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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Right or Wrong? » » Why disscussing right and wrong is wrong. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Steve_Mollett
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Quote:
On 2011-05-10 20:55, jdmagic357 wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-05-10 19:29, Steve_Mollett wrote:
There's nothing wrong with discussing right and wrong.
Humanity has done so for ages.


Just because people have done something for time and memorial, doesn't make it right. Can anybody remember slavery, and how long it's practice was condoned?

Bad argument.


The response isn't much better.
It implies that discussing right and wrong is wrong, perpetuating the discussion.
But hey, that was the subject, wasn't it? Smile

So...would it be right or wrong to ban the discussion of right and wrong.
feel free to discuss. Smile
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The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
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Jonathan Townsend
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It's good to be right with yourself.
Being right with others might not be such a good thing.

It might be useful to own your own opinions and beliefs.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
jfquackenbush
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Philosophers of ethics are divided on the question of whether more principals are subjective. I for one don't think they are. They arise from facts about the world and facts about human beings and the way we've developed in society with one another. There may be some play in the joints about how a particular principal is applied in a given society, but the principals of meta-ethics exist independently of any one person's subjective experience of the world.

As such, the discussion of ethics is not only right, it's necessary. It's the sort of social activity that allows people an opportunity to observe those principals in practice and make reasoned judgements about how to apply moral principles and whether some asserted principal is in fact an objective one, or merely some principal that's been invented by someone for some purpose other than the pursuit of the best society.
Mr. Quackenbush believes that there is no such thing as a good magic trick.
PaulBanda
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So the "discussion" is just a sounding board of personal opinions with no real collective. Whats right for one will be wrong for the other, so without consensus the point winds up moot.

It never can hurt to bring information and issues to light, but it is up to us to do our own investigations and use a rational and objective approach to assess these issues amongst each other..

I agree with Quakenbush!
Bapu
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Holy cow
Bapu practices law and conjuring in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee.
stoneunhinged
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Quote:
On 2011-05-14 10:11, jfquackenbush wrote:
Philosophers of ethics are divided on the question of whether more principals are subjective. I for one don't think they are. They arise from facts about the world and facts about human beings and the way we've developed in society with one another. There may be some play in the joints about how a particular principal is applied in a given society, but the principals of meta-ethics exist independently of any one person's subjective experience of the world.

As such, the discussion of ethics is not only right, it's necessary. It's the sort of social activity that allows people an opportunity to observe those principals in practice and make reasoned judgements about how to apply moral principles and whether some asserted principal is in fact an objective one, or merely some principal that's been invented by someone for some purpose other than the pursuit of the best society.


+ 1
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2011-05-14 10:11, jfquackenbush wrote:
Philosophers of ethics are divided on the question of whether more principals are subjective....


Such are those who seem not to understand that when two people have a pie it's the one with the knife who decides what the other one will get.

Shirley understands that what is right for a zebra might not be right for a lion, yet there they are and have been for a very long time.

So is it right to wash your hands, flushing away all those microorganisms - or perhaps you go all the way to convince yourself that they went on to a better place?

Just curious, George.

Or was that exposure because you were supposed to buy my ebook?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
LobowolfXXX
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Quote:
On 2011-10-04 10:00, stoneunhinged wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-05-14 10:11, jfquackenbush wrote:
Philosophers of ethics are divided on the question of whether more principals are subjective. I for one don't think they are. They arise from facts about the world and facts about human beings and the way we've developed in society with one another. There may be some play in the joints about how a particular principal is applied in a given society, but the principals of meta-ethics exist independently of any one person's subjective experience of the world.

As such, the discussion of ethics is not only right, it's necessary. It's the sort of social activity that allows people an opportunity to observe those principals in practice and make reasoned judgements about how to apply moral principles and whether some asserted principal is in fact an objective one, or merely some principal that's been invented by someone for some purpose other than the pursuit of the best society.


+ 1


+ another.

The fact that the question of who is right and who is wrong when two people have contradictory moral opinions cannot be proven doesn't imply that neither of them is wrong.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
LobowolfXXX
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Quote:
On 2011-05-11 07:01, jdmagic357 wrote:
Mike, I agree with everything you said and see the argument clearly. However, and understand that my view on this issue is equal to yours, I would contend that to those who participated in the atrocities of the second world war, would have believed and to this day possibly believe that their actions were right.


However, their subjective belief that they were right is entirely incidental to the question of whether or not they were actually right.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
writeall
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Quote:
On 2011-05-04 05:24, Michael Daniels wrote:

You are suggesting that moral relativism is an absolute truth - which is self-contradictory.

Mike


How so? Morality can be relative and subjective without all statements about it being relative. The absolute truth may be that morality is relative -- no contradiction at all.
BenjaminMan
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This seems to have gone from an argument of ethics to an argument of deeper morals and religion,
as such I don't think it quite belongs here.

I think discussion on ethics will continue here whether or not you like it,
so I don't see what the point of this post was.
billmarq
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When right is wrong, what's left?
Honi soit quit mal y pense.
Steve_Mollett
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Disgruntled conservatives, still saying they were right. Smile
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The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
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stoneunhinged
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The problem with moral relativism is that it seems to arise from the fact that human beings disagree with each other. But disagreeing about what is true or false does not affect the trueness or falseness of anything. In fact, even should no two human beings in the entire world agree on a thing, that doesn't make the thing untrue or unfalse. In other words, subjectivity has nothing to do with whether something is true or not.

It reminds me of when we were kids and we would sit around philosophizing about whether what one of us sees as red the other sees as blue. And we were pretty clever, when you think about it, because all sensory experience is subjective. But the subjectivity of sensory experience does not mean that objective reality does not exist. Quite the opposite, actually: the epistemological dialectic of "knowing" a thing confirms that subject and object both exist. In the same way, subjective opinions regarding moral "truth" implies that such a truth in fact exists.

To put it yet another way: our disagreement regarding moral true would actually seem to confirm that we are disagreeing about something real and actual. People don't argue about the size and color of dragons, do they?

It's like disagreeing on how high a mountain is without any agreed upon method of measuring it. Surely the mountain is still there, right?
Jonathan Townsend
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How sure can you be that what you perceive as blue is what anyone else perceives as blue?
You can check your answer by asking what color someone associates with different instruments in an orchestra or tonalities of voice.

How would you know if the mountain were still there?

Hint - how did you come to expect (and then believe) that the sun will go down and then come up some hours later?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
writeall
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This is good, but I think you are frame shifting a bit.
Quote:
On 2011-12-04 14:35, stoneunhinged wrote:
The problem with moral relativism is that it seems to arise from the fact that human beings disagree with each other. But disagreeing about what is true or false does not affect the trueness or falseness of anything. In fact, even should no two human beings in the entire world agree on a thing, that doesn't make the thing untrue or unfalse. In other words, subjectivity has nothing to do with whether something is true or not.


Except, in this case, morality isn't a "thing." It doesn't exist without people to have an opinion about it. It is not like a planet we haven't yet discovered that is revolving around some remote star. It is a concept, a behavior, a way of looking at the world. It is something people do, not something people find in the next city over on a weekend trip.

Quote:
It reminds me of when we were kids and we would sit around philosophizing about whether what one of us sees as red the other sees as blue. And we were pretty clever, when you think about it, because all sensory experience is subjective. But the subjectivity of sensory experience does not mean that objective reality does not exist. Quite the opposite, actually: the epistemological dialectic of "knowing" a thing confirms that subject and object both exist. In the same way, subjective opinions regarding moral "truth" implies that such a truth in fact exists.


Not so. I can imagine, in the next room, a man called Ahab who has an obsession about a whale. You, too, because you've read a book by Melville, can offer an opinion. We can discuss what Ahab might be making himself for lunch. We can do this about many mental constructs. "Who would win a fight between Thor and Loki?" This has no bearing on the existence of either.

Quote:
To put it yet another way: our disagreement regarding moral true would actually seem to confirm that we are disagreeing about something real and actual. People don't argue about the size and color of dragons, do they?


They do, actually. They also argue about the properties of vampires and how it is possible for zombies to animate without metabolism. We argue about string theory and mulitple dimensions. We invent things like black holes and white holes with mathematics and then look to see if such things are real or only imaginary.

Quote:
It's like disagreeing on how high a mountain is without any agreed upon method of measuring it. Surely the mountain is still there, right?


There is a way we measure morality. We look to see what societies accept or reject. We also find that there are differences across cultures and animal species. The existence of this difference is the genesis of relative morality. Instead of just asking people what is moral, you look to see what they actually do, the laws they make and so on.

One other confounding thing is that there may be some common moral principles that aren't the entire body of the work, but still fixed. So, it may be that we can have it both ways -- some fixed items that are enduring and moral, combined with a set that is transient. Still, unlike the mountain, I do not think I might purchase a pound of morality, even if it is only 87% pure and discounted from the wholesaler.
stoneunhinged
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That a "thing" isn't a thing without people to have an opinion about it is simply not true. (By "thing", I don't mean a material object, but something that has existence in itself.) Any commodity or artifact has an existence that is determined by the imagination and creativity of human beings; but that doesn't make it any less real.

Take a chair, for example. There wouldn't be chairs without people. "Chairness" is, in fact, defined solely by people. Yet a chair retains it's chairness within its own existence, regardless of whether anyone ever sits on it or not, or whether people's opinions about chairs continue to exist or not. Human consciousness brought chairness into existence--but it is a real existence that maintains its integrity of being even outside human consciousness.

Likewise with morality: human beings bring morality into existence, but it exists independently of us, just like a chair. And the universalism of human beings making moral claims certainly puts "morality" on a different plane than dragons or vampires or zombies. While people disagree about the content of morality, they all act in accordance with a set of habits and conventions that tell them there is a difference between right and wrong.

But this is about as far as we can go without defining our terms. Even the term "moral relativism" would seem to cause disagreement. I do not mean to suggest that what I choose to do this afternoon is relative to my culture, character, and environment. I only mean to suggest that to extrapolate from that fact an entire Weltanschauung that moral absolutes do not and in fact cannot exist is a rather disingenuous--not to say illogical--extrapolation.

Lastly, I have a mountain nearby for sale. Or we can trade. Do you happen to have any real cool Ellusionist decks you're willing to trade? Smile
stoneunhinged
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I left the word "not" out of one of the sentences above. But it's too late to change it. So y'all can just insert the word "not" anywhere you see fit. No one really reads what I write anyway. Smile
writeall
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I read it and I largely agree with it.

I'd have to disagree with the idea of morality have an existence outside of me interacting with someone else though. Material things I can imagine having an existence unto themselves. For instance, I have no problem with that famous teapot buried under a mile of ice on Ganymede. I can imagine and accept that it is quite possible, even without anyone there to see it. But, if you tell me that morality exists in the same place as that teapot, in the same kind of way, I can't get my head around that at all.

To me, morality only makes sense in a transactional way, with people doing things (usually to each other). It's that part that puts the relativism into the mix. I'll go with the idea that morality is invented rather than discovered. But I grant that there may be, unknown to me, some bit of the picture that is both universal and irrefutable, as long as it is attached to human beings somehow. The problem then becomes whether any moral act is relative (even though some part may be absolute), which I think is plain to see. I only have to see what is moral in one culture and not another to dredge up an example.

On what basis, other than my own sense of right and wrong, would I ever be able to claim that you are acting immorally? And, having done that, how might I then avoid you doing the same to me?

Furthermore, suppose there were an absolute morality available. How would we talk about it, since morality is based on my own idea of right and wrong? If I didn't automatically understand it, there'd be no way to convince me because my innate sense of what is right would trump any, even rational, explanation.

Now that I've thought about it more, I can think of good counterarguments, but I like reading what you have to say.
stoneunhinged
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Quote:
On 2011-12-05 07:00, writeall wrote:
...but I like reading what you have to say.


Thanks. And I'm enjoying your contribution as well.

Please keep in mind that at least part of one of my above posts was meant in some kind of strange sophistic jest. I'm fully aware of sincere debates about angels and pinheads, and the intensity of the debate didn't prove the existence of either angels or pins.

But the serious part of my argument remains this: subjectivity does not equal relativity. What is relative is exactly what you say--human beings interacting with human beings. There is always a context. Always. But what might not be relative could be something like this: purple is wrong, evil, indecent, life-threatening, and destructive. So I interact with people regarding the meaning of purple, and that meaning affects our lives in different ways and in different contexts; yet purple remains destructive regardless of our interaction.

So are there things in human life which are evil, indecent, life-threatening, and destructive regardless of our subjective opinions regarding what those things are? If so, then "relativism" is only relative to a degree. The subjectivity of our opinion has nothing to do with the thing in itself (with my above qualifications regarding what a "thing" is, of course).

But again, one could attack my terminology: "evil"? "indecent"? etc.

"Purple?"

One thing is for sure: we are not likely to solve this problem here at the Magic Café. I only meant to spread some fun around.
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