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If we view the universe as you have just described we shouldn't think consciousness was anything more than an illusion of complex biochemical reactions, but if it is an illusion we never should have found out that it was an illusion.
You've given them the intrinsic value of a rock, so whatever meaning you assign to them due to moral preference is kind of meaningless as well. Could you define the phrase "objective meaning"?
I think the answer to that is clearly yes, human disagreement does not amount to subjectivity. Humans can disagree over the summation of simple integers that doesn't make the answer any less objective
What is the "illusion of complex biochemical reactions"? It is complex biochemical reactions, just like if we made a self aware computer it would be complex electrical processes.
Well lets think in terms of different arrangements of matter... does a human have more meaning than a rock simply because our particles are arranged differently?
Any given arrangement of particles doesn't have any more or less meaning than any other arrangement unless you want to believe there is some transcendental "objective meaning" associated with different arrangements. Of course when matter is arranged as a human then it has more meaning to other humans compared to a rock, but that's purely subjective and in the grand scheme of things there is no real meaning to anything.
I notice you didn't try to give an exact age, and I don't blame you' it's very hard and there's no clear cut answer, this isn't some simple integer math, you have to consider many different factors, such as how mentally developed is the person, maybe they're quite old but still mentally very young, or vice versa. Or maybe they're still quite young but their body has developed very quickly and their hormones create a strong urge for sex, a very large portion of sex offenders in the U.S. are actually minors because it's typically a felony for them to have sex.
Good and evil are conceptual in nature, so any talk of measure or objectivity is meaningless.
This is due to the fact that abstract concepts such as morality are subjective. Let's say I have a table I can estimate the middle of the table but it is most definitely not the exact center. Morality is like placing your finger in the middle and all others agree that is the center. The further one way or the other and you will have disagreement about whether it is center or not. Imaginary units of measurement.
This is the theory of consciousness as an emergent property of matter, but even if one takes this approach they must still affirm that each and every action and thought are predetermined by physical events inside and outside of your body. If this were actually true though, we should never have found out we had no choice
I've already told you that I agree with your position that on naturalism there would be no difference, but I have also explained to you that I don't think we should be able to register the difference between moral and amoral actions if such a world view were true.
There are two types of value. That is intrinsic and instrumental value. I believe human beings to be intrinsically valuable because I don't believe a human is just a complex arrangement of molecules, hence the reason smashing a rock with a sledge hammer isn't a moral issue, but smashing a baby with a sledge hammer is a moral issue. Now we are in agreement that if naturalism is true, then human beings have no intrinsic meaning and you can do as you please to them. That is nothing is forbidden.
My point here are there are ages that are clearly wrong, even though specific age someone is ready to have sex may vary..
originally posted by: ServantOfTheLamb
a reply to: Bleeeeep
Its unfortunate. This site used to be filled with people who actually enjoyed intellectual discussion.
I'm not a believer in determinism, quantum mechanics makes it pretty clear that true randomness is an intrinsic property of nature, therefore our future isn't fated and that allows the scientific process to work without our experiments and measurements being predetermined, and consciousness can arise from complex non-deterministic processes.
Humans are already very inept at registering the difference between moral and amoral actions and we disagree on many ethical issues.
Some people actually cannot register the difference between right and wrong at all due to brain issues.
Even if the bible was never written I'm quite certain we would all still form very strong opinions regarding morality, we don't need some external rule book to be capable of deciding what is right and wrong, we're perfectly capable of doing that ourselves.
The reality is there's nothing forbidding you from smashing a baby with a rock, but you choose not to do that because of your personal beliefs. We don't need a god to deem it an immoral action and decide smashing a baby with a rock is wrong, it's an immoral action from the perspective of most humans because we have the ability to empathize with the feelings of others.
Also you're getting into very sketchy territory talking about value in such a way, because intrinsic value is entirely subjective. For example what is the intrinsic value of gold, can you give me a number? What if I asked a human from the future who had technology capable of transmuting lead into gold, would he give the same answer?
You're back to square one by saying humans have intrinsic value because how much value they have is entirely relative to who you ask and who you're asking about.
And it gets even worse when you start thinking about humans in terms of instrumental value.
Does a human who is brain dead and will remain in a coma the rest of their life have any instrumental value since they cannot contribute anything to society and will only drain resources from society?
Also, assuming the life of a human does have some objective value/meaning, does that automatically mean it's always immoral to take the life of a person, even under any circumstance at all?
You're still projecting your human beliefs as if they were objective.
Sad that you've presented such a good argument but gotten nothing but jeer in return. "It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled." - Twain
On one hand you seem to want to view them as more than arrangement of molecules, and on the other hand you seem to want to view them as truly conscious agent. You can't have it both ways. You are being vague though so before I say anything more I'll let you explain.
An "amoral" action would be an action that does not concern morality. Are you saying you cannot grasp that a person drinking a glass of water doesn't concern morality or ethics, while robbing a liquor store would concern morality and ethics?
If you watch interviews with killers like Dahmer and Bundy you'll find these gentlemen knew their impulses were not good. They just didn't care.
Who has said you need the Bible to be written for morality to exists? I don't think one needs to have the Bible to know right from wrong, lets not make such large assumptions.
Smashing babies with rocks is wrong irrespective of my opinion on the matter. I know this thru empathy and many other things, but if naturalism was true I never should have came to the realization that moral and immoral actions were even a possible category for an action to fall into.
I think your misunderstanding the term intrinsic value. The value is based on the nature of the thing itself.
What do you mean by worse friend? You seem to be saying that thinking of human beings as something with intrinsic value is closer to some standard of thought that is "better".
Depends on the situation. It may give comfort to a family member or something like that and therefore have some instrumental value for achieving comfort.
but rather I was saying human beings are morally obligated irrespective of their desires not to have sex with 5 year olds. The problem is not that I am projecting my human beliefs