Moral absolutes
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29-01-2016, 04:02 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
I believe there is a difference between "I could never accept behavior X as a moral action" and "nobody anywhere/anytime would ever accept behavior X as a moral action." The latter position points towards an absolute/objective morality, while the former position is subjective.

Then there is the position, "Even if another culture or person considers behavior X a moral action, it doesn't matter because my morals are superior/correct, and override what they consider to be moral." Which is (for the most part) ethnocentrism.

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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03-02-2016, 03:29 PM (This post was last modified: 03-02-2016 03:36 PM by Luminon.)
RE: Moral absolutes
(28-01-2016 09:12 AM)claywise Wrote:  I guess my point is, despite Christians' frequent yammering and teeth-gnashing about moral relativism, I don't think I see any "moral" position that's absolute. Curious to hear any proposals for a true absolute moral.
I guess you imply some questions with which we have to start. Are there any absolute things at all? If so, what are they? And can we derive some conclusions from them that are also absolute, but which pertain to our life?

There are some absolutes, but in moral area we especially mean absolute universals. There must be some, because to say that there are no absolute universal truth is in itself an absolute, universal statement. Can't go without them, it seems. And where's one, there may be more.

So the things that are absolute and universal seem to be logic- based, such as the statements of identity and non-contradiction and everything logically derived from them. Logic and identity is the basis of consistency. Is there something like that, but more... humanistic, real life-related?

There certainly is. We know the Golden rule, do not do unto others... It's a statement of consistency in reciprocity. Consistency and universalization is an effect of reason and logic. Universalizing is very efficient, we are not capable of truly random behavior (just ask IT admins about people's passwords) and so universalizing behavior is a natural, healthy and consistent thing, it's a sign of sanity. Please note that all this is just pure reasoning, there may be empirical exceptions that overrule everything I say, BUT they only overrule it in ad-hoc cases that have to be specifically proven by hard evidence. I state the general principle, it's up to someone else to bring up the exceptions.

Lots of things can't be moral (universal absolutes), but we enjoy these things on our own or consensually, so they are not the topic. Absolute morality (if there's any) is mandatory even if you don't like it. But if we tried to impose them on people as universals, that would be a problem. Some things just can't be reciprocal or universalized.

Let's say that I try to claim that a theft is moral. I.e. giving up property is moral. However, that requires a thief, someone who wants to take the stuff and keep it as his property. Such a "moral thief" would have to deny and affirm the idea of property at the same time, which is logically impossible and fundamentally irrational. The same goes for a rapist and a victim, or a murderer and a murdered. If it can't be reciprocal or universalized, it can't be made a moral rule. If someone tries to enforce it, people are well in their rights to defend themselves even by force.
Here you have a solid, absolute model of morality that confirms all that we already know as immoral and doesn't require any gods or arbitrary law-givers.

This is just a short sumup from a book I've read on objective atheistic non-authoritative morality and I can't find anything logically wrong with it. I've seen some people who didn't get it, but I've seen a plenty of people who couldn't learn logic or epistemology either. This isn't easy stuff for everyday use, this is a hi-tech tool for confirming that many of our popular moral intuitions are valid. I hope that atheists adopt this, teach this and stop being morally uprooted so long after leaving religion.
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21-03-2016, 02:13 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
Would anyone mind if a theist takes a stab at this "moral arguement"?
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21-03-2016, 02:15 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(21-03-2016 02:13 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  Would anyone mind if a theist takes a stab at this "moral arguement"?

Feel free. You should know that some of us here are amoral before you start.

#sigh
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21-03-2016, 02:18 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(21-03-2016 02:13 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  Would anyone mind if a theist takes a stab at this "moral arguement"?

Not at all. Do keep in mind, however, that people dealing harshly with theistic arguments are not necessarily attempting to attack the poster in doing so. I tend towards extreme bluntness in my posts, but it's generally directed towards the argument, not the arguer.

"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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21-03-2016, 02:21 PM (This post was last modified: 21-03-2016 02:24 PM by jason_delisle.)
RE: Moral absolutes
(21-03-2016 02:18 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
(21-03-2016 02:13 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  Would anyone mind if a theist takes a stab at this "moral arguement"?

Not at all. Do keep in mind, however, that people dealing harshly with theistic arguments are not necessarily attempting to attack the poster in doing so. I tend towards extreme bluntness in my posts, but it's generally directed towards the argument, not the arguer.
Ok...my first question is we are defining "absolute moral" as an "objective moral" meaning based on fact regardless of "subjective" opinion?

I guess an example would be that the earth is round (although some fundamentalist may disagree). It is an objective fact that the Earth is round. So even if the entire world believed the earth was flat, everyone would be objectively wrong despite their opinion.
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21-03-2016, 02:27 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(21-03-2016 02:21 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  Ok...my first question is we are defining "absolute moral" as an "objective moral" meaning based on fact regardless of "subjective" opinion?

Presumably. If it were subject to opinion, it wouldn't be objective, would it?

"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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21-03-2016, 02:28 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(21-03-2016 02:21 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  Ok...my first question is we are defining "absolute moral" as an "objective moral" meaning based on fact regardless of "subjective" opinion?

I don't think "objective" necessarily implies "based on fact".

#sigh
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21-03-2016, 02:33 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(21-03-2016 02:28 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(21-03-2016 02:21 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  Ok...my first question is we are defining "absolute moral" as an "objective moral" meaning based on fact regardless of "subjective" opinion?

I don't think "objective" necessarily implies "based on fact".
Subjective information or writing is based on personal opinions, interpretations, points of view, emotions and judgment. It is often considered ill-suited for scenarios like news reporting or decision making in business or politics. Objective information or analysis is fact-based, measurable and observable.

http://www.diffen.com/difference/Objecti...Subjective

Just so that we are all on the same page for the sake of discussion. That way everyone can understand what I am talking about. I know this is referring to information in journalism but this is how I define "objective" and subjective" morality.
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21-03-2016, 02:40 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(21-03-2016 02:33 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  
(21-03-2016 02:28 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  I don't think "objective" necessarily implies "based on fact".
Subjective information or writing is based on personal opinions, interpretations, points of view, emotions and judgment. It is often considered ill-suited for scenarios like news reporting or decision making in business or politics. Objective information or analysis is fact-based, measurable and observable.

http://www.diffen.com/difference/Objecti...Subjective

Just so that we are all on the same page for the sake of discussion. That way everyone can understand what I am talking about. I know this is referring to information in journalism but this is how I define "objective" and subjective" morality.

I see "objective" as being independent of "subjective". And by independent I mean orthogonal to.

#sigh
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