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A challenge

SNP1
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2/11/2015 10:17:34 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
My ethics professor issued a challenge that I want help on.

Can someone accept moral nihilism as a truth claim, but still follow a different moral philosophy?

I think that Wylted was close with his debate against envisage on how one could answer "yes" to this.

What I have right now is that you can accept moral nihilism as a truth claim, but still have persona biases. If you have a personal bias to live, for example, but accept that, like everything else, your life has no value, that you could still accept a moral philosophy based off that personal bias instead of the nihilistic reality.

I think that the social contract theory would work best for this. It would go something like this:
P1) Lives have no value.
P2) Despite this, I do not want to die.
P3) There is another who does not want to die.
C1) There are people who do not wish to die.
P4) You follow a social contract theory against murder.
C2) Despite life having no value, you have engaged in a social contract not to murder.

Can I get help developing this? I would love to show my ethics professor that he was wrong (as he said it is impossible to rationally answer yes to the question).
#TheApatheticNihilistPartyofAmerica
#WarOnDDO
Wylted
Posts: 21,167
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2/11/2015 10:27:20 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/11/2015 10:17:34 AM, SNP1 wrote:
My ethics professor issued a challenge that I want help on.

Can someone accept moral nihilism as a truth claim, but still follow a different moral philosophy?

I think that Wylted was close with his debate against envisage on how one could answer "yes" to this.

What I have right now is that you can accept moral nihilism as a truth claim, but still have persona biases. If you have a personal bias to live, for example, but accept that, like everything else, your life has no value, that you could still accept a moral philosophy based off that personal bias instead of the nihilistic reality.

I think that the social contract theory would work best for this. It would go something like this:
P1) Lives have no value.
P2) Despite this, I do not want to die.
P3) There is another who does not want to die.
C1) There are people who do not wish to die.
P4) You follow a social contract theory against murder.
C2) Despite life having no value, you have engaged in a social contract not to murder.

Can I get help developing this? I would love to show my ethics professor that he was wrong (as he said it is impossible to rationally answer yes to the question).

I view Nihilism as a part of a philosophers toolbox and not meant to be taken alone. It exists to test different ethical systems to see if they hold up but isn't an ethical system itself.
SNP1
Posts: 2,406
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2/11/2015 10:34:22 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/11/2015 10:27:20 AM, Wylted wrote:
At 2/11/2015 10:17:34 AM, SNP1 wrote:
My ethics professor issued a challenge that I want help on.

Can someone accept moral nihilism as a truth claim, but still follow a different moral philosophy?

I think that Wylted was close with his debate against envisage on how one could answer "yes" to this.

What I have right now is that you can accept moral nihilism as a truth claim, but still have persona biases. If you have a personal bias to live, for example, but accept that, like everything else, your life has no value, that you could still accept a moral philosophy based off that personal bias instead of the nihilistic reality.

I think that the social contract theory would work best for this. It would go something like this:
P1) Lives have no value.
P2) Despite this, I do not want to die.
P3) There is another who does not want to die.
C1) There are people who do not wish to die.
P4) You follow a social contract theory against murder.
C2) Despite life having no value, you have engaged in a social contract not to murder.

Can I get help developing this? I would love to show my ethics professor that he was wrong (as he said it is impossible to rationally answer yes to the question).

I view Nihilism as a part of a philosophers toolbox and not meant to be taken alone. It exists to test different ethical systems to see if they hold up but isn't an ethical system itself.

Can you elaborate on how moral nihilism would work as a tool in a toolbox? Almost ever moral system presupposes intrinsic value, which moral nihilism denies. Classic social contract theory also presupposes intrinsic human value.

I am trying to adapt social contract theory to fit wants of the many instead of values (wants not to die, not to be stolen from, etc.).
#TheApatheticNihilistPartyofAmerica
#WarOnDDO
Wylted
Posts: 21,167
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2/11/2015 10:43:20 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/11/2015 10:34:22 AM, SNP1 wrote:
At 2/11/2015 10:27:20 AM, Wylted wrote:
At 2/11/2015 10:17:34 AM, SNP1 wrote:
My ethics professor issued a challenge that I want help on.

Can someone accept moral nihilism as a truth claim, but still follow a different moral philosophy?

I think that Wylted was close with his debate against envisage on how one could answer "yes" to this.

What I have right now is that you can accept moral nihilism as a truth claim, but still have persona biases. If you have a personal bias to live, for example, but accept that, like everything else, your life has no value, that you could still accept a moral philosophy based off that personal bias instead of the nihilistic reality.

I think that the social contract theory would work best for this. It would go something like this:
P1) Lives have no value.
P2) Despite this, I do not want to die.
P3) There is another who does not want to die.
C1) There are people who do not wish to die.
P4) You follow a social contract theory against murder.
C2) Despite life having no value, you have engaged in a social contract not to murder.

Can I get help developing this? I would love to show my ethics professor that he was wrong (as he said it is impossible to rationally answer yes to the question).

I view Nihilism as a part of a philosophers toolbox and not meant to be taken alone. It exists to test different ethical systems to see if they hold up but isn't an ethical system itself.

Can you elaborate on how moral nihilism would work as a tool in a toolbox? Almost ever moral system presupposes intrinsic value, which moral nihilism denies. Classic social contract theory also presupposes intrinsic human value.

It's hard to explain and I'm just on lunch. You can choose what you subjectively value. If you know you value pleasure you can just work from there. If an ethical theory rests on that value than it's acceptable. You start with nothing though. And analyze from there. This would lead to different people valuing different things due to personal preferance and having a wider variety of ethical systems but there is nothing wrong with that.


I am trying to adapt social contract theory to fit wants of the many instead of values (wants not to die, not to be stolen from, etc.).
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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2/11/2015 11:46:31 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/11/2015 10:17:34 AM, SNP1 wrote:
My ethics professor issued a challenge that I want help on.

Can someone accept moral nihilism as a truth claim, but still follow a different moral philosophy?

Yes, at least that is my position. You can build a society upon values which are tautological, yet not commit yourself to the epistemological claim of right & wrong. So you would have pragmatics, and a reason to call things 'right' and 'wrong' as part of that social contract, but it wouldn't be a truth claim.

I think that Wylted was close with his debate against envisage on how one could answer "yes" to this.

What I have right now is that you can accept moral nihilism as a truth claim, but still have persona biases. If you have a personal bias to live, for example, but accept that, like everything else, your life has no value, that you could still accept a moral philosophy based off that personal bias instead of the nihilistic reality.

I think that the social contract theory would work best for this. It would go something like this:
P1) Lives have no value.
P2) Despite this, I do not want to die.
P3) There is another who does not want to die.
C1) There are people who do not wish to die.
P4) You follow a social contract theory against murder.
C2) Despite life having no value, you have engaged in a social contract not to murder.

Can I get help developing this? I would love to show my ethics professor that he was wrong (as he said it is impossible to rationally answer yes to the question).

I think you need to go more fundemental than that and address the bare "will", or desire. People desire what they desire as a tautology, so having a ohilosophy which is built on that is inevitably going to be something that everyone wants. I have a feeling it would manifest as a social contract theory, where society provides things we generally desire in such quantities that they usually outweigh the areas where my desires don't match social conformity.

For some, even this is not possible (e.g. sadists who don't care about themselves), thus they have the options of not participating in society.

... Something like that.
SNP1
Posts: 2,406
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2/13/2015 10:25:05 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Okay, I think I have an idea of how to do this.

Nihilism as a truth claim but not as a way of life would imply the following:
1) There is no absolute right or wrong, they are relative.
2) There is no intrinsic value, only values assigned to things by desire.

Now, we will use a pseudo-society of 100 people.

To get a basic idea, I will be using one example of a desire in the following:

Person 1 has the desire not to die. Through this desire he assigns his own relativistic value to his own life (his life has no intrinsic value).
It is desirable for Person 1 to live in a society in which people do not kill others because of his desire not to die.

Persons 2-98 have a similar desire to person 1 in regards to their own life.

It therefore becomes desirable for them to enter into a social contract not to kill each other (this will help to fulfill each of their desires not to die).

Person 99 and Person 100 can opt out of this social contract, but then their lives are not guaranteed to be safe.

Now, to get onto a more broad example.

Let's assume there are only 10 problems in which there are 2 sides. You can take your own side of these issues based upon your desires.

Let's say that Persons 1-80 all agree on 8 of the 10 issues. It would be desirable for them to enter into a social contract in order to achieve a net positive amount of their desires (more desired are easier/able to be fulfilled then not).

Let's say that Persons 81-95 agree on 7 of the issues the others agreed on. It would still be desirable for them to agree to the social contract, but not as desirable as it is for those that agree with 8 of the points.

This also allows for those within the social contract to try and change other people's opinion on certain problems. This is because it is more desirable to have a greater number of people that agree with you then that do not (allowing you to make judgments based on desires and not moral "rights" or "wrongs").

The end result is a society which has a social contract of oughts and ought nots based off of relativistic values assigned by desires instead of being based off intrinsic values of certain things. It still ends with moral nihilism as a truth claim (in that there is no intrinsic value, no moral rights, and no moral wrongs), but still can have these oughts and ought nots. It also makes it desirable to try and push your ideas onto others (making judgment claims) to further your own desires instead of being based off of moral ideas.

NOW, the question is... Does this work? Does this successfully create a way for moral nihilism to be a truth claim about reality while still living in a way that there are oughts and ought nots?
#TheApatheticNihilistPartyofAmerica
#WarOnDDO