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Thread: Chat Thread: Cheatin' TKory !!!!!

  1. #1901
    A utilitarian's reasoning doesn't present a moral argument without (necessarily) the need for religious support?
    semi-aquatic like otters be.

  2. #1902
    Quote Originally Posted by OldGoldBeard View Post
    Non-religious, sure. A physicalist ontological reductionist? I don't think so. In fact, I don't even think they can proper define the term "moral."

    Unless it's "self-interest," none of this serves as a basis for morality. The very use of the words "cheat" and "hypocrisy," presupposes some sort of underlying moral structure. That's only natural since, in the objectivist stance, moral truths are non-physical entities with an actual existence that underlie human consciousness. A physicalist/ontological reductionist is bound to deny the existence of such non-physical objects, and has to come up with some subjectivist grounding for morality that will undoubtedly be inconsistent with his behavior or beliefs. Subjective morality is great until you hold a minority opinion.
    Fuck you, science.

  3. #1903
    Quote Originally Posted by TenaciousKory View Post
    A utilitarian's reasoning doesn't present a moral argument without (necessarily) the need for religious support?
    I think there are a bunch of problems with utilitarianism, particularly what I would call pure utilitarianism, in which motive is divorced from result. As far as motive/intention-based utilitarianism, they tend to be a pretty muddled mess that inject human action at or near the start of the analysis, which is incompatible with physicalism/OR.

    To expand on the problems with pure utilitarianism, let's say I am a highly trained special ops soldier sent on a reconnaissance mission to Nazi Germany and, after months of careful planning and determining the absolute safest way to carry out my objective, I blow up a building and kill Hitler along with two other innocent bystanders. Have I acted morally? Maybe, maybe not, but I think there's a reasonable argument that I have. On the other hand, let's say I'm a citizen of Berlin in Nazi Germany, and get in a terrible argument with my wife. After she leaves the apartment, I grab my firearm and try to shoot her as she's walking down the street. However, my aim is terrible, and I accidentally shoot and kill Adolf Hitler, along with the same two bystanders. Same result, same amount of happiness or utility created, but a very different action from a moral perspective.

    I don't think accounting for intention solves the issue. A third time, I'm an insane person, or perhaps a very careless one, living in Nazi Germany. On seeing someone outside my window, I become convinced that they are Hitler, grab my gun, and shoot them. That person, who was most definitely not Hitler, dies instantly. However, by pure happenstance, and unbeknownst to me, Hitler is walking directly behind that person, and my bullet passes through my intended victim and kills the actual Hitler as well. So to combat that scenario, you would have to introduce some concept of warrant, and so on and so forth, and we progress ever further from a physicalist definition.

    I also think a vanishingly small number of people actually are utilitarians. Dawkins spends a chapter or two laying out utilitarianism as a valid alternative to theism-centric morality in The God Delusion, but at the end he confronts the dilemma of whether he should shove a very fat man onto the railroad tracks to stop a runaway train with four people on board that's about to run off a cliff. Under a utilitarian viewpoint, as Dawkins admits, the correct answer is to push him, but Dawkins can't pull the trigger. I believe that utilitarianism tends toward an objectification of human beings and an oppression of minorities that few people are comfortable with.

    Even if you did push the fat man onto the tracks, and might feel that your action was justified, I doubt very much that most people would view it as an unquestionably moral act. Contrast that to, say, putting yourself in great moral danger by driving onto the tracks, boarding the train, and rescuing three of the passengers, or even rescuing all four and going over the edge yourself. The end results would be the same (3 lives saved, 1 lost), the intention would be the same (save the passengers), but I daresay that most people would see and judge the moral implications differently. Maybe I'm wrong about that, but I really don't think so.

  4. #1904
    By the way, my basketball game is also heavy on rebounding and defense, but I think I have enough of an outside shot to classify as a 3-and-D guy, at least among this crowd. I'd say I'm a fairly gifted passer as well, but can't handle the ball (sorry, Knight) or create my own shot for crap.

  5. #1905
    Quote Originally Posted by OldGoldBeard View Post
    By the way, my basketball game is also heavy on rebounding and defense, but I think I have enough of an outside shot to classify as a 3-and-D guy, at least among this crowd. I'd say I'm a fairly gifted passer as well, but can't handle the ball (sorry, Knight) or create my own shot for crap.
    I like you a lot. I would give you more rep, but I'm tapped out.

    No homo.

  6. #1906
    Thanks. A strong post. I agree with your read of utilitarianism and certainly don't consider myself an adherent of the school. It was the first that came to mind when considering a moral system w/o religious support.

    If we're able to detect weaknesses in an atheistic moral system like utilitarianism, and let's say we extend these weaknesses to all other similar moral systems for the sake of argument, then how does a religious moral system (say Christianity) help us navigate the runaway train problem?
    semi-aquatic like otters be.

  7. #1907
    I just tried to sign my worthless brother up for a jelly of the month club, but holy shit they are all expensive! most i'm willing to spend is $30.

  8. #1908
    Are we close to the part of this thread where Biff cheats so he can start the new thread?

  9. #1909
    Quote Originally Posted by TenaciousKory View Post
    Thanks. A strong post. I agree with your read of utilitarianism and certainly don't consider myself an adherent of the school. It was the first that came to mind when considering a moral system w/o religious support.

    If we're able to detect weaknesses in an atheistic moral system like utilitarianism, and let's say we extend these weaknesses to all other similar moral systems for the sake of argument, then how does a religious moral system (say Christianity) help us navigate the runaway train problem?
    I think what we're looking at here are two interrelated but still somewhat distinct issues: First, can a moral system be coherently articulated in the context of an overarching worldview, and Second, what is the correct action under that worldview?

    Pure utilitarianism is compatible with physicalism/OR, IMO, so no difficulty with the first prong. I'm not sure that motive or intention is, since I'm doubtful that you can really claim that motive or intention exist in a materialist/physicalist worldview, or that it can be explained in terms of physicalism/OR, so I think it fails the first prong. As for the second prong, acting consistently with the moral imperative and actually believing it to be right, Dawkins fails that test, and I believe most folks would as well.

    As far as Christianity goes, I don't see any problems with the first prong. All that would establish is that there's a non-physical moral truth (that actually exists) that governs the situation and dictates the morality, or degrees of morality, associated with each possible response, and that that truth never changes. I think that should be relatively non-controversial that this would be a coherent worldview given other Christian or theistic assumptions, even if you don't agree with the truth of those views.

    The second prong, which I think is where your real interest lies, is the thornier one, because that requires us to attempt to divine the moral truth, and there are multiple interpretations or theories that all have some sort of plausibility. Unfortunately, The Dummies Guide to Morality by Jesus of Nazareth is missing that chapter.

    However, as a Christian, I will do my best to provide my opinion. I think the overriding principle of Christianity is "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." To me, that means not endangering people who are not already in danger, at least not without their consent, and certainly not using them as a pawn to save the others. As for those who are in danger, I think it involves at least taking on every reasonable risk for myself to endeavor to save them, and I'm honestly not too sure about that "reasonable" word. I think it would be more consistent with Jesus's teachings and example to lay down my own life if it meant saving them. Would I have the courage to do that, or would I, like Dawkins, fail to pull the trigger at the end? If I'm being honest, I would almost certainly not.

    Where I would distinguish this from Dawkins is that I would attribute my failure not to a sense of unease that my moral system is providing me with the wrong answer, but because of my own cowardice and weakness in carrying out what I know and firmly believe to be correct. In other words, Dawkins would (I believe) maintain that he made the right decision in not acting on his utilitarian principles. I would acknowledge that I failed my moral principles and would ask forgiveness for it. Maybe that will strike most as a distinction without a difference, but that's my $0.02.

  10. #1910
    Quote Originally Posted by DeacDiggler View Post
    I just tried to sign my worthless brother up for a jelly of the month club, but holy shit they are all expensive! most i'm willing to spend is $30.
    Knight will give your wife a KY Jelly of the month club subscription for free.

  11. #1911
    what we were talking about a week or so ago


  12. #1912
    Quote Originally Posted by OldGoldBeard View Post
    Knight will give your wife a KY Jelly of the month club subscription for free.
    OH YEAH!

  13. #1913
    Quote Originally Posted by BarcaDeac View Post
    what we were talking about a week or so ago

    Dude, I'm going to try not to fly off the handle here, but this video pisses me off so much.

    It's so clearly astroturfed paid advertising by Lexis wrapped in SNL's dead corpse. It's just so....emblematic of the quality of content that the internet is full of now.

  14. #1914
    LExus needs to do better with their marketing if people are calling them Lexis

  15. #1915
    knight clearly loves lexisnexis and hates westlaw

  16. #1916
    because lexisnexis sounds a lot like licks his nuts

  17. #1917
    Quote Originally Posted by WRS View Post
    Womp womp. I did find this really cool incense holder made out of solid brass that I think she’ll love so hopefully that cushions the blow.
    Sounds like you got your wife a weapon.
    Hungry

  18. #1918
    It’s been 15 years since I read it but I was a big fan of John Rawls and A Theory of Justice and the veil of ignorance.
    Hungry

  19. #1919
    oh man

    big fan of the veil of ignorance myself

  20. #1920

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