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    (Original post by xylas)
    I didn't say "immoral" be careful with your words.

    Nevertheless I agree that humans can try to follow morals but are never able to attain morality. I make no claims as to whether you can live a happy life following a moral system but this does not count against us being amoral. Also some people really do care about whether or not we are moral, especially religious people who believe in judgement and prophethood etc.



    Glad this thread helped you in some way!
    Thanks, its good to know.
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    (Original post by xylas)
    1. Ok but this does not mean I need empirical evidence

    2. No I didn't say everyone has morals

    3. Which people do you want me to find? How many people would be sufficient? While we're at it why don't you tell me your moral code?

    4. Ok what do humans act according to? You can't just reject something without a reason. Potential disagreement does not concern me, you need a good reason for disagreement otherwise you neither agree nor disagree.
    Tell me why you think P4 is nonsense. Give me a single example of something a human follows that changes all the time. I am genuinely interested in what you will come up with.

    5. I don't need or want evidence from you. The lack of empirical evidence does not automatically negate any of my points. You need reasons.

    P.S. It's funny how you aren't asking for evidence for P2. Since you agree with this why don't you tell me the evidence by which you came to this conclusion!
    1. Yes it does, because that's how we can make substantiated claims about the world. If you're making a statement about the world then logical deduction is fine as long as you're deducing based on axioms that are grounded in reality. The way we show an axiom is grounded in reality is through evidence. Without evidence, we can't say that our axioms reflect reality therefore our conclusions are meaningless.

    2.
    (Original post by xylas)
    Most people say they have morals
    3. No idea, find a sample that reflects the human population, I'm sure a hundred or so would be fine for a preliminary study. My moral code is to do things that make the world a nicer place for people now and in the future and to avoid things that make the world a less pleasant place, and to pursue my own happiness as long as it isn't to the detriment of others. Of course I don't stick to this all the time, I'm not perfect, but that's what I try to do. I do generally follow this, I think, and I'd be very surprised if this wasn't true for most people.

    4. I'm not entirely convinced that you understand how science works. If you make a statement about the world and act as if it's true until someone else disproves it, people will laugh at you. I'll repeat it again, you are not correct by default. You have no entitlement to be taken seriously if you can't substantiate what you're saying with some reasoning that's grounded in evidence. Nevertheless, if you want a reason why I think you're wrong, it's because most people I know in the world are nice people and I have no reason to believe that they're seeing the world through a cold Machiavellian lens. I certainly don't.

    Laws change all the time, and we follow that. Our views on different factions in the world change depending on the state of the world. What I do in any one moment depends on my mood which changes all the time.

    5. Once again, that is not how science works. You are not correct by default.
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    (Original post by xylas)
    So following morality is the same as following laws or policies set by those in power? This would be classed as amoral behaviour according to most definitions.
    Was clearly talking about how the prevailing overall morality in society, not people's individual moralities.

    In practice though it's actually very difficult to be amoral, because you forge your morality with every choice you make.

    When you make a choice - any choice - you are in a way making that choice for the rest of humanity, because what you choose as right and wrong is you de facto saying what everyone should choose as right and wrong (except bar certain situations, where you make a decision because you know others will make a different or opposite decision)
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    (Original post by xylas)
    P1. Humans act according to their own motivations
    P2. There is no universal system that defines morality
    C1. Morality is no different than any other human motivation
    P3. Human motivations change all the time
    C2. Morality changes all the time
    P4. It is impossible for a human to follow something that changes all the time
    C3a. It is impossible for a human to follow a system of morality
    C3b. Humans are amoral beings
    This is something that feels as though it has to be proved separately. It's quite the assumption. If one's motivations and views change your default position is usually to follow your own new outlook.
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
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    1. Yes it does, because that's how we can make substantiated claims about the world. If you're making a statement about the world then logical deduction is fine as long as you're deducing based on axioms that are grounded in reality. The way we show an axiom is grounded in reality is through evidence. Without evidence, we can't say that our axioms reflect reality therefore our conclusions are meaningless.

    2.

    3. No idea, find a sample that reflects the human population, I'm sure a hundred or so would be fine for a preliminary study. My moral code is to do things that make the world a nicer place for people now and in the future and to avoid things that make the world a less pleasant place, and to pursue my own happiness as long as it isn't to the detriment of others. Of course I don't stick to this all the time, I'm not perfect, but that's what I try to do. I do generally follow this, I think, and I'd be very surprised if this wasn't true for most people.

    4. I'm not entirely convinced that you understand how science works. If you make a statement about the world and act as if it's true until someone else disproves it, people will laugh at you. I'll repeat it again, you are not correct by default. You have no entitlement to be taken seriously if you can't substantiate what you're saying with some reasoning that's grounded in evidence. Nevertheless, if you want a reason why I think you're wrong, it's because most people I know in the world are nice people and I have no reason to believe that they're seeing the world through a cold Machiavellian lens. I certainly don't.

    Laws change all the time, and we follow that. Our views on different factions in the world change depending on the state of the world. What I do in any one moment depends on my mood which changes all the time.

    5. Once again, that is not how science works. You are not correct by default.
    I took time to reply to your misunderstandings so would appreciate if you read what I say properly:

    1. What you have said makes you an empiricist, which is a valid philosophical position but is not the only one (Re: epistemology). I don't want to debate epistemology on this thread but if you want you can send me a PM.

    2. Are you being disingenuous?!! Notice how "most people say they have morals" is completely different to "everyone has morals"! If you fail to see that or are unwilling to take it back then you have lost respect in this discussion.

    3. Well I've met over 100 people in my life who have consistently gone back on what they say their morals are so I think this would not be difficult. However, for the purposes of this thread (I don't particularly want to devote my time to academic work in this area) I think this counterargument is relatively minor at this point.

    Your moral code sounds like humanism mixed with utilitarianism which like you say is a common moral system. It's good that you admit you don't stick to it all the time because that is obviously impossible (and doesn't require any evidence mind you). It's only a few logical steps on those same axioms to the statement that it is impossible for you to stick to them at any time.

    Just for the record, I absolutely do not see myself as a humanist or utilitarian and do not see these as worthwhile pursuits but to each their own. As you would agree, there is nothing objective about either of these systems hence no-one can hold you to any of them. My argument is basically that neither can you.

    4. I do understand how science works regardless of how convinced you are (unless you have a PhD in a science subject I bet I have way more formal scientific grounding than do you). Furthermore this is not a scientific question. 'Pertaining to the physical world' =/= 'scientific'! Tell me where you studied 'moral beings' in any scientific discipline? It is I who laughs at you for thinking we are talking science here!

    Since when did anything I said imply that everyone sees the world through a cold Machiavellian lens or are not nice people?? That is your own interpretation. "What I do in any one moment depends on my mood which changes all the time" -glad you agree with this since this forms part of my argument that motivations change all the time . While laws do in fact change over time, this is relatively slowly and does not occur 'all the time' in the same sense that human motivations do.

    5. Like I said, I am neither correct nor incorrect by default. I am not incorrect just because you say I need empirical evidence.

    So far you have not provided any strong reasons against my points. Give me your reasons why you disagree with P1 and P4, and if you want to maintain your point about evidence, where's your evidence for agreeing with P2?
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    (Original post by Nidhoggr)
    Was clearly talking about how the prevailing overall morality in society, not people's individual moralities.

    In practice though it's actually very difficult to be amoral, because you forge your morality with every choice you make.

    When you make a choice - any choice - you are in a way making that choice for the rest of humanity, because what you choose as right and wrong is you de facto saying what everyone should choose as right and wrong (except bar certain situations, where you make a decision because you know others will make a different or opposite decision)
    Not interested in "prevailing overall morality", only individual moralities...

    I love what you're saying in bold, do you see the contradiction between everyone supposedly following different moralities? This is why my argument claims that it is impossible for humans to act morally, since there is no system which exists in isolation. If you follow a system that doesn't say what other people should do then this is the definition of an amoral system!

    (Original post by Retired_Messiah)
    This is something that feels as though it has to be proved separately. It's quite the assumption. If one's motivations and views change your default position is usually to follow your own new outlook.
    Well you tell me, how could it be possible for a human to follow something that changes all the time? Are there any examples you know of, or can you think of how we might be able to? I know I can't. Humans just physically aren't able to keep up with something that is changing all the time by our very nature, and the nature of anything organic tbh.
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    (Original post by xylas)
    Well you tell me, how could it be possible for a human to follow something that changes all the time? Are there any examples you know of, or can you think of how we might be able to? I know I can't. Humans just physically aren't able to keep up with something that is changing all the time by our very nature, and the nature of anything organic tbh.
    The implication you've created here is that because one's mind is constantly changing then we're unable to truly follow our own thoughts, which sounds ridiculous to me.

    A child's height is constantly increasing, but a bunch of them are usually able to keep track for the most part. Changes in our own nature are of the easiest things to follow, as we're constantly able to keep track of what's going on with ourselves.
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    (Original post by Retired_Messiah)
    The implication you've created here is that because one's mind is constantly changing then we're unable to truly follow our own thoughts, which sounds ridiculous to me.

    A child's height is constantly increasing, but a bunch of them are usually able to keep track for the most part. Changes in our own nature are of the easiest things to follow, as we're constantly able to keep track of what's going on with ourselves.
    Ok so you want me to define my terms properly. There are many definitions of 'follow'. The one I am using is:

    verb: follow
    3. To accept the guidance, command, or leadership of: follow a spiritual master; rebels who refused to follow their leader.
    4. To adhere to; practice: followed family traditions.

    I do not mean 'pay close attention to' or 'keep track of' which are some of the other definitions.

    What I am disputing is that we are able to adhere to/ practise a particular system of morality since this is dependent on our own motivations, which are changing all the time. As you implied, the best we can do is keep track of them, but if you recorded all our actions they would not correlate with any systems of morality.

    With that in mind could you answer the questions from before: how could it be possible for a human to 'follow' something that changes all the time? Are there any examples you know of, or can you think of how we might be able to?
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    (Original post by xylas)
    Humans lack morality. Being moral is a fictional, unattainable quality. Most people say they have morals but in reality no-one follows them. My argument is that it is impossible for a human to follow a system of morality. In essence we are amoral beings. Discuss.

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    noun: morality
    principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behaviour.

    adjective: amoral
    not involving questions of right or wrong; without moral quality; neither moral nor immoral.
    This is just false. The fact that humans often do not live up to their moral standards doesn't make them amoral. It means that they sometimes act in an immoral fashion.

    I believe that there is a universal, objective moral system: there is a right way and a wrong way to behave and to act. Acting in accordance with utilitarianism is the objectively correct way to act, in my view. It's a particularly demanding moral system: right now I could be out working to earn money to donate to the most cost-effective charities, for instance. This doesn't mean I'm amoral, though: it means I'm acting immorally.

    (Original post by Nidhoggr)
    There's no such thing as objective morality yes, i.e. there is no such thing as universal rights and wrongs that everyone fundamentally believes in. I know people will argue against this, typically referencing the Golden Rule, but there are numerous examples in history of people treating others in ways they would not like to be treated, and these people have reasons & motivations beyond just pure psycopathic desire for destruction, so the Golden Rule obviously falls down in these cases.
    Universally, every sentient being aims to maximise the satisfaction of its preferences. From there, once we recognise that there is no logical justification for putting one's own preferences above those of others, it follows that, if we are to maximise the satisfaction of our own preferences, which it is impossible not to do, we should maximise the preference-satisfaction of every sentient being.
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    (Original post by viddy9)
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    This is just false. The fact that humans often do not live up to their moral standards doesn't make them amoral. It means that they sometimes act in an immoral fashion.

    I believe that there is a universal, objective moral system: there is a right way and a wrong way to behave and to act. Acting in accordance with utilitarianism is the objectively correct way to act, in my view. It's a particularly demanding moral system: right now I could be out working to earn money to donate to the most cost-effective charities, for instance. This doesn't mean I'm amoral, though: it means I'm acting immorally.

    Not acting morally =/= acting immorally. I don't think humans act immorally, but we lack morality. Ideas like utilitarianism have no grounding in reality and are just fictional constructs. Also that's a very strange view to think that because you can not possibly live up to these moral standards that you are acting immorally. My view is much kinder and down to earth since it doesn't matter if we don't follow these rules or not. In the end we will just act according to our preferences anyway.

    Who told you that utilitarianism is the best way to act? Was it your own brain? Maybe your brain has interpreted it differently to others. Is there a single text which you regard as absolute?

    Why should we care about other sentient beings? Why should you expect others to adopt utilitarianism?

    P.S. For you to prove that you follow utilitarianism you will have to prove how talking to me on this thread is the correct way for you to act. Who does it benefit and what higher reason are you acting according to apart from your own motivation?
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    (Original post by xylas)
    Agreed. Morality is but a fiction.



    Apart from being racist, nothing that you have said contradicts my argument. You have not said why you think we are not amoral.



    The world isn't one society, but apart from that you may have a point (albeit not very pertinent).



    Ok, since you agree with me that morality is made up by individuals (btw you have not said why you disagree with me) then it is easy for me to argue that humans don't stick to their own subjective rules. And then one step to claim we are amoral.

    P1. Humans act according to their own motivations
    P2. There is no universal system that defines morality
    C1. Morality is no different than any other human motivation
    P3. Human motivations change all the time
    C2. Morality changes all the time
    P4. It is impossible for a human to follow something that changes all the time
    C3a. It is impossible for a human to follow a system of morality
    C3b. Humans are amoral beings
    Sorry if I came across to you as racist, but it wasn't what I had meant. I had meant that people in Japan, for example, would see spitting on the ground as fine, and blowing your nose as rude and extremely disrespectful. We here in Britain have it the other way round. That's what I meant. It's nothing to do with people's origins, but rather to do with the way they were brought up.
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    (Original post by xylas)
    I don't think humans act immorally, but we lack morality. Ideas like utilitarianism have no grounding in reality and are just fictional constructs.
    Utilitarianism follows from logic, however. It is the correct way to live.

    Every sentient being aims to minimise its own suffering and maximise the satisfaction of its interests. However, there is no logical justification for anyone to assign more importance to their suffering, or their interests, than to anyone else's: their suffering is no less real when they experience it than when you do. Thus, if we are to aim to minimise our suffering, and maximise the satisfaction of our interests – which it is impossible not to – it follows that we should do the same for others: to do otherwise would be to favour our own preferences.

    Thus, there are reasons for maximising the preference-satisfaction of every sentient being. Of course, no one can force you to do so, but that's irrelevant: it's still true that you should do so, whether or not you acknowledge this.

    (Original post by xylas)
    Also that's a very strange view to think that because you can not possibly live up to these moral standards that you are acting immorally. My view is much kinder and down to earth since it doesn't matter if we don't follow these rules or not. In the end we will just act according to our preferences anyway.
    I don't care about what's kinder, I care about what's true.

    (Original post by xylas)
    Who told you that utilitarianism is the best way to act? Was it your own brain?
    Logic dictates that it is the correct way to act, as outlined above.

    (Original post by xylas)
    P.S. For you to prove that you follow utilitarianism you will have to prove how talking to me on this thread is the correct way for you to act. Who does it benefit and what higher reason are you acting according to apart from your own motivation?
    As I said, I act immorally at times. I'm vegan, I donate 45%+ of the money I have to the most effective charities, and in my personal life I do a number of things to prevent beings such as insects from suffering.

    I acknowledge that utilitarianism is the correct guide to how I am to live; that doesn't mean that I act in a utilitarian manner every second of the day. In fact, constantly calculating the consequences of my actions would lead to less overall utility, as I would probably become burnt out. After all, I am only human.
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    (Original post by viddy9)
    T
    Universally, every sentient being aims to maximise the satisfaction of its preferences. From there, once we recognise that there is no logical justification for putting one's own preferences above those of others, it follows that, if we are to maximise the satisfaction of our own preferences, which it is impossible not to do, we should maximise the preference-satisfaction of every sentient being.
    Lol mate I think you have written those exact words so many times on this forum now, you have probably forgotten there are other ideas in the world besides utilitarianism.

    Knowing you, you would probably go into catatonic shock if you dared to open your mind to other points of view :lol:


    I'm curious exactly what you mean by "there is no logical justification for putting one's own preferences above those of others", because cogito ergo sum is all the logical justification you need to put your preferences over those of any other being.

    I mean technically speaking I dont even know for sure that you're actually real. That's more than enough logical justification to priortise my desire over anyone else's, and ofc I would expect everyone else to do the same.
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    (Original post by viddy9)
    TUniversally, every sentient being aims to maximise the satisfaction of its preferences. From there, once we recognise that there is no logical justification for putting one's own preferences above those of others, it follows that, if we are to maximise the satisfaction of our own preferences, which it is impossible not to do, we should maximise the preference-satisfaction of every sentient being.
    Also, utilitarianism falls down in the same way the Golden Rule does, because people dont always act in ways that maximise their utility. Tell me, how is a suicide bomber maximizing his utility?Earlier I mentioned Nietzche's "Will to Power" is which is probably the bets maxim we have so far that explains morality and why people act as they do.
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    (Original post by Nidhoggr)
    Lol mate I think you have written those exact words so many times on this forum now, you have probably forgotten there are other ideas in the world besides utilitarianism.
    Utilitarianism kind of demands that you think about it quite a lot!

    (Original post by Nidhoggr)
    Knowing you, you would probably go into catatonic shock if you dared to open your mind to other points of view
    Well, isn't that what I'm doing? Trust me, I'm well aware of other points of view: I have a friend who is an Ayn Rand-style egoist and another who is a creationist who believes in Divine Command Theory.

    (Original post by Nidhoggr)
    I'm curious exactly what you mean by "there is no logical justification for putting one's own preferences above those of others", because cogito ergo sum is all the logical justification you need to put your preferences over those of any other being.
    At best, that can justify you putting your interests over that of one other being. However, the probability that other beings are also sentient is incredibly high, given the evidence we have evidence from long-term behavioural changes. As a result, putting your interests above those of more than one being, given the overwhelming evidence that other beings are sentient, would be wrong.

    (Original post by Nidhoggr)
    Also, utilitarianism falls down in the same way the Golden Rule does, because people dont always act in ways that maximise their utility. Tell me, how is a suicide bomber maximizing his utility?Earlier I mentioned Nietzche's "Will to Power" is which is probably the bets maxim we have so far that explains morality and why people act as they do.
    A suicide bomber is satisfying his preferences: I'm a preference utilitarian. He's not maximising utility as a whole, though, because he is frustrating the preferences of the people he is killing. As a result, he's doing something immoral.
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    (Original post by viddy9)
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    Utilitarianism follows from logic, however. It is the correct way to live.

    Every sentient being aims to minimise its own suffering and maximise the satisfaction of its interests. However, there is no logical justification for anyone to assign more importance to their suffering, or their interests, than to anyone else's: their suffering is no less real when they experience it than when you do. Thus, if we are to aim to minimise our suffering, and maximise the satisfaction of our interests – which it is impossible not to – it follows that we should do the same for others: to do otherwise would be to favour our own preferences.

    Thus, there are reasons for maximising the preference-satisfaction of every sentient being. Of course, no one can force you to do so, but that's irrelevant: it's still true that you should do so, whether or not you acknowledge this.



    I don't care about what's kinder, I care about what's true.



    Logic dictates that it is the correct way to act, as outlined above.



    As I said, I act immorally at times. I'm vegan, I donate 45%+ of the money I have to the most effective charities, and in my personal life I do a number of things to prevent beings such as insects from suffering.

    I acknowledge that utilitarianism is the correct guide to how I am to live; that doesn't mean that I act in a utilitarian manner every second of the day. In fact, constantly calculating the consequences of my actions would lead to less overall utility, as I would probably become burnt out. After all, I am only human.
    Utilitarianism is not the correct way to live. In fact there is no 'correct' way to live. Everyone including yourself just does what they want, i.e. they act according to heir own motivations. Morally or immorally. Hence we are amoral beings.

    You come across as extremely one-minded. There are countless logical justifications for assigning more importance to your own preferences over others'. Everyone does this including yourself. I am not interested in the preferences of others if they have no impact on me. Only if pertains to my own motivations will I act one way or the other.

    Your view is untrue, and even if mine turns out to be (I am not infallible) at least mine does not negatively affect one's life unlike yours.

    Your logic is incorrect.

    The main difference between me and you is that I do not think I act immorally at times, whereas you do. Instead I act amorally. I have no problem saying I am not living my life for anyone else or anyone's idea. I am living my life for myself and myself alone. You say that you are living for all sentient beings but I know the reality. It is impossible to follow that system and if I knew you in person I know I would find your actions do not correlate with the preference-satisfaction of every sentient being. I know this 100%.

    Aha your explanation reveals all. You have proven that you do not follow this bull**** system you have been spouting but you just follow your own motivations. It is YOU who decides what overall utility is, and YOU who determines whether you are correct in acting or burning out. This is what I've been saying all along. Just for the record I do this as well and so does everyone else. The only difference is that I don't like saying bull****.
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    (Original post by xylas)
    Utilitarianism is not the correct way to live. In fact there is no 'correct' way to live. Everyone including yourself just does what they want, i.e. they act according to heir own motivations. Morally or immorally. Hence we are amoral beings.
    Whether or not we do what we want is irrelevant to whether we are acting in an incorrect or wrong way. You're conflating what is the case with what ought to reasonably be the case.

    (Original post by xylas)
    Your view is untrue, and even if mine turns out to be (I am not infallible) at least mine does not negatively affect one's life unlike yours.
    I think that's the true nature of your objection here. You don't like morality because you don't want to follow it. Well, unfortunately, just because you don't like something doesn't make it any less true.


    (Original post by xylas)
    It is impossible to follow that system and if I knew you in person I know I would find your actions do not correlate with the preference-satisfaction of every sentient being. I know this 100%.
    And this is something I've already stated - I'm not a perfect utilitarian, and no one in history has been. That doesn't mean that I don't acknowledge that utilitarianism is the correct moral system, and try to follow it as best I can. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

    (Original post by xylas)
    It is YOU who decides what overall utility is, and YOU who determines whether you are correct in acting or burning out.
    No, it's not. There is a point at which I could push myself no further and at which I would burn out. I'm not at that point yet, but that point exists, meaning that only a robot could be a perfect utilitarian. Humans cannot, but that doesn't mean that, as I said earlier, they should let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

    (Original post by xylas)
    Everyone does this including yourself.
    That's not a logical justification for why I should put my preferences above those of other people's. That's a decidedly illogical argumentum ad populum, in fact.

    (Original post by xylas)
    I am not interested in the preferences of others if they have no impact on me.
    That's not one either.

    (Original post by xylas)
    Only if pertains to my own motivations will I act one way or the other.
    That's not one either.

    Please, do reveal these "countless logical justifications".

    A rational being would ask: What is the real nature of the situation of myself among numerous others? Is it really rational for me to care more about what happens to me than to other people? Consider that each other person's wants are just as real to them - indeed, just as real, period - as yours are to you.

    That you experience what happens to you differently than what happens to them is just a subjective illusion. Furthermore, your reference to yourself as 'I' and to others as he or she is a grammatical illusion of relative application. There is not a difference in kind between an 'I' versus a 'he' or 'she' like there is between circles and squares. A being who seeks objectivity must believe that the feelings of others as real and valid as her own, and that 'there is no inherent specialness about 'my' feelings or desires.'
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    (Original post by viddy9)
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    Whether or not we do what we want is irrelevant to whether we are acting in an incorrect or wrong way. You're conflating what is the case with what ought to reasonably be the case.



    I think that's the true nature of your objection here. You don't like morality because you don't want to follow it. Well, unfortunately, just because you don't like something doesn't make it any less true.




    And this is something I've already stated - I'm not a perfect utilitarian, and no one in history has been. That doesn't mean that I don't acknowledge that utilitarianism is the correct moral system, and try to follow it as best I can. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.



    No, it's not. There is a point at which I could push myself no further and at which I would burn out. I'm not at that point yet, but that point exists, meaning that only a robot could be a perfect utilitarian. Humans cannot, but that doesn't mean that, as I said earlier, they should let the perfect be the enemy of the good.



    That's not a logical justification for why I should put my preferences above those of other people's. That's a decidedly illogical argumentum ad populum, in fact.



    That's not one either.



    That's not one either.

    Please, do reveal these "countless logical justifications".

    A rational being would ask: What is the real nature of the situation of myself among numerous others? Is it really rational for me to care more about what happens to me than to other people? Consider that each other person's wants are just as real to them - indeed, just as real, period - as yours are to you.

    That you experience what happens to you differently than what happens to them is just a subjective illusion. Furthermore, your reference to yourself as 'I' and to others as he or she is a grammatical illusion of relative application. There is not a difference in kind between an 'I' versus a 'he' or 'she' like there is between circles and squares. A being who seeks objectivity must believe that the feelings of others as real and valid as her own, and that 'there is no inherent specialness about 'my' feelings or desires.'
    If everyone indeed acts amorally, then by definition it means there is no correct or incorrect way to live. Because what is correct or incorrect depends on morality, and if we are all amoral (not by choice btw) then we are incapable of following any morality. This implication is sound regardless if you dispute the premise. Think about this some more if you don't understand it.

    Not only do I not want to follow it (see how honest I am), I physically can't. Neither can you. Btw I am not arguing whether morality is 'true' or not, I think you misunderstand this thread. Morality may well be 'true' for all I care, however there is no universal system that defines it, and it is impossible to follow a system that is not well-defined.

    Good so no-one in history can follow a moral system perfectly. I agree. What I said was that there is no correlation between your actions and the demands of your moral system. You glossed over this bit. NO correlation. Meaning that when you say you "try to follow it", this is a random process dependent only on your motivations. Btw you are no different, better or worse than me in this regard. We all act according to our own motivations, and we all try to justify our actions. However, I prefer not to use the bull**** that you are accustomed to.

    Who decides the point at which you can push yourself no further? Is it me? Is it some philosopher you read in a book somewhere? Is it some scientific probe that outputs a measurement from inside your psyche? Go on tell me WHO decides?

    I didn't say you should follow your own preference, I said it can easily be justified. It wasn't even an argument, it was a statement of fact that everyone does this which you of course are unable to dispute.

    Again you keep misunderstanding what I write (spend more time reading next time will you?). I didn't attempt to justify my own behaviour, I was simply telling you that I am not interested in the preferences of others if they have no impact on me. Just to let you know that not everyone thinks like you.

    The countless logical justifications for not being interested in the preferences of others include: cogito ergo sum; if you act purely for your own interests you are more likely to gain since you can only have perfect information of yourself (hence everyone will benefit if they do the same); that everyone else's preferences are independent of each other and are changing all the time; the evolutionary argument that we should not care about those who are unwilling to help themselves; the argument that the only good we can know is our happiness not the happiness of others (we do not feel their happiness); and finally my argument that we are de facto amoral beings.

    (Btw I'm waiting for you to say you reject all of these since I have no reason so far to think you are open-minded.)

    I don't care how 'real' other people's wants are to them. Real or unreal, I will only act according to my own wants. You don't understand this discrepancy. Of course you will not use the no true scotsman's fallacy to say I am less rational than you as that would be very foolish.

    Correct there is no inherent specialness about my or anyone's feelings. I completely agree. Doesn't mean I can or should follow a particular moral system.The main difference between me and you is that I do not think I act immorally at times, whereas you do go on answer that!
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    (Original post by xylas)
    If everyone indeed acts amorally, then by definition it means there is no correct or incorrect way to live. Because what is correct or incorrect depends on morality, and if we are all amoral (not by choice btw) then we are incapable of following any morality. This implication is sound regardless if you dispute the premise. Think about this some more if you don't understand it.
    I do dispute the premise that we all act amorally. I can construct valid but unsound philosophical arguments in my spare time all I want; what really matters is whether the premises are true.

    (Original post by xylas)
    Not only do I not want to follow it (see how honest I am), I physically can't. Neither can you. Btw I am not arguing whether morality is 'true' or not, I think you misunderstand this thread. Morality may well be 'true' for all I care, however there is no universal system that defines it, and it is impossible to follow a system that is not well-defined.
    I've already given you the system that defines morality, and the fact that there is a correct moral system means that when we fall short of following it to perfection, we are acting immorally, not amorally. Thus, I am disputing the premise upon which this thread stands, by arguing in favour of an objective moral system.

    (Original post by xylas)
    What I said was that there is no correlation between your actions and the demands of your moral system. You glossed over this bit. NO correlation. Meaning that when you say you "try to follow it", this is a random process dependent only on your motivations.
    Except, it's not a random process. The actions I take are far more correlated with my moral system than they would be if I were acting completely randomly. If I were acting completely randomly, I would probably have done a number of terrible things which would run completely contrary to my moral system.

    (Original post by xylas)
    Who decides the point at which you can push yourself no further? Is it me? Is it some philosopher you read in a book somewhere? Is it some scientific probe that outputs a measurement from inside your psyche? Go on tell me WHO decides?
    No one "decides" the point at which I can push myself no further. It's a rather bizarre question to ask: who decides when a cross-country runner gets to the point at which she can push herself no further? Well, it depends on a number of factors, but trivially the point at which she stops running and breaks down is the point at which she can push herself no further. That point exists, regardless of whether people can predict when exactly the cross-country runner will break down.

    Amoral means that one is unconcerned with whether something is right or wrong. I can assure you that I am concerned about whether something is right or wrong. The fact that a cross-country runner may not finish because she might break down doesn't mean that she's somehow "unconcerned" with winning - that was her goal, whether or not she achieved it fully in the end.

    (Original post by xylas)
    Just to let you know that not everyone thinks like you.
    No need to do that: the state of the world is evidence enough of this.

    (Original post by xylas)
    The countless logical justifications for not being interested in the preferences of others include: cogito ergo sum; if you act purely for your own interests you are more likely to gain since you can only have perfect information of yourself (hence everyone will benefit if they do the same)
    Already addressed this: at best, this can justify you putting your preferences above those of one other person.

    (Original post by xylas)
    that everyone else's preferences are independent of each other and are changing all the time
    They're independent of each other but that doesn't mean that yours matter any more than theirs, and if you don't take their interests into account, you're acting in a way which privileges your preferences over theirs. And, many are not "changing all the time", but even if they were, that doesn't address the principle of whether we should satisfy the preferences that a sentient being has at any one time.

    (Original post by xylas)
    the evolutionary argument that we should not care about those who are unwilling to help themselves
    That's a fallacious appeal to nature: evolution can't tell us what is right or wrong.

    (Original post by xylas)
    the argument that the only good we can know is our happiness not the happiness of others (we do not feel their happiness)
    That's essentially your cogito ergo sum argument.

    (Original post by xylas)
    and finally my argument that we are de facto amoral beings.
    That's what I'm disputing with my argument, though: you have to provide a justification for why your preferences matter more than anyone else's, you can't just restate your original argument.

    (Original post by xylas)
    I don't care how 'real' other people's wants are to them. Real or unreal, I will only act according to my own wants. You don't understand this discrepancy. Of course you will not use the no true scotsman's fallacy to say I am less rational than you as that would be very foolish.
    I am saying that you're acting irrationally, and that's not a no true Scotsman fallacy. How on Earth does it remotely resemble that fallacy? If you were in fact rational, and because you said something I disagreed with, I called you irrational, that would be a no true Scotsman fallacy; just as if someone is in fact a Scotsman, and they say something I disagree with, so I say they're not a true Scotsman, that would be a no true Scotsman fallacy.

    However, I don't believe that you are, in fact, rational: you have the ability, like most humans, to think rationally but that doesn't mean you always do.

    (Original post by xylas)
    The main difference between me and you is that I do not think I act immorally at times, whereas you do go on answer that!
    What's there to answer? I've made it clear that there is an objective moral system and that, when we fall short of adhering to it, we are therefore acting immorally. You've disputed that there is an objective moral system by challenging the premise that there's no logical justification for putting one's own interests above those of other people. I've, in turn, found none of those justifications convincing, and have explained why, meaning that I am still to conclude that I do act immorally, because there remains an objective moral system.
 
 
 
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