• Banno
    19.9k
    But overall if you don't know you really dont know it really is a place of lack of knowledge from which few conclusions can be drawn. In my opinion. You start acting on faith from that basis.Andrew4Handel

    Call it faith if you must. Again, it's not what you say that counts so much as what you do.
  • Andrew4Handel
    2.3k
    .
    I went to an event last night that had eighty folk in one small room enjoying an excellent musical performance. No one hurt anyone else, folk moved so as to allow entry and egress, applauded the performance, ordered and paid for food and drink - all done without the threat of violence from some authority figure.Banno

    Because you don't live in Ukraine. You I assume live in a country with a vigilant army and police force keeping you safe and where the general population have submitted to the system. Meanwhile a lot of aspects that enabled this culture involved exploitation, colonialism, slavery past and present. It seems more like complacency to me. The system works for you not everyone.

    You are not being forced to defend a lot of your values, They have already been fought for.
  • Andrew4Handel
    2.3k
    What's the alternative to nihilism you can identify in the world today that does not come with any harms or problems?Tom Storm

    Agnosticism to me would entail only acting on facts and when facts are not available acting with caution.

    I am not saying there is a solution but I prefer this way of thinking to current models. In the end it could all descend into meaninglessness.
  • Tom Storm
    5.8k
    I am not saying there is a solution but I prefer this way of thinking to current models. In the end it could all descend into meaninglessness.Andrew4Handel

    Fair enough. My own view is that life is a bucket of shit - more for some than for others. Don't overthink things. Actions matter more than theorising. Do what you can to prevent suffering.
  • Banno
    19.9k
    Because you don't live in Ukraine.Andrew4Handel

    Sure.

    I received a cup yesterday from Kiev, a present purchased by my daughter, delivered from the other side of the world without the use of a gun. Life goes on.

    Putin is not inundated with volunteers to support his war. He pays mercenaries and conscripts young men under threat of jail.

    If that room last night had, instead of eighty people, been eighty dogs, cats, monkeys or just about any other animal, the result would have been pandemonium.

    To be sure, people do evil things. But this is the exception, and we pay it considerable attention. Overwhelmingly, people do cooperate. (those who don't are in the main disenfranchised males).

    Anyway, this is well off-topic; what about a response to ?
  • Andrew4Handel
    2.3k
    So no ethical theory convinced you. Note that whether or not you were convinced is different to whether or not the theories were true or false. You might be, indeed presumably were, unconvinced because the theories were false. If so then they do indeed have a truth value.Banno

    The course book I read pointed out the problem with all the theories. And they all competed with each other so you would have to select one from several going and hope other people also did.

    What did not convince me is whether they had truth value or were enforceable or whether they crossed the is-ought divide.

    It's not, I hope, at all difficult to present ethical statements on which we would agree. So for example i doubt that you would agree with kicking puppies for pleasure. And that is to say, we agree that "One ought not kick puppies for pleasure" is true.Banno

    Some people kick puppies for pleasure so they don't share your intuition, If I have no desire to do something personally I don't ned a moral law about it. If it was legal and praiseworthy to kick puppies I still wouldn't have a preference for it. The idea we need morals to stop us doing something implies we have preference for that thing as part of our character.

    We do have expectations for the behaviour of ourselves and of others. So if moral nihilism is the view that moral statements do not have a truth value, then it does not seem to be the default position.Banno

    We are not encouraged to question social expectations. It is indoctrination it seems. But people don't live up to our expectations and really we have no reason to expect anything off them (unless they are our primary care giver)
  • Andrew4Handel
    2.3k
    Overwhelmingly, people do cooperate.Banno

    But then we need to have some kind of shared goals. People cooperate for different reasons with different belief systems. People want different things for their children and from their children's schools.

    If atheism is a simple lack of belief what is the average goal of an atheist? Their hope for the future? Aspirations? Motivations? Motivations for continuing/propagating life?

    I feel that some atheist believe that almost everything has been explained and that the lack of explanation for consciousness is not a big gap in our knowledge its just a byproduct the brain.
    And that we shouldn't expect an afterlife and just make do with what we've got and not have wild ideas. My opinions come from the discourse I have seen and been involved in.
  • Tom Storm
    5.8k
    If that room last night had, instead of eighty people, been eighty dogs, cats, monkeys or just about any other animal, the result would have been pandemonium.

    To be sure, people do evil things. But this is the exception, and we pay it considerable attention. Overwhelmingly, people do cooperate. (those who don't are in the main disenfranchised males).
    Banno

    Nice, a funny and acute observation.
  • Banno
    19.9k
    Cheers.

    The course book I read pointed out the problem with all the theories. And they all competed with each other so you would have to select one from several going and hope other people also did.Andrew4Handel

    Sure. Ethics is not easy. That doesn't mean that it never leads to any conclusions.

    Some people kick puppies for pleasure so they don't share your intuition, If I have no desire to do something personally I don't ned a moral law about it. If it was legal and praiseworthy to kick puppies I still wouldn't have a preference for it. The idea we need morals to stop us doing something implies we have preference for that thing as part of our character.Andrew4Handel

    I want to be clear about what is being claimed here. Sure, some people kick puppies for pleasure. But we agree that "One ought not kick puppies for pleasure" is a true statement.

    Therefore there are true moral statements.

    And further, it is not the case that you and I think that if someone wants to kick puppies, that's fine. We expect other people to agree with us that one ought not to kick puppies.

    Therefore the truth or falsity of moral statements is not relative to the individual.

    But people don't live up to our expectationsAndrew4Handel

    I disagree, and I've presented examples to support my case - the puppies, the concert, the cup, Putin's war and so on. In each case cooperation is the norm, violence and coercion the exception.

    To be sure, there are folk who live each day by threatening and being threatened. I hope this is not you, and if it is, then again, that is exceptional, and regrettable.

    I'm guessing you do not live in a bunker surrounded by weapons; that you can wander down to your local shop and swap money for a coffee. That you do not live in the expectation of an invasion by your neighbour.

    People do live up to our expectations.

    Of course, it's not all wine and roses. There are exceptions, but overwhelmingly...
    ________________
    But then we need to have some kind of shared goals.Andrew4Handel
    Sure... well, more accurately, we need activities that at least do not conflict, and preferably which are of mutual benefit.

    That's not hard. But also, there are plenty of carers, doctors, nurses, teachers, and others who don't treat human interactions in purely transactional terms. They look after other people without consideration of what is in it for them. It's an attitude that receives little attention, but which is fundamental to humanity.

    And again, notice that it is what people do, rather than the reasons they have for what they do, that is salient.
    If atheism is a simple lack of belief what is the average goal of an atheist? Their hope for the future? Aspirations? Motivations? Motivations for continuing/propagating life?Andrew4Handel

    Atheism is not monolithic, of course, so goals vary. But like most folk, atheists do what is appropriate not because they are convinced by profound ethical considerations, but simply because it is the right thing to do.

    What I would want a morality to do is to convince someone not to shoot me in the headAndrew4Handel
    Of course, you don't genuinely expect to be able to ward of your assailant by engaging in a philosophical discourse...

    You'd be better off doing personal defence training if that is your need.
  • Gnomon
    2.8k
    Yes. I'm also not interested in air conditioning or folk dancing. Unlike you perhaps, I am not overcome with the need to make meaning or find 'ultimate realty'. I am content and mostly satisfied by life as it appears and frankly whatever ontological beliefs we hold, the moment we leave home we are all naïve realists. :wink:Tom Storm
    Pardon my probing for meaning : How do you characterize your "indifference" to philosophical Ontological origins*1? Is it aggressive Atheism, or apathetic Agnosticism, or mundane Traditionalism*2, or some other pre-Philosophy understanding of the natural world*3? Or just Anti-Religion, as the parallel to politics for the cultural powers-that-be to dominate the common people? Or perhaps merely Anti-Ontology as a feckless waste of time in a heartless/mindless/pointless material world? :joke:

    *1. Ontology :
    In metaphysics, ontology is the philosophical study of being, as well as related concepts such as existence, becoming, and reality.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontology
    Note -- the search for "ultimate reality"

    *2. In pre-science Traditional cultures, for most people, the existence of gods or natural forces is not a well-reasoned philosophical worldview, but merely going along with the majority, and taking the conventional doctrines of sages for granted. In National Geographic, primitive cultures don't practice formal creedal religions, but mere follow ancient un-written assumptions & practices (natural magic) that seem pragmatic to them. Their gods & spirits are equivalent to what moderns call Natural Laws and Forces. And they tend to be satisfied with metaphorical myths & analogies that seem (to non-philosophers) to be plausible explanations for ultimate origins.

    *3. Primitive gods :
    Before we go further we must get clear the difference between magic and religion, for there has always been a good deal of confusion. Magic then or art-magic resembles religion in dealing with unseen powers, so that it is entirely distinct from what is called sympathetic magic. This last is not properly magic at all, but the science of the savage, by which he tries to bring rain, make the crops grow, or do other things which he believes he can do himself. This may be crude science; but there can be no question of either magic or religion till he comes to things which he believes can only be done by the unseen powers. Magic may also be like religion in outward form, and sometimes even becomes religion when our relation to the unseen powers is differently conceived. The distinction is in this relation; and it is absolute. In magic we do not trust the unseen powers we are dealing with: in religion we do.
    https://www.giffordlectures.org/books/knowledge-god-and-its-historical-development-volume-1/lecture-10-primitive-religion-1
  • Tom Storm
    5.8k
    If atheism is a simple lack of belief what is the average goal of an atheist? Their hope for the future? Aspirations? Motivations? Motivations for continuing/propagating life?Andrew4Handel

    So I am an atheist (and I know from experience that atheists hold different values and beliefs, aside from this one small matter of belief in deities). Just as Christians, say, are likely to have radically different answers to the same questions. Humans do not fall into rigid categories merely based on a belief they hold.

    The questions you pose are, I suspect, somewhat unnatural. People live and do things and hold values without holding a shopping list of explicit value statements you seem to be fishing for.

    Me

    Average goal for the atheist? I have no idea what this question means, but I can tell you my plans for this year.

    Hope for the future? I hope humans get their act together - minimise suffering and take some substantive action to address inequality.

    Aspirations. I'm looking to buy a new house. Someone close to me is dying of cancer - I will help support them.

    Motivations I am content and generally positive and fortunate. I wish others were too. I tend to take each day as it comes and make minimal plans.
  • Tom Storm
    5.8k
    Pardon my probing for meaning : How do you characterize your "indifference" to philosophical Ontological origins*1? Is it aggressive Atheism, or apathetic Agnosticism, or mundane Traditionalism*2, or some other pre-Philosophy understanding of the natural world*3? Or just Anti-Religion, as the parallel to politics for the cultural powers-that-be to dominate the common people? Or perhaps merely Anti-Ontology as a feckless waste of time in a heartless/mindless/pointless material world? :joke:Gnomon

    You're welcome to probe. Not that I have much to say. I don't think humans have access to reality as it is in itself - the best we do is generate provisional narratives that, to a greater or lesser extent, help us to make interventions in the world. These stories tend to be subject to revision and never arrive at absolute truth. I also hold that my experience of the world does not have need for most metanarratives; I am a fan of uncertainty. I am also a fan of minimalism and think that people overcook things and want certainty and dominion where knowledge is absent and where they have no expertise.
  • 180 Proof
    10.9k
    I don't think humans have access to reality as it is in itself - the best we do is generate provisional narratives that, to a greater or lesser extent, help us to make interventions in the world These stories tend to be subject to revision and never arrive at absolute truth. I also hold that my experience of the world does not have need for most metanarratives; I am a fan of uncertainty. I am also a fan of minimalism and think that people overcook things and want certainty and dominion where knowledge is absent and where they have no expertise.Tom Storm
    :clap: :fire:

    Not bad for some who doesn't take philosophy too seriously. If I could, I'd drink two double whiskeys to that, mate! :cool:
  • Tom Storm
    5.8k
    Thanks. If I could, I'd have that drink with you. :up:
  • EricH
    448
    I am saying atheism seems to lead to moral nihilism and other forms of nihilism. If someone is consistent about not believing things without evidence or not believing things involving supernatural claims.Andrew4Handel

    I have become agnostic based on my evaluations of theory, evidence, probability, limitations of knowledge etc.Andrew4Handel

    I'm still not understanding you. In your OP you identified yourself as agnostic. Does agnosticism also lead to moral nihilism? If not, could/would you please explain the difference.
  • EricH
    448
    At this point, I'm just trying to figure out what the heck Andrew is trying to say.
  • 180 Proof
    10.9k
    Andrew seems to me to be saying 'being an agnostic hasn't morally worked out for him ... and somehow that's atheism's fault.' :shade:
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