moral nihilism

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Re: moral nihilism

Post by Alyrium Denryle » 2012-07-09 08:47pm

Given the political/rhetorical advantages of being able to claim the high ground of human nature in support of your ideas about what society should be like it'd come as no surprise to me that evopsych, especially the amateur and populist kind as opposed to the real science that actually has to stand up to five minutes of examination by people who know their stuff, is politicized as hell and filled with all kinds of often repulsive crackpottery. I think I might be more surprised if it wasn't like that.

Given that, any surprise some people might be a bit cynical about it?
No. It is not shocking at all. On the other hand, he was not talking to some internet basement nerd trying to justify his seething frustration-induced misogyny. He was talking to an actual biologist who does in fact know his shit, and was not actually discussing evopsych until he brought it up.
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Re: moral nihilism

Post by mr friendly guy » 2012-07-09 09:47pm

Ziggy Stardust wrote:I realize this is now obsolete, but Darth Wong, I think, was spot on about Bakustra having some sort of subconscious religious influence to his thought. Not to armchair "psychologize" (fun word, right?), the way he talked about logic and philosophy seems to suggest it, and I really cannot think of any other way to categorize his reactions to neuroscience/evolutionary psychology except as an underlying anti-scientific mindset.
Maybe thats why he has a grudge against utilitarianism and "outcome based ethics". Seriously in those ethical debates he would rant against it, but refuse to actually state his ethical principles. Instead he would go on that utilitarianism can be constructed to justify torture rar rar. At which point I accused him of dodging my point since I wasn't advocating torture, and it seemed like a variation of the Creationist trick to attack evolution, but not put up his own position for analysis. After a while I realised he was actually arguing that I was advocating torture, and the strawman was so "out there" I didn't even see it.
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Re: moral nihilism

Post by Akhlut » 2012-07-09 10:34pm

Why would someone need to advance a counter-argument to propose that a different argument is ill-construed? I don't really give a shit about anything Bakustra said in relation to you about torture or whatever, but why is it necessary to advance one's own system of ethics to say, for instance, that utilitarianism, if taken to its logical limits, can be used to advocate torture? I don't need to bring up any other system of ethics to say that utilitarianism has its faults.

Similarly, someone can bring up potential problems with evolution without having to bring up alternatives. We can never properly resolve certain aspects of phylogeny, for instance, because we are forced to compare life on earth to life on earth. I don't need to bring in creationism to say we will always have issues resolving phylogenetic relationships between taxa until we find non-terrestrial life. Why would I need to bring in a competing idea to say there are flaws with the one being discussed? That's nonsensical.
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Re: moral nihilism

Post by Alyrium Denryle » 2012-07-09 10:49pm

The reason you need to is because when you argue by counter-example, you need to be able to articulate why that Terrible Thing(tm) you are bringing up is wrong.

Of course, once you reject the philosophical assumption of universality whereby Utilitarianism must be true in all worlds whether they exist or not, you realize that in the world WE live in, there is no logical pathway from Utilitarianism to torture because torture categorically does not work to obtain information.
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Re: moral nihilism

Post by Akhlut » 2012-07-09 11:04pm

Misguided utilitarianism, though, can advance the flawed argument that it works and go from there.

See? I don't need to advance my own counter-philosophy to show flaws in utilitarianism. For utilitarianism as a moral philosophy, even small flaws in initial premises can lead to large problems at the end that are done in the sincere belief that suffering will be reduced.

Why do I need to offer a counter-argument, then, if I can show flaws in it without the counter-argument?

As I recall (as I'm going to sleep in a few minutes and don't have the time to look it up now), the Socratic method simply relies on questioning someone to illustrate the flaws in their beliefs without offering a counter-argument, at least until the end.

To give a slightly different example, I can knock down creationist arguments all day by showing their "evidence", such as it is, is completely and utterly flawed and wrong, all the while not offering a single argument in favor of evolution. Dinosaurs and men never coexisted, radiometric dating is legitimate, the sun isn't shrinking, the moon's retreat from the earth doesn't mean it should have been only feet away X many years ago because of the inverse-square law, etc. None of those need to necessarily offer any counter-arguments for something that is not creationism, merely that the arguments creationism advances are all wrong.
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Re: moral nihilism

Post by Guardsman Bass » 2012-07-09 11:07pm

KhorneFlakes wrote:Holy fuck, that was one of the stupidest things I've seen in a while. Several people ignore the rules which were quite clearly listed, go batshit with their "HURRDURR DARTH WONG IS TYRANT" bull, and then they keep at their whining.

Oh, and then they got banned.

I haven't seen anything like that in what, 2, maybe 3 years when I used to lurk constantly? Dear god. Stupid people have poorer reading comprehension then I thought they did.
JSF, DXIII, and Bakustra had the ban coming for a long time IMHO. The former generally stirred up shit in virtually every thread he posted in, and the latter two had already been warned for openly planning to troll threads here.
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Re: moral nihilism

Post by Simon_Jester » 2012-07-09 11:17pm

I'm kind of weirded out by the sudden mass deletion of D-13's posts myself.

Banning people you think are just trolling and cluttering stuff up at least makes sense even if you want to argue about the merits. But basically declaring a banned poster to be an unperson... buh?

EDIT:

Also, is there any point trying to have an actual conversation about any of these issues? Or is the well so poisoned now that even trying to talk philosophy of ethics is useless? I'm guessing the latter.
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Re: moral nihilism

Post by Guardsman Bass » 2012-07-09 11:22pm

I thought that was strange as well. But it's not the first time it's happened - I remember someone in a debate with Stark getting completely erased a couple years back.

I don't think the discussion of ethics is ruined, but the thread is. I'm surprised it's not in HoS yet.
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Re: moral nihilism

Post by Zinegata » 2012-07-09 11:34pm

Simon_Jester wrote:Also, is there any point trying to have an actual conversation about any of these issues? Or is the well so poisoned now that even trying to talk philosophy of ethics is useless? I'm guessing the latter.
Well, the discussion about a universal or "objective" morality (non-existent), "social" morality (determined by human society for its own best benefit), and "individual" morality was kinda interesting reading. Maybe a good place to restart?

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Re: moral nihilism

Post by Simon_Jester » 2012-07-09 11:44pm

I think all his posts are gone, not just the ones that were part of this argument.

If that's happened before, I'm pretty sure it happened before I came to the forum and I never heard about it because whoever it happened to is now... yeah.

Anyway, maybe we'd better just hold off on it. All the unbanned participants of the old conversation are now pissed off.
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Re: moral nihilism

Post by Alyrium Denryle » 2012-07-09 11:55pm

See? I don't need to advance my own counter-philosophy to show flaws in utilitarianism. For utilitarianism as a moral philosophy, even small flaws in initial premises can lead to large problems at the end that are done in the sincere belief that suffering will be reduced.
Yeah, but that is the same for every ethical system ever. If the idea that someone is fallible and not omniscient is enough to torpedo an ethical system, then none of them will work ever.
See? I don't need to advance my own counter-philosophy to show flaws in utilitarianism. For utilitarianism as a moral philosophy, even small flaws in initial premises can lead to large problems at the end that are done in the sincere belief that suffering will be reduced.
Yes, but what you just did is not arguing by counter-example.
I don't think the discussion of ethics is ruined, but the thread is. I'm surprised it's not in HoS yet.
I dont know, I am perfectly capable of having a discussion with the other sane people.
Anyway, maybe we'd better just hold off on it. All the unbanned participants of the old conversation are now pissed off.
I am not. I am a little upset that I dont have my favorite chewtoy anymore, but that is the extent of it.
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Re: moral nihilism

Post by Junghalli » 2012-07-09 11:58pm

Alyrium Denryle wrote:Of course, once you reject the philosophical assumption of universality whereby Utilitarianism must be true in all worlds whether they exist or not, you realize that in the world WE live in, there is no logical pathway from Utilitarianism to torture because torture categorically does not work to obtain information.
The thing about that though, is humans aren't omniscient. People have gaps in their knowledge and biases, which make it quite possible for them to come to mistaken conclusions about what actions will lead to the best outcome.

Obviously the same applies to any moral rules you'd pick - how do you know that is going to do more good than harm? But rule-based morality doesn't have an inherent mechanism to allow the moral rules to be voided. I can see the point of people who say that "torture is wrong" has a robustness that "torture is wrong because it doesn't work, but if it did it might be right" lacks, and who are uneasy about organizing morality exclusively around the latter kind of thinking.

You could present this as a utilitarian argument - if pure utilitarianism is in theory better than rules but because of human error a rule like "torture is wrong, period" on the whole gives better outcomes in practice, then the rule is justified by the utilitarian imperative.
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Re: moral nihilism

Post by Lord Revan » 2012-07-09 11:59pm

Simon_Jester wrote:I think all his posts are gone, not just the ones that were part of this argument.

If that's happened before, I'm pretty sure it happened before I came to the forum and I never heard about it because whoever it happened to is now... yeah.

Anyway, maybe we'd better just hold off on it. All the unbanned participants of the old conversation are now pissed off.
it's happend a couple times before, it's sign who ever got it really, really pissed of the admins.
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Re: moral nihilism

Post by Simon_Jester » 2012-07-10 12:07am

Huh. Creepy.



Anyway, if we can maybe have some talk about this...

I think having actual rules that might hypothetically be counterproductive if the real world suddenly turns into a Jack Bauer fanfic is OK. It's better than having no rules about torture. Because having no rules about torture breaks in real life all the time. Every jackass with a grudge thinks he has a reason to brutalize enemies of the state to show them who's boss.

You're better off just straight never doing something that seems to end in tears every damn time, instead of leaving a loophole you know is going to be exploited constantly and that only helps in bizarre contrived scenarios.
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Re: moral nihilism

Post by Lord Revan » 2012-07-10 12:14am

Simon_Jester wrote:Huh. Creepy.
It's not that creepy once you realise that you have to activily try to earn the hatred of the admins to get that fate (most idiots just get banned), total erasure to reserved to the very few who actually deserve it (I've heard it screws up the search function or something like that).
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Re: moral nihilism

Post by Darth Wong » 2012-07-10 12:25am

Junghalli wrote:Obviously the same applies to any moral rules you'd pick - how do you know that is going to do more good than harm? But rule-based morality doesn't have an inherent mechanism to allow the moral rules to be voided. I can see the point of people who say that "torture is wrong" has a robustness that "torture is wrong because it doesn't work, but if it did it might be right" lacks, and who are uneasy about organizing morality exclusively around the latter kind of thinking.
There is something comforting about being able to flatly say "this is wrong" without worrying about extenuating circumstances, extreme conditions, unlikely scenarios, or unforeseen changes. But that's kind of the point; things do change, and any system of ethics has to be able to adapt to that. It may not be satisfying to admit that your moral rules are not written in stone, but it's more reasonable.
You could present this as a utilitarian argument - if pure utilitarianism is in theory better than rules but because of human error a rule like "torture is wrong, period" on the whole gives better outcomes in practice, then the rule is justified by the utilitarian imperative.
Or conversely, what happens if people believe "torture is wrong, period" but there's a particular circumstance where they believe it works? It seems to me that everyone mysteriously becomes a utilitarian when they feel that they really need to do something for practical reasons, but they drop it when the rules favour them and hurt someone else.

Or to put it another way, utiliarianism seems to be everyone's moral argument of last resort anyway, because practicality is the one thing that almost all humans really do care about. The least people could do is be consistent about it.
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Re: moral nihilism

Post by Junghalli » 2012-07-10 12:27am

Simon_Jester wrote:Anyway, if we can maybe have some talk about this...

I think having actual rules that might hypothetically be counterproductive if the real world suddenly turns into a Jack Bauer fanfic is OK. It's better than having no rules about torture. Because having no rules about torture breaks in real life all the time. Every jackass with a grudge thinks he has a reason to brutalize enemies of the state to show them who's boss.

You're better off just straight never doing something that seems to end in tears every damn time, instead of leaving a loophole you know is going to be exploited constantly and that only helps in bizarre contrived scenarios.
Yeah, this is pretty much what I was getting at.

Though I think it's not just a case of "well what if there was an IT'S THE ONLY WAY TO STOP THE BOMB JACK BAUER scenario then your no-torture rule would be bad." Society is a hugely complex thing, which calls into question our ability to correctly diagnose the effects of policies and say whether they really lead to the greatest good or not. Utilitarianism presumes the ability to accurately predict the utility function, which is questionable when you're talking about a hugely complex system which might easily demonstrate counterintuitive and nonobvious responses to stimuli because of how complicated it is.

For example, you might argue that it would be better to try to gradually wean people off religion, because religion makes people irrational and religions often have codes that cause unnecessary suffering, so weakening it will obviously make the world better.

On the other hand, you might point to how common religion is among humans and suggest that this suggests it was selected for at some point, which in turn suggests it might have benefits. I don't find it hard to imagine how belief in potent unseen forces that respond to human behavior by rewarding prosocial behavior and punishing antisocial behavior might have a positive effect on group cohesion. How many sociopaths and general douchebags are there out there restrained largely or only by fear, including fear of a supernatural daddy that will spank them if they're naughty? Sure, cops and peers can instill fear in them too - but can you really be sure knocking out one of the major enforcement mechanisms will have no effect? Going with this idea, the optimal policy would not be to promote atheism but to promote an ethically optimal religion - either one you've selected from pre-existing ones or a specially created one.

The question of which policies are utilitarian depends on which of these (or perhaps neither of them) is the case ... I suspect you could make decent arguments for both these conditions given our present highly imperfect knowledge of human nature. Now obviously the utilitarian might say "well, time to start pouring money into cog sci and group dynamics research", but the challenge of being able to understand and tweak human society like you would an engine sounds pretty formidable to me. It may take a long time to acquire such knowledge - what do you do before then?

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Re: moral nihilism

Post by Simon_Jester » 2012-07-10 12:34am

Uh... I'm going to stay creeped out if that's all right.

Anyway, on the moral rule thing. I don't think there's any practical reason to avoid having rules. I figure, yes, people are not omniscient or perfect. So any moral system that actually works (absolute, subjective, objective, whatever) is going to have rules in place that you just don't break. Because letting people decide when it's okay to break them is much worse than leaving them off limits to everybody.

But then, you've also got limits to what we know: even the rules that it's OK to break them, we know we won't always know when it's safe to break them. I had a conversation about this a long time ago on another forum and I think I came up with "mercy and prudence" to sum up the stuff you need to have to avoid trouble from that.

You need mercy, because you don't always know everything, and being self-righteous and vindictive about someone else's crimes is a great way to end up being terribly cruel and never admitting to it afterwards.

You need prudence, because again, you don't know everything. A lot of things you just shouldn't try to do, even if you think or hope they'll work, because of the law of unintended consequences. Revolutionary changes are usually bad for people, even when carried out in the name of the greater good. Or at least, they're worse for people than a logical, mature process of changing things would be.
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Re: moral nihilism

Post by Darth Wong » 2012-07-10 12:38am

Rules tempered by mercy and prudence are how one would tend to think society should operate today, since it's pretty much unavoidable to have rules. But we must remember at all times that the rules themselves can be judged too. The big problem I have with rules is not that they are used (as you say, they're pretty much necessary), but that they are often treated as if they are written in stone and must never be changed.

A moral rule is supposed to serve the greater good, not become the greater good. Who knows how much different society might be 300 years from now? Is it not inconceivable that merely tempering rules with "mercy and prudence" might not be enough to keep them in step with changing times, and that significant alteration of the rules might be necessary?
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Re: moral nihilism

Post by Junghalli » 2012-07-10 12:43am

Darth Wong wrote:Or conversely, what happens if people believe "torture is wrong, period" but there's a particular circumstance where they believe it works?
Well, as I said, you could make a utilitarian argument that if that's an outlier it's a "to make an omelette you must break some eggs" scenarios - yes, there are edge cases where the rules may not be optimal, but the question is are the rules overall going to have a net positive or net negative effect? Do these edge cases outweigh the risk of people thinking that an edge case has been encountered and acting accordingly when it hasn't?

On paper, pure utilitarianism sounds great. In the real world - especially dealing with real humans, who often are not particularly rational creatures, I'm not sure having some ground rules would be a bad idea.
Darth Wong wrote:Rules tempered by mercy and prudence are how one would tend to think society should operate today, since it's pretty much unavoidable to have rules. But we must remember at all times that the rules themselves can be judged too. The big problem I have with rules is not that they are used (as you say, they're pretty much necessary), but that they are often treated as if they are written in stone and must never be changed.

A moral rule is supposed to serve the greater good, not become the greater good.
It doesn't sound like we actually disagree on much, I'm not a fan of unthinking slavish adherence to rules above all else either.

Personally I think I might be partial to a variant of rules utilitarianism where you have basic goals and then a lot of provisional but not easily waivable rules, but I'm not really sure what my ideal system would look like - my views on the subject are evolving.

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Re: moral nihilism

Post by Darth Wong » 2012-07-10 12:47am

Junghalli wrote:
Darth Wong wrote:Or conversely, what happens if people believe "torture is wrong, period" but there's a particular circumstance where they believe it works?
Well, as I said, you could make a utilitarian argument that if that's an outlier it's a "to make an omelette you must break some eggs" scenarios - yes, there are edge cases where the rules may not be optimal, but the question is are the rules overall going to have a net positive or net negative effect? Do these edge cases outweigh the risk of people thinking that an edge case has been encountered and acting accordingly when it hasn't?
I just think it's interesting that when push comes to shove, everyone suddenly becomes a utilitarian. If utilitarianism is the moral argument of last resort when the others are deemed to fail (and it certainly seems to be, judging by the way people use it), then does this not represent a tacit admission that it's the better than the other morality systems? It certainly seems to suggest that the other systems are narrower in scope of application.
On paper, pure utilitarianism sounds great. In the real world - especially dealing with real humans, who often are not particularly rational creatures, I'm not sure having some ground rules would be a bad idea.
Darth Wong wrote:Rules tempered by mercy and prudence are how one would tend to think society should operate today, since it's pretty much unavoidable to have rules. But we must remember at all times that the rules themselves can be judged too. The big problem I have with rules is not that they are used (as you say, they're pretty much necessary), but that they are often treated as if they are written in stone and must never be changed.

A moral rule is supposed to serve the greater good, not become the greater good.
It doesn't sound like we actually disagree on much, I'm not a fan of unthinking slavish adherence to rules above all else either.

Personally I think I might be partial to a variant of rules utilitarianism where you have basic goals and then a lot of provisional but not easily waivable rules, but I'm not really sure what my ideal system would look like - my views on the subject are evolving.
Nothing wrong with that. Anyone who says that morality is a simple subject is an idiot.
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Re: moral nihilism

Post by mr friendly guy » 2012-07-10 12:48am

Simon_Jester wrote:I think all his posts are gone, not just the ones that were part of this argument.

If that's happened before, I'm pretty sure it happened before I came to the forum and I never heard about it because whoever it happened to is now... yeah.

Anyway, maybe we'd better just hold off on it. All the unbanned participants of the old conversation are now pissed off.
This was first used against Hilary Duff. IIRC correctly it was seldom used because some trolls had accumulated lots of posts so that might disrupt things a bit. I must admit I don't remember how many posts DS13 accumulated, but I suspected it was more than me.
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JSF, DXIII, and Bakustra had the ban coming for a long time IMHO. The former generally stirred up shit in virtually every thread he posted in, and the latter two had already been warned for openly planning to troll threads here.
While sometimes Bakustra would argue on the same side as myself on some threads, in some others where I happened to find interesting I saw him using the same bullshit tactics employed here. JSF racist stereotyping about saving face in this thread was rubbish, especially in his (and my) country the two major political parties are at loggerheads over processing of asylum seekers because of the very same thing, trying to save face.

Akhlut wrote:Why would someone need to advance a counter-argument to propose that a different argument is ill-construed?
Because in that case he had made a moral judgement that something was wrong (and that was before he got into a torture tangent). Hence he needs some type of ethical principle to make that judgement no? Or maybe he just made the mistake of making a moral judgement, so it leaves him open for everyone else to scrutinise his thinking. The fact he won't explain his ethical system makes me think his ethical system consists purely of what his gut tells him, and whatever is required to win the argument.

In fact, in that thread and this thread he ranted against utilitarianism, but right here some time after debating me he admits to being more in favour of utilitarianism. After I note wasting people's time by debating against people who argued on the morality of an action based on such principles. So I will stand by my statement that his morality is based on whatever suits him at the moment, and he just covers it up with big words to make him sound intelligent.
I don't really give a shit about anything Bakustra said in relation to you about torture or whatever, but why is it necessary to advance one's own system of ethics to say, for instance, that utilitarianism, if taken to its logical limits, can be used to advocate torture? I don't need to bring up any other system of ethics to say that utilitarianism has its faults.
Utilitarianism doesn't lead to torture because torture doesn't work as an information gathering device. He knew that but he was using a similar tactic to D13 "horror movie" scenario. Only he made it worse. He just arbitrarily said someone could declare torture works, therefore moral dilemna's testing for the superiority of utilitarianism are useless. And again, he did advocate a moral position earlier, so he is obligated to state his ethical system to show he came to that conclusion. Even if he didn't, by stating torture is bad, he just made a moral judgement, and once again is obligated to explain his ethical system.
Akhlut wrote: Similarly, someone can bring up potential problems with evolution without having to bring up alternatives. We can never properly resolve certain aspects of phylogeny, for instance, because we are forced to compare life on earth to life on earth. I don't need to bring in creationism to say we will always have issues resolving phylogenetic relationships between taxa until we find non-terrestrial life. Why would I need to bring in a competing idea to say there are flaws with the one being discussed? That's nonsensical.
If thats all you were doing, pointing out a flaw in an idea, you wouldn't need to bring up a competing idea. However thats not what the Creationist and Bakustra are doing. They are advocating a competing idea, but using a false dichotomy (ie evolution / utilitarianism is wrong therefore creationism / my ethical system is correct, even if I don't actually explain how they work, its still correct, trust me).
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Zinegata
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Re: moral nihilism

Post by Zinegata » 2012-07-10 12:50am

Darth Wong wrote:A moral rule is supposed to serve the greater good, not become the greater good. Who knows how much different society might be 300 years from now? Is it not inconceivable that merely tempering rules with "mercy and prudence" might not be enough to keep them in step with changing times, and that significant alteration of the rules might be necessary?
This. It's like how some crazy people in the United States insist that the only "correct" way to run the government is to follow the wishes of the "Founding Founders" and slavishly defend the constitution... while ignoring the fact that the original constitution allowed slavery (which has no place in the modern US) and that mechanisms are in place to allow the amendment of the constitution based on the prevailing social situations.

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Re: moral nihilism

Post by Simon_Jester » 2012-07-10 12:55am

Let's just say that for historical reasons, I'm very suspicious of people who say "time to throw away the rules, the New Morality is the wave of the future!"

That's something that needs to be thought about, probably thought about harder than modern society does. We've cast away a lot of rules about things like the nature of government and economics in the past two generations, and I think we're paying for it now.

So the next time I see someone get irritated because the rules don't let them sterilize genetic defectives, I'm not going to sympathize. Eugenics was the New Morality once before- arguably several times. Then it fell out of style.

Basic rules like "just don't torture, it always ends in tears" should not be overthrown for the sake of passing fads like "but we beat the communists, so now history is over and hypercapitalism has won which means that it's all going to be all right as soon as the new world order gets settled in!"
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hongi
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Re: moral nihilism

Post by hongi » 2012-07-10 01:00am

Questor wrote:Hongi, what, in your view, is the purpose of an ethical system?
I'm not sure ethical systems or moralities have purposes. I said at the beginning that I was uncomfortable with talking about the purpose of morality and I'll explain why. It's because even if there is a purpose to morality, like creating a stable society, I don't think people think of morality in this way, nor do they act as if this was its purpose.

Compare it with sex. Sexual intercourse has a biological purpose and that's to propogate the species. But that's not how I think of sex. I think of sex as a way to get pleasure, the fact that kids can come from sex is secondary and actually opposite to what I want. The people who seem most cognisant of the fact that sex's purpose is to have babies are the Catholics, but that purpose is in the background for me and for a whole lot of other people.

I think it's the same way for morality as well. Lets say morality's purpose is to create a stable and successful society. Who thinks of it like this? I don't. Morality for me is something that I do, want to do, want others to do. Morality for me are my habits and the way I live my life. That is the only purpose of morality for me. I don't think about society when I help someone out or refrain from criminal acts. If my morality happens to match up with the 'true purpose' of morality, then I'm inclined to think that's incidental. It may be that there are things that I consider moral that are actually detrimental to society. What I'm trying to say is that this true purpose, if it exists, is so distant from everyday life, that it might as well not exist for me. I act the way I do because of motives, intentions and purposes that are definitely subjective.

I'd also like to say that even if there were an objective purpose to morality, and it was to create a stable society, there are so many ways of interpreting and applying that purpose, it doesn't defeat my criticism of the cultural superiority complex many people have. So many people (and I'm guilty of this too) look at something and instantly turn up our nose and call it barbaric and evil. If pressed on why they say that, most people wouldn't appeal to the aforementioned objective purpose of morality, that is to create a successful society. Such reactions to honour killing or the execution of adulterers are knee-jerk and instinctual. I don't think it has anything to do with the true purpose of morality that people argue for on internet forums.

And even in this discussion, removed and distanced as it is from real life, I can't understand why people can say so confidently that slavery or honour killing is wrong in relation to this supposed true purpose of morality. Shouldn't this merit more of a discussion? Even if there is an objective purpose, how do you know that Muslim fundamentalists aren't the ones following it most closely?
Last edited by hongi on 2012-07-10 01:04am, edited 4 times in total.

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