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Thread: Secular Ethics...

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    Secular Ethics...

    Are secular ethics based on anything other than opinion? Personal or collective? And is any opinion more valid or correct than its opposite? One request in this thread - please don't argue by web link or by cutting and pasting from other people's works. Use your own words.
    Last edited by seer; 06-12-2017 at 02:51 PM.
    "We can understand hell in its aspect of privation. All your life an unattainable ecstasy has hovered just beyond the grasp of your consciousness. The day is coming when you will wake to find, beyond all hope, that you have attained it, or else, that it was within your reach and you have lost it forever. C.S. Lewis

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    tWebber Jin-roh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Are secular ethics based on anything other than opinion? Personal or collective? And is any opinion more valid or correct than its opposite? One request in this thread - please don't argue by web link or by cutting and pasting from other people's works. Use your own words.
    Utilitarianism.

    Kant's Deontological ethics.

    Those are the first two that come to my mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jin-roh View Post
    Utilitarianism.

    Kant's Deontological ethics.

    Those are the first two that come to my mind.
    Right, ethical theories based on opinion. Subjective.
    "We can understand hell in its aspect of privation. All your life an unattainable ecstasy has hovered just beyond the grasp of your consciousness. The day is coming when you will wake to find, beyond all hope, that you have attained it, or else, that it was within your reach and you have lost it forever. C.S. Lewis

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    tWebber Jin-roh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Right, ethical theories based on opinion. Subjective.
    I'm glad to hear that you're deeply familiar with both of these.

  5. Amen Charles amen'd this post.
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    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jin-roh View Post
    I'm glad to hear that you're deeply familiar with both of these.
    I have read quite a bit on both. Deontological ethics could possibly escape the subjective charge if applied to Divine command theory.
    "We can understand hell in its aspect of privation. All your life an unattainable ecstasy has hovered just beyond the grasp of your consciousness. The day is coming when you will wake to find, beyond all hope, that you have attained it, or else, that it was within your reach and you have lost it forever. C.S. Lewis

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    tWebber Jin-roh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    I have read quite a bit on both.
    So when William James wrote that ethics was first about fulfilling the definitions of simple, analytic truths, (e.g. "A father is one who cares for his children") or that it is unethical to treat someone as a means only, you still feel like this is subjective?

  8. Amen shunyadragon amen'd this post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jin-roh View Post
    So when William James wrote that ethics was first about fulfilling the definitions of simple, analytic truths, (e.g. "A father is one who cares for his children") or that it is unethical to treat someone as a means only, you still feel like this is subjective?
    Completely subjective. Some men believe it is perfectly acceptable to treat their fellow man as a means only. That is a self-evident fact given human history. And our view may differ from theirs - but why would our opinion be more valid or correct? Because we hold it?
    "We can understand hell in its aspect of privation. All your life an unattainable ecstasy has hovered just beyond the grasp of your consciousness. The day is coming when you will wake to find, beyond all hope, that you have attained it, or else, that it was within your reach and you have lost it forever. C.S. Lewis

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    tWebber Jin-roh's Avatar
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    Yeeeaaaah.... so here's the really important thing: William James never argued anything like what I said. Someone who had some familiarity with utilitarianism and deontological ethics, as you claim to have, probably would've caught that pretty quickly.

    Tell me seer, why are you pretending to know things? Does divine command theory allow for pretenses of knowledge?

    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Completely subjective. Some men believe it is perfectly acceptable to treat their fellow man as a means only.
    That is a self-evident fact given human history. And our view may differ from theirs - but why would our opinion be more valid or correct? Because we hold it?
    I'm not sure if you know how ethics, in general, works. Of course there are conflicting views, and 'some men believe that it is perfectly acceptable to treat their fellow man as a means only.' Ethics isn't about "what people think/do" it's about "whether what people think/do is right."

    So glib responses that "all men have an opinion" are categorically off the mark. It's not that you're just missing the target, or that your aim at the wrong target, it's that you may not even know how to aim.

  11. Amen Charles, shunyadragon, Roy, Carrikature amen'd this post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jin-roh View Post
    Yeeeaaaah.... so here's the really important thing: William James never argued anything like what I said. Someone who had some familiarity with utilitarianism and deontological ethics, as you claim to have, probably would've caught that pretty quickly.

    Tell me seer, why are you pretending to know things? Does divine command theory allow for pretenses of knowledge?
    Jin, I was not arguing about what James said or didn't say I was arguing about the point you brought up (whether attributed to James or not). So stop being deceptive. And BTW the only thing I ever read by James was "The Varieties of Religious Experience" and that back in 1975. So I guess trusting what you say is the real mistake here.



    I'm not sure if you know how ethics, in general, works. Of course there are conflicting views, and 'some men believe that it is perfectly acceptable to treat their fellow man as a means only.' Ethics isn't about "what people think/do" it's about "whether what people think/do is right."

    So glib responses that "all men have an opinion" are categorically off the mark. It's not that you're just missing the target, or that your aim at the wrong target, it's that you may not even know how to aim.
    Nonsense, tell me anything in this little diatribe that isn't subjective? "Whether what people think/do is right." And this is not subjective? Ethics concern systems of moral values, values which are fundamentally subjective.
    Last edited by seer; 06-12-2017 at 05:48 PM.
    "We can understand hell in its aspect of privation. All your life an unattainable ecstasy has hovered just beyond the grasp of your consciousness. The day is coming when you will wake to find, beyond all hope, that you have attained it, or else, that it was within your reach and you have lost it forever. C.S. Lewis

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Right, ethical theories based on opinion. Subjective.
    This is obviously so wrong that I hardly know where to start.

  14. Amen Jin-roh, shunyadragon amen'd this post.

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