• god must be atheist
    1.6k
    So unless what you, I and everyone else is engaged in right now isn't study or inquiry then I really do not know what we are doing right nowMark Dennis

    Precise statement, I concur with this. I don't think I am studying or enquiring what ethics is. I am into disproving that it is possible to objectively study ethics. This is different from STUDYING ethics. Much like it is possible to talk about the Hungarian language using nothing but English terms.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.4k
    I think utilitarian ideas do face real and serious problems.

    If like I mentioned earlier a Doctor about to cure cancer and save thousands of lives needs a heart transplant then it would really maximize the good to kill an innocent and healthy person because that really would maximize overall well being.

    But hardly anyone would think that was acceptable meaning humans are not true utilitarians. So a lot of moral positions people claim to support are never followed honestly or consistently.
  • god must be atheist
    1.6k
    Mark Dennis, although you were very careful in making my prediction come true, meaning that a post of mine will be completely ignored for content, inadvertently above you gave two answers to one point taken from my post which is ignored vehemently and adamantly
    — god must be atheist

    Oh I responded so ive somehow proved your point that everyone ignores you? I can see that I'm wasting my time arguing with you when your logic seems to be breaking so often.
    Mark Dennis

    You did not break my logic, and it is not broken. My points get ignored when there is no logically reasonable defence against the logic involved in my posts.

    And no, you did not respond. You INADVERTENTLY responded, not directly. You are losing the grip on what actually happens here, man.

    And my point was not that I get ignored. My prediction was that that particular post will be ignored. Get a grip, man, get a grip.
  • deletedmemberMD
    590
    But hardly anyone would think that was acceptable meaning humans are not true utilitarians. So a lot of moral positions people claim to support are never followed honestly or consistently.Andrew4Handel

    Evidently you know nothing about adaptive pragmatism or it's approach to ethics. Nothing is true and that everything is permitted but not everything is yet at symbiotic balance. Balance is the key to all things and balance is the ultimate stable state of the universe. I can prove that physically too! Look at and study neutron stars and then ask yourself about the nature of black holes. If you research the charge of black holes you'll realise that they are most likely supermassive neutron stars with a gravitational pull so strong visible light can't escape them. So the end state of the universe will be numerous balls of highly balanced neutral matter that will slowly evaporate away into nothing which too is a very balanced state of no affairs.
  • god must be atheist
    1.6k
    Except consensus does exist? Easy to claim it doesn't exist when one is outside of it.Mark Dennis

    Outside of what? Morality? Beg your pardon.

    Outside of Ph.D. group? Yes. The Ph.D.'s consensus is not the same consensus as the common man's. It has been shown to you. Then you replied that Ph.D.s only expand on the concept of morality. So they expanded so much, that consensus does not exist any more. Therefore I claim that some overcomplicate things because they can present their pet theories after and believe them after overcomplication, because the concepts have been changed materially. You agree to that by agreeing that consensus between Ph.D.s and common man do not exist as far as ethics / morality are concerned.
  • deletedmemberMD
    590
    And no, you did not respond. You INADVERTENTLY responded, not directly. You are losing the grip on what actually happens here, man.god must be atheist

    Yes, I accidentally fell on the keyboard multiple times in a way that produced a identfieably correct human syntax. And I'm the one losing grip on reality? The sheer ignorance in your statement is astounding.

    You don't even understand what logic is it seems. Please read Cohen's preface to logic before you next message or I will not reply.
  • deletedmemberMD
    590
    Outside of Ph.D. group? Yes. The Ph.D.'sgod must be atheist

    Except I have not got a PHD so again your entire argument is based on a false premise and I've stopped reading now. Think I've figured out why people ignore you. They aren't the problem though, you are. Find a way to grow if you want to avoid being ignored in the future. Goodbye.
  • god must be atheist
    1.6k
    Evidently you know nothing about adaptive pragmatism or it's approach to ethics.Mark Dennis

    I know this was addressed not to me, but I am actually proud of my ignorance of adaptive pragmatism and its (and not "it's") approach to ethics.

    I am proud, because it is but one of the ways Ph.D.s overcomplicate morality so it does not look anything like itself, and thus gives way to claims, such as that morality can be likened to the function of a black hole or neutron star.
  • god must be atheist
    1.6k

    This entire argument is about the usefulness of yourself to society, and your purported value as a professional human being. You said somewhere that you have a Masters degree in Ethics. Maybe I am wrong, and please correct me if I am. You sit on several committees acting as an ethics expert.

    To you it is of importance to defend the ideas that sturctures, progress, and value exist in the study of ethics. Therefore your arguments are not ethical totally; they are self-serving.

    My objections to your points do not stem from a fear by me of losing my livelihood if you prove to me that the study of ethics is structured, and its findings are objective, solid findings.

    Think about this.

    You said good-bye to me. I accept your good-bye, but please know that I haven't said god-bye to you.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.4k
    Evidently you know nothing about adaptive pragmatismMark Dennis

    Like everyone else in the world.

    You are criticizing my position based on an elusive stance that a handful of people in the world hold.

    Most people I have meet claim to want to minimize suffering. I am pointing out that they claim that but fail to take the necessary actions.

    My opening post was not criticizing the minority positions that you are now espousing because these are not the moral ideas running societies.

    I suppose the retort must be "Actions speak louder than word" Are people actually behaving in a way consistent with their moral claims?
  • deletedmemberMD
    590
    suppose the retort must be "Actions peak louder than word" Are people actually behaving in a way consistent with their moral claims?Andrew4Handel

    A good point to raise. Personally I don't know. I know I try to be consistent in my moral claims but I am just as fallible as the next person.

    For you; I suppose you need to ask yourself what your own values are and if they are worth trying or dying for. Not much else for us to do otherwise. I'd kill myself out of boredom otherwise.

    Whether we makeup meaning or meaning is already there, I don't know. Life craves meaning it seems though and life values itself and everything the self says; even to the point of valuing the statement that "Life is meaningless" which is a strangely meaningful thing to say.

    Also if you look into Moral Psychology on the Stanford encyclopedia you will find a number of experimental evidence which suggest, not proves, suggests that fundamentally people are more altruistic than they are egotistical by nature.

    I honestly dont feel like you or others have effectively refuted my claims enough for me to believe the universe is absent value or meaning as I can see for myself that life is of the universe and life creates meaning out of what is offered by the perceptions of the universe. This is fact, life does this. Trying to stop it from doing this is an impossible task. The chemical reaction is happening and we don't know when it will fizzle out and this entity called life will collectively die. Tardigraades are pretty sturdy creatures so maybe they will evolve into a superior and eternal race at some point?

    I don't really know but I think that is our conversations natural end. Think and research what I've said and try doing it without the motivation to prove me wrong and see if that changes your bias at all.
  • deletedmemberMD
    590
    To you it is of importance to defend the ideas that sturctures, progress, and value exist in the study of ethics. Therefore your arguments are not ethical totally; they are self-serving.god must be atheist

    Lets say it is self serving, which I agree with but only in that it is serving the external self (the universe). Why would you care if you don't believe in the existence of tangible values? What is motivating you to attack me for mine if nothing really matters to you? Surely you'd be better served by sitting back and laughing at me for my ignorance while you sit back under no obligation to cure me of it? Seems fishy to me. You act a lot like someone who is motivated by internal principles and values in that you are communicating at all. Whoops, looks like someone isn't being consistent with their own beliefs or why the desire to communicate and regale us all with tales of your value system? How moral of you sir to care for me and my ignorance so.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.4k
    I honestly don't feel like you or others have effectively refuted my claims enough for me to believe the universe is absent value or meaningMark Dennis

    I am not claiming this.

    I am claiming that our moral systems have failed. And that this failure is being ignored because people are still relying on questionable moral ideas.
  • deletedmemberMD
    590
    am claiming that our moral systems have failed. And that this failure is being ignored because people are still relying on questionable moral ideas.Andrew4Handel

    We are all still alive so doesn't seem like we have failed to me? We have been doing a good job of reducing suffering relatively speaking and are working on the equality issues. Our species used to be a baby and now its closer to a measure of maturity than it has been in awhile if not quite there enough yet for you and yes it slides backwards in some respects. If you're aware of the failures then pitch in and help or shut up really. Otherwise you're just wasting your own time. If it bothers you that an imperfect universe has imperfect life then I'm truly sorry but you're begging the question; What do You want?
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.4k
    We are all still alive so doesn't seem like we have failed to me?Mark Dennis

    But some people are not and are still suffering from failed moral ideals.

    My issue is that failed moral ideologies are propping up a deeply problematic society.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.4k
    I pointed out the issue of moral hypocrisy. People who claim to want to reduce suffering and pin their colours on that mast but are not helping.

    I don't think that people who criticize modern morality should have to accept the current ideologies or be silent.

    I don't endorse the notion of progress either.

    You can be a moral nihilist and oppose society and critique society never having any need to endorse it or prop it up.

    It is not a futile critique but it is clearly going to be distasteful to people who endorse a notion of moral progress. And whom in my opinion are complacent.
  • deletedmemberMD
    590
    People who claim to want to reduce suffering and pin their colours on that mast but are not helping.Andrew4Handel

    Yet some are helping? What does my entire job mean if its not an act to help? Arguments like mine are the ones which allow you to spew your nonsense. Freedom of speech is something you have no choice but to value because it gives you a voice whether I like it or not. So again you're still acting out of moral motivation. Unless you are so special that your brain functions by magic? You are asking me to basically ignore my knowledge of how the human body works and how life itself operates just for the sake of what agreeing with your incorrect claims that none of this exists which is essentially your inferred claim by your own beliefs and you can try and deny my appraisals of the faults in your logic all you like but here you are still valuing your time and spending it on me. Thanks for your time I guess. Pity it wasn't more fruitful for you.
  • Brett
    1.6k


    My issue is that failed moral ideologies are propping up a deeply problematic society.Andrew4Handel

    There is no failed moral ideology. There is a deeply problematic society. I would not assume what you call a ‘failed moral ideology’ is behind it. The problem with morality, from my perspective, is that there is an aspect of human nature that can chose to carry out acts that are a disadvantage to others, from theft to murder. That doesn’t mean we are not inherently moral creatures, it means we must enact that morality and at times we fail to. But having a moral code means that whenever we are faced with problems of this nature, what’s the right thing to do? we can refer to our moral code, that which has enabled us to become who we are and what we are over the last million years.

    The source of our problematic society is not knowing what to do and not believing that there are morals to act on, even though we do so every day. As if you yourself are functioning successfully under some system alien to everyone else. And in fact if that was true it’s because of the moral nature of people that you could do so. It’s a great irony to me that having developed the great advantage of language we now seem to think that as soon as you give something a word to define it we then say the word is mere consensus and therefore means nothing. So by identifying something we then blast it from existence.
  • 180 Proof
    623
    Truism of the thread title deserves another in kind: Which human endeavors of scope probity and efficacy are not "problematic"? :yawn:

    My nihilism is ...Andrew4Handel

    ... pointless, or arbitrary, because everything you/we say or value is pointless, or arbitrary, according to nihilism. Nihilism about nihilism refutes itself. Thus, merely a self-serving(?) fiction (or crutch).

    ... the default until someone can provide me with moral facts. — Andrew4Handel

    Altruism [moral]. Care for another without reciprocity or extrinsic benefit (i.e. utility). Suffering [fact] is a visceral appeal for help to which (most) fellow sufferers, ceteris paribus, involuntarily respond. Choice begins with how, not with whether or not, to help; sympathy (or it's absence) is dispositional and/or conditioned [moral fact]. And eusociality is the (highly correlative, or self-reinforcing) consequence - gossamer-thin veneer though it may be.

    What's so great about the truth?frank

    Touché.

    "We still do not know where the urge for truth comes from; for as yet we have heard only of the obligation imposed by society that it should exist: to be truthful means using the customary metaphors - in moral terms, the obligation to lie according to fixed convention, to lie herd-like in a style obligatory for all ..."

    "What are man's truths ultimately? Merely his irrefutable errors."


    ~Freddy Zarathustra

    (emphases are mine)

    Without morality, with the "ego" in its full potential, humanity would develop at its maximum.Gus Lamarch

    :roll: Yeah, like living "without ecology" ...

    "The time would be easy to know, for then mankind would have become as the Great Old Ones; free and wild and beyond good and evil, with laws and morals thrown aside and all men shouting and killing and revelling in joy. Then the liberated Old Ones would teach them new ways to shout and kill and revel and enjoy themselves, and all the earth would flame with a holocaust of ecstasy and freedom."

    ~a Cultist

    (emphasis is mine)

    Aesthetics and Ethics are joined at the hip.frank

    Agreed. :up:

    Morality is problematic because it depends on creating good, and good can't be defined, only conceptualized.god must be atheist

    An argument for moral good defined (pace Moore et al) by the negation of that which is (a) subject/pov-invariant (i.e. objective) moral bad.
  • I like sushi
    1.9k
    I think moral values inform action and actions are problematic if there is a failure to justify them.Andrew4Handel

    I see the public justification of actions as inherently problematic (see my first post on first page).
  • ovdtogt
    667
    Starting off with a nihilistic premise has helped me find clarity in life.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.4k
    .. pointless, or arbitrary, because everything you/we say or value is pointless, or arbitrary, according nihilism. Nihilism about nihilism refutes itself. Thus, merely a self-serving(?) fiction (or crutch).180 Proof

    Nihilism about everything might be self refuting but nihilism about morality isn't.

    However I do not think the meaning of words and other symbols is the kind of meaning being refuted by nihilists. Saying "this sentences is meaningless" refutes itself. But saying life is meaningless is not saying the same thing.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.4k
    Altruism [moral]. Care for another without reciprocity or extrinsic benefit (i.e. utility). Suffering [fact] is a visceral appeal for help to which (most) fellow sufferers, ceteris paribus, involuntarily respond. Choice begins with how, not with whether or not, to help; sympathy (or it's absence) is dispositional and/or conditioned [moral fact]. And eusociality is the (highly correlative, or self-reinforcing) consequence - gossamer-thin veneer though it may be.180 Proof

    I think the way you have phrased this is obscurantist.

    Altruism is only moral if you accept the premise that altruism is moral.

    Caring for one person is not the same as caring for everyone. Nazis sacrificed their lives for the Nazi ideology and the Übermensch.

    Suffering is mostly tolerated and ignored. Professing a desire to end suffering is not the same as actually reducing suffering.

    The kind of moral fact we need is the kind that would resolve the debate as to whether abortion is immoral. I don't think you could claim abortion is altruistic. I agree that it is a fact that people are altruistic but not that it is a moral fact.

    I think the pleasure/harm dichotomy is not a moral issue. We usually don't consider natural disasters as having a moral dimension or natural harms. We don't consider all pleasures moral.
  • Gus Lamarch
    80
    :roll: Yeah, like living "without ecology" ...180 Proof

    That would surely work, but of course, only for a "humanity freed of morals", and societal structures that only served to enslave the human ego, the "yourself".
  • Gus Lamarch
    80
    Altruism is only moral if you accept the premise that altruism is moral.Andrew4Handel

    "Altruism" on the absolute truth of the masses, is, and can only be moral. The concept of "Altruism" was constructed to make the "self" a serf of society, a serf of the dogmatic "absolute truth".
  • 180 Proof
    623
    Non sequiturs. Strawmen. :shade:

    I don't follow ...
  • jambaugh
    29
    Pardon my butting in. I'm new to the forum. I have a list of comments on earlier posts but I'll try [and it seems horribly fail] to be brief. Pardon me (or not as your ethics declare) for hashing old disposed of issues:

    From the OP: "A primary problem is moral nihilism and the lack of moral truths. It is not clear there are any moral obligations or moral ought's or moral facts. And when debating things like abortion and assisted suicide you cannot resort to moral facts tor resolve the issue."

    Morality (IMNSHO) is, fundamentally, an individual's value system. "What is good" presuppose the answer to the question "Good as valued by whom?". So "Moral Truth" itself presupposes a universal value system which therefore must be held by a universal holder of value. Attempts of secularists or atheists to define absolute value systems from reason and logic will ultimately fail. There are no absolute moral truths in this sense. So I see a range of further possibilities between moral nihilism and an all encompassing moral absolute.

    However! Moral relativity (in the same sense of relativity principles of nature and not the moral relativism that has devolved into moral nihilism) can be formulates that establishes common values given the common context of those circumstances that define the human condition. Recognizing that there is still a context is important so as to recognize also that that context is a very stiff frame fixing aspect of moral relativity. One may debate ethics in the context "were we ants and not men" as one may debate the ethics of our striving toward or away from evolving into ants or men. But that ethical debate like all such debates is premise dependent. Each individual has their one moral premises. What is left to be debated is what, given a set of premises are, and what the reality of the contexts allows, is our best guess as to the value of our actions.

    In a horribly simplistic example of this point consider a group of philosophers debating ethics but acknowledging that each individual has their own random value system. Rather than debating the virtue of self annihilation they simply wait a few minutes for those who hold that value supreme to suicide, and they can then continue with the opposite premise understood in future debates, without being judgemental on an absolute virtue in their stance. They argue "Those of you left we may presume value for whatever reason value continued existence and thus..."

    Second comment: I've noticed the term "antinatalist" bandied about in this an other threads. Firstly I don't see the logic, of the individual holding that value waiting for species suicide rather than, if he is acting consistently on his principles, actively seeking the annihilation of all humanity. I'm not sure if I am understanding the concept correctly, there is one idea of self culling, taking one's on genetic code out of the picture, and there's the culling of others, which is eugenics by whatever means they seek to effect it. I still see it as anti-life since it has the inherent hubris of imposing the advocates' values on the subject of the implied action. I would recognize that the infant may very well grow to hold values far different from those imposed on them by the interventive "antinatalist". No matter how horrific the sufferings of life for an individual, they can at every instance judge the value of enduring that suffering vs escaping it via death and I feel it is presumptuous of me to impose my value system upon them... but of course I'm expressing my values. I state them merely to point out that there is an alternative position and thus a question of consistency in the alternative position.

    Like the person trying to convince me that there is no free will, I argue to the moral nihilist that by your attempt to argue you are invoking that which you deny. If it is better to believe in nihilism then there must be a value in believing one system over another, and since your nihilism denies this it must be the wronger belief, or else you must be heretical in your actions within that belief system. Shame on you!!!

    Ok, Final Comment: I see examples in this thread of an inconsistent application of an assumption of omniscience in arguing ethics. Specifically we must in our cognition, acknowledge our ignorance as it manifest and our limited power to actualize what we value.

    Part and parcel of any value system we apply to our actions (my definition of ethics) are the two factors of knowledge about their effect and power to actualize those effects we deem are of value. These are arguable truths that provide a transcendental quality to the moral question. If one, say as a matter of faith, rejects the total absence of any value system, one must then acknowledge the existence of the utility of acquiring knowledge and power to effect one's choices for the furtherance of whatever value one may discover in the future. This is both the kernel seed of all moral paths and the permanent driving force behind any moral code we may pursue, given our knowledge of our lack of omniscience and our lack of omnipotence.

    This is My basis of morality given my rejection of belief in deities or spirits with higher moral authority.
    I seek to improve my knowledge of what is right and what that means. I seek to improve my power to effect what I then discover regarding this. I acknowledge that every other willful agent (a.k.a. person) is following their own path along those lines and facilitate those whom I feel are moving, in so far as my current tentative values dictate, in the right direction. All this I implement with appropriate humility and conviction as I can best judge.

    So I say "Yes" Morality is Problematic. It is, obviously, the ultimate problem and I feel in the obviousness of our ever present but ever changing ignorance and impotence it is the eternal problem. Those of you looking for purpose in life, can you find any better to pursue? As Linda Hunt asked in "The Year of Living Dangerously" "What then must we do?" (Unfortunately, 42 just doesn't seem to fit as the answer.)

    Some may hold that the answer is to ride down the street eliminating anyone they can. In my agnosticism of moral absolutes I acknowledge the legitimacy of their view while I also act upon my own best judgement of morality which is that I should put a bullet in their head as soon as they commit to such an action for the sake of the other seekers whom I value and they would annihilate. But that's just me.
  • creativesoul
    7.4k
    All morality is the codified rules governing ones behaviour, and as such all morality consists of that which is considered acceptable and/or unacceptable thought, belief, and/or behaviour. After we begin talking about morality, we also begin influencing our subsequent thought and belief about what counts as acceptable/unacceptable thought, belief, and/or behaviour.

    Our belief about that which existed in it's entirety prior to our awareness of it can be false and/or seriously mistaken on the most fundamental of levels. Our moral sensibility is autonomous in it's basic beginnings... when it begins to emerge onto the world stage by virtue of being cultivated within the individual. We all have pretty much the same moral sensibilities prior to language acquisition and use. Things change as one begins adopting one's first worldview. Subjective particulars begin showing up as having direct influence upon important differences between different moralities(codes of conduct). So, there are indeed differences relative to one's own environment. These cultural, societal, and/or familial differences can include codes of conduct and/or principles governing one's behaviour that are in direct conflict with another's. So, there's that...

    We also all know - as adults coming from a plurality of moral backgrounds - that it is not good, it is not moral, it is not acceptable, it is wrong, it is morally reprehensible to smack an old woman on the back of her head with a shovel for no apparent good reason.

    So...

    Perhaps it is best to realize that there are many trivial things we agree on, but agree nonetheless. If we agree on some stuff, there's room to explore why and/or how that became the case.

    There are common denominators in all morality regardless of that which is influenced by and/or relative to the individual particular circumstances. Not one of us, regardless of individual particulars, likes to believe that we're being seriously hurt/harmed. All of us have some vague but strong visceral aversion to being physically and mentally hurt. This is equally true prior to language acquisition, and thus prior to adopting our first moral lessons(about how one ought act in what situation).

    These are true statements about all morality. They are true solely by virtue of corresponding to what happened and/or happens everyday. Developing this kind of discourse provides a more fertile and solid ground for substantively addressing some of the historical problems of morality.
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