Any intellectual can see that this case for justice is pathetic.
Anything goes. If a man killed me for looking at him, and society allowed it, this death would be just and correct.
We determine what is right and moral with reason. We are born with the ability to know what is right. We do not determine what is moral through societal majorities.
Societal majorities don't reason, societal majorities are not rational beings.
A group of men emerged out of ancient Greece who thought that the goal of life was to live the best life you could, the happiest life that you could - to "win the game of life". To live for oneself was established as the moral life. They were known in Greece as the most intelligent and the most respected - they established huge amounts of money from their practices. They would take money to teach people how to "defend themselves" in arguments. This was amazingly valuable because of the court system in Greece. If someone charged you with a crime, you had to defend yourself, if you were judged innocent by your 500 peers then you were allowed to choose any punishment for the accuser - if a severe punishment was put into place, one could offer to pay a fine normally, but this was actually a reasonable system of justice - better than our current system in America. So these sophists would teach people the art of "eristics" the art of winning a debate for the sake of winning not for the sake of finding out what is true or right. They argued not to know but to remain ignorant and to win. (Eris was the Goddess of Argument of Discord). They would charge a lot of money for their services - they became "successful", they were rich they lived a good life. They Won the "game of life". That is their entire purpose - to win the game of life. To win you became rich and old.
These men believed that no truth existed and that everyone's opinion was correct. What you believe is "true for you", and what I believe is "true for me". Of course living in this manner completely shuts down the need for reason and knowledge. It breeds ignorant individuals who seek success, comfort, and money instead of truth.
It is called "Relativism", "Sophism", and "Conventionalism".
"Conventionalism" is specifically what jar was referring to, "society determines truth". "Society determines what is moral".
These men were called Sophists.
A man called Socrates would emerge out of this.
Plato, his best student recorded almost exactly the words of Socrates. (This was found by a speech at Socrates death that was written down by Plato in "The Apology", a man who also attended the death/trial was there and recorded the exact same happenings and words) (The Greeks could not use paper and pens the way we do, their memories were extraordinary from repeated use.) Socrates in short, told the people of Athens that the good life was the examined life, a life in pursuit of truth and knowledge. He went through Athens asking questions to educate people in what he knew. The questions became increasingly disturbing as he kept asking because they destroy the beliefs and ignorance of those asked. The process was very unsettling. People began to detest this man of truth.
In Plato's works, he recorded dialogues between Sophists and Socrates where Socrates refutes their claims through his famous "Socratic Method". He starts with a question such as, "What is Justice". The Sophist would reply - "Whatever the elders say is right and just, is just", Socrates would continue asking questions about how they came to this conclusion until they realized that they were utterly mistaken. Socrates would then tell them what Justice really is and most would feel offended and walk away.
Socrates in short believed, that justice was for each to "mind his own business" and do what each does best.
This post is probably a dishonor to Socrates and Plato, but I feel it is good enough for this purpose.
Hopefully it is clear that Conventionalism is dead.
Your argument has a considerable uphill battle to fight, considering that we directly observe societies doing exactly what you say they don't, and can't, do.
I acknowledged those societies, actually they were central to my rebuttal to the statement that society determines morality.
If you lived in that society and you'd both been raised to believe that, and everybody around you had as well, it what sense wouldn't it have been just and correct?
There are men chained to a wall, all they see is darkness and shadows. They perceive this to be reality. A prisoner escapes and travels a treacherous path, a path so treacherous that many others would have turned back to the wall and the shadows, a path so difficult that many would die on the way. But this prisoner makes it to the end of the path and begins to see light from the end. He reaches the end and discovers what reality really is. He sees what is real. The man returns to his fellow prisoners to tell them but they don't believe him - they persecute him and tell him that he is wrong - that these shadows are truth - reality.
As are the people in this allegory of Plato's chained to a wall, so are those in these societies who do not know true morality, only a distortion and falsity of it... What society tells them is far from moral, yet they accept and believe it.
You yourself have been imprisoned at birth and have yet to escape.
What society discerns as true or moral is far from it.
I mean the fact that societies exactly as you describe existed, and the people who lived in them thought that was just fine, would seem to prove you completely wrong.
The existence of ignorance, of darkness, of these prisoners does not prove that there is no light - it proves that you have yet to see it.
Since, according to you, all people are born with the ability to know what is right, then you, as a subset of all people, should be able to tell us what is right and what is wrong.
This isn't what the thread is about, if one is educated and understands morality, then any hypothetical example could be worked out. We aren't dealing with examples of morality but with morality itself.
You are an inmate in a concentration camp. A sadistic guard is about to hang your son who tried to escape and wants you to pull the chair from underneath him. He says that if you don't he will not only kill your son but some other innocent inmate as well. You don't have any doubt that he means what he says. What should you do?
I can see that you ripped it straight off of the internet, but that does not diminish the validity of this "moral dilemma".
A dilemma such as this forces you to put a "value" on human life. Something that is extremely crude and lowly.
I guess I am supposed to write that 2 humans dead is not as bad a 1 human dead although the first to die is related to you.