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Meta-ethics

socialpinko
Posts: 10,458
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5/7/2011 5:19:40 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Where does everyone on DDO stand meta-ethically? Cognitivist, Non-cognitivist, naturalist, non-naturalist, individual subjectivist, cultural relativist, divine command theorist, emotivist? Please also provide a short justification for said beliefs.

I'm trying to learn more about meta-ethics and I figured this would be an okay place to look.
: At 9/29/2014 10:55:59 AM, imabench wrote:
: : At 9/29/2014 9:43:46 AM, kbub wrote:
: :
: : DDO should discredit support of sexual violence at any time and in every way.
:
: I disagree.
CosmicAlfonzo
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5/7/2011 5:23:27 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I do not believe morals objectively exist.

Morality is a memeplex. This is self evident by the fact that morality varies between culture and time period.

Technically, I am a moral nihilist, though I am also a moral relativist.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Contradiction
Posts: 409
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5/7/2011 5:26:17 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Cognitivist. Specifically, divine command theory and classical natural law virtue ethics.

"Morality is a memeplex. This is self evident by the fact that morality varies between culture and time period."

Simply because different cultures have differing views of morality doesn't mean that morality itself is a "memplex." That's ethical reasoning at its worst.
socialpinko
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5/7/2011 5:28:13 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/7/2011 5:23:27 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
I do not believe morals objectively exist.

Morality is a memeplex. This is self evident by the fact that morality varies between culture and time period.


Technically, I am a moral nihilist, though I am also a moral relativist.

One cannot be a moral relativist and a moral nihilist. Moral nihilism entails that moral values do not and cannot exist. A moral relativist though agrees that in different cultures, different values do exist. Like it would be moral in Nazi Germany to kill a Jew but not so in WW2 era Britain. You can't be both.
: At 9/29/2014 10:55:59 AM, imabench wrote:
: : At 9/29/2014 9:43:46 AM, kbub wrote:
: :
: : DDO should discredit support of sexual violence at any time and in every way.
:
: I disagree.
socialpinko
Posts: 10,458
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5/7/2011 5:29:38 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/7/2011 5:26:17 PM, Contradiction wrote:
Cognitivist. Specifically, divine command theory and classical natural law virtue ethics.

I know PCP would jump at the chance to answer this but are there objective moral facts as part of nature and your god simply chooses to recognize them and act as a messenger of what they are or do moral facts arise simply out of your god's arbitrary will?
: At 9/29/2014 10:55:59 AM, imabench wrote:
: : At 9/29/2014 9:43:46 AM, kbub wrote:
: :
: : DDO should discredit support of sexual violence at any time and in every way.
:
: I disagree.
CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
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5/7/2011 5:32:06 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/7/2011 5:26:17 PM, Contradiction wrote:
Cognitivist. Specifically, divine command theory and classical natural law virtue ethics.


"Morality is a memeplex. This is self evident by the fact that morality varies between culture and time period."

Simply because different cultures have differing views of morality doesn't mean that morality itself is a "memplex." That's ethical reasoning at its worst.

Even if there was a divine source of morality, it still has all the traits of a memeplex. The fact that people are deviating from whatever "pure" morality is shows that it is a memeplex.

At 5/7/2011 5:28:13 PM, socialpinko wrote:
One cannot be a moral relativist and a moral nihilist. Moral nihilism entails that moral values do not and cannot exist. A moral relativist though agrees that in different cultures, different values do exist. Like it would be moral in Nazi Germany to kill a Jew but not so in WW2 era Britain. You can't be both.

Yes, you can. The distinction is illusionary.

Objectively, morality does not exist. Morality is a human construct.

So while in one sense, it does not exist, in another sense, it clearly does.

That is why I can be both. They do not contradict. A moral relativist does not believe in objective morality.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Contradiction
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5/7/2011 5:32:42 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Ah, the Euthyphro dilemma. I hold that moral values are rooted in God's nature, and moral duties are the result of God's commands which are based the moral values rooted in his nature. So morality is neither arbitrary nor external to God.
Contradiction
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5/7/2011 5:34:34 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Even if there was a divine source of morality, it still has all the traits of a memeplex. The fact that people are deviating from whatever "pure" morality is shows that it is a memeplex.

Another non-sequitur. How does the fact that people deviate from moral laws show that morality is not objective? The reasoning here is rather crude.
socialpinko
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5/7/2011 5:36:07 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/7/2011 5:32:42 PM, Contradiction wrote:
Ah, the Euthyphro dilemma. I hold that moral values are rooted in God's nature, and moral duties are the result of God's commands which are based the moral values rooted in his nature. So morality is neither arbitrary nor external to God.

What makes god's nature moral? Morality is not a property in itself but a description of actions or values.
: At 9/29/2014 10:55:59 AM, imabench wrote:
: : At 9/29/2014 9:43:46 AM, kbub wrote:
: :
: : DDO should discredit support of sexual violence at any time and in every way.
:
: I disagree.
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
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5/7/2011 5:36:10 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/7/2011 5:28:13 PM, socialpinko wrote:

One cannot be a moral relativist and a moral nihilist.

He is not using the terms as they are traditionally used, if you read any of Cosmic's posts he does this constantly, but - he is also clear about what he means by them. In the above he stated for example that his belief is that morals do not exist in objective form (nihilism) but that that they are just products of culture/environment and are thus localized in time/place (relativist).
Cliff.Stamp
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5/7/2011 5:37:37 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/7/2011 5:29:38 PM, socialpinko wrote:

I know PCP would jump at the chance to answer this but are there objective moral facts as part of nature and your god simply chooses to recognize them and act as a messenger of what they are or do moral facts arise simply out of your god's arbitrary will?

Neither, he would reject both horns of the dilemma and attack the "arbitrary" part of the last sentence, this is treated substantially in modified command theory.
Contradiction
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5/7/2011 5:39:37 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
What makes god's nature moral? Morality is not a property in itself but a description of actions or values.

Nothing. God is the locus of morality. And I don't accept your latter statement, since for the realist, moral values and duties do exist as things in themselves. Values such as "goodness," "justice," "mercy," etc... exist as concepts in the divine mind.
socialpinko
Posts: 10,458
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5/7/2011 5:44:04 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/7/2011 5:39:37 PM, Contradiction wrote:
What makes god's nature moral? Morality is not a property in itself but a description of actions or values.

Nothing. God is the locus of morality. And I don't accept your latter statement, since for the realist, moral values and duties do exist as things in themselves. Values such as "goodness," "justice," "mercy," etc... exist as concepts in the divine mind.

What logical basis is there for god's nature to be moral other than for you to define it as such?
: At 9/29/2014 10:55:59 AM, imabench wrote:
: : At 9/29/2014 9:43:46 AM, kbub wrote:
: :
: : DDO should discredit support of sexual violence at any time and in every way.
:
: I disagree.
Contradiction
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5/7/2011 5:46:34 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
God is by definition a maximally great being. As such, he would have all great-making properties, such as omnipotence, omniscience, immateriality, etc... His being the locus of morality would count as one of these.
socialpinko
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5/7/2011 5:55:03 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/7/2011 5:46:34 PM, Contradiction wrote:
God is by definition a maximally great being. As such, he would have all great-making properties, such as omnipotence, omniscience, immateriality, etc... His being the locus of morality would count as one of these.

What makes the properties "great-making"?
: At 9/29/2014 10:55:59 AM, imabench wrote:
: : At 9/29/2014 9:43:46 AM, kbub wrote:
: :
: : DDO should discredit support of sexual violence at any time and in every way.
:
: I disagree.
Contradiction
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5/7/2011 5:58:26 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
"A great-making property is any property, or attribute, or characteristic, or quality which it is intrinsically good to have, any property which endows its bearer with some measure of value, or greatness, or metaphysical stature, regardless of external circumstances."

-- Thomas V. Morris, Our Idea of God: An Introduction to Philosophical Theology (Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity. 1991) pg.35
socialpinko
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5/7/2011 6:02:36 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/7/2011 5:58:26 PM, Contradiction wrote:
"A great-making property is any property, or attribute, or characteristic, or quality which it is intrinsically good to have, any property which endows its bearer with some measure of value, or greatness, or metaphysical stature, regardless of external circumstances."

-- Thomas V. Morris, Our Idea of God: An Introduction to Philosophical Theology (Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity. 1991) pg.35

So its' a tautology then. God is morally perfect because he possesses great-making properties and those properties themselves are great-making because they are instrinsically good, even though god is supposedly supposed to be the creator of morality?
: At 9/29/2014 10:55:59 AM, imabench wrote:
: : At 9/29/2014 9:43:46 AM, kbub wrote:
: :
: : DDO should discredit support of sexual violence at any time and in every way.
:
: I disagree.
socialpinko
Posts: 10,458
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5/7/2011 6:12:29 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/7/2011 6:11:10 PM, Contradiction wrote:
The term "good" here does not refer to a moral good. It refers to a set of properties that add to a being's ontology.

What does good mean then? I am really enjoying this exchange BTW.
: At 9/29/2014 10:55:59 AM, imabench wrote:
: : At 9/29/2014 9:43:46 AM, kbub wrote:
: :
: : DDO should discredit support of sexual violence at any time and in every way.
:
: I disagree.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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5/7/2011 6:12:38 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
You will choose to live, or not. If you do the former, your ethics follow. The latter obviates the need for a standard by which to judge potential actions-- you are "beyond good and evil" in such a scenario.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Contradiction
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5/7/2011 6:15:53 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
What does good mean then? I am really enjoying this exchange BTW.

In a moral sense? We have to distinguish between the good and the right. "Rightness" is understood in terms of obedience to moral duties, whereas goodness is understood in terms of conformity to moral values.

So we have to distinguish between moral values and moral obligations. It may be good to donate money to the poor, but you're not obligated to.
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,483
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5/7/2011 6:20:22 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/7/2011 6:15:53 PM, Contradiction wrote:
What does good mean then? I am really enjoying this exchange BTW.

In a moral sense? We have to distinguish between the good and the right.

No, not in a moral sense. You said, very specifically, "The term "good" here does not refer to a moral good." You can't really backtrack and make it ethically inclusive now.
socialpinko
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5/7/2011 6:21:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/7/2011 6:15:53 PM, Contradiction wrote:
What does good mean then? I am really enjoying this exchange BTW.

In a moral sense? We have to distinguish between the good and the right. "Rightness" is understood in terms of obedience to moral duties, whereas goodness is understood in terms of conformity to moral values.

So we have to distinguish between moral values and moral obligations. It may be good to donate money to the poor, but you're not obligated to.

So how then can a property(ex. omnipotence) be morally good by itself when goodness is supposed to be dictated by god's nature?
: At 9/29/2014 10:55:59 AM, imabench wrote:
: : At 9/29/2014 9:43:46 AM, kbub wrote:
: :
: : DDO should discredit support of sexual violence at any time and in every way.
:
: I disagree.
Contradiction
Posts: 409
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5/7/2011 6:22:32 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Oh no, I'm not treating a non-moral conception of goodness as if it were moral, I'm addressing the meaning of the term "good" as understood in DCT.
Contradiction
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5/7/2011 6:23:26 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
So how then can a property(ex. omnipotence) be morally good by itself when goodness is supposed to be dictated by god's nature?

Wait, are we talking about ontological goodness or moral goodness? Omnipotence is more of a property that's ontologically good -- it's not a moral good.
CosmicAlfonzo
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5/7/2011 6:32:52 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Good is what is true

Bad is what is false.

God is all good. God is what is true.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Contradiction
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5/7/2011 6:35:53 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Good is what is true

Bad is what is false.


Morality has to do with what we ought to do, you're confusing that with a mere descriptive state of affairs.
CosmicAlfonzo
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5/7/2011 7:01:44 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
What we aught to do is what is done.

There couldn't be another outcome than the one that happens.

Things don't really work that way. The way things aught to be is an absurdity. When we think like that, it is usually for our own benefit, or a perceived benefit to humankind as a whole.. Usually what we think is good for humanity as a whole benefits us as an individual. But, really, when it comes down to it, things are the way they are. This is God's will. God's will can not be broken.

It is all good, even if it doesn't seem good to us. Morality deals with how people think things should be, instead of accepting the way things are.

My own personal morality is hardly even worth calling morality, but it more or less has to do with seeing reality how it is, and navigating it in the most honest way possible while maximizing benefit.

This is how I believe that morality used to be. Why do you not lie? Because it is far more likely to cause problems later down the line than telling truth. Why would you not murder? Because killing people is far more likely to cause you problems down the line.

It is true though, that understanding how you would like to be treated plays a part in empathizing with others. I for one would not like to be stabbed, so the thought of stabbing someone is not very appealing to me. Because I have empathy, I find it difficult to do something to someone that I wouldn't want done to myself.

What one person doesn't want done to them is what another does want done to them. Even amongst individuals, the golden rule itself becomes a little shaky.

Of course, one could argue that the perceived shakiness stems from ones inability to think deeply about it. One could also argue that its perceived stability stems from ones inability to think deeply about it.

I do not believe in an objective morality. There is no real universal set in stone way of behaving. Adaptability is more effective than a non-changing moral code.

I tried to live by an unchanging moral code, and it taught me a lot about the nature of morality itself. It also taught me a lot about human nature.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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5/7/2011 7:06:41 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/7/2011 7:01:44 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
What we aught to do is what is done.

There couldn't be another outcome than the one that happens.

Things don't really work that way. The way things aught to be is an absurdity. When we think like that, it is usually for our own benefit, or a perceived benefit to humankind as a whole.. Usually what we think is good for humanity as a whole benefits us as an individual. But, really, when it comes down to it, things are the way they are. This is God's will. God's will can not be broken.

It is all good, even if it doesn't seem good to us. Morality deals with how people think things should be, instead of accepting the way things are.

My own personal morality is hardly even worth calling morality, but it more or less has to do with seeing reality how it is, and navigating it in the most honest way possible while maximizing benefit.

This is how I believe that morality used to be. Why do you not lie? Because it is far more likely to cause problems later down the line than telling truth. Why would you not murder? Because killing people is far more likely to cause you problems down the line.

It is true though, that understanding how you would like to be treated plays a part in empathizing with others. I for one would not like to be stabbed, so the thought of stabbing someone is not very appealing to me. Because I have empathy, I find it difficult to do something to someone that I wouldn't want done to myself.

What one person doesn't want done to them is what another does want done to them. Even amongst individuals, the golden rule itself becomes a little shaky.

Of course, one could argue that the perceived shakiness stems from ones inability to think deeply about it. One could also argue that its perceived stability stems from ones inability to think deeply about it.

I do not believe in an objective morality. There is no real universal set in stone way of behaving. Adaptability is more effective than a non-changing moral code.

I tried to live by an unchanging moral code, and it taught me a lot about the nature of morality itself. It also taught me a lot about human nature.

No.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

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-- Frederic Bastiat