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Moral relativity

Smithereens
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10/15/2013 12:37:07 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I haven't had a discussion with many moral relativists, but I don't like the term 'morality' in the first place. I think its subjective. Ethics on the other hand are what would be under inspection.

So I will call people who believe ethics are opinions moral relativists and feel free to correct me. Senario: Your country is invaded and terminated by a foreign power (Chi..) who is in need of land and is expanding. Your military is defeated, but they allow you to give a case as to why you should be allowed to remain alive in your lands. What case do you give?

I was also intrigued after looking through the prosecution of the third Reich at the Nuremberg trials.
1) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of a crime against peace
This prosecution is rubbish since peace is a subjective value, why use it as a base for a case in court?
2) Planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression and other crimes against peace
Again, nothing wrong with doing this.
3) War crimes
No such thing, maybe only for the victims there are.
4) Crimes against humanity
No such thing. Existence is not more desirable than non-existence. On another point, Hitler was attempting to progress humanity, so he should get a medal.

After thinking about this, I came to the conclusion that regardless of whether or not ethics were universal for humanity or not, we sure as hell cannot live as if they were opinions.

Your thoughts?
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drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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10/15/2013 7:45:30 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/15/2013 12:37:07 AM, Smithereens wrote:
I haven't had a discussion with many moral relativists, but I don't like the term 'morality' in the first place. I think its subjective. Ethics on the other hand are what would be under inspection.

So I will call people who believe ethics are opinions moral relativists and feel free to correct me. Senario: Your country is invaded and terminated by a foreign power (Chi..) who is in need of land and is expanding. Your military is defeated, but they allow you to give a case as to why you should be allowed to remain alive in your lands. What case do you give?

I was also intrigued after looking through the prosecution of the third Reich at the Nuremberg trials.
1) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of a crime against peace
This prosecution is rubbish since peace is a subjective value, why use it as a base for a case in court?
2) Planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression and other crimes against peace
Again, nothing wrong with doing this.
3) War crimes
No such thing, maybe only for the victims there are.
4) Crimes against humanity
No such thing. Existence is not more desirable than non-existence. On another point, Hitler was attempting to progress humanity, so he should get a medal.

After thinking about this, I came to the conclusion that regardless of whether or not ethics were universal for humanity or not, we sure as hell cannot live as if they were opinions.

Your thoughts?

The bolded is the crux of the matter. There are sets of behaviors which we deem unacceptable as a survival strategy. If we did not, we wouldn't be here.
Smithereens
Posts: 5,512
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10/15/2013 3:46:08 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/15/2013 7:45:30 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/15/2013 12:37:07 AM, Smithereens wrote:
I haven't had a discussion with many moral relativists, but I don't like the term 'morality' in the first place. I think its subjective. Ethics on the other hand are what would be under inspection.

So I will call people who believe ethics are opinions moral relativists and feel free to correct me. Senario: Your country is invaded and terminated by a foreign power (Chi..) who is in need of land and is expanding. Your military is defeated, but they allow you to give a case as to why you should be allowed to remain alive in your lands. What case do you give?

I was also intrigued after looking through the prosecution of the third Reich at the Nuremberg trials.
1) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of a crime against peace
This prosecution is rubbish since peace is a subjective value, why use it as a base for a case in court?
2) Planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression and other crimes against peace
Again, nothing wrong with doing this.
3) War crimes
No such thing, maybe only for the victims there are.
4) Crimes against humanity
No such thing. Existence is not more desirable than non-existence. On another point, Hitler was attempting to progress humanity, so he should get a medal.

After thinking about this, I came to the conclusion that regardless of whether or not ethics were universal for humanity or not, we sure as hell cannot live as if they were opinions.

Your thoughts?

The bolded is the crux of the matter. There are sets of behaviors which we deem unacceptable as a survival strategy. If we did not, we wouldn't be here.

I object, take for example murder of the elderly. On an evolutionary standpoint, such a sentimental attachment should not exist as it is disastrously detrimental to group survival. However, killing off the elderly is not something that is observed in any human culture or animal species. Thus, killing old people should be an ethically acceptable thing to do.
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drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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10/15/2013 3:50:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/15/2013 3:46:08 PM, Smithereens wrote:
At 10/15/2013 7:45:30 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/15/2013 12:37:07 AM, Smithereens wrote:
I haven't had a discussion with many moral relativists, but I don't like the term 'morality' in the first place. I think its subjective. Ethics on the other hand are what would be under inspection.

So I will call people who believe ethics are opinions moral relativists and feel free to correct me. Senario: Your country is invaded and terminated by a foreign power (Chi..) who is in need of land and is expanding. Your military is defeated, but they allow you to give a case as to why you should be allowed to remain alive in your lands. What case do you give?

I was also intrigued after looking through the prosecution of the third Reich at the Nuremberg trials.
1) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of a crime against peace
This prosecution is rubbish since peace is a subjective value, why use it as a base for a case in court?
2) Planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression and other crimes against peace
Again, nothing wrong with doing this.
3) War crimes
No such thing, maybe only for the victims there are.
4) Crimes against humanity
No such thing. Existence is not more desirable than non-existence. On another point, Hitler was attempting to progress humanity, so he should get a medal.

After thinking about this, I came to the conclusion that regardless of whether or not ethics were universal for humanity or not, we sure as hell cannot live as if they were opinions.

Your thoughts?

The bolded is the crux of the matter. There are sets of behaviors which we deem unacceptable as a survival strategy. If we did not, we wouldn't be here.

I object, take for example murder of the elderly. On an evolutionary standpoint, such a sentimental attachment should not exist as it is disastrously detrimental to group survival.

Demonstrate this.

However, killing off the elderly is not something that is observed in any human culture or animal species. Thus, killing old people should be an ethically acceptable thing to do.
Smithereens
Posts: 5,512
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10/15/2013 3:53:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/15/2013 3:50:55 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/15/2013 3:46:08 PM, Smithereens wrote:
At 10/15/2013 7:45:30 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/15/2013 12:37:07 AM, Smithereens wrote:
I haven't had a discussion with many moral relativists, but I don't like the term 'morality' in the first place. I think its subjective. Ethics on the other hand are what would be under inspection.

So I will call people who believe ethics are opinions moral relativists and feel free to correct me. Senario: Your country is invaded and terminated by a foreign power (Chi..) who is in need of land and is expanding. Your military is defeated, but they allow you to give a case as to why you should be allowed to remain alive in your lands. What case do you give?

I was also intrigued after looking through the prosecution of the third Reich at the Nuremberg trials.
1) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of a crime against peace
This prosecution is rubbish since peace is a subjective value, why use it as a base for a case in court?
2) Planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression and other crimes against peace
Again, nothing wrong with doing this.
3) War crimes
No such thing, maybe only for the victims there are.
4) Crimes against humanity
No such thing. Existence is not more desirable than non-existence. On another point, Hitler was attempting to progress humanity, so he should get a medal.

After thinking about this, I came to the conclusion that regardless of whether or not ethics were universal for humanity or not, we sure as hell cannot live as if they were opinions.

Your thoughts?

The bolded is the crux of the matter. There are sets of behaviors which we deem unacceptable as a survival strategy. If we did not, we wouldn't be here.

I object, take for example murder of the elderly. On an evolutionary standpoint, such a sentimental attachment should not exist as it is disastrously detrimental to group survival.

Demonstrate this.

Natural selection does not allow detrimental behaviours to go unpunished. Yet here we in the most powerful position on the planet. When the ethics for old people first evolved, it should have died out immediately.

However, killing off the elderly is not something that is observed in any human culture or animal species. Thus, killing old people should be an ethically acceptable thing to do.
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Graincruncher
Posts: 2,799
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10/15/2013 3:56:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/15/2013 3:53:18 PM, Smithereens wrote:
Natural selection does not allow detrimental behaviours to go unpunished. Yet here we in the most powerful position on the planet. When the ethics for old people first evolved, it should have died out immediately.

Show that keeping the elderly around is detrimental. Which I rather suspect was his point.
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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10/15/2013 5:26:09 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/15/2013 3:53:18 PM, Smithereens wrote:
At 10/15/2013 3:50:55 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/15/2013 3:46:08 PM, Smithereens wrote:
At 10/15/2013 7:45:30 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/15/2013 12:37:07 AM, Smithereens wrote:
I haven't had a discussion with many moral relativists, but I don't like the term 'morality' in the first place. I think its subjective. Ethics on the other hand are what would be under inspection.

So I will call people who believe ethics are opinions moral relativists and feel free to correct me. Senario: Your country is invaded and terminated by a foreign power (Chi..) who is in need of land and is expanding. Your military is defeated, but they allow you to give a case as to why you should be allowed to remain alive in your lands. What case do you give?

I was also intrigued after looking through the prosecution of the third Reich at the Nuremberg trials.
1) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of a crime against peace
This prosecution is rubbish since peace is a subjective value, why use it as a base for a case in court?
2) Planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression and other crimes against peace
Again, nothing wrong with doing this.
3) War crimes
No such thing, maybe only for the victims there are.
4) Crimes against humanity
No such thing. Existence is not more desirable than non-existence. On another point, Hitler was attempting to progress humanity, so he should get a medal.

After thinking about this, I came to the conclusion that regardless of whether or not ethics were universal for humanity or not, we sure as hell cannot live as if they were opinions.

Your thoughts?

The bolded is the crux of the matter. There are sets of behaviors which we deem unacceptable as a survival strategy. If we did not, we wouldn't be here.

I object, take for example murder of the elderly. On an evolutionary standpoint, such a sentimental attachment should not exist as it is disastrously detrimental to group survival.

Demonstrate this.

Natural selection does not allow detrimental behaviours to go unpunished. Yet here we in the most powerful position on the planet. When the ethics for old people first evolved, it should have died out immediately.

First, you've moved the goal posts. You went from "should not exist" to "should be punished." This is a vast gulf.
Second, you haven't established sentimental attachment as being "disastrously detrimental."


However, killing off the elderly is not something that is observed in any human culture or animal species. Thus, killing old people should be an ethically acceptable thing to do.
Smithereens
Posts: 5,512
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10/16/2013 1:27:08 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/15/2013 5:26:09 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/15/2013 3:53:18 PM, Smithereens wrote:
At 10/15/2013 3:50:55 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/15/2013 3:46:08 PM, Smithereens wrote:
At 10/15/2013 7:45:30 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/15/2013 12:37:07 AM, Smithereens wrote:
I haven't had a discussion with many moral relativists, but I don't like the term 'morality' in the first place. I think its subjective. Ethics on the other hand are what would be under inspection.

So I will call people who believe ethics are opinions moral relativists and feel free to correct me. Senario: Your country is invaded and terminated by a foreign power (Chi..) who is in need of land and is expanding. Your military is defeated, but they allow you to give a case as to why you should be allowed to remain alive in your lands. What case do you give?

I was also intrigued after looking through the prosecution of the third Reich at the Nuremberg trials.
1) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of a crime against peace
This prosecution is rubbish since peace is a subjective value, why use it as a base for a case in court?
2) Planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression and other crimes against peace
Again, nothing wrong with doing this.
3) War crimes
No such thing, maybe only for the victims there are.
4) Crimes against humanity
No such thing. Existence is not more desirable than non-existence. On another point, Hitler was attempting to progress humanity, so he should get a medal.

After thinking about this, I came to the conclusion that regardless of whether or not ethics were universal for humanity or not, we sure as hell cannot live as if they were opinions.

Your thoughts?

The bolded is the crux of the matter. There are sets of behaviors which we deem unacceptable as a survival strategy. If we did not, we wouldn't be here.

I object, take for example murder of the elderly. On an evolutionary standpoint, such a sentimental attachment should not exist as it is disastrously detrimental to group survival.

Demonstrate this.

Natural selection does not allow detrimental behaviours to go unpunished. Yet here we in the most powerful position on the planet. When the ethics for old people first evolved, it should have died out immediately.

First, you've moved the goal posts. You went from "should not exist" to "should be punished." This is a vast gulf.
The only punishment in evolution is extinction. I thought it was inferred, but thanks for taking me at face value.

Second, you haven't established sentimental attachment as being "disastrously detrimental."
Ethics arrived in humanity via a mutation. For a mutation to spread via reproduction there must have been something very beneficial about ethics which allowed it to zip right across the human genome. Since ethics appear Universal to all humans, it must have had an extremely profound survival benefit. But it doesn't. Thus, the gene is neutral. But I argue that ethics, specifically any ethic that causes a member(s) of a race to risk their lives for weaker members of a race is detrimental to the groups survival. Surely I need not point out why. Ethics should not exist.



However, killing off the elderly is not something that is observed in any human culture or animal species. Thus, killing old people should be an ethically acceptable thing to do.
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drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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10/16/2013 5:11:10 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/16/2013 1:27:08 AM, Smithereens wrote:
At 10/15/2013 5:26:09 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/15/2013 3:53:18 PM, Smithereens wrote:
At 10/15/2013 3:50:55 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/15/2013 3:46:08 PM, Smithereens wrote:
At 10/15/2013 7:45:30 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/15/2013 12:37:07 AM, Smithereens wrote:
I haven't had a discussion with many moral relativists, but I don't like the term 'morality' in the first place. I think its subjective. Ethics on the other hand are what would be under inspection.

So I will call people who believe ethics are opinions moral relativists and feel free to correct me. Senario: Your country is invaded and terminated by a foreign power (Chi..) who is in need of land and is expanding. Your military is defeated, but they allow you to give a case as to why you should be allowed to remain alive in your lands. What case do you give?

I was also intrigued after looking through the prosecution of the third Reich at the Nuremberg trials.
1) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of a crime against peace
This prosecution is rubbish since peace is a subjective value, why use it as a base for a case in court?
2) Planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression and other crimes against peace
Again, nothing wrong with doing this.
3) War crimes
No such thing, maybe only for the victims there are.
4) Crimes against humanity
No such thing. Existence is not more desirable than non-existence. On another point, Hitler was attempting to progress humanity, so he should get a medal.

After thinking about this, I came to the conclusion that regardless of whether or not ethics were universal for humanity or not, we sure as hell cannot live as if they were opinions.

Your thoughts?

The bolded is the crux of the matter. There are sets of behaviors which we deem unacceptable as a survival strategy. If we did not, we wouldn't be here.

I object, take for example murder of the elderly. On an evolutionary standpoint, such a sentimental attachment should not exist as it is disastrously detrimental to group survival.

Demonstrate this.

Natural selection does not allow detrimental behaviours to go unpunished. Yet here we in the most powerful position on the planet. When the ethics for old people first evolved, it should have died out immediately.

First, you've moved the goal posts. You went from "should not exist" to "should be punished." This is a vast gulf.
The only punishment in evolution is extinction. I thought it was inferred, but thanks for taking me at face value.

Second, you haven't established sentimental attachment as being "disastrously detrimental."
Ethics arrived in humanity via a mutation. For a mutation to spread via reproduction there must have been something very beneficial about ethics which allowed it to zip right across the human genome. Since ethics appear Universal to all humans, it must have had an extremely profound survival benefit. But it doesn't.

Bwa? You don't see the value in discouraging us from killing each other?

Thus, the gene is neutral. But I argue that ethics, specifically any ethic that causes a member(s) of a race to risk their lives for weaker members of a race is detrimental to the groups survival. Surely I need not point out why. Ethics should not exist.

Yes, you do need to point out why. That's explicitly why I'm asking. Might want to start with the assumption of "weaker members."




However, killing off the elderly is not something that is observed in any human culture or animal species. Thus, killing old people should be an ethically acceptable thing to do.
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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10/16/2013 5:12:25 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/16/2013 4:16:52 AM, Smithereens wrote:
@Drafter,
Why are there atheists who push for human rights? Isn't that rather pointless?

By improving the quality of life for all, you improve the quality of life for yourself. And each person has a vested interest in their own quality of life.
Graincruncher
Posts: 2,799
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10/16/2013 5:13:01 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/16/2013 1:27:08 AM, Smithereens wrote:
Ethics arrived in humanity via a mutation.

...
......
..........

What?

I don't even know where to start with that. It's... it's not even wrong.
Smithereens
Posts: 5,512
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10/16/2013 5:39:41 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/16/2013 5:11:10 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/16/2013 1:27:08 AM, Smithereens wrote:
At 10/15/2013 5:26:09 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/15/2013 3:53:18 PM, Smithereens wrote:
At 10/15/2013 3:50:55 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/15/2013 3:46:08 PM, Smithereens wrote:
At 10/15/2013 7:45:30 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/15/2013 12:37:07 AM, Smithereens wrote:
I haven't had a discussion with many moral relativists, but I don't like the term 'morality' in the first place. I think its subjective. Ethics on the other hand are what would be under inspection.

So I will call people who believe ethics are opinions moral relativists and feel free to correct me. Senario: Your country is invaded and terminated by a foreign power (Chi..) who is in need of land and is expanding. Your military is defeated, but they allow you to give a case as to why you should be allowed to remain alive in your lands. What case do you give?

I was also intrigued after looking through the prosecution of the third Reich at the Nuremberg trials.
1) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of a crime against peace
This prosecution is rubbish since peace is a subjective value, why use it as a base for a case in court?
2) Planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression and other crimes against peace
Again, nothing wrong with doing this.
3) War crimes
No such thing, maybe only for the victims there are.
4) Crimes against humanity
No such thing. Existence is not more desirable than non-existence. On another point, Hitler was attempting to progress humanity, so he should get a medal.

After thinking about this, I came to the conclusion that regardless of whether or not ethics were universal for humanity or not, we sure as hell cannot live as if they were opinions.

Your thoughts?

The bolded is the crux of the matter. There are sets of behaviors which we deem unacceptable as a survival strategy. If we did not, we wouldn't be here.

I object, take for example murder of the elderly. On an evolutionary standpoint, such a sentimental attachment should not exist as it is disastrously detrimental to group survival.

Demonstrate this.

Natural selection does not allow detrimental behaviours to go unpunished. Yet here we in the most powerful position on the planet. When the ethics for old people first evolved, it should have died out immediately.

First, you've moved the goal posts. You went from "should not exist" to "should be punished." This is a vast gulf.
The only punishment in evolution is extinction. I thought it was inferred, but thanks for taking me at face value.

Second, you haven't established sentimental attachment as being "disastrously detrimental."
Ethics arrived in humanity via a mutation. For a mutation to spread via reproduction there must have been something very beneficial about ethics which allowed it to zip right across the human genome. Since ethics appear Universal to all humans, it must have had an extremely profound survival benefit. But it doesn't.

Bwa? You don't see the value in discouraging us from killing each other?
That's right, killing of members of our race who hinder us is something which we should feel an innate desire to do. Why do we then keep the elderly on the pension when we can simply put a bullet in their head?

Thus, the gene is neutral. But I argue that ethics, specifically any ethic that causes a member(s) of a race to risk their lives for weaker members of a race is detrimental to the groups survival. Surely I need not point out why. Ethics should not exist.

Yes, you do need to point out why. That's explicitly why I'm asking. Might want to start with the assumption of "weaker members."
All species are physically unbalanced, ranging from the 'fittest' to the least 'fittest,' Where fittest is those that have the most and best traits desirable for survival. It is easily identifiable who is the weaker of the species, in nature, groups organise themselves into hierarchies centered around the alpha male, and ending with the least physically capable of the group members. In such animal groups, there are no such things as 'rights of the common people,' as there is in human groups. This is because any such observances of ethics would result in lower survival chances for the group as a whole. Instead, any member who fails to lift their weight is ignored by the larger group. The failure dies, and natural selection fills the gap with a more capable member. Thus the group survives. Early homo-sapiens would have been in such group systems as well. It is unreasonable to think that humans evolved something that would hinder them. Taking care of the elderly for example when they constantly need food and care is simply something that couldn't evolve. The only thing that can evolve are those traits which are very beneficial to survival. The question then is how did such bothersome ethics become universal?

Furthermore, If it pleases me more to kill members of my own race, then there is no argument as to why I shouldn't do that.




However, killing off the elderly is not something that is observed in any human culture or animal species. Thus, killing old people should be an ethically acceptable thing to do.
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Smithereens
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10/16/2013 5:54:24 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/16/2013 5:12:25 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/16/2013 4:16:52 AM, Smithereens wrote:
@Drafter,
Why are there atheists who push for human rights? Isn't that rather pointless?

By improving the quality of life for all, you improve the quality of life for yourself. And each person has a vested interest in their own quality of life.

Then rights is by no means something that you should push on others. It is neither something you should protest for, argue for, or attempt to apply to others. It is opinion. It is wrong to say that absolutely each person has a vested interest in their own life or that the only way to improve quality of life is to improve quality of others. If I gain satisfaction from raping children, then that is my own interests, and who are you to disagree?
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Graincruncher
Posts: 2,799
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10/16/2013 6:21:52 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
This is utterly ridiculous. You are suggesting that 'ethics' - a massively complex system that is informed by huge amounts of information about and from the arena of social interaction between individuals with potentially conflicting interests, as well as a rather nebulous one in many respects - just turned up due to 'a mutation'. How big was this mutation; a couple of complete chromosomes that transformed themselves entirely, at once, to introduce a sufficient amount of information to the system in order to be able to function at all?

From a genetic point of view, ethics is an environmental factor and therefore part of the selection process - other changes that are beneficial in an ethical environment may be favourably selected for by this environmental factor, but they are not 'mutations that cause ethics' or whatever it is you're claiming. It's sheer madness to suggest that.
drafterman
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10/16/2013 7:22:03 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/16/2013 5:39:41 AM, Smithereens wrote:

Ethics arrived in humanity via a mutation. For a mutation to spread via reproduction there must have been something very beneficial about ethics which allowed it to zip right across the human genome. Since ethics appear Universal to all humans, it must have had an extremely profound survival benefit. But it doesn't.

Bwa? You don't see the value in discouraging us from killing each other?
That's right, killing of members of our race who hinder us is something which we should feel an innate desire to do. Why do we then keep the elderly on the pension when we can simply put a bullet in their head?

Again, you haven't established that they are hindering us.

Regardless, for that to have become an innate feeling means that there would had to have been a selective pressure over a longer period of time. Lots of old people living 80-90 years is a modern consequence of improving the quality of life for everyone (which we have a vested interest in doing!) Secondly, selective pressures only exist in an arena of competition and we simply aren't in competition with other groups who are killing off their elderly and, as a consequence, out reproducing us. Natural selection/evolution doesn't know, ahead of time, which traits would hypothetically be beneficial and then work toward them; it is a process that proceeds through massive bouts of trial and error.

As far as pensions are concerned, pensions are a benefit offered as an incentive to the young. If pensions were consistently reneged upon, then they would fail as an incentive. Ergo, they are honored.

You're also missing the fact that the rights of the elderly are fought for by the young who aren't as much fighting for the rights of all elderly as they are fighting for the future rights of themselves, in which they have a vested interest in maintaining!

Thus, the gene is neutral. But I argue that ethics, specifically any ethic that causes a member(s) of a race to risk their lives for weaker members of a race is detrimental to the groups survival. Surely I need not point out why. Ethics should not exist.

Yes, you do need to point out why. That's explicitly why I'm asking. Might want to start with the assumption of "weaker members."
All species are physically unbalanced, ranging from the 'fittest' to the least 'fittest,' Where fittest is those that have the most and best traits desirable for survival. It is easily identifiable who is the weaker of the species, in nature, groups organise themselves into hierarchies centered around the alpha male, and ending with the least physically capable of the group members.

Uh... not all species perform this organization. Also, the hallmark of social species is that they organize themselves such that "weaker" members are protected (namely: the young).

In such animal groups, there are no such things as 'rights of the common people,' as there is in human groups. This is because any such observances of ethics would result in lower survival chances for the group as a whole.

Demonstrate this.

Instead, any member who fails to lift their weight is ignored by the larger group.

Except... you know... the young.

The failure dies, and natural selection fills the gap with a more capable member.

This point works against you. If, historically, the old have been weeded off naturally, then there would never have been an opportunity for us to evolve the need or desire to kill them off ourselves. Thus, the relatively recent increase in the survival of the elderly is something that is a novelty as far as our ingrained instincts are concerned.

Also, do you have examples of other species that kill off their elderly members that happen to survive?

Thus the group survives. Early homo-sapiens would have been in such group systems as well. It is unreasonable to think that humans evolved something that would hinder them.

Not at all. The harm/benefit of individual traits isn't what matters. It is the net effect of ALL traits that matters. If a harmful trait appears that doesn't significantly alter our potential to survive as a species, then there is no pressure that would select against it. Also, you presuming that care for the elderly is something that appeared, when you just provided an argument as to why it wouldn't have.

As I said, with elder members of a species being weeded off, there is no opportunity for us to develop specific behaviors toward them. That means our behavior toward them would default to more general instincts, such as behaviors toward our group as a whole, which is one of cooperation, altruism, and support.

Taking care of the elderly for example when they constantly need food and care is simply something that couldn't evolve. The only thing that can evolve are those traits which are very beneficial to survival.

Completely and utterly false.

The question then is how did such bothersome ethics become universal?

You haven't established that it's bothersome.

Furthermore, If it pleases me more to kill members of my own race, then there is no argument as to why I shouldn't do that.

Does it please you?

At 10/16/2013 5:54:24 AM, Smithereens wrote:
At 10/16/2013 5:12:25 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/16/2013 4:16:52 AM, Smithereens wrote:
@Drafter,
Why are there atheists who push for human rights? Isn't that rather pointless?

By improving the quality of life for all, you improve the quality of life for yourself. And each person has a vested interest in their own quality of life.

Then rights is by no means something that you should push on others. It is neither something you should protest for, argue for, or attempt to apply to others.

I don't see how that follows.

It is opinion.

So?

It is wrong to say that absolutely each person has a vested interest in their own life or that the only way to improve quality of life is to improve quality of others.

I didn't say that. The qualifies "absolutely" and "only" were your insertions. I'll concede the existence of outliers that defy any generalization of human behavior. They don't affect the overall picture. That's why abnormal psychology is its own discipline and doesn't negate the discipline of (normal) psychology.

If I gain satisfaction from raping children, then that is my own interests, and who are you to disagree?

A man with children.
...
And weapons.
Graincruncher
Posts: 2,799
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10/16/2013 7:34:17 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Smithereens - how do you think individuals would react to society plotting to kill them at a certain age? They have the desire to survive, so will fight against this with all the survival instincts they would use in any other life-threatening situation. For the continued stability of society and to avoid having to divert the colossal amount of resources required to implement such an approach, it may simply be much easier to give them a bus pass and let them write angry letters to the local media.

There is also the problem that the point at which an individual ceases to contribute positively to society varies greatly. There is also no reason to kill them, as they could simply be abandoned or exiled, as is sometimes the case with other species (gorillas being a good example, elephants being another). But that misses an important distinction between us and those species; we have the ability to impart valuable abstract concepts to one another. This makes older people valuable to society because they 'contain' a lot of potentially useful information that is more favourably gained from them than it is 'the hard way' - i.e. eating a handful of poisonous berries or putting your head in the fire. Broadly speaking, having access to more information about the world is better than having less information about the world, in terms of being able to survive and problem-solve.

In other words, even if we take the utterly insane and totally unsubstantiated claim that 'ethics come from a genetic mutation' (clue: that isn't a remotely accurate statement), it really doesn't take an awful lot of bashing neurons together to come up with some plausible reason that it is beneficial - or at least not disadvantageous - to not murder old people because there isn't a god there to stop us. Which, rather worryingly, appears to be what you'd be out doing if you believed there wasn't. If you're only doing it because someone told you not to and threatened you with punishment if you disobey them, you're not a good person. Morally speaking, you're an automaton.
Smithereens
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10/17/2013 1:36:45 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Before we go on a post-reply broadside battle, here are my thoughts:

1) There are ethics that are universal to humanity that should not exist.
Such ethics include us taking violent objection to people far away from us killing and cannibalising their own children, or society killing elderly people or euthanising genetic defects, even when it would improve our quality of life.

2) Altruism should not exist
Risking one's life to save someone who is about to die or be seriously injured is completely counter-evolutionary. Such a mutation could not seriously have spread throughout all of humanity. It does not improve survival chances, in any situation.

3) Human rights should not be considered 'inalienable.'
If it pleases me to murder people who you will never meet, then there is no reason why I should be prevented by you from doing so. Rights for humans should only be circumstantial, when it appeals to our reward mechanisms in our brain, or our probability of survival. and in no other circumstance.

4) Selective pressures for the need for ethics no longer exist.
Thus I can do whatever I want. Even if I wish to kill millions of people, you may fight me, but you can give no reason why I should not kill people for sport.
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StevenDixon
Posts: 178
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10/17/2013 4:55:09 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I don't see how everyone isn't a moral nihilist. It's so weird that it's not obvious to everyone else.
drafterman
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10/17/2013 5:12:06 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/17/2013 1:36:45 AM, Smithereens wrote:
Before we go on a post-reply broadside battle, here are my thoughts:

1) There are ethics that are universal to humanity that should not exist.
Such ethics include us taking violent objection to people far away from us killing and cannibalising their own children, or society killing elderly people or euthanising genetic defects, even when it would improve our quality of life.

2) Altruism should not exist
Risking one's life to save someone who is about to die or be seriously injured is completely counter-evolutionary. Such a mutation could not seriously have spread throughout all of humanity. It does not improve survival chances, in any situation.

3) Human rights should not be considered 'inalienable.'
If it pleases me to murder people who you will never meet, then there is no reason why I should be prevented by you from doing so. Rights for humans should only be circumstantial, when it appeals to our reward mechanisms in our brain, or our probability of survival. and in no other circumstance.

Again, you haven't demonstrated why they shouldn't exist.


4) Selective pressures for the need for ethics no longer exist.
Thus I can do whatever I want. Even if I wish to kill millions of people, you may fight me, but you can give no reason why I should not kill people for sport.

I can give plenty of reasons. You may disagree. You may not care. But reasons exists. And if I kill you, you can't pass on your sociopathic traits on.
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
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10/17/2013 9:18:10 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/17/2013 4:55:09 AM, StevenDixon wrote:
I don't see how everyone isn't a moral nihilist. It's so weird that it's not obvious to everyone else.

I don't see how everyone isn't a moral realist. It's so wierd that it's not obvious to everyone else.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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10/17/2013 9:50:20 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/17/2013 9:18:10 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 10/17/2013 4:55:09 AM, StevenDixon wrote:
I don't see how everyone isn't a moral nihilist. It's so weird that it's not obvious to everyone else.

I don't see how everyone isn't a moral realist. It's so wierd that it's not obvious to everyone else.

We don't know enough to conclude one way or the other, it's so weird that it's not obvious to everyone else.
TheAntidoter
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10/17/2013 9:51:25 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/17/2013 9:50:20 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 10/17/2013 9:18:10 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 10/17/2013 4:55:09 AM, StevenDixon wrote:
I don't see how everyone isn't a moral nihilist. It's so weird that it's not obvious to everyone else.

I don't see how everyone isn't a moral realist. It's so wierd that it's not obvious to everyone else.

We don't know enough to conclude one way or the other, it's so weird that it's not obvious to everyone else.

I don't see how anyone else exists, it's so weird that it's not obvious to me.
Affinity: Fire
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Nac.

WOAH, COLORED FONT!
Rational_Thinker9119
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10/17/2013 10:33:50 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/17/2013 9:51:25 AM, TheAntidoter wrote:
At 10/17/2013 9:50:20 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 10/17/2013 9:18:10 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 10/17/2013 4:55:09 AM, StevenDixon wrote:
I don't see how everyone isn't a moral nihilist. It's so weird that it's not obvious to everyone else.

I don't see how everyone isn't a moral realist. It's so wierd that it's not obvious to everyone else.

We don't know enough to conclude one way or the other, it's so weird that it's not obvious to everyone else.

I don't see how anyone else exists, it's so weird that it's not obvious to me.

What do you mean you don't see how anyone else exists? Don't tell me you are a solipsist lol
TheAntidoter
Posts: 4,323
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10/17/2013 10:35:13 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/17/2013 10:33:50 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 10/17/2013 9:51:25 AM, TheAntidoter wrote:
At 10/17/2013 9:50:20 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 10/17/2013 9:18:10 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 10/17/2013 4:55:09 AM, StevenDixon wrote:
I don't see how everyone isn't a moral nihilist. It's so weird that it's not obvious to everyone else.

I don't see how everyone isn't a moral realist. It's so wierd that it's not obvious to everyone else.

We don't know enough to conclude one way or the other, it's so weird that it's not obvious to everyone else.

I don't see how anyone else exists, it's so weird that it's not obvious to me.

What do you mean you don't see how anyone else exists? Don't tell me you are a solipsist lol

I'm actually not, but I like pretending to be things just to point out the flaws in them.

It was actually how I got my anarchist leanings.

I pointed out the flaws, they weren't really flaws, it was fun.
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Nac.

WOAH, COLORED FONT!
Smithereens
Posts: 5,512
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10/18/2013 12:08:05 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
3) Human rights should not be considered 'inalienable.'
If it pleases me to murder people who you will never meet, then there is no reason why I should be prevented by you from doing so. Rights for humans should only be circumstantial, when it appeals to our reward mechanisms in our brain, or our probability of survival. and in no other circumstance.

Again, you haven't demonstrated why they shouldn't exist.
Biologically speaking, the previous 2 points demonstrated why such ethics don't provide general benefits to the survival of an individual or a species. Therefore it must be the case that under certain circumstances in the past, the ethics in question must have been of some use to us. However, they clearly are of no use to us anymore, so biologically, I must do whatever causes a reward response in my brain. If pushing for forced eugenics and legalised rape are things that cause my reward mechanisms to react, then that is what I will do. If none of this affects you in your country, why would you consider yourself obliged to speak out against my efforts on my side of the world?

4) Selective pressures for the need for ethics no longer exist.
Thus I can do whatever I want. Even if I wish to kill millions of people, you may fight me, but you can give no reason why I should not kill people for sport.

I can give plenty of reasons. You may disagree. You may not care. But reasons exists. And if I kill you, you can't pass on your sociopathic traits on.
Then give your reasons.
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StevenDixon
Posts: 178
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10/18/2013 5:39:33 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/17/2013 9:18:10 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 10/17/2013 4:55:09 AM, StevenDixon wrote:
I don't see how everyone isn't a moral nihilist. It's so weird that it's not obvious to everyone else.

I don't see how everyone isn't a moral realist. It's so wierd that it's not obvious to everyone else.

How would it be obvious to anyone that something objectively ought or ought not be done?
StevenDixon
Posts: 178
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10/18/2013 6:30:18 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/17/2013 1:36:45 AM, Smithereens wrote:
Before we go on a post-reply broadside battle, here are my thoughts:

1) There are ethics that are universal to humanity that should not exist.
Such ethics include us taking violent objection to people far away from us killing and cannibalising their own children, or society killing elderly people or euthanising genetic defects, even when it would improve our quality of life.

2) Altruism should not exist
Risking one's life to save someone who is about to die or be seriously injured is completely counter-evolutionary. Such a mutation could not seriously have spread throughout all of humanity. It does not improve survival chances, in any situation.

3) Human rights should not be considered 'inalienable.'
If it pleases me to murder people who you will never meet, then there is no reason why I should be prevented by you from doing so. Rights for humans should only be circumstantial, when it appeals to our reward mechanisms in our brain, or our probability of survival. and in no other circumstance.

4) Selective pressures for the need for ethics no longer exist.
Thus I can do whatever I want. Even if I wish to kill millions of people, you may fight me, but you can give no reason why I should not kill people for sport.

It wouldn't be beneficial to find cannibalism and killing your own species vile? Really?
So...people saving other people wouldn't be beneficial to the survival of the species?

Altruism and ethics are clearly compatible with the theory of evolution.

As far as there not being objective rights or oughts, I agree. You killing someone wouldn't be objectively right or wrong. I don't see any reason to believe that human "rights" are some kind of actual thing that wasn't created by us.
TUF
Posts: 21,309
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10/18/2013 6:32:09 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I have found this a very Intriguing conversation. I find myself agreeing with a lot of drafters aarguments. I wish I had the time to add my own input.
"I've got to go and grab a shirt" ~ Airmax1227
Smithereens
Posts: 5,512
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10/18/2013 6:38:20 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/18/2013 6:32:09 AM, TUF wrote:
I have found this a very Intriguing conversation. I find myself agreeing with a lot of drafters aarguments. I wish I had the time to add my own input.

I hereby grant you the time you need to make your input.
Music composition contest: http://www.debate.org...