Belinda wrote: ↑Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:04 am
Peter Holmes wrote: ↑Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:41 am
Belinda wrote: ↑Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:00 am
Peter Holmes wrote. quoting me:
Peter, I meant moral codes and moral frameworks, by contrast with 'morality'
, can be identified by what's in them. For instance we can identify the Ten Commandments by what is in that moral code or framework. The Beatitudes, we identify that by what is in it. Hitler's moral code or framework, for a time anyway, is identified by Mein Kampf. Muhammad's moral code is identified by The Koran. Moral codes or frameworks were not always written down or even made explicit; some traditional old moral codes are handed from person to person via initiation rites.
People use the word 'morality' in all sorts of utterances. I daresay Mrs Whitehouse used the word quite a lot!
Sorry I failed to attribute your words correctly, Peter. I will try harder.
Thanks, Belinda. What I don't understand is what you think I'm getting wrong about morality.
In the texts you cite - and in oral traditions - actions are prescribed and proscribed as morally right and wrong - or 'proper' and 'improper'. And of course we can or may be able to identify a moral code by its contents.
But what bearing does that have on the function of the various - and maybe conflicting - moral assertions within those codes? If there are no moral facts, what we're left with is our various moral values and codes which, as you rightly say, are historical and cultural developments.
In other words, it's a fact that we have developed moral codes, containing moral assertions. But that doesn't mean those moral assertions are facts. That claim is incoherent. And that's the crux.
Peter, my quarrel is with the nature of facts. So-called 'moral' facts, and also so-called 'efficient , scientific, or commonsense' facts are factual only insofar as they fit into paradigms.
Moral facts generally fit into very persistent paradigms underwritten by myths and mythic persons. Although not always; some mythic persons fade away from popularity, loose their lustre, become deflated. Scientific and folk paradigms in this modern scientific age change more rapidly and tend to rely less on mythic personalities.
I agree with Veritas Aequitas that there are moral facts, but with the strong proviso that all facts are pro tem. There are no eternal facts. Eternal facts do not exist, or if they do they have nothing to do with us.
Thanks again. I think this is the heart of the problem with moral objectivism.
Your argument seems to have two parts:
1 All facts are paradigmatic, and paradigms can and do change.
2 Moral facts are paradigmatic, so they can and do change.
First, if facts are features of reality, there's no reason to call them paradigmatic, or to think they change in any other than the way features of reality change - ie, naturally. But if, as seems likely, by 'facts' you mean descriptions of features of reality, then we agree that such descriptions - such truth-claims - are contextual and conventional, so they can and sometimes do change.
But that doesn't mean they will or must change, or that what we call truth, facts and objectivity aren't what we say they are. That's to lament the loss of what we never had; to entertain a fantasy if only to dismiss it. A justification is nothing more than an explanation, and explanations come to an end. The 'paradigm paradigm' fashion merely posits circularity or infinite regress as inescapable. And that delusion comes from mistaking what we say about things for the way things are.
Second, there's no connection between 'all facts are paradigmatic' and 'there are moral facts'. So even if the first is true, the second is a separate factual assertion requiring justification. And that's what we've been arguing about. No one here has demonstrated the existence of moral facts - paradigmatic or otherwise - so I don't know why you agree with VA that they exist.