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The Sandy Hook shooting: objectively wrong or subjectively wrong?

#301C_Mat(Topic Creator)Posted 1/25/2013 6:17:37 PM
kozlo100 posted...
This is not a problem because the atheist isn't referencing his atheism as the source of his morality.


Well sure, they base their morality on unprovable beliefs and assumptions, just like they criticize religious people for doing. That's my point.

You're treating 'consensus' as if it's some kind of object or text one references to find information. That's not what it is. It's a set of shared ideas and opinions based on the reasoning and consideration of those sharing it. It is a fact that the people in the consensus hold these opinions. It is a fact that they do so because they have considered them and agreed with them. I'm not sure what more of a factual basis you want.


Yes, it's indeed a "fact" that people can come to a consensus about an opinion. I'm saying that the opinion itself is not a fact. Opinions and consensuses change, facts do not. In other words, you cannot say that it's a "fact" that humans have value, you can only say it's a "fact" that a consensus of humans think they have value. Do you see the difference?

And that, loaded terminology aside, is exactly how subjective morality works. These acts are immoral because we've decided they are. You seem to be trying to posit this as some kind of problem or hypocritical judgement, when it's just subjective morality playing out in its normal fashion.


Yes, and an argument based on opinion is weaker than an argument based on facts, right?
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#302kozlo100Posted 1/25/2013 6:30:47 PM
C_Mat posted...
Well sure, they base their morality on unprovable beliefs and assumptions, just like they criticize religious people for doing. That's my point.


At this point, I want to ask you what you think these 'unprovable beliefs and assumptions' are. I've tried to explain a few times how this isn't a valid criticism, but you don't seem to be getting what I'm saying.

So what do you think these beliefs are, and why do you think they're unprovable?

Yes, it's indeed a "fact" that people can come to a consensus about an opinion. I'm saying that the opinion itself is not a fact. Opinions and consensuses change, facts do not. In other words, you cannot say that it's a "fact" that humans have value, you can only say it's a "fact" that a consensus of humans think they have value. Do you see the difference?


All that is required in a subjective moral system, on the societal level, is to say that "It is a fact that we agree humans have value." Where that value comes from is not important in determining morality, it is only important that it is there. We can talk about where it comes from if you'd like, but it's a different tangent.

Yes, the consensus can change. A subjective system can change. This is a property of the system, not an indication of its invalidity.

Yes, and an argument based on opinion is weaker than an argument based on facts, right?


Where would you go with this if I said yes? I will say yes, but I don't think the question is particularly relevant, or at least not in any way suggested by your current line of reasoning.

A dollar bill has value. Is that an opinion or a fact?
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The problem, then, is that if subjective worlds are experienced too differently, there occurs a breakdown in communication. -- Philip K. Dick
#303C_Mat(Topic Creator)Posted 1/25/2013 7:21:55 PM
kozlo100 posted...
At this point, I want to ask you what you think these 'unprovable beliefs and assumptions' are. I've tried to explain a few times how this isn't a valid criticism, but you don't seem to be getting what I'm saying.

So what do you think these beliefs are, and why do you think they're unprovable?


I thought we covered this. Obviously, just about any of our moral beliefs are based on the presupposition that humans have value, and that human flourishing is a good thing. Yet those two presuppositions that form the basis of all other moral beliefs are themselves beliefs. They are not self-evident to everybody, nor can they be empirically proven.

All that is required in a subjective moral system, on the societal level, is to say that "It is a fact that we agree humans have value." Where that value comes from is not important in determining morality, it is only important that it is there. We can talk about where it comes from if you'd like, but it's a different tangent.

Yes, the consensus can change. A subjective system can change. This is a property of the system, not an indication of its invalidity.


That "different tangent" you're talking about has been the basis of my whole argument, and I've been very clear about that. I haven't disputed the statement that humans agree we have value anywhere; of course we agree that we have value. But yeah, tell me where you think that value comes from on an atheistic point of view.

It seems that all you're trying to say is, "It's a fact that a group of people can come to a consensus about an opinion." To which I say, "Duh." That has little to do with my point. I'm saying the consensus' opinion itself is not a fact.

I don't know how I can be any more clear about this, but I will try. Let's say a group of people come to a consensus that black people should be slaves to white people.
Is it now a fact that a consensus says black people should be slaves to white people? Yes.
Is it now a fact that black people should be slaves to white people? No.
Do you understand the difference yet?

Where would you go with this if I said yes? I will say yes, but I don't think the question is particularly relevant, or at least not in any way suggested by your current line of reasoning.

A dollar bill has value. Is that an opinion or a fact?


All I'm saying is, any argument saying the Christian God is a bad dude is totally based on opinion, therefore weaker than an argument based on any facts. That is all I'm pointing out.

To answer your question, it is a fact that a dollar bill has value (at least, an American dollar bill has value in America).
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#304fudrickPosted 1/25/2013 11:44:05 PM
C_Mat posted...
To answer your question, it is a fact that a dollar bill has value (at least, an American dollar bill has value in America).


Bravo on this one, kozlo.

C_Mat, you've just claimed that consensus = fact right here, in case you weren't aware. There's no greater factual basis for claiming that a dollar bill has value than there is for claiming that human life has value. Both claims are entirely based on a widespread consensus among humans. So not only did you directly contradict yourself within that single post, as earlier you said:

C_Mat posted...
It seems that all you're trying to say is, "It's a fact that a group of people can come to a consensus about an opinion." To which I say, "Duh." That has little to do with my point. I'm saying the consensus' opinion itself is not a fact.


and then later, regarding the dollar, you've claimed that the consensus' opinion, which is that the dollar has value, is indeed a fact; you've also indirectly claimed that as it applies to the following group of people, it is actually a "fact" that blacks should be slaves to whites:

C_Mat posted...
I don't know how I can be any more clear about this, but I will try. Let's say a group of people come to a consensus that black people should be slaves to white people.
Is it now a fact that a consensus says black people should be slaves to white people? Yes.
Is it now a fact that black people should be slaves to white people? No.
Do you understand the difference yet?


So, essentially, you've admitted to a belief in subjective morality.
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#305kozlo100Posted 1/26/2013 3:05:23 PM
C_Mat posted...
To answer your question, it is a fact that a dollar bill has value (at least, an American dollar bill has value in America).


Lets go down this road a little bit. I think it will be helpful.

Where does the value of that dollar come from? Why is it a fact that it has value?

Not just that someone will give you a dollar's worth of crap in exchange for it, but why would they do that?
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The problem, then, is that if subjective worlds are experienced too differently, there occurs a breakdown in communication. -- Philip K. Dick
#306fudrickPosted 1/26/2013 5:03:57 PM
kozlo100 posted...
Lets go down this road a little bit. I think it will be helpful.

Where does the value of that dollar come from? Why is it a fact that it has value?

Not just that someone will give you a dollar's worth of crap in exchange for it, but why would they do that?


Oops, I gave away the answer <.<

I'm not sure if C_Mat has actually added me to his ignore list, but if you'd like to go down that road with him alone I could delete my post.
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Best FCs:
GH1: Decontrol | GH2: Jordan, Hangar 18 | GH80s: Because It's Midnite | GH3: One, Soothsayer | RB2: I Ain't Superstitious
#307kozlo100Posted 1/26/2013 7:17:39 PM
Na, don't delete your post. He can respond how he likes after reading our posts. We'll see where it goes from there.
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The problem, then, is that if subjective worlds are experienced too differently, there occurs a breakdown in communication. -- Philip K. Dick
#308C_Mat(Topic Creator)Posted 1/27/2013 7:23:46 AM
kozlo100 posted...
Lets go down this road a little bit. I think it will be helpful.

Where does the value of that dollar come from? Why is it a fact that it has value?

Not just that someone will give you a dollar's worth of crap in exchange for it, but why would they do that?


You raise a good point, when you put it that way I guess it's not a fact that a dollar has value. You totally ignored all my other responses in that post.

By the way, fudrick, you're not on my ignore list, I'm just not going to bother talking to you anymore in this topic until you can be more reasonable. See kozlo's posts for polite, logical responses to my arguments.
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#309fudrickPosted 1/27/2013 9:09:06 AM
fudrick posted...
C_Mat posted...
(1) Do you personally feel that there are moral rules that other people should follow?
(2) Are there moral rules that other people should follow?


A few questions:

How is 2) different from 1)? Do you mean to ask if it is empirically demonstrable that there are moral rules inherent to the universe and independent from humans that other people should follow? As it is, I think most people would take these questions to mean the same thing.

What exactly do you mean by "should follow"? Do you mean that there are beneficial aspects to society that come from following these moral rules? Do you mean that people are compelled by an external force to follow these rules regardless of whether they produce beneficial aspects to society?

I think these questions must be cleared up before anyone can give an appropriate answer to your original questions, and before any answers given to those questions can be appropriately analyzed.


I think that was perfectly polite and reasonable. I got a bit less polite when you completely ignored that request for clarification, acted as if it was just a way of dodging your questions, started repeatedly making broad generalizations about a large nebulous group of people after I corrected you several times, and after you started asking loaded questions with the (apparent) intent of painting all atheists as either hypocritical or amoral rape supporters due to your fundamental lack of understanding of the position I've put forth in this thread and that of atheism itself.
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Best FCs:
GH1: Decontrol | GH2: Jordan, Hangar 18 | GH80s: Because It's Midnite | GH3: One, Soothsayer | RB2: I Ain't Superstitious
#310Faust_8Posted 1/27/2013 2:04:55 PM
C_Mat posted...
kozlo100 posted...
Lets go down this road a little bit. I think it will be helpful.

Where does the value of that dollar come from? Why is it a fact that it has value?

Not just that someone will give you a dollar's worth of crap in exchange for it, but why would they do that?


You raise a good point, when you put it that way I guess it's not a fact that a dollar has value. You totally ignored all my other responses in that post.

By the way, fudrick, you're not on my ignore list, I'm just not going to bother talking to you anymore in this topic until you can be more reasonable. See kozlo's posts for polite, logical responses to my arguments.


fudrick isn't being unreasonable, kozlo just has far more patience than practically anyone.

Expecting everybody to be like kozlo is like expecting Christians to act like Jesus.

Most people only have so much patience, and this has been a long topic talking about the same thing. Not even really progressing at that one thing, just both sides continuously finding new ways to rephrase what was already said. Throw in your shenanigans and it's no wonder some people become a bit less than absolutely polite. (If you're wondering what the shenanigans are, read fudrick's latest post, or reread some old posts. Hell, the very existence of this topic was a low blow.)
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Expressing itself as a human, for a little while