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

  1. #151
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Now you are moving the goal posts. Your whole point was that for something to be moral it must be based on reasons. But that gets us nowhere since we can just as well base immoral acts on reasons. So reasons are just as relative or subjective as anything else. Throwing around terms like descriptive or normative morality does not change that one bit.
    The point I've been trying to make is that people act for reasons and because they act for reasons those acts can be evaluated by standards that are logically independent of any people and their motives.




    Of course it is because God says so. What do you have? Because you say so?
    And why do you think it's because God says so? Because you say so? Don't you see that epistemologically you and I are basically in the same boat? We have to sort out whether we're talking about what it is you and I are each claiming the source of morality is from how we claim to know it.

    Epistemologically both of our theories are beliefs that could each be defeated: we could each be in the matrix, etc. Our beliefs are all equally perspectival. As far as conceivability, as I said, which statement are you more certain of, that slaughtering infants for fun is wrong or that God is the source of the moral law?

    You can't just say "Of course the source of morality is X" without offering an argument as to why it's X. You have to actually come up with an argument at some point. Certitude and repetition are not an argument.





    God's law is certain, universal and non-relative. I can find no better basis in the musings of man.
    But your beliefs about God's law and about the philosophical implications of that for meta-ethics is just as much the 'musings of man' as my position is. Your position is just as much a philosophical conjecture based upon faith as mine is. You don't have a direct pipeline to the Almighty. We're all just trying to figure things out here as best as we can. I'm frankly getting a little tired of this exalted position you assume and looking down at me and what I write as the 'mere musing of men.'

    Does the masochist necessarily think pain is bad? Is the pain of surgery a necessarily bad thing? If I can offer one exception the whole house of cards folds. Never mind the fact that even though one personally may not want to experience pain the cannibal has few qualms about boiling you alive. It does not necessarily follow that because one does not want to experience pain it is therefor immoral to inflict pain on others for personal gain or pleasure.
    You're right about 'pain.' I've been arguing about consciousness for so long, that I take it for granted that when I refer to pain, people assume I mean "awful pain" or "unpleasant pain." It's a form of shorthand laziness I've gotten into. Dennett makes this point about morphine patients. So from now on, I'll be more explicit.

    The pain of surgery is a good thing instrumentally, but I was talking about intrinsically.

    As far as the cannibal, you're confusing descriptive with normative morality. Anyway, you're getting ahead of yourself. Let's back up. Awful pain is a bad thing in itself. Pleasure is a good thing in itself. Awful pain may lead to a good thing (as in the surgery). Pleasure may lead to a bad thing, say if I lay in bed all day and lose my job.

  2. #152
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Who's talking about consequences? Now YOU are clearly begging the question by assuming that there must be consequences to violating moral norms, ie you're assuming an authoritarian retributive basis for morality.


    So your theory has power. Then why adopt it?
    So my theory has power? Please explain.... Then why adopt it? Because it makes the most sense out of morality? Because it's the theory with the fewest internal inconsistencies and that conforms most closely with all the known facts?

  3. #153
    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrawnus View Post
    Well, in this case you don't. Either God exists, or He doesn't,
    There's no evidence of any supernatural entities (or leprechauns or unicorns etc.) existing outside of the minds of our species. So why would one assume that god(s) exist?
    “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. #154
    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    That's a classical example of circular reasoning.
    How so?
    “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.

  5. #155
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
    How so?
    Here's your original quote:

    Unless we have empirical evidence to the contrary there is no good reason “to even entertain the possibility” of the existence of anything other than the natural elements, principles, and relations of the kind studied by the natural sciences.
    (emphasis added)

    You're assuming that empiricism is the only legitimate form of knowledge. But that is the very question that the consciousness debate turns on.

  6. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Jim the more I think about this the more confused I get. Are you saying that God needs a reason for His moral character, that He needs reasons for being loving, just, forgiving, etc..? And that He needs reasons for acting on those moral qualities? If God by nature believes that lying is wrong, does He need reasons to hold that view?
    Those are difficult questions and I don't claim to have the answers. But here's a try: God is the embodiment of perfection. That would mean He exemplifies moral perfection, which includes the moral virtues, like being loving, just, merciful, etc. to perfection. So when we say "God is good" we can't just mean the good is some featureless quality identical to God. It's "Good" for a reason or reasons independent of God: it's an aspect of perfection and it's made up of good-making features. Why is God perfect? He is "that which none greater can be conceived." Although the "why's" run out at a certain point, maximal greatness and perfection and the good made up of virtues , for most people, is more intuitively satisfying than a "Good" that is a featureless blank.

    When God commands that we should not torture puppies for fun, I submit it is also makes more sense and fits in more with our moral sense to say that God's command is meaningfully connected to reasons, namely that such torture leads to awful pain, cruelty and injustice and to a deadening of the soul and character of the perpetrator than it is to say that God commands that we should not do it, and that's it. End of story.

    Also, to say that "God just IS the Good" does not make sense if we extend that thinking to His other attributes, such as "God IS power." When we think of God as omnipotent, we think of His power not in a self-referential way but in a way that makes sense to us, in an extra-referential way, ie, "God is omnipotent in that He is able to do anything not contrary to His nature or to the laws of logic. " We don't say "God IS power because He sets His own internal self-referential standard of power."
    Last edited by Jim B.; 01-30-2020 at 10:54 PM.

  7. #157
    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    Here's your original quote:

    (emphasis added)

    You're assuming that empiricism is the only legitimate form of knowledge. But that is the very question that the consciousness debate turns on.
    Without “empirical evidence” one is not able to establish factual knowledge of the natural world; it is the very foundation of the scientific method. There is no good reason to postulate that consciousness is not grounded in the natural world, or suggest that some form of non-natural reality exists.
    “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 seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    The point I've been trying to make is that people act for reasons and because they act for reasons those acts can be evaluated by standards that are logically independent of any people and their motives.
    That makes no sense to me. The Stalinist and Maoists acted for reasons. And how are moral standards independent of people? How do moral standards exist without people?



    But your beliefs about God's law and about the philosophical implications of that for meta-ethics is just as much the 'musings of man' as my position is. Your position is just as much a philosophical conjecture based upon faith as mine is. You don't have a direct pipeline to the Almighty. We're all just trying to figure things out here as best as we can. I'm frankly getting a little tired of this exalted position you assume and looking down at me and what I write as the 'mere musing of men.'

    You're right about 'pain.' I've been arguing about consciousness for so long, that I take it for granted that when I refer to pain, people assume I mean "awful pain" or "unpleasant pain." It's a form of shorthand laziness I've gotten into. Dennett makes this point about morphine patients. So from now on, I'll be more explicit.

    The pain of surgery is a good thing instrumentally, but I was talking about intrinsically.

    As far as the cannibal, you're confusing descriptive with normative morality. Anyway, you're getting ahead of yourself. Let's back up. Awful pain is a bad thing in itself. Pleasure is a good thing in itself. Awful pain may lead to a good thing (as in the surgery). Pleasure may lead to a bad thing, say if I lay in bed all day and lose my job.
    But there is a logical leap in your theory. Yes a man may personally dislike pain, that however does not make it immoral to inflict pain on others for his own personal benefit or pleasure.
    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...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqgC1tqifV8

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    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    Those are difficult questions and I don't claim to have the answers. But here's a try: God is the embodiment of perfection. That would mean He exemplifies moral perfection, which includes the moral virtues, like being loving, just, merciful, etc. to perfection. So when we say "God is good" we can't just mean the good is some featureless quality identical to God. It's "Good" for a reason or reasons independent of God: it's an aspect of perfection and it's made up of good-making features. Why is God perfect? He is "that which none greater can be conceived." Although the "why's" run out at a certain point, maximal greatness and perfection and the good made up of virtues , for most people, is more intuitively satisfying than a "Good" that is a featureless blank.

    When God commands that we should not torture puppies for fun, I submit it is also makes more sense and fits in more with our moral sense to say that God's command is meaningfully connected to reasons, namely that such torture leads to awful pain, cruelty and injustice and to a deadening of the soul and character of the perpetrator than it is to say that God commands that we should not do it, and that's it. End of story.

    Also, to say that "God just IS the Good" does not make sense if we extend that thinking to His other attributes, such as "God IS power." When we think of God as omnipotent, we think of His power not in a self-referential way but in a way that makes sense to us, in an extra-referential way, ie, "God is omnipotent in that He is able to do anything not contrary to His nature or to the laws of logic. " We don't say "God IS power because He sets His own internal self-referential standard of power."
    So this whole exercise is about making God's acts, and law, look rational to us? OK fine, but that has no bearing on what God is or what He does. He is what He is and does what He does independent of our rational justifications. It seems to me Jim that you require God to meet a certain moral criterion before you could call Him good. That seems to fail logically. God is all knowing, He may do things in the moment that seem quite cruel to us, but He would know the long term consequences of not acting and the good that would follow. But that would remain a black box to us and in those cases we must trust God's self-proclamation that He is good even when it does not meet our moral criterion.
    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...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqgC1tqifV8

  10. #160
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
    Without “empirical evidence” one is not able to establish factual knowledge of the natural world; it is the very foundation of the scientific method. There is no good reason to postulate that consciousness is not grounded in the natural world, or suggest that some form of non-natural reality exists.
    You should say of "the physical world." Even if it's part of the natural world, it's not necessarily part of the physical world. Empirical evidence tells us about the physical world, about structure and dynamics, which is based on third-person evidence. But conscious experience doesn't seem to fit that pattern of reduction to third-person evidence, because conscious experience is about intrinsic, first-person evidence. Making it fit into the scientific paradigm would mean eliminating the essential aspect of the phenomenon so that it would no longer be the phenomenon in question but something else entirely!

  11. Amen Chrawnus amen'd this post.

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