An Exercise in Objective Morality
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
18-06-2014, 11:52 PM
An Exercise in Objective Morality
Caution: potentially upsetting image.

Imagine it is the year 7000 BCE, and after 9 mos. gestation this is what a mother's labour delivers.

In an epoch of profound natural ignorance and supernatural "reasoning", with demons and gods believed to be as real and common as weeds, what would be the "objectively" moral parental course of action in the culture of 7000 BCE?

The same as the course of action followed today, with knowledge and skills and technology well beyond what was possible 9000 years ago?

I don't think even an overarching "objective" principle could span 9000 years. 9000 years ago such a birth raised a raft of dangers. Today the welfare of the "twins" could be considered without extraneous concerns.

Yet was today's course of action taken even "objectively" moral? It killed an independently conscious living being able to blink and smile. And a year or so later killed the second conscious being science had endeavored to preserve.

Manifestations like this of one of evolution's mechanisms in heartless action are heartbreaking. My eyes are still teared up writing this. But evolution has no "moral" compass. How we reckon with nature's indifferent violence to our conception of "orderly life" is very much steered by a "moral" compass, but a compass with no North. No "objectivity".

All we are able to do is the best we can, with what we have at hand. Not always successfully.

Most of the time the compass with no North serves us well. But until we know everything in the universe there is to know, I think "objectivity" is a child's dream.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Airportkid's post
18-06-2014, 11:59 PM
RE: An Exercise in Objective Morality
The fallacy of the objective morality claim is that it is not even objective. Define objective and it's relation to morality. The true definition should be "universal standard of morality" because objectiveness would imply one morally right action to be binding regardless of situation.
Essentially it is bad legalese

Crazy you say?
Wouldn't a crazy man ask another man if he was crazy?! Hobo
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like Mr. Slave's post
19-06-2014, 12:30 AM (This post was last modified: 19-06-2014 12:34 AM by Reltzik.)
RE: An Exercise in Objective Morality
Agreed with Mr. Slave. I'm going to issue you the same challenge I issued JW. Define your terms, please. What do you mean by the phrase "objective morality"?

(Hopefully you're a bit braver about answering this than JW was. ... which is a dig at him, not you. You can dodge the question for an entire damn month, or just straight-up say that you aren't really sure what it means if that's the case, and still be way ahead of him.)
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
19-06-2014, 12:52 AM
RE: An Exercise in Objective Morality
I can only say what I think those who argue "objective" morality exists mean by it: a code of behavior not derived by mind but by something independent of mind, like a formulation of the laws of physics. (Natural laws took minds to frame, but describe phenomena that do not incorporate minds as a component of their existence). Honest proselytizers simply say only a god can author "objective" morality. A key tenet of "objective" morality appears to be that it is constant, like a law of physics, independent of culture or epoch.

If I've misconstrued its most common intended meaning, someone else will have to step in and make corrections.

Meanwhile, the plight of the "twins" and how we deem what's best is no easy problem, even acknowledging that what's "moral" depends on context.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Airportkid's post
19-06-2014, 08:19 AM (This post was last modified: 19-06-2014 08:33 AM by Luminon.)
RE: An Exercise in Objective Morality
(18-06-2014 11:52 PM)Airportkid Wrote:  Caution: potentially upsetting image.

Imagine it is the year 7000 BCE, and after 9 mos. gestation this is what a mother's labour delivers.

In an epoch of profound natural ignorance and supernatural "reasoning", with demons and gods believed to be as real and common as weeds, what would be the "objectively" moral parental course of action in the culture of 7000 BCE?

The same as the course of action followed today, with knowledge and skills and technology well beyond what was possible 9000 years ago?
I will worry about such questions when people like Obama stop killing perfectly healthy and viable children all over the Middle East. Until then, I tip my hat to parents and doctors' judgement and desire.

(18-06-2014 11:52 PM)Airportkid Wrote:  All we are able to do is the best we can, with what we have at hand. Not always successfully.

Most of the time the compass with no North serves us well. But until we know everything in the universe there is to know, I think "objectivity" is a child's dream.
And yet you use language that you hope to objectively pass into our eyes and evoke an appropriate response from us. You know that objectivity exists.

You can think of this unfortunate event as a hostage rescue scenario, only the infants are hostages of nature itself. And not all hostage rescues are successful. These kids were obviously under compulsion from the nature. Under compulsion, there is no choice and therefore no morality. And especially no good choices. Objectivity and morality may exist, but that doesn't mean there always will be ideal choices that satisfy everyone or that there will be no grey areas. Grey areas aren't immoral, they just make us feel like shit and try better prevention next time.

(19-06-2014 12:52 AM)Airportkid Wrote:  I can only say what I think those who argue "objective" morality exists mean by it: a code of behavior not derived by mind but by something independent of mind, like a formulation of the laws of physics. (Natural laws took minds to frame, but describe phenomena that do not incorporate minds as a component of their existence). Honest proselytizers simply say only a god can author "objective" morality. A key tenet of "objective" morality appears to be that it is constant, like a law of physics, independent of culture or epoch.

If I've misconstrued its most common intended meaning, someone else will have to step in and make corrections.

Meanwhile, the plight of the "twins" and how we deem what's best is no easy problem, even acknowledging that what's "moral" depends on context.
Hey, why do you think that exclusion of our mind somehow makes things objective? Maybe so, but that also makes them useless to us. Our minds are natural and operate within the laws of physics (electro-chemical mechanism, etc.) We are born thinking entirely logically. (Allison Gopnik, The Philosophical Baby)
The reason why our minds are unreliable, is because we learn culture and our culture is a big self-perpetuating mental virus. Religious indoctrination is bad enough, but there's a plenty of other cultural indoctrination. And trauma. Logical baby mind has a problem with learning the mental virus of culture and has to be bullied and broken by parents into submission.
Our brains are powerful computers to process morality and objectivity, they are just broken by all the viruses and Trojan horses of culture. Getting rid of these viruses is one of the most painful and difficult thing to do. It is like being very religious in several religions and then losing faith in all of them, only it's not about some invisible gods far away, culture is the religion of daily life, of love, relationships, property, business, art, speech and freedom.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Luminon's post
19-06-2014, 08:48 AM
RE: An Exercise in Objective Morality
(19-06-2014 08:19 AM)Luminon Wrote:  
(18-06-2014 11:52 PM)Airportkid Wrote:  Caution: potentially upsetting image.

Imagine it is the year 7000 BCE, and after 9 mos. gestation this is what a mother's labour delivers.

In an epoch of profound natural ignorance and supernatural "reasoning", with demons and gods believed to be as real and common as weeds, what would be the "objectively" moral parental course of action in the culture of 7000 BCE?

The same as the course of action followed today, with knowledge and skills and technology well beyond what was possible 9000 years ago?
I will worry about such questions when people like Obama stop killing perfectly healthy and viable children all over the Middle East. Until then, I tip my hat to parents and doctors' judgement and desire.

(18-06-2014 11:52 PM)Airportkid Wrote:  All we are able to do is the best we can, with what we have at hand. Not always successfully.

Most of the time the compass with no North serves us well. But until we know everything in the universe there is to know, I think "objectivity" is a child's dream.
And yet you use language that you hope to objectively pass into our eyes and evoke an appropriate response from us. You know that objectivity exists.

You can think of this unfortunate event as a hostage rescue scenario, only the infants are hostages of nature itself. And not all hostage rescues are successful. These kids were obviously under compulsion from the nature. Under compulsion, there is no choice and therefore no morality. And especially no good choices. Objectivity and morality may exist, but that doesn't mean there always will be ideal choices that satisfy everyone or that there will be no grey areas. Grey areas aren't immoral, they just make us feel like shit and try better prevention next time.

(19-06-2014 12:52 AM)Airportkid Wrote:  I can only say what I think those who argue "objective" morality exists mean by it: a code of behavior not derived by mind but by something independent of mind, like a formulation of the laws of physics. (Natural laws took minds to frame, but describe phenomena that do not incorporate minds as a component of their existence). Honest proselytizers simply say only a god can author "objective" morality. A key tenet of "objective" morality appears to be that it is constant, like a law of physics, independent of culture or epoch.

If I've misconstrued its most common intended meaning, someone else will have to step in and make corrections.

Meanwhile, the plight of the "twins" and how we deem what's best is no easy problem, even acknowledging that what's "moral" depends on context.
Hey, why do you think that exclusion of our mind somehow makes things objective? Maybe so, but that also makes them useless to us. Our minds are natural and operate within the laws of physics (electro-chemical mechanism, etc.) We are born thinking entirely logically. (Allison Gopnik, The Philosophical Baby)
The reason why our minds are unreliable, is because we learn culture and our culture is a big self-perpetuating mental virus. Religious indoctrination is bad enough, but there's a plenty of other cultural indoctrination. And trauma. Logical baby mind has a problem with learning the mental virus of culture and has to be bullied and broken by parents into submission.
Our brains are powerful computers to process morality and objectivity, they are just broken by all the viruses and Trojan horses of culture. Getting rid of these viruses is one of the most painful and difficult thing to do. It is like being very religious in several religions and then losing faith in all of them, only it's not about some invisible gods far away, culture is the religion of daily life, of love, relationships, property, business, art, speech and freedom.

Translation: I cannot now nor never will be able to defend my assumptions so I will create strawmen and incoherent tangents to bang my drum. I should have taken some courses in logic and evaluation of evidence in all the education I keep going on about but sadly I prefer feels over facts and woo over science.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Revenant77x's post
19-06-2014, 08:48 AM
RE: An Exercise in Objective Morality
Objective morality, at least the definition that theists use for it, is just what they think at the time and unless they don't disagree with themselves then that must be Gods position. you don't need a thousand year example, try 5 milliseconds.

And because God is subject to no rules, he can change his position any time to anything, amazingly it always equals the individuals wishes.

Can even be simultaneously contradictory between different theists:
Suicide bombing: morally wrong
Suicide bombing: a moral imperative

And sometimes with the same theist !
Don't kill
Death penalty "fuck yeah"

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like sporehux's post
19-06-2014, 09:13 AM
RE: An Exercise in Objective Morality
(19-06-2014 08:48 AM)Revenant77x Wrote:  Translation: I cannot now nor never will be able to defend my assumptions so I will create strawmen and incoherent tangents to bang my drum. I should have taken some courses in logic and evaluation of evidence in all the education I keep going on about but sadly I prefer feels over facts and woo over science.
What do you mean by defense? Evidence? What kind of evidence?
Science can't decide morality, because science is divided into specialized areas, it can't make any general judgement that is needed for morality. Only philosophy can. Have you learned philosophy?

Look, Sporehux gets it. Morality is nothing if it's inconsistent.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
19-06-2014, 09:22 AM
RE: An Exercise in Objective Morality
(19-06-2014 09:13 AM)Luminon Wrote:  
(19-06-2014 08:48 AM)Revenant77x Wrote:  Translation: I cannot now nor never will be able to defend my assumptions so I will create strawmen and incoherent tangents to bang my drum. I should have taken some courses in logic and evaluation of evidence in all the education I keep going on about but sadly I prefer feels over facts and woo over science.
What do you mean by defense? Evidence? What kind of evidence?
Science can't decide morality, because science is divided into specialized areas, it can't make any general judgement that is needed for morality. Only philosophy can. Have you learned philosophy?

Look, Sporehux gets it. Morality is nothing if it's inconsistent.

Learn to logic. Seriously go take a course on logic and how it works because you do not understand it.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Revenant77x's post
19-06-2014, 09:38 AM
RE: An Exercise in Objective Morality
I actually do hold to an "objective" morality. I do not think of it as outside or made up by some force in the universe other than human beings. I hold it as constant within all human beings.

So what is the "right" action of the parents 7000 BCE? They have to make a choice. This child likely would have no appreciable standard of living and would be a burden among the rest of the tribe. Depending on where this person was born the ability to keep this child, who could never contribute, would also be questionable. Not all places were cultivated, and many people were still hunter/gatherers. Do the parents believe that they can care for this child indefinitely? Do they wait for the highly likely natural death of this child (remember that infant mortality was VERY high)? Or do they kill the child? At the time it is highly unlikely that this child will reach maturity, and doing so will cause an immense drain on the rest of the community. A modern parent will have different circumstances. Support is easier to come by, food more plentiful, medical knowledge is far more advanced.

Theistic morality is not objective. It is arbitrary. It states that morality is dictated by the will of some other power. God says X is moral, so X is moral. Objective morality appeals to certain values and principals that are available to everyone and are consistent. Action X causes unnecessary and undue harm to people, so X is immoral. And no mandate by God or law will ever change that.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes natachan's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: