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Author Topic:   Do feelings count?
Phat
Member
Posts: 12043
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 91 of 135 (293581)
03-09-2006 10:21 AM
Reply to: Message 88 by Chiroptera
03-09-2006 8:31 AM


Verbal semantics with Chioptera
Chioptera writes:

...I have my preferences how God should behave just as God has his preferences how I behave, and there is no reason to consider one set of preferences any more valid than the other. The only difference is that God has the ability to punish terribly those who do not act according to his preferences, while I have no power over God.

Yes...as an uncommitted freethinker, you may well think that there is no reason to consider one set of preferences any more valid than the other. Assuming that God does have power and/or ability over and above what you yourself have means that you have two basic options to this dilemma.

1) Ignore attempts at relationship with God and simply refuse to acknowledge the presence (or abstract perception of same)

2) Hash it out with God and commit your freethinking to either #1 above or to admitting that His preferences supercede your preferences.
One cannot be uncommitted for a lifetime. Not deciding is, in fact, deciding.

Is there a third option, Chioptera? (lots of assumin goin on round here! :) )


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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 88 by Chiroptera, posted 03-09-2006 8:31 AM Chiroptera has responded

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Hangdawg13
Member (Idle past 2952 days)
Posts: 1161
From: Texas
Joined: 05-30-2004


Message 92 of 135 (293593)
03-09-2006 10:48 AM
Reply to: Message 88 by Chiroptera
03-09-2006 8:31 AM


I have my preferences how God should behave just as God has his preferences how I behave, and there is no reason to consider one set of preferences any more valid than the other.

Except that what God prefers becomes our objective reality.

I'll say it again, the subjectivity of the creator is the objectivity of the created.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 88 by Chiroptera, posted 03-09-2006 8:31 AM Chiroptera has responded

Replies to this message:
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Silent H
Member (Idle past 3866 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 93 of 135 (293611)
03-09-2006 11:10 AM
Reply to: Message 92 by Hangdawg13
03-09-2006 10:48 AM


I'll say it again, the subjectivity of the creator is the objectivity of the created.

1) Prove that you know what creator is real and that that creator has moral preferences which are black and white.

2) Once gods create free will, they inherently remove objective moral value. In other words, when gods prefer free will, moral subjectivity becomes our reality.


holmes
"What you need is sustained outrage...there's far too much unthinking respect given to authority." (M.Ivins)
This message is a reply to:
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Silent H
Member (Idle past 3866 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 94 of 135 (293613)
03-09-2006 11:13 AM
Reply to: Message 90 by Phat
03-09-2006 10:10 AM


Re: The Opinion of the Artist
We believe that God, as author of creation, painted the painting, defined the words, ascribed intended meaning and purpose into the "project" and made the very definitions of meaning, purpose, and logic possible.

Unfortunately gods also had to create the patrons, and according to the free will version allowed those patrons the freedom to view those paintings and have many different reactions to them. That is subjectivity.

Granted some gods don't seem to like criticism.


holmes
"What you need is sustained outrage...there's far too much unthinking respect given to authority." (M.Ivins)
This message is a reply to:
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Hangdawg13
Member (Idle past 2952 days)
Posts: 1161
From: Texas
Joined: 05-30-2004


Message 95 of 135 (293618)
03-09-2006 11:18 AM
Reply to: Message 87 by Silent H
03-09-2006 6:13 AM


What gods and who measures them? People are already having a tough time trying to explain what morals are real, much less gods.

The ideal God. The mind that contains all existence.

Where is the moral objectivity regarding cruelty?

You can neither prove nor disprove the objectivity of a thing based on consensus! That has been my repeated point. Consensus can only serve to increase or decrease one's confidence in the objectivity of a thing.

Suppose a group of 10 people is out in the grass stargazing. Only 1 of that 10 sees a meteor. Does that mean the meteor did not objectively fall? Of course not!

I don't see how this could be off topic. The question is if feelings count, as in if it means there are objective truths.

Okay, well maybe its not off topic, but this has been debated many times before. What is meaning? Can an individual have meaning? Meaning implies a connection to logic and purpose. If an individual is the supreme being, then meaning cannot be tied to a logical purpose, but only to one's own desires; and that seems to me to be contrary to the very definition of meaning. On the other hand, if there is a supreme being beyond the individual, then meaning becomes serving the purposes of that being rather than one's self.

Really?

Yes, really. If I bump my head, that's unpleasant, not immoral. Immorality may be unpleasant. Morality may be unpleasant. Or immorality may be pleasant. Or Morality may be pleasant.

Okay so it is all a stand off, right? This sword cuts both ways.

YES!!!!

So we are left with the CHOICE of determining which feelings we are going to accept as corresponding to an objective external reality.

You don't know me, and you are way off.

That is the only logical explanation for your response. If you really were as willing to accept that the universe is ideal in nature, then you would not have rejected the conclusion that there are no objective moral absolutes as you do here: "My summation of this is that whether there are gods or not, there is no active moral absolute."

If gods have declared such things (or imprinted them on reality) they are opaque to humans and so there are no absolutes in a practical sense.

How do you know that people cannot be allowed to see through this opacity? How do you know that Robin's feelings about cruelty are not a result of that reality penetrating his mind?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 87 by Silent H, posted 03-09-2006 6:13 AM Silent H has responded

Replies to this message:
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 Message 99 by Silent H, posted 03-09-2006 11:38 AM Hangdawg13 has responded

    
Phat
Member
Posts: 12043
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 96 of 135 (293622)
03-09-2006 11:24 AM
Reply to: Message 95 by Hangdawg13
03-09-2006 11:18 AM


Mr. Dictionary has a word...
opaqueadj 1 : blocking the passage of radiant energy and esp. light 2 : not easily understood 3 : obtuse opaquely adv opaqueness n

And...while we are pondering definitions...

Adjective
1. objective (vs. subjective), nonsubjective, clinical, impersonal, neutral, verifiable
usage: undistorted by emotion or personal bias; based on observable phenomena; "an objective appraisal"; "objective evidence"
2. objective, accusative
usage: serving as or indicating the object of a verb or of certain prepositions and used for certain other purposes; "objective case"; "accusative endings"
3. objective, representational (vs. nonrepresentational)
usage: emphasizing or expressing things as perceived without distortion of personal feelings or interpretation; "objective art"
4. objective, concrete (vs. abstract)
usage: belonging to immediate experience of actual things or events; "concrete benefits"; "a concrete example"

This message has been edited by Phat, 03-09-2006 09:34 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by Hangdawg13, posted 03-09-2006 11:18 AM Hangdawg13 has not yet responded

  
2ice_baked_taters
Member (Idle past 3897 days)
Posts: 566
From: Boulder Junction WI.
Joined: 02-16-2006


Message 97 of 135 (293626)
03-09-2006 11:28 AM
Reply to: Message 86 by Silent H
03-09-2006 5:46 AM


Let's take a soldier who has been ordered to fight in a war he does not believe in. In fact he believes it is a criminal act and his superiors true enemies of the state. What is good and what is evil, whatever he does? If he chooses not to fight then he is brave and honest and just but disloyal and not law abiding. If he chooses to fight he is perhaps still brave but not honest nor just though he is loyal and law abiding

This is a very poor example. Why? because it does not invole a violation of a moral conduct but involves a violation of a number of moral codes that conflict with each other. One must make a choice as to which ones they will break and which ones they will adhere to.
You are correct in that there is no clear choice. My point has been all along that the lines of thinking you used to weigh and measure your options in this example are moral issues that nearly all rational humans throughout the world share and will measure this example scenario by. That is our basic sense of "good and evil" "right and wrong". The fact that you used this process shows me you believe them too. Unless of course this is all just for the sake of debate in which case the entire interaction is pointless in context. I have started a
thread for this topic if you are interested.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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2ice_baked_taters
Member (Idle past 3897 days)
Posts: 566
From: Boulder Junction WI.
Joined: 02-16-2006


Message 98 of 135 (293629)
03-09-2006 11:36 AM


I am quite amazed that no administrator has stepped foreward to keep this thread on topic. Is it because they have limited time and have not viewed this yet? I would hope that is the answer. The alternative does not speak well of this sight.
Replies to this message:
 Message 101 by AdminPhat, posted 03-09-2006 12:41 PM 2ice_baked_taters has responded

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3866 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 99 of 135 (293631)
03-09-2006 11:38 AM
Reply to: Message 95 by Hangdawg13
03-09-2006 11:18 AM


The ideal God. The mind that contains all existence.

Uh... I'm not just trying to give you a hard time here... but what makes that the "ideal god"?

Yes, really. If I bump my head, that's unpleasant, not immoral.

What does bumping your head have to do with viewing a painting you find repulsive? I agree that physical discomfort from physical damage, is different than moral or aesthetic judgement. That is not the example I asked for.

So we are left with the CHOICE of determining which feelings we are going to accept as corresponding to an objective external reality.

That is completely illogical. If we have no evidence to support the theory that there is an objective moral reality, then we definitely do NOT have the choice of determining which feelings are associated with such a reality.

The default position is to say I do not know. We do not know. And we cannot choose or say anything.

That is the only logical explanation for your response. If you really were as willing to accept that the universe is ideal in nature, then you would not have rejected the conclusion that there are no objective moral absolutes as you do here:

That is not true and I explained it prior to my summation. That you want to believe an ideal universe is one way, does not somehow remove the possibility that other realities may exist which are just as "ideal". I'll try to explain this again. Some people have and do view the world as ideal in nature, and that it does not contain good/evil in the same way that you conceive of such concepts.

I'm not sure why "ideal" universes must contain moral absolutes, rather than just being.

How do you know that people cannot be allowed to see through this opacity? How do you know that Robin's feelings about cruelty are not a result of that reality penetrating his mind?

I said it is opaque to humans, which I meant in the sense of humanity as a whole. Individuals might, but are given no way to judge who has pierced that veil, and so its as good as if no one has.

For all we know I have been granted true sight by the true gods, and it is that their universe contains no good and evil as you believe, particularly not to to individual actions. They created and we see only traits which stand in balance with other traits and so create a harmony throughout the universe. It is an attempt to choose a trait or action and view it as one way only, which causes distress and lack of harmony within the individual. It is a desire to see things not as they are but as you wish. It is to try to change things into what you wish rather than deal with them as they are. Can one man control 10,000 things?


holmes
"What you need is sustained outrage...there's far too much unthinking respect given to authority." (M.Ivins)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by Hangdawg13, posted 03-09-2006 11:18 AM Hangdawg13 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 105 by Hangdawg13, posted 03-09-2006 3:36 PM Silent H has responded

    
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3866 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 100 of 135 (293635)
03-09-2006 11:45 AM
Reply to: Message 97 by 2ice_baked_taters
03-09-2006 11:28 AM


That is our basic sense of "good and evil" "right and wrong". The fact that you used this process shows me you believe them too.

If you don't see that I used a completely different process then I'm not sure what to say. I was not discussing violation of a number of moral codes. Quite the opposite of what you say above, it is the fact that people end up realizing there is more to any action or person than one choice "good"/"evil" is evidence than no such thing exists. There are only spectrums of observed traits which an individual expresses about themself by making choices in context.

Not one of those traits are "good" or "evil".

If you don't like the example choose a simple one. I am open to any.


holmes
"What you need is sustained outrage...there's far too much unthinking respect given to authority." (M.Ivins)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 97 by 2ice_baked_taters, posted 03-09-2006 11:28 AM 2ice_baked_taters has not yet responded

    
AdminPhat
Administrator
Posts: 1907
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-03-2004


Message 101 of 135 (293654)
03-09-2006 12:41 PM
Reply to: Message 98 by 2ice_baked_taters
03-09-2006 11:36 AM


Tater Tots
Its not your concern, taters...yes we do not always have time to monitor every little but of conversation! To make you happy, here is the O.P. reposted...to get us back on topic:
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.
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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 98 by 2ice_baked_taters, posted 03-09-2006 11:36 AM 2ice_baked_taters has responded

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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6531
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 102 of 135 (293667)
03-09-2006 1:08 PM
Reply to: Message 92 by Hangdawg13
03-09-2006 10:48 AM


quote:
Except that what God prefers becomes our objective reality.

Rubbish. According to the literalists, God preferred that Adam and Eve did not eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The objective reality, according to the literalists, is that they did.

-

quote:
I'll say it again, the subjectivity of the creator is the objectivity of the created.

You can say it as many times as you would like; it won't make it true.

Added by edit:

I should add that this reminds me of the end of 1984 where they were torturing Winston Smith to get him to acknowledge their claim that 2 + 2 = 5. It wasn't enough that Smith just says it, he had to believe it. After enough torture, they got him to at least doubt that 2 + 2 = 4. In the end, Smith loved Big Brother. Sincerely.

This message has been edited by Chiroptera, 09-Mar-2006 06:39 PM


"Intellectually, scientifically, even artistically, fundamentalism -- biblical literalism -- is a road to nowhere, because it insists on fidelity to revealed truths that are not true." -- Katha Pollitt
This message is a reply to:
 Message 92 by Hangdawg13, posted 03-09-2006 10:48 AM Hangdawg13 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 106 by Hangdawg13, posted 03-09-2006 3:46 PM Chiroptera has responded

  
Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6531
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 103 of 135 (293677)
03-09-2006 1:25 PM
Reply to: Message 91 by Phat
03-09-2006 10:21 AM


Re: Verbal semantics with Chioptera
quote:
Hash it out with God and commit your freethinking to either #1 above or to admitting that His preferences supercede your preferences.

I have no problem with the idea that his preferences supercede mine in the sense that he has the power to punish me if I don't accept his preferences. The issue here is (1) whether there is an objective morality, and (2) whether God's preferences themselves form an objective standard of morality.


"Intellectually, scientifically, even artistically, fundamentalism -- biblical literalism -- is a road to nowhere, because it insists on fidelity to revealed truths that are not true." -- Katha Pollitt
This message is a reply to:
 Message 91 by Phat, posted 03-09-2006 10:21 AM Phat has not yet responded

  
Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6531
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 104 of 135 (293692)
03-09-2006 1:56 PM
Reply to: Message 93 by Silent H
03-09-2006 11:10 AM


quote:
Once gods create free will, they inherently remove objective moral value. In other words, when gods prefer free will, moral subjectivity becomes our reality.

Nicely said. Two sentences that sum up what I tried to say in an entire thread on another message board.


"Intellectually, scientifically, even artistically, fundamentalism -- biblical literalism -- is a road to nowhere, because it insists on fidelity to revealed truths that are not true." -- Katha Pollitt
This message is a reply to:
 Message 93 by Silent H, posted 03-09-2006 11:10 AM Silent H has not yet responded

  
Hangdawg13
Member (Idle past 2952 days)
Posts: 1161
From: Texas
Joined: 05-30-2004


Message 105 of 135 (293725)
03-09-2006 3:36 PM
Reply to: Message 99 by Silent H
03-09-2006 11:38 AM


Uh... I'm not just trying to give you a hard time here... but what makes that the "ideal god"?

By "ideal" I don't mean, what we would wish for in a god. I mean ideal as in what Socrates and Jesus and Buddha and Hegel and any other idealist means when referring to the source of all existence and all truth and all reality. Do you honestly have no idea what this means?

What does bumping your head have to do with viewing a painting you find repulsive?

If the painting contains immorality, and I am a moral person, then I might find it repulsive. Then again I might not. Perhaps it would appeal to my desires and I would find it very attractive even though on a different level my conscience is set against it. Let's say this painting depicts the torture of an innocent little girl. I would find that repulsive. A psychopathic killer might not. If the torture of an innocent girl is objectively wrong, then I am right and the killer is wrong. If there is no objective right and wrong, then our feelings of right and wrong are illusions: merely personal desires with no more authority than what we can back up physically.

Whether our feelings are telling us the truth or not cannot be proven, as I've said many many times. Your conclusion from this is that there is no truth about good and evil, and that we cannot say whether the torture of an innocent little girl is right or wrong, only that you personally wish that it didn't happen. But I say that to be consistent that conclusion must also apply to every feeling you ever experience, and you acknolwedged this when you said, "the sword cuts both ways." If you are not privy to becoming an existentialist, then you have to start accepting your feelings as pointing to truth.

You obviously accept some feelings as pointing to an objective truth, but not others. You reject your moral feelings as pointing towards a truth because of a lack of universal consensus on morality and because you believe that ideas are objectively true only for the individual that posesses them because they do not exist in a material form.

My counter to this is that a lack of universal consensus does not disprove the existence of an objective truth. And there is the possibility that the universe is primarly idealistic in nature so ideas are really "the dreams stuff is made of" therefore ideas like the material world have different objective characteristics and attributes such as right and wrong which it is possible for those with good consciences to sense just like it is possible for those with good eyes to tell if a rose is red.

If we have no evidence to support the theory that there is an objective moral reality, then we definitely do NOT have the choice of determining which feelings are associated with such a reality.

OF COURSE WE HAVE EVIDENCE!!!! The evidence is our feelings. This whole argument is about whether feelings count as evidence.

My point is that feelings are the only evidence we can ever have for anything. You do have a choice as to whether you are going to believe your feelings or not. If 10 people who believe as you do tell me that it is neither right nor wrong to torture an innocent little girl, I reject that because my feelings are far more persuasive than those people's words. My feelings tell me that action has the characteristic of being WRONG. If 10 people show me a red rose and tell me its blue, I'll probably still believe my feelings, because they are more persuasive. My feelings tell me the rose has the characteristic of being RED.

The default position is to say I do not know. We do not know. And we cannot choose or say anything.

YES, that is the default position, as I've repeated. So, we can either go our whole lives rejecting all feelings and all knowledge since we can't prove them (logical default; 42) or we can accept our feelings as pointing towards truth (normal human response).

Some people have and do view the world as ideal in nature, and that it does not contain good/evil in the same way that you conceive of such concepts.

So what? That is their choice to reject their feelings of good/evil as pointing towards an objective reality.

Individuals might, but are given no way to judge who has pierced that veil, and so its as good as if no one has.

To that individual its plenty good and practical. If you can truly see and the whole world is blind, sight is still good and practical to you. And what's more, your sight might be passed on to future generations so that all may eventually see.

For all we know...

...we could be eddies in a giant vat of galactic pea soup. Is that going to change the way I live? No. Am I going to assume that my feelings are meaningless random eddies of pea soup pointing to illusions? No.

It is a desire to see things not as they are but as you wish.

The goal of every philosopher is to see things the way they are.

It is to try to change things into what you wish rather than deal with them as they are.

You're again implying that "things the way they are" is that there is no objective absolute for morality, and you know that cannot be proven, so YOU are also changing things into what you wish. Only to YOU the conflicting voices of others are more persuasive than your own feelings.

This message has been edited by Hangdawg13, 03-09-2006 04:10 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 99 by Silent H, posted 03-09-2006 11:38 AM Silent H has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 108 by Silent H, posted 03-09-2006 5:23 PM Hangdawg13 has responded

    
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