Good and Evil

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kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 11 Oct, 2009 08:44 pm
@richrf,
richrf;96824 wrote:
Yes, Soooooooo many. And they all say different things. Every philosophical book is different. Every religious book is different. Every encyclopedia and


Rich


You have read all the dictionaries and encyclopedia, and all the philosophy books? If not, how do you know? Do dictionaries differ about (say) the spelling of the word, "ignorant"? Do encyclopedias differ about the capital of Ecuador? How about the Atlases?

What you say is just not true. There is a great deal of agreement, and disagreement can be explained, perhaps by dates of publication. Or, even by misprint or error. Even reference books are fallible. But fallibility does not mean there is no truth of the matter. Someone may not be able to give the correct spelling of "weird". But that does not mean that there is no correct spelling of "weird". And there may be disagreement about what is the capital of Ecuador, but that does not mean that there is no correct answer to the question, "What is the capital of Ecuador". And, if there is disagreement about whether Obama deserved the prize, that does not mean there is no correct answer to the question, "Did Obama deserve the prize?".
 
richrf
 
Reply Sun 11 Oct, 2009 08:57 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;96826 wrote:
You have read all the dictionaries and encyclopedia, and all the philosophy books? If not, how do you know? Do dictionaries differ about (say) the spelling of the word, "ignorant"? Do encyclopedias differ about the capital of Ecuador? How about the Atlases?

What you say is just not true. There is a great deal of agreement, and disagreement can be explained, perhaps by dates of publication. Or, even by misprint or error. Even reference books are fallible. But fallibility does not mean there is no truth of the matter. Someone may not be able to give the correct spelling of "weird". But that does not mean that there is no correct spelling of "weird". And there may be disagreement about what is the capital of Ecuador, but that does not mean that there is no correct answer to the question, "What is the capital of Ecuador". And, if there is disagreement about whether Obama deserved the prize, that does not mean there is no correct answer to the question, "Did Obama deserve the prize?".


WikiAnswers - Capital of Ecuador in spanish

The full offical name for Quito however is "San Francisco de Quito" or Saint Francis of Quito". The name Quito itself comes from the Quitu tribe of indians who settled the land around modern day Quito area over a thousand years ago.


And this is the simple stuff.

Wherever you go, whatever you do, whomever you speak to, whatever you believe, for ever long the universe exists, things change and are different.

Rich
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Sun 11 Oct, 2009 09:07 pm
@richrf,
richrf;96824 wrote:
Yes, Soooooooo many. And they all say different things. Every philosophical book is different. Every religious book is different. Every encyclopedia and dictionary is different (definitions, pronunciations, etymology, etc.). Everything and everybody is different. Some people thought that Bush was one great guy for invading Iraq. Others thought he was a murderer for killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people. Which side to come out on?

Just observing this discussion should be enough to show that what is good and what is bad is a matter of opinion/belief. The only way to get around it is to make oneself the living authority (e.g. God) or to appeal to authority (e.g. God). Or to just pretend. We all like to play pretend.

Rich


If everything is so relative, how on earth does the human race come to such agreement, rich?

You're going way, way, way too far with this. Of course there are going to be subtleties and disagreements with certain things, but it's very clear there is intersubjectivity, a shared cognition and consensus, regarding many matters. If there wasn't we wouldn't even be able to function as a society. What is bad or good often times has absolutely nothing to do with belief or whatever faith-driven mechanism you're trying to pin it on. It's part of that "common knowledge" jgweed was speaking about earlier.

Faith has nothing to do with me purchasing an LCD monitor from X company because I know the panel quality on that particular screen is good. It's not opinion that H-IPS panels are the highest quality in the market right now, it's fact. So, if I were to say "H-IPS panels are good", who in their right mind would disagree with me?

With your logic, rich, no one is really ever wrong or right. It's relativism to the max, huh? You're aware you wouldn't even be typing on this website if there wasn't consensus that this website actually existed and there was a text box to type in, right? Or is it just opinion that this website exists and you're typing to me?

Quote:
WikiAnswers - Capital of Ecuador in spanish

The full offical name for Quito however is "San Francisco de Quito" or Saint Francis of Quito". The name Quito itself comes from the Quitu tribe of indians who settled the land around modern day Quito area over a thousand years ago.

And this is the simple stuff.

Wherever you go, whatever you do, whomever you speak to, whatever you believe, for ever long the universe exists, things change and are different.

Rich


The capital is still Quito. Some may pronounce it differently or speak it in a different language, but it's still the same place. Do you really believe people are speaking about two different places if they pronounce Quito differently? What on earth are you talking about?

By the way, it states this explicately:

The spanish name for the capital of Ecuador is the same as it is in English: Quito
 
jgweed
 
Reply Sun 11 Oct, 2009 09:27 pm
@no1author,
But isn't there a distinction between two different kinds of statements: Quito is the capital of Ecuador/ Stealing is morally wrong (evil)?

We all know how to prove or disprove the first statement, but do we all agree on how to prove or disprove the second?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 11 Oct, 2009 09:28 pm
@richrf,
richrf;96829 wrote:
WikiAnswers - Capital of Ecuador in spanish

The full offical name for Quito however is "San Francisco de Quito" or Saint Francis of Quito". The name Quito itself comes from the Quitu tribe of indians who settled the land around modern day Quito area over a thousand years ago.


And this is the simple stuff.

Wherever you go, whatever you do, whomever you speak to, whatever you believe, for ever long the universe exists, things change and are different.

Rich


You mean the capital of Ecuador is not Quito? Why? New York is the largest city in New York state, and so is New York City. One and the same thing can have many names. Very different from one another. "Mark Twain", and Samuel Clemens", and are two different names for the same person. One thing for you to get clearer is to distinguish (carefully) between names, and what the names are names of. Two different names can be the names of the same thing, and the same name can name two (or more) different things. (How many Johns are there? And they all have the name, "John"!). Sure things change, and things are different. So what does that mean? And, on the other hand, the very same thing can change and still be the same thing. Sam Clemens can change his name to "Mark Twain", but he is still Sam Clemens.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Sun 11 Oct, 2009 10:12 pm
@no1author,
jgweed wrote:
But isn't there a distinction between two different kinds of statements: Quito is the capital of Ecuador/ Stealing is morally wrong (evil)?

We all know how to prove or disprove the first statement, but do we all agree on how to prove or disprove the second?


There's consensus regarding the idea that stealing is morally wrong. With ethical frameworks and judicial systems we can evaluate the wrongness of certain actions, can't we? Sure, there's going to be some disparity, differences of opinion, but there's going to be more agreement than there is disagreement, I think.

But, yes, disparity does usually increase when we speak of ethical, metaphysical, and aesthetic propositions. But, I think, even with these, there is great consensus. Our goal isn't to try to "prove something is objectively correct or incorrect". This is confused, especially when we approach morality. And moral judgments aren't as relative as rich makes them out to be - we have very similar feelings towards things, in general. Morality, of course, is a concept that only applies to humans, and so agreement is all we have. And that's all we need, isn't it?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 11 Oct, 2009 10:29 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;96836 wrote:
There's consensus regarding the idea that stealing is morally wrong. With ethical frameworks and judicial systems we can evaluate the wrongness of certain actions, can't we? Sure, there's going to be some disparity, differences of opinion, but there's going to be more agreement than there is disagreement, I think.

But, yes, disparity does usually increase when we speak of ethical, metaphysical, and aesthetic propositions. But, I think, even with these, there is great consensus. Our goal isn't to try to "prove something is objectively correct or incorrect". This is confused, especially when we approach morality. And moral judgments aren't as relative as rich makes them out to be - we have very similar feelings towards things, in general. Morality, of course, is a concept that only applies to humans, and so agreement is all we have. And that's all we need, isn't it?


That it is wrong to steal is a much more general proposition than that Quito is the capital of Ecuador. But I suppose it can be shown that stealing causes harm to people in large numbers of cases, and that where it does not, that is an exception. That, I suppose would not constitute proving that stealing is wrong in anything like the way we can prove that Quito is the capital. But as I keep pointing out, Aristotle wrote we should not expect in ethics the same kind of proof that we expect in (say) geography.In arguing that stealing is wrong, we are presenting reasons that, to use a phrase of John Stuart Mill's, "would incline the mind". Of course, it showing that stealing is likely to harm (for no good reason) the person who is the victim of stealing does not constitute a reason for thinking stealing is wrong, then I suppose that nothing else would do it.
 
 

 
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