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Author Topic: A Few Concerns From a Prospective Member  (Read 15809 times)

Zack Bass

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Re:A Few Concerns From a Prospective Member
« Reply #30 on: July 24, 2003, 11:05:52 am »


Long ago, Hume proved that this is not so.  As Adler states it, "A prescriptive conclusion cannot be validly drawn from premises that are entirely descriptive."

And Hume's proof is?


I don't have Hume's proof here (and you probably wouldn't want to wade through his style anyhow), but here is a description on the Web:
http://www.ncpa.org/debate2/fallacies.html

Naturalistic fallacy. This is the fallacy of trying to derive conclusions about what is right or good (that is, about values) from statements of fact alone. This is invalid because no matter how many statements of fact you assemble, any logical inference from them will be another statement of fact, not a statement of value. If you wish to reach conclusions about values, then you must include amongst your assumptions (or axioms, or premises) a statement of value. Once you have an axiomatic statement of value, then you may use it in conjunction with statements of fact to reach value-laden conclusions.

For example, someone might argue that the premise, "This medicine will prevent you from dying" immediately leads to the conclusion, "You should take this medicine." But this reasoning is invalid, because the former statement is a statement of fact, while the latter is a statement of value. To reach the conclusion that you ought to take the medicine, you would need at least one more premise: "You ought to try to preserve your life whenever possible."

The naturalistic fallacy appears in many forms. Two examples are argumentum ad antiquitatem (saying something's right because it's always been done that way) and the appeal to nature (saying something's right because it's natural). In both of these fallacies, the speaker is trying to reach a conclusion about what we ought to do or ought to value based solely on what is the case. David Hume called this trying to bridge the "is-ought gap," which is a nice phrase to use in debate rounds where your opponent is committing the naturalistic fallacy.

One unsettling implication of taking the naturalistic fallacy seriously is that, in order to reach any conclusions of value, one must be willing to posit some initial statement or statements of value that will be treated as axioms, and which cannot themselves be justified on purely logical grounds. Fortunately, debate does not restrict itself to purely logical grounds of argumentation.

For example, suppose your opponent has stated axiomatically that "whatever is natural is good." Inasmuch as this statement is an axiom rather than the conclusion of a logical proof, there can be no purely logical argument against it. But some nonetheless appropriate responses to such an absolute statement of value include: (a) questioning whether anyone -- you, your judge, or even your opponent himself -- really believes that "whatever is natural is good"; (b) stating a competing axiomatic value statement, like "whatever enhances human life is good," and forcing the judge to choose between them; and (c) pointing out logical implications of the statement "whatever is natural is good" that conflict with our most basic intuitions about right and wrong.


« Last Edit: July 24, 2003, 11:07:19 am by Zack Bass »
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LeopardPM

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Re:A Few Concerns From a Prospective Member
« Reply #31 on: July 24, 2003, 11:18:47 am »

thanks Zack! I appreciate the info!
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Amazing Alfredo

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Re:A Few Concerns From a Prospective Member
« Reply #32 on: July 24, 2003, 12:35:33 pm »

MajesticLeo;

Uhhhh, if they want to be, doesn't that say it is in their nature?  Just because they aren't doesn't mean it isn't in their nature, "and that is what matters".

So the practice of virtually every human society we have the slightest knowledge of, including well over 90% of the human species, doesn't say anything about human nature.

Then most men's desires don't either, and you're blowing hot air.

Whether something is good or bad is NOT objective fact.  While there is almost universal agreement that somethings are good and others are bad, it is still subjective agreement, not an uncontestable fact.  for instance, the phenomenon that objects will fall toward the center of the earth if dropped from some point above the earth within its gravitational field is a fact.  On the other hand, Buddhists agree that killing anything except plants is wrong while others disagree.  That is a matter of subjective agreement.

You just rejected libertarianism. Not that you're quick enough to notice.
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Zack Bass

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Re:A Few Concerns From a Prospective Member
« Reply #33 on: July 24, 2003, 01:08:59 pm »


Uhhhh, if they want to be, doesn't that say it is in their nature?  Just because they aren't doesn't mean it isn't in their nature, "and that is what matters".

So the practice of virtually every human society we have the slightest knowledge of, including well over 90% of the human species, doesn't say anything about human nature.

Then most men's desires don't either, and you're blowing hot air.


The practice of individuals when they are coerced says nothing about their nature, although it may say plenty about the nature of the coercers.

Do you have any idea of how many sexual partners the vast majority of men have, when they are afforded the opportunity?  The majority have multiple sexual partners even when they in a relationship that forbids such behavior!!!!  Ever hear of Cheating?

I acknowledge that Cheating is not the same thing as Polygamy.  Large harems are a fairly recent invention, possible only since the advent of Agriculture.  But humans were hunter-gatherers for over 90,000 years, and in those cultures small harems were and are extremely common among the men who are powerful enough to swing it (as you said about the gorilla Alpha Males) - and the monogamous ones cheat every chance they get.  If there were enough women in that hunter-gatherer society, all the men with the Heterosexual Gene would have three or four wives.  Each.
In an Agricultural society, where wealth can be accumulated, the availability of unlimited femininity, without coercion against Polygamy, would result in near-universal huge harems.
Read up on Anthropology sometime.  And the Turkish Seraglio.
http://pendarvis.org/rants/monogamy-vs-sexual_fidelity.html

Fourteen years ago I was capable of impregnating 2,000 women per year (Only half that now, alas).  That makes it evolutionarily advantageous for me to plow as many furrows as possible; the cost per hit is negligible.
A woman, on the other hand, must go for Quality rather than Quantity, since she will invest nine months in simply gestating the result of a successful liaison.  That's why they're so damn picky and I'm not.

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JasonPSorens

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Re:A Few Concerns From a Prospective Member
« Reply #34 on: July 24, 2003, 01:13:10 pm »

The claim that monogamy is natural for humans is supported by some evolutionary biology; see for example Robert Wright.  The problem with polygamy and cheating is not so much that men don't want to have multiple partners; of course, most of them do.  The problem is that under polygamy, many men lack partners at all, and this situation tends to make them VIOLENT.  The beta males can gang up on the alpha males.  So in human society, we don't really have alpha males like other species, because all the real alpha male humans got killed off by their jealous fellows long ago.
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Amazing Alfredo

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Re:A Few Concerns From a Prospective Member
« Reply #35 on: July 24, 2003, 01:45:29 pm »

LeopardPM;

By allowing homosexual marriages, the state is not saying they are good or bad for people, but rather that people (all people including homosexuals) have the 'right' to enter into whatever contract they voluntarily desire.

I get tied of explaining the simplest things to you people.

We aren't talking about "allowing" anything. That just pops up because you keep interposing the position you'd rather argue with in place of mine. We're talking about state marriage licenses.

Current state of affaris: marriage is a contract between two parties (and govmt) - being so it should be illegal to exclude certain parties from entering said contract by the states own anti-discrimination laws

Um, I hate to point this out, but as a follower of the fact/value distinction in morals, you have no business injecting a "should" into your description of the current state of affairs. The state of affairs is that marriage licenses are granted by the state only to couples consisting of a man or a woman. If you want to talk about should, answer a simple question: should the state grant marriage licenses to more people, or get out of the business altogether?

This particular statement or vow IS NOT REQUIRED for the state to legally marry two people.

You know, for a "libertarian" you sure seem to get the state involved in everything.

You said my religion could have it's own special contract. I said we already do and posted the terms. If you don't like it, write your own.

but it is not only a scientific question, so whats your point?  In addition, I believe that 'the beginning of life' is not the point in dispute, its the beginning of human life, ie: when does a zygote become a human being with rights etc.

I would think that you would want accurate science especially when politics are involved, but you're welcome to go over in the corner with Lysenko.

And the beginning a a human being is what I was talking about. Both the egg and sperm are obviously alive (and obviously human), but neither are distinct human beings.

Zack Bass;

True, since there are only so many women to go around.  That is the basic flaw in Polygyny.  We can fix that in the Free State; the technology already exists to select only girl fetuses and cull the males.

1) There are only so many females to go around in other species, too.

2) I can just see the arrival in Wyoming (or whereever): "Hey, Pokes, let's abort most of the boy babies so we can all have enough girls for a harem!"

By that logic, you could say that men may want to be Free, or Untaxed,  but most of them are not, so it is not in the nature of humans to be so.

You're expecting me to recoil from the conclusion, I suppose. But it's true.

Not really, but pretty close. Whether humans actually have freedom or not depends on whether they're the victims of violations of their rights -- in other words, on what others do. So it doesn't really have anything to do with their natures, but on the natures of other humans. Violating someone's rights involves sin. But the doctrine of Total Depravity is true; we should expect this sin, as with other sins, to be common or general. Christians have the duty to oppose it, as with the others, regardless of how common it is or how much our efforts seem to accomplish in our own eyes.

Naturalistic fallacy. This is the fallacy of trying to derive conclusions about what is right or good (that is, about values) from statements of fact alone. This is invalid because no matter how many statements of fact you assemble, any logical inference from them will be another statement of fact, not a statement of value.

I don't accept that moral precepts are values, like taste in food or music, rather than facts. Mind you, that one dish is better than another could be objective fact, but isn't.

What you say is impossible is easy. I'll do it now:

Everything God says is factually true.
God says murder is wrong.
Therefore, "murder is wrong" is factually true.

You don't have to believe either premise to see that the conclusion follows.

If there exists an omniscient Being who always tells the truth and speaks on moral matters, the problem vanishes. If you don't believe in such a Being, then there's no way out, and it follows that you can't say with certainty that anything is wrong, only that you don't like it.
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Amazing Alfredo

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Re:A Few Concerns From a Prospective Member
« Reply #36 on: July 24, 2003, 02:03:13 pm »

Zack Bass;

The practice of individuals when they are coerced says nothing about their nature, although it may say plenty about the nature of the coercers.

I made a similar point in reply to something you said.

So who does the coercion? Women? But men are stronger, and, in most of history, more numerous (women used to die in childbirth a lot). Other men? But I thought men wanted polygamy. Maybe the competition of would-be polygamists kept each one at a low number of wifes, and eventually this pattern, and weariness at the injury and death caused by the conflict, created a general compromise at monogamy. Which would seem to support my point. (But it doesn't fit the historical pattern, which is that most societies have allowed polygamy in theory, but in practice it's extremely rare. Unlike adultery, which is usually forbidden in theory. But then, where's the coercion?)
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Reaper

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Re:A Few Concerns From a Prospective Member
« Reply #37 on: July 24, 2003, 03:04:25 pm »

I don't accept that moral precepts are values, like taste in food or music, rather than facts. Mind you, that one dish is better than another could be objective fact, but isn't.

What you say is impossible is easy. I'll do it now:

Everything God says is factually true.
God says murder is wrong.
Therefore, "murder is wrong" is factually true.

You don't have to believe either premise to see that the conclusion follows.

If there exists an omniscient Being who always tells the truth and speaks on moral matters, the problem vanishes. If you don't believe in such a Being, then there's no way out, and it follows that you can't say with certainty that anything is wrong, only that you don't like it.

Yes, but unless you can prove the existance of your alleged omniscient being, and prove likewise that it always speaks the truth, and prove also that you have a correct and record of that speech your point is entirely moot.  You've got a lot of proving to do before you can claim to have anything objective.  You can claim you believe it's objective, but you cannot prove it is.  Your argument merely presumes what it claims to prove.
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Reaper
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Amazing Alfredo

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Re:A Few Concerns From a Prospective Member
« Reply #38 on: July 24, 2003, 03:11:20 pm »

Reaper;

As I said, "You don't have to believe either premise to see that the conclusion follows."

Your argument merely presumes what it claims to prove.

All I claimed to prove is that you can have objective moral precepts, given the right premises. Since your objection consists of demanding I prove the premises, I'll take it that you have nothing to say in defense of the fact/value distinction itself.
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Zack Bass

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Re:A Few Concerns From a Prospective Member
« Reply #39 on: July 24, 2003, 03:16:48 pm »


So who does the coercion? Women? But men are stronger, and, in most of history, more numerous (women used to die in childbirth a lot). Other men? But I thought men wanted polygamy.


The Alpha Males, who sop up all the talent.

When women are plentiful, Polygamy flourishes.  Only when they are scarce do you see Monogamy.  That's because it is the nature of men to enjoy Polygamy.
Same thing happens with any scarce commodity.  It's natural for men to want to accumulate lots of wealth.  The fact that most men have little does not make that untrue.

Of course, as Hume shows, the fact that these things are Natural does not make them Good.

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Zack Bass

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Re:A Few Concerns From a Prospective Member
« Reply #40 on: July 24, 2003, 03:31:05 pm »


Everything God says is factually true.
God says murder is wrong.
Therefore, "murder is wrong" is factually true.

You don't have to believe either premise to see that the conclusion follows.


"You're despicable."

The best I can do to you off the top of my head is to say that this is no better than saying:

(1)  Everything I tell you is factually true.
(2)  I tell you that arguing with me is wrong.
==>
Therefore the proposition "arguing with me is wrong" is factually true.


That doesn't pry out the fallacy, but it shows that one is in there.

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Zack Bass

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Re:A Few Concerns From a Prospective Member
« Reply #41 on: July 24, 2003, 03:46:01 pm »


  ... in human society, we don't really have alpha males like other species, because all the real alpha male humans got killed off by their jealous fellows long ago.


That's true.  But we still have a sort of alpha male, and most men do practice Polygamy whenever they have the opportunity.

I read an article in Science a few months ago, about some monkeys where the alpha males had very high testosterone (of course), and had a fairly high mortality rate because they were expending so much effort being an large hungry alpha male and were exposed to so much danger.  The payoff was that they had a lot of offspring during their short lives.
This is pretty much standard stuff so far, but the zinger is that some males had another "strategy".  They had fairly low testosterone and remained small and did not evoke jealous fights like an alpha male.  By the same token, they were not very attractive to the females.  But they did have enough testosterone to be pretty horny, and they tended to RAPE the females!  They had a fair number of offspring thereby, so the strain continued.

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LeopardPM

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Re:A Few Concerns From a Prospective Member
« Reply #42 on: July 24, 2003, 03:46:13 pm »

wow - we both certainly aren't very good at clearly stating our positions... let me try to do this a bit better....
Quote
Current state of affaris: marriage is a contract between two parties (and govmt) - being so it should be illegal to exclude certain parties from entering said contract by the states own anti-discrimination laws

Um, I hate to point this out, but as a follower of the fact/value distinction in morals, you have no business injecting a "should" into your description of the current state of affairs. The state of affairs is that marriage licenses are granted by the state only to couples consisting of a man or a woman.
First off, the should in that sentence is not a moral equivalence, please read 'it should be illegal to exclude certain parties from entering said contract by[because] the states own anti-discrimination laws" - meaning - the state has anti-discrimination laws, BY the states own definition, it SHOULD not discriminate in allowing contracts to be made between ANY two people (minors excluded, duh, etc etc).

Quote
If you want to talk about should, answer a simple question: should the state grant marriage licenses to more people, or get out of the business altogether?
get out of the business altogether - we already (I think) agree on this point.  I thought we were discussing a partial step towards that end which I submit is 'allowing any adult persons to enter into any contract (martital or otherwise) that they desire' - If my choice were between three options: (1) Keep the way things are, (2) Increase the freedoms of gays etc so they can enjoy whatever benefits are available from hetero unions, or (3) Get the government totally out of legislating social activities or contracts between consenting adults - I would choose #3, if that choice is not available to me, then I would choose #2, I would not choose #1 as it expresses the least amount of overall freedom/liberty for the populace.

Quote
This particular statement or vow IS NOT REQUIRED for the state to legally marry two people.

You know, for a "libertarian" you sure seem to get the state involved in everything.

You said my religion could have it's own special contract. I said we already do and posted the terms. If you don't like it, write your own.

Ok, I understood us to be, once again, discussing the state of affairs right now and possible changes that could conceivably happen in the near future - these changes WILL NOT  BE the pinnacle of libertarian thought - but, I am arguing in favor of more liberties - If the state HAS TO BE involved to give out licenses, then I stand by what I am saying.

Ok, re: religous marital contract - you say you already have that, ok, fine by me - In YOUR religous marital contract you (your religion, whatever) are well within your rights to define the possible participants (male/female) and conditions of said contract.... so whats the problem with the state allowing gays to marry?  still isn't forcing Christians, uddists or whatever to enforce the marraige contract

Quote
We aren't talking about "allowing" anything. That just pops up because you keep interposing the position you'd rather argue with in place of mine. We're talking about state marriage licenses.
we will never get anywhere here, you are talking about the state not allowing the granting of Marriage licenses, I am talking about the state allowing the same.

more to come - have to go for now...
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MajesticLeo

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Re:A Few Concerns From a Prospective Member
« Reply #43 on: July 24, 2003, 03:50:16 pm »

MajesticLeo;

Uhhhh, if they want to be, doesn't that say it is in their nature?  Just because they aren't doesn't mean it isn't in their nature, "and that is what matters".

So the practice of virtually every human society we have the slightest knowledge of, including well over 90% of the human species, doesn't say anything about human nature.

Then most men's desires don't either, and you're blowing hot air.

Whether something is good or bad is NOT objective fact.  While there is almost universal agreement that somethings are good and others are bad, it is still subjective agreement, not an uncontestable fact.  for instance, the phenomenon that objects will fall toward the center of the earth if dropped from some point above the earth within its gravitational field is a fact.  On the other hand, Buddhists agree that killing anything except plants is wrong while others disagree.  That is a matter of subjective agreement.

You just rejected libertarianism. Not that you're quick enough to notice.

Thank you for completely ignoring my first question with that strange statement, I guess I was creating too much dissonance in your mind about what is in man's nature.

You are absolutely correct in your second statement, I am certainly not quick enough to notice I "rejected libertarianism".  Then, again, I have never said anywhere that I embrace libertarinaism either, so that doesn't really bother me.

 In fact, I still don't see where that has anything to do with what I wrote.  Are you suggesting that agreements among people on what is right or wrong is a rejection of libertarianism?  You could be right, I am not really up on all the ramifications of all these "isms".

And you are incorrect about your attempt to show a conclusion if correct.  It is imperative you believe the first statement is true, else, while the rest may follow logically, the conclusion is not necessarily true.
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Reaper

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Re:A Few Concerns From a Prospective Member
« Reply #44 on: July 24, 2003, 03:52:59 pm »

Reaper;

As I said, "You don't have to believe either premise to see that the conclusion follows."

Your argument merely presumes what it claims to prove.

All I claimed to prove is that you can have objective moral precepts, given the right premises. Since your objection consists of demanding I prove the premises, I'll take it that you have nothing to say in defense of the fact/value distinction itself.

Circle talk.

If your premise is false you have no objective moral precepts.  

You cannot prove the premise, therefore you have only your opinion.

Your argument basically states "IF what I believe is right, than I am right."  It tells us nothing.
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