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BIWEEKLY TOPIC: An Argument For Moral Realism

Fkkize
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8/23/2015 2:53:53 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I have to admit, the title title is a bit of click bait. This is not just an argument for metaethical realism, but rather for metanormative realism. Basically the generalization of the first. Frankly the people I want to address would not be interested in a topic called "An Argument from the Deliberative Indispensability of Irreducibly Metanormative Truths". Anyway, I don't take credit for any of this, it is basically a summary of David Enoch's paper An Outline of an Argument for Robust Metanormative Realism and chapter 3 of his book Taking Morality Seriously.

Harman's Challenge

By observing a vapor trail in a cloud chamber, a physicist thinks to herself: "There goes a proton".She is justified in her belief as a proton is the best explanation for this occurrence.
By observing children setting a cat on fire, you (hopefully) think to yourself: "That's wrong".
How is this judgement best explained? According to Harman the best explanation is a combination psychological, social, and other such facts about you. Whether or not what the children are doing really is wrong is not relevant to your immediate judgement of it being wrong. Since, apparently, assuming moral facts is a inferior explanation to simply invoking psychology and the like, we are not justified in believing in moral facts.

1) Moral facts play no appropriate explanatory role.
2) Having an appropriate explanatory role is necessary for justified belief in a kind of fact.
3) Therefore, we are not justified in believing in moral facts.

A disaster for realism.
There are of course two options. Either we can deny the No Explanatory Role Thesis (1) by arguing that moral facts do play an appropriate explanatory role or we can deny the Explanatory Requirement (2) by arguing that we can have reason to belief in normative truths even though they are explanatory dispensable.
Enoch, and I agree with him, suggest the latter option. But can that even be coherently done? Aren't most of our beliefs in the nonexistence of things like leprechauns justified by precisely this requirement? The Explanatory Requirement actually consists of two claims. First, the minimal parsimony requirement, we should not multiply ontological commitments without sufficient reason. Secondly, the claim that the entity must be explanatory useful. Enoch accepts the first but rejects the latter claim.

Explanatory Indispensability

Why should we believe in, say, electrons? They play an appropriate explanatory role in our best scientific theories. Therefore, by an inference to the best explanation (IBE) we are justified in believing they exist. Enoch argues that IBEs are really just particular instances of indispensability arguments: "Electrons are indispensable for our explanatory project" (explanatory indispensability). To successfully run the second strategy against Harman's challenge the realist has to establish that there are other kinds of indispensability.

Intrinsic Indispensability

Indispensability is always posited for some purpose or project. For example the Quine-Putnam argument for mathematical platonism aim to establish the indispensability of numbers for the project of science. This is supposed to be ontologically committing indispensability. There are of course entities for projects that are not ontologically committing. Believing in spirits is perhaps indispensable for the project of sorcery, yet that is insufficient reason to make us believe in their existence. Enoch therefore distinguishes between committing (intrinsic) and non-committing (instrumental) indispensability. Now we just need a criterion to demarcate the two. Whatever it is, at least the scientific project appears to be the former.
He argues that is so, because it is a project we cannot not engage in. It is in the human nature to try and figure out how the world works, it is not just an optional enterprise. In case of optional projects the rational thing to do is to either believe in the entities in question or stop engaging in the project. But in case of non-optional projects we cannot choose the latter option, belief is the only rational thing to do.

"A project is intrinsically indispensable if (and only if, [...]) it is non-optional in the relevant sense."

Now we're getting somewhere.

Deliberation

If the above is correct, then IBEs (remember, they are just instances of indispensability arguments), are justified, as they are part of the intrinsically indispensable explanatory project. But it doesn't stop here. It happens that we are not only essentially explanatory beings, we are also essentially deliberative beings. We never stop reasoning, we never stop asking question. We can never stop deliberating. Hence, the deliberative project is not optional for us. That means, if the above is correct, the deliberative project is also intrinsically indispensable.
It follows then, that if some entity is indispensable for a non-optional project, we are justified in believing in this entity.

Indispensability of Normative Truths

Here Enoch asks the reader to imagine being an unsatisfied law student who thinks about studying something else. You must deliberate.

"You ask yourself such questions as: Will I be happy practicing law? Will I be happier doing philosophy?[...] How much money does a reasonably successful lawyer make, and how much less does a reasonably successful philosopher make? [...] there remains the ultimate question. "All things considered", you ask yourself, "what makes best sense for me to do" [...] What shall I do?"

In asking these questions one assumes that there actually is a correct answer, or at least that there are better and worse answers.

"Thus, in deliberating, you commit yourself to there being normative reasons relevant to you deliberation"

If you now discover that a lawyer earns a lot more money than a philosopher and being wealthy is important to you, then this is a normative reason for you to continue law school.

The Syllogism

1) If something is instrumentally indispensable to an intrinsically indispensable project, the we are (epistemically) justified (for that very reason) in believing that that thing exists.
2) The deliberative project is intrinsically indispensable.
3) Irreducibly normative truths are instrumentally indispensable to the deliberative project.
4) Therefore, we are epistemically justified in believing that there are irreducibly normative truths.

Feel free to share your thoughts. Note, however, that I would be happy if we could keep the discussion on topic. If you have worries/suggestions not concerning this argument (perhaps worries about motivation, semantic access and the like), feel free to voice them in another thread.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
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: space contradicts logic
dylancatlow
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8/23/2015 6:37:09 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
1. The fact that we are deliberative beings only proves that we will search for answers, not that we should search for answers, or that we are justified in searching for answers to all of our questions. Thus, if someone doesn't search for answers, then they are merely abnormal, not immoral. The idea that deliberation is "non-optional" is therefore not perspective, but at best descriptive.

2. Even if we should deliberate, that doesn't mean our deliberation is always justified. Questions can be loaded and illegitimate. Asking "what shall I do" does not prove anything. If it's true that we should deliberate, then we ought to ask what areas of knowledge are open to rational inquiry in the first place. If we don't question the legitimacy of our questioning, then we are not all that critical after all. Asking "how does alchemy work" does not prove that alchemy is a legitimate enterprise, and asking "what shall I do" does not prove that morality is part of the universe to be explored by our "deliberative" nature.

3. According to this reasoning, someone who doesn't believe in moral realism is not really a deliberative being (since normative truths are "indispensable" to deliberation). Therefore, they are not bound by the same rules as other humans, and thus the argument does not apply to them.

I'm not sure how a professional philosopher could actually think this argument is good.
Fkkize
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8/23/2015 7:04:24 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/23/2015 6:37:09 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
1. The fact that we are deliberative beings only proves that we will search for answers,
That's the thought that lead to the conclusion that we are in fact deliberative beings.

not that we should search for answers,
It doesn't have to.

or that we are justified in searching for answers to all of our questions.
It does not aim at concluding that.

Thus, if someone doesn't search for answers, then they are merely abnormal, not immoral.
Well..yeah...is this an objection? Metaethics is largely neutral when it comes to first order questions, so I'm not sure what you're getting at.

The idea that deliberation is "non-optional" is therefore not perspective, but at best descriptive.
I think the term you are looking for is 'prescriptive'. But then again, is this an objection?

2. Even if we should deliberate, that doesn't mean our deliberation is always justified. Questions can be loaded and illegitimate. Asking "what shall I do" does not prove anything. If it's true that we should deliberate, then we ought to ask what areas of knowledge are open to rational inquiry in the first place. If we don't question the legitimacy of our questioning, then we are not all that critical after all. Asking "how does alchemy work" does not prove that alchemy is a legitimate enterprise, and asking "what shall I do" does not prove that morality is part of the universe to be explored by our "deliberative" nature.
You might want to read the part where I talk about sorcery again.

3. According to this reasoning, someone who doesn't believe in moral realism is not really a deliberative being (since normative truths are "indispensable" to deliberation). Therefore, they are not bound by the same rules as other humans, and thus the argument does not apply to them.
According to this reasoning we are justified in believing that normative facts exist, not that in order to be a deliberative being you have to accept moral realism, that every deliberative being already accepts moral realism or anything like that.

I'm not sure how a professional philosopher could actually think this argument is good.
Always a pleasure to converse with you.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
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: space contradicts logic
dylancatlow
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8/23/2015 7:21:57 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/23/2015 7:04:24 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 8/23/2015 6:37:09 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
1. The fact that we are deliberative beings only proves that we will search for answers,
That's the thought that lead to the conclusion that we are in fact deliberative beings.

not that we should search for answers,
It doesn't have to.

or that we are justified in searching for answers to all of our questions.
It does not aim at concluding that.

If there's no reason to search for answers, if it's merely what we do, then the "deliberative project" is not an obligation, merely a tendency. So if someone doesn't want to search for answers, then they don't have to assume that normative truths exist. So moral nihilists can still be justified in their belief.

Thus, if someone doesn't search for answers, then they are merely abnormal, not immoral.
Well..yeah...is this an objection? Metaethics is largely neutral when it comes to first order questions, so I'm not sure what you're getting at.

Really?


The idea that deliberation is "non-optional" is therefore not perspective, but at best descriptive.
I think the term you are looking for is 'prescriptive'. But then again, is this an objection?


Blame autocorrect. And of course it's an objection.

2. Even if we should deliberate, that doesn't mean our deliberation is always justified. Questions can be loaded and illegitimate. Asking "what shall I do" does not prove anything. If it's true that we should deliberate, then we ought to ask what areas of knowledge are open to rational inquiry in the first place. If we don't question the legitimacy of our questioning, then we are not all that critical after all. Asking "how does alchemy work" does not prove that alchemy is a legitimate enterprise, and asking "what shall I do" does not prove that morality is part of the universe to be explored by our "deliberative" nature.
You might want to read the part where I talk about sorcery again.

Why?


3. According to this reasoning, someone who doesn't believe in moral realism is not really a deliberative being (since normative truths are "indispensable" to deliberation). Therefore, they are not bound by the same rules as other humans, and thus the argument does not apply to them.
According to this reasoning we are justified in believing that normative facts exist, not that in order to be a deliberative being you have to accept moral realism, that every deliberative being already accepts moral realism or anything like that.


Your argument basically boils down to this:

By our nature, we like to ask questions. We ask questions about what is right and wrong. These questions take for granted that morality exists. Therefore morality exists.

It's a terrible argument. The conclusions simply don't follow.
Fkkize
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8/23/2015 7:30:50 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/23/2015 7:21:57 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 8/23/2015 7:04:24 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 8/23/2015 6:37:09 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
1. The fact that we are deliberative beings only proves that we will search for answers,
That's the thought that lead to the conclusion that we are in fact deliberative beings.

not that we should search for answers,
It doesn't have to.

or that we are justified in searching for answers to all of our questions.
It does not aim at concluding that.


If there's no reason to search for answers, if it's merely what we do, then the "deliberative project" is not an obligation, merely a tendency. So if someone doesn't want to search for answers, then they don't have to assume that normative truths exist. So moral nihilists can still be justified in their belief.
I think you are missing the point of the argument.

Thus, if someone doesn't search for answers, then they are merely abnormal, not immoral.
Well..yeah...is this an objection? Metaethics is largely neutral when it comes to first order questions, so I'm not sure what you're getting at.

Really?
Well, you don't have to answer.

The idea that deliberation is "non-optional" is therefore not perspective, but at best descriptive.
I think the term you are looking for is 'prescriptive'. But then again, is this an objection?


Blame autocorrect. And of course it's an objection.
I think you are missing the point of the argument.

2. Even if we should deliberate, that doesn't mean our deliberation is always justified. Questions can be loaded and illegitimate. Asking "what shall I do" does not prove anything. If it's true that we should deliberate, then we ought to ask what areas of knowledge are open to rational inquiry in the first place. If we don't question the legitimacy of our questioning, then we are not all that critical after all. Asking "how does alchemy work" does not prove that alchemy is a legitimate enterprise, and asking "what shall I do" does not prove that morality is part of the universe to be explored by our "deliberative" nature.
You might want to read the part where I talk about sorcery again.

Why?
Because your complaint is addressed there.

3. According to this reasoning, someone who doesn't believe in moral realism is not really a deliberative being (since normative truths are "indispensable" to deliberation). Therefore, they are not bound by the same rules as other humans, and thus the argument does not apply to them.
According to this reasoning we are justified in believing that normative facts exist, not that in order to be a deliberative being you have to accept moral realism, that every deliberative being already accepts moral realism or anything like that.


Your argument basically boils down to this:

By our nature, we like to ask questions. We ask questions about what is right and wrong. These questions take for granted that morality exists. Therefore morality exists.

It's a terrible argument. The conclusions simply don't follow.
This is a strawman. First of all, morality is not even mentioned anywhere. Secondly you might want to look at the syllogism I presented.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
dylancatlow
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8/23/2015 7:44:07 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/23/2015 7:30:50 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 8/23/2015 7:21:57 PM, dylancatlow wrote:

Your argument basically boils down to this:

By our nature, we like to ask questions. We ask questions about what is right and wrong. These questions take for granted that morality exists. Therefore morality exists.

It's a terrible argument. The conclusions simply don't follow.
This is a strawman. First of all, morality is not even mentioned anywhere. Secondly you might want to look at the syllogism I presented.

You did not use the word "morality", but you were still talking about it. Otherwise this wouldn't be an argument for Moral Realism. "Irreducible normative truths" is obviously synonymous with "moral truths".

Let me see if I can rephrase.

By our nature, we deliberate about stuff. Part of that deliberation has to do with irreducible normative truths. This deliberation takes for granted that irreducible normative truths exist. Therefore we are justified in believing in irreducible normative truths.

If you really think this argument works, then I'm afraid anything I say will be lost on you.
Fkkize
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8/23/2015 7:49:29 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/23/2015 7:44:07 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 8/23/2015 7:30:50 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 8/23/2015 7:21:57 PM, dylancatlow wrote:

Your argument basically boils down to this:

By our nature, we like to ask questions. We ask questions about what is right and wrong. These questions take for granted that morality exists. Therefore morality exists.

It's a terrible argument. The conclusions simply don't follow.
This is a strawman. First of all, morality is not even mentioned anywhere. Secondly you might want to look at the syllogism I presented.

You did not use the word "morality", but you were still talking about it. Otherwise this wouldn't be an argument for Moral Realism. "Irreducible normative truths" is obviously synonymous with "moral truths".
You might want to read the very first paragraph. This is not an argument directly for moral realism.

Let me see if I can rephrase.

By our nature, we deliberate about stuff. Part of that deliberation has to do with irreducible normative truths. This deliberation takes for granted that irreducible normative truths exist. Therefore we are justified in believing in irreducible normative truths.

If you really think this argument works, then I'm afraid anything I say will be lost on you.
Frankly, you are still misunderstanding the argument. Nowhere does it claim that deliberation presupposes normative truths. What is aimed at is to establish that the same reasoning that supports arguments from explanatory indispensability also supports arguments from deliberative indispensability.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
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: space contradicts logic
Kozu
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8/25/2015 5:41:47 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/23/2015 2:53:53 PM, Fkkize wrote:
I have to admit, the title title is a bit of click bait. This is not just an argument for metaethical realism, but rather for metanormative realism. Basically the generalization of the first. Frankly the people I want to address would not be interested in a topic called "An Argument from the Deliberative Indispensability of Irreducibly Metanormative Truths". Anyway, I don't take credit for any of this, it is basically a summary of David Enoch's paper An Outline of an Argument for Robust Metanormative Realism and chapter 3 of his book Taking Morality Seriously.


Harman's Challenge

By observing a vapor trail in a cloud chamber, a physicist thinks to herself: "There goes a proton".She is justified in her belief as a proton is the best explanation for this occurrence.
By observing children setting a cat on fire, you (hopefully) think to yourself: "That's wrong".
How is this judgement best explained? According to Harman the best explanation is a combination psychological, social, and other such facts about you. Whether or not what the children are doing really is wrong is not relevant to your immediate judgement of it being wrong. Since, apparently, assuming moral facts is a inferior explanation to simply invoking psychology and the like, we are not justified in believing in moral facts.

1) Moral facts play no appropriate explanatory role.
2) Having an appropriate explanatory role is necessary for justified belief in a kind of fact.
3) Therefore, we are not justified in believing in moral facts.

A disaster for realism.
There are of course two options. Either we can deny the No Explanatory Role Thesis (1) by arguing that moral facts do play an appropriate explanatory role or we can deny the Explanatory Requirement (2) by arguing that we can have reason to belief in normative truths even though they are explanatory dispensable.
Enoch, and I agree with him, suggest the latter option. But can that even be coherently done? Aren't most of our beliefs in the nonexistence of things like leprechauns justified by precisely this requirement? The Explanatory Requirement actually consists of two claims. First, the minimal parsimony requirement, we should not multiply ontological commitments without sufficient reason. Secondly, the claim that the entity must be explanatory useful. Enoch accepts the first but rejects the latter claim.


Explanatory Indispensability

Why should we believe in, say, electrons? They play an appropriate explanatory role in our best scientific theories. Therefore, by an inference to the best explanation (IBE) we are justified in believing they exist. Enoch argues that IBEs are really just particular instances of indispensability arguments: "Electrons are indispensable for our explanatory project" (explanatory indispensability). To successfully run the second strategy against Harman's challenge the realist has to establish that there are other kinds of indispensability.

Intrinsic Indispensability

Indispensability is always posited for some purpose or project. For example the Quine-Putnam argument for mathematical platonism aim to establish the indispensability of numbers for the project of science. This is supposed to be ontologically committing indispensability. There are of course entities for projects that are not ontologically committing. Believing in spirits is perhaps indispensable for the project of sorcery, yet that is insufficient reason to make us believe in their existence. Enoch therefore distinguishes between committing (intrinsic) and non-committing (instrumental) indispensability. Now we just need a criterion to demarcate the two. Whatever it is, at least the scientific project appears to be the former.
He argues that is so, because it is a project we cannot not engage in. It is in the human nature to try and figure out how the world works, it is not just an optional enterprise. In case of optional projects the rational thing to do is to either believe in the entities in question or stop engaging in the project. But in case of non-optional projects we cannot choose the latter option, belief is the only rational thing to do.

"A project is intrinsically indispensable if (and only if, [...]) it is non-optional in the relevant sense."

Now we're getting somewhere.


Deliberation

If the above is correct, then IBEs (remember, they are just instances of indispensability arguments), are justified, as they are part of the intrinsically indispensable explanatory project. But it doesn't stop here. It happens that we are not only essentially explanatory beings, we are also essentially deliberative beings. We never stop reasoning, we never stop asking question. We can never stop deliberating. Hence, the deliberative project is not optional for us. That means, if the above is correct, the deliberative project is also intrinsically indispensable.
It follows then, that if some entity is indispensable for a non-optional project, we are justified in believing in this entity.


Indispensability of Normative Truths

Here Enoch asks the reader to imagine being an unsatisfied law student who thinks about studying something else. You must deliberate.

"You ask yourself such questions as: Will I be happy practicing law? Will I be happier doing philosophy?[...] How much money does a reasonably successful lawyer make, and how much less does a reasonably successful philosopher make? [...] there remains the ultimate question. "All things considered", you ask yourself, "what makes best sense for me to do" [...] What shall I do?"

In asking these questions one assumes that there actually is a correct answer, or at least that there are better and worse answers.

"Thus, in deliberating, you commit yourself to there being normative reasons relevant to you deliberation"

If you now discover that a lawyer earns a lot more money than a philosopher and being wealthy is important to you, then this is a normative reason for you to continue law school.

The Syllogism

1) If something is instrumentally indispensable to an intrinsically indispensable project, the we are (epistemically) justified (for that very reason) in believing that that thing exists.
2) The deliberative project is intrinsically indispensable.
3) Irreducibly normative truths are instrumentally indispensable to the deliberative project.
4) Therefore, we are epistemically justified in believing that there are irreducibly normative truths.

Feel free to share your thoughts. Note, however, that I would be happy if we could keep the discussion on topic. If you have worries/suggestions not concerning this argument (perhaps worries about motivation, semantic access and the like), feel free to voice them in another thread.

The syllogism seems more useful for proving intuition exists than moral facts.

Normative truths don't have to be objective, so I don't see how your argument is favoring mysterious moral fact X over "psychology and the like" to explain why these judgments happen.
Fkkize
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8/26/2015 8:03:57 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/25/2015 5:41:47 PM, Kozu wrote:


The syllogism seems more useful for proving intuition exists than moral facts.
How so?

Normative truths don't have to be objective, so I don't see how your argument is favoring mysterious moral fact X over "psychology and the like" to explain why these judgments happen.
As stated above, there are two routes a realist could take. The first is to insist that normative facts are not explanatorily dispensable. But it was never argued for that route.
Your worry about objectivity is legitimate. That needs a further argument to be established. But this argument alone is 7000 characters long and adding another argument would, I think, lessen the already not great interest in the matter.
The, at least for me, most obvious way to attack the argument is to find some criterion to demarcate explanatory from deliberative indispensability. That is to say, to state why the reasoning supporting one does not also support the other.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
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: space contradicts logic
tejretics
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8/26/2015 2:29:21 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
The post is a large expansion of a very swift TL;DR. Let me first summarize the post before addressing it. The OP argues that our intrinsic attitude towards ourselves (and/or) others being "obligated" to do something. This attitude has multiple explanations for its presence, therefore determining the a priori probable correct explanation lies in inference to the best explanation (IBE), a form of abductive reasoning. What I *disagree* with the OP is its assertion that IBE entails moral realism.

"Moral realism" is, quite simply, the proposition that morals are -- objectively -- real. There are multiple ways of looking at this. But the OP offers no clear definition of the term "moral," and, therefore, I will interpret it as meaning "altruistic, with a desire to maximize benefit and happiness." The criteria that we usually formulate IBE by are:

1. Explanatory power
2. Testability
3. Background knowledge

The alternate hypothesis I offer is that altruism and protection of life has an evolutionary origin. Let us run it through the criteria.

The explanation is a strong explanation, because (1) we know evolution occurs, (2) the genome and evolution is a straightforward medium for morality's existence, and (3) the explanation has few assumptions. Moral realism offers no objective "medium" for morality, and fails to answer a few questions, e.g. how is morality objective? What determines morality? These questions are answered by my explanation. My explanation is testable. We know that altruism is a biological phenomenon, which follows from natural selection as a means of conserving biological populations [http://plato.stanford.edu...], and we know that at least *some* morality has evolutionary origins [https://en.wikipedia.org...], both of which are tested by empirical observation, therefore are inductively true. This explanation is in line with background knowledge. As mentioned, scientists generally agree that altruism and morality have evolutionary origins, and empirical observation suggests the same.

Therefore, prefer my explanation.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
Fkkize
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8/26/2015 3:27:58 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/26/2015 2:29:21 PM, tejretics wrote:
The post is a large expansion of a very swift TL;DR. Let me first summarize the post before addressing it. The OP argues that our intrinsic attitude towards ourselves (and/or) others being "obligated" to do something. This attitude has multiple explanations for its presence, therefore determining the a priori probable correct explanation lies in inference to the best explanation (IBE), a form of abductive reasoning. What I *disagree* with the OP is its assertion that IBE entails moral realism.
Well, I didn't argue for that.

"Moral realism" is, quite simply, the proposition that morals are -- objectively -- real. There are multiple ways of looking at this. But the OP offers no clear definition of the term "moral," and, therefore, I will interpret it as meaning "altruistic, with a desire to maximize benefit and happiness."
Well, I didn't argue for moral realism either. What I did is present an argument for metanormative realism, which, if supplemented by another argument, leads one to metaethical (moral) realism. Hence, the term 'moral' was not even mentioned anywhere in the actual argument.

The criteria that we usually formulate IBE by are:

1. Explanatory power
2. Testability
3. Background knowledge

The alternate hypothesis I offer is that altruism and protection of life has an evolutionary origin. Let us run it through the criteria.
You can of course argue that, but it is compatible with metanormative realism and the argument I presented. It is not an alternate hypothesis as I, and I stated this pretty clearly, did not argue that metanormative realism serves as an explanation for our "moral feelings", so to say.

The explanation is a strong explanation, because (1) we know evolution occurs, (2) the genome and evolution is a straightforward medium for morality's existence, and (3) the explanation has few assumptions. Moral realism offers no objective "medium" for morality, and fails to answer a few questions, e.g. how is morality objective?
In that there are moral facts that hold true independent of anyone's opinion.

What determines morality?
Are you asking how we find out what is moral or why the moral facts are the way they are? The first is easily answered by referring to moral epistemology (which I did not want to touch upon here). The second is harder, but it is also not job of this argument to explain it. The indispensability argument for mathematical platonism tells you, if successful, that numbers exist. Easy and straightforward. It does not tell you what numbers are like, but it also does not aim at doing that.

These questions are answered by my explanation. My explanation is testable. We know that altruism is a biological phenomenon, which follows from natural selection as a means of conserving biological populations [http://plato.stanford.edu...], and we know that at least *some* morality has evolutionary origins [https://en.wikipedia.org...], both of which are tested by empirical observation, therefore are inductively true. This explanation is in line with background knowledge. As mentioned, scientists generally agree that altruism and morality have evolutionary origins, and empirical observation suggests the same.

Therefore, prefer my explanation.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
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: space contradicts logic
Nac
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8/29/2015 6:32:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/23/2015 2:53:53 PM, Fkkize wrote:
I have to admit, the title title is a bit of click bait. This is not just an argument for metaethical realism, but rather for metanormative realism.

Would this be the same as non-natural moral realism? I am unfamiliar with metanormative realism and have not found a clear explanation for the term as of yet.

Basically the generalization of the first.

Harman's Challenge

By observing a vapor trail in a cloud chamber, a physicist thinks to herself: "There goes a proton".She is justified in her belief as a proton is the best explanation for this occurrence.
By observing children setting a cat on fire, you (hopefully) think to yourself: "That's wrong".
How is this judgement best explained? According to Harman the best explanation is a combination psychological, social, and other such facts about you.

Could you provide a citation where Harman justifies this claim? It appears to be intuitive, but I have no way of justifying it for myself.

Whether or not what the children are doing really is wrong is not relevant to your immediate judgement of it being wrong. Since, apparently, assuming moral facts is a inferior explanation to simply invoking psychology and the like, we are not justified in believing in moral facts.

1) Moral facts play no appropriate explanatory role.

As stated above, I would need further justification for this claim.

Aside from this, I would like to be sure I understand the specifics of this premise. Would the phrase "appropriate explanatory role" be the same as "necessary in the explanation of a phenomena?"

2) Having an appropriate explanatory role is necessary for justified belief in a kind of fact.

I think it is important to note that this method of justification is not absolute. For it to be so, one would have to understand every theory, its explanatory power, and all future evidence relevant to these theories, which does not appear to be the case.

It is merely our current best guess, possessing utility, but no justification beyond the present.

This caveat allows for the presence of fallibility to be mentioned, which I think is necessary in any discussion about the type of belief you describe.

3) Therefore, we are not justified in believing in moral facts.

Enoch, and I agree with him, suggest attacking the second premise. But can that even be coherently done? Aren't most of our beliefs in the nonexistence of things like leprechauns justified by precisely this requirement? The Explanatory Requirement actually consists of two claims. First, the minimal parsimony requirement, we should not multiply ontological commitments without sufficient reason. Secondly, the claim that the entity must be explanatory useful.

I will wait for you to accept my reconfiguration to further discuss this second criterion.

Enoch accepts the first but rejects the latter claim.


Explanatory Indispensability

Why should we believe in, say, electrons? They play an appropriate explanatory role in our best scientific theories. Therefore, by an inference to the best explanation (IBE) we are justified in believing they exist.

If we assume that the scientific theory is correct, then this would indeed follow.

Enoch argues that IBEs are really just particular instances of indispensability arguments: "Electrons are indispensable for our explanatory project" (explanatory indispensability).

Until a better theory is found, that is.

To successfully run the second strategy against Harman's challenge the realist has to establish that there are other kinds of indispensability.

Intrinsic Indispensability

"A project is intrinsically indispensable if (and only if, [...]) it is non-optional in the relevant sense."

Now we're getting somewhere.

This is actually the point where the argument seems to break down, from my perspective.

In what way are we required to believe that a concept is true in order to utilize it? Could you not posit that they are merely tools for solving problems, not necessarily accurate representations of reality?

This even appears to be assumed in your argument. If we are required to believe a concept simply because it is not optional to partake in a field of study, are we not saying that its truth value is irrelevant?

Deliberation

If the above is correct, then IBEs (remember, they are just instances of indispensability arguments), are justified, as they are part of the intrinsically indispensable explanatory project. But it doesn't stop here. It happens that we are not only essentially explanatory beings, we are also essentially deliberative beings. We never stop reasoning, we never stop asking question. We can never stop deliberating. Hence, the deliberative project is not optional for us. That means, if the above is correct, the deliberative project is also intrinsically indispensable.

How? It merely states that we all deliberate as part of our nature. How do we gather necessity from this?

It follows then, that if some entity is indispensable for a non-optional project, we are justified in believing in this entity.


Only if we are utilizing a method of justification which renders truth value irrelevant.

Indispensability of Normative Truths

Here Enoch asks the reader to imagine being an unsatisfied law student who thinks about studying something else. You must deliberate.

"You ask yourself such questions as: Will I be happy practicing law? Will I be happier doing philosophy?[...] How much money does a reasonably successful lawyer make, and how much less does a reasonably successful philosopher make? [...] there remains the ultimate question. "All things considered", you ask yourself, "what makes best sense for me to do" [...] What shall I do?"

In asking these questions one assumes that there actually is a correct answer, or at least that there are better and worse answers.

"Thus, in deliberating, you commit yourself to there being normative reasons relevant to you deliberation"

The bold words display my problem with this claim. This appears to merely state that an individual has his own answer. How do we extrapolate this answer to being normative?

If you now discover that a lawyer earns a lot more money than a philosopher and being wealthy is important to you, then this is a normative reason for you to continue law school.

The Syllogism

1) If something is instrumentally indispensable to an intrinsically indispensable project, the we are (epistemically) justified (for that very reason) in believing that that thing exists.

Only if the truth value is irrelevant.

2) The deliberative project is intrinsically indispensable.
3) Irreducibly normative truths are instrumentally indispensable to the deliberative project.
4) Therefore, we are epistemically justified in believing that there are irreducibly normative truths.

Feel free to share your thoughts. Note, however, that I would be happy if we could keep the discussion on topic. If you have worries/suggestions not concerning this argument (perhaps worries about motivation, semantic access and the like), feel free to voice them in another thread.

To summarize my core contention against this argument, it proposes that necessity to a project which is useful is justification for a claim. I find this highly unsatisfactory.

It was, however, intriguing. As usual, you are always brimming with interesting inquiries, Fkkize. Thank you for making this thread.
Fkkize
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8/29/2015 7:19:15 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Would this be the same as non-natural moral realism? I am unfamiliar with metanormative realism and have not found a clear explanation for the term as of yet.
The argument is, with some supplementation, supposed to lead to moral non-naturalism. MN Realism then is much like that.

How is this judgement best explained? According to Harman the best explanation is a combination psychological, social, and other such facts about you.

Could you provide a citation where Harman justifies this claim? It appears to be intuitive, but I have no way of justifying it for myself.
"it would seem that you need only make assumptions about the psychology or moral sensibility of the person making the moral observation." (Harman 1977. 6)

As stated above, I would need further justification for this claim.

Aside from this, I would like to be sure I understand the specifics of this premise. Would the phrase "appropriate explanatory role" be the same as "necessary in the explanation of a phenomena?"
To be honest, I'm just stating Harman's point, I don't want to argue that it's correct. It's just there to give readers an idea where Enoch is comming from.

2) Having an appropriate explanatory role is necessary for justified belief in a kind of fact.

I think it is important to note that this method of justification is not absolute. For it to be so, one would have to understand every theory, its explanatory power, and all future evidence relevant to these theories, which does not appear to be the case.

It is merely our current best guess, possessing utility, but no justification beyond the present.
And these best guesses have explanatory power, fulfilling 2).

This caveat allows for the presence of fallibility to be mentioned, which I think is necessary in any discussion about the type of belief you describe.
Justification does not have to be infallible.

3) Therefore, we are not justified in believing in moral facts.

Enoch, and I agree with him, suggest attacking the second premise. But can that even be coherently done? Aren't most of our beliefs in the nonexistence of things like leprechauns justified by precisely this requirement? The Explanatory Requirement actually consists of two claims. First, the minimal parsimony requirement, we should not multiply ontological commitments without sufficient reason. Secondly, the claim that the entity must be explanatory useful.

I will wait for you to accept my reconfiguration to further discuss this second criterion.

Enoch accepts the first but rejects the latter claim.


Explanatory Indispensability

Why should we believe in, say, electrons? They play an appropriate explanatory role in our best scientific theories. Therefore, by an inference to the best explanation (IBE) we are justified in believing they exist.

If we assume that the scientific theory is correct, then this would indeed follow.
If by 'correct' you mean "describing the world as it really is", then no, that is not required. The currently best explanation for our observations is that electrons exist, regardless of the possibility of there being an unknown better explanation. IF you are skeptical of IBEs, then this argument is probably not for you anyway.

Enoch argues that IBEs are really just particular instances of indispensability arguments: "Electrons are indispensable for our explanatory project" (explanatory indispensability).

Until a better theory is found, that is.
Of course. But that does not refute his point.

This is actually the point where the argument seems to break down, from my perspective.

In what way are we required to believe that a concept is true in order to utilize it?
I'm not sure what it means for a concept to be "true". It can be internally consistent, sure, but that has nothing to do with truth. Note, however, that this argument is not about the actual truth of any claim, it's about our being epistemically justified in believing a claim.

Could you not posit that they are merely tools for solving problems, not necessarily accurate representations of reality?

This even appears to be assumed in your argument. If we are required to believe a concept simply because it is not optional to partake in a field of study, are we not saying that its truth value is irrelevant?
Truth is in some way not the relevant factor, yes. But neither is truth relevant when it comes to being justified to believe in electrons.

How? It merely states that we all deliberate as part of our nature. How do we gather necessity from this?
Where did I mention modality?

It follows then, that if some entity is indispensable for a non-optional project, we are justified in believing in this entity.


Only if we are utilizing a method of justification which renders truth value irrelevant.
As I've said, if you are skeptical of IBE, then you won't be convinced by this argument. Truth is not relevant for IBE and accordingly you should also be skeptical of science.

Indispensability of Normative Truths

Here Enoch asks the reader to imagine being an unsatisfied law student who thinks about studying something else. You must deliberate.

"You ask yourself such questions as: Will I be happy practicing law? Will I be happier doing philosophy?[...] How much money does a reasonably successful lawyer make, and how much less does a reasonably successful philosopher make? [...] there remains the ultimate question. "All things considered", you ask yourself, "what makes best sense for me to do" [...] What shall I do?"

In asking these questions one assumes that there actually is a correct answer, or at least that there are better and worse answers.

"Thus, in deliberating, you commit yourself to there being normative reasons relevant to you deliberation"

The bold words display my problem with this claim. This appears to merely state that an individual has his own answer. How do we extrapolate this answer to being normative?
If you say "I should do X because Y", then Y is the normative reason. That is simply what it means to be a normative reason.

The Syllogism

1) If something is instrumentally indispensable to an intrinsically indispensable project, the we are (epistemically) justified (for that very reason) in believing that that thing exists.

Only if the truth value is irrelevant.
Epistemology is the study of justification, it does not deal with truth.

2) The deliberative project is intrinsically indispensable.
3) Irreducibly normative truths are instrumentally indispensable to the deliberative project.
4) Therefore, we are epistemically justified in believing that there are irreducibly normative truths.

To summarize my core contention against this argument, it proposes that necessity to a project which is useful is justification for a claim. I find this highly unsatisfactory.
Enoch argues that the reasoning supporting explanatory indispensability arguments (such as IBEs) also supports deliberative indispensability arguments. This is because both are part of non-optional projects for mankind. Sure, it might not be true that electrons exist, but it being true is not the reason we believe in them. We believe in them because we are epistemically justified in believing in them. The same goes for all entities instrumentally indispensable to some non-optional project, such as normative facts.

It was, however, intriguing. As usual, you are always brimming with interesting inquiries, Fkkize. Thank you for making this threa
The pleasure is mine. You always give the most insightful feedback.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
Fkkize
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8/31/2015 8:59:32 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Bump.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
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: space contradicts logic
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9/2/2015 10:30:02 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/29/2015 7:19:15 PM, Fkkize wrote:
I will be responding in a numbered list in order to save space. Numbers will correspond to breaks in my OP.

1. They are not the same? Could you please explain the difference?
2. Does he elaborate or justify this claim?
3. I was not attempting to state otherwise, and I apologize for making you think I was. I am not asking you to defend this point as if it is your own, merely attempting to test the argument.

The salient point I wished to raise, however, was the question I asked. I do not understand your diction, so I would like to know if my rephrasing is correct.
4. Agreed. I merely wished to ensure this point was stated.
5. This point is slightly more complex than any other point you raised. For knowledge, I would disagree with your sentiment, but I can agree to it for a theory with assumptions built in, so long as these assumptions are recognized (e.g. We perceive the world as it truly is).
6. I will actually drop this point in favor of raising a new one: How does electrons possessing explanatory power prove that they exist? Isn't the more salient point the lack of assumptions? We do not have to guess that they exist with no evidence, we can see them, or do something close.*
7. Same rationale as #4. It seems completely unnecessary now, though, so I will cease it for the time being.
8. Apologies, I conflated the two. However, the point still appears to stand if I substitute my phrase for your phrase. Utility and justification are wholly separate, and finding a solid reason not to continue a practice is no reason to assume its results are true. It seems to be little more than an appeal to consequences, which I cannot agree with.
9. I really should not have responded on that particular day; I was not fit to offer any cogency. I did not mean to imply modality in this point, but to state that the link to the statement "... the deliberative project is not optional for us." appears nonexistent. It seems to state that because something is a certain way, that way is not optional, but integral. I see this as the naturalistic fallacy.
10. Fixed this point in 8. Again, apologies.
11. Doesn't normative imply that this is not subjective, though? That was my qualm.
12. I would actually disagree. Epistemology is the study of knowledge, and knowledge is justified, true belief, so it would stand to reason that epistemology deals with all three. Do you, perhaps, have a different definition?
13. It seems to still be an appeal to consequences. If an eternal life was an intrinsically indispensable project, then, by this logic, we would be epistemically justified if we were to believe in an afterlife. It seems as though intrinsically indispensable projects are determined by a perception of necessity (physical necessity, in this context) which would be subjective, I would think.
14. You flatter me. I think there are far more insightful people on this site.
Fkkize
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9/4/2015 12:56:44 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/2/2015 10:30:02 PM, Nac wrote:
At 8/29/2015 7:19:15 PM, Fkkize wrote:
I will be responding in a numbered list in order to save space. Numbers will correspond to breaks in my OP.

1. They are not the same? Could you please explain the difference?
Metanormative realism is moral realism generalized.

2. Does he elaborate or justify this claim?
There is not much more to it as far as I'm aware.

3. I was not attempting to state otherwise, and I apologize for making you think I was. I am not asking you to defend this point as if it is your own, merely attempting to test the argument.

The salient point I wished to raise, however, was the question I asked. I do not understand your diction, so I would like to know if my rephrasing is correct.
4. Agreed. I merely wished to ensure this point was stated.
5. This point is slightly more complex than any other point you raised. For knowledge, I would disagree with your sentiment, but I can agree to it for a theory with assumptions built in, so long as these assumptions are recognized (e.g. We perceive the world as it truly is).
6. I will actually drop this point in favor of raising a new one: How does electrons possessing explanatory power prove that they exist? Isn't the more salient point the lack of assumptions? We do not have to guess that they exist with no evidence, we can see them, or do something close.*
Sure, but we never perceive them directly, thus the best explanation for what we see is that electrons exist.

7. Same rationale as #4. It seems completely unnecessary now, though, so I will cease it for the time being.
8. Apologies, I conflated the two. However, the point still appears to stand if I substitute my phrase for your phrase. Utility and justification are wholly separate, and finding a solid reason not to continue a practice is no reason to assume its results are true. It seems to be little more than an appeal to consequences, which I cannot agree with.
I think your claim is that just because normativity is useful does not justify us in believing normativity "exists". Correct?
I disagree, when deliberating about what you should do, you commit yourself to there being a correct answer. Or at least better and worse answers. If there are no such answers then any deliberation would be futile. It is precisely what justifies the belief.

9. I really should not have responded on that particular day; I was not fit to offer any cogency. I did not mean to imply modality in this point, but to state that the link to the statement "... the deliberative project is not optional for us." appears nonexistent.
The link from what?

It seems to state that because something is a certain way, that way is not optional, but integral.
Yes, if I read you correctly.

I see this as the naturalistic fallacy.
The naturalistic fallacy deals with attempts to define or reductively explain moral terms such as good. I'm not sure where this fallacy is committed.

10. Fixed this point in 8. Again, apologies.
11. Doesn't normative imply that this is not subjective, though? That was my qualm.
Perhaps. I'm not sure.

12. I would actually disagree. Epistemology is the study of knowledge, and knowledge is justified, true belief, so it would stand to reason that epistemology deals with all three. Do you, perhaps, have a different definition?
I concede this point. Yes, it is the study of knowledge. Still, the argument hinges on the same kind of reasoning as IBEs and that is epistemic justification, not necessarily truth.

13. It seems to still be an appeal to consequences. If an eternal life was an intrinsically indispensable project, then, by this logic, we would be epistemically justified if we were to believe in an afterlife.
Yes, actually. Luckily it does not fall into this category.

It seems as though intrinsically indispensable projects are determined by a perception of necessity (physical necessity, in this context) which would be subjective, I would think.
I would rather call it a notion of inevitability, as we are going to do it anyway.

14. You flatter me. I think there are far more insightful people on this site.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
Fkkize
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9/10/2015 3:19:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Bump.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
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: space contradicts logic
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9/10/2015 6:25:42 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/26/2015 8:03:57 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 8/25/2015 5:41:47 PM, Kozu wrote:


The syllogism seems more useful for proving intuition exists than moral facts.
How so?

1) If (intuition) is instrumentally indispensable to an intrinsically indispensable project, then we are (epistemically) justified (for that very reason) in believing that (intuition) exists.
2) The deliberative project is intrinsically indispensable.
3) Intuition is instrumentally indispensable to the deliberative project.
4) Therefore, we are epistemically justified in believing that there is intuition.

Now that i think about it, I could replace "intuition" with "psychology" and the syllogism still makes sense.

Normative truths don't have to be objective, so I don't see how your argument is favoring mysterious moral fact X over "psychology and the like" to explain why these judgments happen.
As stated above, there are two routes a realist could take. The first is to insist that normative facts are not explanatorily dispensable. But it was never argued for that route.
Your worry about objectivity is legitimate. That needs a further argument to be established. But this argument alone is 7000 characters long and adding another argument would, I think, lessen the already not great interest in the matter.
The, at least for me, most obvious way to attack the argument is to find some criterion to demarcate explanatory from deliberative indispensability. That is to say, to state why the reasoning supporting one does not also support the other.
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9/10/2015 6:52:33 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/10/2015 6:25:42 PM, Kozu wrote:
At 8/26/2015 8:03:57 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 8/25/2015 5:41:47 PM, Kozu wrote:


The syllogism seems more useful for proving intuition exists than moral facts.
How so?

1) If (intuition) is instrumentally indispensable to an intrinsically indispensable project, then we are (epistemically) justified (for that very reason) in believing that (intuition) exists.
You don't need to insert intuition here to prove your point.

2) The deliberative project is intrinsically indispensable.
3) Intuition is instrumentally indispensable to the deliberative project.
4) Therefore, we are epistemically justified in believing that there is intuition.

Now that i think about it, I could replace "intuition" with "psychology" and the syllogism still makes sense.
You sure can do that, but you also need to justify it.
In accepting the original argument, I am committed to accept 1) & 2). How do you justify 3)?
To be clear, I don't think this consequence would be in any way detrimental to my view, I am just not sure of two things:
1) Is intuition really instrumentally indispensable to the deliberative project? It seems to me, since we are talking about deliberation, reason is essential while intuition is not.
2) In what sense do you intend intuition to exist? I sure accept that intuition exists understood as there are some sentient creatures undergoing some process which we call having an intuition. Say, intuition is indispensable, does the argument now prove it exists in the same way non-mental, non-physical, irreducibly normative facts exist or in the way described above? Why?
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
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9/10/2015 10:42:32 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/10/2015 6:52:33 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 9/10/2015 6:25:42 PM, Kozu wrote:
At 8/26/2015 8:03:57 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 8/25/2015 5:41:47 PM, Kozu wrote:


The syllogism seems more useful for proving intuition exists than moral facts.
How so?

1) If (intuition) is instrumentally indispensable to an intrinsically indispensable project, then we are (epistemically) justified (for that very reason) in believing that (intuition) exists.
You don't need to insert intuition here to prove your point.

2) The deliberative project is intrinsically indispensable.
3) Intuition is instrumentally indispensable to the deliberative project.
4) Therefore, we are epistemically justified in believing that there is intuition.

Now that i think about it, I could replace "intuition" with "psychology" and the syllogism still makes sense.
You sure can do that, but you also need to justify it.
In accepting the original argument, I am committed to accept 1) & 2). How do you justify 3)?
To be clear, I don't think this consequence would be in any way detrimental to my view, I am just not sure of two things:
1) Is intuition really instrumentally indispensable to the deliberative project? It seems to me, since we are talking about deliberation, reason is essential while intuition is not.
2) In what sense do you intend intuition to exist? I sure accept that intuition exists understood as there are some sentient creatures undergoing some process which we call having an intuition. Say, intuition is indispensable, does the argument now prove it exists in the same way non-mental, non-physical, irreducibly normative facts exist or in the way described above? Why?

I am changing my complaint.

Why is the example you link to this argument asking for an explanation about my immediate judgement, when your trying to give an explanation for our deliberated judgment.

I overlooked your previous response where you said "Your worry about objectivity is legitimate. That needs a further argument to be established. "
I thought this was an argument for moral realism though, not just realism.

Also, what exactly are irreducibly normative truths? You spell out what normative truths are which I do accept, but I imagine those are different somehow.
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9/11/2015 8:55:56 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/10/2015 10:42:32 PM, Kozu wrote:
At 9/10/2015 6:52:33 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 9/10/2015 6:25:42 PM, Kozu wrote:
At 8/26/2015 8:03:57 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 8/25/2015 5:41:47 PM, Kozu wrote:


The syllogism seems more useful for proving intuition exists than moral facts.
How so?

1) If (intuition) is instrumentally indispensable to an intrinsically indispensable project, then we are (epistemically) justified (for that very reason) in believing that (intuition) exists.
You don't need to insert intuition here to prove your point.

2) The deliberative project is intrinsically indispensable.
3) Intuition is instrumentally indispensable to the deliberative project.
4) Therefore, we are epistemically justified in believing that there is intuition.

Now that i think about it, I could replace "intuition" with "psychology" and the syllogism still makes sense.
You sure can do that, but you also need to justify it.
In accepting the original argument, I am committed to accept 1) & 2). How do you justify 3)?
To be clear, I don't think this consequence would be in any way detrimental to my view, I am just not sure of two things:
1) Is intuition really instrumentally indispensable to the deliberative project? It seems to me, since we are talking about deliberation, reason is essential while intuition is not.
2) In what sense do you intend intuition to exist? I sure accept that intuition exists understood as there are some sentient creatures undergoing some process which we call having an intuition. Say, intuition is indispensable, does the argument now prove it exists in the same way non-mental, non-physical, irreducibly normative facts exist or in the way described above? Why?

I am changing my complaint.

Why is the example you link to this argument asking for an explanation about my immediate judgement, when your trying to give an explanation for our deliberated judgment.
It was included to give the reader an idea where Enoch is coming from with his argument.

I overlooked your previous response where you said "Your worry about objectivity is legitimate. That needs a further argument to be established. "
I thought this was an argument for moral realism though, not just realism.
Well, it is an argument for metanormative realism. A second argument is needed to establish moral realism, but this one alone was misunderstood quite a lot so I figured including the other would just cause more confusion.

Also, what exactly are irreducibly normative truths? You spell out what normative truths are which I do accept, but I imagine those are different somehow.
Irreducible in that they are not reducible to natural facts.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
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9/12/2015 12:11:20 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/4/2015 12:56:44 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 9/2/2015 10:30:02 PM, Nac wrote:
At 8/29/2015 7:19:15 PM, Fkkize wrote:
I will be responding in a numbered list in order to save space. Numbers will correspond to breaks in my OP.

1. They are not the same? Could you please explain the difference?
Metanormative realism is moral realism generalized.

The idea that moral facts exist generalized? Do they now exist across all aspects of moral thought?

2. Does he elaborate or justify this claim?
There is not much more to it as far as I'm aware.

I would honestly doubt this claim on those grounds alone. I feel that the claimant should be responsible for the justification of this claim, even if it does intuitively make sense.

3. I was not attempting to state otherwise, and I apologize for making you think I was. I am not asking you to defend this point as if it is your own, merely attempting to test the argument.

The salient point I wished to raise, however, was the question I asked. I do not understand your diction, so I would like to know if my rephrasing is correct.

This point is actually a key aspect of my qualms with your argument, so, if you would, please respond to this question. Apologies if the import was inadequately communicated.

4. Agreed. I merely wished to ensure this point was stated.
5. This point is slightly more complex than any other point you raised. For knowledge, I would disagree with your sentiment, but I can agree to it for a theory with assumptions built in, so long as these assumptions are recognized (e.g. We perceive the world as it truly is).
6. I will actually drop this point in favor of raising a new one: How does electrons possessing explanatory power prove that they exist? Isn't the more salient point the lack of assumptions? We do not have to guess that they exist with no evidence, we can see them, or do something close.*
Sure, but we never perceive them directly, thus the best explanation for what we see is that electrons exist.

Certainly, but it appears as though all competing theories utilize excess assumptions, and can, therefore, be discarded. This is why we utilize this explanation generally, in my eyes. It is not used for what it has, but what it lacks.

7. Same rationale as #4. It seems completely unnecessary now, though, so I will cease it for the time being.
8. Apologies, I conflated the two. However, the point still appears to stand if I substitute my phrase for your phrase. Utility and justification are wholly separate, and finding a solid reason not to continue a practice is no reason to assume its results are true. It seems to be little more than an appeal to consequences, which I cannot agree with.
I think your claim is that just because normativity is useful does not justify us in believing normativity "exists". Correct?

Precisely.

I disagree, when deliberating about what you should do, you commit yourself to there being a correct answer. Or at least better and worse answers. If there are no such answers then any deliberation would be futile. It is precisely what justifies the belief.

1. I do not see a reason to commit myself to any such thing. Deliberation may be performed to simply see if such an answer exists.

2. Even if I do assume that there is a better answer, how do we conclude it is normative? It could be merely my opinion.

9. I really should not have responded on that particular day; I was not fit to offer any cogency. I did not mean to imply modality in this point, but to state that the link to the statement "... the deliberative project is not optional for us." appears nonexistent.
The link from what?

To paraphrase, the premises leading to this conclusion.

It seems to state that because something is a certain way, that way is not optional, but integral.
Yes, if I read you correctly.

I see this as the naturalistic fallacy.
The naturalistic fallacy deals with attempts to define or reductively explain moral terms such as good. I'm not sure where this fallacy is committed.

Is integral not an "ought?" I always thought of it as such.

10. Fixed this point in 8. Again, apologies.
11. Doesn't normative imply that this is not subjective, though? That was my qualm.
Perhaps. I'm not sure.

No issues. It is mainly semantics.

The brunt of my argument is that this reason may or may not be subjective, so granting it does not aid the argument.

12. I would actually disagree. Epistemology is the study of knowledge, and knowledge is justified, true belief, so it would stand to reason that epistemology deals with all three. Do you, perhaps, have a different definition?
I concede this point. Yes, it is the study of knowledge. Still, the argument hinges on the same kind of reasoning as IBEs and that is epistemic justification, not necessarily truth.

I feel as though it results in the same kinds of issues either way. It seems to come from epistemic pragmatism, which I only utilize when discarding the notion that utility implies justification.

13. It seems to still be an appeal to consequences. If an eternal life was an intrinsically indispensable project, then, by this logic, we would be epistemically justified if we were to believe in an afterlife.
Yes, actually. Luckily it does not fall into this category.

It seems as though intrinsically indispensable projects are determined by a perception of necessity (physical necessity, in this context) which would be subjective, I would think.
I would rather call it a notion of inevitability, as we are going to do it anyway.

By inevitability, you say? Is that not down to the opinions of our current generation? Would religion not have fallen into this category years ago?

14. You flatter me. I think there are far more insightful people on this site.
Fkkize
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9/12/2015 11:20:58 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/12/2015 12:11:20 AM, Nac wrote:
Metanormative realism is moral realism generalized.

The idea that moral facts exist generalized? Do they now exist across all aspects of moral thought?
All moral issues are normative issues but not necessarily all normative issues are moral issues. That's what I meant.

2. Does he elaborate or justify this claim?
There is not much more to it as far as I'm aware.

I would honestly doubt this claim on those grounds alone. I feel that the claimant should be responsible for the justification of this claim, even if it does intuitively make sense.
Sure, but as I've said, it's just here to give the argument some direction.

3. I was not attempting to state otherwise, and I apologize for making you think I was. I am not asking you to defend this point as if it is your own, merely attempting to test the argument.

The salient point I wished to raise, however, was the question I asked. I do not understand your diction, so I would like to know if my rephrasing is correct.

This point is actually a key aspect of my qualms with your argument, so, if you would, please respond to this question. Apologies if the import was inadequately communicated.
Would the phrase "appropriate explanatory role" be the same as "necessary in the explanation of a phenomena?"
On the face of it, it seems to be the case. But I am not sure what could be gained from such a rephrasing.

6. I will actually drop this point in favor of raising a new one: How does electrons possessing explanatory power prove that they exist? Isn't the more salient point the lack of assumptions? We do not have to guess that they exist with no evidence, we can see them, or do something close.*
Sure, but we never perceive them directly, thus the best explanation for what we see is that electrons exist.

Certainly, but it appears as though all competing theories utilize excess assumptions, and can, therefore, be discarded. This is why we utilize this explanation generally, in my eyes. It is not used for what it has, but what it lacks.
If I understand you correctly you are arguing for scientific antirealism, right? In this case you will of course not be convinced by the argument. But I'm starting to repeat myself.

I think your claim is that just because normativity is useful does not justify us in believing normativity "exists". Correct?

Precisely.

I disagree, when deliberating about what you should do, you commit yourself to there being a correct answer. Or at least better and worse answers. If there are no such answers then any deliberation would be futile. It is precisely what justifies the belief.

1. I do not see a reason to commit myself to any such thing. Deliberation may be performed to simply see if such an answer exists.
Yes and if such answers were not to exist, then deliberation would be futile.

2. Even if I do assume that there is a better answer, how do we conclude it is normative? It could be merely my opinion.
In asking these questions we look for things that count in favor of some action over another, i.e., normative reasons. If some final decision arises from your preference of, say, blue over yellow, then this preference is a normative reason for your doing.

9. I really should not have responded on that particular day; I was not fit to offer any cogency. I did not mean to imply modality in this point, but to state that the link to the statement "... the deliberative project is not optional for us." appears nonexistent.
The link from what?

To paraphrase, the premises leading to this conclusion.
I am still not quite sure I understand you correctly. Which premise do you have in mind?

It seems to state that because something is a certain way, that way is not optional, but integral.
Yes, if I read you correctly.

I see this as the naturalistic fallacy.
The naturalistic fallacy deals with attempts to define or reductively explain moral terms such as good. I'm not sure where this fallacy is committed.

Is integral not an "ought?" I always thought of it as such.
Not as far as I am aware of. But even if, at no point was an analysis of moral terms attempted. The naturalistic fallacy was originally used to argue against moral naturalism and in favor of moral non-naturalism. The position I hold.
I don't think the naturalistic fallacy is sound, but it would be quite ironic if 110 years after Moore non-naturalists were to commit the fallacy he used to argue for non-naturalism.

10. Fixed this point in 8. Again, apologies.
11. Doesn't normative imply that this is not subjective, though? That was my qualm.
Perhaps. I'm not sure.

No issues. It is mainly semantics.

The brunt of my argument is that this reason may or may not be subjective, so granting it does not aid the argument.
True, that is why this argument alone does not carry us to full-blown moral realism.

12. I would actually disagree. Epistemology is the study of knowledge, and knowledge is justified, true belief, so it would stand to reason that epistemology deals with all three. Do you, perhaps, have a different definition?
I concede this point. Yes, it is the study of knowledge. Still, the argument hinges on the same kind of reasoning as IBEs and that is epistemic justification, not necessarily truth.

I feel as though it results in the same kinds of issues either way. It seems to come from epistemic pragmatism, which I only utilize when discarding the notion that utility implies justification.
A pragmatist would say that such claims are actually true. It seems to me your qualms are more about scientific reasoning than this particular argument.

It seems as though intrinsically indispensable projects are determined by a perception of necessity (physical necessity, in this context) which would be subjective, I would think.
I would rather call it a notion of inevitability, as we are going to do it anyway.

By inevitability, you say? Is that not down to the opinions of our current generation? Would religion not have fallen into this category years ago?
Apparently not. Atheism has been around for ages and I don't see some fundamental change in human nature which could justify the claim of a project going from non-optional to optional in a matter of years. The explanatory and deliberative projects on the other hand have been around since our oldest ancestors.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
Nac
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9/12/2015 1:38:50 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/12/2015 11:20:58 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 9/12/2015 12:11:20 AM, Nac wrote:

All moral issues are normative issues but not necessarily all normative issues are moral issues. That's what I meant.

Thank you.

Sure, but as I've said, it's just here to give the argument some direction.

I somehow missed that point. I thought it was here to provide a niche for the argument you lay out (i.e. cast doubt on moral facts).

3. I was not attempting to state otherwise, and I apologize for making you think I was. I am not asking you to defend this point as if it is your own, merely attempting to test the argument.

The salient point I wished to raise, however, was the question I asked. I do not understand your diction, so I would like to know if my rephrasing is correct.


Would the phrase "appropriate explanatory role" be the same as "necessary in the explanation of a phenomena?"
On the face of it, it seems to be the case. But I am not sure what could be gained from such a rephrasing.

Nothing more than my understanding of the diction. It was hard to wrap my brain around to be honest.

Using this, I can actually challenge another point.

(2) by arguing that we can have reason to belief in normative truths even though they are explanatory dispensable.

If moral facts are unnecessary in explaining phenomena, is it not just an extra assumption? For me, this is ample reason to discard moral facts, even when assuming ideals such as Occam's razor.

6. I will actually drop this point in favor of raising a new one: How does electrons possessing explanatory power prove that they exist? Isn't the more salient point the lack of assumptions? We do not have to guess that they exist with no evidence, we can see them, or do something close.*
Sure, but we never perceive them directly, thus the best explanation for what we see is that electrons exist.

Certainly, but it appears as though all competing theories utilize excess assumptions, and can, therefore, be discarded. This is why we utilize this explanation generally, in my eyes. It is not used for what it has, but what it lacks.
If I understand you correctly you are arguing for scientific antirealism, right? In this case you will of course not be convinced by the argument. But I'm starting to repeat myself.

Scientific instrumentalism, specifically. I think it is just a useful tool, no more.

In spite of this view, this argument is not actually a particular instance of that, or was not intended to be. It was an attempt to show why we think electrons exist: we don't have to make unnecessary assumptions. In this way, my point can coexist with scientific realism, since Occam's razor is assumed in this philosophy.

I think your claim is that just because normativity is useful does not justify us in believing normativity "exists". Correct?

Precisely.

I disagree, when deliberating about what you should do, you commit yourself to there being a correct answer. Or at least better and worse answers. If there are no such answers then any deliberation would be futile. It is precisely what justifies the belief.

1. I do not see a reason to commit myself to any such thing. Deliberation may be performed to simply see if such an answer exists.
Yes and if such answers were not to exist, then deliberation would be futile.

Yes, if I fail to find a favorable answer, then deliberation would have failed to achieve the desired result. But I am not assuming that a method will not fail when utilizing it.

2. Even if I do assume that there is a better answer, how do we conclude it is normative? It could be merely my opinion.
In asking these questions we look for things that count in favor of some action over another, i.e., normative reasons. If some final decision arises from your preference of, say, blue over yellow, then this preference is a normative reason for your doing.

Again, my issue with the word "normative" is that it seems to suggest objectivity.

"Normative: Of, relating to, or prescribing a norm or standard" (https://www.ahdictionary.com...)

"Norm: A pattern of behavior considered acceptable or proper by a social group."
https://www.ahdictionary.com...

9. I really should not have responded on that particular day; I was not fit to offer any cogency. I did not mean to imply modality in this point, but to state that the link to the statement "... the deliberative project is not optional for us." appears nonexistent.
The link from what?

To paraphrase, the premises leading to this conclusion.
I am still not quite sure I understand you correctly. Which premise do you have in mind?

"We can never stop deliberating," namely. This was probably just a misunderstanding of what you mean by intrinsically indispensable, though. I did not think inevitability was how we defined indispensability.


I see this as the naturalistic fallacy.
The naturalistic fallacy deals with attempts to define or reductively explain moral terms such as good. I'm not sure where this fallacy is committed.

Is integral not an "ought?" I always thought of it as such.
Not as far as I am aware of. But even if, at no point was an analysis of moral terms attempted. The naturalistic fallacy was originally used to argue against moral naturalism and in favor of moral non-naturalism. The position I hold.
I don't think the naturalistic fallacy is sound, but it would be quite ironic if 110 years after Moore non-naturalists were to commit the fallacy he used to argue for non-naturalism.

You disagree with the idea that we cannot derive an ought from an is? Doesn't that imply that we should never change our morals

10. Fixed this point in 8. Again, apologies.
11. Doesn't normative imply that this is not subjective, though? That was my qualm.
Perhaps. I'm not sure.

No issues. It is mainly semantics.

The brunt of my argument is that this reason may or may not be subjective, so granting it does not aid the argument.
True, that is why this argument alone does not carry us to full-blown moral realism.

Fair enough.

A pragmatist would say that such claims are actually true. It seems to me your qualms are more about scientific reasoning than this particular argument.

Apologies, instrumentalism. My epistemic philosophy is pyrrhonian skepticism, but I do not give up useful concepts in doing so. If science can reach a prediction reliably, then it is useful. I simply reject the notion that this implies truth values.

I would rather call it a notion of inevitability, as we are going to do it anyway.

By inevitability, you say? Is that not down to the opinions of our current generation? Would religion not have fallen into this category years ago?
Apparently not. Atheism has been around for ages and I don't see some fundamental change in human nature which could justify the claim of a project going from non-optional to optional in a matter of years. The explanatory and deliberative projects on the other hand have been around since our oldest ancestors.

Fair enough, but what justifies the claim that inevitability implies indispensability? Anti -realism can assuage concerns, so why place epistemic justification into the mix?

While I do realize you have stated that a scientific anti-realist will dispute this argument, I reject the notion that this argument can be sound without their refutations being addressed. The scope of the conclusion does not allow for such a caveat; it requires the qualifier that scientific realism implies the conclusion before it can coexist with such aspersions.
Philocat
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9/12/2015 2:04:09 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Very interesting... this is quite an advanced argument but I think I can grasp it.

Thanks for posting, I enjoyed reading that :)
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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9/12/2015 2:53:42 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
(2) by arguing that we can have reason to belief in normative truths even though they are explanatory dispensable.

If moral facts are unnecessary in explaining phenomena, is it not just an extra assumption? For me, this is ample reason to discard moral facts, even when assuming ideals such as Occam's razor.
That's exactly what the argument is supposed to overcome: justified belief in some entities even though they play no causal role in explaining things.

6. I will actually drop this point in favor of raising a new one: How does electrons possessing explanatory power prove that they exist? Isn't the more salient point the lack of assumptions? We do not have to guess that they exist with no evidence, we can see them, or do something close.*
Sure, but we never perceive them directly, thus the best explanation for what we see is that electrons exist.

Certainly, but it appears as though all competing theories utilize excess assumptions, and can, therefore, be discarded. This is why we utilize this explanation generally, in my eyes. It is not used for what it has, but what it lacks.
If I understand you correctly you are arguing for scientific antirealism, right? In this case you will of course not be convinced by the argument. But I'm starting to repeat myself.

Scientific instrumentalism, specifically. I think it is just a useful tool, no more.
Well yeah, as I have said from the very beginning, this argument won't persuade you if you are skeptical of science.

In spite of this view, this argument is not actually a particular instance of that, or was not intended to be. It was an attempt to show why we think electrons exist: we don't have to make unnecessary assumptions. In this way, my point can coexist with scientific realism, since Occam's razor is assumed in this philosophy.
But this is exactly what has been argued against. The whole point of the argument was to link the explanatory indispensability of, say, electrons to the deliberative indispensability of normative facts.

1. I do not see a reason to commit myself to any such thing. Deliberation may be performed to simply see if such an answer exists.
Yes and if such answers were not to exist, then deliberation would be futile.

Yes, if I fail to find a favorable answer, then deliberation would have failed to achieve the desired result. But I am not assuming that a method will not fail when utilizing it.
There is a difference between "there are no answers" and "I failed to find the answers". If there are no answers, then of course you will fail to find answers as the whole enterprise of deliberation would be futile.

2. Even if I do assume that there is a better answer, how do we conclude it is normative? It could be merely my opinion.
In asking these questions we look for things that count in favor of some action over another, i.e., normative reasons. If some final decision arises from your preference of, say, blue over yellow, then this preference is a normative reason for your doing.

Again, my issue with the word "normative" is that it seems to suggest objectivity.

"Normative: Of, relating to, or prescribing a norm or standard" (https://www.ahdictionary.com...)

"Norm: A pattern of behavior considered acceptable or proper by a social group."
https://www.ahdictionary.com...
Dictionaries are not adequate when it comes to technical terms.

9. I really should not have responded on that particular day; I was not fit to offer any cogency. I did not mean to imply modality in this point, but to state that the link to the statement "... the deliberative project is not optional for us." appears nonexistent.
The link from what?

To paraphrase, the premises leading to this conclusion.
I am still not quite sure I understand you correctly. Which premise do you have in mind?

"We can never stop deliberating," namely. This was probably just a misunderstanding of what you mean by intrinsically indispensable, though. I did not think inevitability was how we defined indispensability.
Just to be sure, you issue is with the connection between "we can never stop deliberating" and "... the deliberative project is not optional for us".
This might sound trivial but I am quite confused.

Is integral not an "ought?" I always thought of it as such.
Not as far as I am aware of. But even if, at no point was an analysis of moral terms attempted. The naturalistic fallacy was originally used to argue against moral naturalism and in favor of moral non-naturalism. The position I hold.
I don't think the naturalistic fallacy is sound, but it would be quite ironic if 110 years after Moore non-naturalists were to commit the fallacy he used to argue for non-naturalism.

You disagree with the idea that we cannot derive an ought from an is? Doesn't that imply that we should never change our morals
Wait, Hume's law is quite different from the naturalistic fallacy.

A pragmatist would say that such claims are actually true. It seems to me your qualms are more about scientific reasoning than this particular argument.

Apologies, instrumentalism. My epistemic philosophy is pyrrhonian skepticism, but I do not give up useful concepts in doing so. If science can reach a prediction reliably, then it is useful. I simply reject the notion that this implies truth values.

I would rather call it a notion of inevitability, as we are going to do it anyway.

By inevitability, you say? Is that not down to the opinions of our current generation? Would religion not have fallen into this category years ago?
Apparently not. Atheism has been around for ages and I don't see some fundamental change in human nature which could justify the claim of a project going from non-optional to optional in a matter of years. The explanatory and deliberative projects on the other hand have been around since our oldest ancestors.

Fair enough, but what justifies the claim that inevitability implies indispensability?
This was the topic of Intrinsic Indispensability.

Anti -realism can assuage concerns, so why place epistemic justification into the mix?
I am not sure what you mean.

While I do realize you have stated that a scientific anti-realist will dispute this argument, I reject the notion that this argument can be sound without their refutations being addressed. The scope of the conclusion does not allow for such a caveat; it requires the qualifier that scientific realism implies the conclusion before
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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9/12/2015 2:56:12 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/12/2015 2:04:09 PM, Philocat wrote:
Very interesting... this is quite an advanced argument but I think I can grasp it.

Thanks for posting, I enjoyed reading that :)

You're welcome!
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic