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What's your view on that then?
(not sure if that's the best blog post about this but I've got to run to an appointment)
"Then I suggested hugs and playing Mumford and Sons really, really loudly"
"For several years, a lot of my friends have been telling me I had an inconsistent and unsustainable philosophy."
I tip my fedora to you, good sir
I think the only time I've ever seen someone wearing a fedora was at a WW2-themed car boot sale I once ended up at. Am I being really dense here? Is there some joke I'm missing?
all you really need to know is that it's an internet thing.
Are young white male internet users sat at their laptops dressed like Boardwalk Empire extras now? When did this happen?
that completely eludes it. Which is why it embodies them.
Kind of ties into the whole /r/atheism browsing, brony teen.
Still seems a pretty arbitrary stereotype. I don't go on Reddit though, so I'm guessing I'm spared this tedium.
"Owning another human being as property."
Give me an example where this is morally OK.
being "owned" by someone else who looks after and values them is the most positive thing they can have. Many BDSM relationships are predicated upon this.
but no cigar.
Owning someone else as a slave, even if they are "happy" is morally wrong. I would suspect the happy prisoner is mentally ill for one.
he's got you there pal
if someone deliberately seeks out imprisonment or pain because it fulfills them, they should be refused those things because it morally compromises the person who gives them it? Hmm interesting.
so you think tattoos are morally wrong?
someone who has "zero self worth"? - stop right there.
Obviously bogus example
If not, why do we send people who burn their arms with cigarettes - even though they may feel it helps- to hospital?
I could quite easily say that YOU are not of their right mind, then what?
if you think everything is just an opinion.
We can all look around at the world and judge what is harmful, what is wrong etc. even based on physical laws alone: swinging my fists around near someone's face might be harmful to them.
I don't think there *are* any moral truths. I think you can arrive at pretty strong moral consensus, but I don't see really how you can argue for objective truths.
Partly because...well, how do we know what they are? You've argued for your 'owning people as property is wrong' because you *reckon* it's wrong. But that doesn't mean it is objectively true.
I took "truths" to mean general rules, and I think that's fair enough in this case.
you might arrive at a "law".
I guess that's what I mean by a "truth".
I don't think arguing over semantics is helpful (he says trying to get out of the corner he's painted himself in.)
partly because consensus changes over time & across cultures, so you can't then call it a universal 'law'. Like the slave example, it was probably generally morally accepted across a certain stratum of society, but that seems ridiculous now. The point of laws is that they can't change, and they actually govern how people act, not the other way round.
Cutting yourself on your own is not at all the same as having someone who knows what they're doing tying you up and whipping you. The latter can work as an effective release for someone who would otherwise do the former.
and I appreciate talking hardcore BDSM with you is a bit embarrassing. But that's the point I'm trying to make about objective truths. No matter how clear cut you think it is, there is always a circumstance which makes a mockery of them.
but for all intents and purposes we may as well call them "truths".
about owning a slave?
'Owning someone as property' is quite vague I think. What are you getting at? Removing their freedom?
indentured servitude/slavery are slightly different, but clearly both morally wrong. (except for Overseer Parsefone)
because in the example of the happy slave, you could quite easily argue that it is wrong to free this person from their slavery because you believe it to be for their own good. In a sense, who are you to be the arbiter in that case?
as does everyone, except religious fundamentalists.
The "happy slave" eh? gimme a break. Weak weak argument.
Someone who doesn't know any better might be very happy, yes.
and claiming that everyone else does, to argue for objective morality? You're completely contradicting yourself.
1 - the universe is real.
2 - other people exist.
3 - I can cause harm to others through my actions.
Based on my observations and understanding, I therefore assume punching someone for no good reason is always harmful to them.
This is not a huge step of logic to have empathy for others and base a moral code around this, and assume its generally true for others.
Even taking the purely practical view of living in a communal society, where its preferable to not steal, murder, beat others etc...simply to get along and for society to function, you could call this "morality".
and you can call this 'morality'. I'm not arguing with any of that.
But none of what you have said makes it 'objective' morality, and that's what you are arguing for.
the BDSM example above smacks (tee hee) of someone being taken advantage of.
no ones being taken advantage of. It's consensual non-consent.
...it might just be a near-universally-held subjective thing instead.
but lets try:
"harming someone else with no good reason is wrong"
In what context would that be incorrect?
'no good reason'?
Because that's a moral judgement in itself.
what other methods do we have to judge it by? other than or own experiences and obseevations?
Which would require it to be judged by something absolute and non-relative..
You can't argue for moral truth and then say that we can only judge those by opinion, that just doesn't work!
define wrong? it's all just thoughts and ideas. right and wrong aren't even actually things
not gonna tell you any of them though
Maybe something really vague like 'suffering should be avoided wherever possible' would be the closest we have to one. But even that isn't universal.
It's disquieting to think that pretty much all of our moral values are basically a result of rather daft factors like peer pressure, fashion and upbringing. Even religious people tend to follow a palatable version of their holy scripture, with all the horrible murderous desert tribe stuff edited out.
I think human nature has a bigger part to play.
If we'd been around in the 1600s, most of us would be pro-slavery. If it was the 1780s, many of us would be anti-slavery, but many of us wouldn't. In the 2010s, practically all of us see slavery as something that's so beyond-the-pale awful, that it has no place in civilised society. As much as that change in attitudes has benefited society, it's been a result of changing fashions and attitudes, rather than some objective moral truth that we somehow ignored for centuries.
I think we can also see how those kinds of factors can lead to some pretty horrible places too, with the banality of evil in Nazi Germany, or the normalisation of child abuse in certain circles during the 1970s.
Not really sure what 'human nature' means, to be honest. What do you think of Sam Harris' view that many of the more positive aspects of human nature (familial bonds, loyal to neighbours, compassion for children, etc) have their origins in evolution? Is that the view of an optimist, or a ‘science fundamentalist’?
'most of us would be pro-slavery' is a bit of a problem for a start, because there are some massive assumptions there. For one, you are assuming that most people *were* pro-slavery, whereas I am not sure that is true. I am sure that slave-owners were pro-slavery, but what about the 'slave' class?
I see what you mean though...I think that peer pressure/societal attitudes have a part to play, and I used 'human nature' as quite a vague term because I think it is probably quite difficult to define. I am not sure about what Sam Harris said - there are probably evolutionary advantages to having strong family bonds, for example, but that's what I mean by 'nature' rather than 'nurture' having a big part in governing our moral code.
I think cultural relativism is really important in morality, because the danger is that we have such an imperialist view of morality and what is 'right'. I don't think that's a particularly disquieting thought though.
just because I think that morality isn’t a constant across time, doesn’t mean that I don’t believe that certain compassion-based moral standards shouldn’t be adhered to across all walks of life. I think that if 'progress' means anything, it involves us having a kind of duty to protect people from tyranny and suffering wherever possible. When the British Raj barred 19th century Indians from sacrificing widows on their dead husband's funeral pyres, were they wrong to do so? (By modern moral standards, they shouldn't have been there in the first place, but that's a separate point).
Bit of a straw man here, but; if there was a hypothetical pagan sect living on a remote island in the North Sea, and the second child born into every family on that island was blinded at birth, would we not have a duty to stop those islanders from poking babies eyes out? Personally, I think it would be patronising and negligent to turn away from things like mutilation, slavery and sexual abuse within any community.
Yeah, I was using 'most of us' as shorthand for the type of people who go on DiS (mostly white dudes brought up on the border of the British working class and middle class). Obviously slaves were usually anti-slavery, but they didn't exactly get a say.
pleasure is preferable to pain
we can build moral systems around these general truisms, even though they sometimes, but rarely come into conflict with one another.
to pain and suffering?
but you're invoking rule 2 then also
in return for a greater amount of pleasure in the future
It's too problematic a theory, I reckon.
coldplay's music most embodies the objective quality of being beautiful.
Any music coming from black culture is in direct conflict with the objective concept of beauty.
It's not racist it's just a fact that's built from the brute fact of beauty as-it-is.
(that was an analogy)
if you mean it in the weird platonic sense then the whole idea is pretty dumb really.
objective moral truths?
imma buy you all a dictionary for christmas
You're a stupid moron with an ugly face and big butt and your butt smells and you like to kiss you own butt
Poach an egg in it, then serve it with a pork pie sausage roll