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Moral nihilism & Objective morality

sdavio
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4/21/2014 4:28:33 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Basic to philosophy is the division between the 'objective' truth and 'subjective' opinion. A statement such as "Ice-cream is good," is said to be subjective because it depends on the subject who makes the statement. Hence, implied in the sentence, when I state it, must be both the idea that the person who is making the statement is involved, and also that the word 'good' implies something about the person involved, (eg it has a taste they enjoy.) Therefore the statement could be translated to;

"When [person's name] eats ice cream, they enjoy the taste."

and no information would be lost. In other words, both communicate the same thing. If you heard the statement, and any one of those pieces of information were missing (you didn't know which person it was talking about, or you didn't know if 'good' meant tasty or healthy,) you wouldn't understand the statement at all until you asked for clarification.

So, what makes the above statement different - in any important sense - from a statement like, "The rock is on the table"?

If the statement that I like ice-cream is subjective because it depends on it being me in particular who is making the statement, then isn't "the rock is on the table" subjective in regard to tables? Both equally reference the world and therefore the distinction is unnecessary.

The real element here which gives a statement a truth-function is whether multiple objects are referenced, and whether a statement is being made about a relationship between them. A question, like "Do you like ice cream?" isn't true nor untrue, because it makes no statement about the relationship between the two objects, but instead orders the other person to supply that part. Likewise, a more straightforward demand, like "Eat ice-cream!" isn't true nor false, either.

Morality consists of demands; but an instruction manual isn't a moral guide, because it gives instructions, but only in reference to a (stated or implied) concrete outcome. It doesn't just say "Do X.", it says "Doing X will achieve Y." Therefore, all morality gives demands, which are in reference to no particular concrete outcome, or rather, are not solely justified in reference to it. It is a demand for action where what that action is a means to must always remain elusive.

It is therefore nonsense to talk about a moral standard being 'true' in any sense, much less 'objectively'. If something is good, it must always be good for something and in relation to someone. This is why morality is self-defeating: it attempts to posit a 'good in itself' where the concept of 'good' by its very nature implies a 'good for'. Saying something is good is saying it's an effective means, and then it is only valuable if you value the end it is a means to.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,244
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4/21/2014 5:17:40 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/21/2014 4:28:33 AM, sdavio wrote:
Morality consists of demands; but an instruction manual isn't a moral guide, because it gives instructions, but only in reference to a (stated or implied) concrete outcome. It doesn't just say "Do X.", it says "Doing X will achieve Y." Therefore, all morality gives demands, which are in reference to no particular concrete outcome, or rather, are not solely justified in reference to it. It is a demand for action where what that action is a means to must always remain elusive.

The justification for objective morality would be: Y is good, so one should do or bring about Y (whatever that entails would be a secondary). You are merely asserting otherwise without adequately explaining yourself.
sdavio
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4/21/2014 8:48:10 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/21/2014 5:17:40 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 4/21/2014 4:28:33 AM, sdavio wrote:
Morality consists of demands; but an instruction manual isn't a moral guide, because it gives instructions, but only in reference to a (stated or implied) concrete outcome. It doesn't just say "Do X.", it says "Doing X will achieve Y." Therefore, all morality gives demands, which are in reference to no particular concrete outcome, or rather, are not solely justified in reference to it. It is a demand for action where what that action is a means to must always remain elusive.

The justification for objective morality would be: Y is good, so one should do or bring about Y (whatever that entails would be a secondary). You are merely asserting otherwise without adequately explaining yourself.

To just state it is good is not really a justification. What I meant by justification was that 'good' must always be so according to some standard or goal. To justify it would be to state by what standard it is good. But, then it wouldn't be good-in-itself. Hence it is self-defeating.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
sdavio
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4/21/2014 8:52:14 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/21/2014 8:48:10 PM, sdavio wrote:
At 4/21/2014 5:17:40 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 4/21/2014 4:28:33 AM, sdavio wrote:
Morality consists of demands; but an instruction manual isn't a moral guide, because it gives instructions, but only in reference to a (stated or implied) concrete outcome. It doesn't just say "Do X.", it says "Doing X will achieve Y." Therefore, all morality gives demands, which are in reference to no particular concrete outcome, or rather, are not solely justified in reference to it. It is a demand for action where what that action is a means to must always remain elusive.

The justification for objective morality would be: Y is good, so one should do or bring about Y (whatever that entails would be a secondary). You are merely asserting otherwise without adequately explaining yourself.

To just state it is good is not really a justification. What I meant by justification was that 'good' must always be so according to some standard or goal. To justify it would be to state by what standard it is good. But, then it wouldn't be good-in-itself. Hence it is self-defeating.

In other words, as soon as a justification is provided (ie, as soon as the statement "Do X" becomes "Doing X will achieve Y,") it goes from a moral statement to an 'is' statement, in the same sense as an instruction manual.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,244
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4/21/2014 9:45:12 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/21/2014 8:48:10 PM, sdavio wrote:
At 4/21/2014 5:17:40 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 4/21/2014 4:28:33 AM, sdavio wrote:
Morality consists of demands; but an instruction manual isn't a moral guide, because it gives instructions, but only in reference to a (stated or implied) concrete outcome. It doesn't just say "Do X.", it says "Doing X will achieve Y." Therefore, all morality gives demands, which are in reference to no particular concrete outcome, or rather, are not solely justified in reference to it. It is a demand for action where what that action is a means to must always remain elusive.

The justification for objective morality would be: Y is good, so one should do or bring about Y (whatever that entails would be a secondary). You are merely asserting otherwise without adequately explaining yourself.

To just state it is good is not really a justification. What I meant by justification was that 'good' must always be so according to some standard or goal. To justify it would be to state by what standard it is good. But, then it wouldn't be good-in-itself. Hence it is self-defeating.

In order for something to be objectively moral, it needs to be moral according to reality's moral standard. Since reality constitutes what is, the good would be intrinsic in the sense that "good" and "moral standard" would coincide...reality would be "self-evaluating" and its meaning thereby intrinsic (of, by, and for itself).

In other words, as soon as a justification is provided (ie, as soon as the statement "Do X" becomes "Doing X will achieve Y,") it goes from a moral statement to an 'is' statement, in the same sense as an instruction manual.

If X has intrinsic meaning, then bringing about X through Y would be moral because of X, not because of doing Y. This can be easily seen in subjective morality. For instance, say we qualify each "should" with "according to John", so we get things like "X should be done according to John". If John thinks we should do A, but A requires that we do B, then on what basis could you say that it's not true that "according to John, we should do B"? We could easily say that we should do B because we should do A.
sdavio
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4/21/2014 10:33:30 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/21/2014 9:45:12 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 4/21/2014 8:48:10 PM, sdavio wrote:
At 4/21/2014 5:17:40 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 4/21/2014 4:28:33 AM, sdavio wrote:
Morality consists of demands; but an instruction manual isn't a moral guide, because it gives instructions, but only in reference to a (stated or implied) concrete outcome. It doesn't just say "Do X.", it says "Doing X will achieve Y." Therefore, all morality gives demands, which are in reference to no particular concrete outcome, or rather, are not solely justified in reference to it. It is a demand for action where what that action is a means to must always remain elusive.

The justification for objective morality would be: Y is good, so one should do or bring about Y (whatever that entails would be a secondary). You are merely asserting otherwise without adequately explaining yourself.

To just state it is good is not really a justification. What I meant by justification was that 'good' must always be so according to some standard or goal. To justify it would be to state by what standard it is good. But, then it wouldn't be good-in-itself. Hence it is self-defeating.

In order for something to be objectively moral, it needs to be moral according to reality's moral standard. Since reality constitutes what is, the good would be intrinsic in the sense that "good" and "moral standard" would coincide...reality would be "self-evaluating" and its meaning thereby intrinsic (of, by, and for itself).

In other words, as soon as a justification is provided (ie, as soon as the statement "Do X" becomes "Doing X will achieve Y,") it goes from a moral statement to an 'is' statement, in the same sense as an instruction manual.

If X has intrinsic meaning, then bringing about X through Y would be moral because of X, not because of doing Y. This can be easily seen in subjective morality. For instance, say we qualify each "should" with "according to John", so we get things like "X should be done according to John". If John thinks we should do A, but A requires that we do B, then on what basis could you say that it's not true that "according to John, we should do B"? We could easily say that we should do B because we should do A.

In subjective morality, the whole thing would be couched in an 'if' statement that, "If you prefer X", then the rest follows. There is no inherent value needed. However this is an admission of the subjective moralist which cannot be permitted to the objective moralist. Something must be good 'of itself', not as a means to any external justification. Therefore, if objective morality says "X is good", and someone asks "why?", the moralist must be able to sensibly answer "because it is X." It must be inherently preferable, according to nothing but itself. Of course in my view this is itself its own destruction, since it is all impossible.

Now, could reality contain an inherent preference? If reality is a category for what is, what is true, then I would argue that 'should' statements cannot fit within that category. Reality could state that 'the cat is on the mat', but not that 'the cat is on the mat, but should be on the table', via the distinction I made in the OP that questions and demands do not have truth-functionality. Reality makes no comparison outside of itself; therefore it cannot compare anything to any standard.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
sdavio
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4/21/2014 10:44:41 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
It's like substituting "50 is closer to 100 than 2" for "50 is closer than 2". The latter has no truth-function, therefore reality cannot 'state' it. 'Subjective' just means missing one of the elements out from the statement in that way so that the perspective you view it from must fill in what's missing. If you complete the statement it becomes 'objective'. Same with morality: if you complete a moral statement by providing the ends according to which it's considered good, it's no longer a morality but just an 'is' statement.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
sdavio
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4/22/2014 6:13:46 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/22/2014 5:55:45 AM, Smithereens wrote:
Ethics philosophy is not so easily simplified dear sir.

Then my posts should be easy to rebut, right?
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
Smithereens
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4/22/2014 6:18:11 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/22/2014 6:13:46 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 4/22/2014 5:55:45 AM, Smithereens wrote:
Ethics philosophy is not so easily simplified dear sir.

Then my posts should be easy to rebut, right?

Not what I meant. You present a sliver of the facts that some philosophers have made prominent recently. No problem here, except when you treat it as all there is to the debate, I feel inclined to point out that the debate extends much farther. What models specifically do you argue for? Your points on subjectivity vs objectivity are fair enough and all, but any particular theory?
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sdavio
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4/22/2014 6:34:28 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/22/2014 6:18:11 AM, Smithereens wrote:
At 4/22/2014 6:13:46 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 4/22/2014 5:55:45 AM, Smithereens wrote:
Ethics philosophy is not so easily simplified dear sir.

Then my posts should be easy to rebut, right?

Not what I meant. You present a sliver of the facts that some philosophers have made prominent recently. No problem here, except when you treat it as all there is to the debate, I feel inclined to point out that the debate extends much farther.

It's a common non-argument to say "It's more complicated than that," since it's always more complicated than that, so you could say that in response to literally anything. However, my point in regard to morality is that technically what makes something by definition a moral claim is that it makes a demand without reference to a goal or subject, and that therefore we could say that's the 'active' part of what morality is, and so if that aspect is fundamentally contradictory to the concept of 'true', then the two can't be combined no matter how much more there is to it.

What models specifically do you argue for? Your points on subjectivity vs objectivity are fair enough and all, but any particular theory?

No particular agenda, in fact I'd be very open to someone convincing me of some moral theory if they could answer the issue I have with the concept of 'objective morality' or 'true morality'.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
Smithereens
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4/22/2014 6:45:11 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/21/2014 4:28:33 AM, sdavio wrote:
In the interest of rational discourse, criticism is provided.
Basic to philosophy is the division between the 'objective' truth and 'subjective' opinion.
Incorrect, truth in philosophy is as large a debate as moral theory. When we consider objective truth, we break down truth value into its definitions of reflection vs reality(objectivism), relation and consistency to known truths (reletivism) and the less popular models of absentism etc.

A statement such as "Ice-cream is good," is said to be subjective because it depends on the subject who makes the statement.
More correctly stated as contingent on non-universal variables. Ice-cream is good can in actual fact be objectively correct, however for the purpose of debate, we take it on the grounds that the statement has no proof to substantiate certainty in relation to truth value.

Hence, implied in the sentence, when I state it, must be both the idea that the person who is making the statement is involved, and also that the word 'good' implies something about the person involved, (eg it has a taste they enjoy.) Therefore the statement could be translated to;
First is required the definition. How will you do this knowing that if you treat good as an objective concept you must consider it a semantic prime.

"When [person's name] eats ice cream, they enjoy the taste."

and no information would be lost. In other words, both communicate the same thing. If you heard the statement, and any one of those pieces of information were missing (you didn't know which person it was talking about, or you didn't know if 'good' meant tasty or healthy,) you wouldn't understand the statement at all until you asked for clarification.

So, what makes the above statement different - in any important sense - from a statement like, "The rock is on the table"?

If the statement that I like ice-cream is subjective because it depends on it being me in particular who is making the statement, then isn't "the rock is on the table" subjective in regard to tables? Both equally reference the world and therefore the distinction is unnecessary.

The real element here which gives a statement a truth-function is whether multiple objects are referenced, and whether a statement is being made about a relationship between them. A question, like "Do you like ice cream?" isn't true nor untrue, because it makes no statement about the relationship between the two objects, but instead orders the other person to supply that part. Likewise, a more straightforward demand, like "Eat ice-cream!" isn't true nor false, either.

Morality consists of demands;
You may not state this without elaboration.

but an instruction manual isn't a moral guide, because it gives instructions, but only in reference to a (stated or implied) concrete outcome. It doesn't just say "Do X.", it says "Doing X will achieve Y." Therefore, all morality gives demands, which are in reference to no particular concrete outcome, or rather, are not solely justified in reference to it. It is a demand for action where what that action is a means to must always remain elusive.
On the contrary, moral guides state certain actions as being objectively wrong. Consequences are a side note.

It is therefore nonsense to talk about a moral standard being 'true' in any sense,
You confuse empirical truth with normative truth. In my culture, it is morally wrong to be seen naked in public. In parts of Germany however, the opposite is true. These are moral facts. It is wrong to do 'X' is true for all entities in system 'Y' where X(Y) is true for every instance of Y. Empirically, these statements mean nothing, which is what you are pointing out.

much less 'objectively'. If something is good, it must always be good for something and in relation to someone.
Consistency is a fundamental principle to objectivity as a universal concept. 1+1=2 is a universally true statement and if it is true on paper, then it must be true in every possible situation as you point out. The problem with your argument is that you treat morality like 1+1=2. Morality is not true without a system to consider it under. Ethics on the other hand are argued to be as true as 1+1=2. 'It is wrong for a human to murder a human in every situation,' is an objective and universal statement true for every instance of X in every possible set.

This is why morality is self-defeating: it attempts to posit a 'good in itself' where the concept of 'good' by its very nature implies a 'good for'. Saying something is good is saying it's an effective means, and then it is only valuable if you value the end it is a means to.
This is practical morality, a theory of morality you have been attacking for your entire post and claiming to be 'general' morality all along.
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Smithereens
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4/22/2014 6:47:15 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/22/2014 6:34:28 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 4/22/2014 6:18:11 AM, Smithereens wrote:
At 4/22/2014 6:13:46 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 4/22/2014 5:55:45 AM, Smithereens wrote:
Ethics philosophy is not so easily simplified dear sir.

Then my posts should be easy to rebut, right?

Not what I meant. You present a sliver of the facts that some philosophers have made prominent recently. No problem here, except when you treat it as all there is to the debate, I feel inclined to point out that the debate extends much farther.

It's a common non-argument to say "It's more complicated than that," since it's always more complicated than that, so you could say that in response to literally anything. However, my point in regard to morality is that technically what makes something by definition a moral claim is that it makes a demand without reference to a goal or subject, and that therefore we could say that's the 'active' part of what morality is, and so if that aspect is fundamentally contradictory to the concept of 'true', then the two can't be combined no matter how much more there is to it.

Morality consists of no demands. It consists of 'oughts' and 'ought not's.' For example one ought not to kill is a true statement.

What models specifically do you argue for? Your points on subjectivity vs objectivity are fair enough and all, but any particular theory?

No particular agenda, in fact I'd be very open to someone convincing me of some moral theory if they could answer the issue I have with the concept of 'objective morality' or 'true morality'.
Morality is not what you are looking for. Try Ethics.
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sdavio
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4/22/2014 7:23:11 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/22/2014 6:45:11 AM, Smithereens wrote:
At 4/21/2014 4:28:33 AM, sdavio wrote:
In the interest of rational discourse, criticism is provided.
Basic to philosophy is the division between the 'objective' truth and 'subjective' opinion.
Incorrect, truth in philosophy is as large a debate as moral theory. When we consider objective truth, we break down truth value into its definitions of reflection vs reality(objectivism), relation and consistency to known truths (reletivism) and the less popular models of absentism etc.

I just meant that it's a common concept in philosophy, really.

A statement such as "Ice-cream is good," is said to be subjective because it depends on the subject who makes the statement.
More correctly stated as contingent on non-universal variables.

Something is only 'universal' if you abstract far enough for the concept to broadly fit many cases. So by your standard, "the cat is on the mat" is subjective, while only logical statements like "A is A" are objective, is that right?

Ice-cream is good can in actual fact be objectively correct, however for the purpose of debate, we take it on the grounds that the statement has no proof to substantiate certainty in relation to truth value.

The fact that I say I like ice cream is evidence that I like ice cream. But again this issue of certainty, which could only truly apply to pure logic, that is, totally abstract statements which only say anything about their own grammar.

Hence, implied in the sentence, when I state it, must be both the idea that the person who is making the statement is involved, and also that the word 'good' implies something about the person involved, (eg it has a taste they enjoy.) Therefore the statement could be translated to;
First is required the definition. How will you do this knowing that if you treat good as an objective concept you must consider it a semantic prime.

Since 'good' is vague, the interpretation would depend on the context, but the example I gave was that it would be interpreted to mean that the person enjoys the taste.


"When [person's name] eats ice cream, they enjoy the taste."

and no information would be lost. In other words, both communicate the same thing. If you heard the statement, and any one of those pieces of information were missing (you didn't know which person it was talking about, or you didn't know if 'good' meant tasty or healthy,) you wouldn't understand the statement at all until you asked for clarification.

So, what makes the above statement different - in any important sense - from a statement like, "The rock is on the table"?

If the statement that I like ice-cream is subjective because it depends on it being me in particular who is making the statement, then isn't "the rock is on the table" subjective in regard to tables? Both equally reference the world and therefore the distinction is unnecessary.

The real element here which gives a statement a truth-function is whether multiple objects are referenced, and whether a statement is being made about a relationship between them. A question, like "Do you like ice cream?" isn't true nor untrue, because it makes no statement about the relationship between the two objects, but instead orders the other person to supply that part. Likewise, a more straightforward demand, like "Eat ice-cream!" isn't true nor false, either.

Morality consists of demands;
You may not state this without elaboration.

I "may not"? But I don't believe in morality.. : P

Anyway, if I say you 'ought' to do something, I am instructing you to do it. That is unless you believe morality is some abstract force, in that case the abstract force is instructing you to do it. If you only 'ought' to do X if you want outcome Y, telling you about that fact is not a moral statement but an empirical statement in the form "Doing X will lead to Y."

but an instruction manual isn't a moral guide, because it gives instructions, but only in reference to a (stated or implied) concrete outcome. It doesn't just say "Do X.", it says "Doing X will achieve Y." Therefore, all morality gives demands, which are in reference to no particular concrete outcome, or rather, are not solely justified in reference to it. It is a demand for action where what that action is a means to must always remain elusive.
On the contrary, moral guides state certain actions as being objectively wrong. Consequences are a side note.

I don't understand how this is contrary to what I said. I basically said that moral statements make judgments about the right/wrongness of some action with no reference to in regard to what outcome, and then you seem to have responded with, "On the contrary," and then the same thing. My question is, how can something be 'good' when what it's good for is nothing else than itself?


It is therefore nonsense to talk about a moral standard being 'true' in any sense,
You confuse empirical truth with normative truth. In my culture, it is morally wrong to be seen naked in public. In parts of Germany however, the opposite is true. These are moral facts. It is wrong to do 'X' is true for all entities in system 'Y' where X(Y) is true for every instance of Y. Empirically, these statements mean nothing, which is what you are pointing out.

You are wording the statements in moralistic terms, but I'd say what you're getting at is indeed something empirical; ie, that if you go outside naked, people will indeed take offense to that, arrest you, etc. It could be translated into purely empirical terms; there is no implication that anything happening in the situation is 'right' or 'wrong' in any context wider than the opinions of the people involved.

much less 'objectively'. If something is good, it must always be good for something and in relation to someone.
Consistency is a fundamental principle to objectivity as a universal concept. 1+1=2 is a universally true statement and if it is true on paper, then it must be true in every possible situation as you point out. The problem with your argument is that you treat morality like 1+1=2. Morality is not true without a system to consider it under. Ethics on the other hand are argued to be as true as 1+1=2. 'It is wrong for a human to murder a human in every situation,' is an objective and universal statement true for every instance of X in every possible set.

So your point is just a semantic one, that I should be saying 'ethics' instead of 'morality'?

This is why morality is self-defeating: it attempts to posit a 'good in itself' where the concept of 'good' by its very nature implies a 'good for'. Saying something is good is saying it's an effective means, and then it is only valuable if you value the end it is a means to.
This is practical morality, a theory of morality you have been attacking for your entire post and claiming to be 'general' morality all along.

All morality makes 'ought' statements.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
sdavio
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4/22/2014 7:27:42 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/22/2014 6:47:15 AM, Smithereens wrote:
At 4/22/2014 6:34:28 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 4/22/2014 6:18:11 AM, Smithereens wrote:
At 4/22/2014 6:13:46 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 4/22/2014 5:55:45 AM, Smithereens wrote:
Ethics philosophy is not so easily simplified dear sir.

Then my posts should be easy to rebut, right?

Not what I meant. You present a sliver of the facts that some philosophers have made prominent recently. No problem here, except when you treat it as all there is to the debate, I feel inclined to point out that the debate extends much farther.

It's a common non-argument to say "It's more complicated than that," since it's always more complicated than that, so you could say that in response to literally anything. However, my point in regard to morality is that technically what makes something by definition a moral claim is that it makes a demand without reference to a goal or subject, and that therefore we could say that's the 'active' part of what morality is, and so if that aspect is fundamentally contradictory to the concept of 'true', then the two can't be combined no matter how much more there is to it.

Morality consists of no demands. It consists of 'oughts' and 'ought not's.' For example one ought not to kill is a true statement.

"Demand: 1. To ask for with proper authority; claim as a right."

http://dictionary.reference.com...

How is "Do not kill." or "You ought not to kill." not a demand to an action?

What models specifically do you argue for? Your points on subjectivity vs objectivity are fair enough and all, but any particular theory?

No particular agenda, in fact I'd be very open to someone convincing me of some moral theory if they could answer the issue I have with the concept of 'objective morality' or 'true morality'.
Morality is not what you are looking for. Try Ethics.

It applies to both.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
Smithereens
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4/22/2014 8:13:24 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/22/2014 7:27:42 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 4/22/2014 6:47:15 AM, Smithereens wrote:
At 4/22/2014 6:34:28 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 4/22/2014 6:18:11 AM, Smithereens wrote:
At 4/22/2014 6:13:46 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 4/22/2014 5:55:45 AM, Smithereens wrote:
Ethics philosophy is not so easily simplified dear sir.

Then my posts should be easy to rebut, right?

Not what I meant. You present a sliver of the facts that some philosophers have made prominent recently. No problem here, except when you treat it as all there is to the debate, I feel inclined to point out that the debate extends much farther.

It's a common non-argument to say "It's more complicated than that," since it's always more complicated than that, so you could say that in response to literally anything. However, my point in regard to morality is that technically what makes something by definition a moral claim is that it makes a demand without reference to a goal or subject, and that therefore we could say that's the 'active' part of what morality is, and so if that aspect is fundamentally contradictory to the concept of 'true', then the two can't be combined no matter how much more there is to it.

Morality consists of no demands. It consists of 'oughts' and 'ought not's.' For example one ought not to kill is a true statement.

"Demand: 1. To ask for with proper authority; claim as a right."

http://dictionary.reference.com...

How is "Do not kill." or "You ought not to kill." not a demand to an action?
They are not morals. They are demands made on the basis of a moral consideration. The basis is "It is wrong to kill." Therefore "Do not kill" is a morally justified demand.

What models specifically do you argue for? Your points on subjectivity vs objectivity are fair enough and all, but any particular theory?

No particular agenda, in fact I'd be very open to someone convincing me of some moral theory if they could answer the issue I have with the concept of 'objective morality' or 'true morality'.
Morality is not what you are looking for. Try Ethics.

It applies to both.
Table manners are an example of morals. Dress code is an example of morals. Neither are examples of ethics, ethics seek to be universal in nature right of the bat.
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Smithereens
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4/22/2014 8:31:18 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I just meant that it's a common concept in philosophy, really.
But what you said was "Basic to philosophy..." meaning fundamental to philosophy.



Something is only 'universal' if you abstract far enough for the concept to broadly fit many cases. So by your standard, "the cat is on the mat" is subjective, while only logical statements like "A is A" are objective, is that right?
Something is universal when true by necessity. 'The cat is on the mat' is contingent. Not subjective.

Ice-cream is good can in actual fact be objectively correct, however for the purpose of debate, we take it on the grounds that the statement has no proof to substantiate certainty in relation to truth value.

The fact that I say I like ice cream is evidence that I like ice cream. But again this issue of certainty, which could only truly apply to pure logic, that is, totally abstract statements which only say anything about their own grammar.
What you say is irrelevant, but on the issue of certainty (and there is no such thing as 'pure logic') objective truth is applicable to anything universally true. Again, true of necessity.

Since 'good' is vague, the interpretation would depend on the context, but the example I gave was that it would be interpreted to mean that the person enjoys the taste.
You are defining your argument as correct. Your premises are as follows:
1) Good means 'the person enjoys the taste'
2) Therefore moral good is meaningless
Don't consider this a straw man as it is not a summation of your argument that I am attacking. This demonstrates instead the point that you have defined good in such a way that your argument is impervious to attack. The conclusion follows from the definition. This is fallacious.


"When [person's name] eats ice cream, they enjoy the taste."

Morality consists of demands;
You may not state this without elaboration.

I "may not"? But I don't believe in morality.. : P
I am in fact pointing out that you have not fulfilled a BoP.

Anyway, if I say you 'ought' to do something, I am instructing you to do it. That is unless you believe morality is some abstract force, in that case the abstract force is instructing you to do it. If you only 'ought' to do X if you want outcome Y, telling you about that fact is not a moral statement but an empirical statement in the form "Doing X will lead to Y."
There is a fundamental difference between instruction and ought, aside from the vast difference in definition. An ought is not an instruction. Neither is there any reason to consider it thus. 'Abstract force' is a meaningless term you have concocted.


On the contrary, moral guides state certain actions as being objectively wrong. Consequences are a side note.

I don't understand how this is contrary to what I said. I basically said that moral statements make judgments about the right/wrongness of some action with no reference to in regard to what outcome, and then you seem to have responded with, "On the contrary," and then the same thing. My question is, how can something be 'good' when what it's good for is nothing else than itself?
It means that the moral guides you speak of do not make demands with the interest of consequences and effect. Instead they firstly state that there exists an action which is objectively wrong, then instructs you not to do it in a completely different statement. The question you raise 'How can something be good when what it's good for is nothing else than itself?' Reeks to me like the euthyphro dilemma. The answer is that the major premise is false itself. It is not good for itself, it is good universally.


You are wording the statements in moralistic terms, but I'd say what you're getting at is indeed something empirical; ie, that if you go outside naked, people will indeed take offense to that, arrest you, etc. It could be translated into purely empirical terms; there is no implication that anything happening in the situation is 'right' or 'wrong' in any context wider than the opinions of the people involved.
No actually I was explaining your argument to you. Excuse me. The situation I provided was in combat of your definition of good. These situations are defined as right and wrong by certain communities. These are morals and not universal, yet still objectively true.

So your point is just a semantic one, that I should be saying 'ethics' instead of 'morality'?
They mean different things, when you say morality, I perceive you to be talking about a relative standard. When you say ethics, I perceive you arguing for an objective standard. Two polar opposites. Definitions are something that invalidates your argument regardless due to the fallacy you created when you defined good as the conclusion of your argument.

This is practical morality, a theory of morality you have been attacking for your entire post and claiming to be 'general' morality all along.

All morality makes 'ought' statements.
Except for practical morality, which states that the only ought is that which produces the desirable outcome. Thus your flawed definition of good.
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sdavio
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4/22/2014 8:47:59 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/22/2014 8:13:24 AM, Smithereens wrote:
At 4/22/2014 7:27:42 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 4/22/2014 6:47:15 AM, Smithereens wrote:
At 4/22/2014 6:34:28 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 4/22/2014 6:18:11 AM, Smithereens wrote:
At 4/22/2014 6:13:46 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 4/22/2014 5:55:45 AM, Smithereens wrote:
Ethics philosophy is not so easily simplified dear sir.

Then my posts should be easy to rebut, right?

Not what I meant. You present a sliver of the facts that some philosophers have made prominent recently. No problem here, except when you treat it as all there is to the debate, I feel inclined to point out that the debate extends much farther.

It's a common non-argument to say "It's more complicated than that," since it's always more complicated than that, so you could say that in response to literally anything. However, my point in regard to morality is that technically what makes something by definition a moral claim is that it makes a demand without reference to a goal or subject, and that therefore we could say that's the 'active' part of what morality is, and so if that aspect is fundamentally contradictory to the concept of 'true', then the two can't be combined no matter how much more there is to it.

Morality consists of no demands. It consists of 'oughts' and 'ought not's.' For example one ought not to kill is a true statement.

"Demand: 1. To ask for with proper authority; claim as a right."

http://dictionary.reference.com...

How is "Do not kill." or "You ought not to kill." not a demand to an action?
They are not morals. They are demands made on the basis of a moral consideration. The basis is "It is wrong to kill." Therefore "Do not kill" is a morally justified demand.

But 'wrong' in "It is wrong to kill" itself translates in practical terms to a demand on each person to not kill.

What models specifically do you argue for? Your points on subjectivity vs objectivity are fair enough and all, but any particular theory?

No particular agenda, in fact I'd be very open to someone convincing me of some moral theory if they could answer the issue I have with the concept of 'objective morality' or 'true morality'.
Morality is not what you are looking for. Try Ethics.

It applies to both.
Table manners are an example of morals. Dress code is an example of morals. Neither are examples of ethics, ethics seek to be universal in nature right of the bat.

But those moral rules are founded on ethical considerations, not on appeals to any particular outcome, so my argument applies by extension to both.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
sdavio
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4/22/2014 9:14:25 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/22/2014 8:31:18 AM, Smithereens wrote:
The fact that I say I like ice cream is evidence that I like ice cream. But again this issue of certainty, which could only truly apply to pure logic, that is, totally abstract statements which only say anything about their own grammar.
What you say is irrelevant,

What someone says about their feelings is not irrelevant, it's evidence of how they're feeling. That's why a doctor asks about what kind of pain the patient is feeling.

Since 'good' is vague, the interpretation would depend on the context, but the example I gave was that it would be interpreted to mean that the person enjoys the taste.
You are defining your argument as correct. Your premises are as follows:
1) Good means 'the person enjoys the taste'
2) Therefore moral good is meaningless
Don't consider this a straw man as it is not a summation of your argument that I am attacking. This demonstrates instead the point that you have defined good in such a way that your argument is impervious to attack. The conclusion follows from the definition. This is fallacious.

I was only defining 'good' in the specific context of an example of how I'd interpret someone's statement that "Ice-cream is good". If someone said that to you, what else would you take from that which I am overlooking, which you are characterizing as such an important oversight?



"When [person's name] eats ice cream, they enjoy the taste."

Morality consists of demands;
You may not state this without elaboration.

I "may not"? But I don't believe in morality.. : P
I am in fact pointing out that you have not fulfilled a BoP.

Anyway, if I say you 'ought' to do something, I am instructing you to do it. That is unless you believe morality is some abstract force, in that case the abstract force is instructing you to do it. If you only 'ought' to do X if you want outcome Y, telling you about that fact is not a moral statement but an empirical statement in the form "Doing X will lead to Y."
There is a fundamental difference between instruction and ought, aside from the vast difference in definition. An ought is not an instruction. Neither is there any reason to consider it thus. 'Abstract force' is a meaningless term you have concocted.

A lot of your post seems to be just stating the inverse of whatever I say. I say an ought is an instruction and you say an ought is not an instruction. What am I supposed to gain from this? What does "You ought to do X" communicate other than a demand on the person to do action X?



On the contrary, moral guides state certain actions as being objectively wrong. Consequences are a side note.

I don't understand how this is contrary to what I said. I basically said that moral statements make judgments about the right/wrongness of some action with no reference to in regard to what outcome, and then you seem to have responded with, "On the contrary," and then the same thing. My question is, how can something be 'good' when what it's good for is nothing else than itself?
It means that the moral guides you speak of do not make demands with the interest of consequences and effect. Instead they firstly state that there exists an action which is objectively wrong, then instructs you not to do it in a completely different statement. The question you raise 'How can something be good when what it's good for is nothing else than itself?' Reeks to me like the euthyphro dilemma. The answer is that the major premise is false itself. It is not good for itself, it is good universally.

You are confusing what I meant by 'for'. It applies universally, but it is justified by nothing external, only by its own nature.


You are wording the statements in moralistic terms, but I'd say what you're getting at is indeed something empirical; ie, that if you go outside naked, people will indeed take offense to that, arrest you, etc. It could be translated into purely empirical terms; there is no implication that anything happening in the situation is 'right' or 'wrong' in any context wider than the opinions of the people involved.
No actually I was explaining your argument to you. Excuse me. The situation I provided was in combat of your definition of good. These situations are defined as right and wrong by certain communities. These are morals and not universal, yet still objectively true.

So you are saying that morality consists of nothing but empirical 'is' statements?

So your point is just a semantic one, that I should be saying 'ethics' instead of 'morality'?
They mean different things, when you say morality, I perceive you to be talking about a relative standard. When you say ethics, I perceive you arguing for an objective standard. Two polar opposites. Definitions are something that invalidates your argument regardless due to the fallacy you created when you defined good as the conclusion of your argument.

"1. The quality of being in accord with standards of right or good conduct.
2. A system of ideas of right and wrong conduct: religious morality; Christian morality.
3. Virtuous conduct.
4. A rule or lesson in moral conduct."

http://www.thefreedictionary.com...

Nowhere in this do I see something about relative standards, and 'right or good conduct' does imply a demand on the way someone acts.

What you are really doing is making a nonsense semantic argument because there's no way you actually thought moral nihilism was the position that people don't have opinions on what others should do..

This is practical morality, a theory of morality you have been attacking for your entire post and claiming to be 'general' morality all along.

All morality makes 'ought' statements.
Except for practical morality, which states that the only ought is that which produces the desirable outcome. Thus your flawed definition of good.

But in that case 'the desirable outcome' is considered a good-in-itself, not needing to be justified by any external standard.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
Smithereens
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4/23/2014 4:47:20 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
How is "Do not kill." or "You ought not to kill." not a demand to an action?
They are not morals. They are demands made on the basis of a moral consideration. The basis is "It is wrong to kill." Therefore "Do not kill" is a morally justified demand.

But 'wrong' in "It is wrong to kill" itself translates in practical terms to a demand on each person to not kill.
No It doesn't. If something is wrong, why must we not do it?

Table manners are an example of morals. Dress code is an example of morals. Neither are examples of ethics, ethics seek to be universal in nature right of the bat.

But those moral rules are founded on ethical considerations, not on appeals to any particular outcome, so my argument applies by extension to both.
False, they are founded on culture, not ethics. Your argument therefore collapses.
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Smithereens
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4/23/2014 5:04:23 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/22/2014 9:14:25 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 4/22/2014 8:31:18 AM, Smithereens wrote:
The fact that I say I like ice cream is evidence that I like ice cream. But again this issue of certainty, which could only truly apply to pure logic, that is, totally abstract statements which only say anything about their own grammar.
What you say is irrelevant,

What someone says about their feelings is not irrelevant, it's evidence of how they're feeling. That's why a doctor asks about what kind of pain the patient is feeling.
This is not the irrelevant section I was speaking of, and you seem to have deleted the rest of my sentence. The irrelevance is "But again this issue of certainty, which could only truly apply to pure logic, that is, totally abstract statements which only say anything about their own grammar." Which links your point on emotions to give it sense. Now a doctor asks for his patients feelings because it is wrong for him to do harm. Therefore it is wrong for a doctor to do harm, and this is an example of an objective ethical consideration.

I was only defining 'good' in the specific context of an example of how I'd interpret someone's statement that "Ice-cream is good". If someone said that to you, what else would you take from that which I am overlooking, which you are characterizing as such an important oversight?
Given that logic your definitions fails your own standards. If good is defined in the context of its use, then firstly you have a burden of proof to demonstrate this, and why it is not the case that good does not have multiple definitions. Secondly you have used an incorrect definition of good. Good in relation to this argument is defined as moral good. What you have stated is that good is only considered from a practical sense.

There is a fundamental difference between instruction and ought, aside from the vast difference in definition. An ought is not an instruction. Neither is there any reason to consider it thus. 'Abstract force' is a meaningless term you have concocted.

A lot of your post seems to be just stating the inverse of whatever I say. I say an ought is an instruction and you say an ought is not an instruction. What am I supposed to gain from this? What does "You ought to do X" communicate other than a demand on the person to do action X?
You the instigator have to prove that your proposition is correct. I am doing the same thing you are doing. I don't have to prove anything since I am not arguing for anything. You are arguing that moral ought is an instruction. Prove it. I contest that it is not, with no need for me to prove my own position. Now we consider that moral considerations are not instructions until proven else-wise.

It means that the moral guides you speak of do not make demands with the interest of consequences and effect. Instead they firstly state that there exists an action which is objectively wrong, then instructs you not to do it in a completely different statement. The question you raise 'How can something be good when what it's good for is nothing else than itself?' Reeks to me like the euthyphro dilemma. The answer is that the major premise is false itself. It is not good for itself, it is good universally.

You are confusing what I meant by 'for'. It applies universally, but it is justified by nothing external, only by its own nature.
You are confused on basic philosophical principles. 'For' is a contingent term. Meaningless and unnecessary.

No actually I was explaining your argument to you. Excuse me. The situation I provided was in combat of your definition of good. These situations are defined as right and wrong by certain communities. These are morals and not universal, yet still objectively true.

So you are saying that morality consists of nothing but empirical 'is' statements?
Quite the opposite. Morality is a sense of ought. A sense that we ought to do this and a sense to ought not do that. Completely different from actual instructions.

So your point is just a semantic one, that I should be saying 'ethics' instead of 'morality'?
They mean different things, when you say morality, I perceive you to be talking about a relative standard. When you say ethics, I perceive you arguing for an objective standard. Two polar opposites. Definitions are something that invalidates your argument regardless due to the fallacy you created when you defined good as the conclusion of your argument.

"1. The quality of being in accord with standards of right or good conduct.
2. A system of ideas of right and wrong conduct: religious morality; Christian morality.
3. Virtuous conduct.
4. A rule or lesson in moral conduct."

This is not relevant or helpful. You have provided a definition of morality when I have attacked your basis of morality. What I was talking about was the nature of morality, not what people think it is. Please reread and rebut.

Nowhere in this do I see something about relative standards, and 'right or good conduct' does imply a demand on the way someone acts.
If morality is subjective, then it cannot be instruction. You are arguing for the stance of subjective morality, not relative morality. Furthermore you have again restated that "'right or good conduct' does imply a demand on the way someone acts." Yet again you have failed to prove this statement.

What you are really doing is making a nonsense semantic argument because there's no way you actually thought moral nihilism was the position that people don't have opinions on what others should do..
What I am really doing is arguing. What you are doing is anyone's guess. Now my position on moral nihilism is that there are a weak and strong position. The weak being a person who does not believe moral consideration need to be considered unless proven else-wise. The strong position being a person who believes that morality is subjective. You are arguing the strong position, so leave the weak position out of it.

All morality makes 'ought' statements.
Except for practical morality, which states that the only ought is that which produces the desirable outcome. Thus your flawed definition of good.

But in that case 'the desirable outcome' is considered a good-in-itself, not needing to be justified by any external standard.
Nothing can be considered good per se, unless of course you can prove it. Why must I accept your argument that the desirable outcome is good per se? And not needing to be justified by any external standard? If the desirable outcome is Ice-cream, does this mean that ice-cream is good in-itself? The view is flawed.
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sdavio
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4/23/2014 7:20:16 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/23/2014 4:47:20 AM, Smithereens wrote:
How is "Do not kill." or "You ought not to kill." not a demand to an action?
They are not morals. They are demands made on the basis of a moral consideration. The basis is "It is wrong to kill." Therefore "Do not kill" is a morally justified demand.

But 'wrong' in "It is wrong to kill" itself translates in practical terms to a demand on each person to not kill.
No It doesn't. If something is wrong, why must we not do it?

We're going in circles here. You said that morality was comprised of 'ought' statements but not demands, then you said that "You ought not to kill" is a demand made on the basis of a moral consideration. That is circular. And 'wrong' means the same thing in this context as 'ought not'.

Table manners are an example of morals. Dress code is an example of morals. Neither are examples of ethics, ethics seek to be universal in nature right of the bat.

But those moral rules are founded on ethical considerations, not on appeals to any particular outcome, so my argument applies by extension to both.
False, they are founded on culture, not ethics. Your argument therefore collapses.

You've already said that morality contains 'ought' statements, which must be more than just an empirical appeal to culture.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
sdavio
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4/23/2014 7:33:08 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Contradiction:

"Morality consists of no demands. It consists of 'oughts' and 'ought not's.'"

"[Do not kill" and "You ought not to kill"] are not morals. They are demands made on the basis of a moral consideration."
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
dylancatlow
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4/23/2014 8:59:11 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/21/2014 10:33:30 PM, sdavio wrote:
At 4/21/2014 9:45:12 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 4/21/2014 8:48:10 PM, sdavio wrote:
At 4/21/2014 5:17:40 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 4/21/2014 4:28:33 AM, sdavio wrote:
Morality consists of demands; but an instruction manual isn't a moral guide, because it gives instructions, but only in reference to a (stated or implied) concrete outcome. It doesn't just say "Do X.", it says "Doing X will achieve Y." Therefore, all morality gives demands, which are in reference to no particular concrete outcome, or rather, are not solely justified in reference to it. It is a demand for action where what that action is a means to must always remain elusive.

The justification for objective morality would be: Y is good, so one should do or bring about Y (whatever that entails would be a secondary). You are merely asserting otherwise without adequately explaining yourself.

To just state it is good is not really a justification. What I meant by justification was that 'good' must always be so according to some standard or goal. To justify it would be to state by what standard it is good. But, then it wouldn't be good-in-itself. Hence it is self-defeating.

In order for something to be objectively moral, it needs to be moral according to reality's moral standard. Since reality constitutes what is, the good would be intrinsic in the sense that "good" and "moral standard" would coincide...reality would be "self-evaluating" and its meaning thereby intrinsic (of, by, and for itself).

In other words, as soon as a justification is provided (ie, as soon as the statement "Do X" becomes "Doing X will achieve Y,") it goes from a moral statement to an 'is' statement, in the same sense as an instruction manual.

If X has intrinsic meaning, then bringing about X through Y would be moral because of X, not because of doing Y. This can be easily seen in subjective morality. For instance, say we qualify each "should" with "according to John", so we get things like "X should be done according to John". If John thinks we should do A, but A requires that we do B, then on what basis could you say that it's not true that "according to John, we should do B"? We could easily say that we should do B because we should do A.

In subjective morality, the whole thing would be couched in an 'if' statement that, "If you prefer X", then the rest follows. There is no inherent value needed. However this is an admission of the subjective moralist which cannot be permitted to the objective moralist. Something must be good 'of itself', not as a means to any external justification. Therefore, if objective morality says "X is good", and someone asks "why?", the moralist must be able to sensibly answer "because it is X." It must be inherently preferable, according to nothing but itself. Of course in my view this is itself its own destruction, since it is all impossible.

If something is intrinsically good, then it is good in the same sense that X=X.


Now, could reality contain an inherent preference? If reality is a category for what is, what is true, then I would argue that 'should' statements cannot fit within that category. Reality could state that 'the cat is on the mat', but not that 'the cat is on the mat, but should be on the table', via the distinction I made in the OP that questions and demands do not have truth-functionality. Reality makes no comparison outside of itself; therefore it cannot compare anything to any standard.

Reality's moral standard is implicit in reality's structure. That's the point of self-actualization. Reality makes the distinction between that which it is and that which it is not. Reality's moral standard is set against what it is not.
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4/23/2014 9:02:43 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/23/2014 8:59:11 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 4/21/2014 10:33:30 PM, sdavio wrote:


Reality's moral standard is implicit in reality's structure. That's the point of self-actualization. Reality makes the distinction between that which it is and that which it is not. Reality's moral standard is set against what it is not.

This is how the is/ought problem is resolved btw. If something IS good, then what you're saying is that it would be preserved in reality's ultimate and final form. At this limit, is = ought.
sdavio
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4/23/2014 9:18:07 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/23/2014 8:59:11 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 4/21/2014 10:33:30 PM, sdavio wrote:
At 4/21/2014 9:45:12 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 4/21/2014 8:48:10 PM, sdavio wrote:
At 4/21/2014 5:17:40 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 4/21/2014 4:28:33 AM, sdavio wrote:
Morality consists of demands; but an instruction manual isn't a moral guide, because it gives instructions, but only in reference to a (stated or implied) concrete outcome. It doesn't just say "Do X.", it says "Doing X will achieve Y." Therefore, all morality gives demands, which are in reference to no particular concrete outcome, or rather, are not solely justified in reference to it. It is a demand for action where what that action is a means to must always remain elusive.

The justification for objective morality would be: Y is good, so one should do or bring about Y (whatever that entails would be a secondary). You are merely asserting otherwise without adequately explaining yourself.

To just state it is good is not really a justification. What I meant by justification was that 'good' must always be so according to some standard or goal. To justify it would be to state by what standard it is good. But, then it wouldn't be good-in-itself. Hence it is self-defeating.

In order for something to be objectively moral, it needs to be moral according to reality's moral standard. Since reality constitutes what is, the good would be intrinsic in the sense that "good" and "moral standard" would coincide...reality would be "self-evaluating" and its meaning thereby intrinsic (of, by, and for itself).

In other words, as soon as a justification is provided (ie, as soon as the statement "Do X" becomes "Doing X will achieve Y,") it goes from a moral statement to an 'is' statement, in the same sense as an instruction manual.

If X has intrinsic meaning, then bringing about X through Y would be moral because of X, not because of doing Y. This can be easily seen in subjective morality. For instance, say we qualify each "should" with "according to John", so we get things like "X should be done according to John". If John thinks we should do A, but A requires that we do B, then on what basis could you say that it's not true that "according to John, we should do B"? We could easily say that we should do B because we should do A.

In subjective morality, the whole thing would be couched in an 'if' statement that, "If you prefer X", then the rest follows. There is no inherent value needed. However this is an admission of the subjective moralist which cannot be permitted to the objective moralist. Something must be good 'of itself', not as a means to any external justification. Therefore, if objective morality says "X is good", and someone asks "why?", the moralist must be able to sensibly answer "because it is X." It must be inherently preferable, according to nothing but itself. Of course in my view this is itself its own destruction, since it is all impossible.

If something is intrinsically good, then it is good in the same sense that X=X.

Could you define 'good'?


Now, could reality contain an inherent preference? If reality is a category for what is, what is true, then I would argue that 'should' statements cannot fit within that category. Reality could state that 'the cat is on the mat', but not that 'the cat is on the mat, but should be on the table', via the distinction I made in the OP that questions and demands do not have truth-functionality. Reality makes no comparison outside of itself; therefore it cannot compare anything to any standard.

Reality's moral standard is implicit in reality's structure. That's the point of self-actualization. Reality makes the distinction between that which it is and that which it is not. Reality's moral standard is set against what it is not.

Are you saying that a 'distinction' obtains ontological existence independent from the objects it distinguishes?
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,244
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4/23/2014 9:25:10 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/23/2014 9:18:07 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 4/23/2014 8:59:11 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 4/21/2014 10:33:30 PM, sdavio wrote:
At 4/21/2014 9:45:12 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 4/21/2014 8:48:10 PM, sdavio wrote:
At 4/21/2014 5:17:40 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 4/21/2014 4:28:33 AM, sdavio wrote:
Morality consists of demands; but an instruction manual isn't a moral guide, because it gives instructions, but only in reference to a (stated or implied) concrete outcome. It doesn't just say "Do X.", it says "Doing X will achieve Y." Therefore, all morality gives demands, which are in reference to no particular concrete outcome, or rather, are not solely justified in reference to it. It is a demand for action where what that action is a means to must always remain elusive.

The justification for objective morality would be: Y is good, so one should do or bring about Y (whatever that entails would be a secondary). You are merely asserting otherwise without adequately explaining yourself.

To just state it is good is not really a justification. What I meant by justification was that 'good' must always be so according to some standard or goal. To justify it would be to state by what standard it is good. But, then it wouldn't be good-in-itself. Hence it is self-defeating.

In order for something to be objectively moral, it needs to be moral according to reality's moral standard. Since reality constitutes what is, the good would be intrinsic in the sense that "good" and "moral standard" would coincide...reality would be "self-evaluating" and its meaning thereby intrinsic (of, by, and for itself).

In other words, as soon as a justification is provided (ie, as soon as the statement "Do X" becomes "Doing X will achieve Y,") it goes from a moral statement to an 'is' statement, in the same sense as an instruction manual.

If X has intrinsic meaning, then bringing about X through Y would be moral because of X, not because of doing Y. This can be easily seen in subjective morality. For instance, say we qualify each "should" with "according to John", so we get things like "X should be done according to John". If John thinks we should do A, but A requires that we do B, then on what basis could you say that it's not true that "according to John, we should do B"? We could easily say that we should do B because we should do A.

In subjective morality, the whole thing would be couched in an 'if' statement that, "If you prefer X", then the rest follows. There is no inherent value needed. However this is an admission of the subjective moralist which cannot be permitted to the objective moralist. Something must be good 'of itself', not as a means to any external justification. Therefore, if objective morality says "X is good", and someone asks "why?", the moralist must be able to sensibly answer "because it is X." It must be inherently preferable, according to nothing but itself. Of course in my view this is itself its own destruction, since it is all impossible.

If something is intrinsically good, then it is good in the same sense that X=X.

Could you define 'good'?

Since a self-contained, causally closed universe does not have the luxury of external guidance, it needs to generate an intrinsic self-selection criterion in order to do this. Since utility is the name already given to the attribute which is maximized by any rational choice function, and since a totally self-actualizing system has the privilege of defining its own standard of rationality, we may as well speak of this self-selection criterion in terms of global or generic self-utility. That is, the self-actualizing universe must generate and retrieve information on the intrinsic utility content of various possible forms that it might take.

Maximization of utility = good

Now, could reality contain an inherent preference? If reality is a category for what is, what is true, then I would argue that 'should' statements cannot fit within that category. Reality could state that 'the cat is on the mat', but not that 'the cat is on the mat, but should be on the table', via the distinction I made in the OP that questions and demands do not have truth-functionality. Reality makes no comparison outside of itself; therefore it cannot compare anything to any standard.

Reality's moral standard is implicit in reality's structure. That's the point of self-actualization. Reality makes the distinction between that which it is and that which it is not. Reality's moral standard is set against what it is not.

Are you saying that a 'distinction' obtains ontological existence independent from the objects it distinguishes?

The distinction is implicit in reality. Reality IS the distinction.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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4/23/2014 1:29:06 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/23/2014 4:47:20 AM, Smithereens wrote:
How is "Do not kill." or "You ought not to kill." not a demand to an action?
They are not morals. They are demands made on the basis of a moral consideration. The basis is "It is wrong to kill." Therefore "Do not kill" is a morally justified demand.

But 'wrong' in "It is wrong to kill" itself translates in practical terms to a demand on each person to not kill.
No It doesn't. If something is wrong, why must we not do it?

Table manners are an example of morals. Dress code is an example of morals. Neither are examples of ethics, ethics seek to be universal in nature right of the bat.

But those moral rules are founded on ethical considerations, not on appeals to any particular outcome, so my argument applies by extension to both.
False, they are founded on culture, not ethics. Your argument therefore collapses.

Right here I call BS. Smith says that "table manners are an example of morals", then says that such things are founded on culture, and not ethics.

Morals essentially place a value upon an action, that being good or bad. Ethics is the code that dictates such action. Somewhere in the conversation one of you guys states as much and I found it convincing, but the above statement just looks like a semantics pretzel without any real meaning.
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?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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4/23/2014 3:50:51 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/23/2014 9:02:43 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 4/23/2014 8:59:11 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 4/21/2014 10:33:30 PM, sdavio wrote:


Reality's moral standard is implicit in reality's structure. That's the point of self-actualization. Reality makes the distinction between that which it is and that which it is not. Reality's moral standard is set against what it is not.

This is how the is/ought problem is resolved btw. If something IS good, then what you're saying is that it would be preserved in reality's ultimate and final form. At this limit, is = ought.

This doesn't make sense. Reality simply is. There's no "final form" to reality. By this logic, the devil is "good" because the devil exists.
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?
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,244
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4/23/2014 5:09:23 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/23/2014 3:50:51 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 4/23/2014 9:02:43 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 4/23/2014 8:59:11 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 4/21/2014 10:33:30 PM, sdavio wrote:


Reality's moral standard is implicit in reality's structure. That's the point of self-actualization. Reality makes the distinction between that which it is and that which it is not. Reality's moral standard is set against what it is not.

This is how the is/ought problem is resolved btw. If something IS good, then what you're saying is that it would be preserved in reality's ultimate and final form. At this limit, is = ought.

This doesn't make sense. Reality simply is. There's no "final form" to reality. By this logic, the devil is "good" because the devil exists.

What was the point of this comment?