Well, it seems that after heavily commenting on the subject of Morality in the Jungle and trying to explain how morality is an irrelevant issue when living alone, the discussion eventually reached the point where the owner of the blog, Ergo – apparently an Objectivism supporter and capable apologist – just had to blog about the comments in a new post.
Therein I am immediately described as:
“an atheist, moral subjectivist, collectivist, and is obviously influenced by evolutionary empiricism a la Dawkins, Hitchen, et al. to a great extent”
Which I do not find really unflattering (Although I would argue the “collectivist” part). However, it is immediatey followed by:
“The fact that a person is an atheist does not say anything about his commitment to rationality. “
Perhaps Ergo meant to say that it does not say anything about his commitment to Objectivism and he would be correct. I consider myself a quite rational person and the fact that what I consider reason differs from what Ergo or an objectivist believes only means that there is a difference of opinion which could then be resolved through discussion.
Nevertheless Ergo appears to believe that the evolution of morals and (thus) moral subjectivism is immediately incorrect. Nevermind the fact that evidence (i.e. history) backs up my position while the only basis he has is Ayn Rand’s “axioms”. Failing to argue against my position, a strawman is set up to be attacked:
“Db0 commits the naturalistic fallacy of arguing from the view that what is given by nature is the way it should be. Notice the dismissal of the volitional faculty of man’s mind to make choices autonomously”
Needless to say that this is not my position. This of course will not deter an objectivist, who like an expert christian apologist will begin arguing on the basis that his philosophy is correct and any fact that disagrees with this must thus be incorrect. What follows of course is a rant about how Richard Dawkins’ positions on memes and “evolutionaty empiricism” is flawed (as well as secular humanism apparently)
I especially liked the part where I am lumped in a random camp of “people” (apparently a bad bunch):
“They are creating a vacuum in morality, which permits people like Db0 to conclude that morality is ultimately a fabrication of society, the fad of the day, the need of a pack, subjectivist, relativistic, etc. In essence, while throwing out the dogmatic morality of religion, they throw out the notion of objective morality itself. “
Of course “we” (I honestly don’t know who the rest of my “posse” is, but I digress) throw the notion of objective morality out. It is a fake idea which is currently supported by theists and Objectivists. The theists because they must accept that goddidit and Objectivists because without this pillar, their philosophy starts to show serious stress. Since they cannot explain how and by whom this “Objective morality” is defined, they engage in mental masturbations and circular logic. As lichanos amusingly said it:
“Ooops. Yeah, if rationality is the definition of morality, then acting rationally is always moral, right? Of course, if an act is not rational, it’s not moral, and we know immorality when we see it because it’s not rational. And we know it’s not rational because we have Objectivism’s first principles as a guide…And since morals MUST be rational because values MUST be rational, then it follows…but why you believe this is beyond me. “
This whole discussion which amusingly enough started by an innocent comment I made in Evanescent’s journal where I simply said “Communism is not irrational” has apparently grown into a clusterblog. Objectivism was thrown in as a response, links were given, Objectivist apologist allies were drawn into the battle, comments upon comments, where unfortunately most of my arguments are ignored altogether, and finally as a culmination, my own blogpost.
To tell the truth, I am getting tired of this debate as we seem to be having fundamental differences in the way we argue and perceive various issues. Most telling was Evanescent’s reply to the comments where I was told that unless I agree that Morality is objective we cannot discuss what it is or where it comes from. At least we can agree on one thing, Libertarians are not a benign bunch of people.
Nevertheless, with each of Ergo’s replies I am once again drawn into the mayem as my stubborness just does not allow me to accept positions (especially about me) which are blatantly incorrect.