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venal hypocrisy

 
 
Reply Sun 8 Nov, 2020 07:29 am
Is the word "venal" familiar to you? Does it mean "corrupt"?

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Oxford Professor Richard Dawkins tweeted 5h ago:
With few exceptions like Putin & Farage, the entire world welcomes President Biden and Vice-President Harris. After four years of lies, venal hypocrisy and vicious hostility to decency and humane values, America has taken a major step towards making America great again.
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Type: Question • Score: 0 • Views: 664 • Replies: 34

 
View best answer, chosen by oristarA
maxdancona
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Reply Sun 8 Nov, 2020 08:20 am
@oristarA,
I have only heard the term "venal" in religious terms. There is a distinction between moral sins and venal sins. Mortal sins will send you to Hell for sure. Venal sins will corrupt your soul, but won't instantly condemn you to eternal torture.

I don't think this si the meaning... but that is my association with the term "venal".

I am sure you checked the dictionary (as I did). "Venal" can mean "capable of being obtained for money". That seems to fit the context.
oristarA
 
  0  
Reply Sun 8 Nov, 2020 09:01 am
@maxdancona,
Does this professor's English, such as "venal hypocrisy and vicious hostility to decency and humane values", sound profoundly proficient and professional to you?
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Sun 8 Nov, 2020 09:19 am
@oristarA,
I know who Richard Dawkins is. He is a prick. (Prick is a vulgar reference to a penis, and in this context means nasty overinflated person).

This phrase is grammatically correct. It sounds prickish. (Prickish is a word I just made up... but you can figure out my intent from my statement above.)
oristarA
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Nov, 2020 09:31 am
@maxdancona,
Have you ever read The God Delusion, an inspiring book written by him?
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Sun 8 Nov, 2020 09:37 am
@oristarA,
oristarA wrote:

Have you ever read The God Delusion, an inspiring book written by him?


I have read parts of it. I didn't find it inspiring at all. I disagree with Dawkins.

Science deals with what can be directly measured and observed. In science any claim has to be testable. Science is very good at answering a certain set of questions- Science can predict the course of a disease, or design an airplane, or make the internet work.

There are many important things in life that can't be tested scientifically. Science can't tell me what is right or wrong. Science can't tell me the value of a human life, or whether freedom is more important than social order, or whether I should get married.

Dawkins confuses the two by claiming that Science can answer everything and that nothing else is needed but science. He is turning Science into a new Religion.

I think Dawkins is wrong (and a prick).
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Sun 8 Nov, 2020 10:04 am
@maxdancona,
You are confusing VENAL, with VENIAL. Venial is a pardonable misdeed. Venal presumes totallly corrupt.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Nov, 2020 10:06 am
@farmerman,
Dawkins speaks higher than his training an experience allow him. Hes a total adaptationist in his brand of evolution. I dont mind his nihilistic beliefs, I share many of them. However, its not ours todeclare that all muust believe as we or we are idiots.
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Sun 8 Nov, 2020 10:07 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:

You are confusing VENAL, with VENIAL. Venial is a pardonable misdeed. Venal presumes totallly corrupt.


That's embarrassing Wink My religious heritage doesn't have venial sins.


0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Sun 8 Nov, 2020 10:10 am
@farmerman,
Dawkins believes that an objective system of morality can be derived from science.

He is wrong about that. He is pushing a form of cultural supremacy.
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oristarA
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Nov, 2020 10:10 am
@maxdancona,
That book is dedicated to debunking the delusion of God by scientifically analyzing the "miracles" created by Him. It is limited to the space of the book. He offered powerful evidence of science to 99% shatter the delusion.

Your observation that he didn't know at tha time whether science can explain the value of a human life is correct. For that matter, you need to read Sam Harris' The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values.

As Dawkin confessed in the opening page of the book: "I was one of those who had unthinkingly bought into the hectoring myth that science can say nothing about morals. To my surprise, The Moral Landscape has changed all that for me. It should change it for philosophers, too."
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Nov, 2020 10:16 am
@oristarA,
I strongly disagree with both of them. They are turning Science into a religion.
oristarA
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Nov, 2020 10:27 am
@maxdancona,
If that’s the case, how could Dawkins admit that his was wrong and Harris was correct? That’s exactly an attitude of science: evidence-based.

In comparison, your attitude is none other than religious.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Nov, 2020 11:02 am
@oristarA,
Dawkins is using a rhetorical device that is common in religious arguments. It is called a "testimonial".

Quote:
I used to believe _____ but then [some book or religious text] caused me to see that I was wrong.


It is quite common. Apostle Paul used the exact same type of argument that Dawkins is making...

Apostle Paul in his Letter to the Galatians Chapter 1 wrote:
For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers....


It is a basic rhetoric device. A conversion story. It doesn't prove anything.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Nov, 2020 11:31 am
@oristarA,
I am curious, Oristar. You have read the books and have thought about this...

How do you form any objective moral beliefs from science?

Morality is based on ideas of "fairness", and "justice", and the "common good", and "natural order" and all sorts of ideas that only exist in the minds of human beings.

Nothing in nature cares about fairness. Some worms are eaten by birds, others survive to reproduce... often whether an animal lives or dies is based on where it is born, or on the color of its skin. We care about justice.... but justice would mean that the Zebras would kill and eat the lions. Nature is happy to have slavery, and rape. Mates are killed and eaten, food supplies are raided and stolen.

In truth, the Universe doesn't care at all about any of this. Next year a large asteroid could show up and wipe it all out... killing the human race. Would that be "immoral"?

Morality depends on supernatural beliefs. A supernatural belief is a belief in something that can't be shown by science. If you don't believe that human life is sacred, then how can you be against murder?

And yet there is nothing in the Universe that cares about human life other than humans (and maybe dogs... but they were specifically bred by humans to care).
oristarA
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Nov, 2020 12:05 pm
@maxdancona,
Common devices, different results.

Paul's rhetoric result was the worship of a man as God, which, in two thousand years, evidence doesn't add up.

Dawkins's rhetoric result is scientific evidence, which continues to add up.

Paul's result is not testable, while Dawkins' testable.

Do you see the difference?

maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Nov, 2020 12:24 pm
@oristarA,
Quote:
Paul's result is not testable, while Dawkins' testable.

Do you see the difference?


If you explain how Dawkins result is testable, then you win the argument.

In science, when something is testable, it means that there is some experimental result that would disprove the claim. What experiment experiment do you propose that would do this?

I claim it is not testable. There is no experiment that would test Dawkins claim that there is an objective morality that can be defined by science. He says this based on his own superstition.

0 Replies
 
oristarA
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Nov, 2020 08:55 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

How do you form any objective moral beliefs from science?
Morality is based on ideas of "fairness", and "justice", and the "common good", and "natural order" and all sorts of ideas that only exist in the minds of human beings.


Where are the minds formed? They are formed in the brain, which is objective. That is one of the strongest arguments that Harris offered.

The moral beliefs are directly involving the well being of humans. On the level of brain, neurophysiology provides the measurements of the well-being - the human's, or conscious being's happiness and suffering.

If you kicked a rock or shattered it, the "well-being" of it would not be affected, because it is not conscious, it doesn't have a brain. So only the creatures with a brain that is sufficiently advanced would be affected by kicking or shattering. Thus the objectivity of "well-being" of conscious creatures emergies with testability.

The Moral Landscape explains it with lucid and wise analysis. A man of reason can't afford to miss it.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Nov, 2020 09:25 am
@oristarA,
There is a big problem with this idea.

If the human brain is the source of morality, or if there is some other source that controls the human brain... then everything that human brains say is moral is by definition actually moral.

- Human brains have believed that slavery is moral.
- Human brains have believed that killing minorities is moral.
- Human brains have believed that caste systems, colonialism, subjugation of women are all moral.

What Harris means by "the brain"... "the Brain in Western Culture". They want to believe that the best brain is the brain as it exists in England, the US and related cultures... other cultures, and the vast differences in moral beliefs, are ignored.

If the "structure of the human brain" is the basis for morality... then anything that is believed by any significant number of human brains is moral moral by definition. Since slavery has been considered moral throughout the majority of human history... this is a problem.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Nov, 2020 09:37 am
@oristarA,
Quote:
The moral beliefs are directly involving the well being of humans.


The other problem with your argument is that it necessarily relies on arbitrary standards This is a religious principle that you are asking me to accept as truth without any proof.

And there is no scientific reason to believe that the "well-being of humans" has any value. Not to mention that "well-being of humans" is meaningless.... I can support almost anything based on the "well-being of humans".

Consider this...

1) I can just as easily construct a moral system based on the well-being of my specific nation or tribe. There is no scientific experiment to say that this is any less moral.

2) An absolute principle should apply to other species.... should fish look for the well-being of fish? Or leopards care about the well-being of leopards?

Any attempt to link morality with science ends up with a list of unproven principles which must be taken on Faith. It seems that these principles match with Western Culture... and imply that other cultures are morally inferior.
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