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  • The key thing to observe here is that existence is black-and-white: Being is binary, and existence is never partial.

    Either the planet exists or it does not; either the cat is on the mat, or it is not; either water boils at this temperature under these conditions, or it does not; either you are alive or you are not; and either something furthers your life under so-and-which circumstances, or it does not.

    The very heart of knowledge -- the knowledge necessary for us to navigate the world and further our lives -- lies in distinguishing what-is from what-is-not, and this is inherently binary, either-or. You can see this recognized in reason and logic, "the art of non-contradictory identification", which takes as a beacon adherence to the law of non-contradiction. Basically, to reason, to be logical, is to be a principled, black-and-white thinker; while to deny the binary, black-and-white nature of existence and proper thinking is to reject the very basis of logic and reason.

    One common source of hostility to "black-and-white thinking" (i.E., principled thinking) is the simple fact that a false principle used in peoples' black-and-white thinking will cause suffering to the degree that the bad principle is adhered to -- as with altruism. But rather than respond by rejecting reason, or principled thinking itself (our very means of staying in existence), the proper approach is to reject the false, anti-life principle. A secondary source of hostility is people not wanting to be told or reminded that reality and reason are not optional to the pursuit of life, and not liking the fact that rejecting reason and continuing to adhere to bad principles are both counter to living on earth.

    Of course, trying to evade the truth doesn't change it. Because "either-or" is central to existence and therefore to reason, "black-and-white thinking" is inescapable, if one wants to live. So the irony is pretty thick when someone says black and white thinking is bad or irrational -- they are rather transparently engaging in exactly what they decry: the black and white categorization of black and white categorizing.

  • The key thing to observe here is that existence is black-and-white: Being is binary, and existence is never partial.

    Either the planet exists or it does not; either the cat is on the mat, or it is not; either water boils at this temperature under these conditions, or it does not; either you are alive or you are not; and either something furthers your life under so-and-which circumstances, or it does not.

    The very heart of knowledge -- the knowledge necessary for us to navigate the world and further our lives -- lies in distinguishing what-is from what-is-not, and this is inherently binary, either-or. You can see this recognized in reason and logic, "the art of non-contradictory identification", which takes as a beacon adherence to the law of non-contradiction. Basically, to reason, to be logical, is to be a principled, black-and-white thinker; while to deny the binary, black-and-white nature of existence and proper thinking is to reject the very basis of logic and reason.

    One common source of hostility to "black-and-white thinking" (i.E., principled thinking) is the simple fact that a false principle used in peoples' black-and-white thinking will cause suffering to the degree that the bad principle is adhered to -- as with altruism. But rather than respond by rejecting reason, or principled thinking itself (our very means of staying in existence), the proper approach is to reject the false, anti-life principle. A secondary source of hostility is people not wanting to be told or reminded that reality and reason are not optional to the pursuit of life, and not liking the fact that rejecting reason and continuing to adhere to bad principles are both counter to living on earth.

    Of course, trying to evade the truth doesn't change it. Because "either-or" is central to existence and therefore to reason, "black-and-white thinking" is inescapable, if one wants to live. So the irony is pretty thick when someone says black and white thinking is bad or irrational -- they are rather transparently engaging in exactly what they decry: the black and white categorization of black and white categorizing.

  • The world is black and white:

    There really isn't any gray in the world. Things of a physical nature either are or are not. Things of an ethical nature either have strong or weak reasoning. Things of an emotional nature are either valid or invalid for the relating reaction. The concept of grey areas I believe is majorly founded on ignorance. Most "dilemmas" aren't really dilemmas but instead just choices like any other.

  • Morality is subjective.

    All the good/bad/right/wrong in the moral realm exists in the eye of the beholder. The valuation is a process that occurs in sentient minds. (Allowing for a god, gods, or other "higher" beings, this would apply to them too.) Regardless of any attribution we may attempt, it boils down to what we think. It is opinions that exist in our minds. It is relative to us - the very definition of "subjective."

    There is great commonality of opinion on some things, around the world, and great disagreement on others. For all the talk of absolutes, "black and white," etc., some cultures are diametrically opposed to what other cultures think, on some things.

    "Is it wrong to lie?" Pretty obvious that it's going to depend on the situation. It's also going to depend on who you are asking - what individual or what group - and what they think.

    If we accept the common view of we humans being individuals, living on this planet, in this galaxy, the universe, etc., then we can say there are some objective truths, like "There is matter and energy in the universe."

    That will be true whether you or I affirm it, or if we even exist. It would be true were there no sentient minds, period.

    When we come to morality and ethics, then it's a different story. There has to be a sentient mind to make valuations, to have desires, to have feelings of good/bad/right/wrong (in the moral realm). That's where all the "shoulds" and "should nots" come from.

  • Morality? Yes. World? No.

    Morality is not subjective. I agree, but the world we live in requires us to commit immoralities for the preservation of greater virtues, as clgaram720 stated above. It is wrong to lie, but if that lie is meant to save another human being's life, as it has done so many times in our past, then we are morally obligated to lie. This is life, we must acknowledge the tolerances for which or environment limits us. Morality is black and white. The world is not.

  • Black and white exist, but only in context.

    What 19 men got together and did on 9/11 was 100% wrong. See? Black and white exist. However, you cannot say that about any given situation anywhere at any time, so while black and white exist, they only exist within the context of the specific situation.
    You could not say for example that killing a man is always wrong. If a man comes into your house at night and tries to kill you, you kill his a$$ right back if that's what is necessary. Only in context can we judge, and since context is always different, the ethics are always going to apply differently.

  • There is grey

    On the moral spectrum, there are the two extremes: Purely ethical and purely unethical and in-between. We can say certain actions are purely unethical and purely ethical, while others have more ambiguity. Philosopher Simone de Beauvoir said there is no recipe for ethics, that everything is open to interpretation. I personally take a contextual approach to morality.


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