Re: [The-Burnsville-Socrates-Cafe] 5/14/13 questions and discussion

From: Jon A.
Sent on: Sunday, May 19, 2013 12:35 PM
Shannon,

Is it true inside your claim that some ethical choices are *always* better than others?

I also wonder what you mean in the second paragraph about "throwing out the ability" to talk about these questions. Has that been the implication I have left?

It appears to me that only a claim of knowledge of an objective morality could prevent discussion ("revealed truth").

Jon

===============================================

If there is a problem you can do nothing about, why be upset? If there is a problem you can do something about, why be upset?

On May 19, 2013, at 11:12, Shannon <[address removed]> wrote:

Sure...I will admit that a significant weakness in my position is that it may be extremely difficult to articulate any universal or specific ethical theory, but that wasn't really the issue that I was raising...I make my claim that some ethical choices are better than others (based partly on the fact that many would agree with the idea that slavery/Hitler is bad and kindness/courage/tolerance are good... interesting enough as a relativist there seems to be an unstated underlying objective "good" of tolerance...) 

(The answer to why bother...) If given the choice between moral relativism and moral objectivism the problem or difficulty in articulating a standard is less of a issue for me than throwing out the ability to even being able to discuss these types of claims. (back to ice cream)

Welcome to the conversation Brent. I think this group is always willing to hear from more participants to discuss these fun concepts! From some of the comments you have made in your previous post, I hear a possible hint of support with what I am trying to say. Maybe you are better able to communicate the problems with each viewpoint. I also agree with your point that many of these problems come about because of a lack of clear definition..."meaning is essential to the conversation,"
 I do not want to give that up.
 
Shannon  
From: Jon Anderson <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Thursday, May 16,[masked]:45 PM
Subject: Re: [The-Burnsville-Socrates-Cafe] 5/14/13 questions and discussion

But Shannon, it seems the bottom line of morality in your mind is something objective and simultaneously unprovable. If unprovable, then all that is left is faith (don't assume faith = god. Faith = belief in something unsupported by data).

Until we find your Holy Grail of morality, it can only be imaginary. The imaginary, situational morality is what we've always used and it seems to have worked well enough. Why bother with an imagined, permanent morality?

Jon

===============================================

If there is a problem you can do nothing about, why be upset? If there is a problem you can do something about, why be upset?

On May 16, 2013, at 11:46, Shannon <[address removed]> wrote:

Why would it necessarily be a matter of faith? (I certainly do not think we need to invoke "God" to establish a system of determining right and wrong...in fact I would "prefer" that we leave the concept of "God" out entirely) Like any decision we have a basis for making...there are reasons behind it. As I have mentioned before, I think the standard can be hard to arrive at but I do not think it falls back to merely preference. I remember others mentioning that not to cause harm standard can be generally agreed upon...Yes we can argue about what this means but just as we have set up a system for dealing with close cases (courts-Judge/Jury) we can discuss and reason the difficult cases.
 
Shannon

From: Jon Anderson <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Thursday, May 16,[masked]:56 AM
Subject: Re: [The-Burnsville-Socrates-Cafe] 5/14/13 questions and discussion

To Shannon's statement: I am eager for the "basis" for the judgements of which you write to be made explicit. Lacking that it boils down to faith. Faith alone as the basis for anything, let alone our reasons for deciding right or wrong, is too problematic to be allowed.

John's "willy mildly" murder question has the problem of no such society ever existing. Does he have a more likely scenario for demonstrating objective evil, or is that the only way to "prove" it?

Jon

===============================================

If there is a problem you can do nothing about, why be upset? If there is a problem you can do something about, why be upset?

On May 15, 2013, at 11:07, Shannon <[address removed]> wrote:

Just to clarify from last nights conversation, when arguing against ethical relativism my point is not to try to assert that any particular theory is correct but that we can at least say that some theories are better than others.
 
I don't think that when we argue about right and wrong that it is merely expressing a preference. If that were the case, even having the conversation would be silly like arguing chocolate ice cream is better than vanilla (everyone knows that coffee is the best...;) but seriously I agree with the idea that not all decisions will have foundational ethical implications. In that sense, I think that there can be several and at times many "correct" ethical answers (Steve...tolerance to different ideas is a good thing) however when discussing the matter with a person who thinks that killing for fun is perfectly acceptable (willy nilly) I'm gonna have to side with Jim/John...we can be critical of this viewpoint...and I would argue it is wrong and not just a matter of preference.
 
For those of you in support of relativism, how do you reconcile the ability to even have a discussion about the topic...if it is just a preference expression, then we have no basis to evaluate when we think action is good/bad, evil/good, etc whatever evaluative language you want to use. I think that we all make these judgments and have reasons for making those judgments has to have some explanation...that does not mean that we cannot be mistaken about what we think/believe. These kinds of issues are harder to decide because the facts that support them are slippery, but that does not mean that we can't arrive at some as the basis for our claims. 
 
Shannon




--
Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to everyone on this mailing list ([address removed])
This message was sent by Jon Anderson ([address removed]) from The Burnsville Socrates Cafe.
To learn more about Jon Anderson, visit his/her member profile
Set my mailing list to email me As they are sent | In one daily email | Don't send me mailing list messages

Meetup, POB 4668 #37895 NY NY USA 10163 | [address removed]






--
Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to everyone on this mailing list ([address removed])
This message was sent by Shannon ([address removed]) from The Burnsville Socrates Cafe.
To learn more about Shannon, visit his/her member profile
Set my mailing list to email me As they are sent | In one daily email | Don't send me mailing list messages

Meetup, POB 4668 #37895 NY NY USA 10163 | [address removed]




--
Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to everyone on this mailing list ([address removed])
This message was sent by Jon Anderson ([address removed]) from The Burnsville Socrates Cafe.
To learn more about Jon Anderson, visit his/her member profile
Set my mailing list to email me As they are sent | In one daily email | Don't send me mailing list messages

Meetup, POB 4668 #37895 NY NY USA 10163 | [address removed]






--
Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to everyone on this mailing list ([address removed])
This message was sent by Shannon ([address removed]) from The Burnsville Socrates Cafe.
To learn more about Shannon, visit his/her member profile
Set my mailing list to email me As they are sent | In one daily email | Don't send me mailing list messages

Meetup, POB 4668 #37895 NY NY USA 10163 | [address removed]

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy