What Makes Human Beings Special?

Discussions on a ranges of philosophical issues including the nature of truth and reality, personal identity, mind-body theories, epistemology, justification of beliefs, argumentation and logic, philosophy of religion, free will and determinism, etc.
thatkidakayoungguy
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Re: What Makes Human Beings Special?

Postby thatkidakayoungguy » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:42 pm

RickD wrote:
Blessed wrote:
The only person who thinks I'm special is my mommy.


What about that cute blonde college student with the bubble butt?

:esurprised:

Don't you mean Hispanic...

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Re: What Makes Human Beings Special?

Postby Hortator » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:50 pm

We go from existentialism to which ethnicity has the best behind in less than 1 page

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Re: What Makes Human Beings Special?

Postby thatkidakayoungguy » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:53 pm

Hortator wrote:Image
Nothing, we are an ugly bag of mostly H20 hurdling through space on a rock whose existence is a biological and astronomical mistake. Image

Not all ppl who are bronies are like that, btw.
Their fandom can be very cringy though.

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Re: What Makes Human Beings Special?

Postby thatkidakayoungguy » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:54 pm

Hortator wrote:We go from existentialism to which ethnicity has the best behind in less than 1 page

Yea, I slipped.
But, I do find a lot of senoritas...quite pretty.
A lot of times they're easy to socialize with for me too, though a lott can get a temper or like to [love you] up for no apparent reason which pees me off.
Ok when i go to edit it says s c rew you then on page it says love you.
Who is hacking me?
Last edited by thatkidakayoungguy on Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: What Makes Human Beings Special?

Postby RickD » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:56 pm

thatkidakayoungguy wrote:
RickD wrote:
Blessed wrote:
The only person who thinks I'm special is my mommy.


What about that cute blonde college student with the bubble butt?

:esurprised:

Don't you mean Hispanic...

No. I was referring to something specific that blessed said in this post:
http://discussions.godandscience.org/viewtopic.php?p=232458#p232458
1 Corinthians 1:9
9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

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Re: What Makes Human Beings Special?

Postby thatkidakayoungguy » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:59 pm

RickD wrote:
thatkidakayoungguy wrote:
RickD wrote:
Blessed wrote:
The only person who thinks I'm special is my mommy.


What about that cute blonde college student with the bubble butt?

:esurprised:

Don't you mean Hispanic...

No. I was referring to something specific that blessed said in this post:
http://discussions.godandscience.org/viewtopic.php?p=232458#p232458

Oh. Well, you now know a preference of mine.
Well, I think humans are ultimately special cuz we're in the image of God.

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Re: What Makes Human Beings Special?

Postby thatkidakayoungguy » Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:52 pm

Well Asians look pretty good too...

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Re: What Makes Human Beings Special?

Postby thatkidakayoungguy » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:18 pm

Ight, lets get back to the main discussion.

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Re: What Makes Human Beings Special?

Postby Kurieuo » Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:19 pm

Nils wrote:The philosophy of intrinsic and extrinsic value, especially related to morality, is a very complex matter and I know I should do much more reading to be able to align my view with the different philosophical discussion. I am leaning towards pragmatism and Koorsgaard but this is only prelminarily.

I'd be interested in your explanation of pragmatism and virtues you see within such. With Korsgaard's moral views, which you particularly align yourself with, I merely mentioning such doesn't say much to anyone unacquainted with them. Can you give an explanation of what it is you're advancing here, in terms someone who hasn't read this lady's views (like myself), that is, those beliefs or views of hers that you agree with. Or, is it more, she seems more authoritative and in line with views more of your own taste, so you'd simply regurgitate or defer to her?

Nils wrote:To start with you view. You say you have intuitions and feelings that every human has an intrinsic value - (that is not dependent of any instrumental use). You believe in God and you also say that God loves all humans and that gives them an intrinsic value. Now, if there is no God but one human that loves all other humans, does that give all humans an intrinsic value? You may say that there is no such human but even it there is none (we don't know) does that really matter? The intrinsic value can't depend on the existence of one specific (all loving) human. So it seems that defining intrinsic by being loved is shallow, more or less ad hoc.

We intuitively believe humans are valuable in and of themselves, but why, where does this come from, what is the source of such i.e., in what do we ground these intuitions that we have?

Now you say it is shallow, more or less ad hoc, to define intrinsic value by "being loved". You're over-simplifying matters here and muddling the predicate with the subject. The subject doing the loving is where the importance lays, and to understand why such matters versus a mere mortal humman requires understanding ontology to do with God.

I would agree and say it makes no difference whether or not a human loves each of us, ignoring the circularity of our assigning value to ourselves being the grounding of our own "intrinsic value". Perhaps we value ourselves, but such doesn't equate to giving ourselves intrinsic value. On the other hand, it makes every difference that God loves us, the focus NOT being the predicate of our "being loved" but rather the subject doing the loving - God Himself. For onotologically, unlike man who is only a potentiality until God actualises us, God is the actual source of any and all value imparted into anything/everything else.

So the value we each intrinsically have, can (and I obviously believe IS) grounded in God. If it isn't obvious why given what I've said, God by definition self-exists, possesses aseity. This is the traditional Judeo-Christian view and other belief systems which are monotheistic and borrow the scaffolds of such. God IS the unmoved mover, the creator of humans who were once only a potentiality, the source of all life and everything that has being. God is the grounding which undergirds, sustains and allows every moment to happen, all that is to have being. Given this understanding of God, our intuition which says, "hey, I don't have any right to take that person's life even if it suits me", this intuition would come from God. God is therefore rightfully the source and grounding. This is neither ad hoc nor shallow (or circular) like intrinsic value being attached to individual human beings due to some contingent creature like another human being loving us all.

Obviously from this we might ask further questions. Like what does this "value" look like. We're here asking for a theological response since we're talking of God's valuing us. Both Jews and Christians alike would base their response upon faith in revelation believed to be provided to us via Scripture. Something like, God takes a personal interest in us because He created us in His image for the purpose of relationship. The reason given in Scripture for why it is wrong for one human to unjustifiably take another human's life (i.e., why we're to value other humans) is that we are all made in God's image. Irrespective of what this value looks like, what the imago Dei is, the grounding is had because God values us and ontologically there would be nothing higher than God.

Nils wrote:I have a materialistic world vies as you know.

Of course, but the only way we can communicate is through reason. Materialism must argue for itself rationally, just like any other view. It isn't the default position, nor should it be assumed as matter of fact (like many tend to do).

Nils wrote:Therefore my view is that we create intrinsic values - we attach the value of intrinsicality to a person. We do that because we think that a necessary condition for a welfare society is that persons are held valuable per se. Compare this with J. L. Mackie's slogan: Inventing right and wrong. That a human being is objectively intrinsic valuable I find as queer at the idea that a human being is objectively moral responsible. Without a society and culture there is no intrinsicality. How could it be? During the evolution, when did that property occur and why? It is difficult to assume that it occurred gradually and equally difficult to understand how it could occur momentarily to all humans. (I'm talking from a secular point of view).

Mackie denies that morality exists, in a position often termed "Error Theory". If you agree with Mackie's views on morality, then you will believe that our moral beliefs are false - one of his arguments being that they're not entities in the natural world. My understanding of you, is you believe consciousness and the like can be/is reducable to the material world (despite being qualitatively dissimilar). So I'm not sure how far you would agree with Mackie who actually denies the truth of morality. He would likely reason that your assignment of value which you believe in be innate in each human being is actually an error like our beliefs in wrong and right.

Why don't you just admit that according to a/your materialistic worldview, something like torturing children for fun isn't actually morally wrong. It might be merely distasteful to our senses, because we believe in "the error" of morality (due to say random chance evolutionary developments which made such socially advantageous compared to non-social creatures). If you are happy with calling things "wrong" based upon such that's your choice, but I think it is misleading (smoke and mirrors) when injecting such into conversations where moral right and wrong is understood in an epistemic context of true and false. That is, when people say something is morally wrong, they in fact mean regardless of what anything believes or thinks that it is true a certain action someone did was wrong (rather than something like they merely evolved to feel repulsed by such an action, or worse yet, it is an error to believe in any sort of morality).

Understand that Mackie doesn't try to ground morality. Mackie doesn't try to argue that humans have intrinsic value. I've never seen the intrinsic value attached to human life, which we all tend to intuitively accept, properly grounded in a secular worldview. I don't believe it can be since the ingredients aren't there to ground morality or intrinsic value. I'm open to you trying to offer up reasoning, but I think, you'd be better agreeing with something like Mackie's views on morality, that believe in intrinsic human value is as much an error as belief in right and wrong.

Let me state a rather simple argument I think we can all grasp, which turns Mackie's argument on its head. One which I think any sane and moral person ought to be able to accept, before try to irrationalise their moral beliefs away in order to stick to a materialistic view of the world of only believing in that which can be tangibly experienced.

1) If right and wrong are invented, it is an error to believe such are true, then torturing children for fun is not morally wrong or right.
2) We know torturing children for fun is morally wrong. (intuitively)
3) Therefore right and wrong aren't invented, it isn't an error to believe it is wrong (Mackie is wrong).

Interestingly, I started writing this yesterday, and a video against Mackie's views on morality was released on YouTube. I'd recommend you (and anyone else interested) watch it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkVR99xX5XI
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Re: What Makes Human Beings Special?

Postby thatkidakayoungguy » Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:08 pm

What I wonder is why we're primates.
Why didn't God make us completely different from the lower animals, or make us a non primate? We're in the image of God but that is primarily the Spirit/Soul in us, after all there are people who are very deformed but they're still human.

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Re: What Makes Human Beings Special?

Postby Kurieuo » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:26 pm

I don't really wonder at all. We're physical beings.
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Re: What Makes Human Beings Special?

Postby neo-x » Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:18 am

K, I don't wish to intrude in your discussion with Kenny. This is what I think. Looking broadly, I'd say that life is special and whatever it entails. Human beings are special only under that and/or because God chose them.

Why is life special?
It is self-evident that it is.

What do you think?
People treat facts as relevant more when the facts tend to support their opinions. When the facts are against their opinions, they don't necessarily deny the facts, but they say the facts are less relevant or insignificant. This is ofcourse because believing things that make you feel comfortable, takes a priority. And I think that should not be the case if one is after truth.

http://johnadavid.wordpress.com

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Re: What Makes Human Beings Special?

Postby Nils » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:38 pm

Kurieuo wrote:
Nils wrote:The philosophy of intrinsic and extrinsic value, especially related to morality, is a very complex matter and I know I should do much more reading to be able to align my view with the different philosophical discussion. I am leaning towards pragmatism and Koorsgaard but this is only prelminarily.

I'd be interested in your explanation of pragmatism and virtues you see within such. With Korsgaard's moral views, which you particularly align yourself with, I merely mentioning such doesn't say much to anyone unacquainted with them. Can you give an explanation of what it is you're advancing here, in terms someone who hasn't read this lady's views (like myself), that is, those beliefs or views of hers that you agree with. Or, is it more, she seems more authoritative and in line with views more of your own taste, so you'd simply regurgitate or defer to her?

Kurieuo, my mentioning of pragmatism etc is only a very preliminary. If you want me to describe what I think about these authors it may take a year until I can answer. Up to now I haven't found any author that mirrors my view about morality. Mackie is closest, see below
Kurieuo wrote:
Nils wrote:To start with you view. You say you have intuitions and feelings that every human has an intrinsic value - (that is not dependent of any instrumental use). You believe in God and you also say that God loves all humans and that gives them an intrinsic value. Now, if there is no God but one human that loves all other humans, does that give all humans an intrinsic value? You may say that there is no such human but even it there is none (we don't know) does that really matter? The intrinsic value can't depend on the existence of one specific (all loving) human. So it seems that defining intrinsic by being loved is shallow, more or less ad hoc.

We intuitively believe humans are valuable in and of themselves, but why, where does this come from, what is the source of such i.e., in what do we ground these intuitions that we have?

Now you say it is shallow, more or less ad hoc, to define intrinsic value by "being loved". You're over-simplifying matters here and muddling the predicate with the subject. The subject doing the loving is where the importance lays, and to understand why such matters versus a mere mortal humman requires understanding ontology to do with God.

I would agree and say it makes no difference whether or not a human loves each of us, ignoring the circularity of our assigning value to ourselves being the grounding of our own "intrinsic value". Perhaps we value ourselves, but such doesn't equate to giving ourselves intrinsic value. On the other hand, it makes every difference that God loves us, the focus NOT being the predicate of our "being loved" but rather the subject doing the loving - God Himself. For onotologically, unlike man who is only a potentiality until God actualises us, God is the actual source of any and all value imparted into anything/everything else.

So the value we each intrinsically have, can (and I obviously believe IS) grounded in God. If it isn't obvious why given what I've said, God by definition self-exists, possesses aseity. This is the traditional Judeo-Christian view and other belief systems which are monotheistic and borrow the scaffolds of such. God IS the unmoved mover, the creator of humans who were once only a potentiality, the source of all life and everything that has being. God is the grounding which undergirds, sustains and allows every moment to happen, all that is to have being. Given this understanding of God, our intuition which says, "hey, I don't have any right to take that person's life even if it suits me", this intuition would come from God. God is therefore rightfully the source and grounding. This is neither ad hoc nor shallow (or circular) like intrinsic value being attached to individual human beings due to some contingent creature like another human being loving us all.

This was what I was aiming at. It is not the love that is the critical issue but that God loves. But if God is almighty it doesn't matter the reason why he values man to be intrincially valuable. You can skip all talk about love and just state: God determined that man should regard each other intrincially valuable. Period. Then the reasoning you do in next paragraph is superfluous to non Christians.
Kurieuo wrote:Obviously from this we might ask further questions. Like what does this "value" look like. We're here asking for a theological response since we're talking of God's valuing us. Both Jews and Christians alike would base their response upon faith in revelation believed to be provided to us via Scripture. Something like, God takes a personal interest in us because He created us in His image for the purpose of relationship. The reason given in Scripture for why it is wrong for one human to unjustifiably take another human's life (i.e., why we're to value other humans) is that we are all made in God's image. Irrespective of what this value looks like, what the imago Dei is, the grounding is had because God values us and ontologically there would be nothing higher than God.

Nils wrote:I have a materialistic world vies as you know.

Of course, but the only way we can communicate is through reason. Materialism must argue for itself rationally, just like any other view. It isn't the default position, nor should it be assumed as matter of fact (like many tend to do).

I don't say that the materialistic / naturalistic view is a default position. I just say that it is my position when I argue below. This is intended as information to those who haven't read my earlier posts.
Kurieuo wrote:
Nils wrote:Therefore my view is that we create intrinsic values - we attach the value of intrinsicality to a person. We do that because we think that a necessary condition for a welfare society is that persons are held valuable per se. Compare this with J. L. Mackie's slogan: Inventing right and wrong. That a human being is objectively intrinsic valuable I find as queer at the idea that a human being is objectively moral responsible. Without a society and culture there is no intrinsicality. How could it be? During the evolution, when did that property occur and why? It is difficult to assume that it occurred gradually and equally difficult to understand how it could occur momentarily to all humans. (I'm talking from a secular point of view).

Mackie denies that morality exists, in a position often termed "Error Theory". If you agree with Mackie's views on morality, then you will believe that our moral beliefs are false - one of his arguments being that they're not entities in the natural world. My understanding of you, is you believe consciousness and the like can be/is reducable to the material world (despite being qualitatively dissimilar). So I'm not sure how far you would agree with Mackie who actually denies the truth of morality.


Mackie denies that absolute morality exists. He spends a good part of his book defining how a subjective morality should be construed. His subtitle of his book is "Inventing right and wrong" because he describes what is subjectively right and wrong. So discussing Mackie's view on morality without mentioning whether you talk about objective or subjective morality will create confusion.
Unfortunately it is very common also in the literature not to be clear (for instance Richard Joyce and Jonas Olson have the same attitude). The same with the Youtube film you refer till below.
Kurieuo wrote:He would likely reason that your assignment of value which you believe in be innate in each human being is actually an error like our beliefs in wrong and right.

My belief that humans intuitively value persons that are close to themselves is a belief about human psychology, not about morality and I don't think Mackie would object.
Kurieuo wrote:Why don't you just admit that according to a/your materialistic worldview, something like torturing children for fun isn't actually morally wrong. It might be merely distasteful to our senses, because we believe in "the error" of morality (due to say random chance evolutionary developments which made such socially advantageous compared to non-social creatures). If you are happy with calling things "wrong" based upon such that's your choice, but I think it is misleading (smoke and mirrors) when injecting such into conversations where moral right and wrong is understood in an epistemic context of true and false. That is, when people say something is morally wrong, they in fact mean regardless of what anything believes or thinks that it is true a certain action someone did was wrong (rather than something like they merely evolved to feel repulsed by such an action, or worse yet, it is an error to believe in any sort of morality).


I have tried to explain my view before but apparently you didn't understand so I try again. "Something like torturing children for fun isn't actually morally wrong" if you talk of objective morality. But when I talk about morality in everyday situations I am talking about subjective morality. However this subjective morality is not a personal morality but a morality that we in our society agree on (or at least most persons agree on). (It is person-independent or neutral which makes somebody to call it objective, a terminology I don't like when discussing philosophy). According to that subjective morality in your and my country it is definitely wrong to torture anyone.

When it comes to the intuitions of what people think I believe that most persons have never thought about the sources of morality and of those that have thought many may buy the Christian view that there is a God-given absolute morality. In a secular environment it is my experience that it is easy to get persons to understand the moral concepts objective and subjective and the process how our common subjective morality is "invented".

When you say: "due to say random chance evolutionary developments which made such socially advantageous compared to non-social creatures" it seems to me that you don't understand the central idea of evolution. The main concept in evolution theory is the adaptation to the environment, not randomness. This is done by a partial random process so it isn't possible to predict exactly what will come out of evolution but it is easy to predict the general direction in many cases. For instance eyes will develop in environments with light but not in dark. In the same way moral instincts will develop where it is beneficial with group co-operation but not in environments where it isn't.

A question to you: Can you imagine a case where in some way it is shown to you very convincingly that God doesn't exist and hence no absolute morality. Do you really think that persons you know, your family, friends etc would not find out a moral that is close to what we have today or do you think that in that case you would accept torturing of children for fun.
Kurieuo wrote:Understand that Mackie doesn't try to ground morality. Mackie doesn't try to argue that humans have intrinsic value. I've never seen the intrinsic value attached to human life, which we all tend to intuitively accept, properly grounded in a secular worldview. I don't believe it can be since the ingredients aren't there to ground morality or intrinsic value. I'm open to you trying to offer up reasoning, but I think, you'd be better agreeing with something like Mackie's views on morality, that believe in intrinsic human value is as much an error as belief in right and wrong.

Mackie doesn't try to ground absolute morality but subjective morality. He says that he is a second level sceptic about the classification of first order claims. About the latter he says tries to find some set of principles based on subjective intuitions and try to adjust them "until the most satisfactory coherent compromise is reached". His conclusion is some kind of a rule-right-duty-disposition utilitarianism or rule-right-duty-disposition egoism.
Kurieuo wrote:Let me state a rather simple argument I think we can all grasp, which turns Mackie's argument on its head. One which I think any sane and moral person ought to be able to accept, before try to irrationalise their moral beliefs away in order to stick to a materialistic view of the world of only believing in that which can be tangibly experienced.

1) If right and wrong are invented, it is an error to believe such are true, then torturing children for fun is not morally wrong or right.
2) We know torturing children for fun is morally wrong. (intuitively)
3) Therefore right and wrong aren't invented, it isn't an error to believe it is wrong (Mackie is wrong).

1) seems to be contradictory. If moral right and wrong are invented that means that in some way, by some definition, moral right and wrong are true. Otherwise they are not invented.
2) and 3) doesn't specify if you are talking about objective or subjective morality.
Kurieuo wrote:Interestingly, I started writing this yesterday, and a video against Mackie's views on morality was released on YouTube. I'd recommend you (and anyone else interested) watch it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkVR99xX5XI


Lot of faulty reasoning in this film but it will take to long time to go through all. Just two:
- Objective and subjective moral are intermingled
- It misses that Mackie's reasoning is based on a secular world-view so that claim that Mackie is doing a circular reasoning regarding Naturalism and Error theory is misguided.

As usual, much more could be said, but this is long enough :-)

Nils

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Re: What Makes Human Beings Special?

Postby B. W. » Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:30 am

What makes humanity special?

We get another chance
-
-
-
Science is man's invention - creation is God's
(by B. W. Melvin)

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Not my Circus....not my monkeys

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Re: What Makes Human Beings Special?

Postby PaulSacramento » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:25 am

What makes humans special?
Well, from a non-theological base, I would say our ability to reason and have rational thought AND go against reason and rational thought.


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