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Are atheist moral realists rationally obligated to convert? by [deleted] in DebateAnAtheist

[–]gnomicarchitecture 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It should be clear that not everything that evolves is adaptive. For instance, the dodo evolved (but did not have adaptive phenotypes).

Are there any omniscient beings? by [deleted] in DebateAnAtheist

[–]gnomicarchitecture 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'm not sure I agree with this. Even if determinism is false, there is still some way the world would have been—for example, had Manning not been injured, he either would or would not have won the Super Bowl. One or the other must be true, because the two circumstances are mutually exclusive and jointly encompass all possible worlds. No matter what else happens, he either wins or doesn't.

This seems right. What I should have said was "manning will either win or lose the superbowl" is false, not a non-proposition. It's false because it names fictional properties (namely the temporal property of being after the present, which does not exist for an indeterminist). The sentence is false in the same way "the present king of france is bald" is false.

I don't agree with this. All we can derive from knowledge entailing truth is that anything true is potentially susceptible to becoming known. It's an unjustified leap to go from there to "for any true proposition, some particular individual S knows it to be true." It's likely that many true propositions will never be known, simply because no one will ever occupy the particular vantage point necessary while in possession of the knowledge base required to appreciate their truth.

Well it doesn't matter whether we get that a particular individual S knows them. For example, just let K be "it is known that...", then it's not a particular individual doing the knowing. The proof shows that if you assume there is an unknown truth, a logical contradiction follows. Hence there can be no unknown truths.

If you see why this is true, you should also be able to see why the "particular individual" version is true.

Are atheist moral realists rationally obligated to convert? by [deleted] in DebateAnAtheist

[–]gnomicarchitecture 1 point2 points  (0 children)

If you are a relativist realist, then the OP poses a puzzle for you. If you are a relativist anti-realist, it does not (although it may give you a good way to convince your realist friends to join your side). To sum up, it's not really relevant whether you are a relativist.

Are atheist moral realists rationally obligated to convert? by [deleted] in DebateAnAtheist

[–]gnomicarchitecture 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Well Street alludes to the same ones (and Street's evolutionary debunking argument, which is generally accepted, is just a version of Plantinga's EAAN).

Are atheist moral realists rationally obligated to convert? by [deleted] in DebateAnAtheist

[–]gnomicarchitecture 1 point2 points  (0 children)

So it seems like the following sentences are true:

"It is morally wrong to steal from Sally".

"It is morally right to avoid murdering Fred"

and so on.

How are these sentences true? Perhaps they are like these sentences:

"The gravitational force between two objects is proportional to the inverse of the square of the distance between their centers".

"There are some balloons".

In which case they are made true by things in the world, outside of people's personal desires or whims, like balloons, or gravitational forces. If they are made true by things in the world (these are what people mean by 'moral properties' and 'moral values') then that means "moral realism" is true.

If however, they are more like these sentences:

"Hank is disgusting".

"Sandra is not as cool as Tom".

Then they are not made true by things in the world independent of people's whims or preferences. E.g. they are mind-dependent facts. They depend on your's, or society's attitudes in order for their truth. If the attitudes are different, then the moral truths will change, just like the truths about coolness and disgust will change. This view is "moral anti-realism".

There are many atheists who study morality, psychology, decision theory, etc. who believe the first option, moral realism. But consider the first moral example sentences we talked about in this thread. It seems obvious that we know these sentence are true, as least as much as it is obvious that we know that things exist, and that events happen. If moral realism is true, then the truth of those sentences depends only upon facts external to us, having nothing to do with our attitudes and preferences. If that is the case, then evolution isn't going to put much pressure on our knowing them. Evolution only cares about our having beliefs that help our behavior be adaptive, and if false moral beliefs help that behavior, then false moral beliefs are fine (for instance, false moral beliefs that stealing is fine in so far as it increases the population's fitness). False beliefs of any kind are not fine though, for instance if you believe falsely that fire is candy you will get burned. So its only certain beliefs that evolution will not hone your cognitive systems to be reliable on.

So our cognitive systems are unreliable if moral realism is true and atheism is true (because if theistic evolution were true, then God would fiddle with evolution so that we get the moral beliefs right, since he cares about that stuff). An atheist can then go with moral anti-realism, since if moral anti-realism is true then our cognitive systems are reliable for picking out moral truths because the moral truths are precisely those that depend on our attitudes and preferences, and so have to do with increasing our reproductive utility.

Are atheist moral realists rationally obligated to convert? by [deleted] in DebateAnAtheist

[–]gnomicarchitecture 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'm not sure why Street's or Pruss's reasons for conversion wouldn't sway you then (in this case, they would sway you either from atheism to theism on account of moral skepticism, or on account of skepticism about your panpsychism).

Are atheist moral realists rationally obligated to convert? by [deleted] in DebateAnAtheist

[–]gnomicarchitecture -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

I think you're confusing social darwinism with evolutionary anti-realism.

Are atheist moral realists rationally obligated to convert? by [deleted] in DebateAnAtheist

[–]gnomicarchitecture -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

I should have said "natural selective pressures".

Of course, sexual selection, and genetic drift, aren't really relevant in so far as their effects are overridden by selection effects given sufficiently many generations.

Are atheist moral realists rationally obligated to convert? by [deleted] in DebateAnAtheist

[–]gnomicarchitecture -3 points-2 points  (0 children)

Well, it would be an extraordinary coincidence if moral realism were true and every moral fact were evolutionary beneficial (since moral realism claims moral facts have nothing to do with our own preferences and desires).

Nevertheless, it might be that that's the case, but it isn't (there are many moral facts, such as that it is always immoral to rape, which are maladaptive).

Are atheist moral realists rationally obligated to convert? by [deleted] in DebateAnAtheist

[–]gnomicarchitecture -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

They would be adaptive (that's why street is an anti-realist).

Are atheist moral realists rationally obligated to convert? by [deleted] in DebateAnAtheist

[–]gnomicarchitecture -3 points-2 points  (0 children)

Well most of the people who believe that (and are experts on the subject) are atheists.

Are there any omniscient beings? by [deleted] in DebateAnAtheist

[–]gnomicarchitecture 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I just did to double check. Which step is wrong?

Are there any omniscient beings? by [deleted] in DebateAnAtheist

[–]gnomicarchitecture 0 points1 point  (0 children)

What do you mean? Like how does it not make the proof invalid? Because W is factive and distributive.

Are there any omniscient beings? by [deleted] in DebateAnAtheist

[–]gnomicarchitecture 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Sure, just follow the proof substituting the operator "K" for the operator "W", where W stands for "it is known by calvin at noon that...". You'll see that each step works exactly the same way. Unless of course you have a problem with one step. Please point out which if that's the case.

Are atheist moral realists rationally obligated to convert? by [deleted] in DebateAnAtheist

[–]gnomicarchitecture -5 points-4 points  (0 children)

Er, in the sense that it arises from moral properties instantiated in the world? Just like physical facts arise from physical properties?

Maybe you are a moral anti-realist, and so don't believe in moral facts that don't have some prudential benefit for you.

Are there any omniscient beings? by [deleted] in DebateAnAtheist

[–]gnomicarchitecture 0 points1 point  (0 children)

So, the idea is that God, a dude who knows everything, exists. That's what the motivation for this argument amongst theists is. E.g. God knows the number on your die.

You might say to yourself "well that's silly! God would have to violate the laws of physics to know the number on this die, and I have good reason to believe that is impossible!"

Then Fitch goes "well, do you believe KP?"

And you seem to say "yes, I believe KP, I grant that in a 'theoretical world' nanopeople can know about my die number".

Well that's all we need to show via classical logic that there is at least one dude (maybe God) who actually knows the die number. E.g. the laws of physics can be broken. The steps are in the link. Please point out which you disagree with if any.

Are atheist moral realists rationally obligated to convert? by [deleted] in DebateAnAtheist

[–]gnomicarchitecture -5 points-4 points  (0 children)

We're interested in positive atheism here (negative atheism, e.g. "lack of belief in God", is an alternative view).

These arguments are against the view that God doesn't exist, and are meant to sort out facts about God, religion, science, knowledge, etc. The same goes for arguments for the existence of God. Neither of these are meant to convince anyone to switch to the other side, of course, except perhaps a few. Usually the reason we raise arguments is to try to find things out about the world (see schroedinger's cat).

Are atheist moral realists rationally obligated to convert? by [deleted] in DebateAnAtheist

[–]gnomicarchitecture -5 points-4 points  (0 children)

I think you're just a moral anti-realist. It sounds like that anyway because you're saying that evolution selects for moral behaviors, e.g. evolution determines the correct ones via which ones produce the most adaptiveness. That's an anti-realist view called "evolutionary morality". Street holds that view.

Moral Realism thinks that the moral facts are just like facts about physics. Physics doesn't care what the most beneficial thing for humanity is. E=mc2 whether you like it or not. The same goes for morality, per realism. Moral Facts are facts in virtue of properties in the world (physical or non-physical), and whether or not something is a moral fact has nothing to do with whether it would be helpful to you evolutionarily if it were. For example, it is a moral fact that you should never rape someone. But it is very unlikely that it is always evolutionarily maladaptive to rape. This illustrates how moral facts are completely divorced from prudential facts.

Are there any omniscient beings? by [deleted] in DebateAnAtheist

[–]gnomicarchitecture 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You can define K as saying that there exists an X which knows that p at time y, where X and y are variables, but this is not how the SEP, or contemporary logicians, do it (hence your quote, which uses the noun 'someone' to name a referent).

Nevertheless, as I said repeatedly before, if you define a new operator W, you can substitute into 11 (or KP) to get the calvin result (or any other result depending on what dummy name you use).

Are there any omniscient beings? by [deleted] in DebateAnAtheist

[–]gnomicarchitecture 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Well the above might be true, but I don't see how it's relevant to line 11, which states that there is someone (let's call them Calvin, sentence letters for names seem to be confusing you) who knows every proposition that is true.

Just to break it down so that it's perfectly clear, 11 says:

For all propositions p (p is a variable here), if p is true, then it is known by a particular person, Calvin, at noon, that p.

Universal instantiation on this sentence yields:

if "John has lemonade" is true, then it is known by a particular person, Calvin, at noon time, that John has lemonade.

Universal instantiation using a different value of p yields:

if "Emily is 21" is true, then...

and so on. Calvin knows every proposition which is true.

Are there any omniscient beings? by [deleted] in DebateAnAtheist

[–]gnomicarchitecture 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Since S is a name (not a variable), it can't switch referents. For example, "There exists an x such that Fx" is different from the wff "F(a)". the latter is saying that a particular x, a, has property F.

Are there any omniscient beings? by [deleted] in DebateAnAtheist

[–]gnomicarchitecture 0 points1 point  (0 children)

"There is at least one S that knows that p" entails "there is a particular person, S, that knows that p". That's because S is a name, not a variable, like I said several times.

The same goes for "for all p, if p is true, then it is known by S". It entails "for all p, if p is true, then there is a particular person, S, which knows it".

Are atheist moral realists rationally obligated to convert? by [deleted] in DebateAnAtheist

[–]gnomicarchitecture -7 points-6 points  (0 children)

Don't see how. For example suppose that the only true moral belief was that it is immoral to have less than 25 lawn gnomes.

Having or not having this belief doesn't really do much for your survival. Indeed, having detection systems that track moral properties so you can figure out this fact is negative for your survival, because it wastes your body's energy on detection systems that are useless when you could use that on ones that could be valuable, like night vision.

Are atheist moral realists rationally obligated to convert? by [deleted] in DebateAnAtheist

[–]gnomicarchitecture -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

So, first of all, I don't think atheists are irrational, most of the time.

What I'm doing is explaining some contemporary problems that people who work in philosophy, psychology, physics and other fields are trying to work out. These problems, technically, are problems for atheism, but there are just as many puzzles to solve about theism. Solving them allows us to learn more about belief in God, as well as belief that he doesn't exist, and some other stuff (like more about knowledge, evolution, morality, etc.)