Is Objective Morality Possible?
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
07-02-2013, 09:28 AM
RE: Is Objective Morality Possible?
I don't see anything wrong with subjective morality. That just means we are thinking about it. That is a good thing. And it also means our morals evolve with us. Change should never be feared.

Evolve
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like TheBeardedDude's post
07-02-2013, 10:01 AM
RE: Is Objective Morality Possible?
Agreeing with what others have said.

Science can tell us that things are here and that reactions work in this way and that if we want to accomplish A we can use method B, C, or D, but not E or F, and don't even try G because it'll blow up in your face.

Science cannot tell us that we want to accomplish A in the first place, unless that's part of a method for something else we want, but it doesn't tell us what we should want in the first place.

Science can tell us something about instincts. For example, humans instinctively view incest and scat-eating as disgusting. But that's not the same thing as a moral statement.

Science can tell us something about outcomes. For example, it can tell us that making our water pipes out of lead can result in widespread heavy metal poisoning. But this is not the same thing as a moral statement.

Bottom line, we need to, WITHOUT science, come up with a set of non-contradictory axioms that all can agree from, which can then form the fractal seed from which science can be used to reveal a larger moral system.

This. Is. Hard. Or. Impossible.

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Reltzik's post
07-02-2013, 10:07 AM
RE: Is Objective Morality Possible?
(07-02-2013 10:01 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  Bottom line, we need to, WITHOUT science, come up with a set of non-contradictory axioms that all can agree from, which can then form the fractal seed from which science can be used to reveal a larger moral system.
Why do you think that we need to do that?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
07-02-2013, 10:34 AM
RE: Is Objective Morality Possible?
Hey, Reltzik.

I feel ya.

And yeah. Impossible. To paraphrase Quinn, "Anyone waiting for all humans to agree on something is going to be waiting a long time."

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
07-02-2013, 11:30 AM
RE: Is Objective Morality Possible?
(07-02-2013 10:07 AM)Vosur Wrote:  
(07-02-2013 10:01 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  Bottom line, we need to, WITHOUT science, come up with a set of non-contradictory axioms that all can agree from, which can then form the fractal seed from which science can be used to reveal a larger moral system.
Why do you think that we need to do that?
To clarify, IF we wish to formulate an objective morality as described by the OP, THEN we would need to do that. Thanks for clarifying my own point.

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
07-02-2013, 12:05 PM
RE: Is Objective Morality Possible?
The term "morality" is itself subjective; invented and defined by humans. A common definition is something along the lines of "rules for right conduct". Well, what is "right conduct"? The dictionary definitions of morality don't define "right conduct", but assume we have some idea of what that means.

And we do. I would guess that at least most people's view of "right conduct" includes some basic level of "do no harm" to others. But even that is subjective, brought about by evolution and the need for survival of our species. (And I fully realize it gets far more complicated because there are arguably moral actions where some harm is necessary to bring a greater good, but that's another discussion...)

The truth is morality is culturally defined. Not every culture has exactly the same moral standards. There are even some cultures that most others would consider "morally bad" and whose "morals" are almost opposite to what most of us consider as "moral".

Theists, of course, try to push the subjective morality concept as some sort of proof that a god is necessary. But what they fail to recognize is that "God's" morality definitions are no less subjective than anyone else's. They are "his" ideas of right and wrong and the only possible "objective standard" for them are, of course, him... so much for objective... So when theists try to claim the high road asking how atheists can know right from wrong, the answer is the same as theists do - by referring to our socially and culturally defined set of morals as well as our internal, evolutionarily-developed sense of "rightness". Their social/cultural context simply includes "God" whereas that's not true for atheists.

So no, I do not believe morality can be objective. We are but a miniscule existence within the universe where nothing is always "right" or always "wrong". We simply exist with everything else in the universe and "morality" is a human invention which, as such, is also defined by humans. But morality does have meaning to us and I think the "do no harm" basis is an important one both for survival of our species and for getting along with one another in a world where cooperation is far more productive and effective than everyone constantly competing.

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
07-02-2013, 12:19 PM
RE: Is Objective Morality Possible?
(07-02-2013 06:59 AM)Vosur Wrote:  No.
You can certainly use objective tools to find out whether an action is morally good or bad, but the parameters that you have to set up before doing so remain a subjective choice. One person may choose human suffering/human happiness as a parameter for determining morality, another person may choose his own well-being as a parameter and a third person may choose a religious scripture as his parameter. In the end, it all comes down to personal preference.

I agree wholly with Vosur. I'd also submit that the subjectivity that one uses to select their personal preferential directive for morality (among other things) derives usually from their current social environment.

Talent hits the target no one else can hit, while genius hits the target no one knew existed.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
07-02-2013, 04:39 PM
RE: Is Objective Morality Possible?
I think another possible way to measure morality might be through people who have suffered psychological trauma, but then again not all immoral things result in trauma.

Member of the Cult of Reason

The atheist is a man who destroys the imaginary things which afflict the human race, and so leads men back to nature, to experience and to reason.
-Baron d'Holbach-
Bitcion:1DNeQMswMdvx4xLPP6qNE7RkeTwXGC7Bzp
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
07-02-2013, 09:54 PM
RE: Is Objective Morality Possible?
(07-02-2013 04:39 PM)fstratzero Wrote:  I think another possible way to measure morality might be through people who have suffered psychological trauma, but then again not all immoral things result in trauma.
Nor is all trauma necessarily the result of immoral things. Consider, for example, the trauma of a child who sees Mommy get struck by lightning.

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
07-02-2013, 10:03 PM
RE: Is Objective Morality Possible?
Yes, there is an objective morality. But to understand it, you have to have a precise understanding of what "objective" does and does not mean. I recommend reading Atlas Shrugged and the nonfiction books of Ayn Rand. In short, I recommend research into Objectivism.

As a lead into the basis of an objective morality, I recommend this post: Values are Relational But Not Subjective

Blog: Objectivism for Intellectuals

My Introduction to Objectivism Playlist on YouTube Thumbsup

The Is/Ought Gap has been bridged: Read Viable Values by Dr. Tara Smith.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: