There's a question I find interesting, which nobody thought to ask Hongi:
hongi wrote:...There is no rulebook to appeal to that would justify a person's saying that Stalin's morality was wrong, and theirs was the right one. That is my belief.
...I don't believe in objective morality, one that is handed down by God or imprinted into the Universe or engrained in us by evolution. Nor do I believe we can find an objective morality via the means of science or philosophy. Because I don't believe objective morality exists at all...
Why not? Why do you believe those things? Why do you believe them, instead of some other different things?
Thanks for asking that. The short and simple answer is I don't know. I can't tell you the process that lead up to me believing in moral nihilism as true, but I'm convinced it was an organic process. I've been looking back at my old posts when I was doing apologetics debates, and I'm surprised by how similar I am now to myself as a kid.
At the time, I was outraged by Christian defenses of genocide. I still am. But that outrage, I think now, is at an intuitive level. Killing people for their race or religious beliefs is wrong. I didn't need any other explanation than that. And no one ever asked me why
genocide was wrong. But if someone did, I truly wonder how I would have responded. It's one of those things that I really want to ask my younger self, just to see what my response would have been.
My memory isn't good enough to determine when exactly I started to become a moral relativist and a moral nihilist. It definitely had something to do with the apologetics debates I was in. But it wasn't one single book or a single event. The whole atheist vs theist debate forced me to think about morality deeply and in ways that I wouldn't have otherwise. Atheists may have been the ones to introduce me to moral relativism or maybe I picked it up while I was exploring how to defeat divine command theory. I think I met moral nihilists as well then. And their arguments struck me on an intuitive and intellectual level as correct. I'm pretty sure by the time I was 15, I believed much the same things as I do now.
You know, the great philosophers have been thinking about this stuff for the last couple thousand years. Why don't you try to frame your argument in a way that doesn't come off as the whining of a teenager who doesn't understand why they have been told they can't do something. "And it all comes down to whoever can enforce their morality." can certainly be parsed as "Might makes right." would that be something you'd agree with? Can I do anything I want to you as long as I'm big enough and powerful (in all senses of the word) enough to get away with it?
When I say that you can kill me, I mean that in one sense you have the ability to do all sorts of things to me. You could very likely kill me if you have the inclination to. But that's just a description of your physical capacity to kill me. You have the weapons, you have the intention, these all combine to say that you can kill me.
In another sense, it's about whether it's legally appropriate for you to kill me. The answer is yes and no. If you have good reason, like I was coming after you with a gun, then it'd be self defense.
In yet another sense, it's about whether I give you permission to kill me. I wouldn't give you permission right now. Maybe on another day.
Provisionally, so in some senses, yes you can do whatever you want to me. In other respects, no you can't.
It's partly because I like reading philosophy that I'm thinking about these issues. I made this thread in the first place so that my opinions have a chance to grow and reform. I want someone to prove me wrong.