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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Logik
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Logik » Sat Dec 15, 2018 5:31 pm

Scientismist wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 5:26 pm
Try here: https://explorable.com/falsifiability
So you skipped the first 6 links on Google to find one that agrees with you (while mis-quoting Popper)?

Way to go on "common use of words" ;)

Testability and falsifiability are different notions in the scientific method. Confuse them at your own peril.

https://www.coursehero.com/file/p55dnn3 ... aims-that/

This page deals with falsifiability and verifiability (which is synonymous with testability).
http://openscience.org/being-scientific ... ucibility/
Popper concluded that it is impossible to know that a theory is true based on observations (O); science can tell us only that the theory is false (or that it has yet to be refuted). He concluded that meaningful scientific statements are falsifiable.

Scientismist
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Scientismist » Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:16 pm

Logik wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 5:31 pm
Popper concluded that it is impossible to know that a theory is true based on observations (O); science can tell us only that the theory is false (or that it has yet to be refuted). He concluded that meaningful scientific statements are falsifiable.
I have no problem with that at all.

So can you tell me how you arrive at the conclusion in your original claim:
Logik wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:44 am
If a claim is falsifiable in principle then it cannot possibly be a 'true irrespective of what anybody believes or claims to know'!
Please explain the logic you use to conclude that a claim which is 'true irrespective of what anyone knows or claims to know' "cannot possibly be" falsifiable?

Logik
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Logik » Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:42 pm

Scientismist wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:16 pm
Please explain the logic you use to conclude that a claim which is 'true irrespective of what anyone knows or claims to know' "cannot possibly be" falsifiable?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarski's_ ... ty_theorem
The theorem applies more generally to any sufficiently strong formal system, showing that truth in the standard model of the system cannot be defined within the system.
For as long as you are "inside the Universe" all statements of formal logic will be incomplete. Because our knowledge is incomplete.
Only an entity "outside" of the system can make unfalsifiable claims about the system. e.g God.

It is why falsification works. More complete hypotheses (e.g Earth and Sun orbit the barycenter) will always replace less complete ones (Earth orbits the Sun), but knowledge-completeness us a pie in the sky.

Scientismist
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Scientismist » Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:00 pm

Logik wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:42 pm
Only an entity "outside" of the system can make unfalsifiable claims about the system. e.g God.
You've just told me that only claims made "outside the system" can be unfalsifiable. In other words, claims from within the system must all be falsifiable (logically entailed - a bizarre notion).

How does this explain your conclusion that something that is 'true irrespective of what anyone knows or claims to know' (a claim by an entity from within the system) "cannot possibly be" falsifiable?

You're contradicting yourself.

Logik
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Logik » Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:07 pm

Scientismist wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:00 pm
Logik wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:42 pm
Only an entity "outside" of the system can make unfalsifiable claims about the system. e.g God.
You've just told me that only claims made "outside the system" can be unfalsifiable. In other words, claims from within the system must all be falsifiable (logically entailed - a bizarre notion).

How does this explain your conclusion that something that is 'true irrespective of what anyone knows or claims to know' (a claim by an entity from within the system) "cannot possibly be" falsifiable?

You're contradicting yourself.
Where is the contradiction?

Logical truths are tautologies.

Using logic to deduce claims about reality is contingent on your axioms being true.

Do you have any truth to start deducing from?

In any case, are you familiar with Gödel’s theorems? If you expect both consistency and completeness from logic systems you are in for a surprise. You can’t have both.

Scientismist
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Scientismist » Sun Dec 16, 2018 10:08 am

Logik wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:07 pm
If you expect both consistency and completeness from logic systems you are in for a surprise. You can’t have both.
I have no expectations of "logic systems", but I do hope that those who post on discussion boards express themselves clearly and unambiguously. Sometimes I'm disappointed.

Logik
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Logik » Sun Dec 16, 2018 10:15 am

Scientismist wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 10:08 am
I have no expectations of "logic systems", but I do hope that those who post on discussion boards express themselves clearly and unambiguously. Sometimes I'm disappointed.
You dislike ambiguity while at the same time you insist on conflating testability with falsifiability? You disappoint yourself ;)

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Immanuel Did
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Immanuel Did » Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:45 am

Glad the conversation got to this point because there's two points of interest I've been meaning to bring up.

Kurt Gödel came up with his incompleteness theorem which included the notion that in any system containing arithmetic, there are true statements which cannot be proved within the system.

Karl Popper's Falsification Thesis is as follows:

1. A proposition has meaning only if it can be shown to be true or false.

2. There are logical forms of truth and factual forms.

3. Factual truths can only be demonstrated through experience (verification).

Logik
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Logik » Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:05 pm

Immanuel Did wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:45 am
3. Factual truths can only be demonstrated through experience (verification).
Yep. This is necessary but insufficient. Falsification is required for any epistemic claim.

Every claim requires bounds - a domain of applicability. A context. Context-free true claims don't exist.
Which is why "truth independent of what anybody claims to believe or know" does not exist.

Peter Holmes
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes » Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:04 pm

Logik wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:05 pm
Immanuel Did wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:45 am
3. Factual truths can only be demonstrated through experience (verification).
Yep. This is necessary but insufficient. Falsification is required for any epistemic claim.

Every claim requires bounds - a domain of applicability. A context. Context-free true claims don't exist.
Which is why "truth independent of what anybody claims to believe or know" does not exist.
Your conclusion doesn't follow.

If all truth-claims are contextual, talk of uncontextual truth-claims is nonsensical. Truth isn't an independent metaphysical entity. We use the word 'true' and its cognates within one context or another. And within a context, a factual assertion is true independent of what anybody believes or claims to know - it's what we call a fact. That's how we use the words 'true' and 'fact' and their cognates - and what we mean by 'objectivity'.

Our rejection of that possibility comes from our forgetting what we know - that truth is always contextual. Again, what foundation for what we say - or can be said - do you think doesn't exist?

Peter Holmes
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes » Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:56 pm

My argument all along has been that morality isn't objective, because a moral assertion, such as 'slavery is wrong', expresses a value-judgement rather than a factual claim about a feature of reality.

An interesting but strange counter-claim - expressed in different ways here - is that what we call facts are themselves value-judgements, so that there's no justification for distinguishing between factual and non-factual assertions, because they all express value-judgements.

An even stranger derivation from this is the claim that, if facts are value-judgements, then value-judgements are facts, so that morals assertions are or can be factual, and morality can therefore be objective. Which is to say: objectivity is impossible, but morality is or could be objective. Which is denying the cake exists, while wanting to have and eat it.

Logik
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Logik » Tue Dec 18, 2018 4:19 pm

Peter Holmes wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:56 pm
My argument all along has been that morality isn't objective, because a moral assertion, such as 'slavery is wrong', expresses a value-judgement rather than a factual claim about a feature of reality.
The claim "The Earth orbits around the Sun" is a value-judgment too.

You have arbitrarily decided on a reference frame from which the above assertion is true, when many reference frames exist from which the assertion is false.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:56 pm
An even stranger derivation from this is the claim that, if facts are value-judgements, then value-judgements are facts, so that morals assertions are or can be factual, and morality can therefore be objective. Which is to say: objectivity is impossible.
That is not the claim. The claim is that 'objective morality' based on a conception of 'objectivity' which is grounded in facts is impossible because your conception of 'facts' is flawed.

In the context of humans, human experience and human interactions conception of objective morality based on convention/consensus is possible.

Logik
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Logik » Tue Dec 18, 2018 4:29 pm

Peter Holmes wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:04 pm
If all truth-claims are contextual, talk of uncontextual truth-claims is nonsensical. Truth isn't an independent metaphysical entity. We use the word 'true' and its cognates within one context or another.
Agreed.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:04 pm
And within a context, a factual assertion is true independent of what anybody believes or claims to know - it's what we call a fact.
This is non-sensical. The context defines what "everybody believes and claims to know". In a Heliocentric context everybody "knows and believes" that the Sun is the center of the solar system. Therefore in a Heliocentric context it follows that "The Earth orbits the Sun" is a true fact.

But if you broaden your perspective it is NOT true that the Sun is the center of the solar system, but subjectively (once you allow for this mistake) everything else is fine.

Peter Holmes
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes » Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:02 pm

Logik wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 4:19 pm
Peter Holmes wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:56 pm
My argument all along has been that morality isn't objective, because a moral assertion, such as 'slavery is wrong', expresses a value-judgement rather than a factual claim about a feature of reality.
The claim "The Earth orbits around the Sun" is a value-judgment too.

You have arbitrarily decided on a reference frame from which the above assertion is true, when many reference frames exist from which the assertion is false.
As I've explained, a factual assertion can only be inside a frame of reference. That, from another perspective, it can be false, is trivially true and inconsequential.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:56 pm
An even stranger derivation from this is the claim that, if facts are value-judgements, then value-judgements are facts, so that morals assertions are or can be factual, and morality can therefore be objective. Which is to say: objectivity is impossible.
That is not the claim. The claim is that 'objective morality' based on a conception of 'objectivity' which is grounded in facts is impossible because your conception of 'facts' is flawed.
No - this is to do with our use of the word 'fact'. Do you think a fact is an abstract entity which we happen to call a 'fact' - so that we have true and false 'conceptions' of what that thing is?

In the context of humans, human experience and human interactions conception of objective morality based on convention/consensus is possible.
No, you're equivocating on the use of 'objectivity', 'fact' and, by extension, 'truth' - or rather, insisting that mean something different from what we usually mean by them.

Logik
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Logik » Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:21 pm

Peter Holmes wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:02 pm
As I've explained, a factual assertion can only be inside a frame of reference. That, from another perspective, it can be false, is trivially true and inconsequential.
It is not inconsequential. You gave me "The Earth orbits the Sun" as a fact. I gave you a trivial example of reference from which it isn't.
So the statement is only true IF you pre-suppose Heliocentrism. Which is contrary to your notion of "true irrespective of what what anybody claims to believe or know".

Your claim is true IF one believes in Heliocentrism.
Your claim is false IF one believes in Geocentrism or Baryocentrism.

Whether the claim is a value judgment is neither here nor there when the context in which I choose to evaluate the claim is a value judgment.
Peter Holmes wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:56 pm
Do you think a fact is an abstract entity which we happen to call a 'fact' - so that we have true and false 'conceptions' of what that thing is?
Yes. All language is abstract.

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