Moral Quandary
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20-10-2012, 04:05 PM
RE: Moral Quandary
I can't help but ask... any fanfiction writers posting on here? Big Grin

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20-10-2012, 04:44 PM
RE: Moral Quandary
(20-10-2012 03:40 PM)Vosur Wrote:  
(20-10-2012 03:15 PM)CopperFish Wrote:  I would say that people like that simply have nothing to contribute to a conversation on morality, as they seem to miss the point entirely.
That's an opinion, not an argument. That being said, there are different guidelines that can be used to determine whether or not an action is bad. From what I understand, yours appears to be the well-being of humans. You see, the problem here is that this is not the only guideline that can be used to determine what is morally good and bad.

(20-10-2012 03:15 PM)CopperFish Wrote:  I think that if we could study their brains, we'd be able to find something amiss. Then there are people who would not endorse rape, but on intellectual grounds argue that right and wrong, well-being, positive and negative, etc. are all social constructs and therefore have no real meaning. But so too is health. Health to me doesn't seem to have any real meaning prior to or independent of the people who have defined it. The definition of health (and even more specific things like hypertension) is always changing and will keep changing. There might even be some crazy people who think our definition of illness is just another state or style of health. And of course there are people who don't share or goals of health (anti-vaccinationists) just as there are people who don't share our moral goals. But all of these things don't invalidate healthcare or mean we shouldn't try to continue improving it, or that anything goes when it comes to treating an illness. I see morality in the same way.
Physical health can easily be measured and determined using the knowledge we have gathered in the fields of biology and medicine. It's far from being subjective. Mental health, however, would be a different story.

(20-10-2012 03:15 PM)CopperFish Wrote:  There is going to be controversy in both realms, but that doesn't mean there are not truths to be found in medicine and morality as long as both relate to actual states of human well-being
Morality as tool to determine if an action is good or bad, based on it's impact on human well-being is your view of it.

Sure, there can be different guidelines, but what would be a better guideline to determine right and wrong? I can't think of one that matters more than human well-being. Is there a higher goal that applies more appropriately to morality? If we are to study health and morality scientifically and have it mean something to us and be in tune with our goals in either project, we have to choose something like human-well being. And we have many tools at our disposal to measure human well-being at many levels. There are different guidelines we could have used to determine whether someone is healthy or not, but we chose human well-being. Is there something wrong with that? Does it makes us less able to believe that there are truths to be found in health and illness? Does it make a universal conception of health impossible? Why does there have to be a double standard that rigs the game against a universal understanding of morality?
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20-10-2012, 07:28 PM (This post was last modified: 20-10-2012 07:35 PM by Vosur.)
RE: Moral Quandary
(20-10-2012 04:44 PM)CopperFish Wrote:  Sure, there can be different guidelines, but what would be a better guideline to determine right and wrong? I can't think of one that matters more than human well-being. Is there a higher goal that applies more appropriately to morality?
Irrelevant, because the purpose of this discussion is not to determine the best moral guideline.

(20-10-2012 04:44 PM)CopperFish Wrote:  If we are to study health and morality scientifically and have it mean something to us and be in tune with our goals in either project, we have to choose something like human-well being.
Care to elaborate on what you mean when you talk about conducting scientific studies on morality?

(20-10-2012 04:44 PM)CopperFish Wrote:  And we have many tools at our disposal to measure human well-being at many levels.
I was talking about physical health. If you are talking about mental health, we are talking about different subjects. Indeed, mental well-being can be measured in a lot more ways and is much harder to determine.

(20-10-2012 04:44 PM)CopperFish Wrote:  There are different guidelines we could have used to determine whether someone is healthy or not, but we chose human well-being. Is there something wrong with that? Does it makes us less able to believe that there are truths to be found in health and illness? Does it make a universal conception of health impossible?
Can you name me one alternative to the current way of determining whether or not a human is healthy that is based on scientific research?

(20-10-2012 04:44 PM)CopperFish Wrote:  Why does there have to be a double standard that rigs the game against a universal understanding of morality?
Sorry to say, but there is no double standard. Physical health and morality have absolutely nothing to do with each other. One is supported by scientific research, the other is based on opinion. And again, if you are talking about mental health, we are talking about two entirely different things. You need to demonstrate why you believe that morality is objective.

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20-10-2012, 08:41 PM
RE: Moral Quandary
I had to reply without reading the other responses so as not to be influenced before thinking it out myself.

My first response is "Eww....." then "ohhh...." followed by "hmmm..."

I'd say that what they did was socially/culturally unacceptable.

If it's true that no one was harmed (the story doesn't say whether they are in committed relationships with other people), and they are both adults (safe to assume, given the context), and it was consensual (seems to be), I would not label it as morally wrong...

Definitely a big "yuck factor" for me, though....

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20-10-2012, 11:52 PM (This post was last modified: 20-10-2012 11:59 PM by CopperFish.)
RE: Moral Quandary
(20-10-2012 07:28 PM)Vosur Wrote:  
(20-10-2012 04:44 PM)CopperFish Wrote:  Sure, there can be different guidelines, but what would be a better guideline to determine right and wrong? I can't think of one that matters more than human well-being. Is there a higher goal that applies more appropriately to morality?
Irrelevant, because the purpose of this discussion is not to determine the best moral guideline.

(20-10-2012 04:44 PM)CopperFish Wrote:  If we are to study health and morality scientifically and have it mean something to us and be in tune with our goals in either project, we have to choose something like human-well being.
Care to elaborate on what you mean when you talk about conducting scientific studies on morality?

(20-10-2012 04:44 PM)CopperFish Wrote:  And we have many tools at our disposal to measure human well-being at many levels.
I was talking about physical health. If you are talking about mental health, we are talking about different subjects. Indeed, mental well-being can be measured in a lot more ways and is much harder to determine.

(20-10-2012 04:44 PM)CopperFish Wrote:  There are different guidelines we could have used to determine whether someone is healthy or not, but we chose human well-being. Is there something wrong with that? Does it makes us less able to believe that there are truths to be found in health and illness? Does it make a universal conception of health impossible?
Can you name me one alternative to the current way of determining whether or not a human is healthy that is based on scientific research?

(20-10-2012 04:44 PM)CopperFish Wrote:  Why does there have to be a double standard that rigs the game against a universal understanding of morality?
Sorry to say, but there is no double standard. Physical health and morality have absolutely nothing to do with each other. One is supported by scientific research, the other is based on opinion. And again, if you are talking about mental health, we are talking about two entirely different things. You need to demonstrate why you believe that morality is objective.

Wow. Perhaps I am not an effective communicator. The answers to everything here should be in what I've already said. Making a science of health is what saved healthcare. I'm sure you can imagine what is was like when treating ailments was not based on objective facts about the body's condition. The guidelines used to be superstitious garbage. Fortunately human actions, just like diseases, have actual effects on other people that could cause physical harm, emotional harm or psychological harm and all of these produce changes in the body and the brain that we can in practice or at least in principle describe and understand scientifically. There's how you could make a science out of right and wrong. Clearly there is more to discover about the brain and biology, but just because we don't know everything now does not mean we won't know more in the future. Just because we can't answer everything now doesn't mean there are not answers to be discovered. An example of how science can guide moral behavior might be something like a study of children raised in violent settings. Perhaps such a study could show on a behavioral and neurological level that these children are more likely to lack empathy and grow up to have less fulfilling lives, which we might also measure in different ways. Maybe this study has been done. I don't know. I'm just throwing an example out there. Using that as a starting point, I'm sure we could come up with many more examples.

Allow me to help you understand how health isn't simple to define. A small scale example would be blood pressure. There was a time when no one knew anything about blood pressure, so it didn't factor into our definition of health. Now it does and the ranges of blood pressure considered "healthy" have changed and will probably change again. A bigger example would be life expectancy healthy people used to live into their 50s, now a healthy person in the Western world is expected to live into their 80s. Just as another perspective, in terms of evolution, a whole lot of post-reproductive longevity doesn't seem to serve much purpose in terms of the success of the species. So how long should a healthy person really live? It's somewhat subjective isn't it? How much plaque in our arteries at a given age is healthy? If we live into out 80s, does it matter? Or should we be living into out 90s without any cardiac events? Again, very subjective. When is someone healthy enough to not require antibiotic prophylaxis before a procedure? Another controversial question. Some people might consider themselves to be healthy as long as none of their medical problems, known to them or not, do not interfere with their daily life. Some doctors might say that if you can't run a marathon in your 40s, you are not healthy. Others will disagree. Should the natural effects of old age be considered unhealthy? Some say yes, some say no. I could go on forever. And then there could always be a crazy person whose definition of health requires long periods of fasting, scarification, etc. Hopefully you can see what I mean. But controversy in what we mean by health does not mean we have to throw in the towel and say, "Forget it, this shit is too subjective to bother with. Anyone's guess is as good as anyone else's."

Likewise, right and wrong won't always be easy to define, but as long as there are facts to be known about human suffering or human well-being at any level of analysis, then we must admit that there are right and wrong answers to questions of moral weight. And if you think morality somehow has nothing to do with human well-being or suffering, then all bets are off and you are just like the person who thinks health is equivalent to whatever we want it to mean, including protracted diarrhea.

And if the definition of health does not seem controversial enough, pick something else like nutrition. Recommendations for nutrition are always changing and there's plenty of disagreement, but again it has something to do with physical states of the body and therefore there are facts to be know and the more we discover, the more we are able to make better recommendations. At no point does the subjectivity mean we have to throw in the towel and say, "fuck it, too hard." Just imagine nutrition or medicine in their infancy. Very little was known. I'm sure it seemed to people that there was no way we'd ever escape relativism, but we did because we ventured to think about it scientifically and now questions that were once impossible have answers or at least better answers.

As long as there are facts to be known about something, you can make a science of it. And I find no reason to think that there are not facts to be known about morality since actions of moral weight have effects on the physical, neurological, emotional, psychological, etc. states of people that can be characterized scientifically.

If this doesn't help you understand, I'm not going to reply again.
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21-10-2012, 04:38 AM (This post was last modified: 21-10-2012 04:41 AM by Vosur.)
RE: Moral Quandary
(20-10-2012 11:52 PM)CopperFish Wrote:  Wow. Perhaps I am not an effective communicator. The answers to everything here should be in what I've already said. Making a science of health is what saved healthcare. I'm sure you can imagine what is was like when treating ailments was not based on objective facts about the body's condition. The guidelines used to be superstitious garbage. Fortunately human actions, just like diseases, have actual effects on other people that could cause physical harm, emotional harm or psychological harm and all of these produce changes in the body and the brain that we can in practice or at least in principle describe and understand scientifically. There's how you could make a science out of right and wrong. Clearly there is more to discover about the brain and biology, but just because we don't know everything now does not mean we won't know more in the future. Just because we can't answer everything now doesn't mean there are not answers to be discovered. An example of how science can guide moral behavior might be something like a study of children raised in violent settings. Perhaps such a study could show on a behavioral and neurological level that these children are more likely to lack empathy and grow up to have less fulfilling lives, which we might also measure in different ways. Maybe this study has been done. I don't know. I'm just throwing an example out there. Using that as a starting point, I'm sure we could come up with many more examples.
Perhaps I should give you an example of a different way to determine morals. Think of, for example, the Golden Rule. "One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself." or "One should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated." Do you notice the difference between the two of them? Using the Golden Rule, one could, for example, call inflicting pain upon others morally good if one is a masochist, because one would like to be treated in the same manner. The Golden Rule is an example of a moral guideline that does not use human well-being as it's determining factor.

(20-10-2012 11:52 PM)CopperFish Wrote:  Allow me to help you understand how health isn't simple to define. A small scale example would be blood pressure. There was a time when no one knew anything about blood pressure, so it didn't factor into our definition of health. Now it does and the ranges of blood pressure considered "healthy" have changed and will probably change again. A bigger example would be life expectancy healthy people used to live into their 50s, now a healthy person in the Western world is expected to live into their 80s. Just as another perspective, in terms of evolution, a whole lot of post-reproductive longevity doesn't seem to serve much purpose in terms of the success of the species. So how long should a healthy person really live? It's somewhat subjective isn't it? How much plaque in our arteries at a given age is healthy? If we live into out 80s, does it matter? Or should we be living into out 90s without any cardiac events? Again, very subjective. When is someone healthy enough to not require antibiotic prophylaxis before a procedure? Another controversial question. Some people might consider themselves to be healthy as long as none of their medical problems, known to them or not, do not interfere with their daily life. Some doctors might say that if you can't run a marathon in your 40s, you are not healthy. Others will disagree. Should the natural effects of old age be considered unhealthy? Some say yes, some say no. I could go on forever. And then there could always be a crazy person whose definition of health requires long periods of fasting, scarification, etc. Hopefully you can see what I mean. But controversy in what we mean by health does not mean we have to throw in the towel and say, "Forget it, this shit is too subjective to bother with. Anyone's guess is as good as anyone else's."
You're overcomplicating it by far. The definiton of the (physical) health is "the state of being free from illness or injury". Plain and simple. Now, as you may or may not know, "health" is a polysemous word, which means that it has different definitions and meanings. To be honest, I don't see why this is important to the discussion.

(20-10-2012 11:52 PM)CopperFish Wrote:  Likewise, right and wrong won't always be easy to define, but as long as there are facts to be known about human suffering or human well-being at any level of analysis, then we must admit that there are right and wrong answers to questions of moral weight. And if you think morality somehow has nothing to do with human well-being or suffering, then all bets are off and you are just like the person who thinks health is equivalent to whatever we want it to mean, including protracted diarrhea.
Again, your entire argument is based on the premise that your way of determining moral values (well-being of humans) is the only valid one. I want you to prove that premise.

(20-10-2012 11:52 PM)CopperFish Wrote:  And if the definition of health does not seem controversial enough, pick something else like nutrition. Recommendations for nutrition are always changing and there's plenty of disagreement, but again it has something to do with physical states of the body and therefore there are facts to be know and the more we discover, the more we are able to make better recommendations. At no point does the subjectivity mean we have to throw in the towel and say, "fuck it, too hard." Just imagine nutrition or medicine in their infancy. Very little was known. I'm sure it seemed to people that there was no way we'd ever escape relativism, but we did because we ventured to think about it scientifically and now questions that were once impossible have answers or at least better answers.
Sorry, but I don't see how this is relevant to the discussion.

(20-10-2012 11:52 PM)CopperFish Wrote:  As long as there are facts to be known about something, you can make a science of it. And I find no reason to think that there are not facts to be known about morality since actions of moral weight have effects on the physical, neurological, emotional, psychological, etc. states of people that can be characterized scientifically.

If this doesn't help you understand, I'm not going to reply again.
You can't seriously expect me to accept that you have made a sound argument when you have not proven the premises that you draw your conclusions from. As far as I see, your argument goes something like this:

P - premise | C - conclusion
P1: Morals of human actions can only be determined by observing their influence on the well-being of other humans.
P2: Actions are morally "bad" if they worsen the well-being of other humans.
P3: Actions are morally "good" if they improve the well-being of other humans.
P4: We can scientifically measure the effects of human actions on the well-being of humans.
C1: Therefore we can determine morally "good" and "bad" based on scientific research.
C2: Therefore morals are not based on and independent from subjective opinions of individuals.
C3: Therefore morals are objective.

Feel free to correct me if you think that I misrepresented your argument. You have proven P4, I'll give you that, but have yet to show how P1-3 are valid. Without them, your argument doesn't work.

That being said, I do understand your point perfectly, the problem is that you haven't shown it to be valid yet.

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21-10-2012, 08:19 PM
RE: Moral Quandary
Consider

Shouldn't the answer be "It's none of your goddamn business what two consenting adults do with each other?"

Why would it be 'morally' wrong? Whose morals is it violating? If you have gone against some morals, you have to have someone to tell you what those morals are. Whether that is you, or a dictator, or a societal consensus. If it's not violating their 'morals', and they were keeping it to themselves, then nobody need be offended by their actions. Sure it's a hypothetical situation, but I would honestly be more surprised if this hadn't actually happened before.

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21-10-2012, 08:31 PM
RE: Moral Quandary
(21-10-2012 08:19 PM)Near Wrote:  Consider

Shouldn't the answer be "It's none of your goddamn business what two consenting adults do with each other?"

Why would it be 'morally' wrong? Whose morals is it violating? If you have gone against some morals, you have to have someone to tell you what those morals are. Whether that is you, or a dictator, or a societal consensus. If it's not violating their 'morals', and they were keeping it to themselves, then nobody need be offended by their actions. Sure it's a hypothetical situation, but I would honestly be more surprised if this hadn't actually happened before.

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28-10-2012, 03:24 PM
RE: Moral Quandary
(21-10-2012 04:38 AM)Vosur Wrote:  
(20-10-2012 11:52 PM)CopperFish Wrote:  Wow. Perhaps I am not an effective communicator. The answers to everything here should be in what I've already said. Making a science of health is what saved healthcare. I'm sure you can imagine what is was like when treating ailments was not based on objective facts about the body's condition. The guidelines used to be superstitious garbage. Fortunately human actions, just like diseases, have actual effects on other people that could cause physical harm, emotional harm or psychological harm and all of these produce changes in the body and the brain that we can in practice or at least in principle describe and understand scientifically. There's how you could make a science out of right and wrong. Clearly there is more to discover about the brain and biology, but just because we don't know everything now does not mean we won't know more in the future. Just because we can't answer everything now doesn't mean there are not answers to be discovered. An example of how science can guide moral behavior might be something like a study of children raised in violent settings. Perhaps such a study could show on a behavioral and neurological level that these children are more likely to lack empathy and grow up to have less fulfilling lives, which we might also measure in different ways. Maybe this study has been done. I don't know. I'm just throwing an example out there. Using that as a starting point, I'm sure we could come up with many more examples.
Perhaps I should give you an example of a different way to determine morals. Think of, for example, the Golden Rule. "One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself." or "One should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated." Do you notice the difference between the two of them? Using the Golden Rule, one could, for example, call inflicting pain upon others morally good if one is a masochist, because one would like to be treated in the same manner. The Golden Rule is an example of a moral guideline that does not use human well-being as it's determining factor.

(20-10-2012 11:52 PM)CopperFish Wrote:  Allow me to help you understand how health isn't simple to define. A small scale example would be blood pressure. There was a time when no one knew anything about blood pressure, so it didn't factor into our definition of health. Now it does and the ranges of blood pressure considered "healthy" have changed and will probably change again. A bigger example would be life expectancy healthy people used to live into their 50s, now a healthy person in the Western world is expected to live into their 80s. Just as another perspective, in terms of evolution, a whole lot of post-reproductive longevity doesn't seem to serve much purpose in terms of the success of the species. So how long should a healthy person really live? It's somewhat subjective isn't it? How much plaque in our arteries at a given age is healthy? If we live into out 80s, does it matter? Or should we be living into out 90s without any cardiac events? Again, very subjective. When is someone healthy enough to not require antibiotic prophylaxis before a procedure? Another controversial question. Some people might consider themselves to be healthy as long as none of their medical problems, known to them or not, do not interfere with their daily life. Some doctors might say that if you can't run a marathon in your 40s, you are not healthy. Others will disagree. Should the natural effects of old age be considered unhealthy? Some say yes, some say no. I could go on forever. And then there could always be a crazy person whose definition of health requires long periods of fasting, scarification, etc. Hopefully you can see what I mean. But controversy in what we mean by health does not mean we have to throw in the towel and say, "Forget it, this shit is too subjective to bother with. Anyone's guess is as good as anyone else's."
You're overcomplicating it by far. The definiton of the (physical) health is "the state of being free from illness or injury". Plain and simple. Now, as you may or may not know, "health" is a polysemous word, which means that it has different definitions and meanings. To be honest, I don't see why this is important to the discussion.

(20-10-2012 11:52 PM)CopperFish Wrote:  Likewise, right and wrong won't always be easy to define, but as long as there are facts to be known about human suffering or human well-being at any level of analysis, then we must admit that there are right and wrong answers to questions of moral weight. And if you think morality somehow has nothing to do with human well-being or suffering, then all bets are off and you are just like the person who thinks health is equivalent to whatever we want it to mean, including protracted diarrhea.
Again, your entire argument is based on the premise that your way of determining moral values (well-being of humans) is the only valid one. I want you to prove that premise.

(20-10-2012 11:52 PM)CopperFish Wrote:  And if the definition of health does not seem controversial enough, pick something else like nutrition. Recommendations for nutrition are always changing and there's plenty of disagreement, but again it has something to do with physical states of the body and therefore there are facts to be know and the more we discover, the more we are able to make better recommendations. At no point does the subjectivity mean we have to throw in the towel and say, "fuck it, too hard." Just imagine nutrition or medicine in their infancy. Very little was known. I'm sure it seemed to people that there was no way we'd ever escape relativism, but we did because we ventured to think about it scientifically and now questions that were once impossible have answers or at least better answers.
Sorry, but I don't see how this is relevant to the discussion.

(20-10-2012 11:52 PM)CopperFish Wrote:  As long as there are facts to be known about something, you can make a science of it. And I find no reason to think that there are not facts to be known about morality since actions of moral weight have effects on the physical, neurological, emotional, psychological, etc. states of people that can be characterized scientifically.

If this doesn't help you understand, I'm not going to reply again.
You can't seriously expect me to accept that you have made a sound argument when you have not proven the premises that you draw your conclusions from. As far as I see, your argument goes something like this:

P - premise | C - conclusion
P1: Morals of human actions can only be determined by observing their influence on the well-being of other humans.
P2: Actions are morally "bad" if they worsen the well-being of other humans.
P3: Actions are morally "good" if they improve the well-being of other humans.
P4: We can scientifically measure the effects of human actions on the well-being of humans.
C1: Therefore we can determine morally "good" and "bad" based on scientific research.
C2: Therefore morals are not based on and independent from subjective opinions of individuals.
C3: Therefore morals are objective.

Feel free to correct me if you think that I misrepresented your argument. You have proven P4, I'll give you that, but have yet to show how P1-3 are valid. Without them, your argument doesn't work.

That being said, I do understand your point perfectly, the problem is that you haven't shown it to be valid yet.

Okay. If we are going to do it this way, let me try to address the premises. I want to stress that falling into the trap of relativism is needlessly standing in the way of making moral progress. There may be different standards that people could use to determine right and wrong, including masochistic ones. But let’s be real, does that really nullify our efforts to make progress? As long as one is capable of noticing that John raping and murdering Sara is not morally equivalent to John treating Sara with kindness, then we know what our goals should be. And those goals are to increase human well-being and decrease human suffering. Perhaps it’s circumstantial evidence, but it’s mountains of it when most people would agree that increasing human well-being is the most valuable goal to us. Even the masochist’s needs are better satisfied in a world that maximizes human well-being. The masochist would only be harming others if he lived in a world of people who did not enjoy being stabbed, for example. How can a masochist get satisfaction taunting someone with a knife who is begging to be stabbed? Wouldn’t the masochist have to be in a world somewhat free of suffering in the form of disease in order to be in good enough physical state to carry out his deeds? Perhaps that’s the best I can do to support those premises in addition to stressing again how relativism is a trap. There can be characters like the masochist with respect to health and nutrition who think disease or consuming poisons is the pinnacle of health and nutrition. Does the existence of these people with their radical viewpoints mean that we can’t study health and nutrition? Certainly not. Does it mean we can’t determine “health” and “non-health” based on scientific reasearch? Does it mean we can’t say health or good nutrition are not based on and independent from subjective opinions of individuals? Does it mean we can’t say that health or nutrition are not objective concepts? You are conditioned to think that there is something different about health and nutrition, but it’s the same as morality. Either we allow them to fall into the trap of relativism or we take them seriously.
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29-10-2012, 09:19 AM (This post was last modified: 29-10-2012 09:22 AM by Vosur.)
RE: Moral Quandary
(28-10-2012 03:24 PM)CopperFish Wrote:  Okay. If we are going to do it this way, let me try to address the premises. I want to stress that falling into the trap of relativism is needlessly standing in the way of making moral progress. There may be different standards that people could use to determine right and wrong, including masochistic ones. But let’s be real, does that really nullify our efforts to make progress?
Of course not.

(28-10-2012 03:24 PM)CopperFish Wrote:  As long as one is capable of noticing that John raping and murdering Sara is not morally equivalent to John treating Sara with kindness, then we know what our goals should be. And those goals are to increase human well-being and decrease human suffering. Perhaps it’s circumstantial evidence, but it’s mountains of it when most people would agree that increasing human well-being is the most valuable goal to us.
How did you determine that most people agree with you? Consider

(28-10-2012 03:24 PM)CopperFish Wrote:  Even the masochist’s needs are better satisfied in a world that maximizes human well-being. The masochist would only be harming others if he lived in a world of people who did not enjoy being stabbed, for example. How can a masochist get satisfaction taunting someone with a knife who is begging to be stabbed? Wouldn’t the masochist have to be in a world somewhat free of suffering in the form of disease in order to be in good enough physical state to carry out his deeds? Perhaps that’s the best I can do to support those premises in addition to stressing again how relativism is a trap.
The masochist scenario was merely an example to show that the Golden Rule enables an action to be called both moral and immoral depending on the individual.

(28-10-2012 03:24 PM)CopperFish Wrote:  There can be characters like the masochist with respect to health and nutrition who think disease or consuming poisons is the pinnacle of health and nutrition. Does the existence of these people with their radical viewpoints mean that we can’t study health and nutrition? Certainly not. Does it mean we can’t determine “health” and “non-health” based on scientific reasearch? Does it mean we can’t say health or good nutrition are not based on and independent from subjective opinions of individuals? Does it mean we can’t say that health or nutrition are not objective concepts? You are conditioned to think that there is something different about health and nutrition, but it’s the same as morality. Either we allow them to fall into the trap of relativism or we take them seriously.
You're still wrong about that. Physical health and morality have nothing in common. One can be studied by science (observation, experimentation, etc.), the other one cannot. One is objective and clearly defined (previous post), the other one is subjective and vaguely defined. I have given you an alternative to your moral guidelines, rendering your first premise invalid. The fact that there are several different ones should give you a clue as to why morality is not and cannot be objective.

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