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Any Bona-fide Moral Subjectivists Here?

wiploc
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5/10/2013 3:59:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/10/2013 2:32:37 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
Just curious, are there any bona fide moral subjectivists in the house?

I can't tell. Depends how you define subjective. Christians mostly define it one way in order to establish their morality as objective, and then define it another way in order to define my morality as subjective. So, it just depends on how you define it.

I don't even know what the appeal of objective morality is supposed to be. Would you rather have an objective morality that encourages rape, or a subjective morality that forbids it? I'd prefer the latter.

My position is this: Christian morality is just as subjective as atheist morality, and atheist morality is just as objective as Christian morality.

You can define "subjective" any way you want, but---so long as you stick to that definition---your morality will be as subjective as mine.
Noumena
Posts: 6,047
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5/10/2013 4:02:35 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Define subjectivism.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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5/10/2013 4:04:53 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I have moral opinions and I may act on them, but I understand that at a meta-ethical level I have no "objective" justification past my own convictions.

Does that make me one?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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5/10/2013 4:07:49 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/10/2013 4:04:53 PM, Wnope wrote:
I have moral opinions and I may act on them, but I understand that at a meta-ethical level I have no "objective" justification past my own convictions.

Does that make me one?

This is pretty much my stance as well on morality.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
R0b1Billion
Posts: 3,733
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5/10/2013 7:30:23 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I believe that intelligence demands morality. Morality is simply the understanding that as a being gains intelligence, it also gains the ability to both create and destroy (animals can't really destroy their environment like we can). The seven sins are the most effective list of moral action I have found.
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.
ConservativeAmerican
Posts: 1,676
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5/10/2013 10:18:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/10/2013 7:30:23 PM, R0b1Billion wrote:
I believe that intelligence demands morality. Morality is simply the understanding that as a being gains intelligence, it also gains the ability to both create and destroy (animals can't really destroy their environment like we can). The seven sins are the most effective list of moral action I have found.

I believe the trend to be opposite. A more ignorant person would act on their morals and not the situation around them/what would be the most beneficial to everyone. A more intelligent person would be able to drop their morals to do what is objectively better for society.
OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
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5/11/2013 1:31:04 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/10/2013 4:04:53 PM, Wnope wrote:
I have moral opinions and I may act on them, but I understand that at a meta-ethical level I have no "objective" justification past my own convictions.

Does that make me one?

No, the moral subjectivist grounds the truth value of the moral statement in the attitudes and beliefs of the subject. "I believe murder is wrong = murder is wrong."
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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5/11/2013 10:36:25 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/11/2013 1:31:04 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 5/10/2013 4:04:53 PM, Wnope wrote:
I have moral opinions and I may act on them, but I understand that at a meta-ethical level I have no "objective" justification past my own convictions.

Does that make me one?

No, the moral subjectivist grounds the truth value of the moral statement in the attitudes and beliefs of the subject. "I believe murder is wrong = murder is wrong."

So, if I had written

" I have moral beliefs and I may act on them, but I understand that at a meta-ethical level I have no "objective" justification past my own convictions."

It would not be moral subjectivism? What intellectual misdeed does the subjectivist do that I am not committing?
OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
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5/11/2013 2:19:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/11/2013 10:36:25 AM, Wnope wrote:
At 5/11/2013 1:31:04 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 5/10/2013 4:04:53 PM, Wnope wrote:
I have moral opinions and I may act on them, but I understand that at a meta-ethical level I have no "objective" justification past my own convictions.

Does that make me one?

No, the moral subjectivist grounds the truth value of the moral statement in the attitudes and beliefs of the subject. "I believe murder is wrong = murder is wrong."

So, if I had written

" I have moral beliefs and I may act on them, but I understand that at a meta-ethical level I have no "objective" justification past my own convictions."

It would not be moral subjectivism? What intellectual misdeed does the subjectivist do that I am not committing?

No, it's not a matter of wording. I'm not being anal about whether you use 'beliefs' or 'opinions' because opinions are beliefs.

The subjectivist believes the moral statement true in virtue of him believing in it. The truth is grounded 'in the subject.'

So if I were a subjectivist in regard to science I could say something like "the earth is round" but the reason - the justification for this truth - is me believing it not the evidence or the logic that we take to be behind it.

This is meta-ethical subjectivism, which is to be distinguished from normative moral subjectivism which in my opinion is equally as absurd.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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5/11/2013 2:41:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/11/2013 2:19:11 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 5/11/2013 10:36:25 AM, Wnope wrote:
At 5/11/2013 1:31:04 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 5/10/2013 4:04:53 PM, Wnope wrote:
I have moral opinions and I may act on them, but I understand that at a meta-ethical level I have no "objective" justification past my own convictions.

Does that make me one?

No, the moral subjectivist grounds the truth value of the moral statement in the attitudes and beliefs of the subject. "I believe murder is wrong = murder is wrong."

So, if I had written

" I have moral beliefs and I may act on them, but I understand that at a meta-ethical level I have no "objective" justification past my own convictions."

It would not be moral subjectivism? What intellectual misdeed does the subjectivist do that I am not committing?

No, it's not a matter of wording. I'm not being anal about whether you use 'beliefs' or 'opinions' because opinions are beliefs.

The subjectivist believes the moral statement true in virtue of him believing in it. The truth is grounded 'in the subject.'

So if I were a subjectivist in regard to science I could say something like "the earth is round" but the reason - the justification for this truth - is me believing it not the evidence or the logic that we take to be behind it.

This is meta-ethical subjectivism, which is to be distinguished from normative moral subjectivism which in my opinion is equally as absurd.

Hmmm...I'm not certain I'm following this.

I don't see any difference between what you are pointing out and what wnope originally stated.

If someone believes that murder is wrong, and acts on that belief, it would seem that such a moral pronouncement would be true to that individual by virtue of that individual's belief in it.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
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5/11/2013 3:23:57 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/11/2013 2:41:18 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 5/11/2013 2:19:11 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 5/11/2013 10:36:25 AM, Wnope wrote:
At 5/11/2013 1:31:04 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 5/10/2013 4:04:53 PM, Wnope wrote:
I have moral opinions and I may act on them, but I understand that at a meta-ethical level I have no "objective" justification past my own convictions.

Does that make me one?

No, the moral subjectivist grounds the truth value of the moral statement in the attitudes and beliefs of the subject. "I believe murder is wrong = murder is wrong."

So, if I had written

" I have moral beliefs and I may act on them, but I understand that at a meta-ethical level I have no "objective" justification past my own convictions."

It would not be moral subjectivism? What intellectual misdeed does the subjectivist do that I am not committing?

No, it's not a matter of wording. I'm not being anal about whether you use 'beliefs' or 'opinions' because opinions are beliefs.

The subjectivist believes the moral statement true in virtue of him believing in it. The truth is grounded 'in the subject.'

So if I were a subjectivist in regard to science I could say something like "the earth is round" but the reason - the justification for this truth - is me believing it not the evidence or the logic that we take to be behind it.

This is meta-ethical subjectivism, which is to be distinguished from normative moral subjectivism which in my opinion is equally as absurd.

Hmmm...I'm not certain I'm following this.

I don't see any difference between what you are pointing out and what wnope originally stated.

If someone believes that murder is wrong, and acts on that belief, it would seem that such a moral pronouncement would be true to that individual by virtue of that individual's belief in it.

Note the difference between something like 'I like to feel that murder is wrong' versus 'murder is wrong' as expressing a truth about the universe.
Single_Cell_Pony
Posts: 18
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5/14/2013 12:35:31 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/10/2013 2:32:37 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
Just curious, are there any bona fide moral subjectivists in the house?

Do you mean a "moral relativist"? If so, I am one.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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5/14/2013 8:55:08 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I think that when Hitler killed the Jews the universe was no better or worse. Nothing objectively bad happened. If an asteroid killed us all off today; nothing bad objectively happened. The only people who care about any of this is us. This is why I think morality is subjective because the universe is so huge that it seems hard to believe that any choices we make have any objective significance. Morality is collectively subjective, in that we all generally want to live in the same society. Thus, we all follow generally the same rules and get disgusted at the same thing. However, the idea that when I stole something I did something objectively wrong on a cosmic scale is outrageous. The only people who care about any of this is us, so morality is clearly subjective. We could have evolved a completely different set of morals for all we know. Rape could have been the norm, and slaughtering animals to consume their flesh would be considered horrible.

I just do not see any evidence of any objective morality at all.
SovereignDream
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5/14/2013 9:25:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/14/2013 8:55:08 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I think that when Hitler killed the Jews the universe was no better or worse. Nothing objectively bad happened. If an asteroid killed us all off today; nothing bad objectively happened. The only people who care about any of this is us. This is why I think morality is subjective because the universe is so huge that it seems hard to believe that any choices we make have any objective significance. Morality is collectively subjective, in that we all generally want to live in the same society. Thus, we all follow generally the same rules and get disgusted at the same thing. However, the idea that when I stole something I did something objectively wrong on a cosmic scale is outrageous. The only people who care about any of this is us, so morality is clearly subjective. We could have evolved a completely different set of morals for all we know. Rape could have been the norm, and slaughtering animals to consume their flesh would be considered horrible.

I think you are completely correct in the meta-ethical assessment you make above if, of course, atheism is true.

I just do not see any evidence of any objective morality at all.

I see you follow WLC's writings closely to some extent, so I'm sure the response I will proceed to provide will seem familiar: the evidence one can provide for the objectivity of moral values is similar to the evidence that one can provide for the existence of the external world; even in the absence of any sort of argument to the conclusion that some things are truly right or wrong, we seem to intuitively grasp that there seems to be something utterly wrong - regardless of one's opinion - with, say, abducting a 4 year old girl and torturing, sexually abusing and killing her.
Apeiron
Posts: 2,446
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5/14/2013 9:30:53 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/14/2013 8:55:08 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I think that when Hitler killed the Jews the universe was no better or worse. Nothing objectively bad happened. If an asteroid killed us all off today; nothing bad objectively happened. The only people who care about any of this is us. This is why I think morality is subjective because the universe is so huge that it seems hard to believe that any choices we make have any objective significance. Morality is collectively subjective, in that we all generally want to live in the same society. Thus, we all follow generally the same rules and get disgusted at the same thing. However, the idea that when I stole something I did something objectively wrong on a cosmic scale is outrageous. The only people who care about any of this is us, so morality is clearly subjective. We could have evolved a completely different set of morals for all we know. Rape could have been the norm, and slaughtering animals to consume their flesh would be considered horrible.

I just do not see any evidence of any objective morality at all.

Who in their right mind asks for evidence of morality?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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5/14/2013 9:39:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/11/2013 3:23:57 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 5/11/2013 2:41:18 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 5/11/2013 2:19:11 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 5/11/2013 10:36:25 AM, Wnope wrote:
At 5/11/2013 1:31:04 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 5/10/2013 4:04:53 PM, Wnope wrote:
I have moral opinions and I may act on them, but I understand that at a meta-ethical level I have no "objective" justification past my own convictions.

Does that make me one?

No, the moral subjectivist grounds the truth value of the moral statement in the attitudes and beliefs of the subject. "I believe murder is wrong = murder is wrong."

So, if I had written

" I have moral beliefs and I may act on them, but I understand that at a meta-ethical level I have no "objective" justification past my own convictions."

It would not be moral subjectivism? What intellectual misdeed does the subjectivist do that I am not committing?

No, it's not a matter of wording. I'm not being anal about whether you use 'beliefs' or 'opinions' because opinions are beliefs.

The subjectivist believes the moral statement true in virtue of him believing in it. The truth is grounded 'in the subject.'

So if I were a subjectivist in regard to science I could say something like "the earth is round" but the reason - the justification for this truth - is me believing it not the evidence or the logic that we take to be behind it.

This is meta-ethical subjectivism, which is to be distinguished from normative moral subjectivism which in my opinion is equally as absurd.

Hmmm...I'm not certain I'm following this.

I don't see any difference between what you are pointing out and what wnope originally stated.

If someone believes that murder is wrong, and acts on that belief, it would seem that such a moral pronouncement would be true to that individual by virtue of that individual's belief in it.

Note the difference between something like 'I like to feel that murder is wrong' versus 'murder is wrong' as expressing a truth about the universe.

What I see here is a difference in equivocation, not in the moral nature of the statement. The former is non-committal, it is not a statement of morality. The latter is a moral statement.

To put this in wnope's language, saying "murder is wrong" is the same as saying "I believe murder is wrong".

"I like to feel that murder is wrong" is the same as saying "I like to believe that murder is wrong". It's equivocation...you do not state what you actually believe about murder.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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5/14/2013 9:43:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/14/2013 9:30:53 PM, Apeiron wrote:
At 5/14/2013 8:55:08 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I think that when Hitler killed the Jews the universe was no better or worse. Nothing objectively bad happened. If an asteroid killed us all off today; nothing bad objectively happened. The only people who care about any of this is us. This is why I think morality is subjective because the universe is so huge that it seems hard to believe that any choices we make have any objective significance. Morality is collectively subjective, in that we all generally want to live in the same society. Thus, we all follow generally the same rules and get disgusted at the same thing. However, the idea that when I stole something I did something objectively wrong on a cosmic scale is outrageous. The only people who care about any of this is us, so morality is clearly subjective. We could have evolved a completely different set of morals for all we know. Rape could have been the norm, and slaughtering animals to consume their flesh would be considered horrible.

I just do not see any evidence of any objective morality at all.

Who in their right mind asks for evidence of morality?

Wake up on the wrong side of the bed today?
Apeiron
Posts: 2,446
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5/14/2013 9:44:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/14/2013 9:43:10 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 5/14/2013 9:30:53 PM, Apeiron wrote:
At 5/14/2013 8:55:08 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I think that when Hitler killed the Jews the universe was no better or worse. Nothing objectively bad happened. If an asteroid killed us all off today; nothing bad objectively happened. The only people who care about any of this is us. This is why I think morality is subjective because the universe is so huge that it seems hard to believe that any choices we make have any objective significance. Morality is collectively subjective, in that we all generally want to live in the same society. Thus, we all follow generally the same rules and get disgusted at the same thing. However, the idea that when I stole something I did something objectively wrong on a cosmic scale is outrageous. The only people who care about any of this is us, so morality is clearly subjective. We could have evolved a completely different set of morals for all we know. Rape could have been the norm, and slaughtering animals to consume their flesh would be considered horrible.

I just do not see any evidence of any objective morality at all.

Who in their right mind asks for evidence of morality?

Wake up on the wrong side of the bed today?

There is no evidence for the wrong side.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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5/14/2013 10:15:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/14/2013 9:44:26 PM, Apeiron wrote:
At 5/14/2013 9:43:10 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 5/14/2013 9:30:53 PM, Apeiron wrote:
At 5/14/2013 8:55:08 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I think that when Hitler killed the Jews the universe was no better or worse. Nothing objectively bad happened. If an asteroid killed us all off today; nothing bad objectively happened. The only people who care about any of this is us. This is why I think morality is subjective because the universe is so huge that it seems hard to believe that any choices we make have any objective significance. Morality is collectively subjective, in that we all generally want to live in the same society. Thus, we all follow generally the same rules and get disgusted at the same thing. However, the idea that when I stole something I did something objectively wrong on a cosmic scale is outrageous. The only people who care about any of this is us, so morality is clearly subjective. We could have evolved a completely different set of morals for all we know. Rape could have been the norm, and slaughtering animals to consume their flesh would be considered horrible.

I just do not see any evidence of any objective morality at all.

Who in their right mind asks for evidence of morality?

Wake up on the wrong side of the bed today?

There is no evidence for the wrong side.

Your attitude is the evidence my friend lol
wiploc
Posts: 1,485
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5/14/2013 11:50:03 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/14/2013 9:25:40 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
... the evidence one can provide for the objectivity of moral values is similar to the evidence that one can provide for the existence of the external world; even in the absence of any sort of argument to the conclusion that some things are truly right or wrong, we seem to intuitively grasp that there seems to be something utterly wrong - regardless of one's opinion - with, say, abducting a 4 year old girl and torturing, sexually abusing and killing her.

WLC doesn't see anything wrong with doing that.
wiploc
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5/15/2013 12:38:45 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/14/2013 12:35:31 AM, Single_Cell_Pony wrote:
Do you mean a "moral relativist"? If so, I am one.

At 5/14/2013 8:55:08 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I just do not see any evidence of any objective morality at all.

I object to these responses because they are bad tactics.

The goal of the Christian is to ...

Nuts. If I talk like that when you're responding to SovereignDream, he's going to think I'm talking about him. His goals. Which is not my point at all. I'd much rather be dealing with some generic boogieman.

In any case, a goal of some Christians is to get you to make exactly the kind of statement you just made. For them, the debate is already over. They won. You admitted (in their minds) that atheists are hopelessly immoral.

Imagine that you are debating William Lane Craig, in front of an audience of 5000 people, most of whom his cohorts bussed in from outlying churches to pack the audience.

Now, you're never going to convince WLC himself. And there are many stalwarts in the audience who are also beyond reach. But, among those herded onto those buses are the children of stalwarts, and people whose faith is wavering, and people who were raised in the church but who haven't surrendered their critical facilities. There are thousands of people for whom this debate could be an important formative moment.

You don't want to say anything that can be interpreted as, "Atheists don't have a moral anchor," or, "To atheists, one behavior is just as good as another." If you say anything like that, those vulnerable people will be told that you have admitted that atheists have nothing against rape. Atheists are seeds of the abyss, hopeless degenerates, incompatible with justice, decency, and civilization.

You can't win any religious debate---in the sense of winning theists over, deconverting them, helping them toward rationalism---by logic alone. Logic isn't on their side, so they didn't get there by logic. Since they didn't get there by logic, they can't be guided away from there by logic alone.

Your primary goal, as an atheist debater, is to seem nice. You want to be a decent morally-grounded sort of guy who would be a good next door neighbor, who would be a pleasure to have a beer with. Your goal is to demonstrate that you don't have horns and a tail. You aren't a minion of Satan, like they've been told. You're a good person who competently defends reasonable beliefs.

You don't have to win anybody over. You, in fact, cannot win anybody over. All you can do is plant seeds that my sprout later. Fertilize the ground.

Be nice. Believe nice things. Be able to defend your beliefs with calm competence. That's what you're there for. You can change people's lives.

But not if you say morality is relative. Not if you say it is subjective.

Those might be good things to say to philosophers. I don't even know what they would mean to philosophers. But to Christian laymen, they mean you are lost souls, reprobates, proponents of moral chaos.

On the other hand, you don't want to misrepresent or withhold either. Candor is good.

So here's what you can say: Atheist morality is just as objective as theist morality.

The theist moral argument is based on equivocation. They'll say that their morality is objective, but yours isn't. All you have to do is ask them how they know.

When they tell you what test makes theist morality objective, you'll notice that that test also makes atheist morality objective.

When they tell you what test makes atheist morality subjective, you'll notice that this test also makes theist morality subjective.

Notice that equivocation. Point it out to them. Most of them aren't even aware that they are equivocating. But mostly you are pointing it out to those who are listening to or reading the conversation.

Make it clear that the theist argument appears to work only because of equivocation. Make it clear that, by either test of "objectivity," your morality is just as objective as theist morality.

You're a nice guy. Calm and rational. And your moral principles make at least as much sense as the theists.

Then you've done your job. All you can do.

Don't throw that opportunity away by saying that atheists don't believe in objective morality.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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5/15/2013 1:12:49 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/15/2013 12:38:45 AM, wiploc wrote:
At 5/14/2013 12:35:31 AM, Single_Cell_Pony wrote:
Do you mean a "moral relativist"? If so, I am one.

At 5/14/2013 8:55:08 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I just do not see any evidence of any objective morality at all.

I object to these responses because they are bad tactics.

The goal of the Christian is to ...

Nuts. If I talk like that when you're responding to SovereignDream, he's going to think I'm talking about him. His goals. Which is not my point at all. I'd much rather be dealing with some generic boogieman.

In any case, a goal of some Christians is to get you to make exactly the kind of statement you just made. For them, the debate is already over. They won. You admitted (in their minds) that atheists are hopelessly immoral.

Imagine that you are debating William Lane Craig, in front of an audience of 5000 people, most of whom his cohorts bussed in from outlying churches to pack the audience.

Now, you're never going to convince WLC himself. And there are many stalwarts in the audience who are also beyond reach. But, among those herded onto those buses are the children of stalwarts, and people whose faith is wavering, and people who were raised in the church but who haven't surrendered their critical facilities. There are thousands of people for whom this debate could be an important formative moment.

You don't want to say anything that can be interpreted as, "Atheists don't have a moral anchor," or, "To atheists, one behavior is just as good as another." If you say anything like that, those vulnerable people will be told that you have admitted that atheists have nothing against rape. Atheists are seeds of the abyss, hopeless degenerates, incompatible with justice, decency, and civilization.

You can't win any religious debate---in the sense of winning theists over, deconverting them, helping them toward rationalism---by logic alone. Logic isn't on their side, so they didn't get there by logic. Since they didn't get there by logic, they can't be guided away from there by logic alone.

Your primary goal, as an atheist debater, is to seem nice. You want to be a decent morally-grounded sort of guy who would be a good next door neighbor, who would be a pleasure to have a beer with. Your goal is to demonstrate that you don't have horns and a tail. You aren't a minion of Satan, like they've been told. You're a good person who competently defends reasonable beliefs.

You don't have to win anybody over. You, in fact, cannot win anybody over. All you can do is plant seeds that my sprout later. Fertilize the ground.

Be nice. Believe nice things. Be able to defend your beliefs with calm competence. That's what you're there for. You can change people's lives.

But not if you say morality is relative. Not if you say it is subjective.

Those might be good things to say to philosophers. I don't even know what they would mean to philosophers. But to Christian laymen, they mean you are lost souls, reprobates, proponents of moral chaos.

On the other hand, you don't want to misrepresent or withhold either. Candor is good.

So here's what you can say: Atheist morality is just as objective as theist morality.

The theist moral argument is based on equivocation. They'll say that their morality is objective, but yours isn't. All you have to do is ask them how they know.

When they tell you what test makes theist morality objective, you'll notice that that test also makes atheist morality objective.

When they tell you what test makes atheist morality subjective, you'll notice that this test also makes theist morality subjective.

Notice that equivocation. Point it out to them. Most of them aren't even aware that they are equivocating. But mostly you are pointing it out to those who are listening to or reading the conversation.

Make it clear that the theist argument appears to work only because of equivocation. Make it clear that, by either test of "objectivity," your morality is just as objective as theist morality.

You're a nice guy. Calm and rational. And your moral principles make at least as much sense as the theists.

Then you've done your job. All you can do.

Don't throw that opportunity away by saying that atheists don't believe in objective morality.

I just do not see how claiming morals are subjective makes them "win". If I say I feel rape is wrong, and it is wrong to me....How does that make me sound like a bad guy?
Apeiron
Posts: 2,446
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5/15/2013 8:25:51 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/14/2013 10:15:05 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 5/14/2013 9:44:26 PM, Apeiron wrote:
At 5/14/2013 9:43:10 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 5/14/2013 9:30:53 PM, Apeiron wrote:
At 5/14/2013 8:55:08 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I think that when Hitler killed the Jews the universe was no better or worse. Nothing objectively bad happened. If an asteroid killed us all off today; nothing bad objectively happened. The only people who care about any of this is us. This is why I think morality is subjective because the universe is so huge that it seems hard to believe that any choices we make have any objective significance. Morality is collectively subjective, in that we all generally want to live in the same society. Thus, we all follow generally the same rules and get disgusted at the same thing. However, the idea that when I stole something I did something objectively wrong on a cosmic scale is outrageous. The only people who care about any of this is us, so morality is clearly subjective. We could have evolved a completely different set of morals for all we know. Rape could have been the norm, and slaughtering animals to consume their flesh would be considered horrible.

I just do not see any evidence of any objective morality at all.

Who in their right mind asks for evidence of morality?

Wake up on the wrong side of the bed today?

There is no evidence for the wrong side.

Your attitude is the evidence my friend lol

attitudes don't exist either, all just causal relations in a wet brain mesh.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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5/15/2013 9:29:09 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/15/2013 8:25:51 AM, Apeiron wrote:
At 5/14/2013 10:15:05 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 5/14/2013 9:44:26 PM, Apeiron wrote:
At 5/14/2013 9:43:10 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 5/14/2013 9:30:53 PM, Apeiron wrote:
At 5/14/2013 8:55:08 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I think that when Hitler killed the Jews the universe was no better or worse. Nothing objectively bad happened. If an asteroid killed us all off today; nothing bad objectively happened. The only people who care about any of this is us. This is why I think morality is subjective because the universe is so huge that it seems hard to believe that any choices we make have any objective significance. Morality is collectively subjective, in that we all generally want to live in the same society. Thus, we all follow generally the same rules and get disgusted at the same thing. However, the idea that when I stole something I did something objectively wrong on a cosmic scale is outrageous. The only people who care about any of this is us, so morality is clearly subjective. We could have evolved a completely different set of morals for all we know. Rape could have been the norm, and slaughtering animals to consume their flesh would be considered horrible.

I just do not see any evidence of any objective morality at all.

Who in their right mind asks for evidence of morality?

Wake up on the wrong side of the bed today?

There is no evidence for the wrong side.

Your attitude is the evidence my friend lol

attitudes don't exist either, all just causal relations in a wet brain mesh.

How is that not an attitude? Everything you experience is due to your brain lol
SovereignDream
Posts: 1,119
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5/15/2013 11:09:42 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/15/2013 12:38:45 AM, wiploc wrote:
At 5/14/2013 12:35:31 AM, Single_Cell_Pony wrote:
Do you mean a "moral relativist"? If so, I am one.

At 5/14/2013 8:55:08 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I just do not see any evidence of any objective morality at all.

I object to these responses because they are bad tactics.

The goal of the Christian is to ...

Nuts. If I talk like that when you're responding to SovereignDream, he's going to think I'm talking about him. His goals. Which is not my point at all. I'd much rather be dealing with some generic boogieman.

In any case, a goal of some Christians is to get you to make exactly the kind of statement you just made. For them, the debate is already over. They won. You admitted (in their minds) that atheists are hopelessly immoral.

Imagine that you are debating William Lane Craig, in front of an audience of 5000 people, most of whom his cohorts bussed in from outlying churches to pack the audience.

Now, you're never going to convince WLC himself. And there are many stalwarts in the audience who are also beyond reach. But, among those herded onto those buses are the children of stalwarts, and people whose faith is wavering, and people who were raised in the church but who haven't surrendered their critical facilities. There are thousands of people for whom this debate could be an important formative moment.

You don't want to say anything that can be interpreted as, "Atheists don't have a moral anchor," or, "To atheists, one behavior is just as good as another." If you say anything like that, those vulnerable people will be told that you have admitted that atheists have nothing against rape. Atheists are seeds of the abyss, hopeless degenerates, incompatible with justice, decency, and civilization.

You can't win any religious debate---in the sense of winning theists over, deconverting them, helping them toward rationalism---by logic alone. Logic isn't on their side, so they didn't get there by logic. Since they didn't get there by logic, they can't be guided away from there by logic alone.

Your primary goal, as an atheist debater, is to seem nice. You want to be a decent morally-grounded sort of guy who would be a good next door neighbor, who would be a pleasure to have a beer with. Your goal is to demonstrate that you don't have horns and a tail. You aren't a minion of Satan, like they've been told. You're a good person who competently defends reasonable beliefs.

You don't have to win anybody over. You, in fact, cannot win anybody over. All you can do is plant seeds that my sprout later. Fertilize the ground.

Be nice. Believe nice things. Be able to defend your beliefs with calm competence. That's what you're there for. You can change people's lives.

But not if you say morality is relative. Not if you say it is subjective.

Those might be good things to say to philosophers. I don't even know what they would mean to philosophers. But to Christian laymen, they mean you are lost souls, reprobates, proponents of moral chaos.

On the other hand, you don't want to misrepresent or withhold either. Candor is good.

So here's what you can say: Atheist morality is just as objective as theist morality.

The theist moral argument is based on equivocation. They'll say that their morality is objective, but yours isn't. All you have to do is ask them how they know.

When they tell you what test makes theist morality objective, you'll notice that that test also makes atheist morality objective.

When they tell you what test makes atheist morality subjective, you'll notice that this test also makes theist morality subjective.

Notice that equivocation. Point it out to them. Most of them aren't even aware that they are equivocating. But mostly you are pointing it out to those who are listening to or reading the conversation.

Make it clear that the theist argument appears to work only because of equivocation. Make it clear that, by either test of "objectivity," your morality is just as objective as theist morality.

You're a nice guy. Calm and rational. And your moral principles make at least as much sense as the theists.

Then you've done your job. All you can do.

Don't throw that opportunity away by saying that atheists don't believe in objective morality.

How drunk were you when you wrote this?
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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5/15/2013 11:31:20 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/14/2013 9:25:40 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 5/14/2013 8:55:08 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I think that when Hitler killed the Jews the universe was no better or worse. Nothing objectively bad happened. If an asteroid killed us all off today; nothing bad objectively happened. The only people who care about any of this is us. This is why I think morality is subjective because the universe is so huge that it seems hard to believe that any choices we make have any objective significance. Morality is collectively subjective, in that we all generally want to live in the same society. Thus, we all follow generally the same rules and get disgusted at the same thing. However, the idea that when I stole something I did something objectively wrong on a cosmic scale is outrageous. The only people who care about any of this is us, so morality is clearly subjective. We could have evolved a completely different set of morals for all we know. Rape could have been the norm, and slaughtering animals to consume their flesh would be considered horrible.

I think you are completely correct in the meta-ethical assessment you make above if, of course, atheism is true.

I just do not see any evidence of any objective morality at all.

I see you follow WLC's writings closely to some extent, so I'm sure the response I will proceed to provide will seem familiar: the evidence one can provide for the objectivity of moral values is similar to the evidence that one can provide for the existence of the external world; even in the absence of any sort of argument to the conclusion that some things are truly right or wrong, we seem to intuitively grasp that there seems to be something utterly wrong - regardless of one's opinion - with, say, abducting a 4 year old girl and torturing, sexually abusing and killing her.

It is a weak argument. Morals are intuitively objective to you and many people, thus you have a right to believe they are objective. Morals are intuitively subjective to me and many other people, thus we have a right to believe they are subjective. Acting like the truth of your claim is just as obvious as the external world could used to prove anything that has no bearing on reality. This really gets us nowhere.
wiploc
Posts: 1,485
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5/15/2013 1:14:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/15/2013 1:12:49 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I just do not see how claiming morals are subjective makes them "win". If I say I feel rape is wrong, and it is wrong to me....How does that make me sound like a bad guy?

[Christian Response]Look, he's admitted that atheist morality is subjective. It's not real. We Christians have real morality. For us, some behaviors are actually good, and others are actually bad. For subjectivists, for people without god, morality is subjective, just a matter of personal opinion. The Columbine shooters were doing what they subjectively thought was best. Hitler did what he subjectively thought was best. If subjectivism were true, no behavior would be better than any other. Doing rape and murder would be as good as preventing rape and murder.

Atheists, then, are animals, unguided by conscience---or just guided by their own flawed consciences, which is as bad as not having a conscience, since different people's consciences disagree.

Without god, nothing is forbidden. [/Christian Response]