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Should we recognise that “laws of nature” extend to laws of our human nature? (Which, would then frame civil law.)

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Laws of Nature are a key part of the foundation of modern science. This reflects not only natural, law-like regularities such as the Law of Gravitation that promotes the Earth to the heavens (from being the sump of the cosmos) but also the perspective of many founders that they were thinking God’s creative, ordering providential and world-sustaining thoughts after him. The focal topic asks us whether our civil law is effectively an accident of power balances, or else, could it be accountable to a built in law that pivots on first duties coeval with our humanity.

The issue becomes pivotal, once we ponder the premise that the typical, “natural” tendency of government is to open or veiled lawless oligarchy:

So, let us hear Cicero in his On The Republic, Bk 3 [c. 55 – 54 BC]:

{22.} [33] L . . . True law is right reason in agreement with nature , it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting; it summons to duty by its commands, and averts from wrongdoing by its prohibitions. And it does not lay its commands or prohibitions upon good men in vain, though neither have any effect on the wicked. It is a sin to try to alter this law, nor is it allowable to attempt to repeal any part of it, and it is impossible to abolish it entirely. We cannot be freed from its obligations by senate or people, and we need not look outside ourselves for an expounder or interpreter of it. And there will not be different laws at Rome and at Athens, or different laws now and in the future, but one eternal and unchangeable law will be valid for all nations and all times, and there will be one master and ruler, that is, God, over us all, for he is the author of this law, its promulgator, and its enforcing judge. Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature, and by reason of this very fact he will suffer the worst penalties, even if he escapes what is commonly considered punishment. . . . – Marcus Tullius Cicero, On the Republic, Bk 3

This, of course, is further reflected in his De Legibus, which lays out a framework:

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.” This, they think, is apparent from the converse of the proposition; because this same reason, when it [37]is confirmed and established in men’s minds, is the law of all their actions.

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

We see in the Angelic Doctor, a broadening of the framework, elaborating four domains of law:

Thus, following Aquinas, we can see that arguably there is an intelligible core of law coeval with our responsible, rational, significantly free nature. This built-in law turns on inescapable, thus self-evident truths of justice and moral government, which rightly govern what courts may rule or parliaments legislate, per the premise of justice moderated by requisites of feasible order in a world that must reckon with the hardness of men’s hearts. Where, we are thus duty bound, morally governed creatures.

Hence, we come to the sense of duty attested to by sound conscience [“conscience is a law”], that breathes fire into what would otherwise be inert statements in dusty tomes. We may term these, by extension, the Ciceronian First Duties of Reason:

FIRST DUTIES OF RESPONSIBLE REASON

We can readily identify at least seven inescapable first duties of reason. “Inescapable,” as they are so antecedent to reasoning that even the objector implicitly appeals to them; i.e. they are self-evident. Namely, duties,

1 – to truth, 

2 – to right reason

3 – to prudence, 

4 – to sound conscience, 

5 – to neighbour; so also, 

6 – to fairness and

7 – justice 

x – etc.

[I add, Mar 12, for clarity:] {Of course, there is a linked but not equivalent pattern: bounded, error-prone rationality often tied to ill will and stubbornness or even closed mindedness; that’s why the study of right reason has a sub-study on fallacies and errors. That we seek to evade duties or may make errors does not overthrow the first duties of reason, which instead help us to detect and correct errors, as well as to expose our follies.}

Such built-in . . . thus, universal . . . law is not invented by parliaments, kings or courts, nor can these principles and duties be abolished by such; they are recognised, often implicitly as an indelible part of our evident nature. Hence, natural law,” coeval with our humanity, famously phrased in terms of “self-evident . . . rights . . . endowed by our Creator” in the US Declaration of Independence, 1776. (Cf. Cicero in De Legibus, c. 50 BC.) Indeed, it is on this framework that we can set out to soundly understand and duly balance rights, freedoms and duties; which is justice, the pivot of law.

The legitimate main task of government, then, is to uphold and defend the civil peace of justice through sound community order reflecting the built in, intelligible law of our nature. Where, as my right implies your duty a true right is a binding moral claim to be respected in life, liberty, honestly acquired property, innocent reputation etc. To so justly claim a right, one must therefore demonstrably be in the right.

Where, prudence can also be seen via Aristotle’s summary:  “. . . [who aptly] defined prudence as recta ratio agibilium, ‘right reason applied to practice.’ The emphasis on ‘right’ is important . . .  Prudence requires us to distinguish between what is right and what is wrong . . . If we mistake the evil for the good, we are not exercising prudence—in fact, we are showing our lack of it.”

Of course, we just saw a 400+ comment thread that saw objectors insistently, studiously evading the force of inescapability, where their objections consistently show that they cannot evade appealing to the same first duties that they would dismiss or suggest were so obscure and abstract that they cannot serve as a practical guide. The history of the modern civil rights movement once the print revolution, the civilisational ferment surrounding the reformation and the rise of newspapers, bills, coffee houses etc had unleashed democratising forces speaks to the contrary. The absurdity of appealing to what one seeks to overthrow simply underscores its self evidence. But free, morally governed creatures are just that, free. Even, free to cling to manifest absurdities.

This approach, of course, sharply contrasts with the idea that law is in effect whatever those who control the legal presses issue under that heading; based on power balances and so in effect might and/or manipulation. Aquinas’ corrective should suffice to show that not all that is issued under colour of law is lawful, or even simply prudent towards preserving order in a world of the hardness of men’s hearts.

Yes, obviously, if we are governed by built-in law, that raises the question that there is a cosmic law-giver, qualified to do so not by mere sheer power but also by being inherently good and utterly wise. Such a root of reality also answers the Hume Guillotine and the Euthyphro dilemma: an inherently good and utterly wise, necessary and maximally great being root of reality would bridge IS and OUGHT in the source of all reality and would issue good and wise, intelligible built-in law.

What of Mathematics? The answer is, of course, that a core of Math is inherent in the framework of any possible world. So, this would extend that core of Math tied to sets, structures and quantities expressed in N,Z,Q,R,C,R* etc to any actual world. That answers Wigner’s puzzlement on the universal power of Math and it points to, who has power to create an actual world in which we have fine tuning towards C-Chemistry, aqueous medium, cell based life? Likewise, it is suggestive on the source of the language and algorithms found in D/RNA etc.

Lest we forget, here is Crick, to his son, March 19, 1953:

So, we have come full circle, to law as expressing ordering principles of the dynamic-stochastic physical world and those of the world of intelligent, rational, morally governed creatures. Surprise — NOT — the design thesis is central to both. END

PS: As a reminder, the McFaul dirty form colour revolution framework and SOCOM insurgency escalator

U/D Feb 14: Outlines on first principles of right reason:

Here, we see that a distinct A — I usually use a bright red ball on a table:

and contrast a red near-ball in the sky, Betelgeuse as it went through a surprise darkening (something we observed separately and independently, it was not a figment of imagination):

. . . is distinct from the rest of the world. A is itself i/l/o its characteristics of being, and it is distinct from whatever else is not A, hence we see that in w there is no x that is A and ~A and any y that is in W will either be A or not A but not both or neither. These three are core to logic: P/LOI, LNC, LEM.

We may extend to governing principles that we have duties toward — never mind whoever may disregard such (and thereby cause chaos):

U/D March 13: The challenge of building a worldview i/l/o the infinite regress issue:

A summary of why we end up with foundations for our worldviews, whether or not we would phrase the matter that way}

Framing a ship:

. . . compare a wooden model aircraft:

. . . or a full scale, metal framework jet:

In short, there is always a foundational framework for any serious structure.

1,215 Replies to “Should we recognise that “laws of nature” extend to laws of our human nature? (Which, would then frame civil law.)

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Should we recognise that “laws of nature” extend to laws of our human nature? (Which, would then frame civil law.)

  2. 2
    kairosfocus says:

    BTW, main page is tossing me a log in and is stuck in the past. WP has some debugging to do. KF

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    Re-opened . . . but not the main page

  4. 4
    jerry says:

    The laws of nature are forces. We know of four. Is human nature the result of something similar and rooted in the physical force that produces dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, endorphins and cortisol?

    The primary physical force operating in human nature is the electromagnetic force. Amazing fine tuning. Does our conscious/will have the ability to counteract these physical force fields? Form new force fields? Apparently so.

    Is law based in maximizing dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins and limiting cortisol in society?

  5. 5
    Seversky says:

    Comment box is back for me, too.

  6. 6
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry,

    the laws of dynamic-stochastic, physical nature have to do with the four forces and how they act across space and time (force across space confers energy and force across time, change in momentum).

    The laws of responsibly, rationally free morally governed nature have to do with the powers and duties of right decision, thought and action, addressing the is-ought gap. That speaks to the first duties of reason and how we should vs how we do act.

    It is that responsible freedom that enables us to love, be truthful, be just, be virtuous, be inventive, be designers. Which comes full circle to what signs of design point to, design as act. In turn this points to the best explanation of design, responsible, rational, free [= self-moved, reflexively acting], intelligent agents.

    I typed this comment by choice, based on intelligent choice. It exhibits FSCO/I, in the form of coded glyph strings expressing a thought in English, ASCII text, a pattern of causation that is reliable. Even the objectors to design theory post such texts and expect us to follow them. The forced attempt to suggest that intelligent agency reduces to blindly mechanical, non-rational forces is self-referential and immediately self defeating.

    This stuff is central.

    KF

  7. 7
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky, the thread is open to me for now but the main page says I need to log in. I don’t know if a version rollback is possible. KF

  8. 8
    jerry says:

    I typed this comment by choice, based on intelligent choice. It exhibits FSCO/I, in the form of coded glyph strings expressing a thought in English, ASCII text, a pattern of causation that is reliable. Even the objectors to design theory post such texts and expect us to follow them. The forced attempt to suggest that intelligent agency reduces to blindly mechanical, non-rational forces is self-referential and immediately self defeating.

    I’m not sure you should use the term “human nature” because you are not describing what many think of when describing human nature. You are describing conscious acts that you do to promote a well being (dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin. endorphins and lowering of cortisol) in yourself that will result from these conscious decisions.

    In past times, and in a lot of present times, concern for others besides those very close to ourselves were not necessarily going to promote this well being. That is why killing and torturing were part of human nature since the beginning of times. Even within families killing was common. Go no further than the sons of Jacob or the sons of David. It was common in human history for someone to kill their son, brother and even their father for power.

    I would not equate conscious decisions to reach a goal as an example of human nature. It’s definitely a human activity. If anything you are describing the overcoming of human nature.

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, the power of rational, intelligent, self-moved freedom to choose, think, decide and act is a defining characteristic of our nature as human beings. Such rational freedom opens up the gap between is and ought, wise and naive or imprudent or foolish or outright evil, etc. Therefore management of the power of rational, morally guided choice becomes a central issue for human beings. The first duties of reason that are inter alia built up from Cicero’s observations and which will commend themselves on a few moment’s reflection, serve to show how that power is rightly guided: towards truth, right reason, prudence, sound conscience, neighbour, fairness and justice, etc. Each of these obviously can be elaborated [especially right reason, prudence, neighbour] but the picture is clear enough. Those who deny that we have significant rational freedom– never mind the realities of struggle with ignorance, error, bounded rationality, moral struggle, ill will, selfishness, lust, greed, stubbornness etc — and linked responsibilities rapidly end up in self-referential absurdity. KF

    PS: A capital example of going over the cliff into absurdity:

    Alex Rosenberg as he begins Ch 9 of his The Atheist’s Guide to Reality:

    >> FOR SOLID EVOLUTIONARY REASONS, WE’VE BEEN tricked into looking at life from the inside. [–> So, just how did self-aware, intentional consciousness arise on such materialism? Something from nothing through poof magic words like “emergence” won’t do.] Without scientism, we look at life from the inside, from the first-person POV (OMG, you don’t know what a POV is?—a “point of view”). The first person is the subject, the audience, the viewer of subjective experience, the self in the mind.

    Scientism shows that the first-person POV is an illusion. [–> grand delusion is let loose in utter self referential incoherence] Even after scientism convinces us, we’ll continue to stick with the first person. But at least we’ll know that it’s another illusion of introspection and we’ll stop taking it seriously. We’ll give up all the answers to the persistent questions about free will, the self, the soul, and the meaning of life that the illusion generates [–> bye bye to responsible, rational freedom on these presuppositions].

    The physical facts fix all the facts. [–> asserts materialism, leading to . . . ] The mind is the brain. It has to be physical and it can’t be anything else, since thinking, feeling, and perceiving are physical process—in particular, input/output processes—going on in the brain. We [–> at this point, what “we,” apart from “we delusions”?] can be sure of a great deal about how the brain works because the physical facts fix all the facts about the brain. The fact that the mind is the brain guarantees that there is no free will. It rules out any purposes or designs organizing our actions or our lives [–> thus rational thought and responsible freedom]. It excludes the very possibility of enduring persons, selves, or souls that exist after death or for that matter while we live.>>

    PS: Are there such characteristics as help us understand that X is human, of adult maturity and in his or her right mind? This is an application of the principle of identity.

  10. 10
    DATCG says:

    KF @9

    “Therefore management of the power of rational, morally guided choice becomes a central issue for human beings.”

    How do Random Mutations manage anything, let alone a “rational, morally guided choice”?


    KF, fyi. Comments are open on other post except the one I noted earlier to you. Might check if any plugins need upgrading w/this version of WordPress? Specific to Comments/posting or security.

    Good for now. Thanks

  11. 11
    kairosfocus says:

    DATCG,

    yes, there is a fundamental contradiction in the views of those advocating evolutionary materialistic scientism. That Mr Rosenberg is reduced to arguing that one’s consciousness of being a distinct individual thinking rationally, etc is delusional is a fatal illustration of the problem. This clearly extends to onward issues such as having rights, coming in one of two sexes, being able to think with rational freedom (necessary for a credible mind) and more.

    Wikipedia, as ever, is a useful sign of what is wrong:

    Human nature is a concept that denotes the fundamental dispositions and characteristics—including ways of thinking, feeling, and acting—that humans are said to have naturally.[1][2][3][4] The term is often used to denote the essence of humankind, or what it ‘means’ to be human. This usage has proven to be controversial in that there is dispute as to whether or not such an essence actually exists.

    Arguments about human nature have been a central focus of philosophy for centuries and the concept continues to provoke lively philosophical debate.[5][6][7] While both concepts are distinct from one another, discussions regarding human nature are typically related to those regarding the comparative importance of genes and environment in human development (i.e., ‘nature versus nurture’). Accordingly, the concept also continues to play a role in fields of science, such as neuroscience, psychology, and social science (such as sociology), in which various theorists claim to have yielded insight into human nature.[8][9][10][11] Human nature is traditionally contrasted with human attributes that vary among societies, such as those associated with specific cultures.

    The concept of nature as a standard by which to make judgments is traditionally said to have begun in Greek philosophy, at least in regard to its heavy influence on Western and Middle Eastern languages and perspectives.[12] By late antiquity and medieval times, the particular approach that came to be dominant was that of Aristotle’s teleology, whereby human nature was believed to exist somehow independently of individuals, causing humans to simply become what they become. This, in turn, has been understood as also demonstrating a special connection between human nature and divinity, whereby human nature is understood in terms of final and formal causes. More specifically, this perspective believes that nature itself (or a nature-creating divinity) has intentions and goals, including the goal for humanity to live naturally. Such understandings of human nature see this nature as an “idea”, or “form” of a human.[13] However, the existence of this invariable and metaphysical human nature is subject of much historical debate, continuing into modern times.

    Against Aristotle’s notion of a fixed human nature, the relative malleability of man has been argued especially strongly in recent centuries—firstly by early modernists such as Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In his Emile, or On Education, Rousseau wrote: “We do not know what our nature permits us to be.”[14] Since the early 19th century, such thinkers as Hegel, Marx, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Sartre, as well as structuralists and postmodernists more generally, have also sometimes argued against a fixed or innate human nature.

    Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution has particularly changed the shape of the discussion, supporting the proposition that mankind’s ancestors were not like mankind today. Still, more recent scientific perspectives—such as behaviorism, determinism, and the chemical model within modern psychiatry and psychology—claim to be neutral regarding human nature. As in much of modern science, such disciplines seek to explain with little or no recourse to metaphysical causation.[15] They can be offered to explain the origins of human nature and its underlying mechanisms, or to demonstrate capacities for change and diversity which would arguably violate the concept of a fixed human nature.

    Notice, how this subtly side-steps the issue of the principle of identity. That, a thing A is itself i/l/o its particular characteristics that mark it apart from any other thing. This of course comes with two close corollaries, non-contradiction and excluded middle. In short, the Greek recognition that rationality pivots on distinct identity is a driver of the concept that a distinct thing has a distinct nature. A classic illustration of its pivotal importance is found in a classic source, an epistle of the Apostle Paul, where intelligibility came up. He gave a didactic example that, most likely, was a commonplace of their equivalent of Logic 101:

    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.

    We cannot even communicate intelligible content without using distinct identity and diversity so that we may encode information in meaningful patterns. This speaks to thought, speech, music, building up knowledge etc. In short, we see here a case of an inescapable prior of intelligent thought, speech, decision, action. Thus, an inescapable, self-evident truth. One, we cannot deny without instant, patent absurdity. Where, of course, to deny one’s individual, self aware, rational individuality is at once to suggest: who is it that denies distinct identity?

    That is a fairly big clue.

    As to the Darwinist touch-stone used to deny that we can have a common nature that is not infinitely plastic, we need not more than point out that change and transformation do not imply absence of a given state. There is such a thing as to be human, whatever our alleged ancestors once were. Whatever, our racial differences, coming in two complementary sexes, cultural diversity, different averages on Western-biased IQ tests, etc may suggest to those inclined to the notion that the despised other is somehow distinctly inferior in ways that rob of recognition of rights. We are of one blood, one family in the end.

    Further to this, our sense of being under moral government must be recognised and respected, complete with what that points to as being at the root of reality.

    Further to this, we should distinguish active causation by physical mechanism, from that which constrains being through the logic of being across possible worlds [see, Mathematics], and yet again from the self-motion of an agent making and acting on a decision. Where, if one dismisses the latter as Rosenberg did, the instant absurdity should be clear.

    It seems, we need to think through some fairly fundamental matters. With lawful civilisation in the stakes.

    KF
    PS: I see my main page now sees me as logged in. Let us hope whatever bugs are at root of the headache have been found and duly squashed. BTW, Admiral Grace Hopper’s literal bug was preserved in her log of tests on an early computer.

  12. 12
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Going further, I suggest we are looking at one of the root philosophical problems, the issue of the one and the many, unity with diversity. We see a ball, a hoop, a wheel, we point to roundness, circularity regardless of particular imperfections. We see a man, holding pictures of himself as a young child, conversing with his wife and children. The same arises and points to common humanity. What is it to be human, or to be a particular human at some stage of life or another, then at another stage years later? Just an accident of composition of particles, or is there something more, what?

    I clip:

    http://faculty.umb.edu/gary_za.....NEMANY.HTM

    All human cultures in some way have to deal with accounting for the myriad of objects and phenomena surrounding them. We live in a world of infinite objects that are constantly changing, yet even in this imposing world of objects and change, there seems to be an underlying unity and stability. For instance, every human being begins as an infant [–> a zygote] and then grows into an adult. Every adult is a different object than they were as an infant—in fact, they are unrecognizable as being the same object [–> save through continuation of growth, so change that transforms the child into the adult man or woman, holding a common identity and sense of unified self]. Yet we recognize that the are the same object , that something has remained the same even though the infant has changed into an object that is nowhere close to its original state. Likewise a corpse is nothing like the original living human being, but we still recognize that something has remained constant. [–> remains . . . ] We can see the same stability and constancy even across objects. While the world is full of trees, there is still some constancy and stability to “treeness” which never seems to change.

    This observation of the world of phenomena leads many cultures to believe that the infinity of things and their changes can ultimately be related back to a single object, material, or idea. The problem of finding the one thing that lies behind all things in the universe is called the problem of the one and the many. Basically stated, the problem of the one and the many begins from the assumption [–> intuition] that the universe is one thing [–> one common cosmos, not an ill-ordered unpredictable chaos]. Because it is one thing, there must be one, unifying aspect behind everything. This aspect could be material, such as water, or air, or atoms. It could be an idea, such as number, or “mind.” [–> note, scare quotes] It could be divine, such as the Christian concept of God or the Chinese concept of Shang-ti, the “Lord on High.” [–> both of which fit in with the category, mind] The problem, of course, is figuring out what that one, unifying idea is.

    Philosophy in the Western world begins with this question [IIRC, Thales of Miletus, sitting at the waterfront and pondering unity and diversity]; the earliest Greek philosophers mainly concerned themselves with this question. As a result, the problem of the one and the many still dominates Western concepts of the universe, including modern physics, which has set for itself the goal of finding the theory that will “unify” (unify means “make into one thing”) the laws of physics [–> tie in to the string theory debates] . . .

    We are swimming in deep waters with big sharks lurking.

    KF

  13. 13
    john_a_designer says:

    I think (again) the question whether or not mathematics is invented (by us) or discovered (not invented by us) has some real bearing here. Of course, this is something that has been discussed here many times before.

    Roger Penrose describes his metaphysical world view as a tripartite one consisting of the physical world, the mental world and a separate and distinct mathematical world. He goes on to explain that… ’there is the relationship between these three worlds which I regard, all three of them, as somewhat mysterious or very mysterious. I sometimes refer to this as “three worlds and three mysteries.” Mystery number one is how is it that the physical world does in fact accord with mathematics, and not just any mathematics but very sophisticated, subtle mathematics to such a fantastic degree of precision. That’s mystery number one.’

    However, since Penrose is a non-theist (according to Wikipedia, which quotes a BBC interview) I don’t see that he has any other choice but to postulate the existence of a separate transcendent Platonic realm. But this is probably too high of a cost for other naturalists to pay (of course, it’s unthinkable for a died-in-the-wool materialist.) That’s no doubt why, as we have typically seen here before, a stubborn resistance to the idea that mathematics is discovered by several of our regular interlocutors. But if we reject the idea of a transcendent mathematical realm where does our mathematical knowledge and know-how come from? From our minds– which is an epiphenomena of our brains… which is the product of a long mindless evolutionary process. If you begin with those assumptions that’s where the logic leads you, therefore, mathematics must be a human invention. The problem is that you first need to prove that your metaphysical presuppositions are true or that they are more probably true than not.

    On the other hand, here are several good reasons to believe that mathematical truth is discovered not invented.

    *1. Numbers have properties that do not appear to have been invented. For example, there some unsolved conjectures about prime numbers that are hard to explain if we are the inventors. Namely if we are the inventors why has no one been able to prove (or disprove) that the set of twin primes is infinite? Or why do the Goldbach conjecture and Riemann Hypothesis continue to be unsolved? Wouldn’t the putative inventors of mathematics be able to resolve these problems?

    *2. The applicability of mathematics to the real world. For example, sometime ago, in an earlier thread I pointed out that “One of the most significant discoveries in science was the discovery of the inverse square law (credited to Kepler for light) which is derived directly from the geometry of a sphere. The ISL applies to both electromagnetism and gravity, though the force constants for each vary.”

    https://www.thehighersidechatsplus.com/forums/media/inverse-square-law-and-wave-function.105/full?d=1503980290

    Where would physics be without this discovery? And that’s only one example.

    *3. It appears that the human mind and brain are preadapted to do mathematics. What immediate survival advantage would doing higher mathematics and doing it accurately have for a highly evolved species of hunter-gatherer apes?

    *4. The universality of mathematics. SETI enthusiasts have suggested that we could use mathematics to communicate with ETI’s. For example, “In the 1985 science fiction novel Contact, Carl Sagan explored in some depth how a message might be constructed to allow communication with an alien civilization, using prime numbers as a starting point, followed by various universal principles and facts of mathematics and science.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communication_with_extraterrestrial_intelligence

    How could mathematics be universal if it was invented by us?

    *5. Historically mathematics set the stage for the scientific revolution. Kepler and Galileo and Newton were all mathematicians who believed that at its root the universe was mathematical. In other words, they began with the assumption that the universe could be described mathematically.

    *6. Mathematics is grounded in rational deductive logic which used in not only in the natural sciences but in criminal investigations and legal justice systems around the world.

    *7. Mathematics is objectively true. For example, it doesn’t matter what your opinion is or what you believe about the following numbers: 32319, 32321, 32323, only one or two of them could be a prime numbers or none of them could be. However, your subjective opinion is irrelevant and there nothing you can do or believe to change the facts.

    I think most theists agree that mathematics exists in the mind– my mind, your mind– some intelligent beings mind. However, if mind and consciousness are the result of a long unintended, accidental and unguided mindless natural evolutionary process then obviously, so the argument goes, then mathematics MUST be something that is invented by us. But is the premise, Mind and consciousness are the result of a long unintended, accidental and unguided mindless natural evolutionary process, self-evidently true? If it is, can you prove it to me?

    However, if it is just something that you believe subjectively how can it be true for anyone else? Does your believing something is true make it true?

    The reasons (1-7) that I have listed above are good reasons to believe there is something objectively and universally true about mathematics. Consider the example I gave in #7 about prime numbers. Does your opinion or belief whether or not 32319, 32321, 32323 are prime have any bearing on whether they are or are not? There is no better example of the intellectual bankruptcy of naturalistic/ materialistic thinking.

    Of course, this also has some implications the “objective” truthfulness of morality and universal human rights. Obviously if there no such thing as moral truth as the moral subjectivist and relativists want us believe then there are no morally binding obligations or basis for universal human rights. At the very least the objective truthfulness of math is analogous to what we mean when we say there are objective moral truths. Like math morality exists in the mind. But because something is exists in the mind does not make it epistemologically subjective or relative.

  14. 14

    Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective,) quantum physics has destroyed the basis for all of these arguments.

    Principle of identity, excluded middle and non-contradiction? Let me know how that is applied to the fact of quantum indeterminate states represented by Schrodinger’s cat, or the fact that two irreconcilable states were simultaneously caused to exist in a recent experiment:

    https://www.technologyreview.com/2019/03/12/136684/a-quantum-experiment-suggests-theres-no-such-thing-as-objective-reality/

    And today, Massimiliano Proietti at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and a few colleagues say they have performed this experiment for the first time: they have created different realities and compared them. Their conclusion is that Wigner was correct—these realities can be made irreconcilable so that it is impossible to agree on objective facts about an experiment.

    Let me know when you have something to say about this other than offering a promissory note that it will somehow be resolved in a way that will salvage your perspective. Physicists have been trying to cash in that note for 100 years.

    Laws of nature? No such thing. Patterns of experienced behavior, yes.

    Fine-tuned universe? Not really, not when you look at it through the lens of quantum physics and the implications thereof and what it means about life.

    Also, you can’t cherry-pick mental items and call them “real,” and offer no good reason to dismiss everything else in mind as “not real.”

  15. 15
    jerry says:

    We are swimming in deep waters with big sharks lurking

    As an anti ID person is being consumed by the sharks that they mocked as non existent their last words will be

    I gotcha you on that Kf.

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    Dr. Egnor has a beautiful article that clears up, via Schrödinger’s Cat, much of the confusion surrounding the much repeated false claim that quantum mechanics contradicts the laws of logic,

    Introducing Aquinas’ Five Ways – Michael Egnor – October 3, 2019
    Excerpt: The cosmological arguments have two cornerstones: the law of non-contradiction, and the metaphysics of potency and act. Both principles are Aristotelian, developed in fullest form by St. Thomas Aquinas.
    Simple but Profound
    The law of non-contradiction is simple but profound. It is the principle that it is not possible for a thing to be and not be at the same time in the same respect. If my coffee cup is full, it cannot also be empty at the same time. If I am alive, I cannot be dead at the same time (for readers thinking “What about Schrödinger’s cat?”, I’ll address that later).
    Succinctly, A is not not-A, and not-A is not A.,,,
    Without the law of non-contradiction, nature is Alice-in-Wonderland,,,, Reality must make sense first, before I can draw conclusions from it.,,,
    ,,, If reality makes no sense (if A and not-A are compatible), we can apprehend nothing. Expressed another way, sense is the precondition of truth. We can’t know any truth unless the world makes sense.
    The second cornerstone of the cosmological arguments is Aristotle’s principle of potency and act.
    Aristotle observed that in contrast to non-being, there were two manifestations of being — potentiality and actuality.
    Potentiality (or potency) is an intermediate state between non-being and being. It is the capacity to receive form — the capacity to become a defined existing thing. It is not the thing itself, however, it is only capacity. Potency is not actual.
    Actuality (or act) is the state of actually being in a defined way — full reality.,,,
    Aquinas (following Aristotle) pointed out that the law of non-contradiction applies to the principle of potency and act in a fundamentally important way. A thing may not be in potency and in act in the same respect at the same time. Potency and act for the same thing are mutually exclusive at any moment in time. If something is possible, it is not yet actual, and if something is actual, it is no longer just possible. There is no middle state between potency and act and there is no state of simultaneous potency and act for the same thing.,,,
    And Now for Schrödinger’s Cat
    3) There is a common atheist objection to the Aristotelian principle of non-contradiction, using a famous paradox in quantum indeterminacy. The argument is that the principle of non-contradiction is disproven by the paradox of Schrödinger’s cat, in which a cat in a box with poison that can be released by a radioactive emission can be simultaneously alive and dead — in a suspended state between life and death — until the box is opened and it is observed. This would seem to be a situation in which A is not-A simultaneously. Before observation, the cat is both dead and alive. This, however, is a misunderstanding of the metaphysics. In fact the paradox of Schrödinger’s cat is better understood in an Aristotelian framework. There is obviously no materialist mechanistic framework in which it is comprehensible. In the Aristotelian framework,, the cat is in potency for life and death, not in actuality for either. It is only on observation that the cat is alive or dead. That is, it is only with observation that potency is raised to act and the law of non-contradiction applies. Only the Aristotelian principle that potency is not actuality makes sense of the cat’s indeterminate state.,, Of all of the metaphysical perspectives on tap, the least acceptable is the materialist mechanical perspective — i.e. “nature is atoms in the void, and nothing more.” The most acceptable, in light of the indeterminacy inherent to the quantum state, is Aristotelian potency and act.,,,
    Quantum indeterminacy (exemplified by Schrödinger’s cat) is a striking example of Aristotelian potency, and collapse of the quantum waveform is an example of reduction of potency to act, and the law of non-contradiction is necessary to even talk about metaphysics or science meaningfully. It is materialist mechanical philosophy, not Aristotelian metaphysics, that is incompatible with quantum mechanics.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2019/10/introducing-aquinas-five-ways/

  17. 17
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, Q-theory implicitly relies on distinct identity just to exist and function. Note here and onward. KF

  18. 18

    BA77,
    I didn’t say that Shrodinger’s cat contradicted the principles of logic. I said to let me know how those principles can be applied to quantum indeterminant states and the contradictory reality experiment I I I linked to.

    Egnor’s “potency” answer is ridiculous because the cat has the “potency” to change states from alive to dead without ever being subjected to the experiment. Nobody question the potency to change from alive to dead or to change states; that’s not what the quantum aspect of this is about. According to quantum theory and the results of experimentation, the cat IS both alive and dead at the same time – and can be at two different places at that same time. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-05/aaft-sci052316.php

    You didn’t respond to the link I provided in that comment.

    To be clear, I’m not saying that the principles of logic aren’t valid; what I’m saying is that the basis for KF’s thesis has been obliterated because he is applying those principles to the wrong thing. Remember, for the principles to hold true, one must be applying them correctly – to the correct thing.

    The incorrect thing to apply them to, in the case of Schroedinger’s cat, is the cat. Or anything in the box. Or the box itself. That is not what the laws of logic should be properly applied to in that scenario. Have I given you enough hints?

    This is why KF’s argument has been destroyed; it’s not because the principles of logic do not work; it’s because he’s applying them to the wrong things. This is what 100 years of quantum experimentation have show us conclusively.

  19. 19

    KF said:

    WJM, Q-theory implicitly relies on distinct identity just to exist and function. Note here and onward. KF

    I didn’t say it didn’t. I said it has destroyed the basis for for your position here – because it has revealed you are improperly applying the principles of logic. You’re applying them to the wrong thing. Or, rather, you are misidentifying that which has the identity in question and where “non-contradiction” lies.

  20. 20

    Tell me, in Shroedinger’s cat experiments (actually conducted with photons and the like,) where does the state of the life of the cat exist? Hint: it’ not in the cat.

  21. 21
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM,

    no.

    Superpositions are discussed in the linked. The point is, the construction of Q-theory as a mathematical exercise inescapably is pervaded with LOI and corollaries at every step and the principle of empirical disproof by failed prediction is also pervaded.

    Those who have suggested that Q-theory disproves . . . note, an empirical and/or theoretical claim that is inextricably pervaded with LOI etc . . . LOI are in deep self-referential incoherence, thus contradiction. Unfortunately, their aura of authority and the mystique of mathematics and science then draws lay persons into a crooked yardstick meme.

    Coming back to what I am actually arguing, humans are plainly macro-observable and even your own arguments pivot on the duties of reason to gain any traction. My point above is, for us to be rational, we must be significantly free enough to choose to follow a ground-consequent chain or to make an inference to best explanation judgement. Freedom carries with it possible alternatives and moral government is about discerning which are right and which are not. Ought, patently, pivots on the possibility that what we actually do is different from what we should, and further turns on ability to make sense of which is right among alternatives or in some cases which is least bad. The latter is a superposition [shades of grey is a common metaphor], but it is definitely not a schroedinger cat case or a case where manner of observation of say a double slit bombarded by particles determines wave like or particle like behaviour.

    Rational thought resolves choice for those sufficiently practiced to be prudent, and compromises for the hardness of hearts have to be made [think, regulating divorce or managing a war or a political campaign or a government], but such simply is not a quantum superposition resolved by manner of observation.

    Moral observation and analysis are not stochastic phenomena, they are phenomena of carefully nurtured and practiced discernment; i.e. prudence. Unfortunately, the study and praxis behind such wisdom are far too rare today.

    KF

  22. 22
    john_a_designer says:

    Egnor quote from #16.

    Aristotle observed that in contrast to non-being, there were two manifestations of being — potentiality and actuality.

    Potentiality (or potency) is an intermediate state between non-being and being. It is the capacity to receive form — the capacity to become a defined existing thing. It is not the thing itself, however, it is only capacity. Potency is not actual.

    Potentiality is something the naturalist/materialist doesn’t explain (or concedes exists) because he/she can’t explain, so he/she pretends that it doesn’t even exist. Nevertheless, the world (the universe) is full of potentialities. The acorn has a potential to become an oak tree… A fertilized egg has the species specific potential to become a chicken, a sparrow… or a human being. Certain kinds of clouds have the potential to produce rain, snow or thunder and lightning. If you think about it from a cosmological perspective hydrogen atoms under the right conditions (condition that needed to be almost exactly right) have the potential to become every material thing that exists in the universe: stars, galaxies all the known elements, planets… But if you admit potentiality you have to admit teleology (a word they will not use) and teleology is just another word for design. So what is their explanation? Everything just happened?

  23. 23
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD, possible worlds analysis and calculus [a form of modal logic] addresses potential, actual and necessary being. This stuff is ontology, a branch of metaphysics. Obviously, in context we can in principle look at moral oughtness through modal analysis, creating operators as necessary. KF

  24. 24
    Viola Lee says:

    back at 13, JAD wrote, “I think (again) the question whether or not mathematics is invented (by us) or discovered (not invented by us) has some real bearing here.”

    The following bears on that question:

    Here is a mathematical system M, defined as such:

    1. Let x and y be integers
    2. Define Z = x @ y = (x – y)^2 + & where & = 1 if y is odd and & = 2 if y is even

    M is thus a system defined for the integers that includes a new operator @.

    Three questions:

    Q1: What is the value of (5 @ 2) @ (2 @ 5)?

    Q2: Prove that if x is odd and y is even (x @ y) @ (y @ x) = 2.

    Q3: What are the results if a) both numbers are even, and b) both numbers are odd?

    ========================================
    Meta-question #1 (MQ1). Suppose you answered any of the questions above. Did you invent or discover the answer?

    I think it is clear that you discovered the answer. Once the system is set up (useless as it is), the value of every Z is determined for all pairs of numbers x and y, and every expression involving numbers using x, y, and the operator @ is also determined, no matter how complicated an expression might be. If you follow the rules and are careful and persevering, you can discover all sorts of stuff about the system. It’s all there waiting to be found.

    Meta-question #2: Did I invent or discover the system M.

    I think it is clear that I invented it.

    What do you think, and why?

  25. 25
    ET says:

    Srinivasa Ramanujan would say that you discovered it. And I say that because of what he discovered.

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, properties and relationships of relevant numbers are — as shown — embedded in the framework of any possible world. KF

  27. 27
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: On fine tuning, start here and with the onward linked https://www.uncommondescent.com/atheism/fyi-ftr-luke-barnes-on-fine-tuning KF-and-the-case-of-the-fine-structure-constant/ Note, where we are and the span of scales. KF

  28. 28
    jerry says:

    Mathematics is a subset of logic. It is not invented.

    Like logic it can be applied to any system, Imaginary or real. In reality most of what it is applied to is imaginary but often analogous to real things. The real world application often comes after the mathematics has been explored.

    Or is logic a subset of mathematics? There is a mathematical discipline called logic.

    Existence is the amazing thing. That anything exists is the ultimate mystery not logic or mathematics. And we are allowed to recognize this is even more amazing.

    Aside: what got me interested in math was geometry. I always got high grades in arithmetic and then algebra. But when I discovered my first geometry proof, I was hooked. I finished the book by mid October. I was taken by the logic not the particular discipline.

  29. 29
    kairosfocus says:

    log in reappears

  30. 30
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, Math is arguably best understood as[ the study of] the logic of structure and quantity, application of aspects of logic of being. Structure, being abstract, and study being an intelligent exercise. That is, applied ontology using logic. As I showed, a core is fabric to the distinct identity of any possible world, conferring universal power. That in turn opens up our study. KF

  31. 31
    jerry says:

    Structure, being abstract, and study being an intelligent exercise. That is, applied ontology using logic. As I showed, a core is fabric to the distinct identity of any possible world, conferring universal power. That in turn opens up our study. KF

    I haven’t a clue what you are saying.

    But “logic” is a mathematical discipline. I took it in my math PhD program. Not sure what structure or quantity was involved with it. Lots of p’s and q’s. Completely abstract.

    True story: the professor who taught the logic course covered the entire board in front of class with equations and words and then proceeded to cover side boards with similar stuff. He was 2/3 through side board when he said the equation he just wrote was intuitively obvious (that is no need for an explanation.).

    Another student asked why that was so. The professor backed up and looked at board and then went to front board and read everything he wrote. This took about 5 minutes.

    He then turned to the class and said yes, it was intuitively obvious and went back to writing on the black board.

  32. 32
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, it is a fairly common theme to recognise that numbers etc are abstract. That’s why mathematical platonists exist. The study of mathematical objects, sets, systems, schemes etc is an intellectual exercise. The focus of that study is structure and of course quantity, sometimes space is separated out but that fits in, in structure. The quantities start with N,Z,Q,R,C,R* etc, and we see from Z, R and C that we deal with abstract spaces and vectors already: magnitude and direction sense not algebraic vector space sense, a family of abstract algebraic structures. My linked is about how from distinct identity of a possible world, we already set up first quantities and the von Neumann succession, thence the chain of sets, with their structures and relationships. Logic is Mathematical and Mathematics is logical, they are inextricably intertwined, as Boole and successors have so convincingly shown. The abstract quantities, being part of the framework of any possible world are tied to logic of being, which here is effectively a synonym for Ontology. See; https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/logic-ontology/ And BTW, modal logic is a major focus of such matters and is expressed using an algebra or rather a family of algebras, S5 being famous. KF

    PS: An intro on Logic and Maths http://www.personal.psu.edu/t20/papers/philmath/

  33. 33
    jerry says:

    Interesting that some comment boxes are still closed.

  34. 34
    Viola Lee says:

    26 does not answer my question.

    re 28: Yes, my system M uses logic and properties of the natural number system. But was M itself discovered or invented?

  35. 35
    kairosfocus says:

    jerry there is an unstable pattern of buggy behaviour. I think different threads will be open/closed for particular accounts for reasons I cannot begin to imagine. KF

  36. 36
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, you set up a formulation of M, however the structures and relationships etc were there all along. Your little logic model world, M is an exploration of something much bigger. KF

  37. 37
    jerry says:

    But was M itself discovered or invented?

    Analogous to whether a particular work of fiction was discovered or invented. Most fiction resonates because it could have happened or is very similar to a real life situation that did happen.

    for reasons I cannot begin to imagine.

    Sounds like real life.

  38. 38
    ET says:

    Everything that we do is via discovery. Even our inventions were discovered.

  39. 39
    Viola Lee says:

    re 37 and 38: Did Rowling discover Harry Potter? Was the whole Harry Potter series (as well as all possible stories written in all possible languages) already “in existence” somehow? If so, how?

  40. 40
    john_a_designer says:

    The point I was trying to make at #22 was that naturalism/materialism eschews the idea of teleology even though by their own admission teleological thinking is something that appears to be very natural and innate to human beings

    Here is a quote from article cited in the OP that was posted back here at UD back in 2018:

    Because teleological and animist thinking are part of children’s earliest intuitions about the world and are resilient in adulthood [8, 9], they thus could be causally involved in the acquisition of creationist and conspiracist beliefs. However, our results do not rule out the possibility that acceptance of such beliefs could, conversely, favor a teleological bias. Yet, in both cases, the ‘everything happens for a reason’ or ‘it was meant to be’ intuition at the heart of teleological thinking not only remains an obstacle to the acceptance of evolutionary theory, but could also be a more general gateway to the acceptance of anti-scientific views and conspiracy theories.

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/claimed-link-between-creationism-and-conspiracism/#comment-663572

    In other words, the authors concede that we are all “hardwired” to believe that there is some sort higher purpose evident in nature but then they implicitly claim that ‘it’s all an illusion.’ But how does the atheistic materialist come to the dogmatic conclusion that this innate and intuitive sense of purpose is not only an illusion but something that needs to be suppressed? What’s their argument? Aren’t they making a universal truth claim here? On what basis are atheistic naturalists/materialists in the position to make universal truth claims? At best from what I have read and studied atheistic naturalism/ materialism lacks the epistemological basis to make such claims.

  41. 41
    Viola Lee says:

    HI JAD, you may not want to pursue this branch of the threads on this post, but do you have any thoughts on #24 which I wrote in response to your comments on math being discovered or invented?

  42. 42
    ET says:

    Yes, Viola. All discovered. All the information required by this universe is already in the universe. Information is another fundamental entity. It cannot be created nor destroyed. Matter, energy and information, including mathematics, are all such fundamental entities. We cannot create them and we cannot destroy them. But we have the intelligently designed ability to discover, study, understand and utilize these fundamental entities. And everyone’s capabilities in that regard are not equal. Srinivasa Ramanujan is a great example of that.

  43. 43
    john_a_designer says:

    There are many reasons why an atheistic naturalistic worldview is totally inadequate in explaining anything. One of them is explaining human nature.

    As a matter of fact, stheistic naturalism/materialism is blatantly dehumanizing because it cannot give an adequate explanation for human nature.

    For example, human beings are somehow uniquely hardwired cognitively in four distinct ways:

    *1. We are hardwired to seek and discern the truth. For example, we have what appears to be an intrinsic or innate ability to accurately use logic and reason, including mathematical reasoning.

    *2. We are hardwired to seek purpose and meaning, including ultimate purpose and meaning.

    *3. We are hardwired as moral beings. Only human beings can discern good and bad, good or evil, ought and ought not.

    *4. We are also hardwired to seek out and appreciate beauty.

    Is this all the result of some mindless, undirected and random evolutionary process? Or, is there something else? Another explanation? I think that there is evidence that there is and the evidence is human nature itself. What about human nature is the evidence? I’ve just listed it for you. See 1 through 4 above.

  44. 44
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD, perhaps, different phrasing? For, the issue is not so much “hard wir[ing]” — which suggests or invites an inference to determinism (which undermines rationality and freedom by inviting the notion, wired-in delusion, cf. Rosenberg) — but that we are morally governed attested to by our consciences. That is, we see here that rationality requires freedom and freedom means duty to discern and choose towards the right. With first duties of freedom including truth, right reason etc. KF

  45. 45
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Let me clip from Weak Argument Corrective 38 (as was already linked), on quantum theory issues:

    UD’s contributor StephenB has put his finger on the basic problem here: Scientists do not use observed evidence to evaluate the principles of logic; they use the principles of logic to evaluate such evidence . . . . [During the original development] at each stage, the scientists were comparing observations with what the classical theory predicted, and were implicitly assuming that if the theory, T, predicted observations, O, but we saw NOT-O instead, then T was wrong.

    Q: Why is that?

    A: Because they respected the logical law of identity [LOI], and its travelling companions, the law of non-contradiction [LNC] and the excluded middle [LEM]. If a scientific theory T is consistent with and predicts observations O, but we see the denial of O, i.e. NOT-O, O is first seen as distinct and recognisably different from NOT-O [LOI]. The physicists also saw that O and NOT-O cannot both be so in the same sense and circumstances [LNC], and they realised that once O is a distinct phenomenon they would see O or NOT-O, not both or something else [LEM]. (Where also, superposition is not a blending of logical opposites, but an interaction between contributing parents, say P and Q to get a composite result, say R; as we can see with standing waves on a string or a ripple tank’s interference pattern.) Going further, when such scientists scratched out their equations and derivations on their proverbial chalk boards, they were using distinct symbols, and were reasoning step by step on these same three laws. In short, the heart of the scientific method inescapably and deeply embeds the classic laws of thought. You cannot do science, including Quantum Theory science, without basing your work on the laws of thought. So, it is self-refuting and absurd to suggest that Quantum Theory results can or do undermine these laws of thought.

    In short, to then suggest that empirical discoveries or theoretical analysis now overturns the basic laws of thought, is to saw off the branch on which science must sit, if it is to be a rational enterprise at all . . .

    KF

    PS: In the Schroedinger cat case, the cat is of sufficient size that strictly, its position and momentum are in the range where classical results are good enough. That is, known to be empirically reliable, sufficient to trust even where the cat is hidden behind an opaque barrier. No, the cat, a classical level object, is not both alive and dead, were we to actually set such up, and a lab rat would be a better choice. What would be true is, there is a probability function during the what 1/2 hour of veiling, with odds typically at 1:1 when the situation is exposed, which reveals which side won. The actual quantum issue is a low intensity RA capsule and detector set up to trigger a poison gas vial that on detection of a particle would trigger release. The observer here that is actually subject to the quantum event of RA decay, is the detector. A more fruitful case in which quantum effects are pervasive is the particle beam double slit experiment where the particle . . . whimsically, wavicle . . . can undergo superposition of states even at an intensity where it is only one photon or particle at a time in the path, so yes the smearing out is true of individual particles not just collections, the wave phenomenon binds to the particle; this BTW suggests the classic Copenhagen interpretation, a probability wave. Probability translating directly to an index of ignorance and uncertainty on a span of possibilities. This case tells us that our waves vs particles map of what such particles are is wrong, and indeed the configuration of detectors interacts with the wavicles in ways that lead to resolution as though particle or wave. We can ask why, apart from that is the math constrained by postulates pivoting on observed facts, we lack a good generally accepted dominant conceptual explanation/ interpretation, there are multiple schools of thought. However, all along the process the same sort of reasoning just cited is at work. Indeed, in doing the Math, the first principles of logic [right reason] are inextricably involved in the process.

    So, we are back to the issue that it is unwise to saw off the branch on which we are all inescapably sitting. But, we live in such a world today that there are powerful factions, influences and voices strongly inclined to do just that.

    The result is chaos.

  46. 46
    john_a_designer says:

    We do not create or determine the innate capabilities or abilities that I have listed above @ #43 anymore that we create our genetic physical characteristics– things like eye color, hair color, body height or body type etc. In other words, human nature is not our creation or invention though we can certainly use free will to enhance our abilities. For example, someone with genetically innate athletic abilities can perhaps become a superstar with the right motivation and training.

    Here is the dictionary definition of hardwired that I am generally using:

    2: genetically or innately determined : INBORN
    creature whose every action is a reflexive, hardwired response
    — Natalie Angier
    also : genetically or innately predisposed
    a human being who is hardwired to be sociable

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hardwired

    However, I am not claiming that everything that anyone claims to be genetic or INBORN is genetic or inborn. I am using hardwired very narrowly as those capabilities that most humans are born with. But again we can use freewill to enhance those capabilities or tragically, in too many cases, undermine, abuse and misuse them.

  47. 47
    jerry says:

    I am not claiming that everything that anyone claims to be genetic or INBORN is genetic or inborn. I am using hardwired very narrowly as those capabilities that most humans are born with.

    This is what I was saying in #4 and #8.

  48. 48
    john_a_designer says:

    Unfortunately, many of our interlocutors have a very distorted if not cartoonish view of what most of us who advocate objective morality are arguing. Many of us here, including me, are not starting with the Bible we’re starting with natural law. The main quote we use when we quote from the Bible is Paul’s teaching in Roman’s 2:14 &15 where he argues “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…” In other words, Paul is saying that all humans have access to natural law through their hearts and conscience. Whether or not it’s written down somewhere, there is a morally binding (or “objective”) natural law. Peter Kreeft gives a very clear and concise explanation of what natural law is in the following linked article:

    What is natural law and why is it important?

    Moral laws are based on human nature. That is, what we ought to do is based on what we are. “Thou shalt not kill,” for instance, is based on the real value of human life and the need to preserve it. “Thou shalt not commit adultery” is based on the real value of marriage and family, the value of mutual self-giving love, and children’s need for trust and stability. The natural law is also naturally known, by natural human reason and experience. We don’t need religious faith or supernatural divine revelation to know that we’re morally obligated to choose good and avoid evil or to know what “good” and “evil” mean… Speaking of pagans [or gentiles,] St. Paul says that “they show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness” (Rom 2:15).

    The term “natural law” is sometimes misunderstood. “This law is called ‘natural,’ not in reference to the nature of irrational beings [that is, animals — it is not a law of biology], “but because reason, which decrees it, properly belongs to human nature”…

    http://legatus.org/what-is-nat.....important/

    See also:

    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/natural-law-ethics/

    The point is that just because someone doesn’t believe the Bible or have a religion it doesn’t follow there are no objective moral obligations. Ironically that is actually a biblical teaching.

  49. 49
    jerry says:

    The point is that just because someone doesn’t believe the Bible or have a religion it doesn’t follow there are no objective moral obligations. Ironically that is actually a biblical teaching.

    I pointed out that people kill their nearest relations for personal reasons. Look no further than the sons of Jacob and David. And David was no angel either. So somehow they didn’t get it. Nor did most of mankind including a lot of Christian kings.

    It doesn’t seem to be completely widespread in our culture either or any other cultures since the beginning of time. I can’t think of one. For nearly all, power determines what is right or moral.

    The best current example is that free speech is what those currently in power say people are free to express.

    This is two comment boxes in a row.

  50. 50
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, the issue is the is-ought gap. That someone violates duties does not mean s/he denies them, there is such a thing as moral struggle and growth. Such even applies to murder. KF

    PS, appeal to power is the opposite of justice. Power tends to corrupt.

  51. 51
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Jerry “The best current example is that free speech is what those currently in power say people are free to express.

    Freedom of speech is an obligation on government, not on individuals or companies. UD occasionally bans people or removes their comments. This is not a violation of free speech. The government is not going to prosecute me for anything I say unless it is insightful of violence or hate. And UD is not going to be prosecuted by government because they choose to ban people or delete their comments.

    We can certainly argue over whether individuals or organizations blocking comments by some people is an appropriate approach, but to argue that it is a violation of free speech is a non-starter. Twitter blocking Trump’s account is no more a violation of his free speech than Kairosfocus deleting comments on UD is.

  52. 52
    kairosfocus says:

    SA2,

    classic legal positivism error, joined to attempted invidious association.

    Man is naturally free in thought, speech and action, where justice is due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities. Due balance, BTW implies mutuality.

    In the case of your attempt to insinuate improper censorship on my part, instantly, UD does not hold monopoly power or near monopoly power over speech, or control the de facto public square. Only those with power to silence like that can censor. Where of course deliberately rude, disrespectful or sewer conduct is cause to exert reasonable discipline. Where you neatly neglect to mention that we held our noses and tolerated a discussion on subjects that seem to be an obsession of some, some time ago. There is no good reason to go there again, or to allow every thread of consequence to be dragged down into such. Your personality fails and through what you confess by projection, tells us a lot.

    On the wider issue, there is a distinction between platforms and publishers. Once one crosses that line one is properly responsible for content under defamation law. As well, viewpoint discrimination (especially when backed, as now with Reichstag fire slanders and purges in progress . . . ) from those with actual censorship power is damaging to the public interest. Section 230 is being turned into a weapon to weaken resistance to the slide into lawless ideological oligarchy.

    So, you stand corrected and exposed yet again for resort to trollish behaviour.

    KF

  53. 53
    jerry says:

    The best current example is that free speech is what those currently in power say people are free to express.

    I doubt anyone in their right mind thinks that anyone on this site has any power. People have been provoking the moderators here since day 1 looking to be censored in some fashion so they can shout hypocrisy. On this site there is about 30 commenters and 10 authors. Hardly a place of any power.

    But government and certainly some news outlets have power. Twitter would qualify as a news outlet with considerable power. So would Facebook. Amazon, Google and Apple demonstrated power in limiting who can make ideas available by restricting app availability.

    Yet each continues to increase their power by acquisitions. This is not healthy.

    Anyone denying this is not a power grab is disingenuous at best.

    By the way, the left has been provoking for years looking for some response so they can claim a national emergency to crack down. We are seeing their plan play out before our eyes.

  54. 54
    ET says:

    Acartia Stevie:

    Freedom of speech is an obligation on government,…

    Exactly! The current US government is heavily Democratic, with the Democrats having the White House and both the House and Senate. The Democrats are the people in power. They are suppressing dissent. They are spreading lies. The President has been lying for decades but since his last name isn’t Trump, it’s all OK. The left is full of power-hungry bullies, cowardly censors, sociopaths and pathological liars.

  55. 55
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Kairosfocus “ In the case of your attempt to insinuate improper censorship on my part,…

    I don’t know what you are reading but it definitely isn’t anything I wrote. What you do would be censorship if people looked to you for fair and unbiased presentations, but that is not the case.

    Where of course deliberately rude, disrespectful or sewer conduct is cause to exert reasonable discipline.

    I agree. When are you going to discipline ET?

    Where you neatly neglect to mention that we held our noses and tolerated a discussion on subjects that seem to be an obsession of some, some time ago.

    Yes, I agree that I have an obsession with equal rights and access to services and opportunities for all those who lead an innocent life. That you have to hold your nose over this obsession is a rather strange thing to admit.

    On the wider issue, there is a distinction between platforms and publishers. Once one crosses that line one is properly responsible for content under defamation law.

    I agree. And news outlets are held accountable. That is why FOX and other outlets had to publish corrections with regard to their false claims of election fraud.

    Unfortunately, Twitter, FB and other online forums are not as accountable as they should be. But, to their credit, they do have conditions for those posting and they will cancel accounts if they violate these terms. The problem is that, because of the immense traffic, they have to rely on others to point out violations.

  56. 56
    john_a_designer says:

    Modern naturalists believe that the human mind with its thoughts, knowledge, opinions and beliefs is all just the result of a mindless and purposeless evolutionary process. However, the raises the question: Can a mindless process give us reliable knowledge and beliefs?

    Charles Darwin appears to have also been disturbed by this question. He wrote in a letter to a friend:

    “With me,” says Darwin, “the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would anyone trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?”

    Patricia Churchland, a philosopher who specializes in issues raised by cognitive science, has argued that the way our nervous system and brain evolved they cannot be expected to give reliable knowledge and beliefs.

    “Boiled down to essentials, a nervous system enables the organism to succeed in the four F’s: feeding, fleeing, fighting, and reproducing. The principle chore of nervous systems is to get the body parts where they should be in order that the organism may survive. . . . . Improvements in sensorimotor control confer an evolutionary advantage: a fancier style of representing is advantageous so long as it is geared to the organism’s way of life and enhances the organism’s chances of survival [Churchland’s emphasis]. Truth, whatever that is, definitely takes the hindmost.”

    According to retired University of Notre Dame philosopher Alvin Plantinga, “Darwin and Churchland seem to believe that (naturalistic) evolution gives one a reason to doubt that human cognitive faculties are reliable (produce mostly true beliefs): call this ‘Darwin’s Doubt’.”

    Plantinga, on the other hand, argues that:

    “The traditional theist… has no corresponding reason for doubting that it is a purpose of our cognitive systems to produce true beliefs, nor any reason for thinking the probability of a belief’s being true, given that it is a product of her cognitive faculties, is low or inscrutable. She may indeed endorse some form of evolution; but if she does, it will be a form of evolution guided and orchestrated by God. And qua traditional theist — qua Jewish, Moslem, or Christian theist – she believes that God is the premier knower and has created us human beings in his image, an important part of which involves his giving them what is needed to have knowledge, just as he does.”

    In other words, theism provides a sufficient foundation for truth and knowledge. Philosophical naturalism/materialism, on the other hand… ?

    PS Usually discussions about “natural law” focus on natural moral law but natural law has just as much to do with epistemology– the search for reliable knowledge and truth.

  57. 57
    kairosfocus says:

    SA2, the tangents are duly noted. They will not be further followed. The focal topic is of civilisational importance, your evident inability to significantly address same is duly noted. KF

    PS: Wikipedia, testifying against interest on censorship:

    Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication, or other information, on the basis that such material is considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or “inconvenient.”[2][3][4] Censorship can be conducted by governments,[5] private institutions, and other controlling bodies.

    Governments[5] and private organizations may engage in censorship. Other groups or institutions may propose and petition for censorship.[6] When an individual such as an author or other creator engages in censorship of their own works or speech, it is referred to as self-censorship. General censorship occurs in a variety of different media, including speech, books, music, films, and other arts, the press, radio, television, and the Internet for a variety of claimed reasons including national security, to control obscenity, child pornography, and hate speech, to protect children or other vulnerable groups, to promote or restrict political or religious views, and to prevent slander and libel.

    Direct censorship may or may not be legal, depending on the type, location, and content. Many countries provide strong protections against censorship by law, but none of these protections are absolute and frequently a claim of necessity to balance conflicting rights is made, in order to determine what could and could not be censored.

    The pivotal point, of course is only those with sufficient power to dominate communication can censor. Which is precisely what the network economics and domination games by key tech giants has set up. They are heading for a fall — eventually, likely through antitrust action, if Bell was too big as definitely a platform, these are far more dangerous as platforms playing at censorship — and they deserve to fall. I hope that the successors will be sufficiently diverse that liberty will be better protected.

    PPS: As for assertions and projections on false claims regarding the past US election, I simply note the incidence of a readily manipulable, destabilising form of ballot and its election-switching impact, 69 millions of 150 roughly. The fact that there is a suspicious lack of concern on the obvious potential already speaks, multiplied by obvious intimidation against pointing out dangers. Further to such, there is an attempt to institutionalise such; ponder what that says to someone who cut his intellectual eye teeth dealing with the history of the third reich . . . including, of course how Herr Schicklegruber seized power by taking advantage of the Reichstag fire . . . and a rising 4th gen civil war pushed by marxists while attending a marxism dominated uni. For reference on public facts regarding such, see the Philadelphia court ruling reported on in NYT in 1994 and the report in congressional archive on the Ukraine elections in 2004. Multiply by McFaul dirty form colour revolutions and the SOCOM insurgency escalator. All of which you and others of like ilk have conspicuously failed to address substantially and cogently when discussed in threads totalling nearly 5,000 comments over two months, while the fire was burning. That failure on the merits is already decisive against your narrative. Notice,further, a key requisite for a dirty colour revolution is narrative domination, which is only accessible to those who dominate the media; which is certainly not the case for the deplorables, this already brings out the significance of sing off the hymn sheet narratives and implied cognitive dissonance confession by projection to the despised deplorables. The ginned up unconstitutional post-office impeachment in progress shows the lawless agenda at work for those willing to look. Of course, discernment belongs to those who by reason of use have senses exercised to distinguish good and evil, true and false, lawfulness and abuses under false colour of law, etc etc, all of which are increasingly sadly relevant. Red flag, for those willing to attend to such warnings.

  58. 58
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD, the ironic thing is that Darwin used that note with a twist, he was trying to undermine doubts on his theory which he believed was robustly supported empirically. So, by donning the lab coat he hoped to dismiss philosophical objections while avoiding self referential incoherence. Of course, we don’t have the empirical support, once we realised the challenge of complex algorithmically functional information from molecular noise and trial and error on steroids. The only empirically warranted source for such is intelligence; which we know cannot be a human monopoly. As for reliance on deep abstract reasoning and its extension to the real world, ponder Wigner’s astonishment at the success of Mathematics. (And yes, that linked article is pivotal.) That is, the nature, universal utility and powerful success of Mathematics are direct disproofs of Darwin’s attempted dismissal of complex abstruse reasoning by jumped up apes from the East African savannahs, inconvenient to his theory. You can have your mathematics with its track record of success or you can have your crude evolutionary materialistic determinism and refusal to attend to the significance of linguistic, coded, complex algorithmic information in the living cell. You cannot have both. We are back to the civilisation-shaping force of inescapable first duties of reason and the implication that we are under the government of a built in law coeval with our humanity. That is, laws of nature clearly extends beyond the dynamic-stochastic physical world to the morally governed rationality of significantly free creatures, us. Thence, the Ciceronian, law as highest reason, morally governed human nature framework for law, government and civilisation. KF

  59. 59
    ET says:

    Acartia Stevie:

    When are you going to discipline ET?

    For what? I treat rude, insipid trolls accordingly.

  60. 60
    ET says:

    And AGAIN, election fraud was found. “They” just said, without evidence, that it wasn’t enough to change the outcome of the election.

  61. 61
    john_a_designer says:

    The famous Cambridge University physicist Stephen Hawking once observed,

    “The human race is just a chemical scum on a moderate-sized planet, orbiting around a very average star in the outer suburb of one among a hundred billion galaxies.”

    (STEPHEN HAWKING, Reality on the Rocks: Beyond Our Ken, 1995)

    It appears to me that a lot of atheists agree that when you honestly look at man’s place in the universe it’s really rather pointless. For example, in his book, The First Three Minutes: A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe, Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg writes:

    “It is almost irresistible for humans to believe that we have some special relation to the universe, that human life is not just a more-or-less farcical outcome of a chain of accidents reaching back to the first three minutes, but that we are somehow built in from the beginning… It is very hard to realize that this is all just a tiny part of an overwhelmingly hostile universe. It is even harder to realize that this present universe has evolved from an unspeakably unfamiliar early condition, and faces a future extinction of endless cold or intolerable heat. The more the universe seems comprehensible the more it seems pointless.” (p.144)

    I would suggest that Weinberg was trying to play, perhaps unwittingly, a subtle bait and switch game here. This paragraph appears at the end of a book which is purportedly a book about following the chain of scientific evidence back to the very first few minutes of the universe. I have no problem with that. Weinberg is a Nobel Prize winning physicist. By vocation he has the credentials, the knowledge and expertise to explain how the universe evolved. He is not, however, any more qualified than anybody else to tell us what it all means. And, at least in academia, such questions are the province of philosophers and theologians not physicists.

    The paragraph did not go unnoticed and Weinberg soon became aware that he had crossed an invisible boundary line into disputed territory. Fifteen years later in another book, Dreams of a Final Theory, he admits that phrase “the more the universe seems comprehensible the more it seems pointless,” had dogged him ever since. He then vainly tries to explain what he really meant.
    “I did not mean,” he writes, “that science teaches us that the universe is pointless, but that the universe itself suggests no point.” He then adds that he doesn’t see life as pointless or meaningless but that as scientists and people we can “invent a point for our lives, including trying to understand the universe.”

    He then goes on to describe the reaction of some of his colleagues to his infamous little phrase. For example, Harvard astronomer Margaret Geller, opines, “Why should it have a point? What point? It is just a physical system, what point is there?”

    Princeton astrophysicist Jim Peebles was willing to take the implications a bit further. He says, “I am willing to believe that we are flotsam and jetsam.”

    However, Weinberg writes that his favorite response came from University of Texas astronomer Gerard de Vaucouleurs who remarked that Weinberg’s phrase was actually “nostalgic.” “Indeed it was,” Weinberg concedes, “nostalgic for a world in which the heavens declared the glory of God.”

    He then goes on to explain.

    “It would be wonderful to find in the laws of nature a plan prepared by a concerned creator in which human beings played some special role. I find sadness in doubting that we will. There are some among my scientific colleagues who say that the contemplation of nature gives them all the spiritual satisfaction that others have traditionally found in a belief in an interested God. Some of them may even really feel that way. I do not. And it does not seem to me to be helpful to identify the laws of nature as Einstein did with some sort of remote and disinterested God. The more we refine our understanding of God to make the concept plausible, the more it seems to be pointless.”

    Weinberg’s sentiment is obviously atheistic. But is his atheism the result of what he has discovered out there in the universe? Or, does he see the universe the way he does because of the preconceptions that he has as an atheist? I would argue that it is the latter.

    Einstein also wrote something about the meaning of life that I think is pertinent here…

    “What is the meaning of human life, or, for that matter, of the life of any creature? To know the answer to this question means to be religious. You ask: Does it make any sense, then, to pose this question? I answer: The man who regards his fellow creatures as meaningless is not merely unhappy but hardly fit for life.”

    My conclusion here is very straight forward. If God created the universe it has a purpose and meaning. On the other hand, if something mindless and impersonal is the cause the universe, it is hard to say, as Hawking and Weinberg have conceded, that there is any real or ultimate meaning for the universe or our existence.

    *That human beings are purpose driven is a third undeniable factor about human nature. See my list above @ #43.

  62. 62
    bornagain77 says:

    John_a_designer, thanks for that post.

    It was good that Weinberg qualified his belief that our lives are meaningless with, i.e. “(not) that science teaches us that the universe is pointless, but that the universe itself suggests no point”

    What ‘suggestion’ of the universe, (not of science), is Weinberg possibly alluding to? Well, not having read Weinberg’s book, I have to assume it is the same ‘suggestion’ that Hawking alluded to. As Hawking put it, the universe seems to suggest that we are just “chemical scum on a moderate-sized planet, orbiting around a very average star in the outer suburb of one among a hundred billion galaxies. We are so insignificant that I can’t believe the whole universe exists for our benefit.”

    “The human race is just a chemical scum on a moderate-sized planet, orbiting around a very average star in the outer suburb of one among a hundred billion galaxies. We are so insignificant that I can’t believe the whole universe exists for our benefit. That would be like saying that you would disappear if I closed my eyes.”
    – Stephen Hawking

    But this simplistic suggestion of the universe is NOT what the science itself has to say about our significance in the universe.

    In fact, as I pointed out in my recent video, “Jesus Christ as the correct “Theory of Everything”,,,

    Jesus Christ as the correct “Theory of Everything” – video
    https://youtu.be/Vpn2Vu8–eE

    as I pointed out in that video,,,, The Copernican principle and/or the Principle of Mediocrity, was derived from Copernican heliocentrism and is the assumption that there is nothing very unusual or special about the earth in general, or about human observers in particular, in this universe:

    Copernican principle
    Excerpt: In physical cosmology, the Copernican principle, is an alternative name of the mediocrity principle,,, stating that humans (the Earth, or the Solar system) are not privileged observers of the universe.[1]
    Named for Copernican heliocentrism, it is a working assumption that arises from a modified cosmological extension of Copernicus’s argument of a moving Earth.[2] In some sense, it is equivalent to the mediocrity principle.
    – per wikipedia

    Carl Sagan coined the term ‘principle of mediocrity’ to refer to the idea that scientists should assume that nothing is special about humanity’s situation
    https://books.google.com/books?id=rR5BCwAAQBAJ&pg=PA187#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Mediocrity principle
    Excerpt: The (Mediocrity) principle has been taken to suggest that there is nothing very unusual about the evolution of the Solar System, Earth’s history, the evolution of biological complexity, human evolution, or any one nation. It is a heuristic in the vein of the Copernican principle, and is sometimes used as a philosophical statement about the place of humanity. The idea is to assume mediocrity, rather than starting with the assumption that a phenomenon is special, privileged, exceptional, or even superior.[2][3]
    – per wikipedia

    And yet, despite the fact that virtually everyone, including the vast majority of Christians, hold that the Copernican Principle is unquestionably true, and that there is nothing special about the earth or humans in this universe, the fact of the matter is that the Copernican Principle is now shown, by both General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, to be a false assumption.

    General Relativity itself does not care if we choose the earth, or the sun, or any other place
    in the universe, as the central point for our model of the universe.

    As George Ellis stated, “I can construct you a spherically symmetrical universe with Earth at its center, and you cannot disprove it based on observations… You can only exclude it on philosophical grounds…”

    “People need to be aware that there is a range of models that could explain the observations… For instance, I can construct you a spherically symmetrical universe with Earth at its center, and you cannot disprove it based on observations… You can only exclude it on philosophical grounds… What I want to bring into the open is the fact that we are using philosophical criteria in choosing our models. A lot of cosmology tries to hide that.”
    – George Ellis – W. Wayt Gibbs, “Profile: George F. R. Ellis,” Scientific American, October 1995, Vol. 273, No.4, p. 55

    And as Stephen Hawking himself explained, ‘our observations of the heavens can be explained by assuming either the earth or the sun to be at rest.,,, the real advantage of the Copernican system is simply that the equations of motion are much simpler in the frame of reference in which the sun is at rest.’

    “So which is real, the Ptolemaic or Copernican system? Although it is not uncommon for people to say that Copernicus proved Ptolemy wrong, that is not true. As in the case of our normal view versus that of the goldfish, one can use either picture as a model of the universe, for our observations of the heavens can be explained by assuming either the earth or the sun to be at rest.
    Despite its role in philosophical debates over the nature of our universe, the real advantage of the Copernican system is simply that the equations of motion are much simpler in the frame of reference in which the sun is at rest.”
    – Stephen Hawking – The Grand Design – pages 39 – 2010

    And as Fred Hoyle stated, “Today we cannot say that the Copernican theory is ‘right’ and the Ptolemaic theory ‘wrong’ in any meaningful physical sense.”

    “The relation of the two pictures [geocentrism and geokineticism] is reduced to a mere coordinate transformation and it is the main tenet of the Einstein theory that any two ways of looking at the world which are related to each other by a coordinate transformation are entirely equivalent from a physical point of view…. Today we cannot say that the Copernican theory is ‘right’ and the Ptolemaic theory ‘wrong’ in any meaningful physical sense.”
    – Hoyle, Fred. Nicolaus Copernicus. London: Heinemann Educational Books Ltd., 1973.

    And even as Einstein himself stated, ‘The two sentences: “the sun is at rest and the earth moves” or “the sun moves and the earth is at rest” would simply mean two different conventions concerning two different CS [coordinate systems].”

    “Can we formulate physical laws so that they are valid for all CS [coordinate systems], not only those moving uniformly, but also those moving quite arbitrarily, relative to each other? […] The struggle, so violent in the early days of science, between the views of Ptolemy and Copernicus would then be quite meaningless. Either CS could be used with equal justification. The two sentences: “the sun is at rest and the earth moves” or “the sun moves and the earth is at rest” would simply mean two different conventions concerning two different CS.”
    – Einstein, A. and Infeld, L. (1938) The Evolution of Physics, p.212 (p.248 in original 1938 ed.);

    As far as general relativity is concerned, there simply is no empirical, i.e. scientific, reason to prefer the sun, or any other place in the universe, as being central in the universe over and above the earth being considered central in the universe.

    In fact, as far as empirical science itself is concerned, in the 4 dimensional spacetime of Einstein’s General Relativity, we find that each 3-Dimensional point in the universe is central to the expansion of the universe,,,

    Where is the centre of the universe?:
    Excerpt: There is no centre of the universe! According to the standard theories of cosmology, the universe started with a “Big Bang” about 14 thousand million years ago and has been expanding ever since. Yet there is no centre to the expansion; it is the same everywhere. The Big Bang should not be visualized as an ordinary explosion. The universe is not expanding out from a centre into space; rather, the whole universe is expanding and it is doing so equally at all places, as far as we can tell.
    http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/.....entre.html

    ,,, and since any 3-Dimensional point can be considered central in the expanding 4-Dimensional space time of General Relativity, then, as the following article makes clear, it is now left completely open to whomever is making a model of the universe to decide for themselves what is to be considered central in the universe,,,

    How Einstein Revealed the Universe’s Strange “Nonlocality” – George Musser – Oct 20, 2015
    Excerpt: Under most circumstances, we can ignore this nonlocality. You can designate some available chunk of matter as a reference point and use it to anchor a coordinate grid. You can, to the chagrin of Santa Barbarans, take Los Angeles as the center of the universe and define every other place with respect to it. In this framework, you can go about your business in blissful ignorance of space’s fundamental inability to demarcate locations.,,
    In short, Einstein’s theory is nonlocal in a more subtle and insidious way than Newton’s theory of gravity was. Newtonian gravity acted at a distance, but at least it operated within a framework of absolute space. Einsteinian gravity has no such element of wizardry; its effects ripple through the universe at the speed of light. Yet it demolishes the framework, violating locality in what was, for Einstein, its most basic sense: the stipulation that all things have a location. General relativity confounds our intuitive picture of space as a kind of container in which material objects reside and forces us to search for an entirely new conception of place.
    – per scientific American

    In fact, since each 3-Dimensional point in the universe is central to the expansion of the universe, and since no matter where you stand, it will appear that everything in the universe is expanding around you. Then even individual people can be considered to be central in the universe,,,

    You Technically Are the Center of the Universe – May 2016
    Excerpt: (due to the 1 in 10^120 finely tuned expansion of the 4-D space-time of General Relativity) no matter where you stand, it will appear that everything in the universe is expanding around you. So the center of the universe is technically — everywhere.
    The moment you pick a frame of reference, that point becomes the center of the universe.
    Here’s another way to think about it: The sphere of space we can see around us is the visible universe. We’re looking at the light from stars that’s traveled millions or billions of years to reach us. When we reach the 13.8 billion-light-year point, we’re seeing the universe just moments after the Big Bang happened.
    But someone standing on another planet, a few light-years to the right, would see a different sphere of the universe. It’s sort of like lighting a match in the middle of a dark room: Your observable universe is the sphere of the room that the light illuminates.
    But someone standing in a different spot in the room will be able to see a different sphere. So technically, we are all standing at the center of our own observable universes.
    https://mic.com/articles/144214/you-technically-are-the-center-of-the-universe-thanks-to-a-wacky-physics-quirk

    ,,, Moreover, when Einstein first formulated both Special and General relativity, he gave a ‘hypothetical’ observer a privileged frame of reference in which to make measurements in the universe.

    “Einstein’s approach was based on thought experiments, calculations, and the principle of relativity, which is the notion that all physical laws should appear the same (that is, take the same basic form) to all inertial observers.,,,
    Each observer has a distinct “frame of reference” in which velocities are measured,,,,”
    ,,, Introduction to special relativity

    The happiest thought of my life.
    Excerpt: In 1920 Einstein commented that a thought came into his mind when writing the above-mentioned paper he called it “the happiest thought of my life”:
    “The gravitational field has only a relative existence… Because for an observer freely falling from the roof of a house – at least in his immediate surroundings – there exists no gravitational field.”
    https://aether.lbl.gov/www/classes/p10/gr/Thehappiestthoughtofmylife.html

    And whereas Einstein, when he first formulated both Special and General Relativity, gave a ‘hypothetical’ observer a privileged frame of reference in which to make measurements, In Quantum Mechanics we find that it is the measurement itself that gives each observer a privileged frame of reference in the universe.

    As the following article states, “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,”,,,

    Experiment confirms quantum theory weirdness – May 27, 2015
    Excerpt: Common sense says the object is either wave-like or particle-like, independent of how we measure it. But quantum physics predicts that whether you observe wave like behavior (interference) or particle behavior (no interference) depends only on how it is actually measured at the end of its journey. This is exactly what the ANU team found.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said Associate Professor Andrew Truscott from the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering.
    http://phys.org/news/2015-05-q.....dness.html

    Likewise, the following violation of Leggett’s inequality stressed ‘the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it.’

    Quantum physics says goodbye to reality – Apr 20, 2007
    Excerpt: They found that, just as in the realizations of Bell’s thought experiment, Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it. “Our study shows that ‘just’ giving up the concept of locality would not be enough to obtain a more complete description of quantum mechanics,” Aspelmeyer told Physics Web. “You would also have to give up certain intuitive features of realism.”
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/27640

    Moreover, this recent 2019 experimental confirmation of the “Wigner’s Friend” thought experiment established that “measurement results,, must be understood relative to the observer who performed the measurement”.

    More Than One Reality Exists (in Quantum Physics) By Mindy Weisberger – March 20, 2019
    Excerpt: “measurement results,, must be understood relative to the observer who performed the measurement”.
    https://www.livescience.com/65029-dueling-reality-photons.html

    Because of such consistent and repeatable experiments like the preceding from quantum mechanics, Richard Conn Henry, who is Professor of Physics at John Hopkins University, stated “It is more than 80 years since the discovery of quantum mechanics gave us the most fundamental insight ever into our nature: the overturning of the Copernican Revolution, and the restoration of us human beings to centrality in the Universe.”

    “It is more than 80 years since the discovery of quantum mechanics gave us the most fundamental insight ever into our nature: the overturning of the Copernican Revolution, and the restoration of us human beings to centrality in the Universe.
    And yet, have you ever before read a sentence having meaning similar to that of my preceding sentence? Likely you have not, and the reason you have not is, in my opinion, that physicists are in a state of denial, and have fears and agonies that are very similar to the fears and agonies that Copernicus and Galileo went through with their perturbations of society.”
    – Richard Conn Henry – Professor of Physics – John Hopkins University

    I find it extremely interesting, and strange, that quantum mechanics tells us that instantaneous quantum wave collapse to its 3-Dimensional state is centered on each individual observer in the universe, whereas the 4-Dimensional space-time cosmology of General Relativity tells us that each 3-Dimensional point in the universe is central to the expansion of the universe. These findings of modern science are pretty much exactly what we would expect to see if this universe were indeed created, and sustained, from a higher dimension by an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal Being who knows everything that is happening everywhere in the universe at the same time. These findings certainly seem to go to the very heart of the age old question asked of many parents by their children, “How can God hear everyone’s prayers at the same time?”,,, In other words, why should the expansion of the universe, or the quantum wave collapse of the entire universe, even care that you or I, or anyone else, should exist? Only Theism offers a rational explanation as to why you or I, or anyone else, should have such undeserved significance in such a vast universe:

    Hebrews 4:13
    “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to Whom we must give account.”

    Psalm 33:13-15
    The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.

    Psalm 139:7-12
    Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

  63. 63
    bornagain77 says:

    On top of all that, and completely contrary to the Copernican Principle and/or the Principle of Mediocrity, in quantum mechanics we also now find that humans, (via their free will), are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level.

    As Steven Weinberg, who is an atheist himself, states in the following article, ‘In the instrumentalist approach (in quantum mechanics) humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level.,,, the instrumentalist approach turns its back on a vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else.,,, In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure,,, Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,’

    The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics – Steven Weinberg – January 19, 2017
    Excerpt: The instrumentalist approach,, (the) wave function,, is merely an instrument that provides predictions of the probabilities of various outcomes when measurements are made.,,
    In the instrumentalist approach,,, humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level. According to Eugene Wigner, a pioneer of quantum mechanics, “it was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness.”11
    Thus the instrumentalist approach turns its back on a vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else. It is not that we object to thinking about humans. Rather, we want to understand the relation of humans to nature, not just assuming the character of this relation by incorporating it in what we suppose are nature’s fundamental laws, but rather by deduction from laws that make no explicit reference to humans. We may in the end have to give up this goal,,,
    Some physicists who adopt an instrumentalist approach argue that the probabilities we infer from the wave function are objective probabilities, independent of whether humans are making a measurement. I don’t find this tenable. In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure, such as the spin in one or another direction. Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,
    https://www.coursehero.com/file/78050243/The-Trouble-with-Quantum-Mechanics-by-Steven-Weinberg-The-New-York-Review-of-Bookspdf/

    In fact Weinberg, again an atheist, rejected the instrumentalist approach precisely because “humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level” and because it undermined the Darwinian worldview from within. Yet, regardless of how he and other atheists may prefer the world to behave, quantum mechanics itself could care less how atheists prefer the world to behave.

    As leading experimentalist Anton Zeilinger states in the following video, “what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”

    “The Kochen-Speckter Theorem talks about properties of one system only. So we know that we cannot assume – to put it precisely, we know that it is wrong to assume that the features of a system, which we observe in a measurement exist prior to measurement. Not always. I mean in certain cases. So in a sense, what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”
    Anton Zeilinger –
    Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism – video (7:17 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=4C5pq7W5yRM#t=437

    As well in quantum computing, with what is termed contextuality, we find that, “In the quantum world, the property that you discover through measurement is not the property that the system actually had prior to the measurement process. What you observe necessarily depends on how you carried out the observation”

    Contextuality is ‘magic ingredient’ for quantum computing – June 11, 2012
    Excerpt: Contextuality was first recognized as a feature of quantum theory almost 50 years ago. The theory showed that it was impossible to explain measurements on quantum systems in the same way as classical systems.
    In the classical world, measurements simply reveal properties that the system had, such as colour, prior to the measurement. In the quantum world, the property that you discover through measurement is not the property that the system actually had prior to the measurement process. What you observe necessarily depends on how you carried out the observation.
    Imagine turning over a playing card. It will be either a red suit or a black suit – a two-outcome measurement. Now imagine nine playing cards laid out in a grid with three rows and three columns. Quantum mechanics predicts something that seems contradictory – there must be an even number of red cards in every row and an odd number of red cards in every column. Try to draw a grid that obeys these rules and you will find it impossible. It’s because quantum measurements cannot be interpreted as merely revealing a pre-existing property in the same way that flipping a card reveals a red or black suit.
    Measurement outcomes depend on all the other measurements that are performed – the full context of the experiment.
    Contextuality means that quantum measurements can not be thought of as simply revealing some pre-existing properties of the system under study. That’s part of the weirdness of quantum mechanics.
    – per physorg

    Moreover, although there have been several major loopholes in quantum mechanics over the past several decades that atheists have tried to appeal to in order to try to avoid the ‘spooky’ Theistic implications of quantum mechanics, over the past several years each of those major loopholes have each been closed one by one. The last major loophole that was left to be closed was the “setting independence” and/or the ‘free-will’ loophole:

    Closing the ‘free will’ loophole: Using distant quasars to test Bell’s theorem – February 20, 2014
    Excerpt: Though two major loopholes have since been closed, a third remains; physicists refer to it as “setting independence,” or more provocatively, “free will.” This loophole proposes that a particle detector’s settings may “conspire” with events in the shared causal past of the detectors themselves to determine which properties of the particle to measure — a scenario that, however far-fetched, implies that a physicist running the experiment does not have complete free will in choosing each detector’s setting. Such a scenario would result in biased measurements, suggesting that two particles are correlated more than they actually are, and giving more weight to quantum mechanics than classical physics.
    “It sounds creepy, but people realized that’s a logical possibility that hasn’t been closed yet,” says MIT’s David Kaiser, the Germeshausen Professor of the History of Science and senior lecturer in the Department of Physics. “Before we make the leap to say the equations of quantum theory tell us the world is inescapably crazy and bizarre, have we closed every conceivable logical loophole, even if they may not seem plausible in the world we know today?”
    – per science daily

    And now Anton Zeilinger and company have recently, as of 2018, pushed the ‘free will loophole’ back to 7.8 billion years ago, thereby firmly establishing the ‘common sense’ fact that the free will choices of the experimenter in the quantum experiments are truly free and are not determined by any possible causal influences from the past for at least the last 7.8 billion years, and that the experimenters themselves are therefore shown to be truly free to choose whatever measurement settings in the experiments that he or she may so desire to choose so as to ‘logically’ probe whatever aspect of reality that he or she may be interested in probing.

    Cosmic Bell Test Using Random Measurement Settings from High-Redshift Quasars – Anton Zeilinger – 14 June 2018
    Abstract: This experiment pushes back to at least approx. 7.8 Gyr ago the most recent time by which any local-realist influences could have exploited the “freedom-of-choice” loophole to engineer the observed Bell violation, excluding any such mechanism from 96% of the space-time volume of the past light cone of our experiment, extending from the big bang to today.
    https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.080403

    Thus regardless of how Steven Weinberg and other atheists may prefer the universe to behave, with the closing of the last remaining free will loophole in quantum mechanics, “humans are indeed brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level”, and thus these recent findings from quantum mechanics directly undermine, as Weinberg himself stated, the “vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else.”

    Moreover, besides Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity, (our two most powerful theories in science), overturning the Copernican principle, the Copernican principle has also been overturned by considering relative sizes in the universe, i.e. scaling from the smallest to the largest sizes, and the Copernican principle has also been overturned by recent anomalies that have been found in the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR).

    Here is a link to a post where I go over all of these scientific evidences overturning the Copernican principle in more detail.

    despite the fact that virtually everyone, including the vast majority of Christians, hold that the Copernican Principle is unquestionably true, the fact of the matter is that the Copernican Principle is now empirically shown, (via quantum mechanics and general relativity, etc..), to be a false assumption.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/new-edition-of-inference-review-features-richard-buggs-james-shapiro-and-larry-krauss/#comment-713367

    And thus while the universe may ‘suggest’ to Weinberg and Hawking, (and other atheists), that humans are just chemical scum, as far as our best science can tell us, humans, in fact, have far more significance in the universe than the universe itself would seem to suggest at first glance to Weinberg and Hawking.

    And as I further pointed out in my recent video, with human observers, via their free will, now being brought into the laws of nature at their most fundamental level then it now becomes, at least, theoretically plausible for God, via his son Jesus Christ, to bridge the infinite mathematical divide that exists between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics.

    John 6:38
    because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me.

    ,,, when we rightly the Agent Causality of God ‘back’ into physics, as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned,,, and when we rightly allow the Agent Causality of God back into physics as quantum mechanics itself now empirically demands with the closing of the free will loophole by Anton Zeilinger and company, then that provides us with a very plausible resolution for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’ in that Christ’s resurrection from the dead provides an empirically backed reconciliation, via the Shroud of Turin, between quantum mechanics and general relativity into the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything”.

    And as I further pointed out in my recent video, the Shroud of Turin does indeed provide evidence that both Gravity and Quantum Mechanics were dealt with.

    ,,, As I concluded in my video,,,

    So thus in conclusion, when we rightly allow the Agent Causality of God back into physics then a very plausible solution to the number one unsolved mystery in science today, of finding a reconciliation between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, readily pops out for us in that, as the Shroud of Turin gives witness to, both Gravity and Quantum Mechanics were dealt with in Christ’s resurrection from the dead.

    Matthew 28:18
    Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me,”

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

  64. 64
    john_a_designer says:

    Douglas Adams was a died-in-the-wool atheist who apparently thought it was somehow meaningful to try to convince others how meaningless human existence really is. That’s what his novel Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is all about. Without going into Adam’s overly convoluted if not silly plot, one of its main character, Arthur Dent, who has been hitch hiking his way through the galaxy finds himself stranded on the planet Magrathea.

    On Magrathea… Arthur is met by a man named Slartibartfast, who… [in a] factory workshop… shows Arthur that in the distant past a race of “hyperintelligent, pan-dimensional beings” created a supercomputer named Deep Thought to determine the answer to the “Ultimate Question to Life, the Universe, and Everything.” Two philosophers representing a trade association, Majikthise and Vroomfondel, arrived and complained that the computer would remove uncertainty and end their jobs and demanded its deactivation. However, Deep Thought revealed that it would take 7.5 million years to complete calculations and reasoned that during that time they could argue over what the computer’s answer will be. 7.5 million years later the philosophers’ descendants asked Deep Thought for the answer, which it announces is the number 42. Deep Thought tells its creators that the answer makes no sense to them because they didn’t know what the “Ultimate Question” had been in the first place, so he suggested designing an even greater computer to determine what the Ultimate Question was…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hitchhiker%27s_Guide_to_the_Galaxy_(novel)

    Silliness aside, the novel raises some of the same questions I am asking on this thread why humans appear to be “hardwired” to ask questions like, what is the ultimate purpose of life, the universe, and everything? I have to agree with Adams if human beings are the result of some mindless purposeless and accidental evolutionary process then questions like that are really quite pointless. At least I think that was point Adams was trying to make. But why in the world would you waste your time on questions like that? How do you know it’s true? Or, is it just something you believe. But if it’s the latter, why would you try to convince anyone else that it was true? As I have said here before, if I were an atheist I’d leave other people alone. There is nothing I could say or do that would be of any help to anyone.

    Again, Adams has been described as a radical atheist. Richard Dawkins dedicated his 2006 book, The God Delusion, Dawkins to Adams.

  65. 65
    Viola Lee says:

    FYI: I don’t think BA’s interpretation on Anton Zeilinger’s experiments means what he thinks it means. He think it means that humans have libertarian free will. What it really means is that the universe is not superdetermined, and that genuine quantum phenomena, including entanglement and probabilistic outcomes, occur without deterministic “hidden variables”. That is why it’s often written “free will” loophole, not free will loophole.

    From Wikipedia, on superdeterminism:

    In the 1980s, John Bell discussed superdeterminism in a BBC interview:[3][4]

    There is a way to escape the inference of superluminal speeds and spooky action at a distance. But it involves absolute determinism in the universe, the complete absence of free will. Suppose the world is super-deterministic, with not just inanimate nature running on behind-the-scenes clockwork, but with our behavior, including our belief that we are free to choose to do one experiment rather than another, absolutely predetermined, including the “decision” by the experimenter to carry out one set of measurements rather than another, the difficulty disappears. There is no need for a faster than light signal to tell particle A what measurement has been carried out on particle B, because the universe, including particle A, already “knows” what that measurement, and its outcome, will be.

    Also, From Wikipedia: “The free will theorem of John H. Conway and Simon B. Kochen states that if we have a free will in the sense that our choices are not a function of the past, then, subject to certain assumptions, so must some elementary particles.”

    That is, our free will to act in ways that are not totally mechanistically determined is a feature of the quantum nature of the universe as whole. How our ability to make non-determined choices arises from that is a metaphysical mystery, but Zeilinger’s experiment didn’t provide any breakthroughs on that mystery.

    Ever since the probabilistic nature of quantum events was discovered decades ago, the idea of a complete clockwork universe has been dead, as has been the idea of a deistic God. Zeilinger’s work has been instrumental in putting the last nail in the coffin on that.

    Here are a variety of articles on the situation for those that would like to read more.

    https://news.mit.edu/2014/closing-the-free-will-loophole-0220

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/chadorzel/2017/02/08/quantum-loopholes-and-the-problem-of-free-will/?sh=3a8cc3283ab8

    https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/article/the-universe-made-me-do-it/

    http://web.mit.edu/asf/www/Pre.....ophole.pdf

  66. 66
    bornagain77 says:

    Viola Lee apparently does not really understand what he is talking about.

    In one breath he states that, since I believe Zeilinger’s experiment strongly supports the reality of free will, then the universe is not superdetermined,

    “I don’t think BA’s interpretation on Anton Zeilinger’s experiments means what he thinks it means. He think it means that humans have libertarian free will. What it really means is that the universe is not superdetermined, and that genuine quantum phenomena, including entanglement and probabilistic outcomes, occur without deterministic “hidden variables”.

    Yet in the next breath he appeals directly to superdeterminism, via John Bell, to try to get around my straightforward inference to free will via Zeilinger’s experiment,

    In the 1980s, John Bell discussed superdeterminism in a BBC interview:[3][4]

    There is a way to escape the inference of superluminal speeds and spooky action at a distance. But it involves absolute determinism in the universe, the complete absence of free will. Suppose the world is super-deterministic, with not just inanimate nature running on behind-the-scenes clockwork, but with our behavior, including our belief that we are free to choose to do one experiment rather than another, absolutely predetermined, including the “decision” by the experimenter to carry out one set of measurements rather than another, the difficulty disappears. There is no need for a faster than light signal to tell particle A what measurement has been carried out on particle B, because the universe, including particle A, already “knows” what that measurement, and its outcome, will be.

    But be that as it may, and whatever VL is really trying to say, superdeterminism is just another desperate attempt by atheistic materialists to try to avoid the ‘spooky’ Theistic implications of quantum mechanics.

    Basically, with the closing of the setting independence and/or ‘free will’ loop hole, by Zeilinger and company, the Atheistic naturalist is now reduced to arguing that “a particle detector’s settings may “conspire” with events in the shared causal past of the detectors themselves to determine which properties of the particle to measure.”

    Closing the ‘free will’ loophole: Using distant quasars to test Bell’s theorem – February 20, 2014
    Excerpt: Though two major loopholes have since been closed, a third remains; physicists refer to it as “setting independence,” or more provocatively, “free will.” This loophole proposes that a particle detector’s settings may “conspire” with events in the shared causal past of the detectors themselves to determine which properties of the particle to measure — a scenario that, however far-fetched, implies that a physicist running the experiment does not have complete free will in choosing each detector’s setting. Such a scenario would result in biased measurements, suggesting that two particles are correlated more than they actually are, and giving more weight to quantum mechanics than classical physics.
    “It sounds creepy, but people realized that’s a logical possibility that hasn’t been closed yet,” says MIT’s David Kaiser, the Germeshausen Professor of the History of Science and senior lecturer in the Department of Physics. “Before we make the leap to say the equations of quantum theory tell us the world is inescapably crazy and bizarre, have we closed every conceivable logical loophole, even if they may not seem plausible in the world we know today?”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....112515.htm

    In other words, instead of believing what the experimental results of quantum mechanics are actually telling us, (i.e. that free will is a real and tangible part of reality),, the Determinist, and/or Atheistic Naturalist, is now forced to claim, via ‘superdeterminism’, that the results of the experiments were somehow ‘superdetermined’ at least 7.8 billion years ago, (basically all the way back to the creation of the universe itself), and that the experimental results are now merely ‘fooling us’ into believing that our experimental results in quantum theory are trustworthy and correct and that we do indeed have free will.

    To call such a move on the part of Atheistic Naturalists, (i.e. the rejection of experimental results that conflict with their apriori philosophical belief in ‘determinism’), unscientific would be a severe understatement. It is a rejection of the entire scientific method itself.

    Atheistic Naturalists, in their appeal to ‘superdeterminism’, are basically arguing that we cannot trust what the experimental results of quantum mechanics themselves are telling us because events in the remote past ‘conspired’ to give us erroneous experimental results today. Erroneous experimental results that are merely ‘fooling us’ into believing that we have free will.

    As should be needless to say, if we cannot trust what our experimental results are actually telling us, then science is, for all practical purposes, dead.

    Atheistic Naturalists, in their rejection of experimental results that conflict with their a-priori belief in determinism and/or materialism, have become ‘science deniers’ in the truest sense of the term ‘science denier’,,,

    John 3:12
    If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

    notes:

    Significant-loophole-free test of Bell’s theorem with entangled photons – Dec. 2015
    Excerpt page 5:
    By closing the freedom-of-choice loophole to one natural stopping point—the first moment at which the particles come into existence—we reduce the possible local-realist explanations to truly exotic hypotheses. Any theory seeking to explain our result by exploiting this loophole would require to originate before the emission event and to influence setting choices derived from spontaneous emission. It has been suggested that setting choices determined by events from distant cosmological sources could push this limit back by billions of years [46].
    http://arxiv.org/pdf/1511.03190.pdf

    Cosmic Bell Test Using Random Measurement Settings from High-Redshift Quasars – Anton Zeilinger – 14 June 2018
    Abstract: This experiment pushes back to at least approx. 7.8 Gyr ago the most recent time by which any local-realist influences could have exploited the “freedom-of-choice” loophole to engineer the observed Bell violation, excluding any such mechanism from 96% of the space-time volume of the past light cone of our experiment, extending from the big bang to today.
    https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.080403

  67. 67
    Viola Lee says:

    Perhaps I wasn’t clear. I was not appealing to superdeterminism. I was offering the quote by Bell to show that Bell’s conclusion and Zeilinger’s experiment were strong evidence against superdeterminism.

    I think I later made it clear that superdeterminism is dead. The bulk of BA’s reply is about things I didn’t say, or support, aimed at “atheistic materialists” but not relevant to what I said.

    However, I am saying that BA is making an erroneous conclusion that “the experimental results of quantum mechanics are actually telling us …that free will is a real and tangible part of reality.” QM is telling us that non-determinacy is real, but it is only metaphorical to label that “free will”.

    The correct conclusion is that the results of quantum mechanics are real: entanglement, probabilistic events, etc., and that the indeterminacy of the world starts at the very most fundamental level, and thus we can conclude that we also are not fully determined. However, the article posted at mit’s site that I linked to above said “So what does Conway and Kochen’s Free Will theorem state? The theorem states that, if we assume that we have a certain amount of free will, then, subject to certain other assumptions, elementary particles must have free will too.” I recommend the article.

    That is quantum events may provide the core basis for our being able to make non-determined choices, but it is an unjustified leap of a huge magnitude to go from the indeterminacy of the universe embedded in quantum events to the libertarian free will that BA is invoking.

    But, to reiterate, most of BA’s post about “atheistic materialists” supporting superdeterminacy in order to avoid the implications of quantum theory has nothing to with what I wrote. Furthermore, it probably isn’t true that many physicists, atheistic materialists or otherwise, support superdeterminancy. Yes, there are still physicists pursuing the “hidden variables” interpretation of QM, but they are in the minority, I think.

  68. 68
    bornagain77 says:

    Whatever Viola Lee, You directly contradicted yourself in your first post, I cleared that up, and now you want a mulligan. Whatever,,, you have done nothing in your second post to ‘clear up’ what you supposedly meant in your first post. Much less have you even begun to ‘explain’ Zeilinger’s experimental results with anything resembling a coherent answer!

    I am comfortable that unbiased readers can easily see who is being straightforward and who is trying to blow smoke.to cover their behind.

  69. 69
    Viola Lee says:

    I also am “comfortable that unbiased readers can easily see who is being straightforward, etc. …..” Sometimes unbiased readers are hard to come by, though.

  70. 70
    john_a_designer says:

    @ #43 I argued that human beings are somehow uniquely hardwired cognitively in four distinct ways:

    *1. We are hardwired to seek and discern the truth. For example, we have what appears to be an intrinsic or innate ability to accurately use logic and reason, including mathematical reasoning.

    *2. We are hardwired to seek purpose and meaning, including ultimate purpose and meaning.

    *3. We are hardwired as moral beings. Only human beings can discern good and bad, good or evil, ought and ought not.

    *4. We are also hardwired to seek out and appreciate beauty.

    I discussed 1-3 individually but briefly @ #48, 56 & #61 (though not in the order listed.) My point is that each of these are undeniable factors in what we refer to as human nature. By undeniable I mean they appear to be accepted as characteristics or factors of human nature by virtually everyone regardless of their worldview.

    At first, I was hesitant to include #4, “We are also hardwired to seek out and appreciate beauty,” because I didn’t think it was that crucial to my argument but then I began to think of the ways that beauty dominates all our lives. For example, there are people who make their livelihood off of music, art, drama (including movies and T.V.) Indeed, it’s a major part of our economy.

    Nevertheless, I am not going to say a lot because I think there is probably a lot of agreement that our “esthetic drive” is something that is unique to human beings.

    On the other hand, it’s probably the most subjective of the four factors. There is a lot of truth to the statement, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” However, some on my side of the debate try to argue that there is something intrinsic or objective about beauty. Whether there is or there isn’t that’s not crucial to the points I’m trying to make here.

  71. 71
    kairosfocus says:

    JaD,

    without significant freedom the life of the mind collapses in discredit. In particular, mindedness cannot be reduced to blind computation on a dynamic-stochastic substrate.

    Further to such, what breathes fire into cold logic and empirical evidence is the conscience attested built in first duties of reason. Again, I would avoid hard wired language as it suggests a pre programmed computational substrate, by direct analogy with fixed read only memory and linked arithmetic and logic unit.

    On aesthetics, there are in fact readily identifiable and objective principles, often something that can be judged by eye but also reducible in such aspects to mathematical properties.

    The underlying issue is that we evidently have a common human nature which, being free is morally governed through the recognition of oughtness and the linked challenges of moral struggle. In turn we see first duties tied to l;aw and government.

    KF

  72. 72
    bornagain77 says:

    at 70 JaD states

    John_a_designer
    @ #43 I argued that human beings are somehow uniquely hardwired cognitively in four distinct ways:

    *1. We are hardwired to seek and discern the truth. For example, we have what appears to be an intrinsic or innate ability to accurately use logic and reason, including mathematical reasoning.
    *2. We are hardwired to seek purpose and meaning, including ultimate purpose and meaning.
    *3. We are hardwired as moral beings. Only human beings can discern good and bad, good or evil, ought and ought not.
    *4. We are also hardwired to seek out and appreciate beauty.

    and at 46 JaD clarifies what he means by ‘hardwarded’

    I am not claiming that everything that anyone claims to be genetic or INBORN is genetic or inborn. I am using hardwired very narrowly as those capabilities that most humans are born with. But again we can use freewill to enhance those capabilities or tragically, in too many cases, undermine, abuse and misuse them.

    And indeed there is something profoundly immaterial about truth, purpose and meaning, morality, and beauty. Something profoundly immaterial that simply refuses to ever be reduced to the simplistic materialistic explanations of Darwinists.

    For instance, in regards to truth, it is interesting to note that postmodernists deny the existence of objective truth and instead argue that all truth is ‘relative’ to each person,,,

    “postmodernism is highly skeptical of explanations which claim to be valid for all groups, cultures, traditions, or races, and instead focuses on the relative truths of each person.”
    https://www.pbs.org/faithandreason/gengloss/postm-body.html

    And, as Nancy Pearcey explains in the following article, postmodern philosophy, which denies the existence of objective truth, is indeed the bastard child of Darwinism,

    How Darwinism Dumbs Us Down – Nancy Pearcey
    Excerpt: I once presented this progression from Darwinism to postmodern pragmatism at a Christian college, when a man in the audience raised his hand: “I have only one question. These guys who think all our ideas and beliefs evolved . . . do they think their own ideas evolved?” The audience broke into delighted applause, because of course he had captured the key fallacy of the Darwinian approach to knowledge. If all ideas are products of evolution, and thus not really true but only useful for survival, then evolution itself is not true either–and why should the rest of us pay any attention to it?
    https://www.namb.net/apologetics/resource/how-darwinism-dumbs-us-down/

    Dawkins himself admitted that, “Evolution only passes on traits that help a species survive, and not concerned with preserving traits that tell a species what is actually true about life.”

    “Since we are creatures of natural selection, we cannot totally trust our senses. Evolution only passes on traits that help a species survive, and not concerned with preserving traits that tell a species what is actually true about life.”
    – Richard Dawkins – quoted from “The God Delusion”

    In short, Darwinian evolution, taking to its logical end, undermines belief in objective truth and therefore undermines belief that Darwinism itself is true,

    As Nancy Pearcey further explains in the following article, “if Darwin’s theory is true, then it is not true.”,

    Why Evolutionary Theory Cannot Survive Itself – Nancy Pearcey – March 2015
    Excerpt: “An example of self-referential absurdity is a theory called evolutionary epistemology, a naturalistic approach that applies evolution to the process of knowing. The theory proposes that the human mind is a product of natural selection. The implication is that the ideas in our minds were selected for their survival value, not for their truth-value.
    But what if we apply that theory to itself? Then it, too, was selected for survival, not truth — which discredits its own claim to truth. Evolutionary epistemology commits suicide.
    Astonishingly, many prominent thinkers have embraced the theory without detecting the logical contradiction. Philosopher John Gray writes, “If Darwin’s theory of natural selection is true,… the human mind serves evolutionary success, not truth.” What is the contradiction in that statement?
    Gray has essentially said, if Darwin’s theory is true, then it “serves evolutionary success, not truth.” In other words, if Darwin’s theory is true, then it is not true.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....94171.html

    Thus, Darwin’s theory denies that we can know objective truth, whilst Darwinism’s bastard philosophical child of postmodernism ends up denying the existence of objective truth altogether.

    And the reason why Darwinism, in the end, ends up denying the existence of objective truth altogether, and driving itself into catastrophic epistemological failure, is simply because objective truth is profoundly immaterial.

    For instance, mathematics itself, such as 2+2=4, which is obviously objectively true for all people, and not just relatively true to only individual people, is profoundly immaterial in its foundational nature,

    What Does It Mean to Say That Science & Religion Conflict? – M. Anthony Mills – April 16, 2018
    Excerpt: Barr rightly observes that scientific atheists often unwittingly assume not just metaphysical naturalism but an even more controversial philosophical position: reductive materialism, which says all that exists is or is reducible to the material constituents postulated by our most fundamental physical theories. ,,,
    In fact, more problematic for the materialist than the non-existence of persons is the existence of mathematics. Why? Although a committed materialist might be perfectly willing to accept that you do not really exist, he will have a harder time accepting that numbers do not exist. The trouble is that numbers — along with other mathematical entities such as classes, sets, and functions — are indispensable for modern science. And yet — here’s the rub — these “abstract objects” are not material. Thus, one cannot take science as the only sure guide to reality and at the same time discount disbelief in all immaterial realities.
    https://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2018/04/16/what_does_it_mean_to_say_that_science_and_religion_conflict.html

    Moreover, since our own immaterial minds came into being and are therefore contingent, and are not eternally existent, and yet we can discover eternal, and objective, mathematical truths with our immaterial minds, then it necessarily follows that “there must exist an eternal mind in which these eternal (mathematical) truths reside.”

    11. The Argument from Truth
    This argument is closely related to the argument from consciousness. It comes mainly from Augustine.
    1. Our limited minds can discover eternal truths about being.
    2. Truth properly resides in a mind.
    3. But the human mind is not eternal.
    4. Therefore there must exist an eternal mind in which these truths reside.
    https://www.peterkreeft.com/topics-more/20_arguments-gods-existence.htm#11

    And please note that this argument for our immaterial minds, and for God, from the existence of mathematics is perfectly consistent with what we now know to be true about mathematics from Godel’s incompleteness theorem. Namely, that mathematics itself has a contingent existence and does not, in and of itself, have a necessary existence,

    Taking God Out of the Equation – Biblical Worldview – by Ron Tagliapietra – January 1, 2012
    Excerpt: Kurt Gödel (1906–1978) proved that no logical systems (if they include the counting numbers) can have all three of the following properties.
    1. Validity … all conclusions are reached by valid reasoning.
    2. Consistency … no conclusions contradict any other conclusions.
    3. Completeness … all statements made in the system are either true or false.
    The details filled a book, but the basic concept was simple and elegant. He (Godel) summed it up this way: “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle—something you have to assume but cannot prove.” For this reason, his proof is also called the Incompleteness Theorem.
    Kurt Gödel had dropped a bomb on the foundations of mathematics. Math could not play the role of God as infinite and autonomous. It was shocking, though, that logic could prove that mathematics could not be its own ultimate foundation.
    Christians should not have been surprised. The first two conditions are true about math: it is valid and consistent. But only God fulfills the third condition. Only He is complete and therefore self-dependent (autonomous). God alone is “all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28), “the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:13). God is the ultimate authority (Hebrews 6:13), and in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3).
    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....1/equation

    And just like truth is profoundly immaterial in its foundational essence, purpose and meaning, morality, and beauty and also profoundly immaterial in their foundational essences.

    But seeing as this post is already long enough, I will leave elucidating those facts aside for the moment.

    Suffice it for now to know that objective truth is profoundly immaterial in its foundational essence, and the sheer inability of the materialistic processes of Darwinian evolution to account for our knowledge of objective truth, much less its failure to account for the existence of objective truth itself, ends up driving Darwinism itself into catastrophic epistemological failure.

    Verse and Quote

    John 14:6
    Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

    “If you were to take Mohammed out of Islam, and Buddha out of Buddhism, and Confucius out of Confucianism you would still have a faith system that was relatively in tact. However, taking Christ out of Christianity sinks the whole faith completely. This is because Jesus centred the faith on himself. He said, “This is what it means to have eternal life: to know God the Father and Jesus Christ whom the Father sent” (John 17:3). “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12). Buddha, before dying, said in effect, “I am still seeking for the truth.” Mohammed said in effect, “I point you to the truth.” Jesus said, “I am the truth.” Jesus claimed to not only give the truth, but to be the very personal embodiment of it.”
    http://commonground.co.za/?res.....way-to-god

  73. 73
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77,

    In 58 above, I noted:

    the ironic thing is that Darwin used that note [–> on mistrusting the thoughts of a jumped up monkey brain] with a twist, he was trying to undermine doubts on his theory which he believed was robustly supported empirically. So, by donning the lab coat he hoped to dismiss philosophical objections while avoiding self referential incoherence. Of course, we don’t have the empirical support, once we realised the challenge of complex algorithmically functional information from molecular noise and trial and error on steroids. The only empirically warranted source for such is intelligence; which we know cannot be a human monopoly. As for reliance on deep abstract reasoning and its extension to the real world, ponder Wigner’s astonishment at the success of Mathematics. (And yes, that linked article is pivotal.) That is, the nature, universal utility and powerful success of Mathematics are direct disproofs of Darwin’s attempted dismissal of complex abstruse reasoning by jumped up apes from the East African savannahs, inconvenient to his theory. You can have your mathematics with its track record of success or you can have your crude evolutionary materialistic determinism and refusal to attend to the significance of linguistic, coded, complex algorithmic information in the living cell. You cannot have both. We are back to the civilisation-shaping force of inescapable first duties of reason and the implication that we are under the government of a built in law coeval with our humanity. That is, laws of nature clearly extends beyond the dynamic-stochastic physical world to the morally governed rationality of significantly free creatures, us. Thence, the Ciceronian, law as highest reason, morally governed human nature framework for law, government and civilisation.

    The pervasive utility and inherently abstract, abstruse, deeply logical nature of Mathematics, jointly, are a major barrier to radical subjectivism and relativism. That is, at dialectic level, important for actual balance on merits. (BTW, the linked paper arose from discussions on logic and first principles here at UD.)

    That is key, but we must recognise that thinking in terms of warrant and its limitations i/l/o logic and credible truth claims, including inescapable, undeniable or otherwise self-evident first truths or public truths is very much an acquired taste. One, that in the context of Math is multiplied by the difficulty of the ascent of Mt Everest.

    At more popular level, we must ever be aware of rhetoric and the issue of credibility at personal, institutional, community and civilisation levels. Rhetoric, being the sometimes dark art of persuasion as opposed to warrant much less proof.

    We face the three levers of persuasion, pathos, ethos, logos. I tend to adapt:

    I: pathos –> emotions, underlying perceptions, expectations, judgements;

    II: ethos –> authority, presenter, or even witness [authority by presence or expertise] and credibility/perceived character;

    III: logos –> weight and balance of warrant on facts and logic including underlying assumptions or axioms and presuppositions or basic worldview-shaping beliefs that shape plausibility structures.

    A first consideration is correcting the tendency to mis-define truth as opinion. We already have a word, opinion. Truth is best taken as Aristotle summed it up in Metaphysics, 1011b: say[ing] of what is, that it is; and of what is not, that it is not. Whether or not we accept it or can warrant it, truth is accurate description of being, what is, relevant reality. Where of course there is a lab coat clad attack on recognising that there are distinct things with distinct states, often in the name of Quantum theory. Above, I pointed out that as our weak argument correctives highlight, distinct identity and close corollaries pervade the fabric of quantum theory both in its mathematical and empirical development and in even how a superposition arises. We must not be overawed.

    A civilisation that blinds itself to truth and reality is headed over the cliff.

    In such context, I highlight that we have key truths on moral government which drives sound law and government, first duties of reason. They are coeval with our humanity, as freedom and reason mean we can thing through what is, what ought to be, and often enough which path is right. This, too, we must not become blind to.

    This is the challenge we face, dancing on the edge of a cliff. (Remember only a few years back, when inveterate objectors were busily dismissing concerns as alarmist and fear mongering?)

    KF

  74. 74
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Viola Lee “ Perhaps I wasn’t clear.

    I think you are being too hard on yourself. I have found your comments to be very clear. Refreshingly so compared to other commenters here, including my own.

  75. 75
    john_a_designer says:

    Kf,

    Again, I would avoid hard wired language as it suggests a pre programmed computational substrate, by direct analogy with fixed read only memory and linked arithmetic and logic unit.

    Please read what I wrote… You’re clearly misunderstanding me.

    Let me try to clarify what I should not have to clarify. Did you design the circuitry and the operating system of the computer you are presently using? I suspect that you didn’t. The designer/ designers of the computer did that. What you are arguing is EXACTLY what members the secular progressive left (SPL) are arguing that there is nothing fixed, innate or “hardwired” about human nature. That we can in fact redesign and remake humanity. I am arguing that there is.

    Take, for example, the concept of gender. The SPL is arguing that gender is fluid so a man has the right, if he believes he’s the woman, to transition to or become a woman. (Never mind about genitalia, chromosomes etc.) To make matters worse people like me no longer have the right to even disagree with that… So you believe that gender is not hardwired?

  76. 76
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Fox News cancels Lou Dobbs’ show; pro-Trump host not expected to be back on air

  77. 77
    kairosfocus says:

    JaD, I understand you but note that your phrasing invites an unfortunately common perception. Further, what is fixed about our nature, beyond our bodies etc, as morally governed free rational creatures precisely cannot be set in a computational substrate or a program coded into same. Otherwise we are dealing with computation not free reasoning. It is the implicit materialism and/or fellow travellers that leads to the concept, computational substrate. Were we like that, our reasoning and knowledge claims would reduce to that’s the way you were coded, so there is no credibility, it is all unconsciously controlled by7 blind mechanical necessity and/or chance. The self-referential incoherence should be plain. KF

  78. 78
    kairosfocus says:

    SA2, do you think that the onward Reichstag fire purge is a sign of anything more than weakening resistance to a slide into lawless ideologically driven oligarchy? I have already pointed to implications of confession by ruthless action by people in governance positions. And BTW, there is a story I saved off months ago in which Mr Dobbs and Ms Pilgrim c Aug 2006, were investigating and exposing what was going on with election technology firms. In my vaults, it’s too late to do a 1984 memory hole. KF

  79. 79
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Kairosfocus “ SA2, do you think that the onward Reichstag fire purge is a sign of anything more than weakening resistance to a slide into lawless ideologically driven oligarchy?

    Your level of pearl clutching hyperbole is definitely entertaining, but it doesn’t detract from the basic facts.

    1) Lou Dobbs repeatedly made claims that were not supported by evidence.

    2) Claims that were extremely damaging to two companies and to the reputations of the people in charge of those companies.

    3) As a result, these companies are suing him.

    4) If Fox thought that Dobbs’ “evidence” was compelling, they would stand behind him.

    5) They obviously don’t think so.

  80. 80
    jerry says:

    Kf,

    I assume you are aware of two booklet length articles that appeared in last two days

    The Thirty Tyrants

    A reference to Athens.

    https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/the-thirty-tyrants

    And

    The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election

    https://time.com/5936036/secret-2020-election-campaign/

    The latter has generated several analysis articles but the former is more important. Both are very long.

    Best comment I’ve seen about disingenuous election article in Time:

    They were worried that Trump was going to spin the election as illegitimate because of a vast left wing conspiracy interfering in the election…so they formed a vast left wing conspiracy to interfere in the election.

  81. 81
    Viola Lee says:

    re 74: thanks, Steve. I don’t think I was being hard on myself, but I did see that I didn’t make the intent of the Bell quote clear right at the start of 65. However, I think in the context of the whole post, I think I was clear. However, BA responded more to his own preconceptions than he did to what I wrote. Of course, when I explained that at 67, he just dismissed that out of hand. I don’t think he really wanted to understand what I was saying.

  82. 82
    Seversky says:

    Viola Lee/81

    I don’t think he really wanted to understand what I was saying.

    It’s nothing personal. In my experience, he is only interested in science insofar as it can be interpreted as supporting his religious presuppositions.

  83. 83
    Seversky says:

    Jerry/80

    They were worried that Trump was going to spin the election as illegitimate because of a vast left wing conspiracy interfering in the election…so they formed a vast left wing conspiracy to interfere in the election.

    No, they formed a coalition of those who still believe in democracy – rather than the de-mob-cracy of Trump cultists we saw at the Capitol – to prevent the legitimate result of the election being overturned by a man who clearly regards the Constitution, the courts and the legislature as impediments to his unfettered exercise of power. Protecting the election against fraudulent attempts to subvert it is not interference, it is patriotism.

  84. 84
    john_a_designer says:

    All of America’s founding fathers, whether they were so-called Deists or Christians, were guided by the idea that moral truth, which was the basis of civil law and human rights, was transcendent or “providential,” therefore, objective and binding. They were also quite cautious of democracy– especially direct democracy. They saw the danger of subversive “factions” illegitimately seizing power and destabilizing the government. That is one of the reasons they designed so-called checks and balances in the constitution so it would be difficult to seize or monopolize power.

    For example, Kevin Williamson who writes for The National Review points out:
    John Adams hated democracy and he feared what was known in the language of the time as ‘passion.’ Adams’s famous assessment: ‘I do not say that democracy has been more pernicious on the whole, and in the long run, than monarchy or aristocracy. Democracy has never been and never can be so durable as aristocracy or monarchy; but while it lasts, it is more bloody than either.’ Democracy, he wrote, ‘never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. It is in vain to say that democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious, or less avaricious than aristocracy or monarchy. It is not true, in fact, and nowhere appears in history. Those passions are the same in all men, under all forms of simple government, and when unchecked, produce the same effects of fraud, violence, and cruelty.’
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2016/03/donald-trump-populist-demagogue-john-adams-anticipated/

    Adams goes on to warn us,

    [that] no government [is] capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. Oaths in this country are as yet universally considered as sacred obligations. That which you have taken, and so solemnly repeated on that venerable ground, is an ample pledge of your sincerity and devotion to your country and its government.

    The difference between then and now? The majority of people living in America at the time believed that moral values and obligations were grounded in a transcendent moral standard (an eternal self-existing Creator and Lawgiver– God.) Today we live in a society dominated moral subjectivism and relativism. What value are so-called human rights if they are not binding? And how can they be binding if they have no grounding in something eternal and transcendent. If morals are only very transient human inventions then they carry no real binding interpersonal obligations. Without real interpersonal moral obligations there is no such thing as a right. There is certainly no possibility that human rights are universal and timeless.

  85. 85
    kairosfocus says:

    JaD,

    we are seeing the play-out of generations of undermining a sound understanding of the moral underpinnings of human morally governed rational freedom and underlying first duties, reflected in genuine fundamental rights and freedoms also.

    Licence and imposition of shocking perversity and horrible disorders are substituted for sound rights and freedoms, might and manipulation towards power to effect such replace truth and prudence, justice and sound reason, yielding a topsy turvy, suicidally chaotic situation.

    The net effect is, a clear process of dancing on the crumbling edge of a cliff.

    Such will not end well.

    ____

    Sev:

    We are seeing a dirty McFaul colour revolution in progress, now cynically exploiting a Reichstag fire to purge and further undermine lawfulness. We tracked this in progress for months as destructive riots by red guards and dupes were portrayed as mere protests, which actually continue, we see a Reichstag fire echo playing out, and you and other inveterate objectors were in denial every step of the way.

    You can judge the signs of the sky but are blind to the signs of the times.

    Now that we see a first piece of confession by projection, with a twisted topsy turvy caricature put up as narrative, you are backed into the corner of swallowing a narrative where conspiracy practically boasted of is turned into virtue.

    Crooked yardstick effect.

    Such, will not end well.

    KF

    PS: For reference, I add, complete with Twitter editorialising (on the way to banning?):

    https://twitter.com/Timcast/status/1357714538783727618?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

    Tim Pool
    @Timcast
    ·
    Feb 5
    I don’t think this even matters at this point. Time magazine just came out said that a cabal of elites rigged the election

    I’m sorry they said they didn’t rig the election they “fortified” it, by changing the rules and laws as well as manipulating the flow of information
    This claim of election fraud is disputed, and this Tweet can’t be replied to, Retweeted, or liked due to a risk of violence
    Quote Tweet
    Cassandra Fairbanks
    @CassandraRules
    · Feb 5
    Here is the video we found of a “vote mobile” van arriving at 3:30am and 4:30am… driving directly into the TCF Center and unloading dozens of boxes each trip. This was 8 hours after the ballot deadline.

    https://thegatewaypundit.com/2021/02/exclusive-tcf-center-election-fraud-newly-recovered-video-shows-late-night-deliveries-tens-thousands-illegal-ballots-michigan-arena/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=PostTopSharingButtons&utm_campaign=websitesharingbuttons
    via @gatewaypundit
    Show this thread
    This claim of election fraud is disputed, and this Tweet can’t be replied to, Retweeted, or liked due to a risk of violence

    Contrast such a situation with the seven first duties of reason . . .

  86. 86
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry,

    I had not seen the first, but was aware of the confession by twisted projection. The Reichstag fire echo is in full swing.

    Athens’ democracy failed in ways Plato summarised in his parable of the ship of state. That has ever been the fate of states falling to rule by mobs and their manipulators, who are generally moneyed interests to buy the manipulation. Beyond a certain point the mob may get out of control and turn man eater, as in the French revolution, i.e. the Jacobins may rise to power. Often, the power elites get away with using mob chaos and/or manipulation to gain lawless power.

    In the case of Athens, folly ended in defeat and a puppet regime that was tyrannical. It was overthrown, and Athens recovered to more stable government but the geostrategic loss was decisive. Macedon would take Greece, Alexander would defeat Persia, his generals would split the kingdom, Rome the ruthless was coming.

    I see that Lee Smith is arguing that plutocrats making bedfellows with critical theory marxists and collaborating with the Chinese tyrants have subverted — further — the American republic through a corruption of elites, institutions and clearly now elections. China playing Persia, but without launching two failed invasions [backdrop to the Peloponnesian war], exploiting civil rifts and 4th gen civil war.

    I agree that the NY Contractor in chief and blue collar billionaire tried to support the deplorables but found the swamp too pervaded by corruption, to the point that he could not staff key institutions with reformers. He was continually undermined and was targetted for ruin. The two ill-founded impeachments, the one in progress being without even a fig leaf of constitutionality, speak volumes.

    However, note, civil war. 4th gen, so war in the shadows designed to exploit the sleeping giant effect. A critical mass has to come to see the mortal danger and arise, with sound leadership. That means, taking a Pearl Harbor and running of the strategic board, especially as degree of lawless intent was clearly underestimated.

    Following the metaphor, I think the impeachment trial and surrounding circumstances may prove to be a Coral Sea, a point where strategic overstretch [a Pearl Harbor raid is a move of a weaker but better prepared faction seeking to gain and consolidate a shock victory] runs into a serious bloody nose. After this, a Midway and the beginnings of a Guadalcanal battle of breaking followed by a long island bypass/hop slog until a base can be built to take the power centres under decisive bombardment.

    The corrupt elites will see strategic decision against them this year, but that points onward to a long onward grind to break their hold on their power bases.

    It’s not going to be easy or without stiff local and global cost — China is clearly going for blue ocean breakout — but the pomo globalist elites will lose.

    One scenario is, c 2023, former Speaker Pelosi and President Biden face impeachment led by Speaker Trump. Backed, by the Trumpian networks forming the deplorables media. And, by a fed up hinterland blue collar and middle class coalition irreconcilably disgusted with the coastal elites and their stunts.

    The USA, utterly needlessly, has led itself into chaos, confusion, civil strife and severe risk of ruin.

    For shame.

    KF

  87. 87
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: We are at such a sad pass that we need to go back to first principles and rebuild our understanding. Starting with first duties as expressions of the law of our nature and with bitter lessons of largely forgotten or ignored history. KF

    PS: One of those lessons, from Ac 27:

    [On Luke’s microcosm on the ship of state, Jan 1, 2013:] Entrenched highly ideological orthodoxies — and this includes successful revolutionaries, whether on institutional or community scale — that control resource flows to their benefit and which exert enormous power in institutions and society [I was speaking here about today’s evolutionary materialism dominated science], tend to be very resistant to what is new and unsettling to their comfort zones and interests. Where there has been indoctrination and polarisation, we can see this multiplied by the problem of lack of logical thinking ability and sheer lack of awareness of the true state of the balance of warrant on the merits of facts and evidence.

    The perceived heretic, then is a threat to be fought off, marginalised, discredited and if necessary destroyed. By any and all means, fair or foul. [–> this was 2013]

    (I find the obsession with suggestions of a threat of religious subversion of [scientific, political, education, media and cultural] institutions long since subverted by radical secularists slightly amusing but quite sad in the end. The key threat is unaccountable, out of control power in the hands of elites prone to corruption, not that this once happened with religious elites. In the past 100 years, we saw major secularist movements and neopagan movements of political messianism that did much the same to horrific cost. And the welfare state of the past generation has not been a whole lot better. [Just ask the ghosts of the dozens of millions who have been aborted for convenience.])

    Where is there a solution?

    Frankly, at this stage, I think things are going to have to crash so badly and some elites are going to have to be so discredited by the associated spreading failure, that media propaganda tactics cannot cover it up anymore.

    My model for that comes from one of the red-flag sources that will give some of the objectors [to the design theory movement in science] the vapours.

    Acts 27.

    What, how dare you cite that, that . . . that . . . textbook for theocratic tyranny by the ignorant, insane, stupid and/or wicked followers of that bronze age misogynistic homophobic genocidal racist war god!

    (Do you hear how your agit-prop talking points are enmeshing you in the classic trap of believing your own propaganda?)

    Let’s start with, Paul of Tarsus, c. AD 59, was not in the Bronze Age but was an appellate prisoner in chains on early Imperial era grain ships having a hard time making way from the Levant and Asia Minor to Rome, in the second case ending up in a bay on Crete. What followed is a classic exercise in the follies of manipulated democracy, a case study that will well repay study in our time.

    It was late in the sailing season, and the merchant-owner was worried about his ship in an open bay at Fair Havens, given what winter storms can do.

    The passengers were not too impressed by the nearby settlements as a wintering place. (Sailing stopped in Autumn and opened back up in Spring. [–> EVERYONE knew why, the ships of that day could not bear up the storms of winter, and as time wore on in the fall, sailing became increasingly dangerous])

    The key technico, the kubernete — steersman, more or less like a pilot of an airliner — knew where his bread was buttered, and by whom.

    In the middle was a Centurion of the elite messenger corps.

    We are at ship’s council, and Paul, in chains, is suggesting that the suggestion to venture our with a favourable wind to try to make it to a more commodious port down-coast was excessively risky not only to boat but life.

    The financial and technical talking heads and the appeal of comfort allowed him to be easily marginalised and dismissed.

    Then we saw a gentle south breeze, that would have allowed a reach down the coast. (The technicos probably knew this could be a precursor to a storm, but were not going to cut across the dominant view. [Let’s add, how many days would it have taken to simply WALK to Phoenix, 40 mi away by sea? 3 – 4? We can readily see how the implicit, you won’t get money back if you “abandon” the voyage and the rosy description of a smooth, low risk afternoon’s sail could easily have swayed opinions.])

    They sailed out.

    Bang, an early winter noreaster hit them and sprang the boat’s timbers (why they tried to hold together with ropes [–> called frapping]) so the ship was in a sinking condition from the beginning.

    Worse, they were heading for sandbars off the coast of today’s Libya.

    For two weeks all they could do was use a sea anchor to control drift and try to steer vaguely WNW.

    Forget, eating.

    That is when Paul stood forth as a good man in a storm, and encouraged them with a vision from God. By this time, hope was to be shipwrecked on a coast. (Turned out, [probably] north coast of Malta [possibly, east end].)

    While the ship was at risk of being driven aground and set out four anchors by the stern from midnight on, the sailors tried to abandon the passengers on a ruse, spotted by Paul and/or Luke his travelling companion.

    By this time, the Centurion knew who to take seriously and the ship’s boat was cut away. He then took the decision to save Paul and refused the soldiers’ request to kill the prisoners to prevent escape (for which their lives would have been forfeit).

    So, they made it to a beach on Malta, having lost the ship in any case AND nearly their own lives.

  88. 88
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Let’s mark up using the magic of cognitive dissonance driven confession by projection to the despised other, i/l/o first duties:

    https://time.com/5936036/secret-2020-election-campaign/

    >>There was a conspiracy unfolding behind the scenes,>>

    – now they have won and are about to run a show trial, they are going to whitewash the conspiracy that was being complained of; trying to shape-shift what a conspiracy is

    – duly note this when next you hear sneering about conspiracy theories

    >> one that both curtailed the [expected post election] protests and coordinated the resistance from CEOs.>>

    – the plutocrats and red guards with backers were all in on this dirty form McFaul colour revolution, the same pointed out for months.

    >> Both surprises were the result of an informal alliance between left-wing activists and business titans. >>

    – the confession

    >>The pact was formalized in a terse, little-noticed joint statement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and AFL-CIO published on Election Day. Both sides would come to see it as a sort of implicit bargain–>>

    – in short the actors are now mask-less, on stage

    >>inspired by the summer’s massive, sometimes destructive racial-justice protests–>>

    – they refuse to admit that red guard riots designed to create crisis were riots

    – contrast, how an isolated incident of a fringe is exploited 24/7 to project not mere riot but insurrection and indelible stigma to be purged, Reichstag fire style

    >>in which the forces of labor came together with the forces of capital to keep the peace>>

    – when H says peace he means war . . . The White Rose Martyrs

    >> and oppose Trump’s assault on democracy.>>

    – they just confessed their intent by projection to the despised, scapegoated other

    >>The handshake between business and labor was just one component of a vast, cross-partisan campaign to protect the election>>

    – inverted confession, i.e. we see admission of the manipulation of an election

    >>–an extraordinary shadow effort>>

    – 4g war is war in the shadows, here, a McFaul dirty form colour revolution [I add to OP to refresh minds]

    >>dedicated not to winning the vote>>

    – just, distorting it

    >> but to ensuring it would be free and fair, credible and uncorrupted.>>

    – an obvious chain of turnabout projection big lies, there is simply no credible evidence of Mr Trump’s campaign setting out on electoral fraud.

    >>For more than a year, a loosely organized coalition of operatives scrambled to shore up America’s institutions>>

    – the year long campaign to open the door toeffectively uncontrolled uncontrolled mail in ballots, 3rd party ballot harvesting and frustration of scrutineering and proper chain of custody on ballots

    >> as they came under simultaneous attack from a remorseless pandemic and an autocratically inclined President. >>

    – the would be entrenched lawless oligarchs just painted an inadvertent portrait of themselves by projection to the despised other

    >>Though much of this activity took place on the left,>>

    – it was rooted in marxist, culture form critical theory, red guard tactics and agit prop etc. Guilty as charged and mapped at the time

    >>it was separate from the Biden campaign>>

    – plausible deniability

    >>and crossed ideological lines, with crucial contributions by nonpartisan and conservative actors.>>

    – the elites have been pervaded with the crooked yardstick ideologies across nominal lines, forming a corrupt swamp

    – others were manipulated face cards or are compromised and subject to extortion and intimidation

    >>The scenario the shadow campaigners were desperate to stop was not a Trump victory.>>

    – another big lie imposed by cynical power

    >> It was an election so calamitous that no result could be discerned at all,>>

    – they wanted to roadblock constitutional protections that would break corrupt processes

    >>a failure of the central act of democratic self-governance that has been a hallmark of America since its founding.>>

    – in short, confession of coup by manipulated election.

    U/D: AT’s de-spun summary is telling, naming names:

    https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2021/02/rigging_the_election_for_china_and_profit_.html

    Here’s a brief summary of the most significant of them, devoid of the leftist spackle of the author. Business, the AFL-CIO, and Black Lives Matter worked together to change voting systems and laws, to get hundreds of millions of dollars to make voting less secure and worked with social media to keep the Biden message upfront, the Trump message buried and the country terrified of widespread violence if the president won re-election. (4.6 percent of people who voted for Biden said in a poll that they would not have done so, had the information about Hunter Biden’s corruption not been scotched by the media.)

    The participants see themselves as the protectors of democracy and want their story told, the author explains. Initial moves were coordinated by Mike Podhorzer, senior adviser to Richard Trumka, president of the AFl-CIO. He saw in the COVID-19 reaction an opportunity to bypass normal, more secure election procedures, and working with Planned Parenthood, Indivisible, and Move On, “progressive data geeks and strategists, representatives of donors and foundations, state-level grassroots organizers, Working Families Party, racial-justice activists and others, to manipulate the election procedures. In time, they persuaded Congress to steer COVID relief funds for election administration, a feat aided by the Leadership Conference of Civil and Human Rights. When the $400 million grant proved insufficient for their means, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative dropped into their hands another $300 million, which the National Vote at Home Institute used to advise secretaries of state on the new, insecure voting procedures. (Chan is the wife of Mark Zuckerberg — Facebook’s chairman, CEO and controlling shareholder).

    Having altered the rules, the next step was taken by the Voter Participation Center, which sent out ballot applications to 15 million people “in key states” and urged people not to “wait until election day.” ”In the end, nearly half the electorate cast ballots by mail in 2020, practically a revolution in how people vote.”

    But rigging election procedures was only a part of the cabal’s work. They also worked at pressuring media platforms to remove content or accounts which in their view “spread disinformation.” Among those pressured to silence opposition views were Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

    Huge efforts were undertaken to persuade voters that the final results would not be known on election night until 70% of the public was made to believe that Biden won, including media election analysts.

    I wonder what those who were deriding our warnings while this was live have to say now?

    KF

  89. 89
    bornagain77 says:

    In 81 Viola Lee states,

    I don’t think he (BA77) really wanted to understand what I was saying.

    In 82 Seversky, our resident atheist, steps in to support VL and and states,

    It’s nothing personal. In my experience, he is only interested in science insofar as it can be interpreted as supporting his religious presuppositions.

    Too funny! Viola Lee and Seversky, who are the ones who are denying the reality of our free will choices, are acting as if I had the free will choice to believe otherwise, i.e. to believe that I don’t really have free will.

    The blatantly self-refuting logic inherent in Seversky and Viola Lee’s complaint about me refusing to accept their supposedly rational “argument’ against free will is humorously captured in this following quote by Jerry Coyne,

    THE ILLUSION OF FREE WILL – Sam Harris – 2012
    Excerpt: “Free will is an illusion so convincing that people simply refuse to believe that we don’t have it.”
    – Jerry Coyne
    – per Sam Harris org

    That statement should literally be the very definition of a ‘self-refuting’ logical fallacy,

    And I am sure Coyne made that statement with a completely straight face,, 🙂

    The fallacy in Coyne, Viola Lee, and Seversky’s argument against the reality of free will really needs no explaining, but anyways, as Martin Cothran explained, “The only condition under which we could possibly find their argument (against free will) convincing is if they are not true.”

    The Medial Pre-Frontal Cortex Did It: Sam Harris’s Free Will
    Martin Cothran – November 9, 2012
    Excerpt: There is something ironic about the position of thinkers like Harris on issues like this: they claim that their position is the result of the irresistible necessity of logic (in fact, they pride themselves on their logic). Their belief is the consequent, in a ground/consequent relation between their evidence and their conclusion. But their very stated position is that any mental state — including their position on this issue — is the effect of a physical, not logical cause.
    By their own logic, it isn’t logic that demands their assent to the claim that free will is an illusion, but the prior chemical state of their brains. The only condition under which we could possibly find their argument convincing is if they are not true. The claim that free will is an illusion requires the possibility that minds have the freedom to assent to a logical argument, a freedom denied by the claim itself. It is an assent that must, in order to remain logical and not physiological, presume a perspective outside the physical order.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2012/11/sam_harriss_fre/In 67 Viola Lee states,

    And as J B S Haldane put the irresolvable problem for atheists way back in 1932, “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.”

    “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 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.”
    – J B S Haldane – “When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209.

    And as C S Lewis put it, “unless Reason is an absolute, all is in ruins”,,,

    “One absolutely central inconsistency ruins [the popular scientific philosophy]. The whole picture professes to depend on inferences from observed facts. Unless inference is valid, the whole picture disappears… unless Reason is an absolute, all is in ruins. Yet those who ask me to believe this world picture also ask me to believe that Reason is simply the unforeseen and unintended by-product of mindless matter at one stage of its endless and aimless becoming. Here is flat contradiction. They ask me at the same moment to accept a conclusion and to discredit the only testimony on which that conclusion can be based.”?
    – C.S. Lewis, Is Theology Poetry (aka the Argument from Reason)

    In short, VL and Sev are trying to argue that I am not being reasonable, yet their denial of free will completely undermines our ability to reason in a coherent fashion in the first place. i.e. It is a completely insane position,

    As Dr. Egnor quipped, “Someday, I predict, there will be a considerable psychiatric literature on the denial of free will. It’s essentially a delusion dressed up as science. To insist that your neurotransmitters completely control your choices is no different than insisting that your television or your iphone control your thoughts. It’s crazy.”

    JERRY COYNE JUST CAN’T GIVE UP DENYING FREE WILL
    Coyne’s denial of free will, based on determinism, is science denial and junk metaphysics
    MICHAEL EGNOR – APRIL 27, 2020
    Excerpt: “Someday, I predict, there will be a considerable psychiatric literature on the denial of free will. It’s essentially a delusion dressed up as science. To insist that your neurotransmitters completely control your choices is no different than insisting that your television or your iphone control your thoughts. It’s crazy.”
    https://mindmatters.ai/2020/04/jerry-coyne-just-cant-give-up-denying-free-will/

    Moreover, as VL and Sev themselves demonstrated in their comments that assumed that I had the free will necessary to change my mind about their self-refuting argument against the reality of free will,,,, VL and Sev themselves can’t live their lives consistently as if they really had no free will. ,,, Nor can anyone else,,,

    Darwin’s Robots: When Evolutionary Materialists Admit that Their Own Worldview Fails – Nancy Pearcey – April 23, 2015
    Excerpt: This is an amazing case of Orwellian doublethink. Minsky says people are “forced to maintain” the conviction of free will, even when their own worldview tells them that “it’s false.”
    When I teach these concepts in the classroom, an example my students find especially poignant is Flesh and Machines by Rodney Brooks, professor emeritus at MIT. Brooks writes that a human being is nothing but a machine — a “big bag of skin full of biomolecules” interacting by the laws of physics and chemistry. In ordinary life, of course, it is difficult to actually see people that way. But, he says, “When I look at my children, I can, when I force myself, … see that they are machines.”
    Is that how he treats them, though? Of course not: “That is not how I treat them…. I interact with them on an entirely different level. They have my unconditional love, the furthest one might be able to get from rational analysis.” Certainly if what counts as “rational” is a materialist worldview in which humans are machines, then loving your children is irrational. It has no basis
    within Brooks’s worldview. It sticks out of his box.
    How does he reconcile such a heart-wrenching cognitive dissonance? He doesn’t. Brooks ends by saying, “I maintain two sets of inconsistent beliefs.” He has given up on any attempt to reconcile his theory with his experience. He has abandoned all hope for a unified, logically consistent worldview.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....95451.html

    In what should be needless to say, if you can’t live your life consistently as if your worldview were actually true, then your worldview can’t possibly reflect reality as it really is, but your worldview must instead be based on a delusion,

    Existential Argument against Atheism – November 1, 2013 – Jason Petersen
    1. If a worldview is true then you should be able to live consistently with that worldview.
    2. Atheists are unable to live consistently with their worldview.
    3. If you can’t live consistently with an atheist worldview then the worldview does not reflect reality.
    4. If a worldview does not reflect reality then that worldview is a delusion.
    5. If atheism is a delusion then atheism cannot be true.?Conclusion: Atheism is false.?http://answersforhope.com/exis.....t-atheism/

    VL tries to argue, “But AHA, I’m not arguing that are free will choices are determined, I am arguing that quantum events are probabilistic and indeterminate and even arguing that “if we assume that we have a certain amount of free will, then, subject to certain other assumptions, elementary particles must have free will too.”

    The correct conclusion is that the results of quantum mechanics are real: entanglement, probabilistic events, etc., and that the indeterminacy of the world starts at the very most fundamental level, and thus we can conclude that we also are not fully determined. However, the article posted at mit’s site that I linked to above said “So what does Conway and Kochen’s Free Will theorem state? The theorem states that, if we assume that we have a certain amount of free will, then, subject to certain other assumptions, elementary particles must have free will too.” I recommend the article.
    That is quantum events may provide the core basis for our being able to make non-determined choices, but it is an unjustified leap of a huge magnitude to go from the indeterminacy of the universe embedded in quantum events to the libertarian free will that BA is invoking.

    Now, of course, VL does not specify where the dividing line of his panpsychicic belief of believing particles have free will, between us having a ‘certain amount of free will’ ourselves, exactly is, but he assures us that, whatever that dividing line may be, it is a “unjustified leap of a huge magnitude to go from the indeterminacy of the universe embedded in quantum events to the libertarian free will that BA is invoking.”

    I think this gives new meaning to the phrase ‘trying to have your cake and eat it to’.

    VL is caught between a rock and hard place. He wants to deny the reality of our free will altogether, yet he is forced, because of advances in quantum mechanics, to admit that we at least have a ‘certain amount of free will’ ourselves. Yet, I guess (since VL is hardly being clear in his argument), that VL is now trying to argue that this ‘certain amount of free will’ that we have is merely the result of the prior indeterminate, probabilistic, and even, according to VL, “elementary particles must have free will too.”.

    As should be needless to say, this IS NOT a rational argument. This is a VERY desperate attempt to find something, anything, to deny the reality of our own free will, i.e. to deny the reality of our own immaterial mind.

    Moreover, there is a ‘small’ scientific problem with VL trying to claim that our free will choices are merely the result of the probabilistic, indeterminate, and even the ‘free will’, state of the particles themselves.

    Namely, the particles themselves do not even exist until we ourselves choose what to measure. As the following ‘Wheeler Delayed Choice experiment’ that was done with atoms explained, ” “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,”

    Reality doesn’t exist until we measure it, (Delayed Choice) quantum experiment confirms –
    Mind = blown. – FIONA MACDONALD – 1 JUN 2015
    Excerpt: “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” lead researcher and physicist Andrew Truscott said in a press release.
    http://www.sciencealert.com/re.....t-confirms

    And as John Wheeler himself explained, “We have become participators in the existence of the universe. We have no right to say that the past exists independent of the act of observation.”

    “We have become participators in the existence of the universe. We have no right to say that the past exists independent of the act of observation.”
    – John Wheeler

    Even Weinberg himself, an atheist, admitted that, in the instrumentalist approach to quantum mechanics, “In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure,,, Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,’

    The_Trouble_with_Quantum_Mechanics__by_Steven_Weinberg
    Excerpt: The introduction of probability into the principles of physics was disturbing to past physicists, but the trouble with quantum mechanics is not that it involves probabilities. We can live with that. The trouble is that in quantum mechanics the way that wave functions change with time is governed by an equation, the Schrödinger equation, that does not involve probabilities. It is just as deterministic as Newton’s equations of motion and gravitation. That is, given the wave function at any moment, the Schrödinger equation will tell you precisely what the wave function will be at any future time. There is not even the possibility of chaos, the extreme sensitivity to initial conditions that is possible in Newtonian mechanics. So if we regard the whole process of measurement as being governed by the equations of quantum mechanics, and these equations are perfectly deterministic, how do probabilities get into quantum mechanics?,,,
    The instrumentalist approach is a descendant of the Copenhagen interpretation, but instead of imagining a boundary beyond which reality is not described by quantum mechanics, it rejects quantum mechanics altogether as a description of reality. There is still a wave function, but it is not real like a particle or a ?eld. Instead it is merely an instrument that provides predictions of the probabilities of various outcomes when measurements are made. It seems to me that the trouble with this approach is not only that it gives up on an ancient aim of science: to say what is really going on out there. It is a surrender of a particularly unfortunate kind. In the instrumentalist approach, we have to assume, as fundamental laws of nature, the rules (such as the Born rule I mentioned earlier) for using the wave function to calculate the probabilities of various results when humans make measurements.
    Thus humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level. According to Eugene Wigner, a pioneer of quantum mechanics, “it was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness.”11
    Thus the instrumentalist approach turns its back on a vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else. It is not that we object to thinking about humans. Rather, we want to understand the relation of humans to nature, not just assuming the character of this relation by incorporating it in what we suppose are nature’s fundamental laws, but rather by deduction from laws that make no explicit reference to humans. We may in the end have to give up this goal, but I think not yet. Some physicists who adopt an instrumentalist approach argue that the probabilities we infer from the wave function are objective probabilities, independent of whether humans are making a measurement.
    I don’t find this tenable. In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure, such as the spin in one or another direction. Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made, because in quantum mechanics not everything can be simultaneously measured. As Werner Heisenberg realized, a particle cannot have, at the same time, both a definite position and a definite velocity. The measuring of one precludes the measuring of the other. Likewise, if we know the wave function that describes the spin of an electron we can calculate the probability that the electron would have a positive spin in the north direction if 4/8 that were measured, or the probability that the electron would have a positive spin in the east direction if that were measured, but we cannot ask about the probability of the spins being found positive in both directions because there is no state in which an electron has a definite spin in two different directions.
    https://www.coursehero.com/file/78050243/The-Trouble-with-Quantum-Mechanics-by-Steven-Weinberg-The-New-York-Review-of-Bookspdf/

    So thus VL may try to appeal to the indeterminate and probabilistic nature of quantum events, (and may even try to claim that the particles themselves have a certain amount of free will), but the particles themselves do not even exist until WE ourselves choose what to measure.

    In short, our free will choices take primacy over whatever indeterminate, probabilistic, and/or free will choices, VL tries to invoke for the particles themselves.

    In conclusion, VL’s argument against our free will, in so far as it can even be considered a rational argument against us having free will, fails big time.

    One final note, might I suggest that VL and Sev use their free will choices wisely and stop fighting against the God Who has created them?

    Deuteronomy 30:19
    I am now giving you the choice between life and death, between God’s blessing and God’s curse, and I call heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Choose life.

  90. 90
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Read a commentary on the playout of the agit prop game

    https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2021/02/rigging_the_election_for_china_and_profit_.html

    >>February 7, 2021
    Rigging the Election for China and Profit
    By Clarice Feldman

    Emerald Robinson tweets:

    @EmeraldRobinson

    The corporate media: “People who say there was a shadow campaign to rig the 2020 election are conspiracy theorists!”

    Time Magazine: “Read our story on the shadow campaign to rig the 2020 election!”

    She’s referring to the most astonishing story of the week, Molly Ball’s article in Time: ”The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign that saved the 2020 election,” a sordid tale of how Big Tech, BLM, organized labor and big business, particularly the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, colluded to defeat Donald J. Trump’s reelection.

    The participants justified their behavior as “saving democracy.” Was this a “modified limited hangout” in the old Watergate sense? An effort to undo the public perception that the election was illegally stolen with an alternative that there was an unsavory but legitimate perception management by powerful people and institutions to defeat the man who had captured the angst of the middle class and worked to improve their lives? Or were members of the cabal playing neener neener on the voters they bested to further dispirit them and keep them from tipping over the chessboard they set up to wipe out the pawns? . . . >>

    KF

  91. 91
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77, we need no great argument to see that if we lack freedom to think for ourselves on the merits, our whole intellectual life is cast into utter discredit. That alone should long since have swept the board of those who have been putting up theories that if taken seriously discredit their own thought. By the mere fact of arguing or at least trying to persuade, they prove that not even they take their theories seriously. Why should we? KF

    PS: Haldane:

    “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 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.]

  92. 92
    Viola Lee says:

    BA writes, “Viola Lee and Seversky, who are the ones who are denying the reality of our free will choices, …”

    You don’t read very well, BA. I am not denying the reality of free will. I believe we have free will, and have said that a number of times in previous threads.

    What I am saying that the “closing of the free will loophole” doesn’t establish that our human free will exists. The closing of the free will loophole is strong evidence that the universe, and thus us, are not superdetermined. That means that there is support for the idea that human beings, embedded in the quantum world as we are, are capable of making non-determined choices, which is a weak form of free will.

    However this capability would still be subject to the world of quantum events, of which our physical selves are a part, which derives its non-determined nature from the probabilistic nature of QM.

    This doesn’t establish libertarian free will and the existence of an immaterial free will completely independent of events at the QM level. That would be a different issue.

    NOTE EXTREMELY WELL: I am not denying the existence of libertarian free will.

    I am focusing on making it clear that Zeilinger’s closing of the free will loophole does not establish the existence of libertarian free will, which is the conclusion you want to draw. As Seversky said, you are “only interested in science insofar as it can be interpreted as supporting his religious presuppositions.” Interpreting the closing of the free-will loophole as supporting libertarian free will is an example of such an unfounded interpretation.

  93. 93
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, on what basis of warrant do you believe we have free will, what do you mean by such free will (given rhetoric of “compatibilism”) and how do you found that free will in the basis — root — for our existence? KF

  94. 94
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky, last time I checked, denies the existence of free will altogether, but VL does not.

    VL: “NOTE EXTREMELY WELL: I am not denying the existence of libertarian free will.”

    Apparently VL just tries to have his cake and eat it to.

    VL, says that the closing of the free will loop hole merely means, “we,, are capable of making non-determined choices, which is a weak form of free will.”

    What I am saying that the “closing of the free will loophole” doesn’t establish that our human free will exists. The closing of the free will loophole is strong evidence that the universe, and thus us, are not superdetermined. That means that there is support for the idea that human beings, embedded in the quantum world as we are, are capable of making non-determined choices, which is a weak form of free will.

    However this capability would still be subject to the world of quantum events, of which our physical selves are a part, which derives its non-determined nature from the probabilistic nature of QM.

    Well oh goody, we are up to at least an honest confession of “a weak form of free will.”

    One wonders if this ‘weak form of free will’ allowed VL to choose to write that particular sentence or if the ‘probabilistic nature of QM dictated that he write that particular sentence? 🙂

    Whatever theoretical hair VL is trying to split with this ‘weak form of free will’ that he allows for I have no idea, (frankly I think he is just trying to BS his way out of the mess he is currently in with free will and QM), but what I do know is that, (in regards to the probabilistic nature of QM that VL is appealing to in order to try to find a workaround to the ‘strong’ free will that allows us to write sentences and choose measurement settings in QM), and as I already pointed out in post 89, via Weinberg, “In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure,,, Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,’

    Or should I write it as such?

    “NOTE EXTREMELY WELL: “In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure,,, Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,”

    Again, VL’s argument from “the probabilistic nature of QM” against free will, and in so far as it can even be called a coherent argument against free will in the first place, fails big time!

  95. 95
    Viola Lee says:

    At 93, KF writes, “VL, on what basis of warrant do you believe we have free will, what do you mean by such free will (given rhetoric of “compatibilism”) and how do you found that free will in the basis — root — for our existence? KF”

    I experience both my consciousness and my sense of making choices as experiential givens, and I start from there. I don’t believe that we can know much about the metaphysical ground of existence, and I particularly don’t believe that we could capture that metaphysical ground in words. Therefore, my “warrant” for my belief in free will is that I choose to so believe. I choose to live my life as if I am responsible for my actions. Call it faith, if you will, which I think is more reasonable than thinking we know more than we can about the issue.

    I recognize that those who think this issue can be resolved by logic (which I don’t) will see my reliance on choice as a justification for believing in free will as circular. But belief by faith is a mainstay of all (most) religions, so even though my beliefs are not embedded in any particular religious traditions (being informed by many, I think) I still am not remiss in choosing to have faith in certain understandings about humankind and the world as a whole.

  96. 96
    ET says:

    seversky:

    In my experience, he is only interested in science insofar as it can be interpreted as supporting his religious presuppositions.

    And that is exactly what you do, seversky. Except for the fact that you are not interested in science.

  97. 97
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, do you believe in the universal validity of core mathematics, why or why not? Do you accept that deductive arguments can chain to essentially any length validly? In such a chain a->b->c -> . . . n, if a is true, what is the status of n? Do you or do you not accept that if p –> [q AND ~q] then p must be false, why or why not? In this context, do you acknowledge that deductive chains can be used in reverse as inferences to best explanation, where of competing antecedents [explanations] e1, e2 . . . en, we may eliminate those yielding self contradictions or falsities on trying to imply our body of observations and general facts, making predictions: {facts f1,f2 . . . | observations o1, o2 . . . | predictions p1, p2 . . .}, why or why not? In this light, can we then often select a best [current] explanation e_b, such that it is superior on factual adequacy, coherence, explanatory power [neither simplistic nor ad hoc], why or why not? If not, then why do you reject legitimacy of scientific, historical, forensic etc reasoning? If so, then why have you dismissed such reasoning regarding core nature of reality? If you accept Darwin’s monkey brain argument or the like, how do you avoid self-referential incoherence when you claim that certain things are true or false rather than simply your own particular opinion? KF

  98. 98
    john_a_designer says:

    Here is a premise that I regularly use in my arguments, including the ones I have been making here on this thread:

    Subjective beliefs and/or opinions are not a sufficient basis for interpersonal moral obligations.

    Is that self-evidently true or not? I can argue that it is.

    And if that’s true I can further argue that not only is there but there MUST BE an objective basis for not only interpersonal moral obligations but universal human rights– which are really interpersonal moral obligations writ large.

  99. 99
    Viola Lee says:

    At 97, KF asks a bunch of questions. I like questions, usually.

    1. “VL, do you believe in the universal validity of core mathematics, why or why not?”

    I don’t totally accept everything in your article, but I do accept your conclusion that “As a result, we have good reason to expect that mathematical reasoning and core entities will in many cases behighly relevant to and have powerful predictive power for our common world”

    I think it is obvious that our universe can be described with great precision by mathematics. However there are some interesting things Wigner said in his essay that I posted about recently, but I’ll move on and see what else you have to say.

    2. ” Do you accept that deductive arguments can chain to essentially any length validly? In such a chain a->b->c -> . . . n, if a is true, what is the status of n?”

    Yes. I’m a mathematician, and a big fan of of deductive arguments. If a is true and all the implications are true, then n is true.

    3. “Do you or do you not accept that if p –> [q AND ~q] then p must be false, why or why not?”

    Of course. This is the core idea in proof by contradiction.

    4. “In this context, do you acknowledge that deductive chains can be used in reverse as inferences to best explanation, where of competing antecedents [explanations] e1, e2 . . . en, we may eliminate those yielding self contradictions or falsities on trying to imply our body of observations and general facts, making predictions: {facts f1,f2 . . . | observations o1, o2 . . . | predictions p1, p2 . . .}, why or why not? ”

    That sentence is too messy and unclear: perhaps an example would help. To use a deductive chain in reverse you have to be sure that the p -> q that you are assuming is in fact logically valid. “Inferences to best explanation” starts to bring in facts and observations about the real world, not pure math, and then you get all sorts of questions about whether the facts and observations are true in the same way mathematical statements are unequivocally true or false.

    The rest of your questions contain all sorts of assumptions and lack of clarity and specificity.

    For instance,

    5. “Why do you reject legitimacy of scientific, historical, forensic etc reasoning?”

    I have no idea what you’re referring to about me. All those things are not purely deductive, and don’t really relate to 2) and 3) above. Of course I accept that we try figure out the best explanation for things. However this is a human activity different from logical deduction in mathematical systems.

    6. “Why have you dismissed such reasoning regarding core nature of reality?”

    I don’t think you can provide reasoning regarding the core nature of reality that is equivalent to what math can provide, as per 2) and 3) above.

    7. “If you accept Darwin’s monkey brain argument or the like, how do you avoid self-referential incoherence when you claim that certain things are true or false rather than simply your own particular opinion?”

    I don’t know what “Darwin’s monkey brain” argument is. I suspect you are referring to materialism, and I am not a materialist.

  100. 100
    Viola Lee says:

    Addendum to 5 above: Of course I accept that we try to figure out the best explanation for things. However this is a human activity different from logical deduction in mathematical systems. We use logical deduction, but the propositions with which we deduce are not necessarily certain the way they are in math.

  101. 101
    john_a_designer says:

    A moral subjectivist believes there are NO OBJECTIVE MORAL VALUES. Again that means there are no real interpersonal moral obligations, therefore, there is no basis for universal human rights. That is their perspective not mine. I would argue that they have rights even if they don’t believe that. They’re the one who are arguing that nobody really has any rights. Moral subjectivism then is a very irrational self-refuting moral perspective. I have every right to criticize that kind of thinking, even if I doesn’t come across as being nice or “civil.” I am not very patient with people who show up online peddling nothing but nonsense.

    The purpose of my life is to help make a better world. However, you can’t make a better world if there is no moral truth or no real basis for universal human rights. So, moral subjectivism is a morally and intellectually bankrupt way of thinking that is based on egocentric self-righteousness that cannot be defended rationally or logically. As I have pointed out here before it’s self-refuting.

    Please notice that those who believe morality is subjective are making a self-refuting argument. They are arguing that there are no true and “objective” moral values and obligations. But the premise there are no true and “objective moral values and obligations is a universal truth claim about morality. But how can subjective opinions and beliefs be universal?

    Basically they are arguing, it is true there is no moral truth.

    This is logic 101. You don’t have an argument if you begin with a self-refuting premise. If you fail to posit a self-evidently true or factually true premise your argument fails on logical grounds. Logical contradictions can’t be true. Moral subjectivism fails because it is based on a self-refuting, therefore, irrational claims.

    Actually, it’s a subjective (or a relativistic “group-think morality”) based on egocentric self-righteousness that’s being used by the secular progressive left to justify immorality, intolerance and contempt for ones fellow man (people who adhere to a religious or traditionalist “conservative” world view.) But if it’s subjective why would you feel compelled to try to convince anyone else that it’s true? (Again that is logically self-refuting.) Obviously what is “true for you” is not necessarily true for anyone else. Moral subjectivism then is not based on reason but on rationalization. And, your rationalization does not refute that there really is objective moral truth and, therefore, a solid basis for universal human rights. Truthfully, irrational egocentric moral subjectivism offers no way to improve the world.

  102. 102
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/89

    Too funny! Viola Lee and Seversky, who are the ones who are denying the reality of our free will choices, are acting as if I had the free will choice to believe otherwise, i.e. to believe that I don’t really have free will.

    What do you mean by “free will”? Is it the ability to make a choice between two or more options that are not subject in any way to external influences or does it also require the ability to actualize whatever choice is made? In other words, if I choose to become a Jedi Knight but am unable do actually become one because they are fictional and do not exist as such in reality in this Universe (apart from in the Star Wars movies), is that sufficient for “free will”.

    As another example, I know that I did not consciously choose my sexuality. I did not sit down one day and carefully weigh up the pros and cons of heterosexuality or homosexuality and finally decide “I think I will be straight”. No, what happened was that at a certain point, I just began noticing and reacting to girls in a way I hadn’t previously. I’m pretty sure I could not become homosexual now just by an effort of will and I suspect it’s the same for most if not everyone here. What price free will here?

    There is also, as has been pointed out many times before, the Biblical account of Peter’s triple denial of Christ even though he had been specifically warned beforehand by Jesus that this is what would happen. That is pretty clear anecdotal evidence that we do not have free will.

    Speaking personally, I experience the exercise of free will but it is not absolute. I, like everyone else, was formed in part by influences over which I had no control and was not even aware of a the time so the question is not whether or not I actually have free will but to what extent I have it.

  103. 103
    Seversky says:

    John_a_designer/101

    A moral subjectivist believes there are NO OBJECTIVE MORAL VALUES.

    That’s true. For those who do believe in objective moral values, perhaps they could point to where they are stored and in what form. Were they part of the basic stuff of the Universe when it formed 13.8 billion years ago or were they added later and, if so, from where and by whom?

    Again that means there are no real interpersonal moral obligations, therefore, there is no basis for universal human rights.

    No, it doesn’t. In what way are the interpersonal moral obligations we assume voluntarily towards each other any less “real” than those imposed on us by some external force or being? The Christian God, for example, does not provide a detailed rationale for His moral prescriptions but if they were the product of reason then what is to prevent us as rational beings – made in imago dei – from doing the same?

    They’re the one who are arguing that nobody really has any rights.

    Strawman. We do not argue that there are no moral rights just that we can decide them for ourselves rather than have them imposed on us by someone else.

    Are you saying you would not know right from wrong without someone else to tell you which was which, because that is what it sounds like?

    Moral subjectivism then is a very irrational self-refuting moral perspective. I have every right to criticize that kind of thinking, even if I doesn’t come across as being nice or “civil.” I am not very patient with people who show up online peddling nothing but nonsense.

    Moral subjectivism does not mean “anything goes”. It means that we all look inside ourselves and decide what matters for ourselves, those we love and the people we live alongside in society. Since the vast majority of people have the same basic needs and interests, we should be able to converge – eventually – on some sort of common morality. It’s a lot messier than have a neat set of rules handed down on tablets of stone and it doesn’t offer the certainty that some people crave but that doesn’t mean we can’t do it if we put our collective minds to it.

    Please notice that those who believe morality is subjective are making a self-refuting argument. They are arguing that there are no true and “objective” moral values and obligations. But the premise there are no true and “objective moral values and obligations is a universal truth claim about morality. But how can subjective opinions and beliefs be universal?

    Please notice that those who claim that morality has some sort of objective existence – that it exists independent of those it is intended to govern – have been entirely unable to substantiate that claim. Indeed, all too often it looks like special pleading on behalf of the claimants own beliefs. When people here talk about an objective morality that overrides all others, they are clearly not talking about Muslim or Bhuddist or Hindu moralities.

    Basically they are arguing, it is true there is no moral truth.

    That depends on what you mean by “truth”. As I’ve said before, I go by the correspondence theory of truth which holds that our claims or propositions or statements about reality are true to the extent they are observed to correspond to reality they purport to describe or explain. Moral claims are not about the nature of observable reality – the way things are – they are about the way we should behave towards one another. They are about “ought” not “is”. To that extent, they are neither true nor false.

  104. 104
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, argument by best current explanation, or abduction, is a major frame of inductive argument, modern sense. My point is that such extends from forensics, science, history etc to grand worldviews inference. I am busy just now with a new lockdown here on emergence of a fresh cluster of CV-19 cases so I will come back later. KF

    PS: Let me take slower:

    1: Empirical base, a body of established facts, observations, predictions — borders advance with time (hence, current . . . ):

    {facts f1,f2 . . . | observations o1, o2 . . . | predictions p1, p2 . . .}, call this B

    2: Often, this is puzzling, and needs a reasonable account, an EXPLANATION, for which there are competing cases:

    e1, e2 . . . en

    3: some ek => B is an explanation, supported by the breadth of B, where if ek then B, the question is how credible is ek.

    4: Here, principle of explosion applies, across time: “we may eliminate those yielding self contradictions or falsities on trying to imply our body of observations and general facts.” That is, it is a necessary condition of truth for ek that it consistently, reliably implies truth, not falsehood. Incoherence and counter-factual implications falsify ek.

    5: Thus the triple comparative difficulties and/or reliability test, factual adequacy, coherence, explanatory power [neither ad hoc nor simplistic]

    6: The best current explanation will be empirically reliable, coherent and balanced, superior to alternatives from the candidates, e1, e2 . . . en.

    7: ek entailing falsity implies its falsehood, entailing contradiction implies incoherence thus falsehood, we have a logical criterion for truth.

    8: Ability to sustain factual adequacy as the empirical base grows shows reliability and is a strong test, common in science. Best explanations will be simple enough not to be an ad hoc patchwork, but powerful and reliable across time. They will be superior to other candidates.

    9: This framework is manifest in science etc but extends to the study of reality and associated major worldviews options. So, it is inconsistent to accept for science etc but reject for worldviews analysis on comparative difficulties.

    10: Thus, radical doubt on metaphysical reasoning as a whole is incoherent epistemologically and logically. Though, this seems a common stance today for advocates of evolutionary materialistic scientism and fellow travvellers, showing yet again fundamental incoherence.

  105. 105
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky,

    while I am still focused elsewhere just now, I cannot but note:

    Moral claims are not about the nature of observable reality – the way things are – they are about the way we should behave towards one another. They are about “ought” not “is”. To that extent, they are neither true nor false.

    Let me comment stepwise:

    >> Moral claims are not about the nature of observable reality – the way things are –>>

    – first, the way things are is not confined to OBSERV[ation], many realities are empirically unobservable; they are of a different order in the logic of being. We see them with the mind’s eye, not that of our physical bodies.

    – Where actually, our eyes are transducers, the actual seeing is just as mental, as mV potentials, ion flow gradients, synapses and pulse repetion frequencies in sets of neurons etc are worlds apart from an insightful, deeply interpreted vision of your world with intelligible entities in it. Denial of mental reality and ability of mind to access reality at least in part even through a glass darkly, is self-defeating.

    – Actually, you just made here a worldviews commitment to in effect your known evolutionary materialistic scientism. Something that is demonstrably not merely controversial but which in many ways is outright incoherent and so false

    – similarly, things can be not only physical objects and configurations but abstracta up to and including states of affairs etc.

    – in that context, a truth is a claim that accurately describes reality, what is the case about states of affairs, not merely physical objects and configurations. And on that, I was just reading a book and manifesto on how an artist sees and draws with powerful verisimilitude, the human figure and form, brimming over with stories in subtle action, reflecting intent and so much more . . . observation and its documentation is itself richly mental. A world of vision lurks there.

    – where, once there are free, responsible, rational, morally governed creatures so that justice is due balance of rights, freedoms and duties, we can and do have moral truths, accurate descriptions of duties, rights, freedoms, due balance etc.

    – of course, that due balance can be violated, creating a gap between current states of affairs and what ought to be the case, implying a need for correction where possible (i.e. there are prudential moral truths also).

    >> they are about the way we should behave towards one another.>>

    – can it be the case that there are particular ways that we SHOULD behave towards one another? Patently, yes, due balance of rights, freedoms and duties, which are manifestly intelligible. Therefore, there can be intelligible moral truths.

    – for example, I have often used as a key test case [based on a sad actual event] that it is the case that we ought not to kidnap, bind, sexually assault and murder a young child for one’s pleasure.

    – I have for cause further held that this is a self-evident truth, i.e. once one is of maturity to understand s/he will recognise it as true, and necessarily so on pain of immediate absurdity on attempted denial.

    – moreover, this case implicitly embeds a world of duty in the community of creatures of our order, laying out rights, freedoms and duties with due balance. For, this is a case of that ever so instructive first duty, duty to neighbour.

    – Where the first duties being pointed to (as outlined in the OP) are inescapable, even objections such as this argument you are making implicitly pivot on them. Inescapable, so inescapably true, thus self-evident. True descriptions that it is the case that certain things are how the world should be but too often is not.

    >>They are about “ought” not “is”.>>

    – indeed, however, it can be the case that X ought to be so, whether or not X actually is so.

    >>To that extent, they are neither true nor false.>>

    – it can be the case that something X ought to be,

    – it can be the case that circumstances do or do not conform to X

    – it can be the case that we ought to acknowledge that moral claims can bind us to duty, but we may refuse to acknowledge their weight

    – it can be the case that such denial opens the door to spreading injustice via substitution of might and manipulation for recognition of truths about due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities

    – it can be the case that such a substitution pivots on refusal to recognise that such duties express a built in law that is coeval with our humanity and governs our rational freedom, pointing to its source in the root of reality. That being, post Hume and Euthyphro, the sole locus where is and ought can be bridged.

    KF

  106. 106
    Viola Lee says:

    re KF at 104:

    1. I know what abduction is. The article you linked to was a good summary.

    2. You write, “My point is that [abduction] extends from forensics, science, history etc to grand worldviews inference.”

    There are flaws with this argument, some of which I’ll mention below.

    3. The general idea is that abductive reasoning is dependent upon the acceptance of the truth of the facts, observation, etc. which go into an explanation, and those are always tentative and provisional, to some degree. “Forensics, science, history etc.” are places where this is used. These are NOT like math, in which every step of the explanation is true, and has a truth likewise established by deduction from a beginning set of axioms.

    4. Of course explanations which lead to contradictions are discarded. But again, these are provisional contradictions, not purely logical contradictions as are found in math.

    5. You write, “9: This framework is manifest in science etc but extends to the study of reality and associated major worldviews options. So, it is inconsistent to accept for science etc but reject for worldviews analysis on comparative difficulties.”

    I disagree. There is a major difference between the “empirical base” you mention in your paragraph 1 that we can access in forensics, science, history, etc. and that available for views about “reality and associated major worldviews options”. Whenever you talk about the details about this you immediately start with a view of things (yours) that is not necessarily true and is considered differently by many people with different worldviews.

    6. You conclude, “10: Thus, radical doubt on metaphysical reasoning as a whole is incoherent epistemologically and logically.”

    Doubt about metaphysical reasoning is perfectly reasonable, given that by definition metaphysical reasoning doesn’t have a large empirical base to rest on, but rather is associated with ideas in people’s minds for which there is no consensus procedures for testing those ideas as there are forensics, science, history, etc. Calling it “radical doubt” is itself a worldview opinion of yours that is a subject for disagreement. It is just one of the ways that you dismiss the views of others.

    7. And you add, ” Though, this seems a common stance today for advocates of evolutionary materialistic scientism and fellow travellers, showing yet again fundamental incoherence.”

    Again, a standard, vacuous dismissal of other viewpoints. Even if someone is not an adherent to “evolutionary materialistic scientism” (me), your use of “fellow travellers” allows you to lump everyone who does not agree with you into the same boat.

  107. 107
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, no one claims that abduction has a main role in math though some conjectures come up in that way. Above, you were dismissive of metaphysics, which is about reality, and addresses a literal world of facts, seeking best explanation. That explanations are always in principle subject to correction on further evidence and reasoning is not a flaw, it is part of the nature of a dominant form of reasoning. So, we deal with warrant, which is bigger than deductive proof. And BTW, where do axioms attached to the world we live in come from. Going further, we have from Godel that axiomatisation is itself limited, giving a different form of provisionality. The reality is that we have worldviews and these are open to comparative difficulties, where on the whole we cannot warrant a worldview to utter certainty. We can see that some views are incoherent and are falsified, but as with scientific theories and historical explanations, forensic explanations etc, worldviews warrant is on a best explanation basis. The notion that metaphysical reasoning, reasoning on worldviews lacks a large empirical basis is simply false: every fact, every observation, every prediction and future experience in the world is part of the evidence base. KF

    PS, as for standard vacuous dismissal, you here set up and knock over a strawman. I linked a first level discussion on said incoherence, which is in fact widely recognised. That is what you need to address.

  108. 108
    Viola Lee says:

    re 108

    Ok, I can agree with some of that, especially your last line: yes, everything we know about the world informs our larger worldview. But our worldviews also contain key beliefs which are metaphysical and contain assertions that are not based empirically available observations.

    Also, you say “some views are incoherent and are falsified,”, but the arguments I see you use about that point are, in my opinion, faulty. It is not valid for an adherent of worldview A to look at worldview B and declare B “incoherent” because it is logically inconsistent with aspects of A.

    What is empirically true is that there are a number of quite different worldviews embodied in both the world’s religions and various philosophical perspectives which can’t be sorted out by looking at “comparative difficulties.” They start with different metaphysical assumptions and chosen principles. One (you) may have carefully considered reasons for adopting your worldview and someone else (me) carefully considered reasons for adopting mine, and two people may even have constructive conversations where they share their perspectives (I don’t see that much here), but I reject the idea that opposing viewpoints that are expressed here can be dismissed out of hand because of being a fellow traveller of EMS (evolutionary materialistic scientism).

  109. 109
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, the problem is that every significant scheme of thought goes beyond the directly empirical, especially if they address major domains of reality. Actually, as I pointed out to Sev, this weekend I ran through a book on figure drawing, which opened my eyes yet again to how much of what we observe is more than a direct reading of empirical facts. Indeed, that too is in significant part abductive. If you mean that worldviews are not wholly subject to empirical evidence, neither are scientific, forensic or historical explanations. It is selectively hyperskeptical to tag what you do not like for effective dismissal on something that is an in common limitation. KF

    PS: Locke has a few choice words, and yes the biblical allusions are real:

    [Essay on Human Understanding, Intro, Sec 5:] Men have reason to be well satisfied with what God hath thought fit for them, since he hath given them (as St. Peter says [NB: i.e. 2 Pet 1:2 – 4]) pana pros zoen kaieusebeian, whatsoever is necessary for the conveniences of life and information of virtue; and has put within the reach of their discovery, the comfortable provision for this life, and the way that leads to a better. How short soever their knowledge may come of an universal or perfect comprehension of whatsoever is, it yet secures their great concernments [Prov 1: 1 – 7], that they have light enough to lead them to the knowledge of their Maker, and the sight of their own duties [cf Rom 1 – 2, Ac 17, etc, etc]. Men may find matter sufficient to busy their heads, and employ their hands with variety, delight, and satisfaction, if they will not boldly quarrel with their own constitution, and throw away the blessings their hands are filled with, because they are not big enough to grasp everything . . . It will be no excuse to an idle and untoward servant [Matt 24:42 – 51], who would not attend his business by candle light, to plead that he had not broad sunshine. The Candle that is set up in us [Prov 20:27] shines bright enough for all our purposes . . . If we will disbelieve everything, because we cannot certainly know all things, we shall do muchwhat as wisely as he who would not use his legs, but sit still and perish, because he had no wings to fly.

    PPS: One aspect of the self-referential incoherence WITHIN the system not merely disagreement with another, strawman again:

    “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 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.]

    That’s just a 101 start-point.

  110. 110
    kairosfocus says:

    PPPS: Rosenberg brings out more:

    Alex Rosenberg as he begins Ch 9 of his The Atheist’s Guide to Reality:

    >> FOR SOLID EVOLUTIONARY REASONS, WE’VE BEEN tricked into looking at life from the inside. [–> So, just how did self-aware, intentional consciousness arise on such materialism? Something from nothing through poof magic words like “emergence” won’t do.] Without scientism, we look at life from the inside, from the first-person POV (OMG, you don’t know what a POV is?—a “point of view”). The first person is the subject, the audience, the viewer of subjective experience, the self in the mind.

    Scientism shows that the first-person POV is an illusion. [–> grand delusion is let loose in utter self referential incoherence] Even after scientism convinces us, we’ll continue to stick with the first person. But at least we’ll know that it’s another illusion of introspection and we’ll stop taking it seriously. We’ll give up all the answers to the persistent questions about free will, the self, the soul, and the meaning of life that the illusion generates [–> bye bye to responsible, rational freedom on these presuppositions].

    The physical facts fix all the facts. [–> asserts materialism, leading to . . . ] The mind is the brain. It has to be physical and it can’t be anything else, since thinking, feeling, and perceiving are physical process—in particular, input/output processes—going on in the brain. We [–> at this point, what “we,” apart from “we delusions”?] can be sure of a great deal about how the brain works because the physical facts fix all the facts about the brain. The fact that the mind is the brain guarantees that there is no free will. It rules out any purposes or designs organizing our actions or our lives [–> thus rational thought and responsible freedom]. It excludes the very possibility of enduring persons, selves, or souls that exist after death or for that matter while we live.>>

  111. 111
    kairosfocus says:

    PPPPS: Sir Francis Crick:

    . . . that “You”, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased: “You’re nothing but a pack of neurons.” This hypothesis is so alien to the ideas of most people today that it can truly be called astonishing.

    zip, zip, zip . . . CRAAACK!

  112. 112
    kairosfocus says:

    PPPPPS: Provine:

    Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent . . . .

    The first 4 implications are so obvious to modern naturalistic evolutionists that I will spend little time defending them. Human free will, however, is another matter. Even evolutionists have trouble swallowing that implication. I will argue that humans are locally determined systems that make choices. They have, however, no free will [–> without responsible freedom, mind, reason and morality alike disintegrate into grand delusion, hence self-referential incoherence and self-refutation. But that does not make such fallacies any less effective in the hands of clever manipulators] . . . [1998 Darwin Day Keynote Address, U of Tenn — and yes, that is significant i/l/o the Scopes Trial, 1925]

    zip, zip, zip . . . CRAAAAAACK

  113. 113
    Viola Lee says:

    KF, I am not a materialist. All your arguments against materialism don’t apply to me. Your dismissing my thoughts as being that of a “fellow traveller” is just a device to divide the world into those that agree with your worldview and those that don’t.

  114. 114
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, the issue of evolutionary materialist scientism came up and it is in fact a dominant view among many of the certificated classes. Fellow travellers are seeking to accommodate their views to that institutional and cultural domination. So, it is highly relevant to point out that this is a major and relevant example of an incoherent worldview which is self-referentially inconsistent with itself and self-falsifying. As for dividing, the world is divided at this level, and the divisions matter. KF

  115. 115
    Viola Lee says:

    So does that mean that my views on things are automatically dismissed because I am, in your eyes, a “fellow traveller” who is “seeking to accommodate [my] views to that institutional and cultural domination. [EMS]?

    Or is it possible that my views, while different than yours, are also an alternative non-materialist view that should be considered on their own merits? And is it possible that my views, as well as other non-materialist worldviews, should be welcomed into the discussion on these worldview issues, if for no other reason than entertaining and supporting a broad range of non-materialist views strengthens the non-materialist case?

  116. 116
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Viola Lee @108, I think what Kairosfocus is attempting to do is to associate the robustness of mathematics to the robustness of his worldview claims. While it is true that reasoning and logic as it applies to real-world observations have some similarities to mathematics, where they typically differ is the sheer magnitude of assumptions and premises often involved in applying this type of reasoning and logic to the real world.

    Kairosfocus’ worldview claims about things like necessary being, morality, free will, materialism, evolution, etc. are based on numerous assumptions that are not even close to being proven. Yet he proceeds on the premise that they are fact. His response to any attempt to correct him with regard to this simply results in accusations of selective hyperskepticism, fellow travellers, strawman, red herring, incoherence and a failure to address issues substantially and cogently. But when he throws these accusations out, all it really means is that Kairosfocus has not presented sufficient compelling evidence and arguments to be convincing.

  117. 117
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Viola Lee “Or is it possible that my views, while different than yours, are also an alternative non-materialist view that should be considered on their own merits? And is it possible that my views, as well as other non-materialist worldviews, should be welcomed into the discussion on these worldview issues, if for no other reason than entertaining and supporting a broad range of non-materialist views strengthens the non-materialist case?

    Why limit it to non-materialist views? Viewpoints and worldviews are either strengthened by listening to opposing views with an open mind, or they are modified accordingly. I have learned much by being open minded to people like JVL and Seversky. As I have by trying to be open minded to people like Kairosfocus and Bornagian77. Although, to be honest, I find it much harder to remain open minded to people like Kairosfocus and Bornagian77 because of their adversarial and and often dismissive approach to discussing things with those with opposing views. But I keep trying.

  118. 118
    Viola Lee says:

    Good posts, Steve.

    I stressed non-materialist views because the big divide here is between materialists and a narrow range of non-materialists. Broadening people’s perspectives about religious and philosophical views is one of my main goals, in life in general, not just here. I am reading Huston Smith’s “The World’s Religions” right now, which is very interesting, although it doesn’t any materialistic philosophies such as existentialism or humanism, FWIW.

  119. 119
    Viola Lee says:

    Good posts, Steve.

    I stressed non-materialist views because the big divide here is between materialists and a narrow range of non-materialists. Broadening people’s perspectives about religious and philosophical views is one of my main goals, in life in general, not just here. I am reading Huston Smith’s “The World’s Religions” right now, which is very interesting, although it doesn’t cover any materialistic philosophies such as existentialism or humanism, FWIW.

  120. 120
    john_a_designer says:

    Why should I, or anyone else trust, a person who has no true and “objective” basis, therefore, no real belief or respect for human rights? Unfortunately this kind of thinking is becoming more widespread and ingrained in western European and U.S. culture. Many of our regular interlocutors have swallowed this kind of thinking hook, line and sinker.

    Once again here is the premise I stated @ #98:

    Subjective beliefs and/or opinions are not a sufficient basis for interpersonal moral obligations.

    Did Seversky refute that premise? No he didn’t. All he did was try to argue that moral subjectivism is true for him. But as I have pointed out many times before the premise, “The truth is there is no truth,” is self-refuting. An argument that starts with a self-refuting premise goes nowhere.

    What is Seversky’s argument? As far as I can tell, it’s:

    I don’t believe there are objective moral values,

    Therefore, there are no objective moral values…

    Therefore, moral subjectivism is true not just for me, it’s true for everyone.

    By the way I have no problem if Seversky wants to believe in moral subjectivism. The U.S. Constitution gives him the right to believe in whatever nonsense he chooses… What he doesn’t have the right to do is cram his beliefs anyone else’s throat. That’s intolerance.

    But that is what makes his argument even more absurd and troubling, he has been here at UD (a third rate blog according to our critics) at least eight or nine years making the same redundant and irrational “arguments” over and over again. Talk about fundamentalist type bigotry and dogmatism. He fits the caricature and stereotype and then some. He certainly doesn’t know the difference between persuasion and coercion. Again, trying to force one’s self-refuting subjective opinions on someone else, is not only intolerant, it’s dishonest, disrespectful and unethical. But as subjectivist is he going to agree with any of that? Obviously not.

  121. 121
    kairosfocus says:

    VL,

    insofar as views credibly conform to reality and avoid incoherence, they take on a semblance of credibility. At least, as living options. Evolutionary materialistic scientism, for all its grip on institutions and cultural elites, is a case of rigor mortis, irretrievable self-referential incoherence is that ruinous.

    In this context, it is the reduction of mindedness to a computational substrate allegedly organised and programmed by blind mechanical necessity and/or equally blind stochastic forces that leads to undermining of responsible, rational freedom, the undermining of what are claimed to be rational thoughts and the undermining of both ability to decide and to do so in accord with rational, responsible moral principles.

    Crick’s “your’e nothing but a pack of neurons” and Rosenberg’s denial of the self as delusion are strong illustrations of such incoherence. Operant conditioning, blind psychosocial forces, strictness of potty training, class influences etc are further, softer but no less real forms of such incoherence.

    Strong emergence on the other hand both cannot explain the emergence — poof magic [or should that be full bore magick] — and its credibility, also ending up as implying that there is an agency at work beyond the computational substrate and its programming.

    Fellow traveller views strongly tend to this double-bind.

    That’s where remarks on the so-called hard problem of consciousness come from.

    You have said you accept volitional freedom, and I presume you do not mean compatibilism, which is little more than an evasive discussion. Volitional freedom points to Plato’s self-moved, living soul, with mind a key aspect. Whatever, the ontology involved.

    As you know, I have pointed to the inescapable moral government that pervades even your arguments above as a strong indication that we live in a world where moral government is possible.

    In a sense, that is an onward issue. My basic point is, a free mind is free to reason, warrant, observe, know and recognise limitations.

    Here, we see that inference to best explanation is a valid frame for reasoning, one that can be very relevant and can deliver moral certainty. That is, bring us to the point where to act as though a well warranted X were false would be irresponsible. This is the degree often encountered in engineering, where we put lives and fortunes on the line on the strengths of models found to be reliable. In criminal cases, that is the degree of warrant in anglophone jurisprudence, as sanctions are that serious.

    But such reasoning does not only relate to engineering, it is core to the comparative difficulties process in worldviews analysis. Where the challenge on worldviews is this: we cannot not imply a worldview, we can only resort to an implicit, go with the flow, unexamined one. Which is precisely where the fellow traveller challenge comes in.

    By no means comfortable, but that was known when Plato put the parable of the cave on the table.

    In current metaphors, here is the red pill, here is the blue. One, you must pick.

    KF

  122. 122
    bornagain77 says:

    At 94 I stated,

    Seversky, last time I checked, denies the existence of free will altogether, but VL does not.

    VL: “NOTE EXTREMELY WELL: I am not denying the existence of libertarian free will.”

    VL further stated that he believes that the closing of the free will loop hole merely means,

    “we,, are capable of making non-determined choices, which is a weak form of free will.”

    As to whether this “weak form of free will” allows us to choose the measurement settings in our quantum experiments VL did not clarify, and indeed VL muddied the waters by further claiming that,,

    However this capability, (i.e. our weak form of free will), would still be subject to the world of quantum events, of which our physical selves are a part, which derives its non-determined nature from the probabilistic nature of QM.

    So whatever this ‘weak form of free will’ exactly is that VL believes in he did not clarify, and in so far as he did clarify what he meant he undermined its existence altogether by saying that it is subject to, and derived from, “the probabilistic nature of QM’.

    Yet, as I further pointed out on 94, VL’s belief that our “weak form of free will’ is subject to, and derived from, “the probabilistic nature of QM’ is directly undermined by the simple fact that, as Weinberg himself put it, “In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure,,, Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,”

    But anyways, despite the fact that VL’s position is logically incoherent, and refuted by quantum mechanics itself, Seversky jumped in to support to VL’s position. Yet, Seversky, last time I checked, denies the existence of free will altogether.

    So, on the surface at least, it would seem to be a major conflict between VL and Sev.

    And it was thus with great interest that I read what Sev. said in post 102,

    Sev starts by quoting me,

    BA77: Too funny! Viola Lee and Seversky, who are the ones who are denying the reality of our free will choices, are acting as if I had the free will choice to believe otherwise, i.e. to believe that I don’t really have free will.

    Sev starts off his response thusly,

    What do you mean by “free will”? Is it the ability to make a choice between two or more options that are not subject in any way to external influences or does it also require the ability to actualize whatever choice is made? In other words, if I choose to become a Jedi Knight but am unable do actually become one because they are fictional and do not exist as such in reality in this Universe (apart from in the Star Wars movies), is that sufficient for “free will”.

    Ha Ha Ha,,, where could Sev possibly be taking this ‘Jedi Knight’ stuff, 🙂 ,,,,

    Sev continues,

    As another example, I know that I did not consciously choose my sexuality. I did not sit down one day and carefully weigh up the pros and cons of heterosexuality or homosexuality and finally decide “I think I will be straight”. No, what happened was that at a certain point, I just began noticing and reacting to girls in a way I hadn’t previously. I’m pretty sure I could not become homosexual now just by an effort of will and I suspect it’s the same for most if not everyone here. What price free will here?

    So that is where Sev wanted to go,,,

    Well, what I myself mean by free will in this thread, and as I have already pointed out, I mean that It is our ability to freely choose the measurement settings in quantum mechanics.

    After all, it would seem that would be the primary implication of closing the free will loop hole by Zeilinger and company where they showed that the measurement settings in their experiment were not influenced by any causal influences for at least the past 7.8 billion years.

    How Sev made the logical leap from freely choosing measurement settings in QM to freely choosing one’s sexual orientation I have no idea. 🙂

    But anyways, there are numerous examples in church of former homosexuals who have now ‘chosen’ to become heterosexual. Sure, some of the changes in sexual orientation were not easy to accomplish, but even deeply homosexual people have successfully ‘chosen’ to live heterosexual lives.

    Such Were Some Of You
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKSFPdyH8x4
    “Such Were Some of You” (A Documentary) was inspired by the passage in 1st Corinthians 6:11? that declares that in Jesus’ day there was a population who had been so transformed by their relationship with Him that they were no longer “same-sex attracted” or at the very least, actively homosexual. They had found such a measure of healing from the brokenness and strongholds associated with what we now call homosexuality that they no longer considered themselves homosexual, nor did they act in that way. “Such Were Some of You” features interviews with a “cloud of present-day witnesses” who testify to the same life-transforming power of Jesus Christ. They describe the development of their same-sex attractions, what the gay lifestyle was like, what their conversion process was like, and the various ways that Jesus has brought healing to their broken places. “Such Were Some of You” lays out the facts about healing homosexual confusion and rejoices in the reality that Jesus Christ can heal anyone from anything while providing grace for the journey.

    Apparently, according to Sev’s ‘Jedi Knight’ definition of free will, such dramatic, even miraculous, conversions from homosexuality to heterosexuality, to even being in deeply loving heterosexual marriages, are suppose to impossible.

    But anyways, Seversky continues,

    There is also, as has been pointed out many times before, the Biblical account of Peter’s triple denial of Christ even though he had been specifically warned beforehand by Jesus that this is what would happen. That is pretty clear anecdotal evidence that we do not have free will.

    So Seversky, who I remind is an atheist, is using God’s omniscience to argue against the reality of free will?

    First off, God being omniscient of our actions does not equal coercion and/or God determining our actions. Secondly, for Seversky to appeal to God’s omniscience in order to try to argue that we do not have free will undermines Sev’s foundational belief that God does not exist.

    i.e. If God does not exist as Sev adamantly claims, then Sev cannot then therefore use God as the primary reason why he does not believe in free will. According to Sev’s worldview which denies the existence of God, Sev could just as easily have used his fictitious example of ‘Jedi Knights’, or even used pink unicorns, as a stand in for God.

    And this flaw of presupposing the existence of God in order to try to argue against God, (or against the existence of free will in this instance), is a major flaw in many of the atheist’s arguments against God.

    In fact, Charles Darwin’s book ‘Origin” is chock full of this fallacious type of reasoning that Sev is currently using.

    Charles Darwin, Theologian: Major New Article on Darwin’s Use of Theology in the Origin of Species – May 2011
    Excerpt: The Origin supplies abundant evidence of theology in action; as Dilley observes:
    I have argued that, in the first edition of the Origin, Darwin drew upon at least the following positiva theological claims in his case for descent with modification (and against special creation): ?1. Human beings are not justified in believing that God creates in ways analogous to the intellectual powers of the human mind.
    2. A God who is free to create as He wishes would create new biological limbs de novo rather than from a common pattern.
    3. A respectable deity would create biological structures in accord with a human conception of the ‘simplest mode’ to accomplish the functions of these structures.
    4. God would only create the minimum structure required for a given part’s function.
    5. God does not provide false empirical information about the origins of organisms.
    6. God impressed the laws of nature on matter.
    7. God directly created the first ‘primordial’ life.
    8. God did not perform miracles within organic history subsequent to the creation of the first life.
    9. A ‘distant’ God is not morally culpable for natural pain and suffering.
    10. The God of special creation, who allegedly performed miracles in organic history, is not plausible given the presence of natural pain and suffering.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....46391.html

    To this day, Darwinists, (since they have no empirical evidence supporting their grandiose claims), are still dependent of this type of flawed theological argumentation,

    Methodological Naturalism: A Rule That No One Needs or Obeys – Paul Nelson – September 22, 2014
    Excerpt: It is a little-remarked but nonetheless deeply significant irony that evolutionary biology is the most theologically entangled science going. Open a book like Jerry Coyne’s Why Evolution is True (2009) or John Avise’s Inside the Human Genome (2010), and the theology leaps off the page. A wise creator, say Coyne, Avise, and many other evolutionary biologists, would not have made this or that structure; therefore, the structure evolved by undirected processes. Coyne and Avise, like many other evolutionary theorists going back to Darwin himself, make numerous “God-wouldn’t-have-done-it-that-way” arguments, thus predicating their arguments for the creative power of natural selection and random mutation on implicit theological assumptions about the character of God and what such an agent (if He existed) would or would not be likely to do.,,,
    ,,,with respect to one of the most famous texts in 20th-century biology, Theodosius Dobzhansky’s essay “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” (1973).
    Although its title is widely cited as an aphorism, the text of Dobzhansky’s essay is rarely read. It is, in fact, a theological treatise. As Dilley (2013, p. 774) observes:
    “Strikingly, all seven of Dobzhansky’s arguments hinge upon claims about God’s nature, actions, purposes, or duties. In fact, without God-talk, the geneticist’s arguments for evolution are logically invalid. In short, theology is essential to Dobzhansky’s arguments.”,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....89971.html

    In short, Darwinists, and atheists in general, need God to even be able to argue against his existence in the first place.

    As Cornelius Van Til put the dilemma for atheists, “As a child needs to sit on the lap of its father in order to slap the father’s face, so the unbeliever, as a creature, needs God”,,,

    “In other words, the non-Christian needs the truth of the Christian religion in order to attack it. As a child needs to sit on the lap of its father in order to slap the father’s face, so the unbeliever, as a creature, needs God the Creator and providential controller of the universe in order to oppose this God. Without this God, the place on which he stands does not exist. He cannot stand in a vacuum.”
    – Cornelius Van Til, Essays on Christian Education (The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company: Phillipsburg, NJ, 1979).

    Seversky finishes his defense of his belief that we do not have free will with a confession that “the question is not whether or not I actually have free will but to what extent I have it.”

    Speaking personally, I experience the exercise of free will but it is not absolute. I, like everyone else, was formed in part by influences over which I had no control and was not even aware of a the time so the question is not whether or not I actually have free will but to what extent I have it.

    Ha Ha Ha,,, 🙂

    Well Seversky, I am not the one who has a irresolvable problem with the existence of free will, (to whatever extent that you think you may have it), YOU ARE the one with the irresolvable problem.

    You see Seversky, free will is a primary property, even a defining attribute, of the immaterial mind,,

    Dr. Michael Egnor, who is a neurosurgeon as well as professor of neurosurgery at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, states six properties of immaterial mind that are irreconcilable to the view that the mind is just the material brain. Those six properties are, “Intentionality,,, Qualia,,, Persistence of Self-Identity,,, Restricted Access,,, Incorrigibility,,, Free Will,,,”

    The Mind and Materialist Superstition – Michael Egnor – 2008
    Six “conditions of mind” that are irreconcilable with materialism: –
    Excerpt: Intentionality,,, Qualia,,, Persistence of Self-Identity,,, Restricted Access,,, Incorrigibility,,, Free Will,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....13961.html

    So Seversky, in so far as you admit to the reality of free will, (to whatever extent you may think it really exists), you are in fact admitting to the reality of your own immaterial mind, even admitting to the reality of your own soul,,,

    As should be needless to point out to you Sev, immaterial minds, especially Intelligent Immaterial minds making free will choices and creating information, (and choosing measurement settings in quantum experiments), are simply forbidden in any self-respecting Darwinian metaphysics, Indeed it is simply forbidden in modern science altogether.

    “Free will is an illusion so convincing that people simply refuse to believe that we don’t have it.”
    – Jerry Coyne

    Free Will: Weighing Truth and Experience – Do our beliefs matter? – Mar 22, 2012
    Excerpt: If we acknowledge just how much we don’t know about the conscious mind, perhaps we would be a bit more humble. We have so much confidence in our materialist assumptions (which are assumptions, not facts) that something like free will is denied in principle. Maybe it doesn’t exist, but I don’t really know that. Either way, it doesn’t matter because if free will and consciousness are just an illusion, they are the most seamless illusions ever created. Film maker James Cameron wishes he had special effects that good.
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/social-brain-social-mind/201203/free-will-weighing-truth-and-experience
    Matthew D. Lieberman – neuroscientist – materialist – UCLA professor

    Teleology and the Mind – Michael Egnor – August 16, 2016
    Excerpt: In this sense, eliminative materialism is necessary if a materialist is to maintain a non-teleological Darwinian metaphysical perspective. It is purpose that must be denied in order to deny design in nature. So the mind, as well as teleology, must be denied. Eliminative materialism is just Darwinian metaphysics carried to its logical end and applied to man. If there is no teleology, there is no intentionality, and there is no purpose in nature nor in man’s thoughts.
    The link between intentionality and teleology, and the undeniability of teleology, is even more clear if we consider our inescapable belief that other people have minds. The inference that other people have minds based on their purposeful (intentional-teleological) behavior, which is obviously correct and is essential to living a sane life, can be applied to our understanding of nature as well. Just as we know that other people have purposes (intentionality), we know just as certainly that nature has purposes (teleology). In a sense, intelligent design is the recognition of the same purpose-teleology-intentionality in nature that we recognize in ourselves and others.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2016/08/teleology_and_t/

    Seversky, I would very much hope that you would continue to stay rational and not ever deny the reality of your own free will again, but I just want to be crystal clear with you that you are, in your honest admission to the reality of your own free will, are in fact adopting a essentially theological worldview where immaterial minds, and even souls, really exist.

  123. 123
    Viola Lee says:

    KF, you write, “Volitional freedom points to Plato’s self-moved, living soul, with mind a key aspect.” It points to other views, also.

    You write, “Here, we see that inference to best explanation is a valid frame for reasoning, one that can be very relevant and can deliver moral certainty.”

    Here we disagree. As I wrote one other time, I believe that we have moral principles, the main one being, in Hindu terms, to be compassionate, but the actual moral situation about how to apply that in real-world situations is often uncertain and up to us to choose, and be responsible for our choices: there is no moral certainties (and of course this varies in degree) because they are so many competing issues to balance.

    You write, “By no means comfortable, but that was known when Plato put the parable of the cave on the table.”

    I’m quite familiar with Plato’s parable. It is not true that Plato’s views about the nature of our condition or the real truth to the awakened are necessarily correct. There are a variety of other wisdom traditions that use the metaphor of now seeing what one did not see before that have reached different conclusions about these issues.

    You write, “In current metaphors, here is the red pill, here is the blue. One, you must pick.”

    I am not familiar with this metaphor, so I don’t know what the two pills represent. But, and this does not surprise me, it is excessively dichotomous.

  124. 124
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, I of course spoke of being genuinely self-moved, on rational, responsible freedom. There are not a lot of options that get you there. And BTW, that is the sense of soul I used, of whatever ontology, a responsible, self moved, rational creature. Not, moved unconsciously by organisation and programming of a computational substrate, nor programmed and controlled from without, not floating as an epiphenomenon of an unconscious underlying overwhelming stream, an entity free to reason, warrant, know, decide. That is hard to understand or acknowledge much less ontologically justify or found these days. KF

  125. 125
    Viola Lee says:

    KF, You write, “There are not a lot of options that get you there.”

    Sure there are: Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity, all of which have subsets of beliefs that differ among themselves, and this doesn’t include various unnamed composites as well as “minor” religions, current and “primitive”. It’s not all Plato, all the time.

  126. 126
    ET says:

    Acartia Stevie:

    But when he throws these accusations out, all it really means is that Kairosfocus has not presented sufficient compelling evidence and arguments to be convincing.

    There isn’t any convincing the willfully ignorant.

  127. 127
    john_a_designer says:

    On this site we have had numerous debates about moral subjectivism. But above and beyond moral subjectivism there’s another kind of subjectivism: epistemological subjectivism– the belief there are no real objective facts, no capital T Truth, only beliefs and opinions. But if that’s true (which is of course self-refuting) how then do we decided between competing opinions? It all comes down to a power play and since there are no ethical standards anything goes, including lies, deception, intimidation and coercion. Those things are already what we see being used in politics, on college campuses and in the mainstream media. Could it get worse? If history is any guide it not only could, it will… In fact we now see this so called “wokeness” encroaching on the natural sciences.

    Epistemological and moral subjectivism have both become a dominate force in western culture is there any surprise that it should it should start effecting the last bastion of objective, fact based logically rigorous analytical thinking and scholarship, the natural sciences? We shouldn’t be just surprised, we should be scared.

  128. 128
    kairosfocus says:

    SA2,

    I am still busy, but I clip:

    Kairosfocus’ worldview claims about things like necessary being, morality, free will, materialism, evolution, etc. are based on numerous assumptions that are not even close to being proven

    Let’s see:

    >>Kairosfocus’ worldview claims>>

    – in many cases, they are statements from the horse’s mouth, but let’s get to the claims you would sweep away as mere assumptions etc.

    >>about things like necessary being,>>

    – h”mm, let’s try to imagine a world in which two-ness does not exist, or got turned on after a certain time, or got turned off. No such world exists, two-ness is an example of necessary being framework to any distinct possible world.

    – necessary vs contingent being contrasts two classes of being, and things like square circles are impossible of being. Where, it turns out that core mathematics rests on key aspects of necessary being. which gives that core connected to N,Z,Q,R,C,R* etc universal relevance and power, answering Wigner’s amazement.

    – I suspect, such is resisted because it is unfamiliar or reflects a particular candidate necessary being you are hostile to.

    – further to such, we hammered out over four years give or take here at UD why an explicit or implicit transfinite stage past causal succession to now is impossible of having been traversed. That this sort of suggestion of a transfinite temporal-causal past has been on the table speaks for itself.

    >>morality,>>

    – another point of resistance, meanwhile this very objection illustrates yet again how arguments inescapably appeal to first duties of reason. Duty to right reason, truth, prudence [warrant] just for starters. I am simply pointing out a readily seen pattern, which is inescapable, so inescapably true and self evident.

    – the strong hostility to moral truth speaks for itself.

    >>free will,>>

    – if you are not significantly free, you have no basis for reason or argument, there is no basis for reasoned discussion.

    – of course, the evolutionary materialists cited above inadvertently make the problems very clear

    >>materialism,>>

    – the figures cited above are actual spokesmen for the scheme of thought, save for Haldane who was in the end a pantheist I believe and was in any case a co-founder of the neo-darwinian synthesis

    – the contradiction is real and inescapable

    >> evolution, etc.>>

    – actually, I haven’t said much of anything about evolution as such but rather about a certain ideology, descriptively evolutionary materialistic scientism, with spokesmen speaking for themselves and revealing the incoherence.

    >>are based on numerous assumptions>>

    – assumptions, such as that spokesmen of prominence speak for a system of view?

    – that being or candidates can be categorised using possible worlds speak is not an assumption, it was readily demonstrated, a PW being a sufficiently complete description of a way this or another world is, was or could be.

    – Things impossible of being have contradictory core characteristics and cannot be instantiated, e.g. square circles. Of possible beings, contingent beings depend on prior circumstances [us], and necessary ones are framework to any PW [the number 2 in various guises]. And more. Those are not assumptoions.

    – that even your objections invariably appeal to first duties of reason is almost amusingly manifest, but then becomes quite sad.

    – as to evolutionary materialistic scientism, citing key spokesmen is not making dubious assumptions. And if you are imagining that if p => [q AND ~q] implies p is not necessarily false, then your problems are beyond the help of logic.

    – or, perhaps, you are trying to play the Agrippa trilemma. The problem is of course that infinite regress cannot be traversed and ultimate circularity likewise is futile. So we have finitely remote start points, which we can compare on comparative difficulties.

    – as to self evident truths, start with || + ||| –> ||||| and tell me if that is not a case in point. A SET is such that once one has maturity on experience to understand it, will be seen as so, as necessarily so, as such on pain of patent absurdity. And I think it is no assumption to see that it is absurd to be going from one thread to another to object to first duties of reason by using arguments that cannot but appeal to what you would deny or dismiss or sideline or distract from.

    KF

    that are not even close to being proven>>

  129. 129
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, you have cited schools of thought relative to theism, pantheism, possibly panentheism. Naturalism, is currently popular, especially evolutionary materialistic scientism. There is dualism. Where, polytheism & henotheism as a variant tend to be forms of or evolutions from animism. That is no great number, and at this level, you would be hard put to find significantly more basic views. Where, not many views at this level get you to genuine individuality with responsible, rational, self-moved freedom. KF

  130. 130
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD, yes, especially if broadened to include relativism and emotivism. KF

  131. 131
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Kairosfocus “ in many cases, they are statements from the horse’s mouth, but let’s get to the claims you would sweep away as mere assumptions etc.

    Saying that your claims are dependent on unproven assumptions is not the same as saying that your claims are mere assumptions. Everyone’s worldview depends on numerous unproven assumptions being true. Yours are no different. Get used to it.

  132. 132
    Viola Lee says:

    Just a few quick points:

    1. All your examples of “necessary in all possible worlds” come from math. What Steve said at 116 applies:

    I think what Kairosfocus is attempting to do is to associate the robustness of mathematics to the robustness of his worldview claims. While it is true that reasoning and logic as it applies to real-world observations have some similarities to mathematics, where they typically differ is the sheer magnitude of assumptions and premises often involved in applying this type of reasoning and logic to the real world

    Things like “two” or “circle” or “square” or the rules of logic are clearly defined. A vast amount of the other stuff you invoke is not clearly defined, and yet you make assertions and draw conclusions as if they were.

    Also, side note: a “square circle” is a contradiction in definitions. So is “married bachelor”. The impossibility of a square circle is because of the definitions we have for those words. I don’t think that says much about “possible worlds” other than in all possible worlds the words all possible beings use to describe all possible things can’t contain assertions that contain internal contradictions.

  133. 133
    kairosfocus says:

    AS2, the dynamics claimed are patent and the implications are clear from the words of the spokesmen, incoherence. And sufficient further has been said for now given the emerging local CV19 2nd wave crisis. KF

  134. 134
    Viola Lee says:

    kf, you write, “VL, you have cited schools of thought relative to theism, pantheism, possibly panentheism. Naturalism, is currently popular, especially evolutionary materialistic scientism. There is dualism. Where, polytheism & henotheism as a variant tend to be forms of or evolutions from animism. That is no great number, and at this level, you would be hard put to find significantly more basic views. Where, not many views at this level get you to genuine individuality with responsible, rational, self-moved freedom. ”

    What! You think all the rest of the world’s main religions fail to “get you to genuine individuality with responsible, rational, self-moved freedom.” You are wrong, and I think you don’t much about them. What you seem to know something about (inaccurately) is their ideas about God, and possibly/probably very little about their overall worldview. This explains a lot. Telling, one might say!

  135. 135
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, a square has certain characteristics, quadrilateral with equal sides and right angle corners. No entity can at once be square and circle in any possible world. That you resort to trying to redefine square and/or circle speaks, not in your favour. KF

    PS: SA, the attempt to personalise and poison by projecting a psychological-rhetorical ulterior motive speaks, not in your favour. The paper I have linked arose in the end because I found Wigner’s challenge fascinating. It can be seen i/l/o the principle of identity applied to possible worlds and we see a profound result. Namely, that a core of mathematics is inherently part of the fabric of any possible world. That was my motive and there is no need for you to try to taint, save that it speaks to confession by projection.

  136. 136
    Viola Lee says:

    KF, did you really read what I wrote? I didn’t try to redefine square and/or circle. Please quote me and show me where I did that. All I said was that the definitions of square and circle were contradictory.

  137. 137
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Kairosfocus “ AS2, the dynamics claimed are patent and the implications are clear from the words of the spokesmen, incoherence. And sufficient further has been said for now given the emerging local CV19 2nd wave crisis. KF

    I have no idea what you are trying to say here, and how it pertains to your worldview being dependent on unproven assumptions.

  138. 138
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Viola Lee “ KF, did you really read what I wrote?

    I get that feeling all the time on this site. Usually I put it down to me not being as clear in my wording as I think I was. But then I get a response like the one at 133 when my comment was simply that all worldviews are dependent on numerous unproven assumptions. Not exactly a controversial statement.

    But It is comforting to know that others experience the same frustration.

  139. 139
    Viola Lee says:

    I think one of the things KF is alluding to in his 2nd sentence at 133 is they are having a covid outbreak where he lives, and he is involved with dealing with it, so he is busy. I also have no idea what his first sentence is about.

  140. 140
    Seversky says:

    John_a_designer/120

    Why should I, or anyone else trust, a person who has no true and “objective” basis, therefore, no real belief or respect for human rights?

    Again, what makes you think that subjectivity prevents someone respecting the rights of others?

    Subjective beliefs and/or opinions are not a sufficient basis for interpersonal moral obligations.

    What is the origin of your objective morality if not some intelligent agent? And if it was some intelligent agent then how is it not the subjective opinion of that agent?

    Did Seversky refute that premise? No he didn’t

    That premise was a claim not an argument. I’m waiting for you to back up your claim that morality is in some way objective.

    All he did was try to argue that moral subjectivism is true for him. But as I have pointed out many times before the premise, “The truth is there is no truth,” is self-refuting. An argument that starts with a self-refuting premise goes nowhere.

    Since you apparently didn’t notice, my argument was that moral claims are neither true nor false by the correspondence theory of truth. They are guidance about how we “ought” to behave towards each other not claims about the nature of what “is”.

    I don’t believe there are objective moral values,

    Therefore, there are no objective moral values…

    Therefore, moral subjectivism is true not just for me, it’s true for everyone.

    Then you are misunderstanding what I wrote. I don’t believe there are any such thing as objective moral values and I tried to explain why. I am not trying to force my beliefs on anyone.

  141. 141
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Viola Lee “ I think one of the things KF is alluding to in his 2nd sentence at 133 is they are having a covid outbreak where he lives, and he is involved with dealing with it, so he is busy.

    From what I can see, his country has had 18 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, and three in the last two days. But, given that the population is only about 6,000, I guess it is a second wave. But, thankfully, their infection rates are much lower than many other countries. And given that it is a small island, it should be much easier to manage. And given the important role he has with the government he simply has to convince them to administer hydroxychloroquin at the first signs of infection.

  142. 142
    Viola Lee says:

    Well, Steve, his covid situation could be worse or closer to him than you know. I wish him and all involved good luck in whatever they are going through.

  143. 143
    Steve Alten2 says:

    As do I.

  144. 144
    kairosfocus says:

    SA2, the current population is more like 4500, and as was announced yesterday, case 5 is connected to a school (a student) leading to much broader networks of contacts to be traced and tested; other cases are in a leading bank and a leading bakery in a context where a single returning individual seems to have been lax with quarantine measures. Lockdown just went tighter, and many policy issues lurk. Hence my urgent engagement. BTW 5/4500 is like 111 in 100k, or 1 k in a million, i.e. 300k in 300 millions, across a weekend. KF

    PS: I should further comment on topic later today, likely across the morning.

  145. 145
    kairosfocus says:

    VL,

    on square circles:

    side note: a “square circle” is a contradiction in definitions. So is “married bachelor”. The impossibility of a square circle is because of the definitions we have for those words. I don’t think that says much about “possible worlds” other than in all possible worlds the words all possible beings use to describe all possible things can’t contain assertions that contain internal contradictions.

    Here, you were addressing an example I gave of candidates that are impossible of being. In so doing, you acknowledged the surface without dealing adequately with the substance.

    1: A possible world is a sufficiently complete description of a way this or another conceivable, feasible world was, is or could be, comprising therefore a list of propositions that in combination give the description. PW + instantiation –> actuality.

    2: The key principle of being and description of being here is the principle of identity, a thing A is itself i/l/o its core characteristics, which obviously must be jointly possible.

    3: Accordingly, for an entity A to be part of a possible world W it must be feasible in that world under circumstances as described. This includes that it is either part of the framework for W to be, or that under certain antecedent conditions in W it is caused as a contingent being.

    4: In the case of a square circle, its core characteristics are mutually contradictory, so there is no W such that it has a coherent frame of describing propositions that have square circles as part of that framework or else further circumstances that can cause such an entity to exist.

    5: Such brings out that there are frameworks for a world, with a sub framework for ANY world, that latter points to necessary beings, which are integral to any world and are therefore present in this one. That is part of why core math is universal.

    6: Principle of distinct identity is therefore also key as it highlights a bridge between accurate description and possible or necessary existence of any given A. If the characteristics of A are in mutual contradiction, it cannot be instantiated. This is the case with a square circle.

    7: If A is framework to any world, it is necessary of being, if it is coherent but contingent on external enabling factors present in some sets of states of affairs but not others, it is a possible but not necessary, causally dependent being. A classic example is a fire.

    8: Notice, IT IS NOT A MATTER OF DEFINITIONS WE HAVE FOR GIVEN WORDS. Words are not equivalent to beings or possible beings and definitions as such are not tied to being. Naming something and describing it precisely are secondary to the core characteristics that give it its distinct identity [think, an apple vs a pear or a mango or a guava, the entity is antecedent to definitions we may apply], and which if contradictory might make it impossible of being, or with coherent elements, it may be in at least one possible world. Of such, some are contingent and will be missing in other possible worlds. Others are framework to any world and are universally present; necessary beings.

    9: A necessary being N is therefore in-common to all possible or actual worlds and there are no circumstances in any coherent distinct PW where N is not present. As I noted, N,Z,Q,R,C,R* etc are all necessary abstract entities framework to any W, giving core mathematics universal applicability.

    10: BTW, an actual definition of square circle is hard to find. I suggest: Where S is a square circle, it is a suggested Euclidean geometric entity that is both a rhombus with at least one right angle vertex and a geometric entity such that a radius vector r centred on a fixed pivot c swept through a complete revolution yields a curved figure with a perimeter where any p on it is r from the centre — which means that although we can make a form of words, such a candidate entity is not feasible of being in this or any other possible world.

    KF

  146. 146
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Kairosfocus @ 144, I hope all works out well. The good news, if there is any good news in this, is that it hit a school and not a seniors home. As much as we all hate to see children get sick, they appear to be far less prone to serious complications from COVID than the elderly.

  147. 147
    Viola Lee says:

    re 145: kf writes, “4: In the case of a square circle, its core characteristics are mutually contradictory, so there is no W such that it has a coherent frame of describing propositions that have square circles as part of that framework.”

    True, the core characteristics of squares and circles are contradictory because of what the words “square” and “circle” mean.

    At 8, you write, “8: Notice, IT IS NOT A MATTER OF DEFINITIONS WE HAVE FOR GIVEN WORDS”.

    This makes no sense to me. In 4 you referenced core characteristics of the figures, and in 9 you tried to write a definition that combined the characteristics of square and circles into a contradictory whole. Both of those are dependent upon what the words circle and square mean.

    The core characteristics of circle are square are DEFINED properties: it is a basic feature of math that we define our terms. Then we reason logically using those definitions. Only if know precisely what the terms mean can we either approve of a chain of reasoning, or find a contradiction.

    I really can’t imagine how this could be otherwise: a square circle, much like a married bachelor, is impossible because the meanings of those words state contradictory properties.

  148. 148
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, we are back to words about words. That seems to suggest an underlying Kantian Gulch problem. KF

    PS: F H Bradley on appearance and reality may help:

    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.]

    PPS: My point is in part that forms of words readily refer to nonsense or are meaningless. It is not words, words are all we have. In describing squares and circles I gave characteristics feasible of implementation in this or any possible world, it so happens that unlike rhombuses and rectangles, there is no possible entity S in this or any world, that superposes characteristics of both. The words come along after the fact in short and mere definitions do not poof such into existence. For example a unicorn is perfectly possible of conception and of being, likely will exist through genetic engineering within 100 years [exotic pet] but does not currently exist. Existence is not merely about words. When we describe core characteristics that are compossible and jointly establish an entity, that is utterly different.

  149. 149
    Viola Lee says:

    KF, you write, “My point is in part that forms of words readily refer to nonsense or are meaningless. It is not words, words are all we have.”

    I know you are busy, and perhaps write your posts hastily, but this sentence makes no sense.

    You write, “The words come along after the fact in short and mere definitions do not poof such into existence.”

    I agree. We create words and their definitions to describe salient features that we have abstracted from our experience, physical or mental. It is we who choose which features are worthy of abstraction. So yes, the words come after the fact, and yes they do not poof into existence: we choose them because they make useful distinctions.

    I don’t think this changes the fact that the contradictions are a result of the way we have chosen to define the concepts.

    A circle and a square are alike in that they are both closed sets of continuous points in a plane (although notice even that sentence makes no sense if we haven’t defined the terms in it, or referred to a small set of beginning undefined terms.) They are different in that one has vertices (again a word subject to definitions) and the other doesn’t. Without definitions that abstract characteristics from our experience we have no assertions that can even be considered for stating impossible conditions or not.

    So, yes, words come after reality, but words and other symbols are the tools by which we create knowledge about reality. Without the words you just have plain unvarnished reality, where every thing is just what it is and not another thing. Things only become kinds of things because we abstract certain features from reality and embody those abstractions into symbols.

  150. 150
    Viola Lee says:

    P.S. Off-topic, but not: Truly, experientially, understanding the distinction I made at the end of 149 is one of the goals of meditation and is a key to enlightenment. 🙂

  151. 151
    john_a_designer says:

    Let me put another self-evidently true premise on the table:

    Morality is useless and meaningless unless it is about interpersonal moral obligation.

    Nobody stated this more clearly than Jesus of Nazareth when he taught, [“D]o to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matt. 7:12 NIV)

    That leads to the following argument:

    I have no obligation (epistemically or morally) to accept baseless or ungrounded personal (subjective) opinions as true.

    On the other hand, interpersonal morality requires real binding moral obligation (what we ought or ought not to do.)

    Therefore, it is impossible to base any kind of interpersonal morality on ungrounded personal opinions.

    In other words, to state the argument very succinctly morality is about (based on) obligation not on personal subjective opinion.

    Someone’s subjective beliefs and opinions carry no such moral obligation. If he claims they do he is contradicting himself. Of course, I suppose he has a right to believe whatever foolish nonsense he wishes to believe (as long as it doesn’t cause harm to anyone else) but there is no obligation for me or anyone else to take him seriously.

    Secondly, if his “morality” is completely subjective then he is the one who sets the moral standards for himself. His moral standards don’t apply to anyone else. How could they?

    Thirdly, how do you come to any kind of democratic consensus if you start with subjective opinions and beliefs? If all subjective beliefs are equal then there is no way to decide whose beliefs are better. That requires an objective standard.

    Finally, to have any type of meaningful discussion about morality, it has to be honest. Honesty requires an objective standard– doesn’t it? But by whose standard? Yours, mine or somebody else’s? Unless there is a non-arbitrary or objective standard of honesty any discussion or debate about morality and ethics is totally meaningless. Why should I trust anyone unless I know he/she is being completely honest? But how can I know that they are being honest unless there is an objective standard of honesty?

    Mindless pretense and posturing about morality has nothing to do with morality. It’s totally useless nonsense.

  152. 152
    Seversky says:

    John_a_designer/151

    Morality is useless and meaningless unless it is about interpersonal moral obligation.

    The observed function of morality is to regulate the way human beings behave toward one another in society. If there are no intelligent, thinking, feeling social animals whose behavior needs to be regulated then there is no need for morality.

    This immediately invites the objection to objective morality which is why and how would such a thing be embedded in the Universe billions of years before the beings who need its guidance come into existence?

    Nobody stated this more clearly than Jesus of Nazareth when he taught, [“D]o to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matt. 7:12 NIV)

    I would agree that the Golden Rule is a fundamental moral principle. I would also note that something very like it can be found in most if not all of the world’s religions, most of which have not endured the blessings of Christianity. This suggests that it is something people have been able to agree on regardless of what particular faith they follow.

    I have no obligation (epistemically or morally) to accept baseless or ungrounded personal (subjective) opinions as true.

    I would agree.

    On the other hand, interpersonal morality requires real binding moral obligation (what we ought or ought not to do.)

    Again, I would agree.

    Therefore, it is impossible to base any kind of interpersonal morality on ungrounded personal opinions.

    I would argue that it is possible to base morality on protecting the common needs and interests of all human beings. Each individual’s assessment of their personal needs and interests may be subjective but if we find that they are much the same for everyone then there is the basis for a common morality.

    Thirdly, how do you come to any kind of democratic consensus if you start with subjective opinions and beliefs?

    I never said it would be easy. It has been a lot harder and messier than having a neat, handy set of principles handed down on tablets of stone and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future, I fear.

    If all subjective beliefs are equal then there is no way to decide whose beliefs are better. That requires an objective standard.

    Not necessarily, but it does require agreement, a consensus.

    Finally, to have any type of meaningful discussion about morality, it has to be honest. Honesty requires an objective standard– doesn’t it?

    Does it? Honesty is a commitment to tell the truth as far as one knows it to others. But there is no reliable way to tell for certain if someone is being honest. As the fictional “Dr Gregory House” was wont to say, “People lie all the time” and we all do in large and small ways, often for what we think of as good reasons.

    As children, we trust what we are told by our parents, probably for good evolutionary reasons. As adults, we learn from experience who we feel we can trust and those we can’t. But we are not infallible, we can be wrong and we all know of cases of people who have proclaimed the highest morality but whose behavior has fallen far short of those principles and have lied to those who know them about it.

    Morality, objective or otherwise, clearly is not a vaccine which protects against dishonest and immoral behavior. It is better than nothing and it seems to be all we have but it would be a mistake to assign magical properties to it.

  153. 153
    kairosfocus says:

    VL,

    ponder the case I added of a unicorn. A clearly definable, contingent being, one that credibly will exist as an exotic pet in coming decades and one that does not exist. Existence and distinguishing characteristics are categorically different things. Lurking, we see a common world with common patterns but involving vast diversity of distinct entities. Such is antecedent to our reflections and frames the many facets of the ages long theme, the one and the many. Where, pantheistic schemes tend to lose the many and dualistic ones fail to unify. Coherence comes in, and with it lawful order forming a cosmos, an ordered system of reality. Where aspects of that order are matters of structure and quantity.

    Similarly we can identify an object that superposes being a rhombus and being a rectangle, recognising that this describes the distinguishing characteristics of a square (which is an abstract entity present in any possible world as C readily defines a plane within which such entities are specified). However, while we can label and describe what would be the distinguishing characteristics of another superposition candidate, the square circle, the same process yields the recognition that it cannot be instantiated in any possible world due to contradictory requirements of the superposed characteristics.

    This issue of superposition is also significant in itself.

    Words are not enough and nominalism is challenged.

    We recognise salient features from the approximations of our experience, we abstract patterns antecedent to our attending to them, we ponder the related logic of structure and quantity, we build a knowledge base and label it earth-measurement, after roots in surveying. However, further reflection on base quantities from {} to {0} to [0,1} etc lead to N,Z,Q,R,C,R* etc and we find that in C we readily address the Euclidean plane, sometimes in the guise of the Cartesian plane, (x,y). We then further recognise that such structures and quantities, with linked relationships are present in any possible world. Our study does not create this core substance, it explores it, we are as voyagers discovering abstracta and finding logically constrained relationships that are sometimes utterly unexpected.

    A favourite result for me c 5th Form, was that the angle at the centre was twice that at the circumference standing on the same arc with special case that a triangle standing on the diameter with third vertex on the circumference was necessarily a right angle triangle.

    Extending beyond, it was interesting to see that a cord pegged to two distinct points and with a pencil must trace an ellipse, where focal properties would throw light or sound from one to the other — I think this was [re-?]discovered when a poorly placed confessional would throw words to another point; or maybe that is just a colourful story.

    Then, extending, a parabola is the opposite limiting case to a circle, where the second focus retreats to infinity, thence the property of creating a parallel beam, used for microwave dishes, reflecting telescopes and flashlights. Where, too, a circle is now revealed as a special case of an ellipse, which was significant for the work of Kepler and Newton.

    Yet onward, these, hyperbolas and straight lines are conical sections, which I enjoyed watching as I looked at liquids in tilted conical tumblers. Then, it turns out that trajectories in a spherical symmetry, inverse square law gravity field will be conical sections.

    Along the way, circles do not focus reflected light — angles of incidence and reflection are equal, and in the same plane with the normal — to a focal point, hence the curve of Caustic on the surface of my hot drinks as a 4 or 5 year old.

    Structure and quantity pervade the world and the linked logic constrains possibilities.

    And yet, mere abstract logical connexions are not active causes, they show framework properties of possible worlds such that inherent structures and quantities manifest in patterns that show lawlike consistencies. Which takes us full circle to Egyptian scribes and surveyors dealing with land boundaries after the annual Nile flood. Where, a triangle is a half-parallellogram, giving a true area rule and a practical approximation for long thin triangles . . . the actual rule used. Hence, Geometry, earth + measurement.

    KF

    PS: Lockdown continues and schooling reverts to online instruction which, regrettably, is getting labelled as inferior. I would have preferred that this be seen as opening up opportunities. We await further test results with implications of tightened, lengthened lockdown. Such has further economic and social impact, with policy challenges. U/D, all further tests to date negative, of course that is subject to change.

  154. 154
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: It seems a textbook clip on lurking challenges of fashionable thughts on morality is again relevant:

    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.

    KF

  155. 155
    john_a_designer says:

    Here is an argument I have presented before at UD which I think is worth repeating here for some context.

    Only if an eternally existing transcendent moral standard exists is there any basis for universal human rights.

    Metaphysically atheistic naturalism/ materialism does not accept the existence of an eternally existing transcendent moral standard.

    Therefore, atheistic naturalism/ materialism does not have a basis for universal human rights.

    Please notice what I am not arguing:

    *(1.) That atheists do not believe in human rights. Many do and do so sincerely if not very strongly. But strongly held beliefs and opinions are not the same as moral obligations. (How am I or anyone obligated to your personal subjective opinions?) Human rights are moral obligations. Atheistic naturalism/materialism has no logical basis interpersonal moral obligations or for human rights.

    *(2.) That atheists do not have human rights. They do. Again the argument is that they have no BASIS for human rights or any kind of objective moral standard.

    *(3.) That Christian theism is the only possible basis for universal human rights. Rather the argument is that the standard needs to be an eternally existing transcendent one. Platonic philosophy, for example, at least appears to provide such a standard. Cicero who was a Platonist advocated such a view in the 1st Century B.C. Are there others? Apparently so. Some eastern based worldviews, for example, appear to have strong moral codes but not a stellar record when it comes to human rights. But because they are not morally subjectivist they provide a better foundation for human rights, evidenced by the fact some of them (S. Korea, Japan) have democratized. However, I do believe that Judeo-Christian moral teaching provides a better grounding than Platonic philosophy or any other world view. And I can make a good logical argument supporting that view.

    Obviously any kind of antirealist or moral subjectivist view is not only a very poor basis but it is a completely untenable basis not only for morality but civil and criminal law or fundamental human rights– nor does it provide any kind of starting point for creating a broad societal consensus which is absolutely necessary for functioning democratic society. It’s basically self-righteousness narcissism or outright moral nihilism. In other words, moral subjectivism is a totally irrational basis for interpersonal morality or universal human rights.

  156. 156
    jerry says:

    A standard of behavior must come from somewhere. It can only come from power. All else is arbitrary. People can proclaim anything but unless they have power the proclamation is meaningless even if a proclaimed good is the objective. Those who exercise power determine what should and should not be appropriate.

    And it can be devastating for millions. Just ask if you could the subjects/victims of Tamerlane. A great statue stands in his honor in Central Asia. I doubt he will be cancelled anytime soon.

    Since earliest times people have selected or accepted leaders to have stability. First as bands of hunter/gatherers, then as part of small tribal settlements to the emergence of kings in ancient Mesopotamia city states. The leaders along with compliance from their followers have determined what should and should not be done. Some have codified these prescriptions/proscriptions into law.

    Then along comes a small sect that says that the ultimate source of power, our creator, has also provided prescriptions/proscriptions for us. This source of ultimate power has set up these rules in order to help his creation achieve the objectives He has set up for them. Some are spelled out in detail, some are inferred and some are temporary.

    There are two basis for these rules. One is written into the nature of the world that was created. The other was revealed to members of this small sect.

    So are we to believe this small sect has a valid case? And are these rules from a creator the only standards to be called moral? What does the term “moral” mean?

    That has been knife edge we live on since the beginning of time. Not knowing exactly what is true and what is not. So this knife’s edge must be part of the creation too.

  157. 157
    Viola Lee says:

    kf writes,

    A favourite result for me c 5th Form, was that the angle at the centre was twice that at the circumference standing on the same arc with special case that a triangle standing on the diameter with third vertex on the circumference was necessarily a right angle triangle.

    Extending beyond, it was interesting to see that a cord pegged to two distinct points and with a pencil must trace an ellipse, where focal properties would throw light or sound from one to the other — I think this was [re-?]discovered when a poorly placed confessional would throw words to another point; or maybe that is just a colourful story.

    Then, extending, a parabola is the opposite limiting case to a circle, where the second focus retreats to infinity, thence the property of creating a parallel beam, used for microwave dishes, reflecting telescopes and flashlights. Where, too, a circle is now revealed as a special case of an ellipse, which was significant for the work of Kepler and Newton.

    Yet onward, these, hyperbolas and straight lines are conical sections, which I enjoyed watching as I looked at liquids in tilted conical tumblers. Then, it turns out that trajectories in a spherical symmetry, inverse square law gravity field will be conical sections.

    Along the way, circles do not focus reflected light — angles of incidence and reflection are equal, and in the same plane with the normal — to a focal point, hence the curve of Caustic on the surface of my hot drinks as a 4 or 5 year old.

    Yes, I have taught all those things in various math classes.

  158. 158
    john_a_designer says:

    If this was my thread and I had moderator powers I would have a very simple set of rules that I would apply.

    *1. Stay on topic.

    *2. Ask honest questions.

    *3. Make a logically valid arguments.

    *4. When challenged, be open and transparent about you motives.

    *5. If you want to share your personal opinions and beliefs, fine. But recognize your personal opinions and beliefs are NOT arguments. Don’t post an opinion or belief to be argumentative. “Doubling down” on your beliefs and opinions proves nothing.

    *6. These rules apply to both sides.

    *7. If your post doesn’t meet any the above criteria it will be removed, with or without warning. (I would limit warnings to newcomers.) That’s not banning anyone. It’s maintaining a fair and reasonable standard so we’re not redundantly covering the same ground over and over again. You’re welcome to try again. Anyone is welcome to participate.

    Again, I don’t have moderator powers so I can’t enforce those rules for everyone. However, I can use 1-6 as my own personal standard. So for example, if you don’t make a logically valid argument (#3) I’m not going to respond to you. It’s a total waste of time. I’m not going to change my mind because of your subjective beliefs or opinions. Truth is epistemically objective. Mathematics and logic itself is proof of that.

    UD supposedly does have a set of standards but from what I have seen it’s a total mess. Someone needs to clean that up and start enforcing a simple set of common sense rules. (I’ve given my suggestion above.)

  159. 159
    Viola Lee says:

    JaD, above you wrote, “Obviously any kind of antirealist or moral subjectivist view is not only a very poor basis but it is a completely untenable basis not only for morality but civil and criminal law or fundamental human rights– nor does it provide any kind of starting point for creating a broad societal consensus which is absolutely necessary for functioning democratic society.”

    That sure looks like a “personal opinion and belief” to me. 🙂

  160. 160
    jerry says:

    Again, I don’t have moderator powers so I can’t enforce those rules for everyone

    The objective here is like most sites – to express emotionally based opinions and not to learn and interact. It happens on both sides of the political/religious spectrum. However, one side is close to 100% disingenuous. I’ve made the comment in the past that I haven’t found an honest liberal yet. Or an honest Darwinist except one.

    Many are good intentioned but are ignorant of what is actually happening. The main failing with nearly all liberals and many conservatives is that they don’t want to hear contrary opinions especially those based on reason and facts.

    Choose those who have honest objectives to interact with. Use the anti ID people as foils when useful. Don’t expect productive discussions from any of them.

  161. 161
    Viola Lee says:

    Thanks for the vote of confidence, Jerry. (Although i’ve never discussed ID, I’m assuming I fall in the anti-ID category here in most people’s minds, but maybe not?)

  162. 162
    john_a_designer says:

    Jerry,

    I wrote @ #151:

    Finally, to have any type of meaningful discussion about morality, it has to be honest. Honesty requires an objective standard– doesn’t it?

    One of our regular interlocutors in response made this point.

    Does it? Honesty is a commitment to tell the truth as far as one knows it to others. But there is no reliable way to tell for certain if someone is being honest. As the fictional “Dr Gregory House” was wont to say, “People lie all the time” and we all do in large and small ways, often for what we think of as good reasons.

    How can you trust people who have no obligation to be honest? I’m don’t. Then there are people who try the clever and cute (from their perspective) rhetorical turn arounds.

    Then I wrote @ #155:

    “Obviously any kind of antirealist or moral subjectivist view is not only a very poor basis but it is a completely untenable basis not only for morality but civil and criminal law or fundamental human rights– nor does it provide any kind of starting point for creating a broad societal consensus which is absolutely necessary for functioning democratic society.”

    To which VL responded, “That sure looks like a “personal opinion and belief” to me,” he/she said. In other there is no such thing as moral truth? Only personal beliefs and opinions?

    If that’s true we’re in deep trouble. Let me focus on one point, quoting myself.

    “Moral truth and honesty are necessary to “provide any kind of starting point for creating a broad societal consensus which is absolutely necessary for functioning democratic society.”

    Due to what happened in the last election, there are on going questions whether it was fair and honest. We may be seeing the total collapse of democracy in America.

    Have you been following what’s happening in Maricopa County? The Arizona Senate had an agreement with the Maricopa board of elections officials (the county where Phoenix is located) to do a full forensic audit on their voting results but the county out maneuvered them again.

    Of course, the election is over and a new president has been sworn in. However, what is wrong with making sure there was no election fraud? Why is the Maricopa board of election blocking this? It’s their duty to make sure that their election was fair, honest and clean. (see prescott-enews on YouTube.)

    My view: (1) It’s a fact there was some election fraud. (2) There are some troubling statistical anomalies in several states. (3) I DON’T KNOW if there enough fraud to have made a difference in the past election, not only Arizona but also other states where there were also some very troubling statistical anomalies– but it sure looks suspicious.

    Anyone who believes in election integrity should want to know the capital T Truth. Why are the Democrats blocking and covering this up? A small d democrat like myself thinks it is necessary to do this audit if we want to preserve our small r, small d republican democratic society.

    By the way, it’s reported that at least 15 other state legislatures are keeping a close eye on Arizona. If at some point it is discovered that there was widespread election fraud that could put us in new territory.

  163. 163
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, at least there is mutual recognition. The point is, concrete experiences led to recognising math facts, then that such are independent of our particular conceptions or phrasing. KF

  164. 164
    kairosfocus says:

    JaD, thanks for thoughts on comments. There is a stated note, in the links bar. We wish people would stay on topic, be logical and polite. The reality is, debates seldom go like that, especially when situations are polarised. Correction of a fallacious, loaded distractive tangent and call back to focus might work. Allowing the toxic to do a Wikipedia will not. And nobody has a moderator day job here. At the same time, some fairly serious issues need to be addressed and come up. KF

  165. 165
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: It seems to me, nominalism lurks:

    https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Nominalism

    Nominalism is the philosophical view that abstract concepts, general terms, or universals have no independent existence but exist only as names. It also claims that various individual objects labeled by the same term have nothing in common but their name. In this view, it is only actual physical particulars that can be said to be real, and universals exist only post res, that is, subsequent to particular things.

    Nominalism is best understood in contrast to philosophical or ontological realism. Philosophical realism holds that when people use general terms such as “cat” or “green,” those universals really exist in some sense of “exist,” either independently of the world in an abstract realm (as was held by Plato, for instance, in his theory of forms) or as part of the real existence of individual things in some way (as in Aristotle’s theory of hylomorphism). The Aristotelian type of realism is usually called moderate realism. As a still another alternative, there is a school called conceptualism, which holds that universals are just concepts in the mind. In the Middle Ages, there was a heated realist-nominalist controversy over universals.

    History shows that after the Middle Ages, nominalism became more popularly accepted than realism. It is basically with the spirit of nominalism that empiricism, pragmatism, logical positivism, and other modern schools have been developed. But, this does not mean that any really satisfactory solution to the controversy has been found. So, even nominalism has developed more moderate versions such as “resemblance” nominalism and “trope” nominalism.

    A careful observation shows that from among the various theories there seem to be two most promising ones: trope nominalism and moderate realism (especially Duns Scotus’s moderate nominalism). They are most promising as genuine contenders because they both try to blur the traditional sharp distinction between universals and particulars. Any new promising solutions in the future, therefore, should probably blur this distinction in much the same way . . . .

    The problem of universals arises from the question of how to account for the fact that some things are of the same type. For example, Fluffy and Kitzler are both cats, but what is this “catness” that both seem to have? Also, the grass, the shirt, and Kermit the Frog are green, but what is this quality of “green” that they all seem to have? There is the fact that certain properties are repeatable. Philosophers want to know in virtue of what are Fluffy and Kitzler both cats, and what makes the grass, the shirt, and Kermit green.

    The answer of realism is that all the cats are cats in virtue of the existence of a universal, a single abstract thing, in this case, that is a part of all the cats. With respect to being cats, for Fluffy, Kitzler, and even the lion in the jungle, one of their parts is identical. In this respect, the three parts are literally one. “Catness” is repeatable because there is one thing that manifests itself, wherever there is a cat. This is the realism of Plato, who famously held that there is a realm of abstract forms or universals apart from the physical world, and that particular physical objects merely exemplify, instantiate, or “participate” in, the universals.

    Nominalism denies the existence of universals in this sense of the term. The motivation to deny universals in this sense flows from several concerns. The first one is the question of where they exist. As Plato believed, are they located outside of space and time? Some assert that nothing is outside of space and time, though. In addition, what did Plato mean when he held that the several cows we see in the pasture, for example, all “participate” in the form of cow? What is “participation”? Didn’t Plato, famously in his dialogue Parmenides, get tangled in confusion and unanswered questions, when he tried to specify just what or how a sensed thing (e.g., the individual cow) participates in a form (e.g., “cowness”). Plato also got into what seemed to him to be ethical and aesthetic problems, when he realized that the same arguments that would require that there be forms for noble things would also require that there be forms for ignoble things such as dirt or dung. To complicate things, what is the nature of the instantiation or exemplification of the logic of relation(s)? Also, when the realist maintains that all the instances of “catness” are held together by the exemplification relation, is this relation explained satisfactorily? Isn’t it unusual that there could be a single thing (i.e., a form) that exists in multiple places simultaneously after being exemplified?

    Moderate realists hold that there is no independent realm in which universals exist. They rather hold that universals are located in space and time, wherever they are manifest. Moderate realism can still recognize the laws of nature, based on the constants of human nature. Moderate realists of the twentieth century include Jacques Maritain and Etienne Gilson.

    Today, however, some philosophers who delve into the workings of the human brain, such as Daniel Dennett, reject the idea that there is some “catness” in the real world. They believe that there are only circumstances that cause the brain to react with the judgment “cat.” This nominalist tendency can also be seen amongst many philosophers who prefer simpler ontologies populated with only the bare minimum of types of entities, having “a taste for desert landscapes,” to use the phrase of W.V. Quine.[1] They attempt to express everything that they want to explain without using universals such as “catness” or “chairness.”

    The problem of the one and the many rears its head and roars.

    Is truth just a label or concept? Logic, validity, soundness, duty?

    Laws of nature? Laws of human nature?

    Distinctness of identity?

    Are mathematical items simply games we make up that happen to apply to the world, in ways that I traced and sketched historically?

    Do we see the can of worms wriggling on the table?

    Especially if we push aside distinct identity i/l/o core characteristics?

    KF

  166. 166
    JVL says:

    John_a_designer: Anyone who believes in election integrity should want to know the capital T Truth. Why are the Democrats blocking and covering this up? A small d democrat like myself thinks it is necessary to do this audit if we want to preserve our small r, small d republican democratic society.

    I think (yes, this is just my opinion) that many Democrats think they already know the capitol T truth: there was no widespread, systemic voter fraud in the 2020 US Presidential election. I think they would base that opinion on the fact that almost all court cases which attempted to establish that there was fraud were dismissed and/or, in some cases, voluntarily dropped by the plaintiffs. I think they would also base that opinion on the fact that almost all election officials, Democrat and Republican, declared that the election was free and fair. I think they would also point out that most US congress-people, including many Republicans, have decided the election was free and fair. I think they would also consider that the government agencies and the Justice Department decided that the election was free and fair. I think they might also note that Donald Trump’s impeachment defence team did NOT bring up election fraud in their arguments. So, what is the actual evidence that the election was NOT free and fair? If there is no credible evidence accepted by a court then . . .

    Again, I am only offering an opinion based on what I’ve heard and read.

    I would like to ask: what level of confidence would it take to convince you that the election result was correct? As far as I understand some audits have been carried out. What, specifically are you wanting to see happen?

  167. 167
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: Is truth just a label or concept? Logic, validity, soundness, duty?

    What kind of ‘truth’ are you referring to? Mathematical truth? Moral truth? Ethical truth? Historical truth? Biological truth?

    Distinctness of identity?

    What is ‘identity’? Personal identity? Biological identity? Emotional identity? Are the categories clear and distinct or are the boundaries fuzzy?

  168. 168
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, a decoded reading on the Time article actually implies thinly veiled confession of intent and acts to manipulate the election in ways that were immoral, often illegal, lawless and undermining of legitimacy, backed up by ruthless power and influence to try to make it stick. That such had material impact is obvious. Where, the ongoing Reichstag fire hysteria and purge in progress complete with an openly politicised show trial, flash red warning flags for anyone with a modicum of background on C20 tyrannies. The issue is, has this gone irretrievably over the cliff? KF

    PS: A legislature becomes a court of peers when impeachment is on the table. First duties of reason immediately, inescapably impose natural law duties even before any particular Constitutional rules and precedents apply; which are being openly flouted, starting with truth, fairness, right reason, prudence and justice. The media chorus baying for blood and ever-widening purges speaks for itself. The message of a shift to nihilistic, lawless ruthlessness under the label that such is political, is dangerous.

  169. 169
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL,

    Your onward comments show just how deep the trouble we are in is:

    >>What kind of ‘truth’ are you referring to? Mathematical truth? Moral truth? Ethical truth? Historical truth? Biological truth?>>

    Truth says of what is, that it is; and of what is not, that it is not. (Ari, Met 1011b)

    >>What is ‘identity’? Personal identity? Biological identity? Emotional identity? Are the categories clear and distinct or are the boundaries fuzzy?>>

    Start with what was clearly referenced, the principle or law of identity. I think Paul of Tarsus, citing what was likely a standard Logic 101 example, is a good place to begin, for even ability to communicate is caught up in the mess:

    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.

    A classic summary is A is A, i.e. that a particular, distinct thing is itself i/l/o its constitutive, distinguishing characteristics that mark it out from other things. The evening and morning stars are the planet Venus albeit in differing orbital phases as seen from Earth.

    A particular possible world W is distinct from a neir neighbour W’ because of some aspect A, so W = A + W’, or similarly W = {A|~A}, from which we may observe certain structured quantities. the partition is empty, 0. A is a simple unit and ~A in W is a complex unit distinct from A. So too, with distinct units A and ~A, we have 2. From this by von Neumann, we go to N, thence Z,Q,R,C,R* etc.

    Where, the generality shows that these structured sets manifest their effects as embedded in any possible world W. That is, universality emerges.

    Of course, the laws of non contradiction and excluded middle are close corollaries. These are the pivot points of logic, right reason.

    And more.

    KF

  170. 170
    jerry says:

    GDR stood for German Democratic Republic. (DDR in Deutsch).

    A description of extreme Irony. Not really sure how German it actually was either.

    People can mouth words but actions are more indicative of meaning.

  171. 171
    Viola Lee says:

    At 162, JaD wrote

    When I wrote @ #155:

    Obviously any kind of antirealist or moral subjectivist view is not only a very poor basis but it is a completely untenable basis not only for morality but civil and criminal law or fundamental human rights– nor does it provide any kind of starting point for creating a broad societal consensus which is absolutely necessary for functioning democratic society.”

    To which VL responded, “That sure looks like a “personal opinion and belief” to me,” he/she said. In other there is no such thing as moral truth? Only personal beliefs and opinions?

    My point, JaD, is that your statement quoted above is a personal opinion. Why are the things you believe not personal opinions, but the things I believe are personal opinion? Can you explain the the criteria (which I assume would be something other than mere opinion) by which you distinguish your statements as not personal opinion and mine as personal opinion?

    Let me make this clear: I, and in my opinion, you, can come to our opinions through careful, thoughtful, evidence-based rational thought. I’m not saying that all whimsical ideas are equivalent. But I am saying that we come to our opinions without access to any objective transcendent standards.

  172. 172
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: Your onward comments show just how deep the trouble we are in is:

    Asking you to be clear and specific is a problem?

    Truth says of what is, that it is; and of what is not, that it is not. (Ari, Met 1011b)

    Not very helpful when dealing with real world issues and controversies.

    Start with what was clearly referenced, the principle or law of identity. I think Paul of Tarsus, citing what was likely a standard Logic 101 example, is a good place to begin, for even ability to communicate is caught up in the mess:

    Again, you stand on some abstract in-the-sky approach which is not very helpful when dealing with real people with real problems. Some of whom might be considering choices you would consider forbidden.

    A classic summary is A is A, i.e. that a particular, distinct thing is itself i/l/o its constitutive, distinguishing characteristics that mark it out from other things. The evening and morning stars are the planet Venus albeit in differing orbital phases as seen from Earth.

    What does this have to do with human beings and their personal identities? Apply this idea and explain how.

    A particular possible world W is distinct from a neir neighbour W’ because of some aspect A, so W = A + W’, or similarly W = {A|~A}, from which we may observe certain structured quantities. the partition is empty, 0. A is a simple unit and ~A in W is a complex unit distinct from A. So too, with distinct units A and ~A, we have 2. From this by von Neumann, we go to N, thence Z,Q,R,C,R* etc.

    What? How is this even close to an answer to the questions I brought up?

    Where, the generality shows that these structured sets manifest their effects as embedded in any possible world W. That is, universality emerges.

    You’re beginning to sound like a recording.

    Of course, the laws of non contradiction and excluded middle are close corollaries. These are the pivot points of logic, right reason.

    If you’re just going to keep repeating the same things over and over and over again and not even bother to try and really address issues that are brought up then I’m just going to a) start ignoring you and b) stop asking you questions.

    I am actually, honestly really interested in how you would/could adapt/interpret/apply your worldview to current, important, widespread issues that are part of modern civilisation. For some reason you deflect and avoid specifics and choose to pontificate on idealistic approaches which don’t give clear and understandable responses. Why is it so hard for you to actually take your morals and precepts and tell us how they would be applied?

    For example: we know your view on abortion, you’ve been very clear about it. But you absolutely refuse to say how you would deal with it on a practical, legislative, emotional way. Why is that? Why can’t you just be clear? What are you afraid of?

    We’ve asked your opinion on divorce and, again, you start wandering off on vague and hard-to-interpret ideals without ever even trying to be specific about how those ideals could be applied practically in the real world.

    I won’t bring up some of the other issues you think are undiscussable. But the question still remains: how are your standards applicable in the real world?

    It’s almost as if you don’t really acknowledge that the real world is complicated and messy and difficult. But I know you do know that because of what you’ve said about the work you do with your national government. So clearly you are used to bartering and compromise and working with a varied constituency trying to get decisions made and implemented. But, somehow, you can’t show us that part of your skill set. Why is that?

  173. 173
    jerry says:

    Definition of moral – Merriam Webster

    a : of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior : ETHICAL

    b : expressing or teaching a conception of right behavior

    c : conforming to a standard of right behavior

    d : sanctioned by or operative on one’s conscience or ethical judgment

    e : capable of right and wrong action

    This should suffice for a discussion of the world moral. We take it for granted but in 4 of 5 definitions the word “right” and “behavior” are used. So what is “right?”

    When is something “right?”

    Suppose if we could, ask Tamerlane what he thought was right behavior. Why would Tamerlane’s definition and ours be different? Why would ours be better?

  174. 174
    john_a_designer says:

    So-called “wokeness” and “virtue signaling” grows out of moral subjectivism and relativism. Just to be clear moral subjectivists reject any kind of objective morality. Of course, moral objectivists have different opinions about their different moral beliefs but they are not just personal subjective opinions; they are opinions about objective morality. For example, both Catholic and Protestants believe that there is transcendent moral standard grounded in God’s being and character. However they disagree on artificial birth control and in my experience divorce and remarriage. The point is they agree there is transcendent standard they disagree on certain specific issues.

    Underpinning all kinds of moral subjectivism is epistemological subjectivism. That is, all we can know about anything is subjective and therefore the only claim to “truth” that anyone has are subjective opinions. (Notice however this position is self-refuting. It is making an objective truth claim about truth.)

    I have no real objection if someone decides to be a moral subjectivist. That’s one of the costs we pay living in a democratic society. People have the right to believe some nutty things. The problems, however, begin when the moral subjectivist starts treating his own moral opinions or group think as if they are absolute and morally binding on everyone else. How am I or anyone else obligated to accept your moral opinions and beliefs? However this all gets really dangerous when “wokeness” becomes coercive and turns violent. That is what we been seeing now in the U.S. since last summer.

    How is it coercive? Just because someone doesn’t agree with (or take a knee to) BLM’s agenda doesn’t make them racist. In fact, BLM doesn’t really want to resolve racism. Rather, it want to use it as a wedge issue to first shame the opposition to gain social, political and cultural dominance. It’s working now because there has been some fifty years of postmodern PC nonsense which has taken root in American universities, among politicians and the mainstream media.

    Is freedom of thought, expression and belief a real universal right, which every human being has as a natural right? Or, is that just my personal opinion or part of my group thinks belief system? I didn’t invent it and the idea certainly preceded my being born by hundreds if not a couple of thousand years. For example, we have the idea of free speech being boasted about in the Athenian democracy as a right of all free men. So how can it just be a personal opinion? Who has the right to redefine it? BLM? The cultural Marxists? The secular progressive left? If so, do I have the right to disagree with them? Apparently, some people think they do which is why they are de-platforming political speech. Some of which I don’t agree with but, which nevertheless, I would argue shouldn’t be suppressed or censored because they have the same rights that I do.

  175. 175
    jerry says:

    One can argument cause and effect. In some very odd ways.

    Obvious

    Freedom of speech snd expression.- Never happened till the 17th and 18th centuries anywhere in world and then in very limited area. Modern world resulted from freedom in this very limited area.

    But then

    blacks support Democrats – Black lives deteriorate

    United States becomes least racist country in world – NY Times increases mentions of racism in their news and Democrats increase their cries of racism.

    white prestige and influence in US decline- cries of white privilege skyrocket

    Socialism fails everywhere it is tried – academia emphasizes socialism as answer to world’s problems.

    We could analyze several other trends in our current Alice in Wonderland world.

  176. 176
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, there is a gap between what truth is and whether we have arrived there, on what grounds. It is vital to important endeavours to recognise accurate description of reality, our limitations and the sad fact of the dishonest. There are few things more vital than that. KF

  177. 177
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, you are right to point out key trends and paradoxes like that. Notice, many are directly connected to a marxist critical theory push, and/or to the impacts of evolutionary materialistic scientism. We must reckon with the impact of freedom and its roots in democratising forces unleashed by

    – the Gutenberg printing revolution,

    – increasingly widespread literacy,

    – knowledge of scripture driven by vernacular translations (and linked opening up of scholarship to the vernacular from the Latin barrier),

    – the ferment triggered by the protestant reformation [and Britain joining it while being protected by the Channel],

    – the linked rise of the double covenant view of nationhood under God and Government under God with consent of the governed acting through their representatives,

    – the scriptural endorsement and use of core natural law principles, note here Locke citing Hooker:

    [2nd Treatise on Civil Gov’t, Ch 2 sec. 5:] . . . 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 . . . [This directly echoes St. Paul in Rom 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 . . . “ and 13: “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 . . . “ 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.] [Augmented citation, Locke, Second Treatise on Civil Government, Ch 2 Sect. 5. ]

    – the clashes over monarchy and parliament leading to civil war, execution of a king, Cromwell’s protectorship, restoration of monarchy, further clashes and the glorious revolution that built up from the legacy that started with Alfred’s Book of Dooms and Magna Carta, stating the 1688/89 bill of rights,

    – the further situation of the American colonies and their charters,

    – etc.

    These have a lot to do with the cluster of more conservative, covenant under God revolutions that set the stage for modern constitutional democracy. It is no coincidence that the culminating institutionalisation of the American revolution in the Constitution was 1787 – 9, which overlaps with the radical, enlightenment deism fuelled, anticlerical, Jacobism dominated French Revolution from 1789. Ever since, the two models of transformation to modernity have existed in tension. And arguably, it is radical secularisation and injection of cultural form marxism and its expression in critical theories that is driving the current existential crisis of the American experiment. The jacobins seek to rule, God help us. KF

  178. 178
    kairosfocus says:

    VL,

    again, this catches my eye:

    Let me make this clear: I, and in my opinion, you, can come to our opinions through careful, thoughtful, evidence-based rational thought. I’m not saying that all whimsical ideas are equivalent. But I am saying that we come to our opinions without access to any objective transcendent standards.

    Do you not see how you again inescapably appeal to known first duties of reason even as you deny their reality?

    Do you not see that self-evidence is real, and gives us access to transcendent truths, core unifying principles and yea even duties coeval with our being human, i.e. built in parts of our rational, responsible, significantly free [and thus morally and rationally governed as opposed to mechanically and/or stochastically governed or even merely computed] nature?

    Let me again focus Epictetus on inescapable first truths, which are self-evident by inescapability . . . and no the problem is not access to such universal governing principles but our futile attempts to escape them:

    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]

    So, why did the interlocutor demand proof? Because, he hoped to undermine Epictetus’ stress on such as first principles of right reason. His silence rather than celebration is a key tell. He was silenced by the exposure of the inescapability of the principles. Thus, his anti-rationality failed and in failing highlighted that certain first truths are inescapable, even the objector is forced to refer to their compelling natural authority. (Something, I pointed out from the outset, which has been studiously evaded by objectors. That is no accident and it is a key clue. They do not want to acknowledge the credibility of pivotal, even inescapable, first truths.)

    Now, let us observe, such first truths are inescapable and by that, seen to be self-evidently, undeniably true. By that, is meant, that the very attempt to deny or object or evade is itself inevitably pervaded by the same principles that would be shown the exit. So, the attempt to deny or disprove or dismiss is self-defeating, in an obvious, instant reduction to absurdity.

    SET’s of course, are true. Further, they are intelligible, understood and understood as true on inspection by those of sufficient experience and intellectual maturity to understand. By that we can see that there are the very young and inexperienced and there are those who fail at the pons asinorum. Further, that understanding extends to recognising necessary truth on pain of instant absurdity on attempted denial. That is precisely what we see with Epictetus’ objector.

    So, SET’s have objective warrant as certain on pain of absurdity. Not, proof, often, the attempt to prove will be just as futile, being pervaded with the very principle that the attempt to prove is trying to substantiate. That is, first principles are just that, first. Start-points to be acknowledged, preferably with delight that we have the privilege to see the presence and universal power of such a law of reason and responsibility. But in a day that irks under authority, there will be a sullen resentful resistance, which will even haunt the minds of a better sort, through a nagging fear of question-begging or the like.

    No, due recognition of self-evident first truths is not craven blind submissiveness to some new domineering elite, it is due humility under and submission to evident first principle. It is a gateway to knowing and serving truth, truth that sets us free.

    So, let us note briefly, VL, how you appeal to right reason, to prudence [denying “access” implies duty of warrant even while claiming that warrants fail], and beneath is the implication, not that these are merely VL’s readily dismissed opinions, but that they are mirrors of . . . truth.

    In short, we are right back to the seven inescapable (so, necessarily, accessible and intelligible) first duties of morally governed reason — yes, truths of moral character:

    * to truth [which says of what is, that it is, and of what is not, that it is not],

    * to right reason [even as Epictetus highlighted],

    * to prudence [so, warrant i/l/o right reason duly applied],

    * to sound conscience [informed by those three],

    * to neighbour [acknowledged as similarly ruled], so too

    * to fairness and

    * to justice,

    * etc.

    Inescapable, so inescapably true and self-evident.

    KF

  179. 179
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL,

    I intend to come back in more detail later, however personalisation seems an inevitable tactic.

    Kindly scroll up to the OP, and observe the first infographic. Compromises and negotiated agreements occur within a carefully buttressed constitutional democratic framework, within buttresses from the carefully nurtured culture of a community that habitually recognises and respects first governing principles of responsible reason, creating a social capital of trust and trustworthiness. Such exists between two BATNA-walls, civil liberty [wherein neighbour duty is mutually acknowledged and keeps us from going to anarchy], and lawfulness [wherein, duties of fairness and justice informed by truth, right reason and prudence keep us from sliding into lawless oligarchy . . . the “natural” state of society].

    Prudent compromise is often informed by hardness of hearts, e.g. despite its manifest widespread damage, strong drink is so pervasive that prohibition is more prone to promote lawless organised crime than anything else so the cure attempt is self-defeating. The current pretence that the compromise with ages old slavery brands the American founding and sets up its dismissal is another case.

    The problem we face is not oh you refuse to compromise. It is that the jacobins are on the march and are undermining the BATNA of lawfulness, opening the way for collapse and slide into lawless ideological oligarchy. The historical parallel of the Reichstag fire should give us pause.

    More, later.

    KF

  180. 180
    AndyClue says:

    @Jerry:

    United States becomes least racist country in world

    I’m curious about that. What’s your source?

  181. 181
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: Compromises and negotiated agreements occur within a carefully buttressed constitutional democratic framework, within buttresses from the carefully nurtured culture of a community that habitually recognises and respects first governing principles of responsible reason, creating a social capital of trust and trustworthiness.

    So, are you implying that all the countries that have legalised same-sex marriage no longer match your criteria? Same with all the countries that have legalised limited abortions? If you rule out certain topics and options then you rule out compromises on those issues.

    The problem we face is not oh you refuse to compromise. It is that the jacobins are on the march and are undermining the BATNA of lawfulness, opening the way for collapse and slide into lawless ideological oligarchy. The historical parallel of the Reichstag fire should give us pause.

    But your view on the increasing liberalisation of states and societies around the world is just your opinion. The nations of Europe are not on the brink of collapse libel to slide into lawless ideological oligarchy. They’re not. There are more peaceful and protective of their citizens than ever before. You think that allowing same-sex marriage is akin to being forced by a majority to believe a certain way but it isn’t. No one is asking you to think or believe a certain way. The democratic processes in place have led to the legalisation of same-sex marriage and, for the most part, that is accepted by a majority of people in most countries in Europe. But you want to force people to not even talk about certain issues, not to bring them up at all. Your stance is the one advocating censorship of ideas and discussions.

    Your notion of right reason and first principles only seems to encompass your conclusions, not the billions of other people on the planet who disagree with you and who are NOT advocating or promoting or yearning for the collapse of civilisation or any of that.

    Of course you will say that they don’t know that that will be the effect of their actions but I dispute that. You’re continual attempts to draw parallels with fascist regimes falls flat because the similarities only exist in your opinion. Believe me, there are a lot of people in Europe who personally remember WWII and the systems of government now in existence are in no way like those of Germany or Italy in the 30s and 40s. They just aren’t.

    You rail against permissive societies which allow their citizens certain rights which you find morally appalling. That is your opinion. But your conclusion that those societies are on the brink of collapse because your values are no longer front and centre is not correct. You are going to have to learn to compromise with those you disagree with about some things. We keep asking you how you would do that but you refuse to even contemplate or discuss some issues. So, we conclude, that on some issues you will not compromise or even attempt to find common ground. I think you’ll find people sympathetic to your views a decreasing proportion of the voting public.

  182. 182
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, there we go again. As you insist, the deliberate breakdown of a fundamental social institution that procreates and nurtures children i/l/o their creation order, naturally evident nature as human coming in two complementary sexes, under false colour of law, is anti-civilisational. It is not fashionable to acknowledge such among dominant elites, the chattering classes and the like but that is a measure of how absurd we have become, how far down the road of decadence we have gone. Many are so confused they don’t know what bathroom to use, where a key part of opening up the public space for women was the provision of such protected spaces for the sexes. Down that path of action under colour of law in defiance of our nature as two complementary sexes and manipulated opinion lies tyranny, and lo and behold just such tyranny is now emerging in what was formerly the leading beacon of liberty in the world; complete with Reichstag fire show trials and purges. Liberty is not licence and when licence is substituted it leads to oppression. Which, BTW answers to, that’s just your opinion and the states of Europe are not collapsing. Actually, the key catastrophe was back in 1914, building on 1789, 1848 and 1871 (with side orders of 1858/9), leading to 1917 and aftermath and 1933 and aftermath, with consequences down to today. As for collapse, a measure of that is the enabling of the holocaust of the unborn under false colours of law, globally 800+ millions in a bit under 50 years, last year being 42 – 73 millions; a civilisation that cannot protect its living posterity from mass slaughter at will is captive to misanthropy and has lost the soundness of conscience to recognise the right to life . . . the first right, without which there are no other rights. Where in fact Europe is in demographic collapse [not coincidentally] and faces the successor to 731, settlement jihad. That the news spins or ignores or marginalises the key trends does not make them go away. KF

    PS: And yet again, you cannot escape appealing to the first duties and principles of reason . . . which are hardly original to me or idiosyncratic . . . in trying to object to and/or distract from them through toxic red herrings. If your preferred institutions under colour of law are leading you to fly in the face of self-evident first duties and principles of reason, only to implicitly appeal to same, that is a strong sign that the preferences are self-referentially self-defeating and chaotic. The alternative to first principles and duties of reason is imposition by might and/or manipulation, i.e. nihilistic will to power. Which is precisely the slide into lawless oligarchy being warned against. Where BTW, the institutionally dominant culture form, critical theory marxism and linked colour revolution I have spoken of are precisely that, Marxist. Though, Fascism is a close kissing cousin.

    PPS: I note, on Licence, from Webster’s 1828: “2. Excess of liberty; exorbitant freedom; freedom abused, or used in contempt of law or decorum. License they mean, when they cry liberty.” That is, claiming freedom and rights to enable lawlessness and imposition on others. The classic cartoon example was the claimed freedom to inspect (and confiscate money from) pockets.

  183. 183
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: As you insist, the deliberate breakdown of a fundamental social institution that procreates and nurtures children i/l/o their creation order, naturally evident nature as human coming in two complementary sexes, under false colour of law, is anti-civilisational.

    Except there is no modern evidence that that is true. Like I said, many first world countries have legalised same-sex marriage and they’re doing just fine.

    Down that path of action under colour of law in defiance of our nature as two complementary sexes and manipulated opinion lies tyranny, and lo and behold just such tyranny is now emerging in what was formerly the leading beacon of liberty in the world; complete with Reichstag fire show trials and purges.

    That is your opinion which is not shared by a lot of peaceful people who see no reason to treat those with a different sexual orientation differently.

    As for collapse, a measure of that is the enabling of the holocaust of the unborn under false colours of law, globally 800+ millions in a bit under 50 years, last year being 42 – 73 millions; a civilisation that cannot protect its living posterity from mass slaughter at will is captive to misanthropy and has lost the soundness of conscience to recognise the right to life . . . the first right, without which there are no other rights. Where in fact Europe is in demographic collapse [not coincidentally] and faces the successor to 731, settlement jihad. That the news spins or ignores or marginalises the key trends does not make them go away.

    Europe is manifestly NOT in demographic collapse. It’s more peaceful and co-operative than it ever has been before. I’m not talking about Brexit and a few fundamentalists I’m talking about day-to-day life and the rights and protections and support that the average European citizen enjoys these days.

    You can repeat your fear-mongering, idealistic rhetoric over and over and over again. But by any sensible measure (crime statistics, happiness levels, GDP, technological access, education, life expectancy) the citizen of Europe are doing just fine and are, for the most part, pleased with their systems of government and do not want them overthrown or rescinded.

    You are going to have to learn to compromise with the modern world. Or become increasingly not part of it. It’s up to you. I’d like to know how you would try and find some middle ground on the topics you cannot even bring yourself to discuss but since you won’t discuss them . . .

  184. 184
    jerry says:

    I’m curious about that. What’s your source?

    1) Orlando Patterson, Thomas Sowell, Jason Reilly, Shelby Steele

    2) Lack of any overt examples of systematic racism. Failure to provide any examples except rhetoric.

    3) Lies by politicians like Biden when discussing race. If he had real examples, he would provide them.

    4) The idea that the US was a racist society was manufactured by the press and the Democratic Party in the last 10-12 years.

    Oh, there are racists, mainly in the Democratic Party. They continue to support their policies that have impoverished the Black community in the US.

  185. 185
    AndyClue says:

    @Jerry:

    1) Orlando Patterson, Thomas Sowell, Jason Reilly, Shelby Steele

    That doesn’t help at all. 🙁 I thought you’d cite articles, statistics, numbers or something more helpful.

    2) Lack of any overt examples of systematic racism.

    The country I live in (not USA) also lacks any overt examples of systematic racism. However without any comparison in numbers how is it possible to tell which country becomes the least racist in the world?

  186. 186
    jerry says:

    I thought you’d cite articles, statistics, numbers or something more helpful.

    Oh but I can. But apparently you are not read on this topic. Start with Thomas Sowell who I consider the smartest man in America, maybe the world. He’s 90+ and still amazing. He talks about race in many of his writings.

    Why would you think otherwise? The only sources for racism are the fake news press of the world, mainly the US. That should tell you it must be the opposite.

    Biden agrees with it by his choice of policies since becoming inaugurated and by his choice to promote a hoax while campaigning. If he had overt examples, don’t you think he would have used them. Instead he lied big time.

    You already agree by your choice of comments.

  187. 187
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Heine:

    Christianity — and that is its greatest merit — has somewhat mitigated that brutal German love of war, but it could not destroy it. Should that subduing talisman, the cross, be shattered [–> the Swastika, visually, is a twisted, broken cross . . do not overlook the obvious], the frenzied madness of the ancient warriors, that insane Berserk rage of which Nordic bards have spoken and sung so often, will once more burst into flame [–> an irrational battle- and blood- lust]. …

    The old stone gods will then rise from long ruins and rub the dust of a thousand years from their eyes, and Thor will leap to life with his giant hammer and smash the Gothic cathedrals. …

    Do not smile at my advice — the advice of a dreamer who warns you against Kantians, Fichteans, and philosophers of nature. Do not smile at the visionary who anticipates the same revolution in the realm of the visible as has taken place in the spiritual. Thought precedes action as lightning precedes thunder. German thunder … comes rolling somewhat slowly, but … its crash … will be unlike anything before in the history of the world.

    At that uproar the eagles of the air will drop dead [–> cf. air warfare, symbol of the USA], and lions in farthest Africa [–> the lion is a key symbol of Britain, cf. also the North African campaigns] will draw in their tails and slink away. … A play will be performed in Germany which will make the French Revolution look like an innocent idyll. [Religion and Philosophy in Germany, 1831]

    Yes, the rot is deep.

    KF

  188. 188
    AndyClue says:

    @Jerry:

    Oh but I can.

    That would be great!

    Why would you think otherwise?

    I don’t. Without any numbers to compare and a methology I can’t tell which country ranks first. Do we compare criminal statistics? Do we take polls? How do we normalize the numbers among the countries?

  189. 189
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, again and again, you appeal to the principles and duties you would subvert. That speaks volumes. KF

    PS: In case you imagine that words wrenched under colour of law and enforced by sheer state power can change realities of our nature, cf here and here. Where, the history and ongoing holocaust alluded to suffice to underscore the rot from the roots.

  190. 190
    kairosfocus says:

    AC & JVL, while there are racists in the US (including from various favoured race perspectives) the notion of systematic pervasive racism as pivot of American culture and state since 1619 is a canard of marxist critical race theory meant to steamroller objections to demands and manipulations on the way to — surprise . . . NOT — imposition of lawless ideological oligarchy, witness the chosen theme colour of the ongoing colour revolution push, black. In that context contrast the response to a wave of announced revolutionary rioting last summer and a single incident on the fringe of a legitimate protest as petition for redress of serious grievance. Multiply by the thinly veiled confession in Time Magazine. The agit prop writings of agent of influence Howard Zinn under colour of being history are a particularly pernicious part of the issue. KF

  191. 191
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Notice how, again and again, those who would object or distract or outright threadjack demonstrate that they are unable to escape appealing to our known first duties of reason.

  192. 192
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: JVL, again and again, you appeal to the principles and duties you would subvert. That speaks volumes.

    How is supporting the US Constitution and its system of developing legislation subverting any principles or duties? You don’t like the way things have played out so you hypothesise some deep rooted moral rot and point to particular decisions and changes you object to. I could do the same but I actually believe in the system even if I don’t win every argument. You say you believe in the system but you don’t when it arrives at conclusions you disagree with. Then you’re happy to support sedition without proposing a viable alternative.

    In case you imagine that words wrenched under colour of law and enforced by sheer state power can change realities of our nature, cf here and here. Where, the history and ongoing holocaust alluded to suffice to underscore the rot from the roots.

    Uh huh. Marriage is NOT a reality of our nature, it’s a man-made convention that we are allowed to alter and change as we see fit. Allowing some abortions has not created a vast, moral blackhole of debauchery and lawlessness. It just hasn’t. Accepting and supporting transgender individuals will not bring an end to civilisation either.

    while there are racists in the US (including from various favoured race perspectives) the notion of systematic pervasive racism as pivot of American culture and state since 1619 is a canard of marxist critical race theory meant to steamroller objections to demands and manipulations on the way to — surprise . . . NOT — imposition of lawless ideological oligarchy, witness the chosen theme colour of the ongoing colour revolution push, black.

    I didn’t notice many white people getting lynched in the US in the 60s. I didn’t notice a lot of black people dressing up in costumes and burning crosses on peoples’ lawns. I did notice that the hiring and promotion rate of many non-white US citizens was far below the white averages. I did notice that blacks were not allowed to play in the MLB for decades. I did notice that there were few black quarterback and coaches for decades in the NFL.

    Would you like to travel backwards in time to Alabama in the 1950s and be told you can’t sit in certain spots, you can’t use certain drinking fountains and if you tried to attend some universities you might get shot at?

    Notice how, again and again, those who would object or distract or outright threadjack demonstrate that they are unable to escape appealing to our known first duties of reason.

    We’ve asked you time and time and time again to explain, clearly and succinctly how you use ‘first duties of reason’ to decide how to draw a conclusion about things like divorce, same-sex marriage, transgender issues, etc. You only ever answer in vague and general terms if at all. Since I can’t understand how you actually apply ‘first duties of reason’ to particular situations and issues I conclude that my use of logic and reason is just as good as yours and should be given equal time.

    This is not a thread jack; it’s asking you to explain your position and how you came to it using your stated ‘first duties of reason’.

  193. 193
    jerry says:

    I don’t.

    Well we agree that the US is the least racist country in the world. Otherwise there would be ubiquitous cogent arguments but there are not. Why? Where is that dog barking in the night?

    That would be great!

    Try Thomas Sowell. I agree with him and he’s the smartest person in the world and has written on this. So I am going with an argument from authority here (probably studied this more than anyone.). For starters try

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WK4M9iJrgto&feature=emb_title

    You’ll get Jason Reilly too and Walter Williams. I forgot to mention him above.

    Check Wikipedia for the list of books Thomas Sowell has written.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Sowell

    If you haven’t read him, you are in for a treat. Discover the smartest man in the world.

  194. 194
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, subject switching again, we all know your fundamental objection to the inescapable force of first duties of reason. I am pointing out that in making objections and distractions, you are in fact forced to appeal to what you would subvert. KF

    PS: BTW, the US Constitution as a matter of fact does not cede legislative or constitution amending power to the Supreme Court. That would be life tenure unaccountable oligarchy. And that’s before we get to the problem that no form of words under colour of law can change the core characteristics and complementarity of the two sexes. Thus too, the nature of marriage and family. Attempts to do so while flying colours of law are fundamentally lawless and destructive. Including, by setting precedents that are ruinous.

    PPS: Of course the high dudgeon over you cannot apply the concepts and principles sidesteps the fact that I and many others . . . some far more august than us . . . have done so (try here as an example), but of course such were brushed aside through Wilsonian sidesteps.

  195. 195
    AndyClue says:

    @Jerry:

    Well we agree that the US is the least racist country in the world.

    What? No. That’s exactly the topic I’m ignorant about. That’s why we’re having this discussion!

    I thought by “otherwise” you meant “US is not the least racist country in the world”. Obviously I don’t agree. You have to know I usually avoid forming an opinion about a topic I’m completely ignorant about.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WK4M9iJrgto&feature=emb_title

    Thanks!

  196. 196
    kairosfocus says:

    PPPS: Just for record, Cicero on core nature of law:

    —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, whose operation is to urge us to good actions, and restrain us from evil ones . . . [T]he origin of justice is to be sought in the divine law of eternal and immutable morality.

    [–> 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 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.

    Locke, citing Hooker on the neighbour-love principle, AKA the Golden Rule, and its extensions to liberty, justice, the state and law:

    [2nd Treatise on Civil Gov’t, Ch 2 sec. 5:] . . . 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 . . . [This directly echoes St. Paul in Rom 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 . . . “ and 13: “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 . . . “ 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.] [Augmented citation, Locke, Second Treatise on Civil Government, Ch 2 Sect. 5. ]

    Aquinas:

    [Summa Theologica, First Part of the Second Part, Question 91, article 1, on eternal law: As stated above (I-II:90:1 ad 2; I-II:91:3-4), a law is nothing else but a dictate of practical reason emanating from the ruler who governs a perfect community. Now it is evident, granted that the world is ruled by Divine Providence, as was stated in I:22:1 and I:22:2, that the whole community of the universe is governed by Divine Reason. Wherefore the very Idea of the government of things in God the Ruler of the universe, has the nature of a law. And since the Divine Reason’s conception of things is not subject to time but is eternal, according to Proverbs 8:23, therefore it is that this kind of law must be called eternal . . . .

    Next, article 2 following, on natural law: As stated above (I-II:90:1 ad 1), law, being a rule and measure, can be in a person in two ways: in one way, as in him that rules and measures; in another way, as in that which is ruled and measured, since a thing is ruled and measured, in so far as it partakes of the rule or measure. Wherefore, since all things subject to Divine providence are ruled and measured by the eternal law, as was stated above (Article 1); it is evident that all things partake somewhat of the eternal law, in so far as, namely, from its being imprinted on them, they derive their respective inclinations to their proper acts and ends. Now among all others, the rational creature is subject to Divine providence in the most excellent way, in so far as it partakes of a share of providence, by being provident both for itself and for others. Wherefore it has a share of the Eternal Reason, whereby it has a natural inclination to its proper act and end: and this participation of the eternal law in the rational creature is called the natural law. Hence the Psalmist after saying (Psalm 4:6): “Offer up the sacrifice of justice,” as though someone asked what the works of justice are, adds: “Many say, Who showeth us good things?” in answer to which question he says: “The light of Thy countenance, O Lord, is signed upon us”: thus implying that the light of natural reason, whereby we discern what is good and what is evil, which is the function of the natural law, is nothing else than an imprint on us of the Divine light. It is therefore evident that the natural law is nothing else than the rational creature’s participation of the eternal law.

    That is, we are here seeing the “bones” of the architecture of law pivoting on justice as due balance of rights, freedoms and duties, where, to justly claim a right one must first show him-/her self in the right, precisely as there can be no just power to compel another to join you in the wrong or in upholding or approving the wrong; particularly, forcing the other to lie under penalty of law.

  197. 197
    kairosfocus says:

    PPPPS: On racism as alleged defining core of the US, start with the courage of men forced to make compromises, to nevertheless found a nation on these principles:

    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 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, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, 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.

    Yes there were centuries of struggle to follow, including a civil war costing as many American lives as wars thereafter to date. Yes, in living memory, a civil rights struggle led to law and military enforcement. Regardless, the framework is what enabled that struggle, and it is historical slander of the worst kind to pretend otherwise.

    Further, there is no reasonable doubt that the 1619 project, Zinn’s work and the like Marxist initiatives seek to exploit a painful history to impose lawless ideological oligarchy. And that can be seen in light of events over the past year. Where, we must never forget that the all time worst tyrannies, Communism, were imposed in the name of liberating oppressed workers. Where there was indeed a history of such oppression.

    Not everyone who cries liberation and decries oppression, historic or yet lingering, is a genuine liberator.

    That is a lesson paid for in blood and tears.

  198. 198
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: JVL, subject switching again, we all know your fundamental objection to the inescapable force of first duties of reason. I am pointing out that in making objections and distractions, you are in fact forced to appeal to what you would subvert.

    I’m asking you to give a clear and cogent example of applying the ‘inescapable force of first duties of reason’ so that I understand better what you mean!! Which you won’t do. You’re not interested in a dialogue about that, clearly. But think on this: how do you expect people to understand and possibly come around to your point of view if you won’t elucidate it further when asked?

    BTW, the US Constitution as a matter of fact does not cede legislative or constitution amending power to the Supreme Court.

    And no one (who knows what they’re talking about) said it did!

    And that’s before we get to the problem that no form of words under colour of law can change the core characteristics and complementarity of the two sexes.

    Which has nothing to do with the human-constructed institute of marriage. Please explain why you think marriage has to be restricted to heterosexual couples citing evidence and data along with classical texts and such.

    Attempts to do so while flying colours of law are fundamentally lawless and destructive. Including, by setting precedents that are ruinous.

    Do you believe and support a civil system of laws which may or may not agree with your religious tenets or not? It sounds to me like you’re selective in your support of civil structures depending on what conclusion they arrive at. So, again, please explain why you think, citing evidence, allowing same-sex marriages is so fatal.

    Where, we must never forget that the all time worst tyrannies, Communism, were imposed in the name of liberating oppressed workers. Where there was indeed a history of such oppression.

    Which has nothing to do with modern European states. Nothing.

    Not everyone who cries liberation and decries oppression, historic or yet lingering, is a genuine liberator.

    Of course not. Which is why most modern democratic states have systems of checks and balances so that no one person or institution has absolute and unchallenged power. In Europe we don’t need liberators anymore; the systems are set up to avoid that. Some systems need to be tweaked or adjusted for long-term and systemic bias. Some systems, especially outside of Europe, are threatened and overtaken by coups (much like what almost happened in the US a few weeks ago and just has happened in Myanmar, sadly). But the setups are pretty good and getting better. Humans can be pretty stupid, especially in groups, but slowly, gradually, we’re learning how to kill each other less, to respect each other and leave each other alone more.

    Notice, yet again, how this latest tangential issue pivots on our known duties of reason.

    Please explain: clearly, concisely and cogently, how known duties of reason affect the issue of same-sex marriage. No hand waving, appealing to vague notions of identity, give us some data, some evidence (legal would be good) and some modern, civic examples.

  199. 199
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Notice, yet again, how this latest tangential issue pivots on our known duties of reason. KF

  200. 200
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, your pretence that such has not been done wears thin. The principles of justice resting on neighbour duty informed by truth, right reason and prudence are the known, uncontroversial pivot of law, and cases in point have been given enough to show this in action, as though that were some strange novelty in the first place. That is, at outset, the objections pivot on persistent disregard to well known truth and fairness, which already tells us much about those who disregard or would sideline first duties of reason. When it comes to truth, it is patent that truth puts us in contact with reality. Right reason is about core logic, a major and compelling discipline that governs intelligent discourse. Prudence, is in epistemology about warrant (foundation of reliable knowledge). In general affairs it is about sober habitual soundness and avoiding rashness, including making responsible tradeoffs. In government and law, it applies such to policy making, decisions and the points where ideals must reckon with circumstances including hardness of our hearts so we see amelioration and regulation of evils long before a critical mass of support can enable abolition. Here, I allude to the test case of divorce as was already linked. Where, a major context is of course that we must reckon with the rise of modern liberty and democracy. Further to such and more, we see that cold print on paper or words assented to gain fire by force of duty attested by sound conscience. Where, too, yet again, objections and evasions all inescapably pivot on appealing to our known first duties of reason. KF

    PS: Your revealed attitude to the nature and centrality of lifelong conjugal commitment as pivot of procreation, family and societal stability further tell us a lot. You have already been pointed to a book and to a key paper that are enough for a thread not on said topic. Divorce has also been linked on. I need to get back to my RW focus.

  201. 201
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: your pretence that such has not been done wears thin. The principles of justice resting on neighbour duty informed by truth, right reason and prudence are the known, uncontroversial pivot of law, and cases in point have been given enough to show this in action, as though that were some strange novelty in the first place . . . etc, etc, etc.

    EXACTLY, SPECIFICALLY how does that affect discussion of whether or not to legalise same-sex marriage? What civil data and evidence do you have to support your opinion and approach? Can we draw parallels with other modern representative states for guidance?

    I know you won’t do much except to repeat things you’ve already said. Amazingly enough you don’t realise that your inability to defend and support your opinion with anything other than vague appeals to right reason, etc is why you’re losing the argument over same-sex marriage all over the planet. People don’t understand what harm is done by letting couples of the same sex enjoy the same protection under the law as couples of opposite sex. What is so wrong with letting other people be happy and committed? What harm does it do to you? Nothing. It affects you very little. Except that there are increasing number of TV shows I suspect you summarily switch off because they portray what you call sexual perversions as normal, accepted behaviour.

    You don’t actually believe in democracy; you’re willing to let people determine their own path through life only within the boundaries you find acceptable. Doesn’t sound like freedom or even free will at all.

  202. 202
    jerry says:

    What? No

    What? Yes!

    Don’t you believe that if the US were a racist country there would be some evidence of it?What we get are isolated instances and hoaxes which are actually proof not of racism but of the low level of racism. Where are those barking dogs? Why do they have to make unsubstantiated claims? Why do they have to make things up?

    This thread is partially about logic. These conclusions about racism are not irrefutable evidence but extremely highly suggestive.

    The fallacy of lack of evidence is not proof of no evidence exists. But when one side has an extreme interest in showing something snd they can’t provide the evidence, what is one to think?

  203. 203
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Kairosfocus “VL, subject switching again, we all know your fundamental objection to the inescapable force of first duties of reason.

    I don’t remember reading JVL saying any such thing. I think it is fair that we all agree that we have a duty to reason. Not because it is any “objective” duty but just that for society to thrive the majority of the population, and government, must maintain a cut to reason.

    The question is why you feel that the conclusions from your duty to reason is any more accurate than my conclusions, or JVL’s. As same-sex-marriage is already on the table, I would like to see how you have used your duty to reason to explain why it is bad. The nature and definition of marriage has been modified several times over the year.

  204. 204
    john_a_designer says:

    One of the more consequential and disturbing things secular progressive left has done over the last couple decades is the manipulative way they have redefined the word tolerance. Tolerance is now understood as being able to tolerate everyone except those people with whom you disagree. However, besides being logically self-refuting that is exactly opposite of the way tolerance has been historically or “classically” defined. But if you are a moral and epistemological relativist you can define terms any way you want, even if they don’t make any sense at all.

    Following up from my comment above, here’s a pertinent quote by Charles Murray, from an article by Denyse O’Leary of “News,” which illustrates the way the meaning of the term tolerance has shifted.

    “The German-born Herbert Marcuse was a brilliant and controversial philosopher whose writing became almost a sacred text for new-left intellectuals of the 1960s and 1970s. Nowadays, his best-known work is the essay “Repressive Tolerance.” There he sets out the argument that the down-shouters are putting into practice.

    For Marcuse, the fact that liberal democracies made tolerance an absolute virtue posed a problem. If society includes two groups, one powerful and one weak, then tolerating the ideas of both will mean that the voice and influence of the strong will always be greater. To treat the arguments of both sides with equal respect “mainly serves the protection and preservation of a repressive society.” That is why, for Marcuse, tolerance is antithetical to genuine democracy and thus “repressive.” … That is why tolerance, unless it discriminates, will always be repressive.

    Marcuse is quite clear that the academy must also swallow the tough medicine he prescribes: “Here, too, in the education of those who are not yet maturely integrated, in the mind of the young, the ground for liberating tolerance is still to be created.” Today’s campus downshouters, whether they have read Marcuse or not, have plainly undertaken his project.”

    https://www.mercatornet.com/features/view/the-war-on-intellectual-freedom/19663

    However, it appears that the vast majority of activists on the secular-progressive left continue to use the term “tolerant” even though it has lost all its meaning. If tolerance does not mean respecting the rights of those you disagree with ideologically, does it really mean anything? Apparently for the left, which fond of redefining words so they are “politically correct”, it still has some propaganda value– some dishonest, disingenuous propaganda value. Of course, if they were honest they would have to describe themselves as intolerant. But obviously, rhetorically and emotively (which from their POV is all that is important) that doesn’t come across quite right.

    It’s hard to see how any democratic society can survive for very long if there is no true tolerance and all we are left with is a raw power struggle.

  205. 205
    Viola Lee says:

    JaD, I know your position is that it is not worth responding to people who hold views other than your own, and that you never respond to me, but I’ll note for others who might be reading that you didn’t respond to a key question that I asked you at 171:

    Why are the things you believe not personal opinions, but the things I believe are personal opinion? Can you explain the the criteria (which I assume would be something other than mere opinion) by which you distinguish your statements as not personal opinion and mine as personal opinion?

  206. 206
    Viola Lee says:

    JaD, I know your position is that it is not worth responding to people who hold views other than your own, and that you never respond to me, but I’ll note for others who might be reading that you didn’t respond to a key question that I asked you at 171:

    Why are the things you believe not personal opinions, but the things I believe are personal opinion? Can you explain the the criteria (which I assume would be something other than mere opinion) by which you distinguish your statements as not personal opinion and mine as personal opinion?

  207. 207
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, attn SA2, toxic red herring side track compounded by attempted piling on. I don’t need to say what playbook that comes out of. This thread has a focus on something that has the very practical purpose of establishing start points, startpoints we have unwisely neglected or dismissed. It seems obvious to me those start points — shown to be inescapable and thus inescapably, self evidently true (and yes, self evident moral truths on duties that govern sound rationality) — excite fear on your part. Fear of first, obviously unwelcome truths. Unwelcome, because they are out of the control of currently fashionable agendas. The point is, they are a start point that helps us set a chaotic course to rights before it takes us over the cliff. For example, it restores the vision that law is highest reason informed by duty and prudence that builds sound government on justice. The due balance of rights, freedoms and duties, where first duties are coeval with our humanity, they are built in, sound conscience attested law. Which then allows us to use prudence to detect that evaders, distractors, dismissers who cannot but appeal to said duties are clearly less than reasonable in their behaviour. KF

  208. 208
    john_a_designer says:

    VL,
    Personal opinions are not arguments. Don’t twist what I said. My # 3 rule (@ 158):

    *3. Make a logically valid arguments.

    https://uncommondescent.com/laws/should-we-recognise-that-laws-of-nature-extend-to-laws-of-our-human-nature-which-would-then-frame-civil-law/#comment-723851

    Which means I am not going respond to anything it’s not an argument. Got it? You have yet, as far as I have seen, put anything resembling a logical argument on the table.

    Here is one of my more recent arguments (@ #151.) Notice the major premise:

    I have no obligation (epistemically or morally) to accept baseless or ungrounded personal (subjective) opinions as true.

    https://uncommondescent.com/laws/should-we-recognise-that-laws-of-nature-extend-to-laws-of-our-human-nature-which-would-then-frame-civil-law/#comment-723821

    These are recent comments you ignored. Why don’t you read I wrote and address that? If want to try to refute the argument be my guest. If you are going to just dismiss it as my opinion then don’t bother.

    Again, personal opinions are not arguments. If that’s all you have then don’t expect a response from me.

  209. 209
    AndyClue says:

    @Jerry:

    Don’t you believe that if the US were a racist country there would be some evidence of it? What we get are isolated instances (…)

    That’s one of the points I’d like an answer to: What’s a racist country? Are isolated instances of racism relevant to the measurement of “racism of a country”? The country I live in, too, experiences isolated instances of racism and does not have institutionalized racism. But according to you it’s more racist than the US. I hope the video you gave me a link to will clear these questions up (haven’t watched it yet).

  210. 210
    Viola Lee says:

    JaD, what is your logically valid argument that there are transcendent moral standards by which to judge individual moral judgments?

    And what is your logically valid argument that the assertions you make as part of your argument are not just personal opinions?

    If you don’t want to answer questions, fine. But if you believe that your arguments are something other than personal opinion, you ought to be able to defend that position.

  211. 211
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Kairosfocus “ JVL, attn SA2, toxic red herring side track…

    How is this a toxic red herring side track? We are just asking you to demonstrate how you have used your first duty to right reason etc to conclude that extending marriage to same sex couples is bad, and leading the downfall of civilization. There is no shame in simply admitting that your conclusion is based on your religious beliefs and your personal morality. That I can respect. But trying to claim that it is something derived from right reason, self evident truths and natural law, without providing details, suggests that you are being disingenuous.

    … compounded by attempted piling on.

    When several people disagree with me, i re-examine my arguments to see where they may be week. Or try to express my arguments in a different fashion to make sure I am being clear. I don’t accuse everyone else of “piling on”. Accusations of “piling on” are not arguments against their views, it is just an attempt to detract by inferring motives to others.

  212. 212
    kairosfocus says:

    SA2, you full well know we had a discussion on that some time ago. There is no good reason to side track this or any other thread at will to pursue such a toxic side track. Where, FYI, I actually took time to link substantial reference materials for those who sense a need to go beyond current fashionable moral inversion agendas. You clearly refused the opportunity. That speaks for itself. FYI, this thread has a very specific, needful focus: start points for thinking straight, anchored in self-evident, inescapable first truths amounting to laws of our morally governed, rational, responsible nature. Points that set a baseline for reasoning and so too for reasoning regarding the due balance of rights, freedoms and duties, i.e. moral roots. It is clear that you yet again seek to evade and side track through toxic distractors. Consider yourself exposed, and consider yourself as exposed that you have no cogent response to the self-evident nature of first duties. Going forward, we freely use same, and will see attempts to side track or pose that’s mere opinion . . . in the teeth of self evidence . . . as showing the emptiness of the agendas you have evidently come here to champion. KF

    PS, When you have been pointed to or had blog level outline discussions on how principles articulate to details and how they govern them — for crying out loud we are inter alia talking logic and policy decision analysis here as well as core jurisprudence — then insist on repeating the manifestly false claim that such have not been put on the table THEN add that I am somehow disingenuous, it is confession on your part by projection to the despised other. When, core logic is part of my point, and I have actually discussed inference to best current explanation above and how one articulates to the utility of core math across possible worlds, such projections on your part stand exp[osed for what they are and begin to go to character.

  213. 213
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: for refreshing our memory:

    We can readily identify at least seven inescapable first duties of reason. “Inescapable,” as they are so antecedent to reasoning that even the objector implicitly appeals to them; i.e. they are self-evident. Namely, duties, to truth, to right reason, to prudence, to sound conscience, to neighbour; so also, to fairness and justice etc. Such built-in . . . thus, universal . . . law is not invented by parliaments, kings or courts, nor can these principles and duties be abolished by such; they are recognised, often implicitly as an indelible part of our evident nature. Hence, “natural law,” coeval with our humanity, famously phrased in terms of “self-evident . . . rights . . . endowed by our Creator” in the US Declaration of Independence, 1776. (Cf. Cicero in De Legibus, c. 50 BC.) Indeed, it is on this framework that we can set out to soundly understand and duly balance rights, freedoms and duties; which is justice, the pivot of law. The legitimate main task of government, then, is to uphold and defend the civil peace of justice through sound community order reflecting the built in, intelligible law of our nature. Where, as my right implies your duty a true right is a binding moral claim to be respected in life, liberty, honestly aquired property, innocent reputation etc. To so justly claim a right, one must therefore demonstrably be in the right. Likewise, Aristotle long since anticipated Pilate’s cynical “what is truth?”: truth says of what is, that it is; and of what is not, that it is not. [Metaphysics, 1011b, C4 BC.] Simple in concept, but hard to establish on the ground; hence — in key part — the duties to right reason, prudence, fairness etc. Thus, too, we may compose sound civil law informed by that built-in law of our responsibly, rationally free morally governed nature; from such, we may identify what is unsound or false thus to be reformed or replaced even though enacted under the colour and solemn ceremonies of law. The first duties, also, are a framework for understanding and articulating the corpus of built-in law of our morally governed nature, antecedent to civil laws and manifest our roots in the Supreme Law-giver, the inherently good, utterly wise and just creator-God, the necessary (so, eternal), maximally great being at the root of reality.

    From these, we may build a sounder framework, e.g. notice the role they play in the epochal US DoI, 1776 — which indubitably marks the breakthrough of modern liberty and constitutional democracy:

    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 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, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, 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.

    Again, behind this, Locke:

    [2nd Treatise on Civil Gov’t, Ch 2 sec. 5:] . . . 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 . . . [This directly echoes St. Paul in Rom 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 . . . “ and 13: “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 . . . “ 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.] [Augmented citation, Locke, Second Treatise on Civil Government, Ch 2 Sect. 5. ]

    Let us not forget, Cicero:

    , On the Republic, Bk 3: {22.} [33] L . . . True law is right reason in agreement with [–> our morally governed] nature , it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting; it summons to duty by its commands, and averts from wrongdoing by its prohibitions. And it does not lay its commands or prohibitions upon good men in vain, though neither have any effect on the wicked. It is a sin to try to alter this law, nor is it allowable to attempt to repeal any part of it [–> as universally binding core of law], and it is impossible to abolish it entirely. We cannot be freed from its obligations by senate or people [–> as binding, universal, coeval with our humanity], and we need not look outside ourselves for an expounder or interpreter of it. [–> sound conscience- guided reason will point out the core] And there will not be different laws at Rome and at Athens, or different laws now and in the future, but one eternal and unchangeable law will be valid for all nations and all times, and there will be one master and ruler, that is, God, over us all, for he is the author of this law, its promulgator, and its enforcing judge. Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature, and by reason of this very fact he will suffer the worst penalties, even if he escapes what is commonly considered punishment. . . . – Marcus Tullius Cicero, c. 55 – 54 BC

    A point to start from,

    KF

  214. 214
    Viola Lee says:

    KF, it’s not the starting points that are in question: it’s the further steps one has to take to apply the starting points to real situations. That’s what you don’t address.

  215. 215
    john_a_designer says:

    Here are some quotes from an online article by the unapologetic Darwinian apologist, Michael Ruse:

    Morality is just a matter of emotions, like liking ice cream and sex and hating toothache and marking student papers. But it is, and has to be, a funny kind of emotion. It has to pretend that it is not that at all! If we thought that morality was no more than liking or not liking spinach, then pretty quickly it would break down. Before long, we would find ourselves saying something like: “Well, morality is a jolly good thing from a personal point of view. When I am hungry or sick, I can rely on my fellow humans to help me. But really it is all bullshit, so when they need help I can and should avoid putting myself out. There is nothing there for me.” The trouble is that everyone would start saying this, and so very quickly there would be no morality and society would collapse and each and every one of us would suffer.

    So morality has to come across as something that is more than emotion. It has to appear to be objective, even though really it is subjective…

    [M]orality is an illusion put in place by your genes to make you a social cooperator, what’s to stop you behaving like an ancient Roman? Well, nothing in an objective sense. But you are still a human with your gene-based psychology working flat out to make you think you should be moral.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2010/mar/15/morality-evolution-philosophy

    However, if morality is just an illusion, and I were to accept and believe this as Ruse does, then I don’t have any real moral obligation towards my fellow man nor should I expect that anyone is obligated to treat me “morally” in return. Morality in such a society would be superfluous if not totally meaningless. The surest way to cause the collapse of civilization is to convince a majority or even a large minority of people that Ruse is right– “morality is an illusion.”

    Many other atheists are forced to concede that at best, according to their worldview, morals are just subjective preferences. For example,

    Bertrand Russell said… “I cannot see how to refute the arguments for the subjectivity of ethical values, but I find myself incapable of believing that all that is wrong with wanton cruelty is that I don’t like it.” In Russell’s atheistic world all values are subjective and the only thing that could possibly be wrong with wanton cruelty (or pedophilia, for that matter) is that he doesn’t like it. Ruse understands the dilemma quite well. A subjective system of morality is nothing more than a rickety shack with no foundation; it will collapse in the first good wind:

    “But it [morality] is, and has to be, a funny kind of emotion. It has to pretend that it is not that at all! If we thought that morality was no more than liking or not liking spinach, then pretty quickly it would break down…very quickly there would be no morality and society would collapse and each and every one of us would suffer.

    How then do we escape this seemingly intractable problem? Ruse offers us his solution:

    So morality has to come across as something that is more than emotion. It has to appear to be objective, even though really it is subjective… Because that is what morality demands of us. It is bigger than the both of us. It is laid upon us and we must accept it, just like we must accept that 2+2=4. [emphasis added]

    https://www.algemeiner.com/2012/01/03/atheism-and-pedophilia-part-ii-the-incoherent-moral-philosophy-of-michael-ruse/

    So for Ruse morality is something like a placebo effect. But how effective is a placebo if everyone knows it’s a placebo?

  216. 216
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Let us proceed to a foundational textbook for Western Juris[rudence, the opening words in the Built-in textbook of Justinian’s Corpus Juris Civilis, by Jurisconsult Tribonian et al:

    http://thelatinlibrary.com/law/institutes.html

    Justice is the constant and perpetual wish to render every one his due.

    1. Jurisprudence is the knowledge of things divine and human; the science of the just and the unjust.

    2. Having explained these general terms, we think we shall commence our exposition of the law of the Roman people most advantageously, if we pursue at first a plain and easy path, and then proceed to explain particular details with the utmost care and exactness. For, if at the outset we overload the mind of the student, while yet new to the subject and unable to bear much, with a multitude and variety of topics, one of two things will happen—we shall either cause him wholly to abandon his studies, or, after great toil, and often after great distrust to himself (the most frequent stumbling block in the way of youth), we shall at last conduct him to the point, to which, if he had been led by an easier road, he might, without great labor, and without any distrust of his own powers, have been sooner conducted.

    3. The maxims of law are these: to live honestly, to hurt no one, to give every one his due.

    4. The study of law is divided into two branches; that of public and that of private law. Public law regards the government of the Roman empire; private law, the interest of the individuals. We are now to treat of the latter, which is composed of three elements, and consists of precepts belonging to the natural law, to the law of nations, and to the civil law.

    II. Natural, Common, and Civil Law.

    The law of nature is that law which nature teaches to all animals. For this law does not belong exclusively to the human race, but belongs to all animals, whether of the earth, the air, or the water. Hence comes the union of the male and female, which we term matrimony; hence the procreation and bringing up of children. We see, indeed, that all the other animals besides men are considered as having knowledge of this law.

    1. Civil law is thus distinguished from the law of nations. Every community governed by laws and customs uses partly its own law, partly laws common to all mankind. The law which a people makes for its own government belongs exclusively to that state and is called the civil law, as being the law of the particular state. But the law which natural reason appoints for all mankind obtains equally among all nations, because all nations make use of it. The people of Rome, then, are governed partly by their own laws, and partly by the laws which are common to all mankind. We will take notice of this distinction as occasion may arise.

    2. Civil law takes its name from the state which it governs, as, for instance, from Athens; for it would be very proper to speak of the laws of Solon or Draco as the civil law of Athens. And thus the law which the Roman people make use of is called the civil law of the Romans, or that of the Quirites; for the Romans are called Quirites from Quirinum. But whenever we speak of civil law, without adding the name of any state, we mean our own law; just as the Greeks, when “the poet” is spoken of without any name being expressed, mean the great Homer, and we Romans mean Virgil.

    The law of the nations is common to all mankind, for nations have established certain laws, as occasion and the necessities of human life required. Wars arose, and in their train followed captivity and then slavery, which is contrary to the law of nature; for by that law all men are originally born free. Further, by the law of nations almost all contracts were at first introduced, as, for instance, buying and selling, letting and hiring, partnership, deposits, loans returnable in kind, and very many others.

    3. Our law is written and unwritten, just as among the Greeks some of their laws were written and others were not written. The written part consists of leges (lex), plebiscita, senatusconsulta, constitutiones of emperors, edicta of magistrates, and responsa of jurisprudents [i.e., jurists].

    4. A lex is that which was enacted by the Roman people on its being proposed by a senatorian magistrate, as a consul. A plebiscitum is that which was enacted by the plebs on its being proposed by a plebeian magistrate, as a tribune. The plebs differ from the people as a species from its genus, for all the citizens, including patricians and senators, are comprehended in the populi (people); but the plebs only included citizens [who were] not patricians or senators. Plebiscita, after the Hortensian law had been passed, began to have the same force as leges.

    5. A senatusconsultum is that which the senate commands or appoints: for, when the Roman people was so increased that it was difficult to assemble it together to pass laws, it seemed right that the senate should be consulted in place of the people.

    6. That which seems good to the emperor has also the force of law; for the people, by the Lex Regia, which is passed to confer on him his power, make over to him their whole power and authority. Therefore whatever the emperor ordains by rescript, or decides in adjudging a cause, or lays down by edict, is unquestionably law; and it is these enactments of the emperor that are called constitutiones. Of these, some are personal, and are not to be drawn into precedent, such not being the intention of the emperor. Supposing the emperor has granted a favor to any man on account of his merit, or inflicted some punishment, or granted some extraordinary relief, the application of these acts does not extend beyond the particular individual. But the other constitutiones, being general, are undoubtedly binding on all.

    7. The edicts of the praetors are also of great authority. These edicts are called the ius honorarium, because those who bear honors [i.e., offices] in the state, that is, the magistrates, have given them their sanction. The curule aediles also used to publish an edict relative to certain subjects, which edict also became a part of the ius honorarium.

    8. The answers of the jurisprudenti are the decisions and opinions of persons who were authorized to determine the law. For anciently it was provided that there should be persons to interpret publicly the law, who were permitted by the emperor to give answers on questions of law. They were called jurisconsulti; and the authority of their decision and opinions, when they were all unanimous, was such, that the judge could not, according to the constitutiones, refuse to be guided by their answers.

    9. The unwritten law is that which usage has established; for ancient customs, being sanctioned by the consent of those who adopt them, are like laws.

    10. The civil law is not improperly divided into two kinds, for the division seems to have had its origin in the customs of the two states, Athens and Lacedaemon. For in these states it used to be the case, that the Lacedaemonians rather committed to memory what they observed as law, while the Athenians rather observed as law what they had consigned to writing, and included in the body of their laws.

    11. The laws of nature, which all nations observe alike, being established by a divine providence, remain ever fixed and immutable. But the laws which every state has enacted, undergo frequent changes, either by the tacit consent of the people, or by a new law being subsequently passed . . .

    Here, we see oligarchy with certain somewhat democratic elements tracing to concessions to the plebes. We also see core concepts of law.

    JUSTICE: Justice is the constant and perpetual wish to render every one his due; this leads to due balance of rights, freedoms and duties. where a claimed right must be consistent, i.e. there is no just right to force others to do or enable wrong, so a rights claim must be established on the root principles or core law of first duties. Which, highlights what has been done.

    JURISPRUDENCE: the knowledge of things divine and human; the science of the just and the unjust. The divine aspect, of course, has to do with the eternal root of justice in the inherently good, utterly wise eternal. Science implies, body of objective, intelligible knowledge.

    MAXIMS OF THE LAW: to live honestly, to hurt no one, to give every one his due, i.e. to be truthful, respectful of what rightly belongs to the other, turn from greed and corruption, to do no harm to innocent others, to live by justice. Where the first right is life.

    These are beginning points.

    KF

  217. 217
    Viola Lee says:

    to JaD at 215: Maybe your post wasn’t addressing to me (as you said you weren’t going to reply to me), but:

    1. What are your positive logical arguments for your view? You didn’t address that question.

    2. Ruse (especially) and Russell do not speak for me, or to my beliefs. I have explained that I am not a materialist, and that I have some chosen, faith-based beliefs that ascribe free will, rationality, responsibility for our actions, and compassion for others as core parts of our nature. But I believe that it then becomes our job to make moral judgments. Just wanted to make that clear.

  218. 218
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, on the contrary, it is the start points that are at stake in a radical relativist, subjectivist, emotivist, deeply anti-rational age. Without these firmly established there is no point where we have a straight, accurate yardstick. And in fact there have been plenty of applications and extensions starting with core mathematics, which should suffice to show that these are not airy fairy principles but for starters where logic and mathematics begin. Further to which, there have been onward discussions in a blog context, including specifically on divorce, which was also used to draw out the prudential balance of ameliorating evils not presently eradicable, and to highlight that there is a strong endorsement of the approach in the historic roots of the Judaeo-Christian tradition. Where, compromise and moral growth of nations opens up reformation. Where, there was discussion of that process tied to the rise of modern liberty. Yes, I have not directly delved on the toxic distractor of perversions and distortions of marriage under colour of law; I pointed out previous discussions and have again given significant links. These have been ignored across today in haste to claim disingenuousness. That amounts to confession by projection to the despised other on the part of those playing this little rhetorical game. At this point, enough effort at discussion with the patently unwilling has been engaged and main corrections have been given. You will see that I have now highlighted a civilisation level document on the law and government front, and have given pointers to other key historical markers. On logic, there is an entire ecosystem on how core principles articulate to practical cases. And always, we have seen how pervasive the principles are even in objections and distractions. KF

  219. 219
    kairosfocus says:

    JaD, I have often used as a yardstick a regrettably real world case, it is self-evidently evil to kidnap, bind, sexually torture and assault a young child then murder the child, for one’s pleasure. This is undeniable on pain of exposing oneself as a monster. The usual evasions and obfuscations were abundant and suffice to show that the problem is not objectivity of core morality or rights starting with life. The issue is, this is a confused age haunted by nihilism and mass murder, where blood guilt is one of the most corrupting influences. KF

  220. 220
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Let me again put on the table what the relativists evidently will do and say anything but address:

    _________________

    >> normally responsive people will at least grudgingly respect the following summary of core, conscience attested morality from the pen of Paul:

    Rom 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 . . . .

    Rom 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 [NIV, “harm”] to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. [ESV]

    Where, John Locke, in grounding modern liberty and what would become democratic self-government of a free people premised on upholding the civil peace of justice, in Ch 2 Sec. 5 of his second treatise on civil Government [c. 1690] cites “the judicious [Anglican canon, Richard] Hooker” from his classic Ecclesiastical Polity of 1594 on, as he explains how the principles of neighbour-love are inscribed in our hearts, becoming evident to the eye of common good sense and reasonableness:

    . . . 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 and alluding to Justinian’s synthesis of Roman Law in Corpus Juris Civilis that also brings these same thoughts to bear:] 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.]

    We may elaborate on Paul, Locke, Hooker and Aristotle, laying out several manifestly evident and historically widely acknowledged core moral principles for which the attempted denial is instantly and patently absurd for most people — that is, they are arguably self-evident (thus, warranted and objective) moral truths; not just optional opinions.

    So also, it is not only possible to

    (a) be in demonstrable moral error, but also

    (b) there is hope that such moral errors can be corrected by appealing to manifestly sound core principles of the natural moral law. Thus,

    (c) we can now see that a core of law is built into moral government of our responsible, rational freedom (through our known, inescapable duties to truth, right reason, prudence [including, warrant], sound conscience, neighbourliness [thus, the golden rule], fairness & justice, etc). On these, 

    (d) we may frame just civil law as comporting with that built-in law of our morally governed nature, towards upholding and defending the civil peace of justice through sound government.

    For instance:

    1] The first self evident moral truth is that we are inescapably under the government of ought.

    (This is manifest in even an objector’s implication in the questions, challenges and arguments that s/he would advance, that we are in the wrong and there is something to be avoided about that. That is, even the objector inadvertently implies that we OUGHT to do, think, aim for and say the right. Not even the hyperskeptical objector can escape this truth. Patent absurdity on attempted denial. Expanding slightly: our rational, responsible intelligent behaviour is inescapably under the moral government of known duties to truth, to right reason, to prudence [so to warrant], to sound conscience, to neighbourliness [thus, the Golden Rule], to fairness and justice, etc. Thus, we find morally rooted law built into our morally governed nature, even for our intellectual life. Thus, too, the civil law extends what is already built in, to our social circumstances, turning on issues of prudence, justice and mutual duties; if it is to be legitimate. Notice, this is itself a theory on what law is or at least should be. And yes, all of this is fraught with implications for the roots of reality.)

    2] Second self evident truth, we discern that some things are right and others are wrong by a compass-sense we term conscience which guides our thought. (Again, objectors depend on a sense of guilt/ urgency to be right not wrong on our part to give their points persuasive force. See what would be undermined should conscience be deadened or dismissed universally? Sawing off the branch on which we all must sit.)

    3] Third, were this sense of conscience and linked sense that we can make responsibly free, rational decisions to be a delusion, we would at once descend into a status of grand delusion in which there is no good ground for confidence in our self-understanding. That is, we look at an infinite regress of Plato’s cave worlds: once such a principle of grand global delusion is injected, there is no firewall so the perception of level one delusion is subject to the same issue, and this level two perception too, ad infinitum; landing in patent absurdity.

    4] Fourth, we are objectively under obligation of OUGHT. That is, despite any particular person’s (or group’s or august council’s or majority’s) wishes or claims to the contrary, such obligation credibly holds to moral certainty. That is, it would be irresponsible, foolish and unwise for us to act and try to live otherwise.

    5] Fifth, this cumulative framework of moral government under OUGHT is the basis for the manifest core principles of the natural moral law under which we find ourselves obligated to the right the good, the true etc. Where also, patently, we struggle to live up to what we acknowledge or imply we ought to do.

    6] Sixth, this means we live in a world in which being under core, generally understood principles of natural moral law is coherent and factually adequate, thus calling for a world-understanding in which OUGHT is properly grounded at root level. (Thus worldviews that can soundly meet this test are the only truly viable ones. if a worldview does not have in it a world-root level IS that can simultaneously ground OUGHT, it fails decisively.*)

    7] Seventh, in light of the above, even the weakest and most voiceless of us thus has a natural right to life, liberty, the pursuit of fulfillment of one’s sense of what s/he ought to be (“happiness”). This includes the young child, the unborn and more. (We see here the concept that rights are binding moral expectations of others to provide respect in regards to us because of our inherent status as human beings, members of the community of valuable neighbours. Where also who is my neighbour was forever answered by the parable of the Good Samaritan. Likewise, there can be no right to demand of or compel my neighbour that s/he upholds me and enables me in the wrong — including under false colour of law through lawfare. To justly claim a right, one must first be in the right.)

    8] Eighth, like unto the seventh, such may only be circumscribed or limited for good cause. Such as, reciprocal obligation to cherish and not harm neighbour of equal, equally valuable nature in community and in the wider world of the common brotherhood of humanity.

    9] Ninth, this is the context in which it becomes self evidently wrong, wicked and evil to kidnap, sexually torture and murder a young child or the like as concrete cases in point that show that might and/or manipulation do not make ‘right,’ ‘truth,’ ‘worth,’ ‘justice,’ ‘fairness,’ ‘law’ etc. That is, anything that expresses or implies the nihilist’s credo is morally absurd.

    10] Tenth, this entails that in civil society with government, justice is a principal task of legitimate government. In short, nihilistic will to power untempered by the primacy of justice is its own refutation in any type of state. Where, justice is the due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities. Thus also,

    11] Eleventh, that government is and ought to be subject to audit, reformation and if necessary replacement should it fail sufficiently badly and incorrigibly.

    (NB: This is a requisite of accountability for justice, and the suggestion or implication of some views across time, that government can reasonably be unaccountable to the governed, is its own refutation, reflecting — again — nihilistic will to power; which is automatically absurd. This truth involves the issue that finite, fallible, morally struggling men acting as civil authorities in the face of changing times and situations as well as in the face of the tendency of power to corrupt, need to be open to remonstrance and reformation — or if they become resistant to reasonable appeal, there must be effective means of replacement. Hence, the principle that the general election is an insitutionalised regular solemn assembly of the people for audit and reform or if needs be replacement of government gone bad. But this is by no means an endorsement of the notion that a manipulated mob bent on a march of folly has a right to do as it pleases.)

    12] Twelfth, the attempt to deny or dismiss such a general framework of moral governance invariably lands in shipwreck of incoherence and absurdity. As, has been seen in outline. But that does not mean that the attempt is not going to be made, so there is a mutual obligation of frank and fair correction and restraint of evil.
    _________________

    * F/N: After centuries of debates and assessment of alternatives per comparative difficulties, there is in fact just one serious candidate to be such a grounding IS: the inherently good creator God, a necessary and maximally great being worthy of ultimate loyalty and the reasonable responsible service of doing the good in accord with our manifestly evident nature. (And instantly, such generic ethical theism answers also to the accusation oh this is “religion”; that term being used as a dirty word — no, this is philosophy. If you doubt this, simply put forth a different candidate that meets the required criteria and passes the comparative difficulties test: _________ . Likewise, an inherently good, maximally great being will not be arbitrary or deceitful etc, that is why such is fully worthy of ultimate loyalty and the reasonable, responsible service of doing the good in accord with our manifestly evident nature. As a serious candidate necessary being, such would be eternal and embedded in the frame for a world to exist at all. Thus such a candidate is either impossible as a square circle is impossible due to mutual ruin of core characteristics, or else it is actual. For simple instance no world is possible without two-ness in it, a necessary basis for distinct identity inter alia.

    F/N2: Likewise, as Ben Mines summarises from Leibniz, maximal goodness, wisdom and power are arguably mutually, inextricably entangled once we understand/accept that the good implies an evident proper end or purpose:

    Leibniz has given an argument to show that omniscience and moral perfection [–> also, omnipotence] are mutually inclusive: all freely willed action strives towards some goal; all goals are the pursuit of some good entertained by the agent; [ –> real or imagined?] the scope and quality of entertainable goods is dependent on knowledge; the maximisation of knowledge perfects an agent’s judgment of the good. An evil being therefore lacks perfect knowledge; and lacking perfect knowledge, is not omniscient; and lacking omniscience, cannot be omnipotent since there will be some actions it lacks the knowledge to perform. The proposition, It is possible that a maximally great but evil being exists is therefore broadly incoherent. A being cannot be both evil and maximally great.

     F/N3: This principle of built-in moral government under known law also applies directly to gospel ethics, discipleship and evangelism. For, example, it means that “sin” is not merely an oppressive invention of priestcraft designed to bring us under theocratic tyranny — which, is the exact implication of many objections to gospel ethics today. Instead, sin is in the first instance willful moral error, defiance therefore of the inherently good and utterly wise Creator who made us, gave us responsible freedom, commanded us to live by love and truth, and gave us sound conscience as a witness. Therefore, too, we have real guilt against the law of our nature, the law of our creator, not just mere painful emotions to deal with. It is in this context that the gospel is good news: in his love, our creator has made a way for us to be forgiven, rescued and transformed.>>
    _________________

    It is clear that there is no cogent relativist response to the objectivity or the grounding of moral governance. Indeed, it looks a lot like animosity motivates attempts to undermine what they do not like, while trying to manipulate then through lawfare to usurp the sword of justice and impose will to power.

    Long, grim history paid for in blood and tears serves as a warning, if we will heed it,

    KF

  221. 221
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: In bridging to law and government, let us excerpt this part:

    7] Seventh, in light of the above, even the weakest and most voiceless of us thus has a natural right to life, liberty, the pursuit of fulfillment of one’s sense of what s/he ought to be (“happiness”). This includes the young child, the unborn and more. (We see here the concept that rights are binding moral expectations of others to provide respect in regards to us because of our inherent status as human beings, members of the community of valuable neighbours. Where also who is my neighbour was forever answered by the parable of the Good Samaritan. Likewise, there can be no right to demand of or compel my neighbour that s/he upholds me and enables me in the wrong — including under false colour of law through lawfare. To justly claim a right, one must first be in the right.)

    8] Eighth, like unto the seventh, such may only be circumscribed or limited for good cause. Such as, reciprocal obligation to cherish and not harm neighbour of equal, equally valuable nature in community and in the wider world of the common brotherhood of humanity.

    9] Ninth, this is the context in which it becomes self evidently wrong, wicked and evil to kidnap, sexually torture and murder a young child or the like as concrete cases in point that show that might and/or manipulation do not make ‘right,’ ‘truth,’ ‘worth,’ ‘justice,’ ‘fairness,’ ‘law’ etc. That is, anything that expresses or implies the nihilist’s credo is morally absurd.

    10] Tenth, this entails that in civil society with government, justice is a principal task of legitimate government. In short, nihilistic will to power untempered by the primacy of justice is its own refutation in any type of state. Where, justice is the due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities. Thus also,

    11] Eleventh, that government is and ought to be subject to audit, reformation and if necessary replacement should it fail sufficiently badly and incorrigibly.

    (NB: This is a requisite of accountability for justice, and the suggestion or implication of some views across time, that government can reasonably be unaccountable to the governed, is its own refutation, reflecting — again — nihilistic will to power; which is automatically absurd. This truth involves the issue that finite, fallible, morally struggling men acting as civil authorities in the face of changing times and situations as well as in the face of the tendency of power to corrupt, need to be open to remonstrance and reformation — or if they become resistant to reasonable appeal, there must be effective means of replacement. Hence, the principle that the general election is an insitutionalised regular solemn assembly of the people for audit and reform or if needs be replacement of government gone bad. But this is by no means an endorsement of the notion that a manipulated mob bent on a march of folly has a right to do as it pleases.)

    Such is of course directly reflected in the US DoI, and that in turn was articulated into a Constitution resting on the common law system eleven years later:

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America . . . . [Main Body, Arts I – VII] . . . . Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth. In Witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names. . . . . [AMENDMENTS].

    Such a system of civil law is accountable to core first principles and is open to amendment with consent of the governed. On prudence, powers are divided, bi-cameral legislature, executive, independent judiciary. Such is well known.

    Less well understood is the underlying frame, intelligible naturaol law coeval with our humanity.

  222. 222
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Key background, noting impact of Corpus Juris’ Institutes:

    https://onlinelaw.wustl.edu/blog/common-law-vs-civil-law/

    What is the Difference Between Common Law and Civil Law?

    January 28, 2014 by Piyali Syam

    As lawyers know, legal systems in countries around the world generally fall into one of two main categories: common law systems and civil law systems. There are roughly 150 countries that have what can be described as primarily civil law systems, whereas there are about 80 common law countries.

    The main difference between the two systems is that in common law countries, case law — in the form of published judicial opinions — is of primary importance, whereas in civil law systems, codified statutes predominate. But these divisions are not as clear-cut as they might seem. In fact, many countries use a mix of features from common and civil law systems. Understanding the differences between these systems first requires an understanding of their historical underpinnings.

    The Historical Origins of Common and Civil Law Systems

    The original source of the common law system can be traced back to the English monarchy, which used to issue formal orders called “writs” when justice needed to be done. Because writs were not sufficient to cover all situations, courts of equity were ultimately established to hear complaints and devise appropriate remedies based on equitable principles taken from many sources of authority (such as Roman law and “natural” law). As these decisions were collected and published, it became possible for courts to look up precedential opinions and apply them to current cases. And thus the common law developed.

    Civil law in other European nations, on the other hand, is generally traced back to the code of laws compiled by the Roman Emperor Justinian around 600 C.E. Authoritative legal codes with roots in these laws (or others) then developed over many centuries in various countries, leading to similar legal systems, each with their own sets of laws.

    Observe, the roots in emerging lawful oligarchies with a pivot on how do we establish justice. Civil law or bodies of precedent synthesised into a whole, should recognise the priority of justice so the first duties as noted. Absent that priority, chaos.

  223. 223
    kairosfocus says:

    PPPS: To get an idea with what has gone so very wrong, ponder this from the Institutes, updated to nine black robed lawyers on a bench, or to whoever controls legal presses and is pleased to issue what they want as law:

    That which seems good to the emperor has also the force of law; for the people, by the Lex Regia, which is passed to confer on him his power, make over to him their whole power and authority. Therefore whatever the emperor ordains by rescript, or decides in adjudging a cause, or lays down by edict, is unquestionably law; and it is these enactments of the emperor that are called constitutiones. Of these, some are personal, and are not to be drawn into precedent, such not being the intention of the emperor. Supposing the emperor has granted a favor to any man on account of his merit, or inflicted some punishment, or granted some extraordinary relief, the application of these acts does not extend beyond the particular individual. But the other constitutiones, being general, are undoubtedly binding on all.

    See why principles and duties of justice recognised as coeval with our humanity are vital?

  224. 224
    AndyClue says:

    @Jerry:

    AndyClue: I hope the video you gave me a link to will clear these questions up (haven’t watched it yet).

    Ok, no, it didn’t at all. There’s was no mention of US being the least racist country in the world. However the video did make me curious about his writings. Which of his books would you recommend?

  225. 225
    jerry says:

    I recommended the video to introduce you and others to someone who has analyzed racism more more than anyone in this country, probably the world. It was not to answer your question directly. I did that by claiming there is little evidence of racism in the US and the US has enormous programs to help the poor, mostly racial minorities.

    Blacks definitely have a much harder time than other groups but not because of racism from other groups. They live in dysfunctional communities that don’t support families or education. This is a relatively recent phenomenon and the result of policies put in place by liberals ostensibly to help them but which have devastated the Black communities. Here is an article by Walter Williams (recently deceased) about this. In it he quotes Orlando Patterson.

    America, while still flawed in its race relations … is now the least racist white-majority society in the world; has a better record of legal protection of minorities than any other society, white or black; (and) offers more opportunities to a greater number of black persons than any other society, including all those of Africa.

    https://www.nwitimes.com/opinion/columnists/guest-commentary/walter-williams-blind-to-real-problems/article_cc051c77-d585-5577-9699-b505dbd79451.html

    In the last 60 years the US has spent several trillion dollars on help for the poor, a large percentage of which goes to African Americans. No other country has spent even close to this on racial minorities.

    Ask yourself if the US is a racist country why has so much money been transferred to blacks and the minorities from the well off?

    Kind of hard recommending a book by Sowell. He has written so many good ones. Try Discrimination and Disparities latest revision from 2019. When he was 89.

  226. 226
    john_a_designer says:

    Here is a question for our atheist interlocutors.

    True or false?

    Is it immoral or unethical for you to force your “personal” moral views or group think on someone else?

    Or, as I have said here before what makes one person’s moral opinions binding on anyone else? If it’s nothing more than their subjective opinion it’s not binding on anyone else.

    Furthermore, I don’t see how the moral subjectivist is in a position to tell anyone else what to think and believe. It’s irrational to think that your subjective opinions are morally binding on anyone else. It’s silly and foolish to argue that they are. If they’re subjective then your opinions apply only to you. No one else is obligated to even consider them. Furthermore, to argue that moral subjectivism is true is self-refuting.

    I would further argue as a moral realist that unless there are real binding moral obligations, interpersonal morality and universal human rights make absolutely no sense in real practical terms. If morality is simply based on individual subjective opinions and group think how is anyone obligated to accept it as binding? For example, if human rights are not really fundamental, universal and binding obligations, what good are they? Aren’t they just delusions? What “right” does anyone have to force a delusion on anyone else? It becomes doubly absurd when a person does this knowingly, which is what the anti-realist is doing.

  227. 227
    Viola Lee says:

    JaD says, “Here is a question for our atheist interlocutors. True or false?

    Is it immoral or unethical for you to force your “personal” moral views or group think on someone else?”

    Well, as I have explained I am an atheist but not a materialist, so I’m not sure I count, but I’d say that it’s immoral or ethical for anyone, atheist or not, to force one’s views on anyone, although it’s not clear what JaD has in mind when he says “force”. How do you force your views on someone? I think JaD might be clearer about what he means here.

    JaD says, “As I have said here before what makes one person’s moral opinions binding on anyone else? If it’s nothing more than their subjective opinion it’s not binding on anyone else. Furthermore, I don’t see how the moral subjectivist is in a position to tell anyone else what to think and believe.”

    I agree that the question “what makes one person’s moral opinions binding on anyone else?” is a good question, and I think it applies to JaD as well as to me or anyone else.

    Does JaD have a right to force his moral standards on me? I don’t think so. Believing that there are transcendent objective moral standards does not make it so. I’ve asked JaD to present the “valid logical arguments” that might show that his position about moral standard is correct, but he hasn’t done so.

    JaD writes, “I would further argue as a moral realist that unless there are real binding moral obligations, interpersonal morality and universal human rights make absolutely no sense in real practical terms. If morality is simply based on individual subjective opinions and group think how is anyone obligated to accept it as binding? For example, if human rights are not really fundamental, universal and binding obligations, what good are they? Aren’t they just delusions? What “right” does anyone have to force a delusion on anyone else? It becomes doubly absurd when a person does this knowingly, which is what the anti-realist is doing.”

    Argumentum ad consequentiam is a logical fallacy. The fact that one thinks adverse consequences follow from a premise isn’t evidence against the premise. The premise may be true and we have to live with the consequences.

    Objecting that if there are no objective standards then we have no objective binding obligations is tautological: it’s true but meaningless if in fact the premise that we have objective standards is false. If there are no objective standards then yes, indeed, we have no objective standards. If this is actually the case then that is what we have to live with, and we have to find other ways to come to some agreements about how we want to live together, including what obligations we should have towards each other.

    So the ball is in JaD court: how do we know that there are objective standards, and how do we know what they in fact are?

  228. 228
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, we are now going in circles of unresponsiveness to clear warrant on the table:

    how do we know that there are objective standards, and how do we know what they in fact are?

    There is more than enough above that has answered, and you have already acknowledged the point. It is time to build on it. For example, I will put on the table the core first duties summary:

    We can readily identify at least seven inescapable first duties of reason. “Inescapable,” as they are so antecedent to reasoning that even the objector implicitly appeals to them; i.e. they are self-evident. Namely, duties, to truth, to right reason, to prudence, to sound conscience, to neighbour; so also, to fairness and justice etc. Such built-in . . . thus, universal . . . law is not invented by parliaments, kings or courts, nor can these principles and duties be abolished by such; they are recognised, often implicitly as an indelible part of our evident nature. Hence, “natural law,” coeval with our humanity, famously phrased in terms of “self-evident . . . rights . . . endowed by our Creator” in the US Declaration of Independence, 1776. (Cf. Cicero in De Legibus, c. 50 BC.) Indeed, it is on this framework that we can set out to soundly understand and duly balance rights, freedoms and duties; which is justice, the pivot of law. The legitimate main task of government, then, is to uphold and defend the civil peace of justice through sound community order reflecting the built in, intelligible law of our nature. Where, as my right implies your duty a true right is a binding moral claim to be respected in life, liberty, honestly aquired property, innocent reputation etc. To so justly claim a right, one must therefore demonstrably be in the right. Likewise, Aristotle long since anticipated Pilate’s cynical “what is truth?”: truth says of what is, that it is; and of what is not, that it is not. [Metaphysics, 1011b, C4 BC.] Simple in concept, but hard to establish on the ground; hence — in key part — the duties to right reason, prudence, fairness etc. Thus, too, we may compose sound civil law informed by that built-in law of our responsibly, rationally free morally governed nature; from such, we may identify what is unsound or false thus to be reformed or replaced even though enacted under the colour and solemn ceremonies of law. The first duties, also, are a framework for understanding and articulating the corpus of built-in law of our morally governed nature, antecedent to civil laws and manifest our roots in the Supreme Law-giver, the inherently good, utterly wise and just creator-God, the necessary (so, eternal), maximally great being at the root of reality.

    Notice, even your demand for warrant just now appeals to them. To object successfully, you would have to avoid building in an implicit appeal to first duties as you seek to persuade or defeat. This is patently infeasible, as you actually know. We can take it as a given that core moral duties are established as self-evident, inescapable truths. Actually, the inescapability came first, leading to either surrender to utter self-defeat or acknowledgement that these are starting truths, from which we can and do build up bodies of knowledge and best practice for reason, life and policy.

    The sad case of a murdered child, victim of a perverted pleasure that sought to dominate and destroy, speaks to the key balance: justice balances, duly, rights, freedoms and responsibilities in a coherent order, with tempering from what is prudent such that there are some evils that cannot be eradicated as the attempt would fail and do worse harm as was seen in the US experience of prohibition. Some would argue, decriminalisation of Marijuana is following the same road of having to recognise entrenched evil, having lost the drugs was and through the smuggling networks opened a gateway for much worse. And yes, that is an indictment of our civilisation.

    The case of that child prioritises right to life, without which there are no other rights. It leads to recognition of the absurdity of the nihilist’s creed, that might/manipulation make ‘right’ ‘rights’ ‘truth’ ‘warrant’ ‘knowledge’ ‘justice’ ‘law’ etc. The flaw inadvertently highlighted in Justinian’s Institutes, regarding the law that ceded law making power to an unaccountable person, duly extended, shows the structural issue, even among an oligarchy there must be accountability or it will fall into lawless or incompetent hands. As is obviously happening at civilisation level as we speak; constitutional, democratic institutions can be gradually subverted and undermined, opening the door to lawless oligarchy. Which is what is before our appalled eyes.

    Now, this leads to Justinian’s core of law (expressing duties of justice tempered by prudence), as I clipped and commented:

    JUSTICE: Justice is the constant and perpetual wish to render every one his due; this leads to due balance of rights, freedoms and duties. where a claimed right must be consistent, i.e. there is no just right to force others to do or enable wrong, so a rights claim must be established on the root principles or core law of first duties. Which, highlights what has been done.

    JURISPRUDENCE: the knowledge of things divine and human; the science of the just and the unjust. The divine aspect, of course, has to do with the eternal root of justice in the inherently good, utterly wise eternal. Science implies, body of objective, intelligible knowledge.

    MAXIMS OF THE LAW: to live honestly, to hurt no one, to give every one his due, i.e. to be truthful, respectful of what rightly belongs to the other, turn from greed and corruption, to do no harm to innocent others, to live by justice. Where the first right is life.

    On wider issues, starting with Mathematics, duties to truth, right reason, prudence [including warrant], fairness predominate, reflecting also duties to sound conscience [an inner witness], neighbour, fairness. Such extend to particular cases and such instruct us inductively. The case of a murdered child, killed during selfish, perverted pleasure-seeking that reduced the other to a disposable toy, speaks, pointing to the significance of Kant’s categorical imperative in the forms that maxims of duty must be universalisable without infeasibility or ruin [e.g. if lying is universal, communication breaks down and civilised society disintegrates, even Cretans must speak truth overwhelmingly most of the time], or equivalently the other must be respected as an end in themselves not a mere means to one’s own ends.

    From such, general patterns are obvious, and so widely known that we are led to the conclusion that the present hyperskepticism regarding duty and its objectivity is a result of deeply fallacy-riddled ideology. Which is not hard to identify, radical relativism, subjectivism and emotivism, which have been repeatedly exposed.

    The issue is not warrant or objectivity of morality at the core or pervasiveness and self evidence of first duties, it is that such are widely unwelcome and resisted. Which points to ruinous consequences.

    KF

  229. 229
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Correcting the fallacies of relativism, subjectivism, emotivism:

    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.

    So, if you object, VL, WITHOUT IMPLICITLY APPEALING TO FIRST DUTIES, refute — oops — the above and ground — double oops — why we should — oops yet again — acknowledge that such a truth claim — oops, we cannot avoid this — has warrant — oops . . . — and thus establishes itself — oops — as a moral truth. Which would be a self-referentially incoherent — oops — conclusion.

  230. 230
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Will Hawthorne has a sobering point:

    It is relevant to expose some underlying evolutionary materialistic thinking by highlighting Michael Ruse & E. O. Wilson in their notorious 1991 essay, “The Evolution of Ethics”:

    The time has come to take seriously the fact

    [–> This is a gross error at the outset, as macro-evolution is a theory (an explanation) about the unobserved past of origins and so cannot be a fact on the level of the observed roundness of the earth or the orbiting of planets around the sun etc. and as the ideology of evolutionary materialistic scientism, which undergirds the perception of “fact” is an imposed, question-begging, self-refuting necessarily false assertion, not a fact]

    that we humans are modified monkeys, not the favored Creation of a Benevolent God on the Sixth Day . . . We must think again [–> why, isn’t that a disguised “OUGHT,” the very thing being trashed?] especially about our so-called ‘ethical principles.’ [–> this speculation improperly dressed up as fact directly affects ethics, with implications for the first duties of reason] The question is not whether biology—specifically, our evolution—is connected with ethics, but how.

    As evolutionists, we see that no justification of the traditional kind is possible. Morality, or more strictly our belief in morality, is merely an adaptation put in place to further our reproductive ends. Hence the basis of ethics does not lie in God’s will … In an important sense, ethics as we understand it is an illusion fobbed off on us by our genes to get us to cooperate. It is without external grounding… Ethics is illusory inasmuch as it persuades us that it has an objective reference. This is the crux of the biological position. Once it is grasped, everything falls into place. [–> Yes, they are utterly unaware of how such undermines the credibility of reason thus their own rationality, by imposing grand delusion and undermining the moral government that drives how responsible rationality works]

    [Michael Ruse & E. O. Wilson, “The Evolution of Ethics,” Religion and the Natural Sciences: The Range of Engagement, , ed. J. E. Hutchingson, Orlando, Fl.:Harcourt and Brace, 1991.]

    Will Hawthorne, in reply to such ideological imposition, is deservedly withering, echoing the concerns Plato raised in The Laws, Bk X, concerns that reflect lessons hard-bought with blood and tears:

    Assume (per impossibile) that atheistic naturalism [= evolutionary materialism] is true. Assume, furthermore, that one can’t infer an ‘ought’ from an ‘is’ [the ‘is’ being in this context physicalist: matter-energy, space- time, chance and mechanical forces]. (Richard Dawkins and many other atheists should grant both of these assumptions.)

    Given our second assumption, there is no description of anything in the natural world from which we can infer an ‘ought’. And given our first assumption, there is nothing that exists over and above the natural world; the natural world is all that there is. It follows logically that, for any action you care to pick, there’s no description of anything in the natural world from which we can infer that one ought to refrain from performing that action.

    Add a further uncontroversial assumption: an action is permissible if and only if it’s not the case that one ought to refrain from performing that action . . . [We see] therefore, for any action you care to pick, it’s permissible to perform that action. If you’d like, you can take this as the meat behind the slogan ‘if atheism is true, all things are permitted’.

    For example if atheism is true, every action Hitler performed was permissible. Many atheists don’t like this [nihilistic, absurd] consequence of their worldview. But they cannot escape it and insist that they are being logical at the same time.

    Now, we all know that at least some actions are really not permissible (for example, racist actions). Since the conclusion of the argument denies this, there must be a problem somewhere in the argument. Could the argument be invalid? No. The argument has not violated a single rule of logic and all inferences were made explicit.

    Thus we are forced to deny the truth of one of the assumptions we started out with. That means we either deny atheistic naturalism or (the more intuitively appealing) principle that one can’t infer ‘ought’ from [a material] ‘is’.

  231. 231
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: It seems, we must belabour foundational matters, for record. Blackstone is a suitable point of reference, for those willing to heed, and a marker for those who will be only too willing to play at TL/DR, showing their stubborn folly in the face of readily accessible evidence and argument grounding a sound body of knowledge.

    Blackstone’s Commentaries, of course, were a standard reference and textbook of law rooted in the British Common Law tradition tracing back through ages to Alfred and his Witans in the Book of Dooms, by way of Magna Carta and centuries of debate in courts [so, having features of deep empirical test but wanting systematisation and coherence in some degree], with further focus on the decades since the Bill of Rights issuing from the Glorious Revolution, 1688 – 9; which textbook for lawyers started out as a course of lectures at Oxford. Let me clip a little further on than is usual, in his opening essay on the nature and roots of law (bearing in mind thoughts of Locke, Hooker, Aquinas, Cicero, Paul, Jesus et al):

    WILLIAM BLACKSTONE, Esq.
    VINERIAN PROFESSOR OF LAW AND
    SOLICITOR GENERAL TO THE QUEEN.

    COMMENTARIES
    ON THE LAWS
    OF ENGLAND
    BOOKS 1-4 (1765-1769)

    Based on the first edition, together with the most material corrections and additions in the second edition.

    Translation of greek, latin, italian and french quotations (with some modifications) by J. W. Jones, Esq. (1823)

    Footnotes have been converted to chapter end notes. Spelling has been modernized.

    [ . . . . ]

    There are, it is true a great number of indifferent points, in which both the divine law and the natural [–> already expounded] leave a man at his own liberty; but which are found necessary [–> prudent] for the benefit of society to be restrained within certain limits. And herein it is that human laws have their greatest force and efficacy; for, with regard to such points as are not indifferent, human laws are only declaratory of, and act in subordination to, the former. To instance in the case of murder; this is expressly forbidden by the divine, and demonstrably by the natural law; and from these prohibitions arises the true unlawfulness of this crime. Those human laws that annex a punishment to it, do not at all increase its moral guilt, or superadd any fresh obligation in foro conscientiae [in the court of conscience] to abstain from its perpetration. Nay, if any human law should allow or enjoin us to commit it, we are bound to transgress that human law, or else we must offend both the natural and the divine. [–> notice, the self-evident force of the lawlessness of murder is a first chief example pointing to how first duties in guise of core law articulate to particular cases.] But with regard to matters that are in themselves indifferent, and are not commanded or forbidden by those superior laws; such, for instance, as exporting of wool into foreign countries; here the inferior legislature has scope and opportunity to interpose, and to make that action unlawful which before was not so. [–> limited jurisdiction, with freedom to change, on topics not coeval . . . that word comes from earlier remarks . . . with morally governed human nature and the significance of the roots of reality in inherently good, utterly wise necessary being]

    If man were to live in a state of nature [–> the state of nature/anarchy repeller pole, cf OP, as analyrical foil to civil, lawful society that has moved beyond lawless oligarchs domineering over subjects and slaves], unconnected with other individuals, there would be no occasion for any other laws, than the law of nature, and the law of God. Neither could any other law possibly exist; for a law always supposes some superior who is to make it; and in a state of nature we are all equal, without any other superior but him who is the author of our being. But man was formed for society [–> social being, family, marriage and children as the future are coeval with humanity and shape civil government and law, so too tampering with natural law aspects of family and marriage, including our identity-characteristics as coming in two complementary sexes, is chaotic] ; and, as is demonstrated by the writers on this subject,2 is neither capable of living alone, nor indeed has the courage to do it. However, as it is impossible for the whole race of mankind to be united in one great society, they must necessarily divide into many; and form separate states, commonwealths and nations, entirely independent of each other, and yet liable to a mutual intercourse. [–> nationhood and government under God, informed by what is coeval with our humanity] Hence arises a third kind of law, to regulate this mutual intercourse, called “the law of nations:” which, as none of these states will acknowledge a superiority in the other, cannot be dictated by any; but depends entirely upon the rules of natural law, or upon mutual compacts, treaties, leagues, and agreements between these several communities: in the construction also of which compacts we have no other rule to resort to, but the law of nature; being the only one to which all the communities are equally subject: and therefore the civil law3 very justly observes, that quod naturalis ratio inter omnes homines constituit, vocatur jus gentium. [That rule which natural reason has dictated to all men, is called the law of nations.] [–> the law of nations, international law, treaties and relationship with law coeval with our humanity, hence too basic validity of competent international law courts]

    Thus much I thought it necessary to premise concerning the law of nature, the revealed law, and the law of nations, [–> notice 3 of four foci] before I proceeded to treat more fully of the principal subject of this section, municipal or civil law [–> civil or municipal law, note echo in Greenleaf on evidence a century later]; that is, the rule by which particular districts, communities, or nations are governed; being thus defined by Justinian,4 “jus civile est quod quisque sibi populus constituit” [“the civil law is that which every nation has established for its own government”]. I call it municipal law, in compliance with common speech for, though strictly that expression denotes the particular customs of one single municipium or free town, yet it may with sufficient propriety be applied to any one state or nation, which is governed by the same laws and customs.

    Municipal law, thus understood, is properly defined to be “a rule of civil conduct prescribed by the Supreme power in a state commanding what is right, and prohibiting what is wrong.” [–> notice, priority of moral government coeval with our humanity] Let us endeavor to explain its several properties, as they arise out of this definition.

    And, first, it is a rule; not a transient sudden order from a superior, to or concerning a particular person; but something permanent, uniform and universal. [–> subject to amendment or repeal etc, on those parts that are not bound under our creation order built in law and/or treaty obligations requiring consent of other nations] Therefore a particular act of the legislature to confiscate the goods of Titius, or to attaint him of high treason, does not enter into the idea of a municipal law; for the operation of this act is spent upon Titius only, and has no relation to the community in general; it is rather a sentence than a law. But an act to declare that the crime of which Titius is accused shall be deemed high treason; this has permanency, uniformity, and universality, and therefore is properly a rule. It is also called a rule, to distinguish it from advice or counsel, which we are at liberty to follow or not, as we see proper, and to judge upon the reasonableness or unreasonableness of the thing advised; whereas our obedience to the law depends not upon our approbation, but upon the maker’s will, Counsel is only matter of persuasion, law is matter of injunction: counsel acts only upon the willing, law upon the unwilling also.

    It is also called a rule, to distinguish it from a compact or agreement; for a compact is a promise proceeding from us, law is a command directed to us. The language of a compact is, “I will, or will not, do this;” that of a law is, “thou shall, or shalt not, do it.” It is true there is an obligation which a compact carries with it; equal in point of conscience to that of a law, but then the original of the obligation is different. In compacts, we ourselves determine and promise what shall be done, before we are obliged to do it; in laws, we are obliged to act without ourselves determining or promising anything at all. Upon these accounts law is defined to be “a rule.”

    Municipal law is also “a rule of civil conduct.” This distinguishes municipal law from the natural, or revealed; the former of which is the rule of moral conduct, and the latter not only the rule of moral conduct, but also the rule of faith. These regard man as a creature, and point out his duty to God, to himself, and to his neighbor, considered in the light of an individual. But municipal or civil law regards him also as a citizen, and bound to other duties towards his neighbor, than those of mere nature and religion: duties, which he has engaged in by enjoying the benefits of the common union: and which amount to no more, than that he do contribute, on his part, to the subsistence and peace of the society. [–> what happens, then, when the municipal is usurped by the lawless and ambitious, the natural is dismissed and the revealed rooted in the source of reality is derided? Chaotic descent into lawless ideological oligarchy. That is what we see.]

    It is likewise “a rule prescribed.” Because a bare resolution, confined in the breast of the legislator, without manifesting itself by some external sign, can never be properly a law. It is requisite that this resolution be notified to the people who are to obey it. [–> hence the silly redefinition of law as whatever is issued under that colour by those controlling the legal presses; legal positivism is vacuous and insofar as it reflects the lawless usurpation and aggrandisement of municipal law uber alles, pernicious] But the manner in which this notification is to be made, is matter of very great indifference. It may be notified by universal tradition and long practice, which supposes a previous publication, and is the case of the common law of England. [–> common law introduced as cumulative, collective, time tested precedent] It may be notified, viva voce, by officers appointed for that purpose, as is done with regard to proclamations, and such acts of parliament as are appointed to be publicly read in churches and other assemblies. It may lastly be notified by writing, printing, or the like; which is the general course taken with all our acts of parliament. Yet, whatever way is made use of, it is incumbent on the promulgators to do it in the most public and perspicuous manner; not like Caligula, who (according to Dio Cassius) wrote his laws in a very small character, and hung them up upon high pillars, the more effectually to ensnare the people. There is still a more unreasonable method than this, which is called making of laws ex post facto [after the fact]; when after an action (indifferent in itself) is committed, the legislator then for the first time declares it to have been a crime, and inflicts a punishment upon the person who has committed it. Here it is impossible that the party could foresee that an action, innocent when it was done, should be afterwards converted to guilt by a subsequent law: he had therefore no cause to abstain from it; and all punishment for not abstaining must of consequence be cruel and unjust.5 All laws should be therefore made to commence in futuro [in the future], and be notified before their commencement, which is implied in the term “prescribed.” But when this rule is in the usual manner notified, or prescribed, it is then the subject’s business to be thoroughly acquainted therewith; for if ignorance, of what he might know, were admitted as a legitimate excuse, the laws would be of no effect, but might always be eluded with impunity.

    But farther: municipal law is “a rule of civil conduct prescribed by the supreme power in a state.” For legislature, as was before observed, is the greatest act of superiority that can be exercised by one being over another. Wherefore it is requisite to the very essence of a law, that it be made by the supreme power. Sovereignty and legislature are indeed convertible terms; one cannot subsist without the other. [–> legislature as senior branch of the state, priority over executive and judiciary]

    This will naturally lead us into a short inquiry concerning the nature of society and civil government; and the natural, inherent right that belongs to the sovereignty of a state, wherever that sovereignty be lodged, of making and enforcing laws.

    The only true and natural foundations of society are the wants and the fears of individuals. Not that we can believe, with some theoretical writers, that there ever was a time when there was no such thing as society, either natural or civil; and that, from the impulse of reason,[–> duty to reason, in thin disguise] and through a sense of their wants and weaknesses, individuals met together in a large plain, entered into an original contract, and chose the tallest roan present to be their governor. This notion, of an actually existing unconnected state of nature, is too wild to be seriously admitted: and besides it is plainly contradictory to the revealed accounts of the primitive origin of mankind, and their preservation two thousand years afterwards; both which were effected by the means of single families. These formed the first natural society, among themselves; which, every day extending its limits, laid the first though imperfect rudiments of civil or political society: and when it grew too large to subsist with convenience in that pastoral state wherein the patriarchs appear to have lived, it necessarily subdivided itself by various migrations into more. Afterwards, as agriculture increased, which employs and can maintain a much greater number of hands, migrations became less frequent; and various tribes, which had formerly separated, reunited again; sometimes by compulsion and conquest, sometimes by accident, and sometimes perhaps by compact. But, though society had not its formal beginning from any convention of individuals, actuated by their wants and their fears; yet it is the sense of their weakness and imperfection that keeps mankind together, that demonstrates the necessity of this union, and that therefore is the solid and natural foundation, as well as the cement, of civil society. And this is what we mean by the original contract of society; [–> social contract] which, though perhaps in no instance it has ever been formally expressed at the first institution of a state, yet in nature and reason must always be understood and implied, in the very act of associating together: namely, that the whole should protect all its parts, and that every part should pay obedience to the will of the whole; or, in other words, that the community should guard the rights of each individual member, and that (in return for this protection) each individual should submit to the laws of the community; without which submission of all it was impossible that protection could be certainly extended to any. [–> due balance comprising the civil peace of justice]

    For when civil society is once formed, government at the same time results of course, as necessary to preserve and to keep that society in order. Unless some superior be constituted, whose commands and decisions all the members are bound to obey, they would still remain as in a state of nature, without any judge upon earth to define their several rights, and redress their several wrongs. [–> government in the midst of the community, both being under God, note the allusion to the double covenant view] But, as all the members which compose this society were naturally equal, it may be asked, in whose hands are the reins of government to be entrusted? To this the general answer is easy; but the application of it to particular cases has occasioned one half of those mischiefs, which are apt to proceed from misguided political zeal. In general, all mankind will agree that government should be reposed in such persons, in whom those qualities are most likely to be found, the perfection of which is among the attributes of him who is emphatically styled the supreme being; the three grand requisites, I mean, of wisdom, of goodness, and of power [–> the governor as God’s vicar]: wisdom, to discern the real interest of the community: goodness, to endeavor always to pursue that real interest; and strength, or power, to carry this knowledge and intention into action. These are the natural foundations of sovereignty, and these are the requisites that ought to be found in every well-constituted frame of government.

    Now, why belabour such in the face of the willfully obtuse? First, for record, as a marker. Second, as instruction setting ground for further development, duly noting that such groundwork is implicit in what follows. We have here, a longstanding body of knowledge, masterfully summarised in a classic work actually foundational to the American republic.

  232. 232
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Let us excerpt on natural law, focal for our purposes, from a little above that framework. This inversion is needed to help us understand that these are foundational to the elaboration of civil law:

    Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765-1769)
    Sir William Blackstone

    INTRODUCTION, SECTION 2
    Of the Nature of Laws in General

    . . . [L]aws, in their more confined sense, and in which it is our present business to consider them, denote the rules, not of action in general, but of human action or conduct: that is, [LAW, AT ROOT, IS:] the precepts [of justice, due balance of rights, freedoms and duties] by which man, the noblest of all sublunary beings, a creature endowed with both reason and freewill, is commanded to make use of those faculties in the general regulation of his behavior.

    Man, considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his creator, for he is entirely a dependent being [–> we are contingent creatures under a Creator who as Maximally Great, necessary being, has aseity . . . utter independence of being, self-existence]. A being, independent of any other, has no rule to pursue, but such as he prescribes to himself [–> notice, aseity (implication, pivoting on and shaped by the inherent goodness and utter wisdom of the root of reality), and the implied folly of a contingent creature presuming that responsible rational freedom gives him utter, arbitrary autonomy of action]; but a state of dependence will inevitably oblige the inferior to take the [inherently good and utterly wise] will of him, on whom he depends, as the rule of his conduct: not indeed in every particular, but in all those points wherein his dependence consists. This principle therefore has more or less extent and effect, in proportion as the superiority of the one and the dependence of the other is greater or less, absolute or limited. And consequently, as man depends absolutely upon his maker for every thing, it is necessary that he should in all points conform to his maker’s will.

    [–> hence, the significance of seeing from our inescapably being under moral government, that we operate on both sides of the IS-OUGHT gap. So, it must be bridged, which is only feasible in the root of reality, on pain of Hume’s ungrounded ought: reasoning is-is then poof, ought from nowhere. Coherence demands fusion, only feasible in the world-root source. This requires a necessary being root of reality adequate to support ought. After centuries of vexed debate, there remains just one serious candidate: the inherently good (and so, utterly wise and soundly acting) creator God, a necessary and maximally great being. Thus, one who is framework to any world existing, indeed, its source. Further, one who is worthy of loyalty and of the responsible, reasonable service of doing the good that accords with our evident nature.

    This will of his maker is called [DEF’N:] the law of nature. For as God, when he created matter, and endued it with a principle of mobility, established certain rules for the perpetual direction of that motion; so, when he created man, and endued him with freewill to conduct himself in all parts of life, he laid down certain immutable laws of human nature, whereby that freewill is in some degree regulated and restrained, and gave him also the faculty of reason to discover the purport of those laws.

    Considering the creator only as a being of infinite power, he was able unquestionably to have prescribed whatever laws he pleased to his creature, man, however unjust or severe. [–> Blackstone, here, errs somewhat in this suggestion, as he does not adequately consider God’s goodness and the moral coherence of his character: God as inherently good will do no evil]

    But as be is also a being of infinite wisdom [–> notice, utterly wise so also inherently good], he has laid down only such laws as were founded in those relations of justice, that existed in the nature of things antecedent to any positive precept. These are the eternal, immutable laws of good and evil, to which the creator himself in all his dispensations conforms; and which he has enabled human reason to discover, so far as they are necessary for the conduct of human actions. Such among others are these principles: that we should live honestly, should hurt nobody, and should render to every one his due; to which three general precepts Justinian1 has reduced the whole doctrine of law. [–> In introductory remarks in the built-in textbook, Institutes, for Corpus Juris Civilis, which in turn echoes Aristotle in the Nicomachean Ethics, and of course Paul, Jesus and Moses on the law of neighbour love.]

    But if the discovery of these first principles of the law of nature depended only upon the due exertion of right reason [–> notice, the implicit duty to reason aright starting with its first principles], and could not otherwise be obtained than by a chain of metaphysical disquisitions, mankind would have wanted some inducement to have quickened their inquiries, and the greater part of the world would have rested content in mental indolence, and ignorance its inseparable companion. As therefore the creator is a being, not only of infinite power, and wisdom, but also of infinite goodness [–> he now draws this out], he has been pleased so to contrive the constitution and frame of humanity, that we should want no other prompter to inquire after and pursue the rule of right, but only our own self-love, that universal principle of action.[–> which is the implicit premise in love neighbour as self] For he has so intimately connected, so inseparably interwoven the laws of eternal justice with the happiness of each individual, that the latter cannot be attained but by observing the former; and, if the former be punctually obeyed, it cannot but induce the latter. In consequence of which mutual connection of justice and human felicity, he has not perplexed the law of nature with a multitude of abstracted rules and precepts, referring merely to the fitness or unfitness of things, as some have vainly surmised; but has graciously reduced the rule of obedience to this one paternal precept, “that man should pursue his own true and substantial happiness.”

    [–> which by definition cannot but be in a community of like creatures, leading to mutual obligations of neighbour-love; note the direct echo in the US DOI, July 4, 1776. However, the lack of balance is a key weak point. By way of rebalancing, for instance, justice is best understood as the due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities in the community of the morally governed. Which, in turn, is credibly rooted in the inherently good, utterly wise Creator..]

    This is the foundation of what we call ethics, or natural law. For the several articles into which it is branched in our systems, amount to no more than demonstrating, that this or that action tends to man’s real happiness, and therefore very justly concluding that the performance of it is a part of the law of nature; or, on the other hand, that this or that action is destructive of man’s real happiness, and therefore that the law of nature forbids it.

    This law of nature, being coeval with mankind and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other-It is binding over all the globe in all countries, and at all times; no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this: and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original.

    But in order to apply this to the particular exigencies of each individual, it is still necessary to have recourse to reason; whose office it is to discover, as was before observed, what the law of nature directs in every circumstance of life: by considering, what method will tend the most effectually to our own substantial happiness.

    Again, a marker, for record. Apply to the case of murder i/l/o the sad particular case, to see how principles articulate to cases and patterns therein.

    KF

  233. 233
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Contrast regulating export of wool, which would establish policy with legal force, guided by prudence informed by investigation of material facts and right reason. Wool being the UK’s traditional main agricultural export. IIRC, it was found profitable to export wool knowing it would eventually be used to make French Army uniforms in the days of Napoleon. Later, there was a trade in cotton between N and S during the US Civil War. This illustrates the prudential role of civil authority, and through say the annual budget opens up monetary and fiscal policy, economics and more. Certainly, a budget accountable to the public was historically a gateway for government involvement in macro economic management, especially after the 1930’s. The role of first duties is, as usual, pervasive. KF

  234. 234
    john_a_designer says:

    Here’s a well known quote from Aldous Huxley:

    We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom; we objected to the political and economic system because it was unjust.

    Notice how Huxley smuggles in the idea of universal human rights. He has the right of “sexual freedom” and we are now obligated to respect that as a right. But how am I or anyone else obligated to respect his personal subjective view opinions about sexual morality? If it’s a subjective moral view point there is no interpersonal obligation.

    Notice how he also tries to coopt a universal idea like justice: ”we objected to the political and economic system because it was unjust.” But justice is something which needs to apply to society as a whole. How can a subjectivist say anything about justice? How can his moral thinking apply (be morally binding) to anyone other than himself?

    Aldous Huxley, Ends and Means: An Inquiry Into the Nature of Ideals and Into the Methods Employed for Their Realization (1937), 272-73

  235. 235
    Viola Lee says:

    JaD asked a question at 226.

    I responded at 227.

    JaD ignores my response.

    JaD:, as I asked at 217: “What are your positive logical arguments for your view? You didn’t address that question.”

    I don’t believe that JaD is going to attempt to defend his position, nor respond to any critiques of it. That’s his privilege, of course, but certainly makes it seems that he is just continually asserting his own personal opinions despite his claim that only logically valid arguments, as opposed to personal opinions, really count, or should even be allowed on these threads.

  236. 236
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, you have been answered above, on objectivity of core morality AND on the articulation of such to society law and government. Your empty denial of such an answer speaks. KF

  237. 237
    Viola Lee says:

    KF, I’d like to see what JaD has to say. He addressed me, and I’d like to have a conversation with him.

  238. 238
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, perhaps, I should remind that this is a public commentary box for an OP that I raised above. Accordingly, the substantial issues, arguments and the resulting balance on merits are matters for any reasonable interested party. Where, it remains the case that a basis for objectivity of moral obligation is on the table. If you find such unsatisfactory, why. And as the very objection or challenge inescapably pivots on said first duties of reason, why should we take such as cogent? KF

  239. 239
    Viola Lee says:

    Sure, KF, I’m not saying that you can’t comment. I’m just saying that I’m interested in continuing the discussion with JaD, if he is willing, and if he is not willing then my posts and questions will just stand unresponded to by him. We all get to freely choose when we want to respond, and when we don’t.

  240. 240
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, and the underlying duty to truth and right reason also stand. KF

  241. 241
    john_a_designer says:

    I don’t see how the moral subjectivist is in a position to tell anyone else what to think and believe. It’s irrational to think that your subjective opinions are morally binding on anyone else. It’s silly and foolish to argue that they are. If they’re subjective then they are your opinions which only apply to you. No one else is obligated to even consider them. Furthermore, to argue that moral subjectivism is true is self-refuting. (See my comment @ #57 on a thread from 3 yrs. ago.)

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/why-do-atheists-deny-objective-morality/#comment-648486

    I will not engage anyone in a discussion or debate who is not obligated to be honest. How can I trust you to be honest if you do not believe there are real binding moral obligations? Your opinions, no matter how sincerely they are held, are not morally binding obligations.

    I made my position who I would interact with up @ #208.

    https://uncommondescent.com/laws/should-we-recognise-that-laws-of-nature-extend-to-laws-of-our-human-nature-which-would-then-frame-civil-law/#comment-723952

    PS I did not agree to any ongoing discussion with anyone.

  242. 242
    jerry says:

    One should respond to others if they have honest questions about something that was said or if the person wants to use the comment by another in someway to make a point. How long the back and forth proceeds is dependent on how each thinks the conversation is leading somewhere they are interested in.

    It frequently happens that someone makes a comment about something someone else says and gets a reply back but does not address that reply in turn even to say thank you or I don’t agree for whatever reasons. People are here for various reasons so it is common to also have various reasons for not wanting to reply. No one wants to look bad.

    The best examples of non reply are when pro ID commenters make a cogent comment using evidence and reason to make a point about evolution or origin of life or the origin of the universe. And there is no response. The no response essentially says the pro ID person has a valid argument but the other commenter does not want to admit that by responding.

  243. 243
    Seversky says:

    Kairosfocus/230

    For example if atheism is true, every action Hitler performed was permissible. Many atheists don’t like this [nihilistic, absurd] consequence of their worldview. But they cannot escape it and insist that they are being logical at the same time.

    Actually, yes they can.

    Atheism is the position that there is no good reason for thinking a god exists. If atheists are correct then there is no divine command morality that need be taken into consideration.

    This raises the question of the source of any possible morality.

    Those who believe in objective morality reject the notion that morality subsists only in the minds of sentient beings such as ourselves so the only alternative is that morality is somehow embedded in the fabric of the physical Universe.

    We observe that, in a practical sense, the function of morality is to regulate the way people behave towards one another. But that could only arise from a concern or caring about how human beings behave towards one another. As far as we can tell, the inanimate and non-sentient phenomena that make up the bulk of the physical universe are incapable of feeling such concern. Unpalatable as it may be, there is no reason to think the Universe cares about us one way or the other.

    This leaves human beings as the most logical source of morality.

    The other clue that even objectivists unconsciously believe that to be true is when they talk about what is permissible. Since an inanimate, non-sentient Universe is incapable of granting or withholding permission for anything, it is illogical to suggest that it does or can say anything about what Hitler did. That leaves the only creatures on this planet capable of forming moral judgements – ourselves – to grant or withhold permission for behaving in certain ways.

    We can assume that, in the case of Hitler’s Holocaust, at least the Nazis gave permission for it to be carried out. However, we can also be sure that the victims of the Holocaust would certainly not have given their permission – if they had ever been asked. I can also say that if I had been around at the time and been asked I would certainly not have granted permission and neither, I believe, would anyone else here.

    So the question becomes, in what way does it make any sense to argue that Hitler’s actions were permissible?
    There were almost certainly atheists in the ranks of the Nazis who thought what he did was right. It is equally certain that there were atheists who thought what he did was wrong. It simply does not follow that absolute permissiveness can be derived from a position on the existence of gods.

    Only human beings can and should decide what behaviors are acceptable in a society based on their own subjective assessments of their common personal needs and interests, with the emphasis on the “common”. Subjective morality does not mean an individual or a group imposing their views on others, it means applying the Golden Rule when trying to arrive at some sort of consensus on what is best for all.

  244. 244
    Viola Lee says:

    Got it, JaD. I won’t bother you anymore. However, I don’t think you should address me or other “atheist interlocutors” with questions if in fact you really don’t want to engage in the answers, and in fact you are sure that the respondents can’t be trusted to be honest.

    I will point out to other readers (JaD can ignore this) something I wrote at 227:

    Argumentum ad consequentiam is a logical fallacy. The fact that one thinks adverse consequences follow from a premise isn’t evidence against the premise. The premise may be true and we have to live with the consequences.

    Objecting that if there are no objective standards then we have no objective binding obligations is tautological: it’s true but meaningless if in fact the premise that we have objective standards is false. If there are no objective standards then yes, indeed, we have no objective standards. If this is actually the case then that is what we have to live with, and we have to find other ways to come to some agreements about how we want to live together, including what obligations we should have towards each other.

    I think this is a valid argument, and I don’t see how my honesty or lack thereof affects the argument. YMMV.

    I’ll add that therefore establishing the truth of the premise that there are specific objective moral standards is what is on the table.

    I’ll also repeat something else from above:

    I am not a materialist: I have some chosen, faith-based beliefs that free will, rationality, responsibility for our actions, and compassion for others are core parts of our nature. Those qualities make me responsible for how I respond to other human beings, and form the basis for my being both a rational and moral agent: head and heart as the common metaphor goes. That I believe.

    But I also believe that it then becomes our job to make moral judgments about the particular situations that we find in our world. There is no external set of objective standards that bind us: we assess situations with both our rationality and compassion and make the decisions that we chose to inform our actions. That is where our freedom lies.

    At the very least, if in fact I have any further discussions here about this, I would hope they would address the specifics of what I’ve said and not other people or issues that don’t apply to me.

  245. 245
    jerry says:

    The next to previous commenter said

    Subjective morality means applying the Golden Rule when trying to arrive at some sort of consensus on what is best for all.

    Now I have heard everything. Not quite but almost. The Golden Rule is equivalent to subjective morality.

  246. 246
    Viola Lee says:

    I like some things that Seversky said:

    “Those who believe in objective morality reject the notion that morality subsists only in the minds of sentient beings such as ourselves so the only alternative is that morality is somehow embedded in the fabric of the physical Universe.”

    Yes to this. The idea that morality exists outside of human beings, and is somehow embedded in the universe, is what I think is wrong.

    Sev writes, “We observe that, in a practical sense, the function of morality is to regulate the way people behave towards one another. But that could only arise from a concern or caring about how human beings behave towards one another.”

    Yes, morality arises from I am calling compassion, which is a quality of human nature. Given the variable and imperfect nature of human beings, we will come to different moral conclusions at times, but that is something we have to live with: negotiating differences is a core quality of being a social animal where what is good for us is entangled with what is good for society as a whole.

  247. 247
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, there is no divine command morality on the table. Even in cases where there is reference to the Divine, it is in a context of an intelligible framework of duties, first duties that even your comment cannot but implicitly appeal to. That is, we have inescapable, so true and self-evident first duties of responsible rational freedom. It is in that context that, for example, post Hume and Euthyphro, we may ponder what sort of root of reality accounts for that. As for atheism appealing to duty to neighbour, that is precisely one of the inescapable first duties on the table. And more, of course. KF

  248. 248
    jerry says:

    Yes to this. The idea that morality exists outside of human beings, and is somehow embedded in the universe, is what I think is wrong.

    Does anyone believe this? Why bring this up?

    Someone should define morality so people can be on the same page. Is this an exercise in talking past each other with non responsive comments using different definitions.

  249. 249
    Viola Lee says:

    Jerry, what do you think the phrase “objective moral standards” applies to? I think most would say standards that come from God, or KF’s “root of reality” which is what I took “embedded in the universe” to mean. Maybe “embedded in the universe” is a poor phrase, and I should say something like “The idea that morality exists outside of human beings in some transcendent way is what I think is wrong.”

  250. 250
    jerry says:

    I have asked these questions on this thread but they were not responded to. So again I suggest one define morality. That may be a start.

  251. 251
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, again, the inescapability of first duties of reason is a prior question and even your current remark again shows such inescapability. Inescapable, pervading our — our — rational life, and BTW witnessed to by conscience. Inescapable, giving traction to reason, inescapable and so inescapably true and self-evident. In its way, comparable to || = ||| –> |||||. We may then compose deeper frameworks to make grand coherent sense of this and other facts. That’s later. What is on the table is a fairly simple logical matter: inescapable i.e. pervasive in reason, so inescapably true, i.e. self evident. Even objections cannot but appeal to such. Also, pervasive and framing how law and government were actually built up in a context of justice and lawfulness, so highly relevant. That which is self evidently so is manifestly objectively so. KF

  252. 252
    Viola Lee says:

    Up above, Sev wrote, “We observe that, in a practical sense, the function of morality is to regulate the way people behave towards one another. But that could only arise from a concern or caring about how human beings behave towards one another.”

    That seems like a good start.

  253. 253
    Viola Lee says:

    In sociology I believe it’s called normative behavior, of which morality is a subset.

  254. 254
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: on morality and on objectivity.

    morality
    character or virtue; concern with the distinction between good and evil or right conduct; the right principles of human conduct: morality lessons
    Not to be confused with:
    mortality – the quality or state of being mortal; death rate; the ratio of deaths in a given area to the population of that area: mortality figures
    Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree
    mo·ral·i·ty (m?-r?l??-t?, mô-)
    n. pl. mo·ral·i·ties
    1. The quality of being in accord with standards of right or good conduct: questioned the morality of my actions.
    2. A system or collection of ideas of right and wrong conduct: religious morality; Christian morality.
    3. Virtuous conduct: commended his morality.
    4. A rule or lesson in moral conduct: sermons noted for their moralities.
    American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

    ob·jec·tive (?b-j?k?t?v)
    adj.
    1.
    a. Existing independent of or external to the mind; actual or real: objective reality.
    b. Based on observable phenomena; empirical: objective facts.
    2. Uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices: an objective critic. See Synonyms at fair1.
    3. Medicine Relating to or being an indicator of disease, such as a physical sign, laboratory test, or x-ray, that can be observed or verified by someone other than the person being evaluated.
    4. Grammar
    a. Of, relating to, or being the case of a noun or pronoun that serves as the object of a verb.
    b. Of or relating to a noun or pronoun used in this case.
    n.
    2. A thing or group of things existing independent of the mind.
    ob·jec?tive·ly adv.
    ob·jec?tive·ness n.
    American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

    Truth, we know: accurate description of a relevant state of affairs.

    Here, moral truth would be truth regarding right, wrong and duty regarding same. Ironically, were relativists or subjectivists or emotivists able to establish that there are no objective moral truths, such would be self-defeating as that would be a moral truth.

    However, the material moral truth is that we find ourselves inescapably duty-bound to truth, to right reason, to prudence [including warrant], to sound conscience, to neighbour [see sev on atheists accepting that!], so to fairness and justice etc. Where justice is due balance of rights, freedoms and duties, especially in the context of a habitual disposition or a state of community affairs, the civil peace of justice.

    We can readily see (just scroll up) that even objectors are inescapably forced to appeal to same.

    KF

  255. 255
    Viola Lee says:

    We appeal to same. We appeal for different reasons. We appeal because of, in my words, choices we make based on rationality and compassion. We do not appeal because of some external source to which we have some obligation. That’s a difference.

  256. 256
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Morality is not an easy question. We all have our own ideas about what is “right” behaviour and what is “wrong” behaviour. In most cases we identify an action as being immoral if we can’t envision ourselves feeling emotionally comfortable (lack of a feeling of guilt) performing the same action. The more uncomfortable we feel, the more “immoral” or “evil” we rank the action. Killing is worse than assault, which is worse than stealing, which is worse than lying, and so on.

    I think that most of the arguments revolve around a misunderstanding/disagreement of what “objective” and “subjective” means with respect to morals. The pro-objective side of the argument typically view “objective” morals as existing outside or independent of our individual minds/consciousnesses, and “subjective morals as being no different than personal preferences, like a preference for an ice-cream flavour. Frankly speaking, this presentation of the “subjective” side of the argument is disingenuous at best, dishonest at worst.

    I view “subjective” morality as moral values that are derived through reason and logic (and trial and error) under the backdrop of our desire to exist and thrive within a society. Using reason and logic I can easily conclude that killing, assault, lying, stealing, torturing, cheating and many other actions are not consistent with my ability to thrive in society and I feel justified in attempting to impose these moral values on others who wish to live in the same society.

    What is far more difficult to justify under “subjective” morality is imposing our “personal” morality with regard to public nudity, premarital sex, divorce, same sex attraction, same sex marriage, etc. on others. For us to feel justified in doing so, we have to fall back on morality imposed by some higher being, regardless of whether these moral standards or the high being even exist.

  257. 257
    jerry says:

    Is all morality arbitrary? Is it just what the one in power says it is? No one chose to answer this when I posed this in #156 above.

    If it is arbitrary or subjective, then what Hitler and Tamerlane did was moral. They certainly thought some desired objective was being achieved with their killing. Of course millions disagreed but they did not have power. So again is what is moral power based?

  258. 258
    Viola Lee says:

    Jerry asks, “Is all morality arbitrary? Is it just what the one in power says it is?”

    No. That’s my answer. I skipped that the previous time you asked, for several reasons.

  259. 259
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Jerry “ If it is arbitrary or subjective, then what Hitler and Tamerlane did was moral.

    Was Hitler sustainable? Power will definitely bias “acceptable” behaviour. But it is not sustainable over the long haul. Power allowed for slavery, for segregation, for systemic discrimination, for patriarchy, for homophobia, etc.

    A more important question, and one I haven’t heard asked here, why didn’t this magical “objective” morality prevent Hitler, or Mao, or Stalin, or slavery?

  260. 260
    AndyClue says:

    @Jerry:

    https://www.nwitimes.com/opinion/columnists/guest-commentary/walter-williams-blind-to-real-problems/article_cc051c77-d585-5577-9699-b505dbd79451.html

    I was blocked from access to the site. I had to use a VPN.

    In the 1990s, Harvard professor Orlando Patterson wrote, “America, while still flawed in its race relations … is now the least racist white-majority society in the world; has a better record of legal protection of minorities than any other society, white or black; (and) offers more opportunities to a greater number of black persons than any other society, including all those of Africa.”

    No numbers or statistics. Just a claim. Btw.: in my country the same opportunities are offered to all people, regardless of their race.

    Ask yourself if the US is a racist country why has so much money been transferred to blacks and the minorities from the well off?

    Why would my country pay money to people because of the color of their skin? It’s not racist, if you treat people the same, regardless of the skin color.

    Kind of hard recommending a book by Sowell. He has written so many good ones. Try Discrimination and Disparities latest revision from 2019. When he was 89.

    Thanks for the recommendation. Just bought the “Discrimination and Disparities” ebook! And since I just finished reading the last book, Sowell will be next.

  261. 261
    kairosfocus says:

    VL,

    what you assert as your reasons makes little difference. It is the fact that we cannot but expect and appeal to known duty to said first duties that is decisive, as Epictetus demonstrated so long ago for first principles 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]

    The pattern is clear: inescapable, even in actual arguments of objection (as you again demonstrated), so pervasive in the life of reason. To reject as delusional, would be to reduce reason to being pervaded by delusion, undermining rationality itself. Self-defeating. Inescapable, so inescapably true and thus too self-evident on pain of absurdity.

    The interesting thing, of course, is that we must operate on a premise of freedom in reasoning. Freedom that is not reducible to blind mechanical (including stochastic) computation on a substrate, as ground-consequent is a judgement or inference on insight, not a blind mechanical GIGO-driven calculation. The notorious Pentium recall on discovery of flaws in the math processor is an illustration of the distinction. IIRC, flaws were found in Excel too at one point. The more recent flaws in architecture also speak, through vulnerabilities.

    Other schemes struggle in different ways with unity and diversity.

    Dualisms cannot effectively account for unity and things beyond that point to chaos not cosmos. Monist systems such as pantheism lack ability to ground diversity, including in accounting for good vs evil, i.e. precisely, freedom and its dual potential for due use and abuse. It is ethical, redemptive theism that can balance unity, diversity and the significant freedom of the individual, though of course any number of theists run off into various errors of theory and practice.

    When it comes to articulating first duties of reason to practical affairs including law and government, the above commented discussion by Blackstone — which, historically could and did shape the American founding, the key breakthrough, in the context of printing revolution, vernacular Bible, rise of literacy, reformation-tied ferment [ponder the Glorious Revolution], rise of books bills and papers with coffee houses etc — shows means by which such governing principles guide development of legal frameworks. A good part of that will be distinct to a particular line of history, e.g. British common law vs Corpus Juris and Napoleonic (derivative) civil law traditions, but there will be in the law of nations precisely the ciceronian core reflecting universal jurisdiction of built in law coeval with our humanity. Of course — and as Corpus Juris itself points out — slavery is a case in point of divergence between once effectively general practice, ius gentium, and natural law. That distinction is recognised through right reason applied to justice and prudence. Things like slavery reflect the hardness of heart principle in a context of oligarchy, that makes reformation difficult. That’s why democratisation balanced by a lawful constitutional order is pivotal to sound reformation.

    Blackstone’s discussion [with Aquinas etc lurking] then allows us to ponder what happens when we allow civil power to legislate to usurp the controls posed by built in law coeval with our humanity and first expressed through the first duties of reason, as well as recognition of intelligible roots in the inherently good and utterly wise necessary being source of reality and covenant under God so identified and recognised: opportunity for nihilistic might and/or manipulation to impose self-destructive agendas by domination of the legal presses. The flaw in respect of the Emperor in Corpus Juris exemplifies this. It matters not if such rule by decree is vested in a Caesar or a bench of jurists or an out of control majority of a legislature or a de facto nobility or even demagogues dominating a nominal democracy [see Plato’s ship of state], the chaotic consequences are predictable.

    Some suggest, inevitable.

    States, regimes, Constitutions etc all naturally tend to decay and end in intolerable shipwrecks. Indeed, that can be seen in Plato’s cycle of types of states, in an early form.

    I cannot vouch for inevitability of eventual shipwreck, but I can recognise that marches of ruinous folly are a commonplace of history.

    So far, there are no long term survivors.

    Sobering.

    KF

  262. 262
    kairosfocus says:

    AC,

    do you know who and what Orlando Patterson is? He is not posing a mere whimsical opinion, he literally wrote the books on slavery and freedom, coming out of Jamaica and UWI. His judgement is an historically informed sociological one, with deep reasons.

    The USA is the state in the leading bloc with a framework for civil society that still deeply embeds the natural law frame for liberty from its founding [cf. DoI and preamble to Const] in unquestionably authentic framing documents . . . and BTW as valid natural law key parts of the DoI are universally valid AS LAW. Not by decree but by force of the point made as an example of highest reason regarding justice.

    The US therefore has perhaps the most powerful bill of recognised rights (witness Amdt 2, an ultimate check to the aggrandising state), which has framed extension to the key disenfranchised minority in the post WW2, UN charter era.

    The UKby contrast has a dangerous historical compromise rooted legacy in which Parliamentary sovereignty is effectively checked only by an unwritten, now rapidly decaying tradition and by the too-close entanglement of a parliamentary majority and the executive. The executive is a simple standing committee of the lower house primarily. Specifically, in principle any UK law passed by parliament can be of constitutional effect, without checks by an amendment process. That’s why Norman Manley et al put in the Jamaican Constitution — already an improvement just by virtue of being a unified document — the entrenching and deep entrenching of key clauses and provisions, esp on rights. But even so, emergency powers loopholes led to dangerous moves by his son in 1976.

    This general issue extends in various ways to the Commonwealth through the Westminster system. I could also delve on Erskine May as key to effective constitution, only recently made freely available to the public. (I prefer the Australian manuals).

    The Civil law jurisdictions tend to have various flaws tied to executive power and the inquisitorial judiciary, which BTW is creeping in now in the Commonwealth, I just saw a UK judge sent out to BVI to run an investigation.

    The pervasive influence of legal positivism, usurpation of law by civil power under various ideological and policy agenda influences, is a general challenge but the US still has that history to counter-weight it. Which BTW is a main reason why the black theme colour, year zero colour and cultural revolution in progress is attacking the founding. Currently, impeachment is being usurped into a no confidence show trial cum bill of attainder on any convenient agit prop excuse.

    It is in that context that Patterson’s argument carries weight.

    KF

  263. 263
    kairosfocus says:

    SA2, there we go again, not only on your riding horse obsessions but on unrecognised inabilty to avoid pivoting on first duties of reason.Where, historically, no state of law or regime has been indefinitely sustainable. A few centuries seems to be average. Sustainability across time fails and the sound has often been succeeded by the unsound, the radical progressivist myth of inevitable advance founders on the realities that lawless oligarchy and usurpations to that end are the natural state of government. It is an uphill struggle to gain or restore lawfulness. KF

    PS: Reasonably standard dictionary summaries on objectivity vs subjectivity and relativism are on the table. Playing word games to needlessly cloud the issue is unwarranted, it actually reflects an implicit confession of failure to warrant a case for relativism, subjectivism and emotivism. Which, as was shown above, are fatally flawed, self-defeating and falsified.

  264. 264
    AndyClue says:

    @kairosfocus:

    AC,

    do you know who and what Orlando Patterson is?

    No. The first time I’ve heard the name was when Jerry mentioned him in this thread.

    He is not posing a mere whimsical opinion, he literally wrote the books on slavery and freedom, coming out of Jamaica and UWI. His judgement is an historically informed sociological one, with deep reasons.

    Sounds great! I’m eager to hear about his comparison, then we can decide, whether it’s a mere whimsical opinion, or not.

  265. 265
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: On objectivity, truth and subjectivity of opinions thence relativism:

    Let’s clip Wikipedia as a reference on typical views:

    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 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] Moral objectivity also calls for moral codes to be compared to one another through a set of universal facts and not through Subjectivity.[1]

    The obvious issue here is intelligible warrant. Truth, strictly, is accurate description of a relevant state of affairs. That is, it says of what is existent or is the case, that such is the case; and of what is not, that it is not. Aristotle got it right 2300+ years ago in Metaphysics 1011b.

    Thus, we properly mark truth as distinct from opinion, what a given subject, dominant class or the like may believe or perceive to be so. Thus, we see that opinions may err, may be imagined true, falsely. So too, we see following Josiah Royce, that a first and undeniable truth is, error exists as the attempt to deny instantiates. Such is also a self-evident, inescapable truth. Indeed, a key pivot on duty to truth is the implied duty to avoid or correct error, hence the duties to right reason and prudence.

    We see, then, warrant as an aspect of prudence involving duties to truth and to right reason.

    When warrant is good, we have credibly arrived at reliable (though potentially corrigible) views as to what is true. At this juncture, we have defined objective truth, more precisely. That degree of truthfulness which has good enough warrant to be reliable and prudent to accept, even with the possibility of correction, amendment or eventual replacement. Where, reliability counts, heavily, in that judgement.

    Beyond subjective opinion (which may be true) and objectively truthful, reliable conclusions, lies absolute truth: the truth, the whole material truth, and nothing but the truth on a matter. An ideal case, but in some cases, self evidence, incorrigible intuitive perceptions [I am appeared to redly] etc attainable.

    On morality, it is a dominant view that we have such a diversity of opinions that there is no objective truth. But in fact, this is instantly self-defeating: it claims to be warranted, thus objective, truth regarding duty, precisely what it denies. It is self-defeating.

    Similarly, I clip:

    generally, we have:
    The Cultural Differences Argument

    1. Different cultures have different moral codes.

    ________________________________________________________________

    Therefore, there is no objective “truth” in morality. Right and wrong are only matters of opinion, and opinions vary from culture to culture.

    Is this a sound argument?

    No. It is not a sound argument because the conclusion does not follow from the premise (in other words, it is not valid). The fact that cultures have differing beliefs about what is moral does not imply that morality is culturally relative. It is easy to see this if we consider an analogous argument:

    1. Historically, cultures have had a variety of different views about the size, shape and motion of the earth, its relation to celestial bodies, and astronomy generally.

    _________________________

    Therefore, there is no objective “truth” in astronomy. The size, shape and motion of the earth (e.g. whether the earth is flat), whether there are other planets, etc. are only matters of opinion which vary from culture to culture.

    Not very convincing, is it? We are inclined to say that many cultures have simply been wrong on various points. The Medieval Europeans [–> not the educated, they knew their bEratosthenes, Ptolemy, Aristotle etc] believed that the earth was flat, that the planets were perfect spheres moving in perfect circles, and that the earth was stationary. We now reject all of these claims on the basis of well-supported scientific theory. The bottom line: mere disagreement does not imply relativism. This is not to say that we have shown Cultural Relativism to be false. The present point is just that the Cultural Differences Argument fails to establish Cultural Relativism.

    A distinction is made here, between a fallacy and warrant. A warranted conclusion may be erroneously argued on fallacies that fail but stronger arguments exist. This is highlighting the strawman fallacy.

    However, we have already seen that the cultural/institutional relativism argument (and its extension to the individual) fails by self referential incoherence. There is no objective moral truth that there are no objective moral truths. Where, a truth claim is a moral one just in case that it addresses, directly or indirectly, issues of duty so too right and wrong.

    And in fact, as has been noted from the OP on, there are a great many objectively true moral duty claims, indeed some are self evident and foundational to rational, responsible freedom and are coeval with our humanity, grounding for example law and government on justice tempered by prudence etc:

    We can readily identify at least seven inescapable first duties of reason. “Inescapable,” as they are so antecedent to reasoning that even the objector implicitly appeals to them; i.e. they are self-evident. Namely, duties, to truth, to right reason, to prudence, to sound conscience, to neighbour; so also, to fairness and justice etc. Such built-in . . . thus, universal . . . law is not invented by parliaments, kings or courts, nor can these principles and duties be abolished by such; they are recognised, often implicitly as an indelible part of our evident nature. Hence, “natural law,” coeval with our humanity, famously phrased in terms of “self-evident . . . rights . . . endowed by our Creator” in the US Declaration of Independence, 1776. (Cf. Cicero in De Legibus, c. 50 BC.) Indeed, it is on this framework that we can set out to soundly understand and duly balance rights, freedoms and duties; which is justice, the pivot of law. The legitimate main task of government, then, is to uphold and defend the civil peace of justice through sound community order reflecting the built in, intelligible law of our nature. Where, as my right implies your duty a true right is a binding moral claim to be respected in life, liberty, honestly aquired property, innocent reputation etc. To so justly claim a right, one must therefore demonstrably be in the right. Likewise, Aristotle long since anticipated Pilate’s cynical “what is truth?”: truth says of what is, that it is; and of what is not, that it is not. [Metaphysics, 1011b, C4 BC.] Simple in concept, but hard to establish on the ground; hence — in key part — the duties to right reason, prudence, fairness etc. Thus, too, we may compose sound civil law informed by that built-in law of our responsibly, rationally free morally governed nature; from such, we may identify what is unsound or false thus to be reformed or replaced even though enacted under the colour and solemn ceremonies of law. The first duties, also, are a framework for understanding and articulating the corpus of built-in law of our morally governed nature, antecedent to civil laws and manifest our roots in the Supreme Law-giver, the inherently good, utterly wise and just creator-God, the necessary (so, eternal), maximally great being at the root of reality.

    Notice, that the evasions, side tracks and objections we have seen above and previously, invariably end up demonstrating the pervasive presence of said first duties.

    The objectors end up inadvertently supporting the case.

    And that extends to objectivity, including on matters of moral government of our responsible rational freedom coeval with our humanity.

    KF

  266. 266
    kairosfocus says:

    AC, you have on the table a substantial engagement on the point, your Wilsonian Arte of Rhetorique evasive sidestep pretence that it isn’t there is an implicit admission that you have no responsible, cogent reply but wish to pose on dismissive hyperskepticism or even the latest stunt I want to hear from X not Y. Where it is not hard to see that the issue is between Civil and Common Law jurisdictions, thence between Westminster and Lockean, full tripartite separation Republicanism. The decision is clear. Thence, we can go to strength of reformation and clear investment in same, no contest again. KF

  267. 267
    jerry says:

    Kf,

    One of the many famous statements by Thomas Sowell was when asked what changed you from being a Marxist? His answer was

    Facts

    He is the world leader, the master of Facts.

    A website of Thomas’s quotes.

    https://wealthycelebrity.com/incredible-thomas-sowell-quote/

    Better, a Twitter site of his quotes.

    https://twitter.com/ThomasSowell

    Over a thousand quotes there.

    One appropriate in the world today is

    In a sense, the political left’s attempts to silence ideas they cannot, or will not, debate are a confession of intellectual bankruptcy.

  268. 268
    AndyClue says:

    @kairosfocus:

    AC, you have on the table a substantial engagement on the point

    The point on our table is US being the least racist country in the world. We’re talking about a comparison. To compare A to B you have to measure both A and B, not just A.

    your Wilsonian Arte of Rhetorique

    I had to look that up. LOL. I do like to keep my sentences simple, short, and precise. I usually communicate with international audiences. If I’d use the language you’re using (and I do not have that ability) no one would understand me.

    there is an implicit admission

    No there isn’t. Please don’t make up falsehoods about me.

    but wish to pose on dismissive hyperskepticism

    No dismissiv hyperskepticism here. Hm, what do you think am I hypersceptical about?

    or even the latest stunt I want to hear from X not Y

    What are you talking about? Please try to use quotes, so I know what you’re referring to.

  269. 269
    kairosfocus says:

    AC, Jerry has clarified, per references and argument. A country is an abstraction, here the issue is the state. The freedom part is clear, the reformations are clear, the serious financial expenditure is clear though many policies in my view are ill advised. There are doubtless many racists but they are not significant policy shapers despite marxist agit prop through Zinn, project 1619 and other agents of influence. On metrics, again the Wilsonian sidestep [and that was a significant discussion here in the past], I pointed to the three Western streams on law, state and government showing the ranking, which lends strength to the policy regarding racial equality. On expenditure, patently, no contest. You are still evading, implying you have no cogent answer but continue to pose on a selectively hyperskeptical default. Where, Patterson’s view is not empty opinion and may legitimately be taken as an arguable viewpoint on the strength of liberty in American law. A rights policy in the US simply is significantly stronger than in any other significant Western jurisdiction. There are no non western derived states with stronger protection of rights, including on ethnic origin and the three streams exhaust the West and western influenced societies e.g. Japan, China, Taiwan, S Korea, Singapore: Corpus Juris and Napoleonic [derivative], common law/Westminster, Lockean, American Constitutional Republic. As for I want to hear X not Y as an evasive move, that is there upthread. All along, we can observe, too, that you are inescapably appealing to first duties. KF

  270. 270
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, yes, Sowell is a significant voice and has said many remarkable things. he is of course despised by those who in effect see him as a traitor as he is a black conservative voice. KF

  271. 271
    Viola Lee says:

    At 254 KF wrote, “We can readily see … that even objectors are inescapably forced to appeal to same. [to truth, to right reason, … the usual list]”

    At 255 replied, “We appeal to same. We appeal for different reasons. We appeal because of, in my words, choices we make based on rationality and compassion. We do not appeal because of some external source to which we have some obligation. That’s a difference.”

    At 261, KF replied, “What you assert as your reasons makes little difference.”

    A bit hard to further the discussion under these circumstances, don’t you think? There is a critical difference in our views and KF dismisses it. Carry on KF.

  272. 272
    john_a_designer says:

    Let me quote myself [AGAIN]. This is something I have said, going back years, several different times on several different threads:

    I try to avoid getting involved in discussions or debates with any of our regular interlocutors because I don’t believe they are being intellectually or ethically honest. The logic here is really very basic and straightforward: If there are no true interpersonal moral standards or obligations how can we trust anything anyone says or asserts? I don’t think that we can. To have an honest discussion or debate you need some kind of interpersonal, or “transcendent,” standard of truth and honesty– even if it’s a traditional or some kind of “conventional” standard. Why would I trust somebody else’s subjective standard for honesty and truth when he/she is really arguing there is no standard of truth or honesty?

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/why-do-atheists-deny-objective-morality/#comment-648525

    In other words, telling the truth and being honest only makes sense if there is an objective standard of truth and honesty. That’s a self-evident truth, therefore, any viable system of morality must be based on the fact that there really is moral truth.

    I think commenters on my side (the ID side) waste too much time enabling bad behavior. BTW that includes the counter-trolling some of our so-called fellow ID’ist engage in. Sometimes I wonder, whose side are they really on?

  273. 273
    Viola Lee says:

    Hmmm. Let me quote myself, again:

    I am not a materialist: I have some chosen, faith-based beliefs that free will, rationality, responsibility for our actions, and compassion for others are core parts of our nature. Those qualities make me responsible for how I respond to other human beings, and form the basis for my being both a rational and moral agent: head and heart as the common metaphor goes. That I believe.

    But I also believe that it then becomes our job to make moral judgments about the particular situations that we find in our world. There is no external set of objective standards that bind us: we assess situations with both our rationality and compassion and make the decisions that we chose to inform our actions. That is where our freedom lies.

    I believe in honesty as part of our core nature. I just don’t believe objective transcendent standards exist for the myriad of specific moral issues that we face in life: we have to use our core nature, head and heart, reason and compassion, to decide on those for ourselves. That’s a difference that it seems no one here seems to want to acknowledge.

    JaD isn’t willing to put forth his logically valid arguments, which he claims he has, for why he thinks such objective standards exist, and what they are. His claim that he can’t trust the honesty of someone who disagrees with him seems a convenient and weak excuse for not explaining his position.

  274. 274
    jerry says:

    he is of course despised by those who in effect see him as a traitor as he is a black conservative voice.

    We have a business and distribute through the internet which means we use a shipping service. We early on decided on Fedex. Every afternoon or evening I would dutifully go to FedEx Express and Ground.

    The security people at Gound we’re always black and I had to talk to one of them every day as I dropped off packages. Over the years I got to know several very well from chats each night. Occasionally a couple would want to discuss politics. I gave a couple of them some Thomas Sowell books. One replied a week later that he thought it was interesting but that a friend described Sowell as a traitor to Blacks.

    I asked how and all he could say was that Sowell didn’t say racism was the cause of Black’s problems.

  275. 275
    jerry says:

    I am not a materialist

    How did human beings appear in our world? How did our world originate?

  276. 276
    Viola Lee says:

    I basically accept the scientific description of things, but don’t know why things are as they are: why a universe? Why life? Especially why mind? Reality goes deeper than the surface, but I think we’re pretty limited in how far or accurately we can dig. Therefore, acceptance that I can not understand is fine with me.

  277. 277
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Kairosfocus “ SA2, there we go again, not only on your riding horse obsessions but on unrecognised inabilty to avoid pivoting on first duties of reason.

    We are talking about morality but you refuse to allow discussion about the most contentious moral issues that face us. That speaks volumes, but not in your favour.

    Where, historically, no state of law or regime has been indefinitely sustainable. A few centuries seems to be average.

    Yes, sustainable societies don’t last forever. They occasionally need to be shaken up to let the dust settle into a new shape. The civil war marked the fall of one society followed by great upheaval until a new “normal” established itself. The industrial revolution also caused great distress until a new shape to society was formed. As did the suffragette movement, the civil rights and the sexual revolution. The end result of each of these upheavals was an expansion of societal inclusion and equality of opportunity, and a major rethink and change of society’s moral standards. The latest shake-up involves the acceptance of homosexuality and same sex marriage. This shake-up is well into its’ latter stages, with the vast majority being accepting of it. The result is that people are no longer fired because of their sexual orientation, businesses can no longer deny people publicly available services because of their sexual orientation. Suicide rates amongst gay teens is on the decline. By all objective measures, this is increasing the equality of opportunities amongst a previously marginalized group. I fail to see how this is bad for society.

    PS: Reasonably standard dictionary summaries on objectivity vs subjectivity and relativism are on the table.

    And they are used in different ways depending on who is talking.

    Playing word games to needlessly cloud the issue is unwarranted,”

    Agreed.

    it actually reflects an implicit confession of failure to warrant a case..

    …for your side of the argument.

    Otherwise, why does your side insist on equating subjective morality to the preference for a flavour of ice cream?

    …for relativism, subjectivism and emotivism.”

    Now who is playing word games? Put “ism” at the end of some words to ridicule the opposition.

    Which, as was shown above, are fatally flawed, self-defeating and falsified.

    If you think that you have proven that subjective morality is fatally flawed, self-defeating and falsified, you are delusional. It is far from perfect, but it has served humans well over the centuries.

  278. 278
    AndyClue says:

    @kairosfocus:

    I pointed to the three Western streams on law, state and government showing the ranking, which lends strength to the policy regarding racial equality.

    We have racial equality where I live.

    You are still evading, implying you have no cogent answer but continue to pose on a selectively hyperskeptical default.

    No. I’m not. You’re confused.

    There are no non western derived states with stronger protection of rights, including on ethnic origin and the three streams exhaust the West and western influenced societies e.g. Japan, China, Taiwan

    My country (a western country) protects the rights of all its people, not just minorities. It doesn’t matter what race you belong to, rights and antidiscrimination-laws (regarding race, ethnic origin, …) apply to ALL.

    As for I want to hear X not Y as an evasive move, that is there upthread.

    Sorry, I can’t help you. I’m not a mindreader. I’ve asked you: “What are you talking about? Please try to use quotes, so I know what you’re referring to.”

    All along, we can observe, too, that you are inescapably appealing to first duties.

    Now I’m confused. Why wouldn’t I appeal to first duties?

  279. 279
    William J Murray says:

    Did I get kicked out of UD? My ability to log in with my other email and name ended, then started back up, then stopped and wouldn’t let me back in under my old address and login. If I’ve been excommunicated, let me know, I’ll be happy to comply.

  280. 280
    Steve Alten2 says:

    WJM, UD has had some glitches over the last couple weeks where the comment box doesn’t appear when you log in.

  281. 281
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, no, things have gone crazy with WP updates. Everybody has had problems, and some involve being logged in on one thread, logged out on another, logging in seems to work but then nope the original thread wants you to log in still. Bugs, bugs, bugs, obviously connected to security systems for WP and maybe whatever 3rd party stuff is in use. KF

  282. 282
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, the issue is not your motives but that you cannot but appeal to such known duties — which, SA2, are of moral character. KF

  283. 283
    kairosfocus says:

    AC, yes there are rights provisions across the W, but wait until you see the backdoors. That’s what we learned in Jamaica in 1976, a state of emergency opened up a pandora’s box of 4th gen civil war. That’s part of why I noted on Roman/Napoleonic law jurisdictions, Westminster Common Law ones (even when there is a written Constitution), and Locke, three powers separation, Constitutional Republic. Speaking of, does your state have something like the 1914 vintage Official Secrets Act and the like, with effectively every document in the Civil Service defaulting to confidential, with inadequate disclosure in public interest and ombudsman laws? What is the default in criminal court, is it innocent until proved guilty under due process and beyond reasonable doubt? Are your educators civil servants? What happens in a state of emergency? Is there a written Constitution with a bill of rights, or is the legislature supreme? What do your cyber crime, codes and ciphers, epidemic/public health, slander/defamation, hate speech etc laws provide? (Those are clues on some of where to look for vulnerabilities.) It is the third category of state that is most secure and even that is being eroded as can be seen from the current show trial. In that context, it is most difficult to breach or undermine or impose chilling effect on rights provisions in that third case. That is a context in which we can calibrate degree of safeguards on rights, including those tied to ethnicity. KF

  284. 284
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Kairosfocus “ VL, the issue is not your motives but that you cannot but appeal to such known duties — which, SA2, are of moral character. KF

    What you call duties I call rules which I follow in order to maximize my ability to thrive in society. Rules that can easily be derived logically. And, rules that I can ignore if I choose to do so. If society was structured differently, these rules would be different.

  285. 285
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: It seems there is need to again address relativism, subjectivism, emotivism on substance to answer a strawman accusation of ridicule. Obviously, it was not attended to above, about par for the course:

    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.

    We trust this is enough corrective.

    KF

  286. 286
    kairosfocus says:

    SA2, again, the rules summarise the substance of the duties, and you yet again show that you cannot but appeal to them. KF

  287. 287
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Kairosfocus “ SA2, again, the rules summarise the substance of the duties, and you yet again show that you cannot but appeal to them. KF

    I am not appealing to any duty, I am simply following rules that have proven to be effective for humans living today’s society. That does not make any of this objective. In a different society, I would follow different rules.

  288. 288
    William J Murray says:

    So, about the “appeal to first duties …” thing.
    The “first duties” thing is, as far as I can tell, a reference to the how people think, act and interact. IOW, morality (right v wrong, truth v falsehood) and necessarily using logic/reason to approach what is right and true in thought, word, and action. IOW, it is the premise that we are functionally, fundamentally obligated (duty) and functionally restricted (even if used erroneously) to make our case in terms of the truth value of a thing using logic/reason. It is our essential, objective moral duty to proceed in this fashion.

    What if a person is not trying to acquire or approach truth, but is rather trying to acquire some personal goal for their own benefit? What if they feel no moral obligation to present a rational case for their desired ends, but rather deliberately employ manipulative, emotive, coercive or rhetorical methods to gain the outcome they desire?

    How do the “first duties” apply in such a case?

  289. 289
    Steve Alten2 says:

    WJM “ What if a person is not trying to acquire or approach truth, but is rather trying to acquire some personal goal for their own benefit? What if they feel no moral obligation to present a rational case for their desired ends, but rather deliberately employ manipulative, emotive, coercive or rhetorical methods to gain the outcome they desire?

    How do the “first duties” apply in such a case?

    We have all experienced this. And, I would argue, we have all been guilty of this from time to time. This approach can be beneficial to those employing it only if they are reasonably good at hiding their motives from others, and if the majority of others are not taking this approach.

  290. 290
    john_a_designer says:

    As I have already written here and elsewhere when it comes to morality and human rights there is a long natural law tradition in the west that moral obligation and human rights are based on something objectively true and transcendent. Cicero understood this when he wrote, “Neither the senate nor the people can give us any dispensation for not obeying this universal law of justice. It needs no other expositor and interpreter than our own conscience. It is not one thing at Rome and another at Athens; one thing today and another tomorrow; but in all times and nations this universal law must forever reign, eternal and imperishable.”

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/how-the-warren-debacle-demonstrates-the-insanity-of-the-progressive-war-on-reality/#comment-666474

    Saint Paul and Aquinas also appealed to moral natural law.

    For example, in Romans 2:13-15 Paul writes, “For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. 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…”

    I couldn’t find a comprehensive Aquinas quote. However I did find a good summary of Aquinas’ thinking by someone who wrote his PhD dissertation on Natural Law.

    I wrote my PhD dissertation on Natural Law (Titled: “Thomas Aquinas on Natural Law and the Twofold End of Humanity), and I hope to publish it in the next few years.

    Until then, here’s the short version in just 5 easy points:

    *God designed natural law so that humans participate in God’s eternal law. As rational creatures we can determine and seek that which is good and avoid that which is evil.

    *According to Thomas Aquinas, the first precept of natural law is “good is to be done and pursued, and evil is to be avoided.” Every subsequent moral precept is based on this “first precept of natural law.” (By the way, you should memorize the underlined quote and never forget it. It is very useful and it will strengthen your understanding of natural law).

    *The #1 mistake people make about natural law is that they assume that natural law is secular and non-religious. Not true according to Saint Thomas Aquinas. Saint Thomas teaches that the virtue of religion, sacrifice, holidays, and even a natural priesthood pertains to the natural law. Moreover, avoiding idols and worshipping the Creator are derived precepts of the natural law.

    *Natural law is common to all the nations. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, Daoist, animist…natural law applies to you. This means that the testimony of natural law leads one to have a true religion. Thomas Aquinas would say that natural law in the heart of man would argue against idolatry, polytheism, atheism, etc. Hence, the idolatry of, say, Hinduism is banned under natural law.

    *Natural law is insufficient for human beatitude and salvation. Thomas Aquinas is really clear about this. He teaches that natural law is not enough. A human person can never erase natural law from his heart, but he can mitigate its force in his life. And even if a human person followed natural law perfectly, he would not attain to Heaven, because sanctifying grace is needed to enter the Beatific Vision (vision of God). So then, God gave “Divine Law” in the form of the Old Testament but perfectly in the New Testament. The New Law of the New Testament is really the Holy Spirit who communicates mercy, grace, and love to our souls and body. Hence, the human person after Adam and Eve needs Divine Law to perfect what natural law cannot do. (The heresy of Pelagianism holds that humans can be saved by perfectly following natural law – a big no-no for Catholics!)

    https://search.proquest.com/openview/b0ae2ecddcddfdb392fb3580d4275e54/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=18750&diss=y

    In other words, morality and human rights are not something that were invented or made up by human beings. Moral thinking and beliefs are intrinsic to human nature. So somehow it just evolved accidently or (more logically IMO) human beings were purposely created with a moral nature.

    Several of our regular interlocutors have argued that morality is relative or subjective but can you name me one society or culture that started with such a view? I can’t think of any.

    However as I am also willing to concede, the natural law view of morality doesn’t mean there aren’t disagreements about natural law. There have been, there are and there will be disagreements. Nevertheless, it can’t be argued that the natural law view has not been foundational to western thinking about morality and human rights for the last 2500 years. And again, its roots go all the way back at least to Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.

    My point here, is that an inductive study of history shows that western society’s view of morality and human rights was grounded in a realistic or objectivist view of morality and ethics. In other words, moral realism (objectivism) has been shown pragmatically to work.

  291. 291
    Viola Lee says:

    JaD writes, “In other words, moral realism (objectivism) has been shown pragmatically to work.”

    Then how come people had to fight hard to change things that we most Westerners now deem immoral, such as slavery, women not be allowed to vote and to have other rights, same-sex marriage, sex before marriage, birth control, in vitro fertilization, democracy, religious freedom, etc.? How come we don’t have consensus on things like capital punishment; euthanasia and self-assisted death; the use of drugs such as alcohol, marijuana, and nicotine; war; manufacture of weapons of mass destruction, … The list goes on and on.

    I’m not sure what evidence you might present to show that “realism (objectivism) has been shown pragmatically to work.”

  292. 292
    William J Murray says:

    SA2 @289,
    Appealing to what may or may not be the eventual effectiveness or consequences of such behavior is not an explanation of how the person involved is necessarily exhibiting a duty to those first principles, which is KF’s oft-repeated reply – that no matter what we do or say, we *are* exhibiting acknowledgement of such duties.

    My question is much like your position – it’s convenient to make that claim in an arena where we have agreed to behave that way. Agreement to present our thoughts and arguments in such a manner is not the same as an objective moral duty to do such.

    I can win any argument and impose my will with a gun without caring whether or not my goal represents the true or the morally good. What “first duty” am I by necessity operating under in that scenario? What enforces my “duty” to something other than doing whatever the heck I feel like?

  293. 293
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM (attn SA2), the pivot is that we expect others to know and implicitly acknowledge the duty, and often unconsciously show our own implicit knowledge. We appeal to duties to truth, reason and warrant all the time in these threads for example, and we expect others to acknowledge the force of such. Were such delusional, the self referential collapse would be fatal. Inescapable, inescapably true, self-evident. It is these duties that breathe fire into reason, warrant, wisdom. And those who habitually flout and manipulate the duties, for cause, we hold in contempt. KF

  294. 294
    john_a_designer says:

    I said @ #158 I am willing to answer honest questions. However, it looks like I have to clarify what an honest question is.

    https://uncommondescent.com/laws/should-we-recognise-that-laws-of-nature-extend-to-laws-of-our-human-nature-which-would-then-frame-civil-law/#comment-723851

    *1. An honest ends with the question mark (?) If you say anything beyond that I am going to consider your question as being disingenuous.

    *2. If it looks like you have your mind made up, then you’re wasting my time.

    *3. If it looks like you want to be argumentative, then you’re not being honest. Again, I’m not going to waste my time.

    *4. If it looks like a “gotcha” question, I’m not going to reply.

  295. 295
    Viola Lee says:

    JaD

    1. How do we know that objective transcendental moral standards exist?

    2. How we know what moral standards apply to particular real-world moral questions?

  296. 296
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Kairosfocus “ WJM (attn SA2), the pivot is that we expect others to know and implicitly acknowledge the duty, and often unconsciously show our own implicit knowledge.

    Yes, I expect others to be able to reason for themselves that killing, violence, cheating, lying, etc is not in their best interests over the long run. As I have. Why is that so difficult for you to understand.

    More importantly, how do you use your principle of right reason etc to conclude that same sex marriage is wrong? I predict that you can’t do so without falling back on your religious beliefs.

  297. 297
    kairosfocus says:

    SA2, that expectation reflects the inescapability of first duties that are peeking through in your own arguments. KF

  298. 298
    john_a_designer says:

    A few years ago student activists at Claremont Pamona College in California succeeded in shutting down a lecture by Manhattan Institute scholar and author Heather Mac Donald. In a letter to the school’s president they wrote:

    The idea that there is a single truth — ‘the Truth’ — is a construct of the Euro-West that is deeply rooted in the Enlightenment, which was a movement that also described Black and Brown people as both subhuman and impervious to pain,” the students’ letter stated, according to The Claremont Independent. “This construction is a myth and white supremacy, imperialism, colonization, capitalism, and the United States of America are all of its progeny.”

    The following article gives several more long excerpts from the letter:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/m.....ee-speech/

    Libertarian writer, Kat Timf observes that…

    “Once you start trying to argue that it’s bad to encourage people to seek the truth, you have officially reached peak idiot. For one thing, admitting that you find valuing the truth to be offensive hardly helps your case when you’re literally trying to convince others that something is true.”

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/.....-supremacy

    Again, you can’t begin to make a moral argument unless it is based on moral TRUTH and that it is true that morality is really grounded in interpersonal moral obligation. It appears the Pomona students reject moral truth but still believe in some kind of interpersonal moral obligation. That is at best logically fallacious, at worse it is either hypocritical or absurd. Their beliefs and opinions are clearly based on passion not reason. When such idiotic thinking begins to spread through a democratic society it’s putting that society at risk. It will first lead to anarchy and then end up with tyranny or totalitarianism.

    Again, as I have asked before: From the standpoint of moral subjectivism, where by definition morals and ethics must be arbitrary, what basis do we have for universal human rights? Would a country like the US even be possible without a concept of universal human rights? Even though our concept of human rights at the founding of our country was very imperfect (slavery, mistreatment of native people, unequal rights for women) there is absolutely no basis for such universal rights from a moral subjectivist point of view.

  299. 299
    Viola Lee says:

    I am pretty sure I have responded to the questions you ask in your last paragraph, JaD. I’d go over it again if I thought you would engage in discussion. Also, I have key questions that are related to what you write:

    1. How do we know that objective transcendental moral standards exist?

    2. How we know what moral standards apply to particular real-world moral questions?

  300. 300
    kairosfocus says:

    JaD,

    You have gone to the heart of the indoctrination we have been subjected to, with astonishing success.

    Let’s go back to distinct identity, where a thing A is itself, i/l/o its distinguishing characteristics, x1,x2 . . . xn say. Where, were say xi and xj such that xi = ~xj, then it would be impossible of being, such as a square circle. [Notice, the heavy weather made of that, above. As for superposed entities, a square is a superposition of a rhombus and a right-angle vertex quadrilateral, i.e. a rectangle. Such is coherent and feasible. By contrast, as a circle is a particular curved form swept by a radius vector centred on a fixed point with all points on its perimeter equidistant from the centre, a square circle requires a contradiction in the superposition and is infeasible. As for quantum cases, superposition logic has not gone away, and note that the Mathematics and the observational science pivot on POI and close corollaries non contradiction and excluded middle. Without these, we cannot communicate or think in distinct terms.]

    Such extends to the complex entity, a possible world, W. Collectively, the entities in it and their attributes must be mutually possible.

    So, our actual world, as to its actual constituents, must be mutually consistent. Where, inject that truth is accurate description of reality; entities and states of affairs. A truthful description of a world must be coherent. We already know that once we embrace a contradiction, such can imply both true and false consequents, while a true antecedent implies only true consequents. This is in fact vat the heart of mathematical explorations and proofs. Starting from reliable axioms, we derive and trust then apply theorems, routinely. We know that if we suggest an assertion a and derive from it a contradiction, a is falsified and we freely conclude not-a, ~a. By contrast, models are known to be or to be prone to be false and unreliable beyond a tested range.

    So, while there are many opinions or perceptions or attempted world-models/explanations in the face of a common reality, there is just that, a common reality. Our perceptions, opinions etc are error prone, but reality is as it is.

    There is no good reason to allow opinion to gobble up truth. Truth is an important concept and actuality: to accurately describe reality, saying of what is, that it is and of what is not that it is not. Yes, our descriptions tend to have errors and our models have limited reliability. But we have means to test alternatives and we find ourselves duty-bound to seek truth, right reason and warrant, thus wider discernment and prudence.

    We are in a place to see some of the rot driving our civilisation towards shipwreck on current line of drift.

    KF

  301. 301
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, we have shown any number of objective moral truths above, truths about duty to do the right and turn from wrong, error and folly. This discussion is about a core, coherent and governing cluster of such truths, considered as coeval with our humanness, i.e. general/ universal/ pervasive/ inescapable (so inescapably true and self-evident) laws of our human nature. So pervasive and inescapable in fact, that the attempt to deny or side-step, in trying to be persuasive, invariably appeals to the target audience’s intuitive recognition of the force of said first duties. But, in an age given over to relativism etc, such is an unwelcome, bitter red pill. We want the blue one instead. KF

    PS: As an example, it is self-evidently wrong, evil, wicked, to kidnap, bind, sexually assault and murder a young child for one’s pleasure. Sadly, this is a real world case. It answers to right to life and liberty, to duties to neighbour and to justice, to the nihilistic, self-refuting notion that might and/or manipulation make ‘right,’ ‘rights,’ ‘duties,’ ‘truth,’ ‘warrant,’ ‘reason,’ etc. (And no, it is not always personally advantageous to abide by principles, if one has power or cleverness, advantages can be had from exploiting others. Here, some murderer with perverse lusts got his thrills from subjecting a child to terror, pain, helpless victimisation, sexual torture and agonising death, in a murder that has never been solved. It is amazing what has to be spelled out these days. Stalin’s show trials were advantageous to his further aggrandisement of sheer power and they worked. Oh, it’s not sustainable is a disguised appeal to duty to neighbours of the future, and as Keynes said, in the long run we are all dead, i.e. why should I care about posterity? In short, the sustainability principle is at root an ethical one. The pervasiveness of duties is there yet again.)

  302. 302
    kairosfocus says:

    SA2, kindly note the just above. KF

  303. 303
    AndyClue says:

    @kairosfocus:

    Speaking of, does your state have something like the 1914 vintage Official Secrets Act and the like, with effectively every document in the Civil Service defaulting to confidential, with inadequate disclosure in public interest and ombudsman laws?

    Not that I know of.

    What is the default in criminal court, is it innocent until proved guilty under due process and beyond reasonable doubt?

    Of course. That’s one of the most important principles.

    Are your educators civil servants?

    Some are, some aren’t.

    What happens in a state of emergency?

    I thought there was a simple answer. Then I read up on it. And it’s complicated. But as far as I understand in general it’s similar to US in some aspects.

    Is there a written Constitution with a bill of rights, or is the legislature supreme?

    Yes, there’s a written consitution listing rights.

    What do your cyber crime, codes and ciphers, epidemic/public health, slander/defamation, hate speech etc laws provide?

    That’s a large topic. I know there is a troublesome cyber security law in making which could comprimise data privacy. Our company already migrated cloud data from the US servers to local servers (because our customers fear their data is not safe if it’s located in the US), and now this. Hate speech laws do exist and are imo unfortunately harsh. Usually racists are targeted by those laws.

  304. 304
    William J Murray says:

    KF @293:
    I see this as your projection of your particular belief system onto the world and others. Personally, I don’t hold anyone in contempt, and I see your warning of the eventual failure of systems not built on your model to be specious. IMO, any system regardless of what it is built on will fail when enough people become malcontent with the system. People have lived for extended periods of time under dictatorships, supposedly divine monarchies, communism, socialism and democracies, the longest running of which was almost 2000 years, the Pandya Dynasty, which I believes was a form of divine monarchies.

    Was the Pandya Dynasty a “failure?” 1850 years makes it the most successful civilization of all time, at least in terms of duration. Their culture, even through hundreds of years of the various rulers warring with each other over power and land, stayed largely intact for that long because of a deep, common religious/spiritual belief system that was largely unquestioned by the population. If reason and morality was applied, it was through the lens of their religious beliefs.

    Which, IMO, is what you are doing here. You’re interpreting everyone’s behavior and motivations (even going to the point of asserting their subconscious adherence to “duties”) from the lens of your religious beliefs, not pure logic extending from self-evidently true statements to necessarily true statements that extend from that source.

    There are very few self-evident truths, such as “I exist,” “I experience,” “2+2=4,” and A=A. Common behaviors do not make for a self-evident truth or a duty. Common subconscious patterns do not make something a self-evident or necessary truth, much less a behavioral obligation.

    I do not appeal to these things in every conversation I have because I recognize that not all situations or conversations are logical or are about truth or moral obligations. I usually fashion my side of conversations to fit the apparent psychological patterns of the person I am conversing with. My choices never proceed from a perspective of moral obligation or pursuit of truth; my choices entirely serve my personal enjoyment – not pleasure per se, but a broad and deep version of “enjoyment” that includes all sorts of varied experiences.

    I can argue both for or against most perspectives. I can choose to hold conditional beliefs, and choose to hold them as long as they serve my interests, and choose to ditch them if a different belief better serves my goals. Do I think my goals represent some “truth?” No, not outside of parsing between what I enjoy and what I do not. Whether or not my goals are morally “wrong” by some external or objective standard never enters my mind.

    However, I don’t think you’re capable of understanding people who think and operate outside of your worldview, and that is probably what drives you to repost the fundamentals of your worldview over and over, and interpret everyone according to your worldview, badgering them into accepting that your worldview applies to them, and that if they do not accept it, they are denying some essential moral obligation or duty of right reason, or deluding themselves.

  305. 305
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    PS: As an example, it is self-evidently wrong, evil, wicked, to kidnap, bind, sexually assault and murder a young child for one’s pleasure.

    And yet, people we call sociopaths don’t think anything of it, even if they hide their activities to avoid being criminally charged and incarcerated. Just because most people share deep emotional programming in this world that makes them react with disgust to that example, doesn’t mean everyone is programmed that way. There are without doubt people that enjoy such cruelty.

    IMO, morality doesn’t rise to the level of providing self-evidently true statements about existence. It is, again IMO, a deep subconscious program perhaps most people here, in this world, share in terms of some very basic elements.

  306. 306
    William J Murray says:

    As far as “natural laws” are concerned, IMO these are extrapolations of an inverted perspective of existence that cannot, even in principle, be supported. What most accept as “natural laws” are rooted in a hypothetical premise nobody can even potentially gather evidence to support.

  307. 307
    jerry says:

    In #156 I asked for a definition of “morality” and provided a basis for moral behavior. No one responded. In #173, I provided a definition of morality. No one responded. Unless, one is willing to use common definitions and most here don’t, their comments will dissipate into vapidity.

    That is what most actually desire here because they don’t want to be held accountable for the coherence/relevance of their comments. They want to rant and accuse.

    Kf, rightly sees a once in history phenomenon under severe attack, and tries to explain why it is necessary to go down a certain path to maintain it. The modern world is a fluke that has provided relief for billions of people and originated in a small place in this world. When this world started to emerge, there was only a half billion on our planet. Now there are over 7 billion. It is this system of providing for these billions that is being challenged with no assurance that what replaces it will be anywhere as effective.

    So is morality the system that allowed this to happen? Nothing in the history of mankind has come even remotely close to providing material relief (goods, medical, education) for so many

    Few here or anywhere address the obvious. Instead they nitpick the good with irrelevancies.

  308. 308
    Viola Lee says:

    Jerry, people have responded. Seversky did. KF did. Your offering at 173 was a dictionary definition that seemed pretty standard and didn’t seem to need a response. Therefore, I’m not sure I understand what your point is. Can you point out ways that you think people in this discussion are using different definition of morality?

  309. 309
    Viola Lee says:

    I’m going to snip WJM’s personal stuff and highlight his analysis of KF’s approach to this continual discussion about “duties to right reason”. I have bolded WJM’s statements about KF’s fundamental flaw. This explains some things well.

    I see this as your projection of your particular belief system onto the world and others. …

    You’re interpreting everyone’s behavior and motivations (even going to the point of asserting their subconscious adherence to “duties”) from the lens of your religious beliefs, not pure logic extending from self-evidently true statements to necessarily true statements that extend from that source.

    There are very few self-evident truths, such as “I exist,” “I experience,” “2+2=4,” and A=A. Common behaviors do not make for a self-evident truth or a duty. Common subconscious patterns do not make something a self-evident or necessary truth, much less a behavioral obligation. ….

    However, I don’t think you’re capable of understanding people who think and operate outside of your worldview, and that is probably what drives you to repost the fundamentals of your worldview over and over, and interpret everyone according to your worldview, badgering them into accepting that your worldview applies to them, and that if they do not accept it, they are denying some essential moral obligation or duty of right reason, or deluding themselves. …

    IMO, morality doesn’t rise to the level of providing self-evidently true statements about existence. It is, again IMO, a deep subconscious program perhaps most people here, in this world, share in terms of some very basic elements.

  310. 310
    john_a_designer says:

    A few years ago Ben Shapiro, who is an orthodox Jew, wrote about an incident that happened to some of the female members of the synagogue he attends.

    a transgender woman — a biological male who suffers from gender dysphoria — came to the gym. This man, who retains his male biological characteristics, then entered the locker room and proceeded to disrobe. When told by management that he could use a private dressing room, he refused, announcing that he was a woman and could disrobe in front of all the other women.

    The predictable result: Many of the actual biological women began cancelling their memberships. When the management asked people higher in the chain, they were simply told that to require the man to use a private dressing room or to reject his membership would subject the company to litigation and possible boycott.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/11/transgender-politics-sympathy-cannot-trump-reality/

    It appears to me that the secular progressive left over the past couple of decades has invented a new right, the right of universal affirmation and approval– and a right not to be offended. For example, society as a whole needs to affirm and approve of transgender people because society has been guilty of oppressing them, or so the theory goes. However, how can this be considered a right unless everyone has that right? Aren’t rights supposed to be equal rights? Don’t the women attending the health club have any rights anymore? Or have their rights been trumped by a single transgender person?

    Where are my rights of affirmation and approval? Where are my rights not to be offended? If they are not offered to me– a straight white male– then they are not equal rights. Free and open democratic societies must be founded on the basis of equal rights.

    Civil rights leader Martin Luther King famously said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Tragically the secular progressive left has gone in the opposite direction. Their pretension of being opposed to racism which is at itself racist. For example, on college campuses certain groups, blacks and Hispanics, are presented as victims while whites are presented as oppressors. Indeed, according to the left’s racial doctrine, there is no such thing as anti-white racism. Instead you have the “myth of white privilege,” which allows them vilify and demonize people based on the color of their skin. That’s no longer the mindset of a few radical professors and students, it’s the policy of the bureaucrats and it’s written into curriculum. However, it’s not actually a curriculum which students are taught, it’s an ideology into which they are indoctrinated.

    Notice what the secular progressive left’s ideology allows them to now do. In their minds they are now free to discriminate with impunity against those whom they disagree. In true 1984 style they have redefined tolerance. Tolerance has traditionally has been defined as tolerating those with whom you disagree… It has been redefined as championing the cause of the so-called oppressed. Therefore, they have no qualms about suppressing the rights of those whom they deem to be the oppressors– their rights they have been CANCELLED… freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of thought and conscience and freedom of religion. That’s the end of democracy.

  311. 311
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, in 254 I cited dictionaries in summary of morality:

    https://uncommondescent.com/laws/should-we-recognise-that-laws-of-nature-extend-to-laws-of-our-human-nature-which-would-then-frame-civil-law/#comment-724022

    on morality and on objectivity.

    morality
    character or virtue; concern with the distinction between good and evil or right conduct; the right principles of human conduct: morality lessons
    Not to be confused with:
    mortality – the quality or state of being mortal; death rate; the ratio of deaths in a given area to the population of that area: mortality figures
    Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree
    mo·ral·i·ty (m?-r?l??-t?, mô-)
    n. pl. mo·ral·i·ties
    1. The quality of being in accord with standards of right or good conduct: questioned the morality of my actions.
    2. A system or collection of ideas of right and wrong conduct: religious morality; Christian morality.
    3. Virtuous conduct: commended his morality.
    4. A rule or lesson in moral conduct: sermons noted for their moralities.
    American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

    ob·jec·tive (?b-j?k?t?v)
    adj.
    1.
    a. Existing independent of or external to the mind; actual or real: objective reality.
    b. Based on observable phenomena; empirical: objective facts.
    2. Uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices: an objective critic. See Synonyms at fair1.
    3. Medicine Relating to or being an indicator of disease, such as a physical sign, laboratory test, or x-ray, that can be observed or verified by someone other than the person being evaluated.
    4. Grammar
    a. Of, relating to, or being the case of a noun or pronoun that serves as the object of a verb.
    b. Of or relating to a noun or pronoun used in this case.
    n.
    2. A thing or group of things existing independent of the mind.
    ob·jec?tive·ly adv.
    ob·jec?tive·ness n.
    American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

    Truth, we know: accurate description of a relevant state of affairs.

    Here, moral truth would be truth regarding right, wrong and duty regarding same. Ironically, were relativists or subjectivists or emotivists able to establish that there are no objective moral truths, such would be self-defeating as that would be a moral truth.

    However, the material moral truth is that we find ourselves inescapably duty-bound to truth, to right reason, to prudence [including warrant], to sound conscience, to neighbour [see sev on atheists accepting that!], so to fairness and justice etc. Where justice is due balance of rights, freedoms and duties, especially in the context of a habitual disposition or a state of community affairs, the civil peace of justice.

    We can readily see (just scroll up) that even objectors are inescapably forced to appeal to same.

    In 265 I followed up on objectivity, truth and relativism etc: https://uncommondescent.com/laws/should-we-recognise-that-laws-of-nature-extend-to-laws-of-our-human-nature-which-would-then-frame-civil-law/#comment-724042

    On morality, it is a dominant view that we have such a diversity of opinions that there is no objective truth. But in fact, this is instantly self-defeating: it claims to be warranted, thus objective, truth regarding duty, precisely what it denies. It is self-defeating.

    Similarly, I clip:

    generally, we have:
    The Cultural Differences Argument

    1. Different cultures have different moral codes.

    ________________________________________________________________

    Therefore, there is no objective “truth” in morality. Right and wrong are only matters of opinion, and opinions vary from culture to culture.

    Is this a sound argument?

    No. It is not a sound argument because the conclusion does not follow from the premise (in other words, it is not valid). The fact that cultures have differing beliefs about what is moral does not imply that morality is culturally relative. It is easy to see this if we consider an analogous argument:

    1. Historically, cultures have had a variety of different views about the size, shape and motion of the earth, its relation to celestial bodies, and astronomy generally.

    _________________________

    Therefore, there is no objective “truth” in astronomy. The size, shape and motion of the earth (e.g. whether the earth is flat), whether there are other planets, etc. are only matters of opinion which vary from culture to culture.

    Not very convincing, is it? We are inclined to say that many cultures have simply been wrong on various points. The Medieval Europeans [–> not the educated, they knew their bEratosthenes, Ptolemy, Aristotle etc] believed that the earth was flat, that the planets were perfect spheres moving in perfect circles, and that the earth was stationary. We now reject all of these claims on the basis of well-supported scientific theory. The bottom line: mere disagreement does not imply relativism. This is not to say that we have shown Cultural Relativism to be false. The present point is just that the Cultural Differences Argument fails to establish Cultural Relativism.

    A distinction is made here, between a fallacy and warrant. A warranted conclusion may be erroneously argued on fallacies that fail but stronger arguments exist. This is highlighting the strawman fallacy.

    However, we have already seen that the cultural/institutional relativism argument (and its extension to the individual) fails by self referential incoherence. There is no objective moral truth that there are no objective moral truths. Where, a truth claim is a moral one just in case that it addresses, directly or indirectly, issues of duty so too right and wrong.

    Does such help?

    KF

  312. 312
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, while I intend to follow up later, I put down as a marker on inescapably true and so self-evident first truths, this from Epictetus:

    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]

    <