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A Naturalistic World

A Naturalistic World
(04-19-2022, 10:41 AM)Alan V Wrote: I still think that a lot of atheistic incredulousness at human behaviors must be feigned.  

Perhaps we enjoy our emotions too much.  But to me, it looks like we're playing stupid.

(04-19-2022, 12:30 PM)Rhythmcs Wrote: Lead with what you really think, and really mean.  It'll save people tons of time.  Yourself included.

Contributors say different things they think at different times.  Some points are clarified in discussions.  At most, this late addition is a subpoint.

If you read the early discussion, you will understand that I changed my perspective a bit with time.  After all, my OP was in part a question.

And not too surprisingly, your response really doesn't address what I said at all, just as most of your posts seem off on their own tangents to me.  

However, that's to be expected in conversations like these.  It's part of the fun, when we all try but can't connect.
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A Naturalistic World
Well, like I said, I'm always looking for suggestions on the delivery. Points to clarify, etc.

I think that moral naturalism, and the questions or misconceptions people have about moral naturalism, are a particularly interesting case. It's in the strange position of being the subtext for everyday normative thought - but few have had occasion or inclination to work out how they might formally express it. Additionally, it rides a subcurrent of general skepticism and distrust of normative claims as a consequence of the history of normative claims - almost uniformly religious and or supernatural. On top of that, as moral naturalism was and remains an existential threat to theistic moralities - centuries of ink got spilled in ludicrous propaganda which, like it or not, we all inherit culturally as westerners. Additionally, we (currently) have a commitment to a broad sense of inclusivity and equality that makes relativism, subjectivism, and maybe even nihilism attractive partners to our political ideologies. All of it coming to a head when we realize in a moment that there's nothing novel in the production of it's normative claims.

So here's this thing we do, we're all intimately familiar with it through repeated personal experience, and it doesn't even have to be taught. Treatises have been written against it by people who also happened to have used normative claims to profoundly disgusting ends - the well is thoroughly poisoned. We realize that at least some normative claims would be detrimental or dismissive or even downright hostile to some people, and some of those people would be incapable of doing or being otherwise...no matter how well intentioned and carefully crafted that normative statement was. We categorically reject being That Guy - either the oppressor or the oppressed. -and so, a conundrum.

I don't think a person has to be playing stupid or feigning incredulity when they come across something so vile, and so far from anything they ever even imagined doing, that the only rational response is utter moral contempt. It can be (and is)...surprising... how deficient religious moral systems can be - and surprising in how. Just look at what the prince of peace gave us. Every time you're made aware of a thing like this you think that's it, that's the end of this miserable track and there are no more stops even further down the line. There can't be. You're wrong, everytime, ofc. You won't even have to wait long to be proven wrong. We're endlessly creative and particularly enthusiastic.

I think it would take some incredibly novel contortions to see people in that position, genuinely experiencing surprise and a persuasively justified moral outrage on account of the insane shit that some religions compel some religious people to do..and decide that they....are the ones doing the untoward thing...and should stop that. That, to me, is The Upside Down. It doesn't follow from moral naturalism, and isn't an accurate description of moral naturalism. It would be or at least could be consistent with relativism, subjectivism, noncognitivism, probably not nihilism - since there's still a suggestion to do some right thing (or a criticism of doing a wrong thing) after the moral wash is asserted.
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A Naturalistic World
(04-19-2022, 02:41 AM)Rhythmcs Wrote: Sure, and with all of that acknowledged and agreed to, and with the understanding that both moral condemnation and moral outrage are thoroughly natural human behaviors from a metaphysical standpoint...

I'd have to disagree with this because of your use of the word "metaphysical".

(A common definition of metaphysical is "the branch of philosophy that examines the
nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, substance and
attribute, fact and value".)

Personally, I place little stead on philosophy and/or philosophers.

This is an excerpt from The Nerdist's interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson, about the
claim that philosophy is a waste of time...


Neil deGrasse Tyson: I agree.

Interviewer: At a certain point it's just futile.

Tyson: Yeah, yeah, exactly, exactly. My concern here is that the philosophers believe
they are actually asking deep questions about nature. And to the scientist it's, "What
are you doing? Why are you concerning yourself with the meaning of meaning?"

Interviewer: I think a healthy balance of both is good.

Tyson: Well, I'm still worried even about a healthy balance. Yeah, if you are distracted
by your questions so that you can't move forward, you are not being a productive
contributor to our understanding of the natural world. And so the scientist knows when
the question "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" is a pointless delay in our progress.
How do you define "clapping"?

All of a sudden it devolves into a discussion of the definition of words. And I'd rather
keep the conversation about ideas. And when you do that, don't derail yourself on
questions that you think are important because philosophy class tells you this. The
scientist says, "Look, I got all this world of unknown out there. I'm moving on. I'm
leaving you behind. You can't even cross the street because you are distracted by
what you are sure are deep questions you've asked yourself. I don't have the time
for that."

Interviewer: I also felt that it was a fat load of crap, as one could define what "crap"
is and the essential qualities that make up crap: how you grade a philosophy paper?

Tyson: Of course, I think we all agree you [the interviewer] turned out OK.

Interviewer: Philosophy was a good major for comedy, I think, because it does get you to
ask a lot of ridiculous questions about things.

Tyson: No, you need people to laugh at your ridiculous questions.

Interviewer: It's a bottomless pit. It just becomes nihilism.

Tyson: Nihilism is a kind of philosophy.
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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A Naturalistic World
It's a necessary inclusion for specificity. Some propositions resolve to metaphysical naturalism, but not moral naturalism. The idea that everything we do, good or bad - however defined, is natural for us to do, for example posits a metaphysically natural view of human nature - but doesn't certify any specific aspect of that nature as good or bad. Likewise, some propositions resolve to moral naturalism, but not metaphysical naturalism. The idea that every moral thing is explained by a natural fact does not imply claim or demonstrate that there is nothing non, un, or supernatural in the world.

People have different interests, some might think philosophy is a waste of time, like those two...though they're still very much doing philosophy, oddly enough. The clapping example is a good one. It comes from a set of intentionally confusing philosophies. So I guess it half accomplishes it's job even in people who don't have the time or inclination for it. I'd say that anyone who thinks philosophy is a bottomless pit that just becomes nihilism is telling us that they've heard philosophy™..and decided that they're intellectual nihilists, themselves. Neil gets there, obviously, right at the end.

Moral naturalism, even without any invocation of metaphysical naturalism, says "not so". The pit does have a bottom, the buck does stop, and it stops at natural facts. Of all the moral theories there are moral naturalism is, amusingly, the most invested in scientific investigation. Insomuch as it's seen to be a very profitable method for objective and explicitly naturalistic investigations, moral naturalism being premised on exactly and exclusively those things.

If a moral naturalist had gotten something wrong, morally wrong, it would be wrong in point of fact as they've expressed it - and a thorough investigation of those assertions to that then-misapprehended/mistaken/misunderstood fact would be expected to turn that up. It used to be argued, for example - that non-traditional families were harmful to children. Thus, it would be wrong to allow them, or allow them to adopt..or...well..you know the whole drill. Turns out that was wrong in point of fact. A moral naturalist could concievably argue that point before - but, now, that specific avenue must simply be abandoned, if not the entire premise. There is no room for endless debate on that any longer.
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A Naturalistic World
(04-19-2022, 02:42 PM)Rhythmcs Wrote: I don't think a person has to be playing stupid or feigning incredulity when they come across something so vile, and so far from anything they ever even imagined doing, that the only rational response is utter moral contempt.  It can be (and is)...surprising... how deficient religious moral systems can be - and surprising in how

So you don't think defining theistic tribes in a naturalistic way makes sense?  People identify with their groups, whatever they are and whatever they believe, and act in ways dictated by their identifications.  What is surprising about that, besides the creativity of some reductio ad absurdums?

In any case, this issue shades into another on-going discussion I've had with several people about what I consider the futility of many emotional responses.  I maintain that experiencing an emotion is one thing, but expressing it (like at an internet discussion forum) is another.  So the "feigned incredulity" part comes in with the public expression of emotions of moral outrage.  We are effectively acting like we hadn't heard it all many times before, so I naturally wonder when we can discuss certain issues without the injection of such emotions.

Of course, I haven't exactly persuaded anyone with my opinions about emotional expressions.   Sun
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A Naturalistic World
(04-19-2022, 08:10 PM)Alan V Wrote: So you don't think defining theistic tribes in a naturalistic way makes sense?
It's openly and immediately a non starter from both angles.  If I thought it did make sense, I would also realize that I (and that opinion) doesn't make sense.  Wouldn't be the first time that my beliefs about a thing didn't line up to facts about a thing.

Quote:  People identify with their groups, whatever they are and whatever they believe, and act in ways dictated by their identifications.  What is surprising about that, besides the creativity of some reductio ad absurdums?
Plenty, and you don't have to take my word for it..just ask the christians who are perpetually surprised by what their allegedly christian brethren do and say.  

Quote:In any case, this issue shades into another on-going discussion I've had with several people about what I consider the futility of many emotional responses.  I maintain that experiencing an emotion is one thing, but expressing it (like at an internet discussion forum) is another.  So the "feigned incredulity" part comes in with the public expression of emotions of moral outrage.  We are effectively acting like we hadn't heard it all many times before, so I naturally wonder when we can discuss certain issues without the injection of such emotions.

Of course, I haven't exactly persuaded anyone with my opinions about emotional expressions.   Sun
You're still insisting on emotional responses.  Moral outrage and moral condemnation can be and often are rational responses.  Explicitly and exclusively so in moral naturalism - what you asked about. You're still insisting that surprised people are liars and/or dumb..as though surprise wasn't a real thing.  You're a misanthrope..but only, strangely.... with regard to your fellow atheists - in context.  The religious are just doing human stuff and we should be patient..the surprised and outraged irreligious are the morally guilty parties.  

:jerkoff:

If you feel comfortable flogging this horseshit, should I feel more, less, or just as comfortable pointing out that you're a person who's swallowed the theistic koolaid even though you don't believe in gods? That you...are stupid..naive..or pretending? Should I be better than you and to you, as you imply atheists should be better than and to theists? Does the dumb gullible pretender rule hold in your case, according to you?

Does it even hold in the theists case, according to you? Are you willing to affirmatively state that you actually believe that the religious are so thoroughly compromised, by being religious, as to be morally incompetent and therefore not subject to valid moral condemnation or outrage as anything rational..but instead, only mere emotional heckling? If I told you to go fuck yourself, on that count...do you think I would be incapable of rationally cashing that check, and are we still speaking different languages, me the philosopher..that you can just never understand?

To put it mildly. I think that you've been wildly misinformed, and even in the presence of an explanation to that effect, you're still strongly committed to being wildly misinformed and premising your conclusions on that misinformation. You're wrong in fact, wrong in principle, wrong in practical theory, wrong in basic method...and yet....

Maybe you've failed to persuade people, especially moral naturalists like myself... because your notions are openly and obviously facetious or malformed? The only real question is what you plan to do about that.
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A Naturalistic World
(04-19-2022, 08:19 PM)Rhythmcs Wrote: It's openly and immediately a non starter from both angles.  If I thought it did make sense, I would also realize that I (and that opinion) doesn't make sense.  Wouldn't be the first time that my beliefs about a thing didn't line up to facts about a thing.

Plenty, and you don't have to take my word for it..just ask the christians who are perpetually surprised by what their allegedly christian brethren do and say.  

You're still insisting on emotional responses.  Moral outrage and moral condemnation can be and often are rational responses.  Explicitly and exclusively so in moral naturalism - what you asked about.  You're still insisting that surprised people are liars and/or dumb..as though surprise wasn't a real thing.  You're a misanthrope..but only, strangely.... with regard to your fellow atheists - in context.  The religious are just doing human stuff and we should be patient..the surprised and outraged irreligious are the morally guilty parties.  

:jerkoff:

If you feel comfortable flogging this horseshit, should I feel more, less, or just as comfortable pointing out that you're a person who's swallowed the theistic koolaid even though you don't believe in gods?  That you...are stupid..naive..or pretending?  Should I be better than you and to you, as you imply atheists should be better than and to theists?  Does the dumb gullible pretender rule hold in your case, according to you?

Does it even hold in the theists case, according to you?  Are you willing to affirmatively state that you actually believe that the religious are so thoroughly compromised, by being religious, as to be morally incompetent and therefore not subject to valid moral condemnation or outrage as anything rational..but instead, only mere emotional heckling?  If I told you to go fuck yourself, on that count...do you think I would be incapable of rationally cashing that check, and are we still speaking different languages, me the philosopher..that you can just never understand?

To put it mildly.  I think that you've been wildly misinformed, and even in the presence of an explanation to that effect, you're still strongly committed to being wildly misinformed and premising your conclusions on that misinformation.  You're wrong in fact, wrong in principle, wrong in practical theory, wrong in basic method...and yet....

Maybe you've failed to persuade people, especially moral naturalists like myself... because your notions are openly and obviously facetious or malformed?  The only real question is what you plan to do about that.

Thanks for the excellent example of the communication problem I've referred to.
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A Naturalistic World
You realize that a person can disagree with you without there being any communication issue, I'm sure. You must be pretending here, feigning some difficulty. I wonder when we can discuss these issues without the injection of such tripe.
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