Online reading group and book discussion forum
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Sat Oct 10, 2015 3:58 am

<< Week of October 10, 2015 >>
Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
10 Day Month

11 Day Month

12 Day Month

13 Day Month

14 Day Month

15 Day Month

16 Day Month

Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 21 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.  Go to page Previous  1, 2
Questions about evolution 
Author Message

Post Re: theory vs. fact vs. opinion

Thanks for pointing that out. I did indeed mean that there is no objective moral reality. I can see how that could be misleading.

Sat Dec 14, 2002 12:37 pm

Post Re: theory vs. fact vs. opinion

Sat Dec 14, 2002 2:23 pm

Post Theory vs. Fact vs. Opinion vs. Truth
I did indeed mean that there is no objective moral reality.

I don't think this necessarilly follows from the things you've said. Or, if it is true, that means you lose any basis for judging what someone ought to do and you're again left with the unsatisfying business of self-interest and in a position of undecidability imposed by relativism. I'm not suggesting that there is any sort of externally imposed Good (i.e. god) - and I'm not sure I see how serving the larger organism is any different than serving god (in fact, I think it's precisely that close similarity - the serving a higher purpose - which can make the superorganism notion so appealing). I am suggesting, though, that in order for there to be a meaningful morality there needs must be an objective principle by which acts are judged, i.e. we must define Good and make sure it is in all cases in accord with reality.

For me, that principle resides in the celebration of the individual if you will, rather than subordinating that individual to a larger whole... I like to say "everything is local" and that would include morality. It is not found in the existence or purpose of something 'larger than ourselves' (which is rendered meaningless as, in my reading, you point out with your questioning of god's worth and denial of a grand scheme). Rather, Good is found moment to moment in our state of being; or more accurately perhaps, Good emerges discretely from interelational states.

Meaning and value cannot exist beyond the framework of man's mind.

I would disagree. Things exist in relation to one another whether or not they are conscious. That relation is meaning. A. Greimas worked this out into a formal system of semantics by which you can define anything by its state of relation to its associated (i.e. semantically adjacent) concepts. The basic form looks like this:

The really nifty thing about that, I think, is that meaning is formed in terms of intensions (sic) and is idependent of arbitrary symbols and, esp., is free of any particular manifestation of that meaning: truth beyond fact, i.e. the meaning would be true in all possible worlds - and that gives you objective meaning that is also internally generated.

Sat Dec 14, 2002 4:49 pm
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Kindle Fanatic

Bronze Contributor 2

Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 546
Location: Saint Louis
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: theory vs. fact vs. opinion
the theory of evolution is a "theory" for one reason
flat wrong. Building theories is what science does. We especially like the true ones
it has never been proven experimentally
flat wrong. Reference: Jonathan Weiner, The Beak of the Finch : A Story of Evolution in Our Time
The funny thing is that even the theory of evolution is not well understood.
flat wrong.

Edited by: Jeremy1952 at: 12/18/02 10:24:24 pm

Sun Dec 15, 2002 12:25 am
Profile Email

Post Re: theory vs. fact vs. opinion

I agree with you when you say that things exist in relation to one another, and that relation is meaning. However, I'm not sure I follow your logic when you conclude that meaning in this sense is synonymous with meaning in the moral sense. Can moral values exist in relation to other moral values independent of consciousness and can they be universally objective for that matter? I guess I just don't see how the descriptive relationships between moral concepts can tell us anything about what is good anymore than black is not white can.

Your comments on meaning in terms of intention lead me to believe that I have misunderstood your argument. Certainly you cannot be saying that intention can exist as a meaningful objective moral standard?

- Tim

Edited by: Timothy Schoonover at: 12/18/02 10:24:09 pm

Wed Dec 18, 2002 9:38 pm

Post Re: theory vs. fact vs. opinion
hmmm... meaning is not really the same thing as a definition like you'd find in a dictionary (which can only be true for this particular world), which is why I use the term intension (not to be confused with intention). I like to think of it as the meaning created by the "tension" in the relational state. More formally, an intension is the "sense" (or more formally still, the function) which maps the referents (i.e. instantiations) in a particular world. In our world, for example, the term water refers to H20, while in, say, an anti-matter world it might refer to a molecule made up of different anti-elements peculiar to that world, yet still have the same sense, would still be "water" in that it would be in the same relation to its world as H20 is in ours.

Can moral values exist in relation to other moral values independent of consciousness and can they be universally objective for that matter?

I believe they can, though I think you need to be very, very careful in how it's understood. Or, if I can restate what you've said... moral values and/or concepts are a product of consciousness; but I feel we can get at more fundamental level (which is why I used the term Good instead of moral) - so it's not the relation between different moral values that is an issue, but rather it is the relational state which generates the potential for moral action. If we have a meaning for the term Good which is true in all possible worlds (universally true in the deepest sense), then we have a moral imperative from which the values can be derived, a principle of Good relation upon which moral action is based. The Good relation part is what is independent of consciousness, though it only gains moral weight with awareness of it.

Thu Dec 19, 2002 2:04 pm
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 21 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.  Go to page Previous  1, 2

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for: Links 
Forum Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Info for Authors & Publishers
Featured Book Suggestions
Author Interview Transcripts
Be a Book Discussion Leader!

Love to talk about books but don't have time for our book discussion forums? For casual book talk join us on Facebook.

Featured Books


The game isn't over yet so I've still got hope.  0%  [0]
I believe they can now I've read the book.  0%  [0]
Yes, I know things can change for the better.  0%  [0]
Seems razor thin whether we can pull it off.  0%  [0]
Total votes: 0

Books by New Authors


Of all time: Chris OConnor (14901), Interbane (6565), DWill (5270), stahrwe (4823), ant (4661), Robert Tulip (4551), geo (3742), Mr. Pessimistic (3542), johnson1010 (3428), Penelope (3153), Saffron (2898), Suzanne (2521), Frank 013 (2021), youkrst (1859), Dissident Heart (1790), bleachededen (1680), President Camacho (1637), Dexter (1625), Ophelia (1543), tat tvam asi (1298)

Of the last 24 hrs: ant (15), TeresaDiaz (12), brother bob (6), Interbane (4), DB Roy (4), Gnostic Bishop (3), KnowItAllSister (3), DWill (2), johnson1010 (2), geo (2), froglipz (2), Dexter (2), Robert Tulip (2), Sergiu (1), bionov (1), youkrst (1), Lynn Sutton (1), Serge de Moliere (1), Chris OConnor (1), Flann 5 (1) is a free book discussion group or online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a group. We host live author chats where booktalk members can interact with and interview authors. We give away free books to our members in book giveaway contests. Our booktalks are open to everybody who enjoys talking about books. Our book forums include book reviews, author interviews and book resources for readers and book lovers. Discussing books is our passion. We're a literature forum, or reading forum. Register a free book club account today! Suggest nonfiction and fiction books. Authors and publishers are welcome to advertise their books or ask for an author chat or author interview.



The Martian - by Andy WeirGood Thinking - by Guy P. HarrisonThe Post-American World: Release 2.0 - by Fareed ZakariaGo Set a Watchman: A Novel - by Harper LeeFlowers for Algernon - by Daniel KeyesGoing Clear - by Lawrence WrightKing Henry IV, Part 1 - by William ShakespeareAtheist Mind, Humanist Heart - by Lex Bayer and John FigdorSense and Goodness Without God - by Richard CarrierFrankenstein - by Mary ShelleyThe Big Questions - by Simon BlackburnScience Was Born of Christianity - by Stacy TrasancosThe Happiness Hypothesis - by Jonathan HaidtA Game of Thrones - by George R. R. MartinTempesta's Dream - by Vincent LoCocoWhy Nations Fail - by Daron Acemoglu and James RobinsonThe Drowning Girl - Caitlin R. KiernanThe Consolations of the Forest - by Sylvain TessonThe Complete Heretic's Guide to Western Religion: The Mormons - by David FitzgeraldA Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - by James JoyceThe Divine Comedy - by Dante AlighieriThe Magic of Reality - by Richard DawkinsDubliners - by James JoyceMy Name Is Red - by Orhan PamukThe World Until Yesterday - by Jared DiamondThe Man Who Was Thursday - by by G. K. ChestertonThe Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven PinkerLord Jim by Joseph ConradThe Hobbit by J. R. R. TolkienThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsAtlas Shrugged by Ayn RandThinking, Fast and Slow - by Daniel KahnemanThe Righteous Mind - by Jonathan HaidtWorld War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max BrooksMoby Dick: or, the Whale by Herman MelvilleA Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer EganLost Memory of Skin: A Novel by Russell BanksThe Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. KuhnHobbes: Leviathan by Thomas HobbesThe House of the Spirits - by Isabel AllendeArguably: Essays by Christopher HitchensThe Falls: A Novel (P.S.) by Joyce Carol OatesChrist in Egypt by D.M. MurdockThe Glass Bead Game: A Novel by Hermann HesseA Devil's Chaplain by Richard DawkinsThe Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph CampbellThe Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark TwainThe Moral Landscape by Sam HarrisThe Decameron by Giovanni BoccaccioThe Road by Cormac McCarthyThe Grand Design by Stephen HawkingThe Evolution of God by Robert WrightThe Tin Drum by Gunter GrassGood Omens by Neil GaimanPredictably Irrational by Dan ArielyThe Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel by Haruki MurakamiALONE: Orphaned on the Ocean by Richard Logan & Tere Duperrault FassbenderDon Quixote by Miguel De CervantesMusicophilia by Oliver SacksDiary of a Madman and Other Stories by Nikolai GogolThe Passion of the Western Mind by Richard TarnasThe Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le GuinThe Genius of the Beast by Howard BloomAlice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll Empire of Illusion by Chris HedgesThe Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner The Extended Phenotype by Richard DawkinsSmoke and Mirrors by Neil GaimanThe Selfish Gene by Richard DawkinsWhen Good Thinking Goes Bad by Todd C. RinioloHouse of Leaves by Mark Z. DanielewskiAmerican Gods: A Novel by Neil GaimanPrimates and Philosophers by Frans de WaalThe Enormous Room by E.E. CummingsThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeGod Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher HitchensThe Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama Paradise Lost by John Milton Bad Money by Kevin PhillipsThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson BurnettGodless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists by Dan BarkerThe Things They Carried by Tim O'BrienThe Limits of Power by Andrew BacevichLolita by Vladimir NabokovOrlando by Virginia Woolf On Being Certain by Robert A. Burton50 reasons people give for believing in a god by Guy P. HarrisonWalden: Or, Life in the Woods by Henry David ThoreauExile and the Kingdom by Albert CamusOur Inner Ape by Frans de WaalYour Inner Fish by Neil ShubinNo Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthyThe Age of American Unreason by Susan JacobyTen Theories of Human Nature by Leslie Stevenson & David HabermanHeart of Darkness by Joseph ConradThe Stuff of Thought by Stephen PinkerA Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled HosseiniThe Lucifer Effect by Philip ZimbardoResponsibility and Judgment by Hannah ArendtInterventions by Noam ChomskyGodless in America by George A. RickerReligious Expression and the American Constitution by Franklyn S. HaimanDeep Economy by Phil McKibbenThe God Delusion by Richard DawkinsThe Third Chimpanzee by Jared DiamondThe Woman in the Dunes by Abe KoboEvolution vs. Creationism by Eugenie C. ScottThe Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael PollanI, Claudius by Robert GravesBreaking The Spell by Daniel C. DennettA Peace to End All Peace by David FromkinThe Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerThe End of Faith by Sam HarrisEnder's Game by Orson Scott CardThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark HaddonValue and Virtue in a Godless Universe by Erik J. WielenbergThe March by E. L DoctorowThe Ethical Brain by Michael GazzanigaFreethinkers: A History of American Secularism by Susan JacobyCollapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared DiamondThe Battle for God by Karen ArmstrongThe Future of Life by Edward O. WilsonWhat is Good? by A. C. GraylingCivilization and Its Enemies by Lee HarrisPale Blue Dot by Carl SaganHow We Believe: Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God by Michael ShermerLooking for Spinoza by Antonio DamasioLies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al FrankenThe Red Queen by Matt RidleyThe Blank Slate by Stephen PinkerUnweaving the Rainbow by Richard DawkinsAtheism: A Reader edited by S.T. JoshiGlobal Brain by Howard BloomThe Lucifer Principle by Howard BloomGuns, Germs and Steel by Jared DiamondThe Demon-Haunted World by Carl SaganBury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee BrownFuture Shock by Alvin Toffler

Banned Book ListOur SalesMassimo Pigliucci Rationally SpeakingOnline Reading GroupTop 10 Atheism BooksFACTS Book Selections

Copyright © 2002-2015. All rights reserved.
Display Pagerank