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Thread: Non-theistic Moral Realism

  1. #11
    tWebber mattdamore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    I understand and will interact on the Non-Theist perspective focusing on #1. Though it is difficult to isolate it from the different perspectives of the nature of our Will. I personally do not believe #1 can be distinguished from #2.
    This response is keeping in mind your qualification "from a human perspective". Thus, your position seems to be that from a human perspective, you do not believe that theistic moral realism can be "distinguished" from non-theistic moral realism. Because it seems to me that we can, perhaps you could unpack that for me. For right now, I'll just say that it seems that we can because all I need to do to distinguish the two is to include or exclude the moniker "theistic". To include it would be to say that God explains and is the ground for objective morality; and to exclude it would be to provide an account of objective morality that does not include God as part of its ontological structure - that it would be sufficient to ground it in something other than God in order to adequately substantiate its objective status.

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    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattdamore View Post
    What would hold Stalin, a despot, or the rapist accountable would be the non-normative, intrinsically good properties inhering in morally relevant states of affairs, grasped by agents with cognitive faculties, and then mapped onto the normative, intrinsically good properties upon which they supervene, whilst also such non-normative, intrinsically good properties serving as the reasons (constituting action-guiding moral principles) for moral obligations.
    Right, but how does that stop a Stalin, or curb his behavior? A bullet in the head would do a much better job. Again, nothing really happens if he ignores these objective moral standards. It all seems like a rhetorical exercise with no teeth.


    The practical use of such non-theistic approaches would, according to them, be the ability to denounce moral evils and wrong actions (and praise moral good and right actions). According to this view, the rapist who finds rape pleasurable is objectively evil, deserving of moral opprobrium, and subject to that legal censure backed by a justice system that (per the moral realist) can succeed or fail to align itself with the objective moral furniture of good and evil, right and wrong.
    But cultures have generally have considered rape evil without consideration to these objective standards. Of course many cultures did on religious grounds. Then I would have to ask, when did rape suddenly become objectively evil? I mean we find it in the animal kingdom even with higher primates - is it evil for them too? Or it's not because they just can't grasp the concepts?
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

  3. #13
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post

    "Making-relation" may appear sufficient grounding for moral values/principles---but because human reason can be subjective---such principles can become relative and utilitarian. Such a situation will eventually lead to moral bankruptcy. In order to have long-term consistency of moral values/principles it is better to make them "objective" in a metaphysical (abstract) sense so as to give such values the quality of wisdom/truth (Wisdom = knowledge that remains true/correct over time) A metaphysical paradigm need not have "God" in it---but it does need to have a narrative that explains human purpose and the meaning of our existence, one that will remain consistent over a very long period of time.
    This is a clear example where in a discussion of NMN cannot be considered alone. Both siam and seer, and others will also likely argue, are proposing the necessity of the existence of an 'outside objective authority (God) for humanity to be moral and ethical. The comparison between option #1 and option #2 cannot be avoided.

    Siam argues here that the subjective nature of human moral and ethical decision making would lead to some kind of 'moral bankruptcy,' therefore an objective source outside the human condition is necessary. This goes to the root of the Theistic arguments for morality, which is highly flawed, because there is no feasible way to compare what our moral and ethical nature would be in a world with God, and a world with God. Morality and ethics have both subjective and objective attributes naturally. The problem of materialism and 'moral bankruptcy' versus altuism, unselfish motives, and compassion naturally exist in ALL human societies regardless of whether God exists or not. We do not have an atheist cold robotic materialist world devoid of altruism and unselfish compassion that we can compare to justify a world with the necessity of God.

    here is a scenario of a society without a metaphysical paradigm:-
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbBv2ZGC2VI
    This is an excellent series of lectures by Michael Sandel that addresses issues, tension and conflict between materialism versus altruism and human intrinsic values, but this does not present a scenario of a society without a metaphysical paradigm. ALL societies throughout history have experienced this conflict and tension between the extremes of human motivation. A natural (NMN) has demonstrated through the natural evolution of behavior that altruism and unselfish motivations do have survival value for social animal societies where money or hierarchal material and authority advantage cannot or does not buy everything. Primate societies and other intelligent animal societies show altruistic and unselfish behaviors that are of survival value for cooperation and social order necessary for their survival.
    Last edited by shunyadragon; 02-13-2017 at 12:50 PM.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
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    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

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    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    This is a clear example where in a discussion of NMN cannot be considered alone. Both siam and seer, and others will also likely argue, are proposing the necessity of the existence of an 'outside objective authority (God) for humanity to be moral and ethical. The comparison between option #1 and option #2 cannot be avoided.

    That is not what I have argued. What I have argued that if there are not universal moral truths and a universal authority to enforce moral law then we live in an unjust universe where ethics are culturally relative. And even if Matt's objective moral duties and values do exist there is no enforcement mechanism, no mechanism that would differ from what we have without acknowledgment of these objective moral duties. So in the end, a Stalin and a Mao murder millions and die a good old age - they win. Evil wins.
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

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    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    But cultures have generally have considered rape evil without consideration to these objective standards. Of course many cultures did on religious grounds. Then I would have to ask, when did rape suddenly become objectively evil? I mean we find it in the animal kingdom even with higher primates - is it evil for them too? Or it's not because they just can't grasp the concepts?
    I think to further your point, there are plenty of cultures that have not considered rape evil. Marital rape is perfectly legal in Saudi Arabia, while in the US it is considered horrific and unconscionable. In fact, here is a list of nations who do not find marital rape unlawful,


    Afghanistan
    Algeria
    Bahrain
    Bangladesh
    Botswana
    Brunei Darussalam
    Central African Republic
    China
    Chad
    Democratic Republic of Congo
    Egypt
    Eritrea
    Ethiopia
    Haiti
    India
    Indonesia
    Iran
    Iraq
    Ivory Coast
    Jordan
    Kuwait
    Laos
    Lebanon
    Libya
    Malawi
    Mali
    Malaysia
    Mongolia
    Morocco
    Myanmar
    Nigeria
    Oman
    Palestinian territories
    Saudi Arabia
    Senegal
    Singapore
    South Sudan
    Sri Lanka
    Sudan
    Syria
    Tajikistan
    Tanzania
    Tunisia
    United Arab Emirates
    Uganda
    Vietnam
    Yemen
    Zambia

    Non-theistic moral realism can't account for why some cultures are fine with marital rape and why others are not, or who among the nations are right for holding one view on the subject versus another.

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    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    I think to further your point, there are plenty of cultures that have not considered rape evil. Marital rape is perfectly legal in Saudi Arabia, while in the US it is considered horrific and unconscionable. In fact, here is a list of nations who do not find marital rape unlawful...

    ...Non-theistic moral realism can't account for why some cultures are fine with marital rape and why others are not, or who among the nations are right for holding one view on the subject versus another.
    Yes I think it comes back to who subjectively decides what is normative and intrinsically good.
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

  7. #17
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    That is not what I have argued. What I have argued that if there are not universal moral truths and a universal authority to enforce moral law then we live in an unjust universe where ethics are culturally relative. And even if Matt's objective moral duties and values do exist there is no enforcement mechanism, no mechanism that would differ from what we have without acknowledgment of these objective moral duties. So in the end, a Stalin and a Mao murder millions and die a good old age - they win. Evil wins.
    If you reread my post you find I am describing your view requiring an 'objective outside authority' as an enforcement mechanism, unfortunately the enforcement you propose in the after life is an anecdotal claim and does not explain the way the world works in reality as a more meaningful responsibility and judgement in this world that we can objectively compare. What about the consequences of the evil of the Inquisition and the Crusades? It is obvious the threat of condemnation of God in the next world did not deter their evil actions. It is obvious that Stalin and Mao lived to a ripe old age in this world without any consequences of the wrath of God. I do not believe that the threat of damnation in the afterlife has prevent people like Hitler, Stalin and Mao form committing evil acts in this world, nor those that committed evil acts in the Crusades and Inquisition. Evil does not eventually work in the real world, because eventually the evil is eventually defeated.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  8. #18
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Right, but how does that stop a Stalin, or curb his behavior? A bullet in the head would do a much better job. Again, nothing really happens if he ignores these objective moral standards. It all seems like a rhetorical exercise with no teeth.
    God question; How does Stalin and Mao get stopped, curb their behavior? The threat of the wrath of God in the next world has not been a deterrent to curb this behavior. The existence of Divine or secular objective moral standards as far as I can see has never prevented some from violating these standards whether God exists or not.


    But cultures have generally have considered rape evil without consideration to these objective standards. Of course many cultures did on religious grounds. Then I would have to ask, when did rape suddenly become objectively evil? I mean we find it in the animal kingdom even with higher primates - is it evil for them too? Or it's not because they just can't grasp the concepts?
    Was it evil in the days of the Old Testament? Actually I find no definitive objective moral in the Bible that specifically declares rape a violation of God's Law in all cases.
    Last edited by shunyadragon; 02-13-2017 at 05:37 PM.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  9. #19
    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    If you reread my post you find I am describing your view requiring an 'objective outside authority' as an enforcement mechanism, unfortunately the enforcement you propose in the after life is an anecdotal claim and does not explain the way the world works in reality as a more meaningful responsibility and judgement in this world that we can objectively compare. What about the consequences of the evil of the Inquisition and the Crusades? It is obvious the threat of condemnation of God in the next world did not deter their evil actions. It is obvious that Stalin and Mao lived to a ripe old age in this world without any consequences of the wrath of God. I do not believe that the threat of damnation in the afterlife has prevent people like Hitler, Stalin and Mao form committing evil acts in this world, nor those that committed evil acts in the Crusades and Inquisition. Evil does not eventually work in the real world, because eventually the evil is eventually defeated.
    It doesn't matter if evil men do not believe in final judgement, they well still be judged. Like your god will judge the Jews in the future. Which means that we do live in a just and moral universe, instead of an unjust and a-moral universe. And men can and do change their behavior IF they come to believe that some day they may face a just God, I doubt that any man would change his behavior if he came to believe in non-theistic objective morality since there are no consequences now or ever for violating that standard.
    Last edited by seer; 02-13-2017 at 06:12 PM.
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

  10. #20
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    It doesn't matter if evil men do not believe in final judgement, they well still be judged. Like your god will judge the Jews in the future. Which means that we do live in a just and moral universe, instead of an unjust and a-moral universe. And men can and do change their behavior IF they come to believe that some day they may face a just God, I doubt that any man would change his behavior if he came to believe in non-theistic objective morality since there are no consequences now or ever for violating that standard.
    Here we disagree as to consequences in a world of non-Theistic Moral Realism. Non-Theistic morality and ethics is not subjective, there are objective aspects of morality and ethics in the real world whether God exists or not. Cooperation and a stable family, and community have evolved as necessary for the survival of the species.

    I will address this more directly as per the subject of the thread to stay on topic as much as possible.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

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