Polytheism and monotheism

Does God exist? Is Allah God? Creation vs. evolution.
Is Religion needed? Logic vs. faith. Morality and ethics.
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THHuxley
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Re: Polytheism and monotheism

Post by THHuxley »

IoshkaFutz wrote:"Disembodied Interests" clash and collide, and interplay?
Yes. They do.
The moral absolutist has no doubt concerning the righteousness of the blood on their blade.

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Equestrian
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Re: Polytheism and monotheism

Post by Equestrian »

TThuxley wrote:
Equestrian wrote:Moral relativism is the belief that there are no universally valid moral principles. Morals are subject to each individual, therefore what "ought" and what "ought not" is strictly derived from the individual; not derived from the group, community or society.
No. It is not. There can be no moral questions if only the "individual" is considered. Outside of the context of a community, "morality" is meaningless.
Uh...right. That's why moral relativism fails. Once the individual asserts a moral judgment he affirms the existences a moral truth.
TTHuxley wrote:No. You are not even close. I will repeat again my position in the hope that this time a miracle will occur and you will finally understand it.

First... you are confusing the purpose of moral systems with the origin of moral systems. The purpose of a moral system is to mediate between the competing interests of individuals, or between individuals and their communities. It is all about delivering the greatest net benefit to the community.

Not all moral systems, however actually achieve that purpose. And this is primarily based upon how they originate.

A moral system that actually does represent community consensus (i.e. a rationally derived moral system) is generally superior to a moral system that is imposed by force or intimidation against the consensus of the community. The latter include most religious moral systems that claim a revelatory origin.

Now... I do not believe that moral systems derive from two points of origin. I believe that a rationally derived moral system derives from a process that has at least two consecutive steps.

Moral systems do not and cannot directly derive from any individual. Instead, the initial determination of "good" and "bad" is an individual exercise... i.e. we each evaluate goodness of badness based upon our personal sense of how we desire to be treated by others. This is very personal, very individual, likely to be somewhat diverse, and sometimes quite pathological. This is also why any individual's or any any small group's determination of "good" or "bad" cannot serve as the foundation for a moral system. There are people whose valuations of "good" or "bad" would be destructive to the community's interests, and they cannot be allowed to establish moral authority.

It is the posterior process of building a community consensus that allows us to account for individual pathology and protect ourselves, as a community, from the destructive potential of the patholog or psychopath. It is there that we assemble, for the first time, a moral system that codifies the community's consensus regarding what is most widely understood and shared regarding "good" and "bad." We each bring with us our individual conclusions regarding "good" and "bad" and together reach agreement over which "goods" are assigned moral weight as "oughts." Some but not all individually perceived "goods" will make the cut to become "oughts." There will be compromises and disagreements, but the end result of this rational process will be a moral system that, while not universally followed, still serves as the framework for the community's ability to influence behavior for the good of the whole.

So... the first step, individual assessment of "good" vs. "bad" is a subjective and relative exercise. And the second step, community assessment of "oughts" is also a subjective and relative exercise, though it strives to utilize objective inputs when available.

That's how it should work. That's not how it always works.

This process as described is the "rational" process which I strive to defend. But it historically has often been short circuited by brute force and intimidation. While the first step goes on constantly by default, the second step of consensus building is sometimes left out completely, and an individual or small group imposes a moral system designed to benefit that small group, not the larger community. It is these circumstances that generally create the "immoral" moral systems that are so often characteristic of dictatorships and theocracies.

The fact that dogmatic moral systems like Christianity and Islam skip the step of building community consensus accounts for the often immoral behavior of the members of the preferred group.

Lets me break this down:

I. Moral System

A. Rationally formulated moral systems derive from a process that has at least two consecutive steps.

Step 1) Individual assessment of "right vs wrong".

i) the determination of "right" and "wrong" is an individual exercise, i.e subjective notions of whats right and wrong are based on our personal sense of how we desire to be treated by others.

Step 2) community assessment of "oughts".

i) the determination of "oughts" is both an individual and communal exercise, i.e. "oughts"
are based on competing notions of right and wrong.

B. The purpose of a moral system is to mediate between the competing interests of individuals, or between individuals and their communities.


I don't see how this changes anything. If moral systems are derived from a process of competing interests, then where derives the purpose of the moral system? You need a source for purpose.

I suppose you can argue that the purpose derives from the competing interests, however that can not be the case as the moral system (and its purpose) itself is the object of contention.

You see, if you claim that the purpose of a moral system is derived from a need to protect and secure the shared interests of the community, then you are presuming another moral system which is unaccounted for in your "two step process" origin of moral systems.

I can simply ask: Why is the need to protect and secure the shared interests of the community necessarily right? you'll say: because its beneficial to the community. I'll say: why is that necessarily right? and you'll give me your answer, and I'll ask why is that necessarily right? and eventually the cycle occurs to where you get to a point where you'll say: well its right for me. And that's what you are saying in no uncertain terms here:

"That's how it should work. That's not how it always works"

Yes, that's how it should work FOR YOU. You are claiming with absolute authority that moral systems ought work the way you prescribe. The moral system you prescribe is morally superior to the moral systems of Christianity and Islam. You are making a universal moral claim and thus are dangerously close to becoming the moral absolutist you despise. But from where do you get that authority? after all, you are also a puppet of a moral system devised by humans:

"All moral systems are human derived. All moral systems are relative, even those that do not realize it."


It appears that you are one of those who do not realize that all moral systems are relative. The validity of a moral truth does not extend beyond the community and its adopted moral system. By saying your moral system is universally superior to others, you are violating your claim that all moral systems are relative.

TThuxley wrote:
Equestrian wrote:You are asserting that the moral notion of slavery back then is inferior to the moral notion of slavery today. Now that is amusing, because what you're really saying is that slavery is actually wrong.

I believe it is. It was not a rationally derived moral system, and so it ended up being immoral.

There are bad moral systems. These are the ones that fail, for whatever reason, to serve their purpose of protecting the shared interests of the community. They are the ones that violate rational community consensus.
Then what your asserting is that slavery is and has ever been universally wrong. Hence Objective moral truth. Good for you. I knew you would come around.
TThuxley wrote:
Equestrian wrote:If what is morally right is just defined as whatever the community majority believes is morally right, then a reformer (such as Martin Luther King) is morally wrong.

No. A reformer such as Martin Luther King is the catalyst for a new, more rational consensus. He was a critical advocate for stepping back from a moral system imposed by force that benefited only a certain part of the community and changing the moral system to be more rational, more comprehensive, more genuinely consensual and ultimately superior.

You need to get off the oblivious "moral neutrality" misconception that undermines your effort to understand what is being said.
But what accounts for the "catalyst"? How can contrasting the present and the past indicate whether or not moral progress has occurred? On what basis do you say that the recognition of civil rights for black people is "genuinely consensual" unless you have held up the previous nonrecognition and the present recognition to a code and determined the former did not meet the code, and the latter does meet the code.

In other words, when you say we (the community) achieved a superior consensus regarding civil rights and liberties for black people, it is just another way of saying that the previous state of affairs was objectively wrong and the present state of affairs is objectively right. But how can you know this unless there is a code that transcends time and place by which both states of affairs can be measured? In order to know what is superior, you must know what is inferior. You need a point of reference to delineate between the two.


You are confusing right and wrong with justification. Killing has been wrong in every culture at every time in history, the only thing that has changed is the concept of justification.

For example Hitler justified killing the Jews because he believed Jews to be subhuman. People who favor abortion believe that human life has value, but they justify abortion because they do not believe the unborn child is considered a human. I would say that in most cases, apparent moral divergences between communities represent only a difference in the perception of the facts of a circumstance, not a conflict in the values themselves.

If torture is not universally wrong, then what sense is there to debate whether torturing someone is justified? If I come to the table and say torture is morally virtuous and you say that is unethical, what sense is there to debate the issue if both our views are universally valueless? But if torturing someone is objectively wrong, then the issue can be debated on whether it is justified under any circumstance, or what actually constitutes torture. However, if torturing someone is not objectively wrong, then their is no reason whatsoever to even maintain dialogue on the issue.

“Whenever you find a man who says he does not believe in a real Right and Wrong, you will find the same man going back on this a moment later. He may break his promise to you, but if you try breaking one to him he will be complaining ‘It’s not fair’ before you can say Jack Robinson. A nation may say treaties don’t matter; but then, next minute they spoil their case by saying that the particular treaty they wanted to break was an unfair one. But if treaties do not matter, and if there is no such thing as Right and Wrong—in other words, if there is no Law of Nature—what is the difference between a fair treaty and an unfair one? Have they not let the cat out of the bag and shown that, whatever they say, they really know the Law of Nature (absolute standards of right and wrong) just like anyone else”

~ C.S. Lewis
"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" ~Carl Sagan

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IoshkaFutz
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Re: Polytheism and monotheism

Post by IoshkaFutz »

THHuxley wrote:
IoshkaFutz wrote:"Disembodied Interests" clash and collide, and interplay?
Yes. They do.
By themselves? All on their little lonely? This is marvelous. Can we see it happening on you tube?

Hey, did you read what Zorg wrote on page 75 of this thread? What do you think of his proposals? Fascinating!
“The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer - German Lutheran Pastor and Theologian. His involvement in a plot to overthrow Adolf Hitler led to his imprisonment and execution. 1906-1945

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CuteCoot
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Re: Polytheism and monotheism

Post by CuteCoot »

IoshkaFutz wrote:I have not denied any interests. ...Whence this should?
I wrote at the start: "If the physicist had no love for any living thing and no belief in any kind of after life then perhaps community could be excluded but it's highly unlikely that anyone would be 100% bereft on either score."

Apart from the extreme circumstance above, the "should" comes from empathy for his fellow living beings (just as I cook dinner for my son because I love him). Failing that, he might care what posterity thinks of him, perhaps supposing that aliens from a far flung galaxy will have taken note of the circumstances of this planet's demise. If he has indeed no care for anyone and no concern about what will happen after he dies, then there is precisely nothing preventing him from doing his worst.

The interests of the community have not gone away. The interplay of those interests with his interest in conducting his futile experiment has not ceased either. They are all still there in la-la land as you would have it. The INTERPLAY is bleeding obvious because it lies in the simple logical inference that his particular petty interest in conducting his experiment is at odds with the community's interest in staying alive.

Because the interplay is so bleeding obvious and because you keep denying it, it simply must follow that you are essentially denying the community's interest in all this. No, I'm not, you say. Then, in the next breath, yes, you are.

Everyone here is telling you that you are attacking a strawman and yet you persist in attacking this strawman.

And now we have the "might is right" argument coming in. In your scenario, "might is right" can have no foothold. No one is there to coerce. Except God? ...

It's highly unlikely that the psychopath whom the empathic "should" failed to move would conveniently turn out to be a believer in God, a Heaven and a blessed after life. It's true there are plenty of psychopathic religionists but, in my view, none of these really and truly believe in God, a Heaven and a blessed after life. Their psychopathy is precisely a symptom of their repressed doubt on this matter. So our loony scientist might be a dutiful church goer and scripture reader but still not sufficiently convinced, not deep within his heart, to move him away from his drastic final act.

In fact, the opposite could be the case. He might instead be thoroughly convinced that it is God's will that he destroy all living creatures on the planet. He might have read about The Flood and about Sodom and Gomorrah and have decided it was time to finish off God's earlier incomplete projects. So his dutiful religionism might provide him with a very strong "SHOULD" in what most of us would see as a completely wrong direction. But hey, God speaks to him directly through His divine book and he understands God's will thereby. And who are we mere mortals to question God's will?
Today - for moral reasons - there is a push to have broadband made available throughout the world. This, in the times of the Ancient Greeks was merely potential. It was not at INTERplay, because there were no moral agents with the necessary awareness. If it was at Interplay, in any meaningful way, kindly tell this ex-smoker how.
Congratulations on giving up smoking. I daresay you don't sport a beard or wear a turban either. And I bet Hux does apologize to people on occasion.

In the times of the Ancient Greeks the interests of the community in having every opportunity to discuss philosophy and morality were as present as they are today. There was then and there is today a cost to any broadening of those opportunities. The cost is partly financial, for example, in opening up more coffee shops and planning more public squares in city construction. The cost is also partly political as the greater the consensus building the lesser the power invested in arbitrary authority so the existing power elite won't like it.
What did Socrates think about Broadband?
Which is why Socrates had to be snuffed out. He made the discussion of philosophy so attractive - and without even needing to resort to broadband - that he became too dangerous.

So at that time and at this time the interests of the community in discussing philosophy come into play with the interests of the community builders in keeping costs down and with the interests of the power elite in keeping the masses down. These, and no doubt other, interests INTERPLAY. Then and now. Broadband or not.
For Socrates, Broadband didn't exist, for your son, Mrs. Vigilotti of Greenland, a mysterious woman who prepares dinner for Australian men whose names she randomly looks up on the Internet doesn't exist, for the world (humanity) Dr. Smith doesn't exist.
Broadband itself, as a specific issue, didn't exist and its advantages and costs did not interplay at that time. My son's and Mrs Vigilotti's interests exist (at least in your fantasy) but they hardly interplay at all. My son will get his dinner whether Mrs Vigilotti also tries to prepare him one or not. The interplay in your loony scientist scenario is much closer, more severe and impossible to disentangle.
So we go on existing as one big and bickering family. If you read the scriptures correctly, you'll find the ultimate answer to your fear of absolutism.
I have no fear of abolutism, only of absolutists.

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Re: Polytheism and monotheism

Post by crazymonkie_ »

CuteCoot wrote:Which is why Socrates had to be snuffed out. He made the discussion of philosophy so attractive - and without even needing to resort to broadband - that he became too dangerous.
That and Pericles had died. It's pretty ironic that the more radical experiments in democracy (for the time) were pretty much due to that one man, essentially an elected king in Athens.

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IoshkaFutz
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Re: Polytheism and monotheism

Post by IoshkaFutz »

Ciao Cutecoot,

I'm afraid you don't get it. To say that interests interPlay without aware moral agents is to imagine Hamlet without Shakespeare, Theater, actors, librettos, etc.

Please give me an example. See if you can do better than Huxley who merely answered that my scenario fits the bill and then just flatly stated "They Do!" Please, if you call it a strawman, don't just say it, but explain where, why and how.

Why doesn't my scenario fit the bill? Because our discussion has interlocutors, back and forth, aware minds. Is there a non-forum, with non-members where similar discussions are happening? Apparently so.

In that case Dr. Smith can claim any and all INTERplay of interests affecting him. He was affected by the Union of Russian Nihilists, the Association of past, present and future suicides. To claim that interests in and of themselves without moral agents, play, tangle, collide, contrast, boogie is really just insanity. Anything goes. Any claim can be made.

There is no reason to presuppose love, charity, compassion or any virtue whatsoever. That you love your son is marvelous. I love my daughters too. But read history and the crime pages of any country and you'll see otherwise.

Saying that INTERplay is bleeding obvious is anything but. Give me any example and I will show you the players. Body and Mind.

Yes he might be convinced that its God's will to destroy the planet, but that wasn't the issue. The issue is seeing how the Huxleys and Craziemonkies with their talk of community / consensus / codified baloney would be able to call Dr. Smith's act immoral.

You will notice that Huxley has gone rather metaphysical. Now for him there's a world of disembodied interests INTERPLAYING out there providing the necessary "Should."

I still await an example of this. Before it was all Community and Consensus... now it's any old thing. My impression is that they are in knots and are now reduced to blathering nonsense instead of just admitting that they are nihilists. Which goes to prove that their view of morality as merely a process is worthless. They refuse / destroy the whole category but then go on to make moral claims.

If interests INTERplay among themselves outside of moral agents, then Dr. Smith will do as directed by forces out of his control and mediation. He can do whatever he damned pleases and / or the interests interplaying can randomly decide his act. The act is meaningless. There is no morality.

So now kindly give me an instance of this "bleeding obvious" Interplay of disembodied interests. Link me to this magic.

Like Pol Pot, our loony scientist studied at the Sorbonne and read up on his Sartre.

“Every existing thing is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness, and dies by chance.”

“Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.”

“It disturbs me no more to find men base, unjust, or selfish than to see apes mischievous, wolves savage, or the vulture ravenous.”

Philosophically he's quite sturdy and mainstream. Dr. Smith is an intellectual.

He was also into another major and mainstream philosopher: Friedrich Nietzsche

"In the consciousness of the truth he has perceived, man now sees everywhere only the awfulness or the absurdity of existence and loathing seizes him. "

"Regarding life, the wisest men of all ages have judged alike: it is worthless. "

Dr. Smith is especially intrigued by those philosphers who proved to him that values had no objective validity and imposed no binding obligations.

Dr. Smith however feels that he is immersed in an interplay of disembodied interests. Dr. Smith has two weeks to live and has dedicated the last three decades of his life to his amazing intuition.

Full disclosure: Dr. Smith is an interplaying disembodied entity who in smell-the-coffee reality is merely a pour-parler creation of IoshkaFutz. If you feel that he is a disembodied INTERplaying interest, this is only because a real human being created him. I said he studied at the Sorbonne, but in truth he didn't study anywhere because he's just a figment of my imagination. I apologize for the obviousness of this disclosure, but apparently some have taken the scenarios created to be geists which is German for spirits, (but sounds kinda cool and in real life IoshkaFutz got a BA in philosophy in Heidelberg Germany. For his final paper he smoked a ton of Lebanese Gold, bound 15 blank pages of A4 paper together and stapled a tea bag to the title page. His real education started much later. Nevertheless he's still learning, so be patient and kindly show him how disembodied interests actually and factually interplay. I must've missed that lesson - not that I remember any of the others.
“The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer - German Lutheran Pastor and Theologian. His involvement in a plot to overthrow Adolf Hitler led to his imprisonment and execution. 1906-1945

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Psycho Bunny
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Re: Polytheism and monotheism

Post by Psycho Bunny »

charleslemartel wrote:The discussion about morality is always fascinating. Another scenario came to my mind:

Imagine two men on an island where food is extremely scarce. A situation arises where there is only a small quantity of food available which is enough to make only one of them survive. The stronger man is obviously faced with two choices:

1. He should take that morsel of food and let the weaker man die.
2. He could give that food to the weaker man and sacrifice his life.

Which of the choices do you, Hux and Ioshka, think is "more" moral?
He should kill and eat the weaker man, and save the morsel of food for a later time whenl he feels hungry again? Do I win a prize for "applied morality"? Or practicality?

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CuteCoot
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Re: Polytheism and monotheism

Post by CuteCoot »

Equestrian wrote:If torture is not universally wrong, then what sense is there to debate whether torturing someone is justified? If I come to the table and say torture is morally virtuous and you say that is unethical, what sense is there to debate the issue if both our views are universally valueless? But if torturing someone is objectively wrong, then the issue can be debated on whether it is justified under any circumstance, or what actually constitutes torture. However, if torturing someone is not objectively wrong, then their is no reason whatsoever to even maintain dialogue on the issue.
If torture really is "objectively wrong" then that should be that. It's wrong, full stop. As soon as you start talking about circumstances where it might be justified you are backing off from its objective wrongness and opening the door to using it whenever you can rationalize a "justified" excuse for doing so.

And there are other ways to wriggle out of the nuisance of having to avoid a behaviour that your God clearly disapproves of. The Christian hierarchy at one time knew very well that Jesus disapproved the shedding of human blood. That's why they chose to burn the heretics alive. No bloodshed that way.

Discussion and debate are an ongoing part and parcel of deriving morality from consensus. It's fine to bring religious scripture into the mix but just remember: a) it's a two-edged sword that can provide backing for either side and b) it is a very blunt sword at best, having virtually no power to contain a determined psychopathic religionist looking for a way out of any moral imperative contained therein.

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Psycho Bunny
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Re: Polytheism and monotheism

Post by Psycho Bunny »

I am not going to take part in this thread as it has been going on happily without my input, but I have to say that I am mightily impressed by the way that CuteCoot is presenting her (?) case. It makes the thread a real pleasure to read.

Please, carry on your discussion.

sword_of_truth
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Re: Polytheism and monotheism

Post by sword_of_truth »

I am fairly certain that the nihilism of the "honest" atheists will become manifest. Either that or we'll enjoy the spectacle of them become spiritualists.
:lol:

That's quality humor. Don't know if it's intentional or not, but it's quality.

Anyway, I already gave the answer. Nature did it for us. We have morality. It's not coercion. I was brought up by people and educated by them. Where's the coercion?

Silly Ioksha.

It would be quite dishonest for me to be a nihilist. It would be a denial of my own nature. Nothing could be more dishonest. You can call a spade a watermelon, but that's not going to change the fact that it's spade. I have values and the fact that I consider them subjective rather than objective is of no consequence.

There are only so many straw-men we can point out. If our opponents are determined to set up an army of straw-men and heroically knock them all down in what they perceive as some epic and heroic battle, I think we will lose interest.
"...if you want my personal preference say I found out that my wife was cheating with me flogging would be too good a punishment."

--fudgy

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Re: Polytheism and monotheism

Post by sword_of_truth »

“Whenever you find a man who says he does not believe in a real Right and Wrong, you will find the same man going back on this a moment later. He may break his promise to you, but if you try breaking one to him he will be complaining ‘It’s not fair’ before you can say Jack Robinson. A nation may say treaties don’t matter; but then, next minute they spoil their case by saying that the particular treaty they wanted to break was an unfair one. But if treaties do not matter, and if there is no such thing as Right and Wrong—in other words, if there is no Law of Nature—what is the difference between a fair treaty and an unfair one? Have they not let the cat out of the bag and shown that, whatever they say, they really know the Law of Nature (absolute standards of right and wrong) just like anyone else”

~ C.S. Lewis
STRAW MAN....


For the last time, we do believe in freaking right and wrong, it's just that it's subjective.

I already refuted just about everything else Equestrian said quite a while back.

I think I might bow out, if all I see is straw men all over the place.
"...if you want my personal preference say I found out that my wife was cheating with me flogging would be too good a punishment."

--fudgy

crazymonkie_
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Re: Polytheism and monotheism

Post by crazymonkie_ »

That's why I stopped posting for a while. I decided to say my piece again, though- mainly because I was in a good mood because my semester (and first year!) of grad school ended. I think it's time for thread death, though: There are really few people interested in this subject, I only really did it to see if I could draw out debunker (it's impossible) and while this digression has been interesting, it's definitely become circular. Oh, and I smell hay every time I come into this thread.

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Equestrian
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Re: Polytheism and monotheism

Post by Equestrian »

CuteCoot wrote:If torture really is "objectively wrong" then that should be that. It's wrong, full stop. As soon as you start talking about circumstances where it might be justified you are backing off from its objective wrongness and opening the door to using it whenever you can rationalize a "justified" excuse for doing so.


So let me get this straight:

It's wrong to debate about circumstances that might justify torture, but the act of torturing someone is not objectively wrong?

If right and wrong are subjective notions derived from the consensus via discussion and debate, then you've already opened the door to using torture. So why do you have a problem with talking about circumstances where torture might be justified?

You're side stepping the issue. If torture is not universally wrong, then there is no sense in debating whether its justified. The act of torture is valueless, the act is neither right nor wrong. You and your community think its wrong? so what? my community deliberated on the issue and reached a consensus. Torture is morally virtuous. You abide by your right and wrongs, we will abide by ours.
"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" ~Carl Sagan

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Equestrian
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Re: Polytheism and monotheism

Post by Equestrian »

sword_of_truth wrote:
“Whenever you find a man who says he does not believe in a real Right and Wrong, you will find the same man going back on this a moment later. He may break his promise to you, but if you try breaking one to him he will be complaining ‘It’s not fair’ before you can say Jack Robinson. A nation may say treaties don’t matter; but then, next minute they spoil their case by saying that the particular treaty they wanted to break was an unfair one. But if treaties do not matter, and if there is no such thing as Right and Wrong—in other words, if there is no Law of Nature—what is the difference between a fair treaty and an unfair one? Have they not let the cat out of the bag and shown that, whatever they say, they really know the Law of Nature (absolute standards of right and wrong) just like anyone else”

~ C.S. Lewis
STRAW MAN.....
Straw man! Straw man! Straw man!

Very persuasive argument.
"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" ~Carl Sagan

sword_of_truth
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Re: Polytheism and monotheism

Post by sword_of_truth »

Straw man! Straw man! Straw man!

Very persuasive argument.
Ah, but you see, I'm not arguing anymore.

As I said, we already refuted everything you said and refuted C.S. Lewis in advance.
"...if you want my personal preference say I found out that my wife was cheating with me flogging would be too good a punishment."

--fudgy

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CuteCoot
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Re: Polytheism and monotheism

Post by CuteCoot »

Psycho Bunny wrote:I am mightily impressed by the way that CuteCoot is presenting her (?) case. It makes the thread a real pleasure to read.
Thank you, Psycho Bunny. I'm also enjoying the adventure of writing to this thread.

I am indeed a female.

My avatar, by the way, is a detail from an illustration by May Gibbs for Snugglepot and Cuddlepie: Their Adventures Wonderful and titled: The blossom taking her bath. Like the blossom, I take my showers naked and standing but that is about the extent of the likeness.

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Equestrian
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Re: Polytheism and monotheism

Post by Equestrian »

In Defense of Moral Relativism

"... then I learned that all moral judgments are "value judgments," that all value
judgments are subjective, and that none can be proved to be either "right" or "wrong."
I even read somewhere that the Chief Justice of the United States had written that the
American Constitution expressed nothing more than collective value judgments.

Believe it or not, I figured out what apparently the Chief Justice couldn't
figure out for himself -- that if the rationality of one value judgment was zero,
multiplying it by millions would not make it one whit more rational. Nor is there any
"reason" to obey the law for anyone, like myself, who has the boldness and daring --
the strength of character -- to throw off its shackles....

... I discovered that to become truly free, truly unfettered, I had to become
truly uninhibited. And I quickly discovered that the greatest obstacle to my freedom,
the greatest block and limitation to it, consists in the insupportable "value judgment"
that I was bound to respect the rights of others. I asked myself, who were these
"others"? Other human beings, with human rights? Why is it more wrong to kill a
human animal than any other animal, a pig or a sheep or a steer? Is your life more to
you than a hog's life to a hog? Why should I be willing to sacrifice my pleasure more
for the one than the other? Surely, you would not, in this age of scientific
enlightenment, declare that God or nature has marked some pleasures as "moral" or
"good" and others as "immoral" or "bad"?"


~Ted Bundy

Ted Bundy further defends moral relativism:

"In any case, let me assure you, my dear young lady, that there is absolutely no
comparison between the pleasure I might take in eating ham and the pleasure I
anticipate in raping and murdering you. That is the honest conclusion to which my
education has led me -- after the most conscientious examination of my spontaneous and
uninhibited self."

So you see, moral relativism makes morality a useless concept. Ted Bundy took moral relativism and followed it to its logical conclusion. If morals are indeed relative, then what Ted Bundy did is morally right for Ted Bundy. There must be something wrong with a world view that when someone follows its principle to its logical conclusion, ends up being a Ted Bundy. Lest you think this is some extreme example, Bundy is using moral relativism to justify his actions. He's explaining his reasoning using relatvistic logic.

Now I'm saying all self-proclaiming moral relativists are going to go around killing people. But the point is Bundy's logic works if you are a moral relativist.
Last edited by Equestrian on Fri May 08, 2009 7:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" ~Carl Sagan

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CuteCoot
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Re: Polytheism and monotheism

Post by CuteCoot »

Equestrian wrote:So let me get this straight:

It's wrong to debate about circumstances that might justify torture, but the act of torturing someone is not objectively wrong?
Sadly, you failed to get it straight.

The relativist is committed to discussion and debate from start to finish. To the relativist it is never wrong to debate any aspect of using torture. What I am saying is that such discussion should not be undertaken by the committed objectivist, for speculating about such "justifying" circumstances amounts to subjectifying what was originally objective. I am only suggesting you try to remain consistent or at least make up your mind whether you're for objective or subjective morality.
If right and wrong are subjective notions derived from the consensus via discussion and debate, then you've already opened the door to using torture. So why do you have a problem with talking about circumstances where torture might be justified?
Since I have a preference for the relativist side of this debate, I don't have a problem with discussion or debate myself. I am simply pointing out that you (if you're an objectivist) should.
You're side stepping the issue. If torture is not universally wrong, then there is no sense in debating whether its justified. The act of torture is valueless, the act is neither right nor wrong. You and your community think its wrong? so what? my community deliberated on the issue and reached a consensus. Torture is morally virtuous. You abide by your right and wrongs, we will abide by ours.
OK, just for clarity (though it's not necessary to my points above), I happen to consider torture to be wrong as established by the community consensus while not seeing it as "universally" or absolutely wrong. I can see for myself that many justify it under certain circumstances and, to me, that amounts to a denial that torture is objectively wrong. It amounts to saying: Torture is objectively or universally or absolutely wrong when someone else is doing it to me or to a friend of mine, but it is "justified" or suddenly NOT wrong when I want to apply it to my enemy. Just make up your mind here. If it's wrong it's wrong. Full stop.

Now, I happen to consider that torture of some kind is indeed justified under some circumstances but that is my personal or individual view. I recognize great difficulties in holding that view given the current consensus in the "free world" but I regard my view as entirely consistent with a relativist view of morality. I feel perfectly free, in a logical sense, to hold it. I don't see the objectivist as free to do so, not if you want to remain consistent in your view.

crazymonkie_
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Re: Polytheism and monotheism

Post by crazymonkie_ »

Equestrian: Ted Bundy was probably a clinical sociopath.

Which means, IF we assume there is some sort of law-giver, as in your argument- the law-giver would have made, or allowed, Ted Bundy to *be* a sociopath in the first place.

You sure you want to use sociopaths as examples?

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CuteCoot
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Re: Polytheism and monotheism

Post by CuteCoot »

Equestrian wrote:So you see, moral relativism makes morality a useless concept.
Wrong. It only makes it a relative concept.
Ted Bundy took moral relativism and followed it to its logical conclusion.
Well, if you want to admire the irrational ramblings of a psychopath as having any semblance of "logic", then enjoy. But don't be too surprised if the rest of us take you for a fool and a depraved one at that.
Now I'm saying all self-proclaiming moral relativists are going to go around killing people. But the point is Bundy's logic works if you are a moral relativist.
[I think you meant "Now I'm *not" saying" there.]

I daresay there are plenty of moral relativists who do go around killing people. However, history fairly groans under the weight of countless moral absolutists who massacred many in the name of their God and the objective values He revealed to them.

You do know, by the way, that the state of mind in which divine revelations are received is absolutely psychiatrically indistinguishable from the state of mind called simply "psychosis". And you're happy to take such revealed opinions as "objective"?

I guess you are. I mean, anyone who admires the logic of a psychopath must also be happy with revelations from madmen.

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