Search found 67 matches

by Cres
Thu Aug 06, 2015 12:35 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Is there anything objective about morality?
Replies: 720
Views: 81306

Re: Is there anything objective about morality?

They are both 'should' statements - that is what normativity means. Only by misusing the string of characters 's', 'h', 'o', 'u', 'l', 'd'. That string of characters means something different in each clause. You're going to have to do better than just putting words in italics. What is the differenc...
by Cres
Wed Aug 05, 2015 5:34 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Is there anything objective about morality?
Replies: 720
Views: 81306

Re: Is there anything objective about morality?

So wait, what is Cres's argument that "X is good" is an objective statement? Outside of appealing to 8 year olds I mean. The point about 8-year olds is only to illustrate that we all have a pre-theoretic understanding of 'right' and 'wrong', and that we can use these concepts successfully...
by Cres
Wed Aug 05, 2015 4:21 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Is there anything objective about morality?
Replies: 720
Views: 81306

Re: Is there anything objective about morality?

Instead, moral realism is the metaethical position that there are true statements of the form 'x is right' and 'y is wrong'. [...] Whether morality is objective or not is independent of whether our substantive morality identifies rightness with {whatever} But for moral realism to have any meaning a...
by Cres
Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:33 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Is there anything objective about morality?
Replies: 720
Views: 81306

Re: Is there anything objective about morality?

Just talking to hear myself think. There need be no case for subjective morality, it isn't something that needs to be argued. The existence is a given. The existence of the concept is sufficient on to itself. It's a purely a popularity contest of ideas, fed by the actions of movers in the herd. Obj...
by Cres
Wed Aug 05, 2015 2:31 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Is there anything objective about morality?
Replies: 720
Views: 81306

Re: Is there anything objective about morality?

So your first argument is: 1. Moral subjectivity is simpler than moral objectivity. 2. We should accept simpler accounts over more complicated ones in the absence of other persuasive reasons to choose one over the other. 3. We don't have persuasive reasons to accept objective morality. 4. Therefore ...
by Cres
Wed Aug 05, 2015 12:27 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Is there anything objective about morality?
Replies: 720
Views: 81306

Re: Is there anything objective about morality?

Ucim, can you lay out your argument for the slow of thinking (me) with enumerated premises, showing how you end up with the conclusion that morality is subjective (without implicitly including this conclusion among the premises)? Is it just the Queerness argument? Reading back through the last half ...
by Cres
Sun Aug 02, 2015 8:06 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Is there anything objective about morality?
Replies: 720
Views: 81306

Re: Is there anything objective about morality?

You state that you are the first person who has even tried "to figure out "good" from any logical perspective that would actually work for an objective moral system". This is plainly false, and you would know this if you had done even enough reading to avoid a failing grade on a...
by Cres
Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:18 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Is there anything objective about morality?
Replies: 720
Views: 81306

Re: Is there anything objective about morality?

To take just one example, this is a berserk thing to believe. What do you mean by this? What makes you think I haven't looked into these things already? You state that you are the first person who has even tried "to figure out "good" from any logical perspective that would actually w...
by Cres
Sun Aug 02, 2015 5:47 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Is there anything objective about morality?
Replies: 720
Views: 81306

Re: Is there anything objective about morality?

As far as I can tell, very few people before me have actually tried to figure out what "good" is (the rest just kind of tag along), and no one before me has ever tried to figure out "good" from any logical perspective that would actually work for an objective moral system . To t...
by Cres
Fri Jul 31, 2015 2:02 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Disparate Impact and Fair Housing Act (1968)
Replies: 43
Views: 18230

Re: Disparate Impact and Fair Housing Act (1968)

Could someone explain to a non-American what the rationale is... Speaking as another non-American, I can assure you that there is nothing peculiarly American about recognising that racism is reprehensible, which is the core rationale for these laws. (Of course, as explained by other posters, the ra...
by Cres
Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:08 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Is there anything objective about morality?
Replies: 720
Views: 81306

Re: Is there anything objective about morality?

Wouldn't Objective morality be timeless? If Objective Morality existed, nothing says it can't be a function of time, and as such, timeless (because the function itself is, even as the output is not). Jose right... till morally objective, is defined. I hold reservation. This is just conjecture till ...
by Cres
Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:16 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Is there anything objective about morality?
Replies: 720
Views: 81306

Re: Is there anything objective about morality?

Moral realists would generally want to distinguish here between an act's being wrong and an act's being blameworthy. Owning slaves is wrong whenever you do it. But it's more blameworthy today because the understanding that slavery is wrong is more widespread (I've already posted in this thread about...
by Cres
Wed Jul 08, 2015 2:17 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: What's so great about Tuesday?
Replies: 140
Views: 27168

Re: Should humans be allowed to live forever?

A friend of a friend did his thesis in experimental philosophy on the question 'what would be the worst thing about living forever'. There was apparently an interesting gender split in the answers: on average, female respondents tended to say loneliness (ie watching all your loved ones age and die),...
by Cres
Mon Jul 06, 2015 7:02 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Is there anything objective about morality?
Replies: 720
Views: 81306

Re: Is there anything objective about morality?

ucim wrote:
Cradarc wrote:Instead of looking for the ultimate "goal" to pursue, we should look for the ultimate "way of thinking" to adhere to.

Well put.


And would you agree that this way of thinking would look something like reflective equilibrium?
by Cres
Thu Jul 02, 2015 1:52 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Is there anything objective about morality?
Replies: 720
Views: 81306

Re: Is there anything objective about morality?

Wading through all this, I've only seen brief allusions to Error Theory, but it not explicitly stated. I think the charitable interpretation of many of the posts in this thread would be as asserting some form of Error Theory (the closest we've come to actual arguments for non-objective morality is ...
by Cres
Sun Jun 14, 2015 3:06 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Is there anything objective about morality?
Replies: 720
Views: 81306

Re: Is there anything objective about morality?

Once you start adding reasons, you get back to subjective values As an interesting aside, for a lot of moral realists, far from taking you back to subjectivity, reasons are actually how their account of objectivity is grounded. To steal some examples from Tim Scanlon: (1) For a person in control of...
by Cres
Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:14 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Is there anything objective about morality?
Replies: 720
Views: 81306

Re: Is there anything objective about morality?

So, just to clarify to help me understand your distinction between types of truth (is it the same as the analytic-synthetic distinction?), your view is that moral statements do have truth values, but in the same sense that mathematical statements have truth values? I assume there's a typo, and you ...
by Cres
Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:00 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Is there anything objective about morality?
Replies: 720
Views: 81306

Re: Is there anything objective about morality?

You're begging the question. No, rather, you are using TRUE to mean two different things at the same time - one in the sense of "corresponds to Real Reality", and the other in the sense of "provable from axioms". When I say "logical stances have no truth value" I am ex...
by Cres
Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:27 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Is there anything objective about morality?
Replies: 720
Views: 81306

Re: Is there anything objective about morality?

It is obvious that (3) can be deduced from (1) and (2), by modus ponens. But for someone who asserts that moral statements have no truth values, it is impossible to make sense of this argument. Not at all. If moral stances do not have truth values, then (2) is false (or more precisely, has no truth...
by Cres
Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:24 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Is there anything objective about morality?
Replies: 720
Views: 81306

Re: Is there anything objective about morality?

Moral stances do not have truth values. Right, but this position runs into serious difficulties. The Frege-Geach problem is the classic objection: Consider the following argument: 1) If torturing the dog is wrong, then getting your little brother to torture the dog is also wrong. 2) Torturing the d...
by Cres
Tue Jun 09, 2015 3:10 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Is there anything objective about morality?
Replies: 720
Views: 81306

Re: Is there anything objective about morality?

Metaethical relativism would deny that there is an objective notion of progress, but not that there is a sense of progress at all! I happen to quite prefer living in our current society to ancient Rome. I would also have preferred ancient Greece. Having a preference for our current society is not t...
by Cres
Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:34 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Is there anything objective about morality?
Replies: 720
Views: 81306

Re: Is there anything objective about morality?

OK, so let's say I am a slave in Ancient Rome. I'm forced to work incredibly hard, I receive regular beatings from my master, I'm housed in the worst conditions imaginable. But my treatment is entirely within the accepted norms of Roman society: I am my master's property, and he can do what he wants...
by Cres
Mon Jun 08, 2015 4:43 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Is there anything objective about morality?
Replies: 720
Views: 81306

Re: Is there anything objective about morality?

Yeah, we think we know what "right" and "wrong" mean, and most of us use the words in ways consistent with behavior most of the rest of us agree with, but for the purposes of establishing objectivity - the absoluteness of a moral system - this does not cut it. You need a precise...
by Cres
Mon Jun 08, 2015 2:53 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Is there anything objective about morality?
Replies: 720
Views: 81306

Re: Is there anything objective about morality?

You don't need to posit supernatural stuff for morality to be objective (I expect that the implicit assumption that you do is why relativism appeals to a lot of naive, CS 101, never-read-any-philosophy, New Atheist mood-affiliated types - JL Mackie a good (although infinitely more sophisticated) ear...
by Cres
Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:51 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Attacking an idea vs attacking the person who holds it
Replies: 33
Views: 12013

Re: Attacking an idea vs attacking the person who holds it

There are plenty of beliefs where there is overlap between attacking ideas and attacking people. If I believe in the supremacy of one race over others, for example, and you call me a racist, you are (rightly) not just criticising the idea, but criticising me as a person for holding it. I don't thin...
by Cres
Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:06 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Attacking an idea vs attacking the person who holds it
Replies: 33
Views: 12013

Re: Attacking an idea vs attacking the person who holds it

There are plenty of beliefs where there is overlap between attacking ideas and attacking people. If I believe in the supremacy of one race over others, for example, and you call me a racist, you are (rightly) not just criticising the idea, but criticising me as a person for holding it. There are als...
by Cres
Sun Jan 11, 2015 7:52 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Can one prove a being doesn't exist?
Replies: 55
Views: 18508

Re: Can one prove a being doesn't exist?

Which, conveniently, is the conception of God endorsed by all major monotheistic religions, and all of their sophisticated apologists. Not really. Most major religions don't define omnibenevolence in the specific way that the Problem of Evil does specifically because they're not all kindergartners....
by Cres
Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:47 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Can one prove a being doesn't exist?
Replies: 55
Views: 18508

Re: Can one prove a being doesn't exist?

Which, conveniently, is the conception of God endorsed by all major monotheistic religions, and all of their sophisticated apologists. Not really. Most major religions don't define omnibenevolence in the specific way that the Problem of Evil does specifically because they're not all kindergartners....
by Cres
Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:39 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: A Thought Experiment on Progress
Replies: 120
Views: 30841

Re: A Thought Experiment on Progress

Derek wrote:Also, dear god why does everything on LW have to be a novel


How else would they hide the fact that all the actual arguments are terrible? :wink:
by Cres
Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:50 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: A Thought Experiment on Progress
Replies: 120
Views: 30841

Re: A Thought Experiment on Progress

The point is not that we have finally found the perfect and correct set of morals. The point is that ours morals are objectively better now than they were in the past, and will probably be better in the future than they are now. Rejecting moral relativism does not mean that our morals are objective...
by Cres
Sat Nov 22, 2014 4:48 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1450: "AI-Box Experiment"
Replies: 200
Views: 55420

Re: 1450: "AI-Box Experiment"

LessWrong feels like a terrifying glimpse into a world where someone has been forced to rebuild the entirety of human intellectual progress in metaphysics, epistemology and philosophy in general out of nothing but my most cringingly naive and uncritical first year undergrad philosophy essays.
by Cres
Tue Nov 18, 2014 4:39 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Can one prove a being doesn't exist?
Replies: 55
Views: 18508

Re: Can one prove a being doesn't exist?

Or rather that a god with narrowly defined properties doesn't exist. Not just "narrowly defined". Exactly defined. That's the point. My point is not about which definition of God you prefer, (although, again, if you read any academic philosophy of religion, the 3 omni definition is one mo...
by Cres
Tue Nov 18, 2014 4:24 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Can one prove a being doesn't exist?
Replies: 55
Views: 18508

Re: Can one prove a being doesn't exist?

The deductive form of the Problem of Evil is a proof that God does not exist. Formal proof helpfully available here for those of a mathematical persuasion: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/evil/validity.html This merely shows that a certain conception of God -- specifically, a God whose properties...
by Cres
Tue Nov 18, 2014 3:57 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Can one prove a being doesn't exist?
Replies: 55
Views: 18508

Re: Can one prove a being doesn't exist?

The deductive form of the Problem of Evil is a proof that God does not exist. Formal proof helpfully available here for those of a mathematical persuasion: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/evil/validity.html
by Cres
Mon Sep 15, 2014 6:54 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Converting to Post Scarcity
Replies: 139
Views: 25555

Re: Converting to Post Scarcity

Congratulations, you've just invented the basic income.
by Cres
Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:03 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Science and Philosophy
Replies: 268
Views: 34862

Re: Science and Philosophy

There is no doubt as to the facts, only the definition. This is where we need to be careful and precise in our use of language. This is not really a question about definitions of words (which it might well be possible to stipulate in different ways) but rather about the nature of the concepts that ...
by Cres
Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:18 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Science and Philosophy
Replies: 268
Views: 34862

Re: Science and Philosophy

My personal feeling is that, in the battle to be 'less wrong', scientism vs philosophy is shaping up to be just as important a battleground as religion vs science. Interesting, can you elaborate on why? Internet armchair warriors aside, I don't see a lot of scientists in the real world trying to pu...
by Cres
Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:24 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Science and Philosophy
Replies: 268
Views: 34862

Re: Science and Philosophy

I think there are a couple of interesting distinctions which can inform this question a bit: One is between conceptual questions and empirical questions . You often see people (especially on the internet, and among those from a more maths/science background) complaining that philosophy is just talki...
by Cres
Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:04 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: The source of ethics
Replies: 177
Views: 38019

Re: The source of ethics

The religious angle is quite an interesting one, but I come at it almost from the opposite direction. One of the consequences of your line of arguing, CU, is that you open the door to arguments along the lines of: 1. Some actions are right and others wrong 2. If there is no God, then everything is p...
by Cres
Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:50 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: The source of ethics
Replies: 177
Views: 38019

Re: The source of ethics

Or they could argue from shared premises, since many people value having consistent ethical systems. So when they share premises (which for this purpose don't have to be objective) they can be argue that stance X is supported by shared premise Y or clashes with shared premise Z. That isn't talking ...

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