"Sexual" education

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Massimiliano B
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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby Massimiliano B » 2013-10-20, 0:59

meidei wrote:Sure. But your claim was that parents should have this right (give their children education compatible with their religion), and we have proved that they indeed have this right, the state respects it and no individual or organised groups are stopping you from practising that right. Do you have any other point to bring forward or that's it?


I have another point. If sex ed is introduced after the beginning of the school (in a public school), parents should have this right. That's it now.


IpseDixit wrote:
Massimiliano B wrote: I say only that such teachings have to be given in accordance with the fundamental teachings of a religion.


Why?

But, anywys, ok, let's pretend that my religion supports geocentrism. Should my children be allowed to drop out of physics class?


I had to write "I say only that such teachings should be given in accordance with the fundamental teachings of a religion - if I request it".
I meant that these lessons should be taught - for those who request it - according to the fundamental teaching of a religion - for example, leaving parents the ability to choose, instead of the time of sex education, one hour of Christian education (or Muslim, etc.) about sexuality.
Anyone who is not Catholic in Italy can choose not to attend Catholic religion to their children in the public school. So I do not see why the opposite would not also be applicable. (I'm sorry for my mistakes).

Which religion supports geocentrism? Be realistic!

In italiano:
Intendevo dire che tali insegnamenti dovrebbero essere impartiti - per chi lo richiede - secondo l'insegnamento fondamentale di una religione - per esempio, lasciando ai genitori la possibilità di scegliere, al posto dell'ora di educazione sessuale, un'ora di educazione cristiana (o musulmana, ecc.) alla sessualità.
Chi non è cattolico, in Italia può scegliere di non far frequentare l'ora di religione cattolica ai propri figli. Perciò non vedo perché non possa essere valido anche il contrario.

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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby md0 » 2013-10-20, 1:12

I have another point. If sex ed is introduced after the beginning of the school (in a public school), parents should have this right. That's it now.

Maybe I don't get what you mean here. Seems like a desperate, yet baseless attempt,
The curriculum for public schools is published before the school year starts (because teachers have to prepare, mainly). So if you care so much, you can learn if something you object months before the academic year begins. So you can arrange to transfer your children to another school.

Any actual argument?
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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby linguoboy » 2013-10-20, 14:42

Massimiliano B wrote:I meant that these lessons should be taught - for those who request it - according to the fundamental teaching of a religion - for example, leaving parents the ability to choose, instead of the time of sex education, one hour of Christian education (or Muslim, etc.) about sexuality.

You say "Christian education about sexuality" as if all Christians had the same teachings on the subject. Ditto for "Muslim, etc.".

It's not the state's responsibility to indoctrinate your children in your belief system. If you can't or won't handle that yourself, perhaps the decision to raise your own children was a poor one.
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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby Dormouse559 » 2013-10-20, 17:06

And on a practical level, there are so many religions and variations of religions and variations of variations of religions that no school system would have the resources to teach them all to everyone's satisfaction.
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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby Johanna » 2013-10-20, 20:06

And I still think that leaving it up to the parents is the worst thing that you can do. For all we know, they will tell their children that rape is perfectly fine, and that actually happens even in Europe! (You can't ever say "no" to your husband, and such things.)

Sure, cultures are different, and you get arranged marriages, but I don't think that's a bad thing per se, but once you start demanding sex from people who don't want it with you at this moment... yes that is rape, and nothing else. No matter how you put it, it is rape.

In some cultures, rape may be understandable, but it's till scary and nothing we should excuse. And before you go one step up: understanding and excusing are two very different things.


Edit: I read a testimony from a kid who was raped by their father from the age of 5. The father pulled the kid from public education at the age of 9, just about when they was about to get sex-ed. So leaving these things up to the parents? No, not ever.
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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby Massimiliano B » 2013-10-20, 23:47

linguoboy wrote:
Massimiliano B wrote:I meant that these lessons should be taught - for those who request it - according to the fundamental teaching of a religion - for example, leaving parents the ability to choose, instead of the time of sex education, one hour of Christian education (or Muslim, etc.) about sexuality.

You say "Christian education about sexuality" as if all Christians had the same teachings on the subject. Ditto for "Muslim, etc.".

It's not the state's responsibility to indoctrinate your children in your belief system. If you can't or won't handle that yourself, perhaps the decision to raise your own children was a poor one.



Is it the state's responsibility to indoctrinate your children in the belief system of the majority?

Is the majority the one who decides what is good and evil?

Or is there something which is inherently good or bad, independently from the whims of the majority?
If the answer is "no", do you think that we human beings can discover plenty of completely naturally explainable resources for motivating any preferences of the majority?

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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby Varislintu » 2013-10-21, 9:14

Wow, those first ones are questions it would take a long post to answer. I don't understand the last question, however. Could you clarify?

But I don't think you do the situation justice by calling sex ed "indoctrination". You yourself repeatedly tell us not to come up with such extreme examples of people's religious beliefs and motivations, but then you deadpan call ordinary sex ed "indoctrination". Also, I'm not sure sex ed is always even on the side of the majority. There's a lot of ignorance about facts and harmful attitudes and hateful bigotry out there for a few hours in school to battle.

Concerning morality, I personally don't believe in an absolute moral standard, no. But neither do I believe morality is what the majority thinks. That is observably false, since people disagree with their surrounding's moral views all the time. I think what we perceive as our morality is constructed in a constant both-ways influence between individual, family, community and society.

Also, on the whole parents' rights issue: what, then, gives the parents the right to choose what is right and what is wrong? Where does that rule stem from? What if the child does not identify as their parents' religion, and wants to take part in secular classes? Do the parents still get to pull them out of class? And in what way is parents telling children what to do with their bodies significantly different from secular sex ed, if you find sex ed to be indoctrination? I mean, what makes sex ed indoctrination and parents' religious education not indoctrination? After all, secular sex ed in school leaves room for religious values being taught at home, whereas pulling the child out of sex ed for religious home schooling on sexual issues does not leave room for exposure to secular sex ed. How can school sex ed still be indoctrination in this situation, and indoctrination is something you obviously view as a bad thing. Why is it bad? Because it is imposed? How are parents' religious views not imposed on the child? It's not consistent, this.
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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby linguoboy » 2013-10-21, 13:02

The state gets your children for 40 hours a week during the school year. You get them for the other 128. If you can't inculcate morality in them during that time, it's not the state that is at fault.
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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby Varislintu » 2013-10-21, 13:38

The ultimate example of parents rights vs. secular education already exists in real life in some states of the USA. It's called homeschooling, and most of it is currently religiously motivated. Which could be fine, but several states have absolutely no consistent regulation or follow up. In some states, it is possible for a parent to pull their child out of public school, and it may happen that nobody ever checks in properly on that child again. It's a very enabling situation for all kinds of neglect and abuse. All in the name of a "life affirming" religion, of course, if the parents are asked.

Now, I acknowledge that it's potentially problematic to trust education to "society" (I'm not sure what to put here, could be government or professional teachers or secular public school as well). Yes, society can abuse that power as well. However, I'm prone to seeing this from the child's perspective, and the child's interests aren't magically protected by leaving everything in their parents' power either. "Society", in the context of education, is at least transparent, accountable, and driven by professionals. If they do it wrong, we have a voice. If their methods are harmful or if their facts are wrong or if their values are questionable, we can change that. Parental education is not subject to any scrutiny, unless it's supposed to replace public education, and not even always then (like I mentioned about some US states).

In the child's interest, therefore, I think it is most beneficial for them to be exposed to the secular sex ed in school. Even if it somehow contradicts their parents' religious views. It will, due to its minor scale and duration, inevitably be a minor voice in their life, if their parents are also teaching them their own ethics. I do not think a normal child with a good heart would reject their parents' wise moral lessons just because of some sexual education classes they've attended. However, if it happens to be the case that the child disagrees with their parents' religion, or if their parents are actually neglecting giving them sexual education, at least they will have gotten the secular sexual education. The worst thing would be to have them remain completely ignorant of facts and totally morally immature (like about the concept of consent, for example).
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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby Massimiliano B » 2013-10-23, 0:56

Varislintu wrote:Wow, those first ones are questions it would take a long post to answer. I don't understand the last question, however. Could you clarify?



If there is not something which is inherently good or bad, independently from the whims of the majority, then what is good or bad depends on the whims of the majority. If so, we can imagine that if the majority likes paedophilia, paedophilia is good. Do you think that we human beings could discover completely naturally explainable resources for motivating - that is justifying - even such preferences of the majority?

Otherwise, if there is something that is in any case bad and something that is in any case good, we should try to understand why there are such things as the good and the evil, and also why we prefer the former and not the latter.

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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby Varislintu » 2013-10-23, 8:57

Okay, I think I understand what you are getting at. However, for me, the question raises a false dichotomy (absolute good and evil vs. majority opinion of good and evil). And the problem that we have to look at definitions first (what do we mean with morality?).

The problem with definition is because we are talking about morality in so many contexts here. Do we mean an individual's view of morality? A belief system's view of morality? A sex ed class' view of morality? These are affected and formed by different things, not least by each other. And a whole society's view of morals, while we often use such a concept as a kind of shorthand definition, is a concept that at closer scrutiny is almost impossible to talk about, because it is such a complicated structure.

I don't believe in objective, absolute "goods and evils" (at least not at this time: I suppose I could be convinced with really good argumentation) on any level above an individual. An individual might have an understanding of an absolute good and evil that never changes during their lifetime. However, not nearly all individuals have this, nor do these absolutes match between individuals. It is abundantly clear from history that the moral standards of any abstract community can change drastically -- even pedophilia has been accepted in many cultures and times. (My layman's guess is that it has mostly been accepted, since concent itself seems to be a rather new idea to humanity, at least in recorded history).

However, this does not mean that "good and bad depend on the whims of the majority". At least not for the individual. The individual uses their own conscience and moral compass to navigate. The communities they are part of affect their moral compass, but do not override it. And importantly, the individual's moral compass affects the collective moral compass of any community they are part of. The effect goes both ways. Therefore I don't think you can use the word "whim", at least not in the dismissive tone that I think it was used. It's a complicated feedback loop that creates our morality, but it does stand on the pillars of individual people's conscience. The word "whims" would therefore in the end describe these consciences.

Does sexual education in schools, then, teach majority morals? This could incidentally be true, but like I said earlier in the thread, it is not necessarily so. Sex ed might imply that being gay is not immoral, even if the population, if polled, would turn out to be quite homophobic. I could imagine that in countries with good education systems, sex ed, if it takes moral stands, reflects the moral views of the most educated segment of the population (who are usually also quite progressive). Also it might rely heavily on science to build up its case -- there is no evidece, after all, that homosexuality is harmful, whereas there is plenty of evidence that being told to suppress your homosexuality is harmful -- therefore sex ed decides to alleviate society's homophobic messages by sending a non-judgmental message. The messages are tailored to do the teens good, in light of what we know about the challenges they face. Good sex ed is about the receivers, not about the educators or the parents. That's my opinion: it should not have the parents in mind, but the kids.
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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby Massimiliano B » 2013-10-26, 1:28

I call sex ed "indoctrination" when it is clearly against a religious worldview, such as that of Christianity and any other monoteistic religions - but not only. I've used this word in response to Linguoboy's post, in which he writes that the state has not to indoctrinates people with any sort or belief system. A teaching is an indoctrination when it is presented as "absolute truth" and when its moral implications are not taken into consideration, or - this is even worse - when its moral implications are ignored at all. This short-sightedness is the great perdition of our times.
The questions that came to my mind are not necessarily related to the topic of this thread - but they are also related to it.
You say you don't believe in an absolute moral standard: this affirmation is, however, a universal proposition ("there are no absolute moral standards"). An absolute proposition of this kind is a philosophical point of view as legitimate as any other philosophical point of view.
You cannot prove that there is no absolute moral standard through the observation of the multifarious moral standards of the multitude of persons. In fact, the absolute morality is beyond the level of the moral standards of the people - and, philosophically speaking, the fact that everyone follows particular moral views don't say anything about the existence or non-existence of a universal moral standard.
As any kind of education, sex ed is imbued with moral worths. Not being aware of that leads to the situation of indoctrination that I've described above.
There is not a false dichotomy between an absolute good and evil and an individual or majority opinion of good and evil. You have written that you don't believe in a universal, absolute, objective good and evil. I think also that you condemn paedophilia. As you said, paedophilia has been accepted in many cultures and times. The non-existence of an objective moral standard would entail that you could change your opinion and finally even accept that paedophilia is good. This conclusion is consistent with your view about the non-existence of an absolute moral standard. How could a life be consistent and coherent, if such changes took place?

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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby Varislintu » 2013-10-28, 9:43

Massimiliano B wrote:I call sex ed "indoctrination" when it is clearly against a religious worldview, such as that of Christianity and any other monoteistic religions - but not only. I've used this word in response to Linguoboy's post, in which he writes that the state has not to indoctrinates people with any sort or belief system. A teaching is an indoctrination when it is presented as "absolute truth" and when its moral implications are not taken into consideration, or - this is even worse - when its moral implications are ignored at all. This short-sightedness is the great perdition of our times.


Okay. I think you've wanted to keep this as a discussion on principles and not specifics so far, and that's your prerogative, but at this point I find it hard to repond anymore without really knowing what kind of things you are talking about. What specific kinds of teachings do you consider problematic? My question in this situation, as is probably clear by now, would be whether they are problematic for the children's holistic wellbeing and wisdom or for the religion. If they add to a child's toolset to navigate this world successfully, I don't care all that much whether it goes against their parents religion of choice. You disagree strongly, I acknowledge that.


Massimiliano B wrote:The questions that came to my mind are not necessarily related to the topic of this thread - but they are also related to it.
You say you don't believe in an absolute moral standard: this affirmation is, however, a universal proposition ("there are no absolute moral standards").


I'm a bit out of my depth when it comes to the topic philosophy -- I never managed to make myself as interested in the subject as I would have liked to be -- but are you saying that the statement "I don't believe there are absolute moral standards" is an example of an absolute moral standard? I don't know if I'm prepared to accept that, seems like quite a jump to that conclusion. :hmm: How does that break down, logically?

Massimiliano B wrote:An absolute proposition of this kind is a philosophical point of view as legitimate as any other philosophical point of view.
You cannot prove that there is no absolute moral standard through the observation of the multifarious moral standards of the multitude of persons. In fact, the absolute morality is beyond the level of the moral standards of the people - and, philosophically speaking, the fact that everyone follows particular moral views don't say anything about the existence or non-existence of a universal moral standard.


So it's a kind of invisible thing that is not observable and bears no effect or consequences on our lives? I don't see how that's a useful thing. I personally don't care if it's possible to prove it doesn't exist, I only care if it's real for all practical intents and purposes. Like gods, I feel the same about them. They may exist invisibly all they want, but if they don't affect us in any way, I don't see the point in "taking them into account". All that taking into account would actually be us taking imagined things into account, because we can't know the nature of that which is not observable. Same with absolute morals. Since nobody knows what they are supposed to be, any guess is a figment of imagination and wishful thinking.

Massimiliano B wrote:As any kind of education, sex ed is imbued with moral worths. Not being aware of that leads to the situation of indoctrination that I've described above.


Again I'm curious what you think happens in sex ed class. :? I think you said earlier, but I wasn't sure if you meant it literally or were exaggerating for simplicity, that you don't like that children are taught that "they can do anything they want with their bodies". If you meant that literally, I think you are very much mistaken. Progressive sex ed, if it goes into ethics, teaches things more like "Your body is yours and you should do with it only things you are comfortable with, and while doing that, respect others bodies and mental states (i.e. consent)". That is very much taking into account the moral issues surrounding sex. It's the minimal message everyone should get so that (hopefully) they do not get hurt by sex or hurt others with sex.

Massimiliano B wrote:There is not a false dichotomy between an absolute good and evil and an individual or majority opinion of good and evil. You have written that you don't believe in a universal, absolute, objective good and evil. I think also that you condemn paedophilia. As you said, paedophilia has been accepted in many cultures and times. The non-existence of an objective moral standard would entail that you could change your opinion and finally even accept that paedophilia is good. This conclusion is consistent with your view about the non-existence of an absolute moral standard. How could a life be consistent and coherent, if such changes took place?


Well, how do you find life is consistent and coherent? Because you live in the same reality as me. It is also in your reality that there exist people who think pedophilia is not morally wrong. Even people of faith, and people who believe in absolute moral standards (Catholics, for example). And you share with me the history of humanity that went from utter disregard of childrens rights, in fact a consistent tendency towards child abuse, and an utter disregard of women's sexual rights, in fact a consistent tendency towards abuse of women, to considering children and women to be people, and people having a right to bodily autonomy, and to the idea that sex should be based on consent.

I don't really see how I could answer your question. You may as well pose it to yourself, because I am talking about the same real world that we both see, not some kind of alternative universe where people behave differently. In this reality that we occupy, changes in morals on a personal and a community or social level, happen exactly in the pace and scale that we observe or can deduce from recorded history. The level of consistency and coherency that you observe is the same level as I observe (although we might interpret it differently).
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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby Dormouse559 » 2013-10-28, 13:00

Varislintu wrote:It is also in your reality that there exist people who think pedophilia is not morally wrong. Even people of faith, and people who believe in absolute moral standards (Catholics, for example).
You had me until the parentheses. Could you elaborate on what you mean?
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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby Varislintu » 2013-10-28, 13:39

Dormouse559 wrote:
Varislintu wrote:It is also in your reality that there exist people who think pedophilia is not morally wrong. Even people of faith, and people who believe in absolute moral standards (Catholics, for example).
You had me until the parentheses. Could you elaborate on what you mean?


As far as I understand it, Catholics are very strongly of the belief that there are absolute moral standards. And yet, there have been Catholics who have systematically covered up and even committed pedophilia. My point is not trying to be that Catholics are more prone to this, but that even Catholics, of all people, do it. And show no particular remorse. Their belief in absolute morals didn't have an effect on that side of their behaviour.
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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby Dormouse559 » 2013-10-28, 14:11

Varislintu wrote:As far as I understand it, Catholics are very strongly of the belief that there are absolute moral standards. And yet, there have been Catholics who have systematically covered up and even committed pedophilia. My point is not trying to be that Catholics are more prone to this, but that even Catholics, of all people, do it. And show no particular remorse. Their belief in absolute morals didn't have an effect on that side of their behaviour.
What's your source? I don't deny that some Catholics have sanctioned child abuse. But that's about as meaningful as saying some white people sanction racism. While true, it doesn't justify a blanket statement like "White people sanction racism".
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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby Varislintu » 2013-10-28, 14:40

Dormouse559 wrote:What's your source? I don't deny that some Catholics have sanctioned child abuse. But that's about as meaningful as saying some white people sanction racism. While true, it doesn't justify a blanket statement like "White people sanction racism".


But I'm not making that kind of statement. At least that's not my intention. Massimiliano brought up pedophilia as an example of an objectively immoral thing (or so I understand his intention here). And he seems to be suggesting that only if you believe in absolute moral standards, can you consistently condemn pedophilia. But I'm trying to say that that is observably not true, at least not on a practical level: since even Catholics have, as we know, committed acts of pedophilia or sancioned them, they were not on a practical level any more affected by this absolute moral standard than other people.

I'm trying to argue against Massimiliano's point by using Catholics as an example, not trying to single out Catholics as any less moral people than anyone else. Or paint them all over with the same brush.
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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby Dormouse559 » 2013-10-28, 17:21

Okay, I misunderstood what you meant. Thank you for explaining.
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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby Varislintu » 2013-10-29, 2:41

Dormouse559 wrote:Okay, I misunderstood what you meant. Thank you for explaining.


No problem. Thanks for asking.
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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby Massimiliano B » 2013-10-30, 0:30

Varislintu wrote:
Massimiliano B wrote:I call sex ed "indoctrination" when it is clearly against a religious worldview, such as that of Christianity and any other monoteistic religions - but not only. I've used this word in response to Linguoboy's post, in which he writes that the state has not to indoctrinates people with any sort or belief system. A teaching is an indoctrination when it is presented as "absolute truth" and when its moral implications are not taken into consideration, or - this is even worse - when its moral implications are ignored at all. This short-sightedness is the great perdition of our times.



Okay. I think you've wanted to keep this as a discussion on principles and not specifics so far, and that's your prerogative, but at this point I find it hard to repond anymore without really knowing what kind of things you are talking about. What specific kinds of teachings do you consider problematic? My question in this situation, as is probably clear by now, would be whether they are problematic for the children's holistic wellbeing and wisdom or for the religion. If they add to a child's toolset to navigate this world successfully, I don't care all that much whether it goes against their parents religion of choice. You disagree strongly, I acknowledge that.


The children's holistic wellbeing and wisdom is supported by a teaching that takes into account the child - not the future adult and sexually active person. In the second place, who says that religious teachings are against the boys' and girls' holistic wellbeing and wisdom? For instance, the complete abstinence is the most effective preventative measure against both pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. This fact has never been in dispute. There are sexual educations curricula that teaches that. I have nothing to say against this kind of sex ed. Unfortunately, this kind of education goes againts the interests of the factories that produce condoms (how could I stop thinking of it?) and is supported by (almost?) all the religions.

Varislintu wrote:
Massimiliano B wrote:The questions that came to my mind are not necessarily related to the topic of this thread - but they are also related to it.
You say you don't believe in an absolute moral standard: this affirmation is, however, a universal proposition ("there are no absolute moral standards").


I'm a bit out of my depth when it comes to the topic philosophy -- I never managed to make myself as interested in the subject as I would have liked to be -- but are you saying that the statement "I don't believe there are absolute moral standards" is an example of an absolute moral standard? I don't know if I'm prepared to accept that, seems like quite a jump to that conclusion. :hmm: How does that break down, logically?


Logically speaking, the sentence "there aren't absolute moral standards" states the existence of at least one thing that everyone can say it's an absolute good thing: in effect, if believing that there is not an absolute moral standard is like saying that "there are no absolute moral standards" - then only when you believe that there are no absolute moral standards you know you are doing the only absolute good thing a person can do.
From a pragmatic viewpoint, however, the sentence "there aren't absolute moral standards" simply asserts the non-existence of absolute moral standards. So, I'm not saying that that proposition is an example of an absolute moral standard. I'm saying that it expresses a philosophical point of view, as legitimate as any other philosophical point of view.


Varislintu wrote:
Massimiliano B wrote:An absolute proposition of this kind is a philosophical point of view as legitimate as any other philosophical point of view.
You cannot prove that there is no absolute moral standard through the observation of the multifarious moral standards of the multitude of persons. In fact, the absolute morality is beyond the level of the moral standards of the people - and, philosophically speaking, the fact that everyone follows particular moral views don't say anything about the existence or non-existence of a universal moral standard.


So it's a kind of invisible thing that is not observable and bears no effect or consequences on our lives? I don't see how that's a useful thing. I personally don't care if it's possible to prove it doesn't exist, I only care if it's real for all practical intents and purposes. Like gods, I feel the same about them. They may exist invisibly all they want, but if they don't affect us in any way, I don't see the point in "taking them into account". All that taking into account would actually be us taking imagined things into account, because we can't know the nature of that which is not observable. Same with absolute morals. Since nobody knows what they are supposed to be, any guess is a figment of imagination and wishful thinking.


An absolute moral standard is not an invisible thing. When someone says that something is good or it is not bad - everywhere and at all times - he/she is making an absolute moral statement (i.e. "paedophilia is bad everywhere and at all times").

Varislintu wrote:
Massimiliano B wrote:As any kind of education, sex ed is imbued with moral worths. Not being aware of that leads to the situation of indoctrination that I've described above.


Again I'm curious what you think happens in sex ed class. :? I think you said earlier, but I wasn't sure if you meant it literally or were exaggerating for simplicity, that you don't like that children are taught that "they can do anything they want with their bodies". If you meant that literally, I think you are very much mistaken. Progressive sex ed, if it goes into ethics, teaches things more like "Your body is yours and you should do with it only things you are comfortable with, and while doing that, respect others bodies and mental states (i.e. consent)". That is very much taking into account the moral issues surrounding sex. It's the minimal message everyone should get so that (hopefully) they do not get hurt by sex or hurt others with sex.


a. Is it good to assume that my body is mine and that I can pursue everything I consider to increase my personal comfort?
b. How can I remain within the limits of the respect of my body and other person's body and mental states if I think that "my body is mine and I should do with it only things I am comfortable with"? What if I love to have sexual intercourse with children? (I do not love to do that, however!!).

Varislintu wrote:
Massimiliano B wrote:There is not a false dichotomy between an absolute good and evil and an individual or majority opinion of good and evil. You have written that you don't believe in a universal, absolute, objective good and evil. I think also that you condemn paedophilia. As you said, paedophilia has been accepted in many cultures and times. The non-existence of an objective moral standard would entail that you could change your opinion and finally even accept that paedophilia is good. This conclusion is consistent with your view about the non-existence of an absolute moral standard. How could a life be consistent and coherent, if such changes took place?


Well, how do you find life is consistent and coherent? Because you live in the same reality as me. It is also in your reality that there exist people who think pedophilia is not morally wrong.


I am coherent if I don't change my opinion about what is good or what is bad. If I assume that there is no an absolute moral standard, today I can believe X, and tomorrow I can believe the opposite of X.

Varislintu wrote:Even people of faith, and people who believe in absolute moral standards (Catholics, for example). And you share with me the history of humanity that went from utter disregard of childrens rights, in fact a consistent tendency towards child abuse, and an utter disregard of women's sexual rights, in fact a consistent tendency towards abuse of women, to considering children and women to be people, and people having a right to bodily autonomy, and to the idea that sex should be based on consent.

I don't really see how I could answer your question. You may as well pose it to yourself, because I am talking about the same real world that we both see, not some kind of alternative universe where people behave differently. In this reality that we occupy, changes in morals on a personal and a community or social level, happen exactly in the pace and scale that we observe or can deduce from recorded history. The level of consistency and coherency that you observe is the same level as I observe (although we might interpret it differently).


I've posed my question to myself. The answer is that I believe in a moral objective order, which is independent from the different beliefs and behaviours of the people. Thanks to this objectivity, I can say that "X is good", "Y is bad".

Varislintu wrote:It is also in your reality that there exist people who think pedophilia is not morally wrong. Even people of faith, and people who believe in absolute moral standards (Catholics, for example).


The existence of paedophiles doesn't imply that we have to reject the idea of an absolute moral standard. In effect, a moral standard or a law can be disobeyed. For instance, you know that you have to stop at a red traffic-light, but you can freely choose to go through it. In this case, you break a law which is an objective law. This doesn't mean that the law doesn't exist.

Varislintu wrote:As far as I understand it, Catholics are very strongly of the belief that there are absolute moral standards. And yet, there have been Catholics who have systematically covered up and even committed pedophilia. My point is not trying to be that Catholics are more prone to this, but that even Catholics, of all people, do it. And show no particular remorse. Their belief in absolute morals didn't have an effect on that side of their behaviour.


Believing that there's an absolute moral standard doesn't imply that the believer follows in any case the moral law. The percentage of immoral acts is the same, both within such believers and within who doesn't believe in objective moral standards.
Human being is free. You can freely choose. Life is not like a mechanism, where everything functions perfectly, given some initial conditions or a set of universal laws. There's the human free will, which neither objective laws nor divine grace can delete.


Varislintu wrote:
Dormouse559 wrote:What's your source? I don't deny that some Catholics have sanctioned child abuse. But that's about as meaningful as saying some white people sanction racism. While true, it doesn't justify a blanket statement like "White people sanction racism".


But I'm not making that kind of statement. At least that's not my intention. Massimiliano brought up pedophilia as an example of an objectively immoral thing (or so I understand his intention here). And he seems to be suggesting that only if you believe in absolute moral standards, can you consistently condemn pedophilia. But I'm trying to say that that is observably not true, at least not on a practical level: since even Catholics have, as we know, committed acts of pedophilia or sancioned them, they were not on a practical level any more affected by this absolute moral standard than other people.

I'm trying to argue against Massimiliano's point by using Catholics as an example, not trying to single out Catholics as any less moral people than anyone else. Or paint them all over with the same Ibrush.


I brought up pedophilia as an example of an objectively immoral thing. But I didn't write that only if you believe in absolute moral standards, you can consistently condemn pedophilia. I say that if you absolutely condemn paedophilia, you must believe in absolute moral standards.

Do you think that even paedophilia is not absolutely wrong?


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