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Are Morals Real, or "Nice" Fictions

charleslb
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11/12/2010 1:35:37 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
A Process Philosophy Perspective on Our Morals:
Are Our Values Real, and Do They Really Matter?


Recently I wrote a post dealing with the morality of war that generated some replies that went slightly off topic to the deeper question of morality and whether or not there is such a thing, objectively speaking. There were those who took the position that good and evil are empty and phony ethical concepts. This got me thinking the following thoughts.

Materialists and adherents of scientism are fond of skeptically denying any validity to all our human values, to the very concept of good and evil. They think that values and ethics are just fictions that evolution has hardwired into our brains because they promote individual and group survival. Socio-biologists and brain scientists reduce everything noble about our nature to the self-serving strategies of our selfish genes, to the gray matter in motion between our ears. Love, compassion, and every form of decency are dismissed as just the effects of certain neurotransmitters in our noggins. Morality is supposedly merely the self-congratulatory interpretation we invent for our benevolent feelings.

But are there really no ontological grounds for thinking that our values are valid on their own terms and not just useful by-products of the brain chemistry that evolution has gifted us with? Can't a case be made that values and moral goodness are actual features of reality and distilled into but not determined by the mood-controlling hormones produced by our glands?

I'm going to explore this philosophical controversy here, and to do so I'm going to begin with what I consider to be the most rudimentary question that it raises, not the nature of goodness or consciousness, but the nature of reality.

I agree with the scientific materialists about one thing, there's no reality but reality. I have no need of the hypothesis of a supernatural dimension of reality, or an otherworldly deity. However, that reality is all-natural doesn't mean that the fundamental nature of reality is matter and substance. There is another point of view, that the deepest nature of reality is creativity-itself. That matter and stuff, that all the individual "hard" objects that fill the world are the activity, change, experience, and causation we all live and move in objectifying itself in flesh and blood, in atoms and particles.

That is, existence is the ever-evolving process of pure creativity embodying itself in all of the tangible, transitory forms of the cosmos. Now of course most people think that it's just common sense that for creativity to take place you first need something that can engage in creativity, that for change to occur you need things that undergo change, and so on. But this is actually counterintuitive, it's really the other way around, before anything can exist there first has to be coming-into-existence, i.e., creativity. Becoming precedes being!

At bottom then reality is not any kind of solid something, either materially or mystically speaking, it's purely and simply the causa sui process of creativity itself. Reality = eternal creativity constantly crystallizing itself in the perennial panorama of persons, places, and things; constantly crystallizing and actualizing its potentialities, which = values, in and through us.

So, materialists are half right, they realize that nature is it, that there's no ethereal empire hidden behind our visible world, ruled by a supreme spectral sovereign. Yes, they are quite correct when they assert that everything has a naturalistic explanation. But the material and bio-chemical facts and factors that they reduce everything to are really just concretizations of creativity, of its inherent possibilities, capacities, values, and virtues. The genes, cells, hormones, brain chemicals, etc., that make up who we are and seem to account for all of our behavior are themselves just expressions and vehicles of the self-actualizing, creative, aesthetic nature and values that constitute, define, dignify, and ennoble reality.

Yep, if we take reductionism far enough we find that reality is more a matter of values than it is a matter of matter. The quest for human goodness and "spiritual" enlightenment is just the business and journey of discovering, cultivating, embodying, and sharing reality's most profound and beautiful qualities. Spirituality and ethics then are not about believing in an outside-of-nature spiritual substance or being and its laws, rather they're about getting in touch and tune with the qualitative, values dimension of nature. Matter, the double helix that blueprints us, the meat in our heads, the synapses and serotonin that facilitate our sentience, it's all spiritual in this natural sense.

And evolution, the great originator of life, including ourselves and our behavior, is itself a part of the whole cosmic creative process. Yes, even evolution, the favorite catchall for materialists who cynically want to explain away man's better nature, even evolution is spiritual!

Need proof that values and spirituality exist in nature? Look in the mirror, we, human beings are a part of nature after all, and human beings formulate values and spiritual worldviews! Human beings have been produced by evolution, and here we are, creatures with a penchant for professing and sometimes even practicing noble principles.

Man, a life-form who invents morality is just the most concentrated and striking example of the universe's ability to appreciate and pursue values. Oh sure, materialists can pooh-pooh this, they can say that the universe isn't really consciously pursuing values at all, it's all just random evolution that's created a species such as Homo sapiens whose members delude themselves with made-up morality. Materialists who viscerally balk at meaning will predictably assert that the creative process at the heart of reality is quite blind and oblivious to any sort of values whatsoever.

But creativity is fundamentally about choice, even for human artists creating a work of art is, besides technical skill, about the creative choices one makes. And the same holds true for cosmic creativity. The pure creativity that is the nature of nature boils down to pure choice, i.e., pure intentionality. Even without a supernatural deity overseeing it the creative process of reality is fully intentional, self-directed that is.

There's plenty of freedom and therefore randomness too, because creative freedom is also of the essence of creativity, but no, everything is not a blind accident, the values we think we see in nature are not just the result of naïve anthropomorphism. The universe does actively cultivate values and our own presence in it is evidence of that. A species that concocts ethical belief systems and that fashions magnificent works of literature and beautiful objects of art, that's driven by so much more than a bare naked instinct for selfish self-preservation, is prima facie proof that there's more to our existence than is dreamt of in the ethically and spiritually barren philosophy of materialists.

So, to wind down here, our moral ideas about right and wrong, about the goodness or badness of things such as war, our more beautiful emotions, such as love and compassion, are not just self-serving, feel-good subjective side effects of vasopressin and oxytocin, they aren't pretentiously dressed-up biological responses, they are the coming-forth of the sensibilities, meanings, excellences, mitzvahs, integrities, and truths intrinsic in creativity/existence. Values and value judgments are valid and it's a shallowly materialistic picture of reality that has no room for them.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
belle
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11/12/2010 8:44:16 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
hmmm. i hate to sound like a "scientist" but do you have any reason for hypothesizing that the universe is creativity embodied other than the fact that it fits your narrative so nicely?

and on an unrelated note, even if the universe IS creativity embodied, it doesn't really follow that its production of creatures that believe fervently in morality if proof of the separate ontological status of morals. in the very same way, fervent belief in god is not proof that god exists.
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
Ore_Ele
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11/12/2010 8:48:02 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/12/2010 8:44:16 PM, belle wrote:
hmmm. i hate to sound like a "scientist" but do you have any reason for hypothesizing that the universe is creativity embodied other than the fact that it fits your narrative so nicely?

and on an unrelated note, even if the universe IS creativity embodied, it doesn't really follow that its production of creatures that believe fervently in morality if proof of the separate ontological status of morals. in the very same way, fervent belief in god is not proof that god exists.

Are you the kind of person that tells children that there is no santa? Just let him have this.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
belle
Posts: 4,113
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11/12/2010 8:49:58 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/12/2010 8:48:02 PM, OreEle wrote:
At 11/12/2010 8:44:16 PM, belle wrote:
hmmm. i hate to sound like a "scientist" but do you have any reason for hypothesizing that the universe is creativity embodied other than the fact that it fits your narrative so nicely?

and on an unrelated note, even if the universe IS creativity embodied, it doesn't really follow that its production of creatures that believe fervently in morality if proof of the separate ontological status of morals. in the very same way, fervent belief in god is not proof that god exists.

Are you the kind of person that tells children that there is no santa? Just let him have this.

in my spare time i like to find happy couples and tell them that statistically speaking its overwhelmingly likely that their relationship will fail...
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
J.Kenyon
Posts: 4,194
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11/12/2010 9:43:11 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/12/2010 8:49:58 PM, belle wrote:
in my spare time i like to find happy couples and tell them that statistically speaking its overwhelmingly likely that their relationship will fail...

Sigged.
J.Kenyon
Posts: 4,194
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11/12/2010 10:29:14 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/12/2010 1:35:37 PM, charleslb wrote:
Materialists and adherents of scientism are fond of skeptically denying any validity to all our human values, to the very concept of good and evil.

Certain eliminative or reductive materialists, maybe. You're Marxist. You do know Marx was something of a poster child for materialism, right?

They think that values and ethics are just fictions that evolution has hardwired into our brains because they promote individual and group survival. Socio-biologists and brain scientists reduce everything noble about our nature to the self-serving strategies of our selfish genes, to the gray matter in motion between our ears. Love, compassion, and every form of decency are dismissed as just the effects of certain neurotransmitters in our noggins.

Nah, just the reductive materialists. The brain states that represent our understanding of morality =/= morality itself.

But are there really no ontological grounds for thinking that our values are valid on their own terms and not just useful by-products of the brain chemistry that evolution has gifted us with? Can't a case be made that values and moral goodness are actual features of reality and distilled into but not determined by the mood-controlling hormones produced by our glands?

Sure.

I agree with the scientific materialists about one thing, there's no reality but reality.

Cool, I like tautologies too. Too bad they're generally not substantive :(

I have no need of the hypothesis of a supernatural dimension of reality, or an otherworldly deity. However, that reality is all-natural doesn't mean that the fundamental nature of reality is matter and substance.

Yes, yes it does. By definition, in fact; that's what's implied by the word "natural."

There is another point of view, that the deepest nature of reality is creativity-itself. That matter and stuff, that all the individual "hard" objects that fill the world are the activity, change, experience, and causation we all live and move in objectifying itself in flesh and blood, in atoms and particles.

Really? Do you have any evidence of this? I'm pretty liberal as far as materialists go, but that's just batsh*t insane.

That is, existence is the ever-evolving process of pure creativity embodying itself in all of the tangible, transitory forms of the cosmos. Now of course most people think that it's just common sense that for creativity to take place you first need something that can engage in creativity, that for change to occur you need things that undergo change, and so on. But this is actually counterintuitive, it's really the other way around, before anything can exist there first has to be coming-into-existence, i.e., creativity. Becoming precedes being!

Lmfao, what kind of Marxist are you? Haven't you read the Theses on Feuerbach? http://www.marxists.org...

At bottom then reality is not any kind of solid something, either materially or mystically speaking, it's purely and simply the causa sui process of creativity itself. Reality = eternal creativity constantly crystallizing itself in the perennial panorama of persons, places, and things; constantly crystallizing and actualizing its potentialities, which = values, in and through us.

See above.

So, materialists are half right, they realize that nature is it, that there's no ethereal empire hidden behind our visible world, ruled by a supreme spectral sovereign. Yes, they are quite correct when they assert that everything has a naturalistic explanation. But the material and bio-chemical facts and factors that they reduce everything to are really just concretizations of creativity, of its inherent possibilities, capacities, values, and virtues. The genes, cells, hormones, brain chemicals, etc., that make up who we are and seem to account for all of our behavior are themselves just expressions and vehicles of the self-actualizing, creative, aesthetic nature and values that constitute, define, dignify, and ennoble reality.

Again, you're only attacking reductive materialism.

Need proof that values and spirituality exist in nature? Look in the mirror, we, human beings are a part of nature after all, and human beings formulate values and spiritual worldviews! Human beings have been produced by evolution, and here we are, creatures with a penchant for professing and sometimes even practicing noble principles.

Circular.

Man, a life-form who invents morality.

We invent morality? I thought you said it was built into the fabric of the universe?

...is just the most concentrated and striking example of the universe's ability to appreciate and pursue values. Oh sure, materialists can pooh-pooh this, they can say that the universe isn't really consciously pursuing values at all, it's all just random evolution that's created a species such as Homo sapiens whose members delude themselves with made-up morality.

Doesn't follow just from being a materialist/evolutionist.

Materialists who viscerally balk at meaning will predictably assert that the creative process at the heart of reality is quite blind and oblivious to any sort of values whatsoever.

Yup, the universe is quite blind.

But creativity is fundamentally about choice, even for human artists creating a work of art is, besides technical skill, about the creative choices one makes. And the same holds true for cosmic creativity. The pure creativity that is the nature of nature boils down to pure choice, i.e., pure intentionality. Even without a supernatural deity overseeing it the creative process of reality is fully intentional, self-directed that is.

Nah, the difference between an architect and a spider making a web is that the architect envisions his project before it's built :P

There's plenty of freedom and therefore randomness too, because creative freedom is also of the essence of creativity, but no, everything is not a blind accident, the values we think we see in nature are not just the result of naïve anthropomorphism. The universe does actively cultivate values and our own presence in it is evidence of that. A species that concocts ethical belief systems and that fashions magnificent works of literature and beautiful objects of art, that's driven by so much more than a bare naked instinct for selfish self-preservation, is prima facie proof that there's more to our existence than is dreamt of in the ethically and spiritually barren philosophy of materialists.

Affirming the consequent.

So, to wind down here, our moral ideas about right and wrong, about the goodness or badness of things such as war, our more beautiful emotions, such as love and compassion, are not just self-serving, feel-good subjective side effects of vasopressin and oxytocin, they aren't pretentiously dressed-up biological responses,

Unlike your writing, then?

they are the coming-forth of the sensibilities, meanings, excellences, mitzvahs, integrities, and truths intrinsic in creativity/existence. Values and value judgments are valid and it's a shallowly materialistic picture of reality that has no room for them.

Wrong and wrong. You haven't given any evidence that moral judgments are categorically true (although I happen to think they are), nor have you shown why there is no room for them on materialist accounts of reality.

All in all, I'd say your post was yet another monumental failure. I had to cut some parts of it to make my responses fit, but you can hardly tell given your ridiculous wordiness. I hope I've provided some valuable feedback.
charleslb
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11/13/2010 12:46:46 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/12/2010 10:29:14 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:


You're Marxist. You do know Marx was something of a poster child for materialism, right?

I never said that I'm a Marxist. In fact even Karl Marx himself never said that he was a Marxist, there's actually a famous quote in which he said that he wasn't. Like the liberation theologians who recognize certain insights and truths in Marxism, but who don't buy into its dialectical materialism, I've found some things of value in Marxism but no it's not my worldview nor is it my particular brand of socialism.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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11/13/2010 12:56:56 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/12/2010 8:44:16 PM, belle wrote:
hmmm. i hate to sound like a "scientist" but do you have any reason for hypothesizing that the universe is creativity embodied other than the fact that it fits your narrative so nicely?

and on an unrelated note, even if the universe IS creativity embodied, it doesn't really follow that its production of creatures that believe fervently in morality if proof of the separate ontological status of morals. in the very same way, fervent belief in god is not proof that god exists.

Well, how do you make a case that creativity is the basic reality of reality? Hmm, okay, let's try a variation on the classic ontological argument. If we strip down the concept to its most nitty-gritty nub and define creativity as bringing things into existence (which is consistent with Webster's first definition for the word "create" and does not involve a supernatural Creator), as the causing of those things that exist, then creativity-itself ipso facto must ontologically stand first and trump things, matter, and substance. No matter how subatomically, infinitesimally small a created thing or particle of matter we're talking about, it must be the case that the ability to experience, to bring about an effect, to exert force, to do, to create preceded and produced that material thing or particle. Yes, the ontological phenomenon and fact of stuff coming into being leads the dance of universe, at the most fundamental level it is the dance of the universe. Coming into being, i.e., becoming precedes being; the intangible actuality of creativity comes before the palpable solidity of crude matter. Creativity is the deepest nature of reality.

And creativity is the uncreated and unending elaboration and blossoming of the possibilities, i.e., values inherent in itself. Hence values are not just feel-good, survival-promoting fictions invented by the human brain, they're distilled by our brains from the nature of existence and valid in their own right.

BTW, I'm not really up on the science, but I take it that the folks in the field of physics who are pioneering string theory are also getting at the idea that the bottommost nature of physical reality is energy rather than mater, and energy that configures itself into all the myriad things of Creation is arguably just another way of conceptualizing creativity. Perhaps the string theorists will eventually lead science out of its intellectual Babylonian captivity in the paradigm of materialism, perhaps it will help usher in the next great paradigm shift to a more spiritual and axiological way of looking at reality.

But, of course, if you're a radical skeptic you're not going to buy any of this, like Ebenezer Scrooge your mind is saying "Humbug!". The beautifully ironic thing about radical skepticism though is that it doesn't pass the self-reference test, if you apply it to itself it refutes itself in the same way that it refutes every other point of view. The radical skeptic is like the fellow in the liar's paradox, the radical skeptic's double bind goes something like this: "Everything people believe is unprovable rubbish, but then my own radical skepticism is itself unprovable rubbish, but if my radical skepticism is unprovable rubbish does that mean that there are provable truths, but then maybe my radical skepticism is true after all, but if it's true it still refutes itself!", on and on ad absurdum.

The short of it is that it's intelligent to be skeptical, it's nonsensical to take it to an extreme where you categorically reject everything, except perhaps matter if you're a materialist. But then if your such a proud skeptic why take matter at face value either? Funny how so many skeptics nowadays give matter a free pass, could it be that their skepticism is just a beard for the materialistic zeitgeist of modernity? Yikes, that would mean that skeptics and materialists are believers in something, as much so as religionists, looks like another paradox!
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
Cerebral_Narcissist
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11/13/2010 1:08:14 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/13/2010 1:01:11 PM, Mirza wrote:
Morals are real and they do matter.

In what sense are they real?
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
belle
Posts: 4,113
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11/13/2010 1:12:36 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/13/2010 12:56:56 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 11/12/2010 8:44:16 PM, belle wrote:
hmmm. i hate to sound like a "scientist" but do you have any reason for hypothesizing that the universe is creativity embodied other than the fact that it fits your narrative so nicely?

and on an unrelated note, even if the universe IS creativity embodied, it doesn't really follow that its production of creatures that believe fervently in morality if proof of the separate ontological status of morals. in the very same way, fervent belief in god is not proof that god exists.

Well, how do you make a case that creativity is the basic reality of reality? Hmm, okay, let's try a variation on the classic ontological argument. If we strip down the concept to its most nitty-gritty nub and define creativity as bringing things into existence (which is consistent with Webster's first definition for the word "create" and does not involve a supernatural Creator), as the causing of those things that exist, then creativity-itself ipso facto must ontologically stand first and trump things, matter, and substance. No matter how subatomically, infinitesimally small a created thing or particle of matter we're talking about, it must be the case that the ability to experience, to bring about an effect, to exert force, to do, to create preceded and produced that material thing or particle.

it seems like you want it both ways here. an act of "creation" must preceed all things existing and yet you disavow the need for a creator. "bringing into existence" is a verb phrase... an action. "nothingness" cannot act, it cannot create. the emptiness of what you are saying is obfuscated by your verbosity here...

Yes, the ontological phenomenon and fact of stuff coming into being leads the dance of universe, at the most fundamental level it is the dance of the universe. Coming into being, i.e., becoming precedes being; the intangible actuality of creativity comes before the palpable solidity of crude matter. Creativity is the deepest nature of reality.

in order for things to exist they need to come into existence. it doesn't follow that things are essentially "coming into existence" any more than the fact that in need to breathe to survive means that i am breath incarnated.

i think part of the reason you get criticized for your use of flowery language so much is that it actually serves to obscure what you are saying, such that things that sound pretty but aren't necessarily true are simply accepted because they follow the flow of your narrative.

and you still haven't explained why, EVEN IF the universe is somehow creativity embodied, it follows that morals are real...
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
Mirza
Posts: 16,992
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11/13/2010 1:13:17 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/13/2010 1:08:14 PM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 11/13/2010 1:01:11 PM, Mirza wrote:
Morals are real and they do matter.

In what sense are they real?
They can be applied to the real world.
Cerebral_Narcissist
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11/13/2010 1:18:36 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/13/2010 1:13:17 PM, Mirza wrote:
At 11/13/2010 1:08:14 PM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 11/13/2010 1:01:11 PM, Mirza wrote:
Morals are real and they do matter.

In what sense are they real?
They can be applied to the real world.

Opposing morals can be applied to the real world, as can any religion. Are all real?
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
Mirza
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11/13/2010 1:21:47 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/13/2010 1:18:36 PM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 11/13/2010 1:13:17 PM, Mirza wrote:
At 11/13/2010 1:08:14 PM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 11/13/2010 1:01:11 PM, Mirza wrote:
Morals are real and they do matter.

In what sense are they real?
They can be applied to the real world.

Opposing morals can be applied to the real world, as can any religion. Are all real?
Yes. They might not come from an objective source, but they might be real. Subjectivity is existent, but not necessarily correct.
Zetsubou
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11/13/2010 1:24:00 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/13/2010 1:21:47 PM, Mirza wrote:
At 11/13/2010 1:18:36 PM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 11/13/2010 1:13:17 PM, Mirza wrote:
At 11/13/2010 1:08:14 PM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 11/13/2010 1:01:11 PM, Mirza wrote:
Morals are real and they do matter.

In what sense are they real?
They can be applied to the real world.

Opposing morals can be applied to the real world, as can any religion. Are all real?
Yes. They might not come from an objective source, but they might be real. Subjectivity is existent, but not necessarily correct.
The winner is Mirza. Didn't expect that.
'sup DDO -- july 2013
Cerebral_Narcissist
Posts: 10,806
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11/13/2010 1:26:19 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/13/2010 1:21:47 PM, Mirza wrote:
At 11/13/2010 1:18:36 PM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 11/13/2010 1:13:17 PM, Mirza wrote:
At 11/13/2010 1:08:14 PM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 11/13/2010 1:01:11 PM, Mirza wrote:
Morals are real and they do matter.

In what sense are they real?
They can be applied to the real world.

Opposing morals can be applied to the real world, as can any religion. Are all real?
Yes. They might not come from an objective source, but they might be real. Subjectivity is existent, but not necessarily correct.

Then they are not real in any meaningful sense of the word.
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
Mirza
Posts: 16,992
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11/13/2010 1:27:08 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/13/2010 1:26:19 PM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 11/13/2010 1:21:47 PM, Mirza wrote:
At 11/13/2010 1:18:36 PM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 11/13/2010 1:13:17 PM, Mirza wrote:
At 11/13/2010 1:08:14 PM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 11/13/2010 1:01:11 PM, Mirza wrote:
Morals are real and they do matter.

In what sense are they real?
They can be applied to the real world.

Opposing morals can be applied to the real world, as can any religion. Are all real?
Yes. They might not come from an objective source, but they might be real. Subjectivity is existent, but not necessarily correct.

Then they are not real in any meaningful sense of the word.
Because you define "real" to suit your views.
Zetsubou
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11/13/2010 1:31:11 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/13/2010 1:26:19 PM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:

Then they are not real in any meaningful sense of the word.
They're real, that is to say, they exist - in any meaningful sense of the word.
'sup DDO -- july 2013
innomen
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11/13/2010 1:36:10 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/13/2010 1:31:11 PM, Zetsubou wrote:
At 11/13/2010 1:26:19 PM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:

Then they are not real in any meaningful sense of the word.
They're real, that is to say, they exist - in any meaningful sense of the word.

Only in a tangible sense are they not real. Is freedom real? I could probably make a case that freedom is less real than morals.
charleslb
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11/14/2010 12:58:47 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/12/2010 10:29:14 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 11/12/2010 1:35:37 PM, charleslb wrote:

I agree with the scientific materialists about one thing, there's no reality but reality.

Cool, I like tautologies too. Too bad they're generally not substantive

Tautology? Did you notice that I said that I was working out a version of the ontological argument? The ontological argument is an argument in which you argue for something from the definition of the word, in my case I'm arguing that creativity is the fundamental nature of reality from the word creativity. An ontological argument can sometimes sound tautological but it's really just analytic. And BTW, although "there's no reality but reality" is somewhat repetitious it's not tautological in any sense, "there's no reality but reality and therefore there's no reality but reality" would be tautological. Sometimes when we get picky and hypercritical we err, don't we!
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
belle
Posts: 4,113
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11/14/2010 7:45:53 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/14/2010 12:58:47 PM, charleslb wrote:
Sometimes when we get picky and hypercritical we err, don't we!

meh. sometimes when we get too wordy and pretentious we do for sure.

the logical structure of the phrase "there is no reality but reality" is at base... anything that is reality is reality.. or... reality is the only reality. to put it more formally... "for all things x, if x is reality, then it is reality" or to put it symbolically... Rx-> Rx, which is indeed a tautology. yet another example of how your use of language can be extremely confusing....

(technically what you said is more like "if x is not reality then its not reality" but like i said its equivalent to the above because of the nature of the conditional)
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
J.Kenyon
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11/14/2010 7:59:16 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/14/2010 12:58:47 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 11/12/2010 10:29:14 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 11/12/2010 1:35:37 PM, charleslb wrote:
I agree with the scientific materialists about one thing, there's no reality but reality.

Cool, I like tautologies too. Too bad they're generally not substantive

Tautology? Did you notice that I said that I was working out a version of the ontological argument? The ontological argument is an argument in which you argue for something from the definition of the word, in my case I'm arguing that creativity is the fundamental nature of reality from the word creativity. An ontological argument can sometimes sound tautological but it's really just analytic.

I wasn't addressing your "ontological [lack of] argument" in that particular snippet. I hope you realize that all analytic propositions are by definition tautological. Some substantive a priori judgments can be synthetic (although that's controversial), but analytic propositions are always insubstantive.

And BTW, although "there's no reality but reality" is somewhat repetitious it's not tautological in any sense, "there's no reality but reality and therefore there's no reality but reality" would be tautological. Sometimes when we get picky and hypercritical we err, don't we!

Yes, it is tautological, as belle explained.
charleslb
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11/14/2010 9:07:50 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/14/2010 7:59:16 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:

I hope you realize that all analytic propositions are by definition tautological. Some substantive a priori judgments can be synthetic (although that's controversial), but analytic propositions are always insubstantive.

Well, now you're equivocating, you know that when you charged me with tautology you had the negative connotation of the word in mind. The word has two definitons, The Oxford Dictionary of English's first definition of tautology: "the saying of the same thing twice over in different words, generally considered to be a fault of style", since you were trying to be critical clearly you had this derogatory definition in mind, which is why I pointed out that there can be a difference between tautology and analytic reasoning. Of course another definition of the word is "a statement that is true by necessity or by virtue of its logical form", in this usage tautological and analytic are indeed interchangeable, but again this isn't the sense in which you were using the word. Looks like you're resorting to a little intellectual dishonesty here to stand by an unfair criticism of my argument
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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11/14/2010 9:38:32 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/14/2010 7:45:53 PM, belle wrote:
At 11/14/2010 12:58:47 PM, charleslb wrote:
Sometimes when we get picky and hypercritical we err, don't we!

meh. sometimes when we get too wordy and pretentious we do for sure.

the logical structure of the phrase "there is no reality but reality" is at base... anything that is reality is reality.. or... reality is the only reality. to put it more formally... "for all things x, if x is reality, then it is reality" or to put it symbolically... Rx-> Rx, which is indeed a tautology. yet another example of how your use of language can be extremely confusing....

(technically what you said is more like "if x is not reality then its not reality" but like i said its equivalent to the above because of the nature of the conditional)

Alas no, belle, my statement "there's no reality but reality" is actually just a tad elliptical, if spelled out in full it would read "There's no reality, no state, realm, or dimension of reality but this reality that we partake of", and that is not at all a tautological statement. Your chop-logic, nitpicking attempt to pin me down in the fallacy of circular thinking demonstrates some sophistication, but also some willfully dull literal-mindedness. That is, if you weren't thinking in such a literal, technical mode you perhaps wouldn't find my language so confusing, and certainly wouldn't get bogged down in what are only fallacies when taken literally by a mind too keen on splitting hairs. But then what you're really keen on is disagreeing with the gist of my original post and apparently you'll seize on the most technical and facile argument to intellectually justify doing so. Shame, shame, the most mortal intellectual sin of them all is intellectual dishonesty with oneself.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
belle
Posts: 4,113
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11/14/2010 9:46:53 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/14/2010 9:38:32 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 11/14/2010 7:45:53 PM, belle wrote:
At 11/14/2010 12:58:47 PM, charleslb wrote:
Sometimes when we get picky and hypercritical we err, don't we!

meh. sometimes when we get too wordy and pretentious we do for sure.

the logical structure of the phrase "there is no reality but reality" is at base... anything that is reality is reality.. or... reality is the only reality. to put it more formally... "for all things x, if x is reality, then it is reality" or to put it symbolically... Rx-> Rx, which is indeed a tautology. yet another example of how your use of language can be extremely confusing....

(technically what you said is more like "if x is not reality then its not reality" but like i said its equivalent to the above because of the nature of the conditional)

Alas no, belle, my statement "there's no reality but reality" is actually just a tad elliptical, if spelled out in full it would read "There's no reality, no state, realm, or dimension of reality but this reality that we partake of", and that is not at all a tautological statement. Your chop-logic, nitpicking attempt to pin me down in the fallacy of circular thinking demonstrates some sophistication, but also some willfully dull literal-mindedness. That is, if you weren't thinking in such a literal, technical mode you perhaps wouldn't find my language so confusing, and certainly wouldn't get bogged down in what are only fallacies when taken literally by a mind too keen on splitting hairs. But then what you're really keen on is disagreeing with the gist of my original post and apparently you'll seize on the most technical and facile argument to intellectually justify doing so. Shame, shame, the most mortal intellectual sin of them all is intellectual dishonesty with oneself.

adding more words doesn't make it not a tautology. it just makes the tautology less obvious. in this case you simply inserted a bunch of synonyms for the word reality to make it sound less monotonous.

and by the way your condescending asides about my character and psychology are quite superfluous. i made several comments on the bulk of your OP which you simply failed to address. maybe work on that before you berate me for my supposed small mindedness...
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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11/14/2010 9:49:06 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/14/2010 9:38:32 PM, charleslb wrote:
But then what you're really keen on is disagreeing with the gist of my original post and apparently you'll seize on the most technical and facile argument to intellectually justify doing so.

anyone can go on a moralizing rant where you paint a picture of the way You see things and condemn so and so for being such and such... and absolve others...

but to actually put forth an Argument... is something different.

from what I can tell... Roylatham had his way with you in that other thread.

which really ought not be too embarassing... as he does that with all you silly socialists.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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11/14/2010 9:50:56 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/14/2010 9:49:06 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 11/14/2010 9:38:32 PM, charleslb wrote:
But then what you're really keen on is disagreeing with the gist of my original post and apparently you'll seize on the most technical and facile argument to intellectually justify doing so.

anyone can go on a moralizing rant where you paint a picture of the way You see things and condemn so and so for being such and such... and absolve others...

but to actually put forth an Argument... is something different.

from what I can tell... Roylatham had his way with you in that other thread.

which really ought not be too embarassing... as he does that with all you silly socialists.

then again... I didn't read the OP for This thread... so... maybe I'm off topic...

who knows??
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."