Objective Morality
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05-12-2013, 01:32 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(04-12-2013 03:14 AM)Chippy Wrote:  
(03-12-2013 10:09 PM)Juv Wrote:  Objective would imply that a moral code is somehow part of the universe - e.g. the way electromagnetism is, or light is.

No it wouldn't. The notion of morality is meaningful only in the context of the existence of sentient creatures that have interests. There is no morality on a lifeless planet.
Agreed, but I don't think OP was questioning that.
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05-12-2013, 01:34 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(05-12-2013 01:21 AM)Chippy Wrote:  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.
You could of course provide a dictionary reference to your definition of the word. Even a technical dictionary definition. If we aligned our concepts then we would be less likely to talk cross purposes.

What does the word "morality" mean to you?
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05-12-2013, 01:36 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(05-12-2013 01:08 AM)Chippy Wrote:  
(05-12-2013 12:40 AM)evenheathen Wrote:  ...
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.

Er, no, I can't go with that. Absolute is non-relative. Einstein taught us that.

Objective means measurable independent of relativity.

Morals are relative until you provide a scale by which to compare them, which needs a basis for that scale i.e. a humanistic view of life, the universe and everything.

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05-12-2013, 01:36 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(04-12-2013 03:14 AM)Chippy Wrote:  
Quote:I suppose absolute morality would be a moral code that is unchanging or unchangeable.

No. It is a matter of objective truth that humans require nutrition hence human nourishment is an objective value--it exists so long as humans exist. But human nourishment is not an absolute value; there exist situations in which a human should deny themselves nourishment even when they are experiencing hunger, e.g. before receiving general anaesthesia. Thus human nourishment is a objective value but it is not absolute. Also to pre-empt your likely response naturalistic axiology is based on human well-being so nourishment is a moral good.
No idea why you're going this way.The question was what's the difference between absolute morality and objective morality.
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05-12-2013, 01:52 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(05-12-2013 01:36 AM)Juv Wrote:  ...
The question was what's the difference between absolute morality and objective morality.

They have different letters?

Drinking Beverage

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05-12-2013, 01:53 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(05-12-2013 01:36 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(05-12-2013 01:08 AM)Chippy Wrote:  I think that makes sense, that is consistent with moral realism.

Er, no, I can't go with that. Absolute is non-relative. Einstein taught us that.

Objective means measurable independent of relativity.

Morals are relative until you provide a scale by which to compare them, which needs a basis for that scale i.e. a humanistic view of life, the universe and everything.

Ah, I see what you are getting at. Yes, absolute would imply true regardless of theory of value but since Harris is trying to ground his theory of value in brain states it is relative to those. Also, if human neurology were able to be modified in substantive ways it would alter the "Moral Landscape".
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05-12-2013, 01:53 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(05-12-2013 01:36 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(05-12-2013 01:08 AM)Chippy Wrote:  I think that makes sense, that is consistent with moral realism.

Er, no, I can't go with that. Absolute is non-relative. Einstein taught us that.

Objective means measurable independent of relativity.

Morals are relative until you provide a scale by which to compare them, which needs a basis for that scale i.e. a humanistic view of life, the universe and everything.

But don't we have to come up with a standard against which to measure? And how would we agree that said standard is absolute?

A humanistic view of life is by no means absolute, I would argue it is still subjective. With some objective scenarios.
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05-12-2013, 01:56 AM
RE: Objective Morality
Okay, neurology. Got it. Science and shit. Still sketchy though.

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
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05-12-2013, 02:10 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(05-12-2013 01:52 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(05-12-2013 01:36 AM)Juv Wrote:  ...
The question was what's the difference between absolute morality and objective morality.

They have different letters?

Drinking Beverage


(05-12-2013 12:22 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Objective =/= Absolute.

Huh

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
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05-12-2013, 02:11 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(05-12-2013 01:34 AM)Stevil Wrote:  What does the word "morality" mean to you?

That answer comes in the form of a:
(a) an axiology i.e. a theory of value;
(b) an ethical theory, i.e. a set of principles regarding (a);
© a praxeology, i.e. a theory of action in relation to (a) and (b).

That is what ethics and meta-ethics are concerned with discovering and justifying. The dictionary definition is just a generic description, it doesn't provide any answers as to what (a), (b) and © consist of.

Harris provides a proposal for (a) and that is what is being defended in this thread. Harris doesn't cover (b) or ©.

By making moral claims about yourself and your property you are implicitly relying on an axiology. You are expressing a valuation so by definition you can't be a nihilist. Those things that contribute towards your self-preservation constitute your theory of value.
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