objective commands, they are man made imperatives, or morals, conducive to the social cohesion of the group. Why do we construct moral systems? To protect ourselves one from the other.

        Comment


        • #49
          Originally posted by Chrawnus View Post
          Only in all the wrong forms of theism.
          Agreed.

          Comment


          • #50
            Originally posted by Rational Gaze View Post
            By 'morals and ethics' do you mean 'moral facts' or 'moral beliefs?' Because being able to explain moral beliefs does not undercut belief in moral facts.
            Moral facts have not so far been defined nor suitable examples given. Social and cultural morals and ethics have been extensively described and defined.

            What are morals facts and please give examples?
            Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
            Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
            But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

            go with the flow the river knows . . .

            Frank

            I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

            Comment


            • #51
              The problem with the claims that moral facts exists is that these claims may apply to one culture, and other cultures may have different claims as to what are moral facts, which makes claims of 'moral facts' subjective claims as what may be moral and what may be immoral from one cultural to another.

              From an interesting source that is worth a complete read:

              Source: https://philosophynow.org/issues/26/Are_There_Any_Moral_Facts



              If a moral realist believes a certain action to be right, he might say: “I do not call the action right because I feel in a certain way. I feel in this way because I think the action right.” In my diagram, ‘I feel in this way’ = desire, and ‘I think the action right’ = motivating belief.

              Professor Jonathan Dancy puts it like this:


              “When I am standing on the kerb looking for a gap in the traffic so that I can cross the street safely, I am not doing this because I desire a long and healthy life. I experience no desire; I m just looking for a gap in the traffic before I cross. Why insist that there must have been a desire in there somewhere? All that is happening here is that I take a fact (there is a bus coming now) as a reason for me not to step out yet. This is what we call being prudent; prudent people are people whose beliefs about safety and danger are enough to motivate them. The same is true in ethics. One’s beliefs about right and wrong are enough to move one to stop what one is doing or change one’s intentions, without needing the help of an independent desire.” (Dancy in Companion to Ethics, ed. P. Singer)

              If I am not mistaken, and the desires which, Hume thinks, initiate the process of action, are at least sometimes preceded by motivating beliefs, then it seems to me that these motivating beliefs could themselves, at least sometimes, be true beliefs about moral facts.

              But what are we to make of this new factor, ‘motivating belief’? Have I stumbled on something new and pathbreaking? I doubt it. The work I want it to do can, I think, be done by concepts we already know. We are looking simply for some faculty that enables us to recognise moral facts, and there are already candidates. Far from expecting to join the philosophical immortals as a result of this essay, I would just suggest a couple of already familiar possibilities. One of them is conscience, well-known in religion, commonsense morality and the writings of men such as Butler. The other is the ‘moral sense’ proposed by Shaftesbury and developed by Hutcheson.

              Considering the moral sense, I at one time found this concept very hopeful, but I have second thoughts. Its weakness, in my mind, is that it is part of an aesthetic analogy. Both Shaftesbury and Hutcheson think that the moral sense identifies a kind of beauty in good actions, a peculiar fitness of the act in its relation to the circumstances in which it is performed. If I see a poor beggar and give him a fiver I might be doing something so appropriate to the occasion that it is morally beautiful, just as the splash of light illuminating an otherwise dim canvas gives a Rembrandt its unique beauty. If I bludgeon him to death, Shaftesbury and Hutcheson et al would be horrified at the moral ugliness of such an inappropriate act – like someone coming on stage and blowing a raspberry in the middle of a Beethoven string quartet.

              Sadly, the analogy with aesthetics fails, in my view, to capture the force of moral obligation which I would expect from a moral fact. If a picture is full of features properly proportioned to each other, ‘fitting’ to their environment, we might say that it is beautiful, and we are fortunate that the artist painted it. Likewise, if it is filled with incongruities, we might say it is ugly and we are not interested in looking at it. The beautiful picture may attract us, impress us, take our breath away, and the ugly one might repel us, but neither of them demand or forbid, in the way that moral imperatives do. I realise that what we are speaking of is only an analogy, but the analogy requires us to make a great leap from the relatively weak idea of what is beautiful or ugly, to the idea of what we must do, or what is wicked, in order to talk of the moral sense. A theory of conscience, on the other hand, claims that we have a faculty which is capable of directly recognising and impressing upon us that certain acts are wrong, and other acts are right; that some are good, some evil. It makes no analogy, but speaks directly of what it claims are facts. Conscience puts us in possession of certain beliefs; beliefs which make such a strong impression upon us as to arouse desires; motivating beliefs.

              If there are moral facts, a theory of conscience commends itself because of its explanatory power. It helps to explain why we have such strong intuitions of obligation to do certain things, and such a sense of shame after we do other things. What we need to hear is not just that clubbing one’s grandmother to death is messy and unartistic, or that marital faithfulness partakes in a particular kind of beauty. If we want to know moral facts we need to be told: “You shouldn’t kill grandma” and “You should keep faith with your loved one.” If we all listened to the voice of conscience granny would be safe – and, other things being equal, so would our marriages.

              © Copyright Original Source

              Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
              Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
              But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

              go with the flow the river knows . . .

              Frank

              I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

              Comment


              • #52
                @ Shuny
                ...interesting take...

                Islam also has its perspective on "Beautiful action"---

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by seer View Post
                  Recently a new member here at TWEB attack biblical ethics as being subjective, subjective to God. Which makes sense, but God's law would still be objective to mankind.
                  No, it'd be subjective period. It's subjective because God's commands express God's desires.
                  Originally posted by Jichard View Post
                  But that would result in a problem for seer. On the standard accounts of "subjective" or "objective" used to define "moral subjectivism" and "moral objectivism", it wouldn't make sense to talk about about something being objective from one of view and subjective from another point of view. Instead, they would be objective simpliciter or subjective simpliciter. To put it another way: if it's mind-dependent, then it's mind-dependent from any view-point. For example, the statement "Jichard dislikes cake" would be subjectively true simpliciter, since it's true or false in virtue on my attitude. That would be the case from my perspective, God's perspective, or anyone else's perspective. Similarly, "God commands X" would be subjectively true simpliciter because it's true or false depending in virtue of God's expressed attitude. And that would be the case from my perspective, God's perspective, or anyone else's perspective.
                  Yet you're still acting otherwise, just as I predicted:
                  Originally posted by Jichard View Post
                  By the way, it says a lot you avoid points when it suits your apologetic purposes. For example, I clearly asked you:
                  Originally posted by Jichard View Post
                  It's subjective because it makes statements about moral obligations true or false in virtue of God's attitudes, as expressed in God's wishes.

                  Do you know what "moral subjectivism" is? If so, then tell me what it is.
                  And even bolded it to help you recognize it. Of course, you dodged the question. And I suspect you dodged it because you wouldn't find the answer useful for your apologetics. For example, here's Wikipedia for you:

                  Hence my answer that:
                  "It's [divine command theory] subjective because it makes statements about moral obligations true or false in virtue of God's attitudes, as expressed in God's wishes."

                  Fairly straight-forward, and consistent with other, more reputable sources on DCT being a form of moral subjectivism. Divine command theory is a form of moral subjectivism. This is no secret in meta-ethics. And yet you call it "double-talk" to avoid the point, while making sure to avoid direct questions about what moral subjectivism is. How convenient.

                  He suggested or inferred that moral realism was preferable because it posed that objective moral facts actually exist;
                  Please don't misrepresent what people say when you think they aren't around.

                  The questions are, where do these moral facts exist?
                  They exist in the natural world, like every other natural thing.

                  We've been over this, seer. Properties are instantiated by particulars. Moral properties are instantiated by things such as actions, persons, and so on.

                  And how are we obligated to them if they do exist?
                  Why do you act as if questions haven't been answered, when they clearly have been? Another one of your apologetic tactics? Because it borders on dishonesty.
                  Originally posted by Jichard View Post
                  The general analysis: we have moral obligations because there are moral reasons for actions, developing certain character traits, and so on. That's the standard analysis: obligations arise from reasons. And moral reasons are constituted by the properties/features discussed in welfare utilitarianism (ex: effects of well-being) and virtue ethics (ex: character traits like compassion).
                  Now you can stop acting as if your question hasn't been answered.
                  Last edited by Jichard; 05-11-2015, 07:06 PM.
                  "Instead, we argue, it is necessary to shift the debate from the subject under consideration, instead exposing to public scrutiny the tactics they [denialists] employ and identifying them publicly for what they are."

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Rational Gaze View Post
                    Theism logically entails moral realism, so I don't see how it could possibly by an alternative to theism.
                    No, theism does not logically entail moral realism, as moral realism is defined in the OP. For example, one can have subjectivist theistic positions such as divine command theory.

                    Similarly, one can have a theistic position on which God is not morally perfect (ex: dystheism) and moral subjectivism is true, or on which God instantiates no moral properties and moral nihilism is true.

                    Maybe he is referring to moral platonism; the idea that moral facts exist as actual objects? If so, then that is a viewpoint that isn't preferable to theism at all.


                    The irony is that, if moral platonism is true, then they either exist as abstract objects, in the mind's of humans, or not at all. Whereas, in theism, God is the ontological source of moral facts.
                    Moral Platonism would be a form of moral non-naturalism. There are naturalistic, non-theistic version of moral realism.
                    Last edited by Jichard; 05-11-2015, 07:06 PM.
                    "Instead, we argue, it is necessary to shift the debate from the subject under consideration, instead exposing to public scrutiny the tactics they [denialists] employ and identifying them publicly for what they are."

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Rational Gaze View Post
                      They don't. The only non-theistic alternative is platonism, and that is problematic for reasons already outlined.
                      No, that is not the only non-theistic alternative. You've skipped over positions like Cornell Realism, analytic functionalism, Sayre-McCord's non-Platonist moral non-naturalism, and so on.

                      So you've just offered a false dichotomy.
                      "Instead, we argue, it is necessary to shift the debate from the subject under consideration, instead exposing to public scrutiny the tactics they [denialists] employ and identifying them publicly for what they are."

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Rational Gaze View Post
                        Immanent realism is simply the position that some universals exist in the physical world, whereas some other universals do not, and, as anybody with more than half a brain knows, there is no fact about the physical world that can lead us to moral facts, leaving us with moral platonism.
                        Anyone with half a brain knows that? Really?

                        What does "physical world" mean in "there is no fact about the physical world that can lead us to moral facts"?
                        If you mean "physical facts", then that's the wrong level of discussion, since one does not need infer moral facts from the facts discussed in the science of physics.

                        If you mean "natural facts", then we can try to proceed from there.

                        What does "lead us to" mean in "there is no fact about the physical world that can lead us to moral facts"?
                        If it means "by conceptual deduction", then no, there are people with "more than half a brain" who think natural facts can lead to moral facts via conceptual truths. For example: Michael Smith and analytic functionalists like Frank Jackson.

                        If it means "led by truths regarding identification of moral facts with natural facts", then no, there are people with "more than half a brain" who think natural facts lead to moral facts. For example: various synthetic moral realists.

                        If it means "led by truths regarding constitution/supervenience", then no, there are people with "more than half a brain" who think natural facts lead to moral facts. For example: Cornell Realists.
                        "Instead, we argue, it is necessary to shift the debate from the subject under consideration, instead exposing to public scrutiny the tactics they [denialists] employ and identifying them publicly for what they are."

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Jichard your posts are simply confusing. I will try again.

                          Originally posted by Jichard View Post
                          The general analysis: we have moral obligations because there are moral reasons for actions, developing certain character traits, and so on. That's the standard analysis: obligations arise from reasons. And moral reasons are constituted by the properties/features discussed in welfare utilitarianism (ex: effects of well-being) and virtue ethics (ex: character traits like compassion).

                          "An important part of the debate about internal and external reasons has centered on ‘reactive attitudes’, or attitudes that we have towards agents in response to their behavior, of which blame is the paradigm. Some have observed in defense of Moral Rationalism, for example, that if an agent does something we consider morally wrong, then we blame (or resent) him. But blame, these philosophers claim, involves the judgment that the agent had reasons not to do what he did. Consequently blame is unwarranted when such judgments are unwarranted (Nagel 1970, Smith 1994). Therefore, since moral wrongdoing is sufficient to warrant blame, moral obligations must entail reasons (section 2.3)."

                          By the way, this is trivial conceptual truth: "one is morally obligated to not do what is morally wrong". I think it says a lot that you overlooked this in your zeal to your apologetic position.
                          I see nothing but assertion here. How does it follow that one is then obligated? How do "reasons" necessarily lead to "obligations?" On your say so? Does the anti-realist find obligation here? Who is correct? And if one is actually obligated how is it that men, in many cases, do not know that and act otherwise? Which brings us back to one of my original questions - of what earthly good is this theory? Besides being an academic exercise?


                          No, it'd be subjective period. It's subjective because God's commands express God's desires.
                          And the theory of moral realism is subjective, mind dependent, because it expresses an idea that you like. As opposed to let's say anti-realism.
                          Last edited by seer; 05-12-2015, 06:50 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


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Jichard View Post
                            No, it'd be subjective period. It's subjective because God's commands express God's desires.
                            Except in Divine Command Theory, God's commands reflect God's nature, and God's nature cannot change. Thus, it would not be subjective.

                            Originally posted by Jichard View Post
                            No, theism does not logically entail moral realism, as moral realism is defined in the OP. For example, one can have subjectivist theistic positions such as divine command theory. Similarly, one can have a theistic position on which God is not morally perfect (ex: dystheism) and moral subjectivism is true, or on which God instantiates no moral properties and moral nihilism is true. Moral Platonism would be a form of moral non-naturalism. There are naturalistic, non-theistic version of moral realism.
                            Theism does entail moral realism, since there are no theistic positions that are logically compatible with moral realism. Similarly, there are no non-naturalist positions that are logically compatible with moral realism. This is pretty basic stuff.

                            Originally posted by Jichard View Post
                            Anyone with half a brain knows that? Really?
                            Yes. The existence of imbeciles who believe logically contradictory things does little to change this fact.
                            Last edited by Rational Gaze; 05-12-2015, 05:08 PM.
                            My Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0719RS8BK

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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Jichard View Post
                              No, it'd be subjective period. It's subjective because God's commands express God's desires.
                              So you are unaware that a creator is what gives an item/thing it's objective existence? OK, let me explain it, however you will have to assume that a creator God exists for this thought theory.

                              P1) The Universe has a creator and creates the Universe because of his reasons.

                              P2) The Universe exists as a factuality because of the creators reasons.

                              C1) Therefore the creators reasons are factual reasons for the Universes existence

                              C2) Therefore the creators reasons are objective in concerns to the Universes existence.

                              In reality on the basis that P1 is correct then the rest follows completely logically and can not be disputed.
                              Last edited by Darth Ovious; 05-12-2015, 05:09 PM. Reason: Grammar
                              “I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.” - C.S. Lewis

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Also I'll post this by the master who taught me on this subject and coincidently the reason I found TWeb in the first place. A.S.A. Jones.

                                I had to use the internet archive though. I don't really know what happened to her.

                                “I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.” - C.S. Lewis

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