Objective Morality
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08-04-2014, 11:03 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(08-04-2014 10:34 AM)guitar_nut Wrote:  Would I? You're projecting your morals on my Dr. Death. You're being subjective, using right and wrong based on your own criteria. Am I really killing someone, if they're already doomed to die, or am I giving them a better death than nature has? These questions wouldn't exist if we were all truly bound to an 'objective morality.' 'Right to die' arguments wouldn't be such a hot topic if there was a standard measuring tool not open to interpretation.
Your paragraphs are so long and convoluted it's difficult to break them down and find and answer the relevant points in a coherent matter. I don't know if your questions and statements are rhetorical or meant to be answered. Can you be a little more clear and concise and shorter and take just a few points at a time?
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08-04-2014, 11:21 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(08-04-2014 09:41 AM)Artie Wrote:  It is objectively wrong for a human, objectively right for a crocodile.
You are subjectively attempting to apply both objectivity and morality to crocodiles. It's doubtful that crocodiles think at all in terms of rightness or wrongness. They simply see the child, think "food", and lunge. So there is no objective or even subjective morality there. Morality is a human concept. It may be "right" for the crocodile to eat the child, but "right" in that sentence is closer to "correct" and not at all like "morally right".

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08-04-2014, 11:29 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(08-04-2014 11:03 AM)Artie Wrote:  Your paragraphs are so long and convoluted it's difficult to break them down and find and answer the relevant points in a coherent matter. I don't know if your questions and statements are rhetorical or meant to be answered. Can you be a little more clear and concise and shorter and take just a few points at a time?

Sure. I'll focus on a single point here.

You've claimed that the golden rule is objective morality and exists in human society, and that it is based on instinct that has evolved. If it is truly objective, it must be consistent and not open to interpretation.

For example:
Temperature is not open to interpretation. If it is 50 degrees out, it's 50 degrees out. That's objective. Using a different measuring system will provide an equivalent result. It's not "50 degrees for Jim, but 45 degrees for Sue, and -18 degrees for Sam." It might be "Sue feels hot, and Jim feels chilly," but that's subjective interpretation of how the temperature feels. It has nothing to do with the temperature.

The same should apply for objective morality. For example:
You would say it's wrong to kill a suffering, terminally ill patient who is about to die without both the patient's consent and the family's consent. Some people would disagree with you. If 'right and wrong' are truly objective, there would be no way to disagree, other than to behave irrationally. The answer would be fact. Now, you might feel bad about whatever decision is reached, but that's only how it feels.

You claim that minimizing pain, and enhancing survival, are the key motivators to the golden rule.

1. Killing a terminally ill patient relieves their pain. Extended life increases their pain.
2. A terminally ill patient has no chance of survival, or reproduction, and is of no benefit to the group (from a survival standpoint).
3. A terminally ill patient is consuming resources for no good reason.
4. The family's grief is inevitable. It cannot be prevented, and can only be delayed by a few days if the patient lives that long.

Now, based on your criteria, it appears the correct and merciful thing to do is kill the patient. Using these same criteria, you will make a case that we should let the patient live, or ask for their consent. We will argue two completely different outcomes and support them with the same arguments.

Can you do that for temperature? Can we both walk into a room, measure the temperature (assuming perfect equipment), and then have one of us claim it's 50 degrees while the other claims it is -50 degrees? Will we view the temperature as open to interpretation based on our education, upbringing, instinct, and personal desires? No.

That's objective. The golden rule is not.

If Jesus died for our sins, why is there still sin? If man was created from dust, why is there still dust? If Americans came from Europe, why are there still Europeans?
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08-04-2014, 11:31 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(08-04-2014 11:21 AM)Impulse Wrote:  
(08-04-2014 09:41 AM)Artie Wrote:  It is objectively wrong for a human, objectively right for a crocodile.
You are subjectively attempting to apply both objectivity and morality to crocodiles. It's doubtful that crocodiles think at all in terms of rightness or wrongness. They simply see the child, think "food", and lunge. So there is no objective or even subjective morality there.
To see a child, think "food", and lunge is the objectively right behavior for crocodiles. It is the one that was objectively selected for by evolution and natural selection. Nothing subjective involved. To see a child about to be taken by a crocodile and react in a split second without thinking and save the child is the instinctive objectively right behavior for humans. Nothing subjective involved. Morality is defined as "the ability to differentiate between right and wrong behavior". In both cases this differentiation is objectively bred into the bones so we do the right thing on instinct. That is why it is the right thing.
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08-04-2014, 11:54 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(08-04-2014 11:29 AM)guitar_nut Wrote:  1. Killing a terminally ill patient relieves their pain. Extended life increases their pain.
2. A terminally ill patient has no chance of survival, or reproduction, and is of no benefit to the group (from a survival standpoint).
3. A terminally ill patient is consuming resources for no good reason.
4. The family's grief is inevitable. It cannot be prevented, and can only be delayed by a few days if the patient lives that long.

Now, based on your criteria, it appears the correct and merciful thing to do is kill the patient. Using these same criteria, you will make a case that we should let the patient live, or ask for their consent. We will argue two completely different outcomes and support them with the same arguments.
The objectively moral correct thing to do would be:

1. Wait for the patient to ask to die.
2. If he does one day, inform his relatives.
3. Have the patient discuss it with his relatives and say goodbye.
4. Turn off the machines.
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08-04-2014, 12:33 PM
RE: Objective Morality
(08-04-2014 11:31 AM)Artie Wrote:  
(08-04-2014 11:21 AM)Impulse Wrote:  You are subjectively attempting to apply both objectivity and morality to crocodiles. It's doubtful that crocodiles think at all in terms of rightness or wrongness. They simply see the child, think "food", and lunge. So there is no objective or even subjective morality there.
To see a child, think "food", and lunge is the objectively right behavior for crocodiles. It is the one that was objectively selected for by evolution and natural selection.
Your usage of the word "right" here equates to "advantageous", not "moral".

(08-04-2014 11:31 AM)Artie Wrote:  To see a child about to be taken by a crocodile and react in a split second without thinking and save the child is the instinctive objectively right behavior for humans. Nothing subjective involved.
No, it's subjective. A particular culture, for example, could consider it an ultimate honor to be eaten by a crocodile and therefore consider the morally right thing as allowing the child to be eaten. I think you could present a case for the position that saving the child is objectively the best choice in terms of evolution, but "best choice" and "morally right" aren't at all the same.

(08-04-2014 11:31 AM)Artie Wrote:  Morality is defined as "the ability to differentiate between right and wrong behavior". In both cases this differentiation is objectively bred into the bones so we do the right thing on instinct. That is why it is the right thing.
First, morality is not an ability, it is the rightness or wrongness itself. And how morality is defined is contextual. Two different cultures can reach opposite conclusions regarding the rightness or wrongness of specific behaviors. In terms of evolution, what was bred into the bones as you put it, was doing what contributes to survival. Initially, that would not have been morality even when supporting the group or tribe was included in what was good for survival. As our brains and emotions developed, so did our sense of rightness and wrongness. That "sense" added a whole other layer of complexity to what we eventually came to consider as pertaining to "morality". Among that additional complexity are both reasoning and social context and there you have the subjective component.

I am not accountable to any God. I am accountable to myself - and not because I think I am God as some theists would try to assert - but because, no matter what actions I take, thoughts I think, or words I utter, I have to be able to live with myself.
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08-04-2014, 12:38 PM
RE: Objective Morality
(08-04-2014 11:54 AM)Artie Wrote:  The objectively moral correct thing to do would be:

1. Wait for the patient to ask to die.
2. If he does one day, inform his relatives.
3. Have the patient discuss it with his relatives and say goodbye.
4. Turn off the machines.

And here we are. One of us says it's 50 degrees. The other says it's -50 degrees. That's not possible with objective measurement. I repeat: we will argue two completely different outcomes and support them with the same arguments.

We've reached the point where we are repeating ourselves; I have no additional points to make. Thanks for the discussion.

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08-04-2014, 01:05 PM
RE: Objective Morality
(08-04-2014 11:31 AM)Artie Wrote:  
(08-04-2014 11:21 AM)Impulse Wrote:  You are subjectively attempting to apply both objectivity and morality to crocodiles. It's doubtful that crocodiles think at all in terms of rightness or wrongness. They simply see the child, think "food", and lunge. So there is no objective or even subjective morality there.
To see a child, think "food", and lunge is the objectively right behavior for crocodiles. It is the one that was objectively selected for by evolution and natural selection. Nothing subjective involved. To see a child about to be taken by a crocodile and react in a split second without thinking and save the child is the instinctive objectively right behavior for humans. Nothing subjective involved. Morality is defined as "the ability to differentiate between right and wrong behavior". In both cases this differentiation is objectively bred into the bones so we do the right thing on instinct. That is why it is the right thing.

There is nothing "objectively right" about anything Evolution selects for. Evolution "selects" for, and has maintained all sorts of "disease" states, and all sorts of non-optimal conditions. He's "anthropomorphizing" a process to which "objectivity" and "morality" cannot be applied. I can only assume he's in the desperation phase of deconversion. It's very clear he knows nothing about Evolutionary Biology.

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08-04-2014, 01:11 PM
RE: Objective Morality
(08-04-2014 11:54 AM)Artie Wrote:  
(08-04-2014 11:29 AM)guitar_nut Wrote:  1. Killing a terminally ill patient relieves their pain. Extended life increases their pain.
2. A terminally ill patient has no chance of survival, or reproduction, and is of no benefit to the group (from a survival standpoint).
3. A terminally ill patient is consuming resources for no good reason.
4. The family's grief is inevitable. It cannot be prevented, and can only be delayed by a few days if the patient lives that long.

Now, based on your criteria, it appears the correct and merciful thing to do is kill the patient. Using these same criteria, you will make a case that we should let the patient live, or ask for their consent. We will argue two completely different outcomes and support them with the same arguments.
The objectively moral correct thing to do would be:

1. Wait for the patient to ask to die.
2. If he does one day, inform his relatives.
3. Have the patient discuss it with his relatives and say goodbye.
4. Turn off the machines.

Just your opinions. Many people would disagree with that. Proves there is no such thing as "objective morality" if EVERYONE doesn't agree with the same thing. Many patients ask to die, and are not allowed to die, for many reasons. Maybe someday you'll actually try to learn about something before you try to talk about a subject.

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08-04-2014, 01:13 PM
RE: Objective Morality
(08-04-2014 12:33 PM)Impulse Wrote:  A particular culture, for example, could consider it an ultimate honor to be eaten by a crocodile and therefore consider the morally right thing as allowing the child to be eaten. I think you could present a case for the position that saving the child is objectively the best choice in terms of evolution, but "best choice" and "morally right" aren't at all the same.
What does it matter what this culture considers morally right when what is objectively morally right is to save the child? Their opinion would be objectively morally wrong.
Quote:In terms of evolution, what was bred into the bones as you put it, was doing what contributes to survival. Initially, that would not have been morality even when supporting the group or tribe was included in what was good for survival. As our brains and emotions developed, so did our sense of rightness and wrongness. That "sense" added a whole other layer of complexity to what we eventually came to consider as pertaining to "morality". Among that additional complexity are both reasoning and social context and there you have the subjective component.
Like the objective foundation will always objectively be

1. We have a survival instinct. This is an objective fact.
2. It was hard wired into us by evolution, an objective process. This is an objective fact. I didn't exist before I was conceived so it wasn't my personal subjective opinion to be born with a survival instinct.
3. What is objectively moral is survival. Survival is morally right.
4. Well-being leads to enhanced chances of survival.
5. Actions that lead to well-being and survival are objectively moral, actions that lead to the opposite are objectively immoral.
5. Murder leads to non-survival therefore it is objectively morally wrong.
6. Helping people leads to survival therefore helping people is objectively morally right.

And you use your reasoning and social context to apply the above to every new situation. That doesn't make it subjective? Subjective would be if you took point six and subjectively changed it to murder is objectively right... did you read my post 420? Do you realize that there isn't a word or paragraph in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights that goes against my six points? It's just a wordy detailed way of spelling out my six points above.
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