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Johan Biemans (jbiemans)

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defense of hell -- fallacy
« Reply #60 on: January 19, 2011, 06:08:12 pm »
to get the persons name put = and then the user name after the word QUOTE.  I am still kinda new at doing it that way too

jason5332 wrote:
So your morality is subjective or perhaps you are a moral relativist as iceknight366 implied. This is shaky morality at best.
The God of the bible isn't moral might be a reference to the Old Testament atrocities argument (at least I am assuming that is where the argument comes from). There are a lot of resources addressing this issue.
And yes, we should be like God, even though we cannot attain like God.  For God's attributes is goodness, just, love, etc. God is the good. Read Craig's discussion on eurhtyro (sp?) delimma. Also Lee Strobel's the case for faith also addresses the old testament atrocities.
Talk to you soon!

Jason

I hate to break it to you, but depending on your definition of objective, everyones morals are subjective.  Morality is a value system, and values are by definition subjective.  So to say that I am a relativistic, or a subjectivist, is not really a negative thing to me.  While it may be true that I cannot say that something is wrong in the same sense that I can say that 2 + 2 =/= 5, I can still say that it is wrong.

If we can agree to a standard then I can say if it meets that standard or not.  The standard does not have to be actual either, it can be imaginary and still serve the same purpose. In this case, it is still subjective because someone can dispute the standard, but it gives us a framework with which to judge moral actions.  

Saying that God is the source of morality and that we should strive to be like God and emulate his actions does not really get us far though.  Lets take an action performed by God, "intentionally taking the life of a human being without consent".  If that action is performed by God, then it is moral (as God cannot commit immoral acts).  If that is moral and we should emulate that morality, then surely we should also intentionally take the life of a human being without consent right ?  If there are actions that are performed by God that are moral, but immoral when performed by humans, then God clearly is not the source of our morality.

But that really is a topic for another thread.

And now back to the regularly scheduled program:

Either you spend eternity with me, or you spend eternity without me."

If that was the dilemma at hand then I would not have an objection.  I suppose I have been making my arguments emotional because that is what I was getting back, but maybe I shouldn't.

How about this:

"Either you spend eternity with me, or I will make you spend eternity without me.  Keep in mind that being without me, means being without anything good, as I am the source of all good. "

Or more simply

"Either you spend eternity with me, or I will make you spend eternity without anything good, ever."

Which of course can be re-written as:

"Either you spend eternity with me, or I will make you spend eternity with only bad things"

Keep in mind, that it is not just a simple choice to spend eternity with God, there are many things you have to do in order to qualify.

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Jason Clanton

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defense of hell -- fallacy
« Reply #61 on: January 19, 2011, 08:04:13 pm »
=jbemains I hate to break it to you, but depending on your definition of objective, everyones morals are subjective.  Morality is a value system, and values are by definition subjective.  So to say that I am a relativistic, or a subjectivist, is not really a negative thing to me.  

I completely agree. Everyone's morals are subjective. But God is not a person, and given his qualities, he is the standard of good.

=jbiemans  Saying that God is the source of morality and that we should strive to be like God and emulate his actions does not really get us far though.  Lets take an action performed by God, "intentionally taking the life of a human being without consent".  If that action is performed by God, then it is moral (as God cannot commit immoral acts).  If that is moral and we should emulate that morality, then surely we should also intentionally take the life of a human being without consent right ?  

Craig answers this on his website, although I can't for the life of me remember where (Someone else help, please).

Okay, we can debate this forever, but I'll be done with this topic now, except for one more thing:
=jbiemans
And now back to the regularly scheduled program:
 


that is hilarious! Love your sense of humor. Take care and God bless.

Jason

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Snakeystew

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defense of hell -- fallacy
« Reply #62 on: January 19, 2011, 09:03:49 pm »
But God is not a person, and given his qualities, he is the standard of good


Therefore one can look at any action undertaken or condoned in the bible and consider it 'good', (or bad). Keeping slaves is therefore moral and eating shellfish is therefore immoral. He is the standard, your disagreement will mean nothing.

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Triptych

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defense of hell -- fallacy
« Reply #63 on: January 20, 2011, 01:35:09 am »
@ jbiemans: No you can not say that ANYTHING is wrong.  You can FEEL that it is wrong, or think that it is in your head, but you can't actually affirm that something IS WRONG.  If you want to talk about your moral relativism and all the problems and untenable "justifications" it has, let me know when you bring it up in the Morality Thread and I'll talk to you about it there.

"Values by definition are subjective"?  Really now?  So if you have a brain tumor, you would think that there is no difference between going to see a neurosurgeon verses going to say Denis Rodman to get it checked out?  Moreover, is it not true that, say oranges, have intrinsic value?  Ahhh... You see, there are many objective values that are true whether you subjectively think they are or not.  Even more, where is your evidence for this?

I talked to Snakey about this once already and was hoping that this site was past it.  About the issue of God taking life, should we than take this to mean that murder is a moral act?  "According to the version of divine command ethics which I’ve [Dr. Craig] defended, our moral duties are constituted by the commands of a holy and loving God.  Since God doesn’t issue commands to Himself,  He has no moral duties to fulfill.  He is certainly not subject to the same moral obligations and prohibitions that we are.  For example, I have no right to take an innocent life.  For me to do so would be murder.  But God has no such prohibition.  He can give and take life as He chooses.  We all recognize this when we accuse some authority who presumes to take life as “playing God.”  Human authorities  arrogate to themselves rights which belong only to God.  God is under no obligation whatsoever to extend my life for another second.  If He wanted to strike me dead right now, that’s His prerogative."  What that implies is that God has the right to take lives; how long we live and when we die is up to Him

That's fine, I can accept the way you have now chosen to state God's judgment upon us.  However, now that you have stated it the correct way, without it being emotionally loaded, it does not have to be seen in the view you are holding.  Rather, as the Bible tells us, God pleads with us that we might choose Him.  You can't read the Bible without getting a clear sense of this.  Take for example how He literally pleads with people to repent of their unjust ways that He might not judge them.  “As I live, says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live” (Ez. 33.11).  So once we walk away from these types of emotional arguments, we can see that God is in no way related to a burglar or murderer giving someone an ultimatum.

@ Wonderer: I'm not at all equating fairness to an emotional appeal.  Now under your worldview, if all we are is "social primates" than you're right.  There really is no such thing as objective right or wrong, or objective fairness or unfairness, it's just an emotional response that nature as determined to be beneficial for survival or what have you.  So on this view you're right, fairness doesn't exist.  However, I'd be interested to see if your life is consistent with this.

Say you came into work tomorrow and your manager tells you, "If you work hard for the next 6 months I'll promote you and give you a raise!"  You work your butt off!  But at the end of say 2 months, your manager decides to promote Tommy instead!  Tommy being an unmotivated guy who just started work 1 month ago.  He barely cares about his job and puts in less then marginal work.  Moreover, your manager goes over to you, the hard working employee, and says, "If you don't start working harder, I'm going to fire you!"
Would you just dismiss this as your personal feelings about unfairness?  Or would you demand to talk to your manager and threaten to quit because of the unjust actions he has taken towards you?
Or say the man who you witness brutally killing your children is tried innocent in court.  Would you just say that this was only a disagreement about your emotional personal taste, or would you demand justice!?
"We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark.
The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light."
-Plate
“Reason is not automatic.  Those who deny it can not be conquered by it.”
-Ayn Rand
GodBls, L8

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Johan Biemans (jbiemans)

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defense of hell -- fallacy
« Reply #64 on: January 20, 2011, 08:11:26 pm »
let me know when you bring it up in the Morality Thread and I'll talk to you about it there.

Will do.

"Values by definition are subjective"? Really now? So if you have a brain tumor, you would think that there is no difference between going to see a neurosurgeon verses going to say Denis Rodman to get it checked out? Moreover, is it not true that, say oranges, have intrinsic value? Ahhh... You see, there are many objective values that are true whether you subjectively think they are or not. Even more, where is your evidence for this?

I do not understand what you are saying here.  What kind of objective value does an orange have ?  How does choosing a competent surgeon relate to a value ?  I think you are conflating 2 definitions of value here.

3: relative worth, utility, or importance value at the price> value of base stealing in baseball>




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wonderer

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« Reply #65 on: January 20, 2011, 08:45:51 pm »
IceKnight366 wrote: @ jbiemans: No you can not say that ANYTHING is wrong.  You can FEEL that it is wrong, or think that it is in your head, but you can't actually affirm that something IS WRONG.

   

   Although you addressed this to JB, I'll respond to it before going on...

   

   What do you mean by saying this?  Of course I am capable of saying something is wrong.  The semantics of it would be different than if you were to say it, but I don't find that to be particularly problematic.  What is it you think would be problematic for you, and why?

   

   
@ Wonderer: I'm not at all equating fairness to an emotional appeal.  Now under your worldview, if all we are is "social primates" than you're right.  There really is no such thing as objective right or wrong, or objective fairness or unfairness, it's just an emotional response that nature as determined to be beneficial for survival or what have you.  So on this view you're right, fairness doesn't exist.  However, I'd be interested to see if your life is consistent with this.

Say you came into work tomorrow and your manager tells you, "If you work hard for the next 6 months I'll promote you and give you a raise!"  You work your butt off!  But at the end of say 2 months, your manager decides to promote Tommy instead!  Tommy being an unmotivated guy who just started work 1 month ago.  He barely cares about his job and puts in less then marginal work.  Moreover, your manager goes over to you, the hard working employee, and says, "If you don't start working harder, I'm going to fire you!"

   

   

   Would you just dismiss this as your personal feelings about unfairness?  Or would you demand to talk to your manager and threaten to quit because of the unjust actions he has taken towards you?

   

   I'd be inclined to think my boss is not someone I want to work for, and that I was fortunate to get such clear cut information on the irrationality of his thinking, so that I had an opportunity to look for another job while still employed.  However, I would want to have some idea of his thought processes, and would likely seek an explanation for why he thought he was making a good decision.  Perhaps I can present good reasons, that my boss will agree with, as to why he has made a bad choice and perhaps I can't.

   

   Fact is, I'm not a particularly hard worker, but a smart worker.  Having knowledge and talent in applying it is what I get paid for.  Others work much harder than I for my employer and get paid less.  I could probably get paid more if I worked harder, but I like my situation.  Is it fair that others work harder and get paid less?   Does it matter what the value of each person's output is, independent of how hard they work?  What if the quality of my work was lessened as a result of increasing the 'quantity', but there being accompanying fatigue and stress?

   

   I'd say there are a lot of complex factors involved, making it likely to be an apples and oranges comparison, and having 'fairness' be the primary concern would be a bit childish.    I can't really see myself spending a lot of time pouting about unfairness instead of taking more practical steps.

   

   
Or say the man who you witness brutally killing your children is tried innocent in court.  Would you just say that this was only a disagreement about your emotional personal taste, or would you demand justice!?

   

   You present a false dichotomy, and there is not enough realistic detail to this hypothetical, for me to take a remotely realistic guess at how I might respond.
"The world needed that of us, to maintain—by our example, by our very existence—a world that would keep learning and questioning, that would remain free in thought, inquiry, and word." - Alice Dreger

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Triptych

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defense of hell -- fallacy
« Reply #66 on: January 21, 2011, 01:30:31 am »
You said:
jbiemans wrote: Morality is a value system, and values are by definition subjective.

Which seems to me to say that you are not just talking about moral values, but ALL values.  If you are only talking about moral values, than I'm glad you don't believe in subjective values as a whole hah and we can move past that.


jbiemans wrote: Just because you say they come from the mind of God, does not make them objective, just objective in relation to human minds.

jbiemans wrote:

That was exactly my point.  If one wants to see God as an unjust hateful old man in the sky, they'll find ways to do that.  However, if someone takes a look at God from a Christian viewpoint, you can not deny that He loves us very much.

@ Wonderer: What I mean by your first part of the post is that you can say (as in speaking) that something is wrong.  As a relativist, you can not affirm to me (or any other 7 billion people) that something is morally right or morally wrong, it's just up to personal taste.  A relativist can think it in their mind, or by their feelings, but that's it.

I posted this more realistic scenario before I posted the more obvious one.  You said you would,  "...present good reasons, that my boss will agree with, as to why he has made a bad choice..."(Now again, you can't say that he made a bad choice, all you can say is "I personally feel like he made a bad choice") Now what do you mean by this?  Do you mean by "Good reason" that hopefully he will see that there really was something objectively unjust about his choice, or do you mean that you simply hope that he will agree with your personal taste verses his?  But why would he care about your personal taste if there isn't any objective justice?  You can present all the things that you think are "good reasons" you want, as to why you think he did something morally wrong, but that doesn't mean he did on this view.  Obviously though, you didn't like the first example, so take the example of the kids.

On the second example, you say it's a false dichotomy, but you never said where this fallacy lies.  So I'll wait till you post it to make a comment on it for sure and to show me where the other options are.  How much more detail are you looking for?

Ultimately, since we are talking via a keyboard and computer screen, an individual could say "evil is good" and not have any feeling or intuition about it either way.  Rather, the best way to know for sure is by people's actions and by what they let slip out of their mouths.  For example, I was having this conversation with 4 other relativists an a separate site, all of whom strongly denied moral relativism.  It wasn't within 3 days that they all were already letting things like "That's evil", or "that's arrogant for you to say that", etc, slip out of their mouths.

P.S. Why is this all underlined??? lol
"We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark.
The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light."
-Plate
“Reason is not automatic.  Those who deny it can not be conquered by it.”
-Ayn Rand
GodBls, L8

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Johan Biemans (jbiemans)

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defense of hell -- fallacy
« Reply #67 on: January 21, 2011, 08:53:33 am »
Which seems to me to say that you are not just talking about moral values, but ALL values.  If you are only talking about moral values, than I'm glad you don't believe in subjective values as a whole hah and we can move past that.







The thing here is that we have all been conditioned around the morality of our society.  We have been so ingrained with it that its hard to not speak of it in objective (or absolute) terms.  The truth of the matter is that nothing in morality is black and white but a million shades of grey.

While killing in general is immoral, killing can be moral depending on the scenario.  Killing in self-defense, killing one person to save thousands is moral, accidental killing is amoral, etc.  The fact is that we can easily say that first degree murder is immoral, whereas manslaughter is not.  How is it that we can make this distinction ?  The bible has nothing to say on the matter.

If it is an innate moral sense then why do people in some cultures think its OK to stone those who commit adultery and people in ours find that horrific.  The same can be said about slavery, etc.  Why do we think that slavery is bad, when the Bible actually gives rules on how to properly keep slaves ?

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wonderer

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« Reply #68 on: January 21, 2011, 10:18:59 am »
IceKnight366 wrote: Wonderer: What I mean by your first part of the post is that you can say (as in speaking) that something is wrong.  As a relativist, you can not affirm to me (or any other 7 billion people) that something is morally right or morally wrong, it's just up to personal taste.  A relativist can think it in their mind, or by their feelings, but that's it.


And you can not affirm to me that something is objectively right or wrong either, so it seems we are in the same boat, regardless of having different views on the situation.  But then, people having different views on situations is an aspect of morality being subjective.
I posted this more realistic scenario before I posted the more obvious one.  You said you would,  "...present good reasons, that my boss will agree with, as to why he has made a bad choice..."(Now again, you can't say that he made a bad choice, all you can say is "I personally feel like he made a bad choice") Now what do you mean by this?  Do you mean by "Good reason" that hopefully he will see that there really was something objectively unjust about his choice, or do you mean that you simply hope that he will agree with your personal taste verses his?


I might hope that I could get this boss to see good reason to believe it is in the best interest of the company, and consequently himself, to reassess his behavior.  I assume he is making a business decision, and the quality of his thinking WRT business decisions is something which he is motivated to consider critically.  If such an assumption on my part is wrong it is good for me to find out as soon as possible, so as to be able to make well informed decisions myself.  May I ask how many years you have been employeed in a full time job?

But why would he care about your personal taste if there isn't any objective justice?  You can present all the things that you think are "good reasons" you want, as to why you think he did something morally wrong, but that doesn't mean he did on this view.


I wouldn't be questioning his moral decision making, so much as his business decision making.  I might be subjectively pissed off, and be motivated to do things with consequences the boss comes to regret.  It is only reasonable that my boss understand that I am human and understand how I am likely to react to his decision.  However, I expect my boss to make decisions on a pragmatic basis, and if he considers himself well enough informed on relevant factors to be making a good pragmatic decision, then it is likely time for me to find a different job.

On the second example, you say it's a false dichotomy, but you never said where this fallacy lies.  So I'll wait till you post it to make a comment on it for sure and to show me where the other options are.  How much more detail are you looking for?


If you would like me to respond to your questions, then I would (subjectively of course) appreciate it if you would have the courtesy to respond to my questions.

That said, there are many many factors which your hypothetical would need to detail for me to even be willing to bother guessing at how I would respond.  And even then, I wouldn't expect that any guess I made (in a vastly different emotional state than I would be in if what was described were the real situation) to be anything other than a very inaccurate guess.

However, some of the big factors are:

Why did the killer do what he did?  (Was he a soldier conducting a military mission?)

Why was he ruled innocent?  (Does the judge hate me for some reason?)

"The world needed that of us, to maintain—by our example, by our very existence—a world that would keep learning and questioning, that would remain free in thought, inquiry, and word." - Alice Dreger

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wonderer

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defense of hell -- fallacy
« Reply #69 on: January 24, 2011, 03:47:10 pm »

IceKnight366 wrote:
Quote from: wonderer

And you can not affirm to me that something is objectively right or wrong either, so it seems we are in the same boat, regardless of having different views on the situation.  But then, people having different views on situations is an aspect of morality being subjective.

I'm sorry, but you didn't give any argument for this.


Here you go.

But why would he care about your personal taste if there isn't any objective justice?  You can present all the things that you think are "good reasons" you want, as to why you think he did something morally wrong, but that doesn't mean he did on this view.


I wouldn't be questioning his moral decision making, so much as his business decision making.  I might be subjectively pissed off, and be motivated to do things with consequences the boss comes to regret.  It is only reasonable that my boss understand that I am human and understand how I am likely to react to his decision.  However, I expect my boss to make decisions on a pragmatic basis, and if he considers himself well enough informed on relevant factors to be making a good pragmatic decision, then it is likely time for me to find a different job.


This scenario wouldn't have to do with his poor business decision making at all.  He felt the other guy did better, perhaps even maybe he likes him better, and therefore you get the short end of the stick.  But regardless, I think just your reaction reflects objective values.  For if your manager just had different views on what justice is, or what morality is, much like we have different views on whether vanilla or chocolate is better, than there shouldn't be any reason for you to punish your manager by, "do[ing] things with consequences the boss comes to regret." Why punish your boss?  He didn't do anything wrong.  And certainly not unjust!  In fact, on your managers subjective view, he did what was right!  And so you should actually give him respect because he listened to his conscience and did what was right by him.


I didn't say anything about punishing my boss.  However, if I go to work for a competing company, as a response to how my boss has treated me, that may be a consequence which the old boss regrets.

Furthermore, you seem to be shifting the scenario for your own convenience, because what you initially described sounded like poor business decisions, involving making promises and failing to keep them without explanation, and being oblivious to what his employees are up to.  Then you say, "This scenario wouldn't have to do with his poor business decision making at all."  I'm afraid my impression is that you are likely to simply twist things to fit your conclusion and I'm not interested in participating in such a game.

...It's literally impossible to consistently live out this worldview.


It seems clear that you have misconceptions as to what living out this worldview means.  Understanding morality to be subjective doesn't mean that one won't have moral judgements, or that one's own moral judgements will be particularly dissimilar to what in broad terms is typical for humans.

wonderer wrote: If you would like me to respond to your questions, then I would (subjectively of course) appreciate it if you would have the courtesy to respond to my questions.

I didn't realize I wasn't responding to your questions.  The only one I didn't respond to on your last post was about how long I have been currently employed, which I find irrelevant.


I've asked you a number of questions prior to that last post, which have gone unanswered.  This most recent unanswered question is quite relevant, in that it touches on your judgement as to what are good business practices.   I didn't ask how long you "have been currently employed".  What I wrote was, "May I ask how many years you have been employeed in a full time job?"

So my question about the false dichotomy is still up.


Sorry, I meant to answer that and forgot.  It is clear enough in your own question, but I'll underline for emphasis:

"Would you just say that this was only a disagreement about your emotional personal taste, or would you demand justice!?"

I wouldn't do either.  There is a wide variety of actions I'd be likely to take based upon many circumstances which weren't detailed in your hypothetical scenario.  What action I took wouldn't fall under either of those two options.



wonderer wrote:
That said, there are many many factors which your hypothetical would need to detail for me to even be willing to bother guessing at how I would respond.  And even then, I wouldn't expect that any guess I made (in a vastly different emotional state than I would be in if what was described were the real situation) to be anything other than a very inaccurate guess.

Why did the killer do what he did?  (Was he a soldier conducting a military mission?)

Why was he ruled innocent?  (Does the judge hate me for some reason?)


I don't see how this is relevant either.


Well, I guess we can be confident that you haven't been employed as an attorney or judge.

But to answer your question, I'll detail this completely random situation.  The murderer killed your children because on his moral values, there is nothing wrong with killing other people.  On his moral values, he wants to achieve maximum happiness, and what gives him this maximally orgasmic experience is to kill children.  He was ruled innocent because, even though you were an eye witness to the whole thing, all the members of the jury have different views of what justice is as well as different moral values, therefore a conclusive conviction could not be met.


As JB said, this is a very implausible scenario.  I don't have anything in particular to add to what he said.
"The world needed that of us, to maintain—by our example, by our very existence—a world that would keep learning and questioning, that would remain free in thought, inquiry, and word." - Alice Dreger

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Triptych

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« Reply #70 on: January 24, 2011, 08:59:09 pm »
I'm going to try and keep my responses short because most of them, I'm sorry if this is insulting, are kind of ridiculous.


"Intrinsic value is still a value that we must assign to something to it."

An orange has vitamin C which has nutritious value no matter what you "assign" to it.  Not subjective.

"What is the intrinsic value of an orange ?  Here is the difference, there may be intrinsic value to something, but that value is different then a moral value.  These are 2 distinct concepts and you cannot conflate the two.  The word value can have different meanings.  Gold for example is valuable, but only because we say that it is.  If you gave some primitive tribe a choice between gold and food, the food would have more value to them.  If we use this kind of value for morals then morals are subjective.  While it may be immoral to us to murder those outside of our tribe, it may not be immoral for that tribe to murder those outside of their tribe.

I do not agree that morals made by a group of humans are magically objective, I was simply saying that if you can call something objective because it is no longer limited to the mind of a single person, the it could be said that the morals of a group are objective."

You are being very ambivalent here.  You are going back and forth saying that ALL values are subjective, but than saying that an orange doesn't have moral value.  My guess is you probably understand that something isn't going right with what you are saying, not that I am conflating anything.  An orange has intrinsic value, so your claim "All values are subjective" is patently false.
So I think you skipped an entire paragraph that I posted, so I'll post it again:
"If you rewind the evolutionary tape backwards, a very different set  of moral values might have emerged.  And so to say that "our"(humans)  moral values are objective, is to assert speciesism, a bias of your own  species."(William Lane Craig)
So groups of people making a decision is still subjective (on multiple levels actually, not just the one I posted above).

This argument does not help your case.  I can simply say:

This is because, what humans say is moral is what Human's nature is.  And I think in this sense, these things aren't subjective at all.  Rather, our nature is objective in that it is true regardless of what our personal opinions are.

If God's nature is suddenly objective because it is his nature, then our nature is also objective because it is our nature.

Again this fails because:
"If you rewind the evolutionary tape backwards, a very different set  of moral values might have emerged.  And so to say that "our"(humans)  moral values are objective[i.e. our human nature], is to assert speciesism, a bias of your own  species."(William Lane Craig)
Nothing objective here.

jbiemans wrote:
It is not simply the reincarnation that makes the difference.  Bhudists believe in reincarnation, and every thing is a reincarnated version of something else.  Hindus believe that cows are sacred for other reasons:


That's fine, but you didn't address the point.

jbiemans wrote:
Here is a question for you:

If there are moral facts that are objectively true, then by what process could you demonstrate that they are objectively true.

I can demonstrate that 1+1=2.  I can demonstrate that the oak tree outside exists.  How can you demonstrate that action X ought not to be taken.  Because you think that God said that you ought not ?


The question is irrelevant.  "Do objective moral values exist?" Is a completely separate and distinct topic from "Which moral values are true?"  I don't need to answer the latter in order to prove the prior.  So I w
   ont go into the argument, I'll just tell you what it is.  The Historicity of Jesus of Nazareth.

Furthermore, you never responded to the claim that there isn't wide spread disagreement like you think.  You simply posed this counter question.

jbiemans wrote:
The outcome of the above scenario ultimately can be viewed as immaterial, but you are not taking all of the factors into account.  Each of the people on the boat subjectively value their own lives and would want to keep them.  The scenario changes if one of the people is the child or loved on of another person.  Many times a parent will sacrifice their life for their childs.  It also changes if one of the people is very old and another very young.  The older person may choose to allow the younger person the chance to live as they have already had theirs.  This is not a black and white issue.

That is not the point.  The point is that this scenario actually is evidence for objective moral values, not subjective one's.

Quote from: jbiemans
This again is using this messed up definition of objective.  What happens if I disagree with the moral values that this transcendent being has given ?  Do we have some system of determining who is correct ?  Or is it assumed by fiat that the transcendent being is always right ?

If you disagree than you are wrong.  That's what something means to be objective, it's the very definition of it (not some messed up version hah).  It means that the Nazis, even though they thought they were RIGHT in killing the Jews, were nevertheless, incredibly wrong.  Answered the last two questions above.

Quote from: jbiemans

I know this was at wonderer, but I will give it a go too:

Well I was going to, but this hypothetical that you proposed is crazy.  You are breaking many of the fundamental assumptions that have to be made.  In order for there to be a court that he is tried under, there must be a system of law.  If you are proposing a system devoid of law, then it is understandable.

Perhaps a better scenario is more of a lawless wild west.  A lone gunman comes into town and kills your son.  No one, not even the sheriff will attempt to arrest the person or help you because they simply don't care.
Quote


Now that's exactly my point!!!  I couldn't have said it better myself.  In order of their to be a court, in order for their to be justice of any kind, there MUST be an objective standard.  As I have posted, the ONLY feasible objective standard is a transcendent being, i.e. God.

Quote from: jbiemans
Would I demand justice ?  Well that depends on your definition of justice.  I would probably take matters into my own hands and find my own justice, while at the same time recognizing the disagreement between my personal taste for justice and the taste for justice of the others around me that choose not to help.

The reason that you would "take matters into your own hands" is because you believe that the boss' justice system is WRONG.   For if you believed  that it was right (i.e. it agrees with your own) than there would be no  reason to take anything into your own hands. You would agree with each other.  But you  see, what you propose is not Relativism.  Relativism is the view that  the only realm of morals that you can access is subjectivity (i.e.  All morals are subjective).  This is to say, if your boss believes that unjustness is moral, he believes his  views are right, and you believe your views are right, than on  relativism, you are both right.  But you don't believe this,  intrinsically given by his reaction on what you would do.  The fact that you feel that something needs to be done is evidence of this.
So to me, this just doesn't make since.  Because on your view, the boss is doing something consistent with what you believe, namely, having subjective morals.  So you have to agree that he is doing what is right.  But to say that the boss' morals are wrong is an objective moral claim, of which,  you do not not access to.

That's why Dr. Craig posts these questions for people who believe in the things you are saying.  Do you actually believe that there is no difference between tourturing a child for fun, and loving that child unconditionally?  That these are just morally indifferent acts?  Now of course your response is something like "Personally yeah! I think that's wrong!"  But that doesn't mean ANYTHING... You can have whatever personal taste you want.  But on your view, there is nothing objectively wrong with say torturing a child.  It was right for them, more power to them because it's right for them.  If it's wrong for you, whatever, it's all the same and doesn't matter.
"We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark.
The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light."
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“Reason is not automatic.  Those who deny it can not be conquered by it.”
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Snakeystew

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« Reply #71 on: January 24, 2011, 11:34:01 pm »

And so to say that "our"(humans) moral values are objective, is to assert speciesism, a bias of your own species."(William Lane Craig)


Yes and no. The reality is of course that there are (objectively) certain actions which serve as detriment to our well-being and certain actions which are beneficial to our well-being. Some actions are more beneficial than other actions and some are more detrimental than other actions. It is not a black and white case as theists would pretend it to be but more - as Harris argues - a 'landscape', with highs and lows - mountains and valleys - either objectively better or objectively worse than other actions.

Well-being is of course an objective reality of all living organisms - something all of them strive to attain. It need not be so, perhaps early on there were living organisms that did not attempt to attain any such thing, but all of them are - as a consequence - dead now and hence have no input in this discussion.

That well-being differs from species to species, hence why we see difference in actions.

Of course WLC can say that if we run the clock backwards, a different set of values might have emerged - which is to say that what serves our well-being might indeed be different, and as a consequence right or wrong, (detrimental or benefical), would also be different. But this does not argue against objectiveness - after all, something either is more beneficial to our well-being than another action or it is not. We can objectively say that certain actions cause harm and objectively say that certain actions provide benefit to our well-being. The same is true of any species.

Our 'oughts' rely entirely upon this objective reality. Killing and eating children is objectively detrimental to human wellbeing - fact. You might attempt to argue that fictional man A actually enjoys killing and eating children, hence serving his own wellbeing but in so doing, you're just arguing subjectivity. Yes, the fact is that individuals have subjective opinions - that does not change the objective fact that certain actions serve as detriment to human well-being and certain actions serve as beneficial.

"But why should I care about anyone else but myself?" is a question we would expect from a sociopath, (I hope you weren't planning to ask it), but again you are arguing subjective opinion of one faulty wired individual, (subjective), against the objective fact of human well-being.

Just to make this clear - because I recall someone having problem with this before - you can't say "but, why should your opinion that human well-being is important [I challenge anyone to show otherwise], be taken as any less subjective than the sociopaths?" and consider my argument therefore subjective anymore than you can call a god's moral laws subjective because I disagree with his opinion on homosexuality.

That certain individuals disagree would not - as you must recognise - change the objective fact. Human well-being, ant colony well-being, chimpanzee well-being and fruit fly well-being are all matters of objective fact. That is not to say that you don't find a rogue ant every now and then or a rogue chimpanzee.

For reptiles especially, the notion of 'well-being' differs somewhat in that they are not social, do not largely protect and care for their young etc. But the importance of their 'well-being' is still just as objective a fact - more individually focused than you would see in a social species such as ours.

Now, looking at it from the 'god says, therefore' angle, we see constant attempts to undermine that which is objectively beneficial to our well-being. An example from The Moral Landscape;

'..the god of Abraham never told us to treat children with kindness, but he did tell us to kill them for talking back to us (Exodus 21:15, Leviticus 20:9, Deuteronomy 21:18-21, Mark 7:9-13, and Matthew 15:4-7), and yet everyone finds this 'moral' imperative perfectly insane, which is to say that no one - not even fundamentalist christians and orthodox jews - can so fully ignore the link between morality and human well-being as to be truly bound by god's law'

The problem is that in your view - where god's moral laws are objective, you cannot coherently argue against considering the killing of children for going against their parents as objectively moral. "Oh but it doesn't apply to us!!" Typically it turns out to be the theist arguing for subjective, ever changing morality.

One more quote from the same book which I think is extremely important when discussing matters of morality and religion is this;

'If only one person in the world held down a terrified, struggling, screaming little girl, cut off her genitals with a septic blade and sewed her back up, leaving only a tiny hole for urine and menstrual flow, the only question would be how severely that person should be punished, and whether the death penalty would be a sufficiently severe sanction. But when millions of people do this, instead of the enormity being magnified millions-fold, suddenly it becomes "culture," and thereby magically becomes less, rather than more, horrible..'

Jews consistently abuse their young boys, muslims their young girls and both of them - alongside christianity and other such religions - consistently abuse the minds of their young and serve as detriment to the health and well-being of countless humans, (popes statements regarding condom usage and their protests against stem cell research as two such examples - neither of which are based upon any facts, but baseless fantasy) etc. They are given voice when they have not earned it.

One argument in support of religious nonsense is that ultimately the clouding of one's mind does indeed attempt to offer the ultimate in well-being, (eternal life - which wouldn't be important outside of well-being). The problem is it's fictional well-being, not actual well-being, (unless someone cares to show otherwise, which they never will).

Regards,


------

Quotes from; The Moral Landscape p56 & p66

- Please note that the page numbers might not be accurate. I store all my books on an ebook reader which doesn't number the pages directly according to the page numbers as they would appear in paper format.

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Triptych

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defense of hell -- fallacy
« Reply #72 on: January 25, 2011, 02:46:28 am »
@ Wonderer:  I've heard this response before, and there is one elephant of a problem.  It seems that you're asserting that we aren't talking about moral values, but instead truth claims (factual claims).  Made evident in your Hume post about ought vs. is.  Over, if you're going to assert that "all morals are subjective" as a truth claim, than you need to provide evidence for this truth claim.  And this is where the huge problem lies, in that you gave no evidence for subjective moral values.  So there is no reason whatsoever that morals are subjective.  Finally, I'll give at least one form of evidence of objective values:
Relativism Is Not livable: If someone were to tailgate you and then cut you off on the freeway, you might say something like, "What an a**hole! I can't believe he just did that!" But by "I can't believe he just did that, or he shouldn't have done that) You don't really mean "you can't do that, I'm just expressing my  personal preference, please ignore my remark." We believe that this  person just did something objectively wrong, not that it was just a  moral preferential mistake.  So your feelings can be hurt that this  person cut in line, but you can't say anything so to make an objective claim about this person really being an A-hole or not.  On relativism, who are you to say he is an A-hole?  There isn't anything objectively rude about what he did.   So this point of view  is thoroughly inconsistent with everyone's intuitions about the  "shoulds" and "oughts" and "can'ts" that come out of our mouths  regularly.

This is most strongly posed by you Wonderer, when you said to Tisthammerw on 12/05/10 at 09:32 AM, and I quote:
"I can't come remotely close to explaining "exactly" how developing  understanding of science eroded my belief in the possibility of a God  existing,  To put it in a nut shell, I'd say intuitional drift over  twenty years.  It certainly wasn't science in isolation from lots of  other factors such as the problem of evil, as you mentioned earlier."
I think this gives away your case.  As a relativist, you can not say that there is a problem of evil if you do not hold to objective moral values.  If nothing is objective, than there just isn't anything that is evil in this sense.

I'm not shifting the scenario at all.  You've asked me to get more detailed and so I'm giving you moral details.  It seems it's far more likely that you just didn't understand the original point of the scenario if you started off talking about poor business decision making when we are talking about moral values.  It doesn't matter though, I have better evidence so I can just drop this point all together.

This is probably why I didn't answer it Wonderer, we aren't talking about business practices, we are talking about moral values.  I told you that from the start of this question so that you shouldn't be surprised in me not answering it.

I think the false dichotomy fails too.  Your action to leave the business seems to fall under "My boss doesn't agree with my personal taste of what I think justice is, therefore I'm going to leave."

@ Snakey: You response only requires a short reply since you figured out the problem yourself:
"You might attempt to argue that  fictional man A actually enjoys killing and eating children, hence  serving his own wellbeing but in so doing, you're just arguing  subjectivity. Yes, the fact is that individuals have subjective opinions  - that does not change the objective fact that certain actions serve as  detriment to human well-being and certain actions serve as beneficial."
You can not put the burden on me somehow by saying that I am arguing subjectively by saying this.  Your entire post is subjective.  Your claim that human well-being is the set of objective moral values entails people/men who gain well-being by killing young ones.  So I'm not positing some random subjectivity to this, your argument entails it.
Moreover, don't forget Dr. Craigs other example:
"If the Nazis had won World War II and succeeded in exterminating or brainwashing everybody who disagreed with them so that it was universally believed that the Holocaust was right."
So human well-being on your view, would entail killing Jewish people if the Nazis had won WWII (as it would bring them ultimate human well-being to exterminate the Jews).
Even worse, suppose ultimate human-well being entailed doing something morally evil to get there.  Suppose that in order to obtain human well-being for a couple people, it required you to rape a little girl.  Than you would be morally obligated to rape a little girl


Gonna take a rest for a day or two
"We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark.
The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light."
-Plate
“Reason is not automatic.  Those who deny it can not be conquered by it.”
-Ayn Rand
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13

Johan Biemans (jbiemans)

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defense of hell -- fallacy
« Reply #73 on: January 25, 2011, 06:15:42 am »
I'm going to try and keep my responses short because most of them, I'm sorry if this is insulting, are kind of ridiculous.

Sorry for the long response, I suppose I got carried away but I wanted to try to address your arguments, but I suppose I should keep it short and sweet then.

Again this fails because:
"If you rewind the evolutionary tape backwards, a very different set of moral values might have emerged.  And so to say that "our"(humans) moral values are objective[i.e. our human nature], is to assert speciesism, a bias of your own species."(William Lane Craig)
Nothing objective here.

You missed my point.  I was not arguing that they were objective.  I was saying that under the way that you are using objective then they are.  If objective simply means not dependent on a single mind, then a group is objective.  If objective means not dependent on a human mind, then you are just begging the question that other minds exist.

The question is irrelevant.  "Do objective moral values exist?" Is a completely separate and distinct topic from "Which moral values are true?"  I don't need to answer the latter in order to prove the prior.  So I wont go into the argument, I'll just tell you what it is.  The Historicity of Jesus of Nazareth.

Furthermore, you never responded to the claim that there isn't wide spread disagreement like you think.  You simply posed this counter question.

I do not think they are as far apart as you think.  Why should I accept that moral values are objective, if you have no method of demonstrating that they are.

The only morals that are wide spread are morals that directly effect the group that you live in.  Do not kill your neighbor, do not steal from your neighbor, do not hurt your neighbor.  Keep in mind that "neighbor" only applies to the people that live directly around you, or your small kin tribe.  This is easily explainable by kin selection though.  There are many other morals listed in the bible that people do not follow any more because they have seen that they are immoral.  Sexism, misogyny, polygamy, genocide, slavery, child abuse:

"He who spareth the rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him correcteth him betimes" (Proverbs 13:24) and "Withhold not correction from a child: for if thou strike him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and deliver his soul from hell." (Proverbs 23:13-14)

Now that's exactly my point!!!  I couldn't have said it better myself.  In order of their to be a court, in order for their to be justice of any kind, there MUST be an objective standard.  As I have posted, the ONLY feasible objective standard is a transcendent being, i.e. God.

You are putting words in my mouth.  There must be laws, but an objective standard.

If you disagree than you are wrong.  That's what something means to be objective, it's the very definition of it (not some messed up version hah).  It means that the Nazis, even though they thought they were RIGHT in killing the Jews, were nevertheless, incredibly wrong.  Answered the last two questions above.

So you are saying that God is always right by fiat, so that means that you think my list of morals from the bible above are moral.

Sexism, misogyny, polygamy, genocide, slavery, child abuse:

Can you justify the claim that these are moral ?

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wonderer

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« Reply #74 on: January 25, 2011, 08:40:01 am »
IK,

I'm not finding myself motivated to discuss this stuff with you.  I'll leave it at that.
"The world needed that of us, to maintain—by our example, by our very existence—a world that would keep learning and questioning, that would remain free in thought, inquiry, and word." - Alice Dreger