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seer
04-27-2015, 07:49 AM
Recently a new member here at TWEB attack biblical ethics as being subjective, subjective to God. Which makes sense, but God's law would still be objective to mankind. He suggested or inferred that moral realism was preferable because it posed that objective moral facts actually exist;

Here is a definition that I think is correct:


Moral Realism (or Moral Objectivism) is the meta-ethical view that there exist such things as moral facts and moral values, and that these are objective and independent of our perception of them or our beliefs, feelings or other attitudes towards them. Therefore, moral judgments describe moral facts, which are as certain in their own way as mathematical facts.

The questions are, where do these moral facts exist? And how are we obligated to them if they do exist?

Yttrium
04-27-2015, 08:13 AM
I haven't heard of this idea prior to reading remarks about it in Apologetics here. It sounds dubious to me. I'd like to find out what some of these "objective moral "facts" are.

seer
04-27-2015, 08:26 AM
I haven't heard of this idea prior to reading remarks about it in Apologetics here. It sounds dubious to me. I'd like to find out what some of these "objective moral "facts" are.

Me too.

Yttrium
04-27-2015, 10:06 AM
Well, Wikipedia has a page on it. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_realism) It doesn't seem to get into any of those "facts", unfortunately.

I came across this line on the page: "Another advantage of moral realism is its capacity to resolve moral disagreements: If two moral beliefs contradict one another, realism says that they cannot both be right, and therefore everyone involved ought to be seeking out the right answer to resolve the disagreement." This breaks Moral Relativism, as far as I'm concerned. I see people with conflicting moral values, who both can subjectively justify themselves to be right, and no resolution can be found between the two; and I understand both points, and I see no objective solution. An obvious example (to me) is the abortion issue.

Rational Gaze
04-27-2015, 11:04 AM
Recently a new member here at TWEB attack biblical ethics as being subjective, subjective to God. Which makes sense, but God's law would still be objective to mankind.
Actually, no, it doesn't make sense to say ethics is subjective God.


He suggested or inferred that moral realism was preferable because it posed that objective moral facts actually exist
Theism logically entails moral realism, so I don't see how it could possibly by an alternative to theism. Maybe he is referring to moral platonism; the idea that moral facts exist as actual objects? If so, then that is a viewpoint that isn't preferable to theism at all.


The questions are, where do these moral facts exist? And how are we obligated to them if they do exist?
The irony is that, if moral platonism is true, then they either exist as abstract objects, in the mind's of humans, or not at all. Whereas, in theism, God is the ontological source of moral facts.

seer
04-27-2015, 11:15 AM
Actually, no, it doesn't make sense to say ethics is subjective God.

Well that was his point, I don't have a real problem with it, he he would have to flesh out his reasons.



Theism logically entails moral realism, so I don't see how it could possibly by an alternative to theism. Maybe he is referring to moral platonism; the idea that moral facts exist as actual objects? If so, then that is a viewpoint that isn't preferable to theism at all.

Some do say that moral realism can be traced back to Plato.



The irony is that, if moral platonism is true, then they either exist as abstract objects, in the mind's of humans, or not at all. Whereas, in theism, God is the ontological source of moral facts.

And I don't see how we would be, in the least, obligated, to follow these moral facts - even if we knew them.

firstfloor
04-27-2015, 12:11 PM
... where do these moral facts exist?They don’t. God (assuming He exists) is a moral agent just like we are. Moral facts or standards do not exist. The reason you would refer to God for advice in moral matters is only if you thought he was qualified because of His greater experience and not because he embodies goodness or some such thing. A lot of God worshipers get this wrong for some reason and say daft things like ‘God is love’.

Ana Dragule
04-27-2015, 02:59 PM
I suppose one could argue that God's law expresses moral realism in that it expresses the relationship between things and a proper order for them, and as the only omnipotent being would be the one to best express what that morality would look like? e.g. People are made in God's image and therefore are treated as something special, i.e. to be loved.

For God to request something to be otherwise would be to undermine the nature and plan for creation and thus impose on Him a morality contrary to what He would request of us? E.g. honesty, love, etc.

Rational Gaze
04-28-2015, 11:43 AM
Some do say that moral realism can be traced back to Plato.
Moral realism is the position that there are moral facts. Platonist philosophy is merely one form of moral realism. Theism is another. In both, moral statements can be true.


And I don't see how we would be, in the least, obligated, to follow these moral facts - even if we knew them.
Which is precisely why theism is preferable to platonism. Platonism does not adequately provide an answer to moral epistemology, only moral ontology. Whereas theism provides a satisfactory account of moral ontology and moral epistemology.

Rational Gaze
04-28-2015, 11:45 AM
They don’t. God (assuming He exists) is a moral agent just like we are. Moral facts or standards do not exist. The reason you would refer to God for advice in moral matters is only if you thought he was qualified because of His greater experience and not because he embodies goodness or some such thing. A lot of God worshipers get this wrong for some reason and say daft things like ‘God is love’.
You are simply begging the question here. In theism, God is the ontological basis for moral truths. Simply claiming that they don't exist is question begging.

seer
04-28-2015, 11:53 AM
Which is precisely why theism is preferable to platonism. Platonism does not adequately provide an answer to moral epistemology, only moral ontology. Whereas theism provides a satisfactory account of moral ontology and moral epistemology.

Well that is my question, in a godless universe, how can moral facts exist? Where do they exist?

Jedidiah
04-28-2015, 12:50 PM
Moral realism is simply a way of saying we need to update the useless morality of Scripture. It is false.

firstfloor
04-28-2015, 01:53 PM
In theism, God is the ontological basis for moral truths.If you don’t understand God you can’t use Him to explain anything else. “How great is God—beyond our understanding!” What you are doing here is just saying what you want to be true – wishful thinking.

shunyadragon
04-28-2015, 03:02 PM
Recently a new member here at TWEB attack biblical ethics as being subjective, subjective to God. Which makes sense, but God's law would still be objective to mankind. He suggested or inferred that moral realism was preferable because it posed that objective moral facts actually exist;

Here is a definition that I think is correct:



The questions are, where do these moral facts exist? And how are we obligated to them if they do exist?

The problem with Moral Realism remains that morals and ethics are human social attributes, and not God's Law. Morals and ethics are not subjective nor objective in and of themselves, and there are no moral facts (?). Morals and Ethics may or may not be based on God's Law.

Rational Gaze
04-29-2015, 12:46 AM
If you don’t understand God you can’t use Him to explain anything else. “How great is God—beyond our understanding!” What you are doing here is just saying what you want to be true – wishful thinking.
More question begging.

Rational Gaze
04-29-2015, 12:47 AM
Well that is my question, in a godless universe, how can moral facts exist? Where do they exist?
They don't. The only non-theistic alternative is platonism, and that is problematic for reasons already outlined.

Rational Gaze
04-29-2015, 12:53 AM
Here's a quick primer on moral ontology for those who need it: -
Moral realism = there are moral facts.
Moral objectivism = moral statements refer to objective features of the world.
Moral cognitivism = moral statements can be true or false.
Theism = moral facts are grounded in God.
Platonism = moral facts are grounded in abstract objects.

Moral anti-realism = there are no moral facts.
Moral subjectivism = moral statements do not refer to objective features of the world.
Moral nihilism = all moral statements are false.
Moral non-cognitivism = moral statements are neither true nor false.

Paprika
04-29-2015, 01:17 AM
Theism = moral facts are grounded in God.
Hardly.

robertb
04-29-2015, 02:24 AM
Recently a new member here at TWEB attack biblical ethics as being subjective, subjective to God. Which makes sense, but God's law would still be objective to mankind. He suggested or inferred that moral realism was preferable because it posed that objective moral facts actually exist;

Here is a definition that I think is correct:



The questions are, where do these moral facts exist? And how are we obligated to them if they do exist?

I would use calculus.

Solve for the limit of x as x approaches a constant.

x = a moral action

constant = the objectively most correct moral action (the moral fact of the matter)

This would be where these objective moral facts exist.

As far as obligation is concerned, I think you may be mis-construing legality with morality. To be moral is to act correctly regardless of obligation to do so.

seer
04-29-2015, 04:41 AM
I would use calculus.

Solve for the limit of x as x approaches a constant.

x = a moral action

constant = the objectively most correct moral action (the moral fact of the matter)

This would be where these objective moral facts exist.

As far as obligation is concerned, I think you may be mis-construing legality with morality. To be moral is to act correctly regardless of obligation to do so.

This doesn't make sense to me. I'm still not getting where a moral fact exists. Can you reword it or use a different analogy?

seer
04-29-2015, 04:43 AM
Platonism = moral facts are grounded in abstract objects.

Well then, do abstract objects actually exist? Apart from "minds?"

robertb
04-29-2015, 04:56 AM
This doesn't make sense to me. I'm still not getting where a moral fact exists. Can you reword it or use a different analogy?

Which do you think that it is an objectively better moral act: to help an old lady across the street, or to push her into oncoming traffic?

shunyadragon
04-29-2015, 05:06 AM
They don't. The only non-theistic alternative is platonism, and that is problematic for reasons already outlined.

This is far to simplistic to be real. First, the nature of our physical existence is simply exists as it is regardless of how different philosophies 'imagine' it is. Second, other views such as; Immanent Realism, Conceptualism and Nominalism are possible.

seer
04-29-2015, 05:15 AM
Which do you think that it is an objectively better moral act: to help an old lady across the street, or to push her into oncoming traffic?

It depends. If I was an ISIS fighter or a Nazi I might think it would be objectively better to push an old Jewish lady into on coming traffic.

robertb
04-29-2015, 05:55 AM
It depends. If I was an ISIS fighter or a Nazi I might think it would be objectively better to push an old Jewish lady into on coming traffic.

I actually disagree with this completely.

Regardless, I asked what YOU think is the objectively better moral act.

shunyadragon
04-29-2015, 05:55 AM
Here's a quick primer on moral ontology for those who need it: -
Moral realism = there are moral facts.
Moral objectivism = moral statements refer to objective features of the world.
Moral cognitivism = moral statements can be true or false.
Theism = moral facts are grounded in God.
Platonism = moral facts are grounded in abstract objects.

Moral anti-realism = there are no moral facts.
Moral subjectivism = moral statements do not refer to objective features of the world.
Moral nihilism = all moral statements are false.
Moral non-cognitivism = moral statements are neither true nor false.

Best explanation: morals and ethics are simply social and cultural constraints to maintain a family and community for the survival of the human species.

seer
04-29-2015, 06:02 AM
I actually disagree with this completely.

Regardless, I asked what YOU think is the objectively better moral act.

You may disagree but why? What I subjectively think is immaterial. If my moral sense comes from cultural indoctrination then there is nothing objective about it.

robertb
04-29-2015, 06:05 AM
You may disagree but why? What I subjectively think is immaterial. If my moral sense comes from cultural indoctrination then there is nothing objective about it.

I thought you wished to better understand my analogy? If so, avoiding to answer my question with irrelevant digressions isn't going to help.

seer
04-29-2015, 06:10 AM
I thought you wished to better understand my analogy? If so, avoiding to answer my question with irrelevant digressions isn't going to help.

No, I'm trying to figure out why this position holds up.

robertb
04-29-2015, 06:13 AM
No, I'm trying to figure out why this position holds up.

Why which position holds up? Realism or the relativism you keep trying to divert to?

seer
04-29-2015, 07:30 AM
Why which position holds up? Realism or the relativism you keep trying to divert to?

No Realism. Look at my opening definition:


Moral Realism (or Moral Objectivism) is the meta-ethical view that there exist such things as moral facts and moral values, and that these are objective and independent of our perception of them or our beliefs, feelings or other attitudes towards them. Therefore, moral judgments describe moral facts, which are as certain in their own way as mathematical facts.

OK, key here is this line: and that these are objective and independent of our perception of them or our beliefs, feelings or other attitudes towards them

So when you ask me about pushing the old lady into the road my answer is based on my beliefs, or upbringing. How does that moral ideal exist independently?

robertb
04-29-2015, 07:39 AM
No Realism. Look at my opening definition:



OK, key here is this line: and that these are objective and independent of our perception of them or our beliefs, feelings or other attitudes towards them

So when you ask me about pushing the old lady into the road my answer is based on my beliefs, or upbringing. How does that moral ideal exist independently?

I already explained it in my first post on this thread.

You said that you didn't understand my analogy, so I have been trying to walk you through it.

seer
04-29-2015, 07:40 AM
I already explained it in my first post on this thread.

You said that you didn't understand my analogy, so I have been trying to walk you through it.

But you asked about my opinion on a moral question.

robertb
04-29-2015, 07:44 AM
But you asked about my opinion on a moral question.

Indeed I did.

seer
04-29-2015, 08:02 AM
Indeed I did.

Right, so how does my opinion relate to an objective moral truth?

robertb
04-29-2015, 08:39 AM
Right, so how does my opinion relate to an objective moral truth?

That does seem to be your question.

So how about that answer.

seer
04-29-2015, 09:13 AM
That does seem to be your question.

So how about that answer.

Answer to what?

Rational Gaze
04-29-2015, 11:00 AM
Best explanation: morals and ethics are simply social and cultural constraints to maintain a family and community for the survival of the human species.
By 'morals and ethics' do you mean 'moral facts' or 'moral beliefs?' Because being able to explain moral beliefs does not undercut belief in moral facts.

Rational Gaze
04-29-2015, 11:08 AM
This is far to simplistic to be real. First, the nature of our physical existence is simply exists as it is regardless of how different philosophies 'imagine' it is. Second, other views such as; Immanent Realism, Conceptualism and Nominalism are possible.
Nominalism in regards to moral facts is the same as moral nihilism or moral non-cognitivism, and so clearly are not examples of non-theistic accounts of moral facts. Conceptualism in regards to moral facts is the same as moral subjectivism, according to which, there are no moral facts. Immanent realism is simply the position that some universals exist in the physical world, whereas some other universals do not, and, as anybody with more than half a brain knows, there is no fact about the physical world that can lead us to moral facts, leaving us with moral platonism.

Rational Gaze
04-29-2015, 11:14 AM
Hardly.
Such articulate prose. The vaulting ambition of the writer. Oh, Icarus. Fly not too close to the sun lest thy waxy wings should melt.

seer
04-29-2015, 11:16 AM
there is no fact about the physical world that can lead us to moral facts, leaving us with moral platonism.


Well then, do abstract objects actually exist? Apart from "minds?"

Paprika
04-29-2015, 11:18 AM
Such articulate prose. The vaulting ambition of the writer. Oh, Icarus. Fly not too close to the sun lest thy waxy wings should melt.
Conciseness.

Theism hardly entails that moral facts are grounded in God, merely that a god or gods exist.

Rational Gaze
04-29-2015, 11:28 AM
Theism hardly entails that moral facts are grounded in God, merely that a god or gods exist.
Yes, and in theism, God is the ontological source of moral facts. Simply stating the opposite is begging the question.

Paprika
04-29-2015, 11:30 AM
Yes, and in theism, God is the ontological source of moral facts.
In some forms of theism, yes, but not in all.


Simply stating the opposite is begging the question.
Nah, it's just matching your assertion with another assertion.

Jedidiah
04-29-2015, 01:52 PM
Recently a new member here at TWEB attack biblical ethics as being subjective, subjective to God. Which makes sense, but God's law would still be objective to mankind. He suggested or inferred that moral realism was preferable because it posed that objective moral facts actually exist;

Here is a definition that I think is correct:



The questions are, where do these moral facts exist? And how are we obligated to them if they do exist?My only prior post in this thread was based upon a misunderstanding of your OP. My apologies.

seer
04-29-2015, 03:31 PM
My only prior post in this thread was based upon a misunderstanding of your OP. My apologies.

No problem.

Chrawnus
04-29-2015, 11:57 PM
In some forms of theism, yes, but not in all.


Only in all the wrong forms of theism.

:outtie:

JimL
04-30-2015, 03:36 AM
Recently a new member here at TWEB attack biblical ethics as being subjective, subjective to God. Which makes sense, but God's law would still be objective to mankind. He suggested or inferred that moral realism was preferable because it posed that objective moral facts actually exist;

Here is a definition that I think is correct:



The questions are, where do these moral facts exist? And how are we obligated to them if they do exist?
As we have been debating in another thread, morals are not existing things in themselves, they are human social imperatives, derived of human minds, whether right or wrong in nature. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors wife, or thy neighbors house, are neither natural laws or objective commands, they are man made imperatives, or morals, conducive to the social cohesion of the group. Why do we construct moral systems? To protect ourselves one from the other.

Paprika
04-30-2015, 01:13 PM
Only in all the wrong forms of theism.
Agreed.

shunyadragon
05-01-2015, 12:52 PM
By 'morals and ethics' do you mean 'moral facts' or 'moral beliefs?' Because being able to explain moral beliefs does not undercut belief in moral facts.

Moral facts have not so far been defined nor suitable examples given. Social and cultural morals and ethics have been extensively described and defined.

What are morals facts and please give examples?

shunyadragon
05-01-2015, 02:24 PM
The problem with the claims that moral facts exists is that these claims may apply to one culture, and other cultures may have different claims as to what are moral facts, which makes claims of 'moral facts' subjective claims as what may be moral and what may be immoral from one cultural to another.

From an interesting source that is worth a complete read:



If a moral realist believes a certain action to be right, he might say: “I do not call the action right because I feel in a certain way. I feel in this way because I think the action right.” In my diagram, ‘I feel in this way’ = desire, and ‘I think the action right’ = motivating belief.

Professor Jonathan Dancy puts it like this:


“When I am standing on the kerb looking for a gap in the traffic so that I can cross the street safely, I am not doing this because I desire a long and healthy life. I experience no desire; I m just looking for a gap in the traffic before I cross. Why insist that there must have been a desire in there somewhere? All that is happening here is that I take a fact (there is a bus coming now) as a reason for me not to step out yet. This is what we call being prudent; prudent people are people whose beliefs about safety and danger are enough to motivate them. The same is true in ethics. One’s beliefs about right and wrong are enough to move one to stop what one is doing or change one’s intentions, without needing the help of an independent desire.” (Dancy in Companion to Ethics, ed. P. Singer)

If I am not mistaken, and the desires which, Hume thinks, initiate the process of action, are at least sometimes preceded by motivating beliefs, then it seems to me that these motivating beliefs could themselves, at least sometimes, be true beliefs about moral facts.

But what are we to make of this new factor, ‘motivating belief’? Have I stumbled on something new and pathbreaking? I doubt it. The work I want it to do can, I think, be done by concepts we already know. We are looking simply for some faculty that enables us to recognise moral facts, and there are already candidates. Far from expecting to join the philosophical immortals as a result of this essay, I would just suggest a couple of already familiar possibilities. One of them is conscience, well-known in religion, commonsense morality and the writings of men such as Butler. The other is the ‘moral sense’ proposed by Shaftesbury and developed by Hutcheson.

Considering the moral sense, I at one time found this concept very hopeful, but I have second thoughts. Its weakness, in my mind, is that it is part of an aesthetic analogy. Both Shaftesbury and Hutcheson think that the moral sense identifies a kind of beauty in good actions, a peculiar fitness of the act in its relation to the circumstances in which it is performed. If I see a poor beggar and give him a fiver I might be doing something so appropriate to the occasion that it is morally beautiful, just as the splash of light illuminating an otherwise dim canvas gives a Rembrandt its unique beauty. If I bludgeon him to death, Shaftesbury and Hutcheson et al would be horrified at the moral ugliness of such an inappropriate act – like someone coming on stage and blowing a raspberry in the middle of a Beethoven string quartet.

Sadly, the analogy with aesthetics fails, in my view, to capture the force of moral obligation which I would expect from a moral fact. If a picture is full of features properly proportioned to each other, ‘fitting’ to their environment, we might say that it is beautiful, and we are fortunate that the artist painted it. Likewise, if it is filled with incongruities, we might say it is ugly and we are not interested in looking at it. The beautiful picture may attract us, impress us, take our breath away, and the ugly one might repel us, but neither of them demand or forbid, in the way that moral imperatives do. I realise that what we are speaking of is only an analogy, but the analogy requires us to make a great leap from the relatively weak idea of what is beautiful or ugly, to the idea of what we must do, or what is wicked, in order to talk of the moral sense. A theory of conscience, on the other hand, claims that we have a faculty which is capable of directly recognising and impressing upon us that certain acts are wrong, and other acts are right; that some are good, some evil. It makes no analogy, but speaks directly of what it claims are facts. Conscience puts us in possession of certain beliefs; beliefs which make such a strong impression upon us as to arouse desires; motivating beliefs.

If there are moral facts, a theory of conscience commends itself because of its explanatory power. It helps to explain why we have such strong intuitions of obligation to do certain things, and such a sense of shame after we do other things. What we need to hear is not just that clubbing one’s grandmother to death is messy and unartistic, or that marital faithfulness partakes in a particular kind of beauty. If we want to know moral facts we need to be told: “You shouldn’t kill grandma” and “You should keep faith with your loved one.” If we all listened to the voice of conscience granny would be safe – and, other things being equal, so would our marriages.

siam
05-02-2015, 04:32 AM
@ Shuny
...interesting take...

Islam also has its perspective on "Beautiful action"---

Jichard
05-11-2015, 04:24 PM
Recently a new member here at TWEB attack biblical ethics as being subjective, subjective to God. Which makes sense, but God's law would still be objective to mankind.

No, it'd be subjective period. It's subjective because God's commands express God's desires.



But that would result in a problem for seer. On the standard accounts of "subjective" or "objective" used to define "moral subjectivism" and "moral objectivism", it wouldn't make sense to talk about about something being objective from one of view and subjective from another point of view. Instead, they would be objective simpliciter or subjective simpliciter. To put it another way: if it's mind-dependent, then it's mind-dependent from any view-point. For example, the statement "Jichard dislikes cake" would be subjectively true simpliciter, since it's true or false in virtue on my attitude. That would be the case from my perspective, God's perspective, or anyone else's perspective. Similarly, "God commands X" would be subjectively true simpliciter because it's true or false depending in virtue of God's expressed attitude. And that would be the case from my perspective, God's perspective, or anyone else's perspective.
Yet you're still acting otherwise, just as I predicted:



By the way, it says a lot you avoid points when it suits your apologetic purposes. For example, I clearly asked you:



It's subjective because it makes statements about moral obligations true or false in virtue of God's attitudes, as expressed in God's wishes.

Do you know what "moral subjectivism" is? If so, then tell me what it is.
And even bolded it to help you recognize it. Of course, you dodged the question. And I suspect you dodged it because you wouldn't find the answer useful for your apologetics. For example, here's Wikipedia for you:


"Ethical subjectivism is the meta-ethical view which claims that:


Ethical sentences express propositions.
Some such propositions are true.
Those propositions are about the attitudes of people.[1]

[...]

However there are also universalist forms of subjectivism such as ideal observer theory (which claims that moral propositions are about what attitudes a hypothetical ideal observer would hold) and divine command theory (which claims that moral propositions are about what attitudes God holds). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethical_subjectivism)"

Hence my answer that:


"It's [divine command theory] subjective because it makes statements about moral obligations true or false in virtue of God's attitudes, as expressed in God's wishes."

Fairly straight-forward, and consistent with other, more reputable sources on DCT being a form of moral subjectivism. Divine command theory is a form of moral subjectivism. This is no secret in meta-ethics. And yet you call it "double-talk" to avoid the point, while making sure to avoid direct questions about what moral subjectivism is. How convenient.


He suggested or inferred that moral realism was preferable because it posed that objective moral facts actually exist;

Please don't misrepresent what people say when you think they aren't around.


The questions are, where do these moral facts exist?

They exist in the natural world, like every other natural thing.

We've been over this, seer. Properties are instantiated by particulars. Moral properties are instantiated by things such as actions, persons, and so on.


And how are we obligated to them if they do exist?

Why do you act as if questions haven't been answered, when they clearly have been? Another one of your apologetic tactics? Because it borders on dishonesty.



The general analysis: we have moral obligations because there are moral reasons for actions, developing certain character traits, and so on. That's the standard analysis: obligations arise from reasons. And moral reasons are constituted by the properties/features discussed in welfare utilitarianism (ex: effects of well-being) and virtue ethics (ex: character traits like compassion).

I already gave you the argument. Once again:


"An important part of the debate about internal and external reasons has centered on ‘reactive attitudes’, or attitudes that we have towards agents in response to their behavior, of which blame is the paradigm. Some have observed in defense of Moral Rationalism, for example, that if an agent does something we consider morally wrong, then we blame (or resent) him. But blame, these philosophers claim, involves the judgment that the agent had reasons not to do what he did. Consequently blame is unwarranted when such judgments are unwarranted (Nagel 1970, Smith 1994). Therefore, since moral wrongdoing is sufficient to warrant blame, moral obligations must entail reasons (section 2.3). (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/reasons-internal-external/)"

By the way, this is trivial conceptual truth: "one is morally obligated to not do what is morally wrong". I think it says a lot that you overlooked this in your zeal to your apologetic position.
Now you can stop acting as if your question hasn't been answered.

Jichard
05-11-2015, 05:02 PM
Theism logically entails moral realism, so I don't see how it could possibly by an alternative to theism.

No, theism does not logically entail moral realism, as moral realism is defined in the OP. For example, one can have subjectivist theistic positions such as divine command theory.

Similarly, one can have a theistic position on which God is not morally perfect (ex: dystheism) and moral subjectivism is true, or on which God instantiates no moral properties and moral nihilism is true.


Maybe he is referring to moral platonism; the idea that moral facts exist as actual objects? If so, then that is a viewpoint that isn't preferable to theism at all.


The irony is that, if moral platonism is true, then they either exist as abstract objects, in the mind's of humans, or not at all. Whereas, in theism, God is the ontological source of moral facts.

Moral Platonism would be a form of moral non-naturalism. There are naturalistic, non-theistic version of moral realism.

Jichard
05-11-2015, 05:04 PM
They don't. The only non-theistic alternative is platonism, and that is problematic for reasons already outlined.

No, that is not the only non-theistic alternative. You've skipped over positions like Cornell Realism, analytic functionalism, Sayre-McCord's non-Platonist moral non-naturalism, and so on.

So you've just offered a false dichotomy.

Jichard
05-11-2015, 05:25 PM
Immanent realism is simply the position that some universals exist in the physical world, whereas some other universals do not, and, as anybody with more than half a brain knows, there is no fact about the physical world that can lead us to moral facts, leaving us with moral platonism.

Anyone with half a brain knows that? Really?

What does "physical world" mean in "there is no fact about the physical world that can lead us to moral facts"?


If you mean "physical facts", then that's the wrong level of discussion, since one does not need infer moral facts from the facts discussed in the science of physics.

If you mean "natural facts", then we can try to proceed from there.

What does "lead us to" mean in "there is no fact about the physical world that can lead us to moral facts"?


If it means "by conceptual deduction", then no, there are people with "more than half a brain" who think natural facts can lead to moral facts via conceptual truths. For example: Michael Smith and analytic functionalists like Frank Jackson.

If it means "led by truths regarding identification of moral facts with natural facts", then no, there are people with "more than half a brain" who think natural facts lead to moral facts. For example: various synthetic moral realists.

If it means "led by truths regarding constitution/supervenience", then no, there are people with "more than half a brain" who think natural facts lead to moral facts. For example: Cornell Realists.

seer
05-12-2015, 04:35 AM
Jichard your posts are simply confusing. I will try again.


The general analysis: we have moral obligations because there are moral reasons for actions, developing certain character traits, and so on. That's the standard analysis: obligations arise from reasons. And moral reasons are constituted by the properties/features discussed in welfare utilitarianism (ex: effects of well-being) and virtue ethics (ex: character traits like compassion).

"An important part of the debate about internal and external reasons has centered on ‘reactive attitudes’, or attitudes that we have towards agents in response to their behavior, of which blame is the paradigm. Some have observed in defense of Moral Rationalism, for example, that if an agent does something we consider morally wrong, then we blame (or resent) him. But blame, these philosophers claim, involves the judgment that the agent had reasons not to do what he did. Consequently blame is unwarranted when such judgments are unwarranted (Nagel 1970, Smith 1994). Therefore, since moral wrongdoing is sufficient to warrant blame, moral obligations must entail reasons (section 2.3)."

By the way, this is trivial conceptual truth: "one is morally obligated to not do what is morally wrong". I think it says a lot that you overlooked this in your zeal to your apologetic position.

I see nothing but assertion here. How does it follow that one is then obligated? How do "reasons" necessarily lead to "obligations?" On your say so? Does the anti-realist find obligation here? Who is correct? And if one is actually obligated how is it that men, in many cases, do not know that and act otherwise? Which brings us back to one of my original questions - of what earthly good is this theory? Besides being an academic exercise?



No, it'd be subjective period. It's subjective because God's commands express God's desires.

And the theory of moral realism is subjective, mind dependent, because it expresses an idea that you like. As opposed to let's say anti-realism.

Rational Gaze
05-12-2015, 02:59 PM
No, it'd be subjective period. It's subjective because God's commands express God's desires.
Except in Divine Command Theory, God's commands reflect God's nature, and God's nature cannot change. Thus, it would not be subjective.


No, theism does not logically entail moral realism, as moral realism is defined in the OP. For example, one can have subjectivist theistic positions such as divine command theory. Similarly, one can have a theistic position on which God is not morally perfect (ex: dystheism) and moral subjectivism is true, or on which God instantiates no moral properties and moral nihilism is true. Moral Platonism would be a form of moral non-naturalism. There are naturalistic, non-theistic version of moral realism.
Theism does entail moral realism, since there are no theistic positions that are logically compatible with moral realism. Similarly, there are no non-naturalist positions that are logically compatible with moral realism. This is pretty basic stuff.


Anyone with half a brain knows that? Really?
Yes. The existence of imbeciles who believe logically contradictory things does little to change this fact.

Darth Ovious
05-12-2015, 03:08 PM
No, it'd be subjective period. It's subjective because God's commands express God's desires.

So you are unaware that a creator is what gives an item/thing it's objective existence? OK, let me explain it, however you will have to assume that a creator God exists for this thought theory.

P1) The Universe has a creator and creates the Universe because of his reasons.

P2) The Universe exists as a factuality because of the creators reasons.

C1) Therefore the creators reasons are factual reasons for the Universes existence

C2) Therefore the creators reasons are objective in concerns to the Universes existence.

In reality on the basis that P1 is correct then the rest follows completely logically and can not be disputed.

Darth Ovious
05-12-2015, 03:27 PM
Also I'll post this by the master who taught me on this subject and coincidently the reason I found TWeb in the first place. A.S.A. Jones.

I had to use the internet archive though. I don't really know what happened to her.


I would think that the designer of any instrument or creature would be the one to consult in matters of the design and purpose of his design. If the designer states that the purpose of his instrument is to remove and place screws, then he has declared that purpose as the objective purpose. The opinion of such a designer, wouldn't qualify as an opinion, but rather it becomes the objective purpose of the instrument. There is nothing to stop us from turning the instrument around and using its handle to pound in nails (and I am not one to decry the usefulness of employing a screwdriver in this manner), however, that usage would not be the objective purpose for which the instrument was created. (http://web.archive.org/web/20060209194323/http://www.ex-atheist.com/game-designer-argument.html)

shunyadragon
05-12-2015, 04:07 PM
Except in Divine Command Theory, God's commands reflect God's nature, and God's nature cannot change. Thus, it would not be subjective.

The problem of objectivity here is the inconsistently of the apparent morality being communicated.



Theism does entail moral realism, since there are no theistic positions that are logically compatible with moral realism. Similarly, there are no non-naturalist positions that are logically compatible with moral realism. This is pretty basic stuff.

Any concept of moral realism from the atheist nor theist perspective is too inconsistent and anecdotal to be real.



Yes. The existence of imbeciles who believe logically contradictory things does little to change this fact.

On both sides of the imaginary fence.

Jichard
05-16-2015, 02:01 PM
Except in Divine Command Theory, God's commands reflect God's nature, and God's nature cannot change. Thus, it would not be subjective.

Objectivisty/subjectivity is not whether about something can change or not. It's about in virtue of what something is true or false: in virtue of something mind-dependent or in virtue of something mind-independent. There are objective truths that are changing (ex: mammals exist) and subjective truths that are unchanging (ex: If X is pleasurable, then X causes pleasure).

So pointing out that God's nature is unchanging does nothing to show that DCT is a form of moral objectivism.


Theism does entail moral realism, since there are no theistic positions that are logically compatible with moral realism.

You didn't actually address the counterexamples. Try again:


"For example, one can have subjectivist theistic positions such as divine command theory. Similarly, one can have a theistic position on which God is not morally perfect (ex: dystheism) and moral subjectivism is true, or on which God instantiates no moral properties and moral nihilism is true. Moral Platonism would be a form of moral non-naturalism. There are naturalistic, non-theistic version of moral realism."


Similarly, there are no non-naturalist positions that are logically compatible with moral realism. This is pretty basic stuff.

Please look up moral Platonism, and the moral non-naturalism of people like G.E. Moore and Eric Wielenberg.


Yes. The existence of imbeciles who believe logically contradictory things does little to change this fact.

That's nice. Try to address what was written this time.

Jichard
05-16-2015, 02:11 PM
Jichard your posts are simply confusing. I will try again.



I see nothing but assertion here.

There's an argument. Please stop pretending otherwise. An argument doesn't become an assertion just because you can't address it.


How does it follow that one is then obligated? How do "reasons" necessarily lead to "obligations?"

Once again, the argument is right there. Please stop pretending otherwise.


"Some have observed in defense of Moral Rationalism, for example, that if an agent does something we consider morally wrong, then we blame (or resent) him. But blame, these philosophers claim, involves the judgment that the agent had reasons not to do what he did. Consequently blame is unwarranted when such judgments are unwarranted (Nagel 1970, Smith 1994). Therefore, since moral wrongdoing is sufficient to warrant blame, moral obligations must entail reasons (section 2.3).""


On your say so?

No, based on the argument you deceptively pretend does not exist.


Does the anti-realist find obligation here? Who is correct?

Congratulations on pointing out that people disagree with other people. I guess you also think there's a problem because people disagree with me on the shape of the Earth, right?


And if one is actually obligated how is it that men, in many cases, do not know that and act otherwise?

For the love of all that is Holy, do you not understand that "X can be true" without people knowing or acting as if X is true? Is this the depth you're willing to go to?


Which brings us back to one of my original questions - of what earthly good is this theory? Besides being an academic exercise?

Meta-ethical positions address meta-ethical questions, just like scientific positions address scientific questions. That's what, in part, makes them useful. You've been told this before, over and over and... Please stop pretending otherwise.


And the theory of moral realism is subjective, mind dependent, because it expresses an idea that you like. As opposed to let's say anti-realism.

Nonsense, and another instance of your committing the use/mention mistake, even though you've been called on this before. The "objective/subjective" issue is not about whether minds make the theory or whether one likes the theory or whatever ever other nonsensical stuff you're going on about. Otherwise, every position would be subjective, since minds make the position or someone likes the position or whatever. Instead, the "objective/subjective" distinction is about in virtue of what are the theory's claims true or false. Thus, for example, evolutionary theory is objectively true, since it's true in virtue of mind-independent stuff. It would therefore be silly to say that evolutionary theory is subjective because it's made by humans or because it expresses an idea that people like. Those have nothing to do with whether or not it's subjective. Parallel points for what you've said. You've had this explained to you before. Please stop pretending otherwise.

And your response was particularly ridiculous, since you contradicted your own OP, which acknowledges that moral realism is an objectivist position, not a subjectivist one. You're apparently so desperate to say whatever you deem necessary for your apologetic position, that you don't even check if you're being consistent with yourself. As I predicted.

Paprika
05-16-2015, 02:24 PM
I suppose one could argue that God's law expresses moral realism in that it expresses the relationship between things and a proper order for them


Also I'll post this by the master who taught me on this subject and coincidently the reason I found TWeb in the first place. A.S.A. Jones.
I would think that the designer of any instrument or creature would be the one to consult in matters of the design and purpose of his design.

Right. This is the way to go: ground morality in teleology, in the objective way that things were created and designed to flourish - properly interrelating with each other and relating with the Creator. The is-ought ditch, which ought never to have been dug in the first place, is thereby bridged: why one ought to do something is precisely because of the way things are.

Yet acting because of obligations is only one of the lower ways of acting morally. There is yet a more excellent way.

seer
05-16-2015, 02:42 PM
Nonsense, and another instance of your committing the use/mention mistake, even though you've been called on this before. The "objective/subjective" issue is not about whether minds make the theory or whether one likes the theory or whatever ever other nonsensical stuff you're going on about. Otherwise, every position would be subjective, since minds make the position or someone likes the position or whatever. Instead, the "objective/subjective" distinction is about in virtue of what are the theory's claims true or false. Thus, for example, evolutionary theory is objectively true, since it's true in virtue of mind-independent stuff. It would therefore be silly to say that evolutionary theory is subjective because it's made by humans or because it expresses an idea that people like. Those have nothing to do with whether or not it's subjective. Parallel points for what you've said. You've had this explained to you before. Please stop pretending otherwise.

And your response was particularly ridiculous, since you contradicted your own OP, which acknowledges that moral realism is an objectivist position, not a subjectivist one. You're apparently so desperate to say whatever you deem necessary for your apologetic position, that you don't even check if you're being consistent with yourself. As I predicted.

OK, then once and for all demonstrate that moral realism is empirically true. You claim that there are moral facts, show how these are mind independent. And in my OP I was not agreeing that moral realism is actually objective. It of course is not. It is just a made up idea. Not based in reality.

JimL
05-16-2015, 06:59 PM
OK, then once and for all demonstrate that moral realism is empirically true. You claim that there are moral facts, show how these are mind independent. And in my OP I was not agreeing that moral realism is actually objective. It of course is not. It is just a made up idea. Not based in reality.
If it is true that the institution of a particular moral law, such as "thou shalt not kill" makes the world a safer place in which to live, then does it matter if that moral law is an objective reality unto itself. Of course not. What is empirically true or false about morality is whether or not the conceived of moral law serves its purpose, and if it serves its purpose, then the fact that it serves its purpose is what is mind independent, even though it is not an objective law unto itself. So what is it in society that determines whether or not murder is a good thing or a bad thing? It is the people who subjectively do not wish to be killed.

Jichard
05-16-2015, 08:43 PM
OK, then once and for all demonstrate that moral realism is empirically true. You claim that there are moral facts, show how these are mind independent.

Sorry, not interested in your goalpost moves. You were given an argument that addressed a claim you made. You've resorted to pretending that argument doesn't exist. So I'm going to repeat the argument until you have the honesty and decency to address it:


"Some have observed in defense of Moral Rationalism, for example, that if an agent does something we consider morally wrong, then we blame (or resent) him. But blame, these philosophers claim, involves the judgment that the agent had reasons not to do what he did. Consequently blame is unwarranted when such judgments are unwarranted (Nagel 1970, Smith 1994). Therefore, since moral wrongdoing is sufficient to warrant blame, moral obligations must entail reasons (section 2.3).""


And in my OP I was not agreeing that moral realism is actually objective. It of course is not. It is just a made up idea. Not based in reality.

You still don't seem to get this. Moral realism is an objectivist moral position. Period. The fact that it's a made-up idea is irrelevant. Every idea human's ever had (including Christianity) is made up. That has no bearing on whether those ideas are objectively true or not. To explain this to you for the umpteenth time: the "objective/subjective" has to do with in virtue of what moral claims, moral theories, etc. are true or false, not on whether humans make up those claims, theories, etc. To say otherwise is to commit a use/mention mistake. Take a non-moral example: "mammals exist". That claim is objectively true since it's true in virtue of the existence of various organism. Saying humans made up the idea that "mammals exist" does nothing to change this.

You've been told this so many times, that I think it's dishonest for you to repeat your mistake without addressing the rebuttal.


Also, please stop confusing "objectivist" with "true". There are plenty of moral objectivist positions, some of which are true and other's of which are false. You claiming that "[n]ot based in reality" has no bearing on whether they are objectivist or not.

Jichard
05-16-2015, 08:53 PM
So you are unaware that a creator is what gives an item/thing it's objective existence?

No, a creator is not what gives an item/thing it's objective existence. For example, dogs objectively exist, regardless of whether or not God exists. The existence of a dog does not logically entail God's exist, nor does it imply (as a matter of metaphysical necessity) God's existence, since dogs can be ontologically distinct from a deity.


OK, let me explain it, however you will have to assume that a creator God exists for this thought theory.

P1) The Universe has a creator and creates the Universe because of his reasons.

P2) The Universe exists as a factuality because of the creators reasons.

C1) Therefore the creators reasons are factual reasons for the Universes existence

C2) Therefore the creators reasons are objective in concerns to the Universes existence.

In reality on the basis that P1 is correct then the rest follows completely logically and can not be disputed.

The argument isn't even formally valid, and makes no sense.

First, C2 falls afoul of what "objective" means in the context of meta-ethics when discussing moral realism. Your argument treats factuality as entailing being objective, which makes no sense since there can be subjective facts.

Second, just because a reason acts as a cause, does not mean the reason is objective. Subjective reasons can act as causes as well.

Third, the argument does nothing to show that divine command is a moral objectivist position. The argument doesn't even address moral objectivism or moral subjectivism. Divine command theory still meets the standard definition of moral subjectivism.

Jichard
05-16-2015, 10:45 PM
Recently a new member here at TWEB attack biblical ethics as being subjective, subjective to God. Which makes sense, but God's law would still be objective to mankind. He suggested or inferred that moral realism was preferable because it posed that objective moral facts actually exist;

Here is a definition that I think is correct:


Moral Realism (or Moral Objectivism) is the meta-ethical view that there exist such things as moral facts and moral values, and that these are objective and independent of our perception of them or our beliefs, feelings or other attitudes towards them. Therefore, moral judgments describe moral facts, which are as certain in their own way as mathematical facts.


And the theory of moral realism is subjective, mind dependent, because it expresses an idea that you like.


And in my OP I was not agreeing that moral realism is actually objective. It of course is not. It is just a made up idea. Not based in reality.

You've apparently contradiced yourself, in your apologetic zeal to avoid conclusions you don't like. So do you think the OP's definition of moral realism is correct? If so, then you're committed to accepting that moral realism is an objectivist position, not a subjectivist one; so you can drop your claims about moral realism being subjective.


Please try to answer honestly, instead of just saying whatever you think is useful for your current apologetic goal

firstfloor
05-17-2015, 12:22 AM
BTW If God is either a moral agent or the source of moral standards and a person follows God’s moral pronouncements unthinkingly then that person abdicates his own moral responsibility to act as an independent moral agent. That is a sin. The point of being a moral agent is that you are morally compelled to use judgement including judgement of your own God’s standards. Your thinking must be revisionist in nature or you are not moral.

seer
05-17-2015, 02:58 AM
You've apparently contradiced yourself, in your apologetic zeal to avoid conclusions you don't like. So do you think the OP's definition of moral realism is correct? If so, then you're committed to accepting that moral realism is an objectivist position, not a subjectivist one; so you can drop your claims about moral realism being subjective.

You are missing the point. Yes I agree that you, and other moral realists, believe that your theory accounts for objective moral truths. The question I have been asking is how are these moral facts actually objective. Demonstrate how that is so. You keep saying I'm moving the goal posts but isn't that the whole idea behind moral realism - that moral facts exist, and that they are mind independent? And Jichard you have not shown how that is possible. How your belief is actually true.



You still don't seem to get this. Moral realism is an objectivist moral position. Period. The fact that it's a made-up idea is irrelevant. Every idea human's ever had (including Christianity) is made up. That has no bearing on whether those ideas are objectively true or not. To explain this to you for the umpteenth time: the "objective/subjective" has to do with in virtue of what moral claims, moral theories, etc. are true or false, not on whether humans make up those claims, theories, etc. To say otherwise is to commit a use/mention mistake. Take a non-moral example: "mammals exist". That claim is objectively true since it's true in virtue of the existence of various organism. Saying humans made up the idea that "mammals exist" does nothing to change this.

OK, so you don't know if Moral realism is true or not?

JimL
05-17-2015, 04:22 AM
You are missing the point. Yes I agree that you, and other moral realists, believe that your theory accounts for objective moral truths. The question I have been asking is how are these moral facts actually objective. Demonstrate how that is so. You keep saying I'm moving the goal posts but isn't that the whole idea behind moral realism - that moral facts exist, and that they are mind independent? And Jichard you have not shown how that is possible. How your belief is actually true.
What is objectively true, or mind independent, about moral laws, is whether or not they work. Thou shalt not kill need not be a mind independent, objective law unto itself in order that the intended outcome of its use be objective truth. "Do unto others as you would have them do to you" is not an objective mind independent law unto itself, what is objective and mind independent is the result of the imperitive. So why is it wrong to kill? Because God says so? Or because it is a moral imperitive that works to our collective and individual advantage? The latter suffices as reason, the former acts as an enforcement to reason.




OK, so you don't know if Moral realism is true or not?
Whats objectively true is the result of moral imperatives, not the moral imperatives themselves.

Yttrium
05-17-2015, 07:26 AM
Whats objectively true is the result of moral imperatives, not the moral imperatives themselves.

I'm still not seeing it. Maybe I need some clear examples. Let's look at this:


Thou shalt not kill need not be a mind independent, objective law unto itself in order that the intended outcome of its use be objective truth.

So the objective truth is... what? Someone wasn't killed? Is there some reinforcement that shows that this is a good thing?

Let's say that Roderick knows that Irving has murdered a lot of people, and he sees every sign that Irving is going to keep murdering a lot of people. Roderick has the opportunity to kill Irving to stop him, but he doesn't, because he follows a moral of not killing people. Then Irving goes and murders a lot more people. What is the objective truth you might see in this situation? If the answer is that stuff happens, which is objectively true, then I don't see a point to moral realism.

Jichard
05-17-2015, 09:39 AM
You are missing the point.

You are dodging the question:


Do you think the OP's definition of moral realism is correct?


Yes I agree that you, and other moral realists, believe that your theory accounts for objective moral truths. The question I have been asking is how are these moral facts actually objective.

Because they're features of the world that don't depend on mind-dependent views. You've been told this before.


Demonstrate how that is so.

It's so by definition, once you know what "objective" means in this context (which I don't think you do).


You keep saying I'm moving the goal posts but isn't that the whole idea behind moral realism - that moral facts exist, and that they are mind independent? And Jichard you have not shown how that is possible. How your belief is actually true.

Feel free to familiarize yourself with normative ethical positions that are compatible with moral realism. Plenty of accounts of objective moral facts, whether from Kantianism, utilitarianism, or virtue ethics:



(http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~alatus/phil1200/RelativismObjectivism.html):

2. Moral Objectivism: The view that what is right or wrong doesn’t depend on what anyone thinks is right or wrong. That is, the view that the 'moral facts' are like 'physical' facts in that what the facts are does not depend on what anyone thinks they are. Objectivist theories tend to come in two sorts:
(i) Duty Based Theories (or Deontological Theories): Theories that claim that what determines whether an act is morally right or wrong is the kind of act it is.

E.g., Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) thought that all acts should be judged according to a rule he called the Categorical Imperative: "Act only according to that maxim [i.e., rule] whereby you can at the same time will that it become a universal law." That is, he thought the only kind of act one should ever commit is one that could be willed to be a universal law.

(ii) Consequentialist Theories (or Teleological Theories): Theories that claim that what determines whether an act is right or wrong are its consequences.

Utilitarianism is the best known sort of Consequentialism. Its best known defender is John Stuart Mill (1806-1873). Essentially, utilitarianism tells us that, in any situation, the right thing to do is whatever is likely to produce the most happiness overall. (The wrong thing to do is anything else.)


And none of what you wrote answers the question:


Do you think the OP's definition of moral realism is correct?

By the way, your question was answered in the very link you posted in the OP. So you're (once agan) linking to stuff you've neither fully read nor understood

If so, then you're committed to accepting that moral realism is an objectivist position, not a subjectivist one; so you can drop your claims about moral realism being subjective.

Try to answer the question honestly.


OK, so you don't know if Moral realism is true or not?

I never said that. Please don't lie about what I've said or implied. You've done this before, and it's not honest.

So, once again:


Do you think the OP's definition of moral realism is correct?

seer
05-17-2015, 10:22 AM
You are dodging the question:


Do you think the OP's definition of moral realism is correct?

Yes. I agree that is what you believe.



Because they're features of the world that don't depend on mind-dependent views. You've been told this before.


OK, let's focus here, so I don't get confused. How is this possible? Moral facts or questions are dependent on interpersonal interaction. They are by nature mind-dependent.

JimL
05-17-2015, 01:47 PM
I'm still not seeing it. Maybe I need some clear examples. Let's look at this:



So the objective truth is... what? Someone wasn't killed? Is there some reinforcement that shows that this is a good thing?

Let's say that Roderick knows that Irving has murdered a lot of people, and he sees every sign that Irving is going to keep murdering a lot of people. Roderick has the opportunity to kill Irving to stop him, but he doesn't, because he follows a moral of not killing people. Then Irving goes and murders a lot more people. What is the objective truth you might see in this situation? If the answer is that stuff happens, which is objectively true, then I don't see a point to moral realism.
Well lets say that both Roderick and Irving have the same desire to live as everyone else does, the moral imperative then "thou shalt not kill" serves both their and everyone elses desire not to be killed. The moral is objective in that it serves the purpose intended, even though it is not objective unto itself. If the moral were objective unto itself, it would serve the same purpose and could also be violated as in your particular case in point. The only difference I can see between the two is in whom or in what the authority behind the moral lies. If the moral is objective unto itself, then there is no authority since a moral itself is not authoritative, which of course would leave any authority behind the law being a subjective one..

Yttrium
05-17-2015, 02:51 PM
Well lets say that both Roderick and Irving have the same desire to live as everyone else does, the moral imperative then "thou shalt not kill" serves both their and everyone elses desire not to be killed. The moral is objective in that it serves the purpose intended, even though it is not objective unto itself. If the moral were objective unto itself, it would serve the same purpose and could also be violated as in your particular case in point. The only difference I can see between the two is in whom or in what the authority behind the moral lies. If the moral is objective unto itself, then there is no authority since a moral itself is not authoritative, which of course would leave any authority behind the law being a subjective one..

I was just wondering if there was some moral objective fact that moral realism could point to here.

firstfloor
05-17-2015, 03:35 PM
I was just wondering if there was some moral objective fact that moral realism could point to here.There are none.

JimL
05-17-2015, 03:51 PM
I was just wondering if there was some moral objective fact that moral realism could point to here.
I think it safe to say that the objective facts are those things that the morals are intended to defend. I would think that it is an objective fact held by all that they not be murdered, robbed, raped, etc etc.

Jichard
05-17-2015, 05:15 PM
Yes. I agree that is what you believe.

That was not the question you were asked; I did not ask you whether or not you agreed that that was what I believed. So please stop the evasive nonsense. I asked:


Do you think the OP's definition of moral realism is correct?

If you're answer is "Yes", then you're committed to accepting that moral realism is an objectivist position, not a subjectivist one; so you can drop your claims about moral realism being subjective.


Feel free to answer the question directly this time, as opposed to pretending that the question was something else.

seer
05-17-2015, 05:41 PM
That was not the question you were asked; I did not ask you whether or not you agreed that that was what I believed. So please stop the evasive nonsense. I asked:


Do you think the OP's definition of moral realism is correct?

If you're answer is "Yes", then you're committed to accepting that moral realism is an objectivist position, not a subjectivist one; so you can drop your claims about moral realism being subjective.


Feel free to answer the question directly this time, as opposed to pretending that the question was something else.

Yes I agree moral realism is an objectivist position - except it is not true. OK, now answer mine - how can moral truths exist apart from minds. Be mind-independent?

Chrawnus
05-17-2015, 07:38 PM
Sorry, not interested in your goalpost moves. You were given an argument that addressed a claim you made. You've resorted to pretending that argument doesn't exist. So I'm going to repeat the argument until you have the honesty and decency to address it:


"Some have observed in defense of Moral Rationalism, for example, that if an agent does something we consider morally wrong, then we blame (or resent) him. But blame, these philosophers claim, involves the judgment that the agent had reasons not to do what he did. Consequently blame is unwarranted when such judgments are unwarranted (Nagel 1970, Smith 1994). Therefore, since moral wrongdoing is sufficient to warrant blame, moral obligations must entail reasons (section 2.3).""


Let's say this argument holds up. I do not know a single objective moral reason, only subjective ones, so I would appreciate it if you could list even one. Previously you wrote:

The general analysis: we have moral obligations because there are moral reasons for actions, developing certain character traits, and so on. That's the standard analysis: obligations arise from reasons. And moral reasons are constituted by the properties/features discussed in welfare utilitarianism (ex: effects of well-being) and virtue ethics (ex: character traits like compassion). (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6359-A-Moral-Argument-Against-God-s-Existence&p=188880&viewfull=1#post188880)



But as far as I can see, something like "the effects of well-being" is not a part of a objective moral reason. There is nothing about being in a state of well-being that will by itself tell you that you ought to act in such a way that you do not diminish the well-being of other people, or that you ought to act in such a way that other people's well-being is increased. Similarily, there is nothing about compassion in itself that will tell you that you ought to act compassionately. I see no objective ways to get from states such as well-being and compassion to "oughts", only subjective ones, one of which would be to appeal to someone's subjective preference that people not diminish their own well-being, or their preference that people act compassionately towards them. And even then it does not succeed in bridging the is-ought gap completely, given that someone could argue that just because they would not prefer that someone acted in a certain way towards them, or that they would prefer that people did act in certain ways towards them, it would not necessarily mean that they themselves were obligated to act in a similar way towards their peers, and there would be no way to counter that argument, apart from begging the question in favour of the contrary viewpoint that subjective preferences are sufficient to ground moral reasoning.

To sum it up, none of the examples you gave are sufficient, either alone, or in conjuction with other facts, to ground objective reasons for acting morally, only when you add a subjective aspect to the mix do you get something that resembles morally obligatory reason. And to make matters even worse, not even this fixes the problem completely.

Paprika
05-18-2015, 12:05 AM
I was just wondering if there was some moral objective fact that moral realism could point to here.
What are you looking for? Something along the lines of 'action X is evil/good?'

Jichard
05-22-2015, 04:00 PM
Yes I agree moral realism is an objectivist position - except it is not true.

Then you can retract your claims about it being subjectivist.

OK, now answer mine - how can moral truths exist apart from minds. Be mind-independent?[/QUOTE]

You're committing a use-mention mistake again, and you're getting confused on what moral realism is. Moral realism is not about whether moral truths exist apart from minds, anymore than scientific realism is about whether scientific truths exist apart from minds. Please read what you quoted in your own OP:


"Moral Realism (or Moral Objectivism) is the meta-ethical view that there exist such things as moral facts and moral values, and that these are objective and independent of our perception of them or our beliefs, feelings or other attitudes towards them. Therefore, moral judgments describe moral facts, which are as certain in their own way as mathematical facts."

There's no mention in there about "moral truths exist apart from minds". That's just a strawman you made up.

To reiterate: Moral realism is not about whether moral truths exist apart from minds. So, what is moral realism about? It's about what sort of thing makes moral beliefs, moral statements, etc. true or false or false. That's what meant by "moral facts"; not "moral truths", but the truth-makers for moral claims. To take a non-moral example: scientific realists can point to things like "cats", as being the sort of things that make scientific claims like "cats exist" true. You'd have to be deeply confused to treat that as meaning the same thing as "the truth that [I]cats exist must exist apart from minds". Similarly, the moral realist can point to things like character traits (as per virtue ethics), effects of welfare (as per welfare utilitarianism), etc. as being the sort of things that make moral claims true or false. You've already been given examples of such positions:



Feel free to familiarize yourself with normative ethical positions that are compatible with moral realism. Plenty of accounts of objective moral facts, whether from Kantianism, utilitarianism, or virtue ethics:



(http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~alatus/phil1200/RelativismObjectivism.html):

2. Moral Objectivism: The view that what is right or wrong doesn’t depend on what anyone thinks is right or wrong. That is, the view that the 'moral facts' are like 'physical' facts in that what the facts are does not depend on what anyone thinks they are. Objectivist theories tend to come in two sorts:
(i) Duty Based Theories (or Deontological Theories): Theories that claim that what determines whether an act is morally right or wrong is the kind of act it is.

E.g., Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) thought that all acts should be judged according to a rule he called the Categorical Imperative: "Act only according to that maxim [i.e., rule] whereby you can at the same time will that it become a universal law." That is, he thought the only kind of act one should ever commit is one that could be willed to be a universal law.

(ii) Consequentialist Theories (or Teleological Theories): Theories that claim that what determines whether an act is right or wrong are its consequences.

Utilitarianism is the best known sort of Consequentialism. Its best known defender is John Stuart Mill (1806-1873). Essentially, utilitarianism tells us that, in any situation, the right thing to do is whatever is likely to produce the most happiness overall. (The wrong thing to do is anything else.)

You'd have to be deeply confused to treat that as meaning the same thing as "the truth that that action is morally bad must exist apart from minds" (but knowing you, I wouldn't put such a gambit past you).

seer
05-22-2015, 04:54 PM
To reiterate: Moral realism is not about whether moral truths exist apart from minds. So, what is moral realism about? It's about what sort of thing makes moral beliefs, moral statements, etc. true or false or false. That's what meant by "moral facts"; not "moral truths", but the truth-makers for moral claims. To take a non-moral example: scientific realists can point to things like "cats", as being the sort of things that make scientific claims like "cats exist" true. You'd have to be deeply confused to treat that as meaning the same thing as "the truth that cats exist must exist apart from minds". Similarly, the moral realist can point to things like character traits (as per virtue ethics), effects of welfare (as per welfare utilitarianism), etc. as being the sort of things that make moral claims true or false. You've already been given examples of such positions

OK, if this is the case now what? I still don't see how you get to moral facts, or how those facts are not subjective. You mentioned character traits - whose character traits? Who decides what character traits are correct or desirable? Isn't that subjective?

And you claim to be an objectivist. We what does that mean. By definition something if objective if it exists independently of the viewer.

of, relating to, or being an object, phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers : having reality independent of the mind

Jichard
05-22-2015, 06:59 PM
OK, if this is the case now what?

Please stop quote-mining posts, and then saying "now what?" as if points weren't addressed.


I still don't see how you get to moral facts,

You were told how you get moral facts. You were told which features made moral claims true or false, and thus they would constitute moral facts.


or how those facts are not subjective.

Already explained to you how they weren't subjective.


You mentioned character traits - whose character traits?

If I make that statement "that person is morally bad in virtue of their character traits", it's pretty clear who's character traits are being discussed. What you did was as silly as responding to the claim that "organisms are animals in virtue of the biological traits they have" with "whose biological traits?". Please don't feign ignorance.


Who decides what character traits are correct or desirable?

Irrelevant, since it isn't up to a decision. Subjectivist that you are, you think whether claims are true or false is up to someone's decision. Seriously, seer, someone doesn't have to decide anything, in order for a claim to be true or false.


Isn't that subjective?

Not what "subjective" means in this context. We're not discussing how people come to decisions or who makes decisions; that is't what's relevant to the "objective/subjective" distinction in relation to moral realism and moral objectivism. We're discussing in virtue of what claims are true or false. What you're doing is as ridiculous as saying that biology is subjective because humans make decisions. "Subjective" in this context is not about who does or does not make decisions or how people come to make decisions. Otherwise, tell me where in the definition of moral realism it says anything about who does or does not make decisions. If you can't, then stop wasting time with your strawmen.


And you claim to be an objectivist. We what does that mean.

By definition something if objective if it exists independently of the viewer.

of, relating to, or being an object, phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers : having reality independent of the mind

Please stop being disingenuous, and actually address things that are written, instead of cutting them out of your posts so as to pretend they don't exist. Once again:


So, what is moral realism about? It's about what sort of thing makes moral beliefs, moral statements, etc. true or false or false. That's what meant by "moral facts"; not "moral truths", but the truth-makers for moral claims. To take a non-moral example: scientific realists can point to things like "cats", as being the sort of things that make scientific claims like "cats exist" true. You'd have to be deeply confused to treat that as meaning the same thing as "the truth that cats exist must exist apart from minds". Similarly, the moral realist can point to things like character traits (as per virtue ethics), effects of welfare (as per welfare utilitarianism), etc. as being the sort of things that make moral claims true or false. You've already been given examples of such positions:



(http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~alatus/phil1200/RelativismObjectivism.html):

2. Moral Objectivism: The view that what is right or wrong doesn’t depend on what anyone thinks is right or wrong. That is, the view that the 'moral facts' are like 'physical' facts in that what the facts are does not depend on what anyone thinks they are. Objectivist theories tend to come in two sorts:
(i) Duty Based Theories (or Deontological Theories): Theories that claim that what determines whether an act is morally right or wrong is the kind of act it is.

E.g., Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) thought that all acts should be judged according to a rule he called the Categorical Imperative: "Act only according to that maxim [i.e., rule] whereby you can at the same time will that it become a universal law." That is, he thought the only kind of act one should ever commit is one that could be willed to be a universal law.

(ii) Consequentialist Theories (or Teleological Theories): Theories that claim that what determines whether an act is right or wrong are its consequences.

Utilitarianism is the best known sort of Consequentialism. Its best known defender is John Stuart Mill (1806-1873). Essentially, utilitarianism tells us that, in any situation, the right thing to do is whatever is likely to produce the most happiness overall. (The wrong thing to do is anything else.)

seer
05-23-2015, 03:17 AM
If I make that statement "that person is morally bad in virtue of their character traits", it's pretty clear who's character traits are being discussed. What you did was as silly as responding to the claim that "organisms are animals in virtue of the biological traits they have" with "whose biological traits?". Please don't feign ignorance.

Irrelevant, since it isn't up to a decision. Subjectivist that you are, you think whether claims are true or false is up to someone's decision. Seriously, seer, someone doesn't have to decide anything, in order for a claim to be true or false.


Not what "subjective" means in this context. We're not discussing how people come to decisions or who makes decisions; that is't what's relevant to the "objective/subjective" distinction in relation to moral realism and moral objectivism. We're discussing in virtue of what claims are true or false. What you're doing is as ridiculous as saying that biology is subjective because humans make decisions. "Subjective" in this context is not about who does or does not make decisions or how people come to make decisions. Otherwise, tell me where in the definition of moral realism it says anything about who does or does not make decisions. If you can't, then stop wasting time with your strawmen.

No Jichard, the fact is I'm having a hard time following you. OK, so how do we decide or know if a particular moral claim is true?

You said this: the moral realist can point to things like character traits (as per virtue ethics), effects of welfare (as per welfare utilitarianism), etc. as being the sort of things that make moral claims true or false.

So how does a character trait lead to a true moral claim? Can you flesh this out, show us all how this works?

Jichard
07-14-2015, 09:05 PM
No Jichard, the fact is I'm having a hard time following you.

As I (and other people) have noted, you tend to conveniently not understand things when it suits your purposes.


OK, so how do we decide or know if a particular moral claim is true?

Irrelevant since that's an epistemic claims about a particular claim, and so would be an epistemological claim for normative ethics. And as you've been told over and over, moral realism is a metaphysical position in meta-ethics. Metaphysics =/= epistemology. Meta-ethics =/= normative ethics.


You said this: the moral realist can point to things like character traits (as per virtue ethics), effects of welfare (as per welfare utilitarianism), etc. as being the sort of things that make moral claims true or false.

So how does a character trait lead to a true moral claim?

"Sam is a morally bad person."

"Why?"

"Because Sam is callous".


Can you flesh this out, show us all how this works?

Can you please not conveniently act if you don't understand things when it suits your purposes?

Jichard
07-14-2015, 09:52 PM
Let's say this argument holds up. I do not know a single objective moral reason, only subjective ones, so I would appreciate it if you could list even one.

Likely because you don't use "objective" and "subjective" in the way they're used in meta-ethics when discussing moral objectivism and moral subjectivism, much as many Young Earth creationists claim not to know of a single instance of "macroevolution" since they don't use the "macroevolution" in the way it's used in biology.

It's trivially easy to generate an objective moral reason, just like it's trivially easy to generate an objective scientific claim. Whether the claim is plausible or not, is another matter. Here are some rather simple examples:

The reason that action is morally wrong is because it harms the welfare of sentient life.



Previously you wrote:

The general analysis: we have moral obligations because there are moral reasons for actions, developing certain character traits, and so on. That's the standard analysis: obligations arise from reasons. And moral reasons are constituted by the properties/features discussed in welfare utilitarianism (ex: effects of well-being) and virtue ethics (ex: character traits like compassion). (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6359-A-Moral-Argument-Against-God-s-Existence&p=188880&viewfull=1#post188880)



But as far as I can see, something like "the effects of well-being" is not a part of a objective moral reason.

No, it's straight-forwardly an objective moral reason. It's objective insofar as claims regarding it are true or false in virtue of something other than a mind's views on the matter.


There is nothing about being in a state of well-being that will by itself tell you that you ought to act in such a way that you do not diminish the well-being of other people, or that you ought to act in such a way that other people's well-being is increased. Similarily, there is nothing about compassion in itself that will tell you that you ought to act compassionately.

The "state of well-being" doesn't need to "tell you" anything. You seem to be treating moral ought claims, (such as: You morally ought not rape) as commands that tell you what someone else wants you to do. They aren't that. If they were that, they would be neither true nor false.


I see no objective ways to get from states such as well-being and compassion to "oughts", only subjective ones, one of which would be to appeal to someone's subjective preference that people not diminish their own well-being, or their preference that people act compassionately towards them.

False. There's no appeal to preference here. Saying that:

"You morally ought not rape because it harms the welfare of sentient life"
is not the same thing as saying:

"You morally ought not rape because it you prefer not to harm the welfare of sentient life"
anymore than saying:

"That thing is H2O because it's water"
is the same thing as saying:

"That thing is H2O because you prefer it be H2O"
Reference X is not the same as referencing one's preferences with respect to X.

You also seem to be fallaciously assuming that ought-claims can only apply if you appeal to someone's preferences. That makes no sense. First, it torpedoes your own position, since if someone has a preference that goes against what God wants, then (on your view) you have no grounds for claiming they ought to do wht God wants. Second, ought claims need not make appeal to one's preferences. For example, in epistemology, what can make claims about what people ought to accept without making appeal to their preferences (for example: by noting the evidence available to them). Similarly, in science, one can note how one ought to reason about a scientific question, without making appeals to one's preference.s So it's special pleading for you to claim that ought-claims in morality, unlike in the above cases, need to make appeal to people's preferences.

To put it another way: you're assuming a crude, implausible version of reasons internalism.


And even then it does not succeed in bridging the is-ought gap completely,

The "is-ought" gap is largely trivial and uninteresting when it comes to whether or not moral realism is true.


given that someone could argue that just because they would not prefer that someone acted in a certain way towards them, or that they would prefer that people did act in certain ways towards them, it would not necessarily mean that they themselves were obligated to act in a similar way towards their peers, and there would be no way to counter that argument, apart from begging the question in favour of the contrary viewpoint that subjective preferences are sufficient to ground moral reasoning.

You're the only one making appeak to preferences, not me. I see no reason for appealing to someone's preferences in this context, anymore than I would see a reason for appealing to someone's preferences when figuring out what claims they ought to accept in epistemology.


To sum it up, none of the examples you gave are sufficient, either alone, or in conjuction with other facts, to ground objective reasons for acting morally, only when you add a subjective aspect to the mix do you get something that resembles morally obligatory reason. And to make matters even worse, not even this fixes the problem completely.

And you haven't shown this at all. All you've done is make incorrect assumptions that end up rebutting your own position.

JimL
07-14-2015, 10:07 PM
Likely because you don't use "objective" and "subjective" in the way they're used in meta-ethics when discussing moral objectivism and moral subjectivism, much as many Young Earth creationists claim not to know of a single instance of "macroevolution" since they don't use the "macroevolution" in the way it's used in biology.

It's trivially easy to generate an objective moral reason, just like it's trivially easy to generate an objective scientific claim. Whether the claim is plausible or not, is another matter. Here are some rather simple examples:

The reason that action is morally wrong is because it harms the welfare of sentient life.




No, it's straight-forwardly an objective moral reason. It's objective insofar as claims regarding it are true or false in virtue of something other than a mind's views on the matter.



The "state of well-being" doesn't need to "tell you" anything. You seem to be treating moral ought claims, (such as: You morally ought not rape) as commands that tell you what someone else wants you to do. They aren't that. If they were that, they would be neither true nor false.



False. There's no appeal to preference here. Saying that:

"You morally ought not rape because it harms the welfare of sentient life"
is not the same thing as saying:

"You morally ought not rape because it you prefer not to harm the welfare of sentient life"
anymore than saying:

"That thing is H2O because it's water"
is the same thing as saying:

"That thing is H2O because you prefer it be H2O"
Reference X is not the same as referencing one's preferences with respect to X.

You also seem to be fallaciously assuming that ought-claims can only apply if you appeal to someone's preferences. That makes no sense. First, it torpedoes your own position, since if someone has a preference that goes against what God wants, then (on your view) you have no grounds for claiming they ought to do wht God wants. Second, ought claims need not make appeal to one's preferences. For example, in epistemology, what can make claims about what people ought to accept without making appeal to their preferences (for example: by noting the evidence available to them). Similarly, in science, one can note how one ought to reason about a scientific question, without making appeals to one's preference.s So it's special pleading for you to claim that ought-claims in morality, unlike in the above cases, need to make appeal to people's preferences.

To put it another way: you're assuming a crude, implausible version of reasons internalism.



The "is-ought" gap is largely trivial and uninteresting when it comes to whether or not moral realism is true.



You're the only one making appeak to preferences, not me. I see no reason for appealing to someone's preferences in this context, anymore than I would see a reason for appealing to someone's preferences when figuring out what claims they ought to accept in epistemology.



And you haven't shown this at all. All you've done is make incorrect assumptions that end up rebutting your own position.

The standard response to this from the objectivist is: Why is it morally wrong to harm the welfare of sentient life? Or more simply put: Why is harming morally wrong?

Jichard
07-14-2015, 10:24 PM
The standard response to this from the objectivist is: Why is it morally wrong to harm the welfare of sentient life? Or more simply put: Why is harming morally wrong?

To which the objectivist has the same sort of response one would have in science, epistemology, etc.: because that's the answer one would come to after examination of the actions that most plausibly seem to count as wrong.


It'd be like if someone said "why is the Earth a planet?" You could list a whole bunch of features (F1, F2, F3, ....) in virtue of which Earth is a planet . And someone could then respond, "Why does F1, F2, F3... make something a planet?" And the answer is: because that's the answer one would come to after examination of the objects that most plausibly seem to count as planets (which is just another way of saying: doing science to figure out the features are had in common by objects that seem most likely to count as planets).

Similarly It'd be like if someone said "why is that belief justified" You could list a whole bunch of features (E1, E2, E3, ....) in virtue of which that belief is justified. And someone could then respond, "Why does E1, E2, E3...? make something justified"? And the answer is: because that's the answer one would come to after examination of the beliefs that most plausibly seem to count as justified (which is just another way of saying: doing epistemology to figure out the features are had in common by beliefs that seem most likely to count as justified).


Of course, one could throw over the table and refuse to accept that actions plausibly count as morally wrong, and thus stop the process in its tracks. But unless one has argument for doing that, then one is also committed to doing that in the case of scientific terms life "planet", epistemic terms like "justified", etc. After all, one could make the same move and refuse to admit that anything plausibly counts as a planet, or as justified, or ... In fact, many creationists due just this sort of thing when they refuse to admit that anything counts as evolution, unless it meets the absurd definition they employ. Really, it's even worse than that, since would could employ the same reasoning to an account of almost any noun-term. For example, one could use the same process to reject any account of why objects are red, why dogs are mammals, etc. And that's absurd. So, unless one has non-specialpleading grounds for treating the moral case difference, the objection is inapplicable.

To put the point another way: regardless of the topic you're an objectivist about (science, epistemology, meta-ethics), there's going to be a set of claims that you bottom out at and a set of examples you proceed from. If people simply reject those claims/examples without argument, then progress with them is almost impossible. This is especially the case if they will simply ask "why?" over and over again, in response to any justification you give them. So, for example, if someone is simply going to ask "Why does that make something a planet?" no matter what response one gives them.

JimL
07-14-2015, 11:45 PM
To which the objectivist has the same sort of response one would have in science, epistemology, etc.: because that's the answer one would come to after examination of the actions that most plausibly seem to count as wrong.


It'd be like if someone said "why is the Earth a planet?" You could list a whole bunch of features (F1, F2, F3, ....) in virtue of which Earth is a planet . And someone could then respond, "Why does F1, F2, F3... make something a planet?" And the answer is: because that's the answer one would come to after examination of the objects that most plausibly seem to count as planets (which is just another way of saying: doing science to figure out the features are had in common by objects that seem most likely to count as planets).

Similarly It'd be like if someone said "why is that belief justified" You could list a whole bunch of features (E1, E2, E3, ....) in virtue of which that belief is justified. And someone could then respond, "Why does E1, E2, E3...? make something justified"? And the answer is: because that's the answer one would come to after examination of the beliefs that most plausibly seem to count as justified (which is just another way of saying: doing epistemology to figure out the features are had in common by beliefs that seem most likely to count as justified).


Of course, one could throw over the table and refuse to accept that actions plausibly count as morally wrong, and thus stop the process in its tracks. But unless one has argument for doing that, then one is also committed to doing that in the case of scientific terms life "planet", epistemic terms like "justified", etc. After all, one could make the same move and refuse to admit that anything plausibly counts as a planet, or as justified, or ... In fact, many creationists due just this sort of thing when they refuse to admit that anything counts as evolution, unless it meets the absurd definition they employ. Really, it's even worse than that, since would could employ the same reasoning to an account of almost any noun-term. For example, one could use the same process to reject any account of why objects are red, why dogs are mammals, etc. And that's absurd. So, unless one has non-specialpleading grounds for treating the moral case difference, the objection is inapplicable.

To put the point another way: regardless of the topic you're an objectivist about (science, epistemology, meta-ethics), there's going to be a set of claims that you bottom out at and a set of examples you proceed from. If people simply reject those claims/examples without argument, then progress with them is almost impossible. This is especially the case if they will simply ask "why?" over and over again, in response to any justification you give them. So, for example, if someone is simply going to ask "Why does that make something a planet?" no matter what response one gives them.

But what of the category of wrongness itself by which we determine other things to most plausibly fit that same category, most plausibly seem to count as wrong?" That brings us back to the same question i think, no? How is wrongness itself determined?

seer
07-15-2015, 05:23 AM
"Sam is a morally bad person."

"Why?"

"Because Sam is callous".



Can you please not conveniently act if you don't understand things when it suits your purposes?

First, I'm not conveniently doing anything. So why does it follow that Sam is a morally bad person because he is callous? What if his callousness actually helped gain wealth and position for him and his family. Is it not then a good thing - for them? And I keep asking Jichard, even if your position is correct - of what use is it?

Starlight
07-15-2015, 05:55 AM
How is wrongness itself determined?Here's a possibly more concrete way of phrasing that question, which I have been pondering myself lately...
I am a particular fan of the model Jonathan Haidt has developed (called the Moral Foundations (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_Foundations_Theory) theory) based on empirical data and cross-cultural anthropology, which shows that people around the world use 2 (if they are liberal) or 5 (if they are conservative) basic moral concepts when they reason.

Those moral concepts are:
1. Well-being. Things that promote the well-being of others are good, while things that harm others are evil.
2. Fairness / Equality. That a more equitable, just, and fair distribution of resources and opportunities is better than too much disproportionality.
3. Group loyalty. The interests of family, or country, or cultural group, are to be promoted ahead of the interests of foreigners.
4. Respect for authority. Respect and deference should be given to legitimate authority, and tradition. For religious people, this includes the commands of God which should be obeyed.
5. Disgust and purity. Things that are disgusting, unnatural, degrading should be rejected. There is value in sanctity and purity and the sacred.

Empirical data suggests that conservatives tend to value all five categories about equally when making moral judgments. By contrast, liberals endorse the first two of these as "morality" and typically consider the other three to either have nothing to do with morality (ie amoral) or to be actively immoral. Less charitable ways that liberals might describe the final three things are: "3. Selfishness and bigotry. 4. Mindless obedience. 5. Disgust is a primitive emotional reflex evolutionarily designed to prevent humans eating unsafe food."

So given the two possible positions (that seem to be common in cultures around the world) of endorsing 1-2 (liberal) or 1-5 (conservative) as "what makes for right and wrong", what might motivate people to choose set as opposed to the other? Or to phase it another way: Why might or might not we want to add 3-5 to the list of things that basically everyone agrees are moral foundations (1-2)?

seer
07-15-2015, 06:22 AM
Here's a possibly more concrete way of phrasing that question, which I have been pondering myself lately...
I am a particular fan of the model Jonathan Haidt has developed (called the Moral Foundations (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_Foundations_Theory) theory) based on empirical data and cross-cultural anthropology, which shows that people around the world use 2 (if they are liberal) or 5 (if they are conservative) basic moral concepts when they reason.

Those moral concepts are:
1. Well-being. Things that promote the well-being of others are good, while things that harm others are evil.
2. Fairness / Equality. That a more equitable, just, and fair distribution of resources and opportunities is better than too much disproportionality.
3. Group loyalty. The interests of family, or country, or cultural group, are to be promoted ahead of the interests of foreigners.
4. Respect for authority. Respect and deference should be given to legitimate authority, and tradition. For religious people, this includes the commands of God which should be obeyed.
5. Disgust and purity. Things that are disgusting, unnatural, degrading should be rejected. There is value in sanctity and purity and the sacred.

Empirical data suggests that conservatives tend to value all five categories about equally when making moral judgments. By contrast, liberals endorse the first two of these as "morality" and typically consider the other three to either have nothing to do with morality (ie amoral) or to be actively immoral. Less charitable ways that liberals might describe the final three things are: "3. Selfishness and bigotry. 4. Mindless obedience. 5. Disgust is a primitive emotional reflex evolutionarily designed to prevent humans eating unsafe food."

So given the two possible positions (that seem to be common in cultures around the world) of endorsing 1-2 (liberal) or 1-5 (conservative) as "what makes for right and wrong", what might motivate people to choose set as opposed to the other? Or to phase it another way: Why might or might not we want to add 3-5 to the list of things that basically everyone agrees are moral foundations (1-2)?

It seems to me that the person who takes all five into consideration is more broad-minded and rational. Don't you agree Star? :tongue:

Jichard
07-15-2015, 01:49 PM
But what of the category of wrongness itself by which we determine other things to most plausibly fit that same category, most plausibly seem to count as wrong?" That brings us back to the same question i think, no? How is wrongness itself determined?

You don't need an account of the category wrongness itself, in order to determine what things fit under that category. You can use the things themselves to generate an account of the category. That, for example, is what's often done with categories in other subjects, such as science.

Jichard
07-15-2015, 02:08 PM
Recently a new member here at TWEB attack biblical ethics as being subjective, subjective to God. Which makes sense, but God's law would still be objective to mankind.

By the way, you never supported that false claim of your's, even though I explained to you why it was false (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=196906#post196906). Instead, you, once again, conveniently claimed to not be able to follow the English language.

seer
07-15-2015, 03:06 PM
By the way, you never supported that false claim of your's, even though I explained to you why it was false (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=196906#post196906). Instead, you, once again, conveniently claimed to not be able to follow the English language.

No, it would still be objective to mankind because it does not originate with man, and it exists independently of man. The very definition of objective. But also like I said even if God's law is subjective to Him - so what? You would still be accountable to that law. And again, even if your position is correct - of what use is it? What authority does it have over anyone? How does it convert the bad man? How is it anymore than academic navel gazing?

Starlight
07-15-2015, 03:33 PM
No, it would still be objective to mankind because it does not originate with man, and it exists independently of man. The very definition of objective.Seer, I've lost track of the number of different times that different posters have brought to your attention that this is a totally wrong and completely false definition of objective. Just stop repeating it already.

seer
07-15-2015, 03:49 PM
Seer, I've lost track of the number of different times that different posters have brought to your attention that this is a totally wrong and completely false definition of objective. Just stop repeating it already.


OK, give me the definition of objective. And it doesn't change my main point, Jichard's theory is no more than academic navel gazing - ultimately useless.

Jichard
07-15-2015, 04:06 PM
No, it would still be objective to mankind because it does not originate with man, and it exists independently of man. The very definition of objective.

That is not the definition of "objective" in meta-ethics, when discussing moral objectivism and moral subjectivism. I know you know this, since you've been told it several times.

To tell you this again (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=196906#post196906):


It's subjective because God's commands express God's desires.

On the standard accounts of "subjective" or "objective" used to define "moral subjectivism" and "moral objectivism", it wouldn't make sense to talk about about something being objective from one of view and subjective from another point of view. Instead, they would be objective simpliciter or subjective simpliciter. To put it another way: if it's mind-dependent, then it's mind-dependent from any view-point. For example, the statement "Jichard dislikes cake" would be subjectively true simpliciter, since it's true or false in virtue on my attitude. That would be the case from my perspective, God's perspective, or anyone else's perspective. Similarly, "God commands X" would be subjectively true simpliciter because it's true or false depending in virtue of God's expressed attitude. And that would be the case from my perspective, God's perspective, or anyone else's perspective.

That's why divine command theory is recognized as a forum of moral subjectivism, no matter how much you pretend otherwise. I've even dumbed this down for you by pointing you to Wikipedia on this.



"Ethical subjectivism is the meta-ethical view which claims that:


Ethical sentences express propositions.
Some such propositions are true.
Those propositions are about the attitudes of people.[1]

[...]

However there are also universalist forms of subjectivism such as ideal observer theory (which claims that moral propositions are about what attitudes a hypothetical ideal observer would hold) and divine command theory (which claims that moral propositions are about what attitudes God holds). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethical_subjectivism)"


But also like I said even if God's law is subjective to Him - so what?

Not "subjective to Him". Instead, "subjective simpliciter". That is: "subjective".

It means that you can no longer go around pretending that you have a moral objectivist position. You don't; you're a moral subjectivist. It also means that you can drop the pretense about atheism being incompatible with moral objectivism.


You would still be accountable to that law.

As you've been told, might does not make right, even though you think otherwise. So the mere fact that some powerful being would punish me for not obeying it, hold me accountable for what it says, etc., does nothing to show that what that being says in morally right, morally good, etc. Nor does it show that moral statements are true in virtue of what that powerful punisher says.

In all honesty, you seem to have child-like view of meta-ethics and ethics.. except even children know better than to accept the position you do. Basically, you seem to think that ethics and meta-ethics only matter if you're rewarded and punished for obeying some authority figure. Which is pure egoism on your part. It'd be like saying it's only morally right to give to charity, if a powerful being will punish you for not doing it or reward you for doing it; screw how giving to charity helps other's since that doesn't matter. Even children know better than that. For example, even children will thinking hitting other's for fun is morally wrong, regardless of what an authority figure like God says. And that's because children (unlike you) know better than to think morality boils down to doing whatever the powerful say.


And again, even if your position is correct - of what use is it?

Please don't pretend that this question hasn't been answered. To repeat my answer for the umpteenth time (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?4545-Is-God-Immoral&p=189558#post189558):


Moral realism (as a meta-ethical position) answers particular meta-ethical questions, just as Cell Theory (as a biological position) answers particular questions in biology. Different positions answer different questions. So just as Cell Theory isn't in the business of answering the question of which actions are morally good or morally bad, moral realism isn't in the business of answering that question. Moral realism instead answers a different set of meta-ethical questions. That doesn't mean moral realism is useless, anymore than it means Cell Theory is useless. And I've given you links to pages discussing the type of meta-ethical questions moral realism answers


What authority does it have over anyone?

Same conflation of might with right. There doesn't need to be some "authority" figure in order for moral claims to be objectively true, anymore than there needs to be an authority figure for scientific claims to be objectively true. You apparently think otherwise.


How does it convert the bad man?

The issue is whether moral realism is true or false, not whether you happen to find it useful for some purpose. What you're doing is as ridiculous as objecting to Cell Theory by asking whether it can convert a bad man. So you made an irrelevant appeal to consequence.


How is it anymore than academic navel gazing?

It's irrelevant whether you consider it "academic navel gazing", since that has no bearing on whether it's true or not.

Jichard
07-15-2015, 04:11 PM
OK, give me the definition of objective.

It's extremely to deceptive for someone to ask for something they've already been given (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=196906#post196906), as if they haven't been given it.


And it doesn't change my main point, Jichard's theory is no more than academic navel gazing - ultimately useless.

Apparently you think positions are useless unless they do the ridiculous things you want them to do. So you must think that following are "academic navel gazing":

Cell Theory
Germ Theory
Evolutionary Theory
Einsteinian Relativity Theory
and so on. After all, unless they do the absurd things you want, they're just "academic navel gazing".

When will you stop committing the fallacy of appeal to consequence by objecting to positions on the grounds that they aren't useful in whatever absurd way you demand to use them?

seer
07-15-2015, 05:21 PM
The issue is whether moral realism is true or false, not whether you happen to find it useful for some purpose. What you're doing is as ridiculous as objecting to Cell Theory by asking whether it can convert a bad man. So you made an irrelevant appeal to consequence.

OK, a moral theory that has no practical use. I get it. At least cell theory has some practical use.


It's irrelevant whether you consider it "academic navel gazing", since that has no bearing on whether it's true or not.

OK, why is it true?


It's subjective because God's commands express God's desires.

And how do you demonstrate that your moral views are not simply the expression of your desires or psychology?

seer
07-15-2015, 07:36 PM
When will you stop committing the fallacy of appeal to consequence by objecting to positions on the grounds that they aren't useful in whatever absurd way you demand to use them?

Remember my questions in the OP: The questions are, where do these moral facts exist? And how are we obligated to them if they do exist?

As far as I can tell even with all your wrangling you have not answered these questions.

seer
07-15-2015, 07:40 PM
Apparently you think positions are useless unless they do the ridiculous things you want them to do. So you must think that following are "academic navel gazing":
Cell Theory
Germ Theory
Evolutionary Theory
Einsteinian Relativity Theory

No these are all theories that attempt to describe physical qualities in the universe, and can be demonstrated, to degrees. Completely unlike your moral realism.

Jichard
07-15-2015, 10:28 PM
No these are all theories that attempt to describe physical qualities in the universe, and can be demonstrated, to degrees. Completely unlike your moral realism.

By your logic, all of those positions are wrong, because they don't perform the ridiculous uses you want to put them to.

And in any event, your mistake has been addressed to death (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?4545-Is-God-Immoral&p=189558#post189558):


Moral realism (as a meta-ethical position) answers particular meta-ethical questions, just as Cell Theory (as a biological position) answers particular questions in biology. Different positions answer different questions. So just as Cell Theory isn't in the business of answering the question of which actions are morally good or morally bad, moral realism isn't in the business of answering that question. Moral realism instead answers a different set of meta-ethical questions. That doesn't mean moral realism is useless, anymore than it means Cell Theory is useless. And I've given you links to pages discussing the type of meta-ethical questions moral realism answers

Jichard
07-15-2015, 10:32 PM
OK, a moral theory that has no practical use. I get it. At least cell theory has some practical use.

Only a willfully dishonest person would continue to pretend that the following has not been explained to them (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?4545-Is-God-Immoral&p=189558#post189558) (especially pretending by cutting it out of their post):


Moral realism (as a meta-ethical position) answers particular meta-ethical questions, just as Cell Theory (as a biological position) answers particular questions in biology. Different positions answer different questions. So just as Cell Theory isn't in the business of answering the question of which actions are morally good or morally bad, moral realism isn't in the business of answering that question. Moral realism instead answers a different set of meta-ethical questions. That doesn't mean moral realism is useless, anymore than it means Cell Theory is useless. And I've given you links to pages discussing the type of meta-ethical questions moral realism answers


OK, why is it true?



And how do you demonstrate that your moral views are not simply the expression of your desires or psychology?

Sorry, but I'm not interest in the evasions from you, and your moving the goalposts. I said this to you:



By the way, you never supported that false claim of your's, even though I explained to you why it was false (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=196906#post196906). Instead, you, once again, conveniently claimed to not be able to follow the English language.
You had no meaningful response, beyond acting that "objective" and "subjective" meant something other than what they did I rebutted with that. You didn't deal with the rebuttal.

Feel free to actually deal with the rebuttal, without your usual moving the goaposts. I'll repeat this as many times as it takes for you to produce an honest response.

Jichard
07-15-2015, 10:34 PM
Remember my questions in the OP: The questions are, where do these moral facts exist? And how are we obligated to them if they do exist?

As far as I can tell even with all your wrangling you have not answered these questions.

And in your OP you made up the following false claims:


"Recently a new member here at TWEB attack biblical ethics as being subjective, subjective to God. Which makes sense, but God's law would still be objective to mankind. (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=191112#post191112)"

I said this in response:



By the way, you never supported that false claim of your's, even though I explained to you why it was false (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=196906#post196906). Instead, you, once again, conveniently claimed to not be able to follow the English language.
You had no meaningful response, beyond acting that "objective" and "subjective" meant something other than what they did. I rebutted with that. You didn't deal with the rebuttal.

Feel free to actually deal with the rebuttal, without your usual moving the goaposts. I'll repeat this as many times as it takes for you to produce an honest response.

Jichard
07-15-2015, 11:15 PM
First, I'm not conveniently doing anything.

No, you are. When there's a point you can't address, you conveniently lose the ability to understand the English language. That way you can act as if you don't understand the words that were written, and thus avoid acknowledging the point you can't address.


So why does it follow that Sam is a morally bad person because he is callous?

Same answer I gave JimL: http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=218734#post218734


What if his callousness actually helped gain wealth and position for him and his family. Is it not then a good thing - for them?

Tell me when you finally acknowledge the difference between "egoism" and "morality". You don't seem to recognize a difference, as I explained to you before:


As you've been told, might does not make right, even though you think otherwise. So the mere fact that some powerful being would punish me for not obeying it, hold me accountable for what it says, etc., does nothing to show that what that being says in morally right, morally good, etc. Nor does it show that moral statements are true in virtue of what that powerful punisher says.

In all honesty, you seem to have child-like view of meta-ethics and ethics.. except even children know better than to accept the position you do. Basically, you seem to think that ethics and meta-ethics only matter if you're rewarded and punished for obeying some authority figure. Which is pure egoism on your part. It'd be like saying it's only morally right to give to charity, if a powerful being will punish you for not doing it or reward you for doing it; screw how giving to charity helps other's since that doesn't matter. Even children know better than that. For example, even children will thinking hitting other's for fun is morally wrong, regardless of what an authority figure like God says. And that's because children (unlike you) know better than to think morality boils down to doing whatever the powerful say. (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=218905#post218905)



And I keep asking Jichard, even if your position is correct - of what use is it?

Same old fallacious appeal to consequence. Only a willfully dishonest person would continue to pretend that the following has not been explained to them (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?4545-Is-God-Immoral&p=189558#post189558):


Moral realism (as a meta-ethical position) answers particular meta-ethical questions, just as Cell Theory (as a biological position) answers particular questions in biology. Different positions answer different questions. So just as Cell Theory isn't in the business of answering the question of which actions are morally good or morally bad, moral realism isn't in the business of answering that question. Moral realism instead answers a different set of meta-ethical questions. That doesn't mean moral realism is useless, anymore than it means Cell Theory is useless. And I've given you links to pages discussing the type of meta-ethical questions moral realism answers

seer
07-16-2015, 03:43 AM
By your logic, all of those positions are wrong, because they don't perform the ridiculous uses you want to put them to.

And in any event, your mistake has been addressed to death (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?4545-Is-God-Immoral&p=189558#post189558):


Moral realism (as a meta-ethical position) answers particular meta-ethical questions, just as Cell Theory (as a biological position) answers particular questions in biology. Different positions answer different questions. So just as Cell Theory isn't in the business of answering the question of which actions are morally good or morally bad, moral realism isn't in the business of answering that question. Moral realism instead answers a different set of meta-ethical questions. That doesn't mean moral realism is useless, anymore than it means Cell Theory is useless. And I've given you links to pages discussing the type of meta-ethical questions moral realism answers

Nonsense, Cell Theory is useful since it helps us understand something physical - cell biology. What physical quality does moral realism help us understand? If not your comparison is apple and oranges.

seer
07-16-2015, 04:38 AM
Sorry, but I'm not interest in the evasions from you, and your moving the goalposts. I said this to you:

No you have no answer. You said that God's law is subjective since it was based on His desires. Fine - do you have something better? A moral system that is not, at bottom, based on desires or preferences? A system that can be demonstrated, one that is not subjective.

seer
07-16-2015, 04:45 AM
Same answer I gave JimL: http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=218734#post218734

Yes I see that you arbitrarily stop the justification process when it is convenient for you.



Tell me when you finally acknowledge the difference between "egoism" and "morality". You don't seem to recognize a difference, as I explained to you before:


As you've been told, might does not make right, even though you think otherwise. So the mere fact that some powerful being would punish me for not obeying it, hold me accountable for what it says, etc., does nothing to show that what that being says in morally right, morally good, etc. Nor does it show that moral statements are true in virtue of what that powerful punisher says.

I did not once say that might makes right. But the fact is, in your universe there is no ultimate justice. What use is a moral system without justice?




Same old fallacious appeal to consequence. Only a willfully dishonest person would continue to pretend that the following [URL="http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?4545-Is-God-Immoral&p=189558#post189558"]has not been explained to them (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=218905#post218905):

Moral realism (as a meta-ethical position) answers particular meta-ethical questions, just as Cell Theory (as a biological position) answers particular questions in biology. Different positions answer different questions. So just as Cell Theory isn't in the business of answering the question of which actions are morally good or morally bad, moral realism isn't in the business of answering that question. Moral realism instead answers a different set of [I]meta-ethical questions. That doesn't mean moral realism is useless, anymore than it means Cell Theory is useless. And I've given you links to pages discussing the type of meta-ethical questions moral realism answers

Again this is a pure assertion on your part. We can demonstrate that cell theory is useful for understanding cell biology. You have not demonstrate, on any level, that moral realism is useful or even true.

Jichard
07-16-2015, 10:12 AM
No you have no answer. You said that God's law is subjective since it was based on His desires. Fine - do you have something better?

Do you admit you were wrong when you wrote this?:



Recently a new member here at TWEB attack biblical ethics as being subjective, subjective to God. Which makes sense, but God's law would still be objective to mankind.
If not, then why not.

Because I said this to you:



By the way, you never supported that false claim of your's, even though I explained to you why it was false (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=196906#post196906). Instead, you, once again, conveniently claimed to not be able to follow the English language.
You had no meaningful response, beyond acting that "objective" and "subjective" meant something other than what they did I rebutted with that. You didn't deal with the rebuttal.

Feel free to actually deal with the rebuttal, without your usual moving the goaposts. I'll repeat this as many times as it takes for you to produce an honest response. And I won't deal with the rest of whatever else you post, until you address this (given your penchant for evading).

Jichard
07-16-2015, 10:18 AM
Nonsense, Cell Theory is useful since it helps us understand something physical - cell biology. What physical quality does moral realism help us understand? If not your comparison is apple and oranges.

Once again, you're conveniently acting as if you don't understand the English language. The point of the comparison was not that moral realism answers questions about physics. It's instead that just as Cell Theory answers particular types of questions (biological questions), moral realism answers particular types of questions (meta-ethical questions). Anyone who can read English should be able to figure that out, based on what I wrote:


Moral realism (as a meta-ethical position) answers particular meta-ethical questions, just as Cell Theory (as a biological position) answers particular questions in biology. Different positions answer different questions. So just as Cell Theory isn't in the business of answering the question of which actions are morally good or morally bad, moral realism isn't in the business of answering that question. Moral realism instead answers a different set of meta-ethical questions. That doesn't mean moral realism is useless, anymore than it means Cell Theory is useless. And I've given you links to pages discussing the type of meta-ethical questions moral realism answers

So Cell Theory answers biological questions, just like mathematical theories answer mathematical questions. Similarly, moral realism answers meta-ethical questions. Thus your response was as ridiculous as objecting to a mathematical theory, by claiming it doesn't answer questions about physics.


Anyway, do you admit you were wrong when you wrote this?:



Recently a new member here at TWEB attack biblical ethics as being subjective, subjective to God. Which makes sense, but God's law would still be objective to mankind.
If not, then why not.

Because I said this to you:



By the way, you never supported that false claim of your's, even though I explained to you why it was false (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=196906#post196906). Instead, you, once again, conveniently claimed to not be able to follow the English language.
You had no meaningful response, beyond acting that "objective" and "subjective" meant something other than what they did I rebutted with that. You didn't deal with the rebuttal.

Feel free to actually deal with the rebuttal, without your usual moving the goaposts. I'll repeat this as many times as it takes for you to produce an honest response. And I won't deal with the rest of whatever else you post, until you address this (given your penchant for evading).

seer
07-16-2015, 10:41 AM
Once again, you're conveniently acting as if you don't understand the English language. The point of the comparison was not that moral realism answers questions about physics. It's instead that just as Cell Theory answers particular types of questions (biological questions), moral realism answers particular types of questions (meta-ethical questions). Anyone who can read English should be able to figure that out, based on what I wrote:


Moral realism (as a meta-ethical position) answers particular meta-ethical questions, just as Cell Theory (as a biological position) answers particular questions in biology. Different positions answer different questions. So just as Cell Theory isn't in the business of answering the question of which actions are morally good or morally bad, moral realism isn't in the business of answering that question. Moral realism instead answers a different set of meta-ethical questions. That doesn't mean moral realism is useless, anymore than it means Cell Theory is useless. And I've given you links to pages discussing the type of meta-ethical questions moral realism answers

So Cell Theory answers biological questions, just like mathematical theories answer mathematical questions. Similarly, moral realism answers meta-ethical questions. Thus your response was as silly as objecting to a mathematical theory, by claiming it doesn't answer questions about physics.

Right this is like pulling teeth. How does moral realism answer meta-ethical questions? How does that show that there is anything "objective" here? Or why we should accept moral realism as true? And again, at least cell theory corresponds to something real, tangible. Cell theory can be demonstrated via cell biology. How do you demonstrate your position?



Anyway, do you admit you were wrong when you wrote this?:



If not, then why not.

Because I said this to you:



You had no meaningful response, beyond acting that "objective" and "subjective" meant something other than what they did I rebutted with that. You didn't deal with the rebuttal.

Feel free to actually deal with the rebuttal, without your usual moving the goaposts. I'll repeat this as many times as it takes for you to produce an honest response. And I won't deal with the rest of whatever else you post, until you address it,gien your penchant for evading.

Pure BS, I agree that God's law would be subjective to Him, but objective to mankind. Fine you don't buy it. It doesn't matter because that is NOT what I asked in my OP, and it is not even relevant to my original inquiry which was: The questions are, where do these moral facts exist? And how are we obligated to them if they do exist?

And you stated: To put it another way: if it's mind-dependent, then it's mind-dependent from any view-point. OK, let's use that - how is moral realism not mind dependent?

Jichard
07-16-2015, 10:52 AM
Right this is like pulling teeth. How does moral realism answer meta-ethical questions? How does that show that there is anything "objective" here? Or why we should accept moral realism as true? And again, at least cell theory corresponds to something real, tangible.


I'm not interested in your goal-post moves and Gish gallops.

Do you admit that moral realism answers meta-ethical questions? And there's no point in lying or feigninig ignorant, since you've been previously pointed to sources on the sort of meta-ethical questions that moral realism answers:



Start with Wikipedia and proceed from there: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_realism

Or you can read the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy page (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-realism/) on this, or the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy page (http://www.iep.utm.edu/moralrea/) on this.


Pure BS, I agree that God's law would be subjective to Him, but objective to mankind.

And I explained why that was wrong. Feel free to address that response. Here it is again (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=196906#post196906):



It's subjective because God's commands express God's desires.

On the standard accounts of "subjective" or "objective" used to define "moral subjectivism" and "moral objectivism", it wouldn't make sense to talk about about something being objective from one of view and subjective from another point of view. Instead, they would be objective simpliciter or subjective simpliciter. To put it another way: if it's mind-dependent, then it's mind-dependent from any view-point. For example, the statement "Jichard dislikes cake" would be subjectively true simpliciter, since it's true or false in virtue on my attitude. That would be the case from my perspective, God's perspective, or anyone else's perspective. Similarly, "God commands X" would be subjectively true simpliciter because it's true or false depending in virtue of God's expressed attitude. And that would be the case from my perspective, God's perspective, or anyone else's perspective.

That's why divine command theory is recognized as a forum of moral subjectivism, no matter how much you pretend otherwise. I've even dumbed this down for you by pointing you to Wikipedia on this.



"Ethical subjectivism is the meta-ethical view which claims that:


Ethical sentences express propositions.
Some such propositions are true.
Those propositions are about the attitudes of people.[1]

[...]

However there are also universalist forms of subjectivism such as ideal observer theory (which claims that moral propositions are about what attitudes a hypothetical ideal observer would hold) and divine command theory (which claims that moral propositions are about what attitudes God holds). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethical_subjectivism)"


Fine you don't buy it. It doesn't matter because that is NOT what I asked in my OP, and it is not even relevant to my original inquiry which was: The questions are, where do these moral facts exist? And how are we obligated to them if they do exist?

You said it in your OP. You even started your OP off with it:



Recently a new member here at TWEB attack biblical ethics as being subjective, subjective to God. Which makes sense, but God's law would still be objective to mankind.
So you can stop pretending otherwise.

seer
07-16-2015, 11:11 AM
Do you admit that moral realism answers meta-ethical questions?

I'm not interested in your goal-post moves and Gish gallops.

That is a lie, these are basically the same questions I asked from the OP. And yes, I agree that you assert that moral realism answers meta-ethical questions.




And I explained why that was wrong. Feel free to address that response. Here it is again (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=196906#post196906):

I don't care, I don't care if God's law is only subjective to Him or subjective to Him and objective to us.



You said it in your OP. You even started your OP off with it:



So you can stop pretending otherwise.

You are a deeply deceptive man Jichard, I had two basic questions in my OP: where do these moral facts exist? And how are we obligated to them if they do exist? And you have done all you could to confuse the issue and to avoid them.

Jichard
07-16-2015, 11:36 AM
That is a lie, these are basically the same questions I asked from the OP. And yes, I agree that you assert that moral realism answers meta-ethical questions.

You didn't answer the question; the question was not about what I asserted or did not assert.

The question instead was: Do you admit that moral realism answers meta-ethical questions? And there's no point in lying or feigninig ignorance, since you've been previously pointed to sources on the sort of meta-ethical questions that moral realism answers:



Start with Wikipedia and proceed from there: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_realism

Or you can read the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy page (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-realism/) on this, or the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy page (http://www.iep.utm.edu/moralrea/) on this.


I don't care, I don't care if God's law is only subjective to Him or subjective to Him and objective to us.

You cared enough to start your OP with it:



Recently a new member here at TWEB attack biblical ethics as being subjective, subjective to God. Which makes sense, but God's law would still be objective to mankind.
So I'm going to keep addressing it no matter how much it bugs you. Once again, I explained why what you said was wrong. Feel free to address that response. Here it is again (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=196906#post196906):



It's subjective because God's commands express God's desires.

On the standard accounts of "subjective" or "objective" used to define "moral subjectivism" and "moral objectivism", it wouldn't make sense to talk about about something being objective from one of view and subjective from another point of view. Instead, they would be objective simpliciter or subjective simpliciter. To put it another way: if it's mind-dependent, then it's mind-dependent from any view-point. For example, the statement "Jichard dislikes cake" would be subjectively true simpliciter, since it's true or false in virtue on my attitude. That would be the case from my perspective, God's perspective, or anyone else's perspective. Similarly, "God commands X" would be subjectively true simpliciter because it's true or false depending in virtue of God's expressed attitude. And that would be the case from my perspective, God's perspective, or anyone else's perspective.

That's why divine command theory is recognized as a forum of moral subjectivism, no matter how much you pretend otherwise. I've even dumbed this down for you by pointing you to Wikipedia on this.



"Ethical subjectivism is the meta-ethical view which claims that:


Ethical sentences express propositions.
Some such propositions are true.
Those propositions are about the attitudes of people.[1]

[...]

However there are also universalist forms of subjectivism such as ideal observer theory (which claims that moral propositions are about what attitudes a hypothetical ideal observer would hold) and divine command theory (which claims that moral propositions are about what attitudes God holds). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethical_subjectivism)"


You are a deeply deceptive man Jichard, I had two basic questions in my OP: where do these moral facts exist? And how are we obligated to them if they do exist? And you have done all you could to confuse the issue and to avoid them.

You started off your OP with this:



Recently a new member here at TWEB attack biblical ethics as being subjective, subjective to God. Which makes sense, but God's law would still be objective to mankind.
I've explained why that claim is wrong. And I've already explained why I'm doing that:




But also like I said even if God's law is subjective to Him - so what?

Not "subjective to Him". Instead, "subjective simpliciter". That is: "subjective".

It means that you can no longer go around pretending that you have a moral objectivist position. You don't; you're a moral subjectivist. It also means that you can drop the pretense about atheism being incompatible with moral objectivism.
There's no deception here on my part. I'm just making you do something you can't stand having to do: defend ridiculous claims you make in the service of defending your apologetic position. And that seems to be frustrating you. Good. :)

seer
07-16-2015, 11:54 AM
You didn't answer the question; the question was not about what I asserted or did not assert.

The question instead was: Do you admit that moral realism answers meta-ethical questions? And there's no point in lying or feigninig ignorance, since you've been previously pointed to sources on the sort of meta-ethical questions that moral realism answers

No I don't admit that moral realism does anything but assert that it answers meta-ethical questions. Is that so hard for you to follow? Or do you agree that Ethical subjectivism answers meta-ethical questions?


You started off your OP with this:



I've explained why that claim is wrong. And I've already explained why I'm doing that:



There's no deception here on my part. I'm just making you do something you can't stand having to do: defend ridiculous claims you make in the service of defending your apologetic position. And that seems to be frustrating you. Good. :)


What were the questions I actually asked in my OP Jichard?

Jichard
07-16-2015, 12:04 PM
No I don't admit that moral realism does anything but assert that it answers meta-ethical questions.

I've pointed you to sources on the sorts of meta-ethical questions moral realism answers. For example:



Start with Wikipedia and proceed from there: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_realism

Or you can read the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy page (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-realism/) on this, or the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy page (http://www.iep.utm.edu/moralrea/) on this.
So why do you still not accept that moral realism answers meta-ethical questions?


Is that so hard for you to follow? Or do you agree that Ethical subjectivism answers meta-ethical questions?

I accept that ethical subjectivism answers meta-ethical questions. It obviously does, since it's a meta-ethical position.


What were the questions I actually asked in my OP Jichard?

Anyone can read your OP and see what those questions are, just like they can read your OP and see that it started off with these false claims:



Recently a new member here at TWEB attack biblical ethics as being subjective, subjective to God. Which makes sense, but God's law would still be objective to mankind.
So I'm going to keep addressing it no matter how much it bugs you. And I've already explained why I'm doing that:




But also like I said even if God's law is subjective to Him - so what?

Not "subjective to Him". Instead, "subjective simpliciter". That is: "subjective".

It means that you can no longer go around pretending that you have a moral objectivist position. You don't; you're a moral subjectivist. It also means that you can drop the pretense about atheism being incompatible with moral objectivism.

I'm just making you do something you can't stand having to do: defend ridiculous claims you make in the service of defending your apologetic position. And that seems to be frustrating you. Good. :)

So once again, I explained why what you said was wrong. Feel free to address that response. Here it is again (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=196906#post196906):



It's subjective because God's commands express God's desires.

On the standard accounts of "subjective" or "objective" used to define "moral subjectivism" and "moral objectivism", it wouldn't make sense to talk about about something being objective from one of view and subjective from another point of view. Instead, they would be objective simpliciter or subjective simpliciter. To put it another way: if it's mind-dependent, then it's mind-dependent from any view-point. For example, the statement "Jichard dislikes cake" would be subjectively true simpliciter, since it's true or false in virtue on my attitude. That would be the case from my perspective, God's perspective, or anyone else's perspective. Similarly, "God commands X" would be subjectively true simpliciter because it's true or false depending in virtue of God's expressed attitude. And that would be the case from my perspective, God's perspective, or anyone else's perspective.

That's why divine command theory is recognized as a forum of moral subjectivism, no matter how much you pretend otherwise. I've even dumbed this down for you by pointing you to Wikipedia on this.



"Ethical subjectivism is the meta-ethical view which claims that:


Ethical sentences express propositions.
Some such propositions are true.
Those propositions are about the attitudes of people.[1]

[...]

However there are also universalist forms of subjectivism such as ideal observer theory (which claims that moral propositions are about what attitudes a hypothetical ideal observer would hold) and divine command theory (which claims that moral propositions are about what attitudes God holds). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethical_subjectivism)"

seer
07-16-2015, 12:15 PM
I've pointed you to sources on the sorts of meta-ethical questions moral realism answers. For example:



So why do you not accept that moral realism answers meta-ethical questions?

I accept that ethical subjectivism answers meta-ethical questions. It obviously does, since it's a meta-ethical position.

Oh goody - so whose subjective view is correct then? But I think I get it - you make up a theory then claim that it answers meta-ethical questions. Yeah, I guess you can do that.



Anyone can read your OP and see what those questions are, just like they can read your OP and see that it started off with these false claims:

So you agree that you did not actually answer the questions, but that you focused on a line that I cared nothing about - that I already said it didn't matter, and it certainly was not at all relevant to my questions.

Jichard
07-16-2015, 04:05 PM
Oh goody - so whose subjective view is correct then? But I think I get it - you make up a theory then claim that it answers meta-ethical questions. Yeah, I guess you can do that.

You didn't answer the question.

So why do you still not accept that moral realism answers meta-ethical questions?

I've pointed you to sources on the sorts of meta-ethical questions moral realism answers. For example:



Start with Wikipedia and proceed from there: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_realism

Or you can read the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy page (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-realism/) on this, or the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy page (http://www.iep.utm.edu/moralrea/) on this.


So you agree that you did not actually answer the questions, but that you focused on a line that I cared nothing about - that I already said it didn't matter, and it certainly was not at all relevant to my questions.

You didn't make a sensible response to what was posted. Feel free to try again.

Do you retract these false claims? If not, then why not.



Recently a new member here at TWEB attack biblical ethics as being subjective, subjective to God. Which makes sense, but God's law would still be objective to mankind.
I've explained why what you said was false wrong. Feel free to address that response. Here it is again (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=196906#post196906):



It's subjective because God's commands express God's desires.

On the standard accounts of "subjective" or "objective" used to define "moral subjectivism" and "moral objectivism", it wouldn't make sense to talk about about something being objective from one of view and subjective from another point of view. Instead, they would be objective simpliciter or subjective simpliciter. To put it another way: if it's mind-dependent, then it's mind-dependent from any view-point. For example, the statement "Jichard dislikes cake" would be subjectively true simpliciter, since it's true or false in virtue on my attitude. That would be the case from my perspective, God's perspective, or anyone else's perspective. Similarly, "God commands X" would be subjectively true simpliciter because it's true or false depending in virtue of God's expressed attitude. And that would be the case from my perspective, God's perspective, or anyone else's perspective.

That's why divine command theory is recognized as a forum of moral subjectivism, no matter how much you pretend otherwise. I've even dumbed this down for you by pointing you to Wikipedia on this.



"Ethical subjectivism is the meta-ethical view which claims that:


Ethical sentences express propositions.
Some such propositions are true.
Those propositions are about the attitudes of people.[1]

[...]

However there are also universalist forms of subjectivism such as ideal observer theory (which claims that moral propositions are about what attitudes a hypothetical ideal observer would hold) and divine command theory (which claims that moral propositions are about what attitudes God holds). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethical_subjectivism)"

seer
07-17-2015, 04:58 AM
You didn't answer the question.

So why do you still not accept that moral realism answers meta-ethical questions?

But I agreed with you - you can invent a moral theory then claim that it answers meta-ethical questions. So we are on the same page.





I've explained why what you said was false wrong. Feel free to address that response. Here it is again (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=196906#post196906):


It's subjective because God's commands express God's desires.

On the standard accounts of "subjective" or "objective" used to define "moral subjectivism" and "moral objectivism", it wouldn't make sense to talk about about something being objective from one of view and subjective from another point of view. Instead, they would be objective [I]simpliciter or subjective simpliciter. To put it another way: if it's mind-dependent, then it's mind-dependent from any view-point. For example, the statement "Jichard dislikes cake" would be subjectively true simpliciter, since it's true or false in virtue on my attitude. That would be the case from my perspective, God's perspective, or anyone else's perspective. Similarly, "God commands X" would be subjectively true simpliciter because it's true or false depending in virtue of God's expressed attitude. And that would be the case from my perspective, God's perspective, or anyone else's perspective.



This was brought in your new thread. Christians believe that God created the physical universe and it's laws. These things flow from the mind of God as it were. Does that mean that something like gravity is subjective because it was invented in the mind of God? We live in an intelligible universe, because we believe in a rational God, does that mean that the laws of logic are subjective because that is the way God thinks?

Jichard
07-17-2015, 02:12 PM
But I agreed with you - you can invent a moral theory then claim that it answers meta-ethical questions. So we are on the same page.

So if you agree that moral realism answers meta-ethical questions, then you can drop your false claims about moral realism being useless. It's useful in the same way many other positions are useful in other topics (such as Cell Theory in biology): it answers questions in that topic.


This was brought in your new thread. Christians believe that God created the physical universe and it's laws. These things flow from the mind of God as it were. Does that mean that something like gravity is subjective because it was invented in the mind of God?

No, since physical laws are not true in virtue of God's mind (that is: they don't refer to God's mind), but instead are true in virtue of the natural world and it's features. They can therefore be true even if God does not exist. That's the case regardless of whether God causes the universe's existence or not.

You seem to think otherwise because you're conflating causation with reference / truth-making. I address this on that thread. To repeat (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?7694-Why-does-God-saying-something-make-it-objective&p=219500#post219500):



"I'm willing to grant that, in principle, a deity could cause a state of affairs, such that objective scientific laws were true. But that's not the same as objective scientific laws being true in virtue of God, and so it doesn't undermine the OP's. An example might illustrate the point.

Suppose a bat strikes a ball, causing the ball to move at speed of 50mph. So the statement "the ball is moving at 50mph" is true. But even though the bat caused the ball's movement, and thus helped cause the state of affairs that makes that statement true, the statement is not true in virtue of of the bat. Instead, it's true in virtue of the ball and the ball's properties; in particular: the ball's motion. To see this, note that the statement "the ball is moving at 50mph" could be true even if the ball never existed (for example: if the ball's motion was caused by hand, as opposed to a bat). To put it another way: the ball's properties, not the bat, are what make the statement true and thus serve as the truth-makers for the statement. The state refers to (or is about) the ball and its properties, not the bat.

Now, you can extend the same point to objective scientific laws and God: even if God caused the natural state of affairs in virtue of which objective scientific laws are true, that would not mean those laws are tue in virtue of God. Instead, they are true in virtue of the natural state of affairs. And to see that, note that the laws would still be true if God never existed, as long as the natural state of affairs were so (unless one is some sort of Berkeleyan idealist, who thinks that natural world is just an aspect of God's mind). The laws refer to (or are about) the natural state of affairs and its properties, not God. The natural world serves as the truth-maker, not God.

And (this is the point relevant for the OP's discussion of moral subjectivism), the same point can be extended to moral statements, including moral statements in the form of moral laws. To make moral laws about the attitudes God's expresses in commands, is to make that the truth-maker for moral laws and to make moral laws true in virtue of said commands. And that's a form of moral subjectivism as noted in the OP:


"Ethical subjectivism is the meta-ethical view which claims that:


Ethical sentences express propositions.
Some such propositions are true.
Those propositions are about [emphasis added] the attitudes of people.[1]

[...]

However there are also universalist forms of subjectivism such as ideal observer theory (which claims that moral propositions are about what attitudes a hypothetical ideal observer would hold) and divine command theory (which claims that moral propositions are about [emphasis added] what attitudes God holds). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethical_subjectivism)"

However, given the distinction between in virtue of / about / refers to vs. caused that I mentioned above, one could avoid the above subjectivism by claiming that God causes whatever it is that serves as the truth-maker for moral laws, without those moral laws being true in virtue of God's attitudes, commands, etc. For example: a version of Christian version welfare utilitarianism, where God causes a state of affairs where various factors promote or harm the welfare of sentient life, and these state of affairs serve as the truth-makers for moral laws. Of course, the price one pays for that is (as Christians like Wes Morriston have noted, and, arguably, Richard Swinburne) that moral statements can be or false regardless of whether or not God exists. So God would not be required for moral laws to be true. But that's a small price to pay for a position that actually makes more sense that a Christian version of moral subjectivism."


We live in an intelligible universe, because we believe in a rational God, does that mean that the laws of logic are subjective because that is the way God thinks?

No, for much the same reason noted above: logical laws are not true in virtue of God's mind (that is: they don't refer to God's mind), but instead are true in virtue of the natural world (or really: the space of possible worlds; which is to say: under both counter-factual scenarios and the actual world). They can therefore be true even if God does not exist. That's the case regardless of whether God causes the universe's existence or not.

Though really, much of this depends on what you mean the "the laws of logic".:


If you mean what people like Matt Slick mean (ex: A = A), then those just state higher-level features/relationship had in common by any particular, group of particulars, etc. So, for instance, they have the feature of being identical to themselves.

If you instead meant someone like "modus ponens", then those state conceptual truths regarding logic formalisms. For example, it's a conceptual truth that under the semantics used for propositional logic (if I remember correctly, the meaning of the logical operators are stated in truth tables, such that two statements with the same truth table have the same meaning in propositional logic), modus ponens is a valid form of inference.

In either case, God is not required for laws of logic to hold. In the former case, all that's required is for certain relationships to hold in the actual world and counterfactual scenarios. In the latter case, all one requires is for certain truths to hold for concepts (whether those concepts actually exist, or whether one is talking about their existence in a counterfactual scenario).

seer
07-17-2015, 02:36 PM
No, since physical laws are not true in virtue of God's mind (that is: they don't refer to God's mind), but instead are true in virtue of the natural world and it's features. They can therefore be true even if God does not exist. That's the case regardless of whether God causes the universe's existence or not.

No, for much the same reason noted above: logical laws are not true in virtue of God's mind (that is: they don't refer to God's mind), but instead are true in virtue of the natural world (or really: the space of possible worlds; which is to say: under both counter-factual scenarios and the actual world). They can therefore be true even if God does not exist. That's the case regardless of whether God causes the universe's existence or not.

But, I don't agree with this at all. Does creation have necessary existence? Does the law of gravity have a necessary existence? No they are completely contingent on God. No God, no creation, no creation no laws of nature. So no, they can not be true whether God causes them or not. So again, would that make them subjective?

Jichard
07-17-2015, 04:02 PM
But, I don't agree with this at all. Does creation have necessary existence? Does the law of gravity have a necessary existence? No they are completely contingent on God. No God, no creation, no creation no laws of nature.

You're confusing varieties of necessity here. God's existence is not logically/conceptually necessary for the universe to exist, nor is God's existence metaphysically necessary for the universe to exist.

It's not conceptually necessary, because the concepts of "universe" and "God" are distinct, such that "the universe exists" does not entail "God exists". This contrast with cases of conceptual entailment, such as "X is bachelor" entailing "X is unmarried". And it's not metaphysically necessary, since God and the universe are distinct, non-identical things, as opposed to one being apart of the other. To say otherwise is to adopt something like Berkeleyan idealism (where the universe is an aspect of God's mind), pantheism (where God is identical to the universe), etc. Presumably, you don't adopt such positions.

I just discussed logical/conceptual necessity above, yet you seem to be operating from some causal notion of necessity. That causal notion of necessity is irrelevant to my point; instead, metaphysical necessity suffices for my point. To see why, note that if God and the universe are distinct, non-identical things (that is: God's existence is not metaphysically necessary for the universe's existence), then a statement can refer to the universe and the universe's properties/processes/etc., without referring to God or God's properties. So the universe would serve as the truth-maker for the statement, without any recourse to God serving as the truth-maker.

Your reference to causation was irrelevant, since just because C causes E, that does not mean that statements are E are true in virtue (that is: "refer to") of C. That's what the bat/ball example was meant to illustrate to you: even if the bat causes the ball's motion, statements about the ball are true in virtue of the ball, not the bat, and the bat's existence is not required for statements about the ball to be true. Similarly, even if God causes the universe's existence, statements about the universe are true in virtue of the universe, not God, and the God's existence is not required for statements about the universe to be true.


So no, they can not be true whether God causes them or not.

No, they could be true if God does not exist, since they refer to nature and it's features, not God.

Simple question: does a statement of a natural law (like a gravitational law) refer to some aspect of the universe (ex: regularities in the universe) or does it refer to some aspect of God?

[Hint: "Objects fall at such-and-such a rate on Earth", does not refer to some aspect of God]


So again, would that make them subjective?

Already answered.

seer
07-17-2015, 04:32 PM
You're confusing varieties of necessity here. God's existence is not logically/conceptually necessary for the universe to exist, nor is God's existence metaphysically necessary for the universe to exist.

Of course it is, That is the Christian belief. You can't argue against our position by denying our position. You have to take our worldview as it is, or you are not arguing against it.



No, they could be true if God does not exist, since they refer to nature and it's features, not God.

No they could not be true. So what if God created moral law as a feature of the universe - would it then be objective?


Simple question: does a statement of a natural law (like a gravitational law) refer to some aspect of the universe (ex: regularities in the universe) or does it refer to some aspect of God?

If gravity is God's idea then it does in fact refer to an aspect of God.

Jichard
07-17-2015, 04:56 PM
Of course it is, That is the Christian belief. You can't argue against our position by denying our position. You have to take our worldview as it is, or you are not arguing against it.

No, that is not the standard Christian belief, and I explained why it isn't. You completely ignored that explanation. Here it is again:


"You're confusing varieties of necessity here. God's existence is not logically/conceptually necessary for the universe to exist, nor is God's existence metaphysically necessary for the universe to exist.

It's not conceptually necessary, because the concepts of "universe" and "God" are distinct, such that "the universe exists" does not entail "God exists". This contrast with cases of conceptual entailment, such as "X is bachelor" entailing "X is unmarried". And it's not metaphysically necessary, since God and the universe are distinct, non-identical things, as opposed to one being apart of the other. To say otherwise is to adopt something like Berkeleyan idealism (where the universe is an aspect of God's mind), pantheism (where God is identical to the universe), etc. Presumably, you don't adopt such positions. (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=219538#post219538)"


So, seer, you're committed to thinking that God's existence is neither logically/conceptually nor metaphysically necessary for the universe's existence, unless you think God is identical the universe, the universe is apart of God, or God is apart of the universe,


No they could not be true.

Yes, they could be true for the reasons I explained, and which you did not bother to address.


So what if God created moral law as a feature of the universe - would it then be objective?

It's not whether the moral law is objective, but instead in virtue of what moral laws (as moral statements) are true or false. If God creates some aspect of the universe in virtue of which moral laws were true or false, then it would be possible for those laws to be objectively true or false, depending on what aspect of the universe it was that was making the moral laws true or false.

Of course, going that route would mean forfeiting the claim that God's existence is required for moral laws to be true or false, as I explained (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?7694-Why-does-God-saying-something-make-it-objective&p=219500#post219500):


"For example: a version of Christian version welfare utilitarianism, where God causes a state of affairs where various factors promote or harm the welfare of sentient life, and these state of affairs serve as the truth-makers for moral laws. Of course, the price one pays for that is (as Christians like Wes Morriston have noted, and, arguably, Richard Swinburne) that moral statements can be or false regardless of whether or not God exists. So God would not be required for moral laws to be true. But that's a small price to pay for a position that actually makes more sense that a Christian version of moral subjectivism."


If gravity is God's idea then it does in fact refer to an aspect of God.

You didn't answer the question:


Does a statement of a natural law (like a gravitational law) refer to some aspect of the universe (ex: regularities in the universe) or does it refer to some aspect of God?


And please stop using the phrase "is God's idea" to equivocate. You're not fooling me. You're using that phrase to equivocate between two different meanings:


Meaning A: "is God's idea" to mean something like "thought about it and then caused it to exist". In this sense, for example, if a table was my idea, then that means I came up with the notion of making a table and then went about making one.

Meaning B: "is God's idea" to mean something like "literally an idea of God; that is: one of God's mental states". In this sense, for example, if a table was my idea, then that table is literally a thought I'm having.

To confuse meaning A with meaning B, would be like confusing my idea of a unicorn with an existent unicorn, or confusing my dream of a rose with an existent rose. It'd be ridiculous.

Now, take your above statement that:

"If gravity is God's idea then it does in fact refer to an aspect of God."
Your claim that gravity would "refer to an aspect of God", only makes sense if you think gravity is literally an idea God has. That is: if by "is God's idea" you meant meaning B. But that's not standard Christian theology; that's Berkeleyan idealism. On standard, non-heretical Christian theology, gravity (and other such natural things) are not literally ideas of God. Instead, they are things distinct from God's mind, which God makes. So if you aren't a heretic, seer, then by "is God's idea", you need to have meant meaning A, not meaning B. But if you do that, then your statement that gravity would "refer to an aspect of God" is false. Instead gravity would be an aspect of the universe, not an aspect of God.

seer
07-17-2015, 05:29 PM
"If gravity is God's idea then it does in fact refer to an aspect of God."
Your claim that gravity would "refer to an aspect of God", only makes sense if you think gravity is literally an idea God has. That is: if by "is God's idea" you meant meaning B. But that's not standard Christian theology; that's Berkeleyan idealism. On standard, non-heretical Christian theology, gravity (and other such natural things) are not literally ideas of God. Instead, they are things distinct from God's mind, which God makes. So if you aren't a heretic, seer, then by "is God's idea", you need to have meant meaning A, not meaning B. But if you do that, then your statement that gravity would "refer to an aspect of God" is false. Instead gravity would be an aspect of the universe, not an aspect of God.

You do know that Christians believe that God not only created the universe but that He sustains it by the power of His word. So things like the natural world, or the law of gravity are neither self-creating or self-sustaining. Moment by moment God's thoughts and word are involved and active in creation. Creation is not divorced from His universal presence and power. And you may be right - but who deemed Berkeley's idealism as heresy?


Yes, they could be true for the reasons I explained, and which you did not bother to address.

This is simple, I don't believe you. I told you what Christians believe, I need not entertain impossibilities.

Jichard
07-17-2015, 08:39 PM
You do know that Christians believe that God not only created the universe but that He sustains it by the power of His word. So things like the natural world, or the law of gravity are neither self-creating or self-sustaining. Moment by moment God's thoughts and word are involved and active in creation. Creation is not divorced from His universal presence and power.

Which addresses none of what I wrote. Once again:


Does a statement of a natural law (like a gravitational law) refer to some aspect of the universe (ex: regularities in the universe) or does it refer to some aspect of God?


And you may be right - but who deemed Berkeley's idealism as heresy?

It contradicts standard Christian theology. Congratulations on thinking the universe is an aspect of God.


This is simple, I don't believe you. I told you what Christians believe, I need not entertain impossibilities.

You didn't tell me what Christians believe. Instead, you told me a heresy that you apparently believe.

Nor did you show that anything I said was impossible. Instead you just did something you often do: make up absurdities, and then dodge the explanations that reveal the absurdities behind what you say. Sad. This is one reason why rational discourse with you is impossible.

seer
07-18-2015, 06:01 AM
Which addresses none of what I wrote. Once again:


Does a statement of a natural law (like a gravitational law) refer to some aspect of the universe (ex: regularities in the universe) or does it refer to some aspect of God?

Both in a sense, since the law of gravity is the creation of God and presently dependent on God. His power and word are the very things that holds it all together.



It contradicts standard Christian theology. Congratulations on thinking the universe is an aspect of God.


I was wondering if his ideas were ever formally considered heresy.


You didn't tell me what Christians believe. Instead, you told me a heresy that you apparently believe.

Nor did you show that anything I said was impossible. Instead you just did something you often do: make up absurdities, and then dodge the explanations that reveal the absurdities behind what you say. Sad. This is one reason why rational discourse with you is impossible.

No I told you what Christians believe - that the universe was created by God and is presently being sustained by God.

So when are you going to get around to actually giving direct answers to my opening questions? This has been a long and painful detour...


The questions are, where do these moral facts exist? And how are we obligated to them if they do exist?

Jichard
07-18-2015, 05:27 PM
Both in a sense, since the law of gravity is the creation of God and presently dependent on God. His power and word are the very things that holds it all together.

You're making the same mistake I already addressed: you confusedly think that just because X causes Y, that means statements about Y actually refer to X. So you confusedly think that statement of gravitational law, must refer to the God just because God made the universe. This is ridiculous, as I explained (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=219503#post219503), but which you didn't bother addressing:



"I'm willing to grant that, in principle, a deity could cause a state of affairs, such that objective scientific laws were true. But that's not the same as objective scientific laws being true in virtue of God, and so it doesn't undermine the OP's. An example might illustrate the point.

Suppose a bat strikes a ball, causing the ball to move at speed of 50mph. So the statement "the ball is moving at 50mph" is true. But even though the bat caused the ball's movement, and thus helped cause the state of affairs that makes that statement true, the statement is not true in virtue of of the bat. Instead, it's true in virtue of the ball and the ball's properties; in particular: the ball's motion. To see this, note that the statement "the ball is moving at 50mph" could be true even if the ball never existed (for example: if the ball's motion was caused by hand, as opposed to a bat). To put it another way: the ball's properties, not the bat, are what make the statement true and thus serve as the truth-makers for the statement. The state refers to (or is about) the ball and its properties, not the bat.

Now, you can extend the same point to objective scientific laws and God: even if God caused the natural state of affairs in virtue of which objective scientific laws are true, that would not mean those laws are tue in virtue of God. Instead, they are true in virtue of the natural state of affairs. And to see that, note that the laws would still be true if God never existed, as long as the natural state of affairs were so (unless one is some sort of Berkeleyan idealist, who thinks that natural world is just an aspect of God's mind). The laws refer to (or are about) the natural state of affairs and its properties, not God. The natural world serves as the truth-maker, not God."


seer, why do you repeat the same mistakes over and over and... without bothering to address when people point out those mistakes? Is that an honest thing to do?


I was wondering if his ideas were ever formally considered heresy.

Look it up. You've shown yourself to be rather good at looking up sources, failing to understand them, and then misrepresenting them (especially via quote-mining them).


No I told you what Christians believe - that the universe was created by God and is presently being sustained by God.

No, you told me your heretical view that statements that refer to the universe's features/processes, refer to God.

And I already explained to you why your above point was irrelevant (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=219538#post219538):


"You're confusing varieties of necessity here. God's existence is not logically/conceptually necessary for the universe to exist, nor is God's existence metaphysically necessary for the universe to exist.

It's not conceptually necessary, because the concepts of "universe" and "God" are distinct, such that "the universe exists" does not entail "God exists". This contrast with cases of conceptual entailment, such as "X is bachelor" entailing "X is unmarried". And it's not metaphysically necessary, since God and the universe are distinct, non-identical things, as opposed to one being apart of the other. To say otherwise is to adopt something like Berkeleyan idealism (where the universe is an aspect of God's mind), pantheism (where God is identical to the universe), etc. Presumably, you don't adopt such positions.

I just discussed logical/conceptual necessity above, yet you seem to be operating from some causal notion of necessity. That causal notion of necessity is irrelevant to my point; instead, metaphysical necessity suffices for my point. To see why, note that if God and the universe are distinct, non-identical things (that is: God's existence is not metaphysically necessary for the universe's existence), then a statement can refer to the universe and the universe's properties/processes/etc., without referring to God or God's properties. So the universe would serve as the truth-maker for the statement, without any recourse to God serving as the truth-maker.

Your reference to causation was irrelevant, since just because C causes E, that does not mean that statements are E are true in virtue (that is: "refer to") of C. That's what the bat/ball example was meant to illustrate to you: even if the bat causes the ball's motion, statements about the ball are true in virtue of the ball, not the bat, and the bat's existence is not required for statements about the ball to be true. Similarly, even if God causes the universe's existence, statements about the universe are true in virtue of the universe, not God, and the God's existence is not required for statements about the universe to be true."


But in your typical fashion, you ignore the explanation and just repeat the same irrelevant claim you made. Is that honest behavior on your part, seer?


So when are you going to get around to actually giving direct answers to my opening questions? This has been a long and painful detour...

When are you going to retract the false claims you began your OP with?



Recently a new member here at TWEB attack biblical ethics as being subjective, subjective to God. Which makes sense, but God's law would still be objective to mankind.


The questions are, where do these moral facts exist? And how are we obligated to them if they do exist?

The false claims are:



Recently a new member here at TWEB attack biblical ethics as being subjective, subjective to God. Which makes sense, but God's law would still be objective to mankind.

seer
07-18-2015, 06:40 PM
When are you going to retract the false claims you began your OP with?

How many times did I said it doesn't matter? It matters not if God's law is subjective or objective, that was not the main point of my OP. Which you have time and time refused to deal with: The questions are, where do these moral facts exist? And how are we obligated to them if they do exist?

Jichard
07-18-2015, 08:54 PM
How many times did I said it doesn't matter? It matters not if God's law is subjective or objective, that was not the main point of my OP.

Sorry, but you odn't get to start off an OP with made-up false claims, and then say it doesn't matter when you've been shown those claims are false. Not my fault you're unable to defend your false claims.

So feel free to either defend these false claims, or retract them:


Which you have time and time refused to deal with: The questions are, where do these moral facts exist? And how are we obligated to them if they do exist?

Please don't claim I haven't addressed things I've clearly addressed. That would be lying, and it's getting tiresome.
http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=196906#post196906

seer
07-19-2015, 03:10 AM
[QUOTE]Please don't claim I haven't addressed things I've clearly addressed. That would be lying, and it's getting tiresome.
http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=196906#post196906
They exist in the natural world, like every other natural thing.

We've been over this, seer. Properties are instantiated by particulars. Moral properties are instantiated by things such as actions, persons, and so on.

No they are not like any other natural things in the universe. Are the physical?


The general analysis: we have moral obligations because there are moral reasons for actions, developing certain character traits, and so on. That's the standard analysis: obligations arise from reasons. And moral reasons are constituted by the properties/features discussed in welfare utilitarianism (ex: effects of well-being) and virtue ethics (ex: character traits like compassion).

And like I said, you never connected the two. It does not follow that because we have moral reasons for acting that we therefore have moral obligations. This is not a self-evident truth nor is it more than an assertion.

seer
07-19-2015, 04:42 AM
Sorry, but you odn't get to start off an OP with made-up false claims, and then say it doesn't matter when you've been shown those claims are false. Not my fault you're unable to defend your false claims.

Doe God and His immutable attributes, including His immutable moral character, exist independently of and objectively to humankind and the universe?

JimL
07-19-2015, 01:46 PM
Doe God and His immutable attributes, including His immutable moral character, exist independently of and objectively to humankind and the universe?
Wouldn't matter if god and his immutable attributes exist or not, the nature of existence is what it is whether created or not and finding the truths within it has nothing to do with whether or not it was created. You attribute it all to God only because you believe in god and creation, but what you attribute it to is beside the point.

seer
07-19-2015, 02:03 PM
Wouldn't matter if god and his immutable attributes exist or not, the nature of existence is what it is whether created or not and finding the truths within it has nothing to do with whether or not it was created. You attribute it all to God only because you believe in god and creation, but what you attribute it to is beside the point.

Yes, I attribute it all to God, you attribute it to accidents of nature. And nature cares nothing of moral truths, as a matter of fact nature does not care if we as a species survive.

JimL
07-19-2015, 02:07 PM
Yes, I attribute it all to God, you attribute it to accidents of nature. And nature cares nothing of moral truths, as a matter of fact nature does not care if we as a species survive.
You are a part of nature, do you care? Besides that doesn't answer to what I wrote. The nature of existence is what it is whether created or not, so the truths that you find in it, moral or otherwise, are there whether it was created or not.

seer
07-19-2015, 02:15 PM
You are a part of nature, do you care? Besides that doesn't answer to what I wrote. The nature of existence is what it is whether created or not, so the truths that you find in it, moral or otherwise, are there whether it was created or not.

Yes, but we are biological accidents of nature. And the thing that created us - natural forces - care nothing for our survival. So where do these objective moral truths come from? Not from the nature that cares nothing for us.

JimL
07-19-2015, 02:29 PM
Yes, but we are biological accidents of nature. And the thing that created us - natural forces - care nothing for our survival. So where do these objective moral truths come from? Not from the nature that cares nothing for us.

The objective moral truths have to do with the existence of life itself within nature, not with existence itself which is eternal.

Jichard
07-19-2015, 03:42 PM
No they are not like any other natural things in the universe.

No, they are.


Are the physical?

No, they aren't, but nor a biological properties physical, nor are astronomical properties physical, nor are... You've have this explained to you before by a number of people (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6236-A-question-for-Materialists-Atheist-Humanists-and-their-allies&p=197118#post197118). Once again: there are natural properties that are non-physical, since they don't occur at the level discussed in the science of physics. You can go back to pretending that this point has not been told to you.


And like I said, you never connected the two. It does not follow that because we have moral reasons for acting that we therefore have moral obligations. This is not a self-evident truth nor is it more than an assertion.

You've had this explained to you:


"Some have observed in defense of Moral Rationalism, for example, that if an agent does something we consider morally wrong, then we blame (or resent) him. But blame, these philosophers claim, involves the judgment that the agent had reasons not to do what he did. Consequently blame is unwarranted when such judgments are unwarranted (Nagel 1970, Smith 1994). Therefore, since moral wrongdoing is sufficient to warrant blame, moral obligations must entail reasons (section 2.3). (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=196906#post196906)"

Please don't lie, even if you find it theologically convenient.

Jichard
07-19-2015, 03:48 PM
Doe God and His immutable attributes, including His immutable moral character, exist independently of and objectively to humankind and the universe?

Same mistaken "objectively to humankind" phrase. I've already explained why that's a mistake on your part. Please have the intellectual honesty to address that, for once, as opposed to repating the same mistake as if you'd think I'd be too stupid to notice. Once again (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=196906#post196906):


"On the standard accounts of "subjective" or "objective" used to define "moral subjectivism" and "moral objectivism", it wouldn't make sense to talk about about something being objective from one of view and subjective from another point of view. Instead, they would be objective simpliciter or subjective simpliciter. To put it another way: if it's mind-dependent, then it's mind-dependent from any view-point. For example, the statement "Jichard dislikes cake" would be subjectively true simpliciter, since it's true or false in virtue on my attitude. That would be the case from my perspective, God's perspective, or anyone else's perspective. Similarly, "God commands X" would be subjectively true simpliciter because it's true or false depending in virtue of God's expressed attitude. And that would be the case from my perspective, God's perspective, or anyone else's perspective.

That's why divine command theory is recognized as a forum of moral subjectivism, no matter how much you pretend otherwise."


Anyway, statements of the following form are never objectively true nor objectively false (they are, at best, subjectively true or subjective false):

God approves of X
God disapproves of X
God commands that X
God beliefs that X
God knows that Y
And that's because those claims are in view of a mind's views; in this case: God.

You'd know this if you ever bothered to pay attention when people explain stuff to you, as opposed to discarding it because you find it inconvenient for your theology. But that would require actual intellectual honesty on your part. Maybe one day you'll finally read this, as opposed to pretending it does not exist:



"Ethical subjectivism is the meta-ethical view which claims that:


Ethical sentences express propositions.
Some such propositions are true.
Those propositions are about the attitudes of people.[1]

[...]

However there are also universalist forms of subjectivism such as ideal observer theory (which claims that moral propositions are about what attitudes a hypothetical ideal observer would hold) and divine command theory (which claims that moral propositions are about what attitudes God holds). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethical_subjectivism)"

Jichard
07-19-2015, 03:52 PM
You are a part of nature, do you care? Besides that doesn't answer to what I wrote. The nature of existence is what it is whether created or not, so the truths that you find in it, moral or otherwise, are there whether it was created or not.

I'm beginning to think that he denies the existence of nature...



It is God that makes them true, because it is God that created them and sustains them. There is no bat or ball to strike apart from God, and there is no movement presently without God's active power. So nothing, zero, happens independently from God. In other words - there is no natural state of affairs.

seer
07-19-2015, 05:58 PM
No, they aren't, but nor a biological properties physical, nor are astronomical properties physical, nor are... You've have this explained to you before by a number of people (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6236-A-question-for-Materialists-Atheist-Humanists-and-their-allies&p=197118#post197118). Once again: there are natural properties that are non-physical, since they don't occur at the level discussed in the science of physics. You can go back to pretending that this point has not been told to you.

What is a biological property that is not physical? As far as our last discussion you are talking of no more than ideas, even though you would deny it.




You've had this explained to you:


"Some have observed in defense of Moral Rationalism, for example, that if an agent does something we consider morally wrong, then we blame (or resent) him. But blame, these philosophers claim, involves the judgment that the agent had reasons not to do what he did. Consequently blame is unwarranted when such judgments are unwarranted (Nagel 1970, Smith 1994). Therefore, since moral wrongdoing is sufficient to warrant blame, moral obligations must entail reasons (section 2.3). (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=196906#post196906)"

Please don't lie, even if you find it theologically convenient.

But this is no more than opinion. None of this leads men to actually having obligations. It again, is navel gazing that does nothing to produce or cause obligation.

seer
07-19-2015, 06:01 PM
Same mistaken "objectively to humankind" phrase. I've already explained why that's a mistake on your part. Please have the intellectual honesty to address that, for once, as opposed to repating the same mistake as if you'd think I'd be too stupid to notice. Once again (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=196906#post196906):

It was a yes or no question: Does God and His immutable attributes, including His immutable moral character, exist independently of and objectively to humankind and the universe?

JimL
07-19-2015, 06:26 PM
But this is no more than opinion. None of this leads men to actually having obligations. It again, is navel gazing that does nothing to produce or cause obligation.
But we on this side of the debate are not talking about obligations based on authority, you are, we are talking about obligations based on reason. We don't live according to certain moral principles simply because we are told they are correct. Again, if god didn't exist, would you then find that murder was a okay. I doubt it. You are always talking about the discust you have for Mao, Stalin, Hitler and the like because of their murderous ways. Is your discust with them and their actions simply because you believe it to be disobedience to god, or do you think their actions to be evil in its own right?

seer
07-19-2015, 06:36 PM
The objective moral truths have to do with the existence of life itself within nature, not with existence itself which is eternal.

Let me ask you Jim, if an advanced alien race came to earth and started to harvest us for food - since we are considered dumb animals to them, like we look at cows - what moral code have they violated? Where does this code exist? And how would they be accountable if it did exist?

seer
07-19-2015, 06:43 PM
But we on this side of the debate are not talking about obligations based on authority, you are, we are talking about obligations based on reason. We don't live according to certain moral principles simply because we are told they are correct. Again, if god didn't exist, would you then find that murder was a okay. I doubt it. You are always talking about the discust you have for Mao, Stalin, Hitler and the like because of their murderous ways. Is your discust with them and their actions simply because you believe it to be disobedience to god, or do you think their actions to be evil in its own right?

But you have a system Jim where men are not accountable. There often is no downside for not fulfilling ones obligation to his fellow man - just the opposite, men often prosper when they ill use their fellow man. When a Stalin or Mao or a Robber Baron die at a good old age they win - there is no justice. For all your talk about "objective morals" you live in an unjust universe. And what is a moral system without justice?

seer
07-20-2015, 05:24 AM
No, they aren't, but nor a biological properties physical, nor are astronomical properties physical, nor are... You've have this explained to you before by a number of people (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6236-A-question-for-Materialists-Atheist-Humanists-and-their-allies&p=197118#post197118). Once again: there are natural properties that are non-physical, since they don't occur at the level discussed in the science of physics. You can go back to pretending that this point has not been told to you.

Actually Jichard, the more I think about this the more confused I become. I am not sure what you mean by all this. Are you saying that morality is more than the result of biological adaptation, that there are universal and absolute moral facts or truths?

Jichard
07-20-2015, 01:24 PM
Actually Jichard, the more I think about this the more confused I become.

I'm 50/50 on whether you're feigning this.


I am not sure what you mean by all this.

I told you exactly what was meant by it. And it was fairly clear, since not only do mainstream philosophers and mainstream scientists get it, but other people on this forum got it just find. To repeat:



No, they aren't, but nor a biological properties physical, nor are astronomical properties physical, nor are... You've have this explained to you before by a number of people (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6236-A-question-for-Materialists-Atheist-Humanists-and-their-allies&p=197118#post197118). Once again: there are natural properties that are non-physical, since they don't occur at the level discussed in the science of physics. You can go back to pretending that this point has not been told to you.


And again (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6236-A-question-for-Materialists-Atheist-Humanists-and-their-allies&p=181865#post181865):



The main problem here has to with levels of scientific explanation. There are various levels of scientific explanation. To help illustrate the point, imagine using a microscope or telescope. Depending on your level of magnification, you'll observe different processes, phenomena, and so on. We deal with the different levels by using have different sciences for different levels. For example, sub-atomic physics deals with lower-level phenomena than does astronomy.

Now, if you want to address a given phenomena, you need to select the science that addresses the level at which that phenomena emerges (or a science which addresses a level close to that phenomena's level). For example, it would be foolish to try and use sub-atomic physics to explain the motion of planets. Sub-atomic physics operates at way too low a level, the scientific tools of sub-atomic physics won't be of much help to you in dealing with large-scale planetary motion, etc. You instead need the tools of astronomy, especially in terms of discussing gravitational effects of large bodies. Now, does that show that there's some dualism between atoms and planets, that planets are made out of non-material substance, etc. No. It simply shows that it's often hard to explain a phenomenon that occurs at one level (ex: a planet's orbit around a star) with a phenomenon that occurs at a very different level (ex: a planet's sub-atomic constituents), even if you already know that (in some sense) the features/processes occurring at one level are constituted by (or emerge from) the features/processes occurring at another level.


So there's no need to continue feigning.


Are you saying that morality is more than the result of biological adaptation, that there are universal and absolute moral facts or truths?

No, I'm saying exactly what I said to you: moral properties are not physical properties, since they don't occur at the level discussed by the science of physics. That's not a problem for naturalism, since natural properties don't need to be physical properties. For example, biological properties are not physical properties, nor are psychological properties.

This has been explained to you again and again and again and...

Jichard
07-20-2015, 01:29 PM
It was a yes or no question: Does God and His immutable attributes, including His immutable moral character, exist independently of and objectively to humankind and the universe?

It was a question based on a false presupposition, which I then addressed.

What you're doing is akin to asking:

Have you stopped beating your wife yet?
and then complaining when someone answers by pointing out the false presupposition underlying your question (namely: that I've stopped beating my wife.

In your case, your false presupposition is contained in your phrases "objectively to humankind and the universe", where you falsely presuppose that the "objective" in this context, is agent relevant or dependent on point of view. It isn't, as was explained to you (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=219994#post219994), so your question was based on a false presupposition:



Same mistaken "objectively to humankind" phrase. I've already explained why that's a mistake on your part. Please have the intellectual honesty to address that, for once, as opposed to repating the same mistake as if you'd think I'd be too stupid to notice. Once again (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=196906#post196906):


"On the standard accounts of "subjective" or "objective" used to define "moral subjectivism" and "moral objectivism", it wouldn't make sense to talk about about something being objective from one of view and subjective from another point of view. Instead, they would be objective simpliciter or subjective simpliciter. To put it another way: if it's mind-dependent, then it's mind-dependent from any view-point. For example, the statement "Jichard dislikes cake" would be subjectively true simpliciter, since it's true or false in virtue on my attitude. That would be the case from my perspective, God's perspective, or anyone else's perspective. Similarly, "God commands X" would be subjectively true simpliciter because it's true or false depending in virtue of God's expressed attitude. And that would be the case from my perspective, God's perspective, or anyone else's perspective.

That's why divine command theory is recognized as a forum of moral subjectivism, no matter how much you pretend otherwise."


So how about you actually address that point, seer, instead of trying to hide your false claims behind loaded questions?

seer
07-20-2015, 01:29 PM
I'm 50/50 on whether you're feigning this.



I told you exactly what was meant by it. And it was fairly clear, since not only do mainstream philosophers and mainstream scientists get it, but other people on this forum got it just find. To repeat:



No, they aren't, but nor a biological properties physical, nor are astronomical properties physical, nor are... You've have this explained to you before by a number of people (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6236-A-question-for-Materialists-Atheist-Humanists-and-their-allies&p=197118#post197118). Once again: there are natural properties that are non-physical, since they don't occur at the level discussed in the science of physics. You can go back to pretending that this point has not been told to you.


And again (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6236-A-question-for-Materialists-Atheist-Humanists-and-their-allies&p=181865#post181865):



The main problem here has to with levels of scientific explanation. There are various levels of scientific explanation. To help illustrate the point, imagine using a microscope or telescope. Depending on your level of magnification, you'll observe different processes, phenomena, and so on. We deal with the different levels by using have different sciences for different levels. For example, sub-atomic physics deals with lower-level phenomena than does astronomy.

Now, if you want to address a given phenomena, you need to select the science that addresses the level at which that phenomena emerges (or a science which addresses a level close to that phenomena's level). For example, it would be foolish to try and use sub-atomic physics to explain the motion of planets. Sub-atomic physics operates at way too low a level, the scientific tools of sub-atomic physics won't be of much help to you in dealing with large-scale planetary motion, etc. You instead need the tools of astronomy, especially in terms of discussing gravitational effects of large bodies. Now, does that show that there's some dualism between atoms and planets, that planets are made out of non-material substance, etc. No. It simply shows that it's often hard to explain a phenomenon that occurs at one level (ex: a planet's orbit around a star) with a phenomenon that occurs at a very different level (ex: a planet's sub-atomic constituents), even if you already know that (in some sense) the features/processes occurring at one level are constituted by (or emerge from) the features/processes occurring at another level.


So there's no need to continue feigning.



No, I'm saying exactly what I said to you: moral properties are not physical properties, since they don't occur at the level discussed by the science of physics. That's not a problem for naturalism, since natural properties don't need to be physical properties. For example, biological properties are not physical properties, nor are psychological properties.

This has been explained to you again and again and again and...

OK, that is all fine, for now, I have to think about it. But, so you are not saying that morality is more than the result of biological adaptation, that there aren't are universal and absolute moral facts or values?

Jichard
07-20-2015, 01:41 PM
OK, that is all fine, for now, I have to think about it. But, so you are not saying that morality is more than the result of biological adaptation, that there aren't are universal and absolute moral facts or values?


Are you saying that morality is more than the result of biological adaptation, that there are universal and absolute moral facts or truths?

Your question makes no sense, since you're (once again (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=219538#post219538)) confusing causation with reference. Basically, you seem to think there is some conflict between:

morality (by which I assume you mean moral beliefs) being caused, in part, by biological adaptations
and:

there being moral facts

That makes no sense. It's akin to saying there is a conflict between:

science (by which I mean sscientific beliefs) being caused, in part, by biology adaptations
and:

there being scientific moral facts
That makes no sense, since scientific beliefs can be about scientific facts, regardless of how those scientific beliefs are caused. For example, suppose that evolution was apart of the cause for humans thinking that a certain plant was toxic. Does that mean there is no scientific fact about whether the plant is toxic? Nope. To say otherwise, is to commit the genetic fallacy by using the causal origin of a belief to argue that there is no fact of the matter for the belief.

Parallel points in the moral case: you're committing the genetic fallacy by trying to move directly from moral beliefs causally result from biological adaptation to there are no moral facts which moral beliefs are about. This is a big no-no in philosophy of biology.


So, feel free to phrase your question in a way that does not presuppose something fallacious.

Jichard
07-20-2015, 01:59 PM
Yes I see that you arbitrarily stop the justification process when it is convenient for you.

Not arbitrary, since I gave a reason for it.


I did not once say that might makes right. But the fact is, in your universe there is no ultimate justice. What use is a moral system without justice?

Might makes right is your position. You think that actions can be morally right if and only if a powerful deity says so and punished those who don't do the right thing.

Anyway, you're committing the fallacy of appeal to consequences: whether moral claims are true or false, does not depend on whether or not they bring about position consequences you like (such as th good being rewarded and the bad being punished).


Again this is a pure assertion on your part. We can demonstrate that cell theory is useful for understanding cell biology. You have not demonstrate, on any level, that moral realism is useful or even true.

Please stop calling something an "assertion" just because you don't have the wherewithal to address it. Moral realism answers meta-ethical questions just as Cell Theory answers biological questions. I even pointed you sources on the sorts of questions it answers. For example:



Start with Wikipedia and proceed from there: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_realism

Or you can read the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy page (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-realism/) on this, or the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy page (http://www.iep.utm.edu/moralrea/) on this.
That's not just an "assertion", since I backed up the claim. Tell me when you have an honest response to that, beyond your usual pretending that evidence has not been cited to you. Lying won't cut it.

seer
07-20-2015, 04:15 PM
Your question makes no sense, since you're (once again (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=219538#post219538)) confusing causation with reference. Basically, you seem to think there is some conflict between:

morality (by which I assume you mean moral beliefs) being caused, in part, by biological adaptations
and:

there being moral facts

That makes no sense. It's akin to saying there is a conflict between:

science (by which I mean sscientific beliefs) being caused, in part, by biology adaptations
and:

there being scientific moral facts
That makes no sense, since scientific beliefs can be about scientific facts, regardless of how those scientific beliefs are caused. For example, suppose that evolution was apart of the cause for humans thinking that a certain plant was toxic. Does that mean there is no scientific fact about whether the plant is toxic? Nope. To say otherwise, is to commit the genetic fallacy by using the causal origin of a belief to argue that there is no fact of the matter for the belief.

Parallel points in the moral case: you're committing the genetic fallacy by trying to move directly from moral beliefs causally result from biological adaptation to there are no moral facts which moral beliefs are about. This is a big no-no in philosophy of biology.


So, feel free to phrase your question in a way that does not presuppose something fallacious.

OK, I'm just trying to get a grip on what you are actually saying (and believe me, I don't yet). You do believe that there are universal, absolute moral values or facts? And that moral beliefs gained by biological adaptations somehow reflect these universal values?

Jichard
07-20-2015, 07:52 PM
OK, I'm just trying to get a grip on what you are actually saying (and believe me, I don't yet).

Now 75/25 on whether you're feigning.


You do believe that there are universal, absolute moral values or facts?

I'm not a moral absolutist. I'm a moral realist. And you've been told what that means several times


And that moral beliefs gained by biological adaptations somehow reflect these universal values?

Moral beliefs are true or false in virtue of the moral properties of the actions, person, groups of persons, etc. to which they refer to.

I'm not going to go with your term "universal values" because I suspect that you misunderstand what "values" means in this context (that is: you think it refers to what people care about [ex: I value my wife], as opposed to the things in virtue of which statements about what is morally good or morally bad are true or false, which is what it actually means in meta-ethics). If you use "values" in the way it's actually used in meta-ethics when discussing "moral values", then moral beliefs about what is morally good and morally bad, would refer to moral values.

seer
07-21-2015, 04:32 AM
I'm not a moral absolutist. I'm a moral realist. And you've been told what that means several times.

From what I have been reading some moral realists are absolutists - correct?




Moral beliefs are true or false in virtue of the moral properties of the actions, person, groups of persons, etc. to which they refer to.

I'm not going to go with your term "universal values" because I suspect that you misunderstand what "values" means in this context (that is: you think it refers to what people care about [ex: I value my wife], as opposed to the things in virtue of which statements about what is morally good or morally bad are true or false, which is what it actually means in meta-ethics). If you use "values" in the way it's actually used in meta-ethics when discussing "moral values", then moral beliefs about what is morally good and morally bad, would refer to moral values.

That is fine, so are there things that are universally bad or good?

seer
07-21-2015, 09:33 AM
Please stop calling something an "assertion" just because you don't have the wherewithal to address it. Moral realism answers meta-ethical questions just as Cell Theory answers biological questions. I even pointed you sources on the sorts of questions it answers. For example:

The question is why is moral realism true? I have been reading the last couple of days about moral error theory and moral nihilism, especially Alex Rosenberg's take on moral nihilism. He would not agree that moral realism is true. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/07/13/can-moral-disputes-be-resolved/#more-157596

Jichard
07-21-2015, 03:24 PM
The question is why is moral realism true?

Please don't tell falsehoods. You've repeatedly gone on about whether or not moral realism is useful, and I've repeatedly told you that that's a fallacious appeal to consequence, since moral realism doesn't need to be useful in order to be true. Furthermore, I explained to you how moral realism was useful, insofar as it answers meta-ethical questions.

But here you are, pretending that the issue was just whether moral realism was true. Well, that statement is shown to be a falsehood (or maybe even a lie) each and every time you talked about whether moral realism was useful. Here's one:



We can demonstrate that cell theory is useful for understanding cell biology. You have not demonstrate, on any level, that moral realism is useful or even true.


I have been reading the last couple of days about moral error theory and moral nihilism, especially Alex Rosenberg's take on moral nihilism. He would not agree that moral realism is true. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/07/13/can-moral-disputes-be-resolved/#more-157596

seer, a bit of advice: don't misrepresent sources on topics you're not familiar with, just because you find it convenient for your position. You did that, for example, in the discussion on physicalism, where you quoted a source that contradicted you, but intentionally quote-mined the source to leave out the portion that contradicted you (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6236-A-question-for-Materialists-Atheist-Humanists-and-their-allies&p=189528#post189528). That was deceptive.

I'm telling you this because I suspect you're about to pull you misrepresentation tactic on moral error theory / moral nihilism. And it won't work. It especially won't work for you on me, since I guarantee that I'm better read in moral error theory than you. In fact, I know more about the position than I do about moral realist positions. For example, I've read both of Richard Joyce's books (he's who I named myself after), every single paper he's every written on the topic, Mackie's book, Jonas Olson's book, Richard Garner's book, Charles Pigden paper on the subject, etc. There is no way in the world that you're going to get away with misrepresenting moral nihilism to me. Don't even waste your time. :wink:


So congratulations on finding someone who thinks moral nihilism. So what? You do realize Rosenberg accepts atheism, right, along with naturalism? Are you going to agree with him on that to, or does you intellectual consistency not go that far?

seer
07-22-2015, 05:03 AM
Please don't tell falsehoods. You've repeatedly gone on about whether or not moral realism is useful, and I've repeatedly told you that that's a fallacious appeal to consequence, since moral realism doesn't need to be useful in order to be true. Furthermore, I explained to you how moral realism was useful, insofar as it answers meta-ethical questions.

But here you are, pretending that the issue was just whether moral realism was true. Well, that statement is shown to be a falsehood (or maybe even a lie) each and every time you talked about whether moral realism was useful. Here's one:

Are you kidding Jichard? Look at my quote, that you posted:

We can demonstrate that cell theory is useful for understanding cell biology. You have not demonstrate, on any level, that moral realism is useful or even true.

I have been asking right along about both its usefulness and its truthfulness. So I guess you can not demonstrate that it is true. And the bottom line Jichard, moral realism makes no difference to humankind. It will not change a mind or convert a soul. So what good is answering meta-ethical questions when it has no practical use. Apart from academic navel gazing.



So congratulations on finding someone who thinks moral nihilism. So what? You do realize Rosenberg accepts atheism, right, along with naturalism? Are you going to agree with him on that to, or does you intellectual consistency not go that far?

So you agree that not all atheists who understand this issue agree with moral realism - correct?

Jichard
07-22-2015, 07:29 PM
Are you kidding Jichard? Look at my quote, that you posted:

We can demonstrate that cell theory is useful for understanding cell biology. You have not demonstrate, on any level, that moral realism is useful or even true.

I have been asking right along about both its usefulness and its truthfulness.

And yet you pretend that you only asked whether it was true. That's called lying:




Please stop calling something an "assertion" just because you don't have the wherewithal to address it. Moral realism answers meta-ethical questions just as Cell Theory answers biological questions. I even pointed you sources on the sorts of questions it answers. For example:




The question is why is moral realism true?
Feel free to admit that was addressed, without resorting to lying.


So I guess you can not demonstrate that it is true.

More fabrications on your part, to avoid admitting your point was addressed'


And the bottom line Jichard, moral realism makes no difference to humankind.

Does moral realism answer meta-ethical questions? Feel free to answer, as opposed to the usual dishonesty.


It will not change a mind or convert a soul.

Now you're just making up more nonsense.


So what good is answering meta-ethical questions when it has no practical use. Apart from academic navel gazing.

I'm sorry, but that's a silly response That's like objecting to a mathematical theory by saying it's of no practical use and won't help you cook food. I'm sorry, but what sort of person objects to a position in meta-ethics on those grounds? Meta-ethics is not about building houses, cooking food, etc. It's silly of you to object to it because it doesn't have the magical consequences you wish it did.

But I get it: you think science, meta-ethics, etc. is "academic navel gazing". Then how about you leave informed discussion of the subject to those who understand it? Maybe you can go find something else that you consider of "practical use" (plumbing, or something), and leave discussion of moral objectivism, objective morality, etc. to those who don't find answers on those topics to be "academic nave gazing"? :ahem:


So you agree that not all atheists who understand this issue agree with moral realism - correct?

So you agree that the majority of philosophers who understand this issue reject theism - correct?

Of course, you're engaged in your usual intellectual double-standards.. You think it's some big deal to point out one atheist who doesn't agree with me on one topic. Yet you have no problem with the vast majority of philosophers (who know more than you ever will on the topic), disagreeing with you on theism. Sad that this is what you're left to resorting to.

seer
07-23-2015, 04:44 AM
And yet you pretend that you only asked whether it was true. That's called lying:



Feel free to admit that was addressed, without resorting to lying.

Nonsense Jichard, I never claimed that I was only asking about usefulness, good grief man, you know that I also have been asking about it truthfulness.




More fabrications on your part, to avoid admitting your point was addressed'

Yes you asserted it was true, you believe it is true, but you have not demonstrated why it is true.



Does moral realism answer meta-ethical questions? Feel free to answer, as opposed to the usual dishonesty.

But I already agreed that you are free to make up a moral theory then claim that it answers meta-ethical questions. But that has nothing to do with reality.




Now you're just making up more nonsense.

And that is the point isn't it. Moral realism doesn't change any ones moral behavior - so as far as having a positive effect on our behavior it is pretty much useless.




I'm sorry, but that's a silly response That's like objecting to a mathematical theory by saying it's of no practical use and won't help you cook food. I'm sorry, but what sort of person objects to a position in meta-ethics on those grounds? Meta-ethics is not about building houses, cooking food, etc. It's silly of you to object to it because it doesn't have the magical consequences you wish it did.

But I get it: you think science, meta-ethics, etc. is "academic navel gazing". Then how about you leave informed discussion of the subject to those who understand it? Maybe you can go find something else that you consider of "practical use" (plumbing, or something), and leave discussion of moral objectivism, objective morality, etc. to those who don't find answers on those topics to be "academic nave gazing"? :ahem:

No, it is like saying that a mathematical theory has no practical use at all. What good is a ethical theory that has no actual effect on ethical behavior?




So you agree that the majority of philosophers who understand this issue reject theism - correct?

No, in case it escaped you, they reject moral realism - but not on religious grounds like you accused me. So men of good will can reject moral realism without religious motives.

Jichard
07-24-2015, 03:45 PM
Nonsense Jichard, I never claimed that I was only asking about usefulness, good grief man, you know that I also have been asking about it truthfulness.

When you were shown how moral realism was use, you pretended that you were only asking about whether it was true. No need for you to say otherwise, as if you're fooling anyone by telling blatant falsehoods.




Please stop calling something an "assertion" just because you don't have the wherewithal to address it. Moral realism answers meta-ethical questions just as Cell Theory answers biological questions. I even pointed you sources on the sorts of questions it answers. For example:




The question is why is moral realism true?
Be honest, and tell the truth.


Yes you asserted it was true, you believe it is true, but you have not demonstrated why it is true.

You've been given arguments. no need to keep pretending otherwise.


But I already agreed that you are free to make up a moral theory then claim that it answers meta-ethical questions. But that has nothing to do with reality.

You didn't answer the question. I didn't ask you a question about what I claimed. I asked you a question about what you accept. Please stop dishonestly pretending otherwise.

So once again: Does moral realism answer meta-ethical questions? Feel free to answer, as opposed to the usual dishonesty.


And that is the point isn't it. Moral realism doesn't change any ones moral behavior - so as far as having a positive effect on our behavior it is pretty much useless.

Fallacy of appeal to consequence. Might as well say that Cell Theory is false and useless, since it doesn't have a positive effect on behavior. That would be silly, of course, since the point of Cell Theory is not to change behavior. It's to answer biological questions. Similarly, the point of moral realism isn't to change behavior. It's to answer meta-ethical questions. You keep evading this point.


No, it is like saying that a mathematical theory has no practical use at all. What good is a ethical theory that has no actual effect on ethical behavior?

For the umpteenth time: because it answers meta-ethical questions. How mant times can you keep pretending this hasn't been addressed, before your own dishonesty makes even you feel uncomfortable?



So you agree that the majority of philosophers who understand this issue reject theism - correct?

No, in case it escaped you, they reject moral realism - but not on religious grounds like you accused me. So men of good will can reject moral realism without religious motives.

You're lying. The majority of philosophers accept moral realism, and reject theism.
http://philpapers.org/surveys/results.pl?affil=Philosophy+faculty%2FPhD%2C+non-target&areas0=0&areas_max=1&grain=coarse

Feel free to retract that lie.

seer
07-25-2015, 03:15 AM
Fallacy of appeal to consequence. Might as well say that Cell Theory is false and useless, since it doesn't have a positive effect on behavior. That would be silly, of course, since the point of Cell Theory is not to change behavior. It's to answer biological questions. Similarly, the point of moral realism isn't to change behavior. It's to answer meta-ethical questions. You keep evading this point.

Good, so you agree that you have an ethical system that has zero effect on ethics. And it has zero effect on discovering what is actually right or wrong. So again, what good is it?

Jichard
07-25-2015, 11:27 AM
Good, so you agree that you have an ethical system that has zero effect on ethics.

That's a lie, since I never claimed that.

By the way, moral realism is not an ethical system. It's a meta-ethical position. It's stunning that you still don't recognize the difference, since I spent at least 5 posts on another thread explaining to you that meta-ethics is not same thing as normative ethics. Apparently, you either weren't paying attention, or deceptively pretending that this wasn't explained to you.


And it has zero effect on discovering what is actually right or wrong.

That's because normative ethical positions answers normative ethical questions like that, while meta-ethical positions answer a different set of meta-ethical questions. So, once again, what you wrote is as silly as objecting to Cell Theory by saying that it has zero effect on dicovering the shape of the Earth. That's stupid because Cell Theory is not a position meant to answer questions like that. Similarly, moral realism isn't in the business of answering questions of normative ethics. It answers questions in meta-ethics.

seer, this has been explained to you no less than 5 times. For example:




Listen Jichard I know that moral realism is not directly dealing with specific moral questions - I GET THAT.

Awesome. Then why did you ask this, as if moral realism was in the business of addressing that?:


"So why is lying for personal gain is wrong? Again, of what practical use is believing that - especially if others don't?"


And you are being dishonest or mistaken, I am not longer asking why things like lying are wrong, and I haven't for a number of posts. So again - of what practical use is moral realism, what dos it tell us about the world. How does reasoning in this way help anything?

I already told you:


"That's not what I said. What you wrote is as ridiculous as saying practically Cell Theory is useless, since it doesn't tell me which actions are morally right and morally wrong. Different positions answer different questions. So just as Cell Theory isn't in the business of answering the question of which actions are morally good or morally bad, moral realism isn't in the business of answering that question. Moral realism instead answers a different set of meta-ethical questions. That doesn't mean moral realism is useless, anymore than it means Cell Theory is useless. (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?4545-Is-God-Immoral&p=183525#post183525)"

And I even gave you links discussing the sort of meta-ethical questions moral realism answers:



Start with Wikipedia and proceed from there: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_realism

Or you can read the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy page (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-realism/) on this, or the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy page (http://www.iep.utm.edu/moralrea/) on this.

I was operating under the assumption that you knew what moral realism (and other meta-ethical terms) meant, especially since you were discussing meta-ethics. Should I drop this assumption?
At which point you did what I've been criticizing you for doing: acting as if moral realism needs to answer questions like "why is lying for personal gain is wrong? Which, of course, blatantly confuses meta-ethics with normative ethics and involves incorrectly assuming that meta-ethical positions need to answer questions normative questions answer in order for meta-ethics to be relevant.

And yet here you are, pretending that moral realism needs to answer questions of normative ethics.

Why are you so wilfully dishonest that you repeat the same mistakes over and over, while pretending thye hve not been addressed?


So again, what good is it?

Please stop dishonestly pretending that his has not been explained to you: it answers meta-ethical questions.


Fallacy of appeal to consequence. Might as well say that Cell Theory is false and useless, since it doesn't have a positive effect on behavior. That would be silly, of course, since the point of Cell Theory is not to change behavior. It's to answer biological questions. Similarly, the point of moral realism isn't to change behavior. It's to answer meta-ethical questions. You keep evading this point.

seer
07-27-2015, 05:01 AM
That's because normative ethical positions answers normative ethical questions like that, while meta-ethical positions answer a different set of meta-ethical questions. So, once again, what you wrote is as silly as objecting to Cell Theory by saying that it has zero effect on dicovering the shape of the Earth. That's stupid because Cell Theory is not a position meant to answer questions like that. Similarly, moral realism isn't in the business of answering questions of normative ethics. It answers questions in meta-ethics.

No it is not a silly question, this is from the web site you are fond of quoting from.


Suppose, for the sake of the argument, that there are moral facts. Suppose even that the moral facts are properly thought of as at least compatible with science. One thing Moore’s Open Question Argument still seems to show is that no appeal to natural facts discovered by scientific method would establish that the moral facts are one way rather than another. That something is pleasant, or useful, or satisfies someone’s preference, is perfectly compatible with thinking that it is neither good nor right nor worth doing. The mere fact that moral facts might be compatible with natural facts does nothing to support the idea that we could learn about the moral facts. David Hume seems to have been, in effect, pressing this point long before Moore, when he argued that no moral conclusion follows non-problematically from nonmoral premises (Hume 1739). No “ought,” he pointed out, followed from an “is”—without the help of another (presupposed) “ought.” More generally, there is no valid inference from nonmoral premises to moral conclusions unless one relies, at least surreptitiously, on a moral premise. If, then, all that science can establish is what “is” and not what ought to be, science cannot alone establish moral conclusions.

But from where, then, can we get the moral premises needed? Of course no answer is to be found in a claim that certain norms are in force or that a powerful being commanded something since, in both cases, nothing about what ought to be done follows from these claims without assuming some further moral claim (e.g. that one ought to obey the norms in force or that one owes allegiance to the powerful being). If at least some fundamental moral principles were self-evident, or analytic truths, or at least reasonably thought to enjoy widespread consensus or to be such that eventually all would converge on those principles, there might be some plausible candidates. Yet the few principles that might be candidates—one ought to treat people with respect or one ought to promote human welfare or, other things equal, pleasure is good—are all either so abstract or inspecific in their implications that they could hardly alone work to justify the full range of moral claims people are inclined to make.

These considerations highlight a crucial difficulty moral realists face even if one grants the existence of moral facts: they need some account of how we might justify our moral claims. Otherwise, whatever the moral facts are, we would have reasonable grounds for worrying that what we count as evidence for any particular claim is no evidence at all.


http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-realism/#4

So my intuitive objections were not silly in the least.

Jichard
07-28-2015, 10:27 PM
No it is not a silly question, this is from the web site you are fond of quoting from.

No, it's a stupid question for the reasons I explained to you:


"That's because normative ethical positions answers normative ethical questions like that, while meta-ethical positions answer a different set of meta-ethical questions. So, once again, what you wrote is as silly as objecting to Cell Theory by saying that it has zero effect on dicovering the shape of the Earth. That's stupid because Cell Theory is not a position meant to answer questions like that. Similarly, moral realism isn't in the business of answering questions of normative ethics. It answers questions in meta-ethics."

Nothing in what you quote-mined rebuts that, seer. You're (once again) misrepresenting sources you don't understand. Nowhere in what you quoted is it said that moral realism is a normative ethical position that needs to answer normative ethical question. Nowhere. So it's not my fault that you're still assuming that moral realism needs to answer normative ethical questions.


So, once again, please don't misrepresent sources on topics you don't understand. Instead of quote-mining sources to fabricate the impression that you understand what you're talking about, how about actually learning about the topic? For example: finally learning the difference between normative ethics and meta-ethics. That'd be a nice first-step for you to take.


So my intuitive objections were not silly in the least.

No, your objections were silly, and had nothing to do with the sources you quote-mined from. You literally have no understanding of what you just posted, as usual.

seer
07-29-2015, 04:41 AM
No, it's a stupid question for the reasons I explained to you:


"That's because normative ethical positions answers normative ethical questions like that, while meta-ethical positions answer a different set of meta-ethical questions. So, once again, what you wrote is as silly as objecting to Cell Theory by saying that it has zero effect on dicovering the shape of the Earth. That's stupid because Cell Theory is not a position meant to answer questions like that. Similarly, moral realism isn't in the business of answering questions of normative ethics. It answers questions in meta-ethics."

Nothing in what you quote-mined rebuts that, seer. You're (once again) misrepresenting sources you don't understand. Nowhere in what you quoted is it said that moral realism is a normative ethical position that needs to answer normative ethical question. Nowhere. So it's not my fault that you're still assuming that moral realism needs to answer normative ethical questions.


So, once again, please don't misrepresent sources on topics you don't understand. Instead of quote-mining sources to fabricate the impression that you understand what you're talking about, how about actually learning about the topic? For example: finally learning the difference between normative ethics and meta-ethics. That'd be a nice first-step for you to take.



No, your objections were silly, and had nothing to do with the sources you quote-mined from. You literally have no understanding of what you just posted, as usual.

Nonsense Jichard, this thread is about Moral Realism and your own source brought up some of the very same objections I did, about Moral Realism. And it is not difficult to understand what I just posted, it is self-explanatory and not the least bit out of context. You just don't like what it said. Here is more:



Putting aside the arguments that appeal to moral disagreement, a significant motivation for anti-realism about morality is found in worries about the metaphysics of moral realism and especially worries about whether moral realism might be reconciled with (what has come to be called) naturalism. It is hard, to say the least, to define naturalism in a clear way. Yet the underlying idea is fairly easy to convey. According to naturalism, the only facts we should believe in are those countenanced by, or at least compatible with, the results of science. To find, of some putative fact, that its existence is neither established by, nor even compatible with science, is to discover, as naturalism would have it, that there is no such fact. If moral realism requires facts that are incompatible with science (as many think it does) that alone would constitute a formidable argument against it.

Noncognitivists and error theorists alike have no trouble respecting naturalism while offering their respective accounts of moral claims. In both cases, their accounts appeal to nothing not already embraced by naturalism. Of course noncognitivists and error theories disagree in crucial ways about the nature of moral thought, and noncognitivists and error theorists disagree among themselves too about which versions of their preferred accounts are better. But they all are, from the point of view of naturalism, on safe ground.

Moral realists, in contrast, are standardly seen as unable to sustain their accounts without appealing, in the end, to putative facts that fly in the face of naturalism. This standard view can be traced to a powerful and influential argument offered by G.E. Moore (1903). As Moore saw things, being a naturalist about morality required thinking that moral terms could be defined correctly using terms that refer to natural properties. Thus one might define ‘good’ as ‘pleasant’, thus securing naturalistic credentials for value (so long as pleasure was a natural property) or one might define ‘good’ as ‘satisfies a desire we desire to have’ or as ‘conforms to the rules in force in our society’ or ‘promotes the species.’ Any one of these proposed definitions, if true, would establish that the facts required to make claims about what is good true or false were compatible with naturalism. Yet, Moore argued, no such definition is true. Against every one, he maintain, a single line of argument was decisive. For in each case, whatever naturalistic definition of moral terms was on offer, it always made sense to ask, of things that had the naturalistic property in question, whether those things were (really) good.Putting aside the arguments that appeal to moral disagreement, a significant motivation for anti-realism about morality is found in worries about the metaphysics of moral realism and especially worries about whether moral realism might be reconciled with (what has come to be called) naturalism. It is hard, to say the least, to define naturalism in a clear way. Yet the underlying idea is fairly easy to convey. According to naturalism, the only facts we should believe in are those countenanced by, or at least compatible with, the results of science. To find, of some putative fact, that its existence is neither established by, nor even compatible with science, is to discover, as naturalism would have it, that there is no such fact. If moral realism requires facts that are incompatible with science (as many think it does) that alone would constitute a formidable argument against it.

Noncognitivists and error theorists alike have no trouble respecting naturalism while offering their respective accounts of moral claims. In both cases, their accounts appeal to nothing not already embraced by naturalism. Of course noncognitivists and error theories disagree in crucial ways about the nature of moral thought, and noncognitivists and error theorists disagree among themselves too about which versions of their preferred accounts are better. But they all are, from the point of view of naturalism, on safe ground.

Moral realists, in contrast, are standardly seen as unable to sustain their accounts without appealing, in the end, to putative facts that fly in the face of naturalism. This standard view can be traced to a powerful and influential argument offered by G.E. Moore (1903). As Moore saw things, being a naturalist about morality required thinking that moral terms could be defined correctly using terms that refer to natural properties. Thus one might define ‘good’ as ‘pleasant’, thus securing naturalistic credentials for value (so long as pleasure was a natural property) or one might define ‘good’ as ‘satisfies a desire we desire to have’ or as ‘conforms to the rules in force in our society’ or ‘promotes the species.’ Any one of these proposed definitions, if true, would establish that the facts required to make claims about what is good true or false were compatible with naturalism. Yet, Moore argued, no such definition is true. Against every one, he maintain, a single line of argument was decisive. For in each case, whatever naturalistic definition of moral terms was on offer, it always made sense to ask, of things that had the naturalistic property in question, whether those things were (really) good.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-realism/#4

See, that wasn't hard to understand.

Jichard
07-29-2015, 07:50 PM
Nonsense Jichard, this thread is about Moral Realism and your own source brought up some of the very same objections I did, about Moral Realism.

Once again, nowhere in that source (which you misrepesented, by the way), does it bring up the objection you did. And that's because that sources is not stupid enough to confuse meta-ethics with normative ethics.

So, once again:



"That's because normative ethical positions answers normative ethical questions like that, while meta-ethical positions answer a different set of meta-ethical questions. So, once again, what you wrote is as silly as objecting to Cell Theory by saying that it has zero effect on dicovering the shape of the Earth. That's stupid because Cell Theory is not a position meant to answer questions like that. Similarly, moral realism isn't in the business of answering questions of normative ethics. It answers questions in meta-ethics."

Nothing in what you quote-mined rebuts that, seer. You're (once again) misrepresenting sources you don't understand. Nowhere in what you quoted is it said that moral realism is a normative ethical position that needs to answer normative ethical question. Nowhere. So it's not my fault that you're still assuming that moral realism needs to answer normative ethical questions.


And since you're not being honest, I'm going to ask you directly: is moral realism a meta-ethical position, or is it a position in normative ethics?


And it is not difficult to understand what I just posted, it is self-explanatory and not the least bit out of context.

No, it's out-of-context and you don't understand a word of what was said.

Here's a simple way to show this, by asking you two question I know you're too uninformed to answer:

Was Moore a moral realist?
Is the open question argument an objection to moral realism?


You just don't like what it said. Here is more:

You don't understand what's being said, just like when you lied about the source you quote-mined on physicalism (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6236-A-question-for-Materialists-Atheist-Humanists-and-their-allies&p=189536#post189536). You pretended the source disagreed with me, when it actually agreed with the point I'd emphasized to you and which you'd lied about. I really thought by now you would have learned not to do that.


See, that wasn't hard to understand.

Once again, please do't pretend you understand the sources you misrepresent. You'll get caught rather quickly.

seer
07-30-2015, 05:26 AM
Was Moore a moral realist?
Is the open question argument an objection to moral realism?


Moral realists, in contrast, are standardly seen as unable to sustain their accounts without appealing, in the end, to putative facts that fly in the face of naturalism. This standard view can be traced to a powerful and influential argument offered by G.E. Moore (1903). As Moore saw things, being a naturalist about morality required thinking that moral terms could be defined correctly using terms that refer to natural properties. Thus one might define ‘good’ as ‘pleasant’, thus securing naturalistic credentials for value (so long as pleasure was a natural property) or one might define ‘good’ as ‘satisfies a desire we desire to have’ or as ‘conforms to the rules in force in our society’ or ‘promotes the species.’ Any one of these proposed definitions, if true, would establish that the facts required to make claims about what is good true or false were compatible with naturalism. Yet, Moore argued, no such definition is true. Against every one, he maintain, a single line of argument was decisive. For in each case, whatever naturalistic definition of moral terms was on offer, it always made sense to ask, of things that had the naturalistic property in question, whether those things were (really) good.

So according the the link the moral realist must appeal to putative facts that fly in the face of naturalism.

And against the possible justifications Moore would say: Against every one, he maintain, a single line of argument was decisive. For in each case, whatever naturalistic definition of moral terms was on offer, it always made sense to ask, of things that had the naturalistic property in question, whether those things were (really) good.

So Moore is saying that moral realism is not compatible with naturalism. Correct?

JimL
07-30-2015, 10:16 AM
So according the the link the moral realist must appeal to putative facts that fly in the face of naturalism.

And against the possible justifications Moore would say: Against every one, he maintain, a single line of argument was decisive. For in each case, whatever naturalistic definition of moral terms was on offer, it always made sense to ask, of things that had the naturalistic property in question, whether those things were (really) good.

So Moore is saying that moral realism is not compatible with naturalism. Correct?
Let me ask you this question seer. If the moral nature of your god were reversed, then as far as you are concerned, all that you now consider to be good would be evil, and all that you now consider to be evil would be good. Is that correct? Yes or no?

seer
07-30-2015, 11:03 AM
Let me ask you this question seer. If the moral nature of your god were reversed, then as far as you are concerned, all that you now consider to be good would be evil, and all that you now consider to be evil would be good. Is that correct? Yes or no?

And if you were raise a good Hitler youth in 1930s Germany would you have a problem shoving Jewish children into the showers?

Tassman
07-30-2015, 09:58 PM
And if you were raise a good Hitler youth in 1930s Germany would you have a problem shoving Jewish children into the showers?

If morality were an absolute set by a god, as you claim, something could be moral even if every human being disagreed.

JimL
07-30-2015, 10:59 PM
And if you were raise a good Hitler youth in 1930s Germany would you have a problem shoving Jewish children into the showers?
Notice you did not answer the question seer. So, I will ask once again. If the moral nature of your God were reversed, then as far as you are concerned, would all that you now consider to be good, be evil, and all that you now consider to be evil, be good. Yes or no? In other words if according to your objective moral standard, i.e. your God, murder was a good thing, would you agree? Why or why not?

JimL
07-30-2015, 11:05 PM
And if you were raise a good Hitler youth in 1930s Germany would you have a problem shoving Jewish children into the showers?

Btw, thats the point I'm trying to make seer. Yes I would have a problem whether it was Hitler or God that ordered me to murder children. I wouldn't do it in either case, would you?

Tassman
07-31-2015, 12:14 AM
Btw, thats the point I'm trying to make seer. Yes I would have a problem whether it was Hitler or God that ordered me to murder children. I wouldn't do it in either case, would you?

Of course you wouldn't and neither would I. Which raises the question of just how moral is an act which is (allegedly) mandated by God if every person in a society disagreed and was of the opinion that it was wrong, e.g. stoning to death an adulterous woman?

seer
07-31-2015, 04:23 AM
If morality were an absolute set by a god, as you claim, something could be moral even if every human being disagreed.

Of course. But since we are made in His image, and have His law written on our hearts it is unlikely that we would ever get that far removed from goodness.

seer
07-31-2015, 04:30 AM
Notice you did not answer the question seer. So, I will ask once again. If the moral nature of your God were reversed, then as far as you are concerned, would all that you now consider to be good, be evil, and all that you now consider to be evil, be good. Yes or no? In other words if according to your objective moral standard, i.e. your God, murder was a good thing, would you agree? Why or why not?

Jim I noticed that you did not answer the question also. The point is God's moral character is immutable, it can not change, He can not be other than He is. So I need not entertain impossibilities. On the other hand it would not be impossible for you to have been raised in a culture with different moral values. And if you were raised a good Hitler youth in 1930s Germany you would probably had little problem herding Jewish children into the showers.

seer
07-31-2015, 04:34 AM
Of course you wouldn't and neither would I. Which raises the question of just how moral is an act which is (allegedly) mandated by God if every person in a society disagreed and was of the opinion that it was wrong, e.g. stoning to death an adulterous woman?

That is just silly Tass, if you were raised a good Hitler youth I doubt very much that you would have had a problem executing Jews. Or if you were a follower of Mao or Stalin you would have had little problem with executing dissenters. Your present moral sense is just an accident of birth.

Jichard
07-31-2015, 01:12 PM
Dear seer,


You did not honestly address the questions you were asked. Please address them:


Is moral realism a meta-ethical position, or is it a position in normative ethics?
Was Moore a moral realist?
Is the open question argument an objection to moral realism?

Sincerely,
An honest person


So according the the link the moral realist must appeal to putative facts that fly in the face of naturalism.

You're lying. That is not what the link says. You are, once again, misrepresenting and quote-mining sources that you don't understand.

The source (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-realism/#4) notes that people once thought this, in large part, due to Moore's open question argument (OQA):


"Moral realists, in contrast, are standardly seen as unable to sustain their accounts without appealing, in the end, to putative facts that fly in the face of naturalism. This standard view can be traced to a powerful and influential argument offered by G.E. Moore (1903)."

What you left out (in your usual dishonesty) and what I already knew, was that naturalists already have a response to that point, and have had it for at least 30 years. In fact, they have multiple responses. But the most standard one is to note that one can have a naturalistic reduction (via a synthetic identity, or a supervenience relationship) without needing a semantic reduction. The source in question notes as much. For example:


"For a long time, people thought that Moore’s Open Question Argument (as it has come to be called) established that no version of moral naturalism was defensible. However, recent developments in the philosophy of language and metaphysics have raised concerns about Moore’s argument. Of special concern is the fact that the argument seems to rule out inappropriately the possibility of establishing—on grounds other than semantic analysis—that two terms actually refer to the same property, substance, or entity."

Why did you leave that out of your quote-mine, seer?
Why do you constantly misrepresent sources on topics you don't understand, simply to preserve your pet theological position? You've done this time and time again (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6236-A-question-for-Materialists-Atheist-Humanists-and-their-allies&p=189528#post189528).


And against the possible justifications Moore would say: Against every one, he maintain, a single line of argument was decisive. For in each case, whatever naturalistic definition of moral terms was on offer, it always made sense to ask, of things that had the naturalistic property in question, whether those things were (really) good.

So Moore is saying that moral realism is not compatible with naturalism. Correct?

First, you really don't understand what Moore is saying at all. He's not just claiming that moral realism is incomptable with naturalism. He's saying moral realism is incompatible with any position that identifies moral properties with any other kind of property. That includes your position, seer. For example, Moore would deny goodness can be identified with God's nature, God's commands, and so on. So if you tried to offer the following as of what is morally good:

"What is morally good is what accords with God's nature"
Moore would reject that definition. He would note that (to use your disingenuous quote-mine):it always made sense to ask, of things that had the divine property in question, whether those things were (really) good. For Moore, you simply cannot have moral properties be identical to other properties, whether those are natural properties or divine properties.

Second, Moore is wrong and I explained to you above one reason why Moore is wrong. So it's irrelevant whether or not Moore disagrees with me; you might as well try to object to evolutionary biology by pointing out that some person from the early 20th century disagreed with evolution. As you've been told before, your arguments from disagreement are fallacious (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?7773-Appeals-to-authority-and-disagreement-are-a-bad-idea).

Third, many theists (such as William Lane Craig and Alston) object to Moore's argument on the same grounds that moral naturalists do: that one can have metaphysical reductions without semantic reductions. In fact, those theists (with the exception of Putnam) lifted those defenses from moral naturalists like Boyd, when they applied those defenses to meta-ethics. These theists did this since (unlike you, seer) they actually bothered to understand Moore's argument and realize that Moore's argument (if it worked) would rebut any theological attempt to identify moral properties with aspects of God.


Now, please try to display the intellectual honesty (which I suspect you don't have) and address the questions above. And also, please avoid misrepresenting/quote-mining sources that you don't really understand. People won't fall for your bluff, and you likely will get caught.

seer
07-31-2015, 01:29 PM
Dear seer

Dear Jichard, I think the question that I eluded too in the OP has been answered: He suggested or inferred that moral realism was preferable because it posed that objective moral facts actually exist

There is no good reason to think that objective moral facts actually exist, or that if they did that they would have any authority, or in any sense be preferable to theistic moral law. You are all just spinning your wheels with no end in sight. It reminds me of the quote from Macbeth.

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools. The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage nd then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,signifying nothing.

Jichard
07-31-2015, 02:09 PM
Dear Jichard, I think the question that I eluded too in the OP has been answered: He suggested or inferred that moral realism was preferable because it posed that objective moral facts actually exist

There is no good reason to think that objective moral facts actually exist, or that if they did that they would have any authority, or in any sense be preferable to theistic moral law. You are all just spinning your wheels with no end in sight. It reminds me of the quote from Macbeth.

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools. The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage nd then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,signifying nothing.

You're being intellectually dishonest. Instead of addressing the questions you were asked, you instead chose to fabricate the above claims about me and repeat claims we both know you can't defend (since you know next-to-nothing about this subject and are just misrepresenting sources you don't understand). Sad.

Tell me when you have the intellectual integrity to address the questions you were asked or to address what was written in the post to you:


You did not honestly address the questions you were asked. Please address them:


Is moral realism a meta-ethical position, or is it a position in normative ethics?
Was Moore a moral realist?
Is the open question argument an objection to moral realism?
Why did you leave that out of your quote-mine, seer?
Why do you constantly misrepresent sources on topics you don't understand, simply to preserve your pet theological position? (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=225078#post225078)

Jichard
07-31-2015, 02:17 PM
There is no good reason to think that objective moral facts actually exist, or that if they did that they would have any authority, or in any sense be preferable to theistic moral law. You are all just spinning your wheels with no end in sight. It reminds me of the quote from Macbeth.

By the way: please stop trying to mislead people about your subjectivst position. You don't think there are objective moral facts; you instead go by God's subjective views, as reflected in God's (imaginary) law. No need to pretend otherwise.


Except without God there no fundamental moral truth, just moral opinion - subjective and relative.

seer
07-31-2015, 02:30 PM
Is moral realism a meta-ethical position, or is it a position in normative ethics?

It doesn't matter since both are meaningless.


Was Moore a moral realist?

Probably.


Is the open question argument an objection to moral realism?

No, it is an argument against naturalism or science being able to answer moral questions - at least objectively.


Why did you leave that out of your quote-mine, seer?

You are a hypocrite Jichard. When you made your case using externalism you never quoted views in the same link that countered it.


Why do you constantly misrepresent sources on topics you don't understand, simply to preserve your pet theological position?

The bottom line Jichard is that you have a system, that in the end, doesn't matter. Goes nowhere and has no practical use.

seer
07-31-2015, 02:33 PM
By the way: please stop trying to mislead people about your subjectivst position. You don't think there are objective moral facts; you instead go by God's subjective views, as reflected in God's (imaginary) law. No need to pretend otherwise.

Hypocrite - show us one objective moral fact Jichard, and how you came by that fact.

Jichard
07-31-2015, 02:42 PM
Is moral realism a meta-ethical position, or is it a position in normative ethics?

It doesn't matter since both are meaningless.

Good to know you think that ethics is meaningless.


Probably.

The answer is "yes".



Is the open question argument an objection to moral realism?

No, it is an argument against naturalism or science being able to answer moral questions - at least objectively.

Wrong.

First, the open question argument has nothing to do with whether science can answer moral questions.

Second, the open question argument is not just an objection to moral naturalism. If it worked, it would rebut your own nonsensical position. I explained this to you before; please pay attention this time:


"First, you really don't understand what Moore is saying at all. He's not just claiming that moral realism is incomptable with naturalism. He's saying moral realism is incompatible with any position that identifies moral properties with any other kind of property. That includes your position, seer. For example, Moore would deny goodness can be identified with God's nature, God's commands, and so on. So if you tried to offer the following as of what is morally good:

"What is morally good is what accords with God's nature"
Moore would reject that definition. He would note that (to use your disingenuous quote-mine):it always made sense to ask, of things that had the divine property in question, whether those things were (really) good. For Moore, you simply cannot have moral properties be identical to other properties, whether those are natural properties or divine properties. (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=225123)"


You are a hypocrite Jichard. When you made your case using externalism you never quoted views in the same link that countered it.
You didn't answer the question:

"Why did you leave that out of your quote-mine, seer?"

And as I already told you, what I quoted did not depend on internalism (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?5624-Secular-Morality&p=225070#post225070). Pay attention this time:


"First, please don't lie about things you don't understand. The "internalism/externalism" discussion is not about whether obligations are accounted for in terms of reasons. Internalists can accept that they are, as can externalists. You don't know this, seer, because (as usual) you're misrepresenting sources you don't understand, in service of defending your apologetic position. So please don't pretend you have any clue what "internalism" and "externalism" are.

Second, please stop pretending that disagreement is somehow an objection to my position. The error in that was exposed on another thread (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?7773-Appeals-to-authority-and-disagreement-are-a-bad-idea&p=221934#post221934). By your logic, since there are people who think the Earth is flat, that means the shape of the Earth is a an utterly open question. That's nothing but your usual, fallacious argument from disagreement."


The bottom line Jichard is that you have a system, that in the end, doesn't matter. Goes nowhere and has no practical use.

You didn't address the question. Try to be honest this time, and address it:


"Why do you constantly misrepresent sources on topics you don't understand, simply to preserve your pet theological position?"

Jichard
07-31-2015, 02:46 PM
Hypocrite

Liar and quote-miner. :wink:

And unlike you, I can actually back that up. For example, you quote-mine, so that you can deceive people what your sources say:
http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=225078#post225078
http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6236-A-question-for-Materialists-Atheist-Humanists-and-their-allies&p=189528#post189528


- show us one objective moral fact Jichard, and how you came by that fact.

If you actually honestly answered this question, you'd know what that's a silly question to ask with respect to moral realism.


"Is moral realism a meta-ethical position, or is it a position in normative ethics? (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=225078#post225078)"

Anyway, please stop dishonestly asking for things, as if stuff has not bee explained to you:
http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=198935&highlight=consequentialism#post198935

seer
07-31-2015, 02:53 PM
Good to know you think that ethics is meaningless.

Well yes, in a godless universe our ethics are as meaningless as us.


Wrong.

First the open question has nothing to dow with whether science can answer moral questions.

Second, the open question argument is not just an objection to moral naturalism. I explained this to you before; please pay attention this time:


"First, you really don't understand what Moore is saying at all. He's not just claiming that moral realism is incomptable with naturalism. He's saying moral realism is incompatible with any position that identifies moral properties with any other kind of property. That includes your position, seer. For example, Moore would deny goodness can be identified with God's nature, God's commands, and so on. So if you tried to offer the following as of what is morally good:

"What is morally good is what accords with God's nature"
Moore would reject that definition. He would note that (to use your disingenuous quote-mine):it always made sense to ask, of things that had the divine property in question, whether those things were (really) good. For Moore, you simply cannot have moral properties be identical to other properties, whether those are natural properties or divine properties. (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=225123)"


You didn't answer the question:

"Why did you leave that out of your quote-mine, seer?"

And as I already told you, what I quoted did not depend on internalism (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?5624-Secular-Morality&p=225070#post225070). Pay attention this time:


"First, please don't lie about things you don't understand. The "internalism/externalism" discussion is not about whether obligations are accounted for in terms of reasons. Internalists can accept that they are, as can externalists. You don't know this, seer, because (as usual) you're misrepresenting sources you don't understand, in service of defending your apologetic position. So please don't pretend you have any clue what "internalism" and "externalism" are.

Second, please stop pretending that disagreement is somehow an objection to my position. The error in that was exposed on another thread (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?7773-Appeals-to-authority-and-disagreement-are-a-bad-idea&p=221934#post221934). By your logic, since there are people who think the Earth is flat, that means the shape of the Earth is a an utterly open question. That's nothing but your usual, fallacious argument from disagreement."



You didn't address the question. Try to be honest this time, and address it:

"Why do you constantly misrepresent sources on topics you don't understand, simply to preserve your pet theological position?"

Whether I rightly understood some of arguments or not, the bottom is the same. You got nothing, nothing of any practical used, nothing that will change a man's nature or desires. No man ever gave up the drink because he thought moral realism may be true. It is navel gazing Jichard in the truest sense of the term, and useless..

Jichard
07-31-2015, 03:01 PM
Well yes, in a godless universe our ethics are as meaningless as us.

That's how what was said. What was actually said was:

"Good to know you think that ethics is meaningless. (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=225127#post225127)"
So I didn't say that:

"in a godless universe our ethics are as meaningless as us"
You simply made up that lie.

Why do you habitually lie so much, especially about what other people say? Why are you so dishonest?


Whether I rightly understood some of arguments or not, the bottom is the same.

Not really. The bottom is really just you making up false claims on topics you don't really understand. And when people explain why your claims about false/mistaken, you just dodge that.


You got nothing, nothing of any practical used, nothing that will change a man's nature or desires. No man ever gave up the drink because he thought moral realism may be true. It is navel gazing Jichard in the truest sense of the term, and useless.

Same old mistakes you've been corrected on time and time again. Basically, you're committing the fallacy of appeal to consequences, and lying by pretending that moral realism does not answer meta-ethical questions. And you'll keep on dishonestly reapeating these no matter how many times it's pointed out, because you have no interest in engaging in serious discussion or sticking to true claims. Instead, you'll just repeat whatever false claims you deem necessary for your pet position.

Anyway, once again (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=220707#post220707):


"You've repeatedly gone on about whether or not moral realism is useful, and I've repeatedly told you that that's a fallacious appeal to consequence, since moral realism doesn't need to be useful in order to be true. Furthermore, I explained to you how moral realism was useful, insofar as it answers meta-ethical questions."

seer
07-31-2015, 03:17 PM
That's how what was said. What was actually said was:

"Good to know you think that ethics is meaningless. (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=225127#post225127)"
So I didn't say that:

"in a godless universe our ethics are as meaningless as us"
You simply made up that lie.

I didn't say you said you said that, I'm saying that. Now who is lying? But the point remains, we are meaningless creatures, no inherent or overriding purpose, but somehow our ethical musings are meaningful? Useless.

Jichard
07-31-2015, 03:42 PM
I didn't say you said you said that, I'm saying that. Now who is lying?

No, you pretended I said that.




Good to know you think that ethics is meaningless.

Well yes, in a godless universe our ethics are as meaningless as us.
I said one thing, and then you said "yes", while acting as if I said something else and then agreeing to the claim you made up. It'd be like if I said that "cars are red" and you responded by saying "yes, cars are blue". That's lying; it involves pretending that I said "cars are blue", so that you can agree with that claim, as opposed to addressing what I actually said (that "cars are red"). You do this sort of thing so that you can avoid addressing what people actually say, and instead just repeat your own false claims. And you do this time and time again, as per your dishonesty.


But the point remains, we are meaningless creatures, no inherent or overriding purpose, but somehow our ethical musings are meaningful? Useless.

Instead of repeating your false, fabricated claims, how about actually addressing what was written?:



Same old mistakes you've been corrected on time and time again. Basically, you're committing the fallacy of appeal to consequences, and lying by pretending that moral realism does not answer meta-ethical questions. And you'll keep on dishonestly reapeating these no matter how many times it's pointed out, because you have no interest in engaging in serious discussion or sticking to true claims. Instead, you'll just repeat whatever false claims you deem necessary for your pet position.

Anyway, once again (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=220707#post220707):


"You've repeatedly gone on about whether or not moral realism is useful, and I've repeatedly told you that that's a fallacious appeal to consequence, since moral realism doesn't need to be useful in order to be true. Furthermore, I explained to you how moral realism was useful, insofar as it answers meta-ethical questions."

seer
07-31-2015, 04:06 PM
No, you pretended I said that.



I said one thing, and then you said "yes", while acting as if I said something else and then agreeing to the claim you made up. It'd be like if I said that "cars are red" and you responded by saying "yes, cars are blue". That's lying; it involves pretending that I said "cars are blue", so that you can agree with that claim, as opposed to addressing what I actually said (that "cars are red"). You do this sort of thing so that you can avoid addressing what people actually say, and instead just repeat your own false claims. And you do this time and time again, as per your dishonesty.

No you idiot, that is the way I write. And in a godless universe ethical considerations are about as meaningful as us.


Instead of repeating your false, fabricated claims, how about actually addressing what was written?

No, I'll stick with point out that your ethical theories are as purposeless as you.

Jichard
07-31-2015, 05:23 PM
No you idiot, that is the way I write.

Not my fault that you write in a dishonest fashion that you use to misrepresent others. You pretend people have said things they haven't said, so you can avoid addressing what they actually said.


And in a godless universe ethical considerations are about as meaningful as us.



No, I'll stick with point out that your ethical theories are as purposeless as you.

And you go back to fabricating claims since you don't have the intellectual honesty to address what was written:



Same old mistakes you've been corrected on time and time again. Basically, you're committing the fallacy of appeal to consequences, and lying by pretending that moral realism does not answer meta-ethical questions. And you'll keep on dishonestly reapeating these no matter how many times it's pointed out, because you have no interest in engaging in serious discussion or sticking to true claims. Instead, you'll just repeat whatever false claims you deem necessary for your pet position.

Anyway, once again (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=220707#post220707):


"You've repeatedly gone on about whether or not moral realism is useful, and I've repeatedly told you that that's a fallacious appeal to consequence, since moral realism doesn't need to be useful in order to be true. Furthermore, I explained to you how moral realism was useful, insofar as it answers meta-ethical questions."

seer
07-31-2015, 06:23 PM
And you go back to fabricating claims since you don't have the intellectual honesty to address what was written:

That wasn't a false claim, your ethical musings are as meaningless and purposeless as humanity is in your godless universe. How could it be otherwise?

Tassman
07-31-2015, 09:29 PM
No you idiot, that is the way I write. And in a godless universe ethical considerations are about as meaningful as us.

We only have knowledge of a godless universe. The notion of a god-made universe is a failed hypothesis, there’s no substantive evidence of such a universe. And ethical considerations are derivatives of self-preservation and procreation in every case and are a consequence of natural selection. We know we have ethical systems, we don’t know whether we gave gods...we probably don't

Jichard
07-31-2015, 09:33 PM
That wasn't a false claim, your ethical musings are as meaningless and purposeless as humanity is in your godless universe. How could it be otherwise?

Already addressed your nonsensical claims:



Same old mistakes you've been corrected on time and time again. Basically, you're committing the fallacy of appeal to consequences, and lying by pretending that moral realism does not answer meta-ethical questions. And you'll keep on dishonestly reapeating these no matter how many times it's pointed out, because you have no interest in engaging in serious discussion or sticking to true claims. Instead, you'll just repeat whatever false claims you deem necessary for your pet position.

Anyway, once again (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=220707#post220707):


"You've repeatedly gone on about whether or not moral realism is useful, and I've repeatedly told you that that's a fallacious appeal to consequence, since moral realism doesn't need to be useful in order to be true. Furthermore, I explained to you how moral realism was useful, insofar as it answers meta-ethical questions."

Tell me when you have the intellectual honesty to deal with the response. Because you currently seem to lack it.

seer
08-01-2015, 03:05 AM
Already addressed your nonsensical claims:

Same old mistakes you've been corrected on time and time again. Basically, you're committing the fallacy of appeal to consequences, and lying by pretending that moral realism does not answer meta-ethical questions. And you'll keep on dishonestly reapeating these no matter how many times it's pointed out, because you have no interest in engaging in serious discussion or sticking to true claims. Instead, you'll just repeat whatever false claims you deem necessary for your pet position.

Anyway, once again:

"You've repeatedly gone on about whether or not moral realism is useful, and I've repeatedly told you that that's a fallacious appeal to consequence, since moral realism doesn't need to be useful in order to be true. Furthermore, I explained to you how moral realism was useful, insofar as it answers meta-ethical questions."

How does that answer my point that your ethical musings are as meaningless and purposeless as humanity is in your godless universe. And if moral realism isn't useful then what good is it?


It is worth noting that, while moral realists are united in their cognitivism and in their rejection of error theories, they disagree among themselves not only about which moral claims are actually true but about what it is about the world that makes those claims true. Moral realism is not a particular substantive moral view nor does it carry a distinctive metaphysical commitment over and above the commitment that comes with thinking moral claims can be true or false and some are true. Still, much of the debate about moral realism revolves around either what it takes for claims to be true or false at all (with some arguing that moral claims do not have what it takes) or what it would take specifically for moral claims to be true (with some arguing that moral claims would require something the world does not provide).

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-realism/

seer
08-01-2015, 03:12 AM
We only have knowledge of a godless universe. The notion of a god-made universe is a failed hypothesis, there’s no substantive evidence of such a universe. And ethical considerations are derivatives of self-preservation and procreation in every case and are a consequence of natural selection. We know we have ethical systems, we don’t know whether we gave gods...we probably don't

Failed hypothesis Tass? Like your multiverse theories that have no substantial evidence? Beside, God is not a hypothesis, He is a Person.

Jichard
08-01-2015, 12:24 PM
How does that answer my point that your ethical musings are as meaningless and purposeless as humanity is in your godless universe.

Again, please stop fabricating false claims, just because you're not honest enough to address what was written.


And if moral realism isn't useful then what good is it?

It was already explained to you how moral realism was useful, and how you're committing the fallacy of appeal to consequences:



Same old mistakes you've been corrected on time and time again. Basically, you're committing the fallacy of appeal to consequences, and lying by pretending that moral realism does not answer meta-ethical questions. And you'll keep on dishonestly reapeating these no matter how many times it's pointed out, because you have no interest in engaging in serious discussion or sticking to true claims. Instead, you'll just repeat whatever false claims you deem necessary for your pet position.

Anyway, once again (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=220707#post220707):


"You've repeatedly gone on about whether or not moral realism is useful, and I've repeatedly told you that that's a fallacious appeal to consequence, since moral realism doesn't need to be useful in order to be true. Furthermore, I explained to you how moral realism was useful, insofar as it answers meta-ethical questions."
Why do you dishonestly keep pretending otherwise? Why do you lie so much? I mean that. It's rare to encounter someone online who is as dishonest as you, whie still claiming (or pretending) to be Christian. It's as if (when it comes to stuff that's inconvenient for your religious ideology), you refuse to reason in an honest manner.


http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-realism/

Stop quote-mining sources you don't understand. It makes you look silly.

And I know you have no understanding of what you quote-mined, since what you quotes hinges on the distinction between normative ethics and meta-ethics, a distinction you don't understand and think is meaningless. Hence your inability to honestly answer the following question:


"Is moral realism a meta-ethical position, or is it a position in normative ethics? (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=225127#post225127)"

seer
08-01-2015, 03:08 PM
And I know you have no understanding of what you quote-mined, since what you quotes hinges on the distinction between normative ethics and meta-ethics, a distinction you don't understand and think is meaningless. Hence your inability to honestly answer the following question:

"Is moral realism a meta-ethical position, or is it a position in normative ethics?"


Taken at face value, the claim that Nigel has a moral obligation to keep his promise, like the claim that Nyx is a black cat, purports to report a fact and is true if things are as the claim purports. Moral realists are those who think that, in these respects, things should be taken at face value—moral claims do purport to report facts and are true if they get the facts right. Moreover, they hold, at least some moral claims actually are true. That much is the common and more or less defining ground of moral realism (although some accounts of moral realism see it as involving additional commitments, say to the independence of the moral facts from human thought and practice, or to those facts being objective in some specified way).

Since moral realism claims that there are moral facts and that these facts are true, why it wrong to ask what these facts are, why are they true, and how you come know them.

seer
08-01-2015, 04:25 PM
Again, please stop fabricating false claims, just because you're not honest enough to address what was written.

Are you daft? How can your ethical theories be meaningful when the very creatures they apply to are meaningless specks, on a meaningless planet, in a meaningless universe.

Jichard
08-01-2015, 04:33 PM
Since moral realism claims that there are moral facts and that these facts are true, why it wrong to ask what these facts are, why are they true, and how you come know them.

Is moral realism a meta-ethical position, or is it a position in normative ethics?

Feel free to finally honestly answer that question. You've been asked it so many times, they it's stunning how you dishonestly evade it.

Jichard
08-01-2015, 04:35 PM
Are you daft?

I'm not you.


How can your ethical theories be meaningful when the very creatures they apply to are meaningless specks, on a meaningless planet, in a meaningless universe.

Because they answer ethical questions. How many times does this need to be explained to you, before you stop being dishonest and address it?



Same old mistakes you've been corrected on time and time again. Basically, you're committing the fallacy of appeal to consequences, and lying by pretending that moral realism does not answer meta-ethical questions. And you'll keep on dishonestly reapeating these no matter how many times it's pointed out, because you have no interest in engaging in serious discussion or sticking to true claims. Instead, you'll just repeat whatever false claims you deem necessary for your pet position.

Anyway, once again (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=220707#post220707):


"You've repeatedly gone on about whether or not moral realism is useful, and I've repeatedly told you that that's a fallacious appeal to consequence, since moral realism doesn't need to be useful in order to be true. Furthermore, I explained to you how moral realism was useful, insofar as it answers meta-ethical questions."

And please stop making daft statements. Semantic content (i.e. "meaning") doesn't require a deity to exist. What you're writing is as silly as saying Cell Theory only has meaning if God exists.

seer
08-01-2015, 05:48 PM
Because they answer ethical questions. How many times does this need to be explained to you, before you stop being dishonest and address it?

You mean ethical questions that meaningless, purposeless creatures have? Sounds important.

seer
08-01-2015, 05:50 PM
Is moral realism a meta-ethical position, or is it a position in normative ethics?

Feel free to finally honestly answer that question. You've been asked it so many times, they it's stunning how you dishonestly evade it.

Yes or no Jichard, does moral realism claim that there are moral facts and that these facts are true?

Jichard
08-01-2015, 06:15 PM
Yes or no Jichard, does moral realism claim that there are moral facts and that these facts are true?

I asked you this question first: Is moral realism a meta-ethical position, or is it a position in normative ethics? (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=224152#post224152) You've dishonestly avoided addressing it.

So you can stop your usual dishonesty, and honestly answer, for a change. For a supposed Christian, you're quite the disingenuous person.

Jichard
08-01-2015, 06:19 PM
You mean ethical questions that meaningless, purposeless creatures have?

Please stop fabricating false claims and pretending I've agreed to them. It's a dishonest thing you continually do.

What I actually wrote was this:


Because they answer ethical questions. How many times does this need to be explained to you, before you stop being dishonest and address it?



Same old mistakes you've been corrected on time and time again. Basically, you're committing the fallacy of appeal to consequences, and lying by pretending that moral realism does not answer meta-ethical questions. And you'll keep on dishonestly reapeating these no matter how many times it's pointed out, because you have no interest in engaging in serious discussion or sticking to true claims. Instead, you'll just repeat whatever false claims you deem necessary for your pet position.

Anyway, once again (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=220707#post220707):


"You've repeatedly gone on about whether or not moral realism is useful, and I've repeatedly told you that that's a fallacious appeal to consequence, since moral realism doesn't need to be useful in order to be true. Furthermore, I explained to you how moral realism was useful, insofar as it answers meta-ethical questions."
And please stop making daft statements. Semantic content (i.e. "meaning") doesn't require a deity to exist. What you're writing is as silly as saying Cell Theory only has meaning if God exists.


Tell me when you have the integrity to address it. Because, really, I don't think you have a honest bone in your body, at this point. That's one reason why you continually lie about what other peope say, to avoid addressing what they actually said.

seer
08-01-2015, 06:56 PM
I asked you this question first: Is moral realism a meta-ethical position, or is it a position in normative ethics? (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=224152#post224152) You've dishonestly avoided addressing it.

So you can stop your usual dishonesty, and honestly answer, for a change. For a supposed Christian, you're quite the disingenuous person.

Why won't you answer the question? But I did read this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normative_ethics


Normative ethics is the study of ethical action. It is the branch of philosophical ethics that investigates the set of questions that arise when considering how one ought to act, morally speaking. Normative ethics is distinct from meta-ethics because it examines standards for the rightness and wrongness of actions, while meta-ethics studies the meaning of moral language and the metaphysics of moral facts. Normative ethics is also distinct from descriptive ethics, as the latter is an empirical investigation of people’s moral beliefs. To put it another way, descriptive ethics would be concerned with determining what proportion of people believe that killing is always wrong, while normative ethics is concerned with whether it is correct to hold such a belief. Hence, normative ethics is sometimes called prescriptive, rather than descriptive. However, on certain versions of the meta-ethical view called moral realism, moral facts are both descriptive and prescriptive at the same time.

So like normative ethics, moral realism deals with moral facts that are prescriptive.

Jichard
08-01-2015, 08:59 PM
Why won't you answer the question?

Please stop lying. I've answered this question for you multiple times (ex: here (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?4545-Is-God-Immoral&p=183759#post183759)). The answer is: moral realism is a position in meta-ethics, not normative ethics, and thus it's silly to ask it to address positions in normative ethics.

I've told you this before. You even pretended (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?4545-Is-God-Immoral&p=183774#post183774) to be aware of this (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?4545-Is-God-Immoral&p=184542#post184542). But here you are, dishonestly pretending that this hasn't been explained to you. And I'm tired of that dishonesty. That's why I'm asking you this question, a question you keep dishonestly dodging:
Is moral realism a meta-ethical position, or is it a position in normative ethics? (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=224152#post224152)



But I did read this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normative_ethics



So like normative ethics, moral realism deals with moral facts that are prescriptive.

Once again, please stop dishonestly quote-mining things on topics you don't understand. It makes you look silly, especially when after you made the stupid claim that meta-ethics and normative ethics are meaningless.




Is moral realism a meta-ethical position, or is it a position in normative ethics?


It doesn't matter since both are meaningless.
It takes a truly foolish person to claim that normative ethics and meta-ethics are meaningless... an then turn around and quote-mine a source that states what normative ethics and meta-ethics mean. :ahem:


So, once again: Is moral realism a meta-ethical position, or is it a position in normative ethics? (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=224152#post224152)

JimL
08-01-2015, 08:59 PM
Yes or no Jichard, does moral realism claim that there are moral facts and that these facts are true?
Yes and no. Morals do not exist in themselves, but relative to minds they are factual truths.

Jichard
08-01-2015, 09:05 PM
Is moral realism a meta-ethical position, or is it a position in normative ethics?


It doesn't matter since both are meaningless.

Then why did you quote a source on normative ethics and meta-ethics?



But I did read this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normative_ethics


Normative ethics is the study of ethical action. It is the branch of philosophical ethics that investigates the set of questions that arise when considering how one ought to act, morally speaking. Normative ethics is distinct from meta-ethics because it examines standards for the rightness and wrongness of actions, while meta-ethics studies the meaning of moral language and the metaphysics of moral facts. Normative ethics is also distinct from descriptive ethics, as the latter is an empirical investigation of people’s moral beliefs. To put it another way, descriptive ethics would be concerned with determining what proportion of people believe that killing is always wrong, while normative ethics is concerned with whether it is correct to hold such a belief. Hence, normative ethics is sometimes called prescriptive, rather than descriptive. However, on certain versions of the meta-ethical view called moral realism, moral facts are both descriptive and prescriptive at the same time.

So like normative ethics, moral realism deals with moral facts that are prescriptive.
Do you bother to understand what you quote-mine before you misrepresent it, or do you lack the honesty to do even that?


So instead of honestly answering my question, you claim that meta-ethics and normative ethics are meaningless... and then turn around and cite a source on what normative ethics and meta-ethics mean. Seriously, that is really stupid. There's no other word for it. Mind-numbingly stupid, intellectual dishonesty. At this point, I'm wondering if it's even worth my time to respond to your posts, given this and some of the other things you've posted.

seer
08-02-2015, 05:12 AM
Then why did you quote a source on normative ethics and meta-ethics?

Because I still don't have a clue what you are getting at. Tell me where I'm off.

Moral realism claims that there are moral facts, but moral realism does tell us what these facts are. To actually know what these fact are or could be we have to look at something like Normative ethics - there we find the Holy Grail. With that we decide the behaviors that are actually right or wrong. Is that correct so far? Then the question becomes how do we actually know which of these behaviors are right or wrong? And how is the rightness or wrongness mind independent?

seer
08-02-2015, 05:15 AM
Yes and no. Morals do not exist in themselves, but relative to minds they are factual truths.

I'm not sure what you mean Jim. I agree that we have moral ideals, that is true, and that they are subjective.

JimL
08-02-2015, 09:17 AM
I'm not sure what you mean Jim. I agree that we have moral ideals, that is true, and that they are subjective.
We live in a world and so have to find the patterns in that world that best suit a peaceful and joyous life, for all life. In that sense the morals we derive of the world are objective, but they are not something that exist independent of minds.

Jichard
08-02-2015, 09:39 AM
Because I still don't have a clue what you are getting at. Tell me where I'm off.

That doesn't address the point, seer. So please stop being dishonest and address the point.

Why did you quote a source on what meta-ethics and normative ethics mean, when you previously said they were meaningless? (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=225763#post225763) Isn't that a stupidly dishonest thing to do? Stop dishonestly avoiding that.


Moral realism claims that there are moral facts, but moral realism does tell us what these facts are. To actually know what these fact are or could be we have to look at something like Normative ethics - there we find the Holy Grail. With that we decide the behaviors that are actually right or wrong. Is that correct so far? Then the question becomes how do we actually know which of these behaviors are right or wrong? And how is the rightness or wrongness mind independent?

Oh, stop being disingenuous. This has already been explained to you; no need to keep pretending otherwise. Once again (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=225757#post225757):



I've answered this question for you multiple times (ex: here (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?4545-Is-God-Immoral&p=183759#post183759)). The answer is: moral realism is a position in meta-ethics, not normative ethics, and thus it's silly to ask it to address questions in normative ethics.

I've told you this before. You even pretended (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?4545-Is-God-Immoral&p=183774#post183774) to be aware of this (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?4545-Is-God-Immoral&p=184542#post184542). But here you are, dishonestly pretending that this hasn't been explained to you. And I'm tired of that dishonesty. That's why I'm asking you this question, a question you keep dishonestly dodging:
Is moral realism a meta-ethical position, or is it a position in normative ethics? (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=224152#post224152)


You've been told this no less than 6 times. Yet you keep avoiding addressing it.

seer
08-02-2015, 11:13 AM
That doesn't address the point, seer. So please stop being dishonest and address the point.

Why did you quote a source on what meta-ethics and normative ethics mean, when you previously said they were meaningless? (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=225763#post225763) Isn't that a stupidly dishonest thing to do? Stop dishonestly avoiding that.

Well of course these questions are ultimately meaningless since we are ultimately meaningless.



Oh, stop being disingenuous. This has already been explained to you; no need to keep pretending otherwise. Once again (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=225757#post225757):



I've answered this question for you multiple times (ex: here (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?4545-Is-God-Immoral&p=183759#post183759)). The answer is: moral realism is a position in meta-ethics, not normative ethics, and thus it's silly to ask it to address questions in normative ethics.

I've told you this before. You even pretended (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?4545-Is-God-Immoral&p=183774#post183774) to be aware of this (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?4545-Is-God-Immoral&p=184542#post184542). But here you are, dishonestly pretending that this hasn't been explained to you. And I'm tired of that dishonesty. That's why I'm asking you this question, a question you keep dishonestly dodging:
Is moral realism a meta-ethical position, or is it a position in normative ethics? (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=224152#post224152)


You've been told this no less than 6 times. Yet you keep avoiding addressing it.

No Jichard, this is on you because I have asked you a number of times why/how moral realism was actually useful and how we actually decide what is right or wrong - whether you want appeal to moral realism or normative ethics you have time and time again deflected questions about specific moral questions. So anyway since I'm so dishonest I will end this painful discussion.

Jichard
08-02-2015, 11:32 AM
Well of course these questions are ultimately meaningless since we are ultimately meaningless.

I didn't ask you what false claims you were fabricating about your strawman. So please stop pretending otherwise. It's not my fault that you think that questions are meaningless and humans are ultimately meaningless. That's your apparently your position, not mine.

And you didn't address the question. Feel feel to try again, with honesty this time: Why did you quote a source on what meta-ethics and normative ethics mean, when you previously said they were meaningless? (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=225763#post225763) Isn't that a stupidly dishonest thing to do?


No Jichard, this is on you because I have asked you a number of times why/how moral realism was actually useful

You were answered, but you pretended that you weren't:



Same old mistakes you've been corrected on time and time again. Basically, you're committing the fallacy of appeal to consequences, and lying by pretending that moral realism does not answer meta-ethical questions. And you'll keep on dishonestly reapeating these no matter how many times it's pointed out, because you have no interest in engaging in serious discussion or sticking to true claims. Instead, you'll just repeat whatever false claims you deem necessary for your pet position.

Anyway, once again (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=220707#post220707):


"You've repeatedly gone on about whether or not moral realism is useful, and I've repeatedly told you that that's a fallacious appeal to consequence, since moral realism doesn't need to be useful in order to be true. Furthermore, I explained to you how moral realism was useful, insofar as it answers meta-ethical questions."
You've been told this at least 15 times. Yet you're such a blatantly dishonest person, that you think you can fool people by pretending that this hasn't been told to you.


and how we actually decide what is right or wrong - whether you want appeal to moral realism or normative ethics you have time and time again deflected questions about specific moral questions.

No, you simply repeat the falsehood that moral realism is supposed to address questions of normative ethics, no matter how many times you're corrected on that, as discussed in the post you were responding to.

And you were already told how we determine what is right and wrong. For example: http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?4545-Is-God-Immoral&p=182484#post182484
It's just that you're such a willfully dishonest person, that you pretend otherwise. Again, sad.


So anyway since I'm so dishonest I will end this painful discussion.

Awesome. I'm glad you can recognize your own dishonesty. That way, you can avoid addressing anything that exposes how ridiculous your position is. Maybe you can move on and find people naive enough to fall for what you're doing. Feel free to keep running from questions we both know you're not honest enough to address, such as: Is moral realism a meta-ethical position, or is it a position in normative ethics? (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6655-Moral-Realism&p=224152#post224152)

Tassman
08-02-2015, 09:41 PM
Failed hypothesis Tass? Like your multiverse theories that have no substantial evidence?

Here we go again.

The multiverse remains a viable theory in physics inasmuch as a wide variety of different theories lend themselves to a multiverse explanation. Your sole argument against it has been based upon the ‘Incredulity’ fallacy; you can’t imagine how a multiverse could exist so voilà. it doesn’t exist. :lol:


Beside, God is not a hypothesis,

Of course it is, it’s the most primitive of all hypotheses probably dating back to our caveman days. But, unlike multiverse theory, the ‘god-did-it’ hypothesis is not supported by any credible evidence whatsoever.


He is a Person.

So you like to believe; you’re welcome to your delusion.

seer
08-03-2015, 05:01 AM
Here we go again.

The multiverse remains a viable theory in physics inasmuch as a wide variety of different theories lend themselves to a multiverse explanation. Your sole argument against it has been based upon the ‘Incredulity’ fallacy; you can’t imagine how a multiverse could exist so voilà. it doesn’t exist. :lol:

Yes Tass, you are entitled to your fantasy. And no Tass, we have been through this enough, there is no viable multiverse theory, one with actual evidence.




Of course it is, it’s the most primitive of all hypotheses probably dating back to our caveman days. But, unlike multiverse theory, the ‘god-did-it’ hypothesis is not supported by any credible evidence whatsoever.



And there is zero credible evidence for you god, multiverse, yet wonders of wonders, you still have faith!



]So you like to believe; you’re welcome to your delusion.

And you yours...

Tassman
08-03-2015, 06:38 PM
Yes Tass, you are entitled to your fantasy. And no Tass, we have been through this enough, there is no viable multiverse theory, one with actual evidence.

Come now, you’re in denial. As per the Higg’s Boson, which was predicted for 40 years before it was actually discovered, so multiverse theory remains viable in that a wide variety of different theories lend themselves to a multiverse explanation. They point in that direction. It might be wrong but it’s too soon for you to dismiss it altogether just because it’s inconvenient to your worldview.


And there is zero credible evidence for you god, multiverse, yet wonders of wonders, you still have faith!

Why would you think multiverse theory was my god, or even that I would be committed to it without sufficient evidence to support it…unlike you and your deity.


And you yours...

So there!!! <seer stamps foot>

seer
08-04-2015, 04:37 AM
Come now, you’re in denial. As per the Higg’s Boson, which was predicted for 40 years before it was actually discovered, so multiverse theory remains viable in that a wide variety of different theories lend themselves to a multiverse explanation. They point in that direction. It might be wrong but it’s too soon for you to dismiss it altogether just because it’s inconvenient to your worldview.

Give it up Tass, there are good reasons to believe that even if there was a multiverse that it could not be past eternal. We went over this ad nauseam. But the point is there is no credible, actual, physical evidence for said multiverse.



Why would you think multiverse theory was my god, or even that I would be committed to it without sufficient evidence to support it…unlike you and your deity.

But you already are committed to your god without sufficient evidence - that is why you keep bring him up...

Tassman
08-04-2015, 09:17 PM
Give it up Tass, there are good reasons to believe that even if there was a multiverse that it could not be past eternal. We went over this ad nauseam. But the point is there is no credible, actual, physical evidence for said multiverse.




But you already are committed to your god without sufficient evidence - that is why you keep bring him up...

You brought up the multiverse in this thread seer in #199, not I. You were diverting attention away from the failed god hypothesis by erroneously comparing it to your spectacular misunderstanding of multiverse theory as per your cherry-picked quotes of Vilenkin et al.

seer
08-05-2015, 04:41 AM
You brought up the multiverse in this thread seer in #199, not I. You were diverting attention away from the failed god hypothesis by erroneously comparing it to your spectacular misunderstanding of multiverse theory as per your cherry-picked quotes of Vilenkin et al.

No the point Tass is that you believe things that are not, or have not been shown, to be true. And I never cherry-picked Vilenkin - I linked his full video a number of times. Here it is again:

Did the Universe have a Beginning? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXCQelhKJ7A

But tell me Tass, be honest, do you have a little shrine in your basement where you worship the great god multiverse? Burn a few incense? Sacrifice a chicken or two? :wink:

Tassman
08-05-2015, 06:10 PM
No the point Tass is that you believe things that are not, or have not been shown, to be true. And I never cherry-picked Vilenkin - I linked his full video a number of times. Here it is again:

Did the Universe have a Beginning? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXCQelhKJ7A

But tell me Tass, be honest, do you have a little shrine in your basement where you worship the great god multiverse? Burn a few incense? Sacrifice a chicken or two? :wink:

Once again, multiverse theory has nothing to do with the the topic of this thread. I didn't introduce it, you did...presumably as a diversionary tactic.

seer
08-06-2015, 04:49 AM
Once again, multiverse theory has nothing to do with the the topic of this thread. I didn't introduce it, you did...presumably as a diversionary tactic.

I introduced it Tass, because you accused me of believing something for which there is no evidence, well you are doing the same thing. You do believe that matter or energy are past eternal, you have to as an atheist - yet there is no evidence that that is so. Once again, the pot calling the kettle black.

Tassman
08-06-2015, 09:34 PM
I introduced it Tass, because you accused me of believing something for which there is no evidence, well you are doing the same thing. You do believe that matter or energy are past eternal, you have to as an atheist - yet there is no evidence that that is so. Once again, the pot calling the kettle black.

One is an atheist because there is no substantive evidence of deities existing, not because of multiverse theory or any other scientific hypothesis or theory. Your oft repeated suggestion that in demonstrating a scientific theory to be wrong or incomplete “so therefore God”, is merely a 'god-of-the-gaps' argument as has been pointed out to you many, many times. Don’t forget that the “gaps” have a habit of getting filled in.

seer
08-07-2015, 04:42 AM
One is an atheist because there is no substantive evidence of deities existing, not because of multiverse theory or any other scientific hypothesis or theory. Your oft repeated suggestion that in demonstrating a scientific theory to be wrong or incomplete “so therefore God”, is merely a 'god-of-the-gaps' argument as has been pointed out to you many, many times. Don’t forget that the “gaps” have a habit of getting filled in.

Well the creation of the universe would not be a "gap" it would be the whole ball of wax. The fact is Tass any past eternal assumption for matter/energy is a faith based position, and nothing more.

Jichard
08-07-2015, 03:41 PM
Failed hypothesis Tass? Like your multiverse theories that have no substantial evidence? Beside, God is not a hypothesis, He is a Person.

And the multiverse is a multiverse, not a theory.

Of course, one can have a theory or hypothesis about the multiverse. But if you admit that, then would would need to stop pretending that one cannot have a hypothesis about God.

Basically, you're conflating:

1 : a theory or hypothesis about X
with:

2 : X is a theory or hypothesis
The two aren't the same. For example, one can have a theory about cells, without cells themselves being a theory.
Tassman was clearly using 1 when discussing God and a God-made universe, while you pretended as if he were discussing 2. Hence you pretending that Tassman was calling God itself a "hypothesis" (as opposed to 1, where Tassman would be discussing hypotheses about God and/or about a God-made universe), and you then responding that "God is not a hypothesis, He is a Person."

JimL
08-07-2015, 09:08 PM
Well the creation of the universe would not be a "gap" it would be the whole ball of wax. The fact is Tass any past eternal assumption for matter/energy is a faith based position, and nothing more.
The difference seer is that unlike the notion of a creator, the existence of matter/energy is an empirical fact, which being that there is no evidence of a creator of it, or evidence of anything coming from nothing, then it can be logically assumed to be past eternal and in no need of a creator. Is the existence of god such an empirical fact? No! Is there any empirical evidence that something can come from nothing? No! So believing, having faith, in an eternally existing god is not a logical assumption to make in the same sense as is believing, having faith, in the eternal existence of the universe.

Tassman
08-07-2015, 09:33 PM
Well the creation of the universe would not be a "gap" it would be the whole ball of wax.

Correct. It would be the whole enchilada IF there was any substantive evidence supporting the ‘god-did-it’ hypothesis. But there’s not.


The fact is Tass any past eternal assumption for matter/energy is a faith based position, and nothing more.

Yes, it’s called creation mythology.

seer
08-08-2015, 06:56 AM
Correct. It would be the whole enchilada IF there was any substantive evidence supporting the ‘god-did-it’ hypothesis. But there’s not.

Yes, it’s called creation mythology.

You mean like the "nature-did-it" myth?

Tassman
08-08-2015, 10:42 PM
You mean like the "nature-did-it" myth?

No! Unlike the 'god-did-it' myth the "nature did-it" scenario is not mythology. It's supported by empirically verified facts such as notion of temporal uniformity in nature whereby science can make testable predictions and develop technologies, increase human knowledge and greatly enhance the human condition. It’s the difference between facts (science) and fantasy (religion).

seer
08-09-2015, 05:21 AM
No! Unlike the 'god-did-it' myth the "nature did-it" scenario is not mythology. It's supported by empirically verified facts such as notion of temporal uniformity in nature whereby science can make testable predictions and develop technologies, increase human knowledge and greatly enhance the human condition. It’s the difference between facts (science) and fantasy (religion).

Nonsense Tass, it is this universe, with its laws and specific parameters that allow for scientific exploration that needs to be explained. And to this point you got nothing. Except somekind of mythical multiverse.

Tassman
08-09-2015, 10:19 PM
Nonsense Tass, it is this universe, with its laws and specific parameters that allow for scientific exploration that needs to be explained.

…and your explanation is an unsubstantiated creation myth. Gotcha! :lmbo:


And to this point you got nothing. Except somekind of mythical multiverse.

To this point we have a great deal. There’s nothing mythical about the heliocentric universe, laws of gravity, evolution, relativity, quantum theory, theory of gravity and electro-magnetic theory…to name a few verified scientific theories...with many more to come including, possibly, multiverse theory.

seer
08-10-2015, 04:56 AM
To this point we have a great deal. There’s nothing mythical about the heliocentric universe, laws of gravity, evolution, relativity, quantum theory, theory of gravity and electro-magnetic theory…to name a few verified scientific theories...with many more to come including, possibly, multiverse theory.

There you go again, worshiping your great god multiverse. The great powerful creator of universes!

Tassman
08-10-2015, 08:51 PM
There you go again, worshiping your great god multiverse. The great powerful creator of universes!

Sigh! :sigh:

I’ve said nothing at all about “worshipping” any of the many empirically verified scientific facts such as the heliocentric universe, the laws of gravity, evolution, relativity, quantum theory and electro-magnetic theory…to name a few established scientific theories. And there are many more to come including, possibly, multiverse theory.

You may feel the need to attribute the existence of the universe(s) to a Bronze Age deity who demands to be worshipped, but don’t tar me with the same brush.

seer
08-11-2015, 04:56 AM
Sigh! :sigh:

I’ve said nothing at all about “worshipping” any of the many empirically verified scientific facts such as the heliocentric universe, the laws of gravity, evolution, relativity, quantum theory and electro-magnetic theory…to name a few established scientific theories. And there are many more to come including, possibly, multiverse theory.

You may feel the need to attribute the existence of the universe(s) to a Bronze Age deity who demands to be worshipped, but don’t tar me with the same brush.

Well I will give you your due, at least your god doesn't make moral demands on you.

Tassman
08-11-2015, 08:53 PM
Well I will give you your due, at least your god doesn't make moral demands on you.

I don’t have a god seer and nor do you, you only think you do.

seer
08-12-2015, 04:41 AM
I don’t have a god seer and nor do you, you only think you do.

Of course you don't - keep telling yourself that...

Tassman
08-12-2015, 11:47 PM
Of course you don't - keep telling yourself that...

It's you who needs to keep telling yourself that an invisible, omni-entity exists when there's no substantive evidence to support such a delusion.