Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Poligis: Whatever do you mean Socrates? If you ran for the Senate and your opponent attacked you by slandering your character you would not fight fire with fire?

Socrates: Most certainly not, my dear Poligis. While you could call my opponent wise in this sense (insofar as his tactic may accomplish his goal) you cannot speak favorably about his character. I may lose, but I will not lose myself.

Poligis: But this is most absurd. You would let this kind of man manipulate the people simply because you refuse to fight back?

Socrates: To speak of the issues which pertain to the context is the only thing I would do. I have no desire to sling mud. After all, what good would I be to the people if this was my character?   

Poligis: But the man who would be taking office would have a defect in character.

Socrates: I have found that it is best to stick to the issues, even though the crowd seems to respond favorably to those tactics which defame a man's character. I care little for strategy when it is pit against honesty. If I cannot win by telling the truth and treating my opponent fairly, then I do not want to win at all.

Poligis: This is moral stupidity!

Socrates: You may be correct, but I am the one who must live with myself, dear Poligis, and beyond this, I must live in the midst of other people. If I were to attack my opponent's character in order to silence his views, then in truth, I would have destroyed my own character. And once my character is destroyed, what then could I offer the people?


Tuesday, June 16, 2015


"And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions." Matthew 19: 16-22 KJV

I suspect this verse proves one thing: there are no Christians!

How often does Christ expose man's philanthropic phoniness?

I believe these verses provoke the question of authenticity. The more a man has the greater his responsibility. Why is it that people with nothing often give more than people with wealth?

Wealth does not make a man moral, but depending on what he does with his wealth, is more likely to prove that he is immoral.

A man who can afford to buy himself a million tons of bread while existing in a world that is in need of bread, cannot rightfully call himself moral without the assistance of some ideology!

If God is all-powerful; if he is perfectly good, then why does he not prevent evil? Either he is not all-powerful or he is not good. The same logic applies to a rich man when he claims to care for people, which is simply to say, wealth should be used to make the world a better place (not merely better for a few people).

If this proposition is true, then all those who defy it are immoral.

In this context wealth simply means that I have a greater responsibility to help people. How can it be any other way? Who then is to blame for the breakdown of society when the conditions of society are determined by material wealth? Can we really say, those who have nothing? This is like saying a man with great stores of food is not responsible for starvation, even though he withholds food from the people. The logic here is simple; those who have more wealth have more responsibility, and therefore, incur greater blame. It is altogether proper, to ask any man with wealth, what he has done with his wealth? But in most cases, to ask this question is to equally shatter the image which resides on the phony moral surface.

The entire polemic of the Elite is one mighty attempt to shift blame from themselves to those who have nothing.   


Monday, June 15, 2015


Perhaps a Baboon is never so comical as when he cannot see himself doing something stupid.

I say nonsense often takes a certain form: 

"Normativity is the insertion of value into an otherwise aseptic world. It is an infection of concern. The force that causes otherwise blank sterile entities or events to matter—to suddenly become resplendent with thought or action guiding significance."

Merely to notice something is to implicate normativity.

[And yet] The borders of the concept still remain somewhat unsettled.

Merely to be curious is to get dirty with it.

A question is the first sign that normativity is in the air.

[But forget not] THE dreaded DOMAIN SEPARATISTS!

[For] ...maybe they overlap in something like perhaps a Venn diagram or share duties.

Separating things has metaphysical consequences.

...just the hidden tip of so many other inclusive concepts like belief revision, epistemic responsibility, doxastic voluntarism, reasons to affect, etc,--the list goes on and on.

Of course, you are correct that no one is going to fully understand the topic after a short introduction.

The next step would be to take classes with excellent teachers, in particular, a class in meta-ethics. Another option would be extensive personal study along with interaction with professional philosophers specializing in the area.

Beliefs and claims about which rules or principles are normative exist only in those contexts where aims and minds can exist. I contend that If beliefs and claims about Norms and Normative rules can exist in contexts where minds and aims are not possible, then so also can triangles exist in contexts where sides and closed figures are not possible.

I assume that you will be writing about semantic theories of truth which assign more than two truth values to statements or propositions.  

I am still struggling to synch my mind.

...the opposite is true: consciousness and intentionality enable normative judgments, and therefore, normativity to arise. So the normativity problem is derivative to the consciousness / intentionality problem.

There is no normativity in the external world.  

A strict materialistic naturalism struggles with this. 

Consciousness and intententionality are more fundamental. 

There is a range of sophistication... 

Neither of us is right or wrong, we just haven't agreed upon a shared concept which is the starting point.

 If telic behavior in living beings (excluding mind-dependent acts) is thought of as 'normativity,'­ then evolved feedback mechanisms (which cause the appearance of such behavior) will not be differentiated from the work of conscious minds. 

The obvious solution is to use a shared conception which is based upon a shared background... 

Our perplexity is... the result of our manner of defining and approaching the problem. 

...the discussion is actually at a very early stage despite all the verbiage. 

I think that both disciplines through their differing methods have a common objective - that of explaining the world or worlds which users of those respective methods inhabit or could inhabit. 

Philosophy and the sciences serve a practical and logical division of labor within the same enterprise.  

So what do we say about a field which lacks the humanistic values of the arts, and the practical values of the sciences? 

 I realize this is... analytical philosophy, but philosophy (to some of us) is not just analytical philosophy.  

We can play word games...

 I choose not to define philosophy so broadly that it loses meaning.  

I'm... going to give a talk on what the exact value of philosophy is...

You can conceive philosophy however you wish.

...each requires the other - and so neither presupposes the other. 

I contend that the possibility of reality requires the possibility of both norms and norm users and vice-versa - the possibility that norms and norm users exist requires the possibility of reality.  

What reality is presupposed by facts or propositions? There is certainly no consensus on that. Correspondence, coherence and pragmatic theories of truth answer differently. What reality is presupposed by value? Where is the need for any presupposition? Is it a psychological need?  

Both science and philosophy are much more specialized since the days of Einstein and Bohr. 

Consider the following two questions: Are the interactions of rocks, rivers and rivets governed or determined by norms? Are the activities of human beings like us governed or determined by norms? After considering possible answers to those two questions, consider another pair of questions: Why do they seem to be answers and which is the best or better answer?  

Beyond normative moral concepts seems a marvelously odd set of normative realities, like doing math or auto repair. 

...we need to acknowledge two schools of normativity in a philosophical world...  

We dam rivers and crush rocks. Is this by way of norms? What do we do with the cosmos? Is the cosmos really a neutral thing, nothing but matter not buried in human norms?  

Someone who takes a naturalistic position towards normativity thinks that it can be naturalized, and is thus a realist, as if something doesn't exist, it cannot be naturalized. I am unsure what a "normativist" is.  

There are a substantial number of views which could be encompassed under Leiter's rubric of "naturalism".  

For the benefit of anyone not familiar with what's going on, the issue of moral realism is tangential. 

I think there is a false dichotomy being presented... 

There are forms of moral realism which are compatible with naturalism, which are much more popular in philosophy itself, which haven't been mentioned: namely: naturalist moral realism, and quasi-realism (expressivism with minimalism about truth).  

...a substantial number of philosophers believe that naturalism is not incompatible with objective moral properties. 

...moral realism is absolutely not tangential to the nature of normativity, it is foundational.

Beyond claims (or even propositional content) there are a vast amount of subdoxastic normative phenomena. the extent that there are issues that have come out of moral philosophy that generalize to normativity tout court and its relation to naturalism, they would be germane, and if you can think of such a contribution to make (which you may be alluding to have), that would be great. 

...I would explain how I approach the issue, as it was taught to me by an outstanding teacher...

...the entire field of metaethics is about the nature of normativity. seems you are saying that you intend NOT to make any substantial contribution to the discussion, only asserting that you could and engaging in roundabout rhetorical exchanges.  

Philosophy takes a lot of work. It is not my fault if you don't understand things well, I'm not going to spend pages explaining meta-ethics...  

I've already contributed a very substantial amount to the discussion. If you can't figure that out, it is not fault.  
What I did mean to suggest is that saying moral philosophy is relevant or naming positions is not the same as thinking through these and contributing those thoughts to the current discussion (though it may be pointing others to information they will find useful).  

I do not have time to discuss any metaethical positions in any detail, nor in retrospect, should I have even named the different options.  

Whose metaethical views most align with yours? 

If we take up a proxy in an area where our thinking is more likely to be subject bias, tribalism, or tends towards stagnating debates and fist pounding (as amusing as that might be to watch for some), we do ourselves a disservice. important part of doing philosophy is first understanding the problem. So I admit that I am struggling to fully understand the problem as you and others see it. said realism in the latter sense was tangential. So I'm not sure about the object of this inquiry. Normative phenomena without ontological claims?  

...naturalism is somewhat orthogonal to moral realism. 

Therefore, normativity is inexplicable as long as consciousness and intentionality remain unexplained.  

The significant questions here are, I think, whether the existence of verified results of the hard sciences imply that proposition and if so, then can those sciences explain or for that matter explain away whatever conditions make that proposition true.  

Can you provide an example of a norm or a normative rule which all those who read or make comments here accept as being clearly and distinctively normative? So far people cannot even agree about whether human slavery is wrong, morally neutral, right or perhaps even mandated. 

Why are you asking me? 

...what is a normative judgment or reason is the critical question that must be asked and answered in a satisfactory manner before questions about whether specific norms are good or bad or whether certain normative rules should or should not govern conduct.  

...that question is not difficult and I could explain it to you in person without difficulty. 

No naturalist - in ethics - would ever say that slavery is not wrong because ants do it. That would be a major misunderstanding of what naturalism in ethics means.

...if Socrates asks a question, you are supposed to answer it to the best of your ability.

Normative is based on emotion and value and morality- which is dependent on society, laws, cultures, norms. are not answering the question. 

If we disagree on a scientific question, I will think you objectively wrong, and vice-versa, and we could try to prove the other wrong. Even if I insist on disagreeing, you could say I am objectively wrong if the evidence supports that. If there is no objective basis on which to resolve our disagreement, then one might say that morality has no basis and is illusory. can't force people to be rational and adhere to rules of logic and evidence. 

I'm confused. You can say such and such is objectively right or wrong, true or false, but will there not always be some among us who will disagree? And if they will not come to agree through persuasion, and being shown what is claimed to be objective evidence and sound arguments, what is objectivity worth in that case?  
The cosmos does not give a damn.

Alas! there is no widely proposed definition of 'doing the right thing' as the remarks made throughout this conversation clearly show.

Thursday, June 4, 2015


Modern atheists (with their vapid commercialism) are undermining an exceedingly important cultural process: the necessary criticism of religion (which is vital to the process of distancing). The criticism of religion should be an exercise in liberation, a demarcation of cultural freedom (and not) another form of indoctrination which merely brings about a secular version of cultural bondage. But this is no mystery, this is what happens when the superstructure of religion is displaced without attacking and destroying the authoritarian foundation. The superstructure sits on the foundation; the superstructure is superficial in comparison to the foundation. To attack the superstructure, but leave the foundation in place, means that one (although they have disposed of that which resides on the surface) is ultimately still in the grip of religion! In order to get beyond religion one must get beyond the ethos which resides at the foundation, and this means that one must learn to challenge authority, as authority (altogether enhanced in its effect by a psychological disposition which is susceptible to it) is the very essence of religion itself!