Defending our Civilization Epistemology (the study of knowledge and its conditions) knowledge Logic and First Principles of right reason

L&FP42: is knowledge warranted, credibly true (so, reliable) belief?

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It’s time to start delivering on a promise to address “warrant, knowledge, logic and first duties of reason as a cluster,” even at risk of being thought pedantic. Our civilisation is going through a crisis of confidence, down to the roots. If it is to be restored, that is where we have to start, and in the face of rampant hyperskepticism, relativism, subjectivism, emotivism, outright nihilism and irrationality, we need to have confidence regarding knowledge.

Doing my penance, I suppose: these are key issues and so here I stand, in good conscience, I can do no other, God help me.

For a start, from the days of Plato, knowledge has classically been defined as “justified, true belief.” However, in 1963, the late Mr Gettier put the cat in among the pigeons, with Gettier counter-examples; which have since been multiplied. In effect, there are circumstances (and yes, sometimes seemingly contrived, but these are instructive thought exercises) in which someone or a circle may be justified to hold a belief but on taking a wider view such cannot reasonably be held to be a case of knowledge.

As a typical thought exercise, consider a circle of soldiers and sailors on some remote Pacific island, who are eagerly awaiting a tape of a championship match sent out by the usual morale units. They get it, play it and rejoice that team A has won over team B (and the few who thought otherwise have to cough up on their bets to the contrary). Unbeknownst to them, through clerical error, it was last year’s match, which had the same A vs B match-up and more or less the same outcome. They are justified — have a right — to believe, what they believe is so, but somehow the two fail to connect leading to accidental, not reliable arrival at truth.

Knowledge must be built of sterner stuff.

Ever since, epistemology as a discipline, has struggled to rebuild a solid consensus on what knowledge is.

Plantinga weighed in with a multi-volume study, championing warrant, which(as we just noted) is at first defined by bill of requisites. That is, we start with what it must do. So, warrant — this builds on the dictionary/legal/commercial sense of a reliable guarantee of performance “as advertised” — will be whatever reliably converts beliefs we have a right to into knowledge.

The challenge being, to fill in the blank, “Warrant is: __________ .”

Plantinga then summarises, in his third volume:

The question is as old as Plato’s Theaetetus: what is it that distinguishes knowledge from mere true belief? What further quality or quantity must a true belief have, if it is to constitute knowledge? This is one of the main questions of epistemology. (No doubt that is why it is called ‘theory of knowledge’.) Along with nearly all subsequent thinkers, Plato takes it for granted that knowledge is at least true belief: you know a proposition p only if you believe it, and only if it is true. [–> I would soften to credibly, true as we often use knowledge in that softer, defeat-able sense cf Science] But Plato goes on to point out that true belief, while necessary for knowledge, is clearly not sufficient: it is entirely possible to believe something that is true without knowing it . . .

[Skipping over internalism vs externalism, Gettier, blue vs grue or bleen etc etc] Suppose we use the term ‘warrant’ to denote that further quality or quantity (perhaps it comes in degrees), whatever precisely it may be, enough of which distinguishes knowledge from mere true belief. Then our question (the subject of W[arrant and] P[roper] F[unction]): what is warrant?

My suggestion (WPF, chapters 1 and 2) begins with the idea that a belief has warrant only if it is produced by cognitive faculties that are functioning properly, subject to no disorder or dysfunction—construed as including absence of impedance as well as pathology. The notion of proper function is fundamental to our central ways of thinking about knowledge. But that notion is inextricably bound with another: that of a design plan.37

Human beings and their organs are so constructed that there is a way they should work, a way they are supposed to work, a way they work when they work right; this is the way they work when there is no malfunction . . . We needn’t initially take the notions of design plan and way in which a thing is supposed to work to entail conscious design or purpose [–> design, often is naturally evident, e.g. eyes are to see and ears to hear, both, reasonably accurately] . . .

Accordingly, the first element in our conception of warrant (so I say) is that a belief has warrant for someone only if her faculties are functioning properly, are subject to no dysfunction, in producing that belief.39 But that’s not enough.

Many systems of your body, obviously, are designed to work in a certain kind of environment . . . . this is still not enough. It is clearly possible that a belief be produced by cognitive faculties that are functioning properly in an environment for which they were designed, but nonetheless lack warrant; the above two conditions are not sufficient. We think that the purpose or function of our belief-producing faculties is to furnish us with true (or verisimilitudinous) belief. As we saw above in connection with the F&M complaint [= Freud and Marx], however, it is clearly possible that the purpose or function of some belief-producing faculties or mechanisms is the production of beliefs with some other virtue—perhaps that of enabling us to get along in this cold, cruel, threatening world, or of enabling us to survive a dangerous situation or a life-threatening disease.

So we must add that the belief in question is produced by cognitive faculties such that the purpose of those faculties is that of producing true belief.

More exactly, we must add that the portion of the design plan governing the production of the belief in question is aimed at the production of true belief (rather than survival, or psychological comfort, or the possibility of loyalty, or something else) . . . .

[W]hat must be added is that the design plan in question is a good one, one that is successfully aimed at truth, one such that there is a high (objective) probability that a belief produced according to that plan will be true (or nearly true). Put in a nutshell, then, a belief has warrant for a person S only if that belief is produced in S by cognitive faculties functioning properly (subject to no dysfunction) in a cognitive environment [both macro and micro . . . ] that is appropriate for S’s kind of cognitive faculties, according to a design plan that is successfully aimed at truth. We must add, furthermore, that when a belief meets these conditions and does enjoy warrant, the degree of warrant it enjoys depends on the strength of the belief, the firmness with which S holds it. This is intended as an account of the central core of our concept of warrant; there is a penumbral area surrounding the central core where there are many analogical extensions of that central core; and beyond the penumbral area, still another belt of vagueness and imprecision, a host of possible cases and circumstances where there is really no answer to the question whether a given case is or isn’t a case of warrant.41 [Warranted Christian Belief (NY/Oxford: OUP, 2000), pp 153 ff. See onward, Warrant, the Current Debate and Warrant and Proper Function; also, by Plantinga.]

So, we may profitably distinguish [a] Plantinga’s specification (bill of requisites) for warrant and [b] his theory of warrant. The latter, being (for the hard core):

a belief has warrant for a person S only if that belief is produced in S by cognitive faculties functioning properly (subject to no dysfunction) in a cognitive environment [both macro and micro . . . ] that is appropriate for S’s kind of cognitive faculties, according to a design plan that is successfully aimed at truth.

Obviously, warrant comes in degrees, which is just what we need to have. Certain things are known to utterly unchangeable certainty, others are to moral certainty, others for good reason are held to be reasonably reliable though not certain enough to trust when the stakes are high, other things are in doubt as to whether they are knowledge, some things outright fail any responsible test.

That’s why I have taken up and commend a modified form, recognising that what we think is credibly, reliably true today may oftentimes be corrected for cause tomorrow. (Back in High School Chemistry class, I used to imagine a courier arriving at the door to deliver the latest updates to our teacher.)

Yes, I accept that many knowledge claims are defeat-able, so open-ended and provisional.

Indeed, that is part of what distinguishes the prudence and fair-mindedness of sober knowledge claims hard won and held or even stoutly defended in the face of uncertainty and challenge from the false certitude of blind ideologies. Especially, where deductive logical schemes can have no stronger warrant than their underlying axioms and assumptions and where inductive warrant provides support, not utterly certain, incorrigible, absolute demonstration.

That said, we must recognise that some few things are self-evident, e.g.:

While self-evident truths cannot amount to enough to build a worldview, they can provide plumb line tests relevant to the reliability of warrant for what we accept as knowledge:

Such, of course, bring to the fore Ciceronian first duties of reason:

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 with the true nature of man [–> we are seeing the root vision of natural law, coeval with our humanity] . . . . “Law (say [“many learned men”]) is the highest reason, implanted in nature, which prescribes those things which ought to be done, and forbids the contrary” . . . . They therefore conceive that the voice of conscience is a law, that moral prudence is a law [–> a key remark] , whose operation is to urge us to good actions, and restrain us from evil ones . . . . the origin of justice is to be sought in the divine law of eternal and immutable morality. This indeed is the true energy of nature, the very soul and essence of wisdom, the test of virtue and vice.

We may readily expand such first duties of reason: to truth, to right reason, to prudence, to sound conscience, to neighbour, so also to fairness and justice. Where, it may readily be seen that the would-be objector invariably appeals to the said duties. Does s/he object, false, or doubtfully so, or errors of reason, or failure to warrant, or unfairness or the like, alike, s/he appeals to the very same duties, collapsing in self-referentiality. So, instead, let us acknowledge that these are inescapable, true, self-evident.

It may help, too to bring out first principles of right reason, such as:

Laws of logic in action as glorified common-sense first principles of right reason

Expanding as a first list:

Such enable us to better use our senses and faculties to build knowledge. END

U/D May 16, regarding the Overton window, first, just an outline:

Next, as applied:

Backgrounder, on the political spectrum:

1,306 Replies to “L&FP42: is knowledge warranted, credibly true (so, reliable) belief?

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    L&FP42: is knowledge warranted, credibly true (so, reliable) belief?

  2. 2
    StephenB says:

    KF, this is a timely post because it reminds us that the destructive ideology of the Marxist revolutionaries stems, in large part, from their ignorance about the things that matter most. Their useful idiots, the enthusiasts who drive the “woke” culture, cannot act rightly because they cannot think clearly, and they cannot think clearly because they don’t know about the things that are worth knowing. You have done a good job of explaining what those things are.

  3. 3
    Barry Arrington says:

    Thanks KF. We can all profitably reflect on these principles.

  4. 4
    Seversky says:

    Knowledge can be whatever we choose to define it to be. Warranted or justified true belief is certainly a good one and probably comes close to what most understand by it and it’s not so far from how Stephan Jay Gould defined “fact”

    Moreover, “fact” does not mean “absolute certainty.” The final proofs of logic and mathematics flow deductively from stated premises and achieve certainty only because they are not about the empirical world. Evolutionists make no claim for perpetual truth, though creationists often do (and then attack us for a style of argument that they themselves favor). In science, “fact” can only mean “confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.”

  5. 5
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, yes, one can claim that “knowledge” is whatever s/he imagines. However, knowledge as a term has a long established usage as a concept-describing label that has to accurately enough cover those cases. That creates an accountability before enough facts — things directly known from experience, roughly — that it forces us to think through what such a central concept is about. Gould’s definition of “fact” is tendentious, likely shaped by the wish to label an explanatory construct that is abductive [and so inductive], a theory, as a fact. Where, as “only fools dispute facts,” that would then become a question-begging imposition. The pessimistic induction should give us pause about claiming factual status for any scientific theory. Too many seemingly unassailable theories with strong “consensus” behind them have had to be drastically limited, revised or replaced, with Newtonian Dynamics as the classic example. KF

  6. 6
    kairosfocus says:

    SB, thanks, I think you are right that a whiff of 1984 haunts our civilisation at this time. Mr Smith, what is 2 + 2? KF

  7. 7
    AndyClue says:

    What is 2+2 ?
    1984: 5
    2021: whatever you want it to be

  8. 8
    William J Murray says:

    Simpler model:
    1. Our self-evident existential mode is experiential.
    2. We self-evidently have the free will capacity to make choices that, to one degree or another, direct our experience.
    3. Every such choice is fundamentally preferential in nature; this is an inherent, inescapable aspect of free will.
    4. The nature of preference is that of seeking enjoyment of experience.
    5. Thus, our self-evident nature is that of experiential willful entities using our free will to seek enjoyable experiences, either direct or abstract
    6. Because of our existential nature described above, knowledge is always about understanding how our choices affect our experiences

    Only the individual can understand how their choices affect their experience, because only they are having their experiences. Thus, knowledge can ultimately only be individual, and can only be about how his or her particular choices affect his or her particular experiences. and about what and how that individual enjoys.

    Models (worldviews) for predicting how choices affect experiences are simply that: models that represent how choices affect experience. Whether a model is materialist, dualistic or idealist, rationally consistent or not, absurd or not, supported by the evidence of the experience of others or not, or if the individual is insane or not is entirely, existentially irrelevant. Existentially speaking, the only thing that matters is that the model of gaining sufficient enjoyment works to the individual’s satisfaction in predicting how choices will affect experience.

  9. 9
    William J Murray says:

    KF will no doubt argue that in my comment #8, I am necessarily acknowledging a “first duty” to truth-telling, even if I am incorrect. IOW, I am attempting to “tell the truth” about a “first duty” to preference (and enjoyable experiences;) that I cannot behave otherwise even if I were to lie.

    I have already agreed that at least the attempt to know true statements, and separate them at least internally from false statements, is a necessary function of rational beings.

    But, what are the “true statements” I attempt to make necessarily about? Well, the only thing they can be about: my experience. I cannot possibly hope to make true statements about anything else.

    When I generalize true statements about my experience as “true” for all experiencers, that is under the assumption that these fundamental, logically necessary and self-evident aspects of my existence extend to them as well. Such conversations about existential commodities require such assumptions.

    However, I wouldn’t refer to what is existentially necessary as a “duty.” IMO, this is logically unnecessary element that KF adds in in order to make a case for his particular worldview. Logically speaking, an existential necessity is an “is;” and an ought cannot be derived from an “is.” KF doesn’t say (I don’t think) that moral duty to truth is derived from this existential necessity; he often says that the necessity “points to” our moral duty.

    That would require KF make a existentially necessary case for morality. That, he has not done. His argument for existential morality relies on appeals to “common human experience” and consequences, and ignores the existence of counterfactuals (sociopaths) when he claims the existential nature of “conscience” in humans.

    Characterizing “truth telling” as a “duty” depends on the morality argument, and the morality argument fails.

    Again, KF will no doubt characterize all that I have said here as a de facto admission of my “first duty” obligations, but it represents no such thing in and of itself. It only represents such in KF’s worldview.

  10. 10
    jerry says:

    We all have experiences. We may believe something about the world based on an experience.

    For example, the quickest way to get to the Walmart is to take the interstate. Then someone says try the first left after the old mill on North road and we find it saves 5 minutes. We have a new belief about the fastest way to the Walmart. A justified one. We would be hard pressed to say it wasn’t faster. We have a duty or obligation to admit it’s faster. Only someone morally deficient would not admit it.

    We all have additional experiences and modified our beliefs based on these new experiences or new information. This has been the nature of human beliefs since the beginning of time.

    So when someone says their experiences are personal. That is true. But many of our beliefs frequently change based on better information and new experiences. That is also true. That we have a moral obligation to admit these changes is morally true. Obviously some exceptions.

    Here’s a truth. Nearly everything Murray is saying is BS. And he knows it

    A lot of what others profess here to believe is also not a justified belief but opinions based on emotions. Some beliefs are more justified than others. That is a basic truth.

  11. 11
    kairosfocus says:

    AC, IIRC, in the book or movie, it was whatever was required by the Party. That we are there now is beyond satire or parody. KF

  12. 12
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, an attempted chain of reasoning, why should anyone take it seriously? KF

  13. 13
    Viola Lee says:

    The OP seems like an awful lot of words to state the obvious: whatever it is we believe, we try to use things such as reason, logic, evidence, clearly held principles, previously confirmed beliefs, communication and confirmation with others, etc. to try to support our beliefs, with the understanding that there will be always different levels of provisionality about them.

  14. 14
    William J Murray says:

    KF @12 asks:

    WJM, an attempted chain of reasoning, why should anyone take it seriously? KF

    I’m not saying or implying anyone should. What I write here, I write for my own benefit.

  15. 15
    jerry says:

    there will be always different levels of provisionality about them.

    Yes, that is true and the world seems designed for this to be true. Two things.

    1) was the world designed this way on purpose? I know I would make it a characteristic of a meaningful world. Obviously an opinion.

    2)some beliefs are more justified than others! Obviously a truth.

  16. 16
    StephenB says:

    WJM @ 8: I think your experiential model is unduly self-centered and individualistic.

    In the search for truth, our first task should be less about discovering particular truths about ourselves and more about acknowledging the generalizable truths that apply to everyone, that is, to human nature itself.

    When you say things like “our self-evident existential mode is experiential,” you are not really expressing a meaningful or comprehensible thought. The term “self-evident” is more appropriately applied to the first rules of right reason, which should be the starting point for any intellectual inquiry. That is the whole point of this post.

    Again, when you say that our choices are “preferential in nature,” by which you mean choices that “seek after enjoyment of experience,” you are misusing the word nature. Personal enjoyment may be your ethical standard, but it is not the essential nature of a moral choice, which is a response to one’s perception about what is right or wrong.

    Yet again, when you insist that knowledge is always about understanding how our choices affect our experiences, you are misusing words that ought to be respected for their inherent meaning. Just as morality focuses on the difference between what is right and wrong, knowledge focuses on the difference between what is true and what is false.

    Thus, when you claim that “knowledge can ultimately only be individual,” and “can only be about his or her particular experiences and how they enjoy,” you are promoting a radical kind of self-centeredness in which one seeks to remake the world in his own image and likeness, which is the very opposite of what an honest intellectual inquiry should be.

  17. 17
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, I wrote to draw attention to a major subject of professional debate that was exploded into major proportions 58 years ago by Gettier, and which has not settled down to date. Your failure to recognise such speaks for itself, not to the advantage of your oh why so many words. The matter is not simple or obvious and requires responsible comment even at 101 level is why. Notice, annotated very carefully chosen excerpt on the core matter. KF

  18. 18
    StephenB says:

    On further reflection, it seems that WJM’s concept of choice was focused less on which moral choices we make and more about choices in general, which do, indeed, have a preferential. component. Still, many of our choices also have a moral component that should be taken into account before we make a decision.

  19. 19
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, the force of the point still obtains. Why should an argument — yours, mine, Dawkins’, whoever’s — be taken seriously? That will draw out the force of first duties of reason. KF

  20. 20
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, indeed, some beliefs are more responsibly held than others. Beyond, lies the matter of reliability and plausibility that beliefs acquired by X or Y or Z means, are worthy of trust when much is at stake. KF

  21. 21
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    But, what are the “true statements” I attempt to make necessarily about? Well, the only thing they can be about: my experience. I cannot possibly hope to make true statements about anything else.

    I disagree. You can and actually have made a true statement about something other than your experience.
    Your proposal is that you cannot make a true statement about “anything else”.
    So, “anything else” is that which you cannot make a true statement about.
    But that’s is a true statement about something other than your experience (you call it “anything else”), so on that basis, your proposal is refuted.

  22. 22
    William J Murray says:

    SA @ 21, said:

    But that’s is a true statement about something other than your experience (you call it “anything else”), ..”

    No, it’s a statement about the limitations of my capacity to make true statements. It’s not a statement about things outside of my experience.

    KF said:

    WJM, the force of the point still obtains.

    Not what you argue that it does.

    That will draw out the force of first duties of reason. KF

    We’ve been over this. The inherent and necessary use of reason (however badly) to think and act coherently does not necessarily “draw out,” “point to”, or “indicate” any moral duty to do so. It may correlate to a moral duty to use right reason, but you have failed to make the case that such a moral duty exists.

    I could as easily argue that because nobody can use their free will in a non-preferential way, that existential nature “indicates” a “moral first duty” to act according to our preferences. The ironic part is that while I can lie or ignore reason, I cannot ever act in a non-preferential manner. In fact, people choose to lie and ignore reason in service of preference. If I wanted to make a moral agument, I’d say the proof is in the pudding; preference trumps duties to reason or truth as the primordial moral duty above all other considerations.

    I mean, you know, if, as you say, existential unavoidables indicate moral duties.

    Checkmate, mate.

  23. 23
    William J Murray says:

    SB said:

    In the search for truth, our first task should be less about discovering particular truths about ourselves and more about acknowledging the generalizable truths that apply to everyone, that is, to human nature itself.

    You are free to make that your first task, and you are free to believe that is what “everyone” should do. I see no reason to do that since all I can ever know are my own experiences.

    When you say things like “our self-evident existential mode is experiential,” you are not really expressing a meaningful or comprehensible thought.

    I’m sure you don’t find it meaningful or comprehensible, but that’s not really my problem.

    Personal enjoyment may be your ethical standard, but it is not the essential nature of a moral choice, which is a response to one’s perception about what is right or wrong.

    Personal enjoyment is not my “ethical standard;” it’s what I recognize that I necessarily, existentially seek in all choices, in some form. Moral choices are those that may or may not serve a direct enjoyment, but they certainly serve an abstract enjoyment.

    Yet again, when you insist that knowledge is always about understanding how our choices affect our experiences, you are misusing words that ought to be respected for their inherent meaning.

    Words are symbols that are used to identify things and express relationships between things, ideas, values, etc. They have no “inherent” meaning. They have the meaning that is assigned to them.

    …you are promoting a radical kind of self-centeredness in which one seeks to remake the world in his own image and likeness, which is the very opposite of what an honest intellectual inquiry should be.

    Honest intellectual inquiry begins with honestly acknowledging the inherent limitations of what one can gain knowledge about, and how one is gaining that knowledge, and how it can be applied. This is what I have done, whether it is radical or not, whether it is “self-centered” or not.

  24. 24
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    It’s not a statement about things outside of my experience.

    It seemed that you said that you are unable to make truth statements about such things, and in stating that, you made a statement about them. You classified them.

  25. 25
    William J Murray says:

    SA:

    It seemed that you said that you are unable to make truth statements about such things, and in stating that, you made a statement about them. You classified them.

    No, I didn’t. I made a statement about what I do not know. That is a truth claim about what I know and do not know. It is not a truth claim about the thing I do not know.

    When I say I do not know how old Robert Downey Jr. is today, am I making a truth claim about Robert Downey Jr.’s age? Of course not.

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, your attempted denial again implies and appeals to our acknowledgement of said first duties of reason. KF

  27. 27
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: We may find Wikipedia’s introduction on Gettier Problems interesting:

    The Gettier problem, in the field of epistemology, is a landmark philosophical problem concerning the understanding of descriptive knowledge. Attributed to American philosopher Edmund Gettier, Gettier-type counterexamples (called “Gettier-cases”) challenge the long-held justified true belief (JTB) account of knowledge. The JTB account holds that knowledge is equivalent to justified true belief; if all three conditions (justification, truth, and belief) are met of a given claim, then we have knowledge of that claim. In his 1963 three-page paper titled “Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?”,[1] Gettier attempts to illustrate by means of two counterexamples that there are cases where individuals can have a justified, true belief regarding a claim but still fail to know it because the reasons for the belief, while justified, turn out to be false. Thus, Gettier claims to have shown that the JTB account is inadequate; that it does not account for all of the necessary and sufficient conditions for knowledge.

    The term “Gettier problem”, “Gettier case”, or even the adjective “Gettiered”, is sometimes used to describe any case in the field of epistemology that purports to repudiate the JTB account of knowledge.

    Responses to Gettier’s paper have been numerous; some reject Gettier’s examples, while others seek to adjust the JTB account of knowledge and blunt the force of these counterexamples. Gettier problems have even found their way into sociological experiments, where the intuitive responses from people of varying demographics to Gettier cases have been studied.[2]

    Their article on Epistemology, similarly, begins:

    Epistemology (/??p?st??m?l?d?i/ (About this soundlisten); from Greek ????????, epist?m? ‘knowledge’, and -logy) is the branch of philosophy concerned with knowledge. Epistemologists study the nature, origin, and scope of knowledge, epistemic justification, the rationality of belief, and various related issues. Epistemology is considered one of the four main branches of philosophy, along with ethics, logic, and metaphysics.[1]

    Debates in epistemology are generally clustered around four core areas:[2][3][4]

    The philosophical analysis of the nature of knowledge and the conditions required for a belief to constitute knowledge, such as truth and justification
    Potential sources of knowledge and justified belief, such as perception, reason, memory, and testimony
    The structure of a body of knowledge or justified belief, including whether all justified beliefs must be derived from justified foundational beliefs or whether justification requires only a coherent set of beliefs
    Philosophical skepticism, which questions the possibility of knowledge, and related problems, such as whether skepticism poses a threat to our ordinary knowledge claims and whether it is possible to refute skeptical arguments

    In these debates and others, epistemology aims to answer questions such as “What do we know?”, “What does it mean to say that we know something?”, “What makes justified beliefs justified?”, and “How do we know that we know?”.

    Notice the implicit dichotomy between knowledge and justified belief?

    I suspect that for many ordinary people, knowledge is viewed as more or less certain and authoritative or credible to the point that counter-claims are regarded as dubious. Belief or faith is then contrasted and given a low estimation, especially when Big S Science or the like august authority is put on the table. We see here an echo of the dichotomy between faith or belief and reason.

    It is therefore a shocker to learn that the longstanding view on knowledge turned on an account of justified true belief.

    Belief, pointing to the attitude and degree of acceptance of knowledge claims as true. It seems fair that one cannot know what s/he seriously doubts or disbelieves or dismisses. So, knowledge attaches to the individual person and implies willingness to acknowledge responsibly warranted claims. This immediately points to duties of care regarding truth and reasoning towards truth. Down that road, obviously, we can explore the Ciceronian first duties, given his summary on law as “highest reason . . .” Likewise, duties point to moral government of our intellectual life. The solution of the IS-OUGHT gap is going to be central to our life of the mind.

    Where, we also see that claimed truth is asserted as effectively certain in the classic account of knowledge.

    Indeed, “fact” enters here as overlapping both effective certainty of truth and “knowledge.”

    In turn truth — while subject to all sorts of twists and turns in today’s climate of hyperskepticism, radical relativism, emotivism etc — is reasonably taken on Aristotle’s account: that which says of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not.

    That is, logic of being lurks, where one’s statements can speak accurately to what is impossible of being [square circles], what is possible and may/may not be the case [e.g. a fire], what is not just possible but is so framework to any distinct world W that it necessarily is.

    The microcosm/ interacting facets/ holism principle is at work, where all seem to be bound up in the one facet and each facet contributes to all. That already highlights that we want to find coherent unity amidst the diversity.

    Our problems do not arise in cases of genuine self evident truth. They indeed are certain, but comparatively, they are few and do not amount to a full worldview framework.

    However, we are haunted by a key SET expressed in the Royce proposition, error exists. Which, as the OP notes, is undeniably true and so inescapable. A most humbling truth that sets up our challenge: how can we be responsibly certain (to what degree, or can we bbe certain at all?) regarding knowledge and facts etc? Nor is global or selective hyperskepticism an adequate answer. Nor, is Scientism, the voice of Big-S Science does not exhaust or monopolise knowledge.

    In that context, given the shattering power of the Gettier cases and the earthquake that still reverberates, there is manifest wisdom in a fresh departure along Plantinga’s lines. Wanted, some X-factor that reliably transmutes belief into knowledge; labelled warrant. In that regard, we can see the force of recognising that many senses of knowledge are soft, i.e. they are subject to defeat and correction. Indeed, prior to 1963, it would have routinely been accepted that JTB was known to be the general consensus, state of the art understanding of knowledge. That is, a seemingly satisfactory account was known. Similarly, for nigh on 200 years, Newtonian Dynamics ruled the roost. Then, boom.

    So, it is advisable to distinguish degrees of knowledge claim, the X-factor must come in degrees. So must our attachment to belief that claimed knowledge point K is fully true.

    In that context, and after due considerations on our senses, common sense, reasoning, error-proneness, tendency to fall into intellectual vices etc, we can see a due force in Plantinga’s summary . . . note, in volume three of a trilogy on epistemology . . . on knowledge and warrant for a subject S [and by extension a circle of agreeing subjects):

    a belief has warrant for a person S only if that belief is produced in S by cognitive faculties functioning properly (subject to no dysfunction) in a cognitive environment [both macro and micro . . . ] that is appropriate for S’s kind of cognitive faculties, according to a design plan that is successfully aimed at truth.

    Given the issue of degree of certainty and that of defeat-able claims, we can see why I summarised knowledge as headlined:

    warranted, credibly true (so, reliable) belief

    Warrant is already a challenge, and credible truth highlights the reliable so far but subject to correction provisionality implicated in the claim. However, civilisation — and especially high-tech civilisation — is built on cumulative knowledge so we can see that yes, we can erect good enough albeit imperfect bodies of reliable, effective knowledge.

    Unfortunately, we may also have fallacy-riddled ideologies posing as knowledge, leading to a warped, tainted knowledge base and infrastructure. So, discernment — a key aspect of prudence and wider wisdom — is vital.

    Hence, the challenge of the crooked yardstick vs the naturally straight, upright plumb line.

    A test that, today, many are failing.

    KF

  28. 28
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM,

    inherent and necessary use of reason (however badly) to think and act coherently does not necessarily “draw out,” “point to”, or “indicate” any moral duty to do so. It may correlate to a moral duty to use right reason, but you have failed to make the case that such a moral duty exists.

    See the microcosm-facet effect in action? Just the opposite of what you tried to assert, your inherent, necessary and coherence terms flag what you try to fend off at a distance as merely correlation. You are forced by the governing first duties to appeal to our implicit acknowledgement of binding first duties, which by simple reciprocity extends to you too, and yes that is the neighbour principle.

    The duties are inescapable, so true and self-evident. They are first duties and first principles inescapably bound up in all our acts of reasoning and arguing, that is why there is that correlation. They are as facets, involved with the others, mutually present and interacting to give the overall flash and fire.

    Further, yes, choice implies preference, and freedom implies just that, we are free to try to make personal advantage by flouting duty, manipulating, misleading or deceiving others, or simply to act with irrational whimsy [within limits]. But that’s the point of duty, thus is-ought, we may choose to do what we ought not. Though, consequences stem from such, especially as chaotic behaviours become a wave swamping a culture or community.

    Reason’s rules imply duties of right, responsible reason.

    Including, of course that knowledge claims ought to be responsibly made, on sound warrant with good reliability. Something that is seemingly increasingly abused under doubtful colours of following the science.

    KF

  29. 29
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, we can make many responsible claims about hypothetical worlds beyond our experience or the infinite or impossible beings etc. That said, WJM is in key part talking on how reasoning passes through our conscious, self-aware minds. So, as we are conscious self aware subjects, who recognise that we may err our duties extend to seeking good, objective warrant towards reliable knowledge of credible truth, and thence such knowledge regarding truths of duty. Principles, of highest reason instructing us on duties coeval with our humanity that aptly describe our moral government, accurately stating that it is the case that we ought to seek after and do the right thing towards truth, right reason, prudence, sound conscience, neighbour, fairness and justice, etc. I come from a nation where rejection of sound economics and historically informed political prudence led to shipwreck a generation ago. Just to speak the unwelcome core truths on that sad history from credible sources would put lives at immediate, terrifying risk. The duties I point to are hardly matters of ivory tower idle academic speculation. KF

  30. 30
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, your attempted denial again implies and appeals to our acknowledgement of said first duties of reason. KF

    This is like watching someone try to make the argument that consciousness is an illusion and/or that we do not have free will. That you don’t see how self-defeating this argument is, is kind of a wonder to behold.

    If I existentially. cannot help but do a thing, that action cannot be my unwitting fulfillment of a moral duty, and it cannot “point” to any moral duty because you cannot get an ought from an is. There is no choice involved. There is no moral “decision” to make.

    Perhaps you think that because I choose to make the best rational arguments I can here, and that this is indeed a choice, I am “acknowledging” my moral duty to “right reason.” I cannot be “acknowledging” something I have explicitly rejected.

    acknowledge: 1. accept or admit the existence or truth of. 2. recognize the fact or importance or quality of.

    There has been no such explicit acknowledgement. So, perhaps you mean that my behavioral choices here, in choosing to make the best rational arguments I can, represents an implicit or de facto acknowledgement, in the same way that a materialist’s argument implicitly acknowledges free will even if they are making a case against it.

    The error you are making in this argument is that it is not my job to show that moral duties do not exist, that my behaviors do not point to a moral duty – that’s impossible. It’s your job to show that moral duties do exist. Your entire argument here simply assumes they exist. You simply assert that these behaviors point to an an implicit acknowledgement of a moral duty without making the case that moral duties exist in the first place.

    You haven’t shown morality to be a necessary existential commodity like free will and rational thought. If you’re trying to imply its existence from those things and from unavoidable behaviors that necessarily occur because of those things. That cannot be done because, I repeat, you can’t get an ought from an is.

    I directly experience self-as-consciousness, free will/preference, fundamental logic, and fundamental math. These are existential unavoidables. You have yet to make the case that morality represents a fundamental aspect of existence, so arguing that unavoidable behaviors resulting from those existential commodities “indicate” existential moral duties is simply assuming your premise that moral duties exist in the first place. That is an non-valid circular argument.;

    Until you show how morality is part of our existential makeup, like math or free will, your constant insistence that everything I do implicitly acknowledges existential moral duties is just bald assertion.

  31. 31
    William J Murray says:

    The idea of “moral duty” is about a an ought that is it’s own is as an ought. Oughts are only oughts if one can do what they ought not; it requires that context. That we must think, at least fundamentally, according to the basic rules of logic, is not an ought because it doesn’t provide any options. An ought can only exist in the context of existent, recognized and available actionable options.

    The use of fundamental logical principles does not have such a context. There is no other option to even have a single coherent thought. Math provides no alternative to 2+2=4, just as logic provides no option to A=A. There are no inherent choices available. They do not exist as “oughts.”

    Is there an existential quality that exists as a context of options within which everyone must makes choices in regards to? Yep. There is only one such existential quality (that I can find:) free will. It is inherently, necessarily about choices, and existentially requires available, actionable, existent options.

    A existential “moral duty” would require a recognizable, unavoidable purpose or goal; an existential goal that one can make choices via their free will to fulfill. IOW, a true existential “moral duty” requires that both the means to acquire the goal, and the goal itself, should be as recognizably absolute as math and logic, or 2+2=4.

    Does free will contain such recognizable, absolute means and goal?

    Yes. Yes it does.

    When I thought this through this morning, it was so obvious it shocked me. I’ve actually stated it before, but not via this line of thought. This is the exact reason I participate here and love to have my views critically challenged, for these kinds of realizations.

    So, a giant, heartfelt thank you to everyone who participated.

    The existential, unavoidable means is preference; we cannot act except out of preference. It is an inherent, inescapable quality of free will. What is the inescapable, necessary, recognizable goal of the means? Enjoyment. All preferential choices are about, one way or another, increasing experiential enjoyment or avoiding/eliminating experiences we do not enjoy.

    And here’s the realization that is so obvious I marvel that I didn’t make this connection before: all moral guidelines, all spiritual and religious structures promise the same ultimate, eventual outcome: maximum available enjoyment, either here or in the eventual hereafter. The carrot is always experiential enjoyment; the stick is always something very unenjoyable. Even if there was a belief system where the right choices would lead – eventually – to an unenjoyable state, you would still be serving the abstract enjoyment of believing you were doing the right things, even if it meant sacrificing your own direct enjoyments. That would still be that person’s preferential form of enjoyment.

    So, existentially speaking, there is only a “duty” to enjoyment. Our available options are always chosen by preference towards the goal of enjoyment. Every single belief system and worldview has these essential qualities, and we act according to these things whether or not we even think we have a belief system or worldview.

    Enjoyment is the only possible goal; free will preferential choices towards that goal (however we define it personally) are the only kinds of choices we can possibly make; the goal and the option-laden means to get there (which comprise the necessary aspects for an “ought-as-its-own-is”) are recognizable as inviolable aspects of our existence.

    So, if one wants to call it an existential “Moral Duty” (I wouldn’t call it that,) then our moral duty is absolutely clear: do that which you believe will lead you to your greatest level of experiential enjoyment.

  32. 32
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    When I say I do not know how old Robert Downey Jr. is today, am I making a truth claim about Robert Downey Jr.’s age? Of course not.

    If you said that you know his age, even without telling me the age – you’ve made an affirmation of truth about him. He is a person who’s age you know. In the same way, you’re categorizing his age as something unknown to you – that is certainly a truth statement about him. You’re pointing to an entity and saying that there is something you do not know about that entity – you’re defining, categorizing, identifying things about that entity. To say that you only know your own experience and cannot make a truth statement about anything else, is saying that “anything else” is a collection of entities (or an entity at least) of which you cannot make truth statements about. As such, however, you’re defining that entity – making a truth statement about it. “That is something I cannot make a certain statement about”.
    That’s how I (and everyone) knows what you’re talking about when you say “I only know my experience and cannot make a truth statement about anything else”. We know what you mean by “anything else” – that’s the external world. You point to it and say you can’t make a truth statement about it. But that’s the contradiction, since you establish the entity “external to my experience world” and describe it as something you cannot make a truth statement about.
    That entity exists and that’s why you refer to it. Otherwise, you wouldn’t reference it as something “other than my experience” – you wouldn’t have any reference for it.
    If I say that I do not know the age of the universe, I cannot say that I cannot make any statement of truth about the universe.

  33. 33
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    So, existentially speaking, there is only a “duty” to enjoyment. Our available options are always chosen by preference towards the goal of enjoyment.

    Yes, true. We seek “permanent enjoyment” because if it was only temporary then it fails. Another term for “permanent enjoyment” would be “eternal happiness”.
    We have a duty towards happiness – which is the fulfillment of who we are. Pursuit of truth, use of reason, intellectual virtues, moral virtues – these are all the pathways to “permanent enjoyment”.

  34. 34
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    Principles, of highest reason instructing us on duties coeval with our humanity that aptly describe our moral government, accurately stating that it is the case that we ought to seek after and do the right thing towards truth, right reason, prudence, sound conscience, neighbour, fairness and justice, etc

    Yes, I agree. We have the responsibility and duty to right reason. This means we must distinguish truth from falsehood, rational thought from irrational – and choose the former in each. But to do this, we must respect that First Principles – namely that the Law of Identity indicates a distinction between Being and non-being. Additionally, reason requires comparison. When we see the meaning and purpose our existence, we align one thing (ourself) with another (intellectual and moral standards) to achieve the goal.
    Virtues are the perfection of human nature – so we aim at that.

  35. 35
    jerry says:

    these are all the pathways to “permanent enjoyment”.

    Boethius awaiting his execution wrote one of the most insightful documents in history. Most of us fail to understand how it permeates our lives.

                                    The Consolation of Philosophy

    The treatise among a lot of things explores just what is happiness and why what most pursue to find happiness/enjoyment will always fall short.

    For example, we constantly pursue things that provide DOSE (Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, Endorphin) but each is fleeting. So we try our best to find new and consistent ways to provide them. For example, hugging your love ones provides Oxytocin.

    So humans have a built in desire/drive to find happiness. The problem is they fail to understand what will actually do it.

  36. 36
    Silver Asiatic says:

    why what most pursue to find happiness/enjoyment will always fall short

    I think Boethius was talking about “temporal happiness” – the happiness that philosophers proposed that could be had in this world alone. As he sat in jail he reflected – and happiness cannot be achieved in this world since it is necessarily temporary and fleeting. If we place our happiness in things that pass away, then our happiness passes away also. The struggle for virtue can cause us sadness also.
    St. Francis was asked one day why animals seem so happy. They’re running, playing, swimming – birds are singing or soaring in the sky seemingly carefree.
    He answered: “Animals are happy because they were created for this world. We are created for another world – so we have sadness here”.

  37. 37
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Regarding “enjoyment” as the duty and goal. That term is too close to “pleasure” – and that’s a problem.
    Epicurus held that pleasure was the goal. Increase pleasure, reduce suffering. (Hedonism).
    But the search for pleasure is annihilation, not growth. It’s just satisfying the body and the soul dies.
    Happiness is not the pursuit of pleasure (enjoyment in that sense) – but the pursuit of Goodness, Truth and Beauty. To acquire those in the highest degrees requires sacrifice — so suffering is a part of it, not something to avoid.
    Pleasure would say “always avoid what is difficult and painful” – but happiness requires us to take on what is difficult and painful for a greater good.

  38. 38
    William J Murray says:

    Jerry and SA bring up interesting perspectives above.

    First, I use the word “enjoyment” instead of “pleasure” for a reason; to include a wider, richer range of experiences that can be included in the category. One can enjoy all sorts of things; a horror movie that scares them; a tragic tearjerker. Even though these things can frighten us and make us sad, we can still rightfully say we greatly enjoyed the experience. Some (if not all) enjoyments require prior, contrasting experience for an enjoyment to be experienced, or at least to be more fully enjoyed.

    Enjoyment in a, say, more profound sense, is about the sense of being whole and satisfied, fulfilled, feeling enthusiastic; having a sense of wonder and deep appreciation; a sense of confidence and joy; a deep experience of loving and being loved; of feeling valued and perhaps necessary in some sense; all elements, I think, of what I would call a true and lasting happiness.

    The question might be, can such be attained in this world? Is happiness, as characterized above, the product of the state of one’s conditions, or is happiness the result of one’s psychology, regardless of the conditions one happens to be in at the time?

    My perspective, which is consistent with IRT, is that true, lasting, deep happiness (which I refer to as enjoyment) is the result of having a properly organized psychology. The only way to properly organize one’s psychology for lasting, fulfilling enjoyment is to understand and accept that finding and experiencing this kind of happiness/enjoyment is our inherent purpose, demonstrated true by our existential and unavoidable nature that I made the case for in prior comments above.

    What makes this so difficult, so seemingly unattainable for most people? I suggest that it is because people have been psychologically conditioned, or call it subconsciously programmed, into being in a state of inner conflict with this “true, inescapable purpose.” They have been programmed into believing they want X and that X will deliver increased enjoyment; that some enjoyments are trivial or bad for you; to largely ignore direct enjoyments for vague abstractions; and largely being programmed that their personal enjoyment is unimportant.

    They have also, IMO, been programmed with a metaphysical worldview that imprisons them within a tiny range of potentials and perspectives, to where they don’t even realize they have other options. They have agreed to sit within a prison of fear – fear of programmed, abstract, eternal consequences if they do not organize their choices the way they are told. Fear of stepping out of line, of displeasing the authority(ies), fear of consequences brought to them by some abstract spiritual/religious law or being(s).

    But, even so, this is ultimately their preferential choice; IMO, they prefer this to full and unfettered freedom, self-authority and self-responsibility.

    They can leave that prison any time they wish.

  39. 39
    William J Murray says:

    Comment 38 continued, briefly, to make a further point:

    Here’s the psychological trick: the above perspective has this psychological reaction in most people: it’s self-centered, selfish and egotistical. They’ve accepted the programming that these are “bad things” and “should be avoided.”

    Well, isn’t that convenient for those that wish to tell us what “larger purpose” or “greater good” we should be serving.

  40. 40
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, there is an old saying in my homeland that what sweet nanny goat mouth run ‘im belly. To give a simple application, savings — the foundation of investment — are postponement of consumption. KF

  41. 41
    StephenB says:

    WJM: — “But, what are the “true statements” I attempt to make necessarily about? Well, the only thing they can be about: my experience. I cannot possibly hope to make true statements about anything else.”

    Once again, this statement reflects an unrealistic and radically self-centered world view. Even in the limited context of *experience*, we can say, truthfully, and with intellectual confidence, that everyone will die. It is a true statement about everyone’s experience, not just your experience.

    —“Characterizing “truth telling” as a “duty” depends on the morality argument, and the morality argument fails.”

    The existence of an objective moral law is a self-evident truth. It doesn’t need an argument; it is the starting point for making arguments. We must begin any rational inquiry by recognizing the existence of a self evident truth of some kind, which unlike our experience, is foundational.

    One good example would be when we use our faculty of intellect to apprehend an aspect of the natural moral law (we should not commit murder) and to refine that instinctive knowledge through the use of our reason (self-defense is not murder). It is our moral duty to act on what we know to be true.

  42. 42
    StephenB says:

    WJM — “My perspective, which is consistent with IRT, is that true, lasting, deep happiness (which I refer to as enjoyment) is the result of having a properly organized psychology. The only way to properly organize one’s psychology for lasting, fulfilling enjoyment is to understand and accept that finding and experiencing this kind of happiness/enjoyment is our inherent purpose, demonstrated true by our existential and unavoidable nature that I made the case for in prior comments above.”

    There is much truth in that comment. I wholeheartedly agree that happiness is the mental state that we should seek and that it depends, in large part, on having a properly organized psychology, similar perhaps to something like Plato’s Chariot Allegory, which describes that intellect as a faculty that ought to rule the appetites and passions.

    However, there are certain moral commitments that must be present in order to realize this psychological goal. We cannot, for example, escape the responsibility for trying to learn if we have been created and designed for some ultimate destiny that transcends our psychological state, such as the possibility that we were made to be united with our creator after we die. Under those circumstances, our psychological health, as well as our moral status, will depend on the extent to which we pursue that destiny. Our actions would be “morally good” if they move us toward that destination and “morally bad” if they move us away from it.

    A large part of our task, therefore, is to seek knowledge about “higher truths”
    if, indeed, such higher truths exist. Can we know beyond a reasonable doubt, for example, that God exists? Yes, of course we can. According to the best science, the universe once didn’t exist and now does. The only rational explanation, given reason’s law of cause and effect, is that an eternal personal being brought it into existence. Any other reaction or conclusion is irrational.

    But what kind of God could this be? Once again, reason should be our guide. The law of identity rules out the prospect that God’s identity could be synonymous with our identity, which is another way of saying that we cannot, ourselves, be God or, for that matter, a part of God. According to the law of non-contradiction, God cannot both transcend the universe and also be organic with it. So, once again, reason answers a lot of questions that our “experience” cannot even begin to approach. Yes, our personal experiences do matter, but they do not provide enough information to formulate a rational and comprehensive world view.

  43. 43
    paige says:

    With regard to people having a moral “duty” I tend to agree with WJM that nobody has a moral “duty”. What we each have is moral expectations of others that are based on the moral expectations we have for ourselves. And, in many cases, these expectations that we have for others is incompatible with the moral expectations they have for themselves.

  44. 44
    kairosfocus says:

    Paige, thanks for letting us know that you reject the binding nature of duty. Which BTW means that you reject that people have rights that are any more binding than the mouth of a gun (however disguised behind judicial robes). KF

  45. 45
    StephenB says:

    Paige: — “With regard to people having a moral “duty” I tend to agree with WJM that nobody has a moral “duty”.

    Do you mean that you have no moral duty to refrain from lying, cheating, stealing, slandering, or murdering?

  46. 46
    paige says:

    StephenB

    Do you mean that you have no moral duty to refrain from lying, cheating, stealing, slandering, or murdering?

    An objective, binding duty? Then I would say, no. However, the people who I want to continue to associate with have certain expectations of me. That includes to refrain from lying, cheating, stealing, slandering, and murdering. Seems like a small price to pay.

  47. 47
    paige says:

    KF

    Paige, thanks for letting us know that you reject the binding nature of duty.

    The binding nature of duty that I abide by are the binding duties that I agree to. Not the ones that you want to impose on me.

    Which BTW means that you reject that people have rights that are any more binding than the mouth of a gun.

    According to you. I claim many rights. Whether they are granted or not depends on my ability to convince others that I am entitled to them. Of course, I can be overruled by the mouth of a gun. When has it been otherwise?

  48. 48
    StephenB says:

    Paige: — An objective, binding duty? Then I would say, no. However, the people who I want to continue to associate with have certain expectations of me. That includes to refrain from lying, cheating, stealing, slandering, and murdering.”

    Let’s follow up on your standard. If the people that you want to associate with expected you to lie, cheat, steal, slander, and murder, would you then feel free to do those things, assuming of course, that there would be no legal or social price to pay.

  49. 49
    William J Murray says:

    SB said:

    However, there are certain moral commitments that must be present in order to realize this psychological goal.

    That may be your experience; it is not mine. I’m at my psychological goal and have been for years now with zero moral commitments.

  50. 50
    William J Murray says:

    The concepts of morality and rights are essentially a form of psychological conditioning, IMO. I’m not saying that’s a “bad thing.” They provide the context for a whole array of experiences that would not be available unless one believes in those things. Any experience requires psychological conditions, beliefs, subconscious programming.

    The trick is to understand you can reprogram your psychology to have the experience you want in any given situation. You can also have different psychological sets available to use in different situations. That can make life really, really fun.

  51. 51
    StephenB says:

    SB: However, there are certain moral commitments that must be present in order to realize this psychological goal.

    WJM: — “That may be your experience; it is not mine. I’m at my psychological goal and have been for years now with zero moral commitments.”

    I was referring to the specific psychological goal implied by Plato’s chariot allegory whereby the intellectual faculty of the soul “ought to” rule the other, less noble, faculties.

  52. 52
    StephenB says:

    WJM: — “The trick is to understand you can reprogram your psychology to have the experience you want in any given situation. You can also have different psychological sets available to use in different situations. That can make life really, really fun.?”

    There is another way of understanding this dynamic. A man who refuses to conform his behavior to the objective moral standard will soon find a subjective moral standard that conforms to his behavior.

  53. 53
    StephenB says:

    WJM — “The concepts of morality and rights are essentially a form of psychological conditioning, IMO. I’m not saying that’s a “bad thing.” They provide the context for a whole array of experiences that would not be available unless one believes in those things. Any experience requires psychological conditions, beliefs, subconscious programming.”

    The concepts of morality and rights come from the recognition that there really are such things as human dignity, justice, goodness, right and wrong. To be more specific, the rights of individual persons, especially those that were once said to be “unalienable,” flow from their dignity as human persons.

  54. 54
    William J Murray says:

    SB said:

    I was referring to the specific psychological goal implied by Plato’s chariot allegory whereby the intellectual faculty of the soul “ought to” rule the other faculties.

    Well, I hope that worked for Plato.

  55. 55
    paige says:

    StephenB

    Let’s follow up on your standard. If the people that you want to associate with expected you to lie, cheat, steal, slander, and murder, would you then feel free to do those things, assuming of course, that there would be no legal or social price to pay.

    Personally, I would look for others I want to associate with.

    Isn’t that what we see playing out on these very threads? Commenters tend to coalesce around others who share similar moral expectations and distance themselves form those who differ.

  56. 56
    William J Murray says:

    SB said:

    The concepts of morality and rights come from the recognition that there really are such things as human dignity, justice, goodness, right and wrong.

    I guess that depends on what you mean by “really are.” I think that phrase means one thing to you, and an entirely different thing to me.

  57. 57
    StephenB says:

    WJM — “I guess that depends on what you mean by “really are.” I think that phrase means one thing to you, and an entirely different thing to me.”

    If I say that there “really are” such things as human dignity, justice, goodness, right and wrong, I mean that all those values rise to the level of objective reality and exist as elements of a moral universe.. In what way would those same words (“really are”) mean something different for you?

  58. 58
    Karen McMannus says:

    StephenB: If I say that there “really are” such things as human dignity, justice, goodness, right and wrong, I mean that all those values rise to the level of objective reality and exist as elements of a moral universe..

    Um, but it isn’t “objective”, in the sense that Mount Rushmore is objective. At best it’s consensus, which is not nor ever has been a yardstick of Truth. About 5% of the population are “sociopaths” who wouldn’t understand what you’re talking about. Which demonstrates that whatever your views are regarding human dignity and all that, happen to be the way your brain is programmed. And brains can be programmed in all manner of ways. Just talk to a hungry tiger who wants to eat you. Or a hungry sociopathic human who wants to eat you.

    Now, you could say the creator programmed most humans to have certain values, and I might agree. But they are not “objective” or “real” in any metaphysically absolute way. One wonders why the creator programmed so many sociopaths to not understand or care about the values of the rest of its creations.

    Point is: it’s arbitrary, and even if you believe in a creator, it doesn’t prove anything about what values are “true” in an absolute sense. Remember, the God of the Old Testament had no problem with Israelites killing babies. (Yeah, I know this will trigger the Big Dogs here. Too bad.)

    Now, I couldn’t care less about Old Testament historiography. I think it’s all fiction. I don’t think Israelites actually ran swords though the chests of Canaanite babies and children. The point is: the fact that you believe it’s true, and accept it is good, proves that your vaunted concern about human dignity is a load of hogwash.

  59. 59
    Karen McMannus says:

    StephenB: I think your experiential model is unduly self-centered and individualistic.

    Says the guy who is using his own brain to make judgements about anything and everything.

    The irony.

    The “unduly” part is particularly humorous.

    The gods must be laughing until they cry.

  60. 60
    Karen McMannus says:

    Now for a sidebar: for those nincompoops (like Seversky,, sorry, but yeah, I think s/he is an intellectual worm driven by emotion), who think ID is some sort of “religious” conspiracy against “science”, well, it ain’t. This should be obvious by now to anyone with half a brain.

  61. 61
    kairosfocus says:

    Paige, this is not a sez who issue. A right exists in the context of the civil peace of justice, the due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities or duties. So, your right to life implies my duty to regard and protect or uphold that life, e.g. by refraining from drunk driving or shooting a weapon carelessly etc. Similarly, I have a duty to your honestly acquired property, not to cheat or defraud you out of it or rob you of it, fraud implying deceit or lying. If you are a woman, I have a further duty to respect the significance of that femininity, e.g. rape is a deep violation of the person. And so forth. That is, rights are binding moral claims to be regarded in particular ways due to being a human being, a rationally, responsibly free thus morally governed creature free to understand and act in accord with ought . . . thus, necessarily, to do the opposite were one so inclined. Thus, moral education rooted in first principles, truths and duties is a necessary component of sound, sustainable civilisation. Where, clearly, such key rights are intelligible based on self evident first duties, rendering them due subjects for education — precisely what our decaying civilisation is failing to acknowledge and act on. For further example, I cannot justly have a claim to a right that forces you to do wrong or lie or harm or otherwise uphold me in evil; e.g. to compel you to uphold me in claimed or implied racial superiority. Rights are rooted in justice and carry with them correlative mutual duties. The irretrievable incoherence of what you have been conditioned to believe is patent. KF

  62. 62
    Karen McMannus says:

    And for those (KF) who want to run to some “out of bounds” defense that this is not an apologetics website, hey, you opened the door. You do it literally every day. You cannot divorce your morality from your theology.

    Let me say that again…

    You cannot divorce your morality from your theology.

    All is fair.

    Or go ahead like a coward and run home with your football.

    I implore you and your ilk to be men and stop pretending like you have some superior morality while completely ignoring the foundation of your worldview, as if it’s irrelevant and…. sacrosanct.

    (P.S. for the new readers: I’m neither a “materialist” nor an “atheist.”)

  63. 63
    kairosfocus says:

    KM, is the substance of mathematics objective in the same sense as Mt Rushmore? Is the information or meaningfulness of strings of symbols such as those in your comment? Do you not see that we have those who doubt the world we perceive through the five senses plus common sense? Objectivity has to do with warrant, not with mere intersubjective agreement, which can be in error. Where, if you look at your comment just now you will see how many times you make or imply claims of truth or mutually known facts, which are to be acknowledged. Further, you appeal to reason to gain rhetorical traction towards your conclusions. Implicit in speaking of sociopaths is the recognition that they are morally damaged persons, and BTW one of the reasons we do not put a tiger on trial for murder is that it is operating on instinct not rational, responsible freedom. Of course, a tiger that gets a taste for human prey is put down, itself a recognition of something in the human being that is beyond the merely animal-instinctual, conditioned etc. KF

    PS: I see you again assert various religious ideas and issues. I have noted and explained why UD is not a theology forum, and have pointed out that there are such fora out there. Consider, kindly, why you feel urged to drag in involved theological-historical debates in a context where they are not appropriate. And no, there is not a door opening. There is a difference between issues of warrant connected to origins science, associated worldviews and critical analysis issues and dragging discussion off track into evil Bible style debates etc. Something that is massively evident. There are fora for such debates, you are directed there to address issues to duly qualified experts who have the time, energy and focus to entertain such involved matters at due length. Here, there is a place for personal views, for correctives or rebalancing and the like, but not for derailing focal discussion, a difference manifest to those of reasonable experience. So, again, no. This thread — for cause — is about knowledge in the post Gettier world, in further light of impacts of radical relativism, not about details of Bible issues or other tangential matters. If we . . . as a civilisation . . . don’t get the difference between warranted knowledge and subjective opinion straight, no further progress is possible on literally anything. Civilisation will come down to the nihilism of force or fraud, which is fatal. That is how important the particular focus of this thread is.

  64. 64
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, do you not see your appeals to duties to say truth and right reason when you argue like:

    [31:] The idea of “moral duty” is about a an ought that is it’s own is as an ought. Oughts are only oughts if one can do what they ought not; it requires that context. That we must think, at least fundamentally, according to the basic rules of logic, is not an ought because it doesn’t provide any options. An ought can only exist in the context of existent, recognized and available actionable options.

    The use of fundamental logical principles does not have such a context. There is no other option to even have a single coherent thought. Math provides no alternative to 2+2=4, just as logic provides no option to A=A. There are no inherent choices available. They do not exist as “oughts.”

    Perhaps, too, you have missed a key difference between the GIGO-limited, input-process-output causal patterns of computation on a substrate and the freedom of action required for rational inference. One must be free to recognise and acknowledge a valid inference (much less, make a subtle prudential judgement), one is not merely playing out one’s programming. The latter is no better than the bugs, noise, glitches etc involved and is inherently non-rational.

    There is nothing free about the action of NAND, NOR or X-OR gates, imagine a bipolar npn transistor in an inverter ckt with two input resistors, pull up either input and the BJT goes to the on saturated state issuing a low output voltage, effecting the NOR logic. Similarly, a D-latch is fixed in its storage behaviour, Yes an RS flipflop has hazard states with in the abstract mathematics an oscillatory action, but in the real world a latching that is uncontrolled. JK flipflops deliberately load the latching action so this becomes controlled. From such, digital computers are constructed and have no more freedom of action than a falling rock that acts as its support is removed.

    Freedom is involved in reasoning, including the reasoning and prudential judgement involved in evaluating degree of warrant for a serious knowledge claim. Even self-evident truths can be distorted or rejected. What is 2 + 2 Mr Smith is a satire of a very real issue of oppressive, police state, lawless ideological oligarchies. Indeed, signs of 1984 are increasingly manifest in our headlines, not least when we are “invited” or “encouraged” to follow the science, i.e. the latest power elite narrative dressed up in a lab coat.

    We “must” — actually, OUGHT — to think in light of the first principles of logic. Sometimes, we simply err in that regard, other times we willfully flout such. It is entirely possible to see people looking at a duly suspended plumb line and denying its message that a particular preferred yardstick is crooked thus not a proper standard of straightness, accuracy or uprightness.

    We are free, including in reasoning, especially once we move beyond common sense thinking.

    Indeed, it is quite clear that many have been indoctrinated to doubt, dispute or contend against core principles such as the two corollaries of distinct identity: non contradiction and excluded middle. And yet as the illustration in the OP shows, the principles are trivially plain and undeniable. Just to type out a comment, we rely on said principles, starting with distinct identity. When we move beyond to even weak form sufficient reason [gateway to logic of being] things get worse and many have been indoctrinated to doubt cause-effect bonds. Don’t even mention that strange beast, a necessary being. I think most of us can understand why a square circle cannot exist however I recall a TV programme with more or less that title.

    All of these are deeply involved in recognising knowledge and particularly warrant.

    When it comes to first duties, it would be amusing to see how blind we are to the implicit appeals to duty in our argument, but then it is so manifestly sad. We need to pause and ponder why we seem to imagine that the concept of oughtness . . . a direct corollary of freedom . . . is seen as a trammelling of doing as we please. But, that would require acknowledging the difference between responsible liberty expressing the civil peace of justice and nihilistic, chaotic licence.

    KF

  65. 65
    William J Murray says:

    SB @57 asks:

    If I say that there “really are” such things as human dignity, justice, goodness, right and wrong, I mean that all those values rise to the level of objective reality and exist as elements of a moral universe.. In what way would those same words (“really are”) mean something different for you?

    I would mean that all those values rise to the level of experiential reality and exist as elements of a moral experience.

    KF said:

    WJM, do you not see your appeals to duties to say truth and right reason when you argue like:

    Was that a rhetorical question? 😉

  66. 66
    Sandy says:

    a Thing existing continuously since first human walked on Earth: hierarchy of values.
    Every human have that hierarchy .What differ is type of values that are placed inside that hierarchy. There is the top of hierarchy where reign only one thought: God, ego,pleasure, love ,etc.

  67. 67
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, do you not see your appeals to duties to say truth and right reason when you argue like:

    That’s what you see because of your worldview, your psychological commitments. I don’t share that worldview or those commitments.

  68. 68
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, nope, it’s what I see because it is manifestly there. Let’s roll tape on your latest objection:

    >>That’s what you see>>

    – projection of inappropriate bias on my part, implying that I have erred, which is to be avoided . . . and implying I should know and do better

    – appeals to duty to truth and to right reason, also, warrant (an aspect of prudence)

    >> because of>>

    – appeals to cause leading to logical error, with similar strictures

    – again, same cluster of duties

    >>your worldview, your psychological commitments.>>

    – appeal to truth by implicit projection or probably culpable error on my part

    – same cluster of duties, again

    >> I don’t share that worldview or those commitments.>>

    – appeal to fairness, as in how dare you try to impose

    – of course, the comments here show the objective force of my long since noted point on first duties of reason: objectors are forced to appeal to what they would overthrow, showing inescapability, thus truth and self evidence

    KF

  69. 69
    jerry says:

    Kf,

    You are getting there. Use their words against them to show contradiction but do it briefly. Claiming they are using the traditional worldview to justify their perverted one without a few short clear examples does nothing. It has to be few, clear and short or otherwise it has no effect.

    On another site I described the perverted worldview expressed here as parasitic. Yes, you can profess it but only if others don’t and they use right reasoning, prudence, fairness, justice etc. So the world of one’s personal preferences can only exist if other’s worldviews are different than this one. In other words this worldview can only be professed and acted on if there are grownups around to ensure this spoiled child doesn’t get crushed.

    Another contradiction. It’s an admission of an inferior worldview held.

    Which is why it is not really held but BS professed just to generate pixels.

  70. 70
    jerry says:

    Kf,

    I have a background in advertising at the highest levels. I personally was not of any importance but worked for three of the largest advertising agencies in the world (New York City) and my wife worked for another.

    The emphasis was on succinct and focused communication. The best philosophy I ever saw developed implementing this objective was called the selling idea/selling proposition structure.

    The selling idea was a very short story/example demonstrating the usefulness of the product (warrant) and the selling proposition was a short saying/visual/sound/ that communicated this selling idea.

    The agency at the time held up the best example ever of this structure which was a commercial no longer used because it was no longer needed. It was for Charmin toilet tissue. Charmin when it was introduced a long time ago was a technological breakthrough. It was based on an innovative paper making process that made softer paper than anything else but no more expensive. So how to communicate this softness.

    The selling idea was to have an eccentric store manager preventing the shoppers from squeezing the product. The selling proposition was “Please don’t squeeze the Charmin” which communicated the softness. Within in one year over 90% of supermarket shoppers had secretly squeezed Charmin and by years end was the number one brand in the US.

    This format can be used in any context whether it’s advertising, homilies, political campaigns, world-views or any thing that requires quick communication. It’s rarely used because it requires effort to come up with both parts. But the model of short to the point and clear communication will always win if the idea/product is demonstrably better.

    In the US everyone knows what MAGA means and many love it while others detest it. But they all know what it means.

  71. 71
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, I can afford to be brief now because I have already made the substantial case. This is about warrant, not ad slogans and impressions; which, are the very opposite of warrant. KF

  72. 72
    jerry says:

    This is about warrant, not ad slogans and impressions; which, are the very opposite of warrant.

    No, you are wrong.

    Nobody is reading your long contrived explanations. So how can they be about warrant? They can only become effective when they are reduced to short relevant sentences or examples. Then they become useful.

    In my example, the ultimate warrant was the squeezing of the product.

    Another example, a preacher was going on and on and nobody could remember what was said two sentences before. Then, after 25 minutes of who knows what, he said his mother told him, “Andrew you are always circling but never landing.” A member of the congregation leaned over to his wife and said, “He finally said something I will remember.”

  73. 73
    William J Murray says:

    Hey Jerry & KF:

    I’m also in marketing, been in it for almost 30 years. Here’s the succinct pitch that demolishes KF’s entire argument:

    Existential unavoidables do not a duty make because you can’t get an ought from an “is,” much less an unavoidable “is.”

    The conversational/debate content/format necessary to say coherent things, including claims of truth and pattern of reference to truths do not in and of themselves indicate a moral duty to do so. So, your claim that what you are interpreting is “manifestly there” cannot in fact be the case. You are – once again – mistaking your interpretation of the facts for a fact itself.

  74. 74
    William J Murray says:

    The only way to make the case that my arguments, truth referrals and truth claims indicate a moral duty whether I agree or not, like if someone argues against free will, is to establish that those arguments, truth claims and referrals are necessarily moral in nature or else they are absurd.

    IOW, it would be something along the lines of this: “your claims and referrals to true statements and facts are absurd unless you are making them out of obedience (conscious or subconscious ) to moral duty, because …”

    Unless the person arguing against free will has free will, his argument is rendered absurd because he has no way of knowing if his argument is valid. So, if I am doing a similar thing with truth claims and referrals, how is my argument absurd if absent any “moral duty” component?

  75. 75
    jerry says:

    I’m also in marketing, been in it for almost 30 years.

    Is this in the external world?

    mistaking your interpretation of the facts for a fact itself.

    Since the beginning of time, experiences have been compared with other’s experiences of the same facts. So the interpretation gets better and better. That the difference between opinions often based on emotions and justified true beliefs.

    So as usual the claim is spurious.

  76. 76
    William J Murray says:

    So the interpretation gets better and better.

    There is no “the” interpretation. People interpret facts in a wide variety of ways. Have you met people?

    Also, a “better” interpretation (whatever “better” might mean to an individual) is still just an interpretation; KF is claiming that “what the facts” necessary (thus, factually) imply is a moral duty. But, he has yet to make that case; he just keeps repeating that the facts necessarily imply it. So, until he can make that case, then it is my view that he is mistaking his interpretation for a fact.

  77. 77
    StephenB says:

    KM — “Um, but it isn’t “objective”, in the sense that Mount Rushmore is objective [objective morality. At best it’s consensus, which is not nor ever has been a yardstick of Truth. “

    Human dignity, justice, goodness, right and wrong are objective (and abstract). Physical existence is not the only kind of objective existence. The natural moral law, for example is an objective truth that can be grasped by any individual who is capable of reasoning in the abstract. There are, however, a few people who have been brainwashed, so to speak, to the point where their natural inclination to understand basic morality has been compromised. Islamists who fly jets into buildings would fall into that category.

    —“About 5% of the population are “sociopaths” who wouldn’t understand what you’re talking about. Which demonstrates that whatever your views are regarding human dignity and all that, happen to be the way your brain is programmed.”

    Sociopaths do not lack the capacity to understand my points, but they are unable to sympathize. It is their will, not their intellect, that has been perverted. Meanwhile, you are mixing apples and oranges here. My world view is not the product of programming. It is a simple matter of knowing the philosophical errors that drive modern thought, especially the errors of subjectivism and hyperskepticism.

    —“Point is: it’s arbitrary, and even if you believe in a creator, it doesn’t prove anything about what values are “true” in an absolute sense.

    Morality is not arbitrary. People should not lie, cheat, steal, slander, or murder. It is a self-evident truth. Some may deny its existence in order to rationalize their bad behavior or escape responsibility for their actions, but they are just fooling themselves.

  78. 78
    StephenB says:

    StephenB: I think your experiential model is unduly self-centered and individualistic.

    Karen Mcmannus: — “Says the guy who is using his own brain to make judgements about anything and everything.

    You are very confused. Among other things, you don’t grasp the difference between metaphysics and epistemology. Epistemology moves from the thinking subject to the object of the investigation, but metaphysics moves from the object of investigation back to the thinking subject.

    As the thinking subject, for example, I can recognize the existence of a first cause of the universe, whose existence preceded me. So it is with the existence of the natural moral law or any other self-evident truth.

  79. 79
    jerry says:

    There is no “the” interpretation. People interpret facts in a wide variety of ways. Have you met people?

    One of the stupidest comments yet. No one would hire anyone who made this comment for anything let alone marketing.

  80. 80
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, this is not for yet another round on a side issue but the warrant has had to be laid out. KF

  81. 81
    StephenB says:

    KF, it is necessary to emphasize the self-evident nature of objective morality. WJM continues to ask for an “argument,” but self-evident truths, such as the moral law, are the basis on which arguments are made. They are not, in and of themselves, arguments. Simply ask WJM if he agrees that murder is objectively wrong. He will likely either evade the point or deny it. Them simply take it from there by showing the unreasonableness of denying the wrongness of murder.

  82. 82
    jerry says:

    They are not, in and of themselves, arguments.

    Something is happening here that has nothing to do with reasoning or intellectual positions.

    Manufactured nonsense positions are being created and then defended as if personally held. It seems the real intent is a game of gotcha or luring someone into convoluted defenses of the obvious. It is not someone honestly trying to defend a held position or trying to understand anything.

    There is the defense of positions that run against the grain of most people on this site primarily because most commenters here tend to be Christians. The defense for these contrary positions is that my opinion is as good as your opinion. There is usually little if any justification for their opinion/position other than nonsense or hand waving.

    It’s as if this will be guaranteed to get them upset so here goes. The problem is that these provocations are answered in good faith and the circus then just continues.

  83. 83
    kairosfocus says:

    SB, enough has been said long since. Murder is one of the worst injustices and is generally recognised as abhorrent evil. I have pointed to Ciceronian first duties of reason which even objectors are forced to appeal to to gain rhetorical traction for their objections. The onward objections, again and again have been shown to be cases in point. It turns out that in part this is about the moral government of rationality and about duties of care towards sound knowledge claims. KF

  84. 84
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Let me clip as a summary of a bigger argument:

    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. 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 sometimes seek to evade duties or may make inadvertent 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. Perhaps, a negative form will help to clarify, for cause we find to be at best hopelessly error-riddled, those who are habitually untruthful, fallacious and/or irrational, imprudent, fail to soundly warrant claims, show a benumbed or dead conscience [i.e. sociopathy and/or highly machiavellian tendencies], dehumanise and abuse others, are unfair and unjust. At worst, such are utterly dangerous, destructive,or even ruthlessly, demonically lawless. Such built-in . . . thus, universal . . . law, then, 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.

    PPS: Epictetus on inescapability of core logic, is linked

    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]

  85. 85
    StephenB says:

    Jerry: — “Manufactured nonsense positions are being created and then defended as if personally held. It seems the real intent is a game of gotcha or luring someone into convoluted defenses of the obvious. It is not someone honestly trying to defend a held position or trying to understand anything.”

    “Manufactured nonsense” is a good way of putting it. If the assumptions that drive it are exposed and refuted, I think that most lurkers will recognize that the claims lack substance.

    —“There is the defense of positions that run against the grain of most people on this site primarily because most commenters here tend to be Christians. The defense for these contrary positions is that my opinion is as good as your opinion. There is usually little if any justification for their opinion/position other than nonsense or hand waving.”

    In observing the successes of the “woke” culture, they may have discovered that it is easier to assert loudly than to provide a rational argument, especially since they don’t have one. Notice how often they use bold type. Their formulations are often chaotic word clusters posing as arguments. They think that using the word “existential” every other paragraph gives them an extra boost.

    It may well be that, for some of them, the philosophical errors are the product of the programming they receive in government sponsored schools, Because they have been grounded in the corruption of postmodernism, it is hard to know if they are motivated by a hatred or truth or if they simply want to rile people up. I suspect it is the former, which is why I try to respond to their misguided claims with what I hope is the appropriate counter claim.

  86. 86
    asauber says:

    My Two Cents on The Woke:

    They are motivated by images and sounds on the screens in front of them that trigger them emotionally. A piece of glacier breaking off video, or a crying nurse commercial, or someone in a lab coat using sciency catchphrases on popsci TV is the beginning and end of the story. They aren’t interested in expressing or listening to a thoughtful and consistent position with words that mean specific things. It’s just impressions snatched from the airwaves all the way down.

    My own lovely wife can sometimes be susceptible to being caught up in whatever she’s watching and forget to remind herself that it’s not necessarily real or true or is the whole story.

    To actually Follow The Science is too time consuming or unsatisfying emotionally or they are not intellectually up to the task or meh… But to them, if someone culturally approved says “Follow The Science”, the game is over. Everyone go home and you are a racist if you think otherwise.

    Andrew

  87. 87
    bornagain77 says:

    As to:

    KM — “Um, but it isn’t “objective”, in the sense that Mount Rushmore is objective [objective morality. At best it’s consensus, which is not nor ever has been a yardstick of Truth. “

    To which StephenB replies,

    “Human dignity, justice, goodness, right and wrong are objective (and abstract). Physical existence is not the only kind of objective existence.”

    To add my two cents worth, (which may very well be overpriced), but just as the immaterial, abstract, realm of mathematics and logic demonstrates the objectively real existence of mathematics and logic by the tangibly real effects that mathematics and logic bring about in the, (almost miraculous), modern inventions of man,,,

    Describing Nature With Math By Peter Tyson – Nov. 2011
    Excerpt: Mathematics underlies virtually all of our technology today. James Maxwell’s four equations summarizing electromagnetism led directly to radio and all other forms of telecommunication. E = mc2 led directly to nuclear power and nuclear weapons. The equations of quantum mechanics made possible everything from transistors and semiconductors to electron microscopy and magnetic resonance imaging.
    Indeed, many of the technologies you and I enjoy every day simply would not work without mathematics. When you do a Google search, you’re relying on 19th-century algebra, on which the search engine’s algorithms are based. When you watch a movie, you may well be seeing mountains and other natural features that, while appearing as real as rock, arise entirely from mathematical models. When you play your iPod, you’re hearing a mathematical recreation of music that is stored digitally; your cell phone does the same in real time.
    “When you listen to a mobile phone, you’re not actually hearing the voice of the person speaking,” Devlin told me. “You’re hearing a mathematical recreation of that voice. That voice is reduced to mathematics.”
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/p.....-math.html

    Recognising Top-Down Causation – George Ellis
    Excerpt: Causation: The nature of causation is highly contested territory, and I will take a pragmatic view:
    Definition 1:
    Causal Effect
    If making a change in a quantity X results in a reliable demonstrable change in a quantity Y in a given context, then X has a causal effect on Y.
    Example: I press the key labelled “A” on my computer keyboard; the letter “A” appears on my
    computer screen.,,,,
    Definition 2:
    Existence
    If Y is a physical entity made up of ordinary matter, and X is some kind of entity that has a demonstrable causal effect on Y as per Definition 1, then we must acknowledge that X also exists (even if it is not made up of such matter).
    This is clearly a sensible and testable criterion; in the example above, it leads to the conclusion that both the data and the relevant software exist. If we do not adopt this definition, we will have instances of uncaused changes in the world; I presume we wish to avoid that situation.
    Excerpt: page 5: A: Causal Efficacy of Non Physical entities:
    Both the program and the data are non-physical entities, indeed so is all software. A program is not a physical thing you can point to, but by Definition 2 it certainly exists. You can point to a CD or flashdrive where it is stored, but that is not the thing in itself: it is a medium in which it is stored.
    The program itself is an abstract entity, shaped by abstract logic. Is the software “nothing but” its realisation through a specific set of stored electronic states in the computer memory banks? No it is not because it is the precise pattern in those states that matters: a higher level relation that is not apparent at the scale of the electrons themselves. It’s a relational thing (and if you get the relations between the symbols wrong, so you have a syntax error, it will all come to a grinding halt). This abstract nature of software is realised in the concept of virtual machines, which occur at every level in the computer hierarchy except the bottom one [17]. But this tower of virtual machines causes physical effects in the real world, for example when a computer controls a robot in an assembly line to create physical artefacts.
    Excerpt page 7: The assumption that causation is bottom up only is wrong in biology, in computers, and even in many cases in physics, ,,,
    The mind is not a physical entity, but it certainly is causally effective: proof is the existence of the computer on which you are reading this text. It could not exist if it had not been designed and manufactured according to someone’s plans, thereby proving the causal efficacy of thoughts, which like computer programs and data are not physical entities.
    http://fqxi.org/data/essay-con.....s_2012.pdf

    ,,,, just as the immaterial, abstract, realm of mathematics and logic demonstrates the objectively real existence of immaterial mathematics and logic by the tangibly real effects that immaterial mathematics and logic bring about in the, (almost miraculous), modern inventions of man, so to can the objective existence of the abstract and immaterial realm of morality be demonstrated by appealing to the ‘physical’ realm.

    Specifically, I can appeal to life itself to demonstrate that the abstract and immaterial realm of morality is objectively real.

    In making my case, it is first necessary to juxtapose the Darwinian view of morality against the Christian view of morality.

    Morality for the Darwinian atheist is not just the absence of morality, i.e. amorality, i.e. “no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference”, as Dawkins put it,,,

    “In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”
    – Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life

    No!,,,, Morality for the Darwinian atheist is not just the absence of morality, (i.e. amorality, ‘pitiless indifference’), but turns out to be, (when you throw the precepts of Darwinian evolution on top of the atheist’s worldview of ‘pitiless indifference’), a worldview that is completely antithetical to any sense of objective morality that we may have as Christians, or even any sense of objective morality that we may have as simply being decent human beings.

    As Charles Darwin himself put the one defining ‘general law’ of his theory, “let the strongest live and the weakest die.”

    “One general law, leading to the advancement of all organic beings, namely, multiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die.”
    – Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

    As should be obvious to everyone who is not a psychopath, not only is “let the strongest live and the weakest die” amoral, but it is completely ANTI-moral.

    Adolf Hilter himself, (whom I think we can all agree was a psychopath of the first order), echoed Charles Darwin’s words when he stated, “Nature,,, wipes out what is weak in order to give place to the strong.”

    “A stronger race will oust that which has grown weak; for the vital urge, in its ultimate form, will burst asunder all the absurd chains of this so-called humane consideration for the individual and will replace it with the humanity of Nature, which wipes out what is weak in order to give place to the strong.”
    – Adolf Hitler – Mein Kampf – pg 248

    As should be needless to say, wiping out the weak to give place to the strong is directly opposed to the primary Christian ethic of the strong looking after the weak.

    Matthew 25:34-40
    “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
    “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
    “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

    As Sir Arthur Keith noted shortly after WWII, “the (moral) law of Christ is incompatible with the (moral) law of evolution as far as the law of evolution has worked hitherto. Nay, the two laws are at war with each other; the law of Christ can never prevail until the law of evolution is destroyed.”

    “for, as we have just seen, the ways of national evolution, both in the past and in the present, are cruel, brutal, ruthless, and without mercy.,,, Meantime let me say that the conclusion I have come to is this: the law of Christ is incompatible with the law of evolution as far as the law of evolution has worked hitherto. Nay, the two laws are at war with each other; the law of Christ can never prevail until the law of evolution is destroyed.”
    Sir Arthur Keith, (1866 — 1955) Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons – Evolution and Ethics (1947) p.15

    Hitler was hardly the only genocidal maniac who based his worldview on Darwinian evolution. In fact all the leading Atheistic Tyrants of the communist regimes of the 20th century, who murdered tens of millions of their own people, based their murderous ideology on Darwin’s theory.

    Hitler, Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao – quotes – Foundational Darwinian influence in their Atheistic ideology – July 2020
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/michael-egnor-on-the-relationship-between-darwinism-and-totalitarianism/#comment-707831

    Moreover, not only is Darwinian morality at ‘war’ with Christian morality, but Darwinian morality is also at ‘war’ with the science itself.

    Namely, if evolution by natural selection were actually the truth about how all life came to be on Earth then the only life that should be around should be extremely small organisms with the highest replication rate, and with the most ‘mutational firepower’, since only they, (since they greatly outclass multi-cellular organism in terms of ‘reproductive success’ and ‘mutational firepower’), would be fittest to survive in the dog eat dog world where ‘blind pitiless’ evolution ruled and only the ‘strongest’ are allowed to survive.

    The logic of this is nicely summed up here in this following Richard Dawkins’ video:

    Richard Dawkins interview with a ‘Darwinian’ physician goes off track – video
    Excerpt: “I am amazed, Richard, that what we call metazoans, multi-celled organisms, have actually been able to evolve, and the reason [for amazement] is that bacteria and viruses replicate so quickly — a few hours sometimes, they can reproduce themselves — that they can evolve very, very quickly. And we’re stuck with twenty years at least between generations. How is it that we resist infection when they can evolve so quickly to find ways around our defenses?”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....62031.html

    In other words, since successful reproduction is all that really matters on a neo-Darwinian view of things, how can anything but successful, and highly efficient reproduction, be realistically ‘selected’ for? Darwin himself stated, “every single organic being around us may be said to be striving to the utmost to increase in numbers;”

    “every single organic being around us may be said to be striving to the utmost to increase in numbers;”
    – Charles Darwin – Origin of Species – pg. 66

    The logic of natural selection is nicely and simply illustrated on the following graph:

    The Logic of Natural Selection – graph
    http://recticulatedgiraffe.wee.....35.jpg?308

    As you can see in the preceding graph, any other function besides successful reproduction, such as much slower sexual reproduction, sight, hearing, abstract thinking, and especially altruistic behavior (i.e. the ‘strong’ taking care of the ‘weak’), would be highly superfluous to the primary criteria of successful reproduction, and should, on a Darwinian view, be discarded, and/or ‘eaten’, by bacteria, and/or viruses, as so much excess baggage since it obviously would slow down successful reproduction.

    Yet, contrary to this central anti-moral ‘survival of the fittest’ assumption that lies behind Darwinian evolution, instead of eating us, time after time we find micro-organisms helping each other, and us, in ways that have nothing to with their own ‘survival of the fittest’’ concerns.

    The following researchers, since it directly contradicted Darwinian assumptions, said that they were ‘banging our heads against the wall’ by the mutual cooperation that they had found among bacteria. They even went so far as to state, ,,, “Maybe Darwin’s presumption that the world may be dominated by competition is wrong.”

    Doubting Darwin: Algae Findings Surprise Scientists – April 28, 2014
    Excerpt: One of Charles Darwin’s hypotheses posits that closely related species will compete for food and other resources more strongly with one another than with distant relatives, because they occupy similar ecological niches. Most biologists long have accepted this to be true.
    Thus, three researchers were more than a little shaken to find that their experiments on fresh water green algae failed to support Darwin’s theory — at least in one case.
    “It was completely unexpected,” says Bradley Cardinale, associate professor in the University of Michigan’s school of natural resources & environment. “When we saw the results, we said ‘this can’t be.”‘ We sat there banging our heads against the wall. Darwin’s hypothesis has been with us for so long, how can it not be right?”
    The researchers ,,,— were so uncomfortable with their results that they spent the next several months trying to disprove their own work. But the research held up.,,,
    The scientists did not set out to disprove Darwin, but, in fact, to learn more about the genetic and ecological uniqueness of fresh water green algae so they could provide conservationists with useful data for decision-making. “We went into it assuming Darwin to be right, and expecting to come up with some real numbers for conservationists,” Cardinale says. “When we started coming up with numbers that showed he wasn’t right, we were completely baffled.”,,,
    Darwin “was obsessed with competition,” Cardinale says. “He assumed the whole world was composed of species competing with each other, but we found that one-third of the species of algae we studied actually like each other. They don’t grow as well unless you put them with another species. It may be that nature has a heck of a lot more mutualisms than we ever expected.
    “,,, Maybe Darwin’s presumption that the world may be dominated by competition is wrong.”
    http://www.livescience.com/452.....f-bts.html

    And as the following study found, “‘survival of the friendliest’ outweighs ‘survival of the fittest’ for groups of bacteria. Bacteria make space for one another and sacrifice properties if it benefits the bacterial community as a whole.”

    Friendly bacteria collaborate to survive – 10 October 2019
    Excerpt: New microbial research at the University of Copenhagen suggests that ‘survival of the friendliest’ outweighs ‘survival of the fittest’ for groups of bacteria. Bacteria make space for one another and sacrifice properties if it benefits the bacterial community as a whole. The discovery is a major step towards understanding complex bacteria interactions and the development of new treatment models for a wide range of human diseases and new green technologies.
    https://news.ku.dk/all_news/2019/10/friendly-bacteria-collaborate-to-survive/

    Again, this ‘survival of the friendliest’ is, morally speaking, directly contrary to Charles Darwin’s primary ‘general law’ of his theory, i.e. “let the strongest live and the weakest die.”

    “One general law, leading to the advancement of all organic beings, namely, multiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die.”
    – Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

  88. 88
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, to dive a little bit deeper into the molecular level of life, the falsification of the Darwinian ‘survival of the fittest’, i.e. ‘selfish’ morality occurs at the molecular level too.

    Richard Dawkins’s ‘selfish gene’ concept is more of less directly based on Darwin’s own ‘survival of the fittest’ thinking about competition. Yet genes are now found to be anything but selfish. Instead of being ‘selfish’, genes are now found to be exist in an extensive holistic web of mutual interdependence and cooperation (which is the very antithesis of Richard Dawkins’s entire ‘selfish gene’ concept).

    What If (Almost) Every Gene Affects (Almost) Everything? – JUN 16, 2017
    Excerpt: If you told a modern geneticist that a complex trait—whether a physical characteristic like height or weight, or the risk of a disease like cancer or schizophrenia—was the work of just 15 genes, they’d probably laugh. It’s now thought that such traits are the work of thousands of genetic variants, working in concert. The vast majority of them have only tiny effects, but together, they can dramatically shape our bodies and our health. They’re weak individually, but powerful en masse.
    https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/06/its-like-all-connected-man/530532/

    Theory Suggests That All Genes Affect Every Complex Trait – June 20, 2018
    Excerpt: Mutations of a single gene are behind sickle cell anemia, for instance, and mutations in another are behind cystic fibrosis.
    But unfortunately for those who like things simple, these conditions are the exceptions. The roots of many traits, from how tall you are to your susceptibility to schizophrenia, are far more tangled. In fact, they may be so complex that almost the entire genome may be involved in some way,,,
    One very early genetic mapping study in 1999 suggested that “a large number of loci (perhaps > than 15)” might contribute to autism risk, recalled Jonathan Pritchard, now a geneticist at Stanford University. “That’s a lot!” he remembered thinking when the paper came out.
    Over the years, however, what scientists might consider “a lot” in this context has quietly inflated. Last June, Pritchard and his Stanford colleagues Evan Boyle and Yang Li (now at the University of Chicago) published a paper about this in Cell that immediately sparked controversy, although it also had many people nodding in cautious agreement. The authors described what they called the “omnigenic” model of complex traits. Drawing on GWAS analyses of three diseases, they concluded that in the cell types that are relevant to a disease, it appears that not 15, not 100, but essentially all genes contribute to the condition. The authors suggested that for some traits, “multiple” loci could mean more than 100,000.
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/omnigenic-model-suggests-that-all-genes-affect-every-complex-trait-20180620/

    Gene Pleiotropy Roadblocks Evolution by Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Ph.D. – Dec. 8, 2016
    Excerpt: Before the advent of modern molecular biology, scientists defined a gene as a single unit of inheritance. If a gene was found to influence multiple externally visible traits, it was said to be pleiotropic—a term first used in 1910.2 During this early period of genetic discovery, pleiotropy was considered to be quite rare because scientists assumed most genes only possessed a single function—a simplistic idea that remained popular throughout most of the 20th century. However, as our understanding of genetics grew through DNA science, it became clear that genes operate in complex interconnected networks. Furthermore, individual genes produce multiple variants of end products with different effects through a variety of intricate mechanisms.2,3 Taken together, these discoveries show that pleiotropy is a common feature of nearly every gene.,,,
    The pleiotropy evolution problem is widely known among secular geneticists, but rarely discussed in the popular media. In this new research report, the authors state, “Many studies have provided evidence for the ability of pleiotropy to constrain gene evolution.”,,,
    “Our study provided supportive evidence that pleiotropy constraints the evolution of transcription factors (Tfs).”,,,
    The authors state, “We showed that highly pleiotropic genes are more likely to be associated with a disease phenotype.”,,,
    http://www.icr.org/article/9747

    Such extensive, even astonishing, ‘holistic cooperation’ between all the genes is, needless to say, the exact polar opposite of being ‘selfish’ as Richard Dawkins had erroneously envisioned for genes.

    In laying out the objective morality that lays behind life, it is also interesting to note that the highest possible moral in Christian ethics is someone giving his life so that others may live.

    Indeed, that is the central message of Christianity, i.e. Jesus died for us so that we might inherit eternal life in the kingdom of heaven.

    John 15:13
    Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

    Such self sacrificial altruistic behavior, which is central to the Christian’s view of objective morality, is simply antithetical to Darwin’s one ‘general law’ of “let the strongest live and the weakest die.”

    Yet, if it were not for such self sacrificial altruistic behavior on the molecular level of life, we simply would not even be here to argue whether morality was objectively real or not.

    Specifically, ‘apoptosis’, which means programmed cell death, is a necessary part of embryological development.

    Apoptosis in Embryonic Development
    Excerpt: As cells rapidly proliferate during development, some of them undergo apoptosis, which is necessary for many stages in development, including neural development, reduction in egg cells (oocytes) at birth, as well as the shaping of fingers and,, organs in humans and other animals. Sydney Brenner, H. Robert Horvitz, and John E. Sulston received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2002 for their work on the genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death.
    https://embryo.asu.edu/pages/apoptosis-embryonic-development

    Thus in conclusion, just as the abstract, immaterial, realm of mathematics and logic demonstrate that it is objectively real entity in the effects that it brings about in man’s modern day, (almost miraculous), inventions, so to does the abstract, immaterial, realm of morality demonstrate that it is an objectively real entity in the effects it brings about in life.

    Namely, multicellular life, particularly human life, would not even exist if the molecular level of life was not designed along the lines of the highest, altruistic, moral principles found within Christian Theism.

    Namely, if cells did not die for the good of other cells during embryonic development, life, as we know it, simply would not exist.

    In short, the objective existence of morality must precede the existence of multicellular life for multicellular life to even be possible.

    John 3:16
    For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

  89. 89
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/88

    Richard Dawkins’s ‘selfish gene’ concept is more of less directly based on Darwin’s own ‘survival of the fittest’ thinking about competition.

    So is US marketplace capitalism but you don’t seem to have a moral problem with that. Maybe money trumps morals.

    In short, the objective existence of morality must precede the existence of multicellular life for multicellular life to even be possible.

    This is not about objective morality. There can be no such thing. This is about the unwarranted assertion of the primacy of your version of Christian morality over all others.

  90. 90
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky claims, “This is not about objective morality. There can be no such thing.”

    Hmmm, do you REALLY believe that Seversky?

    “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?”
    – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

    So Seversky if you are absolutely certain that your Atheistic worldview is 100% true, and you truly believe that ‘there can be no such thing’ as objective morality, then you should have no problem whatsoever explaining to us exactly why it is impossible for you, and other atheists, to consistently live your lives as if morality did not objectively exist?

    In the following article, Nancy Pearcey quotes many leading atheists in academia who honestly confess that it is impossible to live their life as if atheistic materialism were actually true.

    Darwin’s Robots: When Evolutionary Materialists Admit that Their Own Worldview Fails – Nancy Pearcey – April 23, 2015
    Excerpt: Even materialists often admit that, in practice, it is impossible for humans to live any other way.,,,
    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

    And as the following article states, “A materialist who lived his life according to his professed convictions—understanding himself to have no moral agency at all, seeing his friends and enemies and family as genetically determined robots—wouldn’t just be a materialist: He’d be a psychopath.”

    The Heretic – Who is Thomas Nagel and why are so many of his fellow academics condemning him? – March 25, 2013
    ?Excerpt: ,,,Fortunately, materialism is never translated into life as it’s lived. As colleagues and friends, husbands and mothers, wives and fathers, sons and daughters, materialists never put their money where their mouth is. Nobody thinks his daughter is just molecules in motion and nothing but; nobody thinks the Holocaust was evil, but only in a relative, provisional sense. A materialist who lived his life according to his professed convictions—understanding himself to have no moral agency at all, seeing his friends and enemies and family as genetically determined robots—wouldn’t just be a materialist: He’d be a psychopath.
    ?http://www.weeklystandard.com/.....tml?page=3

    Even Richard Dawkins himself honestly admitted that it would be quote-unquote “intolerable” for him to live his life as if he had no moral agency.

    Who wrote Richard Dawkins’s new book? – October 28, 2006
    Excerpt:
    Dawkins: What I do know is that what it feels like to me, and I think to all of us, we don’t feel determined. We feel like blaming people for what they do or giving people the credit for what they do. We feel like admiring people for what they do.,,,
    Manzari: But do you personally see that as an inconsistency in your views?
    Dawkins: I sort of do. Yes. But it is an inconsistency that we sort of have to live with otherwise life would be intolerable.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....02783.html

    In what should be needless to say, if it is impossible and/or ‘intolerable’ for you to live as if your atheistic worldview were actually true then your atheistic worldview cannot 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/

    So please do tell us Seversky, if your worldview is actually true, then why is it impossible and/or ‘intolerable’ for you and other atheists to consistently live your lives as if your atheistic worldview were actually true and as if morality did not objectively exist?

    Not that you will listen to me, but I will tell you exactly why it is impossible for you to do so.

    Romans 2:14-15
    Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.

  91. 91
    William J Murray says:

    KF, said:

    We can readily identify at least seven inescapable first duties of reason.

    All KF is doing here is baldly asserting these existential unavoidables are duties by fiat.

    The consequences of denying any self-evident truth is absurdity (denying free will, denying that 2+2=4, denying the 3 fundamental principles of logic, etc.) The consequences of denying objective morality (adopting subjective morality) is this: anything goes, and might (in whatever form) functionally makes right. That might be an undesirable consequence, but it is not an absurd one.

    And that is why “objective morality” is not a self-evident truth.

    To reply to SB’s challenge,

    Simply ask WJM if he agrees that murder is objectively wrong.

    It doesn’t matter if I and every single person on the planet agree that murder is objectively wrong, that fact would not make “murder is wrong” self-evidently true, nor does it make the existent of objective morality self-evidently true.

  92. 92
    StephenB says:

    SB to KF: Simply ask WJM if he agrees that murder is objectively wrong.

    — “It doesn’t matter if I and every single person on the planet agree that murder is objectively wrong, that fact would not make “murder is wrong” self-evidently true, nor does it make the existent of objective morality self-evidently true.”

    The above statement does not address the question. Do you agree that murder is objectively wrong? While you are at it, try this one: Is it ever morally permissible to torture babies for fun?

  93. 93
    StephenB says:

    WJM: “The consequences of denying objective morality (adopting subjective morality) is this: anything goes, and might (in whatever form) functionally makes right. That might be an undesirable consequence, but it is not an absurd one. ”

    Why do you say that the consequences of subjective morality (might makes right) would be “undesirable?: Do you mean that they would be undesirable for you personally, or do you mean that they would be unacceptable in principle? If it is the latter, please explain why.

  94. 94
    bornagain77 says:

    Of related note to post 87 and 88, it is also very interesting to note that the genetic responses of humans are designed in a very sophisticated way so as to differentiate between hedonic (selfish) and ‘noble’ moral happiness:

    Human Cells Respond in Healthy, Unhealthy Ways to Different Kinds of Happiness – July 29, 2013
    Excerpt: Human bodies recognize at the molecular level that not all happiness is created equal, responding in ways that can help or hinder physical health,,,
    The sense of well-being derived from “a noble purpose” may provide cellular health benefits, whereas “simple self-gratification” may have negative effects, despite an overall perceived sense of happiness, researchers found.,,,
    But if all happiness is created equal, and equally opposite to ill-being, then patterns of gene expression should be the same regardless of hedonic or eudaimonic well-being. Not so, found the researchers.
    Eudaimonic well-being was, indeed, associated with a significant decrease in the stress-related CTRA gene expression profile. In contrast, hedonic well-being was associated with a significant increase in the CTRA profile. Their genomics-based analyses, the authors reported, reveal the hidden costs of purely hedonic well-being.,,
    “We can make ourselves happy through simple pleasures, but those ‘empty calories’ don’t help us broaden our awareness or build our capacity in ways that benefit us physically,” she said. “At the cellular level, our bodies appear to respond better to a different kind of well-being, one based on a sense of connectedness and purpose.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....161952.htm

    All in all the Christian Theist has a very strong empirical support for his claim that morality is objectively real and is not merely subjective and illusory.

  95. 95
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM & SB:

    The OP above is on knowledge in the post Gettier world, so on warrant as first bill of requisites then as a theory that addresses various issues and draws conclusions, through Plantinga’s key contribution. The reason for that focus is highlighted in my # 63 to KM (who is silent for the moment):

    This thread — for cause — is about knowledge in the post Gettier world, in further light of impacts of radical relativism, not about details of Bible issues or other tangential matters. If we . . . as a civilisation . . . don’t get the difference between warranted knowledge and subjective opinion straight, no further progress is possible on literally anything. Civilisation will come down to the nihilism of force or fraud, which is fatal. That is how important the particular focus of this thread is.

    Now, warrant is abstract, a judgement that should be — note, ought — drawn on good (note again, implications) evidence and reasoning that especially in inductive contexts will be based on support. Plantinga characterises what warrant is, after a three volume published exploration:

    a belief has warrant for a person S only if that belief is produced in S by cognitive faculties functioning properly (subject to no dysfunction) in a cognitive environment [both macro and micro . . . ] that is appropriate for S’s kind of cognitive faculties, according to a design plan [–> often, naturally evident] that is successfully aimed at truth.

    Notice, involvement of a representative subject, implying also the community and those who, through reliance on credible authority, obtain warrant secondarily by way of credible authority and instruction.

    (This power, sadly, is open to manipulation in a day when nihilistic will to power far too often triumphs over Ciceronian first duties of reason and abuses — note the oughtnes issue — media and cultural power. The ongoing 4th generation, agit prop and lawfare-heavy civil war in the USA, with the playing out of a McFaul, black theme colour revolution push and growing economic and geostrategic folly underscores the point..)

    We are at the heart of objectivity in the face of our being subjects. Error exists is undeniably, self evidently true and we are error-prone, so we need warrant to provide reasonable assurance that our beliefs or perceptions [which as a rule we habitually believe . . . seeing is believing] are reliable, credibly accurate and not delusional or otherwise erroneous. But warrant is a mental, abstract state after doing due diligence along Plantinga’s lines.

    It is in that context that we can see that our rational, responsible freedom is governed and guided by Ciceronian first duties, duties which expand the “responsible” part of our freedom, indeed we are looking at core built in law coeval with our humanity. Something that irks many in an age where licence and will to power too often substitute for freedom under just law towards the civil peace of justice.

    Where, WJM, you above tried to sweep away an argument by willfully, insistently mischaracterising it as empty assertion in the face of repeated correction. But, when you said in 91 “All KF is doing here is baldly asserting these existential unavoidables are duties by fiat,” you implicitly appealed — yet again, as pointed out — to duties to truth, to right reason and to warrant (so, prudence).

    In short, you managed to yet again show how you cannot escape appealing to first duties to gain rhetorical traction for your argument. Inescapable, so first truths of reason, truths regarding duty, so too, moral, self evident truths. Truths that include duty to justice, due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities. Including the first right, life. Thence why you cannot defend the view that there is no duty to protect innocent life.

    As to necessities of reasoning, we are free to disregard logic at key points, and often simply err. While, we cannot but use distinct identity just to communicate, but we often try to flout its close corollaries, non contradiction and excluded middle. We even try to drag in quantum mechanics to that end, failing to recognise that that discipline is founded on said core laws applied to a physical context controlled by observations.

    The focus is, that after about 100 comments and five days or so, no-one has been seriously able to touch Plantinga’s core point regarding warrant. That is significant, in an age that seems to wish to overturn objectivity where it is not convenient. This is rhetorically decisive, as what is studiously side stepped in the Wilsonian, Arte of Rhetorique style, is typically what is unanswerable.

    Applying, the reasonably reliable faculties in question that are clearly successfully aimed at truth include, precisely, our rational, responsibly free, conscience-guided minds. There are known pathologies, but such can be corrected through due diligence to carry out duty regarding truth-seeking, right use and ends of reason, prudence [including, warrant] and heeding the voice of sound conscience. Which is precisely the Ciceronian moral government through built-in law coeval with our humanity that has been highlighted. These — as WJM, you again inadvertently demonstrated — are inescapable in our reasoning (even when attempting to object), are thus self-evident first truths, first truths regarding duty, first truths of moral character.

    WJM, is there a duty to uphold and protect innocent life? Is there a right to life? Is murder wrong [including when the innocent life is in the womb]? Does this not illustrate the mutuality of duty involved in the civil peace of justice? Does lawless disregard overthrow a first duty, or does it simply show that freedom can be abused to disregard duty?

    Do you, WJM, see that there can be no rights and freedoms without correlative duties, duties demanding mutual respect among neighbours?

    SB, yes, thou shalt do no murder is a first application of duty to justice, indeed it is a particular application of thou shalt do no theft, as murder steals life. I am here looking to the wider framework, stirred by reflection on Cicero, as noted in OP:

    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 with the true nature of man [–> we are seeing the root vision of natural law, coeval with our humanity] . . . . “Law (say [“many learned men”]) is the highest reason, implanted in nature, which prescribes those things which ought to be done, and forbids the contrary” . . . . They therefore conceive that the voice of conscience is a law, that moral prudence is a law [–> a key remark] , whose operation is to urge us to good actions, and restrain us from evil ones . . . . the origin of justice is to be sought in the divine law of eternal and immutable morality. This indeed is the true energy of nature, the very soul and essence of wisdom, the test of virtue and vice.

    KF

  96. 96
    kairosfocus says:

    BA, WordFence is up to tricks again. And again. KF

    PS: of media power . . .

  97. 97
    kairosfocus says:

    AS:

    They [the Woke] are motivated by images and sounds on the screens in front of them that trigger them emotionally [–> as connected to dominant narratives, ideologies, indoctrination and linked unexamined worldviews]. A piece of glacier breaking off video, or a crying nurse commercial, or someone in a lab coat using sciency catchphrases on popsci TV is the beginning and end of the story. They aren’t interested in expressing or listening to [–> or reading] a thoughtful and consistent position with words that mean specific things. It’s just impressions snatched from the airwaves all the way down.

    This, as annotated, exposes the miseducation of a generation, and the longstanding issue that arguments persuade through pathos, ethos, logos.

    Our emotions are no better than underlying grounds for associated perceptions and judgements. No authority is better than his/her facts, reasoning and key assumptions (or biases). Only facts and logic, responsibly and soundly worked through can actually warrant conclusions and choices. Including of course facts of moral government, which so many have been indoctrinated to dismiss today.

    Those sad facts explain a lot about where we are and where we are headed.

    And oh yes, my Strategic Marketing reminds, that deep trends and patterns drive how we respond to perceived alternatives, whether goods and services,brands, ideas or people, ideologies etc. This blog is at that level, not the level of Z—- it’s us or rust or C— i’ts the real thing or Marlboro Man or Jolly Green Giant, or see what the fashionable stars are wearing today. Worldviews count, count decisively.

    So do shipwrecks as termini of voyages of folly.

    Ask yourself, why that short, real world study on manipulation of democracy, isn’t a standard part of our mental furniture, or why Plato’s ship of state, likewise is not part of the canon of general civics education.

    Time, to think again.

    KF

  98. 98
    William J Murray says:

    SB said:

    The above statement does not address the question. Do you agree that murder is objectively wrong? While you are at it, try this one: Is it ever morally permissible to torture babies for fun?

    The word “objective” means something entirely different in my worldview than it does in yours. In any event, the answers to those questions are irrelevant as to whether or not objective morality is self-evidently true.

    Why do you say that the consequences of subjective morality (might makes right) would be “undesirable?: Do you mean that they would be undesirable for you personally, or do you mean that they would be unacceptable in principle? If it is the latter, please explain why.

    I meant that the might be undesirable to some, many or most, such as to you and KF.

  99. 99
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM,

    Objective:

    objective (?b?d??kt?v)
    adj
    1. (Philosophy) existing independently of perception or an individual’s conceptions: are there objective moral values?.
    2. undistorted by emotion or personal bias
    3. of or relating to actual and external phenomena as opposed to thoughts, feelings, etc
    4. (Medicine) med (of disease symptoms) perceptible to persons other than the individual affected . . .

    9. an actual phenomenon; reality . . .
    11. (General Physics) optics
    a. the lens or combination of lenses nearest to the object in an optical instrument [–> the object being viewed]
    b. the lens or combination of lenses forming the image in a camera or projector
    Abbreviation: obj Compare: subjective
    objectival adj
    ob?jectively adv
    ?objec?tivity, ob?jectiveness n
    Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

    While we are at it:

    nihilism (?na???l?z?m)
    n
    1. a complete denial of all established authority and institutions
    2. (Philosophy) philosophy an extreme form of scepticism that systematically rejects all values, belief in existence, the possibility of communication, etc
    3. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a revolutionary doctrine of destruction for its own sake
    4. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) the practice or promulgation of terrorism
    [C19: from Latin nihil nothing + -ism, on the model of German Nihilismus]
    ?nihilist n, adj
    ?nihil?istic adj
    Nihilism (?na???l?z?m)
    n
    (Historical Terms) (in tsarist Russia) any of several revolutionary doctrines that upheld terrorism
    Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

    That’s good enough for starters.

    KF

  100. 100
    William J Murray says:

    KF said Where, WJM, you above tried to sweep away an argument by willfully, insistently mischaracterising it as empty assertion in the face of repeated correction. The “duty” part is – so far – entirely nothing more than assertion.

    In short, you managed to yet again show how you cannot escape appealing to first duties claims of or referrals to facts or truth to gain rhetorical traction for your argument. Inescapable, so first truths of reason, truths regarding duty, so too, moral, self evident truths. Truths that include duty to justice, due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities. Including the first right, life. Thence why you cannot defend the view that there is no duty to protect innocent life.

    I don’t have to defend that view, you’re the one making the clam I have such a duty. So far, you have yet to make that case.

    Do you, WJM, see that there can be no rights and freedoms without correlative duties, duties demanding mutual respect among neighbours?

    This is unquestionably an appeal to consequences.

    In my worldview, I have complete freedom to do anything I want, and complete, 100% self-authority. So, the question of “rights” doesn’t even come up. I have no inherent “duties” whatsoever; how can I, if I am the sole authority of my existence? There is no such thing as “justice” in any existentially meaningful sense of the word.

    Yes, there are existential unavoidables that make my existence possible – such as the rules of logic, math, free will, preference, context – but I have no “duty” to use or treat those things in any particular way beyond what is unavoidable. They provide for my existence as a free, individual, rational being. Beyond that, I am completely free and self-authorized to do whatever I wish.

  101. 101
    William J Murray says:

    KF gives us a definition of “objective” that he thinks will clear things up: “1. (Philosophy) existing independently of perception or an individual’s conceptions: are there objective moral values?.”

    But, exists independently of one’s perception and conceptions in what format? What is the nature of that thing’s existence? What does it exist as beyond anyone’s particular perception and conception? Quantum physics experimentation have shown that the old, general consensus of what it meant for a thing to have an “objective existence” (as defined above) is not valid.

    So, how would I answer the question if, whether I say yes or no, neither of those answers means to you what it means to me in terms of the nature of how things exist outside of perception, and what they exist as?

  102. 102
    William J Murray says:

    KF, your entire argument – even about the world, civilization, the ramifications of certain beliefs – entirely depends on a metaphysical perspective about what the “world” is, what “we” are, how we exist, how experiences are acquired and from what, the supposed limitations and parameters of what an individual is, what they are operating in or from, what “reality” is and how it works, etc. Even your conception of “all possible worlds” is derived from an a priori conceptualization of how “worlds” exist and what they exist as.

    Your warning is (as if we’re not already there, as if we haven’t always been there) that the world may turn into a lawless oligarchy; my response from my perspective is: so what? In your worldview, it is very important because it is the only world we have before we reach a final dispensation. In my worldview, what happens to “this world” is entirely irrelevant, because of how it actually exists, what it actually exists as: an informational matrix of potential from which people draw whatever experiences they, at some level, will. It’s one “form” of a “world” in an infinite ocean of potential forms of “worlds,” all of which eternally exist in universal mind.

    So, as you might be able to apprehend, under that perspective I have no “duty” to justice, fairness, or neighbor unless I access and process that potential as part of my “world” or “reality” experience.

    I agree that you live in a world of objective first duties. That is not the only world one can experience. I live in a world (reality) where no such things objectively exist (except, for me, as part of infinite potential outside of my experience.) We do not live in the same reality, even though our different realities have a large subset of shared physical experiential references – the physical universe.

  103. 103
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, first, in what format is irrelevant to independence of the perceptions or conceptions of a fallible subject. Secondly, the incoherence of the idealist views you proposed has long since been shown and yet again in trying to correct what I noted, you show that to gain rhetorical traction you implicitly appeal to the known binding nature of the very same first duties of reason that for some reason you find it hard to acknowledge as inescapable. even as you repeatedly show that you cannot escape their force. KF

  104. 104
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, first, in what format is irrelevant to independence of the perceptions or conceptions of a fallible subject

    I agree that “in what format” it actually exists is irrelevant; however, you and I cannot have a meaningful conversation about that. We an only have a meaningful conversation about our conceptualizations of how that thing exists and what that conceptualization means to our worldview.

    Secondly, the incoherence of the idealist views you proposed has long since been shown and yet again in trying to correct what I noted, you show that to gain rhetorical traction you implicitly appeal to the known binding nature of the very same first duties of reason that for some reason you find it hard to acknowledge as inescapable. even as you repeatedly show that you cannot escape their force. KF

    That I unavoidably, inescapably appeal to logic and reason is not the same thing as unavoidably, inescapably appealing to a duty to logic and reason. You continually combine those two entirely different things as if they are the same thing.

  105. 105
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: As a reminder on the focus of this thread, Wiki as speaking against ideological interests:

    Epistemology (/??p?st??m?l?d?i/ (About this soundlisten); from Greek ????????, epist?m? ‘knowledge’, and -logy) is the branch of philosophy concerned with knowledge. Epistemologists study the nature, origin, and scope of knowledge, epistemic justification, the rationality of belief, and various related issues. Epistemology is considered one of the four main branches of philosophy, along with ethics [–> I would bring in the other half of axiology, aesthetics], logic, and metaphysics [–> given its historical and continuing importance, political philosophy too as it studies justice, law and good government].[1]

    Debates in epistemology are generally clustered around four core areas:[2][3][4]

    1] The philosophical analysis of the nature of knowledge and the conditions required for a belief to constitute knowledge, such as truth and justification [–> studiously omitted, warrant i/l/o the impact of Gettier]
    2] Potential sources of knowledge and justified belief [–> notice the AND], such as perception, reason, memory, and testimony [–> notice, the impact of cultivating hyperskepticism regarding these major faculties, contrast Reidian Common Sense]
    3] The structure of a body of knowledge or justified belief, including whether all justified beliefs must be derived from justified foundational beliefs or whether justification requires only a coherent set of beliefs
    4] Philosophical skepticism, which questions the possibility of knowledge, and related problems, such as whether skepticism poses a threat to our ordinary knowledge claims and whether it is possible to refute skeptical arguments

    In these debates and others, epistemology aims to answer questions such as “What do we know?”, “What does it mean to say that we know something?”, “What makes justified beliefs justified?”, and “How do we know that we know?”.[1][2][5][6][7]

    The pivotal importance of knowledge to the project of civilisation is obvious.

    KF

  106. 106
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, in your latest dismissal you again miss that you expect us to acknowledge duties of reason and justice etc, in order for your argument to have traction. Indeed, without that government of built in law, the pivot of epistemology, seeking responsible knowledge given our proneness to error, evaporates. And meanwhile so self-evidently manifest a justice issue as the right to life seems to evaporate also. Those are red flags that something is seriously wrong. KF

  107. 107
    William J Murray says:

    KF said :

    WJM, in your latest dismissal you again miss that you expect us to acknowledge duties of reason and justice etc, in order for your argument to have traction.

    And this is exactly where you are mistaking your motivations and your interpretation for factual, universal commodities in everyone. I’m not expecting any such thing. What I hope is that someone will provide an interesting (or at least entertaining) response that I can use, one way or another, to refine my model of acquiring experiences I desire. I’m not relying on your “duties;” I’m relying on the interest you or others may have in my propositions and arguments. You are under no obligation or duty to pay any attention to me whatsoever, much less respond to anything I say. I am under no obligation or duty to read or respond to anything anyone here writes. I do it because I find it interesting, entertaining and occasionally very useful. Nothing more.

    Indeed, without that government of built in law, the pivot of epistemology, seeking responsible knowledge given our proneness to error, evaporates. And meanwhile so self-evidently manifest a justice issue as the right to life seems to evaporate also. Those are red flags that something is seriously wrong. KF

    Now you’re just throwing the term “self-evident” around like it can be applied to anything you personally believe.

    However, I can see in your behavior how you are operating from a sense of duty; apparently, it is your “duty” to hand out lecture and chastisement pamphlets (or referrals to such) every time someone says something that you consider to be an error of thought or might lead to world-wide ruin. In fact, that you see these things as your necessary first duties explains a lot of your behavior here.

  108. 108
    William J Murray says:

    Let me further explain how I am not operating under “duty” to truth.

    First, I don’t care what “the truth” is in any objective sense. I don’t know what I am, how things exist, or how experiences occur. That doesn’t matter to me one bit. What I care about is entirely how to best acquire experiences I enjoy. The only “truths” I care about are entirely about what I subjectively experience. I have unilaterally decided that this is all I care about.

    In this forum, some years back, I made several arguments for objective morality that were so good that BA77 used to regularly quote from them. Do you think I made those arguments out of a duty to truth? I didn’t even believe in objective morality at the time. I made them because I found them enjoyable and interesting to make, and because I enjoy exploring my own psychology around the idea of morality and how it relates to having enjoyable experiences, and also because it evoked responses I found interesting and useful.

    Am I arguing for IRT here because I think it is true and I have some kind of subconscious duty to argue for truth against what I consider to be errors of thought in others, even if I myself happen to be in error? Certainly not, because I don’t care if IRT is true or not. It doesn’t make me one bit of difference. I find that model very useful in pursuing what I subjectively enjoy. I find it enjoyable and interesting to argue, for the same reasons I argued for objective morality back in the day.

    This should not be a revelation to you because I have stated this before as the reason and motivations for my participation here. I’m not here out of duty to truth. I don’t argue out of duty to truth, or out of duty to “justice” or “fairness” or “neighbor.”

  109. 109
    asauber says:

    “First, I don’t care what “the truth” is in any objective sense.”

    WJM,

    This is why most here consider you an unserious commenter.

    Andrew

  110. 110
    jerry says:

    My Two Cents on The Woke:

    Here is a description of the woke by someone who lives amongst them but Is not one of them. It is an interview of John McWhorter by Freddy Sayers. These are two level headed people in most ways.

    https://unherd.com/thepost/john-mcwhorter-white-people-should-stand-up-to-antiracist-ideologues/?=frpo

    It’s about 35 minutes and mostly about race relations but spends a lot of time on wokeness since McWhorter teaches at Columbia. The main thing I disagree with McWhorter on is that he describes wokeness as a religion implying it’s an unfounded belief without justification. In other words like a superstition held despite contrary evidence.

    Otherwise very informative. I highly recommend following Sayers as he interviews people on a wide range of topics.

    Great quote by McWhorter

    One of the oddest things is to see mathematicians and philosophers who’ve made their way through Plato, Kant and Kierkegaard, and then all of a sudden when they’re reasoning about Black Lives Matter, they exhibit the reasoning power of roughly an orangutan.”

    Another great quote

    You can’t engage people like that… There is nothing you can do to talk somebody out of a religion. There’s no conversation to be had, it’s worthless. Some of them will say they want to have a conversation with you. But what they want is for you to learn from them. If there’s anything that they have to learn from you, it’s that they want to learn what your mental barriers are to understanding their truth

  111. 111
    William J Murray says:

    Asauber said:

    This is why most here consider you an unserious commenter.

    Did you take a poll of everyone who reads this forum? Or was that an unserious comment without regard to objective truth? ; )

  112. 112
    asauber says:

    “Did you take a poll of everyone who reads this forum?”

    WJM,

    No. I suspect I don’t have to, to be right (in this case).

    Andrew

  113. 113
    bornagain77 says:

    WJM, if there was a poll, I don’t think you would like the results.

    Most Darwinists, who are notoriously wrong about practically every scientific thing that they comment on, have, from what I can tell, viewed your theory favorably, whereas most ID proponents, again from what I can tell, don’t think much of your theory at all.

    It SHOULD be a huge red flag for you when Seversky, of all people, says that he likes your theory! 🙂

    And although I was initially sympathetic to your theory, you lost me when you, basically, said that empirical evidence is of little consequence to your theory. ,,,

    Oh well, there is not really much left for me to say after that comment of yours is there?

  114. 114
    jerry says:

    Oh well, there is not really much left for me to say after that comment of yours

    He doesn’t believe anything he says. Never has. He’s playing a game. He baiting people and they gladly open their mouths and swallow. And laughing each time they do.

  115. 115
    Viola Lee says:

    I find WJM’s theory interesting, but I don’t believe it, and I certainly don’t believe some of the consequences he described about a bunch of stuff. But I think his criticism of KF’s “duty” argument are spot on..

  116. 116
    StephenB says:

    SB: — “Do you agree that murder is objectively wrong? While you are at it, try this one: Is it ever morally permissible to torture babies for fun?”

    —WJM: “The word “objective” means something entirely different in my worldview than it does in yours. In any event, the answers to those questions are irrelevant as to whether or not objective morality is self-evidently true.”

    The meaning of objective in this context means the same for both of us. Rational dialogue is not possible when one of the participants will not provide an honest answer to an honest and fair question. “Do you agree that murder is objectively wrong?

    And yes, it has everything to do with the self-evident nature or morality. Apparently, It is so self-evident to you that you dare not share your true beliefs openly and honestly.

    SB: Why do you say that the consequences of subjective morality (might makes right) would be “undesirable?:

    —WJM: “I meant that the might be undesirable to some, many or most, such as to you and KF.”

    Once, again, you are evading the key point. Is there, in your judgment (or according to your world view), anything [objectively] wrong with the right-makes-right principle? (Please don’t tell me that you don’t know what objective means or that it means something different for you than it does for me.).

    If not, then why did you say it is undesirable when, in fact you don’t believe that it is? Or, if you really think it is undesirable, as you originally stated, then why are you changing your story and shifting the undesirable element to KF and me,

  117. 117
    Silver Asiatic says:

    The moral duty to truth is what we must observe in order to engage in a rational discourse with anyone. The person who denies this duty (as many do) make it impossible to be trusted. In fact, even before observing this duty to truth in conversation – the person has the moral duty to truth to himself. This is a necessary component for rationality.
    Denying this duty is to elevate irrationality and lies to the level of truth.
    The person who attempts such a thing is involved in a self-refuting exercise.
    Error exists. This is necessarily true.
    Therefore truth exists and we must affirm it, or else abandon rationality and reasonable discourse – and deny the value of human nature.

  118. 118
    StephenB says:

    WJM: — “First, I don’t care what “the truth” is in any objective sense. ”

    So now, after evading my questions about morality on the grounds that the word “objective” means something “entirely different” for you than it does for me, you finally confess that you do, after all, know the ordinary meaning of the term.

  119. 119
    jerry says:

    And the circus goes on. Why should anyone answer anything from a person who does not care what truth is?

    I could go and make up a false identity and generate nonsense remarks here and there would be hundreds if not thousand of comment trying to show that nonsense is nonsense. This has been going on for 6 months or so over various threads and there is no end in sight in trying to show that nonsense is nonsense.

    The person originating the nonsense knows exactly what he is doing. His anticipated expectations have probably far exceeded any he originally had.

    So who is the fool here?

  120. 120
    jerry says:

    But I think his criticism of KF’s “duty” argument are spot on..

    Which duty that Kf listed is not a duty for a stable society? I believe his list came from Cicero.

    Here’s the list.

    first duties of reason: to truth, to right reason, to prudence, to sound conscience, to neighbour, so also to fairness and justice

  121. 121
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    What I care about is entirely how to best acquire experiences I enjoy. The only “truths” I care about are entirely about what I subjectively experience. I have unilaterally decided that this is all I care about.

    What makes the experience something you enjoy is that you affirm and uphold the duty of truth. This begins with telling the truth to yourself. Then it moves to telling truth to other people.
    You want to be trusted – but that requires a commitment to the truth.
    In making affirmations, you are making truth statements, even if you only speak to yourself about them. You do not lie to yourself and you know that to do so would be wrong. Then speaking to others, why would anyone listen to what you have to say if you find moral equivalency between telling truth or telling lies.
    You explain your belief – but you could lie about it and then nobody would care.

  122. 122
    Viola Lee says:

    Jerry asks, “Which duty that Kf listed is not a duty for a stable society? ”

    I believe that all the things that KF lists are beneficial for a stable society, and I consider a stable society a valuable good.

    But that is not what KF is claiming. He is claiming the duties flow inescapably from the root of reality. That is very different than invoking the practical value to society. This is one of the critiques that WJM has made: when pressed to support his claims, KF falls back on consequences, or practical benefits, or consensus among people, none of which actually establish the metaphysical point he claims to pertain.

  123. 123
    Silver Asiatic says:

    first duties of reason: to truth, to right reason, to prudence, to sound conscience, to neighbour, so also to fairness and justice

    The person who says “I reject those because I choose my own morals” is starting out with a lie. You can’t reject the duty to truth or right reason and maintain a rational intellect.
    Statement: “I reject the duty to truth”.
    Response: “Really? Do you mean that truthfully or are you lying?”

    You can’t even make one affirmation without affirming the moral value of the truth.
    A person must be required, by duty, to affirm “I will strive always to speak truthfully and not to tell lies”. Even also: “I will strive to learn and tell the truth to myself and uncover all the ways I may be deceiving myself with a lie — and then correct it.”

    I am afraid that a lot of people do not care if they tell themselves a lie – and they don’t try to correct it. But that does not build up the person in the practice of goodness or virtue. We might not like the truth when we see it, but we have to try to conform our mind to it, to the best that we can. Or at least say that we’re struggling to accept it and try to embrace it ultimately.

  124. 124
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Those duties flow from the root of reality. We cannot deny them.
    The duty to truth is objective and necessary.
    If you could even deny those duties (which is logically impossible), you would be irrational and insane.
    Everything starts from the difference between truth and falsehood and our assent to the one and rejection of the other.
    You cannot affirm lies and falsehoods as the root of reality – it’s affirming non-reality and non-existence.

    When a person makes an oath (in the USA we even may say we will keep the oath “so help me God” – so before the perfect justice of God) – they are swearing by something greater, to uphold the truth.
    But what happens if the person says they don’t have a moral duty to the truth – they may tell a lie or not at any time? That’s just arbitrary?
    Telling the truth is embedded in human nature as necessary for a logical understanding (denial of it is a denial of first principles and a sin against intellectual virtue).

  125. 125
    jerry says:

    He is claiming the duties flow inescapably from the root of reality.

    Are we into a definition war? What does “reality” mean?

    This brings back that famous question. “What does “is” mean?”

    Are we dealing with a distinction without a real difference here? It seems that what violates a stable society is a violation of a major reality.

  126. 126
    Silver Asiatic says:

    I got this from BA77 recently – the quickest and easiest way to prove that the value of truth is embedded in the nature of reality: It’s the statement: “Error exists”.
    That statement is objectively true – one cannot have a subjective answer to it (and remain coherent).
    Because it is an objective truth (just like Mt. Rushmore is objective), then our commitment to truth is part of our nature. It is a moral duty as part of rational human nature.
    The proof of this is that yes, it is possible to deny this statement “Error exists”.
    Yes it is possible.

    Claimant: “The statement ‘error exists’ is false”.
    Response: But you just proved error exists by saying the statement is false.
    Claimant: So what? (or Who cares? Or I can say whatever I want. Or it means something to me and it doesn’t matter if you understand).

    In other words, people can choose to be irrational, but not totally. You cannot make a commitment to lie all of the time. Even doing that is the liar’s paradox. “I will always tell a lie”.
    Yes, a person can be insane and contradictory to a large extent and even choose to deny the truth – but it is impossible to affirm anything at all without placing a higher value on truth.

  127. 127
    kairosfocus says:

    VL,

    [122:] He is claiming the duties flow inescapably from the root of reality. That is very different than invoking the practical value to society.

    I have made NO SUCH CLAIM. As you should have known, had you actually paid attention to what was said.

    My argument is far simpler, far more direct, the duties are naturally evident from the course of discussion, reflection and argument. I have specifically, repeatedly shown FROM YOUR OWN OBJECTIONS and those of others my point that even objectors cannot escape appealing to our own implicit recognition of the duties, to gain rhetorical traction for their arguments.

    For example in the clip just above YOU ASSERT THAT A CERTAIN STATE OF AFFAIRS IS THE CASE as a basis for appealing to your reasons for rejection, which you obviously commend to us, expecting us to acknowledge the force of truth and reason. In short, you could not but appeal to truth, reason and warrant as duties. (It so happens that your facts are false and erect a strawman caricature and your reasons amount to knocking over a strawman, but that is secondary. )

    My argument is much like the demonstration of self-evidence of 3 + 2 = 5 in the OP. By direct, consistent inspection and a moment’s reflection we can see how our actual reasoning, arguments, debates and even quarrels inevitably pivot on said duties. So, if inescapable, true and self-evident. Indeed they are antecedents of argument, the stuff from which we build arguments. They CANNOT be proved as proofs appeal to them, they cannot be disproved as the attempt implies their antecedence. So, we are forced to recognise first principles and duties.

    Yes, they are ALSO evidently the fabric of a reasonably functional society, as can be seen from say trying Kant’s categorical imperative to truth vs lying. Lying parasites on the need for overwhelming truth telling for community to be viable. Were lying to become just a common occurrence, trust in verbal or symbolic communication would collapse and society with it. SA and Jerry have that point, but it is not self-evident. Inescapability is.

    As for issues tracing to root reality, you have dragged in a very different issue. Freedom implies moral government rather than mechanical-stochastic. A microprocessor is not freely rational, it simply grinds out outputs per chain of inputs and stored values. It is a mechanism, not a mind. We rationally infer, making real choices, which often face what ought to be done but needs not be done. The issue is this points to an IS-OUGHT gap, and the only level where such can be bridged, post Hume et al, is in the root of reality. That is, at a more complex level of argument than self-evidence [I skip over circular cause and infinite stepwise regress], we can set a bill of requisites to characterise the root of reality.

    It seems a pivotal problem is failure to grasp the concept of self-evidence. It is that certain truths are understood as true once we have a certain level of maturity, understood as necessarily true and that their denial manifests immediate absurdity.

    In this case, the attempted objector cannot but appeal to the first duties of reason s/he would deny. Just, to try to get rhetorical traction.

    But it is manifest that we are here confronting a deeply embedded error in the intellectual history of our civilisation. The obvious culprits are radical relativism, emotivism, subjectivism, hyperskepticism, evolutionary materialistic scientism and their fellow travellers. Currently leading the march of folly threatening to take us all over the cliff.

    KF

  128. 128
    StephenB says:

    Jerry: — “And the circus goes on. Why should anyone answer anything from a person who does not care what truth is?”

    I think it is important to expose the irrational nature of this philosophy because its radical subjectivism is very similar to the ideology that drives the woke culture. UD is one of the few places where rational people can fight back without being canceled.

    When this ideology (“it’s all about me and what I want” or “truth doesn’t matter” or “truth is what I want it to be”) is exposed for what it is, and when its illogical underpinnings are probed, there is a certain clearing of the air. It happens each time WJM dodges a question or cheats on the meaning of words. Observers who pay close attention to the interactions cannot help but notice what is going on.

    You may think that he is getting away with this nonsense, but it doesn’t seem so to me. From my perspective, he has received several knock out blows that completely destroyed his credibility.

  129. 129
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    You have done a long series on the value of the First Principles. So the Law of Identity is a foundation. There is being vs non-being.
    True assigns with being. False assigns with non-being.
    Irrationality is the claim that being is equivalent with non-being.
    Or that there is no objective value distinction between true and false.

  130. 130
    Silver Asiatic says:

    SB

    I think it is important to expose the irrational nature of this philosophy because its radical subjectivism is very similar to the ideology that drives the woke culture. UD is one of the few places where rational people can fight back without being canceled.

    True. I just read an essay in New Oxford Review where the author points out a growing “Berkeleyism” among people who spend too much time on Twitter or social media and they begin to think that whatever happens on these places or is videoed on Youtube is “more real” than reality itself. Or that there is no reality at all – just their own thoughts.

  131. 131
    jerry says:

    You may think that he is getting away with this nonsense, but it doesn’t seem so to me.

    it’s been going on for almost a year. My guess, a couple thousand comments.

    It’s a charade.

  132. 132
    paige says:

    KM

    I have specifically, repeatedly shown FROM YOUR OWN OBJECTIONS and those of others my point that even objectors cannot escape appealing to our own implicit recognition of the duties, to gain rhetorical traction for their arguments.

    I find it very revealing that you use the word “implicit” rather than “explicit”.

    Yes, we all interact with others under the “implicit” expectation that they will interact honestly and logically. Just because this is what we “expect” doesn’t mean that this is what we always get. It is an expectation we have of others, not a duty. When we run into people who do not meet our expectations, we stop interacting with them.

    From the very early days of our children’s lives we instil in them the importance of being honest in their interactions with others. We do this because, through experience, we know that being honest with others makes our existence in society much easier. But if we weren’t a gregarious animal, would we be doing this?

  133. 133
    jerry says:

    But if we weren’t a gregarious animal, would we be doing this?

    But we have a nature? Do all these duties flow from that nature? Do all these duties flow from the need to survive and flourish which are part of that nature?

    Isn’t the word “implicit” a more accurate description of something that is part of us, part of our nature?

    Now someone may say that is not part of their nature but if it was not part of most natures would such a species survive? I doubt it. Would then the person who said it was not a duty for themselves be a parasite?

  134. 134
    kairosfocus says:

    Paige, we mostly don’t explicitly work out principles like this, they are worked on. If I doubt that your claim is true and think your reasoning is flawed, I will reject your claim without working through law of identity, corollaries, fallacies by name, cogency, probabilities etc. KF

  135. 135
    Viola Lee says:

    When I said, “He is claiming the duties flow inescapably from the root of reality,” KF responded, at 127, “I have made NO SUCH CLAIM. As you should have known, had you actually paid attention to what was said.””

    Here is a quote from KF, identical to, or similar to, one he has posted many times:

    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.

    In short, our duties comes from God, at the root of reality.

    I think I have been paying attention! 🙂

  136. 136
    paige says:

    When I discuss issues with other people, I appeal to my expectations of them. Just because I am appealing to these expectations doesn’t mean that I am appealing to “duty” or “right reason”, whatever that means.

    If people don’t meet my expectations, I stop interacting with them. None of this means that these expectations (duties in KF speak) are inherent in to our existence. .

  137. 137
    kairosfocus says:

    VL,

    you have extracted from one context and substituted into another. Here is the actual summary argument,. so it can be absolutely clear why I am saying what I said — a discussion of self-evidence which is then fitted into social context and world frameworks that logically come AFTER the self-evidence is addressed:

    [STEP ZERO:] 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. [–> notice, self evidence and the means to see it are set out at the outset. This is before anything that follows.]

    [STEP 1:] Namely, duties, to truth, to right reason, to prudence, to sound conscience, to neighbour; so also, to fairness and justice etc.

    [STEP 2:] 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 sometimes seek to evade duties or may make inadvertent 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. Perhaps, a negative form will help to clarify, for cause we find to be at best hopelessly error-riddled, those who are habitually untruthful, fallacious and/or irrational, imprudent, fail to soundly warrant claims, show a benumbed or dead conscience [i.e. sociopathy and/or highly machiavellian tendencies], dehumanise and abuse others, are unfair and unjust. At worst, such are utterly dangerous, destructive,or even ruthlessly, demonically lawless.

    [STEP 3:] Such built-in . . . thus, universal . . . law, then, 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.)

    [STEP 4:] 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.

    [STEP 5:] 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. 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.]

    [STEP 6:] 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.

    [STEP 7:] The first duties, also [–> notice, long after self evidence has been demonstrated through inescapability], are a framework for understanding and articulating the corpus of built-in law of our morally governed nature, antecedent to civil laws and manifest [–> show forth] 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. [–> such is elaborated and argued elsewhere, on an inference to best explanation basis not self evidence]

    In short, you have set up and knocked over a strawman caricature.

    KF

  138. 138
    William J Murray says:

    BA77 said:

    WJM, if there was a poll, I don’t think you would like the results.

    Do you really think I would care?

    And although I was initially sympathetic to your theory, you lost me when you, basically, said that empirical evidence is of little consequence to your theory. ,,,

    I don’t think I ever said anything remotely like that. I said that external (of my experience) evidence has no impact on my personal views; the IRT I am arguing is entirely constructed and supported by logic and evidence. I’ve laid out the argument and evidence several times. Heck, almost every bit of evidence you’ve posted on the results of quantum experiments supports IRT. My personal views and what I am prepared to argue are two different things.

    If I remember correctly, where you lost interest was when I said my personal beliefs are not built on or depend on any external evidence. My IRT stands or falls on it’s own logical and (external, scientific, empirical) evidential merits.

  139. 139
    William J Murray says:

    SB:

    So now, after evading my questions about morality on the grounds that the word “objective” means something “entirely different” for you than it does for me, you finally confess that you do, after all, know the ordinary meaning of the term.

    I didn’t say that I didn’t know the ordinary meaning of the term. I know what it means in your perspective; that’s not what it means in mine.

  140. 140
    William J Murray says:

    SB said:

    You may think that he is getting away with this nonsense, but it doesn’t seem so to me. From my perspective, he has received several knock out blows that completely destroyed his credibility.

    The credibility of the person making a logical argument, has no bearing on the success or failure of the argument. Arguments stand or fall on their own merit. Those that appeal to the lack of credibility of the person making the argument as a defense against the argument is making an error of logic.

  141. 141
    William J Murray says:

    If KF is utterly credible, and I am utterly non-credible, it doesn’t matter when it comes to the argument at hand. What KF is asserting is not only that he, personally, has these duties; he is claiming that he, I, and everyone on the planet has these duties. He is also characterizing “why” I say the things I do, why I argue the way I do, and act the way I do – whether I agree or not, whether I know it or not – that it is because I implicitly expect others to “obey their duty.”

    That’s a big claim. It’s also utter nonsense. KF doesn’t know why I do what I do; he doesn’t know what I’m expecting from others; he’s projecting his own motivations, views, expectations and psychology onto others.

    1. Existentially unavoidable behavior (fundamental logical relationships) does not make or indicate a duty.

    2 An appeal to consequences does not establish a “moral duty.”

    3. Objective morality, and any moral statement, is not self-evidentially true because the contrary does not result in an absurdity, which is how we recognize what is self-evidently true.

    QED

  142. 142
    Sandy says:

    William J Murray
    KF doesn’t know why I do what I do;

    What about doctor ? What did he say?

  143. 143
    StephenB says:

    —WJM — “I didn’t say that I didn’t know the ordinary meaning of the term [objective morality]. I know what it means in your perspective; that’s not what it means in mine.”

    What does objective morality mean “in your perspective” and how does it differ from the ordinary meaning? Why would you use a word outside of its ordinary meaning except to distract, mislead, and misdirect? (You have already acknowledged that you often say things you don’t really mean. Is that what is going on here?)

    In keeping with that point, I found it necessary to ask you several other questions about your position and you dodged them all. Are you afraid to be honest about your position on objective morality? If not, then why do you feel the need to run and hide. Are you afraid to even tell us your own personal and private definition of objective morality, which as you made clear, differs from everyone else’s definition?

    Is your word view so irrational and your communicative approach so deceptive that you cannot even have an honest conversation with another human being? If so, then you can hardly be “enjoying” your life” as you so often claim.

    Just so that you will know, objective morality means the same thing from everyone’s perspective. That is why people use words that have a distinct meaning – to project a clear idea that everyone can understand and follow.

    Meanwhile, my earlier questions persist:

    Do you agree that murder is objectively wrong?

    According to your world view, is their anything [objectively] wrong with the right-makes-right principle?

  144. 144
    StephenB says:

    WJM: —“The credibility of the person making a logical argument, has no bearing on the success or failure of the argument. Arguments stand or fall on their own merit.”

    Arguments also fall on their own merits if the person who makes them refuses to address relevant questions about them. An argument that cannot withstand scrutiny is a failed argument.

  145. 145
    Viola Lee says:

    re 137: KF, you have never established that a duty to justice, our neighbor, sound conscience, etc. are self evident. Those are self-evident to you because of your metaphysical and theological beliefs, the major premise of which I quoted. You think the self-evidency comes first and helps establish the conclusion, but that is false. You have a conclusion and build all you other various beliefs around that.

    But my points were to Jerry: both that social stability is a valued outcome for all, including secularists, and that social stability is not the basis of your support for the duties you mention.

  146. 146
    Sandy says:

    KF they really don’t understand that they actually promote “first duties” as they react(with messages against “first duties”). They involuntary make your case stronger.

  147. 147
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Sandy

    KF they really don’t understand that they actually promote “first duties” as they react(with messages against “first duties”). They involuntary make your case stronger.

    Exactly. It’s a self-refuting argument. It’s not even an argument since the claim that “I have no duty to the truth” is a denial of the foundations of logic and human reason. It’s claiming there is no duty to the law of non-contradiction. Nothing that person states can be trusted. They cannot even trust themselves since to tell lie has the same moral value as to tell themselves the truth.
    The person who publicly states that they have no moral responsibility to the truth has just exempted themselves from rational discussion. KF used this negative construct:

    those who are habitually untruthful, fallacious and/or irrational, imprudent, fail to soundly warrant claims, show a benumbed or dead conscience [i.e. sociopathy and/or highly machiavellian tendencies], dehumanise and abuse others, are unfair and unjust. At worst, such are utterly dangerous, destructive,or even ruthlessly, demonically lawless.

    That’s a good summary. It is dehumanizing (since human nature is oriented towards the truth of things, towards virtue and the good), pathological, unjust and demonic.
    In psychiatric terms, if a patient says they have no conscience towards the truth and perceive no duty towards it, that is evidence of a pathology.
    But again, this is normal for atheism. Its foundation is on irrationality and lies – so there can be no reason to have a duty or responsibility towards anyone. But the same people will insist that there are moral norms. Plus, they continue to insist that people accept what they say as being truthful – at the same time they deny that they have a duty to tell the truth. They can’t make a simple affirmation – can’t even tell themselves positively that they exist, because that would be an affirmation of an objective truth.
    It’s pretty incredible that none of this registers. It’s sad and frustrating.

  148. 148
    jerry says:

    that it is because I implicitly expect others to “obey their duty.”

    If they don’t do their duties you will probably end up a dead person and eventually the ones that remove you will also be removed from society too as others do their duties.

    In past times, people with the attitudes you express would have been crushed. Today it’s possible to get away with it because there’s so much abundance to enable this type of parasitic behavior to exist on a small scale. But if too many exhibited this behavior the society would not survive.

    So you can get away with the parasitic behavior you espouse only under certain conditions. Most people have an internal desire for self worth that you don’t seem to possess which is why you can survive in today’s world. In past times you would have been eliminated in some way.

  149. 149
    Viola Lee says:

    re 147:

    SA, please keep my position separate from WJM’s. I agree with him on some specific points, mostly not on his general philosophy of life, and definitely not on some of his claims about the consequences of his IRT.

    I very much believe in justice, the value of caring for one’s neighbor, the value of a stabile society, the search for reliable truth, moral responsibility, etc. That is different in not believing in the framework KF advances any what those things mean, in detail, and how they function in human lives.

    I think your description of what atheism means is an unreasonable caricature. Or better yet, a large man stuffed with straw. 🙂

    P.S. I am not a materialist. I an atheist in the sense that I don’t believe any human conceptions of God and other religious beliefs are true. Just FYI.

  150. 150
    Karen McMannus says:

    It’s amusing that people here get all worked up when WJM pulls their philosophical panties down.

  151. 151
    Karen McMannus says:

    WJM…

    1. Existentially unavoidable behavior (fundamental logical relationships) does not make or indicate a duty.

    2 An appeal to consequences does not establish a “moral duty.”

    3. Objective morality, and any moral statement, is not self-evidentially true because the contrary does not result in an absurdity, which is how we recognize what is self-evidently true.

    Masterful take down, Sir. Worthy of framing. Bravo. Let’s get together and shoot some golf sometime soon. Everyone is invited.

  152. 152
    kairosfocus says:

    Vl,Here we go again,

    >>you have never established>>

    – appeal to duties to truth, to right reason and to warrant (an aspect of prudence)

    – See the inescapability at the outset?

    – Contrast, anyone can assert a dismissal of any claim s/he rejects and that is his/her truth and/or his/her reason. Do you see the resulting incoherent chaos?

    >>that a duty to justice, our neighbor, sound conscience, etc>>

    – Notice, where you begin on the list and what you leave off? What does that tell us, as the list is in fact extremely cumulative?

    – in fact, duty to sound conscience requires first, soundness then second, respect for the inner voice that starts with thinking straight and doing the right with direct testimony to such duties.

    — of course, one may warp, disregard, benumb and crush the conscience. Such people are increasingly familiar, they have one or more of several known disorders, they are sociopaths, they suffer highly machiavellian and/or narcissistic trends, they are dark triad, they are sadistic or nihilistic etc.

    – such can neither think nor act straight or make sound decisions until and unless they do a lot of deep, existential threat level psychological and spiritual repair work. If you bust your compass, don’t be surprised that you cannot navigate your boat or the ship of state.

    – as for the last three in the list, duty to neighbour who is as we are is a simple matter of reciprocity of the sound conscience guided, morally governed in community, where as is often indicated by a “so also” when I list such duties, fairness and justice are close corollaries. This is similar to law of identity, lnc and lem

    – Where, the last, justice, is expanded in a more or less classic phrase from jurisprudence: due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities. This defines the civil peace of justice and frames sound and sustainable civil law, with a particular emphasis on mutuality.

    – linked, is the concept that your right 9which is associated with your freedom as inherent to your humanity and as is to be recognised under law in civil society) implies my duty to recognise and uphold or safeguard that right. Your right to life implies that I cannot have a right to drink and drive recklessly, for simple instance.

    – at the same time, I can have no right to demand that you act unjustly or deceitfully or evilly or crush the soundness of your conscience, to support my claims.

    – That is, to justly claim a right I must first manifestly be in the right. This is a problem just now.

    >>. are self evident.>>

    – this requires some reflective inspection and observation that sees the inescapability and acknowledges it. That is the opposite of selective hyperskepticism defaults to being one’s own truth.

    – Observe how your arguments so far are riddled with implicit demands that I act towards truth, right reason and fairness as you imagine them to be. How, once such are set aside, they have no force of persuasion, no rhetorical traction . . . and how a community cannot be built on that.

    — In short we yet again see here how evils parasite on the good to gain advantage from how people do not normally act like that.

    >> Those are self-evident to you because of your metaphysical and theological beliefs, >>

    – projection.

    – in fact, I explicitly started from Cicero’ who was a pagan stoic thinker, i.e. from someone whose worldview is drastically different from my own. It is he who suggested that certain duties of built-in law coeval with our humanity are tantamount to self-evident, as the consensus deposit of his equally pagan antecedents.

    – I was particularly provoked by his summary:

    for “Law (say they [Cicero’s antecedents]) 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 [= “the proposition resulting from an interchange of subject and predicate with each other”] 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. [–> in short, highest reason applied to justice is equivalent to the law of our rationally governed nature]

    They [Cicero’s antecedents] 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. They think, too, that the Greek name for law (NOMOS), which is derived from NEMO, to distribute, implies the very nature of the thing, that is, to give every man his due. [–> this implies a definition of justice as the due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities]

    – Here, there is a structure of thought, from BEFORE 50 BC, which speaks to Greek-Roman reflection on justice, government, law and state, with implicit antecedents going back to the river valley civilisations of the wider fertile crescent.

    – Again, they start with our ensouled, enconscienced rationality as key defining characteristics of our humanity. Where, in the relevant sense from Plato’s The Laws Bk X, soul means self-moved, reflexively causal entities that thus show themselves to be alive through acting as first causes.

    – The duties of the first cluster are duties to our core nature. Those of the second cluster are duties of community of those of like nature, i.e. mutuality.

    – recall, this is something that is coming from pagan thought, not theistic thought. Yes, Paul and Jesus pointed to such acknowledged nature but I think it is manifest that the nature is a commons of responsible thinkers across time, space and culture. When Paul described cretans as criticised by one of their own as liars, lazy gluttons etc, he was pointing to the view of their own enlightened thinkers. (And BTW, this does not mean every time they spoke they lied, just that if they saw an opening to gain advantage, they would freely deceive and defraud. The result can be imagined.)

    >>the major premise of which I quoted. >>

    – Again, snipped out of context to erect a strawman target, changing the subject and mischaracterising the issue.

    – insistently knocking over a strawman simply shows that cognitive dissonance is at work, why do you “need” to project theism as a rationality corrupting frame of thought to the despised other?

    – Do you not see how, yet again, you appeal to duties of responsible reason, even as you flout and try to dismiss them?

    >>You think the self-evidency comes first and helps establish the conclusion,>>

    – first, the argument, in essence is ancient, it is by no means the dubious thoughts of some misguided theist on an internet soapbox. Something pointed out many, many times.

    – Why do you imagine that I have — for several years — given credit to Cicero? Noting, onward, that he is drawing on those who went before him? Again, a pagan Stoic.

    – Your attempt to personalise and polarise fails.

    – further, your attempted denials and dismissals of self evidence are in fact riddled with appeals to said duties of reason; they are as advertised, inescapable.

    – Inescapable because they are in key part constitutive of our rational nature.

    – Inescapable, so first truths of undeniable character, i.e. self-evident.

    – It is onward that one can and should freely ask, what accounts for a world with such strange creatures in it as we are: rational, responsible, significantly free, so governed by ought and struggling to live up to what we know we should be.

    – that leads to Hume’s guillotine argument, running in reverse to his assumed conclusion. Reasoning is-is then leaping to ought-ought points to a gap that can only be bridged at the root of reality.

    – for coherence of the system of reality, we need to find at root of reality an IS that simultaneously, by its inherent nature, adequately grounds OUGHT.

    – this sets up a bill of requisites, the inherently good and utterly wise, with power to be source-sustainer of worlds with creatures such as we are.

    – As I have argued for years, there is just one serious candidate to fill that bill: the inherently good and utterly wise creator God, a necessary and maximally great being.

    – And as this is the issue of Is-OUGHT influenced by that of ONE-MANY, it is philosophy, not theology.

    – As such, if you disagree the challenge (unmet for years) is to put up a second serious candidate _____ and to show cause as to why it is a superior worldview level explanation _____ i/l/o comparative difficulties across factual adequacy, coherence and balanced explanatory power (neither ad hoc nor simplistic).

    – what I keep finding, including in this case, is snip-snipe hyperskepticism

    >>but that is false.>>

    – do you not see the blatant appeal to duties to truth, right reason and sound warrant implied by that heavily loaded word, false?

    – you go on to falsely project question begging, while failing to see that that is an appeal to right reason.

    – in short, you again demonstrate the inescapability of the first duties.

    – as to the claim of falsity, the above shows that it is you who have erred by erecting and knocking over a strawman, starting with trying to make it out that I am the source of the argument.

    – How many times will I have to attribute the argument to its true source, that fundy, Bible-thumping backwoods of Appalachia preacher — NOT — Cicero?

    – Don’t you see that your whole argument collapses from outset as it comes from 2070+ years ago, from a source with a worldview as alien to mine as yours is? The reason I find Cicero compelling is that he is speaking to facts and issues of law thus of how our highest reason works.

    – We need to face those issues, not duck them through strawman tactics such as trying to create a strawman mock-KF as imagined source.

    >>You have a conclusion and build all you other various beliefs around that.>>

    – at this stage, tediously false through erecting and knocking over a strawman.

    KF

  153. 153
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: On the significance of inescapability, it is another stoic — Epictetus — whose thoughts were first brought to my attention 43 years ago in a compulsory survey course which we all resented, in my UNI:

    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]

    That’s how you spot a first truth.

  154. 154
    Sandy says:

    If someone disagree with somebody else no matter the subject this is evidence that exist the objective truth concept in all people(all disagree with something , including yesmen). If this concept/idea/framework of objective truth is present in all people then must be true. Who disagree will prove me right.

  155. 155
    William J Murray says:

    SB said:

    Arguments also fall on their own merits if the person who makes them refuses to address relevant questions about them. An argument that cannot withstand scrutiny is a failed argument.

    Asking me about my personal views is entirely irrelevant to the arguments on the table. We’re not arguing about my personal views; we’re arguing about the existence of objective morality and whether or not a statement about murder represents something self-evidently true. “Murder is not wrong” does not represent an absurdity. Therefore, it is not self-evidently true.

    Here, I’ll give you some help: something can still be objectively true and not represent a statement that is self-evidently true. The relevant question is not “does WJM believe that murder is objectively wrong” because the argument is not about what I personally believe; it’s about whether or not the statement can be shown to be objectively true or false.

    It’s not my job to demonstrate that a moral statement is not objectively true; it’s your job to show that there are objectively true moral statements. Good luck with that.

  156. 156
    jerry says:

    Looks like we have a second parasite commenting here

    1. Existentially unavoidable behavior (fundamental logical relationships) does not make or indicate a duty.

    No it (fundamental logical relationships) points to behaviors that are self destructive. So if people do not do their duty (logical imperatives,) they perish. Is it a duty to keep people from unnecessary death? Apparently not for a couple commenters.

    2. An appeal to consequences does not establish a “moral duty.”

    So if These commenters drove a car 90 miles an hour through town and hit a few people, the killing or maiming of them has no moral consequences. What would be the reaction of the towns people to this. I don’t believe they would just shrug their shoulders especially the relatives of those injured or killed.

    3. Objective morality, and any moral statement, is not self-evidentially true because the contrary does not result in an absurdity, which is how we recognize what is self-evidently true.

    When the contrary results in the unnecessary violent end of a species that is not an absurdity. Would the then violent elimination of this behavior be an absurdity?

    This is a worldview that would last about one generation.

    By the way golf courses don’t actually exist in a mental world. Hate to slice up your game

  157. 157
    William J Murray says:

    SA @147 said:

    Exactly. It’s a self-refuting argument. It’s not even an argument since the claim that “I have no duty to the truth” is a denial of the foundations of logic and human reason. It’s claiming there is no duty to the law of non-contradiction.

    You and KF are conflating fundamentally necessary logical relationships (according to the principles of logic) with a duty to those relationships. Nobody is denying or arguing against the necessity of those fundamental, necessary logical relationships; what is being argued is whether or not a “duty” to them can be established. Simply asserting a duty doesn’t cut it.

    An argument for such an existential duty must be separate from the argument that those relationships are self-evidently true.

    So, how would one establish that we have such a “duty?” First, we must realized that KF is not making a psychological argument; that we universally have some sort of subconscious or unconscious psychological “duty,” because that wouldn’t cut it for making the case that such duties are existentially necessary. Second, one cannot appeal to potential undesirable consequences of not doing your duty, because that would be an appeal to consequences in a way that is not logically sound. Thus, the entire argument he keeps repeating about how to set up a society that is not a “lawless oligarchy” is not a sound argument, because that is an appeal to a non-absurd consequence of not fulfilling our duty.

    The only way to make the case for existentially necessary duties is to show how, if they did not exist, it would lead to a self-contradictory absurdity. Yet, that case cannot be made without conflating duties with necessary logical relationships. If nobody has such duties, every action and thought would still reflect the necessary logical relationships because those cannot be escaped. So, what then is the self-contradictory absurdity that would be the consequence of the absence of the duty?

    KF argues that mutual expectations of truth demonstrate our appeal to these duties. So what if the duties did not exist? Let’s say we would have no expectation that others are telling us truths. It’s not that truths would not exist or be identifiable; that’s existentially necessary on its own. Reasoning would still exist sans duty, because it represents fundamental, necessary logical relationships. Thus, we could still identify truths, and identify when someone is telling the truth or not. We could still develop a model of who we can trust to tell us truths, and who we cannot, by reasoning the patterns of behaviors in people.

    Can we “expect” our logical and evidential arguments to “gain traction” if other people do not existentially operate out of a duty to proper reasoning? Here’s a question for you: how would you figure that out? If your assumption is that everyone has this existential duty, how would you figure out how people would behave without that existential behavioral commodity? There would be nothing to compare it against to understand what its absence would do to the behavior of sentient beings like humans.

    Summary of argument above: to make the case for existentially necessary duties, one must make the case for the duty separate from what are recognized and accepted as valid fundamental logic and fundamental logical relationships. This case can only be made by showing how the absence of such duties (on their own) would result in a self-contradictory absurdity. Pointing at behaviors (even if universal) cannot make that case. Pointing at calamitous results cannot make that case. Neither of those things represent a self-contradictory absurdity, which is what is required to make the case that a duty on its own represents an existential necessity.

    The person who publicly states that they have no moral responsibility to the truth has just exempted themselves from rational discussion. KF used this negative construct:

    Whether or not one has a moral responsibility to “truth” is an entirely irrelevant consideration in these arguments. Nobody is asking you to buy a car from them or trust them with your money. Logical arguments stand or fall on their own merit independent of the “moral character” of those making the arguments.

  158. 158
    jerry says:

    By the way Murray is on record as saying enjoyment takes priority over survival. Of course he is also on record that he does not tell the truth.

    So if one uses logic to show that certain behaviors (duties) are necessary for survival (that is they are moral) he will reject them as absurd because something else takes priority over survival, namely his personal enjoyment. So morality in such a belief system is whether it provides enjoyment or not.

    Ignores the obvious that survival is necessary for enjoyment.

    Now if anyone believes he believes this, they are really stupid. If they then try to convince him he is wrong, they are being incredibly more stupid. But stupidly is the norm here.

    Now is my comment aimed at him? No! It’s aimed at those who respond to him. They are the ones demonstrating stupidity.

    I expect hundreds of more comments trying to convince him he is wrong (which is his objective.) There have already been thousands. So maybe I am underestimating the stupidity here.

  159. 159
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, for record, the necessity of logic is distinct identity. You cannot communicate without using it, however a lot of people then try to reject it (sometimes by suggesting that q theory overturns it). So even there there is freedom, and freedom comes with moral government, ought vs is. You are free to be untruthful, illogical, imprudent, reckless in knowledge and fact claims, crush conscience and disregard neighbour. What you are not free to do is to break the force of actual obligations, and in trying to persuade others you will be forced to appeal to the implicit recognition of such duties normally functioning people have. Already, you have made some imprudent declarations that you would be well advised to reconsider. KF

  160. 160
    asauber says:

    Jerry,

    The fact that someone responds to an unserious commenter doesn’t mean the responder is stupid. I sometimes respond to JVL, Paige, Viola, Sev, Bob O’h, WJM, etc for entertainment value, and because sometimes I just like to read my own writing, and also because if I didn’t respond to them every once in awhile, I wouldn’t be engaged as much with the material here at UD at least on a limited basis, and I think UD is worth staying engaged with.

    Andrew

  161. 161
    Viola Lee says:

    Note to KF. No one is denying the inescapability of the laws of logic. You have a hard time discriminating between different parts of an argument.

  162. 162
    ET says:

    Too funny. Viola says that KF has “a hard time discriminating between different parts of an argument”, yet conflates how the design was implemented with the ability to determine design exists.

    Viola you forgot to tell us how we are supposed to figure out the “how” the design was implemented seeing that it is way above our current capabilities.

  163. 163
    Viola Lee says:

    Different topic, ET, but I’m perfectly clear on that distinction. Not sure what I said on the other thread that makes you think otherwise.

  164. 164
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    If nobody has such duties, every action and thought would still reflect the necessary logical relationships because those cannot be escaped. So, what then is the self-contradictory absurdity that would be the consequence of the absence of the duty?

    You can deny the duty to the truth. Logical relationships are only necessary for those who establish logic and truth as the foundation of their worldview.
    “I deny the moral duty to truth” means that the person attempts to establish a foundation on an irrational basis – by using lies and illogic.
    By your every argument, however, you observe a duty to truth – you adhere to the laws of truth and logic. We say this is “necessary” only because it is “necessary” for those who want to speak logically and to use their rational capabilities. A person can seek to destroy their rational faculties and live in a totally irrational, insane mentality. That is the consequence of denying the duty to truth.
    But it’s more than that. Just because a commitment to truth is necessary for logical argument, does not mean that truth will always rise to the top.
    A person who says “I have no moral duty to the truth” is establishing that they do not have the duty to speak truthfully, to follow the truth, to accept logical formulations and draw conclusions.
    Many, many people adopt this attitude. The atheist worldview is based on this – it’s a violation of the duty to seek, uphold and honor the truth.
    Morally, it is in human nature to adhere to the duty to truth. But we are free to act in an immoral nature and to tell lies, and act irrationally.

    The only way to make the case for existentially necessary duties is to show how, if they did not exist, it would lead to a self-contradictory absurdity.

    The statement “I have no moral duty to the truth” is a self-contradictory absurdity. QED.
    That statement cannot be evaluated for its truth content. “Whatever I have to say, I might speak the truth or falsehood – I have no moral obligation either way”. Is that statement true or false?

    “At any moment, I freely and without conscience, with no moral obligation to anyone, with no duty to the truth – I might tell a lie”.

    That statement is absurd and meaningless. It is self-refuting and insane. Nobody can understand it. If it is true, then it might be a lie. But there is no way to falsify it.

  165. 165
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    If your assumption is that everyone has this existential duty, how would you figure out how people would behave without that existential behavioral commodity?

    You’re thinking that since truth is a moral duty, then everyone necessarily observes that duty. But we have ample evidence of people who do not uphold the duty to truth. They contradict themselves by using logic, but with no moral duty to the truth, they can deny basic syllogisms – and they do.

    All mammals are animals.
    Elephants are mammals.
    Therefore elephants are … ???

    If there is no duty to the truth? Then, ok, elephants are not animals.
    We ask “how is this possible” – -and the answers are numerous and varied:
    “It’s a subjective opinion. ”
    “I have unique thoughts about elephants and I don’t accept that syllogism.”
    “Sure all mammals are animals. Sure elephants are mammals – but I just disagree that elephants are animals. I just don’t like the idea of that.”

    KF provided an answer I will highlight:

    You are free to be untruthful, illogical, imprudent, reckless in knowledge and fact claims, crush conscience and disregard neighbour.

    We are not compelled to use logic and reason – not by force of anything. We choose freely to adhere to rational constructs and we express ourselves in an atmosphere of trust. The assumption is that we honor and strive to fulfill the duty to the truth and the virtue of intellectual integrity (honesty).
    But this is not determined by biology or evolution – it’s a free choice.
    People can and do violate the moral duty to the truth quite frequently.
    In my worldview, that’s a sin and requires change, repentance and amendment whenever it is recognized. That’s how we grow in moral virtue.

  166. 166
    Viola Lee says:

    to SA at 165: I’ll repeat: no one is denying the inescapability of the laws of logic, and no one would argue with your syllogism as your parody suggests. The point is that there is a difference between this inescapability, which we agree with, and the claim that we have a duty to use logic. As WJM said above, “Existentially unavoidable behavior (fundamental logical relationships) does not make or indicate a duty.”

    Here’s an analogy to consider: if I jump off a building, do I have a duty to fall? 🙂

  167. 167
    asauber says:

    “Here’s an analogy to consider: if I jump off a building, do I have a duty to fall?”

    VL,

    This is a bad analogy, of course. The question is: “If I jump off a building when I know it’s a long way and I will kill myself for no reason, should I care?”

    Andrew

  168. 168
    Viola Lee says:

    It’s not a bad analogy about the argument that we have a duty to use the laws of logic. Caring about life is a different issue, but my analogy is not about that.

  169. 169
    asauber says:

    “It’s not a bad analogy about the argument that we have a duty to use the laws of logic’

    VL,

    It’s a bad analogy because logic can only be utilized with a purpose, otherwise the result logic gives you is meaningless.

    Andrew

  170. 170
    William J Murray says:

    SA said:

    You can deny the duty to the truth. Logical relationships are only necessary for those who establish logic and truth as the foundation of their worldview.

    You’re not understanding what “existentially necessary” means. My ability to think or say anything remotely meaningful, like “I’m hungry” or “I’m walking to the store,” or a decision to do X and not Y, existentially require reference to the principles of identity (identification), excluded middle and non-contradiction. No sentient being can even begin to operate outside of those fundamental logical relationships whether believe in them, or are even aware of them as such.

    “I deny the moral duty to truth” means that the person attempts to establish a foundation on an irrational basis – by using lies and illogic.

    Nope. One is perfectly capable of denying a duty to truth and accepting self-evident truths, fundamental, unavoidable logical relationships and understanding the efficacy of reasoning in pursuing their goals.

    By your every argument, however, you observe a duty to truth – you adhere to the laws of truth and logic.,

    You are conflating the separate, proposed duty with existential unavoidable behaviors, and perhaps with psychology and motivations. Because I unavoidably use the fundamental principles of logic and unavoidable logical relationships in my arguments (and in anything I say anywhere at any time,) and because I choose to make my arguments here as logically sound as possible, does not imply I have a duty to do so.

    You’re thinking that since truth is a moral duty, then everyone necessarily observes that duty. But we have ample evidence of people who do not uphold the duty to truth.

    I am not thinking that, never said it, nor implied it. That people can lie has no bearing whatsoever on whether or not a “duty” to truth is existentially necessary because the nature of a duty is that you can violate or not fulfill it. Otherwise, it’s just an existential “is,” like fundamental logical principles and relationships. The burden you and KF bear if you’re going to claim that such duties are existentially necessary (self-evident) is to show the absurdity that would result without the duty. Note: the duty to logical reasoning and the inescapable, existential qualities of the principles of logic and logical relationships are not the same thing as a duty to carry those things out beyond what is unavoidably, existentially necessary.

    We are not compelled to use logic and reason – not by force of anything.

    Of course we are, up until where said use is avoidable. You cannot avoid the existential requirement of the principles of identity, excluded middle and non-contradiction or else you could not identify yourself, an experience, any difference between experience, the difference between you and “other,” etc. Sentience cannot exist without it, regardless of you believe in it or not, understand it or not.

  171. 171
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, for record, the necessity of logic is distinct identity. You cannot communicate without using it, however a lot of people then try to reject it (sometimes by suggesting that q theory overturns it).

    Agree 100 %

    So even there there is freedom,

    What do you mean by “even there? Even where? I agree, and have always agreed, that people have the option to “turn away” from logic except where it is inescapable in order to even think about or communicate their denial or objection to logic.

    … and freedom comes with moral government,

    Bald assertion with counterfactuals in evidence (sociopaths.)

    You are free to be untruthful, illogical, imprudent, reckless in knowledge and fact claims, crush conscience and disregard neighbour. What you are not free to do is to break the force of actual obligations,

    I think you’re about to conflate “duty” with “existentially inescapable behavior and relationships required for sentient thought” again ….

    … and in trying to persuade others you will be forced to appeal to the implicit recognition of such duties …

    Nope. Such duties have not been established as existent. What I am “forced” to appeal to are unavoidable fundamental logical principles and relationships, not duties.

    … normally functioning people have.

    There’s the appeal to “common human behavior,” which cannot make the case such duties exist.

    Already, you have made some imprudent declarations that you would be well advised to reconsider. KF

    And there’s the chastising warning made in lieu of a sound argument for the existential necessity of moral duties.

    Note: I have challenged KF and others several to to demonstrate how the lack of duty to truth (not the lack ability to recognize and employ truths, not the lack of the existentially necessary principles of logic and their relationships) would lead to a self-contradictory, absurd conclusion.

    I’ll assume this is because they know they cannot make that argument. This is why we get appeals to “normally functioning people,” dire consequences and the constant conflation of duty and what is existentially unavoidable. I think this is also probably now why my “credibility” has become a concern where my credibility has no bearing on the matter; if you can’t win the argument, attack the person.

    BTW, what I have actually said about whether or not I tell the truth is that I admit that sometimes, in various situations and for various reasons, I lie. Anyone that claims they do not ever lie, in any situation for any reason, is IMO full of it. And the fact that I’m willing to admit it counts against me?

    Here’s a headline: people can say they have a duty to truth and be lying about it. It would serve to make what they say more credible to more people. What have I done by admitting that sometimes I lie and that I don’t have a duty to truth? What does my doing that gain me?

    Well, for one, I said I always tell the truth as best I know and am able in this forum because it is necessary to gain what I want to gain here. Second, that statement makes plain the following: my arguments do not rely on whether or not I’m telling the truth, they stand or fall on their own merits.

    It’s a form of “don’t believe me; follow the logic. Don’t believe me, find and follow the facts and the evidence.” It’s of no value to me that someone believe anything I say, or accept my arguments, because they find me “credible.” Of what value is “credibility” to me in this forum? It has zero value in a forum that is about logic, facts and evidence.

  172. 172
    StephenB says:

    WJM: — “Asking me about my personal views is entirely irrelevant to the arguments on the table. We’re not arguing about my personal views; we’re arguing about the existence of objective morality and whether or not a statement about murder represents something self-evidently true. “Murder is not wrong” does not represent an absurdity. Therefore, it is not self-evidently true.”

    Part of the process of achieving a fair exchange of ideas with you would include the privilege of asking follow up questions about some of your statements, especially those that appear to be illogical and nonsensical. In your special case, it is doubly important since, by your own admission, you often say things that you do not believe in order to entertain yourself or achieve some rhetorical effect. How can I know if you really meant what you just wrote unless I ask specific questions that have been framed to elicit an honest response? Dodging them is a tacit admission that you would prefer to be dishonest. So, here we go again: Do you agree that it is inherently wrong to torture babies for fun? Yes or no.

    Meanwhile, the comment “murder is not wrong” is clearly an absurdity. According to the philosophical (not legal) definition, murder is the “unjust” taking of a human life. To say that it is not wrong is to say that it is not unjust, which would be both contradictory and absurd.

    —“The relevant question is not “does WJM believe that murder is objectively wrong” because the argument is not about what I personally believe; it’s about whether or not the statement can be shown to be objectively true or false.”

    That comment indicates that you do not understand the nature of a self-evident truth, which cannot be demonstrated with an argument or “shown to be true.” It is on the foundation of a self-evident truth that other arguments are made. Either [a] you did not know that, in which case you are not yet prepared to discuss the matter or [b] you did know it, but you are, once again, saying something you do not really believe. Which is it?

  173. 173
    Karen McMannus says:

    WJM,

    They squirm. They twitch. They attack your character and motives.

    But they can’t defeat your rational arguments.

    Bravo.

    Thank you.

  174. 174
    kairosfocus says:

    SB:

    . . . the nature of a self-evident truth, which cannot be demonstrated with an argument or “shown to be true.” It is on the foundation of a self-evident truth that other arguments are made.

    Precisely.

    In this case, rational responsible freedom is in key part framed on fulfillment of first duties. Beyond, Cicero’s summary highlights that core law is rooted in that reason. Ironically, dismissal of these duties debases our rationality and undermines our freedom as we become slaves of intellectual and moral vices.

    Further to such, these are the substance of sound reasoning, truth, right reason, prudence, sound conscience, mutuality in regard to neighbour, so too fairness, justice etc. We cannot escape them and be reasonable. Even deceit and hyperskepticism must pay grudging homage. We cannot disprove them as the attempt must resort to them. Neither can we prove them as they are the fabric of proof.

    Which of course attracts the scorn of an age steeped in hyperskepticism and trying to reduce intellectual effort to games played with essentially arbitrary rules. Which can then be disregarded when they are inconvenient. The door to nihilism lies open.

    ours is a sick age and we do not want to find sound health.

    KF

  175. 175
    Sandy says:

    Karen McMannus
    WJM,

    They squirm. They twitch. They attack your character and motives.

    But they can’t defeat your rational arguments.

    Bravo.

    Thank you.

    They can’t defeat a self-defeated argument. It’s already defeated. 🙂

  176. 176
    asauber says:

    It’s like Karen Mac is watching a different movie from the rest of us.

    Andrew

  177. 177
    kairosfocus says:

    KM, I was struck by just how inverted that is, a classic of turnabout projection. Thus, confession of cognitive dissonance by projection. Please, reconsider. KF

  178. 178
    Viola Lee says:

    I’m with Karen on this conversation. FWIW. WJM is making valid points that aren’t actually being addressed in reply. Please see #151.

  179. 179
    paige says:

    I’m afraid that I have to side with WJM, KM and VL on this. KF has written thousands of poorly articulated words in response to those who question his logic, which is mostly circular, but he has never once actually addressed the criticisms.

  180. 180
    Sandy says:

    ViolaLee
    WJM is making valid points that aren’t actually being addressed in reply.

    Mention one valid point.

  181. 181
    Viola Lee says:

    “1. Existentially unavoidable behavior (fundamental logical relationships) does not make or indicate a duty.”

  182. 182
    Sandy says:

    Viola Lee
    “1. Existentially unavoidable behavior (fundamental logical relationships) does not make or indicate a duty.”

    …then what exactly make or indicate ?

    PS : Looks like you have a duty to show us what is the truth.

  183. 183
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, an irrelevancy. Ought is what should be but sometimes, by our choice, is not. Truthfulness, right reason, prudence, seeking to do the right etc, notoriously are things that we should do but often enough do not. The issue on the table is that even objectors appeal to them, showing that they cannot escape their authority — as opposed to actually fulfilling what ought to be. In short, we are looking at law governing rational, responsible freedom, not mechanical necessity. For instance, the objection above is an assertion about what is the case — appealing to and implicitly acknowledging the authority of truth and that of right reason — but commits an informal fallacy of irrelevancy. KF

  184. 184
    paige says:

    KF, most of the things that you say are duties are merely behavioral expectations that the majority of individuals in a society must agree to in order for society to be relatively stable. Simple game theory shows us this. This does not make them inherent to the universe or human individuals. Most of these are learned behaviors.

  185. 185
    Karen McMannus says:

    KF,

    WJM has defeated your “duty” arguments with solid unassailable logic. Over and over again.

    A beautiful thing to watch.

    Interesting that you can’t see that.

    Please, reconsider. KM.

  186. 186
    jerry says:

    Paige has just made the argument for duties that they are inherent and inescapable. QED

    Otherwise you die.

    Surviving is part of human nature. Flourishing is part of human nature. One framework for examining basic human needs is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. You will find Cicero’s duties from 2100 years ago appropriate to meet those needs.

    Murray has been spouting nonsense for nearly a year. I find it interesting that anyone would actually defend the absurdities he’s published.

  187. 187
    StephenB says:

    WJM — “What have I done by admitting that sometimes I lie and that I don’t have a duty to truth? What does my doing that gain me?”

    WJM: — “Well, for one, I said I always tell the truth as best I know and am able in this forum because it is necessary to gain what I want to gain here.

    This is remarkable. Do you not understand that the admission “I sometimes lie” militates the claim that “I always tell the truth as best I know.”

    But to answer your question about what the admission might gain for you, I would say this: Perhaps it is a calculation designed to perpetuate the illusion that you are being open and transparent.

  188. 188
    paige says:

    Jerry

    Paige has just made the argument for duties that they are inherent and inescapable.

    That is not what I said. I said that they were learned. The behaviors that the majority of us share are the ones that are advantageous in our society. But in other societies the behabviors may be different.

  189. 189
    jerry says:

    That is not what I said.

    It’s exactly what you said.

    The behaviors that the majority of us share are the ones that are advantageous in our society.

    Another name for these behaviors is called duties.

    But in other societies the behabviors may be different.

    I doubt it. Which of these is not universal to humans: truth, right reason, prudence, sound conscience, considering your neighbor, fairness and justice

    Cicero missed out on game theory. He was deprived.

  190. 190
    StephenB says:

    Reason’s rules are not limited to the laws of causality, identity, and non contradiction, or the easily apprehended truth that the finite whole is always greater than any of its parts, or the nature of inductive and deductive reasoning. The natural moral law is no less self-evident than any or all of the other six principles.

    That humans possess an intrinsic sense of right and wrong that governs our reasoning and behavior has been known since the time of the ancient Greeks. That WJM, KM, VL, and Paige arbitrarily exclude this sense from the list of self-evident truths has nothing to do with reality and everything to do with their irrational biases and prejudices against truth itself. Their argument against objective morality fails because it is based on the false and arbitrary assumption that reason’s rules do not include rules about morality. This assumption cannot be justified.

    WJM, Paige, VL, and KM all recognize (without saying so) that it is objectively wrong to torture babies for fun, but they will not admit what they *know* to be true even though it is *obviously* true, presumably because they don’t *want* it to be true. That is why I continually remind WJM that his wants and preferences, which he says are the only things that he cares about, are irrelevant to the truth, which is the one thing he says that he does not care about. This explains why he will not answer my question: Is it wrong to torture babies for fun, yes or no? His argument against objective morality fails so miserably that not even he or his unthinking defenders believe it. As he has reminded us, he often says things that he does not believe in order to entertain himself or achieve some rhetorical effect.

    His refusal to engage my questions is probably informed by an exercise in self-talk that goes something like this: “If I answer “yes” to the question “Is it [objectively]wrong to torture babies for fun,” then I give the store away. (Even one persuasive example proves the principle as there are many others that would carry equal moral weight and be equally compelling). On the other hand, if I say no to that same question, then everyone will recognize what a moral monster I really am. So I will just shut down, avoid the issue, and continue to peddle my sophistry to those who are naive enough to swallow it.”

  191. 191
    StephenB says:

    Jerry: — “Murray has been spouting nonsense for nearly a year. I find it interesting that anyone would actually defend the absurdities he’s published.”

    So do I.

  192. 192
    Viola Lee says:

    I don’t think anyone has defended WJM’s IRT (formerly MRT.) I have defended his logical arguments about such things as self-evidency and duties.

  193. 193
    bornagain77 says:

    If WJM can’t bring himself to honestly admit that it is self evidently true that it is wrong to torture babies for fun, then WJM might as well deny that it is self evidently true that 2+2=4.

    “Yet our common moral knowledge is as real as arithmetic, and probably just as plain. Paradoxically, maddeningly, we appeal to it even to justify wrongdoing; rationalization is the homage paid by sin to guilty knowledge.”
    – J. Budziszewski, What We Can’t Not Know: A Guide

    WJM, when he denies the objective existence of self-evidently true moral principles, is basically in the same boat as Atheistic materialists when they try to deny the objective existence of self evidently true mathematics.

    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.
    As Barr points out, this implies not only that God does not exist — because God is not material — but that you do not exist. For you are not a material constituent postulated by any of our most fundamental physical theories; at best, you are an aggregate of those constituents, arranged in a particular way. Not just you, but tables, chairs, countries, countrymen, symphonies, jokes, legal contracts, moral judgments, and acts of courage or cowardice — all of these must be fully explicable in terms of those more fundamental, material constituents.
    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

    Who knows, perhaps WJM will go so far as to say that just because everyone in the world says that it is self evidently true that 2+2=4 that does not make it objectively true.

    I would not put it past him at this point.

  194. 194
    Karen McMannus says:

    BA77: If WJM can’t bring himself to honestly admit that it is self evidently true that it is wrong to torture babies…

    He does. You do. I do. We all do.

    Now… deal squarely deal with this:

    1 Samuel 15:2-3, God commanded Saul and the Israelites, “This is what YHWH shaddai says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.'”

    You know [SNIP — you know full well that vulgarity and profanity are unacceptable] you don’t believe that really happened. So stop making excuses for these idiotic fictions that you don’t believe.

    It’s good for you to denounce the torture and murder of babies.

    Now, come clean, hypocrite.

    Anyone interested in the topic, read Numbers 31.

    What’s the difference between people who believes this stuff and the World Trade Center terrorists?

    Nothing. It’s murder in the service of their belief of what they think their “God” wants.

  195. 195
    Karen McMannus says:

    … the fact that some of you people can go along with the murder of children in the name of your God’s desires proves that you don’t believe killing babies is “self evidently wrong.” If it were self evidently wrong, it would always be self-evidently wrong.

    It’s beyond laughable that you can’t see this.

    The logical argument was been won by WJM, QED. The way to know if something is self-evidently true, is to test its negation for an absurdity. It is not logically absurd to kill babies. (Your own god seems to do it from time to time.) Or for lions to kill gazelles. Or for dogs to kill skunks. Whether it’s “right or wrong” morally has to come from something else. Something non-logical. So stop pretending any logical argument grounded in “duty” has anything to do with the question. It’s bullsh*t and you know it.

  196. 196
    kairosfocus says:

    KM,

    At this point, this is becoming self-parody on the part of objectors:

    >>[185:] WJM has defeated>>

    – appeal to duty to right reason, prudence and truth, intended to gain persuasive traction as an announcement of alleged fact

    – of course, it fails at outset by being a case in point of how objections appeal to our implicit sense of the authority of these first duties. Inescapable authority, indeed constitutive of reasoned reflection and argument and so self evidently true, built-in first law coeval with our nature.

    – in fact, attempted denial thus will readily be seen to be self-referential and incoherent, denying what it finds itself forced to appeal to in order to gain persuasive traction.

    – as this case illustrates yet again.

    – of course, one can stoutly deny or even be blind to what is manifest.

    >>your “duty” arguments with solid unassailable logic.>>

    – explicit appeal to duty to right reason, but pivoting on a false assertion

    – falsified by inability to gain persuasive traction save by appealing to duties it would dismiss

    >>Over and over again.>>

    – mere repetition of appeals to the very duties one would refute or dismiss — thus showing their inescapability as duties [oughts, as in what we should do but may flout or err in trying to do] — cannot refute them.

    – notice, carefully, what is inescapable, and what is a result of free action:

    [a] One cannot but imply the authority and truth of the duties as describing our nature as rational, responsible, significantly free creatures, where also

    [b] we cannot reason, infer logically, make credible judgements regarding warrant etc unless we are significantly free [unlike a microprocessor etc], so that

    [c] We are indeed free to do what we ought not, by error or by deliberately flouting what we know we should do. Indeed,

    [d] the gap between what is (too often as a result of our error or misuse of freedom of thought and action) and what ought to be (the result of doing duty aright) is at the heart of the gap between is and ought. Where,

    [e] What is mechanically necessary and/or stochastic or driven uncontrollably by instinct is precisely the opposite of what manifests rational, responsible freedom, which last

    [f] defines our agency, which is

    [g] the order of being which is what is morally governed, hence

    [h] we find our reason and conscience [facets of our souls in action — our centres of freely willed thought and action and core of our unified individuality . . . ] testifying jointly to built in law coeval with our agency and framing sound civil law, just community order [the civil peace of justice] and sound government.

    – It is a sign of the terrifying holes in our formal and informal education due to domination of self-referentially absurd evolutionary materialistic scientism and/or fellow travellers . . . influencing even traditional theists . . . that such themes, ideas, reasoning and grounding of our self-understanding seem strange, alien, even suspect. Instead, the flawed analogy of programmed, GIGO-driven computing substrates in action has been set up as an implicit model for brains, with mind being a dubious, somehow emergent figment of software.

    – This fails to recognise that morally governed, rational, responsible freedom/agency is the condition for credibility of our thinking, reasoning and arguing, hence a main root of resistance to what should be clear on five minutes of reflection.

    – again, from the top, and building on Cicero . . . who is prior to the Judaeo-Christian tradition (so, no, this is not worldview level q-begging as VL tried to argue and so far has apparently not withdrawn when I corrected):

    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. 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 sometimes seek to evade duties or may make inadvertent 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. Perhaps, a negative form will help to clarify, for cause we find to be at best hopelessly error-riddled, those who are habitually untruthful, fallacious and/or irrational, imprudent, fail to soundly warrant claims, show a benumbed or dead conscience [i.e. sociopathy and/or highly machiavellian tendencies], dehumanise and abuse others, are unfair and unjust. At worst, such are utterly dangerous, destructive,or even ruthlessly, demonically lawless. Such built-in . . . thus, universal . . . law, then, 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 . . .

    _______________

    That is, we are up against crooked yardstick thinking and not even a naturally upright plumb line will be able to dislodge the seeming authority of such scientism for far too many cases. This is why we are in a civilisation in a storm, on a line of drift to fatal sandbars of Syrtis, and not even realising that safety lies in trying to break the line of drift.

    Our prospects are grim.

    KF

  197. 197
    kairosfocus says:

    SB:

    Reason’s rules are not limited to the laws of causality, identity, and non contradiction, or the easily apprehended truth that the finite whole is always greater than any of its parts, or the nature of inductive and deductive reasoning. The natural moral law is no less self-evident than any or all of the other six principles.

    That humans possess an intrinsic sense of right and wrong that governs our reasoning and behavior has been known since the time of the ancient Greeks. That WJM, KM, VL, and Paige arbitrarily exclude this sense from the list of self-evident truths has nothing to do with reality and everything to do with their irrational biases and prejudices against truth itself. Their argument against objective morality fails because it is based on the false and arbitrary assumption that reason’s rules do not include rules about morality. This assumption cannot be justified.

    Sadly, yes.

    Reflective of the sorry state and ruinous line of drift of our storm-caught civilisation.

    I note, there is often refusal to acknowledge even first, self-evident principles of logic starting with law of identity and its close corollaries, non contradiction and excluded middle. Often, under false colours of Q-mechanics etc.

    Similarly, there is a dismissal of the manifest fact that there is such a thing as logic of being, ontology, so that we may reasonably ask of a thing or candidate thing A, why it is, or why it is not, or even why it cannot be [e.g. a square circle] and seek a reasonable answer. That is, it is self-evident that a weak form principle of sufficient reason obtains, regardless of much huffing and puffing in philosophy. In which context, it is manifest that certain entities are contingent and are caused.

    Credibly, such include a fire, ourselves and even our observed cosmos.

    All of which points beyond, to necessary being that is the causally sufficient framework for any world to become actual, and particularly a world with rational, responsible, significantly free creatures able to reason like this. Where, it is undeniable fact that we find ourselves (once we are normally functional) under government of oughtness testified to by conscience, i.e. we face the reality of a built in law and aspect of our centre of unified being . . . the soul . . . that guides and guards our reasoning, speech and action. Yes it can be warped so we phrase, duty to sound conscience with closely linked duty to prudence and to neighbour who is a similarly ensouled, en-conscienced rational creature.

    Pull back a step or two and we see that prudence, conscience and rationality are self-evidently duty-bound by truth and right reason. Moral government testified to by sound conscience cannot be forcibly extracted from this cluster and discarded, they are inextricably entangled. That is, we are seeing the wholism- microcosm- facets principle in action. Each facet draws on all to flash with diamond-like fire, and each contributes to all.

    First principles, first truths and first duties are all so together forming a unified whole, showing the flash and living fire of the soul at work.

    It is time to acknowledge that the naturally straight and upright plumb line is telling us that we have been using a warped, inaccurate, crooked yardstick as a false authority for straightness, accuracy and uprightness. Jesus of Nazareth was diagnostic in the greatest sermon on record, in some remarks that probably deliberately echo and respond to Plato’s Parables of the Cave and of the Ship of State:

    Mt 6: 21 . . . where your treasure is, there your heart [your wishes, your desires; that on which your life centers] will be also.

    22 “The eye is the lamp of the body; so if your eye is clear [spiritually perceptive], your whole body will be full of light [benefiting from God’s precepts].

    23 But if your eye is bad [spiritually blind], your whole body will be full of darkness [devoid of God’s precepts].

    So if the [very] light inside you [your inner self, your heart, your conscience] is darkness, how great and terrible is that darkness! [AMP]

    KF

  198. 198
    kairosfocus says:

    Paige,

    First, kindly note what I just commented to SB.

    Next, I see your 184, which again inadvertently demonstrates but shies away from the inescapability of the first duties of reason, as a core of knowledge, law and even socio-psychological systems in society:

    most of the things that you say are duties are merely behavioral expectations that the majority of individuals in a society must agree to in order for society to be relatively stable. Simple game theory shows us this. This does not make them inherent to the universe or human individuals. Most of these are learned behaviors.

    I take in steps of thought:

    >>most of the things that you say are duties are merely behavioral expectations>>

    – you have relabelled what a right is, a binding morally driven expectation in the name of justice, rooted in our quasi-infinite value and dignity as persons with unique individual identities and irreplaceable individual lives

    – this re-labelling is meant to be conducive to radical relativism, which is self referentially absurd and utterly inconsistent, demanding to impose politically correct values and narratives without acknowledging that they are claims about truth and right, hence for example the fallacies of the 1619 agenda

    – notice, too, that you are here appealing to duty to truth and to right reason etc, without acknowledging it

    >> that the majority of individuals in a society must agree to in order for society to be relatively stable.>>

    – ask yourself why we must seek the civil peace of justice . . . due balance of rights, freedoms and duties . . . to have a sustainable community.

    – then, observe the first duties you glide over, to justice, to fairness, to neighbour

    – thence, notice the further duties, to truth [we ought not to deceive or defraud or mislead neighbour], to right reason [a plumb line guide to truth, the naturally evident purpose of our faculties of reason], to prudence including warrant, i.e. to right guiding of thought, speech and action amidst a sea of potential for confusion

    – all, testified to by conscience, once it is sound.

    >>Simple game theory shows us this.>>

    – an appeal to an application of right reason and prudence dressed up in language of mathematics

    >> This does not make them inherent>>

    – lesseee, is conscience built-in? If you have never felt its bite, you are a damaged person and should seek serious help. (Yes, there may actually be psychopaths who did not merely crush conscience, they were deaf to it from outset.)

    – You obviously feel prompted and propelled to seek truth and right reason as shown by the implicit structure of your objections. Just, this have been channelled by a civilisation that has seriously lost its way.

    >> to the universe or human individuals.>>

    – humans are part of the universe, we are embodied, ensouled, rational, conscience guided creatures, so we can ask about our being and its built in structures, such as rationality, conscience, consciousness etc.

    – we find that certain constants structure our rationality to the point that even objectors inadvertently appeal to them.

    – we call these first principles, first duties, natural law, whatever, labels simply tell us what’s in the tin. (And BTW, we rely on truthfulness in labelling tins.)

    >>Most of these are learned behaviors.>>

    – we LEARN to be prompted by guilt? We LEARN to seek and rely on accuracy of especially visual, auditory and tactile perception to safely navigate the world? We LEARN to value truth, what such accuracy is about? We LEARN that truth/accuracy opens opportunities while protecting from danger?

    – I think, for cause, you need to rethink from ground up.

    KF

  199. 199
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: A much deserved critique of relativism, subjectivism, emotivism, that is instructive:

    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.

  200. 200
    kairosfocus says:

    KM, your wearisome projections to the despised other fail. You have been repeatedly directed to where you can find a serious working through of issues not appropriate to either this thread or to UD’s focus, but insist on bringing such up whenever it is convenient to your rhetorical purpose. It thus becomes a flashing sign: defeated on the merits, let’s try to derail discussion by stirring up an internet atheist string of objections to that bronze age sky god monster and his dangerous fanatical followers. The conclusion of such a trollish pattern is obvious: unacknowledged evidence of defeat on the merits, covered over through displacing cognitive dissonance by projection. It evidently hasn’t even dawned on you that establishing the natural law of our morally governed nature is the basis for such arguments having any rhetorical traction. Without implicit recognition of the inherently good as grounds for identifying evils as what ought not to be, the whole frame of ontological and theological arguments from evil collapses. As Boethius long since recognised while facing an unjust death penalty for standing up to lawless oligarchy in the court of a Germanic king and successor to the W Roman Empire. KF

    PS: Dembski on Boethius:

    In his Consolation of Philosophy, Boethius states the following paradox: “If God exists, whence evil? But whence good, if God does not exist?” Boethius contrasts the problem that evil poses for theism with the problem that good poses for atheism. The problem of good does not receive nearly as much attention as the problem evil, but it is the more basic problem. That’s because evil always presupposes a good that has been subverted. All our words for evil make this plain: the New Testament word for sin (Greek hamartia) presupposes a target that’s been missed; deviation presupposes a way (Latin via) from which we’ve departed; injustice presupposes justice; etc. So let’s ask, who’s got the worse problem, the theist or the atheist? Start with the theist. God is the source of all being and purpose. Given God’s existence, what sense does it make to deny God’s goodness? None . . . . The problem of evil still confronts theists, though not as a logical or philosophical problem, but instead as a psychological and existential one [as was addressed above] . . . .

    The problem of good as it faces the atheist is this: nature, which is nuts-and-bolts reality for the atheist, has no values and thus can offer no grounding for good and evil. As nineteenth century freethinker Robert Green Ingersoll used to say, “In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments. There are consequences.” More recently, Richard Dawkins made the same point: “The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference.” [“Prepared Remarks for the Dembski-Hitchens Debate,” Uncommon Descent Blog, Nov 22, 2010]

  201. 201
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, it is, sadly, increasingly plain to me that it is going to take a shipwreck to sort out this mess we have got ourselves into; the consequence of a civilisation level march of folly. I shudder to contemplate geostrategic consequences we are so foolishly bringing on ourselves . . . even under the shadow of the chaos since 1914. What will it take for us to finally learn from history? KF

  202. 202
    bornagain77 says:

    Karen McMannus quotes 1 Samuel 15:2-3,

    1 Samuel 15:2-3, God commanded Saul and the Israelites, “This is what YHWH shaddai says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’”

    And then states,

    You know damn well you don’t believe that really happened. So stop making excuses for these idiotic fictions that you don’t believe.

    Well actually, I do believe, based on archeological evidence, that really happened.

    Biblical Archeology – Amalek and the Amalekites:
    https://www.bible.ca/archeology/bible-archeology-exodus-amalekites.htm

    Moreover, God, among other evil deeds, judged the Amalekites for, get this, ritualistic child sacrifice to their false god!

    http://www.christian-thinktank.com/rbutcher1.html

  203. 203
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77, please do not further feed the needless toxic distraction. I accept that you respond under right of reply, but let that suffice. She [?] is resorting to toxic distractors in the face of defeat on substantial merits on what is itself a failure to respond to the main thrust of the OP on the nature of knowledge and why we have to get knowledge straight if we are to rescue our civilisation, now, likely, THROUGH shipwreck. KF

  204. 204
    StephenB says:

    —“Karen Macmannus: He [WjM] does. You do. I do. We all do. [Admit that it is self-evidenty true that it is wrong to torture babies for fun].”

    I am going to call you on that one. Please show me where WJM or any of his defenders, including you, ever acknowledged the existence of any self-evident moral truth. The sad responses found in this entire thread have been all about the denial of objective morality and you know it.

    —“Now… deal squarely deal with this:Now… (An Old Testament reference about God).”

    Not so fast. You don’t get to change the subject at the very time your errors have been exposed. I can defend the God of the Old Testament all day long, and will when the time comes, but right now you need to back up your above claim.

  205. 205
    jerry says:

    This has been about two things, Christianity and Kf’s long and often hard to understand OP’s and comments (I rarely read them then mostly fail to understand much of them when I do.) However, both seem to be threats to some people and they then (Christianity and Kf’s comments) become the center of criticism.

    Anyone who answers these objectors, don’t ever expect any semblance of agreement or acknowledgment that one has a valid point. Their silence is indicative that they admit justification of the positions which they criticize.

    The more interesting thing is why this lack of acknowledgment for the well justified is so deeply ingrained in a large number of people. Certain things are definitely ingrained in most of us and many are unlikely to admit that these positions/opinions/attitudes held have very little justification. Expressed as “My opinion is as good as yours” but in reality they aren’t as good.

    That is why ID is actually an amazing area. It’s positions are extremely well justified. But objectors to it must claim the opposite.

    Christianity and Kf’s OP’s have little to do with ID but often use the logic/evidence approach used in ID for justification.

  206. 206
    William J Murray says:

    Karen McMannus,

    I appreciate your support and kind words. I think you’ll really enjoy the following. Kind of long, but there’s a big payoff at the end.

    As I said before, just because something is not self-evidently true doesn’t mean that thing is not objectively existent. These are two different things. While moral statements (apparently, by lack of argument otherwise) cannot be self-evidently true (they are not made so even if there is universal agreement with a moral statement,) that doesn’t mean that morality is not an objectively existent thing.

    Even the existence of a sociopath doesn’t mean that morality is not an objectively existent thing because there’s an infinite number of objectively existent things I (and any other person) do not personally experience at at any time in their lives. An objectively existent thing doesn’t have to be omnipresent in everyone’s experience at all times, or even in anyone’s experience at any time in their lives.

    So, what is KF (and others here) actually claiming? The claim is that whether or not we recognize it as such, we all have something of a sensory capacity called “conscience” that, like sight, is subject to error but that we all use it to navigate real moral qualities we perceive through it, and that it is by rational examination we can discern true statements from false in the moral landscape we are perceiving. Even a person who is, theoretically, a born sociopath would just be comparable to someone born blind. Just because a sociopath cannot perceive the moral landscape wouldn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Thus, we can justify KF’s “normally functioning people” objection by comparing a sociopath to a blind mind, either born without a conscience, or later become, for whatever reason, “blind.”

    Let’s say that everyone with functioning sight would immediately recognize a full-grown oak tree as a tree. The word “tree” is a symbolic representation of something everyone with sight can immediately recognize as what that word represents. Conscience would be the ability to recognize the difference between two categories of things; right and wrong, which would be words that represent two distinct kinds of things in our moral landscape. Just because some or even most things are not universally, immediately clear whether they are right or wrong, morally speaking, doesn’t mean they do not have that quality. It is clear that some things are as morally identifiable as a full-grown oak tree is visually identifiable, such as in the instance of “torturing babies for personal pleasure.” Clearly, unmistakable, objectively wrong if (1) you have a functioning conscience, and (2) you understand the meaning of the symbolic words employed and how they apply to things you apprehend through the sensory capacity of “conscience.”

    The problem with this model is that, under the worldview (dualism) of those that are promoting it, the commodities that identify the tree as a tree are external to the observers, and exist independently of those who are experiencing the sight of the tree. That is what “objective” means under the dualistic perspective; the mutually experiential qualities of any real, objective thing exist in the external thing itself, not in the subjective experience of the observer. Under dualism, the observer is subjectively experiencing an external “is.”

    Unfortunately for KF et al, oughts cannot be derived from an is. The “is” of any physical situation, including torturing babies, cannot provide the ought. You cannot point at an ought out there in the external physical world to identify an ought, because oughts cannot exist “out there;” oughtness cannot exist “out there” in the physical world of “is” under dualism.

    So, what KF and others must necessarily be talking about is an objectively existent internal landscape, like logic or math, that we all experience (except sociopaths) where ought are objectively existent (like logical principles and relationships and reasoning) as oughts.

    We’ve objectively established that there are no self-evidently true (on pain of absurdity) moral statements; but this only means that the self-evidently true nature of any particular moral statement cannot be discerned by logic; “oughtness” itself would then have to be self-evident in a way either comparable to logic itself, or discernible via logic (absence of oughtness = absurdity.); you cannot operate without employing them. IOW.you cannot think or do anything without employing oughtness, even when you argue against its existence.

    That’s is the case I think KF is trying to make; that “oughtness” is an inescapable, self-evident commodity revealed by the absurdity of considering its absence.

    However, is this logically identifiable as true in the sense KF is asserting? Let’s look at this statement: we cannot help do what we ought do, even when we argue that we ought not do what we ought; we are still arguing from ought. Even a mistaken ought would still be enacted out of ought; even the argument that we have no oughts depends on the “oughtness” of the perspective of “we ought not operate as if we have oughts, because oughts do not exist.” So, my statement “I do whatever I want” would be a statement that this is how I ought organize my perspective, because of my belief that “objective oughtness” does not actually exist. I would still be referencing an ought, even in objection that oughts actually exist.

    This would make “oughtness” a self-evident, existentially necessary commodity. If one considers “oughtness” is synonymous with “morality,” what one ought and ought not do, then morality would in fact be an existential, necessary commodity on its own, discernible by the absurdity of the contrary. Even the statement “there is nothing I ought do” would be a statement of an ought.

    But… what does “ought” actually mean? What is necessary for an “ought” to even exist?

    Simply put: oughts only exists when there is a potential state (a potential “is”) that is preferable to the current state, or “is,” or compared to the potential state, the current state is preferable.

    The free will capacity to enact or instantiate or choose an “ought” is inescapably one of preference, because preference is an inescapable, intractable aspect of free will and the only way an ought can be recognized and evaluated. Or, as Viola said, “free will and preference are essentially the same thing,” or something like that, if I remember correctly (from another thread.)

    The question is: can what we call a sentient being exist in a state where they have no preferences? Would that be an actual absurd, or self-contradictory situation? That’s an whole argument in itself, but the short answer is: no. For a sentient being to exist as such, self and other must exist; A and not-A must exist; which means distinguishable and varying conditions must exist; non-instantiated potentials must exist; and free will to navigate current conditions into potential conditions must exist (sequences of experiences), and they can only be navigated preferentially.

    Preference, thus is also an inescapable, self-evident aspect of our existence as sentient beings, and it is that which is necessary for and informs the fundamental existence of “oughtness.” (BTW, all of these things are mutually necessary and depend on each other for their existence; you cannot remove one and still have the others.)

    Unfortunately for KF, although “oughtness” itself is existentially necessary, or objectively existent, it also necessarily means that what oughtness is fundamentally about, and is necessarily informed by, is preference. To say that we ought prefer one thing over another whether we prefer that thing or not is thus revealed as an absurd statement, on par with trying to argue that 2+2=5 or that I don’t exist or that I don’t have free will.

    But, that’s exactly what you’re trying to do; argue that we all ought prefer X whether we prefer it or not. it’s an absurd argument because oughts are necessarily about preference. You are, essentially, trying to argue that I ought not do what I ought do, or vice-versa, which is patently absurd.

  207. 207
    jerry says:

    it’s an absurd argument because oughts are necessarily about preference. You are, essentially, trying to argue that I ought not do what I ought do, or vice-versa, which is patently absurd.

    This is pure nonsense. Something is preferred because it’s reaches desired objectives better than others. If something is extremely better than other things for reaching a highly desired objective, it is hard to say it is not an “ought.’”

    If there are a multiple of ways of reaching an objective then no one specific way is an “ought.” But if something frustrates reaching an objective, then this becomes an “ought not.”

    So it may be about preferences but some preferences frustrate the reaching of objectives. The ones that do help reach objectives then become “duties.” The ones that frustrate reaching desired objectives become duties to avoid.

    The interesting thing is that some people here have taken up your cause which is apparently fueled by some mental deficiency. Anyone who admits that their survival takes back seat to their enjoyment has a serious problem. It’s the admission of an addict, someone seriously addicted to something that reason and will then fails. And we have others defending this self destructive behavior of addiction.

    Related: Kf has taken the duties expressed by Cicero and indicated they are “oughts” for a stable society. If someone objects, please indicate which of these “oughts” or duties are not necessary for a stable society.

    No one will have any objection if anyone adds to the list.

  208. 208
    William J Murray says:

    Now that we’ve examined that, we can shed some light on the argument that KF et al are necessarily making. It is crystal clear, and shows why it always comes down to an argument from consequences.

    What they are actually arguing is that certain preferential choices I might make now will inevitably result in consequences I will not prefer, meaning that nobody could possibly prefer those consequences. Their entire argument is from hypothetically inevitable, universally non-preferred consequences.

    Good luck making that argument stick.

  209. 209
    kairosfocus says:

    SB is right. KF

  210. 210
    jerry says:

    The argument from consequences was answered above. It’s a no brainer.

                                        It’s a strong argument for Cicero’s oughts/duties

  211. 211
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, this all started with encountering Cicero on nature of law thus justice. Thus, that which leads to the stabilising civil peace of justice is involved. However, that is for us, rational people and leads to core law as highest reason, showing first duties of built in law coeval with our humanity. Which are actually self evident because we cannot evade their authority, the would be objector appeals to them to try to discredit them, as we see several times above and many times previously. That’s not hard to see though with our impoverished education it is strange to us. The walkaway from this is also responsible for a lot of the chaos we see in law and government, with geostrategic consequences beginning to play out. KF

  212. 212
    StephenB says:

    WJM: — “It is clear that some things are as morally identifiable as a full-grown oak tree is visually identifiable, such as in the instance of “torturing babies for personal pleasure.” Clearly, unmistakable, objectively wrong ”

    In this case, clearly can be understood to mean the same as self-evidently. Since we have here one manifestation of a self-evident truth, we can be certain that others exist (surely I don’t need to make a list at this point) and the principle is confirmed. The natural moral law exists as a self-evident truth.

    —“Unfortunately for KF et al, oughts cannot be derived from an is.”

    This is an incomplete statement. An ought cannot be derived from an is if “Is” is understood to mean a set of circumstances, such as one person being observed stabbing another person with a knife. On that information alone, we cannot say that the perpetrator ought not to do it because more information is needed to make that calculation. This is what David Hume, the originator of that phrase meant.

    However, if we understand “is” to mean the existence of a an objective moral law (there “is” a natural moral law), then we most certainly can derive an ought to from an is (It is wrong to torture babies for fun because it violates the natural moral law, therefore we ought not to do it).

    —“You cannot point at an ought out there in the external physical world to identify an ought, because oughts cannot exist “out there;” oughtness cannot exist “out there” in the physical world of “is” under dualism.:

    You are misusing the word dualism here, which takes many forms. It needs to be more clearly expressed in its legitimate form.. There is an objective reality which can be expressed as the *object* off the investigation, which is definitely distinct from and outside of the thinking *subject*. I, as the thinking subject, am not the same thing as the object of my thought, which in this case is the apprehension of the natural moral law. This natural moral law is just what the word indicates. It is a reflection of a moral universe with moral laws, which, if violated, will cause harm to the violator, just as the breaking of the physical law of gravity can harm the violator.

    The *object* of the investigation (the natural moral law) is, therefore outside of and distinct from the thinking *subject*. It also has an internal component called conscience. Christians would say that it was placed there, but that is not what is important for the moment. What matters is that conscience is internal and can be identified as the faculty that “ought to” guide human behavior — it is the capacity to recognize and act on moral truths. A functional conscience, like any other faculty, needs to be developed, nurtured, and informed. It is not perfect in its primitive form, and it can deadened through abusive brainwashing or misuse through bad habits, but that is another story.

  213. 213
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM,

    repeating a classic error:

    Unfortunately for KF et al, oughts cannot be derived from an is. The “is” of any physical situation, including torturing babies, cannot provide the ought. You cannot point at an ought out there in the external physical world to identify an ought, because oughts cannot exist “out there;” oughtness cannot exist “out there” in the physical world of “is” under dualism.

    Hume’s mistake has been corrected for years. Ought cannot be derived from a mere is, but there may be an is that is also the root of ought, i.e. the inherently good and utterly wise creator God who is necessary being and maximally great; who made us as morally governed creatures free enough to love, be truthful, be prudent, be wise. Which pivot on choice and so on freedom. Thus, we have a basis for is, what exists, for ought, how free creatures should act, for truth, how we should speak, etc.

    In that context, a child is a neighbour and has the same moral value though not the maturity and strength to defend itself. To murder a child for one’s pleasure — and the objection games and evasions were played just as hard when I put a real case on the table — is an ultimate ought-not, utter evil. And, murdering the child by sexual torture (yes, that happened) takes its moral freighedness from the more than merely physical element involved.

    Lock that out, create and institutionalise worldviews of that sort of absurdity and we see societies that descend into chaos.

    But, we clearly see the irrationality, gaps-driven errors of thought, absurdity and incoherence at work.

    KF

  214. 214
    William J Murray says:

    Jerry said:

    This is pure nonsense.

    And then you basically make the same argument I just made. As I’ve said before, preferences can be direct, like choosing to enjoy some ice cream now, or abstract/indirect, such as choosing not to eat the ice cream now because you prefer (1) waiting until after dinner, (2) prefer not putting on the extra weight, etc. Non-direct objectives are preferences that cannot be directly or immediately acquired are objectives because the are a potential state you prefer to the current state. You then preferentially organize acting on direct preferences (or not) in service to the abstract objective – some state or situation you prefer to acquire in the future above your direct preferences that would make the acquisition of that preference more difficult.

    Ultimately, it all boils down to how one preferentially organizes their preferences, in service of direct and/or abstract goals. Telling me that I should prefer what I do not prefer is absurd; what would not be absurd is informing me of something, or a potential something, that I recognize as my preference ,that I did not think of or was aware of before. What you cannot do is dictate to me what my preferences are or “should” be.

    You cannot argue that I ought do what I ought not do, (prefer what I do not.) That’s absurd.

    An example to make this more clear: Let’s say that I have car trouble, and I prefer to take it to a mechanic to have it repaired. You might say, “Hey, WJM, that’s an easy fix, it only takes 10 minutes and no special tools. You ought let me show you because you ought to just fix that car yourself.”

    Well, that’s the ought according to your preferences and some abstract goal you have, like saving money and time, satisfaction of doing the jobs yourself that you can do, etc. If my overriding preference is that I don’t like doing any work on cars whatsoever, it doesn’t matter how easy it is or how cheap it is, those things do not define my ought. If you say, however, “I can fix that for you,” again, that may or may not serve my preference – I may prefer taking every single minor thing to the dealer mechanic.

    There is no sound argument one can make about a person’s preferences except in relationship to that same person’s preferences. Their preferences are the existential “measuring ruler” of their oughts, and nobody else’s preferences can even apply.

  215. 215
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    repeating a classic error:

    Well, it would be had I not said, in the same comment:

    So, what KF and others must necessarily be talking about is an objectively existent internal landscape, like logic or math, that we all experience (except sociopaths) where ought[s] are objectively existent (like logical principles and relationships and reasoning) as oughts.

    Which would include

    but there may be an is that is also the root of ought,

  216. 216
    William J Murray says:

    In this case, clearly can be understood to mean the same as self-evidently.

    No, it doesn’t. “That is not a a tree” is not a logically absurd statement in and of itself. “That tree is not a tree” is. Pointing at a tree and saying, “that is not a tree” is not a logically absurd statement; it’s either an error of identification or a lie.

  217. 217
    paige says:

    KF

    I think, for cause, you need to rethink from ground up.

    Could you please refrain from the condescending attitude. I am not your daughter or your parishioner. If you are incapable of doing this I am afraid that I will refrain from making any attempt to have a meaningful discussion with you. I am here to learn different viewpoints, not to stroke your fragile ego.

    Next, I see your 184, which again inadvertently demonstrates but shies away from the inescapability of the first duties of reason, as a core of knowledge, law and even socio-psychological systems in society:

    All you are describing is a human capability, not a first duty or any such nonsense.

    I have the ability to hit a golf ball almost 200 yards. When I golf, I don’t have any duty to do this but I am not going to beat my partner if I don’t make every effort to do so. The same applies to reasoning. I have that capability but it is not a duty. However, if I am in a discussion with someone who disagrees with me I am going to reason with him if I am going to convince him that my view is correct.

    The fact that people enjoy Star Wars, Star Trek and the Marvel movies clearly shows that we do not have a duty to right reason. If we did, we would not be able to enjoy these movies as they are not consistent with right reason.

  218. 218
    kairosfocus says:

    Paige, it seems that you are projecting. Twice, I have had to make major corrections in thread for you specifically. Projecting passive aggressive comebacks does not hack it, with all due respect. KF

  219. 219
    jerry says:

    And then you basically make the same argument I just made.

    No!!!

    You equated choosing ice cream to whether some person dies or not. No body gives a rat’s rear end about choices on the level of eating ice cream they are discussing choices on whether someone lives or not. Or is able to progress in life uninhibited in any major way.

    If one doesn’t see that, then that person is pretty fairly demented.

  220. 220
    paige says:

    Me

    Could you please refrain from the condescending attitude. I am not your daughter or your parishioner. If you are incapable of doing this I am afraid that I will refrain from making any attempt to have a meaningful discussion with you.

    KF

    Paige, it seems that you are projecting. Twice, I have had to make major corrections in thread for you specifically. Projecting passive aggressive comebacks does not hack it, with all due respect.

    Obviously you are incapable of not taking a condescending attitude towards those who disagree with you. I will limit my future interactions with those who can interact on a civil and respectful manner.

  221. 221
    StephenB says:

    WJM: — “It is clear that some things are as morally identifiable as a full-grown oak tree is visually identifiable, such as in the instance of “torturing babies for personal pleasure.” Clearly, unmistakable, objectively wrong if (1) you have a functioning conscience, and (2) you understand the meaning of the symbolic words employed and how they apply to things you apprehend through the sensory capacity of “conscience.”

    SB: In this case, clearly can be understood to mean the same as self-evidently.

    —“No, it doesn’t.”

    Yes, it does. If you *know* (not guess, not merely suspect) that it is objectively wrong to torture babies for fun, and you now say that you do, it is not because the point was successfully argued or because of any evidential appeal. You know it *infallibly* because it is self evident. There is no potential for error here. It is obvious that we ought not to torture babies for fun because the existence of the natural moral law is self evident.

  222. 222
    StephenB says:

    Paige to KF: “Obviously you are incapable of not taking a condescending attitude towards those who disagree with you. I will limit my future interactions with those who can interact on a civil and respectful manner.”

    You really do need to get off your high horse. If KF asks you to please rethink your position, or if he reminds you of the cultural implications of your philosophy, he is appealing politely and earnestly to your nobler self. You should be complimented that he thinks you have one. He isn’t condescending to you.

    You can’t possibly be as delicate as you pretend. In my opinion, you are using that free speech silencing ploy of claiming to be “offended” when someone says something that you disagree with. What is obvious is that KF is trying to be kind in the face of continued personal insults directed at his perfectly legitimate way of communicating, especially from those who complain that he should not be so thorough in his analysis.

  223. 223
    paige says:

    SB

    You can’t possibly be as delicate as you pretend.

    Trust me, I am far from delicate. KF is free to be as condescending as he wants. I will not stop him. But life is too short for me to waste my time trying to interact with someone who projects a sense of patronizing superiority towards those he disagrees with.

  224. 224
    Karen McMannus says:

    BA77: Well actually, I do believe, based on archeological evidence, that really happened.

    You believe that your God commanded it, as the text claims?

    Okie dokie.

  225. 225
    bornagain77 says:

    Let’s just say, to put it mildly, that your Biblical literacy is not nearly as good as you think it is if you think God just willy nilly, out of the blue, commanded them to be destroyed without more than sufficient predicate for rendering His judgment against them.

    Of supplemental note: In 2014, Stephen Meyer gave this very interesting, even amazing, talk on Biblical Archeology. Archeological evidence that very strongly suggests ‘supernatural’ destruction of one of Israel’s enemies:

    A Tale of Two Conquests – Stephen Meyer
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcDNYXmUWO0

  226. 226
    Karen McMannus says:

    BA77: His judgment against them.

    Yep, those innocent babies and children.

  227. 227
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/225

    Let’s just say, to put it mildly, that your Biblical literacy is not nearly as good as you think it is if you think God just willy nilly, out of the blue, commanded them to be destroyed without more than sufficient predicate for rendering His judgment against them.

    How do you know He didn’t? How many children – born or unborn – were killed in the obliteration of Sodom and Gomorrah? How many were drowned in the Noachic Flood? And for what? What can they possibly have done to merit death? And this from a God who is supposed to have the power to easily do otherwise.

    I was raised as a Christian and initially believed in it implicitly. But as I became aware of all the inconsistencies and contradictions in the Bible I lost my faith. I can understand how important that faith is to some people and that they will cling to it come what may but they do it no favors by trying to sweep these issues under the carpet or pretend they don’t exist

  228. 228
    jerry says:

    I was raised as a Christian and initially believed in it implicitly.

    Then you know from the Christian perspective the fate (good or bad) of any specific human (except one) during life on earth is meaningless in the scheme of things.

  229. 229
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky, as to the wickedness in Noah’s day,

    Genesis 6
    5Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great upon the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was altogether evil all the time. 6And the LORD regretted that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7So the LORD said, “I will blot out man, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—every man and beast and crawling creature and bird of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them.”
    8Noah, however, found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

    And geological evidence confirms that there was indeed cataclysmic worldwide flooding approx. 14,000 years ago.

    Humanpast.net
    Excerpt: Worldwide, we know that the period of 14,000 to 13,000 years ago, which coincides with the peak of abundant monsoonal rains over India, was marked by violent oceanic flooding – in fact, the first of the three great episodes of global superfloods that dominated the meltdown of the Ice Age. The flooding was fed not merely by rain but by the cataclysmic synchronous collapse of large ice-masses on several different continents and by gigantic inundations of meltwater pouring down river systems into the oceans. (124)
    What happened, at around 13,000 years ago, was that the long period of uninterrupted warming that the world had just passed through (and that had greatly intensified, according to some studies, between 15,000 years ago and 13,000 years ago) was instantly brought to a halt – all at once, everywhere – by a global cold event known to palaeo climatologists as the ‘Younger Dryas’ or ‘Dryas III’. In many ways mysterious and unexplained, this was an almost unbelievably fast climatic reversion – from conditions that are calculated to have been warmer and wetter than today’s 13,000 years ago, to conditions that were colder and drier than those at the Last Glacial Maximum, not much more than a thousand years later. From that moment, around 12,800 years ago, it was as though an enchantment of ice had gripped the earth. In many areas that had been approaching terminal meltdown full glacial conditions were restored with breathtaking rapidity and all the gains that had been made since the LGM were simply stripped away…(124)
    A great, sudden extinction took place on the planet, perhaps as recently as 11,500 years ago (usually attributed to the end of that last ice age), in which hundreds of mammal and plant species disappeared from the face of the earth, driven into deep caverns and charred muck piles the world over. Modern science, with all its powers and prejudices, has been unable to adequately explain this event. (83)
    http://humanpast.net/environme.....ent11k.htm

    The Bible also speaks of God opening up the fountains of the deep,

    What does Genesis 7:11 mean?
    Excerpt: We are told that on that day all the fountains or springs of the great deep burst forth. The picture is of geyser spewing its contents into the sky, implying that a great underground ocean had existed and had been under some amount of pressure since the beginning of creation. In addition, the “windows of heaven” were opened. Great torrents of rain poured from the sky.
    https://www.bibleref.com/Genesis/7/Genesis-7-11.html

    And indeed it was recently discovered that there is enough water below the surface of the earth to completely cover the earth in water:

    Study: Deep beneath the earth, more water than in all the oceans combined – June 16, 2014
    Excerpt: And its a good thing, too, Jacobsen told New Scientist: “We should be grateful for this deep reservoir. If it wasn’t there, it would be on the surface of the Earth, and mountain tops would be the only land poking out.”
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/06/16/study-deep-beneath-north-america-theres-more-water-than-in-all-the-oceans-combined/

    As to the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah, Well, there is that little incident of the men of Sodom wanting to rape the angels that were visiting Lot:

    Why Did God Destroy Sodom and Gomorrah? Their Story of Sin in the Bible
    The sinful ways of Sodom and Gomorrah were so outrageous that God destroyed the two cities with fire sparing only the family of Lot.
    Excerpt: According to Genesis 19:5, “They called to Lot, ‘Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.’”
    Lot pleaded with the crowd to reconsider, even offering his two virgin daughters in place of the two visiting men, whose angelic identity was apparently unknown to the lustful sodomites.
    https://www.christianity.com/wiki/sin/why-did-god-destroy-sodom-and-gomorrah-story-of-sin-in-the-bible.html

    And there is indeed archeological evidence also supporting the fact that Sodom and Gomorrah were suddenly destroyed by fire:

    Q&A: The Bible and Archaeology (Conversation with Joel Kramer) – Sodom and Gomorrah – 11:22 min. mark
    https://youtu.be/ZqTjpCrsGFE?t=682

    So Seversky, these events really happened as far as the best geological and archeological evidence can tell us.

    Do with it what you wil Severskyl,,,, but Christians have sufficient warrant to maintain that the events recorded in the Bible were real historical events.

    You objected that God did not have sufficient predicate for rendering His judgements. The Bible disagrees and says that God had more than sufficient predicate.

    So Seversky, seeing that, as far as the geological and archeological evidence can tell us, the events really did happen, I think I will wisely choose to believe what the Bible has to say about those events over what your personal opinion about those events are.

    But then again, me following the evidence, and you ignoring evidence, is nothing new, is it Seversky?

  230. 230
    Seversky says:

    Jerry/228

    Then you know from the Christian perspective the fate (good or bad) of any specific human (except one) during life on earth is meaningless in the scheme of things.

    I don’t think you’ll find BA77 will agree our lives are meaningless.

    And I do remember Matthew 10:29-31 (NIV)

    29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.
    30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
    31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

  231. 231
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/229

    Seversky, as to the wickedness in Noah’s day,…

    We only have God’s word that the wickedness of man was as widespread as claimed. We never get to hear from the people of that time in their own defense. Even our justice system allows defendants to answer their accusers. I would expect God to be no less just.

    And even if wickedness were as widespread as claimed, it is absurd to believe that the unborn, babies and small children were all as wicked as the adults were alleged to be.

    Finally, if indeed the humans of that time were wicked, the responsibility for that must be laid at God’s doorstep. Nothing happens but by His will. If human beings were capable of wickedness then that is how He designed them. Nor, if He is omniscient, can He pretend ignorance of that capability. He would have known it at the time of the creation and He would know of its consequences through the whole of time.

    And geological evidence confirms that there was indeed cataclysmic worldwide flooding approx. 14,000 years ago

    We are not discussing whether the Flood actually occurred, we are discussing its morality, assuming it did happen and was caused by God.

    As to the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah, Well, there is that little incident of the men of Sodom wanting to rape the angels that were visiting Lot:

    Again, an unsubstantiated allegation and we hear nothing from the accused.

    But the true horror of that story is the moral inversion of the father offering his two daughters to be raped by the mob instead of the angels being presented as a good thing. Especially since we learn later that the angels have the power to defend themselves.

    You objected that God did not have sufficient predicate for rendering His judgements. The Bible disagrees and says that God had more than sufficient predicate.

    And that is enough for you? God can do whatever He likes and you would never question Him?

    But how would you know? Supposing a man came forward today and said that God had appeared to him and told him the world was wicked and he was appointed to destroy all mankind in any way he could, would you believe him without question?

  232. 232
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky, your argument as usual does not hold water.

    For instance, you want to hold God to be completely morally culpable for any wickedness that men may do in this world, but you completely ignore the fact that we have been given free will by God.

    With free will, that necessarily makes each of us each morally responsible for our own actions.

    There is no way around it. Indeed, our entire legal system is built upon that predicate.

    If we were automatons with no choice of whether to do good or whether to do evil then you might have a point with your argument, but with free will in the mix then that sinks your entire argument.

  233. 233
    jerry says:

    I don’t think you’ll find BA77 will agree our lives are meaningless.

    I never said anything close to that.

  234. 234
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, the OP is about what constitutes knowledge, why, also by extension what happens when you don’t get that right. Thus, it is directly relevant to the ID debates, as part of the foundations of reason framework. Further to this, I am of the view that we have not got basic reasoning right and as a direct result have taken up warped views of knowledge and how we warrant it, e.g. scientism, so called methodological naturalism and many other rhetorical games we meet with. As one result, per the pessimistic induction, theoretical, explanatory frameworks of science are intrinsically unable to attain even moral certainty. Linked, the factual observations and reliability of predictive frameworks are empirical observations taken on credit due to induction. They hold absolutely no special status relative to other responsible investigations. Scientism, the perceived domination of reputable knowledge by Big-S Science, collapses. Of course ideologues and the indoctrinated will object, but they haven’t got an epistemological or logical leg to stand on. KF

    PS: Two other important issues are that our responsible, rational freedom so our life of the mind is morally governed per self evident first truths about duty and this frames a valid structure for sound thinking about law and government, also governance. Including of institutional scienc, especially in the face of damaging impacts of scientism etc.

  235. 235
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77, Sev, KM et al, this is not a forum for evil bible style internet atheist side tracks. Kindly cease the distractions. We are dealing with a fairly serious and central issue regarding the life of the mind. Needless side tracks will lead nowhere productive, especially as it is manifest that emotion rather than fair mindedness is in the driver seat. I have already linked on a start point for those troubled by genuine issues, of course unduly but predictably ignored. That speaks for itself, return to focus. KF

  236. 236
    kairosfocus says:

    SB and Paige:

    SB, thanks.

    Paige, you are beginning to slide into rhetorical territory that is ill advised. FYI, this forum will not indulge red guard attack tactics (associated with a dirty form McFaul colour revolution now at the Reichstag fire agitprop and lawfare stage . . . ), passive aggressive mind bending games, linked brainwashing tactics (I spent 20 years exposing and dealing with destructive mind bending sects, do you really want me to start expounding on unfreezing, changing, refreezing and resistance or programming breakout techniques?) and the like.

    KF

  237. 237
    kairosfocus says:

    BA 77, without due recognition of responsible rational, conscience guided and guarded freedom, reason collapses and knowledge loses credibility. Ideology, crooked yardsticks, out of control passions and lawlessness opening the gates to nihilism take over. Resemblance to current events is not coincidental. Unfortunately, one of the things we are liable to lose out of our folly is liberty under just law. The lawless can only be curbed or deterred, they will not freely govern themselves from within by right reason applied to just conduct. KF

  238. 238
    AndyClue says:

    Observe we have atheists whining about biblical slaughter of children, while a the same time supporting the abortion holocaust. And we have christians whining about the abortion holocaust, while at the same time defending the biblical slaugther of children.

    Now let’s see the first paragraph of this op:

    Our civilisation is going through a crisis of confidence, down to the roots. If it is to be restored, that is where we have to start, and in the face of rampant hyperskepticism, relativism, subjectivism, emotivism, outright nihilism and irrationality, we need to have confidence regarding knowledge.

    Indeed.

  239. 239
    kairosfocus says:

    AC, my fear is, our civilisation — through insistent folly — is becoming a plague on the earth. KF

  240. 240
    bornagain77 says:

    Well KF, while this is not a thread for biblical apologetics, it is important to note that the primary and root reason and/or motivation that is driving Sev, KM, and even WJM, into their absurd arguments is their rejection of classical Theism and their rejection of Christian Theism in particular.

    Might it too obvious to point out that until that root issue with Theism and/or Christianity is dealt with squarely then the issues you are focused on will never be successfully resolved?

    I may be wrong, but that seems like a fairly obvious observation to me.

  241. 241
    Viola Lee says:

    KF writes, “My fear is, our civilisation — through insistent folly — is becoming a plague on the earth.”

    I have some similar fears, but for quite different reasons than KF. Our effect on the environment, totalitarian approaches to government, threats to democracy in the US and elsewhere, conspiracy theories and the reasons they take hold, tribal attachment to worldviews and the demonization of people who think otherwise, to name a few.

  242. 242
    paige says:

    VL, I agree. The risk to civilization is not divorce, premarital sex, universal health care, same sex marriage, the decline of Christianity, globalization, immigration or the tolerance and protection of different worldviews. It is intolerance, political divisiveness, labelling, xenophobia, government overreach, lack of support for the least fortunate, lack of action against racism and sexism, the resistance to change and experimentation, and the belief in a non-existent “better times”.

  243. 243

    The obvious analysis about what is happening is, people are making bad personal opinions about what is good, loving and beautiful.

    If people don’t pay dedicated attention to subjective issues, as in prayer to God, then they will have bad personal opinions.

    If atheists sat down, and thought about subjective issues, then they would form better personal opinons. That would be another way than prayer to pay dedicated attention to subjective issues.

    But clearly, praying to God is by far the most excellent way to pay dedicated attention to subjective issues.

    And atheists are utterly clueless about how subjectivity functions, because it is an inherently creationist concept. So then the atheists go by their intuitive understanding of subjectivity only, not any intellectual understanding of it. It can only turn out bad.

    Creationists are themselves too blame, for not teaching the creationist conceptual scheme. The CCS which explains the difference between opinions and facts.

  244. 244
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77, if people look at the equivalent of a naturally straight and upright plumb line and insist that it is crooked, the issue is not evidence or reason but crooked yardstick standards of thinking. We are manifestly rational, responsible, conscience guided. Truth is the manifest purpose of reason and we have a duty to move towards it. Likewise, duty informs us of what we should do but are inherently free not to do. If we reject the force of such and refuse to recognise from the course of our own objections that they appeal to the first duties, invariably [with case after case on point] we can only duly note the fact and recognise its sad consequences. KF

  245. 245
    AndyClue says:

    @Paige:

    VL, I agree. The risk to civilization is not divorce, premarital sex, universal health care, same sex marriage, the decline of Christianity, globalization, immigration or the tolerance and protection of different worldviews. It is intolerance, political divisiveness, labelling, xenophobia, government overreach, lack of support for the least fortunate, lack of action against racism and sexism, the resistance to change and experimentation, and the belief in a non-existent “better times”.

    The irony is that the sj movement’s fight against so called “racism” and “sexism” has lead to intolerance, political divisiveness, labelling, goverment overreach, lack of support for the least fortunate, …

  246. 246
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, the Bruntland sustainability principle is an application of the Kantian Categorical Imperative, i.e. it is essentially ethical. The first duties of reason are foundational to ethical and political reason too. Unsoundness at the root leads to unsoundness in policy and to breakdown of trust in community. That last, alas, is too often so for cause. KF

  247. 247
    Sandy says:

    Paige
    VL, I agree. The risk to civilization is not divorce, premarital sex, universal health care, same sex marriage, the decline of Christianity, globalization, immigration or the tolerance and protection of different worldviews. It is intolerance, political divisiveness, labelling, xenophobia, government overreach, lack of support for the least fortunate, lack of action against racism and sexism, the resistance to change and experimentation, and the belief in a non-existent “better times”.

    🙂 Paige probably you are a young and unexperienced(not to use a harsher term ) student. What happens when naivity,credulity and idealism met together ? Why socialism ,comunism,leftism have such a success with unexperienced and full of imaginary goals students? Because they had no real responsibility in life,no experience in life and are full of imaginary idealist goals. Easy to be tricked and they think they are the saviours of the world when in reality they can’t even distinguish which is their left arm and which is their right arm. It’s sad .

  248. 248
    Seversky says:

    The problem I have with apocalyptic visions of imminent social collapse is that it implies that there was widespread social order and stability which preceded it and is in danger of being abandoned through some sort of madness for want of a better word.

    I think this is a misperception. I think that if you look at human cultures on a global scale going back over the millennia they have been a pretty awful mess. Yes, there have been pockets of relative peace and prosperity but they haven’t lasted.

    On top of this you have the daunting problem of trying to find a way of governing and providing for a world population of upwards of 7 billion and growing, a lot of whom don’t want other people interfering with their way of life as they see it. How do you help those who don’t want your help?

    This is a situation we’ve never had to deal with before. Looking back to previous cultures to see what we can learn from them is always a good idea but they may not be the answer, at least not all of it. We may have to try to find something new.

    Political ideologies like Marxism or communism or socialism don’t seem to work because, whatever their ideals, they seem to fall all too easily into the hands of gangsters. Capitalist democracies are a little better but the wealth and power available soon fall into the hands of those with the skills to manipulate the system to their own advantage, in other words, the modern equivalents of the so-called “robber barons”.

    As they say in some movies at a time of crisis, “If anyone has a better idea, now’s the time.”

  249. 249
    jerry says:

    I agree. The risk to civilization is not divorce, premarital sex, universal health care, same sex marriage, the decline of Christianity, globalization, immigration or the tolerance and protection of different worldviews. It is intolerance, political divisiveness, labelling, xenophobia, government overreach, lack of support for the least fortunate, lack of action against racism and sexism, the resistance to change and experimentation, and the belief in a non-existent “better times”.

    One of the more gibberish paragraphs I’ve seen in awhile. Probably every thing in it could be shown wrong to some extent or empty of any thinking. A couple are innocuous or pious nonsense such as universal health care but most are meaningless such as there doesn’t exist a better time.

    A product of not thinking clearly. It’s let me print the good sounding points without any thought.

  250. 250
    paige says:

    Sandy

    Paige probably you are a young and unexperienced(not to use a harsher term ) student.

    On the contrary. I am in my mid sixties, have worked in over 25 countries in North and South America, Asia, Australasia, Africa and Europe, and continue to work with people from over 70 countries, covering most cultures and religions. I am not a member of either party, although I support some policies from both. I oppose abortion but don’t see a path towards eliminating the demand for them. I oppose deficit budgets except in times of crisis. I support the right for someone to take a knee or burn the flag. I support full support for veterans. I oppose super-pacs. I support freedom of speech, which also includes the right of people to advocate for consequences (eg, boycotting, withholding advertising revenue, etc) for people who’s speech you disagree with. I support freedom for religion except when it imposed restrictions on other people’s freedoms. I support same sex marriage but also support the right of any church to not preside over SSM. I support universal health care but not government delivery of these services. I support the 2nd amendment. I believe that there is systemic racism but it is much better than it was 50+ years ago. I think change is inevitable so it is in our best interest to help guide this change rather than blindly resist it.

  251. 251
    Viola Lee says:

    KF writes, “VL, the Bruntland sustainability principle is an application of the Kantian Categorical Imperative, i.e. it is essentially ethical.”

    What does that have to do with what I wrote? My concerns about the world are primarily ethical as they are based on my wishes for the betterment of making as a whole.

  252. 252
    Viola Lee says:

    Too late to edit 251: “mankind as a whole”, not “making as a whole.”

  253. 253
    StephenB says:

    Viola Lee — [worries about] “Our effect on the environment, totalitarian approaches to government, threats to democracy in the US and elsewhere, conspiracy theories and the reasons they take hold, tribal attachment to worldviews and the demonization of people who think otherwise, to name a few.

    Paige — “I agree. The risk to civilization is not divorce, premarital sex, universal health care, same sex marriage, the decline of Christianity, globalization, immigration or the tolerance and protection of different worldviews. It is intolerance, political divisiveness, labelling, xenophobia, government overreach, lack of support for the least fortunate, lack of action against racism and sexism, the resistance to change and experimentation, and the belief in a non-existent “better times”.

    It is interesting that both of these individuals support a world view (political progressivism) that militates against the values they claim to care about. So let’s make a few relevant points:

    Christians and theists support a rational world view that recognizes the existence of God given rights, such as the right to life, the right to free speech, and right to free expression. They view government as the institution that is supposed to protect those basic human rights, which reflect the natural moral law. Under that system, there is a tolerance for diverse views and a justifiable bias against totalitarianism. With this formula, it is they (the citizens) who are supposed to be calling the shots and it is the government that is supposed to be serving them.

    Progressives, by definition, are supporters of a totalitarian government because they view the state (not the family) as the primary institution for shaping the culture. Progressives hate the nuclear family and always have. On that matter, they refuse to *tolerate* those with whom they disagree. That is what “hate crime” legislation is all about. Those same progressives gave us the “cancel” culture, which eliminates any form of dissent from politically correct ideology. They enforce their totalitarian view by such acts as shutting down YouTube accounts.

    Christians support the first rules of right reason because they understand that a rational world view is necessary to appreciate the objective truths that define our natural rights and the attendant responsibilities that go with them. According to the natural moral law, rights and responsibilities go together. Without that understanding, it is impossible to build a well ordered society.

    Progressives dismiss morality, duty, and human dignity as myths. That is why they militate against the rational principles set forth in the American Constitution and Declaration of Independence, which are grounded in “the laws of nature and nature’s God.” Notice how often they have said (on this very thread) that humans have no moral duties at all.

    In the American culture, progressives have taken up the immoral Marxist philosophy, which holds that “the end justifies the means,” which is the same as saying, they (not their adversaries) may do anything they please if they so choose. If they must lie, cheat, steal, or murder to get their way, they will do it since they recognize no objective moral constraints on their behavior.

    So please, Viola Lee and Paige, don’t tell me that you worry about the evils of totalitarianism and intolerance. If you were sincere about freedom’s principles, you would join the Theists and abandon your radical secularism.

  254. 254
    bornagain77 says:

    ^^^^^^

    I wish I could have articulated that as well as you did StephenB.

  255. 255
    Viola Lee says:

    I may be able to respond more later tonight, but Stephen writes,

    “Progressives, by definition, are supporters of a totalitarian government because they view the state (not the family) as the primary institution for shaping the culture.”

    Can you provide a source for that “definition”?

    And ” Progressives hate the nuclear family and always have..”

    Can you provide some evidence for that?

    I have lots of friends that could be labelled “progressives” and am virtually certainly every one of them thinks family is the core and heart of community, from which government derives its power. (Note: I left out “nuclear” because families comes in all sorts, including the extended family: grandparents, parents, and children that help establish the continuity that helps family extend over time.)

    And, I will add that Stephen’s comment is a prime example of something we have been discussing here, and that I mentioned: without knowing very much about me he throws me into a demonized stereotypical group for which he has nothing but disgust. Such tribalism, demonization, and distorted simplifications are some of the things I am concerned about in the world.

  256. 256
    paige says:

    SB

    It is interesting that both of these individuals support a world view (political progressivism)…

    Again with the labelling so as to categorize an individual into the “despised other” group. If you see the things I support at 250 you will see that some fall on the right end of the spectrum and some fall on the left. Rather that apply a convenient, although inaccurate, label to VL and myself, why not address the issues we actually mention? For example, I don’t think that VL or I have ever said anything to support the “cancel culture”, but we are accused of supporting it. As well, neither VL or I have said anything in support of authoritative or totalitarian regimes, but those implications have been made.

  257. 257
    Viola Lee says:

    Thanks, Paige, for saying some things I could have said, also.

  258. 258
    StephenB says:

    —“(Note: I left out “nuclear” because families comes in all sorts, including the extended family: grandparents, parents, and children that help establish the continuity that helps family extend over time.)”

    Of course you left out the “nuclear” family One of the ways that progressives show their hatred for it is to define it out of existence by including elements that don’t belong there.

  259. 259
    StephenB says:

    BA @ 254, thanks for the kind words.

  260. 260
    Viola Lee says:

    Stephen, I left out nuclear because families are bigger than the nuclear family, and in the modern world there are so many combinations of blended families and single -parent families, all of whose health are important to me, that I wanted to included a larger notion.

    I don’t hate nuclear families. My spouse and my children, who are now grown and some have kids of their own, are the most important social units in my life.

    As Paige pointed out, you are illustrating two related things that I think are part of the problems in the world: working from very dichotomized, demonized stereotypes and not caring to find out about the views of real individuals who are unlikely to fit those stereotypes.

    And please let me know your source for your statement” “Progressives, by definition, are supporters of a totalitarian government because they view the state (not the family) as the primary institution for shaping the culture.” That doesn’t sound at all like what myself and my friends, who I would consider progressives, believe.

  261. 261
    StephenB says:

    —“And, I will add that Stephen’s comment is a prime example of something we have been discussing here, and that I mentioned: without knowing very much about me he throws me into a demonized stereotypical group for which he has nothing but disgust.”

    I was responding to [a] the world view that you have been expressing for days and [b] the specific concerns that you cited @253. If, indeed, you are non-progressive in some areas, then that is a good thing and there may be some hope for you.

    Meanwhile, your overall posture is progressive in nature. You assume, for example, that it isn’t appropriate for me to feel “disgust” over the progressivist world view, even when I am aware of its destructive nature. It is appropriate to feel disgust over something that really is disgusting. You don’t seem to get that.

    Meanwhile, you assume, wrongly, that I am disgusted with you, as opposed to your world view. I make distinctions like that. Progressives do not. You don’t simply disapprove of KF’s world view, for example, you disapprove of *him*, and you have made this clear on many occasions.

  262. 262
    StephenB says:

    Paige —“I don’t think that VL or I have ever said anything to support the “cancel culture”, but we are accused of supporting it. As well, neither VL or I have said anything in support of authoritative or totalitarian regimes, but those implications have been made.”

    I am saying, in effect, that by arguing against natural rights and duties, you are supporting the opposite world view, which inexorably leads to authoritarianism and the cancel culture.

  263. 263
    StephenB says:

    —“I don’t hate nuclear families. My spouse and my children, who are now grown and some have kids of their own, are the most important social units in my life.”

    What you hate is the prospect of a nuclear family as an exclusive institution that does not include “same-sex” marriage as a legitimate component.

  264. 264
    paige says:

    SB

    Of course you left out the “nuclear” family One of the ways that progressives show their hatred for it is to define it out of existence by including elements that don’t belong there.

    Nobody hates the nuclear family. We will be celebrating our 40th anniversary this year. We were married in a church and our three baptized kids are married, two in a church and one in a synagogue. Each of them now has their own nuclear family, one Catholic, one Jewish and one weak Christian.That doesn’t mean that other types of families, including single parent, shared custody, adoptive, multi-generational and same sex families cannot contribute equally to society. The only thing that inhibits this is the stigmas, prejudices and roadblocks that they often face by people who think that the nuclear family is the only one that should be acknowledged.

  265. 265
    StephenB says:

    —“And please let me know your source for your statement” “Progressives, by definition, are supporters of a totalitarian government because they view the state (not the family) as the primary institution for shaping the culture.”

    I didn’t use a source. If I had, I would have cited it. Why should I call on someone else to say what only I can say in the way I want to say it? Please don’t be so petty. We have bigger fish to fry than that.

    The point you need to understand is that the nuclear family should be the primary institution and the state should be secondary. The former is supposed to offer direction for the latter and not the other way around.

  266. 266
    StephenB says:

    —“Nobody hates the nuclear family.”

    You missed my comment @263.

  267. 267
    Sandy says:

    Paige

    Sandy

    Paige probably you are a young and unexperienced(not to use a harsher term ) student.

    On the contrary. I am in my mid sixties, have worked in over 25 countries in North and South America, Asia, Australasia, Africa and Europe, and continue to work with people from over 70 countries, covering most cultures and religions. I am not a member of either party, although I support some policies from both. I oppose abortion but don’t see a path towards eliminating the demand for them. I oppose deficit budgets except in times of crisis. I support the right for someone to take a knee or burn the flag. I support full support for veterans. I oppose super-pacs. I support freedom of speech, which also includes the right of people to advocate for consequences (eg, boycotting, withholding advertising revenue, etc) for people who’s speech you disagree with. I support freedom for religion except when it imposed restrictions on other people’s freedoms. I support same sex marriage but also support the right of any church to not preside over SSM. I support universal health care but not government delivery of these services. I support the 2nd amendment. I believe that there is systemic racism but it is much better than it was 50+ years ago. I think change is inevitable so it is in our best interest to help guide this change rather than blindly resist it.

    🙂 You support contradictory causes which give us a hint about you. Would have been better for you to be a naive student.

  268. 268
    Viola Lee says:

    Stephen, add “What you hate is the prospect of a nuclear family as an exclusive institution.

    However, you are mistaken to think that I hate any of these things. I support multiple types of families, and I don’t support thinking of the nuclear family as you mean it as the only acceptable form of family, but that doesn’t mean that I hate the position that it is. You seem to be the one that seems to think not being for something and hating it are synonymous.

    And re 265, it is the phrase “by definition” that I object to. There is no “definition of progressives” that uniformly describes some monolithic group of people, and your use of the phrase is just one of the ways that you embedded in your sterotypes.

  269. 269
    StephenB says:

    Paige — “I support freedom for religion except when it imposed restrictions on other people’s freedoms.”

    If a school decides that biological males who identify as females should not be permitted to shower with girls or use their restrooms, would that be an imposed restriction on other people’s freedom.

    If a preacher makes a pubic declaration that homosexual activity is intrinsically disordered and could send a soul to hell, would that qualify as an imposed restriction?

    If, when the boy scouts existed, they had decided that a transgender should not be permitted to serve as scout leader, would that have qualified as an imposed restriction?

  270. 270
    Viola Lee says:

    “If a preacher makes a pubic declaration that homosexual activity is intrinsically disordered and could send a soul to hell, would that qualify as an imposed restriction?”

    No. It’s the preacher’s prerogative to say that to his or her congregation. If somebody doesn’t like it, they can just choose not to go to that church. In fact, anyone can make such a public declaration if they wish. Others may choose to ignore them or argue with them or dislike them for that position–those are all possible consequences–but someone saying that doesn’t impose restrictions on anyone else’s freedoms.

  271. 271
    StephenB says:

    Viola Lee: — “However, you are mistaken to think that I hate any of these things. I support multiple types of families, and I don’t support thinking of the nuclear family as you mean it as the only acceptable form of family.”

    If you think so little of the nuclear family that you would neutralize its once privileged status as the primary institution that supports natural rights by comparing it favorably to “other types” of families, and, in the process, destroy its original purpose, and if you would transfer that special privilege to the secular state, which rejects natural rights in principle, then I don’t know of any other word to describe your attitude other than hate or, perhaps, cold indifference, which is almost the same thing

  272. 272
    Seversky says:

    Sandy/267

    You support contradictory causes which give us a hint about you. Would have been better for you to be a naive student.

    I agree with Paige on almost all of those positions.

    Maybe it’s naïve to think you can fit people neatly into boxes like “conservative” or “liberal” or that labelling them as such tells you everything they believe in.

    Maybe it’s naïve to think that “worldview” is anything other than a vague and incoherent concept.

  273. 273
    paige says:

    SB

    What you hate is the prospect of a nuclear family as an exclusive institution.

    Since the nuclear family has never been an exclusive institution, why would I hate it?

  274. 274
    Viola Lee says:

    Well, Stephen, your description of my position isn’t the way I see the situation.

    Bit I’m curious, what do you think about families consisting of divorced people with children who then remarry to create a blended family. Or what about single-parent families? Both of these are “other kinds of families” that I support. Does my support for them indicate hatred, or cold indifference, to the nuclear family?

  275. 275
    jerry says:

    I agree with Paige on almost all of those positions.

    Which ones are not absurd or vacuous? Name a couple.

    Let me start by picking a vacuous one, universal health care.

    What is that? I have no idea. Is it the best health care in the world. That is obviously not available to any but a few because of scarcity of resources. So what level is the minimum for universal health care? And does universal mean the world?

    This is one of those things that sounds good but is meaningless because it can never be specified or implemented. But I am a good guy because I propose it. Who could ever be against it?

    The rest are similarly misguided.

  276. 276
    paige says:

    SB

    If a school decides that biological males who identify as females should not be permitted to shower with girls or use their restrooms, would that be an imposed restriction on other people’s freedom.

    Who’s people’s freedoms?

    If a preacher makes a pubic declaration that homosexual activity is intrinsically disordered and could send a soul to hell, would that qualify as an imposed restriction?

    No. A preacher is free to declare whatever he wants and try to get others to impose restrictions on homosexuals. Just as those who disagree with the preacher are free to advocate for restrictions on the preacher because of his homophobic beliefs. That is what freedom is about. Don’t blame the system because the homosexuals are better at marketing than the preachers.

    If, when the boy scouts existed, they had decided that a transgender should not be permitted to serve as scout leader, would that have qualified as an imposed restriction?

    The Boy Scouts still exist. One of my daughters is still a leader. They have had gay leaders, female leaders and transgendered leaders. How has this made the scouts any less of a good influence on our youth? Please provide examples.

  277. 277
    paige says:

    Jerry

    Which ones are not absurd or vacuous? Name a couple.

    Let me start by picking a vacuous one, universal health care.

    How is this vacuous? There are many countries that provide health care for everyone, regardless of status. Canada, UK, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand and many more. In fact, there are more countries in the G20 that provide it than those who don’t.

    And don’t get me wrong. They each have weaknesses, serious weaknesses. But most of them score better than us on life expectancy, infant mortality, and many other measures of health care. Where we surpass other countries is the quality of health care for those who can afford it. That is not the legacy I would like to leave for our country.

  278. 278
    StephenB says:

    VL: — “what do you think about families consisting of divorced people with children who then remarry to create a blended family. Or what about single-parent families? Both of these are “other kinds of families” that I support. Does my support for them indicate hatred, or cold indifference, to the nuclear family?”

    As I reflect further, and as you respond to my comments, it seems to me that the main problem with your position is not so much that you hate the traditional nuclear family (a heterosexual union consisting of a mother and father who will transmit sound moral values) so much as you refuse to accept its rightful role as the primary institution and the most important cultural influence.

  279. 279
    kairosfocus says:

    SB (attn, Vl, Paige, Seversky et al):

    As I again ponder the OP and its foundational nature in restoring sanity to thought on what is called knowledge as a requisite to restoring soundness in general, I am astonished by the drift to trying to fly before one can crawl. Let’s see if we can at least rescue a few things from the problem of tangents, pet peeves at the Judaeo-Christian heritage of our civilisation and a herd of favourite hobby horses. And yes, I am going to make an analysis in sweeping, highly compressed outline yet again.

    Startpoint, hyperskepticism, bane of our intellectual culture:

    1: Hyperskepticism vs hypercredulity

    Over a decade ago as I pondered the thinking around UD on selective hyperskepticism, one of the issues was, isn’t there an issue of hypercredulity (with particular reference to those clinging to alleged outdated crutches of “religion”)?

    The sound answer turned out to be no.

    For, if one is selectively hyperskeptical, disbelieving what s/he ought to have believed (had s/he applied responsibly consistent standards of evidence) it is because one already has believed what one should not believe. What, appears in the OP as, crooked yardstick thinking vs a naturally straight and upright plumb line.

    Where obviously, if one is irked by and cannot acknowledge a plumb-line, self evident truth, that is diagnostic of warped yardsticks being used as reference standards for one’s thinking.

    So, we come to:

    2: The crooked yardstick, the highest form of the agit prop operator’s art:

    obviously, there is just one way to be straight, but there literally are infinitely many ways to be crooked, so if one has made a particular brand of crookedness his/her yardstick of what is imagined straight, accurate, upright, then all comers that fail to match one’s magic key (think, Yale lock) will be locked out.

    So, the agit prop operator knows that a strong enough cleverly warped ideology provides a lock-in and a lock-out. Where, s/he needs to have designated authorities as the new magisterium (Mr Smith, what is 2 + 2? . . . whatever the Party needs at the moment . . .), and to polarise emotions through beguiling narratives that become the icons and myths of the year zero great reset new order.

    (See why Red Guard shock troops/rioters of the new order burn or censor inconvenient books and destroy inconvenient monuments? They need to warp the understanding of history so people forget the sound lessons of history, for, such ideologues know that sound history is their worst enemy, being full of cases of plumb-lines being discarded only to end in shipwreck.)

    3: A flawed political spectrum:

    In this context, a major means of warping thought (thus, what is deemed canonical knowledge and the conventional wisdom of those seeing themselves as vanguards of the new order . . .) is the deeply flawed left/centre/right [LCR] political spectrum and the linked myth that progress lies to the left of the ever drifting centre as the overton window shifts. (It seems, I have a chart to add to the OP on BATNAs and the window of political possibilities. DV, after this comment.)

    Of course, the left has had a lot of continuity, but since the collapse of monarchy as a viable order once four empires were shattered in 1914 – 18, the centre and the right have been a chaos of confusions. For instance, Fascism, explicitly derived from radical socialist thought, has been typically deemed “right wing” in part influenced by Stalin and his agit prop that put him in the “centre.” of all things.

    Instead, as the to be added to OP will show in a nutshell, a better, historically anchored spectrum is from autocracy and oligarchy [lawless then lawful] then the C18 – 20 breakthrough, constitutional representational democracy pivoting on rights, then fading into anarchy and state of nature as a repeller pole.

    The key is, to understand that democracies provide freedom but in themselves are dangerously unstable. (That’s why they were in severe discredit from the collapse of Athens through the Peloponnesian war until the printing revolution, the ferment surrounding the reformation and the rise of sufficient productivity and leisure that people at large could form a viable, informed, morally governed public that respected the natural moral law and supported it through strong cultural influences.)

    Democracies are critically dependent on cultural buttresses that stabilise them so that we preserve lawfulness while enjoying unprecedented, widespread freedom through the civil peace of justice, due balance of rights, freedoms and duties.

    By contrast, there is a very stable, historically dominant form of government: lawless oligarchy.

    (Autocrats need supportive elites so apart from foundational situations — such as Exodus 18 records — oligarchy is the historic centre of government. The debate over the long haul of history was to have lawful states, given the propensity of elites to become utterly perverse and nihilistically corrupt, with Nero Caesar as Exhibit B, Caligula edging him out slightly on perversity but not as well known. Rom 1 in our NT gives a sketch of the times. Recall, Empire, there was what happened after failure of the Republic, in a desperate attempt to shore up order. Over the past century, Case no 3 is a yardstick of such misrule, Hitler. Actually, no 2 Stalin and no 1 Mao outstrip him by far. Fidel, is a piker on numbers murdered but has been made into an icon of the progressives, along with his associate one Ernesto “Che” Gueverra, late Dentist of Chile. The same who appears on so many tee shirts worn by the ill informed. That we don’t typically understand the associated lesson on how radical revolutions led by ruthless ideologues predictably end in lawless, ideologically driven oligarchy, speaks volumes on the crooked yardsticks we have already swallowed.)

    We can now fill in blanks and connect dots regarding our present perils as the ongoing US Black theme colour revolution by McFaul subversion of elections, media and law reaches Reichstag fire phase. This, in context of a wider geostrategic global 4th generation war, de facto World War IV. (The Cold War was WW3, and since 1979 it overlapped with then emergent WW4. WW3 ended with the collapse of the Iron Curtain and the USSR, now a generation ago and it seems largely forgotten, with bloodily bought lessons unheeded. Do I need to add that WW2 was emerging for almost a decade before it broke out into full blown global high kinetic nuke threshold war between 1939 and 1941? Do I need to underscore that Stalin’s shift to territorial pushes in the late 30’s had a lot to do with that, cf the key enabling step, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact? Without that cynical pact, the move against Poland, carved up between Germany and the USSR, and the blitz in the West May 10, 1940 — 81 years ago this month — would have been impossible. 1939 is of course, the point where fission was discovered, setting the clock ticking on the race to nukes.)

    Don’t we even recognise that George Orwell’s two-minute hate was meant as satirical parody not a blueprint for the media?

    ( Coke, it’s the real thing vs the usual chant of the latest agit prop agenda item should tell us a few things on how we are being indoctrinated.)

    4: Moral yardstick 1 and the first duties of reason:

    Above, it was suggested that I should abandon listing a cluster of Ciceronian first duties as canons of highest reason framing our built in moral government, in favour of a simple case of the manifest self evident truth of child torture for pleasure. My problem, here, is that I recall vividly that much the same, minus a sock puppet or two, were busily objecting and evading in much the same way when i used a real world case of kidnapping, sexual torture and murder of a young child on the way home from school.

    We have crooked yardstick thinking at work.

    The proper response to litanies of evil bible talk points, blind scientism, equally blind colour revolution thought policing, attacks on family, church and other buttresses of democracy is to recognise them as symptoms, not root causes.

    The root issue is, warped thinking, warped because it irks at the moral government that shapes rationality through self-evident first duties. Which, such will stoutly resist, claiming that truth and reason are on their side. Of course, neatly omitting that truth and reason have probative force precisely because we have consciences that testify to the binding force of the first duties.

    I clip from 152 above, which was studiously evaded:

    – Here [in Cicero’s opening remarks for his De Legibus, 50 BC], there is a structure of thought, from BEFORE 50 BC, which speaks to Greek-Roman reflection on justice, government, law and state, with implicit antecedents going back to the river valley civilisations of the wider fertile crescent.

    – Again, they start with our ensouled, enconscienced rationality as key defining characteristics of our humanity. Where, in the relevant sense from Plato’s The Laws Bk X, soul means self-moved, reflexively causal entities that thus show themselves to be alive through acting as first causes.

    – The duties of the first cluster [= truth, right reason, prudence] are duties to our core nature. Those of the second cluster [ = neighbour, fairness, justice, etc . . . leading onward to sound civil law] are duties of community of those of like nature, i.e. mutuality.

    – recall, this is something that is coming from pagan thought, not theistic thought. Yes, Paul and Jesus pointed to such acknowledged nature but I think it is manifest that the nature is a commons of responsible thinkers across time, space and culture. When Paul described cretans as criticised by one of their own as liars, lazy gluttons etc, he was pointing to the view of their own enlightened thinkers. (And BTW, this does not mean every time they spoke they lied, just that if they saw an opening to gain advantage, they would freely deceive and defraud. The result can be imagined.)

    In short, we need to listen to Cicero summarising his antecedents, to restore balance. No it’s not oh those Bible thumping fundies want to set up a right wing Christofascist theocracy, let’s hit them with the usual agit prop barrage. Instead, we need to set reason itself straight, including that aspect of prudence that we properly term warrant, core of responsible knowledge claims. Which, undermines crooked yardstick narratives and talking points.

    Let me for variety cite something I recently ran across (a sign of the vicissitudes of encounter with the past by dint of Google), what is apparently a far better known clip from his On The Republic, Bk 3, c 54 BC:

    , 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

    Let’s focus the key clip again:

    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 . . . 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]

    _________

    In short, law, rightly framed, is rooted in first duties of reason giving moral knowledge.

    Which brings us back to the pivotal nature of knowledge and so of warrant as that which gives sound credibility to knowledge claims in a world of error and deliberate deceit. We need to get knowledge straight and we need to get the role of the candle of the Lord within straight, conscience.

    It is only then that we will be able to save the buttresses that sustain an order of civilisation that should be regarded as precious, historically rare, always under threat of the corrupt, incompetent and selfishly ambitious, and also worth fighting for.

    That we despise the precious gem we have in hand, seeking to replace it with what we imagine shines brighter, is a sign of how suicidally warped our age is.

    KF

  280. 280
    Viola Lee says:

    Well, thanks, I think. For what it’s worth I’ve been married once, heterosexually, for quite a few decades, with, as I’ve said children and grandchildren, and I’m pleased to be able to say that. I also feel good about those friends of mine who have done likewise. But I have lots of friends that I also support who have had all sorts of different situations: divorces, re-marriages, no children, long-term relationships without marriage, same-sex marriages, etc. All of these people, some more than others in ways not related to their marriage situations, have contributed to our society in, in general, just as moral a way as I have. My nuclear marriage, while good, doesn’t give me a special moral status in my eyes.

    But you say my main problem is that I “refuse to accept” the nuclear’s family’s “rightful role”. as the primary institution and the most important cultural influence.” Actually, what I don’t accept is your characterization as a “refusal” on my part. I think it would be good if our society were such that there were fewer divorces, for instance, just as I think it would be good as for us to have ways for wealth and education to be more equally distributed in society so children could get a more equitable growth opportunities (to name something else I think would be good.)

    But the world is not like that, so I support all those people who have to cope with different situations.

    But, and this is where we disagree: I think you refuse to accept that same-sex attraction is a natural (and in the words of some of my friends, God-given) part of who they are, and who thus deserves the right to a secular marriage.

    Now I know various religious groups don’t accept this, and that is fine: they don’t have to give their blessings. But marriage is a civil act, and doesn’t necessitate any religious connection. I was married by a district judge, and had no religious ceremony or blessing, and my marriage has been as solid as any. But I have friends who are now in same-sex marriages, some with religious connections and some without. I’m as happy for them as I am my heterosexual friends, because I think my same-sex friends deserve all the emotional, loving, legal, etc. benefits that marriage conveys.

  281. 281
    StephenB says:

    Paige: — “The Boy Scouts still exist. One of my daughters is still a leader. They have had gay leaders, female leaders and transgendered leaders. How has this made the scouts any less of a good influence on our youth? Please provide examples.”

    I did a quick Google search and found this:

    “On February 18, 2020, the National BSA filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and is currently restructuring its financial situation. On November 16, 2020, the National BSA disclosed in their bankruptcy filings that 92,700 former Scouts had reported sexual abuse by members of the organization.”

    Meanwhile, it recently came to my attention that this same bunch supports Black Lives Matter, a communist organization that has called for the disruption of the nuclear family. They are forcing some of these poor kids to earn a “diversity” badge.

    Bad stuff

  282. 282
    kairosfocus says:

    VL (et al), the rightful focus of this thread from OP on is knowledge and its warrant. If that is not set straight, nothing else thereafter can be straight, whatever litanies of attack points, strawman caricatures, hobby horses and demands for year zero resets age made. That for nigh on 300 comments there has been a strong tendency to distractive, polarising tangents speaks volumes on why we need to refocus the central issue. Where, if that is not straight, for cause, there is no confidence in the soundness of opinions and assertions. For, there is no reason to take it that we are not dealing with today’s Cretans, liars, lazy gluttons, addicted to perverted pleasures, filled with rationalisations of error and worse than mere error, refusing manifest duty to truth, right reason, prudence and neighbour. It is patently ill advised to cede any credibility much less power to such. The predictable consequences for the ship of state are on record from the days of Plato. KF

    PS: An instructive article https://philosophynow.org/issues/101/The_Ship_of_Fools note the magazine’s cover illustration.

  283. 283
    paige says:

    SB @281, who said that the scouts were only American? They were started as an English institution by Lord Bayden Powell during the Boer war. In, I must say, a way that can only be judged by today’s standards as child abuse.

  284. 284
    paige says:

    SB

    They are forcing some of these poor kids to earn a “diversity” badge.

    Bad stuff

    Yes. Who could ever think that diversity was a bad thing?

  285. 285
    Viola Lee says:

    KF you started this current part of the thread at 239. You think the world is going to hell in a handbasket, for various reasons, and I am concerned for other reasons. Then Stephen chimed in with stereotypes about “progressives”. What you call tangents are actually details, and details are worth discussing.

  286. 286
    Karen McMannus says:

    Paige, so what’s next? Merit badges in rioting, looting, oral sex, the Tower of Power, and how to fist your boyfriend in a gay pride parade while keeping your tutu in place? Nothing wrong with any of that diversity, right? Viva le Progress!

  287. 287
    paige says:

    VL, KF’s posts for as long as I have been here have been about civilization going down the toilet. The end of civilization.

    Yet he has been unable to explain things like:
    1) the reduced murder rate,
    2) the reduced rates of violent crime,
    3) the reduced rates of teen pregnancy,
    4) the reduced rates of abortion,
    5) the reduced rates of gay teen suicide,
    6) the reduced divorce rate

    We still have huge challenges, but I don’t see how society is heading over the cliff.

  288. 288
    paige says:

    KM

    Paige, so what’s next? Merit badges in rioting, looting, oral sex, and how to fist your boyfriend in a gay pride parade while keeping your tutu in place? Nothing wrong with any of that, right? Viva le Progress!

    Do you have anything of value to contribute, or do you prefer ridiculous hyperbole? No need to respond, it was a rhetorical question.

  289. 289
    Karen McMannus says:

    Paige: Do you have anything of value to contribute, or do you prefer ridiculous hyperbole? No need to respond, it was a rhetorical question.

    So you do have limits. What is wrong with any of the things I mentioned? And where are your boundaries, specifically, with regard to “diversity?”

  290. 290
    paige says:

    I apologize for the tone of my last post. I try not to resort to that level of ridicule, but when the fruit hangs that low….

  291. 291
    StephenB says:

    VL — “But you say my main problem is that I “refuse to accept” the nuclear’s family’s “rightful role”. as the primary institution and the most important cultural influence.” Actually, what I don’t accept is your characterization as a “refusal” on my part.

    That isn’t the issue. The point is that there are only two possible choices that can be made: Choice A is that reason and the natural moral law should be the ruling guide. This is the foundation for freedom. Choice B is that arbitrary morality and might makes right should be the ruling guide. This is the foundation for tyranny.

    The question is all about who is to be accountable and to whom or what? Should everyone, including the most powerful, be held accountable to God’s laws and reason’s rules, or should the less powerful be held accountable to the more powerful, who are accountable to no one, including God. It is a binary choice. You cannot have it both ways, nor can you split the difference.

  292. 292
    paige says:

    KM

    So you do have limits. What is wrong with any of the things I mentioned? And where are your boundaries, specifically, with regard to “diversity?”

    Sorry, I thought that you were just being a jerk. But I see that you are serious, so I will respond seriously.

    Merit badges in rioting, looting,

    Those are currently illegal. Why would that change? Taking a knee and burning the flag are vastly different than rioting and looting. I thought you would know that.

    oral sex,

    I enjoy it. Don’t you?

    the Tower of Power,

    If you are referring to the R&B horn ensemble, I am a big fan.

    and how to fist your boyfriend in a gay pride parade while keeping your tutu in place?

    If that is how you get enjoyment out of life, who am I to say otherwise.

  293. 293
    Karen McMannus says:

    Paige,

    and how to fist your boyfriend in a gay pride parade while keeping your tutu in place?

    If that is how you get enjoyment out of life, who am I to say otherwise.

    So if the Scouts BSA creates a merit badge for it, you won’t object?

    Would you object if the Scouts BSA follows Penn State into this…

    https://thepostmillennial.com/penn-state-to-stop-using-gendered-lanaguage-including-freshman-and-other-class-desigantions

    Where are your boundaries for the Scouts BSA?

  294. 294
    paige says:

    KM

    So if the Scouts BSA creates a merit badge for it, you won’t object?

    Ask me when they propose a merit badge for it. Until then, I will just take it as the hyperbolic nonsense that it is.

    Would you object if the Scouts BSA follows Penn State into this…

    Do the scouts refer to “freshman” and other gender related terms? I don’t think they do.

    I am the executive director of a non-profit organization. The head of my Board is referred to as the Chair (not Chairman), and has been for over 15 years. My female staff hasn’t been referred to as Miss or Mrs. for over 20 years. And, strangely, society hasn’t collapsed. Frankly, I am offended if someone refers to me as Miss or Mrs. Why is my worth dependent on some male inserting his penis in my vagina? Are you serious about this ?

  295. 295
    kairosfocus says:

    Paige, irrelevant. I have laid out the why of my concern, which has been playing out now geostrategically. Folly has consequences, with both ends of Asia currently ramping up dangerously on top of a Reichstag fire phase of a McFaul dirty form colour revolution playing out in a pivotal state. You are also twisting things into needless offence, which is a mark of the underlying problems being addressed. KF

  296. 296
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, as thread owner, I am pointing back to focus, UD is not a free for all. KF

  297. 297
    kairosfocus says:

    SB, I think the sort of moral-intellectual breakdown that warps ability to respond appropriately to self-evident truth is a factor in opening the door to the return of lawless oligarchy. The cultural buttresses that stabilise democratic freedom are being undermined but many are in denial. They are also generally historically ignorant so they will make the mistakes that lead to repeating sad chapters of the past. In particular, many do not realise that the BATNA of sound lawfulness protects from sliding down into the dominant state of human government and governance across history, lawless oligarchy. Which they often imagine is the specific fault of Christendom, when in fact it is partly Christian-reformed, morally influenced western culture that across centuries after the printing revolution, opened up the political space for a stable, high freedom democratic order. To my mind, absence of sound teaching on Ac 27 as a microcosm of the dilemmas of governance is a key part from the church end. From the wider culture, the fact that the ship of state and cave parables have not been key points of study is diagnostic. We see much emphasis currently on so called critical race theory without serious recall of the disaster of marxism, leading many to be beguiled once again by Victorian era marxist mythology, including through how it frames the new gospel of race. In that connexion, it is highly significant that while hyperskepticism confronts due recognition of what the American founding contributed, a pseudohistorical myth about 1619 is running wild through hypercredulity. We need to identify some crooked yardsticks. Where too there are ever so many stable mates coming from the Cultural Marxist school of thought. 100 million ghosts moan out a warning. KF

  298. 298

    What materialism causes to happen, is simply that emotions, the human spirit, and God the holy spirit, are thrown out, for the simple reason that they are not material.

    With this analysis, one should be able to explain what is happening currently, and predict what will happen in the future.

  299. 299
    Viola Lee says:

    KF writes at 296, “VL, as thread owner, I am pointing back to focus, UD is not a free for all. KF”

    KF, Stephen brought up the point at 253, which is entirely on point as to your claim that civilization is being destroyed, when he wrote, “Progressives, by definition, are supporters of a totalitarian government because they view the state (not the family) as the primary institution for shaping the culture. Progressives hate the nuclear family and always have.”

    I objected, and the discussion evolved from there. Carrying on a discussion about families and their role in society, and whether “progressives”, and by implication me, hate the nuclear family in response to that was entirely appropriate. I don’t hate the nuclear family just because I support same-sex marriage, and Stephen and I discussed that.

  300. 300
    ET says:

    Males and females are different, obviously. There is a reason why females are not playing in the NBA, MLB, MLS or the NFL. The people who cannot see the obvious DIFFERNCES are the problem.

  301. 301
    paige says:

    ET

    Males and females are different, obviously.

    Agreed. Females are superior, obviously. 🙂

  302. 302
    Viola Lee says:

    At 291, Stephen writes,

    There are only two possible choices that can be made: Choice A is that reason and the natural moral law should be the ruling guide. This is the foundation for freedom. Choice B is that arbitrary morality and might makes right should be the ruling guide. This is the foundation for tyranny.

    The question is all about who is to be accountable and to whom or what? Should everyone, including the most powerful, be held accountable to God’s laws and reason’s rules, or should the less powerful be held accountable to the more powerful, who are accountable to no one, including God. It is a binary choice. You cannot have it both ways, nor can you split the difference.

    I disagree about these things. I don’t believe in the God that you believe in, but I do believe that human beings have a moral nature that provides us more than “might makes right”. I don’t believe this is a binary choice.

    But the more relevant issue is the diversity issue. Given that there are lots of people who disagree with you in general, and about the specific issue of same-sex marriage, how are we to live as a society with a diverse range of opinions about these issues?

    If you had a progressive living next door with a “I support LBGQT rights” in their window, or you had a gay colleague at work, for instance, how would you get along with them? Would you still have a civil and even friendly relationship with them as people on the grounds that those issues really don’t impact 99.9% of your interactions with them? Or would you be cold, unfriendly, perhaps even angry, with them all the time because of their beliefs?

    Or more broadly, how as a society can we accommodate such diverse beliefs? How do we find the dividing area between feeling comfortable letting people believe as they will when that doesn’t affect us vs. feeling that we have to make society conform to the way we want it to be?

    And to be more specific, how does affect you if a same-sex couple are married? Philosophically you think it is wrong, but is there any reason why you can’t let them be?

  303. 303

    I’ve grown to be skeptical / suspicious of homosexuals, that they are materialists.

    One should have a sociological survey which measures materialism, in an intelligent way. Then we would know who the bad guys are.

    With survey questions like:
    – do you believe emotions can be measured in the brain?
    – do you believe evolution theory is right?
    – do you believe free will is real?
    – does making a choice approximately mean to pick out (someone or something) as being the best or most appropriate of two or more alternatives?

    You would have to be ultra precise in the questioning, because lots of christians and muslims are also corrupt, in that they conceive of God and emotions in materialist terms. Definitions of terms like free will, choice, emotion, subjective, objective, spirit, soul, they can have very subtle corrupted materialist meanings.

  304. 304
    StephenB says:

    VL — “I objected, and the discussion evolved from there. Carrying on a discussion about families and their role in society, and whether “progressives”, and by implication me, hate the nuclear family in response to that was entirely appropriate. I don’t hate the nuclear family just because I support same-sex marriage, and Stephen and I discussed that.”

    When I say that progressives hate the nuclear family, I could just as easily use terms like, “neoMarxists,” or “leftists,” or I could even point to specific organizations, such as Black Lives Matter, which is managed by self-identified Marxists who have called for “the disruption” of the nuclear family. In point of fact, the Communist Manifesto specifically argues that the family unit should be destroyed. As far as I am concerned, that counts as “hate” and it doesn’t matter which label we apply to the haters. The term “progressive” is as good as any other, and it is clear that millions of people fall in that category. This is simply a demographic fact. So I will stand by my statement that progressives, by definition, are supporters of a totalitarian government insofar as they view the state (not the family) as the primary institution for shaping the culture.

    Meanwhile, your support of same sex “marriage” serves the cause of destroying the nuclear family as the special (and only) institution that can challenge the institution of the state and check its excesses. Even if you do not feel the emotion of hate when you think about the exclusive nature of the traditional nuclear family (and the critical role it once played in transmission of moral values), you are, nevertheless, helping to destroy it.

  305. 305
    StephenB says:

    VL: — “I don’t believe this is a binary choice.”

    It doesn’t matter what you believe. Ultimately, the choice is between might makes right or the natural moral law. This fact has been known for thousands of years.

  306. 306
    Viola Lee says:

    I have no idea how neoMarxism applies to me. I hear (and read KF) mention Marxism. What is a principle of Marxism that you think might apply to me, or that is a common progressive belief or goal (other than the family one we are already talking about)? Also, the Communist Manifesto doesn’t apply to me at all. The sure have bundled a whole bunch of people into one bag.

    But, I’m wondering about the second part of 302. How do you live with this diversity that is around you?

  307. 307
    StephenB says:

    VL: — “If you had a progressive living next door with a “I support LBGQT rights” in their window, or you had a gay colleague at work, for instance, how would you get along with them?”

    I would get along with them fine until I expressed my personal views, at which time they would make it a point to not get along with me. That is the way it always works. It is the LGBT ideologues, not the Christians, who persecute those with whom they disagree.

  308. 308
    asauber says:

    “how as a society can we accommodate such diverse beliefs?”

    VL,

    Except for this is the wrong question. There are a few questions you should back-up to and ask yourself before you confuse yourself further (not necessarily in order):

    1. What is it that I really believe?
    2. Are my actions consistent with what I actually believe?
    3. Why do I continue to believe what I believe?
    4. How did I come to believe what I believe?

    This is almost like a secular Examination of Conscience (we Crazy Catholics are supposed to do the Catholic version periodically). And it’s good to go through because you’ll prolly find out that your thoughts and beliefs are not new or special. They are based in some philosophic assumptions that usually turn out to be old and flawed. The good news is that you can grow from there, if you want to.

    Andrew

    PS – But you have to be honest with yourself. That requires a commitment to the truth. That’s where everything starts.

  309. 309
    paige says:

    SB

    It doesn’t matter what you believe. Ultimately, the choice is between might makes right or the natural moral law. This fact has been known for thousands of years.

    This is a false dichotomy. You completely ignore the ability of people to reason and agree on what is best for society. It is far from perfect, but it seems to have worked pretty well.

  310. 310
    Viola Lee says:

    re 308: Your condescension makes KF’s look mild. 🙂

    And Stephen says, “It is the LGBT ideologues, not the Christians, who persecute those with whom they disagree.”

    Gay people fight all sorts of discrimination all the time, although things have improved. How are Christians persecuted? I don’t get that.

  311. 311
    paige says:

    VL, it has been my experience that some Christians mistake questioning fir persecution.

  312. 312
    Viola Lee says:

    Right. Disagreeing with someone, and even working to help establish one’s view, is not persecution. Persecution implies some type of enforced negative consequence to me. I wonder if Stephen can provide an explanation?

  313. 313
    paige says:

    VL, the only thing I can think of is the cases that hit the news of a baker and florist being sued because they refused to provide services to a gay couple for their wedding. I don’t know if Stephen has other examples in mind.

  314. 314
    Viola Lee says:

    I’m familiar with that story. I’m thinking just everyday interactions with people.

  315. 315
    asauber says:

    https://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/joe-biden-nancy-pelosi-seek-to-close-catholic-christian-adoption-agencies/

    “If a church does not agree with the sexual practices or the social policies of the LGBTQ+ agenda, they will be charged with illegally “discriminating” under the Civil Rights Act just as if they were burning crosses on front lawns and wearing white sheets to intimidate their African American neighbors.”

    Andrew

  316. 316
    paige says:

    Andrew, thank for the link. An interesting case. I don’t know much about adoption laws. Are adoption agencies allowed to deny adoption because of the religion, or lack of religion, of the couple seeking an adoption?

    Edit: I just did a quick search and, if I am reading it correctly, it appears that adoption agencies are not allowed to discriminate in placement of a child based on sexual orientation of the couple.

  317. 317
    asauber says:

    “Are adoption agencies allowed to deny adoption because of the religion, or lack of religion, of the couple seeking an adoption?”

    Paige,

    From what I understand, these Christian adoption agencies had the right to maintain the definition of what marriage is, and they would refer couples to other agencies if there wasn’t a real marriage involved.

    Andrew

  318. 318
    Viola Lee says:

    There is a difference between belief and action. If there are laws about something, religious belief should not get somebody out of having to follow the law. One can believe what one wants, whether it be because of religion, philosophy, or whatever, but we all need to follow the same legal rules.

  319. 319
    paige says:

    And I don’t think any of this constitutes persecution. Nobody is being sued or charged for their religious beliefs. They are being sued for refusing to provide a service to people who are legally entitled to it.

  320. 320
    jerry says:

    but we all need to follow the same legal rules.

    Not if it violates one’s religious convictions. This has never been an issue till recently but has come up when the government requires individuals and religious organizations to do things they are morally against, such as providing abortions, providing operations that violate their religious views.

    There was a law suit that would have required nuns to provide money for insurance that included contraceptive supplies and abortions. They went to the Supreme Court to avoid it.

    They are being sued for refusing to provide a service to people who are legally entitled to it.

    But what if the service is seen as immoral by the person/organization that is supposed to administer it?

  321. 321
    Sandy says:

    Seversky

    Sandy/267

    You support contradictory causes which give us a hint about you. Would have been better for you to be a naive student.

    I agree with Paige on almost all of those positions.

    Paige
    I am not a member of either party, although I support some policies from both.

    🙂 Both parties are controlled by the same cabal.

    S/he opposes abortion because supporting same sex marriage they need children to be adopted and sexualized.
    S/he support the right for someone to take a knee or burn the flag for which veterans fought and died but also s/he support veterans. Imagine that :))
    S/he believes that there is systemic racism but somehow a black became president twice not being stopped by this systemic racism. On the other side blacks are 10% of population and commit 50% of the crimes…because systemic racism. Right?
    S/he thinks change is inevitable …oh yes “build back better” 🙂

    Seversky
    Maybe it’s naïve to think you can fit people neatly into boxes like “conservative” or “liberal” or that labelling them as such tells you everything they believe in.

    Maybe it’s naïve to think that “worldview” is anything other than a vague and incoherent concept.

    Nope, everything is crystal clear. Atheists have a “regulated” inteligence there are messages where are very smart when they talk against God and after 2 messages they know nothing if is against their materialist religion. Everything become foggy and vague and incoherent.
    :))

  322. 322
    Viola Lee says:

    But they followed the law by going to the Supreme Court, which was their right. If the Supreme Court had ruled against them, then they would have had obey that decision – true?

    Or are you saying that you believe that if a law violates one’s religious convictions, one has the right to disobey the law and be free of any consequences for doing so?

    P.S. I see you added this to 320: “But what if the service is seen as immoral by the person/organization that is supposed to administer it?”

    They still have to follow the law. How would society function if anyone could decide to not follow a law because they thought it was immoral?

  323. 323
    jerry says:

    they would have had obey that decision – true?

    No, they would not obey the law. It is an immoral law.

    Why are they being put under this obligation to obey an immoral law? That is the issue.

    The society functioned just fine before the immoral laws.

  324. 324
    Viola Lee says:

    And they cold not obey the law without any consequences?

    That is, you are saying that each citizen has the right to pick and choose which laws they wish to follow, without consequences, based on their beliefs about what is moral?

    As I said before, how could society function like this?

  325. 325
    jerry says:

    As I said before, how could society function like this?

    It functioned just fine before the immoral laws. Get rid of the laws that require people to do what they consider are immoral things. It has never been an issue until recently. Why?

    There is a huge difference between allowing some to do immoral things and forcing others to do them or abet others in doing something immoral..

  326. 326
    paige says:

    Jerry

    But what if the service is seen as immoral by the person/organization that is supposed to administer it?

    Where is the line drawn? And who has the authority to draw it? Could an emergency doctor refuse to administer transfusions because their religion does not allow them? Could a Jewish surgeon refuse to perform emergency surgery on a patient between sundown Friday and sundown Saturday because his religion does not allow work on the sabbath?Could a grocery store cashier refuse to allow people to buy meat because she is morally opposed to eating the flesh of animals?

  327. 327
    Viola Lee says:

    It didn’t function very well when the immoral laws of forbidding interracial marriages, or segregation, or not letting women vote were in place. they are still people who think it is immoral to serve an inter-racial couple. Should they be allowed to do that? I think not allowing assisted dying is immoral. Does that mean my spouse should be able to assist that if the time comes and face no consequences?

    The main point is that you have an inconsistent philosophy. You want a stabile society, but you don’t want to have to follow laws that you think are immoral, but you don’t want to think through the consequences of applying that desire to some and not all.

  328. 328
    Sandy says:

    ViolaLee
    The main point is that you have an inconsistent philosophy. You want a stabile society, but you don’t want to have to follow laws that you think are immoral

    Imagine that to be a consistent philosophy has to follow the laws of other philosophies. 🙂

  329. 329
    paige says:

    Civil disobedience is a time-tested way to get laws changed. However, these aren’t consequence fee acts. And shouldn’t be.

  330. 330
    jerry says:

    Could an emergency doctor refuse to administer transfusions because their religion does not allow them? Could a Jewish surgeon refuse to perform emergency surgery on a patient between sundown Friday and sundown Saturday because his religion does not allow work on the sabbath? Could a grocery store cashier refuse to allow people to buy meat because she is morally opposed to eating the flesh of animals?

    people who think it is immoral to serve an inter-racial couple. Should they be allowed to do that?

    On each of the above, the answer is yes they can refuse. But there is zero effect on the world from these refusals. Because there are immediate alternatives. These are all vacuous examples. And apparently knee jerk responses.

    People are revealing who they really are by their comments.

  331. 331
    paige says:

    Jerry

    On each of the above, the answer is yes they can refuse.

    Sure they can. But not without consequences such as being fired. But, in reality, you wouldn’t see these sort of things because people with these beliefs would not seek these jobs.

    The trouble occurs when people with a specific religious or moral belief get into a career that conforms to this belief, only to have laws change. This has happened numerous times throughout history. Most recently with LGBQ acceptance. But before this was equal rights for women and the civil rights movement. In both cases moral values and religious beliefs were used to argue against them and jobs were lost, lawsuits filed, and reputations destroyed. But, eventually, the vast majority of people became accepting of these.

  332. 332
    paige says:

    The subject of the importance of the nuclear family got me thinking about what the ultimate goal of this and how we attain it. Obviously the ultimate goal is to raise children to be healthy, contributing members of society. And I think most would agree that the best way of doing this is a strong commitment by the couple to ensure that their marriage is strong and endures.

    But the divorce rate in the US today is between 40 and 50%. However, digging deeper I found out that there is one type of marriage that only has a 4% divorce rate. If a strong and enduring union is how we attain our goal of raising children who become productive members of society, why aren’t we strongly advocating for all marriages to be of this type?

  333. 333
    Viola Lee says:

    Jerry writes, “People are revealing who they really are by their comments.”

    Well, I agree with that! 🙂

    You write about Paige’s examples, “But there is zero effect on the world from these refusals. Because there are immediate alternatives.”

    What: go some place else for your transfusion or surgery?

    Another question: suppose a landlord refuses to rent to an inter-racial couple because interracial marriage is immoral. The laws says that it illegal. Should the landlord being excused from following the law because of his moral beliefs.

    That seems to be the question you haven’t addressed.

  334. 334
    jerry says:

    What: go some place else for your transfusion or surgery?

    You got to be kidding. One of the more stupid comments.

    Should the landlord being excused from following the law because of his moral beliefs.

    In this case the landlord should get out of the rental business. However, my guess is that there is next to zero people that hold this attitude. So it is a nonsense example.

  335. 335
    paige says:

    Jerry

    In this case the landlord should get out of the rental business. However, my guess is that there is next to zero people that hold this attitude. So it is a nonsense example.

    A poll in 2017 show that approximately 9% of Americans oppose inter-racial marriage. This is the first time that I have heard someone say that 30,000,000 was next to zero.

  336. 336
    jerry says:

    A poll in 2017 show that approximately 9% of Americans oppose inter-racial marriage. This is the first time that I have heard someone say that 30,000,000 was next to zero.

    Another stupid comment. If one opposed inter-racial marriage, how many are landlords that refuse to rent to such people for morality purposes. And how many would do that based on religious reasons.

  337. 337
    Viola Lee says:

    But you still aren’t answering this question, Jerry. Instead you are dismissing the examples.

    Should one be excused from following the law because of one’s moral beliefs?

  338. 338
    jerry says:

    Should one be excused from following the law because of one’s moral beliefs?

    Most definitely, yes. Already answered several times. Especially if the laws are unnecessary and onerous and essentially require immoral actions by the person.

    Instead you are dismissing the examples.

    Why shouldn’t they be dismissed. They are stupid and irrelevant examples. Why were such examples provided?

    And people wonder why there seems to be a bias against religion in the US. The previous comments are excellent examples.

  339. 339
    Viola Lee says:

    And who gets to decide “if the laws are unnecessary and onerous and essentially require immoral actions by the person”? It seems like you are saying that each person gets to be the judge of that for themselves.

    So, to be clear:

    You are saying that if a person decides a law is unnecessary, onerous, and requires immoral action, then that person can break the law and have the right to have no legal consequences – true?

  340. 340
    jerry says:

    You are saying that if a person decides a law is unnecessary, onerous, and requires immoral action, then that person can break the law

    Yes, that is the moral thing to do when faced with an immoral law.

    and have the right to have no legal consequences – true?

    In “might makes right” there will be legal consequences but it will be immoral legal action by whoever applies the force.

    This is getting ridiculous because one has the option of leaving the society for some place that does not have the immoral laws. But most people do not see the laws as immoral so are not faced with this decision. But this has changed in recent years as certain parts of our society have prescribed onerous laws that are immoral.

  341. 341
    Viola Lee says:

    Jerry writes, “And people wonder why there seems to be a bias against religion in the US.”

    As this discussion is showing, what we object to is people claiming that religious beliefs have a special status that can override the law.

  342. 342
    Viola Lee says:

    Jerry writes, “This is getting ridiculous because one has the option of leaving the society for some place that does not have the immoral laws.”

    This is not a serious suggestion. Are people moving out of the US because of laws allowing same-sex marriage? I don’t think so

    And where would they go? Most of North and South America and Europe either have legal same-sex marriage or recognize marriages legalized elsewhere.

  343. 343
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, I am seeing a derailed discussion thread. Derailed, by distraction from the focal issue, what is knowledge, how is it warranted and how does such differ from opinion, indoctrination, agit prop etc. This includes that it is self evidently true that conscience guides and guards our life of the mind and heart, so we ignore at peril. Further to which, we can find objective moral knowledge that regulates rationality through first duties including justice, truth, right reason, prudence etc. Above, there was repeated hyperskeptical dismissal, which failed to see that having disregarded the pivotal knowledge issue, it undermines the credibility of opinions, advocated policies and declarations under colour of law. We have no basis to take such self-defeating opinions seriously. Now, we are at strike two for this thread, do not force it to strike three. KF

  344. 344
    jerry says:

    Strike three.

    Few of the commenters here are consistent so they have no idea what knowledge is or what can justify it.

    Shut it down. All these threads end up the same way.

  345. 345
    Viola Lee says:

    KF, this is an important illustrative topic about the state of our civilization, and the role of law in helping mediate the fact that we live in a society of diverse views about what is true. Jerry thinks one thing is true, and I think more-or-less the opposite is true. How do we decide? We can’t: each of us has our views and there is no objective arbiter.

    How do we live with that problem? Appealing to religious belief as the ultimate arbiter doesn’t cut it. But if some people claim that their religious beliefs trump the law, that leads to anarchy.

    This is all on-topic for this thread.

  346. 346
    Viola Lee says:

    P.S. Jerry can shut the thread down by following his own advice: quit replying. I doubt that Paige and I will talk back-and-forth between ourselves for very long. (No offense, Paige! 🙂 )

  347. 347
    paige says:

    None taken.

  348. 348
    Seversky says:

    Concerning the nuclear family…

    The question of polygamy is an interesting one in that most people today view polygamy as immoral while the Bible nowhere explicitly condemns it. The first instance of polygamy/bigamy in the Bible was that of Lamech in Genesis 4:19: “Lamech married two women.” Several prominent men in the Old Testament were polygamists. Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon, and others all had multiple wives. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines (essentially wives of a lower status), according to 1 Kings 11:3. What are we to do with these instances of polygamy in the Old Testament?

    If God tolerates polygamy, thereby opening the door to alternatives to the nuclear family, then who are we to say otherwise? If people choose of their own free will to form nuclear families, the existence of alternatives does not prevent that, any more than same-sex marriages somehow prevent heterosexual marriages.

  349. 349
    paige says:

    Divorce rates amongst arranged marriages is only 4% as compared to 40+% for traditional marriages. Since the importance of the nuclear family is one of the main arguments against SSM, shouldn’t we be fighting to replace traditional marriage with arranged marriage?

  350. 350
    drc466 says:

    General thoughts:

    Re the original post, as an engineer my knee-jerk response to the difference between knowledge and justified true belief is Popperian – a recourse to validation and attempted falsification. I may have a JTB that team A beat team B, but a quick call to confirm the outcome turns JTB to knowledge (or not).

    Re polygamy and the Bible. There was no need to “explicitly” condemn polygamy, because heterosexual monogamy was “explicitly” (and repeatedly) declared the only God-approved form of marriage (A, not-A). Not to mention all of the “explicit” examples of how polygamy caused nothing but trouble (see, e.g., Abraham, David, Solomon, etc.). As with so many things, it was also a decent example of how wealth causes more moral problems than it solves (see also modern society). So, Sev, whaddya say – “If God [requires monogamy], thereby [closing] the door to alternatives to the nuclear family, then who are we to say otherwise?”

    Re arranged marriages: IMHO, the difference is not in arranged v. romantic marriage, but in the underlying mindset. Cultures that promote arranged marriage approach it as a true contract – an understanding that this is a “one-and-done” deal that is done for traditional purposes – have children, provide, protect, nourish, support, work, suffer, die, etc. (realistically, an arranged marriage is much more deserving of the “traditional” label than what people think of marriage today). If your expectation for marriage is tied to self-interest and the requirement that you always “love” your partner, it is not surprising those marriages have a high divorce rate. What we should be “fighting” to replace is the modern nonsensical view of marriage as two people getting their desires met by their partner, with the traditional view of marriage as two people living up to a moral obligation to meet their partner’s needs and the needs of their progeny.

    Re religious belief v. the Law: people who honestly believe their religious beliefs have two moral obligations – to live up to those beliefs even if the law disagrees, and to accept the consequences imposed by the law if religion conflicts with the law (see, e.g., MLK’s civil disobedience, the lives of the apostles, early Christians, abolitionists, etc.), with an eye towards convincing society that there is a moral obligation to change the law.

  351. 351
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, et al:

    I find it interesting how you wish to justify derailment.

    You challenge me to connect back to focus, which is on knowledge and warrant (which have largely been evaded, dismissed and dodged, itself significant), I will.

    The matter is simple, this is about knowledge and warrant, not opinions, feelings, manipulation, imposition by might and/or manipulation.

    Plantinga rightly argues that absent reliable and credibly purposeful means of moving beyond belief to credible truth, one has no warrant. Where, it is easy to see above that on issues of choice, policy, government, declaration under colour of law, moral freight through justice — due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities/duties — you have rejected, evaded, resisted, dismissed self evident Ciceronian first duties of reason tied to the evident purpose and regulation of mind through rightly guided highest reason.

    Therefore, we have a right to conclude that you have forfeited claims to warrant regarding justice, government and law. That leaves only the nihilism of might and manipulation backed by lawless will to power. Complete with 1984 style newspeak corruption of language, warping thinking through turning language itself into a means of manipulation.

    Oh, you may dress up with nice sounding terms like “values,” “equality,” “equity” etc, but the ugly, brutal 1984 message is clear.

    The radical progressivist agenda is fundamentally misanthropic, anti-civilisational, irrational, impulse driven and that by perverse fundamentally irrational impulses. The appeals to authority of first duties you cannot evade making are in utter disregard to duty to truth. In short, we are dealing with modern Cretanism. In Epimenides of Crete’s words of C6 BC, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.”

    Only ship of fools voyages can come from such a mix.

    No wonder, two years after his experience of a voyage of folly, Paul wrote in the circular letter we find as Ep. Eph:

    Eph 4: 17 So I say this, and insist23 in the Lord, that you no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility24 of their thinking.25

    18 They are darkened in their understanding,26 being alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardness of their hearts. 19 Because they are callous, they have given themselves over to indecency for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.27

    20 But you did not learn about Christ like this, 21 if indeed you heard about him and were taught in him, just as the truth is in Jesus.

    22 You were taught with reference to your former way of life to lay aside28 the old man who is being corrupted in accordance with deceitful desires, 23 to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and to put on the new man who has been created in God’s image29 – in righteousness and holiness that comes from truth.30

    That is the stark choice our civilisation again faces, in the words of the man who literally embodied the Christian synthesis of the heritage of Jerusalem, Athens and Rome that is at the root of our civilisation as we know it today.

    No wonder, we see the worst, ongoing holocaust in history proceeding under false colour of law, slaughter of living posterity in the womb.

    No wonder we see politics of agit prop and lawfare backed by corruption of policing, courts and legislatures, shaped by the impact of that holocaust. Now, manifesting misanthropy in the resurrected jacobinism of culture form marxism and cynical, willfully tendentious rewriting and reframing history to vilify the legacy that provides buttresses to constitutional democracy, in order to advance lawless ideological oligarchy.

    After all, it is the BATNA of lawfulness that restrains that reversion to the historic norm of lawless power in control, tyranny.

    And as lawless ideology cannot reason and show cause as to reliability of that reasoning (especially on morally freighted matters tied to justice . . . the pivotal first duty of government), it is no wonder that we see confession by projection to the despised other. Hence, for example, willful perversion of thought regarding identity, sexuality, family, child nurture, education. To advance irrational perversity, cynical hyperskepticism must be pushed against historic buttresses, family, marriage, church, core legacy of civilisation-rooted history and education. And indeed those exact sentiments are in the 1848 Communist manifesto and run like a thread down to today’s op-eds, textbooks, media presentations, so-called news, court rulings and decrees under colour of law and policy.

    For cause, there is therefore no confidence in the claims regarding justice, rights, equality, policy, law, onward steering of the ship of state.

    Until you can show cause that you do due diligence to first duties, with faculties shown to be reliably directed at warranting truth, we can freely dismiss your claims of progress as little more than rhetoric to seize the helm and set out on a voyage of looting and folly on the ship of state. You declared and launched on 4th gen civilisational civil war, you face the consequences.

    For those whose worldviews of evolutionary materialistic scientism and the like [the fellow traveller ideologies] it is worse, you have no right to claim reliability of mind, you are left to the chaos and folly of grand delusion while you loot the intellectual heritage of civilisation.

    So, there is no reason to have confidence in your opinions, assertions, demands, claimed intent to lead progress and right historic injustices. The track record of Cretanism is clear: decadence, perversity, addiction, en-darken-ment of mind and heart under false colours of enlightenment and progress, leading to ruin. That of Jacobinism and radical revolution is worse, as 100 million ghosts remind us.

    So, we reckon the bankrupt rhetoric of progress as what it is, speaking in disregard to the truth and duty, in intent of profiting from what is said or suggested being regarded as true, right, just. Manipulation driven by folly and intellectual bankruptcy that can provide no warrant to truth, rights and justice claims, beyond might and cynical manipulation. Of course, the likes of those showing up here are unlikely to be instigators or chief agit prop operatives, but the core issues are the same.

    Intellectual and moral bankruptcy of Cretanism and Jacobinism are duly noted. Policies in defiance of sound civilisation and lawfulness are duly noted for what they are. There is no reason to cede credibility or power to such.

    The distractions and side tracks above have no fundamental credibility as responsibly warranted and should be regarded as the policies of the misanthropic, perverse and anti-civilisational. We would be ill advised indeed to grant them any benefits of the doubt.

    So, put up cause to take opinions seriously as responsibly, reliably warranted and so trustworthy rather than fallacious and ruinously manipulative, or fail as utterly irrational and misanthropically anticivilisational _______

    Prediction, no warrant will be forthcoming, just more distractions and hobby horse riding.

    I dare you to show me wrong _________

    It is time to turn from a voyage of civilisational folly to reform and rebuild on soundness starting from self evident first duties.

    KF

    PS: Seversky, you continue the internet atheist anti-Bible rants. Polygamy and Concubinage are forms of warped culture that are too deeply entrenched in hard hearts to directly over-rule, but are left to gradual reform. So, we see in the OT, portrayal of the history of impact on family of substandard structures and cultural systems, starting with patriarchs. Kings are forbidden to multiply wives in the Constitution of Israelo and church leaders too.

  352. 352
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, this is the OP and thread where the measure of what we are dealing with is taken. The inveterate objectors manifestly cannot justify much less warrant their assertions, insinuations, inferences and suggestions or proposed policy, they have lost the knowledge issue so also the Science issue and the logic issue too. The intellectual and moral bankruptcy lie exposed, and the voyage of folly consequences are on record since Plato and since Acts 27. The wider history is there, including the utter bankruptcy of jacobinism and radical revolution including culture form marxism and its narrative of civilisational oppression while it targets the cultural buttresses that support the unprecedented freedom of constitutional democracy. We can take it to the bank that were they to gain unchecked power, lawless ideological oligarchy would rise again as they loot the civilisation and do as they will with those they despise, slander and scapegoat. They started the fight, it is time for counter-offensives that will not stop until there is unconditional surrender. For the US, I am confident that China’s blue ocean breakout attempt is a major wakeup call hence the 124 generals and admirals joining their French and Australian colleagues in warning. Iran is getting the message it can advance in the face of appeasement, though Israel is currently handing Hamas some body blows. The geostrategic vultures are rising. Locally, I think you are at Midway-Guadalcanal stage, tide-turning, mostly grinding battles that will take time to break the forces that indulged strategic over-reach by launching a Pearl Harbour strike. It is that distraction the Chinese hope to exploit to foster Blue Ocean breakout. They are even seeking Atlantic bases. Folly has consequences, including global geostrategic consequences. KF

  353. 353
    jerry says:

    The intellectual and moral bankruptcy lie exposed, and the voyage of folly consequences are on record

    Kf, I usually do not engage the disingenuous here unless I believe it will expose their insincerity and make a point. I often wonder why they are here.

    But in a way the exchange was on target as a lack of justification for any of their views was further exposed. They cannot help exposing the vacuousness of their positions.

    One used the Nazi Germany defense of immoral laws, it’s the law, and the other argued against the nuclear family.

    In the OP on the natural law being the basis for human law, I brought up the Teaching Company course on Natural Law. In the beginning of that course, it was pointed out at the Nuremberg Trials, the argument was made that there is a higher law than human law built into the species which is why they could try the Germans. But one of our commenters here spent a lot of words arguing against such a position.

    So it was about the OP.

    Aside: many fail to understand that technological advancements are often contrary to moral advancement. We may be on a technological exponential growth curve but on a decline morally. Many think the one is all that is needed but the second curve’s decline may prove the undoing of everything.

  354. 354
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, the key exchange at Nuremberg ran, that you did not need a legislature or court to tell you that murder was wrong, inherently criminal. As I just augmented these have lost across the board, they cannot justify having an intellectually defensible right to what they opine, propose and use as objections, much less reliable warrant on faculties with evident purpose of truth, with reliable functioning and in a correct environment to work as advertised. They have lost — nay, forfeited –the right to imply or suggest knowledge, moral justification, policy soundness, logic, science. There is no longer enough doubt in the intellectual marketplace account to claim the benefit of. Across the board intellectual and moral bankruptcy. Worse, the crooked yardsticks behind their arguments, opinions and assumptions warp them away from being corrected and lead to misanthropic, anti civilisational, looter mentality jacobinism and Cretanism. Unfortunately, the fallacies are widespread and deeply embedded. Hence, a hard grinding slog to dig them out and replace them with Ciceronian soundness pivoting on highest reason. Welcome to Guadalcanal. KF

  355. 355
    William J Murray says:

    Lawless oligarchy is the natural order of government, because all government depends on power and the will to enforce it on others. Those with power and the will to enforce it on others are inherently predisposed to lawless oligarchy, even if they must disguise it to others or themselves as some form of lawful democracy or republic. Even democratic voting represents the will to enforce your desires on others. There is no escaping it. Might (in whatever form) makes right is just the way things are, even if you believe in a good, just, creator God.

  356. 356
    William J Murray says:

    From the Christian perspective, did anyone ask to be created and forced into this situation? Or, did God create us in a neutral place and then ask us if we wanted to be thrown into this world without any memory of making that choice? No?

    Then, might makes right. Even the argument that might does not make right is necessarily, ultimately argued from a might makes right perspective; the ultimate, creative or existential might that establishes and enforces what is “right.”

  357. 357
    jerry says:

    Somebody feels neglected. Expressed as

    My inane thoughts are as vacuous as their’s.

    Look at me, look at me. Please look at me!

  358. 358
    Viola Lee says:

    At 351, KF writes, “You challenge me to connect back to focus,”

    No, I didn’t challenge you. I just responded to your claims that the thread was off-topic. Your feeling of being challenged is something you bring to the table.

    Jerry writes, “One used the Nazi Germany defense of immoral laws, it’s the law, and the other argued against the nuclear family.”

    No, we were not using the “Nazi Germany” defends of immoral laws. We were discussing the more difficult questions of what do we do when people disagree about what is moral, and in particular your claim that people should be able to not follow laws they believe are immoral without consequence. Paige mentioned civil disobedience. If you believe the laws are immoral, work to change the laws, or break the laws and be willing to take the consequences. Dismissing those ideas, which are at the heart of our democratic ideals, as “Nazi Germany”. Expecting to be able to claim religious belief” as a rationale for being allowed to break the law is an unacceptable idea, in my opinion.

    And we have not argued against the nuclear family. Being supportive of a wide range of other family arrangements is not the same as being against the nuclear family: I said quite a few things about that above.

    So you misrepresent us,I think.

    And KF writes, “Jerry, the key exchange at Nuremberg ran, that you did not need a legislature or court to tell you that murder was wrong, inherently criminal.”

    Same-sex marriage is not in the same category as murder. Over half the people in the US don’t think same-sex marriage is wrong. You are comparing two fundamentally different things.

  359. 359
    asauber says:

    WJM,

    It’s not God’s might that makes him “right”. His goodness makes Him “right”. It’s His nature to be “right”.

    Maybe a Muslim would say otherwise, or some other religious group, but Christianity wouldn’t.

    Andrew

  360. 360
    Viola Lee says:

    I read KF’s “defense” at 351 and 352, which is nothing but another rant of dire generalizations about the catastrophic state of civilization. There is not one word in there about how people are to work to determine “warrant” when there is serious disagreement about issues among raional, educated, caring people, nor about how we are to live in a world where we have wide diversity of views: even if we strongly disagree with others, we have to live with them.

    KF offers nothing about these genuine issues. All his words are so unspecified that they can be applied to any view. Really, their only message is that a certain view, his and others like him, is right, and everyone is wrong.

    I particularly note this line, “Oh, you may dress up with nice sounding terms like “values,” “equality,” “equity” etc, but the ugly, brutal 1984 message is clear.”

    What a dismissal! The idea that someone with views other than his might genuinely care about such values as equality is beyond his comprehension.

    Trying to sort through specific issues here is instructive, but dismaying.

  361. 361
    jerry says:

    It’s not God’s might that makes him “right”. His goodness makes Him “right”. It’s His nature to be “right”

    You may be interested in the transcript of the lecture on Boethius from the Teaching Company. I transcribed part of it on another thread.

    Interesting in the archives, there are no tags for Boethius (that I understand) but also none for goodness or happiness or fortune which is chance. The tag “chance” is in the smallest type which means there isn’t many articles for it. In fact there is only one so I picked it to post these thoughts on goodness, happiness, fortune and chance.

    If you are interested here is the link.

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/chance-vs-randomness-another-theological-dance-in-darwins-defense/#comment-730766

    A little background on Boethius. He rose from an orphan to the second highest rank in the Roman Empire, just below the emperor(when the empire was in decline.) But was then unjustly accused of treason and put in prison to await execution (AD 524.) In prison, he wrote his magnum opus, “The Consolation of Philosophy.”

    aside: think how hard it was to compose a long document in a prison in the 500’s. I heard a story yesterday of Hardy, who in the early 1800’s composed a long treatise on the history of the French Revolution and sent it to John Stuart Mill for his thoughts. Mill had the document destroyed and blamed his servant. Hardy was without his long document and had to construct it over again from memory as all his notes were gone. He had no copy on his computer.

  362. 362
    asauber says:

    Thanks for the link, Jerry.

    Andrew

  363. 363
    William J Murray says:

    Asauber said:

    It’s not God’s might that makes him “right”. His goodness makes Him “right”. It’s His nature to be “right”

    If God didn’t have the might to instantiate His rightness into His creation, including the consequences for right or wrong behavior, nobody would be living under that rightness, now would they? Under your premise, we know right from wrong not because God is good and right, but because he forced that “rightness” on us by creating it into the world, and then forcing it on us when He created us into this world.

    There is no escaping might makes right.

  364. 364
    asauber says:

    “Under your premise, we know right from wrong not because God is good and right, but because he forced that “rightness” on us by creating it into the world, and then forcing it on us when He created us into this world.”

    You are being deliberately obtuse as usual, WJM. We can know right from wrong because God reveals the knowledge to us and you are free to reject it and whatever goodness and rightness you think you can detect (which you obviously reject a lot of it). Your issue is that you are not grateful for what you have been given. What you are doing isn’t merely describing what you think God has done, you are complaining about it. I think it’s sad.

    Andrew

  365. 365
    paige says:

    VL

    I read KF’s “defense” at 351 and 352, which is nothing but another rant of dire generalizations about the catastrophic state of civilization. There is not one word in there about how people are to work to determine “warrant” when there is serious disagreement about issues among raional, educated, caring people, nor about how we are to live in a world where we have wide diversity of views: even if we strongly disagree with others, we have to live with them.

    I think the bolded sentence is the crux of the matter. Correct me if I misrepresent you, but I think that you and I cherish living in a world where there are different worldviews, different religions, different opinions. Interacting and learning about these makes life interesting and makes us better people. However, KF, BA77, Sandy, SB and a few others here, especially those who insist on labelling people, don’t want a world with varied worldview, religions and opinions; they want everyone to believe what they believe. Anything less would result in the downfall of civilization.

    I said that we should be strongly advocating for arranged marriages semi-facetiously, but I think it is very appropriate. If protection of the nuclear family is truly the reason that they oppose SSM then they would be hypocritical if they didn’t advocate for arranged marriages which have an order of magnitude lower divorce rate than traditional marriage. But they won’t because we all know that their position on SSM is religious, not protection of the nuclear family.

  366. 366
    asauber says:

    So here’s something for us to think about. God wasn’t the only person with a role in our creation. Our parents were involved too. Humans have the power to help create families or not. That’s a significant freedom. Does WJM understand this freedom or does he see it as a coercion of some kind?

    Andrew

  367. 367
    Viola Lee says:

    Paige, I cherish some parts of diversity and some I don’t, but the truth is we have to live with diversity– both the good and bad parts. Ironically, one of the diverse views that we have to live with is of those who have a dogmatic insistence that one view, and one view only, is acceptable: that is, that we shouldn’t have diverse views. Posting here is one little way that I attempt to reach such people with ideas about different possible views.

  368. 368

    If we could just investigate a leftist nutcase, analyze him or her, then we would just find that materialism is the cause of it.

    These leftists have supersophisticated intellectual rationalization for what they do. The accusation that leftists are without intellectual warrant, is bogus.

    So did Hitler have sophisticated rationalization, writing two books full of it. And the una bomber with his manifesto, and that killer in Norway with his manifesto. And not to forget, Cuban Castro with his diatribe intellectual discussions. They all have sophisticated intellectual justifications.

    It’s just that they generally all have a crap personal judgement, which is because they systematically ignore emotions, because emotions aren’t material / factual.

    It is totally obvious that atheists are all just fact obsessed morons, who are utterly clueless about subjectivity. They throw out creationism, while subjectivity, emotions, are inherently creationist concepts.

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

  369. 369
    William J Murray says:

    Asauber said:

    You are being deliberately obtuse as usual, WJM.

    I think I’m being perfectly clear. Are you a mind-reader? How would you know if I am being “deliberately” obtuse?

    We can know right from wrong because God reveals the knowledge to us and you are free to reject it

    That doesn’t change the fact, from that perspective, that God forced that “rightness” on us in the first place, whether He “reveals” it to us or not.

    Your issue is that you are not grateful for what you have been given.

    Under the Christian premise, I haven’t been “given” anything; all of this was forced on me without my consent.

    What you are doing isn’t merely describing what you think God has done, you are complaining about it. I think it’s sad.

    I’m not complaining about your theistic system because it isn’t my perspective. I’m making observations about it.

  370. 370
    William J Murray says:

    Asauber asks:

    Does WJM understand this freedom or does he see it as a coercion of some kind?

    Unless I was consulted and made a fully informed decision to come here before coming here, then of course it’s all coercion, one way or another, by God, more powerful entities, or natural/spiritual forces.

  371. 371
    asauber says:

    “it’s all coercion”

    WJM,

    So, do you believe the Christian God is coercing everything you do? Or do you not believe in the Christian God, therefore you have freedom of choice?

    Are you one of the guys who doesn’t believe in the Christian God, but still formulate positions to blame him for this or that or the other thing? Is that what you do?

    Andrew

  372. 372
    kairosfocus says:

    VL (ATTN Paige), have you been able to cogently fill in the blanks? No. The issue stands as noted already, despite your further displeasure with it; and yes, knowledge is a general level issue, it is epistemology one of the main branches of philosophy. Until you can answer to it, you have not got a leg to stand on. KF

  373. 373
    Sandy says:

    Viola Lee
    Paige, I cherish some parts of diversity and some I don’t, but the truth is we have to live with diversity– both the good and bad parts. Ironically, one of the diverse views that we have to live with is of those who have a dogmatic insistence that one view, and one view only, is acceptable: that is, that we shouldn’t have diverse views. Posting here is one little way that I attempt to reach such people with ideas about different possible views.

    :))) Have you seen the irony alert?

  374. 374
    Viola Lee says:

    KF, you write,

    So, put up cause to take opinions seriously as responsibly, reliably warranted and so trustworthy rather than fallacious and ruinously manipulative, or fail as utterly irrational and misanthropically anticivilisational _______

    There is nothing very comprehensible about that KF. Can you be more specific? What part of what I have written do you take issue with: that same-sex attractions are just as natural, and to some seen as God-given, as heterosexual attractions, and thus our commitment to treating people equally justifies them having all the legal, civil benefits of marriage?

    Instead of just name-calling, address the specifics.

  375. 375
    Viola Lee says:

    Sandy, when I say “the truth is we have to live with diversity”, what I mean is that it is a true fact that the world is filled with people holding very diverse views and ways of living. That is an empirical fact. Whether one feels that one “has to live with that” is an individual choice. I think we have to try to work towards living with that, but as I said elsewhere that doesn’t mean I support all those diverse views. It just means I recognize the reality of such diverse views being part of the world, and my merely not liking it isn’t going to make them go away.

  376. 376
    jerry says:

    Have you seen the irony alert?

    I don’t know anything about diversity even though I’ve been to all 7 continents twice and over forty countries, all I did was watch animals and look at scenery.

  377. 377
    paige says:

    VL

    Paige, I cherish some parts of diversity and some I don’t,..

    I was hasty in stating that I cherish diversity. It implied that I cherish all worldviews and opinions, which I obviously don’t.

    When I travel I make a point of eating in local restaurants. In my free time I will often attend local religious services. Unlike some of my American peers, when I attend my international meetings I make a point of socializing with people from other countries rather than sticking within the comfort level of other English speakers. It is these interactions that I cherish.

  378. 378
    Sandy says:

    Viola Lee
    Sandy, when I say “the truth is we have to live with diversity”,

    VL , you promote one view only,one single position(“we have to live with diversity”) blaming those(you are included) who have one view only( who have a dogmatic insistence that one view, and one view only, is acceptable)
    You didn’t realize you were talking about yourself and debunked yourself.

  379. 379
    paige says:

    Jerry

    I don’t know anything about diversity even though I’ve been to all 7 continents twice and over forty countries, all I did was watch animals and look at scenery.

    I hope you are being sarcastic. If not, I feel sorry for you as you are missing out on one of the most interesting, and sometimes challenging, aspects of travel.

  380. 380
    jerry says:

    Here’s a proposition on multiculturalism and diversity that’s off topic.

    The main thing that non Western cultures have brought to the West is delicious food and cheap labor.

    Prove me wrong!

    Someone once said it was the only thing but I am being a little lenient that there may be something else.

  381. 381

    Again, how it works is, first you accept the concept of personal opinion, with the creationist conceptual scheme, and then you get diverstity of opinion.

    Materialists, who only validate the concept of fact, and not validate the concept of personal opinion, that’s not really diversity. That is just rubbish. Socialist/ wokeist / fascist rubbish.

    The creationist conceptual scheme is basically a constitution of the mind. You accept the constitution of the concept of personal opinion, and the concept of fact, and then you can proceed to choose purely emotional opinions, and obtain accurate facts. Without the constitution, it’s just a mess.

  382. 382
    Viola Lee says:

    re 380: 🙁 That is a very sad perspective. Perhaps you should consider algebra, for one thing!

  383. 383
    paige says:

    VL

    That is a very sad perspective. Perhaps you should consider algebra, for one thing!

    Also gunpowder, paper, printing, the compass, domestication of rice, corn and wheat, domestication of the cat (OK, maybe that wasn’t a great idea 🙂 ), domestication of chickens, cattle and sheep, alcoholic drinks, the oar, written language, the umbrella, mirrors, stirrups, ice cream, paper money, the land mine (OK, we can live without that one), PlayStation, and Hello Kitty.

  384. 384
    JVL says:

    Jerry: The main thing that non Western cultures have brought to the West is delicious food and cheap labor. Prove me wrong!

    Aside from the lovely examples already provided by Paige and Viola Lee I’d add aspects of astronomy, preservation of Greek texts, some weapons (maybe not to be celebrated), many, many, many spices, potatoes, tobacco . . . the list goes on and on and on.

  385. 385
    paige says:

    Opium.

  386. 386
    StephenB says:

    The skeptics’ immediate response to KF’s post: “There is no such thing as an objective moral law or a self-evident moral truth. Reason’s rules are merely “your” rules as a Theist. We have no duty to truth and morality.

    After kicking and screaming for a week: “OK. an objective moral code does exist, but it is certainly not self evident. Reason’s rules do not apply to the moral code.”

    After kicking and screaming for another week: “OK, the objective nature of morality and reason’ rules is self-evident, but it just ain’t fair. I didn’t ask to be born in this intrusive moral universe.”

  387. 387
    StephenB says:

    There is another common misconception that needs to be addressed. No person or group should ever strive for “diversity,” as such. This is a terrible idea. Just as unity in the absence of diversity promotes lock-step conformity; diversity in the absence of unity promotes chaos.

    What should be sought is diversity in unity. Those with different ideas and backgrounds should rally around a single idea that brings them together as a community. Political leftists do not grasp this point because they do not seek the common good nor do they value the tranquility of order.

  388. 388
    asauber says:

    StephenB,

    The kick-in-the-pants is they will soon travel back in time to two weeks ago and it’ll be Groundhog Day again, and none of this happened.

    Andrew

  389. 389
    jerry says:

    Perhaps you should consider algebra, for one thing!

    gunpowder, paper, printing, the compass, domestication of rice, corn and wheat,

    the list goes on and on and on

                                    I rest my case. I won.

    The average age of these accomplishments are about 1000 years.

    And they are not culture. Let’s hear it for Chinese, Mexican and Indian food.

    I am extremely well read on the history of innovation/invention and know where they came from and what happened to them when they got to the West. Here are three excellent sources for those interested.

    https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/understanding-the-inventions-that-changed-the-world

    https://www.amazon.com/How-Innovation-Works-Flourishes-Freedom-ebook/dp/B07WSBV7YZ/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1621372084&sr=8-1

    https://www.amazon.com/At-Home-Short-History-Private-ebook/dp/B003F3FJGY/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1621372187&sr=8-1

  390. 390
    paige says:

    Jerry

    I rest my case. I won.

    And how many Western developments were the result of input from Asian and African Americans? Individuals, I might add, who were not granted full rights under our system because of the color of their skin or the presence of epicanthic folds on their eyes.

    Jerry is free to spew racist tripe, but it doesn’t jive with the fact that western culture has been hugely affected, in a positive way, by other cultures.

  391. 391
    vividbleau says:

    Sandy
    “VL , you promote one view only,one single position(“we have to live with diversity”) blaming those(you are included) who have one view only( who have a dogmatic insistence that one view, and one view only, is acceptable)
    You didn’t realize you were talking about yourself and debunked yourself.”

    Yeppers

    Vivid

  392. 392
    jerry says:

    Jerry is free to spew racist tripe, but it doesn’t jive with the fact that western culture has been hugely affected, in a positive way, by other cultures.

    That’s interesting. Just about everything you write is nonsense and now you are making incredibly tasteless accusations.

    So I am a racist too? Why don’t you take on my other challenge here:

    The United States is the least racist country in the history of the world.

    Prove me wrong!

    But you are already aware of this and I answered you before when you posted derogatory remarks.

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/sheffield-university-darwin-ruled-problematic-figure-due-to-racism/#comment-730206

  393. 393

    The Western culture, is mainly the freedom of opinion, free speech. The liberty.

    Western culture, it basically started from medieval Christians dividing matters of personal opinion, from matters of fact. That started the scientific revolution. Then you had each in their proper domain, religion broadly with subjective issues, and science broadly about objective issues.

    But what is also typically Western culture, is nazism and communism.

    After the scientific revolution got started, in the culture around science, people became fact obsessed, and convinced that science could dictate right and wrong. Then you got scientific socialism, communism, and nazi eugenics, the holocaust. Which is typically Western outgrowth from the scientific revolution.

  394. 394
    Viola Lee says:

    re 391 and 378. I gather you guys didn’t read, or perhaps understand, my clarification at 375.

    re 388: I’ll bet KF’s next OP contains the plumb bob, or the red ball, or any one of a number of other pictures again! Reading KF’s posts certainly has a Groundhog Day flavor. 🙂

    And I find Jerry’s narrow-minded feelings about non-Western cultures appalling.

    And Stephen at 387 says, “No person or group should ever strive for “diversity,” as such. This is a terrible idea. Just as unity in the absence of diversity promotes lock-step conformity; diversity in the absence of unity promotes chaos.”

    Yes, there should be a balance between unity and diversity, and some unity needs to be at the core. But at a minimum there is a core humanity that unites us all, but because of many factors there is already a large amount of diversity in the world, not because we have strived (striven?) for that but because the world is so large that different areas and groups have developed differently.

    And Stephen also says, “Those with different ideas and backgrounds should rally around a single idea that brings them together as a community.”

    This is a good ideal. For me, that desired idea would be that we all have a common core of humanity, and that all people deserve some of the key principles of our democracy: to be treated equality under the law and to be given, as much as possible opportunities for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    However, given that there is so much irremediable diversty in the physical nature of the world (climate, resources, etc.) and so much historical differences in the cultures of the world, that unifying commitment to core humanitarian ideals must necessarily manifest in many different ways.

  395. 395
    paige says:

    VL

    I’ll bet KF’s next OP contains the plumb bob, or the red ball, or any one of a number of other pictures again! Reading KF’s posts certainly has a Groundhog Day flavor. ?

    I know what you mean. They are like the old sliding tile puzzles. You can rearrange the tiles as often as you like, but you really don’t get any new information. 🙂

    I especially like the lemmings jumping over the cliff, and the guy standing on the branch while sawing it off. What is your favorite?

  396. 396
    jerry says:

    And I find Jerry’s narrow-minded feelings about non-Western cultures appalling.

    Why? I am not judging any individual anywhere. But the truth is that billions of people want to leave most non-Western cultures and come to the West. They are not emigrating elsewhere.

    They are the ones who are deciding. The US has benefited from immigrants from East and South Asia. The one thing they bring Is an attitude of hard work and family orientation. To the point that white liberals in the US now discriminate against Asians.

    The culture left by the Spanish in Latin America has been extremely dysfunctional and based on a thousand year old system of hierarchy brought to the new world.

  397. 397
    Sandy says:

    Viola Lee
    re 391 and 378. I gather you guys didn’t read, or perhaps understand, my clarification at 375.

    Viola Lee
    375
    that it is a true fact that the world is filled with people holding very diverse views and ways of living. That is an empirical fact. Whether one feels that one “has to live with that” is an individual choice. I think we have to try to work towards living with that

    :))) The existence of diverse views is an empirical fact but that all views are true is not an empirical fact so why in the world you ask to accept all views as true and not discriminate between true and false views?

  398. 398
    paige says:

    Jerry

    Why? I am not judging any individual anywhere. But the truth is that billions of people want to leave most non-Western cultures and come to the West.

    Do you have a reference for this? Yes, there are many people who want to leave totalitarian regimes, but you can’t lump all non-western countries into this category. It is another example of labelling.

  399. 399
    jerry says:

    You can rearrange the tiles as often as you like, but you really don’t get any new information.

    I have never seen a more knowledgeable person than Kf. He is familiar with theories in a multitude of disciplines. And he generally has a good assessment of the world as well as history.

    However, his attempts to make his positions known involve the patchwork of several different ideas using elaborate visuals that probably flow in his mind but come off as convoluted at best. It’s hard to find fault with any specific thing but there are usually too many to comprehend clearly.

    My objections to his OP’s and comments are they are too elaborate and too confusing. Not that they are wrong per se or ill formed. So I have pleaded for simplicity. I believe they would communicate better and thus, be more persuasive. But he wants to include everything.

    My background is advertising and effective advertising/communication is simple. Adding things detracts, not persuades. It’s hard to convince someone that more is not better.

    A legendary copywriter expressed this with the following story.

    a man was extremely in love with a woman he was about to marry the next day. He wanted to tell her how much he loved her. So he decided to send her a telegram. He went to the Telegraph office and wrote out this short message,

    Eliza, I love you, I love you, I love you,

    Antonio

    The telegraph operator said you paid for 10 words and this is only 9. The man thought for a few minutes and added something. An hour later his future bride received the telegram. It said

    Eliza, I love you, I love you, I love you

    Regards

    Antonio.

  400. 400
    Viola Lee says:

    Sandy asks, “The existence of diverse views is an empirical fact but that all views are true is not an empirical fact so why in the world you ask to accept all views as true and not discriminate between true and false views?”

    I don’t think I said anything about accepting all views as true. I said that I think we have to live with the fact that diverse views exist, which is different. In fact, one the post that Paige quoted I wrote, “how we are to live in a world where we have wide diversity of views: even if we strongly disagree with others, we have to live with them.”

    I very much think some views are bad: a simple example is how women are treated in Saudi Arabia and many other countries. Another example: I very much think that some of the principles of Western democracy are the best. I’m not saying at all that all views are equivalent. But I will say that they are many diverse views that I am indifferent about and I think I should respect: simple examples are hair and dress styles, music and art, religious ceremonies, etc.

  401. 401
    jerry says:

    It is another example of labelling.

    Another absurd comment.

  402. 402
    paige says:

    Jerry

    I have never seen a more knowledgeable person than Kf. He is familiar with theories in a multitude of disciplines. And he generally has a good assessment of the world as well as history.

    I don’t deny that he is a very smart person. He appears to be able to draw information out of thin air.The same can be said for BA77. But being able to regurgitate information and being able to apply it appropriately to real world situations doesn’t always go hand-in-hand. A sure sign of this is the regurgitation of the same cut-and-paste multiple times. Rather than address the questions asked of him (and of BA77), he just rearranges the same information in an increasingly inartiiculate fashion.

    Don’t get me wrong, I would love to engage with him on an amicable basis as I think I could learn much from him. But I am not prepared to engage in discussions with people who are as condescending and dismissive as he is to anyone who disagrees with him. You can be abrasive, as I can be at times, but you usually make an effort to try to explain your reasons to me. I may disagree, but we can do it in a civil fashion.

  403. 403
    paige says:

    Jerry

    Another absurd comment.

    Really? I gave a list of my beliefs and opinions further up in the thread. Based on those, how would you label me? would you label me? And, if so, why?

  404. 404
    jerry says:

    I would love to engage with him on an amicable basis as I think I could learn much from him

    I constantly learn from him but am not afraid to disagree with him especially on his complex presentation approach and difficult to understand comments.

    By the way he is reading what we write about him here.

    how would you label me?

    opinions not well justified. Is that a label, an assessment or a description? Or all three?

    To use the concept of the OP. Kf uses the word “warrant.” I hate the word so I use “justify”instead.

    Opinions come closer to knowledge/truth the more they are justified.

    I said your comment was absurd because you misconstrued my comment about non-Western cultures. I did not say all. I said most. So the argument is over how many not labeling. A survey a few years ago indicated about 750 million want to migrate. I bet the number is much higher if they thought it could happen.

  405. 405
    William J Murray says:

    Asauber asks:

    So, do you believe the Christian God is coercing everything you do? Or do you not believe in the Christian God, therefore you have freedom of choice?

    I don’t believe in the Christian God. I know I have free will.

    Are you one of the guys who doesn’t believe in the Christian God, but still formulate positions to blame him for this or that or the other thing? Is that what you do?

    No. I’m making observations about the implications of the Christian premise of God in response to KF’s arguments about government, moral duties, etc. I have no problem with Christianity whatsoever, or with people who believe in it. But, if someone is going to make these arguments that rely on Christian premises and ideology, it is fair to criticize those premises and what they entail and imply.

  406. 406
    kairosfocus says:

    VL,

    let’s start with, Mr Smith, what is 2 + 2?

    Is “diversity” acceptable in this case, from 1984? (The Satirical, politically correct answer is, whatever the Party needs at the moment.)

    In short, your talking points on “diversity” DO NOT APPLY TO WARRANTED, CREDIBLY TRUE KNOWLEDGE WHERE A RELIABLE INTELLECTUAL FACULTY HAS ACTED IN ACCORD WITH ITS EVIDENT PURPOSE OF TRUTH IN AN APPROPRIATE ENVIRONMENT.

    So, your comments about diversity amount to denial of objective truth. Probably not in general, I am pretty sure you would not stand in front of a Math class to argue 2 + 3 = “diversity”. Though, there are now radicals pushing to butcher school math.

    Likewise, I am pretty sure you will want to “follow the Science” on several topics where there is actually a difference of experts, with warrant for the not so politically correct answer. (RW, I am looking at a case on Ivermectin, the evidence vs the follow science rhetoric of officialdom, including lab coat clad officialdom. A similar case obtains for HCQ early in the CV19 disease process. Likewise, of course, you are here to object to design theory, regardless of the fact that there is just one empirically identified cause of FSCO/I.)

    What is really going on is that you are denying objectivity to moral duty. You and others have been challenged with a RW case of kidnapping and sexual torture of a young child, resulting in murder. The evasions and distractions on this yardstick case over years at UD speak for themselves. Cognitive dissonance leading to confession by projection to the despised other.

    To sustain that, you are compelled to dismiss the self-evident reality of Ciceronian first duties of reason, even though in every argument you make, you expect US to implicitly cede the authority and so truth of those duties. You demonstrate their inescapability, which is tantamount to their self-evident truth.

    It is in that context that I have raised the core challenge of the OP, warrant. For, you obviously imagine your views are correct, and knowable, i.e. objective. Note:

    [VL to Paige in the forum, 367:] I cherish some parts of diversity and some I don’t, but the truth is we have to live with diversity– both the good and bad parts [–> how do we judge good/bad?] . Ironically, one of the diverse views that we have to live with is of those who have a dogmatic insistence that one view, and one view only, is acceptable [–> implied accusation of failed duty, of course, no one here actually fills the following strawman caricature]: that is, that we shouldn’t have diverse views. Posting here is one little way that I attempt to reach such people with ideas about different possible views.

    Do you see that you claim to know both an objective truth and imply knowing a truth about moral duty? Also, that you know good from bad in a moral context? The manifest incoherence is clear.

    So, we are back to the issue, warrant.

    It is obvious you do not have a sound theory of warrant but — irony of ironies — wish to preen on tolerance while trying to impose one or more of the specific views on morality known as relativism, subjectivism or emotivism. These views are catastrophically flawed, not least by leading to the sort of double standard I here point out.

    Now, what about freedom and warrant, thus diversity?

    The first point is, we are rational, responsible, significantly free, conscience guided creatures. Indeed, that freedom is a source of our rationality and that guidance points to its right use; on a related issue freedom is a constituent of love, the root of moral virtue. Once freedom is coeval with our humanity, diversity is inevitable, including that some will be right and some wrong.

    So, SHOULD there be just one view, is a self-contradiction rooted in missing a key fact. Once we are free enough to have diverse views, diversity of views is inevitable, is is not ought, ought is what should be but may well not be because of bad moral choice.

    The relevant real issue, then, is whether there should be creatures with freedom.

    To which, the obvious answer is, yes, there should be minds, reason, love, virtue. Which implies creatures who can and also in cases will do what is irrational, follow fallacies, hate or be indifferent and callous, debased and vice-ridden. But then we expect then that there will be principles and faculties that guide us to truth, reason, virtue, love, justice.

    So, the strawman caricature of the right wing Christofascist, theocratic, totalitarian bigot collapses.

    Further, we come back to the Ciceronian, self evident first duties of reason. They can be flouted, but that is chaotic. What we cannot evade, is recognising their legitimate authority.

    In that context, you have not been able to put on the table any cogent rounds for your claimed knowledge, in general and as regards moral duty. You have no coherent account of warrant and your system of opinions is riddled with incoherence by double standards.

    Thus, your scheme of thought fails.

    KF

  407. 407
    kairosfocus says:

    Paige, kindly note the just above. KF

  408. 408
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, we are having a battle of intellectual attrition, grinding up the talking points and arguments advanced by the jacobins and cretanists. It is clear that they have no coherent theory of justifying their opinions much less warranting them. They are following dominant cultural agendas that are incoherent, necessarily false and anticivilisational. The utter bankruptcy needs to be seen plainly for what it is. KF

  409. 409
    kairosfocus says:

    Sandy, 378:

    VL , you promote one view only,one single position(“we have to live with diversity”) blaming those(you are included) who have one view only( who have a dogmatic insistence that one view, and one view only, is acceptable)
    You didn’t realize you were talking about yourself and debunked yourself.

    Correct.

    Unfortunately, incoherence frustrates recognising that it is self-defeating.

    KF

  410. 410
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, 394:

    I’ll bet KF’s next OP contains the plumb bob, or the red ball, or any one of a number of other pictures again!

    Plumb line — naturally straight and upright, a metaphor for self-evident. Thus, corrective of warped thinking, symbolised by crooked yardsticks.

    You object to metaphors while failing to realise that self-evidence is real and corrects warped thinking.

    No wonder your next objection is to a red ball A, distinct from rest of world ~A, so

    W = {A|~A}

    which then allows us to see law of identity, and its close corollaries non contradiction and excluded middle.

    A is itself i/l/o its coherent core characteristics, a red ball vs the impossibility of a square circle. The world W is such that any x in W must be in A or else not A, not both nor neither. That’s LNC, A or else not A, LEM not both nor neither.

    In short you have managed to try to dismiss the core first principles of right reason.

    The crooked yardstick has exposed itself by comparison with a plumb line.

    I suggest, go to a shop, buy a nice bright red child’s ball, and stick a bit of tape marked A on it. Put it on a table, mark that not A, consider you are in not A, as is the floor, the door, the wider world.

    Then, please rethink your worldview from the ground up, it is fatally warped, cracked, broken and bankrupt.

    KF

    KF

  411. 411
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, the attritional grinding up continues. Here we see one of our inveterate objectors trying to deride the first principles of reason. You can’t make this up, no editor would publish a novel like this. Here we see the utter failure of western education on display. KF

  412. 412
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Next stop, DV, Big-S Science and appeals to official consensus i/l/o the logic of the pessimistic induction and what warrant entails. Side helpings on degrees of warrant, open mindedness and tolerance/diversity. KF

  413. 413
    William J Murray says:

    Sandy said:

    VL , you promote one view only,one single position(“we have to live with diversity”) blaming those(you are included) who have one view only( who have a dogmatic insistence that one view, and one view only, is acceptable)
    You didn’t realize you were talking about yourself and debunked yourself.

    KF agreed.

    This is nonsense.

    Viola stated an empirical fact, that diversity of beliefs exist in the population. Viola then made the observation that if a diversity of beliefs exist in the population, we have to live with that. Under charitable interpretation, one would assume this means: unless we commit suicide or intend on eliminating that diversity in some manner, then we have to find a way to live with it.

    There’s nothing incoherent or self-defeating whatsoever in that. It’s necessarily true given the empirical fact premise.

    Sandy, SB and KF seem so intent on finding “self-defeating incoherence” in everything people say here that they have apparently stopped even trying to understand other people (not that they ever really tried much in the first place) and have suspended “charitable interpretation.”

  414. 414
    William J Murray says:

    I don’t deny that he is a very smart person.

    Depends on how you define “smart.” KF holds in his mind a vast amount of memorized information. He has selected and organized that information to fit in with and support his worldview arguments. However, KF also seems to be incapable of understanding anything except in terms of his own worldview system, or even making a rudimentary effort in that regard. It’s all about interpreting according to, defending and promoting his worldview, period. No exceptions, not even for the sake of argument.

    It’s kind of like a didactic computer program that access vast information but always outputs the same essential thing, over and over and over, regardless of the input, regardless of the meaning of the input.

  415. 415
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, diversity is a fact contingent on freedom thus possibility of intellect and virtues starting with love. The strawman caricature of someone objecting to diversity is tantamount to objecting to the basis for mindedness, love, virtue, freedom coeval with humanity. The only one to raise objections to that is you. I took time to correct that, where the next issue is that if we are free how will we be rightly guided? The answer is, conscience-enlightened mind working to truth including truths of duty i/l/o first principles of reason. Thus, the Ciceronian first duties. Where, ought is not is, the issue is to be willing to be rightly guided on duty. To object to moral error, or to correct it i/l/o self evident first truths on duty RESPECTS freedom, thus diversity, but calls for it to be rightly used. Which seems to be the real problem, some wish for favoured errors, vices, perversities, agendas that cannot stand the test of Ciceronian highest reason, to be given “equal” recognition with what is true and right, and wish to — unjustly — stigmatise those who dare to point out the error by implying that correction is bigotry. That stigmatising is utterly warped, crooked yardstick thinking. KF

  416. 416
    William J Murray says:

    KF @415: Thanks for demonstrating once again exactly what I stated about you in 414. You see everyone and what everyone says strictly in terms of your worldview, and insist that what they mean and what their motivations are for saying what they say is necessarily how you interpret it, period. You’re interacting here like a programmed automaton.

  417. 417
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, you try to attack the man rather than deal with the issue. That’s usually a sign that you do not have the case on the merits. As for the matter, I described how we must be if we are to have ability to reason and warrant credible knowledge or to love. A programmed robot cannot love, an act of free choice. The rest follows from that, not from your notion that you can brand my worldview with a scarlet C then dismiss whatever I say that you don’t like as tracing to that. Did you notice that — Ciceronian first duties of reason — I am explicitly acknowledging the priority of a pagan stoic Roman statesman and author, Cicero? One whose worldview is quite alien to mine? As did Paul before me by direct implication? That was already pointed out above; but of course it has been overlooked as to significance. KF

    PS: See this discussion of Darwin’s horrid doubt, monkey mind comment: https://medium.com/science-and-philosophy/darwins-horrid-doubt-why-monkey-brains-troubled-the-great-man-of-science-e77c954e9019

  418. 418
    asauber says:

    WJM,

    Well, under your perspective of being imposed upon, you are still being imposed upon by Everything But the Christian God… the universe, your environment, your genetics, your beliefs, everyone and everything around you. Pick Anything and Everything. The impositions are still there. So I think your special observation/complaint that the Christian God is imposing is just your round about way of having someone to blame for your predicament.

    Andrew

  419. 419
    William J Murray says:

    KF:

    WJM, you try to attack the man rather than deal with the issue.

    No, I’m not attacking you. You’re interpreting my observations about your behavior here as “attacking” you.

    I’ve already dealt with what you call “the” issues, which are really just your issues and how you interpret the world under your worldview. Those issues simply do not exist in my worldview.

  420. 420
    Viola Lee says:

    Thanks to WJM at 413 for saying the obvious about something I wrote. I’ll quote at length, and bold the important part:

    Viola stated an empirical fact, that diversity of beliefs exist in the population. Viola then made the observation that if a diversity of beliefs exist in the population, we have to live with that. Under charitable interpretation, one would assume this means: unless we commit suicide or intend on eliminating that diversity in some manner, then we have to find a way to live with it.

    There’s nothing incoherent or self-defeating whatsoever in that. It’s necessarily true given the empirical fact premise.

    Sandy, SB and KF seem so intent on finding “self-defeating incoherence” in everything people say here that they have apparently stopped even trying to understand other people (not that they ever really tried much in the first place) and have suspended “charitable interpretation.”

    Exactly. Here’s another example. Above I was complaining and making a bit of fun about how repetitive KF’s OPs are, and how he uses the same diagrams over and over and over. I happened to mention as an example the red ball. So does KF get the point? Not a bit. He responds at 410:

    You object to metaphors while failing to realise that self-evidence is real and corrects warped thinking. No wonder your next objection is to a red ball A, distinct from rest of world ~A, so W = {A|~A}

    which then allows us to see law of identity, and its close corollaries non contradiction and excluded middle.

    A is itself i/l/o its coherent core characteristics, a red ball vs the impossibility of a square circle. The world W is such that any x in W must be in A or else not A, not both nor neither. That’s LNC, A or else not A, LEM not both nor neither.

    In short you have managed to try to dismiss the core first principles of right reason.

    That is ludicrous. I was not objecting to metaphors and I was not dismissing the laws of logic.

    I was pointing out that KF says the same things over and over again without, as WJM points out, making any attempt to understand other people. Says WJM, “It’s kind of like a didactic computer program that access vast information but always outputs the same essential thing, over and over and over, regardless of the input, regardless of the meaning of the input.”

    His posts today in response to things I wrote yesterday amply illustrate these flaws in how KF responds to other people who attempt to have discussions with him.

  421. 421
    William J Murray says:

    Asauber said:

    Well, under your perspective of being imposed upon, you are still being imposed upon by Everything But the Christian God… the universe, your environment, your genetics, your beliefs, everyone and everything around you.

    I was making observations about the entailments and implications of the premise of the “Christian God” worldview. Under that worldview, it’s all coercion from the start.

    Under my worldview, there is absolutely no coercion whatsoever, because I am ultimately the source and cause of everything I experience, including when, where, to whom and under what conditions I was born; what “limitations” I have at any given time, and everything I experience in this life and beyond, with infinite variety and potential at my disposal. I am free to think, do, and experience whatever I want, any time I want. I can leave this world entirely any time I want, and go to any world I might prefer. It’s all up to me.

  422. 422
    asauber says:

    “I am ultimately the source and cause of everything I experience”

    lol

    Andrew

  423. 423
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, you are distracting. Above you tried to ridicule the first principles of right reason, their self-evidence and how that corrects warped crooked yardstick thinking, which is as incoherent as you can get. You confirm that you have not got a leg to stand on. I don’t blame you for that status in the first instance, you have absorbed dominant messages in our culture at the moment. It so happens that these messages, backed by huge power, are utterly incoherent. And it is not something to be stigmatised, to point out such incoherence. That you chose to attack Sandy and I for pointing out the incoherence of your views, rather than correcting your errors, is not good, it does not commend you. KF

  424. 424
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    Above you tried to ridicule the first principles of right reason, their self-evidence and how that corrects warped crooked yardstick thinking, which is as incoherent as you can get. You confirm that you have not got a leg to stand on. KF

    Because KF is a mind reader, Viola. He knows what you’re actually doing, your actual motivations and reasons, better than you ever could.

  425. 425
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, kindly scroll up and view what was said. The mockery is there and it needs to be called out. KF

  426. 426
    jerry says:

    I believe what Kf is trying to say is that there is a diversity of opinion/beliefs. But most of these opinions/beliefs are not justified. (He likes to use the word “warrant”, I don’t and prefer “justified”.)

    So is this diversity good? Especially when there is no justification/warrant for most of it.

    Some opinions/beliefs have more justification than others. Some a lot more. Some have very little if any.

    What’s extremely potentially harmful is when a society become unanimous in an unjustified belief so becomes lock-stepped in a failed belief. There is almost certainly nothing good to come from it.

    So to prevent the potential chaos, a society should use the rules of right reasoning to determine what is justified and what is not. In fact to prevent the chaos, we have a duty to do so. This duty include several obligations such as ……..

    Aside: but extremely important- some beliefs are essentially harmless even if unjustified while other unjustified beliefs could lead to anarchy.

  427. 427
    Viola Lee says:

    Let me be more blunt:

    Kf writes,

    Above you tried to ridicule the first principles of right reason, their self-evidence and how that corrects warped crooked yardstick thinking, which is as incoherent as you can get.

    No, KF, I am ridiculing you, not the principles of right reason.

  428. 428
    jerry says:

    No, KF, I am ridiculing you

    Now we don’t have mind reading. Is all the verbiage here about ideas or about a particular individual?

    Kf is most definitely interested in ideas. But are the ideas Kf espouses the real objective of the ridicule?

  429. 429
    Viola Lee says:

    I have tried to write about ideas. However right now I am writing about how KF constantly misrepresents me.

    Go back and read what asauber wrote at 388 and what I wrote at 394 and let me know which of these two you think I was doing:

    1. dismissing the principles of right reason, or
    2. commenting on the repetitiveness of KF’s posts

  430. 430
    Viola Lee says:

    At 428, Jerry added, “But are the ideas Kf espouses the real objective of the ridicule?”

    For the record, I have never, ever questioned the law of identity or the other laws of logic.

  431. 431
    jerry says:

    which of these two you think I was doing:

    1. dismissing the principles of right reason, or
    2. commenting on the repetitiveness of KF’s posts

    Both.

    When you believe in unjustified opinions, you are not using right reason. So is right reason something that one pulls out/endorses when it is convenient?

    For the record, I have never, ever questioned the law of identity or the other laws of logic.

    Now that is disingenuous because you know that the real objective of Kf’s OP’s and comments are something else. He is using these to reach his conclusions.

    I am on record in several places that Kf is convoluted and unclear in how he reaches his conclusions and that is self defeating. But I am on record as agreeing with his conclusions in most cases.

  432. 432
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, kindly scroll up and view what was said. The mockery is there and it needs to be called out.

    That you don’t understand that only Viola (or whomever made the comment you are referring to) can say whether or not he/she was mocking you is mind-blowing.

  433. 433
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, your resort to ridicule shows the precise problem of the crooked yardstick at work. You chose a capital example of how we correct crooked thinking as a target for ridicule. Let’s roll the tape:

    [VL, 394:] I’ll bet KF’s next OP contains the plumb bob, or the red ball, or any one of a number of other pictures again! Reading KF’s posts certainly has a Groundhog Day flavor.

    Invited inference, no substance of greater moment than a bit of folklore about an early spring.

    By their targets shall ye know them.

    You obviously took no more time to reflect on first principles of reason and why an illustration by a red ball on the table could have any compelling force. Likewise, how a plumb bob can help us understand that self-evident truth exists and corrects crooked standards of thought.

    With all due respect, what you chose to highlight for obvious contempt-laced ridicule inadvertently exposed the shallowness of the thinking you have been using. This extends to the case of knowledge, knowledge of duty, warrant and Ciceronian first duties.

    Please think again.

    KF

  434. 434
    Viola Lee says:

    KF, are you aware that it is the movie Groundhog Day being referred to?

  435. 435
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, you just showed that the problem is not being convoluted, or being pedantic or laying out detailed exposition, but that there are crooked yardsticks warping thought. KF

  436. 436
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Observe, the emergence of the destructive trifecta rhetorical pattern. Red herring distractors led away to strawmen, soaked in ad homs then set alight to cloud, confuse, polarise and poison atmosphere for discussion. Such a pattern reflects want of substance on merits. And no, not everything can be settled by a short snippet of text or an image plus a slogan. Some things require a fair degree of analysis, with step by step thinking. Of course, analysis is at a steep discount today, especially when tied to core principles. KF

  437. 437
    paige says:

    Jerry

    May 19, 2021 at 7:39 am
    I believe what Kf is trying to say is that there is a diversity of opinion/beliefs. But most of these opinions/beliefs are not justified. (He likes to use the word “warrant”, I don’t and prefer “justified”.)

    And, according to KF, his is the only worldview with justified warrant. When diversity of opinions is brought up by VL he counters with ‘there can be no warranted diversity from 2+2=4’. And you call my comments ridiculous and irrelevant.

    Kf is most definitely interested in ideas.

    But only if they agree with his worldview. All others are dangerous.

  438. 438
    jerry says:

    you just showed that the problem is not being convoluted, or being pedantic or laying out detailed exposition, but that there are crooked yardsticks warping thought.

    No, I believe it is all the above. If your OP’s were not convoluted and overly detailed and written in a simple form, the crooked yardsticks warping thought would stand out.

    As it is, the lack of right reasoning gets hidden in the criticism of the lack of clarity of your OP’s.

  439. 439
    jerry says:

    And you call my comments ridiculous and irrelevant.

    Yes, when they are unjustified. Many are just opinions without foundation.

    You obviously don’t like this criticism. One way to counteract this criticism is to justify your opinions with evidence and logic.

  440. 440
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, for record, Gettier in 1963 showed — to the satisfaction of the professional philosophers — that it was possible to be justified regarding a true belief but fail to have knowledge. Over the next couple of decades, Plantinga provided a filler term, warrant [which is related] to specify the gap. He proceeded to lay out a theory of what sound warrant is, as is excerpted in the OP. Our preferences cannot change that bit of the history of ideas. KF

  441. 441
    jerry says:

    Gettier in 1963 showed

    And I tried understanding both Gettier and Plantinga’s criticism and called both gobbledygook. If anyone disagrees with me, fine, but I showed it to another person I trust, and they too thought the criticism was strained at best.

    So I’ll stick with justify. It is a word easily understood where warrant is obscure at best.

  442. 442
    William J Murray says:

    KF’s argument about duties in a nutshell: “A certain class of behaviors are caused by duties.” The challenge: “How do we know those duties exist?” The answer: “Because of the way we all behave.”

    Anyone see what’s wrong with that argument?

  443. 443
    Viola Lee says:

    I agree about Jerry’s point about gobbledygook at 441 and WJM’s summary of KF’s argument at 442.

    Re the gobbledygook: all the words in Plantiga’s bolded statement in the OP are entirely unspecified: how do we judge if one’s “cognitive faculties [are] functioning properly (subject to no dysfunction)? How do we know that the person is ” in a cognitive environment [both macro and micro . . . ] that is appropriate for S’s kind of cognitive faculties”, whatever that means? How do we know that one’s “design plan is successfully aimed at truth”, when this latter is exactly the thing we are trying to determine?

    Language like that really says nothing of practical value.

  444. 444
    paige says:

    Jerry

    Yes, when they are unjustified. Many are just opinions without foundation.

    I thought that I made it clear that many of my comments are just opinion. As are most comments by other people.

    You obviously don’t like this criticism.

    I am fine with criticism. What I don’t like is rudeness and condescension.

    One way to counteract this criticism is to justify your opinions with evidence and logic.

    If you point out one of my unjustified opinions, I will try to provide justification and evidence. But, just a word of caution, sometimes an opinion is just an opinion. If that is the case for the one you point out, I will let you know if this is the case.

  445. 445
    paige says:

    WJM

    Anyone see what’s wrong with that argument?

    C = 2 x pi x R ? 🙂

  446. 446
    jerry says:

    WJM’s summary

    also gobbledygook

    Nature of humans => survival => behaviors necessary for survival (called duties). Otherwise there isn’t survival.

    Murray is on record that survival isn’t as important as enjoyment. An incredibly stupid statement to go along with his other stupid ideas.

    Nature of humans => flourishing => behaviors necessary for flourishing (called duties). Otherwise there isn’t flourishing.

    I like the word flourishing but substitute what you want that means same thing.

  447. 447
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry (& attn VL), that you perceive Gettier and Plantinga as speaking “Unclear, wordy jargon” is revealing and not in favour of your judgement. Please think again. KF

  448. 448
    jerry says:

    If you point out one of my unjustified opinions,

    There are so many. I believe I listed them above.

    Diversity/multiculturalism is one. Universal health care is another. Calling someone a racist is another. When I have time I will list others but I have a hard time remembering anything you have said that is justified.

    I thought that I made it clear that many of my comments are just opinion. As are most comments by other people.

    True, but some have thought it out better and some have better sources of information which often means their comments are more likely to be better justified. Not a guarantee but it increases odds.

  449. 449
    jerry says:

    . Please think again.

    Would gibberish do? His examples are extremely contrived. Why?

    I started out analyzing Plantinga but gave up when it became incomprehensible. I actually posted my analysis of Plantinga’s presentation on another UD OP you wrote a year or two ago. After awhile I became disillusioned with Plantinga because of his unintelligible statements.

    https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/atheisms-problem-of-warrant/#comment-728552

  450. 450
    StephenB says:

    WJM: — “KF’s argument about duties in a nutshell: “A certain class of behaviors are caused by duties.” The challenge: “How do we know those duties exist?” The answer: “Because of the way we all behave.

    Anyone see anything wrong with that argument?”

    The only thing wrong here is your understanding of the argument. Here is the way it works: We have moral duties because the moral law tells us what we ought or ought not to do. If it is wrong to torture babies for fun, it follows as night follows day that we are duty bound to refrain from such behavior.

  451. 451
    StephenB says:

    Jerry: — “I started out analyzing Plantinga but gave up when it became incomprehensible. I actually posted my analysis of Plantinga’s presentation on another UD OP you wrote a year or two ago. After awhile I became disillusioned with Plantinga because of his unintelligible statements. ”

    If you feel that way, and I can understand why you would, I suggest that you forget about Plantinga, read further, and go straight to Cicero, whom KF also cites?

    . . . “Law (say [“many learned men”]) is the highest reason, implanted in nature, which prescribes those things which ought to be done, and forbids the contrary” . . . . They therefore conceive that the voice of conscience is a law, that moral prudence is a law [–> a key remark] , whose operation is to urge us to good actions, and restrain us from evil ones . . . . the origin of justice is to be sought in the divine law of eternal and immutable morality. This indeed is the true energy of nature, the very soul and essence of wisdom, the test of virtue and vice.”

    That statement is about as clear, intelligible, and comprehensible as it gets.

  452. 452
    paige says:

    Jerry, OK, let’s pick universal health care amongst comparable countries.
    1) The US has the lowest life expectancy of comparable countries.
    https://www.healthsystemtracker.org/chart-collection/u-s-life-expectancy-compare-countries/#item-le_life-expectancy-at-birth-in-years-2017_dec-2019-update

    2) US spends twice as much as comparable countries on health care.
    https://www.healthsystemtracker.org/archive/?_sft_category=spending

    3)US has the third fewest acute health care beds per capita of comparable countries.
    https://www.healthsystemtracker.org/chart-collection/u-s-health-care-resources-compare-countries/#item-acute-care-hospital-beds-per-1000-population-2017

    4) US has the highest mortality rate of comparable countries.
    5) The US has the highest disease burden of comparable countries. Comparable countries have universal health care.
    6) The US has the highest rate of amenable mortality rate of comparable countries.
    7) The US has the highest rate of maternal deaths of comparable countries.
    8) US has highest rate of medical, medication and lab errors of comparable countries.
    https://www.healthsystemtracker.org/chart-collection/quality-u-s-healthcare-system-compare-countries/#item-overall-age-adjusted-mortality-rate-per-100000-population-1980-2017

    9) US has highest infant mortality rates of comparable countries.
    https://www.americashealthrankings.org/learn/reports/2018-annual-report/findings-international-comparison

    But it’s not all bad news. The US has better recovery rates for heart attacks and strokes.

  453. 453
    jerry says:

    If you feel that way, and I can understand why you would, I suggest that you forget about Plantinga, read further, and go straight to Cicero, whom KF also cites?

    I think you do not understand everything that’s going on.

    I completely support most of Kf’s conclusions on natural law, truth and the state of our world. My contention is with the word “warrant” and its use. I prefer the word “justify” instead.

    Interesting, your quote from Cicero is actually clearer than what’s been presented so far.

    Basically Kf is being attacked/ridiculed for his extremely hard to understand OP’s which no one understands. The attacks also include people expressing opinions as if they were equally true when in fact they are no more than unsubstantiated opinions.

  454. 454
    jerry says:

    let’s pick universal health care

    What you presented has nothing to do with universal health care. You are pointing to expensive and inefficient health care in the US not the lack of universal health care.

    What you are implying by your choice of links and statistics is that you believe there should be cheaper and more effective health care. That is a completely different issue.

    It’s impossible to provide everyone the same level of healthcare. It’s never been done in the history of the world. What can be done is to provide a minimum level for everyone. That’s what happening. This minimum level is astronomically higher than it was 50 years ago and increasing every year.

    So we have universal healthcare.

  455. 455
    jerry says:

    In looking up the quote of Cicero provided by StephenB I came across the following web page.

    https://peped.org/philosophicalinvestigations/extract-the-four-laws-of-aquinas/

    In it natural law is first attributed to Sophocles in his play Antigone then to Aristotle and finally to Cicero. These ideas were codified by Aquinas in the 13th century.

    Sophocles who, in Antigone, wrote first about an immutable and eternal law. In the play, Antigone testifies to Creon that the principles of natural law are rooted in Nature and knowable by the power of reason.

    These laws are not for now or for yesterday, they are alive forever; and no one knows when they were shown to us first

    there is in nature a common principle of the just and unjust that all people in some way divine [i.e., discern], even if they have no association or commerce with each other.”
    (Aristotle – On Rhetoric I:13:102)

    Three centuries later, the Roman orator and statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero articulated the concept of natural law more forcibly. In his Laws, Cicero described “Law” as “the highest reason, implanted in Nature, which commands what ought to be done and forbids the opposite” . In addition, Cicero noted that “right is based, not upon men’s opinions, but upon Nature”

    In Question 94 of the Prima secundae of his Summa theologiae (I.ii), Aquinas asserted the concept of an eternal law which provides the road map for all ethics and ethical conduct. This eternal law, Aquinas reasoned, is God’s device to govern the entire community of the universe toward the common good. The divine law, as represented for example in the Ten Commandments, makes eternal law more concrete and knowable. Natural law then transforms the laws emanating from the realm of the supernatural, making them knowable “in the hearts of human beings” and instruct them “to do good and avoid evil.” Lastly, human law, which translates natural law into concrete norms governing particular peoples and nations.is the most concrete and specific application of eternal law in the realm of the nature.

    This was all covered in the Great Courses series on natural law which also included some additional Greeks between Aristotle and Cicero as well as philosophers after Aquinas.

    All this to be replaced by the wisdom of some of our commenters in 2021.

  456. 456
    Karen McMannus says:

    Jerry: Nature of humans => survival => behaviors necessary for survival (called duties). Otherwise there isn’t survival… Nature of humans => flourishing => behaviors necessary for flourishing (called duties). Otherwise there isn’t flourishing.

    What if your survival/flourishing interferes with mine? Where is my duty?

  457. 457
    jerry says:

    Where is my duty?

    To right reasoning to determine how both can survive/flourish.

  458. 458
    Karen McMannus says:

    Jerry: To right reasoning to determine how both can survive/flourish.

    What are the premises of right reasoning?

  459. 459
    Sandy says:

    Viola Lee
    I don’t think I said anything about accepting all views as true.

    Yes you said.

    but the truth is we have to live with diversity

    =accepting all views as equal ,”not dare” to criticize other point of view in the name of a false “love” . Progressive dogma.
    You play the role of wise loving actor but in reality is only hypocrisy . Unity in falsehood is worse thing made in the name of a false love. 🙂 Don’t worry christians don’t kill homosexuals or transgenders and live very peacefully with others ,don’t block roads and don’t set on fire shops and businesses like black live matter or antifa retards. You give advices to wrong persons. Go talk with progressives. They will listen to you. Not.

  460. 460
    Viola Lee says:

    Sandy says “we have to live with diversity” = “accepting all views as equal.”

    Those are not equivalent at all.

  461. 461
    JVL says:

    Jerry: It’s impossible to provide everyone the same level of healthcare.

    It depends on what you mean by ‘level’. In the UK ‘everyone’ has access to the basic healthcare system for no extra cost. While it is true that some authorities cover some procedures and interventions while other don’t there is still a large group of things that are covered for everyone in the UK.

    Perhaps you’d like to spend some time being a bit more specific in your analyses instead of just making very broad and general statements.

    What can be done is to provide a minimum level for everyone.

    How is that not ‘the same level’?

    Perhaps you could provide an example of the difference between ‘same’ level and ‘minimum level for everyone’?

  462. 462
    JVL says:

    Sandy: Don’t worry christians don’t kill homosexuals or transgenders and live very peacefully with others ,don’t block roads and don’t set on fire shops and businesses like black live matter or antifa retards.

    There have been doctors who have been threatened and killed because they support abortion. Who did that threatening and those killings?

  463. 463
    jerry says:

    . What are the premises of right reasoning?

    Right reasoning or the systematic study of valid reference.

    Right Reasoning

    P -> q. If p is true, q is true. Example of Right Reasoning.

    If p is false or unknown p still implies q and logic is correct but not Right Reasoning. q could still be true but not logically true. It could also be false.

    Right or correct logical reasoning is not necessarily Right Reasoning.

    If a man starts with correct assumptions, he may be a good logician and a good citizen, a wise man, a successful figure. If he starts with false assumptions, he may be an equally good logician and a bankrupt, a criminal, a raving lunatic. The first is right reason, the second is not.

    The idea of “right reason” is important in the concept of natural law. It suggests that reason can operate rightly or wrongly. Reason operates rightly when it is discerning the truth and when it is figuring out how matters that are open to choice are to be selected in such a way as to achieve a kind of harmony.

    The “reason” mentioned here is not just the power to form concepts or to take part in logical argumentation, but right reason, a specifically moral power by which human beings can differentiate good and bad and can discern what is in harmony with human nature and what violates human nature.

    right reason: In natural law theory, the name for human reason operating well to discover the true natures of things and the norms that flow from the ends intrinsic to those natures; hence, a moral power by which human individuals can discern right from wrong, good from bad.

  464. 464
    Viola Lee says:

    Hmmm.What about the storming of the Capitol on January 6, during which people were injured and killed. And homosexuals and transgender people have been injured and killed. So, re 462, I think one can be worried: there are extreme people in all groups, Christian and otherwise.

  465. 465
    Sandy says:

    Viola Lee
    Hmmm.What about the storming of the Capitol on January 6, during which people were injured and killed. And homosexuals and transgender people have been injured and killed. So, re 462, I think one can be worried: there are extreme people in all groups, Christian and otherwise.

    JVL
    There have been doctors who have been threatened and killed because they support abortion. Who did that threatening and those killings?

    I realized that I have better things to do…talking with atheists is useless.

  466. 466
    Karen McMannus says:

    JVL: There have been doctors who have been threatened and killed because they support abortion. Who did that threatening and those killings?

    Exceptionally rare.

  467. 467
    Karen McMannus says:

    Jerry: If a man starts with correct assumptions…

    Yeah, those. What are they specifically? Please demonstrate them using the Trolley Problem. Start with your assumptions and rules, and use “right reason” to the come to the “right” conclusion. Show your work. For extra fun, also do it assuming the Singleton is your own young child.

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

  468. 468
    jerry says:

    Start with your assumptions and rules, and use “right reason” to the come to the “right” conclusion.

    Thank you, you have validated the use of right reasoning by proffering an absurd situation.

    Any more attempted gotcha’s?

  469. 469
    Karen McMannus says:

    Jerry,

    Just as I figured.

  470. 470
    jerry says:

    Right reasoning was discussed extensively on a thread 3 months ago on natural law.

    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-724570

    It was obvious that few knew how to define it and use it correctly which led to illustrating it in p’s and q’s.

  471. 471
    paige says:

    Sandy

    I realized that I have better things to do…talking with atheists is useless.

    VL has stated repeatedly that she is not an atheist. But I guess it is easier to falsely apply a label to someone and dismiss them rather than address their comments.

  472. 472
    Viola Lee says:

    Thanks for the clarification Paige, but actually, I’ve stated that I’m not a materialist. I am an atheist in that I don’t think any of the Gods posited by any religion actually exist.

    But I agree with Sandy that talking to some people is useless.

  473. 473
    paige says:

    My apologies VL. I had mis-remembered your previous statements.

    But I agree that talking to some people is useless.

  474. 474
    Viola Lee says:

    No problem. I certainly don’t expect everyone to keep track of the players without a scorecard.

  475. 475
    jerry says:

    Just as I figured

                😟

  476. 476
    Karen McMannus says:

    Jerry: It was obvious that few knew how to define it and use it correctly which led to illustrating it in p’s and q’s.

    It was obvious that natural law philosophies are bunk. Without direct revelation from the creator, it’s all a morass of subjective opinions and feelings.

  477. 477
    ET says:

    JVL:

    There have been doctors who have been threatened and killed because they support abortion. Who did that threatening and those killings?

    Doctors supporting murder means they are abandoning their oath. Perhaps the threats and deaths for enabling murder will get them to stop doing so. Clearly they can’t be reasoned with and choose to ignore science. Ignoring science has consequences, especially if it means the intentional killing of our most vulnerable.

    It has been said that you judge a society by how they treat their most vulnerable. We allow ours to be killed in huge numbers. How is that not a sign for our societal demise?

  478. 478
    vividbleau says:

    VL
    “Hmmm.What about the storming of the Capitol on January 6, during which people were injured and killed”

    The only one I know of that was killed was a Trump supporter shot by an unknown Capitol police person. Three other Trump supporters died but were not killed.

    Vivid.

  479. 479
    William J Murray says:

    Jerry said:

    Murray is on record that survival isn’t as important as enjoyment. An incredibly stupid statement to go along with his other stupid ideas.

    Where is that in the record, exactly? I think I most likely said something along the lines that when life becomes intolerably unenjoyable in both the direct and abstract sense, people often commit suicide. So, yes, for them, enjoyment was more important than survival

  480. 480
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, you know the logic of thought exercises. Gettier established that justification is not adequate to provide reliable warrant, and since then to date, the field of epistemology has seen a ferment. That’s a simple, readily confirmed fact. Plantinga intervened by using a related but distinct term, warrant, to act as place holder for whatever would fill the bill. He then provided a three volume exploration, of which the key summary is in the OP. It is arguable that he gives an excellent theory of warrant towards the spectrum of certainty in knowledge, from soft form to hard, complete with recognising that there are opinions beyond knowledge. That is a major, highly relevant achievement and it is unfair and ill advised to try to dismiss it as what is an onomatopoeia for turkey gobbling. There is a place for short copy, there is a place for long [which actually sells far better], there is a place for analysis and for reasonable exposition. KF

  481. 481
    William J Murray says:

    SB @450:
    I’m talking specifically about KF’s oft-repeated claim that our appeals to duty are manifestly evident in our behaviors. He does have other arguments.

    1. The argument from behaviors is circular.
    2. The argument from existential unavoidables conflates those things with duties to those things
    3. The argument from existential conscience is an “all swans are white” argument with counterfactuals in evidence.
    4. The argument for conscience and moral duties from “common human experience” is basically just rhetorical
    5. The argument about what would result if we do not have such duties and attend them is an appeal to consequences or emotion.

    The only way to properly argue for existential moral duties is to show them as self-evident, but the contrary does not result represent an absurdity, so that argument fails.

    That doesn’t mean such duties do not exist; it just means all the arguments presented here fail to establish duties as existential things.

    The better argument is that the best way forward for society is to assume such duties exist. That may or may not be true, depending on what one means by “best” and whose interests that direction serves. There’s a reason that the default governmental systems of the world (even if promoted as something else) is some version of lawless oligarchy.

    That reason is: duties are not fundamental to human nature. Something else is. Something actually self-evidently true that naturally manifests in groups of people as lawless oligarchies.

  482. 482
    kairosfocus says:

    Paige:

    according to KF, his is the only worldview with justified warrant. When diversity of opinions is brought up by VL he counters with ‘there can be no warranted diversity from 2+2=4’. And you call my comments ridiculous and irrelevant.

    Kf is most definitely interested in ideas.

    But only if they agree with his worldview. All others are dangerous.

    FYI, warrant is not opinion. Especially, when self-evident truths are on the table, with the stunning scene in 1984 where Winston Smith is broken through imposition of nihilistic power to force lying that 2 + 2 is whatever the Party wishes as the as yet un-exorcised ghost that haunts the history of the past 100 years.

    You will note that you keep on constructing a strawman caricature, likely driven by indoctrination and animosity that sets up scapegoats. Ultimately, on far too much bloody history, for slaughter. Before you continue to project your evident cognitive dissonance to the despised other, kindly look in a mirror.

    The corrective reality is, error exists, E. Try to deny it, ~E, this means, it is error to assert E. thus, E is necessarily, undeniably correct.

    We have here a self-evident, humbling first truth.

    To utter certainty, E shows by example that truth exists, and truth that can be believed and warranted to undeniable certainty. Objective, even self-evident. Thus, strong form, certain, absolute knowledge exists, and a fortiori, weak form knowledge as captioned: warranted, credibly true (so, reliable) belief. Where, credibly true is a direct sign that such a weak form claim — common in science — is open to correction. Both being, objective knowledge beyond the perceptions or opinions of a given representative subject or circle of subjects.

    All worldviews, therefore, that commit themselves to the radical relativity of knowledge or to its utter subjectivity — their name is Legion — are decisively falsified by Josiah Royce’s proposition.

    Of course, perforce, error exists and self evident propositions (where necessity of truth and absurdity of denial are readily seen on competent inspection) are never enough to frame a full worldview across metaphysics, logic, epistemology, axiology, political philosophy etc. Further, as I have also noted any number of times — contrary to your strawman scapegoat — all significant worldviews bristle with difficulties. (How can it be otherwise, philosophy is the discipline that studies hard, ultimate questions.) So, the pivotal method of philosophy . . . again as noted ever so many times [see here in a lecture course] . . . is comparative difficulties across factual adequacy, coherence and explanatory balance and power. Diversity is inevitable, but is accountable before key issues.

    Much of the contention we see traces to the intersection of ethics and epistemology, for many have been taught that to claim that there are objective moral truths is tantamount to dangerous, oppressive bigotry. In reality, the claim that there are no objective moral truths is itself a claimed objective truth on morality and it is self-defeating.

    There are knowable, objective moral truths, and indeed the Ciceronian first duties are inescapable, inescapably true, self-evident. That is good as it allows us to frame civil law, government and community life on free responsible reason not imposition of raw power opening the door to nihilism.

    An application of those is yardstick 1 on moral truth: it is self evidently wrong, evil, wicked, depraved, perverse, reprobate . . . to kidnap, bind, sexually, indecently assault and torture a young child, resulting in murder. Those who deny simply show themselves monstrous, so those clinging to relativism and subjectivism evade the matter and retreat behind a squid ink cloud of emotivism.

    In fact, though emotive appeals can be persuasive, they are no stronger than the warrant for the underlying perceptions, expectations, assumptions, attitudes.

    KF

  483. 483
    kairosfocus says:

    Vivid, precisely correct and unfortunately illustrative of the breakdown we are seeing. The incident, a fairly minor protest that in parts became riot [by comparison with the continent-wide wave we saw in months leading up to the US Election], has now been turned into a Reichstag fire event; feeding agit prop and lawfare, which are continuing to do far more damage than the riot. I am observing the play-out of the 4th gen civil war in aftermath of McFaul Colour revolution push. Sad, but thenwhen stabilising buttresses of a constitutional democracy are undermined, it becomes utterly unstable. KF

  484. 484
    kairosfocus says:

    KM,

    It was obvious that natural law philosophies are bunk. Without direct revelation from the creator, it’s all a morass of subjective opinions and feelings.

    Sez who?

    Do you see the appeal to truth you just made on your own authority? Do you run the legal presses to that KM’s word — per legal positivism — without reference to principles of justice — is what law is and that’s all?

    Do you not see how that mentality opens up lawless, nihilistic oligarchy? Which is precisely what the ghosts of 800+ millions of our living posterity torn from the womb moan out?

    On the contrary, your objection yet again seeks normative force by appealing to the authority of what it would overthrow. The Ciceronian first duties of reason, framing law as “highest reason.”

    KF

  485. 485
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, your repetition, yet again, of various already corrected vfallacies does not render them sound. Do you not notice that by asserting [strawmannishly] that certain things are so you appeal to the normative power of duty to truth? That, in reasoning therefrom to [erroneous] conclusions, you appeal to the binding force of logic, warrant and prudence? And more? In short yet again objectors show the inescapable legitimate authority of the first duties, so their truth and self evidence. KF

  486. 486
    William J Murray says:

    Here is my argument:
    1. All free will choices and decisions are made out of personal preference, direct or abstract (self-evidently true).
    2. All preferential choices are about managing, increasing or protecting enjoyments, direct or abstract.
    3. What any individual enjoys is necessarily rooted in personal preference, direct or abstract.
    4. What any individual experiences as “right action” is always, necessarily about servicing a direct or abstract preferential enjoyment.
    5. Thus, “right” = in service of direct or abstract, personal, preferential enjoyment.
    5. Such choices can only be enacted or instantiated via will and ability, or comprehensively, “might,” in whatever form the ability takes (convincing people, sheer physical power, cunning, etc.)
    6. One can only enact or instantiate what is right (the instantiation of their personal, preferential enjoyment, direct or abstract) to the degree they have the might (will and ability) to do so.
    7. Thus, might (will and ability) makes right (the enacted or instantiated personal preference.)

    Lawless oligarchies are the naturally occurring governmental system because all humans are necessarily, logically, operating under “might makes right.”

    Even if we assume there is a moral, creator God, that God used its might to instantiate that which it preferred, thus existential might makes right.

    Even those like KF who argue for a system of duties and rights they claim can be recognized as existential are using their might, their will and whatever ability they have to convince or coerce other people, to enact and instantiate a situation they would prefer and enjoy more than the alternatives.

    The social and governmental history of the world can be easily and directly understood as the ebb and flow of the distributions of might (physical, collective, ideological, etc.) and preferences of those with sufficient might at any given time, to enact systems they personally, preferentially find more enjoyable.

  487. 487
    William J Murray says:

    The only natural law (the sense we are talking about here) is: might makes right, and it necessarily applies even if there is a good, just creator God.

  488. 488
    jerry says:

    you know the logic of thought exercises. Gettier established that justification is not adequate

    He uses nonsense examples. Why? Plantinga is incomprehensible. Why?

    The word justification works just as well and is easily understood. The word warrant is unnecessarily confusing. I have read authors from all over the English speaking world for all my life and you are the only one using the word the way you do.

    Simplicity is always better than long explanations. Nobody reads the things you write let alone understands them and look at the unnecessary disorganized comments your OP’s are generating.

    If there is any focus, no one can find it even though you claim it. Every time you add some extra to the OP it leads people someplace else. The only reason there is 500 comments is because people are off on other issues.

    Murray is good for about 100 irrelevant comments/replies to his nonsense alone.

    My guess is that you want volume and not substance.

  489. 489
    jerry says:

    I just bought the book, “Content and Justification” by Paul Boghossian. It’s a book on epistemology. In it Boghossian uses the word “warrant” or its variants about 100 times but “justification” or its variants 400 times. If one goes through the book the two words are used in the same sense sometimes in the same sentence and with the same meaning. For example:

    And Kripke has interpreted Wittgenstein as holding that statements involving the notion of meaning or content have no truth conditions, but only conditions of warranted or justified use.

    Who is Paul Boghossian? He is Silver Professor of Philosophy at New York University, where he is currently Chair of the Department (having also held the position for ten years from 1994-2004)

    This is another thing to thank kf for. I would have never found this concept of JTB (justified true belief) except for his OP’s and comments. I’ll have to see how difficult Boghossian is to understand.

    Using this concept it is easy to expose the lack of validity of all the critics here at UD. They have no justified opinions on ID. And most of the criticisms of Kf’s OP’s on truth and natural law are also unjustified opinions.

  490. 490
    StephenB says:

    Karen Mcmannus

    —“It was obvious that natural law philosophies are bunk. Without direct revelation from the creator, it’s all a morass of subjective opinions and feelings.”

    You keep changing your story. Is it objectively wrong to torture babies for fun or is it not? Do you know that it is wrong or don’t you? Earlier, you said the answer is yes. Please make up your mind and give me your final answer.

  491. 491
    StephenB says:

    — WJM characterizing one of KFs arguments: “A certain class of behaviors are caused by duties.” The challenge: “How do we know those duties exist?” The answer: “Because of the way we all behave.

    The argument is circular.”

    No. It isn’t the duties that cause the behavior; it is the knowledge of the duties that do that. The fact that a duty exists does not have causative power. Knowing that a duty exists does have causative power.

  492. 492
    jerry says:

    Knowing that a duty exists does have causative power

    Or maybe better?

    knowing that a certain behavior will lead to an existential result (such as survival of myself and my family) causes this behavior to become a duty

  493. 493
    StephenB says:

    Concerning WJM’s argument: It isn’t the duties that cause the behavior; it is the knowledge of the duties that does it. That fact that a duty exists does not have causative power. Knowing that a duty exists does have causative power.

  494. 494
    StephenB says:

    Jerry:— “knowing that a certain behavior will lead to an existential result (such as survival of myself and my family) causes this behavior to become a duty ”

    Let’s tweak each other. Try this: Knowing that a certain behavior will lead to an existential result (such as survival of myself and my family) causes one to recognize it as a duty.

  495. 495
    jerry says:

    causes one to recognize it as a duty

    Absolutely better.

  496. 496

    Objective moral truth, give me a break. If you don’t feel anything, then you have no business to talk about morality. Moral truth is subjective.

    And I think the intent with the term “objective moral truth”, is just to say that inherently subjective things are real.

    People have contorted the meaning of subjective to mean, made up, in the mind, or something, and then use the word objective to denote things are real.

    Pain is real, joy is real, eventhough there is no objective evidence for them whatsoever. The word pain does not provide any objective evidence that pain is real.

    Supposing someone commits some crime, like torture and kill a child, whatever. Then maybe that person’s soul catches fire, and he