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Harris' moral "starting point"

OMGJustinBieber
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7/25/2011 6:20:14 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Inspired by the "Avoiding agreeing to disagree" thread, I want to fling to DDO another concept put forth by a contemporary thinker, and since I don't have the book on me I'll have to rehash it:

Basically, Harris states that the well-being of conscious beings is the only intelligible starting point for a moral framework. This is mainly aimed towards the skeptics, as Harris believes that most moral frameworks aim towards this end, although the interpretations are different. Before you say "arbitrary" Harris poses to the reader two worlds: One where everyone is in an extreme state of suffering for the longest time all the time for no higher purpose, and the other where individuals are free to pursue their goals in a state of peace and achieve self-fulfillment.

From here, Harris immediately states that if you don't believe the world with endless suffering is bad, then his arguments don't apply. But for those who are capable of making this value judgment, Harris aims his morality at bridging this gap. The "two words" concept is at around the 15 minute mark. Comments DDO? I know there use to be plenty of moral nihilists here, but apparently most have went away with the mass exodus.

http://fora.tv...
Ragnar_Rahl
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7/25/2011 7:02:05 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Bad for whom?
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.
OMGJustinBieber
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7/25/2011 7:20:35 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/25/2011 7:19:28 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 7/25/2011 7:02:05 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Bad for whom?

Everybody?

I meant, we've had this discussion and you seem to fit outside these bounds. You're an onlooker in this world, not directly impacted by the suffering of millions of unknowns. It's been established that you don't care.
Ragnar_Rahl
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7/25/2011 7:25:28 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/25/2011 7:20:35 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 7/25/2011 7:19:28 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 7/25/2011 7:02:05 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Bad for whom?

Everybody?

I meant, we've had this discussion and you seem to fit outside these bounds. You're an onlooker in this world, not directly impacted by the suffering of millions of unknowns. It's been established that you don't care.

See, that's the problem-- that this is two different issues. Either I'm just an onlooker or I'm included (you say "Everybody" after all), they can't both be true and they have different results.
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.
Ragnar_Rahl
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7/25/2011 7:26:30 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
or at least different paths to the result.
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.
belle
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7/25/2011 7:29:12 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
i remember when i read it, it struck me as a lot of words to say, essentially, i don't like suffering and neither does anyone else really so lets call it an objective basis for morality. with some hand-waving thrown in.

its not that i don't agree that the second is more desirable than the first... its just that his entire book rests on that assertion as some kind of objective fact. he glosses over a lot of issues in doing so.
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
popculturepooka
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7/25/2011 8:24:12 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/25/2011 6:20:14 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Inspired by the "Avoiding agreeing to disagree" thread, I want to fling to DDO another concept put forth by a contemporary thinker, and since I don't have the book on me I'll have to rehash it:

Basically, Harris states that the well-being of conscious beings is the only intelligible starting point for a moral framework. This is mainly aimed towards the skeptics, as Harris believes that most moral frameworks aim towards this end, although the interpretations are different. Before you say "arbitrary" Harris poses to the reader two worlds: One where everyone is in an extreme state of suffering for the longest time all the time for no higher purpose, and the other where individuals are free to pursue their goals in a state of peace and achieve self-fulfillment.

From here, Harris immediately states that if you don't believe the world with endless suffering is bad, then his arguments don't apply. But for those who are capable of making this value judgment, Harris aims his morality at bridging this gap. The "two words" concept is at around the 15 minute mark. Comments DDO? I know there use to be plenty of moral nihilists here, but apparently most have went away with the mass exodus.

http://fora.tv...

...yeah...William Lane Craig destroyed his arguments (which really isn't saying much, btw).

For just one small instance Craig shows that Harris's move with identifying human well being with goodness simply doesn't work. If Harris is saying human-well being = goodness he is also saying that in no possible world can human-well being and goodness not be the very same thing. Yet Harris admits in his books it seems that's logically possible that evil might enhance human-well being. If that is the case then it follows that goodness cannot be identical to human-well being in any world including this one.

One of my favorite parts about Harris's argument is that he asks people to consider various thought experiments and consult their moral intuitions on what is or isn't good and then brings in science on how to go about to reach the Good. How, again, does that mean that science can determine moral values?
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
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OMGJustinBieber
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7/25/2011 8:34:56 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/25/2011 7:25:28 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 7/25/2011 7:20:35 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 7/25/2011 7:19:28 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 7/25/2011 7:02:05 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Bad for whom?

Everybody?

I meant, we've had this discussion and you seem to fit outside these bounds. You're an onlooker in this world, not directly impacted by the suffering of millions of unknowns. It's been established that you don't care.

See, that's the problem-- that this is two different issues. Either I'm just an onlooker or I'm included (you say "Everybody" after all), they can't both be true and they have different results.

Different results for you.

its not that i don't agree that the second is more desirable than the first... its just that his entire book rests on that assertion as some kind of objective fact. he glosses over a lot of issues in doing so.

The nihilistic standard of "objective" is definitionally impossible. It doesn't and can't exist due to is-ought - if you're looking for a transcendent moral standard you have to look towards religion. The scientific method isn't transcendent yet it claims to find objective truth when going by the skeptical definition there is nothing objectively right or wrong as existence can't be proven.
OMGJustinBieber
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7/25/2011 8:43:48 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/25/2011 8:24:12 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 7/25/2011 6:20:14 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Inspired by the "Avoiding agreeing to disagree" thread, I want to fling to DDO another concept put forth by a contemporary thinker, and since I don't have the book on me I'll have to rehash it:

Basically, Harris states that the well-being of conscious beings is the only intelligible starting point for a moral framework. This is mainly aimed towards the skeptics, as Harris believes that most moral frameworks aim towards this end, although the interpretations are different. Before you say "arbitrary" Harris poses to the reader two worlds: One where everyone is in an extreme state of suffering for the longest time all the time for no higher purpose, and the other where individuals are free to pursue their goals in a state of peace and achieve self-fulfillment.

From here, Harris immediately states that if you don't believe the world with endless suffering is bad, then his arguments don't apply. But for those who are capable of making this value judgment, Harris aims his morality at bridging this gap. The "two words" concept is at around the 15 minute mark. Comments DDO? I know there use to be plenty of moral nihilists here, but apparently most have went away with the mass exodus.

http://fora.tv...

...yeah...William Lane Craig destroyed his arguments (which really isn't saying much, btw).

For just one small instance Craig shows that Harris's move with identifying human well being with goodness simply doesn't work. If Harris is saying human-well being = goodness he is also saying that in no possible world can human-well being and goodness not be the very same thing. Yet Harris admits in his books it seems that's logically possible that evil might enhance human-well being. If that is the case then it follows that goodness cannot be identical to human-well being in any world including this one.

One of my favorite parts about Harris's argument is that he asks people to consider various thought experiments and consult their moral intuitions on what is or isn't good and then brings in science on how to go about to reach the Good. How, again, does that mean that science can determine moral values?

Not impressed by WLC?

Harris doesn't deny unintended consequences or that there are moral questions we may not know the answer to. In retrospect, this is probably the more honest view than someone who claims to know morality in every possible situation. It's obviously possible for good actions to spawn evil and vice versa, what Harris seems to be worrying about is encouraging good actions because good actions on balance tend to be beneficial and this is very clear in certain cases. Denying human ability to predict consequences undermines any semblance of a legitimate moral system.

I don't take all of what Harris says completely to heart. He was probably referring to how suffering can be objectively realized in the brain, or how facts about human well-being can be known. I don't agree with everything Harris says and I'm certainly not as anti-religious as he is either. It's just the idea that objective morality can only be transcendent is troubling. You can certainly deny Harris's two world example just as we're all capable of denying a world built on mini-leaps of faith.
mattrodstrom
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7/26/2011 3:44:57 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/25/2011 6:20:14 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Inspired by the "Avoiding agreeing to disagree" thread, I want to fling to DDO another concept put forth by a contemporary thinker, and since I don't have the book on me I'll have to rehash it:

Basically, Harris states that the well-being of conscious beings is the only intelligible starting point for a moral framework. This is mainly aimed towards the skeptics, as Harris believes that most moral frameworks aim towards this end, although the interpretations are different. Before you say "arbitrary" Harris poses to the reader two worlds: One where everyone is in an extreme state of suffering for the longest time all the time for no higher purpose, and the other where individuals are free to pursue their goals in a state of peace and achieve self-fulfillment.

From here, Harris immediately states that if you don't believe the world with endless suffering is bad, then his arguments don't apply. But for those who are capable of making this value judgment, Harris aims his morality at bridging this gap. The "two words" concept is at around the 15 minute mark. Comments DDO? I know there use to be plenty of moral nihilists here, but apparently most have went away with the mass exodus.

http://fora.tv...

Faced with such a dichotomy even people only out for their own "Rational" self interest would pick the "happy" world...

but there's not only the two options...

There's also MY gaining at Your expense...

so, yeah.. Noone would pick the world full of only suffering.. but that doesn't mean Everyone cares about everyone elses well being...

It doesn't seem he gives any reason they should... just tries to gloss over the fact that the world isn't One extreme or the other.. in order to hoodwink the listener into thinking he's got an argument for supporting the benefit of Others.

He's right in his eventually saying that his assertions of "right" and "wrong" won't be of force to those who don't agree with picking his world of Benevolence/Enjoyment.. but the dichotomy he sets up seems to be constructed to Fool people into agreeing with his "good" rather than Convincing them through reasoning...

It is NOT the case that All suffer or none do.. this "thought experiment" is nothing but a device to fool idiot into agreeing to adopt talking of "good" from a utilitarian perspective.

He gives no reason to adopt a utilitarian perspective... he presents a false dichotomy and says: "See! what's better?!"

He's right that if people simply disagree as to what's important.. then there's no finding common ground on those particular issues (though there may or may not be practical, worldly, ways in which people's interests, though different, may conveniently Run together nicely)
BUT he's clouded the issue as to who would disagree with him as to what's important by painting the issue as if it's Either what He would support or what Noone would support...
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
OMGJustinBieber
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7/26/2011 4:19:24 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Faced with such a dichotomy even people only out for their own "Rational" self interest would pick the "happy" world...

I don't know if this is explicitly specified by Harris and this issue has arisen with in discussions with me and Ragnar, but this issue can be avoided by not placing yourself in that world and making the world be populated by complete unknowns with no direct personal impact.

so, yeah.. Noone would pick the world full of only suffering.. but that doesn't mean Everyone cares about everyone elses well being...
It is NOT the case that All suffer or none do.. this "thought experiment" is nothing but a device to fool idiot into agreeing to adopt talking of "good" from a utilitarian perspective.

It's not even a matter of picking worlds it's a matter of whether you're able to make metaphysical value judgments. Harris immediately disregards those who can't.

Moreover, Harris' consequential moral framework can't go anywhere without this distinction. Any argument against utilitarianism (which I don't think Harris ever uses to describe his morality in The Moral Landscape) is secondary to the issue that Harris puts forth here.
mattrodstrom
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7/26/2011 4:37:08 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/26/2011 4:19:24 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Faced with such a dichotomy even people only out for their own "Rational" self interest would pick the "happy" world...

I don't know if this is explicitly specified by Harris and this issue has arisen with in discussions with me and Ragnar, but this issue can be avoided by not placing yourself in that world and making the world be populated by complete unknowns with no direct personal impact.

Ok, well.. Even if, Generally, I'd prefer people Other than myself to be happy...

This doesn't mean that I'd ALWAYS seek their happiness.. In real situations.. Their Happiness may stand in opposition to other things I care for More... like food for me or those I care for Greatly.. if that's the case, then my care for these random people's well being is Dwarfed by an opposing care.. and I act on that opposing care.

Similarly.. a person might be somewhat benevolent and wish people well.. but if Those Other's well being can possibly be sacrificed for a nice new bmw... well... that person might care more for the car.

so, yeah.. Noone would pick the world full of only suffering.. but that doesn't mean Everyone cares about everyone elses well being...
It is NOT the case that All suffer or none do.. this "thought experiment" is nothing but a device to fool idiot into agreeing to adopt talking of "good" from a utilitarian perspective.

It's not even a matter of picking worlds it's a matter of whether you're able to make metaphysical value judgments. Harris immediately disregards those who can't.

I can make value judgments.. this doesn't mean they're Absolute and reach to what is Universally ABSOLUTELY important..

it means they're what I value.. what I care about.

Moreover, Harris' consequential moral framework can't go anywhere without this distinction. Any argument against utilitarianism (which I don't think Harris ever uses to describe his morality in The Moral Landscape) is secondary to the issue that Harris puts forth here.

from what you've said it seems he's suggesting "good" means The Good for All.... the best case giving All perspectives equal weight...

this dissassociation with self is where Utilitarianism fails, and it's why harris' argument seems like crap too.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
OMGJustinBieber
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7/26/2011 4:48:01 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
This doesn't mean that I'd ALWAYS seek their happiness.. In real situations.. Their Happiness may stand in opposition to other things I care for More... like food for me or those I care for Greatly.. if that's the case, then my care for these random people's well being is Dwarfed by an opposing care.. and I act on that opposing care.

This is a red herring, Harris is describing how people should act rather than how they do act. You're not making any moral claim; you're just weighing interests.

I can make value judgments.. this doesn't mean they're Absolute and reach to what is Universally ABSOLUTELY important..
it means they're what I value.. what I care about.

Then moral statements are vacuous. "Do not kill that person" is tantamount to "I don't like vanilla ice cream." You can believe this, but it has much deeper implications.

from what you've said it seems he's suggesting "good" means The Good for All.... the best case giving All perspectives equal weight...
this dissassociation with self is where Utilitarianism fails, and it's why harris' argument seems like crap too.

Harris' argument is some form of moral realism and consequentialism. What disassociation with self are you talking about? With most forms of consequentialism the self is just one moral unit out of many. That's not to say the right thing can't be difficult to do.
mattrodstrom
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7/26/2011 4:52:19 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/26/2011 4:37:08 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
It's not even a matter of picking worlds it's a matter of whether you're able to make metaphysical value judgments. Harris immediately disregards those who can't.

I can make value judgments.. this doesn't mean they're Absolute and reach to what is Universally ABSOLUTELY important..

it means they're what I value.. what I care about.

Moreover, Harris' consequential moral framework can't go anywhere without this distinction. Any argument against utilitarianism (which I don't think Harris ever uses to describe his morality in The Moral Landscape) is secondary to the issue that Harris puts forth here.

from what you've said it seems he's suggesting "good" means The Good for All.... the best case giving All perspectives equal weight...

this dissassociation with self is where Utilitarianism fails, and it's why harris' argument seems like crap too.

There's no Valuations but through individuals..

and the ONLY valuations of inherent weight to myself are My Own.

If I care for others well being I do.. And If I don't, I don't..

and If I care for their well being, but not as much as I care for Money and Cars.. well.. then I care for their well being but not so much as Money and Cars...

Harris can't just say: "Most people care for other's well beings so all of you who do so should do This!!!"
Because, though I, and others, very well may care for others... we Also each care for a multitude of different things in different degrees.. Many of which may lie in opposition of doing whatever he suggests..
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
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7/26/2011 5:06:13 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/26/2011 4:48:01 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
This doesn't mean that I'd ALWAYS seek their happiness.. In real situations.. Their Happiness may stand in opposition to other things I care for More... like food for me or those I care for Greatly.. if that's the case, then my care for these random people's well being is Dwarfed by an opposing care.. and I act on that opposing care.

This is a red herring, Harris is describing how people should act rather than how they do act. You're not making any moral claim; you're just weighing interests.

Based upon what I care about I figure out what I SHOULD do...

If I care for someones well being, and no opposing care is involved..I figure that I OUGHT to/ SHOULD help them..

this is the consistent, Sensible, manner of coming to Should's and oughts..

Harris takes a should that Many people come up with... RIPS IT from the Enormous tapestry of valuations of things which lies in each person.. and Holds this ragged deformed thing up on a pedestal saying that since it came from All of you.. you should all forget about that complicated individual nexus in which came to exist.. and serve it En-masse... sacrificing your remaining individual cares to this Universal Monstrosity that remains after all the individual the butchering which he terms Universal Good.

I can make value judgments.. this doesn't mean they're Absolute and reach to what is Universally ABSOLUTELY important..
it means they're what I value.. what I care about.

Then moral statements are vacuous. "Do not kill that person" is tantamount to "I don't like vanilla ice cream." You can believe this, but it has much deeper implications.

Depends.. If you mean "morality" MUST be universal and Absolute/ Metaphysical... than such a thing is a delusion.

If by moral you mean Ethical.. if you mean that it's what You "ought/Should" do
Then there's really no problem.. "oughts" and "should's" can only sensibly be explained as Perspective-bound and based in individual cares..

there's no other manner of explaining what one means by a "should" or an "ought"

from what you've said it seems he's suggesting "good" means The Good for All.... the best case giving All perspectives equal weight...
this dissassociation with self is where Utilitarianism fails, and it's why harris' argument seems like crap too.

Harris' argument is some form of moral realism and consequentialism. What disassociation with self are you talking about? With most forms of consequentialism the self is just one moral unit out of many. That's not to say the right thing can't be difficult to do.

the cares of the self is the ONLY sensible basis upon which to come to "Shoulds"

Even harris seems to agree here in saying that he can't possibly argue with those who simply don't care if the whole world suffers..

Harris relies upon you saying that you care for others.. and goes from there..

The problem is that your Caring for others is set in a nexus of cares.. and may not be of universal weight among Other cares in All those individuals...

He relies upon your caring for others to make any argument.. but ignores ALL Other cares each person may have.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
OMGJustinBieber
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7/26/2011 5:20:21 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/26/2011 4:52:19 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 7/26/2011 4:37:08 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
It's not even a matter of picking worlds it's a matter of whether you're able to make metaphysical value judgments. Harris immediately disregards those who can't.

I can make value judgments.. this doesn't mean they're Absolute and reach to what is Universally ABSOLUTELY important..

it means they're what I value.. what I care about.

Moreover, Harris' consequential moral framework can't go anywhere without this distinction. Any argument against utilitarianism (which I don't think Harris ever uses to describe his morality in The Moral Landscape) is secondary to the issue that Harris puts forth here.

from what you've said it seems he's suggesting "good" means The Good for All.... the best case giving All perspectives equal weight...

this dissassociation with self is where Utilitarianism fails, and it's why harris' argument seems like crap too.

There's no Valuations but through individuals..

and the ONLY valuations of inherent weight to myself are My Own.

If I care for others well being I do.. And If I don't, I don't..

and If I care for their well being, but not as much as I care for Money and Cars.. well.. then I care for their well being but not so much as Money and Cars...

Harris can't just say: "Most people care for other's well beings so all of you who do so should do This!!!"
Because, though I, and others, very well may care for others... we Also each care for a multitude of different things in different degrees.. Many of which may lie in opposition of doing whatever he suggests..

I don't know why you keep reverting to claims about personal values. If I care about my pet gerbils more than the entire continent than Africa its a statement of my own values not relevant to any objective moral weighing.

Harris never makes appeals to majority. Have you read his the Moral Landscape?

I just want to pose a question here: Do you apply the same thinking to physical health? There is no absolute, "in the fabric of the universe" definition of a healthy or unhealthy person. Are all opinions equally valid then? Are statements about health unfalsifiable?
OMGJustinBieber
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7/26/2011 5:28:43 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Harris takes a should that Many people come up with... RIPS IT from the Enormous tapestry of valuations of things which lies in each person.. and Holds this ragged deformed thing up on a pedestal saying that since it came from All of you

Please. Harris' moral prescriptions are hardly tyrannical. They're very clear statements about well-being and how facts about the well being of conscious creatures can be used in philosophy to make moral statements. We have a deeper issue here, and I definitely want to hear your perspective on non-ontologically objective fields.

If by moral you mean Ethical.. if you mean that it's what You "ought/Should" do
Then there's really no problem.. "oughts" and "should's" can only sensibly be explained as Perspective-bound and based in individual cares..

If it's only a reflection of cares then morality becomes absurd. Any descriptive summation of morality doesn't have much relevance to prescriptive notions. Like all moral skeptics, you're obviously hung up on the issue of objectivity. You can hold this view, but as I've mentioned it has much deeper implications that extend far outside of academic discussions on morality.

I'll get back to your last part soon because it's dinner and the pancakes are getting cold.
mattrodstrom
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7/26/2011 5:33:13 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/26/2011 5:20:21 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
I don't know why you keep reverting to claims about personal values. If I care about my pet gerbils more than the entire continent than Africa its a statement of my own values not relevant to any objective moral weighing.

There is no objective manner of Valuation.

All valuation is dependent upon individual cares.

there is no manner of explaining any "valuation" without Recourse to such cares.

Harris never makes appeals to majority.

Have you read his the Moral Landscape?

Nope.

I just want to pose a question here: Do you apply the same thinking to physical health? There is no absolute, "in the fabric of the universe" definition of a healthy or unhealthy person. Are all opinions equally valid then? Are statements about health unfalsifiable?

By The word "health" we mean a certain thing
Health is a concept implying that your bodily systems work in a manner efficient in keeping you alive and able.

The VALUE of health is something relative to the cares of each individual.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
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7/26/2011 5:47:20 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/26/2011 5:33:13 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
There is no objective manner of Valuation

well... Except for my Objective Subject based valuations.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
Kinesis
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7/26/2011 5:50:27 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
There's no rule that says Harris can't define goodness as 'that which increases the wellbeing of sentient creatures' - the real question is, given that definition of goodness, why should we care about being good? What motivation is there for me to increase the wellbeing of all sentient creatures, even when it conflicts with my own interests?
OMGJustinBieber
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7/26/2011 5:54:11 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
By The word "health" we mean a certain thing
Health is a concept implying that your bodily systems work in a manner efficient in keeping you alive and able.
The VALUE of health is something relative to the cares of each individual.

By the word "morality" we mean a certain thing.
Morality is a concept implying that the well-being of conscious beings is being attended to.

You repeatedly assert that the lack of an objective standard for morality is its downfall, but here you seem to accept the non-objectivity of "health" but assert the validity of the philosophy of medicine. Why can't you agree that statements about health are just personal opinions and no one can be more correct than anyone else? Why is there something for medicine that is not there for philosophy?
Kinesis
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7/26/2011 5:54:47 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/25/2011 6:20:14 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
From here, Harris immediately states that if you don't believe the world with endless suffering is bad, then his arguments don't apply.

The question is, bad in what sense? Bad in a factual sense, as in 'water molecules are composed of hydrogen and oxygen atoms' or bad in an emotivist sense - i.e. 'this world is bad' = 'I strongly disapprove of this world'? Because you don't make any headway towards an objective basis for morality on the second, and I'm pretty sure that's what most people are thinking when they say this world is bad.
mattrodstrom
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7/26/2011 6:07:41 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/26/2011 5:54:11 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
By The word "health" we mean a certain thing
Health is a concept implying that your bodily systems work in a manner efficient in keeping you alive and able.
The VALUE of health is something relative to the cares of each individual.

By the word "morality" we mean a certain thing.
Morality is a concept implying that the well-being of conscious beings is being attended to.

and, as such, the idea that that "morality" is of Universal Importance in some manner is a Delusion.

Also, there's no explanation there as to why one "ought" or "should" attend to the well being of conscious beings.. so.. I really don't care how you want to define things.. Call attending to conscious beings well being "Morality".. call it "Hat" I don't care.. You're not explaining why I "should" or "ought" to do something, which would be useful.. Playing with names is not.


You repeatedly assert that the lack of an objective standard for morality is its downfall, but here you seem to accept the non-objectivity of "health" but assert the validity of the philosophy of medicine. Why can't you agree that statements about health are just personal opinions and no one can be more correct than anyone else? Why is there something for medicine that is not there for philosophy?

English speakers tend to understand the word "health" as denoting a person as having Physiological systems which are conducive to life and ability.

The word is not Metaphysically attached to the meaning.. it's so attached because the word is useful for communicating when it denotes a particular meaning... and because of habit.

also.. I don't know what you mean when you say that I "Assert the validity of the philosophy of medicine"
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
OMGJustinBieber
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7/26/2011 7:11:23 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
English speakers tend to understand the word "health" as denoting a person as having Physiological systems which are conducive to life and ability.
The word is not Metaphysically attached to the meaning.. it's so attached because the word is useful for communicating when it denotes a particular meaning... and because of habit.
also.. I don't know what you mean when you say that I "Assert the validity of the philosophy of medicine"

It doesn't mean anything important to say that English speakers tend to understand it as X. That's descriptive, and for this entire discussion you've focused arbitrarily on the descriptive when it has essentially zero relevance to our topic. The standards of health have shifted over the centuries and between societies. There is no universal standard, and when you come to this realization for objective morality you conclude that no one's morality is really better than anyone else's in any meaningful way. Why can't you apply this to medicine? Medicine loosely aims for the improvement of physical health in conscious creatures. "Health" is not objectively defined.

By philosophy of medicine I just meant the philosophical underpinnings. I feel this is the deeper issue and I want to run this point through before I get to the others because it's your core argument, it seems.
mattrodstrom
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7/26/2011 7:48:35 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/26/2011 7:11:23 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
It doesn't mean anything important to say that English speakers tend to understand it as X. That's descriptive, and for this entire discussion you've focused arbitrarily on the descriptive when it has essentially zero relevance to our topic.
The standards of health have shifted over the centuries and between societies. There is no universal standard, and when you come to this realization for objective morality you conclude that no one's morality is really better than anyone else's in any meaningful way.

I happen to, naturally, be of the perspective that What I would have done is most important to have done...

I wouldn't term My Morality "better" in any Floaty, Metaphysical, "objective" stance though.

The reason why I seem to be holding the word "health" to be almost Universal is b/c it's a word and ONLY useful when it's meaning is taken as Universally given...

You say "standards of health" are different among different times/peoples...

and I take it you're Not speaking of how some people in some times and places live longer or are more able-bodied than others... BUT that different people Value different aspects of Life differently... and so their closest analagous word to "health" may have a bit of a different meaning...

or they might use the actual english word "health" to mean something a bit different.

I don't disagree at all... But if it's another language than the word can't be said to be a perfect translation.. and if they're speaking the same language (using the word "Health" which, Generally, is contemporarily is taken to mean what I said it means) than they might be using the same "name" but they're assuredly discussing at least slightly different things.. and Their insistence on using the same word to discuss different things can be nothing but a nuisance as it can only serve to cause unnecessary confusion.

It would seem that you would apply some Valuation to the word "health".. Imbuing it with a Positive flavor...

This is clearly not what I was doing... I might value health (as I've defined it) but I never suggested that I valued it when I explained what is meant by it... To defend a valuation of a given thing you'd have to explain how having that thing fulfills some cares.

I didn't "Affirm the philosophy of Medicine" as you said I did... I explained what I (and english speakers who care to be easily understood) mean when they say the word "health"

Why can't you apply this to medicine? Medicine loosely aims for the improvement of physical health in conscious creatures. "Health" is not objectively defined.

Medicine doesn't aim at anything... People aim at things, Medicine is the way they do it.

By philosophy of medicine I just meant the philosophical underpinnings. I feel this is the deeper issue and I want to run this point through before I get to the others because it's your core argument, it seems.

I Never supported any Philosophical position as to how medicine ought to be practiced, or anything of the sort.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
OMGJustinBieber
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7/26/2011 8:18:40 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I wouldn't term My Morality "better" in any Floaty, Metaphysical, "objective" stance though.

this is the definition I use to go by - morality doesn't exist in any platonic form that's essentially just out there regardless of conscious beings.

The reason why I seem to be holding the word "health" to be almost Universal is b/c it's a word and ONLY useful when it's meaning is taken as Universally given...

But health doesn't exist as a "floaty" form either. I just want you to answer, are discussions about health vacuous given there is no objective standard of a healthy person?

Why should human well-being be important? Because we care about it. Not because it exists in some floaty form out in the universe. Are all answers to "what is good health" equally valid?

Why should morality be important? Because morality relates to human well-being.
Lasagna
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7/26/2011 8:42:19 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Is there any practical use for this theory or is it just another exercise in intellectualism that's useless for the common person?
Rob
OMGJustinBieber
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7/26/2011 11:11:33 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/26/2011 8:42:19 PM, Lasagna wrote:
Is there any practical use for this theory or is it just another exercise in intellectualism that's useless for the common person?

It's not aimed at people like you. It's aimed at the moral nihilists who use to inundate DDO.