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Moral Relativism. It may be right but it must be wrong.

 
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 02:18 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
Take one of the axioms for your system of morality (I don't mean a consequence, but one of the core values).

Then tell me one thing, that if it happens, would prove your core value is wrong.

I believe I already did this many pages ago for both Kantian-ish ethics and Utilitarianism. You were unsatisfied then, and I wouldn't expect you to be satisfied now. So why bother?

But here's another idea: for purposes of this discussion, my morality need not have any axioms or core values to begin with. If this strikes you as odd, think of doctors as an analogy. They, too, need not define key terms like "health" and "illness" in an axiomatic manner. When you get down to it, medical science runs on intuition, seat-of-the-pants assumptions, ad-hoc models for special cases, and similar philosophically-mushy concepts. I don't think there are any generally-accepted axioms of medicine. Nevertheless, medicine is an objective business, with but minimal niches for what you might call "medical relativism". (Aspergers disease: is it really a disease or just regular nerds being pathologized arbitrarily?) I'm perfectly willing to run with the idea that moral philosophy is like that. But it would still be an objective business. Health and illness would still exist independent and external to the mind, and would still be based on observable phenomena.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 02:24 pm
@Thomas,
I don't buy that at all Thomas.

Utilitarianism is axiomatic. There are core principles involved in Utilitarianism including the greater good, happiness etc..

As far as medicine, of course people working with people is going to involve non-exact interactions, but science has measurable goals and the main one (keeping me alive) is objectively testable. I value research based medicine, I care about the success rate of the treatments I get and I pay close attention to the research on risk and efficacy.


aristotelian
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 03:09 pm
@maxdancona,
No - In this hypothetical, Matrix 2.0 is something incapable of being discovered by any means.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 03:13 pm
@Thomas,
Quote:
It is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the
measure of right and wrong"

-Jeremy Bentham


Assuming you agree with this statement (and please correct me if you don't), let's apply my principle of objective testability to it.

Tell me something that could possibly happen,
...or a possible result to an experiment that we could do
...or any observation that we could possibly make

that would convince you that this statement is untrue.

0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 03:14 pm
@aristotelian,
Is it possible for someone from outside Matrix 2.0 communicate with me in any way if they wanted to now or at any time in the future?
aristotelian
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 03:19 pm
@maxdancona,
No, in Matrix 2.0, no one outside the Matrix could communicate to you.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 03:22 pm
@aristotelian,
And is there any current or future technology that would allow me to even detect the existence of Matrix 2.0, or is there any way that the existence of Matrix 2.0 will ever impact my experience of reality in even the slightest way?
aristotelian
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 03:29 pm
@maxdancona,
Max, I think we all get the idea here. Matrix 2.0 would obviously have a massive impact on your experience. It would control your sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell, etc. It's just like the first Matrix except it doesn't allow you to escape. It appears exactly how reality appears to you now.

You know what the hypo is supposed to be. You get the gist of what I'm trying to communicate. So based off the gist - tell me your answer.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 03:42 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
Utilitarianism is axiomatic.

That's true, but for purposes of this thread, I don't consider myself married to the idea of being a Utilitarian. You don't have to be a utilitarian to be an ethical objectivist. Utilitarianism is just one of many models for thinking about moral issues.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 04:03 pm
@aristotelian,
I am applying my objective testability principle to your hypothetical, these questions are important to use the principle. The question is whether my hypothetical experience in Matrix 2.0 would be any different in any conceivable way under any circumstance (with any possible act from me or anyone on the other side) from my purported experience in a reality without Matrix 2.0?

In other words, is there any difference between Matrix 2.0 and reality? If you are going to set up the hypothetical so that there is zero difference between Matrix 2.0 and reality than the exercise breaks down.

Is reality the same as reality is not a question that has a possible serious answer.

Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 04:07 pm
@aristotelian,
...there is no outside of everything...nor even there is emptiness or before as there is no space nor time out of it...we call it "Matrix" because all we can see is a bunch of mathematical relations everywhere we look, and because the useful assumption that matter is material is itself a phenomenal assumption. It might well be that "matter" is just information. Looking at physics, reality resembles an uncreated program, a set of relational functions in several layers of a superstructure producing the phenomena we see...
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 04:07 pm
@Thomas,
Shall we go through the exercise where you tell me what moral values you have and I ask what they are based on, and then when you answer with the more basic values and we repeat until we get to answers that aren't objectively testable?

I don't think this would be an interesting experiment for either of us.

I assert that it is mathematically true (and objectively testable) that any system of moral values is based on values (unproven axioms) that have to be accepted on faith rather than proven.
aristotelian
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 04:11 pm
@maxdancona,
Max - it's real simple. Do you not get the idea of the Matrix? The question is this: the world you live in, the world you know as reality... Is it really what you think it is? Or is it an illusion created by a genius computer?

That's it. Matrix 2.0 perfectly simulates every single possible nuance of reality. The only difference is - it's an illusion created by a machine. That's it - it's that simple.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 04:25 pm
@aristotelian,
When you describe Matrix 2.0, you are describing reality.

We can't escape reality. No one or nothing can communicate with us from outside reality. Reality completely controls us and provides all of the input to our senses that our brains interpret to give us everything we experience. There is nothing other than reality that impacts our experience in any way.

There is zero difference between what you are describing as "Matrix 2.0" and reality.






aristotelian
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 04:30 pm
@maxdancona,
No - reality is what actually is....

So if there is a Matrix 2.0 - like an actual machine - that would be actually an actual thing. It would be a part of reality.

So the question is - Is that machine out there or isn't it?
--------------------------
Or perhaps - this is a better question. Do you know the difference between reality and perception?
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 04:33 pm
@aristotelian,
he doesn't...at least it sounds like he never thought about it ...he probably thinks phenomena are 1 category order reality...
0 Replies
 
aristotelian
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 04:36 pm
@maxdancona,
Let me phrase it this way:

Is there a Matrix 2.0 that creates what you perceive as reality? Or is there something other than Matrix 2.0 that creates what you perceive as reality?

So you see, I'm not asking about the thing you are perceiving. Rather, I am asking about the thing that causes the thing you are perceiving. Do you see the difference?
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 04:49 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
I assert that it is mathematically true (and objectively testable) that any system of moral values is based on values (unproven axioms) that have to be accepted on faith rather than proven.

The same is true of mathematics itself. For example, we can't prove that the axioms of Euclidean geometry are true. With this in mind, would you call yourself a mathematical relativist? It would only seem consequent.
aristotelian
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 04:59 pm
@Thomas,
Great point!

I'd like to follow up with the following axiom: The rule of non-contradiction

Is the rule of non-contradiction true for those who believe it and false for those who don't believe it?
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 09:29 pm
@aristotelian,
What you are calling Matrix 2.0 is reality.

It is reality that causes whatever I perceive. Reality sends energy into my sensory organs where it is converted into electrochemical signals and sent directly into my brain where it is the source of my perception.

There doesn't need to be anything other than Reality. Reality is sufficient.

I think your Matrix 2.0 description pretty well describes reality (or do you see some difference).
 

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