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GoddersUK GoddersUK A is A.
  • creepy corps(e) for June 2014

    , cbae wrote


    If there are different definitions of morality, and some of those, by definition, can be subjective, then you can't say morality, in general, is objective.

    You can only say your definition of morality is correct, but that is highly subjective.

    I've already said disagreement doesn't equate to subjectivity. Morality cannot be subjective because then it ceases to be morality - that is a logical paradox; in such a case "right" and "wrong" cease to have any meaning.

    Subjective morality can be subjective morality. The only thing it can't be is objective morality, but you haven't shown that objective morality exists.

    I don't have to. Either objective morality exists or no morality exists. If morality exists then it must by definition be objective since existence is universal. If it does not exist then it simply doesn't exist, nothing need take its place.

    The existence, or not, of objective morality has no bearing on the impossibility of subjective morality.

    You agree with what? I said that IF morality were objective, then it'd be just be "morality".I didn't agree that the "if" posit was true.

    I quite agree that if morality is objective then to specify objective morality as opposed to simply morality would be meaningless. So I agree with your logic. I accept the conclusion you claim flows from my premise (because it does).

    What I disagree with is your inference that because we have the word subjective morality this is proof morality must be subjective. I can say 2+2=5; that doesn't make it true.

    In fact, I don't believe that objective morality exists. I tend to think unqualified morality is, by definition, subjective morality of the zeitgeist. History shows what was considered "moral" in the past isn't necessarily what is considered moral today and it will be different from what we consider moral tomorrow. That happens because the prevailing attitudes and beliefs change over time.

    You make the error of assuming that what someone considers moral and what actually is moral are one and the same. The existence of objective morality doesn't preclude error in determining what is, in fact, moral. The existence of a spherical earth didn't preclude people from erroneously thinking it was flat.

    Simply believing that good is good and bad is bad isn't proof of objective morality.

    I never claimed it was, I simply claimed that it's an priori proof that subjective morality is impossible:

    • Morality is the process of determining good from bad
    • The statement that good is good and bad is bad is an objective statement
    • Therefore subjective morality can have no concept of good and bad
    • Therefore subjective morality cannot exist

    Morality can only be what we perceive as morality. How can it be what we don't perceive as morality?

    Did photons exist in Newton's day? Of course they did. But how could light be anything other than what Newton perceived it as (a wave)? Turns out there's this thing called "reality".

    And if morality is simply what we perceive as morality what about the suicide bomber who truly believes he's doing God's work? I'm sure he perceives what he's doing as very moral; you can only say it's immoral if you invoke objective morality (and if you invoke a lack of any morality you must remain indifferent). Similarly for Hitler and countless other very nasty characters.

  • creepy corps(e) for June 2014

    , cbae wrote


    Uh, no. My position is that you're no more entitled to your drugs than I am to mine, and what medications that you need are directly related to your lifestyle. You're the one saying that you don't want to fund somebody else having sex all the time. Well, then I don't want to fund your cancer treatment that you might need due to your exposure to chemicals simply because you chose to be in the profession that you work in. See how that works?

    Yes. And there are chemicals I would refuse to work with because the risk is greater than I'm willing to take. And, if I lived somewhere were medical insurance was primarily provided by employers as part of their remuneration packaged then that would factor into my thinking when deciding whether or not I should take a job offer. So I'm not asking you to fund my lifestyle.

    My position is that nobody is entitled to drugs.

    Why do you stop at drugs? If you're entitled to drugs so you can live your lifestyle why aren't you entitled to fast cars so you can live your lifestyle?

    As I've in the UK we have the NHS. It turns out, even here, that no one is morally entitled to drugs - decisions are typically made on a public health and cost/benefit basis.

    It's laughable that you think "just say no" is a solution.

    I'm having trouble grasping your argument here.

    The problem is that you're seeing contraception differently than other medications because you see sex as a non-essential lifestyle choice.

    You're making up what I think about other medicine in a way that doesn't reflect anything I've said. Although certainly I think people may be more deserving of other medicines in some situations I don't generally think people are morally entitled to them.

    (I actually think you could make a distinction here, especially as none of the contraceptives mentioned protect against STIs - it's less like paying for the cancer drugs and more like buying the Big Macs.)

    My point is that the bulk of the drugs prescribed in this country are due to non-essential lifestyle choices.

    And why should the someone else be required to pay for your lung cancer treatment if you've been smoking all your life?

    I'm not taking a position on the moral entitlement of contraceptives.

    You seem to be. Do you, or do you not, think people have a moral entitlement to have access to free contraceptives?

    I'm just shooting down the reasoning for your objection to treating contraceptives as an entitlement.

    Sadly you're shooting down a straw man. I think there are many ways contraceptives are different to many other drugs and treatments but I don't think you're morally entitled to those either.

    The original question was about contraceptives simply because many people are claiming that this SCOTUS judgement aggrieves a perceived right and because the employer in question didn't object to (possibly already did?) providing other health care for their employees; I'm trying to understand where people think that entitlement comes from.

    There do seem to be people out there who place "entitlement" to contraceptives on a special pedestal above other drugs too, and I want to understand that.

    Maybe you'll find this amusing, I did: http://reason.com/archives/2014/07/01/now-that-were-all-responsible-for-each-o/

  • creepy corps(e) for June 2014

    , cbae wrote


    No, it isn't. Otherwise, you'd never hear the term "objective morality".

    No. That just distinguishes different definitions of morality, which can't both be simultaneously true, from each other.

    It'd be simply "morality".

    Yes, I quite agree. Subjective morality can never be morality because it's just some stuff you think and anything anyone else thinks is equally valid; which kind of defeats the object of morality.

    Generally, the only people claiming that morality is objective are theists. Non-theists who believe in sort of a "quasi-objective" morality believe that morality is a product of human evolution.

    I quite agree, it's hard to have morality without theism (and even with theism the logical justification for the existence of morality ends in quite a cop out). But in this case you cannot have subjective morality because that relies on the objective moral premise that it is wrong to do wrong and right to do right; even if what constitutes right and wrong are subjective.

    (For the record morality cannot arise from evolution, only the perception of morality; If you hold that our perception of morality has arisen solely from evolution you must necessarily be philosophically amoral.)

  • creepy corps(e) for June 2014

    , cbae wrote


    You're not obliged to contract with the government.

    Hey look:

    , GoddersUK wrote


    This is somewhat different though. No one is obligated to take on a federal contract.

    Which is precisely why requiring non-discrimination for federal contracts isn't necessarily immoral (imho I think there are good arguments both for saying the contract should go to the contractor that will do the best job for the lowest cost regardless and for saying the state shouldn't discriminate so it's contractors shouldn't within their government contracts either; I tend towards the latter but I could be converted). But if you apply it to the companies more widely then the government IS discriminating against certain political/religious/conscience viewpoints in violation of both the law and the moral point.

    Regardless, the post of yours to which I was replying very specifically said that the idea that "companies in general" should be allowed to discriminate by the first amendment was asinine; so the situation above is somewhat irrelevant.

  • creepy corps(e) for June 2014

    , cbae wrote


    No, it's to point out that you have no understanding that regular sex for married couples is part of a healthy lifestyle for a plurality of married couples. The point of health care coverage, at least in the US, is to allow people to maintain a lifestyle that THEY want and not one dictated by others, including you. Your objection to contraceptive coverage is as asinine as my objecting to your getting treatment for eating too much McDonald's or fish and chips or whatever it is that you eat. Yes, you can live without sex, but you can also live without eating shitty foods. It would be immoral for me to say you aren't entitled to heart medication because all you need to do is exercise if you want to eat the foods that you do.

    (emphasis added)

    They are entitled to the lifestyle they want, within their means. But no one else is obliged to top up their means simply because they want a different lifestyle. Heck your position actually requires dictating to people what their lifestyle can be. "Oh, you want that? (Sorry) you're (not) entitled". Heck, it involves proscribing (limiting) the lifestyle of one group of people so that you can expand the other. It is entirely and completely hypocritical. As with most "positive rights" it just ends up creating a logical paradox.

    Am I really morally entitled to heart medicine? I work in a chemistry lab (irl), but it's the weekend. so I'm not there. Does that mean that by working two less days I'm therefore delaying the discovery and development of drugs and infringing peoples' rights? What if I want to change career? Are you going to force me to work. (My lab's actually a materials chemistry lab, not a medicinal chemistry lab, but the point still stands.)

    No, what makes you think that?

    Because you said "that's laughable" in response to "a woman is entitled to say no or require the use of contraceptives by her partner".

    Again, you have no understanding that health care coverage is to maintain a certain quality of life that people want to enjoy. People are no less entitled to having regular sex than you are to stuffing your face with unhealthy foods or downing 6 bottles of beer every night or engaging in athletic activities that might throw out your back or working in jobs that might leave you crippled for life.

    Wait, you're offering to buy my next round at the pub? Cheers mate!

    I'm suggesting anyone be stopped from having sex or using contraception; the fact that I think they should pay for it themselves is no more a violation of their rights than the fact that you're not buying my next drink is a violation of my rights.

    Eating unhealthy foods, drinking alcohol, water skiing, going hunting, etc. are all voluntary activities too, and when you choose to reap the benefits of a group health care system, you are obliged to cover those that do not maintain the same lifestyle as you do.

    You see that's the problem here, no one has the choice to reap the benefits; they're being forced to reap the benefits (disclosure: I say this with a tone of hypocrisy, see my reply to scaniam).

    The reality is this isn't really true even if you did have the choice. Or are you arguing that no claims bonuses on car insurance are immoral?

  • creepy corps(e) for June 2014

    My question, while arising from this issue, wasn't specifically about this case but was an attempt to understand one of the premises used in some of the arguments surrounding this case; namely that a person has the moral right to access contraception free of charge.

    Nevertheless I will address the below:

    , ScanIAm wrote

    Nobody is having their private lives governed, here, they're asking to NOT be limited in what they do in their private lives. 

    OK, let's get this quite clear. Nobody is being denied access to contraception. If Hobby Lobby's employees want to use the emergency contraceptive pills or IUDs concerned they're perfectly able to go and get them. Maybe I'm not being clear here, so let me use someone else's words:

    If people had a right to free birth control, allowing some employers to violate that right because of their religious beliefs could hardly be considered just. Since there is no such right, it seems to me that letting some people escape this unjustified mandate is better than forcing everyone to comply.

    (from http://reason.com/archives/2014/07/02/a-god-given-right-to-break-the-law)

    Seriously, all those people that lived in Victorian times and didn't have access to the effective, reliable contraceptives we have today, because they hadn't been invented, were having their rights violated? Of course they weren't. No one is MORALLY ENTITLED to contraceptives any more or less than they're morally entitled to food or private jets. 

    The ACA covers treatment for a number of conditions that have root causes in much more optional behavior than having sex.  

    And I never said employers should be forced to pay for those either.

    (I come from a country with a nationalised healthcare system, I quite like this as I am a beneficiary of it but I can't logical justify any moral entitlement to such care if it were taken away; indeed about the only thing I can do is logically justify that it SHOULD be taken away. (But hey, I'll worry about that when it's not working in my favour ;)) (and, actually, I think that a tax funded healthcare system actually causes slightly less conflicts with my worldview than the weird arrangement that is "Obamacare" - seriously, it's a compromise that's worse than either extreme)).

    Sex isn't optional for humanity.  Individuals may decide to abstain for any number of reasons,

    even the most pure and chaste of innocents is the result of some dirty, sloppy, sexy funtime.

    This is completely irrelevant.

      It's an inherent part of being alive, so 'just abstain until you can afford contraceptives or children" is cruel and, yes, immoral.


    But again, this is exactly the same logic you would find in Eliot Rodgers' manifesto. Sex is an inherent part of being alive so just abstain until someone is willing to have it with you is cruel and, yes, immoral.

    You don't have a right to sex and you don't have a right to free contraceptives. You do have a right for the government not to interfere in your consenting sex life and for the government not to interfere in your quest to acquire contraceptives; but that's the limit of the moral rights.


    But, ok, morality is subjective, so sure, maybe to you that's not the case.

    And that is where we have our problem. Morality, by very definition, is objective. The fact that we can't all agree on it doesn't make it otherwise, it just means we disagree. If you disagree with me call me wrong, don't give me any pissing nonsense about "what's true for you".


  • creepy corps(e) for June 2014

    , cbae wrote


    You're acknowledging that this is, in fact, discriminatory behavior, but then you say that "you'd hope" that companies, in general, could be protected by the First Amendment to engage in discriminatory behavior? I'm sorry, but that's asinine.

    No it's not. The first amendment protects the right to freedom of assembly; this necessarily entails the right to freedom not to assemble too.

  • creepy corps(e) for June 2014

    , cbae wrote



    is the reason why you don't understand that this:

    No, that's a reverse appeal to authority fallacy.

    A posteriori reasoning is generally irrelevant to moral questions anyway.

    is laughable.

    So you think consent is optional?

    Not only is sex practically NOT optional from a physiological standpoint...

    Yes it is. It may not be wise for the health of the relationship to forgo it, it may be incredibly difficult to forgo it but, again, if we take that argument to its logical conclusion (they can't help it so they're entitled to it) it excuses rape - especially rape within an existing relationship.

    ...it's not optional from a legal standpoint. Civil laws in some (most?) jurisdictions won't even recognize a marriage as legally-binding unless it's consummated.

    Might I suggest the problem there is with laws that try and govern people's private lives rather than with sex or the lack thereof. Also I'd be interested to hear what jurisdictions those are - afaik the legal concept of annulment exists only to give Catholics the opportunity to get divorced - and in (in UK law, at least) failure to consummate the marriage results in a voidable, rather than a void marriage in which the marriage IS legally considered to have existed between the date of marriage and the date of annulment.

    The simply reality is that marriage is essentially a voluntary contract between two individuals (albeit a highly regulated one) who both know and agree to the terms of the contract upon entering it. I should be under no more obligation to assist them in honouring that contract than I am to assist the guy down the road to honour his tenancy agreement by paying his rent.

  • creepy corps(e) for June 2014

    This is somewhat different though. No one is obligated to take on a federal contract.

    In fact there's a very strong case to argue that the federal government should be obliged to prevent their contractors engaging in discriminatory practices with government money, just as the government themselves would be. It would be a stark violation of property rights, though, to apply such a requirement to the entire work of a contractor, beyond their federally contracted work; and, one would hope, the first amendment could be used to prevent that.

  • creepy corps(e) for June 2014

    , ScanIAm wrote


    Because we don't live in a 3rd world hellhole and much of our success has come from our ability to control if and when we have children?  It's a guess.

    That's a rationale for providing free contraceptives, but that doesn't equate to a moral entitlement.

    And, I assume you were being facetious, but the idea that people who use contraception do so purely so they can have 'fun' is a real belief held by far too many people.

    Well it depends how you define fun. Even in a traditional marriage sex is an essentially optional activity generally carried out for the purposes of either enjoyment or procreation. The latter does not require contraception and I fail to see how anyone can consider themselves "morally entitled" to the former. (That's not to say the relationship won't suffer without it but you won't die without it. It's also worth questioning whether need should ever equate to entitlement too.)

    [Disclaimer: I am single and celibate so I can't claim first hand experience of this aspect of a relationship.]

    Should married couples who cannot afford a child never have sex? And, taken a step further, who cares if they are married? 

    False dilemma; contraceptives are much cheaper than children. And the reality is that still doesn't explain why someone else should be obligated to pay for them.

    In fact here you seem to be implying that there is some kind of moral right to consequence free sex; that's only a few logical progressions away from an argument that someone like Elliot Rodgers might use.

    Women should be entitled to contraception coverage at a minimum simply because they bear the brunt of the disease that is children.

    Women are fully entitled to say no or require the man to use protection; you can't catch children like you can catch the flu. We also already address this, to some extent, with rules around child support etc.

    Or, from another point of view, the child has a right to not be born into a situation where 1 or both of the parents do not have the resources or desire to have that child.

    Providing free birth control would not effectively protect this right, only providing mandatory birth control would do so - and no one is suggesting that.

    There is some pretty decent evidence that the ready availability of reliable birth control is why crime has been going down for 30+ years.  Poverty and lack of decent parentage is a pretty great way to build a sociopath.

    Again, that's a rationale for providing it not a moral reason someone is entitled to it. By your logic I'm entitled to have someone pay my gym membership fees so I don't die of a heart attack at 40 and leave my children fatherless...