View Single Post
Old 01-27-2010, 04:51 PM   #119
Achilles
Dapper Chimp
 
Achilles's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 8,204
Helpful! Veteran Modder Forum Veteran 
Quote:
Originally Posted by purifier View Post
Really, I see problems in Kant's "categorical imperative" too - pertaining to that. For instance.......

What if a man is unemployed and cannot find a job, meanwhile he goes around begging for food because he and his family are starving. Yet none that he asks will give him any, so he trys to steal the food. But he is caught stealing the food for himself and his family, so he is brought before the court to be judged and is incarcerated. Because the judge should act in a manner that is just, according to Kant's "categorical imperative". How would this so-called "just manner", that the judge has done, actually be morally correct and truly the right thing to do compared to the "golden rule"?
Let's first acknowledge that several assumptions are being made here. For the sake of argument, I'll concede to them all and simply state that the judge would be acting on behalf of the person(s) who were stolen from.

The moral argument would probably sound something like:

"I don't want to live in a world in which the fruit of my labors can be taken without recompense or consequence, therefore thieves should be punished".

Anticipating your counter-argument, we could also say that if we were hungry, we would want to live in a world in which charity would be available to us (thereby negating the necessity to steal), therefore we have a moral obligation to be charitable.

My 2 cents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by purifier View Post
Now you put yourself in that judge's position, with the current scenario I just described to you, while believing in Kant's "categorical imperative" Would you do it then? I'll bet 10 to 1 that if we took a poll on this current scenario, people would go the way of the "golden rule" (unless they are just plain heartless); because it is the real moral thing to do, to let the man go and drop the charges. And to also provide him and his family with some food, accordingly to the "golden rule".
First, I don't care if the odds were everyone in the world except me vs me. Decisions should be based on the merit of the arguments, not on democracy.

Second, you are still making the assumption that the correct moral choice is to forgive the thief.

Third, you are ignoring the fact that the thief is violating the golden rule himself (I don't think you'll find many people willing to put forth an argument stating that it's okay to steal).

Quote:
Originally Posted by purifier View Post
Well no of course. Even the smallest child, who can read and write, should know right from wrong. But do you expect a child to understand Kant's concepts of morality at a very young age? This is where the "golden rule" is effective for a child at his/her early stages in life. It's simple, easy to read and understand, it gets directly to the point, with one universal definition of morals.
I think you're responding to an argument I haven't made.

My personal opinion is that children of "normal" aptitude will learn whatever it is they are taught.

Furthermore, I don't think "ease of understanding by children" should be the standard by which we decide whether a moral argument is correct or incorrect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by purifier View Post
Of course not, deep down we all know right from wrong...
Why? What is the mechanism by which we all "know" this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by purifier View Post
...but "wrong is wrong and right is right"; yet this statement in italics can also pertain to the "golden rule", for example: How in the world can we justify moral rightness in murdering a guilty person convicted of murdering someone else?
Perhaps we can't. I agree that it sounds like great fodder for a new thread though

Quote:
Originally Posted by purifier View Post
What do you mean by "contradiction"? What gives you the idea that this old moral code or philosophical statement, the "golden rule", came from religion itself? My personal belief is that the "golden rule" was adopted by most religions over the millenniums, when it was on it's own - not the the other way around. My point is, I don't associate the "golden rule" with religions, I believe they are seperate from one another.
I'll be happy to cite chapter and verse if you'd like

Quote:
Originally Posted by purifier View Post
Well now that you mention it, and looking back over some my posts, I can see where some of my statements can be confusing to you and contradictive. So I will I'll try again, and start all over. Here's what I really think about all of this..... the scientific method, the real answer, what you call made up answers(or as I call them possibilties, but not proven or disproven yet) relating to the unexplained, etc.

Proving or disproving things through scientific methods can be a valuable tool in my opinon, and a way to seek out the real truth/answer, but it's not always been a 100% dependable for me yet.
I'm not sure what this means. Please explain what you mean by "100% dependable".

Quote:
Originally Posted by purifier View Post
And in relation to that of course, is left the unexplainable.
Well, "unexplained" at least. We didn't understand a great many things 400 years ago, however that doesn't mean that they were "unexplainable". It just means that they couldn't be explained yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by purifier View Post
But..I believe the unexplained is not to be totally dismissed or accepted as is, we still need to search for the real truth until we get it.
And I would tend to agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by purifier View Post
But meanwhile let's not dismiss all the possibilties too when it comes to the unexplained that science hasn't provided a real answer for yet.
I'm okay with this too (for the most part).

Does your "not dismissing all possibilities" extend as far as flying spaghetti monsters, fairies, invisible pink unicorns, magical dragons, etc?

Or at some point do you say "gee, I can't rule this out and I probably never will be able to, but I probably shouldn't spend a whole lot of time worrying about it either"?

The "god hypothesis" is not a scientific one. Therefore it is a waste of time to consider. This isn't a special punishment reserved for theists; it extends to any and all non-scientific claims.

Quote:
Originally Posted by purifier View Post
In other words, I want to keep those "made up answers/ possibilites" (and no matter how unbelieveable or fantastic they are) in the back of my mind without personal prejudice. But of course I don't accept any of them yet as the final real answer either, until they are really proven/disproven by some kind of scientific method sometime in the future.
And you're free to do so. However unless you are also keeping the FSM, the IPU, etc in there too, you aren't being consistent in your position.

Quote:
Originally Posted by purifier View Post
So I don't accept them ("made up answers/possibilties") as the real answers for now, because science has not proved or disproved them yet, but I don't need to just ignore them either; because I don't know, you don't know, and nobody else really knows for sure one way or the other...pertaining to the unexplained.
See above

Quote:
Originally Posted by purifier View Post
Anyway..that's the best answer that I can give you on this and I hope this helps you understand where I'm comning from.
I appreciate you taking the time to clarify.

My apologies for the delay in getting back to you. RL has been a bit crazy lately.
Achilles is offline   you may: quote & reply,