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Author Topic:   A critique of moral relativism
PaulK
Member
Posts: 14750
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 136 of 219 (412353)
07-24-2007 1:42 PM
Reply to: Message 132 by Hyroglyphx
07-24-2007 12:34 PM


Re: Listen to what I am saying, as opposed to hearing what you want to hear
Well that's interesting because I HAVE been listening to what I am saying. I wish I could honestly say that you have been listening to what I've been saying. But I can't,

quote:

Listen to me, please. When I brought up beastiality, incest, pedophilia, or whatever else, in a context of homosexuality, it was always from a reference from a moral position.

The argument I've made is this: how can you say that homosexuality is perfectly acceptable, while maintaining that incest or pedophilia is not, all the while defending moral relativism?


Because I can see reasons to object to bestiality which I consider adequate and I can't see similar reasons to object to homosexuality. Why can't I do that ? That's what I'm asking and you aren't answering.

quote:

Why am I considered a "bigot," when

1. Morals are merely an opinion.
2. How can you possibly distinguish which is good, and which isn't, while holding to a relative standard?

The answer is that you can't without compromising one or both positions. Its a lesson in futility-- one that apparently quite a few still haven't learned.


You are considered a bigot because you keep making inflammatory comparisons and some take them as representing your true thoughts. How does this contradict moral relativism ?

Your second point is even sillier. If I've got a standard I just compare the action against the standard. What on earth is the problem there ? Where's this supposed compromise ?

quote:

The ENTIRE point of the argument is that you, as a relativist, cannot defend both positions philosophically without contradicting those beliefs. How has this flown over everyone's head? Seriously. I'm absolutely mystified.

In some cases it is because of your choice of examples. In my case the assertion hasn't passed over my head. It's just that you haven't managed to support it. Even when I ask.

quote:

Secondly, how is it that people can say that I can't use beastiality, either in an argument on morals or nature, because the sexuality of animals and humans are too different. Yet, these are the same people who have no problem pointing out that homosexual unions are found within nature, and use that as a justification that extends to humans.

So far as I know nobody uses the first argument. The latter in is only used as a refutation of the claim that homosexuality is unnatural - without the qualification that it is only unnatural to humans. True it leaves open the possibility that homosexuality might be unnatural to humans - but it does refute any suggestion that homosexual behaviour should be automatically considered unnatural. In the context it is actually used it's good enough - unless and until a case is made that homosexual behaviour really is unnatural to humans. I've not seen that done. The usual response is to shift the goal-posts.

Edited by PaulK, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 132 by Hyroglyphx, posted 07-24-2007 12:34 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 139 by Hyroglyphx, posted 07-24-2007 2:33 PM PaulK has responded
 Message 158 by Hyroglyphx, posted 07-27-2007 11:15 AM PaulK has responded

    
Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5622
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 137 of 219 (412358)
07-24-2007 2:19 PM
Reply to: Message 134 by jar
07-24-2007 1:14 PM


Re: Listen to what I am saying, as opposed to hearing what you want to hear
No one has said morals are simply an opinion.

Actually, I've been asking this to all my detractors. No one has answered it outright. You are the first.

Why do you keep misrepresenting what anyone says?

How can I answer that question when you haven't given me an example of the alleged misrepresentation?


"The problem of Christianity is not that it has been tried and found wanting, but that it is difficult and left untried" -G.K. Chesterton
This message is a reply to:
 Message 134 by jar, posted 07-24-2007 1:14 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 138 by jar, posted 07-24-2007 2:31 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

    
jar
Member
Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 138 of 219 (412360)
07-24-2007 2:31 PM
Reply to: Message 137 by Hyroglyphx
07-24-2007 2:19 PM


morality is unimportant anyway.
No one has said that morals are only an opinion.

Actually, I've been asking this to all my detractors. No one has answered it outright. You are the first.

Actually, there again you misrepresent what people have said. Yes, people have answered the question. I have been answering that question or variations on it since Message 11 so far.

Morals are a religious concept and so related to a given religion in a given culture and milieu.

Morality is also totally irrelevant outside the individual and that person's deity.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 137 by Hyroglyphx, posted 07-24-2007 2:19 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 141 by Hyroglyphx, posted 07-24-2007 4:04 PM jar has responded

  
Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5622
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 139 of 219 (412361)
07-24-2007 2:33 PM
Reply to: Message 136 by PaulK
07-24-2007 1:42 PM


Re: Listen to what I am saying, as opposed to hearing what you want to hear
I can see reasons to object to bestiality which I consider adequate and I can't see similar reasons to object to homosexuality.

So then it still boils down to your perception against mine. And if its all relative, what is that supposed to mean to me? Its as asinine as you telling me that you like Chocolate ice cream, and me saying in response, okay, thanks for sharing.

You are considered a bigot because you keep making inflammatory comparisons and some take them as representing your true thoughts. How does this contradict moral relativism ?

Because you are using my alleged bigotry in an absolute sense-- consequently, your own. If morals really are relative, then you calling me a bigot is merely your opinion.... So, what?

By calling me a bigot, you are demanding that I conform to some sort of standard that you allege I am violating. If I am, by what standard am I violating?

Your second point is even sillier. If I've got a standard I just compare the action against the standard. What on earth is the problem there ? Where's this supposed compromise ?

Because its your opinion against mine. You saying that I'm wrong is pointless. All that my counter argument has to be, is: Okay, thanks for sharing your opinion with me.

But lets all agree that moral relativity is all that we have. I will respond accordingly.

In some cases it is because of your choice of examples. In my case the assertion hasn't passed over my head. It's just that you haven't managed to support it. Even when I ask.

According yo you, my answer is just another opinion in a myriad of others. But for you, you will invariably contradict yourself with no help from me.

True it leaves open the possibility that homosexuality might be unnatural to humans - but it does refute any suggestion that homosexual behaviour should be automatically considered unnatural. In the context it is actually used it's good enough - unless and until a case is made that homosexual behaviour really is unnatural to humans. I've not seen that done. The usual response is to shift the goal-posts.

If homosexuality cannot be reasonably identified as unnatural, then neither can beastiality or pedophilia. Which means, you are making the same moral pronouncements that I am. Where then do they come from?


"The problem of Christianity is not that it has been tried and found wanting, but that it is difficult and left untried" -G.K. Chesterton
This message is a reply to:
 Message 136 by PaulK, posted 07-24-2007 1:42 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 140 by PaulK, posted 07-24-2007 2:44 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 14750
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 140 of 219 (412366)
07-24-2007 2:44 PM
Reply to: Message 139 by Hyroglyphx
07-24-2007 2:33 PM


Re: Listen to what I am saying, as opposed to hearing what you want to hear
quote:

So then it still boils down to your perception against mine. And if its all relative, what is that supposed to mean to me? Its as asinine as you telling me that you like Chocolate ice cream, and me saying in response, okay, thanks for sharing.

Yes it does. The question is, do I have a good case ? Who do other people agree with ? Whose position is more consistent with basic moral principles ?

And you can't offer anything better. You've admitted that you can't prove any moral absolutes. Believing in moral absolutes won't solve disagreements - not in itself.

quote:

Because you are using my alleged bigotry in an absolute sense-- consequently, your own. If morals really are relative, then you calling me a bigot is merely your opinion.... So, what?

Calling someone a bigot is not really a moral judgement, so your point fails. To make it work you would have to admit to being a bigot but argue that tere was nothing wrong with that.

quote:

But lets all agree that moral relativity is all that we have. I will respond accordingly.

I hope that means that you are not going to turn to nihilism to "prove" your point. Because it won't.

quote:

If homosexuality cannot be reasonably identified as unnatural, then neither can beastiality or pedophilia.

Why not ? It doesn't follow from the arguments raised. You get called a bigot because you keep making these assertions without providing any reason why you need to do it. Your behaviour does raise the reasonable suspicion that you think that all these activities are equivalent.

quote:

Which means, you are making the same moral pronouncements that I am. Where then do they come from?

In this case mainly from society, although there may be a genetic element, too. (There almost certainly is in the case of incest).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 139 by Hyroglyphx, posted 07-24-2007 2:33 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 142 by anastasia, posted 07-24-2007 4:24 PM PaulK has responded
 Message 143 by Hyroglyphx, posted 07-24-2007 4:24 PM PaulK has responded

    
Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5622
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 141 of 219 (412394)
07-24-2007 4:04 PM
Reply to: Message 138 by jar
07-24-2007 2:31 PM


Re: morality is unimportant anyway.
Morality is also totally irrelevant outside the individual and that person's deity.

Then is it immoral for their individual morals to be subjected against you?


"The problem of Christianity is not that it has been tried and found wanting, but that it is difficult and left untried" -G.K. Chesterton
This message is a reply to:
 Message 138 by jar, posted 07-24-2007 2:31 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 144 by jar, posted 07-24-2007 4:32 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

    
anastasia
Member (Idle past 4030 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 142 of 219 (412403)
07-24-2007 4:24 PM
Reply to: Message 140 by PaulK
07-24-2007 2:44 PM


Re: Listen to what I am saying, as opposed to hearing what you want to hear
PaulK writes:

Why not ? It doesn't follow from the arguments raised. You get called a bigot because you keep making these assertions without providing any reason why you need to do it. Your behaviour does raise the reasonable suspicion that you think that all these activities are equivalent.

Paul, please, don't be so naive. In the religious moral system of a great, large, huge amount of people, ALL forbidden sexual behaviours ARE equivalent. That is, they are ALL wrong. In Catholicism, for example, they are all as wrong as murder, as genocide, as suicide. They are 'mortal sins'.

I know that feels extremely harsh, because we are conditioned to believe that morality is determined by how we affect others. In actuality, that is NOT how many Christians make moral judgements, even though behaviours which harm others are generally condemned.

I hope you can understand that in the context of moral relativity, there are many different standards. Please understand that with different standards for 'right' there are different equivalent 'wrongs'. No one is forcing you to like it, but those are the facts.

Edited by anastasia, : No reason given.

Edited by anastasia, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 140 by PaulK, posted 07-24-2007 2:44 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 160 by PaulK, posted 07-27-2007 1:48 PM anastasia has not yet responded

    
Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5622
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 143 of 219 (412404)
07-24-2007 4:24 PM
Reply to: Message 140 by PaulK
07-24-2007 2:44 PM


Re: Listen to what I am saying, as opposed to hearing what you want to hear
Who do other people agree with ?

What does the agreement of people have to do with anything? Doesn't that only detract from your position? Most people in the world view homosexuality as an aberration. But you maintain otherwise, and a paradigm shift has not taken place within your life.

Whose position is more consistent with basic moral principles ?

What is a basic moral principle without a basic moral guideline from which to establish a a basic moral principle?

You've admitted that you can't prove any moral absolutes. Believing in moral absolutes won't solve disagreements - not in itself.

I can't prove what is absolutely (im)moral, that's true. And its also true that it won't solve disagreements. The problem is, neither will relativism. But vastly more important-- there never would have been any disagreements to begin with until somebody challenged those absolute morals.

Calling someone a bigot is not really a moral judgement

What??? That's not a moral judgement? Then what is it? If you call me a bigot for thinking homosexuality is wrong, you are also presuming to call me morally wrong.

I hope that means that you are not going to turn to nihilism to "prove" your point. Because it won't.

No, I was responding to Modulous who said that nihilism differs from moral relativism.

quote:
:
If homosexuality cannot be reasonably identified as unnatural, then neither can beastiality or pedophilia.

Why not ?

Propose a refutation then.

Your behaviour does raise the reasonable suspicion that you think that all these activities are equivalent.

Equivalent to what? Morally? I've already said that I question whether or not there are tiers of sin. But if there are not, then bad is bad, sin is sin, wrong is wrong.

quote:
Which means, you are making the same moral pronouncements that I am. Where then do they come from?

In this case mainly from society, although there may be a genetic element, too. (There almost certainly is in the case of incest).

But this society still says that homosexuality is wrong. Remember, you want to change the status quo?

And as far as something being bad genetically, its only on an individual level. What's bad for the individual may be great for the population.


"The problem of Christianity is not that it has been tried and found wanting, but that it is difficult and left untried" -G.K. Chesterton
This message is a reply to:
 Message 140 by PaulK, posted 07-24-2007 2:44 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 147 by PaulK, posted 07-24-2007 5:04 PM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

    
jar
Member
Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 144 of 219 (412409)
07-24-2007 4:32 PM
Reply to: Message 141 by Hyroglyphx
07-24-2007 4:04 PM


Re: morality is unimportant anyway.
Then is it immoral for their individual morals to be subjected against you?

That sentence doesn't even make sense. You keep conflating right and wrong, moral and immoral, legal and illegal as though they were in anyway related. Another persons morals cannot be subjected against me. It is simply impossible.

Morality is purely a religious concept. Whether something is moral or immoral is only relevant within a given religious context and only relevant to the adherents of that particular morality set.

You are a bigot, but that is unrelated to the question of whether your behavior is moral or immoral. You are judged a bigot based on the standard of a particular portion of society. Within the Christian Cult of Ignorance and Christian Communion of Bobble-heads, your message may not be seen as either immoral or even wrong.

I make no assessment as to whether your message is moral or immoral, as I said, that is totally irrelevant to me. That is unimportant.

However, based on the social norms and ethics of myself and perhaps others, I find your position bigoted and frankly, pitiful.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 141 by Hyroglyphx, posted 07-24-2007 4:04 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 152 by Hyroglyphx, posted 07-26-2007 6:31 PM jar has responded

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 182 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 145 of 219 (412411)
07-24-2007 4:34 PM
Reply to: Message 133 by Hyroglyphx
07-24-2007 1:13 PM


Re: Relativism and multiculturalism clash
But what does fairness mean without some solid, unyielding standard that you expect others to intrinsically know and follow?

Almost everybody has an intrinsic sense of fairness - though it differs from person to person and it is viewed through a variety of social lenses. I reckon my best strategy would be to demonstrate that their practice was unfair by their own standards. My other hope would be try and convince them that there is a better way to achieve their stated goals and that their penal system would undermine those stated goals. I cannot appeal to some absolute moral code to show them they are wrong - such an appeal would no doubt fall on deaf ears - unless it happened to be the absolute moral system they happen to follow.

You say on the one hand that being executed for spitting on the ground is immoral, according to your culture. However, you are now in another culture with its own set of social mores. Spitting on the ground, ofr them, is like you desecrating everything they view as scum to be trodden under foot.

Who then is right?

Moral relativism holds that no party is right and no party is wrong.

Are we entitled to different opinions equally?

Yes.

One author gives an instance where a young Indian girl is scheduled to be married by her parents. She, of course, is left bereft and in terrible anguish. She rebels and the parents physically imprison her within their home. The English authorities have a big problem on their hand.

Their own cherished beliefs say that every one is entitled to lead their lives. But, they also have a cherished belief that we should honor other cultures. Besides, getting involved might give them the impression that they are racists. But by the same token, a young girl is being held against her will.

Without an absolute standard to rely on, which is the morally correct action to take, and which isn't? Seeing that despite them choosing one or the other, the authorities are going to have to compromise one of their positions.

There is no morally correct action to take. Just different actions with different consequences. The British authorities (I doubt it's just English authorities) will have to examine the moral code they have been elected to uphold. Of course, this is not an easy job and I'm glad I don't have it. As I said in the OP - moral relativism cannot provide an absolute answer to this question and it isn't intended to. The question the authorities need ask is "What is morally right according to our national moral zeitgeist?"

Then do you believe that truth, as an absolute, can ever be established? Or are we to find ourselves as human beings to be perpetually in a stalemate situation?

Moral truths can never be established as absolutely true or false, according to moral relativism. There is no stalemate, just the acceptance of morally grey. Those who have to make a moral judgement can only do that very thing: make a judgement. Sometimes they will later think they did the wrong thing, sometimes they will think later that they did the right thing. Acceptance comes when one realizes that the judgement was made at the time given the information and time to think that one had at the time. Growth comes from realizing when something you did was wrong and adjusting behaviour and making recompense to those you feel you harmed.

Then it does boil down to mere opinion. In which case, my castigation for being called a bigot is completely unfounded as it attempts to foist one opinion above another.

Not really. If you are intolerant of opinions/beliefs/lifestyles different than your own you are a bigot. It's a definitional issue not a moral one. Whether you are intolerant or not is a judgement call which does not require moral questioning.

The only way for life to be unjust is if we have in mind a sense of what justice should look like in an absolute sense. See, this is my problem. You can't make such pronouncements without contradicting yourself. (I don't mean, you, necessarily. I'm saying that is the inevitable conclusion philosophically).

That was my fault. A better phrase might be life is ajust. We humans have to define what just is for ourselves and try and make our social interactions live up to that standard.

I see it as nihilism. Because if we are all formulating our own opinions on the matter, what we are really acquiescing to, is that, Truth® claims can only be made in light of us only knowing that Truth within ourselves.

More specifically moral truths can only be be made relative to some standard be it our own or another one.

Nihilists believe that there is no justification for any knowledge claims. They believe that nothing can truly be known with any sort of veracity. It should not take long, however, to see the flaw in their basic premise. How can the nihilist even purport such a claim if he hasn’t the ability to know that knowledge is unattainable?

If that is what you define a nihilist as then moral relativists are not nihilists. Relativists only claim there is no absolute standard of morality and a moral relativist can believe this and also that we justify other knowledge claims. It is only the knowledge of the truth of a moral proposition that cannot be known with any veracity. Nihilists go further than relativists.

Is it not absurd and contradictory that nihilists know that knowledge is impossible?

What of the nihilist who says that he doesn't know knowledge is impossible, but that is what he believes? Either way, this is not a topic on nihilism nor is it one on moral nihilism. It is about moral relativism, which is a moral philosophy not a philosophy on everything. It is a moral philosophy that holds there are multiple valid ways of structuring human interaction and that a moral proposition cannot be said to be true without a frame of reference or moral standard to compare it relative to.

Moral relativism is not about denying morality, just acknowledging that there are different moral systems and that there is no way to ascribe a truth value to any one of them.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 133 by Hyroglyphx, posted 07-24-2007 1:13 PM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 182 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 146 of 219 (412413)
07-24-2007 4:51 PM
Reply to: Message 135 by PaulK
07-24-2007 1:24 PM


I've used moral not to mean 'good' but to mean 'not bad' just to avoid the awkwardness of those clumsy negatives.

I guess you still don't understand my point. NJ is explicitly arguing that unless you think that homosexuality is immoral you shouldn't think that the other things on the list are immoral either.

I'm not sure on the wording here so I'll try and reword it (all the negatives in it are confusing me:)), whilst also replying to you. Hopefully this'll work, but apologies if it doesn't. NJ is explicitly arguing that if you think homosexuality is moral then you are a moral relativist and are employing moral relativism to justify calling homosexuality moral. Therefore, you should justify calling any sexual practice moral.

Anyway looking at the thread it looks like NJ's argument is that non-absolute morals should be ignored. And he's ignoring all the refutations, including my point that in saying that he's arguing for nihilism.

That looks about right. From a personal level it looks to me like he has been told what relativism is, and why it is wrong. Not mindlessly, but once he has reasoned from the faulty information he has been given, he has reached a sequence of reasoning that makes sense to him. I think the best path here is to try arguing the fundamentals, but it might be futile. There are some interesting and fairly good criticisms and NJ is touching on them, I'm hoping it might only take a friendly guiding through relativism so that he reaches the point where he disagrees with moral relativism but at least does not level incorrect criticism at it. Once he realizes that there is no such thing as 'applied relativism' he might see that those who accept homosexuality as moral are not employing it to conclude that homosexuality is moral; they are employing their own moral philosophy.

Ever the optimist, neh?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 135 by PaulK, posted 07-24-2007 1:24 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 148 by PaulK, posted 07-24-2007 5:11 PM Modulous has not yet responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 14750
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 147 of 219 (412422)
07-24-2007 5:04 PM
Reply to: Message 143 by Hyroglyphx
07-24-2007 4:24 PM


Re: Listen to what I am saying, as opposed to hearing what you want to hear
quote:

What does the agreement of people have to do with anything?


I refer you to your title for this subthread. I have already stated that morality is intersubjective and used language as an analogy. Agreement is important.

quote:

What is a basic moral principle without a basic moral guideline from which to establish a a basic moral principle?


The most basic elements of morality - those that lie at the base of our social instincts. e..g fairness.

quote:

I can't prove what is absolutely (im)moral, that's true. And its also true that it won't solve disagreements. The problem is, neither will relativism. But vastly more important-- there never would have been any disagreements to begin with until somebody challenged those absolute morals.

i.e. your point is irrelevant since the problem is there even if we believe in an absolute morality. And relative systems work too - so long as they aren't challenged. But any system will be challenged because - as you admit - there's no way to prove any system correct. Sooner or later someone will challenge the status quo. And in a world like ours with competing systems that claim to be moral absolutes you will never get a system that is unchallenged unless you lock yourselves away from the world.

quote:

What??? That's not a moral judgement? Then what is it? If you call me a bigot for thinking homosexuality is wrong, you are also presuming to call me morally wrong.

Only because you agree that it is morally wrong to be a bigot. Look at the definition.


Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source
big·ot [big-uht] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun
a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.

No explicit reference to a moral judgement there.

quote:

No, I was responding to Modulous who said that nihilism differs from moral relativism.


I based that comment on your argument that only absolute morals count. If you really believe that then an acceptance that we don't have an absolute morality could lead you to nihilism - and your statement resembled a threat closely enough that it could have meant that.

quote:

Propose a refutation then.


Sorry I can't let you get away with evading this issue - after all it's a perfect opportunity for you to show that you are not a bigot. That you actually have a good reason for linking homosexuality, bestiality, paedophilia and incest in your argument. Odd that you are so reluctant to take advantage of it. And the forum rules do require you to support your points.

quote:

Equivalent to what? Morally? I've already said that I question whether or not there are tiers of sin. But if there are not, then bad is bad, sin is sin, wrong is wrong.


No, I'm suggesting that it looks as if you are implying that the acts are so similar that they should be judged together. I'm sure that you're going to prove that isn't so by providing a good argument instead of just evading the issue. Again.

quote:

But this society still says that homosexuality is wrong. Remember, you want to change the status quo?


THIS society is divided on the issue. Enough people do not feel that homosexuality is wrong - or that if it is wrong there should still be no legal or civil penalties for homosexuality and homosexuals should enjoy the same rights as heterosexuals. The law now provides for a good deal of equality for homosexuals and heterosexuals. Even in your society things have moved that way in parts at least. And of course getting morals form society isn't simply a matter of agreeing with the majority. There is still an individual element, differing priorities, different evaluations, different applications of the basic moral principles.

quote:

And as far as something being bad genetically, its only on an individual level. What's bad for the individual may be great for the population.


I refer you back to your chosen title. I am referring to a genetic basis for aspects of morality - e.g. the aversion to incest. Not to advantages or disadvantages of genes.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 143 by Hyroglyphx, posted 07-24-2007 4:24 PM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 14750
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 148 of 219 (412424)
07-24-2007 5:11 PM
Reply to: Message 146 by Modulous
07-24-2007 4:51 PM


quote:

I'm not sure on the wording here so I'll try and reword it (all the negatives in it are confusing me), whilst also replying to you. Hopefully this'll work, but apologies if it doesn't. NJ is explicitly arguing that if you think homosexuality is moral then you are a moral relativist and are employing moral relativism to justify calling homosexuality moral. Therefore, you should justify calling any sexual practice moral.

Yes, that is what he's saying. It still makes no sense. Why can't my relative code permit homosexuality and bar the rest ? And why does he keep evading the question ? Obviously he's hiding something.

Edited by PaulK, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 146 by Modulous, posted 07-24-2007 4:51 PM Modulous has not yet responded

    
kongstad
Member (Idle past 947 days)
Posts: 175
From: Copenhagen, Denmark
Joined: 02-24-2004


Message 149 of 219 (412425)
07-24-2007 5:12 PM
Reply to: Message 132 by Hyroglyphx
07-24-2007 12:34 PM


Re: Listen to what I am saying, as opposed to hearing what you want to hear
how can you say that homosexuality is perfectly acceptable, while maintaining that incest or pedophilia is not, all the while defending moral relativism?

I'll have a go at this.

I don't even have to consider bestiality or pedophilia.

Homosexuality is the attraction to your own sex. This is the main thing that makes it different from heterosexuality, otherwise its basically the same thing.

So its people falling in love, living together, getting married, supporting each other, rasing families, and people having one night stands, people living in chosen or involuntary celibacy etc.

It happens between consenting adults, or between peers of roughly same age.

My question would be - what would make it morally wrong? though people might get hurt it is not inherintly hurtful. It makes people happy, and helps them in their pursuit of happiness.

Now I believe that people should be free to live as they please, as long as their choices does not harm other people, or place an undue burden on others or on society.

Do you agree with these beliefs? If no - which of them do you disagree with? If you do, then I can't see why you shouldn't agree with me that homosexuality is perfectly fine. Its just a way for people to live which makes themselves and other people happy.

If we disagree on some of these things, then we can discuss this and perhaps find that we have different moral groundings, and identify which groundings it is. If they are indeed different then we must agree to disagree, you have your morals and I have mine, and never the twine shall meet.

See it wasn't hard, and it was all based on my own morality which I recognize might be different than yours, hence all relative morality.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 132 by Hyroglyphx, posted 07-24-2007 12:34 PM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

  
Ben!
Member (Idle past 1699 days)
Posts: 1154
From: San Diego, CA
Joined: 10-14-2004


Message 150 of 219 (412448)
07-24-2007 7:19 PM
Reply to: Message 74 by Rrhain
07-21-2007 3:51 AM


Re: relativism vs absolutism
Rrhain,

From your exchange with Mod, I think I understand your position on what moral relativism is and what moral absolutism is.

rrhain writes:

Classic example: Those who claim to be "pro-life." They are often the same people who are for the death penalty. How can it be that they follow the "absolute" claim that all life is sacred if they also feel that people can be put to death? Simple: They don't believe in the absolute they claim to. Instead, they are relativists: In certain situations, life is not to be taken but in other situations, it can be.


and
rrhain writes:

Why do we allow certain things to adults but not to children?

Because morality is relative. It depends upon the circumstances.

If I understand correctly, you're saying that moral relativism is using context and situation to determine what is right/wrong, and aboslutism (?) is having a set of absolute rules which dictate moral right and wrong?

I don't know classic definitions of these things, but that's not what I had in mind. In my understanding, absolutism means that, given a specific set of circumstances, a “situation”, the set of "morally right" actions is immutable. In this thinking, how to find that set of “morally right” actions may not be straightforward (or maybe not even knowable), and certainly not based on a set of context-free rules, but the set “exists”. Moral relativism, then, is simply the view that, for a given situation, there is no such set of “morally right” actions.

Disregarding whether our meanings of the term “moral relativism” are not matching, do you think all people are moral relativists in the sense that I've described? I believe you'll say “yes”, as their actions still are relativist. In that case, I would say that as I've defined it, these things ARE beliefs. The implementation of such beliefs are a related issue, but one that can seemingly be treated separately, no?

Ben


This message is a reply to:
 Message 74 by Rrhain, posted 07-21-2007 3:51 AM Rrhain has not yet responded

    
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