Intelligent Design

Severskey is Honest About the Logic of Materialism

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You’ve gotta love Sev’s refreshing honesty. In this post I noted that killing little babies was not uncommon in ancient cultures. And then I asked:

[Materialists] say that morality is a social construct; which means that “good” means what the people of a society collectively deem to be good. If that is so, was it an affirmatively good thing when an ancient pagan killed a baby girl because she was a baby girl instead of a baby boy?

Sev’s response:

it was an affirmatively good thing for them then but it is certainly not an affirmatively good thing for me now. Who is right? As far as I can see, there is no absolute standard against which to measure it.

I wonder if Sev will continue to following his logic with these examples:

Enslaving African Americans in the American South prior to the Civil War:

it was an affirmatively good thing for them then but it is certainly not an affirmatively good thing for me now. Who is right? As far as I can see, there is no absolute standard against which to measure it.

Human sacrifice in Aztec religious rituals:

it was an affirmatively good thing for them then but it is certainly not an affirmatively good thing for me now. Who is right? As far as I can see, there is no absolute standard against which to measure it.

The communists kill 7 million in Ukraine in the 1930s:

it was an affirmatively good thing for them then but it is certainly not an affirmatively good thing for me now. Who is right? As far as I can see, there is no absolute standard against which to measure it.

The National Socialists kill 18 million in Europe in the 1940s:

it was an affirmatively good thing for them then but it is certainly not an affirmatively good thing for me now. Who is right? As far as I can see, there is no absolute standard against which to measure it.

The communists kill 45 million in China in the 1960s:

it was an affirmatively good thing for them then but it is certainly not an affirmatively good thing for me now. Who is right? As far as I can see, there is no absolute standard against which to measure it.

How about it Sev? Does your logic extend to all of these examples? If not, why not?

UPDATE

In the comments section Sev answers my question: “Yes, it does.” You have to hand it to him. He is a nihilist, but at least he is an honest nihilist.

4 Replies to “Severskey is Honest About the Logic of Materialism

  1. 1
    ScuzzaMan says:

    Well, yes. But I can’t say that openly as my attempts at such unflinching philosophical honesty are rare among relativists, so no. But the cognitive dissonance of publicly disowning my own arguments disturbs me, so yes. But consequentialist arguments are bunk, so no. But of course if you push the argument to absurd limits it exposes the underlying contradiction, so yes. But that would have horrific consequences, so no. But then who decides what consequences are good or bad, so yes. But look – there’s a Christian hypocrite!

    Just trying to save us all some time …

  2. 2
    Belfast says:

    SM@1
    ‘Just trying to save us all some time …‘
    Much obliged!!

  3. 3
    Seversky says:

    How about it Sev? Does your logic extend to all of these examples? If not, why not?

    Yes, it does. I see no objective moral standard against which to measure those acts. So, what can we say about them? Well, we could ask, would anyone in their right mind want to be on the receiving end of the German Nazis or the Russian or Chinese Communists or the 19th-century slavers? I’d say nobody would, given a choice. But in all the cases cited, the victims were not given a choice.

    In Germany, for example, The Nazis scapegoated the Jews as the source of all the evils that allegedly beset German society. They promised a Final Solution to the Jewish problem but were a bit vague about the method. There was talk about gathering them in concentration camps along with other undesirables and possibly deporting them to Madagascar. Now, if that had been their honest intention, it might have won a majority if it had been put to the electorate. A lot of Jews might have voted for it as a way to get out from under Nazi oppression. But supposing the Nazis had been honest about what became the actual Final Solution and put that to a free vote, would that have won a majority? I don’t think so. Obviously, the Jews and other victim groups would have voted against it but I also believe a majority of the non-Jewish population would also have voted against such an horrific “solution”.

    I believe that the overwhelming majority of ordinary, decent people, if honestly presented with the best information available will choose a moral solution. This is why I believe consensus morality is the only alternative to some sort of imposed command morality, whether theological or ideological. The problem in democracies is that politicians are rarely honest about their real intentions and treat good information as a rare and precious commodity not to be lightly handed out to just anyone. The problem is, how do we prevent the people we choose to run things for us from being corrupted by the power we hand them?

  4. 4
    ET says:

    “Consensus morality” equals “mob rule”

    how do we prevent the people we choose to run things for us from being corrupted by the power we hand them?

    Term limits. For example Nancy Pelosi should be long gone and the USA would be better for it.

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