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Thread started 23 Jun 2012 (Saturday) 07:59
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Disturbing trend in high schools

 
airfrogusmc
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Jul 16, 2012 17:02 |  #556

kcbrown wrote in post #14725702 (external link)
Thank you.

Now, then: was it wrong for the paratroopers in that situation to steal food in order to survive and to go on to help win the war?

Where did right or wrong come into the conversation. You can always justify anything but if you steal its still stealing now matter how its packaged. ;)




  
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mtimber
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Jul 16, 2012 17:05 |  #557

kcbrown wrote in post #14725692 (external link)
No, this is incorrect.

Morality is about whether something is right or wrong. That is all it is about. It is a prescriptive standard. It is not about the way something works (which is something that can be observed).

Please define "right".

Please define "wrong".

Without using an absolute standard of morality...

"Right" and "Wrong" do not exist in a worldview where there is no absolute moral standards.

There is no basis for the concept of right or wrong, there is no basis for morality.

Morality cannot exist as an idea, with nothing to define it with...


And this is where we end up, in absurdity.


Arguing about morality, denying its absolute parameters, whilst using those absolute parameters to prove they don't exist.


Right and Wrong are absolute moral statements when used in the context of discussing moral positions...


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kcbrown
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Jul 16, 2012 17:09 |  #558

mtimber wrote in post #14725598 (external link)
One of the assumptions of empirical deduction is that there are laws of uniformity in nature.

No, this is not an assumption, it is an observation.

That is tested on a daily basis and confirmed.

Precisely: the fact that you can test it means it is not a presumption. A presumption is an axiom, a foundational assumption that is taken as a given because it cannot be tested or deduced.

So yes, we do presume the laws of physics are consistent throughout the universe for example, because if we did not, no scientific experiment could be considered reliable.

Again, our observations show that the laws of physics are consistent, at least within the part of the universe that we can see. There is no need to presume that which can be observed.

If we cannot rely on the uniformity of the universe, we cannot perform deductive science...

That's true as far as it goes, but it doesn't mean that lack of uniformity is, even in principle, unobservable.

This is what happens when you don't recognise absolutes.

The only absolute involved in science (that I'm aware of, at any rate) is that there exists a physical, observable universe, and that multiple observations are all of that same physical, observable universe. That's it. The rest is the result of observation, or deduced therefrom.


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Curtis ­ N
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Jul 16, 2012 17:09 |  #559

I remember back in college, circa 1981-1985, people would go to the library, find a book they needed for an assignment, and proceed to make photocopies of the part of the book they needed. It could be 2 pages or 100 pages. It cost 5c per page.

And the library employees stood there and watched. Maybe it was because a) books were less likely to get damaged or lost if they were never checked out, or b) multiple students might need the same book at the same time, or c) the library made money on the copies.

Whatever the reason, pragmatism trumped ethics and legality when it came to copyright, and tacit approval by the university "powers that be" made it all seem ok.

Anyone who has ever read a book has seen the copyright statement inside the front cover. Yet few of us have been dissuaded from laying an open book on the glass of a xerox machine. Newspaper and magazine articles are copied and distributed without a second thought. Probably we just don't see the harm in it.

In any event, I don't think attitudes have changed. We just live in a world of ones and zeros, in formats that are designed to be copied.


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mtimber
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Jul 16, 2012 17:10 |  #560

kcbrown wrote in post #14725692 (external link)
The second part (the means to define morality) does not depend on the first part (an absolute moral standard). And that is where the logical disconnect is for your argument.

So how do you define morality without any means to measure it absolutely...?

How do you boil water until it evaporates if you do not have the laws of physics operational?

How do you argue logic, if there are no laws of logic in place?


What are you using to define "goodness" or "badness" if you have no standard to appeal to?


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kcbrown
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Jul 16, 2012 17:11 |  #561

mtimber wrote in post #14725737 (external link)
Please define "right".

Please define "wrong".

That they must be defined means they cannot be deduced or observed.

Without using an absolute standard of morality...

Okay. I can define "right" as being "that which improves my well being or the well being of those I care about". I can define "wrong" as being "that which reduces my well being or the well being of those I care about".

"Right" and "Wrong" do not exist in a worldview where there is no absolute moral standards.

Then how do you explain the fact that I just defined those terms in a way that does not reference an external standard?


There is no basis for the concept of right or wrong, there is no basis for morality.

That by definition of what morality is...


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Jul 16, 2012 17:13 |  #562

mtimber wrote in post #14725514 (external link)
Your analogy is wrong.

Try this:

The fact you can taste the ice cream proves the ice cream exists.

But without being able to test it with the standards of taste, you would not be able to identify it as ice cream.


Your ability to define it, implicitly demands an intrinsic standard of definition...

I don't see how it's a flawed analogy. We're talking about how we perceive the world. You are claiming that there is a categorically right and wrong that everyone may not agree on, but exists regardless. I'm saying that people's perceptions are what creates that sense of right and wrong. Without people, there is no morality. It is the name we place on our own inherent sympathy/empathy combined with societal expectations.

You speak of morality as the "existence" of ice cream in our little example, but fail to address people who do not act morally. To them, does the ice cream therefore not exist? (This is certainly a bizarre conversation taken out of context.)

mtimber wrote in post #14725521 (external link)
If you lived your life for the greater good of others, how would the above be bad for you?

What?

mtimber wrote in post #14725610 (external link)
Morality can be observed in action and the Absolute Moral standard can be induced.

Like I said:

Without absolute moral standards, without a means to define morality, morality could not even be discussed.

So what are they?


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Jul 16, 2012 17:15 |  #563

kcbrown wrote in post #14725757 (external link)
No, this is not an assumption, it is an observation.

Uniformity in the universe is an assumption that relies on the belief that the universe is consistent...

How do you know that tomorrow, gravity is going to work?

By experimentation or assumption?

You can induct and hope it will be the same, but you cannot deduct because you cannot measure tomorrow...

Unless of course you hold that there is a system of Law in the universe that holds it all together...

Just as their is a system of Law that defines morality.


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Jul 16, 2012 17:15 |  #564

airfrogusmc wrote in post #14725721 (external link)
Where did right or wrong come into the conversation. You can always justify anything but if you steal its still stealing now matter how its packaged. ;)

Well, okay, if you strip the term of its ethical connotations and use it strictly for its descriptive power, then sure, you can eliminate right and wrong from the equation. :-)


The problem is that the term is generally laden with ethical connotations, and when using it, most people include those connotations in how they think about the discussion.


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Jul 16, 2012 17:17 |  #565

kcbrown wrote in post #14725757 (external link)
The only absolute involved in science (that I'm aware of, at any rate) is that there exists a physical, observable universe, and that multiple observations are all of that same physical, observable universe. That's it. The rest is the result of observation, or deduced therefrom.

Laws of logic are another absolute...

They cannot be measured or observed, but exist regardless of whether we agree with them or not.


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Jul 16, 2012 17:17 |  #566

mtimber wrote in post #14725766 (external link)
What are you using to define "goodness" or "badness" if you have no standard to appeal to?

The human condition is an experience. You live your life and grow to understand through comparison from other experiences what you like and don't like; what is good and what is bad. You base these qualitative perceptions on your other experiences.


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Jul 16, 2012 17:19 |  #567

mtimber wrote in post #14725808 (external link)
Laws of logic are another absolute...

They cannot be measured or observed, but exist regardless of whether we agree with them or not.

Bear with me, because I'm curious how you answer this:

Are you a moral person?

Followup question: Why?


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kcbrown
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Jul 16, 2012 17:19 |  #568

mtimber wrote in post #14725790 (external link)
Uniformity in the universe is an assumption that relies on the belief that the universe is consistent...

This is incorrect. Where are you getting this from?

How do you know that tomorrow, gravity is going to work?

I don't know that it will work tomorrow, but observation has shown consistency of gravity over time, so it appears to be the way to bet.

By experimentation or assumption?

You can induct and hope it will be the same, but you cannot deduct because you cannot measure tomorrow...

Science uses induction to answer the question of what the laws will be like in the future, as well as for other predictive things.


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Jul 16, 2012 17:21 |  #569

mtimber wrote in post #14725808 (external link)
Laws of logic are another absolute...

Actually, the laws of logic are a combination of axioms and observation.

In particular, cause and effect is foundational to logic, but the validity of a cause and effect model has been observed.


If you are arguing merely that we make use of some axioms in science, then you have my full agreement: it does make use of some axioms. But science attempts to minimize those.


Remember: the entire purpose of science is to make it possible for us to model the universe as accurately as possible so that we can make useful and accurate predictions with it. That means that even logic itself (as well as any other tool one might use for science) must be consistent with observation.


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Jul 16, 2012 17:22 |  #570

kcbrown wrote in post #14725774 (external link)
Okay. I can define "right" as being "that which improves my well being or the well being of those I care about". I can define "wrong" as being "that which reduces my well being or the well being of those I care about".

By what authority do you define the above as such?

Upon what basis?

Your opinion?


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