Saturday, June 03, 2017

Clarifying the Russell Post

I never said Russell was inconsistent. My objection isn't to Russell, but only to people who, in discussing moral theory, go subjectivist or emotivist, but then in discussing something like gay marriage, act as if marriage equality is some kind of moral imperative. That is to be inconsistent. If you are going to be moral non-realist, you had better be consistent.

If you say, "It is morally wrong, always and everywhere, to believe anything for insufficient evidence," then you can't be a consistent subjectivist. If subjectivism is true, then everything is permitted, including believing all sorts of things for insufficient evidence.

35 comments:

Stardusty Psyche said...

Clarifying the Russell Post

"If you are going to be moral non-realist, you had better be consistent."
--Agreed.

"If you say, "It is morally wrong, always and everywhere, to believe anything for insufficient evidence," then you can't be a consistent subjectivist."
--Agreed.

For all those who think moral realism is the case I have a long standing, never answered, challenge.

Name an absolute moral proposition.

Or if you prefer the word "objective" in the sense W L Craig would define "objective", tell me a moral proposition that is objectively good, or objectively evil, or of an objective sort of any kind.

John Mitchell said...

"tell me a moral proposition that is objectively good, or objectively evil"

Propositions aren't good or evil.

Stardusty Psyche said...

John Mitchell said...

" Propositions aren't good or evil."
--On moral realism, on objective morality, on moral absolutism, some moral value, some moral proposition, some asserted moral fact would be either good or evil or possess some absolute or objective or real moral trait.

Yet, I have never had such named for me, ever, and I have asked this question many times, I have searched for it, yet no example has ever been provided by any source.

Self identifying moral realists will speak of moral realities in the abstract, as generalities, but never as a specific. Not one. Ever.


June 03, 2017 10:44 PM

Victor Reppert said...

Here you go. "It is wrong to inflict pain on little children for your own amusement."

Stardusty Psyche said...

Victor Reppert said...

" Here you go. "It is wrong to inflict pain on little children for your own amusement.""
--Ok, a specific to work with, I appreciate that.

Can you write a logical argument to prove that assertion of wrong is absolute, or objective, or real? Based on what?

Here, at 4:00, Craig defines "objective" in the sense of real or absolute.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rq1QjXe3IYQ

He goes on at 9:30 to present morality on atheism. At the risk of arguing by "go read a book" it would be helpful to listen if you are not already familiar. It is an easy video to watch as Craig is a polished and highly qualified presenter.

But to your asserted objective moral wrong. What makes it objective in the sense of absolute or real? Is this a Platonic moral object sort of floating about in a world of moral forms we somehow pluck out of the aether when we need some moral guidance?

Perhaps you claim this as a universal moral wrong, but is it universal? Clearly not, since some people think it is good. Even if it were universal does that make it objectively true? If all human beings think the world stands still does that mean the world objectively does stand still?

Perhaps you would invoke egalitarian human flourishing, but what makes egalitarian human flourishing objective good? On some moralities it is wrong for the strong to fail to use the weak for their own personal flourishing.

Perhaps you invoke god, but which god? Yahweh orders atrocities when it suits him, why should we consider him to be perfectly good? Creative powers say nothing about moral goodness.

No, nothing works. I am certain you cannot form a logical proof for your asserted moral wrong as objectively wrong, many have tried, all have failed.

Your example is wrong by convention, by consensus, and thus by law. Almost all of us simply feel it is wrong because we have evolved as social creatures with that sensibility, so we communicate with each other and establish a convention by mutual agreement.

Thus your asserted moral wrong is not objectively wrong in the sense of being absolute or real.


June 04, 2017 2:41 AM

Mortal said...

For all those who think moral realism is the case I have a long standing, never answered, challenge.

And here I was about to say "You're not going to get an answer, because no one thinks it's worthwhile to light a fire just to have you blow it out. All we get thereby is soot in our eyes," when Victor answers you.

But as for me, I have no desire to play in your dishonest game. You claim there is no right or wrong, so what is to prevent you from posting a lying response to anyone's answer? No one can trust anything you have to say.

(And I'm not writing this for your benefit, but for those others who might be tempted to engage you. People, there's no profit in it! As they say on the internet, "Don't feed the troll!")

Hugo Pelland said...

Mortal, even though I mostly agree with you, I don't think it's fair to call SP a troll. He genuinely try to engage, not just disrupt, so that makes a huge difference. The problem I have with him is this thing of pretending to know what others think, instead of replying to what is actually written or asking more questions. By calling him a troll, you're more or less doing the same...

Stardusty Psyche said...

Mortal said...

" You claim there is no right or wrong, so what is to prevent you from posting a lying response to anyone's answer?"
--Nothing, for all you know. For myself I have my own personal integrity. But for all you know I could be lying about that too.

" No one can trust anything you have to say."
--A con man asks for your trust. When a person continually says "believe me" that is a tell, a giveaway, a sign of being a con man.

I put my words out not asking for your trust, rather, for you to judge on their rational content, on the merits of the arguments made.

" (And I'm not writing this for your benefit, but for those others who might be tempted to engage you. People, there's no profit in it! "
--That depends on your own personal motivations for communication at all. What are you attempting to gain in communicating?


June 04, 2017 11:08 AM

Chad Handley said...

"Thus your asserted moral wrong is not objectively wrong in the sense of being absolute or real."

This conclusion doesn't follow from the premises given.

Victor Reppert said...

I wonder if you couldn't issue the same kind of challenge to the basic truths of mathematics, such as 2 + 2 = 4. You can win the "prove it" game, simply by demanding proof for whatever is offered as proof, and then demanding proof for the proof, and then demanding proof for the proof for the proof, and then demanding proof for the proof for the proof for the proof, and then.....

Stardusty Psyche said...

Chad Handley said...

SP "Thus your asserted moral wrong is not objectively wrong in the sense of being absolute or real."

" This conclusion doesn't follow from the premises given."
--Given your lack of specifics that assessment is on par with "sez you".


June 04, 2017 2:14 PM

David Brightly said...

In the video that Stardusty cites Craig says that moral values and duties are objective if they are 'valid and binding independent of human opinion'. This does seem problematic. Unlike the laws of arithmetic values and duties are valid for and binding on humans alone. They exist only in the human life-world. One has to be a human in order to be receptive to validity and bindingness and so these are inextricably bound up with human opinion. Unless perhaps one brings in God as a paradigmatic person and says that it's God's opinion that determines validity and bindingness.

Chad Handley said...

"Given your lack of specifics that assessment is on par with "sez you"."

To be more specific, you gave an argument from ignorance. That Reppert failed to prove the given objective moral prohibition to your satisfaction does not amount to a proof that the given moral prohibition is not objective.

To fail to prove A is not to disprove A.

Hugo Pelland said...

@David
We agree that objective truths exist; to use your example, nobody's opinion matters when it comes to 2+2=4, an arithmetic truth. But why is it different for moral truths? Something is just or not regardless of anybody's opinion. That's why I think there are in fact moral truths. They are no more no less binding than any other kind of truths. We can argue whether 2+2=4 just like we can argue whether it's 'just' or 'fair' or 'cruel' to do something. The fact that we may, and often do, disagree does not mean there is no objective truths for both moral and non-moral issues.

Bringing God in the picture makes it worse in my opinion, as it introduces a mind that supposedly judges, thus have an opinion on what these moral truths are; or God is a very different kind of mind, which is being itself or some other versions that I will not try to describe of fear of strawman. But that latter example is also not very helpful as it brings

Therefore, there (at least) 4 options here:
1) Objective truths exist, so do objective moral truths exist, but God does not
2) Objective moral truths exist and God does exist, but does not dictate any (objective moral truths are part of God's nature, or something like that)
3) Objective moral truths exist and God decides what they are (I see this as a contradiction, as it's God's subjective opinion, hence the moral truths are not really objective)
4) Objective moral truths do not exist, everything is mere convention/opinion

As an Atheist, I feel comfortable with 1), I agree with Theists who think 2) is correct, but 3) is a stretch.

The worst to me seem to be 4) and, ironically, that's what a lot of Atheists seem to agree with. Is that your case? I am not sure it fits your views... maybe there's a 5)...

Stardusty Psyche said...

Chad Handley said...

"Given your lack of specifics that assessment is on par with "sez you"."

" To be more specific, you gave an argument from ignorance. That Reppert failed to prove the given objective moral prohibition to your satisfaction does not amount to a proof that the given moral prohibition is not objective.

To fail to prove A is not to disprove A."
--Irrelevant. I never set out to prove that no objective moral proposition could possibly exist. To do that I would have to prove the universal negative.

I merely cited some of the more common assertions of objective morality that are quickly dispatched. I further challenge all to name one. Victor tried, but of course, he failed.

My claim is that no person has ever cited an objective moral fact or absolute moral proposition in general circulation. The absence of evidence is evidence for absence when one has strong reasons to consider the search methods naturally exhaustive.

I am personally certain you cannot cite a counter example, only speak in vague generalities and false claims about my claims.


June 05, 2017 11:53 AM

Stardusty Psyche said...

Hugo Pelland said...

" @David
We agree that objective truths exist; to use your example, nobody's opinion matters when it comes to 2+2=4, "
--Prove it. At base, you cannot.

"an arithmetic truth."
--And thus founded on postulates not themselves proved.

" But why is it different for moral truths? Something is just or not regardless of anybody's opinion. That's why I think there are in fact moral truths. "
--Name some, even just one.


Therefore, there (at least) 4 options here:
1) Objective truths exist, so do objective moral truths exist, but God does not
2) Objective moral truths exist and God does exist, but does not dictate any (objective moral truths are part of God's nature, or something like that)
3) Objective moral truths exist and God decides what they are (I see this as a contradiction, as it's God's subjective opinion, hence the moral truths are not really objective)
4) Objective moral truths do not exist, everything is mere convention/opinion

" As an Atheist, I feel comfortable with 1), I agree with Theists who think 2) is correct, but 3) is a stretch."
--When you get to 4) you will have arrived at the only position that is coherent on atheism.

Prove me wrong by counterexample, if you think you can.


June 05, 2017 1:05 PM

Hugo Pelland said...

SP,
Yes or no: I do not agree there is such a thing as an "absolutely true moral proposition of any kind". Yet, you asked me to prove that position. Will you concede you were wrong to ask me to do that?

David Brightly said...

Hugo asks, Why is it different for moral truths as against arithmetic truths, say? Because moral truths, or better, the values they express, are much more like colours than countable physical objects. I'm enough of an ordinary realist to believe that the tree in my garden goes its own way independently of me. But Craig's values and duties seem, like the colour of the tree, to be more like experiences than independent things, and depend in some essential way on me. That's not to say they are unrelated to independent things. I can't have an obligation specifically to you unless you have given me a good or service. But there can't be values and duties without persons to do the valuing and to feel the obligations. Of course, if God, as paradigmatic person, is in the picture then values and duties have a ground outside of human persons. But either way, these experiences have a personal nature and cannot exist outside of persons. So I'm closest to Hugo's option (4) though I take exception to the characterisation of 'mere convention/opinion' which hints at arbitrariness. On the whole, the values we come to possess are not arbitrarily decided by ourselves, as if by a toss of a coin.

Chad Handley said...

"My claim is that no person has ever cited an objective moral fact or absolute moral proposition in general circulation. The absence of evidence is evidence for absence when one has strong reasons to consider the search methods naturally exhaustive."

You would still be making an argument from ignorance. Even if no one in the history of the world could prove any individual belief was an objective moral fact, that belief could still be an objective moral fact.

To justify your claim, you would have to construct an effective disproof of the possibility of any moral fact. Simply going through every human claim one by one and showing that they lack proof wouldn't suffice.

Hugo Pelland said...

David, it seems to me that you are mixing up 2 distinct things here.

Yes, moral values, obligations, judgement, etc... are almost always personable, someone is involved for it to make sense. But not necesserly always. Cruelty towards animals might be an exception here for instance.

But that's not what moral realism is about. Even if it is/were always personable, that does not make moral truth non-objective. The point is that the 'truth' of a certain proposition is independent of anyone's opinion: it's objective.

For example, if Person A says that they don't want to have sex with Person B, but they do it anyway, it is objectively true that "Person A's consent was violated", regardless of Person B's opinion, or anyone else's. That thing between quotes is a moral statement that does depend on a subjective opinion to be either true or false, objectively.

But you know, that's just my opinion... ;)

Stardusty Psyche said...

Chad Handley said...

SP "My claim is that no person has ever cited an objective moral fact or absolute moral proposition in general circulation. The absence of evidence is evidence for absence when one has strong reasons to consider the search methods naturally exhaustive."

" You would still be making an argument from ignorance. Even if no one in the history of the world could prove any individual belief was an objective moral fact, that belief could still be an objective moral fact."
--You obviously did not both read and comprehend my claim.

If nobody can cite an objective moral fact then my claim is supported. You cannot cite an objective moral fact, all you can do is speak in vague generalities, further evidence no such citation has ever been made available for you to reference.

" To justify your claim, you would have to construct an effective disproof of the possibility of any moral fact."
--No, to **justify** all I have to do is disprove asserted moral facts, which I can and do whenever and wherever such attempts are made.

Try me.

You are undoubtedly a learned reader of the greatest works in circulation. Surely you know the finest candidates.

Try me.

The inability of such an educated scholar as you to name even 1 such supposed objective moral fact is strong justification for my claim.

Amazing how so many theists so strongly defend a general principle for which they cannot name even 1 specific example.


June 06, 2017 7:31 AM

Stardusty Psyche said...

Hugo Pelland said...

" Yes, moral values, obligations, judgement, etc... are almost always personable, someone is involved for it to make sense. But not necesserly always. Cruelty towards animals might be an exception here for instance."
--Someone is involved in cruelty towards animals, the person being cruel. Animals are not cruel to each other, they simply do what they do.


" For example, if Person A says that they don't want to have sex with Person B, but they do it anyway, it is objectively true that "Person A's consent was violated", regardless of Person B's opinion, or anyone else's. That thing between quotes is a moral statement"
--No it is not, because no moral judgment has been made as to the right or wrong, good or bad, of that violation.

If I drive through a red light without stopping that is a violation. Whether it is morally right or wrong depends on the circumstances.

" that does depend on a subjective opinion to be either true or false, objectively."
--You are confusing the objectivity of the factual description of an act with the objectivity in judging the morality of that act.


June 06, 2017 9:16 AM

Hugo Pelland said...

The violation of consent I used as an example is not a legal thing; it's not like the red light. In some places it's actually legal to rape while married, and I argue this is immoral, regardless of anyone's opinion. It's relative to the situation, yes, it's essential to state the objective factual description, yes, and then we do have some objective moral truth, when relevant.

Consent, justice, fairness, cruelty, etc... all have objective definitions and thus provide a framework for objective moral truths. You argued they are dependant on subjective opinions if I understood correctly, so that's where we disagree.

You also askes me to prove absolute moral truth, which I don't think exist, as objective truths are contextual, including moral ones, but you refuse to correct strawmen that you build!

David Brightly said...

The problem here is getting clear what is meant by 'objective' in 'objective moral truth', or 'objective value'. To say it means 'independent of human opinion' sounds good and important but, in my view, it turns 'objective moral truth' into an oxymoron. One way to get free of human opinion is to use some sort of instrument. What could we use in this case? It would have to be a person since moral truth and value are accessible only to persons. Bear in mind that person could be from any era, culture, and language. We'd have to say to them, Look, we don't want your personal opinion on this, we want the objective truth about the moral dimension of some situation or event or proposition. They would say either, I don't know what you mean, or they'd just tell us their perspective on it anyway. Of course we could ask God who could give us the definitive answer, but we may not get any answer at all, and if we do get an answer we may not be able to show it's anything other than an individual human perspective. Or we could try to figure out these objective moral truths by deduction from first principles. But it's nowhere near as easy as number theory. Faced with this epistemic road-block it seems to me that all we can do is abandon the mirage concept of 'objective moral truth' and carry on talking amongst ourselves, as we have done for millennia.

grodrigues said...

"Faced with this epistemic road-block it seems to me that all we can do is abandon the mirage concept of 'objective moral truth' and carry on talking amongst ourselves, as we have done for millennia."

Translation: dialogue is impossible but let us keep doing it.

Chad Handley said...

"If nobody can cite an objective moral fact then my claim is supported. "

You don't know and have no way of knowing whether or not they cited an objective moral fact. All you know is that they can't state their warrant for believing that a given moral fact is objective to your satisfaction. That doesn't mean it is not a moral fact.

You're really struggling with a very simple concept: to not prove A is not to disprove A.

It's possible to be right about something without being able to prove it. That's what you seem incapable of comprehending, and why you keep making so many embarrassing mistakes.

You may be correct that no one can prove, to everyone's satisfaction, that any given moral claim is objective. But that doesn't mean that the claim isn't, in fact, objective. I despair of finding any simpler ways of explaining this, so if you still don't get it, you're obviously incapable.

Your claim would require a disproof of A, and you have not given one.

Chad Handley said...

Let's imagine that some great disaster destroyed all of our scientific resources and enterprises, and all we had left were some incomplete records of scientific beliefs, but we lost all of the justifications for them.

In that world, the belief survived that water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen. But some future Stardusty descendent was skeptical of that belief, and so went about asking everyone who held that belief to prove it.

Over the course of his life, this future Stardusty was able to ask every single person who believed that water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen to prove it, and he was able to successfully and convincingly shoot down every one of their proposed justifications.

Having done so, this future Stardusty was convinced that he had proven that water was not, in fact, composed of hydrogen and oxygen, because no one could prove that it was.

Is this future Stardusty justified in his belief?

Hugo Pelland said...

David Brightly said...
" The problem here is getting clear what is meant by 'objective' in 'objective moral truth', or 'objective value'."
Yes, it may be a problem, and it may get complicated but, at the same time, it's simple in my opinion when you also accept that that truth, in general, is objective, as in:
"To say it means 'independent of human opinion' sounds good and important "
Yes, and that's really all there is.

But now, on to objections:
"but, in my view, it turns 'objective moral truth' into an oxymoron. One way to get free of human opinion is to use some sort of instrument. What could we use in this case?"
No I don't think we need some instrument. It's more of an agreement among human, who each have subjective opinions, that there are in fact objective truths.

In other words, I don't see a contradiction in saying that yes, moral truths are always expressed by humans with subjective opinions and, at the same time, objective moral truths do exist, independently. It's not different from any general facts, which are expressed by humans as well.

" we want the objective truth about the moral dimension of some situation or event or proposition."
That part is correct, and this is exactly what I argue we are all doing with each other. We are all expressing opinions and doing our best to try to figure out which opinion is closet to objective truth, which we cannot access directly, cannot write down, and cannot define in any absolute sense.

"we could try to figure out these objective moral truths by deduction from first principles. But it's nowhere near as easy as number theory. "
Again, here, you are correctly listing what I think we are doing, and I agree it's nowhere near as simple as number theory, but it's the exact same mechanism; it's the context that is more complex, not the definition of objectivity when applied to morality.

1 plus 1 equals 2 regardless of any human opinion, we thus agree that's an objective fact. But what does it mean to do 1 plus 1 when there's nobody around to do arithmetic? It's still true, no doubt, but it's not like 1 tree is going to look at the tree next to itself and somehow find value in the realization that there are 2 trees... but it's true nonetheless.

"Faced with this epistemic road-block it seems to me that all we can do is abandon the mirage concept of 'objective moral truth' and carry on talking amongst ourselves, as we have done for millennia."
Hum, I am not sure about that... Generally, yes, this is not really a big deal I think. However, it can raise issues when it comes to trying to work out rules and regulations that apply to all, or when it comes to judging what groups of people we are not part of.

Some gruesome, yet real examples, include female genital mutilation, children witchcraft, or marital rape; these are all cultural things that are accepted within certain societies. If we reject the notion of objective morality, it becomes harder to argue 'why' we should care about these atrocities being committed. We are not part of these societies, we are not affected by them, and their adherents might all, or mostly, agree with them, and it's thus not immoral to them; it's just what they do. Who are we to judge them? We cannot say that it's because it's 'wrong', objectively, regardless of the reasons for us to find it horrifying.

Stardusty Psyche said...

Chad Handley said...

SP "If nobody can cite an objective moral fact then my claim is supported. "

" You don't know and have no way of knowing whether or not they cited an objective moral fact. All you know is that they can't state their warrant for believing that a given moral fact is objective to your satisfaction."
--Wrong. I also know my counter argument to such an assertion. I am not merely dependent on a satisfaction for some other person's argument.

" You're really struggling with a very simple concept: to not prove A is not to disprove A."
--You are really struggling with very simple concepts of how one goes about demonstrating any claim.

Hint: science doesn't do proof.


" I despair of finding any simpler ways of explaining this, "
--Yes, I can see that.

I am still waiting for that specific citation, tick tock. You only speak in vague generalities and have demonstrated no capability here to cite a specific example.


June 08, 2017 9:15 AM

Stardusty Psyche said...


Blogger Chad Handley said...

" Over the course of his life, this future Stardusty was able to ask every single person who believed that water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen to prove it, and he was able to successfully and convincingly shoot down every one of their proposed justifications."
--You are struggling with argumentum ad populum verses breaking down a substance to demonstrate it is not composed of the claimed constituents.

Like most theists, you will speak only in vague generalities and irrelevant hypotheticals.

You have demonstrated no capability to name a specific, which correlates strongly with your misdirected generalities.


June 08, 2017 9:26 AM

Stardusty Psyche said...

Hugo Pelland said...

"To say it means 'independent of human opinion' sounds good and important "
" Yes, and that's really all there is."

" No I don't think we need some instrument. It's more of an agreement among human, who each have subjective opinions, that there are in fact objective truths."
--You are even more confused than the average theist.

"objective morality" is "independent of human opinion" "an agreement among humans", a collection of "subjective opinions" and "subjective opinions that there are objective truths"

What utter word salad. Serious question, do you smoke pot while listening to Sam Harris?


" 1 plus 1 equals 2 regardless of any human opinion, we thus agree that's an objective fact."
--No, it is a system of abstract reasoning that is founded on provisional postulates.

" But what does it mean to do 1 plus 1 when there's nobody around to do arithmetic? It's still true, no doubt,"
--I doubt.

" but it's not like 1 tree is going to look at the tree next to itself and somehow find value in the realization that there are 2 trees"
--Who defines what a tree is? To add two objects in the abstract requires conceptually simplifying them so they may be considered members of the same set despite their differences. This is a process of human cognition with no demonstrable realization outside a brain process.

" Some gruesome, yet real examples, include female genital mutilation,"
--On an Islamic god FGM is good.

" or marital rape;"
--On an Islamic god "marital rape" is an oxymoronic term.

". If we reject the notion of objective morality, it becomes harder to argue 'why' we should care about these atrocities being committed."
--Your consequentialist argument is vacuous.

" Who are we to judge them? We cannot say that it's because it's 'wrong',"
--I can and do by my own standards, which is all any of us does, delusions of following a divinely mandated moral code notwithstanding.


June 08, 2017 4:12 PM

Hugo Pelland said...

Stardusty Psyche said...
"--You are even more confused than the average theist."
You do realize that such comments only make you look stupid, right?

""objective morality" is "independent of human opinion" "an agreement among humans", a collection of "subjective opinions" and "subjective opinions that there are objective truths"
What utter word salad.
"
The way you put it here yes, it's a word salad. You created a sentence out of parts that don't go together in that order. It only shows that you are either not understanding my position, or purposely trying to make it look absurd because you disagree. I used to think it was the latter, but I am not sure anymore, so I will explain again using these fragments.

- First, "objective morality" is "independent of human opinion". That's just a definition.

- We can agree, or disagree, that there is such a thing as objective morality. If we do agree that there is such a thing, then we can have "an agreement among humans" that some things are 'just' or 'cruel' regardless of what anyone thinks.

- But, it is just my opinion that there are objective moral truths; and you disagree. Hence, "subjective opinions that there are objective truths" refer to that. Some of us do agree that there are in face objective truths, but it's still just an opinion that such things exist.

- Finally, a collection of "subjective opinions" is the best thing we can do together, as we don't have any objective moral truths written somewhere. We don't have tools to tell us whether we are right. As you said: " -I can and do by my own standards, which is all any of us does" and that is correct. That's all we can do. And one of my own standards includes the notion that there is such a thing as justice, for example, there is such a thing as cruelty, objectively, and there is such a thing as truth, objectively.

But you disagree on all of that. That's all. It does not make neither of us more/less stupid. It does make you look like an asshole though... in my opinion.

Stardusty Psyche said...

Hugo Pelland said...

" - But, it is just my opinion that there are objective moral truths;"
--Based on what? Just some vague feeling?

" and you disagree."
"You haven't presented any rationale for any particular asserted moral truth to in fact be objective in the sense of being true independent of human opinion.

" we don't have any objective moral truths written somewhere. We don't have tools to tell us whether we are right. "
--Yet you hold the opinion there is such stuff as moral truth. Based on what?

Elsewhere you objected to the notion that a moral absolute exists, yet you say you think there are moral truths independent of human opinion, yet somehow these are not absolutes? That is what an absolute truth is, a fact of the universe, a fact of existence that is real, that is objectively true independent of any person or any other thing.

" -I can and do by my own standards, which is all any of us does" and that is correct. That's all we can do. And one of my own standards includes the notion that there is such a thing as justice, for example, there is such a thing as cruelty, objectively, and there is such a thing as truth, objectively."

" But you disagree on all of that. That's all."
--I don't merely disagree, I say it is a fuzzy, disjointed set of undeveloped thought snippets, not even a position.

You have the subjective idea that there are objective moral truths but they somehow are not moral absolutes but you can't name one and you have no means to demonstrate they exist and all attempts to cite examples of objective moral truths of justice, cruelty, or any other moral judgement are demonstrably not objective yet you hold the opinion that somehow there are some objective moral truths.

I have never encountered such a disjointed position. At least the theist position is coherent on a perfectly good god. The theist fails when other attributes are asserted to god as well, but that is another discussion.

The atheist who asserts moral realism, or moral absolutism, or any assertion of objective moral truth inevitably gets himself/herself all twisted up in knots.

" It does make you look like an asshole though... in my opinion."
--I have often wondered what drives otherwise rational atheists to any notion of objective morality. Maybe the individual was raised believing in such things and just cannot shake that feeling and thus invents all manner of disjointed rationalizations to fit that square peg of objective morality into the round hole of atheism.

It seems the desire for some sort of moral reality is so great that despite the acknowledged inability to name any such objective moral truths, or describe any place or manner in which they might exist, or provide any rationale for their existence, people such as yourself will fall back to "well, it's just my opinion and you have your opinion so same same it's a wash and if you won't play along with my little baseless opinion game you are an asshole"


June 09, 2017 3:31 PM

Hugo Pelland said...

You're an asshole for writing insults, doing failed mind reading, and refusing to correct your misconceptions. Nothing to do with our disagreements.

So regarding my opinion that there is such stuff as moral truth. It is based on an assumption: objective reality exists. From that, it follows that there are objective truth, and it follows that there are objective moral truth. It was never a simple straightforward process to get there and that's thus a simpllistic summary, but over time I shifted to that. Nothing to do with some religious artefact thinking, as it came much later.

Stardusty Psyche said...

Hugo Pelland said...

"there are objective truth,"
--Ok, there is a physical reality even if we do not have a fully accurate description of it.

" and it follows that there are objective moral truth."
--Non sequitur. Where is the morality in the standard model, QM, relativity, and whatever in reality unifies these incomplete and somewhat contradictory theories we presently have?

" It was never a simple straightforward process to get there"
--That's because there is no logical path to there. Somehow you have thought about this for a long time and in your mind you have constructed some notion of some sort of path to there.