Another attack on moral subjectivism
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16-06-2015, 04:57 PM (This post was last modified: 16-06-2015 05:03 PM by tear151.)
Another attack on moral subjectivism
I made a vague thread a year ago on here on moral nihilism, it was interesting, so I'm making a similar thread again with a bit more focus, I like talking about this topic a lot.

"Stealing is wrong"

"Rape is bad"

but these statements are inherently objective claims, you cant say rape is bad in a subjective way anymore than you can claim the statement God exists is subjective to you. God cannot exist only for you, God's existence cannot become subjective fpr in the same sense the statement "Stealing is wrong" is applying an objective moral value to stealing. Stealing cannot have the property of badness just for you and you alone, it would have to be universal. Indeed in moral subjectivism

"I don't like stealing"

"I don't like Rape"

This is all you can say, I subjectively disapprove of stealing and rape, and why do you disapprove of these things? Well that's up to you, but remember, "because it's wrong" is an objective claim, so I put it to you, why don't you approve of so called immoral actions if there is nothing intrinsically wrong about them, and further more, if morality is subjective, why must others listen to you outside of threats of violence (or the law). before you respond please do carefully consider if the statement you've made implies an objective moral standard. I.E we should help others so I don't like stealing is implying that helping others is an objective imperative.

"A witty quote means nothing"
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16-06-2015, 05:22 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
I think that with your two examples, you will end in a war of semantic. If you want to question morality and its potential subjectivity, you must first remove any moral bias from you example saying rape is wrong is tautological. Rape is a word only associated with a morally reprehensible act else we simply call it sexual intercourse. Stealing is also just a morally reprehensible way to acquire goods and services. If you want to know if it's possible to set objective morals or if it's only ever going to be subjective, ask the real question: what are the good way and wrong way to acquire goods, when does sexual intercourse become rape, when is it possible to kill someone without doing wrong, etc. For my part I would say morality can almost be completely objective, but there is always going to be some grey area here and there.
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16-06-2015, 05:26 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(16-06-2015 05:22 PM)epronovost Wrote:  I think that with your two examples, you will end in a war of semantic. If you want to question morality and its potential subjectivity, you must first remove any moral bias from you example saying rape is wrong is tautological. Rape is a word only associated with a morally reprehensible act else we simply call it sexual intercourse. Stealing is also just a morally reprehensible way to acquire goods and services. If you want to know if it's possible to set objective morals or if it's only ever going to be subjective, ask the real question: what are the good way and wrong way to acquire goods, when does sexual intercourse become rape, when is it possible to kill someone without doing wrong, etc. For my part I would say morality can almost be completely objective, but there is always going to be some grey area here and there.

I know the word rape and theft are morally charged. I'm asking where that moral charge comes from. Not what are the good and wrong ways to acquire goods, how is it possible to make this distinction, is it possible without asserting objectivity. You're dodging the question and moving to applying morals, I'm asking why we are applying them to begin with.

The idea of moral truth is that the universe has objective laws that guide human behaviour, to me this is an extraordinary claim, and it needs evidence.

"A witty quote means nothing"
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16-06-2015, 05:58 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
The moral charge of the word rape and theft are artificial just like the in the word murder or idiot. Idiot is an insult, but formerly it was a medical term to describe people with intellectual problem. They changed the word because it found usage in the common language to attack people we didn't like and thought were wrong. Thus, it was deemed unacceptable to call people with a disease with the same word we used to describe people we didn't liked. Rape was specifically designed to qualify quickly and negatively an action: forced sexual relationship. We develop new words to accelerate communication. To determine what are the «wrong» ways to do things, we just build them up from our social experience and commonly agreed on them on the basis of what was good for the group, what didn't have any positive or negative consequences on it and those that undermined it. That's why I say that morality is almost objective since we build it on common criteria with no moral charge to them, but of course reality is so complex that it's impossible (and undesirable) to be purely objective.

Do I understand your question or I am completly wrong?
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16-06-2015, 06:24 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(16-06-2015 04:57 PM)tear151 Wrote:  ...
so I put it to you, why don't you approve of so called immoral actions if there is nothing intrinsically wrong about them,
...

... because there is something contextually wrong about them.

Isn't that enough?

Wink

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16-06-2015, 07:06 PM (This post was last modified: 16-06-2015 07:54 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(16-06-2015 04:57 PM)tear151 Wrote:  I like talking about this topic a lot.

Obviously. Too bad you can't actually think about what you're talking about.

(16-06-2015 04:57 PM)tear151 Wrote:  so I put it to you, why don't you approve of so called immoral actions if there is nothing intrinsically wrong about them, and further more, if morality is subjective, why must others listen to you outside of threats of violence (or the law).

And your thinking is still just as stupid as a year ago. Actions that undermine the human community's cohesive communal functioning are wrong for that reason, not because of anything else. The SAME act, (example *the taking of a human life*) can be either moral or immoral, depending on its circumstance. Killing an enemy in war, trying to kill you, is not immoral.

Please grow some brain cells. Saying "stealing is wrong" as an example of something, is a strawman. The action is "taking something for your use". Depending on the circumstances, it may or may not be "stealing".

You have defined none of your terms.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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16-06-2015, 07:08 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
The good life revolves around people treating each other well with the hope that the treatment will be reciprocated. What more reason for morality do you need?
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16-06-2015, 07:20 PM (This post was last modified: 16-06-2015 07:26 PM by Tomasia.)
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(16-06-2015 04:57 PM)tear151 Wrote:  I made a vague thread a year ago on here on moral nihilism, it was interesting, so I'm making a similar thread again with a bit more focus, I like talking about this topic a lot.

"Stealing is wrong"

"Rape is bad"

but these statements are inherently objective claims, you cant say rape is bad in a subjective way anymore than you can claim the statement God exists is subjective to you. God cannot exist only for you, God's existence cannot become subjective fpr in the same sense the statement "Stealing is wrong" is applying an objective moral value to stealing. Stealing cannot have the property of badness just for you and you alone, it would have to be universal. Indeed in moral subjectivism

"I don't like stealing"

"I don't like Rape"

This is all you can say, I subjectively disapprove of stealing and rape, and why do you disapprove of these things? Well that's up to you, but remember, "because it's wrong" is an objective claim, so I put it to you, why don't you approve of so called immoral actions if there is nothing intrinsically wrong about them, and further more, if morality is subjective, why must others listen to you outside of threats of violence (or the law). before you respond please do carefully consider if the statement you've made implies an objective moral standard. I.E we should help others so I don't like stealing is implying that helping others is an objective imperative.

I think you're right in saying that stealing is wrong, doesn't equate to I don't like stealing. That even if many people believe morality is subjective, they don't particularly express it as such. The language is seeped in an undisclosed objective foundation.

Stealing is wrong, because it's a violation of some obligation not to. I may particularly want to steal your iPhone, at the same time recognizing an opposing will not to. This is brought along by a recognition that it's wrong to steal, not because I risk being socially stigmatized, or legal ramifications if I do, but by recognizing that I wouldn't want someone to steal from me, leading me to recognize why it's wrong to steal from someone else. If the golden rule is not an actual rule, or an obligations, our brains at the very least trick us into believing it is, conveying to us an illusion, which we think is real.
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16-06-2015, 07:48 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
Well, stealing is wrong because you're taking time from someone else, and time is irreplaceable. You wouldn't want to have to work another 2400 hours for another automobile, so you take offense when someone inflicts that injury upon you.

It never ceases to amaze me how critics of moral relativity seem to think that humans don't have shared values. Talk about short-sighted.
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16-06-2015, 07:52 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(16-06-2015 07:48 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  Well, stealing is wrong because you're taking time from someone else, and time is irreplaceable. You wouldn't want to have to work another 2400 hours for another automobile, so you take offense when someone inflicts that injury upon you.

It never ceases to amaze me how critics of moral relativity seem to think that humans don't have shared values. Talk about short-sighted.

I don't think people who avoid stealing, even when tempted to do so, see it as a matter of avoiding taking up someones time.
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