• Banno
    5.6k
    I would agree that people just "feeling something is wrong" is a very unreliable system of morality.Bitter Crank

    Time to bring Moore back?

    Perhaps the mistake is in describing moral sentiment as a feeling. This is most to the fore when what you want is not what you know you ought do.
  • DingoJones
    909
    Would you argue that the definition of harm and well-being as they are defined as concepts in our society is wrong? In what other ways can you define these concepts? Do they ever become so differently defined thatChristoffer

    No, rather I would argue that harm and well being are their own ends and not the basis of morality at all. Part of your argument is that if the term means anything, it must mean that. There are other perfectly legit things morality can mean. You’ve read Sam Harris I take it? You are trying to paint a moral landscape?
  • Christoffer
    543
    No, rather I would argue that harm and well being are their own ends and not the basis of morality at all.DingoJones

    That isn't what I proposed though. I said they are parameters within the method that is used to define moral choices.

    You’ve read Sam Harris I take it? You are trying to paint a moral landscape?DingoJones

    I know of Sam Harris and some of his thoughts, but this method is myself trying to deduce a working method out of a moral base that isn't emotional and free from religious doctrine.

    There are other perfectly legit things morality can mean.DingoJones

    Such as? Outside of religious ones and emotional ones I really want to know what people define it as further. I argue that religious morality and emotional-based morality are flawed and cannot be used to define morality since they become such an undefined mess.

    In what more ways do you define morality without it becoming "whatever you want it to be"?
  • DingoJones
    909
    Such as? Outside of religious ones and emotional ones I really want to know what people define it as further. I argue that religious morality and emotional-based morality are flawed and cannot be used to define morality since they become such an undefined mess.

    In what more ways do you define morality without it becoming "whatever you want it to be"?
    Christoffer

    I suppose it depends on what you define as emotion based, but any number of ethical systems that operate from a rational or logical basis are just as legitimate as yours is. Anything you must consistently reference in order to determine what is right and wrong. Any moral system with a system of measuement, like the 12” ruler in my analogy.

    I know of Sam Harris and some of his thoughts, but this method is myself trying to deduce a working method out of a moral base that isn't emotional and free from religious doctrine.Christoffer

    This is what he endeavors to do in “The Moral Landscape”. His argument is very similar, you may find it a good read.

    That isn't what I proposed though. I said they are parameters within the method that is used to define moral choices.Christoffer

    It forms the basis of your method, if you removed them, what basis would you have left?
  • Christoffer
    543
    I suppose it depends on what you define as emotion based, but any number of ethical systems that operate from a rational or logical basis are just as legitimate as yours is. Anything you must consistently reference in order to determine what is right and wrong. Any moral system with a system of measuement, like the 12” ruler in my analogy.DingoJones

    Emotionally based is to base your morality on "feeling something is wrong", as the title describes. It's a very corruptible morality definition.

    Kant had his categorical imperatives, but they can become so strict that they aren't able to form according to each situation. I still haven't seen anyone stress test my method, so I cannot say it's more or less valid than any other rational method. The difference though, is that the moral choices can change according to the situation. Killing can be good or bad but never corrupted because the parameters of common understanding of well-being and harm steer it in the direction of the common good for both the choice-maker and others.

    This is what he endeavors to do in “The Moral Landscape”. His argument is very similar, you may find it a good read.DingoJones

    I might read it then :smile:

    It forms the basis of your method, if you removed them, what basis would you have left?DingoJones

    Yes, and assessing what is well-being is part of the initial "advanced" version of the calculation. But removing aspects of the method in order to invalidate it is like removing anything to define it as not what it is. Remove the trunk and the branches of a tree, what do you have left? If you remove anything at all from morality, what is then, morality? If morality is supposed to be actions of good or bad, then calculating good morals and good actions need to be connected to what we humans perceive as good or bad. Anything else would mean to ignore the very foundation of what morality is supposed to be about and in doing so, it becomes nothing. We can argue what well-being and harm really means, we could deconstruct the words and their meaning to pieces, but their definitions are pretty much straight forward in our language. If you do something to gain well-being in someone else, while you at the same time gain some well-being, that is a foundation for good moral choices. It's fundamental. If you take away the aspect of "good" from morality you don't have any morality left as a concept since there isn't anything "good" that balance against something. It just becomes nothing.

    What then is morality? How do you define morality outside of these concepts?
  • DingoJones
    909
    I think I understand what you are saying, I just do not think you are recognizing that your basis and the basis of every moral system starts with an axiom, a definition of what the purpose of morality is. You can make a good, rational case for your method and its basis, and that sets it apart from “whatever you want” that you seem to be concerned about but it doesnt mean it somehow lacks the subjective basis of other moral systems.
    Take Terrapin for example. He believes that morality is about how you feel about things, but (he can correct me if im wrong here) that doesnt mean he holds all morality equally valid. Some are better thought out, more educated or impressive in any number of ways and others are just irrational or invalid. Its the same for other moral methods, it ends up being about the same things anyway: logic, reason etc

    What then is morality? How do you define morality outside of these concepts?Christoffer

    With other, similar axioms.
  • ChrisH
    144
    ChrisH -- this is still farily general, but more specific. Does this help?Moliere

    I think I understand what you're saying but I disagree (I don't think you accurately account for what's going on in a "love-hate" relationship).

    The term "love-hate" is fine as a high level, poetic description of a particular relationship but I'm pretty sure that if you were to analyse what's going on you'd find that certain aspects are 'loved' and other, quite different aspects, were 'hated'. I know you don't accept this explanation and believe that the same, indivisible, aspect can be both 'loved' and 'hated'. In my view this is implausible.
  • Moliere
    1.7k
    In my view this is implausible.ChrisH

    Why?
  • Christoffer
    543
    your basis and the basis of every moral system starts with an axiom, a definition of what the purpose of morality is.DingoJones

    In this sense, absolutely, there needs to be a definition of what morality is about. But how can you even use or discuss a concept that isn't defined? I'm using the definitions of the concept "morality" to be the common definition of the word and concept. That is the baseline, textbook explanation on what morality is. Above that is how we use morality, how it is applied to humanity, to ourselves and as a concept for society as guidelines to good/bad behavior.

    This is where I put all other axioms into perspective. Terrapin's point, as I understood it, is as you say, based on how you feel. But the problem I have with this is that feelings and emotions are corruptible, which means you can only create subjective morals. If morality as a concept should have any value whatsoever it has to be outside of the subjective, something applicable to everyone, without demanding corrupted ideas.

    Isn't then the only way, to find the common denominators within humanity and have a concept of morality that is applicable to everyone regardless of if our society change? Earlier we had religious doctrines that set out direct moral rules to follow, but it doesn't take much time to put those strict rules into situations where they break down. So what is common between all people? Our biology, psychology and sociology predict there are common denominators between us all. Boiling these down to shorter concepts, we end up with well-being and harm as positive and negative denominators.

    Therefore, I fail to see how this idea is subjective? It's a deduction of the common denominators around humans and a method to calculate good and bad choices out of the value these gives. At least I see it as the most objective method we can have, all others are corruptible or breaks down as soon as we externalize them from ourselves as subjective entities.

    Strict defined moral rules, emotion-based morality, Kant's categorical imperatives, utilitarianism or even total nihilism, all have problems since they are too strict in their definitions. They are not able to fit the situations you're facing when making moral choices. In order to make room for variables, but still never turn negatives into positives (as a nihilist), we use the common denominators we have between all people and that should be the foundation for calculating a moral choice.

    In essence, I can't see how emotional-based morality, that is breaking apart as soon as you have someone with corrupted emotions, is even on the same level to a rational calculation of a moral choice based on common denominators for all humans. The former is so subjective that it's irrelevant to even use it within the concept of morality, the second is applicable to all humans.

    The former is like: "would you do A or B?" -"B, because I feel like it".
    That's not morality, that's just behavior.

    Second is like: "would you do this thing?" -"What is the end result and consequences for my choice? Will I gain a form of well-being or be harmed? Which choice between A and B create well-being for me and the ones affected by my choice? B is only my own gain, A is a small gain for me and other people. But B might give me means to help those who gain from A. Does B equal a consequence that makes them gain more well-being in the long run? Yes, my choice is B."

    Of course, it requires much more thought, but it's also much more balanced, there's a rational reason that isn't based on strict rules about the choice, but about how to think about the choice. It's vastly superior since other forms focus on strict rules for the morality itself, not a method of figuring out. It's not corruptible as a system compared to the others, since there's nothing to corrupt.
  • Josh Alfred
    110
    Reasons are determinate. Feelings are determinate. Its seems to be an equivocation.

    "x approves of y" = "x likes y"
  • Terrapin Station
    11.4k
    This is most to the fore when what you want is not what you know you ought do.Banno

    What you ought to do might be (in the service of) something you don't want?
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.3k
    The role of emotion in morality has been one among different postulates.
    — Andrew4Handel

    So? These comments are irrelevant or at least incomplete
    S

    The argument people have been making is that our moral ideas are just feelings. and that things we thought were objective morals were actually subjective feelings.

    I am saying that moral philosophy has been aware of this idea for a long time. It is not the case that moral philosophy has been one long mistake where they failed to realize they were just actually talking about feelings. It is a contested position.

    The feelings I am referring to in my open post are not actually those of any theory but the idea that we don't need to theories because we just have our feelings to go on.

    What motivated thread was this ending quote to an article
    " On morals (....) they are our revisable attempt at a code that will enable us as a community to live happy, productive and fulfilling lives."
    This comment comes after the author has explored the problems with various moral positions. And after outlining the apparent failures he just resorts to invoking "happy, productive and fulfilling lives"

    But if you can't get a moral agreement how are you going to get an agreement on what a happy, productive, fulfilling life is? It seems he's resorted to emotivism that we can just some how know instinctively what these things are despite the failure of arguments

    https://www.thinkingabouthumanism.org/humanism/the-source-of-morality/
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.3k
    I think when someone says "Murder is wrong" they mean it is wrong to inflict serious harm on someone and rob them of life.
    — Andrew4Handel

    That only makes sense in the hidden context where they already feel that serious harm is wrong. Whatever you say, you can always go back a step until you can't go back any further, and that's where it ends in the emotional foundation.
    S


    If someone says "The Eiffel tower is a tall structure" What they are referring to is something in the external world. The harm of murder and the suffering is real and in the external world.

    I am not saying people do not have an emotional feeling that it is wrong but that this feeling is provoked by the event. It is not the feeling that makes the event seem wrong but features of the event itself.

    Someones belief that the Eiffel tower is tall is caused by something external.

    I am not saying the harm of murder justifies a moral stance but I don't see how it can be completely irrelevant and subservient to how someone feels about it.
  • ChrisH
    144
    Why?Moliere

    Because your usage simply does not reflect how words such as like and dislike are commonly used.

    I asked you earlier for an example of an indivisible aspect of an object of evalutaion which resulted in both a 'like' and 'dislike' response. Can you come up with anything?
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.3k
    So, just because you can't change your own past, you now see no "point" in moral intuition?S

    My own experience of my failure of moral intuition counts against a theory of valid moral intuition/feeling. It is not the only source of evidence. I have also used the example of the history of cruel human behaviour which appears to be a failure of moral intuition.

    But the other point I was making is the concerning failure of morality to help people in their time of need and prevent immorality. We only have our own life to lead and the success of moral intervention is someone else's life is not justice for us individually.

    Ironically i think when I was child that my religious beliefs such as that people were sinful and fallen and the idea of an afterlife justice made me not concerned with defending myself. I had an optimism founded in the afterlife and was juggling all sorts of religious beliefs including personal unworthiness.
    My mind is wandering a bit but I think it shows how complex moral intuitions and scenarios are. I think reason led me to my current moral nihilism and rejecting Christianity.

    I feel that dogmatism and psychopathy. a lack of empathy or even fantasy might prop up some other peoples moral confidence and that being reasonable and sensitive is not sufficient to weather life's storms. I mean like being a ruthless business person that tramples on peoples feelings isn't empathetic and flourishes, or being very religious fantastical, esoteric and dogmatic or heavily relying on revelation about morality
  • Moliere
    1.7k
    Because your usage simply does not reflect how words such as like and dislike are commonly used.ChrisH

    Oh? How is that determined?

    And supposing it to be the case, then why does it matter?

    I asked you earlier for an example of an indivisible aspect of an object of evalutaion which resulted in both a 'like' and 'dislike' response. Can you come up with anything?ChrisH

    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/252264
    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/252348

    Not that this is the only example ever or anything. From my perspective, at least, what I'm talking about is common knowledge -- and to try and make the human heart fit into some kind of rationalist mode is, at least by my lights, just an error born of a desire for rationalism rather than a desire to see how people actually are. Sometimes what you say is the case -- there are certain aspects that we have a different relationship to. But sometimes that's not what we mean or have -- we have different emotions towards the same person or aspect.
  • ChrisH
    144
    Because your usage simply does not reflect how words such as like and dislike are commonly used. — ChrisH
    Oh? How is that determined?
    Moliere
    From observing common usage.
    …..sometimes that's not what we mean or have -- we have different emotions towards the same person or aspect.Moliere
    That we have mixed emotions about a person is not surprising. There are many aspects to a person, some of which give rise to negative emotional responses others positive but never both simultaneously. Do you have a simple counterexample?
  • Moliere
    1.7k
    Do you have a simple counterexample?ChrisH

    Silentio?
  • S
    10.6k
    If someone says "The Eiffel tower is a tall structure" What they are referring to is something in the external world. The harm of murder and the suffering is real and in the external world.

    I am not saying people do not have an emotional feeling that it is wrong but that this feeling is provoked by the event. It is not the feeling that makes the event seem wrong but features of the event itself.

    Someones belief that the Eiffel tower is tall is caused by something external.

    I am not saying the harm of murder justifies a moral stance but I don't see how it can be completely irrelevant and subservient to how someone feels about it.
    Andrew4Handel

    I don't see any relevance in that to what I said. Did I say that feelings aren't provoked by events? Did I say that the harm of murder is completely irrelevant? Did I say that suffering isn't real?

    Did I say any of that?

    If you just want to make irrelevant points or attack a position I don't hold, then please continue. But count me out.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.3k
    Did I say that feelings aren't provoked by events?S

    Your position apparently implies a disconnect between moralizing and the activities that provoke moralizing.

    If a situation is clearly harmful then that would be sufficient reason to moralize about it without emotions. I am making a general point on the topic that external events are more of a cause of morality than how we feel.

    To me the main problem is in enforcing morality. Having moral rules that are (rationally?) compelling and legitimate.
  • S
    10.6k
    Your position apparently implies a disconnect between moralizing and the activities that provoke moralizing.Andrew4Handel

    Well, yes, there's definitely a disconnection in those cases where the activities fail to provoke moralising - and there are plenty examples of that - but not otherwise, and I have not implied otherwise.

    If a situation is clearly harmful then that would be sufficient reason to moralize about it without emotions.Andrew4Handel

    Firstly, if comments like the above are to be of relevance to my position, then you need to specify that you're talking about moral emotions. I think that I have made that clear before now and on multiple occasions, but you don't seem to pay enough attention to what I say, so you seem to miss things like that as a result.

    Or, alternatively, you're choosing to attack a position other than my own, and a weaker position than my own.

    This kind of response requires an explanation from you, not another dodge-and-move-on.

    Now, with the above qualification, that's just not possible. That would merely be empty words. If there's no moral feeling behind them, then it's not moralising, it would just be an imitation. If I frown and have clenched fists, then is that sufficient grounds to conclude that I'm angry? No. What about if I say that I'm in pain? Is that sufficient grounds for concluding that I'm in pain? No. It's a similar thing going on here.

    I am making a general point on the topic that external events are more of a cause of morality than how we feel.Andrew4Handel

    Then you have the burden of explaining a whole bunch of counterexamples which seem to make little-to-no sense under your understanding, like why slavery was considered acceptable for hundreds of years. Your account lacks explanatory power in comparison to my account.

    To me the main problem is in enforcing morality. Having moral rules that are (rationally?) compelling and legitimate.Andrew4Handel

    That's a separate issue to the meta-ethical issue that we've been discussing. The meta-ethical issue is about what's the case, not what would be practical or work best or anything of that sort. I don't want to just switch topic like that.
  • S
    10.6k
    My own experience of my failure of moral intuition counts against a theory of valid moral intuition/feeling.Andrew4Handel

    No it doesn't, not to anywhere near the level required to reject the theory. That would be like saying that we should reject the scientific method because of superseded theories like phlogiston theory. You can see that that's a poor argument, right?

    I'm not an absolutist. Are you? Because these sort of comments that you keep on making suggest absolutism. If so, then that carries a burden of justification. I've made it crystal clear that I'm a fallibilist, and I'm willing to argue against absolutism and in favour of fallibilism.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.3k
    My own experience of my failure of moral intuition counts against a theory of valid moral intuition/feeling.
    — Andrew4Handel

    No it doesn't, not to anywhere near the level required to reject the theory. That would be like saying that we should reject the scientific method because of superseded theories like phlogiston theory. You can see that that's a poor argument, right?
    S


    I said my experience counts against the theory I didn't say it defeated it.

    In science my type of evidence would not defeat the methodology but it would count against the theory that people have adequate moral intuitions. It is like a scientist replacing one tool with another to get better results.

    What happened when I became an adult is not that I developed better intuitions but that I had new ones. It is controversial to claim I had better intuitions, because who is to judge and what is that fact?

    I have been trying to recover from religious indoctrination since childhood and I find emotions are probably the key thing trapping me. Because I intellectually rejected the religion along time ago. I came across a web site in my early twenties outlining numerous contradictions in the bible and other problems with it.
    So I know my emotions are giving me false signals.
    This kind of personal account to my mind is more realistic than conceptual theorizing because this is the kind of complex milieu moralizing happens in.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.3k
    Then you have the burden of explaining a whole bunch of counterexamples which seem to make little-to-no sense under your understanding, like why slavery was considered acceptable for hundreds of years. Your account lacks explanatory power in comparison to my account.S

    I am currently a moral nihilist so I don't have an ethical position per se. I was arguing against the disconnect between emotions and events.

    I think your ideas are much more undermined by slavery than mine. Slavery supports moral nihilism if anything. But on the emotive position people continuously failed to have the appropriate attitude towards gross humans suffering and exploitation.

    I didn't say that bad events automatically lead to moralizing but that moralizing was reliant on aspects of events.

    However I think emotional manipulation is probably the reason lots of atrocities have happened. For example telling people that other people are inferior, stirring up fear about certain behaviors. Notice how much propaganda the Nazis had to use. The persecution of homosexuals has not been based on reason largely.

    The way my family and church enforced a draconian morality was through fear and threats. It was so over the top that it eventually prompted me to leave because of anxiety. Society often just results to emotional manipulation to enforce a moral issue.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.3k
    I think morality should probably be classed under psychology. And in psychology I favour the qualitative method of exploring individual cases in rich detail.

    I think asking individuals many questions about their morality and life would come up with a rich source of material to explore the issues and from just analyzing myself It is very convoluted, problematic and multi faceted.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.3k
    To me the main problem is in enforcing morality. Having moral rules that are (rationally?) compelling and legitimate.
    — Andrew4Handel

    That's a separate issue to the meta-ethical issue that we've been discussing
    S

    I think a moral system is most undermined based on the degree to which it is unenforceable and the level to which it resolves moral disputes. That is one of my key criticism of the feelings method. I feel that the feelings method will only be enforced by brute force as the final way to resolve moral disputes. Whereas a position like utilitarianism could be enforced by calculation and pragmatism.
    Deontology could be enforced consistently because you have set of rules like the law to follow.
  • S
    10.6k
    I said my experience counts against the theory. I didn't say it defeated it.Andrew4Handel

    It doesn't even really count against it. It's a bit like throwing a toothpick at a tank. The theory never presented itself as foolproof, and that's what it would have to have done in order for your experience to count against it. You're fallaciously setting the bar impossibly high in your assessment. Also, unless you can present a realistic alternative which is better, then this is the best we've got.

    In science my type of evidence would not defeat the methodology but it would count against the theory that people have adequate moral intuitions. It is like a scientist replacing one tool with another to get better results.Andrew4Handel

    No, because adequate is not the same as perfection. You've only shown that it isn't perfect. And nothing is perfect. Moreover, whether or not it is adequate is open to debate, however, what's funny is that there are no other available options, so adequacy becomes meaningless. Adequate in relation to what? What better tool do you think you've got in your toolbox? There is only one, and you're imagining the others.

    What happened when I became an adult is not that I developed better intuitions but that I had new ones. It is controversial to claim I had better intuitions, because who is to judge and what is that fact?Andrew4Handel

    Obviously it is people, like you and I, who judge what's better or worse. And you've already suggested that you consider your current outlook to be better than your past outlook. I simply don't believe that you consider them as on par, just like I simply don't believe that you don't make any moral judgements as though you were a lion. What I find more plausible is that you're in denial, and that you're creating your own narrative for psychological reasons.

    As for, "What is that fact?", what are you referring to? I've told you that I'm a moral subjectivist, so if you're expecting me to provide you with some sort of objective moral fact, then you're barking up the wrong tree, and facts relating to morality under moral subjectivism are quite agreeable. It's a fact that relative to my judgement x is better than y.

    I have been trying to recover from religious indoctrination since childhood and I find emotions are probably the key thing trapping me. Because I intellectually rejected the religion along time ago. I came across a web site in my early twenties outlining numerous contradictions in the bible and other problems with it.
    So I know my emotions are giving me false signals.
    This kind of personal account to my mind is more realistic than conceptual theorizing because this is the kind of complex milieu moralizing happens in.
    Andrew4Handel

    Where you're going wrong is that you blame your emotions altogether, instead of recognising that you just had the wrong emotions, or the wrong proportions, or maybe even the right emotions but the wrong context or reasoning. You can't rid yourself of emotions, you can only learn to control them to the extent within your power. Your current views are likewise founded in emotion, they're just different from your past views in other respects. In fact, I think that you're coming across as more emotional than me in your discourse about morality. You don't see my dredging up personal stuff from my childhood or comparing myself to a lion.
  • S
    10.6k
    I am currently a moral nihilist so I don't have an ethical position per se.Andrew4Handel

    Yes, I know that you're a moral nihilist. You're fooling yourself if you think that you don't have an ethical position. You're a performative contradiction in denial.

    I was arguing against the disconnect between emotions and events.Andrew4Handel

    Then you're not arguing against what I actually said in response to that topic when you raised it the first time around, and you're therefore missing the point yet again. You don't seem to be taking on board important parts of what I'm saying yet again. This is a pattern of behaviour.

    What I actually said was not as simplistic as that. I suggest you go back and check if you need a reminder. I even put it in italics and underlined it for you, yet you still come back to me with this simplistic take on the matter, as though my response didn't make any difference at all. What is with this black-and-white mindset that you seem to be stuck in?

    And to make matters worse, you're just changing the subject by mentioning these things in relation to what you quoted. My point stands: you still have a burden to justify the claim you made, namely that "external events are more of a cause of morality than how we feel".

    I think your ideas are much more undermined by slavery than mine. Slavery supports moral nihilism if anything. But on the emotive position people continuously failed to have the appropriate attitude towards gross humans suffering and exploitation.Andrew4Handel

    Ha! No, slavery doesn't support moral nihilism at all. Nothing does, because both of us can reject moral objectivism, but moral subjectivism is always a better explanation than moral nihilism, because moral nihilism does nothing whatsoever to account for our evident moral judgements. It fails massively in terms of explanatory power.

    But yes, people did continuously fail to have the appropriate attitude towards gross human suffering and exploitation. But for a proper explanation, you need to connect the rest of the dots, leading to moral judgement. People don't just stop there, they reach a further conclusion about right and wrong, about morality. And since there is no known objective morality, that leaves subjective morality: which is evident, as you've tacitly acknowledged.

    I didn't say that bad events automatically lead to moralizing but that moralizing was reliant on aspects of events.Andrew4Handel

    Here we are again. You've lead me to something that I haven't denied. Why have you done this? What is the point of that? Is it that you just lose focus?

    However I think emotional manipulation is probably the reason lots of atrocities have happened. For example telling people that other people are inferior, stirring up fear about certain behaviors. Notice how much propaganda the Nazis had to use. The persecution of homosexuals has not been based on reason largely.Andrew4Handel

    Can you please try harder to think about what's of relevance and what's not? Preaching to the choir is not productive.

    The way my family and church enforced a draconian morality was through fear and threats. It was so over the top that it eventually prompted me to leave because of anxiety. Society often just results to emotional manipulation to enforce a moral issue.Andrew4Handel

    This has gone way off course. It's hard to remain on track with you. Do you even remember what my position is? Am I advocating pure, unrestrained emotional outbursts, manipulation, fear-mongering, threats, and the like? It feels a bit like I'm talking to a brick wall. Are you interested in a proper debate, or do you just want to run around in a field like a headless chicken attacking men made of straw?
  • S
    10.6k
    I think a moral system is most undermined based on the degree to which it is unenforceable and the level to which it resolves moral disputes. That is one of my key criticism of the feelings method. I feel that the feelings method will only be enforced by brute force as the final way to resolve moral disputes. Whereas a position like utilitarianism could be enforced by calculation and pragmatism.
    Deontology could be enforced consistently because you have set of rules like the law to follow.
    Andrew4Handel

    You don't get to choose what's the case, and meta-ethics is about what's the case. You seem to be muddling up meta-ethics and normative ethics. I'm not presenting a normative position. I'm presenting a descriptive position. Utilitarianism and deontology are normative ethical positions. Moral subjectivism is a meta-ethical position. I recommend that you spend some time learning to distinguish between these two branches of philosophy.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.3k
    Then you're not arguing against what I actually said in response to that topic when you raised it the first time around, and you're therefore missing the point yet again.S

    You said in your first post.

    Any supposed difference seems ultimately to amount to nothing other than a difference in feeling.S

    This In Response to my claim that there was a difference between something being wrong and feeling wrong.

    That is why I have pointed out that the feeling wrong is usually connected to harmful events.

    Any moral intuition I have now is based on actual harm not on my emotional response to it. I don't see how you can present a moral argument that relies on how you feel.

    My moral nihilism does not result from my failure to emotionally respond to harm but the lack of evidence of moral authority and moral facts. Moral nihilism does not entail that you believe all behaviour is acceptable but rather that there are no moral facts.

    Obviously it is people, like you and I, who judge what's better or worse. And you've already suggested that you consider your current outlook to be better than your past outlook.S

    The problem with my past outlook is that I tolerated harm to myself. I don't need to have developed morally to stop tolerating harm to myself. The reason I see that a lot of people do not leave things like religion is because they haven't experienced the harm. I am gay and grew up in a fundamentalist background so that was obviously going to be more harmful to me than to my heterosexual siblings.

    I am certainly not a masochist so I cannot stay indefinitely in a harmful environment. In a very banal way non moralistic way I consider any non harmful environment better than a harmful environment.

    The fact you haven't divulged your personal circumstances here does not make your position less emotive than mine it just makes it less grounded in facts. If my position seems more emotive than yours then based on your own position that lends it more credibility.
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