Total Posts:35|Showing Posts:1-30|Last Page
Jump to topic:

Moral nihilism as a philosophical default

OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/8/2012 4:29:28 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Consider the difference between two meta-ethical theories: nihilism and non-cognitivism. If we stated "charity is good" the nihilist would respond something along the lines of "no, you are mistaken, there is no objective morality and you are in error." However, the non-cognitivist would dismiss the statement as utter nonsense not even deserving the label of wrong. To the non-cognitivist, moral predicates are not properties. It would seem to be that the non-cognitivist succeeds in out-doubting the nihilist.

So, why is nihilism the logical starting point when there are positions that doubt its intelligibility? If the most reasonable starting point is doubt - why nihilism?
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/8/2012 4:44:49 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
The truth value of a normative statement can be assigned on the condition that a normative assumption exists from which we can derive truth.

Moral nihilism, to me, is only the first step. It reminds us, even as we adopt our own moral systems, that we cannot justify our own moral sentiments by some universal means.

However, if I take as a moral antecedent such as "If you want to minimize pain, you ought to..." then a statement such as "All things equal, you should pinch a man rather than cut is finger off" is a true statement. Not all true statements correspond with reality (for example, counterfactuals).

Some would say that because no objective morality exists, we have no motivation or rationale for imposing our morality on others.

That misses the point entirely. If our moral antecedent is "If you want to minimize pain," then it is true that "You ought to 'all other things equal, stop someone from slicing off another man's finger.'" However, if our moral antecdent was "If you want to minimize pain while respecting the meta-ethical beliefs of others" then it is NOT true that "you ought to 'all other things equal, stop someone from slicing off another man's finger.'"

So, choose your moral antecedent, just realize you have no meta-ethical high ground on your opponent.
OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/8/2012 5:10:23 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
The truth value of a normative statement can be assigned on the condition that a normative assumption exists from which we can derive truth.

Well, that's the question that you really need to consider here. By accepting the intelligibility of normative propositions you accept moral predicates as properties. Now, which seems more plausible to you:

A. That moral "goodness" and "badness" do exist as metaphysical properties, but that the holocaust or rwandan genocide is not good or bad nonetheless.

B. Nothing has moral "goodness" or "badness" because these are not real properties of things, but rather grounded in the speaker's emotion or feeling. It follows that moral judgments are neither right or wrong.

To me, B makes more sense - at least B doesn't revolt against every intuition in the same way that A does. Remember, a nihilist would agree with the judgment that, say, burning cats is not wrong. It seems to be that the default stance for the educated, man of science would be NC. Otherwise, you're just stuck toying with these metaphysical properties and ultimately accepting them in incredibly counter-intuitive ways.
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/8/2012 6:33:31 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/8/2012 5:10:23 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
The truth value of a normative statement can be assigned on the condition that a normative assumption exists from which we can derive truth.

Well, that's the question that you really need to consider here. By accepting the intelligibility of normative propositions you accept moral predicates as properties. Now, which seems more plausible to you:

A. That moral "goodness" and "badness" do exist as metaphysical properties, but that the holocaust or rwandan genocide is not good or bad nonetheless.

B. Nothing has moral "goodness" or "badness" because these are not real properties of things, but rather grounded in the speaker's emotion or feeling. It follows that moral judgments are neither right or wrong.

To me, B makes more sense - at least B doesn't revolt against every intuition in the same way that A does. Remember, a nihilist would agree with the judgment that, say, burning cats is not wrong. It seems to be that the default stance for the educated, man of science would be NC. Otherwise, you're just stuck toying with these metaphysical properties and ultimately accepting them in incredibly counter-intuitive ways.

You're currently defending a conservative account of the Correspondence Theory of Truth (i.e. a proposition is true because of its relation to reality/state of affairs/facts). "'Snow is white' is true iff snow is white"

The problem with Correspondence is that while it is quite useful for a majority of non-normative propositions we encounter, it fails in several extremely important endeavors. For instance, is the following statement true or false:

1. If the Confederates in the civil war had been given machine guns, the results of Civil War battles would be different.

While it seems obvious that (1) is true, the problem is when you are tasked with actually relating this to correspondence theory.

When we say "'snow is white' is true" we say this because it corresponds to something in reality.

What does (1) correspond to?

If you cannot say what (1) corresponds to then you cannot evaluate it as either true or false without invoking a different theory of truth (like Coherentists or Deflationists).

"You ought not kill" has no truth value.

"If you want to minimize pain, all other things equal you ought not kill" has a truth value.
OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/9/2012 1:33:18 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/8/2012 6:33:31 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/8/2012 5:10:23 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
The truth value of a normative statement can be assigned on the condition that a normative assumption exists from which we can derive truth.

Well, that's the question that you really need to consider here. By accepting the intelligibility of normative propositions you accept moral predicates as properties. Now, which seems more plausible to you:

A. That moral "goodness" and "badness" do exist as metaphysical properties, but that the holocaust or rwandan genocide is not good or bad nonetheless.

B. Nothing has moral "goodness" or "badness" because these are not real properties of things, but rather grounded in the speaker's emotion or feeling. It follows that moral judgments are neither right or wrong.

To me, B makes more sense - at least B doesn't revolt against every intuition in the same way that A does. Remember, a nihilist would agree with the judgment that, say, burning cats is not wrong. It seems to be that the default stance for the educated, man of science would be NC. Otherwise, you're just stuck toying with these metaphysical properties and ultimately accepting them in incredibly counter-intuitive ways.



You're currently defending a conservative account of the Correspondence Theory of Truth (i.e. a proposition is true because of its relation to reality/state of affairs/facts). "'Snow is white' is true iff snow is white"

The problem with Correspondence is that while it is quite useful for a majority of non-normative propositions we encounter, it fails in several extremely important endeavors. For instance, is the following statement true or false:

1. If the Confederates in the civil war had been given machine guns, the results of Civil War battles would be different.

While it seems obvious that (1) is true, the problem is when you are tasked with actually relating this to correspondence theory.

When we say "'snow is white' is true" we say this because it corresponds to something in reality.

What does (1) correspond to?

If you cannot say what (1) corresponds to then you cannot evaluate it as either true or false without invoking a different theory of truth (like Coherentists or Deflationists).

"You ought not kill" has no truth value.

"If you want to minimize pain, all other things equal you ought not kill" has a truth value.

I don't see how I've endorsed CTT. Regardless, you've already abandoned moral nihilism and accepted a non-cognitivism position by denying the truth-value of "you ought not kill." A nihilist would say the statement is false.

It seems the position I've endorsed, if we take my questions as an argument, would be a form of epistemic internalism, but I'll openly admit I don't have a great background in epistemology.
OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/9/2012 1:45:23 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/8/2012 6:33:31 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/8/2012 5:10:23 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
The truth value of a normative statement can be assigned on the condition that a normative assumption exists from which we can derive truth.

Well, that's the question that you really need to consider here. By accepting the intelligibility of normative propositions you accept moral predicates as properties. Now, which seems more plausible to you:

A. That moral "goodness" and "badness" do exist as metaphysical properties, but that the holocaust or rwandan genocide is not good or bad nonetheless.

B. Nothing has moral "goodness" or "badness" because these are not real properties of things, but rather grounded in the speaker's emotion or feeling. It follows that moral judgments are neither right or wrong.

To me, B makes more sense - at least B doesn't revolt against every intuition in the same way that A does. Remember, a nihilist would agree with the judgment that, say, burning cats is not wrong. It seems to be that the default stance for the educated, man of science would be NC. Otherwise, you're just stuck toying with these metaphysical properties and ultimately accepting them in incredibly counter-intuitive ways.



You're currently defending a conservative account of the Correspondence Theory of Truth (i.e. a proposition is true because of its relation to reality/state of affairs/facts). "'Snow is white' is true iff snow is white"

The problem with Correspondence is that while it is quite useful for a majority of non-normative propositions we encounter, it fails in several extremely important endeavors. For instance, is the following statement true or false:

1. If the Confederates in the civil war had been given machine guns, the results of Civil War battles would be different.

While it seems obvious that (1) is true, the problem is when you are tasked with actually relating this to correspondence theory.

When we say "'snow is white' is true" we say this because it corresponds to something in reality.

What does (1) correspond to?

If you cannot say what (1) corresponds to then you cannot evaluate it as either true or false without invoking a different theory of truth (like Coherentists or Deflationists).

"You ought not kill" has no truth value.

"If you want to minimize pain, all other things equal you ought not kill" has a truth value.

Oh, ignore the first part - yes, I've endorsed CTT. I don't see how the machine gun example presents a problem or why we could pass judgment on that. We have facts about machine guns that would allow us to make an educated judgment.
OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/9/2012 1:55:56 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Last point on epistemology: I think the best thing to do is for me to just avoid this discussion and leave objective truth as a presupposition. Just as there would be no room for general philosophical skepticism in a physics discussion, my point here is presupposing that truth does link up to reality.
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/9/2012 3:51:04 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/9/2012 1:45:23 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 9/8/2012 6:33:31 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/8/2012 5:10:23 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
The truth value of a normative statement can be assigned on the condition that a normative assumption exists from which we can derive truth.

Well, that's the question that you really need to consider here. By accepting the intelligibility of normative propositions you accept moral predicates as properties. Now, which seems more plausible to you:

A. That moral "goodness" and "badness" do exist as metaphysical properties, but that the holocaust or rwandan genocide is not good or bad nonetheless.

B. Nothing has moral "goodness" or "badness" because these are not real properties of things, but rather grounded in the speaker's emotion or feeling. It follows that moral judgments are neither right or wrong.

To me, B makes more sense - at least B doesn't revolt against every intuition in the same way that A does. Remember, a nihilist would agree with the judgment that, say, burning cats is not wrong. It seems to be that the default stance for the educated, man of science would be NC. Otherwise, you're just stuck toying with these metaphysical properties and ultimately accepting them in incredibly counter-intuitive ways.



You're currently defending a conservative account of the Correspondence Theory of Truth (i.e. a proposition is true because of its relation to reality/state of affairs/facts). "'Snow is white' is true iff snow is white"

The problem with Correspondence is that while it is quite useful for a majority of non-normative propositions we encounter, it fails in several extremely important endeavors. For instance, is the following statement true or false:

1. If the Confederates in the civil war had been given machine guns, the results of Civil War battles would be different.

While it seems obvious that (1) is true, the problem is when you are tasked with actually relating this to correspondence theory.

When we say "'snow is white' is true" we say this because it corresponds to something in reality.

What does (1) correspond to?

If you cannot say what (1) corresponds to then you cannot evaluate it as either true or false without invoking a different theory of truth (like Coherentists or Deflationists).

"You ought not kill" has no truth value.

"If you want to minimize pain, all other things equal you ought not kill" has a truth value.

Oh, ignore the first part - yes, I've endorsed CTT. I don't see how the machine gun example presents a problem or why we could pass judgment on that. We have facts about machine guns that would allow us to make an educated judgment.

You can have as many true propositions as you like about how machine guns work, how the Civil War was, and anything else to which you can say there is a referent.

However, you abandon strict Correspondence Theory if you use such propositions to establish the truth value of the one in question.

Namely, you must invoke a Coherentist Theory (http://en.wikipedia.org...) to argue that truth values can be impacted by other propositions do not directly correspond with the original proposition's state of affair/referent.
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Posts: 6,071
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/9/2012 8:10:46 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/9/2012 3:51:04 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/9/2012 1:45:23 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 9/8/2012 6:33:31 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/8/2012 5:10:23 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
The truth value of a normative statement can be assigned on the condition that a normative assumption exists from which we can derive truth.

Well, that's the question that you really need to consider here. By accepting the intelligibility of normative propositions you accept moral predicates as properties. Now, which seems more plausible to you:

A. That moral "goodness" and "badness" do exist as metaphysical properties, but that the holocaust or rwandan genocide is not good or bad nonetheless.

B. Nothing has moral "goodness" or "badness" because these are not real properties of things, but rather grounded in the speaker's emotion or feeling. It follows that moral judgments are neither right or wrong.

To me, B makes more sense - at least B doesn't revolt against every intuition in the same way that A does. Remember, a nihilist would agree with the judgment that, say, burning cats is not wrong. It seems to be that the default stance for the educated, man of science would be NC. Otherwise, you're just stuck toying with these metaphysical properties and ultimately accepting them in incredibly counter-intuitive ways.



You're currently defending a conservative account of the Correspondence Theory of Truth (i.e. a proposition is true because of its relation to reality/state of affairs/facts). "'Snow is white' is true iff snow is white"

The problem with Correspondence is that while it is quite useful for a majority of non-normative propositions we encounter, it fails in several extremely important endeavors. For instance, is the following statement true or false:

1. If the Confederates in the civil war had been given machine guns, the results of Civil War battles would be different.

While it seems obvious that (1) is true, the problem is when you are tasked with actually relating this to correspondence theory.

When we say "'snow is white' is true" we say this because it corresponds to something in reality.

What does (1) correspond to?

If you cannot say what (1) corresponds to then you cannot evaluate it as either true or false without invoking a different theory of truth (like Coherentists or Deflationists).

"You ought not kill" has no truth value.

"If you want to minimize pain, all other things equal you ought not kill" has a truth value.

Oh, ignore the first part - yes, I've endorsed CTT. I don't see how the machine gun example presents a problem or why we could pass judgment on that. We have facts about machine guns that would allow us to make an educated judgment.

You can have as many true propositions as you like about how machine guns work, how the Civil War was, and anything else to which you can say there is a referent.

However, you abandon strict Correspondence Theory if you use such propositions to establish the truth value of the one in question.

Namely, you must invoke a Coherentist Theory (http://en.wikipedia.org...) to argue that truth values can be impacted by other propositions do not directly correspond with the original proposition's state of affair/referent.

Coherentism is FALSE. You cant Define things as true. or false. It effect nothing. IN the world.
"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
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/10/2012 12:49:04 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/9/2012 8:10:46 PM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
At 9/9/2012 3:51:04 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/9/2012 1:45:23 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 9/8/2012 6:33:31 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/8/2012 5:10:23 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
The truth value of a normative statement can be assigned on the condition that a normative assumption exists from which we can derive truth.

Well, that's the question that you really need to consider here. By accepting the intelligibility of normative propositions you accept moral predicates as properties. Now, which seems more plausible to you:

A. That moral "goodness" and "badness" do exist as metaphysical properties, but that the holocaust or rwandan genocide is not good or bad nonetheless.

B. Nothing has moral "goodness" or "badness" because these are not real properties of things, but rather grounded in the speaker's emotion or feeling. It follows that moral judgments are neither right or wrong.

To me, B makes more sense - at least B doesn't revolt against every intuition in the same way that A does. Remember, a nihilist would agree with the judgment that, say, burning cats is not wrong. It seems to be that the default stance for the educated, man of science would be NC. Otherwise, you're just stuck toying with these metaphysical properties and ultimately accepting them in incredibly counter-intuitive ways.



You're currently defending a conservative account of the Correspondence Theory of Truth (i.e. a proposition is true because of its relation to reality/state of affairs/facts). "'Snow is white' is true iff snow is white"

The problem with Correspondence is that while it is quite useful for a majority of non-normative propositions we encounter, it fails in several extremely important endeavors. For instance, is the following statement true or false:

1. If the Confederates in the civil war had been given machine guns, the results of Civil War battles would be different.

While it seems obvious that (1) is true, the problem is when you are tasked with actually relating this to correspondence theory.

When we say "'snow is white' is true" we say this because it corresponds to something in reality.

What does (1) correspond to?

If you cannot say what (1) corresponds to then you cannot evaluate it as either true or false without invoking a different theory of truth (like Coherentists or Deflationists).

"You ought not kill" has no truth value.

"If you want to minimize pain, all other things equal you ought not kill" has a truth value.

Oh, ignore the first part - yes, I've endorsed CTT. I don't see how the machine gun example presents a problem or why we could pass judgment on that. We have facts about machine guns that would allow us to make an educated judgment.

You can have as many true propositions as you like about how machine guns work, how the Civil War was, and anything else to which you can say there is a referent.

However, you abandon strict Correspondence Theory if you use such propositions to establish the truth value of the one in question.

Namely, you must invoke a Coherentist Theory (http://en.wikipedia.org...) to argue that truth values can be impacted by other propositions do not directly correspond with the original proposition's state of affair/referent.

Coherentism is FALSE. You cant Define things as true. or false. It effect nothing. IN the world.

How do you assign a truth value to counterfactuals with strict Correspondence Theory?

To maintain strict Correspondence with counterfactuals you either have to argue that truth values do not apply to counterfactuals (since a counterfactual has no corresponding state of affairs) or that multiple forms of "truth" exist, and counterfactuals fall under a different form of "truth" than propositions with correspondence to a state of affairs.
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/10/2012 3:04:08 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/9/2012 1:55:56 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Last point on epistemology: I think the best thing to do is for me to just avoid this discussion and leave objective truth as a presupposition. Just as there would be no room for general philosophical skepticism in a physics discussion, my point here is presupposing that truth does link up to reality.

I see it as function of the is-ought dilemma.

While a normative proposition cannot be derived solely from descriptive/positive proposition, you CAN derive a normative proposition from a combination of descriptive propositions and a normative axiom/antecedent/goal.

If someone says "I want to stop people from being in pain. This man is in pain." then it can be derived that "I ought to stop this man's pain."
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,483
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/10/2012 11:22:56 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/8/2012 4:29:28 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Consider the difference between two meta-ethical theories: nihilism and non-cognitivism.

Non-cognitivism is nihilism. It's like an "all cats are mammals" thing--there are classes of mammals other than cats.

If we stated "charity is good" the nihilist would respond something along the lines of "no, you are mistaken, there is no objective morality and you are in error."

If that nihilist is an error theorist.

However, the non-cognitivist would dismiss the statement as utter nonsense not even deserving the label of wrong. To the non-cognitivist, moral predicates are not properties. It would seem to be that the non-cognitivist succeeds in out-doubting the nihilist.

Well, 1) I already say that moral statements aren't properties of objects. That's what the whole point about discursive fiat/projecting is saying; 2) non-cognitivists usually tend to think that moral statements aren't even meaningful. It's kind of like saying "the King of France is bald"--well, not really true or false, because there is no King of France.

The big thing is that there are two senses of "wrong" in play here. In this case, the non-cognitivist could say that "X is moral" is wrong in the same way statements about the King of France are wrong--they make an unwarranted existential assumption about the thing they're discussing. Run-of-the-mill nihilists just say it's wrong because it isn't the case that X is true.

So, why is nihilism the logical starting point when there are positions that doubt its intelligibility? If the most reasonable starting point is doubt - why nihilism?

Well, I'm a non-cognitivist in a way. I do think most normative propositions are kind of like saying "X is a herpaderp"--the predicate doesn't really assert anything meaningful, so it can't be evaluated as classically true/false. But normative contingency is useful in exposing that meaninglessness/ungroundedness.
OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/10/2012 6:21:48 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Non-cognitivism is nihilism. It's like an "all cats are mammals" thing--there are classes of mammals other than cats.

When I say moral nihilism I mean error theory.

If that nihilist is an error theorist.

You aren't an error theorist? So if I said "burning cats is not wrong" would you say I'm right or dismiss the statement as not being truth apt? It sounds mild, but it's actually rather crucial. If you ultimately believe that I'm expressing an emotional utterance then I don't know how you can call it wrong or right. It really comes down to the fundamental nature of moral statements.
OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/10/2012 6:27:13 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
And another general point, moral nihilism or non-cognitivism may be true, but imo it's philosophically a dead end. It doesn't really allow you any insight into the nature of political science or public policy besides just giving you a deconstructionist approach. Even if I did believe in either of these two ideologies I'd be diving head first into constructive cases which make a case for moral realism whether naturalism or intuitionism (as I'm doing now.)

tl;dr I don't know where nihilism is going to bring you. No matter how you spin it you can't shake the fundamental truths of the doctrine.
OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/10/2012 6:30:26 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/10/2012 3:04:08 AM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/9/2012 1:55:56 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Last point on epistemology: I think the best thing to do is for me to just avoid this discussion and leave objective truth as a presupposition. Just as there would be no room for general philosophical skepticism in a physics discussion, my point here is presupposing that truth does link up to reality.

I see it as function of the is-ought dilemma.

While a normative proposition cannot be derived solely from descriptive/positive proposition, you CAN derive a normative proposition from a combination of descriptive propositions and a normative axiom/antecedent/goal.

If someone says "I want to stop people from being in pain. This man is in pain." then it can be derived that "I ought to stop this man's pain."

Sorry, what as a function of the is-ought dilemma?
Chrysippus
Posts: 2,173
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/11/2012 12:25:39 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
This seems like disagreement for it's own sake, at this point. The two positions seem to be functionally equivalent.

In a completely vacant fictional universe, is it more correct to say that there is no matter in the universe or that "matter" is a meaningless word?

Am I misunderstanding this? Where's the point of contention, if both sides agree that morality is irrelevant?
Cavete mea inexorabilis legiones mimus!
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/11/2012 4:53:53 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/10/2012 6:30:26 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 9/10/2012 3:04:08 AM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/9/2012 1:55:56 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Last point on epistemology: I think the best thing to do is for me to just avoid this discussion and leave objective truth as a presupposition. Just as there would be no room for general philosophical skepticism in a physics discussion, my point here is presupposing that truth does link up to reality.

I see it as function of the is-ought dilemma.

While a normative proposition cannot be derived solely from descriptive/positive proposition, you CAN derive a normative proposition from a combination of descriptive propositions and a normative axiom/antecedent/goal.

If someone says "I want to stop people from being in pain. This man is in pain." then it can be derived that "I ought to stop this man's pain."

Sorry, what as a function of the is-ought dilemma?

Whether or not we can ascribe a truth value to a sentence with normative content.
OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/11/2012 7:38:01 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/11/2012 4:53:53 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/10/2012 6:30:26 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 9/10/2012 3:04:08 AM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/9/2012 1:55:56 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Last point on epistemology: I think the best thing to do is for me to just avoid this discussion and leave objective truth as a presupposition. Just as there would be no room for general philosophical skepticism in a physics discussion, my point here is presupposing that truth does link up to reality.

I see it as function of the is-ought dilemma.

While a normative proposition cannot be derived solely from descriptive/positive proposition, you CAN derive a normative proposition from a combination of descriptive propositions and a normative axiom/antecedent/goal.

If someone says "I want to stop people from being in pain. This man is in pain." then it can be derived that "I ought to stop this man's pain."

Sorry, what as a function of the is-ought dilemma?

Whether or not we can ascribe a truth value to a sentence with normative content.

There's more to moral realism than Hume's objection covers.
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/11/2012 7:51:45 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/11/2012 7:38:01 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 9/11/2012 4:53:53 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/10/2012 6:30:26 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 9/10/2012 3:04:08 AM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/9/2012 1:55:56 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Last point on epistemology: I think the best thing to do is for me to just avoid this discussion and leave objective truth as a presupposition. Just as there would be no room for general philosophical skepticism in a physics discussion, my point here is presupposing that truth does link up to reality.

I see it as function of the is-ought dilemma.

While a normative proposition cannot be derived solely from descriptive/positive proposition, you CAN derive a normative proposition from a combination of descriptive propositions and a normative axiom/antecedent/goal.

If someone says "I want to stop people from being in pain. This man is in pain." then it can be derived that "I ought to stop this man's pain."

Sorry, what as a function of the is-ought dilemma?

Whether or not we can ascribe a truth value to a sentence with normative content.

There's more to moral realism than Hume's objection covers.

Care to name some aspect of moral realism not subject to the objection I just mentioned (and remember Hume showed a means to bypass is-ought by assuming a normative axiom/antecedent/etc)?
OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/11/2012 7:57:36 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/11/2012 7:51:45 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/11/2012 7:38:01 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 9/11/2012 4:53:53 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/10/2012 6:30:26 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 9/10/2012 3:04:08 AM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/9/2012 1:55:56 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Last point on epistemology: I think the best thing to do is for me to just avoid this discussion and leave objective truth as a presupposition. Just as there would be no room for general philosophical skepticism in a physics discussion, my point here is presupposing that truth does link up to reality.

I see it as function of the is-ought dilemma.

While a normative proposition cannot be derived solely from descriptive/positive proposition, you CAN derive a normative proposition from a combination of descriptive propositions and a normative axiom/antecedent/goal.

If someone says "I want to stop people from being in pain. This man is in pain." then it can be derived that "I ought to stop this man's pain."

Sorry, what as a function of the is-ought dilemma?

Whether or not we can ascribe a truth value to a sentence with normative content.

There's more to moral realism than Hume's objection covers.

Care to name some aspect of moral realism not subject to the objection I just mentioned (and remember Hume showed a means to bypass is-ought by assuming a normative axiom/antecedent/etc)?

Ethical intuitionism, ethical non-naturalism.
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/11/2012 8:59:21 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/11/2012 7:57:36 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 9/11/2012 7:51:45 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/11/2012 7:38:01 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 9/11/2012 4:53:53 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/10/2012 6:30:26 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 9/10/2012 3:04:08 AM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/9/2012 1:55:56 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Last point on epistemology: I think the best thing to do is for me to just avoid this discussion and leave objective truth as a presupposition. Just as there would be no room for general philosophical skepticism in a physics discussion, my point here is presupposing that truth does link up to reality.

I see it as function of the is-ought dilemma.

While a normative proposition cannot be derived solely from descriptive/positive proposition, you CAN derive a normative proposition from a combination of descriptive propositions and a normative axiom/antecedent/goal.

If someone says "I want to stop people from being in pain. This man is in pain." then it can be derived that "I ought to stop this man's pain."

Sorry, what as a function of the is-ought dilemma?

Whether or not we can ascribe a truth value to a sentence with normative content.

There's more to moral realism than Hume's objection covers.

Care to name some aspect of moral realism not subject to the objection I just mentioned (and remember Hume showed a means to bypass is-ought by assuming a normative axiom/antecedent/etc)?

Ethical intuitionism, ethical non-naturalism.

I'm not familiar with either of those, but from a glance or two it seems that Ethical Intuitism and ethical non-naturalism are not mutually exclusive, even though ethical intuitionism can also be naturalistic.

The general idea you're getting across, if I understand correctly, is that non-naturalistic moral realism bypasses Hume because it does not attempt to derive normative statements from positive ones (at least, ones that correspond to some aspect of "reality").

The best definition of non-naturalism I've found is: "Most often, "non-naturalism" denotes the metaphysical thesis that moral properties exist and are not identical with or reducible to any natural property or properties in some interesting sense of "natural"...Understood in this way, non-naturalism is a form of moral realism and is opposed to non-cognitivist positions according to which moral utterances serve to express non-cognitive attitudes rather than beliefs that provide their truth conditions and is also oppsed to error-theoretical positions according to which there are no moral facts."[1]

Interestingly, Moore's Naturalistic Fallacy (and he was big in the non-naturalist movement) applies to certain non-naturalistic moral system because he attacks reductionism [1]. So we'll assume Ethical non-naturalism does not claim moral properties like "goodness" are reducible to something like "pleasure" since that is Moore's main attack.

Intuitionism seems to based on three claims [2]:

A. There are real objective moral truths that are independent of human beings.
B. These are fundamental truths that can't be broken down into parts or defined by reference to anything except other moral truths.
C. Human beings can discover these truths by using their minds in a particular, intuitive way.

When we speak of "positive propositions" we refer to ones that correspond with reality (i.e. "'The cat is on the mat' is true iff the cat is on the mat).

Normative propositions may or may not be derived from propositions corresponding with reality (the moral realism non-naturalism says the latter), but they necessarily make some sort of evaluation distinct from positive claims.

When we say "'that object is a square'" are we making normative evaluations? If so, then we are forced into the position of saying all a posteriori claims are "normative" with makes the normative/positive distinction meaningless.

In that case, yes, you skirt Hume by claiming there is no deductive difference between "is" and "ought" statements. Same thing happens if you assume Platonic forms (where "should" and "is" are both inherent to an object).

But assuming there is a distinction between the two, say we witness a man beating a child. Would we say the normative proposition "hurting people is evil" as taken as axiomatically or a priori true? If so, then you've used the solution to Hume's dilema which Hume himself proposes.

If instead, the normative proposition is not considered true a priori, how is it possible to derive a normative proposition a posteriori from reality with only reference to the reality, of, say, witnessing a man hitting a child?

I'm not claiming YOU hold these beliefs, just saying that, like platonic forms, it only bypasses Hume by rejecting the normative/positive distinction.

1. http://stanford.library.usyd.edu.au...
2. http://www.bbc.co.uk...
OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/12/2012 4:46:54 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I'm not familiar with either of those, but from a glance or two it seems that Ethical Intuitism and ethical non-naturalism are not mutually exclusive, even though ethical intuitionism can also be naturalistic.

Ethical intuitionism is a form of non-naturalism. I've never heard EI called naturalistic.

The general idea you're getting across, if I understand correctly, is that non-naturalistic moral realism bypasses Hume because it does not attempt to derive normative statements from positive ones (at least, ones that correspond to some aspect of "reality").

It absolutely does bypass is-ought, yes it does not attempt to derive normative statements from descriptive, non-evaluative statements.

When we speak of "positive propositions" we refer to ones that correspond with reality (i.e. "'The cat is on the mat' is true iff the cat is on the mat).

I don't like this given the language and ideas surrounding the term 'reality.' I think every moral ideology would claim that it's reasoning - empirical or otherwise - corresponds to reality.

When we say "'that object is a square'" are we making normative evaluations? If so, then we are forced into the position of saying all a posteriori claims are "normative" with makes the normative/positive distinction meaningless.

We are not.

But assuming there is a distinction between the two, say we witness a man beating a child. Would we say the normative proposition "hurting people is evil" as taken as axiomatically or a priori true? If so, then you've used the solution to Hume's dilema which Hume himself proposes.

Sorry, Hume provided a solution to his own is-ought argument? The idea is that the fact that the man was beating the child would contain implicit moral content. If you deny the implicit moral content then yes, you can't form the conclusion that that man is bad or whatever, but the EI would say that certain moral truths can be known through rational intuitions or in some a priori sense. A major tenet in non-naturalism is that "good" is not reducible so the non-naturalists would have no reason for invokes an "is."

I'm not claiming YOU hold these beliefs, just saying that, like platonic forms, it only bypasses Hume by rejecting the normative/positive distinction.

I completely accept this distinction.
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/12/2012 11:48:43 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/12/2012 4:46:54 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
I'm not familiar with either of those, but from a glance or two it seems that Ethical Intuitism and ethical non-naturalism are not mutually exclusive, even though ethical intuitionism can also be naturalistic.

Ethical intuitionism is a form of non-naturalism. I've never heard EI called naturalistic.

The general idea you're getting across, if I understand correctly, is that non-naturalistic moral realism bypasses Hume because it does not attempt to derive normative statements from positive ones (at least, ones that correspond to some aspect of "reality").

It absolutely does bypass is-ought, yes it does not attempt to derive normative statements from descriptive, non-evaluative statements.

When we speak of "positive propositions" we refer to ones that correspond with reality (i.e. "'The cat is on the mat' is true iff the cat is on the mat).

I don't like this given the language and ideas surrounding the term 'reality.' I think every moral ideology would claim that it's reasoning - empirical or otherwise - corresponds to reality.

When we say "'that object is a square'" are we making normative evaluations? If so, then we are forced into the position of saying all a posteriori claims are "normative" with makes the normative/positive distinction meaningless.

We are not.

But assuming there is a distinction between the two, say we witness a man beating a child. Would we say the normative proposition "hurting people is evil" as taken as axiomatically or a priori true? If so, then you've used the solution to Hume's dilema which Hume himself proposes.

Sorry, Hume provided a solution to his own is-ought argument? The idea is that the fact that the man was beating the child would contain implicit moral content. If you deny the implicit moral content then yes, you can't form the conclusion that that man is bad or whatever, but the EI would say that certain moral truths can be known through rational intuitions or in some a priori sense. A major tenet in non-naturalism is that "good" is not reducible so the non-naturalists would have no reason for invokes an "is."

I'm not claiming YOU hold these beliefs, just saying that, like platonic forms, it only bypasses Hume by rejecting the normative/positive distinction.

I completely accept this distinction.

Hume doesn't quite give a solution. Instead, he specifies that his problem does not apply if moral propositions are taken as axiomatically true/presupposition/brute assertion. If that is the case then normative claims are being derived from a mix of normative and positive assumptions.

From what I gather, this seems to be the thrust of EI. Individuals have some sort of self-evident, unfalsifiable faculty for processing moral conclusions from empirical scenarios (i.e. bully beating a child) without deriving them solely from observation of empirical scenarios (i.e. not reducible to natural properties).
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,483
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/13/2012 10:04:57 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/10/2012 6:27:13 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
And another general point, moral nihilism or non-cognitivism may be true, but imo it's philosophically a dead end. It doesn't really allow you any insight into the nature of political science or public policy besides just giving you a deconstructionist approach. Even if I did believe in either of these two ideologies I'd be diving head first into constructive cases which make a case for moral realism whether naturalism or intuitionism (as I'm doing now.)

Actually, nihilism has a quasi-Nietzschean function for me. There is, on my view, a lot of obfuscatory bullsh*t in philosophy. Normative ethical theory, teleological politics, meaningless abstractions (e.g., "rights", "citizenship", "nationality"), and so on. Nihilism, in various forms, has the function of clearing these things away by emptying them of content and exposing the underlying vacuum (i.e., the "nothingness" underneath all the levels of BS and abstraction). Once you dismantle the pile sitting on top, you can then begin to appropriate the nothingness underneath for positive use.

So, whereas your telic view of the species forces you to seek out all these normative theories of different kinds, my view, which emphasizes existential open-endedness, takes the world for what it is without trying to impose a false sense of propreity or destiny on it.

tl;dr I don't know where nihilism is going to bring you. No matter how you spin it you can't shake the fundamental truths of the doctrine.

It's brought me to awesome places.
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,483
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/13/2012 10:17:38 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/10/2012 6:21:48 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Non-cognitivism is nihilism. It's like an "all cats are mammals" thing--there are classes of mammals other than cats.

When I say moral nihilism I mean error theory.

Oh, k.

If that nihilist is an error theorist.

You aren't an error theorist? So if I said "burning cats is not wrong" would you say I'm right or dismiss the statement as not being truth apt? It sounds mild, but it's actually rather crucial. If you ultimately believe that I'm expressing an emotional utterance then I don't know how you can call it wrong or right. It really comes down to the fundamental nature of moral statements.

Actually, that's a bad distinction. There are multiple forms of error theory (just wikipedia it), one of which is "presupposition failure". It holds that moral statements presuppose the existence of moral facts which don't actually exist. This means that, while the statement is structurally truth-apt, its content is neither true nor false. The example it gives, and which I like a lot, is the statement "the present King of France is bald". It's structurally truth-apt, but it's not really apophantic because there isn't presently a King of France.

At the end of it, it's hard to herd me into a single camp, because I also think the non-cognitivists are onto something insofar as they (often) functionally reduce moral statements to the form of a commandment. But I think people advance moral propositions sincerely--rather than thinking their moral beliefs only express emotional commitments, I think most people are convinced that their ethics correspond to something out in the world.

But, really, I don't think non-cognitivism and error theory are necessarily irreconcilable. The only spot at which they might disagree is the idea that moral statements are truth-apt. The NCs would obviously say that the nature of those statements makes them non-apophantic, but I think the error theorists' reply is probably that moral statements per se are truth-apt, even if the subtext of those statements isn't.

To be honest, though, I'm not really sure where I'd put the NCT.
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Posts: 6,071
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/13/2012 1:36:36 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/10/2012 12:49:04 AM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/9/2012 8:10:46 PM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
At 9/9/2012 3:51:04 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/9/2012 1:45:23 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 9/8/2012 6:33:31 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/8/2012 5:10:23 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
The truth value of a normative statement can be assigned on the condition that a normative assumption exists from which we can derive truth.

Well, that's the question that you really need to consider here. By accepting the intelligibility of normative propositions you accept moral predicates as properties. Now, which seems more plausible to you:

A. That moral "goodness" and "badness" do exist as metaphysical properties, but that the holocaust or rwandan genocide is not good or bad nonetheless.

B. Nothing has moral "goodness" or "badness" because these are not real properties of things, but rather grounded in the speaker's emotion or feeling. It follows that moral judgments are neither right or wrong.

To me, B makes more sense - at least B doesn't revolt against every intuition in the same way that A does. Remember, a nihilist would agree with the judgment that, say, burning cats is not wrong. It seems to be that the default stance for the educated, man of science would be NC. Otherwise, you're just stuck toying with these metaphysical properties and ultimately accepting them in incredibly counter-intuitive ways.



You're currently defending a conservative account of the Correspondence Theory of Truth (i.e. a proposition is true because of its relation to reality/state of affairs/facts). "'Snow is white' is true iff snow is white"

The problem with Correspondence is that while it is quite useful for a majority of non-normative propositions we encounter, it fails in several extremely important endeavors. For instance, is the following statement true or false:

1. If the Confederates in the civil war had been given machine guns, the results of Civil War battles would be different.

While it seems obvious that (1) is true, the problem is when you are tasked with actually relating this to correspondence theory.

When we say "'snow is white' is true" we say this because it corresponds to something in reality.

What does (1) correspond to?

If you cannot say what (1) corresponds to then you cannot evaluate it as either true or false without invoking a different theory of truth (like Coherentists or Deflationists).

"You ought not kill" has no truth value.

"If you want to minimize pain, all other things equal you ought not kill" has a truth value.

Oh, ignore the first part - yes, I've endorsed CTT. I don't see how the machine gun example presents a problem or why we could pass judgment on that. We have facts about machine guns that would allow us to make an educated judgment.

You can have as many true propositions as you like about how machine guns work, how the Civil War was, and anything else to which you can say there is a referent.

However, you abandon strict Correspondence Theory if you use such propositions to establish the truth value of the one in question.

Namely, you must invoke a Coherentist Theory (http://en.wikipedia.org...) to argue that truth values can be impacted by other propositions do not directly correspond with the original proposition's state of affair/referent.

Coherentism is FALSE. You cant Define things as true. or false. It effect nothing. IN the world.

How do you assign a truth value to counterfactuals with strict Correspondence Theory?

To maintain strict Correspondence with counterfactuals you either have to argue that truth values do not apply to counterfactuals (since a counterfactual has no corresponding state of affairs) or that multiple forms of "truth" exist, and counterfactuals fall under a different form of "truth" than propositions with correspondence to a state of affairs.

The Fool: I never said anything about theory. And do you notice that your claim that I need to argue such and such, is not related to a theory. You can have a theory of truth, That is nonsense. Because it would always be less then the truth. A theory by definition may be true or false. Lastly you need to know what you mean by truth already, or you have to say have no Idea what theory I am preporting. lastly never every bend to formal knowledge to fit experical knowledge. Because that is how we measure emperical knowledge. To change the formal system is the change the measure to fit what you want it too. This destroys are ability to know if things are true or not. The modern symbolic logic, Has wholes all over, Its only logic in TERMS. In that its called 'logic' there is no more of the original conception left.
"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
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/13/2012 3:08:31 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/13/2012 1:36:36 PM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
At 9/10/2012 12:49:04 AM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/9/2012 8:10:46 PM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
At 9/9/2012 3:51:04 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/9/2012 1:45:23 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 9/8/2012 6:33:31 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/8/2012 5:10:23 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
The truth value of a normative statement can be assigned on the condition that a normative assumption exists from which we can derive truth.

Well, that's the question that you really need to consider here. By accepting the intelligibility of normative propositions you accept moral predicates as properties. Now, which seems more plausible to you:

A. That moral "goodness" and "badness" do exist as metaphysical properties, but that the holocaust or rwandan genocide is not good or bad nonetheless.

B. Nothing has moral "goodness" or "badness" because these are not real properties of things, but rather grounded in the speaker's emotion or feeling. It follows that moral judgments are neither right or wrong.

To me, B makes more sense - at least B doesn't revolt against every intuition in the same way that A does. Remember, a nihilist would agree with the judgment that, say, burning cats is not wrong. It seems to be that the default stance for the educated, man of science would be NC. Otherwise, you're just stuck toying with these metaphysical properties and ultimately accepting them in incredibly counter-intuitive ways.



You're currently defending a conservative account of the Correspondence Theory of Truth (i.e. a proposition is true because of its relation to reality/state of affairs/facts). "'Snow is white' is true iff snow is white"

The problem with Correspondence is that while it is quite useful for a majority of non-normative propositions we encounter, it fails in several extremely important endeavors. For instance, is the following statement true or false:

1. If the Confederates in the civil war had been given machine guns, the results of Civil War battles would be different.

While it seems obvious that (1) is true, the problem is when you are tasked with actually relating this to correspondence theory.

When we say "'snow is white' is true" we say this because it corresponds to something in reality.

What does (1) correspond to?

If you cannot say what (1) corresponds to then you cannot evaluate it as either true or false without invoking a different theory of truth (like Coherentists or Deflationists).

"You ought not kill" has no truth value.

"If you want to minimize pain, all other things equal you ought not kill" has a truth value.

Oh, ignore the first part - yes, I've endorsed CTT. I don't see how the machine gun example presents a problem or why we could pass judgment on that. We have facts about machine guns that would allow us to make an educated judgment.

You can have as many true propositions as you like about how machine guns work, how the Civil War was, and anything else to which you can say there is a referent.

However, you abandon strict Correspondence Theory if you use such propositions to establish the truth value of the one in question.

Namely, you must invoke a Coherentist Theory (http://en.wikipedia.org...) to argue that truth values can be impacted by other propositions do not directly correspond with the original proposition's state of affair/referent.

Coherentism is FALSE. You cant Define things as true. or false. It effect nothing. IN the world.

How do you assign a truth value to counterfactuals with strict Correspondence Theory?


To maintain strict Correspondence with counterfactuals you either have to argue that truth values do not apply to counterfactuals (since a counterfactual has no corresponding state of affairs) or that multiple forms of "truth" exist, and counterfactuals fall under a different form of "truth" than propositions with correspondence to a state of affairs.

The Fool: I never said anything about theory. And do you notice that your claim that I need to argue such and such, is not related to a theory. You can have a theory of truth, That is nonsense. Because it would always be less then the truth. A theory by definition may be true or false. Lastly you need to know what you mean by truth already, or you have to say have no Idea what theory I am preporting. lastly never every bend to formal knowledge to fit experical knowledge. Because that is how we measure emperical knowledge. To change the formal system is the change the measure to fit what you want it too. This destroys are ability to know if things are true or not. The modern symbolic logic, Has wholes all over, Its only logic in TERMS. In that its called 'logic' there is no more of the original conception left.

You are an amusing little man when you get flustered. You criticize my mention of Coherentism, yet now claim you don't need to reference Theories of Truth. You criticize the very enterprise of Theories of Truth, yet claim I don't understand your "theory."

You do realize that you can't evaluate sentences/statements in terms of truth values without a theory of truth, right? There's no way to claim "proposition x is true" without adhering to some Theory of Truth.

Now, be a big boy, and complete the following proposition:

"x" is true iff _______