philosophy meta-forum

Professional Philosopher Logic--if you don't like what you find, just explain it away

Alvin

23 day(s) ago

Just stop with the false humility--you are so sure of yourself it's sickening. I read the New Testament in koine Greek--and translated John--and probably know the history of Abrahamic religions better than you. It's all just part of the history of human searching for meaning that you've frozen into just one form that you take to be authoritative in some blind way. That's how you're like Trump--you are obsessed just with yourself as he is. I could not be happier knowing that I'm so unlike you--that's my Xmas present.

Helmut

23 day(s) ago

There is no god, you nincompoop. Go home.

Brian

You must be very secure in yourself to have to derive a sense of satisfaction by not capitalizing the "g." Aim high!

Helmut

23 day(s) ago

Just stop with the false humility--you are so sure of yourself it's sickening. I read the New Testament in koine Greek--and translated John--and probably know the history of Abrahamic religions better than you. It's all just part of the history of human searching for meaning that you've frozen into just one form that you take to be authoritative in some blind way. That's how you're like Trump--you are obsessed just with yourself as he is. I could not be happier knowing that I'm so unlike you--that's my Xmas present.

Alvin

Again, the objection just turns back on itself. You have a preoccupation with my humility, or lack it. But who are you to claim its insincere? That's very presumptuous of you. And even if I am prideful as you say, that still wouldn't change the fact that many of the comments I've received here on this thread have been totally irrational and infantile--if this is the best that professional philosophers can do, no wonder no one cares what they have to say, and no wonder they are all so frustrated with themselves.

Also, it is very odd that you would mention the fact that you read the New Testament in the original. I don't see why that matters. Many people do so, and yet that in the end is neither here nor there. Those who obey God love God, not those who feel the need to mention the fact that they can read it in the Greek, but then never put it to work--"Be not a hearer of the word, but a doer." The one who reads that verse (in whatever language) and does it is blessed, but the one who reads it in the Greek and doesn't do it lost.

Same goes for your point about knowing the history of Abrahamic religions better than I --maybe you do, but that doesn't matter if what I've been trying to tell you is true. You could no a great deal about such facts and still get nowhere.

You seem to be preoccupied with how much you know compared to others--at least that's what I've gathered given your interaction with me. I think that's why you also seem to have a habit of equating behavior your dislike in others with that of Trump. That's a juvenile and unproductive thing to do in my opinion, which is funny, of course, because that kind of behavior is probably what you would consider to be a quintessential personality traits of Trump. In any event, I stand by what I said above: you'd be much better of if you quit caring about Trump and politics. It's all bread and circus, and it's obviously been a very unhealthy influence on you.

Like I said before, I can only hope you'll respond to the call. Wasting your time accusing me of lacking humility or worrying about whether you're more learned than me is exactly what I mean when I say that you're in a mental jail. Even if you were right, where do you get yourself by being hung up on it? Why not redirect your attention elsewhere and get right with God regardless of how you feel about me?

Alvin

23 day(s) ago

I just heard a distinct "click" on your jailed brain cells.

Alvin

23 day(s) ago

And before you even respond--your response will also just turn back on itself. How pathetic are you?

Helmut

23 day(s) ago

I just heard a distinct "click" on your jailed brain cells.

Alvin

And here's the problem. You are vicious.

You have more interest in arguing with others than you do in changing.

A filthy heart will make anyone hate himself--I hope for your sake that you'll stop taking it out on others.

Alvin

23 day(s) ago

And by the way, have a really Merry Christmass. I'm sure like the Zodiac you spell it that way.

Alvin

23 day(s) ago

Hah--taking it out on you? You are the one who's doing that. Just like you said! Now who is viscous?

Alvin

23 day(s) ago

Where's your Christ-like spirit? Shouldn't you forgive me, this of all days? I forgive you--but just stop your self-vaunting proselytizing.

Helmut

23 day(s) ago

We have been having a passionate exchange over the most serious issue any of us will ever have to face--I appreciate the fact that you've responded.

I have said some things that were harsh, but I believe they were true. For what it's worth, I don't hold a grudge for anything you've said to me. I'm happy to hear that you seem to have no intention of doing so either.

Bitterness and anger poison the soul. You've just asked me to stop proselytizing, so I won't belabor any of the ground I've already covered regarding the things of the Spirit. But I will reiterate, on a separate issue, that I did mean everything I said about Trump. You will be better off to let all that go. I'm seeing that charade consume many people (on both sides) in academic philosophy, and it's all so silly.

Alvin

23 day(s) ago

There was an iota of humility there. I accept that as a true gift of the season. Peace.

Helmut

23 day(s) ago

And grace be with you.

Alvin

23 day(s) ago

And with you.

Oliver

23 day(s) ago

Edvard, it is false that Christianity is the source of western morals. The western moral tradition goes back long before that. I know, Dinesh D'Souza and other hacks pretend otherwise, but no educated person should fall for that charlatanism. But if you have a historical case to make for your assertion, please go ahead.

Brian

I didn't say Christianity was "the source of western morals". I said that you don't understand the source of your own belief -- and by extension the characteristically Western -- belief in moral progress even in its secular form. Where do you think Hegel got it from? What do you think Marx was working with? Do you think that Kant and Bentham and Mill came up with ideals of universal justice and benevolence out of thin air? Do you think that even the Jacobins could divorce their faith in the powers of reason from the Reformation's belief in grace and in the power of works on Earth to enact God's will?

I know you think you can drop a few snark-bombs about "tradition" by pointing back to Plato and Aristotle, but good luck making that stick without contending with the gap of civilization separating us from them -- Augustine and Aquinas are as important to our contemporary moral outlooks as any ancient thinkers.

You don't even realize how much of your 'atheism' is an attempt to secularize Christian moral beliefs.

Oliver

23 day(s) ago

Just stop with the false humility--you are so sure of yourself it's sickening. I read the New Testament in koine Greek--and translated John--and probably know the history of Abrahamic religions better than you. It's all just part of the history of human searching for meaning that you've frozen into just one form that you take to be authoritative in some blind way. That's how you're like Trump--you are obsessed just with yourself as he is. I could not be happier knowing that I'm so unlike you--that's my Xmas present.

Alvin

It's sad that you're letting a sitting President live in your head without even charging him rent.

Brian

22 day(s) ago

Oliver, you've misrepresented what happened.

You jumped on someone for saying "It's 2017", saying "I wonder when every leftist nutcase is going to realize that this "It's [The Current Year]" nonsense slogan is recycled Christian eschatology filtered through 19th-century historicism. History has no trajectory or endpoint if there is no God. Somehow the contemporary soy-eloi wants their atheism with a side of historical purpose, and (surprise of surprises) they don't even recognize the contradiction."

As was pointed out to you, there is no contradiction in saying that it's time to abandon doing something and the view that there is no God. A simple counterexample out of billions of others, if you're incapable of thinking this through on your own: after the internet is invented, it's no longer necessary to find a printer in order to distribute a written advertisement. Or: after everyone wakes up, it's no longer necessary to whisper. These things do not depend on some divine eschatology. These are some extremely obvious cases in point.

Rather than admit the point or slink away, you went at it again. You said, "There is when the very belief in progress itself as a "moral arc of justice" or whatever is itself a cultural presupposition that developed in Western culture out of the very Christianity that atheists now reject."

This is a confusion of D'Sousan proportions (in fact, I think you may have got this idea from that imbecile). Nobody here mentioned a commitment to a moral arc of justice. But even if someone did, the mere fact that something was influenced by thinkers that happened to be Christian is different from whether Christianity in fact helped that idea come to fruition, let alone whether the idea logically depends on Christianity. Like D'Sousa, you don't make clear which thesis you're maintaining, and you might (like him) be unable to see the difference between them. But all of them are very implausible or else uninterestingly true.

If the claim is (as you suggested at the start) the interesting one that there can be no idea of progress without a divine purpose, then (aside from the fact that you have not provided any argument at all for this extraordinary claim) no support is given to that thesis by the claim that western morality was, as a matter of fact, influenced by theists. Perhaps you have an argument to the effect that, if one doesn't have a belief in God, one cannot be justified in holding that some things get better; or that if there is no God, nothing can get better. If so, great. Show us the argument. If you don't, then we'll all know that you've got nothing.

But if the claim is merely the boring one that some people who influenced western philosophy happened to be Christian, and that they might not have held the views they did were it not for Christianity, then sure, show us an argument for it; but even if you succeed, this will no more show that God is essential for things getting better than that potatoes are essential for things getting better. Sure, the potato, once imported into Europe, helped create an engine of social improvement; and were it not for the potato, we probably would not have had many of the great ideas we have today, since it was part of the engine of economic improvement. But no sane person would criticize someone for talking about progress merely because she doesn't worship potatoes or because she hasn't studied the writings of potato farmers.

You then said, "You don't even know the history of your own beliefs, but somehow this is taken as philosophical veracity. We still wonder why this is a dying discipline?"

You have no idea whom you're talking to, apparently. Why assume that people don't know the history of their beliefs?

I replied, "Edvard, it is false that Christianity is the source of western morals. The western moral tradition goes back long before that. I know, Dinesh D'Souza and other hacks pretend otherwise, but no educated person should fall for that charlatanism. But if you have a historical case to make for your assertion, please go ahead." But you have failed, yet again, to provide any argument. It's hard to escape the conclusion that you've got nothing.

You then reply with this doozy:

1. "I didn't say Christianity was "the source of western morals". I said that you don't understand the source of your own belief -- and by extension the characteristically Western -- belief in moral progress even in its secular form."

Actually, what you said was "History has no trajectory or endpoint if there is no God." You didn't say merely that people don't understand the source of their own beliefs (and how could you have known, anyway?). You said that there could be no moral trajectory, and no progress, if not for God.

Brian

22 day(s) ago

2. "Where do you think Hegel got it from? What do you think Marx was working with? Do you think that Kant and Bentham and Mill came up with ideals of universal justice and benevolence out of thin air? Do you think that even the Jacobins could divorce their faith in the powers of reason from the Reformation's belief in grace and in the power of works on Earth to enact God's will?"

I think the historical case here is very weak, and you have failed yet again to provide a single argument in support of your historical claim. But even if it were true (as I doubt very much) that Kant and Bentham and Mill were merely parroting ideas from theologians, that does nothing to establish that Christian theology was the only way to get there. This is a classic genetic fallacy, even leaving aside the factual problems.

3. "I know you think you can drop a few snark-bombs about "tradition" by pointing back to Plato and Aristotle, but good luck making that stick without contending with the gap of civilization separating us from them -- Augustine and Aquinas are as important to our contemporary moral outlooks as any ancient thinkers."

If you're merely saying that Augustine and Aquinas were influential in shaping western morality, I agree. That's fine. So what? It no more follows from this that you can't have progress without God than it follows from Plato's and Aristotle's influence that you can't have morality without slavery.

4. "You don't even realize how much of your 'atheism' is an attempt to secularize Christian moral beliefs."

Wow. this really makes the 'IDIOT' sign over your head flash brightly. Atheism is not an attempt to secularize anything. It's merely the denial of the existence of God. Someone who claims that there are no unicorns, or that Columbia doesn't have nuclear weapons, is not attempting to secularize something. He or she is merely asserting the absence of something.

Arthur

22 day(s) ago

You are as bad at reading as you are at making an argument against what you've read, which one would expect since these are complementary defects.

I suppose we should have expected a 3000 word list of inanities in response to a simple point that anyone with any grasp of history could understand. After all, it's not like you're able to enjoy Christmas with your family, instead of running off to post a great many wrong things on an anonymous internet blog.

Arthur

22 day(s) ago

Just take this gem as a clear example of your considerable ignorance:

As was pointed out to you, there is no contradiction in saying that it's time to abandon doing something and the view that there is no God. A simple counterexample out of billions of others, if you're incapable of thinking this through on your own: after the internet is invented, it's no longer necessary to find a printer in order to distribute a written advertisement. Or: after everyone wakes up, it's no longer necessary to whisper. These things do not depend on some divine eschatology. These are some extremely obvious cases in point.

The contradiction is not in "saying that it's time to abandon doing something and the view that there is no God". As you well know, or would if you were competent, to claim *moral progress* is not just "saying its time to abandon doing something". It is, at a minimum, to offer a reason for doing so. Fine, so you give us some reasons -- we reduce suffering, we feed all the starving people, we make trannies feel better about themselves.

What you fail to notice is that these are *moral* reasons, which makes them interestingly different from the comparatively simple if-then hypothetical imperatives that flow from prudential considerations. Sure, if one doesn't want to smell bad one ought to wipe one's ass after going to the restroom. But you've yet to establish any sense of "better", in the strong sense which these End of History idiots rest their beliefs on.

The real problem is that you're not going to provide such a basis. You think Trump is pure-cut fascism? You think trannies should go in the little girls' room to change? This is all "right side of history" stuff to you? Okay. Now justify it to the people that disagree with you, when they don't care, when they don't see your reasons as their reasons or your values as their values.

Your progress is a myth, because you can't unshackle it from the determinations of the indvidual's own choices.

You'd know this if you had any grasp of the subject, rather than shouting the sorts of platitudes that preoccupy the unwashed masses of flab that occupy Reddit, but militant atheists have always lived the grunge life.

Proclus

22 day(s) ago

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Proclus

22 day(s) ago

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Proclus

22 day(s) ago

Gyyvcfhhvfghhgff

Brian

22 day(s) ago

Well, at least we now know who's been fucking with the upvoting and downvoting. Some backward religious philistine -- probably the same one who fucked up Leiter's survey last week. Case in point: the voting on my post 8 hours ago. Geez, this Christer must _really_ have nothing better to do with his time. 202 downvotes and counting.

Anyway, Arthur, or Dinesh, or whatever your name is: you are completely out to lunch. It's been well known among philosophers for almost two and a half millennia that morality cannot arise from God's commands or desires. Plato put it right, way back in the Euthyphro: are the things the gods prefer pious (or good) just because the gods like them? Or are they independently good/pious? You should know the rest, if you've ever done a lick of philosophy: if the former, then morality is as capricious as the relativism you criticize (which is not the position of most atheistic philosophers). If the latter, then there is something beyond the wishes or commands of the gods that makes right things right. Adding god into the equation gets you absolutely nowhere good.

(And yes, I know that clown Robert Adams, and some others, think they can overcome the Euthyphro argument. They can't. If you want to see why not, just try to get around it here using their formulas, and you'll see for yourself how well that works. The Euthyphro problem is as fatal to religion-based morality as it was when Plato first wrote it down).

There are many, many books out there that explain to philosophical novices like yourself where your line of thinking goes wrong. There is absolutely no problem coupling objective morality with atheism. In fact, it's much more difficult to couple objective morality with theism, owing to the Euthyphro problem. Read Walter Sinnott-Armstrong or Michael Huemer, for starters, to get your head right about this.

In the meantime, I have no idea why you think I'm in favor of transgender people using restrooms of their choice. I'm not in favor of that at all.

Proclus

22 day(s) ago

I know for a fact that Arthur has been caught masturbating in the bathroom at work.

Gottfried

22 day(s) ago

It's been well known among philosophers for almost two and a half millennia that morality cannot arise from God's commands or desires. Plato put it right, way back in the Euthyphro: are the things the gods prefer pious (or good) just because the gods like them? Or are they independently good/pious?

Surely you've read more than the *Euthyphro*, as you must have if you're going to trot out fucking Plato for this of all arguments?

In any event, the Euthyphro problem is neither here nor there, and I'm not especially interested in defending a 'divine command theory' or whatever. My purposes are simply to point out that the End of History rhetoric is in the best cases naive and more likely an incoherent suggestion -- one which rests on implicit moral premises which it cannot recognize, let alone explicitly affirm.

If you take away the Christian undertones of modern Western moral philosophy, you aren't left with anything but some sleight-of-hand that hopes nobody will inquire too hard into just why universal justice or benevolence are just so important if there's no God to lean on.

There is absolutely no problem coupling objective morality with atheism.

Sure there is. You either (a) smuggle in implicit moral premises from the (distally) Greek or (proximally) Christian tradition while hoping nobody notices them propping up the naturalist rhetoric or (b) you change the subject and try to replace moral talk with what is really some bastardized theory of practical reason, perhaps the sort drawn from 'rational choice theory' or what have you.

Either way, you still haven't answered the original challenge: if an individual person or a collective people don't care about your morality, don't see your reasons as theirs and don't care about your values, you've got nothing to say to them, and this entirely belies the "objective" point. There's nothing neutral about it, just another moral point of view riding science's coattails and hoping some of its impartiality will rub off.

Yamuna

22 day(s) ago

I invoked the Euthyphro for the same reason that mathematicians invoke Pythagoras' theorem: it's still the best tool for the job. Your the one who hasn't needed its lesson, which is that aging in God does not improve the situation one iota. It only saddles you with huge metaphysical freight for no benefit.

Look at your own challenge. Suppose, as you say, that someone doesn't see your religious or epistemic reason as his own and therefore doesn't accept your religious view. How does that religion then lead you to a resolution of the conflict? It can't. It just shifts the point of disagreement from something one can negotiate on the basis of evidence, points of shared concern, and rationality to something that one can't negotiate because it's accepted on faith. That worsens the situation rather than resolve it.

For an answer to your challenge that doesn't actually make it worse, read (e.g.) Huemer, Sinnott-Armstrong, etc.

Gottfried

22 day(s) ago

Bugman philosophy isn't philosophy. Go home soyling.

Brian

22 day(s) ago

Ah, then you have no reply. Sleep well.

Ludwig

22 day(s) ago

Ah, then you have no reply. Sleep well.

Brian

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7A1Z5CEXDM4


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