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PostPosted: June 3rd, 2007, 9:39 pm 
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The Adict wrote:
Also to spaz, huh? Okay I think I get it but not sure, been a long time since I've heard any body use those words let alone use them myself. So in other words after all this time, you agreeing with me? :?: huh? I think I need to spen the next twenty minutes going threw your post, I can't read that fast, yep me an idoit with a big mouth.


Well if you agree that moral relativism is not a viable theory of morality, and that cultural relativism cannot be used as evidence for moral relativism, then yes I would agree with you. ;)

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PostPosted: June 4th, 2007, 8:45 am 
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Okay then no, you're just repeating what you've said for the last week. Just with biggererer words, (joke) and shorter frazing.

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PostPosted: June 5th, 2007, 8:37 am 
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The Adict wrote:
Okay then no, you're just repeating what you've said for the last week. Just with biggererer words, (joke) and shorter frazing.


The major logical problem I have with moral relativism is that just because different people or different cultures have different "interpretations" of what is moral and what is immoral, it doesn't follow that objective moral obligations don't exist (otherwise, we'd end up with the fallacy of a false dilemma). Thus, you cannot conclude that morality is relative based upon how different individuals or cultures view certain moral issues.

In fact it isn't possible to prove that morality is relative because moral relativism implies the lack of objective truth. If there is no objective truth, then "proof" is meaningless.

Adict, you say that moral judgments change with the individual, the society, and with time. However, why then do you conclude morality is subjective? It may very well be that one person's moral judgment is wrong, and the other correct or the moral judgment of one time is wrong and the moral judgment of another time period be correct.

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PostPosted: June 5th, 2007, 10:02 am 
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Looks like I have to keep going with morals, nothing better to do.

Listen Spaz, how do you know what's right and what's wrong? Your parents taught you therefore your parents morals become your morals for the most part. For instance I believe stealings wrong, one because I know the suffering it causes. However I work in an area with a large minority population, many of which do not believe that there is anything wrong with stealing, or with beating people up. And again you keep going back to what wrong is wrong and what is right is right. Look at the problem we're having over the nature of morality. We both believe we're right and neither of us are going to be able to pursuade the other their wrong. Thus you have objectivity in the very belief of what is right and wrong. There are varients mostly on the minor level between everyone on what is right and wrong. In the end since your Christian,(I know I spelled my own religion wrong WILL IT NEVER END!? Am I cursed to spell everything wrong!?) you are well aware of our one and only true God given right, that is absolute freedom of will. We are free to do and believe whatever we so chose, thus by virtue of that almost everything is objective. I am not saying there are not absolute truths, as there are quiet a few, I am just saying that morality isn't one of them and you're never going to convince me otherwise.

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PostPosted: June 5th, 2007, 2:52 pm 
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The Adict wrote:
Looks like I have to keep going with morals, nothing better to do.

Listen Spaz, how do you know what's right and what's wrong? Your parents taught you therefore your parents morals become your morals for the most part. For instance I believe stealings wrong, one because I know the suffering it causes. However I work in an area with a large minority population, many of which do not believe that there is anything wrong with stealing, or with beating people up. And again you keep going back to what wrong is wrong and what is right is right. Look at the problem we're having over the nature of morality. We both believe we're right and neither of us are going to be able to pursuade the other their wrong. Thus you have objectivity in the very belief of what is right and wrong. There are varients mostly on the minor level between everyone on what is right and wrong. In the end since your Christian,(I know I spelled my own religion wrong WILL IT NEVER END!? Am I cursed to spell everything wrong!?) you are well aware of our one and only true God given right, that is absolute freedom of will. We are free to do and believe whatever we so chose, thus by virtue of that almost everything is objective. I am not saying there are not absolute truths, as there are quiet a few, I am just saying that morality isn't one of them and you're never going to convince me otherwise.


Like I've already explained, people's moral beliefs do not have an effect on moral truth. I'm not claiming to know absolute moral truth, as such a claim requires far more reasoning than I've give so far. I'm just saying that you cannot conclude that there is no definite right or wrong just because certain people or groups of people disagree about what is right and wrong. That is not a logical deduction. If I put an apple on the table and one person believes it to be a pear and another believes it to be an orange, does that mean there is no objective answer? Of course not. The apple is an apple whether someone believes its an apple or not.

The same goes for morality. We can take an issue such as stealing. One group says stealing is okay in most cases and one group says that stealing is absolutely wrong in most case. Does that mean there is no objective moral truth about stealing?

I realize I am repeating myself but I'm just trying to put my point across as clearly as possible.

The only case in which one could logically and reasonably argue that morality is subjective is to argue that morality simply doesn't exist: it merely something each person creates for themselves. If that statement is true, then it WOULD logicall follow that morality must be subjective or relative.

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PostPosted: June 5th, 2007, 10:46 pm 
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Big sigh, you're still basing your objective moral on what is right is right and what wrong is wrong both of which is largely agreed by learned person, including my grandmother, as perspective based.

And no the same does not go for morals. The rose b yany other name is still a rose argument only works on tangible objects made of atoms and matter. An apple is a tangible object, it is matter, atoms and form that can't by changed by current human ability. Absolute truths are absolute truths because they are absolute and objective, the best one I can think of is every living things dies. It doesn't matter if you believe it to be true, it doesn't matter how hard you try to change or avoid it, you are still going to die. Thus it stands to reasoning unless it's an absolte truth it is not objective, since we are both agree morality is not absolute truth it concurs that it must be an objective truth.

And more to the point YOU JUST ADMITTED IT WAS BASED UPON THE INDIVIGUAL PERSON!!! Thank you for making the point I was to stupid not make clear :oops: . And before you start agruing that morality is not created in the mind, which would be terrible funny to me, I put it too you, is it made of atoms and matter? If not then it's in our heads. And yes I realize that no law or absolute truth truth is made of atoms but they effect things the EXACT same way, well outside the one or two exceptions for that law. Which of course since there is at least one exception to ever law means that there is no such things as an absolute all powerful law that governs everything means every law including said law and morality are both subjective and objective. Ugh sorry for the bad grammar but I'm not even goign to try and fix that runon.

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PostPosted: June 5th, 2007, 11:35 pm 
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spazmaster666 wrote:
The only case in which one could logically and reasonably argue that morality is subjective is to argue that morality simply doesn't exist: it merely something each person creates for themselves. If that statement is true, then it WOULD logicall follow that morality must be subjective or relative.


I think this is what myself and Adict were trying to argue. Apologies if I didn't make it very clear; debating is not a strong suit of mine. :P

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PostPosted: June 5th, 2007, 11:47 pm 
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Same here Zaxares, same here.

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PostPosted: June 6th, 2007, 4:05 am 
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The Adict wrote:
Big sigh, you're still basing your objective moral on what is right is right and what wrong is wrong both of which is largely agreed by learned person, including my grandmother, as perspective based.


Like I said, if morality is objective (and if morality exists then it must exist ontologically, not dependent upon anything else) then it doesn't matter whether or not people have different moral beliefs, what is right will always be right, and what is wrong will always be wrong.

The Adict wrote:
And no the same does not go for morals. The rose b yany other name is still a rose argument only works on tangible objects made of atoms and matter. An apple is a tangible object, it is matter, atoms and form that can't by changed by current human ability. Absolute truths are absolute truths because they are absolute and objective, the best one I can think of is every living things dies. It doesn't matter if you believe it to be true, it doesn't matter how hard you try to change or avoid it, you are still going to die. Thus it stands to reasoning unless it's an absolte truth it is not objective, since we are both agree morality is not absolute truth it concurs that it must be an objective truth.


When did I agree that morality is not an absolute truth? I'm merely arguing that you cannot logically conclude moral relativism from personal subjectivity or cultural relativism.

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And more to the point YOU JUST ADMITTED IT WAS BASED UPON THE INDIVIGUAL PERSON!!! Thank you for making the point I was to stupid not make clear :oops: . And before you start agruing that morality is not created in the mind, which would be terrible funny to me, I put it too you, is it made of atoms and matter? If not then it's in our heads. And yes I realize that no law or absolute truth truth is made of atoms but they effect things the EXACT same way, well outside the one or two exceptions for that law. Which of course since there is at least one exception to ever law means that there is no such things as an absolute all powerful law that governs everything means every law including said law and morality are both subjective and objective. Ugh sorry for the bad grammar but I'm not even goign to try and fix that runon.


No I did not. I said that moral beliefs may differ among individuals and cultures. However, moral belief does not equal moral truth. The argument that morality is subjective because people's moral beliefs can be subjective has no logical basis. Which is why I pointed out that the only logical basis for moral relativism would have to follow a statement that presupposes the nonexistence of morality itself. In other words, if you presuppose that morality is merely a concept, not a truth, then yes it is reasonable to conclude that morality is relative. However, the presupposition itself is difficult to hold given practical evidence.

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I think this is what myself and Adict were trying to argue. Apologies if I didn't make it very clear; debating is not a strong suit of mine. Razz


Even if we put aside the strong logical argument against moral relativism, the practical evidence against it in the form of our reactions toward moral issues and the way we make moral judgments indicates that we do not hold moral subjectivity to be valid. This argument is not often addressed because it is a difficult topic to tackle and is far more philosophical in nature than scientific.

A very simple question to ask yourself: when you make a moral judgment about a particular action or issue, do you intend for that moral judgment simply to apply to you or do yo intend it to apply to everyone. i.e. if you say that you believe we should not steal from others, are you saying that this only applies to yourself, or that it applies to everyone else as well? The very nature of the moral judgment seems to apply universal agreement on the matter. In other words, we expect everyone else to follow the moral codes that we follow, even if their moral beliefs differ. Going back to that earlier example I made, if you were attacked and robbed on the street, you would believe that what your attacker did was wrong even if they themselves believed it was the right thing to do. This means that you do not find that the other person's moral beliefs to be an adequate excuse for, what would be considered in your view, an immoral act. Think for a moment what can be concluded from this and what this type of thinking implies.

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PostPosted: June 6th, 2007, 4:21 am 
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spazmaster666 wrote:
Even if we put aside the strong logical argument against moral relativism, the practical evidence against it in the form of our reactions toward moral issues and the way we make moral judgments indicates that we do not hold moral subjectivity to be valid. This argument is not often addressed because it is a difficult topic to tackle and is far more philosophical in nature than scientific.

A very simple question to ask yourself: when you make a moral judgment about a particular action or issue, do you intend for that moral judgment simply to apply to you or do yo intend it to apply to everyone. i.e. if you say that you believe we should not steal from others, are you saying that this only applies to yourself, or that it applies to everyone else as well? The very nature of the moral judgment seems to apply universal agreement on the matter. In other words, we expect everyone else to follow the moral codes that we follow.


This is the fundamental problem when trying to debate the nature of morality. Each of us, from birth, has already been instilled with a particular brand of morals and ethics. We have it indoctrinated into us that this is the way we should behave, that this is the way EVERYBODY should behave. As such, we are largely incapable of comprehending that somebody else might use an entirely different set of values. On an intellectual level, we can easily conceive that different moral codes might exist, but we cannot truly understand them. No matter how open minded and accomodating we believe ourselves to be, I believe that we can never truly understand a different moral code because we cannot view that moral code without looking at it through the lens of our own moral code.

So to your example? Yes, I would say that nobody should steal from another person, because I was raised in a Western democratic society that taught me from young that I should not steal. But what if I had grown up among an entirely different culture and mental mindset? One that taught that if somebody is too weak to protect their belongings, it is my God-given right to take it for myself? Now I, myself, sitting here at my desk, cannot imagine myself ever doing that, but again, that is because I was raised the way I am, taught the way I am. If things had been different, who knows?

Frankly, the only way I can see to prove or disprove this theory is to get a test group of babies from all races, isolate them from all modes of thought, religion and cultural influences of the modern world, raise them under a brutal dictatorial regime with the philosophical tenets I mentioned earlier, and see if, somehow, these test subjects still display a belief in charity, honesty and other virtues (or characteristics that we hold as virtues). Only then will I consider my theory disproven.

Of course, I highly doubt that any government would sanction this kind of experiment. :?

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PostPosted: June 6th, 2007, 4:37 am 
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Zaxares wrote:
This is the fundamental problem when trying to debate the nature of morality. Each of us, from birth, has already been instilled with a particular brand of morals and ethics. We have it indoctrinated into us that this is the way we should behave, that this is the way EVERYBODY should behave. As such, we are largely incapable of comprehending that somebody else might use an entirely different set of values. On an intellectual level, we can easily conceive that different moral codes might exist, but we cannot truly understand them. No matter how open minded and accomodating we believe ourselves to be, I believe that we can never truly understand a different moral code because we cannot view that moral code without looking at it through the lens of our own moral code.


You have just proven my point. It doesn't matter what type of "moral upbringing" you may have gone through. It doesn't matter whether it is based on Western or Eastern moral philosophy. It doesn't matter which religion may be involved. Hence even if we were to theorize that morality is relative, it would be impossible for any of us to hold such a position since doing so would compromise our own moral codes. So in the end it becomes both a logically unsound, impractical, and useless philosophy.

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So to your example? Yes, I would say that nobody should steal from another person, because I was raised in a Western democratic society that taught me from young that I should not steal. But what if I had grown up among an entirely different culture and mental mindset? One that taught that if somebody is too weak to protect their belongings, it is my God-given right to take it for myself? Now I, myself, sitting here at my desk, cannot imagine myself ever doing that, but again, that is because I was raised the way I am, taught the way I am. If things had been different, who knows?


You are missing the point here. The point here isn't about which moral codes are correct. The question I asked has to do with why we expect others to follow our moral codes. IMO, the answer is that we instinctively hold on to moral objectivity, even when we may outwardly toute a theory of moral relativism.

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PostPosted: June 6th, 2007, 1:19 pm 
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Spaz, we expect others to believe what we believe and act the way we act, because we are arrogent bastards and are simply incapable of comprehending why any one would be different from us. We know that are and are able to understand that to a point, but we don't really can't understand of people completely. (I think I got that right.) For instance what we talked about awhile ago on why our point of view for philosophy. You all couldn't understand that I didn't like and enjoy philosophy as a means to use it to better humanity or myself, That I was just currious and enjoyed it with no higher perpass beyond my own selfish desire. And vice versa I could understand your points of view but not completely.

Also Spaz your argument about everyone having a set of instinctive morals makes no sense from a historical point of view. Thousands of years ago it was complete acceptable to use the women in ones group as curency and leverage. A few thousand years ago rape was an accable way to earn a wife. A few thousand years ago it was perfectly accaptable to have multible wives and husbands. A few thousand years ago it was acceptable to steal. A few hundred years ago slavery was completely acceptable everywhere. A few hundreds years ago wars could be just and holy. A few hundred years ago there was nothing wrong with a thirty year old marrying a teenager. A few hundred years ago torture was completely acceptable, and is starting to be again. A few hundred years ago free thought and speech were thought to be evil. A few hundred years ago 'gifted' people that were just marter or stronger or demonstrated antural talent in anything were considered Satan's chiuldren. A few hundred years ago it was perfectly acceptable to commit genocide. The list goes on and on, my point our view of what is right and just is transient and continues to change and shift with time. Who knows maybe in a few hundred years, sex will by evil, what it is in many places, or the type of conversation may be seen as evil, it once was. Thus from a historical point of view your argument makes no sense.

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PostPosted: June 6th, 2007, 3:28 pm 
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Sorry to butt in like that, but...

The Adict wrote:
A few thousand years ago it was acceptable to steal.

Oh yeah? Where? Theft can only be theft if there is property and privileges, which is existent in structured societies.
Structured societies have rules, like the Hammurabi code of about 1900 BC which said that a thief's hand was to be chopped off.
I don't even believe that neolithic communities would let a thief get away just like that.

The Adict wrote:
A few hundred years ago torture was completely acceptable, and is starting to be again

I don't think that torture was ever accepted by those NOT in charge. 8)
Vice versa: Was there a time when there was no torture?

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42317 wrote:
Sorry to butt in like that, but...

The Adict wrote:
A few thousand years ago it was acceptable to steal.

Oh yeah? Where? Theft can only be theft if there is property and privileges, which is existent in structured societies.
Structured societies have rules, like the Hammurabi code of about 1900 BC which said that a thief's hand was to be chopped off.
I don't even believe that neolithic communities would let a thief get away just like that.


in ancient sparta the reason you were beat if you were cought stealing wasn't that you weren't suposed to, it was because you weren't good enough at it. Stealing was seen as part of the training a youth had to get through to become a soldier.

42317 wrote:
The Adict wrote:
A few hundred years ago torture was completely acceptable, and is starting to be again

I don't think that torture was ever accepted by those NOT in charge. 8)
Vice versa: Was there a time when there was no torture?


who says it wasn't? lets just take the example of William Wallace, you know, the whole FREEDOM shouting and that. in reality it was a lot worse then seen in the movie and public executions and torture were a big public display. people did come, cheer, had popcorn and left to tuck their kids in.

that ofcourse is according to the writen histories, and ofcourse the complete validity of those can be disputed, but at the same time is it that unlikely? what about the witch hunts? the inquisition? the crusades? through out history the act of causing pain onto another person has been seen again and again and I do belive that its first now in this moddern day and age humanity has put effort into removing it from our species as a whole. certainly it is still practitioned but its on a smaller scale then it was before.

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PostPosted: June 6th, 2007, 6:30 pm 
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The Adict wrote:
Also Spaz your argument about everyone having a set of instinctive morals makes no sense from a historical point of view. Thousands of years ago it was complete acceptable to use the women in ones group as curency and leverage. A few thousand years ago rape was an accable way to earn a wife. A few thousand years ago it was perfectly accaptable to have multible wives and husbands. A few thousand years ago it was acceptable to steal. A few hundred years ago slavery was completely acceptable everywhere. A few hundreds years ago wars could be just and holy. A few hundred years ago there was nothing wrong with a thirty year old marrying a teenager. A few hundred years ago torture was completely acceptable, and is starting to be again. A few hundred years ago free thought and speech were thought to be evil. A few hundred years ago 'gifted' people that were just marter or stronger or demonstrated antural talent in anything were considered Satan's chiuldren. A few hundred years ago it was perfectly acceptable to commit genocide. The list goes on and on, my point our view of what is right and just is transient and continues to change and shift with time. Who knows maybe in a few hundred years, sex will by evil, what it is in many places, or the type of conversation may be seen as evil, it once was. Thus from a historical point of view your argument makes no sense.


There are still societies that exist in this day and age that has no problem with human slavery. You are still trying to argue that somehow cultural relativism or moral beliefs can be used as a basis to prove moral relativism. Even if everyone today, for instance, still thought that slavery was moral, that does not make it a moral truth. Which is why I keep saying that what anyone may think or believe has nothing to do with what is true and objective.

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