The Objectivity of Morality

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Re: The Objectivity of Morality

Postby von Rivers » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:08 am

Flannel Jesus wrote:Wow, again. First we were talking about if what matters is objective, and then you referred to your poor arguments on why morality is objective.
Now we're talking about value, and you again refer to your arguments on morality.

Wake up. They are the same question. It's like saying, "No, you idiot, I was talking about water, not H20!". This should be obvious to you. Hopefully, it'll seem like one of those Freudian slips where you think afterwards, "Fuck, what was I talking about?!"
Mo wrote:We can say that morality concerns how you ought to act when how you ought to act matters most to you.

That's from the very first post. If what matters most is objective, then morality is. And vice versa. And what matters just is what's valuable. And what's valuable just is what matters. It's like you're trying to say something like, "No, you idiot, I was talking about what's valuable----and what's valuable might not matter!"

It'd be funny.... if it wasn't just fucking annoying. Anyways, sorting out this confusion should deal with everything you wrote below it.
Last edited by von Rivers on Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Objectivity of Morality

Postby Flannel Jesus » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:10 am

Mo_ wrote:
Mo wrote:We can say that morality concerns how you ought to act when how you ought to act matters most to you.

That's from the very first post. If what matters most is objective, then morality is. And vice versa. And what matters just is what's valuable. And what's valuable just is what matters.

Oh, so it's all circular. I see.

I haven't seen a demonstration on how what's valuable or what matters is objective, apart from pain (and even that has some subjectivity not yet explained away). You just keep insisting.
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Re: The Objectivity of Morality

Postby von Rivers » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:15 am

Flannel Jesus wrote:Oh, so it's all circular. I see.

Circular? You mean like thinking of water as H20 is circular?

I haven't seen a demonstration on how what's valuable or what matters is objective, apart from pain (and even that has some subjectivity not yet explained away). You just keep insisting.

Please, read my last post again. If I give you good reason to think there's water on some planet, I've given you good reason to think there's H20 on some planet. Are you saying that what matters isn't valuable? Or are you saying that my definition of morality as including what matters is wrong?

Wake up. Stop repeating your confusions as if they wouldn't be wrong until you stopped repeating them.
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Re: The Objectivity of Morality

Postby Flannel Jesus » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:16 am

I'm stating that you haven't proven that what matters or what is valuable is objective, other than the potential case that pain is intrinsically of negative value (though how much negative value is still apparently subjective). You keep on reading really strange things into my posts.

Now, I've looked for the arguments you've said you've made for the objectivity of values and what matters, and I'm sorry to say I didn't find them. If you really have made them before, then please do me the favor of just copying and pasting them into your next post.
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Re: The Objectivity of Morality

Postby von Rivers » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:20 am

Flannel Jesus wrote:I'm stating that you haven't proven that what matters or what is valuable is objective, other than the potential case that pain is intrinsically of negative value (though how much negative value is still apparently subjective). You keep on reading really strange things into my posts.


THEY. ARE. THE. SAME. THING.

If morality is objective, then what matters is objective (that's an analytic truth given how I defined morality). AND WHAT MATTERS = WHAT'S VALUABLE... the same way water = H20

I think it's time for Carleas to put you out of your misery and close the debate.
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Re: The Objectivity of Morality

Postby Flannel Jesus » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:21 am

I don't really care that they're the same thing, that's fine. I didn't say anything to the contrary last post. I don't know why you're so hung up on that. Fine, they're the same. Now copy-pasta for the love of god.

Besides, I don't know why it's "my misery". Carleas said that I won, basically. Do you mean put you out of your misery?
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Re: The Objectivity of Morality

Postby von Rivers » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:25 am

Flannel Jesus wrote:I don't really care that they're the same thing, that's fine. I didn't say anything to the contrary last post. I don't know why you're so hung up on that. Fine, they're the same. Now copy-pasta for the love of god.

Besides, I don't know why it's "my misery". Carleas said that I won, basically. Do you mean put you out of your misery?


If morality is objective, then what matters is objective (that's an analytic truth given how I defined morality). AND WHAT MATTERS = WHAT'S VALUABLE... the same way water = H20.

My arguments give you good reason to think morality is objective. And you're smart enough to know what follows from that, analytically (cough cough that value is objective).

You have not responded to the arguments. They're still there in the first post. Do yourself a favor...
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Re: The Objectivity of Morality

Postby Flannel Jesus » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:31 am

Your arguments you already presented involved a whole slew of nonsequiturs, misapplying occam's razor, begging the question, etc. And they resulted in Carleas thinking you'd lost the debate. I think it's fair to say that either they weren't good enough, or they were just poorly presented. Give me what you think is the strongest one, but this time make it for value specifically instead of morality. If morality being objective means value is objective, surely you can transform the argument quite easily.
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Re: The Objectivity of Morality

Postby von Rivers » Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:36 am

Flannel Jesus wrote:Your arguments you already presented involved a whole slew of nonsequiturs, misapplying occam's razor, begging the question, etc. And they resulted in Carleas thinking you'd lost the debate. I think it's fair to say that either they weren't good enough, or they were just poorly presented. Give me what you think is the strongest one, but this time make it for value specifically instead of morality. If morality being objective means value is objective, surely you can transform the argument quite easily.


You haven't given a single reason to think there's the slightest thing wrong with any of the arguments. It's been 3 pages now. I can go and call a tree a non-sequitur... it doesn't change the fact that without a reason to think so, it's quite bullshit. Do you read what I say at all---about how your, "no tell me about what matters, not morality" or "yea morality (what matters) might be objective, but psh, value isn't!" ...have you been grasping why that's ridonkulous at all? I don't need to transform anything at all, just because you object to defining a bachelor as an unmarried male---or had no idea that one was a different way of speaking about the other. You can go and do that yourself, if you want. It's in my very first post... now would be a good time to not be lazy, and read it.
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Re: The Objectivity of Morality

Postby Flannel Jesus » Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:45 am

Well, seeing as you already gave those arguments and lost with them, and are unwilling to try presenting anything new, I feel pretty safe just resting on the victory I already had.

Now, if you want to single out one of the arguments that you think is particularly strong (you don't want me to single it out -- I'll choose the weakest one, so I'm giving you the opportunity to make your case as strong as possible), and try reformulating it to prove objective values instead of morality (which should be easy if they're equivalent as you say), I will respond to it. If not, I'll just pick out the most obviously erroneous argument and show what's wrong with it.

Do you want to leave it up to me? Is that really the path you want to take?
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Re: The Objectivity of Morality

Postby von Rivers » Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:14 am

Flannel Jesus wrote:Well, seeing as you already gave those arguments and lost with them, and are unwilling to try presenting anything new, I feel pretty safe just resting on the victory I already had.

Now, if you want to single out one of the arguments that you think is particularly strong (you don't want me to single it out -- I'll choose the weakest one, so I'm giving you the opportunity to make your case as strong as possible), and try reformulating it to prove objective values instead of morality (which should be easy if they're equivalent as you say), I will respond to it. If not, I'll just pick out the most obviously erroneous argument and show what's wrong with it.

Do you want to leave it up to me? Is that really the path you want to take?


Let me ask you this: Are you denying that you gave no reason to think there was anything wrong with any of the arguments I highlighted in blue, and did no more than state a disagreement with some premise, just in a one-liner? I thought we agreed on that, when we agreed you were lazy. I mean, that only makes sense---because now you're asking me to pick one argument, so that you don't have to respond to all 5 or 6. You wouldn't ask that if you had done anything more than what's obvious that you did do---a one liner just letting everyone know that you are taking some opposed position in the debate... (as if that was a surprise).

If there's some reason to think the premise false, it needs to be layed out. I think I've said plenty to render the premises initially plausible. What Carleas said is tantamount to saying that one person had a better case, but was also the person who lost. That should strike you as incoherent. Particularly if you're not denying anything above, which I take it that you're not, by asking me to repeat an first post.

Why don't you get off your ass and respond to the argument that you think is weakest. That's what I'd prefer... some sort of challenge, at all.

(And it's about fucking time that you should feel the need to respond to an actual argument)
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Re: The Objectivity of Morality

Postby Flannel Jesus » Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:55 pm

Why must you put words in my mouth constantly? In about a third of your posts in this thread, you ask something like, "Are you saying this???" and it's pretty much always a completely fabricated statement that didn't come from anything I said.

I'm not denying anything ya dope. What's obviously true is my one-liners were enough to get the judge on my side, and since this was framed as a debate with a judge instead of a conversation, that's all that matters.

The one-liners were clearly not enough to convince you, but they were enough to convince the judge. I'm sure, from your perspective, that that's a bit confusing -- you laid out these detailed arguments, and your opponent just lazily said "nope", AND SOMEHOW THE JUDGE IS ON HIS SIDE? Must be infuriating.

So, here's what I'll do for you: I'll pick out an argument you made that I responded to with a one-liner, and explain how everyone else would view that argument, and why a one-liner was enough for Carleas to consider it refuted.

P1. Morality is either objective or its not.
P2. If it is objective, then we can consistently have productive discussions with other people/cultures and speak meaningfully (without talking past each other). We can even criticize each other, legitimately. We can do things we should be able to do, like reflect on our past, claim to have grown, etc. In fact, we do these things anyways.
C. Therefore, morality is objective.

Conclusion doesn't follow from the premises.


This was my one-liner response. Now, I actually totally thought this would be enough for you. I thought you were probably well-versed in the rules of logic, being on a philosophy forum and challenging people and all that. It's sort of the minimum requirement.

So, let me show you how someone who has the rules of logic internalized parses this argument:

P1: A or notA
P1 is a solid premise. Totally strong. Great premise. Not necessarily a great way to start a syllogism (it's a bit hard to come up with a second premise that, alone with that, would actually create a valid syllogistic conclusion), but it's at least an indisputable premise. This is how someone well-versed in logic views P1.

P2: If A, then -- a list of things that I think are good things become legitimate.
Again, this premise is totally true. Yes, if A is true, then all of those things are true. All of those things that you'd like to be true are true. IF A is true.

But, you see, to conclude that A is true because you'd like certain consequences of it being true...that's both a transparent nonsequitur to anyone well-versed in logic, and another specific kind of fallacy most commonly known as Appeal to Consequence.

Your argument is like the following:

P1: Either God exists or he doesn't.
P2: If God exists, then we can have meaningful conversations about what it is that God expects of us, and what the afterlife might be like. In fact, we do this anyway.
C: Therefore, God exists.

Is it not easy to see what's incredibly wrong with that sort of argument?

Saying that, if A were true, you can list a whole bunch of things that would also be true with it that you'd like to be true...it doesn't matter what you want to be true. It doesn't matter that you want moral conversations legitimized. What you want is not a logical basis for determining truth from falsehood. Your desires do not determine the world. Either candy will fall from the sky right now or it won't. I very much want candy to fall from the sky right now. However, reality doesn't give a shit what I want. Just willing candy to fall from the sky doesn't work.

So, that you can think of some desirable consequences for morality being objective is irrelevant. It doesn't matter that such-and-such would be legitimized, or that you have conversations about morality anyway. It doesn't matter one bit. That doesn't make it true.

And this whole verbose post...these thoughts FLASH through the mind of anybody well-versed in logic. It takes only a moment for someone like Me or Carl to see the argument and think these thoughts. Logic is so internalized for us (and I wrongly assumed for you as well) that really, all we need is a moment's thought to see that the conclusion doesn't follow from the premise. That's why my one-liner was enough for him. It was immediately obvious to him that the conclusion didn't follow, and he saw that it was immediately obvious to me (likely for the same reason), and so he agreed. I'm sorry that you didn't see it as well, but hopefully now you do.

It was more or less like that for the rest of them as well -- some obvious logical mistake that took not a moment's thought to realize was mistaken, and so Carleas saw my one-liner, shook his head at my laziness but ultimately agreed with it.
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Re: The Objectivity of Morality

Postby Carleas » Sat Nov 10, 2012 5:35 pm

The last few posts have relied to some degree on my earlier judgement, and that's not strictly relevant to the claim of whether or not morality is objective. Rather, the debate seems to have become a debate about a debate about the objectivity of morality. As such, I think it's as good a time as any to wrap up. It seems like you're both leaning that way anyway.

I'd encourage the conversation to continue in the discussion thread, where another poster has already chimed in.

Thanks to both of you for organizing and executing this debate. I got a lot out of it, and I hope you'll indulge me to continue it after I take of my judge had and really get down in the weeds.
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Re: The Objectivity of Morality

Postby Flannel Jesus » Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:01 pm

I'm fine concluding with all that I have said. I don't feel the need to say any more. So, I won't. I swear by the morning sun not to post another post in this thread.
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Re: The Objectivity of Morality

Postby von Rivers » Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:56 pm

Flannel Jesus wrote:P1: A or notA
P1 is a solid premise. Totally strong. Great premise. Not necessarily a great way to start a syllogism (it's a bit hard to come up with a second premise that, alone with that, would actually create a valid syllogistic conclusion), but it's at least an indisputable premise. This is how someone well-versed in logic views P1.

P2: If A, then -- a list of things that I think are good things become legitimate.
Again, this premise is totally true. Yes, if A is true, then all of those things are true. All of those things that you'd like to be true are true. IF A is true.

But, you see, to conclude that A is true because you'd like certain consequences of it being true...that's both a transparent nonsequitur to anyone well-versed in logic, and another specific kind of fallacy most commonly known as Appeal to Consequence.

Your argument is like the following:

P1: Either God exists or he doesn't.
P2: If God exists, then we can have meaningful conversations about what it is that God expects of us, and what the afterlife might be like. In fact, we do this anyway.
C: Therefore, God exists.


Wake up. The conclusion of my argument here is not that morality exists---it's that morality is objective. If every moral sentence is objectively false----that's compatible with the conclusion of my argument. Your argument that you think is analogous has nothing to do with mine.

This is the form of my argument:
P1. A or B
P2. If A then C (and C is clearly true)
C. You should think A true.

Saying that, if A were true, you can list a whole bunch of things that would also be true with it that you'd like to be true...it doesn't matter what you want to be true.
My argument has nothing to do with wanting anything to be true. The fact of the matter is that certain things just are true: "You do have productive discussions with other people/cultures and speak meaningfully (without talking past each other). And you do criticize each other, legitimately. You do reflect on your past, claim to have grown, etc." Those are things that are true. Period. And the only way to consistently engage in them is to think morality is objective.

It doesn't matter that you want moral conversations legitimized.
Which premise are you referring to? My argument has nothing to do with what I want.

So, that you can think of some desirable consequences for morality being objective is irrelevant. It doesn't matter that such-and-such would be legitimized, or that you have conversations about morality anyway. It doesn't matter one bit. That doesn't make it true.
My argument had nothing to do with desirable consequences. But just so you know, most people think that if something has desirable consequences, or just works, that's grounds for thinking something true. They're called pragmatists----it's true if it works.

And this whole verbose post...these thoughts FLASH through the mind of anybody well-versed in logic. It takes only a moment for someone like Me or Carl to see the argument and think these thoughts.

LOL. This was the argument you thought was weakest... and you failed to find a legitimate fault with it. The moment you tried to explain yourself you fell on your face. That's why I want to hear more than one-liners. End of story, I suppose.
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