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Re: dfsdf

Postby iambiguous » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:27 pm

Mo_ wrote:
iambiguous wrote:You have to take the car to the track and actually...race it


That's simply false. You do the science... you account for variations... you use the laws of nature... and it works. The only reasons scientists test anything, is to see if they have the actual science correct, if they've understood the variations, the complexities, etc. But if they work accurately on paper, and account for what they need to, and understand the relevant variables in play, then it will work in the world every single time.


And, of course, we can assume this particular engineering manual has in fact accounted for all of the variables because...you wrote it?

Yes, theoretically, every single possible variable could be factored into the pages of the engineering manual but, then, if that were possible "out in the world" of actual race cars going around and around the track, the optimal car would be winning every race.

Really, regarding the science of race cars, how do you gauge if it is "correct" if you don't take the car off the pages, out of the garage and down to the track? Is there a car that would be fastest on all tracks and in all weather conditions or would there only be one fastest car per each juncture of variables?

And what of the variables factored into value judgments that reflect conflicting goods?

For example, "is it ethical to risk your life [and the lives of others] racing cars for a living?"
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Re: dfsdf

Postby iambiguous » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:42 pm

Mo_ wrote:Ultimately, your view commits you to saying that math and science are subjective...


And, ultimately, your view commits you to saying that, "Mary had an abortion" and, "Abortion is moral" are equally demonstrable as objective facts.

One fact can be determined now and the other...eventually.

And, theoretically, that is possible of course. Just as, theoretically, a flying elephant from planet X might have informed you of this.
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Re: dfsdf

Postby von Rivers » Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:27 pm

A few responses...

PavlovianModel146 wrote:Right, so you back up your subjective statement with, "Reasons," but guess what, the reasons themselves are also subjective.
Try to digest the following: Some things are not subjective. Math, scientific facts are not subjective. Reasons, likewise, are not subjective.

It's quite simple. So, why do you think a human has a right to life? I.e., why is your opinion correct? Because as you know, your opinion here could be wrong. Why do you think the Golden Rule is a good rule? Are you saying that the negative emotional impact on the family who's member you killed is just a matter of your opinion, or do you think they actually feel that way?

How do we weigh reasons in favor of something versus reasons against something?
Welcome to philosophy. Huge question...

for something to be morally objectively true you would need the agreement of every single individual moral agent in the Universe, at a minimum.
That's just wrong. Please keep in mind these important distinctions that... I honestly don't even know how long I've been harping on them... intersubjectivity is not objectivity.

iambiguous wrote:Yes, theoretically, every single possible variable could be factored into the pages of the engineering manual but, then, if that were possible "out in the world" of actual race cars going around and around the track, the optimal car would be winning every race
Exactly right. And that is what happens every single fucking time.

iambiguous wrote:Really, regarding the science of race cars, how do you gauge if it is "correct" if you don't take the car off the pages, out of the garage and down to the track? Is there a car that would be fastest on all tracks and in all weather conditions or would there only be one fastest car per each juncture of variables?
How many times should I have to repeat myself for you? Scientists do tests to see if they've gotten the science right... the tests don't make the science right, they just verify it. The car with rain tires will be faster and more controlable in rainy conditions---no doubt. And just as with morality, we're not arguing for a universal principle.

OH wrote:No, but we don't throw up our hands and say some forms of cancer are just beyond science's purview. There's a method to tackle them. How does prudentiality apply to fundamental values?
It's quite obvious that consequentialists have a method that applies to all situations. What makes a situation tough is knowing what the consequences are... not whether consequences are important.

OH wrote:Some things may cause more suffering than alternatives but should still be done because it is important to fight the good fight.
You're just begging the question again. The consequentialist is going to understand the virtues, the rules, and the just war by teh consequences. If you think they miss something, then please, say what it is.

OH wrote: Consequentialism and deontology conflict with virtue ethics in that they make no demands of intention or character.
As I said before, that's just simply false. Consequentialits demand that your intention is to maximize utility (for example), and that your character inculcate the virtues that are virtues just because they maximize utility. There isn't a consequentialist alive who has ever said, "Just guess"... or "be cowardly and hope it works out for the better". Again, if you think there's something left out, then explain what it is.

I like cherries, because they're objectively soft and sweet and juicy. Now my liking cherries is objective fact. What's left to subjectivity?
Your reasons to like cherries are subjective... unless you're trying to tell me why I should like cherries.

Contextual is not the same as (culturally) relative unless the culture's view of killing is part of the context. I don't think extracultural morality makes sense, personally - I don't believe that it's up to everyone to make up morality as they go along, nor do I think morality is something that's discovered, like new planets or chemical processes. I think that morality is a society's way of realising its vision of how people should be guided by common values. Those values and visions are entirely products of human minds interacting - and responding to their (objective) environment. But mind-dependent they are.

I agree with this. Morality is mind-dependent, in the way that any perceptual experience (of a tree, or whatever) is mind-dependent. You don't see a tree without eyes, etc. That doesn't mean we just make it up ex nihilo. That's why I think the distinction between subject-dependent and subjective is important. So this may be our common ground, at last.
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Re: dfsdf

Postby Faust » Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:52 pm

Mo -
Try to digest the following: Some things are not subjective. Math, scientific facts are not subjective. Reasons, likewise, are not subjective.


That's not an argument. Let's accept premise 1 - math and scientific facts are not subjective. (I do not actually accept that, but we have to start somewhere.)

That reasons are not subjective just does not follow. Just interjecting "likewise" does not make a logical connection. What is your argument for this?
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Re: dfsdf

Postby phyllo » Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:55 pm

Morality is mind-dependent, in the way that any perceptual experience (of a tree, or whatever) is mind-dependent. You don't see a tree without eyes, etc. That doesn't mean we just make it up ex nihilo.
You are the only one here who thinks morality is being made up out of nothing. We have all said that it is based on real world experiences. Who are you arguing with?
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Re: dfsdf

Postby von Rivers » Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:08 pm

Faust wrote:That reasons are not subjective just does not follow.

Read the OP again.
But here's another separate reason to think reasons are objective. Some of your reasons for thinking what you do are bad ones.
Just as some of your answers to a math problem are bad ones.

phyllo wrote:We have all said that (morality) is based on real world experiences.
I said consequences, not experiences.
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Re: dfsdf

Postby Faust » Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:20 pm

Some things you think are right, and some wrong.
Are there really such things? Are you ever right, or ever wrong?
What would make it so?
What is it that merits our moral consideration?

To merit moral consideration is to have something that suggests there’s some way we ought to treat you, and some ways we ought not treat you.
Are there ever things we ought to do?
What is it that tells us so?

Is it being signator to a contract?

Does that miss something? .............Like everyone outside it?

How about being part of a group....

There’s a tree in the yard. How do I show you it’s really there?

Would showing you do it?

What do you think you're looking at?


It's not there.
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Re: dfsdf

Postby Only_Humean » Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:48 pm

Mo_ wrote:
OH wrote:No, but we don't throw up our hands and say some forms of cancer are just beyond science's purview. There's a method to tackle them. How does prudentiality apply to fundamental values?
It's quite obvious that consequentialists have a method that applies to all situations. What makes a situation tough is knowing what the consequences are... not whether consequences are important.


Well, that's another criticism of consequentialism :) But I don't think the importance is so easy in all cases. How important is an embryo? At what point does it become important? How many rats are as important as a dog?

OH wrote:Some things may cause more suffering than alternatives but should still be done because it is important to fight the good fight.
You're just begging the question again. The consequentialist is going to understand the virtues, the rules, and the just war by teh consequences. If you think they miss something, then please, say what it is.


I don't think they miss anything. I think they judge on different criteria: consequentialists want to minimise the net suffering, overall. The others want to uphold moral concepts, even if it requires more net suffering than pacifism would.

OH wrote: Consequentialism and deontology conflict with virtue ethics in that they make no demands of intention or character.
As I said before, that's just simply false. Consequentialits demand that your intention is to maximize utility (for example), and that your character inculcate the virtues that are virtues just because they maximize utility. There isn't a consequentialist alive who has ever said, "Just guess"... or "be cowardly and hope it works out for the better". Again, if you think there's something left out, then explain what it is.


Consequentialists demand nothing, morally. The good of intention is purely instrumental - it works better than random guesswork or happenstance. Not that it's not important instrumentally, of course - it just has nothing to do with whether an individual act is the right or wrong act. Because it's judged on consequences. At least, that's where Bentham, Mill, Singer and Rawls seem to agree; I don't know if there are any intention-consequentialists, but I've never heard of them.

I like cherries, because they're objectively soft and sweet and juicy. Now my liking cherries is objective fact. What's left to subjectivity?
Your reasons to like cherries are subjective... unless you're trying to tell me why I should like cherries.


You should like cherries too, because they're objectively soft and sweet and juicy.

I agree with this. Morality is mind-dependent, in the way that any perceptual experience (of a tree, or whatever) is mind-dependent. You don't see a tree without eyes, etc. That doesn't mean we just make it up ex nihilo. That's why I think the distinction between subject-dependent and subjective is important. So this may be our common ground, at last.


The difference is that we discover trees, insects, planets. We create games, theories, models.

If we gradually discovered more morals, it might make sense to assume the former. But that doesn't seem to happen; morals fall in and out of focus with culture and history, so the latter seems more reasonable to me.

I think much of the difference is in objective/subjective terminology. I don't think anyone thinks we make it up ex nihilo.
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Re: dfsdf

Postby phyllo » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:06 pm

phyllo wrote:We have all said that (morality) is based on real world experiences.


I said consequences, not experiences.
We experience consequences. No matter which word you want to use, morality is not popping up out of nothing.

You are putting everyone who disagrees with you into a mental institution, completely detached from reality.
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Re: dfsdf

Postby iambiguous » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:19 pm

Mo_ wrote: Reasons...are not subjective.


But are the reasons true only when they correspond with your own? Can it really be as simple as that? Or is it simpler to suggest they are true only when they correspond with mine? Or with someone else?

Mo_ wrote:...why do you think a human has a right to life?


Is it for the same reason another might give for taking it away? Is a reason all that is needed if you believe the reason you give accomplishes the task you set out for it?

Mo_ wrote: Why do you think the Golden Rule is a good rule? Are you saying that the negative emotional impact on the family who's member you killed is just a matter of your opinion, or do you think they actually feel that way?


They probably feel the same as the family of the man who is executed because we didn't like the reason he gave for doing it. Reasons conflicting don't make them any less reasons if we can't think up a reason to prefer one over the other. Or, if we insist that our reason is preferable, does that make it so?

Yes, theoretically, every single possible variable could be factored into the pages of the engineering manual but, then, if that were possible "out in the world" of actual race cars going around and around the track, the optimal car would be winning every race


Mo_ wrote: Exactly right. And that is what happens every single fucking time.


So, if someone writes an engineering manual for every conceivable context in which folks might race cars, it'll just take longer for science to confirm that each is in fact the world's fastest race car.

Just not so...universally.

Oh, and don't forget to assign teams of scientists to prioritize all the reasons here:

"...is it ethical to risk your life [and the lives of others] racing cars for a living?"

And how about just for the sport of it?

Fortunately, if the universe is infinitely long, we will have an infinite amount of time in which to establish it.
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Re: dfsdf

Postby von Rivers » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:36 pm

Only_Humean wrote:
Mo_ wrote:
OH wrote:No, but we don't throw up our hands and say some forms of cancer are just beyond science's purview. There's a method to tackle them. How does prudentiality apply to fundamental values?
It's quite obvious that consequentialists have a method that applies to all situations. What makes a situation tough is knowing what the consequences are... not whether consequences are important.
Well, that's another criticism of consequentialism :) But I don't think the importance is so easy in all cases. How important is an embryo? At what point does it become important? How many rats are as important as a dog?

1. No, it's not a criticism of consequentialism. Are you unimpressed with the scientific method because scientific problems are hard and complex?
2. Yes, how many rats are as important as a dog... good question. It's hard. Morality is complex. What is your beef?

I don't think they miss anything. I think they judge on different criteria: consequentialists want to minimise the net suffering, overall. The others want to uphold moral concepts, even if it requires more net suffering than pacifism would.
This is the last time I'll say this. What makes a character trait good are its consequences. What makes an intention good are the consequences it aims at. This is a consequentialist analysis of virtues and intentions. If you think this analysis misses something, then say what you think it misses. Otherwise, you are free to be a consequentialist. Here's what you can't do: Criticize consequentialism because it doesn't incorporate the virtues, etc. Because as you can see, that's just false.

You should like cherries too, because they're objectively soft and sweet and juicy.
And of "soft sweet and juicy" was the criteria of "tasting good" then I would be forced by reason to agree with you. As it happens, I think your definition misses something, namely "hard salty and dry".

The difference is that we discover trees, insects, planets. We create games, theories, models.
We create conceptual frameworks to capture and make sense of data, which becomes 'trees', 'insects', and 'planets'. We create conceptual frameworks (theories/models) to capture normative data as well. What is the difference?

Faust,

My evidence was on the dog. You recognized it immediately. You said that the dog ought not have been treated that way. You read that off of the world itself. The dog, to be exact. Recognize, now, that it doesn't matter whether anyone actually did that to the dog or not---what happened to the dog still ought not have happened, whether it was nature or man. I told you about this case before. A child with inner ear cancer. Nobody did that to him. He had to be strapped to a bed in such a way that he couldn't move his head... because the fluid movement would cause pain. This is not an interpersonal conflict between people. The medications caused him to halucinate. And that's how he died. Strapped to the bed, seeing monsters, and 5 years old. It is perfectly intelligible to say "that ought not have been the case". The normative conclusions are pulled from facts about the world. You can fail to see them, sure. The present King of France fails to see the tree in the yard. You can defend the present King of France, sure. Ambigui is hatching an escape plan as we speak. None of that matters to me. I write the King off as a fanatic. I do the same in the moral case. What's wrong with that?


phyllo wrote:We experience consequences. No matter which word you want to use, morality is not popping up out of nothing.

You are putting everyone who disagrees with you into a mental institution, completely detached from reality.

If they hatch up a moral framework divorced from reality, then that's where they belong. On the other hand, if they get it from reality, they're likely an objectivist. Clear enough, right?
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Re: dfsdf

Postby von Rivers » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:42 pm

iambiguous wrote:But are the reasons true only when they correspond with your own?
No. Reasons are facts about the world.

Reasons conflicting don't make them any less reasons if we can't think up a reason to prefer one over the other.
When reasons conflict you have a moral problem. There are lots of moral problems. Not all of them are solvable right now. Just as in science with competing explanations. That's why we do philosophy---we look deeper into the reasons.
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Re: dfsdf

Postby iambiguous » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:50 pm

Mo_ wrote:Ambigui is hatching an escape plan as we speak.


Yes, an escape hatch:

Your own is always, "...it's hard. Morality is complex."

While mine revolves around William Barrett's "conflicting goods" argument or a point of view grounded in "self-gratification".

Then I merely reconfigure "self" into dasein and ask, "when is this applicable?"
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Re: dfsdf

Postby phyllo » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:58 pm

If they hatch up a moral framework divorced from reality, then that's where they belong. On the other hand, if they get it from reality, they're likely an objectivist. Clear enough, right?
It has been shown that it's possible to get several valid subjective results purely from objective data. Remember the wet farmers. Or are you now suggesting that their interpretation of the rain is not at all subjective? That they are each making an objective judgement? It is relativistic, right?
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Re: dfsdf

Postby von Rivers » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:05 pm

phyllo wrote:It has been shown that it's possible to get several valid subjective results purely from objective data. Remember the wet farmers. Or are you now suggesting that their interpretation of the rain is not at all subjective? That they are each making an objective judgement? It is relativistic, right?

Do you remember my response to the wet farmer case? Go back and read it, and try to keep it in your memory long enough to last through your next post.
The rain is objectively good for crops X, and objectively bad for crops Y. No declaration such as "this rainstorm is universally good" is possible. Just as in morality, no principle such as "killing is universally wrong" is possible. Context matters. That's not relativism or subjectivism. Relativism is the idea that the justification of morality is cultural crap, just as subjectivism is the idea that morality is justified by shit inside your head. It's not, in either case. In a particular case, an entire culture can be wrong about whether the rain is good for crops X, and they can be wrong about whether they should have done that to the dog. This is old news my friend.
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Re: dfsdf

Postby iambiguous » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:07 pm

Mo_ wrote:
iambiguous wrote:But are the reasons true only when they correspond with your own?
No. Reasons are facts about the world.


That you give a reason is a fact. That the reason you give is in accordance with, say, the laws of physics is often considerably more problematic.

If Mary is pregnant and chooses an abortion she either gives you a reason why or she does not. But if the reason she gives is, "it's immoral to bring more life into this wicked world", is that a fact about the world?

Is this, in fact, true?

Or, if she says, "a flying elephant from another planet told me to abort it", is this something she can reasonably demonstrate to be a fact about the world we live in?

You say:

Mo_ wrote:When reasons conflict you have a moral problem. There are lots of moral problems. Not all of them are solvable right now. Just as in science with competing explanations. That's why we do philosophy---we look deeper into the reasons.


In other words, you avail yourself of the escape hatch. And there is no way on earth I can unequivocally discredit you. In other words, not objectively.
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Re: dfsdf

Postby von Rivers » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:12 pm

iambiguous wrote:But if the reason she gives is, "it's immoral to bring more life into this wicked world", is that a fact about the world?
If the reason is a good one, then there will be a fact about the world that makes it true. As it is, it's not well specified. We need to ask her more questions. I would ask why she thinks "it is immoral". I'd keep asking why, until she specified a fact about the world. If she ended up just saying what Faust usually does, something like, "well I don't fucking know, it just is"---then Mary is irrational.
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Re: dfsdf

Postby phyllo » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:20 pm

Context matters.
The context is inside your head and it's influenced by culture. There is no objective context which is accessible to humans - that would require God's point of view.
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Re: dfsdf

Postby Faust » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:29 pm

My evidence was on the dog. You recognized it immediately. You said that the dog ought not have been treated that way. You read that off of the world itself. The dog, to be exact. Recognize, now, that it doesn't matter whether anyone actually did that to the dog or not---what happened to the dog still ought not have happened, whether it was nature or man.


I do not recognize that at all. Your implication was that the dog had been mistreated. If the fact is that the dog has not been mistreated, then I do not claim that it ought not to have happened. i did not read it off the world, i read it off what i took to be your implied claim - that the dog had been mistreated. If you were just trying to be cute, and that was a picture of a dog that had not been mistreated, then that is a problem not with my claim, but with your subterfuge. You can't ask for my view and then demand that I take your view, by simply "recognizing" that it doesn't matter if the dog was mistreated or not. here, you are, once again, not making an argument, but simply demanding that we "recognize" what you "recognize". I am asking you to do some philosophy - to make an argument, which you evidently cannot do.

I told you about this case before. A child with inner ear cancer. Nobody did that to him. He had to be strapped to a bed in such a way that he couldn't move his head... because the fluid movement would cause pain. This is not an interpersonal conflict between people.


It's also not a moral question to begin with. The kid had cancer. that's not the result of anyone's behavior towards their fellow man.

The medications caused him to halucinate. And that's how he died. Strapped to the bed, seeing monsters, and 5 years old. It is perfectly intelligible to say "that ought not have been the case".


In common parlance, sure. But my assumption is that we're generally here to engage in philosophy.

The normative conclusions are pulled from facts about the world.


There are no normative conclusions in this case, because moral, normative conclusions are about the behavior of people. No one did this to the kid.

You can fail to see them, sure. The present King of France fails to see the tree in the yard. You can defend the present King of France, sure. Ambigui is hatching an escape plan as we speak. None of that matters to me. I write the King off as a fanatic. I do the same in the moral case. What's wrong with that?


It's not a moral case. Once again, you are not even attempting to respond to my points. I really had, up until now, given you much more credit than this. I had no idea how weak your case really was.
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Re: dfsdf

Postby von Rivers » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:39 pm

Faust wrote:
I told you about this case before. A child with inner ear cancer. Nobody did that to him. He had to be strapped to a bed in such a way that he couldn't move his head... because the fluid movement would cause pain. This is not an interpersonal conflict between people.
It's also not a moral question to begin with. The kid had cancer. that's not the result of anyone's behavior towards their fellow man.

It's a question about what's better or worse. It's a question about human flourishing. ---That's morality.
Your problem is that you define morality as "a bunch of bullshit", and then argue that morality is a bunch of bullshit. (I'm paraphrasing obviously). And all I'm suggesting is that you haven't captured everything with your definition. I thought that I showed you what you weren't capturing with your definition... in the picture. Perhaps you don't see it. If that's the case, long live the King!
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Re: dfsdf

Postby Faust » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:44 pm

It's a question about what's better or worse.


So is the debate over Brady v. Manning. That's not enough to make it a moral question.

It's a question about human flourishing. ---That's morality.


No, it is not. Morality is also about behavior. Many other factors are involved in human flourishing, including, but not limited to, luck, weather, and genetics.

Your problem is that you define morality as "a bunch of bullshit", and then argue that morality is a bunch of bullshit.


Not at all. I think morality is one of the most useful of all human constructs. I neither make that claim nor do i argue for it.

And all I'm suggesting is that you haven't captured everything with your definition. I thought that I showed you what you weren't capturing with your definition... in the picture. Perhaps you don't see it. If that's the case, long live the King!


All I'm suggesting is that you have found about a hundred ways, over thousands of words, to restate a single claim.
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Re: dfsdf

Postby von Rivers » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:25 pm

Faust wrote:So is the debate over Brady v. Manning. That's not enough to make it a moral question.
Yup, if you thought being a good football player had anything to do with human excellence, then it would be a moral question. As it happens, that's about a craft---and unrelated.

Morality is also about behavior. Many other factors are involved in human flourishing, including, but not limited to, luck, weather, and genetics.
No shit. Don't you get it? If a baby is born (to use your genetics example), that is horribly deformed, whose organs aren't connected properly, and who lives a short painful live, dying before it can open its eyes... guess what I'm going to say... I'm going to say, "that ought not have been the case". And guess what? I'm fucking right about that.

Not at all. I think morality is one of the most useful of all human constructs.
What about the dog is constructed?

Here's my beef: You think you'd be the actual King, if only the hospital maid wasn't so treasonous.
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Re: dfsdf

Postby Faust » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:39 pm

Yup, if you thought being a good football player had anything to do with human excellence, then it would be a moral question. As it happens, that's about a craft---and unrelated.


You mean, a human being excellent at his craft has nothing to do with human excellence? Either way, you have missed my point, or dodged it.

No shit. Don't you get it? If a baby is born (to use your genetics example), that is horribly deformed, whose organs aren't connected properly, and who lives a short painful live, dying before it can open its eyes... guess what I'm going to say... I'm going to say, "that ought not have been the case". And guess what? I'm fucking right about that.


No, you're just using the word "ought" in a way that doesn't apply to morality. Now, that just is a matter of literacy. I can intelligibly say "hey, we had a great time at the party, you ought to have been there" but that's just a different usage than we employ in morality. I have said this many times, but you can't do philosophy until you understand the language you are using.

What about the dog is constructed?


Really? Seriously? Are you seriously asking that question?
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Re: dfsdf

Postby von Rivers » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:54 pm

Faust wrote:You mean, a human being excellent at his craft has nothing to do with human excellence? Either way, you have missed my point, or dodged it.
Yes, this is basic Socratic stuff. Being an excellent cobbler doesn't make you an excellent person. And being an excellent football player doesn't make you an excellent person. That's just fucking obvious, isn't it?

No, you're just using the word "ought" in a way that doesn't apply to morality. Now, that just is a matter of literacy. I can intelligibly say "hey, we had a great time at the party, you ought to have been there" but that's just a different usage than we employ in morality. I have said this many times, but you can't do philosophy until you understand the language you are using.
No, it's not. It's the exact same usage. Here's why you (wrongly) think it's different: You think the person is either (1) wrong, or (2) it didn't really matter either way---so it's a flippant use of an important word. That's all.

You can't do philosophy until you understand basic language.

Really? Seriously? Are you seriously asking that question?
Yes.
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Re: dfsdf

Postby Only_Humean » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:58 pm

Mo_ wrote:
Only_Humean wrote:that's another criticism of consequentialism :) But I don't think the importance is so easy in all cases. How important is an embryo? At what point does it become important? How many rats are as important as a dog?

1. No, it's not a criticism of consequentialism. Are you unimpressed with the scientific method because scientific problems are hard and complex?
2. Yes, how many rats are as important as a dog... good question. It's hard. Morality is complex. What is your beef?


1) Science is very good at measuring and defining things, however hard it may be. Consequentialists generally wave their hands and talk about indefinable quantities like pleasure and well-being and back down when asked for specific objective measurables.
2) So where do you start? How do you objectively come to a conclusion that it's fifteen, or thirty-five, or whatever, such that anyone who disagrees is ignoring the tree in the yard? Don't back down with "oh, it's hard", because I think it's impossible. Because such a calculus doesn't exist.

This is the last time I'll say this. What makes a character trait good are its consequences. What makes an intention good are the consequences it aims at. This is a consequentialist analysis of virtues and intentions. If you think this analysis misses something, then say what you think it misses. Otherwise, you are free to be a consequentialist. Here's what you can't do: Criticize consequentialism because it doesn't incorporate the virtues, etc. Because as you can see, that's just false.


I think you misunderstand me. I'm not saying one is better than the other, here, or that you're missing anything from your explanation of consequentialism. I'm saying that they are different, and will reach different conclusions on what is moral in specific cases, for different reasons. And I've given you examples of such things, as you asked me to.

You should like cherries too, because they're objectively soft and sweet and juicy.
And of "soft sweet and juicy" was the criteria of "tasting good" then I would be forced by reason to agree with you. As it happens, I think your definition misses something, namely "hard salty and dry". [/quote]
How can this be? We're referencing objective criteria, one of us must be wrong.

The difference is that we discover trees, insects, planets. We create games, theories, models.
We create conceptual frameworks to capture and make sense of data, which becomes 'trees', 'insects', and 'planets'. We create conceptual frameworks (theories/models) to capture normative data as well. What is the difference?


I've just said. Within the frameworks, we discover new trees and planets. If a thousand years ago in Europe we'd discovered trees, and no-one believed in them any more, we'd have a situation like that of morality.

If a baby is born (to use your genetics example), that is horribly deformed, whose organs aren't connected properly, and who lives a short painful live, dying before it can open its eyes... guess what I'm going to say... I'm going to say, "that ought not have been the case".


That's not a moral ought though; no-one is to blame. No normative power.
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