Believer

To me, the worst part about this clip is that this alleged human being has almost-certainly already reproduced…

92 thoughts on “Believer

  1. Uncle Tim says:

    I do say without reservation that any thinking (and I'll get back to that term in a moment) person can see this woman's arguments and hateful convictions are ludicrous, I don't think piling scorn on people who believe this way isn't the total answer, certainly not in terms of changing views of LGBT culture. Attacks can be fun, sure, but they only tend to make people defensive and dig in further.

    I mean, anyone can post a video to point at and say 'Isn't this person stupid?' So why don't we see the other side of the equation? By that I don't mean representing the other side of the argument, which is indefensible, but to focus on positive aspects of LGBT lifestyle in popular culture. Show how ridiculous this is by highlighting truly great people that this homophobia opposes.

    For example, a post spotlighting some of the best, most positive representations of LGBT people in films or television or video games, or a profile of how those representations have changed (or not changed enough) over time. How about more often spotlighting gay and lesbian performers and politicians who are making a positive difference in the fight?
    I think this would much better demonstrate that you're committed to supporting the cause rather than fueling the impression some get that you're just using it as an excuse to go after people you have an axe to grind against.

    Regarding the thinkers/believers dichotomy, which I believe is way too simplistic as I've often said, several people here have quite recently insisted that a negative view of belief or religious faith in general isn't actually what you're intending to say, which would seem to indicate that this slogan is misleading at the very least. As I suggested to you recently, why not refine it to something more specific such as thinkers/dogmatics, which I think would be more appropriate to indicating that your opposition isn't to belief itself (well… officially at any rate. I still say it's a perfectly good word) but to belief taken as fact without evidence. And yes, I still think that looks fine on a bumper sticker.

    Like

  2. Link_Shady says:

    You know Bob, I agree with a lot of things you say, form the escape to the movies, to some political things. We have similar tastes and a movie critic your opinion is some kind of shortcut.

    In another topics I find you smart and a lot of what you say helps me to expand my mind seeing things in another way.

    However, in doing so, is hard for me to reply to everything thing you post with a “cool” or “I agree”, that would be silly; the down part of this is that the comment section can be filled with hatred and such. When people disagree they are more vocal I guess.

    The whole point is that don't feel down because of this, there's a lot of lurkers like me that in certain instances we just don't have anything to say in the matter that would bring something to the conversation or debacle. When we have something to say, we say it, you rock and keep going

    Like

  3. Omorka says:

    Does . . . does she understand that she's saying this to a man who is quite probably not a Kinsey 0 himself?

    I mean, honestly, I suspect that she thinks she doesn't know any GLBT folks, that an electrified gulag of a few hundred acres would be enough, rather than, oh, let's see, 9 million Americans or more. I wonder how many people in her circles of friends and relations are GLBT and simply know better than to come out to her? More tragically, I wonder if it would make a difference if they did?

    @Ralphael: North Carolina is part of Dixie, though – check out her accent, that's Atlantic South all the way.

    @Anonymous: Anyone who can say “Christians don't threaten your life” has never been a non-Christian in a small town in the Bible belt. I can give you three personal anecdotes of such just off the top of my head (while the worst I've ever gotten from a Muslim was publicly slut-shamed, and that only once). The one where the FCA jocks were threatening to burn me on a tire pile was particularly upsetting.

    Like

  4. biomechanical923 says:

    @Anonymous
    Moral knowledge is simply knowledge about what does or does not cause people to be healthy, happy, etc. Most people learn pretty rapidly that a good rule of thumb for moral behavior on an individual level is to treat people with empathy – that is, imagine what it's like to be that person and try to treat them the way you imagine they'd want to be treated while still respecting your own personal interests and boundaries.
    But then you get back to epistemology.
    How do you know that happiness and health are objectively good things? Maybe they're just things that we arbitrarily attached value to.
    If you derive an objective morality from doing whatever you think will make people happy, or treating people how you would like to be treated, dont you risk falling into the realm of hedonistic utilitarianism?

    Like

  5. Anonymous says:

    @biomechanical
    Different Anon here. Do you mind explaining why hedonistic utilitarianism is something to avoid? From what I can read of it online, it looks like a perfectly valid value system.

    Like

  6. biomechanical923 says:

    @Anonymous
    Do you mind explaining why hedonistic utilitarianism is something to avoid?
    Because on an individualistic level, it allows anybody to justify any action as long as it makes them happy.

    Like

  7. Anonymous says:

    Asking if health, happiness, etc. are really good or just arbitrarily good is making the mistake of imagining that goodness is somehow metaphysical or immaterial when it isn't. Goodness isn't magic, it's exactly what we think it is. Asking if what we “think” is good is arbitrary is like asking if what we “think” is a Koala is arbitrary. The precise problem with religious understandings of morality is that they try to take something that is grounded in the material world and make it numenal, mysterious, etc…and the purpose of that is to create a monopoly on moral truth that discounts people's ability to subjectively reason about goodness. The reason we can discount hedonistic utilitarianism is that it prioritizes happiness over other goods like health, and that it's selfish rather than communitarian.

    Goodness generally has to do with our responsibilities to *other* people rather than fulfilling our desires. There's a neat section of Kant where he talks about how doing what you WANT to do all the time isn't really freedom, since you're not actually in control of your desires, but that's actually not relevant to this argument, I just thought I'd mention it to forestall the objections from Libertarians that having to care about other people is oppressive.

    The other important element to moral behavior is to recognize that there are probably multiple right answers to how to be a good person, some of which work better than others, but all of which work WAY better than the wrong answers, such as “be a Fundamentalist Christian w/o regard to the people you make miserable”.

    Like

  8. biomechanical923 says:

    @Anonymous
    Asking if health, happiness, etc. are really good or just arbitrarily good is making the mistake of imagining that goodness is somehow metaphysical or immaterial when it isn't. Goodness isn't magic, it's exactly what we think it is. Asking if what we “think” is good is arbitrary is like asking if what we “think” is a Koala is arbitrary

    I don't know if your analogy applies here. First of all, a koala is a thing, and goodness is an attribute of a thing. Those are two different categories of abstraction, unless you're counting “being a koala” as an attribute.
    Second, a Koala has observable physical and genetic characteristics that can be described and agreed upon whether it fits that criteria.

    There isn't an agreed criteria for what makes something good. Sure, there's Virtue Theory, which basically says that something is good if it does a good job at being what it already is. But I think that's kind of retroactive because it's already based upon a pre-conceived definition of goodness. If it's hard to objectively describe what's good, then it's probably even harder to describe what it means to be good at being good.

    Like

  9. biomechanical923 says:

    (Note: double-posting because this thought was kind of off-topic)

    At this point, a follower of evolutionary psychology / biological psychology might step in and say a human is virtuous if it carries out the biological imperative to preserve it's own life and the well-being of the species as a whole.

    The problem with that idea is that evo-psych carries a ton of baggage with it. It fails to explain why people might do things that don't promote the health and happiness of the individual, or the group. Well, more specifically it does explain them, by rationalizing that they are due to some physical,functional, or genetic flaw. This reasoning leads to a downward spiral into Naturalistic Fallacies, creating convenient apologetic excuses for why things like rape will always exist.

    Nobody here is arguing that homosexuality (or any morality) is good or bad based only on the word of some god. But I think we really dont want to explain the source of morality as Evo-Psych, which would say that homosexuality isn't immoral because of god, but that's just because it's a genetic/psychological flaw.

    Like

  10. Thorbs says:

    @Bio

    I'd say you're over-complicating the whole issue of ethics. It pretty much comes down to what promotes health/happiness for the majority as Anon has been stating. And this makes it subject to interpretation at times.

    If there was always a criteria by which something could be judged good or bad, we wouldn't see the constant changing of laws, discussion of issues like gay marriage and so on. Some issues will always be morally grey. It's easy to judge issues that adversely effect others, such as Theft, Murder, Rape… when you get to more personal matters like gay marriage, banning smoking/drugs, privacy laws etc, it gets much harder.

    Like

  11. InnerPartisan says:

    Jesus Christ, this comment section is fucked up. Seriously, Bob, isn't it possible to implement som halfway decent system, like disquus or something? As things stand, you'd be better off just shutting the whole thing down. The ammounts of trolling and sheer dipshitery around here are staggering.

    Anyway, Uncle Jim had a good idea further up: Don't just ridicule (as much as such… people might deserve it), emphasise the positive. There's a wonderfull Australian add from a while back that comes to mind: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wj09lWcz0yk

    Like

  12. Skynet says:

    Ugh. Please tell me it's not a coincidence I was listening to Siegfried's Funeral March while reading all of these posts by Last Men who expostulate that morality is obvious, inherent in nature, and unquestionably the interest of the group.

    What's up with all of these pinko communist sympathizers who spend their lives trying to tear down the nuclear-powered hyper-capitalist ubermenschen?

    PAX AMERICANA

    Like

  13. biomechanical923 says:

    @Thorbs
    “I'd say you're over-complicating the whole issue of ethics. It pretty much comes down to what promotes health/happiness for the majority as Anon has been stating.
    First of all, that mindset sounds an awful lot like communism.
    Second, if collectivist utilitarianism were a viable method of of examining ethical questions, then there would be no complaints when a majority votes to ban gay marriage, because the group as a whole has chosen what would best promote their own happiness (e.g. Prop 8 in California).

    Like

  14. Anonymous says:

    @Bio

    First of all, “that sounds like Communism” is a guilt-by-association logical fallacy and it's beneath you.

    Second of all, rights should never be voted on, obviously majorities will tend to hold down minority rights.

    Third of all, groups don't “choose” what will best promote the good of society…there are observable right answers to those questions about which people can be wrong in big numbers, and Prop 8 is a great example of that. As is, for example, the Taliban. If you allow a vote among religious extremists about whether or not women should have to wear Burqas or risk stoning, they'll vote for the oppression of women, but they'll be wrong.

    Also, please stop putting labels on the ideas I espouse. It doesn't make you smart, it's just a way of not listening. I believe you know something about whatever you think “evolutionary psychology” or “collectivist utilitarianism” are, but since I don't know what you know, you can't respond to me by naming the stuff that I say in ways that allow you to argue with straw men.

    Good can be a noun or an adjective, in the same way “Koala-ness” and “Koala” are. It's just whatever promotes the well-being of conscious creatures. It's very easy for me to state and explain.

    And actually, I don't think the right answer is hard to find in the case of sexuality and gay marriage – some of these issues are really easy, which is why people quoting the Bible at me to explain their faulty reasoning seems to me just more evidence that logic always beats authority as a basis for moral reasoning.

    Like

  15. Anonymous says:

    …okay, and a couple of things about evolutionary psychology:

    1) There is no such thing as a “flaw” in evolution – evolution has no moral component, and no goal. People constantly make the mistake of thinking that evolutionary traits are designed to help the individual organism survive, but evolution actually just causes species and organisms to change. Death, for example, is an evolutionary trait. The human lifespan could be longer, or shorter, but we've adapted to around 60 – 80 years because that's how long the bacteria that live inside us feel like keeping us around. There's no evolutionary problem with living people who can't reproduce, because individual organisms aren't the direct beneficiaries of evolution…and actually even to talk about “beneficiaries” is to anthropomorphize a process that in fact has no goals at all and doesn't care about anything. Evolution is just a process. It cares about its products exactly as much as the engine in your car cares where you go. There is no such thing as an evolutionary flaw. The concept makes no sense.

    2) Since I define good as “whatever tends to increase the well-being of conscious creatures”, it should be clear that people's moral instincts are, at best, convenient for creating good, but they have no necessary connection to it. If we were all sociopaths, good would still mean the same thing, it would just be hard to convince people to do it.
    And, in fact, there's lots of evidence that moral instincts are somewhat biological, since there are universal patterns throughout humanity…but…and this is important…our moral instincts often steer us towards behavior that does NOT benefit people in the way we want it to – for example, people generally have an instinct around the idea of “purity” which is adaptive in that it makes us resistant to interacting with what seems strange to us, but which also can make people (especially people from certain types of sheltered background) irrationally afraid of interracial coupling, gay people, oyster bars, marijuana, and other fantastic (but possibly strange-seeming) things. Thus, we actually have to use reason to overcome our own instincts in order to behave in a way that is ACTUALLY good instead of in a way that seems by instinct to be good.

    Like

  16. Cado says:

    “If she was a “Believer” that violence is always wrong and that anyone who encourages it is wrong despite her opinion on homosexuality, that would be good. Also, what if she is a “thinker”, what if this all came about because she is willing to think, and justify, and reinterpret as necessary to make these opinion work.”

    This was said way back near the beginning and it shows a fundamental misunderstanding of how believers work. Believers begin with their conclusion and then look for ways to back it up. This raises a host of issues I can't even begin to delve into here; my main point is that everybody thinks. It's not a question of if, it's a question of how. Thinkers can believe in things that don't have scientific backing but they are always willing to hear and adapt to new information and they never place beliefs beyond criticism.

    A thinker can believe there is a god but a believer thinks being gay is wrong because a really old book says so.

    There's a lot that we simply don't know, and while I think we can safely write off any religious deities as they're described it doesn't mean there aren't things that are both unexplained and forever beyond the realm of science. In saying that I acknowledge that little, if any, of what I come to believe outside of testable scientific theories can rightfully be considered fact, and I think that anyone who wants to delve into that stuff needs to be extra careful about questioning their own perceptions so that their unconscious biases don't render them delusional. Faith, as in blind belief, is a problem, it was fatally flawed from the outset, and if we want to advance as a species without losing touch with what we'd consider spiritual then belief needs to evolve into something that encompasses sound intellectual practices instead of making critical thought the enemy.

    Like

  17. Cado says:

    I also want to add, when it comes to conservatives, what has the conservative party actually done for the United States in the last few decades? What have conservatives as a whole done for our culture? People like the woman in this video are not a minority and it's delusional to try and portray them as if they are when the entire right-wing party is catering to them. The crowd cheered at one of the republican debates where the question, “so you'd just let him die?” was posed by Wolf Blitzer. There is no reason for any reasonable or moral person to align themselves with conservatives anymore, and while there are sane people who identify with that label it's ultimately up to them to separate themselves from the pack. I'm willing to judge an individual on their own merits and I make it a point to do so, but if all I know about someone is that they're republican I'm going to assume the worst. (In no small part because of the fact that if it's all I know they're probably really obnoxious about it.)

    There's an argument for fiscal conservatism and that isn't something I take issue with. What I take issue with is the fact that the so-called conservative party in the US is anything but; they spend more than liberals, they want to control people's lives on the basis of their religion, they give handouts to the rich and cry foul when anyone else gets help from the government, and they insist on keeping us embroiled in pointless wars. There is nothing redeeming about them at this point, and while I'd be willing to say the exact same thing about the democrats at least they aren't so callously and bluntly evil. The Republican party is basically a group of real-life supervillains. They can't get much more mustache-twirlingly evil than they already are, and regarding those who are sane and who want to vote Republican because of what their platform is supposed to be, I sympathize. You guys don't have any representation right now, just like Obama doesn't represent people like me due to his weakness on issues like civil liberties. He's less evil but that's not much of a comfort when our entire political system has been bought by the financial sector. The real issues we face as a country go beyond which party wields the most power and who becomes the next president. Until we get the money out of politics we won't have true democracy.

    Like

  18. Jake says:

    @Cado
    That example you gave where during the debate you said every one cheered at the “so you'd let them die?” part, only two people cheered, and everyone else there (Tea partiers) condemned them like the sociopaths they were.

    Like

  19. Zeno says:

    @Anonymous:
    “Since I define good as “whatever tends to increase the well-being of conscious creatures”,”

    Define “well-being”.

    @Cado:
    “I also want to add, when it comes to conservatives, what has the conservative party actually done for the United States in the last few decades?”

    Not been liberals.

    “Until we get the money out of politics we won't have true democracy.”

    You can't get the money out of politics until you get politics out of money.

    Like

  20. Anonymous says:

    Man, I need to go to work, but…

    1) You said evo-psych saw homosexuality as an evolutionary flaw, which makes no sense.

    2) Well-Being is a difficult concept to define, but basically it means some complex combination of emotional satisfaction (confidence, security, happiness) and physical health.

    However, it's important to recognize that it's possible for a concept like “good” or “well-being” to be vaguely defined at yet meaningful; anybody can see that the well-being of, say, you and me is more secure than that of many people living in Syria right now, or, you know, is better than dead people, but the fact that when you get down to fine-grained distinctions it can be tougher to distinguish doesn't render the concept meaningless.

    The important thing to remember is that “what is good to do?” is a question that always admits of many right answers but also many, many wrong ones. So of course the challenge to Define Well-Being sounds like a devastating argument until you realize that there are lots of concepts (health, happiness, love, potential, etc.) that are difficult to define in some permanent, careful way but which are nonetheless meaningful.

    Like

  21. biomechanical923 says:

    @anonymous
    1) You said evo-psych saw homosexuality as an evolutionary flaw, which makes no sense.

    I never said that. I never mentioned anything about “evolutionary flaws”. I fully agree with you that there is no such thing as an “evolutionary flaw” and evolution has no goal or end…

    ….which is why I never said any of those things.

    Please quote to me where I said that if you think otherwise.

    Like

  22. Anonymous says:

    “But I think we really dont want to explain the source of morality as Evo-Psych, which would say that homosexuality isn't immoral because of god, but that's just because it's a genetic/psychological flaw.”

    Like

  23. biomechanical923 says:

    A genetic flaw is not the same thing as an evolutionary flaw.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_disorder
    Some anti-gay apologists try to use biology or evo-psych to say that homosexuality is basically a genetic defect, or a defect in some other biological or psychological functioning. Some others try to use the reasoning that a person who has as intrinsic characteristic which causes them to remove themselves from the gene pool must be genetically defective in some way. This flawed reasoning fails to take into account the large number of gay/trans/bi people who do in fact procreate.

    I do not subscribe to those arguments, but they exists, and it is why you cannot use biology / psychology to derive what is ethical.

    Like

  24. Anonymous says:

    So…your argument is that some people use science in a nonsensical way (biology can't have flaws, nor can psychology, neither of those things has intentions either), therefore no one is allowed to use biology and/or psychology and/or the evolutionary process, all of which have useful things to say about the origins and functions of human morality?

    That seems pretty wildly illogical to me, like saying that just because some Christians are homophobic idiots, no one is allowed to argue that religion can be a source of morality.

    Like

  25. biomechanical923 says:

    @Anonymous
    So…your argument is that some people use science in a nonsensical way (biology can't have flaws, nor can psychology, neither of those things has intentions either), therefore no one is allowed to use biology and/or psychology and/or the evolutionary process, all of which have useful things to say about the origins and functions of human morality?
    No that's not my argument at all, and I don't see how you could have gleaned that from what I wrote.

    Anonymous:
    “That seems pretty wildly illogical to me
    Again, I agree, which is why I never said anything like that.

    As to the matter of your comment that “biology can't have flaws, nor can psychology, neither of those things has intentions either” I disagree.
    Just because something doesn't have an intention, doesn't mean that it doesn't function in a certain way (e.g. things like Cell Theory and the definition of Life). If living thing function in a way, regardless of whether or not they function with a “purpose”, we can still observe whether they are not functioning normally, or are dysfunctional. For example, if you told a person with a heart defect “your heart is really not defective at all, because hearts don't have intentions”, that wouldn't change the fact that their heart was not behaving in a manner conducive to maintaining their life.

    I do not disagree that biology and psychology have things to say about the origin of morality, just like anthropology and biology also have things to say about the origin of abstractions like language and writing. However, while psychology and biology can (and do) explain the genetic benefits of supposedly “moral” behaviors like altruism (preserving the genome of the species taking precedence over preserving the genome of the individual, due to increased likelihood of the survival and propagation of that population) that only explains why people are wired to think that certain actions are moral. It doesn't explain if our actions are actually as moral as we think they are, or whether things like the preservation of life, and of the species in particular, actually are moral or not.

    This brings me back to my actual argument: You cannot use biology / psychology to derive what is ethical.

    Like

  26. Anonymous says:

    Yep, I clearly misunderstood. You're in fact saying that because we sometimes confuse our own intentions with nature having a purpose, people make that attribution error when they talk about “flawed” hearts, genes, evolutionary traits, etc., not realizing that a heart can only be flawed if you think there's something it's *supposed* to do, which in fact there only is if you're a person who wants something, not if you're nature, which doesn't give a damn.

    Therefore, you say, we can't use biology or evolutionary psychology to get ourselves a basis for morality…we can only get a basis for what we THINK is moral, which actually we can demonstrate pretty easily goes awry under certain experimental conditions (see the Milgram experiment).

    But we CAN use the knowledge we have about psychology and biology to make judgments about what produces happiness and health, and in that sense, not in the sense of trying to analyze our moral instincts, we can in fact use science to help us answer moral questions.

    Like

  27. biomechanical923 says:

    @Anonymous
    Therefore, you say, we can't use biology or evolutionary psychology to get ourselves a basis for morality…we can only get a basis for what we THINK is moral, which actually we can demonstrate pretty easily goes awry under certain experimental conditions (see the Milgram experiment).
    I'm not entirely sure whether you were being sarcastic or not, but yes, that's exactly what I'm trying to say.

    Anonymous:
    But we CAN use the knowledge we have about psychology and biology to make judgments about what produces happiness and health, and in that sense, not in the sense of trying to analyze our moral instincts, we can in fact use science to help us answer moral questions.
    This is where I think we're just gonna need to agree to disagree. If I understand you correctly, you (and most people) have agreed that, for practical purposes, the proliferation of increased health and happiness is an intrinsic good.
    For some reason, I am caught up in the epistemological question of whether health and happiness are good, and if so, why they are good. Perhaps ironically, I do admit to being in a position of relative privilege (the fact that I have an internet connection, and am in a state of at least moderate physical health (the mental health thing I'm not so sure about sometimes) which allows me the time to consider such things). Maybe it's a case of over-complication due to overthinking, but at this time, It's something that I just can't figure out.
    For what it's worth, I can assure you that it has caused me considerable cognitive dissonance (if anybody cares).

    Like

  28. Andrew H says:

    I'm sorry but I have to laugh about a few posts claiming that children born into a household that expresses a certain idea will always be inclined to believe that. Every human, properly functioning and even many who aren't, is capable of thinking objectively and making up their own minds.

    Like

  29. Anonymous says:

    @Bio

    Nope, no sarcasm, I don't understand why anybody would doubt that physical and psychological health are good (one way to think about it…imagine what could possibly be worse than the largest number of conscious beings suffering the greatest amount of pain possible for the longest possible amount of time…nothing, right? Now imagine that good is whatever steps us away from that), but I think your reasoning is perfectly sound. I just think that given the choice between your position, in which there is no such thing as good, and my position, in which I always have a pretty clear road to figuring out the right thing to do without relying on superstition, my position leads to less mental angst and is therefore better.

    Like

  30. Skynet says:

    “Nope, no sarcasm, I don't understand why anybody would doubt that physical and psychological health are good (one way to think about it…imagine what could possibly be worse than the largest number of conscious beings suffering the greatest amount of pain possible for the longest possible amount of time…nothing, right? Now imagine that good is whatever steps us away from that),”

    Such bourgeois decadence.

    Like

  31. Nathan says:

    Oh, I lol'd. When he asked her about other passages in the bible about people being put to death and her look was, “is that really in there”. It hurt to laugh so much.

    Like

  32. Zeno says:

    “imagine what could possibly be worse than the largest number of conscious beings suffering the greatest amount of pain possible for the longest possible amount of time…nothing, right”

    A hollow existence without even the capacity for pain.

    “my position leads to less mental angst and is therefore better.”

    Only if you can have no angst about holding beliefs on faith.

    Much of that was just ad baculum.

    Like

  33. Anonymous says:

    @ Zeno and Skynet

    I don't think either of you know what ad baculum or bourgeois mean.

    Now stop arguing with me or I won't invite you to my beach house.

    Like

  34. Anonymous says:

    ….but seriously, Zeno, you're absolutely right to call me out…a “hollow existence without pain”…that would be the same thing as, for example, being an inanimate object. I guess I sort of agree that would be worse, but it seems like that's the same as being dead, and dead things don't get moral consideration from me. And it's totally absurd to say that I'm holding beliefs on faith, since by definition health and happiness are subjective experiences that I can use as evidence for my thinking about what good is. At a certain point, saying “this duck that looks, feels, and behaves like a duck SEEMS like a duck, but I could be radically deceived” becomes mental illness rather than useful skepticism.

    Like

  35. Zeno says:

    “I don't think either of you know what ad baculum or bourgeois mean.”

    You think this is pretentious? This is me being vulgar. If you want pretentious, just ask. You have no idea of the full extent of my power level.

    “And it's totally absurd to say that I'm holding beliefs on faith, since by definition health and happiness are subjective experiences that I can use as evidence for my thinking about what good is.”

    So your good isn't objective, isn't it?

    “At a certain point, saying “this duck that looks, feels, and behaves like a duck SEEMS like a duck, but I could be radically deceived” becomes mental illness rather than useful skepticism.”

    And look at the implied judgments here: “mental illness”, “useful”. Ad hominem. What false idols would you have logical rigour kowtow too?

    Like

  36. Anonymous says:

    Come ON, Zeno…all of everyone's experiences are subjective. The one allowable leap of faith you sort of HAVE to make as a human being is that your perceptions are basically trustworthy. Otherwise there is no way to be objective about anything, ever.

    If you think “of use” is a false idol when talking about moral reasoning, I have to assume you don't care very much about this issue except intellectually. Morality isn't Sudoku to me, it's a question about how people ought to live their lives. Without “of use” it's all academic.

    As for “mentally ill”…one of the most tiresome ideas wandering around the net is that there's no such thing as dysfunctional thinking. There is. I wasn't calling you a name, though; I was just pointing out that at a certain point “question everything” becomes a waste of time.

    Like

  37. Zeno says:

    “Come ON, Zeno…all of everyone's experiences are subjective. The one allowable leap of faith you sort of HAVE to make as a human being is that your perceptions are basically trustworthy. Otherwise there is no way to be objective about anything, ever.”

    Is/Ought Fallacy.

    “If you think “of use” is a false idol when talking about moral reasoning, I have to assume you don't care very much about this issue except intellectually. Morality isn't Sudoku to me, it's a question about how people ought to live their lives. Without “of use” it's all academic.”

    Except “of use” already assumes some OTHER morality, some goal that the morality we're formulating is supposed to be useful for. Using “usefulness” to justify morality is inherently duplicitous; “do what I say not what I do”.

    Like

  38. Anonymous says:

    First of all, the is/ought fallacy isn't a fallacy…of course is can imply ought. A train IS barreling down the tracks at you, therefore you ought to move. Herman Cain IS profoundly ignorant, therefore he ought not be elected President. This table IS made out of would, therefore it OUGHT to burn if I pour gasoline on it and drop a lit match on top.

    People who reference the supposed is/ought fallacy are fare more guilty of unexamined assumptions than I am.
    David Hume did a number on common sense with that one, and the damage keeps coming.

    The central problem with “is/ought” is that it mistakes “ought” for some cosmic necessity rather than simply an expression of strategy.

    I chomp down wholeheartedly on the bullet of admitting that I think the goals of morality are't the same as morality. The goal is to contribute to the general health and happiness of the world of yourself. Moral behavior is the behavior that gets you there. When I say you “ought” to behave morally, I mean it the same way I mean it when I give someone advice on how to win at chess.

    The difference is, I care much more about the goal of moral behavior than I do about a chess game. What I really wonder is why you don't.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s