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Offlinemrfreedom
journeyman
Male
Registered: 11/22/01
Posts: 80
Last seen: 5 years, 7 months
Re: Do Basic Human Morals Exist [Re: jono]
    #643395 - 05/24/02 02:17 PM (20 years, 5 days ago)

Damnit, I go on and on about, not using opinions in arguments, and what do I do? I insert an opinion in an argument. Sorry about that.
"Cultures that have sex with animals and small children are immoral."
Please remove this from your brain, it is an opinion that I have not substantiated.

I am NOT arguing cultural relativism. This is true. I am not arguing that what ANY culture does is ok/ moral because the culture is different. I am arguing that the underlying ACT CAN be judged regardless of cultural differences. This definition of ETHICAL RELATIVISM MAY HELP.

"Ethical relativism is the theory that holds that morality is relative to the norms of one's culture. That is, whether an action is right or wrong depends on the moral norms of the society in which it is practiced. The same action may be morally right in one society but be morally wrong in another. For the ethical relativist, there are no universal moral standards -- standards that can be universally applied to all peoples at all times. The only moral standards against which a society's practices can be judged are its own. If ethical relativism is correct, there can be no common framework for resolving moral disputes or for reaching agreement on ethical matters among members of different societies. "

To be fair, it was my intention to avoid being pigeon holed into an existing, narrow genre' of philosophy. But, I failed, the fact is I seem to be arguing the antithesis of ETHICAL RELITIVISM. I accept that as an axiom. I admit, that while evidence exists to show that I am takeing a stance in opposition to ethical/cutural relitivism, it is not necessary to the argument that one dicuss the relevance of either; pro or con of cultural relitivism. This is what I meant by the statement "I AM NOT ARGUING CULTURAL RELITIVISM". The broad view of either is unnecessary to the argument.

I am makeing an argument that one can condem an act in a culture ONLY when one has reduced that act to it's basics. To understand those basics, it is necessary to look beyond the surface of the culture.

I assume that since I have apologized for the intrusion of an unsupported opinion that this statement is now clear.
"At one time you contend that the morality of an action is relative to what a specific culture possess (in this case their technology), but at the next say that a culture that engages in sex with animals is decidedly immoral. "

The act is NOT relative to the culture, I said that the act's MORALITY is HIDDEN BY THE CULTURE. I used technology as an argument tool because I believe that we, westerners, can relate to the lack of technology being a hinderance to seeing an act's morality/immorality. In considering the argument, the difference between a moral act of abortion and the moral act of infantacide.


I don't want to copy/paste to much. Here I am refering to your statment on sex with monkeys.
Yes, if you decide that sex with monkeys is immoral without looking at the cultural bias that leads to the decision then that is "cultural ignorance". But, you may, after removing that cultural bias, relating the ACT to a FUNDAMENTAL moral and comparing that fundamental moral to your cultural experience, then decide that the ACT fails to exist in the realm of morality. Perhaps, because you don't believe that forest spirits exist, and , further, that the natives explanation of their existance lacks any proof, you could, fairly judge the act immoral. I would choose to judge the act in it's completeness, can the monkey give consent? If this is a no; then the act could be construed as immoral because the act, the monkeys feelings aside, can never be anything but usery, of course this would lead to the argument about cows. I don't think that I have ever asked the "donor" of my steak if it was ok to kill them. But those arguments dont' lead to an underlying human morals,they are not examples of, a human to human relation. There is cause to look at our treatment of animals in a moral/immoral sense but I don't think I can make a case for it here.
It was my fault for throwing in an opinion and then makeing a broad statement about not arguing cultural relitivism without explanation. And, making that broad, OPINION,statment about sex with animals and small children.

We don't need to explore cultural/ethical relitivism to determine if an act is moral. We DO need to find those basic premises that COULD support the proposition that the act is moral. Failing in that, then the act becomes immoral.

"When describing the Westners act of abortion you state "for WESTERNERS early term abortion is a moral act". This is a claim about the moral justifiability of abortion, pre-birth and by this statement it is implicit that infanticide for westners is a morally rephrensible act."
YOU ARE CORRECT, that is EXACTLY what I am doing. Westerners view(generality) infantacide as "morally reprehensible". To add the view of "cultural relitivists", they would contend that the act is moral because different cultures cannot judge different cultures. My postion is that, different cultures CAN judge different cultures, but only if the ACT is considered sans bias. This is were I am going, underlyig human morals do exist cross culture; Not because the culture cannot be judged, but because the ACT can be judged. Again, the act can only be judged in light of cultural bias.

I like argument also, or else I wouldn't be typing this. But, as you pointed out in your reply. I used two, broad, statements without any support whatsoever, and it completely changed the nature of what you had to say. Instead of arguing the fundamental human moral argument, you were put in the position of trying to argue my OPINIONS. Sucks don't it. In argument/discussion this is commonly referred to as arguing, Petitio Principii.

Or circular reasoning.
ONE MORE TIME. IT IS MY FAULT FOR INSERTING TWO BROAD STATEMENTS OF OPINION WITHOUT SUBSTANTIAL EXPLANATION.

Now, see what you can do to find another example of an underlying human moral that is hidden by the culture in which it exists.







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Offlinejono
misc.
Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 137
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Last seen: 5 years, 1 month
Re: Do Basic Human Morals Exist [Re: mrfreedom]
    #646947 - 05/27/02 12:02 AM (20 years, 3 days ago)

Sclorch, That is exactly how me and how my house-mate feel! (albeit, we never felt this way until after doing shrooms . I feel like I shouldn't really have a strict opinion on anything, because It seems like whatever argument I can construct to support it, that argument must neglect something, or another argument can be constructed to conflict with it. It used to depress me, but now I dont care. I've also found that when I tell other people this (that I dont have an opinion) a lot of people get shitty. Have you found that yourself? Why is it people dont like it when you dont have an opinion on something? Isnt taking our stance the more well thought out position?


Thankyou for that post Mr Freedom, I feel like I understand your theory much better now, and it has been plausibly argued. Without your opinion to contradict it, it makes much more sense!

Cheers,
Jono.


--------------------
Our problem results from acting like cowboys on a limitless frontier when in truth we inhabit a living spaceship with a finely balanced life-support system." David C. Korton


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InvisibleSclorch
Clyster

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 07/13/99
Posts: 4,805
Loc: On the Brink of Madness
Re: Do Basic Human Morals Exist [Re: jono]
    #646953 - 05/27/02 12:13 AM (20 years, 3 days ago)

jono: I've also found that when I tell other people this (that I dont have an opinion) a lot of people get shitty. Have you found that yourself?
Everyday... well, just about.

Why is it people dont like it when you dont have an opinion on something?
It's because it is hard for people to comprehend the "no stance" stance--> it just doesn't make sense in their world of static ideas.

Isnt taking our stance the more well thought out position?
I don't see how it couldn't be... but I'm open to change, as always.


--------------------
Note: In desperate need of a cure...


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Offlinemrfreedom
journeyman
Male
Registered: 11/22/01
Posts: 80
Last seen: 5 years, 7 months
Re: Do Basic Human Morals Exist [Re: Sclorch]
    #648593 - 05/27/02 09:21 PM (20 years, 2 days ago)

Have either of you ever been asked this question? "Can you belive that they kill babys in Africa?".
Now, should I have kept my big mouth shut?

The fact that someone can dispute your opinion is irrelevant, mine are disputed all the time, not very well, but they do try. Don't consider your opinion as written in stone. Consider that your opinion can be, well thought out, logicaly valid or substantiated by reams of research and there will STILL be people that won't accept it.
For example, will weed make you stupid, does smoking weed really fund terrorism, if I smoke a joint, will I really go MAD and steal twinkies from the grocery store?
Don't do what the government and REALLY BAD TEACHERS have taught you; DON'T GIVE UP YOUR MIND, PLEASE. Don't give up, if you find a reasonable argument to an opinion that you hold, then do the hard work and research the argument. Find out if the argument is reasonable, rational and does it really invalidate your opinion or does it mearly adjust it a little.
For some time in my life I failed to acknowledge the spirtual nature of man. Along with this incredible gift of reason, there is another HALF of the brain, totaly commited to non-rational thoughts and feelings. I quit drugs for over 9 years, one reason was my bad relationship with alcohol and meth, coke. After 5 years of being clean and sober I had the full function of my intellect again. It was wonderful, but, a few years down the road, I started feeling empty again. I didn't give up and just get drunk, I didn't give up and so oh well. I used that limited rationality to explore the feelings, and then it occured to me. I had no outlet for the exploration of my feelings, or what I thought was beatuy. So,why did I start experimenting with drugs again? After, some time, it became clear that the rational mind needs the artistic mind; basicaly I had become a math equation without any of the beauty that is attached to it. I had become a canvass of nothing but the frame. I made my decision after careful consideration of Why, and What drugs I would use and in what manner I would use them.
It was to my benefit, all of those years sober and it was to my benefit to push my limits when I tripped on shrooms.
So it is with you (whoever decides to). Push the limits of your opinions. Acknowledge a good argument against your stance, but don't quit there, you have only done half the work. Go back and take your opinion apart and see if you can reconstruct it with the new information.
Don't act like every other person in this country; the ones that found a way to make shrooms and weed illegal. They did it without challenge, because it takes work to challenge others.
Bear in mind that you don't have to win an argument. Hell, if you are gay then you will never win an argument about same sex marriges with Jerry Falwel.
If it's not about winning then you don't have to just take a "no stance, stance". You can answer honestly, "I don't have an opinion on that because I don't have enough information to make an informed decision yet".

Now, someone please find another example of universal human morals. I know you can do it. I have read what you have posted in here.


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InvisibleSclorch
Clyster

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 07/13/99
Posts: 4,805
Loc: On the Brink of Madness
Re: Do Basic Human Morals Exist [Re: mrfreedom]
    #649278 - 05/28/02 09:55 AM (20 years, 1 day ago)

Now, someone please find another example of universal human morals.

Universal (in this case) is equivalent to absolute.
What part of "I think that true absolutes do not exist." didn't you understand?



Now to this:
If it's not about winning then you don't have to just take a "no stance, stance". You can answer honestly, "I don't have an opinion on that because I don't have enough information to make an informed decision yet."

You obviously don't understand what a "no stance" stance is... it means that my opinion or decision will be subject to change based on each individual situation. Since I don't believe in universal morals or absolutes, AND since I don't plan on having any children in the near future... I can't really tell you what my opinion IS now- I don't have one really. I most certainly would have an opinion on the matter if such a situation were thrust upon me, but it will be entirely dependent on the circumstances at the time. I can't say that what I choose then will be morally right for everyone either... it will just be what I thought was right at the time.
You're probably still having a hard time understanding my point. It's not that I "don't have enough information to make an informed decision yet." It's more like I "don't see a point in trying to predict some practical choice I'll have to make in the future that will be entirely dependent on future events and my future state of mind." I can't predict the future. In fact, I actually like it better that way. I don't have a moral agenda. If I could, I'd build my moral house on the ever-shifting sands of the desert. Uncertainty is my god.


--------------------
Note: In desperate need of a cure...


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