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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Peter Holmes
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 8:29 am
Peter Holmes wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 7:20 am Your theory of frameworks doesn't do the work that you think it does.

Agreed, any description - and therefore any truth-claim - is within a descriptive context, with a conventional use of signs. So what we mean when we say a factual assertion is true is what constitutes what we call truth - and therefore what we call facts.

But 'what we mean when we say a factual assertion is true' is that its truth-value is independent from opinion, given the way we use the signs involved in that context. So what we call truth is very explicitly not a matter of intersubjectve consensus - of collective opinion.
You are still very blind on the truth.

I agree the truth-value of a fact is independent from an individual's opinion and beliefs.
But that objective fact [whilst independent in one phase] and even the referent-of-that-fact cannot ultimately be totally independent from the collective's involvement via emergence and confirmed by intersubjective consensus.

You are claiming for a 'fact' and 'truth' that are not qualified to any Framework, but you are ignorant you are grounding your 'fact' and 'truth' on some kind of Framework [i.e. Philosophical Realism and linguistics] which ultimately are not realistic but only produce illusions.
You got dig deeply to understand how you are caught in this deep hole and conundrum you are ignorant of.
Pay attention. I said 'Agreed, any description - and therefore any truth-claim - is within a descriptive context, with a conventional use of signs. So what we mean when we say a factual assertion is true is what constitutes what we call truth - and therefore what we call facts.' What you call 'within a framework' is what I call 'within a descriptive context'. We're agreeing here - please don't misrepresent what I say.

Your mistake is in saying that, because facts are always within a descriptive context - a 'framework' - then any descriptive context can produce facts - so what you call a moral framework can produce facts. And that generalised conclusion is patently false.

For example, in astrology, human personality has twelve types according to birth date. So, given your claim, it's a fact that all Librans are indecisive, and so on. I assume you agree that's nonsense.

So, what's the difference between a descriptive context (a 'framework') that can produce facts, and one that can't? It can only be the evidence for the factual claims within that descriptive context. So, in a given context, with given criteria, a stick is 1m long - and you agree that 'the truth-value of a fact is independent from an individual's opinion and beliefs.' Because the stick is a feature of reality, the assertion 'the stick is 1m long' is true, regardless of opinion, given the context and criteria of the claim.

Now, back to what you call the 'moral framework'. What feature of reality can possibly confirm the assertion 'slavery is morally wrong', in the way that the stick confirms the assertion 'the stick is 1m long'? Is the moral wrongness of slavery a feature of reality? Is the indecisiveness of Librans a feature of reality?

As I said, your theory of frameworks doesn't establish the factual nature of moral assertions. Back to the drawing board.

The moral relativism [or moral skepticism] you are banking on could possibly exterminate the human species in the future in the hands of humans.
This is ridiculous. I've never advocated moral relativism or skepticism. My argument is against moral objectivism.
Skepdick
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Skepdick »

Peter Holmes wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 10:40 am Pay attention. I said 'Agreed, any description - and therefore any truth-claim - is within a descriptive context, with a conventional use of signs. So what we mean when we say a factual assertion is true is what constitutes what we call truth - and therefore what we call facts.' What you call 'within a framework' is what I call 'within a descriptive context'. We're agreeing here - please don't misrepresent what I say.

Your mistake is in saying that, because facts are always within a descriptive context - a 'framework' - then any descriptive context can produce facts - so what you call a moral framework can produce facts. And that generalised conclusion is patently false.
Peter, if something is true does that carry the implication that it's also a fact, or would you say that there are some truths which are not facts?
surreptitious57
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by surreptitious57 »

Skepdick wrote:
if something is true does that carry the implication that its also a fact or would you say that there are some truths which are not facts ?
A fact is a statement of objective truth so by default has to be true
Subjective truth is only true for the one holding it so is not as objective because it can be invalidated by a change of mind
This would be all truth that is not universally agreed upon since it cannot be scientifically or mathematically demonstrated
Both subjective and objective truth are facts but objective is more rigorous and universal and not subject to capriciousness
Skepdick
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Skepdick »

surreptitious57 wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 1:51 pm A fact is a statement of objective truth so by default has to be true
Sure. All facts are true.

Are all truths facts?
surreptitious57 wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 1:51 pm Subjective truth is only true for the one holding it so is not as objective because it can be invalidated by a change of mind
This would be all truth that is not universally agreed upon since it cannot be scientifically or mathematically demonstrated
Both subjective and objective truth are facts but objective is more rigorous and universal and not subject to capriciousness
Truth is truth. This is what Philosophy is chasing, right?

Objective, subjective, pink, yellow, horrible - it doesn't matter if it's true.
surreptitious57
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by surreptitious57 »

Skepdick wrote:
Truth is truth
This is too simplistic a statement because it implies that all truth is set in stone
But like many things it exists on a spectrum and so rather than black and white there are many shades of grey
This is necessary to emphasise the difference between objective and subjective truth which are not the same

Scientific or mathematical truth is more rigorous than personal truth for example
The former is subject to the highest degree of rigour possible while the latter is nothing more than just an opinion
There is no way these two types of truth can be said to be comparable in any way and is why there is a distinction
surreptitious57
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by surreptitious57 »


For example to say one and one is two is not the same as to say I like chicken

Because one and one will ALWAYS be two but I may not ALWAYS like chicken
surreptitious57
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by surreptitious57 »


And so one and one is two is true for all time

But I like chicken is only true in my lifetime
Peter Holmes
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes »

surreptitious57 wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 1:51 pm
Skepdick wrote:
if something is true does that carry the implication that its also a fact or would you say that there are some truths which are not facts ?
A fact is a statement of objective truth so by default has to be true
Subjective truth is only true for the one holding it so is not as objective because it can be invalidated by a change of mind
This would be all truth that is not universally agreed upon since it cannot be scientifically or mathematically demonstrated
Both subjective and objective truth are facts but objective is more rigorous and universal and not subject to capriciousness
Sorry, but I think this account of the situation is confusing - and I think it's worth clarifying terms. So here's my take.

1 What we call a fact is either a feature of reality, or a description of a feature of reality - only the second of which can have a truth-value, because reality is not linguistic. (Linguistic expressions, such as factual assertions, are also features of reality - but only they can have truth-value.)

2 The only things that can be true or false - that can have truth-value - are factual assertions - typically, linguistic expressions. So the expressions 'objective truth', 'subjective truth', 'factual truth', 'moral truth', and so on, are incoherent - grammatical misattributions, or category errors. The expression 'a truth' can only mean 'a true factual assertion'. Other expressions, such as 'spiritual truth', 'artistic truth' and 'poetic truth', just muddy the waters.

3 A factual assertion - classically - may be true or false, because it claims something about reality that may or may not be the case. And because the existence of a feature of reality is independent from opinion, so is the truth-value of a factual assertion that asserts it - how ever subjective the means by which it is arrived at or assented to.

4 What we mean when we say a factual assertion is true is what constitutes what we call truth - and there is no other court of appeal. And when we say a factual assertion is true or false, we mean that its truth-value is independent from opinion - and therefore nothing to do with agreement in opinions, or 'intersubjective consensus'.
surreptitious57
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by surreptitious57 »

Peter Holmes wrote:
What we mean when we say a factual assertion is true is what constitutes what we call truth - and there is no other court of appeal . And when we say a factual assertion is true or false we mean that its truth value is independent from opinion - and therefore nothing to do with agreement in opinions or intersubjective consensus
That is not true because intersubjective consensus is the means required to determine the truth value of factual assertions
A fact is something that must be universally agreed upon and which can be demonstrated with evidence or proof to be true

You cannot have something stated as fact where there is any doubt as to its actual truth value
Otherwise it could be absolutely anything that anyone wanted it to be with no consensus at all

But there is already a word for that - its called an opinion - and opinions regardless of how strong they may be held are not facts
You therefore need to have intersubjective consensus before something can be declared a fact in case it may not actually be one
Peter Holmes
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes »

surreptitious57 wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 5:04 pm
Peter Holmes wrote:
What we mean when we say a factual assertion is true is what constitutes what we call truth - and there is no other court of appeal . And when we say a factual assertion is true or false we mean that its truth value is independent from opinion - and therefore nothing to do with agreement in opinions or intersubjective consensus
That is not true because intersubjective consensus is the means required to determine the truth value of factual assertions
A fact is something that must be universally agreed upon and which can be demonstrated with evidence or proof to be true

You cannot have something stated as fact where there is any doubt as to its actual truth value
Otherwise it could be absolutely anything that anyone wanted it to be with no consensus at all

But there is already a word for that - its called an opinion - and opinions regardless of how strong they may be held are not facts
You therefore need to have intersubjective consensus before something can be declared a fact in case it may not actually be one
But what you're saying is contradictory. If a fact - a true factual assertion - is true independent from opinion, its truth can't depend on agreement, universal or otherwise. If opinions are not facts, then neither are collective opinions. The consensus theory of truth is demonstrably wrong.
surreptitious57
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by surreptitious57 »

Peter Holmes wrote:
What we call a fact is either a feature of reality or a description of a feature of reality
There are facts which do not pertain to reality at all such as mathematical facts for example
Specifically those that are outside the laws of physics that describe the observable Universe

A simple fact such as one plus one is two is only true in mathematics as numbers do not exist empirically
All languages have rules of grammar that are facts within them but languages also do not exist empirically
Peter Holmes
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes »

surreptitious57 wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 5:17 pm
Peter Holmes wrote:
What we call a fact is either a feature of reality or a description of a feature of reality
There are facts which do not pertain to reality at all such as mathematical facts for example
Specifically those that are outside the laws of physics that describe the observable Universe

A simple fact such as one plus one is two is only true in mathematics as numbers do not exist empirically
All languages have rules of grammar that are facts within them but languages also do not exist empirically
I think it makes no sense to call mathematical and logical assertions true/false, or to think of them as facts. A true factual assertion is one that could be false, if reality is or was different. Mathematical and logical assertions are about linguistic consistency, not reality, which isn't linguistic at all.
Last edited by Peter Holmes on Thu May 28, 2020 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
surreptitious57
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by surreptitious57 »

Peter Holmes wrote:
If a fact - a true factual assertion - is true independent from opinion its truth cannot depend on agreement universal or otherwise
A fact has to be agreed upon and so cannot be free from opinion but the opinion has to be the highest degree of rigour and consensus
There is no such thing as a mind independent fact because we have to use our mind to determine the truth value of factual assertions

All knowledge is processed by the mind and so anything that exists outside of it is simply not accessible
Every fact in human history has been arrived at through evidence and consensus - there is no other way
Peter Holmes
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes »

surreptitious57 wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 5:27 pm
Peter Holmes wrote:
If a fact - a true factual assertion - is true independent from opinion its truth cannot depend on agreement universal or otherwise
A fact has to be agreed upon and so cannot be free from opinion but the opinion has to be the highest degree of rigour and consensus
There is no such thing as a mind independent fact because we have to use our mind to determine the truth value of factual assertions

All knowledge is processed by the mind and so anything that exists outside of it is simply not accessible
Every fact in human history has been arrived at through evidence and consensus - there is no other way
I think what you say is muddled.

If a fact is a feature of reality - a state-of-affairs - as philosophers tend to use the word fact - then of course it's independent from opinion, and has nothing to do with 'the mind'.

And I think your mentalist ontology is absurd. What reason is there to think we have 'no access' to the toilet we piss into, or the cup of coffee we drink? This is affected dualist nonsense.
surreptitious57
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by surreptitious57 »

Peter Holmes wrote:
I think it makes no sense to call mathematical and logical assertions true / false or to think of them as facts . A true factual assertion is
one that could be false if reality is or was different . Mathematical and logical assertions are about linguistic consistency not reality
which isnt linguistic
The axioms of mathematics are its foundations and so are accepted as having truth value
So the statement one plus one is two is according to its axioms true and so is regarded as a fact because it can be demonstrated
Reality is not linguistic but language - including mathematics - is the best means we have of describing and understanding reality
And facts could indeed be false if reality was different but this is the only reality we experience so the point is rather superfluous
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