Debating a 'moral anti-realist'?

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Richard
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Re: Debating a 'moral anti-realist'?

#16 Postby Richard » Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:45 am

As I said, if they have a crumb of empathy, you can work from there and apply logic. You find something you both agree on, and then expand from there and apply it rationally to everything else. The only time this doesn't work is when someone lacks that crumb of empathy. But if you can at least get someone to say "Yeah it's wrong to hang a dog by a tree and set it on fire for fun and film it" - then you're away.

When I say that something depends on circumstances, I mean that per circumstance there is a definite right and wrong, so it is still definitive, you can still make a list of rules, that always apply and do not change. For instance, if you say "You must stop at a red light", you can also say "If in an emergency, or if the red light is malfunctioning and hasn't changed to green in 5 minutes, you can drive through", and that is still a consistent set of rules, it's just analyzing everything intelligently rather than giving just a blanket statement "stop at red lights", which won't apply all the time.

You have to have an explanation of when something is right and wrong, otherwise your list is simplistic and untrue. For instance "It is wrong to kill", if taken to an absolute degree, then you can't take a wild swing with a baseball bat at the back of the head of someone who is raping your mum. To me, that's reasonable, and if it kills them, too bad. So in that instance, I would not say someone is wrong to do it. But, you can apply "it's wrong to kill..." with other stipulations, and they are absolutes.

I don't agree with relativism, which means that each person is allowed their own set of rules. To me, there is one set of rules.
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Re: Debating a 'moral anti-realist'?

#17 Postby blabbate » Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:34 am

Richard wrote:As I said, if they have a crumb of empathy, you can work from there and apply logic. You find something you both agree on, and then expand from there and apply it rationally to everything else. The only time this doesn't work is when someone lacks that crumb of empathy. But if you can at least get someone to say "Yeah it's wrong to hang a dog by a tree and set it on fire for fun and film it" - then you're away.

Yeah, I think we both agree with this.

Richard wrote:You have to have an explanation of when something is right and wrong, otherwise your list is simplistic and untrue. For instance "It is wrong to kill", if taken to an absolute degree, then you can't take a wild swing with a baseball bat at the back of the head of someone who is raping your mum. To me, that's reasonable, and if it kills them, too bad. So in that instance, I would not say someone is wrong to do it. But, you can apply "it's wrong to kill..." with other stipulations, and they are absolutes.

But they're still just absolutes to you, not universally. In another culture, it might be fine to kill other people for sport. Their absolutes are different from yours. And there's nothing to objectively say that your "absolutes" are more correct than theirs. You _feel_ that they are, but your feelings don't matter. Again, it all reduces to self-interest, which is meaningless from an objective standpoint.

This really is all semantics, though, since we live by essentially the same ethical code. We just disagree about how we got to it.
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Re: Debating a 'moral anti-realist'?

#18 Postby Fallen_Horse » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:19 pm

Yeah what's the point in not killing people if there is no eternal punishment for it? :D
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Re: Debating a 'moral anti-realist'?

#19 Postby blabbate » Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:06 pm

Fallen_Horse wrote:Yeah what's the point in not killing people if there is no eternal punishment for it? :D

Exactly!!
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Re: Debating a 'moral anti-realist'?

#20 Postby VeganEssentials » Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:20 pm

Fallen_Horse wrote:Yeah what's the point in not killing people if there is no eternal punishment for it? :D


I once overheard someone say "That's why we have capital punishment - so that the athiests will actually have a reason not to do stupid shit like murder other people since they don't believe in the afterlife!"

Made me chuckle a bit :D
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Re: Debating a 'moral anti-realist'?

#21 Postby HorseSense » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:29 pm

VeganEssentials wrote:I once overheard someone say "That's why we have capital punishment - so that the athiests will actually have a reason not to do stupid shit like murder other people since they don't believe in the afterlife!"

Made me chuckle a bit :D


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Re: Debating a 'moral anti-realist'?

#22 Postby Richard » Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:09 pm

blabbate wrote:
Richard wrote:You have to have an explanation of when something is right and wrong, otherwise your list is simplistic and untrue. For instance "It is wrong to kill", if taken to an absolute degree, then you can't take a wild swing with a baseball bat at the back of the head of someone who is raping your mum. To me, that's reasonable, and if it kills them, too bad. So in that instance, I would not say someone is wrong to do it. But, you can apply "it's wrong to kill..." with other stipulations, and they are absolutes.

But they're still just absolutes to you, not universally. In another culture, it might be fine to kill other people for sport. Their absolutes are different from yours. And there's nothing to objectively say that your "absolutes" are more correct than theirs. You _feel_ that they are, but your feelings don't matter. Again, it all reduces to self-interest, which is meaningless from an objective standpoint.

This really is all semantics, though, since we live by essentially the same ethical code. We just disagree about how we got to it.


Again, if you talk to someone who thinks it's okay to kill for sport, you can start with if they think they think it would be okay for them to be killed for sport, and go from there.

I think theoerically there is a perfect way to behave, one which could not be questioned or argued against. I seek to make my set of ethics as perfect as they can be, but I know that there are things I haven't considered at this point in time, so my personal set of ethics is most likely not perfect yet. But that doesn't mean that there isn't a perfect set of ethics
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Re: Debating a 'moral anti-realist'?

#23 Postby blabbate » Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:01 pm

Richard wrote:Again, if you talk to someone who thinks it's okay to kill for sport, you can start with if they think they think it would be okay for them to be killed for sport, and go from there.

Eh, I don't think that'll get anywhere with them, but it's worth a try. There are ways to argue around that. And if they're really mental, they won't care anyway.

Richard wrote:I think theoerically there is a perfect way to behave, one which could not be questioned or argued against. I seek to make my set of ethics as perfect as they can be, but I know that there are things I haven't considered at this point in time, so my personal set of ethics is most likely not perfect yet. But that doesn't mean that there isn't a perfect set of ethics

And I disagree, but that's cool.
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Re: Debating a 'moral anti-realist'?

#24 Postby veghead25 » Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:57 pm

HorseSense wrote:I guarantee if this type were to be put under the same amount of stress, terror, torture, and pain these same beings are under then they would develop a "tangible" ethics code very, VERY quickly.


Agreed.

Maybe he is a rich guy who has had everything handed to him since humans tend to grow morals when life is harder.

I wouldn't waste my time debating someone with blinders on. Its like having a debate with the president. :wink:
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Re: Debating a 'moral anti-realist'?

#25 Postby MattSxvx » Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:31 pm

You cant argue with these people. They are so full of bullshit they don't know which end they are spewing from.

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Re: Debating a 'moral anti-realist'?

#26 Postby Richard » Sun Mar 11, 2012 5:56 am

Maybe you can assess things without using moralistic or ethical language such as "right" and "wrong". Instead just talk about the level of damage delivered onto a victim. That can't be argued. So in a country where there is no ethics or morality, you could still take someone to court and say "they caused this much damage" or "they stole this much money". You can quantify the crime without saying it is wrong.

From there you've got two options - either this isn't what a moral anti-realist would like, or it is. If it is what they'd like, then the rules can still be expanded to animals. If it isn't what they'd like, then what kind of legal system would they like? If you truly believe there is no such thing as right or wrong, how can you even have a trial? Surely such people would say that there should still be a legal system, and if so, on what grounds, and how does it function? I believe that whatever the system, it can still be expanded to incorporate animals.

But at a fundamental level, I just do not believe what a moral anti-realist is saying from the start, it seems just a cop out, a way to not worry or bother with ethics, rather than a genuine belief that they don't exist
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