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Thread: When does proving one's truth claims come to an end?

  1. #111
    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    Morality is relative in the sense that it applies to rational moral agents. It doesn't apply to rocks or grubworms. It's not relative in the sense that what is right or wrong is so irrespective of individual perspective or opinion. Reasons are not relative because they are normative and can be judged normatively.
    Tell me Jim, when there is a moral disagreement, apart from God, where do you go for the answer?

    You wrote earlier that you thought God is sovereign and source not only of morality, maths and logic but of properties and relations too. That would mean he'd have to be sovereign over the property of his being sovereign, logically prior to his property of being logically prior, and the source and creator of his property of being source and creator.
    I have no idea what that means.



    The nature of rational social discourse. You assume there has to be a subject who is the source of morality, math, etc, whether that subject is me, God, other people, etc. That's an example of the 'pathetic fallacy,' to assume that there must be some anthropomorphic force behind everything. So you're really a subjectivist, albeit on a cosmic scale; I don't think you believe in objective truth.
    That makes no sense, how does rational discourse lead to objective moral truths? Give me an actual example.


    God is the very opposite of bruteness. He is necessary being. He exists a se. He carries his reason for existence within himself.
    As He carries the reason for His morality within Himself.

    But my point was that if God is the source and basis of morality, morality would be 'brute' in the sense that it wouldn't be based on reasons; it would simply, brutely be the way God says it is and that's it. But our experience runs counter to that. We as moral agents seem to have moral autonomy with accompanying individual moral responsibility and this autonomy is based upon reasons which are equally accessible to all agents, whether they be theists or non-theists. What reasons would non-theists have to adopt the moral point of view under your theory? Why do we find that non-theists are generally as moral as theists? Could it be because the basis for morality is not a supernatural basis accessed through faith but a rational basis open to all rational actors? The fact that we don't find a great disparity between the morality of theists and non-theists generally is exactly what we'd expect to find with a rational rather than a theistic basis for morality.
    I disagree - we have parity because we are created in his image and have his law written on our hearts - save the irrationality of sin.


    I appreciate your openness to new information. I'll quote passages from it as needed, then. The "good" in this context is whatever is ideally desirable, the most general term of commendation. It's not necessarily a proper noun.
    Ideally desirable to and for whom?


    That's the height of silliness. God is the ground of existence.
    So you agree that your independent standard has no effect or use when it comes to God's moral nature. So what use is it?
    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...

  2. #112
    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattbballman31 View Post


    You're not getting it, and you're not reading what I'm writing obviously. I already addressed your denuded version of philosophy.
    The very nature of philosophy is “denuded”, to use your term, because it can only ever be a purely academic exercise.

    Unlike science it has no mechanism of arriving at a true premise - therefore, it cannot arrive at a true conclusion.

    At the level of broad logical modality, and in the context of external conceptual problems, metaphysics can serve to curb the pretensions of scientific research programs.
    There are no particular “pretensions” regarding research programs. They are merely professional networks of scientists conducting basic research.

    It is a fact that philosophical methods enframe scientific research programs because the parameters have built into them concessions to the consequences of analytically robust philosophical arguments, independent of empirical confirmation.
    Please explain how “the consequences of analytically robust philosophical arguments, independent of empirical confirmation” can provide reliable factual information which can be tested and make predictions as per science and otherwise enhance scientific theory. Whenever empirical scientific findings contradict philosophical arguments the former will take precedence every time.

    Yet scientists cannot avoid saying something about, for example, the general theory of relativity. Does it describe the real world? Is it just empirically adequate?
    Yes, it is empirically adequate, what more do you need – the supernatural lurking in there somewhere?

    According to scientific methodology, in this instance, the theories of ‘special relativity’ and ‘general relativity’ apply to all physical phenomena in our universe. One needs no more than this at this stage of scientific knowledge.

    Irrelevant. That an empirical theory lead to the technological innovations necessary to put a guy on the moon is utterly irrelevant as to whether empirical methods can substantiate or justify the robust, philosophical assumptions upon which the empirical theories are based. And again. I'm not talking about the formal sciences guiding valid logical inferences. I'm talking about robust metaphysical commitments that underlie any physics-based theory.
    The only “robust metaphysical commitment” required for science is ‘Metaphysical Naturalism’, namely the philosophical worldview that there is nothing but natural elements, principles, and relations of the kind studied by the natural sciences.
    “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

  3. #113
    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    To make that move would be to commit the 'genetic fallacy.'
    Not necessarily.

    There are very good reasons to believe that scientific knowledge of origins alone is far too impoverished to give you complete knowledge of the nature of a phenomenon.
    Science is merely the systematic study of the physical, natural world. So how can it be “impoverished" to argue that such notions as the “multi-dimension nature of love” cannot be explained by science. Or are you suggesting that it requires enrichment by positing a supernatural dimension to such a concept? But why would one do this?
    “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

  4. #114
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Tell me Jim, when there is a moral disagreement, apart from God, where do you go for the answer?
    God is the perfect instantiation of morality, but that is very different from saying that he is the source of, and even more strongly, identical to, the moral law. So morality is not apart from God. We have this perfect embodiment of morality to look to through God and Jesus. God provides motivation, realization, embodiment, justice, moral order, just as he provides rational order to the universe.

    Where do you go when there is moral disagreement? There will always be moral ambiguities, regardless of what your meta-ethical foundations are. You still have to decide things for yourself.



    I have no idea what that means.
    You wrote earlier that God is the source of properties and relations as well as the source of maths, logic and morality. I was showing how if you take this reasoning far enough it breaks down into being ridiculous. God can't be the source and sovereign over his own properties and relations without self-contradiction.





    That makes no sense, how does rational discourse lead to objective moral truths? Give me an actual example.
    What I was trying to tell Carp but he never got or never wanted to get: Rational discourse depends upon communication which depends upon a norm of truth. When you violate that norm, ie lie, you implicitly and perhaps explicitly undermine the logic on which that discourse is premised. It is 'objective' in that it isn't dependent upon the opinion or perspective of any participant. It's 'universal' to the universe of every rational discursant, because morality, as I've mentioned, is only universal in this sense and not 'full stop': morality doesn't apply to gases or dust mites but only to agents and patients.




    As He carries the reason for His morality within Himself.
    That makes no sense. The explanation for his existence comes to a satisfactory stopping point within himself, but morality does not because there are reasons for actions.



    I disagree - we have parity because we are created in his image and have his law written on our hearts - save the irrationality of sin.
    It's written in our hearts, I agree, but it is to a large extent through reason and compassion and our social nature, which is what I've been saying. It's based in our nature as rational, social beings.




    Ideally desirable to and for whom?
    The pathetic fallacy again. It doesn't have to be to and for anybody, just as the number line doesn't have to be.




    So you agree that your independent standard has no effect or use when it comes to God's moral nature. So what use is it?
    In all the ways I listed above. You're getting different things mixed up.

  5. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tassman View Post



    Science is merely the systematic study of the physical, natural world. So how can it be “impoverished" to argue that such notions as the “multi-dimension nature of love” cannot be explained by science. Or are you suggesting that it requires enrichment by positing a supernatural dimension to such a concept? But why would one do this?
    Doesn't require a supernatural dimension at all, but avoiding reducing a phenomenon to less than what it is merely to have it fit within a given research paradigm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    God is the perfect instantiation of morality, but that is very different from saying that he is the source of, and even more strongly, identical to, the moral law. So morality is not apart from God. We have this perfect embodiment of morality to look to through God and Jesus. God provides motivation, realization, embodiment, justice, moral order, just as he provides rational order to the universe.

    Where do you go when there is moral disagreement? There will always be moral ambiguities, regardless of what your meta-ethical foundations are. You still have to decide things for yourself.
    I go to God Jim, even if there disagreement in my world universal moral truths exist. Which until some one can show otherwise is the only source for these truths.





    You wrote earlier that God is the source of properties and relations as well as the source of maths, logic and morality. I was showing how if you take this reasoning far enough it breaks down into being ridiculous. God can't be the source and sovereign over his own properties and relations without self-contradiction.
    Seems like semantics to me, framing it in a way to justify your position.




    What I was trying to tell Carp but he never got or never wanted to get: Rational discourse depends upon communication which depends upon a norm of truth. When you violate that norm, ie lie, you implicitly and perhaps explicitly undermine the logic on which that discourse is premised. It is 'objective' in that it isn't dependent upon the opinion or perspective of any participant. It's 'universal' to the universe of every rational discursant, because morality, as I've mentioned, is only universal in this sense and not 'full stop': morality doesn't apply to gases or dust mites but only to agents and patients.

    Jim morality in a godless universe is relative, it can't be otherwise. Torturing animals for fun is moral or immoral dependent on the person, culture, etc. That violates no logical norm.


    That makes no sense. The explanation for his existence comes to a satisfactory stopping point within himself, but morality does not because there are reasons for actions.
    Then give a straight answer, show how torturing animals for fun is a universal moral wrong without begging the question.



    It's written in our hearts, I agree, but it is to a large extent through reason and compassion and our social nature, which is what I've been saying. It's based in our nature as rational, social beings.
    Right the moral nature that God GAVE US.
    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. #117
    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    Doesn't require a supernatural dimension at all, but avoiding reducing a phenomenon to less than what it is merely to have it fit within a given research paradigm.
    Or, conversely, enhancing a phenomenon to more than what it is merely to have it fit within a given belief system – notably if such a “belief system” posits a spiritual dimension.
    “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

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    tWebber mattbballman31's Avatar
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    Let's divide your points topically.

    1. Philosophy is just an academic exercise.
    2. Philosophy has no mechanism for arriving at a true premise.
    3. Scientific research programs have no philosophical pretensions.
    4. Scientific findings trump philosophical arguments every time.
    5. Philosophical arguments can't be tested or make predictions.
    6. Empirical adequacy solves the realism/anti-realism debate.
    7. The special and general theories of relativity apply to all physical phenomena in our universe.
    8. Science is committed to metaphysical naturalism.

    Every single one of these points is wrong. I've addressed 1 already. Non-empirical, philosophical methods aren't just an academic exercise. As for 2, your imposing a mechanistic method onto a discipline that doesn't appeal to mechanistic explanations. You're also assuming that philosophy is only in the business of explanation. That's not true. But when it does purport to explain anything, it isn't confined to mechanistic, or covering-law models of explanation. There are other models in the literature that are completely compatible with IBE-type inferences. 3 just utterly ignores the test-case I gave you, and just repeats your baseless claim. 4 begs the question and isn't born out by the history of either science or philosophy. Both philosophy and science have corrected the other, like the test-case I gave you, which you ignored. It also assumes there's no area of disciplinary autonomy that the sciences don't study, but which philosophy does, and which is nevertheless ontological, a thesis about what is.

    5 is just a reiteration of the expectations of mechanistic methods in the inductive inferences to explanations; the properties of methods and explanations are amenable to prediction and testability. Irrelevant. All that follows is that there's an useful, empirical way to scientifically explain the empirical part of ontology, the part amenable to empirical methods. There's nothing in what you've said that methodologically outlaws other methods getting at other parts, or other methods getting at the same parts in different ways, and when science and philosophy clash on those same parts, we can't say a priori that one will always win out over the other; it has to be taken on a case by case basis.

    6 is just an uncritical, unjustified assertion, and is actually the minority position among scientists and philosophers of science. Scientific realists don't think that empirical adequacy is sufficient to describe what science does when it ascribes to their theories the property of verisimilitude. But that wasn't even my larger point. The larger point is that solving this issue is a second-order, philosophical issue about the nature of the goal and scope of the first-order discipline of the scientific enterprise itself. And the methods, procedures, parameters, and goals involved with solving this issue are the same when establishing the ontologically significant entities, processes, events, things, and properties that aren't necessarily a part of the natural world. You may be a metaphysical naturalist. That's fine. Congratulations. You adhere to first philosophy, which is committed to the priority, autonomy, and authority of philosophy over science. After all, science on its own doesn't necessarily lead to naturalism. You have to have a first-order, philosophical view of what science itself is in order to lead you to that implication, which is first philosophy again. All, by the way, facts about the way the world is, something you keep denying, and then affirming implicitly in your denial.

    7 is just obviously false. All physicists agree that STR and GTR don't apply to all the natural world.

    8 may be a sociological fact about the scientific community, but without a philosophy dictating what science is and what it implies and what it's nature is, this claim is just a groundless assertion. Scientists may be metaphysical naturalists; but there's nothing about science that has that consequence. Is it the empirical methods? Berkely was an empiricist.
    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

  9. #119
    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattbballman31 View Post
    Let's divide your points topically.

    1. Philosophy is just an academic exercise.
    2. Philosophy has no mechanism for arriving at a true premise.
    3. Scientific research programs have no philosophical pretensions.
    4. Scientific findings trump philosophical arguments every time.
    5. Philosophical arguments can't be tested or make predictions.
    Yes. For all its usefulness in many areas philosophy can only ever be an academic exercise. This is the crux of the argument. Unlike science it has no mechanism for arriving at reliable factual knowledge. Consequently, whenever empirical scientific findings contradict philosophical arguments the former will take precedence every time.
    “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

  10. #120
    tWebber mattbballman31's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
    Yes. For all its usefulness in many areas philosophy can only ever be an academic exercise. This is the crux of the argument. Unlike science it has no mechanism for arriving at reliable factual knowledge. Consequently, whenever empirical scientific findings contradict philosophical arguments the former will take precedence every time.
    So, you quote the topic sentences, repeat them, and ignore my criticisms of them. I'll take this as an end to the conversation. I have more important things to do with my time. At least, I now know with a certainty that you're a scientistic chatty cathy doll that will literally just blindly repeat your pet set of thesis sentences and not engage in any sort of meaningful dialogue.
    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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