For those atheists that believe in objective morality, can you prove it?
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12-03-2014, 04:20 AM
RE: For those atheists that believe in objective morality, can you prove it?
(12-03-2014 04:19 AM)Stevil Wrote:  
(12-03-2014 04:14 AM)donotwant Wrote:  Stevil is health subjective?
It can be sometimes.
e.g. a healthy person can be considered overweight by some or too skinny by some.

But there are certainly some objective measurements that can be made.
e.g. a high temperature can be a clear indicator of lack of health.

Good now can morality have some objective measurements?
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12-03-2014, 05:00 AM
RE: For those atheists that believe in objective morality, can you prove it?
I've skimmed through this thread but haven't properly read it. The impression I get though is that the confusion occurs because we have not defined what objective and subjective actually mean, but also specifically the context in which the word is to be used. As usual it comes down to using the words out of scope of the context in which they have any meaning.

For example is health subjective? Yes and no. You can objectively measure health but whether you consider yourself healthy is subjective.

Is morality subjective or objective? The question does not make sense.

Using google:

Objective: (of a person or their judgement) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.
Subjective: based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.
Morality: principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behaviour.
Good: to be desired or approved of.
Bad (2): not such as to be hoped for or desired; unpleasant or unwelcome

Morality is by definition subjective but we can apply objective methods for determining what is consistent with our morality. But it gets more complicated than that when we ask why we have the feelings and emotions telling us what is good and bad. Because we have evolved them. The problem is that this is now out of scope of the original question. You can no longer apply the words 'subjective' or 'objective' to the process that gave us personal feelings, tastes and opinions.
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12-03-2014, 05:06 AM
RE: For those atheists that believe in objective morality, can you prove it?
(12-03-2014 05:00 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  I've skimmed through this thread but haven't properly read it. The impression I get though is that the confusion occurs because we have not defined what objective and subjective actually mean, but also specifically the context in which the word is to be used. As usual it comes down to using the words out of scope of the context in which they have any meaning.

For example is health subjective? Yes and no. You can objectively measure health but whether you consider yourself healthy is subjective.

Is morality subjective or objective? The question does not make sense.

Using google:

Objective: (of a person or their judgement) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.
Subjective: based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.
Morality: principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behaviour.
Good: to be desired or approved of.
Bad (2): not such as to be hoped for or desired; unpleasant or unwelcome

Morality is by definition subjective but we can apply objective methods for determining what is consistent with our morality. But it gets more complicated than that when we ask why we have the feelings and emotions telling us what is good and bad. Because we have evolved them. The problem is that this is now out of scope of the original question. You can no longer apply the words 'subjective' or 'objective' to the process that gave us personal feelings, tastes and opinions.

Let's take cancer. Cancer exists. It's painful. In later stages it causes death. These are objective facts. The pain cancer causes is objective(depending on the body).
Now is cancer healthy? Is it just a matter of opinion?

Now let's take burning people alive.
Fire exists. It causes pain and burns to the body. Destroys skin for the rest of the persons life. If applied too much causes death.
Now is it moral to burn people alive? Is it just a matter of opinion?

Because pain is objective. It's a fact. Death is a fact. Skin burns is a fact.
Now putting a person under influence of these facts is just a matter of opinion? Or is there something objectively wrong with it to?

Well being is to a degree objective and there is clear difference between watching a movie with someone and having good time or setting them on fire.
I don't think it's just a matter of personal taste.
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12-03-2014, 05:25 AM
RE: For those atheists that believe in objective morality, can you prove it?
(12-03-2014 05:06 AM)donotwant Wrote:  Let's take cancer. Cancer exists. It's painful. In later stages it causes death. These are objective facts. The pain cancer causes is objective(depending on the body).
Now is cancer healthy? Is it just a matter of opinion?

Let's take being slightly overweight. Fat exists and it can be uncomfortable. In extreme cases it causes death. These are objective facts.

But notice that I specified slightly overweight? Someone can subjectively decide having a BMI of 25 is healthy enough for them as opposed to 24.9 which is still in the normal range. Or maybe they decide that a BMI of 24 is OK for them rather than try to get down to 21.7 which is right in the middle of the normal range.

This is subjective. At what point does it change from being subjective to objective?

The fact that it does change from being subjective to objective suggests that it's not a black and white answer to the question.

Now let's return to the idea of cancer. There are many different types of cancer, some are benign and some are malignant. No cancer is healthy, but very very few of us are optimally healthy. So maybe you have a benign skin cancer. Nowadays we would consider this to be unhealthy, but not life-threatening. Just a few generations back if this is all you had the later stages of life then you'd be considered healthy. Someone in an AIDs ridden third world country may consider themselves relatively healthy if all they have is a benign lump somewhere.

Again, what is objective and subjective is context dependent. The context here being age, living standards and available technology because we are all relatively unhealthy.


(12-03-2014 05:06 AM)donotwant Wrote:  Now let's take burning people alive.
Fire exists. It causes pain and burns to the body. Destroys skin for the rest of the persons life. If applied too much causes death.
Now is it moral to burn people alive? Is it just a matter of opinion?

Or cauterising skin, maybe say on the battlefield. Again, context dependent.

Does it make sense to apply the terms 'subjective' and 'objective' regardless of the context? No.
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12-03-2014, 05:38 AM
RE: For those atheists that believe in objective morality, can you prove it?
For 100 time I am not talking about applying same rule for all situations. I mean that in specific situation X some actions are objectively better than others.
And I did not mean that there is one action which is moral and everything else is not. There might be many actions which are moral and many which are immoral. For instance watching tv with someone and playing chess with them are both pretty moral. But setting a guy on fire after a game of chess is immoral.

And just because something was considered healthy 100 years ago and unhealthy now doesn't mean it was healthy back then. It was always unhealthy. There are truths about health and we are looking for them. Just because we didn't discover all of em doesn't mean they don't exist.
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12-03-2014, 05:38 AM (This post was last modified: 12-03-2014 07:32 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: For those atheists that believe in objective morality, can you prove it?
(12-03-2014 04:17 AM)donotwant Wrote:  
(12-03-2014 04:14 AM)DLJ Wrote:  I do. I think you're being a semantical-relativist.



Fixt!

Dude you just don't get it.
Imagine chess board with a position. In this position there is a number of best moves for winning the game.
Now let's imagine another position on a chess board.
Guess what another set of moves are the best moves.
Relativist would say that all moves are equally valid which is not true.
But I never implied that one action should be taken for every situation.

Wrong again bob... Facepalm

Both sides have agreed to the rules, what the board and pieces are and how they interact. Nominally the goal of the game is to capture the other player's King.

Now you say that to this end, there are an set of moves that can be made towards furthering the goal of your side winning (by eliminating the other player's King) and that these moves can be objectively judged. I agree with this. However this does not make the game of Chess objective.

If your goal is to win the game, that is only one of many possible criteria that you might base your next move on. But what if your goal is to lose? Now your evaluation changes. The evaluation can still be objective, but your goal is subjective. What if your goal is only to pass the time and so you play with the goal of holding out as long as you can? What if your goal is to amuse yourself or your opponent? What if your goal is simply to anger your opponent?

In this case a relativist would not say that 'all moves are equally valid', because depending on your end goal, they clearly are not. However it can be argued that all the possible reasons for playing chess are relative, and the rules are relative, and the pieces are relative. You can buy a premade chess board or make one out of drawing a grid on paper. You can use chess pieces or take checkers and write initials on them to delineate what piece they represent. You can allow house rules, like the ability to castle or not moving a pawn two spaces forward on it's first move. These are all relative and subjective, and thus to call the game of chess ultimately objective is an inaccurate analogy.

Once both sides have already agreed to a set of rules and standards (e.g. moral standards and ethics), and they have a goal in mind (e.g. limiting suffering and harm); then you can attempt to make objective decisions (e.g. debating the death penalty). But the rules, goals, and desires are still subjective.

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12-03-2014, 05:39 AM
RE: For those atheists that believe in objective morality, can you prove it?
Evolution is health subjective?
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12-03-2014, 05:52 AM
RE: For those atheists that believe in objective morality, can you prove it?
(12-03-2014 05:39 AM)donotwant Wrote:  Evolution is health subjective?

How about you define exactly what you mean by 'health' so that you don't have to 'clarify' your position after the fact again.

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12-03-2014, 05:52 AM
RE: For those atheists that believe in objective morality, can you prove it?
What do you mean by health?
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12-03-2014, 05:56 AM
RE: For those atheists that believe in objective morality, can you prove it?
(12-03-2014 05:52 AM)donotwant Wrote:  What do you mean by health?

Considering you're the one intent on moving the subject around, I'm not going to spell out an argument one way or the other only for you to go and say 'well, that's not what I mean by health'.

You asked me the question, I want clarification before I formulate a response.

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