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Moral Philosophy

Brain_crazy
Posts: 242
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1/30/2012 4:56:58 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Moral realism vs. Moral nihilism vs. etc. convince me: (I'm interested in seeing the opinions and the arguments given from the members of this website)
vbaculum
Posts: 1,274
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1/30/2012 8:31:27 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/30/2012 4:56:58 PM, Brain_crazy wrote:
Moral realism vs. Moral nihilism vs. etc. convince me: (I'm interested in seeing the opinions and the arguments given from the members of this website)

It all comes down to how you define the word "moral".

If you define a moral act as any act that produces more pleasure than pain and you call "immoral" any act that produces more pain than pleasure then you are a realist. Pain, pleasure and acts are all real entities therefore you aren't dealing with anything that can't be real.

If you define morality as: that which conforms to the "normative natural order" (as natural lawyers do) then, under that definition, the only logical choice is to be a nihilist since there is no such thing as a normative natural order.
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

THE WORLD IS VEGAN! If you want it
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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1/30/2012 10:49:12 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/30/2012 4:56:58 PM, Brain_crazy wrote:
Moral realism vs. Moral nihilism vs. etc. convince me: (I'm interested in seeing the opinions and the arguments given from the members of this website)

Moral realism.

Morality is the distinction between right and wrong.

Right and wrong are synonyms for correct and incorrect.

Morality is logically or pragmatically assessing a situation and choosing the best -- that is, most correct within your mental capacity -- action to take.
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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1/30/2012 11:23:10 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/30/2012 11:18:09 PM, Lasagna wrote:
To me, morality is simply a measure of your ability to resist indulgence.

Yikes.

That is many sads.
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Posts: 6,071
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1/31/2012 9:43:39 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/30/2012 11:18:09 PM, Lasagna wrote:
To me, morality is simply a measure of your ability to resist indulgence.

"To me"
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
Sisyphus67
Posts: 9
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1/31/2012 10:34:52 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/30/2012 10:49:12 PM, Ren wrote:
(truncated for brevity)

Morality is logically or pragmatically assessing a situation and choosing the best -- that is, most correct within your mental capacity -- action to take.

That can be said for moral relativism, as well, though, so I must disagree with your statement.

Moral realism the attempt to define morality in a completely objective manner, but your definition is highly subjective, "morality is the best I can come up with"

Right and wrong are not subjective aspects, though I will agree that best and worse (or least best) are subjective. I will also agree that your definition outlines the best we can, perhaps, hope to achieve without relying on some mystical guidelines.

Indeed, if each person would even take the time to weigh the pros and cons of their actions and make a conscious choice based on the best of their reasoning skills before acting the world would be a far better place, even if it weren't a moral utopia.
I don't like violence, but I am not a pacifist.
I don't like large groups of people, but I love mankind.
I am straight, but not narrow.
vbaculum
Posts: 1,274
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1/31/2012 1:16:09 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/30/2012 10:49:12 PM, Ren wrote:
At 1/30/2012 4:56:58 PM, Brain_crazy wrote:
Moral realism vs. Moral nihilism vs. etc. convince me: (I'm interested in seeing the opinions and the arguments given from the members of this website)

Moral realism.

Morality is the distinction between right and wrong.

Right and wrong are synonyms for correct and incorrect.

Morality is logically or pragmatically assessing a situation and choosing the best -- that is, most correct within your mental capacity -- action to take.

You seem to consider "logical" (as in "logical behavior") a synonym of "moral" (as in "moral behavior").

I think the word "moral" would have to denote something other than "logical" otherwise we wouldn't need the word "moral" in our vocabulary.
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

THE WORLD IS VEGAN! If you want it
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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1/31/2012 2:38:03 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/31/2012 10:34:52 AM, Sisyphus67 wrote:
At 1/30/2012 10:49:12 PM, Ren wrote:
(truncated for brevity)

Morality is logically or pragmatically assessing a situation and choosing the best -- that is, most correct within your mental capacity -- action to take.

That can be said for moral relativism, as well, though, so I must disagree with your statement.

Moral realism the attempt to define morality in a completely objective manner, but your definition is highly subjective, "morality is the best I can come up with"

Are you saying that it impossible to logically infer right and wrong?

2 + 3 = 7. Right or wrong?

Right and wrong are not subjective aspects, though I will agree that best and worse (or least best) are subjective.

How can right and wrong be objective, but best and worst be subjective? Best is what is "most right" -- that is, right within our faculties. What if we found out that 2 + 2 ca also equal 100? Does that mean that we've been wrong all along? Of course not. 2 + 2 = 4 has been very effectively operational hitherto, making it correct.

Therefore, to base your inferences on such a proposition would be moral, it's unknown inconsistencies notwithstanding.

I will also agree that your definition outlines the best we can, perhaps, hope to achieve without relying on some mystical guidelines.

Indeed, if each person would even take the time to weigh the pros and cons of their actions and make a conscious choice based on the best of their reasoning skills before acting the world would be a far better place, even if it weren't a moral utopia.

Well, exactly.

We will not be perfect, so our morality will not be perfect. However, that isn't to say that morality doesn't exist, nor that it can't be objectively applied.
Sisyphus67
Posts: 9
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1/31/2012 6:58:30 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/31/2012 2:38:03 PM, Ren wrote:

How can right and wrong be objective, but best and worst be subjective? Best is what is "most right" -- that is, right within our faculties. What if we found out that 2 + 2 ca also equal 100? Does that mean that we've been wrong all along? Of course not. 2 + 2 = 4 has been very effectively operational hitherto, making it correct.

Therefore, to base your inferences on such a proposition would be moral, it's unknown inconsistencies notwithstanding.

Let us take your premise that a math problem could have two correct answers. Let us say that 2*2==4 &&2*2==8. Both of these are right answers. But which one is best? That answer can not be made objectively. Best for whom? Best in what way?

To answer the question 'what is best' one has to weight the outcomes with what one values. Though we may share certain values as a species they do not exist in equal measure in all of us. Because of the innate differences in who we are, best and worst must necessarily be subjective traits.
I don't like violence, but I am not a pacifist.
I don't like large groups of people, but I love mankind.
I am straight, but not narrow.
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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1/31/2012 9:34:45 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/31/2012 6:58:30 PM, Sisyphus67 wrote:
At 1/31/2012 2:38:03 PM, Ren wrote:

How can right and wrong be objective, but best and worst be subjective? Best is what is "most right" -- that is, right within our faculties. What if we found out that 2 + 2 ca also equal 100? Does that mean that we've been wrong all along? Of course not. 2 + 2 = 4 has been very effectively operational hitherto, making it correct.

Therefore, to base your inferences on such a proposition would be moral, it's unknown inconsistencies notwithstanding.

Let us take your premise that a math problem could have two correct answers. Let us say that 2*2==4 &&2*2==8. Both of these are right answers. But which one is best? That answer can not be made objectively. Best for whom? Best in what way?

To answer the question 'what is best' one has to weight the outcomes with what one values. Though we may share certain values as a species they do not exist in equal measure in all of us. Because of the innate differences in who we are, best and worst must necessarily be subjective traits.

I see what you're saying, but that's essentially the distinction I'm making -- I'm asserting that one should not base their decisions on their personal values, and instead on what is logically true.

Of course, usually, one immediately veers into extremes as an on-the-spot acid test. "So, what if you needed to kill your daughter to save the world? Could you really make the logical and correct decision (save the 7 bill on earth for the life of your one daughter)?"

To this, I say that you're applying morality selectively. You must first question the logic of the situation itself -- why would it ever require a single life to save other lives? When we see these situations in real life, such immoral circumstances always derive from immoral activity. If we scale the hyperbole down just a bit, we can say, oh, save the life of your family by sacrificing one, say, by giving up one child and lying about the existence of the rest to soldiers invading your house during a war.

However, that war is what caused this, and the most moral decision therefore would be to end the war, as it is causing immoral situations.

And, instead of questioning what that man should morally do, one should question the morality of the soldier committing such horrendous acts, no matter the rationale.

After all this is said and done, you can accept that the man is left with no moral decision, and is beset by an immoral situation. He then instead can defer to his personal values, as he has nothing else to base his decision on.

In this way, you can say that morality is dynamic and elastic, but certainly not subjective. True morality in a neutral or moral situation will always be the factually and logically correct answer.
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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1/31/2012 10:05:01 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/30/2012 4:56:58 PM, Brain_crazy wrote:
Moral realism vs. Moral nihilism vs. etc. convince me: (I'm interested in seeing the opinions and the arguments given from the members of this website)

Start with the idea that there is no such thing as an objective normative system. Morality generally covers on part of what is normative.

For instance, why do you put your shoes on before going out into the street? Because it would hurt? Why avoid hurt? Why not step on a nail? Why not stay in bed until you starve to death?

The normative system includes anything with an "ought" like "I ought not hurt others" or "I ought to brush my teeth before a date."

So, welcome to moral nihilism.

Now what?

Are you going to stare at your computer until you starve to death?

If you aren't, you need to pick a normative system. Otherwise, you have no rational reason to get up.

So, imagine this for a moment, you've got a world full of individuals, each of whom have chosen an individualized normative system geared towards their social experiences and innate gut reactions. There is no objective morality, yet the individual who believes freedom is good will fight because he believes freedom is good. Someone who will kill for Mohammed believes in a normative system based on Islam.

Sound familiar? It's called "reality." We don't all play under the same set of rules. That doesn't mean we have to shrug our shoulders when we hear about genocide.

Moral nihilism is to see that there is no objective morality and say "ah, screw it."

What you need to do is recognize there is no objective morality and say "what's next."
Skyhook
Posts: 77
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1/31/2012 11:26:21 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Between moral nihilism and moral realism, I would go with the latter. If you're asking for a specific stance, I think, at the moment, that virtue ethics is more convincing than say utilitarianism or other consequentialist approaches to ethics. I'm currently in an ethics course and at the moment we're tackling Kantian ethics (which I believe is probably one of the most misunderstood of metaphysics/ethics).

But yeah, part of the answer depends on which tradition(for lack of a better word) you're coming from whether it's deontology or consequentialism (which basically come down to rationalism vs empiricism in some ways).

I'm a rationalist, so my approach to ethics partly relies on metaphysical (and now that I think of it, partly Kantian metaphysics too) justification for moral laws.
tvellalott
Posts: 10,864
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2/1/2012 12:45:49 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Moral Nihilist here! (Cody and Ann aren't around any more, so I have to take up the mantle. D':)

So, there are two kinds of morals and I'll explain why I reject both of them.
Objective morality is obviously bogus to me, since I don't believe there is a omni-max being making rules. I don't even really believe in objectivity at all, though I'm not sure. Something I like to ponder about.

Subjective morality is a different kettle of fish. I reject subjective morality on the basis that it's, well... subjective and thus a useless measure of how 'correct' something is. While most people will agree that child rape is wrong, one can envision a society or enclave where it would not only be considered right, but be common practise, as awful as that sounds. We can also look at things that are considered immoral by a majority that we disagree with, for example; I'm pro-abortion. So, yeah... I reject morality completely as a philosophical position.

Now, as I'm a fully-functioning member of a naturally altruistic species, namely humans, I possess a conscience. I am also part of a society filled with enforced laws. These two facts ensure that while I reject morality, I'm not going to go on a murderous rampage, sell crystal meth to pre-schoolers or forcibly sodomise nuns.

As a result of my nature and nurture, I have a strong ethical (I use this word very loosely, since it's synonymous with morality) code; I'll help people if I feel like it (and sometimes when I don't feel like it). I love my family, friends and work colleagues. I give money to buskers if they deserve it. I'll pay for music if I feel the band deserves AND NEEDS the money (for example, I love Eminem, but I illegally downloaded his last two albums. He has like 160 million dollars ffs and I'm poor) but I paid for the last Drapht (Aussie rapper) album because I know he isn't rich.

However, I wouldn't try to argue that anyone should do something because I think it's right or because the majority thinks it's right. That's arrogance.
I saw an excellent post by *insert user's name here* which I'll paraphrase... If we start taking non-human life forms well-being into consideration, we have a moral obligation to exterminate ourselves.

I don't know if this made any sense. Of well, just rantin'.
"Caitlyn Jenner is an incredibly brave and stunningly beautiful woman."

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popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
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2/1/2012 1:12:16 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Moral realist here. I don't know. What type of argument are you looking for that will convince you?
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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2/1/2012 8:19:11 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/31/2012 1:16:09 PM, vbaculum wrote:
At 1/30/2012 10:49:12 PM, Ren wrote:
At 1/30/2012 4:56:58 PM, Brain_crazy wrote:
Moral realism vs. Moral nihilism vs. etc. convince me: (I'm interested in seeing the opinions and the arguments given from the members of this website)

Moral realism.

Morality is the distinction between right and wrong.

Right and wrong are synonyms for correct and incorrect.

Morality is logically or pragmatically assessing a situation and choosing the best -- that is, most correct within your mental capacity -- action to take.

You seem to consider "logical" (as in "logical behavior") a synonym of "moral" (as in "moral behavior").

I think the word "moral" would have to denote something other than "logical" otherwise we wouldn't need the word "moral" in our vocabulary.

Lol, that's an interesting point.

Well, here's the thing. Pragmatism could be considered synonymous with logical as well. It essentially means "practical" rather than "based on dogma or philosophy." Of course, if someone were entirely logical, then everything he or she does would be practical by default. So, pragmatic = logical. However, we make that distinction, because although it's logic, it's a certain type of logic -- it's specifically practicality.

Morality pertains to specific considerations. If you're being logical about a mathematical equation, you're not necessarily being moral -- mathematics is amoral. However, if you're logically understanding that you shouldn't cheat on a math test, because it would defeat the purpose of taking a test and you would simply be wasting your time transferring information from one place to another, which you could have done without taking a class, then you are still being logical, but you are also being moral.

Feel me?
Kinesis
Posts: 3,667
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2/1/2012 9:57:22 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Moral realism. Prima facie, some acts are obviously immoral (torture for fun, child rape) and some acts are obviously moral (giving food to the starving, saving the human race from extinction) so the default is moral realism.
vbaculum
Posts: 1,274
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2/1/2012 11:05:45 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/1/2012 8:19:11 AM, Ren wrote:
At 1/31/2012 1:16:09 PM, vbaculum wrote:
At 1/30/2012 10:49:12 PM, Ren wrote:
At 1/30/2012 4:56:58 PM, Brain_crazy wrote:
Moral realism vs. Moral nihilism vs. etc. convince me: (I'm interested in seeing the opinions and the arguments given from the members of this website)

Moral realism.

Morality is the distinction between right and wrong.

Right and wrong are synonyms for correct and incorrect.

Morality is logically or pragmatically assessing a situation and choosing the best -- that is, most correct within your mental capacity -- action to take.

You seem to consider "logical" (as in "logical behavior") a synonym of "moral" (as in "moral behavior").

I think the word "moral" would have to denote something other than "logical" otherwise we wouldn't need the word "moral" in our vocabulary.

Lol, that's an interesting point.

Well, here's the thing. Pragmatism could be considered synonymous with logical as well. It essentially means "practical" rather than "based on dogma or philosophy." Of course, if someone were entirely logical, then everything he or she does would be practical by default. So, pragmatic = logical. However, we make that distinction, because although it's logic, it's a certain type of logic -- it's specifically practicality.

Morality pertains to specific considerations. If you're being logical about a mathematical equation, you're not necessarily being moral -- mathematics is amoral. However, if you're logically understanding that you shouldn't cheat on a math test, because it would defeat the purpose of taking a test and you would simply be wasting your time transferring information from one place to another, which you could have done without taking a class, then you are still being logical, but you are also being moral.

Feel me?

Sort of.

No one can be expected to do something without a reason, i.e., no one can be expected to do something that isn't pragmatic. And I think there is a pragmatism to any moral act ("morality" here being defined in the utilitarian way I prefer it to be).

Would you call an act of self-sacrifice a moral act? On the surface, such an act would not appear pragmatic. The word "correct" wouldn't appear applicable to such an act, either.
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

THE WORLD IS VEGAN! If you want it
vbaculum
Posts: 1,274
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2/1/2012 11:37:55 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/1/2012 12:45:49 AM, tvellalott wrote:
Moral Nihilist here! (Cody and Ann aren't around any more, so I have to take up the mantle. D':)

So, there are two kinds of morals and I'll explain why I reject both of them.
Objective morality is obviously bogus to me, since I don't believe there is a omni-max being making rules.

Divine command theory is worse than natural law theory. So why don't you accept the utilitiarian definition of morality and then call yourself a realist.

It seems like the word "morality" is one which we couldn't do without. We need to say certain things are moral and certain things are immoral. Wouldn't it be logical to discern the best possible definition for "morality". It seems like, to be a nihilist, would mean you have to jetteson the word "morality" from your lexicon which I would consider undesirable.

I don't even really believe in objectivity at all, though I'm not sure. Something I like to ponder about.

Subjective morality is a different kettle of fish. I reject subjective morality on the basis that it's, well... subjective and thus a useless measure of how 'correct' something is. While most people will agree that child rape is wrong, one can envision a society or enclave where it would not only be considered right, but be common practise, as awful as that sounds. We can also look at things that are considered immoral by a majority that we disagree with, for example; I'm pro-abortion. So, yeah... I reject morality completely as a philosophical position.

Now, as I'm a fully-functioning member of a naturally altruistic species, namely humans, I possess a conscience. I am also part of a society filled with enforced laws. These two facts ensure that while I reject morality, I'm not going to go on a murderous rampage, sell crystal meth to pre-schoolers or forcibly sodomise nuns.

As a result of my nature and nurture, I have a strong ethical (I use this word very loosely, since it's synonymous with morality) code; I'll help people if I feel like it (and sometimes when I don't feel like it). I love my family, friends and work colleagues. I give money to buskers if they deserve it. I'll pay for music if I feel the band deserves AND NEEDS the money (for example, I love Eminem, but I illegally downloaded his last two albums. He has like 160 million dollars ffs and I'm poor) but I paid for the last Drapht (Aussie rapper) album because I know he isn't rich.

However, I wouldn't try to argue that anyone should do something because I think it's right or because the majority thinks it's right. That's arrogance.
I saw an excellent post by *insert user's name here* which I'll paraphrase... If we start taking non-human life forms well-being into consideration, we have a moral obligation to exterminate ourselves.


Chrysippus wrote this here: http://www.debate.org...

First, I don't think an appeal to consequence is ever justified in logic, even if the consequence is self-extermination.

However, in addition to being bad logic, the argument is, moreover, based on bad math. The argument doesn't take human happiness into account. Nor does it acknowledge the fact that we humans are unique in our capacity to ameliorate our own condition and that of other animal species.

I don't know if this made any sense. Of well, just rantin'.
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

THE WORLD IS VEGAN! If you want it
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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2/1/2012 12:26:40 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/1/2012 11:05:45 AM, vbaculum wrote:
At 2/1/2012 8:19:11 AM, Ren wrote:
At 1/31/2012 1:16:09 PM, vbaculum wrote:
At 1/30/2012 10:49:12 PM, Ren wrote:
At 1/30/2012 4:56:58 PM, Brain_crazy wrote:
Moral realism vs. Moral nihilism vs. etc. convince me: (I'm interested in seeing the opinions and the arguments given from the members of this website)

Moral realism.

Morality is the distinction between right and wrong.

Right and wrong are synonyms for correct and incorrect.

Morality is logically or pragmatically assessing a situation and choosing the best -- that is, most correct within your mental capacity -- action to take.

You seem to consider "logical" (as in "logical behavior") a synonym of "moral" (as in "moral behavior").

I think the word "moral" would have to denote something other than "logical" otherwise we wouldn't need the word "moral" in our vocabulary.

Lol, that's an interesting point.

Well, here's the thing. Pragmatism could be considered synonymous with logical as well. It essentially means "practical" rather than "based on dogma or philosophy." Of course, if someone were entirely logical, then everything he or she does would be practical by default. So, pragmatic = logical. However, we make that distinction, because although it's logic, it's a certain type of logic -- it's specifically practicality.

Morality pertains to specific considerations. If you're being logical about a mathematical equation, you're not necessarily being moral -- mathematics is amoral. However, if you're logically understanding that you shouldn't cheat on a math test, because it would defeat the purpose of taking a test and you would simply be wasting your time transferring information from one place to another, which you could have done without taking a class, then you are still being logical, but you are also being moral.

Feel me?

Sort of.

No one can be expected to do something without a reason, i.e., no one can be expected to do something that isn't pragmatic. And I think there is a pragmatism to any moral act ("morality" here being defined in the utilitarian way I prefer it to be).

So, you're saying that every decision you make as a means to fulfilling your desires will always be pragmatic and logical? That's also to suggest that you believe your desires are always pragmatic and logical. I challenge that not all of them are even rational. This is true for every person.

Would you call an act of self-sacrifice a moral act? On the surface, such an act would not appear pragmatic. The word "correct" wouldn't appear applicable to such an act, either.

Then, how could self-sacrifice be a moral act? Then again, it depends on the situation.

And, once again, you can go down the same route that I went down for the most extreme potential moral dilemma. Instead of asking yourself, "how moral is it to take this decision to sacrifice myself," you should instead ask yourself what situation led to you considering such ends. If it's that your family is beset by terrible circumstances, then clearly, the situation itself is immoral, as it is due to the immorality of others. Indeed, if a man cares enough about his family, for example, to sacrifice himself, then he cares about them enough to take every other option besides that, as well. Therefore, it must be some injustice being dealt to him or his family, or an injustice that he committed for which he must atone, that resulted in this consideration in the first place, or else he wouldn't even consider it.

In such an illogical situation, how could you possibly make a purely logical decision? That's not an option -- consider argumentation. If someone weren't rational, then rationalizing something to him or her would be meaningless. Likewise, logic in an illogical situation in the objective sense is meaningless. It still exists, you just can't do anything with it. You must therefore defer to the best of your means -- your gut instinct, your personal desires, or your values. However, the most correct decision, obviously, would be to eradicate whatever immorality that results in such negative circumstances.
Brain_crazy
Posts: 242
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2/1/2012 6:40:02 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/31/2012 10:05:01 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 1/30/2012 4:56:58 PM, Brain_crazy wrote:
Moral realism vs. Moral nihilism vs. etc. convince me: (I'm interested in seeing the opinions and the arguments given from the members of this website)

Start with the idea that there is no such thing as an objective normative system. Morality generally covers on part of what is normative.

For instance, why do you put your shoes on before going out into the street? Because it would hurt? Why avoid hurt? Why not step on a nail? Why not stay in bed until you starve to death?

The normative system includes anything with an "ought" like "I ought not hurt others" or "I ought to brush my teeth before a date."

So, welcome to moral nihilism.

Now what?

Are you going to stare at your computer until you starve to death?

If you aren't, you need to pick a normative system. Otherwise, you have no rational reason to get up.

So, imagine this for a moment, you've got a world full of individuals, each of whom have chosen an individualized normative system geared towards their social experiences and innate gut reactions. There is no objective morality, yet the individual who believes freedom is good will fight because he believes freedom is good. Someone who will kill for Mohammed believes in a normative system based on Islam.

Sound familiar? It's called "reality." We don't all play under the same set of rules. That doesn't mean we have to shrug our shoulders when we hear about genocide.

Moral nihilism is to see that there is no objective morality and say "ah, screw it."

What you need to do is recognize there is no objective morality and say "what's next."

So what was your answer to "what's next"?
Brain_crazy
Posts: 242
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2/1/2012 6:52:11 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/1/2012 12:45:49 AM, tvellalott wrote:
Moral Nihilist here! (Cody and Ann aren't around any more, so I have to take up the mantle. D':)

So, there are two kinds of morals and I'll explain why I reject both of them.
Objective morality is obviously bogus to me, since I don't believe there is a omni-max being making rules. I don't even really believe in objectivity at all, though I'm not sure. Something I like to ponder about.

Subjective morality is a different kettle of fish. I reject subjective morality on the basis that it's, well... subjective and thus a useless measure of how 'correct' something is. While most people will agree that child rape is wrong, one can envision a society or enclave where it would not only be considered right, but be common practise, as awful as that sounds. We can also look at things that are considered immoral by a majority that we disagree with, for example; I'm pro-abortion. So, yeah... I reject morality completely as a philosophical position.

Now, as I'm a fully-functioning member of a naturally altruistic species, namely humans, I possess a conscience. I am also part of a society filled with enforced laws. These two facts ensure that while I reject morality, I'm not going to go on a murderous rampage, sell crystal meth to pre-schoolers or forcibly sodomise nuns.

As a result of my nature and nurture, I have a strong ethical (I use this word very loosely, since it's synonymous with morality) code; I'll help people if I feel like it (and sometimes when I don't feel like it). I love my family, friends and work colleagues. I give money to buskers if they deserve it. I'll pay for music if I feel the band deserves AND NEEDS the money (for example, I love Eminem, but I illegally downloaded his last two albums. He has like 160 million dollars ffs and I'm poor) but I paid for the last Drapht (Aussie rapper) album because I know he isn't rich.

However, I wouldn't try to argue that anyone should do something because I think it's right or because the majority thinks it's right. That's arrogance.
I saw an excellent post by *insert user's name here* which I'll paraphrase... If we start taking non-human life forms well-being into consideration, we have a moral obligation to exterminate ourselves.

I don't know if this made any sense. Of well, just rantin'.

I'm curious do you reject science and logic though? Don't they stand on premises? I mean don't you first have to value truth, evidence, and staying in-tune with reality before accepting science and logic. And seeing as you used logic to support nihilism aren't you then committing a similar fallacy to that which nihilism degrades. Just playing devil's advocate here...
Brain_crazy
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2/1/2012 6:55:07 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/1/2012 1:12:16 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
Moral realist here. I don't know. What type of argument are you looking for that will convince you?

I don't know... I guess your basic argument. How does one judge what is moral and what is not? How would you defend your position against nihilism?
Brain_crazy
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2/1/2012 6:56:03 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/31/2012 11:26:21 PM, Skyhook wrote:
Between moral nihilism and moral realism, I would go with the latter. If you're asking for a specific stance, I think, at the moment, that virtue ethics is more convincing than say utilitarianism or other consequentialist approaches to ethics. I'm currently in an ethics course and at the moment we're tackling Kantian ethics (which I believe is probably one of the most misunderstood of metaphysics/ethics).

But yeah, part of the answer depends on which tradition(for lack of a better word) you're coming from whether it's deontology or consequentialism (which basically come down to rationalism vs empiricism in some ways).

I'm a rationalist, so my approach to ethics partly relies on metaphysical (and now that I think of it, partly Kantian metaphysics too) justification for moral laws.

What is a rationalist?
Brain_crazy
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2/1/2012 6:57:11 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/30/2012 11:18:09 PM, Lasagna wrote:
To me, morality is simply a measure of your ability to resist indulgence.

hmm interesting... is a fat man immoral then?
Sisyphus67
Posts: 9
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2/1/2012 6:58:16 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/31/2012 9:34:45 PM, Ren wrote:
{truncated}
I see what you're saying, but that's essentially the distinction I'm making -- I'm asserting that one should not base their decisions on their personal values, and instead on what is logically true.

While can agree that in any argument between the heart and the head one should follow ones head. However, I think it is impossible, as well as unhelpful, to divorce ones values from ones morality.

Take Spock, for instance. In any situation where there was a decision to be made, Spock could never understand why Kirk chose the needs of the few over the needs of the many. Spock was logically correct in saying that one person is not worth many persons, but it is just not true. Because people have different values to different people. I am more important to my wife than I am to someone who doesn't know me from Adam. That is it the way it is, and any morality that does not take personal values into consideration is flawed, I think.

I am not arguing for moral relativism. I am merely saying that morality needs to be able to deal with variables. The world is not all black and white.

After all this is said and done, you can accept that the man is left with no moral decision, and is beset by an immoral situation. He then instead can defer to his personal values, as he has nothing else to base his decision on.

In this way, you can say that morality is dynamic and elastic, but certainly not subjective. True morality in a neutral or moral situation will always be the factually and logically correct answer.

I disagree, again. Morality still determines the right course of action, even if the choices suck. There ARE no neutral situations.

But I will agree with you that one has to look deeper than the surface. You used it to mean that one has to determine if the situation is moral to determine if there is a moral solution. I say there is always a moral solution, no matter how crappy the choices. Morality can be viewed as a hierarchy of values, or even a vector system, but one has to have properly built ones value systems.

A common though experiment is the man who is faced with committing a crime in order to feed his family. This is more likely to happen than needing to sacrifice one person to save humanity. Is it moral or immoral for the man to steal a loaf of bread? The answer is: both. Even without regarding the relative weight of the wrongness of the act (the baker undoubtedly feels it as a greater misdeed) the man knows he is doing wrong, but the good of keeping his family alive outweighs the bad of stealing. He accepts the negative moral implications of his act.

The catholic church might teach that all sins are equal and telling a fib will send me to hell just as much as genocide, but I think they are wrong. There are gradations of right and wrong, but they have to take into account individual values.
I don't like violence, but I am not a pacifist.
I don't like large groups of people, but I love mankind.
I am straight, but not narrow.
Brain_crazy
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2/1/2012 7:03:47 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/31/2012 10:34:52 AM, Sisyphus67 wrote:
At 1/30/2012 10:49:12 PM, Ren wrote:
(truncated for brevity)

Morality is logically or pragmatically assessing a situation and choosing the best -- that is, most correct within your mental capacity -- action to take.

That can be said for moral relativism, as well, though, so I must disagree with your statement.

How is that said for moral relativism? Moral relativism only cares for what society says is right and wrong. Which of course is only relying on the subjectivity of majority rule. (It also can become a pardox) A moral relativist is a wimpy nihilist ;)
Skyhook
Posts: 77
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2/1/2012 7:05:05 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/1/2012 6:56:03 PM, Brain_crazy wrote:
At 1/31/2012 11:26:21 PM, Skyhook wrote:
Between moral nihilism and moral realism, I would go with the latter. If you're asking for a specific stance, I think, at the moment, that virtue ethics is more convincing than say utilitarianism or other consequentialist approaches to ethics. I'm currently in an ethics course and at the moment we're tackling Kantian ethics (which I believe is probably one of the most misunderstood of metaphysics/ethics).

But yeah, part of the answer depends on which tradition(for lack of a better word) you're coming from whether it's deontology or consequentialism (which basically come down to rationalism vs empiricism in some ways).

I'm a rationalist, so my approach to ethics partly relies on metaphysical (and now that I think of it, partly Kantian metaphysics too) justification for moral laws.

What is a rationalist?

http://plato.stanford.edu...

And you can marry the two ways of getting to truth, but you would have to be a good mental gymnast to do it. Consequentialism is empiricist and deontology is rationalist (although there are certain ethical theories that try to bridge both).

Also, take an ethics course if you can. Lively discussions every day.
Brain_crazy
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2/1/2012 7:12:55 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/1/2012 7:05:05 PM, Skyhook wrote:
At 2/1/2012 6:56:03 PM, Brain_crazy wrote:
At 1/31/2012 11:26:21 PM, Skyhook wrote:
Between moral nihilism and moral realism, I would go with the latter. If you're asking for a specific stance, I think, at the moment, that virtue ethics is more convincing than say utilitarianism or other consequentialist approaches to ethics. I'm currently in an ethics course and at the moment we're tackling Kantian ethics (which I believe is probably one of the most misunderstood of metaphysics/ethics).

But yeah, part of the answer depends on which tradition(for lack of a better word) you're coming from whether it's deontology or consequentialism (which basically come down to rationalism vs empiricism in some ways).

I'm a rationalist, so my approach to ethics partly relies on metaphysical (and now that I think of it, partly Kantian metaphysics too) justification for moral laws.

What is a rationalist?

http://plato.stanford.edu...

And you can marry the two ways of getting to truth, but you would have to be a good mental gymnast to do it. Consequentialism is empiricist and deontology is rationalist (although there are certain ethical theories that try to bridge both).

Also, take an ethics course if you can. Lively discussions every day.

Interesting. (rationalism does sound more compelling) So what is your best argument against moral nihilism?
Brain_crazy
Posts: 242
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2/1/2012 7:15:14 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/1/2012 7:05:05 PM, Skyhook wrote:
At 2/1/2012 6:56:03 PM, Brain_crazy wrote:
At 1/31/2012 11:26:21 PM, Skyhook wrote:
Between moral nihilism and moral realism, I would go with the latter. If you're asking for a specific stance, I think, at the moment, that virtue ethics is more convincing than say utilitarianism or other consequentialist approaches to ethics. I'm currently in an ethics course and at the moment we're tackling Kantian ethics (which I believe is probably one of the most misunderstood of metaphysics/ethics).

But yeah, part of the answer depends on which tradition(for lack of a better word) you're coming from whether it's deontology or consequentialism (which basically come down to rationalism vs empiricism in some ways).

I'm a rationalist, so my approach to ethics partly relies on metaphysical (and now that I think of it, partly Kantian metaphysics too) justification for moral laws.

What is a rationalist?

http://plato.stanford.edu...

And you can marry the two ways of getting to truth, but you would have to be a good mental gymnast to do it. Consequentialism is empiricist and deontology is rationalist (although there are certain ethical theories that try to bridge both).

Also, take an ethics course if you can. Lively discussions every day.

And perhaps I will try to take a course if I can fit it into my schedule... sounds cool