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 Are ALL men created equal?

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Helium



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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:22 pm

Quote :
So what this means is that truth is largely based on one's perspective.

Subjective truth is entirely based on one's perspective.

But what I'm postulating, and I think Stew, er paine, is, is that there is an objective truth that is beyond and not dependent upon ourselves.

Again to use my well worn example, Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein discovered truths about the physical universe. But it's important to note that they discovered truths about how the physical unvierse operates. The actual operation of the universe was quite unaffacted by thier discoveries and in fact operated quite nicely befoere they came along, in fact before us humans were smart enough to start figuring things out.

So I'm postulating the same is true for the moral universe. That great men with moral insight such as Buddha and Jesus come along and they indeed shed light on the moral underpinnings to the world.
But those underpinnings are already there and are the objective truth or God.
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The Paineful Truth

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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:06 am

Ditto what Hydrogen Helium said (except objective AND subjective Truth are God).

Quote :
Yes we are discrete, but we aren't separate, we don't live in a vacuum, we are part of a larger whole. Therefore we have two aspects or drives, one's individual and one's communal. They're like two sides of the same coin, you can't have one without the other. Individuals influence the community and the community influences the individual.

That's all true, but it's irrelevant to the nature of Truth. And individuals can live without community, sometimes by accident, sometimes by choice.
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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:30 am

Helium wrote:
...there is an objective truth that is beyond and not dependent upon ourselves.

I tend to agree with you on that, but even that's a perspective. It's a 3rd person perspective.

Helium wrote:
So I'm postulating the same is true for the moral universe. That great men with moral insight such as Buddha and Jesus come along and they indeed shed light on the moral underpinnings to the world.
But those underpinnings are already there and are the objective truth or God.

I disagee with you on that. IMO the universe on it's own is neither moral nor immoral. It just is. The objective world effects morals and ethics however they are ultimately subjective and intersubjective constructions.

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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:36 am

The Paineful Truth wrote:
Individuals can live without community, sometimes by accident, sometimes by choice.

Yes, but not for very long before they begin to lose their minds.

Ever see "Castaway"? Why do you think the Tom Hanks character needed to create a friend out of the volleyball? It's because humans are social animals by nature.

Besides were are more than just a part of a community, we are also part of a larger ecosystem. No matter how hard we try we can't live on our own without that.

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The Paineful Truth

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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Mon Sep 24, 2007 7:05 pm

But that's still all irrelevant for pursuing or appreciating the nature of Truth . As far as deducing or projecting Truth, insanity and death are basically equivalent.
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Helium



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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Mon Sep 24, 2007 11:00 pm

Helium said ...
Quote :
Again to use my well worn example, Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein discovered truths about the physical universe. But it's important to note that they discovered truths about how the physical unvierse operates. The actual operation of the universe was quite unaffacted by thier discoveries and in fact operated quite nicely befoere they came along, in fact before us humans were smart enough to start figuring things out.
So I'm postulating the same is true for the moral universe. That great men with moral insight such as Buddha and Jesus come along and they indeed shed light on the moral underpinnings to the world.
But those underpinnings are already there and are the objective truth or God.

Aarron said
Quote :
I disagee with you on that. IMO the universe on it's own is neither moral nor immoral. It just is. The objective world effects morals and ethics however they are ultimately subjective and intersubjective constructions.
Well they are two very interesting and fascinating concepts.

Basically it boils down to a view espoused by me and Paine, if I maybe so bold, that truth exists outside the subject, in this case a human. So I would believe that the same truth that governs humans existed before the human race even existed and it would also govern the interactions of other life if it exists in the univers.

Whereas, if I maybe so bold to conjecture with Aaron's theory, he holds that truth is entirely subjective and that truth is evolving and is relevant presumably only to a species. I further surmise if I'm correctly understanding Aaron's concept, that there isn't really so much an objective truth as there is the case that humans can compare their subjective truths and to the extent that they agree on the similarities, then that becomes objective truth.


Perhaps we and the universe and God are evolving together. We in essence are creating truth as we go along.

According to my example, truth is like the physical universe. That is the physical universe affects those that do not intellectually understand it. For instance, the law of gravity affects birds even though are oblivious to it.

So I have always parallaled the physical laws of the universe with the moral laws of the universe.

Aaron I think would agree with my assessment that Newton and Einstein are not creating truth but simply discovering.

Whereas with moral truths, Aaron's concept, to reiterate, is creating truth.

This is interesting.

Interestingly, the truth that Aaron is "making up" is quite similar to the truth I am "discovering". So I'm not sure the distinction has any relevance outside of I'm interested in the subject.

Actually, though, you know, these concepts I think could actually be tested, unlike so much of the stuff we talk about like the existence of God.

I think it could be directly tested if we met up with aliens to see how they intereact.
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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:35 am

Helium wrote:
Whereas, if I maybe so bold to conjecture with Aaron's theory, he holds that truth is entirely subjective and that truth is evolving and is relevant presumably only to a species. I further surmise if I'm correctly understanding Aaron's concept, that there isn't really so much an objective truth as there is the case that humans can compare their subjective truths and to the extent that they agree on the similarities, then that becomes objective truth.

No, you aren't correctly understanding my concept of truth. Wink

I do believe that objective truth exists, however I also believe that subjective truth exists. Things like the physical laws of nature are based on objective truth. We view them from a 3rd person perspective because they exist independent from us.

Things like morals, artistic taste, and culture are based on subjective and intersubjective truth. They are viewed from a 1st person perspective because they are human creations.

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The Paineful Truth

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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Tue Sep 25, 2007 10:16 am

Quote :
Things like morals, artistic taste, and culture are based on subjective and intersubjective truth. They are viewed from a 1st person perspective because they are human creations.

Morals and morality is where things get confused because the concept has been so abused over the millennia. That's why I (semi-artificially) define morality in what turns out to be objective terms: honoring the equal rights of all to their life, liberty and property. In this sense, Helium is right, there is an objective moral universe.

Beyond this is the subjective realm of individual virtuous behavior where your actions involving character and integrity only affect yourself and you define what such individual character and integrity are as long as they don't violate the rights of others--which would then become morality.

I still think first and third person considerations are irrelevant. If I'm the only one that knows that the Earth orbits around the Sun, that's first person but also an objective Truth, not perspective or a human creation. It doesn't matter if no one knows it, only one person knows it, or everyone knows it.

On the other hand, if I create a work of art that I think is beautiful, I might be the only one that does, or others might, or everyone might. Whatever the case, its beauty is always subjective.

I will attempt a crude graphic of my own:


Pure Objective Truth<<> < > < > < >blend< > <> < > < >>Pure Subjective Truth
__________________________________________________________

Natural Law<<><><> <>Justice<><><><><>Love<><><><><>>>Beauty


Objective Truth is collective and mandatory for all, while subjective Truth is an individual choice which all or none may choose. I guess you could call the former third person, but the latter is a sliding zero to first to third person condition--alone, shared or none.
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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Tue Sep 25, 2007 4:59 pm

Nice graph. Smile

The Paineful Truth wrote:
Morals and morality is where things get confused because the concept has been so abused over the millennia. That's why I (semi-artificially) define morality in what turns out to be objective terms: honoring the equal rights of all to their life, liberty and property. In this sense, Helium is right, there is an objective moral universe.

While honoring the equal rights of all to their life, liberty and property is an extremely nobel goal and is extremely important to the evolution of society, it's not something that can be discovered, measured, or predicted. These are not "things" nor are they systems. They are mors and values and are a human creation. Sharks do not honor one's equal rights to life, liberty and property yet they have done very well for themselves over the years.

There are no objective moral laws in the universe. The only morals laws that exist are one's that we create for ourselves. This in no way diminishes the importance of moral laws. It just places them in the proper category so that the morality police don't have the power to say this person or that person is acting immoral based on some "objective moral truth" that exists equally for everyone and that everyone is bound to uphold.

The Paineful Truth wrote:
I still think first and third person considerations are irrelevant. If I'm the only one that knows that the Earth orbits around the Sun, that's first person but also an objective Truth, not perspective or a human creation. It doesn't matter if no one knows it, only one person knows it, or everyone knows it.

A first person perspective is one that comes from an internal or personal point of view. It's a subjective opinion. If I say that I feel that the earth is round then that's a first person perspective. It's based on a feeling or an intuition. It may be right or wrong. This subjective opinion may be about either the objective or subjective aspects of the world. In this case it's about the objective world.

A third (or fourth) person perspective is one that comes from an external or objective point of view. It's an objective fact. If I say measurements show that the earth is round then that's a third person perspective. It's based on third person measurements of the objective world.

These perspectives are important for categorizing the various different ways of gaining knowledge about the world (or gaining "truth"). Phenomenology is a method of gaining knowledge about one's inner self from a first person perspective. Psychology on the other hand is a method of gaining knowledge about one's inner self from a third person perspective. Behaviorism is a method of gaining knowledge about one's outer self (or outer behavior) from a third person perspective.

Cultural Anthropology is a method iof gaining knowledge about a group's inner self from a third person perspective. Hermeneutics is a method iof gaining knowledge about a group's inner self from a first person perspective. Sociology is a method iof gaining knowledge about a group's outer self (or outer behavior) from a third person perspective.

It's important to categorize these different ways of gaining knowledge because it outlines the limitations of the various methodologies. Third person perspects are ideally suited for gaining knowledge obout the objective world where first person perspectives are ideally suited for gaining knowledge about the subjective world.

Anyway, I hope this isn't too confusing. drunken

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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:09 pm

Aaron wrote:
Quote :
While honoring the equal rights of all to their life, liberty and property is an extremely nobel goal and is extremely important to the evolution of society, it's not something that can be discovered, measured, or predicted.

Life, liberty and property are all objectively quantifiable (except for gray areas like does human life=brain waves and abortion which are problematic but will only be resolved using objective license). Therefore, at least for the vast majority of issues, an objective moral code can be deduced.

Wouldn't taking a baby and killing it for the pleasure of it be objectively immoral in every case? Wouldn't genocide strictly for racial or cultural reasons always be immoral? Can murder ever be justified--self-defense not being murder?

Are these not " 'objective moral truth(s)' that exist equally for everyone and that everyone is (morally) bound to uphold"?

Quote :
If I say measurements show that the earth is round then that's a third person perspective. It's based on third person measurements of the objective world.

I really must say I'm flummoxed. Can't an individual measure the Earth and objectively deduce that the Earth is round? Isn't it likely that just one cave man determined that a round wheel rolls better than a square one and that objective fact applies equally to everyone?

First/third person has nothing to do with subjective/objective Truth. Or more accurately put, subjective Truth is determined by the individual which may or may not be shared by others. Objective Truth applies to and can be deduced by individuals and groups alike.
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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:57 pm

The Paineful Truth wrote:
Life, liberty and property are all objectively quantifiable.

OK how?

The Paineful Truth wrote:
Wouldn't taking a baby and killing it for the pleasure of it be objectively immoral in every case? Wouldn't genocide strictly for racial or cultural reasons always be immoral? Can murder ever be justified--self-defense not being murder?

Are these not " 'objective moral truth(s)' that exist equally for everyone and that everyone is (morally) bound to uphold"?

I find all of those things morally reprehensible and no I can't think of a situation where any of those things is ok, but no one is objectively bound to uphold any of those things. If someone chooses to kill a baby for the fun of it, the universe doesn't care. Society, culture, and the baby's parents will probably care, but not the universe as a whole. We are objectively bound by the laws of gravity, we are not objectively bound by any moral laws however.

To quote you...
Quote :
Objective Truth is collective and mandatory for all, while subjective Truth is an individual choice which all or none may choose.

This is absolutely correct. The laws of nature for instance are collective and mandatory for all, however morality is subjective and is based on individual choice.

The Paineful Truth wrote:
Aaron wrote:
If I say measurements show that the earth is round then that's a third person perspective. It's based on third person measurements of the objective world.

I really must say I'm flummoxed. Can't an individual measure the Earth and objectively deduce that the Earth is round?


Yep, but it's still based on an objective methodology which is a third person methodology.

The Paineful Truth wrote:
Isn't it likely that just one cave man determined that a round wheel rolls better than a square one and that objective fact applies equally to everyone?

I think you're confusing objective truth for universal truth. Although objective truth may be universal, universal truth isn't always objective in nature. For instance the immorality of murdering a baby just for the fun of it is an example of a truth that's universal, however it's not objective in nature, it's subjective. It's based on subjective and intersubjectively created mores.

The Paineful Truth wrote:
First/third person has nothing to do with subjective/objective Truth. Or more accurately put, subjective Truth is determined by the individual which may or may not be shared by others. Objective Truth applies to and can be deduced by individuals and groups alike.

Perspectives (1st, 2nd, 3rd person, and beyond) relate to epistemologies and methodologies for gaining knowledge of objective and subjective truths. First and second person perspectives are ideally suited to gaining knowledge about the subjective realm and third person perspectives (and beyond) are ideally suited for gaining knowledge of the objective realm. A truly comprehensive approach would include the opposite approaches as well however.

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Helium



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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Thu Sep 27, 2007 2:28 am

Quote :
No, you aren't correctly understanding my concept of truth.

Actually I think I completely understand where you're coming from.

I believe there are physical laws that govern the physical universe. And it doesn't matter what we think. Even when we thought the earth was the centre of the universe and the earth was flat, the physical laws still worked the same way. That's what makes it objective.

You agree with this supposition, incidently. That that's objective.
That I understand.

What you clearly don't agree with is my next supposition that the moral laws of the universe govern our interactions on an inter-personal level and on an inter-speceis level.

I say that like the physical world, there are logical reactions that take place in the moral world between sentiences that are predictable.

But this, in fact, is where we diverge. You believe that all interactions are subjective.

To be honest, your confusion is because you accept truth only as it pertains to the physical world and not the moral world.

And you are not considering my postulation that it can apply to both.

Naturally I will try to prove my case, but not tonight! It's a late one.
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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Thu Sep 27, 2007 10:06 am

I believe moral truths exists. It's just that they are subjective truths not objective.

What makes something objective, is that it's an object in the sense that it can be measured in some way. What makes something subjective is that it is a subject of thought that can't be directly measured. Perfect moral truths may exist independent of us, but only conceptually.

We'll have to carry on this interesting discussion next week. I'm off to the Jersey shore now. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:33 pm

Based on the following quote by Christian de Quincey I'm willing to amend my argument regarding the pure subjectivity of morality and ethics.

Quote :
Various aspects of the so-called postmodern movement—such as deconstructionism, poststructuralism, ecofeminism, and deep ecology—assert that any shift beyond the modernist paradigm (of scientific materialism, objectivity, and patriarchy) must be based on an ideal of universal equality. In this version of the postmodern vision, all values and qualities are seen as cultural constructs, without any "objective" foundation. Knowledge, truth, and values are all a matter of power plays by the dominant establishment (Foucault, 1970). It is "politically correct," therefore, to rail against patriarchy and hierarchy, as though the two were synonymous. In this view, nothing is intrinsically more valuable or significant than anything else. All values are relative, depending on the social, cultural, historical, or political context. The universe is seen as a great web of interconnecting nodes, all of equal ontological status and relative value. Thus, if we are to be consistent, according to this ideology an atom of hydrogen or a blade of grass is just as valuable as a human being; or a Nazi exterminator just as valuable as the Dalai Lama.

Clearly, something is amiss in such a view of things.

The problem, as we shall see, stems from an unfortunate confusion of concepts and categories. The ideal of universal equality is laudable, and even practical—as long as we distinguish between ontological and moral equality. It is one thing to say that all beings are equal—meaning they have an equal right to actualize their innate potentials; it is altogether something else to mean that all beings are equal in their capacities for embracing reality. In the first instance, we are talking about equality of opportunity—moral equality; in the second case we are talking about equality of being—and such ontological equality just doesn’t make empirical, rational, or intuitive sense.

I still think that morality is a subjective (and intersubjective) creation however morality is effected by (and should be grounded in) "objective" ontological hierarchies that are intrinsic and ubiquitous in nature.

You can read the rest of the essay here... http://www.deepspirit.com/sys-tmpl/8rehabilitatinghierarchy/

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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Tue Oct 23, 2007 3:24 am

Aaron wrote:
Quote :
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness...."
-Declaration of Independence

This is a quote that in near and dear to most Americans, however is it really true? Are all men really created equal and is liberty really an "unalienable" right? Or is it a right that needs to be earned to be given and kept?



Well Aaron, It says,"We hold these truths to be self-evident." Is it self-evident to you? If I enslaved you, took away all your happiness, and killed you when I no longer needed you would it be SELF-EVIDENT that I wronged you and that I violated your rights? If it needs to be earned to be given and kept wouldn't that make it a privilege and not a right in the first place?

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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Tue Oct 23, 2007 12:13 pm

The justification for earning it and keeping it is self-evident. That justification is based on an assumption that life is of value and human/sentient life is of ultimate value. From that can be derived the concept of the human right to life, liberty and property which can only be achieved without a double standard.

Otherwise, one person could (and has) declared that they are the only one with a right to life, liberty and property, and the rest must rely on being in his favor. IOW, irrational chaos if the tyrant so chooses. You may argue against this assumption and for chaos, but I see no rational justification for it, only a baseless declaration that is should be so. Only equal human rights and the morality that flows from it establishes good order as a rational fit for this rational universe.
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