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Moral Certainty
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You are currently reading a thread in /lit/ - Literature

Thread replies: 55
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What does /lit/ think?

>Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on the phrase "I am not too sure."
HL Menken by the way.
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You can doubt current values with moral certainty i.e. Abolitionist
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>>7612699
Yeah, I know and I think that in some ways that kind of mentality, one of intractable certainty, in any subject is a negative character trait. One that forces an inability to understand counter arguments.
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>>7612637
I think I agree with the sentiment at large, but I take issue with notions of any cultural inferiority. It implies that one man can be more civil, or more cultured than another, which I disagree with.
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>>7612722
This guy gets it.

Menken was from a different era. The verbiage he's using is from that time but he would no doubt agree with the sentiment you expressed.
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>>7612713
Fanatical conviction turns grand ideas into reality, not people who debate the moral virtue of slavery.

>>7612722
Certain cultures are closer to absolute truth same as certain people are more virtuous than others.
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>>7612713
Certainty is to be doubted indeed but what would be the point of understanding arguments over and over? This kind of patronizing is dangerous. Shouldn't a civilized debate be directed towards some kind of synthesis?
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>>7612798
You obviously don't do this at all times. But an inability to seriously consider that you may be wrong is the primary problem.
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>>7612791
The idea that absolute truth is an achievable end is as dead as god - talking about "closeness" to this ideal is pointless and resultant from an argument rooted in oppressive tendencies to declare superiority. And to say that one can be more virtuous than another is to reject the continually changing nature of existence. I can't even assume that I'm the same person that I was yesterday. Maybe I can be more virtuous than another in an instant of decision-making, but to claim that the whole of my person is a more virtuous one is just vain.
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>>7612813
>God
>Dead

Well yeah if you believe that nothing matters
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>Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority.
he sounds very sure about that.
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>>7612855
>not knowing the context and meaning of the phrase "god is dead"
Leave /lit/ pls.
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>>7612637
I would say that as a purely philosophical/rationalist stance the statement works, because clearly any set of objective values with enough complexity will have holes easily poked in it. Killing is wrong - except in situation xyz, etc.

On the other hand. a nihilistic permissiveness that allows you're unsurety over "truth" to allow bad behavior in practice is moronic. That's how we get liberals apologizing for muslim persecution of women and generalized ignorance ie cultural relativism. Some sets of culturally held moral beliefs objectively lead to safer happier societies than others.
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Some people were born ignorant savages, and so they shall remain all the days of their lives, no matter what opportunities they are afforded. Some men are born with immense potential, and are simply superior to their fellows in all conceivable things. Time to wash these relativistic savages from the globe ...
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>>7615837
But you're saying that happier safer societies are preferable anon. Not everything is built around making you happy.

There is no objectivity in evaluation of supposed cultural superiority.
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>>7615866
Guarantee you that you are one of those ignorant savages if you want to make that argument.
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You can take the monkey out of the zoo and put it in college, lowering standards and absolute benchmarks along the way, but it is still a stinking lower primate. Equality a farce, absolute standards are measurable, and the greatest amount of good for the most people sometimes involves crushing ignorant and harmful individuals who have nothing to contribute or violate the social contract in harmful ways. Without this, progress is regress.
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>>7615878
Ok, so living in Syria is better than living in the UK for example, right? After all "there is no objectivity in cultural superiority".
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>>7615882
Keep telling yourself your attitude makes you superior and you risk proving the point.
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>>7615885
Sorry, I should have said "equivalent". If there is no moral superiority, then preference of what society to choose should be arbitrary (between a third world shithole and one with a good culture). Of course this is ridiculous.
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>>7615885
The fact that a war is going on in one country and not the other has nothing to do with culture and you know it. That is one of the most pathetic arguments I've ever heard.

Now, is living in Qatar or the UAE on par with Britain? Yes, absolutely.

You should go back to /pol/ before you embarass yourself.
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>>7615898
It's a war started because they had an authoritarian government with a strong man dictator (Assad the Shit). Government style is very much a part of culture, not sure how it couldn't be.
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Let's bring back true aztec and mayan culture so i can rip your hearts out and cast you down my temple, for my gods are hungry. If you lost that game, you will be their meal tonight.
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>>7615884
Only if you actually believe in there are humans with as little mental ability as monkeys which there aren't as a racial group.

I really wish for the old days, a year ago before /lit/ was infected by the racism and general ignorance of /pol/.
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>>7615900
It is absolutely absurd to state that that government style is "part of their culture". You have to have some basic understanding of middle east history that will explain to you politically why leaving a nation after colonialism and artificially drawn borders makes governance extremely difficult. You have to know that there was democracy in Iran prior to the installation of the shah. How can you actually be so factually unaware?
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>>7612637
>>7612722

i want relativist to fucking shot themselves in the head or go to africa and live with the warlords so they can fix their heads.
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>>7615907

humans are very predictable in large groups but very unpredictable when being alone

if you think studies with monkeys are useless then you are as retarded as a monkey and probably gay too
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>>7612813

I can sense your hipster glasses and beard while reading your post.

>look at how (virtuous) deep i'm by saying that virtuosity doesn't exists and it's pointless!! Do i'm still not virtuous (deep) enough?
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>>7615821
Yeah nigga and I`m coming for Wergeld on his murder from your bitch ass.
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>>7615943
I don't think studies with monkeys are useless. I think making accusations that imply a race of people are incapable of learning as monkeys are useless.
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>>7615935
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the current standard of discourse on /lit/.

I sincerely hope this poster is an edgy 14 year old and not someone who has reached a point in their life where society expects them to be capable of self discipline and autonomy.
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>>7615935
If relativists gleefully support my right to sacrifice them to my gods, eat their children, make every prepubescent boy swallow the seed of the whole tribe to insure his fertility, how could I possibly argue with that? Enlightened morons who don't appreciate that their ability to say all cultures are worthy is a product of millenia of purging cultures which claimed their way was the one true way by other cultures with just slightly more refinement (so they could make better weapons.)
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>>7615988

If you think that because it makes you a better scholar not having a polarized opinion is better than having it then you really truly lost it.

Every man should have a polarized opinion on morality, if you don't have and accept everything then you are truly lost imho.
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>>7615991
And if one does not support my right to do those, if they are part of my culture, one is an absolutist and not a relativist at all!!!!!!!! Rights violations ... but my culture places no value on human rights, a myth of the enlightenment with no basis in fact. Might made right, and having triumphed, turned into corporations and police force macrogovernments mired in bureacracy, forever disallowing any one man from having might again in everyday life.
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>>7616018

there is joy to be found in not being a contrarian
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>>7615885
Depends on what you are. If you are a brave warrior, for example, syria is definitely better, but if you think harsh words should be illegal then britain is your choice.
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>>7616013
You are just so completely unaware of what is going on.

You think, for some reason, that you need to be a little tyrant about your beliefs in order to have convictions. There's a difference between understanding the limits of human information and accepting literally any philosophy at any time but you seem to have a problem understanding anything that doesn't exist in a binary state. You literally seem unable to fathom that morality is not as simple as right vs wrong and that one cannot really discuss cultural superiority without inherent and damning biases. Not to mention the completely base and insecure nature of needing to "rank" your culture.

Do you enjoy stuff like asmiov, where he just tells you what to think? Have you no understanding or yearning to understand the nuances of another's belief system?

Of course not. 4chan is a place for a bunch of insecure teens and malformed adults to reassure one another of their superiority to everyone else.
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>>7616053

lmao i actually laughed at your rhetorical intentions

my point is that even if there is some relativism, it doesn't means that you aren't capable of entering that relativism and make a system of morality for yourself and your people, it's a question about will, not right and wrong

there is a reason why relativism died for philosophers and now everyone is looking back at aristotle and so on, you are the one who "doesn't get it" m8
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>>7616064
There is literally nothing in your posts that says anything about will or creating your own morality. And while I find the image of you and few friends forging your own destiny among nation states quaint, I find your assertion that "everyone is now looking back to Aristotle" humorous to say the least.

/lit/ does not represent "everyone", more importantly not the academic philosophical community and Virtue Ethics is only popular here because it can be made consistent with the racism and prejudices inherent in much of the current dialogue here.
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>>7616095

>Virtue Ethics is only popular here because it can be made consistent with the racism and prejudices inherent in much of the current dialogue here.

i have nothing to say LOL
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>>7616106
And the memes sank quietly back in the night to go shitposting somewhere else.
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>Moonman pic with reddit file name
You know what to do
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>>7616053
>4chan is a place for a bunch of insecure teens and malformed adults to reassure one another of their superiority to everyone else.
damn... this hit me
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Was /lit/ actually better a year ago? Is there more racism now than then.
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>>7616198

Get with the ages grandpa, the "racism is le evil" meme doesn't exist anymore
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>>7616223
I hope it isn't. Racism is ugly.
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>>7612791
Define virtue and absolute truth.
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>>7615898
>is living in Qatar or the UAE on par with Britain? Yes, absolutely.
>no alcohol
>homosexuality punished by death
>women are refused the most basic human rights
>no freedom of movement
>no freedom of faith
>no freedom of speech
>culture prones the destruction of culture

Sure.
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>>7616294
Everyone in Qatar drinks. Go there some time. Almost none of those laws are enforced.
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>>7612637
>human "progress"
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>>7612637
You can be skeptical and tolerant AND morally certain at the same time you know.
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>>7616253
There are different types of "racist" views
>"races have typical characteristics"
>"races have typical characteristics and until you know more about an individual it's ok to use typical racial characteristics to assume things about them"
>"all {insert race here] are the same"

I think only the last is a racist but the above two will be labelled racist as well.
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>>7616635
OR you could assume that those typical characteristics are based on averages and averages don't mean much in everyday social interactions.
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>>7616681
I had that in there too until I noticed it's a sub-type of the first one - the only racist aspect is it acknowledges typical racial characteristics.
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>>7616635
>races have typical characteristics and until you know more about an individual it's *racist to use typical racial characteristics to assume things about them
Thread replies: 55
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Thread DB ID: 459843



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