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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SpheresOfBalance
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by SpheresOfBalance » Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:14 pm

Logik wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:52 pm
SpheresOfBalance wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:50 pm
Q: Why do people always try and speak in terms of logic with symbols instead of proving a point by plugging in real world concepts?
Possible A: Because they're incapable? Or fear appearing a fool using invalid propositions and/or false conclusions?
Possibility C: Mistaking inductive for deductive reasoning.

Never attribute to malice that can be easily explained by ignorance.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inductive_reasoning
Unlike deductive arguments, inductive reasoning allows for the possibility that the conclusion is false, even if all of the premises are true Instead of being valid or invalid inductive arguments are either strong or weak, which describes how probable it is that the conclusion is true. Another crucial difference is that deductive certainty is impossible in non-axiomatic systems, such as reality, leaving inductive reasoning as the primary route to (probabilistic) knowledge of such systems.
Oh so you guys are in this thread on 'morality' doing this:
Hume further argued that it is impossible to justify inductive reasoning: specifically, that it cannot be justified deductively, so our only option is to justify it inductively. Since this is circular, he concluded that our use of induction is unjustifiable with the help of Hume's fork.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inductive ... #Criticism
;-)

Logik
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Logik » Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:27 pm

SpheresOfBalance wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:14 pm
Oh so you guys are in this thread on 'morality' doing this:
This is how far we've had to go into the rabbit hole to unpack it!

The dogmatism runs deep.
SpheresOfBalance wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:14 pm
Hume further argued that it is impossible to justify inductive reasoning: specifically, that it cannot be justified deductively, so our only option is to justify it inductively. Since this is circular, he concluded that our use of induction is unjustifiable with the help of Hume's fork.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inductive ... #Criticism
;-)
Induction is unjustifiable.
Deduction is unfalsifiable.

Screw this place! I want a new universe.

Peter Holmes
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes » Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:04 am

In the attempt to demolish the distinction between facts and opinions - which, paradoxically, demolishes the case for moral objectivism - the following quotation has been offered without critique, as though it's undeniably true. (I omit the shouty graphic emphasis.)

'Unlike deductive arguments, inductive reasoning allows for the possibility that the conclusion is false, even if all of the premises are true Instead of being valid or invalid inductive arguments are either strong or weak, which describes how probable it is that the conclusion is true. Another crucial difference is that deductive certainty is impossible in non-axiomatic systems, such as reality, leaving inductive reasoning as the primary route to (probabilistic) knowledge of such systems.'

So the claim is: 'deductive certainty is impossible in non-axiomatic systems, such as reality'.
And the embedded claim is: 'reality is a non-axiomatic system'.

Well, blow me down. And we idiots always thought reality was an axiomatic system that organised itself into propositions deduced from axioms and chained into valid inferences. What fools we've been. That thing we call a dog is a non-axiomatic system, so we can't say anything deductively valid about it. Everything we say about it can be only inductively and probabilistically true.

But let's be serious.

1 Reality isn't linguistic, so of course it isn't an axiomatic system. Axioms are rules in a linguistic system.
2 Deduction and induction are linguistic practices - ways of constructing arguments with signs. They express or manifest 'reasoning' in the way factual assertions express or manifest 'thought'.
3 Every factual claim (proposition with a truth-value) necessarily uses deduction from linguistic rules (axioms).
4 A factual inductive argument has factual claims as premises.
5 So induction is just as 'axiomatic' (rule-governed) as deduction.

The absurd claim 'reality is a non-axiomatic system' is a fine demonstration of conceptual confusion - mistaking what we say about things for the way things are - the map for the terrain.

There are three things: features of reality; what we believe and know about them, such as that they are the case; and what we say about them, which (classically) may be true or false. To muddle these things up is a mistake.

Logik
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Logik » Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:06 pm

Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:04 am
In the attempt to demolish the distinction between facts and opinions - which, paradoxically, demolishes the case for moral objectivism - the following quotation has been offered without critique, as though it's undeniably true. (I omit the shouty graphic emphasis.)
No, it doesn't demolish THE case for moral objectivism. It demolishes YOUR conception of 'moral objectivism'.

You insist on grounding 'objectivity' in 'facts', but so far your conception of 'facts' is about as coherent as a theist's conception of 'God'.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:04 am
The absurd claim 'reality is a non-axiomatic system' is a fine demonstration of conceptual confusion - mistaking what we say about things for the way things are - the map for the terrain.
The map is supposed to resemble the terrain, Peter. Otherwise it's not map!
I am arguing that you don't even have a map. You have a novel of the terrain.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:04 am
Well, blow me down. And we idiots always thought reality was an axiomatic system that organised itself into propositions deduced from axioms and chained into valid inferences. What fools we've been. That thing we call a dog is a non-axiomatic system, so we can't say anything deductively valid about it.
Peter, you don't recognise the performative contradiction in this, do you? You insist that deduction is possible.

Please demonstrate.

Please show us a valid AND sound deductive argument that produces a 'true' conclusion about reality.

Since we are all about science here - I am making a prediction that Peter can only demonstrate inductive, and not deductive claims about reality.

We are going to get something like:

P1. If it rains the ground will be wet.
P2. It rained.
C. Therefore the ground will be wet.

This is textbook valid AND sound argument.

Add empiricism to the equation. It rained but the ground is dry.

Question 1: Does this mean P1 was false?
Question 2: Does this mean the argument was unsound?
Question 3: Does this mean the argument was invalid?
Question 4: Does this mean the argument was inductive and not deductive?

Logik
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Logik » Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:35 pm

Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:45 pm
P1 If splang is spleng, then spling is splong.
P2 Splang is spleng.
C Therefore, spling is splong.
Peter, I think I can work with this!

A valid argument for objective morality would, indeed be in this form.

P1 If splang is spleng, then morality is objective.
P2 Splang is spleng.
C Therefore, morality is objective.

Since this is your argument verbatim. Tell us why morality is not objective given the above.

Peter Holmes
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes » Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:41 pm

Logik wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:06 pm
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:04 am
In the attempt to demolish the distinction between facts and opinions - which, paradoxically, demolishes the case for moral objectivism - the following quotation has been offered without critique, as though it's undeniably true. (I omit the shouty graphic emphasis.)
No, it doesn't demolish THE case for moral objectivism. It demolishes YOUR conception of 'moral objectivism'.
If there are no facts, there are no moral facts, so morality isn't objective. If you use the words 'fact' and 'objectivity' in non-standard ways, tough. Either explain the ways you use them, or show why my argument is faulty. Stop bullshitting about my 'conception of objectivism' and show what yours is and why it's correct.

You insist on grounding 'objectivity' in 'facts', but so far your conception of 'facts' is about as coherent as a theist's conception of 'God'.
I've explained what a fact is a hundred times. It's not a matter of 'my conception'. I use the word in the way it's defined in dictionaries, which is how I use the word 'objectivity'. How do you use them, and why is the way you use them correct?
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:04 am
The absurd claim 'reality is a non-axiomatic system' is a fine demonstration of conceptual confusion - mistaking what we say about things for the way things are - the map for the terrain.
The map is supposed to resemble the terrain, Peter. Otherwise it's not map!
I am arguing that you don't even have a map. You have a novel of the terrain.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:04 am
Well, blow me down. And we idiots always thought reality was an axiomatic system that organised itself into propositions deduced from axioms and chained into valid inferences. What fools we've been. That thing we call a dog is a non-axiomatic system, so we can't say anything deductively valid about it.
Peter, you don't recognise the performative contradiction in this, do you? You insist that deduction is possible.
So, just to be clear: you're saying that deductively valid reasoning is impossible. And just to be clear, please explain as simply and clearly as you can why you believe this. Begin the sentence like this: deductively valid reasoning is impossible because...

Please demonstrate.

Please show us a valid AND sound deductive argument that produces a 'true' conclusion about reality.
P1 All humans are mortal.
P2 Logik is a human.
C Therefore Logik is mortal.

In any situation in which the premises are true, the conclusion is true, so the inference is deductively valid. Or, perhaps more precisely, if the premises are accepted, it's irrational to reject the conclusion.

Of course, the premises need not be true. For example, 'Logik' may be the name of an angel, a computer program, or a pile of shit. But if they're true, the argument is sound and tells us something about reality, given the standard way we use those signs.

If you think my account of its validity and soundness is faulty, please show exactly why.


Since we are all about science here - I am making a prediction that Peter can only demonstrate inductive, and not deductive claims about reality.

We are going to get something like:

P1. If it rains the ground will be wet.
P2. It rained.
C. Therefore the ground will be wet.

This is textbook valid AND sound argument.
No it's not. It's not the case that in any situation in which the premises are true, the conclusion is true. There are any number of reasons why the ground won't be wet if it rains. So the premises don't entail the conclusion.

I note that you have nothing to say about the impossibility of induction if deduction is impossible.

Logik
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Logik » Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:32 pm

Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:41 pm
If there are no facts, there are no moral facts, so morality isn't objective.
*yawn* you are still grounding this notion of "objectivity" in facts.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:41 pm
If you use the words 'fact' and 'objectivity' in non-standard ways, tough.
I am using the words in exactly the same way every professional in my field uses them. If you think that's non-standard - tough.

Provide evidence for this "linguistic standard" that you claims exists.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:41 pm
Either explain the ways you use them, or show why my argument is faulty. Stop bullshitting about my 'conception of objectivism' and show what yours is and why it's correct.
I have demonstrated over and over how your conception of 'facts' and 'objectivity' is incoherent. How much higher do you want me to jump?

And for the 9th time now (still being ignored). Please state your criteria for asserting "errors" or "correctness".

I am really starting to think you are deflecting on this point.

Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:41 pm
I've explained what a fact is a hundred times. It's not a matter of 'my conception'. I use the word in the way it's defined in dictionaries, which is how I use the word 'objectivity'. How do you use them, and why is the way you use them correct?
And as I have explained to you over and over - the dictionary is descriptive, not prescriptive. Just because you use the word like it is defined in the dictionary it has no bearing on the incoherence of the dictionary definition AND your conception.

As held to the regard of the LNC and a basic expectation of internal consistency.

If it's not internally consistent, then it's contradictory.
From a contradiction ANYTHING follows!
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:04 am
So, just to be clear: you're saying that deductively valid reasoning is impossible.
Impossible is a big word.

I am saying that I have read about deductive arguments in textbooks.
I have seen people SAY they are using deduction when they are in fact using induction.

So, I am willing to be convinced that deduction is possible.

As soon as you demonstrate a sound and valid deductive argument.

Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:04 am
And just to be clear, please explain as simply and clearly as you can why you believe this. Begin the sentence like this: deductively valid reasoning is impossible because...
Is that prescriptivism reading its head? ;)

The criteria for validity and soundness are incompatible with the criterion for falsification.

Falsifiable truth is an oxymoron.
So if either the premises or the conclusion can be empirically demonstrated false then the argument was never sound to begin with.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:04 am
P1 All humans are mortal.
P2 Logik is a human.
C Therefore Logik is mortal.

In any situation in which the premises are true, the conclusion is true, so the inference is deductively valid. Or, perhaps more precisely, if the premises are accepted, it's irrational to reject the conclusion.
There is a lot of IF there, Peter. You CHOSE this as an example of a valid and sound argument. Why are you saying IF?

Commit yourself. Is the above argument valid AND sound? Yes or no.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:04 am
Of course, the premises need not be true. For example, 'Logik' may be the name of an angel, a computer program, or a pile of shit. But if they're true, the argument is sound and tells us something about reality, given the standard way we use those signs.

If you think my account of its validity and soundness is faulty, please show exactly why.

Commit yourself and then I'll tell you.

Peter Holmes
Posts: 510
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes » Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:21 am

Logik wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:32 pm
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:41 pm
If there are no facts, there are no moral facts, so morality isn't objective.
*yawn* you are still grounding this notion of "objectivity" in facts.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:41 pm
If you use the words 'fact' and 'objectivity' in non-standard ways, tough.
I am using the words in exactly the same way every professional in my field uses them. If you think that's non-standard - tough.
Then either explain how you and your fellow professionals use the words, or stop claiming that you use them in a non-standard way. Simples.

Provide evidence for this "linguistic standard" that you claims exists.
objective
/əbˈdʒɛktɪv/Submit
adjective
1.
(of a person or their judgement) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.
"historians try to be objective and impartial"

Now, either explain how you use the word 'objective' in a way that doesn't assume that there are facts, or stop claiming that my use of the word is unjustified. Simples.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:41 pm
Either explain the ways you use them, or show why my argument is faulty. Stop bullshitting about my 'conception of objectivism' and show what yours is and why it's correct.
I have demonstrated over and over how your conception of 'facts' and 'objectivity' is incoherent. How much higher do you want me to jump?
Sorry, I must have missed that demonstration. Could you put all of us out of the misery of this discussion by giving it just one more time? And if you can do it simply and clearly, with factual assertions rather than questions, I for one would be enormously grateful.

And for the 9th time now (still being ignored). Please state your criteria for asserting "errors" or "correctness".

I am really starting to think you are deflecting on this point.
Pay attention this time. The criteria for what we call 'correctness' and 'incorrectness' are contextual and dependent on the relevant rules or conventions of the activity. So, for example, if the word 'red' is conventionally used to refer to a certain colour, then to use the word 'red' to refer to a colour that is conventionally called 'blue' is incorrect or erroneous. And that's how language works.

So, if the word 'objective' is conventionally to mean 'factual' or 'relying on facts rather than opinions', then to use that word in a different way is incorrect or erroneous given that convention. Of course, we're free to use words and other signs in any way we like. But if we use them in a non-conventional way, communication will break down unless we explain our non-conventional use.

Now, because I'm anxious for you not to ask me this question again, and claim that I haven't provided my answer, please will you pursue the point here and now, so that I can try to clear up any doubts in your mind?
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:41 pm
I've explained what a fact is a hundred times. It's not a matter of 'my conception'. I use the word in the way it's defined in dictionaries, which is how I use the word 'objectivity'. How do you use them, and why is the way you use them correct?
And as I have explained to you over and over - the dictionary is descriptive, not prescriptive. Just because you use the word like it is defined in the dictionary it has no bearing on the incoherence of the dictionary definition AND your conception.
So show why the dictionary definition is incoherent - and so incorrect. If you won't or can't, your claim is unjustified.

As held to the regard of the LNC and a basic expectation of internal consistency.

If it's not internally consistent, then it's contradictory.
From a contradiction ANYTHING follows!
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:04 am
So, just to be clear: you're saying that deductively valid reasoning is impossible.
Impossible is a big word.

I am saying that I have read about deductive arguments in textbooks.
I have seen people SAY they are using deduction when they are in fact using induction.

So, I am willing to be convinced that deduction is possible.

As soon as you demonstrate a sound and valid deductive argument.
I have provided one below. I note that, having dismissed even the possibility of deductive reasoning, you're now willing to countenance its possibility. Logicians the world over are gratefully breathing sighs of relief.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:04 am
And just to be clear, please explain as simply and clearly as you can why you believe this. Begin the sentence like this: deductively valid reasoning is impossible because...
Is that prescriptivism reading its head? ;)
No, I'm trying to encourage you to formulate your claims in clear, factual assertions, so that you and we can assess them rationally.

The criteria for validity and soundness are incompatible with the criterion for falsification.
1 In order to claim two things are incompatible, we have to know what they are in the first place - or at least think that we do.
2 So you are claiming to know the criteria for validity and soundness, and the criterion for falsification - how a factual assertion can be falsified.
3 But you also claim there are no fixed criteria for truth-value (and therefore inferential soundness) and, it follows, for falsification.
4 So your reasoning here is incoherent.

Falsifiable truth is an oxymoron.
So if either the premises or the conclusion can be empirically demonstrated false then the argument was never sound to begin with.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:04 am
P1 All humans are mortal.
P2 Logik is a human.
C Therefore Logik is mortal.

In any situation in which the premises are true, the conclusion is true, so the inference is deductively valid. Or, perhaps more precisely, if the premises are accepted, it's irrational to reject the conclusion.
There is a lot of IF there, Peter. You CHOSE this as an example of a valid and sound argument. Why are you saying IF?
There is one 'if', and it doesn't appear in the main claim: In any situation in which the premises are true, the conclusion is true, so the inference is deductively valid.

Commit yourself. Is the above argument valid AND sound? Yes or no.
Yes, it's deductively valid and sound, in any situation in which the premises are true. If you disagree, explain why.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:04 am
Of course, the premises need not be true. For example, 'Logik' may be the name of an angel, a computer program, or a pile of shit. But if they're true, the argument is sound and tells us something about reality, given the standard way we use those signs.

If you think my account of its validity and soundness is faulty, please show exactly why.

Commit yourself and then I'll tell you.
Oh, goody. I've committed myself. Now, please play your trump card. Don't tease us any more. The excitement is unbearable.

Logik
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Logik » Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:36 am

Peter Holmes wrote:
Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:21 am
objective
/əbˈdʒɛktɪv/Submit
adjective
1.
(of a person or their judgement) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.
"historians try to be objective and impartial"
Sorry, this is an appeal to authority. I am asking you for something which meets the scientific bar and methodology.

Testability, reproducibility etc. For that definition is most definitely NOT how people in my field use it, therefore I can only conclude that the dictionary is biased.

Also, I heed caution of the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis. Language affects the way you think, so blindly accepting other people's language robs you of your faculties to think for yourself.

I don’t think I can explain my meaning to you in a language you speak. How well do you speak Mathematics?
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:21 am
Now, either explain how you use the word 'objective' in a way that doesn't assume that there are facts, or stop claiming that my use of the word is unjustified. Simples.
Peter, I use that word EXACTLY like you use the word. However!

I use EVERY word exactly as you claimed. "We use words however we use words".

I use the word 'objective' however I use the word objective. I use the word 'objective" approximately how I would use the word "consistent" to describe logic. Something is objectively true if it agrees with experiment.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:41 pm
Pay attention this time. The criteria for what we call 'correctness' and 'incorrectness' are contextual and dependent on the relevant rules or conventions of the activity.
This is no good, Peter. What rules allow us to determine what context we are in?
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:41 pm
So, for example, if the word 'red' is conventionally used to refer to a certain colour, then to use the word 'red' to refer to a colour that is conventionally called 'blue' is incorrect or erroneous. And that's how language works.
Peter, you are telling me that if I don't use words like they are DESCRIBED in the dictionary then I am making an 'error'?
So you are PRESCRIBING that an error is 'unconventional use of words'?

That is - you are saying that I am not allowed to call 'blue' saphire, or that I am not allowed to call 'red' scarlet or rouge.
Or that I am not allowed to simply decide to swap the names for 'blue' and 'red'?
You are telling me that I am not allowed to use language however I NEED to use language within my immediate community?

You said you weren't a linguistic prescriptivist. What is going on? Were you lying, or did you not understand what the word 'prescriptivism' means?

So, no, Peter. That's not an error. It's just a choice.

I CHOOSE to use the word 'red' to mean 'blue'. I CHOOSE to use the word 'blue' to mean 'red'.

Please explain to me why my choice is an 'error'.
Last edited by Logik on Sun Jan 20, 2019 1:27 pm, edited 4 times in total.

Logik
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Logik » Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:44 am

Peter Holmes wrote:
Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:21 am
Yes, it's deductively valid and sound, in any situation in which the premises are true. If you disagree, explain why.
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

That is not commitment, Peter. That is keeping the backdoor open for the inevitable apologetics.
So it seems to me that in any situation in which the premises are NOT true then the argument is unsound.

This is just begging the question again.

In ANY situation, how would you determine if the premises are true?
P1 All humans are mortal.
Begs the question: Are all humans mortal in this particular situation?
If you answer Yes then the premise is true.
If you answer No then the premise is false.
P2 Logik is a human.
Begs the question: Is Logik human in this particular situation?
If you answer Yes then the premise is true.
If you answer No then the premise is false.

Let me define a 'commitment' for you. Leaving no 'yes/no' questions open! So none of your "in any situation....'" is going to cut it.
Because that is precisely what I mean by 'deduction requires universal truths'. Deduction requires truths that are valid in ANY and ALL situations, otherwise it's not deduction. Otherwise you are forever stuck asking yes/no questions!

Is the above argument valid AND sound, Peter? Yes or no!

And if at this point you can't see why deduction is incompatible with falsification, then I don't know how much longer I can keep unpacking your dogma.

Logik
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Logik » Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:31 pm

But the idiocy in your conception of 'objective morality' lies squarely in the problem of deductive validity and soundness.

In any situation where premises are true murder is wrong.
In any situation where the premises are false murder is right.

I am pretty sure that's not how people conventionally imagine or expect 'objective morality' to work...

I am pretty sure that what people mean by objective morality is SOME procedure/algorithm/argument which answers "Yes" or "No" to moral questions.

Is murder wrong? Yes!
Is rape right? No!

There is only one two things in the universe capable of answering yes/no questions, Peter.

Humans and coins!

Including the question "Is X objective?"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oracle_machine

Peter Holmes
Posts: 510
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:53 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes » Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:15 pm

Logik wrote:
Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:36 am
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:21 am
objective
/əbˈdʒɛktɪv/Submit
adjective
1.
(of a person or their judgement) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.
"historians try to be objective and impartial"
Sorry, this is an appeal to authority. I am asking you for something which meets the scientific bar and methodology.
1 The use of a dictionary definition is not an appeal to authority. A dictionary describes but does not prescribe how a word is used. You asked me to explain how I use the word 'objective', and I'm showing how I use it. I'm not saying this is how the word must be used.

2 So now you're saying that you use the word 'objective' in the way scientists use it, which you claim is different from the explanation I quoted from the dictionary. Perhaps we're making progress.

Testability, reproducibility etc. For that definition is most definitely NOT how people in my field use it, therefore I can only conclude that the dictionary is biased.
So now you're claiming two things:

1 That scientists include testability and reproducibilty in their definition and use of the word 'objective'.

2 That scientists don't include the exclusion of 'personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts' in their definition and use of the word 'objective'.

Do you have any evidence to support your second claim? If not, it's unjustified.

Also, I heed caution of the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis. Language affects the way you think, so blindly accepting other people's language robs you of your faculties to think for yourself.
The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is 'that the structure of a language determines a native speaker's perception and categorization of experience'. But this includes the way scientists perceive and categorize experience, so the hypothesis has no discriminatory relevance here.

I don’t think I can explain my meaning to you in a language you speak. How well do you speak Mathematics?
Please explain your use of the word 'objective' mathematically, and I'll tell you if I do or don't understand it. (I speak a little mathematics.) But the sign 'objective' is not a mathematical symbol, and nor are the signs 'testability' and 'reproducibility'. So I look forward to your explanation.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:21 am
Now, either explain how you use the word 'objective' in a way that doesn't assume that there are facts, or stop claiming that my use of the word is unjustified. Simples.
Peter, I use that word EXACTLY like you use the word. However!

I use EVERY word exactly as you claimed. "We use words however we use words".
1 I don't understand your use of the sentence adverbial 'however' here. It usually modifies a following clause, to indicate something like the conjunction 'But...'. So are you saying that you use the words 'fact' and 'objective' exactly as I do, but...? The grammar is unclear.

2 If there's no condition implied, you're saying here that you do use the words 'fact' and 'objectivity' - along with every other word - exactly as I do. But above you say that you, along with other scientists, don't use at least the word 'objective' as I do. Here are your words: 'For that definition is most definitely NOT how people in my field use it, therefore I can only conclude that the dictionary is biased'.

Perhaps you can clear up this seeming contradiction, and I apologise if I've misunderstood.

I use the word 'objective' however I use the word objective. I use the word 'objective" approximately how I would use the word "consistent" to describe logic. Something is objectively true if it agrees with experiment.
So now you're adding to your definition of 'objective', so that it includes the following: testability, reproducibility, consistency, and agreement with experiment. Is that a fair description, or have I got any of it wrong? If not, two questions spring to mind.

1 Why is the exclusion of 'personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts' not intrinsic to the above definition of 'objective''?

2 (Back to the OP.) How does your definition of 'objective' apply to moral values and judgements?
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:41 pm
Pay attention this time. The criteria for what we call 'correctness' and 'incorrectness' are contextual and dependent on the relevant rules or conventions of the activity.
This is no good, Peter. What rules allow us to determine what context we are in?
Well, for example, you cite the scientific context, in which words have certain uses. The context, as it were, contains its own rules. Your question is like asking: what rules do we follow to decide whether or not we're playing a game of chess? It's a stupid question.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:41 pm
So, for example, if the word 'red' is conventionally used to refer to a certain colour, then to use the word 'red' to refer to a colour that is conventionally called 'blue' is incorrect or erroneous. And that's how language works.
Peter, you are telling me that if I don't use words like they are DESCRIBED in the dictionary then I am making an 'error'?
So you are PRESCRIBING that an error is 'unconventional use of words'?

That is - you are saying that I am not allowed to call 'blue' saphire, or that I am not allowed to call 'red' scarlet or rouge.
Or that I am not allowed to simply decide to swap the names for 'blue' and 'red'?
You are telling me that I am not allowed to use language however I NEED to use language within my immediate community?
No, and you keep repeating this canard. You claim that, in a scientific context, to use the word 'objective' to mean 'excluding personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts' is an error, because that's not how scientists use it. I've explained time and time again, that rules are contextual and conventional, so that what's correct, incorrect or erroneous can only ever be within a discursive context. And we can, that's WE CAN break the rules at any time. Please stop misrepresenting my argument, because it's dishonest.

You said you weren't a linguistic prescriptivist. What is going on? Were you lying, or did you not understand what the word 'prescriptivism' means?

So, no, Peter. That's not an error. It's just a choice.

I CHOOSE to use the word 'red' to mean 'blue'. I CHOOSE to use the word 'blue' to mean 'red'.

Please explain to me why my choice is an 'error'.
To recap, you have yet to show the following.

1 Why my use, and a dictionary definition, of the word 'objective' are incoherent.
2 Why my (standard) account of deductive validity and soundness is faulty.
3 How a moral assertion makes a claim that is (by your definition of objectivity) testable, reproducible, consistent and in agreement with experiment - and is therefore objective.

Please address and justify these claims directly. If you don't or can't, I'm done with wasting any more time on you.

Logik
Posts: 4048
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:48 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Logik » Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:44 pm

Peter Holmes wrote:
Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:15 pm
You asked me to explain how I use the word 'objective', and I'm showing how I use it.
What are you smoking? I asked you to provide evidence for the claimed "linguistic standard" and you pointed me to a dictionary definition.
So you are citing a dictionary as an authority on linguistic standards.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:15 pm
1 The use of a dictionary definition is not an appeal to authority. A dictionary describes but does not prescribe how a word is used.
The use of the dictionary for justifying the claimed "linguistic standards" is an appeal to authority.

Because the process by which dictionaries are compiled and how the use of words is sampled is neither transparent, nor reproducible.

I could go on a rant about sampling methodology and statistics, but hey...
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:15 pm
1 That scientists include testability and reproducibilty in their definition and use of the word 'objective'.
No. I am claiming that in the fields that I work in language is not defined. Language is invented.
Language evolves and emerges and usage is adopted.

Definitions are not required because we share concepts/experience/meaning and we know how to identify and tackle ambiguity in order to reach consensus despite language's pitfalls.

Language is metaphorical not literal. Because you can't use literal language to communicate concepts!
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:15 pm
2 That scientists don't include the exclusion of 'personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts' in their definition and use of the word 'objective'.
Most definitely! Any scientist who tells you that they do is lying!

They are welcome to include it in their definition and I will happily demonstrate their performative contradictions.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:15 pm
Do you have any evidence to support your second claim? If not, it's unjustified.
Decision theory. Every claim/fact about the world rests upon a very long chain of yes/no questions (which apparently you can't answer).

If you think you can make ANY statements about the world 'free of personal feelings or opinions' please demonstrate!
I sure have no fucking clue how to!
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:21 am
1 Why is the exclusion of 'personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts' not intrinsic to the above definition of 'objective''?
Because you have made choices. You can't make choices without feelings/opinions/values.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:41 pm
No, and you keep repeating this canard. You claim that, in a scientific context, to use the word 'objective' to mean 'excluding personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts' is an error, because that's not how scientists use it.
Yes, Peter. That is why 'scientific consensus' is coveted more than 'facts'. Scientists have to AGREE on things first.
Any statement whose truth-value we can come to a consensus on is objective once agreed-upon.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:41 pm
I've explained time and time again, that rules are contextual and conventional, so that what's correct, incorrect or erroneous can only ever be within a discursive context. And we can, that's WE CAN break the rules at any time. Please stop misrepresenting my argument, because it's dishonest.
Nonsense, Peter.

How do you determine which context you are in?
How do you determine which rules apply?

How is it that I can state the law of non-contradiction universally and you keep spewing non-committal bullshit.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:41 pm
1 Why my use, and a dictionary definition, of the word 'objective' are incoherent.
Because it violates non-contradiction.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:41 pm
2 Why my (standard) account of deductive validity and soundness is faulty.
Because it's not deduction in accordance with the standard definition.

If there is any possibility of falsification - you are not deducing.
Deduction mandates absolute certainty.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:41 pm
Please address and justify these claims directly. If you don't or can't, I'm done with wasting any more time on you.
I am not going to. You keep shifting the spotlight and burden of proof away from yourself.

Commit or fuck off.

Demonstrate sound and valid deduction.

Take everything I say as running commentary. I care not to back up any other claim but this one: Your premises and criteria for 'objectivity' and 'facts' are incoherent nonsense. And my method is by pointing out the internal inconsistencies and disregard for decision theory.

If you are making choices - you are exercising your values.

Peter Holmes
Posts: 510
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:53 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes » Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:43 am

Logik

I've refuted every one of your deflectionary arguments many times.

You've made no case for moral objectivity, and the burden of proof is yours.

You have to show how a moral assertion makes a factual claim about a feature of reality, in any context, using deduction, induction, abduction or any other reasoning process, based on on any decision-making algorithm you like, and grounded on any foundation you deny exists. You have to show why moral rightness, wrongness, goodness or badness are actual properties of things and actions. Which they aren't.

So until you can do that, kindly push off, there's a tiresome little troll.

(Edited to remove vulgarity, for which I apologise.)
Last edited by Peter Holmes on Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Logik
Posts: 4048
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:48 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Logik » Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:08 am

Peter Holmes wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:43 am
Logik

I've refuted every one of your bullshit deflectionary arguments many times.
How can you "refute" my arguments when I haven't made any? I am just talking to you. This is not a stand-off. It's a heated conversation.

That, and I am pointing the contradictions in your episteme.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:43 am
You've made no case for moral objectivity, and the burden of proof is yours.
Correct. Because I can't get you to moral objectivity from where you are looking. Because you have accepted a lot of incoherent nonsense as "true".
Your thinking is muddled in dogma. First I need to get you to doubt all the "truths" you take for granted.

Once we are BOTH on common ground (which so far we have not yet established) then we can see if we can come to any consensus on "facts" and "objectivity"
Peter Holmes wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:43 am
You have to show how a moral assertion makes a factual claim about a feature of reality,
See! That's what I am talking about!

Are you sure you are making claims about features of reality, or claims about your experiences of reality?

Before we can get to morality, first we need to agree on what an "assertion" is (because it is NOT deduction).
Then we need to figure out which assertions are "facts".
THEN we need to figure out which assertions are "moral assertions".

Your taxonomy is "conventional" and that means you have accepted it without questioning its validity.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:43 am
in any context, using deduction, induction, abduction or any other reasoning process, based on on any decision-making algorithm you fucking well like, and grounded on any foundation you deny exists.
An algorithm you say! So we ARE talking about decision theory and the process by which we assert yes/no answers!

Is statement X a fact? Yes or No.

Decision problem!

Does statement X make a claim about a feature of reality? Yes or no.
Decision problem!

WHO decides the answers to these questions Peter?
Peter Holmes wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:43 am
You have to show why moral rightness, wrongness, goodness or badness are actual properties of things and actions. Which they fucking well aren't.

So until you can do that, kindly fuck off, there's a bad little troll.
Bullshit. You have to show (from first principles) what "facts" and "objectivity" are.

Instead - you are appealing to the dictionary.

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