For those atheists that believe in objective morality, can you prove it?
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12-03-2014, 03:13 AM
RE: For those atheists that believe in objective morality, can you prove it?
(12-03-2014 02:43 AM)BryanS Wrote:  
(12-03-2014 01:00 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Not really, as doing so would require absolute knowledge of all factors involved, how they interact, and knowledge of all possible outcomes. Objectivity is something to strive for, but not currently achievable.
In claiming it is not possible to evaluate one hing relative to another without knowing the absolute value of one of them, you are denying inductive reasoning is sound. You will surprise mathematicians and logicians around the world if you can actually back this claim up.

We can do our best to evaluate the hiring based on the best available evidence you have at that time, but you cannot possibly know everything that could possibly influence your decision. Because you don't know their personal history in exacting detail, you are not aware of all of their personal biases and exactly how the neuro-chemistry in their brain operates. You cannot know exactly how that person will act in any given emergency situation, so it is impossible to make a purely objective decision. You also cannot, no matter how much you try, divorce yourself of all of your own quirks, opinions, biases, and beliefs. You can never be perfectly impartial, because you don't have access to all possible knowledge nor can you divorce yourself of your own biology.

What we can do is try for the most objective decision given what limited knowledge we do have; and it's the best you, I, or anyone else can do.


(12-03-2014 02:43 AM)BryanS Wrote:  
(12-03-2014 01:00 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Moral relativism may be any of several philosophical positions concerned with the differences in moral judgments across different people and cultures. Descriptive moral relativism holds only that some people do in fact disagree about what is moral; meta-ethical moral relativism holds that in such disagreements, nobody is objectively right or wrong; and normative moral relativism holds that because nobody is right or wrong, we ought to tolerate the behavior of others even when we disagree about the morality of it. -Wikipedia

How does your example apply to moral relativism? Generalize much?
So you can quote from wiki. Great. Your response indicates you think you've made some poignant argument, but there's no there there. You didn't read or pay attention to the first sentence in the definition of moral relativism you quoted, describing each school of thought on moral relativism as concerning "the differences in moral judgments across different people and cultures". The cultural context would be compared to the currency in my analogy. Lets also not get lost in the weeds analyzing how perfect this analogy is. My point was to give an example of being able to objectively measure the relative value of something using a standard that is not absolute.

Then just say "My point was to give an example of being able to objectively measure the relative value of something using a standard that is not absolute" in the first fucking place. I agree with that, my only gripe being that you can't call the system as a whole objective morality when it's built atop a subjectively selected standard. We can try to make the measurement as objective as we can given the available information, and the answer should exists in principle if not in practice; but it's still built upon a subjective valuation.


(12-03-2014 02:43 AM)BryanS Wrote:  
(12-03-2014 01:00 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  If you value a well-being based morality, why is that? Is it because it was handed down to you from on high from a god? Was it reveled to you as one of the great secrets of the universe during a really good acid trip? Probably not. You most likely value it because it makes a lot of sense and you have a health sense of empathy; but your valuation of 'well-being' is dependent on your reasoning and empathy. A psychopath, one who by definition lacks empathy, would not share your valuation of well-being as the gauge of moral behavior. Animals who lack the higher cognitive functions to entertain these concepts, do not operate by them because these ideas exist outside their knowledge. This is probably why so many psychopaths and serial killers have no empathy and do not see themselves as immoral. Likewise this is why the lion is not immoral when it hunts, mauls, kills, and start to eat a gazelle. Neither you nor they can appeal to a higher 'objective' morality to support that your morality is any more correct then the others. Both moral codes are subjective, and relative to each other. You and I may value our well-being based morality, but it has no value to the lion, nor to the religious zealot who's moral compass is built around what they think their god demands of them.

There is nothing that gives 'well-being' more objective value other than our own subjective desires. Our well-being is important to us, and other's well-being is as well because of our empathy (which doesn't apply to psychopaths). In a universe filled with nothing but rocks, the 'well-being' of any sentient life would be irrelevant; it would have no meaning. Thus, morality is not objective. At best you can try to objectively evaluate the choices we make within the moral frameworks we build upon our subjective desires; at base, it's still subjective and determined by us.

I didn't say I valued a "well-being" based morality. I am not prepared to accept Sam Harris's hypothesis. And by the way, what point are you actually trying to argue here? I'm getting lost in your colorful word salad here. You claim upthread you agree with Harris and then make an argument that seems intended to shoot his ideas down.

If you pay close attention to what I wrote, I also did not say I was embracing objective morality. Harris brings an interesting idea to the debate that from an assumed hypothesis and induction we can objectively determine morality. I think he is right on the induction part of his argument--that we can objectively weigh one moral choice against another to determine which choice is more moral. However his particular framework has potentially serious flaws, so I can't just embrace his ideas whole cloth.

Agreed. I too like Harris' idea, if not necessarily it's implementation. We can strive for objectivity, and the answer exists in principle even if not in practice. My point has simply been that it's a misnomer to label a system as 'objective morality' when it's built upon a subjective base. We may have an objective means of comparison, but we still subjectively choose our grading criteria; whether that be the will of a god, the well-being of sentient beings, or any other means you'd like to posit for determining morality.

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12-03-2014, 03:14 AM
RE: For those atheists that believe in objective morality, can you prove it?
Evolution answer the question about bullying stop being a coward.
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12-03-2014, 03:18 AM
RE: For those atheists that believe in objective morality, can you prove it?
(12-03-2014 02:29 AM)donotwant Wrote:  Evolution is bullying wrong?

Depends on context.

Based on my own value of well-being and my empathy, as a general rule it is wrong; but I can imagine contexts where that is not the case.

A school kid bullying another to extort lunch money that the bully does not need? That's wrong, because he's harming another without sufficient justification.

Now how about the United States bullying the Russians into removing the nuclear missiles from Cuba? If it helped avert a nuclear war, then there was sufficient justification for it; untold lives were saved by Kennedy getting Khrushchev to back down with the threat of force instead of the use of actual force.

(12-03-2014 03:14 AM)donotwant Wrote:  Evolution answer the question about bullying stop being a coward.

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12-03-2014, 03:19 AM
RE: For those atheists that believe in objective morality, can you prove it?
I mean the bullying in schools.
Now that the bullying is wrong is there some truth in that conclusion or is it just your opinion?
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12-03-2014, 03:22 AM
RE: For those atheists that believe in objective morality, can you prove it?
(12-03-2014 03:19 AM)donotwant Wrote:  I mean the bullying in schools.

Read it again dumbass... Dodgy

(12-03-2014 03:18 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Depends on context.

Based on my own value of well-being and my empathy, as a general rule it is wrong; but I can imagine contexts where that is not the case.

A school kid bullying another to extort lunch money that the bully does not need? That's wrong, because he's harming another without sufficient justification.

(12-03-2014 03:19 AM)donotwant Wrote:  Now that the bullying is wrong is there some truth in that conclusion or is it just your opinion?

Read it again dumbass... Dodgy

(12-03-2014 03:18 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Depends on context.

Based on my own value of well-being and my empathy, as a general rule it is wrong; but I can imagine contexts where that is not the case.

A school kid bullying another to extort lunch money that the bully does not need? That's wrong, because he's harming another without sufficient justification.

It's my own subjective valuation.

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12-03-2014, 03:23 AM
RE: For those atheists that believe in objective morality, can you prove it?
(12-03-2014 03:22 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(12-03-2014 03:19 AM)donotwant Wrote:  I mean the bullying in schools.

Read it again dumbass... Dodgy

(12-03-2014 03:18 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Depends on context.

Based on my own value of well-being and my empathy, as a general rule it is wrong; but I can imagine contexts where that is not the case.

A school kid bullying another to extort lunch money that the bully does not need? That's wrong, because he's harming another without sufficient justification.

I was clarifying my statement so that you wouldn't bring up the nuke examples. Now is it just your opinion that bullying is wrong or is there some amount of truth in it?
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12-03-2014, 03:28 AM
RE: For those atheists that believe in objective morality, can you prove it?
(12-03-2014 03:23 AM)donotwant Wrote:  
(12-03-2014 03:22 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Read it again dumbass... Dodgy

I was clarifying my statement so that you wouldn't bring up the nuke examples. Now is it just your opinion that bullying is wrong or is there some amount of truth in it?

You're clarifying your point after the fact because you don't like how I used it; this is known as 'moving the goal post'... Dodgy

It is my opinion, one that I can and will back up with reasons and evidence. But it's certainly not an objective truth of the universe by any means.

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12-03-2014, 03:29 AM
RE: For those atheists that believe in objective morality, can you prove it?
(12-03-2014 03:28 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(12-03-2014 03:23 AM)donotwant Wrote:  I was clarifying my statement so that you wouldn't bring up the nuke examples. Now is it just your opinion that bullying is wrong or is there some amount of truth in it?

You're clarify your point after the fact because you don't like how I used it; this is known as 'moving the goal post'... Dodgy

It is my opinion, one that I can and will back up with reasons and evidence. But it's certainly not an objective truth of the universe by any means.

If it's not an objective truth and another person says bullying is cool and not wrong which one of you is right?
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12-03-2014, 03:33 AM
RE: For those atheists that believe in objective morality, can you prove it?
(12-03-2014 03:29 AM)donotwant Wrote:  
(12-03-2014 03:28 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  You're clarify your point after the fact because you don't like how I used it; this is known as 'moving the goal post'... Dodgy

It is my opinion, one that I can and will back up with reasons and evidence. But it's certainly not an objective truth of the universe by any means.

If it's not an objective truth and another person says bullying is cool and not wrong which one of you is right?

Congratulations donotwant, you've stumbled upon the core problem of morality and ethics! It's subjective! Facepalm

People have opinions and beliefs and values, and not everyone agrees about everything. That's life, get the fuck over it. All you can do is appeal to evidence and reason, but for those who do not already value these things, what can you do to convince them? Because neither is right in any cosmic all-encompassing objective sense.

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12-03-2014, 03:35 AM
RE: For those atheists that believe in objective morality, can you prove it?
(12-03-2014 03:33 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(12-03-2014 03:29 AM)donotwant Wrote:  If it's not an objective truth and another person says bullying is cool and not wrong which one of you is right?

Congratulations donotwant, you've stumbled upon the core problem of morality and ethics! It's subjective! Facepalm

People have opinions and beliefs and values, and not everyone agrees about everything. That's life, get the fuck over it. All you can do is appeal to evidence and reason, but for those who do not already value these things, what can you do to convince them? Because neither is right in any cosmic all-encompassing objective sense.
That's called moral relativism. Which means there is nothing objectively wrong with torture, murder, slavery and anything else for that matter as long as majority thinks it is so.
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