• Australian (ASX) Stock Market Forum

Hello and welcome to Aussie Stock Forums!

To gain full access you must register. Registration is free and takes only a few seconds to complete.

Already a member? Log in here.

Natural Law or, Ethics for the Atheist

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by ducati916, Apr 30, 2018.

  1. ducati916

    ducati916

    Posts:
    1,342
    Likes Received:
    19
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Somewhat of a follow on from Religion, Science thread.

    'Jus Naturale'
    The natural law, or law of nature, law or legal principles, supposed to be discoverable by the light of nature or abstract reasoning, or to be taught by nature to all nations and men alike, or law supposed to govern men and peoples in a state of nature, ie., in advance of organised governments or enacted laws.

    Natural law is a priori and requires no theological justification. From fundamental principles, it should [and could] be possible to deduce law to cover every eventuality. This is [more or less] what the common law achieved.

    Statutory law abrogates the 'Rule of Law' and provides a very uneven playing field. Further 'Natural Law' is a complete ethical philosophy, which is universal in its application, thereby correcting the breach of the Rule of Law created by statutory law.

    Natural Law provides [as already stated] a complete ethical system [philosophy] that is not dependent upon a supernatural agency. It is also universal, which is one of the arguments not discussed on the [otherwise excellent] youtube video.

    Natural Law provides a morality based on 'reason' as opposed to faith. It could be construed as further evidence of the lack of any need for a supernatural agency, although this is not generally the position advocated.

    jog on
    duc
     
  2. cynic

    cynic

    Posts:
    2,828
    Likes Received:
    184
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    How has/can this "Natural Law" provide a morality based solely upon reason without first demanding faith in one or more subjectively chosen values?
     
  3. Tisme

    Tisme Apathetic at Best

    Posts:
    7,603
    Likes Received:
    677
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014

    Natural law is a superstition. There wouldn't be any civilisation that didn't have a skylord, sky daddy, skyfairy, etc in the mix handing out rules and regs via psychokinesis, surely?
     
  4. cynic

    cynic

    Posts:
    2,828
    Likes Received:
    184
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    I am inclined to agree, leading me to the opinion that the self proclaimed "secular moralists" of this world, would perhaps benefit, by first defining the premise/s upon which their precious theories are founded.
    That way they will be less likely to render themselves foolish, with premature self congratulations and proud parading of elitist delusions.
     
  5. ducati916

    ducati916

    Posts:
    1,342
    Likes Received:
    19
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    There is no subjectivity. This must be a necessary condition [viz, no subjectivity] if the Natural Law ("the NL") is to be universal [true for all men in all circumstances], which is a Kantian requirement.

    The starting point is therefore property rights in self.

    Every person has a property right in self ownership, which is inalienable.

    jog on
    duc
     
  6. ducati916

    ducati916

    Posts:
    1,342
    Likes Received:
    19
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    NL is not a superstition, faith or religion.

    It is a construct of reason, deduced from axioms.
     
  7. tech/a

    tech/a No Ordinary Duck

    Posts:
    17,693
    Likes Received:
    971
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    You bored Duc?
     
  8. ducati916

    ducati916

    Posts:
    1,342
    Likes Received:
    19
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Hi tech,

    No not really, but this subject I find quite interesting. The same methodology can be applied to economics, which is another area of interest.

    How are you anyway?

    jog on
    duc
     
  9. cynic

    cynic

    Posts:
    2,828
    Likes Received:
    184
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    An interesting perspective.

    Even if it can rightly be declared as objectively true, for all mankind, throughout all times (which I sincerely doubt), how is the chosen starting point not a subjective choice?

    Furthermore it (the chosen starting point) seems to have been premised on a number of suppositions about the nature of existence, the deeming and procession of rights, etc.
    That is verily an expression of faith!

    Faith in the chosen axioms, coupled with faith in the reasoning and/or deductive process/es!

    I note your mention of a Kantian requirement. How closely have you studied Kant's works?

    Were you able to resolve the perplexing question of how free will can coexist with causal determinism?
     
  10. ducati916

    ducati916

    Posts:
    1,342
    Likes Received:
    19
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    [1] The starting point is objective in that it is necessary for human life to exist. Each individual must have property rights in (a) self-ownership and [at least] (b) the space that they occupy on the planet.

    With regard to [1](a): self-ownership is proven through the ability of argumentation. There are 3 possible scenarios:

    (i) I own [control] myself; or
    (ii) someone else owns [controls] me; or
    (iii) we share ownership [control] of me.

    Only (i) is both true and compatible with life. The proof is in the ability to agree/disagree/argue/etc, or free will.

    [2] That is possibly true as far as making assumptions about the nature of existence.

    [3] No, 'faith' is the expression of belief/confidence/etc when there is no evidence to support that belief. In this example there is substantive evidence in support of the assertions, whether those assertions are a priori or empirical, by definition.

    [4] An axiom must be true. It must be demonstrably true. It is not the product of an act of faith. The reasoning process, if based on a demonstrably true and correct axiom result in a conclusion that must be true as a matter of logic. 2 + 2 = 4

    [5] Not as closely as I would like, but I am familiar with his major ideas. Reading Kant [for me] is like wading through syrup.

    [6] I am assuming [guessing] that this question is in reference to the video, where Matt expressed no issues with holding that both exist. I do not subscribe to that [belief]. I do not accept determinism. Consistent with self-ownership, I hold that free will is the true position.

    jog on
    duc
     
  11. ducati916

    ducati916

    Posts:
    1,342
    Likes Received:
    19
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    With regard to Kant and 'free will', Kant provides a proof of free will as opposed to a deterministic life.

    Kant wrote: "die Bedingung der Moeglich-kreit".

    Which [approximately] translated means: 'the condition of possibility'. Without going very much deeper, as this will stretch my ability with Kant:

    The expression makes clear that not every action leads to corresponding intended consequences. The causality between the action and its consequences is not secured. The consequences can, but do not have to, happen. As completely different consequences can occur; this is what Max Weber called the unintended consequences of an intended action.

    jog on
    duc
     
  12. Tisme

    Tisme Apathetic at Best

    Posts:
    7,603
    Likes Received:
    677
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Kant set about to make a name for himself on the back of Hume, then proceeded to contradict himself in successive books trying to wiggle out of his own certainty with subjectivity, thus proving Hume.
     
    cynic likes this.
  13. ducati916

    ducati916

    Posts:
    1,342
    Likes Received:
    19
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    It was Hume [I believe] who held that only the 'emotions' can decide [set] man's ends. This viewpoint states then that peoples emotions are [assumed to be] the primary and hidden givens.

    Professor Hesselberg alleges that Hume, later was forced to accept NL conception into his social philosophy because Hume accepted that [the] social order is a necessary component of man's happiness or well-being, which is a statement of fact, rather than an emotional statement.

    If that is correct, then Hume's original 'primacy of the passions' theory loses ground, forcing one [Hume] to re-examine and accept reason as a cognitive and normative factor in human interactions.

    jog on
    duc
     
  14. ducati916

    ducati916

    Posts:
    1,342
    Likes Received:
    19
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    I'm not going to reproduce Locke's "Second Treatise on Government". This was however [one of] the first systematic elucidation of individual natural rights theory. The single sentence that I will quote however [more or less] summarises the role of property rights.

    "Whatsoever then he removes out of the state that nature hath provided, and left it in, he hath mixed with his labour with, and joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property."

    This flows directly from the axiom of self-ownership and articulates how ab novo rights in property are rightly [justly] created as a consequence of self-ownership or property rights in self.

    It is not a huge jump to continue to elucidate how those property rights can be transferred: exchange, contract, gift, inheritance, etc and how illegitimate transfers can occur: theft, murder, coercion, etc.

    All of these [property rights/laws] fulfil the 'universality' test.

    At no point is a supernatural agency required.

    jog on
    duc

     
  15. cynic

    cynic

    Posts:
    2,828
    Likes Received:
    184
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Are you certain that there aren't more than 3 ownership scenarios?
    To which of the 3 scenarios, do siamese twins belong?
    Is it possible that there exists a non-ownership scenario (e.g. all are owned by a nonhuman agent)?

    Before commenting too much further on this, it might be helpful to first have an awareness of your understanding of the definitions of the words "life", "human", "proof", "objective", "subjective" and "evidence", because, based upon my current understanding of common dictionary definitions, your presented premises and/or arguments appear to be more subjective and/or presumptive than objective and/or empirical.
    No!

    The 'faith' definition you have provided here could be correctly attributed to the phrase "blind faith".

    The dictionary definition of the word "faith" alone, demands neither the presence nor absence of supportive evidence.

    For example, "A tradesman has faith in the efficacy of tools. Is there evidence warranting faith in the efficacy of tools?" "A clergyman has faith in the power of prayer. Is there evidence warranting faith in the power of prayer?"
    If that's the case, then how can one justify the exclusion of "causal determinism" considerations from the Natural Law philosophy?

    Can 2+2, ever equal anything other than 4?

    Do the physical (as opposed to metaphysical) laws, governing the material (as opposed to immaterial) universe, not conform to rigid logic at all times?

    If so, then how can the deductive outcomes from application of logic be reliable?

    This is looking one heck of a lot like evidence, that could be offered in support of the "causal determinism" concept.
    I have encountered some of his concepts via an article, courtesy of a much more recent member of academia. If that article was fair in its representation of Kant's key arguments/concepts and/or principles, then I am unimpressed by the apparent dependence upon logically conflicting concepts (e.g. "causal determinism" and "free will").
    Not specifically about Matt, but feel free to add him to the list of culprits (along with Kant and numerous other "secular moralists").

    How can you rightly claim to have successfully proven the existence of "free will" without first disproving "causal determinism"?
    (Surely any material observation, even the apparence of seemingly autonomous beings, operating in competition and/or collaboration, could be entirely explicable, via logical physical laws, and as such consistent with a causally determined universe?)
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2018
  16. Tisme

    Tisme Apathetic at Best

    Posts:
    7,603
    Likes Received:
    677
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    I think, with some degree of certainty ;), Hume put his neck out there and predictably everyone ever since has tried to hack at it ... unsuccessfully.
     
  17. ducati916

    ducati916

    Posts:
    1,342
    Likes Received:
    19
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    [1](a) Are you certain that there aren't more than 3 ownership scenarios?
    (b) To which of the 3 scenarios, do siamese twins belong?
    (c) Is it possible that there exists a non-ownership scenario (e.g. all are owned by a nonhuman agent)?


    [1](a) Am I certain? Yes because (ii) covers anyone/anything.
    (b) Each twin is an individual, so all three tests apply
    (c) "non-ownership" or an automaton? A non-human is covered by (ii).


    [2] The dictionary definition of the word "faith" alone, demands neither the presence nor absence of supportive evidence.

    [2] My dictionary defines faith as: (i) complete trust or confidence, (ii) strong belief in a religion, (iii) a system of religious belief.

    If we are talking about the Christian religion, then 'strong belief in a religion' with what evidence? If there is no evidence, and you still believe, then impliedly, we come to my definition of: belief in the absence of evidence. Of course, if there is evidence, then that disproves the assertion or definition. In other words it is 'falsifiable'. There are no black swans, until of course one is evidenced.

    For example, "A tradesman has faith in the efficacy of tools. Is there evidence warranting faith in the efficacy of tools?"

    The word is used incorrectly.

    "A clergyman has faith in the power of prayer. Is there evidence warranting faith in the power of prayer?"

    Is there evidence that supports prayer as being causative of the thing prayed for? If so, it is no longer faith, it is now a fact.

    [3] Do the physical (as opposed to metaphysical) laws, governing the material (as opposed to immaterial) universe, [not] conform to rigid logic at all times?

    [3] I am guessing that the [not] above is in error and what you mean is that physical laws always conform to logic.

    If that is correct, then the answer is: yes, physical laws always conform to [logic] physics, chemistry, maths, etc.

    Can 2+2, ever equal anything other than 4?

    No.

    If so, then how can the deductive outcomes from application of logic be reliable?

    Your objection is rendered moot.

    [4] If that's the case, then how can one justify the exclusion of "causal determinism" considerations from the Natural Law philosophy?

    This is looking one heck of a lot like evidence, that could be offered in support of the "causal determinism" concept.

    How can you rightly claim to have successfully proven the existence of "free will" without first disproving "causal determinism"?

    (Surely any material observation, even the apparence of seemingly autonomous beings, operating in competition and/or collaboration, could be entirely explicable, via logical physical laws, and as such consistent with a causally determined universe?)


    [4] Before I address this, it may behoove the discussion if you provide your definition or understanding of 'causal determination'.

    [5] I have encountered some of his concepts via an article, courtesy of a much more recent member of academia. If that article was fair in its representation of Kant's key arguments/concepts and/or principles, then I am unimpressed by the apparent dependence upon logically conflicting concepts (e.g. "causal determinism" and "free will").

    [5] Your opposition to Kant is because you understand Kant to rely on both concepts? Is that correct?

    [6] Before commenting too much further on this, it might be helpful to first have an awareness of your understanding of the definitions of the words "life", "human", "proof", "objective", "subjective" and "evidence", because, based upon my current understanding of common dictionary definitions, your presented premises and/or arguments appear to be more subjective and/or presumptive than objective and/or empirical.

    [6] For the words: (i) life, (ii) human, (iii) proof; a dictionary definition is all that I am really using.

    For the words (i) objective and (ii) subjective I am not employing the legal usage. I am using the more scientific usage: (i) objective is measurable, quantifiable, consistently reproducible and (ii) subjective is not measurable, not quantifiable, and inconsistent in application or appreciation.

    jog on
    duc

     
  18. ducati916

    ducati916

    Posts:
    1,342
    Likes Received:
    19
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Is that merely your subjective opinion, or can you refute the criticisms of Hume that have [been accepted to have] essentially diluted [some of] his arguments?

    jog on
    duc
     
  19. Tisme

    Tisme Apathetic at Best

    Posts:
    7,603
    Likes Received:
    677
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    I'm a follower of Hume...I don't have to provide certainty given my fallibility and the collapse of analytic&synthetic distinction.
     
  20. ducati916

    ducati916

    Posts:
    1,342
    Likes Received:
    19
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    The issue was not your 'fallibility'. Rather the issue was the credibility of Hume's arguments in the face of trenchant criticism.

    jog on
    duc
     
Loading...

Share This Page