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    • This is not intended as an endorsement but rather as thought provoking. I'm not convinced that the article writer is being impartial in her evaluation.

      Such words exist to perform some extra-communicative task; in messaging speech, some aim other than truth-seeking is always at play. One way to turn literal speech into messaging is to attach a list of names: a petition is an example of nonliteral speech, because more people believing something does not make it more true.

    • Thank you for posting this alternate option :)

      No Aristotle should not be cancelled. We need not praise Aristotle in completeness but we can praise individual insights that he brought to the world. I also see no reason why people can't bring Artistotle's errors to the forefront of people's consciousness. Nothing wrong with some serious introspection in what we value or hold in high regard - whether it's a southern general or ancient philospher. What do you think??

      I like the following excerpt from the article:

      I will admit that Aristotle’s vast temporal distance from us makes it artificially easy to treat him as an “alien.” One of the reasons I gravitate to the study of ancient ethics is precisely that it is difficult to entangle those authors in contemporary power struggles. When we turn to disagreement on highly charged contemporary ethical questions, such as debates about gender identity, we find suspicion, second-guessing of motives, petitioning — the hallmarks of messaging culture — even among philosophers.
    • I like that quotation also and it fits with my view that it is not possible to produce a moral standard which is universally acceptable by every agnostic culture. (By universal, I am not speaking of every individual's acceptance, every society has its rebels.)

    • @StephenL,

      I don't know whether you have been reading the discussion which @cvdavis and I have been having under the title "Sometimes it is good to be skeptical of skepticism" but my statement which you "applauded" was based in an on-going courteous disagreement which we have been discussing. It may be better for you to be neutral unless you are prepared to be caught up in the discussion.

      I do appreciate your emoji but you may not want to "take sides" in this discussion.

    • I think it's not CURRENTLY possible to create a moral standard but I think it could and eventually will be possible. Not only will it but I think it will be immoral not to impliment it. An interesting case in point is the current debate about AI self driving choices. Not all societies will choose to have the same more imperatives programmed into their cars in situations where it has to pick who should live or die for example. I think eventually though they could. At this point I'd say it's close to my end point but not there so your argument would win.

    • I was merely applauding the civility of your discussion—I actually applauded both your comment and cvdavis’s comment which directly preceded yours. However as a neutral observer, I will follow your recommendation and lurk quietly in the background.


    • I'm glad that you brought up the AI example because that perfectly illustrates why science cannot establish a moral standard.

      Science does not attempt to discuss the morality involved in things like the trolley car or the lifeboat scenarios because it is not a scientific point.

      Alfred Hitchcock made a lifeboat movie but he did not ask which should be saved, he asked whether it was right to make such a decision. I do not believe I have the right to touch the track switch nor to decide who survives in the lifeboat, I would rather be victimized by someone who thinks he has that right than to make such a decision myself. Ethicists claim that my not choosing is itself a choice. But my position is that I believe in God's right to choose and if that means that unbelievers "sacrifice" me then so be it.

    • Science can provide us insight into the evolution of our brains abhoring the interfering with a person's life for whatever reason and the long term trauma that would be likely caused by doing so even if it meant we would save more lives.

      Consider the problem of a burning building with 50 children inside. The only way to save the children would be to prop the door open with a $50 million dollar painting that is nearby. If you save the picture you could use the money to save thousands of children from malaria and a painful death. If you let the painting burn you save the children in the building but condemn thousands of children to die of malaria, blindness and so on. The science of the brain, how it works, how it helps us make decisions, how it makes moral decisions, how it is affected by decisions and so on, can help us to come up with a better morality.

      Another question asked related to the trolley problem is would you want to live in a world where doctors kill healthy people to save the lives of sick ones. Understanding the difference between hypothetical questions and those humans have encountered in the real world and therefore shaped our thinking brains, can help us come up with a morality that takes into account scientific understanding.

      I have to admit I am not a better thinker than the current best minds in the field of philosophy, ethics and morality.