• Terrapin Station
    9.1k
    Re the etymology of "popular": "late Middle English (in the sense ‘prevalent among the general public’)"
  • Baden
    7.8k

    It doesn't matter if there's one sense that overlaps. Your language use is inapt. Do you know what I mean by 'inapt'? Check out the whole area of collocations concerning the apt use of language. For example, 'exhibit' and 'display' are synonyms when talking about something in a museum, but not when talking about computer screens. My computer screen is a 'display', but it would be inapt to call it an 'exhibit'.

    Is my computer screen an exhibit?
  • Terrapin Station
    9.1k


    So does argumentum ad populum refer to claims that people like or admire?

    The expert on apt language usage thought that liking and admiring things might be what we're talking about in this context:

    "Morality consists primarily in how people's judgements are borne out in action not how much people like or admire those judgements."
  • Baden
    7.8k

    Here's another one. 'Heavy' and 'massive' are synonyms, but saying 'the rain is 'massive' today' rather than 'the rain is 'heavy' today' would be inapt.
  • Terrapin Station
    9.1k
    The expert on apt language usage thought that liking and admiring things might be what we're talking about in this context:

    "Morality consists primarily in how people's judgements are borne out in action not how much people like or admire those judgements."
  • Baden
    7.8k


    When you use inapt / imprecise language you can infect your claim with meanings unintended, which was the point I intended to make and which you've proven rather comically with your claim that "pain is popular". In any case, I've tried to make things clear enough by elaborating:

    Classifying as an argumentum ad populum the claim that that appeal to a broad level of intersubjectivity is evidential re morality by playing with the word 'prevalent' and turning it into 'popular', which has different implications, misses the mark. For example, that pain is generally felt as a bad thing is evidential of the general truth of the moral precept 'We ought not to inflict unnecessary pain', and that can't be effectively challenged by claiming we're only appealing to what people popularly believe concerning the feeling of pain (as if there was some kind of free choice involved). No. Pain in itself, its nature, its prevalence, and its effects, not popular notions concerning it, is what's morally salient here and moving away from that is misleading. At the very best, inapt. Which was the specific charge made, and that I'm supporting.Baden

    So that's it in detail.
  • Terrapin Station
    9.1k
    Classifying as an argumentum ad populum the claim that that appeal to a broad level of intersubjectivity is evidential re morality by playing with the word 'prevalent' and turning it into 'popular', which has different implications, misses the mark. For example, that pain is generally felt as a bad thing is evidential of the general truth of the moral precept 'We ought not to inflict unnecessary pain', and that can't be effectively challenged by claiming we're only appealing to what people popularly believe concerning the feeling of pain (as if there was some kind of free choice involved). No. Pain in itself, its nature, its prevalence, and its effects, not popular notions concerning it, is what's morally salient here and moving away from that is misleading. At the very best, inapt. Which was the specific charge made, and that I'm supporting.Baden

    So the reason I don't usually write long posts, especially to particular people, is exemplified here. I addressed all of that, but you just ignored it.
  • Mww
    681


    If you’re a descriptive moral relativist, all your moral qualifiers are *is* statements, in the anthropological, re: objective, domain, which presupposes a cultural or social regimen. If you’re a normative relativist, your moral statements are *ought* statements, in the rational, re: subjective, domain, which has no cultural presuppositions.

    Morality is not taught, it is self-determined. What is taught is the actionable requirements of individual members consistent with a given social structure. Morality is the personal justification as to whether or not to so act, the ground from which *ought* statements arise, under certain necessary conditions.

    There are moral laws, and even if they replicate a particular civil code, their derivation and their consequences are completely different. The civil law from inter-subjective agreement the means with order and harmony its ends, the true moral law from a freely determinant autonomous will the means with conforming non-contradictory volitions its ends. Civil law makes no amends for tolerance at all; moral law permits tolerance in other rationalities but not of itself. All law integrates a consequence; the consequence of disobedience to civil law is inconvenience, the consequence of disobedience to moral law is shame.

    Humans *desire* socialization, they do not *need* it, as witnessed by homesteaders or “mountain men” in 1800’s American western frontier, “ronin” of feudal Japan, and any kind of social outcast. To say that socialization is the cause of morality, or that morality is the consequence of socialization is not supported by either descriptive or normative moral relativism, nor any established meta-ethical moral theory. (That I know of)

    Pain and pleasure are feelings, and no feeling is a cognition. All moral predicates are cognized, hence cannot be derived from feelings. But feelings are nonetheless inescapable for otherwise rational agents, so must be accounted for as a possible influence on moral dispositions, and determined as to whether or not it is possible to negate such influence by positing a greater influence. The only rational method for negating a feeling is with a principle, and a principle sufficient to negate a feeling absolutely must be undeniable, otherwise we can never justify our own morality. The principle in its turn, is predicated on the moral doctrine abiding in the agent, of his own choosing, all of which sustains the theory of moral rationalism.

    Morality, one of two fundamental human conditions, the other being reason, can never be given from examples, which merely demonstrate what morality may or may not do, but not what it is.

    Rhetorically speaking......
  • Baden
    7.8k


    I'll get back to the rest of your earlier post later (after you answer whether you are going to persist in the mistake of insisting that language use such as "pain is popular" is apt. We won't even be able to communicate if that's how you insist on speaking).
  • Herg
    131
    You are equivocating your terms,S
    You're right, there is an equivocation in step 4 of my argument between experientially bad and morally bad. Should have spotted that. I concede.

    Good game.

    Ciao. :)
  • Noah Te Stroete
    1.2k
    I will have to re-read your post when I’m not so tired. Right now I am not able to comprehend it. I also don’t have the energy, concentration, or motivation to respond right now.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    1.2k
    Re shared meaning, for example, is your view that people are literally given meanings from others, kind of like you might hand a football to them, say, so that you share that same football with them?Terrapin Station

    No, I don’t think meaning is a thing. It’s a relation between the associated mental thought and the referent given how a word or symbol is used (I think).
  • Noah Te Stroete
    1.2k
    You're right, there is an equivocation in step 4 of my argument between experientially bad and morally bad. Should have spotted that. I concede.Herg

    Perhaps I will start having to give @S more credit. He’s good at philosophy.
  • Terrapin Station
    9.1k
    No, I don’t think meaning is a thing. It’s a relation between the associated mental thought and the referent given how a word or symbol is used (I think).Noah Te Stroete

    To me that seems like you're positing something additional to what I posit. Because on my view the relation in question is a property of the "associated" mental event. In other words, the "associated" mental event and the relation in question are the same thing. So I have the mental event, the referent, and the behavior (how the word or symbol is used). And you have all of those things plus a relation that's apparently something more than those three whatever-you-want-to-call-thems (I'd say "things" but people often seem to use "thing" in a technical way)
  • Noah Te Stroete
    1.2k
    To me that seems like you're positing something additional to what I posit. Because on my view the relation in question is a property of the "associated" mental event. So I have the mental event, the referent, and the behavior (how the word or symbol is used). And you have all of those things plus a relation that's apparently something more than those three whatever-you-want-to-call-thems (I'd say "things" but people often seem to use "thing" in a technical way)Terrapin Station

    Well, we should note that I’ve never actually studied or read anything on meaning.
  • Terrapin Station
    9.1k


    No problem. It's a vast wonderland to get lost in once you go down the rabbit hole . . . as are most philosophical topics.
  • Mww
    681


    MORE COFFEE!!!!!!!!
  • Noah Te Stroete
    1.2k
    MORE COFFEE!!!!!!!!Mww

    Fo sho :smile:
  • Mww
    681


    My sole remaining vice. And the only one of all, I’d recommend, it’s only requisites being sufficient funds and proximity to a bathroom.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    1.2k
    My sole remaining vice. And the only one of all, I’d recommend, it’s only requisites being sufficient funds and proximity to a bathroom.Mww

    Well, if that’s your only vice, then you are a much more moral person than I am. I argue morality, but I don’t always follow it. I know what I should do. However, doing it is another matter.
  • Mww
    681


    Yeah, I guess I would agree my sense of morality has.....er, evolved.....since the 60’s. The “ought” becomes clearer when “fun” becomes “stupid”.
  • tim wood
    2.4k
    In moral relativism, "relativism" seems to say it all. Their mantra: "it's all relative." Meaning, usually, that there are no absolutes. Two problems: 1) relativism itself is subject to its own radical critique. Relativism itself, then, is relative. Which can only mean that not everything is relative. 2) No one has troubled to define "absolute."

    The first is fatal to the relativist, although many will dismiss it as "relative." To such people it is useless to speak.

    "Absolute" needs definition. I understand the relativist critique as saying that nothing simply is. Whatever can be said of something, something different or even opposite can be said of it, and that opposed position defended if by no other means then by the claim that the original claim is not absolute by virtue of relativity.

    A simple example: a chair. A chair is absolutely a chair. The relativist might respond, "not so fast, it's a bunch of wood, or metal or other materials, or a it's a collections of atoms...". And so forth. And of course this relativist claim is true. But the truth of the molecular structure of the chair in no way effects or diminishes my claim or the chair's status as being absolutely a chair. That is, in respect of the way it is regarded (purposed, designed, built, supplied, used, functions, intended, etc), it is absolutely a chair.

    It's both, then. Just depends on how it's looked at, and why. "Absolute," then, is not in itself exclusive. Uncareful usage can create problems. If a relativist attempts to deny that the chair is absolutely a chair, because, for example, it's just atoms, he makes a category error; it slips in with language. In calling it a chair, it's one thing. As a pile of atoms, another. "Chair" for "pile of atoms" is the wrong name for the wrong thing. Or to be more precise, the wrong label for the wrong way of regarding the thing.

    Notions of right and wrong arise out of this kind of confusion. And confusion about this confusion confuses notions of right and wrong. It is wrong - mistaken - (however convenient and common it might be) to call a chair-as-chair a pile of atoms. There is nothing atomic about chair. The thing that while it functions or is regarded as a chair may be regarded as a pile of atoms, but then it is no longer properly a chair. And when it comes to chairs and the like, no one is confused in these matters.

    Different it is when it comes to moral propositions. A trope of this thread is boiling babies. Boiling babies is absolutely wrong (presumably no one really disagrees). But the relativist says, "Not so fast. In some cultures [maybe] boiled babies are a delicacy and much liked. Therefor we cannot say that boiling babies is absolutely wrong."

    And just here is where the difficulties of right and wrong come into play, and they're not trivial. X-in-itself, or boiling babies, cannot be both right and wrong. It becomes a process of reconciling two positions. Of bringing both together so that they can be reconciled. Once done, though possibly not-so-easy, then one stands and the other falls. Kant makes this idea clear in his categorical imperative. When two or more appear to be in play, one will prevail, and when it does the others fall away.

    Implied in this is the possibility of reconciliation. Reconciliation is not possible with most animals, therefore we do not suppose that lions or wolves or weasels are immoral. Rather they are just being what they are.

    But it leaves for us to understand words like absolute and how such words work, and not to be confused by them, which can indeed lead to confusion about relativity and what the limits of relativity are. And in particular that relativity does not and cannot preclude either the possibility or existence of absolute moral principals, of absolute right and wrong.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    1.2k
    Morality is not taught, it is self-determined. What is taught is the actionable requirements of individual members consistent with a given social structure. Morality is the personal justification as to whether or not to so act, the ground from which *ought* statements arise, under certain necessary conditions.Mww

    Is this a fact? Because I see morality as more than just a “personal” justification. It is a collective justification determined by social pressures as well.

    Humans *desire* socialization, they do not *need* it, as witnessed by homesteaders or “mountain men” in 1800’s American western frontier, “ronin” of feudal Japan, and any kind of social outcast.Mww

    This presupposes that people are not social creatures meant to cooperate in a society. I would argue that the outcasts or Ronin are deviants or have some sort of pathological illness.

    All moral predicates are cognized, hence cannot be derived from feelings.Mww

    Is this also a fact? Why should people care about morality if they do not feel the pain of morally wrong behavior?

    The only rational method for negating a feeling is with a principle, and a principle sufficient to negate a feeling absolutely must be undeniable, otherwise we can never justify our own morality.Mww

    This seems to me to be in contradiction to the previous quote. But maybe I misunderstand.

    Morality, one of two fundamental human conditions, the other being reason, can never be given from examples, which merely demonstrate what morality may or may not do, but not what it is.Mww

    I was just illustrating how morality works, I think, not saying with the examples what it is.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    1.2k
    Yeah, I guess I would agree my sense of morality has.....er, evolved.....since the 60’s. The “ought” becomes clearer when “fun” becomes “stupid”.Mww

    I still do “stupid” shit.
  • Mww
    681


    Philosophy well done. As in all philosophy, subject to critique.

    Brace yourself.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    1.2k
    @tim wood
    Philosophy well done. As in all philosophy, subject to critique.Mww

    I agree. Good job.
  • T Clark
    3.2k
    You should have a problem stating it that way, unless you're okay with being wrong. My morality need not involve any "complex interaction" with "religious institutions". It need not be about "collective preference". I have no intention of "recognising" your flawed view of what morality is.S

    Although you copied my quote directly, you misquoted me in what you wrote. I said "It involves a complex interaction of societal, governmental, religious, and cultural institutions." Do you really think you created your morality out of nothing but your own self? Your parents had nothing to do with it? Do you really believe you created your mind and heart without being influenced by the society and culture around you. To me, that shows a profound lack of self-awareness.

    I do think, although I didn't mention it, that a lot of our morality does come from "human nature" whatever that means, I guess it means some sort of genetic predisposition, to behave in a way that makes it easier for us to live together. As I've said many times, we are social animals. We are born to like each other.
  • Terrapin Station
    9.1k
    1) relativism itself is subject to its own radical critique. Relativism itself, then, is relative. Which can only mean that not everything is relative.tim wood

    There are a number of problems here:

    (1) You're treating "morality is relative" in the manner of "everything is relative." The two claims are not the same.

    (2) "Relativism is relative" is redundant in one sense. Ontologically, if something is relative, then of course it's the case that ontologically the thing in question is relative.

    (3) "Relativism is relative" could refer, on the other hand, to the belief of relativism being relative. And again, that's certainly the case, as there are people, like you, who believe that morality is not relative.

    (4) People often say "Everything is relative" can't be true, because they see truth as necessarily being "absolute" and usually objective. Of course, not all truth theories have truth as absolute or objective. Part of the issue there is if we're conflating truth with facts. If we look at "Everything is relative" as being something like "the name of a fact," then there's only a problem if one insists that facts are some sort of real (objective) abstract. Otherwise, we're back to (2), and there's no issue with relative ontological things being relative. They wouldn't be relative ontological things otherwise.

    A simple example: a chair. A chair is absolutely a chair.tim wood

    I'm not sure what that would be saying. For one, as you said above that part, "absolute" would need to be defined. That would help in figuring out what you're saying there.

    You might just be asserting identity--A is A (from perspective x, at time T, etc.)

    Thinking that relativists might be denying the above would be a straw man.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    1.2k
    Although you copied my quote directly, you misquoted me in what you wrote. I said "It involves a complex interaction of societal, governmental, religious, and cultural institutions." Do you really think you created your morality out of nothing but your own self? Your parents had nothing to do with it? Do you really believe you created your mind and heart without being influenced by the society and culture around you. To me, that shows a profound lack of self-awareness.

    I do think, although I didn't mention it, that a lot of our morality does come from "human nature" whatever that means, I guess it means some sort of genetic predisposition, to behave in a way that makes it easier for us to live together. As I've said many times, we are social animals. We are born to like each other.
    T Clark

    I unequivocally agree.
  • T Clark
    3.2k
    I unequivocally agree.Noah Te Stroete

    I'm not sure that anyone here has ever unequivocally agreed with me before. Let's see what @S has to say. He's a stubborn bastard.
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