moral relativism

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Re: moral relativism

Postby EnlightenmentLiberal » Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:17 pm

As for the U.N. doc,
http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/

In no particular order: Article 3 may be relevant for abortion debates and end-of-life debates. It could be misused in those contexts. Article 12 could easily be interpreted as allowing overly strict libel et al laws and thereby significantly hurting freedom of speech. Article 16 is nice for the consent clause, but it's also pretty bullshit with its "family values" bullshit. Stuff like this is used when one criminalizes homosexuality. Article 17 can be interpreted to deny wealth redistribution programs such as progressive taxation. Article 20 can be interpreted as to forbid mandatory military drafts or mandatory civil service. Article 26 clause 3 is actually completely bullshit, and is the foundation of many of the ills in this world. That is not a "right" of the parent. It is an attack on the rights of the child. Parents should not have the "right" to keep their children purposefully ignorant. Children should have the right to education and to be informed. (This is one of Dan Dennett's big shticks.) Article 27 clause 2 sounds like author's right copyright as opposed to public good copyright. That makes it bullshit. See: http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/misinterp ... right.html . Article 29 clause 2 can again be interpreted as an unjust limitation on free speech. Too much talk about "respect".
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Re: moral relativism

Postby nottamun » Fri Aug 16, 2013 1:04 pm

Reply to ArchAtheistDave:

“But others have reported the same thing, basically all the clever things we do in the normal course of our society are done by other animals in thiers to at least some degree. All but money really, and if you count food as analogous to money then even that line is very blurry”.


I really don’t know what you are trying to say here. Humans do ‘clever’ things such as wearing clothes and splitting the atom. I can’t see an animal equivalent and I see no way of linking this to moral behaviour.

“The concept of "Altruistic Reciprocatotors", "Free Riders", and I'm sure many more concepts need to be reviewed for the elements of them that can be shown to work well within a social system. We could go on with as much mental masturbation as needed saying that we would need to determine that social systems have objective values as well, but I say this is false”.


Again, I am sorry, but I have no idea what you are talking about.

“What we humans are really great at is getting together in groups and making things happen that way. Strength in numbers with objectives benefit the collective”.


But how does this link to the concept of morality? The first few hundred thousand years of human existence were characterised by extraordinarily small numbers of individuals and small group sizes. Success in achieving group co-operation, allied with growth in brain size, certainly played their part, but I don’t know where you are going with this idea.
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Re: moral relativism

Postby nottamun » Fri Aug 16, 2013 1:24 pm

Reply to Lausten:

"'If you noticed that this was a question, you gave no indication of doing so because you did not reply'.

Reply to what? I said you come across as challenging, and you said, “what’s wrong with that?” If you want to challenge, not ask, that’s your problem. I have nothing else to say about it".


You are wriggling to a quite astonishing degree. I asked you a direct question, “If they hold that particular view, why is it unreasonable that I challenge them to explain?”. It is not a ‘challenge’. It was a direct question in response to one of your unjustified criticisms. You want to get out of anwering my simple question by playing with words; “If you want to challenge, not ask, that’s your problem”. You have again done what you accuse me of doing; misinterpreting. A question is something which is asked. Because you can’t answer the question, you want to avoid it; “I have nothing else to say about it”. You have just demonstrated that your initial criticism was unjustified because you have been completely unable to back it up.

“‘I ask you for examples’

See above”


You demonstrate once again your inability to provide any evidence for statements you have made. Every time that you make assertions without justification I am bound to ask you to support what you say. That is not at all unreasonable. When you refuse to support your accusations, you provide me and the world with evidence that they are … unsupported.

"‘Different interpretations of the rules result in different ‘objective moralities’’

You say I didn’t respond to his, but I did include this as one those statements you make that are difficult to unpack and respond to. I’m not sure how I can explain that “different” and “objective” don’t make sense when used to together like this".


And I have to tell you yet again that, if you think that something is difficult to ‘unpack’, then the thing to do is to ask for clarification or for further explanation. This is very much more positive and polite that simply dismissing statements out of hand, which tends to close off discussion.

I’ve been saying that there is no such thing as “objective morality”, and I think I’ve explained that I mean people CLAIM to have created objectively moral systems, but they really aren’t. Usually, they are systems that serve an elite to help oppress others.


You have stated this. You have not explained it. I can now add this to the the three other statements you made for which I have sought explanation and for which you have offered nothing.

“Some then say that all morality is relative, but they don’t examine that in much detail. I think that is what EL was trying to do originally”.


You are not getting anywhere as an apologist for EL. He chose not to explain to me. Please do not imagine that you can do better on his behalf.

“If you want to join in that, feel free, but don’t expect to get much of a response to unparseable statements like the one I quoted here. And don’t bother whining that I don’t respond to it either”.


I really don’t understand what you are trying to say here. I am not ‘whining’ that you don’t respond. I am proving that you don’t respond.

I have never – up to this point – refused to respond reasonably to you.

"OMG. So, in your world, being challenging, then saying “what’s wrong with that”, is reasonable. Okay, got it. You ask a lot of questions. An unreasonable number of questions. So if I don’t respond to all of them, that is not unreasonable, but when you complain that I don’t, that IS unreasonable".


Why is the number of questions unreasonable? If we are now discussing who is unreasonable, I shall now give you a number of statements which, if unjustified, you can readily disprove.

• There have been at least a dozen occasions when you have not responded when I have asked either a direct question for clarification or a demand that you defend something you have said. You have never asked something similarly of me and not received a response.

• I have pointed out to you many examples of criticisms which you have made which you have been unable to justify. I even summarised some of these in my reply of August 04. You have never received an unjustified criticism from me.

• You have never been able to make a criticism of me which, after my response, you have gone on – beyond pure assertion - to come back with further points, ie developed argument.

• In our mutual discussions on this thread I have written thousands of words in development of the theme. I am stretched to find five sentences from you. I do not count reference to another discussion link as an expansion of the theme. When asked specifically on two separate occasions to develop a point which I found interesting, you failed to do so.

• You have accused me of misunderstanding you without ever giving me a single specific example, even though I have twice asked for one. I have given you at least three examples of when you have misinterpreted me. Not once did you reply.

These are some of my justifications for why I find our conversations unprofitable. Once more we have made no progress in developing the theme.
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Re: moral relativism

Postby Lausten » Fri Aug 16, 2013 1:44 pm

In our mutual discussions on this thread I have written thousands of words in development of the theme. I am stretched to find five sentences from you. I do not count reference to another discussion link as an expansion of the theme

From my very first responses to you I told you that I don't engage with unreasonable people. I'm telling you why I'm not responding to you, then you're getting mad that I don't respond. That's a little weird.

You are wriggling to a quite astonishing degree. I asked you a direct question, “If they hold that particular view, why is it unreasonable that I challenge them to explain?”. It is not a ‘challenge’. It was a direct question in response to one of your unjustified criticisms.

"challenge" and "answer" are two different words. I have the right to assess a statement and comment on it. You seem to agree that "challenge" is the right word because you use it saying "I challenge". So, if you agree, what do you want me to explain? If you can't understand that I would respond to someone saying, "I don't get what you meant" but not respond to someone saying, "what you said was crazy", that is your problem.
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Re: moral relativism

Postby nottamun » Sat Aug 17, 2013 8:16 am

Reply to Lausten:

You don't want to respond because you have not been able to make even one criticism stick. And you can't respond to my five statements. That tells me all I need to know.
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Re: moral relativism

Postby Lausten » Sat Aug 17, 2013 8:01 pm

nottamun wrote:If I understand you rightly, you are arguing that the existence of mutually inconsistent beliefs does not contradict the idea that we should avoid having mutually inconsistent beliefs. If that is the case, then I agree with you. But that is not the point I was trying to make. You ignored my corollary, ‘Mutually inconsistent means that they cannot be reconciled’. This begs an expanded discussion which we never entered into because EL never responded. This involves such questions as:
• If such beliefs cannot be reconciled, what do we mean if we say that we should avoid them?

We should only concern ourselves with beliefs that allow for doing harm to others. So the belief that people's well being is important trumps any belief that causes harm.
nottamun wrote:• Do we avoid them by all believing the same thing?

No
notttmun wrote:• Is this possible or even desirable?

No
nottamun wrote:• What does or should happen when mutually inconsistent beliefs come up against each other?

The rule of law and a just court system is the best system for addressing this that I know of.
nottamun wrote:• How can such a statement possibly be axiomatic?

Not sure what statement you are referring to or how you are using axiomatic here.

And so on.
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Re: moral relativism

Postby nottamun » Sun Aug 18, 2013 12:30 pm

Reply to Lausten:

The five statements were at the end of my penultimate post. They were bulleted so that you could not pretend that you have not read them. Here they are again:

• There have been at least a dozen occasions when you have not responded when I have asked either a direct question for clarification or a demand that you defend something you have said. You have never asked something similarly of me and not received a response.

• I have pointed out to you many examples of criticisms which you have made which you have been unable to justify. I even summarised some of these in my reply of August 04. You have never received an unjustified criticism from me.

• You have never been able to make a criticism of me which, after my response, you have gone on – beyond pure assertion - to come back with further points, ie developed argument.

• In our mutual discussions on this thread I have written thousands of words in development of the theme. I am stretched to find five sentences from you. I do not count reference to another discussion link as an expansion of the theme. When asked specifically on two separate occasions to develop a point which I found interesting, you failed to do so.

• You have accused me of misunderstanding you without ever giving me a single specific example, even though I have twice asked for one. I have given you at least three examples of when you have misinterpreted me. Not once did you reply.

These are some of my justifications for why I find our conversations unprofitable. Once more we have made no progress in developing the theme.

And you dare to ask why I have to repeat myself.
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Re: moral relativism

Postby Lausten » Sun Aug 18, 2013 12:55 pm

So, what is it you want?

Do you want me to offer some form of explanation for these statements?

Or should I go looking for the dozen occasions where I didn't respond and respond to those or find my criticisms and develop them further?

Or develop the theme of the thread itself?
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Re: moral relativism

Postby nottamun » Sun Aug 18, 2013 3:26 pm

Reply to Lausten:

If you can't grasp the meaning of the five statements from my reminder or from my original post then, as Matt Dillahunty so eloquently says, you're done. I have given you every opportunity and more to come back at me. I set myself up. My five statements would have been so easy to disprove if you had any valid criticism whatsoever. But your wriggling has become so embarrassing that it is clear that you are completely unable to justify any of the various criticisms you have tried to lay on me. Your inability to respond demonstrates the degree to which you have been unreasonable. The evidence is clear for all to read. I have let the posts run so that you cannot say that you never had a proper chance to respond. I have now finished with you.
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Re: moral relativism

Postby Lausten » Sun Aug 18, 2013 3:38 pm

I have now finished with you.

Every now and then I wish I was a Christian so I could thank Jesus for things.
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