Announcement

Collapse

Philosophy 201 Guidelines

Cogito ergo sum

Here in the Philosophy forum we will talk about all the "why" questions. We'll have conversations about the way in which philosophy and theology and religion interact with each other. Metaphysics, ontology, origins, truth? They're all fair game so jump right in and have some fun! But remember...play nice!

Forum Rules: Here
See more
See less

Atheism And Moral Progress

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

  • Originally posted by seer View Post
    So largely your premises come the herd. I don't see how they come from physical reality or reasoning since that too would first need premises to be logical.
    They never start with "reasoning," but they can be arrived at that way. They also don't "largely come from the herd." They can arise in pretty much any combination - from many herds (family, friends, community, religions, etc.). But they also arise from personal experience. They arise from our physical nature (i.e,, sentient, living, etc.). The mix is not the same for any two people.

    Originally posted by seer View Post
    And why is that more insightful than what the herd believes?
    From a relative/subjective perspective, the answer here is easy" because "the herd" does not always and necessarily share my value structure. So what "the herd" concludes is "moral' may be a complete misalignment with my own valuing. That is essentially why "following the herd" is simply not a rational way to arrive at a moral framework. "It's right because the herd thinks so" simply means I blindly adopt whatever the herd thinks - and I can not be reasoned with, not can I defend my morality against questioning. My only response has to be "because the herd says so."

    Originally posted by seer View Post
    Then nothing makes your conclusions more insightful than the herds... You again are just telling us what you prefer.
    Nothing makes it more absolutely/objectively insightful than the herd - because morality is not absolute/objective: it is relative/subjective. And yes, I am telling you what I prefer, because morality is sorting actions into "ought" and "out not" on the basis of our valuing - which are a form of preference.

    You say that like it's a dirty thing. But the only way you can make it a "dirty thing" is if:

    a) you assume that the only "meaningful" thing is the absolute/objective (which is begging the question, and adds to the definition of "meaning")
    b) you assume that all "preference" is equal and trivial. But we all know it is not. My "preference" for spending time with my wife/children is not on the same level as my "preference" for half-and-half in my coffee. My "preference" for living is not at the same level as my "preference" for a chair with arms.
    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King

    I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

    Comment


    • Originally posted by carpedm9587 View Post
      They never start with "reasoning," but they can be arrived at that way. They also don't "largely come from the herd." They can arise in pretty much any combination - from many herds (family, friends, community, religions, etc.). But they also arise from personal experience. They arise from our physical nature (i.e,, sentient, living, etc.). The mix is not the same for any two people.
      Ok, more than one herd, but still herds. And personal experience if formed by and in the herd. Let's face it, if you were raised during Mao's Cultural Revolution you would most likely had agreed that killing dissidents for the greater social cohesion was a moral good. The herd or zeitgeist being the primary driver of your ethical understanding.



      From a relative/subjective perspective, the answer here is easy" because "the herd" does not always and necessarily share my value structure. So what "the herd" concludes is "moral' may be a complete misalignment with my own valuing. That is essentially why "following the herd" is simply not a rational way to arrive at a moral framework. "It's right because the herd thinks so" simply means I blindly adopt whatever the herd thinks - and I can not be reasoned with, not can I defend my morality against questioning. My only response has to be "because the herd says so."
      The very premises that your reasoning begins with are solely based on your say so. And if we don't share those assumptions I can not reason with you. My only response has to be "because Carp says so." You refuse to see that you are in a no better position than the herd.


      Nothing makes it more absolutely/objectively insightful than the herd - because morality is not absolute/objective: it is relative/subjective. And yes, I am telling you what I prefer, because morality is sorting actions into "ought" and "out not" on the basis of our valuing - which are a form of preference.

      You say that like it's a dirty thing. But the only way you can make it a "dirty thing" is if:

      a) you assume that the only "meaningful" thing is the absolute/objective (which is begging the question, and adds to the definition of "meaning")
      b) you assume that all "preference" is equal and trivial. But we all know it is not. My "preference" for spending time with my wife/children is not on the same level as my "preference" for half-and-half in my coffee. My "preference" for living is not at the same level as my "preference" for a chair with arms.
      But Carp, nothing you said tells us why, logically, that your moral preferences are even subjectively more insightful than the herd's.
      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


      • Originally posted by seer View Post
        Ok, more than one herd, but still herds.
        Herds that INFLUENCE, Seer. Not herds that dictate. No one can claim to not be influenced by their surroundings. The question is are they intentionally trying to align themselves to the dictates of the herd?

        Originally posted by seer View Post
        And personal experience if formed by and in the herd.
        Some of it yes - not all of it.

        Originally posted by seer View Post
        Let's face it, if you were raised during Mao's Cultural Revolution you would most likely had agreed that killing dissidents for the greater social cohesion was a moral good.
        No question that the probability is higher, just as if you were born in the Middle East, the probability would be much higher that you would be Muslim.

        Originally posted by seer View Post
        The herd or zeitgeist being the primary driver of your ethical understanding.
        It is a significant influence of what is valued, no question about it. But again - influence vs. intentional alignment...

        Originally posted by seer View Post
        The very premises that your reasoning begins with are solely based on your say so.
        Correct.

        Originally posted by seer View Post
        And if we don't share those assumptions I can not reason with you.
        Sure you can (sometimes). If we have the same underlying value - we can look for what is wrong in the reasoning that led to the disconnection (you cannot do that with "follow the herd" morality). If we have differing underlying values, then (since the herd can influence) there is a chance I can influence you to re-examine what you value. Sometimes (not always), that can be a reasoned argument. But it is true that there is no guarantee that we can convince one another with rational argument. If the underlying value structure differs, and there is no hope of aligning - then the disconnect will remain. It happens.

        Note that it happens on your side too. The problem is - you guys aren't arguing about WHY something is right or wrong - you are arguing about "what Fred meant when he wrote this." You're disagreeing on "what the herd said." And with the vagaries of language - your changes of reconciling that or no better/worse than the relative/subjective moralist.

        Originally posted by seer View Post
        My only response has to be "because Carp says so."
        If your response is "because Carp said so" then you're just following a different herd.

        Originally posted by seer View Post
        You refuse to see that you are in a no better position than the herd.
        I am in a better position than the heard in relation to MY value structure. And I am in a better position than the person who is FOLLOWING the herd because I can rationally explain how I arrived at my moral framework - all the follower can say is "because the herd says so."

        You see it all the time, Seer. When I discuss homosexuality with a Christian who thinks it is immoral, we will end up at "because god says so" or "because the bible says so." They have no rational explanation - it's just "in the book." Only one person on this site (and I don't remember who) attempted to make a reasoned argument that was NOT based on "the bible says so." It wasn't a good argument - but at least it wasn't "follow the herd."

        Originally posted by seer View Post
        But Carp, nothing you said tells us why, logically, that your moral preferences are even subjectively more insightful than the herd's.
        Because the herd does not share 100% my underlying value structure - so alignment between the "herd's" morality and that value structure is iffy at best. And there is no rational link between "what the herd thinks" and my underlying value structure. I might as well spin a roulette wheel and pick a morality based on where the ball drops. Not to mention - which herd? Eveyr herd has nuanced differences in their moral framework. There is significant alignment - but not complete alignment.
        Last edited by carpedm9587; 02-08-2019, 07:30 PM.
        The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King

        I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

        Comment


        • Originally posted by carpedm9587 View Post
          I don't think he has a problem with that (AFAICT) because the heard is "following Christ." His entire evaluation is from within the confines of that reality, and he doesn't seem to be able to see outside of it.
          I agree with your evaluation. Seer's point seems to be that if the 'herd' believes in the "right thing" there's nothing wrong in following the herd. Your error in seer's mind is that you (and the rest of us 'unsaved) are following the wrong herd, not the 'herd mentality' in and of itself.
          “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Tassman View Post
            I agree with your evaluation. Seer's point seems to be that if the 'herd' believes in the "right thing" there's nothing wrong in following the herd. Your error in seer's mind is that you (and the rest of us 'unsaved) are following the wrong herd, not the 'herd mentality' in and of itself.
            Possible. I think Seer still does not see that all of his responses reduce to "relative/subjective morality is not absolute/objective." That reality is not connecting for him. I don't think he can see that he is not offering an argument - he's repeating a definition, over and over and over again. I have not found the right combination of words to help him see it. It may be that his own belief system precludes an ability to see it for him. I don't like t think that way, because it's not much different than Seerer's "your unfaith makes you blind." The difference is, there is really nothing intrinsic about his belief system that should make it impossible for him to see this - but (for whatever reason), he's not seeing it.


            ETA: And I was amused to notice that, after pointing out Seerer's misuse of "heard," I did it myself...
            The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King

            I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

            Comment


            • Originally posted by carpedm9587 View Post
              Possible. I think Seer still does not see that all of his responses reduce to "relative/subjective morality is not absolute/objective." That reality is not connecting for him. I don't think he can see that he is not offering an argument - he's repeating a definition, over and over and over again. I have not found the right combination of words to help him see it. It may be that his own belief system precludes an ability to see it for him. I don't like t think that way, because it's not much different than Seerer's "your unfaith makes you blind." The difference is, there is really nothing intrinsic about his belief system that should make it impossible for him to see this - but (for whatever reason), he's not seeing it.
              I've been noticing this same tendency in the "Trumps christian supporters are unchristian" thread, wherein no matter how clear the fact is made to them, christians just can't seem to see that an eternally omniscient creator and a free willed creation are logical contradictions. Their belief in both seems to blind them even to this most obvious contradiction wherein they will twist themselves into pretzels in an attempt to justify the co-existence of the two. Their justifications never make sense, but somehow they can't see that either. I think it's their "faith that makes them blind" rather than seer's "it's your unfaith that makes you blind."

              Comment


              • Originally posted by carpedm9587 View Post
                Because the herd does not share 100% my underlying value structure - so alignment between the "herd's" morality and that value structure is iffy at best. And there is no rational link between "what the herd thinks" and my underlying value structure. I might as well spin a roulette wheel and pick a morality based on where the ball drops. Not to mention - which herd? Eveyr herd has nuanced differences in their moral framework. There is significant alignment - but not complete alignment.
                But what is your point? How are your conclusions subjectively more insightful than the herd's? In your relative world there are no moral conclusions that are more insightful, correct or valid. Whether you come by those conclusions by reasoning, or by following the herd, or following a 2,000 year old book.
                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


                • Originally posted by carpedm9587 View Post

                  ETA: And I was amused to notice that, after pointing out Seerer's misuse of "heard," I did it myself...
                  Seerer's?
                  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


                  • Originally posted by seer View Post
                    But what is your point?
                    I have been attempting to make that as clear as possible. From an atheist worldview...

                    1) Morality is relative/subjective (I realize some atheists still adhere to absolute/objective moral frameworks - I believe them to be wrong).
                    2) Absolute/objective moral frameworks based on the bible reduce to "follow-the-herd" morality (if there is no god, the bible is just a set of norm documented by men)
                    3) A moral framework based on a personal value framework and reason and be discussed and it is possible to use reason to convince someone (not certain, but possible).
                    4) The absolute/objective moralist using the bible as their basis cannot be reasoned with (except to argue the meaning of the passages). They are not applying reason to arrive at their mmoral framework - they are applying interpretation to try to determine the meanings of the passages.

                    Originally posted by seer View Post
                    How are your conclusions subjectively more insightful than the herd's?
                    In a "follow-the-herd" model, there is no rational basis tying the moral conclusion to the underlying value framework. So is it possible that the "herd" is following a moral framework I would have reasoned to anyway? Yes. But if it happens it is mere probability at work. To arrive at a moral framework that aligns with my value framework, I need to apply a bit of reason. This is why a discussion about a moral principle with a "follow-the-herd" moralist is largely doomed to failure. If the herd disagrees, there is no rational argument to be made because the moral conclusions are not based on reason.

                    That's the last time I answer this question. I've answered it repeatedly. At this point, I'm beginning to suspect that you are either trolling me, or you are simply not going to get it.

                    Originally posted by seer View Post
                    In your relative world there are no moral conclusions that are more absolutely/objectively insightful, correct or valid. Whether you come by those conclusions by reasoning, or by following the herd, or following a 2,000 year old book.
                    And just when I thought you were peeking your head out of the box, back in you go...

                    Once again, I inserted the words you omitted. You are correct that the relative/subjective moral framework cannot offer moral conclusions that are absolutely/objectively more insightful than "the herd." But that should come as no surprise - since it's relative/subjective - and relative/subjective processes cannot offer absolute/objective outcomes. So your complaint is, yet again, "relative/subjective morality is not absolute/objective." We've never disagreed about that - we agree 100%. You seem to think that by repeating this you are showing that absolute/objective is better - but you're not. You're just reminding us of definitions we already agree on.

                    Seer - this discussion is going nowhere - and I should have withdrawn a long time ago.

                    I'll leave the last observation to you, unless you ask a question I haven't already answered, especially the ones I've repeated multiple times.
                    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King

                    I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by seer View Post
                      Seerer's?
                      Oops...
                      The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King

                      I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by carpedm9587 View Post
                        In a "follow-the-herd" model, there is no rational basis tying the moral conclusion to the underlying value framework. So is it possible that the "herd" is following a moral framework I would have reasoned to anyway? Yes. But if it happens it is mere probability at work. To arrive at a moral framework that aligns with my value framework, I need to apply a bit of reason. This is why a discussion about a moral principle with a "follow-the-herd" moralist is largely doomed to failure. If the herd disagrees, there is no rational argument to be made because the moral conclusions are not based on reason.
                        You are not making sense, if the moral reasoning can legitimately lead to the murder of dissidents how is that not just as much a failure for understanding ethics as following the herd? And you equally could not reason with the Maoist since he is starting with completely different premises and goals. So you are not saying anything.
                        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


                        • Originally posted by seer View Post
                          You are not making sense, if the moral reasoning can legitimately lead to the murder of dissidents how is that not just as much a failure for understanding ethics as following the herd? And you equally could not reason with the Maoist since he is starting with completely different premises and goals. So you are not saying anything.
                          Your opinion is noted, Seer. Thanks for the chat.
                          The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King

                          I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by carpedm9587 View Post
                            Your opinion is noted, Seer. Thanks for the chat.
                            Right, but you already agreed that if we started with different premises and had different goals there could be no meeting of the minds. So that discussion is just as doomed to failure as a discussion with the herd.
                            Last edited by seer; 02-10-2019, 12:41 PM.
                            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


                            • Originally posted by seer View Post
                              Right, but you already agreed that if we started with different premises and had different goals there could be no meeting of the minds. So that discussion is just as doomed to failure as a discussion with the herd.
                              This isn't about the moral issue - and is more about the meta-issue of expectations, so I'll respond. I never expected a meeting of the minds, Seer. I was under no illusion that you would agree with me or align to my worldview. Your worldview precludes it. But your responses demonstrate you don't even understand the discussion or the problems with your own non-arguments. You cannot see outside of "the box." Frankly, it's not clear to me that you even see you have never actually made an argument.

                              I'm sure that will produce yet another denial, so I'll leave it at that.
                              The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King

                              I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by seer View Post
                                You are not making sense, if the moral reasoning can legitimately lead to the murder of dissidents how is that not just as much a failure for understanding ethics as following the herd?
                                How one arrives at one’s ethics is the point at issue, whether herd-based or otherwise.

                                And you equally could not reason with the Maoist since he is starting with completely different premises and goals. So you are not saying anything.
                                Just as one cannot reason with a Christian since he is starting with completely different premises and goals.
                                “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

                                Comment

                                Related Threads

                                Collapse

                                Topics Statistics Last Post
                                Started by Diogenes, 10-10-2020, 08:38 PM
                                8 responses
                                76 views
                                0 likes
                                Last Post Sparko
                                by Sparko
                                 
                                Started by Andius, 10-07-2020, 07:38 PM
                                9 responses
                                61 views
                                0 likes
                                Last Post siam
                                by siam
                                 
                                Started by mattbballman31, 08-26-2020, 11:42 AM
                                23 responses
                                474 views
                                0 likes
                                Last Post shunyadragon  
                                Started by seer, 07-27-2018, 08:47 AM
                                2,045 responses
                                105,578 views
                                0 likes
                                Last Post thormas
                                by thormas
                                 
                                Working...
                                X