Objections to Minimal Moral Realism

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Frank Quasar
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Objections to Minimal Moral Realism

Post by Frank Quasar » Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:25 am

This post is intended to cover the very basic objections that people commit against minimal moral realism, and if you feel like there are more nuanced straw-mans that I have left out then feel free to share your input below. I intend to provide relatively simple explanations to the concepts.

This is the general starting template that we're going to work with, if it's okay and ready to go then we can create a wiki page that compiles a list of these objection. I'd like to continue adding more to the list until we've covered as many of the common main objections as we can.

At the bottom of each point I will leave the following: [/] in case you feel like you can add more to the point that I may have left out. Just type the point number and your expansion of the point.

(1) Binding Force Straw-Man -- One of the very common objections that anti-realists commit is the idea that minimal moral realism is prescribing "oughts" that are objective, or the idea that an objective "ought" exists out there in the universe as a mind-independent property.

Minimal moral realism does not make those arguments that you objectively "ought" to do this/that, or the idea that such an ought is a mind-independent property in the universe. When people ask for this "binding" force (ought/should) they are asking for something that is beyond the scope of minimal moral realism. This position does NOT prescribe such things, rather, it just shows you the correct determined moral action, and any demands/arguments that stipulate these binding force notions is inherently missing the point of minimal moral realism.

This straw-man is similar to creationist straw-mans because the creationist asks about the big bang/abiogenesis when that is simply beyond the scope of what evolution talks about.

Some anti-realists believe that IF you have a goal (i.e. seeking truth/being rational) then there are some normative reasons for why you should do certain things, and you can derive certain oughts to particular things.

For example, let's say on a math test you came across 5+5 = and you had to select between two answers; 10 or 11 -- Only 10 is the correct mathematical answer to this question, but you can choose to answer incorrectly by writing down 11 instead. However, IF you have the goal of "I ought to be rational/seek truth", then it would logically follow that you ought to answer 10 in order to meet your goal.

A similar argument can be made for minimal moral realism. It just shows you the correct moral action and IF your goal is to be a "moral person" (or I ought to be a moral person/rational person), then minimal moral realism can show you what you ought to do in order to meet this goal of yours. This is simply a case of jumping from an ought to another ought. A separate argument can be made for why you ought to be rational/moral, but this is not something that minimal moral realism is going to do.

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(2) Good/Bad Straw-man -- This moral system does not state notions of morally good/bad to be properties of objective fact that just "exists" somewhere out there in the universe, as if it was floating or something, nor are we saying that this is something that is mind-independent properties of the cosmos. People straw-man and take these properties to be things that are simply existing when that is simply not the case to what we talk about.

When we speak of things that are "morally good/bad", we say this when it comports to the correct moral theory, in reference to it as such. We determine what the correct moral theory is using deduction/process of elimination, so any stipulations in regards to "good/bad" is in conjunction with that system. We're not stipulating that something is good/bad because it just "is", or it just "exists", this is what some anti-realists tend to accuse people of when that's not the case.

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(3) Intrinsic Proposition Straw-man -- Likewise with above, we do not say that, for example, a proposition such as "it's wrong to kill animals unnecessarily" is objective intrinsically. It's not some kind of objective proposition that simply exists and is independent of our minds, that's ludicrous and simply not what minimal realists proclaim.

For example; 4 in of itself is meaningless, it really doesn't say anything, nor does it simply "exist", but if we add the mathematical formula such as 2+2 = 4 then we can objectively say that this is the correct answer, irregardless of your personal feelings/attitudes.

Morality is analogous in that regard because propositions of correct moral actions are shown in a similar sense, they're nested in an objective framework, and the underlining principles help us determine the correct action, just as is the case with math. The correct moral action that is determined is objective in the same sense, it doesn't matter what you personally feel/have a personal attitude, just like that of math.

Take it simply as follows: Those moral propositions do not simply just "exist" as facts, they exist as objective facts through a formula that helps reach the determined correct moral action. Nobody is arguing that these are mind-independent facts of the universe that is imbued to the cosmos, as some people mistakenly suggest.

And to further make this even more simpler, take this example:

All other things being equal, giving Bob chocolate has a moral value of X
If Bob wants to be given chocolate, that value is positive.
If Bob doesn't want to be given chocolate (maybe's he's allergic, on a diet, etc.) that moral value is negative.

It has nothing to do with your opinion as to whether it's right or wrong to give Bob chocolate, but to do with the fact of the consequences of giving him chocolate which relates to the fact (not opinion) of how he responds to it/if he wants it or not.

This is where the concept of "mind independence" doesn't make any sense and is pretty useless. Morality is a matter of fact external to the actor, and that's what's important, but that doesn't mean it has nothing to do with any minds anywhere. There are material facts of minds, they're not magical.
That kind of "mind-dependence" is true of all psychology, neuroscience, even arguably quantum physics (and basically all science and reality). Are all of those things subjective because they have something to do with the mind?
If not, we have to understand that there are objective facts of mind, and that's what we're after for objectivity; eliminating the influence of opinion of the actor on moral evaluation, not eliminating consideration for minds in entirety (which doesn't make sense in any field of science).

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(4) What IS The Answer -- Minimal moral realism can show you what the correct moral action is, it cannot force you to choose that option, but nonetheless, the objectivity of it remains. Just like with math, it can show you the correct answer to 3+3, but it cannot force you to answer 6, that depends on whether or not you want the right answer to pass the test, and likewise with morality it depends on whether or not you want to do the moral thing.

This point is similar to (1) above because people mistakenly get the wrong idea in regards to some kind of binding force that is being prescribed, and that is not the case. Minimal moral realism is merely showing you the correct moral actions, that is all.

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(5) Ontological/epistemological Dichotomy -- This is a collaborative straw man that is propitiated by skeptics/William Lane Craig whereby they make a distinction between "ontological/epistemological" categories when discussing morality. For further in depth reading onto this topic please open the following:

wiki/index.php/Objective-subjective_dis ... y_Strawman

Essentially, this way of thinking can actually work against with what most moral realists generally hold, or at least view. This position has become quite dominant, and it propitiates a black and white thinking of morality so it's important that people understand why this straw-man is false, as well as understand that people have different definitions of morality to the extreme one that they use.

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(6) SEP Realism Defintion -- Some anti-realists (as well as non-realists) take the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy's definition of "generic realism" and begin conflating that definition of realism into moral realism as if realism means the same thing in every context. A rather large caveat to their claims is the notion of things being "real" from beyond one's "conceptual scheme", as the definition suggest. They take this notion and pass it off against forms of moral realism, however, not all moral realists position adhere to such views.

People believe that minimal moral realists are "slipping" in some robust realism claims as the robust model of moral realism would do, and this idea is predicated on the notion that minimal moral realists try to speak of things to be true/real from beyond our conceptual scheme. This, however, is false. It's also rather ironic that they would accuse minimal moral realists for slipping in anything when they've slipped in the generic realism definition here. There's a distinction that has been made/propitiated in order to understand what they're thinking:

Shallow Claims = From within our conceptual scheme/true from our axioms
Deep Claims = Beyond our conceptual scheme, proving things from beyond our axioms

^ This is what these non-realists generally believe, and they think we're making what they call a "deep claim", or at least slipping it in.

When we speak of things to be "true/false" or "real" we do so from the presupposed laws of thoughts that we have all engaged with in order to have a rational exchange in discourse. We presuppose the laws of thought, as well as an objective reality, for the teleology of discussion. We do not make claims in regards to "justification" of these things, nor claims of things that exceed these presuppositions from beyond our conceptual scheme, as the definition/anti-realist might suggest. This is the view that minimal moral realists hold, so this would fall into their "shallow claim" criterion and thus it does not make any stipulations for "deep claims".

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(7) Absolute Proposition Straw-man -- Another major glaring error that these anti-realists tend to commit is that they take some moral propositions (i.e. it's wrong to kill babies unnecessarily) as things that are absolute universals. It may be a conflation to absolute morality, but this is simply not what minimal moral realism advocates for.

Morality is objective, and it can output objective answers, BUT, this output of objective fact is relative to contexts. The underlining principles and the objective morality itself is not necessarily relative, but the output of the answers is what I'm talking about to be relative to contexts. Take this analogy to understand:

When we measure temperature in different states we do such a thing through an objective methodology. The methodology itself helps us to output objective answers for given temperatures, however, this is relative to given states. We can objectively determine the temperature in Alaska, but this may vary and change if we measured the temperature in Texas. This does NOT negate the fact that the methodology helps output objective answers, it just means that the answers/conclusions are relative to contexts. Whatever answer we get in a certain context is objective, but if we move to some other context it will change to a different objective answer for that specific context.

Think of minimal moral realism in a similar line of fashion, this analogy merely attempts to describe the concept of this. Morality is objective, and the objective answers are relative to contexts. We do have general underlining principles that are objective, but we're not making universals like "do not murder" as an absolutist might do. An equivocation of these things against minimal moral realism is an error and a misunderstanding of what minimal moral realism is about.

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Last edited by Frank Quasar on Sun Aug 19, 2018 2:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Frank Quasar » Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:29 am

If I've made some basic errors or necessary corrections have to be made, we can do that once this is up on the wiki. You can also leave some corrections down below here, but I just want this to be something that is basic for people to grasp.

It'd be nice to have a quick resource material to use whenever some of these basic objections are put forth as oppose to providing countless explanations again and again.

I should also mention, but with respect to (3) there is a much simpler example that @brimstoneSalad gave and it goes as follows:
brimstoneSalad wrote: I would use a simpler example.

All other things being equal, giving Bob chocolate has a moral value of X
If Bob wants to be given chocolate, that value is positive.
If Bob doesn't want to be given chocolate (maybe's he's allergic, on a diet, etc.) that moral value is negative.

It has nothing to do with your opinion as to whether it's right or wrong to give Bob chocolate, but to do with the fact of the consequences of giving him chocolate which relates to the fact (not opinion) of how he responds to it/if he wants it or not.

This is where the concept of "mind independence" doesn't make any sense and is pretty useless. Morality is a matter of fact external to the actor, and that's what's important, but that doesn't mean it has nothing to do with any minds anywhere. There are material facts of minds, they're not magical.
That kind of "mind-dependence" is true of all psychology, neuroscience, even arguably quantum physics (and basically all science and reality). Are all of those things subjective because they have something to do with the mind?
If not, we have to understand that there are objective facts of mind, and that's what we're after for objectivity; eliminating the influence of opinion of the actor on moral evaluation, not eliminating consideration for minds in entirety (which doesn't make sense in any field of science).

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Post by Logical Celery » Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:44 am

If you get the chance later on today, you should watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwaVU-70z9s&t=324s

This guy does speak of things in some similar fashion to what a lot of other realists in this forum say. Granted, I'm not sure just how much of it you guys might agree with it, but he's in the ballpark.

If you people think it's a good video maybe you can add it into that wiki of yours once you create it, or at least download/cut the important segments of his points that he gets right.

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Post by Frank Quasar » Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:41 pm

@Logical Celery Thanks, I'll check it out.

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Post by brimstoneSalad » Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:43 pm

@Frank Quasar This looks great so far. A few things I'd make small changes to. You can add my text for #3 you mentioned above.
Please feel free to start a wiki article on it. Maybe just call the article 'minimal moral realism' we can summarize the definitions in the article at the beginning too.
Logical Celery wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:44 am
If you get the chance later on today, you should watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwaVU-70z9s&t=324s
...
If you people think it's a good video maybe you can add it into that wiki of yours once you create it, or at least download/cut the important segments of his points that he gets right.
Is he associated with Inmendham? He was mentioned in the comments, and that guy is pretty awful.
Not going to make a guilt by association fallacy here, but to err on the side of caution I don't think we'd want to promote him given that relationship (which is something to be wary of) and if he's very vocal about antinatalism (since it's in his name) that might not be a good idea anyway. Veganism shouldn't be tied to other even more controversial positions thus making it harder to promote.

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Post by carnap » Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:05 pm

Frank Quasar wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:25 am
This position does NOT prescribe such things, rather, it just shows you the correct determined moral action, and any demands/arguments that stipulate these binding force notions is inherently missing the point of minimal moral realism.
Without a "binding force" moral realism is just an empty theory. Your high moral priestess can yell from the top of a mountain about what is and isn't the "correct determined moral action" but nobody has any reason to listen.

Frank Quasar wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:25 am
Only 10 is the correct mathematical answer to this question, but you can choose to answer incorrectly by writing down 11 instead. However, IF you have the goal of "I ought to be rational/seek truth", then it would logically follow that you ought to answer 10 in order to meet your goal.
This is disanalogous, the mathematical case has a "binding force" namely the physical world. People don't care about correct mathematics because they want to be be "rational" but because it leads to correct answers in the real world.
Frank Quasar wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:25 am
For example; 4 in of itself is meaningless, it really doesn't say anything, nor does it simply "exist", but if we add the mathematical formula such as 2+2 = 4 then we can objectively say that this is the correct answer, irregardless of your personal feelings/attitudes.
The concept of 4 is not meaningless, if refers to a collection of 4 objects and children will learn the concept of 4 well before they can understand mathematical operations on numbers.

You can objectively say its the correct answer because its a tautology, the same cannot be said of moral statements. You can build a moral theory on a set of axioms and reason from this axioms to build a theory but the theory would hinge on the truth of the axioms. This also wouldn't justify any claim to realism. The version of "realism" you seem to be implying appears to be empty. For explain claiming that mathematical statements are objectively true doesn't hinge on mathematical realism.

Frank Quasar wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:25 am
(4) What IS The Answer -- Minimal moral realism can show you what the correct moral action is, it cannot force you to choose that option, but nonetheless, the objectivity of it remains.
All moral theories make prescriptions about what is and isn't "correct moral action". Realism would imply something about the ontology of the theory not what morality that follows from the theory.

Frank Quasar wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:25 am
Morality is objective, and it can output objective answers, BUT, this output of objective fact is relative to contexts.
Claiming that morality is objective is independent to moral realism, the only reason they are often associated is because its not clear how a moral statement would be objectively true unless moral realism was true. But this association isn't tautological.

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Post by brimstoneSalad » Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:15 am

@carnap I addressed all of this in the other thread already. Stop spamming this misrepresentative nonsense around the forum when you already should know the answers.

viewtopic.php?p=40322#p40322

No more assertions or straw man. Come up with a novel argument if you want to discuss it, and make your own thread.
carnap wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:05 pm
Without a "binding force" moral realism is just an empty theory. Your high moral priestess can yell from the top of a mountain about what is and isn't the "correct determined moral action" but nobody has any reason to listen.
Nobody? False.

Anybody who wants to be moral/who has an attachment to personal identity as a moral person has a VERY strong reason to be listen. It's an internal motivation rather than an external one, but to dismiss that is idiocy.

I understand that you have no interest in morality, but stop projecting on the whole of humanity. Most people don't share your indifference to morals.
carnap wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:05 pm
This is disanalogous, the mathematical case has a "binding force" namely the physical world. People don't care about correct mathematics because they want to be be "rational" but because it leads to correct answers in the real world.
I already answered this too.
Some people do correct math because they want something. But they'd also do incorrect math if it gave that to them as well, e.g. your math teacher is wrong about something so you answer the way your teacher believes rather than what is true to get an A.

I explained in detail how incorrect math could be beneficial in some circumstances. I also explained how wrong moral practice has REAL WORLD consequences too; not all bad deeds go unpunished.

Here's the main substance of my post for reference:
brimstoneSalad wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:35 am
You can readily be a good person or a bad person. You're not rewriting morality, you're just WRONG if you think a bad action is good. Morality likewise describes part of the nature of the world we live in; a ratio of harmful or beneficial consequences.

Likewise, you can readily answer anything, 1, 4, 5, or even 'cucumber' to the question "what is 2+2". If you answer incorrectly, you're just wrong.

Getting morality right, like getting math right, has real world applications.

...
carnap wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:28 am
What you're referring to is a different sort of issue, the minute Germany lost the war they were subject to someone else's norms. Might makes right.
It's not always about a concurrent norm; we have people suffering the consequences of past speech and actions too (e.g. tweets that get dug up), as society progresses.
Your argument was that people don't suffer the consequences of acting immorally if it's OK in their society: you're wrong. Sometimes they get away with it or die before suffering consequences, but not always.
You can move the goal posts all you want and talk about external norms :roll: (a.k.a. other people who are not evil like you are who may ultimately take you to task), but the fact is that there are liable to be more progressive moral forces that will at least attempt to hold you to account.

Your claim was simply wrong. Trying to move the goal posts won't save you from that.
carnap wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:28 am
A society wouldn't function at all if everyone disregarded logic and math, you're talking about very advanced mathematics and that isn't something the vast majority know about anyways. But everyone utilizes logic and math in their daily life and if people readily ignored the basic rules of logic and math society would collapse.
More unfalsifiable assertions.

Also, that is a completely dishonest analogy. I didn't say disregard ALL math and logic, I was very clearly talking about a slightly aberrant/incorrect system. Yes, that's inconsistent to accept some but not all, but people aren't robots and their heads don't explode from inconsistency (supposed 'systems' of social 'ethics' are pretty inconsistent too).
I'm talking about a 'system'-like thing that mostly works in practice but that has certain effects from rounding errors.
carnap wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:28 am
In contrast society functions just fine when people do acts that some may view as immoral.
The correct analogy to a society that completely disregards all math and logic would be society that completely inverts/rejects ALL morality. And no, a society probably could not function if people were fixated on torturing and murdering each other above all else or literally had NO norms or prohibitions with consequences at all.

Most societies hold moral codes that are only partially incorrect. A radically wrong morality would not be functional in any plausible sense, but even partial deviations have deleterious effects on the societal level.
An anarcho-capitalist society, for example, might function in a way, but massive wealth disparities and poverty create crime and affect the productivity of the workforce. Usually morality is win-win, at least on the societal level (even if some individuals may get away with win-lose sometimes and for a limited time within a morally corrupt framework).

As I already explained clearly and you dismissed with a wild straw man, a technically wrong mathematics (only 'partially' wrong) could be functional most of the time, and may even be accidentally beneficial by promoting wealth equality through rounding errors and preventing things like development of nuclear weapons while still being accurate enough to allow some lower level technology. And mathematical errors of certain kinds can absolutely be beneficial to individuals.

Does logic suffer from the principle of explosion when you examine it rigorously? Yes. But in practice this might not have any effect since most people don't look at it that closely and piling on enough ad-hoc rules could impede loopholes from being exploited, particularly if the belief were society-wide (look how long bad religious arguments last).
carnap wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:28 am
Now you could argue that there is some baseline ethical system that societies require to function but that baseline would be much different than what the typical western person thinks of as "moral". For example it would be difficult for a market economy to develop if routine theft occurred throughout the economy.
A baseline for minimal social function is not only seemingly impossible to draw (is a society only made up of two people not killing each other? Is that all?) but it's not the definition of morality... not by a long shot, Randroid.
And as I explained, morality is typically win-win on a societal level, so if you want maximal social output (by any sensible metric) you're looking at moral progress as a way toward that.

Does that create an "ought" that we should be more moral? On the societal level maybe. On the individual level maybe not, but as I have explained many times in multiple threads (and probably in this one too), binding force is not a necessary part of minimal moral realism, and as I have just explained multiple times, mathematics doesn't necessarily have such a binding force either. It's possible that neither will always have teeth.
If you want to believe true things, you need to abide by mathematics. This may not always be advantageous by certain metrics if you only care about yourself.
If you want to be a good person, you need to abide by morality. Again, may not always be advantageous if you only care about yourself (but on the other hand, it may be so on average even if you're only self interested: http://philosophicalvegan.com/viewtopic ... 543#p19543 ).

carnap wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:05 pm
You can objectively say its the correct answer because its a tautology, the same cannot be said of moral statements.
Yes it can. Things that are morally correct are morally correct, in the way things that are mathematically correct are mathematically correct.
Do you have an actual argument, or just more assertions?
carnap wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:05 pm
You can build a moral theory on a set of axioms and reason from this axioms to build a theory but the theory would hinge on the truth of the axioms.
You can build an objective moral system without arbitrary axioms; then those statements are just true.

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Post by Frank Quasar » Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:37 am

@brimstoneSalad

I've finished making the basic overall wiki for the article, here's the link: wiki/index.php/Minimal_Moral_Realism

If there's any more necessary changes that have to be made feel free to do it. I've added in your text to (3) as a further simplistic example. The intro to the article could use some work, and I think you should probably clarify the definitions and give a general introductory description.

Do you think it would be necessary to have a general explanation/introduction to minimal moral realism and how it is proven via deduction/process of elimination? Perhaps communicating the concept of it, or would that task be better suited for a separate article altogether?

I'll continue adding in more information as time gradually progresses. So far I've got two in mind: Equivocating two different definitions of objective interchangeably + Mind dependence VS Mind independence Interpretations (The sharp definitions vs loose definitions)

I feel like this is rather important for the article to cover since this is often brought up a lot in discourse. Maybe a slightly more in depth explanation, or we could copy/paste the explanation from the Skeptic Straw-man wiki? Either way, it seems like something that is important enough to be added onto the list just in case some new people are unaware of the issue.

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Post by carnap » Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:22 am

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:15 am
No more assertions or straw man. Come up with a novel argument if you want to discuss it, and make your own thread.
What Straw-man? Not sure what issue you have here, I was responding to the specific claims being made in this thread which weren't being made in another thread. Isn't that the point of a discussion board?

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:15 am
Anybody who wants to be moral/who has an attachment to personal identity as a moral person has a VERY strong reason to be listen.
The point is that any anybody can disagree with a particular moral theory (moral realism isn't a specific moral theory) and do so without any consequences to themselves. That is much different than if someone decided to disagree with mathematics.

Speaking of straw-man, your claim that I don't care about morals is an obvious straw man.
brimstoneSalad wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:15 am
Some people do correct math because they want something. But they'd also do incorrect math if it gave that to them as well, e.g. your math teacher is wrong about something so you answer the way your teacher believes rather than what is true to get an A.
This ignores the point, someone that disagreed with mathematics or basic logic would routinely make erroneous predictions and determinations about the world and the errors would be rather apparent. The fact that there may be some specific case where incorrect math could benefit one doesn't negate this, the point is that deviations from mathematics and logic have consequences that are largely independent from the norms of a given society. In contrast deviations from "morality" only have consequences if the society punishes deviates or if the person happens to agree (in which case the punishment could be psychological)
brimstoneSalad wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:15 am
You can readily be a good person or a bad person. You're not rewriting morality, you're just WRONG if you think a bad action is good. Morality likewise describes part of the nature of the world we live in; a ratio of harmful or beneficial consequences.
The issue is that this claim is itself just a value-judgement on the person that has no real barring on the person.
brimstoneSalad wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:15 am
Your argument was that people don't suffer the consequences of acting immorally if it's OK in their society: you're wrong. Sometimes they get away with it or die before suffering consequences, but not always.
The fact that societal norms may change over time doesn't negate what I said, its still societal norms that are the key force and not the deviation from some moral code in itself.

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:15 am
A baseline for minimal social function is not only seemingly impossible to draw (is a society only made up of two people not killing each other? Is that all?) but it's not the definition of morality... not by a long shot, Randroid.
There is no widely agreed "definition of morality", not among common people nor among philosophers. But such a baseline for social function would have binding force.
brimstoneSalad wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:15 am
If you want to be a good person, you need to abide by morality.
Who's morality? What moral theory establishes morality? Moral realism is a meta-ethical theory, it doesn't imply any specific moral theory nor does it even imply that "morality" is can be known. What you're saying and how you're speaking goes well beyond meta-ethics, you're speaking as if there has been a god given morality and anybody that doesn't accept it is "immoral".

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:15 am
Things that are morally correct are morally correct, in the way things that are mathematically correct are mathematically correct.
That statement is a tautology but it also tells us absolutely nothing about morality.

Also axioms are rarely arbitrary but they are always statements that cannot be established. Mathematics is axiomatic, there are always statements you're assuming that are true but cannot establish. Mathematics goes nowhere without assumptions, an axiomatic ethical theory would similarly go nowhere without ethical assumptions.

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Post by brimstoneSalad » Sun Aug 26, 2018 1:21 pm

carnap wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:22 am
The point is that any anybody can disagree with a particular moral theory (moral realism isn't a specific moral theory) and do so without any consequences to themselves. That is much different than if someone decided to disagree with mathematics.
No, it's identical; your consequences are contextual either way. I explained this multiple times.

If your disagreement with mathematics results in you miscalculating your profits and saving on taxes, that could be beneficial to you.
Even on a societal level, there may be wrong math systems (which you would not be socially penalized for following, like with wrong moral systems) which could be beneficial (like preventing the development of nuclear weapons).

You keep making this argument, and it's fundamentally wrong. No matter what system, moral or mathematical, you're only socially penalized if you deviate from the social norm, and no matter what system there are systemic effects.

You're forbidden from making this argument again unless you:

1. Make a new thread about it
2. Come up with a new argument to support it.


If you do it again, we're going to have to talk about banning. You're wasting people's time with this asinine claim that you keep repeating and that keeps being debunked.

@Red ^ Does that seem fair?

carnap wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:22 am
Speaking of straw-man, your claim that I don't care about morals is an obvious straw man.
You have made a habit of sewing doubt and confusion about objective morality. Maybe it's wrong to say you don't care about it: you are actively anti-moral. You have some kind of a problem with morality being true or objective.
carnap wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:22 am
This ignores the point, someone that disagreed with mathematics or basic logic would routinely make erroneous predictions and determinations about the world and the errors would be rather apparent.
The same is true about morality. Your inability to understand that is not an argument.
carnap wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:22 am
The fact that there may be some specific case where incorrect math could benefit one doesn't negate this,
It proves your original argument false.
carnap wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:22 am
the point is that deviations from mathematics and logic have consequences that are largely independent from the norms of a given society.
No they aren't. I already explained that IF you're in a society which uses a wrong system, there are no social consequences for using it, in fact there could be consequences for using correct mathematics.

Again, stop making this bad argument. It has been debunked multiple times now.
carnap wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:22 am
The issue is that this claim is itself just a value-judgement on the person that has no real barring on the person.
You're begging the question and assuming subjectivism. I'm showing you how objective morality works and showing how your arguments are bad; they do not prove any contradiction.
carnap wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:22 am
The fact that societal norms may change over time doesn't negate what I said, its still societal norms that are the key force and not the deviation from some moral code in itself.
Human understanding of science changes over time too, some people think that makes it subjective. Does it? No.
I'm obviously not saying it changing makes it objective, I'm debunking your claims against objective morality and explaining how it changing over time doesn't say anything against that. We're approaching a more correct moral understanding, as with science.
carnap wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:22 am
There is no widely agreed "definition of morality", not among common people nor among philosophers.
There are definitions that do and do not fit usage. See the discussions on teleology here.
carnap wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:22 am
But such a baseline for social function would have binding force.
1. There's no such evidence of a baseline, or any clear defining line for what makes a minimal society.
2. Such a principle would only have force if the person WANTED society. It's not a categorical norm (just as with morality having force if a person wants to be moral).
carnap wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:22 am
Who's morality? What moral theory establishes morality?
Some form of consequentialism dealing with interests.
carnap wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:22 am
Moral realism is a meta-ethical theory, it doesn't imply any specific moral theory nor does it even imply that "morality" is can be known.
Then stop asking off topic questions.
carnap wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:22 am
What you're saying and how you're speaking goes well beyond meta-ethics, you're speaking as if there has been a god given morality and anybody that doesn't accept it is "immoral".
A god has nothing to do with it, nor with mathematics.
YOU are the one who is claiming there are categorical norms that force people to use correct mathematics whether they want the consequences of that or not.

No matter what the system, mathematics or morality, your compulsion to abide by it is likely limited to your related desires.
You seem to be making fundamentally the same kind of claim Rem is with respect to the categorical normativity of truth.

If you want to make that argument you need to start a thread on it and make some actual effort, because nothing you're saying resembles a coherent argument proving that point.
carnap wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:22 am
Mathematics goes nowhere without assumptions, an axiomatic ethical theory would similarly go nowhere without ethical assumptions.
We make certain semantic assumptions based on word usage. Again, you can look up discussions here on teleology. That's mostly about what the word can plausibly mean and what concept it's connected to. There's also been some discussion on non-cognitivism (you can find some threads on that).
Beyond that we're talking about the basic assumptions used in philosophy like non-contradiction, and that's not something we're going to argue about (see the forum rules about accepting logic).

Whatever you want to argue about, you need to make a new thread or two and come up with some new arguments. If you trot out these same bad arguments again that's not going to fly.

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