sam24

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Moral semantics: how do we define "Good" and "Bad"?
« on: August 26, 2017, 08:33:50 pm »
Hello,

I have a question about the moral argument, regarding moral semantics.

My question is not about moral epistemology (how we know moral values and duties) nor about moral ontology (do moral values and duties exists)
Rather, it is on moral semantics : what do we mean when we say that action A is good and action B is bad?

It seems to me that before we can talk about moral ontology, we must first talk about semantics.

So, what does it actually mean to say that some action is morally good/bad?

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jayceeii

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Re: Moral semantics: how do we define "Good" and "Bad"?
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2018, 04:16:27 pm »
There are two types of good, private and objective. While each man tries to argue that his private idea of good is the same as the objective good, this is hotly contested and can usually be disproved. The objective good would be what is seen by the wisest party, that the moral argument presumes to be God, but which in democracy is decided by numerical agreement.

Private good can be further divided into the good of the body, and the good of the spirit, where body is defined as the conclusions of a natural man, which is to say a man who is unaware of any spiritual dimension within himself. What a natural man concludes to be good, is usually the reverse of what a spiritual man concludes. For example, a natural man concludes it is better that he be wealthy and the others poor. A spiritual man wants all to have enough.

The good of the body can be further divided, into those who see only their local situation, and those who are starting to see the bigger picture. A man in the Amazon rainforest who wants to raise a family says it is good to slash and burn so he can grow crops. An environmentalist sees the devastation this causes over decades, where the soil is poor and this same farmer moves on to burn more rainforest and destroy more species. Yet neither sees what the Creator must see, that the root trouble is the overpopulation that results, when each man defines his good as raising a family of more than two.

My point is that what is "good" and "bad" can be discussed endlessly, and each man generates his private view that often conflicts with others. To seek the objective good would mean finding objective principles, against which to match the private ideas. Preserving the Earth is a place to start perhaps, but our man in the Amazon would never agree.

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Wretch

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Re: Moral semantics: how do we define "Good" and "Bad"?
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2019, 10:44:06 am »
Good is that which accords with God's nature.

Bad is that which is in discord with God's nature.

"Thou shalt love thy God with all thy heart, mind and soul."

It's not about God needing worship or adoration.  It's about us needing to love and thus know and accept God, to know and accept His true unchanging eternal nature. 

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jayceeii

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Re: Moral semantics: how do we define "Good" and "Bad"?
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2019, 12:10:17 pm »
Good is that which accords with God's nature.

Bad is that which is in discord with God's nature.

"Thou shalt love thy God with all thy heart, mind and soul."

It's not about God needing worship or adoration.  It's about us needing to love and thus know and accept God, to know and accept His true unchanging eternal nature.
These statements are true, but God’s nature has not been declared sufficiently in religion to enable serious corrective action by humanity. For instance, most religious adherents presume that God supports a country’s wars, and that God is against universal healthcare. We can argue about whether they are right or wrong, but the Bible refuses to tell us even these most basic questions of what God is like and what He’d really want of good people.

You offer a spiritual discipline, that if only people will try to love God more, they will then be more like God. Yet how can this succeed, if they do not know what God is like? How can you be certain they aren’t just loving their own self-image falsely glorified, a veritable Ape in the Sky? The actual, practical God, has never been revealed by religion.

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Amoranemix

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Re: Moral semantics: how do we define "Good" and "Bad"?
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2019, 08:14:37 am »
Quote from: Sam24
Rather, it is on moral semantics: what do we mean when we say that action A is good and action B is bad?
The moral argument is a god-of-the-gaps argument. People do not understand morality, therefore God must be responsible for it. A major cause for the lack of understanding is the confusion around the semantics : People don't know what the words mean and their is no agreement on their meaning. As a result, confusion abounds, providing plenty of opportunity for God to jump in as an explanation.

You illustrate the problem with your question. What does 'we' mean ? You seem to assume that everyone ('we') has the same understanding of those words, which is definitely not the case. It depends on who you ask and the same person may even rely on different meanings in the same argument (an equivocation fallacy).

Preferring to believe in reality rather than God, I favour clarity. So I tend to use the words moral and immoral, which although still unclear, at least are not homonyms.

Moral and immoral are categories of a moral standard. The first designates approval, the latter disaproval. Noteworthy of standards is that they are neighter true or false. They are chosen. Hence, morality is subjective, since a moral standard is chosen.

So, suppose God's morality, somehow defined by his nature, is objective. (What that means should also be clarified). Someone using that standard did so by (someone's) choice. Hence, that person's morality is subjective.

Quote from: Wretch
Good is that which accords with God's nature.
The usefulness of such defintion would depend on God's existence. No one who does not believe in the Abrahamic God uses it.

Quote from: jayceei
These statements are true,
No. They are merely opinions.
The key to immortality is first live a life worth remembering. - Bruce Lee

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jayceeii

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Re: Moral semantics: how do we define "Good" and "Bad"?
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2019, 09:14:11 am »
Quote from: Sam24
Rather, it is on moral semantics: what do we mean when we say that action A is good and action B is bad?
The moral argument is a god-of-the-gaps argument. People do not understand morality, therefore God must be responsible for it. A major cause for the lack of understanding is the confusion around the semantics : People don't know what the words mean and their is no agreement on their meaning. As a result, confusion abounds, providing plenty of opportunity for God to jump in as an explanation.

You illustrate the problem with your question. What does 'we' mean ? You seem to assume that everyone ('we') has the same understanding of those words, which is definitely not the case. It depends on who you ask and the same person may even rely on different meanings in the same argument (an equivocation fallacy).

Preferring to believe in reality rather than God, I favour clarity. So I tend to use the words moral and immoral, which although still unclear, at least are not homonyms.

Moral and immoral are categories of a moral standard. The first designates approval, the latter disaproval. Noteworthy of standards is that they are neighter true or false. They are chosen. Hence, morality is subjective, since a moral standard is chosen.

So, suppose God's morality, somehow defined by his nature, is objective. (What that means should also be clarified). Someone using that standard did so by (someone's) choice. Hence, that person's morality is subjective.

Quote from: Wretch
Good is that which accords with God's nature.
The usefulness of such defintion would depend on God's existence. No one who does not believe in the Abrahamic God uses it.

Quote from: jayceei
These statements are true,
No. They are merely opinions.
Profound persons (present company excepted evidently), are able to generate an objective morality that is based on the effects on pure spirit. Such a morality depends on deep memories and stable consciousness that is not merely reacting on the surface to sense stimuli. Perhaps to you it would be like the princess and the pea, but to advanced souls these effects can become central to life and its meaning. Let us take the example, all too common on the human plane, of a cruel comment. Let us suppose this is received unjustly by an extremely sensitive (profoundly aware) person, who is able to remember and quantify the pain this has caused him. This pain becomes an objective standard when others of similar stature, agree they are affected similarly by cruel remarks cast unjustly.

Similarly a soul might be able to quantify and recall the joy that positive remarks or acts have caused to him, and if others agree about these effects within themselves, it becomes an objective positive standard. For instance, my spirit, and I’d guess the spirit of all good people, almost literally flies after viewing a movie starring Kathryn Grayson. She has it all, dignity, talent, grandeur, and sublime feminine beauty. She has succeeded in generating positive effects for my spirit, and I’d guess for some others, if not for yourself.

This morality is really objective, insofar as this crowd of people is really aware about these effects and in general agreement about what brings joy, and what brings sorrow. Though God watches on, it does not depend upon His direct advice or instruction. These are the wise souls. You’ve said morality has to be a choice, but it is not so. The higher morality is written directly in the soul itself. You can’t see it, having no access to these depths within yourself—or any desire for such access. There is real anguish, and real joy.

I’d agree that Wretch is in error, as I am asserting that wise souls can generate objective standards from following their own nature. Ultimately this depends on God’s ability to make the souls well, and with a stamp of divine potential. The measure of God’s success in this regard would be how well the angels please the Lord, i.e. whether He feels they can be genuine and worthwhile companions, or whether like humans their souls are cast in eternal darkness. It is apparent you have no divine yearnings, seeking higher standards.

The statements I asserted to be true were, “Good is that which accords with God's nature,” and “Bad is that which is in discord with God's nature.” This treats them correctly as propositions, either true or false, where you are not rising to sufficient meaning to declare them as “opinions.” I’d have to interpret this assertion of yours that you believe these statements to be false. I’d guess further that you’d say no one can know if they are true, and that it is not interesting to know if they are true. This is the ordinary human mindset, no surprises except the viciousness with which it is imbued. You declare yourself to be an atheist, but truly the theists are not approaching God any more than you.

Although Wretch has also said, “Good is that which accords with God's nature,” he is still in error if his idea about God’s goodness does not conform to God’s actual goodness. This is the normal human condition, described as “the fall” in the Bible, whereby men make reverse choices to God although nominally made by God. Souls depend for their goodness on God having made them well, yet we have devils among us where God seems to have failed. In general to make a true assertion, there must be comprehension of the terms. Otherwise the words are there but not the meaning and it’s like a foreign language.

To interpret “Good is that which accords with God's nature,” correctly requires some comprehension of objective good. For instance God gave men livers, so that they could question His existence. Without the liver there can be no body, whence men cast aspersions. Furthermore it can be demonstrated that no matter how advanced a soul becomes, there is still an unbridgeable chasm between the creaturely nature and God’s nature. To say that men’s ideas of goodness meet God’s ideas, presupposes God to be bending down with grace. Things start to hinge on the meaning of this word “accord.” For instance men and God both agree men should eat every day, but the healthcare crisis is largely a result of men eating unhealthily. Men are not in accord with God, even here.

I’ve gone on too long about this, but it ends up being critically important that God’s nature is an eternally receding standard. It means there is no end of progress for souls.

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Amoranemix

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Re: Moral semantics: how do we define "Good" and "Bad"?
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2019, 05:37:47 am »
Quote from: jayceeii
Profound persons (present company excepted evidently), are able to generate an objective morality that is based on the effects on pure spirit.[1] Such a morality depends on deep memories and stable consciousness that is not merely reacting on the surface to sense stimuli. Perhaps to you it would be like the princess and the pea, but to advanced souls these effects can become central to life and its meaning. Let us take the example, all too common on the human plane, of a cruel comment. Let us suppose this is received unjustly by an extremely sensitive (profoundly aware) person, who is able to remember and quantify the pain this has caused him. This pain becomes an objective standard when others of similar stature, agree they are affected similarly by cruel remarks cast unjustly.[2]
[1] Can you prove that ?
[2] Emotional pain is subjective, but in principle it should be objectively quantifiable.

Quote from: jayceeii
This morality is really objective, insofar as this crowd of people is really aware about these effects and in general agreement about what brings joy, and what brings sorrow.[3] Though God watches on, it does not depend upon His direct advice or instruction. These are the wise souls. You’ve said morality has to be a choice, but it is not so.[4] The higher morality is written directly in the soul itself.[5] You can’t see it, having no access to these depths within yourself—or any desire for such access. There is real anguish, and real joy.
[3] Indeed. One can use a lenient definition for objective morality, such that it exists, thereby making the second premise of the moral argument true. To make the first premise true one can use a more strict defintion for objective morality, such that it does not exist, thereby making the first premise of the moral argument true. The argument being valid, the conclusion logically follows. That way one has 'proven' God's existence.
[4] I have said a moral standard is chosen. Assuming humans have free will and a standard is not force upon someone, I don't see how one can use a moral standard without chosing it.
[5] What evidence can you present to support that claim ?

Quote from: jayceeii
The statements I asserted to be true were, “Good is that which accords with God's nature,” and “Bad is that which is in discord with God's nature.” This treats them correctly as propositions, either true or false, where you are not rising to sufficient meaning to declare them as “opinions.” I’d have to interpret this assertion of yours that you believe these statements to be false.[6] I’d guess further that you’d say no one can know if they are true, and that it is not interesting to know if they are true.[7] This is the ordinary human mindset, no surprises except the viciousness with which it is imbued. You declare yourself to be an atheist, but truly the theists are not approaching God any more than you.
[6] I treated them as definitions, definitions I disagree with. I don't know what it means to treat a statement as a proposition. If these propositions are statements, then they are nothing more than bald assertions, as Wretch did not prove them, and he never will.
[7] I have no intention to say that.

Quote from: jayceeii
To interpret “Good is that which accords with God's nature,” correctly requires some comprehension of objective good.
Such comprehension should start with a clear definition.
The key to immortality is first live a life worth remembering. - Bruce Lee

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jayceeii

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Re: Moral semantics: how do we define "Good" and "Bad"?
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2019, 04:33:31 pm »
Quote from: jayceeii
Profound persons (present company excepted evidently), are able to generate an objective morality that is based on the effects on pure spirit.[1] Such a morality depends on deep memories and stable consciousness that is not merely reacting on the surface to sense stimuli. Perhaps to you it would be like the princess and the pea, but to advanced souls these effects can become central to life and its meaning. Let us take the example, all too common on the human plane, of a cruel comment. Let us suppose this is received unjustly by an extremely sensitive (profoundly aware) person, who is able to remember and quantify the pain this has caused him. This pain becomes an objective standard when others of similar stature, agree they are affected similarly by cruel remarks cast unjustly.[2]
[1] Can you prove that ?
[2] Emotional pain is subjective, but in principle it should be objectively quantifiable.

Quote from: jayceeii
This morality is really objective, insofar as this crowd of people is really aware about these effects and in general agreement about what brings joy, and what brings sorrow.[3] Though God watches on, it does not depend upon His direct advice or instruction. These are the wise souls. You’ve said morality has to be a choice, but it is not so.[4] The higher morality is written directly in the soul itself.[5] You can’t see it, having no access to these depths within yourself—or any desire for such access. There is real anguish, and real joy.
[3] Indeed. One can use a lenient definition for objective morality, such that it exists, thereby making the second premise of the moral argument true. To make the first premise true one can use a more strict defintion for objective morality, such that it does not exist, thereby making the first premise of the moral argument true. The argument being valid, the conclusion logically follows. That way one has 'proven' God's existence.
[4] I have said a moral standard is chosen. Assuming humans have free will and a standard is not force upon someone, I don't see how one can use a moral standard without chosing it.
[5] What evidence can you present to support that claim ?

Quote from: jayceeii
The statements I asserted to be true were, “Good is that which accords with God's nature,” and “Bad is that which is in discord with God's nature.” This treats them correctly as propositions, either true or false, where you are not rising to sufficient meaning to declare them as “opinions.” I’d have to interpret this assertion of yours that you believe these statements to be false.[6] I’d guess further that you’d say no one can know if they are true, and that it is not interesting to know if they are true.[7] This is the ordinary human mindset, no surprises except the viciousness with which it is imbued. You declare yourself to be an atheist, but truly the theists are not approaching God any more than you.
[6] I treated them as definitions, definitions I disagree with. I don't know what it means to treat a statement as a proposition. If these propositions are statements, then they are nothing more than bald assertions, as Wretch did not prove them, and he never will.
[7] I have no intention to say that.

Quote from: jayceeii
To interpret “Good is that which accords with God's nature,” correctly requires some comprehension of objective good.
Such comprehension should start with a clear definition.
jc1: Profound persons (present company excepted evidently), are able to generate an objective morality that is based on the effects on pure spirit.[1] Such a morality depends on deep memories and stable consciousness that is not merely reacting on the surface to sense stimuli. Perhaps to you it would be like the princess and the pea, but to advanced souls these effects can become central to life and its meaning. Let us take the example, all too common on the human plane, of a cruel comment. Let us suppose this is received unjustly by an extremely sensitive (profoundly aware) person, who is able to remember and quantify the pain this has caused him. This pain becomes an objective standard when others of similar stature, agree they are affected similarly by cruel remarks cast unjustly.[2]

ax: [1] Can you prove that ?

jc2: There are no examples in history, or living examples. And no one wants to hear about it. It is reasonable to suppose angels have such powers, if humans do not. And no one wants to think about the angels either. You can say I dangle a hook in a lake with no fish.

ax: [2] Emotional pain is subjective, but in principle it should be objectively quantifiable.

jc2: If you accept this, you appear to agree that the nature of the soul or spirit that experiences life, contains within itself a potential of objective morality. You’re right it is subjective. No one experiences anguish in quite the same way, but some agreement should be possible. Yet the human trend is to cause woe to others, and rejoice about it.

jc1: This morality is really objective, insofar as this crowd of people is really aware about these effects and in general agreement about what brings joy, and what brings sorrow.[3] Though God watches on, it does not depend upon His direct advice or instruction. These are the wise souls. You’ve said morality has to be a choice, but it is not so.[4] The higher morality is written directly in the soul itself.[5] You can’t see it, having no access to these depths within yourself—or any desire for such access. There is real anguish, and real joy.

ax: [3] Indeed. One can use a lenient definition for objective morality, such that it exists, thereby making the second premise of the moral argument true. To make the first premise true one can use a more strict defintion for objective morality, such that it does not exist, thereby making the first premise of the moral argument true. The argument being valid, the conclusion logically follows. That way one has 'proven' God's existence.

jc2: To restate the moral argument:

     1. If morality is objective and absolute, God must exist.
     2. Morality is objective and absolute.
     3. Therefore, God must exist.

I’m not sure why you are arguing for an equivocation fallacy. Perhaps you could outline what you mean in greater detail. The type of objective morality I’m describing is based on the nature of the souls themselves, such that they feel disquiet alike over forms of cruelty, for instance. Humans are often cruel, so they don’t rise this high. To them it doesn’t feel like cruelty; they experience a thrill of domination. This type of morality doesn’t point to God, unless the soul is able to observe itself very carefully, to discern whether it would be moral, and rejoice in morality, had God made it differently or had it not been made by God at all. God’s own morality is on a far higher plane that isn’t immediately relevant to the creatures, who must live with themselves first.

ax: [4] I have said a moral standard is chosen. Assuming humans have free will and a standard is not force upon someone, I don't see how one can use a moral standard without chosing it.

jc2: It is when good and ill in the world have similar effects on separate souls. Yet again this is more advanced than history, however Swedenborg wrote about how angels feel pain over evil, and joy over good. I’ve been saying that in the well-ordered soul emotion is used to support the conclusions of the rational faculty. It is this ability to feel good over what is objectively good, that is one of the major separators between humans and angels. Further, to know what is objectively good continues to ascend as the souls gain power and wisdom. Swedenborg spoke about the circles of the angels, how what the higher circles call good is nearly incomprehensible to lesser circles, until they attain that degree.

You seem to think morality can be a conscious choice, but if so then it is very weak. What goes on in the soul is a lot more sophisticated than this; but again, no one cares.

ax: [5] What evidence can you present to support that claim ?

jc2: I have no evidence until those who have been secretly driving the world, the cognoscenti, awaken their powers and begin to use them openly. If they do so it overturns the world in every way imaginable. Actually I do have evidence, but you probably wouldn’t be interested in it. The cognoscenti are here, but they’re in a masquerade. It takes at least a partial awakening to see my evidence; otherwise all men seem the same.

jc1: The statements I asserted to be true were, “Good is that which accords with God's nature,” and “Bad is that which is in discord with God's nature.” This treats them correctly as propositions, either true or false, where you are not rising to sufficient meaning to declare them as “opinions.” I’d have to interpret this assertion of yours that you believe these statements to be false.[6] I’d guess further that you’d say no one can know if they are true, and that it is not interesting to know if they are true.[7] This is the ordinary human mindset, no surprises except the viciousness with which it is imbued. You declare yourself to be an atheist, but truly the theists are not approaching God any more than you.

ax: [6] I treated them as definitions, definitions I disagree with. I don't know what it means to treat a statement as a proposition. If these propositions are statements, then they are nothing more than bald assertions, as Wretch did not prove them, and he never will.

jc2: Perhaps interestingly, you would be justified if you are admitting you do not know God’s nature. Then you’d be saying, humbly, that the Good you know may or may not accord with God’s nature, you just don’t know. This is a good thing to say against theists who say, “Good is that which accords with God’s nature,” meaning their own foul plans. This has indeed been the nature of religion; men boast, and try to pretend God is with them.

I’d still say these two sentences are propositions, not opinions or definitions. By calling them opinions or definitions you’re taking them outside the realm of logic, but they belong in this realm. Opinions can often be formulated as logical propositions, but this is not how people usually speak or think. These are normally held privately, ignoring any arguments regarding them. A definition says “this is a that,” and we certainly need to define both God’s nature and the Good, as we’d discuss the truth of these propositions.

ax: [7] I have no intention to say that.

jc2: Well, this is interesting. Wretch may have issued these statements with reverse meanings in mind. It isn’t easy to think about either God or the Good. But I think if God speaks to the creatures, He will only be heard from their good nature, that He supports. In other words there must be some common ground between creaturely ideas of goodness and God’s ideas. No doubt God must bend, the creatures unable to take His higher patterns. In general in history men chose the opposite from God, with almost no relation.

jc1: To interpret “Good is that which accords with God's nature,” correctly requires some comprehension of objective good.

ax: Such comprehension should start with a clear definition.

jc2: It isn’t so simple. An obvious choice might be, “Good is that which brings joy to all,” yet humans often rejoice putting others into woe. Such a principle, like the Golden Rule, only succeeds among the well-ordered souls, which is to say those devoid of ill-will, greed, anger and the like. Defining the Good can be called all the trouble of the world. Each man chooses his private good, but these seldom match and usually conflict. There’s a dichotomy between what people say they want, and what they really want. They put up a false front, for the sake of a reputation. So many claim to want worldwide peace, but secretly contribute to the causes of war. War is man’s idea. It is not part of God’s nature.

8

Amoranemix

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Re: Moral semantics: how do we define "Good" and "Bad"?
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2019, 02:00:33 am »
Quote from: jayceei
ax: [1] Can you prove that ?

jc2: There are no examples in history, or living examples. And no one wants to hear about it. It is reasonable to suppose angels have such powers, if humans do not. And no one wants to think about the angels either. You can say I dangle a hook in a lake with no fish.
OK. So you can't prove it.

Quote from: jayceei
ax: [2] Emotional pain is subjective, but in principle it should be objectively quantifiable.

jc2: If you accept this, you appear to agree that the nature of the soul or spirit that experiences life, contains within itself a potential of objective morality.[8] You’re right it is subjective. No one experiences anguish in quite the same way, but some agreement should be possible. Yet the human trend is to cause woe to others, and rejoice about it.
[8] I suppose, although I am not sure what that means.

Quote from: jayceei
jc2: To restate the moral argument:

1. If morality is objective and absolute, God must exist.
2. Morality is objective and absolute.
3. Therefore, God must exist.

I’m not sure why you are arguing for an equivocation fallacy. Perhaps you could outline what you mean in greater detail. [. . .]
Christians like the equivocation fallacy. So far I don't think any has been committed, as you have only argued for premise 2.

Quote from: jayceei
ax: [4] I have said a moral standard is chosen. Assuming humans have free will and a standard is not force upon someone, I don't see how one can use a moral standard without chosing it.

jc2: It is when good and ill in the world have similar effects on separate souls.[9] Yet again this is more advanced than history, however Swedenborg wrote about how angels feel pain over evil, and joy over good. I’ve been saying that in the well-ordered soul emotion is used to support the conclusions of the rational faculty. It is this ability to feel good over what is objectively good, that is one of the major separators between humans and angels. Further, to know what is objectively good continues to ascend as the souls gain power and wisdom. Swedenborg spoke about the circles of the angels, how what the higher circles call good is nearly incomprehensible to lesser circles, until they attain that degree.
[9] “It is”, does that mean a moral standard is chosen or not chosen ?

Quote from: jayceei
You seem to think morality can be a conscious choice, but if so then it is very weak. What goes on in the soul is a lot more sophisticated than this; but again, no one cares.
I don't see why a consciously chosen moral standard would be weak. Of course, conscious choise would not be the only determinant of one's morality.

Quote from: jayceei
ax: [6] I treated them as definitions, definitions I disagree with. I don't know what it means to treat a statement as a proposition. If these propositions are statements, then they are nothing more than bald assertions, as Wretch did not prove them, and he never will.

jc2: Perhaps interestingly, you would be justified if you are admitting you do not know God’s nature.[10] Then you’d be saying, humbly, that the Good you know may or may not accord with God’s nature, you just don’t know. This is a good thing to say against theists who say, “Good is that which accords with God’s nature,” meaning their own foul plans. This has indeed been the nature of religion; men boast, and try to pretend God is with them.

I’d still say these two sentences are propositions, not opinions or definitions.[11] By calling them opinions or definitions you’re taking them outside the realm of logic, but they belong in this realm. Opinions can often be formulated as logical propositions, but this is not how people usually speak or think.[12] These are normally held privately, ignoring any arguments regarding them. A definition says “this is a that,” and we certainly need to define both God’s nature and the Good, as we’d discuss the truth of these propositions.
[10] I don't.
[11] I assume that with propositions you mean statements or claims. It is hard to evaluate them without proper definitions. They are required to determine the meaning or the claims.
[12] I disagree. People often share their opinions.

Quote from: jayceei
ax: Such comprehension should start with a clear definition.

jc2: It isn’t so simple.[14] An obvious choice might be, “Good is that which brings joy to all,” yet humans often rejoice putting others into woe.[15] Such a principle, like the Golden Rule, only succeeds among the well-ordered souls, which is to say those devoid of ill-will, greed, anger and the like. Defining the Good can be called all the trouble of the world. Each man chooses his private good, but these seldom match and usually conflict. There’s a dichotomy between what people say they want, and what they really want. They put up a false front, for the sake of a reputation. So many claim to want worldwide peace, but secretly contribute to the causes of war. War is man’s idea. It is not part of God’s nature.[16]
[14] Proving God's existence is not simple. Starting with a good definition won't make it any simpler either, but it can help bring one closer to understanding reality.
[15] That may bring joy to them, but clearly not to all.
[16] According to the Bible God sometimes used war as a form of punishment.
The key to immortality is first live a life worth remembering. - Bruce Lee

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jayceeii

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Re: Moral semantics: how do we define "Good" and "Bad"?
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2019, 01:43:41 pm »
Quote from: jayceei
ax: [1] Can you prove that ?

jc2: There are no examples in history, or living examples. And no one wants to hear about it. It is reasonable to suppose angels have such powers, if humans do not. And no one wants to think about the angels either. You can say I dangle a hook in a lake with no fish.
OK. So you can't prove it.

Quote from: jayceei
ax: [2] Emotional pain is subjective, but in principle it should be objectively quantifiable.

jc2: If you accept this, you appear to agree that the nature of the soul or spirit that experiences life, contains within itself a potential of objective morality.[8] You’re right it is subjective. No one experiences anguish in quite the same way, but some agreement should be possible. Yet the human trend is to cause woe to others, and rejoice about it.
[8] I suppose, although I am not sure what that means.

Quote from: jayceei
jc2: To restate the moral argument:

1. If morality is objective and absolute, God must exist.
2. Morality is objective and absolute.
3. Therefore, God must exist.

I’m not sure why you are arguing for an equivocation fallacy. Perhaps you could outline what you mean in greater detail. [. . .]
Christians like the equivocation fallacy. So far I don't think any has been committed, as you have only argued for premise 2.

Quote from: jayceei
ax: [4] I have said a moral standard is chosen. Assuming humans have free will and a standard is not force upon someone, I don't see how one can use a moral standard without chosing it.

jc2: It is when good and ill in the world have similar effects on separate souls.[9] Yet again this is more advanced than history, however Swedenborg wrote about how angels feel pain over evil, and joy over good. I’ve been saying that in the well-ordered soul emotion is used to support the conclusions of the rational faculty. It is this ability to feel good over what is objectively good, that is one of the major separators between humans and angels. Further, to know what is objectively good continues to ascend as the souls gain power and wisdom. Swedenborg spoke about the circles of the angels, how what the higher circles call good is nearly incomprehensible to lesser circles, until they attain that degree.
[9] “It is”, does that mean a moral standard is chosen or not chosen ?

Quote from: jayceei
You seem to think morality can be a conscious choice, but if so then it is very weak. What goes on in the soul is a lot more sophisticated than this; but again, no one cares.
I don't see why a consciously chosen moral standard would be weak. Of course, conscious choise would not be the only determinant of one's morality.

Quote from: jayceei
ax: [6] I treated them as definitions, definitions I disagree with. I don't know what it means to treat a statement as a proposition. If these propositions are statements, then they are nothing more than bald assertions, as Wretch did not prove them, and he never will.

jc2: Perhaps interestingly, you would be justified if you are admitting you do not know God’s nature.[10] Then you’d be saying, humbly, that the Good you know may or may not accord with God’s nature, you just don’t know. This is a good thing to say against theists who say, “Good is that which accords with God’s nature,” meaning their own foul plans. This has indeed been the nature of religion; men boast, and try to pretend God is with them.

I’d still say these two sentences are propositions, not opinions or definitions.[11] By calling them opinions or definitions you’re taking them outside the realm of logic, but they belong in this realm. Opinions can often be formulated as logical propositions, but this is not how people usually speak or think.[12] These are normally held privately, ignoring any arguments regarding them. A definition says “this is a that,” and we certainly need to define both God’s nature and the Good, as we’d discuss the truth of these propositions.
[10] I don't.
[11] I assume that with propositions you mean statements or claims. It is hard to evaluate them without proper definitions. They are required to determine the meaning or the claims.
[12] I disagree. People often share their opinions.

Quote from: jayceei
ax: Such comprehension should start with a clear definition.

jc2: It isn’t so simple.[14] An obvious choice might be, “Good is that which brings joy to all,” yet humans often rejoice putting others into woe.[15] Such a principle, like the Golden Rule, only succeeds among the well-ordered souls, which is to say those devoid of ill-will, greed, anger and the like. Defining the Good can be called all the trouble of the world. Each man chooses his private good, but these seldom match and usually conflict. There’s a dichotomy between what people say they want, and what they really want. They put up a false front, for the sake of a reputation. So many claim to want worldwide peace, but secretly contribute to the causes of war. War is man’s idea. It is not part of God’s nature.[16]
[14] Proving God's existence is not simple. Starting with a good definition won't make it any simpler either, but it can help bring one closer to understanding reality.
[15] That may bring joy to them, but clearly not to all.
[16] According to the Bible God sometimes used war as a form of punishment.
ax1: [1] Can you prove that ?

jc2: There are no examples in history, or living examples. And no one wants to hear about it. It is reasonable to suppose angels have such powers, if humans do not. And no one wants to think about the angels either. You can say I dangle a hook in a lake with no fish.

ax2: OK. So you can't prove it.

jc3: There is no sign of virtue, hence no serious sign of God or divine purpose on Earth. The Potter has poor quality clay that He’s unable to mold swiftly into any higher patterns. The Potter’s greater art is seen in the long-term, sowly tricking beauty from the unlovely.

ax1: [2] Emotional pain is subjective, but in principle it should be objectively quantifiable.

jc2: If you accept this, you appear to agree that the nature of the soul or spirit that experiences life, contains within itself a potential of objective morality.[8] You’re right it is subjective. No one experiences anguish in quite the same way, but some agreement should be possible. Yet the human trend is to cause woe to others, and rejoice about it.

ax2: [8] I suppose, although I am not sure what that means.

jc3: Christians and Hindu mystics alike speak of a divine core, though as this was placed into scripture it came with no living examples and those who think they’ve found the divine continue to display usual selfish traits. To find this divine core implies an external Maker, where the gurus preferring to say they created themselves, prove they have not found it. To find spirit is one thing, but to discover it has been organized is something far harder. Swedenborg speaks of this quite often, that the angels are patterned after the Lord.

jc2: To restate the moral argument:

     1. If morality is objective and absolute, God must exist.
     2. Morality is objective and absolute.
     3. Therefore, God must exist.

I’m not sure why you are arguing for an equivocation fallacy. Perhaps you could outline what you mean in greater detail. [. . .]

ax2: Christians like the equivocation fallacy. So far I don't think any has been committed, as you have only argued for premise 2.

jc3: You misinterpret my meaning here. It is you who are arguing for the equivocation fallacy, when you said “objective morality” can be interpreted differently between 1. and 2. I had hoped you would explain your purpose in allowing this fallacy. You’re putting the hammer down on the Christians, if you are agreeing with me that they are asserting their own morality in place of God’s morality, or any guidance the angels could provide. There’s a certain humor in your approach, perhaps, since the Christians think they have proved God’s existence, when they are only chasing their own selfish desires in circles.

Morality may be objective, but it isn’t absolute. Or you can say it is absolute in certain senses, but not in others, as language presents its usual limitations. Yet to discuss the fine points of morality relies on the people having risen above a certain basic standard, which I have admitted has not been seen on Earth before or even related in the highest scripture.

ax1: [4] I have said a moral standard is chosen. Assuming humans have free will and a standard is not force upon someone, I don't see how one can use a moral standard without chosing it.

jc2: It is when good and ill in the world have similar effects on separate souls.[9] Yet again this is more advanced than history, however Swedenborg wrote about how angels feel pain over evil, and joy over good. I’ve been saying that in the well-ordered soul emotion is used to support the conclusions of the rational faculty. It is this ability to feel good over what is objectively good, that is one of the major separators between humans and angels. Further, to know what is objectively good continues to ascend as the souls gain power and wisdom. Swedenborg spoke about the circles of the angels, how what the higher circles call good is nearly incomprehensible to lesser circles, until they attain that degree.

ax2: [9] “It is”, does that mean a moral standard is chosen or not chosen ?

jc3: The important distinction here is when the rational faculty rises high enough to assert power over the emotions, bringing these into unified support of its purposes, a state that can be called mastery of the soul. Then, these purposes spring from a profound perception of spiritual reality, i.e. that all are created souls and there should be harmony between them. God wants this harmony, but souls from true self-interest want it keenly too. Morality becomes the only rational choice, though it isn’t made from conscious levels. You could say angels choose morality, since it’d be insane were they not to do so. This renders the Christian idea of Satan as a rebelling angel, one reflecting their lunacy.

jc2: You seem to think morality can be a conscious choice, but if so then it is very weak. What goes on in the soul is a lot more sophisticated than this; but again, no one cares.

ax2: I don't see why a consciously chosen moral standard would be weak. Of course, conscious choice would not be the only determinant of one's morality.

jc3: The reason it is weak is that these things have to happen before the thoughts appear. To be fundamentally good, means that you fundamentally cannot think evil. This property cripples the angels if they try to appear among men, as the Bible suggested they might do. For an angel to put on a human façade requires eons of training in Heaven, and if an angel is put down here before she is ancient enough, she flounders everywhere she turns and begins to look almost exactly human. The conscious thoughts of divine ones play out on a backdrop of fundamental goodness; their choices are only degrees of good.

ax1: [6] I treated them as definitions, definitions I disagree with. I don't know what it means to treat a statement as a proposition. If these propositions are statements, then they are nothing more than bald assertions, as Wretch did not prove them, and he never will.

jc2: Perhaps interestingly, you would be justified if you are admitting you do not know God’s nature.[10] Then you’d be saying, humbly, that the Good you know may or may not accord with God’s nature, you just don’t know. This is a good thing to say against theists who say, “Good is that which accords with God’s nature,” meaning their own foul plans. This has indeed been the nature of religion; men boast, and try to pretend God is with them.

I’d still say these two sentences are propositions, not opinions or definitions.[11] By calling them opinions or definitions you’re taking them outside the realm of logic, but they belong in this realm. Opinions can often be formulated as logical propositions, but this is not how people usually speak or think.[12] These are normally held privately, ignoring any arguments regarding them. A definition says “this is a that,” and we certainly need to define both God’s nature and the Good, as we’d discuss the truth of these propositions.

ax2: [10] I don't.

jc3: If you say this honestly you are immediately found high above all Christians, and even if calling yourself an atheist are a better friend to God than those who bind Him to their selfish purposes and desires. Whoever is the best thinker is closer to God, and the atheists have discovered Christians are notoriously bad thinkers, as God finds them too.

ax2: [11] I assume that with propositions you mean statements or claims. It is hard to evaluate them without proper definitions. They are required to determine the meaning or the claims.

jc3: A proposition is not necessarily a claim. This is very important, since the humans will reject many basic propositions even when tendered innocently, such as that since they allow God can take on a human body, perhaps the angels can do so too. If you say that in a Christian church they will persecute you, fulfilling Jesus’ prediction of the damned, that as they do unto the least of these, so they are doing unto the Lord Himself.

If logic reigned, we could state propositions without it being presumed we stand behind them without flexibility. Instead anything you say, humans presume you are inflicting it from self-will, against the majority who hate interference. The human mind is closed. As they protest themselves to be open-minded, they mean they’re eager to hear any selfish scheme, not that they can be approached by logic. Here’s a proposition humans hate. To say they believe “Jesus is Lord” should be equated to accepting God can take on a human body, and if He can do so, He would do so often. Christians won’t let you walk out alive.

ax2: [12] I disagree. People often share their opinions.

jc3: You are merely tracing the schisms, as humans make a balance between wanting to feel themselves different and wanting to feel they are in a powerful group. I can reformulate my proposition, to say that there are two levels of selfish opinions, individual and group. Yet I win the discussion here because whenever you examine carefully the opinions of individual humans, they are not really a match with the group and under many circumstances they will leave, forming splinter groups. It’s a fundamental trait related in perhaps the most important statement from the Bible, “Man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward.” Humans define their personalities just by trying to be different.

ax1: Such comprehension should start with a clear definition.

jc2: It isn’t so simple.[14] An obvious choice might be, “Good is that which brings joy to all,” yet humans often rejoice putting others into woe.[15] Such a principle, like the Golden Rule, only succeeds among the well-ordered souls, which is to say those devoid of ill-will, greed, anger and the like. Defining the Good can be called all the trouble of the world. Each man chooses his private good, but these seldom match and usually conflict. There’s a dichotomy between what people say they want, and what they really want. They put up a false front, for the sake of a reputation. So many claim to want worldwide peace, but secretly contribute to the causes of war. War is man’s idea. It is not part of God’s nature.[16]

ax2: [14] Proving God's existence is not simple. Starting with a good definition won't make it any simpler either, but it can help bring one closer to understanding reality.

jc3: I chose the crushing definition, drawing a clear line between humans and the so-far hidden cognoscenti. To want the joy of all selfish ones, is radically opposed to wanting the joy of all selfless ones. With the Golden Rule, to do what would please you to the others, is almost completely the reverse, between selfish and selfless ones. For instance the selfless ones all respond to logic, and don’t mind knocking heads a bit while they establish it. The key is when the true and deep argument is presented, all respond to it.

With respect to the Golden Rule, humans conclude this means chasing desire while allowing the others to chase desire, enshrined in the Declaration of Independence as the pursuit of happiness. In other words the highest moral standard humans attain is mere tolerance, and such has been the secret purpose of religion heretofore, not virtue, but tolerance. With the selfless the Golden Rule means hard labor without monetary reward. You work for the joy of the neighbor, and he works for yours, though the closest Jesus was allowed to state this standard was the very weak, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

ac2: [15] That may bring joy to them, but clearly not to all.

jc3: It isn’t clear, and you aren’t examining humans carefully. The more advanced humans retreat from harm mainly to enhance their own pursuit of inner joys in meditation, not from a direct perception of the joy- and sorrow-states of those around them. Jesus said the meek shall inherit the Earth, and my interpretation is that the Earth remains mostly under human control during and after Judgment. The meek will do a better job preserving the resources and environment than the proud, but it is not virtue.

To really want the joy of another is a principle that annihilates humanity. This should’ve been enshrined in every religion, as should the ideal of continually making oneself into a better companion for others. Such principles would’ve made the religions real instead of façades intended to inveigle the unreceptive. If anyone does not rejoice in the woe of others it means he is not a human. Yet this includes the woe of the Lord, wanting to declare and explain His myriad differences, but hated because these differences are Good.

ax2: [16] According to the Bible God sometimes used war as a form of punishment.

jc3: Yes, and if you believe God is actually like this it means you accept God can only think about groups instead of about individuals. And this is just the first degree of criticism of the Bible, which is like a nightmare God who can hardly face any realities.

War is so evil that it is exceptionally difficult to approach using language, particularly today where the rather insane public idea is heroism on both sides, aggressor and defender, as the nations, representing selfish family interests, vie over limited resources.

If God is a Real God, then Judgment has to be about ending war and also the preparation for war, as these activities result in huge losses to the resource base only to serve human passions. If you want to wait for Judgment that is alright, but you might agree war is wrong now. War is from man, not from God. If the Bible says differently, it is ridiculous.

Let me add in here too, the Lord does not want mindless disciples who only ape what He says. The world is a complex project no embodied mind can face alone, and what the Lord really wants is to find friends vying with Him in virtue, sometimes finding themselves in a superior position so the best He can do is smile. All must bow to truth and virtue, and if angels beat God you'll find Him smiling best.