Sunday School

Sunday School November 13th 2022

This topic contains 117 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  TheEncogitationer 1 week, 6 days ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 76 through 90 (of 118 total)
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  • #45702

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    We make moral choices typically because we can’t not make them. We muddle.

    I think, in real life, in a morally relevant situation, we are faced with a number of potentially competing values.  Which one shall win out?  I propose that bodily well being / compassion is the most important.

    #45703

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    What, then, is your refutation of Richard Dawkins’ argument in the video above against moral absolutism??

    I don’t know about refuting it – I think I agree with it.  Moral absolutism is a personal and cultural thing, in that the standards we use for evaluation are both personal and cultural.

    #45704

    Unseen
    Participant

    @simon

    You can’t be a kind of absolutist. Absolutist under some circumstances while being a relativist under others.

    Either you believe in real, eternal, unchanging blah de blah, principles or you believe in man made ones you can try on and change like socks.

    #45705

    Unseen
    Participant

    What, then, is your refutation of Richard Dawkins’ argument in the video above against moral absolutism??

    I don’t know about refuting it – I think I agree with it. Moral absolutism is a personal and cultural thing, in that the standards we use for evaluation are both personal and cultural.

    You seem totally unable to understand what an absolute is. What social groups have are moral prescriptions and prohibitions, but as such they are not absolutes, though we can treat them as if they were. They are just advice. An actual absolute would be true for every culture, including those that once existed as well as those yet to come.

    #45706

    Unseen
    Participant

    To be clear, I’m not an absolutist. To believe in absolutes requires something like a parallel world of platonic forms…or a deity.

    Because there are no absolutes, and absolutes are necessary to an ethical system that’s true and results in duties, it would seem that no ethical system can be true or binding.

    My position is that we muddle along…because we have no other option.

    #45707

    jakelafort
    Participant

    I think in many cases confusion arises due to a failure to define terms.

    Define and illustrate your viewpoint rather than give a viewpoint that tends towards polarization and obfuscation.

    I reject moral relativism. That does not lead me to absolutism. In fact morality does not lend itself to that treatment. Life is F’d up and filled with nuance. Absolute principles or worse yet absolute rules are foolhearty.

    Local customs and cultural mores are not a basis for morality. It is res ipsa since theism informs a great deal of the aforementioned. Phooey. Blech. If morality is no more than the flavor of the month or the changing styles in women’s shoes and men’s haircuts then morality is whimsical and capricious. In the most significant feeling issues that is hardly the foundation of a decision-maker who describes himself as a mensch.

    Furthermore moral relativism gives every person who ever committed unspeakable atrocities a pass cuz he was just going with the flow or following orders or when in Rome…

    I think ya need to make ethical principles that serve as a guideline and then reason your way to a decision wiggling and squirming to something that you can live with.

    #45708

    _Robert_
    Participant

    To be clear, I’m not an absolutist. To believe in absolutes requires something like a parallel world of platonic forms…or a deity. Because there are no absolutes, and absolutes are necessary to an ethical system that’s true and results in duties, it would seem that no ethical system can be true or binding. My position is that we muddle along…because we have no other option.

    I agree with this. And to go one step further we simply don’t even have the knowledge to make the best ethical decisions. If doing less harm is a goal, perhaps the act driving a car in the year 2022 (when all summed up) will do more harm than any murderer could do. So yes, we muddle along and do what is considered to be normative behavior for the times and culture and anything outside the norms is frowned on.

    #45709

    Unseen
    Participant

    I think in many cases confusion arises due to a failure to define terms. Define and illustrate your viewpoint rather than give a viewpoint that tends towards polarization and obfuscation.

    I hope I’ve been clear enough in defining moral absolutes as eternal and unchanging principles. Not just for today but for tomorrow and for judging yesterday. When I say eternal, I mean that they are not invented, and so were there from the beginning and will survive everything through the end of time and possibly beyond.

    By being true, they result in duties and other obligations as well as grounds for judging the actions of others.

    I reject moral relativism. That does not lead me to absolutism. In fact morality does not lend itself to that treatment. Life is F’d up and filled with nuance. Absolute principles or worse yet absolute rules are foolhearty.

    Relativism isn’t an either/or but absolutism is. You’re an absolutist or you’re not. You aren’t an absolutist in the morning but a relativist in the afternoon. Why? Because if you have a real, factual duty, you have it all day long and forever. Consider your duty to be a good friend or a parent. That duty isn’t for only part of the day. Also, you had it even before you had a friend or a child. Here we see that behind the concept of a moral absolute is a bedrock concept we call The Good.

    Local customs and cultural mores are not a basis for morality.

    And yet, this is the closest thing to morality we have since a morality based on actual absolutes is precluded from our scientific understanding of the world. Otherwise, moral absolutes would be up there with the physical laws of the universe, which would make them testable, for example which, clearly, they are not.

    Furthermore moral relativism gives every person who ever committed unspeakable atrocities a pass cuz he was just going with the flow or following orders or when in Rome…

    I think ya need to make ethical principles that serve as a guideline and then reason your way to a decision wiggling and squirming to something that you can live with.

    As I’ve said elsewhere, we muddle along.

    #45710

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Unseen, you wrote:

    And yet, this is the closest thing to morality we have since a morality based on actual absolutes is precluded from our scientific understanding of the world. Otherwise, moral absolutes would be up there with the physical laws of the universe, which would make them testable, for example which, clearly, they are not.

    If you wish to assert that local customs and cultural mores are utilized to produce a rough outline of then contemporary morality, that is fine. Just cuz it is at some point popular does not make it worth the powder to blow it up.

    However i am distinguishing sensible, rational, moral principles from stranglehold of viral and often vile morality.

    It seems to me the demand for eternal moral principles or rules is misplaced. Why would that make any sense? An adaptive approach on the other hand that is borne of broad and general ethical principles is well founded, i think. To suppose there is a clear right and wrong in all instances is religious-think.

    #45711

    Unseen
    Participant

    It seems to me the demand for eternal moral principles or rules is misplaced. Why would that make any sense? An adaptive approach on the other hand that is borne of broad and general ethical principles is well founded, i think. To suppose there is a clear right and wrong in all instances is religious-think.

    Like I said, I’m not an absolutist. If absolutes were to exist, they would exist as facts. There are no such facts.

    However, only a system based on absolutes can result in necessary duties. So, instead what we have is duties which are requirements. They are legislated or enforced socially.

    #45712

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    An adaptive approach on the other hand that is borne of broad and general ethical principles is well founded, i think. To suppose there is a clear right and wrong in all instances is religious-think.

    Some things never change.  For example:

    • the need to take care of children.
    • the need to cooperate, and cooperate ideally (moral principles of cooperation).
    • benefit and harm of individuals.
    • etc.
    #45713

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Simon, you’ve given examples of broad and general. Are you in favor of an absolutist approach to morality?

    Furthermore adaptation enhances integration without meditation. Children? Maybe we will have the AI to abort future psychopaths. Or we can use nanobots to alter the amygdala to create a better more cooperative kid. Or propsective parents are shite and there is a community of virtual parents and virtual community that will be better suited to the task.

    Adapt and overcome. Reneg on zero sum.

    #45714

    _Robert_
    Participant

    Yeah Simon, you didn’t say much about “the hows”. If I believe caring for my child is not subjecting them to vaccines, am I breaking your “need”? The Nazis certainly cooperated with each other. If they would have won the war and created that 1,000-year Reich they would have cared for children, cooperated, and have concluded that each individual is all the better for the effort, despite all the temporary pain and suffering.

    Talk of morality needs to have a temporal component because what seems ethical now may not seem so ethical in 100 years. The implementation of broad ideas that seem to be absolute like “be kind to others” are useless without context and a place in time.

    #45715

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Simon, you’ve given examples of broad and general. Are you in favor of an absolutist approach to morality?

    Absolutes – we absolutely must care for children, for example – are broad and general, but the ways they are carried out in real life are many and diverse.

    #45716

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    The Nazis certainly cooperated with each other. If they would have won the war and created that 1,000-year Reich they would have cared for children, cooperated, and have concluded that each individual is all the better for the effort, despite all the temporary pain and suffering.

    Just because the cooperation was used for unethical means (bullying the rest of the world) doesn’t mean that the Nazi’s wouldn’t have cared for their blond blue-eyed children.

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