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Skepticism and Ridiculous Conclusions

xXCryptoXx
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11/5/2014 9:07:29 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I find that in these modern days of philosophy, philosophers, especially skeptics and relativists, tend to find themselves making conclusions that have no bearing on the good of one's self or society.

Sadolite once said something along the lines that, "Anything can be made "moral" with enough desensitization."

I think this applies soundly today. It seems that philosophers busy themselves far too much with what we can do, not what we should do. They come to conclusions as far fetched as bestiality, infanticide, and child pornography being morally permissible. They stop asking, "What is best for ourselves and what is best for our society?" and instead ask "What exactly can we get away with?" The latter question combined with skepticism, nihilism, and relativism forms horrible conclusions. Conclusions like if a person in a coma has no rights (a position I would disagree with), then it is morally permissible for a doctor to rape that person since the person in a coma, even if they woke up, would not remember being raped nor be affected by it.

I think that this push for insensitivity, selfishness, and desensitization of the status quo will have dastardly affects on the future of our society.
Nolite Timere
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
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11/5/2014 10:26:45 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/5/2014 9:07:29 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
I find that in these modern days of philosophy, philosophers, especially skeptics and relativists, tend to find themselves making conclusions that have no bearing on the good of one's self or society.

Sadolite once said something along the lines that, "Anything can be made "moral" with enough desensitization."

I think this applies soundly today. It seems that philosophers busy themselves far too much with what we can do, not what we should do. They come to conclusions as far fetched as bestiality, infanticide, and child pornography being morally permissible. They stop asking, "What is best for ourselves and what is best for our society?" and instead ask "What exactly can we get away with?" The latter question combined with skepticism, nihilism, and relativism forms horrible conclusions. Conclusions like if a person in a coma has no rights (a position I would disagree with), then it is morally permissible for a doctor to rape that person since the person in a coma, even if they woke up, would not remember being raped nor be affected by it.

I think that this push for insensitivity, selfishness, and desensitization of the status quo will have dastardly affects on the future of our society.

Relativism is not the belief in a society without values; it's the belief values are relative to an individual and his, or her, society. It's not a dismissal of values but a realization values exist other than one's own.

Being a relativist doesn't mean the allowance of total moral depravity; that's defined as being a depraved human being. Being a relativist means I have morals but those morals are relative to me and the society in which I live.
missmedic
Posts: 390
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11/6/2014 12:10:05 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Philosophy is inescapable.
Your philosophy is your worldview, which is a backdrop for all thought and a context for all knowledge. The decision about examining philosophy is between: 1) to make your philosophy explicit, or 2) to be a slave to the subconscious notions, principles, and other people's philosophies picked up throughout life. To ignore the topic of philosophy is to be doomed to the second choice. Examining your philosophy will allow you to discover and root out all errors and contradictions and allow you to more easily acquire knowledge and to think in concepts rather than concretes.
sdavio
Posts: 1,801
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11/6/2014 7:51:18 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Ironically this is kind of a relativist way of arguing that since you're arguing on the basis of the pragmatic value of the philosophy rather than the 'objective truth' of it. If we should accept as true whatever is "best for ourselves and society," then that is a pragmatic, relativistic view of truth and morality.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
fazz
Posts: 1,617
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11/6/2014 11:02:08 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/5/2014 10:26:45 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 11/5/2014 9:07:29 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
I find that in these modern days of philosophy, philosophers, especially skeptics and relativists, tend to find themselves making conclusions that have no bearing on the good of one's self or society.

Sadolite once said something along the lines that, "Anything can be made "moral" with enough desensitization."

I think this applies soundly today. It seems that philosophers busy themselves far too much with what we can do, not what we should do. They come to conclusions as far fetched as bestiality, infanticide, and child pornography being morally permissible. They stop asking, "What is best for ourselves and what is best for our society?" and instead ask "What exactly can we get away with?" The latter question combined with skepticism, nihilism, and relativism forms horrible conclusions. Conclusions like if a person in a coma has no rights (a position I would disagree with), then it is morally permissible for a doctor to rape that person since the person in a coma, even if they woke up, would not remember being raped nor be affected by it.

I think that this push for insensitivity, selfishness, and desensitization of the status quo will have dastardly affects on the future of our society.

Relativism is not the belief in a society without values; it's the belief values are relative to an individual and his, or her, society. It's not a dismissal of values but a realization values exist other than one's own.

Being a relativist doesn't mean the allowance of total moral depravity; that's defined as being a depraved human being. Being a relativist means I have morals but those morals are relative to me and the society in which I live.

But this assumes a 'shared' morality - so in some sense homogenous societies have objective outlooks?
mortsdor
Posts: 1,181
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11/6/2014 11:22:40 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/5/2014 10:26:45 PM, s-anthony wrote:
Being a relativist means I have morals but those morals are relative to me and the society in which I live.

This ^^

as well as possibly relative to a human perspective generally.
mortsdor
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11/6/2014 11:24:11 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/5/2014 9:07:29 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
They stop asking, "What is best for ourselves and what is best for our society?" and instead ask "What exactly can we get away with?"

Which relativist philosophers ask this? o.O
s-anthony
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11/6/2014 1:16:48 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Relativism is not the belief in a society without values; it's the belief values are relative to an individual and his, or her, society. It's not a dismissal of values but a realization values exist other than one's own.

Being a relativist doesn't mean the allowance of total moral depravity; that's defined as being a depraved human being. Being a relativist means I have morals but those morals are relative to me and the society in which I live.

But this assumes a 'shared' morality - so in some sense homogenous societies have objective outlooks?

True. There is objectivity to the extent objectivity is found; however, the objectivity of a homogeneous society is relative to that society. This is not to say any society is in complete agreement; if it were, you would have, merely, a collective without individual personalities; and, a collective without individuals is no collective, at all; a collective means just that, a collection of individual members.
fazz
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11/6/2014 1:35:08 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/6/2014 1:16:48 PM, s-anthony wrote:
Relativism is not the belief in a society without values; it's the belief values are relative to an individual and his, or her, society. It's not a dismissal of values but a realization values exist other than one's own.

Being a relativist doesn't mean the allowance of total moral depravity; that's defined as being a depraved human being. Being a relativist means I have morals but those morals are relative to me and the society in which I live.

But this assumes a 'shared' morality - so in some sense homogenous societies have objective outlooks?

True. There is objectivity to the extent objectivity is found; however, the objectivity of a homogeneous society is relative to that society.

Well, I see society as made of up of "pockets" of morality. Each pocket indeed is homogenous as much as it is possible. I think, the most intelligent people in society learn to conform. It is not useful, within the dynamic of modern life to spend time thinking about irrelevant problems like Politics and Foreign Policy. So we defer to experts. In doing so, we protect our society from individualist thought. We defer outside-the-box thinking to authors and knowledgable sources so we can go on living within our group of society within that pocket of morality.

This is not to say any society is in complete agreement; if it were, you would have, merely, a collective without individual personalities; a collective without individuals is no collective, at all; a collective means just that, a collection of individual members.

Individualism exists but I think the overall tendency is to become centered. In some way, I think about Liberals and GOP who seem to disagree in public but nonetheless pass the same policies. There is a strong attraction towards the middle. As individuals we are capable of subjective thought. But as citizens we learn to be objective and centrists who believe in the collective. In some sense, subjectivity is the doubt we harbor, and the objectivity is the hope and faith we express in our future.
s-anthony
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11/6/2014 1:40:38 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/6/2014 11:22:40 AM, mortsdor wrote:
At 11/5/2014 10:26:45 PM, s-anthony wrote:
Being a relativist means I have morals but those morals are relative to me and the society in which I live.

This ^^

as well as possibly relative to a human perspective generally.

Agree.
xXCryptoXx
Posts: 5,000
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11/6/2014 3:12:35 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/5/2014 10:26:45 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 11/5/2014 9:07:29 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
I find that in these modern days of philosophy, philosophers, especially skeptics and relativists, tend to find themselves making conclusions that have no bearing on the good of one's self or society.

Sadolite once said something along the lines that, "Anything can be made "moral" with enough desensitization."

I think this applies soundly today. It seems that philosophers busy themselves far too much with what we can do, not what we should do. They come to conclusions as far fetched as bestiality, infanticide, and child pornography being morally permissible. They stop asking, "What is best for ourselves and what is best for our society?" and instead ask "What exactly can we get away with?" The latter question combined with skepticism, nihilism, and relativism forms horrible conclusions. Conclusions like if a person in a coma has no rights (a position I would disagree with), then it is morally permissible for a doctor to rape that person since the person in a coma, even if they woke up, would not remember being raped nor be affected by it.

I think that this push for insensitivity, selfishness, and desensitization of the status quo will have dastardly affects on the future of our society.

Relativism is not the belief in a society without values; it's the belief values are relative to an individual and his, or her, society. It's not a dismissal of values but a realization values exist other than one's own.

I understand this. However, this also opens up the possibility that if a society or individual values sacrificing children to the sun god, then such an act would be morally permissible since it is based on the values and desires of the society. In other words, there is no savage, unjust, or immoral culture, there are only different cultures. Such a position is, in my opinion, absurd. Certain acts, when taking into account the ultimate good of the individual and his society, are immoral and impermissible, regardless of the society's or individual's desire.

Being a relativist doesn't mean the allowance of total moral depravity; that's defined as being a depraved human being. Being a relativist means I have morals but those morals are relative to me and the society in which I live.
Nolite Timere
xXCryptoXx
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11/6/2014 3:13:46 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/6/2014 11:24:11 AM, mortsdor wrote:
At 11/5/2014 9:07:29 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
They stop asking, "What is best for ourselves and what is best for our society?" and instead ask "What exactly can we get away with?"

Which relativist philosophers ask this? o.O

Anyone (and there are quite a few) that advocates the permissibly of child pornography, bestiality, infanticide, ect.
Nolite Timere
mortsdor
Posts: 1,181
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11/6/2014 3:20:02 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/6/2014 3:13:46 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
At 11/6/2014 11:24:11 AM, mortsdor wrote:
At 11/5/2014 9:07:29 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
They stop asking, "What is best for ourselves and what is best for our society?" and instead ask "What exactly can we get away with?"

Which relativist philosophers ask this? o.O

Anyone (and there are quite a few) that advocates the permissibly of child pornography, bestiality, infanticide, ect.

I really doubt any of them term this "what we can get away with"

and I would think the vast majority of relativistic philosophers would suggest that they themselves, as with most people, would object to most such things, and rather that they do not occur... And that most would support Discouraging such things by use of force...
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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11/6/2014 3:27:41 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/6/2014 3:12:35 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
At 11/5/2014 10:26:45 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 11/5/2014 9:07:29 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
I find that in these modern days of philosophy, philosophers, especially skeptics and relativists, tend to find themselves making conclusions that have no bearing on the good of one's self or society.

Sadolite once said something along the lines that, "Anything can be made "moral" with enough desensitization."

I think this applies soundly today. It seems that philosophers busy themselves far too much with what we can do, not what we should do. They come to conclusions as far fetched as bestiality, infanticide, and child pornography being morally permissible. They stop asking, "What is best for ourselves and what is best for our society?" and instead ask "What exactly can we get away with?" The latter question combined with skepticism, nihilism, and relativism forms horrible conclusions. Conclusions like if a person in a coma has no rights (a position I would disagree with), then it is morally permissible for a doctor to rape that person since the person in a coma, even if they woke up, would not remember being raped nor be affected by it.

I think that this push for insensitivity, selfishness, and desensitization of the status quo will have dastardly affects on the future of our society.

Relativism is not the belief in a society without values; it's the belief values are relative to an individual and his, or her, society. It's not a dismissal of values but a realization values exist other than one's own.

I understand this. However, this also opens up the possibility that if a society or individual values sacrificing children to the sun god, then such an act would be morally permissible since it is based on the values and desires of the society.

Yep, and what is your problem with that? You need to complete your argument.

In other words, there is no savage, unjust, or immoral culture, there are only different cultures.

No.

Such a position is, in my opinion, absurd.

Ok?

Certain acts, when taking into account the ultimate good of the individual and his society, are immoral and impermissible, regardless of the society's or individual's desire.

Good luck demonstrating that.

Being a relativist doesn't mean the allowance of total moral depravity; that's defined as being a depraved human being. Being a relativist means I have morals but those morals are relative to me and the society in which I live.
xXCryptoXx
Posts: 5,000
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11/6/2014 4:10:25 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/6/2014 3:27:41 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 11/6/2014 3:12:35 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
At 11/5/2014 10:26:45 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 11/5/2014 9:07:29 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
I find that in these modern days of philosophy, philosophers, especially skeptics and relativists, tend to find themselves making conclusions that have no bearing on the good of one's self or society.

Sadolite once said something along the lines that, "Anything can be made "moral" with enough desensitization."

I think this applies soundly today. It seems that philosophers busy themselves far too much with what we can do, not what we should do. They come to conclusions as far fetched as bestiality, infanticide, and child pornography being morally permissible. They stop asking, "What is best for ourselves and what is best for our society?" and instead ask "What exactly can we get away with?" The latter question combined with skepticism, nihilism, and relativism forms horrible conclusions. Conclusions like if a person in a coma has no rights (a position I would disagree with), then it is morally permissible for a doctor to rape that person since the person in a coma, even if they woke up, would not remember being raped nor be affected by it.

I think that this push for insensitivity, selfishness, and desensitization of the status quo will have dastardly affects on the future of our society.

Relativism is not the belief in a society without values; it's the belief values are relative to an individual and his, or her, society. It's not a dismissal of values but a realization values exist other than one's own.

I understand this. However, this also opens up the possibility that if a society or individual values sacrificing children to the sun god, then such an act would be morally permissible since it is based on the values and desires of the society.

Yep, and what is your problem with that? You need to complete your argument.

The problem is that this is immoral. It is bad. Yet your philosophy doesn't think so and that really pulls my pickle.

In other words, there is no savage, unjust, or immoral culture, there are only different cultures.

No.

Oh, so then the Aztecs were savage, unjust, and immoral? If yes, then you contradict your previous answer.

Such a position is, in my opinion, absurd.

Ok?

Certain acts, when taking into account the ultimate good of the individual and his society, are immoral and impermissible, regardless of the society's or individual's desire.

Good luck demonstrating that.

Its answers like this that frustrate me so much with nihilism, relativism, and skepticism.

It doesn't matter what we desire, it matters what is for the ultimate good.

Being a relativist doesn't mean the allowance of total moral depravity; that's defined as being a depraved human being. Being a relativist means I have morals but those morals are relative to me and the society in which I live.
Nolite Timere
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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11/6/2014 4:25:33 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/6/2014 4:10:25 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
At 11/6/2014 3:27:41 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 11/6/2014 3:12:35 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
At 11/5/2014 10:26:45 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 11/5/2014 9:07:29 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
I find that in these modern days of philosophy, philosophers, especially skeptics and relativists, tend to find themselves making conclusions that have no bearing on the good of one's self or society.

Sadolite once said something along the lines that, "Anything can be made "moral" with enough desensitization."

I think this applies soundly today. It seems that philosophers busy themselves far too much with what we can do, not what we should do. They come to conclusions as far fetched as bestiality, infanticide, and child pornography being morally permissible. They stop asking, "What is best for ourselves and what is best for our society?" and instead ask "What exactly can we get away with?" The latter question combined with skepticism, nihilism, and relativism forms horrible conclusions. Conclusions like if a person in a coma has no rights (a position I would disagree with), then it is morally permissible for a doctor to rape that person since the person in a coma, even if they woke up, would not remember being raped nor be affected by it.

I think that this push for insensitivity, selfishness, and desensitization of the status quo will have dastardly affects on the future of our society.

Relativism is not the belief in a society without values; it's the belief values are relative to an individual and his, or her, society. It's not a dismissal of values but a realization values exist other than one's own.

I understand this. However, this also opens up the possibility that if a society or individual values sacrificing children to the sun god, then such an act would be morally permissible since it is based on the values and desires of the society.

Yep, and what is your problem with that? You need to complete your argument.

The problem is that this is immoral. It is bad. Yet your philosophy doesn't think so and that really pulls my pickle.

Define 'bad'.

In other words, there is no savage, unjust, or immoral culture, there are only different cultures.

No.

Oh, so then the Aztecs were savage, unjust, and immoral? If yes, then you contradict your previous answer.

I was responding mostly to your massive logical jump from:

1. Something based on individual I values

To

2. Non-existance of savage/immoral/unjust culture

Which was a laughable jump on the face of it.

In response to your irrelevant question, not, not until you define 'immoral'. Savage & Just can easily be defined in non-moral terms, so there is no contradiction in me affirming it was savage & unjust, however.

Such a position is, in my opinion, absurd.

Ok?

Certain acts, when taking into account the ultimate good of the individual and his society, are immoral and impermissible, regardless of the society's or individual's desire.

Good luck demonstrating that.

Its answers like this that frustrate me so much with nihilism, relativism, and skepticism.

It doesn't matter what we desire, it matters what is for the ultimate good.

Again, good luck demonstrating that. Which you haven't tried to do yet,

Being a relativist doesn't mean the allowance of total moral depravity; that's defined as being a depraved human being. Being a relativist means I have morals but those morals are relative to me and the society in which I live.
xXCryptoXx
Posts: 5,000
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11/6/2014 6:40:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/6/2014 4:25:33 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 11/6/2014 4:10:25 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
At 11/6/2014 3:27:41 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 11/6/2014 3:12:35 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
At 11/5/2014 10:26:45 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 11/5/2014 9:07:29 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
I find that in these modern days of philosophy, philosophers, especially skeptics and relativists, tend to find themselves making conclusions that have no bearing on the good of one's self or society.

Sadolite once said something along the lines that, "Anything can be made "moral" with enough desensitization."

I think this applies soundly today. It seems that philosophers busy themselves far too much with what we can do, not what we should do. They come to conclusions as far fetched as bestiality, infanticide, and child pornography being morally permissible. They stop asking, "What is best for ourselves and what is best for our society?" and instead ask "What exactly can we get away with?" The latter question combined with skepticism, nihilism, and relativism forms horrible conclusions. Conclusions like if a person in a coma has no rights (a position I would disagree with), then it is morally permissible for a doctor to rape that person since the person in a coma, even if they woke up, would not remember being raped nor be affected by it.

I think that this push for insensitivity, selfishness, and desensitization of the status quo will have dastardly affects on the future of our society.

Relativism is not the belief in a society without values; it's the belief values are relative to an individual and his, or her, society. It's not a dismissal of values but a realization values exist other than one's own.

I understand this. However, this also opens up the possibility that if a society or individual values sacrificing children to the sun god, then such an act would be morally permissible since it is based on the values and desires of the society.

Yep, and what is your problem with that? You need to complete your argument.

The problem is that this is immoral. It is bad. Yet your philosophy doesn't think so and that really pulls my pickle.

Define 'bad'.

In other words, there is no savage, unjust, or immoral culture, there are only different cultures.

No.

Oh, so then the Aztecs were savage, unjust, and immoral? If yes, then you contradict your previous answer.

I was responding mostly to your massive logical jump from:

1. Something based on individual I values

To

2. Non-existance of savage/immoral/unjust culture

Because nothing is immoral from a certain point of view, or desire. Since the individuals and the society of the Aztecs desired to sacrifice people to their god, then it therefore wasn't immoral.

Which was a laughable jump on the face of it.

In response to your irrelevant question, not, not until you define 'immoral'. Savage & Just can easily be defined in non-moral terms, so there is no contradiction in me affirming it was savage & unjust, however.

Such a position is, in my opinion, absurd.

Ok?

Certain acts, when taking into account the ultimate good of the individual and his society, are immoral and impermissible, regardless of the society's or individual's desire.

Good luck demonstrating that.

Its answers like this that frustrate me so much with nihilism, relativism, and skepticism.

It doesn't matter what we desire, it matters what is for the ultimate good.

Again, good luck demonstrating that. Which you haven't tried to do yet,

Do you deny that we should all act towards the greatest good?

Being a relativist doesn't mean the allowance of total moral depravity; that's defined as being a depraved human being. Being a relativist means I have morals but those morals are relative to me and the society in which I live.
Nolite Timere
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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11/6/2014 6:52:32 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/6/2014 6:40:37 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
At 11/6/2014 4:25:33 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 11/6/2014 4:10:25 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
At 11/6/2014 3:27:41 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 11/6/2014 3:12:35 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
At 11/5/2014 10:26:45 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 11/5/2014 9:07:29 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
I find that in these modern days of philosophy, philosophers, especially skeptics and relativists, tend to find themselves making conclusions that have no bearing on the good of one's self or society.

Sadolite once said something along the lines that, "Anything can be made "moral" with enough desensitization."

I think this applies soundly today. It seems that philosophers busy themselves far too much with what we can do, not what we should do. They come to conclusions as far fetched as bestiality, infanticide, and child pornography being morally permissible. They stop asking, "What is best for ourselves and what is best for our society?" and instead ask "What exactly can we get away with?" The latter question combined with skepticism, nihilism, and relativism forms horrible conclusions. Conclusions like if a person in a coma has no rights (a position I would disagree with), then it is morally permissible for a doctor to rape that person since the person in a coma, even if they woke up, would not remember being raped nor be affected by it.

I think that this push for insensitivity, selfishness, and desensitization of the status quo will have dastardly affects on the future of our society.

Relativism is not the belief in a society without values; it's the belief values are relative to an individual and his, or her, society. It's not a dismissal of values but a realization values exist other than one's own.

I understand this. However, this also opens up the possibility that if a society or individual values sacrificing children to the sun god, then such an act would be morally permissible since it is based on the values and desires of the society.

Yep, and what is your problem with that? You need to complete your argument.

The problem is that this is immoral. It is bad. Yet your philosophy doesn't think so and that really pulls my pickle.

Define 'bad'.

Still waiting. Also define 'immoral'.

In other words, there is no savage, unjust, or immoral culture, there are only different cultures.

No.

Oh, so then the Aztecs were savage, unjust, and immoral? If yes, then you contradict your previous answer.

I was responding mostly to your massive logical jump from:

1. Something based on individual I values

To

2. Non-existance of savage/immoral/unjust culture

Because nothing is immoral from a certain point of view, or desire. Since the individuals and the society of the Aztecs desired to sacrifice people to their god, then it therefore wasn't immoral.

It would only lead to unjust/savage behaviour if that's within the values of the members of society. If society actually values unjust and savage behaviour, then I struggle to see what grounds upon which you can argue it is 'wrong'.

Just because it makes such behaviour possibly encompassed by their moral definition, doesn't mean it will. In either case it's not an argument, and just a whine. "I don't like it, therefore it's false".

Also how can you argue it's immoral behaviour, if the values which lead to that behaviour is because such behaviour is moral by their subjective values. Arguments can be made that such values are myopic and not representative of deeper values they hold, but at the very least your presuppositions about what is moral is contentious.

Which was a laughable jump on the face of it.

In response to your irrelevant question, not, not until you define 'immoral'. Savage & Just can easily be defined in non-moral terms, so there is no contradiction in me affirming it was savage & unjust, however.

Such a position is, in my opinion, absurd.

Ok?

Certain acts, when taking into account the ultimate good of the individual and his society, are immoral and impermissible, regardless of the society's or individual's desire.

Good luck demonstrating that.

Its answers like this that frustrate me so much with nihilism, relativism, and skepticism.

It doesn't matter what we desire, it matters what is for the ultimate good.

Again, good luck demonstrating that. Which you haven't tried to do yet,

Do you deny that we should all act towards the greatest good?

Define 'greatest good'. And no, because I don't hold that phrase to be cognitive. Any should necessarily requires a conditional, you ought to x if you want y, etc.

Just a bare statement, a bare 'ought' is meaningless on it's own.

For example, you ought not to murder if you don't want to go to jail. You ought not to hit your wife, if you value your marriage. Etc. They all come back to our own values ultimately.

Being a relativist doesn't mean the allowance of total moral depravity; that's defined as being a depraved human being. Being a relativist means I have morals but those morals are relative to me and the society in which I live.
Wocambs
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11/6/2014 7:22:08 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/6/2014 1:35:08 PM, fazz wrote:
At 11/6/2014 1:16:48 PM, s-anthony wrote:
Relativism is not the belief in a society without values; it's the belief values are relative to an individual and his, or her, society. It's not a dismissal of values but a realization values exist other than one's own.

Being a relativist doesn't mean the allowance of total moral depravity; that's defined as being a depraved human being. Being a relativist means I have morals but those morals are relative to me and the society in which I live.

But this assumes a 'shared' morality - so in some sense homogenous societies have objective outlooks?

True. There is objectivity to the extent objectivity is found; however, the objectivity of a homogeneous society is relative to that society.

Well, I see society as made of up of "pockets" of morality. Each pocket indeed is homogenous as much as it is possible. I think, the most intelligent people in society learn to conform. It is not useful, within the dynamic of modern life to spend time thinking about irrelevant problems like Politics and Foreign Policy. So we defer to experts. In doing so, we protect our society from individualist thought. We defer outside-the-box thinking to authors and knowledgable sources so we can go on living within our group of society within that pocket of morality.

This is not to say any society is in complete agreement; if it were, you would have, merely, a collective without individual personalities; a collective without individuals is no collective, at all; a collective means just that, a collection of individual members.

Individualism exists but I think the overall tendency is to become centered. In some way, I think about Liberals and GOP who seem to disagree in public but nonetheless pass the same policies. There is a strong attraction towards the middle. As individuals we are capable of subjective thought. But as citizens we learn to be objective and centrists who believe in the collective. In some sense, subjectivity is the doubt we harbor, and the objectivity is the hope and faith we express in our future.

Well damn, they've really managed to pull the wool over your eyes.
the_croftmeister
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11/6/2014 8:06:39 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/6/2014 3:12:35 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
At 11/5/2014 10:26:45 PM, s-anthony wrote:
Relativism is not the belief in a society without values; it's the belief values are relative to an individual and his, or her, society. It's not a dismissal of values but a realization values exist other than one's own.

I understand this. However, this also opens up the possibility that if a society or individual values sacrificing children to the sun god, then such an act would be morally permissible since it is based on the values and desires of the society.

I see a problem with the above, primarily where the act is judged as morally permissible. This is not my interpretation of relativism. I am free to judge that culture as immoral, but it is still only me doing the judging. The act would be morally permissible 'within' the culture, but there is nothing stopping me from judging the opposite.

In fact to rephrase in relativist terms I would say the following.
A. The members of the culture judge the sacrifice of children as morally permissible
B. I judge the sacrifice of children as morally impermissible
C. I judge the members of the culture as morally unsound because they judge the sacrifice of children as morally permissible

'Sacrificing children is morally permissible' is not a true statement not because it is false, but because it relies on the enthymeme identifying who is doing the judging.

Relativism doesn't say I can't judge other people for their moral values, in fact, it affirms my right to do this. What it does however, is recognise that my values do not have any special significance to anyone other than myself (unless they choose to adopt my views). You are also free to act on those judgements.

In other words, there is no savage, unjust, or immoral culture, there are only different cultures.

Depending on how you translate this, it could be true. There can be savage, unjust and immoral cultures according to you, or even according to people within the culture. The description of a culture as savage, unjust or immoral is always attributable to a person, asking whether that person is right or wrong in that judgement is to a large extent pointless.

Such a position is, in my opinion, absurd.

Let's try this in a different way. The world has no position on morality (it doesn't think), thus it's position could as a default be to say there are no moral, immoral, savage or civilised cultures. (I would instead argue that ascribing a position on morality to the world is a silly idea to begin with, but let's go with that for now)

This position for the world is not absurd, since it has no hopes, dreams or desires.

For a person however, to hold this position is, as you said, absurd, for it gives them no way to choose how to act and what to change. Relativism in my book does not have to affirm that the amorality of the world necessitates the amorality of the individual.

Certain acts, when taking into account the ultimate good of the individual and his society, are immoral and impermissible, regardless of the society's or individual's desire.
Who's position is this? You are free to judge this way, but can you speak for the world?
s-anthony
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11/6/2014 9:56:42 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Well, I see society as made of up of "pockets" of morality. Each pocket indeed is homogenous as much as it is possible. I think, the most intelligent people in society learn to conform. It is not useful, within the dynamic of modern life to spend time thinking about irrelevant problems like Politics and Foreign Policy. So we defer to experts. In doing so, we protect our society from individualist thought. We defer outside-the-box thinking to authors and knowledgable sources so we can go on living within our group of society within that pocket of morality.

However, I don't think any objective morality is completely relative to a single society. I believe objectivity connects one society to another; in other words, objective values are found globally, like the universal value for human life, whether one's own or others. However, even though we may all put a value on human life, that value is determined individually, as in placing different values on different people, and collectively, as in the values placed on individuals in a society.

Intelligence is defined by society and its members; you may have more of a collective definition for intelligence, or you may have more of an individualistic definition for it. Either way, meaning is both objective and subjective; it's both agreeable and disagreeable.

Relevance is also relative. Deferring such issues to experts is not protecting society from the individual; for, the experts are also individuals; it's deferring power into the hands of others.

This is not to say any society is in complete agreement; if it were, you would have, merely, a collective without individual personalities; a collective without individuals is no collective, at all; a collective means just that, a collection of individual members.

Individualism exists but I think the overall tendency is to become centered. In some way, I think about Liberals and GOP who seem to disagree in public but nonetheless pass the same policies. There is a strong attraction towards the middle. As individuals we are capable of subjective thought. But as citizens we learn to be objective and centrists who believe in the collective. In some sense, subjectivity is the doubt we harbor, and the objectivity is the hope and faith we express in our future.

The overall tendency to become centered is an intrinsic need for stability. If the individual is too independent, too isolated from society, he, or she, stunts his, or her, growth as a social species and will eventually die from loneliness. Other than execution, American prisons utilize isolation as the severest form of punishment for inmates. If the individual loses his, or her, identity to the collective, becoming completely irresponsible and an absolute burden on society, it is clear by his, or her, despondency to life he, or she, has given up and will waste away through passive suicide. Even though these instances sound like extremes, the greatest incidence of suicide in America is found among the elderly who have become despondent either through loneliness or from the perception of being a burden to one's family or society.
s-anthony
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11/6/2014 11:04:29 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I understand this. However, this also opens up the possibility that if a society or individual values sacrificing children to the sun god, then such an act would be morally permissible since it is based on the values and desires of the society.

If a society existed in this day and age that condoned the act of human sacrifice, the global community would condemn it and may even go to war to stop it.

Moral relativism does not support the idea that morality does not exist. It says that which one may value, another may not; and, it's because of moral relativism, not in spite of it, one may see as patently evil that which someone else sees as good.

In other words, there is no savage, unjust, or immoral culture, there are only different cultures.

That clearly is not moral relativism. Again, moral relativism does not teach or has it ever taught amorality. It allows for disagreement in ethics. One country's disapproval of another country's actions is a clear indication of moral relativism.

Such a position is, in my opinion, absurd. Certain acts, when taking into account the ultimate good of the individual and his society, are immoral and impermissible, regardless of the society's or individual's desire.

I agree.
Adam_Godzilla
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11/7/2014 3:50:14 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/5/2014 9:07:29 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
I find that in these modern days of philosophy, philosophers, especially skeptics and relativists, tend to find themselves making conclusions that have no bearing on the good of one's self or society.

Sadolite once said something along the lines that, "Anything can be made "moral" with enough desensitization."

I think this applies soundly today. It seems that philosophers busy themselves far too much with what we can do, not what we should do. They come to conclusions as far fetched as bestiality, infanticide, and child pornography being morally permissible. They stop asking, "What is best for ourselves and what is best for our society?" and instead ask "What exactly can we get away with?" The latter question combined with skepticism, nihilism, and relativism forms horrible conclusions. Conclusions like if a person in a coma has no rights (a position I would disagree with), then it is morally permissible for a doctor to rape that person since the person in a coma, even if they woke up, would not remember being raped nor be affected by it.

I think that this push for insensitivity, selfishness, and desensitization of the status quo will have dastardly affects on the future of our society.

Rarely do I find people with the same thoughts or ideas as I have. Occasionally I find those people in DDO. Crypto, I just want to say I so absolutely agree with this post that it's hard to comment on it. But I'll just say: Well said buddy.
New episode of OUTSIDERS: http://www.debate.org...
Episode 4 - They walk among us
mortsdor
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11/7/2014 11:01:09 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/6/2014 6:40:37 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
Do you deny that we should all act towards the greatest good?

from a relativistic viewpoint it doesn't make sense to pursue any "good" but that derived from your perspective....

some Other good wouldn't even qualify as a good...

so the question presumes things (like Absolute/Completely universal goods) which don't exist from a relativistic viewpoint.

For example, the Intelligent Insectoid Alien who is devoid of Empathy that I mentioned earlier... it would hardly have any reason to pursue your goods, or general Humanity's goods.
xXCryptoXx
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11/7/2014 7:18:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/6/2014 6:52:32 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 11/6/2014 6:40:37 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
At 11/6/2014 4:25:33 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 11/6/2014 4:10:25 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
At 11/6/2014 3:27:41 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 11/6/2014 3:12:35 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
At 11/5/2014 10:26:45 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 11/5/2014 9:07:29 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
I find that in these modern days of philosophy, philosophers, especially skeptics and relativists, tend to find themselves making conclusions that have no bearing on the good of one's self or society.

Sadolite once said something along the lines that, "Anything can be made "moral" with enough desensitization."

I think this applies soundly today. It seems that philosophers busy themselves far too much with what we can do, not what we should do. They come to conclusions as far fetched as bestiality, infanticide, and child pornography being morally permissible. They stop asking, "What is best for ourselves and what is best for our society?" and instead ask "What exactly can we get away with?" The latter question combined with skepticism, nihilism, and relativism forms horrible conclusions. Conclusions like if a person in a coma has no rights (a position I would disagree with), then it is morally permissible for a doctor to rape that person since the person in a coma, even if they woke up, would not remember being raped nor be affected by it.

I think that this push for insensitivity, selfishness, and desensitization of the status quo will have dastardly affects on the future of our society.

Relativism is not the belief in a society without values; it's the belief values are relative to an individual and his, or her, society. It's not a dismissal of values but a realization values exist other than one's own.

I understand this. However, this also opens up the possibility that if a society or individual values sacrificing children to the sun god, then such an act would be morally permissible since it is based on the values and desires of the society.

Yep, and what is your problem with that? You need to complete your argument.

The problem is that this is immoral. It is bad. Yet your philosophy doesn't think so and that really pulls my pickle.

Define 'bad'.

Still waiting. Also define 'immoral'.

Anything that goes against the individual's good or the good of his society. Of course this is loosely defined, but it makes the general point. "Good" can also be made by different moral standards, whether it be altruistic, utilitarianistic, or egotistic.

I hate arguments like this, because there seems little point in discussing morality with someone who hardly even believes in it.

In other words, there is no savage, unjust, or immoral culture, there are only different cultures.

No.

Oh, so then the Aztecs were savage, unjust, and immoral? If yes, then you contradict your previous answer.

I was responding mostly to your massive logical jump from:

1. Something based on individual I values

To

2. Non-existance of savage/immoral/unjust culture

Because nothing is immoral from a certain point of view, or desire. Since the individuals and the society of the Aztecs desired to sacrifice people to their god, then it therefore wasn't immoral.

It would only lead to unjust/savage behaviour if that's within the values of the members of society. If society actually values unjust and savage behaviour, then I struggle to see what grounds upon which you can argue it is 'wrong'.

Just because it makes such behaviour possibly encompassed by their moral definition, doesn't mean it will. In either case it's not an argument, and just a whine. "I don't like it, therefore it's false".

It has, in fact. And the fact that it has and by your philosophy their acts aren't immoral shows the absurdity of such a position. The fact that something can be both moral and not moral proves that morality has no existence at all (It violates the law of noncontradiction) and is just a purely worthless, subjective, human construct.

Also how can you argue it's immoral behaviour, if the values which lead to that behaviour is because such behaviour is moral by their subjective values. Arguments can be made that such values are myopic and not representative of deeper values they hold, but at the very least your presuppositions about what is moral is contentious.

Which was a laughable jump on the face of it.

In response to your irrelevant question, not, not until you define 'immoral'. Savage & Just can easily be defined in non-moral terms, so there is no contradiction in me affirming it was savage & unjust, however.

Such a position is, in my opinion, absurd.

Ok?

Certain acts, when taking into account the ultimate good of the individual and his society, are immoral and impermissible, regardless of the society's or individual's desire.

Good luck demonstrating that.

Its answers like this that frustrate me so much with nihilism, relativism, and skepticism.

It doesn't matter what we desire, it matters what is for the ultimate good.

Again, good luck demonstrating that. Which you haven't tried to do yet,

Do you deny that we should all act towards the greatest good?

Define 'greatest good'. And no, because I don't hold that phrase to be cognitive. Any should necessarily requires a conditional, you ought to x if you want y, etc.

We ought act in a manner that yields the greatest happiness. Of course my own personal views are not so utilitarianistic, but for the sake of simplicity I would take on this position.

Just a bare statement, a bare 'ought' is meaningless on it's own.

For example, you ought not to murder if you don't want to go to jail. You ought not to hit your wife, if you value your marriage. Etc. They all come back to our own values ultimately.

Being a relativist doesn't mean the allowance of total moral depravity; that's defined as being a depraved human being. Being a relativist means I have morals but those morals are relative to me and the society in which I live.
Nolite Timere
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11/7/2014 7:24:05 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/6/2014 11:04:29 PM, s-anthony wrote:
I understand this. However, this also opens up the possibility that if a society or individual values sacrificing children to the sun god, then such an act would be morally permissible since it is based on the values and desires of the society.

If a society existed in this day and age that condoned the act of human sacrifice, the global community would condemn it and may even go to war to stop it.

Moral relativism does not support the idea that morality does not exist. It says that which one may value, another may not; and, it's because of moral relativism, not in spite of it, one may see as patently evil that which someone else sees as good.

The fact is, one act may be seen as good by one individual and evil according to another individual. This violates the law of noncontradiction. it means morality from the relativistic view is an essentially meaningless, subjective human concept.

In other words, there is no savage, unjust, or immoral culture, there are only different cultures.

That clearly is not moral relativism. Again, moral relativism does not teach or has it ever taught amorality. It allows for disagreement in ethics. One country's disapproval of another country's actions is a clear indication of moral relativism.

That's the thing; it doesn't allow for a disagreement in ethics. The whole philosophy is based on "You keep to your views and I'll keep to mine." The whole philosophy is "Look, I don't think its bad so I'm going to do it." "It's not evil, its just a different way of living."

Even worse, this means no moral stance can essentially be greater than another, since the relativistic approach is based on subjective and fleeting desires.

Such a position is, in my opinion, absurd. Certain acts, when taking into account the ultimate good of the individual and his society, are immoral and impermissible, regardless of the society's or individual's desire.

I agree.
Nolite Timere
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11/7/2014 7:25:08 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/7/2014 3:50:14 AM, Adam_Godzilla wrote:
At 11/5/2014 9:07:29 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
I find that in these modern days of philosophy, philosophers, especially skeptics and relativists, tend to find themselves making conclusions that have no bearing on the good of one's self or society.

Sadolite once said something along the lines that, "Anything can be made "moral" with enough desensitization."

I think this applies soundly today. It seems that philosophers busy themselves far too much with what we can do, not what we should do. They come to conclusions as far fetched as bestiality, infanticide, and child pornography being morally permissible. They stop asking, "What is best for ourselves and what is best for our society?" and instead ask "What exactly can we get away with?" The latter question combined with skepticism, nihilism, and relativism forms horrible conclusions. Conclusions like if a person in a coma has no rights (a position I would disagree with), then it is morally permissible for a doctor to rape that person since the person in a coma, even if they woke up, would not remember being raped nor be affected by it.

I think that this push for insensitivity, selfishness, and desensitization of the status quo will have dastardly affects on the future of our society.

Rarely do I find people with the same thoughts or ideas as I have. Occasionally I find those people in DDO. Crypto, I just want to say I so absolutely agree with this post that it's hard to comment on it. But I'll just say: Well said buddy.

Thank you. Hopefully you feel the same frustration I do on the issue?
Nolite Timere
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11/7/2014 7:26:56 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/7/2014 11:01:09 AM, mortsdor wrote:
At 11/6/2014 6:40:37 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
Do you deny that we should all act towards the greatest good?


from a relativistic viewpoint it doesn't make sense to pursue any "good" but that derived from your perspective....

Which leads to difference on the morality of the same act, which in turn makes the whole concept of morality meaningless.

some Other good wouldn't even qualify as a good...

so the question presumes things (like Absolute/Completely universal goods) which don't exist from a relativistic viewpoint.

I don't advocate any absolute universal good (although I wouldn't deny one exists), I advocate a general good that all cultures and societies ought to pursue.

For example, the Intelligent Insectoid Alien who is devoid of Empathy that I mentioned earlier... it would hardly have any reason to pursue your goods, or general Humanity's goods.
Nolite Timere
mortsdor
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11/7/2014 7:30:29 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/7/2014 7:26:56 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
At 11/7/2014 11:01:09 AM, mortsdor wrote:
At 11/6/2014 6:40:37 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
Do you deny that we should all act towards the greatest good?


from a relativistic viewpoint it doesn't make sense to pursue any "good" but that derived from your perspective....

Which leads to difference on the morality of the same act, which in turn makes the whole concept of morality meaningless.

Nah, people tend to have pretty similar perspectives.

If you explain your perspective, and someone else can understand it and empathize with it, you can often find common ground.

some Other good wouldn't even qualify as a good...

so the question presumes things (like Absolute/Completely universal goods) which don't exist from a relativistic viewpoint.

I don't advocate any absolute universal good (although I wouldn't deny one exists), I advocate a general good that all cultures and societies ought to pursue.

Why should they pursue it?

Answer, for example, why the intelligent insectoid alien shouldn't eat your baby.

For example, the Intelligent Insectoid Alien who is devoid of Empathy that I mentioned earlier... it would hardly have any reason to pursue your goods, or general Humanity's goods.
Envisage
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11/7/2014 7:34:16 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/7/2014 7:18:44 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
At 11/6/2014 6:52:32 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 11/6/2014 6:40:37 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
At 11/6/2014 4:25:33 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 11/6/2014 4:10:25 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
At 11/6/2014 3:27:41 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 11/6/2014 3:12:35 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
At 11/5/2014 10:26:45 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 11/5/2014 9:07:29 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
I find that in these modern days of philosophy, philosophers, especially skeptics and relativists, tend to find themselves making conclusions that have no bearing on the good of one's self or society.

Sadolite once said something along the lines that, "Anything can be made "moral" with enough desensitization."

I think this applies soundly today. It seems that philosophers busy themselves far too much with what we can do, not what we should do. They come to conclusions as far fetched as bestiality, infanticide, and child pornography being morally permissible. They stop asking, "What is best for ourselves and what is best for our society?" and instead ask "What exactly can we get away with?" The latter question combined with skepticism, nihilism, and relativism forms horrible conclusions. Conclusions like if a person in a coma has no rights (a position I would disagree with), then it is morally permissible for a doctor to rape that person since the person in a coma, even if they woke up, would not remember being raped nor be affected by it.

I think that this push for insensitivity, selfishness, and desensitization of the status quo will have dastardly affects on the future of our society.

Relativism is not the belief in a society without values; it's the belief values are relative to an individual and his, or her, society. It's not a dismissal of values but a realization values exist other than one's own.

I understand this. However, this also opens up the possibility that if a society or individual values sacrificing children to the sun god, then such an act would be morally permissible since it is based on the values and desires of the society.

Yep, and what is your problem with that? You need to complete your argument.

The problem is that this is immoral. It is bad. Yet your philosophy doesn't think so and that really pulls my pickle.

Define 'bad'.

Still waiting. Also define 'immoral'.

Anything that goes against the individual's good or the good of his society.

Great, now define "good"

Of course this is loosely defined, but it makes the general point. "Good" can also be made by different moral standards, whether it be altruistic, utilitarianistic, or egotistic.

Exactly, so what is good is subjective depending on the moral standards you use. And what moral standards you use are subjective on your values.

Which is why I am an anti-realist, since to argue for a 'correct' standard is like arguing for a 'correct' flavour of ice cream, and something can only be moral or immoral depending on the standards you accept.

Even things like murder, or the Aztecs etc are not inherently immoral, and are only immoral once we apply a standard (be it altruistic, utilitarian etc.).

I hate arguments like this, because there seems little point in discussing morality with someone who hardly even believes in it.

Who said I don't believe in morality? Wtf is that supposed to mean? I am a nihilist and an anti-realist in the sense that moral statements do not have true or false conditions. Nothing is definitely 'moral' or 'immoral', as you need to apply a definition of 'good' first before you can get anywhere, and that definition is necessarily subjective.

Which is why I just sit on egoism, as that's just a statement that I ought to do what I value, because I value it. It's tautological


It would only lead to unjust/savage behaviour if that's within the values of the members of society. If society actually values unjust and savage behaviour, then I struggle to see what grounds upon which you can argue it is 'wrong'.

Just because it makes such behaviour possibly encompassed by their moral definition, doesn't mean it will. In either case it's not an argument, and just a whine. "I don't like it, therefore it's false".

It has, in fact. And the fact that it has and by your philosophy their acts aren't immoral shows the absurdity of such a position.

I am still waiting for your argument for that to be the case.

The fact that something can be both moral and not moral proves that morality has no existence at all (It violates the law of noncontradiction) and is just a purely worthless, subjective, human construct.

No, because you are not referring to the same concept in each case. The word 'moral' is just a label for a concept. And as far as I see it, the concept of what is moral is different for different people. The LNC only applies when the concepts themselves are the same, lest you commit the fallacy of equivocation.

Also how can you argue it's immoral behaviour, if the values which lead to that behaviour is because such behaviour is moral by their subjective values. Arguments can be made that such values are myopic and not representative of deeper values they hold, but at the very least your presuppositions about what is moral is contentious.

Do you deny that we should all act towards the greatest good?

Define 'greatest good'. And no, because I don't hold that phrase to be cognitive. Any should necessarily requires a conditional, you ought to x if you want y, etc.

We ought act in a manner that yields the greatest happiness.

Why should I accept that to be true? What if my values aren't to be happy? Why should I care about maximal happiness?

Of course my own personal views are not so utilitarianistic, but for the sake of simplicity I would take on this position.

Great, so you have defined greatest good. My answer is still no, because human values (happiness is good) are not universal values, they are just values that a large proposition if humans share.

The only way we 'ought' to maximise happiness if IF we want to fulfil a value for maximising happiness.

If we came across an alien race, who didn't care about happiness, and only the avoidance of sunlight, then such an 'ought' to maximise happiness isn't going to register with them, or have any meaning or relevance.

Just a bare statement, a bare 'ought' is meaningless on it's own.

For example, you ought not to murder if you don't want to go to jail. You ought not to hit your wife, if you value your marriage. Etc. They all come back to our own values ultimately.

Being a relativist doesn't mean the allowance of total moral depravity; that's defined as being a depraved human being. Being a relativist means I have morals but those morals are relative to me and the society in which I live.