Is morality objective or subjective?

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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uwot
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by uwot » Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:04 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:28 pm
Mr. uwot, I regret, is perversely addicted to blasphemy, contrary to the safety of his own soul.
Have no fear Mr Can, my soul is as safe as a lead-lined diamond, wrapped in cotton wool and a very long way from anything harmful.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:28 pm
I have tried to speak kindly with him, but found his responses turn that way every time.
No Mr Can, you have repeatedly called me and others "irrational" for the crime of knowing what we are talking about.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:28 pm
So I am morally bound to ignore his fits of ire...
Do you really believe your god sanctioned moral duty is to let a poor misguided soul, such as yours truly, burn in hell forever, by refusing to help him see the light?
Immanuel Can wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:28 pm
...in the interest of not encouraging him to harm himself. In fact, I don't want to see him judged, and would take no pleasure in it. But he seems to think he wants to challenge God directly. So I have to stand out of the way, because I don't want to incite him further to harm himself.
Ah well, that's just what happens when a god gives us mortals free will.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:28 pm
you don't understand what atheism is
Oh, I'm quite certain I do.
I'm sure you are Mr Can, but you are wrong.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:28 pm
Atheism, by etymology and definition, is not "a mere lack of belief." It's "active disbelief."
No it isn't.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:28 pm
Those are quite different, as I'm sure you'll happily recognize. But you'll perhaps tend to think that the Atheist can be merely the former, not the latter.

Not, however, by definition. Thus, if some skeptics use the terms imprecisely, that's their problem, not ours.
I'm not a sceptic Mr Can, I just happen to know what atheism means.

Peter Holmes
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Peter Holmes » Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:28 pm

Immanuel Can

So, as I thought, you have no evidence to justify the claim that a god exists or that morality is objective.

Fine. Come back when you have something to offer.
Last edited by Peter Holmes on Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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henry quirk
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Re: Pete

Post by henry quirk » Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:42 pm

You said: Yes, I think murder is wrong - that's my moral judgement, belief or opinion.

I wanna know: Why is it your moral judgement, belief or opinion that murder is wrong? What is your reasoning (what reason do you have) to say 'I think murder is wrong'?

Impenitent
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HQ

Post by Impenitent » Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:37 am

perhaps the question should be "is it more wrong for me to commit murder, or for me to be murdered?"

-Imp

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Immanuel Can » Wed Dec 11, 2019 1:19 am

Peter Holmes wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:28 pm
Fine. Come back when you have something to offer.
But so far, it seems you won't accept anything I might offer, Peter. You can't even say what "evidence" for or against would look like to you, if you ever saw it.

So what can I offer? I need at least an option, if I'm to offer anything. But if there are literally no things which you would consider evidence, what can I say? :shock:

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henry quirk
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Re: HQ

Post by henry quirk » Wed Dec 11, 2019 1:42 am

Impenitent wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:37 am
perhaps the question should be "is it more wrong for me to commit murder, or for me to be murdered?"

-Imp
One question at a time, Imp.

I wanna see where Pete will take me.

Peter Holmes
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Peter Holmes » Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:30 am

Immanuel Can wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 1:19 am
Peter Holmes wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:28 pm
Fine. Come back when you have something to offer.
But so far, it seems you won't accept anything I might offer, Peter. You can't even say what "evidence" for or against would look like to you, if you ever saw it.
No, you've offered one piece of evidence for moral objectivism: your claim that you have a personal relationship with a god. And that's not evidence for anything, as far as I'm concerned, let alone evidence for moral objectivism, which has nothing to do with the existence or non-existence of any agent.

So what can I offer? I need at least an option, if I'm to offer anything. But if there are literally no things which you would consider evidence, what can I say? :shock:
By all means keep up this pretence of reasonably aggrieved perplexity - and keep trying to put the burden on me by pretending that you've shown me every kind of evidence there could possibly be, and that I've turned them all down.

You claim that moral rightness and wrongness - moral values - are actual features of reality, independent of opinion. If they do exist, then of course they don't disappear when there's no one to perceive them. That's what 'being real' means.

You can keep deflecting, of course, and I can keep asking. Or you could brace up and offer the actual evidence that has convinced you. Your claimed personal relationship with a god is irrelevant, even if you aren't deluded and there is a god.

Over to you, in keen anticipation.

Peter Holmes
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Re: Pete

Post by Peter Holmes » Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:45 am

henry quirk wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:42 pm
You said: Yes, I think murder is wrong - that's my moral judgement, belief or opinion.

I wanna know: Why is it your moral judgement, belief or opinion that murder is wrong? What is your reasoning (what reason do you have) to say 'I think murder is wrong'?
Sorry, Henry, but you're not addressing what I say. Please think about it again.

Like you, I have reasons for my moral judgement that murder is wrong. I may say it's wrong to kill someone for no justifiable reason. But that's just replacing one moral assertion with another: this is wrong because that is wrong. But then the question is: but why is that wrong? And so on.

Or I may offer a judgement, such as: human life is sacred; everyone has an inalienable right to live - and so on. But those are all judgements, beliefs or opinions, and so are subjective, by definition.

In other words, you can bang the table and demand to know why I think murder is wrong, thinking you'll get a gotcha admission or recognition that there's a moral fact I can't deny. But there isn't, because moral assertions don't make factual claims - about independent features of reality - but rather express opinions.

That's why I'm asking you why you think morality is objective. Please can you list the reasons, and show why they are really facts and not judgements, beliefs or opinions. Give it a go, and you'll see the problem.

Peter Holmes
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Peter Holmes » Wed Dec 11, 2019 1:44 pm

We use the word fact in two different ways. A fact can be 'a state-of-affairs' or 'a true description of a state-of-affairs'. And in practice, when we identify a fact, what we do is produce a true description of a state-of-affairs - a linguistic expression. If you disagree, try citing a fact that isn't a linguistic expression. You'll find you can't.

What makes the description true is that there is indeed a state-of-affairs that the description describes correctly, independent from opinion. For example, the assertion 'the earth orbits the sun' is a fact (a true factual assertion) if the earth does indeed orbit the sun, and false if it doesn't.

Given this, moral realists and objectivists claim that there are moral states-of-affairs - moral features of reality - that moral assertions can describe correctly or incorrectly, so that they can be true or false, in the way that other factual assertions are true or false. And theirs is the burden of proving (showing) that there are such moral features of reality.

Now, can any moral realists and objectivists here produce what they think is a moral fact and show how it describes a state-of-affairs or feature of reality correctly, in the way that a fact must do, in order to be a fact? Just one example of a moral fact will do.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Immanuel Can » Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:25 pm

Peter Holmes wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:30 am
No, you've offered one piece of evidence for moral objectivism: your claim that you have a personal relationship with a god. And that's not evidence for anything, as far as I'm concerned, let alone evidence for moral objectivism, which has nothing to do with the existence or non-existence of any agent.
That's exactly what I said...it's an example of something that, no matter how good it might be, will not be conveyable to another person, and you would not personally have reason to accept.

So since I'm right about that, obviously, why the note of irritation? So far as our conversation goes, wasn't my only evidence, just a single case of sound but inadmissible evidence. I rested nothing at all upon it.
So what can I offer? I need at least an option, if I'm to offer anything. But if there are literally no things which you would consider evidence, what can I say? :shock:
By all means keep up this pretence of reasonably aggrieved perplexity - and keep trying to put the burden on me by pretending that you've shown me every kind of evidence there could possibly be, and that I've turned them all down.
You'll have to show me where I said any such thing, because you'll see I most certainly did not. I'm not aggrieved in any way: I'm just pointing out that the effect of unfocused skepticism is to gratuitously preclude all evidence.

Skepticism, to be serviceable, needs to have criteria. Even in a court of law, there is evidence that will be accepted ("hard" evidence) and evidence that will not (hearsay, for example). No court begins on the premise that no evidence can even be imagined that would be acceptable -- and if it did, what would the prosecutor or defence attorney be expected to do?

What does "evidence" look like to you?

uwot
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by uwot » Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:52 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:25 pm
What does "evidence" look like to you?
Ya can't have it both ways, Mr Can. If as you say Jesus insists that one must have active faith, and you do, then anything at all can be judged hard evidence. Without faith, nothing can.

Peter Holmes
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Peter Holmes » Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:16 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:25 pm
Peter Holmes wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:30 am
No, you've offered one piece of evidence for moral objectivism: your claim that you have a personal relationship with a god. And that's not evidence for anything, as far as I'm concerned, let alone evidence for moral objectivism, which has nothing to do with the existence or non-existence of any agent.
That's exactly what I said...it's an example of something that, no matter how good it might be, will not be conveyable to another person, and you would not personally have reason to accept.

So since I'm right about that, obviously, why the note of irritation? So far as our conversation goes, wasn't my only evidence, just a single case of sound but inadmissible evidence. I rested nothing at all upon it.
So what can I offer? I need at least an option, if I'm to offer anything. But if there are literally no things which you would consider evidence, what can I say? :shock:
By all means keep up this pretence of reasonably aggrieved perplexity - and keep trying to put the burden on me by pretending that you've shown me every kind of evidence there could possibly be, and that I've turned them all down.
You'll have to show me where I said any such thing, because you'll see I most certainly did not. I'm not aggrieved in any way: I'm just pointing out that the effect of unfocused skepticism is to gratuitously preclude all evidence.

Skepticism, to be serviceable, needs to have criteria. Even in a court of law, there is evidence that will be accepted ("hard" evidence) and evidence that will not (hearsay, for example). No court begins on the premise that no evidence can even be imagined that would be acceptable -- and if it did, what would the prosecutor or defence attorney be expected to do?

What does "evidence" look like to you?
One reason for my irritation is that you tell lies. For example, earlier you said this: 'But so far, it seems you won't accept anything I might offer, Peter. You can't even say what "evidence" for or against would look like to you, if you ever saw it.'

Now, that is a lie. I've never said or indicated that I would reject 'anything [you] might offer' as evidence for the existence of either a god or moral objectivism. And the claim that I can't say what such evidence would comprise is false - another lie.

The reason why I don't say what I would accept as such evidence is that it isn't my job to show you what would persuade me. Yours is the burden of proving your claims, because the burden of proof is always with the claimant.

And so far, all you've offered is your objectively unjustified claim that you have a personal relationship with a god -
something you admit couldn't possibly be evidence for anyone else - except for someone who already accepts the claims. So your evasion continues. Aren't you even slightly embarrassed? How deep does this irrationalism go in defence of your belief?

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henry quirk
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Re: Pete

Post by henry quirk » Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:17 pm

"Like you, I have reasons for my moral judgement that murder is wrong."

Then, tell me what they are.

Peter Holmes
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Re: Pete

Post by Peter Holmes » Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:22 pm

henry quirk wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:17 pm
"Like you, I have reasons for my moral judgement that murder is wrong."

Then, tell me what they are.
Read and try to understand my previous remarks. This is wasting time - yours and mine.

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henry quirk
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Re: Pete

Post by henry quirk » Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:24 pm

Peter Holmes wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:22 pm
henry quirk wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:17 pm
"Like you, I have reasons for my moral judgement that murder is wrong."

Then, tell me what they are.
Read and try to understand my previous remarks. This is wasting time - yours and mine.
Why can't you just plainly, directly, tell me why you think murder is wrong?

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