An Essay on the Moral Argument
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
27-07-2017, 05:17 PM
RE: An Essay on the Moral Argument
(27-07-2017 04:47 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(27-07-2017 04:04 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  What is your point here? It would help to make it clear. You are saying there is no reason to be concerned about harm to humans.
No, I'm saying that concern for the well being of humans or concern for how humans treat each other isn't a feature of the universe. It's a concept us humans have about ourselves.

(27-07-2017 04:04 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  We arbitrarily define morality centered around humans and their interests.
We have a very loose concept of morality, it's not well defined at all, its not something that is discoverable and not something where differences of opinion can be categorically resolved.

(27-07-2017 04:04 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  I think it helps us with the efficiency and stability of our social structures. But I don't think there is any reason beyond that.
Personally I think it harms and impedes stability of our social structures.

Quote:We have a very loose concept of morality, it's not well defined at all, its not something that is discoverable and not something where differences of opinion can be categorically resolved.
I also find this to be true. Morality is arbitrarily and usually loosely defined based on cultural and individual features and beliefs.

Quote:Personally I think it harms and impedes stability of our social structures.
I think we cannot deny that there must be solid evolutionary reasons for the existence of morality, such a significant phenomenon in human culture cannot be a mere glitch and noise in evolution. What else can be the reason for the existence of morality, if it is not for the sake of stable and efficient social structures?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-07-2017, 05:51 PM
RE: An Essay on the Moral Argument
(26-07-2017 08:32 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  I think "a teapot is orbiting the sun" can also be subjective in the absence of our current knowledge of the physical reality, which serves as a strong evidence to falsify this claim. . It would have been a matter of taste to believe the story or not.


The question of whether a teapot is orbiting the sun or not, is not dependent on whether you like it or not. Whether or not Justin Bieber is a good singer is.

Your taste may express how you would like there to be a teapot orbiting the sun, that you think it would cool if it did. But your taste have nothing to do whether or not a teapot is orbiting the sun.

The things that you believe are objectively true, are not subjective. They’re either true, false, or indeterminable.

Quote:So when there are no evidences to support a proposition being objectively true or false, it's a matter of taste to believe it or not, hence it is subjective.

I have no evidence as to whether you committed a felony, tortured an animal, etc… If I accused you of torturing a dog, you’d rightfully state that I have no evidence, no basis whatsoever to make that accusation. What you wouldn’t say is “well that’s your subjective belief”.

Quote:In this specific case; yes. But there are many instances in which I would prefer to base my judgement of wrongness on something else. e.g., doing anything against established values in a society is wrong, regardless of it being harmful or not.
Your definition should work in all instances, I think it doesn’t

Even if the criteria only applies to one instance, that all we could ever say for certain is that torturing innocent babies just for fun is objectively harmful, and therefore immoral, then morality is objective, it’s just difficult to ascertain in other conditions.

We could say that the objective criteria here, is the same criteria that makes it evident that torturing innocent babies just for fun is objectively harmful. And that we can only apply the immoral label, when all points of that criteria are met.

Quote:Yes. I think wrongness can mean anything. It can be arbitrarily defined according to the taste of the individual.

So then it’s fair to treat all your moral statements. Your claims of the holocaust being immoral, of rape and genocide being immoral, etc… as just you telling me what you like and don’t like. Is it fair to say, then if you were to accuse someone of being immoral, that at the end of the day this is akin to complaining about someone liking country music, or olives.


Quote:I think all I have to do is to point out to the fact that there are many arbitrary definitions for the notion of right and wrong.

Yet pretty much all of us would agree that torturing innocent babies purely for the fun of it is immoral. In fact no matter whatever else can be said about the different notions of morality applied to different situations, what can be said in this particular instance, is that it's immoral. We’d find that the reasons why we find this immoral would be quite similar.

It should also be said, that we all have different notions of what constitutes as true, different epistemologies, different conceptions of evidence, etc… yet hardly any of us would claim that truth is subjective. I can pretty much take nearly all the arguments in favor of subjective morality, and apply it consistently to the idea of truth. But very few people would suggest that truth is subjective.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-07-2017, 06:23 PM
RE: An Essay on the Moral Argument
(27-07-2017 05:17 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  I think we cannot deny that there must be solid evolutionary reasons for the existence of morality, such a significant phenomenon in human culture cannot be a mere glitch and noise in evolution. What else can be the reason for the existence of morality, if it is not for the sake of stable and efficient social structures?
Morality is a belief system. A belief in actions being good and actions being bad and the distinction between good and bad.

People have all sorts of beliefs, beliefs in gods, in ufos, in chem trails, in alternative medicine. It's a consequence of us being able to ponder and think about complex things, our ability to simplify complex things and to come to conclusions that include assumptions. Basically, given insufficient knowledge and lack of a readily available method to discover knowledge we are susceptible to creation and acceptance of narratives that sound nice.

The problem with having a high conviction in a moral standard is that one does not then come to a point of accepting diversity or respecting the decisions of others. The person with strong moral convictions will seek to interfere in the choices and lives of others, they will seek to impose their moral standard on them. This can lead to oppression and even wars.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Stevil's post
28-07-2017, 07:25 AM (This post was last modified: 28-07-2017 08:23 AM by nosferatu323.)
RE: An Essay on the Moral Argument
(27-07-2017 05:51 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(26-07-2017 08:32 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  I think "a teapot is orbiting the sun" can also be subjective in the absence of our current knowledge of the physical reality, which serves as a strong evidence to falsify this claim. . It would have been a matter of taste to believe the story or not.


The question of whether a teapot is orbiting the sun or not, is not dependent on whether you like it or not. Whether or not Justin Bieber is a good singer is.

Your taste may express how you would like there to be a teapot orbiting the sun, that you think it would cool if it did. But your taste have nothing to do whether or not a teapot is orbiting the sun.

The things that you believe are objectively true, are not subjective. They’re either true, false, or indeterminable.

Quote:So when there are no evidences to support a proposition being objectively true or false, it's a matter of taste to believe it or not, hence it is subjective.

I have no evidence as to whether you committed a felony, tortured an animal, etc… If I accused you of torturing a dog, you’d rightfully state that I have no evidence, no basis whatsoever to make that accusation. What you wouldn’t say is “well that’s your subjective belief”.

Quote:In this specific case; yes. But there are many instances in which I would prefer to base my judgement of wrongness on something else. e.g., doing anything against established values in a society is wrong, regardless of it being harmful or not.
Your definition should work in all instances, I think it doesn’t

Even if the criteria only applies to one instance, that all we could ever say for certain is that torturing innocent babies just for fun is objectively harmful, and therefore immoral, then morality is objective, it’s just difficult to ascertain in other conditions.

We could say that the objective criteria here, is the same criteria that makes it evident that torturing innocent babies just for fun is objectively harmful. And that we can only apply the immoral label, when all points of that criteria are met.

Quote:Yes. I think wrongness can mean anything. It can be arbitrarily defined according to the taste of the individual.

So then it’s fair to treat all your moral statements. Your claims of the holocaust being immoral, of rape and genocide being immoral, etc… as just you telling me what you like and don’t like. Is it fair to say, then if you were to accuse someone of being immoral, that at the end of the day this is akin to complaining about someone liking country music, or olives.


Quote:I think all I have to do is to point out to the fact that there are many arbitrary definitions for the notion of right and wrong.

Yet pretty much all of us would agree that torturing innocent babies purely for the fun of it is immoral. In fact no matter whatever else can be said about the different notions of morality applied to different situations, what can be said in this particular instance, is that it's immoral. We’d find that the reasons why we find this immoral would be quite similar.

It should also be said, that we all have different notions of what constitutes as true, different epistemologies, different conceptions of evidence, etc… yet hardly any of us would claim that truth is subjective. I can pretty much take nearly all the arguments in favor of subjective morality, and apply it consistently to the idea of truth. But very few people would suggest that truth is subjective.

Quote:The things that you believe are objectively true, are not subjective. They’re either true, false, or indeterminable.
I accept your position here. I'm no longer claiming that the burden of proof is upon your side.

Quote:Even if the criteria only applies to one instance, that all we could ever say for certain is that torturing innocent babies just for fun is objectively harmful, and therefore immoral, then morality is objective,
No, I'm claiming your criteria of harm would be irrelevant to morality in many contexts. Therefore I do not accept your definition that "harmful equals immoral". Your argument rests upon this definition, and I cannot see how how you are objectively demonstrating that this definition is "the one" that should be accepted.

You still need an objective measure that shows "wrong equals harmful" is the correct definition, independent of context.

Quote:Is it fair to say, then if you were to accuse someone of being immoral, that at the end of the day this is akin to complaining about someone liking country music, or olives.
Yes that's exactly what I mean. Accusing someone of being immoral is equivalent to saying "I don't like what you did". When Christians accuse gays of being immoral, they are not informing us about anything, other than the fact they don't like what the gays do.


Quote:Yet pretty much all of us would agree that torturing innocent babies purely for the fun of it is immoral.
Even if all people agree, it doesn't mean it's objective. There needs to be a clear definition of "immoral" that everyone would accept, without it, any claim of objectivity is baseless.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes nosferatu323's post
28-07-2017, 04:52 PM
RE: An Essay on the Moral Argument
(25-07-2017 04:39 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  I’m trying to convince you that torturing innocent babies just for fun, is objectively harmful, and your job is to convince me that it’s subjective.
You haven't defined any objective criteria, whatsoever.

"Objective" means that there is some evidential support for whatever it is that is being declared as objective. You've given none. You have made an argument based on the concept of "harm", but you haven't objectively defined that term, either.

All you've offered -- repeatedly -- is a single specific example, with essentially undefined (certainly not objectively defined) key terms, selected, apparently, for emotional impact. If even your one example has to rely on subjectivity for effect, I'd say that not only have you failed to establish an objective basis for morality, but you are unable to do so.

Quote:You’ve stated it is, but you haven’t really justified it. In fact you disagreed with the claim that morality is ultimately reducible to likes and dislikes, which negates the very idea of subjective.
The subjective doesn't consist solely of like/dislike qualia. It can as well be based on pragmatism, or even be arbitrary.

Quote:Subjective means that its matter of one’s taste, one’s personal feelings, and opinion.
That's one thing that 'subjective' can mean. It also means 'based on perception, rather than having existence independent of mind'.

Quote:We may have a differing a subjective view of whats constitutes as good music.
True, at least in part, because the concept of "good" is subjective.

If you can't define "good", or "bad" objectively, you certainly can't do it with morality, the fundamental basis of which is 'what is good, and what is bad'.

Quote:Just because we have trouble discerning the facts when it comes to our moral perceptions, doesn’t make it subjective.
Just because we include some facts doesn't make it objective.

Quote:I think your main problem is, that you seem to conflate objective with absolute. If it can be said that something is detrimental; in a particular context, and your personal opinion, or taste doesn’t change this, than it’s objectively true, even its not true in another context.
You can't divorce your perception from the context; the perception of "detrimental" is a context -- the context of the subject having the perception.

Quote:Do you see the statement “torturing innocent babies just for fun is harmful”, as matter of taste, a matter of opinion, a matter of personal feelings, like we can say of our taste in music?
I see it as an ill-defined specific example offered in place of a solid argument for a general claim.

Quote:If the answer no, than it’s not subjective. And by default it’s objective.

If one was oblivious to whether or not torturing innocent babies just for fun is harmful, a person can quite easily point to a variety of obvious facts, to show them this.
Some facts would be nice.

Once we've clearly defined the key terms sufficiently to show that the specific example has any chance of being extended to the general principle.

--
Dr H

"So, I became an anarchist, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
28-07-2017, 04:53 PM
RE: An Essay on the Moral Argument
(26-07-2017 02:30 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  1. An objective measure to show that "wrong equals harmful" is "the correct" definition in general (not in this context).
Yep.

--
Dr H

"So, I became an anarchist, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
28-07-2017, 04:55 PM
RE: An Essay on the Moral Argument
(26-07-2017 04:05 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Ultimately why do we focus on a human centric view of objective morality?
Indeed. If it were objective it would exist independently of humans.

--
Dr H

"So, I became an anarchist, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
28-07-2017, 05:02 PM
RE: An Essay on the Moral Argument
(26-07-2017 06:45 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Every proposition is not subjective absent of enough evidence. The claim that there’s a teapot orbiting the sun isn’t subjective. We wouldn’t tell a person who has a non-evidence based view that the earth is flat, or that 9/11 is an inside Job, that this it’s subjective. We’d accuse them of being wrong, and not subjectively either, but objectively.
Because all of those things have an objective basis in the most literal sense: they concern objects. Teapots, the Earth, the crumbled buildings -- all exist independently of human perception.

To attempt that same argument with regard to morality is to beg the question, because we have yet to see any evidentiary support for the existence of a "morality object".

Quote:If the proposition can’t be reduced to matters of taste, to matters of likes and dislikes, than it can’t be subjective.
Your error (one of them) is that you have artificially -- subjectively, in fact -- tried to limit the definition of "subjective".

--
Dr H

"So, I became an anarchist, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Dr H's post
29-07-2017, 08:39 AM
RE: An Essay on the Moral Argument
(28-07-2017 04:52 PM)Dr H Wrote:  
Quote:Do you see the statement “torturing innocent babies just for fun is harmful”, as matter of taste, a matter of opinion, a matter of personal feelings, like we can say of our taste in music?
I see it as an ill-defined specific example offered in place of a solid argument for a general claim.

I'm assuming you're not a moral nihilist, like Stevil, and likely subscribe to some concept of morality yourself? That you would likely label certain actions as immoral, etc...

I'm also assuming you do find torturing innocent babies just for funs immoral, or at least find other things immoral.

The question I'm asking involves how I should understand your own moral statements at a fundamental level. That you're ultimately just expressing to me your likes and dislikes. That when you tell me something is morally wrong, what you're ultimately expressing by that statement is that you don't like something.

Nosfertu suggested that this is the case for his moral statement. I would like to know whether it's true for you as well. That way I know if someone like yourself or him, is accusing me or anyone else of being immoral, at the end of the day all your telling me is what you personally don't like.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
29-07-2017, 01:54 PM
RE: An Essay on the Moral Argument
What about a certain sky fairy who tortures innocent babies who die after being born into the wrong religion?

What about a sky fairy who tortures anyone, innocent or not?

I know a lot of people have dropped this part of theology and I'm grateful to all of those who have.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: