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Ch. 1 - "God and the Meaning of Life" 
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Post Ch. 1 - "God and the Meaning of Life"
Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe

Ch. 1 - "God and the Meaning of Life"


This thread is for discussing Chapter 1. ::44




Mon Dec 19, 2005 9:32 am
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Post Re: Ch. 1 - "God and the Meaning of Life"
Major points
1. We run into terminological problems early on. W writes: "... for a human life to have meaning is for it to bring goodness into the universe." (p. 14) An important question in determining any form of morality is that of how you substantiate the concept of "goodness." That's a problem that divided the Utilitarians early on: the Bentham group held that it was possible to arriv at goodness by simply quantifying pleasure, while the Mill group held that different types of pleasure were qualitatively different. When considering what W calls external meaning, we're faced with the question of how a naturalistic philosophy can determine what is good to the universe as a whole. W offers no answer, and since we likely have no recourse to objective knowledge, I'd say that it's probably impossible to say with any warranted confidence what is "good" to the universe. If that's the case, then there can be no external meaning in the naturalist scheme -- a point which is probably of little concern to most secularists, since they tend to deny the idea of a meaning to life. This is still a point worth noting, though, as it may have some consequences for the ehtical scheme W argues later on.

The more important point I want to make at the moment is that W has assumed, without much reason, the a priori validity of the distinction between "good" and "evil" -- he later makes the same assumption with the related categories of "right" and "wrong". These are, however, ideas that are historically entangled with a religious point of view. Without making an argument for it, allow me to suggest that these terms were originally made valid as moral and ethical categories in a religious context. This is not a new idea; the classicist F.M. Cornford has demonstrated the probable derivation of the terms which define philosophy in Greek religious modes of thought. I'm not going to insist on the full argument just yet; just take it hypothetically long enough to consider the following line of thought:


If the notions of "good" and "evil" are rooted in religious thought;
and
if naturalism takes it as given that religious modes of thought are in error;
then
a secular ethics cannot rationally take "good" and "evil" as a priori valid moral categories.


The problem of such terminology is one that recurs throughout the book, with W consistently assuming the secular validity of terms and attitudes inherited from religious tradition when it suits his arguments.

2. Indiscriminate use in the term "good" leads to problems later on. Even if we reject the idea of an objective good -- it would seem that W does not -- we may conjecturally accept the idea of a personal good; that is, of a notion of good judged only in relation to our own personal preference. If I like ice cream, I may reasonably assert that ice cream is a personal good. The situation gets a little more complicated when ice cream starts conflicting with other things I might like -- being slim, for example -- but we can put those complications aside for the moment. But there is no particular reason for arguing from the personal good to a more general good, certainly not to a universal good. Nor is their any particular reason to assume that what I consider good for myself is at all applicable to any other human. If values are not externally determined, they must be determined only in reference to the individual. And if that's the case, then the good must vary from person to person. That holds true even when individual goods coincide, and it would still hold true even if it appeared that the individual food for every human individual coincided with that of every other human individual. Yet throughout the book, and particularly in the later chapters, W will take it as given that a naturalistic morality is valid on grounds that we're "all in this together." Getting a little ahead of the chapter, the basis for this "common lot" thesis is the naturalistic supposition that variations in the circumstances in each life are due to a central commonality -- our lack of control. But if it's possible that the individual good of one person will be better served by theft than by respect for another's property, it no longer makes sense to hold that theft is, for that person, immoral. In short, morality becomes completely relative to the circumstances of the individual, and not only to the circumstances but to that person's own evaluation of what is, for them, the good. If they're feeling generous, they may make that evaluation conformable to the social good, but W has offered no solid, logical reason for demanding that conformity. The person might just as easily decide that their good is strictly their own personal gain. W's solution is to assert an intrinsic good -- see the next point.

3. To my mind, the biggest problem with this chapter -- and it's a point that will haunt everything that follows in W's argument -- is his use of the concept of "intrinsic good." Quoting Aristotle and saying that it's a "useful" concept is about as close as he comes to substantiating the idea. But this raises, I think, a real problem. How, in a purely naturalistic philosophy, do you substantiate the idea that some "good" is something built into the character of the universe? The very idea raises questions that, in the context of natural science, must seem absurd -- what, for example, is the physical or chemical process by which good is produced? There are phenomena, like gravity, which we hold to be natural even if we aren't terribly sure of our explanations for them, but good is not something clearly observable, like gravity. Rather, W seems to assume its existence for no better reason than he can't envision ethics without it. When we talk of "intrinsic good", we are obviously not talking about the sort of personal good that is relative to the individual's circumstances and preferences. Aristotle was a theist, and it's likely that his notion of intrinsic good was bound up in his theism -- even if he consistently believed in a disinterested prime mover, he could attribute abstract formal qualities like good or honor to divine invention. W glosses over Aristotle's theistic basis, but never provides a rational groundwork for the idea that there could be a good that is external to human subjectivity -- that there is an objective criteria by which good could be judged.

4. Even if we grant that there may be intrinsically good activities, I'm not so sure as W that it's possible to determine what they are with any degree of confidence. The test he gives is one adapted from G.E. Moore's "Principia Ethica" -- if it can be considered good in total isolation, then it's intrinsically good. I don't think that's sound reasoning.

First of all, consider whether or not it's even practical to consider W's list in complete isolation. Is it possible to have love without the object of love? Is it possible to teach without a student? These seem like logical absurdities.

Secondly, once we've included the objects of these activities, it's no longer clear that they are good in isolation. Consider these three ways of framing the question:
Is it good to love a person who does not love you in return?
Is it good to love someone who loves you but who is, through no fault of their own, a danger to you?
Is it good to love an evil person?
The same qualifications might apply to most of W's other suggestions. We're likely to decide that teaching a terrorist how to build a nuclear weapon is probably not intrinsically good. More particularly, it seems to me that, in such cases, teaching and loving can be extrinsically evil. And if they're capable of yielding extrinsic evil, then I'm not sure we're at all safe in considering them intrinsically good. A conditional good cannot be an intrinsic good, can it?

The one exception in W's list would seem to be "intellectually stimulating activity" -- provided, of course, that it doesn't lead to extrinsically bad acticity. We may be inclined to think that the intellectual activity that lead to the creation of dirty bombs doesn't quite qualify as intrinsically good. Which leaves us with "intellectually stimulating activity" that doesn't lead to activity, that is, thought for its own sake. Which bears a striking resemblance to Aristotle's suggestion of "contemplation" as the greatest intrinsic good. But Aristotle's claim rests on the supposed example of the gods -- comtemplation is an intrinsic good because it's the most god-like activity. W's naturalistic version of intrinsic good can made no such recourse. Nor can it be productive of any sort of non-mental activity, because that can be either extrinsically good or evil. And if it produces no tangible good, then I fail to see why we should consider it anything but neutral. It may be safe to think without acting, but it doesn't necessarily make the universe any better off.

Minor points
Pages 18-19: Isn't Richard Taylor's suggestion simply a roundabout form of hedonism? So long as meaning is determining by the satisfaction of pleasure, it seems explicitly linked to hedonism.

pp. 22-23: W rejects Taylor's argument by judging internal meaning according to the standards of external meaning; that is, by considering the relative merits of each person's internal meaning as though we could choose to be different person, not just the same person in different circumstances. But W has, so far, offered no criteria for determining external meaning. That you would, from your current subjectivity, rather be yourself than a grinning excrement-eater, is objectively meaningless. If you were really made to be a different person, meaning would have a different point of reference, and what you wanted previously would be meaningless. W's rejection of Taylor fails, I think, because W has given us no external basis for determining meaning. W motions towards this conclusion -- perhaps unintentionally -- when he writes "At the heart of Singer's view is the idea that committing oneself to making the universe a better place overall -- increasing the amount of intrinsic goodness in the universe (or decreasing the amount of intrinsic evil) -- can bring internal meaning to one's life." See major point 1. above.

p. 33: "The message is clear..." W seems to have missed some of the subtle nuances of Milton's view of human nature. "Paradise Lost" would seem to indicate that Milton admires the mixed nature of humanity, the capacity for rebellion as well as the capacity for obedience. The phrase "sympathy for the devil" seems almost to have been written to describe the poem, which never sides against Satan out of sheer principle. The arch-fiend's major flaw seems to be that he's only capable of rebellion, such that, even if he has the same capacity for free choice as humanity, he never really exercises it. He eliminates his own choice be declaring that we will always act in opposition to God's will. "Paradise Lost" is not a clear-cut warning to submit whole-heartedly to religious stricture, and therein lies a great deal of its brilliance.




Tue Dec 27, 2005 4:14 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 1 - "God and the Meaning of Life"
Quote:
1. We run into terminological problems early on. W writes: "... for a human life to have meaning is for it to bring goodness into the universe." (p. 14)

another factor to consider here is good vs. evil is subjective. if a person thinks they are doing good, they bring meaning into their lives. the nazis thought they were doing good, i must imagine. i can not imagine a genocide could be carried out without people 'thinking' they were doing good. does that give them meaning? it gives that person meaning based on their perspective and perceptions. but to everyone else, such persons would be considered to have conducted meaningless and evil acts. bringing good into the universe is such an impossible thing to measure that everyone see's completely differently.

W makes a mistake as he stumbles into 'intrisically good' activities. mad, i don't know if this is what you were going for or not but it is what i am going for... good vs. evil differs between cultures, times, regions, traditions, and even people within homogenious divisions thereof. also, it may not be WHAT you do but HOW you do it that is good or evil. a person can be a teacher (which W cites as intrisically good) but be horrible at it and do more harm than good (making a student hate a subject for example). W offers someone elses reasoning on how to differenciate intrinsically good activities, but it is FAR too simplistic. so many variables surround what people consider good vs. evil and it is a sketchy slope to even consider intrisically good activities and meaning together unless one specifices the meaning felt by the individual. in discussing meaning, i find people attach their own meaning to things. i would rather deal with issues such as good, evil, and meaning on the grounds of how other people define it rather than how the individual defines it, other wise we are advocating or living in a world in which everyone is out for themselves and does not define things against community standards.

going along with major point 2 that mad makes, the author cites his love of video games as being an example of something he enjoys that is not "good" for him (paraphrasing). but video games CAN be VERY good. i use them as stress relief. if used in moderation, i can relieve stress by vegging out in front of a computer screen for a short while. also, video games can lead to artistic inspiration. here we have a situation in which the author feels or thinks something is not good for himself but may be good for other people. perhaps not 'intrisically good' but something that could be good for some people, and even provide meaning (e.g. an artist finding inspriation in someone else's art).

Mad, i must say i disagree with a lot of your thoughts, but you really said it perfectly with major point 3. i already wrote some of my thoughts on this in reading through and responding to points 2 and 3. i think value, virtue, and meaning need to be tied up with situational goodness as viewed from BOTH personal and societal views, not from an 'intrinsic' perspective which is impossible to measure and can change between time, groups, cultures, etc.

i will echo Mad's major point 4 that the examples cited such as love are flawed and may not qualify for goodness on a situational level. anything that may not qualify for goodness on a situational level can not be considered intrinsically good. i am having a hard time thinking of general examples that might be considered 'good' in every situation, including various times, places, cultures, etc.

the ultimate challenge to this view of goodness is looking at wars and specifically considering both sides and the latter ramifications. in a long enough time line, any bad activity could eventually lead to good. the author deflects the time line issue by suggesting that only the here and now matters and we can not measure such things on a timeline because eventually we will all be dead and gone and in that sense, nothing would ever matter. the author opens up a ton of questions and does not seem to solve many in the process. if anything, i had to start considering that if i believe that life has no inherent meaning and we all provide our own meanings and good and evil are situational and ever changing definitions, perhaps value and virtue can not exist as constants but are completely situational and ever changing. i must reject that as i believe some values and virtues must be consistant for man to strive for such as honesty. but much good has come from lieing, has it not? ultimately, perhaps the only value and virtue we have to fall back upon is the golden rule, do unto others... now regardless of it's origin, that saying could be applied by naturalism as the major and only core value.

regardless of content discussion, from a readers perspective the book reads like a philosophy class, boring. i had some philosophy professors in college that really made things interesting, but despite my high interest in the subject, i am having trouble really digging in. after a week, i am only at chapter two of these fairly short title. looking forward to comment and response from everyone else.




Wed Dec 28, 2005 6:48 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 1 - "God and the Meaning of Life"
riverc0il: another factor to consider here is good vs. evil is subjective. if a person thinks they are doing good, they bring meaning into their lives.

I might be wrong in my interpretation here, but I think that Wielenberg is suggesting that there is an intrinsic, external good -- that is, external to what we think is or isn't good. He's resisting moral relativism, which is probably necessary given his stated intent in arguing against Karamazovian arguments. Ultimately, I think he's claiming that we can find evidence of an objective good in nature, so to speak. I don't think his support is very strong, but that seems to me the nature of his claim.

mad, i don't know if this is what you were going for or not but it is what i am going for... good vs. evil differs between cultures, times, regions, traditions, and even people within homogenious divisions thereof.

An extension of Wielenberg's argument, I think, would be that we're in a better position than previous cultures to discover good and evil in their natural state. This is probably getting ahead of you a little, but it seems to me that his suggestions for "producing virtuous people" in the 4th or 5th chapter (I forget which) presupposes that we're capable of finding the objective nature of good and evil. Interestingly, Gazzaniga took more or less the same position in "The Ethical Brain". The idea, it seems to me, is that we can use methods like those employed by modern science to arrive at ethical truths which are as solid and consensible as the current state of physical truths.

But I think your point is valid.

so many variables surround what people consider good vs. evil and it is a sketchy slope to even consider intrisically good activities and meaning together unless one specifices the meaning felt by the individual.

That depends on how closely you see morality and individual meaning being tied together. Wielenberg sort of assumes that they're related, but it may be that morality has no necessary connection to the sense that one's life is meaningful, particularly if morality is "part of the furniture of the universe" and therefore distinct from human consciousness.

anything that may not qualify for goodness on a situational level can not be considered intrinsically good.

I'm glad you agree. I was pretty sure about that, but have been entertaining doubts about it. If anyone can think of a way in which an extrinsic evil can be intrinsically good, I'd like to see it, if for no other reason than to test my own reasoning.

if anything, i had to start considering that if i believe that life has no inherent meaning and we all provide our own meanings and good and evil are situational and ever changing definitions, perhaps value and virtue can not exist as constants but are completely situational and ever changing.

Good point. The part that strikes me most is, that if there is no external meaning, how can there be an external moral obligation?

ultimately, perhaps the only value and virtue we have to fall back upon is the golden rule, do unto others... now regardless of it's origin, that saying could be applied by naturalism as the major and only core value.

I still think it needs further substantiation. Nothing in naturalism on its own supports that idea. Naturalism is neutral on the issue, and I don't see that it gives any less support to the rule of "every man for himself" than it does to the Golden Rule.




Thu Dec 29, 2005 3:50 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 1 - "God and the Meaning of Life"
E.W.'s arguments were rather convincing. He presented multiple ways of finding meaning in a godless universe, any one of which counters the argument that life is meaningless without God.

There's another approach he could have taken, but didn't. Maybe life doesn't need to have a meaning, in which case you don't need to demonstrate that life has meaning without God. In an ideal world life would have meaning, but an ideal world wouldn't include war, hunger, disease, or oppression.

As a counterargument to the chapter, a religious believer could claim that serving God provides much more meaning than falling in love or reducing suffering, just as E.W. claims that those activities have more intrinsic meaning than playing video games. From that religious perspective, life without God is almost meaningless.

Riverc0il, I'm surprised that you're disappointed with the book. It's one of the most readable and relevant philosophical works that I've come across.

Mad, I don't follow your terminology concerns. Terms like "good" and "evil" have intuitive meanings that make sense in E.W.'s writings. I'm glad that he doesn't go in circles trying to define what all his terms mean.

I'm was bewildered by E.W.'s reference to the American of Christian Apologetics on page 16, until I read these Wikipedia pages:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apologetics
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chr...pologetics

However, the term extropic on page 17 remains confusing. This Wikipedia page on Extropy didn't seem particularly relevant:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extropy
He probably meant to say entropic.

Edited by: JulianTheApostate at: 1/2/06 7:38 pm



Mon Jan 02, 2006 7:35 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 1 - "God and the Meaning of Life"
JulianTheApostate: Mad, I don't follow your terminology concerns. Terms like "good" and "evil" have intuitive meanings that make sense in E.W.'s writings.

They have intuitive meaning for us because we've all be raised in a culture where those ideas are taken for granted. But they're taken for granted because our culture rests on a foundation of several thousands of years of religious history, in which those concepts developed. Retaining them in a naturalistic ethical scheme is a bit like retaining the idea of reincarnation while simultaneously denying the existence of a soul -- to maintain the former idea, you have to find a new way to substantiate it. Wielenberg hasn't even attempted a new substantiation.

Now, if he were only talking about good and evil on a very low level of subjective meaning -- that is, something is good because it pleases me, evil because it harms me -- I might not have objected at all. But so far as I can tell, by intrinsic he means something like objective, and he talks throughout the book as though good and evil were things that you find in the physical world apart from what we simply think of events.

Look at it by way of a mathematical formula. Let's say that we've got a algebraic problem: (a+b)-2, and we decide that the answer is 7. If that's the case, then (a+b) must equal 9, right? But let's suppose that, for whatever reason, we decide that they don't equal 9, they equal something else, maybe 54. If that's the case, then it no longer makes sense to say that the answer to the whole problem is 7. And that's kind of what Wielenberg has done here -- he's changed the terms of the problem, and he's still trying to reach the same answer.




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Post Re: Ch. 1 - "God and the Meaning of Life"
The meanings of all words depend on our culture and personal experiences. In some discussions, it's helpful to take a step back and consider the definitions and interpretations of certain terms being used. However, this doesn't strike me as one of those cases.

And if you're claiming words like "good" and "evil" only make sense in a religious context, I totally disagree.

Edited by: JulianTheApostate at: 1/4/06 2:23 am



Wed Jan 04, 2006 2:23 am
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Post Re: Ch. 1 - "God and the Meaning of Life"
we could have an entire discussion on good and evil and not get any where. isn't this the foundation of ethics in a way? we could use the dictionary for a denotative definition but to argue what actually 'is' good and what is 'evil' could be quite a debate.




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Post Death of God and its Consequences
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"The meaning of our cheerfulness: The greatest recent event- that god is dead, that the belief in the Christian god has become unbelievable- is already beginning to cast its first shadows over Europe. Much less may one suppose that the multitude know as what this event really means- and how much must collapse now that his faith has been undermined because it was built upon this faith, ...for example, the whole of out European morality. This long plenitude and sequence of breakdown, destruction, ruin, cataclysm that is now impending- who could guess enough of it today to be compelled to play the teacher and advance proclaimer of this monstrous logic of terror, the prophet of gloom and eclipse of the sun whose like has never yet appeared on Earth." (Nietzsche, The Gay Science 343.)


Quote:
MA: They (notions of good and evil) have intuitive meaning for us because we've all be raised in a culture where those ideas are taken for granted. But they're taken for granted because our culture rests on a foundation of several thousands of years of religious history, in which those concepts developed. Retaining them in a naturalistic ethical scheme is a bit like retaining the idea of reincarnation while simultaneously denying the existence of a soul -- to maintain the former idea, you have to find a new way to substantiate it.


Nietzsche highlights the consequences of pulling the rug out from under millenia of moral development, and it seems MA echoes (perhaps unwillingly) this in his critique of Weinberg. For Nietzsche, the results are terrifying: cataclysmic ruin and monstrous terror. For Nietzsche, there is no intrinsic good, external to human desires, passions and limited reason. What there is, or perpetually becoming, is the "will to power"...which carries no guarantee of human worth or meaning, and certainly no support for human notions of justice, law or the good. Nietzsche confronts his reader, those "godless ones" with a dark vision:

Quote:
What I relate is the history of the next two centuries. I describe what is coming, what can no longer come differently: the advent of nihilism. This history can be related even now; for necessity itself is at work here. This future speaks even now in a hundred signs, this destiny announces itself everywhere; for this music of the future all ears are cocked even now. For some time now, our whole European culture has been moving as toward a catastrophe, with a tortured tension that is growing from decade to decade: restlessly, violently, headlong, like a river that wants to reach the end, that no longer reflects, that is afraid to reflect. Will to Power, 1


Nietzsche seemed willing to view the world and humanity without any universal, eternal, external, intrinsic and granite assurances of good and evil: and his conclusions were dark and terrifying; and the following 20th century in all of its violent destructiveness seems to have supported his brooding vision. Humanity de-divinized and re-naturalized (although Nietzsche told himself it was cheerful news) was a terror-filled notion.






Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:09 pm
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Post Re: Death of God and its Consequences
JulianTheApostate: The meanings of all words depend on our culture and personal experiences.

I think it's important to draw a distinction between two kinds of words and meaning.

On the one hand, there are words that refer to things that are clearly a part of an organism's experience. Snow is a common example -- snow is something that's either a part of your cultural background or isn't, part of your experience or not. And some cultures, as has been pointed out until it's a cliche, have what we would likely consider a gratuitous number of words referring to, and describing, snow, depending on its prominance in their experience. That much should be fairly easy to agree upon.

In the same category are words that are a bit less certain, naturalistically speaking, but still made in referrence to what we are fairly certain counts as objective reality. Emile Durkheim, a pioneer among sociologists, gives a workable example when he discusses the differences between colors in different cultures. There are cultures -- if Durkheim is to be believed -- in which there are only two color words, and the rather large color vocabulary that we have falls into the range of those two colors. On the other end of the spectrum, even in our primary set of colors, we have orange, which isn't really recognized among some very sophisticated cultures. But here we're still dealing with language as an attempt to describe something that exists independently of us.

On the other hand, there are terms we can be relatively sure have little to do with the natural world, and have a great deal more to do with how we experience it through the filter of culture. Take an example like the German word zietgiest -- roughly, "spirit of an age". There is, of course, nothing in nature which corresponds to the spirit of an age, however much we may represent the spirit of the age in art or metaphor, and it would be ridiculous to be literal when attempting to frame zietgiest in a naturalistic philosophy. There'd be no evidence for it.

My contention here is that no has presented any argument -- let along a good argument -- for the idea that Wielenberg takes for granted, ie. that "good" and "evil" belong to the category of words that describe things we find in the natural world, and can therefore be confidently asserted in a naturalistic ethics. It seems more likely to me that they belong to the category of words that represent cultural constructions, and it's hard to get around the apparant fact that these particular constructions were built in a culture of religious thought..

That isn't to say that it's impossible to logically derive good and evil as effective moral categories in an naturalistic framework. I don't see how it can be done, but that doesn't mean that it can't. Religions typically make good and evil part of the natural framework by positing the authority of God -- clearly, naturalism has no such recourse Wielenberg hasn't even attempted to give good and evil a logical, naturalistic underpinning. He merely asserts, with no justification at all, that good and evil are part of the "furniture of the universe". To me, this seems tantemount to the sort of claim that establishes planets, or atoms, as part of the universe, with the difference that we have some evidence beyond our own culturally indoctrinated biases for the existence of planets and atoms.

My whole point is that we can't take the existence of good and evil as a given, particularly granted that the ideas of good and evil very likely arose from the same set of assumptions that Wielenberg has denied from the outset, namely the validity of religion.

riverc0il: we could use the dictionary for a denotative definition but to argue what actually 'is' good and what is 'evil' could be quite a debate.

Recourse to the dictionary wouldn't help us much, I don't think. The dictionary is a guide to usage -- how the language is being used at the time of publication. To that end, it doesn't represent much more than common sense. Even given that, it's a common sense that changes with time, which is to say that it represents what most people agree on at any given time. In that sense, relying on the dictionary to arrive at a prescriptive ethical philosophy wouldn't be all that different from taking a Gallup poll of what people thought were good and evil and adopting the most popular answers as our philosophy.

Dissident Heart: Nietzsche highlights the consequences of pulling the rug out from under millenia of moral development, and it seems MA echoes (perhaps unwillingly) this in his critique of Weinberg.

Not unwillingly. I think Nietzche's philosophy and critique of religion are misguided, but I've always held that his greatness lay in his cultural insights.

That said, I'm much more interested in using this thread to talk about Wielenberg than Nietzche. Why don't you pick up a copy of the book we're discussing and talk about that for a while? You're coming across like a professor who's shown up to the wrong lecture room but refuses to alter the lecture he's prepared.




Wed Jan 04, 2006 2:32 pm
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Post Re: Death of God and its Consequences
MA: I'm much more interested in using this thread to talk about Wielenberg than Nietszche.

I can't help but see this thread (and I have been reading it's discussions) as a shadow of Nietzsche's critique of morality, his explorations of humanity beyond good and evil, and the attending threats and challenges of nihilism. And if we are looking for the argument (which you repeatedly argue Weilenberg has not offered)

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MA...that "good" and "evil" belong to the category of words that describe things we find in the natural world, and can therefore be confidently asserted in a naturalistic ethics. It seems more likely to me that they belong to the category of words that represent cultural constructions, and it's hard to get around the apparant fact that these particular constructions were built in a culture of religious thought..


Then, I think Nietzsche is a very valuable resource in providing what Weilenberg hasn't, and offering some potential consequences for ethics if he actually did make the argument.




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Post Re: Death of God and its Consequences
ah, excellent. then i am familiar with that rather dirty name. what through me was the pronounciation was set forth as "dabble Wah" but i am more used to "dubb ya." the wah through me off.




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Post Re: Death of God and its Consequences
Re: W
:rollin




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