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Re: Polytheism and monotheism

PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 8:47 am
by IoshkaFutz
sword_of_truth wrote:
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.


Ciao Sword ofTruth,

Your very handle "SwordofTruth," belies your statement... and I find that funny... a riot even. Though all animals clash, I'm pretty sure that Man is the only animal that fights for truth. That little inconsistency popped out at me at once and I haven't even had my first coffee yet.

Is it intentional? INTENTIONAL? Wow we're onto something. Even humor - so it seems to me - is basically the disparity between what is and what ought to be. I agree that man is a moral creature and it is rather legitimate to broach the topic of nature. But that doesn't explain very much.

In fact it fits in perfectly with the concept of nihilism.

And let me show you why by applying your standards to Dr. Smith.

Dr. Smith says (like you)
"I have values and the fact that I consider them subjective rather than objective is of no consequence."

And some Fabled Disembodied Interplayer (hence forward FDI) responds:

"No consequence? The whole world is going to shatter and it is of no consequence!"

Dr. Smith (like you):
"Anyway, I already gave the answer - of why I'm gonna run my experiment. Nature did it for us." Don't believe me? Here's a little statistic:

The annual number of suicides (in USA alone) has averaged about 30,000 since the late 1980s and has consistently exceeded the annual number of homicides. Do the math for the whole world and you'll see millions and millions of "nature-did-it-for-us" people who've killed themselves. But nature has also made me, Dr. Smith more generous and altruistic than most. I don't know why my intellectual curiosity and vindication is more important than the life of every living thing on planet earth. It's in my nature.

And an FDI responds: "Nature? We're talking about the wanton destruction of every living thing and you a human being, a species quite famous for doing both great INTENTIONAL violence TO and wonderful husbandry OF nature blame / call upon nature? You can't just slough it off with "nature"... "Nature" quite evidently means something different vis-a-vis man than - say - vis-a-vis a mongoose.

Mr. Smith (like you says):
We have morality. It's not coercion. I was brought up by people and educated by them. Where's the coercion? Yes, I studied at the Sorbonne and I was intrigued by Friedrich Nietzsche, one of the greatest philosophers of all time. He said the following:

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

I like that, it has a nice ring to it. The wisest men through all the ages have said that! Let me be honest, I had some Cutecootian doubts about destroying the planet, but now I see that the wisest men all through the ages, according to a very respected philosopher who is still required reading, agree with me! Ergo flipping the switch of my gizmo is the wisest choice!

And the FDI responds: You are right in a way, it is not coercion, (though I know for a fact that the 15 year old daughter of IoshkaFutz who is not my creator, but a friend of mine) would rather sleep than go to mandatory school and would much rather study The Simpsons than Algebra.

Ultimately it is CHOICE. We have CHOICE (in many instances)... Choice is not morality, or else any and all choices are moral, and not the old-fashioned and meaningful sense of the word "moral" ("good"). I say that this is the only "meaningful" sense of the word, because there also exists its contrary: "IMMORAL". If morality is merely choice and not "good" than nothing is immoral. Nihilism.

Okay... your turn if you're still interested. I doubt it because I read the following:

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.

I humbly apologize for all the strawmen. It's in my nature and the result of my education. They stopped teaching logic when I was in school. That's why I kindly bid you to point out the strawmen. Rub my nose into it like some dog owners rub their puppy's nose into the pee on the carpet. Just don't declare "strawman strawman!"

So yes, you are a nihilist, or rather you're outlook, most likely unintended, is nihilistic.

And I'm still waiting for an example of a disembodied Interplayer. If you care to take up Huxley's and Cutecoot's slack, I'd appreciate it.

Re: Polytheism and monotheism

PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 10:09 am
by IoshkaFutz
Cutecoot says:

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.

Not true. Only approx. 6 per cent of all wars have been religious based. If Islam, a more recent "religion," entirely about war, is taken out of the equation, that figure goes down to approx. 3 per cent.

You daresay wrong by about 94% - really about 97% if one refuses to consider Islam - as I do - a religion.

Best regards from lala land to you and all the disembodied interplayers, the clashing interests, that clash on their own. Jeeze, talk about strawmen!

Re: Polytheism and monotheism

PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 11:05 am
by CuteCoot
IoshkaFutz wrote:Not true. Only approx. 6 per cent of all wars have been religious based.


Did I say "wars"? I guess you would like to conveniently exclude bloody conquests, inquisitions, witch hunts, pogroms, and mass burning of heretics.

And I have no doubt that 100% of the futile wars, the absolutely unnecessary wars, the totally unjustified and therefore most unholy wars, were indeed all Christian-religious.

Re: Polytheism and monotheism

PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 12:55 pm
by IoshkaFutz
CuteCoot wrote:
IoshkaFutz wrote:Not true. Only approx. 6 per cent of all wars have been religious based.


Did I say "wars"? I guess you would like to conveniently exclude bloody conquests, inquisitions, witch hunts, pogroms, and mass burning of heretics.

And I have no doubt that 100% of the futile wars, the absolutely unnecessary wars, the totally unjustified and therefore most unholy wars, were indeed all Christian-religious.


Well I'll trace down the statistic concerning wars later. And if you like we'll also check the statistics and reasons concerning the inqusition and mass burning of heretics. You'll be surprised and will have to re-evaluate a few things.

It's from very serious studies. They happened, but far from the scale you suggest.

But as for just plain religious-based violence, excluding your friends the Muslims and an occasional Hindu whom we may with a fair amount of confidence label "fanatic" you won't find much. You won't even find much in the USA, a country with one of the highest levels of religion in the world. After 9/11 a couple of people got killed by freelance bigots. I believe that one was not even a Muslim, but a poor Sikh who got mistaken for a "raghead"... All together a rather low number, considering the high passions. As a matter of fact, they elected an Barack Hussein Obama just several years later. One may also consider the reaction in Catholic culture Spain after the major train bombing. There was no religious-inspired rush on Muslies. One may even speak of such kindness being weaponized. For all our human warts, we Christians are a mighty fine bunch of people. It comes from the teachings, the "oughts."

It comes from sacrifice.

Because you see, some other folks are like that famous dog who licked the carpenter's rasp and liked the taste of blood so much that it couldn't stop licking... and eventually bled itself to death. That is not sacrifice.

Perfection is not of this world. If the Morality were the 100 meter dash, the greatest saint would be Usain Bolt of Jamaica. And what would holiness be? Easy. Getting as close to an impossible time of 0.0 as possible. Only God can run that fast and even faster. Impossible, and yet the very meaning of the race, the very sense of it... Now some are telling me that the winner is the one who gets the most applause from the stands, the sexiest, the proud tyrant who simply declares himself the winner or the one with the richest sponors. That may very well be, but only at the cost of destroying the 100 meter dash. Fine call it an illusion. But that makes you a nihilist. A very respectable position but that becomes unrespectable as soon as one wishes to race or establish new rules.

Again, my regards to you and the FDIs (the Fabled Disembodied Interplayers). We anxiously await the exemplars for examination.

Re: Polytheism and monotheism

PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 9:40 pm
by Equestrian
CuteCoot wrote:The relativist is committed to discussion and debate from start to finish.


Is that so? it doesn't appear to me that you are at all committed to finishing the debate with IoshkaFutz. IoshkaFutz is still waiting for a simple answer, and I'm eagerly waiting to be persuaded by the impeccable logic of your explanation. As I recall, you weren't very committed to the discussion you initially started entitled "Christian-Islamic synthesis." When it became apparent to you that no one (including your fellow relativists) would agree with you, you picked up your ball and departed in a hissy-fit. If you represent the relativist standard of committed debate, then I shudder at the thought of a designed morality in the hands of moral relativists.

The way I see it, The two "close-minded" moral objectivists on this board are very much committed to discussion and debate, from start to finish. Imagine that.

CuteCoot wrote: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.

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.


I should? As a moral objectivist I believe the act of torturing someone is universally wrong I don't see how it follows that I should have a problem with discussion and debate on the matter.

CuteCoot wrote: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.


For a self-ascribed relativist, you are certainly fluent in the language of absolutes. Just because an act is wrong, it does not follow that justifying the act renders it valueless. Justifying a wrong act depends on the facts of the circumstance.

Lets say a battered and bruised woman knocked on my door pleading for me to hide her from a violent husband. Upon hiding her in my closet her husband shows up at my door asking if I had seen his wife. What do I do? The act of lying is wrong, ought I tell the truth? If I tell truth and reveal her location he will beat her. The facts of the circumstance determines my decision in this situation. A higher moral value trumps a lower moral value. Surrendering the women to her husband in which he would beat her is more morally reprehensible than lying to the husband.

Being a moral objectivist does not mean that the decisions one makes are cut and dry "full stop." The decisions we make have objective value. The implications of our decisions have objective value. If the decision I make has no value, then whatever decision I choose is neither wrong nor right. For a relativist, the decision one makes in the situation above has no objective value. Whatever decision a relativist makes in the exact same circumstance is objectively valueless. Lying to the husband or giving up the woman are equally valid decisions, as the value of the decision is subjective to the individual.

CuteCoot wrote: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.


If you regard your views on torture as entirely consistent with a relativist view of morality, then how is it that your views conflict with the consensus? You are a product of the moral system of the current consensus. Any moral notions that oppose the morality of the consensus are immoral. Your views on torture are immoral. But hey, maybe you can be the catalyst of a new and more rational moral system. A modern Martin Luther King.

Re: Polytheism and monotheism

PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 9:47 pm
by CuteCoot
IoshkaFutz wrote:Well I'll trace down the statistic concerning wars later.


Never mind. It's but a sidetrack here.

But as for just plain religious-based violence, [...] For all our human warts, we Christians are a mighty fine bunch of people. It comes from the teachings, the "oughts."


No, in the cases you examined it comes from lack of power. The religious hierarchy in the USA and Spain and those individual lunatics, none of these has the power to do much damage. When the Church did have the power it abused it to the hilt. And its remaining power over the young has also been abused though this time with the hilt being poised at the edge of a child's anus.

It comes from sacrifice.


but ...

Again, my regards to you and the FDIs (the Fabled Disembodied Interplayers). We anxiously await the exemplars for examination.


Yeah, yeah, you're too proud even to sacrifice your worthless straw man. You're too proud to notice that we keep talking about interplaying interests while you keep reintroducing interacting players.

Fine call it an illusion. But that makes you a nihilist. A very respectable position but that becomes unrespectable as soon as one wishes to race or establish new rules.


What precisely are you accusing me of calling an illusion? God? If so, why not simply say so? And please address someone who *does* see God as an illusion before carrying on like this about it with me.

And whatever my own or others' views on the matter of God happens to be, it is simply *not* logically inevitable that atheism or non-theism leads to nihilism. Nihilism is a destination you can get to starting from any point you like. My own observations have shown - and are confirmed by the much deeper and closer observations of practicing psychiatrists and psychotherapists - that nothing leads more surely to nihilism than does the abandonment (or "sacrifice") of the intellect and its critical faculties. Without this normal healthy functioning the dogmatic religionist must resort time and again to brute repression and suppression of his ever rising doubts. This is what leads to hardened fanaticism, what Jung liked to call "overcompensated doubt". All that repressed negativity, those doubts and despairs and disbeliefs, build up into a nihilistic tyrant that will find some way, somehow, to express itself.

In your case, he is expressing himself by fantasizing about the destruction of the world and by raising and destroying one straw man after another.

Re: Polytheism and monotheism

PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 9:50 pm
by THHuxley
It's astounding that Ioshkafutz is still trying so hard to find some way, any way in which he can justify the destruction of humanity by some lone physicist as a moral (or morally neutral) act. He has assembled enough straw to feed every herd in Montana without success, and yet he persists. Perhaps the one thing more powerful than delusion itself, is the terror associated with having one's delusions punctured by reason. What else can explain his repeated leap back into an absurd scenario that didn't work out the previous two dozen times he tried it? What else can explain the frantic need to save from the oblivion of its own absurdity the only scenario he imagines can salvage his tenuous claim to superiority?

Then again, this is the guy who inexplicably believes that "thou shalt not murder" is an absolute moral statement. Perhaps only some of it is delusion. Some of it can also be attributed to native cognitive limitations.

All moral systems are human creations. Not all moral systems were created equal. Some moral systems are not even moral.

And Ioshka is doomed by dogma to the moral system he was handed, no matter how inferior it might be.

You're welcome to it, Ioshka. You are not among those of use who are pretty sure we can do better. But that's okay.

It doesn't mean you're a bad person.

Re: Polytheism and monotheism

PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 10:26 pm
by CuteCoot
Equestrian wrote:It doesn't appear to me that you are at all committed to finishing the debate with IoshkaFutz. IoshkaFutz is still waiting for a simple answer, and I'm eagerly waiting to be persuaded by the impeccable logic of your explanation.


It is IoshkaFutz and you yourself who have abandoned the debate. Raising and rejecting a straw man time and again does not make this a debate. It makes it a silly vicious circle that most of the relativists here have rightly walked out of.


Just because an act is wrong, it does not follow that justifying the act renders it valueless.


It renders the act "not wrong" under the "justified" circumstances and since the justification is being determined by the lone individual it is a subjective judgment. So it renders the moral decision subjective and not (supposedly) objective. But hey, if you like being inconsistent, feel free to continue so. However, real debate cannot happen unless both parties stick to a few simple rules of logic. Such as refraining from reintroducing straw men.

Being a moral objectivist does not mean that the decisions one makes are cut and dry "full stop."


It does if you want to retain the supposed objectivity of your morality for as soon as you start cogitating over justifications you introduce your own personal value judgments as to when this supposed "universal" wrong is suddenly no longer universal. In short, you subjectify your supposedly objective morality. Now relativists say it was never objective in the first place but I simply say that even if it was your justifications have now removed that quality of supposed objectivity.

The decisions we make have objective value. The implications of our decisions have objective value. If the decision I make has no value, then whatever decision I choose is neither wrong nor right. For a relativist, the decision one makes in the situation above has no objective value. Whatever decision a relativist makes in the exact same circumstance is objectively valueless. Lying to the husband or giving up the woman are equally valid decisions, as the value of the decision is subjective to the individual.


Time and again, you objectivists claim "value" for your own moral depravities and time and again, you refuse to assign any value to what are essentially humanistic, naturalistic, people-oriented, love-oriented, discussion-oriented moral systems. Here in this paragraph, for the umpteenth time, you are making the completely illogical sequitur that a denial of moral objectivity amounts to a denial of morality. A relativist morality is still a morality. And an objectivist morality that is allowed to be amended by "justifications" is no longer objective but purely subjective.

I'm not saying that you would be acting immorally in lying to the husband, I'm just saying that you would be applying a subjective judgment to an objective moral value, thereby rendering it a subjective moral decision. So just get off your high horse, come down here into the real world, and make moral decisions just like the rest of us do. In a subjective, relativistic way.

If you regard your views on torture as entirely consistent with a relativist view of morality, then how is it that your views conflict with the consensus? You are a product of the moral system of the current consensus. Any moral notions that oppose the morality of the consensus are immoral. Your views on torture are immoral. But hey, maybe you can be the catalyst of a new and more rational moral system. A modern Martin Luther King.


The consensus is not and never has been 100%. There will always be individuals who oppose the consensus. In this case, quite a few people agree with me but the overwhelming majority do not. And emotions are too high right now for this subject to be debated very intelligently. So I don't bother too much. However, I respect the consensus and if placed to act in this matter I would do as the consensus wishes. My view is my view and it is not the consensus view. If you want to see it as immoral, fair enough. That is how debate and discussion proceed. And yes, every new and more rational moral system begins with an empowerment of people like me.

Re: Polytheism and monotheism

PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 11:50 pm
by IoshkaFutz
It's astounding that Ioshkafutz is still trying so hard to find some way, any way in which he can justify the destruction of humanity by some lone physicist as a moral (or morally neutral) act.

Ciao Huxley, instead of being astounded you could try to answer the question. For example about disembodied interplay. At this point one might think that your atonishment was just a ploy. BTW I'm not trying to justify the destruction of humanity. Nor am I accusing anyone of wanting to justify it. I want to see which moral systems cover such a scenario and which don't.

For example Equestrian brought up the issue of treaties. Are you astounded that he is trying to find some way to justify the breaking of treaties? Or do you reckon that he too is interested in moral systems, definitions, possible consequences?

Unlike my extreme scenario, treaties ARE made and ARE broken, aren't they?...

I didn't invent nihilism, nor the fact that there are more suicides than homicides. Or that Friedrich Nietzsche, required reading said: "Regarding life, the wisest men of all ages have judged alike: it is worthless."

Are you astounded that his "uebermensch" with some variation became "master race" in the very land of Wissenschaft, (that would be science), Philosophy and technology? Pretty astounding... and it is all quite connected to moral systems, "oughts", "shoulds", whence legitimacy, etc.

But by all means astound away. You've become quite good at being astounded... far better than answering questions.

He has assembled enough straw to feed every herd in Montana without success, and yet he persists.

As for the Montana strawman feed, your last accusation of strawman was a "Sputtanamento mondiale." Frankly I wouldn't push that button for a while, at least not with me.

You: "Yes there absolutely is disembodied interplay"
Me: Example please?
You: Strawman!

Complimenti! Bravo.

Perhaps the one thing more powerful than delusion itself, is the terror associated with having one's delusions punctured by reason.

Where is the this magnificent display of reason? Just saying that I might be terrified? Just calling me deluded? That goes for reasoning? Where I come from we call that kind of stuff gratuitous comment. Me terrified? Hell I'm having a ball. I invent scenarions, create characters, talk about saints and track races and dogs licking rasps. And mysterious Italo-American dinner cookers in Greenland. Crazy / deluded are too common, but frankly, where do I show any sign of trembling terror at having any single thought, conclusion, or reasoning of mine punctured? Not to brag, but I think I'm one of the people who enjoys FFI and a good debate better than most.

What else can explain his repeated leap back into an absurd scenario that didn't work out the previous two dozen times he tried it? What else can explain the frantic need to save from the oblivion of its own absurdity the only scenario he imagines can salvage his tenuous claim to superiority?

Are you answering the questions or are you just making snide comments about IoshkaFutz? Does this go for your much vaunted reasoning capabilities? Ignoring the question, and simply suggesting that the other side is mad? Driven? Deluded? One might imagine that you don't have an answer and are distracting the issue.

Then again, this is the guy who inexplicably believes that "thou shalt not murder" is an absolute moral statement. Perhaps only some of it is delusion. Some of it can also be attributed to native cognitive limitations.

Another example of reasoning? This is how a debate is carried on? And perhaps some of it can be attributed to what else? Keep going. This is fascinating. If you want I'll lie down on a couch and you can go ahem, ahum...

Where I come from people argue, they diagnose thoughts and don't immediately issue para-medical / para-psychological statements. Do you have any native cognitive limitations? I hope not. I would hate to imagine you with anything short of UNLIMITED cognition. That would rub against my high opinion of you.

All moral systems are human creations. Not all moral systems were created equal. Some moral systems are not even moral.

Fine... But you will notice that this is just a statement, not reasoning. Huxley says this. Some moral systems are not moral. One might then wonder, meekly for fear of upsetting those with UNLIMITED cognition. Who decides? (What the greater part of this thread is about). Community, consensus, power, God, absolutely interplaying Disembodied entities, your Aunt Louise.

And Ioshka is doomed by dogma to the moral system he was handed, no matter how inferior it might be.

This is another example of reasoning? "I'm doomed" no less by an inferior hand-me-down? To me it sounds merely like a snide comment. I don't see the reasoning. If I said: "And Huxley is doomed by his lack of dogma to issue blank statements of a low-budget psychoanalytical nature" that too would be just a silly statement, a comment... but not quite as silly as yours because I'd actually have an element or two to back it up.

You're welcome to it, Ioshka. You are not among those of us who are pretty sure we can do better. But that's okay.

Wow, there's a pretty-sure-we-can-do-better club?
Because imagining / discussing a scenario means wanting it?
Sorry, I don't want to join. I already belong to another club, but being an absolutist, it's called "Those of us who are not "pretty" sure, but absolutely positive we can do better."

It doesn't mean you're a bad person.

Thanks. I really appreciate it. Now if you don't mind, I mean, now that my native cognitive limitations and other malefides have been established, how about answering the question. How do disembodied interests interplay? Please remove the human elements.

The question that should concern us is whether Dr. Smith can honestly be called immoral by the standards you've established for morality.

I've cited statistics, major philosophers. Like a cobbler I want to see the shoe, and test the sole, heel and stitching.

And yes, this is the guy who says "thou shalt not murder" is an absolute moral command. Obviously it would need some clarification, just as all philosphical / theological / moral concepts. Unfortunately, your way of addressing the issue, so quickly in medical terms doesn't foster discussion.

Re: Polytheism and monotheism

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 2:26 am
by CuteCoot
IoshkaFutz wrote:How do disembodied interests interplay?


In your scenario they do so by being logically incompatible.

Re: Polytheism and monotheism

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 2:36 am
by CuteCoot
Rumi wrote:.
Since the shining truth is a cause of tranquility,
the heart will not be calmed by lying words.
Falsehood is like a piece of straw, and the heart like a mouth:
a straw never remains quietly hidden in the mouth.
As long as it's there, the one annoyed by it keeps moving his tongue,
so that he may rid his mouth of it.
.

Re: Polytheism and monotheism

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 4:02 am
by crazymonkie_
So Ioshka wants to eat the strawmen!

Of course! It makes perfect sense now!

Re: Polytheism and monotheism

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 11:53 am
by IoshkaFutz
crazymonkie_ wrote:So Ioshka wants to eat the strawmen!

Of course! It makes perfect sense now!


Ciao Cutecoot,

Thank you for answering and not just shouting "Strawman!" or fussing about my native cognitive limitations, which I assure you are many, major and highly debilitating.

In fact I think a special thread should be created here at FFI for those with limitations. It would be an excellent way of weeding out undesirable elements: all those who don't spontaneously join, can then be either ousted or issued warnings.

Getting to the issue. I still fail to see how anything being logically incompatible INTERplays outside a moral agent. I will accept such a statement if the person declares it on faith and calls it faith.

But to figure out how an atheist can declare Dr. Smith's action "Immoral" I have done away with God other than some strange entity invented by deluded men, the dicates of which are decided by other (possibly deluded) men.

I trust I can say the same thing about beauty, logic, truth, and of course, the very topic of our discussion: morality. It is man-made and man-defined as man-required. I believe that I have read enough statements of this sort from the atheists here to say it with confidence and without worry of filling Montana with any more straw!

This stated, I think your question is already in part answered. If man creates God and Morality, man creates the INTERplay as well as the logic of the INTER play under discussion. Man is not a disembodied INTERplayer. He is a material entity. If man creates morality, it stands to reason that even the clashes, the interplays are man-created, and man-defined as man- required..

I actually think that the story-inventing exercise in which the protagonist answers with the forum adversary's own stated (or imagined) positions is the least strawmanesque, if - as I readily allow - anyone is permitted to put "corrective" words into his mouth and re-tweaked thoughts in his head. It's a good test. I have merely created the situation. Extreme but not unthinkable. There are already enough megatons out there to wreak a type of harm to the world and humanity analogous to what Dr. Smith is about to do. Should such power be unleashed, it will be the decision of relatively few men, perhaps even one alone.

And this too, I believe, proves my point. I mean that of logical incompatibility not automatically meaning INTERplay.

In the field of morality, of "oughts" (somehow obtained), those "oughts" are anything but obvious. I feel it is highly dangerous to consider them so. That is why I stated the statistics of self-destruction, which even to my surprise, exceed those of homicide. That is why I cited highly respected and followed philosophers. Sartre had 50,000 people at his funeral. When he participated in Student riots and was arrested, Charles De Gaulle instantly issued a pardon saying: "One doesn't arrest a Voltaire."

I'm not so sure it is a strawman to have "our" Dr. Smith utter the same or similar words as some of humanity's most respected, followed and influential philosophers. If Morality is a man-made suit, forgive me for occasionally dressing Dr. Smith up in Armani and Yves Saint Laurent. These and other "thought stylists" were not disembodied interplayers.

What's more, never even minding the "Interplay" for a moment, at least in the moral realm and regarding the major elements of the life / doom question under consideration, they did not see any logical contrasts to begin with. We simply cannot take the logical worthiness of life for granted. Not if a Friedrich Armani Nietzsche declared: "Regarding life, the wisest men of all ages have judged alike: it is worthless." Not if an Yves Saint Laurent Sartre says: “It disturbs me no more to find men base, unjust, or selfish than to see apes mischievous, wolves savage, or the vulture ravenous” and gets a pardon for being a Voltaire.

I have been called deluded, but entire nations have been founded on delusions similar to mine.

I've been called an absolutist by someone who declared: "I am a proud tyrant." I extended the same courtesy to Dr. Smith.

I have been told that morality is about consensus which is "forged" and have recognized that "forging" is coercion, that consensus is just groups of people small and large that agree on something and that ultimately it is about power, the power of numbers. I think that Equestrian handled that matter quite well.

I am loathe to stop believing that everybody can be wrong and one person right and consensus be damned! I say this even if Dr. Smith might readily snap it up. But the caveat is that that one person who is right had better be right, because in my (personal) view everybody can also be right and just one person wrong. My view is not based on numbers, consensus, community, coercion. To work, it requires God, whose existence I can't prove, and can therefore be called an absurdity.

Voltaire: "You see many stars at night in the sky but find them not when the sun rises; can you say that there are no stars in the heaven of day? So, O man! because you behold not God in the days of your ignorance, say not that there is no God."

I keep seeing the function of such absurdities / impossibilities. Like world records in the 100 meter dash requiring the rather impossible and therefore "absurd" goal of covering the distance in 0.0 to make sense, to "work."

At present the record belongs to Usain Bolt of Jamaica. But no doubt, soon enough, someone else will shave off a a hundredth of a second. One can easily imagine the "real" record belonging to someone who is not a professional racer, but some kid in Africa running away from a lion, without all the equipment and officialdom of the Olympics. But that's another issue. (Though to make sense one must "imagine" a makebelieve timekeeper).

Professional track racing is an absurd attempt on the part of Nike-wearing men and women to reach warp speed. Even someone with only the twentieth best time can win the Gold, but his timing up on the scoreboard is compared to the record holder's. Only the record holder's is compared to 0.0. the absurdity.

And this leads to the moral absolute "Thou Shalt not Murder."

Which will have to wait. More straw on Tuesday

Re: Polytheism and monotheism

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 1:44 pm
by CuteCoot
IoshkaFutz wrote:I have been told that morality is about consensus which is "forged" and have recognized that "forging" is coercion, that consensus is just groups of people small and large that agree on something and that ultimately it is about power, the power of numbers. I think that Equestrian handled that matter quite well.

I am loathe to stop believing that everybody can be wrong and one person right and consensus be damned! I say this even if Dr. Smith might readily snap it up. But the caveat is that that one person who is right had better be right, because in my (personal) view everybody can also be right and just one person wrong. My view is not based on numbers, consensus, community, coercion. To work, it requires God, whose existence I can't prove, and can therefore be called an absurdity.


Just as democracy is not just about the ballot box, so too a good moral system is not just about polls. Both require lots of opportunities for free and open discussion (as well as other things like transparency of government and of the justice system). A good moral system can be built up as community is built up. So long as it falls short of a 100% consensus then coercion will need to come into play. That simply can't be helped.

A moral system does not require the kind of God you clearly conceive of, the God who is "our Father" in Heaven. I know a different God which is indeed required: a God of the true heart and the clear mind.

I will look forward to your next post on Tuesday but please, do try finally to locate that straw and spit it out once and for all. Clinging to a logical fallacy is not a good way to keep a conversation alive.

Re: Polytheism and monotheism

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 2:07 pm
by THHuxley
And Ioshka continues desperately to try and salvage his scenario..... simply, breathtakingly bizarre.

Re: Polytheism and monotheism

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 2:14 pm
by THHuxley
IoshkaFutz wrote:The question that should concern us is whether Dr. Smith can honestly be called immoral by the standards you've established for morality.

Yes he can.

You've been given that same answer several times.

Why are you still hoping it is going to change?

Re: Polytheism and monotheism

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 8:34 pm
by crazymonkie_
THHuxley wrote:And Ioshka continues desperately to try and salvage his scenario..... simply, breathtakingly bizarre.

And somehow my exasperated comment serves as contrast between CuteCoot's reply and my more recent replies, I suppose? Never mind that I was driven from the conversation by Ioshka's wordy yet mostly empty posts; ignore the fact that he's still working on debunking a position that none of us ever had. You're right, Huxley- it is amazing and very weird.

I think I mentioned this in another post (maybe another thread?) but I'm really sure Ioshka's being this obtuse on purpose. It's what's jokingly referred to as the "Argument from Sadism:" OP makes a point, but writes it in such torturous and ornate language that the reader's eyes glaze over after a few sentences. Reader gets bored and either doesn't reply or replies with what they think the OP said. OP wins by default.

I really don't care how many languages he speaks. If he can't be understood, the fact that he can use the language is pretty well moot.

Oh: Is he/was he a philosophy major at university? Because he frickin' mentally wanks like one. Of course, it's possible he isn't, but just seems like he is- generally I've found philosophy majors to get really hefty into the technical language, just tossing it in even when it's not necessary to do so.

Re: Polytheism and monotheism

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 10:34 pm
by sword_of_truth
I haven't read all the latest responses, but I may make a couple last comments.

1) Dr. Smith can still believe that what he's going to do is objectively wrong and not care. Hence, HE is the problem, not moral relativism. Also, many religious people (9/11, never forget) think that it is objectively right to commit atrocities.

2) Many moral relativists DO care.

Care. That's the key word. It's not about logic.

It is nihilistic to assume that morals must be LOGICALLY justified. That's true nihilism. Complete inability to recognize that logic and "right" and "wrong" are in separate domains, and cannot be compared. This is precisely what Ted Bundy and dogmatic moral absolutists share, and that is why the dogmatic moral absolutist is much closer to Ted Bundy than I will ever be. The dogmatic moral absolutist dismisses his emotions (or rather confuses them with a need for logical justification) and agrees with Ted Bundy, believe that morals must be logically justified. They don't need to be. Precisely the idea that they need to be logically justified is the culprit.

Logic has its place and it can be used in moral reasoning, but it is not the source from which it springs. The moral absolutist is confused about this, which is very ironic, given that he insists on using emotional appeals to make his case. So, it is THEIR position which is self-refuting (not logically inconsistent, but self-refuting, none the less).

My "sword" of truth is due to my uncompromising rejection of falsehood, not an allusion to physical violence. Those who are struck by its "blade" cannot heal their wounds through wishful thinking because I speak the truth and one cannot get rid of the truth just because one doesn't like it.

Re: Polytheism and monotheism

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 10:38 pm
by IoshkaFutz
THHuxley wrote:
IoshkaFutz wrote:The question that should concern us is whether Dr. Smith can honestly be called immoral by the standards you've established for morality.

Yes he can.

You've been given that same answer several times.

Why are you still hoping it is going to change?


Yes you can "call" it immoral, as you can (and do) call people names. I meant cogently and with a compelling argument. I can also call my calendar a cheese grater. I think there's a thread that's meant for you here at FFI: "Are Atheists bullies?"... actually I'd rename it to "Are Atheists snapping Chihuahuahs'?"

And Ioshka continues desperately to try and salvage his scenario..... simply, breathtakingly bizarre.

"Simply, breathtakingly bizarre." Thanks for your input. But again you put a strange adverb. "Desperately"... My only desperation is is not finishing the work I have to deliver. I am joyously and confidently defending my scenario and when breaking away from work having a wonderful time - as only stolen moments can be. Come back when it's about the discussion and not about me. I already have a wife and two daughters.

EDIT: I see that even Crazymonkie has become a snapping Chihuahuah. "Ioshka is this, he is that." I wish I could say "simply breathtakingly bizarre" but unfortunately it has become par for the course.

So be it. Put downs are fun. Being a member of the Daffy Duck generation, I'm infected with this attitude and guilty of its sins almost to the core. Well maybe it IS breathtakingly bizarre... even surreal. Here I am asking for disembodied interplayers and instead receiving reviews with insinuations about my persona from the people who cry "strawman" and who insist that they have already answered, when a link to or a repetition of such provided answers would happily suffice.

Here I go creating a scenario about a Dr. Smith and it all becomes pyschoanalytical jabber about Mr. IoshkaFutz. It would be hell working on a screenplay with you guys. Seeing how you insist, I might as well give you some elements to work on.

Dear Crazymonkie, the real education was not from Micky Mouse University and my BA in Philosophy (summa cum lousy) in the drug addled early 70's... It was working in the movies... the closest thing possible to disembodied interplayers. And working mostly in the fiction of the stories (not the organization, cables, lights, hair and make-up). Either on sets or translating screenplays. That's why you'll get stories and scenarios from me along with the fancy words.

From the philosophy days you'll get anything but philosophy. Now they're just a blur: sometimes happy (snow ball fights while on acid with the cops under the ruins of the Heidelberger Schloss), fantastic amounts of sex... but in the end, quite unhappy - at what was becoming of me and my friends. The best people I had ever come across. My encounter with "freethinkers"... the kind who'd call their parents by their first names, and were a never-ending wealth of "fresh" answers. I've been intrigued with personal and moral decadence ever since. European kids took the more politcial route compared to us "American" kids. For them, I guess you can call it the Baader-Meinhof days, for us it was recreational mind-bending.

Fast forward a few years and add a couple of kids, (that I was seriously tempted to murder as embryos, but who after being spared, became almost physical parts of me), and you'll understand the obsession with morality, meaning, freedom, right and wrong. I discovered that Daffy Duckism doesn't work on kids. It's like peeing on innocence. It's like answering a starving man with a flip comment. "Real" means something different to me than it used to.

But mostly blame my way of thinking on movies. For example, Concentration camps for me are not just "concepts"... or if they are, they are perhaps a bit more vivid than for most (having worked in an Auschwitz and a Buchenwald). Whereas you might be more impressed with a statistic, I still get the creeps every time I hear a steam train whistle rending the air (it doesn't matter if the snow is really bits of bio-degradable paper flying from a machine, the huge Ukranian locomotive built in the '50's not really proper, the Romanian guards playing the Nazis reduced to over-repeating the same shouts in a language they can't speak. I mean only the trained barking dogs and the two leads speaking the right language).

Theater, eternal theater, with its almost dangerous rapport between reality and fiction, its almost perverse attraction to contradiction, contrast and diversity, with its ever-verdant counterclaims against misunderstanding and intolerance! Unmediated contact both with reality and the complexities of the human soul, an ability which today seems lost, and not only in the cultural sphere.

I should know about disembodied interplayers, shouldn't I? I mean my bread as of the last 35 years has come from plays of light and sound waves expressing some of the heaviest dramas and lightest comedies imaginable. That might also explain a certain obsession with the mysteries of good and evil. Certainly better than whatever Dr. Khoury, my Lebanese Marxist Ethics 101 professor tried to pound into my head in 1971. And yet, except for wanting to go spiritual, which I refuse to do, in order to honor your atheist outlook - something which for me, a man who was quite determined to kill his own daughters, is very easy... I see no disembodied interplayers. I see scripts, producers, cables, markets, distributors, jady-assed actors, writers, directors (leftwingers dissatisfied with their million dollar contracts). I see the process. Remember our discussion about Brain and Mind? It takes someone who works in fiction to have a healthy sense of realty!

So feel free to call me damaged goods, and desperate, and terrified and cognitively under-developed. Go to town. I am not Dr. Smith, I've just had lots of exposure to the play-pretend Dr. Smith types. They are all Biblical stories. It's always a clash - ehem - a variously EMBODIED clash between good and evil. In story form.

=======================================

Ciao CuteCoot,

That business taken care of, let's get back to the disembodied Interplayers.

You say: "a God of the true heart and the clear mind." I don't have time for the theology or to talk about Rumi and Muslim mysticism. The last time we did, in 2005, on a thread about Artificial Strawberry Milkshakes, (if memory serves) , you went off with "I want neither your sugar nor your ruins, my friend."

Never mind all that. The point is "true heart and clear mind."

That bespeaks of anything BUT disembodied interplayers. And anyway I think it would have to be "good" heart and clear mind.

Re: Polytheism and monotheism

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 10:49 pm
by CuteCoot
While Ioshka's away and chewing on his straw, it might be useful for each and every one of us to do the same for our own straws.

...

Yikes! He's back!