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OfflinePhred
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective moral [Re: vampirism]
    #3081994 - 09/02/04 11:31 AM (17 years, 1 month ago)

Morrowind writes:

Many actions are automatic and require no thought.

Correct.

It is no different with humans.

Incorrect. Humans not only must perform automatic actions (i.e. breathing) in order to remain alive, they also must perform actions which require rational thought and consciously directed choice (i.e. locating, identifying, and distinguishing between a nutritious mushroom and a deadly poisonous mushroom).

Let's say I'm rushing and accidently push someone out of the way.. someone who then falls down some stairs and dies. Well, that wasn't purposeful action though it was action.

And you would (correctly) be charged with manslaughter or reckless endangerment or some other violation of the law. Your right to get where you are going does not trump someone else's right to get where they were going.

The fact that you apply matters to humans differently requires some explanation. How would you organize bees?

How many times must I repeat that this thread is not about insect morality, but human morality? Bees continue their existence through different actions than humans do.

pinky


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OfflinePhred
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: deafpanda]
    #3082022 - 09/02/04 11:42 AM (17 years, 1 month ago)

deafpanda writes:

But it's really not objectively verifiable. No "should" statements are. They are abstract by their nature, you can't see them, hear them, validate them in any way other than using reason, and you haven't used reason.

Incorrect. I have used nothing but reason. No appeals to emotion, no invoking of divine revelation, no public opinion polls. It is indisputable that if a human is to survive, he must be left free of interference from other humans in order to do so. That's not an arbitrary statement, that is a testable fact.

"A human has the right to attempt to continue living"

How can you verify this? You haven't yet, you've just claimed that it is a self-supporting truth, and I, along with many others, beg to differ.


You are not grasping what is being said here. I have no way of making it any clearer than to repeat what I have said here already -- if it is a true statement that a human once born has the right to attempt to continue living, then it necessarily follows that he be left free from the interference of others.

If you honestly believe that it is not right for a human to attempt to continue to survive, then of course you will disagree that there is such a thing as morality. No amount of observation, reason, ostensive demonstration or analysis of modes of survival will sway you because you deny your own right to exist. Since you have no right to exist, you have no need of morality. Further, since by your own admission you have no right to even exist, you certainly have no right to dispute my (or anyone's) observation of the laws of nature and their relation to morality. You (by denying your own right to exist) have become a null concept to me unless and until you attempt to forcibly interfere with my rights, at which time I can kill you with no objection on your part and continue my discussion with those who haven't renounced their right to exist.

pinky


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OfflinePhred
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective moral [Re: vampirism]
    #3082035 - 09/02/04 11:46 AM (17 years, 1 month ago)

Morrowind writes:

It is not objectively verifiable. Try stealing from someone so much that they die, I double dare ya.

What's your point? It happens to people somewhere in this world on an ongoing basis. I steal all your stuff, including your clothing, toss you in a cell and walk away. I come back in a month and toss your corpse into a pit.

Besides which, what about stealing from those that it would not hurt at all to steal from?

The rationale behind Marxism -- theft is okay as long as you have enough left to survive at a subsistence level.

pinky


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Offlinedeafpanda
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: Phred]
    #3082039 - 09/02/04 11:49 AM (17 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

if it is a true statement that a human once born has the right to attempt to continue living, then it necessarily follows that he be left free from the interference of others.




But you can't show me that it is a true statement that a human once born has the right to attempt to continue living. Any attempt to do so will be a naturalistic fallacy (check out my loink in my previous post).

Even if you did accept your premise (which I don't), then it doesn't necessarily follow that he should be left free from the interference of others to survive. What type of interference?

Quote:

since by your own admission you have no right to even exist, you certainly have no right to dispute my (or anyone's) observation of the laws of nature and their relation to morality




Another illogical statement. Just because I don't claim I have a natural, objective right to live doesn't mean I don't exist.

Quote:

You (by denying your own right to exist) have become a null concept to me unless and until you attempt to forcibly interfere with my rights, at which time I can kill you with no objection on your part




Of course not. I am not claiming at all that rights don't exist, I am claiming that it is stupid to claim that they can be objectively proved. Please, read my link. You are committing a naturalistic fallacy.


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OfflinePhred
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: deafpanda]
    #3082057 - 09/02/04 11:53 AM (17 years, 1 month ago)

Have you actually read what is said in the link you provided? It in no way shape or form even comes close to addressing what is being discussed here. It condemns (correctly) context-dropping and context-swapping, neither of which I have indulged in. My position from the very beginning has been that man must act in specific ways in order to continue to exist, and that if other men prevent him from acting in those ways he will not continue to exist as a living entity. So far, no one has refuted this.

The only way that one can show my demonstration of a factual objective morality is arbitrary is to claim that it is not right for a man to attempt to continue to survive. Rather than repeat myself, refer to my earlier comments on the objective worth of those who make that claim.

pinky


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Offlinedeafpanda
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: Phred]
    #3082077 - 09/02/04 11:58 AM (17 years, 1 month ago)

Okay, here we go.

You say that you draw your conclusion from observation of survival, etc, real-life facts about what people require to live. This is true, yes?

From this you say that it is a requirement of survival that one is not interfered with. This is true, yes?

So far you have stated facts (although the second one is highly questionable).

Next, you say that because of this, we *OUGHT* not to initiate force against one another. And there, plainly and simply, is your naturalistic fallacy. You can NEVER, under any circumstances, prove an ought from an is. Ask any philosopher.


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OfflinePhred
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: deafpanda]
    #3082091 - 09/02/04 12:04 PM (17 years, 1 month ago)

deafpanda writes:

But you can't show me that it is a true statement that a human once born has the right to attempt to continue living.

Of course I cannot. As a matter of fact I cannot show you that anything exists other than your own consciousness. What I can show you (through killing you) is that your consciousness will cease to exist if moral codes of behavior are not enforced.

Even if you did accept your premise (which I don't)...

You're lying. You don't honestly believe that you have no right to attempt to continue to exist. If you're not lying, you could have no possible objection to my stealing all your stuff and killing you as an afterthought.

... then it doesn't necessarily follow that he should be left free from the interference of others to survive. What type of interference?

What part of "the initiation (or credible threat of initiation) of physical force (and through extension, fraud)" is unclear to you?

Another illogical statement. Just because I don't claim I have a natural, objective right to live doesn't mean I don't exist.

Incorrect. It is perfectly logical. I don't claim that you don't exist. I claim that since you believe you don't have the right to even exist at all, you certainly have no right to dispute my comments. In actual fact, by your own admission you have no rights at all.

This is precisely why I said earlier that there is no point continuing discussions about right or wrong or morality or ethics with anyone who truly and sincerely believes they have no right to exist. If you reject the premise that you have the right to exist, you perforce reject any discussions showing how it can be accomplished. To you, "human existence" is irrelevant -- a null concept.

pinky


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Offlinedeafpanda
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: Phred]
    #3082099 - 09/02/04 12:07 PM (17 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Of course I cannot. As a matter of fact I cannot show you that anything exists other than your own consciousness. What I can show you (through killing you) is that your consciousness will cease to exist if moral codes of behavior are not enforced.




This statement alone proves that your definition is not objective.

As does the natural fallacy I pointed out in my previous post.


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OfflinePhred
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: deafpanda]
    #3082142 - 09/02/04 12:18 PM (17 years, 1 month ago)

You still don't get it. There is no "ought" involved. Either one has the right to attempt to continue to exist or one does not. If the conclusion is that one does not, the discussion ends.

If, however, one accepts the premise that one has the right to exist, then -- and only then -- is it logical to decide which actions are permissable and which are not.

When you try to invoke the hoary old "ought" non-argument, you (and others who trot it out so gleefully as a supposed show-stopper when backed into a corner) always ignore the implicit tag line to all your opponent's arguments --

"Humans ought to be left free of forcible interference from other humans (and now the tagline) if it is right for humans to attempt to continue to exist".

This is why from my very first post in the thread I made it as plain as I possibly could that the validation of objective morality requires the acceptance of a premise, and then described that premise. Note that this is true not just of discussions of morality, but of discussions about any philosophical topic, including the existence of reality itself, the most basic of all philosophical premises. For example, I cannot demonstrate the existence of water (an aspect of reality) to you even by pouring a bucket of water over your head -- unless you accept the premise that what your senses relay to your consciousness is valid information and not just some wrinkle in your waking dream (solipsism).

The whole "is-ought" straw man argument ultimately reduces to solipsism.

However, it is abundantly clear that no amount of rational discussion or ostensive demonstration will sway you from your obstinacy, because apparently you have managed to convince yourself that you have no right to attempt to continue to exist. Why not leave the rest of the discussion to those who do have the right to attempt to continue to exist?

pinky


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OfflinePhred
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: deafpanda]
    #3082164 - 09/02/04 12:24 PM (17 years, 1 month ago)

deafpanda writes:

This statement alone proves that your definition is not objective.

It most certainly does nothing of the kind. The fact that I cannot prove to your satisfaction that things other than your own consciousness exist does nothing whatsoever to invalidate my point. It merely demonstrates that you are a solipsist. As any philosopher worthy of being described as such can tell you, solipsism is an invalid philosophy, and anyone who truly believes it is cannot be swayed by any demonstration or any argument, because their ultimate answer is (in essence) that the person they are arguing with doesn't really exist.

This is why I was so careful to lay down the foundation of my argument in a hierarchical manner, starting with "reality exists", because I knew sooner or later, someone in the thread would trot out the solipsistic viewpoint.

pinky


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: ]
    #3082169 - 09/02/04 12:25 PM (17 years, 1 month ago)

While the idea of natural rights makes some sense to me, I've come to believe that even without them, libertarianism is still a good idea. I believe in letting people be in control of their own lives, and that's essentially what libertarianism is saying. If you can't trust people to run their own lives, how can you trust them to run the lives of others?


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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Offlinezappaisgod
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: ]
    #3082171 - 09/02/04 12:25 PM (17 years, 1 month ago)

I see that this has engendered quite an extensive and current debate but I would like to inject what I think is a salient point and that is that morality is an invention and not a discovery. Thus I do not think "proof" is even a relevant issue. Given the fact that there are 6 billion people, none of whom has a direct knowledge of anything that goes on inside another's head, the concept of morality is clearly something that subsets of humans may chose to agree upon but the idea that there is a "floating out there" code of universal right and wrong, in the nature of 2+2=4, is absurd. We can only invent and argue subjective codes of acceptable behaviour and decide how we will react to violations of that based on our own biases. It is not inconceivable that there would be a society whereby a slave, someone whose whole life is solely dedicated to serving the wishes of another, who can buy and sell him, would be considered exalted. Slavery status could become an honor and only the finest would be chosen. Everyone else would have to settle for a life of personal responsibility and burdened with free choice.


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Offlinedeafpanda
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: Phred]
    #3082184 - 09/02/04 12:28 PM (17 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

You still don't get it. There is no "ought" involved. Either one has the right to attempt to continue to exist or one does not. If the conclusion is that one does not, the discussion ends.





A right is not an "is", it is an "ought". It is saying that there are certain things that someone ought not to do to you. Do you accept this?

Quote:

"Humans ought to be left free of forcible interference from other humans (and now the tagline) if it is right for humans to attempt to continue to exist".




This is not what I have a problem with. You are going from an ought to an ought here, that's acceptable. But you havent proved the first ought:

Quote:

it is right for humans to attempt to continue to exist




This is the "ought" that you attempt to imply from an "is".

The naturalistic fallacy is well-recognised. It is valid. It in no way implies solipsism. there is no "ought" in whether the universe exists. That deals entirely with "is" statements. Although, by the way, you can't prove your way out of solipsism.

Ok, two questions:

1) Do you accept that the is/ought gap is a real one?

2) Do you accept that you tried to get from an "is" to an "ought"?


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OfflineGazzBut
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: Phred]
    #3082187 - 09/02/04 12:28 PM (17 years, 1 month ago)

From good ole' dictionary.com: Of or having to do with a material object, Having actual existence or reality, Uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices, Based on observable phenomena; presented factually.

Now unless we are talking about a very different definition I dont see how you can support your claim for objective morality.

Come on Pinky. Please explain why the dictionary has the wrong definition of objective or change the terms you are using!


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Offlinedeafpanda
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: Phred]
    #3082192 - 09/02/04 12:29 PM (17 years, 1 month ago)

I am not espousing solipsism, and solipsism is not invalid. It is merely pointless.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective moral [Re: deafpanda]
    #3082196 - 09/02/04 12:31 PM (17 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

deafpanda said:
Is war always wrong?



Not if it is in response to the initiation of force.


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflinePhred
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: deafpanda]
    #3082210 - 09/02/04 12:34 PM (17 years, 1 month ago)

deafpanda writes:

I am not espousing solipsism...

You were when you claimed that my inability to demonstrate to you anything other than the existence of your own consciousness somehow proved your point.

This is pointless. You appear to truly believe you have no right to continue to exist, therefore the whole concept of morality is irrelevant to you anyway. Not objective or subjective, but quite literally irrelevant. We all get it, we understand it. I ask again, why not leave further discussion to those to whom morality is relevant?

pinky


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Offlinedeafpanda
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: Phred]
    #3082213 - 09/02/04 12:36 PM (17 years, 1 month ago)

No, no, no. I have never said that morality is irrelevant, merely that is is subjective. I have never said that rights don't exist, merely that they are social constructs and not objective facts.

Can you answer my two questions above please?


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OfflineGazzBut
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: zappaisgod]
    #3082234 - 09/02/04 12:41 PM (17 years, 1 month ago)

Very well said Zappa. The idea that there is a single morality (that the libertarians just happen to have discovered!!) seems to me to be on the same level of thought as believing the christian god is the one true god and death to all unbelievers!!


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Offlinezappaisgod
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: GazzBut]
    #3082272 - 09/02/04 12:48 PM (17 years, 1 month ago)

This is a historic moment.


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