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Spider AL

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    Help, help, I'm stapled to my

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  1. well if you ever see this, you made great posts!

  2. hi! are you alive?

  3. Sigh. No Nancy, Stalinism is totally unrelated to the simple idea that there is a moral way to behave... and there are immoral ways to behave. Once again, your post is one big reactionary non-sequitur. Needless to say, I will not address any further nonsense implying that my viewpoint is "Stalinist".
  4. We're not talking about "one set of morals", Nancy. That phrase still contains relativistic connotations. We're talking about the only set of morals. Logically arrived at morality is the only morality. It is objective morality. We may all have different ideas about complex moral questions, but that doesn't mean that we're "all right", and conversely it doesn't necessarily mean ANY of us are right. Once again, if you and I come up with a different answer to a complex moral question, it doesn't mean that "both our answers are valid". It means one or BOTH of us is wrong. Plain and simple.
  5. Jmac: Of course I believe that such things as slavery and illegal international aggression are immoral, because an unbroken chain of logical reasoning leads me to believe that they are immoral. Morality is defined by reason and logic. I don't think you understood the point I was trying to make, Jmac. Perhaps I didn't make myself clear enough. I'm not "trying to get you to argue for" anything. I am pointing out that just because a group of people (be it a minority or an entire culture... or the whole world) believes something to be moral... doesn't make it moral. If two people have different ideas about the most moral course of action in a given situation... one or both of them are wrong. That is the point. That morality is not "whatever we feel like" at the time, it is an abstract that we either perceive correctly... or fail to perceive correctly. You may sit there and state that this is an "ass way of thinking", but once again... you have no good reasons to make such statements, you have not CITED any such reasons and frankly you will never find such reasons, in my estimation. Windu: Emotions are merely contributing factors within the larger issue of bias, Windu. Therefore this has already been addressed. No, there is either sense... that is: that which makes sense, that which is logical... or nonsense. That which is not logical. They are absolutes. There is no issue of relativism when it comes to the question of whether someone is "making sense". Of course. As an objectivist, I automatically have to accept the possibility that I will never attain the state of perceiving absolute truth. And furthermore, I must accept the certainty that I will never KNOW to an absolute degree whether I have attained such a state or not, even if I have in fact attained it. But that doesn't signify anything. The fact that we are fallible human organisms doesn't mean that there is no objective truth. It merely means that we may be incapable of perceiving it. Okay, I'll address your hypothetical as best I can. First to even out the question a little, let's assume that the two people (your lover and the stranger) are of the same age and apparent physical health. Let's discard your options that involve jumping off after them, as suicide would serve no useful purpose, moral or otherwise. Next let's suggest that it's morally necessary to save at least one of them, as letting them both die would merely be shirking one's moral responsibility to help if possible. Next let's point out that making a judgement based on one's personal affections for one of the falling individuals is immoral. It's perfectly human and understandable, but personal bias should be disregarded, ideally. So we have come to the conclusion that- morally speaking- one must save one of the individuals. It is therefore morally necessary to make a dispassionate choice as to which person to save. Since we know nothing about the stranger, it's hard to weigh the impact of his/her death against the death of one's lover. Perhaps if the stranger was a family man supporting several children and one's lover was childless it would be more moral to save the stranger. But this set of factors would have to be established before such a judgement could be made. In a situation where nothing is known about the stranger, it would be impossible to weigh their life against the life of one's lover... therefore to save either would be equally moral. As noted before, objective morality is MOTIVATED by empathy, not DEFINED by empathy. Logic defines the correct- most moral- course of action in each situation. Not empathy. Alien civilisations ARE irrelevant Windu, not least because you have no evidence to suggest the existence of such civilisations... but also because we are discussing a very human and very terrestrial issue, the issue of morality.
  6. windu6: You're back! I can say without fear of contradiction from any quarter: The place most definitely wasn't the same without you. As for your contentions that morality cannot be objective because people have personal bias, it's nonsense. Numbers remain objective even when mathematicians get their sums wrong, and morality remains objective even when nobody in the whole world has perceived the correct, moral course of action to take in a certain circumstance. Morality is a dry equation. To each moral question, there is a "right" answer (an optimally moral answer) and there are infinite "wrong" answers. (Less moral courses of action.) It doesn't matter whether people choose the right answer or not. The answer remains out in the aether, an abstract truth that may be attainable to those with the necessary reasoning power to see it, and the necessary empathy to want to see it. As for your persistent references to alien life forms and artificial intelligences... They're all irrelevant and laughable. No offence. jmac7142: Slavery was (and is currently, I might add) considered perfectly acceptable in many cultures throughout history. All those cultures got their moral sums wrong. The fact that they believed it to be acceptable does not make it moral. Likewise in our own culture and our own time, there are those who believe invading a sovereign nation without just cause is moral. They are wrong. Their belief affects the moral equation not a jot. In short, you'd struggle to provide a reason why objective moralism is an "ass way of thinking" as you put it... But it's your right to hold such an unsupported belief I suppose.
  7. Ahh Nancy, if you genuinely can't see the difference between the situation in Europe in '44, in which heavily armed and still highly dangerous Nazi forces illegally occupied several other sovereign nations in Europe and were committing atrocities the scale of which had never been seen before in the history of the world,... and Iraq in 2003, a crippled, impoverished nation which the US government declared was no danger to ANYONE as early as 2001... If you can't see the stark differences between these two invasions that render them incomparable, then my goodness, how are we supposed to have a meaningful debate? Answer: we can't.
  8. That's a question that's irrelevant to the issue of Iraq, as the two scenarios are not comparable. You may as well ask me "Is cabbage murder?" and I would answer that as readily as I will answer this... i.e: not at all.
  9. Not really an exception to the rule, Nancy. The ruleset must be set up to ACCOMMODATE individual variations in order to be optimally moral. Like our self-defence laws. We are allowed under the law to defend ourselves, and if it's necessary to kill someone who is attacking you with lethal force, it is legally justifiable to do so. This is not an "exception to the anti murder law" so much as it is a recognised special circumstance that warrants its own rule.
  10. When you come up with questions that I haven't answered seventeen times, you will get a new response. Until then... sorry, but it's not worth my effort to go around in any more circles with you- no matter how diverting- as I have in the past.
  11. All torture, all genocide, all terrorism. Whether committed by us or by someone else. That's morality. It's one standard for everyone. If they do it, it's wrong. If we do it it is also wrong. One presumes that under the ideal legal system, there would be at LEAST the same amount of consideration for individual circumstances as there is now. Is there some point you're trying to make?
  12. You mean "implication". No, such a thing wasn't implied in my statements. You have inferred something that was not there in the text. Your problem, not mine. I will not respond to further misunderstandings on your part concerning the word "butcher". It's nothing personal, I just don't have the time to keep repeating myself anymore.
  13. Absolutely correct. That is why... for instance... I oppose US/UK torture, US/UK sponsored genocide and US/UK atrocities worldwide. It's basic morality. Well Nancy, how do you try to "fix" the fact that a lot of people commit CRIMES? You penalise them and take measures to prevent further crimes. It'd be the same with morality, and ideally, the law SHOULD be pure morality. The fact that the law is currently flawed means that campaigning is necessary to improve the legal system and our lexicon of laws. That's all.
  14. Hahaha... "the terrible collateral damage of a war that shouldn't have happened was caused by American forces" is the nice, friendly, pro-invasion way of putting it. How I put it is: Before the 2003 invasion, a blind mongoose could have told you that such an invasion would result in massive civilian casualties. The US government knew it. But they invaded anyway, because it was in their political interests to do so. They knew those civilians would die, but they went ahead anyway. That's murder. In ANYONE'S book, it's murder. So do I feel uncomfortable about using words like "butcher"? No. Hundreds of thousands of people dead? Shot, bombed and starved? That's butchery. And as stated before, no further evidence is required. We DID invade, we DID kill hundreds of thousands of civilians both directly and indirectly. It happened, our governments are responsible... end of line.
  15. "Forcing" others to conform to a moral standard? Well that would depend, wouldn't it Nancy. Laws already "force" people to conform to a societal standard, in a way. I personally wouldn't have a problem "forcing" an axe-murderer to stop his immoral behaviour. What specific example were you thinking of when it comes to "forcing" others to behave morally?
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