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If there is no God, murder isn't wrong?

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Consul
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Re: If there is no God, murder isn't wrong?

Post by Consul » November 20th, 2018, 2:42 pm

"[W]e are at least under the illusion that the pleasantness of a taste is provided by the taste itself – that the pleasantness of a taste is extremely closely bound to the nature of that taste. We might think that it could not be that taste and yet not be pleasant. I believe that this appearance of closeness is an illusion. The reason is a pair of personal anecdotes, but I believe that many others will be able to recall similar experiences in their own history. On two memorable occasions (both before I was twelve) I gorged myself on a food to the point where I became ill. Of course, I did that because eating those foods was extremely pleasant. But immediately after having paid the price of my overindulgence, I could not abide the taste, or even the smell (in both cases quite strong and distinctive) of those foods. These experiences convince me that there is really nothing necessary about the connection between a sensation and its valence, but the appearance of necessity remains strong. I am aware that one can take the position (see discussion in Dennett, 1991 [Consciousness Explained]) that the effect of overindulgence was an early rewiring that resulted in a different sensation attending the consumption of these foods. On that view, one could consistently hold that each taste has a valence that is necessarily connected with it, and that my change of desire for those foods was due to their having come to cause different taste sensations. One thing I want to say in response is that this hypothesis has no phenomenological attraction whatsoever. That is, I had no sense that those foods smelled different; I just didn’t like those smells any more."

(Robinson, William S. Epiphenomenal Mind: An Integrated Outlook on Sensations, Beliefs, and Pleasure. New York: Routledge, 2018. p. 157)
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: If there is no God, murder isn't wrong?

Post by Hereandnow » November 20th, 2018, 8:24 pm

Consul
If an experience's (positive or negative) hedonic valence is intrinsic to it and constitutive of its phenomenal character or quality, then experiences with different valences are (in themselves) different experiences. Then, for example, if you like the taste of a particular sort of honey and I don't, our gustatory experiences aren't only different in terms of their valences or hedonic qualities but also in terms of their (intrinsic) phenomenal qualities. In this case, if you enjoy the taste of honey and I could have exactly the same taste-experiences of honey you have, I would enjoy them too, because they are essentially or inherently pleasant, and hence cannot be experienced as unpleasant by me or anybody else. It follows that our honey-related taste-sensations are intrinsically different if you like them and I don't.
But regardless of how reliable the hedonic valence is in attempting to generalize experience and assume what I experience is what you experience, when it is in place, when one does in fact have a positive hedonic experience, there is something beyond the phenomenological descriptive account, something that does not register in the description: how can we "describe" pain beyond the screaming, the raised blood pressure, and the "inner sensation" ? Pain is not really reducible to explanatory accounts; in this it is like the color blue or the sound of a horn. Of course one can analyze the color in its intensity, its hue and so on, but these analytic terms belong to implicit comparisons (unless you are explicitly comparing) of what is not the same. There is something in the blue as blue episodically that does not allow assimilation: this is its intuited being (yes, what is labored endlessly by postmoderns to be incomprehensible or at least reducible to complex language that underlies, the kind of thing Derrida crossed out the moment he wrote it for fear of suggesting one could write an intuition). With the color blue, it is hardly earth shattering, this intuition of being blue; but when it comes to hedonic valences, especially powerful ones like being tortured, the matter can indeed become earth shattering.
The issue that I find so terribly inportant is not so much about accounting for liking honey or not, which is puzzling all the same; but what is IN this negative or positive valence that makes things good or bad in the non utility sense, not good for something else, but good in and of itself. This kind of goodness and badness of experiencing the world is beyond our categories of understanding (as is, frankly, everything, taken as itself, and I say this fully aware of how Derrida would respond).

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Re: If there is no God, murder isn't wrong?

Post by Hereandnow » November 20th, 2018, 8:34 pm

Consul
These experiences convince me that there is really nothing necessary about the connection between a sensation and its valence
One could argue that after the meal had its negative affect, due to overindulgence, the sensation had changed, for is it not an act of abstraction to separate the two's appearances? To talk of the food's valence as independent of the sensation, gives sensation an independence it does not deserve, for it is never encountered apart from a valenced context. It is not as if the food in its saltiness, or its succulence is ever so objectively experienced so as to be without hedonic valence; rather, such valence is always already there in one determinations or another, and the generalization of what a good taste is vs a bad one always assumes that one is disposed properly to appreciate it.

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Re: If there is no God, murder isn't wrong?

Post by GE Morton » November 20th, 2018, 9:57 pm

Consul wrote:
November 20th, 2018, 2:12 pm

Given that we cannot directly compare the subjective qualia of our sensations or emotions and decide on this basis whether or not they are qualitatively identical, it seems that the following two situations are empirically indistinguishable:

1. The valence, i.e. hedonic quality or tone, of an experience is extrinsic to an experience in the sense that it is not constitutive of, not essential to its intrinsic phenomenal character. So a difference in valence does not entail a difference in phenomenal character.

2. The valence, i.e. hedonic quality or tone, of an experience is intrinsic to an experience in the sense that it is constitutive of, essential to its intrinsic phenomenal character. So a difference in valence does entail a difference in phenomenal character.
Sure they are (explained below).

The only experiences which can have an intrinsic phenomenal character would be experiences of a solitary qualia, if such is possible.

The phenomenal character of a qualia is intrinsic, and also ineffable, because it has no constituents; it is elemental, homogeneous, sui generis, and primary. All description consists in attaching predicates to subjects, or relating subjects to one another. But a qualia has no detachable properties; it is itself a property. Hence it cannot be described. All description terminates when the all the properties predicated of a discrete, unitary subject are qualia.

Most sensory experiences, of course, (if not all) comprise several qualia. A perception of dark blue, for example, consists of two qualia, one denoting hue, the other brightness (which are actually processed by different neural circuits). Similarly, the perception and identification of a taste or odor is processed by one neural circuit, one's affective reaction to it by another.

For the reason you cite, we cannot compare the phenomenal character of a "red experience" of mine with one of yours. For all I know, that character for you might be the same as mine when I smell cinnamon. Or something I've never experienced. But we can certainly compare our affective reactions to something we both call "red" --- you pick the red flowers, I pick the yellow ones. So the "hedonic character" of our two experiences, insofar as we can describe them, cannot be intrinsic to them. And it is only insofar as we can describe something that we can speak cogently about it.

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Re: If there is no God, murder isn't wrong?

Post by GE Morton » November 21st, 2018, 12:43 pm

Fooloso4 wrote:
November 19th, 2018, 10:36 pm
GE Morton:
I take a theory of public morality to be concerned with one issue only: rules governing interactions between agents in a moral field.
Moral codes are useful but how we regard others, the care and kindness we show to them, the extent to which we help them, and so on, are not governed by rules.
If those are not covered by a moral code, then they must not raise moral issues. I agree, of course, that a moral code cannot govern how we feel about others (or about anything else). It can only cover how we treat others, including when and to what extent we must help them. Moral codes govern acts, not feelings.
The disjunction between "public and private morality" is problematic.
In what way? Is the distinction not clear? A public morality addresses acts (or omissions) of agents which reduce the welfare of other agents, which inflict harms; it does not address acts which do not affect other agents. E.g., whether I pray to Allah several times a day affects no other agents, and so is not within the purview of the public morality. But my Muslim "private morality" may oblige me to do so.
The quest for an answer to the question of what constitutes a good life is misguided. There is no possible universal answer, because what is deemed "good" is inescapably subjective, and relative to agents.
The former does not follow from the latter unless one holds to some notion of moral objectivity, which, in my opinion, is misguided.
That is not clear. Is "the former" the first sentence, or the first clause of the second sentence?

Are you suggesting that the "good life" question is not misguided, even though no answer can be universal, or that subjective answers can nonetheless be universal?
The question then becomes: What rules, if any there are, will permit all agents thrown together in a modern, civilized society to live "the good life" as they respectively define it?
It is not just a question simple of rules but of practices - providing education, food and shelter, safe and sanitary conditions, healthcare, opportunity, and so on.
Practices are acts affecting others, and thus covered by the theory and subject to whatever rules it generates. I'm quite sure you would advocate some rules concerning the practices you mention. The only question is whether those rules are derived from, or at least consistent with, a sound, rational moral theory.
There are certain commonalities however addressed by the practices just mentioned. No one lives a good life who is starving or in constant pain or is gravely ill.
That's largely (though not universally) true. But for most people many other things are necessary for living a "good life" as they define it; being healthy and adequately fed are far from sufficient. The moral questions are, Which of those things do other agents have a duty to provide, to whom, and in what circumstances?
All can benefit from reflection on what they think the good life is.
Of course. And all will come up with different answers.
It is the philosopher and statesman who shape the public domain in which they live. It is the philosophers of liberalism who have shaped what you think about public and private life.
Yes. Bertrand Russell said something similar: "What is today considered common knowledge is the product of philosophical speculations from the past." (Quote may not be exact; don't have it in front of me).
As Nietzsche said, the philosopher is commander and legislator. So, whether one engages in such reflection or not, their lives are shaped and influenced by those who have, the statesman and the philosopher.
True, to some extent. But they are also shaped by artists, inventors, architects, scientists, engineers, novelists, clergymen, physicians, etc. And of course, by family and friends.
You really do not have a clue as to what Plato is about. In order to begin to understand you would need to read some of the dialogues, attentively, from beginning to end, with a teacher who understands him and can guide you.
Oh, please. I've read most of them, including The Republic, decades ago. There is much of value in many of them. But also much nonsense.
It is not that every prohibition is a harm that needs to be justified but that some are. We are not free to do whatever we want whenever we want, but there must be limits to what we are prohibited from doing.
I couldn't agree more. That is the purpose of a moral code --- to set forth those limits; to specify what is not permitted, and what is obligatory.
A "harm," however, is conventionally understood to mean a reduction in welfare. But an agent may not count ill-gotten gains in tallying his level of welfare, and so no harm is done him by preventing or forcing him to forfeit those gains.
As I said, it needs to be addressed on a case by case basis. Ill-gotten gains and pedophilia hardly covers every case where what an individual values may be at odds with some set of moral rules.
Your claim was, "The violation of someone’s beliefs and values is a harm to them."

That is phrased as a universal, so it covers the pedophile. It would also cover, say, the mugger, who believes that the world owes him a living, and the rapist, who believes that God created women to serve the needs of men. Etc. Would laws prohibiting those acts "harm" the mugger and rapist, because they offend their beliefs? If not, perhaps you could give an example of an individual value suppressed by a moral rule, thus "harming" (reducing the welfare of) the valuer.
Any of those may be challenged --- but not successfully, I'm quite confident.
If by successful you mean what will persuade you then perhaps not. But all of us have a hard time admitting when we are wrong.
That it persuades someone is not the criterion for the truth or falsity of a proposition. It is true if it is empirically verifiable or logically derivable from premises known to be true.
… there is no "common good of the whole."
That is your opinion, and as long as you hold to it you are likely not to see the force of any challenge to your theory.
Well, if you disagree that there is no common good, then please specify what is deemed good by all persons (that is what "the whole" entails). There is one "metagood," however: everyone considers securing what he deems good to be good.

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Re: If there is no God, murder isn't wrong?

Post by Fooloso4 » November 21st, 2018, 3:57 pm

GE:

We have stated our positions and made clear our differences. I see no benefit in providing fodder to feed your argumentativeness.

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Re: If there is no God, murder isn't wrong?

Post by GE Morton » November 22nd, 2018, 12:00 am

Fooloso4 wrote:
November 21st, 2018, 3:57 pm

We have stated our positions and made clear our differences. I see no benefit in providing fodder to feed your argumentativeness.
As you wish. But I was looking forward to your answers to the questions I asked in the previous post:

* In what way? [is the public/private morality distinction 'problematic"]? Is the distinction not clear?

* Are you suggesting that the "good life" question is not misguided, even though no answer can be universal, or that subjective answers can nonetheless be universal?

* Could give an example of an individual value suppressed by a moral rule, thus "harming" (reducing the welfare of) the valuer?

* Please specify what is deemed good by all persons (that is what "the whole" entails). If there is no such thing, then what does "the common good of the whole" mean?

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Re: If there is no God, murder isn't wrong?

Post by h_k_s » November 25th, 2018, 9:49 pm

[quote=Spiral post_id=310174 time=1525040197 user_id=48269]
In this youtube video, Dennis Prager argues that if there is no God, murder isn't wrong.

[url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrcQ_PTkVD4&t=3s][b]If There Is No God, Murder Isn't Wrong[/b][/url]

Prager goes on to say that without God, opposition to murder is just an opinion. But if God exists, isn't opposition to murder still just an opinion?

What if God endorsed murder? Would that automatically make murder right instead of wrong?

In my opinion, Prager's argument is weak. What do you think?
[/quote]
I agree that this argument is weak.

Firstly humans do not need a code of dogma or doctrines to know something is wrong.

Murder is the theft of a life.

Theft is taking that which is not yours which belongs to another person.

Ergo murder is wrong no matter what your ethics are, unless of course you are Machiavellian or Nietzschian and in those two limited cases anything justifies the will and maintenance of power including murders, but that still does not make them right.

God is a separate topic. But the question was not does God exist. That matter was already resolved by Aristotle (the Prime Mover) and Aquinas (the First Cause).

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Re: If there is no God, murder isn't wrong?

Post by h_k_s » November 28th, 2018, 6:10 pm

Fooloso4 wrote:
November 18th, 2018, 11:58 am
GE Morton:
All the rules can do, and all they need to do, is prescribe some constraints on those pursuits when they are undertaken in a social setting, where one agent's actions can effect the welfare of other agents.
As I see it, ethics is about what we ought to do, not simply what we are constrained from doing. What we ought to do is decided in view of what promotes the idea of a good life. Such consideration takes place at three interrelated levels: the personal, the interpersonal, and wholes such as an organization, a profession, a community, a country, the planet. In aiming to live a good life the question of what a good life is is itself an activity that aims at the good life.
Your notion of "living well," if it follows Aristotle, as you have indicated, has nothing to do with the agent's attaintment of his own idiosyncratic goals, but with acquiring certain qualities of character and habits and pursuing certain interests and a certain lifestyle --- ideally (for Plato and Aristotle), the interests and lifestyle of the philosopher.
Of course Aristotle’s ethics has something to do with an agent's attainment of his own goals. No one lives my life for me. “Lifestyle” is anachronistic. Aristotle addresses the aspiring philosopher, but the gentleman and statesman as well. The quality of character and habits are not ones that are unique to the philosopher. Aristotle is not providing answers, he intends for the reader to think about and try to work through the questions of how we are to live. It is a perennial question. But not everyone is capable of thinking in this way, and so, the political life is not rejected in consideration of the ethical. It is essential even if it is not the life a philosopher would want to life. It is essential precisely because the philosophical life is the exception. Most men need to be led to a virtuous life. Aristotle’s ethics and politics form a whole, the man and the city, the private and the public.
But perhaps I am mistaken about what you mean by "living well," and "flourishing." If so, please expand on that.
I do not know what you think I mean by "living well," and "flourishing". In an earlier post addressed to Consul on the various senses of the term ‘good’ I said the following:
I would add the metaphysical good - Plato’s generative good:

... not only being known is present in the things known as a consequence of the good, but also existence and being are
in them besides as a result of it, although the good isn't being but is still beyond being, exceeding it in dignity and power. (Republic 509b)
Socrates says that this is his opinion (509c). It is not something he claims to know. So why should we pay any attention to it? Because it provides an image of the whole that inspires, informs, and guides our understanding of the ways of being good. The examined life is about being able to discern the good in what we do. It has no end beyond being and doing what is good. But this should not be taken is the moralistic sense of following rules and obligations. It is what Aristotle calls the final cause, the end toward which a thing moves in the fullness of its actualization, its self-becoming, its strength and power, its virtue or arete. (Nietzsche’s will to power has much in common with this, but he rejects the notion of the completion of a timeless, fixed, and unchanging human nature.)

Historically the good was transformed into or subsumed under God, but whereas God provided commandments, the good does not. It is up to us to determine what is and is not good, that is, to philosophize. Some moral theorists attempt to substitute the dictates of reason for the commandments of God, holding us under obligation to follow principles and rules they claim have been objectively and universally determined for us. But we are not motivated by rules and do not aim at following them as an end in itself, but to the extent that we do follow them we do so for some good.
I am with Nietzsche in rejecting the notion of a fixed and unchanging human nature, but this does not mean that we are entirely plastic and malleable. We seek the good but do not know what it is in an exhaustive and complete way. Philosophy, the love of wisdom, is eros, desire for something we do not possess.
Well, now you seem to be agreeing with what I said earlier: "An individual's beliefs and 'values,' however, never justify a violation of the rules."
What I am saying is that with any set of rules you devise it must be a two-way street. The rules are not self-justifying. Any rules that violate an individual's beliefs and values must be justified, and, on the other hand, any action based on an individual's beliefs and values must be justified if they are harmful to others. This is not the same as your claim that an individual's beliefs and values never justify a violation of the rules.

Reckless driving is wrong not simply because it breaks the rules, but because it endangers the lives of others. There may be cases, however, where one is justified in breaking the traffic laws, for example, rushing someone to the hospital.
All the rules of my theory, except the duty to aid, have precisely the same purpose as the traffic rules you now defend, namely, prohibiting acts which cause harm to others. Are you now agreeing that some rules can be justified on grounds independant of anyone's beliefs and values?
You are justifying your rules based on your own belief that one should not cause harm. The violation of someone’s beliefs and values is a harm to them. The greater or lesser harm must be decided on a case by case basis. In addition, your moral theory and your political theory are based on common beliefs about the individual and how this relates to values.
And it is the last concept that appears the most doubtful. (MMP, 41)
Anscombe gives no indication that such a project must fail. She says that the gap is “at present unfillable”.

If you read what Anscombe said rather than what others say about what she said, you will find that she continues in the same paragraph to say that the man who believes in divine laws can, like the Greek philosophers, think in terms of “flourishing”.

The Stanford Encyclopedia you quote from continues:
If we are to go back to very early approaches, such as Aristotle’s, then the natural approach to developing the alternatives is as a ‘virtue ethics’ and digging into the messy issue of human flourishing and good.
GE:
Sorry, but it is not. Two propositions are contradictory if one denies precisely what the other asserts.

1. I may treat myself as an end.

2. I may treat you as a means (not an end).

The second does not deny what the first says, since they have different subjects ("myself" and "you").
Once again, you are ignoring the second formulation of the categorical imperative:
Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never merely as a means to an end, but always at the same time as an end.
One cannot follow this maxim, and one must follow it categorically, if you treat someone as a means. The maxim refers to persons. Both “myself” and “you” are the same in so far as they are persons. One need not consider any consequences of treating others as a means. To do so is inconsistent with their dignity and autonomy.
Whether Kant can be read as a consequentialist has developed a significant literature. Here is one typical discussion:
Reddit??? Since when does Reddit count as part of a “a significant literature”? Someone pointed to Cummiskey’s “Kantian Consequentialism” but Cummiskey does not claim that Kant is a consequentialist. In the preface he states that he is convinced that Kant is not a consequentialist but that his main argument is consistent with consequentialism. Someone else pointed to Parfit, but I am not going to wade through to see what he is claiming. If you make a claim you should be able to defend it, not point vaguely in the direction of Reddit.

We are in agreement as to the answer to topic question. Our disagreement, however, runs deep and informs our differences on both ethics and politics. It is based on a difference in what it means to be human. Your's is Libertarian, mine takes seriously 'arete' (virtue, excellence), 'eudaimonia' (happiness, flourishing, well-being), and the common good of the whole.
Doing or not doing harm to others seems to be the crux of Plato's ideals.

Then you meet Aristotle who justifies the harm for the greater good.

Then later you meet Nietzsche and Machiavelli who further justify it even if it is horrendously egregious but for an overarching purpose.

Jesus in the philosopher sense coined his golden rule either because he had studied Plato somewhere or else intuitively (or some other way) he felt that empathy was the appropriate answer.

The notion of Justice has not been mentioned yet anywhere, or if it has I did not see it.

It would be unjust to harm someone unjustifiably. (Play on words.)

It would be just to punish them if the local code of law prescribed it. And it would be unjust not to.

But the justice issue is a separate train of philosophical thought.

As a Romantic Philosopher I myself join Aquinas in looking to an infinite God who holds me accountable for my every thought, word, and deed. I live in fear of that God's justice and I live in love and compassion towards that God for creating me and all things.

But if there were no such God then although I might get away with being unjust, it would be difficult to live with myself in the meantime. I feel awful if I even run over a squirrel in the road with my car. This is due to empathy.

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Re: If there is no God, murder isn't wrong?

Post by Gogol1387 » December 2nd, 2018, 6:18 pm

Humans are social creatures. They evolved to be social as a means to survive. In doing so, they also evolved the emergent properties of morals and ethics, because you can't just go killing off your own tribe if you depend on each other for survival. Humans are born with an innate sense of right and wrong. They further develop that sense of right and wrong through positive and negative feedback from parents, family, peers, teachers, etc. (reward or punishment). Religion and deities really have nothing to do with a human feeling that murder is wrong, but religion has helped to verbally pass down certain values and cultural norms in order to fortify the basic rules. In most societies now, especially developed democracies, laws and punishments exist without the need for religion or belief in deities. Secular law.

Now obviously, the sense of right and wrong can be overpowered and ignored, especially if a person feels like...in a moment of anger...that murder is the only option to avenge their honor or to get what they want. They convince themselves that the person that they mean to kill does not deserve to be alive. Or they believe that the person might kill them if they don't kill them first. This of course can happen on a tribal or national level, which can lead to war.

People who kill are often people who feel like they have been cut off from their family/tribe, or society as a whole, and that no one understands them or supports them. They usually start forming a psychosis fed by constant feelings of being threatened or dishonored...until finally their very reality is distorted and they feel utterly convinced of their right to kill a certain person or group of people. And of course by the time they reach this state of mind, they are often suicidal anyway and care nothing for their own life, or at least care nothing about the consequences of their actions.

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Re: If there is no God, murder isn't wrong?

Post by Hereandnow » December 2nd, 2018, 10:01 pm

Gogol1387
Humans are social creatures. They evolved to be social as a means to survive. In doing so, they also evolved the emergent properties of morals and ethics, because you can't just go killing off your own tribe if you depend on each other for survival. Humans are born with an innate sense of right and wrong. They further develop that sense of right and wrong through positive and negative feedback from parents, family, peers, teachers, etc. (reward or punishment). Religion and deities really have nothing to do with a human feeling that murder is wrong, but religion has helped to verbally pass down certain values and cultural norms in order to fortify the basic rules. In most societies now, especially developed democracies, laws and punishments exist without the need for religion or belief in deities. Secular law.

Now obviously, the sense of right and wrong can be overpowered and ignored, especially if a person feels like...in a moment of anger...that murder is the only option to avenge their honor or to get what they want. They convince themselves that the person that they mean to kill does not deserve to be alive. Or they believe that the person might kill them if they don't kill them first. This of course can happen on a tribal or national level, which can lead to war.

People who kill are often people who feel like they have been cut off from their family/tribe, or society as a whole, and that no one understands them or supports them. They usually start forming a psychosis fed by constant feelings of being threatened or dishonored...until finally their very reality is distorted and they feel utterly convinced of their right to kill a certain person or group of people. And of course by the time they reach this state of mind, they are often suicidal anyway and care nothing for their own life, or at least care nothing about the consequences of their actions.
But you altogether bypass the question as to whether an action, like unmitigated murder, is delivered from its wrongness in light of reducing the pronouncement of right and wrong to what "secular law" says. What of the moral "law" that underpins the juridical one? Are things morally right or wrong according what the local police say it is? If I torture a person to death, is the gravitas of what I do exhausted by what is contained in a book?

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Re: If there is no God, murder isn't wrong?

Post by Gogol1387 » December 3rd, 2018, 9:26 am

Hereandnow,

I answered the question of the original topic. I did it so: a) God does not exist b) murder is wrong because it is against the survival of our species, which is the very impetus of our existence and c) I touched upon the concept of innate morality in humans, which I plan to expound upon in a separate topic at a later date.

The only question I didn't answer is the question you just created and put to me. And I would have appreciated it had you not insinuated that I was missing something from the original topic question. I mean, you could have just asked the question without pre-loading it with such a supposition. But no offense if no offense was intended.

So now, I will answer your new question. Or attempt to.

Humans are known for coming to a general consensus on the rules of their society even at a local/tribal level. Those rules may be only verbal in a primitive society. Modern law for a developed country is we write those rules down and enforce them. If there is no police, lawyers, or judges, then the innate law that murder is wrong is still there...it just means that the society has collapsed to the point where murder can happen without an apparatus/system that is meant to capture and punish the offender.

In our particular case in the United States (a representative democracy), people can vote for changes in laws, or vote for Representatives that will change those laws. Even how murder is charged and prosecuted.

But more pointedly to your last sentence-question: Judges in most states have the power to pass/modify a sentence where they see fit to do so. So if you tortured someone in a most gruesome way and you were found guilty, and you displayed absolutely no remorse about it, it's almost guaranteed that a judge will increase your sentence to life in maximum security prison without parole, or death if the state allows. The mechanics of the judge's decision within their own mind, and how he/she develops it...no it's not written in any book. But it can be if we develop laws that restrict the sentencing latitude power of judges.

Murder is still wrong. But there is a difference in modern law between the conviction phase of a crime, and the sentencing phase.

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Hereandnow
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Re: If there is no God, murder isn't wrong?

Post by Hereandnow » December 3rd, 2018, 11:13 am

Gogol1387
a) God does not exist b) murder is wrong because it is against the survival of our species, which is the very impetus of our existence
Why oh why should anyone do what is the "very impetus of our existence"? And survival and reproduction: Then when I ask about the gravitas of unmitigated murder, you will say this gravitas rests with survival (and reproduction. I add this since it is part of an evolutionist's standard response)?

Eduk
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Re: If there is no God, murder isn't wrong?

Post by Eduk » December 3rd, 2018, 11:46 am

Evolutionists. Why aren't other beliefs which are the consensus of experts given names. Like I also believe in relativity, but I've not heard of relativityists.
My assumption is because evolution is the biggest threat to many God concepts?
Why oh why should anyone do what is the "very impetus of our existence"?
If you don't then you are statistically less likely to exist.
And survival and reproduction: Then when I ask about the gravitas of unmitigated murder, you will say this gravitas rests with survival (and reproduction
I don't understand the question you are trying to ask? I'll do my best, perhaps you can correct me if I have got the wrong end of the stick.

What I think you are saying is that morality cannot be reduced to simply 'an increase is survivability on the gene level'? I mean conceptually increasing survivability works just fine but when someone jumps into the sea to save a child at the risk of their own life they aren't first doing the math. Also I assume you would argue that things like empathy are real? And even more something like altruism isn't selfish, which if it were frames purely in terms of gene survival it would be?

In response I would say that we can have both. In that altruism can be of benefit to gene survival and real. After all I think emotions have to be real otherwise they would have no effect? For example if someone said they loved me but I knew love wasn't real because I experienced love like it was maths homework then I would add this knowledge to the equation thus rendering it pointless to say. If all tears were fake there would be no point in crying.

Now I'm not sure what your overall point is @Hereandnow but there is still no need for God in order to make murder wrong. Which is a good thing for everyone.
Unknown means unknown.

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Hereandnow
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Re: If there is no God, murder isn't wrong?

Post by Hereandnow » December 3rd, 2018, 1:45 pm

Eduk:

If you don't then you are statistically less likely to exist.

What I think you are saying is that morality cannot be reduced to simply 'an increase is survivability on the gene level'? I mean conceptually increasing survivability works just fine but when someone jumps into the sea to save a child at the risk of their own life they aren't first doing the math. Also I assume you would argue that things like empathy are real? And even more something like altruism isn't selfish, which if it were frames purely in terms of gene survival it would be?

In response I would say that we can have both. In that altruism can be of benefit to gene survival and real. After all I think emotions have to be real otherwise they would have no effect? For example if someone said they loved me but I knew love wasn't real because I experienced love like it was maths homework then I would add this knowledge to the equation thus rendering it pointless to say. If all tears were fake there would be no point in crying.

Now I'm not sure what your overall point is @Hereandnow but there is still no need for God in order to make murder wrong. Which is a good thing for everyone.
My point is about the way scientific thinking attempts to grasp the moral dimension of human existence. Talk about murder being wrong because survival is "the very impetus of our existence," for example, is comical, for the actuality of a murder, a gruesome one to make the point, far exceeds empirical science's systematic way of understanding it. Science deliberately abstracts from the actual event just to assimilate it into it modes of rationalization. The fullness of the event, the actuality of the experience, this is what needs full accounting for this includes the breadth of what is Real, and this cannot be quantified. And, the impetus of our existence? Is our existence truly driven by survival and reproduction? Or are these not examples of the way science reduces actuality to quantifiable terms?

Think about Dostoevsky's Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment: In the detail of the "impetus" that drives him to murder. Imagine for a moment that you are him, the anxiety, the wretchedness, the awful condition imposed upon him: is this the kind of thing that is given full and satisfying disclosure in an abstract scientific term?

Science is a fine functioning utility for certain fairly well defined purposes. Indeed, I think the scientific method is part of our essence, part of our day to day affairs. (After all, how do I know my cup is even a cup if not for those infantile science experiments I did trying to match utterances with objects?) But to think it can categorially encompass what it means to be human is absurd. And God? If we reduce This term to easily refutable descriptions, then it becomes easily refutable. But go a different route, start with what the term could mean vis a vis what is given in the world and move from there, the term becomes very different and impossible to shake free of.

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