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Old 09-05-2007, 12:53 AM   #1
Jae Onasi
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Effects on society of secularization and moral relativism?

This is a tongue-in-cheek look at secularization/pluralization/moral relativism and its effects on society. I've had the 'benefit' (curse?) of seeing the dramatic shift in these issues in the last 20 years. What was right 40 years ago is now wrong, and what is wrong is right. Discuss the effects of moral relativism and secularization on Western culture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Turner
The Atheists Creed

We believe in Marxfreudanddarwin
We believe everything is OK
as long as you don't hurt anyone
to the best of your definition of hurt,
and to the best of your knowledge.

We believe in sex before, during, and
after marriage.
We believe in the therapy of sin.
We believe that adultery is fun.
We believe that sodomy’s OK.
We believe that taboos are taboo.

We believe that everything's getting better
despite evidence to the contrary.
The evidence must be investigated
And you can prove anything with evidence.

We believe there's something in horoscopes
UFO's and bent spoons.
Jesus was a good man just like Buddha,
Mohammed, and ourselves.
He was a good moral teacher though we think
His good morals were bad.

We believe that all religions are basically the same-
at least the one that we read was.
They all believe in love and goodness.
They only differ on matters of creation,
sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation.

We believe that after death comes the Nothing
Because when you ask the dead what happens
they say nothing.
If death is not the end, if the dead have lied, then its
compulsory heaven for all
excepting perhaps
Hitler, Stalin, and Genghis Kahn

We believe in Masters and Johnson
What's selected is average.
What's average is normal.
What's normal is good.

We believe in total disarmament.
We believe there are direct links between warfare and
bloodshed.
Americans should beat their guns into tractors .
And the Russians would be sure to follow.

We believe that man is essentially good.
It's only his behavior that lets him down.
This is the fault of society.
Society is the fault of conditions.
Conditions are the fault of society.

We believe that each man must find the truth that
is right for him.
Reality will adapt accordingly.
The universe will readjust.
History will alter.
We believe that there is no absolute truth
excepting the truth
that there is no absolute truth.

We believe in the rejection of creeds,
And the flowering of individual thought.

If chance be
the Father of all flesh,
disaster is his rainbow in the sky
and when you hear

State of Emergency!
Sniper Kills Ten!
Troops on Rampage!
Whites go Looting!
Bomb Blasts School!
It is but the sound of man
worshipping his maker.

--Steve Turner


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Old 09-05-2007, 09:22 AM   #2
Ray Jones
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
This is a tongue-in-cheek look at secularization/pluralization/moral relativism and its effects on society. I've had the 'benefit' (curse?) of seeing the dramatic shift in these issues in the last 20 years. What was right 40 years ago is now wrong, and what is wrong is right. Discuss the effects of moral relativism and secularization on Western culture.
I'm not sure if these "effects" are solely caused by secularisation itself. Yes, we somehow strive away from what has been usual, "accepted" and was practised in the past millenniums. But why is that? Because of secularization? Or because of religion?

Do we wanna have random sex and screw morals? Do we fear discipline, morality, social behaviour, knowledge, to care for each other?

Or are we more and more sick of religious dogmata, intolerance, fighting religious groups, chasing demons, condemning our friends and beloved for being/thinking different, hearing the same lame answer over and over again, choosing the right god while failing for all the others? Why are there so many religions when only one can be right? In a world that has become small, with not much space left, is there room for a colourful diversity of religions, with every single one claiming to be the right one with all the answers, and condemning all others to hell?

Maybe instead of living towards heaven or hell, some want to live for themselves and those around them, and some fries, and not 10 brands of ketchup to chose from, just with plain old ketchup made from tomatoes, which makes fries so tasty, and that all until the day they die without fear for what will inevitably come:

Worms.



Or flames.

Or fishes.

Or deep space thingers.


However you choose your last journey to be like.




-------

and just for the fun of it ..

Quote:
We believe in Marxfreudanddarwin
We believe everything is OK
as long as you don't hurt anyone
to the best of your definition of hurt,
and to the best of your knowledge.
We also believe that "it says so in [religious text here]" does not make it OK.

Quote:
We believe in sex before, during, and
after marriage.
We believe in the therapy of sin.
We believe that adultery is fun.
We believe that sodomy’s OK.
We believe that taboos are taboo.
"The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in ail his works."

Quote:
We believe that everything's getting better
despite evidence to the contrary.
The evidence must be investigated
And you can prove anything with evidence.
Compared to 1000 years ago, when religions had "full control" I think where doing /much/ better now.

Quote:
We believe there's something in horoscopes
UFO's and bent spoons.
Jesus was a good man just like Buddha,
Mohammed, and ourselves.
He was a good moral teacher though we think
His good morals were bad.
Is there more about angels and demons, or burning witches, houses, villages in the name of good morals?

Quote:
We believe that all religions are basically the same-
at least the one that we read was.
They all believe in love and goodness.
They only differ on matters of creation,
sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation.
We also believe churches should offer religion flatrates, with instant access to up to 5061 gods (more to come).

Quote:
We believe that after death comes the Nothing
Because when you ask the dead what happens
they say nothing.
If death is not the end, if the dead have lied, then its
compulsory heaven for all
excepting perhaps
Hitler, Stalin, and Genghis Kahn
But when the religions did lie and not the dead, then Hitler and Stalin are gone for good. Deal?

Quote:
We believe in Masters and Johnson
What's selected is average.
What's average is normal.
What's normal is good.
We also believe that what's selected mustn't be average, mustn't be normal, and still can be good. Or that what was once average and normal, wasn't good.

Quote:
We believe in total disarmament.
We believe there are direct links between warfare and
bloodshed.
Americans should beat their guns into tractors .
And the Russians would be sure to follow.
/
We also believe that warfare, bloodshed and dead people won't feed us.

Quote:
We believe that man is essentially good.
It's only his behavior that lets him down.
This is the fault of society.
Society is the fault of conditions.
Conditions are the fault of society.
We also believe that the glass is not half empty, and neither half full, but larger than needed.

Quote:
We believe that each man must find the truth that
is right for him.
Reality will adapt accordingly.
The universe will readjust.
History will alter.
We believe that there is no absolute truth
excepting the truth
that there is no absolute truth.
Wouldn't that be nice when history alters, so noone will notice what has been done in religion's name?

Quote:
We believe in the rejection of creeds,
And the flowering of individual thought.
I'm not sure does that cause war about nations and gods?

Quote:
If chance be
the Father of all flesh,
disaster is his rainbow in the sky
and when you hear

State of Emergency!
Sniper Kills Ten!
Troops on Rampage!
Whites go Looting!
Bomb Blasts School!
It is but the sound of man
worshipping his maker.
No, it's but the sound of man who you saw last sunday in church.


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Old 09-05-2007, 11:16 AM   #3
Achilles
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
This is a tongue-in-cheek look at secularization/pluralization/moral relativism and its effects on society.
Hmmm...not sure why moral relativism is grouped with these other things here.

Secularization is the privatization of religion (to be very general). Pluralization is the tolerance of many religions (which seems to follow in a society in which such beliefs are private). Moral relativism is the idea that right and wrong are dependent upon which culture is examined.

Moral relativism falls under it's own weight though, because all you need is a single example of someone claiming to have "absolute truth" in order for it to dissipate like a puff of smoke in a breeze. Since each flavor of religion has it's own brand of absolute truth and each sect has it's own interpretation of right and wrong (not to say that there isn't some overlap), it seems that the most egregious source of moral relativism is religion.

So again, I'm not sure why it's grouped with these other two things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
I've had the 'benefit' (curse?) of seeing the dramatic shift in these issues in the last 20 years.
I wonder what statistics you're using for a basis for this argument. Or more specifically which criteria you're using.

20 years ago would have put us in the mid-80's. Weren't we having a lot of problems with drugs and cocaine related violence back in the mid-80's? Weren't a lot of people complaining about economic recession? I seem to recall that being referred to as the "age of excess" - both parents working and leaving their kids with others so that they could make more money in the eternal race to keep up with the Jones'.

It seems to me that the issues shift all the time, so this nostalgia for "20 years ago" leave me a little confused. I'm sure in the 80's we could have pined for "20 years ago", but that would put us almost smack dab in the middle of the civil rights movement (where blacks and whites were being murdered for speaking out), the assassination of MLK, the beginning of the vietnam war, etc.

But maybe you were using a specific frame of reference for your anecdotal remark.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
What was right 40 years ago is now wrong, and what is wrong is right.
Indeed. I think many of us are very proud of the work done on the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Discuss the effects of moral relativism and secularization on Western culture.
As I mentioned earlier, the argument for moral relativism is so weak that it doesn't take much to cause to it collapse under it's own weight. I think the key to eliminating moral relativism is more education in moral philosophy. Unfortunately, such education currently takes place either at home or at sunday school. In both cases, there are not minimum standards, therefore do more to promote moral relativism than to combat it.

Interestingly, by secularizing a society, a government can begin to take steps toward creating a morally objective set of laws and standards. But it has been my experience that religious groups frequently accuse secularization of promoting moral relativism instead of combating it.

As for the poem, it's a shame the author put more effort into appearing to be clever than he did into actually thinking about what he was writing. He gets far more wrong than he does right.
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Old 09-05-2007, 12:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Discuss the effects of moral relativism and secularization on Western culture.
I'm not real hip to seclurization, but I'm pretty up on Moral Relativism.

Generally I think the worst thing that Moral Relativism has done for society is that it's created alot of do-nothings who fear getting involved for worry of offending somebody. It has also promoted the slightly more active version of these people to defend obviously bad or immoral(as defined by the local or federal government), actions or decisions because the person is of a certain " culture" and that makes it OK.

The worst part is is that the magical culture this person who did something bad is part of doesn't always agree with what the person did. They're just getting they're ass off the line because they're different.

Bad to people who do nothing: It's sad really, they look around the world and know what they think is right, they know certain human rights are well, human rights. But they do nothing when those things are violated(such as in cases of female genital mutilation), because they fear getting all kinds of crap because sombody believes that just because that culture is "different" those people are entitled to their lack, or violation of human rights.

Lastly, it's given rise to a breed of self-proclaimed "intellectuals" who pull "holier than thou" on any given occasion when a Western nation gets involved in a very obvious and blatant human rights violation, yet the "intellectual" proclaims it to be wrong because of cultural relativism.

I don't mind the do nothings, they're just a nusiance, I mostly dislike the "rights advocates" who get people off for being of a different culture(even if they've lived under the laws of X country for ages), and the psuedo-intllecuals who think that all would be right with the world if every culture was allowed to just be itsself.


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Old 09-05-2007, 12:41 PM   #5
SilentScope001
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I am a big fan of moral relativism, at least in most areas (like politics). There is no objective truth, because we are too limited in determing what is actually true and not. We shouldn't believe ourselves to be so intelligent and smart that we know what is the TOTALLY CORRECT way of doing things.

Think about it: If you present an argument that you believe to be correct, then you must provide proof for that argument. However, once you provide that proof, don't you need to provide an argument to prove that your proof is correct? And then once you provide that argument, don't you need a proof to prove that argument is correct? If you state that you don't want to provide any sort of proof, that you think your argument is totally right without trying to prove to me that your argument is right, then why should I listen to you? You are not persuasive at all. But in the end, no human can do such a thing, therefore, it will be hard for us to figure out what is the truth.

You could be right. You could be wrong. We don't really know.

Moral relativism is something that people have to think about, becuase if they don't, and instead flock to other secular creeds, then they really haven't left religion. Instead of worshipping God, they worship invisible principles such as Kantian thought, except there is no proof that Kantian thought is correct. If this is what society is going, then this is the greater tragedy.

Moral relativism's arguments are not "weak". They aren't something to go and state, "Hah." Moral relativism gains a great boost if atheism is proven correct because then you have NOTHING to judge what is right and what is wrong. No objective person or God who can claim what is right and wrong. It will belong to each indivudal human, each with their own creed of Utiliarnism, Kantian, Liberal Democracy, etc. And, if invisible Gods do not exist, I find no need to worship some invisible principles.

But just because you believe in moral relativism doesn't mean you can't have strong morals. You just have to admit that many people don't share your strong morals, and that in the end, your strong morals may be right, may be wrong. Admitting that there is the possiblity of you being wrong is, well, a good thing.

(Web Rider: If there is such an objective truth that everyone believes is correct, then what if everyone believed, say, Hitler is right? That Hitler won WWII? Then are all those people wrong? Well, maybe. But you then have nobody who would listen to you, and all those Hitler supporters will just see you and call you an "do-nothing" who does not know the truth. How can you convince someone that Hitler is wrong if everyone loves Hitler? You can't.

Cultural relativists state that just because one culture (say, Western Civilization) trimpuhs does not mean that culture's values is correct. All it takess is Germany to win WWII, and then Germany would begin importing its worldview upon other people and stating that its view is right and that it was invetible it would happen due to the fact they won WWII. History and Culture is written by the Winners...but are the Winners good or evil? How can we know if they are good or evil if Winners can rewrite History and Culture? I think from there, people could argue that it is hard to tell if Western Civilization is right or wrong.

And I'd argue that most people are "do-nothings", because they can't do anything, and instead, is busy with much more important stuff.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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Old 09-05-2007, 04:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentScope001
(Web Rider: If there is such an objective truth that everyone believes is correct, then what if everyone believed, say, Hitler is right? That Hitler won WWII? Then are all those people wrong? Well, maybe. But you then have nobody who would listen to you, and all those Hitler supporters will just see you and call you an "do-nothing" who does not know the truth. How can you convince someone that Hitler is wrong if everyone loves Hitler? You can't.
Can we just Goodwin's Law this thread here and now?


Quote:
Cultural relativists state that just because one culture (say, Western Civilization) trimpuhs does not mean that culture's values is correct. All it takess is Germany to win WWII, and then Germany would begin importing its worldview upon other people and stating that its view is right and that it was invetible it would happen due to the fact they won WWII. History and Culture is written by the Winners...but are the Winners good or evil? How can we know if they are good or evil if Winners can rewrite History and Culture? I think from there, people could argue that it is hard to tell if Western Civilization is right or wrong.

And I'd argue that most people are "do-nothings", because they can't do anything, and instead, is busy with much more important stuff.)
Lack of time and lack of effort are different. If I have a fixed amount of ability, and I spent 70% of it on work, and 25% of it on child raising(or any other thing that would occupy you're time), and 5% of it on sheer pleasure, I have no ability left over to spend on worrying about some problem somewhere way away.

However, the people I speak of are people who HAVE time to spare, or have ability going unused, but refuse to use it for, as I said, fear of offending people because cultural relativism has brought about the idea that everybody else is right and you're wrong.

Furthermore, getting to the heart of my post, I never said that Moral Relativism was a bad thing. I said what it's given rise to it something other than the cultural understanding that it should have sought to bring. The idea behind Cultural Relativism was that everybody's different and people need to understand and accept this.

NOT what it's been doing, which, as I said, is: that everybody is right and justified because they're different.

On we go to human rights, we're all human, right? Right.
Biologically, we're all pretty much the same. Sure, about half of us are female and about 10% are lefties and we come in all various shades and colors and heights, weights and builds. But when you strip away the external, we're all the same basic design.
Therefore, we all react in the same manner to the same type of stimuli. When we're sad, we cry, when we're happy, we laugh, when our bladder is full, we pee. When we're cut, it hurts, when we break a bone it hurts and takes time to heal. Right? Right.
If one person does not like pain, because everybody else is human, it stands to reason that most people will not like pain. So, we make laws against hurting people.

Now, this is where cultural relativism screwed up. It tried to say: we've all got different ideas on thing, even on basic things that only idiots would say otherwise, and certain cultures believe different things to be true. Instead, what it did, is it started saying that those people who believe different things are all right, and you can't tell them otherwise. That's destroying their culture.

My point is not that cultural relativism is a bad thing. My point is not that cultural relativism is wrong. My point is that cultural relativism is too easily misconstruded as everybody else's opinions are right. And that's what I don't like about it. It's attempted to sum itsself up so many times it's become a sound byte that does something other than what it intended.

Truth be told I follow a sort of majority relativism. Whatever the majority of people think(like hurting people=bad), overweighs the few small sects, such as the ones that participate in female genital mutilation, that believe that hurting people is OK.


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Old 09-05-2007, 04:07 PM   #7
SilentScope001
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Quote:
Can we just Goodwin's Law this thread here and now?
Reason I invoked Hitler is because he's about the only person people can use when trying to cite aboslute evil. I can't put "Bush" in there, or "Devil" in there, or any thing else, in that example.

Quote:
My point is that cultural relativism is too easily misconstruded as everybody else's opinions are right. And that's what I don't like about it. It's attempted to sum itsself up so many times it's become a sound byte that does something other than what it intended.

Truth be told I follow a sort of majority relativism. Whatever the majority of people think(like hurting people=bad), overweighs the few small sects, such as the ones that participate in female genital mutilation, that believe that hurting people is OK.
Er. Majority relativism just smacks of "Tyranny by Majority." And I don't like to be dictated by the majority of humans what is right and what is wrong. The fear is that it can lead to even more terrible results: In the 1800's, of course slavery was right and those few abolonists who say slavery were wrong were idiots. But when 1865 comes around, the majority changed their views or were forced to change their views, and Volia, Slavery is totally wrong because the majority says so. So, in the past, it is MORALLY RIGHT to believe in slavery, but later, it is MORALLY WRONG to believe in slavery.

And the majority of what? The majority of a culture? Back to cultural relativism. The majority of the Earth? Then why should some human who is far far away has business telling me what is right and wrong when he doesn't live there. If a majority of people live in China and say, "Communism is right," am I wrong because I'm a dirty Cappie and is in the minority? If most people belives FGM/Female Cirmustance is okay, or if most people see that pain is actually a good thing...then am I morally wrong for assuming the opposite?

And no matter what I say, it is likely I'll be seen as morally wrong according to majority relativism, since I hate the majority and want to go against it. That's not very good for me...not good at all.

But, my belief for "ethical relativism"? Everyone is equally wrong and invalid in their views. There, no need to coddle people you hate.

Post Script: Don't forget that there are much more conterverisal desicions, which is where ethical relativism really kicks in. For example, if 51% voted for Bush is wrong and 48% voted for Kerry...hm...what majority should we support? And is it really that important what economic policy we follow, that of liberalism or conservativism? You can make good arguments for either.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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Old 09-05-2007, 04:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Interestingly, by secularizing a society, a government can begin to take steps toward creating a morally objective set of laws and standards.
By what authority? Might makes right? And via what philosophical first principals will this "new" paradigm be created? Problem with moral relativism is that you have competing absolute systems vying for influence, none being judged superior to the other. How would creating a "new" system change that even remotely? You'd have your govt. imposed "secular" belief system and others their own takes on "objective" morality. Your "brave new world" of secularly arrived at "objective morality" hints of the same type of facism you'd likely associate with major world religions.


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Old 09-05-2007, 05:23 PM   #9
Achilles
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider
My point is not that cultural relativism is a bad thing. My point is not that cultural relativism is wrong. My point is that cultural relativism is too easily misconstruded as everybody else's opinions are right. And that's what I don't like about it. It's attempted to sum itsself up so many times it's become a sound byte that does something other than what it intended.
Where the lines get blurred is where we go from "cockroaches are considered a delicacy in these parts" to "murdering members of a different caste is considered moral in these parts". One of these is cultural relativism and the other is moral relativism.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider
Truth be told I follow a sort of majority relativism. Whatever the majority of people think(like hurting people=bad), overweighs the few small sects, such as the ones that participate in female genital mutilation, that believe that hurting people is OK.
Might makes right?
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Old 09-05-2007, 05:42 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Achilles
Might makes right?
Hasn't it always?

to silentscope:
I'm tired, I havnt' slept in over 24 hours. I'll get back to you when I can think.


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Old 09-05-2007, 07:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider
Hasn't it always?
Not in any objective way, but then again, you are promoting a subjective worldview. Since China is the most populous nation in the world, I guess all we can do is hope that they never sufficiently militarize, lest we be forced to someday have to accommodate their sense of morality (being the majority view and all).
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Old 09-07-2007, 02:12 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by SilentScope001
Reason I invoked Hitler is because he's about the only person people can use when trying to cite aboslute evil. I can't put "Bush" in there, or "Devil" in there, or any thing else, in that example.
devil woulda worked in my opinion. You could have just said *X genocidal tyrant* and it would have worked. I don't really care.


Quote:
Majority relativism just smacks of "Tyranny by Majority." And I don't like to be dictated by the majority of humans what is right and what is wrong. The fear is that it can lead to even more terrible results: In the 1800's, of course slavery was right and those few abolonists who say slavery were wrong were idiots. But when 1865 comes around, the majority changed their views or were forced to change their views, and Volia, Slavery is totally wrong because the majority says so. So, in the past, it is MORALLY RIGHT to believe in slavery, but later, it is MORALLY WRONG to believe in slavery.
the morality has been dictated by the majority, correct? In a closed system of the US of course, but none-the-less, the majority dictated morality. The majority rarely wants to make things worse for themselves, and once the liberated are inducted into the majority, things don't really go back....Unless you're Clarence Thomas.

Quote:
And the majority of what? The majority of a culture? Back to cultural relativism. The majority of the Earth? Then why should some human who is far far away has business telling me what is right and wrong when he doesn't live there. If a majority of people live in China and say, "Communism is right," am I wrong because I'm a dirty Cappie and is in the minority? If most people belives FGM/Female Cirmustance is okay, or if most people see that pain is actually a good thing...then am I morally wrong for assuming the opposite?
people of earth. yes, in THEORY, if enough people believed those things were right, the world would bend to those views. Imposed upon us or not, if that many people believed in them, they would disseminate over time to most people.

Quote:
And no matter what I say, it is likely I'll be seen as morally wrong according to majority relativism, since I hate the majority and want to go against it. That's not very good for me...not good at all.

But, my belief for "ethical relativism"? Everyone is equally wrong and invalid in their views. There, no need to coddle people you hate.
Of course, if you always think that whatever the most people agree upon is wrong, then you'll always be on the losing team. But that's just you.

Quote:
Post Script: Don't forget that there are much more conterverisal desicions, which is where ethical relativism really kicks in. For example, if 51% voted for Bush is wrong and 48% voted for Kerry...hm...what majority should we support? And is it really that important what economic policy we follow, that of liberalism or conservativism? You can make good arguments for either.
Ideally, we should take a utilitarian approach. And in such a case, a compromise, with conservativism with a slight lead, should be reached between political parties. Sadly, everyone is too caught up in "my way or the highway" and not in what's best for everyone.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Not in any objective way, but then again, you are promoting a subjective worldview. Since China is the most populous nation in the world, I guess all we can do is hope that they never sufficiently militarize, lest we be forced to someday have to accommodate their sense of morality (being the majority view and all).
On the china note, there are alot of people in China, yes, 1.5 billion. 1.2 live in India, and there are 6 billion people in the world, give or take. That means that china represents 1/4th of the world. Which, last I checked, is not a majority.


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Old 09-07-2007, 02:43 AM   #13
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On the china note, there are alot of people in China, yes, 1.5 billion. 1.2 live in India, and there are 6 billion people in the world, give or take. That means that china represents 1/4th of the world. Which, last I checked, is not a majority.
<snip>
b : the excess of a majority over the remainder of the total : MARGIN <won by a majority of 10 votes>
c : the greater quantity or share <the majority of the time>
4 : the group or political party having the greater number of votes (as in a legislature)

The last one is a bit of a stretch, but it's still applicable, I think. Yes, sir, if you're thinking simple majority, then you're absolutely right. However, if you use any of these other (applicable) definitions, then China is the majority. Unless you can think of any other single nation that surpasses them in population.

If it helps, put it in these terms: imagine a gun in the hands of every man, woman, and child in the world. If China decides to take over and none of the other nations are allowed to form alliances, who has "the majority"? I hope that helps.

In the mean time, if you could address my point, that would be nice too. Thanks
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Old 09-07-2007, 03:36 AM   #14
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They wouldn't need to form alliances, just have non-aggression pacts. Then they could fall on China like hyenas on a downed zebra.


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Old 09-07-2007, 08:04 AM   #15
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Time for an atheism-defense essay I wrote a few weeks ago for the JREF forum (thread here, my essay is post #2). I feel it is highly relevant. Note that it's been changed slightly from its original version.
Write-up begins
I'm growing increasingly frustrated by the two-part statement from religious fundamentalists and even moderates that atheism and communism are somehow intertwined, and that every secular country out there has turned into a horrific, poverty-stricken dictatorship and terrified its neighbors until its downfall. While the misconception is in part spread deliberately to create an aversion to atheism, I also see moderates who adhere to it simply because they do not know better. And so, rather than discuss this in every single thread it comes up in, I figured I'd make a thread for the sole purpose of venting my steam, for lack of a more polite and less honest term. I planned to make a YouTube movie out of this, and probably still will, but I've decided to make this thread regardlessly. I know there are threads already on whether or not atheists can be moral, but this one is for a discussion on what effect atheism has, or more importantly doesn't have, on a whole society.

Before I begin, though, let me say that I am not making this thread to state that atheism is better for a country than religious beliefs. I am not writing this to state that religion causes problems in the world. This post is a defense of adherence to atheism - an attempt to stomp out the annoying and disrespectful myth that atheism is a sort of doomsday device that hurls a country into third-world poverty and makes it lash out at as many neighbors as possible before eventually succumbing to its own wicked godlessness.

Firstly, atheism does not lead to communism. It's true that secularism and removal of religion from society happened to be two of the traits of the communist system, but it does not in any way follow that they were its cause*. Although the exact meaning of the term is debated, I simply consider atheism to be the disbelief in gods and life before and after your life here on Earth. If religions inherently promoted freedom, pacifism and a free market economy, it may indeed have posed a risk to remove it from society. However, few religions in the world promote a package of free market economies, peace and democracy. Nowhere in the Bible is there a verse that commands Christians to hold free elections. The Q'uran does not say that property has to remain in private hands. And while many religions promote peace, many likewise do not: to say that the removal of Christianity from society will somehow make it less peaceful goes against the fact that the Bible advocates genocide and war more than it advocates turning the other cheek and presenting your case to the United Nations. There simply is no reason to state that freedom, peace and happiness is dependent on religious beliefs.

Secondly, the statement that atheism inevitably leads to war, dictatorship and poverty are simply not grounded in reality. In fact, looking at the top-ranking countries in the Human Development Index, one could hardly be blamed for jumping to the conclusion that it's simply the other way around:

First of all, 64% of the Norwegian population consider themselves agnostic or atheist, and only a meager three percent of its people regularly attend church. In fact, a 2005 Gallup International poll declared the country the least religious in West Europe. Yet in the HDI, Norway ranks first, and has done so every year since 2001. It is also the most peaceful nation in the world, as ranked by the Global Peace Index**. It is the nation in the world that gives the most of its annual budget, 1%, to foreign aid.

Likewise, in 300 000-people Iceland, which comes in second in the HDI, religion is considered an irrelevance in politics and daily life, and decisions are made without invoking Christianity or the pagan Ásatrú. The little nation does not have a military beyond its coast guard and a small peacekeeping unit for use in conflict areas abroad. While Gallup International declared Norway the country with the fewest religious people, I instantly think of Iceland when the topic of secular, atheist societies is raised, as religion apparently has such a small foothold here.

Sweden, following suit, is a secular nation where 99% of the population fails to attend church regularly, fought its last war in 1814 and has been at peace ever since, peacefully overcoming such issues as Norway's recession from Swedish rule as well as two World Wars and the Cold War. The nation ranks fifth on the HDI, and seventh on the Global Peace Index.

And finally, while Canada has a large number of religious people and its share of religious blue laws, it does not have a state religion and politics are carried out without religion interfering to a much larger degree than those of its neighbor the USA. Canadians vote by politics, not by religion. Canada has dominated the HDI for eight of the last 17 years. It is also the country in the world that provides safe haven to the most refugees. Canada ranks eight on the Global Peace Index.

And these are just a few examples. While several countries high on the HDI ladder, including the US and Ireland, are religious, the majority of nations has some sort of combination of low church attendance, a large number of atheists, a secularized government, and politics largely without religious arguments. The statement that only a few countries have strayed into secularism, and that all which have quickly collapsed into dictatorship and horrible conditions, is, to say it politely, incorrect.

Atheism is not a destroyer of worlds. It is not a virus that doom its host countries to horrific suffering. It is incredibly destructive to view it as such, as it generates fear and distrust towards a phenomenon that does not do nearly the damage it is perceived capable of, and I urge people who fear it to find some other enemy more worthy of your worries. Thank you.

Notes:
*See also Correlation vs. Causation.
**Just to rub it in - the USA with its fundies accusing atheists of so much wrongdoing, is on 96th place. On a list of 128 countries.

The following sources have been used in the writing of this essay: Wikipedia, the Church of Norway, and the US Dept. of State.
Write-up ends
I'll read the thread now and try to catch up.


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Old 09-07-2007, 01:22 PM   #16
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Uh. Er....

We aren't alledging atheism of supporting moral relativism. In fact, only one person is defending moral relativism (me). Everyone else is condemning it in the most stringent of terms.

The problem is, well, WHY? Why should one have to support the government? If you support it due to some moral code, well, you haven't really gotten rid of religion. You only replaced it, you replaced religion with secularism, but that is defeating the whole purpose of defeating religion. We are supposed to be free-thinkers, not thinkers of "we must go and do good", because there is no reason for us to do good. This really upsets me to no end...and overall, replacing one tyranny of religion with the tyranny of secularism means nothing, as we still have tyranny of ideolgy, being told that "we must do this, we must do that, or you are evil".

Your essay has made me quite upset at atheism, since in the end, nothing really matters, nothing is really at stake. When in the end, it's just a battle between two groups wanting to dominate the human race, telling them "My way is right, your way is wrong", and nobody really campaging for freedom of thought...I despair. "Better to be enslaved by God than enslaved by Man." But it's just me.


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Old 09-07-2007, 01:49 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Achilles
<snip>
b : the excess of a majority over the remainder of the total : MARGIN <won by a majority of 10 votes>
c : the greater quantity or share <the majority of the time>
4 : the group or political party having the greater number of votes (as in a legislature)

The last one is a bit of a stretch, but it's still applicable, I think. Yes, sir, if you're thinking simple majority, then you're absolutely right. However, if you use any of these other (applicable) definitions, then China is the majority. Unless you can think of any other single nation that surpasses them in population.

If it helps, put it in these terms: imagine a gun in the hands of every man, woman, and child in the world. If China decides to take over and none of the other nations are allowed to form alliances, who has "the majority"? I hope that helps.

In the mean time, if you could address my point, that would be nice too. Thanks
But people can and do form alliances. So the idea that all of china outweighs the rest of the world because 1.5 billion are united and the rest aren't is bunk.


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Old 09-07-2007, 02:09 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider
But people can and do form alliances. So the idea that all of china outweighs the rest of the world because 1.5 billion are united and the rest aren't is bunk.
You're ignoring the point in favor of quibbling over split hairs, but no matter.
I tell you what, we'll just accept that you only want to acknowledge simple majorities and I'll concede the (completely ancillary) point.

Now, would you care to address my point? Specifically, how do you intend to support your argument that the most popular moral view is the correct one?
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Old 09-07-2007, 02:20 PM   #19
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Quote:
Now, would you care to address my point? Specifically, how do you intend to support your argument that the most popular moral view is the correct one?
I think he already has. Might is right. The majority is uber-strong. If the majority hates you, they'll harm you. Therefore, might makes right, because if you do not believe, you will suffer. You have to believe it or else.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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Old 09-07-2007, 02:42 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Achilles
You're ignoring the point in favor of quibbling over split hairs, but no matter.
I tell you what, we'll just accept that you only want to acknowledge simple majorities and I'll concede the (completely ancillary) point.

Now, would you care to address my point? Specifically, how do you intend to support your argument that the most popular moral view is the correct one?
I already told you, it's the correct one because the majority supports it. Sue me for making a circular argument, but that's how it works.

First we have an idea.
Idea spreads.
Majority likes idea.-idea is popular
idea spreads more-more people like it
because so many people like it, it is thought of as correct.

all other ideas(on the subject) are now wrong.

Take murder. We say murder is bad. Why? Because a LOT of people think murder if bad. Majority says murder bad, and it is. We're not talking simple majority here, we're talking a good 3/4ths majority or better. Now, murder in certian contexts is where we disagree. Murder for God, murder for self-defense, murder during war, these are all places where murder is acceptable during specific circumstances. Why the change? Once again we look to the majority: And the majority says that self-preservation is good, the majority agrees that 9/10 times we WANT to live. However, what self-preservation is again we differ. But we agree on the base subject. Is the preservation of you're religion the preservation of self, and is murder in it's name OK? Is murder to protect family and extension of self preservation?

And there are an infinite number of variations to this.

And the majority allows the various minorities to make up their own ideas. Like the majority of the world says it's OK for a country to make up it's on specific rules. And the World Majority doesn't mind unless those specific rules violate the prime rule, which is: murder is bad. If X country says the murder of Y country is good, but the World Majority disagrees, then X country is in the wrong.

It all comes back to the biggest Majority. Between two people, it goes to a 3rd person. To make a majority. between a 100 people, it goes to another dozen or so, to make a majority. Between nations it generally goes to the larger(so yes, you're China Proposal works in isolation, China vs One Other), across the globe it goes to the World Majority. China vs the World does not work.

Right and wrong don't matter, only what the largest number of people agree upon. And that makes it correct. The largest number agrees China can be Communist, as long as everyone else gets to be what they want. But because the Communist views are held by so many, like Capitalisim, it diseminates over time. It is correct because so many people think it is.

Hitler lost because more people thought he was wrong than right. Murder is bad because more people think it's bad than good. Religion is popular because more people think it's good than bad(we're talking about religion in general, if you get into specifics, you get into smaller majorities).

The popular view is right because enough people to matter say so.


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Old 09-07-2007, 05:15 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider
I already told you, it's the correct one because the majority supports it. Sue me for making a circular argument, but that's how it works.
Ok, it sounds like you're acknowledging that it's not logical therefore not supportable or true. This at least gives us a common ground to work from.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider
First we have an idea.
Idea spreads.
Majority likes idea.-idea is popular
idea spreads more-more people like it
because so many people like it, it is thought of as correct.

all other ideas(on the subject) are now wrong.
What this doesn't do is present an argument for what is now "popular" is actually "true". Of course, since you seem to support the idea that there is no such thing as objective truth (which is itself a subjective argument), I'm not sure how much headway we can make there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider
Take murder. We say murder is bad. Why? Because a LOT of people think murder if bad. Majority says murder bad, and it is. We're not talking simple majority here, we're talking a good 3/4ths majority or better.
So there's no other possible, rational, objective argument for why murder might be "bad"? It's only wrong because most people think so. I guess that begs the question as to how that argument ever got off the ground in the first place though. Any ideas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider
Now, murder in certian contexts is where we disagree. Murder for God, murder for self-defense, murder during war, these are all places where murder is acceptable during specific circumstances. Why the change? Once again we look to the majority: And the majority says that self-preservation is good, the majority agrees that 9/10 times we WANT to live. However, what self-preservation is again we differ. But we agree on the base subject. Is the preservation of you're religion the preservation of self, and is murder in it's name OK? Is murder to protect family and extension of self preservation?
It sounds like an objective examination of moral philosophy would really add some value here. That would put the argument for moral relativism (e.g. moral subjectivity) in a difficult spot though. We may find ourselves needing to make a decision at some point as to which direction is best for everyone involved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider
And the majority allows the various minorities to make up their own ideas. Like the majority of the world says it's OK for a country to make up it's on specific rules. And the World Majority doesn't mind unless those specific rules violate the prime rule, which is: murder is bad. If X country says the murder of Y country is good, but the World Majority disagrees, then X country is in the wrong.
Now it sounds like we're mixing objective morality and subjective morality. That can't be good!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider
It all comes back to the biggest Majority. Between two people, it goes to a 3rd person. To make a majority. between a 100 people, it goes to another dozen or so, to make a majority. Between nations it generally goes to the larger(so yes, you're China Proposal works in isolation, China vs One Other), across the globe it goes to the World Majority. China vs the World does not work.
Actually my China scenario works in other ways as well because they will dominate in any one-off comparison. If China and India adopt similar perspectives, then almost 50% of the world's population is represented. If they decided that all anglo's need to be put to the sword, then based on your reasoning, such an act woudl be moral because it was held by the simple majority.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider
Right and wrong don't matter, only what the largest number of people agree upon. And that makes it correct. The largest number agrees China can be Communist, as long as everyone else gets to be what they want. But because the Communist views are held by so many, like Capitalisim, it diseminates over time. It is correct because so many people think it is.
Interesting argument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider
Hitler lost because more people thought he was wrong than right.
So Hitler's actions were morally justified while he held the majority influence. Gotcha.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider
Murder is bad because more people think it's bad than good.
Right and if that ever changes, then murder is morally justfied and not murdering will be immoral. I understand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider
Religion is popular because more people think it's good than bad(we're talking about religion in general, if you get into specifics, you get into smaller majorities).
Right, and in a few decade when islam outpaces christianity, we can look forward to knowing that islam is the one true religion and christianity is false.

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Originally Posted by Web Rider
The popular view is right because enough people to matter say so.
Thank you for taking the time to articulate your argument. Take care.
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Old 09-07-2007, 06:52 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Achilles
Ok, it sounds like you're acknowledging that it's not logical therefore not supportable or true. This at least gives us a common ground to work from.
The lack of a sound argument has yet to be the downfall of religion. I fail to see how this does not prove my point. Religion stays because it is popular.

Quote:
So there's no other possible, rational, objective argument for why murder might be "bad"? It's only wrong because most people think so. I guess that begs the question as to how that argument ever got off the ground in the first place though. Any ideas?
Don't patronize me. Why murder is bad follows the simple Pain Examination. Murder is painful to the dead(proved by when it fails), and emotionally painful to non-dead related parties. I don't have to hold you're hand on this. If you can't figure out for yourself why the world has decided murder is bad, perhaps you shouldn't be discussing it.

Quote:
Now it sounds like we're mixing objective morality and subjective morality. That can't be good!
welcome to real life.

Quote:
Actually my China scenario works in other ways as well because they will dominate in any one-off comparison. If China and India adopt similar perspectives, then almost 50% of the world's population is represented. If they decided that all anglo's need to be put to the sword, then based on your reasoning, such an act woudl be moral because it was held by the simple majority.
If...IF! All you're ifs. What if this, what if that.

Quote:
So Hitler's actions were morally justified while he held the majority influence. Gotcha.
yes, they were.

Quote:
Right and if that ever changes, then murder is morally justfied and not murdering will be immoral. I understand.
correct

Quote:
Right, and in a few decade when islam outpaces christianity, we can look forward to knowing that islam is the one true religion and christianity is false.
that is how it was before christianity. That is how it was before Islam, that is how it may be in the future.


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Old 09-07-2007, 07:04 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
So Hitler's actions were morally justified while he held the majority influence. Gotcha.
yes, they were.
I've seen all I need to. Thanks!
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Old 09-07-2007, 10:18 PM   #24
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^^ Godwin's Law aside, but its an unfortunate truth, since Truth seems to be non-objective and is little more than "what the majority (of the discussed area) thinks its right". The world(however you define it) is constantly changing, so did our views on things around us, and our view of what is good/acceptable and otherwise. This is based on our understand of things around us, granted, they can probably be marred by deliberate propagands and misinformation and what not.

So yes there is no "Objective Truth", but various versions of "Truth of The Day" succeeded one upon another. Its a matter of popularity contest between ideas, moral fashion trend.

And yes, like "Soup of The Day" that we all know and love, "Truth of The Day" seems to rotate around from time to time, cause people seems to get tired of an idea after a while.
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Old 09-07-2007, 10:28 PM   #25
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You know, I'm seriously considering changing my ethical system from ethical relativism to moral majoritism! Thanks Web Rider.
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Old 09-07-2007, 10:42 PM   #26
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The problem, ultimately, with moral objectivism is that it all comes down to your set of first principles. You can have an absolute set of objective morals, but so can the next guy. It all depends upon what foundation you build those morals. Logic merely flows from the principles in question, it doesn't create them.


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Old 09-07-2007, 11:01 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoiuyWired
^^ Godwin's Law aside,
This Godwin's Law?


Quote:
Originally Posted by PoiuyWired
but its an unfortunate truth, since Truth seems to be non-objective and is little more than "what the majority (of the discussed area) thinks its right".
Sorry, since you used "truth" both objectively and subjectively there, I'm not able to follow your argument. Perhaps we'd be better off using "moral" and "immoral"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PoiuyWired
The world(however you define it) is constantly changing, so did our views on things around us, and our view of what is good/acceptable and otherwise.
Zeitgeist is one thing, but morality is another. Just because an act or thought or whatever was acceptable in a specific context at one point in time does not mean that it was moral.

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Originally Posted by PoiuyWired
So yes there is no "Objective Truth",
How do you objectively defend that? If you can't, then it must be a subjective argument, which in turn would suggest that objective morality is possible. This line of reasoning is why moral relativism isn't supportable.

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Originally Posted by PoiuyWired
but various versions of "Truth of The Day" succeeded one upon another. Its a matter of popularity contest between ideas, moral fashion trend.
Again, I suspect that we're taking liberties with "acceptable" vs. "moral".

Really, I thought that the Hitler argument would drive this point home and I'm genuinely shocked and amazed (and a little frightened) that it did not.

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Originally Posted by PoiuyWired
And yes, like "Soup of The Day" that we all know and love, "Truth of The Day" seems to rotate around from time to time, cause people seems to get tired of an idea after a while.
Hmmm...well how do you feel about Web Rider's argument regarding murder (the part where he argued that it was objectively wrong, not the part where he argued that it was subjectively ok...or actually, which ever part you desire to comment on, now that I think about it).
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Old 09-08-2007, 12:01 AM   #28
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How do you objectively defend that? If you can't, then it must be a subjective argument, which in turn would suggest that objective morality is possible. This line of reasoning is why moral relativism isn't supportable.
An objective truth must stand on its own merits. In other words, it cannot be questioned and must be universally accepted as true. That's why it is called "objective". As soon as someone is able to question that truth, then it is no longer objective.

So, if you make a statement, and if I question that statement, and if many other people question that statement, then that statement cannot be objective, because if it was objective, then why do people question it?

It is things like this that make ethical relativism defendable.

Quote:
Really, I thought that the Hitler argument would drive this point home and I'm genuinely shocked and amazed (and a little frightened) that it did not.
Because if the Nazis won, then we as human beings would be horrified if someone claimed that the Jews were actually good, or that Communism is the right way to go.

Be glad that the National Socialists lost, but if the National Socialists won, truth as we know it will change and what would once appear as morally wrong would be seen as morally right and vice versa. That would be because the majority would be under the sway of Nazism, and not under the sway of Liberal Democracy. (As Poiuy said, Godwin's law aside, it's an unfortunate truth.)


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Old 09-08-2007, 01:25 AM   #29
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We aren't alledging atheism of supporting moral relativism. In fact, only one person is defending moral relativism (me). Everyone else is condemning it in the most stringent of terms.
The essay was in response to Jae's thread title and her satirical poem or song or whatever it was. She made it quite clear secularization was part of the subject.

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Your essay has made me quite upset at atheism, since in the end, nothing really matters, nothing is really at stake.
How on Earth did you manage to read such a statement out of my essay?

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When in the end, it's just a battle between two groups wanting to dominate the human race, telling them "My way is right, your way is wrong", and nobody really campaging for freedom of thought...I despair.
And this is supposed to be the reality of atheistic nations? Didn't I make it clear in the essay that secular nations like Finland and Norway top the Global Press Freedom Index?

Quote:
First we have an idea.
Idea spreads.
Majority likes idea.-idea is popular
idea spreads more-more people like it
because so many people like it, it is thought of as correct.
Ideas spread if they're good, and they are popular for a reason. You make it sound like new ideas are accepted just for the Heck of it.

Why do most people still think Al-Q'aida, and not Bush, was behind 9/11? Because the 'truth' movement has not been able to prove otherwise. Why do Christians no longer burn witches? Because they figured out it was a bad idea.

Quote:
So yes there is no "Objective Truth"
Yes, there is. Either something is true or it's not. 2+2=4. This is objective, demonstratable truth, regardless of how many people on Earth should choose to delude themselves that it's 5 or 2 or 11 or 89.

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Old 09-08-2007, 01:31 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Dagobahn Eagle
Why do most people still think Al-Q'aida, and not Bush, was behind 9/11? Because the 'truth' movement has not been able to prove otherwise. Why do Christians no longer burn witches? Because they figured out it was a bad idea.
good and bad are relative. Slavery was popular and accepted for a long time, it was a "good" idea. And therefore spread because it was popular. Since Goodwin's already been invoked, lets continue with Hitler. Hitlers ideas spread because they were popular(and he subjugated enough people to warp the majority).

Witch burning was a bad idea from the start, however, Christians held power, so they said it was a good idea, and it was. They may have known it was a bad idea and the idea simply became popular.

If being a skinny slutty *female dog* a good idea for young girls? No, but that none-the-less prevents it from being a popular and wide-spread idea. So much so that society thinks it's a good idea.

see, ideas only need to be popular, not good ones. The Iraq war was "popular" among people who were decision makers. Was it a good idea? well, that depends on what result we get, so far, doesn't look like it.


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Old 09-08-2007, 07:41 PM   #31
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The essay was in response to Jae's thread title and her satirical poem or song or whatever it was. She made it quite clear secularization was part of the subject.
Okay.

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How on Earth did you manage to read such a statement out of my essay?
Because you state outright that secular nations are great and, after reading your article, realize that secular nations aren't that great. They seem boring.

Quote:
And this is supposed to be the reality of atheistic nations? Didn't I make it clear in the essay that secular nations like Finland and Norway top the Global Press Freedom Index?
I am pointing to general trends here, as well as your attidue. Look here, freedom of speech means nothing unless you are able to articulate stuff and not get screamed down that you are wrong. We don't really have much freedom anywhere, to be perfectly honest. It's not about press freedom, it's about freedom to speech, to freely think, to freely criticize.

I'm sure people really are able to debate freely amongst themselves, but there are some things that cannot be discussed openly or be contradicited, like in this society. In other words, secular society is the same as any other society, which is why I despair. And both Finland and Norway do fund newspapers publically...so it does lead to questions of how indepedent they are...


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Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
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Old 09-08-2007, 11:32 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Web Rider
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Originally Posted by Achilles
Now it sounds like we're mixing objective morality and subjective morality. That can't be good!
welcome to real life.
You either have objective morality or subjective morality. You can't have both, they're mutually exclusive. If you say subjective morality is right, then you're applying an absolute to that, and it's no longer relative.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
So Hitler's actions were morally justified while he held the majority influence. Gotcha.
yes, they were.
So if I chop a baby up in front of you and say that's OK because it's allowed in my culture, you'll say that it's OK to kill that baby? In some cultures, they say 'love your neighbor.' In some cultures, they eat them. Which do you prefer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dagobahn Eagle
And this is supposed to be the reality of atheistic nations? Didn't I make it clear in the essay that secular nations like Finland and Norway top the Global Press Freedom Index?
And the GPFI, which ranks how freely the press supposedly can get a story, as determined by journalists who are notoriously liberal, is a. unbiased and b. relevant to overall freedom?


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Old 09-09-2007, 02:51 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
You either have objective morality or subjective morality. You can't have both, they're mutually exclusive. If you say subjective morality is right, then you're applying an absolute to that, and it's no longer relative.
why? I may have majority morality, but the world is not me and I'm not able to enforce my morality on the world, therefore it is accurate to say that real life represents a mix of objective, subjective, and every other kind of morality conceivable.

Quote:
So if I chop a baby up in front of you and say that's OK because it's allowed in my culture, you'll say that it's OK to kill that baby? In some cultures, they say 'love your neighbor.' In some cultures, they eat them. Which do you prefer?
why must I choose? Since when has the world been my way or your way. According to everything I've professed, it depends on who you're surrounded by. If you're in my country following the majority-made rules, then no. If you're in any country where the rules say you cant, then it's wrong. if you're in a country that says you can, you can. If the world majority says you can't, then it's wrong.

I refuse to be drawn into these black and white questions you keep posing. I will not play "either or" or "yes" and "no".


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Old 09-09-2007, 04:51 AM   #34
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APATHY IS DEATH!

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Originally Posted by Web Rider
why? I may have majority morality, but the world is not me and I'm not able to enforce my morality on the world, therefore it is accurate to say that real life represents a mix of objective, subjective, and every other kind of morality conceivable.
Not really. Objective means unchanging. There's nothing you've said that could possibly be an objective moral standard. If you consider the 'moral majority' to be an objective standard-- well, it's not, as the others have already demonstrated. Simply being incapable of enforcing your particular view of the world doesn't mean that you or anyone else is following an objective morality. It just means someone has a bigger stick than you and you'd rather keep on their good side.

Quote:
why must I choose? Since when has the world been my way or your way. According to everything I've professed, it depends on who you're surrounded by. If you're in my country following the majority-made rules, then no. If you're in any country where the rules say you cant, then it's wrong. if you're in a country that says you can, you can. If the world majority says you can't, then it's wrong.
Consider this idea, then: overall, the world treats women as a lower caste than men. Christianity is paternalistic, and that's 1/3 of the world population right there. At least another 1/5 is Muslim, etc. In fact, nearly ALL societies are paternalistic to some extent. Lip service to equality doesn't count; only actions are, or can be, moral. You can see where I'm going with this, can't you?

Now-- I want your answer to this. Do you consider treating women as a lower caste perfectly acceptable? Do you, indeed, follow the apparent world opinion on this subject, as you must? Note that I am not asking you to choose; you have already done that. I simply am interested in knowing what you've chosen.



You might say, "I live in the United States, we are above that kind of thing. The world's rules don't apply to my actions because the society I am in endorses them." If you do feel like saying that, please don't bother, because I will both call you on it and will explain in very simple terms why you are mistaken. Then, I will also ask you why, exactly, you consider your country as a collective above the rule of moral law - the totality of human conviction. After all, a country is only a free association of individuals, not a moral entity in its own right. The same goes for the society you live in; be careful not to anthropomorphize such entities. Only people have the capacity for moral action. Since this is so, people must judge their actions by the majority of all humans, not the local majority - otherwise, they'd be in danger of committing immoral acts.

Of course, all of this second part is completely hypothetical, because you will say that you treat women exactly as they should be treated.


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Old 09-09-2007, 09:09 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider
I will not play "either or" or "yes" and "no"
So it's either my way or your way? It's either yes/no or 'both'?

Relative/subjective morality is logically indefensible. You cannot be right and wrong at the same time.


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Old 09-09-2007, 02:04 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
Now-- I want your answer to this. Do you consider treating women as a lower caste perfectly acceptable? Do you, indeed, follow the apparent world opinion on this subject, as you must? Note that I am not asking you to choose; you have already done that. I simply am interested in knowing what you've chosen.
Thinking and believing something is irrelevant. Professing it is all that matters. And the majority of people who stand up and profess things, they profess equality. Regardless of what their beliefs tell them to profess or what the religion of their choice professes.

Does the majority of people who get up on the world stage and say things say women should be second class citizens, regardless of their actions at home? Not to mention that simply painting every christian as a woman-oppressing man is stupid for a: about 50% of all christians ARE women, and many christian men treat women as equals.

Furhtermore I stated earlier, in relation to you're US example, that the world has set forth the precedent of opinion that unless a soverign nation is explicitly doing something that is adversly affecting another soverign nation or the world, then what it's doing is generally OK.

Thus I CAN claim that in the US we do things differently, or at least we claim to do so. Because the world majority, which outranks any other majority, has said it's okay for us to do that within our borders. ie: to form smaller majorities on subjects and make our own decisions.

Initially I think you're idea is flawed because ALL christians don't treat women like second-class citizens, and ALL muslims, while usually subscribing to the idea that women are to be subservient to men, do not all unanimously agree to that. Furthermore, there are still atheists to be considered, Buddhists, non-denominational spiritualists, wiccans, and so on on the subject.

The world, yes, finds it OK when women are treated as subservient as long as they are treated well when doing so. To that much I agree is acceptable. However the world also says that IF you want to treat women as equals or betters, then you are welcome to do that as well, hence my ability to claim that so long as I reside in the US, it is not OK for me to treat women as subservient, even if the world says it's OK to do so, because the world has also given my country the ability to choose to be different.


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Old 09-09-2007, 03:01 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Web Rider
Thinking and believing something is irrelevant. Professing it is all that matters. And the majority of people who stand up and profess things, they profess equality. Regardless of what their beliefs tell them to profess or what the religion of their choice professes.
Quite. And I am saying that the majority acts in a way that is paternalistic towards women, and some core beliefs reinforce that. What people say they do is really quite irrelevant.

[quote]Does the majority of people who get up on the world stage and say things say women should be second class citizens, regardless of their actions at home?

Quote:
Not to mention that simply painting every christian as a woman-oppressing man is stupid for a: about 50% of all christians ARE women, and many christian men treat women as equals.
No, I didn't say they were necessarily as strong as oppressive. I meant their actions betray an opinion that men know better, or should have more power than women.

Quote:
Furhtermore I stated earlier, in relation to you're US example, that the world has set forth the precedent of opinion that unless a soverign nation is explicitly doing something that is adversly affecting another soverign nation or the world, then what it's doing is generally OK.

Thus I CAN claim that in the US we do things differently, or at least we claim to do so. Because the world majority, which outranks any other majority, has said it's okay for us to do that within our borders. ie: to form smaller majorities on subjects and make our own decisions.
Not making a decision on or not being able to enforce said decision on an action does not constitute saying "ok" to it. Countries have armies specifically to stop others imposing their moral values - even if that idea happens to be in the majority. The Cold War was all about that.

I myself do not find it acceptable for other countries to allow human trafficking, but I can't do (much) about it since I lack the power. If you looked at all the people in the United States to see if they condoned it, I venture they wouldn't. The same with the world population - I'm fairly sure they do not like it either. However, sovereignty prevents them from acting on that conviction because we're afraid of the stick. So, I say that not being willing to go to war over an issue hardly equates to "hey do your thing man, more power to you!"

Quote:
Initially I think you're idea is flawed because ALL christians don't treat women like second-class citizens, and ALL muslims, while usually subscribing to the idea that women are to be subservient to men, do not all unanimously agree to that. Furthermore, there are still atheists to be considered, Buddhists, non-denominational spiritualists, wiccans, and so on on the subject.
Sure, I agree that all do not necessarily have to treat women really badly. But I think that a majority treats them differently and that that difference is not explained by physical ability.

Quote:
The world, yes, finds it OK when women are treated as subservient as long as they are treated well when doing so. To that much I agree is acceptable. However the world also says that IF you want to treat women as equals or betters, then you are welcome to do that as well, hence my ability to claim that so long as I reside in the US, it is not OK for me to treat women as subservient, even if the world says it's OK to do so, because the world has also given my country the ability to choose to be different.
But I've told you already, local societies cannot be the measure of morality, so while your local society may think it is acceptable for you to act in this way, you are actually being immoral. If you looked at people one by one from everywhere, found what they do on the subject, and implemented it, you should be treating women like the total majority, should you not? Only in this way will you join the ranks of the righteous.


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Old 09-09-2007, 04:34 PM   #38
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Sure, I agree that all do not necessarily have to treat women really badly. But I think that a majority treats them differently and that that difference is not explained by physical ability.
You said "lesser" before, now you say "differently". I DO think there are reasons that women should be treated differently, in certain contexts. And much as feminism would like you to believe that women and men are 100% the same in every way except genitals, it's not true. The way and rate at which women build muscle and store fat is different then men. If you run a man and woman through a massive workout program over a couple years, the man WILL come out with more muscle mass. In 9/10 jobs, no, I don't think that there's going to be any performance differences, but many of the jobs in the past required sheer muscle work, and women didn't perform as well in those roles, and that's when the idea was formed.

Quote:
But I've told you already, local societies cannot be the measure of morality, so while your local society may think it is acceptable for you to act in this way, you are actually being immoral. If you looked at people one by one from everywhere, found what they do on the subject, and implemented it, you should be treating women like the total majority, should you not? Only in this way will you join the ranks of the righteous.
Of course, if I could get everybody's opinion on every subject I'd also be able to develop a perfect world because all opinions on all subjects would be taken into account.

But here we run into the Socratic infinite time for infinite possibilities.


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Old 09-09-2007, 05:07 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Web Rider
You said "lesser" before, now you say "differently". I DO think there are reasons that women should be treated differently, in certain contexts. And much as feminism would like you to believe that women and men are 100% the same in every way except genitals, it's not true. The way and rate at which women build muscle and store fat is different then men. If you run a man and woman through a massive workout program over a couple years, the man WILL come out with more muscle mass. In 9/10 jobs, no, I don't think that there's going to be any performance differences, but many of the jobs in the past required sheer muscle work, and women didn't perform as well in those roles, and that's when the idea was formed.
Right, which is exactly why I said that "this difference [in treatment] is not explained by physical abililty." So, while I do find there is differences between the genders, women are not treated the same when they can be; i.e., in fact, according to popular opinion on what is good, they are treated less well. The question is: do you treat them well or do you treat them as they should be treated?

Quote:
Of course, if I could get everybody's opinion on every subject I'd also be able to develop a perfect world because all opinions on all subjects would be taken into account.

But here we run into the Socratic infinite time for infinite possibilities.
Are you saying that you will not put forth the effort to find out what the general idea is throughout the world, or that you don't care, or that it's impossible to ever find out?

Statistics is a very good way of determining the majority opinion without actually polling every single person. I would say it's quite possible to determine what the majority thinks about the treatment of women.


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Old 09-09-2007, 05:43 PM   #40
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In defense of WebRider...

Samuel Dravis: ...Why not ask the women? If the majority of women believe that they are being oppressed and that the males are merely paying lip service, then that would be true within that majority and if Web Rider consider himself a friend of womenkind, he must side with said truth. If the majority of women believe in the oppsoite, that they are being treated fairly or even better off than they are before, then that is true for within that subgroup...and if you still manitan that women are being oppressed even when the women do not believe that they are being oppressed, um...er...I'm going to have to discount that.

Lip service is basically the only real way we can determine what a person believe. It may be true that a person can be a hypocrite, but it is usually harder to evaulate if an action supports or is against something, and I am sure that the person you are accusing of being anti-Woman does not see himself as anti-Woman...so it really goes down to "Who do we trust? Samuel Dravis or That Other Guy?" What if your rhetoric is really "lip service" to womankind, what if you are just a mysgonist as that other guy and you are hiding it? Better off just to listen to Lip Service instead of trying to figure out what people 'really' believe.

I could claim that the Democrats really are actually pro-Bush, they just don't know they are pro-Bush but secretly, deep down, they really are, adopting many of Bush's policies and often times choosing the same stuff Bush do. They even eat the same preztels as Bush! But that'll just me laughed out of the Democrats' meeting...if not lynched.


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