Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 85 (8925 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 08-20-2019 5:43 AM
18 online now:
PaulK, vimesey (2 members, 16 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: Jedothek
Post Volume:
Total: 860,059 Year: 15,095/19,786 Month: 1,818/3,058 Week: 192/404 Day: 6/73 Hour: 1/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
1
23456Next
Author Topic:   The horror! The horror!
robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 84 (177183)
01-15-2005 1:14 AM


What I want to address is the following: I'm talking to all these very knowledgable people and they are blythely telling me that my mind is physical, and that my morality is subjective, and that I have no free will, and I am wondering if tney understand the philosophical implications of what they are saying.

They don't seem to understand that what they are saying is that we are mindless robots, living meaningless lives. I hope they understand that, and I hope they understand that they cannot with any consistency be insisting on moral imperatives of any sort.

I do not want to hear about your relative moralities, because, logically, they do not work. Anybody who looks at the question honestly will realize that. I do not want to hear that somehow our lives are meaningful if we are nothing but physical processes.

Therefore, we should all be nihilists--like me.

This message has been edited by robinrohan, 01-15-2005 01:17 AM

This message has been edited by robinrohan, 01-15-2005 01:25 AM

This message has been edited by robinrohan, 01-15-2005 01:27 AM

This message has been edited by robinrohan, 01-15-2005 01:32 AM


Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by RAZD, posted 01-15-2005 4:29 PM robinrohan has not yet responded
 Message 4 by Buzsaw, posted 01-15-2005 5:05 PM robinrohan has not yet responded
 Message 6 by Sylas, posted 01-15-2005 5:57 PM robinrohan has responded
 Message 12 by Rrhain, posted 01-15-2005 7:41 PM robinrohan has responded
 Message 15 by nator, posted 01-15-2005 10:10 PM robinrohan has not yet responded
 Message 16 by 1.61803, posted 01-15-2005 11:39 PM robinrohan has not yet responded
 Message 26 by Dr Jack, posted 01-17-2005 7:51 AM robinrohan has not yet responded
 Message 30 by contracycle, posted 01-17-2005 11:00 AM robinrohan has not yet responded
 Message 31 by robinrohan, posted 01-17-2005 2:52 PM robinrohan has not yet responded
 Message 47 by robinrohan, posted 01-20-2005 12:40 PM robinrohan has responded
 Message 58 by joshua221, posted 01-22-2005 4:41 PM robinrohan has not yet responded

  
AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 2 of 84 (177295)
01-15-2005 4:08 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 20039
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 3 of 84 (177300)
01-15-2005 4:29 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by robinrohan
01-15-2005 1:14 AM


morality is nothing more than behavior perceived by each individual to be mutually beneficial to the individual and the people near to the individual. sociopaths are unable to perceive the mutual benefit (or to consider it, so it comes to the same result) and thus behave in 'immoral' ways.

it is the basic behavior pattern of anarchy at it's most rawest most honest form. every person decides whether to comply with their perceived code of morality or not.

in it's most covert form it is covered over by layers of convention of thought and imbued with supposed extra meaning from some supernatural source or other. this can help some people to behave in more consistent patterns, but it is unable to adjust to changing social situations and ultimately fails in the long run.

and where does "no free will" come from? not in a world with chaos prevalent from little things like bird do on the car window to big things like earthquakes at the bottom of the ocean. and anarchy is nothing but the full implementation of free will ...

heh.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand

RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist
{{{Buddha walks off laughing with joy}}}


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by robinrohan, posted 01-15-2005 1:14 AM robinrohan has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by Buzsaw, posted 01-15-2005 5:13 PM RAZD has not yet responded

  
Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 84 (177308)
01-15-2005 5:05 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by robinrohan
01-15-2005 1:14 AM


Re: Subjective Morality
Biblical morality is subjective to the Ten Commandments. Fundamentalistic Biblical morality, foundational on the Ten Commandments, seems to be what works best, when you look around the world and look at history.


In Jehovah God's Universe, time, energy and boundless space had no beginning and will have no ending. The universe, by and through him, is, has always been and forever will be intelligently designed, changed and managed by his providence. buzsaw
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by robinrohan, posted 01-15-2005 1:14 AM robinrohan has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by Coragyps, posted 01-15-2005 6:12 PM Buzsaw has responded
 Message 8 by RAZD, posted 01-15-2005 6:21 PM Buzsaw has responded
 Message 11 by Rrhain, posted 01-15-2005 7:40 PM Buzsaw has not yet responded

  
Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 84 (177309)
01-15-2005 5:13 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by RAZD
01-15-2005 4:29 PM


Re: Free Will
1. Free will, unsubjected to the Biblical Ten Commandments tends towards anarchy, bloodshed, poverty and destruction. History attests to that.

2. Free agents are free as to whether to subject themselves to the Ten Commandments.

This message has been edited by buzsaw, 01-15-2005 17:17 AM


In Jehovah God's Universe, time, energy and boundless space had no beginning and will have no ending. The universe, by and through him, is, has always been and forever will be intelligently designed, changed and managed by his providence. buzsaw
This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by RAZD, posted 01-15-2005 4:29 PM RAZD has not yet responded

  
Sylas
Member (Idle past 3487 days)
Posts: 766
From: Newcastle, Australia
Joined: 11-17-2002


Message 6 of 84 (177310)
01-15-2005 5:57 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by robinrohan
01-15-2005 1:14 AM


robinrohan writes:

What I want to address is the following: I'm talking to all these very knowledgable people and they are blythely telling me that my mind is physical, and that my morality is subjective, and that I have no free will, and I am wondering if tney understand the philosophical implications of what they are saying.

Not sure if you are talking to me or not. I'm very knowledgeable... check. I think the mind is physical... check. (The word I use is "emergent".) I think morality is subjective... check. (I put it thus; morality is a human concern, but it is not wholly subjective in the sense of being chosen randomly. What works morally is constrained by our human nature. Some things lead to cohesion and good will and well being; others don't. The choice to value cohesion and good will and well being is a human choice; but we do have a natural propensity to value others, which is emergent from out physical biology.)

But I do think we have free will. This depends on what you mean by the term. My position seems to be close to Compatibilist philosophy. The link goes to an introduction from the Stanford Dictionary of Philosophy.

In any case, the answer to your question is roughly "yes". I have a reasonable notion of the philosophical implications of what I am saying.

robinrohan writes:

They don't seem to understand that what they are saying is that we are mindless robots, living meaningless lives. I hope they understand that, and I hope they understand that they cannot with any consistency be insisting on moral imperatives of any sort.

Not a good start. You are setting as a premise of discussion that you are correct, and reflecting on why others fail to recognize your insights. It's a burden you'll have to live with, unless you make a far better attempt to deal with views you do not share.

No, I am not saying we are mindless robots. Saying that the mind is physical is not the same as saying there is no mind. Your connection with "meaning" is unclear.

One can make objective observations relating to morality, but one cannot make a comprehensive objective account of all moral principles.

I do not want to hear about your relative moralities, because, logically, they do not work. Anybody who looks at the question honestly will realize that. I do not want to hear that somehow our lives are meaningful if we are nothing but physical processes.

Therefore, we should all be nihilists--like me.

OK, you don't want to hear it. Then why are you posting in a discussion board?

For the record "Therefore" would read better if it followed from some kind of actual argument; not a mishmash of blanket assertions and explicit refusal to even listen to any alternatives.

Cheers -- Sylas


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by robinrohan, posted 01-15-2005 1:14 AM robinrohan has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by RAZD, posted 01-15-2005 6:49 PM Sylas has responded
 Message 33 by robinrohan, posted 01-17-2005 3:32 PM Sylas has not yet responded

  
Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5398
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


Message 7 of 84 (177311)
01-15-2005 6:12 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Buzsaw
01-15-2005 5:05 PM


Re: Subjective Morality
Biblical morality is subjective to the Ten Commandments.

Would those be the Exodus 20/Rudy Roy Moore set or the Exodus 34/Ark of the Covenant set? :D
This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Buzsaw, posted 01-15-2005 5:05 PM Buzsaw has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 60 by Buzsaw, posted 01-24-2005 9:04 PM Coragyps has not yet responded

    
RAZD
Member
Posts: 20039
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 8 of 84 (177313)
01-15-2005 6:21 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Buzsaw
01-15-2005 5:05 PM


Re: Subjective Morality
buzsaw, msg #4 writes:

Biblical morality is subjective to the Ten Commandments.

heh. exactly the sort of closed minded approach that is not able to change according to need as I noted.

tell me again how the ten commandments say it is immoral to abuse children?

buzsaw msg#5 writes:

Free will, unsubjected to the Biblical Ten Commandments tends towards anarchy, bloodshed, poverty and destruction. History attests to that.

history has shown? sorry, history has refuted. the "history" of religious imposed morality has been one of repression.

history has shown that morallity is rationally derived from first principals and must be universal and not subject to bias or personal beliefs to be valid.

It is subjective in the sense that each person derives their own version, whether they base it on real principles or borrow it from some other source: they decide what they are going to live by.

It is not subjective in the sense that there are fundamental principles that apply and that can be logically derived.

I'll take anarchy over theocracy any day of the week and twice on sunday.

thanks.

This message has been edited by RAZD, 01-15-2005 18:31 AM


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand

RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist
{{{Buddha walks off laughing with joy}}}


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Buzsaw, posted 01-15-2005 5:05 PM Buzsaw has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by Buzsaw, posted 01-16-2005 5:19 PM RAZD has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 20039
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 9 of 84 (177316)
01-15-2005 6:49 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Sylas
01-15-2005 5:57 PM


free willy
Personally, I think free will is a non-issue.

Usually it is given as a strict alternative to determinism (as you seem to suggest), however when you include chaos in the mix then there is no {{one or the other}} (false) dichotomy.

Usually it is only applied to humans as well, but all creatures, big and small, make decisions in their lives, that are based on their personal best {view\interest} even if that decision is {hungry, must eat}.

The only fetters on will are the self imposed ones based on ones beliefs and rational thinking.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Sylas, posted 01-15-2005 5:57 PM Sylas has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Sylas, posted 01-15-2005 7:23 PM RAZD has responded

  
Sylas
Member (Idle past 3487 days)
Posts: 766
From: Newcastle, Australia
Joined: 11-17-2002


Message 10 of 84 (177324)
01-15-2005 7:23 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by RAZD
01-15-2005 6:49 PM


Re: free willy
RAZD writes:

Usually it [free will] is given as a strict alternative to determinism (as you seem to suggest) ...

No; I am a form of compatibilist. I say that free will and determinism are compatible. In fact, free will (as I understand the term) requires some degree of determinism, for choices to be determined by your own wills and desires.

I am also a materialist; I consider that my wills and desires exist as emergent phenomena from my physical makeup; but they are mine nevertheless. The physical laws of natural things are what enables life and will to exist. They are the means by which I have a will and by which my will relates to my actions and choices.

Cheers -- Sylas


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by RAZD, posted 01-15-2005 6:49 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by RAZD, posted 01-15-2005 7:42 PM Sylas has responded

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 100 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 11 of 84 (177326)
01-15-2005 7:40 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Buzsaw
01-15-2005 5:05 PM


Re: Subjective Morality
buzsaw writes:

quote:
Biblical morality is subjective to the Ten Commandments. Fundamentalistic Biblical morality, foundational on the Ten Commandments, seems to be what works best, when you look around the world and look at history.

(*snort!*)

Can you give me an example of a single society that was ever founded upon "fundemantalistic biblical morality, foundational on the Ten Commandments"? The only one we can seem to find would be the supposed tribes of Israel written about in the Bible, but they didn't last very long. The Roman Empire, the Greek Empire, the Phonecians, Japanese, Chinese, Aztecs, Mayans, all of these and more have lasted much, much longer than Israel did.

And even in the modern era, where are these "Ten Commandments" societies? Even here in the US, we don't follow them. The first four are all about how to worship god and the very first, explicitly listed right granted to the people in our Constitution indicates that that is a load of crap. You get to worship any god you want or even none if you so choose.

Honor thy father and mother? Why? There's no crime in giving your parents the finger. Sometimes they need to be told just what pains in the asses they are (Mary Cheney? Are you listening?)

Thou shalt not kill? Well, actually, you can. And the state will do it for you and not consider it cruel or unusual, even if you do it to the mentally ill or to those who committed their crime while underage.

Adultery? Well, it's grounds for divorce, and there are some states that still make it a crime, but it isn't really handled that way.

Stealing? Well, that sorta depends on how one defines "stealing." "Emminent domain" is pretty much stealing, but we don't complain about it too much unless it happens to you.

Bearing false witness? You mean like "We know where the weapons of mass destruction are"?

Thou shalt not covet? You mean like "Manifest Destiny"?

My word...it seems like the US made itself what it was by deliberately breaking pretty much every commandment. But, we've only been around for a couple hundred years. We're kids.

So do, please, tell us. Where are these "Ten Commandments" societies? I can't find any.


Rrhain
WWJD? JWRTFM!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Buzsaw, posted 01-15-2005 5:05 PM Buzsaw has not yet responded

    
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 100 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 12 of 84 (177328)
01-15-2005 7:41 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by robinrohan
01-15-2005 1:14 AM


robinrohan writes:

quote:
Therefore, we should all be nihilists

Oh, hell...not another "atheism = nihilism" thread.


Rrhain
WWJD? JWRTFM!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by robinrohan, posted 01-15-2005 1:14 AM robinrohan has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by robinrohan, posted 01-17-2005 4:16 PM Rrhain has not yet responded

    
RAZD
Member
Posts: 20039
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 13 of 84 (177329)
01-15-2005 7:42 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Sylas
01-15-2005 7:23 PM


free woolly
I looked at that and felt that it wasn't quite enough for me.

There are elements that are determinisitic in the universe, and there are elements that are chaotic, where the result is unknowable until it happens. I also feel that one of those chaotic elements is the ability of life to decide certain behavior modes, not just free will for humans, but unfettered will for all life.

the fact that person A decides to blow himself up at the bus station is deterministic from his freely made decision. the fact that person B happens to be in the bus station at the time is chaotic, even though dependent on his freely made decision. the fact that person B is blown up is neither due to his free will nor to determinism.

but we could be arguing different sides of the same coin.

enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand

RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist
{{{Buddha walks off laughing with joy}}}


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Sylas, posted 01-15-2005 7:23 PM Sylas has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Sylas, posted 01-15-2005 8:52 PM RAZD has responded

  
Sylas
Member (Idle past 3487 days)
Posts: 766
From: Newcastle, Australia
Joined: 11-17-2002


Message 14 of 84 (177345)
01-15-2005 8:52 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by RAZD
01-15-2005 7:42 PM


Re: free woolly
RAZD writes:

There are elements that are determinisitic in the universe, and there are elements that are chaotic, where the result is unknowable until it happens.

Although the universe is not deterministic, as far as we can tell, this is not connected with chaos. Deterministic behaviour can give rise to chaos and unpredictabilty just fine. Chaos is to do with such things as sensitivity to intial conditions. You can't know the result of a chaotic process in advance simply because you would need to know the initial conditions to infinite accuracy. That would hold even in a fully deterministic physics.

My position is that predictability and freedom are orthogonal concepts.

My thought experiment on this. Imagine three persons in a shopping mall, who see an item they desire but cannot afford. They have an opportunity to lift the item without detection.

  • One person is completely amoral. I know they want it, and I know they will take it.
  • One person is highly principled. I know that they are trustworthy, disciplined and reliable. I know they will not take it.
  • One person is superficially principled, but unstable; subject to whims and fancies. What they do might depend on whether they had a fight with their boyfriend, or whether they are depressed about the weather, or whether they got their medication this morning. I have no idea what they will do.

The third person has the least freedom, by the way I think of freedom. They are blown about by circumstance and easily manipulated. They probably regret their actions in many cases.

The two people I predict are free, but I know them well enough to be confident of what their free and unconstrained choice will be; even without being particularly omniscient. My knowledge does not constrain them; their actions are effectively constrained only by their own choices; this is freedom.

Concerns that I cannot know for sure miss the point; freedom is not about how predictable you are. The least predictable, in this scenario, is the least free. The freedom of the others contributes to their predictability.

Cheers -- Sylas


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by RAZD, posted 01-15-2005 7:42 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by RAZD, posted 01-16-2005 9:12 AM Sylas has responded

  
nator
Member (Idle past 397 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 15 of 84 (177363)
01-15-2005 10:10 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by robinrohan
01-15-2005 1:14 AM


quote:
What I want to address is the following: I'm talking to all these very knowledgable people and they are blythely telling me that my mind is physical, and that my morality is subjective, and that I have no free will, and I am wondering if tney understand the philosophical implications of what they are saying.

They don't seem to understand that what they are saying is that we are mindless robots, living meaningless lives.


...which is your personal opinion, nothing more.

quote:
I hope they understand that, and I hope they understand that they cannot with any consistency be insisting on moral imperatives of any sort.

Yet somehow, I and many others manage to live lives doing just that.

quote:
I do not want to hear about your relative moralities, because, logically, they do not work. Anybody who looks at the question honestly will realize that. I do not want to hear that somehow our lives are meaningful if we are nothing but physical processes.

Your narrow mindedness and prejudices shouldn't be given the weight of logical argument.

This message has been edited by schrafinator, 01-15-2005 22:11 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by robinrohan, posted 01-15-2005 1:14 AM robinrohan has not yet responded

    
1
23456Next
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2019