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Old 07-14-2006, 12:10 AM   #46
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Originally posted by yolland

Sorry melon, I only just now checked my report-posts. Let me see what I can do...splitting then merging is a wee bit tricky.
With a thread this long, it'd be easier to ask the members to cut and paste their replies out of this and into the new one.

/speaking from experience
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Old 07-14-2006, 01:00 AM   #47
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Wow. So you are saying that if I took a small baby into the sink and cut him up into tiny pieces while he was alive and screaming is not "objectively" wrong? Or that the Nazi experiments of castrating young Jewish boys is not "objectively" wrong?

That's a tough stance my good man. If you do not think that these things are absolutely and objectively wrong - then you should seriously consider the consequences of such a line of thinking.

Melon still hasn't answered these questions. Anybody else think that the evil in chopping up babies or castrating young boys is only a matter of personal, subjective preference?

It is obvious evil like this that has most atheist philosophers leaving behind the nihilism of Sartre and Nietzsche and clinging to an Objective Moral Law (only nowadays an atheist would claim that such objective morals are a result of biological necessity).

It is very rare in modern philosophy nowadays to have someone supporting that there are not at least SOME objective moral laws. I guess the whole “we are simply bubbles floating on the sea of nothingness (Sartre)” argument just didn’t really stick.

But I am just a "know-it-all cleric" So don’t take my word for it. Walk in on a few college Philosophy classes and you will see a resurgence of God and Objective Moral Laws. I live a few miles from Cal Berkeley, probably one of the greatest liberal icons. It is now one of the leading campuses for the Intelligent Design movement.

Cultural relativism has been argued and defeated. It is quite simply “unlivable.”
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Old 07-14-2006, 01:32 AM   #48
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Even animals sense hurt. They sense when they hurt others. So most animals won't hurt unless they are taught to, or due to survival.

Culturals who sacrifice, sacrifice because they THINK their god calls for it.

Without a god calling for this, they wouldn't sacrifice for the fun of it.

There will always be hurting of others, but that is due to greed, selfishness, or other human weakness. But almost every human is built with empathy, some more than others, but that's where your natural moral comes from.

You know that you wouldn't want to cut into tiny pieces, therefore a sense of moral sets in. You know you wouldn't want to be robbed, assaulted, etc...

So we go back to does this hurt someone?

This is why gay marriage laws and other such "moral" laws don't make sense.
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Old 07-14-2006, 03:29 AM   #49
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar

You know that you wouldn't want to cut into tiny pieces, therefore a sense of moral sets in.
So, if I DID want to cut the baby up, accoring to this reasoning, there wouldn't be anything objectively immoral about it?

And isn't your other statement - "as long as nobody gets" hurt an assertions that there is an objective moral law?
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Old 07-14-2006, 03:35 AM   #50
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And why does it matter what we want?
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Old 07-14-2006, 08:16 AM   #51
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Originally posted by AEON
Melon still hasn't answered these questions. Anybody else think that the evil in chopping up babies or castrating young boys is only a matter of personal, subjective preference?
*sigh*

It is obvious that you have not bothered to comprehend ANYTHING that I have written. Of course, I imagine that this is like trying to convince Hamas that Jews don't chop up babies and castrate Arab boys.

You are nitpicking on a word that essentially has the same exact meaning. But because it's not the result you want to hear, you're not going to give up.

The concept of "objectivity," how we define it, is a matter of subjective consensus. You think that chopping up babies is wrong, because that is the consensus of your culture. If you were an Inuit from the early 20th century, you would have had no qualms that, when the food dried up, the first people to be left to die would be the babies. If the adults don't survive, then it was their reasoning that the tribe would not survive. They could just have more babies. Likewise, this is also apparent during famine years in Africa, which is why we have all these "save the children" campaigns.

What you seem to blatantly forget is that if you had been randomly selected to be an Inuit or an African, instead of an American, at birth, you would likely believe that infanticide is alright. Because you are an American, you believe that, when put in a position of life and death, the adult should die instead of the child. That supposed "Objective Moral Law" is a cultural consensus, and it is arrogant, at best, to state that what you believe, by default, is the "Objective Moral Law."

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Cultural relativism has been argued and defeated. It is quite simply “unlivable.”
What does this even mean? Nothing.

I know why you cannot grasp what I say. It would acknowledge that other people besides yourself exist in this world. Secondly, to reduce your beliefs to a cultural construct--which is precisely what it is--would be to start questioning your absolutist religious beliefs. But no matter how absurd your examples are, it still doesn't change the fact that everything you believe is a product of your culture. Everything. Your very definition of "objectivity" has been molded by your culture, and that makes it a subjective consensus.

In practice, the difference between "objectivity" and "subjective consensus" is very minimal. However, the latter requires accepting the possibility that you might be wrong, when presented with outside facts and evidence. It is not an excuse for inactivity. But, you see, that is what you cannot accept. When presented with facts and evidence that homosexuality might not be pathological, for instance, you refuse to admit that your "absolutist" beliefs might have been wrong. But, of course, you're going to demand that Africans stop FGM/breast ironing when we tell them to, despite the fact that they would probably believe that both practices are correct in "Objective Moral Law."

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Old 07-14-2006, 08:24 AM   #52
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Originally posted by shart1780


I don't believe we are, but some people can't seem to decide. I can see no logical reason why an atheist would come to the conclusion that there really is a right or wrong way to live or life, yet they cast judgments of right and wrong on others every day. As far as I see see it atheists who feel the need to make such judgments are hypocrites. Why claim to know anything about the idea of right or wrong if you don't claim to have any concrete grounds to make such assertions?

"dont claim to have concrete grounds to make assertions"? How about if it simply causes one of 2 forms of harm to someone, something is wrong? Your religion could learn something from that. Hypocricy, indeed.
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Old 07-14-2006, 11:03 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon





The concept of "objectivity," how we define it, is a matter of subjective consensus.




Melon
This may be true on an epistemological level (knowing) - but not an ontological level (being).

This means that we may filter the actual moral laws through various subjective experiences, but this does not mean that objective moral laws do not exist or that they cannot be known and applied.

Think of dark matter and dark energy in the universe. Up until recently, it wasn’t “known” what was causing the universe to expand at an accelerating rate. This didn’t mean that dark energy did not exist; it just meant that it wasn’t known. But the entire universe was “effected” by this unknown “causal” agent. Well, now the causal agent is known and its very existence is now being studied and written about as fact. (There is still some debate about dark energy, but I think the illustration is a good fit. Any illustration of where the effect led us to the discovery of the cause would fit.)

That aside Melon, I am really not trying to make you so angry. I think this is a worthwhile discussion in FYM because how we ground our belief system is very important. I am asserting anchoring your beliefs to your own subjective experience is an ideologically “shaky” thing to do. Taken to it’s fullest logical conclusion – it could only lead to chaos and destruction, no matter how well intentioned you as an individual may be because another individual may feel that his own subjective experience gives him the right to eliminate the human species off the face of the earth to save the lemmings.
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Old 07-14-2006, 11:29 AM   #54
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It seems to me like all Melon is saying is that right and wrong truly is decided by culture.
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Old 07-14-2006, 11:52 AM   #55
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Really, I think we all believe in some kind of objectivity, that there are some things that are just wrong. It's what enables us to argue for change. Melon, you mentioned FGM/breast ironing (and circumcision). . .if you didn't believe that involuntary mutilation was wrong for ALL people EVERYWHERE you wouldn't have made the passionate argument against it that you did.

Could we agree that there are SOME things at least, that people (or a culture) can think are right (or wrong) that actually aren't?

The problem is this--what began the whole discussion wasn't one of those things. . .one of those "obvious" things. It was gay marriage--something doesn't have any "obviously bad" consequences. With a question like this the conservative Christian when asked, why is gay sex wrong can only say well "God said it's wrong." There are NO "objective" reasons why it's wrong. Just that God said it's wrong, and we must believe Him. "God says it, I believe it" becomes our "objective" law. And then we take that further and say--the only reason that I believe that murder, rape, stealing, etc is wrong is because God said it's wrong. The fact that there are "obvious" reasons why these things are wrong are irrelevant. The bedrock underneath it is that "God said it."

Now I am a conservative Christian so I do believe that God is the author and arbiter of morality, not us (I also believe that God has good reasons for all of his moral laws, whether we see those reasons or not). However, I also feel that we have to be careful about insisting on what "God said". Because what we THINK he said and what he ACTUALLY said may be two different things.

But all of this is beside the point. . .The point is this, on issues where there is no "objective" harm caused such as gay marriage, in a pluralistic society we cannot make laws against such behaviors. We are limited to those "obviously" wrong things (i.e. those things which cause physical harm to others or death). Societies that insist on passing on laws that hue to the "God said it I believe it" standard regardless of "objectivity" become oppressive theocracies. That was the point, (I think) Melon was trying to make.
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Old 07-14-2006, 12:25 PM   #56
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Originally posted by maycocksean
[B]Really, I think we all believe in some kind of objectivity, that there are some things that are just wrong. It's what enables us to argue for change. Melon, you mentioned FGM/breast ironing (and circumcision). . .if you didn't believe that involuntary mutilation was wrong for ALL people EVERYWHERE you wouldn't have made the passionate argument against it that you did.

not to speak for Melon, but i think his passionate arguments against any kind of mutilation are less because it's objectively wrong in a cosmic sense and more because he (and we) have been raised in a society that has arrived at the consensus that mutilation is wrong. culturally objective? maybe? i dunno.
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Old 07-14-2006, 02:34 PM   #57
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Originally posted by AEON


So, if I DID want to cut the baby up, accoring to this reasoning, there wouldn't be anything objectively immoral about it?

I actually wrote that sentence wrong,

Instead of:

You know that you wouldn't want to cut into tiny pieces, therefore a sense of moral sets in.

It should have read:

You know that you wouldn't want to be cut into tiny pieces, therefore a sense of moral sets in.
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Old 07-14-2006, 02:51 PM   #58
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But some people do want to cut up babies.

There are plenty of people in this world with absolutely no moral fiber.
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Old 07-14-2006, 02:52 PM   #59
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Originally posted by shart1780
But some people do want to cut up babies.

There are plenty of people in this world with absolutely no moral fiber.
And I already stated that...
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Old 07-14-2006, 03:09 PM   #60
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I don't understand why you claim that people with no moral fiber are wrong in any way.
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