It all began when someone else referenced #atheisthotline about how evil a position I hold is, or something, and I said:
@Rhology also challenges #atheisthotline to demonstrate that ANYthing is objectively morally wrong.
@dreamspeak then jumped in and asked why anyone would need to do that. What emerged from what followed was that this individual believes that our morality should be based on empathy that people have for each other. I have of course dealt with this at length beforehand, and I linked him to that article, but surprise surprise, he doesn't appear to have read it.
I proceeded to perform a reductio ad absurdum on his assertion:
Rhology: @mysickbones Empathy-I prefer pain myself so figure others like pain too. @dreamspeak bases morality on empathy. Ergo infliction of pain=OK
dreamspeak: @Rhology You are a moron. You keep assuming that an individual is what defines morality. It is a collective bargain, agreement in society.
Rhology: @dreamspeak It is a collective bargain, agreement in society>>How do you know?
dreamspeak: @Rhology I read studies of human behavior. Professional scientific analysis of sociology, psychology, even animal behavior for comparison.
Now, let's stop for a moment to take stock.
He didn't answer the question, first of all. Also, he conveniently forgets that societies are composed of individuals. And "studies of human behavior" are just that - compilations of studies of individuals. Also, as I pointed out to him, this is an is, not an ought. What ought follows from this is?
dreamspeak: Seems @Rhology's primary problem is that what he thinks is empathy, is actually called "projecting."
Rhology: @dreamspeak's primary problem is that what he thinks is empathy, is actually called "what I like". As if everyone is always like him.
Rhology: @dreamspeak How do you get from "X behaved thusly and thought thusly about it" to "X's behavior was morally unjustified"?
dreamspeak @Rhology I don't know how to explain it to you in a way that will breach your thick skull. You keep returning to this because you're stuck.
dreamspeak @Rhology Empathy will never be "what I like" no matter how many times you insist that it is, and I've never used it to mean that.
dreamspeak @Rhology If you could be less stupid for a moment and think about what "empathy" means you would see that it informs how we treat others.
dreamspeak @Rhology The majority of humanity does not enjoy suffering, and through empathy can "get" what it means to inflict it, & want to lessen it.
Note here how he just two tweets ago denied that empathy reduces to "what I like" and then here says that "the majority of humanity does not enjoy suffering". So it sure seems to me that he has gone back on what he said earlier, seemingly without realising it.
If you don't enjoy suffering, and that's your argument for why one shouldn't do something, then no matter how many times you deny it, it does come down to what you like and what you dislike.
His lame point about "projecting" is precisely what he is guilty of. When one empathises with someone else, one is attempting to understand an experience. @dreamspeak is telling us to ask ourselves whether we enjoy pain. He assumes most will say, "No, I don't like pain." He'll then go on to say, "OK, so don't inflict pain."
But what if someone does enjoy pain? Then the answer would be, "Yes, I do like pain." If @dreamspeak is to be consistent, he should answer "OK, so inflict pain," b/c he wants us to act on our empathy.
This is what he has not grasped.
If he objects that most people don't like pain, he is moving the goalposts, b/c he was telling us that empathy is the basis, and now he wants us to listen to the majority. This is nothing more than might making right, morality by popularity. The obvious question is whether @dreamspeak is willing to say that about 1940s-era Jews in Germany, France, and Poland. The majority thought they were better off dead or in labor camps. Guess it was the right thing to do.
Thus he shows that he doesn't really think that empathy is the basis for morality. He thinks that thinking like he thinks is the basis. But he hasn't scanned and uploaded his Pope of Morality ID badge yet.
dreamspeak: @Rhology If you can't even understand what it means to imagine someone else's suffering then you can't get past this part.
dreamspeak @Rhology So you can stop acting like you're making any kind of sensible point here. You're not. People are reasonable & empathetic creatures
And what if they grew to outnumber the "good, reasonable, empathetic" people? Since might makes right, I suppose morality would change, wouldn't it?