• Dusty of Sky
    42
    Obviously, most people believe it's wrong to commit murder. But is it wrong to be a moral nihilist who doesn't believe that it's wrong to commit murder? Is it wrong to go a step further and believe that it's morally good to commit murder? And what if your political opinions cause you to sanction violence? Can that ever be morally wrong? Are we even responsible for our beliefs in the same sense as we're responsible for our actions?
  • Shamshir
    425
    Are we even responsible for our beliefs in the same sense as we're responsible for our actions?Dusty of Sky
    Yes. You may choose to have a certain belief, in the same way you may choose to dress yourself in a certain way.
    Belief and action are a pair. You'll act out what you believe, and beliefs will build up from the consequences of actions.

    But is it wrong to be a moral nihilist who doesn't believe that it's wrong to commit murder? Is it wrong to go a step further and believe that it's morally good to commit murder?Dusty of Sky
    Murder happens daily, with the intention of food production. Some may say that's okay, others may say it is horrible.
    But when it's called either good or bad, it's called that for a reason.
    So it's not about murder, but the reason behind murder.
    The action itself remains ambiguous.
  • Dusty of Sky
    42
    You may choose to have a certain belief, in the same way you may choose to dress yourself in a certain way.Shamshir

    I'm not conscious of my ability to choose what I believe. I understand on some level that my beliefs are influenced by my personal biases and my upbringing. But I still feel like my beliefs are the most reasonable beliefs I could hold. I can't just choose to believe something I perceive to be less rational.
  • Shamshir
    425

    But you're free to discard your beliefs and adopt others in their place at any time.
    Which gives you some power of choice.
  • Terrapin Station
    11.3k
    Are any opinions immoral to hold?

    No, not in my view. It's not immoral to have any beliefs, any opinions, or to express anything.
  • Terrapin Station
    11.3k
    Belief and action are a pair.Shamshir

    Belief (and opinion) and action are often correlated, but often there's little connection between the two, too.
  • Dusty of Sky
    42
    Choice definitely plays a role. But I don't think I could choose to believe that the Earth is flat. Even if I read nothing but flat earth advocacy for five years, I don't think my mindset is conspiratorial enough to ever allow me to believe that every scientist and astronaut is lying to us.
  • Dusty of Sky
    42
    Even if I am publicly advocating for violence in a compelling and charismatic way that causes people to commit terrorist attacks?
  • Shamshir
    425
    You enact your beliefs. You write comments like these, because you believe you should write them.
  • Terrapin Station
    11.3k
    You enact your beliefs.Shamshir

    Not necessarily. Again, there's often a correlation, but there isn't always.
  • Terrapin Station
    11.3k
    Even if I am publicly advocating for violence in a compelling and charismatic way that causes people to commit terrorist attacks?Dusty of Sky

    Speech can't be causal as in physical forcing anyone to do anything.

    So no.
  • Shamshir
    425
    Let's go with conscious actions. Better?
  • Dusty of Sky
    42
    Speech can't be causal as in physical forcing anyone to do anything.Terrapin Station

    Not directly. But there's definitely some truth in the saying that the pen has more power than the sword. The Crusades were inspired partly by Christian preaching. Revolutions are usually inspired by political dissidents. Darth Sideous used language to turn Anakin to the dark side. So language can definitely have disastrous consequences.
  • Shamshir
    425

    Sure. But every refusal you make, means you choose something over the refused object.
    So every time you refuse to believe something, you also choose to believe something else.
    You don't refuse without a choice; so you have some responsibility in the matter.
  • Dusty of Sky
    42
    Sure. But every refusal you make, means you choose something over the refused object.
    So every time you refuse to believe something, you also choose to believe something else.
    You don't refuse without a choice; so you have some responsibility in the matter.
    Shamshir

    I think choice plays a role in our more complex and uncertain beliefs. But if a belief just seems obvious to us (e.g. the world is round), how can we choose to reject it?
  • tim wood
    2.9k
    Are we even responsible for our beliefs in the same sense as we're responsible for our actions?Dusty of Sky

    There's what you believe, and what is. What is, is of a stronger ontological status than what you believe: belief yields to being. As to what is, sometimes that's obvious or at least apparent, but sometimes it must be sought out, and in this hunt reason is the master, reason the hunter. Right and wrong often (always?) correlates with what is. As such, if the being of a thing, its is-ness, can be established, then it is wrong to go another way. For example, the fundamental equality of all persons is established. It is therefore wrong to prejudiciously discriminate against persons or groups of persons.

    Morality sets a high standard for behaviour; it's serious business. Lots of folks operate with a squishy personal morality. Maybe we all do, until we learn and now better. Immorality, then, can be a matter of ignorance. This in itself is not a bad thing; it is the human condition. The remedy is education, and a willingness to learn and accept correction.

    Some immorality is vicious, not a matter of mere ignorance. And the conflict between morality and this immorality comprises a war. Unfortunately, morality isn't especially good at either fighting or winning its wars.

    I do not mean Sunday-school morality in this. Not I'm right and you're wrong morality. Not the morality of religions. Rather the morality that is right and can be known to be right by reason. As it happens, the several religions do have something to offer along these lines, after passing the touch-stone test of reason.

    So, yes, it's responsibility all the way down. Under this burden of obligation, we can only be thankful we're all inherently imperfect and flawed. That gives us all something to work on, that we can work on. But if only we were better at it!
  • Dusty of Sky
    42
    For example, the fundamental equality of all persons is established. It is therefore wrong to prejudiciously discriminate against persons or groups of persons.tim wood

    How can you prove a statement like that? I don't believe that all people are equal in any way. Is that immoral?
  • Terrapin Station
    11.3k
    Not directly. But there's definitely some truth in the saying that the pen has more power than the sword. The Crusades were inspired partly by Christian preaching. Revolutions are usually inspired by political dissidents. Darth Sideous used language to turn Anakin to the dark side. So language can definitely have disastrous consequences.Dusty of Sky

    Actions that people decide to take can be influenced by language and can be negative. That's not the language's fault, however. The people in question should make different decisions. It's their responsibility.
  • Artemis
    1.1k


    It's unlikely that political idea is immoral per se absent any action thereupon.

    But a belief or opinion may be immoral if you have a relationship that rests on the commitment to certain ideas. Like, it's probably immoral to hate your spouse when your spouse believes you love them. Even that immorality, rests on your continuing to be married to the person.
  • tim wood
    2.9k
    How can you prove a statement like that? I don't believe that all people are equal in any way. Is that immoral?Dusty of Sky

    They're people, yes?

    And you seem to be confusing the terms all people, individuals, and people, and ignoring the term "fundamental." And then you're opposing a belief against a proposition. When it comes to beliefs and feelings, there is no accounting for either, and you get to have either in any way you want. But do you act on the basis of them? To date if yes, it would seem just ignorance on your part, your actions based on your feelings and beliefs, a state of innocence. But now you're been told, so your innocence is disappearing faster than an ice cube in hot tea on a hot day. I do not really flatter myself or this site that this is the first you've ever heard of the fundamental equality of people, so I doubt you're very innocent. But this is serious business. If you have wrong beliefs you now know and likely have known that they're wrong. Act on them and indeed it is immoral, and maybe also whatever your action(s) are, are illegal.
  • Valentinus
    496
    Are we even responsible for our beliefs in the same sense as we're responsible for our actions?Dusty of Sky

    Maybe even more.

    "We" are the only person around while figuring out what is permitted for ourselves. The results of that calculation is what meets other people in the world. A lot of "action" happens without much awareness of what such a thing is or may be.

    The boundary is a presumption in every argument that brings the matter up, not an incidental side bar to the real thing.
  • Relativist
    737
    What if a person has been raised from birth to believe killing is good. This person didn't choose his belief, so how can he be considered morally wrong for holding this belief?
  • whollyrolling
    412


    It's a compilation of subjective moral pressures that causes us to consider something morally good or evil. Countless instances of acceptable murder have only recently been legitimized as evil.

    The death penalty is an example of this, as are the Roman colosseum and other instances of fighting for sport, warfare including suicide or death at the hands of oneself or one's allies for the sake of honour, killing of slaves, killing of unborn or unhealthy babies--to name a few.

    Being raised from birth is not a requirement in order to remove the veil of morality from any particular crime.

    If acts aren't objectively immoral, then opinions certainly aren't.

    Animal tendencies lean toward what we would call anarchy. It is a resistance to our animal tendencies that has led us toward our various systems of morality. It's a desire to appear to ourselves and each other to be superior to other animals or to each other, or not to perceive ourselves as animals at all, that causes us to label the anarchy of our species as order and civilization.

    Interestingly, I just read a note from Nietzsche on the tendency of social trends to override opinions when powerful or influential voices place pressure on societies to change how they view or act on things. We're presently experiencing just such an attempted overriding of opinions due to the senseless ambitions of globalists.
  • thedeadidea
    98
    The Argument....

    A Moral Theory needs to be able to distinguish good and evil
    Relativism holds what is true for one is not true for another unconditionally and is thus relative
    The Hollocaust perpetrared by Nazi Germany is Evil
    Relativism cannot Condemn the Holocaust
    Relativism Cannot Distinguish Evil
    Relativism cannot be considered a Moral Theory

    Normally I wouldn’t try to make arguments like this as ipso facto things but…. this is a total write off, why on earth would you want to start with such a bizarre position by the time you waste your life caveating this and arguing it to somewhere in the realm of a functional moral theory that emphasizes inclusion do you know what you will get?

    Pluralism.

    I wrote the above some time ago as a sort of aphoristic exercise I am trying to undertake to sharpen my prose.

    In all seriousness, if relativism holds any interest in philosophy it would probably be, behind morality and ethics what I would call values (not sure of the technical terms in the philisophical literature...) That is to say 'why be a good person at all?' why be a moral agent? or strive to be good? what is so good about being good? can you eat it? can you pay your bills with it?

    Relativism holds to this line of reasoning namely the principle of reasoning without an objective basis has an arbitrary foundation. There is some serious work in philosophy still trying to argue for different forms of non-relativist principles trying to argue for objective forms of ethics... Others would counter that the lack of values objectivity does not make them arbitrary... It exists more as I understand it as a type of literary tradition that contains the question, the critique, the cross-cultural comparison, the historicity etc...

    I don't think any serious philosopher is specifically using relativism as a methodological application to civics and laws legitimately arguing as it were by rights instilled by philosophical premise anything and everything is permissible. No serious moral philosopher has seriously argued that it is okay to take an elderly lady out into the street and bludgeon her to death with a big stick. So understand the theoretical projects of philosophy like foundationalism is an attempt to reach at something theoretically that then can be used as a conceptual schema for ethics and morality to sit upon it. Just as the relativist critique to point out the death of god, failure of philosophical foundationalism and such makes relativism hold purpose and meaning.

    I personally think this kind of moral objectivism and relativism are a waste of time and if you are looking for some kind of moral certainty look at Philip Pettit "The Inescapability of Consequentialism" for half an hour of your life you end up with a devastating ethical and moral claim that can take an ostensibility test and actually survive.
  • Terrapin Station
    11.3k
    Relativism cannot Condemn the Holocaustthedeadidea

    We've gone over this a number of times, but the mistake you're making here is this:

    Relativists say that whether something is morally good or bad depends on some context; nothing is morally good or bad context-independently.

    You're thinking that to condemn something morally is to condemn it context-independently.

    As we just reviewed, however, relativists do not believe that anything is good or bad context-independently.

    This does not imply that relativists would not say that nothing is good or bad context-dependently. In fact, they say that any moral utterance is necessarily context-dependent They say that it's a category error to think of moral utterances as somehow (potentially) being content-independent.

    So while relativists cannot condemn the holocaust context-independently, they'd say that that hardly matters, since it's a category error anyway. It's not what anyone is doing when they make moral utterances.

    Relativistscan and do condemn the holocaust context-dependently.
  • thedeadidea
    98


    You are so eager to disagree when you quoted one premise you missed the "I wrote the above some time ago as a sort of aphoristic exercise I am trying to undertake to sharpen my prose.In all seriousness,"

    So in your relativism where you can define right or wrong based on context how do you feel about misquotation? More so how do you feel about misquotation as an issue outside of context? Does relativism as a moral theory give you your feelings about misquotation? Or is it more you deciding right or wrong in any specific situation and bartering relativism as an extension of your identity?

    Is it like me, myself and I
    but you get me, myself, I and irelativism

    I might be getting jealous.
  • Terrapin Station
    11.3k
    "I wrote the above some time ago as a sort of aphoristic exercise I am trying to undertake to sharpen my prose.In all seriousness,"thedeadidea

    An aphoristic exercise you're trying to undertake to sharpen your prose, via writing things you do not agree with?
  • thedeadidea
    98
    An aphoristic exercise you're trying to undertake to sharpen your prose, via writing things you do not agree with?Terrapin Station

    Sorry... I assumed since you were on a philosophy forum you would look at a logical syllogism and realize what it was. Either that or I assumed more integrity on your part that you would not quote one premise from a logical syllogism and contextualize that as the whole of my position. When there is an entire elaboration just beneath it...

    Obviously, you are either/or less bright or more insincere than I gave you credit for.

    I apologize.

    Even more vaccuous I write off relativism in the elaboration of the syllogism, the contextualization of the argument.... and I admit relativism doesn't impress me my entire sarcasm was... How after caveating it do you meaningfully differentiate yourself from pluralism... Why not go straight to the position than play semantic games... You then come out guns blazing decide
    i) the definition of relativism on my behalf
    ii) several key terminologies on my behalf
    iii) then barter CONTEXT over and over

    so you have a relativism (that isn't relative) that can accept many positions as a point of emphasis but deny some inherently on moral grounds.

    This is in effect moral pluralism... So now you want me to qualify myself or my argument within the context of your misquotation... For your waste of life semantic, my relativism is xyz project I already anticipated and made fun of you for?

    Were you dropped on your head at birth ? Or do you just try really hard to be dumb?
  • Terrapin Station
    11.3k
    I assumed more integrity on your part that you would not quote one premise from a logical syllogism and contextualize that as the whole of my position.thedeadidea

    I wasn't characterizing "the whole of your position." I was addressing something particular.

    Saying that something is an "aphoristic exercise I am trying to undertake to sharpen my prose" isn't a conventional way to indicate "I don't actually agree with any of this." If you don't agree with what you typed, though, that's fine. All I really care about in this is that people don't keep repeating the same mistake over and over. I see statements like "Relativism cannot Condemn the Holocaust" all the time.
  • luckswallowsall
    61
    Opinions are only immoral in a consequentialist sense. Namely, if having certain beliefs/opinions have the consequence of causing us to harm others or ourselves.
  • Dusty of Sky
    42
    And you seem to be confusing the terms all people, individuals, and people, and ignoring the term "fundamental." And then you're opposing a belief against a proposition. When it comes to beliefs and feelings, there is no accounting for either, and you get to have either in any way you want. But do you act on the basis of them? To date if yes, it would seem just ignorance on your part, your actions based on your feelings and beliefs, a state of innocence. But now you're been told, so your innocence is disappearing faster than an ice cube in hot tea on a hot day. I do not really flatter myself or this site that this is the first you've ever heard of the fundamental equality of people, so I doubt you're very innocent. But this is serious business. If you have wrong beliefs you now know and likely have known that they're wrong. Act on them and indeed it is immoral, and maybe also whatever your action(s) are, are illegal.tim wood

    Yes, we are all equal in that we're people, in that we're made of atoms, and in that we're located on the planet earth. We are equal in that (to put it Platonically) we participate in many of the same universals. But we're never equal with regard to particulars. Each of our particular features is unique. But uniqueness is not necessarily a good thing. We might be uniquely bad in some respects. We might be bad in most respects. And I don't see how a person who's bad in most respects can be seen as equal in any meaningful sense to a person who's good in most respects.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment