Materialism

Materialism
Maw
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#571 - Quote - Permalink
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Posted Feb 8, 2014 - 8:36 PM:

BishopBerkeley's Doobie wrote:
Ontological materialism does entail something... in terms of ethics and morality; as any and every ontology asserts, even if implicitly, a morality and ethic.

Therefore, ontological materialism pretty much does lead to either to darwinism, the notion of carnal survival, or egoism (in regards to morality and ethics). Now, if you were to say that a given ontology, like materialism, does not entail some sort of morality, or ethic, then such an ontology would not be an actuality, simply a mere abstraction you've created out of boredom.


How did you magically start with "Materialism does entail a morality," and conclude with "Therefore, materialism leads to darwinism..."? You are not explaining why a commitment to ontological materialism so obviously leads to social darwinism. Simply because evolution via natural selection is a naturally occurring and scientifically sound phenomenon, does not mean that it needs to be transmitted to socio-politico-economic affairs. Besides, the idea that evolution itself is wholly individualistic (i.e. egoism), and predicated on 'survival of the fittest' is farcical; it's an anachronistic idea stemming from Herbert Spencer (not Darwin himself). Many animals engage in cooperation, mutual trust, affection and care, and other social behaviors, and all of this is perfectly accepted in evolutionary science. An animal does not even need to be self-aware or anywhere near as cognitively advanced as us to engage in sustainable social behaviors. For example, the worm C. elegans typically feeds alone. However, when food is in short supply, the worms will group and eat together to avoid depleting the limited food supply, which may occur if they act individually or display the 'survival of the fittest' mentality that you are so keen on pushing.

Furthermore, plenty of self-proclaimed humanists might aptly describe themselves as ontological materialists, while being committed to protecting and advocating the agency and well-being of their fellow humans. There is no difficulty for the ontological materialists, in acknowledging the capability of human (and non-human) suffering, the ability to care for and feel affection for others, and the value of agency and well-being, which can, without too much difficulty, be described and understood in physical terms. Yours is just another condemnation of materialism, without actually understanding any science behind it.
TheWillowOfDarkness
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#572 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Feb 8, 2014 - 8:53 PM:

BishopBerkeley's Doobie wrote:
2.) The point is such humanists have no other grounding for their moral behaviors other than their own personal judgement... and I'm not saying that they aren't smart enough to make their own moral decisions, what I'm saying is exactly the opposite, which is, they're making their own moral decisions.


This both untrue and dishonest about the relationship of human judgment to morality in the extreme. Such humanists are working off a moral truth present in reality, not merely their "own judgement," as if moral truth was somehow created by them.

Furthermore, all systems of morality rely on human judgement, in the sense a human must trust what they perceive as moral truth. Humans following morality from an "outside source" still trust what they think as much as any humanist does. Those following the command of God, for example, must trust that their sense morality (e.g. what God commands is moral) is accurate. In this sense we all make our own moral decisions, as everyone must trust their judgement about moral truth.
Russells Teapot
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#573 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Feb 8, 2014 - 9:00 PM:

Yahadreas wrote:


The same as a horrific act like murder in a materialist's world.

Have you ever given a clear answer as to the source of elementary particles?


.

Is this the philosophy version of the playground taunt "I know you are, but what am I?"

Here's a carrot for you : I might be persuaded to your argument if you can give a clear answer as to the source of qualia.

Without an explanation for the origin of qualia, your argument against materialism is a sham. You have no more grounds for forming judgments about your world than any materialist does for theirs. So convince me - whence these qualia?

(At least ArtistCV gave me an anwer - we may continue to disagree, but I have a lot of respect that the question was taken seriously.)

.
Maw
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#574 - Quote - Permalink
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Posted Feb 8, 2014 - 9:05 PM:

BishopBerkeley's Doobie wrote:
1.) All out of profit for self...


You gotta appreciate the shameless circularity of all 'everything is selfish' arguments, reducing any and all action to that of selfishness. If I said that if a number of stronger worms ganged up on and killed the weaker worms, you'd call it selfish. If I said that the single largest worm killed the others, you'd call it selfish. If I said that the largest worm offered food to weaker worms, you'd call it selfish. The fact of the matter is is that this type of behavior is better described as cooperative and united, rather than the selfish, survival of the fittest nonsense that you are pushing onto materialists.

2.) The point is such humanists have no other grounding for their morality other than their own personal judgement... and I'm not saying that they aren't smart enough to make their own moral judgements and decisions, I'm not saying that at all, what I'm saying is, they're making their own moral judgements and decisions.


I don't think so. Read Spinoza, Adam Smith, Philippa Foot, Patricia Churchland, and Antonio Damasio.

3.) Ontological materialism does not not lead to darwinistic morality just because you personally believe that it doesn't... the implications of your ontology are not restricted to your interpretation of them.


Right...and ontological materialism does not lead to darwinistic morality just because you keep saying so.

So unless there is anything substantive you want to offer, I'm out.


TheWillowOfDarkness
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#575 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Feb 8, 2014 - 9:10 PM:

BishopBerkeley's Doobie wrote:

1.) What is "moral"... according to a humanist (of course)? And how can they "work off" a moral truth, without presupposing morality itself?.

They do pose morality itself. Humanism posits we are morally obligated to work together to build a flourishing human community where individuals have agency.


BishopBerkeley's Doobie wrote:
2.) Yes, I'm aware of existential decisions.

Then why do you tell blatant falsehoods about it? As if anyone can do anything more than trust they are aware of moral truth make their own decisions.
TheWillowOfDarkness
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#576 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Feb 8, 2014 - 9:27 PM:

BishopBerkeley's Doobie wrote:

1.) "Humanism posits we are morally obligated to work together to build a flourishing human community where individuals have agency." - Why is this good? What makes this position any better than an army conquering land and setting down their foot on anyone's neck who dares to question them?


Why is it good? That question is incoherent. The point of the position, like with any moral truth, is that it simply is. There is no why at the basis of morality. What makes it better is that it is, like under any claim of moral truth, the moral course of action (i.e. the good, what ought to be, etc.,etc.)

BishopBerkeley's Doobie wrote:
2.) The point is... how can a humanist say that the Holocaust is wrong without presupposing their own personal opinions as to what is wrong and right? They cannot.


So it for anyone. No-one escapes this. The follower of God must presuppose their understand of morality is correct in exactly the same way. Morality is not meant to be of "no perspective." That would be contrary to the nature of morality. Morality is, by definition, relevant to perspective, for it is always about what people experience and its significance. It outlines what someone is meant to be doing, which is means always of perspective, for it stipulates for perspective (e.g. you ought to be experiencing this).

Likewise, knowing about morality must always be of perspective, for it is necessary that someone is aware of moral truth in their experience.

You are searching for an incoherent ghost. Morality cannot be defined sans perspective. It is always about perspective and useful through perspective (as we can't make use of moral truth unless we are aware of it).
TheWillowOfDarkness
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#577 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Feb 8, 2014 - 9:40 PM:

BishopBerkeley's Doobie wrote:

1.) There is no 'why' at the basis of morality, really? Yea, have fun with that one...

Yes. It is why any moral claim always strikes a spot where they have to claim their position is "simply so." God is no exception to this.

BishopBerkeley's Doobie wrote:
2.) Actually, according to a theist, there is a morality beyond the partial perspectives of man. And yet, I cannot tangibly prove that to you beyond me stating it.


And they are wrong, for such a claim is incoherent. Morality, if it is to be relevant to humans, must relate to their experience, to their perspective. God can't specify morality for humans without it being about their perspective. A God given morality is still about human perspectives (what humans ought to do) and of human perspectives (some humans are aware of this god given morality).

Proof is irrelevant here. The claim of God given morality, by its definition, contradicts it being beyond human perspectives.

BishopBerkeley's Doobie wrote:
And what is the best moral course of action, the one you deem so? Yea, I think so.

No. The moral cause of action is the one that ought to happen (i.e. the moral truth). This needn't be the one I deem at all. I might be wrong. You are confusing the act of believing and promoting a moral truth (which is always what someone thinks it is) with the presence of moral truth (which may be otherwise to what someone thinks).
TheWillowOfDarkness
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#578 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Feb 8, 2014 - 9:56 PM:

BishopBerkeley's Doobie wrote:

1.) And what is the spot that the materialist strikes... because I say so. More importantly, I'm not saying that humanists/materialists are wrong in their estimations of right and wrong... I'm saying, a humanist/materialist can never, I repeat, never, condemn the actions of another.

disapproval

"Because I say so" is an argument give by no-one. All assertions of moral truth pose there is a truth of morality which is present in reality. The materialist does not answer "because I say so." They answer "because it is moral truth and I am aware of it."

The absence of a "why" at the basis of morality does not mean the absence of morality. It does not mean morality has no basis. It means moral truth is the basis of morality. Humanists/materialists have no problems condemning the actions of others.


BishopBerkeley's Doobie wrote:
2.) Yes, for human perspective, that doesn't meant it caters to it...

Oh, but it does. The God given morality specifies what humans ought to do and be. It does nothing but cater to the needs (moral) of humans.

Furthermore, like any moral position, it always caters to the "needs (desires)" of the humans who believe it. If there is a God given morality, those who believe in it have what they want, just as happens under an instance where a humanist claim is true.

BishopBerkeley's Doobie wrote:
ask all of those who think that God's commandments aren't "natural" and are "repressive". God's morality supposedly represses man's "true" nature - but whose to say what man's "true" nature actually is... you or I?

Whoever is correct must, for, if we are to know of moral truth, it must appear in our experience. The question you are asking doesn't make sense. If there is moral truth, then the answer is already there and the question is misplaced. If there is no answer (which you seem to be arguing. But how exactly do you know there no answer? See how you cannot escape trusting your own understanding), there can be no moral truth, so moral nihilism must be so (in this case you are the one who cannot take issue with people's actions).

As I identified earlier, you cannot derive the basis moral truth (or one's knowledge in general, for that matter). One can only identify truth if they know the truth is present. A perspectivless position is an oxymoron.

Edited by TheWillowOfDarkness on Feb 8, 2014 - 10:23 PM
ArtistCV
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#579 - Quote - Permalink
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Posted Feb 8, 2014 - 11:22 PM:
Subject: Willow...
TheWillowOfDarkness wrote:

You are confusing the cause with the effect here. Materialism, in the sense you are talking about, explains the cause of consciousness. It is not meant to describe a state of consciousness at all (e.g. identifying pain was caused by touching the stove does not identify what the pain felt like. it is not supposed to). It is the cause which is mindless, not the effect.

The argument you are giving here is actually incoherent. You reasoning is actually supposing the effect must be in the cause, in direct contradiction with what is required for the presence of a cause/effect relationship. A cause specifically entail that it brings about something which did not exist before. An effect cannot be present in the state of the cause. If consciousness is to be caused, it cannot exist prior to its causation, as otherwise there would not actually be causation. The effect, consciousness, must be absent from the cause.


Okay, so a conscious state is not a physical state. That much we agree on. But in a physical world, what would a non-physical state consist of? If not a ‘physical something’, then what, a ‘physical nothing’? In a physical world, a physical nothing is…well…nothing. Does that describe your conscious states?

And how would a physical cause bring forth a non-physical effect? Does the physical cause act on nothing, and by doing so cause nothing to bring forth consciousness? How can the absence of being mediate or bring forth anything?

In a physical world, an effect is simply the sum of its physical causes. When the causes are present, the effect immediately is. If the physical effect were some new physical arrival added to the already existing causes it would violate conservation laws. Of course if the physical effect is simultaneous with its causes, and each effect becomes another cause, the entire causal history of the universe would run off instantly. The physical world be finished the instant it began.

If causality to be more than an invention of language, it must have an ontological basis. Being must be explained in terms of being. But in order for a causal relation to have ontological reality there must be something present in the cause that is also present in the effect. There must be a sameness that survives change. Being must be conserved. Only the mind is able to accomplish this, for only the mind is able to be fully present in the cause and in the subsequent effect. If this were not the case, the mind could not be witness to its own changing conscious states. No mere illusion can do this.
Yahadreas
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#580 - Quote - Permalink
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Posted Feb 9, 2014 - 9:44 AM:

Russells Teapot wrote:
Is this the philosophy version of the playground taunt "I know you are, but what am I?"

Here's a carrot for you : I might be persuaded to your argument if you can give a clear answer as to the source of qualia.

Without an explanation for the origin of qualia, your argument against materialism is a sham. You have no more grounds for forming judgments about your world than any materialist does for theirs. So convince me - whence these qualia?


Why do I need to give an answer as to the source of qualia? If I were unable to do so then would that provide good reasons to support materialism? Then would it then follow that if you were unable to give an answer as to the source of elementary particles then that would provide good reasons to support theism?

The issue I take with materialism is that it tries to answer one question (what is the source of qualia?) simply to re-introduce the same question about itself (what it the source of elementary particles?). As I keep stating over and over again, this is the same limitation that hinders the teleological argument.

If you can't explain to me how it is that the physical world came to be and how it is that it functions the way it does then it is hypocritical of you to expect me to explain the same about the mental world. If my inability to answer the question is reason to abandon the claim that mental phenomena are the foundation of reality then the same logic would dictate that your inability to answer the question is reason to abandon the claim that physical objects (matter/energy) are the foundation of reality.

So if we have two theories, both of which suffer from the same weaknesses, then it is more reasonable to accept the simplest. In this case, the simplest theory is idealism.

Where do qualia come from? I don't know. But my ignorance is not sufficient evidence to then posit the additional entity of a physical world, especially considering that if I did then I just then wouldn't know where matter came from. Answering one question with another question isn't an answer.

Edited by Yahadreas on Feb 9, 2014 - 9:50 AM
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