Objective Morality
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
06-12-2013, 03:28 PM
RE: Objective Morality
(06-12-2013 03:12 PM)DLJ Wrote:  Governance, by definition, is morally neutral.

For example, Governance suggest a 'code of ethics' is desirable to help achieve desired outcomes and aid decision-making.

But it does not state what those ethics or outcomes must be.
I agree that governance is required. I'm not an anarchist.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
06-12-2013, 04:11 PM
RE: Objective Morality
(05-12-2013 07:45 PM)DLJ Wrote:  
(05-12-2013 11:29 AM)BeccaBoo Wrote:  "Objective" is based on measurable or observable criteria, like say mandating the wearing of red shirts to school. Anything that goes against the mandate would be immoral, until, that is, the mandate changes. When it becomes yellow shirts, instead, you know it's not an absolute morality, but it's still objective. However when someone insists that the red shirt rule most always and forever remain and that anyone disobeying it to be immoral, it is an absolute.

With that example, I'm guessing you are from Thailand, right?

Well I'll be gobsmacked, are you psychic?!!

Wink
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
06-12-2013, 04:19 PM
RE: Objective Morality
(06-12-2013 03:00 PM)Stevil Wrote:  If morality or moral obligation is contextual then it isn't objective. If the context is open to interpretation by each individual, then it is merely opinion.

/snip

Just to discuss this one claim above...

If a computer can make the decision based on "if, the"n commands--as it very well could based on circumstances--then it is objective, no matter how nuanced or detailed the criteria. Sophisticated and highly detailed structure does not imply subjectivity.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
06-12-2013, 04:42 PM
RE: Objective Morality
(06-12-2013 04:11 PM)BeccaBoo Wrote:  
(05-12-2013 07:45 PM)DLJ Wrote:  With that example, I'm guessing you are from Thailand, right?

Well I'll be gobsmacked, are you psychic?!!

Wink

Yes, and also familiar with the red shirts and yellow shirts.

And the latest proposal from the opposition to replace the government with a ruling elite is quite frankly, mind-blowing!


(06-12-2013 04:19 PM)BeccaBoo Wrote:  
(06-12-2013 03:00 PM)Stevil Wrote:  If morality or moral obligation is contextual then it isn't objective. If the context is open to interpretation by each individual, then it is merely opinion.

/snip

Just to discuss this one claim above...

If a computer can make the decision based on "if, then" commands--as it very well could based on circumstances--then it is objective, no matter how nuanced or detailed the criteria. Sophisticated and highly detailed structure does not imply subjectivity.

IF draw Mohammed
THEN burn embassy

The computer's processing is objective but the morality of the programmer is subjective.

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
06-12-2013, 04:45 PM
RE: Objective Morality
(06-12-2013 04:19 PM)BeccaBoo Wrote:  
(06-12-2013 03:00 PM)Stevil Wrote:  If morality or moral obligation is contextual then it isn't objective. If the context is open to interpretation by each individual, then it is merely opinion.

/snip

Just to discuss this one claim above...

If a computer can make the decision based on "if, the"n commands--as it very well could based on circumstances--then it is objective, no matter how nuanced or detailed the criteria. Sophisticated and highly detailed structure does not imply subjectivity.
The thing is that a person can look to a computer program, read through the code and know, given the state what the computer will do.

But for each person, their subjective context is different. Each person has different goals, different values, different priorities, different experiences.
We aren't all operating off the same rule book.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
06-12-2013, 07:48 PM
RE: Objective Morality
(06-12-2013 03:19 AM)Vosur Wrote:  While I don't approve of the way in which Taqiyya presents his views, I'm inclined to agree that measurements of different brain states can hardly be used to figure out the well-being of an individual.

Ok, so are you implying that subjective experiences of suffering and happiness are coming from some place other than the brain? All of your subjective experience is reducible to brain activity and brain activity can be objectively measured.

Quote:I think it goes without saying that the conditions which have to be met for either of these states of being to occur differ wildly from person to person.

Agreed. That is why Harris describes what he terms a "Moral Landscape", i.e. a three dimensional structure (as opposed to something like a ladder) Arguing--as Harris does--that well-being can and should form the basis for an objective conception of value doesn't imply that well-being is achieved in the same way in all people.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
06-12-2013, 08:07 PM
RE: Objective Morality
(06-12-2013 12:32 PM)Stevil Wrote:  If you want to take it down a notch, from the extreme to the mundane.
According to Chippy's definition, it is a moral choice one has between eating cornflakes or toast for breakfast. If a person values toast more than cornflakes then eating toast would be the moral thing to do.

Yes. That is how morality was conceived by Aristotle c. 5th-Century BC and also by Jeremy Bentham in the 19th century. And Harris is trying to re-claim the idea that morality should be about human well-being.

Your ideas about morality are contaminated with Judaic divine command morality and you don't seem able to set those ideas aside to consider an alternate (pre-Judaeo-Christian) formulation of morality.

Quote:It also seems that morality becomes situational e.g. although a person might put high value on an icy cool drink on a hot summer's day thus it is moral to drink icy cold drink, however on a cold winters day, it might become immoral to drink icy cold drink but instead moral to drink a hot chocolate, unless of course public majority values coffee more than hot chocolate then coffee would be the moral choice.
"Why did you drink the coffee?"
"Because it was the moral thing to do!"

Again, yes. Objectivity doesn't require absolutism and morality (to Aristotle et al) also covered the mundane things of life because the mundane things also have some bearing on well-being.

Quote:It means that people can no longer use the alternative phrase.
"Because it was the right thing to do!" because morality no longer has anything to do with right or wrong. It's just about values.

Morality will still be about "right" or "wrong" but right or wrong will be determined by a different--namely naturalistic--set of values. But in the sense that there will no longer be moral values versus other values you are correct. Harris has basically dissolved that distinction.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
06-12-2013, 08:36 PM
RE: Objective Morality
(06-12-2013 07:48 PM)Chippy Wrote:  
(06-12-2013 03:19 AM)Vosur Wrote:  While I don't approve of the way in which Taqiyya presents his views, I'm inclined to agree that measurements of different brain states can hardly be used to figure out the well-being of an individual.

Ok, so are you implying that subjective experiences of suffering and happiness are coming from some place other than the brain? All of your subjective experience is reducible to brain activity and brain activity can be objectively measured.

Oh, look at the equivocation going on here. You can certainly test for pleasure or pain and other very basic sensations, but "well-being" is an extremely vague and complex mental construct that is dependent on a great number of factors that are different in each person. You can't point at this or that activity and say "Oh, here it is -- 'well-being'." "Happiness" and "suffering" are the same.

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
06-12-2013, 08:37 PM
RE: Objective Morality
(06-12-2013 03:00 PM)Stevil Wrote:  It is a subjective activity to come to a decision on what scale to use.

Yes.

Quote:The only objective scale is that of the governing characteristics of the cosmos. e.g. gravity, speed of light etc. Creating rules as a subset of what is possible becomes a somewhat arbitrary and subjective activity.

Subjective doesn't entail arbitrary. Harris' proposal about suffering/happiness and brain activity is considered and reasonable. Of course someone can propose an alternate scale. That is what DLJ was implying when he suggested that the social gorup decides by some process (e.g. ballot) on the adoption of a scale.

Quote:So given the definition of morality being a distinction of "right" or "wrong". Honour killings are merely actions that some humans do some of the time. Its not "good", "bad", "evil", "moral" or "immoral" it is just something that is possible.

If we do reconceptualise "right" and "wrong" in terms of Harris' Moral Landsacpe then a society that practices honour killings would be on one of the valleys of the Moral Landscape because--Harris would argue--honour killings produce suffering. Harris would argue that all things being equal a society without honour killings sits higher on the Moral Landscape than one which does.

Quote:With regards to my own self preservation I would deem honour killings as dangerous though, and I would be motivated to belong to a society which actively acts against honour killings, acts to take that danger away from me.

Also, not everyone will want to commit an honour killing but it will be a cultural expectation. In these cases the perpetrator will also suffer.

Quote:I think this shows a contrast from someone's arbitrary belief that something is wrong or has negative value i.e. gay sex, and thus makes that illegal for everyone even though two strangers having sex has no impact on this person (holder of the belief).

If morality is grounded in human well-being then there is no reason why homosexuality should be prohibited. In fact the implication is that it would be morally wrong for a homosexual to suppress their sexuality.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Chippy's post
06-12-2013, 08:52 PM
RE: Objective Morality
(06-12-2013 08:36 PM)Taqiyya Mockingbird Wrote:  Oh, look at the equivocation going on here. You can certainly test for pleasure or pain and other very basic sensations, but "well-being" is an extremely vague and complex mental construct that is dependent on a great number of factors that are different in each person. You can't point at this or that activity and say "Oh, here it is -- 'well-being'." "Happiness" and "suffering" are the same.

All subjective experience resolve into states of brains--there are no exceptions. What a subjective state causally depends on is irrelevant to whether it has a neurological basis--it always has a neurological basis and is hence objectively measurable.

Regardless of whether the subjective experience is as primitive as pain or higher-order such as curiosity or gratitude it is still a pattern of neurological activity and neurological activity is objectively measurable.

Also, as an aside, given that Harris is a neuroscientist don't you think he would be above such a facile error?
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: