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Go to: Moral Clarity and Richard Dawkins

tomasfritzhansen's Avatar Jump to comment 264 by tomasfritzhansen

Hi Again,

I think we've spent enough time on this one.

Thanks for the discussion.

Fri, 29 Jun 2012 09:18:07 UTC | #948315

Go to: Moral Clarity and Richard Dawkins

tomasfritzhansen's Avatar Jump to comment 262 by tomasfritzhansen

I would also recommend reading Russell Blackford's review of Sam's book.

That Sam saw fit to respond to him over others shows it's a relevant critique.

If you support Sam Harris style utilitarian morality and want to "test it", then reading his review would be time well spent.

Mon, 25 Jun 2012 12:59:44 UTC | #948039

Go to: Moral Clarity and Richard Dawkins

tomasfritzhansen's Avatar Jump to comment 261 by tomasfritzhansen

The lion is not much different from the psychopath. Its behaviour is immoral

That is an interesting position to take. How far down does immorality go? You have said earthquakes aren't immoral. Where between earthquakes and lions do you believe that immorality kicks in?

But what does this challenge even mean?

It's not a trick question. It is a request for reasons. And so far the only answer that has been given is "because you should".

Come on, there's no justification for that statement if your moral nihilism were correct.

There is no logical justification. But there is the fact that I don't like sadism and cruelty. There is the fact that seeing cruelty grates against me. And this gives me cause to act against it.

But I don't believe there's any scientific law of goodness backing me up.

If you still think the "ought" thing makes sense, I really want to see what this objection amounts to

Yes, I do think this objection makes sense. It made sense when Hume brought it up and it makes sense to this day. You dismiss the objection as meaningless, which you're entitled to do of course. Maybe it is meaningless.

This is probably a leftover from theological "thought"

I've been an atheist my whole life so I don't consider that likely.

at present you're a pretty good example of one of the insidious consequence

That's not very nice :(

Ah, so you, in fact, are supporting human command theory?

I don't believe any human commands equate to objective values, so no.

We invent our own values.

Mon, 25 Jun 2012 12:45:10 UTC | #948038

Go to: Moral Clarity and Richard Dawkins

tomasfritzhansen's Avatar Jump to comment 258 by tomasfritzhansen

So is it just my position that you consider garbled, or do you consider amoralism in general to be garbled?

Mon, 25 Jun 2012 05:34:18 UTC | #948030

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tomasfritzhansen's Avatar Jump to comment 257 by tomasfritzhansen

I'm beginning to suspect you don't understand how morality can be real and scientific because you refuse to admit that good and bad have workable definitions.

Yes, I don't agree that there's a coherent scientific definition of good and evil. The concept of objective right and wrong is incoherent and unworkable in my opinion. Hence our disagreement.

People's subjective experiences map onto objective arrangements of the brain's neural matter.

I don't dispute the fact that people really do have subjective experiences and likes and dislikes. I don't dispute that this is an objective fact which is studied by neuroscience. We are not in disagreement here.

The psychopath is no less subject to morality, because his behaviour has an effect on others.

What about a lion who kills someone? Is the lion being immoral? I'm a bit unsure as to where the boundaries of this supposed moral reality lie.

I've assumed nothing. Unless you can say what's wrong with my working definition - and I don't mean "because you haven't explained why we ought to" or something to that effect

You haven't explained why we ought to increase the well-being of others. I consider this a valid objection, as do many other people. You can't forbid me from raising it.

Your position - that we can challenge a sadist despite having no intellectual justification for doing so - is simply garbled as a result

Yes, that's my position. We cannot challenge the sadist with reason, because sadism is not a violation of reason. Sadism is a violation of preferences. And in the same way that the sadist need not respect the preferences of others, we need not respect his preferences. I'm not arguing along the lines of "we have no valid objective reason to challenge the sadist, therefore we OUGHT not to", as you appear to think. That sort of cultural subjectivism is silly. That's the sort that says "we ought not condemn FGM", which is rubbish! We are free to stomp out practices we consider horrible. We're the boss.

Mon, 25 Jun 2012 00:51:29 UTC | #948025

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