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Why Our Children Don’T Think There Are Moral Facts

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So I don't see how "murder" can be a moral fact, if it merely hinges on whether the current local government says that killing person X for reason Y is legal.  And if you want to base it on morals, I can find lots of moral systems that are OK with killing people that I would consider murder in a moral sense, so murder isn't a moral fact in that case, either.

 

 

I think reasonable, sane people can agree that murder of anyone who has not committed a crime is a moral fact.

 

As you point out, the grey area is abortion and the death penalty. No surprise there.

Edited by Bad Wolf

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Yes, because everyone follows one single unchanging consistent source. Those citizens know that nothing changes after the next election cycle or changing of the guard. And the poor can hold the elitist accountable to the equal standard. 

 

Barry

 

Well, if you're done being sarcastic, how do you justify murder as a moral fact when people clearly don't agree?  Not much of a "fact".

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Well, if you're done being sarcastic, how do you justify murder as a moral fact when people clearly don't agree?  Not much of a "fact".

What part of that is sarcasm? Those are the facts.

 

Barry

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I think reasonable, sane people can agree that murder of anyone who has not committed a crime is a moral fact.

 

As you point out, the grey area is abortion and the death penalty. No surprise there.

 

That still doesn't help when people don't agree on who has committed a crime -- picking up sticks on the Sabbath, or being gay aren't crimes in my view.  You just end up begging the question on what constitutes a capital crime.

Enough people apparently thought Atefeh Sahaaleh committed a capital offense when she was raped at age 16, so she was executed.

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What part of that is sarcasm? Those are the facts.

 

Barry

 

 

Just avoid the question, that's the easy way to settle moral issues.

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That still doesn't help when people don't agree on who has committed a crime -- picking up sticks on the Sabbath, or being gay aren't crimes in my view.  You just end up begging the question on what constitutes a capital crime.

Enough people apparently thought Atefeh Sahaaleh committed a capital offense when she was raped at age 16, so she was executed.

 

I am talking about American society and not religious canon.

 

Reasonable people in the US -- who do not apply religious reasons -- can agree that killing you because you took my parking space is wrong and moral fact. Killing Hilter in 1926 knowing full well he will become a monster is slightly more grey. 

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Just avoid the question, that's the easy way to settle moral issues.

Ah, bob and weave, I get it.

 

You changed the subject, not me. 

 

Barry

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Ah, bob and weave, I get it.

 

You changed the subject, not me. 

 

Barry

 

I didn't change the subject, which was whether moral facts exist.  You claim they do, yet there is a lack of unanimity, so I say it isn't a fact.

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I am talking about American society and not religious canon.

 

Reasonable people in the US -- who do not apply religious reasons -- can agree that killing you because you took my parking space is wrong and moral fact. Killing Hilter in 1926 knowing full well he will become a monster is slightly more grey. 

 

But now you're talking about specific cases, not the general case of murder being a moral fact.  What does it mean to say "murder is a moral fact" if it's easy to find lots of cases where there is widespread disagreement?

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I didn't change the subject, which was whether moral facts exist.  You claim they do, yet there is a lack of unanimity, so I say it isn't a fact.

If God sets a standard of behavior, its a moral fact. That you don't agree with it doesn't make it less. If the guy with the big stick puts you in jail for what he says is a moral crime, does it really matter if you agree. The fact is you are in jail for the crime.  

 

Barry

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If God sets a standard of behavior, its a moral fact. That you don't agree with it doesn't make it less. If the guy with the big stick puts you in jail for what he says is a moral crime, does it really matter if you agree. The fact is you are in jail for the crime.  

 

Barry

 

 

Well, I prefer facts that don't totally resemble opinions.

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But now you're talking about specific cases, not the general case of murder being a moral fact.  What does it mean to say "murder is a moral fact" if it's easy to find lots of cases where there is widespread disagreement?

 

If you want to be that literal than there is nothing that is fact. Even things like the Big Bang, evolution, string theory, gravity are all "opinions" because there are exceptions under which their generally accepted applications can be challenged. So by that logic we have no facts, just things that are situationally factual.

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Well, I prefer facts that don't totally resemble opinions.

I understand, that allows a great deal of room to maneuver around the facts. Until you are a victim of course. And I think that was the authors point. If everything is an opinion, the result is a lawless society. 

 

Barry

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An old, now deceased, mentor of mine used to like to say, in his lofty manner and tone, "A fact is something that is not currently under investigation."

I really liked that guy.

To me, there are very few facts if we discount the trivial ones like the fact that I'm sitting in front of this screen typing this message. Even in science facts are mostly tentative and used as such until we discover a better way to view something. Whether or not something is fact or opinion is really not all that important, compared to whether or not the evidence supports the idea. More evidence, stronger opinion. 

The closest things to facts that I can think of actually, to me, are closer to fundamental 'truths' because of their importance such as the laws of thermodynamics. 

So in that spirit, I would venture an opinion that most of us would agree that given the choice, it is usually better to attain greater efficiency as opposed to lesser efficiency. 

And combined with the thermodynamic laws it is easy to derive a 'moral' code in which all sorts of behavior which result in less-efficient social interactions would be labeled as 'immoral'. Again, because of the vastly different environments and resulting social contexts around the world, it is easy to understand that while the concept of 'morality' itself might be the same for everyone, the codes aren't necessarily the same.

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