Objective Morality
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
04-12-2013, 10:45 PM
RE: Objective Morality
(04-12-2013 08:31 PM)djkamilo Wrote:  DLJ are you a philosophy professor?
Chippy are you also involved in education?
Thanks for your input
I'm glad it hasn't debased into cursing marathons as in other posts

You spoke too soon.

Who ordered the Taqos?

No

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes DLJ's post
04-12-2013, 11:40 PM
RE: Objective Morality
So I'm reading up a little (very little, I've been working all day) on moral realism and I have a question. Can one subscribe to moral realism and still reject the notion that objective morality exists (as an absolute)?

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
05-12-2013, 12:06 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(04-12-2013 11:40 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  So I'm reading up a little (very little, I've been working all day) on moral realism and I have a question. Can one subscribe to moral realism and still reject the notion that objective morality exists (as an absolute)?

Yes. Moral realism does not entail moral absolutism. Also, moral realism--in some formulations--does not entail that morality must exist independently of all sentient creatures. Naturalistic moral realists like Harris are happy to concede that on a lifeless planet there are no objective moral values and hence ethical concerns.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Chippy's post
05-12-2013, 12:12 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(05-12-2013 12:06 AM)Chippy Wrote:  
(04-12-2013 11:40 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  So I'm reading up a little (very little, I've been working all day) on moral realism and I have a question. Can one subscribe to moral realism and still reject the notion that objective morality exists (as an absolute)?

Yes. Moral realism does not entail moral absolutism. Also, moral realism--in some formulations--does not entail that morality must exist independently of all sentient creatures. Naturalistic moral realists like Harris are happy to concede that on a lifeless planet there are no objective moral values and hence ethical concerns.

So would that imply that moral realism is a subjective philosophy? If so, it seems contrary to itself. I'm sure I'm missing a lot here, but like I said this is the first I've heard of it.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
05-12-2013, 12:22 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(04-12-2013 11:40 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  So I'm reading up a little (very little, I've been working all day) on moral realism and I have a question. Can one subscribe to moral realism and still reject the notion that objective morality exists (as an absolute)?

Objective =/= Absolute.


Think of it this way...

Scale of Morality / Immorality:
v------------------------------------------0----------------------------------------v
absolute evil .............. -moral ....................+ moral .................. absolute good

Only two ways of knowing what are the absolutes:
1. Divine command
2. Hindsight

This reveals the flaw in utilitarian / consequential models... we don't know the ultimate outcome of the universe (in terms of good/bad/right/wrong)

This does not mean, however, that we can't create an open-ended scale and plot stuff on it i.e. one thing is more objectively good or bad than another thing.

But we can only do this if first we make some assumptions i.e. that human well-being is valuable to the universe.

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
05-12-2013, 12:40 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(05-12-2013 12:22 AM)DLJ Wrote:  This does not mean, however, that we can't create an open-ended scale and plot stuff on it i.e. one thing is more objectively good or bad than another thing.

But we can only do this if first we make some assumptions i.e. that human well-being is valuable to the universe.

Can we not just assume that human well being is valuable to humans but the universe doesn't give a fuck, but still come up with the same scale? When we say objective, is it in relation to the universe, or just humanity? Absolute, to me, would be in relation to the universe, reality, everything. Whereas objective might only mean in relation to humanity (as far as morality goes). This is where I get tripped up with the whole moral realism thing. Actually I think it's fair to say I'm just tripped up in general at this point. 15 hrs on my feet dealing with people tends to run you ragged.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like evenheathen's post
05-12-2013, 12:54 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(05-12-2013 12:12 AM)evenheathen Wrote:  So would that imply that moral realism is a subjective philosophy?

No, moral realism is an objectivist (nothing to do with Ayn Rand's Objectivism) philosophy. One of its premises is that moral values and truths have an objective existence.

In relation to Harris' Moral Landscape the objectivity stems from the commonality of human neurology. How brains work is a matter of objective fact not of subjective opinion. The fundamental aspects of human neurology are the same regardless of race, culture, history or anything else.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
05-12-2013, 01:04 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(04-12-2013 08:35 PM)Chippy Wrote:  
(04-12-2013 12:48 PM)Stevil Wrote:  "Moral truths" is a claim that there are actions that are "right" and some that are "wrong". There is no qualifier on this, it just says "right" or "wrong" regardless of the goal or situation, regardless of the observer.

No, that idea is not instrinsic to the idea of a moral truth. What you are describing is moral absolutism. Moral realism is not synonymous with moral absolutism.
The dictionary term "Morality" is the distinction of "right" vs "wrong". There are no qualifiers, no stipulated goals. Any other use of the word is not in adherence to the dictionary definition.
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/morality
Quote:1. The quality of being in accord with standards of right or good conduct.
2. A system of ideas of right and wrong conduct: religious morality; Christian morality.
3. Virtuous conduct.
4. A rule or lesson in moral conduct.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morality
Quote:Morality (from the Latin moralitas "manner, character, proper behavior") is the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are "good" (or right) and those that are "bad" (or wrong)

(04-12-2013 08:35 PM)Chippy Wrote:  
Quote:"Moral belief" is a belief that a person hold with regards to "moral truths".

Most people have moral beliefs. (BTW I don't)

You do have moral beliefs. You are like an alcoholic that has relabelled their wine bottles with a sticker that reads "WATER" and then claims to be drinking water. In my (fruitless) discussion with you, you repeatedly made moral claims about your person and your property.
You conflate the idea of self preservation with morality. I have no moral beliefs, but I do want to live.

(04-12-2013 08:35 PM)Chippy Wrote:  
Quote:So moral beliefs can be termed as subjective or objective, basically whatever the believer wants to label on their beliefs.

That is nonsensical. The categories subjective and objective are collectively exhaustive of reality and if something has an objective existence it isn't merely subjective. Do you understand what the terms subjective and objective mean?
And yet some people believe in objective morality, some people believe in subjective morality and some people lack any belief in morality.

(04-12-2013 08:35 PM)Chippy Wrote:  
Quote:But "Moral truths" cannot be proven to exist.

"Moral truths" is a category, it is an empty section of a bookshelf, not a specific thing. Whether "moral truths" exist or not depends on which "moral truths" you have in mind. Your statement 'But "Moral truths" cannot be proven to exist' is a vacuous over-generalisation.
A moral truth is a claim that an action can be said to be right or wrong.
e.g. which of the following claims are true?
"killing humans is wrong"
"abortion is wrong"
"prostitution is wrong"
"torturing animals is wrong"
If you answer true to any of these claims then you believe in moral truths, yet you cannot objectively prove that any of these statements are true.
I personally do not answer true or false to any of these claims, because I lack any moral beliefs.

(04-12-2013 08:35 PM)Chippy Wrote:  
Quote:Moral truths cannot be objective nor subjective.

They must be one or the other, those catageories are collectively exhaustive. Even if moral truths are fictions they at least have a subjective existence else we would be unable to even talk of them. Again, do you understand what the terms subjective and objective mean?
Moral truths do not exist. Morality is a belief system, moral truths are make believe.
Some people believe in ghosts but that does not make ghosts objectively true, nor does it make ghosts subjectively true.


(04-12-2013 08:35 PM)Chippy Wrote:  
Quote:Believers in subjective morality can state that they themselves behave according to their own moral code, but how can they justify that others ought to follow their own personal moral beliefs?

We aren't talking about believers in "subjective morality"; moral realism is the claim that there is such a thing as objective morality.
That quote you mined from my post was within the context of subjective morality. In which I stated that a person cannot believe in objective morality if they have no definitive source and that subjective morality is idiotic because it is merely a person's personal opinion thus they cannot insist people behave a certain way.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
05-12-2013, 01:08 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(05-12-2013 12:40 AM)evenheathen Wrote:  Can we not just assume that human well being is valuable to humans but the universe doesn't give a fuck, but still come up with the same scale?

Yes. DLJs point is merely to state an implicit premise. The point is that "the universe" doesn't appear to have an interest that human well-being would disturb. We wouldn't be screwing the universe if we flourished. But DLJ made a good point that with regard to many non-human animals we could be encoraching on them with the promotion of our well-being at the expense of their own. But Harris' formulation is broad enough to cover all sentient creatures that are capable of the same subjective states as we are capable of. Harris' conception of flourishing could, for instance, be extended to non-human primates such that we allow orangutans to be or orangutans, to do what they are naturally inclined to do free from interference.

Quote: When we say objective, is it in relation to the universe, or just humanity?

It depends on the species of moral realism. With Harris it is with respect to all sentient creatures--creatures that have a sufficiently developed nuerology to have interests. But for the sake of simplicity we can just say of humanity.

Quote:Absolute, to me, would be in relation to the universe, reality, everything.
Whereas objective might only mean in relation to humanity (as far as morality goes).

I think that makes sense, that is consistent with moral realism.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
05-12-2013, 01:21 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(05-12-2013 01:04 AM)Stevil Wrote:  
(04-12-2013 08:35 PM)Chippy Wrote:  No, that idea is not instrinsic to the idea of a moral truth. What you are describing is moral absolutism. Moral realism is not synonymous with moral absolutism.
The dictionary term "Morality" is the distinction of "right" vs "wrong". There are no qualifiers, no stipulated goals. Any other use of the word is not in adherence to the dictionary definition.
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/morality
Quote:1. The quality of being in accord with standards of right or good conduct.
2. A system of ideas of right and wrong conduct: religious morality; Christian morality.
3. Virtuous conduct.
4. A rule or lesson in moral conduct.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morality
Quote:Morality (from the Latin moralitas "manner, character, proper behavior") is the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are "good" (or right) and those that are "bad" (or wrong)

(04-12-2013 08:35 PM)Chippy Wrote:  You do have moral beliefs. You are like an alcoholic that has relabelled their wine bottles with a sticker that reads "WATER" and then claims to be drinking water. In my (fruitless) discussion with you, you repeatedly made moral claims about your person and your property.
You conflate the idea of self preservation with morality. I have no moral beliefs, but I do want to live.

(04-12-2013 08:35 PM)Chippy Wrote:  That is nonsensical. The categories subjective and objective are collectively exhaustive of reality and if something has an objective existence it isn't merely subjective. Do you understand what the terms subjective and objective mean?
And yet some people believe in objective morality, some people believe in subjective morality and some people lack any belief in morality.

(04-12-2013 08:35 PM)Chippy Wrote:  "Moral truths" is a category, it is an empty section of a bookshelf, not a specific thing. Whether "moral truths" exist or not depends on which "moral truths" you have in mind. Your statement 'But "Moral truths" cannot be proven to exist' is a vacuous over-generalisation.
A moral truth is a claim that an action can be said to be right or wrong.
e.g. which of the following claims are true?
"killing humans is wrong"
"abortion is wrong"
"prostitution is wrong"
"torturing animals is wrong"
If you answer true to any of these claims then you believe in moral truths, yet you cannot objectively prove that any of these statements are true.
I personally do not answer true or false to any of these claims, because I lack any moral beliefs.

(04-12-2013 08:35 PM)Chippy Wrote:  They must be one or the other, those catageories are collectively exhaustive. Even if moral truths are fictions they at least have a subjective existence else we would be unable to even talk of them. Again, do you understand what the terms subjective and objective mean?
Moral truths do not exist. Morality is a belief system, moral truths are make believe.
Some people believe in ghosts but that does not make ghosts objectively true, nor does it make ghosts subjectively true.


(04-12-2013 08:35 PM)Chippy Wrote:  We aren't talking about believers in "subjective morality"; moral realism is the claim that there is such a thing as objective morality.
That quote you mined from my post was within the context of subjective morality. In which I stated that a person cannot believe in objective morality if they have no definitive source and that subjective morality is idiotic because it is merely a person's personal opinion thus they cannot insist people behave a certain way.

Sorry but you can't settle a philosophical problem by referring to the dictionary. Lexicographers aren't omniscient and non-technical dictionaries provide only "everyday" meanings of words. If the dictionary were the last word on all matters then there would be no such thing as case law. Most of the landmark legal decisions in common law countries involved defining certain key terms and the judges didn't just look a word up in a dictionary to decide the case. A dictionary will not tell you whether "Intelligent Design" is or isn't scientific--a lexicographer isn't a philosopher of science.

You are naive.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: