Friday, March 20, 2009

Morality debate, part 11 of 11

Cheetah's final reflections

WeirdBrake, I too am impressed with your analysis and appreciate your comments. I'm glad you offered to moderate. Now, I haven't had a chance to finish reading ephphatha's final notes, but in case he didn't say it, I think one thing that hampered us, as we discussed via PM, was that 1500 words turned out not to be enough at all. Many things, particularly in round 1, that you thought were lacking in my post were actually in the original post, but were cut due to space. In retrospect, I definitely cut the wrong stuff in post 1. I had a whole section on ephphatha's conclusion, but at the time it was not clear to me how central that was to his argument, and by cutting it out, I essentially wasted time. I think I saw hints that ephphatha could have really used the extra space to address some of your comments, too, and I know from his PM that he had some significant space issues also. Ah well, we live and learn.

Another thing is that, for the record, I don't even believe everything I said. I am still squarely on the side of subjectivism if I had to CHOOSE, but I don't think it is comprehensive enough.

On another note, I have never participated in a formal debate online and it turned out to be a bit disconcerting. I really wanted to draw ephphatha out on a few points, but didn't always have the space. I would love it if we could have sort of a "Socrates Cafe" format (heard of these?) where we could really go back and forth and get each other to elaborate on items that we feel could benefit from more description.

Also, I'm glad you got the meaning of parsimony. Late last night, as I was doing the final edits to my final post, I hit F7 to see what the Word Thesaurus had for it and it said frugal, etc. and I was shocked! Almost the only time I ever hear or use parsimonious is in the scientific sense, and yes, Jodie Foster's character in Contact encapsulates this perfectly. I wondered by context if ephphatha also did not know the true meaning of the word, as I got the sense he wasn't using it correctly in Post 3, but again, I didn't have space to explain the meaning of parsimony, only how it applied to my argument!

Finally, about the "nice" thing. I'm a little surprised by that, but that may have just been another mistake in judging my audience/opponent in the first post mostly. With the average audience, I believe it would have been critical to show that there is still the ability to have a smooth, community-based system that treats people with value and dignity, even if it is not objective. This is important, I have found, on some Christian foums where fundamentalists think being an atheist, and therefore not believing in an independent higher power, automatically means we "have no morals." Anyway, this wasn't quite the right tack, though I presisted in showing that what we do have in this world, a fairly successful community-based system, is not inconsistent with subjectivism.

Now, I have a couple more posts to read...



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