A Critique on Objective Morality

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

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Terrapin Station
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Re: A Critique on Objective Morality

Post by Terrapin Station » Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:41 am

Immanuel Can wrote:Knowledge claims must be based on reasons and evidence, or there's simply no reason to regard them as knowledge claims at all. So making any claim to have knowledge amounts to writing a promissory note to have reasons and evidence for that claim.

That is a voluntary taking on of the "burden of proof."
You're confusing something here.

What's at issue isn't whether someone has reasons and evidence for a claim. When someone makes a(n apparent) claim and doesn't go into detail about reasons/evidence, they may or may not have reasons and evidence that they consider to support it. The mere fact that they didn't express or go into any detail about their reasons or evidence that they consider to support a claim doesn't imply that they do not have any reasons or evidence that they consider to support it.

Burden of proof is about rhetorical or conversational behavior--rhetorical or conversational etiquette. It's something that other people are demanding about behavior--that one present one's reasons or evidence if one has them, because given the context--the nature of the claim in question, the context in which it occurred conversationally, etc., it's "claimed" that one has the burden of proof, and often contra someone else participating in the conversation who is also making claims.

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Re: A Critique on Objective Morality

Post by Immanuel Can » Thu Oct 13, 2016 5:02 pm

Terrapin Station wrote:What's at issue isn't whether someone has reasons and evidence for a claim. When someone makes a(n apparent) claim and doesn't go into detail about reasons/evidence, they may or may not have reasons and evidence that they consider to support it. The mere fact that they didn't express or go into any detail about their reasons or evidence that they consider to support a claim doesn't imply that they do not have any reasons or evidence that they consider to support it.
Immaterial. In "burden of proof," the obligation is to HAVE such reasons, that one could at least POTENTIALLY share if one wanted to.

If one has no reasons you could even potentially explain, then what one is being is irrational, not rational. And irrational arguments need not be believed by anyone: ideally, not even by the person floating them.

Now, if another person should say, "prove it," then you can choose to say "yes," and then do it, or you can choose to say "no." That's a purely contingent matter, and has nothing to do with logic...just choice. But if you choose the latter, you have not met the burden of proof that justifies the argument. You have no reason to complain if you are disbelieved, then.

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Re: A Critique on Objective Morality

Post by Terrapin Station » Thu Oct 13, 2016 5:15 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:Immaterial. In "burden of proof," the obligation is to HAVE such reasons, that one could at least POTENTIALLY share if one wanted to.

If one has no reasons you could even potentially explain, then what one is being is irrational, not rational. And irrational arguments need not be believed by anyone: ideally, not even by the person floating them.

Now, if another person should say, "prove it," then you can choose to say "yes," and then do it, or you can choose to say "no." That's a purely contingent matter, and has nothing to do with logic...just choice. But if you choose the latter, you have not met the burden of proof that justifies the argument. You have no reason to complain if you are disbelieved, then.
I'm very confused by your response.

Yes or no, do you agree that the mere fact that someone hasn't stated reasons or evidence for a claim doesn't imply that they do not have reasons or evidence that they consider justification for the claim?

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Re: A Critique on Objective Morality

Post by Immanuel Can » Thu Oct 13, 2016 6:56 pm

Terrapin Station wrote: Yes or no, do you agree that the mere fact that someone hasn't stated reasons or evidence for a claim doesn't imply that they do not have reasons or evidence that they consider justification for the claim?
They must HAVE reasons and evidence, or their view is irrational. If pressed, they must PRODUCE those reasons, or be accused of having none, and hence of being irrational. That's fair, and that's "burden of proof."

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Re: A Critique on Objective Morality

Post by Terrapin Station » Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:25 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Terrapin Station wrote: Yes or no, do you agree that the mere fact that someone hasn't stated reasons or evidence for a claim doesn't imply that they do not have reasons or evidence that they consider justification for the claim?
They must HAVE reasons and evidence, or their view is irrational. If pressed, they must PRODUCE those reasons, or be accused of having none, and hence of being irrational. That's fair, and that's "burden of proof."
<sigh>, so was that a yes or no?

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Re: A Critique on Objective Morality

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:00 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Terrapin Station wrote:Talking about how some people think about it doesn't imply that it's not just a convention.
You missed the point.

One has this choice: one can assert a claim as a "knowledge" claim, or else merely make a claim as a personal preference -- an imagining, a wish, an aspiration, or some such fanciful notion.

There's nothing wrong with doing either; but they're not equal.

Knowledge claims must be based on reasons and evidence, or there's simply no reason to regard them as knowledge claims at all.

So making any claim to have knowledge amounts to writing a promissory note to have reasons and evidence for that claim.

That is a voluntary taking on of the "burden of proof."

It's that simple.

Now, if one doesn't want to say that something one claims is actually "knowledge," fine: but one then has to except that there are no reasons why anyone should believe it.

If you're happy with that, fine.
The existence of objective morality is not a concept you seem to understand.
In holding it as a fanciful aspiration, you have also to understand what you mean by the term. So far you have failed to even do that.

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Re: A Critique on Objective Morality

Post by Immanuel Can » Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:27 pm

Terrapin Station wrote:<sigh>, so was that a yes or no?
That was a "yes." But it had conditions, one of which was that such an explanation had to exist, and another that, if the claimant was asked by a rational challenger, that rational explanation had to be presented or it didn't count for anything.

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Re: A Critique on Objective Morality

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:48 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Terrapin Station wrote:<sigh>, so was that a yes or no?
That was a "yes." But it had conditions, one of which was that such an explanation had to exist, and another that, if the claimant was asked by a rational challenger, that rational explanation had to be presented or it didn't count for anything.
Are you going to say what you mean by 'Objective Morality"? Or not?

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Re: A Critique on Objective Morality

Post by Walker » Fri Oct 14, 2016 4:01 am

Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Immanuel Can wrote:
Terrapin Station wrote:<sigh>, so was that a yes or no?
That was a "yes." But it had conditions, one of which was that such an explanation had to exist, and another that, if the claimant was asked by a rational challenger, that rational explanation had to be presented or it didn't count for anything.
Are you going to say what you mean by 'Objective Morality"? Or not?
Objective morality is nothing more than survival of the fittest, by any means necessary. Subjective morality mitigates objective morality to create a societal structure that allows for specialization and extended individual lives, which benefits the species. This makes harmonious cooperation among individuals a defining characteristic of survival for modern man. Thus, the manifestation of objective morality may change from savage individualism to big and little good cogs in the machine, but the underlying principle, survival of the fittest, does not change. Life is the basis for objective morality: no survival, no life, no morality. How are you gonna prove that? Just look around. What you see is what you get. Only the physical exists whether or not human senses and mind can spot all physicalities as such. Objective morality becomes action according to conditions that promote either solitary mountain man at icy altitudes, or co-op man under a warm valley blanket. This means the same underlying principle of objective morality underlies the different actions of each man, whether or not either is cognizant of the principle in its conceptual form of physicality.

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Re: A Critique on Objective Morality

Post by creativesoul » Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:58 am

Morality is conventionally defined(SEP) as a code of conduct. All codes of conduct are relative to cultural/historical/familial particulars. Naturallt morality is relative/subjective by definition alone(at least that one). Several years back, I brought that to light in a conversation. Recently, I reviewed the article again, and the charge was mentioned, where it had not been prior. Moving on...



Regarding Kant's CI...

Kant's CI seems to make sense. It does indeed do so when read and understood by anyone with good will. It would even work when applied by those with good will and adequate understanding of the world and/or ourselves replete with accurate predictive abilities. In short, The CI boils down to thinking about what would happen if everyone did 'X'. As a way for an individual to arrive at whether or not some action/thought/belief is moral/good, I think it holds good enough, and much better than many or most other methods.


Regarding the golden rule...

I realize that most folk place much value upon the golden rule. Simply put, it isn't always the case that it is good to treat others how you like being treated. The problem is broad, and any number of specific circumstances/situations can be rightfully and meaningfully elaborated by virtue of applying it. The golden rule works from the dubious presupposition that everyone likes the same treatment.

Again, while it is good as a general rule of thumb(in most situations), it is most certainly not always good.

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Re: A Critique on Objective Morality

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:51 am

Walker wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Immanuel Can wrote: That was a "yes." But it had conditions, one of which was that such an explanation had to exist, and another that, if the claimant was asked by a rational challenger, that rational explanation had to be presented or it didn't count for anything.
Are you going to say what you mean by 'Objective Morality"? Or not?
Objective morality is nothing more than survival of the fittest, by any means necessary. .
Says who?

You are misunderstanding the question.
Had I asked "If there was an objective morality; what would it be, or what would it look like?" Then you have answered well.
The problem with your answer is that Natural Selection is not an intentional agency but an effect of natural processes. A "MORAL" system Is an intentional system of rules by which humans ought to, or best, live their lives.

Were humans to apply your scheme, this would result in one big fat moron, sitting on top of a pile of corpses.
It also ignores Darwin's reflections on compassion, co-operation, and if you wish the apparent selflessness of behaviours that Dawkins (sppwah!!) liked to call the "Selfish Gene".

My question to Immanual Can, which he is too scared to answer, is not the details of what he thinks a moral system should be, but what would sustain, and create an 'objective morality'

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Re: A Critique on Objective Morality

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Fri Oct 14, 2016 10:04 am

creativesoul wrote:Morality is conventionally defined(SEP) as a code of conduct. All codes of conduct are relative to cultural/historical/familial particulars. Naturallt morality is relative/subjective by definition alone(at least that one). Several years back, I brought that to light in a conversation. Recently, I reviewed the article again, and the charge was mentioned, where it had not been prior. Moving on...



Regarding Kant's CI...

Kant's CI seems to make sense. It does indeed do so when read and understood by anyone with good will. It would even work when applied by those with good will and adequate understanding of the world and/or ourselves replete with accurate predictive abilities. In short, The CI boils down to thinking about what would happen if everyone did 'X'. As a way for an individual to arrive at whether or not some action/thought/belief is moral/good, I think it holds good enough, and much better than many or most other methods.


Regarding the golden rule...

I realize that most folk place much value upon the golden rule. Simply put, it isn't always the case that it is good to treat others how you like being treated. The problem is broad, and any number of specific circumstances/situations can be rightfully and meaningfully elaborated by virtue of applying it. The golden rule works from the dubious presupposition that everyone likes the same treatment.

Again, while it is good as a general rule of thumb(in most situations), it is most certainly not always good.
The CI is just one suggestion, much like the golden rule. This only works when people choose to apply it, and it is easy enough to take a personal advantage by simply ignoring it, as many do.
I do not think you have to look far to observe people talking the talk of the CI, whilst walking the walk of self interest.

You will also be aware of the principle of utilitarianism, which seeks to establish the greatest happiness to the greatest number of people possible. This also faces abuse by the rich and privileged by claiming that people with better breeding appreciate wealth better than the poor who would only squander it, and so use that excuse to keep their's rather than share it.

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Re: A Critique on Objective Morality

Post by Walker » Fri Oct 14, 2016 12:36 pm

Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Walker wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Are you going to say what you mean by 'Objective Morality"? Or not?
Objective morality is nothing more than survival of the fittest, by any means necessary. Subjective morality mitigates objective morality to create a societal structure that allows for specialization and extended individual lives, which benefits the species. This makes harmonious cooperation among individuals a defining characteristic of survival for modern man. Thus, the manifestation of objective morality may change from savage individualism to big and little good cogs in the machine, but the underlying principle, survival of the fittest, does not change. Life is the basis for objective morality: no survival, no life, no morality. How are you gonna prove that? Just look around. What you see is what you get. Only the physical exists whether or not human senses and mind can spot all physicalities as such. Objective morality becomes action according to conditions that promote either solitary mountain man at icy altitudes, or co-op man under a warm valley blanket. This means the same underlying principle of objective morality underlies the different actions of each man, whether or not either is cognizant of the principle in its conceptual form of physicality.
Says who?

You are misunderstanding the question.
Had I asked "If there was an objective morality; what would it be, or what would it look like?" Then you have answered well.
The problem with your answer is that Natural Selection is not an intentional agency but an effect of natural processes. A "MORAL" system Is an intentional system of rules by which humans ought to, or best, live their lives.

Were humans to apply your scheme, this would result in one big fat moron, sitting on top of a pile of corpses.
It also ignores Darwin's reflections on compassion, co-operation, and if you wish the apparent selflessness of behaviours that Dawkins (sppwah!!) liked to call the "Selfish Gene".

My question to Immanual Can, which he is too scared to answer, is not the details of what he thinks a moral system should be, but what would sustain, and create an 'objective morality'
If you think the “scheme” is what you say, read again, this time more carefully. Regarding your final sentence, survival of the fittest and associated activities is what creates and sustains an objective morality. A subjective moral "system" is the intentional agency that mitigates for the purpose of cooperative behavior. Under certain conditions, the fittest is the most cooperative, and this of course changes which “fittest” survive to propagate the objective morality of, survival of the fittest. The objective, sustaining principle remains the same, though the expression changes.

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Re: A Critique on Objective Morality

Post by Immanuel Can » Fri Oct 14, 2016 12:55 pm

creativesoul wrote: Regarding Kant's CI...

Kant's CI seems to make sense. It does indeed do so when read and understood by anyone with good will. It would even work when applied by those with good will and adequate understanding of the world and/or ourselves replete with accurate predictive abilities. In short, The CI boils down to thinking about what would happen if everyone did 'X'. As a way for an individual to arrive at whether or not some action/thought/belief is moral/good, I think it holds good enough, and much better than many or most other methods.
Kant thought that was so. He called it "imperative," because it he did not regard it as in any way optional, and "categorical," because it was universally applicable in intent. Every rational person ought to believe it, he thought...not that he thought all people were rational, just that they ought to be.

But "the good will" of which he spoke was not "goodwill" as we speak of it, that is, it was not a general spirit of kindness or humanity a person might or might not feel, but rather was equivalent to, "the mind set on following reason." The person of rationality, thought Kant, would always follow the CI, though he fully knew that many would choose not to do so -- he just thought they'd be unreasonable to act that way, and hence, not possessed of "the good will."

Regarding the golden rule...
What we call "the GR" is stated in Luke 6:31, by Jesus Christ.

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Re: A Critique on Objective Morality

Post by Terrapin Station » Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:42 pm

Walker wrote:Objective morality is nothing more than survival of the fittest, by any means necessary.
In context, there, it wouldn't be at all clear to me what you're using "objective" to refer to.

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