What could make morality objective?

Should you think about your duty, or about the consequences of your actions? Or should you concentrate on becoming a good person?

Moderators: AMod, iMod

TimeSeeker
Posts: 2268
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:42 am

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by TimeSeeker » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:23 am

Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:11 am
No "harm"? No good. Sorry.
Well, that's an ironic performative contradiction!

If we have no objective moral standards - how did you assert this is "no good"? Can you be transparent about the MORAL VALUES you are currently IMPOSING on me, please?
Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:11 am
It's not just that you haven't defined what constitutes "harm," although that's a pretty serious fault
You haven't defined what constitutes "objectivity" or "morality" either. In my field of work (applied science) when you ask a stupid question you get a stupid answer. So I guess that's an even more serious fault?

I can't define what constitutes "harm" anymore than you can define what constitutes a "human", "objective" or "morality". That is not a failing on our part. That is a failing of the tool with which you expect us to solve the problem - language. The symbol-grounding problem ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symbol_grounding_problem ) stands in your way, not my argument. Your expectations are unrealistic and require some recalibration.

We have INVENTED "objectivity" and "morality" and "humanity" and "society" out of pragmatic necessity! Survival.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:11 am
but even worse, we don't know what principle tells us that causing "harm" (whatever that may be interpreted as being) is morally wrong at all.
Value-laden again! By what MORAL VALUE did you decide that we need principles to tell us what's "right" and "wrong"?
Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:11 am
Why shouldn't the lion kill the gazelle? It might be "harm," but that's what lions do. Likewise, why should the strong take advantage of the weak? The weak might call it "harm" but the strong could regard it as simply a great opportunity. That's what the strong do. We don't morally fault the lion for the kill; why would we fault the strong human for his "kill"?
The lion can and does kill the gazelle. The strong can and do take advantage of the weak. It is an opportunity indeed.

Observe - you are using the word "we". We who? We - society! WE don't fault the strong for their kill. WE just don't like it. WE would prefer it if WE could trust each other rather and foster co-operation instead of fear and distrust amongst humans. And so WE promise each other NO HARM. And since WE are stronger in numbers WE see an opportunity too! WE make an example of those who don't obey the rules WE have clearly laid out. WE take that which is most precious to them - their freedom of choice.

WE are committed to NO HARM and WE are transparently IMPOSING it on you. Try so much as removing a hair from another human against their will and you will have to deal with me. 6-foot, 95 kilogram, Glock-carrying jiu-jitsu black belt police officer with 160 IQ. But I am civilised - even if I am much stronger and more powerful than you, so I extend to you the courtesy to reason with me instead of me imposing my will on you.

Does that meet your criteria for objectivity?

Still. If you grant me permission - I am happy to interact with you in the framework of 'survival of the fittest". I'll make you sign the indemnity forms and everything... Would you like a safe word?
Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:11 am
Without a prior principle that it is, for some reason, "wrong" to harm the weak, you've not got something defensible there. It sounds good, at first hearing, but it's really vacuous and can be subverted at the first question.
So you have imposed a moral standard on yourself that is subject to the regress problem in epistemology? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistemol ... ss_problem

On what principle do you accept or reject any principles? That's a self-defeating strategy that recurses into nothingness. Talk about vacuous. You have nothing defensible there either - not even your own life!

I trust you are doxasticly commited to your beliefs so let us know when you will be live-streaming your nihilistic suicide on YouTube?
Last edited by TimeSeeker on Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:00 pm, edited 68 times in total.

Veritas Aequitas
Posts: 1080
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:41 am

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:34 am

uwot wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:46 am
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:37 am
I noted.
Where we agree that is fine.
In any case, I had expressed it from my own perspective.
Fair enough. I think it is sometimes helpful to remind ourselves which bit of a scientific 'theory' is actually a theory. In general there is the observation, the analysis and the theory itself. The observation/data is objective. It is often true that data is collected and analysed in the context of a theory, but as far as we know, our theories do not change the actual behaviour of the world. So for instance, when creationists dismiss evolution as 'just a theory', they are ignoring the fact that the data overwhelming supports the 'theory' that living organisms evolve. It isn't evolution that is a theory, it's the 'by natural selection' bit that is theoretical and whether we think some god is responsible or not, makes no difference to the fact that there used to be dinosaurs, and now there aren't.
What is objective with a scientific theory is that the theory can be independently tested, verified and justified by any one and the results will be always be consistent when every bit of the theory as qualified is complied with.

If the conclusion are different it is likely to some missing variables not accounted for or done inaccurately thus the theory has to be revised or abandon.

Objectivity is never absolute but relative, thus comes in a range of degrees of confidence levels.
This degree of confidence will be assessed in accordance to the processes, observations, analysis and various works done [which must be transparent and available to all] in arriving at a scientific conclusion.

The confidence level in the objectivity of a scientific theory will also depend on the types of scientific theories, i.e.
  • 1. theory proven in with empirical testing, Newton's theory of motion, etc.
    2. Pure theory - not tested - e.g. Big Bang, evolution,
    3. Speculative, predictive theory - human like aliens somewhere in the Universe
What is most critical with scientific theory is its useful to convert into various technologies that are useful [mindful of abuse] and its predictive power.

The most caution needed for scientific theories are its potential abuse and bigotry as in Scientism.
In general, the default stance of science is humility in acknowledging its limitations and weaknesses.

Theism on the other hand by default is pure bigotry! without any provision for proofs, testing nor any evidence to justify its claims.

TimeSeeker
Posts: 2268
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:42 am

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by TimeSeeker » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:53 am

Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:34 am
What is objective with a scientific theory is that the theory can be independently tested, verified and justified by any one and the results will be always be consistent when every bit of the theory as qualified is complied with.
The results may be consistently reproduced but they can't be consistently interpreted. The problem of time ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_of_time ) means we have multiple conceptions of "time".

For a method (science) which defines itself in terms of prediction - that's a pretty serious flaw.

Define prediction without CHOOSING a conception of time. Are you interpreting the results against the same conception? Because if you aren't - that's a parsing error.

This is actually my area of (amateur) interest: http://www.whatisti.me/2018/09/02/Openi ... s-box.html

Peter Holmes
Posts: 265
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:53 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:26 am

I wrote the following:

'The rules or standards within a system or model have no truth-value - they're simply normative. To call them 'objective', which here means 'factual', is tautologous, and so vacuous.'

Veritas Aequitas wrote:
You got the wrong idea that 'objective' must be factual.
That the model 1 + 1 = 2 is objective by reason, not by normally proven facts [normal empirical based]. It is the same for other mathematical axioms.
But nonetheless, note whatever is objective [empirical or by reason] is ultimately subjective fundamentally, i.e. inter-subjective.
So, we can derived objective moral laws based on reason [not directly a posteriori] which ultimately must be traced to the empirical [a priori].

There is nothing that is absolutely objective, i.e. exists independently of human [who are subjects] conditions.
I think you're mistaken on both counts.

A definition of 'objective' is: 'adjective (of a person or their judgement) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.'

Facts are at the heart of objectivity. To be objective is to rely on facts - true factual assertions.

Then the question is: what is a true factual assertion - a fact? And I take it to be an assertion about a feature of reality that may not be or have been the case. A factual assertion is one with a truth-value - an assertion that can be true or false. And we happen to call the true ones facts.

The assertion '1+1+2' can't be false, because it isn't factual. It doesn't make a claim about a feature of reality that may not be the case. And since 'objective' does indeed mean 'factual', it's a mistake to call mathematical and logical assertions 'objective'.

As for the 'ultimate' or 'fundamental' subjectivity of what we call objectivity - I think that's a sophistry that reinforces theistic special pleading for the divine dispensation to dissolve the fact-value barrier: a god's (moral) opinions are (by fiat) facts.

TimeSeeker
Posts: 2268
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:42 am

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by TimeSeeker » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:21 am

Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:26 am
Facts are at the heart of objectivity. To be objective is to rely on facts - true factual assertions.
You've gotten yourself all tangled up in this English mess. Assertions are transfer-functions (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transfer_function). They take "facts" as inputs and produce conclusions as outputs.

In Mathematics: f(facts) = conclusion.
Define f(x). In Mathematics or Python. Up to you...
Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:26 am
Then the question is: what is a true factual assertion - a fact? And I take it to be an assertion about a feature of reality that may not be or have been the case. A factual assertion is one with a truth-value - an assertion that can be true or false. And we happen to call the true ones facts.
How do you assert the truth-value of a fact? Another algorithm!

g(facts) = truth-value.
Define g(x).

And so by your own definition an objective conclusion is f(g(facts)).
Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:26 am
The assertion '1+1+2' can't be false, because it isn't factual. It doesn't make a claim about a feature of reality that may not be the case. And since 'objective' does indeed mean 'factual', it's a mistake to call mathematical and logical assertions 'objective'.
Ok, but ALL assertions are an output of a function. There are NO assertions which are not output of a function.

So then... it's a mistake to call ANY assertions 'objective'?

If I have 2 egg and I buy 2 more egg I will have 4 eggs. This is factually and objectively true! It's isomorphic to 2+2=4.
If I have 1 egg and I buy 1 more egg I will have 10 eggs. This is also factually and objectively true! It's isomorphic to 1+1 = 10. I just felt like counting in binary this time.
Last edited by TimeSeeker on Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TimeSeeker
Posts: 2268
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:42 am

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by TimeSeeker » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:24 am

Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:26 am
'The rules or standards within a system or model have no truth-value - they're simply normative. To call them 'objective', which here means 'factual', is tautologous, and so vacuous.'
To make this claim you have pre-supposed a closed system. Is reality a closed or an open system? We don't know.

And so the rules aren't even normative. They are subject to change/chaos without any prior warning.

Peter Holmes
Posts: 265
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:53 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:12 pm

TimeSeeker

I'm struggling with what you're getting at, so I apologise for being slow to address it. I have some prelim questions - and sorry if they're stupid.

Do I detect Frege's baleful influence? The illusion of a non-linguistic language?

Do you agree that a meta-language is just another language?

And do you agree that logic deals with language, not reality?

And do you agree that a fact is nothing more than a linguistic expression?

And do you think numbers are real things like eggs?

User avatar
Immanuel Can
Posts: 4588
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:42 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Immanuel Can » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:34 pm

Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:29 am
Note you have not countered my proof convincingly.
That's because I never saw it.

Still don't see it here. Where is it? If you can point me to it, I'll go and look again.
Note the central theme of all religions, theistic or non-theistic is centered on and reducible to the psychological, i.e. the subconscious fear of inevitable mortality. The concept of fear is definitely psychological, what else.

Philippians 2:12, "...continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling."
So you blow by everything the Bible says about love, to get to a verse that uses the word "fear," and this, then becomes the total sum of what the Bible teaches about motivation, in your mind? :shock:

Wow. Talk about selective reading!

You've missed all the good stuff. But I can help out.

How about these:

"By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us." (1 John 4:17-19)

"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful." (Jn. 14:27)


You will also find that "fear" is used in multiple senses, in the Bible: for the legitimate fear of danger, the illegitimate fear of things that won't happen, for the righteous reverence (translated "fear") that people ought to have for God, and for the things the unrighteous lack, a sensible anticipation ("fear") of being judged if they do not repent. In the passage you picked, the word is being used for the third of these, not for the first, second or fourth. But you find the fourth in both Isaiah, and in Romans 3, in an extended description of what's wrong with people who have no righteous "fear" of God:

“There is none righteous, not even one;
There is none who understands,
There is none who seeks for God;
All have turned aside, together they have become useless;
There is none who does good,
There is not even one.”
“Their throat is an open grave,
With their tongues they keep deceiving,”
“The poison of asps is under their lips”;
“Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness”;
“Their feet are swift to shed blood,
Destruction and misery are in their paths,
And the path of peace they have not known.”
There is no fear of God before their eyes.”


So "fear" is quite a good thing to have, when fear is warranted. And lack of it can be terribly foolish. But the over-riding theme, the thing that the Bible says banishes bad "fear" is the love of God. And while the word "love" appears over 230 times in the New Testament, the word "fear," even including its positive forms, appears a total of only about 90.

So on preponderance of the evidence, you'd have to say that whatever motivation we attribute to "fears" of all kinds, "love" trumps them all by more than twice.

The upshot of the evidence is this: that if your "psychological" explanation is accurate, you'd certainly have to say that the overriding motivation of Christians was "love," not "fear."

User avatar
Immanuel Can
Posts: 4588
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:42 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Immanuel Can » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:59 pm

TimeSeeker wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:23 am
Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:11 am
No "harm"? No good. Sorry.
Well, that's an ironic performative contradiction!

If we have no objective moral standards - how did you assert this is "no good"?
I mean "not rationally adequate," not "not morally good."

I'm not "imposing" any moral values on you, just pointing out a critical point of failure in the proffered explanation.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:11 am
It's not just that you haven't defined what constitutes "harm," although that's a pretty serious fault
You haven't defined what constitutes "objectivity"
Peter's been working on that question, if you've followed the earlier parts of the thread. We do need a clear definition from him.
or "morality" either.
Peter thinks it's a subjective thing, and has no real existence at all. I disagree with him. Once again, earlier in the threat we work this over.
I can't define what constitutes "harm" anymore than you can define what constitutes a "human", "objective" or "morality".
My position is that I can define these terms. Peter's position is that nobody can...I think that's his position, anyway. But you'll have to read back to find that out.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:11 am
but even worse, we don't know what principle tells us that causing "harm" (whatever that may be interpreted as being) is morally wrong at all.
Value-laden again! By what MORAL VALUE did you decide that we need principles to tell us what's "right" and "wrong"?

It's not "value laden." It's an objective claim I'm making there. It's the claim that objectively, you didn't give us any rationale to believe that "harm" (whatever it is) is "bad" for us to do. And since you objectively didn't give us any reason to think it's "bad," (whatever that means), you can't successfully use it as an answer to the question of how we decide what morality is. It's uninformative, as a stand-alone term, and unlegitimated as a claim.

But it's your term. You chose it. So all I'm pointing out is that you didn't really mean anything by it. Thus, it wasn't a real answer.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:11 am
Why shouldn't the lion kill the gazelle? It might be "harm," but that's what lions do. Likewise, why should the strong take advantage of the weak? The weak might call it "harm" but the strong could regard it as simply a great opportunity. That's what the strong do. We don't morally fault the lion for the kill; why would we fault the strong human for his "kill"?
The lion can and does kill the gazelle. The strong can and do take advantage of the weak. It is an opportunity indeed.
That's what I'm asking. Why do you say that we should avoid "harm" (your term, not mine) when it's obvious that in the natural world "harm" happens all the time, without it having any moral implication at all -- like in the case of the lion.
Observe - you are using the word "we". We who? We - society! WE don't fault the strong for their kill. WE just don't like it. WE would prefer it if WE could trust each other rather and foster co-operation instead of fear and distrust amongst humans. And so WE promise each other NO HARM. And since WE are stronger in numbers WE see an opportunity too! WE make an example of those who don't obey the rules WE have clearly laid out. WE take that which is most precious to them - their freedom of choice.

WE are committed to NO HARM and WE are transparently IMPOSING it on you. Try so much as removing a hair from another human against their will and you will have to deal with me. 6-foot, 95 kilogram, Glock-carrying jiu-jitsu black belt police officer with 160 IQ. But I am civilised - even if I am much stronger and more powerful than you, so I extend to you the courtesy to reason with me instead of me imposing my will on you.

Does that meet your criteria for objectivity?
It meets Nietzsche's standard for objectivity. It also meets Stalin's standard for morality.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:11 am
So you have imposed a moral standard on yourself that is subject to the regress problem in epistemology?
It would indeed be, if there were no stopping point of morality. That's what I've been trying to point out to Peter, actually. There is a permanent regress problem in moral epistemology, if we assume there's no God. If God exists, then, so to speak, "the buck stops there." And then the regress is done.
On what principle do you accept or reject any principles? That's a self-defeating strategy that recurses into nothingness.

Yes! And that's exactly what Atheism does. Having no basis for believing anything in the moral realm in a non-arbitrary way, it can only assume that the moral field is empty. There are no moral hold-backs on anything...we can do what is conventionally called "good," or we can do what is conventionally called "evil": since it's all merely conventional, none of it is durable.

The 20th Century gave us a microcosm of how this plays out, in several movements. At the turn of the century, Nietzsche declared God dead and the moral field "beyond good and evil." Then secular governments began increasingly to act as if Nietzsche was right -- not doing conventionally bad things, always, but always keeping open the option of doing worse things if it turned out to be "useful" to do them.

We see this worked forward in all the century's totalitarian regimes. God being gone, and morality being a figment, then whatever seems most "useful" gets done -- and historically, as it turns out, that includes pogroms, death-marches, re-education camps, ethnic cleansing, targeting civilians, and so on...All turn out to be necessary in order to eliminate the elements that stand against what is perceived by the social 'reformers' to be "useful."

We killed 148 million people in exactly that way, in the secular wars of the 20th Century. Most of them died at the hand of ardently Atheist regimes, like those of Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, the Kim Jongs, Castro, and so on. But even in the West, we carpet-bombed Dresden civilians, took colonial control of foreign lands, and recklessly polluted the planet, among other things.

And really, in an Atheistic world, why shouldn't we? :shock: What "needs" to happen is open to happen. There's no ultimate moral truth to protest against it.

This is what makes me glad not to be an Atheist, actually...well, one of many, many things.

Dubious
Posts: 1905
Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 7:40 am

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Dubious » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:19 pm



Dubious wrote: ↑
Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:08 pm
Truth isn't moral. It could be described as thoroughly objective WITHOUT any moral implications.

Immanuel Can wrote: ↑
Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:59 pm
Then it makes no sense for you to use moral language in connection with it.

But I haven't. Show me where I have!
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:30 pm
You use words like "coward," and "hypocrite." Those are value-laden pejoratives.
True, because that's what you've proven yourself to be at least in argument! I don't know! Maybe you're a really nice, reasonable fellow outside your theistic handicaps! Truth or fact, (most often they're the same), can be told anytime without requiring truth itself to be moral since it requires no moral edict to be told. It is what it is.

Who could disagree with that except you!
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:30 pm
...secular common law morality...
Is historically derived from Christianity.
If true, and that's only partially, then why are you so against secular common law morality if it derives from Christian values? The ONLY difference would be that it's borrowed instead of given. In what way would that create a lesser morality.

In any event, morality existed long before any religion came into being the former eventually invoking the latter.
Dubious wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:08 pm
The A Priori Argument (also, Rationalization; Dogmatism, Proof Texting.): A corrupt argument from logos, starting with a given, pre-set belief, dogma, doctrine, scripture verse, "fact" or conclusion and then searching for any reasonable or reasonable-sounding argument to rationalize, defend or justify it. ...
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:30 pm
An inaccurate definition. If you look it up, you'll find out that "a priori" is actually a neutral philosophical term, describing any premise which has to be taken as given in order to generate subsequent knowledge, but which cannot itself be justified from earlier "prior" premises. Here's a neutral, scholar-reviewed source: https://www.iep.utm.edu/apriori/

You've culled a slanted definition from a misinformed source: and then you've assumed that the description it offers can be justly predicated of Theism. But that clearly isn't good enough.
Take it up with the philosophy department of the University of Texas. It only becomes a fallacy when it's mutilated by theists and fundamentalists...as per description.

Here's another much earlier mention of "a priori fallacies" based on J.S. Mill's classification:
In John Stuart Mill's A System of
Logic we find a similar classification:
Fallacies are of two main sorts: "Fallacies of Simple Inspection/' and "Fallacies of Inference" .[22]
Fallacies of Simple Inspection (or, a priori fallacies; or, natural prejudices)
The fallacy lies in the corruption of A Priori as denoted, NOT in its philosophical definition(s).

User avatar
Immanuel Can
Posts: 4588
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:42 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Immanuel Can » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:39 pm

Dubious wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:19 pm


Dubious wrote: ↑
Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:08 pm
Truth isn't moral. It could be described as thoroughly objective WITHOUT any moral implications.

Immanuel Can wrote: ↑
Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:59 pm
Then it makes no sense for you to use moral language in connection with it.

But I haven't. Show me where I have!
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:30 pm
You use words like "coward," and "hypocrite." Those are value-laden pejoratives.
True, ...
Then you think value-laden pejoratives are objectively true. You've used moral language, and treated it as objective. You've now destroyed your own theory.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:30 pm
...secular common law morality...
Is historically derived from Christianity.
If true, and that's only partially, then why are you so against secular common law morality if it derives from Christian values? The ONLY difference would be that it's borrowed instead of given. In what way would that create a lesser morality.
The difference is that Christian morality can be rationally grounded, meaning it can explain the "why" of its existence. But there isn't even the potential, rationally speaking, for any Atheist morality to be grounded. Common Law without any legitimative grounds is no longer a law or common at all. It's just a historical fiction waiting to be disregarded. So the "lesser" morality is the ungrounded one.

Dubious
Posts: 1905
Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 7:40 am

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Dubious » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:40 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:39 pm
Dubious wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:19 pm


Dubious wrote: ↑
Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:08 pm
Truth isn't moral. It could be described as thoroughly objective WITHOUT any moral implications.

Immanuel Can wrote: ↑
Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:59 pm
Then it makes no sense for you to use moral language in connection with it.

But I haven't. Show me where I have!
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:30 pm
You use words like "coward," and "hypocrite." Those are value-laden pejoratives.
True, ...
Then you think value-laden pejoratives are objectively true. You've used moral language, and treated it as objective. You've now destroyed your own theory.
I know you would like to think so and obviously it would default to this for someone who has no comprehension of objectivity or truth or how the A Priori sequence can be so deviously corrupted into a fallacy by fundamentalists.

I also noticed you haven't made any further mention of the A Priori Argument fallacy! Could it be there really is such a thing! :wink:
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:30 pm
...secular common law morality...
Is historically derived from Christianity.
Dubious wrote:If true, and that's only partially, then why are you so against secular common law morality if it derives from Christian values? The ONLY difference would be that it's borrowed instead of given. In what way would that create a lesser morality.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:30 pm
The difference is that Christian morality can be rationally grounded, meaning it can explain the "why" of its existence.
So is there any way you can explain the "why" that would ground theistic morality vis-a-vis its secular neighbor from which it is supposedly derived??

Veritas Aequitas
Posts: 1080
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:41 am

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:06 am

TimeSeeker wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:53 am
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:34 am
What is objective with a scientific theory is that the theory can be independently tested, verified and justified by any one and the results will be always be consistent when every bit of the theory as qualified is complied with.
The results may be consistently reproduced but they can't be consistently interpreted. The problem of time ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_of_time ) means we have multiple conceptions of "time".

For a method (science) which defines itself in terms of prediction - that's a pretty serious flaw.

Define prediction without CHOOSING a conception of time. Are you interpreting the results against the same conception? Because if you aren't - that's a parsing error.

This is actually my area of (amateur) interest: http://www.whatisti.me/2018/09/02/Openi ... s-box.html
As I had stated there are a range of degrees to objectivity.
I agree [no dispute] there can be many interpretations of 'time' which do work within certain specified framework.
Thus any reasonable 'prediction' in Science or elsewhere has include a qualification for the basis of time, if it not based on the conventional/traditional definition.
In the philosophical community, the concept of time have been heavily debated. I don't believe there exists the 'only true definition of time' and others are false.

'Time' is a very loose term and thus we need to define 'what is time' specifically in our interpretation if time is not used in the conventional sense.

For example, that certain principles of Newtonian Physics does not work in Einstein's Relativity which does not in Quantum Physics do not mean Newtonian and Einstein's theories are wrong, false or useless.
Point is Newtonian, Einstein and QM produce utility - the greatest purpose of science - to humanity within its specified framework and assumptions.

What I see is many work on the concept of time in certain specific framework which make good or some sense but then they quickly condemned the traditional concept of time, i.e. arrow of time divided in discrete units.
One good example is Heidegger in this 'Being and Time' where is condemned the traditional interpretation of time.

Veritas Aequitas
Posts: 1080
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:41 am

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:18 am

Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:26 am
I wrote the following:

'The rules or standards within a system or model have no truth-value - they're simply normative. To call them 'objective', which here means 'factual', is tautologous, and so vacuous.'

Veritas Aequitas wrote:
You got the wrong idea that 'objective' must be factual.
That the model 1 + 1 = 2 is objective by reason, not by normally proven facts [normal empirical based]. It is the same for other mathematical axioms.
But nonetheless, note whatever is objective [empirical or by reason] is ultimately subjective fundamentally, i.e. inter-subjective.
So, we can derived objective moral laws based on reason [not directly a posteriori] which ultimately must be traced to the empirical [a priori].

There is nothing that is absolutely objective, i.e. exists independently of human [who are subjects] conditions.
I think you're mistaken on both counts.

A definition of 'objective' is: 'adjective (of a person or their judgement) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.'

Facts are at the heart of objectivity. To be objective is to rely on facts - true factual assertions.

Then the question is: what is a true factual assertion - a fact? And I take it to be an assertion about a feature of reality that may not be or have been the case. A factual assertion is one with a truth-value - an assertion that can be true or false. And we happen to call the true ones facts.

The assertion '1+1+2' can't be false, because it isn't factual. It doesn't make a claim about a feature of reality that may not be the case. And since 'objective' does indeed mean 'factual', it's a mistake to call mathematical and logical assertions 'objective'.

As for the 'ultimate' or 'fundamental' subjectivity of what we call objectivity - I think that's a sophistry that reinforces theistic special pleading for the divine dispensation to dissolve the fact-value barrier: a god's (moral) opinions are (by fiat) facts.
You are trying to be rhetorical.
You have introduced the dictionary meaning of objectivity, but since we are in a philosophy forum, we need a philosophical definition and perspective to what is objectivity.

I understand and agree to the common proposition, facts equal objectivity but the concept of objectivity is not totally dependent on facts.

I suggest you read the following to understand there are various views on the issue;
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objectivity_(philosophy)
Objectivity is a philosophical concept of being true independently from individual subjectivity caused by perception, emotions, or imagination. A proposition is considered to have objective truth when its truth conditions are met without bias caused by a sentient subject.
-wiki
Re the above, mathematical truths are objective [philosophical] and they are not facts per se but are a foundation to facts that rely on mathematics.

It would be from this more refined perspective that we will establish objective moral principles as abstracted from empirical evidences.
"Establish' mean humanity must work on it since there are no ontological pre-existing objective moral principles like those forced upon theists by a God [illusory].

Veritas Aequitas
Posts: 1080
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:41 am

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:58 am

Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:34 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:29 am
Note you have not countered my proof convincingly.
That's because I never saw it.

Still don't see it here. Where is it? If you can point me to it, I'll go and look again.
Hey.. there is something wrong here.
First you accused me of not giving a definition of evil.
When I point you to where I have defined and you had even responded to that, you give other excuses.

So at least you included some reservation here.
Note this glaring post here,

God is an Impossibility
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=24704

The argument and proof;
  • P1. Absolute perfection is an impossibility to be real
    P2. God, imperatively must be absolutely perfect
    C. Therefore God is an impossibility to be real.
Note the central theme of all religions, theistic or non-theistic is centered on and reducible to the psychological, i.e. the subconscious fear of inevitable mortality. The concept of fear is definitely psychological, what else.

Philippians 2:12, "...continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling."
So you blow by everything the Bible says about love, to get to a verse that uses the word "fear," and this, then becomes the total sum of what the Bible teaches about motivation, in your mind? :shock:

Wow. Talk about selective reading!

You've missed all the good stuff. But I can help out.

How about these:

"By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us." (1 John 4:17-19)

"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful." (Jn. 14:27)


You will also find that "fear" is used in multiple senses, in the Bible: for the legitimate fear of danger, the illegitimate fear of things that won't happen, for the righteous reverence (translated "fear") that people ought to have for God, and for the things the unrighteous lack, a sensible anticipation ("fear") of being judged if they do not repent. In the passage you picked, the word is being used for the third of these, not for the first, second or fourth. But you find the fourth in both Isaiah, and in Romans 3, in an extended description of what's wrong with people who have no righteous "fear" of God:

“There is none righteous, not even one;
There is none who understands,
There is none who seeks for God;
All have turned aside, together they have become useless;
There is none who does good,
There is not even one.”
“Their throat is an open grave,
With their tongues they keep deceiving,”
“The poison of asps is under their lips”;
“Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness”;
“Their feet are swift to shed blood,
Destruction and misery are in their paths,
And the path of peace they have not known.”
There is no fear of God before their eyes.”


So "fear" is quite a good thing to have, when fear is warranted. And lack of it can be terribly foolish. But the over-riding theme, the thing that the Bible says banishes bad "fear" is the love of God. And while the word "love" appears over 230 times in the New Testament, the word "fear," even including its positive forms, appears a total of only about 90.

So on preponderance of the evidence, you'd have to say that whatever motivation we attribute to "fears" of all kinds, "love" trumps them all by more than twice.

The upshot of the evidence is this: that if your "psychological" explanation is accurate, you'd certainly have to say that the overriding motivation of Christians was "love," not "fear."
The above implied there is 'fear' to be overcome and God is giving that assurance the person's fear can be overcome via love and through a belief in God. So we are still dealing with psychology here.
Note this fear is implied to be the mother of all fears, i.e. the subliminal existential fears of unavoidable mortality, thus the solution of salvation as the main theme of the Bible and ALL religions.
Once the 'mother of all fears' [existential doom in Hell] are pacified and in control for a person, all other fears are 'peanuts'.

The '500 pounds gorilla' you missed out here is 'love' is an primary emotion, thus it is still psychological.

My point is, theism from every angle will be reduced to the psychological, i.e. the psychological involving and finding relief for the existential pains from psychological existential crisis.

Buddhism understood how theism beat around the bush, thus they found the effective strategy which is psychological to address the ultimate root causes of clinging to the idea of God [illusory].

The main theme of the Buddha Story/Myth is the exposure of the mother of all sufferings, i.e. the existential awareness of unavoidable mortality, and other serious existential threats.

The glaring points within the Buddha Story/Myth is the well-protected Siddharta was suddenly was exposed to the following and realized the reality of existential threats to himself and everyone, i.e. he saw the following;
  • 1. Corpse = inevitable mortality for himself and all,
    2. Old man = sign of progressive existential extinction
    3. Sick man = a serious existential threat via disease.
The way the story is presented was obviously contrived to be a myth with a central theme of existential threats.

In his enlightenment, the Buddha introduced a self-regulating life Problem Solving Technique with a thorough model complete with justified principles and effective practices to deal with the existential issue instead of a mere short-cut approach of theism which is full of holes.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests