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Author Topic:   Do feelings count?
robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 135 (292172)
03-04-2006 5:23 PM


This topic has occurred to me as a result of a recent discussion about aesthetics and earlier discussions about morality. My own view is that we can make no case for any given moral system being objective. One always begs the question when trying to devise an argument in which one argues that a particular moral rule is objective. The same situation occurs in aesthetics.

However, one's feelings about such matters are often quite different--or at least my feelings are. I FEEL that moral judgements, or certain moral judgements, are quite real--not subjective at all. And even in aesthetic matters, I FEEL (though less strongly) that certain aesthetic judgements are quite real.

The question is whether these strong feelings we have matter--i.e., whether they are an indication that, though we cannot build a case, that perhaps some moral judgements and some aesthetic judgements are after all objective.


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by AdminChristian, posted 03-04-2006 7:48 PM robinrohan has responded
 Message 7 by Faith, posted 03-05-2006 12:39 AM robinrohan has responded
 Message 10 by Silent H, posted 03-05-2006 5:49 AM robinrohan has not yet responded
 Message 19 by rgb, posted 03-05-2006 11:01 PM robinrohan has responded

  
AdminChristian
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 135 (292215)
03-04-2006 7:48 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by robinrohan
03-04-2006 5:23 PM


Hi robinrohan,
This looks like an interesting topic, so I'd like to promote it. Should we put it in "Is it Science" Or "Faith and Belief"?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by robinrohan, posted 03-04-2006 5:23 PM robinrohan has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by robinrohan, posted 03-04-2006 9:11 PM AdminChristian has not yet responded

  
robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 135 (292230)
03-04-2006 9:11 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by AdminChristian
03-04-2006 7:48 PM


coffee house.
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 Message 2 by AdminChristian, posted 03-04-2006 7:48 PM AdminChristian has not yet responded

  
AdminChristian
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 135 (292251)
03-04-2006 10:53 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
AdminChristian
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 135 (292254)
03-04-2006 10:55 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
AdminChristian
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 135 (292255)
03-04-2006 10:57 PM


oops
Ok, this was only my second time moving a thread, sorry for the messup.
  
Faith
Inactive Member


Message 7 of 135 (292271)
03-05-2006 12:39 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by robinrohan
03-04-2006 5:23 PM


From a Christian point of view there is an objective morality, God's moral law, and also the factor of fallenness that means our moral sense is flawed, which explains why we can't all agree on moral principles.

While there is also an indication in Christian thought that beauty is objective, which is at least related to the question about aesthetics, I don't know much about this and don't know if anybody has ever made a case for it from the Christian point of view.

I feel a need for some definitions for this thread, from Moral Philosophy and the Philosophy of Aesthetics maybe.

{abe: In general, I think the Fall means that our feelings about these things can't be relied upon, which agrees with the fact that it's impossible to establish an objective standard for either morality or aesthetics.

This message has been edited by Faith, 03-05-2006 12:42 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by robinrohan, posted 03-04-2006 5:23 PM robinrohan has responded

Replies to this message:
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robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 135 (292274)
03-05-2006 12:50 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Faith
03-05-2006 12:39 AM


From a Christian point of view there is an objective morality, God's moral law,

That's all very well, Faith, but there's no way to ground morality logically. However, emotionally, I probably feel as you do on most issues.


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 Message 7 by Faith, posted 03-05-2006 12:39 AM Faith has responded

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 Message 12 by Faith, posted 03-05-2006 11:52 AM robinrohan has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 12033
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 9 of 135 (292277)
03-05-2006 2:39 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by robinrohan
03-05-2006 12:50 AM


If feelings count, must I take the fat girl to the prom?
So Do Feelings Count? Moreover, do they count objectively?
RR writes:

My own view is that we can make no case for any given moral system being objective. One always begs the question when trying to devise an argument in which one argues that a particular moral rule is objective. The same situation occurs in aesthetics.

Remember that subjective means a feeling that arises entirely within an individual, whereas "objective" means a feeling derived from or oringinating within an external source--such as God or Humanity.
RR writes:

one's feelings about such matters are often quite different--or at least my feelings are. I FEEL that moral judgements, or certain moral judgements, are quite real--not subjective at all. And even in aesthetic matters, I FEEL (though less strongly) that certain aesthetic judgements are quite real.

OK... :rolleyes: It is an endless Faith/Belief argument that a case can be made for objective morality---assuming as we do that God is real, alive, and a source of Spirit. Aesthetics is a trickier situation. Are 'cute" babies universally judged as such? How about buxom blondes (women) or athletic individuals of either gender?
RobinRohan writes:

The question is whether these strong feelings we have matter--i.e., whether they are an indication that, though we cannot build a case, that perhaps some moral judgements and some aesthetic judgements are after all objective.


Goodness, Robin---we shall never know! The only way that I could see a universal consensus on such a question is the day that God Himself makes Himself known and every knee bows to Him.

Faith writes:

While there is also an indication in Christian thought that beauty is objective, which is at least related to the question about aesthetics, I don't know much about this and don't know if anybody has ever made a case for it from the Christian point of view.


I always thought that Christian beauty was an inner radience! :eek: It IS true, however, that Christians are attracted to the outer beauty as much as anyone else. Lemme ask Mr. Dictionary one question, just to clear something up:
Mr.Dictionary writes:

aesthetics-n : a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature, creation, and appreciation of beauty

  • Nature of Beauty--perhaps biological. Like a flower to a bee.

  • Creaton of Beauty--Natural selection. Theologically, does God ever create anything "ugly"? (Warthogs?)

  • Appreciation of Beauty---Highly subjective. I see no objectivity here, even with Christians....unless we affirm that Jesus is beautiful as an objective imparted ability.


    Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart, and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. Even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained; and even in the best of all hearts, there remains a small corner of evil. --Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

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  • Silent H
    Member (Idle past 3863 days)
    Posts: 7405
    From: satellite of love
    Joined: 12-11-2002


    Message 10 of 135 (292300)
    03-05-2006 5:49 AM
    Reply to: Message 1 by robinrohan
    03-04-2006 5:23 PM


    Yes n No
    The question is whether these strong feelings we have matter--i.e., whether they are an indication that, though we cannot build a case, that perhaps some moral judgements and some aesthetic judgements are after all objective.

    Of course strong feelings matter, and they are in a sense objective... to you. Objectively you as a person feel strongly about X, and that makes it important to you.

    That does not however make it objectively external to you, like a true or intrinsic characteristic of X.

    Actually I find that the fields of morals and aesthetics have had their heads turned upside down. Feelings (which really are the basis of all m and a judgements) are thought to signify or define the reality of whatever they are focused on. Thus that I don't like gambling therefore it is bad, or there is some quality about it that is bad.

    I believe that it is quite the opposite. Feelings don't define the object, they define the beholder. And that is the most objective statement you will find morally or aesthetically for anything in the world.

    Example, you announce that you find impressionist paintings to be awful in their lack of skill. You think you have defined them, it may even feel that way, but you have actually defined yourself and your private world. Such paintings are not truly ugly, but you are a person who finds ugliness in such paintings. Here we find two truths. Within your world such paintings are ugly, and to anyone outside your world they know what to expect when you are confronted with them.

    This message has been edited by holmes, 03-05-2006 11:52 AM


    holmes
    "What you need is sustained outrage...there's far too much unthinking respect given to authority." (M.Ivins)
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    robinrohan
    Inactive Member


    Message 11 of 135 (292352)
    03-05-2006 11:28 AM


    Excellent posts from both Faith and Holmes.

    But my feelings are so strong about certain matters--for example, my ire when witnessing deliberate cruelty--that it makes me think that there is something intrinsic to the act of cruelty itself that I am recognizing objectively.

    Anyone else feel this way?

    This message has been edited by robinrohan, 03-05-2006 10:30 AM


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    Faith
    Inactive Member


    Message 12 of 135 (292362)
    03-05-2006 11:52 AM
    Reply to: Message 8 by robinrohan
    03-05-2006 12:50 AM


    I agree there is no way to ground morality logically. The only way it can be objectively grounded is by an absolute authority such as God.

    But continuing on my Christian presuppositions, I explain the observation that there is at least a rough moral consistency across the human race as the persistence of the image of God in humanity, however broken. But since in fact we are broken, there is no independent way of showing that this rough consistency amounts to an objective moral standard.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 8 by robinrohan, posted 03-05-2006 12:50 AM robinrohan has responded

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     Message 45 by Chiroptera, posted 03-07-2006 4:41 PM Faith has not yet responded

      
    Faith
    Inactive Member


    Message 13 of 135 (292364)
    03-05-2006 11:57 AM
    Reply to: Message 11 by robinrohan
    03-05-2006 11:28 AM


    Deliberate cruelty is one of the things that always made me feel a sort of vertigo, like the bottom of my stomach dropping out, like the universe is out of whack if such a thing can exist at all. That is what made my discovery of Original Sin so satisfying.

    But unfortunately the mere existence of anyone who can commit deliberate cruelty makes your strong feeling against it impossible to prove as objective.

    I had a girlfriend as a child who would pull wings and legs off insects with a strange glee. I'm no fan of insects but I'd rather kill them than torture them. She went on to become a laboratory scientist by the way.

    This message has been edited by Faith, 03-05-2006 11:58 AM


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    robinrohan
    Inactive Member


    Message 14 of 135 (292365)
    03-05-2006 11:58 AM
    Reply to: Message 12 by Faith
    03-05-2006 11:52 AM


    there is at least a rough moral consistency across the human race

    I agree with that.


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    2ice_baked_taters
    Member (Idle past 3895 days)
    Posts: 566
    From: Boulder Junction WI.
    Joined: 02-16-2006


    Message 15 of 135 (292402)
    03-05-2006 2:15 PM


    A moral consensus is reached through logic.
    We weigh and measure the impact on ourselves and society. In this process it becomes a societies overall concensus. One can then make an objective statement about that generally accepted rule.
    If we sanctioned killing people at will for what ever reason it would not be logical. The result would not be desirable by the majority. Nor would it serve the species. The detrimental impact it has on society as a whole is observable in many ongoing situations throughout the world. Not to mention that not one person in the world wants to be the one killed asside from suicidal tendancies and thats another birds nest all together.

    Now in a pure sense there is no such thing as objectivity. there is only objectivity in and out of a given perspective. Since all we have is our perspective, objectivity in it's ideal form cannot be achieved.


      
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