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

Peter Holmes
Posts: 1349
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:53 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:42 am
Peter Holmes wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:02 am
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:12 am

What tautological? What I have given is a definition of what is an opinion.
Note:
  • subjective = based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.
So, how can it be wrong to identify 'subjectivity' with the individual subject?
It's a (common) mistake because it misconstrues the nature of subjectivity, which is dependence on opinion - so it simultaneously misconstrues the nature of objectivity, which is independence from opinion. The number of people holding an opinion - from one individual to everyone in the world - is completely irrelevant with regard to that distinction, because it remains an opinion how ever many people hold it. By contrast, the objectivity of a claim, and its truth-value, is completely independent from opinion: if a feature of reality exists, a claim asserting it is true regardless of how many people think it's true - from no one to everyone in the world.
You got it wrong and missed a critical criteria, i.e. 'justified'.
Note the most important criteria, i.e. "justified".
  • 1. Whatever is expressed by an individual subject without justifications is an opinion.

    2. If that opinion is sufficiently justified [not to the level of 3] by the individual or group, it is a belief, e.g. God exists.

    3. If the belief is justified fully as per a credible Framework that enable testing, repetitive verification, it is knowledge, e.g. scientific knowledge from the basis of the Scientific Method, peer review, etc.
There is no standalone independent facts without being subject to the above.
  • Example of Justified True Belief;
    Note, when Einstein first had a glimpse of his E=MC2, it was merely his opinion and that equation can only be an opinion from Einstein. [highly subjective]. This is the stage of abductive inference and hypothesizing.
    When Einstein had personally justified his E=MC2 on paper and is satisfied by his personal standard, then, it is a belief, i.e. based his own proofs and personal conviction. [less subjective and some objectivity]
    E=MC2 is only knowledge, i.e. justified true belief when Einstein's E=MC2 was verified and accepted by his peers and proven empirically.
Seem you are starting with a serious degree of ignorance.
No, I'm pointing out a common misunderstanding.
It is still ignorance, note my point above.
JTB is not seriously wrong!
Yes, there is the Gettier problem but that is insignificant to the acquisition and application of useful knowledge as in Science. Scientific knowledge is JTB, you dispute that?
The JTB is a conceptual mess. For a start, the idea of propositional knowledge conflates what we know with what we say about it - and they're completely different things. Knowing a feature of reality is the case has nothing to do with a proposition, and so nothing to do with truth or falsehood, which are properties only of propositions. So the JTB truth condition - S knows that p iff p is true - is ridiculous. And besides, a belief isn't true or false anyway, so 'true belief' is a grammatical misattribution. The word 'true' here actually refers to an unstated factual assertion.

Gettier merely recycled the muddle in the JTB - so he contributed to maintaining the muddle.
Where is the muddle where I claim scientific knowledge [as explained above] are Justified True Belief as conditioned upon the Scientific Framework [of scientific principles and methods, peer review, etc.]
But try completing the assertion 'slavery is morally wrong because ...' without begging the question. Can't be done.
Slavery is morally wrong because of the sufferings from 1-4 above which are sufficient justifications why slavery ought not to be condoned.
QED. The only argument for the claim 'slavery is morally wrong' is that it entails other things that are morally wrong. Perhaps you can see that this is to beg the question.
Nope. Note Wrong is the opposite of Right.
Are you saying, water is soft because it is not hard [opposite]?
It would be dumb for you to agree to the above.

In this case, 'slavery is morally wrong' is well justified and grounded empirically, thus objective.
'No one wants to be a slave' (factual claim) - 'so slavery is morally wrong' (moral claim). Why does the second claim follow from the first?
'Everyone wants to be a slave' (factual claim) - 'so slavery is morally right' (moral claim). Would the second claim also follow from the first?
'No one wants to be a slave' (factual claim as justified) - 'so slavery is morally wrong' (moral claim).

Re your 'Everyone wants to be a slave' (factual claim) - 'so slavery is morally right' (moral claim).
Where is your justification for this that everyone wants to be enslaved as a slave?
You miss my point. I'm showing that an 'is' can't entail an 'ought'. If everyone wanted to be a slave (an 'is' - a fact), it wouldn't follow that slavery is morally right. And, pari passu, if no one wanted to be a slave, it wouldn't follow that slavery is morally wrong.
Yes, if everyone wanted to be a slave [is] and IF that "is" is justified, then it can be an 'ought'.
But 'wanting to be a slave by all humans' cannot be justified as true.

Note my OP;
'Ought' from 'Is' is Possible
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=27245

VA wrote:From the above, it is therefore an objective fact, 'Slavery is morally evil".
Whatever is evil and not good, i.e. morally wrong.

Therefore it is the facts within the universe that conclude 'Slavery is morally wrong' and that is objective.
I have justified the above with rational arguments.
You did not provide any justified counters at all.

At most, you would claim, 'Slavery is morally right' because God said so as in the Bible or
God is the only entity that can hand down objective moral laws, but,
Note God is an impossibility and an illusion, thus your proposition is ungrounded.

God is an impossibility
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=24704
Please. I'm an atheist and an anti-theist, partly motivated by my desire to show that morality can't be objective, so that the argument from objective morality to the existence of a god is unsound, because the premise is false. (That if it were true would demolish the apologetic argument anyway is an entertaining irony.)
My argument is 'Absolute Moral Laws" are justifiable and necessary for an efficient Moral and Ethical Framework, but to be applied as guides only. This is 90% Kantian.

Meanwhile I argue;
God is an impossibility
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=24704
therefore there is no question of a God to issue any Absolute Moral Law to be enforced on believers via the threat of hellfire on non-compliance with God's absolute moral laws.
Thanks for the trouble you taken. I think you're mistaken about the main issues here - but you don't seem to want to address the problems in your argument, or even notice when I point them out.

And that's fine. We'll have to agree to differ. Cheers.
Skepdick
Posts: 5136
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Skepdick »

Peter Holmes wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:06 am We'll have to agree to differ.
Every agreement to disagree is a concession of irrationality.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aumann's_ ... nt_theorem

One of us is wrong. It's probably not me, but I am less certain of it than I was before you disagreed with me.
Veritas Aequitas
Posts: 4666
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:41 am

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Peter Holmes wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:06 am Thanks for the trouble you taken. I think you're mistaken about the main issues here - but you don't seem to want to address the problems in your argument, or even notice when I point them out.

And that's fine. We'll have to agree to differ. Cheers.
We have discussed your OP in previous posts here.

I am not sure what you meant that I have mistaken the main issues here.
If I missed your points, it is because you have not been clear enough.
You have to point it out more clearly.

I believe my argument below is a counter to your OP.

'Ought' from 'Is' is Possible
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=27245

Clue is 'black' is not 'white' i.e. the middle is excluded.
But 'black' can be reconciled to 'white' on a continuum and complementariness and put into practice.
In fact it is already put into practice within the UN;
  • Slavery in international law is governed by a number of treaties, conventions and declarations. Foremost among these is
    the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (1948) that states in Article 4:
    no one should be held in slavery or servitude, slavery in all of its forms should be eliminated.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_i ... tional_law
The above is an absolute moral law [an ought] as a guide only, i.e. not enforced.
This absolute moral law [ought/should] on slavery is abstracted from empirical experiences [is] of mankind.
Note absolute moral laws are never political based legislature laws.
Besides the UN is not God.
Peter Holmes
Posts: 1349
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:53 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:43 am
Peter Holmes wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:06 am Thanks for the trouble you taken. I think you're mistaken about the main issues here - but you don't seem to want to address the problems in your argument, or even notice when I point them out.

And that's fine. We'll have to agree to differ. Cheers.
We have discussed your OP in previous posts here.

I am not sure what you meant that I have mistaken the main issues here.
If I missed your points, it is because you have not been clear enough.
You have to point it out more clearly.

I believe my argument below is a counter to your OP.

'Ought' from 'Is' is Possible
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=27245

Clue is 'black' is not 'white' i.e. the middle is excluded.
But 'black' can be reconciled to 'white' on a continuum and complementariness and put into practice.
In fact it is already put into practice within the UN;
  • Slavery in international law is governed by a number of treaties, conventions and declarations. Foremost among these is
    the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (1948) that states in Article 4:
    no one should be held in slavery or servitude, slavery in all of its forms should be eliminated.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_i ... tional_law
The above is an absolute moral law [an ought] as a guide only, i.e. not enforced.
This absolute moral law [ought/should] on slavery is abstracted from empirical experiences [is] of mankind.
Note absolute moral laws are never political based legislature laws.
Besides the UN is not God.
I re-read the discussion of your OP, 'Ought' from 'Is' is Possible, where contributors pointed out the flaws in your argument repeatedly and pretty clearly, in my opinion.

Your UDHR example about slavery demonstrates yet again the problem you simply fail to recognise: a moral opinion can't, by definition, be a factual claim with a truth-value. Nothing in the universe could 'verify' or 'falsify' the assertion that slavery is morally wrong, because it doesn't make a factual claim that is therefore true or false. That the UN thinks slavery is morally wrong is a fact, but that doesn't make it a fact that slavery is morally wrong.

There's no way around or over the is-ought barrier. And to look for a way is to make a fundamental category error.
Veritas Aequitas
Posts: 4666
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:41 am

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Peter Holmes wrote: Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:53 pm I re-read the discussion of your OP, 'Ought' from 'Is' is Possible, where contributors pointed out the flaws in your argument repeatedly and pretty clearly, in my opinion.
Which is particular?
Repeatedly do not mean their counter arguments are justified.
Your UDHR example about slavery demonstrates yet again the problem you simply fail to recognise: a moral opinion can't, by definition, be a factual claim with a truth-value. Nothing in the universe could 'verify' or 'falsify' the assertion that slavery is morally wrong, because it doesn't make a factual claim that is therefore true or false. That the UN thinks slavery is morally wrong is a fact, but that doesn't make it a fact that slavery is morally wrong.

There's no way around or over the is-ought barrier. And to look for a way is to make a fundamental category error.
What is a fact anyway?
A fact is based on intersubjective justified true belief based consensus.
A scientific fact is merely a polished conjecture - Karl Popper.

Fact = a thing that is known or proved to be true - within a framework.
Based on the above definition of fact,
that 'slavery is wrong' is thus a moral fact that is justified from empirical evidences which is objective.

Btw, I disagree the UDHR Declaration is a moral opinion.
I argue it is a moral fact in contrast to a physical fact [physicalism], a direct empirical fact or other types of fact.

You are a slave to tradition when you insist there is no way around the is-ought barrier.
Note the 'is-ought' barrier was introduced by Hume[empiricist] and Kant* [rationalist-empiricist] countered it effectively with his moral theory.
* Kant originally was a dogmatic rationalist but was woken up from his dogmatic slumber to become a compromising rationalist-empiricist.

What I note is you are not digging into philosophy more deeper and wider thus stuck to your own dogmatism on the issue.
Peter Holmes
Posts: 1349
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:53 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:45 am
What is a fact anyway?
A fact is based on intersubjective justified true belief based consensus.
A scientific fact is merely a polished conjecture - Karl Popper.

Fact = a thing that is known or proved to be true - within a framework.
Based on the above definition of fact,
that 'slavery is wrong' is thus a moral fact that is justified from empirical evidences which is objective.

Btw, I disagree the UDHR Declaration is a moral opinion.
I argue it is a moral fact in contrast to a physical fact [physicalism], a direct empirical fact or other types of fact.

You are a slave to tradition when you insist there is no way around the is-ought barrier.
Note the 'is-ought' barrier was introduced by Hume[empiricist] and Kant* [rationalist-empiricist] countered it effectively with his moral theory.
* Kant originally was a dogmatic rationalist but was woken up from his dogmatic slumber to become a compromising rationalist-empiricist.

What I note is you are not digging into philosophy more deeper and wider thus stuck to your own dogmatism on the issue.
1 A fact is either a feature of reality that was or is the case, independent from opinion - or a description of a feature of reality that's true, given the way we use signs involved, independent from opinion.

2 If you claim 'slavery is wrong' is a factual assertion with the truth-value 'true', please demonstrate the existence of the feature of reality that 'slavery is wrong' describes. When you realise that you can't, perhaps you'll realise that 'slavery is wrong' expresses a value-judgement about a feature of reality - viz, slavery - and doesn't make a factual claim with a truth-value independent from opinion. But I await your attempt - and I'm done with this until you produce something interesting.

3 Hume merely pointed out the is-ought barrier, which Kant completely failed to abolish.
Belinda
Posts: 4073
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Belinda »

The reason we cannot make morality objective is we cannot agree about its essence. The essence of morality is exclusively God, or nature, or God-or-Nature.

Being as we are in a state of trial and error, essences do not exist except as we aspire to them with a probability of success. When an aspiration becomes crystallised in some ideology or religious code it ceases to be fluid and alive. Existence precedes essence is not a comforting dictum but it's true to life as we know it.
User avatar
henry quirk
Posts: 8961
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 8:07 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by henry quirk »

The reason we cannot make morality objective is we cannot agree about its essence. The essence of morality is exclusively God, or nature, or God-or-Nature.

A long time back, before man understood combustion, folks might have sat around a camp fire arguing about its nature. One guy said fire was a kind of violent, hot flower; another was sure it was a devilish imp, a third was certain it was a kind of water.

Their ignorance and lack of agreement didn't diminish the reality of fire.

As for the essence of morality, what I'd call Reality's moral dimension or aspect, that measure, that compass, is in us. Conscience is the obvious, iceberg tip of it.

-----

On slavery: show me a man who sanely craves to be a slave. You can't. Sane people want to be free. I think this normal and natural desire to self-direct, to be free, stands as an evidence that slavery is objectively wrong.
Skepdick
Posts: 5136
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Skepdick »

Belinda wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:43 am The reason we cannot make morality objective is we cannot agree about its essence. The essence of morality is exclusively God, or nature, or God-or-Nature.
We can agree on the "essence" of the worst possible evil that could befall every human alive - extinction. That's the reference point.

The essence of morality is certainly not nature (broadly) - it's nature that's trying to make us extinct. And God's nowhere in sight....
Belinda
Posts: 4073
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Belinda »

That sort of God, Skepdick, is nowhere in sight. However the sort of God people make moment by moment as they live may be imagined as an aesthetic or moral aim.
User avatar
Sculptor
Posts: 2237
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:32 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Sculptor »

Skepdick wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:33 pm
Belinda wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:43 am The reason we cannot make morality objective is we cannot agree about its essence. The essence of morality is exclusively God, or nature, or God-or-Nature.
We can agree on the "essence" of the worst possible evil that could befall every human alive - extinction. That's the reference point.
I rather feel that there are many people that would disagree entirely with this.
As individuals we all face our individual extinction. Personally I feel that the world would be better off without humans.
Extinction of humanity is probably going to happen at some point; sooner the better.
Skepdick
Posts: 5136
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Skepdick »

Sculptor wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:02 pm I rather feel that there are many people that would disagree entirely with this.
As individuals we all face our individual extinction.
If one individual dying is bad - all of us dying (all at once) is worse.
Sculptor wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:02 pm Personally I feel that the world would be better off without humans.
We are looking for volunteers on the first mission to Mars... You keen? No humans there.
Sculptor wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:02 pm Extinction of humanity is probably going to happen at some point; sooner the better.
Does tomorrow work for you? We'll have the nukes ready - you can push the "GO!" button.
Veritas Aequitas
Posts: 4666
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:41 am

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Peter Holmes wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:27 am
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:45 am
What is a fact anyway?
A fact is based on intersubjective justified true belief based consensus.
A scientific fact is merely a polished conjecture - Karl Popper.

Fact = a thing that is known or proved to be true - within a framework.
Based on the above definition of fact,
that 'slavery is wrong' is thus a moral fact that is justified from empirical evidences which is objective.

Btw, I disagree the UDHR Declaration is a moral opinion.
I argue it is a moral fact in contrast to a physical fact [physicalism], a direct empirical fact or other types of fact.

You are a slave to tradition when you insist there is no way around the is-ought barrier.
Note the 'is-ought' barrier was introduced by Hume[empiricist] and Kant* [rationalist-empiricist] countered it effectively with his moral theory.
* Kant originally was a dogmatic rationalist but was woken up from his dogmatic slumber to become a compromising rationalist-empiricist.

What I note is you are not digging into philosophy more deeper and wider thus stuck to your own dogmatism on the issue.
1 A fact is either a feature of reality that was or is the case, independent from opinion - or a description of a feature of reality that's true, given the way we use signs involved, independent from opinion.
It is a truism a fact is not an opinion.

Are to veering to the Philosophical Realism versus Philosophical Anti-Realism dichotomy?
  • In metaphysics, [Philosophical] Realism about a given object is the view that this object exists in reality independently of our conceptual scheme. In philosophical terms, these objects are ontologically independent of someone's conceptual scheme, perceptions, linguistic practices, beliefs, etc.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_realism
In this case re Philosophical Realism, truth, fact, and reality is independent of the human conceptual scheme.

However, according to the Philosophical Anti-Realism, Philosophical Realism is not tenable and do not represent what is real, fact or truth.

Thus I disagree with your point 1, i.e. it is groundless.
2 If you claim 'slavery is wrong' is a factual assertion with the truth-value 'true', please demonstrate the existence of the feature of reality that 'slavery is wrong' describes. When you realise that you can't, perhaps you'll realise that 'slavery is wrong' expresses a value-judgement about a feature of reality - viz, slavery - and doesn't make a factual claim with a truth-value independent from opinion. But I await your attempt - and I'm done with this until you produce something interesting.
Note my argument 'slavery is absolutely wrong' is not a typical value-judgment like, the apple is sweet or the apple is beautiful.

I claimed 'slavery as absolute wrong' as a moral fact as reasoned from empirical evidences and empirical possibilities. I have provided an solid argument on this in the 'is' complimented with 'ought' thread.
'Slavery' is unique in this case, and I have proven there is no other way but 'slavery is absolutely wrong'.

3 Hume merely pointed out the is-ought barrier, which Kant completely failed to abolish.
Where is your evidence Kant failed on this?
Have you read Kant extensively and deeply to understand his philosophy of morality and other theories. I had spent 3 years full time on that? You?
Last edited by Veritas Aequitas on Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
Veritas Aequitas
Posts: 4666
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:41 am

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

henry quirk wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:32 pm On slavery: show me a man who sanely craves to be a slave. You can't. Sane people want to be free. I think this normal and natural desire to self-direct, to be free, stands as an evidence that slavery is objectively wrong.
QED.
User avatar
henry quirk
Posts: 8961
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 8:07 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by henry quirk »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:18 am
henry quirk wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:32 pm On slavery: show me a man who sanely craves to be a slave. You can't. Sane people want to be free. I think this normal and natural desire to self-direct, to be free, stands as an evidence that slavery is objectively wrong.
QED.
👍🏻
Post Reply