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Old September 19 2013, 03:48 PM   #18
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Re: "Even the Lies?" "Especially the Lies"

Edit_XYZ wrote: View Post
Lindley wrote: View Post
Edit_XYZ wrote: View Post
When was all this post-modernist non-sense ever helpful?
I don't know exactly what you're referring to.

I would argue that a belief in the absolute "goodness" of an action can be a very dangerous thing in the wrong hands. It never hurts to try and understand other perspectives, whether you ultimately agree with them or not.
Let me give you a few examples, then:
Science and technology improved the life of billions of humans - including ourselves.
Ethics such as 'slavery is wrong' did the same for millions.
No argument. That just shows there are some things that are so clearly beneficial that it's not worth the time to distinguish them from absolute goods; it does not, however, prove the existence of absolute goods, and it doesn't provide any useful guidance on questions which are less clear-cut.

When has post-modernist non-sense:
~'all points of view are valid/justified', ~'scientists are biased/science cannot prove with 100% certainty its conclusions - therefore science is flawed/useless/whatever' + thousands of pages of obtuse text,
ever helped anyone?
First, I doubt anyone here proposes to support either of those positions. Even if they did, as absolute statements they are highly suspect.

The closest I would argue is that all points of view are worth trying to understand. That doesn't validate them in any way, but you can't oppose *or* support a viewpoint before you understand what's driving it.

The second is simply a logical fallacy. Science isn't trying to prove anything, it's trying to explain things in a way that is predictively useful. But you can't correct someone about this misconception unless you understand their viewpoint first, can you?

BTW, utilitarianism does not claim the absolute 'goodness' of an action. On the contrary, it claims an action may be good or not depending on the situation. And then there's the yin/yang argument (any good deed contains some evil).
As far as I know, some deontologies try to have similar enough views.
The "absolute goodness" bit was not strictly related to utilitarianism; it was more to point out one of the flaws in any framework that claims to provide absolute moral guidelines.
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