Another attack on moral subjectivism
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28-06-2015, 05:49 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(27-06-2015 11:07 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(27-06-2015 11:06 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  TBD

"Slavery is wrong."

Do you believe that the above is a true claim?

In the context of society today, yes.

Truth simply doesn't work that way. America, for example, is overwhelmingly religious. Moral realism is not only consistent with religious beliefs, it's often a requirement to remain consistent with other religious beliefs. I think it's fair to say that most Americans probably believe it is objectively wrong to commit murder in cold blood. Does this mean that for the case of American society, that it is true that murder in cold blood is objectively wrong? That doesn't make any sense. If that doesn't satisfy you, then how about a society where the majority believes that there is an alien spacecraft behind a comet that is passing by earth to come and pick up their souls. If a society believes that , does it mean that it's true for that society? Not hardly. How about a society who believes that the earth is flat?

We have to remember that every claim about the world (like "slavery is wrong" or "the earth is flat") is either true or false, and if it's not entirely true, then it's false. Whether or not we can know the truth value of certain claims is another debate, but we must acknowledge the fact that every claim is either true or false. There are no truths that are true for once society and false for another.

The claim "slavery is wrong" is not false because slavery is right, it's false because slavery can neither be right nor wrong.
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28-06-2015, 06:25 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(26-06-2015 03:40 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  When you raise kids telling them things are Right and Wrong & Good or bad constantly via parents and media/peer influence, they're going to completely accustomed to that thought and most people would take some deeper examination of those thoughts.

It depends on which parents we're speaking of, most parents, like most people, are under the impression that morality is objective, that a claim such as torturing babies just for fun is immoral, is not an opinion, but a fact. I think this sense of morality is so abundant, so seeped into our language, arts, etc... that most of us take it for granted.

The view of morality peddled to us by society is not merely a matter of labeling one thing as right and the other thing as wrong, but what also goes into it is passing on a sense that morality is objective, that moral obligations, and duties exist as a result of this. That when we say slavery is wrong, we are expressing a factual truth.

You can say these beliefs are false, but you have to acknowledge that they're ever present, something sold along with morality, a belief in a objective foundation.

Of course deeper evaluations of morality occur. Like why should we not lie? We can work our way back to the deeper principles, or reasons behind it, like we could a legal prohibition. Understand the spirit of a law, and not just the letter of it.

If you don't believe morality is objective, than you at least have to acknowledge the illusion that it is.
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28-06-2015, 06:33 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(26-06-2015 04:11 PM)Chas Wrote:  He's been pretty clear. There is no 'ought' except that which the society requires.

And these oughts are not reducible to legal requirements?

You're not merely speaking of our legal obligations here?

If so, can you provide an example of an ought which society requires which is not a matter of legality? Are these non-legal oughts the sort that are enforced by means of human esteem?
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28-06-2015, 06:37 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(26-06-2015 04:27 PM)Chas Wrote:  You don't get a pass on calling it illusion. It is agreement, it is emotion, and it is evolved behavior - none of which are illusions.

So a belief that torturing babies just for the fun is objectively wrong (rather than subjectively wrong) , is not a false belief?

If it is a false belief, and an agreement nor an emotion, no an evolved behavior makes it true, why can't we call it an illusion?
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28-06-2015, 06:46 AM
Another attack on moral subjectivism
(27-06-2015 05:09 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(27-06-2015 04:55 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Those three individuals and their behaviors are a construct of their species and their society. From their society, they each draw their individual moral behaviors.
Masturbation is a behaviour. An opinion that masturbation is wrong is a belief.
Masturbation in and of itself isn't a morality.

Morality is the judgement upon the behaviour of masturbation.

A person who believes masturbation is immoral can masturbate and then feel guilty from breaking their believed moral obligation not to masturbate.

If you take away the judgement aspect, all you are left with is a society with several people. Each person masterbates or doesn't masterbate.
An observer has no idea whether the masterbater considers masterbating as immoral or not.
An observer has no way to derive whether masterbation is immoral or not within this society.

Whether masterbation is immoral or not cannot be derrived from this society.

What does immoral mean if we don't make a judgement of whether an action is wrong?

Sorry, you keep asking the same questions over and over again while coming back to "society is made up of individuals" comments. I've addressed these and don't know how many other ways I could say the same thing.

Morals don't exist (would never have evolved) in a non-social species. It's a behavior evolved from the adaptation of social structures into large communities of individuals (societies).

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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28-06-2015, 06:53 AM
Another attack on moral subjectivism
(28-06-2015 05:49 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(27-06-2015 11:07 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  In the context of society today, yes.

Truth simply doesn't work that way. America, for example, is overwhelmingly religious. Moral realism is not only consistent with religious beliefs, it's often a requirement to remain consistent with other religious beliefs. I think it's fair to say that most Americans probably believe it is objectively wrong to commit murder in cold blood. Does this mean that for the case of American society, that it is true that murder in cold blood is objectively wrong? That doesn't make any sense. If that doesn't satisfy you, then how about a society where the majority believes that there is an alien spacecraft behind a comet that is passing by earth to come and pick up their souls. If a society believes that , does it mean that it's true for that society? Not hardly. How about a society who believes that the earth is flat?

We have to remember that every claim about the world (like "slavery is wrong" or "the earth is flat") is either true or false, and if it's not entirely true, then it's false. Whether or not we can know the truth value of certain claims is another debate, but we must acknowledge the fact that every claim is either true or false. There are no truths that are true for once society and false for another.

The claim "slavery is wrong" is not false because slavery is right, it's false because slavery can neither be right nor wrong.

I'm sorry, that isn't "truth", it's opinion.

"We have to remember that every claim about the world (like "slavery is wrong" or "the earth is flat") is either true or false, and if it's not entirely true, then it's false.

Whether or not we can know the truth value of certain claims is another debate, but we must acknowledge the fact that every claim is either true or false. There are no truths that are true for once society and false for another."


Your views and opinions are so general, they aren't correct. For instance, if something isn't "entirely true" then it's false? Hogwash. The theory of gravity (Einstein or Newtons) isn't entirely true, but they aren't false either. Their applicability and level of "truth" are based on, you guessed it, the context of the way in which they are being used (don't work on the quantum level or instance or may produce inaccurate views of black holes, etc).

"The claim "slavery is wrong" is not false because slavery is right, it's false because slavery can neither be right nor wrong."

That's your opinion based on your assumption that morality isn't a behavior and is some sort of synthetic product of humanity where morality is someone telling someone else how they ought to behave.

Slavery in our society today (the U.S.) is seen as wrong, but hasn't always been.

You've got a very black and white way of looking at the world, and the world is much more colorful than that.

I don't understand why people want to look at human behavior differently than they would look at any other animal's behavior in the context of evolution and action.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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28-06-2015, 06:53 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(27-06-2015 12:41 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  
(27-06-2015 11:52 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  DLJ,

When someone makes a claim such as "slavery is wrong", they are implying that because it is wrong, it "ought" not to be done. I don't think I'm going out on a limb with this claim.

I think you really are. And I think that's why this thread is a bit silly as it's founded on that assertion. Some people think so sure, but there are also a great many people who just talk in ways that are more definitive and not exactly clear in the way they actually understand or think of it.

No, I think Matt is right, society and civilizations the world over, believes that when something is said to be immoral, that it ought not to be done. The only people in which this would not be the case for, is for the handful of folks who subscribe to subjective morality, and the moral nihilist position. When the abolitionist, and the black folks behind civil rights movement, declared their wrongness of their treatment, and conditions, these believe where anchored in a sense that it was objectively wrong.

That objective sense, always lays behind pretty much every moral claim that gets passed around from time to time. Those who present morality in a different light, are a fairly small minority.
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28-06-2015, 06:57 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(27-06-2015 03:05 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  We are social animals. Morality can be described as an attribute and behavior unique to the human animal.

Along with immorality right? What can be said about kindness here, can be said about cruelty, what can be said about empathy here can be said about resentment, and hatred, and bigotry, that they all can be described as an attribute and behavior of animals?

I'm also curious as to what you mean by "unique" to human animals here? What is exactly is "unique" to us?
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28-06-2015, 07:06 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(28-06-2015 06:46 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Morals don't exist (would never have evolved) in a non-social species. It's a behavior evolved from the adaptation of social structures into large communities of individuals (societies).

For the sake of clarity, it should be stated that TBD view of behavior, is far broader that what is normally understood by the term.

For TBD, Values, as well as Beliefs = Behavior, as he has stated in some of his older posts. He might not particularly understand how this results in a great deal of equivocation on his part. But he doesn't particularly seem able to draw distinction between these various terms.
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28-06-2015, 07:21 AM
Another attack on moral subjectivism
(28-06-2015 07:06 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(28-06-2015 06:46 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Morals don't exist (would never have evolved) in a non-social species. It's a behavior evolved from the adaptation of social structures into large communities of individuals (societies).

For the sake of clarity, it should be stated that TBD view of behavior, is far broader that what is normally understood by the term.

For TBD, Values, as well as Beliefs = Behavior, as he has stated in some of his older posts. He might not particularly understand how this results in a great deal of equivocation on his part. But he doesn't particularly seem able to draw distinction between these various terms.

"Behavior or behaviour (see spelling differences) is the range of actions and mannerisms made by individuals, organisms, systems, or artificial entities in conjunction with themselves or their environment, which includes the other systems or organisms around as well as the (inanimate) physical environment."

Dishonest prick. Drinking Beverage

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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