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?

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Logik
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Logik » Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:58 am

Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:44 am
I think you're mistaken. Signs mean what we use them to mean.
Begging the question.

What do we use the sign "objectivity" to mean?
Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:44 am
True factual assertions are what we call 'facts'.
I have demonstrated how this conception of 'facts' is incoherent.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:44 am
To be objective is to rely on facts rather than judgements about them. So facts are the given.
How do you rely on 'facts' if none of your beliefs meet the bar to be called 'facts'?
If 'facts are a given' do you pre-suppose their existence on faith?

Or maybe - it's "just how we use that word". If "facts" are a matter of convention - then why can't "objective morality" be a matter of convention too? Why the different standard?

Peter Holmes
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes » Fri Dec 14, 2018 8:26 am

Logik wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:58 am
Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:44 am
I think you're mistaken. Signs mean what we use them to mean.
Begging the question.

What do we use the sign "objectivity" to mean?
I've just explained how we use the sign 'objectivity'. If you disagree with my explanation, explain my mistake.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:44 am
To be objective is to rely on facts rather than judgements about them. So facts are the given
How do you rely on something you are yet to prove exists?
I find this question deeply puzzling. Facts are linguistic expressions, such as 'the earth orbits the sun'. So there's a fact that exists. What is it that you think has yet to be shown exists? Is it some metaphysical thing of which the word 'fact' is supposedly the name? If so, why do you think that is a thing that may or may not exist? What confused metaphysical assumption are you failing to question?
If 'facts are a given' do you pre-suppose their existence on faith?

Or maybe - it's "just how we use that word". If "facts" are a matter of convention - then why can't "objective morality" be a matter of convention too?
It's because the expressions 'objective morality' and 'moral fact' are contradictions - oxymorons - given the way we use the words 'objective' and 'fact'. I wonder why you're so determined to deny those uses of those words. Is it because you deny the existence of objectivity and facts? But then, why do you think objectivity and facts are things that may or may not exist? What sort of foundation is it that you maintain doesn't exist?

Logik
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Logik » Fri Dec 14, 2018 8:37 am

Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 8:26 am
I've just explained how we use the sign 'objectivity'. If you disagree with my explanation, explain my mistake.
I explained your mistake. You use objectivity to mean "based on facts".

You use 'facts' to mean 'true irrespective of what anybody believes or knows'. This criterion implies that facts cannot be falsified.
"The Earth orbits the Sun" is a falsifiable claim. Therefore it it's not a fact.

If you still insist on calling it a 'fact' then you are necessarily using the word 'facts' to mean something other than "true irrespective of what anybody believes or knows".
Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:44 am
I find this question deeply puzzling. Facts are linguistic expressions, such as 'the earth orbits the sun'. So there's a fact that exists.
This is circular. Yes "The Earth orbits the Sun" is a linguistic expression. The linguistic expression exists. Is the linguistic expression "The Earth orbits the Sun" a fact? I assert that it is not a fact because it's falsifiable.

Any claim that has the potential to be falsified cannot be 'true irrespective of what anybody believes or knows'!

Since all of your beliefs are falsifiable, then none of them are facts. If objectivity means "based on facts" and you have no facts, then you have no objectivity either.

Peter Holmes
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes » Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:23 am

Logik wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 8:37 am
Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 8:26 am
I've just explained how we use the sign 'objectivity'. If you disagree with my explanation, explain my mistake.
I explained your mistake. You use objectivity to mean "based on facts".

You use 'facts' to mean 'true irrespective of what anybody believes or knows'. This criterion implies that facts cannot be falsified.
"The Earth orbits the Sun" is a falsifiable claim. Therefore it it's not a fact.

If you still insist on calling it a 'fact' then you are necessarily using the word 'facts' to mean something other than "true irrespective of what anybody believes or knows".
Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:44 am
I find this question deeply puzzling. Facts are linguistic expressions, such as 'the earth orbits the sun'. So there's a fact that exists.
This is circular. Yes "The Earth orbits the Sun" is a linguistic expression. The linguistic expression exists. Is the linguistic expression a fact? No, it's not!
Why do I assert that? Because it's falsifiable!

Any claim that is falsifiable cannot be 'true irrespective of what anybody believes or knows'!
We're going around in circles, which is indeed pointless.

If you believe there are no such things as true factual assertions - which we happen to call facts - then we can't continue. I've explained my use of the expression 'factual assertion', and how such assertions may be true or false. If you believe the words 'true' and 'false' in this context have no clear meaning, then we can't continue.

You seem hung up on the use of 'falsifiable'. A factual assertion is falsifiable because it claims something about a feature of reality that may not be the case. If the feature of reality is the case, then the factual assertion asserting it is independently true, because its truth isn't a matter of opinion - and that's the basis of what we call 'objectivity'. If it is true, then, of course, its verifiability and falsifiability are no longer relevant. The word 'true' in the expression 'true factual assertion' ends, as it were, the falsifiability of the assertion.

And all of this is completely independent of what we believe or know about features of reality - epistemological questions. For example, the factual assertion 'the earth isn't flat' was and is and will be true, as long as the earth isn't flat, regardless of opinion, how ever consensual. Features of reality are completely independent of anything we say about them - and that independence is what makes objectivity and factual knowledge possible.

And to conclude, there are no such features of reality as 'the moral wrongness of [slavery]' or 'the moral rightness of [compassion]' that can verify or falsify the moral assertions '[slavery] is morally wrong' and '[compassion] is morally right'.

I think we've done this debate to death, so I'm signing off now, unless something compellingly different emerges. Thanks.

Logik
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Logik » Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:44 am

Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:23 am
If you believe there are no such things as true factual assertions - which we happen to call facts - then we can't continue. I've explained my use of the expression 'factual assertion', and how such assertions may be true or false.

Peter, that's a poor attempt at abdicating the burden of proof. It is your claim that "true factual assertions" (which you happen to call facts and happen to define as "true irrespective of what anybody believes or claims to know" ). It is your burden to demonstrate the existence of such subject-independent, free-floating, meaningful linguistic expressions.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:23 am
If you believe the words 'true' and 'false' in this context have no clear meaning, then we can't continue.
The lack of clarity around the meaning of 'true' and 'false' is a direct consequence of your proposed convention which allows for 'true factual assertions' to be falsified in future.

The linguistic expression 'The Earth orbits the Sun is a fact, a true factual assertion" is equivalent to "The Earth orbits the Sun is true".
To further say that 'The Earth orbits the Sun is falsifiable" is absurd because the notion of 'falsifiable truth' is absurd!

I am happy to continue when you rectify or justify the error in your position.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:23 am
You seem hung up on the use of 'falsifiable'. A factual assertion is falsifiable because it claims something about a feature of reality that may not be the case.
Of course I am! Because if you falsify something which is a "true factual assertion independent of what anybody believes or claims to know" then surely that is inappropriate use of the word 'true'?

Falsifiability and truth are mutually exclusive properties of linguistic expressions because axiomatically: true is not false and false is not true.
⊥ ⇔ ¬⊤
¬⊥ ⇔ ⊤

If a claim is falsifiable in principle then it cannot possibly be a 'true irrespective of what anybody believes or claims to know'!

To believe both at the same time is incoherent nonsense. I am not the one going in circles - you are. Because your position is self-defeating.

The way I interpret the sentence 'True irrespective of what anybody believes or claims to know' is 'Absolute Unfalsifiable Indisputable Universal Truth'. Such a truth would be beyond doubt.

Surely this is closer to what we mean by 'objectivity'?

Scientismist
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Scientismist » Fri Dec 14, 2018 5:16 pm

Logik wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:44 am
If a claim is falsifiable in principle then it cannot possibly be a 'true irrespective of what anybody believes or claims to know'!

To believe both at the same time is incoherent nonsense.
This objection makes no sense to me. What do you think the word 'falsifiable' means?

Logik
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Logik » Fri Dec 14, 2018 5:41 pm

Scientismist wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 5:16 pm
This objection makes no sense to me. What do you think the word 'falsifiable' means?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falsifiability

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henry quirk
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This may have been stated up-thread...

Post by henry quirk » Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:43 pm

...but if it hasn't: The only 'thing' that can make morality 'objective' is a perfect moral architect/arbiter. Such a 'thing' may exist, though I personally have experienced no evidence of this. So: in the absence of a perfect moral architect/arbiter, we got what we got, which is: morality by reason, by emotion, by hook, crook, fist, bomb, and gun. In other words, 'subjective' morality(s).

*Very much it's all in the eye of the beholder.









*exceptin' pedophilles...in all enviroments, in all circumstances: pure, raw, predatory evil, they are...rout 'em, exterminate 'em.

TryingMyBest
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by TryingMyBest » Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:02 pm

If the statement,"humans can be evil entities," is proven false; then it would be obvious (objectively understood) that morality could be defined as the science of how to harmonize humanity and reality. But morality would still be subjective because some people would claim that their benefit to humanity is greater than someone else's. Even if we stop causing harm to each other, morality will judge who is making the greatest contributions, so it remains somewhat qualitative and not quantitatively objective.

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Immanuel Did
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Immanuel Did » Sat Dec 15, 2018 12:03 am

Re: Peter Holmes I took your position as representative of Wittgenstein's earlier work and not of his later work.

Which is why I thought you would be supportive of the verification principle which renders ethics, religion, and metaphysics as "meaningless".

Would you say your philosophical perspective still relies on the verification principle as a normative standard?

The violation of the fact-value distinction is representative in Hume's is-ought problem and problem of induction.

In two separate ways:

One, the application of applying an is-ought problem to the rigor of knowledge is that in evaluating it you're still applying what an ought is and is not (The same way Hume did as Hillary Putnam and others have pointed out).

Two, Hume postulated the problem of induction however he moved from something conceptual (ought) to apply to something contigent (is).

"The laws of cause and effect ought to appear empirical however it is illusory."

What I mean by objective morality not being possible in your metaphysic (an absence of metaphysics is still a metaphysic) is it does not allow for such an ethic.

In another metaphysic that had the capable structural foundation objective morality is possible.

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Immanuel Did
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Re: This may have been stated up-thread...

Post by Immanuel Did » Sat Dec 15, 2018 12:16 am

henry quirk wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:43 pm
...but if it hasn't: The only 'thing' that can make morality 'objective' is a perfect moral architect/arbiter. Such a 'thing' may exist, though I personally have experienced no evidence of this. So: in the absence of a perfect moral architect/arbiter, we got what we got, which is: morality by reason, by emotion, by hook, crook, fist, bomb, and gun. In other words, 'subjective' morality(s).

*Very much it's all in the eye of the beholder.









*exceptin' pedophilles...in all enviroments, in all circumstances: pure, raw, predatory evil, they are...rout 'em, exterminate 'em.
I would say that you believe someone shooting you with a firearm is "evil" not because you are motivated by self-preservation but because such an act committed out of supposedly selfish means is universally wrong.

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henry quirk
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Post by henry quirk » Sat Dec 15, 2018 1:07 am

"I would say that you believe someone shooting you with a firearm is "evil" not because you are motivated by self-preservation but because such an act committed out of supposedly selfish means is universally wrong."

If I'm a Grade-A Dick, it may very well be the one shootin' at me is justfied. Of course, I won't be inclined to make it easy for that person to plug me, even if I agree I'm a Grade-A Dick, cuz I like bein' 'alive'.

So, it's definitely 'self-preservation', not 'morality', motivatin' me.

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Immanuel Did
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Re:

Post by Immanuel Did » Sat Dec 15, 2018 1:34 am

henry quirk wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 1:07 am
If I'm a Grade-A Dick, it may very well be the one shootin' at me is justfied. Of course, I won't be inclined to make it easy for that person to plug me, even if I agree I'm a Grade-A Dick, cuz I like bein' 'alive'.

So, it's definitely 'self-preservation', not 'morality', motivatin' me.
True which is why I said, 'supposedly'.

What I mean to reflect is how our society operates (as you said there can be varifying circumstances).

However, if shooting someone is wrong because it's socially unconventional then how does that represent our laws and institutions?

If our understanding of morality or ethics is conventional then what one institution may say is unacceptable today may be acceptable tomorrow.

Unless, there is something that is abstract (doesnt exist in contigent reality) that demonstrates that it is universally wrong or unacceptable.

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henry quirk
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as I say, 'eye of the beholder', so: see clearly

Post by henry quirk » Sat Dec 15, 2018 2:54 am

"If our understanding of morality or ethics is conventional then what one institution may say is unacceptable today may be acceptable tomorrow."

And vice versa. This shift in convention doesn't obligate you or me or him or her to comply, of course, as long as we each accept the status of 'criminal' with equanimity (and applied horse sense).

#

"Unless, there is something that is abstract (doesnt exist in contigent reality) that demonstrates that it is universally wrong or unacceptable."

As I say: you need a perfect moral architect-arbiter for that. Absent that Figure, you, me, him, her, etc. have the dirty job of sussin' the shit out for ourselves.

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Immanuel Did
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Re: as I say, 'eye of the beholder', so: see clearly

Post by Immanuel Did » Sat Dec 15, 2018 3:03 am

henry quirk wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 2:54 am
"If our understanding of morality or ethics is conventional then what one institution may say is unacceptable today may be acceptable tomorrow."

And vice versa. This shift in convention doesn't obligate you or me or him or her to comply, of course, as long as we each accept the status of 'criminal' with equanimity (and applied horse sense).

#

"Unless, there is something that is abstract (doesnt exist in contigent reality) that demonstrates that it is universally wrong or unacceptable."

As I say: you need a perfect moral architect-arbiter for that. Absent that Figure, you, me, him, her, etc. have the dirty job of sussin' the shit out for ourselves.
You understand the conundrum quite elegantly. I always try to keep my mind open to a third option but never hear of one.

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