Author Topic: Objective Morality  (Read 7942 times)

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Offline Timo

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Re: Objective Morality
« Reply #261 on: May 25, 2012, 03:14:04 PM »
@MathisCool

I responded not to weigh in on whether or not I think morality is or isn't objective.  (I don't have a dog in this fight.  My views on moral realism, like all my views on morality, are a confused mess.)  The point that I was trying to make is that 1, you're wrong on the facts, our culture has not spoken, and 2, you don't need to even bring morality into the equation to object to bans on same-sex marriage.  Again, the biggest problem with denying gay and lesbian couples the right to marry is not that it is immoral, though I think it is.  The biggest problem is that it is unconstitutional.

But yeah, I know this was a tangent.  I said so in my post.
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Offline MathIsCool

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Re: Objective Morality
« Reply #262 on: May 25, 2012, 04:54:24 PM »
Y'know Jeff, I could write a big line-by-line post, and it'd be fun and all.  But they say brevity is the soul of wit, so instead I'll just do this.

And you also shouldn't have to support gay marriage.
This is subjective morality.

I just think you're an ass if you don't. 
This is objective morality.

@pianodwarf, Good point.

@screwtape, you said earlier that objective morals aren't real cause they can't be observed.  That's assuming that only things that can be observed are real, which is what an evidentialist would say.  It wasn't a red herring.

As to your argument about it being bad policy believing things with insufficient evidence, I disagree that we lack evidence for morality.  Just look at how anyone who insists on subjective morality talks - they nearly always fall back at some point to an objective morality framework.  Just look at how frustrated JeffPT is getting at trying and failing to break out of this dilemna. :)

Why not name the website ... "whywontGodallowlaserstoshootoutofmyeyespewpewpew.com"

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Online One Above All

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Re: Objective Morality
« Reply #263 on: May 25, 2012, 05:00:15 PM »
MathIsCool, you don't seem to understand that adding "IMO" every time one makes a statement regarding morality (and note that calling you an ass, while subjective, has nothing to do with morality) is counter-productive and counter-intuitive. I suggest you try to remember that next time.
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Offline Ambassador Pony

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Re: Objective Morality
« Reply #264 on: May 25, 2012, 05:02:11 PM »
bm
You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline jeremy0

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Re: Objective Morality
« Reply #265 on: May 25, 2012, 05:53:37 PM »
@Mathis is cool:

Sorry I belittled you like that.  I was just frustrated that these people have hammered the ideas of subjective morality to death over about 9 pages worth of long text, and it seems you didn't learn anything from it - you went back to say your original hypothesis.  Then you added things like evidentalism(sp?) which was immediately overturned, and whether or not it is moral to allow gay marriage...

So I'll try to sum the two topics up for you:

Objective:
adjective -
4. being the object or goal of one's efforts or actions.
5. not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiased: an objective opinion.
6. intent upon or dealing with things external to the mind rather than with thoughts or feelings, as a person or a book.
7. being the object of perception or thought; belonging to the object of thought rather than to the thinking subject ( opposed to subjective).
8. of or pertaining to something that can be known, or to something that is an object or a part of an object; existing independent of thought or an observer as part of reality.

Subjective:
adjective -
1. existing in the mind; belonging to the thinking subject rather than to the object of thought ( opposed to objective).
2. pertaining to or characteristic of an individual; personal; individual: a subjective evaluation.
3. placing excessive emphasis on one's own moods, attitudes, opinions, etc.; unduly egocentric.
4. Philosophy . relating to or of the nature of an object as it is known in the mind as distinct from a thing in itself.
5. relating to properties or specific conditions of the mind as distinguished from general or universal experience.

In this sense, objective morality would mean that we have been given morality naturally, and it isn't shaped by thought, interpretations, based on facts, being external to the mind without thoughts or feelings, or existing apart from the observer of reality.
This would imply that we have morality built into us, instead of through molding and shaping our morality through time.  It is something that has been put on us to our nature - like laws of physics that we cannot break. 

Subjective morality would refer to morality that has been derived from the thinking subject, pertaining to the characteristics of the individual, an evaluation of morality, a philosophy of morality, and things gained through experience.

Looking at how morality is shaped both in the individual, through personal thought, experiences, characteristics that make up the individual - I would say that individual morality is entirely subjective, as many people on this thread has postured.

So let's look at the morality of a group - it's an agreed-upon set of moral standards, by any group large or small, at a certain point in time, shaped again through an individual group's thought, experiences, and characteristics that belong to that group.  They evaluate morality, based on what they think about certain topics, and come to an agreement on what is moral. 

However, basing your morality on a book, without regard to thought, feeling, experiences, or characteristics of the individual or group is objective.  This is impossible, however, because none of these groups can even agree on the morality based on the book, in its entirety, because even the morality that is gained through the book is open to interpretation, thoughts, feelings, and experiences.  Even basing morality on a book, however blindly, is also subjective...

We can see that this too is actually subjective, where each group normally does not agree with other groups on morality.  IF morality were objective, every person and group would agree on that morality.  Because none of us agree on every moral standard, that means morality is entirely subjective - not objective.  It is not something that has been gained through dna or your genetic encoding, but rather agreed-upon at different points in time through thought, experiences, and characteristics that make up a group or individual. 

If morality were completely objective, or in some ways objective, everyone around the world would always agree on the topic.  Pick out a single moral topic, and you'll find people arguing about the subjective morality of that topic - all across the globe.  This tells you, without fail, that morality is in fact subjective in nature.

Now, to get to the point of whether gay people can marry - that is based on a set of subjective morality(ies).  Some groups say - 'it isn't my place to say whether someone else has the right to marry', other people may say 'I don't care what this group wants to do with themselves', while other groups may say 'it's legal and constitutional for these groups to marry', yet others 'it's unconstitutional', and yet others 'gay people shouldn't be allowed to marry because it is unnatural (which is false - homosexuality occurs in nature), it is immoral (according to the individual), it isn't right (again, according to the individual or group), or because they can't reproduce (again a matter of subjective morality), or we hate gays (subjective morality)'.

So you can see - all morality is subjective, and so when we talk about the morality of something, it is shaped by our own characteristics, experiences, and thoughts on a certain subject.  The same can be said about abortion, gun control, gay marriage, the death penalty, etc.  It is all based on the observer.  So with that, it brings about which side is right?

Because the side of right is a point of view, or rather a frame of reference that not all observers can agree on, then we can't actually decide who is right.  It has to be allowed to be debated and argued until society as a whole, or a group as a whole, agrees that it is wrong.  For example - we didn't always think killing someone was wrong, looking back at ancient history.  Now we find so many things drastically inhumane.  This was from centuries of debate, thought, experience, and group characteristics.  So with that said - YES, groups in the future may look at our subjective morality and call us 'primitive', just like we do with the aztecs, the ancient christians, the ancient cannaanites, the ancient greeks, romans, etc.  We learn through experience, history has been recorded, and now we have formed different subjective ideals as a society based on thought, reason, and knowledge.

That said - even religion can be thought of as a subjective topic - our decision(s) on whether or not to believe the same things as a group is determined by our experiences, characteristics, and thought processes (reasoning).  That is why certain people belong to certain groups at different times in their lives - they choose to belong to a certain group.  It's that simple...

I hope I finally answered your questions regarding this topic.  Keep in mind, earlier I was just frustrated that you didn't seem to be getting the points, and you didn't seem to be listening.  I hope you listened to this part..

Thank you.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2012, 05:57:18 PM by jeremy0 »
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Offline jeremy0

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Re: Objective Morality
« Reply #266 on: May 25, 2012, 06:27:41 PM »
@Mathis:

For example - consider for a moment that you might say 'thou shalt not kill' is coming from the bible, and therefore objective morality..

However, the notion of killing someone is still, to this day, subjective morals - in this country we justify killing someone through their past actions.  It's called the 'death penalty'.  We are one of 7 nations, who we'd rather not like to be compared to, that still have the death penalty....

So if that bit was objective, every christian would agree that there is not ever any one single excuse to kill anyone, regardless of anything.  That would make it objective morality.  However, since we can't even agree on that one big topic, it means the bible is open to our thoughts, interpretations, characteristics, and reasoning - making even that topic entirely subjective...

Does this help?
"If you find yourself reaching for the light, first realize that it has already touched your finger."
"If I were your god, I would have no reason for judgement, and you have all told endless lies about me.  Wait - you do already. I am not amused by your ignorance, thoughtlessness, and shallow mind."

Offline HAL

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Re: Objective Morality
« Reply #267 on: May 25, 2012, 06:37:16 PM »
For example - consider for a moment that you might say 'thou shalt not kill' is coming from the bible, and therefore objective morality..

Somebody's been messing around with the Objective morals in the versions.

King James version:

Exodus 20:13 Thou shalt not kill.

New International Version

Exodus 20:13 You shall not murder.

Offline JeffPT

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Re: Objective Morality
« Reply #268 on: May 25, 2012, 09:26:27 PM »
Y'know Jeff, I could write a big line-by-line post, and it'd be fun and all.  But they say brevity is the soul of wit, so instead I'll just do this.

And you also shouldn't have to support gay marriage.
This is subjective morality.

I just think you're an ass if you don't. 
This is objective morality.

Tell me what the difference is between the 2 statements that makes you think they the first is subjective and the second is not. 
Whenever events that are purported to occur in our best interest are as numerous as the events that will just as soon kill us, then intent is hard, if not impossible to assert. NDT

Offline jeremy0

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Re: Objective Morality
« Reply #269 on: May 25, 2012, 09:45:14 PM »
Somebody's been messing around with the Objective morals in the versions.
..which means even IF the bible was the divine word of god, it is still subjective...
"If you find yourself reaching for the light, first realize that it has already touched your finger."
"If I were your god, I would have no reason for judgement, and you have all told endless lies about me.  Wait - you do already. I am not amused by your ignorance, thoughtlessness, and shallow mind."

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Objective Morality
« Reply #270 on: May 26, 2012, 04:30:11 AM »
Let me just say, you're a breath of fresh air.
That being said, I have to take issue with your point.  You say,
Indeed, that would be the crux of any system of morality for me - that what's right for me is right for you, and what's wrong for you is wrong for me too.
This is exactly what a subjective system of morality denies, and what an objective system of morality affirms!

OKay then - but my full quote was:

Let's look at gay marriage, since that is the issue MIC has chosen.  He thinks its wrong, we think its right.  But what are the arguments for our subjective moralities?  For me, the primary argument (as already expressed by a couple people) is that it is wrong for some groups to be allowed to engage in a particular practice, but not to allow it for others.  Indeed, that would be the crux of any system of morality for me - that what's right for me is right for you, and what's wrong for you is wrong for me too.

So you admit that your morality is NOT objective - since it says "it is right for me to marry, but wrong for you to marry"?  Your morality is therefore subjective, by your own terms.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline caveat_imperator

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Re: Objective Morality
« Reply #271 on: May 26, 2012, 08:36:30 AM »
Let me just say, you're a breath of fresh air.
That being said, I have to take issue with your point.  You say,
Indeed, that would be the crux of any system of morality for me - that what's right for me is right for you, and what's wrong for you is wrong for me too.
This is exactly what a subjective system of morality denies, and what an objective system of morality affirms!

OKay then - but my full quote was:

Let's look at gay marriage, since that is the issue MIC has chosen.  He thinks its wrong, we think its right.  But what are the arguments for our subjective moralities?  For me, the primary argument (as already expressed by a couple people) is that it is wrong for some groups to be allowed to engage in a particular practice, but not to allow it for others.  Indeed, that would be the crux of any system of morality for me - that what's right for me is right for you, and what's wrong for you is wrong for me too.

So you admit that your morality is NOT objective - since it says "it is right for me to marry, but wrong for you to marry"?  Your morality is therefore subjective, by your own terms.

Unless MIC explicitly says otherwise I'll take his reply as admitting that what you posted is correct. :)
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Offline Add Homonym

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Re: Objective Morality
« Reply #272 on: May 26, 2012, 09:59:53 AM »

Add Homonym, you only talk about gay marriage and how awful the bible is, not objective morality.  See my comments to Timo above.
This thread is about objective morality.  I get that you guys feel passionately about gay marriage, I'm trying to get you to see that this thing you feel passionately about betrays that you believe in objective morality, i.e., some things really are wrong.  (And in your opinion, intolerant homophobic bigoted hatemongering behavior is one of them)

Oh, but you do say "based on the premise that we should be nice to people, for our society to flourish."  Another example of objective morality.


Flawed, flawed, floored, on so many levels. But it depends upon what you are calling "objective" and why. There are two types of objective:

1. Objective because God said so (which is really 'absolute', not objective)
2. Objective because scientific method and human experience suggests that a particular method is the way to proceed.

argument:

1. (a) Morality can't be absolute, because a set of morals is human specific, and specific to a religious premise. We don't design our morals for dogs, fish, aliens, cyborgs or for video game players. Each one requires different "morals", because they work differently. It's absurd to say that it's an absolute moral that all species and androids should pair up for life and have sex in a certain way.
    (b) We can derive a current fashionable objective morality, specific to humans, by trial and error, in which the 'objective' is to make the most people 'happy'. Most people currently seem to agree that there should be an objective to make people happy/healthy/wise, but that would not be agreed upon by all cultures and species, and may, in fact, be delusional. The Jewish premise seems to be loosely based on this, but Christianity has confused it with afterlife/hell scenarios:

    (a) euthanasia is fine, unless your religious premise says that it's 'gutless suicide', so god burns you in hell for doing it.
    (b) abortion is fine, unless your religious premise says that the baby goes to heaven and the mother goes to hell
    (c) killing cows is fine, unless tour religion believes that cows are sacred.
    (d) eating pork is fine, unless your religion has a pointless taboo on it.
    (e) animal cruelty is fine, if you are arrogant and believe that animals don't have souls, or feel pain. (More science needed.)

2. I get that you guys feel passionately about gay marriage, I'm trying to get you to see that this thing you feel passionately about betrays that you believe in objective morality,
    (Yes, and eventually, you will stop using that word "objective", when you see how meaningless it is to you.)

   (a) Passion on certain subjects can indicate frustration, because there is (in fact) no way to prove the position. Politics is mainly about "passionate people", who are usually idiots, arguing that their method of fiscal management is better than the opposition, without any evidence. The way to settle this dispute is an election, where idiots vote against smart people.

  (b) I can be passionate about something, if I believe that there is objective evidence that proceeding in a certain manner makes my life happier. I perceive anyone that threatens my happiness as a threat. Christians, if let loose, would take us back to the dark ages. I don't want to live in their fucking world, and that's "objective".

We feel passionate about gay marriage, because Christians seek to impose their will on all of us. If you are Christian, and you don't want to marry someone of the same sex, then that's just peachy, but don't try to force it on others using democracy.

Abortion is a slightly more complex issue, but Christians are free to not have abortions. Logically, if the fetus goes to heaven and the mother doesn't believe in hell, then there should be no problem. Christians are simply imposing their beliefs about hell on mothers, using democracy.

Christians are free to not euthanase themselves. But, why oh why, are we listening to Christians in a debate about it? If they have a different moral framework, then they should butt out of it, and let people of a different moral framework solve the issue for their own people.

And... as I pointed out before, Christians are (ab)using scientific method to justify/derive their morality, so there is nothing mysterious about where they get it from.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2012, 10:01:39 AM by Add Homonym »
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Objective Morality
« Reply #273 on: May 26, 2012, 05:37:42 PM »
@screwtape, you said earlier that objective morals aren't real cause they can't be observed.  That's assuming that only things that can be observed are real, which is what an evidentialist would say.  It wasn't a red herring.

I don't believe that is what I said.  What I said was, your analogy was a poor one because you were comparing categorically different things.  Unless I misunderstood, you tried to say objective morals were like the objective facts, like the earth being spherical.  I pointed out that things like the shape of the earth are objectively verifiable.  You cannot do the same with morality.  Thus, your analogy is inapplicable. So, all this talk about evidentialism is indeed a red herring.

There may be objective morals.  You just have not shown it.


As to your argument about it being bad policy believing things with insufficient evidence, I disagree that we lack evidence for morality.

?  Dude. Seriously?  It is as if you are having a completely different conversation.  I never said there was a lack of evidence for morality.   

 
Just look at how anyone who insists on subjective morality talks - they nearly always fall back at some point to an objective morality framework.  Just look at how frustrated JeffPT is getting at trying and failing to break out of this dilemna.

I disagree. But that is Jeff's battle to fight.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2012, 07:24:30 PM by screwtape »
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Offline HAL

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Re: Objective Morality
« Reply #274 on: May 26, 2012, 06:24:04 PM »
And then there's the morality of altar steps -

Exodus20:26 "And do not go up to my altar on steps, or your private parts may be exposed."

Was something missing from the Ten Comandments for the Big Guy to have to say that?

Maybe ...

Eleven: "Thou shalt not peekest under people's clothing lest you get all excited"

But seriously - can that altar step commandment be ignored today - I mean, since we've invented underwear and all?

LOL - what a load of malarkey. Every time I look into this book I get a decent chuckle.

Offline jeremy0

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Re: Objective Morality
« Reply #275 on: May 28, 2012, 12:11:41 AM »
^^ LOL  ;D
"If you find yourself reaching for the light, first realize that it has already touched your finger."
"If I were your god, I would have no reason for judgement, and you have all told endless lies about me.  Wait - you do already. I am not amused by your ignorance, thoughtlessness, and shallow mind."

Offline MathIsCool

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Re: Objective Morality
« Reply #276 on: May 29, 2012, 05:53:13 PM »
@JeffPT
Why don't you explain why I'm an ass to not support gay marriage, and you'll have your reasoning why the second statement supports objective morality.

@jeremy0
...

We can see that this too is actually subjective, where each group normally does not agree with other groups on morality.  IF morality were objective, every person and group would agree on that morality.  Because none of us agree on every moral standard, that means morality is entirely subjective - not objective.  It is not something that has been gained through dna or your genetic encoding, but rather agreed-upon at different points in time through thought, experiences, and characteristics that make up a group or individual. 

If morality were completely objective, or in some ways objective, everyone around the world would always agree on the topic.  Pick out a single moral topic, and you'll find people arguing about the subjective morality of that topic - all across the globe.  This tells you, without fail, that morality is in fact subjective in nature.
...

So you're saying if X is objective, every person and every group will agree on X?


@Anfauglir
I'm kinda wondering if you're just being cute or if you're actually arguing a point.

By that argument our current legal system is subjective, because it's legal for me to be in my house but not for my neighbor.
By that argument physics is subjective, because I accelerate downwards at 9.8 meters per second second, while the guy in the parachute doesn't.
By that argument math is subjective, because 2 is prime and 9 is not.
I could go on, but I hope you understand why that's kindof a dumb argument.

@HAL
You're an admin around here, and you think it adds to the discussion to make some stupid joke about underwear?  Seriously?

I've heard you guys wonder why Christians don't hang out around here.  This is part of the problem, right here.

Why not name the website ... "whywontGodallowlaserstoshootoutofmyeyespewpewpew.com"

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Offline HAL

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Re: Objective Morality
« Reply #277 on: May 29, 2012, 06:27:47 PM »
@HAL
You're an admin around here, and you think it adds to the discussion to make some stupid joke about underwear?  Seriously?

You bet I think it adds to the conversation.

Exodus20:26 "And do not go up to my altar on steps, or your private parts may be exposed."

Don't you see the idiocy of what Biblegod is saying, how it's trying to enforce it's "morals"?

Instead of making a general command that you shouldn't look at other's private parts under any circumstance, it makes demands on the architecture of buildings and how to maneuver them to enforce morals. In other words, if it's not moral to look at other's private parts, then it's the responsibility of the other to not look - not the responsibility of the person walking up the stairs. That would be like saying: do not present yourself to a murderer or else you may allow the murderer to commit murder. Sheer idiocy.

Quote
I've heard you guys wonder why Christians don't hang out around here.  This is part of the problem, right here.

We added a new board, that is a protected area that will shield you from the harsher comments that you may find offensive. I'll check your profile and set you up so you can access it. If you can't show any evidence of objective morality, which you have completely failed to do in the thread, then you may want to try the Shelter, the members can help you understand how to better present your case to critical thinkers.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2012, 06:35:44 PM by HAL »

Offline JeffPT

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Re: Objective Morality
« Reply #278 on: May 29, 2012, 09:19:46 PM »
@JeffPT
Why don't you explain why I'm an ass to not support gay marriage, and you'll have your reasoning why the second statement supports objective morality.

That is simple. 

On the continuum of good versus bad that exists within my brain (and my brain alone, as everyone's is unique), there are things which lie closer to the 'good' end, and things which lie close the 'bad' end.  At the very far end of the 'good' side, I see things like jumping on a grenade to save your friends, killing yourself so your own child can get your heart in a transplant, things like that.  I might be inclined to call those people 'heroes'.  At the other end, at the very far portion of the 'bad' side, I see things like mass murder, raping children, and smashing babies against the rocks.  There are also a good many things in between that I view as relatively neutral, but still moral issues (like long fingernails, holding doors open for strangers, etc).  On this continuum of good versus bad that I seem to have inside my brain, denying someone the right to do something that is none of your fucking business, doesn't hurt anyone, doesn't cause any societal problems, and that's based on far outdated mythological bullshit, lies so far toward the bad end that I consider anyone who follows such a pronouncement to be an ass hole.  Now, it's not the same (obviously) as mass murder or child rape, but it's bad enough to warrant that particular usage of words.   

Now, given that information.  Can you please explain why this is an objective statement?  Seriously.  It is not backed up by everyone in the world, nor would I expect it to be.  It is not backed up by any sort of divine presence.  It is not a statement that is true everywhere in the universe at all places and times.  It is just my opinion of you, right her and right now.  If you were to change your opinion, it is likely that I would rethink whether or not you were an ass hole.  That alone makes it a non-objective statement.   

At this point, I want to see if this is just a simple misunderstanding between our definitions, or whether you really so stubborn that you can't admit you're wrong, or if you are just so fucking stupid that you can't see what I'm trying to say.  I really can't tell anymore.  I want to think it's the first, but I'm currently very much leaning toward the last. 

You said that once I gave you my reasoning, I would then understand why it is objective.  I have done so, and I still do not see it.  Can you please illuminate how that is an objective statement and not subjective? 
Whenever events that are purported to occur in our best interest are as numerous as the events that will just as soon kill us, then intent is hard, if not impossible to assert. NDT

Offline Add Homonym

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Re: Objective Morality
« Reply #279 on: May 29, 2012, 10:41:56 PM »
So you're saying if X is objective, every person and every group will agree on X?

I'm surprised that I haven't seen the "cross cultural morality" argument being whipped out, in this thread. It's a way for Christians to shoot themselves in the foot: arguing that all cultures have a similar morality, when they are just making a case that any god-concept, or philosophical outlook, seems to produce a few core moral values that most mammals and birds adhere to anyway, for strategic reasons.

Even if morality was absolute, you still have to prove that it legitimizes the Christian/Pauline/Protestant God.

You have to prove that people don't just make morals up as they go, and indeed can't. This is an onerous task, because Deuteronomy's 613 crappy laws, and Jesus/Paul's subsequent rejection of them, proves beyond any doubt that men can make shit up, and pass it off as divine. (This was HAL's point.) This is what the cross-cultural argument was designed to combat; but it only does so, by shooting Christians in the foot.

Summary:
- no objective definition of objective
- evidence that any god, or philosophy produces the same effect
- Christianity is a rejection of supposedly absolute morals, showing that 'objective' can change according to thought and fashion
I strive for clarity, but aim for confusion.

Offline gonegolfing

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Re: Objective Morality
« Reply #280 on: May 30, 2012, 08:41:41 AM »

MiC:

Quote
And finally gonegolfing,
Your post was fun.  I think I'll just repeat it, pointing out (via bold letters) where you, too, clearly believe in objective morality:

Why must you be so stubborn and condescending ?

Why can't you just admit your wrong and get on with things ?

The greatest example of the fact that morality is subjective is given by jesus himself.

Have you ever read the sermon on the mount ?  Mat. 5: 1-48 .......If you have, you've just witnessed how one individual can subjectively make a drastic change in the moral zeitgeist !

Go ahead read it !

Example:
 
Quote
Mat 5:38  Ye have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
Mat 5:39  but I say unto you, resist not him that is evil: but whosoever smiteth thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
Mat 5:40  And if any man would go to law with thee, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.
Mat 5:41  And whosoever shall compel thee to go one mile, go with him two.
Mat 5:42  Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
Mat 5:43  Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy:
Mat 5:44  but I say unto you, love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you;

Like it or not MiC, this is the proof that moral sets are subjective and do in fact change over time via individuals and groups within societies.

Jesus and his habitual usage of the pronoun "I" shows us this fact and that it was his own personal beliefs and feelings that make him speak these new subjective judgements, which of course was a significant change from the moral norms of that time in history.

As well, you show that you are confused in this matter by your thinking that a permanent "objective moral framework" has been built and exists. Not so........ One of the few constants in the universe is change, and the supporting structure that morals are built on is constantly changing as well. It's a building project that never ends, and the support structure is constantly changing and being adjusted to properly support subjective moral change.

Morality is based on feelings, not facts. Feelings are subjective, facts are not. Yes, feelings can be widespread, but a fact can be nothing but universal. Morals then can be widespread, but are "in fact" not objective or universal.  You need to get that straight in your head. Then you'll see how you've gone wrong.

"I believe that there is no God. I'm beyond atheism"....Penn Jillette.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Objective Morality
« Reply #281 on: May 30, 2012, 08:51:11 AM »
Indeed, that would be the crux of any system of morality for me - that what's right for me is right for you, and what's wrong for you is wrong for me too.
This is exactly what a subjective system of morality denies, and what an objective system of morality affirms!

OKay then - but my full quote was:

Let's look at gay marriage, since that is the issue MIC has chosen.  He thinks its wrong, we think its right.  But what are the arguments for our subjective moralities?  For me, the primary argument (as already expressed by a couple people) is that it is wrong for some groups to be allowed to engage in a particular practice, but not to allow it for others.  Indeed, that would be the crux of any system of morality for me - that what's right for me is right for you, and what's wrong for you is wrong for me too.

So you admit that your morality is NOT objective - since it says "it is right for me to marry, but wrong for you to marry"?  Your morality is therefore subjective, by your own terms.

@Anfauglir
I'm kinda wondering if you're just being cute or if you're actually arguing a point.

By that argument our current legal system is subjective, because it's legal for me to be in my house but not for my neighbor.
I could go on, but I hope you understand why that's kindof a dumb argument.

Nope - you will have to ake me through it.  Because for your example to be comparable to gay marriage, what you should actually have said is:

"It's legal for me to be in my house but not for my neighbor, BUT, it's legal for ME to be in my neighbour's house"

In other words, that what is okay for you to do, is NOT okay for someone else to do.

So please do explain why it is okay for YOU to marry, but NOT for a gay person to marry - and exactly why that difference is not subjective - given that you agreed with me in saying that "what's right for me is right for you.....and this is exactly what a subjective system of morality denies, and what an objective system of morality affirm"
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Add Homonym

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Re: Objective Morality
« Reply #282 on: May 30, 2012, 10:59:29 AM »
Christians think that the Sermon is hyperbole.

Paul is 'clearer', if you like mud.

[25] But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

[9] But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak[infirm] and beggarly[poor] elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

I strive for clarity, but aim for confusion.

Offline jeremy0

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Re: Objective Morality
« Reply #283 on: May 31, 2012, 12:12:20 AM »
Quote from: MathIsCool
So you're saying if X is objective, every person and every group will agree on X?
Going by the definition of subjective and objective, there would be no reason or thought that would make x mean anything other than x, and if objective everyone could agree that x is x and not x or y or z or xyz, etc. because there is not one moral standard that can be agreed upon by everyone in the world for any given situation, this coincides with subjectivity; in which it has been opened to thought, feelings, emotion, discussion and interpretations or characteristics of a group.

What I'm saying is since we have no x, as x would be unanimously agreed upon as being x standard, there exists no objective standard that anyone is going by. Even the definition of an objective moral is open to subjectivity, by definition. That subjectivity even changes over time, as Hal noted, rather humorously.

What I'm saying is objective morality is impossible for the thinking human. Try being a computer and I'll show you something objective that you cannot change yourself..

Not everything is subjective in nature, going by how these terms were defined. For example, you are told that 1+1=2, and there is no denying that Fact - everyone agrees.  But just going by definition, subjectivity and objectivity is in the eye of the beholder for most cases, being an observer of x event, idea, thought, or any other input..
"If you find yourself reaching for the light, first realize that it has already touched your finger."
"If I were your god, I would have no reason for judgement, and you have all told endless lies about me.  Wait - you do already. I am not amused by your ignorance, thoughtlessness, and shallow mind."

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Objective Morality
« Reply #284 on: May 31, 2012, 06:28:38 AM »
Just a couple more points to highlight how deeply flawed your response was.

By that argument our current legal system is subjective, because it's legal for me to be in my house but not for my neighbor.
Yes.  Of course the legal system is subjective, what a silly thing to say.  Countries consider different things to be crimes, and will offer different sentences, so by default our legal system is subjective - I'd never argue otherwise.

It is also somewhat bizarre to argue that a legal system is entirely the same as a system of morality.  Sure - one can be based on the other, no worries.  But are you honestly suggesting that every facet of our legal system complies with an objective morality?  I somehow doubt it.

But even were one to suppose a legal system were objective, your point still fails - since an objective system is one that is, if you like, reversible.  So, we could begin to consider a legal system to be objective if it agreed that for one person to steal from another, is as wrong as another to steal from the one.  Hence my point about neighbours being allowed into each others houses - for it to be objective, it has to work equally for all.

Which is why your point about gay marriage is clearly subjective - because you regard it is moral for these people to marry, but not for those.

Your confusion is, I think, only elevated by your later examples:
By that argument physics is subjective, because I accelerate downwards at 9.8 meters per second second, while the guy in the parachute doesn't.
Nope - not subjective.  Because it doesn't care about who has the parachute, and who does not.  King or commoner, white or black, male or female, the person with the parachute will float, the person without will kasplat.  Objective.  It doesn't say "if you have no parachute, you will die....unless your name is Bill"

To coin a phrase....."I hope you understand why that's kind of a dumb argument."
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline MathIsCool

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Re: Objective Morality
« Reply #285 on: June 01, 2012, 06:14:19 PM »
Alright guys.  Many of the arguments I've heard against objective morality seem to boil down to an error about what "objective" means.  So let's forget about objective morality for this post and just concentrate on objective things.  Once we understand what objective and subjective mean, then maybe we can carry on a more intelligent debate.[1]

Here is an objective statement:
Quote from: Charlie Brown
Snoopy is sitting on top of the dog house.

If Snoopy is currently sitting on top of the dog house, the statement above is true.  If he's not, it's false.  Lucy cannot truthfully say "Y'know, to me, I feel that Snoopy is really not sitting on top of his dog house."  Either he is or he isn't.  The statements truth value depends on the object of the thought (Snoopy) not the subject doing the thinking (Charlie Brown.)

Similarly, consider the statements
Quote from: Charlie Brown
I think Snoopy is sitting on top of the dog house.
-or-
Quote from: Charlie Brown
In my opinion, Snoopy is sitting on top of the dog house.
Both of these statements express an opinion or a thought about an objective statement.  You may not be 100% sure about where Snoopy is (say it's foggy out, and there is a vague Snoopy-shaped object sitting on top of the dog house) but Snoopy is still either on the dog house or not.  It is true or false that Snoopy is on the dog house.

Contrawise, consider the statement

Quote from: Charlie Brown
Ice cream is tasty!

This is a subjective statement.  Charlie Brown is expressing that he, Charlie Brown, enjoys ice cream.  It's important to stress this:

Charlie Brown has not said anything about the molecular composition of ice cream.
Charlie Brown has not said anything about the molar weight of ice cream.
Charlie Brown has not said anything about the flavor of the ice cream in question.
Charlie Brown has given us no information on ice cream as to how it relates to any other object in the world.  Charlie Brown has instead given us information about Charlie Brown.  Unless we have foreknowledge about Lucy and Charlie enjoying the same kind of things, we now have no more information as to whether the following statement is true or not:
Quote from: Lucy
Ice cream is tasty!
(note the change in author of the quote)

Does everyone understand the difference?  We can summarize the above with the following:

Objectively true statements are true for everyone.  They are expressing a truth about the thing you are talking about.
Subjectively true statements are true for the person expressing the statement.  They are expressing a truth about you.

That's the difference between an objective statement and a subjective statement.  To wrap up, let's look at some fundamental misunderstandings about what objective things are or are not which have been expressed on this very thread.

(1) If X is an objective statement, IT IS NOT TRUE that X necessarily be known by all of humanity.  "The earth is round" is an objective statement, with an objective truth value, and yet some people today still don't know the shape of the earth.
(2) If X is an objective statement, IT IS NOT TRUE that everyone will agree with X.  This is related to the above.  The statement "Electricity is a lie; secret gnomes power all electronic equipment" is an objective statement with an objective truth value, and yet there really are people who think this is true, while the vast majority think it's false.
(3) As a consequence to (1) and (2), offering evidence of disagreement about X DOES NOT IMPLY that X is subjective.  In fact, offering evidence that people used to believe Z but "we know better now and believe X" is evidence that you are treating X as objective, not subjective
(4) If X is an objective statement, IT IS NOT TRUE that X applies equally to everyone.  The statement "The president can veto a bill before it becomes a law" is a statement with an objective truth value of 'true' even if members of the House of Representatives, Supreme Court Justices, or other members of the government cannot veto a law.
(5) If X is an objective statement, IT IS NOT TRUE that we can necessarily demonstrate evidence for X.  The problem sets 'P' and 'NP' are two sets of problems known to computer scientists.  Most computer scientists believe that these two problem sets are not equivalent.  Strictly speaking, no evidence exists that supports this hypothesis better than the opposite.  No proof has been demonstrated, so they might all be wrong.  Nonetheless, the problem set P and NP are either equivalent or not equivalent.  Whether it be true or false, P != NP is an objective statement about the world we live in.


 1. To be blunt, this has yet to happen.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2012, 06:17:23 PM by MathIsCool »
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Online 12 Monkeys

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Re: Objective Morality
« Reply #286 on: June 01, 2012, 06:53:37 PM »
A statment about something obvious like a dog laying on top of his doghouse is an observable act that is pretty hard to argue......a statment that has an invisible undetectable and unobservable origin however can't.....because God said so is hardly an answer about morality
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Offline MathIsCool

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Re: Objective Morality
« Reply #287 on: June 01, 2012, 08:27:12 PM »
A statment about something obvious like a dog laying on top of his doghouse is an observable act that is pretty hard to argue......a statment that has an invisible undetectable and unobservable origin however can't.....because God said so is hardly an answer about morality

See #5 above.  No offense, but this is one of those posts I was talking about that betray a fundamental misunderstanding of what objective means.
Why not name the website ... "whywontGodallowlaserstoshootoutofmyeyespewpewpew.com"

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Offline Timo

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Re: Objective Morality
« Reply #288 on: June 01, 2012, 09:12:50 PM »
I agree that these conversations tend to be kind of confused.  And I have no objections to your discussion of objective versus subjective claims.  That said, I really don't agree that the diversity of moral systems we've thought up is somehow irrelevant to this discussion.  A lot of arguments for objective moral facts tend to boil down to "some things are really right, some things are really wrong, and everyone knows it."  Pointing out that what it is that "everyone knows" has changed dramatically over time and still varies dramatically across cultures is, it seems to me, an appropriate response.
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Online 12 Monkeys

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Re: Objective Morality
« Reply #289 on: June 01, 2012, 09:30:11 PM »
A statement about something obvious like a dog laying on top of his doghouse is an observable act that is pretty hard to argue......a statement that has an invisible undetectable and unobservable origin however can't.....because God said so is hardly an answer about morality

See #5 above.  No offense, but this is one of those posts I was talking about that betray a fundamental misunderstanding of what objective means.
None taken......where in your opinion are these morals from,where did they originate? From a book written 2000+ years ago by people ignorant of the rest of the world........where did people who had never heard of bible God and his book of rules get their moral system from?  Each region of the world who have never heard of BibleGod or his book developed their own system of morals without God so this whole argument is pointless and irrelevant. There were many civilizations before the creation of this particular god came along,some still in existance today.
There's no right there's no wrong,there's just popular opinion (Brad Pitt as Jeffery Goines in 12 monkeys)