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Intrinsic Value
Posted: 17 February 2012 06:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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So Craig’s dishonest strategy would go something like this: 

He begins with his usual stuff about how he agrees with Sartre and Nietzsche that without God there is no objective value, purpose, meaning, etc. Without God anything is permitted. 

The consequentialist philosopher then responds by saying that we consequentialists believe that maximizing happiness really is objectively right and so we do believe in objective value. 

Later on Craig manages to get the consequentialist to admit that in some weird situation torturing a child might be the right thing to do according to consequentialism, e.g. in order to prevent a terrorist from blowing up a city and killing millions of people. 

The slimy and sneaky Craig then casually walks up to the stage and says, ‘well, you see friends, just as I said at the very beginning, without God anything is permitted!’. 

There are two meanings of ‘anything is perimitted’ in play here: 1. without God literally anything goes and no action is better or worse than any other 2. any particular action could be permitted in extreme circumstances

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Posted: 17 February 2012 06:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Dom1978 - 17 February 2012 06:04 PM

The slimy and sneaky Craig then casually walks up to the stage and says, ‘well, you see friends, just as I said at the very beginning, without God anything is permitted!’

This is why Plato so disliked the skill of rhetoric.

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Posted: 24 February 2012 02:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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The only thing with intrinsic value to humans is our feelings, emotions, desires. Desires are where humans get their values/morality from.

Bertrand Russell: “All human activity is prompted by desire”.

Naturalism is a theory of beliefs/knowledge which says nothing about values/morality. Naturalism has no moral propositions. None. It deals only with facts, not values.

Philosophies which recognise desires as our source of value are things like emotivism, hedonism, utilitarianism (I guess), etc. Humanism would also boil down to emotional values + rational beliefs.

Do humans deserve preference for life and liberty over animals? Of course, there are situations when the answer is obviously yes, if it’s us or them. Otherwise, the extent to which humans extend their empathy to non-human life depends on how you feel about it. There is no rational answer, it’s an emotive response (apart from the obvious need to preserve biodiversity for our own survival).

[ Edited: 24 February 2012 02:25 AM by mralstoner ]
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Posted: 24 February 2012 03:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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mralstoner
There is no rational answer, it’s an emotive response (apart from the obvious need to preserve biodiversity for our own survival)

Therein lies a Humanist’s moral value.  Everything in nature is connected, protection of our biosphere is not a desire, it’s an imperative.

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Posted: 24 February 2012 04:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Write4U - 24 February 2012 03:09 AM

Everything in nature is connected, protection of our biosphere is not a desire, it’s an imperative.

No, protection of the biosphere is motivated by the desire for survival, wellbeing, or happiness. All motivation comes from desire. No exceptions.

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Posted: 24 February 2012 04:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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mralstoner - 24 February 2012 04:13 AM
Write4U - 24 February 2012 03:09 AM

Everything in nature is connected, protection of our biosphere is not a desire, it’s an imperative.

No, protection of the biosphere is motivated by the desire for survival, wellbeing, or happiness. All motivation comes from desire. No exceptions.

I agree that this is the practical truth. But there are natural imperatives which should override our desires. I am not sure if survival is a desire or a hardwired function. In animals this presents no problem, they only take what they need and usually return their wastes back to the natural environment as part of the natural cycle.
Humans act from desire for gratification, other than hunger, often against our own self interest, and seldom return anything of value back into the natural biosphere except toxic wastes.

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Posted: 04 May 2012 09:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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abe zydar - 15 February 2012 10:03 PM

Hello, first post!

I’m wondering what the naturalist perspective on intrinsic value is and if a naturalist would say that human life is better than non-human life? I’m fairly new to naturalism and am trying to understand its moral propositions, of which I feel the perspective on human life as it relates to other kinds of life is a crucial distinction.

If the proposition from naturalism is that all life has equal value, then would that necessarily entail that man engages in specieism when placing a priority of humans over other life? Does naturalism even suggest intrinsic value? Or is all human value extrinsic?

Wikipedia: “Naturalism commonly refers to the viewpoint that laws of nature (as opposed to supernatural ones) operate in the universe, and that nothing exists beyond the natural universe or, if it does, it does not affect the natural universe. Followers of naturalism (naturalists) assert that natural laws are the rules that govern the structure and behavior of the natural universe, that the universe is a product of these laws”.

According to the above definition Naturalism essentially espouses the law of the jungle as its moral imperative. If that’s the case then might is right and may the strongest man conquer all. But it doesn’t work that way because man is no longer an animal living in the jungle without thought. Animals don’t think therefore the only morality is the law of the jungle. But because man thinks “value” enters the picture.

A strict naturalist like the fundamentalist religious freak would only see things as black and white and would assign equal rights to a monkey as to a human. Of course, this is nonsensical because that militant naturalist would enforce his belief but not live by them as, for example, not cohabiting with a chimp instead of a human.

A reasonable naturalist would say that we need to respect the habitats of wild animals and even protect their exploitation as vegans do but they certainly wouldn’t say that non-human life is because a human’s survival is dependent on eating lower non-human life.

[ Edited: 04 May 2012 09:19 AM by TenFold ]
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Posted: 04 May 2012 12:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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But the direct food chain is only a small part of survival.  In the end it can be argued that, regardless of form, all living things on earth have a place in the natural cycle.

Our very economy today rests on organisms that lived millions of years ago. Thus the term “fossil fuel”. I would caution against the notion that this species or that species is unnecessary.  In the end nature does not care and by that definition man is just as expendable as any other extinct species.
But we have the term “indicator species”, which warn us that due to man’s interference our environment is becoming unbalanced.  Unlike lesser species it is our intelligence which allows us to shape our environment and that brings a responsibility, not just for the environment in general , but for our very survival, if we so desire or not.

IMO, this establishes an imperative.

[ Edited: 04 May 2012 05:28 PM by Write4U ]
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