Moral absolutes
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21-03-2016, 02:57 PM (This post was last modified: 21-03-2016 03:35 PM by jason_delisle.)
RE: Moral absolutes
I would first like to say that i am in no way trying to prove or disprove the existance of God. But rather prove or disprove the existance of "objective morality". So how can we define something as "objectively" good or bad? I would argue that it depends entirely on its created purpose. Let's take a knife for example. The created purpose of a knife is to cut. Thus, it is objectively true that a good knife is one that is sharp and strong so that it cuts well. However, a bad knife is one that is dull and breaks easily.

Now we have to ask, What is required for an object to be created with an intended purpose? I would say that a being with some level of intelligence is required. It is a fact that there is no object with a created purpose that has ever existed that did not have a being with some level of intelligence to bestow a purpose onto that creation.

Noticed that I emphasize the word created purpose. Because even an object that was created by nature by natural means can be given a purpose by a being with some level of intelligence. Let's use a rock as an example. A rock was created by nature with no created purpose. So what is a good rock? Some may say the rock is good because it is colorful and sparkling, some may say it is good because it is smooth and round, others could say it is a bad rock because it is not flat. Because the rock has no purpose, what defines a good rock is subjective.

Moving on. Just because a rock was never created with a purpose, a being with intelligence can give the rock a purpose. Let's say I put the rock on a stack of paper and called it a paperweight. Now, it's purpose is to hold down paper. Thus, a good paperweight is one that can keep the wind from blowing the paper around and a bad paperweight cannot. The only problem is that the purpose is subjective. Someone else may say that the rock is not a paperweight but rather an arrowhead and a terrible arrowhead at that because it is smooth, and much too heavy.

So now on to the issue at hand. If people are created by nature by natural means, we are no different than the rock. So what defines a good person? However, being creatures with some level of intelligence, we can bestow a purpose onto ourselves. But like the rock, whatever purpose we bestow on ourselves is subjective. So whatever we determine to be a good/bad person or good/bad morals depends on that purpose we gave ourselves.
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21-03-2016, 03:31 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(21-03-2016 02:57 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  So now on to the issue at hand. If people are created by nature by natural means, we are no different than the rock. So what defines a good person? However, being creatures with some level of intelligence, we can bestow a purpose onto ourselves. But like the rock, whatever purpose we bestow on ourselves is subjective. So whatever we determine to be a good/bad person or good/bad morals depends on that purpose we gave ourselves.

I fail to see how this proves the existence of objective morality. It would, in fact, seem to do the opposite.

"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, 03:39 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(21-03-2016 02:57 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  I would first like to say that i am in no way trying to prove are argue the existance of God. But rather the existance of "objective morality". So how can we define something as "objectively" good or bad? I would argue that it depends entirely on its created purpose. Let's take a knife for example. The created purpose of a knife is to cut. Thus, it is objectively true that a good knife is one that is sharp and strong so that it cuts well. However, a bad knife is one that is dull and breaks easily.

Now we have to ask, What is required for an object to be created with an intended purpose? I would say that a being with some level of intelligence is required. It is a fact that there is no object with a created purpose that has ever existed that did not have a being with some level of intelligence to bestow a purpose onto that creation.

Noticed that I emphasize the word created purpose. Because even an object that was created by nature by natural means can be given a purpose by a being with some level of intelligence. Let's use a rock as an example. A rock was created by nature with no created purpose. So what is a good rock? Some may say the rock is good because it is colorful and sparkling, some may say it is good because it is smooth and round, others could say it is a bad rock because it is not flat. Because the rock has no purpose, what defines a good rock is subjective.

Moving on. Just because a rock was never created with a purpose, a being with intelligence can give the rock a purpose. Let's say I put the rock on a stack of paper and called it a paperweight. Now, it's purpose is to hold down paper. Thus, a good paperweight is one that can keep the wind from blowing the paper around and a bad paperweight cannot. The only problem is that the purpose is subjective. Someone else may say that the rock is not a paperweight but rather an arrowhead and a terrible arrowhead at that because it is smooth, and much too heavy.

So now on to the issue at hand. If people are created by nature by natural means, we are no different than the rock. So what defines a good person? However, being creatures with some level of intelligence, we can bestow a purpose onto ourselves. But like the rock, whatever purpose we bestow on ourselves is subjective. So whatever we determine to be a good/bad person or good/bad morals depends on that purpose we gave ourselves.

Your rock analogy is excellent to illustrate how religions work. One sect says the rock was made for a paperweight, another says it was made to put on a stick for a spear. However, there is no reason to suspect that the rock was created or shaped with anything in mind. You are simply assuming that there had to be a reason. Even more pointed, religion tells the rocks that the universe in it's entirety was created with the rock in mind without any support. It is utter nonsense.

Getting to the moral part, if you start with well-being, explaining morality is not too difficult and it requires no supernatural influence.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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21-03-2016, 03:42 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(21-03-2016 03:31 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
(21-03-2016 02:57 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  So now on to the issue at hand. If people are created by nature by natural means, we are no different than the rock. So what defines a good person? However, being creatures with some level of intelligence, we can bestow a purpose onto ourselves. But like the rock, whatever purpose we bestow on ourselves is subjective. So whatever we determine to be a good/bad person or good/bad morals depends on that purpose we gave ourselves.

I fail to see how this proves the existence of objective morality. It would, in fact, seem to do the opposite.
Ok...I see where the confusion is. I modified my previous post to say that I am not trying to prove or disprove the existence of God but rather prove or disprove the existence of objective morality. In this case, prove that objective morality does not exist.
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21-03-2016, 03:44 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(21-03-2016 02:57 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  However, being creatures with some level of intelligence, we can bestow a purpose onto ourselves. But like the rock, whatever purpose we bestow on ourselves is subjective. So whatever we determine to be a good/bad person or good/bad morals depends on that purpose we gave ourselves.

Yep. We bestow a purpose onto ourselves and our morality is based on measuring how a given action relates to that purpose. You've made a great case for the subjectivity of morals.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
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21-03-2016, 03:47 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(21-03-2016 03:42 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  Ok...I see where the confusion is. I modified my previous post to say that I am not trying to prove or disprove the existence of God but rather prove or disprove the existence of objective morality. In this case, prove that objective morality does not exist.

If there is no objective morality then there is no "created purpose" that morality is being measured against. Does that not mean that either there is no creator or that it had no purpose in creating?

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
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21-03-2016, 04:02 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(21-03-2016 03:47 PM)unfogged Wrote:  
(21-03-2016 03:42 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  Ok...I see where the confusion is. I modified my previous post to say that I am not trying to prove or disprove the existence of God but rather prove or disprove the existence of objective morality. In this case, prove that objective morality does not exist.

If there is no objective morality then there is no "created purpose" that morality is being measured against. Does that not mean that either there is no creator or that it had no purpose in creating?
Well, It would suggest that in order for mankind to have a created purpose as a basis for objective morality, it would require that a being with some level of intelligence (like a god) to created us for an intended purpose.
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21-03-2016, 04:12 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(21-03-2016 03:42 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  
(21-03-2016 03:31 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  I fail to see how this proves the existence of objective morality. It would, in fact, seem to do the opposite.
Ok...I see where the confusion is. I modified my previous post to say that I am not trying to prove or disprove the existence of God but rather prove or disprove the existence of objective morality. In this case, prove that objective morality does not exist.

I don't understand this whole "prove that x does not exist" business. It's the last refuge of fools and ignoramus. Nihilism is. You can go all woe is me Schopenhauer or you can go Nietzsche's Übermensch.

#sigh
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21-03-2016, 04:31 PM (This post was last modified: 21-03-2016 04:34 PM by jason_delisle.)
RE: Moral absolutes
(21-03-2016 04:12 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(21-03-2016 03:42 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  Ok...I see where the confusion is. I modified my previous post to say that I am not trying to prove or disprove the existence of God but rather prove or disprove the existence of objective morality. In this case, prove that objective morality does not exist.

I don't understand this whole "prove that x does not exist" business. It's the last refuge of fools and ignoramus. Nihilism is. You can go all woe is me Schopenhauer or you can go Nietzsche's Übermensch.
Eh...it's just my two cents. Had nothing to do with Nihilism. I am just saying that if you do not believe a god exists, you cannot believe that objective morality exists. Which is all fine and dandy. However, we then have to say that all morality is subjective because it is based on is "popular opinion for the greater good". Like if two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.
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21-03-2016, 04:35 PM (This post was last modified: 21-03-2016 04:39 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Moral absolutes
(21-03-2016 04:31 PM)jason_delisle Wrote:  
(21-03-2016 04:12 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  I don't understand this whole "prove that x does not exist" business. It's the last refuge of fools and ignoramus. Nihilism is. You can go all woe is me Schopenhauer or you can go Nietzsche's Übermensch.
Eh...it's just my two cents. Had nothing to do with Nihilism. I am just saying that if you do not believe a god exists, you cannot believe that objective morality exists.

What if I do believe that God exists and my subjective morality is objective. I mean I AM the shit and whatnot.

#sigh
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