Hey guys, I got some interesting feedback on my last article Lets define ownership: a lesson in morality and logic
Now you can go on and read the Jeff’s response and my responses on Jeff’s post, to it; but for the sake of you guys, I thought I’d share this with you too. I am just going to copy past a few lines from Jeff’s response which I believe are his main points, you can read the rest yourself. I believe Jeff made two points.
1. You provide an example of a morally normative statement: stealing is not good.
Next, you provide an example of what you call stealing: “taking, because you are starving, food you do not own”.
For the sake of it, I will agree that stealing is not good. However, I will disagree that “taking, because you are starving, food you do not own” is not an example of stealing.
Therefore, we have differing definitions of stealing.
2. In your post, you aim to use the law of non-contradiction to demonstrate that subjective morality is illogical. However, you do this by implicitly positioning your definition of stealing as the objectively accurate definition of stealing. Upon doing so, you then claim that my definition contradicts yours, breaking the law of non-contradiction and showing that objective morality is true.
My argument is that this is begging the question. You are placing objectivity in your premise to come to the conclusion of objectivity. This would be fallacious.
Here’s my response.
Hey Jeff, thanks for clearing things up. I don’t suppose we’ll agree on all things but still…anyway to get to the point.
I don’t rally think you disagree with me, in fact I’d say we agree agree on the act of stealing but not the motive. My position is that the motive for stealing has no effect on the act.
Stealing is simply “taking another’s property without his consent”. I don’t think there is any definition which basically differs from this. karen’s argument only holds when you introduce things like “pleasure or whim”. Else it doesn’t and is internally inconsistent.
Taking food and taking food without the person’s permission to whom that food belongs, are two different things.
When someone say “I stole because I was hungry”, right there, they agree with me. They stole. To bring the motive with it, is extra luggage right here. I can understand why someone stole food. I can also see why that is “not bad” for those who are starving. But to say that stealing food is not stealing food, is again violation of the law of NC. Stealing is stealing because you took something which is not yours and that too without the owner’s consent.
I work for people in labor camps around Pakistan, very poor people. I hope I post photos sometime soon, you might like to see our work but anyway, a lot of people are desperate and sometimes some people steal, some tell me fake stories and ask for money. There are times when I know they are really not telling the truth but I still give them that money because I know they are in need. And yet, their lie does not become the truth just because they are in need.
You can say stealing food is not stealing food when you are desperate, I would disagree. I do not think that it is a stable consistent logic.
As I said earlier my point was never that there are no subjective realities, there are. I just do not think they are consistent and good grounds for stable definitions.
On a side note. Until your last post, I guess the definition of stealing was pretty obvious, I didn’t know you would disagree. I mean if you are going to go with your argument then I would just say that the “question begging fallacy” point would cut both ways. I can say that you are presuming subjectivity to begin with and then proving it all the same. See…:)
Anyways, thanks and I hope we discuss more.