Draconaes wrote:Sorry, I'm not really sure what you mean by normative judgement. A quick search reveals something that seems like philosophical jargon, and I have to admit philosophy isn't one of my strengths (at least as far as terminology goes).
"Normative" means something like "prescriptive", also roughly "imperative", "moral", etc. A normative judgement is a judgement about what is good or bad, what should or should not be, ought or ought not be, what is praiseworthy or blameworthy, commendable or condemnable, etc. Praise and blame, commendation and condemnation, etc, are expressions of normative judgements. That's what gerv was initially asked about: why do contests praise
what they do, why they don't commend
the slow as much as the fast, etc. He was basically asking, "What's so good about being fast?" Or rather, he was rhetorically asking what the "sack of chemicals" view would answer to that question, to make the point that it offers none, so he could fault said view for that lack, and count that as a point in favor of religion.
At any rate, I'm not saying anything about good or bad. I'm talking about what reality is, not trying to make value judgements.
And that's the problem. He asked a normative question and you gave a factual (i.e. descriptive, indicative) answer -- a correct answer sure, but an answer to a different kind of question entirely. Then he pointed out the fallacy of that, and you seemed to reply that unless there is someone behind an event intending it to go a certain way, there is
no value judgement to be made about it. Which was actually gerv's own point he was ultimately trying to get at: that without a god, there is no morality, no purpose, nothing is good or bad, praiseworthy or blameworthy.
Which is really the origin of my concern: it looked like you were buying into a fundamental part of his worldview while trying to argue against it; but accepting the religious worldview (everything depends on God) and then rejecting God leaves an indefensible absurdity, so if you're going to argue against religion you've got to show how the alternative view isn't just their view minus God, it's got other structures that fulfill the roles God does in their view, e.g. there are other possible bases of moral judgements besides "God intended it to be so".
Whether something is good or bad is an entirely separate issue, and one in which I think a god is irrelevant.
Glad we agree then. Didn't sound like it earlier.EDIT: Missing words.