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Thread: Morally Wrong Behavior vs. What the Civil Government Should Prohibit

  1. #331
    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    So, it could also be rephrased to say that immoral killing is immoral. So what makes it immoral/wrong?
    That depends on the person evaluating it and the specific nature of their moral framework.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    It's not just a preference, it's right reason based. It's true that unlike the fact that green is green because it is green, not because we say it is, murder is not factually immoral in that sense, but I think it is factually, or objectively true in the sense that murder, or wrongful killing, is objectively not in our best interests as a human society. We arrive at objective facts like that by reason.
    So two things are being conflated here. First, my observation about "murder is wrong" stands, and you have not refuted it. The statement is meaningless because it is a tautology. It is true because it simply restates the definition of "murder." If you want to discuss this as a moral precept, you need to get away from this problem and talk about how most societies hold the moral precept "wanton killing is immoral."

    And you keep asserting this "best interests" argument, but you have done nothing to actually support it. You cannot avoid the problem of the subjective nature of the phrase "best interests of." You will always have to define "best interests to whom?" There is no abstract, objective, "best interests." If think that is untrue, then your path to making your case is simple: explain "best interests" without any recourse to a subject doing the evaluating or a subjectively derived value. So far, you have not.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    I think you're defining morality as that which is the best interests of, or that which is objectivelty right or wrong, with respect to human society.
    No, I'm not. If you think I am, then you are imposing your position on me. My position is exactly the opposite: morality is a subjective exercise by its very nature. It always has been, it always will be.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    That's my point. Morals I don't believe are objective facts like mathematics, but I do believe that the most perfect society would be a one that is so because of its correctly reasoned moral laws.
    You are right about the mathematics. This is a mistake Seer repeatedly makes, attempting to align moral principles with rational or mathematical ones with absolutely no justification except his insistence that it is so. Moral principles, as I have repeatedly shown, are analogous to legal principles. Both deal with behavior. Both separate "ought" from "ought not" with respect to behavior. Both operate at the individual and communal level. Both are cognitive in nature. Neither would exist if there were no sentient minds with free will capable of choosing and articulating them. Most of those characteristics do not apply to logical and mathematical principles.

    Legal principles are widely understood to be subjective to a society or group, and two groups can have opposing legal norms with no logical contradiction. I see no reason why moral principles are any different.

    Your definition of a "perfect society" is meaningless to me: no such thing exists and I don't see how one could be defined to exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    So the prohibition against theft is rooted in a subjective basis: an individual or social decision to carve out "personal property." The fact that most societies and most individuals have subjectively decided to do this does not make it either absolute or universal. The best you can say is "in a society that subscribes to the concept of personal property, theft will most likely be defined as immoral/illegal."
    I think these were my words mistakenly included in your post as yours.

    ETA: I would like to acknowledge that I appreciate your ability to engage in a discussion where there is clearly disagreement without peppering your posts with ad homs, accusations of disingenuity, and other such pointless injection. I'm interested in the arguments and the ideas. This articular area is of interest to me because I have come to believe most of the world is indoctrinated to a way of thinking that roots way back in our history and ever prehistory, and we are long overdue to reassess and re-examine some very basic things.
    Last edited by carpedm9587; 03-25-2020 at 02:51 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

    I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

  2. #332
    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    So what is your point? It is not that Moses did anything wrong -
    The “point” is that Moses was merely reflecting the social values of the day just as ALL morality does – whether with slave-owning or subjugating women. And Moses’ tribalism was attributed to the will of God just as slave-owning and the subjugation of women was for millennia.
    “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. #333
    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    I asked first!
    That’s the argument of a five-year-old.

    You are the one constantly talking about evidence so again: [I]Define evidence without begging the question.
    Evidence is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as: “A body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid”. So, when I asserted: “There's no evidence of any “moral law of god” existing outside of the minds of our species” it’s up to you to provide evidence to the contrary in support of your unevidenced claim of the existence of “universal moral law”.
    “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. #334
    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
    Evidence is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as: “A body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid”. So, when I asserted: “There's no evidence of any “moral law of god” existing outside of the minds of our species” it’s up to you to provide evidence to the contrary in support of your unevidenced claim of the existence of “universal moral law”.
    So does that include historical evidence?
    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=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

  5. #335
    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
    That’s the argument of a five-year-old.

    Evidence is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as: “A body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid”. So, when I asserted: “There's no evidence of any “moral law of god” existing outside of the minds of our species” it’s up to you to provide evidence to the contrary in support of your unevidenced claim of the existence of “universal moral law”.
    I think "no evidence" is a bit of a stretch. The bible is an example of "evidence for a moral law of god." We may or may not accept it as adequate or even dependable - but it would likely be put forward as evidence. I think it would be more correct to say "there is inadequate evidence to support the claim that a universal moral law exists."

    "Universal" might also be a problem. After all, I believe that my moral framework is correct for all people in all places and all times. When I evaluate someone else's actions, I evaluate those actions against my own moral framework. That's true for anyone, anywhere, at any time. But that is true for all people; we all assess actions (both ours and those of others) against our own moral framework. So "universal" in the sense that there is only one such moral framework is meaningless because every sentient being (presumably) has one. But universal in so far that each of us sees our own moral framework as "universal" is not.
    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

    I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

  6. #336
    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    So does that include historical evidence?
    There's no evidence of any of the gods having existed outside of the minds of our species – this encompasses the entire existence of our species.
    “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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    Quote Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
    There's no evidence of any of the gods having existed outside of the minds of our species – this encompasses the entire existence of our species.
    That is not what I asked: is historical evidence actual evidence?
    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=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

  8. #338
    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
    There's no evidence of any of the gods having existed outside of the minds of our species – this encompasses the entire existence of our species.
    Again - "no evidence" is not correct. Inadequate evidence I agree with. But if there were a trial concerning the existence of god, the "pro" side would have evidence to bring.
    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

    I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

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    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    Again - "no evidence" is not correct. Inadequate evidence I agree with. But if there were a trial concerning the existence of god, the "pro" side would have evidence to bring.
    I think that would depend on what one considers to be actual evidence. If someone tells you that he just witnessed someone walking on water, some would consider that to be actual evidence that they actually did witness someone walk on water. That is the only so called evidence for the existence of a god.

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    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    I think that would depend on what one considers to be actual evidence. If someone tells you that he just witnessed someone walking on water, some would consider that to be actual evidence that they actually did witness someone walk on water. That is the only so called evidence for the existence of a god.
    Eyewitness testimony is widely considered to be "evidence," Jim, but it can be countered by other evidence, or it can be shown to be false.

    There is a distinction between "no evidence" and "inadequate evidence to prove X." I am atheist because I believe there is inadequate evidence to support the belief in a good and adequate evidence to support the belief that no such being exists outside the minds of men. But I would never go so far as to claim there is "no evidence."

    Put it this way: the movement of the sun each day can be presented as evidence that the sun revolves around the earth. If the sun actually revolved around the earth, that is pretty much what we would see. However, other evidence can be presented that provides an alternate explanation and demonstrates the other explanations are more viable. That does not make the original evidence "not evidence." It means that evidence (the movement of the sun across the sky) was inadequate to make the case.
    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

    I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

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