Before anything else: I wish you a good time in this year 2018.
The Nazi ideology extolled the virtues of an Aryan super-race which regarded all others as inferior, subordinate and ultimately disposable. When they settled on the “final solution” to the Jewish – and gypsy and homosexual and mentally ill – problem did they consult the victims to see of they agreed that it was a good idea? No, of course they didn’t. Neither did the various flavors of communism before they killed even more.
We went over this question in the following thread where you put forth a society consensus model of establishing morality:
Note my posts 97,116,132,150,152 and your posts 107,127,144.
To my understanding you didn’t give a sensible answer to some pressing problems of your society consensus morality:
-You didn’t give a coherent account of how anyone’s agreement to the society consensus is established or whether such an agreement is necessary.
-You didn’t establish a rational way how society can establish whether any given individual should count as moral agent whose views should be taken into account or whether the views of the individual can be discarded by the society. This question is relevant to the examples you gave above.
-You didn’t explain why you appealed again and again to your own moral intuitions (even against established society consensus) when trying to argue for some moral rules, when you stated that society consensus was the only source of morality.
-Given that the outcome of a society consensus is to a considerable degree dependent on the consensus making process, you have a chicken and egg problem of how a society can establish the rules for establishing consensus without appeal to their own consensus (which can’t be established at this point). So your consensus morality is either dependent on an arbitrary (and so necessarily on an amoral) process or there exists another source of morality which must be appealed to in order to get the process going.
-A society must be either open to its consensus being the result of manipulation and/or force OR it must screen its own consensus making process according to moral rules established in a different way from its own consensus.
-Either one accepts that any society consensus IS moral no matter what (to which you agreed that this idea is stupid) or even your society consensus is in dire need of an arbiter that can be appealed to if one thinks that society is wrong on some issue. If such an arbiter is bound by society consensus then it’s superfluous since it can’t correct the same consensus it is bound by, OTOH if it’s not bound by consensus, then it becomes itself a source of morality independent of society consensus.
-While you agreed to the general idea that an individual is justified in resisting a wrong consensus you could not give any argument on how to distinguish this case from the case where society is right in forcing its consensus on some individual.
I would appreciate any sensible argument addressing those problems. Or a friendly reminder to where I overlooked your answer.
Neither did various religions throughout recorded history, including events recounted in the Old Testament. The is no record of God conducting referenda of the populations of Sodom and Gomorrah or the other cities obliterated by Him or His proxies. There was no worldwide survey before almost all life on the surface of the Earth was exterminated in the Great Flood.
You are making a category error here. If the Bible God exists, then he is not just another pawn on the board of morality. He is the one who made the board and all pawns on it and who established the “rules of the game”. To demand that God should behave according to the moral rules that (according to your views) are binding upon humans is like demanding that the inventor of a game is bound by the same rules as the pawns on the board he made. Before any sensible discussion of this subject can take place, this point must be acknowledged.
And after acknowledging that point we see, that the God described in the Bible made the universe, life in it and the moral rules binding on us. So God is the judge in the moral court not just another potential defendant. A judge just simply doesn’t ask the defendants whether they would submit to a judgement. He just renders judgement.
Now I can understand the question whether such a God really exists. But if He exists there is no question that He can judge Sodom Gomorrah and the people before the flood. If he exists we are the pawns on his moral board; and as pawns we can’t questions his rules. So only if this God doesn’t exist the question whether His judgements are morally sound does even make sense. So in asking the question you implicitly deny His existence.
There is quite an enlightening discussion of quite a lot of similar questions in the following article:
I recommend reading this piece. [NB: This is the famous Arthur Leff “grand sez who” paper.]
When WJM and others trot out that tired old canard about there being no way to choose between the ‘morality’ of the psychopath and that of the rest of us,…
When I asked you how you establish this difference in your moral system, I didn’t receive an answer that made sense, since it left important points without answer (see reference above).
… , be aware that what they are actually arguing for is some form of divine or other command morality. It’s designed by some supreme authority or an elite few supposedly for our benefit but the rest of us who are supposed to be subject to it don’t get a say. Apparently, we’re not good enough.
This is the same category error as explained above. God is unlike any human elite when it comes to establishing morality. I agree with you that a human elite establishing morality for the rest of us isn’t really a good idea and fraught with problems.
Of course, it’s dressed up as “objective” and/or “natural moral law” but it’s funny how that “objective” and “natural law” morality turns out to by synonymous with the advocates own version of Christianity. It’s never Buddhist or Sikh or Muslim or pagan. I wonder why that is?
This is another category error: You mix up an ontological question (Do moral standards exist in an objective manner?) with an epistemological question (Which exactly are those objective moral standards?). Just because some people can’t agree on the right answer to the second question doesn’t (necessarily) mean, that they are wrong with their answer to the first question.
And you are wrong when it comes to paganism. Pagans who believe in gods like Zeus, Ishtar, Thor or Isis, have gods that are on the same ontological plane as we are (albeit more powerful): Those pagan Gods came into existence as parts of the cosmos, they can be destroyed and so they can’t explain the existence of the universe nor can they establish objective morality (even if those gods existed) since they are on the same board like we are, albeit they might be more powerful. So throwing them into this argument shows a lack of understanding the problem.
As for the psychopath problem, the simple answer is that, while the psycho might take perverted pleasure in the rape, torture and murder of others, the rest of us potential victims do not. And we are in the overwhelming majority, which isn’t “might makes right” but democracy does, with some obvious caveats.
This is another formulation of the problem: When is the society consensus wrong and I can ignore it? In our former discussion I didn’t really receive an answer that was without self contradictions. So: Is the community consensus always morally correct? If not, then labelling the dissenter as “perverted psycho” doesn’t establish any moral fact, it just establishes that there is deviation from the consensus. I gave you real world examples where democratic societies established wrong doing, that wasn’t really wrong. Some of them remain uncorrected even today.
And again you assume that society consensus equates democracy. This is obviously wrong for great parts of the world. Given another process for society consensus you get societies like you see in China, North Korea or Saudi Arabia. And BTW Hitler came to power by way of democratic elections in a society where everyone knew (could know) what he intended to do.
So when is an individual justified in resisting society consensus and when not? As long as you don’t have an an rational answer to this question, you can’t proceed to make any of your points about perverted psychos.>>