An Essay on the Moral Argument
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25-07-2017, 04:39 PM
RE: An Essay on the Moral Argument
(25-07-2017 03:42 PM)Dr H Wrote:  Attempts to stack the deck not withstanding, you've still not shown evidence of any objective basis for morality.

This a tit for tat argument buddy. It’s not the sort where one argues for the position of God, to someone who lacks a belief.

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’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.

Subjective means that its matter of one’s taste, one’s personal feelings, and opinion. It’d doesn’t mean that it’s something is not relative, or something is not ambiguous, or that something is not reducible to a numeric measurement.

We may have a differing a subjective view of whats constitutes as good music. The difference here is reducible to a matter of taste, not facts. Where as if you and I disagree about whether or not an action is harmful, you yourself claimed that it’s not reducible to taste. Just because we have trouble discerning the facts when it comes to our moral perceptions, doesn’t make it subjective.

Quote:And just because something is somehow "detrimental" in a particular context doesn't support the idea that it is objectively harmful.

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.

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?

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. It wouldn’t be, it’s all comes down to how you feel, or it all comes down to your personal taste.

"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."
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Yesterday, 02:30 PM (This post was last modified: Yesterday 02:35 PM by nosferatu323.)
RE: An Essay on the Moral Argument
(25-07-2017 04:39 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(25-07-2017 03:42 PM)Dr H Wrote:  Attempts to stack the deck not withstanding, you've still not shown evidence of any objective basis for morality.

This a tit for tat argument buddy. It’s not the sort where one argues for the position of God, to someone who lacks a belief.

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’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.

Subjective means that its matter of one’s taste, one’s personal feelings, and opinion. It’d doesn’t mean that it’s something is not relative, or something is not ambiguous, or that something is not reducible to a numeric measurement.

We may have a differing a subjective view of whats constitutes as good music. The difference here is reducible to a matter of taste, not facts. Where as if you and I disagree about whether or not an action is harmful, you yourself claimed that it’s not reducible to taste. Just because we have trouble discerning the facts when it comes to our moral perceptions, doesn’t make it subjective.

Quote:And just because something is somehow "detrimental" in a particular context doesn't support the idea that it is objectively harmful.

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.

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?

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. It wouldn’t be, it’s all comes down to how you feel, or it all comes down to your personal taste.

Sorry for jumping in, your conversation is interesting for me. Just a small note, I think if you can justify that “torturing innocent babies just for fun is wrong” is an objective proposition, then you can claim: "There are SOME objective moral propositions" and your position will be justified.

I think for that you will need to provide:
1. An objective measure to show that "wrong equals harmful" is "the correct" definition in general (not in this context).
2. An objective measure to evaluate harmfulness in this very specific context, to see if there was any real harm or not, objectively.

I assume there might be some chance for 2, but 1 is not possible. Also I think it's important to note that the burden of justification for objectivity is upon you. Every proposition is subjective as long as there are not enough evidences to show that it is objective.
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Yesterday, 02:51 PM
RE: An Essay on the Moral Argument
Abit late to the argument, but this is my stance:

Morals, notably altruism, can be found in most intelligent and/or social species, to various degrees. Obviously it's very strong in humans.

Most likely, such morals evolved along with the rest of our behaviors. Naturally, populations that harm, steal from, rape, and kill members of its own species weed themselves out. Meanwhile, populations that take care of each member of its specoes have a better chance of surviving and passing down their behaviors.

So, there's a reason some things seem wrong by nature--it 's because we've evolved to see it that way.

The threat of divine punishment or heavenly reward is no basis for morality.

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Yesterday, 04:05 PM
RE: An Essay on the Moral Argument
(Yesterday 02:30 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  Sorry for jumping in, your conversation is interesting for me. Just a small note, I think if you can justify that “torturing innocent babies just for fun is wrong” is an objective proposition, then you can claim: "There are SOME objective moral propositions" and your position will be justified.

I think for that you will need to provide:
1. An objective measure to show that "wrong equals harmful" is "the correct" definition in general (not in this context).
With regard to "harmful" the question is who is it harmful to? It is an incomplete statement if you don't qualify that. There are many instances where an action is harmful to a party and beneficial to another.

For example, the burying beetle judges how much food is available, does a count on her children and eats some of them to cull the numbers. It has been a successful strategy and has allowed the burying beetle to survive throughout many generations. It's harmful to those babies that get eaten but beneficial to the burying beetle as a species. So is this objectively morally right or wrong?


(Yesterday 02:30 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  2. An objective measure to evaluate harmfulness in this very specific context, to see if there was any real harm or not, objectively.
Ultimately why do we focus on a human centric view of objective morality?
Why do we assume that harm from a human animal onto another human animal falls in the bounds of morality and yet harm from a non human animal to a non human animal does not?
Is it moral to bread sheep to have lambs so that we can chop them up and sell them in the supermarket as lamb chops?
IS it moral for a cat to catch a baby rabbit and to play with it (effectively, torture it) until it gets bored or hungry and then eats it?

It is understandable that a human with a natural affinity for human babies and a natural capacity for empathy would feel sad, angry and horrible if they saw someone torturing human babies. But this human having their "to be expected" emotions does not prove that the universe has some objective morality rule with regards to human actions on human babies.
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Yesterday, 06:45 PM
RE: An Essay on the Moral Argument
(Yesterday 02:30 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  I assume there might be some chance for 2, but 1 is not possible. Also I think it's important to note that the burden of justification for objectivity is upon you. Every proposition is subjective as long as there are not enough evidences to show that it is objective.

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.

A proposition that can either be objectively true, or objectively false, regardless if we have sufficient evidence to determine one way or the other, is not subjective. A subjective proposition is one that can neither be true or false. The proposition that Justin Bieber is a good musician, is neither true nor or false. The answer is purely a matter of a person’s taste, their likes and dislikes.

All wrong, all false beliefs lack sufficient evidence, but all wrong, and false beliefs are not subjective.

If the proposition can’t be reduced to matters of taste, to matters of likes and dislikes, than it can’t be subjective. Think of anything we commonly recognize as subjective, and this point is obvious.

The burden of proof is on both parties here. It’s just as much on the party claiming that it’s subjective, as it is on the party claiming it’s objective.

Quote:1. An objective measure to show that "wrong equals harmful" is "the correct" definition in general (not in this context).

I mean what else does morally wrong mean? I’m assuming you also believe it’s morally wrong to torture innocent babies just for fun. Isn’t the moral wrongness that you also likely ascribe to here, one that defined in terms of harmfulness?

If you do see it as morally wrong, would you say that what your ultimately saying here, is that your claim of wrongness, is just another way of saying that you don’t like it? If you don’t see it that way, then even you don’t see morality as subjective. You have to convince me that's it subjective (and I have to convince you otherwise), and trying to suggest that it's not subjective like when applied to another category, doesn't help the argument.

"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."
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Yesterday, 08:32 PM (This post was last modified: Yesterday 08:37 PM by nosferatu323.)
RE: An Essay on the Moral Argument
(Yesterday 06:45 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(Yesterday 02:30 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  I assume there might be some chance for 2, but 1 is not possible. Also I think it's important to note that the burden of justification for objectivity is upon you. Every proposition is subjective as long as there are not enough evidences to show that it is objective.

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.

A proposition that can either be objectively true, or objectively false, regardless if we have sufficient evidence to determine one way or the other, is not subjective. A subjective proposition is one that can neither be true or false. The proposition that Justin Bieber is a good musician, is neither true nor or false. The answer is purely a matter of a person’s taste, their likes and dislikes.

All wrong, all false beliefs lack sufficient evidence, but all wrong, and false beliefs are not subjective.

If the proposition can’t be reduced to matters of taste, to matters of likes and dislikes, than it can’t be subjective. Think of anything we commonly recognize as subjective, and this point is obvious.

The burden of proof is on both parties here. It’s just as much on the party claiming that it’s subjective, as it is on the party claiming it’s objective.

Quote:1. An objective measure to show that "wrong equals harmful" is "the correct" definition in general (not in this context).

I mean what else does morally wrong mean? I’m assuming you also believe it’s morally wrong to torture innocent babies just for fun. Isn’t the moral wrongness that you also likely ascribe to here, one that defined in terms of harmfulness?

If you do see it as morally wrong, would you say that what your ultimately saying here, is that your claim of wrongness, is just another way of saying that you don’t like it? If you don’t see it that way, then even you don’t see morality as subjective. You have to convince me that's it subjective (and I have to convince you otherwise), and trying to suggest that it's not subjective like when applied to another category, doesn't help the argument.

Quote:The claim that there’s a teapot orbiting the sun isn’t subjective
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. For example in 2000 years ago, this would have been a subjective matter, especially if someone could come up with a good story about it. It would have been a matter of taste to believe the story or not. 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.

Quote:Isn’t the moral wrongness that you also likely ascribe to here, one that defined in terms of harmfulness?
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. The definition of right and wrong changes according to the context and also according to the individual who is making the judgement. So, I think the definition, in itself, is something arbitrary and a matter of taste, and that's what makes morality fundamentally subjective.

Quote:I mean what else does morally wrong mean?
I think It just means wrong, nothing more. Any attempt to make it more definite is a matter of the specific context and taste of the individual who is making the judgement. e.g., for a Christian, wrong is anything against what the Christian God commands.

Quote:would you say that what your ultimately saying here, is that your claim of wrongness, is just another way of saying that you don’t like it
Yes. I think wrongness can mean anything. It can be arbitrarily defined according to the taste of the individual.

Quote:You have to convince me that's it subjective
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. There are various moral systems, each having their own definitions and in general individuals usually rely on various notions of right and wrong to make moral judgements depending on the context and their personal taste and beliefs.
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Yesterday, 09:53 PM (This post was last modified: Yesterday 11:05 PM by nosferatu323.)
RE: An Essay on the Moral Argument
(Yesterday 04:05 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(Yesterday 02:30 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  Sorry for jumping in, your conversation is interesting for me. Just a small note, I think if you can justify that “torturing innocent babies just for fun is wrong” is an objective proposition, then you can claim: "There are SOME objective moral propositions" and your position will be justified.

I think for that you will need to provide:
1. An objective measure to show that "wrong equals harmful" is "the correct" definition in general (not in this context).
With regard to "harmful" the question is who is it harmful to? It is an incomplete statement if you don't qualify that. There are many instances where an action is harmful to a party and beneficial to another.

For example, the burying beetle judges how much food is available, does a count on her children and eats some of them to cull the numbers. It has been a successful strategy and has allowed the burying beetle to survive throughout many generations. It's harmful to those babies that get eaten but beneficial to the burying beetle as a species. So is this objectively morally right or wrong?


(Yesterday 02:30 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  2. An objective measure to evaluate harmfulness in this very specific context, to see if there was any real harm or not, objectively.
Ultimately why do we focus on a human centric view of objective morality?
Why do we assume that harm from a human animal onto another human animal falls in the bounds of morality and yet harm from a non human animal to a non human animal does not?
Is it moral to bread sheep to have lambs so that we can chop them up and sell them in the supermarket as lamb chops?
IS it moral for a cat to catch a baby rabbit and to play with it (effectively, torture it) until it gets bored or hungry and then eats it?

It is understandable that a human with a natural affinity for human babies and a natural capacity for empathy would feel sad, angry and horrible if they saw someone torturing human babies. But this human having their "to be expected" emotions does not prove that the universe has some objective morality rule with regards to human actions on human babies.

I agree, The notion of harm would be problematic in many instances. But in the very specific case of torturing babies, I think harm can be evaluated as something objective. For example by measuring the activity of certain areas of the brain associated with the perception of pain during the torture.

Quote:But this human having their "to be expected" emotions does not prove that the universe has some objective morality rule with regards to human actions on human babies.
If we could agree that "anything against survival is immoral" I think we could have said that the universe has an objective morality for us, since our strong preference for survival is given to us by the universe. But it's not the case, we can't agree on that definition, or any other definition. I also think there is no objective morality.
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