Monday, May 01, 2006

The War on Relativism

Entries
Hellbound Alleee Morality: Is it Different from Everything Else? Many Atheists Think So.
How Can an Atheist Be A Christian? Sally and Cy: Morality In Action!
Goosing the Antithesis The Morality Disconnect
Relativism : taking a piss on morality
A real standard is hard to take
The Big Bad Realists
Practical Atheists and Practical Christians

Killing the Afterlife
Kill Moral Relativism
A Response to Frances the Magnificent Moral Relativist
The Radical LibertarianMy First Shot in the War on Relativism
Whiskey Before Breakfast The War on Relativism
Libre sans DieuLa Guerre au Relativisme (The War on Relativism - french)
Hell's HandmaidenAtheists are bad, bad people… man
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What Is It:
I propose a strike against the rejection of fact in morality.

Why?
Too many secularists reject (or claim to reject) fact and science when it comes to morality, even though they demand them in every other respect. How can we, as atheists and individualists, hope to criticize religion effectively if our evaluations are based on belief? We must submit to the standard of fact, just as science does, in order to properly evaluate ideas and actions.

What You Can Do:
If you have a blog, and use fact to make decisions and evaluate positions, if you wish to reclaim moral autonomy from belief systems, write an article about morality, highlighting fact, or exposing fallacy in subjective/cultural morality. You can write about how you make decisions in your own life, or how cultural belief can prevent you from making good decisions. Maybe you can write about how otherwise rational people treat morality as different from every other aspect of their world.

Your blog post can be from any realist worldview, and can be in any language as long as you have a summary in English. I will post a link to both your blog and the post here. I encourage the use of my banner, such as it is (unless you want to make a cooler one). Send me your link here in the comments, or email me at alleee@hellboundalleee.com . Don't forget to give me the post url and your blog url. New forum threads will also be accepted, if they are substantial enough.

Join the War on Relativism, and reclaim morality from belief systems!

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56 comments:

Koftu said...

Interesting. You are certainly one of the first secularists to advocate absolute morality to my knowledge. Personally, I have yet to decide whether or not my morality is absolute or relativistic. There seems to be an equal amount of fallacious reasoning on both sides of the "divide".

Koftu said...

Ahh, forgot to follow the link to your original "challenge". My apologies. Arguments for relativism in my mind include the superior value placed on liberty; even the liberty to commit the illogic of human sacrifice/circumcision/unsterilized piercings/et cetera in other cultures. By this token, the "virtue" of absolute morality appears to be derived solely from feelings of cultural superiority.

Aaron Kinney said...

Count me in! I am going to assume command of the West Coast division in this war.

Koftu,

If everyone operates under the same laws of nature, then morality cannot be relative.

Francois Tremblay said...

"Arguments for relativism in my mind include the superior value placed on liberty"

Uh... where does this "superior value" come from if relativism is true ? There are plenty of cultures that do not value liberty.

Andrew Greve said...

"Interesting. You are certainly one of the first secularists to advocate absolute morality to my knowledge."

It's about damn time!

TheJollyNihilist said...

I'm an atheist libertarian, but I'm also a moral relativist. I'm open to hearing criticisms, of course, but here is my position:

Morality cannot be measured, quantified, tested or gauged. There is no method by which to scientifically measure the morality of an action; there is no morality meter that discerns 30 degrees of morality or 70 degrees of immorality.

In the absence of scientific measuring instruments, the only way we can discern morality is through our perceptions and thought processes. Unfortunately, both perception and thought are highly fallible. Just look at an optical illusion sometime. The illusion might be entirely convincing without objective testing to reveal the trick. Lacking those testing methods, the illusion could become "fact" to the person seeing it.

Let's use an example: "Shooting your neighbor in the face is immoral."

I agree with that. My perception and thought processes discern such action is indeed highly immoral. But I see no place for scientific testing. That moral statement could very well be analogous to an optical illusion, tricking me into thinking a moral act is an immoral one.

It seems to me that saying there is a "correct moral code" is really no different than saying there is a "correct religion." I'd sooner say no religion is correct and no moral code is correct.

Koftu said...

OPEN ADMISSION: I am backtracking and eating my earlier words. Take that how you will.
-----------

"If everyone operates under the same laws of nature, then morality cannot be relative."

Fair enough, but who's to make the value judgment on what is right and wrong?

You?
I hope not.

Me?
I hope not.

Anybody else?
I hope not.

That is what
relativistic "morality" recognizes. Furthermore, what are these "laws* of nature" and what are its dictates**? What proof have you that these dictates hold true in all cases, discovered or not? Absolute morality is not feasible at the moment without tremendous assumptions and egoistic superiority.

Aaron Kinney said...

Koftu,

Fair enough, but who's to make the value judgment on what is right and wrong?

Well, who is to make the judgement of whether or not matter/energy is conserved? They are simple facts of reality that are discovered.

That is what
relativistic "morality" recognizes.


It doesnt recognize enough. It is a matter of making claims and testing those claims for validity. This is no different than testing scientific hypothesis.

Your refusal to recognize identity and causality in the context of morality is a form of nihilism to me. Why not take your principle to the logical conclusion and state that you cannot determine the properties or even the existence of anything at all?

Furthermore, what are these "laws* of nature" and what are its dictates**? What proof have you that these dictates hold true in all cases, discovered or not?

That is quite a complicated answer. I dont want to try to justify the entirety of the laws of nature, physics, logic, and the scientific method right now. Do you at least agree with physics, logic, scientific method, and the like?

Absolute morality is not feasible at the moment without tremendous assumptions and egoistic superiority.

I totally disagree. Would you say that negative claims (like atheism), or axioms (like the axiom of identity), or laws of nature (like the first law of thermodynamics) are "not feasible without tremendous assumptions and egoistic superiority"?

Hellbound Alleee said...

Frances:

So we can't determine right and wrong through fact? Tell that to science.

It's this simple: morality is determined through facts, not belief. I know you're smart enough to not base your decsions on belief, so why are you stuck on that? Do you not agree that we must use reason and fact to sove problems? So how is morality different and special? How do you manage to evaluate any morality at all? Are you ready to say that you cannot determine if rape is bad? Don't do this to yourself, man. You're too smart for that nonsense.

Hellbound Alleee said...

"You?
I hope not.

Me?
I hope not."

Koftu:
That's both sad and scary. So much for you. How do you even survive?

Bacon Eating Atheist Jew said...

Hi, Alleee. Maybe you can explain this to me. Is morality just based on individuals situations or can we judge group actions as being moral or not.
For instance, is the Iraq invasion by the USA moral?
Is the existence of Israel as a Jewish majority state at this ime moral?

Hellbound Alleee said...

Forgive me for banging my head against a wall, because those are fine questions. Really. Fine.

So why couldn't we judge any group action as moral based upon the facts? It doesn't matter what example you give me. Can you judge the KKK's actions? PeTA? Can you judge any government actions?

The better question is, how? My answer is by using facts. How will those actions affect you, me, and the other guy. There you go.

*Bang*

Andrew Greve said...

"Is morality just based on individuals situations or can we judge group actions as being moral or not."

Only individuals exist and act. Groups are just mental constructs.

Hellbound Alleee said...

That makes better sense, certainly. I stand corrected.

Groups don't act. People do, using the group often as the value--which can very easily be judged.

Of course, as atheists, we often like to point out the destructive consequences of religious beliefs. But it's the individual who decides to hold religious beliefs and act on them.

Koftu said...

"That's both sad and scary. So much for you. How do you even survive?"

For some reason or another, "natural" forces have not seen it fit to screw with my biological functioning to the extent of causing death. So I should think that I survive in much the same manner you do.
:-P
---------

"Your refusal to recognize identity and causality in the context of morality is a form of nihilism to me. Why not take your principle to the logical conclusion and state that you cannot determine the properties or even the existence of anything at all?"

For an obvious reason, namely that there is substantial empirical data as gathered through my sensor inputs to verify the existence of a material universe. If I "see" an object, desire to "touch" it, and, lo and behold, there is a texture to this object at the location and of a detectable nature, that is enough evidence for me to infer its existence. The problem is that morality is an abstract noun. I regard it more as an existential notion than a nihilistic one, because I did not say that it doesn't exist. In fact, if it were ever decided that the Codex of Natural Law were ever properly formulated, I would also be an absolutist and this debate would be meaningless.
---------------

Allee, this is off topic but if you count yourself as an atheist, why is your headline "Secretly believing in god, but hating him since [the year I was born]"?

Just curious.

REASOGICAL said...

Absolute Morality is a logical fallicy. This is the same thought dogma that religions try to use. You used and example of rape, of course you and I see that as wrong, but look in the bible, or among a portion of the people in the world and you will find people that don't see it as wrong.

Someone also gave the example of the KKK. This is a terrible group by most of the views in america and the world today, but in the hieght of its time the groups goals were considered moral and are still condsidered moral by its current followers.

Moral relativism really doesn't say much on what is right and wrong, it only says that morals are not defined, or devinely inspired. Morals are based on many things, culture, biology, environment, ect.

I think you might have made a mistake in the war on relativism area.

I think an idea that would be more relavant and more accurate would be the idea of a social contract. In a social contract, somewhat like the us constitution, ideas for the betterment of society are proclaimed. Rights are delegated and defined by following guideline. The guidelines are based in personal freedom, societal wellfare, equality and other ideals. These ideals, in a proper social contract, must not be hindered by religion, or political parties.

From what I just wrote, some might see a way of finding an absolute morality. This is just an illusion of morality because are proper as it appears, these are still just opinions.

Andrew Greve said...

"I think an idea that would be more relavant and more accurate would be the idea of a social contract. In a social contract, somewhat like the us constitution, ideas for the betterment of society are proclaimed. Rights are delegated and defined by following guideline. The guidelines are based in personal freedom, societal wellfare, equality and other ideals. These ideals, in a proper social contract, must not be hindered by religion, or political parties."

I refer you to http://radicallibertarians.blogspot.com/2006/03/debunking-statist-arguments-social.html

Andrew Greve said...

Oops,

http://radicallibertarians.blogspot.com/2006/03/
debunking-statist-arguments-social.html

You'll have to edit those two parts of the hyperlink back together, sorry, I wasn't sure how else to do it.

Myrtle said...

Absolute morality isn't the same as objective morality. That is, objective with a little o. Kant's deontology is compatible with atheism.

Hellbound Alleee said...

Koftu:

Be assured that I am a complete and total atheist who likes to fuck with assumptions -- of christains and atheists.

You are making moral decisions, Koftu, or else you would not survive--unless I am mistaken and you are being taken care of. You say that you hope you do not make moral determinations. Are you not an adult? Do you not make decisions at all?

Hellbound Alleee said...

Reasological
"Absolute Morality is a logical fallicy. This is the same thought dogma that religions try to use. You used and example of rape, of course you and I see that as wrong, but look in the bible, or among a portion of the people in the world and you will find people that don't see it as wrong."

So what?

Hellbound Alleee said...

Reasological:

"I think you might have made a mistake in the war on relativism area."

I hope not. But here is what I know to be true, based on episemological data: one cannot argue effectively against belief systems if one has no standards with which to judge that belief system. I know that belief can not be a standard (that's why I am an atheist) to find out the truth. If you want to find out the truth in a situation, you're not going to get it by refusal of evidence--which is what belief is. All you have is reality. No moral judgements can be made without facts, despite the fact that many people think so.

Because, as we know for a fact, even big numbers of believers cannot make something true.

PS everyone: Is it possible to get people to argue points we made in our posts, rather than arguments against the darned title? I really don't feel like re-writing my arguments against relativism in the comments section, when I spent so much time making a post about it.

Koftu said...

An absolute morality would mean that any moral decision I make would be true for everybody else. I make moral decisions relative to my circumstances (and everyone else respectively to theirs). I would hope that nobody else has the audacity to make the moral decision about my circumstance, as to do so would be to say they know more about being me in my circumstance than I do. I simply do not think this is a reasonable assumption to make, and thus deny the absolutism of morality for the moment.
-------------

Allee, I wasn't trying to question your theistic beliefs or lack thereof, I was just wondering in what sense you meant for your blog headline to be interpreted, as it is an odd one for an atheist. I'm glad you enjoy fucking with assumptions. I certainly don't mind responding to your queries/challenges.

Hellbound Alleee said...

I'm cleaning out the well as of now.

Nowhere has any of us said that we are promoting absolutism. If you have an argument against absolute morality, go argue with an absolutist.

If you're still not sure what we're talking about, read the story of Sally and Cy below.

Now, Koftu:

Who said that we want someone to make decisions for you? You already said you can't make moral decisions, anyway. Now you're saying you do. You don't make moral decisions relative to your circumstances (and that's not even what relativism is), man. You make moral decisions based on the facts of your circumstances, and so does everyone else. The fact that everything you do has a result, and we use facts when making moral decisions has absolutely nothing to do with gestapos and authority figures making you do stuff.

Are you getting the picture yet?

Bob Brown said...

I'm in...I'll be a soldier for the cause.
Check out my blog...look familar?

Bob Brown

http://glorybetowillie.blogspot.com/

I love you guys!!

Hellbound Alleee said...

Yes, it looks familiar, and no, Bob,
we love you!

You have a specific article you wanna add?

exbeliever said...

I added some new captions to your Sally and Cy story that possibly points to a problem in your thinking.

Hellbound Alleee said...

Sorry, but you messed up about "value." Franc pointed it out.

Bob Brown said...

I began a war on Christianity a couple of years ago. I made the following flyer and left them at different church locations.


WARNING

Like Hitler he wants to lead a master race of people that measure up to his standards of perfection.

Like Stalin he strikes fear into the hearts of his followers instantly putting to death anyone who steps out of line.

He commands a powerful army that lies in wait to butcher and torture hundreds of millions of men, women and children simply because they have different beliefs than him.

His mercy and compassion only extends to those who will ultimately conform to his way of thinking.

The most frightening aspect about this is that his followers worship his every word and praise his every action even though that action may include the extermination of their own friends and loved ones.

What kind of individual would sacrifice their humanity and want to follow such an angry, jealous, egotistical leader as this?

Maybe you?



Bob Brown

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Hellbound Alleee said...

No, you don't like my blog, you stupid, lying son of a bitch puff of electrical impulses. May you rot in cyber-hell and live forever in a Nigerian Email, where the Mugu is hurling insults about sex with goats and stretched anuses.

Peaker said...

You are wrong :-)

I agree that fact and science should be used to judge the morality of things. But:

What you call contextualism is indeed moral relativism, because of the basic definition of what morality is.

You think there are values that are globally shared, and I challenge you to find any such value that _all_ humans would agree about. Also, I may include just myself in the "moral group" that I wish the best for. Thus it would become moral for me to force or kill others if it helps me.

If you assume the "golden rule" or others (thus requiring a definition of group, which itself would affect the judgement of morality), then some actions become moral or not.

Peaker said...

Another point:
As harsh as it may sound, rape is only bad because all of us include women in the "moral group" we would like to protect and care for the best interests of.

If someone arbitrarily chooses that he cares not about women, and his only purpose is his own best interest, there is no objective moral reason for him not to rape or to think rape is immoral.

This is not to be taken as a justification of rape, obviously. My "moral group" includes women, like everyone else, and that means that for me it is moral to punish rapists, perhaps more thoroughly than the current common legal system.

Hellbound Alleee said...

#1: Rape has nothing to do with women or gender.
#2: You are assuming positions I have not asserted.

Hellbound Alleee said...

#3: Agreement has nothing to do with it.

Peaker said...

#1: Rape has nothing to do with women or gender.
s/women/rape subjects

#2: You are assuming positions I have not asserted.

Please explain more specifically.

#3: Agreement has nothing to do with it.

Please be more specific?

I can rephrase the above:
Morals are a set of rules to follow in order to achieve the ultimate goals of their follower. The ultimate goals of a healthy human normally include his own survival, happiness, the survival and well-being of his close ones, and so on. Thus people deem things that achieve these goals as moral and others as immoral.

But it is important to notice that these ultimate goals above are in fact arbitrary, making morals arbitrary, and relative to these goals. You call these goals context, but it is a semantic difference, the morals are still relative.

These ultimate goals often don't seem arbitrary because so many of us humans share them. But the reason we share them is because of genetic/education similarity. Some people don't share these goals, and while you would call them immoral, their actions are in line with their goals and thus are moral in their perspective.

For example: There is no objective way to determine that killing a man is immoral, other than assuming some goal of life that contradicts it. This goal would by definition be arbitrary and not a necessity of a moral system.

Hellbound Alleee said...

Rape is forcibly penetrating a human. Can you pursue your values in a society that condones rape? Rape will take away your freedom to pursue your values, and the values of those you care about. Being against rape has nothing to do with women.

"There is no objective way to determine that killing a man is immoral, "

You're insane, or simply not creative. Or you give up your autonomy and you live in someone's cage.

Let me explain this simply, as if I haven't already made a children's cartoon about it, located a couple of posts down:

Again--for the 56th or 104th or 212th time (I'm not counting)

Morality:
The study of causality as it relates to human a\behavior,

How to Pursue Morality:

1. Identify the values
2.Identify, through fact, if the values are rational.
3. Determine if the values are being fulfilled by the action.

You have assumed I am talking about "the golden rules" or magical rules. I am not, as you can see by the definition above.

Question: are all moral judgements equal?

Hellbound Alleee said...

"agreement has nothing to do with it"

What people think has nothing to do with whether something's moral, any more than popularity has anything to do with something being true. If you believe that, you're religious, and I have nothing more to say to you about this topic.

Hellbound Alleee said...

Any further comments should be made after listening to the show we recorded today:

SHow 101: The War on Relativism

Peaker said...

Rape is forcibly penetrating a human. Can you pursue your values in a society that condones rape?

No.

Rape will take away your freedom to pursue your values, and the values of those you care about. Being against rape has nothing to do with women.
Rape of whom? When the Nazis declared that rape of Jews is allowed, it didn't deprive the Non-Jewish Germans of freedom.
So what does this point have to do with it?

"There is no objective way to determine that killing a man is immoral, "

You're insane, or simply not creative. Or you give up your autonomy and you live in someone's cage.


You are assuming that because I think there is no objective way, I think there is no way at all. That's incorrect. I believe that killing a man is wrong, simply because I have an ultimate goal that contradicts it.

Let me explain this simply, as if I haven't already made a children's cartoon about it, located a couple of posts down:

Again--for the 56th or 104th or 212th time (I'm not counting)

Morality:
The study of causality as it relates to human a\behavior,


Morality is more than causality. It is also assigning a value of "goodness" to the consequences. Any such value is based on a set of arbitrary goals [you call them values], because there is no inherent "goodness".

How to Pursue Morality:

1. Identify the values
2.Identify, through fact, if the values are rational.


"values" are just goals. Goals are either "mid-goals" meant to achieve another goal, which eventually is meant to achieve an ultimate goal. The ultimate goals have no "purpose" of their own. They are just arbitrary goals. As such, they cannot be rational. Can you explain what your values are and why they are rational?

Francois Tremblay said...

"If someone arbitrarily chooses that he cares not about women, and his only purpose is his own best interest, there is no objective moral reason for him not to rape or to think rape is immoral."

And yet a dick will just as easily be stuffed in your mouth or anus, you stupid bitch.

This alone proves that you are a little kid who has no idea what he's talking about. Go back to momma.

Aaron Kinney said...

If someone arbitrarily chooses that he cares not about women, and his only purpose is his own best interest, there is no objective moral reason for him not to rape or to think rape is immoral.

Your problem is in your proemise. You said: "If someone arbitrarily chooses that he cares not about women"

If someone chooses to disregard another, then they are implicitly admitting that someone else can choose to disregard him, and in turn rape or kill him. So, objectively, it is not within this mans best interests to violate the sovereignty of another. That is because you cannot logically state that it is valid to coerce or violate another person without agreeing that it is ok to be coerced or violated yourself.

Peaker said...

If someone chooses to disregard another, then they are implicitly admitting that someone else can choose to disregard him, and in turn rape or kill him.

Is it? Why are you assuming this similarity or identity between that someone and that other?
If person A chooses to disregard person B, they are not performing any action on the behalf of person B, and not making any implicit admission of what person B can make.
This assumption of equivalence between all persons, is called "The Golden Rule" that I mentioned earlier.
You may accept or reject the golden rule, but this acceptance or rejection is purely arbitrary.

Aaron Kinney said...

Is it? Why are you assuming this similarity or identity between that someone and that other?

Because its obvious that we are all conscious individuals. Or do you deny this?

If person A chooses to disregard person B, they are not performing any action on the behalf of person B, and not making any implicit admission of what person B can make.

You are 100% wrong. Forcing rape upon a woman is to force the victim to perform an action. It also violates their ability to determine for themselves what they are to do. What are you trying to deny the existence of force or coercion? Please.

This assumption of equivalence between all persons, is called "The Golden Rule" that I mentioned earlier.
You may accept or reject the golden rule, but this acceptance or rejection is purely arbitrary.


Sorry I didnt read about your golden rule. Theres too many comments here. How does your "golden rule" apply to a rape scenario? Do you think it is "wrong" to rape someone?

Aaron Kinney said...

What I meant was, because we are all conscious individuals, we all have the same sovereignty over our own selves, and to say that ones self-ownership can be violated is to say that all individuals can be violated, including the individual making the claim of relativism or applying force to another.

Peaker said...

Because its obvious that we are all conscious individuals. Or do you deny this?

I don't deny it, but I believe it is irrelevant and unprovable either way. If both are conscious, they are similar in that regard, but why does this similarity mean anything to how Person A should treat Person B?

You are 100% wrong. Forcing rape upon a woman is to force the victim to perform an action. It also violates their ability to determine for themselves what they are to do. What are you trying to deny the existence of force or coercion? Please.

Bad choice of wording on my part.
I meant that I reject your premise that if person A violates person B he is "allowing" violation of himself in the process. There is no way you can link the two logically.

Sorry I didnt read about your golden rule. Theres too many comments here. How does your "golden rule" apply to a rape scenario? Do you think it is "wrong" to rape someone?

The "golden rule" means that all people are similar, and will act in similar ways. What you do is what many others will do. If you wish not to be raped or more generally mistreated, you better not be mistreat others. If you do mistreat others, many others will do it too.
I actually accept the golden rule (arbitrarily), and thus I believe that hurting other humans is in a way hurting me, and I believe in the protection of all humans. So what I consider moral is what helps humans' happiness, and vice versa.

What I meant was, because we are all conscious individuals, we all have the same sovereignty over our own selves, and to say that ones self-ownership can be violated is to say that all individuals can be violated,

Why, what if person A says "only person A's sovereignty mustn't be violated, other persons may be". How is that inconsistent or wrong, other than by your subjective judgement?

Hellbound Alleee said...

I've completely lost patience and respect now.

"If you wish not to be raped or more generally mistreated, you better not be mistreat others. If you do mistreat others, many others will do it too."

You wrote it. If you still don't get it, and you wrote it, then I'm not seeing any evidence for you having any sense.

Now, why shouldn't I come over and rape and kill you, or is that just "arbitrary?"

I do not accept the golden rule, because it is not rational. People do not all want to be treated the same way. Since you can't see why I shouldn't rape you with a broken bottle, this is obvious. The reason you insist that this means morality is not based on fact, and only arbitrary acceptance is because you haven't read a fucking thing we've written or recorded, except this thread.

If you can't see any earthly reason why you make decisions every day, things look grim for old peaker. Morality is not what we're doing here, man. It's not about assholes sitting around thinking about what other people shouldn't do. It's what we do. And if you don't know why you're doing it save for your giving up your moral autonomy and submitting to a cultural belief , you're either a monk or a kid. You can't possibly think that you have any grounds for trying to convince anyone here of anything, can you? Because itIs all just made-up opinion anyway. If it's not based on fact, Peaker, I don't give a shit what you say, and nobody else should, either.

Peaker said...

I've completely lost patience and respect now.

You completely misunderstood everything I have said.

"If you wish not to be raped or more generally mistreated, you better not be mistreat others. If you do mistreat others, many others will do it too."

You wrote it. If you still don't get it, and you wrote it, then I'm not seeing any evidence for you having any sense.


That only makes sense if you accept the "golden rule" (which I do), which is that other people, being similar to you, will act like you. If you rape, they will rape too. If you mistreat, they will mistreat too. Thus, if you want a good society you must be good yourself.

If you reject the "golden rule" as you claim that you do because you seem to think it is not rational, then there is no reason for you to think that there is any connection whatsoever between what you do, and what others do. Your moral code CAN treat your own actions differently and arbitrarily from other people's actions.

Now, why shouldn't I come over and rape and kill you, or is that just "arbitrary?"

Because of the relativistic moral system that you hold. Just because a moral system is arbitrary and relative, does not make any better or worse than any other system, "absolute" or not.

I do not accept the golden rule, because it is not rational. People do not all want to be treated the same way.

Again, you misunderstood the golden rule. It merely says that since people are similar, they will act similarly. It does not mean "treat everyone the same", it means "if you mistreat others, it probably means that its likely that they, being similar to you, will mistreat you". It says there's a sort of "implicit connection" between what unrelated people do. To the thinking mind, it may seem like unexplained causality.

Since you can't see why I shouldn't rape you with a broken bottle, this is obvious.

I see why: Because of the relative moral system we both hold which says this is wrong.

The reason you insist that this means morality is not based on fact

I claim morality is relative and arbitrary, not that its "not based on fact". Moral judgement calls are based on the arbitrary goals defined, as well as the facts and analysis of consequences.

and only arbitrary acceptance is because you haven't read a fucking thing we've written or recorded, except this thread.

Give me any reference to a writing or a recording that can derive any "good moral behaviour" that is not based on an arbitrary goal. Please no link to irrelevant crucification talk this time.

If you can't see any earthly reason why you make decisions every day, things look grim for old peaker.

I see very earthy and simple reasons for my decisions. My morality is my guide, and just like yours and everyone else's, it is based on arbitrary goals, which are nonetheless my goals.

Morality is not what we're doing here, man. It's not about assholes sitting around thinking about what other people shouldn't do. It's what we do. And if you don't know why you're doing it save for your giving up your moral autonomy and submitting to a cultural belief

Again, you completely misunderstand my view: I oppose cultural morality guidelines, and I don't accept the morality of my culture and much of the morality of my state. I derive my own morality from the arbitrary goals I have. It is as autonomous as it can get.


It seems that you just have knee-jerk reactions based on partial understanding. Try to take the time to understand what I'm saying, don't assume my opinion.

breakerslion said...

Aw crap! You've drawn me into another one. You might have noticed that I like to lighten the mood once in a while, but this is too serious for me to take lightly.

"I don't deny it, but I believe it is irrelevant and unprovable either way."

How is this not denying it?

You speak with forked tongue, it seems to me.

I believe that most people act from a standpoint of perceived self-interest. The difference is, that those of us who are not qualified to have an opinion but have one anyway, could tell the sociopath about the mistakes that they are making. The sociopath is incapable of agreeing. Talking about rapists in the context of morality is like mice trying to bell the cat. Could we possibly talk about the majority of human beings that are, for the greater part, sane?

When the Government takes over the job of law enforcement, they dis-empower us to execute justice. There are reasons to support this. In truth, if I caught a rapist in the act, I would not call 911, I would dispach that individual with no more concern than I would feel killing a cockroach. I have my reasons. I am also both prepared to live with the consequences, and unconcerned as to the opinions of others. Does this make me a potential murderer? Depends upon your definition. Am I a threat to you? Only if.... Is this an immoral position? Not from where I sit. The sanctity of human life is a convenient fiction.

Seth said...

Peaker:

I think its pretty simple. The fact that you and I are both concious beings, or more specifically, the fact that YOU are a concious being, means that I do not own you. This is a universal truth, I can't think your thoughts, you own them. You can't think my thoughts, I own them. Its observable, its testable in a lab, its a law of fucking nature.

Therefore if you assert ownership of me you are violating my nature. The word "moral" is a label applied to actions that are consistent with the basic nature of humans, and "immoral" actions would be those that violate that nature.

Basically, you are arguing that morality can't be defined that way... why not?

Seth said...

I mean, you could deny that gravity is defined as the relationship between masses, too, and say that our decision to define gravity in this manner is arbitrary. But what you are ACTUALLY saying is that using the word 'gravity' as opposed to some other word is an arbitrary choice. The gravity is still there.

Simon said...

Morality is an opinion.

Hellbound Alleee said...

And the drooling continues.

Is any opinion moral, Simon, or just the moral ones?

griggsy said...

Like Michael Shermer in the " Science of Good and Evil," I advocate a provisional ethic as the ethic rather than relativistic or absolute .This would be objective in that we can discern what is good or bad for people , other animals or the enviornment. In " I don't have enough Faith to be an Atheist," the authors demonstrate the absurdity of relativism ,but their argument for absolute ethics is really for provisional one- one they wouldn't like,I assume. Of course, as with provisional science, there will be disagreements.

Hellbound Alleee said...

That would be a perfectly relevant post, grigsy, if we were promoting absolute anything.

But we're not.

The Celtic Chimp said...

Good Grief.

Objective morality. :)

Are there also objective taste facts, fashion facts, beauty facts?