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#61
06-29-2011
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Originally Posted by The Colostomizer View Post
What? No. Did you read what I said? Sure, some shіt's detrimental to human society, but what do you mean by universally immoral?
What I mean is, is the shit that would destroy mankind considered immoral universally?

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#62
06-29-2011
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No, absolutely not. Not even close.
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#63
06-29-2011
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Sorry, but work has been insane and I haven't had the opportunity to sit down to get my thoughts out. Here we go:

The practice of moral neutrality has ebbed its way into our philosophy from a cultural standpoint. One must ask themselves the question: "Why practice neutral values?" Herein lies the fallacy. To answer such question requires a far from neutral proposition itself, i.e. "To forgo moral neutrality is insensitive and intolerant," and that's the problem. The response is itself not morally neutral.

Every society has some sort of fundamental idea about what constitutes good and evil, or at least until that society is in a state of social decay. Healthy societies prefer truth over lies, love over hatred, honor over dishonor, and justice over injustice. Applying these behaviors to daily living can be considerably difficult, and different societies may view the same behavior quite differently, i.e suicide in the East and West.

John Milton wrote “When there is much desire to learn, there of necessity will be much arguing, much writing, many opinions; for opinion in good men, is but knowledge in the making.” Therefore, debate is a necessary component of incorporating new insights into laws, i.e. segregation of African-Americans in the 1950's.

This intellectual activity is essential in a healthy society, but to those who espouse the concept of neutral values, demanding that no-one's beliefs be challenged, there is a necessary suppression of free speech. A judgement on someone for being "intolerant" is a judgement on it's own that's intolerant. To assume that human discourse can be conducted from a value-neutral stance certainly presupposes that metaphysical truth is either unimportant or non-existent and would logically disallow the idea of political correctness.

The assumption that all ethics are subjective expresses itself in such phrases as “good for you” or “wrong for you”. Subjective ethics would make it impossible to demonstrate that anything was always right or always wrong, independent of what a given individual thinks. In practice we all live as though objective right and wrong exists.

Professor Leff, from Yale law school expressed the dilemma eloquently:
“I want to believe - and so do you - in a complete, transcendent, and immanent set of propositions about right and wrong, findable rules that authoratively and unambiguously direct us how to live righteously. I also want to believe - and so do you - in no such thing, but rather that we are wholly free, not only to choose for ourselves what we ought to do, but to decide for ourselves, individually and as a species, what we ought to be. What we want, Heaven help us, is simultaneously to be perfectly ruled and perfectly free, that is, at the same time to discover the right and the good and to create it.”

So far we have seen that moral neutrality presupposes the absence of metaphysical truth, that it espouses a moral subjectivity which is easily shown to be unacceptable and unworkable, that it necessarily accepts the equal validity of everyone’s moral choices but nevertheless passes legislation outlawing some cultural choices. The primary virtue of the morally neutral is tolerance. The question is, “Can a society be built on the basis of tolerance?"

No one likes to be called intolerant but it can be demonstrated that intolerance in certain things is essential. Consider the following scenario. There is a society in North America with the declared aim of legalizing sexual activity between adult males and pre-pubertal boys. “Eight is too late” is their slogan. Now imagine yourselves as parents of an eight year old boy who find themselves compelled to have one of these men as a house-guest for two weeks. He is charming, witty, intelligent and full of fun but he does have this quirk. Will you allow him unopposed opportunity to use his charm and sophistication to persuade your eight-year old that he is being deprived of the rightful experiences of every eight-year old? I have asked this question of several audiences. No one has said yes. There are activities which all of us will not tolerate and we feel no shame in displaying our intolerance.

What is desired, and rightly so, is tolerance as a normal virtue in our human interactions but it is clear that the espousal of neutral values is not the way to create the appropriately tolerant society. Neither is the refusal to accept every opinion as equally valid truly intolerant; rather those who would demand such things are intolerant of logic.
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#64
06-29-2011
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How about answering the question.

Quote:
No one likes to be called intolerant but it can be demonstrated that intolerance in certain things is essential. Consider the following scenario. There is a society in North America with the declared aim of legalizing sexual activity between adult males and pre-pubertal boys. “Eight is too late” is their slogan. Now imagine yourselves as parents of an eight year old boy who find themselves compelled to have one of these men as a house-guest for two weeks. He is charming, witty, intelligent and full of fun but he does have this quirk. Will you allow him unopposed opportunity to use his charm and sophistication to persuade your eight-year old that he is being deprived of the rightful experiences of every eight-year old? I have asked this question of several audiences. No one has said yes. There are activities which all of us will not tolerate and we feel no shame in displaying our intolerance.
That you think appealing to a subjective opinion somehow bolsters a case for objective morality is precious. This example is especially funny to me, because sixty years ago, homosexuals and pedophiles were still grouped into the same category under the law and in the public mind (intellectuals have known better for centuries). Same with miscegenation. So I could pose questions to someone in the early 20th century like: "would you allow a black man unopposed opportunity to charm your white adult daughter?" or "would you want your son to lay with another man? gross, right?" and get a response similar to the one you're expecting you'd get to your question.

"Point on the doll to where the bad man touched you, Johnny. Was it as bad as two men kissing?"

I mean, appealing to the pragmatic, social benefit of intolerance of certain actions is fine, but a serious argument for objective morality it ain't. In fact, it's basically naive utilitarianism, which fell out of style a few hundred years back.

You're also conflating subjectivism with relativism, and they're not really the same in any sense of the word same.

I get the feeling that general ignorance of the fields of ethics and metaethics is to blame here, as is the case in most screeds against ideas that are hard to swallow and challenge the popular mindset. Some Foucault, Rawls, Durkheim, and Nietzsche would be instructive insofar as maybe we wouldn't be having arguments that were already fleshed out and beaten to death a hundred years ago. And actually reading the structuralists' and postmodernists' arguments for relativism might make clear that the cultural relativity of morals does not in any way necessitate universal tolerance.
Spoiler!

Last edited by davobrosia; 06-29-2011 at 03:22 PM. Reason: sentence collapsed under its own weight.
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#65
06-29-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Colostomizer View Post
Because moral absolutism seems to me to imply a source for morality outside of humanity, above humanity. And what would that be, from an atheist's perspective?
"a source", "outside of humanity, above humanity". I don't follow this. Morality and moral principles aren't quite material.

Quote:
There is a right and a wrong way to behave.
The right and the wrong can be deduced from a singular principle (ie The Golden Rule, Kant's Imperative, etc)
The 'source' of the this principle could be some random guy, a stone tableau inscribed by a burning bush, or really anything.
By the way I'm not trying to argue for moral absolutism in that box so much as illustrate that your religiphobia might be clouding your vision.
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#66
06-29-2011
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Originally Posted by briansoupy View Post
"a source", "outside of humanity, above humanity". I don't follow this. Morality and moral principles aren't quite material.
If moral principles are invented by man, in what sense could they possibly be absolute? Seems to me like that would necessarily imply their subjective, preferential nature. And if not invented by man, then where do they come from, from an atheist's perspective?

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Originally Posted by briansoupy View Post
By the way I'm not trying to argue for moral absolutism in that box so much as illustrate that your religiphobia might be clouding your vision.
Okay. Where's your argument?
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#67
06-29-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BiShoP View Post
In practice we all live as though objective right and wrong exists.
wat

Quote:
Originally Posted by BiShoP View Post
Professor Leff, from Yale law school expressed the dilemma eloquently:
“I want to believe - and so do you - in a complete, transcendent, and immanent set of propositions about right and wrong, findable rules that authoratively and unambiguously direct us how to live righteously. I also want to believe - and so do you - in no such thing, but rather that we are wholly free, not only to choose for ourselves what we ought to do, but to decide for ourselves, individually and as a species, what we ought to be. What we want, Heaven help us, is simultaneously to be perfectly ruled and perfectly free, that is, at the same time to discover the right and the good and to create it.”
I'd be interested to know if there's any other context to that quote.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BiShoP View Post
No one likes to be called intolerant but it can be demonstrated that intolerance in certain things is essential. Consider the following scenario. There is a society in North America with the declared aim of legalizing sexual activity between adult males and pre-pubertal boys. “Eight is too late” is their slogan. Now imagine yourselves as parents of an eight year old boy who find themselves compelled to have one of these men as a house-guest for two weeks. He is charming, witty, intelligent and full of fun but he does have this quirk. Will you allow him unopposed opportunity to use his charm and sophistication to persuade your eight-year old that he is being deprived of the rightful experiences of every eight-year old? I have asked this question of several audiences. No one has said yes. There are activities which all of us will not tolerate and we feel no shame in displaying our intolerance.
So it's intolerant to not allow a pedophile to take advantage of an eight year old kid who isn't capable of giving informed consent? I disagree. I think tolerance is about letting people live their own lives as they see fit, and when they cross the line and interfere with someone else's life (whether it's yours or someone else's), preventing them from doing that is just protecting that other person's rights.
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#68
06-29-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Colostomizer View Post
So it's intolerant to not allow a pedophile to take advantage of an eight year old kid who isn't capable of giving informed consent? I disagree. I think tolerance is about letting people live their own lives as they see fit, and when they cross the line and interfere with someone else's life (whether it's yours or someone else's), preventing them from doing that is just protecting that other person's rights.
This. Separatism is a fine machine.
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#69
06-29-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Colostomizer View Post
If moral principles are invented by man, in what sense could they possibly be absolute? Seems to me like that would necessarily imply their subjective, preferential nature. And if not invented by man, then where do they come from, from an atheist's perspective?
I don't really understand you. Are you saying that man simply cannot be right about things? Like we think that matter is composed of molecules and those composed of atoms and so on and so forth. But because man developed those theories there is no way they can be correct - absolutely correct?
It's seems like you are assuming non-cognitivism from the get go, assuming that moral judgements are value judgements no different from saying what you like and don't like. But values can be correct, ie) something's being red (emitting photons of a certain wavelength). Total skepticism aside the question becomes how you classify moral judgments (as rational and objective like color, or like preference judgements).

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Colostomizer View Post
Okay. Where's your argument?
I don't know. I'm not like a die-hard absolutist, the impetus of my posting here was really just the super presumptuous dismissals on the first page; recognize complexity please.
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Last edited by briansoupy; 06-29-2011 at 09:31 PM.
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#70
06-29-2011
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Quote:
But values can be correct, ie) something's being red (emitting photons of a certain wavelength).
A couple notes on this:
-that isn't a value judgment. values aren't facts.
-qualia/phenomena are not identical to matter. The experience of seeing redness is not the same as light of a certain wavelength. Colors are not inherent to light.
Spoiler!

Last edited by davobrosia; 06-29-2011 at 09:57 PM.
 

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