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Comment Re: most researched subject in the field. (Score 1) 285

At best, an adherent to your system could say “according to how the majority of people’s appetites seem, it is probably wrong to murder.”

Not at all, in several ways. One, majoritarianism doesn't matter. Nobody gets to tell anybody else that their appetites are aberrant and don't count; the objective good must account for all appetites, just like the objective truth must account for all observations.

Second, this seems to confuse what an appetite is: I can't have an appetite about whether or not it is wrong to murder you, so it's not like it would be possible to even have a unanimous-minus-one consensus of appetites that murdering the one objector is good; appetites aren't desires, or intentions, they're experiences. The most relevant appetites in determining that matter are those of the would-be victim, and the job of the rest in trying to answer the question of whether murdering them is OK would be to consider what it's like to be murdered and it that seems good or bad according to their hypothetical appetites as the hypothetical victim. In more contentious cases you'd want to actually go and experience the thing someone else experiences and see if that feels good or bad to you in those circumstances, but with something like there's experience enough to draw from to make that inference without further testing -- we've all been injured at some point or another, to some extent or another, and we know whether that feels good or bad, and since murdering someone would involve injuring them we can conclude a lot about it without having to be murdered ourselves, obviously.

Third, there don't have to be broad absolute rules for things to be objectively true or false, so the conclusion wouldn't even need to be "murder is (probably) wrong", but more along the lines of "it is usually wrong to murder"; it might be (though in the case of murder, it isn't) the case that some times a thing is right to do and some times it's wrong, but each particular case is objectively right or wrong, even though there isn't a pattern to them -- or rather, even though that pattern isn't the one that applies to them.

On top of all that it assumes uniformity of nature when your system can’t provide an absolute basis for that either. You have to accept it as an axiom to even begin to use your system.

Every system must take some things as axioms. I actually kind of misspoke when I called it an axiom of my system earlier though, as it's not taken without any justification, it's taken as a consequence of even more fundamental principles. Even these aren't really the ultimate starting point, but those more fundamental principles are essentially: we ought to try to figure out what's true and false, good and bad, etc; and to try try anything, we must assume neither success nor failure is inevitable. Denying uniformity of nature would mean failure at figuring out what's true and false was inevitable, so consequently we cannot deny it. (The deeper principles still answer the question of why we ought to figure out what's true or false, good or bad, and the answer to that is essentially that no matter what we do, we're attempting in one way or another to employ truths as means to achieve good ends, so no matter what we do it behooves us to figure out what's true and false, good and bad).

I believe that a consistent materialist worldview does reduce to skepticism.

It's interesting that you read my Codex, because just the other day I was thinking "wow, this guy is a walking almost-self-admitted example of my contention in the Codex that fideists are just nihilists hiding behind God, and nihilists are just godless fideists". (Of course that last part isn't very new, Neitzsche concluded more or less that, but that's not well-known about him). You and a nihilist (or radical skeptic if you like) share so much philosophical framework in common, and it all looks equally faulty to me; it hardly makes any difference that you believe in God and a nihilist doesn't, because introducing God into the picture doesn't fix the problems with the underlying philosophical framework. Take ethics for an example. Even supposing God exists, and that we have any way to know that, how does that ground morality? I ought to do something... because a book says that God commands that I do so? First of all how do I even know that book accurately conveys the word of God? God says it does? According to whom? The book in question? But even supposing the book can be taken as reliably reporting the commands of God: why should I do what he says? Why is that good? Should I just do whatever anybody says? If not, what's special about God? Is it because God is all poweful and will punish me if I disobey? Should I do anything that anyone sufficiently threatening says, in that case? (Also, in that case you've reduced your morality to egoism, and as just appealing to my own self-interest now). Or is it because God supposedly created me and I owe it to him? Well for one, owing is a moral concept, so how are you grounding that? And furthermore, my parents were at least intermediary creators of me, does that makes me beholden to their every command (so long as it doesn't contradict God's, I guess)? Or is it rather because God is all good and it's contrary to his nature to issue bad commands? Setting aside how we would know that, what does it mean to say that "God is all good" if "good" just means "in accordance with God's commands"? Is it just that God is consistent with himself? Should I then obey the commands of anyone who's consistent with themselves? No? Why not? (And even if it were yes, still I'd ask: why?) If God is good by some other standard besides just obedience to his own commands, then that standard is where you've really grounded your notion of morality, and God is just an intermediary conveying truths about that to you. And then we're back to where we started: where does that standard of morality come from? And at that point, why do we need God for it anymore? If we're evaluating God himself by that standard, it's clearly independent of him.

And so you end up in what seems more like blind faith because you don’t want to be a skeptic.

That's a lot coming from a theist, especially one whose theism is so central to their entire philosophy and not merely incidental. But to the extend that there's any truth to that claim, if I have "blind faith" in anything, it is "faith itself", though I'd rather say "hope itself" to avoid other connotations of the word "faith". My personal motto is "fortasse desperato sed conor nihilominus", which is Latin for "it may be hopeless, but I'm trying anyway". It all boils down to that pragmatism. We're alone in the dark -- or at least we might be, we have no sure way to tell -- and we have no idea whether there is any truth or falsehood, goodness or badness, or if everything is just a meaningless amoral chaotic figment of our own possibly-non-existent imaginations. Maybe there's no sense at all to be made. Ab initio we have no idea, and no way of even trying to get an idea; from that place of absolute nothingness (which we can arbitrarily plunge anyone into with an infinite regress argument), there's no way possible to prove, one way or another, even whether it is possible to prove things one way or another, much less if there is anything to be proven one way or another. We just don't know, at all, and have no way of knowing, and all we can do to start with is assume; everything else, if there is anything else, follows from those first assumptions. We could assume certain answers at random, and dust off our hands and call it done, but then we might be wrong on our first guess and never correct ourselves. We could assume there are no answers at all, and give up, and sit in the dark moping in despair, or thrashing about meaninglessly. Or we would assume that there are some answers, but admit that we have no idea what they might be, take a stab in the dark at what they could be, try as best as we can continually forever to find and fix and faults in those guesses, and hope that in time we make progress at figuring things out. We're going to assume something or another, all equally with no basis. So why make any assumptions other than the ones that, if acted upon, give you some hope, some chance of success, if there is any chance to be had. There might not be, you might just be fucked anyway, but that's not the way to bet.

You don't have to have faith in the supposed truth of some specific answer just to trust that there is some answer or another out there to be found and then go about looking for it.

Comment Re:Freedom of speech requires a person... (Score 1) 163

Most of all it requires public space.

I can declare that in my house I don't want to hear duck jokes. Why? Because it's my house. My house, my rules, don't like them, get the FUCK out! Government cannot demand from me that I allow you to tell duck jokes in my house. Government's right to demand that anyone can say what they want ends right at where my private property starts.

They must not keep you from telling duck jokes in your home, or on the street, and neither do I have the right to keep you from doing so, no matter how much I dislike duck jokes. You may do so freely in the privacy of your home and even on public ground.

But not on mine! And neither am I in any way obligated to allow some Donald Duck or that Hillary Chick to tell me their jokes.

Also freedom of speech does not entail obligation to listen. You are free to speak. But I am free to ignore you.

Comment Re:Vote with your vote (Score 1) 163

This. Simply tell them, since it's shooting or hanging this time around anyway, so it doesn't really matter whether a crook or a clown rules you, you originally wanted to make your decision based on the flip of a coin, but now it's going to be which party is going to piss you off via pestering phone calls less.

And the length of the call also goes into this consideration.

Now that you know this, is there anything left you want to tell me?

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