The point of studying ethics
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20-07-2017, 07:44 AM (This post was last modified: 20-07-2017 07:48 AM by Thoreauvian.)
RE: The point of studying ethics
(19-07-2017 04:46 PM)Dr H Wrote:  All human ideas are subjective.

Words lose their significance when you apply them across the board. You also lose the ability to discriminate between degrees of objectivity/subjectivity. It should be a scale, not an either/or.
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20-07-2017, 07:47 AM
RE: The point of studying ethics
(19-07-2017 04:50 PM)Dr H Wrote:  
(19-07-2017 07:52 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  Yes, the rules of engagement in war are different than in ordinary interactions. Anyone who would complain "The enemy lied to us!" would be removed from command.
What if one holds war itself to be immoral?
Does it even make sense to make finer moral distinctions in a context which by its very existence is immoral?

Even if you thought war was immoral, you would still have to work out the ethics of war in a generalized system of morality, as long as war is a constant in human experience. Again, you have to consider degrees. There are most certainly better and worse forms of war ethically speaking.
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20-07-2017, 07:50 AM
RE: The point of studying ethics
(19-07-2017 02:16 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  So I (and I guess many others) won't buy your objective morality, which means it's not an objective morality.

That doesn't necessarily follow.
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20-07-2017, 08:01 AM
RE: The point of studying ethics
(20-07-2017 07:50 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(19-07-2017 02:16 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  So I (and I guess many others) won't buy your objective morality, which means it's not an objective morality.

That doesn't necessarily follow.

I think you have a different notion of "objective" in your mind. If you want to call that "objective morality" that's fine. But I think you should keep it to yourself. It doesn't give you any privilege to make moral judgments about someone like me, who has drastically different interests from the ones that you have supposed.
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20-07-2017, 12:37 PM
RE: The point of studying ethics
(20-07-2017 12:53 AM)BlkFnx Wrote:  The question must be asked then what does survival of the fittest mean?
In biological terms it simply means "this organism is better situated to pass on its genetic information to a subsequent generation, than that organism".

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Dr H

"So, I became an anarchist, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
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20-07-2017, 12:44 PM
RE: The point of studying ethics
(20-07-2017 04:51 AM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  I think Ethics is similar to Theology. Both are talking about something indefinite and both are pointless. I think these topics will eventually be removed from academic studies. It takes some time though.

Does it make any sense to talk about something entirely indefinite? Morality is defined in terms of right and wrong, but right and wrong are indefinite in themselves.

Does it make sense? I don't know, that's really a personal value judgement, I think.

There are plenty of academic studies based upon topics mostly or entirely indefinite. People get advanced degrees and professorships in things like art and music, all the time. I don't see that going away.

And while morality may be indefinite, ethics is not. Morality generally implies a an individual's set of values. Ethics is the collective result of those individual moral views on the overall attitudes and practices of a society. The study of ethics is, therefore, a necessary part of any sociological study which seeks to understand the motives and actions of a society.

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20-07-2017, 12:49 PM
RE: The point of studying ethics
(20-07-2017 07:44 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(19-07-2017 04:46 PM)Dr H Wrote:  All human ideas are subjective.

Words lose their significance when you apply them across the board. You also lose the ability to discriminate between degrees of objectivity/subjectivity. It should be a scale, not an either/or.

OK. What would it mean for something to be, say, "30% objective"?
An example might be helpful.

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Dr H

"So, I became an anarchist, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
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20-07-2017, 01:05 PM
RE: The point of studying ethics
(20-07-2017 07:47 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(19-07-2017 04:50 PM)Dr H Wrote:  What if one holds war itself to be immoral?
Does it even make sense to make finer moral distinctions in a context which by its very existence is immoral?

Even if you thought war was immoral, you would still have to work out the ethics of war in a generalized system of morality, as long as war is a constant in human experience. Again, you have to consider degrees. There are most certainly better and worse forms of war ethically speaking.
That is, perhaps, the most profound example of the subjectivity of morality that one might want.

You have a situation which is fundamentally: a complete breakdown of all attempts at meaningful communication, in which people elect to kill each other, along with any number of innocent bystanders, and wreak untold havoc upon society -- over a disagreement.

And then you're going to subdivide that situation into "better" and "worse"?


To me this is similar to arguments over mass killings and genocides where one side claims that a million people were killed,
and the other side comes back with "no, no, it was nothing like that; it was only 800,000".

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"So, I became an anarchist, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
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20-07-2017, 01:18 PM (This post was last modified: 20-07-2017 01:21 PM by nosferatu323.)
RE: The point of studying ethics
(20-07-2017 12:44 PM)Dr H Wrote:  
(20-07-2017 04:51 AM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  I think Ethics is similar to Theology. Both are talking about something indefinite and both are pointless. I think these topics will eventually be removed from academic studies. It takes some time though.

Does it make any sense to talk about something entirely indefinite? Morality is defined in terms of right and wrong, but right and wrong are indefinite in themselves.

Does it make sense? I don't know, that's really a personal value judgement, I think.

There are plenty of academic studies based upon topics mostly or entirely indefinite. People get advanced degrees and professorships in things like art and music, all the time. I don't see that going away.

And while morality may be indefinite, ethics is not. Morality generally implies a an individual's set of values. Ethics is the collective result of those individual moral views on the overall attitudes and practices of a society. The study of ethics is, therefore, a necessary part of any sociological study which seeks to understand the motives and actions of a society.

Quote:Does it make sense? I don't know, that's really a personal value judgement, I think.
I think you are right. I was asking about opinions. What's your opinion? How can talking about something indefinite make sense?

Quote:And while morality may be indefinite, ethics is not. Morality generally implies a an individual's set of values. Ethics is the collective result of those individual moral views on the overall attitudes and practices of a society. The study of ethics is, therefore, a necessary part of any sociological study which seeks to understand the motives and actions of a society.
I think it is not the case. Ethics is a philosophical investigation into what is right and what is wrong. It's about playing infinite language games about something that is inherently indefinite. What you describe here would be part of social sciences and I think it's absolutely useful to scientifically investigate common preferences in a society. The results would be completely objective and would be very useful concerning law making for example.
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20-07-2017, 01:41 PM
RE: The point of studying ethics
(20-07-2017 01:18 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  ... I think it's absolutely useful to scientifically investigate common preferences in a society. The results would be completely objective and would be very useful concerning law making for example.

You're joking, right? There's nothing scientific or objective about preferences. They are slippery things that can and do change (I might prefer something different tomorrow than I do today), and people can and do lie about them. Polling people about their preferences might tell you something, but there's no way it can ever be "completely objective".
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