On the contrary, two highly qualified experts who disagree (Gould and Dawkins, Penrose and Hawking, Chomsky and Quine, etc, etc) will almost NEVER reach agreement.
In each each of those disagreements, did someone not address a criticism from the other? If so, that is irrational. I imagine that in some of those disagreements, neither person provided a criticism of the other person’s theory. This just means that didn’t discuss each other’s ideas.
This is probably a consequence of the fact that reality is too complex or profound to be fully or finally understood by human beings.
Reality is not too complex. What is true is that humans are fallible. That means that any one of our ideas could be mistaken. So when two rational people discuss their rival ideas, there are 2 possibilties: (1) one of them is mistaken, (2) both of them is mistaken. So whats the solution? To criticize the ideas. That means discovering flaws in each other’s ideas. And also criticizing the criticisms. And in that process, they will reach the same idea. That agreed idea might be one of the ones presented at the beginning of the discussion. Or it might be a new idea that contains parts of the original ideas.
(And note that “reality is objective” is a big claim.)
What does that mean?
The starting point was:“Does Morality Really Have to do with questions of happiness/suffering?” I (explicitly) took this to mean: “Are all moral questions Utilitarian issues.” My answer is “No”. Utilitarians and other hedonists
Ah. I think those are not equivalent. I agree with you that utilitarianism and hedonism is false/bad.
have to balance different possibilities and degrees of happiness (or felicity [Bentham], or well-being [Harris], or pleasure/pain [Epicurus], or whatever term they choose). If that Utilitarian Calculus is “bad philosophy” then address that to the erring philosophers (examine their justification), not to me.
So we’re both on the same page about utilitarian calculus and hedonism being bad philosophy.
(“You are again appealing to authority… the authority of famous philosophers… is this your way of evading criticism?” How could you imagine that?)
I didn’t know why you brought up their names. So I guessed. (I realize now that you thought my position included utilitarian calculus and hedonism.)
And that raises a problem for you:
Since you are arguing that morality IS INDEED all about happiness,
I didn’t say that. If you think I did, quote me.
What I did say (and I’m quoting) is: “Happiness is a function of one’s ideas (which includes his values, preferences, goals, etc), and his achieving those. Morality is about how to decide. And the main goal is freedom. This allows everyone to achieve happiness without being hindered…”. That means each person has the freedom to pursue his happiness. And no one has the moral right to infringe on another person’s freedom to purse his happiness (except for situations when that other person is infringing on my freedom—aka self-defense).
how can you make a moral judgment without a “calculus”?
Your only expressed criterion is that if anyone is made even very slightly unhappy the action was immoral.
I haven’t said that. If you think I did, quote me.
If you believed that, you would be doomed to unabated disappointment. I can’t recall (for example) a single piece of legislation in the UK or the EU which hasn’t annoyed some people. Even your missing apostrophe in the next paragraph would incense some pedants.
I’m not responsible for other people’s happiness. And other people are not responsible for my happiness. We all have the right to freedom—the freedom to make ourselves happy. And that implies that each person has the moral obligation to not infringe on other people’s freedom—because doing so means preventing them from making themselves happy.
Actually I passed an opinion, prefixed with the words: “I think…” That’s not an assertion. However, you have made an assertion - that Philosophy must be “useful” in a practical sense.
I didn’t say that philosophy “must be” useful. I said that it *is* useful.
I don’t see a difference between assertions and opinions.
You will not find many philosophers who agree. Here’s a starting point:
I’ve shown you how bad philosophy can affect practical things. And the only reason that I pointed out your appeals to authority was to show you that philosophy is practical. That bad philosophy causes practical problems, and that good philosophy solves those problems.
Are you saying that that paper you linked disagrees with me about the idea that *appealing to obviousness* and more generally, *appealing to authority* is bad philosophy? If so, please quote the relevant part of that paper that explains that. If not, then I don’t understand why you linked that paper.
Me: “Assume that the impatient heirs who humanely terminate the billionaire are not hurt by his death.”
That was for clarification: we can imagine situations - indefinitely many of them - where happiness is increased but nevertheless a negative moral judgment seems unavoidable.
So you were criticizing utilitarianism. But that isn’t part of my position.
You: “But the billionaire might want to live. In which case killing him is infringing on his freedom. So killing him is immoral.”
By George he’s got it! “Freedom” is indeed a moral category which is not easily defined purely in terms of happiness or even well-being. My point.
I think you forgot what I said: “Happiness is a function of one’s ideas (which includes his values, preferences, goals, etc), and his achieving those. Morality is about how to decide. And the main goal is freedom. This allows everyone to achieve happiness without being hindered…”
Saying “by George he’s got it” is bad philosophy. You have assumed that I just learned something when in reality I knew that before and I already told you that I knew it. And you even quoted my statement that says I know it. Better philosophy would help you not do that. So, do you agree with me that philosophy is useful in a practical sense?
Me: “...most thinking people would agree - that we can condemn [the] waste of a life [in mere pleasure].”
You: “Appealing to the authority of *your belief of what most thinking people would agree to* is bad philosophy.”
The only conclusion I implied is that people do IN FACT regularly make moral judgments based on some concept of virtue or the Good Life.
Good life means moral life. Good virtues means good values. Good values means good moral values. I agree. One of those good values is to do stuff that increases one’s own happiness without infringing on the freedom of others to make themselves happy.
(As do many philosophers from Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, and Marcus Aurelius of course, all the way through to Alasdair MacIntyre. That would all just be “bad philosophy” to you.)
I don’t know their argument so I can’t comment.
They find drug addiction IN OTHERS offensive - and if it makes them at all unhappy, then IN YOUR OWN SYSTEM it is immoral.
No. That person is not responsible for your happiness. And you are not responsible for his.
Me (therefore): “Accept that all morality depends on the opinions and actions of people.”
You: “I disagree. Its objective.”
Yes. Do you agree that solving one’s problems is a good thing? And that doing so makes one happy?
I could say a lot more, but there really is little point.
Why is there no point? I see 3 options: (1) You think I am hopeless, (2) You think you’re hopeless, (3) You think its hopeless that we’ll agree.
I note that you confused my position. You added elements to my position. You got those elements from other sources, like bad philosophy you learned about in the past (such as utilitarian calculus and hedonism). And then you proceeded to criticize *that* position, rather than *my* position. So you created a strawman and then attacked it. Better philosophy can help you not make strawman arguments. Hence philosophy *is* useful.