Moral absolutes
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22-03-2016, 05:11 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(22-03-2016 05:05 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
(22-03-2016 04:54 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  I agree. In order for objective morality to exist. It would have to be morally good or bad regardless of opinion. I have no idea how to prove something like that exists.

Well, at least you're honest about it. That puts you miles ahead of most of your competition around here.

For the sake of discussion, however, rather than letting it lie there, I will point out that the reason you can't think of a way to prove that it exists is because the concept is not coherent. It is not properly defined in any way that would allow it to be proven.

No one even has any idea what "objective morality" would look like, how it could be distinguished from subjective morality, or what bearing it would have on human moral decisions, if any. It's not actually a coherent, working concept; it's just two impressive-sounding words mashed together. It's a deliberately hazy idea that only works if you don't think about it for more than thirty seconds, like Lovecraft's concept of "Things Man Was Not Meant To Know" or any number of other fictional entities.

This is the same problem that plagues those who would argue for the existence of the soul. Without a coherent definition, any given "argument" is pretty much a non-starter.
I had a friend in high school who was born blind. I gave her a complement on her blue eyes. She asked me what blue looked like. How do you begin to answer that? I think objective morality is like trying to explain to a blind girl what the color blue looks like.
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22-03-2016, 05:16 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(22-03-2016 05:11 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  
(22-03-2016 05:05 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  Well, at least you're honest about it. That puts you miles ahead of most of your competition around here.

For the sake of discussion, however, rather than letting it lie there, I will point out that the reason you can't think of a way to prove that it exists is because the concept is not coherent. It is not properly defined in any way that would allow it to be proven.

No one even has any idea what "objective morality" would look like, how it could be distinguished from subjective morality, or what bearing it would have on human moral decisions, if any. It's not actually a coherent, working concept; it's just two impressive-sounding words mashed together. It's a deliberately hazy idea that only works if you don't think about it for more than thirty seconds, like Lovecraft's concept of "Things Man Was Not Meant To Know" or any number of other fictional entities.

This is the same problem that plagues those who would argue for the existence of the soul. Without a coherent definition, any given "argument" is pretty much a non-starter.
I had a friend in high school who was born blind. I gave her a complement on her blue eyes. She asked me what blue looked like. How do you begin to answer that? I think objective morality is like trying to explain to a blind girl what the color blue looks like.

A good stepping point I've experienced in this area is starting where you can. Since the person can hear, you know, there are ranges of sounds and low tones and High tones. It's a wavelength pattern and color works in the same way through the light spectrum way. Blue is one end, and say we could use associations that we use that aren't universally true perhaps.. like blue is associated with coldness and chill. So it's got a cold quality on the spectrum of color range like a high pitch is a frantic and a deep pitch is controlled. Where red & ranges of others may shape up on the other sides.

Though association basically. But it's based on shared qualities in culture.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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22-03-2016, 05:28 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(22-03-2016 05:11 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  I had a friend in high school who was born blind. I gave her a complement on her blue eyes. She asked me what blue looked like. How do you begin to answer that? I think objective morality is like trying to explain to a blind girl what the color blue looks like.

The problem with this analogy is that the color blue demonstrably exists ("blue" is the label we use for the way the brain processes light of about 470nm in wavelength). Unless your blind friend denies that eyes exist and can process visual input, you can at least establish that blue exists, even if she will never understand what it looks like personally.

In fact, we do things like this all the time. It's rather the whole point of building instruments to measure things. Human eyes cannot perceive ultraviolet light, for example, but we know what it is. We cannot hear dog whistles, but we know they make a sound.

Anything that exists is detectable (I'd explain why this is necessarily true, but I'm fairly sure that people are sick of me linking to the garage dragon thread; you can find it in my post history if you're interested). Whether or not human beings are capable of perceiving an objective moral standard naturally, if it exists, there is necessarily a way to tell.

You just need a coherent definition.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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22-03-2016, 05:28 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(22-03-2016 05:11 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  I had a friend in high school who was born blind. I gave her a complement on her blue eyes. She asked me what blue looked like. How do you begin to answer that? I think objective morality is like trying to explain to a blind girl what the color blue looks like.

Stop right there! This thread is not going to devolve into another "what is blue" fiasco like the "Is belief in the unseen irrational?" thread... besides, color can be measured and explained such that even somebody who doesn't experience it directly can be set up with ways to detect it consistently. There's nothing comparable for objective morality.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
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22-03-2016, 05:32 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(22-03-2016 05:28 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
(22-03-2016 05:11 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  I had a friend in high school who was born blind. I gave her a complement on her blue eyes. She asked me what blue looked like. How do you begin to answer that? I think objective morality is like trying to explain to a blind girl what the color blue looks like.

("blue" is the label we use for the way the brain processes light of about 470nm in wavelength).

But do you know what micron range it is in? Lol....How the heck do you know this stuff?
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22-03-2016, 05:34 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(22-03-2016 05:28 PM)unfogged Wrote:  
(22-03-2016 05:11 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  I had a friend in high school who was born blind. I gave her a complement on her blue eyes. She asked me what blue looked like. How do you begin to answer that? I think objective morality is like trying to explain to a blind girl what the color blue looks like.

Stop right there! This thread is not going to devolve into another "what is blue" fiasco like the "Is belief in the unseen irrational?" thread... besides, color can be measured and explained such that even somebody who doesn't experience it directly can be set up with ways to detect it consistently. There's nothing comparable for objective morality.
I have no idea what you are talking about. Was that a recent thread?
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22-03-2016, 05:43 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(22-03-2016 05:32 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  But do you know what micron range it is in? Lol....How the heck do you know this stuff?

Advanced mathematics and physics courses from a degree in computer engineering. I'm not an expert, and it was admittedly more math than physics, but I know a little more of the high-end stuff and have a head for trivia.

The science behind color is fairly straightforward, though. You can find the various wavelengths of the different colors on Google in about twenty seconds.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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22-03-2016, 05:49 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(22-03-2016 05:43 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
(22-03-2016 05:32 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  But do you know what micron range it is in? Lol....How the heck do you know this stuff?

Advanced mathematics and physics courses from a degree in computer engineering. I'm not an expert, and it was admittedly more math than physics, but I know a little more of the high-end stuff and have a head for trivia.

The science behind color is fairly straightforward, though. You can find the various wavelengths of the different colors on Google in about twenty seconds.
I had to memorize different micron ranges for visible light as well as the near/mid/far IR spectrum for night NVG flight. I hated it.
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22-03-2016, 06:09 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(22-03-2016 05:34 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  I have no idea what you are talking about. Was that a recent thread?


You have been warned

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
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22-03-2016, 06:26 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(22-03-2016 06:09 PM)unfogged Wrote:  
(22-03-2016 05:34 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  I have no idea what you are talking about. Was that a recent thread?


You have been warned
Wow! I hope you can trust me when I say that I have never seen that thread before. My experience with the blind girl really happened. I was 15 years old at the time and had no clue about micron ranges and wavelengths. When she asked me that question I had absolutely no clue where to even start.
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