moral nihilism

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moral nihilism

Post by hongi » 2012-07-01 06:11pm

From this thread about circumcision, my beliefs on morality came up, so I decided to split it here to get some more thoughts from other people. Be as harsh as you want, I welcome criticism.
SilverWingedSeraph wrote:I don't believe in objective morality either, in the Christian context of "the universe says X is good and Y is bad". Subjective morality can still be objectively measured. We know what the purpose of morality is: to protect all members of society and allow for their continued growth and happiness. We can use objective means, reason and logic, as well as empathy, to determine that some states are more ideal than others.
The purpose of morality as you state it there is subjective. What you choose as the purpose of morality, that is 'to protect all members of society and allow for their continued growth and happiness', is actually a subjective choice. As you said yourself by calling it subjective morality. You could choose to value something else, like the purpose of morality is 'to destroy all members of society'.

I suspect that the purpose or as I prefer to think of it, motives for Stalin's morality was that he valued himself and family and the people he liked over people he didn't like. Thus accounting for the terrible purges and mass starvation that he either carried out or let happen on his watch. 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'm a moral nihilist. 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.

If you're wondering, this means that I don't believe rape and murder and pedophilia and the Holocaust and torture are objectively wrong.

A moral judgement to me, such as 'this is good' or 'this is bad', is something that I like to do or prefer to do or that I think I should do (to achieve some aim that I have subjectively chosen to value). When I say that rape is bad, I mean that I do not want to rape. In another context, it could also mean that I do not want other people to rape, again based on my subjective motives for why I don't want them to. But I freely acknowledge that rape is good for other people.

Well that's good and all, but my subjective morality can't be all that different from other people's beliefs right? In some aspects, yes. In other respects, no. For example, I don't think male circumcision is bad according to the second definition I gave. I do not want to circumcise my kids, so I think it is bad in one sense, but I don't want to stop other people from circumcising their kids, so it isn't bad in another sense. I really don't like the idea of circumcision without consent. But I don't want to illegalise it.

Abortion is also another example. I think the debate about whether embryos count as life or not is over-stated. I actually do believe that embryos are living. But I don't count myself among the pro-life camp, and that's because I usually value what the mum wants over the life of the child. If it turns out that abortion really is murder as the pro-life supports say it is, then I don't care. I support murder of babies/I like murder of babies/I think murder of babies is good in the context of for example, first trimester abortion.

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Re: moral nihilism

Post by madd0ct0r » 2012-07-01 09:51pm

whenever I hear 'moral nihilism' I'm always left with the impression the poster is 15 years old.

Hongi - do you put any effort into keeping your belief system consistent, or do you just make up a subjective rule each new situation?
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Re: moral nihilism

Post by SilverWingedSeraph » 2012-07-01 11:23pm

See, I get the feeling that the reason people are ignoring this thread is because they realise that your stance is absolutely insane and that you're obviously immune to reason and possibly a sociopath. But, I'm apparently a masochist, and I really, really want to try and make you understand what morality IS, even though attempting to do so may be akin to smashing my forehead against a brick wall of "I believe" unfounded and unsupported by anything.

Morality is subjective, this is not something I argue against. It's subjective in that it is a product of human minds, applicable only to humans, and a product of societal pressures. It does have a purpose. This purpose is easily determined by comparing most moral codes. Its purpose is to create a stable society, through socially imposed rules of conduct. It's a form of group coercion.

So yes, it is subjective. Because the human experience is subjective. But there are some subjective experiences that are more or less universal among our species. Almost every human wants to continue living, so while murder is only subjectively harmful, allowing that subjective negative is detrimental to a stable society. The ideal morality works to reduce things that are subjectively detrimental to human happiness and societal stability, and increase subjective positives towards the same. And what is subjectively harmful can be determined objectively, using, as I have said, a combination of reason, logic and empathy.

Example: Child rape, something you've said cannot be called morally wrong. Children are incapable of offering consent, for one, because consent requires the capacity to understand the consequence of the choice you're making. Almost every person wants to be able to make choices for themselves, the inability to do so causes subjective but very real emotional problems in humans, causing harm, which is undesirable. The ability to make choices about things that are going to be done to you is something that is almost a universal trait among humans. Removing the ability for a group to make decisions has historically caused civil and violent unrest, obviously a detriment to human society. Furthermore, violent rape can cause both psychological and physical trauma, which are both subjective (product of human experience), but likewise, are almost universally considered undesirable states for humans. They are subjectively harmful to humans, and thus allowing them is harmful to human society, and morality is about protecting and maintaining human society.

So, that is how you determine the worth of forms of morality. You measure their ability to protect certain universal human DESIRES, that help keep a society stable; the desire to not be killed, the desire to not have choices forced upon you or taken away from you, the desire to be able to be intimate with someone you care about, etc. Some desires are more universal, or outweigh other desires, and this can be determined logically. The right to make choices for yourself obviously should not extend to the right to make significant choices that will cause subjective harm to others. i.e. if someone does not wish to have a limb cut off, their desire to maintain their bodily integrity trumps your desire to cut them up. It's a balancing act. It's not perfect, but their are metrics for determining what is good, what is bad, and what is worthless. Find me a single large, stable society with a morality system of might makes right, rape, murder, theft and child abuse, and you will prove me wrong.

And now I'm going to turn around, walk away, and try not to go insane when you respond with paragraphs of pithy irrational dismissals.

tl;dr version: Morality has a purpose, forms of morality which better perform at fulfilling that purpose are more desirable than other forms, we can determine how to improve moral systems to make them better at performing their purpose, and superior morality systems result in more stable and happier societies.

And I didn't call you a single mean name. I really rather regret that.
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Re: moral nihilism

Post by JLTucker » 2012-07-01 11:41pm

SilverWingedSeraph wrote:See, I get the feeling that the reason people are ignoring this thread is because they realise that your stance is absolutely insane and that you're obviously immune to reason and possibly a sociopath.
I ignored the thread because I have no idea what the hell "moral nihilism" is and the post makes it appear the author doesn't have the balls to contemplate his views on anything but a superficial level. Your response included what I would have stated: you can observe the effects of certain knowable actions to determine if they cause harm. I wouldn't have gone so far to offer a medical prognosis of hongi, though. That's too much and happens way too often no the internet.

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Re: moral nihilism

Post by SilverWingedSeraph » 2012-07-01 11:52pm

I'm not stating hongi is a sociopath, just that some people might interpret his position in that way. I wouldn't, because he obviously cares about people (he stands up for allowing gay marriage due to having gay friends, a sociopath probably wouldn't care), but his statements on morality could lead people to think he is sorely lacking in empathy if he doesn't understand how it can be applied to determine the worth of moral systems. I agree the sociopath accusation is thrown around too much, so yeah, you're right, forget I mentioned that part. I retract any accusation of sociopathy.
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Re: moral nihilism

Post by hongi » 2012-07-02 12:25am

SilverWingedSeraph wrote:Morality is subjective, this is not something I argue against. It's subjective in that it is a product of human minds, applicable only to humans, and a product of societal pressures. It does have a purpose. This purpose is easily determined by comparing most moral codes. Its purpose is to create a stable society, through socially imposed rules of conduct. It's a form of group coercion.
I'm uncomfortable with talking about the purpose of morality. And I'm uncomfortable with the idea that morality's purpose is to create a stable society. But for now, lets say I agree with you; morality's purpose is to create a stable society.

But society is a term that encompasses many forms of social organisation.

Are we talking about cities? Urban civilisation as we know it and recognise is less than 10,000 years. I may be wrong on that. What about tribes and families, which was how we lived for the majority of our history as a species, even after the rise of cities? A morality that maximises the benefit to a single family or in-group can work against the health of other people. For example, stealing will hurt other people, but help your kin. Supposedly the Roma people have this sort of morality.

So I'd like to know what you precisely mean by society here.
SilverWingedSeraph wrote:So yes, it is subjective. Because the human experience is subjective. But there are some subjective experiences that are more or less universal among our species. Almost every human wants to continue living, so while murder is only subjectively harmful, allowing that subjective negative is detrimental to a stable society.
There seems to be a bit of a logical jump in that last sentence.

If I replaced the word murder in your statement with killing, would you still endorse it?

Almost every human wants to continue living, so while killing is only subjectively harmful, allowing that subjective negative is detrimental to a stable society.

Almost everyone would agree that the above statement is wrong, and that killing can be a positive step towards a stable society. Killing in self defense is considered okay. The death penalty is considered okay in many places. Soldiers killing other soldiers is considered okay.

Murder is a particular type of killing that has been determined unlawful. But what has been called unlawful may or may not be actually harmful to social stability. Lots of countries ban pornography, but the claim that porn damages society is a sketchy one. And so I think you have to at least entertain the thought that certain forms of killing that have been called murder could be good for social stability. Honour killing may actually contribute to a stable society in the Middle East. If that was the case, would that make honour killing moral in your eyes?

You may dispute that claim. What about abortion? If abortion was made unlawful and now counted as murder, but it benefitted society in some way, would it be wrong in your eyes to murder?
SilverWingedSeraph wrote:Example: Child rape, something you've said cannot be called morally wrong. Children are incapable of offering consent, for one, because consent requires the capacity to understand the consequence of the choice you're making. Almost every person wants to be able to make choices for themselves, the inability to do so causes subjective but very real emotional problems in humans, causing harm, which is undesirable. The ability to make choices about things that are going to be done to you is something that is almost a universal trait among humans. Removing the ability for a group to make decisions has historically caused civil and violent unrest, obviously a detriment to human society. Furthermore, violent rape can cause both psychological and physical trauma, which are both subjective (product of human experience), but likewise, are almost universally considered undesirable states for humans. They are subjectively harmful to humans, and thus allowing them is harmful to human society, and morality is about protecting and maintaining human society.
I didn't say child rape can't be called morally wrong. Lots of people do call it morally wrong. But I think child rape can also be called morally right.

I think your example of why rape is morally wrong would fail to convince someone who doesn't care about the human society he is living in. For example, the Soviets have entered Germany. This is a foreign land, a foreign society. Many women are raped by roaming packs of soldiers. A Soviet soldier would not care that he is causing harm to German women and German society. He might even want to cause harm. If he said that morality is about protecting and maintaining my society, Russian society and that Germans don't enter into the equation, what could you say to him?

Where is the justification for thinking that society = all human societies everywhere?
SilverWingedSeraph wrote:So, that is how you determine the worth of forms of morality. You measure their ability to protect certain universal human DESIRES, that help keep a society stable; the desire to not be killed, the desire to not have choices forced upon you or taken away from you, the desire to be able to be intimate with someone you care about, etc. Some desires are more universal, or outweigh other desires, and this can be determined logically. The right to make choices for yourself obviously should not extend to the right to make significant choices that will cause subjective harm to others. i.e. if someone does not wish to have a limb cut off, their desire to maintain their bodily integrity trumps your desire to cut them up. It's a balancing act. It's not perfect, but their are metrics for determining what is good, what is bad, and what is worthless. Find me a single large, stable society with a morality system of might makes right, rape, murder, theft and child abuse, and you will prove me wrong.
I think it's mostly true that people want the same things and detest other things. People like pleasure and don't like pain. It may be the most fundamental aspect to our life, but it's also subjective. You can value pain over pleasure. You can value suicide over life. But I digress. Aside from pleasure = good, pain = bad, there's a crazy amount of variety in the way that human moralities are expressed.

You say way too easily that 'The right to make choices for yourself obviously should not extend to the right to make significant choices that will cause subjective harm to others'. I don't see how you can say that so easily. It's not obvious to me. Shouldn't you have to prove it? Many ancient societies were slave-owning societies. Why is slavery wrong? Why is the ancient Greek morality, which benefitted some members at the expense of others, which is in direct opposition to your 'obvious' reasoning, wrong? How could you convince a slave owner that they're wrong?

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Re: moral nihilism

Post by SilverWingedSeraph » 2012-07-02 12:56am

Why is slavery wrong? Why is the ancient Greek morality, which benefitted some members at the expense of others, which is in direct opposition to your 'obvious' reasoning, wrong? How could you convince a slave owner that they're wrong?
Because they would never accept being put in the position of the people they're subjugating. Their morality is inconsistent, not applied equally, and requires special pleading or other false or fallacious reasoning. Is this a difficult concept? Would you accept being a slave, y/n? Why would you assume anyone else would or should accept being a slave, if it's not a situation you yourself would accept? You wouldn't, unless your logic was flawed, or you dehumanised those you subjugated.

Wait I just read the rest of your post more carefully and saw this line:
But I think child rape can also be called morally right.
And now I seriously have no interest in responding to you further. I'm not going to call you names like I did before, 'cause I'm either more calm now or just so shocked that I can't even summon anger, but I seriously cannot ever picture any situation where continued conversation with someone who said that will result in anything productive.

So I'm just going to stop here, and not waste your time or mine.
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Re: moral nihilism

Post by madd0ct0r » 2012-07-02 01:17am

i'd assume he was trolling for a ban, but he's been here too long.

Hongi - do you accept that other beings exist who have similar experiences of the world as you?

Do you agree that you should treat them as you would want them to treat you? (symmetry)

Everything else can be derived.
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Re: moral nihilism

Post by Questor » 2012-07-02 01:21am

hongi wrote:I didn't say child rape can't be called morally wrong. Lots of people do call it morally wrong. But I think child rape can also be called morally right.
Under what HORRIBLY CONTRIVED scenario can it possibly be called right? And your scenario had better be horribly contrived...
I think your example of why rape is morally wrong would fail to convince someone who doesn't care about the human society he is living in. For example, the Soviets have entered Germany. This is a foreign land, a foreign society. Many women are raped by roaming packs of soldiers. A Soviet soldier would not care that he is causing harm to German women and German society. He might even want to cause harm. If he said that morality is about protecting and maintaining my society, Russian society and that Germans don't enter into the equation, what could you say to him?
That he's a rapist? That there are freaking rules? I cannot even construct a scenario where that is acceptable. Does it happen? Yes. Is it acceptable? EVER? NO!!!!!

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Re: moral nihilism

Post by Darth Fanboy » 2012-07-02 01:35am

hongi wrote:But I think child rape can also be called morally right.
Seriously? Are you this fucking so wrapped up in trying to sound smart to yourself that you would say this? This is one of the most despicable things that could ever be said. You're a sick fuck in need of serious help.

I've been lurking the last couple of days and I wasn't going to get involved because some people on the internet love typing all the time as if they are ten levels of wisdom above everyone else and not like the sanctimonious shitsuckers they are. But you just crossed the line from dumbass to fucking dangerous.

I'm glad that "you" think sexual assault on anyone, especially a minor, can ever be referred to as anyother other than the horrible crime that it is because you have some crazy gnarly third party viewpoint on life. Glad because it means that hopefully you'll get banned right quick and nobody will have to listen to your bullshit anymore.
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Re: moral nihilism

Post by mr friendly guy » 2012-07-02 02:42am

Questor wrote:
hongi wrote:I didn't say child rape can't be called morally wrong. Lots of people do call it morally wrong. But I think child rape can also be called morally right.
Under what HORRIBLY CONTRIVED scenario can it possibly be called right? And your scenario had better be horribly contrived...
I had argued against someone on this board who took the morality is not objective, therefore anything could potentially be justified line of thought.

Boil it down to.

1. Morality is subjective
2. Therefore you view is just as good as mine
3. So while Hongi thinks raping a child is wrong, its conceivable that to say sex offender its right. However we go back to point two, and under Hongi's system he is forced to acknowledge both points of view are equally valid. Of course, if you believe moral views are equally valid, then why bother arguing. Even if you convince the other person, or they convince you, strictly speaking both views remain just as valid.

Point one is true, in the sense that without humans there will be no morality, unlike say gravity which will continue to exist even if we suddenly disappeared. Thats just the definition of subjective.

Point two doesn't follow even though its tempting to think it does. The reason is because we can appreciate its objective effects. For it to be an effective arbiter of which morals are superior, of course we need to have a purpose for morality. Purposes like "stable society", "maximise human happiness" etc. Its clear under certain systems, some systems of morality are better at maximising human happiness than others. For example a Christian base morality which preaches "we are all sinners, repent wah wah, sex is TEH EVEL" would tend to make its followers a bit unhappy.

Point three just logically follows from point two, and at least he is cognizant enough to confront this part of his belief. Obviously since I don't agree with point two, I would never ever think that a person who believes child rape is right, has a moral view equally valid to mine, which states the opposite.
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Re: moral nihilism

Post by Darth Wong » 2012-07-02 02:51am

The worst side-effect of western individualistic culture is the idea that if morality is not purely objective or cosmic in origin, then it falls to each individual to make up his own morality. Does it not occur to anyone that there is a middle-ground between universal morality and individual morality?

Morality is an inherently social concept, and so the source of morality is bound to be society. The fact that a society can have bad moral values does not invalidate this idea; it just means that some societies' moral codes are counter-productive, and hence objectively inferior in that sense.
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Re: moral nihilism

Post by Questor » 2012-07-02 03:42am

mr friendly guy wrote:
Questor wrote:
hongi wrote:I didn't say child rape can't be called morally wrong. Lots of people do call it morally wrong. But I think child rape can also be called morally right.
Under what HORRIBLY CONTRIVED scenario can it possibly be called right? And your scenario had better be horribly contrived...
I had argued against someone on this board who took the morality is not objective, therefore anything could potentially be justified line of thought.

Boil it down to.

1. Morality is subjective
2. Therefore you view is just as good as mine
3. So while Hongi thinks raping a child is wrong, its conceivable that to say sex offender its right. However we go back to point two, and under Hongi's system he is forced to acknowledge both points of view are equally valid. Of course, if you believe moral views are equally valid, then why bother arguing. Even if you convince the other person, or they convince you, strictly speaking both views remain just as valid.

Point one is true, in the sense that without humans there will be no morality, unlike say gravity which will continue to exist even if we suddenly disappeared. Thats just the definition of subjective.

Point two doesn't follow even though its tempting to think it does. The reason is because we can appreciate its objective effects. For it to be an effective arbiter of which morals are superior, of course we need to have a purpose for morality. Purposes like "stable society", "maximise human happiness" etc. Its clear under certain systems, some systems of morality are better at maximising human happiness than others. For example a Christian base morality which preaches "we are all sinners, repent wah wah, sex is TEH EVEL" would tend to make its followers a bit unhappy.

Point three just logically follows from point two, and at least he is cognizant enough to confront this part of his belief. Obviously since I don't agree with point two, I would never ever think that a person who believes child rape is right, has a moral view equally valid to mine, which states the opposite.
I don't grant your first point. At a certain point, pure individual, subjective morality is simply intellectual cowardice. It is the product of someone who cannot stand up and say, "This is right, this is wrong." An absolutist system is also intellectually lazy, and usually a source of self denial, but that doesn't mean that you can't construct a valid system that functions in the absence of an all-powerful, all deciding entity.

A functional moral system must include some kind of acknowledgement of others as functioning, feeling, acting beings of similar stature to the person possessing the system. If it does not, then there is no need for the moral system to exist in the first place, as pure hedonism would drive a person. That's not a moral system. If it does take into account the experiences of others, how can it possibly justify the case at hand, or other "absolutely unacceptable"* acts?

*This isn't a long list at all, but does not necessarily have to involve acts that are the most severe, but simply acts where the willful commission cannot be justified as helpful to anyone**. You can construct, through arbitrarily complex and contrived scenarios, justifications for most acts.

** in fact, I think its actually easier for a "minor" transgression to be absolutely unacceptable than a large one, simply because the gain from a minor act is almost invariably so small that it cannot possibly offset the inconvenience to those around you.

Edit, and since you didn't apparently read the original post, I'm going to quote Hongi here:
Hongi wrote:If you're wondering, this means that I don't believe rape and murder and pedophilia and the Holocaust and torture are objectively wrong.

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Re: moral nihilism

Post by mr friendly guy » 2012-07-02 04:07am

That really depends on what you mean by subjective. But I am using "existing in the mind; belonging to the thinking subject rather than to the object of thought" definition. So all philosophical, political systems are subjective. They wouldn't exist without humans as they" belong in the mind of the thinking subject". Its a purely definitional thing, and is no big deal to me, because their effects are still objective, so the Holocaust is still objectively wrong. In fact other people here like SilverWingedSeraph have also pointed out morality is subjective. Being subjective to us however doesn't have the implication it seems to have for Hongi, and if I read you correctly, to you as well.

And I did read his point, which is why I pointed out what I thought was wrong with the thought processes, where you go from morality is subjective, to anything goes.
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Re: moral nihilism

Post by Questor » 2012-07-02 04:32am

That's a more nuanced definition than I would tend to use for anything other than an academic discussion, but I did see it as implicit (and explicitly stated) in SilverWingedSeraph's post, and thus accepted it for his line of reasoning, I actually thought you were using a more functional definition in your explanation (even though you did explicitly state it, it seemed to me you were using a stricter definition in the second point (see below)). Here's my functional definitions:

Subjective = opinion, can be argued, and many (but not all) ideas are equally valid
Objective = fact

By the definition you are using, almost everything is subjective, and I don't see how 2 follows 1 in any meaningful way, it only seems to follow if you're using subjective along with my "functional" definition, or else dubbing solipsism into the argument, but I really think that solipsism is so different than most schools of thought that it should be stated explicitly.

The school of thought Hongi's evidencing looks an awful lot like perspectivism actually, and dates back to pre-socratic thought.

Sorry about the snark at the end, I misread your characterization of his point.

Edit: And Hongi's signature quote is directly at odds with his/her stated moral system. Either it's being quoted to say it's wrong and stupid, a "sig flame," or Hongi believes in absolute right and wrong with regard to a particular issue, but not others, which simply makes him/her a massive hypocrite. To wit, in a perspectivist moral system, there is NO SUCH THING as a fundamental right.

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Re: moral nihilism

Post by hongi » 2012-07-02 06:29am

Questor wrote:
Edit: And Hongi's signature quote is directly at odds with his/her stated moral system. Either it's being quoted to say it's wrong and stupid, a "sig flame," or Hongi believes in absolute right and wrong with regard to a particular issue, but not others, which simply makes him/her a massive hypocrite. To wit, in a perspectivist moral system, there is NO SUCH THING as a fundamental right.
Here's what I posted in the other thread:
Also, just to clarify about my signature:

That the majority of California voters supported Proposition 8 is irrelevant, as fundamental rights may not be submitted to [a] vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections. - Judge Vaughn Walker

I don't actually believe we have fundamental rights. But I accept them as if they exist in the case of gay marriage, since you really can't convince people in our society if you don't at least pretend that they exist. But if anyone bothered to ask, I would deny that such things as fundamental rights exist. I'm pretty sure that a fundamental right may be submitted to a vote.

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Re: moral nihilism

Post by hongi » 2012-07-02 06:46am

Sorry for the double post, the editing window closed on me.
madd0ct0r wrote:i'd assume he was trolling for a ban, but he's been here too long.

Hongi - do you accept that other beings exist who have similar experiences of the world as you?

Do you agree that you should treat them as you would want them to treat you? (symmetry)

Everything else can be derived.
Sure. I hold to golden rule in daily life. But I don't think that the golden rule is objective. There's nothing about it that screams 'follow it!'. Someone could easily ask 'why should I?' and the whole thing falls apart.

I don't know why people are getting so angry at me. I wouldn't rape a child. But I don't think it would be objectively wrong to do so. It is a descriptive statement of the world that I am affirming when I say that 'child rape is morally right (that is to some people)'. I think raping children is bad. Bad in my vocab means = something I don't want to do or something I don't want other people to do. I wouldn't do it for all the reasons that you wouldn't do it. But I admit that I have no counter argument to someone who says that child rape is good. Because he's right, child rape is good in the eyes of a child rapist. However, the people who think differently from child rapists are in power. And it all comes down to whoever can enforce their morality.

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Re: moral nihilism

Post by Darth Fanboy » 2012-07-02 07:25am

See, you are doing this thing again where you use an example so extreme it pretty much defeats your own argument. Because people who think sexual assault of any kind on anyone is...well...wrong. Sometimes the issue is black and white and not a shitload of greay area in between two extremes. Opposing viewpoints are not always equally valid.
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Re: moral nihilism

Post by Darth Fanboy » 2012-07-02 07:41am

And I know you're going to just respond with "well the rapist doesn't think its bad", that isn't even necessary the motivation. That person can fully understand that its bad and is motivated by self gratification and a diseased mind. Part of being a social animal means conforming from time to time and id say the particular issue you touched on is one of those times.
"If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little."
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Re: moral nihilism

Post by Questor » 2012-07-02 09:48am

Alright, DXIII, I'll bite.

Justify child rape, and just for grins, impaired driving.

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Re: moral nihilism

Post by JLTucker » 2012-07-02 10:38am

And here I thought you were going to present credible scenarios to not make you look like a fool, DXIII. At least you admit it.

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Re: moral nihilism

Post by JLTucker » 2012-07-02 10:39am

Ghetto edit: Even the drunk driving scenario, if it was credible, does not justify drunk driving. There's no way to know that cars won't be around. The driver is omniscient before setting off, now?

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Re: moral nihilism

Post by Questor » 2012-07-02 11:22am

Tuck,

I knew the scenarios would be absurd, and part of my question was to test my own evaluation to see how absurd.

While there is room for discussion on DXIIIs points, he did have to come up with what he admitted were contrived situations to even have the discussion. That says something there.

DXIII, as I do think there's room to discuss your points, particularly from a "hedonistic" ethical construct, I'll get back to with a more full argument when I'm on a real computer.

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Re: moral nihilism

Post by JLTucker » 2012-07-02 11:47am

Destructionator XIII wrote:Have you ever taken a philosophy/ethics class? ALL the scenarios are fairly absurd, but that's part of how you see if your thoughts are consistent.
I have not, and after what you have claimed the classes consist of, I now no longer want to. What's the point in dealing with absurd scenarios that are unlikely to happen? Why would a drunk have medication that hospitals need in the trunk of his car? Does he make routine deliveries to the hospital? Why not use scenarios that are likely to happen? The first one you presented I can see, but not the medication one.

Perhaps I'm looking at this too literally?

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Re: moral nihilism

Post by General Zod » 2012-07-02 11:54am

JLTucker wrote:
Destructionator XIII wrote:Have you ever taken a philosophy/ethics class? ALL the scenarios are fairly absurd, but that's part of how you see if your thoughts are consistent.
I have not, and after what you have claimed the classes consist of, I now no longer want to. What's the point in dealing with absurd scenarios that are unlikely to happen? Why would a drunk have medication that hospitals need in the trunk of his car? Does he make routine deliveries to the hospital? Why not use scenarios that are likely to happen? The first one you presented I can see, but not the medication one.

Perhaps I'm looking at this too literally?
The point is that if your system of ethics is consistent it won't matter how contrived the situation is.
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