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The 'moral relativism fallacy.'

MouthWash
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1/4/2013 4:50:32 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
What the hell is moral relativism? I looked on Wikipedia but the only explanation it gives is "Meta-ethical moral relativists believe not only that people disagree about moral issues, but that terms such as "good," "bad," "right" and "wrong" do not stand subject to universal truth conditions at all; rather, they are relative to the traditions, convictions, or practices of an individual or a group of people."

If so, why do they have any value? Ethics are derivational; you cannot simply say "everyone's ethics matter equally" because it does not address the problem of where those ethics come from. I agree that ethics are fluid depending on certain metaphysical differences between subjects. The problem occurs when someone claims moral subjectivism is fundamentally different from objective morality.

For instance:

The Jews believe eating pork is wrong.

The Hindus believe eating beef is wrong.

Both stances are equally valid because:

1. Their cultures should be respected.

2. Their ideas should be respected.

3. There are certain situational differences between the two groups that justifies their moralities (e.g. Israeli pigs have dirt instead of blood while Indian cows are sentient).

The thing that these possibilities all have in common is they that all are an objective foundation that presupposes an objective system of ethics. It seems like these people are just avoiding the conundrum and conceptualizing their "objectiveness-agent" as something their minds fallaciously dismiss as irrelevant. I remember making this argument before and Lordknukle repeated himself, saying "subjective" ethics were different from objective ones without remotely explaining why I was wrong.

Am I missing something obvious or are they just out of their minds?
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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1/4/2013 5:04:17 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
You actually are missing something obvious. Moral relativism assigns no value to other people's beliefs. So the 2 beliefs you mentioned are neither both right nor both wrong, they are both relative. To say that either one is valid or invalid alludes to an objective standard. The only fallacy here is that you presumed objective morality in order to show that moral relativism made no sense, and that's circular.

.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
MouthWash
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1/4/2013 5:09:08 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 5:04:17 AM, 000ike wrote:
You actually are missing something obvious. Moral relativism assigns no value to other people's beliefs. So the 2 beliefs you mentioned are neither both right nor both wrong, they are both relative. To say that either one is valid or invalid alludes to an objective standard. The only fallacy here is that you presumed objective morality in order to show that moral relativism made no sense, and that's circular.

So moral relativism is... moral nihilism? It assigns NO value to other people's beliefs.
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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1/4/2013 5:22:20 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 5:09:08 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:04:17 AM, 000ike wrote:
You actually are missing something obvious. Moral relativism assigns no value to other people's beliefs. So the 2 beliefs you mentioned are neither both right nor both wrong, they are both relative. To say that either one is valid or invalid alludes to an objective standard. The only fallacy here is that you presumed objective morality in order to show that moral relativism made no sense, and that's circular.

So moral relativism is... moral nihilism? It assigns NO value to other people's beliefs.

I'm certainly not an expert on these terms so you might want to confer with someone else, but to my understanding, no type of relativism involves objective values. "Descriptive moral relativism is merely the positive or descriptive position that there exist, in fact, fundamental disagreements about the right course of action even when the same facts hold true and the same consequences seem likely to arise" (http://en.wikipedia.org...)

"Meta-ethical moral relativists believe not only that people disagree about moral issues, but that terms such as "good," "bad," "right" and "wrong" do not stand subject to universal truth conditions at all; rather, they are relative to the traditions, convictions, or practices of an individual or a group of people.
" (same link)

"Normative moral relativists believe not only the meta-ethical thesis, but that it has normative implications on what we ought to do."(same link)
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Sidewalker
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1/4/2013 5:25:17 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 5:09:08 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:04:17 AM, 000ike wrote:
You actually are missing something obvious. Moral relativism assigns no value to other people's beliefs. So the 2 beliefs you mentioned are neither both right nor both wrong, they are both relative. To say that either one is valid or invalid alludes to an objective standard. The only fallacy here is that you presumed objective morality in order to show that moral relativism made no sense, and that's circular.

So moral relativism is... moral nihilism? It assigns NO value to other people's beliefs.

Apparently the argument is that if you assign no value to other people's beliefs then the world would be a better place. I kind of think that a lack of mutual respect is the problem rather than the solution to society's ills..
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
MouthWash
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1/4/2013 5:27:22 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 5:22:20 AM, 000ike wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:09:08 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:04:17 AM, 000ike wrote:
You actually are missing something obvious. Moral relativism assigns no value to other people's beliefs. So the 2 beliefs you mentioned are neither both right nor both wrong, they are both relative. To say that either one is valid or invalid alludes to an objective standard. The only fallacy here is that you presumed objective morality in order to show that moral relativism made no sense, and that's circular.

So moral relativism is... moral nihilism? It assigns NO value to other people's beliefs.

I'm certainly not an expert on these terms so you might want to confer with someone else, but to my understanding, no type of relativism involves objective values. "Descriptive moral relativism is merely the positive or descriptive position that there exist, in fact, fundamental disagreements about the right course of action even when the same facts hold true and the same consequences seem likely to arise" (http://en.wikipedia.org...)

"Meta-ethical moral relativists believe not only that people disagree about moral issues, but that terms such as "good," "bad," "right" and "wrong" do not stand subject to universal truth conditions at all; rather, they are relative to the traditions, convictions, or practices of an individual or a group of people.
" (same link)

"Normative moral relativists believe not only the meta-ethical thesis, but that it has normative implications on what we ought to do."(same link)

I know that objective values aren't part of the doctrine. What I'm saying is that any sort of justification for any ethic must have an objective foundation, because ethics are derivational. Nowhere do your quotes remotely address this issue. To me, the entire concept is one big, ridiculous fallacy.
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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1/4/2013 5:29:42 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 5:25:17 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:09:08 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:04:17 AM, 000ike wrote:
You actually are missing something obvious. Moral relativism assigns no value to other people's beliefs. So the 2 beliefs you mentioned are neither both right nor both wrong, they are both relative. To say that either one is valid or invalid alludes to an objective standard. The only fallacy here is that you presumed objective morality in order to show that moral relativism made no sense, and that's circular.

So moral relativism is... moral nihilism? It assigns NO value to other people's beliefs.

Apparently the argument is that if you assign no value to other people's beliefs then the world would be a better place. I kind of think that a lack of mutual respect is the problem rather than the solution to society's ills..

The goal isn't to make the world a better place. The goal is to find what can be considered true, and what cannot. Objective claims aren't suddenly going to be valid because we want them to be. God is not going to suddenly exist because you think it will enrich the world or something to that effect. You can't keep using this "I want it, therefore it must be so" mentality and then impulsively dismissing everything everything everyone else says to the contrary.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
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1/4/2013 5:30:42 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 5:09:08 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:04:17 AM, 000ike wrote:
You actually are missing something obvious. Moral relativism assigns no value to other people's beliefs. So the 2 beliefs you mentioned are neither both right nor both wrong, they are both relative. To say that either one is valid or invalid alludes to an objective standard. The only fallacy here is that you presumed objective morality in order to show that moral relativism made no sense, and that's circular.

So moral relativism is... moral nihilism? It assigns NO value to other people's beliefs.

I think we're confused here. For the relativist, morality exists within a context. For example, imagine stepping into an African tribe with its own codes of ethics and social norms. For the normative ethical relativist, when you enter into this culture these ethics and norms become binding - so yes, one can be wrong about ethics and value can be assigned to the beliefs of others.

Everybody agrees with descriptive ethical relativism.
Kinesis
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1/4/2013 5:32:16 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 5:09:08 AM, MouthWash wrote:
So moral relativism is... moral nihilism? It assigns NO value to other people's beliefs.

Yeah it pretty obviously collapses into nihilism. There's a good debate from a while back explaining why holding that morality is truth apt and that moral relativism is true is incoherent: http://www.debate.org...
Sidewalker
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1/4/2013 5:32:48 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 5:04:17 AM, 000ike wrote:
You actually are missing something obvious. Moral relativism assigns no value to other people's beliefs. So the 2 beliefs you mentioned are neither both right nor both wrong, they are both relative. To say that either one is valid or invalid alludes to an objective standard. The only fallacy here is that you presumed objective morality in order to show that moral relativism made no sense, and that's circular.

.
The thread that I think initiated this OP is the anarchy thread over in politics, the argument was made that Adam Lanza's morals are no better or worse than anyone else's because morals are relative.

You certainly don't agree with that do you? Moral relativity does not equate to moral equality does it? If not, then what is the basis for a moral standard in society, and how does that basis differ from an objective standard?
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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1/4/2013 5:34:43 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 5:27:22 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:22:20 AM, 000ike wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:09:08 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:04:17 AM, 000ike wrote:
You actually are missing something obvious. Moral relativism assigns no value to other people's beliefs. So the 2 beliefs you mentioned are neither both right nor both wrong, they are both relative. To say that either one is valid or invalid alludes to an objective standard. The only fallacy here is that you presumed objective morality in order to show that moral relativism made no sense, and that's circular.

So moral relativism is... moral nihilism? It assigns NO value to other people's beliefs.

I'm certainly not an expert on these terms so you might want to confer with someone else, but to my understanding, no type of relativism involves objective values. "Descriptive moral relativism is merely the positive or descriptive position that there exist, in fact, fundamental disagreements about the right course of action even when the same facts hold true and the same consequences seem likely to arise" (http://en.wikipedia.org...)

"Meta-ethical moral relativists believe not only that people disagree about moral issues, but that terms such as "good," "bad," "right" and "wrong" do not stand subject to universal truth conditions at all; rather, they are relative to the traditions, convictions, or practices of an individual or a group of people.
" (same link)

"Normative moral relativists believe not only the meta-ethical thesis, but that it has normative implications on what we ought to do."(same link)

I know that objective values aren't part of the doctrine. What I'm saying is that any sort of justification for any ethic must have an objective foundation, because ethics are derivational. Nowhere do your quotes remotely address this issue. To me, the entire concept is one big, ridiculous fallacy.

Yeah, that is what just got addressed. Justification is not necessary because justification implies valid and invalid (in the case that it lacks one) propositions,...and no type of moral relativism includes valid and invalid morality, like I just showed. Your premise is the source of this problem you're complaining about...., you're essentially inventing a problem by spuriously attaching values to relativism when those beliefs don't include values, and then finding a contradiction based on your own attachment.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
MouthWash
Posts: 2,607
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1/4/2013 5:38:25 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 5:34:43 AM, 000ike wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:27:22 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:22:20 AM, 000ike wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:09:08 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:04:17 AM, 000ike wrote:
You actually are missing something obvious. Moral relativism assigns no value to other people's beliefs. So the 2 beliefs you mentioned are neither both right nor both wrong, they are both relative. To say that either one is valid or invalid alludes to an objective standard. The only fallacy here is that you presumed objective morality in order to show that moral relativism made no sense, and that's circular.

So moral relativism is... moral nihilism? It assigns NO value to other people's beliefs.

I'm certainly not an expert on these terms so you might want to confer with someone else, but to my understanding, no type of relativism involves objective values. "Descriptive moral relativism is merely the positive or descriptive position that there exist, in fact, fundamental disagreements about the right course of action even when the same facts hold true and the same consequences seem likely to arise" (http://en.wikipedia.org...)

"Meta-ethical moral relativists believe not only that people disagree about moral issues, but that terms such as "good," "bad," "right" and "wrong" do not stand subject to universal truth conditions at all; rather, they are relative to the traditions, convictions, or practices of an individual or a group of people.
" (same link)

"Normative moral relativists believe not only the meta-ethical thesis, but that it has normative implications on what we ought to do."(same link)

I know that objective values aren't part of the doctrine. What I'm saying is that any sort of justification for any ethic must have an objective foundation, because ethics are derivational. Nowhere do your quotes remotely address this issue. To me, the entire concept is one big, ridiculous fallacy.

Yeah, that is what just got addressed. Justification is not necessary because justification implies valid and invalid (in the case that it lacks one) propositions,...and no type of moral relativism includes valid and invalid morality, like I just showed. Your premise is the source of this problem you're complaining about...., you're essentially inventing a problem by spuriously attaching values to relativism when those beliefs don't include values, and then finding a contradiction based on your own attachment.

So what you are saying is that relative ethics mean nothing? Which would be nihilism?
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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1/4/2013 5:42:18 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 5:38:25 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:34:43 AM, 000ike wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:27:22 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:22:20 AM, 000ike wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:09:08 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:04:17 AM, 000ike wrote:
You actually are missing something obvious. Moral relativism assigns no value to other people's beliefs. So the 2 beliefs you mentioned are neither both right nor both wrong, they are both relative. To say that either one is valid or invalid alludes to an objective standard. The only fallacy here is that you presumed objective morality in order to show that moral relativism made no sense, and that's circular.

So moral relativism is... moral nihilism? It assigns NO value to other people's beliefs.

I'm certainly not an expert on these terms so you might want to confer with someone else, but to my understanding, no type of relativism involves objective values. "Descriptive moral relativism is merely the positive or descriptive position that there exist, in fact, fundamental disagreements about the right course of action even when the same facts hold true and the same consequences seem likely to arise" (http://en.wikipedia.org...)

"Meta-ethical moral relativists believe not only that people disagree about moral issues, but that terms such as "good," "bad," "right" and "wrong" do not stand subject to universal truth conditions at all; rather, they are relative to the traditions, convictions, or practices of an individual or a group of people.
" (same link)

"Normative moral relativists believe not only the meta-ethical thesis, but that it has normative implications on what we ought to do."(same link)

I know that objective values aren't part of the doctrine. What I'm saying is that any sort of justification for any ethic must have an objective foundation, because ethics are derivational. Nowhere do your quotes remotely address this issue. To me, the entire concept is one big, ridiculous fallacy.

Yeah, that is what just got addressed. Justification is not necessary because justification implies valid and invalid (in the case that it lacks one) propositions,...and no type of moral relativism includes valid and invalid morality, like I just showed. Your premise is the source of this problem you're complaining about...., you're essentially inventing a problem by spuriously attaching values to relativism when those beliefs don't include values, and then finding a contradiction based on your own attachment.

So what you are saying is that relative ethics mean nothing? Which would be nihilism?

nihilism is a type of relativism...all other types of relativism assign no objective ethical values either, but have other claims that make them distinct.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
MouthWash
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1/4/2013 5:44:24 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 5:42:18 AM, 000ike wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:38:25 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:34:43 AM, 000ike wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:27:22 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:22:20 AM, 000ike wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:09:08 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:04:17 AM, 000ike wrote:
You actually are missing something obvious. Moral relativism assigns no value to other people's beliefs. So the 2 beliefs you mentioned are neither both right nor both wrong, they are both relative. To say that either one is valid or invalid alludes to an objective standard. The only fallacy here is that you presumed objective morality in order to show that moral relativism made no sense, and that's circular.

So moral relativism is... moral nihilism? It assigns NO value to other people's beliefs.

I'm certainly not an expert on these terms so you might want to confer with someone else, but to my understanding, no type of relativism involves objective values. "Descriptive moral relativism is merely the positive or descriptive position that there exist, in fact, fundamental disagreements about the right course of action even when the same facts hold true and the same consequences seem likely to arise" (http://en.wikipedia.org...)

"Meta-ethical moral relativists believe not only that people disagree about moral issues, but that terms such as "good," "bad," "right" and "wrong" do not stand subject to universal truth conditions at all; rather, they are relative to the traditions, convictions, or practices of an individual or a group of people.
" (same link)

"Normative moral relativists believe not only the meta-ethical thesis, but that it has normative implications on what we ought to do."(same link)

I know that objective values aren't part of the doctrine. What I'm saying is that any sort of justification for any ethic must have an objective foundation, because ethics are derivational. Nowhere do your quotes remotely address this issue. To me, the entire concept is one big, ridiculous fallacy.

Yeah, that is what just got addressed. Justification is not necessary because justification implies valid and invalid (in the case that it lacks one) propositions,...and no type of moral relativism includes valid and invalid morality, like I just showed. Your premise is the source of this problem you're complaining about...., you're essentially inventing a problem by spuriously attaching values to relativism when those beliefs don't include values, and then finding a contradiction based on your own attachment.

So what you are saying is that relative ethics mean nothing? Which would be nihilism?

nihilism is a type of relativism...all other types of relativism assign no objective ethical values either, but have other claims that make them distinct.

Like what? Why not just call yourself a nihilist?
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
OMGJustinBieber
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1/4/2013 5:47:42 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Go back and read my post. Nihilism is not relativism. Both are variants of ethical anti-realism which rejects objective moral value, but they are not the same.
000ike
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1/4/2013 5:49:46 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 5:44:24 AM, MouthWash wrote:

Like what? Why not just call yourself a nihilist?

I didn't think nihilism allowed for any type of non-objective valuation of ethics, that could be wrong though.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Sidewalker
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1/4/2013 5:55:06 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 5:29:42 AM, 000ike wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:25:17 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:09:08 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:04:17 AM, 000ike wrote:
You actually are missing something obvious. Moral relativism assigns no value to other people's beliefs. So the 2 beliefs you mentioned are neither both right nor both wrong, they are both relative. To say that either one is valid or invalid alludes to an objective standard. The only fallacy here is that you presumed objective morality in order to show that moral relativism made no sense, and that's circular.

So moral relativism is... moral nihilism? It assigns NO value to other people's beliefs.

Apparently the argument is that if you assign no value to other people's beliefs then the world would be a better place. I kind of think that a lack of mutual respect is the problem rather than the solution to society's ills..

The goal isn't to make the world a better place. The goal is to find what can be considered true, and what cannot. Objective claims aren't suddenly going to be valid because we want them to be. God is not going to suddenly exist because you think it will enrich the world or something to that effect. You can't keep using this "I want it, therefore it must be so" mentality and then impulsively dismissing everything everything everyone else says to the contrary.

That's about the hundredth time you've responded to one of my comments that said nothing about God with an argument against the existence of God. I'm not sure why you see God hiding behind every argument, but he isn't there. This isn"t the "us/them" battle of your religious fundamentalism, it"s a discussion about morals.

I certainly didn"t say I want it so it must be true, I"m saying that there must be some foundation for a normative set of morals which society can live by. I do not believe there is no objective basis upon which we can logically derive normative values, if that is your argument then how about you don"t simply assert it and then try to negatively characterize anyone who disagrees with you assertion, just make your case.

Try using logic to make an actual argument and see if you can make it about the actual subject matter instead of your obsession with God.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
MouthWash
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1/4/2013 6:13:42 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 5:30:42 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:09:08 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:04:17 AM, 000ike wrote:
You actually are missing something obvious. Moral relativism assigns no value to other people's beliefs. So the 2 beliefs you mentioned are neither both right nor both wrong, they are both relative. To say that either one is valid or invalid alludes to an objective standard. The only fallacy here is that you presumed objective morality in order to show that moral relativism made no sense, and that's circular.

So moral relativism is... moral nihilism? It assigns NO value to other people's beliefs.

I think we're confused here. For the relativist, morality exists within a context. For example, imagine stepping into an African tribe with its own codes of ethics and social norms. For the normative ethical relativist, when you enter into this culture these ethics and norms become binding - so yes, one can be wrong about ethics and value can be assigned to the beliefs of others.

Let me just give this the response it deserves:

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...........((.....*~_......."=-._......";,,./`..../"............../
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................................`:,,...........................`..............__
.....................................`=-,...................,%`>--==``
........................................_..........._,-%.......`
...................................,

Now will you stop repeating what I just said and contribute to the thread?
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
MouthWash
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1/4/2013 6:46:21 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 6:15:09 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Do you have one clear question that you want answered?

Yes, in the last sentence of the OP. >.<
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
OMGJustinBieber
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1/4/2013 6:53:04 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 6:46:21 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 1/4/2013 6:15:09 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Do you have one clear question that you want answered?

Yes, in the last sentence of the OP. >.<

You bring up various questions. I'm too lazy to address all of them, I completed a course on meta-ethics last fall. Give me 1 question and I'll answer it in a few sentences.
drafterman
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1/4/2013 7:56:00 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 5:09:08 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:04:17 AM, 000ike wrote:
You actually are missing something obvious. Moral relativism assigns no value to other people's beliefs. So the 2 beliefs you mentioned are neither both right nor both wrong, they are both relative. To say that either one is valid or invalid alludes to an objective standard. The only fallacy here is that you presumed objective morality in order to show that moral relativism made no sense, and that's circular.

So moral relativism is... moral nihilism? It assigns NO value to other people's beliefs.

No, rather, the value depends on your point of reference. It's like how motion is relative, meaning it doesn't make sense to talk about some object's velocity without invoking (implicily or explicitly) a point of reference.

So, to take your initial example:

"The Jews believe eating pork is wrong.

The Hindus believe eating beef is wrong."

The act "eating pork" is wrong if your reference point is a Jew, but not a Hindu. The act "eating beef" is wrong if your reference point is a Hindu, but not a Jew.

Moral relativism is not the statement that all things are ok, or should be accepted simply because other people accept them, but the fact that it doesn't even make sense to talk about the morality of actions without first invoking some moral reference point. After you do that, then you can talk about the morality of actions.
malcolmxy
Posts: 2,855
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1/4/2013 8:09:39 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Let's say Dennis Hopper got his hands on a nuke. As we all know, Dennis Hopper is an absolute evil loon, and he now requires that you go out and film yourself kicking a baby in the head or else he's gonna blow the nuke in the middle of a population center and kill a million people in the process.

What do you do, sport? What do you do?

___________________________

It's an extreme, silly, sarcastic example, so tone it down to something more realistic if you must (stealing a car to get your pregnant wife to the hospital...stealing a loaf of bread to feed your family), but while filming yourself kicking a baby in the head is usually wrong, even if no one else in the world knew about Dennis Hopper and the nuke, in that instance, NOT kicking a baby in the head would be wrong.

There ya go.
War is over, if you want it.

Meet Dr. Stupid and his assistants - http://www.debate.org...
MouthWash
Posts: 2,607
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1/4/2013 8:46:20 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 7:56:00 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:09:08 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:04:17 AM, 000ike wrote:
You actually are missing something obvious. Moral relativism assigns no value to other people's beliefs. So the 2 beliefs you mentioned are neither both right nor both wrong, they are both relative. To say that either one is valid or invalid alludes to an objective standard. The only fallacy here is that you presumed objective morality in order to show that moral relativism made no sense, and that's circular.

So moral relativism is... moral nihilism? It assigns NO value to other people's beliefs.

No, rather, the value depends on your point of reference. It's like how motion is relative, meaning it doesn't make sense to talk about some object's velocity without invoking (implicily or explicitly) a point of reference.

So, to take your initial example:

"The Jews believe eating pork is wrong.

The Hindus believe eating beef is wrong."

The act "eating pork" is wrong if your reference point is a Jew, but not a Hindu. The act "eating beef" is wrong if your reference point is a Hindu, but not a Jew.

Moral relativism is not the statement that all things are ok, or should be accepted simply because other people accept them, but the fact that it doesn't even make sense to talk about the morality of actions without first invoking some moral reference point. After you do that, then you can talk about the morality of actions.

Not sure I understand the point here. You're talking about descriptive moral relativism?

Eating pork is either right or wrong for humans to do. Define reference point.
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
MouthWash
Posts: 2,607
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1/4/2013 8:48:16 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 6:53:04 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 1/4/2013 6:46:21 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 1/4/2013 6:15:09 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Do you have one clear question that you want answered?

Yes, in the last sentence of the OP. >.<

You bring up various questions. I'm too lazy to address all of them, I completed a course on meta-ethics last fall. Give me 1 question and I'll answer it in a few sentences.

My question is how someone can make moral judgments without an objective foundation.
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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1/4/2013 8:50:20 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 8:46:20 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 1/4/2013 7:56:00 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:09:08 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 1/4/2013 5:04:17 AM, 000ike wrote:
You actually are missing something obvious. Moral relativism assigns no value to other people's beliefs. So the 2 beliefs you mentioned are neither both right nor both wrong, they are both relative. To say that either one is valid or invalid alludes to an objective standard. The only fallacy here is that you presumed objective morality in order to show that moral relativism made no sense, and that's circular.

So moral relativism is... moral nihilism? It assigns NO value to other people's beliefs.

No, rather, the value depends on your point of reference. It's like how motion is relative, meaning it doesn't make sense to talk about some object's velocity without invoking (implicily or explicitly) a point of reference.

So, to take your initial example:

"The Jews believe eating pork is wrong.

The Hindus believe eating beef is wrong."

The act "eating pork" is wrong if your reference point is a Jew, but not a Hindu. The act "eating beef" is wrong if your reference point is a Hindu, but not a Jew.

Moral relativism is not the statement that all things are ok, or should be accepted simply because other people accept them, but the fact that it doesn't even make sense to talk about the morality of actions without first invoking some moral reference point. After you do that, then you can talk about the morality of actions.

Not sure I understand the point here. You're talking about descriptive moral relativism?

No, I'm talking about Metaethical Moral Relativism


Eating pork is either right or wrong for humans to do.

Depending on your reference point.

Define reference point.

That would be the point of reference.

"The truth or falsity of moral judgments, or their justification, is not absolute or universal, but is relative to the traditions, convictions, or practices of a group of persons."
OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
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1/4/2013 9:14:06 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 8:48:16 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 1/4/2013 6:53:04 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 1/4/2013 6:46:21 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 1/4/2013 6:15:09 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Do you have one clear question that you want answered?

Yes, in the last sentence of the OP. >.<

You bring up various questions. I'm too lazy to address all of them, I completed a course on meta-ethics last fall. Give me 1 question and I'll answer it in a few sentences.

My question is how someone can make moral judgments without an objective foundation.

You need to examine what you mean by "objective." Moral frameworks, whether realist or anti-realist, claim to have support via some kind of underlying logic. I guess in this sense, one could argue for moral relativism or really any other system making the system supported by reason.

We make other normative claims: etiquette, for example, which aren't usually claimed to be backed by some objective logic. I guess you could charge the moral relativist with making non-objective moral claims to which he'd respond "so what?" What would seem to matter is the logic behind the meta-ethical framework, not whether they fit your standards of what counts as an acceptable moral claim.
Kinesis
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1/4/2013 10:33:34 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 9:14:06 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
You need to examine what you mean by "objective." Moral frameworks, whether realist or anti-realist, claim to have support via some kind of underlying logic. I guess in this sense, one could argue for moral relativism or really any other system making the system supported by reason.

We make other normative claims: etiquette, for example, which aren't usually claimed to be backed by some objective logic. I guess you could charge the moral relativist with making non-objective moral claims to which he'd respond "so what?" What would seem to matter is the logic behind the meta-ethical framework, not whether they fit your standards of what counts as an acceptable moral claim.

So, let's say you were at a dinner table with this moral relativist and you used a knife to spear your steak and eat it by tearing chucks off with your teeth. He objects, saying "that isn't how you should eat your steak. Use your knife and fork properly". You respond: "so, is it true that I should eat my steak according to your standards of etiquette?". If the relativist responds "yes" then either he is not a relativist because he believes his standard to be true and all others to be false, or he is guilty of incoherence, because he believes multiple mutually contradictory propositions to be true. If he responds "no", and also "no" to any other standard then his position is that of a nihilist about etiquette because there are no true propositions that are also standards of etiquette.
OMGJustinBieber
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1/4/2013 10:46:11 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/4/2013 10:33:34 AM, Kinesis wrote:
At 1/4/2013 9:14:06 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
You need to examine what you mean by "objective." Moral frameworks, whether realist or anti-realist, claim to have support via some kind of underlying logic. I guess in this sense, one could argue for moral relativism or really any other system making the system supported by reason.

We make other normative claims: etiquette, for example, which aren't usually claimed to be backed by some objective logic. I guess you could charge the moral relativist with making non-objective moral claims to which he'd respond "so what?" What would seem to matter is the logic behind the meta-ethical framework, not whether they fit your standards of what counts as an acceptable moral claim.

So, let's say you were at a dinner table with this moral relativist and you used a knife to spear your steak and eat it by tearing chucks off with your teeth. He objects, saying "that isn't how you should eat your steak. Use your knife and fork properly". You respond: "so, is it true that I should eat my steak according to your standards of etiquette?". If the relativist responds "yes" then either he is not a relativist because he believes his standard to be true and all others to be false, or he is guilty of incoherence, because he believes multiple mutually contradictory propositions to be true. If he responds "no", and also "no" to any other standard then his position is that of a nihilist about etiquette because there are no true propositions that are also standards of etiquette.

The relativist can respond "yes" - he is a relativist - it is a position that he believes is true. For the moral relativist, "X is morally right" means roughly "X fits within the socially accepted customs or logic of the group or culture." There are different variants of relativism, but cultural relativism is fairly common. I believe the issue of eating steak is more an question of etiquette - which I believe to be truly relative to culture, although I haven't thought about the issue in depth.

Obviously it can be challenged with incoherence, and I wouldn't defend it since I don't defend ethical relativism. I'm just describing the bare bones of the position.