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Thread: Atheism And Moral Progress

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    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattbballman31 View Post
    I didnít see any interaction with the sense in which I already agree that morality is relative in its application without sacrificing the objective, absolute, universal nature of morality in terms of what I pointed out regarding PMM, above. All of this is compatible with the moral agent being part of the environment being defined. The ability for the moral agent to reason wouldnít do anything either: PMM is a product of a particular moral agentís reasoning about the nature of relative application of an objective, absolute, universal moral principle. The misalignment of moral frameworks is explained by the varying applications of PMM in their particular environments and the environmentís framework of optimization, if the optimization includes valuing life. Per PMM, if such an optimization includes valuing life for agent C, and agent A and B also populate that particular optimization-framework in that environment, then it will absolutely, objectively, and universally be the case that A and B are wrong and C is right. If A and B were to come around and Ďprogressí toward valuing life in alignment with C, the progress will be in terms of relative application of PMM to their particular optimization frameworks. This distinction needs to be taken into account. You either need to provide reason for discarding PMM in a such a way that it couldnít be relevant to the relativity of application or bite the bullet and admit that optimization-frameworks donít logically exclude PMM-type principles.
    Except, Matt - you and the other moral absolutists cannot even show the existence of a "moral absolute" or "absolute framework." You can repeatedly claim it exists, and we are all supposed to be measuring ourselves against it, but no one here can actually show what it IS, or show THAT it is. We don't need to add anything to moral relativism/subjectivism. It already works and has worked for hundreds of years. It explains the differences between people's moral positions, and why the moral positions of groups shifts over time.

    Occam's Razor - don't add something to an explanation that is not necessary to the explanation.
    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

    -Martin Luther King

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    tWebber mattbballman31's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    Except, Matt - you and the other moral absolutists cannot even show the existence of a "moral absolute" or "absolute framework." You can repeatedly claim it exists, and we are all supposed to be measuring ourselves against it, but no one here can actually show what it IS, or show THAT it is. We don't need to add anything to moral relativism/subjectivism. It already works and has worked for hundreds of years. It explains the differences between people's moral positions, and why the moral positions of groups shifts over time.

    Occam's Razor - don't add something to an explanation that is not necessary to the explanation.
    Sure. I admit that I havenít shown an absolute framework exists. That hadnít been my intention. My intention was to demonstrate that your evolutionary picture of morality not only didnít exclude it, but didnít account for the fact that it presupposed it insofar as it claimed progress within the relative applications of PMM within particular optimization-frameworks. Demonstrating an absolute framework would be a separate issue, but I think I can provide an indirect proof of it using the evolutionary premises youíve stipulated to explain progress the way you have. That wouldnít be my tactic, though. Iím not sure what you mean by Ďshowing what it isí. I agree with Occamís Razor and, as a Christian, Iíd, of course, believe that an absolute framework is necessary for explaining our moral experience, not only from my own epistemic priors, but - as I said - using the premises in your own evolutionary analysis of progress. I hope you know that moral relativism and moral subjectivism are two different theses: the former is a thesis of normative ethics and the latter is a thesis of metaethics. I do not believe that either adequately explain peopleís moral positions and adequately explains everything thatís going on with the changes of moral positions relative to groups over time. In other words, I donít believe the latter claim can be used as a premise in a philosophical argument leading to the conclusion that either relativism is true or that absolute morality is false. But Iíll go in whatever direction you want.
    Many and painful are the researches sometimes necessary to be made, for settling points of [this] kind. Pertness and ignorance may ask a question in three lines, which it will cost learning and ingenuity thirty pages to answer. When this is done, the same question shall be triumphantly asked again the next year, as if nothing had ever been written upon the subject.
    George Horne

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattbballman31 View Post
    Sure. I admit that I havenít shown an absolute framework exists. That hadnít been my intention. My intention was to demonstrate that your evolutionary picture of morality not only didnít exclude it, but didnít account for the fact that it presupposed it insofar as it claimed progress within the relative applications of PMM within particular optimization-frameworks.
    As best I can tell, proving/disproving the existence of an "absolute moral framework" is somewhat akin to proving/disproving the existence of a god: it cannot be done. Both are more a matter of faith and not subject to any kind of rigorous proof.

    Quote Originally Posted by mattbballman31 View Post
    Demonstrating an absolute framework would be a separate issue, but I think I can provide an indirect proof of it using the evolutionary premises youíve stipulated to explain progress the way you have. That wouldnít be my tactic, though. Iím not sure what you mean by Ďshowing what it isí. I agree with Occamís Razor and, as a Christian, Iíd, of course, believe that an absolute framework is necessary for explaining our moral experience, not only from my own epistemic priors, but - as I said - using the premises in your own evolutionary analysis of progress.
    Then there is something in your explanation that I have missed, because it does not seem to me that you've accomplished this at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by mattbballman31 View Post
    I hope you know that moral relativism and moral subjectivism are two different theses: the former is a thesis of normative ethics and the latter is a thesis of metaethics. I do not believe that either adequately explain peopleís moral positions and adequately explains everything thatís going on with the changes of moral positions relative to groups over time. In other words, I donít believe the latter claim can be used as a premise in a philosophical argument leading to the conclusion that either relativism is true or that absolute morality is false. But Iíll go in whatever direction you want.
    And here you are wandering into a level of cryptospeak I just don't spend time on. I use "moral relativism" and "moral subjectivism" more or less interchangeably. Each of us has a moral framework that is rooted in what we value, how we reason, and how that guides us to sort "ought" from "ought not." So morality is subjective to the individual. As a consequence, moral decisions will be relative to the individual. I understand that "moral relativism" is also used to reflect the belief that moral or ethical propositions do not reflect universal or absolute moral truths, but instead make claims relative to social, cultural, historical or personal circumstances. Because these circumstances reflect "collective" moral norms, I take that as a given, with one caveat: because Culture X or Historical Period Y operated with Moral Framework Z - that does not make Moral Framework Z binding on me. There is only one moral framework that is binding on me - it is the one through which I view the world and assess all moral actions: my own moral framework.
    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

    -Martin Luther King

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    tWebber mattbballman31's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    As best I can tell, proving/disproving the existence of an "absolute moral framework" is somewhat akin to proving/disproving the existence of a god: it cannot be done. Both are more a matter of faith and not subject to any kind of rigorous proof.



    Then there is something in your explanation that I have missed, because it does not seem to me that you've accomplished this at all.



    And here you are wandering into a level of cryptospeak I just don't spend time on. I use "moral relativism" and "moral subjectivism" more or less interchangeably. Each of us has a moral framework that is rooted in what we value, how we reason, and how that guides us to sort "ought" from "ought not." So morality is subjective to the individual. As a consequence, moral decisions will be relative to the individual. I understand that "moral relativism" is also used to reflect the belief that moral or ethical propositions do not reflect universal or absolute moral truths, but instead make claims relative to social, cultural, historical or personal circumstances. Because these circumstances reflect "collective" moral norms, I take that as a given, with one caveat: because Culture X or Historical Period Y operated with Moral Framework Z - that does not make Moral Framework Z binding on me. There is only one moral framework that is binding on me - it is the one through which I view the world and assess all moral actions: my own moral framework.
    If youíre going to stipulate that relativism and subjectivism are the same thing, Iíll go along with that; however, I feel that you must know that these terms are not interchangeable in the literature, and (to my ears) to stipulate that they are, sounds like a person who knows next to nothing about a car engine telling a car mechanic of 50 years that, for the purposes of stipulation, he is going to be using Ďcoolantí and Ďoilí interchangeably.

    Your inferences are quite jarring. For example, you note (and I agree) that moral frameworks are rooted (in some as yet undefined sense) in what we value, how we reason, and considerations of practical normative sorting-strategies. To infer from this that therefore morality is subjective (especially if subjective is stipulated as being the same as relative: and, again, Iím not sure in what direction the stipulation is supposed to go - letís just say the former) is a naked non sequitur. I myself believe in all three of these elements when the terms are defined a little more precisely and I am a moral absolutist and a moral objectivist and a moral realist. Therefore, the consequences you draw from the non sequitur are harmless. But Iíll consider them anyway.

    I appreciate your attempt to provide an analysis of moral relativism. Itís incorrect. Moral relativism is a thesis of normative ethics, not metaethics. Your analysis immediately delved in the nature of moral/ethical propositions, which is the metaethical study of moral semantics. If your contention is that moral/ethical proposition are not truth-apt, youíre a moral anti-realist. This is fine. But this will divert the discussion from what I thought was a discussion of normative ethics. The consequence you draw from moral/ethical propositions not being truth-apt is the thesis that such claims are relative to x, y, and z. Right. This would be a metaethical relativism. Not only do I think I have very good reasons to reject such an odd form of relativism, the reasons youíve provided for endorsing it are extremely thin. Your basic strategy is to state a thesis and somehow confuse arguing to the thesis as a conclusion in an argument with informing me what the consequences are if I accept your thesis. Well, I donít accept your consequences and I have no good reason to accept your thesis.

    Your attempt at demonstrating that moral propositions are relative to personal circumstances includes the idea that such circumstances reflect collective moral norms. The generality of such statements is very unhelpful because my position can assimilate every word of your vocabulary with unperturbed serenity. Unfortunately, one canít ask for further conceptual precision without being guilty of veering into cryptospeak. Well, if such precision will be interpreted as that, then this conversation is nearing its end, as weíre just going to be hitting what you think is a wall (and then going sideways), but what I think is a wall with a bunch doors (represented by further conceptual precision). Itís up to you!

    There are other wild inferences Iím unable to follow. You mention that a moral framework is binding on you if, and only if, itís your own moral framework. Yes. I agree. The force youíre going to feel in normative circumstances is only going to be felt if youíve Ďownedí (so to speak) the moral framework youíve chosen to live by. But Iíve been presented with no reason to think this is incompatible with moral absolutism or moral objectivism, and no good reason to think that mentioning how a moral framework is binding has anything to do with reasons for and against moral/ethical propositions being truth-apt. Because youíve forbidden conceptual clarity as wondering into the no-manís-land of cryptospeak, youíre entangling yourself in category errors, false inferences, and ambiguities.
    Last edited by mattbballman31; 10-25-2018 at 02:32 PM.
    Many and painful are the researches sometimes necessary to be made, for settling points of [this] kind. Pertness and ignorance may ask a question in three lines, which it will cost learning and ingenuity thirty pages to answer. When this is done, the same question shall be triumphantly asked again the next year, as if nothing had ever been written upon the subject.
    George Horne

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    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattbballman31 View Post
    If youíre going to stipulate that relativism and subjectivism are the same thing, Iíll go along with that; however, I feel that you must know that these terms are not interchangeable in the literature, and (to my ears) to stipulate that they are, sounds like a person who knows next to nothing about a car engine telling a car mechanic of 50 years that, for the purposes of stipulation, he is going to be using Ďcoolantí and Ďoilí interchangeably.
    If that is indeed the case, I would suggest that the car mechanic should be having his conversations with someone else. S/he is likely wasting his/her time with the automotive illiterate.

    Quote Originally Posted by mattbballman31 View Post
    Your inferences are quite jarring. For example, you note (and I agree) that moral frameworks are rooted (in some as yet undefined sense) in what we value, how we reason, and considerations of practical normative sorting-strategies. To infer from this that therefore morality is subjective (especially if subjective is stipulated as being the same as relative: and, again, Iím not sure in what direction the stipulation is supposed to go - letís just say the former) is a naked non sequitur. I myself believe in all three of these elements when the terms are defined a little more precisely and I am a moral absolutist and a moral objectivist and a moral realist. Therefore, the consequences you draw from the non sequitur are harmless. But Iíll consider them anyway.
    How kind..

    Quote Originally Posted by mattbballman31 View Post
    I appreciate your attempt to provide an analysis of moral relativism. Itís incorrect. Moral relativism is a thesis of normative ethics, not metaethics. Your analysis immediately delved in the nature of moral/ethical propositions, which is the metaethical study of moral semantics. If your contention is that moral/ethical proposition are not truth-apt, youíre a moral anti-realist. This is fine. But this will divert the discussion from what I thought was a discussion of normative ethics. The consequence you draw from moral/ethical propositions not being truth-apt is the thesis that such claims are relative to x, y, and z. Right. This would be a metaethical relativism. Not only do I think I have very good reasons to reject such an odd form of relativism, the reasons youíve provided for endorsing it are extremely thin. Your basic strategy is to state a thesis and somehow confuse arguing to the thesis as a conclusion in an argument with informing me what the consequences are if I accept your thesis. Well, I donít accept your consequences and I have no good reason to accept your thesis.
    A thesis you have no reason to accept should be rejected. Outside of that, the rest of this paragraph has little/no meaning to me. It might be because I don't understand cars.

    Quote Originally Posted by mattbballman31 View Post
    Your attempt at demonstrating that moral propositions are relative to personal circumstances includes the idea that such circumstances reflect collective moral norms. The generality of such statements is very unhelpful because my position can assimilate every word of your vocabulary with unperturbed serenity. Unfortunately, one canít ask for further conceptual precision without being guilty of veering into cryptospeak. Well, if such precision will be interpreted as that, then this conversation is nearing its end, as weíre just going to be hitting what you think is a wall (and then going sideways), but what I think is a wall with a bunch doors (represented by further conceptual precision). Itís up to you!
    Actually, it's not. I find that it is perfectly possible to discuss things without engaging in cryptospeak. Let me tell you a story, if I may.

    25 years ago, I set out on an audacious course: to build my own house. It was a ridiculous quest. I had no tools. I had no formal training. I just had a reasonable intellect, a willingness to learn, and a desire to have a particular house at a particular price. So I set out to do so. Each time I encountered something new that I knew nothing (or little) about, I used the same technique: I found someone who had done it before, hired them to do the thing with me - so long as I could participate and learn. And then I did the rest myself. I had never installed a window, so I hired someone to install the first one with me - then I installed the rest. Today, I live in the house I wanted, mostly built by my own hands. In the process, I learned that there were two types of people out there in the land of "construction." There were the people willing to share what they know - so I could be empowered to continue on. And there were the people who buried what they knew in "cryptospeak," making it virtually impossible for me to actually learn anything. The former had value to me. The latter had none. The former could take what they knew, and express it in terms I could understand. The latter lorded their knowledge like a cudgel - doing everything they could to keep me in the dark and maintain their superiority.

    I knew little about cars. I have had several mechanics over the course of my life. The ones that last a very short time are the ones that continue to throw cryptospeak at me, lording their superior knowledge over me. The ones that last a long time are the ones willing to "dumb down" what they know so I can learn. Nick is my current car mechanic. He's a gem. Hell take the time to provide me information in language I can understand. Over time, I've gained a lot from his tutelage. A good student recognizes a good teacher.

    I am a teacher, Matt. I understand the student who is not at my level of understanding. My area of expertise is telecommunications. I could, if I wanted to, bury my students with my knowledge. But that is not my job. My job is to help them learn. So I take what I know and reframe it in language that is at the level they can understand. I think of it as the equivalent of a Olympic-level swimmer helping a new swimmer to learn. They will never learn if they are ridiculed for not already being Olympic level - or if the teacher constantly insists they need to be at an Olympic level before they are considered worthy of conversation. As I teacher - I meet them where THEY are - I do not expect them to be where I am.

    Quote Originally Posted by mattbballman31 View Post
    There are other wild inferences Iím unable to follow. You mention that a moral framework is binding on you if, and only if, itís your own moral framework. Yes. I agree. The force youíre going to feel in normative circumstances is only going to be felt if youíve Ďownedí (so to speak) the moral framework youíve chosen to live by. But Iíve been presented with no reason to think this is incompatible with moral absolutism or moral objectivism, and no good reason to think that mentioning how a moral framework is binding has anything to do with reasons for and against moral/ethical propositions being truth-apt. Because youíve forbidden conceptual clarity as wondering into the no-manís-land of cryptospeak, youíre entangling yourself in category errors, false inferences, and ambiguities.
    It is not incompatible with moral absolutism, Matt. The problem is that the moral absolutist cannot show that an absolute moral framework actually exists. As I have noted several times - do not add to an explanation an element unnecessary to the explanation. Moral relativism explains how moralism works. It accounts for all of its dynamics. And it does not require me to include an absolute framework I cannot show to actually exist - not to mention cannot show that there is an absolute interpretation thereof. If you're going to make a case for moral absolutism, it seems to me you have to show something fairly basic: how does moral absolutism solve a problem that moral relativism cannot? Then, perhaps, we can get somewhere.

    As for the rest - I leave it to you to decide if you wish to remain in the world of cryptospeak. I am actually a ready and willing learner. But I have little patience for the teacher with an ego problem. I will learn from the teacher interested in teaching. I will reject the teacher only interested in fluffing their own ego.
    Last edited by carpedm9587; 10-30-2018 at 07:08 PM.
    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

    -Martin Luther King

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    tWebber mattbballman31's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    If that is indeed the case, I would suggest that the car mechanic should be having his conversations with someone else. S/he is likely wasting his/her time with the automotive illiterate.



    How kind..



    A thesis you have no reason to accept should be rejected. Outside of that, the rest of this paragraph has little/no meaning to me. It might be because I don't understand cars.



    Actually, it's not. I find that it is perfectly possible to discuss things without engaging in cryptospeak. Let me tell you a story, if I may.

    25 years ago, I set out on an audacious course: to build my own house. It was a ridiculous quest. I had no tools. I had no formal training. I just had a reasonable intellect, a willingness to learn, and a desire to have a particular house at a particular price. So I set out to do so. Each time I encountered something new that I knew nothing (or little) about, I used the same technique: I found someone who had done it before, hired them to do the thing with me - so long as I could participate and learn. And then I did the rest myself. I had never installed a window, so I hired someone to install the first one with me - then I installed the rest. Today, I live in the house I wanted, mostly built by my own hands. In the process, I learned that there were two types of people out there in the land of "construction." There were the people willing to share what they know - so I could be empowered to continue on. And there were the people who buried what they knew in "cryptospeak," making it virtually impossible for me to actually learn anything. The former had value to me. The latter had none. The former could take what they knew, and express it in terms I could understand. The latter lorded their knowledge like a cudgel - doing everything they could to keep me in the dark and maintain their superiority.

    I knew little about cars. I have had several mechanics over the course of my life. The ones that last a very short time are the ones that continue to throw cryptospeak at me, lording their superior knowledge over me. The ones that last a long time are the ones willing to "dumb down" what they know so I can learn. Nick is my current car mechanic. He's a gem. Hell take the time to provide me information in language I can understand. Over time, I've gained a lot from his tutelage. A good student recognizes a good teacher.

    I am a teacher, Matt. I understand the student who is not at my level of understanding. My area of expertise is telecommunications. I could, if I wanted to, bury my students with my knowledge. But that is not my job. My job is to help them learn. So I take what I know and reframe it in language that is at the level they can understand. I think of it as the equivalent of a Olympic-level swimmer helping a new swimmer to learn. They will never learn if they are ridiculed for not already being Olympic level - or if the teacher constantly insists they need to be at an Olympic level before they are considered worthy of conversation. As I teacher - I meet them where THEY are - I do not expect them to be where I am.



    It is not incompatible with moral absolutism, Matt. The problem is that the moral absolutist cannot show that an absolute moral framework actually exists. As I have noted several times - do not add to an explanation an element unnecessary to the explanation. Moral relativism explains how moralism works. It accounts for all of its dynamics. And it does not require me to include an absolute framework I cannot show to actually exist - not to mention cannot show that there is an absolute interpretation thereof. If you're going to make a case for moral absolutism, it seems to me you have to show something fairly basic: how does moral absolutism solve a problem that moral relativism cannot? Then, perhaps, we can get somewhere.

    As for the rest - I leave it to you to decide if you wish to remain in the world of cryptospeak. I am actually a ready and willing learner. But I have little patience for the teacher with an ego problem. I will learn from the teacher interested in teaching. I will reject the teacher only interested in fluffing their own ego.
    With regard to the house-construction example, I donít see the parity. I too abhor the type that lord over knowledge like a cudgel. Iíve done nothing of the sort. Iím telling you that these are the correct tools to use to build a window. If at any point in this conversation, you had a question about what you thought was cryptospeak, then of course Iíll define it for you. But what I canít do is just concede the stipulative way youíve defined the terms as used by the professional carpenters, so to speak. Thereís a humility thatís for teachers and students. The humility of a teacher consists in breaking down whatever is unclear for the student. The humility of the student consists in conceding to the carpenter that the carpenter knows how to build the window, and you donít. If the student persists in wanting to pound hammers with nails, the window isnít going to be built. And if the student objects that any clarification involved with the purpose of tools is so-called cryptospeak, the student is just jumping to conclusions about whether the teacher is lording his knowledge over like a cudgel. And then itís extra puzzling when the student launches into some sort of parable about two types of teachers after the student stopped the teacher from expounding anything the student had been puzzled about in order to hint at the somewhat insulting intentions of the teacher when the student has passive aggressively stopped the teaching process to impugn the latent motives of a teacher that the student presumptively made a judgment about.

    And with the car-example, Iím more than willing to dumb down (your words) anything you want. But what I will not concede is any attempt on the part of the learner to define the tools that the mechanic has mastered. I will not call Ďoilí a kind of Ďwindow-washer fluidí. In philosophy, the tools are little more abstract, so it wonít be as clear cut in our conversation. But you have wielded the terminology in an idiosyncratic way. Iíve pointed that out and have charitably clarified how the terminology ought to be used, and how itís in fact used by the professionals. If you are unclear about any term Iíve used, I will be more than willing to clarify any part of it.

    In no way am I trying to bury you in knowledge. We can - if you want - go concept by concept, post by post, and nail down any ambiguities you happen to be struggling with. I have absolutely no problem with that. But I will say that you are entering into the world of Ethics, a branch of philosophy with its own nomenclature and vocabulary and concepts - and the humility of a student entering a realm as a novice should want clarification from the teacher and not settle with their own stipulative usage of the terms, especially if such usages donít jive with the way such terms are used in the literature. We should have the humility to let the experts in a subject matter lay the ground for us, ground that hasnít been easily won, the result of thousands of years of contemplation, courage, and painstaking dialogue.

    I understand that youíre conceding that your view of morality isnít incompatible with moral absolutism. Thatís all I had been originally trying to demonstrate. I didnít attempt to show that moral absolutism is true. If you want to go there, I suggest we cut out all the other things that have been mentioned so far, and start afresh. I obviously wonít think that moral absolutism will be unnecessary for fully explaining moral reality and experience. I contend that moral relativism categorically does not do this and has received substantial and debilitating objections in the literature. Please let me know if you want to shift the conversation to this particular topic, and I will happily oblige.

    Let me go back to the carpentry example. If you had no idea how to build a window, and I said, ĎPick up that hammer, and hammer that nail, after sanding down that framing with such and such particular measurements, etc.í, and you proceeded to pick up a nail to attempt to hammer a hammer, and I corrected you and perhaps told you that hammers and nails arenít meant to be used that way, it wouldnít be helpful if the student objected that my explanation is guilty of cryptospeak. If I saw that the student, after my explanation, continued to pick up the nails and hammers in the wrong way, the humility of the teacher would tell the student to put the nails and hammers down and listen to what their proper function is until the student understands. The first impulse of the student, after the teacher attempts to teach the student, shouldnít be that the first syllables of the explanation (if not immediately understood) are in the realm of cryptospeak - because in a certain sense, it will be an inkling of cryptospeak . . . at first - after all, Iím attempting to explain something that you donít understand using other things that you do understand: there wonít be immediate comprehension in the context of any teaching situation.
    Many and painful are the researches sometimes necessary to be made, for settling points of [this] kind. Pertness and ignorance may ask a question in three lines, which it will cost learning and ingenuity thirty pages to answer. When this is done, the same question shall be triumphantly asked again the next year, as if nothing had ever been written upon the subject.
    George Horne

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattbballman31 View Post
    I obviously wonít think that moral absolutism will be unnecessary for fully explaining moral reality and experience. I contend that moral relativism categorically does not do this and has received substantial and debilitating objections in the literature. Please let me know if you want to shift the conversation to this particular topic, and I will happily oblige.
    Perhaps you and Carp can focus here, that Carp claims that moral relativism does in fact account for moral reality and experience, and that moral absolutism is unnecessary.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Perhaps you and Carp can focus here, that Carp claims that moral relativism does in fact account for moral reality and experience, and that moral absolutism is unnecessary.
    Exactly. And since it cannot be shown to actually exist...it is not only unnecessary, it's irrelevant.
    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

    -Martin Luther King

  11. Amen JimL amen'd this post.
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    tWebber mattbballman31's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    Exactly. And since it cannot be shown to actually exist...it is not only unnecessary, it's irrelevant.
    First, letís set some preliminary expectations. I donít want to get caught up in the scientism debate, so I need to know whether or not we can engage in philosophical demonstrations. Thatís the only way absolute/objective morality can be Ďshowní to exist. I also believe that I can know a thing without being able to Ďshowí or Ďdemonstrateí a thing. This wonít apply to what I think about objective morality. Before we get to that, I just want to make sure we agree on Ďmethodí.
    Many and painful are the researches sometimes necessary to be made, for settling points of [this] kind. Pertness and ignorance may ask a question in three lines, which it will cost learning and ingenuity thirty pages to answer. When this is done, the same question shall be triumphantly asked again the next year, as if nothing had ever been written upon the subject.
    George Horne

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    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattbballman31 View Post
    First, letís set some preliminary expectations. I donít want to get caught up in the scientism debate, so I need to know whether or not we can engage in philosophical demonstrations. Thatís the only way absolute/objective morality can be Ďshowní to exist. I also believe that I can know a thing without being able to Ďshowí or Ďdemonstrateí a thing. This wonít apply to what I think about objective morality. Before we get to that, I just want to make sure we agree on Ďmethodí.
    What do you consider a "philosophical demonstration?"
    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

    -Martin Luther King

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