Objective Morality
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04-04-2014, 05:16 PM
RE: Objective Morality
(04-04-2014 04:54 PM)Baruch Wrote:  At the end of the day there is some objectivity because all humans share similarities in biology & central nervous system - and for that matter cultural similarities for example concepts such as property.
Us humans are intelligent enough to understand the value of property. That a house, clothes and car, food and money can help us to survive and to thrive.
If all laws disappeared we would put our lives on the line to defend our property, because without property we wouldn't survive.

I don't think it is a matter of morality or rights, I think its a matter of survival. there is no need to conflate these.
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04-04-2014, 07:38 PM
RE: Objective Morality
(04-04-2014 05:16 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(04-04-2014 04:54 PM)Baruch Wrote:  At the end of the day there is some objectivity because all humans share similarities in biology & central nervous system - and for that matter cultural similarities for example concepts such as property.
Us humans are intelligent enough to understand the value of property. That a house, clothes and car, food and money can help us to survive and to thrive.
If all laws disappeared we would put our lives on the line to defend our property, because without property we wouldn't survive.

I don't think it is a matter of morality or rights, I think its a matter of survival. there is no need to conflate these.

I think they are very deeply related and intertwined.
I just read an interesting new scientist from a few weeks ago with a few articles on "the meaning of stuff" - basically property, and its far more than just survival !!!!
Adam Smith (in the wealth of nations) was right putting property as one of the central justifications & foundations for a rational system of morality and similar ideas from the rational philosophies go back to Aristotle. Not just bare minimum survival but concepts of property being integral to humans as a species (not just necessary survival needs but also wants & desires related to meaning and identity for humans.)

...and thats the point, if all moral laws disappeared we would still put our lives on the line to defend property........AND RECREATE ALL THE LAWS AGAIN !!! Hence moral laws have an objective basis and are necessary in the strong sense of the term. True - if you live by yourself none of this matters.

This also explains some of the political disasters in history were property was reinterpreted in some radical egalitarian way, essentially denying property ownership to the individual - none of these systems work and end up in disaster. (there might be exceptions to this such as isolated egalitarian tribes were there is not individual property as such, even clothing being shared - but I dont think (IMO) this can ever be universally expanded. (...I'm no communist idealist !)

Hence I reject the dichotomy of "objective vs subjective" morality as some binary absolute. Morality is more like an emergent necessary phenomena of larger social groups which has some objective criteria, of course human dependent but external to an isolated individuals opinions. This doesn't mean "the group are right" or some group relativism because again, there are objective criteria to what makes a society flourish/well being/eudaimonia/achieve excellence etc as outcomes.
If you reject the above outcomes then the system collapses - but I think most people agree these are the outcomes that morality are necessary for.

Does anyone really want social collapse, sickness, depression, destruction for its own sake ??? Generally a moral system would punish such people because they disrupt the consequentialist goal of flourishing or the above goals I mentioned. (they would be selected out in evolutionary terms - hence this is also an objective source for moral emergence which goes far into pre-history)

There may be more than one way for achieving the goals of flourishing/well being/eudaimonia/achieving excellence via moral systems - hence some moral pluralism but not radical relativism.
This would explain moral dilemmas and various moral systems which may clash such as virtue ethics, types of consequentialism, utalitarianism, Deontologies and any other moral systems. We can nit pick the differences in these systems and some are great but also look at the similarities.
Generally all moral systems are aimed at achieving social flourishing - even individualistic virtue ethics thrives best when the individual has social cooperation with others - which can be found as far back as writings of Aristotle.

The same can be said for God inspired moral systems with the exception of individualistic interpretations of an afterlife as an ONLY virtue (hence all people can be dammed apart from the believer who has free reign to do anything they think God tells them to do and call that "moral" and receive an afterlife as a reward)
As the Euthephro dilemma points out, most God inspired moral law systems (Divine law theories) just piggy back on other philosophies eg Thomas Aquinas Christianity piggy backs on an Aristotolian ethics.

The irony is that individualistic interpretations of an afterlife as an ONLY virtue from a God inspired system is probably the only system where "all is permitted" if the individual feels God is dictating what to do (person will literally do anything and feel is is GOOD and JUSTIFIED because they feel "god said so" in their hearts & minds.

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence -
David Hume


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04-04-2014, 08:01 PM
RE: Objective Morality
(04-04-2014 02:16 PM)Artie Wrote:  
(03-04-2014 12:00 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Rats have empathy. Is THAT "morality" ?
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Morality is the ability to differentiate between "right" and "wrong".
Quote:There are all kinds of situations where the "taking of life" is considered as moral. What is an acceptable situation to "murder" someone is entirely situational. Your over-simplifications do not serve you.
Please learn the difference between "taking of life" or "killing" and "murder".

Fail. That's precisely the point. YOU have failed to tell us what the difference is. They are actually the SAME thing. Under SOME circumstances SOME humans find the taking of life to be moral. Other find in the SAME circumstance taking life is immoral. Thus there is no "objective morality" OR they always would all agree, all the time. It's really not THAT difficult, dear.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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04-04-2014, 09:12 PM
RE: Objective Morality
(03-04-2014 08:23 AM)Artie Wrote:  Morality is the ability to distinguish between right and wrong behavior. We are programmed by evolution to see some behavior as right and some behavior as wrong. "Humans are born with a hard-wired morality, a sense of good and evil is bred in the bone." http://edition.cnn.com/2014/02/12/opinio...ght-wrong/ This is not my "opinion" it is an established objective fact.

The only thing we are HARD-WIRED for is SURVIVAL, all is is secondary. This is the one OBJECTIVE FACT of the human condition.
You need look no further than Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs to understand this.

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04-04-2014, 09:34 PM
RE: Objective Morality
While ever the theist assigns objective morality to the innate behaviours of fauna then i find it much better for the debate to argue that what they are claiming to be objective morals are examples of evolutionary biology/psychology.

To argue that objective morals don't exits bounces off them the same as, god does not exist.
Unlike God, evidence for innate behaviour in man is tangible. Argue along with their definition of objective morals not the semantics of the term.

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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04-04-2014, 09:57 PM
RE: Objective Morality
(04-04-2014 09:34 PM)sporehux Wrote:  While ever the theist assigns objective morality to the innate behaviours of fauna then i find it much better for the debate to argue that what they are claiming to be objective morals are examples of evolutionary biology/psychology.

To argue that objective morals don't exits bounces off them the same as, god does not exist.
Unlike God, evidence for innate behaviour in man is tangible. Argue along with their definition of objective morals not the semantics of the term.

No need to make a claim here. Same as their claim of a god/gods: all that is required is to point out that they fail to meet their burden of proof.

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


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04-04-2014, 10:04 PM
RE: Objective Morality
(04-04-2014 09:57 PM)Taqiyya Mockingbird Wrote:  
(04-04-2014 09:34 PM)sporehux Wrote:  While ever the theist assigns objective morality to the innate behaviours of fauna then i find it much better for the debate to argue that what they are claiming to be objective morals are examples of evolutionary biology/psychology.

To argue that objective morals don't exits bounces off them the same as, god does not exist.
Unlike God, evidence for innate behaviour in man is tangible. Argue along with their definition of objective morals not the semantics of the term.

No need to make a claim here. Same as their claim of a god/gods: all that is required is to point out that they fail to meet their burden of proof.

but talk to the hand arguments are rather short Smile

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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04-04-2014, 10:06 PM
RE: Objective Morality
(04-04-2014 10:04 PM)sporehux Wrote:  
(04-04-2014 09:57 PM)Taqiyya Mockingbird Wrote:  No need to make a claim here. Same as their claim of a god/gods: all that is required is to point out that they fail to meet their burden of proof.

but talk to the hand arguments are rather short Smile

No need to waste valuable time on bullshit.

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
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04-04-2014, 10:19 PM
RE: Objective Morality
(04-04-2014 10:06 PM)Taqiyya Mockingbird Wrote:  
(04-04-2014 10:04 PM)sporehux Wrote:  but talk to the hand arguments are rather short Smile

No need to waste valuable time on bullshit.

you obviously don't have long drinking sessions every weekend with theists Taq .

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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05-04-2014, 01:32 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(03-04-2014 11:19 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  @Artie

Imagine the following scenario:

A small, isolated tribe in the Amazon jungle has just lost it's last breeding female, let's call them Tribe 1.
The closest tribe is a rival clan, Tribe 2, that competes with them for food. These two tribes have gone to war with one another many times.

Tribe 1 knows that without breeding females they are doomed and their genes will not be passed on.
They mount an offensive and manage to kidnap a few young women from Tribe 2. They kill several of the young men protecting them during the raid.

The men from Tribe 1 rape the captured women immediately upon their triumphant return to their village.

Q: What can be objectively said of the actions performed by Tribe 1 in this scenario?
Q: Was the kidnapping justified?
Q: Was the killing justified?
Q: Were the actions of Tribe 1 immoral?
Q Were the actions of Tribe 1 psychopathic?

ps When answering this question just stick to the "facts" of the story, don't add or subtract anything, don't suppose any other external criteria.
I won't add or subtract anything to this story. I will tell a different story about two other tribes in the same situation. These tribes decided to join together for the common good instead of warring with each other. And now these people from my original two tribes flourish and produce lots of children as one tribe while your tribes continue to fight and kill members of each others tribes. Which approach do you think would be more successful evolutionary wise?
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