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

Univalence
Posts: 492
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 6:28 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Univalence » Fri May 31, 2019 7:57 am

Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 7:51 am
You can repeat your claim about 'epistemic weight' as often as you like. We could keep doing this into eternity. Or you could explain why knowing that sky (here, today) is blue is the same thing as knowing that murder is wrong. It's your claim. Justify it. Or keep deflecting.
Why do I need to justify this? It's plain an obvious.

"Sky is blue" -> Noun verb adjective
"Murder is wrong" -> Noun verb adjective

adjective, GRAMMAR a word naming an attribute of a noun, such as sweet, red, or technical.

"blue" is an attribute of the noun "sky".
"wrong" is an attribute of the noun "murder".

Your entire argument is based on the premise of "how we USE words". We USE the two phrases above in exactly the same grammatical/semantic way.

You are the one who claims that there is a difference. Point out the difference, or admit that you have drawn a distinction without one.
Last edited by Univalence on Fri May 31, 2019 8:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

Peter Holmes
Posts: 510
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:53 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes » Fri May 31, 2019 8:27 am

Univalence wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 7:57 am
Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 7:51 am
You can repeat your claim about 'epistemic weight' as often as you like. We could keep doing this into eternity. Or you could explain why knowing that sky (here, today) is blue is the same thing as knowing that murder is wrong. It's your claim. Justify it. Or keep deflecting.
Why do I need to justify this? It's plain an obvious.

"Sky is blue" -> Noun verb adjective
"Murder is wrong" -> Noun verb adjective

Your entire argument is based on the premise of "how we USE words". We USE the two phrases above in exactly the same grammatical/semantic way.

You are the one who claims that they are different. Point out the difference, or admit that you have drawn a distinction without a difference.
If you want to talk grammar ... The 'is' in 'the sky is blue' is the is of predication, assigning a property - blueness. The assertion is factual, because it claims something about reality that may or may not be the case. So the assertion can be verified or falsified.

Your claim is that the 'is' in 'murder is wrong' is also the is of predication, assigning a property - moral wrongness. Your task is to show that moral wrongness is a property like blueness - a feature of reality that may or may not be the case - so that the claim can be verified or falsified. Go ahead.

But, do you think the 'is' in 'this is beautiful' is also the is of predication - that beauty is a property - a feature of reality? The grammatical form is identical. And as Wittgenstein pointed out, we're bewitched by the devices of our language.

Univalence
Posts: 492
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 6:28 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Univalence » Fri May 31, 2019 8:32 am

Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 8:27 am
The 'is' in 'the sky is blue' is the is of predication, assigning a property - blueness.
Yes. That is how we USE adjectives!

adjective, GRAMMAR a word naming an attribute of a noun, such as sweet, red, or technical.

"blue" is an attribute of the noun "sky".
"wrong" is an attribute of the noun "murder".

Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 8:27 am
The assertion is factual, because it claims something about reality that may or may not be the case. So the assertion can be verified or falsified.
OK. The sky may not be blue. And murder may not be wrong.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 8:27 am
Your claim is that the 'is' in 'murder is wrong' is also the is of predication, assigning a property - moral wrongness.
No. You have introduced an additional adjective now: "moral". This is a grammatical error. "wrong" is an adjective so is "moral".
"moral wrongness" is some grammatical convolution of your own making.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 8:27 am
Your task is to show that moral wrongness is a property like blueness - a feature of reality that may or may not be the case - so that the claim can be verified or falsified. Go ahead.
I have shown that the way we use the word "wrong" and "blue" is exactly the same. If "blueness" describes a property of reality, then so does "wrongness". if "blueness" can be verified or falsified then so can "wrongness".

If you think they are different - you need to demonstrate the difference. Go ahead.

You really are a forgetful person, aren't you. "Burden of proof" is the rules you play by - your rules, your burden.
I am an empiricist. Your rules don't apply to me.
Last edited by Univalence on Fri May 31, 2019 8:41 am, edited 3 times in total.

Belinda
Posts: 2869
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Belinda » Fri May 31, 2019 8:38 am

All we have is the evidence. Do you think that we don't know that the earth approximates to an oblate spheroid? That it isn't flat? Are you a flat-earther?

Peter Holmes wrote:
All we have is the evidence. Do you think that we don't know that the earth approximates to an oblate spheroid? That it isn't flat? Are you a flat-earther?
I met a woman who would live two hundred years hence. Like you and me, she had been to school and as an educated layman knew the latest science. She absolutely understood how it came about that I and you and people like us had believed that Earth was an oblate spheroid. She understood all the evidence and so forth; she explained modern 21st century science better than I could. She understood the reasoning of
flat-earth believers too. However she had learned some sort of science about the Universe which I regret I could not begin to understand and Earth apparently was not an oblate spheroid after all.

PS Univalence cannot explain how modern scientific explanation about the Universe might be incomplete or inadequate. This is because Univalence, like you and I, lives among Western European culture in May, 2019.

Univalence
Posts: 492
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 6:28 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Univalence » Fri May 31, 2019 8:45 am

Belinda wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 8:38 am
PS Univalence cannot explain how modern scientific explanation about the Universe might be incomplete or inadequate. This is because Univalence, like you and I, lives among Western European culture in May, 2019.
Science doesn't produce explanations, but explanation is what the population demands from science. Stories.

What the population also demands is that complex phenomena are explained to them in simple English using concepts that are familiar to them.

And so, in a way Feynman was right that if you can't explain it simply you don't understand it, but he was also wrong in that when you do explain it simply you are also over-simplifying the truth for the sake of your audience' benefit.

It's a necessary evil.
Last edited by Univalence on Fri May 31, 2019 8:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

Peter Holmes
Posts: 510
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:53 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes » Fri May 31, 2019 8:47 am

Univalence wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 8:32 am
Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 8:27 am
The 'is' in 'the sky is blue' is the is of predication, assigning a property - blueness.
Yes. That is how we USE adjectives!

adjective, GRAMMAR a word naming an attribute of a noun, such as sweet, red, or technical.

"blue" is an attribute of the noun "sky".
"wrong" is an attribute of the noun "murder".

Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 8:27 am
The assertion is factual, because it claims something about reality that may or may not be the case. So the assertion can be verified or falsified.
OK. The sky may not be blue. And murder may not be wrong.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 8:27 am
Your claim is that the 'is' in 'murder is wrong' is also the is of predication, assigning a property - moral wrongness.
No. You have introduced an additional adjective now: "moral". This is a grammatical error. "wrong" is an adjective so is "moral".
"moral wrongness" is some grammatical convolution of your own making.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 8:27 am
Your task is to show that moral wrongness is a property like blueness - a feature of reality that may or may not be the case - so that the claim can be verified or falsified. Go ahead.
I have shown that the way we use the word "wrong" and "blue" is exactly the same. If "blueness" describes a property of reality, then so does "wrongness". if "blueness" can be verified or falsified then so can "wrongness".

If you think they are different - you need to demonstrate the difference. Go ahead.
You're just dodging. You now agree that murder may not be wrong. So how do we adjudicate between the two claims: 'murder is wrong' and 'murder is right'?

I added 'moral' to 'wrongness' to clarify that we're talking about moral wrongness. Aren't we? And anyway, by all means remove it, and show why wrongness is a property like blueness. I'm not making the claim - you are. And I think that's because you're deluded by a grammatical trick.

Again, we can keep doing this, and you can keep dodging - or you can try to produce the goods to justify your claim.

Univalence
Posts: 492
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 6:28 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Univalence » Fri May 31, 2019 8:50 am

Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 8:47 am
You're just dodging. You now agree that murder may not be wrong. So how do we adjudicate between the two claims: 'murder is wrong' and 'murder is right'?
Look in the mirror. You now agree that the sky may not be blue. So how do we adjudicate between the two claims: "sky is blue" and "sky is not blue"?
Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 8:47 am
I added 'moral' to 'wrongness' to clarify that we're talking about moral wrongness. Aren't we?
What other kind is there? All "wrongness" is is a linguistic adjective. This is how we use words.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 8:47 am
And anyway, by all means remove it, and show why wrongness is a property like blueness.
Because they are both adjectives. And that's how we use adjectives.

Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 8:47 am
I'm not making the claim - you are. And I think that's because you're deluded by a grammatical trick.
I am not making any claims. i am just beating you over the head with your own premises.

You aren't smart enough to frame me.

Peter Holmes
Posts: 510
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:53 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes » Fri May 31, 2019 8:59 am

Univalence wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 8:50 am
Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 8:47 am
You're just dodging. You now agree that murder may not be wrong. So how do we adjudicate between the two claims: 'murder is wrong' and 'murder is right'?
Look in the mirror. You now agree that the sky may not be blue. So how do we adjudicate between the two claims: "sky is blue" and "sky is not blue"?
Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 8:47 am
I added 'moral' to 'wrongness' to clarify that we're talking about moral wrongness. Aren't we?
What other kind is there? All "wrongness" is is a linguistic adjective. This is how we use words.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 8:47 am
And anyway, by all means remove it, and show why wrongness is a property like blueness.
Because they are both adjectives. And that's how we use adjectives.

Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 8:47 am
I'm not making the claim - you are. And I think that's because you're deluded by a grammatical trick.
I am not making any claims. i am just beating you over the head with your own premises.

You aren't smart enough to frame me.
Dodging. You are claiming that wrongness is a feature of reality. And I simply reject that claim, for the lack of evidence of which I'm aware. And I'm not trying to frame you. Don't be so paranoid. I'm asking you to justify a claim. If you can't, you haven't committed a crime.

Univalence
Posts: 492
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 6:28 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Univalence » Fri May 31, 2019 9:01 am

Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 8:59 am
Dodging.
I am showing you the mirror. You are working really hard to avoid looking.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 8:59 am
You are claiming that wrongness is a feature of reality.
You are claiming that blueness is a feature of reality.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 8:59 am
And I simply reject that claim, for the lack of evidence of which I'm aware.
Then you must also reject the blueness of the sky. It too lacks evidence.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 8:59 am
And I'm not trying to frame you. Don't be so paranoid. I'm asking you to justify a claim. If you can't, you haven't committed a crime.
Who says I am paranoid? You are trying to frame the language we use for this debate. If you are unaware that you are doing it - that simply speaks further of your own ignorance. You are like a child who lacks control over his faculties.

Me - I am very deliberate with my words.

Peter Holmes
Posts: 510
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:53 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes » Fri May 31, 2019 9:27 am

Univalence wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 9:01 am
Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 8:59 am
Dodging.
I am showing you the mirror. You are working really hard to avoid looking.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 8:59 am
You are claiming that wrongness is a feature of reality.
You are claiming that blueness is a feature of reality.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 8:59 am
And I simply reject that claim, for the lack of evidence of which I'm aware.
Then you must also reject the blueness of the sky. It too lacks evidence.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 8:59 am
And I'm not trying to frame you. Don't be so paranoid. I'm asking you to justify a claim. If you can't, you haven't committed a crime.
Who says I am paranoid? You are trying to frame the language we use for this debate. If you are unaware that you are doing it - that simply speaks further of your own ignorance. You are like a child who lacks control over his faculties.

Me - I am very deliberate with my words.
Now I think you're being silly. The evidence for the blueness of the sky (here, today) is that the sky is blue. So the factual assertion 'the sky here today is blue' is true, but may not have been. (And all this is always given the way we use the signs involved in this context.) Do you think that colours such as blue are not features of reality?

And you're still dodging. Why not simply try to justify your claim that the wrongness of murder is a feature of reality that can therefore be known?

I'm out for now. Life to get on with under a beautiful blue sky here today.

Univalence
Posts: 492
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 6:28 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Univalence » Fri May 31, 2019 9:42 am

Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 9:27 am
Now I think you're being silly.
Me? Pay attention to the mirror!
Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 9:27 am
The evidence for the blueness of the sky (here, today) is that the sky is blue.
The evidence for the wrongness of murder (here, today) is that murder is wrong.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 9:27 am
So the factual assertion 'the sky here today is blue' is true, but may not have been. (And all this is always given the way we use the signs involved in this context.) Do you think that colours such as blue are not features of reality?
So the factual assertion 'murder here today is wrong' is true, but may not have been. (And all this is always given the way we use the signs involved in this context). Do you think that morals such as wrongness are not features of reality?
Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 9:27 am
And you're still dodging.
You continue with your lame attempts to frame me. I am not dodging - I am holding up a mirror. LOOK!
Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 9:27 am
Why not simply try to justify your claim that the wrongness of murder is a feature of reality that can therefore be known?
Why not simply try to justify your claim that the blueness of sky is a feature of reality that can therefore be known?
Peter Holmes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 9:27 am
I'm out for now. Life to get on with under a beautiful blue sky here today.
You go and do that! Stay away from wrongness or you won't be 'getting on' with life...

Belinda
Posts: 2869
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Belinda » Fri May 31, 2019 10:06 am

Peter Holmes wrote:
Do you think that colours such as blue are not features of reality?
Sure they are! All of our experiences, the experiences of each of us, are features of reality. The experiences of a sparrow are features of reality.There is no phenomenon that is not real, not even the raving beliefs of a madman as they too are real. It's always going to be true that people believed that Earth was flat even if all human records disappear. It's always going to be true that the Planet X supported a biosphere even when Planet X no longer exists.

There is no absolute way that we can tell which beliefs are better than other beliefs. The sky is sometimes gleaming golden, sometimes dark blue-grey, sometimes turquoise or pale green. Small children typically paint the sky as blue as they have been influenced by the culture to do so.

True, many of our 21st century technologies work very well but as you know that many of those conflict with our moral codes, so our cultures are in a state of change, I hope.

Peter Holmes
Posts: 510
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:53 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes » Sat Jun 01, 2019 7:42 am

Belinda wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 10:06 am
Peter Holmes wrote:
Do you think that colours such as blue are not features of reality?
Sure they are! All of our experiences, the experiences of each of us, are features of reality. The experiences of a sparrow are features of reality.There is no phenomenon that is not real, not even the raving beliefs of a madman as they too are real. It's always going to be true that people believed that Earth was flat even if all human records disappear. It's always going to be true that the Planet X supported a biosphere even when Planet X no longer exists.

There is no absolute way that we can tell which beliefs are better than other beliefs. The sky is sometimes gleaming golden, sometimes dark blue-grey, sometimes turquoise or pale green. Small children typically paint the sky as blue as they have been influenced by the culture to do so.

True, many of our 21st century technologies work very well but as you know that many of those conflict with our moral codes, so our cultures are in a state of change, I hope.
Sorry, but I think you're in a muddle. Colours are features of reality, outside our minds. (I assume you're not an idealist.) But moral rightness and wrongness are not such features of reality, outside our minds. Colours exist when there's no one to perceive and categorise them. But there can be no value, such as moral or aesthetic value, without a valuer. And the value placed on a thing isn't an inherent property of that thing.

The fact that we do make value-judgements - they are features of reality - doesn't mean that those judgements are factual - assertions of fact like assertions about colour.

User avatar
Harbal
Posts: 4060
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:03 pm
Location: Yorkshire
Contact:

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Harbal » Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:15 am

Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 7:42 am

Sorry, but I think you're in a muddle. Colours are features of reality, outside our minds. (I assume you're not an idealist.) But moral rightness and wrongness are not such features of reality, outside our minds. Colours exist when there's no one to perceive and categorise them. But there can be no value, such as moral or aesthetic value, without a valuer. And the value placed on a thing isn't an inherent property of that thing.
Well I'm sorry but I think you are in a muddle. Light comes to us in different wavelengths, colour is only assigned to any particular wavelength once the light has been processed by our senses and brain. Surely you can't think that blue, red or yellow exist outside of the mind. Were our senses organised differently we could just as well perceive light as varying frequencies of sound. Colour is created in your head.

Peter Holmes
Posts: 510
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:53 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes » Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:40 am

Harbal wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:15 am
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 7:42 am

Sorry, but I think you're in a muddle. Colours are features of reality, outside our minds. (I assume you're not an idealist.) But moral rightness and wrongness are not such features of reality, outside our minds. Colours exist when there's no one to perceive and categorise them. But there can be no value, such as moral or aesthetic value, without a valuer. And the value placed on a thing isn't an inherent property of that thing.
Well I'm sorry but I think you are in a muddle. Light comes to us in different wavelengths, colour is only assigned to any particular wavelength once the light has been processed by our senses and brain. Surely you can't think that blue, red or yellow exist outside of the mind. Were our senses organised differently we could just as well perceive light as varying frequencies of sound. Colour is created in your head.
But those light wavelengths are features of reality - as are our brains. Of course our brains process the data, to produce what we experience and then categorise using language. But do you think moral rightness and wrongness are similarly features of reality, like lightwaves and brains? Are our moral assertions factual in the way that our assertions about the (brain-processed) reality that we experience are factual?

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Peter Holmes and 2 guests