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Morality and science

Dirty.Harry
Posts: 1,571
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1/27/2016 4:29:45 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
Can anyone tell me how to decide if killing a child is less moral than killing an ant?

What scientific reasoning did you use to reach your conclusion?

Harry.
PeacefulChaos
Posts: 2,610
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1/27/2016 5:57:10 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/27/2016 4:29:45 AM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Can anyone tell me how to decide if killing a child is less moral than killing an ant?

What scientific reasoning did you use to reach your conclusion?

Harry.

Morals are beyond the bounds of science.

There is no scientific reasoning by which one can assert some moral law.
Floid
Posts: 751
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1/27/2016 12:48:51 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/27/2016 4:29:45 AM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Can anyone tell me how to decide if killing a child is less moral than killing an ant?

What scientific reasoning did you use to reach your conclusion?

Harry.

Science offers a key component to moral philosophy but alone may not be sufficient to decide morality. For example, under utilitarianism we could use the following approach to decide the issue:

1. A person is more sentient than an ant. Therefore, happiness (or safety or whatever other goals you wish) of a person is more important than those virtues to an ant.
2. An ant in my house or yard possess a threat to the safety and happiness of myself and other humans.
3. Therefore killing an ant is ethically permissible.

Under this same rational, killing an ant in the middle of a forest where people rarely if ever travel may be morally impermissible.

1. A child is a fully sentient being.
2. A child does not pose a threat to the safety and happiness of other humans.
3. Therefore killing a person is ethically impermissible.

Science can be used to investigate and justify each individual claim however it does not provide the overall framework for which the argument is based.
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,580
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1/27/2016 11:59:59 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/27/2016 4:29:45 AM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Can anyone tell me how to decide if killing a child is less moral than killing an ant?

What scientific reasoning did you use to reach your conclusion?

Perhaps, you might want to start at the morally challenging question, 'What is my intention to kill?" That will help understand the morality of the action.


Harry.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
Dirty.Harry
Posts: 1,571
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1/28/2016 4:01:48 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/27/2016 11:59:59 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 1/27/2016 4:29:45 AM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Can anyone tell me how to decide if killing a child is less moral than killing an ant?

What scientific reasoning did you use to reach your conclusion?

Perhaps, you might want to start at the morally challenging question, 'What is my intention to kill?" That will help understand the morality of the action.


Harry.

I don't want to start with your question though, that's why I started with mine. Answer my question not a question that you'd prefer me to ask.
Enji
Posts: 1,022
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1/28/2016 4:04:26 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/27/2016 4:29:45 AM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Can anyone tell me how to decide if killing a child is less moral than killing an ant?

What scientific reasoning did you use to reach your conclusion?

Harry.
I prefer Gould's non-overlapping magisteria: value-based claims are outside the realm of scientific inquiry.
Dirty.Harry
Posts: 1,571
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1/28/2016 4:08:33 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/27/2016 12:48:51 PM, Floid wrote:
At 1/27/2016 4:29:45 AM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Can anyone tell me how to decide if killing a child is less moral than killing an ant?

What scientific reasoning did you use to reach your conclusion?

Harry.

Science offers a key component to moral philosophy but alone may not be sufficient to decide morality. For example, under utilitarianism we could use the following approach to decide the issue:

1. A person is more sentient than an ant. Therefore, happiness (or safety or whatever other goals you wish) of a person is more important than those virtues to an ant.
2. An ant in my house or yard possess a threat to the safety and happiness of myself and other humans.
3. Therefore killing an ant is ethically permissible.

Under this same rational, killing an ant in the middle of a forest where people rarely if ever travel may be morally impermissible.

1. A child is a fully sentient being.
2. A child does not pose a threat to the safety and happiness of other humans.
3. Therefore killing a person is ethically impermissible.


Science can be used to investigate and justify each individual claim however it does not provide the overall framework for which the argument is based.

An ant can never threaten my life, a human can. An ant will never lie and cheat, a human probably will. An ant pursuing self interest will never conflict with me whereas a human certainly could. An ant will never rape, torture or persecute me for sadistic pleasure whereas humans frequently do.

Therefore its more ethical to eliminate the organism which poses a greater threat to me, the human child - who could eventually grow into a dangerous adult.

What's wrong why my alternative scientific analysis?
chui
Posts: 507
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1/28/2016 12:16:34 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/27/2016 4:29:45 AM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Can anyone tell me how to decide if killing a child is less moral than killing an ant?

What scientific reasoning did you use to reach your conclusion?

Harry.

Did you mean to single out reasoning in particular or should I infer you mean using any part of the scientific method?

I would argue there is nothing particular about reasoning in science than say in mathematics or other rational subjects ie we start with some knowledge, apply logic and arrive at a conclusion. So that would mean, in my view, that the use of the word scientific in your question is redundant.

However if we broaden the question's meaning to imply 'use of any part of scientific methodology' then I would say that science can help. For example we could explore the possible consequences of each act upon society. The act most likely to cause damage to the cohesion of society could then be deemed the least moral act.

Since the random and motiveless killing of children on a large scale would clearly lead to a break down in society I think we can easily conclude that killing the child is most damaging potentially and therefore a behaviour that should be repressed.

However science would be limited in its ability to test this hypothesis for obvious ethical reasons. Information would have to be gathered by indirect methods, for example observing the impact on families who had suffered a tragic loss due to murder, observing the breakdown in social cohesion following mass shootings etc.

In this way we can construct a code of laws.

I think I am describing a utilitarian approach, but my knowledge of philosophy is limited.
Floid
Posts: 751
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1/28/2016 1:38:41 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/28/2016 4:08:33 AM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
An ant can never threaten my life, a human can. An ant will never lie and cheat, a human probably will. An ant pursuing self interest will never conflict with me whereas a human certainly could. An ant will never rape, torture or persecute me for sadistic pleasure whereas humans frequently do.

Therefore its more ethical to eliminate the organism which poses a greater threat to me, the human child - who could eventually grow into a dangerous adult.

What's wrong why my alternative scientific analysis?

For one, an ant can threaten your life if you are allergic to ant bites. A group of ants (seems they rarely travel or live alone) can certainly threaten your life. In either case, an ant bite certainly can effect your immediate happiness. In more primal situations such as we would have found ourselves in the not to distant past ants would have been competition for food (no fun if your hard earned food became infested with ants) so it would have been a more direct threat to group survival.

So why allow a child to live when it has the potential to threaten our survival or happiness? For one, we know the chances a child grows up to be a threat to survival is much smaller than the chance it grows up to contribute to the group/society and propagate the species.

A second important point is that while the ant is not being sadistic when it bits you or ruins your food it also is following its natural instincts. An ant will always bite you if you accidentally step on an ant hill. Ants will always infest your food if they can get access to it. A child may or may not grow up to be sadistic, an ant will always cause you harm given common opportunities because that is the natural instincts.
Dirty.Harry
Posts: 1,571
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1/28/2016 2:58:39 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/28/2016 12:16:34 PM, chui wrote:
At 1/27/2016 4:29:45 AM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Can anyone tell me how to decide if killing a child is less moral than killing an ant?

What scientific reasoning did you use to reach your conclusion?

Harry.

Did you mean to single out reasoning in particular or should I infer you mean using any part of the scientific method?

I would argue there is nothing particular about reasoning in science than say in mathematics or other rational subjects ie we start with some knowledge, apply logic and arrive at a conclusion. So that would mean, in my view, that the use of the word scientific in your question is redundant.

However if we broaden the question's meaning to imply 'use of any part of scientific methodology' then I would say that science can help. For example we could explore the possible consequences of each act upon society. The act most likely to cause damage to the cohesion of society could then be deemed the least moral act.

Why? why is "damage" relevant here? surely this criteria is arbitrary?

Since the random and motiveless killing of children on a large scale would clearly lead to a break down in society I think we can easily conclude that killing the child is most damaging potentially and therefore a behaviour that should be repressed.


It would have consequences for society but once again this is an arbitrary criteria for morality surely?

However science would be limited in its ability to test this hypothesis for obvious ethical reasons. Information would have to be gathered by indirect methods, for example observing the impact on families who had suffered a tragic loss due to murder, observing the breakdown in social cohesion following mass shootings etc.

In this way we can construct a code of laws.

I think I am describing a utilitarian approach, but my knowledge of philosophy is limited.

We can and do construct codes of laws (or those in positions of power do) you've not offered any evidence that morality exists as a physical reality, so far all you've done is propose this or that arbitrary criteria.

So far it seems that science has nothing to contribute to this discussion and won't help us explore it.

Harry.
TBR
Posts: 9,991
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1/28/2016 4:06:16 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/27/2016 4:29:45 AM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Can anyone tell me how to decide if killing a child is less moral than killing an ant?

What scientific reasoning did you use to reach your conclusion?

Harry.

As said above, science has no place in questions of morality. What you COULD do is gather data to assess effect - say on the ecosystem. What effects does killing a baby have on the ecosystem vs killing an ant. With this you could then predict the effect of killing many baby's with the effect of killing many ants. No matter, its not a question of morals for science. Why would you want it to be?
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,580
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1/28/2016 4:45:50 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/28/2016 4:08:33 AM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 1/27/2016 12:48:51 PM, Floid wrote:
At 1/27/2016 4:29:45 AM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Can anyone tell me how to decide if killing a child is less moral than killing an ant?

What scientific reasoning did you use to reach your conclusion?

Harry.

Science offers a key component to moral philosophy but alone may not be sufficient to decide morality. For example, under utilitarianism we could use the following approach to decide the issue:

1. A person is more sentient than an ant. Therefore, happiness (or safety or whatever other goals you wish) of a person is more important than those virtues to an ant.
2. An ant in my house or yard possess a threat to the safety and happiness of myself and other humans.
3. Therefore killing an ant is ethically permissible.

Under this same rational, killing an ant in the middle of a forest where people rarely if ever travel may be morally impermissible.

1. A child is a fully sentient being.
2. A child does not pose a threat to the safety and happiness of other humans.
3. Therefore killing a person is ethically impermissible.


Science can be used to investigate and justify each individual claim however it does not provide the overall framework for which the argument is based.

An ant can never threaten my life, a human can. An ant will never lie and cheat, a human probably will. An ant pursuing self interest will never conflict with me whereas a human certainly could. An ant will never rape, torture or persecute me for sadistic pleasure whereas humans frequently do.

Therefore its more ethical to eliminate the organism which poses a greater threat to me, the human child - who could eventually grow into a dangerous adult.

LOL. Nice fallacy there, Harry, that's called shifting the goalposts, you went from using a child as your example to a "dangerous adult", quite the bit of dishonesty on your part. And, you have revealed your intention, my question to you, which is that you intend to kill a "dangerous adult" who you believe will rape, torture or persecute you for sadistic pleasure, which of course, humans DO NOT frequently do, another bit of bs on your part.

Then, you want to compare this to killing an ant.

Seriously Harry, your threads are a friggin joke.

What's wrong why my alternative scientific analysis?
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
chui
Posts: 507
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1/29/2016 3:05:38 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/28/2016 2:58:39 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 1/28/2016 12:16:34 PM, chui wrote:
At 1/27/2016 4:29:45 AM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Can anyone tell me how to decide if killing a child is less moral than killing an ant?

What scientific reasoning did you use to reach your conclusion?

Harry.

Did you mean to single out reasoning in particular or should I infer you mean using any part of the scientific method?

I would argue there is nothing particular about reasoning in science than say in mathematics or other rational subjects ie we start with some knowledge, apply logic and arrive at a conclusion. So that would mean, in my view, that the use of the word scientific in your question is redundant.

However if we broaden the question's meaning to imply 'use of any part of scientific methodology' then I would say that science can help. For example we could explore the possible consequences of each act upon society. The act most likely to cause damage to the cohesion of society could then be deemed the least moral act.

Why? why is "damage" relevant here? surely this criteria is arbitrary?

Since the random and motiveless killing of children on a large scale would clearly lead to a break down in society I think we can easily conclude that killing the child is most damaging potentially and therefore a behaviour that should be repressed.


It would have consequences for society but once again this is an arbitrary criteria for morality surely?

However science would be limited in its ability to test this hypothesis for obvious ethical reasons. Information would have to be gathered by indirect methods, for example observing the impact on families who had suffered a tragic loss due to murder, observing the breakdown in social cohesion following mass shootings etc.

In this way we can construct a code of laws.

I think I am describing a utilitarian approach, but my knowledge of philosophy is limited.

We can and do construct codes of laws (or those in positions of power do) you've not offered any evidence that morality exists as a physical reality, so far all you've done is propose this or that arbitrary criteria.

I think I see where we disagree. I do not believe that absolute moral values exist, I take the view that the morality of a decision should be weighed by the anticipated consequences. This is a common approach in moral philosophy. Morality can then be evaluated on the evidence collected from previous actions, which allows a scientific approach. This also requires a pragmatic approach, since only real world examples can be considered. I agree that this method cannot be applied to your hypothetical situation.

So far it seems that science has nothing to contribute to this discussion and won't help us explore it.

Harry.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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1/29/2016 4:45:17 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/28/2016 2:58:39 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
We can and do construct codes of laws (or those in positions of power do) you've not offered any evidence that morality exists as a physical reality, so far all you've done is propose this or that arbitrary criteria.

So far it seems that science has nothing to contribute to this discussion and won't help us explore it.

Harry, I don't think you can infer that.

Firstly, science has been our most effective and reliable tool for studying material cause and consequence. If nothing else, a better knowledge of consequence informs a more accurate sense of moral responsibility. Indeed, one could ask whether morality could exist at all without a reliable sense of consequence. So science improves moral responsibility.

Secondly, science has been our most effective tool for studying efficacy. You've attached morality to law, and I support that attachment in the sense that our moral sensibilities underpin both law and ethics. But law is concerned with prevention, deterrence and restitution of harm, and with punishment and rehabilitation. The efficacy of a law in achieving those aims is a scientific question, and science has made definitive pronouncements on those questions at times. So science improves moral efficacy and accountability for actions undertaken for moral reasons.

Thirdly, morality is a human concern, and humanity is a subject of study for science. So science is in a position to say whether any moral principles or values are common to our species, or whether they are all societal -- and whether they are to be found in other species. To this extent, science has found evidence, for example, that two key moral values -- compassion and altruism -- are present through human societies, and has found compassion and/or altruism in other species, such as chimpanzees. So science improves moral insight.

Fourthly, science itself is not morally neutral. While science withholds moral judgement about its areas of study, the profession of science itself is dedicated to principles of honesty, transparency, accountability, freedom and inclusion. Though formed pragmatically from the empiricist roots of science, these ethical principles are also found in the moral underpinnings of many societies. Moreover, most international science bodies have been strong advocates of the twin ethics of benevolence and non-malevolence. So science is dedicated to ethical behaviour.

Finally, science is an humanitarian undertaking, meaning that the greatest beneficiaries of science itself tend not to be its practitioners, but rather the people who inherit and apply scientific knowledge. Science has frequently provided expert advice and even advocacy on matters of broad concern to humanity (for example, on natural disasters, epidemics and medical or environmental risks), and hasn't simply reported information.

So to recap, science is an humanitarian undertaking dedicated to ethical behaviour, which improves moral insight and moral responsibility and enhances the efficacy and accountability of actions taken toward moral ends, and is pro-active in providing not just information, but also advice and advocacy on matters of broad human concern.

It doesn't seem then that science has no positive contribution to human morality, does it?

What is it then, that science does not contribute to moral concerns?

I think the main thing science doesn't do is set policy outside its own profession. Policy-setting can be undertaken in a range of ways, depending on individual societies. Science has views on whether a particular policy is likely to be effective, but does not seek to set policy for the societies it serves.

So science can tell you in detail the consequences of killing an ant and a child (and I'd be happy to explore some of those consequences, and how they may impact broad moral concerns in another post if you wish.) It does not normally set policy on when and how one might kill ants and children, yet it is very likely to hold up a strong mirror of consequence on policy-decisions to do so. And try and conduct the wholesale slaughter of children and see if international scientific bodies would remain silent about that.

Conclusion: science is highly invested in, supportive of, and a major contributor to advancing human moral concerns.

I hope that may help.
Dirty.Harry
Posts: 1,571
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1/30/2016 7:39:20 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/28/2016 1:38:41 PM, Floid wrote:
At 1/28/2016 4:08:33 AM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
An ant can never threaten my life, a human can. An ant will never lie and cheat, a human probably will. An ant pursuing self interest will never conflict with me whereas a human certainly could. An ant will never rape, torture or persecute me for sadistic pleasure whereas humans frequently do.

Therefore its more ethical to eliminate the organism which poses a greater threat to me, the human child - who could eventually grow into a dangerous adult.

What's wrong why my alternative scientific analysis?

For one, an ant can threaten your life if you are allergic to ant bites.

I'm not.

A group of ants (seems they rarely travel or live alone) can certainly threaten your life.

Human deaths from humans is far more common that human deaths from ants.

In either case, an ant bite certainly can effect your immediate happiness. In more primal situations such as we would have found ourselves in the not to distant past ants would have been competition for food (no fun if your hard earned food became infested with ants) so it would have been a more direct threat to group survival.

So why allow a child to live when it has the potential to threaten our survival or happiness? For one, we know the chances a child grows up to be a threat to survival is much smaller than the chance it grows up to contribute to the group/society and propagate the species.

Why take the chance, seems foolish.

A second important point is that while the ant is not being sadistic when it bits you or ruins your food it also is following its natural instincts. An ant will always bite you if you accidentally step on an ant hill. Ants will always infest your food if they can get access to it. A child may or may not grow up to be sadistic, an ant will always cause you harm given common opportunities because that is the natural instincts.

Humans are the biggest threat to humans - pollution, overpopulation, crime, violence, war, competition - a program of mass extermination of the young will clearly reduce the threat, logic alone makes this obvious.

Harry.
Dirty.Harry
Posts: 1,571
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1/30/2016 7:39:48 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/27/2016 11:59:59 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 1/27/2016 4:29:45 AM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Can anyone tell me how to decide if killing a child is less moral than killing an ant?

What scientific reasoning did you use to reach your conclusion?

Perhaps, you might want to start at the morally challenging question, 'What is my intention to kill?" That will help understand the morality of the action.


Harry.

How?
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,580
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1/30/2016 8:44:28 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/30/2016 7:39:48 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 1/27/2016 11:59:59 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 1/27/2016 4:29:45 AM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Can anyone tell me how to decide if killing a child is less moral than killing an ant?

What scientific reasoning did you use to reach your conclusion?

Perhaps, you might want to start at the morally challenging question, 'What is my intention to kill?" That will help understand the morality of the action.


Harry.

How?

Answering that will require I cover a lot of ground, so rather than do that, you tell me specifically your intentions to kill, that way I can be specific with my answer.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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1/30/2016 10:24:50 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/27/2016 12:48:51 PM, Floid wrote:
At 1/27/2016 4:29:45 AM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Can anyone tell me how to decide if killing a child is less moral than killing an ant?

What scientific reasoning did you use to reach your conclusion?

Harry.

Science offers a key component to moral philosophy but alone may not be sufficient to decide morality. For example, under utilitarianism we could use the following approach to decide the issue:

1. A person is more sentient than an ant. Therefore, happiness (or safety or whatever other goals you wish) of a person is more important than those virtues to an ant.
2. An ant in my house or yard possess a threat to the safety and happiness of myself and other humans.
3. Therefore killing an ant is ethically permissible.

Under this same rational, killing an ant in the middle of a forest where people rarely if ever travel may be morally impermissible.

1. A child is a fully sentient being.
2. A child does not pose a threat to the safety and happiness of other humans.
3. Therefore killing a person is ethically impermissible.


Science can be used to investigate and justify each individual claim however it does not provide the overall framework for which the argument is based.

Science doesn't have any empirical test for sentience. Science doesn't help make moral decisions because morality would have to be assumed and injected into the qualities sought after.

For instance Science doesn't have a way of saying preserving sentient life is any better than not.

This is your attempt to say Science offers something to any question. But it offers no utility in moral issues. As far as ethics go Science only helps in how an action can be congruent to the Law.

There is no scientific method, experiment, or reasoning that justifies one action as morally superior to another.
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,580
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1/30/2016 11:27:05 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/30/2016 10:24:50 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 1/27/2016 12:48:51 PM, Floid wrote:
At 1/27/2016 4:29:45 AM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Can anyone tell me how to decide if killing a child is less moral than killing an ant?

What scientific reasoning did you use to reach your conclusion?

Harry.

Science offers a key component to moral philosophy but alone may not be sufficient to decide morality. For example, under utilitarianism we could use the following approach to decide the issue:

1. A person is more sentient than an ant. Therefore, happiness (or safety or whatever other goals you wish) of a person is more important than those virtues to an ant.
2. An ant in my house or yard possess a threat to the safety and happiness of myself and other humans.
3. Therefore killing an ant is ethically permissible.

Under this same rational, killing an ant in the middle of a forest where people rarely if ever travel may be morally impermissible.

1. A child is a fully sentient being.
2. A child does not pose a threat to the safety and happiness of other humans.
3. Therefore killing a person is ethically impermissible.


Science can be used to investigate and justify each individual claim however it does not provide the overall framework for which the argument is based.

Science doesn't have any empirical test for sentience. Science doesn't help make moral decisions because morality would have to be assumed and injected into the qualities sought after.

For instance Science doesn't have a way of saying preserving sentient life is any better than not.

This is your attempt to say Science offers something to any question. But it offers no utility in moral issues. As far as ethics go Science only helps in how an action can be congruent to the Law.

There is no scientific method, experiment, or reasoning that justifies one action as morally superior to another.

You fall into the same trap as so many religionists before you, denying something about science and then science turning around and doing exactly what you denied.

Creating some scenario that science hasn't found or hasn't answered is not any reason to claim science can't find or not answer, that is fallacy.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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1/30/2016 11:40:37 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/30/2016 11:27:05 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 1/30/2016 10:24:50 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 1/27/2016 12:48:51 PM, Floid wrote:
At 1/27/2016 4:29:45 AM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Can anyone tell me how to decide if killing a child is less moral than killing an ant?

What scientific reasoning did you use to reach your conclusion?

Harry.

Science offers a key component to moral philosophy but alone may not be sufficient to decide morality. For example, under utilitarianism we could use the following approach to decide the issue:

1. A person is more sentient than an ant. Therefore, happiness (or safety or whatever other goals you wish) of a person is more important than those virtues to an ant.
2. An ant in my house or yard possess a threat to the safety and happiness of myself and other humans.
3. Therefore killing an ant is ethically permissible.

Under this same rational, killing an ant in the middle of a forest where people rarely if ever travel may be morally impermissible.

1. A child is a fully sentient being.
2. A child does not pose a threat to the safety and happiness of other humans.
3. Therefore killing a person is ethically impermissible.


Science can be used to investigate and justify each individual claim however it does not provide the overall framework for which the argument is based.

Science doesn't have any empirical test for sentience. Science doesn't help make moral decisions because morality would have to be assumed and injected into the qualities sought after.

For instance Science doesn't have a way of saying preserving sentient life is any better than not.

This is your attempt to say Science offers something to any question. But it offers no utility in moral issues. As far as ethics go Science only helps in how an action can be congruent to the Law.

There is no scientific method, experiment, or reasoning that justifies one action as morally superior to another.

You fall into the same trap as so many religionists before you, denying something about science and then science turning around and doing exactly what you denied.

Creating some scenario that science hasn't found or hasn't answered is not any reason to claim science can't find or not answer, that is fallacy.

Show me the scientific peer reviewed paper that concludes that preserving sentient life is morally preferable.

I've already gone down this rabbit whole with you and other atheist.

To say science helps you prefer life and therefore discerns what a moral path is absent logic, because the intention of saving life is a moral value.

Science does not demonstrate moral value.

But i undertsand this is common for atheist. To think every cliche catch phrase they use is logic, and to mistake science for a end all be all of answering questions.

So much so that I have had conversations where ridiculous things come from the mouths of atheist like: "That's a scientific answer just without the testing". "memory is a type of prediction", "Deductive logic is based on science" ect..

NO. NO. and NO. Science and the experiments Scientist do, make no demonstrable claims to what is morally superior to another value.

Hence why secular atheist promote relativism so much. But only to the point in which it morally disgusts them. Atheist think Science can answer everything and when science doesn't answer the question then they claim the question is subjective and relative. Tell me does Science demonstrate that raping young boys in mid eastern culture is a morally bad thing?
Accipiter
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1/31/2016 3:11:42 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/27/2016 4:29:45 AM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Can anyone tell me how to decide if killing a child is less moral than killing an ant?

What scientific reasoning did you use to reach your conclusion?

Harry.

http://www.ted.com...
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,580
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1/31/2016 3:56:17 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/30/2016 11:40:37 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 1/30/2016 11:27:05 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 1/30/2016 10:24:50 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 1/27/2016 12:48:51 PM, Floid wrote:
At 1/27/2016 4:29:45 AM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Can anyone tell me how to decide if killing a child is less moral than killing an ant?

What scientific reasoning did you use to reach your conclusion?

Harry.

Science offers a key component to moral philosophy but alone may not be sufficient to decide morality. For example, under utilitarianism we could use the following approach to decide the issue:

1. A person is more sentient than an ant. Therefore, happiness (or safety or whatever other goals you wish) of a person is more important than those virtues to an ant.
2. An ant in my house or yard possess a threat to the safety and happiness of myself and other humans.
3. Therefore killing an ant is ethically permissible.

Under this same rational, killing an ant in the middle of a forest where people rarely if ever travel may be morally impermissible.

1. A child is a fully sentient being.
2. A child does not pose a threat to the safety and happiness of other humans.
3. Therefore killing a person is ethically impermissible.


Science can be used to investigate and justify each individual claim however it does not provide the overall framework for which the argument is based.

Science doesn't have any empirical test for sentience. Science doesn't help make moral decisions because morality would have to be assumed and injected into the qualities sought after.

For instance Science doesn't have a way of saying preserving sentient life is any better than not.

This is your attempt to say Science offers something to any question. But it offers no utility in moral issues. As far as ethics go Science only helps in how an action can be congruent to the Law.

There is no scientific method, experiment, or reasoning that justifies one action as morally superior to another.

You fall into the same trap as so many religionists before you, denying something about science and then science turning around and doing exactly what you denied.

Creating some scenario that science hasn't found or hasn't answered is not any reason to claim science can't find or not answer, that is fallacy.

Show me the scientific peer reviewed paper that concludes that preserving sentient life is morally preferable.

I've already gone down this rabbit whole with you and other atheist.

And, you're leading us right back down that hole. If such a peer review paper exists, then you can read it, if it doesn't exist, does that mean it never will? Of course, not.

To say science helps you prefer life and therefore discerns what a moral path is absent logic, because the intention of saving life is a moral value.

Science does not demonstrate moral value.

You are simply denying what science can and can't demonstrate.

But i undertsand this is common for atheist. To think every cliche catch phrase they use is logic, and to mistake science for a end all be all of answering questions.

If you have a better method than science for answering questions, I'm all for hearing it.

So much so that I have had conversations where ridiculous things come from the mouths of atheist like: "That's a scientific answer just without the testing". "memory is a type of prediction", "Deductive logic is based on science" ect..

NO. NO. and NO. Science and the experiments Scientist do, make no demonstrable claims to what is morally superior to another value.

Hence why secular atheist promote relativism so much. But only to the point in which it morally disgusts them. Atheist think Science can answer everything and when science doesn't answer the question then they claim the question is subjective and relative. Tell me does Science demonstrate that raping young boys in mid eastern culture is a morally bad thing?

It might, if such a study were undertaken. Again, you keep falling into the same trap as other religionists before you, stating emphatically what science can't do and then finding out science can do it.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
Dirty.Harry
Posts: 1,571
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1/31/2016 4:10:54 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/30/2016 8:44:28 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 1/30/2016 7:39:48 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 1/27/2016 11:59:59 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 1/27/2016 4:29:45 AM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Can anyone tell me how to decide if killing a child is less moral than killing an ant?

What scientific reasoning did you use to reach your conclusion?

Perhaps, you might want to start at the morally challenging question, 'What is my intention to kill?" That will help understand the morality of the action.


Harry.

How?

Answering that will require I cover a lot of ground, so rather than do that, you tell me specifically your intentions to kill, that way I can be specific with my answer.

Dummel if you really think after all your personal attacks in almost every thread that I post in, that I'm going to waste my time engaging with you you're very much mistaken - act like a dumbass you'll get treated like a dumbass.

Harry.
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,580
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1/31/2016 4:22:49 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/31/2016 4:10:54 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 1/30/2016 8:44:28 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 1/30/2016 7:39:48 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 1/27/2016 11:59:59 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 1/27/2016 4:29:45 AM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Can anyone tell me how to decide if killing a child is less moral than killing an ant?

What scientific reasoning did you use to reach your conclusion?

Perhaps, you might want to start at the morally challenging question, 'What is my intention to kill?" That will help understand the morality of the action.


Harry.

How?

Answering that will require I cover a lot of ground, so rather than do that, you tell me specifically your intentions to kill, that way I can be specific with my answer.

Dummel if you really think after all your personal attacks in almost every thread that I post in, that I'm going to waste my time engaging with you you're very much mistaken - act like a dumbass you'll get treated like a dumbass.

In other words, you cannot provide me with an intention which can justify the OP.

Just say so rather than ranting incoherently.

Harry.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
Dirty.Harry
Posts: 1,571
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1/31/2016 4:26:23 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/31/2016 4:22:49 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 1/31/2016 4:10:54 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 1/30/2016 8:44:28 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 1/30/2016 7:39:48 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 1/27/2016 11:59:59 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 1/27/2016 4:29:45 AM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Can anyone tell me how to decide if killing a child is less moral than killing an ant?

What scientific reasoning did you use to reach your conclusion?

Perhaps, you might want to start at the morally challenging question, 'What is my intention to kill?" That will help understand the morality of the action.


Harry.

How?

Answering that will require I cover a lot of ground, so rather than do that, you tell me specifically your intentions to kill, that way I can be specific with my answer.

Dummel if you really think after all your personal attacks in almost every thread that I post in, that I'm going to waste my time engaging with you you're very much mistaken - act like a dumbass you'll get treated like a dumbass.

In other words, you cannot provide me with an intention which can justify the OP.

Just say so rather than ranting incoherently.

Harry.

No I simply refuse to enter into any serious discussions with you due to your (easily demonstrated) history of making personal attacks. Experience shows me that as soon as I present something that traps you, you'll accuse me of being uneducated or deluded or religious etc - this is your modus operandi.

I've said all I'm gonna say to you Dummel.

Harry.
Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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1/31/2016 4:27:45 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/31/2016 3:56:17 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 1/30/2016 11:40:37 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 1/30/2016 11:27:05 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 1/30/2016 10:24:50 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 1/27/2016 12:48:51 PM, Floid wrote:
At 1/27/2016 4:29:45 AM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Can anyone tell me how to decide if killing a child is less moral than killing an ant?

What scientific reasoning did you use to reach your conclusion?

Harry.

Science offers a key component to moral philosophy but alone may not be sufficient to decide morality. For example, under utilitarianism we could use the following approach to decide the issue:

1. A person is more sentient than an ant. Therefore, happiness (or safety or whatever other goals you wish) of a person is more important than those virtues to an ant.
2. An ant in my house or yard possess a threat to the safety and happiness of myself and other humans.
3. Therefore killing an ant is ethically permissible.

Under this same rational, killing an ant in the middle of a forest where people rarely if ever travel may be morally impermissible.

1. A child is a fully sentient being.
2. A child does not pose a threat to the safety and happiness of other humans.
3. Therefore killing a person is ethically impermissible.


Science can be used to investigate and justify each individual claim however it does not provide the overall framework for which the argument is based.

Science doesn't have any empirical test for sentience. Science doesn't help make moral decisions because morality would have to be assumed and injected into the qualities sought after.

For instance Science doesn't have a way of saying preserving sentient life is any better than not.

This is your attempt to say Science offers something to any question. But it offers no utility in moral issues. As far as ethics go Science only helps in how an action can be congruent to the Law.

There is no scientific method, experiment, or reasoning that justifies one action as morally superior to another.

You fall into the same trap as so many religionists before you, denying something about science and then science turning around and doing exactly what you denied.

Creating some scenario that science hasn't found or hasn't answered is not any reason to claim science can't find or not answer, that is fallacy.

Show me the scientific peer reviewed paper that concludes that preserving sentient life is morally preferable.

I've already gone down this rabbit whole with you and other atheist.

And, you're leading us right back down that hole. If such a peer review paper exists, then you can read it, if it doesn't exist, does that mean it never will? Of course, not.

To say science helps you prefer life and therefore discerns what a moral path is absent logic, because the intention of saving life is a moral value.

Science does not demonstrate moral value.

You are simply denying what science can and can't demonstrate.

But i undertsand this is common for atheist. To think every cliche catch phrase they use is logic, and to mistake science for a end all be all of answering questions.

If you have a better method than science for answering questions, I'm all for hearing it.

So much so that I have had conversations where ridiculous things come from the mouths of atheist like: "That's a scientific answer just without the testing". "memory is a type of prediction", "Deductive logic is based on science" ect..

NO. NO. and NO. Science and the experiments Scientist do, make no demonstrable claims to what is morally superior to another value.

Hence why secular atheist promote relativism so much. But only to the point in which it morally disgusts them. Atheist think Science can answer everything and when science doesn't answer the question then they claim the question is subjective and relative. Tell me does Science demonstrate that raping young boys in mid eastern culture is a morally bad thing?

It might, if such a study were undertaken. Again, you keep falling into the same trap as other religionists before you, stating emphatically what science can't do and then finding out science can do it.

This usn't hard to understand. There are other methods than the scientific method used by people to make decisions. Logic, math, ect.

To make a moral decision scientificly would require starting with moral values. Like using science to discern more sentient beings live longer if doing action A. Well whose to say sentient beings living longer is moraly superior to them dying out?

Scientism is hand and hand wuth relativism.

My point is logical not hypothetical.
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,580
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1/31/2016 5:28:11 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/31/2016 4:26:23 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 1/31/2016 4:22:49 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 1/31/2016 4:10:54 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 1/30/2016 8:44:28 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 1/30/2016 7:39:48 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 1/27/2016 11:59:59 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 1/27/2016 4:29:45 AM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Can anyone tell me how to decide if killing a child is less moral than killing an ant?

What scientific reasoning did you use to reach your conclusion?

Perhaps, you might want to start at the morally challenging question, 'What is my intention to kill?" That will help understand the morality of the action.


Harry.

How?

Answering that will require I cover a lot of ground, so rather than do that, you tell me specifically your intentions to kill, that way I can be specific with my answer.

Dummel if you really think after all your personal attacks in almost every thread that I post in, that I'm going to waste my time engaging with you you're very much mistaken - act like a dumbass you'll get treated like a dumbass.

In other words, you cannot provide me with an intention which can justify the OP.

Just say so rather than ranting incoherently.

Harry.

No I simply refuse to enter into any serious discussions with you due to your (easily demonstrated) history of making personal attacks.

But, you're not here for serious discussions, like the other religionists, you hang out in the Science forum to make denials about things you clearly you have no understanding.

Experience shows me that as soon as I present something that traps you, you'll accuse me of being uneducated or deluded or religious etc - this is your modus operandi.

Traps me? LOL. Hilarious. You present things that show conclusively you are uneducated and religiously deluded.

I've said all I'm gonna say to you Dummel.

I doubt that.

Harry.

I'm sure glad you continuously sign your name with every post, I would never know I was talking to you. Or, is it just plain vanity? LOL.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
Ramshutu
Posts: 4,063
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1/31/2016 6:21:35 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/27/2016 4:29:45 AM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Can anyone tell me how to decide if killing a child is less moral than killing an ant?

What scientific reasoning did you use to reach your conclusion?

Harry.

I should really hope that you already know the answer to the first part of your question.

Given that, can you establish that you're right? And if so, how?

What is good and bad can either be established objectively, EG: that everyone could agree upon a definition of what morality is, and as a result you can objectively measure the validity of moral answers such as you just posed; or it can't, EG: it is not possible to define morality or moral decisions objectively.

If you can't establish what morality is objectively; you are forced to rely on predetermined assumptions, and operate using principles that rely on those assumptions being correct. Effectively, any moral decision making you undertake is forced to rely at some level on one form of "because I say so", or not.

It just so happens, that right now, you and I probably agree on that "because I say so", but if there is anything that history has taught us, and even the current state of the world right now; that different peoples "because I say so" definitions are regularly different from one another.

You have, for example, Islamist groups around the world, trying to impose conditions on people that we would both view as immoral. The world has seen genocide, slavery, racism, and a whole host of other repugnant acts that both of us, again, would view as immoral. Indeed, religions such as Christianity outlines scenarios where child killing is perfectly acceptable if commanded by God; with Global Floods, destruction of Cities, commanding of the Israelites to massacre children during war, etc.

It is naive to the highest degree, and indeed given our understanding of humanity, to presume most or even all of those who have perpetrated such acts in history truly believed what they were doing was wrong, but did it anyway. Some may have, but many assuredly thought that what they were doing was perfectly fine.

These things were all based on moral assumptions, "because I say so"'s that differ from our own; and thus the question really boils down to whether you can tell whether your moral assumptions are more correct than other moral assumptions made at any other time in history in a way that doesn't also require similar undemonstrable assumptions? And if you can tell, how can you tell?

If you can't objectively tell whether your assumptions are correct or incorrect; then you do not have the ability to make truth assertions about the correctness or incorrectness about your moral statements. EG: You can't know actually know whether the answer is correct or not.

If you can objectively tell whether your assumptions are correct or incorrect, how else are you going to establish it, other than through a methodology that draws falsifiable and predictive conclusions from facts?

The first part, is to ascertain whether morality itself is something that can be objectively validated by all people, and allow a definitive agreement of what it means; or whether it is merely a subjective interpretation of what is right and wrong based on the overall opinions of a group that you belong to that is subject to change and the individual operations of the brains of the people in that group?

Can you tell the difference? If so, how else than through a methodology that draws falsifiable and predictive conclusions from facts?
Dirty.Harry
Posts: 1,571
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1/31/2016 6:32:39 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/31/2016 6:21:35 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 1/27/2016 4:29:45 AM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Can anyone tell me how to decide if killing a child is less moral than killing an ant?

What scientific reasoning did you use to reach your conclusion?

Harry.

I should really hope that you already know the answer to the first part of your question.

Given that, can you establish that you're right? And if so, how?

What is good and bad can either be established objectively, EG: that everyone could agree upon a definition of what morality is, and as a result you can objectively measure the validity of moral answers such as you just posed; or it can't, EG: it is not possible to define morality or moral decisions objectively.

If you can't establish what morality is objectively; you are forced to rely on predetermined assumptions, and operate using principles that rely on those assumptions being correct. Effectively, any moral decision making you undertake is forced to rely at some level on one form of "because I say so", or not.

It just so happens, that right now, you and I probably agree on that "because I say so", but if there is anything that history has taught us, and even the current state of the world right now; that different peoples "because I say so" definitions are regularly different from one another.

You have, for example, Islamist groups around the world, trying to impose conditions on people that we would both view as immoral. The world has seen genocide, slavery, racism, and a whole host of other repugnant acts that both of us, again, would view as immoral. Indeed, religions such as Christianity outlines scenarios where child killing is perfectly acceptable if commanded by God; with Global Floods, destruction of Cities, commanding of the Israelites to massacre children during war, etc.

It is naive to the highest degree, and indeed given our understanding of humanity, to presume most or even all of those who have perpetrated such acts in history truly believed what they were doing was wrong, but did it anyway. Some may have, but many assuredly thought that what they were doing was perfectly fine.

These things were all based on moral assumptions, "because I say so"'s that differ from our own; and thus the question really boils down to whether you can tell whether your moral assumptions are more correct than other moral assumptions made at any other time in history in a way that doesn't also require similar undemonstrable assumptions? And if you can tell, how can you tell?

If you can't objectively tell whether your assumptions are correct or incorrect; then you do not have the ability to make truth assertions about the correctness or incorrectness about your moral statements. EG: You can't know actually know whether the answer is correct or not.

If you can objectively tell whether your assumptions are correct or incorrect, how else are you going to establish it, other than through a methodology that draws falsifiable and predictive conclusions from facts?


The first part, is to ascertain whether morality itself is something that can be objectively validated by all people, and allow a definitive agreement of what it means; or whether it is merely a subjective interpretation of what is right and wrong based on the overall opinions of a group that you belong to that is subject to change and the individual operations of the brains of the people in that group?

Can you tell the difference? If so, how else than through a methodology that draws falsifiable and predictive conclusions from facts?

Is this lecture your answer to my rather simple question posted in my OP?

Harry.
Ramshutu
Posts: 4,063
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1/31/2016 6:50:35 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/31/2016 6:32:39 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 1/31/2016 6:21:35 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 1/27/2016 4:29:45 AM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Can anyone tell me how to decide if killing a child is less moral than killing an ant?

What scientific reasoning did you use to reach your conclusion?

Harry.

I should really hope that you already know the answer to the first part of your question.

Given that, can you establish that you're right? And if so, how?

What is good and bad can either be established objectively, EG: that everyone could agree upon a definition of what morality is, and as a result you can objectively measure the validity of moral answers such as you just posed; or it can't, EG: it is not possible to define morality or moral decisions objectively.

If you can't establish what morality is objectively; you are forced to rely on predetermined assumptions, and operate using principles that rely on those assumptions being correct. Effectively, any moral decision making you undertake is forced to rely at some level on one form of "because I say so", or not.

It just so happens, that right now, you and I probably agree on that "because I say so", but if there is anything that history has taught us, and even the current state of the world right now; that different peoples "because I say so" definitions are regularly different from one another.

You have, for example, Islamist groups around the world, trying to impose conditions on people that we would both view as immoral. The world has seen genocide, slavery, racism, and a whole host of other repugnant acts that both of us, again, would view as immoral. Indeed, religions such as Christianity outlines scenarios where child killing is perfectly acceptable if commanded by God; with Global Floods, destruction of Cities, commanding of the Israelites to massacre children during war, etc.

It is naive to the highest degree, and indeed given our understanding of humanity, to presume most or even all of those who have perpetrated such acts in history truly believed what they were doing was wrong, but did it anyway. Some may have, but many assuredly thought that what they were doing was perfectly fine.

These things were all based on moral assumptions, "because I say so"'s that differ from our own; and thus the question really boils down to whether you can tell whether your moral assumptions are more correct than other moral assumptions made at any other time in history in a way that doesn't also require similar undemonstrable assumptions? And if you can tell, how can you tell?

If you can't objectively tell whether your assumptions are correct or incorrect; then you do not have the ability to make truth assertions about the correctness or incorrectness about your moral statements. EG: You can't know actually know whether the answer is correct or not.

If you can objectively tell whether your assumptions are correct or incorrect, how else are you going to establish it, other than through a methodology that draws falsifiable and predictive conclusions from facts?


The first part, is to ascertain whether morality itself is something that can be objectively validated by all people, and allow a definitive agreement of what it means; or whether it is merely a subjective interpretation of what is right and wrong based on the overall opinions of a group that you belong to that is subject to change and the individual operations of the brains of the people in that group?

Can you tell the difference? If so, how else than through a methodology that draws falsifiable and predictive conclusions from facts?

Is this lecture your answer to my rather simple question posted in my OP?

Harry.

Yes. My argument here addresses the inherent problems residing within the real question you are asking: can science make moral determinations.

I am pointing out that the inherent problem, is that if you can validate your moral decisions as correct, then yes it can; if you can't validate your moral decisions as correct, then how do you know whether any answer one can possibly give is correct?