Jump to content
Science Forums

modest

Members
  • Content Count

    4,867
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    82

Everything posted by modest

  1. With a moment's more time on my hands I would say that reality would be markedly different if "murder for fun" were moral. You keep introducing the example. If it were the case then we wouldn't have culture, or society, or probably even language... we couldn't have any kind of math or anything else on which agreement rests. What, then, really, is morality worth? Is it worth nothing to you? ~modest
  2. Yeah, yeah. Time necessitates that my response will be brief. Every sentence counts... The idea that 4-dimensional theories prove the existence of time is called spacetime substantivalism and it is an open question that has been debated for dozes, if not hundreds, of hours on this forum. You are addressing someone who can use spacetime to solve real world relativity problems and who has done so a number of occasions by request, again, on this forum. Time permitted I would heavily insult the arrogance your lack of knowledge takes. As it is, I just suggest you do some reading. Again, y
  3. No. *You* didn't realize. I've had this discussion many times before. I know the pitfalls. I've read 'The Moral Landscape' which says what most works on the subject say, "Many people are also confused about what it means to speak with scientific “objectivity” about the human condition. As the philosopher John Searle once pointed out, there are two very different senses of the terms “objective” and “subjective.” The first sense relates to how we know (i.e., epistemology), the second to what there is to know (i.e., ontology). When we say that we are reasoning or speaking “objectively,” w
  4. Ok. Read what you say yourself I guess, You can't point out where I said it because I didn't and it should be clear that you're talking about "this objective ****". The problem is not difficult to follow. When I say 'morality can't be described as true' you hear 'morality is totally subjective'. The one quite simply doesn't imply the other. You started the thread by asking "what is there in morality that you can say is totally objective?". You didn't mention truth or universality at all. The problem came later when you assumed that a person would have to find a universal truth to an
  5. Wutlol. You are basically arguing my side now. This is not what I wanted modest, I wanted you to keep fighting me and win because this is bad ju-ju here. If it's cool for people to have conflicting moralities, especially if it's practical and highly applicable, then it would be cool for me to murder for fun. You just disemboweled all the stuff we have built up, but you say it was already established that morality is totally subjective, the very thing you have been at teeth with me since we started. Please don't do this! I'm probably going to kill three people if ethics is this loosey-goosey...
  6. Four billion years of life and death have fought over the issue of what you and I can and can't agree upon. Nothing that you or I know has been longer fought or harder won. If it were easily disregarded then neither of us would be here, and if it were not greatly cherished in our friends and family then there would be no morality about which to discuss. We don't sing songs because we "simply agree upon" the lyrics. This is beyond explanation. ~modest I feel, actually, a need for contrition or confession on this point... on the last couple posts really. I mean, I was sure after readi
  7. Uh, oh. I've suddenly become positive we're failing to communicate. I swear to the old gods and the seven new... every time I compare something to geometry I get a flash of break lights in the fog. I'm positive I need to stop, but I can't see for the life of me where or why. Probably someone clipped a deer... let's see... Oh, I'm surprised! It was a deer! Better yet, as long as I'm drawing out the game of thrones analogy, it was a wolf! Yes, your morality is different from that of a wolf. I hate to break so long fought a struggle so easily, but, yes. Morality is not "true". Your
  8. Matthew, there's a lot you're not getting from what I'm saying, and a lot of that is probably my fault for failing to articulate it. Geometry is the perfect analogy for morality, so I'm going to break this down and drive it home as much as I can then explain why it matters. Euclid wants to make a geometry around 300 BC and Immanuel Kant wants to make a morality some time in the mid 1700's. The first unavoidable step is that "geometry" and "morality" have to be defined. The first step: Euclid defines his geometry through the use of 5 postulates. Kant defines his morality through t
  9. I see where you're coming from. To be perfectly honest, I'm sort of looking for a way around it. I don't like the idea that you could poll a culture (Somalia would be a fine example) where far more than half of the respondents would say that the subjugation of women, the murder of apostates, and other things like that are not just moral, but moral necessities. I would rather there be some objective way for the minority of that culture to demonstrate just how wrong the majority is. I generally don't think the problem is that people in different cultures define morality all that differentl
  10. I'm quite certain that doesn't work. Sticking with with physics for a second... the idea of defining physics would be called the "demarcation problem". There are many logically consistent answers to the demarcation problem, but none of them could be considered "true". In other words, you can define "physics" more than one internally consistent way, while none of the definitions are any more true than another. The clearest and best known example would be the inductive method versus the hypothetico-deductive method. String theory would be a good theory of physics under the first method of
  11. When I say that you are implicitly defining morality as good and evil I mean that you're defining it like you just defined it. You are defining it in terms of the validity of its principles. Is murder for fun morally good or morally bad? You keep asking... as if to say that morality is subjective unless certain moral principles can be proven true or valid or correct. This is categorically mistaken, but first I should say something abut the difference between universal and objective because you introduced the term universal into your definition and elsewhere in your post for the first time.
  12. There is either something particular to morality that makes this a reasonable statement, or something about it doesn't make sense. Because, I can say the same thing in terms of physics, "Physics seeks to provide answers about modeling and predicting of the natural or physical world--whether something advances the interest of modeling it. To the extent that each of us has an opinion or a feeling on what that is, physics is subjective." I would reject the notion that physics is subjective even to the extent that different people have different opinions about what constitutes physics, and I d
  13. I responded to this in my last post. You don't need to prove that certain acts are good or evil to establish objective qualities of morality. There are many propositions in math that some mathematicians think are correct while others think are wrong. No proofs have been found either way. It doesn't mean that math lacks objective qualities. That argument doesn't work. Not sure where you're coming from... maybe you heard oxytocin called the "love hormone" and assumed anything that wasn't the sensation of love wasn't related to oxytocin. It's just a nickname. It's also called the "moral
  14. Perfect. A biological basis—that's exactly where I was coming from. The foundations of morality (e.g. empathy, altruism, solidarity) can be seen on an fMRI. A brain scan shows them. There are neurotransmitters and hormones that induce moral behavior (oxytocin for example) as well as literature showing that a deficiency of those neurotransmitters and hormones induces psychopathy. Morality is behavioral so of course it has a biological basis. No need to shout. The same chemical cocktail that produces anger in one person may produce agitation alone in another. This doesn't prevent you
  15. I still don't know what you mean by "totally subjective". Let's try this... Anger is subjective. It is highly influenced by a person's emotional character just like morality. The things, in other words, that make you angry may not make me angry. Do you take from this that it is impossible to recognize anger? Impossible to define it? Impossible to objectively determine the evolutionary need for it?
  16. "A group of people who don't generally understand" doesn't mean there aren't exceptions. Severe cases of psychopathy would fit my description and a gathering of them does not a successful group make. Imagine a wolfpack where the wolves are incapable of feeling any solidarity with their fellow wolves. They wouldn't have formed the pack in the first place. It explains itself.
  17. I can't know what you mean by 'totally subjective' or why it would be a quality of morality that prevents us from recognizing morality... or why it would be a characteristic of morality at all. No. A group of people who don't generally understand the instinctive difference between changing ones shirt and murdering for fun can't function as a group. There would be no group to rule. They would be too socially handicapped to function as social animals.
  18. "should I wear a long sleeve or a short sleeve shirt?" is not a moral choice. "should I make my girlfriend chicken noodle soup since she isn't feeling well" is a moral choice. Our ancestors developed the tendency to think in terms of morality—to instinctively weigh those decisions differently than other kinds of choices. No king would have a kingdom if people in general did not know murder was wrong. People who don't "bare the discontent of killing a random stranger" lack empathy and guilt. People without a mental disorder have reasons not to murder for fun. ~modest
  19. Wouldn't it be objectively true that our ancestors who made moral choices did better than the ones who did not? Evolution rewards beneficial behavior. If people in general didn't know that murder was immoral then we certainly couldn't have come this far as a species. It would be hard to imagine even a tribe of humans functioning under that scenario. ~modest
  20. I think you mean a conspiracy theory. ~modest
  21. You couldn't say that it was invented by the Catholic church. The modern Catholic idea of the soul came mostly from St. Augustine who made clear that Plato was his influence on that score. It's the same with modern Judaism. Their biggest influence is Maimonides, and he didn't hide that his influence was Aristotelianism. It can all be traced back to Greece. ~modest
  22. The question "black holes have infinite..." where the correct answer is "density" is a bit misleading. The singularity has infinite density, but a black hole's volume is typically defined with a radius at the event horizon inside which the density need not be unreasonably large. ~modest
  23. You're quite welcome. I'm not sure what you're doing with it, but if you do use those verses you should know I changed "breath" in the NIV translation I quoted to "spirit". In the NIV it has "breath" in the body of the text and "or spirit" as a footnote. Actually, since it looks like you have an appreciation for Hebrew you might also look at the phrase that gets horrifically translated "everything is meaningless" in that quote. It would be better translated "everything is fleeting" or "everything is vaporous". The fun thing is that in Hebrew that word, 'hebel', can also mean breath so th
  24. According to NASA, NASA knows of no asteroid or comet currently on a collision course with Earth, so the probability of a major collision is quite small. In fact, as best as we can tell, no large object is likely to strike the Earth any time in the next several hundred years. -The Probability of Collisions with Earth ~modest
  25. Let's hope it doesn't pop :D The balloon thing is just an analogy—helpful, but problematic when taken too literal. The problem is that the universe is 3 dimensional and the surface of a balloon is 2 dimensional. That is to say, you can make a 3D model in the universe but only draw a 2D picture on the surface of a balloon. We're supposed to imagine that we are 2D creatures living on the surface of a balloon and from there we would see all the other dots on the surface get further away over time even though the 2D surface doesn't have a center from which everything is expanding. As for w
×
×
  • Create New...