Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Does the law of noncontradiction apply to moral claim, such as the claim that adultery is wrong?

There are a couple of possibilities here. One is that physicalism is true. If physicalism is true, then all facts are physical facts, and the law of noncontradictions applies to physical facts. Claims about what is right and wrong cannot be reduced to physical questions, therefore, the law of noncontradiction does not  apply here. But what if  there are facts that are not physical facts? Mathematical facts, strictly speaking, are not physical facts, since they do not obtain at particular places or times, but rather obtain at all places and times. There are also logical facts, which also do not depend upon locality. And then, are there moral facts? Atheists disagree with  one another as to whether there can be moral facts. Atheist J. L. Mackie argued that there are no moral facts. But even without God, philosophers like Erik Wielenberg think that there are nonetheless moral facts. https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/2763.Erik_J_Wielenberg 
If there are moral facts then the law of noncontradiction applies to these. 
But then, suppose that religion is not just something people make up, but instead is true. In this case, physicalism would be false, because a divine reality exists which, at least we ordinarily define physics, physics cannot discover. In that case, there would be a real God, maybe a Christian, Jewish, or Muslim God which actually exists, in which case it is quite possible that facts about what is right or wrong is grounded in what God knows, or what God commands. Thus, God might know, and therefore command, that adultery is wrong, and even if you are the President of the United States, if you disagree with that, you are mistaken. 

6 comments:

Legion of Logic said...

A very sneaky way of taking a cheap shot at Bill Clinton. Well played.

Victor Reppert said...

It's a bipartisan cheap shot these days. I think the Democrats swallowed a poison pill when they let Bill get away with the Lewinsky affair.

Legion of Logic said...

I've seen feminists admit that they hated it, but still supported him because the policies he supported was the same as theirs. I firmly believe that regardless of anything else, most people will vote for their party no matter what. Politics reigns supreme.

bmiller said...

It's a bipartisan cheap shot these days. I think the Democrats swallowed a poison pill when they let Bill get away with the Lewinsky affair.

FDR, LBJ and JFK all had affairs while actually in the White House and I'm sure all the pols and reporters knew. The only difference with Clinton is that the news got out. Contrast that to how the press ran stories about Reagan being divorced that he had to overcome.

Still think there hasn't always been media bias in our lifetimes?

One Brow said...

But what if there are facts that are not physical facts? Mathematical facts, strictly speaking, are not physical facts, since they do not obtain at particular places or times, but rather obtain at all places and times. There are also logical facts, which also do not depend upon locality. And then, are there moral facts?

Mathematics and logic are human constructs, and obey the rules that we humans have put into them. Any universality to the truths in those systems apply because we put that restriction into the system at the beginning. If there were universal moral facts, I would take that as an indicator that morality is similarly made up by us.

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
Still think there hasn't always been media bias in our lifetimes?

You mean, the way the media ignored the multiple affairs of Gingrich while he criticized the affairs of Clintion in the media shows the media bias in favor of the right?