What could make morality objective?

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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henry quirk
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by henry quirk » Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:24 pm

Belinda wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:46 am
henry quirk wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 7:05 pm
Belinda wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 7:03 pm
Henry, you heart is in the right place but you are no anthropologist or historian
Yeah, I ain't real impressed with your credentials either, sister.
If you knew me better you would be even less impressed.
Awww...

Now I feel bad.

😩

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Immanuel Can
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Immanuel Can » Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:34 pm

Skepdick wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:23 pm
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:04 pm
Of course. But morality still won't be involved. The Sun hasn't made any choice, and isn't betraying us. It's just doing whatever it is that suns do.
The exact same thing can be said for murderers and slavers. They haven't made any choice, and aren't betraying us. They are just doing whatever it is that murderers and slavers do.
Heh. Don't be silly. One never becomes a murder by accident...that's definitional. And nobody ever enslaved people by accident either.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:04 pm
It's about intrinsic value. It's about what we "owe" to others: "ought," if you will.
So what does a murderer or a slaver owe you?
Not me. Your neighbour owes you not to murder you. Likewise, your government owes you not to enslave you. If you don't think those things are true, then you'll be in slavery shortly, or else the problem will completely go away soon.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:04 pm
Well, if value-judgments (like, say "murder is wrong") were merely physical phenomena, then they would be unjustifiable.
You can't justify justification. Muchhausen trillema. Infinite regress.
Unworthy of comment. Too easy to refute.
Anybody telling you to believe in God doesn't oblige you. So how did you convince yourself that you OUGHT to believe in God?
I didn't "convince myself." I believe it's actually true.
You are still pre-supposing free will.
So are you, by your actions here. The difference is that you don't know it.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:04 pm
Sure there are. Unicorns, pixies, fairies, leprechauns, Atlantis, the philosopher's stone, etc. These things "exist" only in myth, not in reality.
Unicorns, pixies, fairies, leprechauns, Atlantis are not nothing.
You don't understand a difference between "mythical" and "actual"?
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:04 pm
Formal logic's.
Which formal logic? They are ALL invented!
I'm not really surprised you don't know what "formal logic" is.
the truth is that there is no truth.
Heh. You're SO bad at logic. :D

If the above statement you just made is true, then it's false. There is a truth, then, namely that there is no truth. Which is a truth, so now there is a truth. Which is that there is no truth. Which is a truth, so there is a truth, that there is no truth. But that's a truth....off into infinity.
There is not a single country in the world where murder is legal.
Sure there is. It's legal in Islamic countries. You can kill infidels with impunity, if you're an Islamist. Jews, well, that's positively meritorious, in Islamic thinking...kill all of those you want, and we'll make you a hero.

Or how about North Korea...or China...you think they don't execute people summarily, without trial, and whenever they feel like it? That's murder, chuckles.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:04 pm
Firstly, these actions are tolerated in different places in the world. But even in modern, Western countries, we slaughter our children all the time, and sex-slavery is rampant through the internet and in all major cities. We tolerate both all the time. The US government even subsidizes murder, through "Planned Parenthood.
We don't tolerate murder.

Sure we do. We deliberately murder all those babies. You're surely not fooled by the old Nazi trick of defining your enemies as "subhuman," so you can murder them freely, are you? Because that's all that is.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:04 pm
Heh. You've got Hume completely wrong there. You would know that, if you'd read the relevant material. Hume contests not the existence of facts, but the justifiability of values. So his argument isn't at all what you suppose.
It's inconsequential. You brought Hume into the debate - I am kicking him out ;)
Yeah, I see.

I'm beginning to get the reason for your self-chosen pseudonym, and the irregular spelling thereof. You're not sincere; you're just setting out to gainsay gratuitously, in the naive belief that that will show you astute. But it doesn't. It takes much more ingenuity to say something productive than to criticize in inapt ways.

And honestly, Skeppy, my life's too short to bother with that anymore. See you later...maybe...but not until you've got something even remotely interesting to say.

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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Skepdick » Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:29 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:34 pm
Heh. Don't be silly. One never becomes a murder by accident...that's definitional. And nobody ever enslaved people by accident either.
It's only definitional in a system which pre-supposes free will. Outside of that system the notion of "intent" is meaningless.

Even within such systems intent comes in three forms: dolus directus, dolus indirectus and dolus eventualis.

And so it's precisely the "eventualis" part that gives you the room to argue what construes "reasonable foresight" when it comes to recklessness or culpability.

But do observe, how you keep flip flopping between epistemic standards. Some times you insist on precision, some times you are happy with vague generalities.

If consistency were a thing you cared about you sure don't show it.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:34 pm
Not me. Your neighbour owes you not to murder you. Likewise, your government owes you not to enslave you. If you don't think those things are true, then you'll be in slavery shortly, or else the problem will completely go away soon.
Hardly. I expect those things from my government and from my neighbour - whether I have the means to enforce my expectations is a whole different matter.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:34 pm
Unworthy of comment. Too easy to refute.
I insist. A claim unrefuted is a claim unfalsified.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:34 pm
I didn't "convince myself." I believe it's actually true.
Obviously you do. But my default position is agnosticism - not theistic, epistemic. I don't even know if knowledge is possible. And so from where I am looking. Every belief that anybody holds is a violation of the is-ought gap, simply by being held.

Even your belief in logic.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:34 pm
So are you, by your actions here. The difference is that you don't know it.
It's not an assumption. I know I have free will.

The neurons in my brain just fire in such a way that my mouth opens and I say I have free will. What choice do I have?
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:34 pm
You don't understand a difference between "mythical" and "actual"?
I understand it - I don't subscribe to it. Like all distinctions - it's made up out of pragmatic needs.

Like all distinctions - it violates the is-ought gap. You OUGHT to draw a distinction between "mythical" and "actual".
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:34 pm
I'm not really surprised you don't know what "formal logic" is.
I am surprised that you think you do.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:34 pm
Heh. You're SO bad at logic. :D
I am exceptional at logic. I know how to invent it ;)
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:34 pm
If the above statement you just made is true, then it's false. There is a truth, then, namely that there is no truth. Which is a truth, so now there is a truth. Which is that there is no truth. Which is a truth, so there is a truth, that there is no truth. But that's a truth....off into infinity.
Exactly. Liar's paradox. Or is it the paradox of free will.

Oh, yes.... It's actually the paradox of distinctions.

ALL distinctions are born out of pragmatic needs. Such as the truth/false distinction.

Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:34 pm
Sure there is. It's legal in Islamic countries. You can kill infidels with impunity, if you're an Islamist. Jews, well, that's positively meritorious, in Islamic thinking...kill all of those you want, and we'll make you a hero.

Or how about North Korea...or China...you think they don't execute people summarily, without trial, and whenever they feel like it? That's murder, chuckles.
And it's immoral. What's your point?
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:34 pm
Sure we do. We deliberately murder all those babies. You're surely not fooled by the old Nazi trick of defining your enemies as "subhuman," so you can murder them freely, are you? Because that's all that is.
Since you are using the word "we" - how many babies have you murdered?
Me - I haven't murder any.

Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:34 pm
I'm beginning to get the reason for your self-chosen pseudonym, and the irregular spelling thereof. You're not sincere; you're just setting out to gainsay gratuitously, in the naive belief that that will show you astute. But it doesn't. It takes much more ingenuity to say something productive than to criticize in inapt ways.
How could I possibly say anything "productive" when you haven't told me what it is that you are optimizing for?

You can't be "productive" without a telos.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:34 pm
And honestly, Skeppy, my life's too short to bother with that anymore. See you later...maybe...but not until you've got something even remotely interesting to say.
Ah, well - you are bothering with Philosophy. What's amusing about the same old semantic games?

It kinda begs a question. Could you ever be moral if morality wasn't "interesting" ?

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RCSaunders
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by RCSaunders » Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:34 am

Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:13 am
This is, after all, a philosophers' site.
Well, excuse me! When did Philosophy Now change it's policy. Here's how it's still advertised:

"Welcome to Philosophy Now the bi-monthly magazine for everyone interested in ideas." [Emphasis mine.]
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:13 am
RCSaunders wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:50 am
That may be your own private definition of contingency, and that of some so-called philosopher. It is not my definition of contingency, nor that of any dictionary I consulted
Only common dictionaries? The kinds of things they hand kids in public school classrooms? :shock:

Are you not aware that different disciplines have specialized vocabularies? There are medical dictionaries, for example: they list terms you'll never find in an ordinary dictionary, and give precise, medical definitions. Likewise, there are philosophical dictionaries. And philosophers use those terms in particular ways.
What kind of person is shocked by the fact children are given dictionaries to help them learn their language? There is something wrong with the view that any form or intellectual inquiry can only be considered legitimate if uses some orthodox academically approved lexicon of language.

For many years, I managed technical writing departments for several cutting edge computer, IT, and telephony companies and trained many technical writers as well as writing myself, so I am little familiar with technical jargon. One of the things I had to teach most technical writers is that the intended audience determines how the material had to be written. Documents intended for engineers and technicians could (and usually should) use the kind of technical, "jargon," that audience would understand, but documents intended for non-technical users should avoid jargon that would be unfamiliar to that audience, or, if used, very carefully explained in terms of every day language the non-technical would understand. Of course documents intended for doctors, engineers, architects, and scientists would use language appropriate and familiar to those individuals, because those documents have the kind of information needed by those professionals to do their work. The point is that any documentation must be written in a way that makes it understandable and useful to those the documents are intended for.

If philosophy were only for philosophers, if it had no purpose or value to anyone except philosophers, then their use of language, in, "particular ways," unique to philosophers would be fine. I see no point to philosophy if it is only for those who call themselves philosophers, however. If philosophy is to have any value to anyone except philosophers it will have to be written in language that can be understood by anyone.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:13 am
Take the term "valid." In common dictionaries, "valid" is said to mean the same as "true" or "reasonable," or something like that. But in philosophers usage, "valid" refers specifically and only to the form or structure of an argument, and never to its content. So a "valid" argument may be one that is well-formed, but not true. Common-use dictionaries generally make no mention of that fact. You would never know that from an ordinary dictionary.[Emphasis mine.]
The following are all definitions of valid from ordinary dictionaries:
"logically correct, a valid argument, valid inference"
"Logic: Containing premises from which the conclusion may logically be derived: a valid argument."
"Logic: (of an argument) so constructed that if the premises are jointly asserted, the conclusion cannot be denied without contradiction." Contra hyp.

But your example also illustrates what is wrong with most words coined or appropriated by philosophers. When making arguments like yours, valid does not mean true, but as soon as one is trying to prove some absurd idea, that is promptly forgotten. When Kant wants to differentiate between analytic and synthetic propositions, he does not say analytic proposition are valid, he says they are true. But "analytic," propositions only means propositions in which the predicate is already contained in the subject, "by definition." If a "pickle," is defined as a, "female newt," then the proposition, "all pickles are female," according Kant are not just valid, but the only kind of propositions that can be known to be true. It would not be quite so bad if philosophers adhered to their own, "particular ways," of defining their jargon, but as soon as it gets in the way of some idea they want to put over, they drop their lexical orthodoxy, and things like, "valid," suddenly mean, "true."
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:13 am
That's the problem with your dictionary list. Not one of them is a philosophical dictionary. So all they give you is words the way they generally get used by the common population, people who have no clue about philosophy, and don't usually deal with concepts so precisely. But philosophers, because they make many precise distinctions, have to stipulate much more exacting definitions of terms than people need to do when they're bantering at the pub.
I see. What philosophers think about is of no importance or significance to, "the common population," or "non-philosophers," or, "those who enjoy the company of others in pubs." Philosophy is only for philosophers and philosophers are too far above all others to actually attempt to make their vaunted transcendent thoughts understandable to non-initiated. That kind of arrogance does not belong to my philosophy, which obviously does not mean what philosophy does to you.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:13 am
You need a philosophical dictionary, one that explains precisely how philosophers use the language for philosophical purposes. I gave you three...all academic sources: University of Washington, Stanford and Cal. And you give me Websters? Oy vey.
Skip the Yiddish. I makes you sound narish, a meshuggeneh Goy, or is that one of your orthodox philosophical terms. I have philosophical dictionaries, which I use often when analyzing how philosophers abuse language. Did you think I didn't, just because I don't swallow any irrationally coined word invented by some philosopher, trying to put over some mistaken idea?
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:13 am
Well, we're not going to solve this without agreeing on terms.
Solve what? You are willing to believe what others teach you, I am unwilling to believe anything anyone says unless it can be explained by reason based on evidence. We don't have to agree.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:13 am
And, lamentably, I can't help you with that if really just contemptuous of philosophers and not open to better information.
I don't recall asking you for any help. You may not have noticed, but in the entire history of philosophy, there has been less agreement than disagreement between philosophers, and to date, there is no philosophical position that enjoys anything like the success of the sciences or technology. There are principles of mechanics, chemistry, and electronics that are no longer debated by anyone and there is no reason to believe those principles, other than possible refinements, will change. There are no different "schools," of, "chemistry," or, "electronics," or, "aerodynamics" or, "fluidics," but there are endless schools of philosophy, all pompously authoritative, and all contradicting each other.

If any progress is going to be made in philosophy, it is not going to be made by those who can only quote other philosophers or repeat what they were taught in their philosophy classes and is already accepted or believed. Any real progress will have to come from someone who thinks of something new, something that does not agree with what is already accepted, something that cannot be described in terms of past mistaken philosophy.

I am not contemptuous of philosophers. I am contemptuous of all the charlatans who call themselves philosophers who have all but destroyed the field of philosophy, promoted by an army of gullible disciples and sycophants who worship them.
Last edited by RCSaunders on Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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RCSaunders
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by RCSaunders » Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:42 am

Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:47 am
... analytic propositions are true without regard to any facts ...
I have read Kant, but if one new nothing more than the above is what Kant taught, it would be unnecessary to read any more to know they man was psychotic.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Immanuel Can » Fri Apr 03, 2020 3:21 am

RCSaunders wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:34 am
If philosophy were only for philosophers, if it had no purpose or value to anyone except philosophers, then their use of language, in, "particular ways," unique to philosophers would be fine.
It's not that, RC.

It's that in each specialization, the specialists sometimes need to make distinctions that are more precise than someone who is not dealing with something highly technical in the field would ever need to make. The more refined vocabulary is necessitated by the fact that the participants in the discipline are working at a more sophisticated level.

That's why a medical dictionary will include a definition for parts of the body and for medical phenomena that get scant or no mention in an ordinary dictionary. It's because doctors actually NEED to be able to talk about those parts and phenomena, whereas non-physicians don't have the reason to do so. Finer distinctions, and more precise terms accompany deeper understanding of the medical field. And we should all be glad that doctors can make these distinctions when we laypeople cannot.

General-use dictionaries have one advantage: everybody can use them to get basic definitions about a whole range of different things. But they have a weakness...that they often lack certain terms and the precision of definitions that are necessary for people working in a highly technical or complex field. That describes philosophy pretty well. And while ordinary people can do it, at an ordinary level, the reason there are advanced degrees in it is because the ordinary philosopher is in on the ground level...not at the middle or top story of complexity.

If you worked in technical fields yourself, you know this is true. When you speak to someone who is also in the field, you use a vocabulary that is far more technical and parsimonious than you would use if you were explaining the same thing to someone with no background in it. This doesn't just save you time; it allows you to do more complex operations than you would otherwise ever be able to do.

Now, PN is written partly to give access to ordinary folks. And that's great. But it doesn't mean that PN, or philosophy in general, has to stay on the ground floor forever. And it doesn't mean it's elitist if it doesn't stay at the level of greatest simplicity.

Consider it a vote of confidence that I took you for someone who would be capable of a more subtle understanding of the terms we were discussing, and would be interested in the next level of thinking about it. If I was wrong, then no insult was implied.

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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Fri Apr 03, 2020 6:07 am

RCSaunders wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:42 am
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:47 am
... analytic propositions are true without regard to any facts ...
I have read Kant, but if one new nothing more than the above is what Kant taught, it would be unnecessary to read any more to know they man was psychotic.
Your condescending remarks of Kant is very childish and kindergartenish relatively - that this is a philosophy forum.

More likely you have only read Kant superficially.
I read Hegel and Heidegger for a period of 6 months each quite seriously but I believe that is only superficially. Thus I would not be overly confident on my view of Hegel's and Heidegger's theories.

I don't believe you have read Kant seriously enough to understand his arguments thoroughly.
I'd spent >3 years full time reading and researching Kant's work.

Note Kant Critique of Pure Reason from the first Chapter to the last penultimate section which is few hundred pages long. Thus you cannot cherry picked to condemn Kant.
If you claim Kant was psychotic, demonstrate why his Critique of Pure Reason is false or psychotic?

Note this is Kant's condition to any critique of his book;
A philosophical work cannot be armed at all points, like a Mathematical treatise, and may therefore be open to objection in this or that respect, while yet the Structure of the System, taken in its Unity, is not in the least endangered.
Few have the versatility of mind to familiarise themselves with a new System; and owing to the general distaste for all innovation, still fewer have the inclination to do so.

If we take single passages, torn from their contexts, and compare them with one another, apparent contradictions are not likely to be lacking, especially in a work that is written with any freedom of expression.
page B-xLIV

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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Fri Apr 03, 2020 6:17 am

RCSaunders wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:34 am
If any progress is going to be made in philosophy, it is not going to be made by those who can only quote other philosophers or repeat what they were taught in their philosophy classes and is already accepted or believed. Any real progress will have to come from someone who thinks of something new, something that does not agree with what is already accepted, something that cannot be described in terms of past mistaken philosophy.

I am not contemptuous of philosophers. I am contemptuous of all the charlatans who call themselves philosophers who have all but destroyed the field of philosophy, promoted by an army of gullible disciples and sycophants who worship them.
You seem to be very naive of what is philosophy and your contemptuous remarks are very childish which stem from some psychological issues within.

There is no need for contempt in philosophy-proper. What counts in philosophy and this philosophical site is sound arguments.

You are making a lot of noise above.
Where are your arguments to support your views?

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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by RCSaunders » Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:28 am

Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 6:17 am
RCSaunders wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:34 am
If any progress is going to be made in philosophy, it is not going to be made by those who can only quote other philosophers or repeat what they were taught in their philosophy classes and is already accepted or believed. Any real progress will have to come from someone who thinks of something new, something that does not agree with what is already accepted, something that cannot be described in terms of past mistaken philosophy.

I am not contemptuous of philosophers. I am contemptuous of all the charlatans who call themselves philosophers who have all but destroyed the field of philosophy, promoted by an army of gullible disciples and sycophants who worship them.
You seem to be very naive of what is philosophy and your contemptuous remarks are very childish which stem from some psychological issues within.

There is no need for contempt in philosophy-proper. What counts in philosophy and this philosophical site is sound arguments.

You are making a lot of noise above.
Where are your arguments to support your views?
You are.

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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by RCSaunders » Sat Apr 04, 2020 2:53 am

Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 3:21 am
RCSaunders wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:34 am
If philosophy were only for philosophers, if it had no purpose or value to anyone except philosophers, then their use of language, in, "particular ways," unique to philosophers would be fine.
It's not that, RC.
It depends entirely on what you think philosophy is.

Is philosophy the kind of knowledge that is fundamental to all other knowledge or is it knowledge of turgid unfathomable mysteries with no practical purpose? Is philosophy the kind of knowledge that every human being must have to live or is it just the plaything of intellectuals?

I happen to believe that every human being not only must have a philosophy, but actually does have one, though few have an explicit philosophy or are even aware of their beliefs being a philosophy, and may even deny having a philosophy. Whatever one's fundamental beliefs are, which they base all their other beliefs, values, and choices on, is their philosophy.

The reason why every human being has a philosophy, implicit or explicit, is because they are rational volitional beings with a psychological nature that makes it impossible for them to survive or achieve anything without knowledge, because to choose one must know what there is to choose (existence), what the consequences of one's choices will be (the nature of existence), how to discover what that existence and its nature are (learn), and judge (think), based on what is learned (knowledge), and why or how one choice is preferable to another (values).

There is nothing wrong with technical language. After all I use terms which are seldom if ever used outside the field of philosophy all the time. I use all the terms for the sub-categories of philosophy: metaphysics, ontology, epistemology, logic, ethics, politics, and aesthetics, but I not use them as though they were some kind of esoteric concepts for what cannot be explained perfectly well in terms that anyone can understand.

Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy by which existence (that which determines what is or is not possible, i.e. what choices are available) is described. Ontology is the branch of philosophy by which the nature of existence (that which determines the consequences of actions) is described. Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that identifies what knowledge is and describes how it is acquired. Logic is the branch of philosophy that formalizes correct principles of thinking. Ethics is the branch of philosophy that describes how values are derived. Politics is the branch of philosophy that describes how ethical values pertain to relationships between individuals. Aesthetics is the branch of philosophy all others are aimed at, identifying what makes life really worth living, the ultimate source and nature of human joy and success.

Whatever they call them, everyone has some view of what existence is, what its nature is, what knowledge is and how they acquire it, what they mean by thinking, what they value and think is important, how they believe they should relate to others and what they are living for, and it is those beliefs that determine everything else they believe, think, choose, and do, whether they can explicitly identify those beliefs or not.

To date, the discipline of philosophy has not discovered even the simplist of philosophical principles of metaphysics, ontology, epistemology, logic, ethics, politics, or aesthetics which is why it is continuously debated and argued about. Before philosophers flatter themselves as those exploring the cutting edge of intellectual inquirey, they need to establish what the basic concepts of existence, reality, and truth mean, what knowledge is and how it is acquired, what the actual nature of reality is, what the natures of life, consciousness, and the human mind are, what is required for human survival and achievement, and what life is worth living for.

I know there are a hundred different schools of philosophy that all have their own accepted answers to such questions, but that is exactly what is wrong with philosophy. When knowledge in any field is truly discovered and identified, there are not endless conflicting versions of that knowledge. There are not forty different schools of chemistry, eleven theories of physics, twenty different theories of anatomy, of eight theories of electricity. There are just chemistry, physics, anatomy, and electric theory. I know, in advance areas of these sciences there are still questions that are being explored, but the fields themselves have the answers to their basic questions, while philosophy has not even established what the questions are it needs to answer.

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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Immanuel Can » Sat Apr 04, 2020 8:50 pm

RCSaunders wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 2:53 am
Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 3:21 am
RCSaunders wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:34 am
If philosophy were only for philosophers, if it had no purpose or value to anyone except philosophers, then their use of language, in, "particular ways," unique to philosophers would be fine.
It's not that, RC.
It depends entirely on what you think philosophy is.

Is philosophy the kind of knowledge that is fundamental to all other knowledge or is it knowledge of turgid unfathomable mysteries with no practical purpose? Is philosophy the kind of knowledge that every human being must have to live or is it just the plaything of intellectuals?
Ah, yes: but there's a third and fourth alternatives.

It's true that at its worst, philosophy can just be a "plaything of intellectuals." Neither you nor I is interested in that, right? It's also true that it can be a thing plain folks can do...and indeed, as you say,
every human being not only must have a philosophy, but actually does have one,
Fair enough.

But these ordinary folks often also have, as Socrates pointed out, no more than an unexamined "philosophy." That is, there are of course a kind of "reasoning" that governs their decisions, but they also remain almost entirely unclear about what it is that's driving them. As you say, it can be "implicit or implied," rather than conscious.

Then there are some who have a "common folk" level of philosophy, and also have examined it, and do know what it is. But the sophistication of their understanding may or not be very great -- like people who can say, "Well, I was raised Catholic," or "My dad was an Atheist," or "In our house, we celebrate Passover" or "Ramadan," or "We always vote Democrat," without having much depth of understanding of what any of that logically entails.

Finally there are people who are not snobs and academics, but "intellectuals" in only the best sense of that word; deep thinkers who really do enjoy ferreting out the deeper implications of their life philosophy, and chasing down ideas that may be helpful or enriching to them and others. Some may be politically active; some may be teachers or writers. But they may not. These are the "lay intellectuals," for whom publications like PN are ideal.

Moreover, one may move from one category to the next. When I began studying philosophy originally, for example, I was pretty much uninterested in Aesthetics, and thought it had little to offer. I still think it's not the equal of Ethics or Metaphysics, but I do now realize there is much more good stuff to it than I imagined, in the days when I thought it meant no more than a kind of wordy "poking around with art." It's a good discipline, with its own legitimate spheres of inquiry; and it crosses over in some meaningful ways into other areas like the Philosophy of Mind, or Epistemology. I'm smarter now about that than I once was.

But as one moves from one philosophical state to the next, one finds the necessity of a more refined and precise vocabulary. It's not easy to talk to people about sophisticated ideas without them having an exact set of terms they share with you, just as you have so often found in your technical work. So the judgment that suggests that having a better philosophical vocabulary is a mere taste for snobs and academic layabouts is incorrect. We all need better terms, just depending on how sophisticated our understanding is growing to be.

And so you say,
There is nothing wrong with technical language. After all I use terms which are seldom if ever used outside the field of philosophy all the time. I use all the terms for the sub-categories of philosophy: metaphysics, ontology, epistemology, logic, ethics, politics, and aesthetics, but I not use them as though they were some kind of esoteric concepts for what cannot be explained perfectly well in terms that anyone can understand.
Nor should anyone. But you should use more precise terms whenever you're speaking to anyone who's a) capable of them, because to talk down to them is an insult, and b) working with you on a sophisticated problem, where precision really makes a difference, no?
To date, the discipline of philosophy has not discovered even the simplist of philosophical principles of metaphysics, ontology, epistemology, logic, ethics, politics, or aesthetics

Oh, I think you'll have to admit this is excessive. We may be stuck in things like ethics, but we're very good at things like logic -- and even the postmodern critiques of logic invariably lapse into using the same strategies they assure you are impossible to trust, such as rational argumentation. So logic's almost something we can't HELP doing, at least informally. Politics has certainly got more sophisticated and more fully theorized as time has gone by; and if we've not yet discovered anything like Utopia, we've certainly come as far as realizing some options are truly bad. Every such realization has its utility in instructing us not to be so foolish again, even when we are at pains not to hear that. Again, that's a sort of progress.

So there are thing still to debate. That does not remotely imply that no value has been found in the debate. You seem impatient with the process, and that's understandable...we'd all like some tidy conclusions very soon, thank you very much. But the reality is that we may have to accept our progress in smaller bites. Better than making no philosophical advances at all.
I know there are a hundred different schools of philosophy that all have their own accepted answers to such questions, but that is exactly what is wrong with philosophy. When knowledge in any field is truly discovered and identified, there are not endless conflicting versions of that knowledge. There are not forty different schools of chemistry, eleven theories of physics, twenty different theories of anatomy, of eight theories of electricity. There are just chemistry, physics, anatomy, and electric theory. I know, in advance areas of these sciences there are still questions that are being explored, but the fields themselves have the answers to their basic questions, while philosophy has not even established what the questions are it needs to answer.
I would say it has. As you point out, at the very least it's been able to divide into particular specialities, some of which you list above. That shows an understanding of domain. But to expect philosophy to "snap to it" and deliver on schedule like, say chemistry experiments, would be to misunderstand what we're dealing with. Ideas are not like material properties; they are not subject to simple experimentation. Testing them takes a lot longer, and yields more equivocal results. But that's what happens when you're dealing with ideas, not materials.

What's important is that it's not actually materials that make this world go around, so to speak. Physics can teach us how to build an atom bomb. It can't tell us if we should do it, or if it's right for us to use it on somebody, or which political interest the bomb should serve, if any. It just shows us what we can do. Likewise, medicine can prolong our lives, but can't tell us what we ought to do with them to have a "good" life. Or engineering can be used to build skyscrapers or scaffolds; and engineering itself has no opinion about which it must be, so long as both work.

We still need deeper thought for some things. And deeper though calls upon us to be more precise in our terms.

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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by RCSaunders » Tue Apr 07, 2020 2:54 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 8:50 pm
RCSaunders wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 2:53 am
Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 3:21 am

It's not that, RC.
It depends entirely on what you think philosophy is.

Is philosophy the kind of knowledge that is fundamental to all other knowledge or is it knowledge of turgid unfathomable mysteries with no practical purpose? Is philosophy the kind of knowledge that every human being must have to live or is it just the plaything of intellectuals?
Ah, yes: but there's a third and fourth alternatives.

It's true that at its worst, philosophy can just be a "plaything of intellectuals." Neither you nor I is interested in that, right? It's also true that it can be a thing plain folks can do...and indeed, as you say,
every human being not only must have a philosophy, but actually does have one,
Fair enough.

But these ordinary folks often also have, as Socrates pointed out, no more than an unexamined "philosophy." That is, there are of course a kind of "reasoning" that governs their decisions, but they also remain almost entirely unclear about what it is that's driving them. As you say, it can be "implicit or implied," rather than conscious.

Then there are some who have a "common folk" level of philosophy, and also have examined it, and do know what it is. But the sophistication of their understanding may or not be very great -- like people who can say, "Well, I was raised Catholic," or "My dad was an Atheist," or "In our house, we celebrate Passover" or "Ramadan," or "We always vote Democrat," without having much depth of understanding of what any of that logically entails.
That is actually my point. Everyone has a philosophy, but almost no one has an explicit philosophy, and all those beliefs which are their philosophy, they have not arrived at by careful reason, but picked up along the way, from their parents, their peers, what they are taught in school, or church, or synagogue, or whatever is being promoted in popular media, or by any other self-identified, "authorities," whose word they simply accept, and almost all of it is wrong, which is why most people make such messes of their lives and support those things that result in the horrors of this world, like war and oppression.

Unlike advanced scientific and technical knowledge needed by those who must have it to perform their work in their specialized fields, like scientists, doctors, medical researchers, computer engineers, and designers, philosophy is knowledge required by every individual human being to perform the business of living, no matter what other fields they may endeavor in.

While the sciences and technology fields have provided the kind of knowledge required by scientists and technologist to perform their work, those who require the kind of knowledge necessary to live their own lives as well as possible will not find it in any philosophy today. The primary reason is that philosophers have assumed, with almost universal agreement, that the purpose of philosophy is something other than what individual human beings require to make their own choices, but something else, like good of society, or humanity, or the future of mankind.

I think you are making that same mistake. Notice your language:
Immanuel Can wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 8:50 pm
To date, the discipline of philosophy has not discovered even the most fundamental of philosophical principles of metaphysics, ontology, epistemology, logic, ethics, politics, or aesthetics

Oh, I think you'll have to admit this is excessive. We may be stuck in things like ethics, but we're very good at things like logic -- and even the postmodern critiques of logic invariably lapse into using the same strategies they assure you are impossible to trust, such as rational argumentation. So logic's almost something we can't HELP doing, at least informally. Politics has certainly got more sophisticated and more fully theorized as time has gone by; and if we've not yet discovered anything like Utopia, we've certainly come as far as realizing some options are truly bad. Every such realization has its utility in instructing us not to be so foolish again, even when we are at pains not to hear that. Again, that's a sort of progress.

So there are thing still to debate. That does not remotely imply that no value has been found in the debate. You seem impatient with the process, and that's understandable...we'd all like some tidy conclusions very soon, thank you very much. But the reality is that we may have to accept our progress in smaller bites. Better than making no philosophical advances at all.
I know that you use, "we," in the editorial sense of, "you and your reader," or, "all those interested in the same subject," which we all use, but there is also that idea that, "what it's all about," is some, "we," that is society, or humanity, or mankind, or life on this planet. Like all knowledge, whether it is scientists, technologists, or us common folk, that knowledge has only one purpose, to be used by individuals to make their own individual choices. No collective thinks or makes choices, only individuals have the faculty of choice, and so-called collective choices are only the sum of all the individual choices in that collective. If every individual made the right choices, there would be no social problems to solve. So long as most individuals do not know how to make right choices, or why they should, there are no social solutions.

You are right, "Politics has certainly got more sophisticated," and much more dangerous and oppressive. But politics in philosophy assumes its purpose is to discover how a society should be organized, or I should say, "run," because all of politics has been reduced to discussions of which form government is the right kind, without the mquestion ever being asked, is an agency of force the right way to achieve correct relationships between individuals. All of political philosophy is wrong because it assumes such an agency is required.

And who decided, "Utopia," was the objective of philosophy. That is one of the primary assumptions of philosophy that has destroyed it, and every ideology, political theory, and movement that has come out of the view that the ultimate purpose is to make society or the world what one would like it to be have been the source of the most oppressive and disastrous societies in history.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 8:50 pm
I know there are a hundred different schools of philosophy that all have their own accepted answers to such questions, but that is exactly what is wrong with philosophy. When knowledge in any field is truly discovered and identified, there are not endless conflicting versions of that knowledge. There are not forty different schools of chemistry, eleven theories of physics, twenty different theories of anatomy, of eight theories of electricity. There are just chemistry, physics, anatomy, and electric theory. I know, in advance areas of these sciences there are still questions that are being explored, but the fields themselves have the answers to their basic questions, while philosophy has not even established what the questions are it needs to answer.
I would say it has. As you point out, at the very least it's been able to divide into particular specialities, some of which you list above. That shows an understanding of domain. But to expect philosophy to "snap to it" and deliver on schedule like, say chemistry experiments, would be to misunderstand what we're dealing with. Ideas are not like material properties; they are not subject to simple experimentation. Testing them takes a lot longer, and yields more equivocal results. But that's what happens when you're dealing with ideas, not materials.
There are:
--Three hundred different philosophies
--One hundred eighty nine schools of philosophy
--Sixty five branches of philosophy, including such abominations as, animal rights, bioethics, environmental ethics, philosophy of artificial intelligence, African philosophy, [no explanation why there is no Cuban, South American, Guatemalan or Martian philosophy] feminist philosophy [listed twice], libertarianism, culinary philosophy, and philosophy of sanitary engineering (garbage collecting). [The last two are my additions. Philosophy has sure come a long way, Baby!]

It seems to me, after 2600 years of philosophy dominated by the same premises during which human oppression has become increasingly vicious and wars become more horrible it might occur to someone that the dominant philosophies of the world are wrong. In one form or another every philosophy to date is a denial of the reality of material existence (beginning with Plato) and a denial that true knowledge is possible (culminated in Hume and Kant). Philosophy is the only field that denies the possibility of doing what it purports to do.

After 2600 years, can you name one improvement in the human condition that is a product of philosophy. Before identifying the limits of science one needs to examine philosophy for its "successes." Here are some of the products of philosophy: Marxism, in all it's variations made possible by the philosophy of Kant, especially as interpreted by Hegel. Altruism, socialism, and humanism, from the philosophy of Hume, "improved," by Comte. The Prussian forced educational system (obscenely called free education) from Kant, through Hegel, and formulated by Fichte. Another thread of corrupt philosophical ideas begins with Hume, through, Kant and Hegel to Cultural Marxism (the Frankfurt School) on the one hand and Critical Theory on the other which are the roots of multiculturalism, political correctness, post modernism, and the nihilistic versions of relativism that dominate today's culture.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 8:50 pm
What's important is that it's not actually materials that make this world go around, so to speak. Physics can teach us how to build an atom bomb. It can't tell us if we should do it, or if it's right for us to use it on somebody, or which political interest the bomb should serve, if any. It just shows us what we can do. Likewise, medicine can prolong our lives, but can't tell us what we ought to do with them to have a "good" life. Or engineering can be used to build skyscrapers or scaffolds; and engineering itself has no opinion about which it must be, so long as both work.

We still need deeper thought for some things. And deeper though calls upon us to be more precise in our terms.
You mean like denying that any real knowledge is possible, that everything is uncertain, or that there is no real objective truth. Philosophy today consists of competing skeptic hypotheses denying literally every thing:

There is no volition. Human behavior is determines by physical laws, or, evolutionary characteristics imbedded in their DNA, or chemicals in the brain, or by one's cultural and environmental influences, or by feelings, sentiments and desires, or instinct, or the subconscious, or, a sinful nature--anything, but definitely no one's conscious choice.

Knowledge is not possible. The perceived world is not the real world, and the real world cannot be perceived. Truth is no the identification of what is objective so, but there are six varieties of truth none of which pertain to existence. Words do not stand for concepts which identify (mean) actual existents, concepts only mean their definitions that do not have to realate in any way to reality. Knowledge is nothing more than statistical likelihood and absolute nothing is certain.

Objective reasoning is not possible. Reason (logic) is not a rational process of non-contradictory identification and integration, logic is the mere manipulation of symbols which are not even symbols of anything. Knowledge is not about objective reality, and must include other imaginary realities and other possible universes, as though philosophy is now written by Jules Vern, H. G. Wells, or Lewis Carroll.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 8:50 pm
There is nothing wrong with technical language. After all I use terms which are seldom if ever used outside the field of philosophy all the time. I use all the terms for the sub-categories of philosophy: metaphysics, ontology, epistemology, logic, ethics, politics, and aesthetics, but I not use them as though they were some kind of esoteric concepts for what cannot be explained perfectly well in terms that anyone can understand.
Nor should anyone. But you should use more precise terms whenever you're speaking to anyone who's a) capable of them, because to talk down to them is an insult, and b) working with you on a sophisticated problem, where precision really makes a difference, no?
Of course. The problem with most of terms invented by philosophers is not their precision, but the very opposite. They are mostly floating abstractions constructed from other poorly defined concepts that once accepted become further confused the longer they are used. What does, "realism," mean in philosophy?

Here is one good example: the so-called concept of falsifiability. In the first place philosophers who have not achieved anything have no business dictating how scientists, who have been eminently successful, how to do their jobs. That is exactly what Karl Popper's concept of falsifiability was supposed to do. The idea is no entirely mistaken, though in application is a backward way of explaining something, and has not become the basis of a total corruption of the scientific method, which, fortunately most scientists completely ignore.

The first mistake is the assumption that all science, or most of it, is a matter of forming hypotheses in an attempt to explain physical phenomena, but that aspect of science only pertains to relationships between phenomena that are difficult to identify. Most of science is simply recognizing and identify physical phenomena. When a phenomenon has been identified but not clearly explained, based on what is known about the phenomena, a hypothesis that seems most likely to explain it can be formulated and tested. Karl Popper made the point that any hypothesis for which no test can be devised to prove the hypothesis false, if it is false, is not a valid hypothesis. That much of falsifiability is correct.

Unfortunately that idea led to the absurd idea that any scientific hypothesis and resultant experimental design must be inherently falsifiable. [NOTE: That mistake is based on the more basic mistake that science proceeds by means of induction.]

Even without that explanation, falsification is a mistaken notion for two reasons. 1. If a test can be devised to prove a hypothesis false, if it is false, if that test is made and it fails, it proves the hypothesis is correct. If the hypothesis was not correct, the test would have passed. That should be obvious, because, 2. if a hypothesis is correct, it cannot be proved incorrect. Only a mistake could prove a hypothesis that is correct, incorrect. A correct hypothesis cannot be falsified.

If you hear or read such nonsense as is widely stated today, "science cannot prove anything is true, it can only prove things are false," it came from Popper. It was never Popper's intention to undercut science, I'm sure, but that has been the unfortunate result of his work. I ought to be one of his first supporters. He did, after all, identify one aspect of all that is called science (or even sound reason), such as psychology, evolution, cosmology, theology, sociology, and much of philosophy that is wrong: if any hypothesis cannot be tested in any repeatable way with results observable by any human being, it is probably false and certainly nothing more than conjecture.

Hence, all of what passes as philosophy today.

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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Immanuel Can » Tue Apr 07, 2020 3:57 pm

Thanks for your substantial response, RC.

Some agreement, and some departure, as you will note.
RCSaunders wrote:
Tue Apr 07, 2020 2:54 pm
Everyone has a philosophy, but almost no one has an explicit philosophy, and all those beliefs which are their philosophy, they have not arrived at by careful reason, but picked up along the way, from their parents, their peers, what they are taught in school, or church, or synagogue, or whatever is being promoted in popular media, or by any other self-identified, "authorities," whose word they simply accept, and almost all of it is wrong, which is why most people make such messes of their lives and support those things that result in the horrors of this world, like war and oppression.
I don't disagree that that is what people do. But the problem is that your dismissal of philosophy implies that, rather than awakening to this fact, by making these received beliefs conscious, examining them, and then continuing or rejecting them based on sound reasons, they are inevitably going to continue to do this anyway.

In other words, it looks like you're arguing against the proposition that Socrates' "examined life" is better than the "unexamined life," and maybe against the idea that the "examined life" is even possible. And I'd disagree. I'd suggest that the examined life is at least a first-stage cure for the kind of knee-jerk "philosophy' the above people have at present. There is more that needs doing than mere "examination," of course; but without the realization that a person has been bamboozled by his "authorities," or his parents, or culture, of whatever, it would never be possible for a person to get beyond his pre-programming by these external forces.

In point of fact, that's a very Postmodern way of looking at things. The Postmodern Left holds that all people are mere "artifacts" of their location in race, gender, culture, upbringing, "privilege," language, and so on...and so they all have only a received philosophy, a programming they can neither examine nor ever escape. The world is broken up into warring tribes of the ignorant and programmed, in other words. And anyone who thinks he can stop being, say, a "white, privileged, Anglo male," is only kidding himself, because all his perspectives -- even his "critical" faculties -- are irresistible coded by his racial, economic, cultural and gender location.

I doubt that's what you want to say. It's certainly not what I'd say either. But if you claims about the people above are the end of the story, that's what it would mean, RC.
Unlike advanced scientific and technical knowledge needed by those who must have it to perform their work in their specialized fields, like scientists, doctors, medical researchers, computer engineers, and designers, philosophy is knowledge required by every individual human being to perform the business of living, no matter what other fields they may endeavor in.
Agreed. But only the sort of inadvertent, unconscious "philosophy" you point to above. Everybody has such a "philosophy": but not everybody is conscious they do.
While the sciences and technology fields have provided the kind of knowledge required by scientists and technologist to perform their work, those who require the kind of knowledge necessary to live their own lives as well as possible will not find it in any philosophy today. The primary reason is that philosophers have assumed, with almost universal agreement, that the purpose of philosophy is something other than what individual human beings require to make their own choices, but something else, like good of society, or humanity, or the future of mankind.
This isn't quite correct. The problem is this: individual human beings do not do well outside of "society." They die quickly, and in very nasty ways. That is why certain practices have been developed by them in order to negotiate the sticky business of working together. So we have things like ethics, politics, social philosophy, and even culture itself. These are arrangements designed to make life together work.

But are they suffocating of the individual? Yes, they can be. Are they beneficial to the individual? Yes, also that. That's the paradox: we can't live without societies, and we can't trust societies to protect our individual interests. So we live in tension between the individual and society. We have to.

Anybody who thinks otherwise, should try the experiment of divesting himself of everything he has derived from society -- his group, his family (for that is a small society, too), his culture, his clothing, his medicine, all technology, supplied food, fresh water, his home, and wander naked on the moors for a bit. Without society, the individual is dead in a day or two. So social existence is inevitable, if we want to stay alive.

Now, I understand that that makes it necessary for the individual also to struggle continuously to keep his identity from being submerged in the collective. And that's where the major effort gets made, among Libertarians and so on. Among Leftists, there's a rush to the collective, and the complete loss of the individual -- not healthy or safe to do.

But living with the tension, and managing it, is the only actual option. The rest is suicide.
I think you are making that same mistake. Notice your language:
Immanuel Can wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 8:50 pm
To date, the discipline of philosophy has not discovered even the most fundamental of philosophical principles of metaphysics, ontology, epistemology, logic, ethics, politics, or aesthetics

Oh, I think you'll have to admit this is excessive. We may be stuck... in things like ethics, but we're very good at things like logic -- and even the postmodern critiques of logic invariably lapse into using the same strategies they assure you are impossible to trust, such as rational argumentation. So logic's almost something we can't HELP doing, at least informally. Politics has certainly got more sophisticated and more fully theorized as time has gone by; and if we've not yet discovered anything like Utopia, we've certainly come as far as realizing some options are truly bad. Every such realization has its utility in instructing us not to be so foolish again, even when we are at pains not to hear that. Again, that's a sort of progress.

So there are thing still to debate. That does not remotely imply that no value has been found in the debate. You seem impatient with the process, and that's understandable...we'd all like some tidy conclusions very soon, thank you very much. But the reality is that we may have to accept our progress in smaller bites. Better than making no philosophical advances at all.
I know that you use, "we," in the editorial sense of, "you and your reader," or, "all those interested in the same subject,"
Good. I'm glad you understood that. Because that's where my intention stopped. And if you understood that, then you knew that I was NOT making the mistake you incorrectly imputed to me.
If every individual made the right choices, there would be no social problems to solve.
"Right"? The "right" choices? Which are those?

Is the "right" choice to meet for the football game at 6 or at 10? Is the "right" choice to go to work at the same time, or whenever each individual feels like going? What's the "right" amount to pay those workers, and what if the boss thinks the "right" thing to do is not to pay at all, especially after the work's completed? What's the "right" size to make a shoe? What's the "right" time to allow a child to drive a car?...and on, and on, and on.

These are choices that have to be made together, because their very success and fairness depends on everybody coordinating to the same choice. Without such collective agreements, society breaks down, and we're back to a lonely death on the moors.
So long as most individuals do not know how to make right choices, or why they should, there are no social solutions.
Well, that's also partly true. The collective solutions are not defined by being "right," but by being "functional." When they work for the best net result for all, they do their job, and are functional. When they end up destroying the freedom of the individual, they're a problem.

But social arrangements always do BOTH. They are perhaps the biggest asset of the individual, but also his biggest liability, at the same time.
...is an agency of force the right way to achieve correct relationships between individuals. All of political philosophy is wrong because it assumes such an agency is required.

It's more subtle than that. It's not the strong "force" of government that is our biggest problem, though it can become our biggest. It's the soft "force" all agreements exert. Like, if you're not at the football game at 6, you miss it. If you don't go to work when others do, you can't work with others, and can't get the job done alone. If you don't have an agreement for pay, the individual is working for free...being exploited...a slave, essentially, with the cost of his labour being stolen from him, and no agreement to which to refer for redress. If the child down the block is allowed to drive his father's car at age 10, he kills your daughter when he hits her with his out-of-control vehicle...and so on....so the power of this "soft," informal force can be considerable.
And who decided, "Utopia," was the objective of philosophy.

Not me, for sure. That comment was ironic.
After 2600 years, can you name one improvement in the human condition that is a product of philosophy.
Absolutely. Let's start with science itself. Essentially, the scientific method was the product of Francis Bacon. And look at what incredible things came out of that. But you could name many...all art and music has theory behind it. So do societies as a whole, of course; they are all founded on philosophies. Every discipline of human endeavour, in fact, has a philosophy. And to get to the highest level of understanding the deep rationale for something, and to have it recognized by others, is to achieve a...PhD.

Meaning? "Doctor of the Philosophy of______________". And that's not merely reserved for the Humanities and other much-maligned studies, but in things like Business and Engineering, as well; it's the badge of certification of knowledge in most areas of human endeavour, because to understand the "philosophy" of a thing really means to have gotten behind all the particular practices of that discipline, and shown an ability to work in the general principles that undergird that discipline.

So insulting "philosophy" in this sense, is to insult the idea of looking behind particulars for general principles...the foundation of all deeper knowledge, really.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 8:50 pm
What's important is that it's not actually materials that make this world go around, so to speak. Physics can teach us how to build an atom bomb. It can't tell us if we should do it, or if it's right for us to use it on somebody, or which political interest the bomb should serve, if any. It just shows us what we can do. Likewise, medicine can prolong our lives, but can't tell us what we ought to do with them to have a "good" life. Or engineering can be used to build skyscrapers or scaffolds; and engineering itself has no opinion about which it must be, so long as both work.

We still need deeper thought for some things. And deeper though calls upon us to be more precise in our terms.
You mean like denying that any real knowledge is possible, that everything is uncertain, or that there is no real objective truth. Philosophy today consists of competing skeptic hypotheses denying literally every thing:
You're only speaking of Postmodern or the various Neo-Marxist philosophies there. That's not the totality of philosophy. Libertarianism's a philosophy. So is Randianism. So is Classical Liberalism. So are Individualism, Egoism, and Solipsism. Yet none of these fits the description you gave.
Here is one good example: the so-called concept of falsifiability.
I'll leave this aside, because I'm not a Falsificationist. Both Verificationism and Falsificationism have already been exposed as flawed. And they are not the only "shows" in town.

Good thoughts, RC...some of which I agree with, but some of which I would question or modify, if asked.

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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Belinda » Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:16 am

RCSaunders wrote:
Aesthetics is the branch of philosophy all others are aimed at, identifying what makes life really worth living, the ultimate source and nature of human joy and success.
Beauty, the touchstone of the good and the true. But don't mistake lust for love.

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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes » Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:26 am

Belinda wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:16 am
RCSaunders wrote:
Aesthetics is the branch of philosophy all others are aimed at, identifying what makes life really worth living, the ultimate source and nature of human joy and success.
Beauty, the touchstone of the good and the true. But don't mistake lust for love.
Mystical, pseudo-profound, neo-Platonic codswallop.

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