Reason / Science / Religion

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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#81  Postby Cito di Pense » Jun 26, 2010 2:38 pm

katja z wrote:I do (I think so); although it would perhaps be better to say that they believe they should behave that way, and judge their (and others') actions accordingly.


Grahbudd will simply marvel at the capacity to transform into action a "belief" that we "should behave" in a certain way. I think there's some fuzzy notion that we can steer by it toward a brighter future. That this is unsupported by evidence does not need to be mentioned. I don't think anyone but a bliss ninny is happy with how things are going, and only a moralist is pissed off about the way things are going. Things are the way they are, no surprise.

Grahbudd will also marvel that inputs sometimes translate into predictable outputs. Sometimes not, but let's ignore all that for the time being. No, let's not ignore it. Predictability is not a dichotomy, but a scale. The unpredictability is what stands in as "moral agency" (freedom) for rationalists, while the predictability is what traditionalists take to indicate it. For some, the glass seems half full, for others, half empty. I say the glass is twice as large as it needs to be given the amount of water actually in it, empirically. Less is more.

All we're left with is the tendency to "judge" our actions after the fact. That the action of judgement is so, um, predictable is the hole card of moralizers. Feynman asks, "What do you care what people think?" and probably did it on a case-by-case basis. The Buddhists have this part right. The less you desire, the less caught up you are in what other people think. The really great woo-heads are mainly trying to justify the generous scope of their desires.
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Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#82  Postby grahbudd » Jun 26, 2010 3:46 pm

There are some bits of this that I genuinely "don't get". C d P will apparently, or at least when the need is there, ridicule the wholly empirical fact that humans behave morally; ie they have an idea of "ought to" associated with their actions. Does anyone seriously doubt this (note that this does not establish anything per se!). But yet, if anyone has been doing any "oughting" here, it has been C d P himself; under the guise of "moralisers ought not to".

What do you care what people think?
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#83  Postby archibald » Jun 26, 2010 4:00 pm

grahbudd wrote:...... the wholly empirical fact that humans behave morally; ie they have an idea of "ought to" associated with their actions. Does anyone seriously doubt this....



Only some have an ought. The others we call mentally ill. So it's not like 'apples will fall'.
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#84  Postby grahbudd » Jun 26, 2010 4:30 pm

Indeed so, and the difference between the two points up some important fact(oid). But surely, to aim for C d P consistency, we should commend the psychopath as having achieved, perhaps unwittingly, some sort of enlightenment.

edit: well, or rather, not commend. Just emulate.
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#85  Postby Cito di Pense » Jun 26, 2010 4:33 pm

grahbudd wrote:There are some bits of this that I genuinely "don't get". C d P will apparently, or at least when the need is there, ridicule the wholly empirical fact that humans behave morally; ie they have an idea of "ought to" associated with their actions. Does anyone seriously doubt this (note that this does not establish anything per se!). But yet, if anyone has been doing any "oughting" here, it has been C d P himself; under the guise of "moralisers ought not to".

What do you care what people think?


I have one rule: never get into a game of Prisoner's Dilemma with a tenured professor of philosophy. He knows where his next meal is coming from, and may not need the money as much as you do.

the wholly empirical fact that humans behave morally; ie they have an idea of "ought to" associated with their actions


That's what you're pulling out of your arse. The same way as the consciousness gurus try to tell you that you know you have subjective experience.

Vizzini's Law: Never enter into a battle of wits with a Sicilian when your life is on the line.

If anything, moralizers are first hypocricital, and only secondarily irrelevant. Moralizing would be evil if anyone was watching. In the meantime, it's just stupid.
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Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#86  Postby grahbudd » Jun 26, 2010 4:45 pm

well, I don't "know I have subjective experience", that 's the sort of confused cartesian nonsense that K...eh, has been robustly criticised in the past.

It's true that it's not an empirical fact that I subjectively experience the world. But that just shows up - again - the limits of the empiricist programme which you so vigorously, if erratically - espouse. And it is an empirical fact that humans behave morally, as your own squirming ("it would be evil if...") demonstrates. As usual, you are trying to play the cynic and the sage at the same time!
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#87  Postby Cito di Pense » Jun 26, 2010 4:48 pm

grahbudd wrote:Indeed so, and the difference between the two points up some important fact(oid). But surely, to aim for C d P consistency, we should commend the psychopath as having achieved, perhaps unwittingly, some sort of enlightenment.


If you had a real choice (if the definition of the choice was coherent), would you rather be "correct" or "good" in the eyes of other people? The evidence is before us. I'm just asking you how self-deluded you think you are.
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#88  Postby grahbudd » Jun 26, 2010 4:53 pm

Tänka fritt är stort
men tänka rätt är större
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#89  Postby grahbudd » Jun 26, 2010 4:58 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:
grahbudd wrote:Indeed so, and the difference between the two points up some important fact(oid). But surely, to aim for C d P consistency, we should commend the psychopath as having achieved, perhaps unwittingly, some sort of enlightenment.


If you had a real choice (if the definition of the choice was coherent), would you rather be "correct" or "good" in the eyes of other people? The evidence is before us. I'm just asking you how self-deluded you think you are.


This strikes me as a "when did you last beat your wife" question, as it presupposes morality is a hypocritical show, rather than a normal part of human behaviour - which you are demonstrating continuously on this thread.
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#90  Postby Cito di Pense » Jun 26, 2010 5:07 pm

grahbudd wrote:
Cito di Pense wrote:
grahbudd wrote:Indeed so, and the difference between the two points up some important fact(oid). But surely, to aim for C d P consistency, we should commend the psychopath as having achieved, perhaps unwittingly, some sort of enlightenment.


If you had a real choice (if the definition of the choice was coherent), would you rather be "correct" or "good" in the eyes of other people? The evidence is before us. I'm just asking you how self-deluded you think you are.


This strikes me as a "when did you last beat your wife" question, as it presupposes morality is a hypocritical show, rather than a normal part of human behaviour - which you are demonstrating continuously on this thread.


Really? You want this discourse to be about "normality"? That's not philosophy but statistics. Why didn't you just say so? It's not as if I'd never seen that one before. You seem to have missed the preceding:

archibald wrote:
grahbudd wrote:...... the wholly empirical fact that humans behave morally; ie they have an idea of "ought to" associated with their actions. Does anyone seriously doubt this....


Only some have an ought. The others we call mentally ill. So it's not like 'apples will fall'.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#91  Postby Destroyer » Jun 26, 2010 5:18 pm

Cito di Pense wrote

All your metaphysical/ontological speculation speaks to the "unknowable". Why pass yourself off as having reasoned logically to some point you think you've made? You're not going to get a prize from me for saying so until you actually demonstrate something with a valid argument.



This is the crux of the argument between those who try to defend their belief in God, logically, and those who reject their arguments as flawed.

Grahbudd only has arguments that can convince himself, and others who share his worldview. He has no valid arguments that can convince those who are opposed to his view. His only recourse is to appeal to the, as yet, “unknowable”. And, of course, this is obfuscation, because nothing that is unknowable can be real, since reality is constant, and is therefore always open to observation. Reality is not a case of ‘now you see it now you don’t’, or, ‘I can see it and you can’t’. Reality is unvarying and is always openly accessible to all. This is why scientific theories must always be consistent or else rejected.

There are no metaphysical/ontological arguments that can ever persuade the likes of Cito di Pense of their veracity ; for very good reasons: only what is real and demonstrably correct can ever suffice.

No theistic arguments that begin with the premise that God rules and influences the material Universe, will ever satisfy scientific observation: for the simple reason that if God is influencing the material Universe in any way that is real, then it would need to have been observed CONSTANTLY.

Grahbudd maintains that science has its limits; but those limits do not apply to anything that is real: subjective experiences that do not have the support of what is objective and real (and therefore openly accessible to all) can never be real.

Edit: spelling
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#92  Postby katja z » Jun 26, 2010 7:16 pm

grahbudd wrote:
Tänka fritt är stort
men tänka rätt är större

Would you mind sticking to English, please? Not everybody here speaks Swedish.

Oh, and grahbudd, I would appreciate if you could respond to my post on the previous page where I commented on some things you wrote. :cheers:
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#93  Postby archibald » Jun 26, 2010 9:04 pm

grahbudd wrote:Indeed so, and the difference between the two points up some important fact(oid). But surely, to aim for C d P consistency, we should commend the psychopath as having achieved, perhaps unwittingly, some sort of enlightenment.


Om. Ignorance is bliss. Om.

And if you haven't been issued with the celestial golden raffle ticket curse, presumably you can't, reasonably, be held accountable at the pearly gates.

Or were you thinking of some other factoid?
Last edited by archibald on Jun 26, 2010 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#94  Postby Cito di Pense » Jun 26, 2010 9:11 pm

archibald wrote:
grahbudd wrote:Indeed so, and the difference between the two points up some important fact(oid). But surely, to aim for C d P consistency, we should commend the psychopath as having achieved, perhaps unwittingly, some sort of enlightenment.


Om. Ignorance is bliss. Om.

And if you haven't been issued with the celestial golden ticket curse, presumably you can't, reasonably, be held accountable at the pearly gates.

Or were you thinking of some other factoid?


Grahbudd is just goggling in wonderment that hamsters don't actually eat their young until the normal food supply is threatened. Meanwhile, human beings have sweat shops, because they find eating their young unpalatable. When the normal food supply is threatened, they just fuck all the more. There are even sweat shops in London! Thank goodness we can smuggle illegals across borders to populate the sweat shops.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#95  Postby archibald » Jun 26, 2010 9:21 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:Grahbudd is just goggling in wonderment that hamsters don't actually eat their young until the normal food supply is threatened. Meanwhile, human beings have sweat shops, because they find eating their young unpalatable. When the normal food supply is threatened, they just fuck all the more. There are even sweat shops in London! Thank goodness we can smuggle illegals across borders to populate the sweat shops.



Tadeusz Borowski said something about how you know you're starving when you can't stop wondering what the guy you're talking to would taste like. But he was in Auschwitz I think.

I think these things are relative, not absolute.
"It seems rather obvious that plants have free will. Don't know why that would be controversial."
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#96  Postby grahbudd » Jun 26, 2010 10:22 pm

katja z wrote:
grahbudd wrote:
Tänka fritt är stort
men tänka rätt är större

Would you mind sticking to English, please? Not everybody here speaks Swedish.

Oh, and grahbudd, I would appreciate if you could respond to my post on the previous page where I commented on some things you wrote. :cheers:


It is the pompous (and, I think, originally ironic) quotation engraved over the main door to the university Aula in Uppsala (where I am):

To think freely is great. But to think correctly is greater.

(correctly somehow does not quite render rätt here, but it is good enough!).

I will I will.
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#97  Postby grahbudd » Jun 26, 2010 10:48 pm

On being moral agents; I think there is a slight ambiguity here. I don't mean, when I say humans are moral agents, as Cito di Pense takes it (presumably mischievously) to mean that humans behave well: obviously they don't, viewed from their own moral perspective. I simply mean humans have a moral perspective; ie we can consider some acts good and some bad. Perhaps Cito di Pense would say that we simply need to get over this; but I don't actually think we can (to ask whether we should really is to beg the question!). That is why we blame other people and ourselves for moral badness, whereas to do the same for animals is just confused (e.g. animal rights people who think that animals should in some sense be brought into the same moral sphere that humans occupy. This leads to trials of pigs for goring people?).
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#98  Postby archibald » Jun 26, 2010 11:06 pm

grahbudd wrote:On being moral agents; I think there is a slight ambiguity here. I don't mean, when I say humans are moral agents, as Cito di Pense takes it (presumably mischievously) to mean that humans behave well: obviously they don't, viewed from their own moral perspective. I simply mean humans have a moral perspective; ie we can consider some acts good and some bad. Perhaps Cito di Pense would say that we simply need to get over this; but I don't actually think we can (to ask whether we should really is to beg the question!). That is why we blame other people and ourselves for moral badness, whereas to do the same for animals is just confused (e.g. animal rights people who think that animals should in some sense be brought into the same moral sphere that humans occupy. This leads to trials of pigs for goring people?).



Isn't there a story in the bible where two starving women make a pact to cook and eat each other's babies? They both eat the first one and then the second mother backs out of the deal? This seems more than morally repulsive and is certainly on a whole different scale to not buying the drinks when it's your round.

What I mean is, on the wider topic of, for example, enjoying guilt-free cannibalism, moral perspectives seem to be so varied, even among non-psychpaths, especially over time and in different circumstances, as to suggest that they are cultural, not absolute, which one might expect if they were empirical evidence of a knowledge of right and wrong which was inherent.
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#99  Postby Sophie T » Jun 27, 2010 12:51 am

archibald wrote:
What I mean is, on the wider topic of, for example, enjoying guilt-free cannibalism, moral perspectives seem to be so varied, even among non-psychpaths, especially over time and in different circumstances, as to suggest that they are cultural, not absolute, which one might expect if they were empirical evidence of a knowledge of right and wrong which was inherent.


Just playing Devil's Advocate here for a minute, but are you saying that you don't think that most sane human beings would think that it was wrong to grab a woman's baby out of her arms and torture the baby to death in front of her? Are you saying this would just be a cultural thing?
It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.
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Re: Reason / Science / Religion

#100  Postby Sophie T » Jun 27, 2010 1:30 am

Re: the argument from morality . . .

C.S. Lewis in his book Mere Christianity writes this:

If your moral ideas can be truer and the moral ideas of the Nazis less true, there must be something--some Real Morality--for them to be true about. The reason why your idea of New York can be truer or less true than mine is that New York is a real place, existing quite apart from what either of us thinks. If when each of us said 'New York' each means merely "The town I am imagining in my own head,' how could one of us have truer ideas than the other?

Mere Christianity, by C. S. Lewis
Book One: Chapter 2 (Some Objections) p. 27


This seems to me, at first glance, to be a pretty good point. However, then later, C. S. Lewis writes this:

I conclude then, that though the difference between people's ideas of decent behavior of make you suspect that there is no real Natural Law of Behaviour at all, yet the things we are bound to think about these differences really prove just the opposite. But one word before I end. I have met people who exaggerate the differences, because they have not distinguished between differences of morality and differences of belief about facts. For example, one man said to me, "Three hundred years ago people in England were putting witches to death. Was that what you call the Rule of Human Nature or Right Conduct?' But surely the reason we do not execute witches is that we do not believe there are such things. If we did--if we really thought that there were people going about who had sold themselves to the devil and received supernatural powers from him in return and were using their powers to kill their neighbors or drive them mad or bring them bad weather--surely we would all agree that if anyone deserved the death penalty, then these filthy quislings did. There is no difference of moral principle here: the difference is simply about matter of fact. It may be a great advance in knowledge not to believe in witches: there is no moral advance in not executing them when you do not think they are there. You would not call a man humane for ceasing to set mousetraps if he did so because he believed there were no mouse in the house."

Mere Christianity, by C. S. Lewis
Book One: Chapter 2 (Some Objections) p. 27


So then, this second excerpt actually shines some light on what I think is a good (but different) objection to the argument C. S. Lewis seems to be making. I am thinking of the belief, among many people (at least here in the United States) that there was nothing wrong (and in fact that it was right) to treat human beings as property or as objects and to buy, sell, and "own" people as slaves. I guess I would have to wonder, together with the young man who questioned C. S. Lewis---is this what C. S. Lewis would call the Rule of Human Nature or Right Conduct?

But perhaps grahbudd is not referring to any sort of Rule of Human Nature of Right Conduct. Perhaps [s]he is simply saying that people have ideas about what is right and what is wrong. If people have ideas about how they should behave or should not behave, but these ideas are ideas that can be shown--generally--to be a product of what C. S. Lewis himself referred to as either the herd instinct or the self-preservation instinct, I guess I just do not see the force of this argument. I'm left feeling like: so many (most?) people have ideas about how they should behave and sometimes these people behave as they think they should and sometimes they don't. So what? :dunno:
It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.
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