C: I can't understand where exactly you have made the error. Do you know what I mean by RSPCC?
I don't want to snipe, its just that you said you would punch a person trying to extort money to save a child. That is out of character.
AS: Sorry...I think I see the problem. When I make a point, I don't always make it from my perspective, sometimes I take on another persona to make a point. What I am doing is putting out a hypothetical to your hypothetical. It is allowed for me to go along with your fantasy as see where it takes us...right?
But that is a ridiculous and inaccurate view of my ethical position. I have always counselled NO HARM.
I did not know what the rspcc was...now I do TY. I thought you were saying they were going to start extorting money like the Mafia to "keep babies from being "Punched'." Meaning if you didn't give they would punch a baby.
Royal Society for the Protection of Children. Nice young men and women knock on doors and ask for donations.
C:I see what you are saying. But the problem is that a moral absolutism has been tried for centuries and has led to some of the worse horrors in human history. Victorians believed that they were morally superior and ti was their duty to civilise savages. This led to the destruction of 100s of native cultures. Much the same can be said of the expansion of the USA west to California.
Moral relativism is nothing more than accepting with humility that the ethical constrains we place on ourselves are okay for us as long as there is consent, but we also need to understand that other rules are allowed to apply in other countries without us imposing our world view on those countries.
Further to that it is my position that I be allowed to follow my own path, and that others be allowed to follow theirs. That means that others are not hurt by my actions as that would be preventing others from doing their thing. This is a position that is close to but not identical with Kant's categorical Imperative - more on the lines of John Stuart Mill I think (not sure).
For me, like Mill, this means resisting those that would attempt to stop me doing my thing. If I want to kill myself, take drugs, drink, or have sex with any other consenting adult I need to be allowed to do this where such action would not hurt another person. In turn I agree to allow others to think and act as they see fit as long as they don't try to impose themselves on me.
Whilst I think most people would agree with this position, there is along way to go for me to achieve my ideal ethical society - I can be thrown in Gaol for attempted suicide, taking drugs and until recently sleeping with a same sex partner - these are crimes - victimless crimes. such things are not deserving of punishment.
As for Christians that want to force me to behave like them and Nazis that want to punish Jews and other minorities - they deserve to be resisted.
AS: I am with you on all this Chaz...I have been all my life. But here is the difference and I think this is where alot of people don't get me and the way I communicate. I always put myself in another person's shoes to see where they might be coming from when I disagree with their stance. In order, to make my argument, I think of all the things they might say and their feeling for saying those things.
So do I, but when push comes to shove we have to think to protect our own position. Thus it is very helpful to understand the anger of your Muslims that want to thrash out due to centuries of political interference, and Christians ho think they are saving me from myself if they demand I don't sleep with a man (not that I do) or drink alcohol or masturbate. In the end you can understand them, but there is little use in that understanding if you don't use it to put your own point across.
So I will ask myself...what would motivate me to behave in such a manner if I were them? To do this requires that I keep in mind I/they think they are doing good. As I believe most people think they are doing good, whether they are or not.
Every suicide bombers thinks they are doing good, and has made that decision rationally. I despair at people who call them "evil" or "insane" - that is no way to understand the problem, or identify the next generation of killers.
I believe This is why people always seem to mistake my words as when I am writing, I am thinking aloud and supposing "what if." wootah asked if I had killed anyone because I said, "I am immoral." It's a thing I have about being as honest as I can. As far as "Christian" values go. I am not a Christian but I probably keep more of the commandment than most Christians do. But that doesn't mean I am morally absolute as I believe other people don't have to do what I do...WHich is why I can't understand why Christians don't routinely tell the truth and just say, "I am immoral." The 10 commandments commands that Christians not tell a lie so ...why do they? I believe That right there betrays them and their "moral absolutism....do you see what I mean? Am I making sense?
I don't believe they truly believe there is such a thing as moral absolution either. If they did, they would have to agree...even one commandment broken means that they are immoral. I question why people can't admit that they are. But I have to admit...admitting I was immoral made wootah wonder if I was a murderer...so maybe that is the reason...lol.
Believing a thing when asked is not the same as finding that belief in behaviour. Christians do not think that god allows other rules to apply to other people, there is no room for relativism in their creed, as far as I can see.
But if it were true what you say then they could NEVER say they were immoral - because NOT believing in absolutism would be the very excuse they need to characterise their behaviour as moral when absolutism says it is immoral.
C:As for the word morality - I am using it as it has appeared in the Latest ed of Philosophy Now - in the sense of a universal ethical code. I think it is accurate to use the term this way due to its common usage; eg when Westerners talk about the Burkha they say it is immoral, in system that is sensitive to relativism it cannot be characterised thus.
AS: As far as a universal ethical code, I believe the only common sense thing to do is let live. The problem is sometimes there are extenuating circumstances that require compromise. For example, nudists want to be free to walk around nude. Prudes (sorry...can't think of another word) want to not see naked people walking around, esp. in front of their children. So...I think we can come up with a solution to solve this problem...possibly designating a time of day for nudity or certain places, etc. I am trying to come up with compromises so that all people can feel free. Now do you see where my arguments are coming from?
Sure a nudist has to consider harm to others.
As for the 10 commandments......
1 I am the Lord your God, you shall have no other gods before me
2 You shall not make for yourself an idol
3 Do not take the name of the Lord in vain
4 Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy
5 Honor your father and mother
6 You shall not kill/murder
7 You shall not commit adultery
8 You shall not steal
9 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour
10 You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbour
1-4 guilty as charged.
6 I have killed to eat, other wise not guilty.
7 I do this all the time, as I am still married and separated.
8 not regularly , but I have been know to take chocolate without asking.
10 Without covetousness none of us would aspire to a new fridge/tv/shoes.
So bad on 1,2,3,4, 7, maybe 8, and certainly 10
3/10 is a pretty low score.
How did you do?
I think this looks like a pretty crappy set of rules. Where is the protection for children, minorities and women??
And 1 -4 is all about me, me, me from gods pov.