[ExI] The mosque at Ground Zero.

samantha sjatkins at mac.com
Tue Aug 17 01:59:42 UTC 2010

John Clark wrote:
> On Aug 14, 2010, at 2:12 PM, Jebadiah Moore wrote:
>> There is a form of relativism that doesn't posit that relativism 
>> itself is objectively good,
Relativism - relative to what exactly?  What objective facts are used to 
judge the relative merits of one course of action as opposed to another 
in a particular situation?

> Then forget about good or bad, is relativism objectively true?
>> only that objectivity doesn't exist.

That is as an objective a claim as I have seen.

> But is what you just said really true, objectively? If we can't talk 
> about good or evil or truth or falsehood then that would rather 
> seriously limit the scope of philosophy and we'd only have the 
> contemptible "the story of Adam and Eve and the talking snake is true 
> for me" or "it's true for me that 2+2=5". Jebadiah, do you really 
> think that is the proper way to figure out how the world works?
> By the way, does subjectivity exist, does existence exist?

Good questions.

>> Similarly, "good" and "bad" are super-generalized terms of value, 
>> with "good" and "bad" usually being relative to some value of 
>> "normal" and with "better" and "worse" being used comparatively. [...]
Really?  What is your definition of "value" then?  On what basis do you 
determine what is "better" or "worse"?

> Yes but you almost make it sound like super-generalized concepts are a 
> bad idea.
>> Value is judged according to some standard; there isn't a universal 
>> standard of value, obviously, because different entities have 
>> different values due to their different goals, positions, and domains 
>> of interaction.
I am not concerned with universal.  I am concerned with rational ethical 
standards in the realm of human beings first and foremost.   So you are 
saying their are no commonalities based on the nature of human beings to 
root values in?

> If a Muslim says "I think it was a good thing that a religious zealot 
> through concentrated sulfuric acid into the face of a young schoolgirl 
> for the crime of wanting an education" then I have learned something 
> new, namely the persons standards are OBJECTIVELY incompatible with my 
> own standards. We would disagree about who is right and who is wrong 
> but we would both agree that are views are not in harmonious 
> agreement. You can decide for yourself if your views are more similar 
> to the Muslim's or to mine. 
>>  in conclusion, there is no objective morality
> Absolutely true, but there is something far more important, subjective 
> morality. I prefer to associate with people who's subjective morality 
> is closer to mine than the acid thrower.
False.  In the context of beings with an objective set of 
characteristics there is an objective basis for what is the "good" 
regarding the behavior of those beings toward one another.

- samantha

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