A Critique on Objective Morality

Should you think about your duty, or about the consequences of your actions? Or should you concentrate on becoming a good person?

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Immanuel Can
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Re: the 'stick' has a lot of forms...we can talk about it, if you like

Post by Immanuel Can »

surreptitious57 wrote: You have to provide a burden of proof regardless of anything else

And so whether another person makes a claim is of zero relevance
Actually, I hate to let him off the hook, but he doesn't have to "provide a burden of proof." That's not a proper use of the phrase "burden of proof." It means, essentially, "the responsibility to prove," not "a mass of evidence."

And one has no "burden to prove" unless one makes such a claim as, " X does not exist." If that's his claim, then yes, he has a burden of proof, as you say. If his claim is only "[I don't know if] X exists," then he's only making a claim about the limitations of his personal experience, and meets the burden of proof merely by making a truthful claim in that regard: we would never know what his experience was, so we'd have to take on faith that he was truly reporting his internal state.
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Terrapin Station
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Re: A Critique on Objective Morality

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People often seem to employ "burden of proof" as if there can be a fact that someone bears the burden of proof in some situations. But it's just a convention, really.
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Terrapin Station
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Re: A Critique on Objective Morality

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RWStanding wrote:Surely where the exercise must start is with the simple values themselves and how they relate together.
What would determine if something is a "simple" value?
surreptitious57
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Re: the 'stick' has a lot of forms...we can talk about it, if you like

Post by surreptitious57 »

surreptitious57 wrote:
You have to provide a burden of proof regardless of anything else

And so whether another person makes a claim is of zero relevance
A burden of proof however is not required for a position of scepticism

Since that is not the same as making a specific claim about something
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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: A Critique on Objective Morality

Post by Hobbes' Choice »

Terrapin Station wrote:People often seem to employ "burden of proof" as if there can be a fact that someone bears the burden of proof in some situations. But it's just a convention, really.
Yeah - that is exactly what I was saying to Wittgenstein and Russell just the other day.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: the 'stick' has a lot of forms...we can talk about it, if you like

Post by Immanuel Can »

surreptitious57 wrote: A burden of proof however is not required for a position of scepticism

Since that is not the same as making a specific claim about something
Only if one's claim is "I don't know X..." If one claims, "I know X is NOT true," then one has essentially promised reasons for how one knows, or can be dismissed as unreasonable. So burden of proof attaches to that kind of skepticism.
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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: the 'stick' has a lot of forms...we can talk about it, if you like

Post by Hobbes' Choice »

Immanuel Can wrote:
surreptitious57 wrote: A burden of proof however is not required for a position of scepticism

Since that is not the same as making a specific claim about something
Only if one's claim is "I don't know X..." If one claims, "I know X is NOT true," then one has essentially promised reasons for how one knows, or can be dismissed as unreasonable. So burden of proof attaches to that kind of skepticism.
"I know it sounds stupid and ridiculous," is an opinion and warrants no burden of proof.

Russell and Wittgenstein told me that last week.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: A Critique on Objective Morality

Post by Immanuel Can »

Terrapin Station wrote:People often seem to employ "burden of proof" as if there can be a fact that someone bears the burden of proof in some situations. But it's just a convention, really.
Actually, it's not just that. Burden of proof attaches to anyone who makes a claim to:

a) actual knowledge of something, and

b) claims to be acting by reasons or evidence in so doing.

In such cases, the claimant has taken on himself a duty to prove that a) and b) are really so, or he cannot be expected to be believed. And it really doesn't matter what the claim is, after that...the burden attaches anyway.
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Terrapin Station
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Re: A Critique on Objective Morality

Post by Terrapin Station »

Immanuel Can wrote:In such cases, the claimant has taken on himself a duty to prove that a) and b) are really so,
By virtue of what in your view?

By virtue of expectancy of being believed? That simply depends on the person's aims in stating something--they might not actually have an expectancy of being believed, for example, as well as the listeners' dispositions, their other beliefs that would make them more prone to acceptance or not, and so on.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: A Critique on Objective Morality

Post by Immanuel Can »

Terrapin Station wrote:
Immanuel Can wrote:In such cases, the claimant has taken on himself a duty to prove that a) and b) are really so,
By virtue of what in your view? ...
By virtue of their claim to be behaving as a rational agent who "knows" a thing. If they cannot justify that claim, then hearers have every reason to suppose it unjustifiable, at least until further notice.

But it's not "in my view": it's in their claim.
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Terrapin Station
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Re: A Critique on Objective Morality

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Immanuel Can wrote:
Terrapin Station wrote:
Immanuel Can wrote:In such cases, the claimant has taken on himself a duty to prove that a) and b) are really so,
By virtue of what in your view? ...
By virtue of their claim to be behaving as a rational agent who "knows" a thing. If they cannot justify that claim, then hearers have every reason to suppose it unjustifiable, at least until further notice.

But it's not "in my view": it's in their claim.
If I say, "Aliens landed in my back yard yesterday," for example, I'm not also "claiming to be a rational agent who knows a thing."

I'd need to say, "I'm a rational agent who knows a thing" to be claiming that.

Also, that I don't justify the claim doesn't imply that I can not.

But sure, you can suppose that it's not justifiable. Not everyone would suppose that, though.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: A Critique on Objective Morality

Post by Immanuel Can »

Terrapin Station wrote:
If I say, "Aliens landed in my back yard yesterday," for example, I'm not also "claiming to be a rational agent who knows a thing."
Fine. But why should you be believed?
I'd need to say, "I'm a rational agent who knows a thing" to be claiming that.
Yes, or just "I know..." The "rational agent" part is understood, since it cannot be said a lunatic or a hallucinator "knows" things -- they only "think" things, or imagine they "see" things that for the rest of us, aren't really there.

Also, that I don't justify the claim doesn't imply that I can not.
No, but it would be clear you had not, and that people who govern their judgments by the expectation of reasons or evidence had none from you.
But sure, you can suppose that it's not justifiable. Not everyone would suppose that, though.
We don't call such people "rational agents." They're not using reason to make their judgments.
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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: A Critique on Objective Morality

Post by Hobbes' Choice »

Immanuel Can wrote:
Terrapin Station wrote:
If I say, "Aliens landed in my back yard yesterday," for example, I'm not also "claiming to be a rational agent who knows a thing."
Fine. But why should you be believed?
Exactly the same question might be directed at you and claims about god and objective morality, which is very much the point of this long and tedious subthread.
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Terrapin Station
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Re: A Critique on Objective Morality

Post by Terrapin Station »

Immanuel Can wrote:
Terrapin Station wrote:
If I say, "Aliens landed in my back yard yesterday," for example, I'm not also "claiming to be a rational agent who knows a thing."
Fine. But why should you be believed?
That's up to each person, whether and why they should believe something.

But we're losing focus on this: how does any of this amount to a burden of proof obtaining somehow other than via convention?

Talking about how some people think about it doesn't imply that it's not just a convention.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: A Critique on Objective Morality

Post by Immanuel Can »

Terrapin Station wrote:Talking about how some people think about it doesn't imply that it's not just a convention.
You missed the point.

One has this choice: one can assert a claim as a "knowledge" claim, or else merely make a claim as a personal preference -- an imagining, a wish, an aspiration, or some such fanciful notion.

There's nothing wrong with doing either; but they're not equal.

Knowledge claims must be based on reasons and evidence, or there's simply no reason to regard them as knowledge claims at all.

So making any claim to have knowledge amounts to writing a promissory note to have reasons and evidence for that claim.

That is a voluntary taking on of the "burden of proof."

It's that simple.

Now, if one doesn't want to say that something one claims is actually "knowledge," fine: but one then has to except that there are no reasons why anyone should believe it.

If you're happy with that, fine.
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