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Moral Skepticism: The Honest Conclusion of Moral Relativism and Moral Language

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posted on Jan, 17 2017 @ 01:01 AM
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originally posted by: BigBrotherDarkness
a reply to: Greggers

Self importance; yes humans are greatest slice of turd making the absolute; the most complex piece of crap in the entire all of everything in the entropy that never ends.

Have you considered making that into a haiku?



Enjoy the hell of your grasping of attachments and infinite conflagerations created by everyone NOT you... there's not truth in them nor will there ever be.



That's not really a counter-argument. Or an argument. Was it supposed to be?




posted on Jan, 17 2017 @ 01:01 AM
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Double.
edit on 17-1-2017 by Greggers because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2017 @ 01:02 AM
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a reply to: BigBrotherDarkness

You stated that you think Humans are dumb yet here you are getting hostile about who's more right than the other. You amuse me.

Looks like you're feeling a teensie weensie bit guilty about something. An uncleared Conscience maybe?



posted on Jan, 17 2017 @ 01:07 AM
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a reply to: ADSE255

I never claimed to know anything; and humanity has yet to show ANY intelligence... world hunger and homelessness could be ended tomorrow but it won't happen.

When it does? Let me know.

Otherwise our existence as a species is worthless... so people want to talk morals and judge by them? The worst condition of humanity; is EXACTLY how to judge humanity.

Nuclear robot on Mars... worthless; children dying in the streets because of make believe and the arguments about "morality" that is the direct cause for it occuring? REALITY.

FAIL



posted on Jan, 17 2017 @ 01:09 AM
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a reply to: ADSE255

What are you stupid? Opening your mouth will only prove that your judgment is just as invalid as your assumption.



posted on Jan, 17 2017 @ 01:10 AM
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a reply to: Greggers

That's a great idea, I think the second paragraph he wrote could work pretty good too!



posted on Jan, 17 2017 @ 01:10 AM
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originally posted by: BigBrotherDarkness
world hunger and homelessness could be ended tomorrow but it won't happen.

Sounds like you're making a moral judgment to me.




Otherwise our existence as a species is worthless...

So unless we end world hunger and homelessness, our existence as a species is meaningless? Congratulations, you've just judged the entirety of humanity based upon your own moral compass.



The worst condition of humanity; is EXACTLY how to judge humanity.

Huh.. it must be a contagious condition.


edit on 17-1-2017 by Greggers because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2017 @ 01:12 AM
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a reply to: BigBrotherDarkness

So here we have a Human calling all other Humans stupid and dumb, telling me I'm dumb because of my opinions clash with his own. Like that made no sense, lol. Hostile much?



posted on Jan, 17 2017 @ 01:14 AM
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a reply to: BigBrotherDarkness


How could I tell you anything? I'm dumb remember?

edit on 17-1-2017 by ADSE255 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2017 @ 01:51 AM
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a reply to: Greggers

P.S. what you think of me or judge about me doesn't matter... to you it does though; and that's the only reason you'll ever value it... but its your judgment so more than welcome to keep it, same with unfounded assumptions and expectations that will never be met.

I owe you nothing; neither does anyone else, get used to it.



posted on Jan, 17 2017 @ 08:55 AM
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originally posted by: Greggers

originally posted by: BigBrotherDarkness
world hunger and homelessness could be ended tomorrow but it won't happen.

Sounds like you're making a moral judgment to me.




Otherwise our existence as a species is worthless...

So unless we end world hunger and homelessness, our existence as a species is meaningless? Congratulations, you've just judged the entirety of humanity based upon your own moral compass.



The worst condition of humanity; is EXACTLY how to judge humanity.

Huh.. it must be a contagious condition.




I think he is right, you do have to judge things by their worst not their best.

For example slavery...


Do you judge slavery by its effect on the slaveholder and how the small fraction of slaves that are treated well, or by the worst case scenario of letting one human having ultimate power over another??


Do you judge a society by how it's most wealthy live, or by how it treats its poorest??


I would say you have to judge things on the worst case scenerio, judging them on the best case only leads to more suffering and the continuation of inefficient systems because "well the wealthiest are doing good" or "the slave holders are doing just fine."


More than a few philosophers have said "the true test of a society is how they treat their poor."

No one ever said the opposite.


edit on 17-1-2017 by JoshuaCox because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2017 @ 09:54 AM
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a reply to: BigBrotherDarkness




Not a damned thing other than the topic itself; because you set up senarios in a beg to question of seemingly unwinnable circumstances no matter the position to only suit your position...


Good logic normally doesn't leave many escape routes. That is kind of the purpose of deduction.




I instead spoke to the topic and what actually occurs in action; on the whole from the practice... situational dilemmas aside... which make for splitting hairs.


The only way your first post would have been on topic is if you actually said something about the nature of morality. You seem to contrast morality and ethics, but morality is the foundation of ethics as morality is understanding the distinction between right and wrong and living according to that understanding, and ethics is the philosophy of how that morality guides individual and group behavior.




If you want to live in an authoritarian world of dictation and control? Embrace morality to one's hearts content... better have been born a machine in such circumstances, because that's what it turns into over time a mechanical society... despite the lie that it is for a greater good... the idea of a greater good is an ideology that makes all atrocity sanctioned.


Morality = world of dication and control. I don't think you've shown that to be the case.




A Pope sanctioned or basically legalized slavery; which is how it ended up in the "new world" to begin with for the greater moral good then King George and his rainbow cabinet basically legalized murder for the greater moral good. Expansion and genocide has always carried self appointed sanctions as a greater moral good.


So a pope did something he shouldn't have done, and King George abused his power and they self proclaimed it was for the greater good. That doesn't mean it was actually the greater good, or even good at all. I mean I can proclaim raping women for fun is a good thing, but that doesn't mean my proclamation is true. In the same way, I could proclaim 2+2=5969494, but that doesn't make it so. You seem to be missing the fact that moral claims are truth claims.




Morals is a high horse that only wishes to reign and the only thing it seeks is control... there's nothing good in it; that's just the excuse that allows or sanctions for such things they want to do anyway. Our made up blah blah gives us the authority to do blah blah to you because you don't believe in the same made up blah blah won't fall down worship or bend a knee to made up blah blah won't accept our made up blah blah as an authority over you.


Morals are a high horse yet you seem to be saying getting rid of morality would be the moral thing to do. Its kind of contradictory. By the way, Christians don't believe you that some church leader or the Bible are necessary to know the difference between good and bad, we believe that recognition is a part of human nature. Intrinsically humans recognize the difference between right and wrong. Now I am stating that as an absolute but a generality .



posted on Jan, 17 2017 @ 10:51 AM
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a reply to: Greggers




First, I don't think you understand what moral relativism is.


Oh can you elaborate on my misunderstanding rather than just saying it is there because right now it looks like you were trying to add some air of authority to your post by saying I didn't know what I was talking about.




Moral relativism is the only type of morality that has ever existed, or that will ever exist. It is the only type of morality humans are capable of. Even those who rely on an ancient holy book to dictate their morality will note that different eras have drawn wildly different conclusions about the morality of certain acts -- the book doesn't change, but interpretations do.


Do you think that because humans disagree about what is and is not moral means that morals are relative? Because being relative and two people disagree about something are not the same thing. I'll tell you what I told BigBrotherDarkness, Christians don't think the Bible is there to tell you how to act in every moral situation. The bible isn't about you and I, but that is another topic for another time. Simply asserting that there is only moral relativism isn't going to gain you much credit with me, but you may get a few cheerleaders if your lucky.





Strictly speaking, human morality has its origins in evolutionary biology. This can be seen in research done on the morality of great apes (yes, such a thing exists) as they exhibit many of the tendencies of man.

Human beings rely on others for their survival. As such, behaviors which threaten the group will tend to be treated as immoral, while those that strengthen the group will tend to be treated as moral. The closer a behavior comes to being a universal threat to society, the closer it comes to being an ABSOLUTE moral.


I would agree with you that as humans we have certain instincts that drive us, and I would even agree that we have a type of social instinct which makes us want to help others in the same way a chimp may try and help another chimp, but the odd thing about being human, as I can't speak about being chimp, is that we know what it is like to be prompted by instinct, whether it be sexual instinct, social instinct, or the instinct for food and water, but inside of ourselves we find a third thing, which in and of itself cannot be instincts ingrained thru evolution. Let us imagine for a moment that we hear loud noises and a man yelling for help. We may find inside of us two impulses, one to help the man due to our social instincts, and another run away due to the instinct of self-preservation, but you will also find that third thing that tells you that you ought to follow your social instincts to help the man, but this cannot itself be one of those instincts.

A note on a piece of sheet music that tells a piano player, which key to press at a given point in time cannot itself be one of the keys on the keyboard. Our instincts are the keys, and the moral law is the tune we ought to play.




For example, the murder of an innocent within our own group is probably the closest thing humans have to a universal moral negative.


That is incorrect being unfair, immodest, or dishonorable are frowned upon through out all societies even ancient ones. I could make a very large list of near universal moral absolutes. I mean let us imagine for a moment a country where one feels proud for double crossing all those who have been kindest to him, or a country where people were admired for running away in battle, or a country where people strive for immodesty. Be careful to pay attention to what I am say, because I imagine what some of the readers are doing right now is getting ready to give me a few example of countries disagree about what is fair or what is modest, but this is not the point. Countries or people may disagree about what is fair or modest or honorable, but no society strives for the opposite. You seem you want to say that countries have different moral values but you haven't really thought about what a truly different moral system actually is. By the way you have responded it seems that you equate relativism with disagreement and that is a mistake.




What Hitler did is morally wrong by any definition.


Not if moral relativism is the true nature of morality. If Hitler thought what he was doing was actually good then, by your view of morality it would be defined as good. Considering the vast majority of Germany was behind Hitler, I'd say by your way of judging morality in the context of that society what they were doing was good.




When a moral relativist says Hitler was evil, he's not saying, "I don't like Hitler." He's saying Hitler is an evil bastard. He's merely acknowledging the universal reality that morality is always weighed against the era.


I find it odd you try to tell me that I don't understand moral relativism and then come here and try to tell me that it doesn't reduce moral propositions to statements about your personal or societal preferences. If you are saying "Hitler is evil" you don't mean it the same way I would. I mean even if the whole world thought what Hitler was good myself included, it would still be the case that Hitler is evil. You, however, mean that in the context of your society Hitler is considered evil, so I suppose we could rephrase it to say "My society doesn't like Hitler, therefore I don't like Hitler." Either way its about nothing more the societal or individual preference, there is no way around that because that is what relativism is.



posted on Jan, 17 2017 @ 10:55 AM
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originally posted by: JoshuaCox

originally posted by: Greggers

originally posted by: BigBrotherDarkness
world hunger and homelessness could be ended tomorrow but it won't happen.

Sounds like you're making a moral judgment to me.




Otherwise our existence as a species is worthless...

So unless we end world hunger and homelessness, our existence as a species is meaningless? Congratulations, you've just judged the entirety of humanity based upon your own moral compass.



The worst condition of humanity; is EXACTLY how to judge humanity.

Huh.. it must be a contagious condition.




I think he is right, you do have to judge things by their worst not their best.



Whether he's right or wrong in his moral evaluation is ancillary to my point. My point was that he was, in fact, making a moral judgment, after telling all of us that morality wasn't real and that judging one another was the worst thing humans have ever done (or something to that effect -- it hardly seems worth it for me to go back and re-read.)
edit on 17-1-2017 by Greggers because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2017 @ 10:55 AM
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a reply to: Bluesma

Oh? So you were in a country that valued unfairness and immodesty and loved traitors, honored cowards of battle. What an odd country where is it?



posted on Jan, 17 2017 @ 11:26 AM
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Double.
edit on 17-1-2017 by Greggers because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2017 @ 11:28 AM
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Oh can you elaborate on my misunderstanding rather than just saying it

I gave a fairly thorough answer that explained what moral relativism was. It's not about what a person likes or dislikes. It is about a system of rules determined (largely on a subconscious level) by what is, or isn't, threatening to the survival of the individual or the group. Because circumstances change over time, morality changes over time. Some things, however, will be viewed by humans as being immoral regardless of the era because they are core to the standard of how humans evaluate these things.




time. Simply asserting that there is only moral relativism isn't going to gain you much credit with me,

That's okay.






I would agree with you that as humans we have certain instincts that drive us, and I would even agree that we have a type of social instinct which makes us want to help others in the same way a chimp may try and help another chimp, but the odd thing about being human, as I can't speak about being chimp, is that we know what it is like to be prompted by instinct, whether it be sexual instinct, social instinct, or the instinct for food and water, but inside of ourselves we find a third thing, which in and of itself cannot be instincts ingrained thru evolution. Let us imagine for a moment that we hear loud noises and a man yelling for help. We may find inside of us two impulses, one to help the man due to our social instincts, and another run away due to the instinct of self-preservation, but you will also find that third thing that tells you that you ought to follow your social instincts to help the man, but this cannot itself be one of those instincts.

Human beings have far more complex forebrains than the great apes. Our concepts of morality manifest themselves in far more varied and complex ways. However, research has shown than the precursors of human morality are indeed evidence in the societies of lesser primates.

The root of moral behavior seems to be compassion, for others and for the group, which from an evolutionary perspective was critical to the survival of social primates.







That is incorrect being unfair, immodest, or dishonorable are frowned upon through out all societies even ancient ones.

I didn't say it was the only one. Yes, there are many. Murder, however, is the most fundamental as it directly impacts the survival of the individual and the group.






Not if moral relativism is the true nature of morality. If Hitler thought what he was doing was actually good then, by your view of morality it would be defined as good.

No. What an individual decides is moral for the individual does not dictate what human society determines to be moral, either during a specific era or over the entire, varied course of human history. If it did, we wouldn't have prisons. And a person like Hitler would never have motivated other countries to go to war against him.




Considering the vast majority of Germany was behind Hitler, I'd say by your way of judging morality in the context of that society what they were doing was good.


Sometimes people condone immoral behavior because they feel no moral option exists. Sometimes because they feel threatened, in which case the "in group" may be redefined. Either way it's the same underlying mechanism.

We also have a tendency to make excuses for situations that impact us specifically, while still considering the behavior in question to be evil when it's done by other people. That's human psychology.

Right now, you are making a moral judgment that the holocaust was evil. I agree with you of course. The vast majority of civilizations throughout history would agree with you if presented with the facts in their totality because it is a direct violation of principles that human beings abhor, as a general rule.

Other things are far more flexible because they are far more removed from our basic evolutionary core.






I find it odd you try to tell me that I don't understand moral relativism and then come here and try to tell me that it doesn't reduce moral propositions to statements about your personal or societal preferences. If you are saying "Hitler is evil" you don't mean it the same way I would. I mean even if the whole world thought what Hitler was good myself included, it would still be the case that Hitler is evil. You, however, mean that in the context of your society Hitler is considered evil, so I suppose we could rephrase it to say "My society doesn't like Hitler, therefore I don't like Hitler." Either way its about nothing more the societal or individual preference, there is no way around that because that is what relativism is.


What I'm saying is that all morality is relative. But some moral rules are more absolute than others, based upon how core they are to the survivability of the individual and society.
edit on 17-1-2017 by Greggers because: (no reason given)

edit on 17-1-2017 by Greggers because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2017 @ 12:02 PM
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originally posted by: ServantOfTheLamb
a reply to: Bluesma

Oh? So you were in a country that valued unfairness and immodesty and loved traitors, honored cowards of battle. What an odd country where is it?


I didn't say those were the morals that differed- where did you get those??

Fairness is much more valued than my motherland- that is why the Americans tend to call it "socialist" or "communist" (it isn't, but for some that is the best words they have for fairness in a collective).

Immodesty - modesty in terms of the human body- no that is not valued here. People have no problem with nudity. It is not "bad" or "wrong" in their system. But in their system, a breast is not a sex organ... so people have different reactions to seeing breasts, and that changes the ethical or moral nature of derobing one. The effect upon others is not the same.

Modesty in attitude, on the other hand, is much higher valued here than in the US. To brag about your achievements, your wealth, or anything else that is not common to those around you listening (and that they would desire too) is very badly seen. Americans often miss this point over here and wonder why they being treated rudely in response!

Traitors... yes, in fact. In a way. They feel the people should always be suspicious and ready to oppose their leader or governing body if it shows signs of being unfair, or abusing it's power. They feel it is an important job of being in the inferior position of hierarchy. Blind allegiance to any power is considered stupid to them, and dangerous.

Honor cowards of battle- no. On the other hand, refusing to go to war for a body of power which is lying to you and warring for unethical reasons is not considered cowardly- but brave. Saying no and facing the consequences, in the name of what you believe to be true and right is valued- no matter what that "true and right" is.
edit on 17-1-2017 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2017 @ 12:48 PM
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a reply to: ThingsThatDontMakeSense




I like where you're trying to go with your informal proof, but this falls apart because you are asserting two things (P & Q) are empirically the same making it impossible to distinguish a difference.


Maybe you can elaborate on this, because I don't quite know what you mean.




Let's take something easy to understand like a contradiction. A contradiction is false. Therefore working off this precept that a contradiction isn't possible it should not be conceivable, like amorality having no difference from morality if moral skepticism is true, right?


I am not a dialetheist. I was not trying to make the point that if moral skepticism is true, then amorality would have no difference from morality, but rather that the category of moral would be inconceivable. I don't see how you get to the idea that because contradictions cannot be actualized that means we cannot conceive of the category of propositions that are in the form A and Not A as we can easily compare contradictions to non-contradictions, or rather we can compare propositions that are in the form A and Not A with propositions that are not in the form of A and Not A. Neither category is empty here. In the case of moral skepticism however, we are left with an empty category called moral which is a nonexistent category, you would not be able to conceive of what it means for an issue to be a moral issue if there were no moral issues. You couldn't even have perceived moral issues if moral issues weren't a thing. You can't have counterfeit money without genuine currency. So the difference in our scenarios is I have a two classifactory devices in contrast with one another that make the word contradiction meaningful. I could not recognize contradictions if there was no such thing as a proposition that did not contradict, as saying a proposition is a contradiction in that world would be no different then saying that proposition is indeed a proposition.



Well I can say a seat is not a seat like Sartre did in Nausea and actually derive a meaning from this:

“I murmur: "It's a seat," a little like an exorcism. But the word stays on my lips: it refuses to go and put itself on the thing. It stays what it is, with its red plush, thousands of little red paws in the air, all still, little dead paws. This enormous belly turned upward, bleeding, inflated—bloated with all its dead paws, this belly floating in this car, in this grey sky, is not a seat. It could just as well be a dead donkey tossed about in the water, floating with the current, belly in the air in a great grey river, a river of floods; and I could be sitting on the donkey's belly, my feet dangling in the clear water.”


― Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea


In no way is this a true logical contradiction. All Satre has done is taken some thing A and described it with different words. The words one chooses to describe an object does not actually change the ontological properties of that object. For if what Satre means by seat is something used for sitting there is not contradiction in saying it is a seat and a dead donkey, for being a dead donkey is not incompatible with being a seat. In other words, the two concepts are not mutually exclusive. I think the law of identity and law of non-contradiction are inescapable if we are talking about what can be actualized.



posted on Jan, 17 2017 @ 01:15 PM
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originally posted by: ServantOfTheLamb
a reply to: JoshuaCox




I think it is all based on relative POV.. Take for example ; "Slavery and slave holders are evil." But everyone's ancestors were slave holders..everyone. So were everyone's ancestors evil?! Through the lenses of the better understanding of modern society, yes all our ancestors were evil. But from their own POV ..not so much.


I am not sure how you think this response shows morality to be relative nor am I sure you completely understand the concept of a moral fact. A moral fact is talking about a indicative moral proposition, or in other words a statement that is true or false independent of your perspective. If our ancestors thought is was morally good to own slaves, then they were mistaken. The very fact that the vast majority of people would call the abolishment of slavery moral progress, but how can something progress if there isn't some outside reference point to which it is progressing towards? I gave you an entire post about why morals are objective and I get maybe five simple assertions with no explanation ? Why quote the whole OP?


I'm on my phone it makes editing quotes unwieldy.

I think things like slavery, genocide , rape, cold blooded murder exc, would all be independent evils.

No matter how you dress it up in revisionist or "for the greater good" history.

What's the saying? "Even if you put a pig in a party dress, it's still a pig."


I don't think the sins of the past and our ancestors were ok just because they didn't know better.




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