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Thread: Can one fail as human being?

  1. #31
    Live and learn anunitu's Avatar
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    Re: Can one fail as human being?

    good and evil are subjective and can vary by time and place and by the person observing these positions
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  2. #32

    Re: Can one fail as human being?

    That would be an expression of descriptive subjectivism ( or relativism, if we referred to culture rather than the individual). While this is an inarguably true observation of how people’s ideas of right and wrong change over time and location - it might not speak to the underlying question or the fundamental contention of realism.

    Yes, people’s ideas change, and people can be wrong- but this isn’t unique to (alleged or possible) moral facts alone. This is equally true with reference to any set of facts.

  3. #33
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Can one fail as human being?

    Thanks for the health example. So, can we determine that X is good for Y's health? Yes, by examining individual Y, we can determine whether X will cause harm, be neutral, or be a benefit.

    However, the bug in the beer here is: can we extrapolate a universal statement regarding X based on one, or ever a billion cases?

    This is where what I call "the reality onion" jumps in. The reality onion refers to the fact that general statements begin to fall apart as one peels away the layers of reality that surround general statements.

    For example: Is a donut (X) bad for your (Y) health?

    Well, it depends on what kind of donut, and the basic health, lifestyle, metabolism - and, importantly, goals of Y.

    Leaving health, lifestyle, and metabolism aside for now, consider "goals."

    Goals: individual Y is well aware of the fact that eating a donut (actually, multiple donuts) may lead to health issues. However, individual Y is also aware that washboard abs are not necessary to lead a long life of high quality. Further, individual Y has (via experence) come to believe that mental health requires that one take periodic pleasure in small luxuries, that one enjoys these luxuries in the presence of others (both as a provider, and a sharer in what another has provided - bring donuts to work and enjoy the smiles ), that one not experience unnecessay stress at the thought of what that donut is going to do to butt fat, and so on, ad infinitum.

    The upshot of all this is that "X is bad for Y," based on health information is an abstraction that does not, in fact, reflect the real world. In the world there are always variables that are excluded from the research (what is an experiment if not the exclusion of variables?).

    In vitro and in vivo are two very different things.
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  4. #34

    Re: Can one fail as human being?

    Does the statement “smoking Marlboro reds is bad for your health” reflect reality?

    All if the questions above are, ofc, interesting....but ultimately, if realism can position itself as being fact-alike then it satisfies the criteria of objectivity being referenced. Every problem with any other true thing will still be a problem for true moral things.

    This is what makes things like mereological nihilism competent arguments against moral realism in ways that descriptive subjectivism and relativism aren’t.

    its clear that moral ( or value) statements can refer to something other than a fact of the reporter or their culture, but what if parts and wholes don’t actually exist? Or what if they do, but we’re incapable of accurately apprehending them? Error theory. The idea that even if there are facts( moral, value, or otherwise) for whatever reason, we can’t get them right.

    - - - Updated - - -

    No one really has any answer to that one, beyond that we take the existence of facts to be axiomatically true or practically useful. The first order commitment to the existence of facts puts anti realist contentions in the position of having to explain why they treat one set of fact-alike things differently than the others. What makes a candidate moral fact the special case of non facts that meet factual criteria?

    in a glancing blow to error theory, if we accept it without any special case clause, then wouldn’t the facts of error theory be equally inaccessible, and so...as a mechanically equivalent fact- alike position, also not true?

    knots inside of knots, right, lol. Good stuff, fun to wonder about. I try to incorporate the stronger parts of all of the varying positions and value theories, personally.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I’d love your opinion on the appeal of realism, that you alluded to earlier. I’d put it down to how realism exploits our first order commitment to the existence of facts in rational discourse, while providing a view of value statements which is satisfyingly consistent with our intuitions.

    What do you see in the appeal?
    Last edited by Rhythm; 06 Aug 2019 at 07:23.

  5. #35
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Can one fail as human being?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhythm View Post
    Does the statement “smoking Marlboro reds is bad for your health” reflect reality?
    LOL - who (what specific biochemical profile), how often, deep lung or mouth only, when did the subject start, what other health factors are involved...

    ...but, most inportantly, define "bad." Bad can be defined in such a way that water is bad for you, or in such a way that plutonium is not.

    Now were're going nuts.
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  6. #36

    Re: Can one fail as human being?

    Is there some who for which smoking isn’t bad?

    Dont get me wrong, I’m not hoping to get into a death match here. Not insisting that you have to accept a realist account. Only presenting examples of when potential objections to a realist account may not land.

    Fir example, bad can be defined in such a way as you mentioned, but this wouldn’t be a problem for realism. Realism contends that moral statements are fact alike, so ofc...if there were a situation in which water really was “bad” for you- moral statements would describe that.

    Holding your head underwater, or someone else’s head underwater, is really bad. There’s something about that act that we apprehend and understand to be “bad”. We call it drowning, too. One of the things in a set of exceptionally bad/for our health.

    - - - Updated - - -

    The objection referenced would be a good argument against value absolutism, another thing that realusm gets conflated with almost entirely due to the motivations of ideologically partisan actors. People who insist that they have the unyielding, forever unchanging and absolute value in any situation under any circumstance. This is directly at odds with what realism proposes... but the people who make the argument use the term “objective morality” to mean this- so. Collateral damage, lol.
    Last edited by Rhythm; 06 Aug 2019 at 09:14.

  7. #37
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    Re: Can one fail as human being?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhythm View Post
    Is there some who for which smoking isn’t bad?
    Anyone who's life expectancy is shorter than the time it takes for the negative effects of tobacco to really kick in might argue that smoking is irrelevant. Of course, playing the game of, "I'm dead in X amount of time anyway so why not do whatever I please? I won't be here to deal with the consequences," has been known to have interesting results when you live past X...
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    "But those men who know anything at all about the Light also know that there is a fierceness to its power, like the bare sword of the law, or the white burning of the sun." Suddenly his voice sounded to Will very strong, and very Welsh. "At the very heart, that is. Other things, like humanity, and mercy, and charity, that most good men hold more precious than all else, they do not come first for the Light. Oh, sometimes they are there; often, indeed. But in the very long run the concern of you people is with the absolute good, ahead of all else..."

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  8. #38

    Re: Can one fail as human being?

    True, but dying before we get cancer won’t change the day to day unhealthy effects from this moment to that moment. “Unhealthy” is a set that contains more than just one item, killing you. Some people think that things like “harm” and “bad” are also complex compound properties, like health and healthiness.
    Last edited by Rhythm; 06 Aug 2019 at 09:34.

  9. #39
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Can one fail as human being?

    Yup - so we play the statistical odds game, which is about the best we can do. But even that doesn't make a whole cello full a' sense.

    If a person begins smoking at the age of about 20, the average age of onset for lung cancer is around 65. Since the current average life span in America is about 75(ish, depending on demographics), a person who begins smoking at around 55 probobly has little to worry about.

    On the other hand, the ambient radiation level in Utah is approximately 41, while in Wyoming it's 13, so in Wyoming a two pack a day smoker has an equal chance of developing cancer as a pure livin' tea totaler in Utah.

    The world is a funky place when you try to make sense of it all.
    Last edited by B. de Corbin; 06 Aug 2019 at 09:44.
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

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  10. #40

    Re: Can one fail as human being?

    Yeah, strange place, stranger than we can suppose, I think is the line.

    Its a strange universe that contains realist propositions...though we don’t have much in the way of points for comparison to other universes.

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