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 Post subject: Re: subbie - When Does Personhood Begin?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:52 am 
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Saying it is a logically possible or potentially viable view that personhood can be afforded to non-humans, a position overwhelmingly held by philosophers of ethics, is not the same thing as defending any particular criteria of personhood. Like, if I were to say, "personhood could just apply to humans" that wouldn't be me saying that personhood only applies to humans. It's merely articulating the idea-space.

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 Post subject: Re: subbie - When Does Personhood Begin?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:30 am 
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Pretty sure subbie is just hung up on the entire concept of personhood being a thing. He seems to believe that is a radical assertion in itself that requires strenuous defense because...well, I guess just because. He's made the entire (human+alive = self-evident and sufficient) argument his bedrock position and probably can't be persuaded into understanding what otherwise is clear with applying the bare minimum of thought to the problem that this concept of personhood isn't radical at all. But for reasons that do hint at his understanding the problems with his position, he won't be persuaded to merely acknowledge one needs to define what distinguishes human life from all other life, what distinguishes sentience from non-sentience, and what grounds are necessary for rights to be afforded associated with these and other criteria.

Basically, he's just plugging his ears and asserting, "There's no such thing as personhood!"

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 Post subject: Re: subbie - When Does Personhood Begin?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:12 am 
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honorentheos wrote:
Pretty sure subbie is just hung up on the entire concept of personhood being a thing. He seems to believe that is a radical assertion in itself that requires strenuous defense because...well, I guess just because. He's made the entire (human+alive = self-evident and sufficient) argument his bedrock position and probably can't be persuaded into understanding what otherwise is clear with applying the bare minimum of thought to the problem that this concept of personhood isn't radical at all. But for reasons that do hint at his understanding the problems with his position, he won't be persuaded to merely acknowledge one needs to define what distinguishes human life from all other life, what distinguishes sentience from non-sentience, and what grounds are necessary for rights to be afforded associated with these and other criteria.

Basically, he's just plugging his ears and asserting, "There's no such thing as personhood!"


It does occur to me that while I'm talking about what qualities a being must have to be deserving of moral and/or legal respect, subgenius is probably still caught up on me simply talking about the concept of personhood and misinterprets that as "criteria for personhood." Like I'm trying to defend it as a definition.

Personhood doesn't have to be cleaved in nature. It's a concept to help organize thoughts about moral and legal status. Subgenius implicitly keeps employing the concept while being unaware of that fact. It's an exercise on question-begging. We have these things called rights, obligations, legal privileges etc. that apply to a class of things and we can call that class of things "persons." You can call them "humans' if you want, but then you have to be careful in not assuming everything is biologically human counts and everything that isn't biologically human doesn't. That needs to be justified. And that's just confusing.

You'd think he'd just read a wikipedia link or something by now.


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 Post subject: Re: subbie - When Does Personhood Begin?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:59 am 
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honorentheos wrote:
Pretty sure subbie is just hung up on the entire concept of personhood being a thing.

It is "a thing". The OP clearly used my "right to life" position to springboard into a more detailed discussion for "legal entitlement to life", which becomes more refined when one considers the gradual entitlement of rights as a living human ages (eg the right to vote, etc.).
Nevertheless, many posters have made the error of considering my right to life statement as being the same as legal entitlement. A right may be considered a legal entitlement and/or a moral entitlement. My original statement does not necessarily exclude either of these entitlements.
But "hung up" is not my argument but rather yours...you, and others, like to conveniently side-step simple questions like do you believe the following statement to be true? "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
The side-step is when poster like EAllusion try to say "men" just meant white land owners or some other such nonsense...it is nonsense because one does not side-step the notion of Freedom of the Press by saying "Press" just meant quill pens and literal presses.
So, as a starting point - either the right to life is self-evident and unalienable or it is not - correct?


honorentheos wrote:
He seems to believe that is a radical assertion in itself that requires strenuous defense because...well, I guess just because.

Nope, i just believe that if you make an ambiguous assertion it is your burden to provide clarification.

honorentheos wrote:
He's made the entire (human+alive = self-evident and sufficient) argument his bedrock position and probably can't be persuaded into understanding what otherwise is clear with applying the bare minimum of thought to the problem that this concept of personhood isn't radical at all.

Again, the issue is that whether a human being being alive is distinct from a human being having personhood.

honorentheos wrote:
But for reasons that do hint at his understanding the problems with his position, he won't be persuaded to merely acknowledge one needs to define what distinguishes human life from all other life,

That is easy, the human being is the distinction.

honorentheos wrote:
what distinguishes sentience from non-sentience, and what grounds are necessary for rights to be afforded associated with these and other criteria.

Quit getting off topic...it is not RightS, plural. Again, if you want to argue my original statement then you have to focus solely on a Right to Life. Now, if you want to argue the capacity or the State to give or take life then so be it...but let us focus on the task at hand.
Your OP clearly wanted to argue that "personhood" is necessary for the Right to Life to be a legal entitlement. However, you also recognize that there are many forms of personhood that may or may not apply to that entitlement, and so far you have not made the distinction for which personhood you consider applicable.
Furthermore you have not established that personhood and Life are mutually exclusive.
Again, the OP is your assertion and the burden is yours - not mine.

viewtopic.php?p=1126837#p1126837
viewtopic.php?p=1126840#p1126840

honorentheos wrote:
Basically, he's just plugging his ears and asserting, "There's no such thing as personhood!"

Nope. I recognize "personhood" but while your OP asserts it necessity for a certain legal entitlement, you have yet to establish what you, and your posts, intended by "personhood"...ergo my early request for you to clarify among the several manifestations available for personhood.

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 Post subject: Re: subbie - When Does Personhood Begin?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:13 am 
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EAllusion wrote:
It does occur to me that while I'm talking about what qualities a being must have to be deserving of moral and/or legal respect, subgenius is probably still caught up on me simply talking about the concept of personhood and misinterprets that as "criteria for personhood." Like I'm trying to defend it as a definition.

Yes, all those posts where you say what personhood is and is not - that is just you talking about it, got it!

EAllusion wrote:
Personhood doesn't have to be cleaved in nature. It's a concept to help organize thoughts about moral and legal status.

For example, this is not criteria for personhood - it is just you talking about stuff.

EAllusion wrote:
Subgenius implicitly keeps employing the concept while being unaware of that fact. It's an exercise on question-begging. We have these things called rights, obligations, legal privileges etc. that apply to a class of things and we can call that class of things "persons." You can call them "humans' if you want, but then you have to be careful in not assuming everything is biologically human counts and everything that isn't biologically human doesn't. That needs to be justified. And that's just confusing.

Do you think a Right is something given? A privilege is given, a right is claimed...ergo the whole pesky inalienable.
The way it looks now is that "personhood" is being argued by the OP as a means to say that Life is a privilege that is thereby granted by the State, Life therefore becomes permission, becomes restricted upon those qualified (aka class, position, status, etc.)...after all the State can take it, why not also be the give it?....whereas I have stated, as inspiration for the OP, that Life is a Right.

EAllusion wrote:
You'd think he'd just read a wikipedia link or something by now.

I have, but it is not my burden to do the legwork for the OP....perhaps you could grab a dictionary and sort out the whole Right vs Privilege vs Inalienable stuff while we wait for Honor to clear up the OP.

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 Post subject: Re: subbie - When Does Personhood Begin?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:49 pm 
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honorentheos wrote:
I understand you prefer the answers to such question be derived from what scientific investigation has to say about what Is, and that ethics or moral philosophy's many approaches with varied results telling us conflicting things about what Ought to Be is unsatisfying.


Yes because there is probably no objective morality. EAllusion's philosophers of ethics are kind of useless.

honorentheos wrote:
And as noted above, this tells us that for Homo sapiens, taking life Is part of the natural order of things.


Yes it is called anthropology, but thankfully we also have medicine, behavioral science, neurology, and other fields. Science cannot tell us how to behave, but it can tell us what is physically and psychologically harmful.

honorentheos wrote:
Can't say I agree with that conclusion but again, it's just an observation of what Is and then infering some form of purely science-based code of conduct from it. Otherwise one would end up trying to determine what Ought to Be, and that isn't what science does.


I bet the most successful alien civilizations in the Universe don't end up killing each other. Now in his book Steven Pinker argues that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise because of science and reason.
https://www.amazon.com/Enlightenment-No ... 0525427570

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 Post subject: Re: subbie - When Does Personhood Begin?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:09 pm 
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subgenius wrote:
Yes, all those posts where you say what personhood is and is not - that is just you talking about it, got it!


Hey do you oppose abortion when the life of the mother is in danger? Why?


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 Post subject: Re: subbie - When Does Personhood Begin?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:10 pm 
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subgenius wrote:
Yes, all those posts where you say what personhood is and is not - that is just you talking about it, got it!


You are incapable of making a simple distinction between talking abut what the concept of personhood refers and doesn't refer to and talking about examples of ideas about what qualifies for having personhood status? Are you likewise incapable of understanding talking about the difference between what the concept of ethics refers to and specific ideas about what is ethical?

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EAllusion wrote:
Personhood doesn't have to be cleaved in nature. It's a concept to help organize thoughts about moral and legal status.

For example, this is not criteria for personhood - it is just you talking about stuff.


Yep. It appears so.

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The way it looks now is that "personhood" is being argued by the opening post


The opening post is just asking you when whatever you think has a right to life has traits such that it has a right to life worth being respected. Conception of an embryo would be my guess based on how you've talked in this thread, but who knows? The idea is to set you up to defend that, but you've long been historically incapable of doing that, so you'll just spend page after page thickly dodging the topic.


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 Post subject: Re: subbie - When Does Personhood Begin?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:16 pm 
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DoubtingThomas wrote:
Yes because there is probably no objective morality. EAllusion's philosophers of ethics are kind of useless.


Cool. By "objective morality" you likely mean something like what philosophers of ethics call "moral realism" or the idea that moral statements can be true or false and at least some of them are true. Weirdly, this doesn't stop you from speaking in terms of moral truth.

While I think you seem naïve on this topic and I highly recommend you read up some more, it doesn't strictly matter if moral realism is true or not. People who reject moral realism usually think moral disputes can be adjudicated in some way. For example, people who think moral thoughts are like tastes usually think moral disputes are like convincing a person to develop or consider their tastes in such a way that you agree about food preferences. You clearly have moral opinions that you expect to have persuasive force. Hence you insisting that it is not wrong to kill fetuses before 24 weeks, but it may be wrong to do so after because you've identified that as cut-off point for the development of consciousness.

That the development of consciousness matters to the wrongness of killing is something you seem to take as self-evident, but it isn't. That's a position that requires defending. If you think defending moral assertions is pointless because "there is no objective morality" then stop making moral assertions.


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 Post subject: Re: subbie - When Does Personhood Begin?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:38 pm 
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EAllusion wrote:
Cool. By "objective morality" you likely mean something like what philosophers of ethics call "moral realism" or the idea that moral statements can be true or false and at least some of them are true. Weirdly, this doesn't stop you from speaking in terms of moral truth.


It is subjective. What can be morally right for you may be morally wrong for me. But I am always open minded.

EAllusion wrote:
While I think you seem naïve on this topic and I highly recommend you read up some more, it doesn't strictly matter if moral realism is true or not. People who reject moral realism usually think moral disputes can be adjudicated in some way. For example, people who think moral thoughts are like tastes usually think moral disputes are like convincing a person to develop their tastes to align with yours.


I agree because we humans are social animals and we should work together to solve complicated problems, but philosophy alone probably won't get us anywhere. We need the help of science. Read Pinker, Shermer, Harris, and other intellectuals on how science has contributed to the progress of humanity. Do you have any evidence that philosophy of ethics has significantly contributed to human progress?

EAllusion wrote:
You clearly have moral opinions that you expect to have persuasive force. Hence you insisting that it is not wrong to kill fetuses before 24 weeks, but it may be wrong to do so after because you've identified that as cut-off point for the development of consciousness.

That the development of consciousness matters to the wrongness of killing is something you seem to take as self-evident, but it isn't. That's a position that requires defending. If you think defending moral assertions is pointless because "there is no objective morality" then stop making moral assertions.


It is likely, but not 100% obvious. I am wiling to change my mind. Please tell me when can a human have rights? Why?
Is it before 24 weeks? in third trimester? After birth? After two years old? Please don't ignore my questions.


Last edited by DoubtingThomas on Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:46 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: subbie - When Does Personhood Begin?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:41 pm 
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DoubtingThomas wrote:
Yes it is called anthropology, but thankfully we also have medicine, behavioral science, neurology, and other fields. Science cannot tell us how to behave, but it can tell us what is physically and psychologically harmful.

:lol:

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 Post subject: Re: subbie - When Does Personhood Begin?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:44 pm 
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But anyways, I still don't understand why Abortion is the center of the Supreme Court debate. Why can't the center of the debate be Citizens United? Or Climate Change?


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 Post subject: Re: subbie - When Does Personhood Begin?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:45 pm 
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honorentheos wrote:
DoubtingThomas wrote:
Yes it is called anthropology, but thankfully we also have medicine, behavioral science, neurology, and other fields. Science cannot tell us how to behave, but it can tell us what is physically and psychologically harmful.

:lol:


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 Post subject: Re: subbie - When Does Personhood Begin?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:58 pm 
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subgenius wrote:
honorentheos wrote:
Pretty sure subbie is just hung up on the entire concept of personhood being a thing.

It is "a thing". The opening post clearly used my "right to life" position to springboard into a more detailed discussion for "legal entitlement to life", which becomes more refined when one considers the gradual entitlement of rights as a living human ages (eg the right to vote, etc.).

This thread was started precisely because your right to life position is naïve and flawed. And it won't stand up to scrutiny. I give you credit for recognizing this, thus the endless circular reasoning of human=homo sapiens=human=homo sapiens=...

Quote:
So, as a starting point - either the right to life is self-evident and unalienable or it is not - correct?

That's how mutually exclusive postulates work, yes. But we also need to acknowledge that how we answer that question is dependent on what we are referencing. This is where you keep falling into the rut of human=homo sapiens=human... and dismiss the argument that this is insufficient.

Yet this is already inherent in your own position. You postulated that homo sapiens could be found in to "varieties" which was hilarious to be honest. I literally lol'd when I read that. But let's take your premise that the animal classified as homo sapiens can be recognized as homo sapiens both when living and when dead. Rather than varieties of the animal Genus Homo, species sapiens let's refer to that as stages of biological activity perhaps. One of which is tautologically alive and may or may not have a right to be so which could be discussed later. The other...well, that ship has sailed. It doesn't make sense to argue that Homo sapiens have a right to life just relying on your own attempts at defending a position. And if you were the honest type, you'd acknowledge that we aren't limited to describing other states of biological activity or developmental status. I mean, your sperm isn't helpful to someone trying to fertilize a goat's egg. You can ____ goats all day and you'll never produce offspring. Which you probably know... :wink: Anywho...the gamotes are recognizable as belonging to their species. But you wouldn't argue that having a wet dream is involuntary manslaughter. Nor do I believe you would see every woman or couple who suffered a miscarriage investigated to ensure they were not guilty of murder through neglect or some other fault. You intuit that there is a limit to the stages prior to birth when we acknowledge the mass of cells as being a person.

But we know. It's a tough thing to cross the gap from #humanlifeissacred!!!! to an informed and consistent prolife position, even with EAllusion coaching you along a few times.

So yeah, keep at it subbie. Humans=homo sapiens=humans. Brilliant.

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Last edited by honorentheos on Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: subbie - When Does Personhood Begin?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:03 pm 
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DoubtingThomas wrote:
But anyways, I still don't understand why Abortion is the center of the Supreme Court debate. Why can't the center of the debate be Citizens United? Or Climate Change?

Because Kennedy was the deciding vote in CU and his replacement by Trump isn't going to change that. I guarantee if we had elected Clinton that is exactly the roar you'd be hearing from the Fox News crowd angry over Clinton getting to nominate the replacements for Scalia, Ginsberg and Kennedy. It kinda boggles the mind a little to try and imagine what the world would be like right now if there was a Republican-controlled Senate opposing a Clinton nomination a little over three month from the mid-terms.

Kids and your naïve idealism. ____ us up the ass, you did DT. "Clinton was shady! She was for Big Money! She was just as bad as Trump!"

Yeah

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 Post subject: Re: subbie - When Does Personhood Begin?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:17 pm 
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honorentheos wrote:
Kids and your naïve idealism. ____ us up the ass, you did DT. "Clinton was shady! She was for Big Money! She was just as bad as Trump!"

Yeah


No Clinton wasn't as bad a Trump, but she probably wouldn't have been able to do much with Mitch and a Republican senate. With Trump in the white house it is a big opportunity for Democrats to take the Presidency and Congress in 2020. When the Democrats are in full power all they have to do is amnesty for all undocumented immigrants.

honorentheos wrote:
Because Kennedy was the deciding vote in CU and his replacement by Trump isn't going to change that. I guarantee if we had elected Clinton that is exactly the roar you'd be hearing from the Fox News crowd angry over Clinton getting to nominate the replacements for Scalia, Ginsberg and Kennedy.


Mitch McConnell is a bad man. With a Republican senate Hillary would have been as powerless as Obama was in 2016. Think about it. McConnell would have argued that Democrats shouldn't have too many Supreme Court picks. But anyways, I still don't understand why abortion is the center of all the debate.


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 Post subject: Re: subbie - When Does Personhood Begin?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:23 pm 
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Full disclosure, DT. Your time on the board has led me to form a new version of Poe's law. Most of the time I honestly can't tell if you are really some middle-aged male Mormon troll caricaturing what a middle-aged white male Mormon thinks liberals think. And so what you post sounds artificial to me. But that very well could be because you are young and were raised as a male Mormon who hasn't been able to build an actual foundation under what you intuit to be a better way. I probably wasn't too different when I was a 30-something and leaving the church behind. Either way, what you post sounds artificial to me.

Point being, DT's law is that I can't tell the difference between a middle-aged male Mormon troll pretending to be a young non-theist progressive and an actual post-Mormon young non-theist progressive.

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 Post subject: Re: subbie - When Does Personhood Begin?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:29 pm 
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DoubtingThomas wrote:
I agree because we humans are social animals and we should work together to solve complicated problems, but philosophy alone probably won't get us anywhere. We need the help of science. Read Pinker, Shermer, Harris, and other intellectuals on how science has contributed to the progress of humanity. Do you have any evidence that philosophy of ethics has significantly contributed to human progress?

I was a double major in biology and psychology with a minor in chemistry.

The idea that we need to read Sam Harris to understand that science has contributed something to humanity creates a situation where it is not possible to roll one's eyes hard enough. Yes, science has contributed to human progress. No one is disputing this. Not even a little bit. It is also true that science can give help us understand the world in such a way that our moral judgments become better informed. If you think moral goods have something to do with promoting happiness, then the science of happiness is going to tell us a lot about what is good, no?

Philosophy of ethics played a major role in why liberal democratic governments exist. That seems like a big deal. Moreover, phil of ethics is just a rigorous way of thinking about the kind of ideas you're playing around with in this thread. If you're going to do philosophy of ethics, you might as well do it well.

Quote:
It is likely, but not 100% obvious.

Saying it is likely, but not obvious is also a moral assertion that requires some basis for making. I'm trying to get you to understand that what seems clear to you actually isn't an end-point assertion, but a conclusion arrived at through some chain of reasoning.

For example, imagine your the sort of person who thinks that what is morally good is what promotes happiness and what is morally bad is what thwarts it referred to above. Well, then moral goods and evils can only apply to things that have the capacity to experience happiness right? Consciousness is a prerequisite to that, therefore beings that lack the fundamental capacity for consciousness cannot have moral goods or evils happen to them. Ergo it is not wrong to kill them.

I'm not saying I agree with this reasoning - I don't - but it is a short version of the kind of argument you should be thinking about before taking for granted a position that isn't at all self-evident and disputed by people you disagree with.


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 Post subject: Re: subbie - When Does Personhood Begin?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:35 pm 
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honorentheos wrote:
I probably wasn't too different when I was a 30-something and leaving the church behind. Either way, what you post sounds artificial to me.


The Hell with how I sound. The topic isn't about me! What matters here is the evidence and good arguments. Let's just try to have an intelligent conversation. Or could it be that you have nothing useful to say?

So, I will just pretend that I didn't read the above, and please answer my questions.

DoubtingThomas wrote:
It is likely, but not 100% obvious. I am wiling to change my mind. Please tell me when can a human have rights? Why?
Is it before 24 weeks? in third trimester? After birth? After two years old? Please don't ignore my questions.


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 Post subject: Re: subbie - When Does Personhood Begin?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:51 pm 
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EAllusion wrote:
Saying it is likely, but not obvious is also a moral assertion that requires some basis for making. I'm trying to get you to understand that what seems clear to you actually isn't an end-point assertion, but a conclusion arrived at through some chain of reasoning.

Okay.

EAllusion wrote:
The idea that we need to read Sam Harris to understand that science has contributed something to humanity creates a situation where it is not possible to roll one's eyes hard enough. Yes, science has contributed to human progress. No one is disputing this. Not even a little bit. It is also true that science can give help us understand the world in such a way that our moral judgments become better informed. If you think moral goods have something to do with promoting happiness, then the science of happiness is going to tell us a lot about what is good, no?

Sure, if we define morality as something that is healthy.

EAllusion wrote:
Philosophy of ethics played a major role in why liberal democratic governments exist. That seems like a big deal. Moreover, phil of ethics is just a rigorous way of thinking about the kind of ideas you're playing around with in this thread. If you're going to do philosophy of ethics, you might as well do it well.

How do you do it well? There is no consensus on anything in philosophy. Is there a well-established philosophical idea? and how do we know that it is true? Is it possible to know anything in philosophy? Perhaps our world is just a Brain in a Jar simulation or someone's dream.

EAllusion wrote:
I'm not saying I agree with this reasoning - I don't - but it is a short version of the kind of argument you should be thinking about before taking for granted a position that isn't at all self-evident and disputed by people you disagree with.

Okay fair enough. But I will appreciate it if you answer my questions

DoubtingThomas wrote:
Please tell me when can a human have rights? Why?
Is it before 24 weeks? in third trimester? After birth? After two years old? Please don't ignore my questions.


Last edited by DoubtingThomas on Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: subbie - When Does Personhood Begin?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:53 pm 
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Everyone, literally everyone, has to have some criteria for distinguishing between morally relevant things and not morally relevant things. And underneath that, we need to have some criteria for distinguishing being things laws apply to and don't. "Personhood" is a common term used to refer to this. There is a secondary sense of personhood that really is an idea about personhood - one subgenius isn't aware of, but could be read as groping at - which is often also called personal identity. It refers to having the mental capacity to have a sense of self with conscious desires for how things ought to be. As it happens, I think only things with this sense of personal identity are persons in a morally relevant sense, but that doesn't matter here.

If subgenius or anyone wants to use some other word to talk about the criteria for distinction, that's fine. Let's call it flibbleflarb. It still is the case that you can't just assume that living things have flibbleflarb or that only living beings with a shared genetic identity enough to be called human have flibbleflarb. You got to supply some reason for thinking that. Subgenius won't because he can't. It's just an article of faith that, while probably a major motive in his political thinking, he hasn't actually thought all that deeply about.


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