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John Shelby Spong - RIP


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10 hours ago, romansh said:

I really want to stress there are two broad senses of judging ... 1) will something help achieve objectives or be detrimental. 2) or is this same something intrinsically good or evil (bad). The first for me is a sensible way of approaching this act of "judging". The second is not.

So will committing adultery for instance help achieve community objectives or be detrimental?  If it achieve objectives, I think calling it good is understandable, whereas being detrimental would be considered 'bad'.  I mean usually there is logic (reasonable or faulty) behind calling something good or bad - it either adds to the community or it takes away from.

10 hours ago, romansh said:

Again ... It is the response to this collective want (to reduce harm in this case) that I am pointing to. If the response is a retributive one to punish/deter the dealers and perhaps users. Playing sports is potentially harmful ... Alcohol is definitely harmful. Apparently teaching girls in Afghanistan is now harmful. What I am trying to point to is: harm/benefit that we perceive is driven by our individual and collective "wants". And our wants are a product of our environment.

Absolutely, but at the end of the day, usually the community (perhaps as a majority) are deciding on what they consider good for their community and what they consider bad for their community.  Which of that is truth seems to lie in the eye of the beholder, rather than it being the only truth.

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20 hours ago, PaulS said:

So will committing adultery for instance help achieve community objectives or be detrimental?  If it achieve objectives, I think calling it good is understandable,

Calling my kitchen chair red is understandable too Paul. Not necessarily accurate but understandable. 

20 hours ago, PaulS said:

re deciding on what they consider good for their community and what they consider bad for their community.  Which of that is truth seems to lie in the eye of the beholder, rather than it being the only truth.

No I don't think the truth lies in the eye of the beholder. This for me is just giving up.  
The truth is out there ... it's when we think we have found it, the interesting things happen.

This discussion reminds of a dark fake advert for Mercedes. 

Is the auto danger detector a good or bad thing for the community? Maybe?

 

 

Edited by romansh
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On 9/29/2021 at 7:56 AM, romansh said:

Is the auto danger detector a good or bad thing for the community? Maybe?

I think 'maybe' is probably closer than giving up, or maybe not really trying in the first place?

In this Mercedes/Adolf scenario I see the truth as being multiple, not singular (as in the eye of the beholder).  I'm sure Adolf's Mum wasn't pleased about him getting run over (bad) whereas others perhaps think it was 'good' for other reasons.  I don't think there necessarily always is a singular truth when it comes to emotion, feelings and concepts, as opposed to outright scientific facts like water is made up of H2O atoms.

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On 10/4/2021 at 12:48 AM, PaulS said:

In this Mercedes/Adolf scenario I see the truth as being multiple, not singular (as in the eye of the beholder).  I'm sure Adolf's Mum wasn't pleased about him getting run over (bad) whereas others perhaps think it was 'good' for other reasons.  I don't think there necessarily always is a singular truth when it comes to emotion, feelings and concepts, as opposed to outright scientific facts like water is made up of H2O atoms.

I think opinions may well be in the eye of the beholder. And here you seem to be pointing to an opinion rather than a fact (and here facts are our attempt at the truth). In one case a mother is bereaved and in another millions lose their lives ... a tragedy versus a statistic? That an untimely death is taken as a bad thing, for the most part, seems like a truth. 

To me it is less clear that good and bad exist beyond a particular human chemistry.

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7 hours ago, romansh said:

I think opinions may well be in the eye of the beholder. And here you seem to be pointing to an opinion rather than a fact (and here facts are our attempt at the truth).

Yes, this is what I have been trying to express.  There are 'hard' truths - e.g. facts that can be demonstrated to support or reject the truth.  Then there are 'soft' truths, viewed through the lens of opinion and emotion.  So whether something is viewed as good or bad, is an opinion.  Is there a singular truth concerning this 'something' - I don't think there necessarily is. 

So it is in that sense that I was disagreeing with you about there always being 'a' truth.  If you were only referring to something that can be empirically proven or not, then I would agree that in those cases there will be a singular truth, even if we can't establish it presently.

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13 hours ago, PaulS said:

So it is in that sense that I was disagreeing with you about there always being 'a' truth.  If you were only referring to something that can be empirically proven or not, then I would agree that in those cases there will be a singular truth, even if we can't establish it presently.

No I don't think we are on the same page yet.

I don't believe things can be empirically proven, perhaps disproven. The problem with trying to prove stuff about the universe is that we have to use inductive logic. And even with deductive logic there is always an assumption that our axioms are correct. There is always an if statement assuming our assumptions are true.

This does not mean there isn't a truth or even the truth, just that our access to it is incomplete. The question becomes is how accurate is our description of the truth. From my point of view  divvying up the universe into good and evil is not a very accurate description of reality.

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On 10/7/2021 at 11:28 PM, romansh said:

No I don't think we are on the same page yet.

I don't believe things can be empirically proven, perhaps disproven. The problem with trying to prove stuff about the universe is that we have to use inductive logic. And even with deductive logic there is always an assumption that our axioms are correct. There is always an if statement assuming our assumptions are true.

This does not mean there isn't a truth or even the truth, just that our access to it is incomplete. The question becomes is how accurate is our description of the truth. From my point of view  divvying up the universe into good and evil is not a very accurate description of reality.

Okay, but divvy up we must if we want to get to the truth - even if the division is simply true or not true.  But that in itself is what I am saying is subject to subjectivity, so how can there always be a singular 'truth'?  Agreed that there may be truth or a truth in some circumstances that are beyond dispute, even if we don't know it at the time, and I don't have an issue with saying it is true that the earth rotates around the sun, but what is THE truth concerning if Hitler had died as a young boy.  Those sorts of concepts don't seem to have a singular truth to me but are in the eye of the beholder (and the 'truth' may differ from person to person).

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