• TheMadFool
    9.4k
    Señor works better for me, amigo. Gracias.180 Proof

    :rofl: My apologies Amigo!

    "[T]he criterion problem" is only a problem for a (classical) 'justificationist' approach to epistemology. (SEP & wiki are your friends, TMF.)180 Proof

    I'm genuinely curious, what other kinds of "approach" to knowledge are there over and above, beyond, justificationism (I hope I got the word right)? Would you, for instance, accept whatever alternative "approach" you wish to recommend or endorse sans justification? Wouldn't that make you something you seem loathe to be labeled as - irrational?

    healthy or adaptable or rational for "moral" and the question self-evidently answers or negates itself.180 Proof

    I like how the general thrust of that. Since rationality has been brought to bear on ethics for the better part of two centuries to my reckoning, I've always wondered why moral theorists never got to the point where they said to themselves, "enough is enough, let's reduce morality to logic" à la how Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, et al tried but eventually failed I believe to reduce math to logic. Is there something irrational about evil or conversely is good ultimately reason itself?
  • 180 Proof
    3.4k
    (SEP & wiki are your friends, TMF.)180 Proof
    Spoon-feeding ain't fun, Fool.

    I'm genuinely curious, what other kinds of "approach" to knowledge are there over and above, beyond, justificationism (I hope I got the word right)?TheMadFool
    Try the philosophers I mentioned here as a start:
    At least, that's how I understand Peirce-Dewey, Popper & Haack's non-justificationist epistemology (re: fallibilism —> falsificationism & foundherentism, respectively).180 Proof
    Also, "rationality brought to bear on ethics" goes back at least as far as the Aristotleans, Epicureans & Stoics ... and Spinoza predates Kant et al by at least a century. Ethics, like the rest of philosophy, is a performative exercise (reflection, contemplation) and not a propositional discourse (theoretical explanation), so it's inherently interminable, perhaps occasionally converging (by processes of eliminating patent nonsense and falsehoods) but never converging upon settled-once-and-for-all-positions. We're Sisyphusean rodeo clowns striving, at best, for better questions, Fool, not scientists with lab results or self-help gurus pimping fortune cookie (perennial) answers. Why ethics continues to preoccupy so many philosophers? Same reason "health" still preoccupies physicians & homeopaths. Both indicate horizons within which we humans exist together and that we are always approaching but never reaching, thus enabling us as they constrain us.
  • TheMadFool
    9.4k
    At least, that's how I understand Peirce-Dewey, Popper & Haack's non-justificationist epistemology (re: fallibilism180 Proof

    That sounds suspiciously like science but then you go on to say:

    We're Sisyphusean rodeo clowns striving, at best, for better questions, Fool, not scientists with lab results or self-help gurus pimping fortune cookie (perennial) answers180 Proof

    Did I miss the point you were making?

    That aside, I suppose I do catch your drift to the extent allowed by my own abilities and...disabilities, let's not forget.

    It also seems like you overlooked what I'm actually deeply interested in viz. is morality logic itself? Now, that sounds, even to me the questioner, wrong. To mention one obvious error in this line of thinking - logic is, after all, merely a tool used to study, analyze, and, with a little bit of luck, build the a/the moral theory from its foundations up to its highest point whatever shape or form that might take. I may have committed other gross mistakes but I'm presently not aware of them. Feel free to point them out to me.

    While this isn't exactly what I had in mind, being rational/logical or being proficient to some extent in critical thinking seems to be the best option we have to navigate the moral universe given the conspicuous absence of a moral theory that is both, in Godelian terms, complete (covers all the bases) and consistent (is free from contradictions). In short, being rational/logical is, as of the moment, the least worst option available to us i.e. in a certain sense, being rational = being good or that LOGIC/RATIONALITY = MORALITY!!!

    What say you?
  • 180 Proof
    3.4k
    Did I miss the point you were making?TheMadFool
    Apparently.

    I suppose I do catch your drift to the extent allowed by my own abilities and...disabilities, let's not forget.
    What disabilities?

    What say you?
    Logic is not ethics just as the brain is not the heart (or mouth is not the anus), respectively.
  • god must be atheist
    2.9k
    Yet, isn't sin, understood as immorality/bad independent of god re Euthyphro's dilemma?TheMadFool

    How can it be independent if all that is creation is creation of and by god?

    In the beginning there was nothing. God created everything.

    Maybe there was god and evil? Before creation? The bible vehemently denies that.

    You CANNOT divorce evil from god. he is fully responsible for its creation.

    The only way to reconcile this by LOGIC (not by faith) is to
    1. Ignore it
    2. Abandon the faith.

    However; if you have faith, then you can bully your mind into believing absolutely everything you've ever wanted to believe.

    Let sleeping dogs lie. If you believe in god, a god which has the attributes Christianity ascribes to it, despite all reasonable thought that tells you that that unit is impossible to exist, then so be it, I am happy for you, and you should go in peace and spread the good news.
  • Fooloso4
    1.5k
    The first occurrence of the term usually translated as 'sin' - Hebrew: חָטָא) is at Genesis 4:6-7

    Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

    There is no mention here of original sin, or inherited sin, or being born in sin, or being powerless against sin.

    Not doing what is right is not called sin, sin appears to follow from not doing right. In this context I think this means something like heading in the wrong direction, taking a dangerous path. The ways of man is a central concern of the Hebrew Bible. The path we take is our own choice.

    Immediately after this warning Cain kills his brother Abel. Cain is angry because God looked favorably on Abel's offering but not on his own. His anger toward his brother is the first step in the wrong direction and leads to murder.
  • god must be atheist
    2.9k
    The first mention of sin. What was the concept of eating of the forbidden fruit called? Eaten by Adam and I guess Eve. Disobedience? Going against God's will? I appreciate that the Hebrew word for sin was not used, maybe, but the concept was coined right there and then. Is that true, or not true?

    Sin, evil, is not only sin and evil because we call some actions sinful or evil. Sin and evil exist because the concept required a word for itself to delineate it, describe it, and make it usable in the language. Concept came first, word second. Because the word sin appeared in the story of Cain and Abel, one -- at least I think so -- can't deny that the concepts had been already in place before such moment as the concept was named a unique name.
  • Fooloso4
    1.5k
    I appreciate that the Hebrew word for sin was not used, maybe, but the concept was coined right there and then. Is that true, or not true?god must be atheist

    Three points. The fact that the term was not used may not be insignificant. Second, if they did not know good and bad then in their innocence they did not sin. They would have no concept of sin. Third, it was only through their seduction, their disobedience, their desire for wisdom (3:6), the blessing of procreation (to know), and so on, it seems to me it differs from the path Cain chose.

    All of this is meant to be suggestive. I do not insist that it is correct.
  • god must be atheist
    2.9k
    do not insist that it is correct.Fooloso4

    Thank you for being lectured by you in a paraphrased form by telling me what I had just expressed. After refuting your own argument so eloquently; what should we do next time you claim something that we do not agree with?

    Sorry for being so blunt. But once in a while it would be nice to hear from you, "Yes, you're right."
  • Manuel
    638


    Well if we attribute to God the highest and noblest, why not attribute to Him the lowest and most degenerate?

    If God were not only the author of the good, but also of the bad, there would be less brain-wrecking than trying to explain how the bad could possibly exist if an omnipotent being is responsible.

    I never understood why and the answers given seemed evasive. If God permits good, he permits evil. Then we are left with an image of an omnipotent being which is not "benevolent", in any way that we understand that term.
  • Tom Storm
    971
    Also, "rationality brought to bear on ethics" goes back at least as far as the Aristotleans, Epicureans & Stoics ... and Spinoza predates Kant et al by at least a century. Ethics, like the rest of philosophy, is a performative exercise (reflection, contemplation) and not a propositional discourse (theoretical explanation), so it's inherently interminable, perhaps occasionally converging (by processes of eliminating patent nonsense and falsehoods) but never converging upon settled-once-and-for-all-positions. We're Sisyphusean rodeo clowns striving, at best, for better questions, Fool, not scientists with lab results or self-help gurus pimping fortune cookie (perennial) answers. Why ethics continues to preoccupy so many philosophers? Same reason "health" still preoccupies physicians & homeopaths. Both indicate horizons within which we humans exist together and that we are always approaching but never reaching, thus enabling us as they constrain us.180 Proof

    Thanks for this paragraph it brought be considerable pleasure. :up:
  • god must be atheist
    2.9k
    I never understood why and the answers given seemed evasive.Manuel

    In my thoughts I had explained that very well. Never verbalized it or written it down. Here it is, for the first time:

    God was first (whether a singular monodeity, or a pluralistic deity) attributed with human qualities: anger, evil, goodness, compassion, brains, stupid decisions, etc.

    Concurrently, people prayed to their gods for favours. People paid sacrifices to their gods.

    Then they figured, "maybe god (the particular god(s) they worshipped) does not like being called stupid, inconsiderate, a rapist. (Zeus and Jupiter.) Maybe he will grant more favours if I praise him more, and berate him less."

    After a while the berating declined, and the putting on pedestal accelerated. This became a trend; then a competition. The sections "proverbs" and "psalms" are full of quotes that supply evidence for this trend.

    Eventually god, THE god, became all-powerful, by getting praise, and all-good, due to not wishing to insult him, and all-forgiving and infinitely merciful, despite the billions of souls who burn in hell in incredible pain for all eternity.

    There was no turning back. After God garnered an all-encompassing capitulation to his power by accelerated sucking up to him, people became stuck in the calling him good, merciful, powerful and sometimes angry.

    But then some smart-alecs like a whole number of us on this forums, started to think, "hey, how is this possible?" It is not possible. It is the end process of kiss-ass to the limit of its possibility, and the ensuing logical self-contradictions.
  • god must be atheist
    2.9k
    Ethics, like the rest of philosophy, is a performative exercise (reflection, contemplation) and not a propositional discourse (theoretical explanation), so it's inherently interminable, perhaps occasionally converging (by processes of eliminating patent nonsense and falsehoods) but never converging upon settled-once-and-for-all-positions. We're Sisyphusean rodeo clowns striving, at best, for better questions, Fool, not scientists with lab results or self-help gurus pimping fortune cookie (perennial) answers. Why ethics continues to preoccupy so many philosophers?180 Proof

    If any one of you, 180 Proof, Tom Storm, et al, CARED to read my very long post, an article no publisher of philosophy would even look at, you would not say this.

    It is still on this site, for anyone to see and read. Unfortunately it is very long, because the purpose originally was to publish it in a magazine that is peer-reviewed.

    Please don't hesitate to read it.

    You can see it on this site, here:
    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/10744/ethics-explained-to-smooth-out-all-wrinkles-in-current-debates-neo-darwinist-approach
  • Fooloso4
    1.5k
    Thank you for being lectured by you in a paraphrased form by telling me what I had just expressed.god must be atheist

    I am puzzled by the fact that you think that what I said was a paraphrase of what you said.

    But once in a while it would be nice to hear from you, "Yes, you're right."god must be atheist

    But I do not know that you are right. I gave you three reasons why I think you might be wrong. That what they did was not called sin because the authors of the story did not regard it as such.

    Because the word sin appeared in the story of Cain and Abel, one -- at least I think so -- can't deny that the concepts had been already in place before such moment as the concept was named a unique name.god must be atheist

    It is the storyteller who uses the concept and name. My point is that Adam and Eve did not have that concept of sin, they were innocents without knowledge of good and bad. For may be for this reason the storyteller did not use it to name their act.
  • 180 Proof
    3.4k
    I'll bite, gmba. Since you've singled out my metaphilo ramble, I'll get back to you with a considered response if your article warrants it.
  • god must be atheist
    2.9k
    Okay. I accept that you say that, but i don't think you think that. You are too smart to not see it, and I am too smart to know you are too smart to not see it.

    Nevertheless, I won't argue, for a number of PERSONAL reasons. Let me just say this: you are not counter-arguing, you are just negating by uttering negatory responses to my claims. You don't typically supply evidence when countering my points, whereas with all other people you argue with here, you do. And this is not the first time you do this while debating with me. The best you can do to argue against my points are presuppositions, and not hard, irrefutable arguments.

    This leads me to thoughts of personal opinions that make it advisable to not always respond to your counter arguments, such as they are. I will still engage with you in debates, but won't carry it beyond the point when you use presuppositions, without providing solid arguments, at least as I see them to be.
  • Manuel
    638


    That makes sense. Thanks for sharing.

    I also think there may be an element of us wanting to feel better about ourselves so we put the good in some otherworldy domain and try to imbue the bad with human error or folly, or the nebulous term "evil".

    But if you attribute to God evil, then there are less paradoxes. Not that this means such a thing exists, we are simply attributing all human attributes to a "supreme Being" and dialing our attributes to infinity...
  • god must be atheist
    2.9k
    I'll get back to you with a considered response if your article warrants it.180 Proof

    Wonderful to hear that. Thanks.
  • god must be atheist
    2.9k
    an element of us wanting to feel better about ourselves so we put the good in some otherworldy domainManuel

    Yes, I agree, and I'd call it "hope"; to hope that our future is nice is easier to do if the person who decides on it is good.
  • Fooloso4
    1.5k
    but i don't think you think that.god must be atheist

    Don't think what? I am interpreting a story. I don't think that any of this actually happened. I don't think the storytellers did either.

    you are not counter-arguinggod must be atheist

    I honestly do not know what you mean. A counter-argument to what?

    If you have issues with my responses to you or lack of responses feel free to send me a message.
  • 180 Proof
    3.4k
    Well, okay. What to say about the essay? ... My problem with it upon first read is four-fold:

    1. Empirical assertions abound without much, if any, warrant. References to findings from moral psychology (or maybe even behavioral economics) are the kind of evidentiary support such broad claims about human nature / behavior require if you expect them to be taken seriously.

    2. "Innatism" just begs the question and is inconsistent with the natural selection of adaptive traits or the cognitive behavioral phenomenon of habituation. Your thesis completely fails on this account.

    3. Whether or not ethics has been defined or conceptualized to your satisfaction is irrelevant and it's patently false to claim that it's never been adequately defined or conceptualized. Consensus on moral questions or ethics as a concept, like all other areas of philosophy or even philosophy itself, is not required; thus, the fruitful prevalence of dialectical and hermeneutical methods, among others.

    4. What about moral agency? The essay mentions only 'moral rules' & 'moral behavior / acts' which is not the comprehensive account as you apparently think it is without also considering moral agency. My own treatment of ethics is agency-based (i.e. eudaimonist) and very much in the traditions of and inspired by e.g. Confucians, Epicureans, Stoics, ... Pragmatists, et al (i.e. "virtue ethics"). This omission suggests a profound lack of acquaintance on your part with the relevant literature on moral philosophy (as well as the philosophy of law).
    Though there's more, these four criticisms suffice for me to judge that, in sum, your essay doesn't belong in any reputable publication of serious philosophical interest. Others, of course, may think otherwise, finding me too uncharitable – so be it. Please don't mistake critical honesty for assholery; you sought out a considered response and there's a salient sketch of one.

    Lastly, I've read nothing that substantially calls my position as stated previously on this thread into question: we disagree on ethics, god must be atheist, which is okay with me, but there's simply no more substance to our disagreement, I regret, than that between a "Lamarkian biologist" and a neo-Darwinian evolutionist (or between an "astrologer" and an astronomer) because you don't bring any substance to the table with this essay..
  • god must be atheist
    2.9k
    Thanks for reading my paper, and giving it proper thought. I really appreciate it.

    I admit, I don't understand some of your criticism. When I say I don't understand it, I don't mean I disagree with it; I literally don't understand some of your objections. It is written in unfinished sentences, in incomplete sentences, in syntactically incorrect sentences ("because you don't being any substance to the table with this essay..") and using jargon I don't possess knowledge about.

    I bow to your superior background to mine in philosophy.

    A few words on what I understand:

    3. Whether or not ethics has been defined or conceptualized to your satisfaction is irrelevant and it's patently false to claim that it's never been adequately defined or conceptualized. Consensus on moral questions or ethics as concept is, like all other areas of philosophy or even philosophy itself, is not required; thus, the fruitful prevalence of dialectical and hermeneutical methods, among others.

    It is not irrelevant; it is precisely the kernel topic of my paper. You dismiss its relevance, which I aim to prove in the paper; and of course you will find my paper meaningless, since you dismiss its major thrust ab ovo. Consensus is not required; but if a proven solution is found, then consensus follows automatically.

    What about moral agency? The essay mentions only 'moral rules' & 'moral behavior / acts' which is not the comprehensive account as you apparently think it is without also considering moral agency. My own treatment of ethics is agency-based (i.e. eudaimonist) and very much in the traditions of and inspired by e.g. Confucians, Epicureans, Stoics, ... Pragmatists, et al (i.e. "virtue ethics").

    My paper does not consider Moral Agency because Moral Agency is irrelevant to the topic. You insist, maybe, because of your bias of looking at morality? Well, this paper is about a different angle of morality. I obviously failed as a writer to make you see my point or points -- I don't blame you, I blame my inferior writing skills to get the points across. Or else maybe you sought old, rehashed, and repeated ideas repeated again, and were incredulous, because you found none. A brand new concept normally encounters huge resistance for acceptance in the community. One of the reasons is precisely that expectations of the readers are not fulfilled by the presentation of new ideas. A paper about morality is null and void without mentioning moral agency, because that is your favourite approach, as you have said it so clearly in your criticism. A different reader may want to see something different, but also old and re-hashed over and over again, something that they are familiar with, and have rehashed in their minds, and can take sides on and argue it well. The lack of the mention of moral agency is something that PERHAPS bothers you because you expected it to be there, and you don't quite say why it is needed, or why its absence destroys the paper... I believe (don't know, but beleive), that your expectation is not met, that's the only problem. The paper makes sense without integrating moral agency.

    2. "Innatism" just begs the question and is inconsistent with the natural selection of adaptive traits or the cognitive behavioral phenomenon of habituation. Your thesis completely fails on this account.
    Habituation is NOT the only driving force of natural selection. What you are saying is a huge admission to ignorance about natural selection and evolution. Of course my thesis fails on this account, as this account you insist on is part of neo-Darwinism, but not the only type of criteria that is part of the evolutionary mechanism. And I actually never mentioned such a thing as "innatism".

    1. Empirical assertions abound without much, if any, warrant. References to findings from moral psychology (or maybe even behavioral economics) are the kind of evidentiary support such broad claims about human nature / behavior require if you expect them to be taken seriously.

    This is something where you hit the nail on the head. My paper reeks of insufficient academic background and lacks in referencing. However, you yourself said in one of the points, that consensus is non-existent and not required. I beg to ask: why then the insistence on comparison to established (and accepted) theories? Consensus is either there, or not, If there, then yes, I need to relate my theory to past theories. But consensus is not required. Therefore I claim I have not failed on this portion of the paper, but I agree with you: because of the lack of referencing, though logically not important to integrate, again fails to satisfy those who want to read that material that they have read a thousand times in a thousand books, and they very much expect to see the re-hashed ideas getting re-hashed again. Again, I fail because of the bias of expectations, not because of the logical mechanism of explaining my point.

    ----------------------------

    I do admit I do have insurmountable difficulties in this paper. Its main idea is maverick, original, and I believe it's right on the button. However, the community is resistant -- that is not only expected, it is a natural law. I can't overcome the resistance of the community unless I put my idea into a form that meets their expectations... and that is not something I can do.

    I believe you skimmed over my paper, and not read it to internalize its points, 180 Proof. My claim that you handled it superficially is not a factual claim, but a description of my gut feelings. Some of your criticism was valid, but you invalidated your own valid points (think consensus and its requirement, vis-a-vis referencing). Some of your criticism was ill gotten (your remarks about habituation). Some of your criticism was irrelevant (by expressing the need to read what you expected to read). And none of the critical reasons had to do with the meaning of the paper. Your criticism only referenced the premises of my argument, and you believed you proved my premises wrong. You tried to invalidate the assertions on which my discussion was built; and therefore you did not bother with reading the argument in it and its conclusion. That is understandable, should your criticism have stood ground. But it did not.
  • 180 Proof
    3.4k
    Apologies for my typos (now corrected), I was writing on my phone while traveling in a car. And yes, btw, "the kernel topic" of your paper is, in my considered judgment, irrelevant to (as in a travesty of) moral philosophy as such. It seems from your reply to me that it's you, gmba, who has "skimmed" my posted objections and not me who has "skimmed" your essay. I read the paper quickly because it's pretty thin conceptually and in terms of argumentation which allowed me to do so.
  • god must be atheist
    2.9k
    My apologies for giving the impression that I skimmed your reply. But thanks for writing that indeed you skimmed it due to your impression that it was thin in worthwhile reading.

    My paper presents a brand new way of looking at morality, by completely separating what I called in the paper involuntary morality and learned morality. No text to my knowledge before separated the two and pointed out the similarities and the differences. The similarities and differences I described are constants.

    To charge that I did not do my research, is understandable, as it was an expectation by you that was not fulfilled, like I said earlier, but it is not necessary to the kernel topic of the paper. The only research that was necessary was to say that this concept has not been thought of before. No more reference is needed.

    What got me upset, was your charge that I messed up the evolutionary aspect. Evolution (species separation) occurs on localized differences of survival options that adaptations favour, and adaptations develop by random mutations, but evolution also occurs by the survival of the fittest. The fitter the society's survival capabilities, the more likely it is to survive. And if the components (denizens, humans) of a society all have a certain mutation that carries this survival advantage forward, then the mutated DNA is more ready to spread and be transmitted to future generations than those society's members' DNAs that don't have the mutation. This is so when the two groups need to fight for a scarce resource that is needed for survival, and there is not enough of the resource to support the survival of all competing groups.

    This is essential to understanding evolutionary theory. To misrepresent this as a Lamarck's type of "wishing to mutate" is what hurt me. I did not think, still don't think, that that interpretation was warranted.

    I did not spell out this mutation part in the paper, because I assumed that readers would connect the dots themselves easily -- between the role of mutation in my theory, and my theory. Not in my wildest dreams would I have thought that there would be someone who understands my claims as needing support from Lamarck's version.
  • Apollodorus
    531
    If we grant that God is omniscient and omnipotent, then it follows obviously and incontestably that we did not create ourselves, do not live nor do anything through ourselves, but only through his omnipotence.—God’s omniscience and omnipotence are diametrically opposed to the freedom of our will.—spirit-salamander

    Well, God's omniscience and omnipotence is the only thing we can be certain of. Of course man has some freedom of will but that is necessarily limited by God's own omnipotence.

    Personally, I tend to believe that man's "free will" is ultimately negligible if not illusory. The more spiritually advanced a soul becomes, the more it acts in harmony with the will of God. The upper hierarchies of souls such as saints, angels, etc. would be more in harmony with the will of God than the lower ones, so that ultimately, the whole of reality is subject to the will of God. Whether it constitutes a "problem" or not is a matter of perspective. It can't be a problem from the perspective of God and those who live in harmony with him.

    The commandment "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and mind, and soul" means to unconditionally submit to his will. Once we do that, all doubts disappear. As we can't spend all our lives doubting and asking questions, there comes a point where faith becomes more important than reason. This is precisely why many Pagan philosophers, Augustine included, gave in to Christianity. Others embraced Christianity but retained some philosophical methods of inquiry, etc. But it has never been a problem to ordinary believers.
12Next
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.