Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

cica

Moral Nihilism. What's The Problem?

Recommended Posts

I'm a absolute beginner on philosophy.

From what I can see moral nihilism best explains my viewpoint on morals/life. They don't exist in any form that's of any use or can't be explained using more basic blocks.

i.e. the fact that theft is "wrong" is pretty irrelevant. Who says it's wrong other than people that want to keep possessions they have?

Does it matter if people do it anyway i.e. what value does the concept of morals have in the first place? You be better off trying to protect your property, making theft risky and spreading the word?

From what I can see most people see nihilism itself as immoral and completely despise the idea yet haven't given me a good reason to believe nihilism is very bad.

I do understand why some people don't like it e.g. humanists.

I've read a fair bit online but would be good to see what people out there think. Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a absolute beginner on philosophy.

From what I can see moral nihilism best explains my viewpoint on morals/life. They don't exist in any form that's of any use or can't be explained using more basic blocks.

i.e. the fact that theft is "wrong" is pretty irrelevant. Who says it's wrong other than people that want to keep possessions they have?

Does it matter if people do it anyway i.e. what value does the concept of morals have in the first place? You be better off trying to protect your property, making theft risky and spreading the word?

From what I can see most people see nihilism itself as immoral and completely despise the idea yet haven't given me a good reason to believe nihilism is very bad.

I do understand why some people don't like it e.g. humanists.

I've read a fair bit online but would be good to see what people out there think. Thanks

Hey.

The basic problem with moral nihilism is that it's a moral position - that is merely by trying to be morally nihilistic you are advocating a morality. Therefore morality exists and nihilism is incorrect.

Hope that helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey.

The basic problem with moral nihilism is that it's a moral position - that is merely by trying to be morally nihilistic you are advocating a morality. Therefore morality exists and nihilism is incorrect.

Hope that helps.

You are confusing the existence of an idea (morality) with a metaphysical idea of some universal ethical truth.

Believing there is no latter does not imply the existence of the former. It's not a moral position.

I'd also take issue with saying this is "the advocation of morality". Nihilism says there is no objective ethics.

If I say I believe there is no God I'm not advocating religion.

I'm not sure I've ever come across anyone who remotely fits the description of a nihilist though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are confusing the existence of an idea (morality) with a metaphysical idea of some universal ethical truth.

I thought I was just applying the idea universally in reality.

Believing there is no latter does not imply the existence of the former. It's not a moral position.

I'd also take issue with saying this is "the advocation of morality". Nihilism says there is no objective ethics.

Which is a moral position AND claims to be objective.

If I say I believe there is no God I'm not advocating religion.

Ethics are human behaviour sets. To say you don't think there is human behaviour is self defeating cos to do it you have to be a human, behaving in some way.

I'm not sure I've ever come across anyone who remotely fits the description of a nihilist though.

Me either. It's generally a position that bad but clever people throw out so they can carry on doing whatever it is they want to be doing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is nothing wrong with theft per say only to say, that to get away with getting something small for nothing, makes for getting away with even more for nothing, for free, for no effort, for stealing, for lying,for covering up for, for losing friends for, for losing work for, for losing ones way....trust wins at the end of the day....no trust no future. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a absolute beginner on philosophy.

From what I can see moral nihilism best explains my viewpoint on morals/life. They don't exist in any form that's of any use or can't be explained using more basic blocks.

i.e. the fact that theft is "wrong" is pretty irrelevant. Who says it's wrong other than people that want to keep possessions they have?

Does it matter if people do it anyway i.e. what value does the concept of morals have in the first place? You be better off trying to protect your property, making theft risky and spreading the word?

From what I can see most people see nihilism itself as immoral and completely despise the idea yet haven't given me a good reason to believe nihilism is very bad.

I do understand why some people don't like it e.g. humanists.

I've read a fair bit online but would be good to see what people out there think. Thanks

Morality like religion may be a human construct but the fact that it may have no scientific or rational underpinning does not stop it existing as an observable phenomena within society. You may have no problem with the concept of theft but that does not mean the spurious morality you deny is not going to come back and bite you in the ar*e in a very real way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Morality like religion may be a human construct but the fact that it may have no scientific or rational underpinning does not stop it existing as an observable phenomena within society. You may have no problem with the concept of theft but that does not mean the spurious morality you deny is not going to come back and bite you in the ar*e in a very real way.

Just because morality is rational doesn't mean it "exists", any more than France does (eh Injin?).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just because morality is rational doesn't mean it "exists", any more than France does (eh Injin?).

You might like to reread my post. It said morality

may have no scientific or rational underpinning does not stop it existing as an observable phenomena within society

I am not arguing that notions of morality are rational any more than are religious beliefs. I am merely stating that they are an observable phenomena in human society, For example the material aspects of religious belief are all around us in the form of churches, mosques, temples and synagogues. Equally notions of morality such as those set out in philosophical and religious tracts permeate many legal constructs that are applied in reality regardless of whether they have any basis in logic, science or reason.You can deny them all you will but that does not mean that they wont be applied to you by the rest of society for good or ill.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You people are living in the Middle Ages when human beings were thought to be mystical in nature. The human moral landscape is a consequence of natural selection and the West is bankrupt because the political class exploit the mechanism of altruism to appear virtuous.

Your countries quality of life is determined by this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:AverageIQ-Map-World.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always suspected that about Australians.

Maori's, not Australians.

If you click through to the discussion of the book itself, you can see the flaws in its arguments exposed by some of the reviewers. Aside from the questionable accuracy or relevance of IQ tests at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a absolute beginner on philosophy.

From what I can see moral nihilism best explains my viewpoint on morals/life. They don't exist in any form that's of any use or can't be explained using more basic blocks.

i.e. the fact that theft is "wrong" is pretty irrelevant. Who says it's wrong other than people that want to keep possessions they have?

Does it matter if people do it anyway i.e. what value does the concept of morals have in the first place? You be better off trying to protect your property, making theft risky and spreading the word?

From what I can see most people see nihilism itself as immoral and completely despise the idea yet haven't given me a good reason to believe nihilism is very bad.

I do understand why some people don't like it e.g. humanists.

I've read a fair bit online but would be good to see what people out there think. Thanks

I was tempted to reply by saying that morals and justice don't 'really' exist, by which I would've meant that, as far as the universe is concerned, there is no such thing as moral right and wrong.

However, morals and justice would seem to be consequences of mind, and mind would seem to be very much a part of the universe, so...

Maybe there is an ultimate justice, and the universe (through us, and perhaps others) will eventually work it out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was tempted to reply by saying that morals and justice don't 'really' exist, by which I would've meant that, as far as the universe is concerned, there is no such thing as moral right and wrong.

However, morals and justice would seem to be consequences of mind, and mind would seem to be very much a part of the universe, so...

Maybe there is an ultimate justice, and the universe (through us, and perhaps others) will eventually work it out.

Yin and Yang. Karma and all ?

Does the Universe care what is right or wrong and whether justice is done ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yin and Yang. Karma and all ?

Does the Universe care what is right or wrong and whether justice is done ?

Does it care if they are?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does it care if they are?

Personally I don't think the Universe gives two hoots about right or wrong. What happens happens. And that is about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yin and Yang. Karma and all ?

Does the Universe care what is right or wrong and whether justice is done ?

Maybe you misunderstood me.

Just to repeat the idea I was trying to convey: morality appears to be a consequence of mind appears to be a consequence of the universe.

If morality is a possible consequence of mind (which seems reasonable to me), in what way could it be considered to be NOT part of the universe?

In an inanimate universe, I would suggest that there would be no such thing as a moral sense, but we're not in an inanimate universe.

Isn't the idea of the 'universe' having no concept of justice or morality akin to thinking of humans (and our minds) as not being part of the universe?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe you misunderstood me.

Just to repeat the idea I was trying to convey: morality appears to be a consequence of mind appears to be a consequence of the universe.

If morality is a possible consequence of mind (which seems reasonable to me), in what way could it be considered to be NOT part of the universe?

In an inanimate universe, I would suggest that there would be no such thing as a moral sense, but we're not in an inanimate universe.

Isn't the idea of the 'universe' having no concept of justice or morality akin to thinking of humans (and our minds) as not being part of the universe?

Erm generalyl it's like this

Bad things just happen/universe is indifferent = being able to carry on pretending people in your life aren't assholes/you can carry on being an asshole.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe you misunderstood me.

Just to repeat the idea I was trying to convey: morality appears to be a consequence of mind appears to be a consequence of the universe.

If morality is a possible consequence of mind (which seems reasonable to me), in what way could it be considered to be NOT part of the universe?

Unicorns are a consequence of mind. Are they part of the universe?

If so, then your understanding of "part of the universe" simply means "conceivable by a mind", which is a tautology.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unicorns are a consequence of mind. Are they part of the universe?

If so, then your understanding of "part of the universe" simply means "conceivable by a mind", which is a tautology.

Yes, as a concept, unicorns are part of the universe. What else could they possibly be?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe you misunderstood me.

Just to repeat the idea I was trying to convey: morality appears to be a consequence of mind appears to be a consequence of the universe.

If morality is a possible consequence of mind (which seems reasonable to me), in what way could it be considered to be NOT part of the universe?

In an inanimate universe, I would suggest that there would be no such thing as a moral sense, but we're not in an inanimate universe.

Isn't the idea of the 'universe' having no concept of justice or morality akin to thinking of humans (and our minds) as not being part of the universe?

Which would mean that anything anyone thinks about is part of the Universe. Which may well technically be true - but hardly worth bothering about ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you read the second sentence?

Kind of. Although perhaps I shouldn't be responding as I don't really have enough time to properly think about the issue at the moment.

To be clear, I'm try not to assert anything too strongly -- I'm more just thinking out loud.

When I first came to reply, as I mentioned, I was tempted to go along with the 'morality isn't part of the universe' position, but then the thought struck me: thinking of minds and their by-products as being in some way outside of the universe might be questionable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kind of. Although perhaps I shouldn't be responding as I don't really have enough time to properly think about the issue at the moment.

To be clear, I'm try not to assert anything too strongly -- I'm more just thinking out loud.

When I first came to reply, as I mentioned, I was tempted to go along with the 'morality isn't part of the universe' position, but then the thought struck me: thinking of minds and their by-products as being in some way outside of the universe might be questionable.

In a sense, of course that's right.

What do people mean when they say: "Is there really any morality?" I suspect they don't mean "has anyone ever thought of morality", as the question would logically not be answerable with a "no".

I think they mean: is there any kind of objective morality (whatever they mean by that). That could be defined by something non-material (eg a deity laying down the law), or something material like essential rules encoded in our DNA.

Woody Allen's film Crimes and Misdemeanours deals with the whole subject brilliantly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • 331 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.