Need some help with running a moral skepticism kritik at an LD Debate Event

Author: armoredcat ,

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  • armoredcat
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    armoredcat
    Hey everyone, 

    I do LD and I'm planning on running a moral skepticism kritik in the future. Ofc I know that some won't take kindly to it so I'll be running it quite selectively. I had a couple questions about the concept for anyone who knows enough about debate/metaethics to answer them.

    1. How do you create solvency/establish negative impacts without making moral claims? I know Nietzsche wrote some stuff about crafting orientations towards living in light of the subjectivity of morality but I'd like some more specificity here.

    2. What are some common/instinctive rebuttals that you'll get if you run moral skepticism and how can you counter them? I don't know exactly what I'll be hearing yet. 

    3. Any good (preferably online) resources for cards/support for nihilism/skepticism? 


  • Sum1hugme
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    --> @armoredcat
    What's the topic? And Is LD "live debate"?
  • SirAnonymous
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    --> @Sum1hugme
    Lincoln-Douglas, I think.
  • armoredcat
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    --> @Sum1hugme
    What's the topic? And Is LD "live debate"?
    The United States ought to institute a federal jobs guarantee. 

    SirAnonymous is right.  And Lincoln-Douglas is 1v1 debate. 


  • Sum1hugme
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    --> @armoredcat
    The United States ought to institute a federal jobs guarantee
    Lol how do you get moral skepticism from that topic? I think I'm missing the angle
  • Lemming
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    --> @armoredcat
    Nothing to say on the topic really, just wanted to say nice profile picture.
    Feels more fitting per your username.
  • armoredcat
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    --> @Sum1hugme
    Lol how do you get moral skepticism from that topic? I think I'm missing the angle

    "ought" is in the resolution. If we don't ought do do anything, we don't ought to institute a jobs guarantee. My impression is that it'd work the same with any normative topic. 
  • armoredcat
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    --> @Lemming
    Nothing to say on the topic really, just wanted to say nice profile picture.
    Feels more fitting per your username.

    Thanks, I plan on keeping this for a bit. 


  • oromagi
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    --> @armoredcat
    Hey everyone, 

    I do LD and I'm planning on running a moral skepticism kritik in the future. Ofc I know that some won't take kindly to it so I'll be running it quite selectively. I had a couple questions about the concept for anyone who knows enough about debate/metaethics to answer them.

    1. How do you create solvency/establish negative impacts without making moral claims? I know Nietzsche wrote some stuff about crafting orientations towards living in light of the subjectivity of morality but I'd like some more specificity here.
    2. What are some common/instinctive rebuttals that you'll get if you run moral skepticism and how can you counter them? I don't know exactly what I'll be hearing yet. 
    3. Any good (preferably online) resources for cards/support for nihilism/skepticism? 
    "ought" is in the resolution. If we don't ought do do anything, we don't ought to institute a jobs guarantee. My impression is that it'd work the same with any normative topic. 
    AC-

    I appreciate the ping but I am pretty ignorant about formal debate and even more ignorant about metaethics. 

    approach implies that the normative assumption is that govt should act morally but I find that surprising.   Isn't much of the point of govt to carry out efficient, profitable measures that would be considered immoral if conducted without govt sanction?  Warfare, public execution, imprisonment, evictions, collecting taxes are functions that are pretty immoral done individually but fine and necessary done collectively.  Isn't much of the point of govt to do necessary evils?  

    The USFG invented weapons that destroy all known life with the approval of Americans.  When I say the USFG ought to... I don't generally expect to argue a moral case.  I expect to argue  health, efficiency, prosperity, sustainability but I would never argue that the USFG should guarantee everybody a job because  because giving is good and our government should do right.  Right is our job, govt. is our tool.

  • armoredcat
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    --> @oromagi
    The way I understand debate in Lincoln-Douglas, all arguments are predicated on the value of the framework, or criteron/value if you're old school. You must show that your framework is the most morally correct (morality is typically the value of a Lincoln Douglas debate, whereas your actual framework is your criterion to meet the value), and since your arguments seek to uphold that framework, indirectly, they uphold morality. If there is no right or wrong, there is no morality, and so that entire chain falls apart. The source is destroyed and the contentions themselves wither away without them. Thus, I don't see why Moral Skepticism can't work against any normative claim. 

    health, efficiency, prosperity, sustainability
    I mean these all are indirectly based on moral claims. Why is health/efficiency/prosperity/sustainability good? Why must states exist at all if there are no moral harms to anarchy?
  • armoredcat
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    I'm going to keep bumping this thread because I still need help with this. 
  • armoredcat
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    bump
  • armoredcat
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    bump
  • Lemming
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    --> @armoredcat
    People 'have starting points for their morality,
    What I disagree with is the validity of the starting points,
    But having nothing better, one continues on, keeping what one has or not, often acquiring new starting points, but still influenced by their origin.

    I've read Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy at times, for basic knowledge on some things.

    Also Quora and Reddit, but those sources are hit and miss.

    Though I still don't feel confident in 'backing, proving, my own opinions of moral skepticism to others much.
    Still haven't managed to think it through and lay it down tidy like, or educated myself rightlike regarding it, to 'do so, I'd say.

    Would you say moral skepticism is similar to agnosticism?
  • armoredcat
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    --> @Lemming
    Would you say moral skepticism is similar to agnosticism?
    Moral skepticism, in some form or another, doubts the logical truth of moral claims. In that way it's a statement of what is false rather than a statement of agnosticism.

    I mean I imagine that a lot of moral skeptics are much more agnostic about non-metaethical issues given that in their view, morality doesn't exist. 


  • Lemming
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    --> @armoredcat
    Or could use,
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy,
    Article on Moral Skepticism

    or search Moral Skepticism on that site,

    Now that I look at it and did a short Google search, doesn't seem that moral skepticism is 'so synonymous with nihilism.
    Ah well, I live and I learn. 
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @armoredcat
    Lol how do you get moral skepticism from that topic? I think I'm missing the angle
    "ought" is in the resolution. If we don't ought do do anything, we don't ought to institute a jobs guarantee. My impression is that it'd work the same with any normative topic. 
    You've already solved it.

    Hume's Guillotine: you can NEVER logically derive an "OUGHT" from an "IS".

    There's your kritik.

    It never really made sense for me until I watched this, [LINK]
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @armoredcat
    Debate Resolution: "The United States ought to institute a federal jobs guarantee"

    PRO:

    Speaking from a purely economic perspective (culturally we conflate money with morality), homeless people and prisoners cost the state roughly $20,000.00 per person per year.  School children in the USA receive a subsidy of roughly $15,000.00 per child per year.  Homeless people & prisoners & school children are unproductive members of society (jobless).  It would be a great boost to the economy (culturally we conflate money with morality) if we found some jobs for these individuals (since we also tend to conflate laziness with immorality).

    Of course a "jobs guarantee" probably doesn't mean "mandatory labor camps".

    CON:

    Speaking from a purely economic perspective (culturally we conflate money with morality), a deep, primal fear of becoming homeless and a deep, primal fear of being sent to prison contributes immensely to economic productivity.  This fundamental and essential primal fear is what keeps the working class (80% of the country) going to jobs they hate, overlooking safety violations, taking verbal abuse from customers and managers, and accepting extremely low wages (keeping consumer prices competitive).

    If these workers were "guaranteed a job", then they would walk away from these wretched, dead-end, often physically dangerous jobs and the nation's entrepreneurs would go out of business.  These businesses would probably be replaced by government-run replacements because the government would have a huge surplus of employees due to their "jobs guarantee".  This would lead to a totalitarian state, and everybody knows that totalitarian state = teh evil.

    Therefore, "The United States ought to institute a federal jobs guarantee" = "totalitarian state" = evil.
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @oromagi
    Isn't much of the point of govt to carry out efficient, profitable measures that would be considered immoral if conducted without govt sanction?
    Nailed it.

    Govt is fundamentally hypocritical.
  • armoredcat
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    --> @3RU7AL
    Hume's Guillotine: you can NEVER logically derive an "OUGHT" from an "IS".

    There's your kritik.

    I think I know what you mean, but elaborate?


  • fauxlaw
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    --> @oromagi
    Right is our job, govt. is our tool.
    Hotdamn! That's a classic statement. Reminds me of Madison's, "If men were angels, we would not need government." You've said it better, and more realistically. Congrats
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @armoredcat
    Hume's Guillotine: you can NEVER logically derive an "OUGHT" from an "IS".

    There's your kritik.
    I think I know what you mean, but elaborate?
    Examples of "IS" statements,

    "Snow is cold"
    "It snowed yesterday"
    "The sun will rise tomorrow"

    These can be deduced by pure logic (based on ontological definitions).

    Examples of "OUGHT" statements,

    "You should put on a coat"
    "Murder is wrong"
    "Everyone deserves to be happy"

    These can NEVER be deduced by pure logic (although many people strongly and even sincerely believe these examples of "ought" statements are "facts" they are OPINIONS).

    For example,

    Most people intuitively think you can make the apparently "logical" statement,

    (IFF) snowing (THEN) it's cold outside (THEREFORE) you ought to put on a coat

    But as a logical statement, it actually relies on some hidden assumptions.

    Without assuming at least one ought statement, you can't derive another ought statement based on pure logic.

    This is the core of the "IS"/"OUGHT" problem.

    You can never derive an "ought" if you are restricted to only (ONLY) factual ("is") statements.

    B: you "ought" to put on a coat.
    A: why should I put on a coat?

    B: because it "is" snowing.
    A: why does snowing = coat?

    B: snow "is" cold.
    A: why does cold = coat?

    B: (IFF) cold outside (AND) you go outside without a coat (THEN) you will also become cold
    A: why should I take action to avoid becoming cold?

    B: (IFF) you get too cold (THEN) you will die
    A: why should I take action to avoid my own death?

    B: I want you to live (this is an opinion, not a fact) and you "ought" to also want to live (this is an opinion, not a fact).
    ALL -PRESCRIPTIONS- ("OUGHT" STATEMENTS) ARE (FUNDAMENTALLY) OPINIONS.
  • Lemming
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    --> @armoredcat @Tarik
    1. How do you create solvency/establish negative impacts without making moral claims? I know Nietzsche wrote some stuff about crafting orientations towards living in light of the subjectivity of morality but I'd like some more specificity here.

    Reminds me of a conversation I had with Tarik, a while ago. Though I'm just cutting two clips out of it.

    START
    Just want to know your thought process, are you a nihilist?
    It's a label I like put upon myself, yes.
    So hypothetically speaking if someone were to try to kill you would you object?
    I would.
    I possess a desire to live.
    I thought nihilists thought life was meaningless?
    Though it might depend on what you and I mean by nihilist.
    I have difficulty in describing it myself.
    But to me, it's an intellectual recognition of the lack of objective meaning in existence.
    Or perhaps in the intellectual recognition of relativism.
    I tend to be scatterbrained on the topic.
    I may consider nihilism to be true, but I'm still a human.
    I already possess habits that I have acquired earlier in life.
    A person might be able to recognize a cockroach as harmless, yet exhibit an extreme phobia or fear of it.
    My perspective of nihilism, might be said to be the opposite of such a reaction.
    A human that still cares, I guess I find it puzzling how one can care about a life that doesn’t matter.
    Some people care rather heavily about games that do not 'matter.
    Chess, Dungeons and Dragons, Football.
    END

    START
    Do you believe in morality?
    In a sense, yes.
    Individuals and societies have beliefs that certain circumstances/actions are right and wrong.
    Then you’re not a nihilist, do you believe in God?
    Possibly not, but I still consider myself one.
    I do not believe in the Christian God, or any afterlife.
    Why?
    I desire proof.
    I see the existence of similar, but different in other civilizations.
    I see flaws in the written word.
    Why doesn’t that desire apply to morality?
    What do you mean?
    When I say I believe in morality. . . It's a bit similar to my mind, of saying I believe in jump rope.
    It's a concept.
    Much like math existing, such as 1+1=2,
    Certain concepts exist.
    Elaborate please
    The golden rule for example.
    We humans possess empathy, and 'feel showing kindness (as we see it) is good, something to be encouraged.
    On a cynical view, groups understand enforcing kindness is beneficial.
    Underlying question is it a true concept or a false one?
    Habits get repeated, and true or not, people believe them.
    The habits become important to them.
    The habits cluster, as a snowball.
    I would say false.
    Though based subjectively in a narrow context to accomplish an aim or play by a games rule, it can be considered true.
    I do not consider murder or cruelty to be objectively wrong.
    I do not consider helping or kindness to be objectively right.
    When you say cluster you mean death?
    No, I mean they'll give birth to similar ideas.
    Certain conclusions and decisions leading to others of similar nature.
    If that’s true then why did you say you believe in morality?
    Because in the sense I believe in morality, a person could believe in God.
    If I did not believe in the 'concept of God, I don't understand how we could discuss him.
    I believe in the 'concept of monsters under the bed and other such fabrications.
    If I tell my child that there is a monster under the bed, and this prevents him from getting out of bed and romping around, then it had an impact.
    Morality, to me, is real in this sense.
    By people believing in it, it has an impact.
    But I 'still consider it arbitrary.
    The number 1 does not exist.
    But I believe that the number 1 exists.
    Why does the impact of an inherently false answer matter so much to you?
    Because I am human.
    My nature and nurture has decreed such to matter to me.
    END

    I don't really see why doubting morality should stop a human from making moral claims.
    A person doesn't doubt that humans 'use morality to live life and interact with one another,
    It's unavoidable, our nature.
    I don't think a moral skeptic is arguing that the concept of morality does not exist. But instead rejects the notion that is 'a morality.
    Morality and ethics are just a bunch of arbitrary board games and rules we humans use
    But it's not as though there's some definitive edition, that is the 'correct way to play the game.

    'I think a moral skeptic argues against the claim that there is some 'ideal version of morality, that is the definitive edition.

    But that conclusion doesn't 'really matter, because of what we 'are.
    I really don't see why an intellectual conclusion would stop a human from living their life, usually.

    Even if one thinks morality is flawed, they're still going to go about their way based on their habits and nature.

  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @Lemming
    I believe in the 'concept of monsters under the bed and other such fabrications.
    If I tell my child that there is a monster under the bed, and this prevents him from getting out of bed and romping around, then it had an impact.
    Morality, to me, is real in this sense.
    By people believing in it, it has an impact.

    I don't really see why doubting ["objective" "universal"] morality should stop a human from making moral claims.
    Not to mention the fact that we have a lot of evidence that moral systems are temporally and geographically specific (not "universal").
  • Tarik
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    --> @3RU7AL
    What evidence is that? I’m pretty sure many would question the so called “morality” of these systems so it’s a bit disingenuous to deem it as evidence if looking at it from an outsiders perspective.