Morality
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28-07-2015, 10:22 AM
RE: Morality
(28-07-2015 10:21 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(28-07-2015 10:20 AM)Hambone Wrote:  For subjective items, what society deems right or wrong, is still not factually wrong. Adding more people to the argument doesn't make it wrong.

If you think your partner is beautiful, but 99.99% of the population thinks she is not beautiful, does that mean you are wrong to find your partner beautiful?

You are quite literally using an example that disproves your assertion of moral objectivity. Laugh out load

How? You keep appealing to the ad populum fallacy.
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28-07-2015, 10:25 AM
RE: Morality
If morality is subjective, then you telling me racism, rape and slavery are wrong is just as valid as me saying I am the best looking man that ever existed.

Beauty is subjective, if morality is also subjective, then the conclusions have to be consistent...This is why I am using easy examples of subjective items such as beauty to highlight my point.
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28-07-2015, 10:51 AM (This post was last modified: 28-07-2015 11:04 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Morality
(28-07-2015 10:15 AM)Hambone Wrote:  
(28-07-2015 10:15 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  I predict you won't get a straight answer on that one, besides from nihilist who would say that it's a matter of opinion. But I'm hoping to be surprised.

If morality is truly subjective, then why wouldn't I get a straight answer?

I think the answer should in some way obvious.

If someone suggested that the wrongness of torturing babies just for fun, is just a matter of opinion, you would likely find that ridiculous. People feel very strongly about the "wrongness" of torturing babies just for fun, that they don't like it when it's reduced to a matter of opinion. It creates a good deal of cognitive dissonance. Bertrand Russell summed up this predicament quite well: "I cannot see how to refute the arguments for the subjectivity of ethical values, but I find myself incapable of believing that all that is wrong with wanton cruelty is that I don't like it."

To play the devil's advocate, I would argue that morality does reduce to a matter of likes and dislikes, but we're cajoled by our wiring to believe it's not. We're prone to the illusion of objectivity. And this is so strong, that even those who recognize that morality is not objective, have a hard time letting go of the illusion.
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28-07-2015, 12:18 PM
RE: Morality
(28-07-2015 10:19 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(28-07-2015 10:18 AM)Hambone Wrote:  I am not after epystomology...rather ontology

Then you are dabbling in whoo

How is this woo?

I'm just thinking out loud.
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28-07-2015, 12:24 PM
RE: Morality
(28-07-2015 12:18 PM)KnowtheSilence Wrote:  
(28-07-2015 10:19 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Then you are dabbling in whoo

How is this woo?

Metaphysical objective morality = whoo Drinking Beverage

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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28-07-2015, 12:29 PM
RE: Morality
Ohgadsanotherpersonwhorepliestosomethinginsidethequoteboxgah!

(28-07-2015 09:30 AM)Hambone Wrote:  
(27-07-2015 01:15 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  I would suggest that your analysis is incomplete because it ignores multiple options.

First, I would add a third category to your factual versus opinion/preference category: Convention. With convention, a large body of people agree (sometimes unconsciously or subconsciously, sometimes through unquestioned childhood indoctrination) to and adopt a certain assertion as true, usually with a pragmatic purpose. One good example is which side of the road to drive in.

But that says nothing about actually the truth. I am not interested in epistemology here, rather ontology.

You were interested in the dichotomy between subjective and objective. I am suggesting that this dichotomy is false and that a third category between the two is appropriate.

(28-07-2015 09:30 AM)Hambone Wrote:  
(27-07-2015 01:15 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  In civilized parts of the world, we drive on the right side of the road. *ducks and covers* In other parts of the world, they drive on the left side of the road. There isn't really much objective reason to adopt one over the other. What's important is that everyone drives on the SAME side of the road... whichever side is the standard in that part of the world.

I don't see how this has anything to do with the argument. I am not arguing about epistemology.

Now, is "we should drive on the right side of the road" objective or subjective? It's not subjective -- it transcends the simple opinions or preferences of an individual. It's more solid than that. But it's not objective -- it can vary in time and place. It's less firm than that. It's somewhere in the middle.

Other examples of conventions can include vocabulary (is it dog, perro, or hund?), whether to use a . or a , to indicate the divide between the ones place and the tenths place in decimal notation, and just how much personal space one is supposed to give someone else. (If you are French, NEVER VISIT AUSTRALIA.)

I would suggest that morality (or, at least, our working understanding of morality) fits pretty nicely into this category of convention.

A claim based on subjective morality that the OT morality is wrong would, indeed, be a subjective claim... but a strong one. One's tastes and preferences can be shared by society at large, for example. It could be akin to declaring that skunk-flavored ice cream tastes bad. Or worse, garlic-chocolate ice cream. (For the morbidly curious, visit Gilroy. I accept neither legal nor ethical liability for the consequences.) At some point, this passes the critical threshold of widespread opinion and becomes convention.

But its nevertheless simply a subjective claim, which is no different to claiming chocolate cake tastes better than banana bread or I am the best looking man that ever existed.

We might even go a bit further. If we have a species-wide instinctive revulsion against certain activities (say, for example, eating feces... yes, I know there are exceptions to this, I'm feeling lazy on the examples front, NO I DON'T NEED LINKS TO COUNTEREXAMPLES!), is it objective then? At what point would we be able to declare something objective?

All of this was me putting forward support for the suggestion of a third category -- convention.

(28-07-2015 09:30 AM)Hambone Wrote:  
(27-07-2015 01:15 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  I honestly don't know what an objective moral would look like, that would be different from a widely-accepted convention. Can we build an objectivity-meter that would twitch if we point it at one? Is it that we can put our finger on why violating it is a bad idea (like, say, a doomsday machine that wipes out humanity)? If so, and if we can identify why it is bad through methods independent of morality, then what use is morality?

We seem to appeal to them everyday.

These aren't epistemic questions I'm asking. They're basic definition questions. What counts as a moral? What does truth or falsity actually indicate in the context of morals?

They are epistemic.

Okay, I'll admit that some of them could be taken in an epistemic sense. But I meant these questions in a definitional sense. What does the claim of objectivity even mean about a moral? "It's not just one person's opinion/preference" tells us that it's something more, but WHAT more?

It's like asking about the claim in the Bible that bats are birds (or fowl, depending on translation). Obviously, the author of this passage is using a different definition for the word "bird" than we are. Asking what counts as a bird in a Biblical sense (is it just that it flies? Is leg count relevant? What about the presence of hair or feathers?) is a definitional question. It is not asking how we can tell the difference between the one biblical category and another, though it might suggest ways to tell the difference. Asking how we would tell the difference would be epistemic.

I'm not asking how we can know whether a moral is objective or not... at least, not here, though I do ask that question elsewhere. Here, I'm asking what it even MEANS to say a moral is objective. (Or more specifically, what YOU mean when YOU say it.)

(28-07-2015 09:30 AM)Hambone Wrote:  
(27-07-2015 01:15 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  I would also take issue with the claim that an objective morality would require an objective moral-giver. If there was some objective morality, then it would indeed exist.... like the universe. Or as part of the universe. But just as the existence of the universe does not necessarily imply a creator, the existence of morality would not necessarily imply a moral-giver. As an alternative (not one that I believe, but one that highlights why this is an unjustified leap of logic), consider Taoism. In Taoism, the Tao is a state/path/habit/force of right-being and right-acting. It could be considered a moral code, or at least as including a moral code. Yet it is not an intelligent agent and is not at the whim of an intelligent agent. It is simply a natural force, defining right conduct much in the same way that gravity defines down.

How would objective moral facts or truths exist in a universe where their is no law giver? What are they doing there?

Obviously I can't answer that absent a definition of what an objective moral is. But again, you could ask the same question about the universe as a whole and how it got there without a creator... and that rhetorical question would employ the same fallacies. Begging the question. Argument from ignorance. (You don't know of any other ways, therefore God.) Argument from incredulity.

But what's more, even if we skim over these fallacies, the result disintegrates under its own inconsistency. How would objective morals exist without a law giver? How would they exist WITH a law-giver? If they come from a law-giver, then these "objective" morals are the law-giver's opinion/preference/declaration, aren't they? And is that not the definition of a subjective rather than objective moral? The proposition of a moral law-giver does nothing save PRECLUDE the objectivity of the moral laws given (based on the earlier, woefully incomplete but sufficient-unto-this-task definition). However objective morals might have arisen, they could NOT have arisen this way.
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28-07-2015, 12:30 PM
RE: Morality
(28-07-2015 12:24 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(28-07-2015 12:18 PM)KnowtheSilence Wrote:  How is this woo?

Metaphysical objective morality = whoo Drinking Beverage

Okay, but how is distinguishing between moral epistemology and moral ontology woo?

I'm just thinking out loud.
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28-07-2015, 12:32 PM
RE: Morality
(28-07-2015 12:30 PM)KnowtheSilence Wrote:  
(28-07-2015 12:24 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Metaphysical objective morality = whoo Drinking Beverage

Okay, but how is distinguishing between moral epistemology and moral ontology woo?

Is ontology not a metaphysical branch?

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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28-07-2015, 12:37 PM
RE: Morality
(28-07-2015 12:32 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(28-07-2015 12:30 PM)KnowtheSilence Wrote:  Okay, but how is distinguishing between moral epistemology and moral ontology woo?

Is ontology not a metaphysical branch?

Ah, so you think all metaphysics is woo. Alrighty then. Not touching that one.

I'm just thinking out loud.
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28-07-2015, 12:42 PM
RE: Morality
(28-07-2015 12:37 PM)KnowtheSilence Wrote:  
(28-07-2015 12:32 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Is ontology not a metaphysical branch?

Ah, so you think all metaphysics is woo. Alrighty then. Not touching that one.

The way it is commonly used, yes. So when someone starts trying to argue objective morals exist using metaphysics, all I see is WHOOOOOOOO

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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