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L&FP, 48: [Former?] New Atheist Stefan Molyneaux and his “Universally Preferable Behavior” (2007) illustrate inescapably binding, intelligible and identifiable first duties of reason

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I ran across this work, and find an interesting discussion, starting with a fairly roundabout way to show what a first, undeniable principle or truth — branch on which we all must sit stuff — is like::

Given that every human action – including making philosophical statements – is chosen in preference to every other possible action, arguing that preferences do not exist requires a preference for arguing that preferences do not exist, which is a self-contradictory statement. [p. 33]

So, next, we have another roundabout way of summarising duties/oughts as universally prefer-ABLE behaviour:

The proposition before us is thus: can some preferences be objective, i.e. universal?

When I say that some preferences may be objective, I do not mean that all people follow these preferences at all times. If I were to argue that breathing is an objective preference, I could be easily countered by the example of those who commit suicide by hanging themselves. If I were to argue that eating is an objective preference, my argument could be countered with examples of hunger strikes and anorexia.

Thus when I talk about universal preferences, I am talking about what people should prefer, not what they always do prefer. [p. 33]

The is-ought gap emerges, and we see that a property of the objective is its universal force.

Given a known issue or two likely to come up as a premise of objections, let’s note from the next page:

Since human beings cannot communicate psychically, all debates necessarily involve the evidence of the senses. Writing presupposes sight; talking requires hearing; Braille requires touch. Thus any proposition that depends upon the invalidity of the senses automatically self-destructs. [p. 34, thus, self-referential incoherence and grand delusion exhibit absurdities and found argument by reducing a key alternative to absurdity. Those who wish to deny that our senses can and often do credibly access a world independent of our individual perceptions, opinions etc, should take due note.]

Next, the duty to truth appears:

If you correct me on an error that I have made, you are implicitly accepting the fact that it would be better for me to correct my error. Your preference for me to correct my error is not subjective, but objective, and universal. You don’t say to me: “You should change your opinion to mine because I would prefer it,” but rather: “You should correct your opinion because it is objectively incorrect.” My error does not arise from merely disagreeing with you, but as a result of my deviance from an objective standard of truth. Your argument that I should correct my false opinion rests on the objective value of truth – i.e. that truth is universally preferable to error, and that truth is universally objective. [p. 35]

Going on, we come to:

Simply put, morals are a set of rules claiming to accurately and consistently identify universally preferable human behaviours, just as physics is a set of rules claiming to accurately and consistently identify the universal behaviour of matter . . . .

if I argue against the proposition that universally preferable behaviour is valid, I have already shown my preference for truth over falsehood – as well as a preference for correcting those who speak falsely. Saying that there is no such thing as universally preferable behaviour is like shouting in someone’s ear that sound does not exist – it is innately self-contradictory. In other words, if there is no such thing as universally preferable behaviour, then one should oppose anyone who claims that there is such a thing as universally preferable behaviour. However, if one “should” do something, then one has just created universally preferable behaviour. Thus universally preferable behaviour – or moral rules – must be valid.

Syllogistically, this is:

1] The proposition [being challenged] is: the concept “universally preferable behaviour” must be valid.

2] Arguing against the validity of universally preferable behaviour [however, inadvertently] demonstrates [so, acknowledges] universally preferable behaviour.
[____________________________________________________ ]

3] Therefore no argument against the validity of universally preferable behaviour can be valid.

We see here how first duties are baked into arguments, and so are inescapable, intelligible and identifiable. Even, the would be objector appeals to such.

However, this is not a demonstration of why as a matter of logic of being, we are morally governed. It simply shows that we cannot escape such and so we see the chain, inescapable as part of reason, so inescapably true, so too first principles.

We cannot but be absurd if we are found sawing off the branch on which we must all sit just to argue. From duties to truth we readily find a duty to right reason as the means to truth and a recognition that our rational, cognitive faculties have a naturally evident baked in end, to move toward truth, accurate description of reality. This leads to the duty to warrant claims of known truth, i.e. to see to it that they are well founded as reliable and credibly true as we need to rely on them. Here, this is clearly part of wider duty to prudence. Then, we recognise conscience and duty to sound conscience rightly guided as described. onward, we observe neighbours who are as we are and so the mutual duties of fairness, justice etc. All of which can be drawn out in detail. In short, we may list, Ciceronian first duties,

1: to truth,
2: to right reason,
3: to warrant and wider prudence,
4: to sound conscience,
5: to neighbour,
6: so too to fairness, and
7: to justice,
. . . ,
x: etc.

Ciceronian? Yes, try De Legibus:

—Marcus [in de Legibus, introductory remarks,. C1 BC, being Cicero himself]: . . . we shall have to explain the true nature of moral justice, which is congenial and correspondent [36]with the true nature of man [–> we are seeing the root vision of natural law, coeval with our humanity] . . . . With respect to the true principle of justice, many learned men have maintained that it springs from Law. I hardly know if their opinion be not correct, at least, according to their own definition; for . “Law (say they) is the highest reason, implanted in nature, which prescribes those things which ought to be done, and forbids the contrary” . . . . They therefore conceive that the voice of conscience is a law, that moral prudence is a law [–> a key remark] , whose operation is to urge us to good actions, and restrain us from evil ones . . . . According to the Greeks, therefore, the name of law implies an equitable distribution of goods: according to the Romans [–> esp. Cicero, speaking as a leading statesman], an equitable discrimination between good and evil. The true definition of law should, however, include both these characteristics. And this being granted as an almost self–evident proposition, the origin of justice is to be sought in the divine law of eternal and immutable morality. This indeed is the true energy of nature, the very soul and essence of wisdom, the test of virtue and vice.

[–> this points to the wellsprings of reality, the only place where is and ought can be bridged; bridged, through the inherently good utterly wise, maximally great necessary being, the creator God, which adequately answers the Euthyphro dilemma and Hume’s guillotine argument surprise on seeing reasoning is-is then suddenly a leap to ought-ought. IS and OUGHT are fused from the root]

This indeed is the true energy of nature, the very soul and essence of wisdom, the test of virtue and vice

Where do the roots of such moral government come from?

The answer is, the root of reality, the only level where is and ought can be bridged without gaps. Reality’s root must be a necessary being of finite remove with causal capability to be a well-spring of worlds, including worlds with morally governed creatures. So too, to adequately found such government (given the longstanding gap and the Euthyphro debates), inherently good and utterly wise, i.e. maximally great person emerges.

Altogether, a familiar figure, the God of ethical theism. (Cf. No. 47.) But if one objects, one needs to provide a comparatively powerful candidate root without opening up gaps or absurdities: _________ . Harder to do than may be at first imagined.

Now, too, these explorations were sparked by noticing News’ clip from a recent Salon Article denouncing the New Atheists who have gone all libertarian or the like:

New Atheism appeared to offer moral clarity, it emphasized intellectual honesty and it embraced scientific truths about the nature and workings of reality. It gave me immense hope to know that in a world overflowing with irrationality, there were clear-thinking individuals with sizable public platforms willing to stand up for what’s right and true — to stand up for sanity in the face of stupidity.

Fast-forward to the present: What a grift that was! Many of the most prominent New Atheists turned out to be nothing more than self-aggrandizing, dogmatic, irascible, censorious, morally compromised people who, at every opportunity, have propped up the powerful over the powerless, the privileged over the marginalized. This may sound hyperbolic, but it’s not when, well, you look at the evidence. So I thought it might be illuminating to take a look at where some of the heavy hitters in the atheist and “skeptic” communities are today. What do their legacies look like? In what direction have they taken their cultural quest to secularize the world?

Phil Torres, “Godless grifters: How the New Atheists merged with the far right” at Salon (June 5, 2021)

See the import of the bolded points, illustrating the first duties in action on the part of one who, presumably, has no way to bridge IS-OUGHT within his apparent evolutionary materialistic scientism?

So, the issue of inescapable, self evidently true first duties of reason is not as easily brushed aside as some may imagine. END

1,128 Replies to “L&FP, 48: [Former?] New Atheist Stefan Molyneaux and his “Universally Preferable Behavior” (2007) illustrate inescapably binding, intelligible and identifiable first duties of reason

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    kairosfocus says:

    [Former?] New Atheist Stefan Molyneaux and his “Universally Preferable Behavior” (2007) illustrate inescapably binding, intelligible and identifiable first duties of reason

    PS: I need not address the current projections of racism against this author [which sound like the now common cultural marxist rhetorical tainting by accusation], I am simply addressing an argument he published in his heyday as a champion of the new atheist movement as illustrating the Ciceronian first duties. If we are all of one blood, per Paul before the Areopagus c AD 50, there is no basis for racism.

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    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I find that this is an almost amusing back water, and thereby hangs a long, in the end sad tale. I add a comment from a review at Mises, which inadvertently reveals the impoverished, self-referentiality of our time:

    [SM:] The question before us is thus: can some preferences be objective, i.e., universal? … When I talk about universal preferences, I am talking about what people should prefer, not what they always do prefer. (p. 33, emphasis omitted)

    [DG, reviewing:] These preferences, furthermore, have to do with morality, behavior that can be forcibly imposed on people. “Those preferences which can be considered binding upon others can be termed ‘universal preferences’ or ‘moral rules'” (p. 40).

    Is there, then, behavior that is in his sense universally preferable? Our ever-generous author has an abundance of arguments in support of a positive answer to this question. His first claim is that the very fact of engaging in inquiry over the existence of universally preferable behavior suffices to answer the question in the affirmative. If I am engaged in debate about this topic, must I not prefer truth to falsehood? An attempt to deny this leads to contradiction: “If I argue against the proposition that universally preferable behavior is valid, I have already shown my preference for truth over falsehood — as well as a preference for correcting those who speak falsely” (p. 40).

    Molyneux is certainly right that someone who wants to discover whether universally preferable behavior exists, prefers, while trying to find the answer, truth over falsehood; but how does this generate a preference to correct others with mistaken views? Molyneux wrongly supposes that if someone wants to discover the truth, he must be in engaged in an actual debate with someone else. Why must he? Further, what has any of this to do with enforceable obligations, the ostensible subject of his inquiry?

    H’mm, the reviewer evidently has rhetorically never been in two minds, having a debate within himself on the cusp of duty-tinged decision. He also fails to see how his own attempted correction implicitly appeals to implicitly known and accepted duties to truth, right reason and warrant, etc. In short, there is a lurking self-referentiality here that undermines the review at outset.

    This is of course reflective of the sort of branch on which we all must sit inescapability that marks self-evident first principles. To try to object immediately appeals to the principle, refuting the objection by self-referential incoherence. We can instead recognise, inescapable first principle, a part of the branch on which rational cognition must sit, so undeniably and self evidently true. Let’s call this The Epictetus Criterion, after this classic exchange on first principles and duties of right reason:

    DISCOURSES
    CHAPTER XXV

    How is logic necessary?

    When someone in [Epictetus’] audience said, Convince me that logic is necessary, he answered: Do you wish me to demonstrate this to you?—Yes.—Well, then, must I use a demonstrative argument?—And when the questioner had agreed to that, Epictetus asked him. How, then, will you know if I impose upon you?—As the man had no answer to give, Epictetus said: Do you see how you yourself admit that all this instruction is necessary, if, without it, you cannot so much as know whether it is necessary or not? [Notice, inescapable, thus self evidently true and antecedent to the inferential reasoning that provides deductive proofs and frameworks, including axiomatic systems and propositional calculus etc. Cf J. C. Wright]

    Obviously, to try to prove as Epictetus’ objector demanded, falls under the same problem. Such first principles are antecedent to proof, proofs build on them.

    Another highly relevant case comes from the Apostle Paul’s discussion of the principle of distinct identity in the context of rational, intelligible communication, using what was likely a logic and rhetoric 101 case in C1:

    1 Cor 14:7 If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? 8 And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? 9 So with yourselves, if with your tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air. 10 There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning, 11 but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me.

    This is, of course set in the context of community, whether church or concert or army, but again it is WLOG. For as we sit in two minds on the cusp of decision, we require within ourselves the prerequisites of rational communication for that internal debate or dialogue or discussion. And in that discussion, we often hear the voice of conscience counselling moral duty and moral prudence as law. Built-in law of our nature that governs our rational, responsible freedom.

    The sort of things that Cicero summarised as consensus deposit even in his time, in his introduction to De Legibus, as we saw highlighted in the OP above:

    With respect to the true principle of justice, many learned men have maintained that it springs from Law. I hardly know if their opinion be not correct, at least, according to their own definition; for . “Law (say they) is the highest reason, implanted in nature, which prescribes those things which ought to be done, and forbids the contrary” . . . .

    They therefore conceive that the voice of conscience is a law, that moral prudence is a law [–> a key remark] , whose operation is to urge us to good actions, and restrain us from evil ones . . .

    Highest reason is a striking phrase, pointing to branch on which we all must sit first principles of duty, from which the framework of lawfulness in the defence of the civil peace of justice (due balance of rights, freedoms and duties including that we must not impose a taint of compelled wrongdoing under coloour of law on sound voice of conscience) draws its support. And yes, when we play with these issues we are playing with the fabric of lawfulness that protects civilisation from sliding into lawless oligarchy and tyranny.

    Beware!

    Now, the onlooker will recognise from the OP, that recognising first principles of duty towards rational, responsible, lawful, just conduct is not the same as grounding such in the logic of being. That is, what best explains a world in which such creatures as we are exist?

    This is where indeed SM misses the mark, he stops too soon, at the point where he sees, however vaguely, pervasive, self evident first duties as pivotal principles to be universally “preferred,” i.e. freely chosen towards apt fulfillment of the manifest ends of rational, responsible freedom. Who can soundly deny — without discrediting him-/her- self — that the due end of right reason is truth, accurate description of reality, thus the correction of error is a corollary of duty to truth. Hence, the value of warrant, wider prudence and sound conscience. Where, as we exist in a community of like creatures, mutuality of duties to neighbour so too to fairness and justice etc at once emerge. The ciceronian first duties are indeed truths of first principle character, universalisable without incoherence per the Kantian Categorical Imperative.

    Yes, they are general principles that seem vague at first, until reflected on through experience, understanding, the collective experience of civilisation reported through sound history and the like. They then shine through as naturally upright and straight plumb lines . . . highest reason . . . that guide us in sound morality, law, government and wider governance. Things, we have been neglecting, to our manifest peril.

    However, we need to go on beyond mere warrant as first principles to logic of being root. Here, Cicero points: “the origin of justice is to be sought in the divine law of eternal and immutable morality. This indeed is the true energy of nature, the very soul and essence of wisdom, the test of virtue and vice.”

    As I argued in the OP:

    Where do the roots of such moral government come from?

    The answer is, the root of reality, the only level where is and ought can be bridged without gaps. Reality’s root must be a necessary being of finite remove with causal capability to be a well-spring of worlds, including worlds with morally governed creatures. So too, to adequately found such government (given the longstanding gap and the Euthyphro debates), inherently good and utterly wise, i.e. maximally great person emerges.

    Altogether, a familiar figure, the God of ethical theism. (Cf. No. 47.) But if one objects, one needs to provide a comparatively powerful candidate root without opening up gaps or absurdities: _________ . Harder to do than may be at first imagined.

    We are challenged and called to highest reason.

    KF

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    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Our reviewer, DG, raises further issues, e.g.

    Molyneux has many more arguments on offer. How can we deny the existence of universally preferable behavior, he asks: does not life itself depend on it? “Thus it is impossible that anyone can logically argue against universally preferable behavior, since if he is alive to argue, he must have followed universally preferable behaviors such as breathing, eating and drinking.”

    Is it not obvious that Molyneux has confused two different senses of “universally preferable behavior”? Biological laws are, as even our author elsewhere realizes, descriptive regularities; Molyneux fails utterly to show that acting in accord with such laws to keep oneself alive has anything to do with moral obligation.

    . . . and:

    [SM:] I also cannot logically argue that it is wrong for some people to murder, but right for other people to murder. Since all human beings share common physical properties and requirements, proposing one rule for one person and the opposite for another is invalid — it is like proposing a physics theory that says that some rocks fall down, while other rocks fall up. Not only is it illogical, it contradicts an observed fact of reality, which is that human beings as a species share common characteristics, and so cannot be subjected to opposing rules. (p. 44, emphasis omitted)

    [DG:] Molyneux offers no argument that the rules of morality must respond only to the characteristics that define the human species. If someone proposed a rule of the form, “Human beings who meet such-and-such requirements, and not others, may kill under the following circumstances,” no doubt we should want to look at the reasons alleged for this claim very closely; but we could not dismiss the proposal outright because it draws a distinction between two classes of people. Arbitrary appeals to the laws of physics or biology have nothing to do with the case.2

    However, DG here fails to recognise key distinct characteristics of humanity, our rational, responsible, conscience guarded and guided freedom. Mentioning conscience raises an issue of grand delusion. If our consciences testifying that we are bound by duty, by built in law of our nature, can be dismissed as suspect of delusion, such is a major faculty and if tainted there are no firewalls that block that taint from spreading across all of our vaunted rational, responsible freedom. That is, we must take seriously that testimony, on pain of self referential absurdity of grand delusion.

    Going on, DG is failing to recognise that SM’s allusion to survival is an appeal to the community-oriented but self-referential duty to human thriving as social creatures in community in an environment that must meet certain requisites to protect life and health and wider thriving. Hence, one form of Kant’s Categorical Imperative, that maxims of action should be universalisable without incoherence, absurdity or collapse. Hence too the sustainability principle that was so much discussed in recent years, including a modest form of the principle of least regrets that in face of uncertainties, err on the side of sustainability.

    Life is the first right, without which there are no other rights. This imposes direct choices such as, thou shalt do no murder. Then, it leads to prudential rules that provide for safety of person and community, as well as to support thriving. General and moral education, for instance, fit in here, as does sound sanitation and cultivation of agricultural, medical, engineering, economic and general sciences with their application to community life and conduct, even policy. And much more, the human spirit demands beauty, culture, contact with nature and more.

    Our temptation to be hyperskeptical too often blinds us to the good and to how we can best cooperate to that end.

    KF

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    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: The reviewer continues to miss the mark, suggesting ignorance of an underlying use of the universalisability form of the Kant Categorical Imperative:

    [SM:] If “rape” is a moral good, then “not raping” must be a moral evil — thus it is impossible for two men in the same room to both be moral at the same time, since only one of them can be a rapist at any given moment — and he can only be a rapist if the other man becomes his victim. (p. 66)

    [DG:] Incredibly, Molyneux takes the rule he is considering to be one that requires people to be continuously engaged in rape. It never occurs to him to take the rule as mandating, “at some time or other, you ought to attempt rape,” an evil imperative that would escape his strictures. Evidently this construal would violate his bizarre requirements about universality: a morally required action is one that everyone must perform at the same time, all the time.

    Yes, SM has exaggerated for effect. But, equally, a society in which rape was the norm at whim of the stronger or cleverer [entrapping the prospective victim] undermines human thriving and — fully equivalently, per Kant — turns the other into an object for our use rather than respecting as carrying ends in themselves thus undermining duty to neighbour.

    Rape does not have to be going on at every instant in every activity for its parasiting on the true norm to be manifest, defining it as grave inherently criminal violation of the person.

    Similarly, on theft:

    [SM:] In other words, working to gain control of a piece of property is only valid if you can assert your property rights over the stolen object. No one will bother stealing a wallet if he has certain knowledge that it will be stolen from him the moment he gets his hands on it. (p. 81)

    [DG:] This last sentence is entirely reasonable, but it has no bearing on the rule mandating theft. If people think that theft is obligatory, it by no means follows that anyone will succeed in taking away something you have stolen.

    However, a society in which at every moment one must be on red alert, weapons drawn, to defend every bit of one’s property is manifestly failing to promote human thriving.

    And so on.

    That includes that taking and fencing off for one’s use a bit of the commons is legitimate under appropriate circumstances. We literally do this every time we draw a breath, SM has a point. However, when the cumulative stress on the commons threatens human thriving overall, there is a legitimate community interest in regulation. For instance, due anti pollution measures are appropriate.

    And much more.

    KF

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    kairosfocus says:

    SM seems to have made his book freely available http://cdn.media.freedomainrad.....ux_PDF.pdf

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    Joe Schooner says:

    You don’t appear to be drawing much interest in your first duties opinions. Perhaps that is because you have not demonstrated the warrant you so wish to be acknowledged.

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    kairosfocus says:

    JS, laughable. I have noted for record and you will note this is a case where it is a noted new atheist Stephan Molyneaux who went on book length record on much the same issue, though there are gaps in his wider reasoning, so the personalise to KF and dismiss trick fails. . But this is a day where many are willfully blind to yardstick moral truths and refuse to acknowledge the march of folly which is in progress. If you have a substantial refutation to the point that you just appealed to known duties of warrant and right reason towards truth, kindly show us, without further implying such appeals. I confidently assert, you cannot precisely because the duties are branch on which we must all sit first principles. KF

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    Joe Schooner says:

    If you have a substantial refutation to the point that you just appealed to known duties of warrant and right reason towards truth, kindly show us, without further implying such appeals.

    The flaws in your logic on this subject have been raised repeatedly, by more than one person. Where would be the value in repeating the same arguments that you have repeatedly failed to adequately address?

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    kairosfocus says:

    JS, flaws in logic as alleged is an appeal to known duty to right reason. In your opening words you therefore demonstrate the point that the first duties of reason are branch on which we all sit first principles. They are inescapable in that sense and so are inescapably true and self evident on pain of collapse of rationality. The problem for many today is, these are self evident truths about right conduct, duty, evident proper ends of our cognitive and volitional faculties, etc. That is, they are moral first truths about duties of rational, responsible freedom. But moral truths, accurate descriptions of states of affairs connected to goodness, right conduct etc are anathema to many today as they point to unwelcome inferences on the roots of reality. That is the problem and the problem with attempted objections, not the branch on which we all sit nature of duties to truth, right reason, warrant and wider prudence, sound conscience, neighbour, so too fairness and justice etc. And of course you have neatly side-stepped the point of the OP, the self evidence of first duties appears in the published writings of a noted new atheism advocate, i.e. the it’s idiosyncratic argument fails, but you are so locked into personalising and polarising that you do not want to let it go. Sad. KF

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    kairosfocus says:

    PS: As an instantiation, it is wrong, wicked, evil, self-evidently so, to kidnap, bind, torture sexually and murder a young child on the way home from school for pleasure, for “fun.”

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    William J Murray says:

    Well, KF finally throws some fresh meat on the table WRT this debate:

    If you correct me on an error that I have made, you are implicitly accepting the fact that it would be better for me to correct my error. Your preference for me to correct my error is not subjective, but objective, and universal. You don’t say to me: “You should change your opinion to mine because I would prefer it,” but rather: “You should correct your opinion because it is objectively incorrect.” My error does not arise from merely disagreeing with you, but as a result of my deviance from an objective standard of truth. Your argument that I should correct my false opinion rests on the objective value of truth – i.e. that truth is universally preferable to error, and that truth is universally objective. [p. 35]

    Where does this argument fail? The argument assumes (1 ) that person A is trying to change the opinion of person B; and (2) that person A believes his position to be objectively true. Neither is true in terms of what I argue about here or why I make my arguments. No matter how many times KF insists that by making my argument I am implicitly trying to change is mind about something I think is objectively true, that is not the case. My position is: KF is going to think and believe whatever he’s going to think and believe regardless of anything I say or do, and I have no idea whether that will be a good or bad thing for him.

    So, let’s change the perspective; KF could say that I’m making the case that my logic is objectively better than his logic. We agree logic is not a subjective commodity. However, the essential aspect presented here as part of the “duty” argument lies not in whether or not objective commodities exist; the duty argument depends on why I am making my argument at all: (1) that I am trying to change KF’s opinion to something objectively true, (2) because it will be “better” or a good for him to do so. I’m not trying to change KF’s opinion, and I have no idea what would be “better” or “good” for him to think. That’s not a consideration on my part whatsoever.

    My reasons for engaging in debates here are entirely personal and subjective.

    Since human beings cannot communicate psychically,

    This premise has long since been disproved.

    all debates necessarily involve the evidence of the senses. Writing presupposes sight; talking requires hearing; Braille requires touch. Thus any proposition that depends upon the invalidity of the senses automatically self-destructs. [p. 34, thus, self-referential incoherence and grand delusion exhibit absurdities and found argument by reducing a key alternative to absurdity. Those who wish to deny that our senses can and often do credibly access a world independent of our individual perceptions, opinions etc, should take due note.

    This is obviously directed towards me and my MRT, once again demonstrating KF’s inability to understand the theory I’ve been arguing. Once again, I NEVER SAID OR IMPLIED that “our senses do not credibly access a world independent of our individual senses, opinions, etc.” It is the nature of the world that exists independent of individual thought and senses, what our senses are and how they operate and interact with that world, that MRT models differently.

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    William J Murray says:

    I think that KF and others are so enmeshed in the idea of pursuing truth for some objective good, which is the fundamental, driving reason they and those they quote engage in and how they form their arguments, and which provides the premises of those arguments, that they cannot even imagine it possible that someone is not operating from that same fundamental motivation and perspective.

  14. 14
    William J Murray says:

    KF et al seem to argue that morality and justice are the same kind of thing as logic, math and geometry; they are universal, objective laws governing our behavior.

    Nope. Not even close. Here’s why: nobody can violate the latter even in principle. Nobody can make A=not-A; nobody can make 1+1=3; nobody can draw a square circle. It can’t be done. ANYONE can violate, at any time, the “objective’ laws of morality and justice.

    KF attempts to equate them via his insistence that our actions and arguments are inescapably rooted in (1) understanding objective truth, and (2) pursuing objective good. This is why he makes claims about what my actions and arguments, pro or con, good or bad, “necessarily imply,” but these are just assumptions (mind reading) about the motivations and perspective of other people – or, in this case. me. Even when they, or I, correct him. For his perspective to be true, those must be the reasons why I do and say what I do and say – and must be the reasons (even if unrecognized) why anyone does and says anything they do and say.

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    Origenes says:

    Thus when I talk about universal preferences, I am talking about what people should prefer, not what they always do prefer.

    What a person should prefer depends on his free will. If a person wants to find the truth, then indeed he should apply 2 + 2 = 4 rather than 2 + 2 = 35.
    Is it mandatory to seek the truth? No, it is not. Should we all use 2 + 2 = 4? No, those who do not seek the truth are excluded.
    IOWs we are free persons. Fundamental is our free will.
    Put yet another way, only after it is established what a person’s goal is, what “should” be done enters the arena. Obviously certain tools are suitable for reaching a certain goal and others are not. If one wants to cross the ocean and one has the choice between a ship and a bicycle, then one “should” use the former.

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    jerry says:

    You don’t appear to be drawing much interest in your first duties opinions

    There have been several thousand comments on this in the last 18 months.

    The first duties are necessary for survival and thriving which are part of the nature of all creatures and are not unique to humans. It’s just that humans have their own set of objectives which requires their own preferred behaviors.

    This analysis of human nature goes back to the Greeks and then carried on by others since. Cicero is just one who analyzed this and specified a list of behaviors that facilitated these objectives.

    Because some malcontents say they don’t feel these obligations is irrelevant. There will always be a few who focus on themselves. But if the majority did, we would not be here.

    This has been all covered several times before.

    The real question is why this obvious analysis keeps being brought up and then the usual suspects pop up with their absurdities.

  17. 17
    Origenes says:

    Jerry @

    This has been all covered several times before.

    And so? A meaningless remark. The same can be said about many other subjects.

    The real question is why this obvious analysis keeps being brought up and then the usual suspects pop up with their absurdities.

    Not at all, the real question is: are we free persons or sheep.

  18. 18
    ram says:

    Jerry: The first duties are necessary for survival and thriving which are part of the nature of all creatures and are not unique to humans.

    That assumes survival is preferable to death. I asked a question of you twice on the other thread which you did not answer:

    Does a terminally ill person who is suffering greatly have a duty to keep on living?

    –Ram

  19. 19
    ram says:

    KF’s problem with all this is that he is dancing around using words like “duty” and “warrant”, arguing for his religious views without explicitly acknowleding that his religion is the actual basis of all of this moralizing. There is nothing wrong with religion, just be upfront about it.

    If there is no transcendent Creator, there is no transcendent morality, duties and warrants.

    You can’t have the Kingdom without the King.

    –Ram

  20. 20
    ram says:

    KF:it is wrong, wicked, evil, self-evidently so, to kidnap, bind, torture sexually and murder a young child on the way home from school for pleasure, for “fun.”

    If there is a transcendent Creator, then yes. Otherwise, no. Even if no, most people would find the idea revolting, but this does not prove a transcendent moral truth, it would merely be a statement of how most human brains are wired up.

    –Ram

  21. 21
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, 12:

    The argument assumes (1 ) that person A is trying to change the opinion of person B; and (2) that person A believes his position to be objectively true. Neither is true in terms of what I argue about here or why I make my arguments

    So, why should we pay your fulminations any attention?

    More specifically, a glance at the substructure of the argument shows that we often do seek to correct or persuade the others and part of that is that we think them factually and/or rationally in error, i.e. the duties to truth and right reason lurk, with their friends, just below the surface.

    Of course, the cynic may seek to manipulate the perceptions and intuitions, but that is little more than nihilism in slight disguise.

    Branches on which we all must sit are just that,

    KF

  22. 22
    jerry says:

    I asked a question of you twice on the other thread which you did not answer

    I saw it.

    It is an inane question so I didn’t respond. Essentially it’s irrelevant to the debate and a diversion.

  23. 23
    ram says:

    KF: More specifically, a glance at the substructure of the argument shows that we often do seek to correct or persuade the others and part of that is that we think them factually and/or rationally in error, i.e. the duties to truth and right reason lurk, with their friends, just below the surface.

    All you’re pointing out here is that people often use “truth” and “right reason” in the service of their agenda. The agenda comes first.

    People use hammers when they want to pound in a nail, but that doesn’t mean they have a “duty” to use a hammer. It’s merely that a hammer is the most efficient tool for that particular agenda.

    Lawyers and liars often intentionally use falsehood and wrong reason in the service of their agenda. If you are to be consistent, you would have to say they are appealing to falsehood and wrong reason as a duty and warrant in the fulfilling of their agenda.

    See @19

    –Ram

  24. 24
    jerry says:

    arguing for his religious views without explicitly acknowleding that his religion is the actual basis of all of this moralizing

    All the ideas expressed by Kf first appeared with the Greeks several hundred years before Christianity.

    So is Kf bowing to Zeus?

    If there is no transcendent Creator, there is no transcendent morality, duties and warrants

    Not true.

    The Greeks came to their conclusions based on the nature of humans. No matter where the source of this nature lies.

    If there is a transcendent Creator, then yes. Otherwise, no

    More nonsense.

    It has to due with the built in objectives of human nature, whether from a creator or from some other creation process devised by some intelligence.

    This has all been discussed several times before.

    As I said nearly all your comments are inane.

  25. 25
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, of course, but the point is, some things have to be hammered home. Who was it said, first they ignore then they ridicule, then they attack, then you win? In this thread I show where I ran across a significant new atheist who to address ethics was forced to bring out the same issues of self evidence and on pain of self-defeat as I saw through the lens of Cicero. Of course, he struggles with using novel terms such as universally prefer-ABLE behaviours, standing in for ought/duty, but that was the point. Onward, he is in deep shark rich waters on the ontological root of such a world with such creatures. But then, the point is, the force of the issue keeps on peeking through, despite all efforts to becloud it. KF

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    Ram (attn Jerry): that early Christian thinkers endorsed a core of the natural law’s first duties of longstanding character does not convert them into theological fiat. We have consciences and those who damage them badly enough are for cause called sociopaths; Cicero’s voice yet echoes: law they [the consensus of the Greeks] say is the highest reason — the very stuff of branch on which we all must sit first principles — the voice of [sound!] conscience is a law, moral prudence is a law, justice. As one whose very bones are pervaded by the results of historic injustice and whose very name is that of a national hero and family member who was judicially murdered by colonial overlords, those things will sing out to me, I freely confess. I know from my bones our and my name on what happens when the first duties are subverted or cynically disregarded: lawless oligarchy. No sane person therefore would undermine the BATNA of lawfulness that protects us from such a gruesome fate. One that now patently stalks us, a slavering rabid wolf hungry for global power. KF

  27. 27
    jerry says:

    Kf,

    The objectors continue to ignore the basic evidence and rationale and bring up irrelevant objections.

    Because some people are dysfunctional and successful does not mean that such behavior should be accepted let alone thought to be conducive to a thriving society

    The objections are of the nature, what can I possibly think of that is contrary to what Kf is advocating even though it’s irrelevant or essentially negative for society.

    People are revealing themselves through their comments. This has been going on for years on this site and in the greater world.

  28. 28
    kairosfocus says:

    Ram, truth and right reason are often appealed to and perverted in pursuit of selfish, lawless agendas indeed [Hitler’s indictment of the French, British and Americans in early 1939 in answer to Roosevelt’s question on further territorial ambitions of the Nazi state comes to mind . . . six years and a ruined continent, 80 million dead later, we knew better], but that is the point, the lawless know they must cast their appeals in the very terms of what they hope to subvert. they thus pay vice’s homage to virtue, perverted imitation to counterfeit. KF

  29. 29
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, yes the irrelevance is a signature of error. And, here they struggle to address a significant new atheist with background in history, philosophy and politics . . . a very familiar pattern to one who spent a good slice of yesterday pondering parliamentary law and parliament as a court . . . forced to acknowledge the key points, even in the guise of novel terminology. KF

  30. 30
    Origenes says:

    KF:

    So, why should we pay your fulminations any attention?

    It’s very very simple KF: there is no “should” to begin with. You are absolutely free not to pay any attention to anything WJM says. Only when you, by your own free will, decide to debate WJM & want to do it effectively, you should pay attention as a means to reach your goal.
    Again, free will is fundamental — not some set of duties.

  31. 31
    kairosfocus says:

    Ram, I forget, fallacy — notoriously the counterfeit of argument that both steals from and debases the credibility of the value of sound argument.

    Palomar College:

    A fallacy is a general type of appeal (or category of argument) that resembles good reasoning, but that we should not find to be persuasive . . . . there is a growing movement among modern students of fallacy to consider fallacies, not as errors in a single argument, but as illegitimate moves in the broader context of a dialectical discussion. Aristotle himself seems to support this view, referring to his examples of bad reasoning as “elenchoi” or refutations rather than as arguments. Schopenhauer also clearly falls into this camp. His essay “The Art of Controversy” is not so much a list of fallacies in the classical sense as a compendium of debator’s tricks that can be used to put an opponent at a disadvantage. Shopenhauer’s list might easily have included such tactics as burping loudly while an opponent is making a particularly cogent point, to break the opponent’s (and the audience’s) concentration. Such ploys clearly are not arguments, but many of the items that appear on at least some classical lists of fallacies are not much better. Perhaps they, too, would be better understood as rhetorical ploys rather than as failed arguments . . . .

    Good reasoning is reasoning that tends, in the long run, to produce true conclusions. In the end, the measure of good reasoning is that it tends to move us closer to the truth. However, a fallacy is not just any type of reasoning that might lead to a false conclusion. Even perfectly legitimate patterns of reasoning might lead to a false conclusion from time to time, simply because uncertainty is a necessary feature of the logical landscape. Whenever we generalize from a sample (Inductive reasoning) we run the risk that our sample–however carefully we draw it–might not accurately represent the population from which it was drawn. Induction is notoriously unreliable, and Retroduction is worse! Even a Deduction guarantees a true conclusion only when its premisses are true. However, for all their faults, Deduction, Induction and Retroduction, used with appropriate care, can lead us to the truth in the long run. Fallacies occur when something undermines or subverts this general tendency . . . . An argument is generally considered to be fallacious not merely because it commits an error, but because there is some risk that someone might be taken in by the error. A fallacy is not just bad reasoning, but bad reasoning that appears to be good.

    This is an idea that has its origin with Aristotle. In the Sophistical Refutations Aristotle spends quite a bit of time explaining that sophistical reasoning mimics good reasoning, i.e. that fallacies are a counterfeit of legitimate reasoning . . .

    Notice, how this anonymous logician positively reeks with duties of good reason subverted, perhaps inadvertently, but in key part through patterns of argument that undermine achieving the goal of truth, accurately describing reality the better to promote proper thriving.

    Duty is pervasive, has a subjective element and has an objective aspect that we dare not neglect starting with first duties.

    KF

  32. 32
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes, freedom is morally governed by duties, which while we need not heed in any given case we had better on the whole heed them, on pain of crashing civilisation and more. That is, evils pervert or frustrate the good out of its proper end, and thus undermine fulfillment of such ends. Should such prevail, chaos and ruin follow. And so, oughts appear as the guiding lights of freedom. KF

  33. 33
    ram says:

    Religion masquerading as moral philosophy with unstated assumptions.

    The Greeks reasoned from premises and assumptions. Their conclusions are fine as long as you agree with their premises and assumptions.

    You can’t get an ought from and is.

    You can’t get transcendence from non-transcendence.

    You can’t get the Kingdom without the King.

    There’s nothing wrong with religion, just be upfront about it.

    If you want to be clearly understood, clearly declare your premises then procede with logical reasoning from those premises. Expect pushback if you are illogical, unclear or unstated assumptions creep into your reasoning.

    –Ram

  34. 34
    ram says:

    Jerry, It is an inane question so I didn’t respond. Essentially it’s irrelevant to the debate and a diversion.

    I certainly understand the inconvenience of the question to your views and agenda.

    –Ram

  35. 35
    jerry says:

    not some set of duties

    They are essential if one wants to survive.

    No one is arguing against the importance of freedom. But survival and thriving are necessary for freedom to exist.

    Free will and freedom are not the same thing. Man has always had free will but freedom is a recent introduction.

  36. 36
    Origenes says:

    KF:

    freedom is morally governed by duties

    I don’t believe so, and I think that in many many cases it is obvious to anyone that free will is not governed. For example, you are absolutely free to ignore my posts. And likewise I am free to ignore your posts. Here there is no “should”, no duty whatsoever. Only after one decides, by one’s free will, to debate, there is “should” in the sense of using appropriate tools in order to reach one’s goal (see #15).

  37. 37
    Origenes says:

    Jerry @

    They are essential if one wants to survive.

    Assuming that this is correct, then, also here, free will is fundamental — not some set of duties.

  38. 38

    Peter Molyneux asserts choice is based on preference.

    That is incorrect. Choice is essentially spontaneous, and preferential choices are a complex way of choosing (spontaneously).

    For every choice it is true that the choice can turn out either A or B.

    Molyneux argues instead, that there is a preference for A, and then the choice always turns out A, and cannot turn out B.

    If the choice cannot turn out B, then it is not actually a choice.

    So Molyneux does not have a functional concept of choice.

    It is obvious why Molyneux would make that mistake, because being an atheist, Molyneux cannot accept the subjective spirit making choice. Molyneux does not want to accept the reality of anything that is subjective, he only wants to accept the reality of what is objective.

  39. 39
    jerry says:

    certainly understand the inconvenience of the question to your views and agenda.

    You want some comment that has nothing to do with anything I said or being discussed. I saw no reason to answer it.

    I suggest you watch the second episode of season 2 of “Bull.”

    It covers your question and supports my point of view which is obvious.

  40. 40
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    So, why should we pay your fulminations any attention?

    Well, it could be that some find the argument personally useful or enjoyable, but it’s up to the individual to decide whether or not to pay my “fulminations” any attention for their own reasons.

  41. 41
    ram says:

    Jerry: You want some comment that has nothing to do with anything I said or being discussed. I saw no reason to answer it.

    Asking questions about various situations is a good way to more fully understand a person’s grounding ethical assumptions. I believe my questions are related. At any rate, this is not a formal debate in some auditorium. Just a casual and friendly (I hope) conversation on a blog. If you don’t want to answer specific questions, that’s okay. I won’t ask them of you.

    –Ram

  42. 42
    kairosfocus says:

    Ram, wrong subject, revealing your own biases. The context is law, originally and in particular natural law thus philosophy. Religious thinkers have contributed to that philosophy but this is more philosophical politics and linked jurisprudential theory at root. However the substantial matters bleed over into moral philosophy and linked epistemology. I have argued by pointing to a longstanding tradition and to the pattern directly evident from how we argue or quarrel. That pattern reveals first, beanch on which we all must sit principles, which even come up in your own arguments. Attempts to label as religion — I am specifically citing a new atheist — fail. Fail in ways that point to fallacies on your part. I suggest you cease from trying to personalise and polarise. Instead there is momentous substance on the table. Let us address it on its merits. KF

  43. 43
    jerry says:

    If you don’t want to answer specific questions, that’s okay. I won’t ask them of you.

    If you ask something about what is going on, I will answer. Your question had nothing to do with anything being discussed.

    Suicide because of extreme pain makes my point that survival is built in to humans. Without the pain, whether physical or mental nearly everyone who chooses suicide would choose to live as long as possible. As I said it is irrelevant to the discussion which is about human nature and the commonality of inclinations that all humans have.

    These inclinations require certain behaviors for humans. The Greeks and Romans classified these required behaviors as duties. The term duty obviously allows the individual to not do them because they have free will. But when they do not do so society will respond because this behavior is detrimental to others.

    Kant also discussed this at length in his writings and he was not doing so for any religious reasons. So religion has nothing to do with it. Now, religions have recognized the natural law and the required behaviors but this does not mean it is due to religion. It just means they have recognized what is good for society.

    Want to know an exception – Socrates, who is one of the founders of natural law, chose the hemlock but could have escaped. His death was then immortalized by Plato and we have his ideas as part of our knowledge ever since.

    We have numerous other examples, of military people who essentially went on suicide missions to help the cause of battle but they did not want to die, just were willing to die because of a bigger cause.

  44. 44
    kairosfocus says:

    Ram,

    I see a fallacy, a common ethical one: “You can’t get an ought from and is.”

    When the is is something like matter-energy and spacetime, yes; but that does not exhaust possibilities. We already are morally governed, conscience guarded and guided ises that have built in oughts. If we disregard conscience, implying delusional in one way or another, that leads to grand delusion discrediting our cognitive and volitional faculties.

    More to the point, there is one place where the IS-OUGHT gap can be bridged in a way that permeates reality: the root of reality. We want an IS that simultaneously adequately grounds ought. Not here, recognising that certain oughts are knowably true, but where ought comes from.

    There is a serious candidate (the only one actually) the inherently good and utterly wise creator God, a necessary and maximally great being. One, worthy of our loyalty and of the responsible reasonable service of doing the good that accords with our evident nature. That is the ought is innate in God’s goodness and wisdom. Euthyphro’s dilemma fails.

    KF

  45. 45
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, again, the issue is the naturally intelligible end of our cognitive and volitional faculties. That rapidly leads to first duties, starting with where SM starts, truth. KF

  46. 46
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, SM’s point is choice reflects preference and certain things are universally preferable. KF

  47. 47
    Joe Schooner says:

    I see a fallacy, a common ethical one: “You can’t get an ought from and is.”

    And why is that necessary? For you to live in society, you ought to…. What?

    None of that is an objective truth. It is something that we, as rational, thinking beings, can figure out. If A wants to live in society, A is obliged to abide by certain rules. That is something that A decides to do to ease his/her progression in society, not something that A OUGHT to do because of some “objective” directive.

  48. 48
    Joe Schooner says:

    KF could attempt to respond to this, but he will likely respond with the normal circular argument that “You are appealing to right reason”…, or some such nonsense. It would be nice if he could actually address the issues raised, but that is not likely going to happen.

  49. 49
    kairosfocus says:

    JS,

    again, the core matter is human nature or constitution. If you reduce us to computational substrates controlling meat-bots, you decisively undermine rational, responsible freedom and gravely misunderstand humanity. So, we would not be rational, thinking creatures. This is a regrettably common error, here for simple counter is J B S Haldane’s challenge to it, 90+ years ago:

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain [–> taking in DNA, epigenetics and matters of computer organisation, programming and dynamic-stochastic processes] I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209. Cf. here on (and esp here) on the self-refutation by self-falsifying self referential incoherence and on linked amorality.]

    The result of such crass materialism is undermining of rational, responsible freedom and self-referential absurdity, thus self discredit of arguments, reasoning, utterance. That is a great incoherence in evolutionary materialistic scientism.

    In that context, we start afresh from what we must be to have credibility as thinkers and communicators who argue, decide, act, struggle to heed the voice of conscience etc. We begin with the fact of freedom and the fact that by and large we are guided by a sense of obligation towards right, wise, sound thought, speech, action. Responsible rational freedom implies real choice, thence how choices may be rightly directed. Such can be extended, that we face the challenge of guiding and guarding right thought, speech, action, i.e. we are morally guarded, guided, governed. Complete with the built in voice of conscience, including the sense of justice.

    Such is antecedent to civil society rules and can be mobilised to call for reform as happened with the rise of modern constitutional lawful democracies. Relativism, subjectivism and emotivism, as I will append, fail this test.

    In that context, further, we may consider whether we can accurately describe right conduct, and linked states of affairs where there is obligation [though not necessarily obedience] toward right conduct. That is what a moral truth is. As a simple, unfortunately real world case, we know it is self-evidently evil, wicked, wrong to kidnap, bind, sexually torture and murder a young child on the way home from school for one’s pleasure, i.e. “fun.” Would be objectors try to evade such a case, they do not directly deny its truth. In this case, we can find the panoply of Ciceronian first duties as highlighted in the OP at work.

    The issue is, it is often assumed today that there are no generally binding moral obligations, no duties, nothing that can define who such duties are ultimately owed to [save the too often derided concept of the God of ethical theism], no source of just sanctions or trials [save the impositions of might, manipulations and whoever controls the legal presses], etc. But test cases like the above and extensions such as the Nazi holocaust, bring such things up as found seriously wanting.

    We need to go elsewhere, and C S Lewis’ point that we find ourselves arguing on mutual obligation when we quarrel gives a clue. As does Epictetus’ classic remark on the inescapable, branch on which we must sit nature of core logic in answer to demand for ultimate proof. (See my comment 3 above, as part of my reply to a reviewer.)

    The point I have made is simple, it was stirred by reflection on Cicero for several years on roots of Justice and law thus legitimate government, it is echoed in a long tradition of legal, political and moral thought as aspects of philosophy, it is endorsed in key part by foundational Christian thinkers (and for that matter is there in Moses’ discussion that culminates in Lev 19:18, love neighbour as self: reason frankly with neighbour towards doing the right). It of course appears in SM’s book.

    Namely, that as we discuss, argue, quarrel or even conduct internal dialogue, we find certain branch on which we all sit and expect others to sit, first principles of rational, responsible, wise, right conduct. Even those who object to such do so in ways that cannot escape appealing to such first duties. As you do in your recent comment.

    Namely, duties to truth, right reason, warrant and wider prudence, sound conscience, neighbour, so too to fairness and justice etc. These trace on record to Cicero and beyond to the Greeks, within our civilisation, with the Judaeo-Christian contribution also engaged. Yes, I here point to our inheritance from Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, and can point onward to the Germanic emphasis on freedom. I highlight that justice is most soundly understood as due balance of rights, freedoms and duties, with rights seen as binding moral obligations of mutual respect informed by the premise that A may not demand of B under social threat or false colour of law that s/he taint sound conscience. Such breaches the civil peace of justice. All of this is echoed in the US DoI 1776, i.e. it has been pivotal to modern lawful liberty.

    No, often people choose to do the right as it demands justice, rather than for ease in community. We call such reformers and there is a long tradition in our civilisation from the slave uprising led by Moses onwards. Reformers challenge injustice and its foundational untruth and warping of reason and conscience, pointing to unmet requisites of the civil peace of justice. The US DoI 1776 is a classic, a powerful natural law case once appeals to British law had fallen on deaf ears.

    When . . . it becomes necessary for one people . . . to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God [–> natural law context is explicit] entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, [cf Rom 1:18 – 21, 2:14 – 15; note, law as “the highest reason,” per Cicero on received consensus], that all men are created equal [–> note, equality of humanity], that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights [–> thus there are correlative duties and freedoms framed by the balance], that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security . . . .

    We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions [Cf. Judges 11:27], do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

    Radical relativism carries the self-discrediting implication that reformers are always wrong, and invites that it is mere imposition of power that accounts for reformation. Absurd.

    Coming back to focus, the point is, even objectors are sitting on the same branch with the rest of us. Let us be willing to acknowledge these first duties and our responsible rational freedom. Then, let us be willing to face onward issues as to what sort of world accounts for such creatures, what is the relevant root of reality.

    The answers are uncomfortable for many but they need to be faced.

    KF

  50. 50
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Understanding objectivity. We are all subjects, and are error prone. In many cases, we can do due diligence and recognise that we have found reliable, credible truth, accurate enough description of reality, its entities and states of affairs — including on duty — that we ought to act on such findings if we are to be responsible.In short, we have purged out likely sources of error of fact, reasoning, assumption, bias etc and have arrived at rightly reasoned, well warranted conclusions; that warrant is the root concept in objectivity of truth claims. Such reasoning and resulting warrant, on certain widely recognised principles, are universally applicable, e.g. 2 + 3 = 5. When it comes to first duties, debates over morality and common suspicions on it find themselves sitting on the same branch as the rest of us.

    I find an interesting, applicable clip by Austine Cline [2019] on doing a search:

    The idea of truth as objective is simply that no matter what we believe to be the case, some things will always be true and other things will always be false. Our beliefs, whatever they are, have no bearing on the facts of the world around us. That which is true is always true — even if we stop believing it and even if we stop existing at all . . . .

    Why adopt such a position? Well, most of our experiences would appear to validate it. We do find out clothes in the closet in the morning. Sometimes our keys do end up being in the kitchen, not in the hallway like we thought. Wherever we go, things happen regardless of what we believe. There doesn’t appear to be any real evidence of things occurring just because we wished really hard that they would. If it did, the world would be chaotic and unpredictable because everyone would be wishing for different things.

    Wikipedia, in a key admission against known ideological interest, summarises:

    In philosophy, objectivity is the concept of truth independent from individual subjectivity (bias caused by one’s perception, emotions, or imagination). A proposition is considered to have objective truth when its truth conditions [–> it is warranted] are met without bias caused by a sentient subject. Scientific objectivity refers to the ability to judge without partiality or external influence. Objectivity in the moral framework calls for moral codes to be assessed based on the well-being of the people in the society that follow it.[1] [–> civil peace of justice] Moral objectivity also calls for moral codes to be compared to one another through a set of universal facts [–> so, first duties] and not through subjectivity.[1]

    Regrettably, hyperskepticism too often erodes our ability to recognise and trust that there are significant intelligible objective truths regarding the world, our inner lives, mathematical entities [which are not found as objects we may touch in any possible world, e.g. {} –> 0, etc], history, law, public policy, moral duty. It goes too far and undermines itself, as came out in the exchange with Epictetus seen in 3 above.

  51. 51
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Lewis Vaughn, on three common errors regarding morality:

    Excerpted chapter summary, on Subjectivism, Relativism, and Emotivism, in Doing Ethics 3rd Edn, by Lewis Vaughn, W W Norton, 2012. [Also see here and here.] Clipping:

    . . . Subjective relativism is the view that an action is morally right if one approves of it. A person’s approval makes the action right. This doctrine (as well as cultural relativism) is in stark contrast to moral objectivism, the view that some moral principles are valid for everyone.. Subjective relativism, though, has some troubling implications. It implies that each person is morally infallible and that individuals can never have a genuine moral disagreement

    Cultural relativism is the view that an action is morally right if one’s culture approves of it. The argument for this doctrine is based on the diversity of moral judgments among cultures: because people’s judgments about right and wrong differ from culture to culture, right and wrong must be relative to culture, and there are no objective moral principles. This argument is defective, however, because the diversity of moral views does not imply that morality is relative to cultures. In addition, the alleged diversity of basic moral standards among cultures may be only apparent, not real. Societies whose moral judgments conflict may be differing not over moral principles but over nonmoral facts.

    Some think that tolerance is entailed by cultural relativism. But there is no necessary connection between tolerance and the doctrine. Indeed, the cultural relativist cannot consistently advocate tolerance while maintaining his relativist standpoint. To advocate tolerance is to advocate an objective moral value. But if tolerance is an objective moral value, then cultural relativism must be false, because it says that there are no objective moral values.

    Like subjective relativism, cultural relativism has some disturbing consequences. It implies that cultures are morally infallible, that social reformers can never be morally right, that moral disagreements between individuals in the same culture amount to arguments over whether they disagree with their culture, that other cultures cannot be legitimately criticized, and that moral progress is impossible.

    Emotivism is the view that moral utterances are neither true nor false but are expressions of emotions or attitudes. It leads to the conclusion that people can disagree only in attitude, not in beliefs. People cannot disagree over the moral facts, because there are no moral facts. Emotivism also implies that presenting reasons in support of a moral utterance is a matter of offering nonmoral facts that can influence someone’s attitude. It seems that any nonmoral facts will do, as long as they affect attitudes. Perhaps the most far-reaching implication of emotivism is that nothing is actually good or bad. There simply are no properties of goodness and badness. There is only the expression of favorable or unfavorable emotions or attitudes toward something.

  52. 52
    kairosfocus says:

    JS:

    Do you not see that it is NON-circular, non-question begging . . . fallacies against duties to right reason, BTW . . . to point out branch on which we all sit first principles. Here, the first duties of responsible, rational freedom:

    KF could attempt to respond to this
    [–> now, why “attempt” I am responding],

    but he will likely respond
    [–> you acknowledge yes he responds, so the above is a rhetorical dismissal]

    with the normal circular argument

    [–> a circular, question-begging argument is a breach of right reason, an error regarding coherence and/or premises of argument. However if powerful premises are well warranted . . . including by self evidence on pain of immediate absurdity on attempted denial or dismissal . . . then it is not question-begging to state them]

    that “You are appealing to right reason”…,

    [–> so, do you reject right, responsible reason that carefully winnows out sources of unreliability or error? If so, you are assigning yourself to irrationalism and negative credibility. If you acknowledge duty to reason rightly, and tone suggests such, you too are sitting on the same first duties of reason branch with the rest of us. Which, then raises questions regarding your unwillingness to acknowledge manifest facts such as this.]

    or some such nonsense.

    [–> why, nonsense, a term of sharp disapproval and even dismissal? As in, again, you imply unmet duty on my part, though that is actually an error on your part. The resort to such projection to the other in the teeth of repeated cogent correction raises issues of cognitive dissonance and defence mechanisms that lead to a further fallacy, the closed question begging indoctrinated mind. I suggest you need to look at what you have been programmed to think and then open your thinking to the possible need for reform starting with correction of patent error.

    Yet again, the objective evidence of objectors appealing to what they would discredit is manifest. At this point, the issue is, are such objectors willing to reconsider, or are they so locked in that they are unwilling to reassess their own views, warping ability to respond to case after case in point?

    This would be amusing, if it weren’t so sadly revealing.

    KF

  53. 53

    @KF You keep spouting your outrageous nonsense about subjectivity and objectivity, the definitions of which you just FANTASIZE. And then you reference some other delusional fantasizers as back up for your own fantasy.

    The rules are that the definitions of objectivity and subjectivity must be the same as the logic used with objective and subjective statements in common discourse.

    You don’t abide by the rules, means your definitions are just fantasy and duplicitous. You use a different logic for objective and subjective statements in common discourse, and with the definitions of objectivity and subjectivity, which is duplicity.

    I saw that you also invented the fantasy that solely God is both objective and subjective.

    The rules of warranting appear to be to just fantasize whatever you want. And what the people want is the feelings of certitude associated to objectivity and facts, so you facillitate that want with fantasy.

    1. Creator / chooses / spiritual / subjective / opinion
    2. Creation / chosen / material / objective / fact

    That is the true distinction between subjective and objective. There is an inherently subjective part of reality, which consists of all that is on the side of making a choice.

    God, the spirit, the soul, emotions, personal character, these are all defined in terms of being agency of choices.

    God makes choices, like the creation of the universe, or arbiter at the final judgement.

    Choices can be made out of love and courage, hate and cowardice.

    The “cowardice” is then what did the job of making a decision turn out A, instead of B.

    The cowardice can only be identified with a chosen opinion. One feels what it was that made the choice turn out A, and then expresses that feeling by spontaneous expression with free will, thus choosing an opinion on the issue.

  54. 54
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, the definition given again for objectivity is anything but an idiosyncratic fantasy as even Wikipedia concedes. KF

  55. 55

    @KF Sure you have the atheist Molyneux, and Wikipedia, to back up your definitions. You reference the worst sources.

    Your definitions only cease to be fantasy, if they accurately reflect the logic used in common discourse with subjective statements and objective statements.

    I wonder what the definition of subjectivity was of the nazis.

    On the one hand the nazis were fanatics about mathematical beauty like the golden ratio. The nazis were also democratic, in the sense that they accorded government to the majority racial grouping.

    The subjectivity of people is heritable and objective, according to nazi race science.

    And then there is the infamous Aryan science, which is science from the subjectivity of the Aryan.

    I would say that the nazi definition of subjectivity is a logical error, in equivocating subjectivity with objectivity, and that being in error, it is really an arbitrary mess of ideas that requires continuous intervention of the individual to make it work, to deal with the errors the conceptual mess continuously generates.

    Mostly nazism would be vitalistic. They assert the subjective spirit, of the objective heritable gene. That is logically correct, if the gene is interpreted as a decisionmaking structure.

    So nazism is mainly logically incorrect, but then tends to drift to a more logically coherent vitalism.

  56. 56
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    Yet again, the objective evidence of objectors appealing to what they would discredit is manifest.

    OMG your logic is so bad here it’s mind-blowing.

    I will demonstrate with the following statements:

    1. “I have to be at work at 9:00 every morning.”

    2. “I have to water my lawn at 8:00 every morning.”

    There is an ontologically demonstrable duty involved in statement 1, meaning there is an authority (my boss) who holds me responsible for being at my job at 9am every morning or else he will impose the consequences for not doing so.

    There is no duty involved in the 2nd statement, even though it uses the same language. It is a schedule of personal choice to achieve a personal, desired end that does not involve any authority holding me responsible for doing that task. That I “have to” means something different; I mean that if I want to keep my grass consistently green and healthy in these conditions, considering my sleep, breakfast and work schedule, I have to water it at 8am every morning.

    Same words, but different meanings wrt any purported “duty.” A duty is not made “objectively evident” by the words you use, and certainly not by what someone infers from any statement you make. One might assume I have a “duty” to water my lawn at 8am every morning because of the words I use; they might think it’s a duty to some official neighborhood authority or else I’ll get a ticket or some other penalty, but that is not what what is meant.

    For any words or sentences or style of speech or behavior to be said to be an appeal to any duty, absent an explicit appeal to known duty references such as “work,” that duty must be shown to ontologically exist first. One cannot infer from behavior, words or sentences that an actual duty exists unless those words directly express the actual duty and obligation, such as we find in the first statement.

    In my words to KF here, I make no explicit expression of any duty – in fact, I’m denying I have any such duty. KF is arguing that the language I use is “objective evidence” of an implicit (not explicit) appeal to a duty I don’t even know I have and which I deny having. Statement 1 represents “objective evidence” of my appealing to a duty because I have explicitly referenced an ontologically demonstrable duty. Statement 2 offers no such “objective evidence” of a duty even though one might think it implies an actual duty.

    But, you certainly don’t insist that I have an actual duty to water my lawn after I tell you I have no such duty. To demonstrate to me that I have an actual duty, telling me that this is what my words imply is a ridiculous effort. To demonstrate to me that I have an actual duty you have to show me, ontologically, the conditions that make it a duty. To say, “well, you said you have to, so that implies a duty” is inane.

    Inferences and implications do not, cannot be used to demonstrate an actual duty exists. Even in statement #1, you don’t know that I have an actual duty because I said those words, but at least you could say that I am directly appealing to a duty.

    #1 is an explicit appeal to a duty. #2 can be inferred to mean that I have a duty, but absent my agreement that a duty exists, your inference is unwarranted and it is nonsensical to insist that I am appealing to a duty that I don’t know I have. The only way you can demonstrate that I have a duty to water my lawn at 8am when I disagree with you is to show me what authority ontologically exists, where the duty is ontologically instantiated, and how the consequences will be ontologically imposed by that authority.

    To insist that my actions of watering the lawn every morning at 8am is “objective evidence” of my implicit agreement than an actual duty exists is utterly ridiculous. To claim that the way I use my words in #2 to express my coice and that activity is “objective evidence” of an appeal on my part to an actual duty is absurd.

  57. 57

    @WJM You’ve got nothing to complain about against KF, because you yourself also just fantasize the definitions of objectivity and subjectivity, instead of accurately reflecting the logic used in common discourse with subjective statements, and objective statements.

    You are basically in agreement with KF, to fantasize the definitions of objectivity and subjectivity. And it is rather mean that you don’t allow KF his fantasy about it, when you got your own fantasy about it.

  58. 58
    jerry says:

    There is no duty involved in the 2nd statement

    Cicero said nothing about watering one’s law.

    So how many fallacies is the rhetoric in this statement violating. Probably about 20.

    By the way I would think in your world, that it would be Camelot,

    But in Camelot, Camelot
    That’s how conditions are.
    The rain may never fall till after sundown.
    By eight, the morning fog must disappear.

    OMG your logic is so bad here it’s mind-blowing.

  59. 59
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY,

    I cited as against known ideological interest. Criterion of embarrassment.

    Now, let me turn to the SEP Enc of Phil article on truth:

    Truth is one of the central subjects in philosophy. It is also one of the largest. Truth has been a topic of discussion in its own right for thousands of years. Moreover, a huge variety of issues in philosophy relate to truth, either by relying on theses about truth, or implying theses about truth . . . . The problem of truth is in a way easy to state: what truths are, and what (if anything) makes them true [–> I add, then how can we credibly, reliably access at least some of truth] . . . .

    A correspondence theory of truth, of any kind,

    [ –> in effect an approach that sees that truth says of what is that it is and of what is not that it is not, and holds then that truth is accurate assertion regarding reality, its entities, states of affairs etc, thus implying that any redefinition of truth that avoids such accuracy is an error of equivocation, mere opinion or coherence or warrant and even empirical reliability etc are not truthfulness, and more]

    is often taken to embody a form of realism.

    The key features of realism, as we will take it, are that:

    1] The world exists objectively, independently of the ways we think about it or describe it.
    2] Our thoughts and claims are about that world [–> thus their degree of accuracy and warrant that gives confidence to us that we have truth in hand].

    (Wright (1992) offers a nice statement of this way of thinking about realism.) These theses imply that our claims are objectively true or false, depending on how the world they are about is. The world that we represent in our thoughts or language is an objective world. (Realism may be restricted to some subject-matter, or range of discourse, but for simplicity, we will talk about only its global form.)

    It is often argued that these theses require some form of the correspondence theory of truth. (Putnam (1978, p. 18) notes, “Whatever else realists say, they typically say that they believe in a ‘correspondence theory of truth’.”) At least, they are supported by the kind of correspondence theory without facts discussed in section 3.1, such as Field’s proposal. Such a theory will provide an account of objective relations of reference and satisfaction, and show how these determine the truth or falsehood of what we say about the world. Field’s own approach (1972) to this problem seeks a physicalist explanation of reference. But realism is a more general idea than physicalism. Any theory that provides objective relations of reference and satisfaction, and builds up a theory of truth from them, would give a form of realism.

    This is just to further frame that this is not mere idiosyncratic opinion.

    States of affairs of course include relationships, circumstances, and the like. This includes that if it is actually the case that we are duty bound, morally governed, i.e. responsibly and rationally significantly free creatures, we are able to speak truth about such circumstances.

    In such a context, the claim that there are no objective truths regarding morality is in fact a truth claim about such states of affairs and seeks to be accurate description. But if it is held true, it is a counter example to its assertion, the assertion is a form of words, but like “round triangle,” or “quadrilateral triangle,” it asserts what could never be the case in any possible world, it is self refuting and false.

    Therefore: we may confidently hold that it is not the case that there are no objective moral truths.

    In short, we know that the claim, there are objective moral truths is both an instance of an objective moral truth and is undeniable on pain of instant incoherence and is therefore self evidently true. It is also an example of the knowability of moral truth as well, a case of actual knowledge.

    This is already a breakthrough, though there are those who will predictably exert resistance.

    As to specific further cases, I have for many years used the case of a sadly murdered child. It is self evidently wicked, evil, wrong, immoral or even amoral [worse] and iniquitous [even worse] to ambush, kidnap, bind, sexually torture, assault and murder a young child on the way home form school for “fun.”

    This brings out several aspects of the first duties, through duty to neighbour, its close corollaries, fairness and justice [thus, rights are implied!], with the etc opening up frameworks of governance, government, law and lawful, sound civilisation that promotes human thriving.

    Where, as untruth is the foundation of injustice [together with objectifying the targetted other], duties to truth, right reason, warrant and wider prudence directly emerge.

    We have already noted that sound conscience is a target of duties [including the above] on pain of reducing it to grand spreading delusion that undermines credibility of our rationality.

    In that context, it is a manifest, readily observable phenomenon that would be objectors implicitly appeal to our implicit knowledge and acceptance of these duties to try to gain rhetorical traction for their assertions — despite denials and evasions. In short, inescapably, branch on which we must all sit first principles antecedent to proofs, the prior stuff of proofs in fact, governing rational activity.

    That we have become resistant to such things is a sad, strong sign of the peril of our civilisation.

    KF

  60. 60
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, you cited a duty of contractual obligation and a duty of sustaining a lawn that may be an implicit arrangement with family and perhaps residential covenant. Those are far removed from self evident first duties though they can trace to such, e.g. contracts and residential covenants or zoning requirements are part of the extended civil peace of justice where subsidiary rights, duties and freedoms are taken up. I have been discussing duties evident to us simply on being responsible, rational, significantly free social creatures who have exchanges and internal dialogues. KF

  61. 61
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: We can know that we are duty bound prior to establishing a full orbed worldview [as I just further noted to MNY], and indeed that is part of establishing the worldview. Indeed, the cart before the horse argument you put suggests that as a world with morally governed creatures points to one with an inherently good and utterly wise creator at reality root, it is the objection to such a frame that leads your argument. That attempted denial of the inferred best explanation to challenge the observable and readily shown facts of obligation, founders on that observability and showing.

  62. 62
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Here’s the atheists’ nightmare, William Lane Craig:

    You ask, “How can absolute truth be communicated through the medium of language?” Your sceptical friend apparently thinks that this is impossible.

    This seems to me an odd question. How else could truth be communicated? Think about it: communication seems inherently to involve some sort of language, even if it is sign language or semaphores, so that language would seem to be the necessary medium for communicating truth. And let’s not be cowed by the bugaboo “absolute truth.” I take it that “absolute truth” just means truth that is not person-relative, not just true for you or true for me, but just objectively true. I therefore prefer to speak of objective truth rather than absolute truth, which may have misleading connotations.[1] So examples of objective truths would be “The Cubs did not win the 2015 World Series,” “George W. Bush was was President of the United States before Barack Obama,” and “The GDP of China is larger than that of Tajikistan.”

    Now you, and presumably your friend, understood those sentences. So haven’t I just communicated objective truth via the medium of language? If there were words in those sentences that you didn’t understand (like GDP), you can ask me to define those words in terms that you do understand. So what’s the big problem? Clearly, your friend has got a very large burden of proof if he’s to convince us that it’s impossible to communicate objective truth via language.

    The difficulty he faces is not just with coming up with such a proof, but communicating it to us. How will he do that apart from language? How will he show us that it is impossible to communicate objective truth through the medium of language without using language? He says things like “There are no moral absolutes,” “Language is an ever-evolving medium,” “Christianity is not true,” and so on, and assumes that you understand him. He is himself committed to the communication of what he takes to be objective truths via the medium of language. He thus pulls the rug out from under himself.

    So what argument does he give that it is impossible to communicate objective truths via language? You say that he may assume “that the concept of truth is derived from the ideas of people in a cultural context.” I’m not sure what this means. Of course, people in different cultural contexts have different ideas about things, including truth. So what? How does that justify the conclusion that some of these people have not asserted and even communicated truths?

    For my part, I find some version of the Correspondence Theory of truth to be most satisfactory. This theory goes back to Aristotle and beyond. According to Aristotle, “To say of what is that it is not, or of what is not that it is, is false; while to say of what is that it is, or of what is not that it is not, is true.” Aristotle is here providing the conditions under which something is truly asserted, rather than giving a definition of truth itself, and it seems to me that his enormously influential characterization is quite correct. During the Middle Ages, philosophers addressed the question of truth more directly, Thomas Aquinas characterizing truth as the correlation of intellect and reality. In other words, if reality is as the intellect judges it to be, then truth is a quality inhering both in the judgement and in the intellect itself. Among contemporary correspondence theorists, truth is likewise conceived as a property of either sentences or propositions which correspond to the world as it actually is. Thus, for example, the sentence “Snow is white” is true if and only if snow is white. We need understand the notion of truth as correspondence as no more than that “that S” is true (or corresponds to reality) if and only if S. That’s all there is to truth as correspondence.

    Further food for thought.

    KF

    PS, I suggest that absolute truths would be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth on a given matter.

  63. 63
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    @Kairosfocus
    You should make appeal to duty to pleasure to see what happens. 🙂

  64. 64
    kairosfocus says:

    LCD, alas, there is no duty to pleasure as such, save to moderate it within bounds of doing the right with prudence that balances life on the whole. KF

  65. 65
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    Those are far removed from self evident first duties ….

    Actual duties cannot be self-evident because they are revealed by the presence of ontological conditions that form a duty: the authority, the express duty, and the express consequences.

    Even social contract types of “duties,” under the non-legal definition of that term, are made evident by the particular social and/or familial construct one is in with the abstract “authority” being social standing and relationships, the “duty” not being express but also abstract in the form of behavioral norms, with similar applied as any consequences that may occur.

    So, whatever you are talking about, it’s not a “duty” in any ordinary sense of the word. I think you need to find a better word.

  66. 66
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, knowing that is not the same as knowing why, as was shown. KF

  67. 67
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Kairosfocus
    LCD, alas, there is no duty to pleasure as such, save to moderate it within bounds of doing the right with prudence that balances life on the whole. KF

    😉 I was asking for somebody else that is fighting you for your concept of “duties”(to truth, morality…) while he admitted he has a duty to pleasure and enjoyment. He just doesn’t like the type of duties you promote because they oppose his subjective duty and feeling guilty wants to make you shut up and don’t wake up his conscience.

  68. 68

    My guess is, the distinction between matters of opinion, and matters of fact, was key to the renaissance, and enlightenment. I’ve seen some thesis about that, mostly in relation to Ockham etc., and it makes sense.

    Popularizing the distinction, generally made religion deal with matters of opinion, and it let science deal with matters of fact. This is what allowed scientists freedom, it is what made it grow.

    And the idea that opinions are logically chosen, obviously gives rise to the idea of freedom of opinion, and free speech.

    Where what you do with your objective moral truths. Then obviously religion must control these objective moral truths, otherwise the people are corrupted.

    And science then does not have a seprate domain of objectivity, because the domain of objectivity belongs to religion, because morality is objective.

    And freedom of opinion, that is out the window when there is just one forced option, the objective moral truth.

    Opions are chosen from emotion, and facts are forced by evidence. That is the orderly creationist conceptual scheme. And not this outrageous mess you keep trotting out. Purely emotional opinons, and hard accurate facts besides. That is obviously the best way to organize.

    So what that there are no objective moral truths. So what then that people give their opinions, on what occurred in regards to this murder. Wouldn’t there be worthwhile emotion behind some of these opinions? Because really if you say it is objective, that is going to undermine the emotion behind it.

    By logic, emotion can only be at the agency of a decison. So if you cannot choose an opinion about it, and the opinion is forced, then the emotion behind the objective truth that this killing is evil, is undermined.

    The correspondence theory, only applies to matters of fact, as should be totally obvious. It does not apply to matters of opinion, like beauty. The correspondence is the evidence forcing to produce an exact model of something, in the mind. When you look at something with your eyes, then you get a 1 to 1 corresponding model of what you are looking at in your mind, forced by the evidence of it. The process is basically automatic. The mind is basically a model of the physical universe. So the object is copied from the universe proper, to the universe of mind.

  69. 69
    Joe Schooner says:

    Do you not see that it is NON-circular,

    Yes, your oft repeated response is certainly circular. You keep circling back to it.

    KF: the duties to truth, right reason, etc. are objectively true.

    Response: these are learned behaviors that people have adopted as personal, subjective “duties” because it makes there travels through society easier (ie fewer negative consequences).

    KF: you are appealing to these objective first duties in your arguments.

    That is a circular argument because it assumes a premise, that these “duties” are objective, when this premise has not been adequately demonstrated. Rather than address the arguments being made you simply circle back on this logically flawed response.

  70. 70
    kairosfocus says:

    JS, you have failed to address the actual point. Yet again, in suggesting question begging on my part, you appeal to duties to right reason. This yet again illustrates your sitting on the same branch with the rest of us. Your objection fails. KF

    PS: There are many things that are objectively the case that we have to be taught. Especially, when it is understanding and virtue or duty that are involved. Then of course there is that problem of duties that are just a tad inconvenient just now.

    PPS: I point you to my comment to MNY at 59. There is nothing circular or otherwise irrational about branch on which we find ourselves sitting first principles. Which of course include Epictetus’ point which I draw to your attention yet again . . . note the challenger’s demand for proof a particularly strong degree of warrant, with subtext that what is not well warranted need not be heeded:

    DISCOURSES
    CHAPTER XXV

    How is logic necessary?

    When someone in [Epictetus’] audience said, Convince me that logic is necessary, he answered: Do you wish me to demonstrate this to you?—Yes.—Well, then, must I use a demonstrative argument?—And when the questioner had agreed to that, Epictetus asked him. How, then, will you know if I impose upon you?—As the man had no answer to give, Epictetus said: Do you see how you yourself admit that all this instruction is necessary, if, without it, you cannot so much as know whether it is necessary or not? [Notice, inescapable, thus self evidently true and antecedent to the inferential reasoning that provides deductive proofs and frameworks, including axiomatic systems and propositional calculus etc. Cf J. C. Wright]

    PPPS: Let me bring forward my corrective at 52:

    KF could attempt to respond to this
    [–> now, why “attempt” I am responding],

    but he will likely respond
    [–> you acknowledge yes he responds, so the above is a rhetorical dismissal]

    with the normal circular argument

    [–> a circular, question-begging argument is a breach of right reason, an error regarding coherence and/or premises of argument. However if powerful premises are well warranted . . . including by self evidence on pain of immediate absurdity on attempted denial or dismissal . . . then it is not question-begging to state them]

    that “You are appealing to right reason”…,

    [–> so, do you reject right, responsible reason that carefully winnows out sources of unreliability or error? If so, you are assigning yourself to irrationalism and negative credibility. If you acknowledge duty to reason rightly, and tone suggests such, you too are sitting on the same first duties of reason branch with the rest of us. Which, then raises questions regarding your unwillingness to acknowledge manifest facts such as this.]

    or some such nonsense.

    [–> why, nonsense, a term of sharp disapproval and even dismissal? As in, again, you imply unmet duty on my part, though that is actually an error on your part. The resort to such projection to the other in the teeth of repeated cogent correction raises issues of cognitive dissonance and defence mechanisms that lead to a further fallacy, the closed question begging indoctrinated mind. I suggest you need to look at what you have been programmed to think and then open your thinking to the possible need for reform starting with correction of patent error.

    There is good reason to stand by this.

  71. 71
    kairosfocus says:

    LCD, well, there are the notorious pleasures of sin . . . for a season. KF

  72. 72
    StephenB says:

    William J Murray, Joe Schooner, and Ram are all arguing for lawlessness because their moral subjectivism/relativism allows for no such thing as an objective standard of justice. Under those circumstances, and in the absence of any moral yardstick, there obviously can be no such thing as a just law – all laws, therefore, would be whimsical and arbitrary. If I decide, for example, that all three of these individuals will be executed for holding that view, and if I have the power make it public policy, there is nothing they can say in their own defense because, in their judgment, I have no prior duty to justice.

  73. 73
    kairosfocus says:

    SB, good to see you. You are of course right, the problem is such do not see themselves as being targets of the nihilistic. lawless state and its minions until it is too late. KF

  74. 74
    Seversky says:

    It is noteworthy and not a little ironic that those who tout the notion of an objective morality or an objective standard of justice usually identify their preferred morality or system of justice as the objective one. The Christian will promote Christian morality/justice as the only truly objective version and will not countenance for a second that Islam, Hinduism, Maori beliefs or even the much feared and reviled Marxism could offer objective morality/justice.

    It is that irrational commitment to their chosen belief system, for example, that compels them to endorse the story of The Fall, a narrative incoherent to the point of absurdity, as an explanation for all the sufferings of humanity. It is that same commitment that compels them to deny that humanity is capable on its own of developing systems of morality and justice because to do so would be to undercut the claim to supreme authority of their chosen deity in such matters.

  75. 75
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky, red herring led to strawman and ad hominem. The above is a discussion on our being rational, responsible significantly creatures and how we are therefore governed by conscience-guided duties of right or just conduct and wisdom, with truth and right reason as key components to wisdom and justice. Whence, we see the struggle to be consistently just, consistently fair, consistently right minded to neighbour etc, no account of morality is complete without reckoning with our dark tendencies and struggle towards the light. The OP, please read, discusses how a significant new atheist figure raised the same key concerns regarding first duties, though with a novel and not entirely happy vocabulary. Notice, the key first duties are developed from a Roman stoic and statesman who built on Greek thought tracing to Plato, Aristotle and others. Yes, 100 years after Cicero, Paul writing to Rome endorses core natural law thought and connects justice and the neighbour love principle to the decalogue, noting on conscience guidance and linked intellectual struggle and Jesus argues from naturally evident creation order. That is as we should expect, duty to neighbour leads to duties of justice. SM and I, across a worldviews gulf, agree that certain first duties or universally preferable behaviours can be identified through self evident reasoning starting with truth which has right reason and warrant with wider prudence as close corollaries. Yes, Paul uses musical communication to endorse distinct identity, root of logic and core to right reason, by way of instructive example. All of this is common ground tied to due balance of rights, freedoms and duties, the key elements of the civil peace of justice. Red herring fail. KF

    PS: Evil is the perversion or frustration or privation of the good from its often naturally evident proper end. For example the proper end of our cognitive and volitional capabilities is truth, wisdom, virtue. The evils of folly and injustice are built on untruth and error. Which are out of alignment with reality. So, evils are indeed responsible for much of our woes and if they dominate would wreak utter chaos. So, it is not absurd to point to the dark side of our rational responsible nature and struggle to do the right.

  76. 76
    Origenes says:

    StephenB @

    Long time no see, I hope you’re doing well.

    William J Murray, Joe Schooner, and Ram are all arguing for lawlessness because their moral subjectivism/relativism allows for no such thing as an objective standard of justice.

    Does an ‘objective standard of justice’ exist independent from human subjects? Is it imposed on human subjects by a non-human authority?

  77. 77
    William J Murray says:

    StephenB said:

    William J Murray, Joe Schooner, and Ram are all arguing for lawlessness because their moral subjectivism/relativism allows for no such thing as an objective standard of justice.

    On my part, I’m not arguing for lawlessness per se; I’m pointing out that, so far, nobody has made a sound logical argument for objective morality that holds up to critical examination.

    Under those circumstances, and in the absence of any moral yardstick, there obviously can be no such thing as a just law – all laws, therefore, would be whimsical and arbitrary. If I decide, for example, that all three of these individuals will be executed for holding that view, and if I have the power make it public policy, there is nothing they can say in their own defense because, in their judgment, I have no prior duty to justice.

    I don’t understand how you think this is not factually true. We live in a world of might makes right, even under the concept of “objective morality.” If true, the laws of objective morality were instantiated and are enforced (at least functionally) by the being with the might to do so: God.

  78. 78
    William J Murray says:

    LCD said:

    … while he [WJM] admitted he has a duty to pleasure and enjoyment.

    That never happened.

  79. 79
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, you err. Whatever your hyperskeptically dismissive opinion, it has been shown — repeatedly actually that as a category with members — objective moral truths exist. See 59 above for a current outline and note the case of the child kidnapped sexually abused, murdered for “fun.” Further, it has been shown from Cicero on on record with massive positive historical impact that there is a frame of law and governance that traces to identifiable first duties towards justice; which is also reflective of built in moral government of our rational responsible freedom; freedom means we can choose to disregard duty on particular cases, their contribution to human thriving means that on the whole we had better heed them on pain of collapse of civilisation. Epictetus highlighted that there are inescapable, branch on which we all sit first principles, and these extend across the span of first duties. Indeed, you yet again imply duties to right reason, warrant and truth when you objected to their self-evident pervasive first principle character: “nobody has made a sound logical argument for objective morality that holds up to critical examination.” As for living in a pervasively nihilistic world, were that truly so, civilisation would have collapsed long since. KF

  80. 80
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, you err. Whatever your hyperskeptically dismissive opinion, it has been shown — repeatedly actually that as a category with members — objective moral truths exist.

    No, it hasn’t. You’re just attaching the word and concept of “moral” to the logical requirements of what it means to be a sentient being, in that conscious thought is in itself a process of making truth claims, such as “I exist” and “I experience.” You do the same thing with the concept of “duty;” you just attach it to our inescapable reliance upon the principles of logic.

    Duty or moral obligation to truth and reasoning is an entirely different thing than unavoidable use of those things. Inescapable first duties do not imply any duties to those first principles. As I said before, I could make the same argument about preference and enjoyment, but it would be just as bad an argument as you have been attempting to make.

  81. 81
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    Indeed, you yet again imply duties to right reason, warrant and truth when you objected…

    Your inference is not my implication, as I explained (for about the 100th time) in #56. The way I form my arguments here inescapably refer to and use the principles of logic, not to any “duty” to do so.

    Duties cannot be self-evident because they are recognized only by the ontological conditions that reveal a duty exists. You refuse to point out those ontological conditions for whatever reason.

  82. 82

    @StephenB Ofcourse I would have a lot to say about being executed. I would make a very moving statement, based on emotion, about the worth of my life. And how I am the greatest philosopher of all time, because of formulating the creationist conceptual scheme. Everyone who hears my speech would tear up, and feel that an injustice is being done that I am executed.

    Your idea to separate emotion, the spirit, from justice, is ridiculous. It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. The only reason you and KF support objective morality, is because you do not acknowledge the subjective part of reality.

    So then for you to say it is subjective, it means like fantasy, and not real. So then you would have to clasiffy morality under objectivity, to acknowledge the reality of evil, goodness, etc.

    Objective morality is a solution in the conceptual mess you have created, by not acknowledging the subjective part of reality.

  83. 83
    jerry says:

    so far, nobody has made a sound logical argument for objective morality that holds up to critical examination

    That is so not true.

    It’s been done several times.

  84. 84
    jerry says:

    Does an ‘objective standard of justice’ exist independent from human subjects? Is it imposed on human subjects by a non-human authority?

    It flows from the nature of humans.

    If you want to attribute this nature to a non-human authority, then one might argue it flows from that. But that is not necessary to show an objective standard of justice.

    This has been discussed several times.

    So in a way it goes round and round as the usual suspects bring up their absurdities.

    What doesn’t happen is that several omit the obvious, the comment stream is personal and has little to do with logic and truth.

  85. 85
    Origenes says:

    KF @ 59

    Therefore: we may confidently hold that it is not the case that there are no objective moral truths.

    By ‘objective moral truth’ I take it that you mean moral truth which exists independent from human subjects. Objective moral truths are part of ‘the world around us’ on which our beliefs, whatever they are, have no bearing. IOWs a moral rule which is true no matter what we think about it.
    In post #50 you cite A. Cline:

    The idea of truth as objective is simply that no matter what we believe to be the case, some things will always be true and other things will always be false. Our beliefs, whatever they are, have no bearing on the facts of the world around us. That which is true is always true — even if we stop believing it and even if we stop existing at all . . . .

    Given this independence of objective moral truths from our perception of them, it is inconsistent to argue that our perception of certain moral truths [e.g. it is wrong to kill a baby for pleasure] as self-evidently true proves that they are objective. That is no proof of objectivity, since ….

    … our beliefs, whatever they are, have no bearing on the facts of the world around us.

    BTW Cline’s definition of ‘objective truth’ is incoherent. In fact he is saying: “I believe ‘objective truth’ exists independent from my beliefs”, which is an incoherent statement.

  86. 86
    William J Murray says:

    Jerry said,

    It flows from the nature of humans.

    If you want to attribute this nature to a non-human authority, then one might argue it flows from that. But that is not necessary to show an objective standard of justice.

    Whether we are talking about human nature limited to the physical and mental, or attaching that to some spiritual greater reality, all humans do in either case is assess information and make decisions that are aimed, directionally, at maximizing their enjoyment, either directly in the here-and-now, or in some abstract sense, such as “in the future, serving some enjoyable spiritual structure, some enjoyable sense of purpose, etc..

    It is an inescapable aspect of sentience to seek out that which is enjoyable. Nobody would care one bit about morality if it did not deliver a more enjoyable experience either in our minds now for making moral choices, and/or promised a more enjoyable outcome in the future. If leading a moral life meant going to hell and suffering eternal damnation, nobody would be moral.

    Enjoyment is fundamental and it is the king of human nature. Morality is always about enjoyment, whether objective or subjective, spiritual or material, here-and-now or in the abstract.

  87. 87
    Origenes says:

    WJM @

    If leading a moral life meant going to hell and suffering eternal damnation, nobody would be moral.

    LOL

  88. 88
    jerry says:

    LOL

    Is this all about people who have a distaste for Christianity even though Christianity has zero to do with the argument.

    Christianity is constantly brought up like it will solve all the bad arguments made.

    It is the Fallacy of Irrelevance brought up time and time again.

    Meanwhile, Murray argues there is an objective moral standard without realizing he is doing so.

    The contradictions get comical after awhile.

    Yes, it’s LOL.

  89. 89
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: let’s take the latest wrinkle, N: there are no known [or possibly knowable] objective moral truths. A moral truth would be a: an accurate description of states of affairs in regard to right conduct, duty, virtue, proper ends/goodness etc. Knowledge, b: warranted, credibly true (so, reliable) beliefs regarding a relevant matter. But, N is a claimed, claimed known truth about morality. So, were it regarded as true it would be a counter-example to itself. It is a form of words like a pentagonal triangle or a round triangle, but it is incoherent and cannot refer accurately and reliably to any state of affairs. Thus, NOT-N is so, there are objective truths and as the denial is incoherent, there are knowable and in fact known objective moral truths, where this is itself an example as its focal topic is a. KF

    PS: 59 above draws out the first duties as specific first principle known moral truths.

  90. 90
    William J Murray says:

    KF @89 said:

    A moral truth would be a: an accurate description of states of affairs in regard to right conduct, duty, virtue, proper ends/goodness etc.

    But, N is a claimed, claimed known truth about morality. So, were it regarded as true it would be a counter-example to itself.

    Nope. A moral truth is necessarily a statement of “ought.” Saying “there are no moral truths” is a statement of “is,” not “ought.” These are two entirely different things.

  91. 91
    ET says:

    It is noteworthy and not a little ironic that seversky just makes [SNIP! Language] up, posts it and thinks it is meaningful discourse.

  92. 92
    kairosfocus says:

    Origines (attn WJM):

    By ‘objective moral truth’ I take it that you mean moral truth which exists independent from human subjects.

    The key phrase can be addressed step by step:

    a: a truth: a: an accurate description of states of affairs in regard to some aspect of reality of interest

    b: a knowable/known truth: one that, having had due diligence, is well warranted, credibly true [and so reliable] and believed by a subject capable of knowledge, i.e. having responsible, rational freedom. Having been warranted confers objectivity, in effect, ” truth independent from individual subjectivity (bias caused by one’s perception, emotions, or imagination).”

    c: a moral truth: one regarding an accurate description of states of affairs in regard to right conduct, duty, virtue, proper ends/goodness etc.

    So, string them together and we see what we are dealing with. Where, by direct implication the claims, N’: there are no/no known/no knowable objective moral truths is a claim to objective, known truth regarding the substance of morality. So, we can put together the form of words but just as a heptagonal triangle the form N’ is inherently incoherent.

    For, taking it for the moment at face value to be known, objective, warranted and true, what is its subject matter?

    Why, morality, so N’ is a moral truth claim so if warranted etc it exemplifies what it tries to deny. Such a claim as N’ cannot be the case in any possible world. We can take it to the bank that there are in fact knowable objective, warranted, known moral truths. One of these is that N’ being self-refuting, is false.

    And notice, thanks to the power of incoherence in logic and epistemology, we know this even before we address the panoply of metaphysics requiring a world of philosophical topics as WJM would tax us with. In fact, this establishment allows us to then move to logic of being and ask what sort of reality root must obtain for there to be creatures of morally governed nature, duty bound in particular to justice.

    Moral truths that are objective are independent of the error-proneness of any given individual or cluster of human subjects.

    The task of objectivity is to do due diligence to right reason so that we achieve good warrant and have in hand credible, reliable, warranted, known truth. And yes, those are several first duties of reason. As this exchange again and again illustrates we cannot even argue or object without relying on known duty to those principles.

    As to utter independence of humanity, a first point is we do not exhaust the possible in regards to responsible, rational, free beings. More to the point, this points to the level at which is and ought can be bridged and there is a bill of requisites for the inherently good and utterly wise as reality root source of worlds in which creatures such as we are can or do exist. This now is ontological and metaphysical root of reality.

    As is well known, I have put up a challenge here at UD for years that has been consistently un-answered. Namely that in a post Hume, post Euthyphro world there is a single serious candidate for such a reality root, leading to a worldview level inference to best explanation [which is the way of science, for example]. that is, the inherently good, utterly wise creator God, a necessary and maximally great being, the root of reality. One, who is worthy of loyalty and of the responsible reasonable service of doing the good that accords with our evident nature. The God of ethical theism (where, the Judaeo-Christian tradition is a tradition within this category, not its exhaustion). If you object simply put up an alternative that bridges is and ought and is coherent, without absurd consequences: ____. harder to do than might first appear.

    And yes, this shows that WJM put the cart before the horse.

    KF

  93. 93
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    So, string them together and we see what we are dealing with. Where, by direct implication the claims, N’: there are no/no known/no knowable objective moral truths is a claim to objective, known truth regarding the substance of morality. So, we can put together the form of words but just as a heptagonal triangle the form N’ is inherently incoherent.

    Nope, you’re doing the same thing you do with “duty;” you’re just attaching an ought to an is. A moral truth is a statement of “ought;” saying “there are no moral truths” is a statement of “is.” These are two entirely different things no matter how often you conflate the two.

    I’m saying you don’t get to attach your horse to the cart for free.

  94. 94
    Origenes says:

    KF @

    O: By ‘objective moral truth’ I take it that you mean moral truth which exists independent from human subjects. Objective moral truths are part of ‘the world around us’ on which our beliefs, whatever they are, have no bearing. IOWs a [objective] moral rule is true no matter what we think about it.

    KF:

    Moral truths that are objective are independent of the error-proneness of any given individual or cluster of human subjects.

    So, our beliefs, whatever they are, have no bearing on objective moral truths. Correct?

    The idea of truth as objective is simply that no matter what we believe to be the case, some things will always be true and other things will always be false. Our beliefs, whatever they are, have no bearing on the facts of the world around us. That which is true is always true — even if we stop believing it and even if we stop existing at all . . . .

  95. 95
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, any truth claim is a claim that reality holds a particular state, which is the case, here that there is a state of affairs of creatures bound to duty, right conduct virtue etc. Where as we are conscience guided creatures, if we deny the testimony of conscience to that effect we undermine the general credibility of mind through opening the door to grand delusion. And, the point is, that the denial of known objective moral truth is a truth claim about oughtness etc. The argument then points to its self-referential, incoherent nature, and so we freely infer to known objective truths of moral character. KF

  96. 96
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes, our beliefs without filtering on warrant, are notoriously prone to error, so we need to warrant. As you well know. Note also the definition of knowledge and note that there are duties to warrant that include that when someone should know or acknowledge a truth, s/he is failing to do duty if there is hyperskepticism and resistance to the warrant. What we do or should know. KF

  97. 97
    Joe Schooner says:

    JS, you have failed to address the actual point. Yet again, in suggesting question begging on my part, you appeal to duties to right reason.

    Again, the spinning wheel keeps on spinning.

    Enough has been said, by several commenters, to cast serious doubt on the warrant of your claim.

  98. 98
    Origenes says:

    KF @

    Cline: The idea of truth as objective is simply that no matter what we believe to be the case, some things will always be true and other things will always be false. Our beliefs, whatever they are, have no bearing on the facts of the world around us.

    KF:

    Origenes, our beliefs without filtering on warrant, are notoriously prone to error, so we need to warrant.

    You are saying that when a person believes that there is warrant for X, then the status of X is elevated to “objective.” Correct?

  99. 99
    ram says:

    StephenB: William J Murray, Joe Schooner, and Ram are all arguing for lawlessness because their moral subjectivism/relativism allows for no such thing as an objective standard of justice.

    Not so with me. I am a “theist.” True morality is an ontological property of the Root. IOW, the oughts are not derived from mere “is’es”, but are right there in the Root. Oughts are always derived from oughts. My contention with KF is that the premises for his philosophy are rooted in his religion. Nothing wrong with that. Just be upfront about it. Moreover, you’ll never see KF lay out the highlights of his philosophy in a simple bullet point format. When a person cannot, or will not, do that, it’s an indicator of muddled thinking.

    (I agree with WJM’s @77)

    –Ram

  100. 100
    ram says:

    WJM to KF: Duties cannot be self-evident because they are recognized only by the ontological conditions that reveal a duty exists. You refuse to point out those ontological conditions for whatever reason.

    Because his philosophy has a religious grounding. Nothing wrong with that, IMO. But for some reason he is reluctant to acknowledge it. Something like, “I get my moral grounding from the New Testament, and the Holy Spirit tells my heart that it’s true”, would be the more honest and honorable thing to do.

    –Ram

  101. 101
    ram says:

    WJM @86- an excellent piece of tight writing there.

    There is no religion on earth that does not appeal to desire for a more pleasant outcome in connection with the moral demand. “Do this, and get rewarded. Do this, and suffer.” All morality ultimately flows from the rule-maker’s power to enforce, and the desire of the rule-follower, who can choose the path that leads to a more pleasant outcome for himself and what he values. This is equally true for non-religiously grounded morality.

    –Ram

  102. 102
    jerry says:

    an excellent piece of tight writing there.

    Incredible irony.

    Completely supports Kf’s position.

    In order to indulge in pleasures there has to be a surviving thriving society. This requires Cicero’s duties to be widely practiced.

    So if Murray feels no duty to help, it requires others to do so. In most societies in history such a parasitic attitude would have elicited a response by those who were making the society sustain itself.

    In other words Murray and his pleasure seeking behavior would have been squashed and his existence eliminated unless he did his duties.

    By the way when presented with this obvious scenario, Murray replied that he does do his duties.

  103. 103
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: On the is-ought gap. Why do we feel discomfort, that there is a gap? Because, we are creatures of is AND of ought, with our consciences as witnesses. Witnesses we cannot dismiss, on pain of inviting in grand delusion spreading across our whole cognitive and volitional life, resulting in self-referential discredit. So, we sense they must be somehow fused, and post Hume that can only be successfully done in the root of reality. But, long before we address that logic of being from its roots matter, we are manifestly reasoning, knowing, morally governed, responsible, significantly free creatures, so we have is and ought within crying out for unity. And, we can know that certain things are so in regards to duty, right conduct, virtue and more; including as shown, that the denial of moral truths that are knowable, objective, known is itself a moral truth claim of sweeping character. But one that undermines itself, leading to our knowing that there are knowable, known, objective moral truths, with this as a first case that establishes the open door to credible, confident moral knowledge despite a day of hyperskepticism, doubt, dismissal and cynicism. KF

  104. 104
    kairosfocus says:

    JS, another round of evasion.

    RAM, nope, the duties are evident from epistemic, logic considerations, as has been shown with the attempt to deny known, objective, warranted moral truths.

    Origines, nope, not believed- to- be- warrant but actual adequate warrant. See how subjectivism erodes?

    Jerry, yup, pleasures cannot be multiplied unfettered as if they were ends in themselves, even the Epicureans understood that. Without the civil peace of justice, the general happiness of society collapses. Of course the likes of the murderer of that young child on the way home from school could pursue sick pleasures, but that rather underscores the point.

    KF

  105. 105
    kairosfocus says:

    Ram, actually true virtue does not operate on the basis of avoidance of punishment, but the pursuit of the good. KF

  106. 106
    Origenes says:

    KF:

    Origines, nope, not believed- to- be- warrant but actual adequate warrant.

    You mean: believed-to-be-actual-adequate-warrant ?

    See how subjectivism erodes?

    No. However, I do see the dangers of authoritarianism.

    Quran (2:216) – “Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.”

  107. 107
    ram says:

    KF: actually true virtue does not operate on the basis of avoidance of punishment, but the pursuit of the good.

    “No True Scotsman” fallacy.

    Outside of the transcendent Root/Creator, there is no such thing as “good” in a transcendent sense.

    Either “good” flows from the transcendent Root, and is thus transcendent “good”, or “good” is merely a matter of subjectivity, consensus and/or despotism.

    Why are you reluctant to acknowledge/discuss the fact that your morality is rooted and grounded in your transcendental religion?

    –Ram

  108. 108
    ram says:

    Jerry: In order to indulge in pleasures there has to be a surviving thriving society.

    I’ve seen WJM use the term “pleasure”, but I don’t think I’ve seen anyone talk about “indulging in pleasures.” It’s about preferable outcomes.

    I know people who love living in the Alaskan outback far away from “society” as they can get. How much of a “duty” to “society” do they have?

    Cicero had his opinions about what he considered “duties” to society. And while I agree with some of them (because it suits my preferences), they were merely his opinions based on his idea of the kind of society that he preferred.

    –Ram

  109. 109
    StephenB says:

    WJM: –“I don’t understand how you think this is not factually true. We live in a world of might makes right, even under the concept of “objective morality.” If true, the laws of objective morality were instantiated and are enforced (at least functionally) by the being with the might to do so: God.”

    The absence of objective morality cannot be “factually true” for the simple reason that it cannot be known as a fact.

  110. 110
    StephenB says:

    Ram
    —“My contention with KF is that the premises for his philosophy are rooted in his religion. Nothing wrong with that. Just be upfront about it.”

    The point is that KF’s philosophy (and mine) is not *solely* based on religion; it is also based on reason, evidence and observation independent of religion. That is the whole point. Those who make no religious assumptions can still apprehend the natural moral law through reason and conscience. That is why it is called “natural,” (known by reason) and not , “revelatory,” (accepted on faith). Even the bible makes this point in Roman’s 1 – 20, which says that non-believers are “without excuse” because the empirical evidence points to a creator and a moral universe.

  111. 111
    jerry says:

    I know people who love living in the Alaskan outback far away from “society” as they can get. How much of a “duty” to “society” do they have?

    No one is away from society even if it is only themselves.

    If there is more than one person, their obligations expand.

    I’ve seen WJM use the term “pleasure”, but I don’t think I’ve seen anyone talk about “indulging in pleasures.” It’s about preferable outcomes

    You are now quibbling over a definition.

    The word “indulge” means to satisfy.

  112. 112
    StephenB says:

    Origenes: “Does an ‘objective standard of justice’ exist independent from human subjects?”

    I think it depends on how you approach the topic. Recall that we are discussing the morality of human nature. Obviously, there could be no morality for human nature in the absence of human subjects or without the prospect of their existence. The moral law is, so to speak, a set of operating instructions and guard rails for human beings which aim to facilitate their happiness (as distinct from pleasure). In that sense, that answer would seem to be no.

    On the other hand, if we think of the natural moral law as a road map for living, and we think of human subjects as being on a journey, then the answer would seem to be yes. Humans can lose the roadmap or even reject it if they choose to

    — “Is it imposed on human subjects by a non-human authority?”

    I think it is built in to their nature (and nature itself) by a non-human authority. William J. Murray thinks that, if true, that would, indeed, constitute an imposition since, in his judgment, the Creator did not consult human beings before creating them. I have always felt that this is illogical. God cannot consult with humans without first creating them, which means that He cannot get their permission in advance.

    For my part, the natural moral law is a gift, just as all the other features that accompany moral judgment are gifts, such as intelligence, free will, and moral conscience. I would also characterize a road map as a gift, not an imposition. If our final end is to be united with God in the next life, as I believe it is, we need direction. If we have no final end, then there is no journey to be made and everything we observe and experience is meaningless.

  113. 113
    Origenes says:

    StephenB @

    I think it [the objective standard of justice] is built in to their nature (and nature itself) by a non-human authority.

    So, the objective standard of justice does not come from human subjects, but, instead, comes from a source independent from human subjects. Is that the reason why you use the term ‘objective’? IOWs does the term ‘objective’ relate to origin? If not, what does it relate to?

  114. 114
    ram says:

    Jerry:No one is away from society even if it is only themselves.

    Why? If I live away from society, how am I, well, not away from society?

    I asked a quantifiable question: How much of a “duty” to “society” do they have?

    Please give reasons from foundational premises through your logic.

    Thanks in advance.

    For the rest of the readers: if you are away from society, why do you have a duty to society?

    Very much interested in the answers from all quarters.

    –Ram

  115. 115
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, a declaration that there are no objectively true moral claims is a huge declaration regarding oughtness, by direct implication, and it is a moral truth claim. A self refuting one. KF

  116. 116
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes, the question is warrant, a matter of right reason, which is intelligible and accessible. Doubling down on the fact that we are subjects who have opinions, beliefs, views etc does not change such. In particular, in warrant, known sources of error are filtered out leading to sharp reduction in bias and associated detection and correction of errors. This is not unique to moral reasoning, it is pervasive. Subjects, through right reason duly aplied can come to objective, well warranted, credible truths, we do so routinely. There is no good reason to be particularly and hyperskeptically suspicious regarding truth claims about virtue, right conduct, etc. The fear that genuinely objective truth is intolerant — that grand substitute for virtue that too often undermines willingness to stand up for the right in the face of power backed politically favoured wrong — is ill-founded. Indeed, inasmuch as truth accurately describes reality, it is a way to get a society out of contact with reality and inclined to act on errors standing in as a yardstick of truth and right, leading to marches of folly and outright evil. As history abundantly warns. KF

  117. 117
    kairosfocus says:

    Ram, you have missed the structure of warrant involved, as SB has reminded you. We can directly recognise the voice of conscience, and can see that any tendency to reduce such in our estimation to delusion at once taints the credibility of our rational and volitional faculties as grand delusion is self defeating. This is the same problem seen with say Crick’s reduction of mind to computational substrate etc. Sound conscience is a law, and the voice of moral prudence is a law, built in law. We can therefore examine other key truth claims about right conduct etc and observe that they are branch on which we sit first principles so they are in that sense inescapable, indeed antecedent to proofs as Epictetus highlighted regarding right reason and its core principles. Inescapable and so on pain of discrediting rationality, true, self-evidently true. Where the naturally evident end of reason is truth, hence duties to same and why this element of core law is highest reason. So, Cicero was not merely blindly following traditions handed down (indeed he subtly critically evaluated) or imposing his whims by raw power . . . he would not long after be beheaded . . . he was in effect saying, we converse regarding core reason and this allows us an alternative to the self-refuting nihilism that might and/or manipulation make ‘right’ ‘rights’ ‘justice’ ‘truth’ ‘knowledge’ etc and which is at once absurd, anticivilisation and ruinous. Perverting key features of our cognition and volition away from the moral guide rails that point them to their due ends is a manifestation of evil and folly, predictably leading elsewhere than human thriving in stable sophisticated community that we call civilisation. In the end lives are at stake and we have been misled into undermining what allows us to thrive. KF

  118. 118
    kairosfocus says:

    SB, thanks, needed. I am at low ebb facing triple loss [wife, mother, brother] and life crisis. KF

  119. 119
    kairosfocus says:

    Ram, first, do not worship ratio, interval or the like scales. Many things can be compared without such. Ordinal allows us to see bad, fair, good, best etc and there are even nominal scales such as M/F. Next, in a global age someone in Alaska’s wilderness is connected through many systems to the world. There is no Robinson Crusoe today. Even the most remote population of all, the Pitcairners, are part of global networks. We all participate in a civilisation and something as seemingly hobbyist as commenting here has impact far beyond what goes on in our obvious circle. No man is an island, none stands alone. And even in the old days of Kentucky’s dark and bloody ungoverned ground, the built in natural law obtained and would be the basis for building law and government there. We are creatures of built in law constitutive in key part of our nature as testified to by conscience. When we walk into Kentucky, we carry that first law with us. Which is a blessing. KF

  120. 120
    vividbleau says:

    KF re 118
    “ I am at low ebb facing triple loss [wife, mother, brother]”

    Oh my , did you lose them all recently?

    Last February I lost three family members in a private plane crash, loss like that is devastating.

    You are in my prayers KF, I don’t know what else to say.

    Vivid

  121. 121
    Seversky says:

    Kairosfocus/92

    b: a knowable/known truth: one that, having had due diligence, is well warranted, credibly true [and so reliable] and believed by a subject capable of knowledge, i.e. having responsible, rational freedom. Having been warranted confers objectivity, in effect, ” truth independent from individual subjectivity (bias caused by one’s perception, emotions, or imagination).”

    In other words the truth value of a claim about some aspect of what we infer to be objective reality lies in the extent to which it accords with what we can observe. Such claims are descriptive and explanatory of what is

    c: a moral truth: one regarding an accurate description of states of affairs in regard to right conduct, duty, virtue, proper ends/goodness etc.

    In my view, that’s wrong. Moral claims are prescriptive, not descriptive and, therefore, are not capable of being either true or false by the correspondence theory of truth.

    So, string them together and we see what we are dealing with. Where, by direct implication the claims, N’: there are no/no known/no knowable objective moral truths is a claim to objective, known truth regarding the substance of morality.

    No, it is a claim about the existence of objective reality not the content. It does not deny the existence of moral codes within human societies, it denies that they have any observable objective basis; it is the position that they would not exist at all if we didn’t.

    As is well known, I have put up a challenge here at UD for years that has been consistently un-answered. Namely that in a post Hume, post Euthyphro world there is a single serious candidate for such a reality root, leading to a worldview level inference to best explanation [which is the way of science, for example]. that is, the inherently good, utterly wise creator God, a necessary and maximally great being, the root of reality.

    How does that help your cause of establishing Judeo-Christian morality as the one true version? If your God is the root of all reality then He is also the root of Islamic reality, Hindu reality, Maori reality even Marxist reality.

    Neither does declaring the Christian God to be the “root of reality” (whatever that means) help bridge the gap between ‘is’ and ‘ought’. You can certainly claim that God is the author and underlying basis of all that is but “all that is” includes not just those aspects of the world of which you approve but also the all the bits of which you don’t approve, such as socialism or Marxism. If God created or, at least, permits such to exist, who are you to disagree?

  122. 122
    StephenB says:

    Origenes:

    —“So, the objective standard of justice does not come from human subjects, but, instead, comes from a source independent from human subjects.”

    Yes

    —Is that the reason why you use the term ‘objective’?

    That would be a big part of it.

    —“IOWs does the term ‘objective’ relate to origin? If not, what does it relate to?”

    I would say that it relates to origin, yes, but that is not the end of it. There is also an inside/outside component; the subject is internal and the object is external to the subject. Yet again, the subject refers to the investigator and the object refers to the thing being investigated. (i.e. the “object” of the subject’s investigation). The point here is that the subject should sit quietly and allow nature (the object) to reveal her secrets rather than intrude in the investigation with a personal agenda.

  123. 123
    StephenB says:

    KF @118. I am very sorry to learn about your great loss. May God strengthen you and give you peace during this great trial.

  124. 124
    Seversky says:

    Vividbleau/120

    KF re 118
    “ I am at low ebb facing triple loss [wife, mother, brother]”

    Oh my , did you lose them all recently?

    Last February I lost three family members in a private plane crash, loss like that is devastating.

    You are in my prayers KF, I don’t know what else to say.

    Vivid

    I am deeply sorry to hear that. Those are devastating blows and, for whatever it’s worth, you have my sincere condolences.

  125. 125
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    StephenB
    The point is that KF’s philosophy (and mine) is not *solely* based on religion; it is also based on reason, evidence and observation independent of religion. That is the whole point. Those who make no religious assumptions can still apprehend the natural moral law through reason and conscience. That is why it is called “natural,” (known by reason) and not , “revelatory,” (accepted on faith).

    True. But. To understand it as a theoretical concept is one thing . To apply it in life ,to endure it is a different thing and religion/God is required because morality can’t float in the air and because is impossible for humans to be moral without God’s help.
    A moral atheist it’s a nonsense . I don’t talk about fake virtue signalling , facade, pretense, hipocrisy and dissimulation but a real moral act .

  126. 126
    kairosfocus says:

    Vivid, Sev, SB et al, yes, in a cluster though not together and from diverse causes. Vivid, God strengthen you. KF

  127. 127
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, in regards to:

    the truth value of a claim about some aspect of what we infer to be objective reality lies in the extent to which it accords with what we can observe.

    Much of what is quite objective is about abstract entities and relationships. 2 + 3 = 5, {} –> 0, etc count. Empirical sciences have many unobservable entities and of course use mathematics. Something as common as Queen Elizabeth II is a woman and is British, though objective, deal with abstracta that cannot be seen. Opportunity cost, the true index of value in economics, is actually about an unrealised possible world that is neighbour to the one instantiated by our choice. Justice is an abstract matter, regarding relationships in a community. Truth is an abstract relationship between what we say or think and the actual world. Extending to possible worlds, what would obtain were they realised.

    And much more.

    Objectivity is an attribute of warrant so that we have good grounds to accept some entity or state of affairs as reliably, credibly the case.

    Truth can readily be established as accurate description of entities, states of affairs etc. Moral truth would be an accurate description of states of affairs in regards to duty, virtue, right conduct etc. That the particular relationship so described is often about specific principles or rules of conduct is secondary. It is reasonable to say and understand, that it is true, knowable and objective that we ought not to murder. Further to which, if one only adheres to this for fear of punishment, something is deeply wrong with such a person. We expect, respect for life.

    So, your onward rejection of the point that denial of objectivity and knowability of moral truth claims is a failed truth claim of such moral character, fails.

    Further to which, I have not been discussing “the Christian God” but instead God as understood through logic of being analysis of roots of reality where we have morally governed creatures. And BTW, Christians are not discussing that rhetorical entity either, up to and including the NT authors and Jesus. They discuss God, i/l/o his redemptive, creative, covenantal intersection with us, but accept that God is antecedent to our world, ourselves, our thoughts. The reality of God is an issue — and ultimately, fact — of reality that comes way before Scriptures, prophets, Messiah as prophesied etc.

    In particular, in the above I have discussed how morally governed entities [us] raise issues that we embody is and ought and cannot deny the general soundness of testimony of conscience on pain of self referential discredit of mind through grand delusion. As we are in an ordered system of reality, is and ought must be unified. This leads to, the Hume and Euthyphro type issues so that we are looking at the — finitely remote! — root of reality, source of worlds and candidates. As a world now is, and as causal succession with finite stages is part of the world, we know there is a finitely remote root, and we have empirical reason to point back in the frame 10 – 20 BYA. Ultimately as infinite regress of such stages cannot be traversed stepwise, as non-being has no causal power [were there ever utter nothing, such would forever obtain], and circular retrocausality is another form of a world from non being, we are looking at a reality root. One that is of necessary being [so eternal] character, as has long since been discussed. Where, a serious candidate necessary being either is impossible of being similar to a square circle or is actual.

    To account for morally governed creatures, we need causal adequacy, which points to inherent goodness and utter wisdom as items in the bill of requisites. Which are attributes of person. Thus, we see as a serious candidate, the inherently good and utterly wise creator God, a necessary and maximally great being. One who, in regards to us, is worthy of our loyalty and the reasonable, responsible service of doing the good that accords with our evident nature. If you have another candidate that bridges the gap, grounds morality and world without gaps or absurdity, kindly outline: ______ (Harder to do than one might imagine.)

    Now, that framework of generic ethical theism is NOT a specifically religious conception, nor is it even more specifically Christian. It is philosophy pursuant to logic of being. That the Christian understanding of God in say systematic theology conforms is about fitting in with these issues not the other way around. The understanding of God in the Bible comes as revelatory starting with power in creation and covenant then in self disclosure as I AM THAT I AM, a statement c 1400+ BC that is a thousand years before the Greek analysis that feeds into our making sense of eternal, reality root necessary being through onward millennia of analysis began. BTW, just that striking phrase is one of my points of astonishment about that book.

    However, though there is a place to answer such incidental questions, they are far removed from the focal matter that we can make epistemic recognition of core, objective, warranted, knowable moral truths starting with duties to truth and justice. Including that the denial of such truths is an implicit moral — even, anti-moral — truth claim that is self-defeating and would further entail grand delusion in our cognitive and volitional faculties. Thus, we find certain self evident first, branch on which we all must sit, moral truths that govern our rational responsible freedom, as identified by Cicero in seeking/summing up the root of law.

    These then guide us in lawmaking and community life. Obviously freedom means we need not heed in every case, but their character as constituents of our thriving mean we had better acknowledge and live by their binding force on the whole or civilisation collapses chaotically and ruinously, with horrific consequences. A point long since noted by Kant as a form of the categorical imperative, universalisability of chosen behaviour and underlying maxims.

    Which, under different and not entirely happy terminology, SM has acknowledged at book length. Same then being one of the second tier of leading new atheist voices.

    KF

    KF

  128. 128
    kairosfocus says:

    LCD, yes, relationship with God is pivotal for existential challenge (as I am experiencing now). However, drawing out a sounder epistemological — theory of knowledge — understanding of our moral landscape . . . so that we are aware that there are knowable, warranted, objective moral truths starting with first duties of reason that frame branch on which we all must sit (and so, self-evident) first principles . . . is necessary given widely circulated notions, assertions, ideologies and in my view some manifestly pretty bad philosophical and jurisprudential thought that frankly have anticivilisational character. KF

    PS: Among the chief of those errors is that is and ought are separated by an unbridgeable chasm, when we ourselves live on both sides of the issue. We use epistemology and logic to see that we are in fact undeniably morally governed (if one implies conscience is delusional in its testimony to that effect, that spreads grand delusion and discredit across our cognitive and volitional faculties), and to identify pivotal first principles which we can see long since in Cicero’s summary of the case c 50 BC. These are already pivotal for reforming our civilisation but on logic of being they constrain our vision of the root of reality.

  129. 129
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky,

    If your God is the root of all reality then He is also the root of Islamic reality, Hindu reality, Maori reality even Marxist reality [and I freely add new atheist reality too].

    With amendment, correct.

    The subtlety lies in the finitely remote, root of reality necessary being issue. A serious candidate NB either is impossible of being for reasons similar to square circles or else is actual. Necessary beings are part of the framework for any world to exist. For instance there is no world but expresses two-ness and thence N,Z,Q,R,C, R* etc with all that grows from that core frame, hence universal power of core Mathematics, etc.

    And more.

    KF

  130. 130
    Origenes says:

    StephenB @

    I would say that it [‘objective’] relates to origin, yes, …

    Perhaps it’s accurate to say that ‘objective’ means ‘coming from an object’, or alternatively, ‘coming from the world around us’, ‘coming from the world of objects’.

    … but that is not the end of it. There is also an inside/outside component; the subject is internal and the object is external to the subject.

    By this, if I understand you correctly, you outline two separate realms: the internal and the external world. An internal world populated with subjective phenomena such as thoughts and feelings, and an external world populated with objects, such as rocks and computer screens. The latter world is, in principle, accessible to others, the former is not. Does this difference in accessibility elevate the status of objective knowledge?

    Yet again, the subject refers to the investigator and the object refers to the thing being investigated. (i.e. the “object” of the subject’s investigation). The point here is that the subject should sit quietly and allow nature (the object) to reveal her secrets rather than intrude in the investigation with a personal agenda.

    When the thing being investigated by the subject is the subject itself, would you agree with me, that the knowledge derived should rightly be called ‘subjective knowledge’? After all the knowledge coming from such an internal investigation ‘comes from the subject’, as opposed to ‘coming from the world of objects.’
    A case in point would be the knowledge, that I, Origenes, am self-aware. No one but me has access to my viewpoint, my self-awareness. ‘ I, Origenes, am self-aware’ is not knowledge about an object that is accessible to others. Another person can also be aware that he is self-aware, but that is not knowledge about my self-awareness.
    Given all that, would you agree with me that knowledge such as “I am self-aware”, “I exist” and “cogito ergo sum” is subjective knowledge?

  131. 131

    This is another futile debate. To have a productive debate, one must abide by the rules. And the relevant rules are:

    1. the terms subjectivity and objectivity must be defined with the same logic as is used in common discourse with subjective statements and objective statement.

    2. If anyone wants to deviate from the common discourse meaning of subjectivity and objectivity, then they must make clear exactly what the difference is.

    Clearly, none of the proponents of objective morality abide by the rules. None of the proponents of subjective morality abide by the rules either, except I.

    What a pile of {SNIP — language, take warning] this debate is, of haughty people fantasizing the way things are based on their hubris, instead of obediently trying to accurately discern the logic that is used in subjective statements and objective statements, in common discourse.

    To use a different definition of subjectivity and objectivity intellectually, than the logic you use with subjective and objective statements in common discourse, leaves you open to a judgement of duplicity. Speaking with a forked tongue.

    Referencing someone for backup, is only meaningful if the reference accurately describes the logic used in common discourse with subjective and objective statements.

    And on inspection, there can be no doubt about it that the creationist conceptual scheme accurately reflects the logic used in common discourse.
    1. Creator / chooses / spiritual / subjective / opinion
    2. Creation / chosen / material / objective / fact

    Morality is in respect to God, the arbiter at the final judgement, Who is classified in category no 1, the subjective category, because the name God is defined in terms of that He chooses things.

  132. 132
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes, objects are independent of our biases, speculation, imagination, fallacies etc. They are not just empirical and tangible, they can be abstract such as numbers etc. The point of objectivity is to use steps of right reason to address potential error sources thus leading to far more reliable conclusions given our known error proneness. As a result there is a strong link between objectivity and warrant as I have highlighted and previously explained our senses such as sight and hearing are imperfect but in many situations are highly reliable, and we often take their information for granted, e.g. in reading this text. Such should not be particularly puzzling, suspect or controversial, that such is the case is a sign of how badly off balance our civilisation has become. KF

  133. 133
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, kindly read what was just commented to Origenes. Seven year olds are pretty well aware of the issues involved. KF

  134. 134

    @KF Indeed 7 year olds can already state accurate facts, and express personal opinions about what they like and dislike.

    My guess is that the difference between fact and opinion is taught in school at about 10 years old. Opinion is what you feel, and fact is what you measure.

    You have not accurately described the logic used in common discourse with subjective statements and objective statements, nor have you even tried to do that. Which is a continuous outrage.

  135. 135
    Origenes says:

    KF @

    The point of objectivity is to use steps of right reason (…)

    Your definition of ‘objective’ seems to be: not the result of wrong think. Obviously, this is a distortion of its real meaning. See #130.

  136. 136
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes it is possible to have objective knowledge of oneself and other persons. We have subjective awareness which may or may not be valid, e.g. we can suffer delusions or be blind to ourselves, etc. But on matters where there is reasonable warrant we can and do have objective knowledge of ourselves. For example, I am aware of my emotions, fears, sense of peace, the comfort of seeing how butterflies of so short a life bless flowers and give us joy as they flit about with beauty and freedom. Likewise for several years I could note my perceptions as a cluster of Croton bushes on a length of road looked like a grazing animal then dissolved as we drove by. Warrant is the key to understanding this. KF

  137. 137
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes, it is precisely because of the independence of what is — entities, objects, states of affairs, that by eliminating or sharply reducing likely errors of reasoning that we can be highly confident that we have accurately, reliably perceived, known, understood certain things as they are and not as we may have in error imagined, perceived or even argued them to be. So, the two aspects are complementary not in opposition to one another. Did you notice how I spoke of a persistent illusion of a grazing animal by the roadside here, that dissolved as one reached a point to separately see the three or four Croton bushes involved? That’s not hard, typical seven year olds understand this well enough. KF

  138. 138
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    Origenes, it is precisely because of the independence of what is — entities, objects, states of affairs, that by eliminating or sharply reducing likely errors of reasoning that we can be highly confident that we have accurately, reliably perceived, known, understood certain things as they are and not as we may have in error imagined, perceived or even argued them to be.

    Unfortunately for KF’s argument, what was probably the most well-warranted knowledge ever outside of existentially inescapable abstractions, such as logic and math, has been disproved: the ontological existence of matter. Matter, as far as we can tell, simply does not exist.

    Some other major pieces of “well-warranted” knowledge have also been disproved, such as local realism, the single-direction temporal relationship of cause and effect, and the idea that individual minds do not affect what appears to be their external surroundings via observation.

    What that leaves us in terms of what “well-warranted” means is this: the necessary logical implications of existential inescapables applied to patterns of experience, given that such experience may vary from individual to individual. While we can make confident statements about the logic, we cannot make confident statements of the patterns of experience of “all people” outside of what is logically necessary for all sentient beings.

    So, when KF makes arguments that include the “common experience” of people beyond what is logically inescapable, especially when there are counterfactuals, he is applying a system of warrant that has been completely discredited by science. KF’s system of warrant has failed wrt some of the most fundamental perspectives it asserted as real and which it requires to be objectively true for its own status as a valid epistemology. KF’s system of warrant, and his epistemology, and yes, his ontology, has been disproved, just like that of the materialists and the dualists.

  139. 139
    William J Murray says:

    So, under MRT idealism, “well-warranted” means developing true statements about experiences, not about “things” that are hypothesized to exist outside of experience, other than what is logically necessary. For example, information exists. Information occurs to a sentient being as some form of ordered, comprehensible experience. Because experiences vary from person to person, and because experiences vary from one moment to the next in an individual perspective, there is more information that exists than any individual is experiencing at any particular time. Therefore, information can be confidently said to exist independently of any particular individual experience at any given time.

  140. 140
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, MRT in context runs into trouble over issues of grand delusion. It is indeed through experiences that we work through warrant and asses perceptions etc. That does not remove their independence of our error-prone subjectivity. For instance, 2 + 3 = 5 is at root about abstracta, but we cannot arbitrarily redefine to fit some party’s ideology as in 1984. KF

    PS: Matter and energy (which latter is far more abstract) most definitely do exist, and so do ordinary objects such as this PC, which is made of matter and uses energy to process information. What was broken by the rise of quantum theory, atomic theory etc was some older concepts of what matter is and how it works.

    PPS: All of this is way off on a tangent through metaphysics and ontology, irrelevant to the epistemic warrant for our moral government as has been outlined above. Objective warrant for moral knowledge starts with the point that the attempted denial of that possibility is itself an exceedingly strong claim about duty, virtue, right conduct, rights, justice etc, in the negative. Thus it is itself a moral truth claim, and one that refutes itself. See what SM had to concede as a new atheist, from OP.

  141. 141
    Origenes says:

    KF@

    Origenes it is possible to have objective knowledge of oneself and other persons. We have subjective awareness which may or may not be valid, e.g. we can suffer delusions or be blind to ourselves, etc. But on matters where there is reasonable warrant we can and do have objective knowledge of ourselves.

    The context here is a subject investigating itself —— a subject. We are entirely in the realm of the subject (see #130). Yet, you (again) carelessly speak of ‘objective’ knowledge as if it obviously means something in this context, as if it does not require an explanation.
    You keep on doing this over and over, seemingly not able to register the obvious problem with this.

  142. 142
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes, the case is directly parallel to Mathematical objects and relationships as was noted, abstracta can be real, independent of our idiosyncracies and subject to rational investigation. Such can provide adequate warrant — notice what you did NOT highlight just above, and such a result is communicable to others using language i.e. mutually agreed symbol systems that express concepts, states of affairs and relationships.. I have no need to go over and over on every rabbit trail dreamed up. The substantial matter is plain enough. KF

  143. 143
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, MRT in context runs into trouble over issues of grand delusion.

    No, it doesn’t, as I’ve exhaustively explained several times before.

    Matter and energy (which latter is far more abstract) most definitely do exist,

    No, they do not, at least not as far as science has been able to demonstrate. In fact, it was about 100 years of trying to show such things actually exist that it was demonstrated that they do not.

    PPS: All of this is way off on a tangent through metaphysics and ontology, irrelevant to the epistemic warrant for our moral government as has been outlined above.

    It’s relevant in that your system of epistemic warrant has been disproved by science, as I said.

  144. 144
    Origenes says:

    KF @

    Origenes, the case is directly parallel to Mathematical objects and relationships …

    The case is not directly parrallel, and not even indirectly parallel; see # 130
    The relevant passage:

    When the thing being investigated by the subject is the subject itself, would you agree with me, that the knowledge derived should rightly be called ‘subjective knowledge’? After all the knowledge coming from such an internal investigation ‘comes from the subject’, as opposed to ‘coming from the world of objects.’
    A case in point would be the knowledge, that I, Origenes, am self-aware. No one but me has access to my viewpoint, my self-awareness. ‘ I, Origenes, am self-aware’ is not knowledge about an object that is accessible to others. Another person can also be aware that he is self-aware, but that is not knowledge about my self-awareness.
    Given all that, would you agree with me that knowledge such as “I am self-aware”, “I exist” and “cogito ergo sum” is subjective knowledge?

  145. 145
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes, once there is reasonable warrant, there is objectivity even in self-knowledge. KF

    PS: Your declaration of self awareness, my familiarity with it and recognition of similarity gives me reasonable though not first person access. And you are dragging off on a remote tangent.

  146. 146
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, for cause, I disagree with your declarations regarding reality. But there is no need to go off on increasingly esoteric tangents. There is good reason to see that there are well warranted objective knowable truths about right conduct, virtues, justice etc, and these include first duties. SM, a new atheist, stumbled unto the point. KF

  147. 147
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Clipping from SM’s argument from OP:

    Given a known issue or two likely to come up as a premise of objections, let’s note from the next page:

    Since human beings cannot communicate psychically, all debates necessarily involve the evidence of the senses. Writing presupposes sight; talking requires hearing; Braille requires touch. Thus any proposition that depends upon the invalidity of the senses automatically self-destructs. [p. 34, thus, self-referential incoherence and grand delusion exhibit absurdities and found argument by reducing a key alternative to absurdity. Those who wish to deny that our senses can and often do credibly access a world independent of our individual perceptions, opinions etc, should take due note.]

    Next, the duty to truth appears:

    If you correct me on an error that I have made, you are implicitly accepting the fact that it would be better for me to correct my error. Your preference for me to correct my error is not subjective, but objective, and universal. You don’t say to me: “You should change your opinion to mine because I would prefer it,” but rather: “You should correct your opinion because it is objectively incorrect.” My error does not arise from merely disagreeing with you, but as a result of my deviance from an objective standard of truth. Your argument that I should correct my false opinion rests on the objective value of truth – i.e. that truth is universally preferable to error, and that truth is universally objective. [p. 35]

    This is a reminder on what we are dealing with.

    KF

  148. 148
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: assume a self aware individual has a delusion in which he thinks himself to be a brain in a vat. Now notice something, the individual can be wrong and can be corrected about the content of these thoughts and perceptions. However, as to self-awareness itself, that is self-evident and cannot be delusional. KF

  149. 149
    Origenes says:

    KF@

    Origenes, once there is reasonable warrant, there is objectivity even in self-knowledge. KF

    *** I, origenes, am self-aware ***.

    Here we have a subject investigating a subject. A subject making a claim about a subject. This claim is warranted only by the subject himself. No one (and nothing) else but the subject has access to the entire process of deriving knowledge. Every step, every stage of the entire process to knowledge takes place in the internal realm of the subject.
    There is not a single object, and no external world whatsoever, anywhere involved or even in sight ….

    Yet, there is Kairosfocus telling me again that this constitutes OBJECTIVITY, because warrant.
    But KF, even the warrant is entirely produced by the subject and exclusively experienced by the subject . If this whole thing is not subjective than nothing is!
    Credibly well warranted objective knowable truths first duties filtered error-proness ….

    PS: Your declaration of self awareness, my familiarity with it and recognition of similarity gives me reasonable though not first person access.

    You have no ‘reasonable’ access to my self-awareness, because you have no access at all. No one has access to my viewpoint, my self-awareness, but me.

  150. 150

    Probably people here are too selfsuperior in their sensibilites to deal with an emotion like outrage. Just like the people who ban hatespeech only have the best emotions.

    To say the planet earth exists, then the words “planet earth” is in essence an objective thing, as well as the actual planet earth to which the words refer, is an objective thing.

    To state you are aware of your fears, then the word “fears” is an objective thing, but the fears to which the word refers is NOT an objective thing.

    The fear referred to is agency of decisions, and a subjective thing. Subjective meaning, that it can only be identified with a chosen opinion. There is some decision made, then a chosen opinion may identify the agency of that decision as being “fear”.

    Neither can someone else know for a fact what emotions are in your heart, nor can you yourself know it, because it can only be expressed by a chosen judgement. And with a choice, then there always at least 2 possible options, so 2 possible valid answers. Basically words denoting emotions, and personal character, are like singing, or poetry. They are inherently expressive words, and can only be understood by feeling it. Fear is understood, by feeling fear.

    So we continue the clownworld of the intelligent design community, who sit on the truth, but are incapable to stop clowning around, to accurately convey the logic used with subjective and objective statements, in common discourse.

  151. 151
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes,

    Kindly observe:

    assume a self aware individual has a delusion in which he thinks himself to be a brain in a vat. Now notice something, the individual can be wrong and can be corrected about the content of these thoughts and perceptions. However, as to self-awareness itself, that is self-evident and cannot be delusional.

    Meanwhile note the implicit appeals to first duties in the objections, i/l/o SM’s comments from the OP:

    Given a known issue or two likely to come up as a premise of objections, let’s note from the next page:

    Since human beings cannot communicate psychically, all debates necessarily involve the evidence of the senses. Writing presupposes sight; talking requires hearing; Braille requires touch. Thus any proposition that depends upon the invalidity of the senses automatically self-destructs. [p. 34, thus, self-referential incoherence and grand delusion exhibit absurdities and found argument by reducing a key alternative to absurdity. Those who wish to deny that our senses can and often do credibly access a world independent of our individual perceptions, opinions etc, should take due note.]

    Next, the duty to truth appears:

    If you correct me on an error that I have made, you are implicitly accepting the fact that it would be better for me to correct my error. Your preference for me to correct my error is not subjective, but objective, and universal. You don’t say to me: “You should change your opinion to mine because I would prefer it,” but rather: “You should correct your opinion because it is objectively incorrect.” My error does not arise from merely disagreeing with you, but as a result of my deviance from an objective standard of truth. Your argument that I should correct my false opinion rests on the objective value of truth – i.e. that truth is universally preferable to error, and that truth is universally objective. [p. 35]

    That is the actual focal matter.

    KF

  152. 152
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, kindly note the just above. KF

  153. 153
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    No one has access to my viewpoint, my self-awareness, but me.

    : )) Nope. You are not unique there are few billions more of self-awarenesses that can undestand and read your actions , intentions … and you forgot God that knows you better than yourself.

  154. 154
    Origenes says:

    LCD:

    You are not unique

    I am the only one who experiences my viewpoint; my self-awareness.

    (…) there are few billions more of self-awarenesses (…)

    And none of them has access to my self-awareness.

    … and you forgot God that knows you better than yourself.

    1. One has to be me to experience my self-awareness.
    2. God is not me
    3. God cannot experience my self-awareness.

  155. 155
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes, you have direct access, others can have empathy and can learn from communication. God of course reads our hearts directly. Meanwhile, this is still off on a tangent:

    Given a known issue or two likely to come up as a premise of objections, let’s note from the next page:

    Since human beings cannot communicate psychically, all debates necessarily involve the evidence of the senses. Writing presupposes sight; talking requires hearing; Braille requires touch. Thus any proposition that depends upon the invalidity of the senses automatically self-destructs. [p. 34, thus, self-referential incoherence and grand delusion exhibit absurdities and found argument by reducing a key alternative to absurdity. Those who wish to deny that our senses can and often do credibly access a world independent of our individual perceptions, opinions etc, should take due note.]

    Next, the duty to truth appears:

    If you correct me on an error that I have made, you are implicitly accepting the fact that it would be better for me to correct my error. Your preference for me to correct my error is not subjective, but objective, and universal. You don’t say to me: “You should change your opinion to mine because I would prefer it,” but rather: “You should correct your opinion because it is objectively incorrect.” My error does not arise from merely disagreeing with you, but as a result of my deviance from an objective standard of truth. Your argument that I should correct my false opinion rests on the objective value of truth – i.e. that truth is universally preferable to error, and that truth is universally objective. [p. 35]

    KF

  156. 156
    Joe Schooner says:

    KF, are you still flogging this deceased equine?

    When people disagree with someone’s view, people who are normally in accordance with that person’s view, it should raise a red flag or two.

  157. 157
    kairosfocus says:

    JS, another red herring. KF

    PS/UD: To refocus substance:

    Given a known issue or two likely to come up as a premise of objections, let’s note from the next page:

    Since human beings cannot communicate psychically, all debates necessarily involve the evidence of the senses. Writing presupposes sight; talking requires hearing; Braille requires touch. Thus any proposition that depends upon the invalidity of the senses automatically self-destructs. [p. 34, thus, self-referential incoherence and grand delusion exhibit absurdities and found argument by reducing a key alternative to absurdity. Those who wish to deny that our senses can and often do credibly access a world independent of our individual perceptions, opinions etc, should take due note.]

    Next, the duty to truth appears:

    If you correct me on an error that I have made, you are implicitly accepting the fact that it would be better for me to correct my error. Your preference for me to correct my error is not subjective, but objective, and universal. You don’t say to me: “You should change your opinion to mine because I would prefer it,” but rather: “You should correct your opinion because it is objectively incorrect.” My error does not arise from merely disagreeing with you, but as a result of my deviance from an objective standard of truth. Your argument that I should correct my false opinion rests on the objective value of truth – i.e. that truth is universally preferable to error, and that truth is universally objective. [p. 35]

  158. 158

    @KF
    For objective issues, the 1 to 1 corresponding model is logically correct.
    For subjective issues, an opinion is logically correct, if it is chosen, and if it refers to what it is that makes a choice.

    Those are the rules of logic. Is logic also moral? Logic is just very convenient, and makes things easy.

    That people throw out the logic of subjectivity, and the horrifying truth is, that generally all people butcher the logic of subjectivity, that makes subjectivity very difficult, to not be aided by logic. That creates a big dreary mess in society. That’s immoral.

    In matters of opinion there must be freedom, and there cannot be any single forced answer. Forced answers, like to be forced to say a painting is beautiful, provides a logically invalid opinion. Your idea of a best answer in a matter of opinion, seems to be a forced answer, which is logically invalid.

    Very obviously subjectivity works perfectly in a free way. There is obvious innocence and spontaneity, like the lovely giggling of some women. So really, you are arguing some exception to the rule of spontaneity in matters of opinion, some exception where one opinion is better than another opinion, and the one opinon is then forced over the other. But we can see from the root, that subjectivity must be free, so it is pointless trying to find some exception to that freedom, and then perversely make that exception the rule.

    To like to torture kill people etc. is a logically valid opinion. To dislike that is also logically valid opinion. One could then say, it is disgusting, and this could convince someone that it is wrong. And there would be an argument about it, and a fight, whatever. And it would generally all be emotive argumentation, and not about objective issues.

  159. 159
    StephenB says:

    William J. Murray, Joe Schooner, (and Ram?) would say that the following moral principles are not self evident and do not even exist:

    *A man has a natural and inalienable right to defend himself on the street from an aggressive assailant.

    *If it is necessary to save his own life, that same man has the right to use deadly force.

    *If he is charged with murder, he has the right to tell his story in a court of law to an impartial jury.

    *Among other things, the judge in such a case has a moral duty to honor the principle of “due process,” and get to the truth.

    *Among other things, the jury in such a case has a moral duty to weigh all the facts and render a fair judgment.

    I would like for any or all of those alluded to above to provide a rational defense for their position.

  160. 160
    StephenB says:

    Origenes
    —“I am the only one who experiences my viewpoint; my self-awareness}

    That is an example of the subject investigating the subject. It’s happening on the inside.

    —“And none of them [others who are self aware] has access to my self-awareness]”

    True. but they do have access to the fact that you are self aware because the evidence for that fact comes from outside of them, that is, from you. In like fashion, you can know that they are self aware because the evidence for that fact comes from them. In other words, you can know that everyone, not just you, has the experience of self awareness. That is the subject (you) investigating the object (them). Thus, it is an objectively true statement that everyone experiences self awareness.

    Let me put it another way. You have *objective* knowledge of the fact that they are self aware and *subjective* knowledge of your own unique experience(s) of self awareness, to which they have no access, except insofar as you can or care to communicate it to them. In the reverse order, other individuals, who exist outside of your experience, have their own unique subjective knowledge about themselves [from the inside] and objective knowledge about the fact of your self awareness, the evidence of which comes from outside of them

  161. 161
    kairosfocus says:

    SB, further to that, the difference in warrant for specific contents of thought and the bare fact of conscious self awareness is significant. As I used above:

    assume a self aware individual has a delusion in which he thinks himself to be a brain in a vat. Now notice something, the individual can be wrong and can be corrected about the content of these thoughts and perceptions. However, as to self-awareness itself, that is self-evident and cannot be delusional.

    In that context, the subject — a member of a class of responsible, rational (but error prone) and significantly free creatures, is not only perceiving and opining but has two differing topics. First, bare fact of self-awareness, infallibly known to the one with that experience. Second, awareness of a particular error prone view and opinion, here the brain in vat delusion. The second being subject to correction, say by waking up, looking in and believing a mirror.

    These two distinct aspects show that the subject can have warrant and objective knowledge of aspects of the self, which he can report. Introspection joined to right reason provides sound knowledge once it attains adequate warrant.

    Then, both can be reduced to expressions in language and communicated to another similar creature. That second person can and does understand both aspects of consciousness from her own experience and so too attains knowledge due to the warrant.

    Let us list for the second person:

    a: Knowledge that the first person experiences self awareness and

    b: knowledge, that the first person, reflexive knowledge . . . I think that is more precisely descriptive than “subjective” given exchanges here . . . is infallible for the one experiencing it.

    c: Knowledge that that can be reduced to words and communicated truthfully so the second person acquires credible, warranted, reliable belief regarding the first person’s inner self-awareness. That is, knowledge but with a lower degree of warrant than infallibility.

    d: Knowledge of the reported state of delusion, thus that contents of perception, opinion etc can be error prone (she can see for herself that her husband is most definitely not a brain in a vat, all 6 ft 2 inches of him).

    e: Knowledge that she can sometimes know what the first person is in error about and can perhaps help with the correction by bringing up a mirror.

    f: Knowledge of how the correction has taken from non-verbal cues and the statement by her husband as he too recognises the error and corrects his delusion, maybe saying what a nightmare!

    g: Knowledge that she and her husband now share a community of common warranted understanding about consciousness and its content, warrant, error, correction etc, thus a simple case of a body of such in common objective warrant that is believable by third parties, i.e. we see the roots of academic, professional, general, day to day etc knowledge. Some of which can be shared through the various traditional and new media.

    h: In addition, there is knowledge of differing degrees of warrant and purity in knowledge. That is, some knowledge is infallible, absolute. Most is warranted to higher or lower degrees short of infallibility and is subject to correction or extension, i.e. warranted, credibly true and reliable belief can grow, with room for pruning where correction of specific, detected error is needed.

    i: In the case of correction, on recognition of unreliability under certain circumstances or of error, warrant is broken and credibility of truth is either limited or removed so it is possible to lose warrant and be corrected. The adjusted knowledge now carries with it the proviso, subject to onward limitation, adjustment, augmentation, correction, too. (This points to the pessimistic induction for science but also to the very special character of self-evident and specifically infallible points of knowledge.)

    j: And more.

    I think these facets may be of help in diagnosing and treating the many epistemological ills of our time in our civilisation.

    KF

  162. 162
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Mathematical objects and relationships, structures etc are inherently abstract, known through contemplation and have no independent physical manifestation [though we may recognise effects and features in/from physical objects and phenomena], there is no mysterious world where we could visit and see the null set on display. Of course, we may note that such things are also eternally contemplated by God and are expressed in the fabric of any possible world. We then proceed to develop notation systems and ways of writing out mathematical reasoning then infer conclusions building a body of knowledge that is in common. It is vital to understand inner reflection to understand mathematics and its applications.

    F/N: All of this points back to the first principles of right reason which are bound up in our first duties of reason given the due end of reason is truth and that we are error prone but reasoning creatures who can correct and purify our knowledge base. That which perverts, frustrates, sidelines etc the progress to due end is evil. Where of course figures don’t lie but liars can figure including how to fool others to take advantage. See all around on policy debates and compare Plato’s ship of state.

  163. 163
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: A stunning, in-court admission on the implications of degrading respect for well warranted fact:

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/12/09/bombshell-in-court-filing-facebook-admits-fact-checks-are-nothing-more-than-opinion/?fbclid=IwAR0kXveiUytvvDn5aSfl1VntdkCxvNgUaQROUKkza6rcbfMoF8GkD0iMRKQ

    journalist John Stossel is suing Facebook after Facebook’s ‘fact checkers’ labeled climate change information that Stossel posted as “false and misleading”. In the middle of all this is the nefarious website “Climate Feedback” which has a bunch of climate zealots that write up what they claim are “fact checks” for articles, videos, and news stories they disagree with.

    Facebook just blew the “fact check” claim right out of the water in court.

    In its response to Stossel’s defamation claim, Facebook responds on Page 2, Line 8 in the court document (download it below) that Facebook cannot be sued for defamation (which is making a false and harmful assertion) because its ‘fact checks’ are mere statements of opinion rather than factual assertions.

    Opinions are not subject to defamation claims, while false assertions of fact can be subject to defamation. The quote in Facebook’s complaint is,

    “The labels themselves are neither false nor defamatory; to the contrary, they constitute protected opinion.”

    The attempt to smear and dismiss the despised other then hide behind the skirts of it was just our opinion — when in fact we are looking at first level censorship by defamation of sources, speaks for itself.

    It is vital to defend the reality of warranted credibly true objective knowledge of facts etc.

    And in that context, the duty to neighbour includes duties of fairness and justice including protection of innocent reputation.

    KF

    PS: A commenter remarks, per fair comment:

    We all knew all along that fact checks were just like climate science.
    And it’s even less than opinions as the term opinion is being associated with an individual thought process.It’s propaganda.
    Propaganda where one part of the Mafia pretends to be checked by an independent unit which is in fact just another branch of the Mafia.

    Sometimes this branch of the Mafia is disguised as peer review,
    sometimes as fact checkers,
    sometimes as international court of justice in the Hague,
    sometimes as Fbi
    but what they really do is protecting the narrative/consensus and the status quo of the narrators.

    All the institutions above ,and many more,
    know very well who to accuse and who to protect.

  164. 164
    William J Murray says:

    SB said:

    I would like for any or all of those alluded to above to provide a rational defense for their position.

    Such rights may or may not exist. It’s not my job go argue they do not; it is the job of those who claim they do exist to make their case.

  165. 165
    William J Murray says:

    If you correct me on an error that I have made, you are implicitly accepting the fact that it would be better for me to correct my error.

    Mind-reading. Your implication is not my inference. I have no idea that it would be “better” for you, in whatever sense that is supposed to mean, to change your view. This is utter nonsense.

    Your preference for me to correct my error is not subjective, but objective, and universal.

    This is utter nonsense. Preferences are always entirely subjective.

    You don’t say to me: “You should change your opinion to mine because I would prefer it,” but rather: “You should correct your opinion because it is objectively incorrect.”

    This is mind-reading, assigning motivations and reasons to others. I’m not trying to get anyone to change their mind at all in my interactions here.

    My error does not arise from merely disagreeing with you, but as a result of my deviance from an objective standard of truth. Your argument that I should correct my false opinion rests on the objective value of truth – i.e. that truth is universally preferable to error, and that truth is universally objective.

    I don’t believe any of that. This is pure mind-reading.

  166. 166
    William J Murray says:

    Origenes,

    I think a lot of the confusion and conflict here arises from the two sides of the argument using the word “objective” in two entirely different ways in a lot of the discussion here. If you replace “objective knowledge” in those cases, such as the argument about whether or not you can have “objective knowledge” about the self-awareness of other people, with the term “well-warranted belief,” the conflict and confusion would clear itself up. Do I have well-warranted belief that other people are self aware? That depends on what you consider “well-warranted” to consist of.

    For KF and others, that is a well-warranted belief. In my own case, it is well-warranted in some cases, not so much in other cases where people act and argue like programmed automatons, because my “warrant” for such a view depends on how people behave.

  167. 167
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, one who is indifferent to rights is indifferent to justice, so also to truth (as untruth is the foundation of injustice . . . hence law on perjury and defamation, fraud etc). That speaks, tellingly and sadly. KF

    PS: Kindly note SM on universally prefer-ABLE which is a clumsy phrasing of oughtness. Which was duly noted from OP on. Let’s note again what you are objecting to:

    Given a known issue or two likely to come up as a premise of objections, let’s note from the next page:

    Since human beings cannot communicate psychically, all debates necessarily involve the evidence of the senses. Writing presupposes sight; talking requires hearing; Braille requires touch. Thus any proposition that depends upon the invalidity of the senses automatically self-destructs. [p. 34, thus, self-referential incoherence and grand delusion exhibit absurdities and found argument by reducing a key alternative to absurdity. Those who wish to deny that our senses can and often do credibly access a world independent of our individual perceptions, opinions etc, should take due note.]

    Next, the duty to truth appears:

    If you correct me on an error that I have made, you are implicitly accepting the fact that it would be better for me to correct my error. Your preference for me to correct my error is not subjective, but objective, and universal. You don’t say to me: “You should change your opinion to mine because I would prefer it,” but rather: “You should correct your opinion because it is objectively incorrect.” My error does not arise from merely disagreeing with you, but as a result of my deviance from an objective standard of truth. Your argument that I should correct my false opinion rests on the objective value of truth – i.e. that truth is universally preferable to error, and that truth is universally objective. [p. 35]

  168. 168
    Origenes says:

    StephenB @160

    True. but they do have access to the fact that you are self aware because the evidence for that fact comes from outside of them, that is, from you. In like fashion, you can know that they are self aware because the evidence for that fact comes from them. In other words, you can know that everyone, not just you, has the experience of self awareness. That is the subject (you) investigating the object (them). Thus, it is an objectively true statement that everyone experiences self awareness.

    The statement *I, Origenes, am self-aware* is undeniably true to me. That is, when I attempt to deny my self-awareness, I experience that I cannot coherently do that. “I am not self-aware” is a self-refuting statement, because self-awareness is presupposed when one makes statements about oneself. Similarly, I cannot coherently say “I doubt my existence”, because doubting my existence cannot be done if I do not exist.
    This ‘special effect’, if you will, this undeniability, makes “I, Origenes, am self-aware” & “I, Origenes, exist” self-evident truths to me. This is undeniable truth to me. These statements constitute higher knowledge to me. Not to others.
    You, StephenB, can say “Origenes is not self-aware” and “Origenes does not exist” and you won’t have the experience that you deny a self-evident truth. You don’t make self-refuting statements when you say those nasty things.
    Only I, Origenes, has access to the knowledge that “I, Origenes, am self-aware” & “I, Origenes, exist” as higher knowledge, that is, as undeniable truths.
    – – – – –
    What we have here is a subject investigating a subject. A subject making a claim about a subject. A claim only warranted by the subject himself. No one (and nothing) else but the subject has access to the entire process of deriving knowledge. Every step, every stage of the entire process to knowledge takes place in the internal realm of the subject. There is not a single object, and no external world whatsoever, anywhere involved or even in sight ….
    I would like to suggest not to call these truths “objective.”

  169. 169

    @KF Do you want to strike down the US libel law which requires that a distinction be made between matters of opinion and matters of fact?

    The factcheckers present the word “fact”, as it being an opinion. The US law does not really allow for that, because US law distinguishes opinion from fact.

    You same as these factcheckers, do not really make a distinction between opinion and fact. You are guilty same as they are guilty, only from a different angle.

    They say fact = opinion, you say opinion = fact.

    It is a distinction without a difference, they and you are both guilty.

    They say every statement including statements of fact, are really opinions.

    You say, every statement, including statements of opinion, are really objective statements, so statements of fact.

    You must investigate the logic used in common discourse with subjective statements and objective statements, and accept that logic.

    Every post you make of you fantasizing how subjectivity and objectivity works, is one outrage after another.

  170. 170
    William J Murray says:

    Let me go back once again to where KF makes his pitch about where “first duties” appear, and the conditions he outlines that lead to their epistemological appearance:

    Since human beings cannot communicate psychically, all debates necessarily involve the evidence of the senses. Writing presupposes sight; talking requires hearing; Braille requires touch. Thus any proposition that depends upon the invalidity of the senses automatically self-destructs. [p. 34, thus, self-referential incoherence and grand delusion exhibit absurdities and found argument by reducing a key alternative to absurdity. Those who wish to deny that our senses can and often do credibly access a world independent of our individual perceptions, opinions etc, should take due note.]

    Next, the duty to truth appears:

    If you correct me on an error that I have made, you are implicitly accepting the fact that it would be better for me to correct my error. Your preference for me to correct my error is not subjective, but objective, and universal. You don’t say to me: “You should change your opinion to mine because I would prefer it,” but rather: “You should correct your opinion because it is objectively incorrect.” My error does not arise from merely disagreeing with you, but as a result of my deviance from an objective standard of truth. Your argument that I should correct my false opinion rests on the objective value of truth – i.e. that truth is universally preferable to error, and that truth is universally objective.

    One part of KF’s argument is that this is an argument that does not depend on or assume any particular ontological commitments. IOW, one can reach knowledge of “first duties” without committing to any ontological presuppositions that would be necessary establish that “first duties” exist.

    Yet, in the quote, KF directly establishes and implies (due to larger versions of this part of his argument) the ontological commitments that precede the appearance in his argument of duties to truth. Duties to truth depend on those ontological commitments.

    His “first duties” require not only the ontology of a certain kind of world, but also that all of us are arguing and making decisions from belief in that kind of world. The world KF’s system of warrant/epistemology requires is a world chock full of facts that are universal among all observers absent any functional impairment, and a world where recognition and acceptance of those facts is “better” for all observer in some universal, factual way.

    Here’s the problem; KF interprets everything I say from his own ontological and epistemological commitments. Here’s an example: in his perspective, the necessary reason I make arguments here is because I think, on some level, that it would be “better” for KF (and others) to recognize the “factual truths” about what I’m making an argument about; IOW, that it would be “better” for KF to accept MRT or that “First Duties” cannot be shown to exist.

    But, what does the term “better” refer to? “Better” means something to KF that it does not mean to me. In my perspective, “better” always refers to enjoyment. Am I making my arguments, then, for the purpose of providing KF a more enjoyable life? Absolutely not; in fact, I think that if KF were to start adopting my perspective it would more likely make his life much less enjoyable, probably triggering a very unenjoyable existential crisis, which he certainly doesn’t need piled up on his current challenges.

    I make my arguments here because (1) I personally enjoy making these arguments, and (2) they often lead me to understand my own model and perspective better, meaning I figure things out in a way that is enjoyable on its own and leads to an even more enjoyable life.

    Are there universal facts we all have access to? Absolutely. Logic, math, etc., but these are inescapable rules of mind. The “world chock full of universal facts” that all functional senses reveal does not exist as such in my ontology. The term “better” innately refers to personal enjoyment under my ontology and epistemology. I’m a pragmatist whose sole goal is to enjoy his existence as much as possible.

    This is why KF is wrong when he makes statements about what my words and sentences and arguments imply, and I don’t say that because it would be “better” for KF to admit that. What is “better” for KF is something utterly beyond my capacity to begin to address.

    Would it even be “better” for me for KF to admit that? No, it would not, not as far as I can tell, because I enjoy engaging in this argument for my own reasons as I outlined. If KF were to agree with me, I’d probably switch my attention to someone who disagreed so I could continue to enjoy and derive personal benefit from my interactions here. I have a large number of people already in my life that agree with me; what enjoyments I get from that kind of conversation is covered.

    I don’t come here to get people to agree with me; I come here because people here disagree with me, and IMO it is highly unlikely that will change, and that’s wonderful.

  171. 171
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, one who is indifferent to rights is indifferent to justice, so also to truth (as untruth is the foundation of injustice . . . hence law on perjury and defamation, fraud etc). That speaks, tellingly and sadly.

    Only under your particular ontology/epistemology.

    I’m not “indifferent” to “truth.” Truth plays an important part of my life and thought process. I recognize inescapable truths about existence. I recognize the truths of logic, math and geometry, etc. I try to be as truthful as possible about my life and experiences, at least to myself, in order to better facilitate choices that lead to a more enjoyable life.

    I’ve found that the concepts of “rights” and “justice” only serve to make my life less enjoyable, so I’ve dispensed with those concepts.

  172. 172
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, the issues speak for themselves. KF

  173. 173
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, the issues speak for themselves. KF

    Those are only “Issues” in your (and in those like you) particular ontological/epistemological framework. They are not issues (in the sense of being problems) in mine.

    For example, the “issue” of delusion; that’s not an issue in my ontology and epistemology. Let’s say I’m delusional or that my perspective is self-referentially incoherent; so what? Whatever this is, I’m enjoying it immensely! Why should I care what “it” is, as long as I’m enjoying it?

  174. 174
    Origenes says:

    WJM @166

    I think a lot of the confusion and conflict here arises from the two sides of the argument using the word “objective” in two entirely different ways in a lot of the discussion here. If you replace “objective knowledge” in those cases, such as the argument about whether or not you can have “objective knowledge” about the self-awareness of other people, with the term “well-warranted belief,” the conflict and confusion would clear itself up.

    I have a concern about the usage of the term “objective” as synonymous to “truth.” This suggests a bias against the subject, as if “subjective” is wrong by definition. KF’s remarks about error-proness of the subject adds to my concern.
    My concern is also about authoritarianism (“I am objective and you are not”).
    I have no problem with calling a claim “objective” as meaning that there is warrant for that claim in the world around us—‘the world of objects.’ And it would be great if it is not implied that ‘warrant in the world around us’ means “truth.”
    That would be consistent with “subjective” meaning a claim for which there is no warrant in the world around us (claims such as “I, Origenes, am self-aware”), without the implication that it is not true.

    Do I have well-warranted belief that other people are self aware? That depends on what you consider “well-warranted” to consist of.
    For KF and others, that is a well-warranted belief. In my own case, it is well-warranted in some cases, not so much in other cases where people act and argue like programmed automatons, because my “warrant” for such a view depends on how people behave.

    I have come to seriously doubt the self-awareness of a lot of people. The idea that there may be a lot of automatons out there doesn’t seem so absurd to me these days.

  175. 175
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, no, I am saddened by seeing a pathology play out. KF

  176. 176
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, no, I am saddened by seeing a pathology play out. KF

    Why? What difference does it make if I have a psychological pathology or not?

  177. 177

    @WJM It matters very much for generally everyone to use the correct logic of objectivity, and the corrrect logic of subjectivity. It matters in a major way to people’s personal lives.

    Don’t go [SNIP] around with the basics, like 1 + 1 = 2, and the basic logic of subjectivity and objectivity. Find somewhere else to play games.

    An idea about “enjoyment”, it requires the correct logic of subjectivity, and also the correct logic of objectivity.

  178. 178
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, kindly refrain from obscenities, starting with the seven words classically barred from television. KF

  179. 179
    StephenB says:

    WJM:
    —“Such rights [natural] may or may not exist. It’s not my job go argue they do not; it is the job of those who claim they do exist to make their case.”

    I think you should explain your doubts about the timeless and self-evident moral truths that shape the entire jurisprudential process. Let’s just focus on one of my five examples about the importance of due process. Would you say to an innocent man on death row “I don’t really know if your accuser had a duty to tell the truth or not. I don’t find the process of defending innocent human life very “enjoyable,” so I just don’t worry about it all that much. Just because my position demonstrates a tacit approval of lawlessness doesn’t mean that I am arguing for lawlessness “per se.” Do you think that the condemned man would accept such a ridiculous answer? If not, why should we? It seems that you are always on offense and never on defense. Is it because you reject the basic principles of fairness that you ask others to justify their positions while you give yourself a pass?

  180. 180
    William J Murray says:

    SB @179:

    Would you say to an innocent man on death row …

    We’re all on death’s row whether our end, when we reach it, appears to be just or not.

    It seems that you are always on offense and never on defense. Is it because you reject the basic principles of fairness that you ask others to justify their positions while you give yourself a pass?

    You and others here have truths you feel compelled to defend. I do not. Perhaps that accounts for it.

  181. 181
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes:

    I have a concern about the usage of the term “objective” as synonymous to “truth.” This suggests a bias against the subject, as if “subjective” is wrong by definition. KF’s remarks about error-proness of the subject adds to my concern.
    My concern is also about authoritarianism (“I am objective and you are not”).

    This is of course well off on tangents from the OP. Nevertheless some comments may help:

    >>I have a concern about the usage of the term “objective” as synonymous to “truth.”>>

    1: Objectivity normally speaks to removal of biasing and distorting factors, fallacies, errors through a due warranting process that leads to reliable access to truth, it is not a synonym for truth.

    2: We need it because — facing massively evident humbling facts about ourselves — we are prone to error.

    >> This suggests a bias against the subject, as if “subjective” is wrong by definition.>>

    3: Strawman.

    4: The issue is that we, self aware, rational, responsible, significantly free creatures are error prone and therefore need means to achieve more or less credible, reliable access to truth. As well you know. Every normal seven year old understands this very well.

    5: A subject, having done due diligence can have warranted confidence that s/he has credible, reliable access to truth. Notice, in criminal court we set standard, proof beyond reasonable doubt. (As opposed to possible doubt.)

    6: Being a human subject is not in itself tantamount to being in the wrong or error but does imply proneness to error.

    7: Admitting that proneness is a basic test of intellectual integrity.

    >>KF’s remarks about error-proness of the subject adds to my concern.>>

    8: If you are concerned about a massively evident fact, your problems are not about objectivity but about being willing to acknowledge key though humbling facts of human existence. I suggest, remember those big red X’s from school days.

    >>My concern is also about authoritarianism (“I am objective and you are not”).>>

    9: Objectivity is not a synonym for authoritarianism, indeed, it is almost the opposite. As, one of the key points of an objective assessment is that no authority, expert, presenter, witness, advocate, judge etc is better than his/her facts, logic and underlying assumptions.

    10: I am objective on a given topic is open to examination as to due diligence on facts, logic, controlling assumptions, as is you are failing to be objective.

    11: In short, are we willing to be humble before facts, logic (so, right reason starting with distinct identity etc) and questions on assumptions?

    12: The all too commonly seen suggestion that objectivity is somehow a form of “intolerance” or “bias” or “prejudice” or tendency to be oppressive is wrong-headed.

    KF

  182. 182
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Further:

    I have no problem with calling a claim “objective” as meaning that there is warrant for that claim in the world around us—‘the world of objects.’ And it would be great if it is not implied that ‘warrant in the world around us’ means “truth.”
    That would be consistent with “subjective” meaning a claim for which there is no warrant in the world around us (claims such as “I, Origenes, am self-aware”), without the implication that it is not true.

    Strawman.

    Instantly, it has been argued and pointed out (for many years actually!) that the bare fact of self awarenes is a self-evident truth, even when the self aware individual is delusional about detailed circumstances.

    That self-evidence is a high degree of warrant and the bare fact of self awareness is objectively true.

    Next, it has been repeatedly highlighted that say mathematical objects, states of affairs, relationships etc are NOT in the world around us, they are inherently abstract. We cannot go to a museum in world no 563,987 and see on display there the actual unique, sole null set in all of reality. And yet many mathematical entities starting with N, Z, Q, R, C, R* are objectively the case or real as are ever so many mathematical relationships constituting a huge body of knowledge. It is warrant that is key.

    Subjectivity means what is in the inner life of the person and the concern is that there is error proneness.

    KF

  183. 183
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, we are all mortal, very different from being unjustly condemned and on death row. Maybe I need to discuss my justly condemned friend who was on death row in the holding cell with the gallows being set up and tested outside the window. KF

  184. 184
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, we are all mortal, very different from being unjustly condemned and on death row.

    Depends on how you look at it and what your premises are. Point being, a man on death row due to an “unjust” situation is just another guy to me, no different than anyone else.

  185. 185
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, that is not a matter of premises but of judicial circumstances. Your rhetorical reaction is telling us something, especially as it is meant to dismiss a question we can infer that you likely do not wish to answer on merits. The problem is real, examine Boethius’ consolation of philosophy. KF

  186. 186
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, that is not a matter of premises but of judicial circumstances.

    Every perspective depends on premises.

    Your rhetorical reaction is telling us something, especially as it is meant to dismiss a question we can infer that you likely do not wish to answer on merits. The problem is real, examine Boethius’ consolation of philosophy</

    What does SB mean when he asks me what I would tell that man in that circumstance? What would I tell him about what? About his circumstances? Does SB mean, what I would I tell that man from the perspective of MRT if he asks me why he is being executed for a crime he did not commit?

    Okay, I’ll answer that question, if that’s what SB is asking: “We all create our own lives. What you are experiencing is the result of choices you made before coming here about what you wanted to experience while here, combined with the ongoing structure of your subconscious programming.”

    But, that’s what I’d tell anyone in any given situation from the MRT perspective; it doesn’t make any difference if they’re about to be “wrongly” executed or not. Oh, and I might add in that particular instance, something like: “It’s okay, you’ll be fine once it’s done. You’ll feel like you’ve gone home and you’ll understand why you chose all this in the first place. All your loved ones will be there to greet you. You’ll love it.”

  187. 187
  188. 188
    StephenB says:

    WJM:
    —What does SB mean when he asks me what I would tell that man in that circumstance?
    What would I tell him about what? About his circumstances?””

    “What would you say about the lying witness that was responsible for his upcoming appointment with the electric chair? Would you tell the prisoner, as you tell us, that such a dishonest person has “no duty to truth” because there is no such thing as justice?

    “We all create our own lives. What you are experiencing [the condemned man] is the result of choices you made before coming here about what you wanted to experience while here, combined with the ongoing structure of your subconscious programming.”

    Are you saying that the condemned prisoner, for some unknown reason, “chose” the circumstances that produced the lying witness?

    —“But, that’s what I’d tell anyone in any given situation from the MRT perspective; it doesn’t make any difference if they’re about to be “wrongly” executed or not.”

    Would you say the same thing about the unearned execution of your married partner? Would you dismiss the lying witness’s duty to truth on the grounds that your loved one created her own reality? Would you take on the *unpleasant* and *unenjoyable* task of appealing the conviction? Or would you just say, “goodbye honey?”

    “Oh, and I might add in that particular instance, something like: “It’s okay, you’ll be fine once it’s done. You’ll feel like you’ve gone home and you’ll understand why you chose all this in the first place. All your loved ones will be there to greet you. You’ll love it.”

    Would that statement reflect your true beliefs, or would it be a lie calculated to appease the condemned prisoner? Or would there be some other motive?

  189. 189
    William J Murray says:

    SB asks:

    What would you say about the lying witness that was responsible for his upcoming appointment with the electric chair? Would you tell the prisoner, as you tell us, that such a dishonest person has “no duty to truth” because there is no such thing as justice?

    I’d tell him (from MRT perspective, if that’s what you’re asking) exactly what I said before.

    Are you saying that the condemned prisoner, for some unknown reason, “chose” the circumstances that produced the lying witness?

    Yes, from the MRT perspective. We’re all experiencing the effects of our own choices and subconscious beliefs.

    Would you say the same thing about the unearned execution of your married partner?

    I wouldn’t have to tell her that; she believes the same way I do.

    Or would you just say, “goodbye honey?”

    Why would I say “goodbye?” She would be dead, not suddenly non-existent. My wife died in early 2017; I didn’t say “goodbye” because she didn’t cease to exist nor did our relationship end there. We’re doing great now, so there’s no reason to say anything like “sorry for your loss” because I didn’t lose anything.

    Would that statement reflect your true beliefs, or would it be a lie calculated to appease the condemned prisoner?

    That’s what I believe would be the most likely experience that person would have after dying.

  190. 190
    vividbleau says:

    WJM
    “We all create our own lives. What you are experiencing [the condemned man] is the result of choices you made before coming here about what you wanted to experience while here, combined with the ongoing structure of your subconscious programming”

    In other words “blame the victim “ The millions lost in the holocaust? Hey to bad that’s your fault!! This philosophy is so sick that I gotta believe you are just being provocative.

    Vivid

  191. 191

    @KF
    To find out what objectivity “normally speaks to”, then you must investigate ordinary objective statements. A statement like, there lies a rock. As ordinary and simple objectivity as possible. And objectivity normally speaks to obtaining a 1 to 1 corresponding model of a creation, in the mind, forced by the evidence of the creation.

    That is the root use of objectivity. It’s got nothing particularly to do with errors, or removing bias, that is only coincedence.

    It is established beyond doubt that: (who has doubt still?)

    1. People in general reject subjectivity on the intellectual level, as do you. Especially atheists, materialists, are inclined to reject subjectivity. The inclination to throw out subjectivity, results from defining making a choice in terms of figuring out the best option, so that the subjective spirit is thrown out from the concept of making a choice.

    2. Materialism solely validates the concept of fact, it does not validate an opinion, like an opinion on beauty. The existence of material things is a matter of fact.

    3. Evolution theory encroaches on the proper domain of subjectivity, by claiming all subjective terminology for the theory, in regards to differential reproductive “success”. With that “success” as a reference, the entire life cycle of organisms is described, using all kinds of subjective terminiology. Which means that in natural selection the subjective words are re-assigned an objective meaning. Also Richard Dawkins theory on “selfish” genes, should be understood as claiming the otherwise subjective word “selfish”, and re-assigning an objective meaning to it.

    4. Subjectivity is defined by that an opinion is chosen, and an opinion expresses what it is that makes a choice. Which means there is a subjective part of reality, consisting of everything that is on the side of what makes a choice. As explained in the creationist conceptual scheme.
    1. Creator / chooses / spiritual / subjective / opinion
    2. Creation / chosen / material / objective / fact

    5. As evolution theory is held in opposition to creationism, and it is shown that subjectivity is an inherently creationist concept, therefore evolution theory undermines subjectivity again . (So evolution theory undermines subjectivity first by appropiating all subjective terminology for objective science, and then undermines subjectivity a second time by throwing out proper subjectivity of creationism)

    6 Both communism and nazism provide good evidence that socialists in general are materialist and fact obsessed. Nazism revolved around the supposedly objective, heritable racial character of people, racial science. Communism is obviously also heavily based on materialism, resulting in state atheism.
    Examples of either nazis or communism still accepting subjectivity, can be explained away by subjectivity being unavoidable in common discourse. Sure the nazis and communists did not completely annihilate the proper domain of subjectivity, but they went a very long way towards that goal.

    My theory makes perfect sense of it all. It stands to reason that throwing out subjectivity would lead to total catastrophy. The evidence supports that this is what happens, among especially, socialists, materialists, atheists, communists, nazis, evolution scientists.

    It can be assumed that this whole woke business is just another repeat of throwing out subjectivity, as shown by the association with socialism, and the high rate of mental illness that accompanies it.

    People learning the distinction between matters of opinion and matters of fact in school, is sure to clear up this whole mess, and get us all back to the dealing with normal and exciting sins like lust and greed.

  192. 192
    StephenB says:

    WJM “I’d tell him (from MRT perspective, if that’s what you’re asking) exactly what I said before”

    SB: You didn’t really answer the question, which was this: Would you tell the prisoner, as you tell us, that the lying witness has “no duty to truth” because there is no such thing as a standard of justice (and therefore no such thing as a moral obligation.

    SB: Are you saying that the condemned prisoner, for some unknown reason, “chose” the circumstances that produced the lying witness?

    WJM: “Yes, from the MRT perspective. We’re all experiencing the effects of our own choices and subconscious beliefs:

    Remarkable. If everyone believed the way you do, community life would be impossible. Still, you seem to think that you are being rational.

    WJM: “Why would I say goodbye.”

    Again, you are not addressing the question. Would you put aside, at least temporarily, your desire for enjoyment and take up the potentially unenjoyable task of challenging a verdict based on a known lie by appealing to a higher court with a chance of saving your wife’s earthly life.

  193. 193
    ram says:

    SB: Are you saying that the condemned prisoner, for some unknown reason, “chose” the circumstances that produced the lying witness?

    And SB is starting to catch on.

    SB, you can keep on asking WJM questions until the cows come home, but your questions are within the framework of your personal views. WJM has clearly provided his views. What do you hope to gain by continuing to ask WJM questions that assume your views?

    If everyone believed the way you do, community life would be impossible.

    Maybe. Maybe not. Whatever the case, that’s your opinion based on your ontological assumptions and values.

    Still, you seem to think that you are being rational.

    He’s just as rational as you. He has premises and reasons from them using the same logic you reason from your premises. You seem to be working under the delusion that you can change WJM’s premises with you argumentation. Well, that is just plain irrational. But it is fun to watch. 😀

    (I don’t necessarily share any or all of WJM’s premises, or anyone else’s around here.)

    –Ram

  194. 194
    vividbleau says:

    RAM
    “Maybe. Maybe not”

    No maybe about it, SB is correct. Worldviews have consequences.

    Based on WJM’s worldview there are no victims. Those that were put in the ovens are not victims they chose to go into those ovens.

    Vivid

  195. 195
    ram says:

    Vividbleau: No maybe about it, SB is correct. Worldviews have consequences.

    I don’t know and neither do you. You’ll have to ask WJM instead of reading his mind. If the world was full of people like WJM, they might concoct a much more enjoyable society together than the one that exists now. Even if they didn’t, so what? In his worldview it ultimately doesn’t matter apparently. It only matters in yours. But WJM can answer for himself.

    –Ram

  196. 196
    vividbleau says:

    RAM
    “I don’t know and neither do you”

    Yes I do.

    “. If the world was full of people like WJM, they might concoct a much more enjoyable society together than the one that exists now”

    How silly, do you even think before you post?
    According to WJM this IS the world that exists now LOL

    Vivid

  197. 197
    vividbleau says:

    RAM
    ““. If the world was full of people like WJM,”

    You mean if more people thought like WJM that the holocaust victims brought all the atrocities on themselves and they themselves are to blame?

    Vi vid

  198. 198
    Origenes says:

    WJM @
    Is there a meaning to life other than enjoyment under your MRT? And if it is all about enjoyment can you explain why a person would choose to experience the holocaust?

  199. 199
    William J Murray says:

    SB said:

    vSB: You didn’t really answer the question, which was this: Would you tell the prisoner, as you tell us, that the lying witness has “no duty to truth” because there is no such thing as a standard of justice (and therefore no such thing as a moral obligation.

    Apparently you want me to respond from a non-MRT perspective, so from a non-MRT perspective, no, I would not say that, because the duty to truth and standards of justice in question are instantiated in written statutes.

    Would you put aside, at least temporarily, your desire for enjoyment and take up the potentially unenjoyable task of challenging a verdict based on a known lie by appealing to a higher court with a chance of saving your wife’s earthly life.

    I’d do whatever made my wife happy, because her happiness is my greatest enjoyment.

  200. 200
    William J Murray says:

    Origenes:

    Is there a meaning to life other than enjoyment under your MRT?

    Whatever one finds meaningful is a meaning of life.

    And if it is all about enjoyment can you explain why a person would choose to experience the holocaust?

    All meaning is derived from comparative experiences; the greater the suffering, the greater the depth, meaning and value of our enjoyments.

  201. 201
    StephenB says:

    SB: You didn’t really answer the question, which was this: Would you tell the prisoner, as you tell us, that the lying witness has “no duty to truth” because there is no such thing as a standard of justice (and therefore no such thing as a moral obligation.

    “WJM: Apparently you want me to respond from a non-MRT perspective, so from a non-MRT perspective, no, I would not say that, because the duty to truth and standards of justice in question are instantiated in written statutes.”

    No, I want you to respond from your perspective, which I understand to be the MRT perspective. If you also have a different perspective that you sometimes operate from, it would help me to know that, What would be the point of responding to my question from a perspective that you do not have or from one that is likely to change at any given moment? Your comment here is totally baffling.

    From an MRT perspective, which I gather is your perspective, there is no such thing as a standard of justice and, therefore, no such thing as a moral obligation to tell the truth. The question, then, is not about the legal obligation to tell the truth (written in the civil law) but about the moral obligation to tell the truth (written in the natural moral law which you disavow). Please note the last two words in my question, which read “moral obligation.,”

    So here we go again. Would you tell the prisoner that the lying witness that sent him to the electric chair in spite of his innocence the same thing that you tell us – a lying witness is not morally bound to tell the truth?

  202. 202
    Origenes says:

    StephenB @
    Is this really about duty to truth, I wonder. Suppose an innocent prisoner, and a lying witness who by her false testimony (“the prisoner was with me at the time of the murder”) saves the innocent prisoner from the electric chair. And suppose further that without her false testimony the innocent prisoner would be executed.
    Would you bring up ‘duty to truth’? Would you prevent her from testifying (because duty to truth) if that is within your power?

  203. 203
    William J Murray says:

    SB said:

    No, I want you to respond from your perspective, which I understand to be the MRT perspective. If you also have a different perspective that you sometimes operate from, it would help me to know that, What would be the point of responding to my question from a perspective that you do not have or from one that is likely to change at any given moment? Your comment here is totally baffling.

    I have multiple perspectives running at the same time in my head. It depends on the context of the situation wrt which one I respond from.

    From an MRT perspective, which I gather is your perspective, there is no such thing as a standard of justice and, therefore, no such thing as a moral obligation to tell the truth.

    If by that you mean universal throughout everything that possibly exists and applies the same to all sentient beings everywhere regardless of what they personally believe, correct.

    So here we go again. Would you tell the prisoner that the lying witness that sent him to the electric chair in spite of his innocence the same thing that you tell us – a lying witness is not morally bound to tell the truth?

    Yes.

  204. 204
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes, a distraction, and a suggestion likely to both fail and compound the feeling, guilty — an exposed false alibi is very incriminating. Deal with the direct case which has clear historical cases behind it, as linked, Boethius is one. KF

  205. 205
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, sadly, the pathology further unfolds. KF

  206. 206
    William J Murray says:

    Vividbleaui said:

    In other words “blame the victim “ The millions lost in the holocaust? Hey to bad that’s your fault!! This philosophy is so sick that I gotta believe you are just being provocative.

    That’s one way of looking at it. It all depends on your perspective.

    Here’s how I look at it:
    We (generally speaking) come here from a very wonderful, comfortable and enjoyable world we call “the afterlife.” Existence in the afterlife is like being born into immense wealth and never knowing anything else; you have no real comparative experience that can provide any significant sense of appreciation for what has been the ubiquitous nature of your existence. Like a person born into great wealth, they don’t understand the value of their situation.

    What this world offers is the opportunity to experience the lack of that which we take for granted in the afterlife. Here we have the deeply contrasting experiences of pain, suffering, loneliness, and mortality. You cannot appreciate nor experience the full value of what you have until you lose it and experience its lack.

    And so, generally speaking, many people come here expressly to experience these kinds of things. The greater the depth of suffering one endures, the greater the inverse proportional experience of enjoyment and appreciation and relief. IMO, those that endure such great suffering here are amazingly courageous and heroic to choose such conditions here to endure.

    What my philosophy does is not “blame” them or consider them helpless victims, but respect them, salute them, and empowers them as the deliberate and heroic architects of their own experiences, experiences I doubt I could ever choose to go through myself.

    Now, on the Christian side of things, God creates people into this life without their consent already knowing they will end up in hell, and then God blames that person for their fate. Talk about victim-blaming!!!

    Christians blame people that end up suffering in hell because it was their own free will choices that led them there. And yet, I say that people suffer because of their own free will choices, and you call that philosophy sick? At least in my philosophy, all suffering is temporary.

  207. 207
    Origenes says:

    KF @

    a distraction, and a suggestion likely to both fail and compound the feeling, guilty — an exposed false alibi is very incriminating.

    A childish response, expressing an inability to accept reasonable suppositions, because they don’t fit your preferred narrative.

  208. 208
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, sadly, the pathology further unfolds. KF

    Says the guy who has made 48 posts about, essentially, the exact same thing.

  209. 209
    Origenes says:

    WJM@

    At least in my philosophy, all suffering is temporary.

    And, importantly, it serves a purpose:

    The greater the depth of suffering one endures, the greater the inverse proportional experience of enjoyment and appreciation and relief.

    A very appealing concept, as opposed to eternal torment leading to …. eternal torment.

  210. 210
    William J Murray says:

    An tidbit of information I find very interesting is that there’s actually a Christian theologian who lived about 350 years ago that agrees with me about the nature of the afterlife: Emanuel Swedenborg.

  211. 211
    Joe Schooner says:

    WJM, sadly, the pathology further unfolds. KF

    Attacking the person rather than the logic of the arguments being made is a telling sign.

  212. 212
    William J Murray says:

    If we’re talking about “sick” philosophies, generally in Christianity we find the perspective that God deliberately puts souls in the bodies of children knowing full well that child is going to be horrifically abused. Also, God does the same thing for those who will end up in eternal torment; God knows full well that is their eventual outcome, but does it anyway. That supposed God does not ask us if we wish to be created into that circumstance; that God just forces us into it knowing our eventual fate.

    In my philosophy, it is the individual that makes that choice knowing full well why they are doing so and it is for gaining the outcome they desire. They are not forced into it.

    In that general Christian outlook, that is a supposedly “loving” and “good” God. I’ll let the reader decide which version better deserves the label of “sick.”

  213. 213
    kairosfocus says:

    JS, the case has long since been made, I do not wish to elaborate further in painful detail on the import of the statements being made. Ponder the import of suggesting that with an innocent man under sentence of death there is no duty to justice to tell the truth; untruth being the foundation of injustice. (Do I need to underscore that I bear the name of a man judicially murdered through false accusations, now a national hero of my native land?) Your attempt to accuse me of a groundless ad hominem clearly and tellingly fails, and also yet again illustrates how to gain rhetorical leverage you cannot but appeal to our implicit recognition of first duties of reason. Please, reconsider. KF

  214. 214
    Joe Schooner says:

    JS, the case has long since been made,…

    A poorly made case is not something to be proud of.

    Ponder the import of suggesting that with an innocent man under sentence of death there is no duty to justice to tell the truth;

    Sure there is. A duty that is documented in man-made laws.

    Do I need to underscore that I bear the name of a man judicially murdered through false accusations, now a national hero of my native land?

    Your ancestry has no bearing on this discussion.

    Your attempt to accuse me of a groundless ad hominem clearly and tellingly fails,…

    Sorry, but repeatedly claiming that someone has an underlying pathology that accounts for his views is a text book example of an ad hominem.

    and also yet again illustrates how to gain rhetorical leverage you cannot but appeal to our implicit recognition of first duties of reason.

    Once again with the circular argument based on an unwarranted premise. Nobody is arguing that your “first duties” are not valuable behaviors for those who want to thrive in a gregarious society. But that says nothing about the origin of these behaviors.

  215. 215
    Joe Schooner says:

    PS, each of these “first duties” can be derived at through the human ability to think logically and, fairly accurately, predict the long term consequences of our actions. For each of your sacred “first duties” each human will follow them on some occasions and not on others. That hardly qualifies as an inescapable duty.

  216. 216
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, further cross-complaining on yet more tangents that eventually would drag in the whole world of philosophy and much else, meanwhile the direct matter in the OP would cut away the inter-tangled kusha thickets and thorns at one stroke. Notice, to gain rhetorical leverage you again appeal to our recognition of first duties, per the force of your words. You have also been here many times where the problem of evils arguments have been shown to have been outdated 50+ years ago, once Plantinga drew up the free will defence and associated arguments. Frankly, apart from clearly intended rhetorical effect of emotive manipulation, that smacks of exploiting the lack of awareness on the part of many, on the actual balance on merits. A world in which genuine virtue starting with love is possible is a world with moral freedom, and transworld depravity is also possible. Under these circumstances the clarified theistic set augmented by God has a very good reason to create a world in which freedom is actual, is strictly coherent and going beyond redemption restores the existential balance of evils. Further to such, it is the same radical freedom that enables us to be rational, responsible, able to follow the force of merits and draw responsible conclusions that are warranted; blind chance and/or mechanical necessity or other forms of dynamic-stochastic process — including the “algorithms” you suggested, discussed here — are inherently sub rational processes that fail to achieve free, responsible ground-consequent or abductive inference to best explanation reasoning. The very cognitive faculty you use to compose objections like this testifies against such arguments: we sit in God’s lap even when we try to slap his face. Meanwhile, you are still on the problem that there is no duty to justice of telling truth to exculpate an innocent man falsely condemned to death. Such speak, sadly. KF

  217. 217
    kairosfocus says:

    JS, actually, the first duties are antecedent to both proofs and objections. As has been pointed out several times in your presence, Epictetus long since drew out the force of branch on which we all sit first principles, speaking to right reason:

    DISCOURSES
    CHAPTER XXV

    How is logic necessary?

    When someone in [Epictetus’] audience said, Convince me that logic is necessary, he answered: Do you wish me to demonstrate this to you?—Yes.—Well, then, must I use a demonstrative argument?—And when the questioner had agreed to that, Epictetus asked him. How, then, will you know if I impose upon you?—As the man had no answer to give, Epictetus said: Do you see how you yourself admit that all this instruction is necessary, if, without it, you cannot so much as know whether it is necessary or not? [Notice, inescapable, thus self evidently true and antecedent to the inferential reasoning that provides deductive proofs and frameworks, including axiomatic systems and propositional calculus etc. Cf J. C. Wright]

    Here, the challenge is made from the audience, appealing to duty to right reason applied to its own first principles. Don’t laugh, the self-reference issue is what brought down logical positivism some 60 years ago. (In that case, the verification principle was self-referentially incoherent.)

    Epictetus simply drew out the first principle, branch on which we all sit, inescapable character. This is inescapable so inescapably true, self evident. Start-point for reasoning, the attempt to object or to prove alike are already using these at the outset. Of course, that is then projected to the other as a poorly made case. Meanwhile a far more capable new atheist thinker manages to stumble upon the same first duties and commits himself at book length.

    Which, seems to be part of what escapes some objectors 1900 years later.

    KF

    PS: We are seeing the same sad pathology. I should note that Nazi defenders at Nuremberg objected they were following orders of an established government. The Nuremberg Tribunal retorted in effect, you didn’t need a parliament’s Act to tell you murder is a crime most foul. The same obtains for Judicial Murder (whether hypothetical or real with Boethius or my Grandmother’s great uncle), and it obtains for duty of justice to testify the truth that would set an innocent man free. Failure to recognise that built in duty, is not a sign of superior intellect but instead is the hyperskepticism that tells us a lot about how far wrong our current age is.

  218. 218
    William J Murray says:

    On my end, the hypothetical SB brings up about me having a conversation with someone wrongly awaiting execution because someone lied under oath is very strange.

    SB ask if I would tell him that the person lying had no moral duty to tell the truth. Let’s look at the other side of that; suppose I told that guy that yes, the lying person had a moral duty to tell the truth and he violated that duty and so his upcoming execution will be an injustice.

    What is the purpose of saying that to the guy? is it going to make him feel better about what is going to happen? What purpose does it serve; it’s not going to change anything. It has no practical benefit that I can see for him or for me.

    If I assume as role as MRT counselor, combined with my own dedication to my personal enjoyment, what would I enjoy telling this person in line with my MRT philosophy? Since I enjoy it when others express happiness, comfort and peace, and I would enjoy in that situation offering a path to a sense of peace for the man, given arguendo that my words would have some effect on him, why would I say something that is just going make him less at peace? Am I to enflame his outrage at what has happened to him? Why would I do that?

    Instead, I’d give him MRT perspective and methods to perhaps help him set aside his outrage and fear and alleviate his suffering in the situation he finds himself in. Perhaps like this:

    “You’re an eternal being. You have nothing to fear or worry about. You chose to come here and go through this situation for reasons that were very important and useful to you. There is no reason to hold anger or outrage in your heart at this situation; it will all be clear to you when you return home, and you will realize it was worth it. Other people here, including the lying witness, played their role in this experience for the benefit of you having the experience you chose to have. We all play these roles in each other’s life here.

    “So, forgive them, and turn your heart and mind to love and the joy of that which awaits you, find peace and comfort that you are returning home and you have accomplished what you set out to do here and it will be of great value to you in your eternal life going forward.”

  219. 219
    Joe Schooner says:

    All this demonstrates is that humans have the ability to use logic and reason. That is self-evident. But it is a huge and unwarranted leap of faith to conclude an inescapable objective duty from a human capability.

  220. 220
    StephenB says:

    Origenes:

    —“Is this really about duty to truth, I wonder.”

    It’s about any self-evident principle, including the duty to truth. Another self-evident principle is that justice is a good thing and injustice is a bad thing. Rational people are supposed to know these things. Truth serves the cause of justice. If justice didn’t matter, then truth wouldn’t matter.

    —“Suppose an innocent prisoner, and a lying witness who by her false testimony (“the prisoner was with me at the time of the murder”) saves the innocent prisoner from the electric chair. And suppose further that without her false testimony the innocent prisoner would be executed.
    Would you bring up ‘duty to truth’?

    The duty to truth remains. In a courtroom situation, there is no guarantee that justice will always prevail, but justice should be the goal. This is related to another relevant principle: The end does not justify the means. If truth is sought, the probability of justice in increased. In this context, we are dealing with probabilities, not certainties.

    —“Would you prevent her from testifying (because duty to truth) if that is within your power?”

    No. I would not interfere with the process, which was designed to produce a fair result insofar as it is possible. In a fallen world, justice does not always prevail.

  221. 221
    ram says:

    SB: justice is a good thing and injustice is a bad thing.

    An example of a premise (reglious faith) not a self-evident truth.

    –Ram

  222. 222

    @Ram There is free speech, so in that sense everyone is entitled to their onthological assumptions, including WJM.

    But the rule should be that we accept the logic used in common discourse, define words according to the logic used in common discourse, and explain any difference from common discourse logic.

    The word subjectivity should be defined according to the rules used in subjective statements in ordinary common discourse, for instance the underlying rules in a statement that something is beautiful.

    WJM doesn’t try to define the word subjectivity according to the logic used in common discourse, WJM just fantasizes a definition. That is a sort of corruption of terminology, because in daily life WJM still uses common discourse logic, besides his MRT logic. Which means WJM uses 2 different definitions for the word subjectivity, which is duplicity. Ofcourse sometimes a word can have several meanings, and there would be no problem with that, but in this case WJM asserts 2 competing definitions, and that is basically speaking with a forked tongue.

    KF on the other hand has appealed to the common discourse definition, in defining words, but he is wrong about the common discourse definition, and hasn’t seriously investigated what the common discourse definition is. So that is halfhearted following the rules

  223. 223
    William J Murray says:

    MNY said:

    WJM doesn’t try to define the word subjectivity according to the logic used in common discourse, WJM just fantasizes a definition.

    Where have I done this? Can you give me an example of where I’ve used the word “subjective” or “subjectivity” with regard to your complaint here about how I use the term?

  224. 224
    kairosfocus says:

    Ram, do you see the absurdity in your objection, or do you need to feel the lash of overwhelming injustice? (Some seem to assume that the stabilised constitutional democracy, with all its flaws, that they enjoy benefits of can be taken for granted. The reality is, that lawless oligarchy at the hands of in significant part sociopathic elites, is the real norm across history. We are tending to slide back there. ) KF

  225. 225
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: The effect of this thread is to show, not that truth, right reason, justice etc fail to be first duties but that we can ever so readily cling to absurdities, especially where we enjoy the relative safety and protection built up through innovations of government that turned on the self evident built in principles of natural law and linked Gospel ethics, yes linked as in part there is endorsement in Rom 2 and 13. Let us hope we and our descendants will not have to find a way to break out of lawless oligarchy again. We sure are opening the door to it. KF

  226. 226
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, for record. The credible bias- independence of objective truth is a result reached through warrant that uses first principles of right reason in determined pursuit of duty to truth. That’s been explained already without serious recognition. I just note for record at this point. KF

  227. 227

    @WJM We’ve discussed this long ago, and generally you appeal to your interpretation of quantum mechanics for your definition of subjectivity, you don’t appeal to the logic used in common discourse.

  228. 228
    kairosfocus says:

    JS,

    kindly note SM’s key argument with due allowance for clumsy wording on universally prefer-ABLE (thus objective via universality) choices:

    Given a known issue or two likely to come up as a premise of objections, let’s note from the next page:

    Since human beings cannot communicate psychically, all debates necessarily involve the evidence of the senses. Writing presupposes sight; talking requires hearing; Braille requires touch. Thus any proposition that depends upon the invalidity of the senses automatically self-destructs. [p. 34, thus, self-referential incoherence and grand delusion exhibit absurdities and found argument by reducing a key alternative to absurdity. Those who wish to deny that our senses can and often do credibly access a world independent of our individual perceptions, opinions etc, should take due note.]

    Next, the duty to truth appears:

    If you correct me on an error that I have made, you are implicitly accepting the fact that it would be better for me to correct my error. Your preference for me to correct my error is not subjective, but objective, and universal. You don’t say to me: “You should change your opinion to mine because I would prefer it,” but rather: “You should correct your opinion because it is objectively incorrect.” My error does not arise from merely disagreeing with you, but as a result of my deviance from an objective standard of truth. Your argument that I should correct my false opinion rests on the objective value of truth – i.e. that truth is universally preferable to error, and that truth is universally objective. [p. 35]

    Of course, real choice points to responsible rational freedom, for which the first duties are key principles.

    Here is my own comment in response, as clipped from OP:

    We cannot but be absurd if we are found sawing off the branch on which we must all sit just to argue. From duties to truth we readily find a duty to right reason as the means to truth and a recognition that our rational, cognitive faculties have a naturally evident baked in end, to move toward truth, accurate description of reality. This leads to the duty to warrant claims of known truth, i.e. to see to it that they are well founded as reliable and credibly true as we need to rely on them. Here, this is clearly part of wider duty to prudence. Then, we recognise conscience and duty to sound conscience rightly guided as described. onward, we observe neighbours who are as we are and so the mutual duties of fairness, justice etc. All of which can be drawn out in detail. In short, we may list, Ciceronian first duties,

    1: to truth,
    2: to right reason,
    3: to warrant and wider prudence,
    4: to sound conscience,
    5: to neighbour,
    6: so too to fairness, and
    7: to justice,
    . . . ,
    x: etc.

    As we have seen play out above, those who deride or dismiss gradually show the sort of nightmare world their proposed alternatives lead to.

    KF

  229. 229
    William J Murray says:

    MNY,

    I’ll take that to mean that you cannot or will not provide me the example I asked for.

  230. 230

    @KF You appealed to what objectivity “normally speaks to”, but your logic of objectivity is not the same as the logic used in ordinary objective statements, like for instance, a rock lies on the ground. So basically you pretend to follow the logic used in common discourse, but you don’t actually do that.

  231. 231

    @WJM In debate I’m generally always focused on critical understanding of subjectivity as it is in common discourse, so I am pretty sure I fairly portrayed your position on it.

  232. 232
    William J Murray says:

    MNY said:

    WJM In debate I’m generally always focused on critical understanding of subjectivity as it is in common discourse, so I am pretty sure I fairly portrayed your position on it.

    As far as I remember, I haven’t expressed “my position” on subjectivity. What I’ve done is try to respond to how other people have used the word. I try to avoid use of the terms “subjective” and “objective” in my explanations of MRT because those words are used to mean different things by different people here – which you often point out and I agree with.

    Which is why I asked you for an example of when I used either of those terms so I could see in what context I may have used them.

  233. 233
    Origenes says:

    StephenB

    Truth serves the cause of justice. If justice didn’t matter, then truth wouldn’t matter.

    You are not saying that serving justice is truth’s single function. Right? To me it isn’t clear that the only function of 2 + 2 = 4, A = A, I exist and so on, is serving justice.

    O: Suppose an innocent prisoner, and a lying witness who by her false testimony (“the prisoner was with me at the time of the murder”) saves the innocent prisoner from the electric chair. And suppose further that without her false testimony the innocent prisoner would be executed.
    Would you bring up ‘duty to truth’?

    The duty to truth remains. In a courtroom situation, there is no guarantee that justice will always prevail, but justice should be the goal.

    In my example false testimony serves justice. It saves an innocent prisoner from execution.

    This is related to another relevant principle: The end does not justify the means.

    So, in your opinion, the lawyer of the innocent prisoner should not allow the lying witness to take the stand. Even though her false testimony would serve justice & save the life of his innocent client? Even though that, without her false testimony, the innocent prisoner would be executed? The lawyer should inform the innocent prisoner that the end does not justify the means.

  234. 234
    Joe Schooner says:

    MNY, for record. The credible bias- independence of objective truth is a result reached through warrant that uses first principles of right reason in determined pursuit of duty to truth.

    Translation: the claims I make about objective truth are warranted, beyond reasonable doubt, because they are the result of things I claim to be objectively true. The wheels on the bus go round and round.

  235. 235

    @WJM I don’t agree you are allowed to go politicking around the definition of subjectivity and objectivity.

    Regardless of not having figured out the perfect philosophy yet, you are already embarked in life, and you use common discourse in daily life. You make all kinds of statements in daily life, and what you say is supposed to mean something. You certainly do use subjective statements in daily life, like saying something is beautiful, and you use some underlying logic with those statements. That logic is the actual practical definition of subjectivity that you use.

  236. 236
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes, actually in realistic courts, a false alibi is likely to fail and in failing will be extremely incriminating. As was already noted. This is a tangent on a tangent on a tangent. The primary point is, despite attempted contradiction between values (so beloved of those who pushed “values clarification” [which, clue per sales talk names invented to promote things, isn’t]) it remains that untruth is the foundation of injustice and that we see how those who have objected to first duties above, are now found unable to forthrightly address injustice. KF

  237. 237
    kairosfocus says:

    JS, you are taking on the guise of a word twister, erecting strawman caricatures the better to divert attention and create a false impression of success on merits. I observed that “[t]he credible bias- independence of objective truth is a result reached through warrant that uses first principles of right reason in determined pursuit of duty to truth.” First principles of reason are not plasticene to twist as we wish, they start with distinct identity, move on to its close corollaries non contradiction and excluded middle, lead into structures of argument and degree of warrant conferred by deductive, inductive and especially abductive reasoning with a side helping of addressing fallacies etc, so that we can see how bias is squeezed out and how errors are filtered out, leading to reliable conclusions. Where, issues on evaluating quality of evidence are also relevant. These are well known well studied disciplines that for instance are in standard general course College instruction, so you cannot but know this; so your attempt to suggest my imposition is dishonest strawman caricature in evasion of a matter you cannot face on the merits. Untruth, in service to unfairness and undermining of intellectual integrity, all of which is anti-civilisational. The pathology, bit by bit, emerges into clear view. KF

    PS: Here is a standard first reference, now in 15th Edn since 1953: https://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Logic-Irving-M-Copi/dp/1138500860

  238. 238
    Origenes says:

    KF@

    Origenes, actually in realistic courts, a false alibi is likely to fail and in failing will be extremely incriminating. As was already noted.

    It is also already noted that you have an inability to accept reasonable suppositions, when they don’t support your preferred narrative.

  239. 239
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY,

    as you know, quality dictionaries summarise how terms are used, by responsible speakers of our language. Here, I use one of the “sleepers,” Collins:

    SUBJECTIVE: subjective (s?b?d??kt?v)
    adj
    1. belonging to, proceeding from, or relating to the mind of the thinking subject and not the nature of the object being considered
    2. of, relating to, or emanating from a person’s emotions, prejudices, etc: subjective views.

    OBJECTIVE: objective (?b?d??kt?v)
    adj
    1. (Philosophy) existing independently of perception or an individual’s conceptions: are there objective moral values?. [AmHD helps: 1. a. Existing independent of or external to the mind;]
    2. undistorted by emotion or personal bias
    3. of or relating to actual and external phenomena as opposed to thoughts, feelings, etc.

    The issue begs to be considered, why the concern of something that is a product or manifestation of an individual’s mind but not that of the entity or state of affairs etc being considered. The answer comes back, our error-proneness and tendency to bias. So, there is a place for disciplines of right reason that help us address these limitations.

    I note, too that mathematical entities, relationships etc are not empirical, tangible things, which can be put on display somewhere, e.g. there is nowhere in reality a museum with the only unique null set on display . . . and yes, strictly there is just the one, we refer to it. So, the issue of objective entities as credibly independent of our particular minds. . . though, perhaps being contemplated by them, symbolised in language and communicated to others, e.g. as the overall body of knowledge termed Mathematics . . . is vital. That independence is tested and developed through warrant based on right reason.

    Such has been pointed out in your presence many times, but that has seemed to have had little or no effect.

    This is therefore a statement for record.

    KF

  240. 240
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes, no, I am pointing out that your suggestion is a poor example, one that a sensible lawyer will advise a client to run away from. It fails in the starting gates. It is also distractive from the issue on the table, that injustice is built up from untruth. The attempted cross complaint distracts from rather than addresses the issue. There is a reason why especially on the death penalty, modern courts have multiple tiers of appeals. The issue of judicial murder with act of a malicious false witness is longstanding, and it is noteworthy that in the Hebraic system, such a witness faces the penalty he would have imposed by falsity. Underneath, it remains clear that we have duties to justice and such a false witness as SB indicated is a case of massive failure to address such duties. The notion that somehow, we can concoct a narrative of a false witness to rescue one facing such judicial murder is simply trying to fight evil with foolish evil, and as I noted, would predictably fail. The implied court in SB’s example, would if anything redouble the force of its decision. KF

  241. 241
    Origenes says:

    KF@ Origenes, no, I am pointing out that your suggestion is a poor example, one that a sensible lawyer will advise a client to run away from. It fails in the starting gates.

    A cursory thinking informs us that we cannot know the succes rate of false testimony, yet here you are claiming to know it all.

  242. 242
    StephenB says:

    Origenes:

    –“You are not saying that serving justice is truth’s single function. Right? To me it isn’t clear that the only function of 2 + 2 = 4, A = A, I exist and so on, is serving justice.”

    That’s right. I didn’t mean to suggest that every abstract truth *directly* serves the cause of justice. I meant that, in the context of our discussion, truthful testimony in a court of law will increase the chances for a fair outcome. In that sense, truth (usually) serves the cause of justice.

    —“In my example false testimony serves justice. It saves an innocent prisoner from execution.”

    Yes, the outcome would be just, but the process would be unjust. It is important to preserve the integrity of the process for the sake of justice in the long run.

    —“So, in your opinion, the lawyer of the innocent prisoner should not allow the lying witness to take the stand. Even though her false testimony would serve justice & save the life of his innocent client?

    A lawyer who knows that his witness is going to lie about facts in evidence may not put that person on the witness stand since he would be participating in the lie. If he doesn’t know that his witness is a liar, then there is no reason not to allow it.

    —“The lawyer should inform the innocent prisoner that the end does not justify the means.”

    The lawyer should inform the innocent person that he will not risk being disbarred for participating in a known lie. If he is going to do that, he might as well hire someone off the street to provide a false alibi. That way he can concoct the best story possible.

  243. 243
    StephenB says:

    SB: justice is a good thing and injustice is a bad thing.

    Ram @221 — “An example of a premise (reglious faith) not a self-evident truth.”

    No. *By definition* the Natural Moral Law is apprehended by using reason and perceiving self evident truths. Aristotle made this point hundreds of years before Christianity came to exist. The NML It is religion neutral. That is why they call it “natural” as opposed to “revelatory.”

  244. 244
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes, lawyers FYI are bound ethically as officers of the Courts, and that includes use of TRUE evidence. Unless deliberately false evidence is somehow backed by powerful forces, it is very likely to be exposed, sufficiently so that the risk and consequences are not worth the attempt as a matter of prudence; observe the recent trial in Kenosha to contrast what was widely promoted with what came out in the court room. And you know this, rhetorical games about success rates of false evidence — see the tangent on a tangent — notwithstanding. The inference remains, despite a rather negative reaction to first duties of reason they stand and the twists and turns of pathologies that reject them are emerging bit by bit. KF

  245. 245
    William J Murray says:

    MNY @235: Yes, in normal discourse, I’m sure I imply subjectivity and objectivity, even if I don’t use those specific words as qualifiers, much the same way you and most people do.

    However, I don’t enjoy spending my time trying to police commenters into using their words a certain way; I try to understand what they mean when they say it, and how they are utilizing that meaning in what they are trying to argue.

    KF, for example, has told us explicitly what he means by “objective knowledge,” he means a well-warranted ( at least according to his epistmology/ontology) belief.

    What I still don’t understand, though, is what he means by “first duty.” I think you and I might agree that KF is referring to a subjective sense of duty, something you feel internally, like an emotion, which he refers (I think) to as “conscience.” I think you and I agree that the problem here is that, for KF, it’s not enough that one has an internal sense of duty or moral conscious because that doesn’t make it “real” enough, or as universally binding as things that enjoy status as objectively existing.

    I would guess that this is because this lets sociopaths off the hook for behaving immorally since they have no conscience. He apparently needs moral law to be more than “just” subjectively real; he needs it to be objectively real. So he applies the “warrant” definition of “objective” to lay claim to “objective” knowledge that moral duties exist.

    I think his reasoning and his definitions seem very tortured to you, me, Origenes and others, but my point here is that I was trying to understand him, his definitions, his use of language, and how he was meaning what he said.

    MRT is problematic to explain because the language we have is entirely rooted in non-MRT meaning, context and history, so I try to be very precise in how I word things and very rarely use the terms “objective” and “subjective” because of their non-MRT implications.

  246. 246
    Origenes says:

    KF @

    A question about the duty to truth. I take it that the duty to truth does not mean that one has to tell others the truth in all circumstances, right? I mean it depends on circumstances, on context, if it is better to tell the truth or tell a lie. Right?
    When you speak of duty to truth, you are probably referring to the duty to tell yourself the truth in all circumstances, as opposed to telling the truth to others in all circumstances. Correct?

  247. 247
    William J Murray says:

    I think KF is saying that he has objective knowledge that moral duties objectively exist, which, when broken down, reveals two different uses of the word “objective,” which might be better said thusly:

    “KF has well-warranted belief (definition of objective knowledge) that duties exists as universally binding oughts, existent in and of themselves (objectively existent) regardless of subjective feeling or sense. Thus, lack of conscience is comparable to lack of sight – it is dysfunctional.”

  248. 248
    Joe Schooner says:

    It is also distractive from the issue on the table, that injustice is built up from untruth.

    Do you honestly believe this? The family who attempted to hide Anne Frank were attempting to provide justice by stating untruths.

  249. 249
    Origenes says:

    WJM@

    KF has well-warranted belief (definition of objective knowledge) that duties exists as universally binding oughts, existent in and of themselves (objectively existent) regardless of subjective feeling or sense. Thus, lack of conscience is comparable to lack of sight – it is dysfunctional.

    Yes, and these duties are felt by the subject in a pure way, which makes them ‘objective’, in sharp contrast to the way an error-prone subject normally feels all sorts of unwarranted subjective impulses ….

  250. 250
    Joe Schooner says:

    Sorry for the bad formatting. It wasn’t noticed until after the edit time expired.

  251. 251
    William J Murray says:

    Origenes @249

    Right. So, we come down to whether or not KF’s belief in objectively existent moral duties is well-warranted. If we assume that under KF’s system of warrant it is a well-warranted belief, the problem becomes obvious: it’s KF’s system of warrant (not that he invented it, but it’s the one he argues for here.) Which brings us to a big fat … so what?

    I don’t even operate under the same definition of belief, much less “warranted true belief” as KF. I’m definitely not operating under the same definition of “objectively existent.” I’ve explained this many times. My epistemology is entirely different from his, yet he interacts with me as if I must be unavoidably operating from the same epistemology as him, whether I realize it or not.

    That came out when he said (or quoted a passage making this claim) that to argue is to necessarily imply that the other person should adopt my view because it would be “more true” to reality and also be better for them if they did. But that’s not why I make arguments at all. I have an entirely different concept of “reality” than KF; there are infinite realities at play. What would it mean for me to make an argument about what is more true in terms of “reality?” Whose reality? KF’s? Mine? How would I know what would be “better” for KF in his life in his reality? I have no way to judge that.

    I think this is really just a case of KF being 100% mentally committed to his epistemology/ontology as real for everyone whether they know it or not, whether they admit it or not; and this is why he says things that to me seem like he’s trying to mind-read me. He honestly cannot fathom anyone making an argument that is not about trying to convince others about some objective truth that would be “better” for others to adopt. In fact, he thinks that is a necessary, unavoidable implication of debates/arguments.

  252. 252

    @WJM The procedure to understand someone, should be obvious.

    First find out what logic is used in common discourse with the word, then from there find out what the difference is between the common discourse definition, and the individual definition.

    Definition of words, is about 99 percent of philosophy in my opinion. If you throw out common discourse definitions, then you make it all so based on personal authority, which is disgusting.

    And to take a dictionary definition, most dictionaries just provide talkative definitions, not rigorous definitions. They just provide some defintion in order to start a conversation about a word. Or the definitions are partial to materialism, and wrong.

    There doesn’t exist a dictionary which tries to provide rigorously logical consistent definitions. The logical definitions would sound too klunky, and not conversational enough, for what the general aim is of dictionaries.

    I have the critical understanding of what the underlying logic is in common discourse, with objective statements, and subjective statements.

    Your understanding of subjectivity and objectivity is wrong, KF’s understanding of it is wrong. It’s just not an accurate reflection of the logic used in common discourse, with subjective and objective statements. It doesn’t work, it doesn’t function, totally wrong. You are wrong, I am right, creationism is right.

  253. 253
    Origenes says:

    According to KF, for each person it is objectively/universally better to know the truth. If that is the case, why are we so badly informed about the truth? It seems to me that the Christian God doesn’t see the import of us knowing at least large portions of the truth. The bible doesn’t teach us how spirit interacts with matter, what causes biological form nor does it provide us with a user-friendly summation of the laws of logic. Why is that?

  254. 254
    William J Murray says:

    MNY said:

    Your understanding of subjectivity and objectivity is wrong,

    Fortunately that doesn’t appear to be negatively impacting my enjoyment of life, so that’s of little consequence to me even if true.

  255. 255
    William J Murray says:

    Origenes said:

    According to KF, for each person it is objectively/universally better to know the truth. If that is the case, why are we so badly informed about the truth?

    Well, apparently, He did the best He could. The rest of it appears to be our problem to sort out, on penalty of eternal torment.

  256. 256
    kairosfocus says:

    JS, start with the lies that marginalised Jews as life unworthy of life due to inferiority and subversiveness, then move on to the Jews are key to those who stabbed undefeated Germany in the back, c 1918. Then move on to the notion that in the face of unprecedented crisis a nietzschean superman political messiah above law had arisen and had right to rule as he pleased. Go on to the lies that set up aggressive war and conquest including of Holland. Then come back to us on desperate decent people trying to use lesser of evils tactics to protect the innocent. Defensive fighting, counter attack, aerial bombardment etc and counter offensive [1944 – 45] are further lesser of evils efforts, in the teeth of a continent dominating empire of evil with potential to create nuclear bombs and the missiles and bombers to deliver them. The widespread breakdown of ethical understanding in our time is standing out ever more clearly and such is itself a powerful warning sign that the cultural buttresses that protect and stabilise modern lawful state constitutional representative democracy are palpably crumbling. I repeat, untruth — including here Hitler’s big lies — are foundational to injustice. That’s a key part of why perjury is a crime and defamation a tort. Failure to respect duty to truth and linked right reason and warrant as well as wider prudence has devastating consequences. KF

  257. 257
    Origenes says:

    Joe Schooner @

    The family who attempted to hide Anne Frank were attempting to provide justice by stating untruths.

    “Always tell the truth”, doesn’t work in a complex world, hence my question @246 to KF.

  258. 258
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes [attn WJM],

    According to KF, for each person it is objectively/universally better to know the truth. If that is the case, why are we so badly informed about the truth? It seems to me that the Christian God doesn’t see the import of us knowing at least large portions of the truth. The bible doesn’t teach us how spirit interacts with matter, what causes biological form nor does it provide us with a user-friendly summation of the laws of logic. Why is that?

    Let’s take that in chunks, as it further illustrates the breakdown we are seeing:

    >>According to KF,>>

    1: I cited an argument by SM, who stumbled across the first duties in his book length attempt to ground ethics for secularism.

    2: As I have noted, he did find key first duties, but

    to recognise that certain choices, intents etc are universally prefer-ABLE or even are branch on which we all find ourselves sitting first principles so are inescapable (as with Epictetus on logic) and inescapably true, self-evident antecedents of argument

    . . . is different from the ontological roots/grounding. That points onward to roots of reality.

    3: Where, too, inescapability shows itself in attempts to object or to prove such first principles: we find ourselves unavoidably appealing to or implying them in our proofs. or objections. (As of course has happened over and over again for months.)

    4: BTW, this answers to the latest tangent, what are first principles and in particular first duties as objective moral truths. What part of branch on which we all must sit, antecedent to onward arguments is that hard to figure out? Where,

    – a moral truth would be an accurate description of the state of affairs WRT duty, right conduct, virtue, goodness etc, so that

    – attempted denial of knowable objective moral truth is a claim to objective truth in the relevant regard which makes such relativism etc self-referentially self-refuting.

    – warrant of course has to do with adequate reasons for accepting something as credibly or reliably true, including the underlying perceptual and cognitive factors

    – note, implication or invitation that major faculties including conscience are delusional implies deeper self referential incoherence and discredit of mind and reason.

    >> for each person it is objectively/universally better to know [–> seek, learn, decide based on, live by etc] the truth.>>

    5: Note the strike and replace.

    6: Again, we are back at Pilate’s cynical what is truth, even as the Truth Himself stood before him, and BTW a capital example of untruth as foundation of injustice.

    7: Truth accurately describes reality. Creatures such as we are are responsibly, rationally significantly free, so we are not mechanically and/or stochastically governed in such regard, but have the duties of wisdom, to be rightly guided and guarded.

    8: Systematic, pervasive distortion of truth and linked responsible, prudent reasoning is more simply described as delusion and folly. The consequences of which range from absurdity to civilisation level ruin. (See here on Ac 27 as a case study that echoes Plato’s parable of the ship of state.)

    >> If that is the case, why are we so badly informed about the truth?>>

    9: Is it so much that we lack access to INFORMATION conveying truth, facts, principles and techniques of reason, criteria of warrant, considerations of prudence, stirrings of conscience, empathy towards neighbour, justice etc, or is it that in sufficiently many cases we willfully shut such out, resisting and objecting to what seems contrary to what we wish?

    10: Further to which, we find ourselves filling our minds with fallacies, falsehoods in the false guise of facts, hyperskepticism pretending to be an intellectual virtue, crooked yardsticks pretended to be yardsticks of straight or upright or accurate?

    11: As you are about to try to push God in the dock, let me do some clipping, noting that the offer of proof for the gospel is the resurrection of Jesus with 500 witnesses in fulfillment of prophecies given in writing hundreds of years beforehand:

    Jn 3:19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” [ESV]

    Rom 1:19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,7 in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools . . . .

    2: 14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus . . . .

    13: 8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

    >> It seems to me that the Christian God doesn’t see the import of us knowing at least large portions of the truth.>>

    12: There is enough for information of virtue and guidance to right relationship with God, seeing you insist on yet another tangent.

    13: Where, no, it is not The Christian God,” but God.

    >> The bible doesn’t teach us how spirit interacts with matter, what causes biological form>>

    14: Not its purpose, imagine trying to instruct about quantum influences to 6 year olds. We can build sound civilisation and explore knowledge to learn that.

    >> nor does it provide us with a user-friendly summation of the laws of logic.>>

    15: False, starting with Distinct identity (as I have pointed out many times in your presence):

    1 Cor 14:7 If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? 8 And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? [–> Distinct identity, here as foundational to intelligible thought and communication, where non contradiction and excluded middle are close corollaries.*] 9 So with yourselves, if with your tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air. 10 There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning, 11 but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me.
    _________________
    * I here reject the notion that the 17 Boolean Theorems are equally foundational. As strict tautologies yes, but as to how we get there, we start from distinct identity just to be intelligible, carrying with it the close corollaries. Then we can go to logic of being, weak form inquiry into sufficient reason with cause as a corollary, then other issues including various fallacies and follies; Proverbs is target rich on moral fallacies

    . . . also, note:

    Matt 5:37 Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil. [–> truthfulness]

    Prov 1: 1 The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:
    2 To know wisdom and instruction,
    to understand words of insight,
    3 to receive instruction in wise dealing,
    in righteousness, justice, and equity;
    4 to give prudence to the simple,
    knowledge and discretion to the youth—
    [–> prudence, including warrant]
    5 Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
    and the one who understands obtain guidance,
    6 to understand a proverb and a saying,
    the words of the wise and their riddles.
    7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
    fools despise wisdom and instruction.

    Lev 19: 11 “You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another. [–> untruth as foundation of injustice] 12 You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the LORD.
    13 “You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. The wages of a hired worker shall not remain with you all night until the morning. 14 You shall not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall fear your God: I am the LORD. [–> regard to neighbour]
    15 “You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor. 16 You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life1 of your neighbor: I am the LORD. [–> justice and fairness]
    17 “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. [–> right and frank reason] 18 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.

    >> Why is that?>>

    16: Presumes an answer which is in fact false.

    KF

  259. 259
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes, note my response on the framework of untruth and the precipitated situation of choosing lesser of evils. I find it significant that in the simplistic attempt at gotcha, there was failure to understand this principle which for example is pivotal to just war theory etc. And the acts of those trying to protect Jews were acts of resistance in a just war. The widespread structural, systematic ignorance on matters like this in our day, is telling and a wake up call. KF

  260. 260
    kairosfocus says:

    I again point to the dictionaries and comments above on subjectivity and objectivity, as some have chosen to make this a vocabulary fight, never mind what has long since been on the table.

  261. 261
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    As you are about to try to push God in the dock, let me do some clipping, noting that the offer of proof for the gospel is the resurrection of Jesus with 500 witnesses in fulfillment of prophecies given in writing hundreds of years beforehand:

    I assume you mean “proof of the gospel” as being the Word of God. Assuming Jesus was resurrected in fulfillment of said prophecies in the Bible, how exactly, logically, is that evidence that God inspired/wrote the Bible?

  262. 262
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes, FYI, duty to truth is a little more nuanced than “always under every circumstance tell truth.” Try this for size, from the Sermon on the Mount, yes the central presentation of the ethics of the gospel: Mt 7:6 “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.” That has applications from personal relationships to global geostrategic and policy issues. KF

  263. 263
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, Kindly pause and go through the linked, which is admittedly 101 and includes a 1 hr video. KF

  264. 264
    kairosfocus says:

    F?N: I now get to where I wished to begin today, the late great Copi et al, opening salvo of Intro to Logic, 14th edn, 2011 – 16

    Logic is the study of the methods and principles used to distinguish correct from incorrect reasoning.
    When we reason about any matter, we produce arguments to support our conclusions. Our arguments include reasons that we think justify our beliefs. However, not all reasons are good reasons. Therefore we may always ask, when we confront an argument: Does the conclusion reached follow from the premises assumed? To answer this question there are objective criteria; in the study of logic we seek to discover and apply those criteria.

    Reasoning is not the only way in which people support assertions they make or accept. They may appeal to authority or to emotion [–> follows Ari’s trichotomy in The Rhetoric, Bk 1 Ch 2], which can be very persuasive, or they may rely, without reflection, simply on habits. However, when someone wants to make judgments that
    can be completely relied upon, their only solid foundation will be correct reasoning. Using the methods and techniques of logic—the subject matter of this book—one can distinguish reliably
    between sound and faulty reasoning.

    [DEFNS]
    Logic The study of the methods and principles used to distinguish correct from incorrect reasoning.

    Proposition A statement; what is typically asserted using a declarative sentence, and hence always either true or false—
    although its truth or falsity may be unknown . . . .

    Propositions are the building blocks of our reasoning. A proposition asserts that something is
    the case or it asserts that something is not. We may affirm a proposition, or deny it—but every
    proposition either asserts what really is the case, or it asserts something that is not. Therefore
    every proposition is either true or false . . . . In logic, the internal structure of propositions is important. To evaluate an argument we
    need a full understanding of the propositions that appear in that argument . . . . With propositions as building blocks, we construct arguments. In any argument we affirm one
    proposition on the basis of some other propositions. In doing this, an inference is drawn.
    Inference is a process that may tie together a cluster of propositions. Some inferences are
    warranted (or correct); others are not. The logician analyzes these clusters, examining the
    propositions with which the process begins and with which it ends, as well as the relations
    among these propositions. Such a cluster of propositions constitutes an argument. Arguments
    are the chief concern of logic.
    Inference A process by which one proposition is arrived at and affirmed on the basis of some other proposition or
    propositions.
    Argument is a technical term in logic. It need not involve disagreement, or controversy. In
    logic, argument refers strictly to any group of propositions of which one is claimed to follow
    from the others, which are regarded as providing support for the truth of that one. For every
    possible inference there is a corresponding argument. [CH 1]

    Of course, there are various degrees of warrant or support, and inference is not always demonstration. Inductive arguments, modern sense, including abduction are cases of support that can range up to certainty but is usually a matter of responsible judgement subject to onward correction on further evidence.

    This sets up a lot of context.

    KF

  265. 265
    William J Murray says:

    KF,

    Am I supposed to search through almost 300 comments to find the link you are referring to?

  266. 266

    @WJM Being wrong about subjectivity and objectivity can affect your enjoyment in life massively. And without schooling on it, then people’s views tend to be corrupted making every issue objective, and sidelining subjectivity.

    Also, ignorance about it is a big stinker on a societal scale. People should know the difference between opinion and fact, it makes the game of life in society more straightforward, it helps a lot with everything. Like for instance, journalism. Or, politics. Or, family relations. Or, mental health.

  267. 267

    @KF Aren’t we ultimately solely arguing about definitions here?

    We are not arguing matters of judgement, we are arguing matters of logic, which is definitions of words. To make the words fit together logically, without contradictions, consistently.

    And you have a mess of contradictions between subjectivity and objectivity, those definitions do not work together. Those definitions do not work with the logic used in common discourse with subjective and objective statements.

  268. 268
  269. 269
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, Kindly note the linked from the just above. KF

  270. 270
    William J Murray says:

    MNY @266,
    Thanks, but I’m totally satisfied with my current perspective.

  271. 271
    Joe Schooner says:

    JS, start with the lies that marginalised Jews as life unworthy of life due to inferiority and subversiveness…

    All leading to what we conclude to be injustice. Followed by millions of lies by those hiding Jews and those fighting for the resistance, all in an attempt at justice. So, their duty to truth was violated and yet some justice was served. In short, your first duties are dependent on conditions, which is contrary to your claim that they are objective.

  272. 272
    Origenes says:

    KF @262

    (…) duty to truth is a little more nuanced than “always under every circumstance tell truth.” Try this for size, from the Sermon on the Mount, yes the central presentation of the ethics of the gospel: Mt 7:6 “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.” That has applications from personal relationships to global geostrategic and policy issues.

    Thank you for giving a clear answer. So, to be clear, “the duty to tell the truth to others” is dependent on conditions, and is therefore not “objective”, as Joe Schooner noted.
    If telling the truth to others isn’t part of it , what exactly is the “objective” duty to truth? Is it purely a duty towards oneself?

  273. 273
    kairosfocus says:

    JS, it is not just perceived injustice per OUR conclusions, the shoah was one of the top ten worst injustices of a particularly bad century. As for the issue of being in a situation of lesser of evils, it is clear that you do not recognise that a lesser evil is an evil. It may be excusable but it is not transmuted into being a good. If someone engages in a shoot-out with a police officer and is killed, that is not a good, it is an evil. However, the officer was forced to resort to forceful defence of life and community. We may even give a medal to such an officer, but when that officer goes home, he has to live with the horror of having taken a life, and more. there is of course much more but the pathological breakdown of thought is further and further coming out. Sad, but a reflection of a time that has failed the ethical test. Thing is, Constitutional Democracy critically depends on passing that test. Consequences . . . KF

    PS: If you imagine being trapped by the evil of others into a situation of having to carry out a lesser evil undermines the premise that untruth is foundational to injustice, that speaks. Ponder great statesmen knowing that they were in a nuke threshold race with Germany and to a lesser extend Japan, forced to order bombing within the limits of their technology that meant that many civilians would die and city infrastructure would be devastated with horrific onward consequences and knowing they could not publicly discuss that. Ponder the decision in the face of evidence that an invasion of Japan proper would be a horrific multimillion death blood bath and ordering fire raids and nuclear bombings to induce surrender without need for invasion. Ponder that they were contemplating mass use of poison gases in the invasion to reduce their own casualties. Then, you can begin to get a glimpse of how great evils entrap others into decisions of lesser of evils that scar their souls and mar their history. No one regards Bomber Harris or Curtis LeMay as other than tainted by the horrific things they felt they had to do.

  274. 274
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes, again, no: trying to fly before one can crawl stuff.

    The duty to truth starts from recognising the due end of responsible rational freedom and our cognitive and volitional faculties: truth, accurate description or recognition of reality, which guides us. Thus, requiring warrant that gives us credible reliability of our perceptions and findings etc. Where, we already recognise that that allows us to act soundly in reality. Further to which, as even your objections yet again demonstrate, we are forced to appeal to said duties even in trying to object. the objective degree of truth is truth that has crossed that warrant test by adequate means as say Irving Copi et al have published in great detail for sixty years, as a key introduction for us to learn from.

    Next, when one is trapped in a situation of lesser of evils, that is itself a regrettable truth, one where there are no good or easy options. But, there are those that are beyond all bounds and there are those that are measured, seeking to contain or defeat rampant evil. That too is a truth, and it is the basis on which some of the less happy aspects of justice and law must pivot.

    There is a reason for armies, navies and police forces, even though such are readily prone to abuse. Even Government, to a significant extent embeds lesser of evils, a point Churchill captured so well when he observed how bad democracy is as a form of government, until one looks at the others. Being trapped in a lesser of evils paradox does not undermine the priority of truth, including warranting that one is indeed in such a situation, or one can so readily find a subjective justification to go beyond all responsible, reasonable bounds.

    Hitler had a point that the Versailles treaty was harsh to Germany, even though its own imposition on Russia was manifestly worse. That did not justify him in rearmament and aggressive war, nor in holocaust, etc.

    I use this concrete case from living memory history, to make the point clear.

    Similarly, I think the 1945 bombing of Dresden was likely indefensible but that reflects the benumbing that living in a lesser of evils situation wreaked on the commanders of the Allied Air Forces.

    KF

  275. 275
    Origenes says:

    KF, is that supposed to be an answer to my question?

  276. 276
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes, it is an answer, but one that requires a fresh world of thought i/l/o the cases cited. KF

  277. 277
    StephenB says:

    Origienes to KF:

    “So, to be clear, “the duty to tell the truth to others” is dependent on conditions, and is therefore not “objective”, as Joe Schooner noted.”

    The objective nature of the the duty to tell the truth does not imply that everyone should disclose everything about anyone under all circumstances. “Objective,” which means outside of the subject. is not always synonymous with “universal” (as opposed to particular) or “absolute.” (as opposed to relative) We have words like these so that we can make distinctions.

    The natural moral law is based on reason: It is not reasonable, for example, to ruin someone’s reputation by disclosing harmful information about that person (even if true) unless there is a good reason for it. Calumny (unnecessarily disclosing a harmful truth) is a morally bad thing just as slander (lying about someone) is a morally bad thing.

    In like fashion, it is not reasonable to tell the Nazi that a Jew is hiding in the basement because the former is not entitled to that information. Or again, it is not reasonable for citizens to cooperate with a Communist regime that encourages husbands to report to the state any instances where the wife has been “disloyal.” Unjust regimes are not entitled to loyalty (even though loyalty is an objective moral virtue). In this case, loyalty to the family would supersede loyalty to the state. This is the natural moral law.

    It is the reasonableness of the natural moral law that makes it such a noble thing and which provides a dependable standard for making moral judgments.

  278. 278
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: You have chosen the path of entangling the relatively simple with the exceedingly difficult and perplexing; likely hoping to evade the force of a self-evident point in the midst of a cloud of perplexity. The consequences are of your making, therefore.

    Very well, I used key historical and law enforcement cases to draw out the point, using the consensus case of rampant evil in the modern world, Nazi Germany. Put yourselves in the shoes of Churchill, Roosevelt, Truman and their seniors who had access to the horrible secret that WW2 was a nuke threshold war, with a ticking time bomb that could readily have seen London and Manhattan vapourised through mushroom cloud perhaps by mid 1946, so far as the Allied leaders could understand at the time. At the same time, that awful secret could not be publicly discussed or leaked beyond a tiny circle. With the means and limitations at your disposal, what would you do, given the known danger of a Western Front stalemate similar to the Great War or even a defeat as Dieppe writ large?

    (Ever wondered why Eisenhower had the note in his pocket to take responsibility for failure at Normandy? Why he sent out two divisions of paratroopers knowing they might face 70% casualties . . . and did for some units? [A red cross girl at the departure of the paratroopers said when she served him, his hands were shaking, a telling sign.] Or why green, inexperienced troops were put ashore at Omaha Beach? Or why Rangers were sent up cliff faces at Point du Hoc — potentially suicidal, on report of a battery of big guns? Or why, later, carpet bombing was resorted to at Caen and St Lo? Or why they kept feeding in troops into a Normandy meat grinder (in part due to the hedgerow surprise) that was running at rates comparable to the W Front 30 years before? Or why they allowed tankers in tanks that the Germans were blowing up at terrible rates — for each tank destroyed write off half its crews on average — to keep on punching, esp on the British, left flank? Or why they expended so much of the high IQ talent pool required to man air forces in bomber campaigns even as they knew horrific civilian casualties were being caused? And more, including the shadow of Stalin. BTW, the three big ticket US developments, the bomb project, the B29 as delivery vehicle and the computing, analogue computer bomb sight. The last was apparently leaked to the Germans.)

    The original target of the Atom bomb, Berlin.

    They surrendered in the nick of time.

    Then, as evidence from Iwo Jima and Okinawa piled up, it was realised that a conventional invasion of Japan would credibly cost millions of lives.

    Now, you are in the shoes of these men and you decide. Tell me, would you find the most credibly accurate evidence irrelevant? The balance of prudence i/l/o irreducible uncertainties . . . well beyond incalculable risk? The choice between horrible things and horror without limit?

    When your heart has lurched as did that of Gen Petain feeding 18 yo boys into the mincer at Verdun, to hold the line for France, then you are in a position to come back to us on the point that truth is a pivotal imperative to deal with a choice of lesser of evils such as is too often posed by the lawless.

    Then, reconsider the so called values clarification [it isn’t] tactic of trying to cast choices into contradiction, to undermine the very principles that preserve moral sanity in the face of “impossible” but crushingly urgent and critical decisions on wickedly hard and perverse problems.

    You chose this do the hard thing first approach, now live with its consequences.

    Tell us, what would you counsel these Allied leaders, why.

    KF

  279. 279
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: a critique of the values clarification moral dilemma exercise https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=3512

  280. 280

    @WJM You don’t understand intellectually how to make a subjective opinion. So maybe you would not choose the opinion, in spontaneous expression, that you are satisfied, if you could guide forming your subjective opinions, with your intellect.

  281. 281

    @KF Definitions noted, and dismissed as wrong. People who do not try to get the accurate logic of subjectivity and objectivity, have no chance whatsoever to get the definition of them right. You don’t try to do that, and your references don’t try.

    KF We have a duty to the truth
    MNY Your definitions of subjectivity and objectivity are wrong, here are the correct definitons, etc..
    KF My definition are from a quality source.
    MNY Your definitions are wrong, my definitions are correct…. QED

    http://www.creationwiki.org/Creationist_Philosophy

  282. 282
    Origenes says:

    StephenB @

    The objective nature of the duty to tell the truth does not imply that everyone should disclose everything about anyone under all circumstances. “Objective,” which means outside of the subject, is not always synonymous with “universal” (as opposed to particular) or “absolute.” (as opposed to relative) We have words like these so that we can make distinctions.

    I am perfectly fine with your definition of objective. Unfortunately, many others, KF included, do not agree with us. To KF objective is synonymous to “well-warranted.” He has made the point over and over, that for him, inside or outside the subject has nothing to do with it; it is all about warrant. (see e.g. # 50). I try to take that into account when I am addressing him.

    The natural moral law is based on reason: It is not reasonable, for example, to ruin someone’s reputation by disclosing harmful information about that person (even if true) unless there is a good reason for it. Calumny (unnecessarily disclosing a harmful truth) is a morally bad thing just as slander (lying about someone) is a morally bad thing.

    You do not mention the golden rule (the principle of treating others as one wants to be treated). Is there a reason for this omission?

  283. 283
    StephenB says:

    Origenes:

    —“You do not mention the golden rule (the principle of treating others as one wants to be treated). Is there a reason for this omission?”

    Yes. I wanted to emphasize the rational underpinnings of natural law and describe, in abbreviated fashion, the conditions for its development. Most elements of the natural law are *not* self-evident, but they are, nevertheless, derived from self evident principles.

    You will recall that I alluded to the self evident principle that humans have the natural right (corresponding to the natural law) to defend themselves against an unjust aggressor. From there, we can use our reason to discern that a nation also has a right to defend itself. In other words, there is such a thing as a “just war,” even though war itself is a great evil.

    (From an unidentified internet source). “The principles of a just war are commonly held to be: having just cause, being a last resort, being declared by a proper authority, possessing right intention, having a reasonable chance of success, and the end being proportional to the means used.”

    Again, these derived principles are not self evident; they must be arrived at through careful reasoning. Without the self-evident principle of self defense as a starting point, however, we could never describe the conditions for a just war or even know that such a thing can exist. This is just one small example in the development of natural law.

  284. 284
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, for cause we will take the Collins Dictionary over your idiosyncrasies every time. They not only reflect standard usage ad identified through proper lexicographical process but make excellent sense i/l/o epistemological challenges. And with that, your arguments deflate.

    CED, clipped in 239 above:

    SUBJECTIVE: subjective (s?b?d??kt?v)
    adj
    1. belonging to, proceeding from, or relating to the mind of the thinking subject and not the nature of the object being considered
    2. of, relating to, or emanating from a person’s emotions, prejudices, etc: subjective views.

    OBJECTIVE: objective (?b?d??kt?v)
    adj
    1. (Philosophy) existing independently of perception or an individual’s conceptions: are there objective moral values?. [AmHD helps: 1. a. Existing independent of or external to the mind;]
    2. undistorted by emotion or personal bias
    3. of or relating to actual and external phenomena as opposed to thoughts, feelings, etc.

    In short, we have been using the actual standard meaning for these terms all along.

    As I also commented:

    The issue begs to be considered, why the concern of something that is a product or manifestation of an individual’s mind but not that of the entity or state of affairs etc being considered. The answer comes back, our error-proneness and tendency to bias. So, there is a place for disciplines of right reason that help us address these limitations.

    I note, too that mathematical entities, relationships etc are not empirical, tangible things, which can be put on display somewhere, e.g. there is nowhere in reality a museum with the only unique null set on display . . . and yes, strictly there is just the one, we refer to it. So, the issue of objective entities as credibly independent of our particular minds. . . though, perhaps being contemplated by them, symbolised in language and communicated to others, e.g. as the overall body of knowledge termed Mathematics . . . is vital. That independence is tested and developed through warrant based on right reason.

    Such has been pointed out in your presence many times, but that has seemed to have had little or no effect.

    This is therefore a statement for record.

    KF

  285. 285
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes, I have drawn out on WHY we have the confidence that what is objective is “existing independently of perception or an individual’s conceptions” [CED] or “Existing independent of or external to the mind” [AmHD], both noted to come from philosophy; the status is not there by poof-magic. The answer is, our subjectivity is “belonging to, proceeding from, or relating to the mind of the thinking subject and not the nature of the object being considered . . . of, relating to, or emanating from a person’s emotions, prejudices, etc,” i.e. it reflects our error-proneness. Accordingly, the objective has to pass through a warranting process that filters out such tendencies to adequate degree. Hence, the pivotal role of right reason, outlined by Irving Copi, colleagues and successors in 259 above. For example, we may recall how Plantinga spoke to faculties successfully aimed at truth, operating in appropriate macro and micro environments; in the post Gettier world. I have also highlighted the significance of being independent of our individual or group cognition, as for instance mathematical entities are inherently abstract such as the null set. They are not tangible though, in the core, they are framework to any possible world. Many other abstracta have such independence and universality or generality. I take it my point that untruth is foundational to injustice has been recognised, noting that such may force people into lesser of evil options, which may be excusable or even commendable but are tainted, e.g. defensive war and the dilemmas such as were seen with WW 2. Where, issues of proportionality need to be recognised i/l/o the nuke threshold secret critical issue that could not be disclosed, the sort of challenges posed by the Blitzkrieg that defeated W Europe in six weeks, subjugating several nations in one swoop, the similar sweep that nearly knocked Russia out, the genocidal intent . . . Germany intended to use starvation to depopulate the Ukraine . . . and more. KF

  286. 286
    kairosfocus says:

    SB, yes, and I recall how the C17 – 18 thinkers spoke of claws, teeth and means of flight. From C16 on, there was discussion of vindication of resistance to tyranny that pivoted on the double covenant view of nationhood and government under God, with interposition by existing or emerging lower magistrates, remonstrance and request for reformation, with revolution as last resort in the teeth of the US DoI’s long train of abuses and usurpations. I note here, with direct relevance to current US concerns and longstanding ones in this region, that corrupting the integrity of elections is a clear case of usurpation. KF

  287. 287
    Origenes says:

    KF@

    Origenes, I have drawn out on WHY we have the confidence that what is objective is “existing independently of perception or an individual’s conceptions” [CED] or “Existing independent of or external to the mind”

    Don’t try this, KF. You have called “I exist” and “I am self-aware” objective over and over. And now you are telling us that objective means “existing independently of perception or an individual’s conceptions” & “Existing independent of or external to the mind” — both of which obviously disqualifies “I exist” and “I am self-aware” as being objective? Get serious.

    Read comment #168

    What we have here is a subject investigating a subject. A subject making a claim about a subject. A claim only warranted by the subject himself. No one (and nothing) else but the subject has access to the entire process of deriving knowledge. Every step, every stage of the entire process to knowledge takes place in the internal realm of the subject. There is not a single object, and no external world whatsoever, anywhere involved or even in sight ….

    You couldn’t care less about any of these facts. You call “I, Origines, am self-aware” objective anyway, because warrant, first duties, Churchill or whatever suits your narrative.

  288. 288
    ram says:

    It’s amusing when people with unprovable assumptions (“presuppositions”) complain about the philosophies of others with differing presuppositions.

    You know who you are. 😀

    –Ram

  289. 289
    Joe Schooner says:

    As for the issue of being in a situation of lesser of evils, it is clear that you do not recognise that a lesser evil is an evil. It may be excusable but it is not transmuted into being a good.

    So, your stance is that lying to the Nazis about the Jews you are hiding in your attic is an evil, simply because it violates your sacred first duty of truth? Are you seriously trying to say that lying to save an innocent person from suffering and death is an evil?

    Perhaps it is time for a serious rethinking of your concept of first duties.

  290. 290
    Joe Schooner says:

    I have tried to avoid stating my personal opinion, even avoiding the use of “I”. But I feel it necessary for me to state the following:

    Lying to Nazis about the Jews hiding in your attic is unequivocally and indisputably good. Not even a tinge of evil, in spite of KF’s sacred first duty to truth.

    Fire bombing Dresden and nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki were unequivocally evil.

  291. 291
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes, my point stands. Objectivity of truth is a degree of reliable access to truth tied to adequate warrant. That is what creates the reliability by filtering out likely causes of bias and error. Such includes Plantinga’s post Gettier considerations that we need faculties aimed at truth successfully [such can be evident to a reasonable person] and operating in a macro and micro environment that do not distort or frustrate the faculties. In this context, as it is self-evident and undefeatable the bare fact of the correctness of perception that one is self-aware being infallible is objective. It is subjects who can know, this is a point of our common and direct knowledge. As I pointed out with the person deluded to imagine he is a brain in a vat, specific content of self awareness can be in error but the bare fact is not. This then proceeds to correcting errors and biases etc. Such can be compared to having an incorrect imagination that there are various null sets then realising from being advised that there is an indiscernity leading to realising that we have multiple references to the same entity. But the awareness of the null set once present is self-evident. That one exists and is self aware BTW are antecedent to focussing attention on the fact and recognising its significance as self-evidently and undeniably true. It is independent of our idiosyncrasies of mind. On the whole, I am strongly impressed that you are insufficiently aware of the import of our error proneness and the deep challenge it poses, something that the Gettier problem surfaced in a revolutionary way. KF

  292. 292
    kairosfocus says:

    JS, you here inadvertently display the gaps and pathologies of the current intellectual landscape. Lying is speaking with disregard to truth in hope of profiting from what is said or suggested being accepted as true. Were it to become sufficiently pervasive, communication and community would disintegrate into chaos and ruin. We must hold that TRUTH firmly in mind. Lying is a parasite on truth telling and is an evil. It similarly remains true that untruth is the foundation of injustice. In the case of an oppressive tyrannical situation, it may indeed be the lesser of evils and so what has been termed a RELATIVE good, i.e. the best one can do of available options. That does not change its fundamental nature and tendency to corrupt and undermine truth telling, credibility of communication and thus to civilisation. The greater evil and primary moral responsibility lies with those who set up and enable or carry out the oppression that forces good people to taint themselves by lying. That extends to cases today where people of sound conscience are intimidated to lie (even by silence that suggests conformity) under the demand to enable fashionable agendas. Those who push civilisation in such directions or imagine themselves to have the right to do so, bear a sobering responsibility as the BATNA of lawfulness continues to crumble. Let us pray that we never reach the stage of widespread fatal disaffection. KF

    PS: Since you take up the same issues, kindly provide your advice to Allied leaders in the face of their dilemmas. The sound method is to move from core, self evident first truths used as yardsticks to guide building a sound body of knowledge then gradually address the more difficult and hard to discern ones. Advanced decision making is for the mature who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern good and evil.

  293. 293
    Joe Schooner says:

    KF, you didn’t address the issue of lying to save Jews in Nazi Germany. If you are suggesting that this lie is evil, in any way, then your opinion is evil. That it contradicts your vaunted first duty should give you reason for sober reflection. But it won’t. You will just double down.

  294. 294
    kairosfocus says:

    JS, but I did, more than once; a case of lesser of evils in the teeth of tyranny, but fighting fire with fire is a dangerous game indeed. One, sadly, you seem not to recognise. Hence the warning that we had better recognise that a lesser of evils is yet an evil in its own right. Such are some subtle ways of prudence. KF

  295. 295
    StephenB says:

    Joe Schooner:

    —“Lying to Nazis about the Jews hiding in your attic is unequivocally and indisputably good. Not even a tinge of evil, in spite of KF’s sacred first duty to truth.”

    I addressed this issue @277.

  296. 296
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Lying to Nazis about the Jews hiding in your attic is unequivocally and indisputably good. Not even a tinge of evil, in spite of KF’s sacred first duty to truth.

    🙂 Nope you missed the point: it’s about you being a 3rd party in killing innocent people.
    It’s not about the concept of truth KF is speaking about. “The truth” that kill or do more harm is a weapon of evil.

  297. 297
    Origenes says:

    Joe Schooner @

    Lying to Nazis about the Jews hiding in your attic is unequivocally and indisputably good. Not even a tinge of evil, in spite of KF’s sacred first duty to truth.

    Hear Hear!

  298. 298
    kairosfocus says:

    LCD,

    twisting duty to truth into an enabling of evil is itself a manifestation of wickedness. In WW2, Hitler and co. twisted loyalty and patriotism, hopes for advancement as a nation and more into enabling of aggressive, genocidal war. In that context, many people were put in positions of being deceived, intimidated or forced into enabling great evils, down to people who make up train schedules and the like.

    In reaction, people were forced to resist and here there was lying and the like to police agencies [normally guardians of justice], to protect targets from genocidal murder. Those people found themselves forced to choose between evils and rightly chose to protect innocent life. However, that does not, cannot change the nature of lying and its corrosive impact. Indeed, they doubtless had to redouble efforts not to be sucked into a vortex of becoming increasingly benumbed and callous themselves.

    Arguably that benumbing led to things like the destruction of Dresden by air bombardment at a time when there was no need.

    There are similar issues with military personnel in armies, IIRC, the Finns had to make special interventions to help those who had manned machine guns in their winter war of 1939/40. Post traumatic stress disorders in part come from such dilemmas.

    The point remains, that the lesser of evils is not transmuted into a good by being part of a choice of evils. Evils remain privations, frustrations, perversions of the good out of line with their due and often naturally evident ends. Those who choose worse of evils face even more aggressive corrosion of conscience etc but that does not mean those who choose the lesser ones do not face the same corruption. The dynamics of cognitive dissonance remain, and resolving or defending from the erosion of effectiveness of conscience remains a challenge.

    Those in such situations need redoubled prudence and cultivation of soundness of conscience.

    KF

  299. 299
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes, kindly note the just above to LCD. Your reaction shows inadvertent gaps that need to be faced and addressed, or they will undermine prudence, ability to reason soundly, and of course conscience. The lesser of evils is an evil and evils have a corrupting, corrosive impact. In the hands of the truly wicked in power, deliberate imposition of dilemmas of evil on a daily basis is part of how they corrupt the population they misrule. For example, by putting up a tangled mess of laws that put people in the position of always being in violation at one point or another. And of course they try to force us to lie to ourselves and one another, to sustain the perversities they impose. Oh, my neighbour in the next apartment must be wrongdoers to have a 4 am police raid and be carted off to gaol and the Gulag. If you doubt me, take time to read Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago, by a man who earned his Nobel Prize for Literature the hard, hard, hard way. I am glad I read that work in my teens, it was a moral education all by itself. KF

  300. 300
    Origenes says:

    KF @
    The fact that a ship’s mast and flag appear to slowly slink when we watch it sail off to sea, is ‘objective’ warrant for the hypothesis that the earth is round. It is ‘objective’ for one reason only: because it is outside the subject. Whether or not that warrant is adequate is another matter entirely.

    My experience that I cannot coherently deny my self-awareness is ‘subjective’ warrant for the claim “I, Origenes, am self-aware.” The warrant is ‘subjective’ for one reason only: because it is inside the subject. Whether or not that warrant is adequate is another matter entirely.

  301. 301
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: So is this:

    Eph 4: 17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.

    18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.

    20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self,6 which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

    25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

    31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

    And, there is much more. (Including BTW, moral dilemmas and how they were managed.)

  302. 302
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes, kindly notice that the CED summaries very carefully include, INDEPENDENT of the subject also. That independence arises through warrant that can provide in principle universal access through right reason. You can never observe the null set in a museum or the like though you can observe its impacts through reflection and discussion under the discipline termed Mathematics, and for that matter the senses involved in observation of a ship hull down on the horizon are also internal. We can note F H Bradley’s correction to those caught up in the ugly gulch between inner awareness and thought and things in themselves: to imagine one knows we cannot know things in themselves is to claim to know a huge thing about things in themselves, i.e. self-referential incoherence. This is of course directly parallel to imagining one knows there are no knowable, objective truths about right conduct, virtue, good vs evil, etc, i.e. morality. The issue for empirically observable, tangible objects and abstract things such as the null set or mathematical relationships or universal categories or states of affairs etc is that they manifest objectivity by being INDEPENDENT of our individual and group subjectivity in the aspect — this is itself an abstraction — that we are error prone, tend to bias etc. Radical relativism and subjectivism have deeply corroded our ability to think soundly and even to recognise the limitations of our inner lives. Not the least here, is erosion of recognition of self evident first truths and of the warranting impact of reduction to absurdity of the alternative to a conclusion. KF

    PS: Take your first level subjective awareness and ask yourself about its credibility, duly noting the absurdity of infinite regress and/or circularity. Independence of the subject keyed to plumbline self evident first truths allows us to escape such infinite regress or circularity.

  303. 303
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: We here see the force of the point that a good definition of philosophy is that it is the discipline and department of hard questions. Questions with no easy answers, alternatives bristle with difficulties. So, its key method emerges, comparative difficulties regarding factual adequacy, coherence and balanced explanatory power.

    It is no accident that SM had training in philosophy, and stumbled on Ciceronian first duties, first principle, self-evident objectively knowable first truths regarding duty that allow us to address onward complexities and difficulties with some hope of success. I remind, just what is being objected to, e.g. by WJM in 171 above: “I’ve found that the concepts of “rights” and “justice” only serve to make my life less enjoyable, so I’ve dispensed with those concepts.”

    Is that what you want to enable?

    Anyway, reminder, the Ciceronian First Duties (cf OP):

    1: to truth,
    2: to right reason,
    3: to warrant and wider prudence,
    4: to sound conscience,
    5: to neighbour,
    6: so too to fairness, and
    7: to justice [recall, due balance of rights, freedoms, duties],
    . . . ,
    x: etc.

    We start there, to chop our way out of the intertwined, double, V-needle thorn Kusha [= acacia] thicket.

  304. 304

    @KF
    My definitions are the same logic as in common discourse, so they cannot really be judged ideosyncratic, because everyone uses my definition in practise.

    WJM just straightout said he doesn’t care about the truth of subjectivity and objectivity.

    You also, simply don’t care about the truth.

    What have you done to verify the truth of the definitions of subjectivity and objectivity? You don’t argue anything. You just dismiss what I have verified is the correct definition. You quote verbatim a definition from a dictionary, without apparent investigation. Your verification is your assessment of the quality of the Collins dictionary.

    Your definitions of subjectivity and objectivity are wrong, because they do not accurately reflect the logic used in common discourse with subjective – and objective statements.

    Absolutely the definition of subjectivity and objectivity are the main things in your entire argumentation. Yet you do not define them yourself, you just outsource the definitions to a dictionary. What are you really contributing yourself, if you don’t make a definition, because definitions is basically all we are arguing about.

    I did the work of investigating the logic used in common discourse, and formulating an accurate definition. You did not do your homework, and really, horribly, you don’t care about the truth of the matter.

  305. 305
    Origenes says:

    According to KF the error-prone subject needs guidance every step of the way. A set of first duties is just one attempt to prevent a subject from producing an endless string of lies & crimes. In KF’s world, whatever the subject comes up with should be looked at with an abundance of suspicion. The only way out of this predicament is “objectivity”, that is warrant independent from the error-prone subject.
    There are several problems with this view. W J Murray once wrote:

    “You cannot escape the prison of your own personal, conscious experience, KF.”

    A self-evident truth which, in my view, highlights the inescapable involvement of the supposedly error-prone subject in every step on the path towards “objectivity”, which contradicts KF’s attempt to achieve independence from the subject.
    Another obvious problem which I have pointed repeatedly is that self-evident truths, such as “I exist” & “I am self-aware”, are purely subjective statements (see #168). Here we have a subject experiencing a self-evident truth only accessible to the subject itself — no independence from the subject possible. This does not at all sit well with KF’s notion that the subject cannot be trusted on his own. So, he goes out of his way to argue that these purely subjective statements are “objective” nonetheless.

  306. 306
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, no, they are not, as standard dictionaries testify. KF

  307. 307
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes, just for record, the self evident warrant attaching to bare awareness (as opposed to potential errors in details as was addressed above) confers objectivity and knowability, which can be shared by communication with other similar creatures. Indeed that is involved in even acquiring the relevant concepts and vocabulary to discuss. For record, and meanwhile it remains that SM has stumbled upon the Ciceronian first duties and recognises their first principle status, the substance that you would divert from. KF

    PS: WJM needs to heed F H Bradley. Just for record, I clip him on the ugly gulch we owe to the Kantians and their little errors in the beginning of their thought:

    We may agree, perhaps, to understand by metaphysics an attempt to know reality as against mere appearance, or the study of first principles or ultimate truths, or again the effort to comprehend the universe, not simply piecemeal or by fragments, but somehow as a whole [–> i.e. the focus of Metaphysics is critical studies of worldviews] . . . .

    The man who is ready to prove that metaphysical knowledge is wholly impossible . . . himself has, perhaps unknowingly, entered the arena . . . To say the reality is such that our knowledge cannot reach it, is a claim to know reality ; to urge that our knowledge is of a kind which must fail to transcend appearance, itself implies that transcendence. [–> this is the “ugly gulch” of the Kantians] For, if we had no idea of a beyond, we should assuredly not know how to talk about failure or success. And the test, by which we distinguish them, must obviously be some acquaintance with the nature of the goal. Nay, the would-be sceptic, who presses on us the contradictions of our thoughts, himself asserts dogmatically. For these contradictions might be ultimate and absolute truth, if the nature of the reality were not known to be otherwise . . . [such] objections . . . are themselves, however unwillingly, metaphysical views, and . . . a little acquaintance with the subject commonly serves to dispel [them]. [Appearance and Reality, 2nd Edn, 1897 (1916 printing), pp. 1 – 2; INTRODUCTION. At Web Archive.]

    Not that, at this stage this is any more than record, but record of correction like this is important.

  308. 308

    @KF You have not shown any error in the creationist conceptual scheme, nor shown any difference between it, and the logic used in common discourse.

    The dictionaries don’t accurately describe the logic used in subjective and objective statements, and the dictionaries don’t even try to do that.

    Your Collins definitions uses the word subjective, in defining the word subjective, which is an error of circular logic. You cannot define a word with the word itself, or a synonmy of it. Ofcourse, the dictionary is not meant to be strictly logical, but you assert that the dictionary is logical, so in that case it is an error.

    From a point of view of logic, the dictionary definitions are a hopless mess. One cannot get a clear idea about what the rules of subjectivity and objectivity are, from the dictionary. Obviously the definitions are just conversational and not logical.

    My definitions are logical.

    The logic used with objective statements is that facts are obtained by evidence of a creation forcing to produce a 1 to 1 corresponding model of it, in the mind. Which is basically correspondence theory, but then correspondence theory restricted to creations.

    The logic used with subjectivity, is that a subjective opinion is chosen, and that it expresses what it is that makes a choice.

    You continue to make appeals to your definitions being logical, and common discourse, which is shown to be a total lie.

  309. 309
    Joe Schooner says:

    Hence the warning that we had better recognise that a lesser of evils is yet an evil in its own right.

    Lying to protect innocent people is not evil at all. It is a positive good. It is only evil in your mind because of your unwarranted belief that being truthful is an unwavering “first duty”. When, in fact, whether being truthful is good or bad depends on the circumstances.

  310. 310
    kairosfocus says:

    JS, you have already given cause that your credibility is negative. If you cannot realise that whatever the motive a lie is a lie and has damaging consequences, that simply adds to the problem. there are bad situations where we only have a choice of lesser or greater evils but the first thing is to recognise that a lesser evil is an evil and is inherently corrupting in itself so we had better realise such in all prudence. And BTW, kindly provide a base for justice and acting to protect innocent life on the evolutionary materialistic scientism you seem to have advocated. KF

  311. 311
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Joe Schooner
    Lying to protect innocent people is not evil at all. It is a positive good.

    Haha your interpretation is a lie in itself. First you lie not for protecting innocents but for protecting your megalomaniacal ego(“to prove” KF wrong) so you lie for evil reasons.

    Lying to protect innocent people is not evil at all. It is a positive good. is a fake connection of word “lying” with “good”. Actually is not lying is NOT cooperating with Nazis and obeying Gods commandments to fight evil. You seems to side with evil by faking interpretations only “to win” against KF . Pathetic.

  312. 312
    Joe Schooner says:

    Haha your interpretation is a lie in itself. First you lie not for protecting innocents but for protecting your megalomaniacal ego(“to prove” KF wrong) so you lie for evil reasons.

    Your projection is amusing.

    Actually [it] is not lying [it]is NOT cooperating with Nazis and obeying Gods commandments to fight evil.

    Not according to KF. He is claiming that lying to Nazis to save Jews is evil. Does anyone else here believe this?

  313. 313
    Joe Schooner says:

    And BTW, kindly provide a base for justice and acting to protect innocent life on the evolutionary materialistic scientism you seem to have advocated.

    How did you come to this conclusion? Have you concluded that everyone who disagrees with you about the nature of your “first duties” must be an evolutionary materialist? WJM disagrees with you on this as well but he is definitely not an evolutionary materialist.

  314. 314
    asauber says:

    “Not according to KF. He is claiming that lying to Nazis to save Jews is evil. Does anyone else here believe this?”

    I’m in agreement with KF that lying is an evil and sometimes its a lesser evil among greater and sometimes very great evils.

    Andrew

  315. 315
    Joe Schooner says:

    I’m in agreement with KF that lying is an evil and sometimes its a lesser evil among greater and sometimes very great evils.

    Lying under most circumstances is evil. But under some circumstances it can be a virtue. as demonstrated by the example of lying to Nazis about hiding Jews. Arguing the “lesser of two evils” is just a rationalization to dance around the contradiction that arises from assuming that the duty to truth is objectively derived and absolute.

  316. 316
    asauber says:

    “But under some circumstances it can be a virtue”

    Sez who?

    Andrew

  317. 317
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Not according to KF. He is claiming that lying to Nazis to save Jews is evil.

    I don’t think KF claimed something like that because there is no such thing like lying to satan/Nazis/criminals/etc. This is a phrase you coined to win an argument and this is evil and speak about your cardboard morality .

    Arguing the “lesser of two evils” is just a rationalization to dance around the contradiction that arises from assuming that the duty to truth is objectively derived and absolute.

    Hahaha you reinforce the duty to truth by presenting your “argumentation” against the objectivity of duty to truth .

  318. 318
    Joe Schooner says:

    Sez who?

    The court of public opinion. Most of the world has praised the actions of Schindler and others who protected and saved Jews during the war. And each of these acts necessitated lying, either actively or lies of omission. The same holds true for members of the Underground Railroad and other like actions.

  319. 319
    asauber says:

    “The court of public opinion.”

    Oh yes, the infallible court of public opinion that decides everything.

    Seacrest out.

    Andrew

  320. 320
    ram says:

    asauber: sez who?

    You wouldn’t like to save your children?

    –Ram

  321. 321
    asauber says:

    “You wouldn’t like to save your children?”

    Sure, I would.

    Any other stupid questions?

    Andrew

  322. 322
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, lying is an evil, and that includes when it is a lesser evil and the product of an unjust situation where all choices available are bad; and yes those who seek to trap people into enabling evil try to set up things like this, hoping to damage and destroy conscience. We had better understand that evils are always evil and the corrosive nature of ANY evil. For, if we err and imagine it a good under certain circumstances, guess what happens as conscience is dulled and we imagine that untruth in service to the imagined good is a good. That is already, the end “justifies” the means. Beyond, the definition of the alleged good end starts to be corrupted and then we find ourselves liars for anything that suits our wishes. The underlying point is, untruth is the foundation of injustice and duty to truth is fundamental to intellectual integrity. This already points to duties to right reason, neighbour, justice and more. Much more has already been noted. KF

  323. 323

    @KF You have not provided any validation yet of any subjective part of reality, and dismissed what I know to be the sole correct validation of it.

    Materialistic scientism is basically the same, denying the reality of any subjective part of reallity, as distinct from the objective part of reality.

    It is clear that the materialistic scientism ideologists are focused on objectivity, and disregard subjectivity. You are also focused on objectivity.

    You are not so far away from fullblown materialistic scientism.

  324. 324
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, our self-aware, intelligent, rational, responsible, volitional consciousness is pivotal to our being. However there is also an error proneness in us and we must exert prudence in what we take as true and known. That has been my essential point and it ought not to be even remotely controversial. It is not a denigration of our being to recognise we can err and need to take due steps to avoid error while seeking truth and reliable knowledge of it. KF

  325. 325
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Kairosfocus
    Folks, lying is an evil, and that includes when it is a lesser evil and the product of an unjust situation where all choices available are bad;

    KF are you joking? In this situation is not about lying it’s about not helping some criminals to kill more and becoming yourself part of this criminal organisation . There is no truth without love.

  326. 326
    asauber says:

    I get the distinct feeling that some commenters here want to be able to feel OK about lying, you know, depending on the situation.

    Andrew

  327. 327
    Joe Schooner says:

    KF are you joking? In this situation is not about lying it’s about not helping some criminals to kill more and becoming yourself part of this criminal organisation .

    Sorry, but telling a Nazi that you are not hiding Jews, when you are, is a lie. There is no getting around it.

  328. 328

    @KF My judgement is that what you say is wrong and evil. You are part of the group of people that is obsessed with objectivity and undermines subjectivity.

    Your idea about proneness to error, the reality of error, it is derivative of the definition of choice in terms of figuring out the best option, which is wrong.

    But hey, you spend about 0 time on figuring out the correct definition of words, you just quote the definitions verbatim from a common dictionary. Ofcourse you end up being wrong, when that is how you do your “work”.

    The correct definition of the word choose, is to make one of alternative futures the present.

    As you can see when looking at common discourse, that is literally what is said to occur in making a choice.

    But you don’t look at common discourse. And you don’t reference people who have investigated common discourse. The work you do is, some kind of politics where you get consensus on the definition of a term with some arbitrary set of intellectuals. Making definitions, you don’t consider that to be your actual job, you just lift the definitions verbatim from a “quallity” dictionary.

  329. 329
    kairosfocus says:

    LCD,

    yes there is the matter of dealing with those who have no right to truth given their foul intent, but who have usurped power perverting the task of government to defend the civil peace of justice. In that situation, the decent person is confronted with a choice of evils thus it is an evil day. We may excuse or even commend lying to protect innocents at risk of death at the hands of such evil men. However, and that is a subtler art of evil, that has not changed the nature and effects of lying; as with many other evils, lying is corrosive, eroding conscience and right reason, and of community. If we lose sight of that we will be less on guard and the more readily degraded by it.

    Ponder Peter’s dilemmas on the night when Jesus was betrayed and subjected to kangaroo courts. Satan hath desired to sift you as wheat. Peter lied to protect himself and others, but note how it devastated him, requiring a restoration. There are other cases, my point is that those who desperately want to avoid facing the self-evident duty of truth posed a confusing distractor requiring that long use that exercises the senses to soundly discern good and evil.

    Notice, above, they cannot address the living memory case that has exercised me for decades and has helped me to see just how corrosive evils are so that one danger in dealing with rampant and spreading evil is that we may be so corroded that we become ever more like them.

    So, in responding I insist that we must recognise that the lesser of evils is still an evil, therefore corrupting and destructive, tempting us ever further down the slippery path, “let us do evil that good may come.” We may have only a choice to do lesser of evils, but that is itself in part a design of the truly evil to corrupt us; hence, Peter’s travails.

    So, then, we may well have to make what is a just war of resistance calculation, but there is no doubt that war is an evil.

    And no, these matters are the very opposite of jokes.

    Those who posed them above, in hopes of distracting, confusing and discrediting need to ponder the warning to those who would cause children to stumble into evil.

    KF

  330. 330
    StephenB says:

    To Joe Schooner and kairosfocus:

    The justification for lying to murderous Nazis lies in the hierarchical nature of truths found in the Natural Moral Law, many of which are self-evident. It is this hierarchy of objective moral truths that provides the needed moral direction. The duty to truth, which is very real, is, nevertheless, on a lower scale than the duty to preserve or save an innocent human life. So when these two moral duties come into conflict, the lower duty — to tell the truth — must be subordinated to the higher duty — to save an innocent life. This is how we come to a just decision and, as indicated, there is such a thing as an objective standard of justice that defines these duties and their interactions.

    Most humans know that the moral law exists at the deepest level their consciousness, even though many disavow it at the superficial level. William J. Murray, for example, claims that he doesn’t really know if there is any such thing as a standard of justice. At the same time, he carries on endlessly about a Christian God who creates humans without consulting them, knowing that some will abuse their free will and go to hell. Obviously, WJM thinks that God has violated an objective standard of justice, but he cannot yet understand the internal contradictions contained in his world view.

  331. 331
    asauber says:

    Very good comment KF @ 329.

    Lesser evils choices are a perpetual part of life and i would venture to say that is clearly evident. Why some need to carve a special philosophical niche for some Virtuous Lying raises some questions.

    Andrew

  332. 332
    Joe Schooner says:

    The duty to truth, which is very real, is, nevertheless, on a lower scale than the duty to preserve save an innocent life.

    You are backpedaling. The duty to preserve save an innocent life wasn’t on your list of first duties. Are you going to amend your list?

  333. 333
    ram says:

    asauber: Sure, I would. Any other stupid questions?

    Sorry. My question was typo misfire. I meant to write, wouldn’t you lie to save your children.

    When you wrote “sez who?” I kinda got the impression that you disagreed that lying is sometimes a good thing to do.

    –Ram

  334. 334
    ram says:

    Joe Schooner: You are backpedaling. The duty to preserve save an innocent life wasn’t on your list of first duties. Are you going to amend your list?

    Good question. This business of “duties” isn’t so black and white. KF thinks he can map it out like a computer algorithm. But he hasn’t come close to doing that. And doesn’t seem to want to. Bottom line is, all of his words are in the service of his religion, which is OK, but he doesn’t like to frankly admit it. Nor do the other players on “his side.” At the end of the day all of this talk is about religion, not logical warrants from nature or anything else. Which is OK. Just be honest about it.

    –Ram

  335. 335
    asauber says:

    Ram,

    I would certainly lie to save my children.

    I would describe it as choosing a lesser evil to save my children, because that’s what I would be doing.

    Andrew

  336. 336
    ram says:

    SB: At the same time, he carries on endlessly about a Christian God who creates humans without consulting them, knowing that some will abuse their free will and go to hell. Obviously, WJM thinks that God has violated an objective standard of justice, but he cannot yet understand the internal contradictions contained in his world view.

    This Christian god that you speak of is really just a set of ideas held by people like you. He isn’t actually here on earth that anyone can objectively deal with. This is really about people like you who believe in some hypothetical god that tortures people forever, and why you think it’s is acceptable. At the end of the day, the fact that you worship such a monstrous conception is merely an index of the psychological framework of you and your fellow travelers. This is worrisome for some of us.

    People like you can never give a straight answer as to why this god of yours is a-OK with torturing individuals forever, when at very least, and most mercifully, he could just snuff them out. It’s astonishing that you would worship such a conception.

    –Ram

  337. 337
    kairosfocus says:

    Ram and JS, what do you think duty to neighbour implies [inter alia], on thousands of years of discussion of the golden rule? Are you that ill informed? KF

    PS: Just for reference, here is Locke in a central passage citing Hooker:

    [Locke, in 2nd Treatise on Civil Govt Ch 2 Sec 5, citing “the judicious [Anglican Canon Richard] Hooker [in his Ecclesiastical Polity]”] . . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant . . . [Hooker then continues, citing Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics, Bk 8:] as namely, That because we would take no harm, we must therefore do none; That since we would not be in any thing extremely dealt with, we must ourselves avoid all extremity in our dealings; That from all violence and wrong we are utterly to abstain, with such-like . . . [Eccl. Polity, preface, Bk I, “ch.” 8, p.80, cf. here. Emphasis added.]

  338. 338
    kairosfocus says:

    AS, it is clear that there is a lot of lurking hostility, and that the underlying agenda is to undermine moral principle through relativism, which has a raft of lurking absurdities. Such will not end well. Meanwhile, SM has stumbled across the Ciceronian first duties and that’s a new atheist. KF

  339. 339
    Joe Schooner says:

    Ram@334, KF’s “first duties” are a great list of behaviors that are preferred for people who choose to live in society. But, like any behavior, they are not, and should not be, absolute. Do you tell kids with Down’s syndrome that they are less mentally capable than most people without Down’s, or do you lie? Do you tell a three year old with stage four cancer that they are going to die a painful death?

    There are plenty of circumstances where lying is a good thing and telling the truth would be evil. Unfortunately, this runs counter to KF’s ideology.

  340. 340

    You all don’t understand anything about morality.

    A duty to the truth.

    What is the truth of how subjectivity and objectivity works?

    I know, I will just quote some arbitrary dictionary on it verbatim. But I will make sure it is a “quality” dictionary, that way I have ensured that what I quoted is, the “truth”.

    It’s all a total joke, clownworld. A total outrage of people who do not understand anything, who do not do any work investigating anything, and just total hubris, fantasizing it all, from the top of their head.

  341. 341
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    There are plenty of circumstances where lying is a good thing and telling the truth would be evil. Unfortunately, this runs counter to KF’s ideology.

    🙂 That’s why nobody should believe a word from your messages , because we don’t know when you will consider to tell a lie for “good” reasons .

    People like you can never give a straight answer as to why this god of yours is a-OK with torturing individuals forever, when at very least, and most mercifully, he could just snuff them out.

    Oh no another anonimous that is more loving than God, except that person forget to mention that to be tortured forever is not God’s choice but is entirely on humans choice. If you choose that is not God’s fault. You don’t care what God have to say then go play in other universe. You can’t do that simple thing like your own universe? Maybe you are not smart enough? If you are not smart enough maybe the smartest thing is that you should just shut up?

  342. 342
    William J Murray says:

    SB said:

    William J. Murray, for example, claims that he doesn’t really know if there is any such thing as a standard of justice. At the same time, he carries on endlessly about a Christian God who creates humans without consulting them, knowing that some will abuse their free will and go to hell. Obviously, WJM thinks that God has violated an objective standard of justice, but he cannot yet understand the internal contradictions contained in his world view.

    You and KF seem to be unable to make an argument without appealing to mind-reading. As I have already said either in this thread or the other, I’m not making my argument about the hypothesized Christian God from my own beliefs; I’m logically arguing about your beliefs and statements using logic, possible alternatives and comparisons to show the internal, logical issues.

    I don’t think the God I believe in (ground of being) has violated any objective standard of justice because no such universal, objective standard exists in my worldview. The hypothetical actions and decisions of the Christian God do not violate any standard of justice on my part, or any sense of justice on my part, as I’ve already stated, because my view of such things is “might makes right.” What problem can I have with a God that deliberately creates a hell full of billions of tortured souls suffering for eternity? Might makes right; the big dog does as he wishes with no need of explanation.

    My actual argument, not the on SB is projecting on me, is that the supposed actions of the hypothetical Christian God violate the “standards” of justice, love and mercy (as KF put it) that Christians themselves believe in, but they give their God a pass because it’s God and make excuses for it or just say it’s something we cannot understand.

    I see no one is addressing my questions in the “Determinism For Thee” thread, as I thought would be the case.

  343. 343
    Origenes says:

    A Sauber @314

    @ I’m in agreement with KF that lying is an evil and sometimes its a lesser evil among greater and sometimes very great evils.

    Is it your claim that in some circumstances every possible behavior is evil?

  344. 344
    William J Murray says:

    LCD said:

    Oh no another anonimous that is more loving than God, except that person forget to mention that to be tortured forever is not God’s choice but is entirely on humans choice.

    Nope, it would be the hypothetical Christian God’s choice because God knew the outcome for the person before he even created him. God is the only one that had any power to change the actual outcome. The only way that outcome can possibly be avoided is for God to not create that person. This puts the responsibility for that outcome entirely in God’s hands because God is the only one that can prevent it.

  345. 345
    William J Murray says:

    This is one of the reasons I enjoy debates here; I often get challenged in ways that bring me to entirely new thoughts. Like the one I just had.

    Given the Christian scenario of their proposed God existing outside of our space-time, the instant God creates a person, they are already in Heaven or Hell at the end of the timeline God created. Us living through it is just an artifact of our own limited perspective.

    Even though we (under Christian perspective) have free will from our perspective, from God’s perspective our fates are not only immediately determined upon the instant of our creation; we are actually already there in God’s perspective. Yes, God created our instantiation here, but that instantiation included every single moment of our life and our eternal existence afterward. From the perspective of that God, the entirety of the eternal life of a being is instantiated at the moment of creation.

    Therefore, God actually creates people into the hell of eternal suffering; their free will choices in their lives nothing more than a formality we experience from our perspective.

  346. 346
    StephenB says:

    Joe Schooner:

    –“You are backpedaling. The duty to preserve save an innocent life wasn’t on your list of first duties. Are you going to amend your list?”

    I didn’t make any list, but I could have made a long one, which would include, AMONG OTHER THINGS, the duty to truth,. life, justice, compassion, honor, loyalty, etc. You are using this nonsensical objection to avoid my argument. Please address the latter.

  347. 347
    StephenB says:

    Ram:
    — “This Christian god that you speak of is really just a set of ideas held by people like you.”

    Jesus Christ, who claimed to be God, and who supported that claim by performing numerous miracles offered up himself as a living sacrifice . These are historical facts testified to by Jewish and Roman historians. He was much more than a set of ideas.

    — This is really about people like you who believe in some hypothetical god that tortures people forever, and why you think it’s is acceptable.”

    No, the thread is not about that at all. It is about the existence of objective truth, the natural moral law, and the human capacity to apprehend both. It would help if you read the post. The natural moral law contains no religious presuppositions. I have already pointed that out and provided examples.. Your ignorance of this fact and your unwillingness to respond to my related comments does not make it any less of a fact. Your anti-Christian rantings are an attempt to change the subject.

  348. 348

    These kinds of statements, like a “duty to the truth”, are only meaningful if you get the emotion behind that statement just right. If your father or mother says it in some experience you had about lying, and hurting people, that you can get a real feeling behind it.

    But just as words, it is just cheap talk. What matters here is the creationist conceptual scheme. That is all important here, that is not cheap talk. That is basic understanding of subjectivity and objectivity, which can annihilate the socialists.

    Everything shows, all the evidence, it points the finger at socialists being incapable to deal with subjective issues. The materialism, the scientific racism, the calculations of equity. It’s all emotionless calculated formula’s, without common sense judgement based on a normal emotional life.

  349. 349
    ram says:

    SB: Jesus Christ, who claimed to be God, and who supported that claim by performing numerous miracles offered up himself as a living sacrifice .

    You weren’t there. And the evidence is scant at best. But even if Jesus was raised from the dead, that doesn’t prove the gospels are a reliable source. Jews don’t accept it. You might want to ask me why, and I’ll be happy to tell you. In short, the New Testament is a train wreck. I’ll be happy to discuss the issues here or elsewhere.

    At any rate, the claim that there are “moral warrants” from “natural law” is nonsense. The grounding of your philosophy is your religion and your subjective brain programming. At least be honest about it. That you “really, really believe it’s true”, is not rational. (Nor persuasive.)

    No, the thread is not about that at all. It is about the existence of objective truth, the natural moral law

    “Natural moral law” is a fiction that you can’t demonstrate to be objective true, like the sun shining in the sky.

    and the human capacity to apprehend both.

    I acknowlege that most humans have “moral sensibilities”, these are value and are variable, they differ from person to person, and from application to application. The particulars are subjective. This is objectively true, but that’s where it ends.

    Do you care to answer the question: why are you OK with a conception of god that tortures individuals forever? How can you possible believe in such a conception?

    –Ram

  350. 350
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, SB is right and it is time to refocus the themes in the OP; there is no good reason for the sort of obviously hostile tone and polarising tangents above. If someone has genuine questions, there are other places online with qualified people able to address such. UD, is not that place. As for the intelligible, built in natural law and first duties extendable to bodies of morals, law, government and more, it should suffice to observe that the key name cited has been Cicero, a Roman Stoic who summarised what had been thought through by 50 BC. As for extendable, a glance at the historical contribution will suffice to illustrate the point, Hooker knew what he was saying 400 years ago, and Locke 300 years ago. KF

  351. 351
    ram says:

    KF: Ram and JS, what do you think duty to neighbour implies

    “Take care of your neighbor as yourself” seems like a good policy. (Lev 19:18) People in most societies seem to accept the benefit of something along those lines. But it’s not because of any necessary metaphysical “warrant.” It’s sort of an enlightening self-interest. And it’s not inviolable. There have been times where I had to kick my neighbors ass. Sometimes the neighbor is worthy of a good ass-whooping.

    At any rate, I am a religion man. I am a theist. I have no problem with all with theism, or the idea that humans should be treated fairly. My beef with you is that you don’t squarely admit that your philosophical grounding is religious. It’s not based on some fictional “natural law” divorced from your religion.

    –Ram

  352. 352
    ram says:

    WJM: the instant God creates a person, they are already in Heaven or Hell

    The question arises, why not “they are already in Heaven or oblivion?” The Christians have no answer why their monstrous conception of god has the option of eternal torment instead of oblivion.

    Keep pressing this issue. It brings a cognitive dissonance to the foreground that they are obviously uncomfortable with. And rightly so.

    –Ram

  353. 353
    ram says:

    Sidebar: the Hebrew scriptures have no such thing as the monstrous concept of eternal torture. Talk about a warrant or duty. The first “duty” should be “don’t believe your Creator is a monster who consigns people to endless torture.”

    That is a horrendous concept to impute to the Creator.

    People who believe in such a monstrous god of eternal torture should be ashamed of themselves.

    (Not all Christians believe that monstrous concept, to their credit.)

    –Ram

  354. 354
    ram says:

    I’ll say it again:

    Your first “duty” is: “don’t believe your Creator is a monster who consigns people to endless torture.”

    –Ram

  355. 355
    ET says:

    Joe Schooner:

    Not according to KF. He is claiming that lying to Nazis to save Jews is evil. Does anyone else here believe this?

    Evil is not binary. And evil is relative. This is the way.

  356. 356
    ram says:

    ET: Evil is not binary. And evil is relative. This is the way.

    There was nothing evil at all about lying to Nazis to save victims.

    Period.

    Second “duty”: You have a duty to lie if necessary to save innocent victims. And there is nothing “evil” about this. Not even a little bit. Period.

    –Ram

  357. 357
    StephenB says:

    WJM:
    –“You and KF seem to be unable to make an argument without appealing to mind-reading.”

    Not true. It is obvious that you think the Christian God should not create humans without first consulting them. It is, again, obvious that you think that it would be *unfair* for Him to do so.

    –“As I have already said either in this thread or the other, I’m not making my argument about the hypothesized Christian God from my own beliefs; I’m logically arguing about your beliefs and statements using logic, possible alternatives and comparisons to show the internal, logical issues.

    Again, not true. No one on my side thinks that God should consult his creatures before creating them. That perspective came from you and no one else. It is your standard for justice and it appears to be non-negotiable. .

    –“I don’t think the God I believe in (ground of being) has violated any objective standard of justice because no such universal, objective standard exists in my worldview.”

    That you have remade God in your own image and likeness is not the issue on the table. We are discussing the Christian God that you disapprove of.

    —“The hypothetical actions and decisions of the Christian God do not violate any standard of justice on my part, or any sense of justice on my part, as I’ve already stated, because my view of such things is “might makes right.”

    Then why did you raise the issue? Why did you (do you) disapprove of a God who would create humans without their permission. Surely you are not claiming that you (are) were neutral on the matter. No one on my side of the issue believes that. It is *your* moral standard that says God owes it to his creatures to let them know He is going to create them before He creates them, something that is, of course, logically impossible.

    —“What problem can I have with a God that deliberately creates a hell full of billions of tortured souls suffering for eternity? Might makes right; the big dog does as he wishes with no need of explanation.”

    You think that description is neutral and free of moral indignation, do you?

    —“My actual argument, not the on SB is projecting on me, is that the supposed actions of the hypothetical Christian God violate the “standards” of justice, love and mercy (as KF put it) that Christians themselves believe in, but they give their God a pass because it’s God and make excuses for it or just say it’s something we cannot understand.”

    It isn’t that hard to understand. According to the Scriptures, God desires that “all men be saved.” At the same time, all men do not desire to be saved, as is clear from their attitude and behavior. In the final reckoning, God says to those who have chosen hell as their state of existence, “Thy will be done.” You make it sound like God made the choice. Do you think that is fair? Oh, excuse me, I forgot. You don’t believe in accountable standards of fairness – except when you are judging the Christian God.

    WJM to LCD—“Nope, it would be the hypothetical Christian God’s choice because God knew the outcome for the person before he even created him. God is the only one that had any power to change the actual outcome,”

    No. God’s knowledge of a future human decision does not determine the substance of that decision. God knows if and when the stock market will crash. That doesn’t mean He caused it to happen.

  358. 358
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    :)) If God Himself decided to die for human kind to exculpate all to go to hell that means eternal punishment is not a joke.
    When a person hurt another person , human law punish sometimes prison for life for an action that last few seconds(killing a person,etc) and this is for a temporary/limited/created person . When a human person attacks God’s infinite Person create an infinite offense. Even so God forgives us if we repent, accept and obey Him. If we reject God second time (after He gave us the possibility to escape eternal hell) it’s on us .

  359. 359
    Origenes says:

    The Christian God knows in advance that the vast majority of people will end up in hell being subjected to eternal torment, yet he decides to create them.
    How is that a moral decision?

  360. 360
    ram says:

    Who here is willing to do a live multi-person podcast?

    –Ram

  361. 361
    ram says:

    LCD: If God Himself decided to die for human kind to exculpate all to go to hell that means eternal punishment is not a joke.

    1. Your monstrous god chose to torture people who fail the test.
    2. Your monstrous god decides to die so that he can reverse his decision to torture people who fail the test.

    Yeah. That makes sense. Why didn’t he just not do #1?

    Shameful that people believe such evil of their Creator.

    Your first “duty” is: “don’t believe your Creator is a monster who consigns people to endless torture.”

    –Ram

  362. 362
    StephenB says:

    Ram—“You weren’t there. And the evidence is scant at best. But even if Jesus was raised from the dead, that doesn’t prove the gospels are a reliable source. Jews don’t accept it. You might want to ask me why, and I’ll be happy to tell you. In short, the New Testament is a train wreck. I’ll be happy to discuss the issues here or elsewhere.

    The evidence for the historical Jesus is not scant. You are simply misinformed.

    —“At any rate, the claim that there are “moral warrants” from “natural law” is nonsense.”

    If you believe that, make your case. Explain why Aristotle’s account of natural law is “nonsense.. Explain why you think he was depending on religious suppositions, which has been your claim all along.

    –“Natural moral law” is a fiction that you can’t demonstrate to be objective true, like the sun shining in the sky.

    First, you claim that the thread is all about religious presuppositions, and when I correct you and explain that it is really about natural law, you carry on as if the corrective never happened. You ignored what I said earlier about Aristotle (and Plato) concerning their testimony about natural law hundreds of years before the Christian religion came to me. Obviously, they were not leaning on religious presuppositions. What is your response to this fact?

    —“I acknowlege that most humans have “moral sensibilities”, these are value and are variable, they differ from person to person, and from application to application.”

    What good is a moral sensibility that is not based on truth or one on which everyone will disagree? How can these sensibilities be valuable of they are not dependable as objective realities. You seem to be promoting moral relativism, which is totally illogical and always leads to tyranny. Are you a fan of tyranny? How can people govern themselves if they don’t acknowledge moral truths that would help them be responsible citizens?

    —“Do you care to answer the question: why are you OK with a conception of god that tortures individuals forever? How can you possible believe in such a conception?

    I will answer if you will address what I have already said on the matter, which can be found in my last response to you. Also, you say that you are OK with religion, but you haven’t told us which God you believe in. Would you be willing to provide that information? I

  363. 363
    William J Murray says:

    Look at this sequence, SB and others: The following is exactly what SB laid out at the top of 357:
    WJM:

    –“You and KF seem to be unable to make an argument without appealing to mind-reading.”

    SB:

    Not true. It is obvious that you think

    SB, you telling me what I “obviously think” is an example of attempted mind-reading.

    No one on my side thinks that God should consult his creatures before creating them.

    What difference does that make to my argument that it is a violation of their free will, or to the argument that upon creating that person God already knows they will end up in hell suffering for eternity?

    Then why did you raise the issue?

    I told you why several times why I make arguments here. Why did I argue for objective morality for a year when I didn’t even believe in it? I make arguments that interest me and which I enjoy making to help me think of things I may not have thought of before.

    You think that description is neutral and free of moral indignation, do you?

    There’s no moral indignation on my part at all. Is that what you would feel if you had made that statement? Are you saying that you would feel “morally indignant” about a God that deliberately creates a hell full of billions of tortured souls suffering for eternity? I mean, that IS the situation if your beliefs are true, right? Don’t you think there might be something wrong if you respond to a factual accounting of the ramifications of your own beliefs as if it necessarily implies moral indignation?

    You make it sound like God made the choice.

    He did. See my explanation below.

    In the final reckoning, God says to those who have chosen hell as their state of existence, “Thy will be done.”

    Do you think people that end up in hell actually believed they would end up in hell suffering eternal torment, much less had any idea what that would be like?

    No. God’s knowledge of a future human decision does not determine the substance of that decision. God knows if and when the stock market will crash. That doesn’t mean He caused it to happen.

    The reason this argument usually succeeds is because it relies on the inability of others to see where the perspective switches from that of God to that of a human. From God’s perspective, our choices and future outcome are 100% determined as soon as God instantiates that particular creation. From our perspective, we’re making free will choices, but our fate has already been decided by God making the choice of which creation to instantiate out of all the possible choices available.

    So it’s not just God’s knowledge that determines our outcome regardless of our free will; it is God’s act of instantiating a particular creation; that “creation,” from God’s perspective, not just the beginning of it, but the whole thing all the way though eternity. Our outcomes are necessarily predetermined by God, even though we have free will. God made the choice of who would end up in heaven and who would end up in hell when he decided on a particular creation and deliberately instantiated it. There’s nothing anyone can do, free will or not, to alter that end result.

    All of that is about the Christian view and the hypothetical Christian God. I’m not arguing from or about my own beliefs. Just reminding you.

  364. 364
    ET says:

    Ram- “All sins are evil but can be turned around for good”- anonymous

    But I am OK with saying not all sins are evil. It may even be a duty to lie in such a circumstance as the nazi dilemma.

  365. 365
    ram says:

    ET: Ram- “All sins are evil but can be turned around for good”- anonymous

    It almost looks as if your quote is me saying that.

    It isn’t.

    “Sin” is religous word. Matter of opinion. Evil is another matter.

    Lying to save the innocent is not evil and never a sin. The Creator would be disappointed if you didn’t.

    –Ram

  366. 366
    ram says:

    SB: The evidence for the historical Jesus is not scant. You are simply misinformed.

    Hehe. Yes it is. Anyone is free to look. You’re bluffing and it’s amusing.

    I can guarantee one thing, you weren’t anywhere close to being there.

    At any rate, you believe in a monstrous god who tortures people eternally.

    What does this say about you.

    Your morality needs some adjusting.

    Shame.

    –Ram

  367. 367
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    At any rate, you believe in a monstrous god who tortures people eternally.

    Looks like you are already in the hell. Cognitive dissonance much?

    But I am OK with saying not all sins are evil. It may even be a duty to lie in such a circumstance as the nazi dilemma.

    You (and many others )fall for this word(lying ) but is not the correct word in this context (was introduced by Origenes trying to prove KF wrong.) . You don’t technically lie when you don’t want to collaborate with criminals to do much more harm because the moral law was given by God for good .

  368. 368
    ram says:

    SB: God says to those who have chosen hell as their state of existence, “Thy will be done.”

    As if you speak for the Creator.

    No, the Creator didn’t say that. Your monstrous mental delusion says that with regards to eternal torture.

    Your conception of God is not God. It’s just your conception.

    –Ram

  369. 369
    ram says:

    Folks, when you say “God” shouldn’t you have the humility to say, “my conception of God”?

    Because that’s what you’re talking about.

    –Ram

  370. 370
    StephenB says:

    SB: The evidence for the historical Jesus is not scant. You are simply misinformed.

    Ram: —“Hehe. Yes it is. Anyone is free to look. You’re bluffing and it’s amusing.”

    It is you who are bluffing. Apparently, you are so badly educated that you don’t even know what B.C and A.D. or BCE means. Those indicators refer to the history that took place before Christ (B.C) and after Christ (A.D). Since you are obviously unaware of it, I will tell you: This is the way historians divide history. Do you think they would use those markers if they doubted that Christ was a historical figure?

    Given your educational deficiencies, I think I can safely assume that you have not read Aristotle and Plato on natural law. The sad fact is that you really don’t know anything worth knowing. You can’t even tell me which God you believe in.

  371. 371
    kairosfocus says:

    Ram, tilting at strawmen may be rhetorically enjoyable but comes at a price, your credibility. The concept of a dilemma is the presentation of a choice, either of which is a potentially deadly horn. There is no doubt that lying is an evil, something that were it the dominant pattern of communication would act like counterfeit money: it displaces, undermines value and trust and disintegrates community. In case you miss it, that’s a form of Kant’s Categorical Imperative used as a test. That evil character — as I explicitly explained above more than once but which you conveniently skipped over in haste to try to discredit — does not go away in circumstances where decent people are entrapped by invaders or usurpers of government abusing power to commit genocidal murder and face dilemmas with murder on one horn and lying in hopes of averting murder on the other. This is a case of war and resistance to tyranny, but we must not imagine that the evil, corrosive effects of lying have evaporated because one is trying to do the better of bad things in an oppressive situation. Which, BTW, illustrates the importance of duty to justice, the due balance of rights, freedoms, duties is mutually compatible, harmonious and averts such dilemmas of evils. Where, BTW, the first right is life, and similarly, duty to neighbour includes duty not to harm or wrong including by violating basic rights. This is ancient, the objections above were reflective of basic gaps in understanding that are troubling signs of where our civilisation now is and the cliff edge it is dancing on. KF

  372. 372
    kairosfocus says:

    SB, attn Ram: The sort of ignorance of readily accessed historical facts regarding Jesus of Nazareth reflects irresponsible hyperskepticism widely promoted by certain types of atheists, low rent media and sometimes ignorant teachers. It is frequently promoted in certain online echo chambers and then spills over into the sort of attack rhetoric we see above. Ram shows himself uneducated and loud in raising ill founded objections. His credibility is thus negative, yet another case here at UD. Sad, but, again, reflective of the sadly bankrupt state of our education (which in any sane world would give a sober balanced summary on someone so pivotal that our calendar splits history based on the approximate time of his birth; they were about 4 years off given the time of Herod’s death) and the ignorant selective hyperskepticism that is so widely promoted. The reality is, that were the same sort of hyperskepticism generally applied most of ancient history no sane person disregards would go poof. And, there is no good reason to think the warrant for that history is poor. KF

    PS: Ram, take some time to read as was already linked, preferably before coming back here to put your rhetorical foot in your mouth again. You have already destroyed any credibility you might have had. If you had ASKED instead of attacked, that would have been different.

    PPS: Much the same applies to the dripping hostility to God. Apparently, it has not dawned on you that across centuries and today millions have been positively transformed through encounter and relationship with God, especially through the power of the gospel anchored on the prophesied and fulfilled death, burial and resurrection — with 500 eyewitnesses. I happen to be one, absent God I would be dead 50 years. As to attributes of God, it is easy to see our world cannot be self-caused or have completed a past infinity of years [a supertask of finite stage steps], so we need a finitely remote root of reality. likewise we do not get a world from utter non being as such has no causal capacity. There are excellent reasons that convinced say Sir Fred Hoyle, that the world shows signs that it was designed starting with fine tuning. Likewise, with infinite past, self causation and a world from utter non being off the table, we are looking at necessary (and thus eternal) being as ultimate cause. I AM THAT I AM actually makes excellent logic of being sense and the phrase predates the philosophising that drew such out by a thousand years and more. Further, we are morally governed creatures as your objections regarding lying to save lives inadvertently illustrate [yes the appeals to first duties are inescapable]. The best explanation — that is an appeal to modern sense inductive logic, specifically the abduction that plays a huge role in science and daily life –post Hume and Euthyphro, is the inherently good and utterly wise creator God, a necessary and maximally great being; worthy of loyalty and of the responsible, reasonable service that does the good that accords with our evident nature. A familiar figure and not to be dismissed with the sort of rhetoric above.

    PPPS: SB, the list of course draws on Cicero as is highlighted in red in the cite in the OP; the Etc. points onward to much more — to thousands of years of jurisprudence for just one facet, and to similarly thousands of years of the serious ethical thought that has been so unwisely forgotten in an age of folly — but the framework is sufficient to be elaborated by those who by reason of use have exercised their senses to discern good from evil.

  373. 373
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: It seems some are so far gone they wish to challenge first principles of right reason. I bring forward a clip put up already, from the late, great Irving Copi, co-authors and successors, 14th edn, opening salvo:

    Logic is the study of the methods and principles used to distinguish correct from incorrect reasoning. When we reason about any matter, we produce arguments to support our conclusions. Our arguments include reasons that we think justify our beliefs. However, not all reasons are good reasons. Therefore we may always ask, when we confront an argument: Does the conclusion reached follow from the premises assumed? To answer this question there are objective criteria; in the study of logic we seek to discover and apply those criteria.

    Reasoning is not the only way in which people support assertions they make or accept. They may appeal to authority or to emotion [–> follows Ari’s trichotomy in The Rhetoric, Bk 1 Ch 2], which can be very persuasive, or they may rely, without reflection, simply on habits. However, when someone wants to make judgments that can be completely relied upon, their only solid foundation will be correct reasoning. Using the methods and techniques of logic—the subject matter of this book—one can distinguish reliably between sound and faulty reasoning.

    [DEFNS]
    Logic The study of the methods and principles used to distinguish correct from incorrect reasoning.

    Proposition A statement; what is typically asserted using a declarative sentence, and hence always either true or false— although its truth or falsity may be unknown . . . .

    Propositions are the building blocks of our reasoning. A proposition asserts that something is the case or it asserts that something is not. We may affirm a proposition, or deny it—but every proposition either asserts what really is the case, or it asserts something that is not. Therefore every proposition is either true or false . . . . In logic, the internal structure of propositions is important. To evaluate an argument we need a full understanding of the propositions that appear in that argument . . . . With propositions as building blocks, we construct arguments. In any argument we affirm one proposition on the basis of some other propositions. In doing this, an inference is drawn.

    Inference is a process that may tie together a cluster of propositions. Some inferences are warranted (or correct); others are not. The logician analyzes these clusters, examining the propositions with which the process begins and with which it ends, as well as the relations among these propositions. Such a cluster of propositions constitutes an argument. Arguments are the chief concern of logic.

    Inference A process by which one proposition is arrived at and affirmed on the basis of some other proposition or propositions.

    Argument is a technical term in logic. It need not involve disagreement, or controversy. In
    logic, argument refers strictly to any group of propositions of which one is claimed to follow from the others, which are regarded as providing support for the truth of that one. For every possible inference there is a corresponding argument. [CH 1]

    We can use Paul’s C1 Rhetoric 101 example — likely, a common sense case used in basic rhetoric education — to draw out the pivotal importance of distinct identity:

    1 Cor 14: 7 If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? 8 And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? [–> Distinct identity, here as foundational to intelligible thought and communication, where non contradiction and excluded middle are close corollaries.*] 9 So with yourselves, if with your tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air. 10 There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning, 11 but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me.
    _________________
    * I here reject the notion that the 17 Boolean Theorems are equally foundational. As strict tautologies yes, but as to how we get there, we start from distinct identity just to be intelligible, carrying with it the close corollaries. Then we can go to logic of being, weak form inquiry into sufficient reason with cause as a corollary, then other issues including various fallacies and follies; Proverbs is target rich on moral fallacies

    To see this core, contemplate a universe W: { . . . }. In W we have W = {A|~A}. A is distinct and distinguishable from its complement in W. This illustrates too, simple and complex unity (think, bunch of grapes). A is itself, distinct from non being 0, and from what is ~A because of its core defining characteristics, LOI. Next, no x in W is A AND ~A, non contradiction. Similarly any y in W will be A or else — X-OR — ~A but not both or neither, LEM. Yes there are 17 first tautologies demonstrable through truth tables etc, but to get there we have to go through Paul’s 101.

    Beyond, we go to logic’s inescapability and first principle status, via Epictetus what 135 AD for this?

    DISCOURSES
    CHAPTER XXV

    How is logic necessary?

    When someone in [Epictetus’] audience said, Convince me that logic is necessary, he answered: Do you wish me to demonstrate this to you?—Yes.—Well, then, must I use a demonstrative argument?—And when the questioner had agreed to that, Epictetus asked him. How, then, will you know if I impose upon you?—As the man had no answer to give, Epictetus said: Do you see how you yourself admit that all this instruction is necessary, if, without it, you cannot so much as know whether it is necessary or not? [Notice, inescapable, thus self evidently true and antecedent to the inferential reasoning that provides deductive proofs and frameworks, including axiomatic systems and propositional calculus etc. We here see the first principles of right reason in action. Cf J. C. Wright]

    Going on briefly, logic of being says, we can ask and seek an answer as to why A is or is not or is possible or even is — square circle — impossible of being etc. That is the weak inquiry form principle of sufficient reason iPSR. Simple considerations give two chained dichotomies: possible vs impossible beings, of possible contingent vs necessary. Possible beings would be in some coherent possible world (perhaps including ours), impossible ones involve contradictory core characteristics . . . square circles, round triangles, six sided pentagons etc . . . and can only be expressed as forms of words if so much. Contingent beings are in some but not all possible worlds, e.g. a fire, and are caused i.e. there are enabling, on/off factors that allow them to be or if absent prevent existence or terminate it. Turn off the stove. Necessary beings are framework for any world to be and as at least one world exists, are eternal, try 2 as a case: imagine a world where such does not exist or begins or ceases, nope, fail. God is a NB with capability to cause worlds including our own with morally governed creatures, us.

    And so forth, of course, even introductory logic texts, if reasonably comprehensive, are fat. BTW, we should treat the compressed short works used to draw in reluctant readers as summaries to be supported by more comprehensive works.

    Much more, this is for a start.

    KF

  374. 374

    Your logic text is bent towards fact, things being forced.

    If some man is in love with some woman, wouldn’t that then be a good reason to ask her to marry?

    But according your logic text, emotion is excluded from reasoning. So your logic text is wrong.

  375. 375
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    Much the same applies to the dripping hostility to God.

    Criticizing a concept of god is not the same thing as criticizing God. It’s so weird that you and SB and others here don’t seem to be able to understand this.

  376. 376
    William J Murray says:

    I’d like to challenge Christians to explain some things about eternal torment:

    1. Show the logical necessity for eternal torment.
    2. Show the metaphysical necessity for eternal torment.
    3. Show how eternal torment is reflective of “justice,” “love,’ or “mercy other than as a big-dog decree that it is so.
    4. Show how my alternatives are either logically or metaphysically impossible, those alternatives being (a) replacing hell-bound people with biological automatons that fulfill their roles; or (b) replacing eternal torment with wiping those souls out of existence instead.
    5. This isn’t really a question of logic but just as important: how is it we are supposed to be happy in Heaven knowing that people we love, or even billions of people we don’t even know, are suffering eternal torment? How is that possible?

    I didn’t see any answers in the other thread, so I thought I’d bring it over to this thread to see if anyone was up to the challenge. I’m actually particularly interested in #5 , even though it isn’t even a question of logic. Anyone?

  377. 377
    kairosfocus says:

    PS, and if someone suggests he has no duty to right reason and its goal, truth, then we know such a one has told us he has negative credibility. Similarly, one who imagines that rights, the right and justice can be set aside at wish. That people even imagine they can suggest such publicly speaks sad volumes about where our civilisation now is and what it has walked away from for no good reason.

  378. 378
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, you know that you are well off topic on a needless tangent and hoping to stir polarisation and hostility; where you have already declared your rejection of key duties of reason, you are not being a reasonable person at this point and there can be no profitable discussion as you are refusing to heed duties to truth and reason much less fairness and justice. . Kindly stop this now, as was already requested. You know that there have been brief summaries previously, and you know that there are other places with experts willing to address the issues on points. You know this is a hostile threadjacking attempt and there is no excuse for it. KF

  379. 379
    William J Murray says:

    KF @378 said:

    …cand hoping to stir polarisation and hostility; …

    More mind reading and motive-mongering. Why not just answer the questions?

  380. 380
    asauber says:

    “Is it your claim that in some circumstances every possible behavior is evil?”

    Depends, so not necessarily.

    Andrew

  381. 381
    Origenes says:

    KF:

    You know this is a hostile threadjacking attempt …

    This thread is about “Inescapably Binding, Intelligible And Identifiable First Duties Of Reason.” WJM’s questions @376 are very much linked to this matter.

  382. 382
    bornagain77 says:

    God to Hitler: “You know Adolfy my ole boy, I been thinking about what all these non-Christians have been saying about hell being unfair and unjust, (and them wanting to live in a universe with no moral consequences for their sins against Me), so I’ve decided to just let you off scot-free for bringing all the unimaginable evil, horror, and misery on the world that you did”.

    Adolf: “Yippee”

    The 6 million Jews exterminated by Hitler in his death camps: “HUH?”

    Quote and verse

    “My last resistance to the idea of God’s wrath was a casualty of the war in the former Yugoslavia, the region from which I come. According to some estimates, 200,000 people were killed and 3,000,000 displaced. My villages and cities were destroyed, my people shelled day in and day out, some of them brutalized beyond imagination, and I could not imagine God not being angry.
    Though I used to complain about the indecency of God’s wrath, I came to think that I would have to rebel against a God who wasn’t wrathful at the sight of the world’s evil. God isn’t wrathful in spite of being love. God is wrathful because God is love.”
    – Miroslav Volf – Croatian theologian – quoted from “Yawning at Tigers; You Can’t Tame God so Stop Trying” – pg. 59

    Revelation 6
    9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10 They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” 11 Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.

  383. 383
    Joe Schooner says:

    You don’t technically lie when you don’t want to collaborate with criminals to do much more harm because the moral law was given by God for good .

    Lie: To present a false impression; be deceptive.
    Yes, you are telling a lie. It may be for a noble purpose, but it is still a lie.

  384. 384
    William J Murray says:

    You know this is a hostile threadjacking attempt …

    Again, instead of complaining and motive-mongering, why not just civilly answer questions? If you don’t want to answer a question, then don’t answer the question; if you don’t want to feed fuel to an off-topic comment, don’t respond to it. What end do you think making characterizations of people and their motives for commenting is going to reach?

  385. 385
    William J Murray says:

    BA77 @382:

    God to Hitler: “You know Adolfy my ole boy,…”

    Nobody said Hitler should be “let off” scott-free, so this is a straw man. Why not just answer the questions?

    Winking Hitler out of existence after his death would still be an eternal punishment, for Pete’s sake, because he no longer exists and cannot do any more harm – ever. Is it your view that those Jews rejoice in the eternal suffering of Hitler? Is it “just,” by your standards, that Hitler and Susie suffer the same eternal torment even though Susie never intentionally harmed any human or animal and was kind and helpful her entire life? Apparently so.

  386. 386
    Truth Will Set You Free says:

    WJM@384/385: KF is right. BA77 (and so many others) have already answered the question. You should – and probably do – know better. Be gone.

  387. 387
    William J Murray says:

    I mean, I guess there are people that would enjoy the idea that someone is eternally suffering, but those aren’t people I would enjoy being around. Ewww!

  388. 388
    Joe Schooner says:

    Getting back to the OP. In a society there are certain behaviors that a significant proportion of individuals must embrace for society to survive. And its foundation is the golden rule. There have been plenty of game theory simulations demonstrating this.

    KF’s claim, derived largely from is religious beliefs, is that these “first duties” are objective and outside the individual. But his arguments, in addition to being circular, are largely based on the consequences of not following these duties.

  389. 389
    William J Murray says:

    Truth Will Set You Free – do you think I or any others here are actively, deliberately trying to go to hell and suffer for eternity? Do you think that is a decision anyone would ever knowingly make?

  390. 390
    Origenes says:

    Truth Will Set You Free

    KF is right. BA77 (and so many others) have already answered the question.

    I was unaware of the fact that WJM’s questions @376 have been already answered. Multiple times even, so you say. Can you direct me to any of these answers to WJM’s questions? These questions are my questions also.

  391. 391
    Joe Schooner says:

    KF is right. BA77 (and so many others) have already answered the question.

    I stopped reading BA77’s comments shortly after I came here. His condescension towards anyone who doesn’t share his beliefs is just not something i wish to read. If you have a link to a specific comment that addresses WJM’s questions I would be grateful.

  392. 392

    And it is another nonsense discussion, and all the evolutionists are laughing at it.

    In philosophical discussions the proper procedures must be followed:

    1. Words must be defined, and defined logically.

    2. The definition must be the same as the logic used with the word in common discourse. (which is not neccessarily the same as the definition in a dictionary)

    3. If you want to use a word differently then it is used in common discourse, then you must explain the difference.

    4. All the definitions of the words must work together, without contradictions between them, in a coherent conceptual scheme.

    That is called, doing your homework.

    And if you do your homework, then that will lead to finding the creationist conceptual scheme. That there is a subjective part of reality, which chooses, and an objective part, which is chosen.

    I am the sucker who did his homework.

  393. 393
    zweston says:

    WJM, you aren’t actively wanting hell, but you are actively and deliberately denying your creator and exchanging the truth for a lie. To think you can have paradise without God is absurd. This idea of being neutral toward God is anything but. It’s rebellion. The Bible says you are knowingly making that decision by denying God now. Good grief, God is pleading with you to be reconciled to Him, but you don’t want to!

    Matthew 23:37″Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”- Jesus

    God made us to worship him and enjoy him. When you refuse that love, you are choosing hell. When you understand that any goodness you experience is from God, and the removal of his grace IS HELL. (without him there is no standard of goodness either, btw.). Hell is removal of common grace and the love of God. This is the closest to hell any believer will experience and it is the closest to heaven any non-believer will experience.

    Satan seeks to kill, steal and destroy. Jesus came to give abundant life (John 10:10). You believe you have found freedom and life, but instead of you have been deceived into bondage.

    Romans 1 says this: 18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness. 19 For what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from His workmanship, so that men are without excuse.

    You are without excuse. I’m sure you have heard the gospel message innumerable times on this site and yet you continue to refuse it. You will have no excuse before God, nor will any man.

    Repent and believe the Gospel! God is mighty to save and doesn’t desire that any should perish. But, he is just. He will execute justice and judgment. He shows his love to us that while we were sinners Christ died for us. We broke God’s law and Jesus paid the fine. Someone will pay for your sins. You can either have Christ do it or you can bear it yourself.

    If you want to watch a video… watch these scientists talk about their proof of macroevolution and hear the gospel presented. I know you aren’t a materialist, but for anyone watching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0u3-2CGOMQ

    God commands all men to repent and desires all men come to him. Seek the Lord now while he can be found!

  394. 394
    Origenes says:

    Zweston:

    God is mighty to save and doesn’t desire that any should perish.

    Then why did He create mankind, while He knew beforehand that billions would end up in hell?

  395. 395
    zweston says:

    So you’d rather not exist then?

    Mankind chooses their destination. You choose your sin. So do I. That’s why Jesus came to die.

    You can ask Him one day if you wish. I have questions too… Having questions doesn’t negate the truth that Jesus is Lord. Your question puts God on trial, and I’d advise against that. It’s like an ant putting a human being on trial, except worse. You must humble yourself and admit your inability to comprehend some things instead of making your standard of knowledge and morality the standard for God.

    Your objection appears to be a moral indictment on God? but I’d ask, if you are a materialist (I don’t know what you are) what is your standard of goodness to judge God or not. If this is God’s creation, what is his creation to decide what is best? And if he has the creative power to create the universe and the foreknowledge and the mercy to send his son to die for mankind, I’d like to know what your beef is other than not being able to fully comprehend it.

    In some ways it’s as if you are on a train track as the train is coming through and you are arguing why would a train ever be created that could possibly cause destruction. Just get off the track!

    Repent and believe the gospel. Then share it with others so they can do likewise.

    Why argue when you could be living the abundant life and inviting others into an eternal kingdom where there is fullness of Joy and pleasures forevermore? God intends good for his children. become one.

    Romans 10:9-10. Acts 2:38. John 3:16, John 3:36, Revelation 21:3-5

  396. 396
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, JS et al, first, the intent at thread jacking is confirmed. A discussion on the way SM stumbled on self evident first duties is not even the same department of study as where you wish to drag the thread. That is about as strong a rhetorical proof that you cannot answer on the merits as possible. Further, we have seen in this and other threads, several of you have disavowed duties to truth, right reason, fairness and/or justice; which implies that you are irrational and have negative credibility. You, strictly speaking, have excluded yourselves from the circle of responsible discussion. There is no reason to see you as even intending to tell truth or reason soundly or exercise prudence, fairness and justice. There is no basis for attempting to discuss any serious matter with you. And BTW, that sort of irrationality is hellish. KF

    PS: I have pointed out that there are other places on the Internet with professionals willing to address the sort of questions being used as distractors and thread poisoners here. If one is genuinely perplexed and seeking a responsible engagement go there. As a start, here may be some food for thought discussions, I am not endorsing as definitive https://apologeticspress.org/the-goodness-of-god-and-an-eternal-hell-1141/ also https://www.christian-thinktank.com/gutripper.html with https://www.reasonablefaith.org/media/debates/can-a-loving-god-send-people-to-hell-the-craig-bradley-debate Of course, one of the likely intentional results of the threadjacking above is to entangle a simple question — we have inescapable first duties reflected in our consciences and coming up even in the appeals of objections to same — into a world of polarising debate. Which provides a handy squid ink cloud to swim away behind. That speaks, and not happily. Our civilisation is in a bad way on moral government, which is something that should give us sobering pause.

  397. 397
    Joe Schooner says:

    KF, could you point out where I have deviated from the subject of the OP? With the possible exception of comment 391, all of my comments have been on topic.

  398. 398
    Origenes says:

    So you’d rather not exist then?

    If Christianity is true, I would rather not exist. Neither do I wish to be subjected to eternal torment nor do I wish to gather around the throne singing praise, while uncle Jim and daughter Susie are suffering in hell for eternity. So, please zap me out of existence.

    Mankind chooses their destination. You choose your sin. So do I. That’s why Jesus came to die.

    The Bible informs us that the vast majority of people will be punished by eternal torment. Was God aware of that fact before He created mankind? Was creating mankind a choice? If it was, why did He do it?

    You can ask Him one day if you wish. I have questions too… Having questions doesn’t negate the truth that Jesus is Lord. Your question puts God on trial, and I’d advise against that. It’s like an ant putting a human being on trial, except worse. You must humble yourself and admit your inability to comprehend some things instead of making your standard of knowledge and morality the standard for God.

    I do not understand why creating mankind is a good idea, when it implies creating a concentration camp for billions of people who are stuck there for eternity. But I must humbly assume that God has a good reason for doing this?
    BTW is God the one who tortures uncle Jim and daughter Susie for eternity? I am asking because if torturing them is such a morally just thing to do, then why doesn’t God do it Himself, why lay this burden onto others?

  399. 399
    zweston says:

    Origenes, I’d suggest you read some theology. I think you have a warped view of God. If you want to attack his character, I’d suggest you get a better view of who Christians say God is.

    Do you have a problem with Satan being in hell forever if he indeed led the entirety of mankind to hell?

    If someone were to murder a loved one, would you want them to be let off without penalty? What would be adequate penalty if not?

    You are saying you’d rather not be free because other people are in jail for committing crimes… except the offended in the crime is the eternal pre-existent creator of the universe who wrote the code of your dna and sent his son to free you from your death sentence.

    No one who goes to hell won’t have deserved it. You and I deserve it. The problem isn’t God’s justice but our lack of understanding of the holiness or “otherness” of God.

    the Bible says that there will be no mourning in heaven… so if you are there, you won’t be sad. Why is that? There are a couple of possible answers… 1. eclipsed by the pure joy of heaven…. 2. the reality of the righteousness of God makes everything make sense.

    Genuinely, why don’t you look into reading some theology to understand better the character of God as Christians understand it. I think it will help. It will not answer all of your questions… and I do understand what you are saying, but I just trust God’s ultimate judgment as right because I can trust his character, because Jesus is the greatest person of all time.

  400. 400
    asauber says:

    “If Christianity is true, I would rather not exist.”

    Origenes,

    The problem for you is that you are afraid and angry that it might be true, which is why you come to these pages with hostility.

    Andrew

  401. 401
    zweston says:

    Origenes… here is a link to a free online book “Knowledge of the Holy” by A.W. Tozer , a Christian theologian. This is a Christian classic that would help you be more informed when discussing.

    I’d implore you to read it and tell me what you think. Please don’t reject a straw man… see what this says first. https://worthychristianbooks.com/knowledge-of-the-holy-by-aw-tozer/

    I think this will be super helpful to you.

  402. 402
    ram says:

    JS: Getting back to the OP…. KF’s claim, derived largely from is religious beliefs, is that these “first duties” are objective and outside the individual. But his arguments, in addition to being circular, are largely based on the consequences of not following these duties.

    KF’s threads often end up with eternal torture being discuss precisely because it is one of the grounding concepts (whether he likes to talk it about it or not) of his philosophical structure. When the heat gets too hot, KF complains that it’s a “diversion.”

    –Ram

  403. 403
    ram says:

    SB: Jesus Christ

    I haven’t mentioned Jesus.

    who claimed to be God,

    No, some dubious writings claim he was God. You didn’t hear him proclaim himself to be God.

    and who supported that claim by performing numerous miracles

    Some dubious writings claim he performed miracles. You didn’t see him perform miracles.

    offered up himself as a living sacrifice.

    Maybe. You weren’t there for that either. This doesn’t prove your belief in monstrous eternal torture.

    These are historical facts testified to by Jewish and Roman historians. He was much more than a set of ideas.

    I’ve studies the relevant evidence many times. None of it proves your belief in monstrous eternal torture.

    The bottom line is, you believe in some texts that you think teach eternal torture. I studied those texts for many years and I don’t share your belief in those texts. The onus lies with you in that you’re willing to accept a god (or writings that assert a god) that eternally tortures people. I find that shameful and contrary to “duty” and “warrant.”

    –Ram

  404. 404
    zweston says:

    Ram, what is your worldview?

    Why do you think Jesus was crucified by the Jews via Pontius Pilate?

    You called the writings dubious, by what standard? Quite a claim. Might want to substantiate it.

    When you face God on judgment day, what will your answer be as to why you didn’t repent and trust Christ? You have been given knowledge and had truth revealed to you, yet choose to reject it, not based on evidence, but just by trying to wiggle out of it with empty claims.

    Romans 1 still applies… suppressing the knowledge of the truth…why?

  405. 405
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    There are people here that beg to go to hell but God give them opportunities to change their minds.
    But they don’t want to do that, because it’s easier to just sit and hate and feel more virtuous than God. :))) Yep our behaviour/thoughts/acts have real and eternal consequences even some satanists don’t agree but is their problem.

  406. 406
    Origenes says:

    BTW it is no secret that I am a theist. However, the God I believe in doesn’t send anyone to hell, let alone for eternity. One day he might want to have a talk with you Christians about all this bovine excrement. Not to worry though, he is incapable of being offended by ignorami.

  407. 407
    zweston says:

    Origenes…thanks for clarification. Who is your God? And what is your source of this knowledge?

    Thanks for the ad-hominem dessert.

  408. 408
    kairosfocus says:

    JS & Ram,

    Isn’t it interesting that you seemingly cannot avoid the ad hominem accusation, “religion” in the teeth of a self-evident first principle? That tells me you have nothing of substance but are full of bitter hostility. Sad.

    In first response, I direct you to the OP (which you obviously have not seriously read before launching on strawman caricature attacks). You will find that SM is, surprise, a new atheist who is writing about, surprise, inescapable and so self evident first truths about duty. Note, on truth (where, the debate he envisions can be internal too WLOG):

    Given that every human action – including making philosophical statements – is chosen in preference to every other possible action, arguing that preferences do not exist requires a preference for arguing that preferences do not exist, which is a self-contradictory statement. [p. 33] . . . .
    If you correct me on an error that I have made, you are implicitly accepting the fact that it would be better for me to correct my error. Your preference for me to correct my error is not subjective, but objective, and universal. You don’t say to me: “You should change your opinion to mine because I would prefer it,” but rather: “You should correct your opinion because it is objectively incorrect.” My error does not arise from merely disagreeing with you, but as a result of my deviance from an objective standard of truth. Your argument that I should correct my false opinion rests on the objective value of truth – i.e. that truth is universally preferable to error, and that truth is universally objective. [p. 35] . . . .

    if I argue against the proposition that universally preferable behaviour is valid, I have already shown my preference for truth over falsehood – as well as a preference for correcting those who speak falsely. Saying that there is no such thing as universally preferable behaviour is like shouting in someone’s ear that sound does not exist – it is innately self-contradictory. In other words, if there is no such thing as universally preferable behaviour, then one should oppose anyone who claims that there is such a thing as universally preferable behaviour. However, if one “should” do something, then one has just created universally preferable behaviour. Thus universally preferable behaviour – or moral rules – must be valid.

    Syllogistically, this is:

    1] The proposition [being challenged] is: the concept “universally preferable behaviour” must be valid.

    2] Arguing against the validity of universally preferable behaviour [however, inadvertently] demonstrates [so, acknowledges] universally preferable behaviour.
    [____________________________________________________ ]

    3] Therefore no argument against the validity of universally preferable behaviour can be valid.

    This is about knowability, and universally prefer-ABLE behaviours here are oughts, duties, where the self-evidence on pain of absurdity involved is a mark of first principles, start points as is associated universality. Where of course, your own strawman objection that I am in effect recycling religious bias is an appeal to duties to truth, right reason and warrant.

    Yet again, would be objectors to the Ciceronian first duties are found appealing to said duties in order to compose objections they hope to be rhetorically effective. I note as I have done for some time now, inescapable, branch on which we all sit principles, so too inescapably and self-evidently true.

    In short, own goal.

    Now, do take note, so far this is not about roots of reality, metaphysics including ontology. It is about epistemology and logic, involving self-evidence. So, no questions have been begged through your strawman caricature religious bias. Though it is fairly obvious that your own question begging bias is exposed: one who in your view can be labelled “religious” can be dismissed as suspect and with inferior intellectual capacity or worse. We see Dawkins’ ugly caricature right there in front of us, ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked.

    You ought to be ashamed but it is likely you have so benumbed conscience that you will feel no shame.

    And of course, you plainly failed to do diligence before embarking on fallacy riddled attack rhetoric.

    Negative credibility confirmed.

    The deeper point is, this is a reflection of all too common patterns in our civilisation, which is in a bad way.
    KF

  409. 409
    kairosfocus says:

    Well well well, JVL, I just got wordfenced — potentially unsafe operation — trying to expand SM and give a link https://www.freedomain.com/about-stefan-molyneux/

  410. 410
  411. 411
    ram says:

    KF,

    What is the most primary grounding presupposition of your philosophy?

    –Ram

  412. 412
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I find this clip from our one and only SB at 56 in that 2013 thread is food for thought:

    In defense of the Natural Moral Law, I would simply point out that we have no other source with which we can arbitrate between secular and religious disagreements. In matters of politics and civil law, we will be ruled either by tyrannical men or by universally-binding principles. In religious matters, we will either fight each other to the death over theological issues, or we will rally around self-evident moral truths. [–> and kindly recall MY #1 above and where it points, directly away from “might and manipulation make ‘right’ . . . “] Third options are not available.

    If we cannot agree on a basic and universal foundation for morality, then we are forever doomed to a war of all against all. Once we do establish our rational foundation however, we can exert our influence through the power of argument, persuading those of other religions to embrace our own belief system and holding our secular leaders accountable to the same moral principles that we must obey. If someone can come up with a better suggestion, please bring it forward.

    I hope our so busy objectors and deriders pay heed.

    KF

  413. 413
    Joe Schooner says:

    Isn’t it interesting that you seemingly cannot avoid the ad hominem accusation, “religion” in the teeth of a self-evident first principle?

    Is it an ad hominem to state that you have religious beliefs, beliefs that you have repeatedly espoused? There is nothing wrong with this. But it is also fair to suggest that these beliefs may be biasing your claims about “first duties”.

  414. 414
    kairosfocus says:

    JS, the suggestion becomes a red herring, led out to an ad hominem soaked strawman then set alight to cloud, confuse, poison and polarise the atmosphere when the actual argument made is about epistemology, logic, branch on which we all sit first principles and self-evidence. Further to which, the argument is by way of responding to a new atheist who happened on essentially the same points. Going back to Cicero’s summary, he was a Stoic and pagan Roman. What WOULD have been an accurate characterisation of the three of us and how we have argued, taking in a span of 2000+ years, is that we are of philosophical bent and made philosophical arguments about epistemology, logic and first principles. Philosophy is not Theology, nor is it your obviously despised “Religion.” You have failed to note convergence on a philosophical approach and its results, which should tell you that there is a serious basis for identifying such things as branch on which we sit first duties of reason; where again, your implicit appeal is to said duties when you tried again to insinuate bias on my part. In short, plainly, you have doubled down on a false insinuation and have confirmed your negative credibility. We therefore have rights to infer [a] you cannot answer on the merits so chose to resort to toxic distractors, [b] the balance on actual merits is not in your favour but you have prior worldview commitments opposed to the SETs identified, and [c] resolved cognitive dissonance by projection to the other. KF

  415. 415
    kairosfocus says:

    Ram, my presuppositions are that LOI is the root of reasoning, carrying with it LNC and LEM as close corollaries. My further presupposition is that there are self-evident truths, and that we face the Munchhausen/Agrippa trilemma, such that chains of cause and reasoning alike cannot traverse an infinite succession of stages or regress of claims, leaving on the table, that we have finitely remote roots of reality (I do not presume this is the only actual world, and accept that there are indefinitely many possible ones) and first plausibles, which define our worldviews. Further to which all such views bristle with difficulties making philosophy — the discipline of hard fundamental questions — a praxis pivoting on comparative difficulties across factual adequacy, coherence and explanatory power. Thus, I take logic, including modern sense inductive as pivotal, and address worldviews level inferences to the best explanation. In which context, I have recognised my experience and that of millions of others, that we are morally governed, conscience guided and guarded contingent beings, creatures dependent on many prior causal factors. Such constrains the sort of root reality that best explains our world; especially as implying or inviting that conscience on the whole is delusional lets in grand delusion and shatters the credibility of mind. This implies that to be rational, we must have credibility of the moral government of conscience. In turn that points to the root of reality as bridging is and ought; which carries powerful requisites of inherent goodness and utter wisdom along with causal adequacy and necessary being; somewhere along the line inquiry form sufficient reason is manifestly valid. We can inquire of any A why it is or is not etc. Further to such, I do not PRESUME the existence of God, any more than I presumed that of my mother, wife, brother, father or children. I know God through living encounter that literally saved my life 50 years past. But such does not determine the epistemology and logic involved in reflections on thought stirring words encountered in Cicero. KF

  416. 416
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Another SB gem that deserves highlighting, 229 in the SET and Aquinas thread:

    1:” What is ‘good’ ?”

    Anything is good for a thing if it fits its nature and purpose. A car has a nature and purpose. It’s nature, among other things, is to burn gas and turn wheels. It’s purpose is transportation. Gas is good for the engine, water is bad; oil is good for the crankcase, molasses is bad.

    “Who decides ?”

    Whoever creates the thing and establishes its purpose also decides what is good for it.

    “Who is right ?”

    Whoever recommends a policy or action in keeping with the thing’s nature and purpose. With respect to an automobile, anyone who recommends putting gasoline in the tank and oil in the crankcase is right.

    “Who is wrong ?”

    Whoever recommends a policy or action that violates a thing’s nature and purpose. Anyone who recommends putting water in the gas tank and molasses in the crankcase is wrong.

    “The remaining points all suffer the same problem.”

    What problem?

    “They refer to ‘natural duties’, ‘public good’ etc, but according to whose judgement ?”

    According to the judgment of those who know the nature and purpose of the public good.

    “Playboy magazines are publicly displayed in western countrys, but not in, say, Egypt.

    “So who is right ?”

    Those who don’t display it.

    ” Who is wrong ?”

    Those who do display it.

    “How can you tell ?”

    It violates the dignity of the human person, both the person being observed and the observer. Humans were made to love each other, not to ogle at other human beings as sexual objects, which is a very selfish and unloving thing to do.

    “In general, any judgement from any person will be different.”

    So what?

    “So how can you tell who is right ?”

    You are repeating yourself.

    “You can apply a yardstick, but the yardstick is, itself, different for different people.”

    The yardstick is not different for those who know it and the reason for it. It is different for those who do not know the purpose of a yardstick.

    “My concept of ‘public good’ is different to yours, and yours to the next person, etc.”

    What is your yardstick for the public good? Define the public good.

    “Please note Im not disputing the existence of objective morality here (though I dont believe it exists) but for the moment Im simply arguing that we cannot identify it.”

    The Ten Commandments, The Sermon on the Mount, and the Law of love, constitute objective morality and higher law. A large section of first part is easy to identify since everyone already knows it instinctively. It is not the same thing as the civil law, though the former ought to influence the latter.

    “Lastly, if there was truly some method of determining if a decision lined up with the ‘higher law’ then why do we bother with juries ?”

    Juries are not supposed to determine morality. They are supposed to decide whether defendants are innocent are guilty of violating morality.

    “Why doesnt the judge simply apply your rules (see #213!) and come up with the ‘correct’ answer as per the ‘higher law’ ?”

    Not all judges believe in that higher law. Besides, not every act is easy to identify as being moral or immoral. Also, many acts, perhaps most acts, are morally neutral. There are such things as hard cases. Without objective morality as a guiding principle, the hard cases become impossible cases.

    Food for thought,

    KF

  417. 417
    Origenes says:

    KF@

    Going back to Cicero’s summary, he was a Stoic and pagan Roman. What WOULD have been an accurate characterisation of the three of us and how we have argued, taking in a span of 2000+ years, is that we are of philosophical bent and made philosophical arguments about epistemology, logic and first principles. Philosophy is not Theology, nor is it your obviously despised “Religion.”

    According to the experts, it is not limited to philosophy, logic & epistemology, instead Cicero held religious ideas connected to his first duties:
    Professor Tyrrell wrote

    “In his speech for Rabirius, Cicero anticipates an eternal existence for the souls of the good”

    Anthony Trollope wrote:

    “But he did see the way to so much truth as to perceive that there was heaven; that the way to it must be found by good deeds here on earth; and that the good deeds required of him would be kindness to others.”

    Cicero in ‘De re publica’:

    “There is in the sky a definite place where the blessed enjoy everlasting life.”

  418. 418
    StephenB says:

    The illogical perspective of the God haters is something to behold. First, they insist that there is no such thing as justice. Then, without embarrassment, they claim that the Christian God is unjust.

  419. 419
    Joe Schooner says:

    JS, the suggestion becomes a red herring, led out to an ad hominem soaked strawman then set alight to cloud, confuse, poison and polarise the atmosphere when the actual argument made is about epistemology, logic, branch on which we all sit first principles and self-evidence.

    Well, that certainly is a large number of obtuse words. But it still doesn’t address the fact that you have not adequately addressed the criticisms made of your “first duties” sermon.

    Again, nobody is arguing against these “duties” being an excellent list of preferred behaviors for those wishing to live and thrive within a society. In short, the golden rule. It’s not difficult.

    But to make the leap from easily reasoned preferred behaviors to objective “duties” that are derived independent of the individuals’ mental capabilities requires a degree of faith that you have not been able to logically demonstrate. This isn’t to say that you may not be correct, just that you have not been able to present a cogent argument. That is nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone has personal beliefs that they can’t prove.

  420. 420
    Seversky says:

    What is ironic about Christians is that they attack atheists as being immoral and unjust when their only understanding of such concepts comes from what their God dictates to them. They are not permitted to consider such things for themselves, divine commandments are to be accepted without question.

  421. 421
    zweston says:

    Sev,

    Non-Christians can be as moral as anyone else. You just don’t have an objective justification for it. The idea that Christians accept God’s dictates without having thought for themselves is a strawman. Haven’t you been exposed to enough thinking Christians on this site to realize that. We aren’t blind “sheeple.” You don’t think we’ve pondered hell, Old Testament cases of violence, slavery, and polygamy? That’s awful uncharitable. We have heard the objections.

    What dictates from God do you judge immoral for the Christian? Please tell me where Jesus went wrong morally? And then tell me what standard you judge him by…

    When you put God on trial, all kinds of absurdity ensues.

  422. 422
    Seversky says:

    For example, when God decrees in Exodus 20:4 KJV “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” is that interpreted by Christians as God expressing a preference which may be ignored or is He held to be issuing a command which is to be obeyed without question. In other words, is obedience to the commandments voluntary or compulsory?

  423. 423
    zweston says:

    Obedience is commanded, because He is Lord of the universe. He is also the standard for good. Are the laws of our government voluntary? Obviously not. Why? Because they have authority. Maybe your problem is with authority. That is Satan’s problem, and was Adam And Eve’s problem and now all of our problems. We want to dictate terms and be the god of our existence.

    What in the Ten Commandments do you find immoral?

    When you stop seeing commandments as just God using his authority and see them as ways to protect us from destruction, it will help you. Just like telling my kid not to touch the stove. I’m not depriving them of some great experience, I’m protecting them.

    What in the sermon on the mount did you find immoral? What commands do Christians follow now that are immoral….

  424. 424
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky, it is not I who hijacked the thread and set about with polarising rhetoric, I have acted as thread owner to call it back to order. KF

  425. 425
    kairosfocus says:

    JS [attn Origenes],

    obviously you have not even bothered to read the OP with any serious attention; your how dare you talk about God mentality is but little better, esp as Cicero was a serious Stoic thinker and his theme as cited in the OP was on roots of law. I again clip Cicero, from De Legibus:

    —Marcus [in de Legibus, introductory remarks,. C1 BC, being Cicero himself]: . . . we shall have to explain the true nature of moral justice, which is congenial and correspondent [36]with the true nature of man [–> we are seeing the root vision of natural law, coeval with our humanity] . . . . With respect to the true principle of justice, many learned men have maintained that it springs from Law. I hardly know if their opinion be not correct, at least, according to their own definition; for . “Law (say they) is the highest reason, implanted in nature, which prescribes those things which ought to be done, and forbids the contrary” . . . .

    They therefore conceive that the voice of conscience is a law, that moral prudence is a law [–> a key remark] , whose operation is to urge us to good actions, and restrain us from evil ones . . . . According to the Greeks, therefore, the name of law implies an equitable distribution of goods: according to the Romans [–> esp. Cicero, speaking as a leading statesman], an equitable discrimination between good and evil.

    The true definition of law should, however, include both these characteristics. And this being granted as an almost self–evident proposition, the origin of justice is to be sought in the divine law of eternal and immutable morality. This indeed is the true energy of nature, the very soul and essence of wisdom, the test of virtue and vice.

    [–> this points to the wellsprings of reality, the only place where is and ought can be bridged; bridged, through the inherently good utterly wise, maximally great necessary being, the creator God, which adequately answers the Euthyphro dilemma and Hume’s guillotine argument surprise on seeing reasoning is-is then suddenly a leap to ought-ought. IS and OUGHT are fused from the root]

    This indeed is the true energy of nature, the very soul and essence of wisdom, the test of virtue and vice.

    You — or at least the attentive reader — will readily see that he sought first principles of law, tracing from the Greeks and earlier Romans. Their consensus and differences led him to make a summary for the ages. Unsurprisingly, very similar themes to what SM stumbled upon emerge, for the very good and simple reason that these are the branch on which we all must sit. Law as highest reason towards the just path, the lawless have no regard for either, a familiar point.

    Notice, conscience speaks with the voice of law, informed by sound reason, whose plain end is ever, truth. Similarly, moral prudence. The fusion that would lead others to sum up that justice is due — appropriate, so good not evil — balance of rights, freedoms, duties emerges in the voice of Greeks and Romans.

    He then points to ontological import.

    And yes Origenes, he saw glimpses of God as root of justice.

    You will both note that that is onward.

    As for a “Sermon” — the hostility is thinly veiled, JS, manifest bias is as close as your nearest mirror — no, we have seen the force of the substance. Indeed, the sneering use of “sermon” is designed to by hints insinuate that religious bias warps reason and thence ability to find truth. But, manifestly, this is — yet again — precisely the appeal to the said first duties that you would deride and dismiss.

    Own goal yet again.

    So, you are found trying to deny what your very arguments pivot on. Branch on which we all sit first principles that must be taken as true on pain of the collapse of our rationality.

    Yes, onward, they point to the roots of reality, but that is subsequent to the point that these are the branch on which we all must sit.

    Even the would be objector.

    It is time to face that inescapability and what it implies, the moral government of our responsible, rational freedom tracing to self-evident first principles that indicate their objective character.

    KF

  426. 426
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky, notice that SM writes of what is prefer-ABLE, where the base term implies that freedom means we need not do what is preferable. But for our own good and civilisation we had better generally do so. Evils, ever, are parasites on the good that if they become overwhelming, destroy it. KF

  427. 427
    Joe Schooner says:

    KF, are you suggesting that you require Cicero to determine what behaviors are best for you to thrive in society? It may surprise you to know that most people are more than capable of determining these optimal behaviors using nothing more than their mental abilities and experience. Why do you find it necessary to impose another layer of explanation onto something that doesn’t need it?

  428. 428

    @JS In my estimation people now are doing badly. Obviously in politics they are doing much worse, also religion. Mental illnes is higher, social isolation is higher, family relations are down.

    While it’s true that people have the basic knowledge already available in common discourse, on an intuitive basis, it is also needed to know intellectually how it works, so that you can use your intellect to guide yourself.

    Also a shared intellectual understanding, provides a protocol for communication, to organize things together.

  429. 429
    StephenB says:

    Joe Schooner:

    — “But to make the leap from easily reasoned preferred behaviors to objective “duties” that are derived independent of the individuals’ mental capabilities requires a degree of faith that you have not been able to logically demonstrate. This isn’t to say that you may not be correct, just that you have not been able to present a cogent argument. That is nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone has personal beliefs that they can’t prove.”

    You do not understand the nature of a self-evident truth. If a proposition can be proven, it is not self evident. If it is self-evident, it cannot be proven. We do not reason our way *to* self evident truths. We reason *from* self-evident truths.

    Logic, for example, builds on (is based on) the self-evident truth that a proposition cannot be true and false at the same time and under the same formal circumstances. In like fashion, the moral code builds on the self-evident truth that the natural moral law exists and can be known (not merely believed).

  430. 430