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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Univalence
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Univalence » Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:45 am

Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:40 am
But those light wavelengths are features of reality.
So which wavelength do you call "blue" ?
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:40 am
But do you think moral rightness and wrongness are similarly features of reality, like lightwaves and brains?
The ability to recognize "blueness" is a feature of brains.
The ability to recognize "rightness" is a feature of brains.

If you know that the sky is blue, then you also know that murder is wrong.

Peter Holmes
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes » Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:55 am

Univalence wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:45 am
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:40 am
But those light wavelengths are features of reality.
So which wavelength do you call "blue" ?
quote="Peter Holmes" post_id=411324 time=1559374853 user_id=15099]
But do you think moral rightness and wrongness are similarly features of reality
The ability to recognize "blueness" is a feature of brains.
The ability to recognize "rightness" is a feature of brains.
[/quote]
You're merely saying moral rightness and wrongness are features of reality like lightwaves. So far, you've failed to demonstrate that in the way we've demonstrated that there are lightwaves.

(I apologise for talking about 'inside and outside the mind'. That was a lapse. The philosophy of mind is another cavern down the metaphysical rabbit hole. I withdraw those remarks.)

Univalence
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Univalence » Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:56 am

Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:55 am
You're merely saying moral rightness and wrongness are features of reality like lightwaves.
Strawman. What I said is this:

The ability to recognize "blueness" is a feature of brains.
The ability to recognize "rightness" is a feature of brains.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:55 am
So far, you've failed to demonstrate that in the way we've demonstrated that there are lightwaves.
You've made no arguments about light waves. You've made arguments about knowing the color of the sky.

Which is why I asked you "Which wavelength do you call "blue"?" (because I know you don't know)
Last edited by Univalence on Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

Univalence
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Univalence » Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:00 am

Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:55 am
(I apologise for talking about 'inside and outside the mind'. That was a lapse. The philosophy of mind is another cavern down the metaphysical rabbit hole. I withdraw those remarks.)
For as long as you keep talking about "mind independence" you are stuck down that rabbit hole.

Unfortunately - you have to make a choice. And there is no universally accepted method for determining which choice is correct.

Peter Holmes
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes » Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:05 am

Univalence wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:00 am
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:55 am
(I apologise for talking about 'inside and outside the mind'. That was a lapse. The philosophy of mind is another cavern down the metaphysical rabbit hole. I withdraw those remarks.)
For as long as you keep talking about "mind independence" you are stuck down that rabbit hole.

Unfortunately - you have to make a choice. And there is no universally accepted method for determining which choice is correct.
Please read what I actually write. I make no claim about the mind whatsoever. I withdraw what I said about the mind, which was a mistake.

Now, please demonstrate that moral rightness and wrongness are features of reality, in the way that lightwaves and brain are. Why is it that you refuse to do that, but instead deflect the challenge every time? If you think my question misfires, show why it does. This is beyond tedious.
Last edited by Peter Holmes on Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

Univalence
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Univalence » Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:07 am

Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:05 am
Please read what I actually write. I make no claim about the mind whatsoever. I withdraw what I said about the mind, which was a mistake.
It doesn't matter what claims you make about the mind.

You are USING the mind to make claims.
You are USING the mind to take measurements of reality.

So your insistence on "mind-independent truths" is a performative contradiction. Everything you call "mind-independent truth" fails the verificationism criterion.

Peter Holmes
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes » Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:11 am

Univalence wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:07 am
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:05 am
Please read what I actually write. I make no claim about the mind whatsoever. I withdraw what I said about the mind, which was a mistake.
It doesn't matter what claims you make about the mind.

You are USING the mind to make claims.
You are USING the mind to take measurements of reality.

So your insistence on "mind-independent truths" is a performative contradiction. Everything you call "mind-independent truth" fails the verificationism criterion.
No. I don't think the mind is a thing that either does or doesn't exist. There are brains, and things which are not brains, such as lightwaves. Your task is to show that moral rightness and wrongness are among those things that are not brains.

Univalence
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Univalence » Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:12 am

Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:11 am
No. I don't think the mind is a thing that either does or doesn't exist. There are brains, and things which are not brains, such as lightwaves. Your task is to show that moral rightness and wrongness are among those things that are not brains.
Why the special pleading?

Brains are objective, real things. If moral rightness happens to be found in brains that doesn't make it any less objective.

Peter Holmes
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes » Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:19 am

Univalence wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:12 am
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:11 am
No. I don't think the mind is a thing that either does or doesn't exist. There are brains, and things which are not brains, such as lightwaves. Your task is to show that moral rightness and wrongness are among those things that are not brains.
Why the special pleading?

Brains are objective, real things. If moral rightness happens to be found in brains that doesn't make it any less objective.
Metaphysical nonsense. 'Moral value is found in brains, so it's real in the way brains are real'? if that's all you have, fine. I leave you to your belief.

Univalence
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Univalence » Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:20 am

Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:19 am
Metaphysical nonsense. 'Moral value is found in brains, so it's real in the way brains are real'? if that's all you have, fine. I leave you to your belief.
Brains are metaphysical things now?

Make up your mind.

My belief is backed up by 700 years worth of evidence. Billions of brains. Across historical, cultural and continental barriers. All of which would prevent those brains from influencing one another. Despite that - murder rates decreased.

Or do you believe that the on-going global reduction of murder is entirely coincidental metaphysical nonsense?

You would think that. Until you take a lesson in statistics, because that is how science works.

Belinda
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Belinda » Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:53 am

Univalence wrote:
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.

I
I've been told by a professional physicist and admirer of Feynman that science explains when the mathematics corroborate the experiments. People (lay people?) who can't do maths can be provided only with descriptions
.

Descriptions are better than nothing, not so? Especially when relativity, as did Copernican theory in its day, affects every other field of thought from science to moral codes, ethics , art, and law.

Univalence
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Univalence » Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:56 am

Belinda wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:53 am
I've been told by a professional physicist and admirer of Feynman that science explains when the mathematics corroborate the experiments.
Sure. The common-sense intuition for this truth is precisely because an "explanation" is when you write something in language that another person can understand.

It's the "recipe" if you will.
Belinda wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:53 am
People (lay people?) who can't do maths can be provided only with descriptions
The maths is a description. It's just a language one needs to learn before one can interpret its meaning.

So the laypeople get a "translation". The art of explaining things simply is about making them relatable to every-day intuitions.
Feynman makes this exact point in this video

Belinda
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Belinda » Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:22 am

Thanks for the video . Before I watch it:
So the laypeople get a "translation". The art of explaining things simply is about making them relatable to every-day intuitions.
Feynman makes this exact point in this video

You seem to be post modern in this. I believe that we are modern for now and we have be pragmatic and claim that science does actually explain not merely describe. Much of science has no appeal to common sense intuitions. "Anybody who is not shocked by Quantum Theory has not understood it" Niels Bohr.

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Harbal
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Harbal » Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:25 am

Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:40 am
But do you think moral rightness and wrongness are similarly features of reality, like lightwaves and brains?
There is a similarity, but not a complete parallel. Lightwaves exist, but our perception of them is constructed in the brain/mind. A particular situation could be said to exist, but the nature of its morality is also created in the mind. Granted, we tend to more readily agree on the colour of something than we do on the morality of something. A moral judgement is no more or less "real" than the perception of a colour, although the "situation" that provoked the judgement could be thought of as an artificial construction, whereas light is a physical phenomenon.

Univalence
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Univalence » Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:41 am

Belinda wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:22 am
You seem to be post modern in this. I believe that we are modern for now and we have be pragmatic and claim that science does actually explain not merely describe.
Explain/describe. Potato/potatoh. It's all communication. And I mean it in the sense Claud Shannon defines it.

All the procedures by which one mind affects another.
Belinda wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:22 am
Much of science has no appeal to common sense intuitions.
That is the very thing you acquire by DOING mathematics - new intuitions.

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