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 » Sun Jun 02, 2019 2:10 pm

Peter Holmes wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 1:53 pm
We can test the consequences of people holding a moral opinion, such as that murder is wrong.
This is where you have stuck yourself with the burden of proof.

You have claimed that the wrongness of murder is "just an opinion". But that is only one theory.

Another theory is that there is an averse and autonomous emotional/physical response to murdering others and I have provided evidence for it.
I have further challenged you to simply change your current opinion (murder is wrong) then go and murder somebody.

So this debate boils down to determining whether there's something in your brain (beyond opinion/agency/choice) which prevents you from following through with the murder of another human.

This is as testable/falsifiable/empirical as it gets!

The ball is in your court.

You are going to desperately keep struggling to turn this into a deductive argument, and I will trivially continue to turn it into an inductive argument, such that this is resolvable with evidence rather than sophistry.

Atla
Posts: 2491
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:27 am

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Atla » Sun Jun 02, 2019 4:17 pm

Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 5:10 pm
Univalence wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:22 pm
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:20 pm
Back in the same obtuse circle: murder is wrong, because I'll be arrested if I commit murder. Why will I be arrested if I commit murder? Because people think murder is wrong, and have laws to punish it. Substitute 'a homosexual act' for 'murder', and see how that works out.
Your counter-argument is about fear-of-consequences of committing murder.

I am betting you that you can't even bring yourself to commit murder. Even if you took precautionary steps to avoid getting caught.
No. You really are obtuse, stuck in your own self-confirmatory circle and impervious to reason. Happiness.
Why are you wasting days of your life trying to seriously argue with this Timeseeker/Logik/Univalence/whatever-other-nicks-he-has retard?

Peter Holmes
Posts: 546
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:53 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes » Sun Jun 02, 2019 4:27 pm

Atla wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 4:17 pm
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 5:10 pm
Univalence wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:22 pm

Your counter-argument is about fear-of-consequences of committing murder.

I am betting you that you can't even bring yourself to commit murder. Even if you took precautionary steps to avoid getting caught.
No. You really are obtuse, stuck in your own self-confirmatory circle and impervious to reason. Happiness.
Why are you wasting days of your life trying to seriously argue with this Timeseeker/Logik/Univalence/whatever-other-nicks-he-has retard?
Fair point. Too much time on my hands? And ex-teacher's altruistic need to help the needy? The hope that others may benefit from a hopeless discussion, to make up their own minds? But yep. It's a fucking waste of time.

Univalence
Posts: 492
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 6:28 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Univalence » Sun Jun 02, 2019 4:47 pm

Atla wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 4:17 pm
Why are you wasting days of your life trying to seriously argue with this Timeseeker/Logik/Univalence/whatever-other-nicks-he-has retard?
"Seriously argue" that's an oxymoron.

2500 years of philosophy and you haven't yet figured out that arguing is the art of rationalization yet?

You must be a slow learner.

And for the record. You are busy arguing with my "other nicks". Figure out who they are ;)
Last edited by Univalence on Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Univalence
Posts: 492
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 6:28 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Univalence » Sun Jun 02, 2019 4:54 pm

Peter Holmes wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 4:27 pm
The hope that others may benefit from a hopeless discussion, to make up their own minds?
Do you not feel even remotely confused when you "want people to make up their own minds", while also arguing that if the wrongness of murder is "just an opinion" then that's equivalent to moral bankruptcy?

Perhaps the mixed signals are a sign of cognitive dissonance?
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 4:27 pm
And ex-teacher's altruistic need to help the needy?
I heard your cry for help. That's why I am helping you ;)

Atla
Posts: 2491
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:27 am

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Atla » Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:00 pm

Peter Holmes wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 4:27 pm
Atla wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 4:17 pm
Peter Holmes wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 5:10 pm

No. You really are obtuse, stuck in your own self-confirmatory circle and impervious to reason. Happiness.
Why are you wasting days of your life trying to seriously argue with this Timeseeker/Logik/Univalence/whatever-other-nicks-he-has retard?
Fair point. Too much time on my hands? And ex-teacher's altruistic need to help the needy? The hope that others may benefit from a hopeless discussion, to make up their own minds? But yep. It's a fucking waste of time.
He's not really needy, he's an NPD. He just presents himself as needy so he can get all the attention of others and then turn around and dominate them. He has no conscience so I don't think you can help here..

Univalence
Posts: 492
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 6:28 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Univalence » Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:02 pm

Atla wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:00 pm
He's not really needy, he's an NPD. He just presents himself as needy so he can get all the attention of others and then turn around and dominate them. He has no conscience so I don't think you can help here..
I am the one arguing for objective morality, moron :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
That's the Black Swan in your NPD hypothesis. Or was that the ASD hypothesis. Or can't you tell anymore?

And in case you missed my other comment. You too are "wasting time" arguing with my other nicks.

But I am not exactly going to tell you who they are ;) Because it's more fun that way.

Univalence
Posts: 492
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 6:28 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Univalence » Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:15 pm

It is absolutely incredible the kind of idiocy philosophers are capable of.

In this thread we have seen the moral relativist accuse the moral objectivist of "moral bankruptcy".
And we have seen the self-appointed psychologist accuse the moral objectivist for "lack of conscience".

It's almost as if the world's gone mad and 'right' and 'wrong' don't mean anything!

For all the cheap parlour tricks I am forced to resort to so that I can demonstrate the intellectual sterility of philosophy, I hope it serves somebody else a purpose...

Belinda
Posts: 2808
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Belinda » Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:59 pm

Peter Holmes wrote:
Consider these pairs of claims:

1 Humans are social animals. Humans should be social animals.
2 Human societies have moral codes. Human societies should have moral codes.
3 People instinctively can't commit murder. People shouldn't commit murder.
4 People think murder is wrong. People should think murder is wrong.
But
1 All humans necessarily are social animals therefore it's necessary humans should be social animals.
2 All human societies necessarily have moral codes therefore it's necessary human societies should have moral codes.
3 People instinctively can't commit murder. People shouldn't commit murder.
4 People think murder is wrong. People should think murder is wrong.

I'd rather substitute 'are moral ' for 'moral codes, because codifying morality is a later development from simple moral coherence. Anyway that's a detail.
3 : if it's a universal and defining attribute of humans to be averse to killing other humans then yes, that implies the moral imperative to not kill other humans.But empirically we see that many humans kill other humans often without remorse. So revulsion from killing other people is not a necessarily defining attribute of human nature.

4: Many people who are not certifiably insane think it's all right for a human to kill another human and many more think that under certain circumstances it's all right to do so.Therefore killing another human however repulsive it may feel is not a necessarily defining attribute of human nature. This is an important discussion with many practical applications either way. (E.g. just war, medically- assisted dying, abortion, self defence) . The Biblical Commandment "Thou shalt not kill" is more accurately translated as "thou shalt not murder" and this makes sense because 'murder' was and is to this day limited to certain socially damaging and illegal acts whereas killing other men was and is not always forbidden, except for one or two eccentric cultures such as Jainism or pacifism.

3 and 4 are not the same as 1 and 2. The difference is necessity. It's impossible to contravene necessity. Necessity is a given as in 1 and 2 .

In the cases of 3 and 4 killing is not always forbidden therefore we have the responsibility to decide whether or not the circumstances justify killing. Usually killing other men is forbidden when it's preconceived and the motivation is personal gain. In modern developed societies personal or family revenge is not an extenuating circumstance.



We can test the consequences of people holding a moral opinion, such as that murder is wrong. For example, that may lead to a fall in the murder rate. Then 'when people believe murder is wrong, this leads to a fall in the murder rate' is a falsifiable factual assertion, testable in reality. And if it's true, that shows that there's a causal connection.
It depends on the method of social control. When there is centralised social control with a robust police and criminal justice system you are right.In some region typically a geographical region where smallish societies are scattered and centralised justice is not practicable especially if there is no binding religion, we see vendetta law which can be extremely wasteful of human lives.

But that doesn't and can't turn the moral assertion 'murder is wrong' into a fact. That's just faulty reasoning, extrapolating from (and assuming) that a fall in the murder rate is a good thing - another moral assertion. And if people believed murder is right (as people often have through our history), and that lead to a rise in the murder rate (as it often has through our history), that would similarly merely show a causal connection. It wouldn't and couldn't turn the moral assertion 'murder is right' into a fact. That's similarly just faulty reasoning.
I don't think it's faulty reasoning because if murder was to be permitted mutual trust would break down with everyone suspecting his neighbour.

I agree completely about human social survival and coherence, and how having a moral value such as 'murder is wrong' contributes to them. But that human societies should survive and cohere is a value-judgement, not a fact. (And our future porcine masters will think differently.) Given all the facts we deploy to justify our judgements, they remain judgements (opinions), not facts.
I do agree that the larger presumption that human societies should cohere is a value judgement. Ultimately I reach a subjective judgement life is better than death.

Belinda, I'm addressing this to you, because I'd like to know where you think my reasoning is faulty - if you do. (Univalence and I disagree, but I don't really understand her/his argument, so I'd be grateful to see yours. No worries if you're bored with it all.)

By the way - greetings from a fellow socialist!
Thanks for that. I appreciate your honest challenges as I'm here to learn so I am not bored in the least.
I am glad you are a socialist.

Peter Holmes
Posts: 546
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:53 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes » Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:41 pm

Belinda wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:59 pm
Peter Holmes wrote:
Consider these pairs of claims:

1 Humans are social animals. Humans should be social animals.
2 Human societies have moral codes. Human societies should have moral codes.
3 People instinctively can't commit murder. People shouldn't commit murder.
4 People think murder is wrong. People should think murder is wrong.
But
1 All humans necessarily are social animals therefore it's necessary humans should be social animals.
2 All human societies necessarily have moral codes therefore it's necessary human societies should have moral codes.
3 People instinctively can't commit murder. People shouldn't commit murder.
4 People think murder is wrong. People should think murder is wrong.

I'd rather substitute 'are moral ' for 'moral codes, because codifying morality is a later development from simple moral coherence. Anyway that's a detail.
3 : if it's a universal and defining attribute of humans to be averse to killing other humans then yes, that implies the moral imperative to not kill other humans.But empirically we see that many humans kill other humans often without remorse. So revulsion from killing other people is not a necessarily defining attribute of human nature.

4: Many people who are not certifiably insane think it's all right for a human to kill another human and many more think that under certain circumstances it's all right to do so.Therefore killing another human however repulsive it may feel is not a necessarily defining attribute of human nature. This is an important discussion with many practical applications either way. (E.g. just war, medically- assisted dying, abortion, self defence) . The Biblical Commandment "Thou shalt not kill" is more accurately translated as "thou shalt not murder" and this makes sense because 'murder' was and is to this day limited to certain socially damaging and illegal acts whereas killing other men was and is not always forbidden, except for one or two eccentric cultures such as Jainism or pacifism.

3 and 4 are not the same as 1 and 2. The difference is necessity. It's impossible to contravene necessity. Necessity is a given as in 1 and 2 .

In the cases of 3 and 4 killing is not always forbidden therefore we have the responsibility to decide whether or not the circumstances justify killing. Usually killing other men is forbidden when it's preconceived and the motivation is personal gain. In modern developed societies personal or family revenge is not an extenuating circumstance.



We can test the consequences of people holding a moral opinion, such as that murder is wrong. For example, that may lead to a fall in the murder rate. Then 'when people believe murder is wrong, this leads to a fall in the murder rate' is a falsifiable factual assertion, testable in reality. And if it's true, that shows that there's a causal connection.
It depends on the method of social control. When there is centralised social control with a robust police and criminal justice system you are right.In some region typically a geographical region where smallish societies are scattered and centralised justice is not practicable especially if there is no binding religion, we see vendetta law which can be extremely wasteful of human lives.

But that doesn't and can't turn the moral assertion 'murder is wrong' into a fact. That's just faulty reasoning, extrapolating from (and assuming) that a fall in the murder rate is a good thing - another moral assertion. And if people believed murder is right (as people often have through our history), and that lead to a rise in the murder rate (as it often has through our history), that would similarly merely show a causal connection. It wouldn't and couldn't turn the moral assertion 'murder is right' into a fact. That's similarly just faulty reasoning.
I don't think it's faulty reasoning because if murder was to be permitted mutual trust would break down with everyone suspecting his neighbour.

I agree completely about human social survival and coherence, and how having a moral value such as 'murder is wrong' contributes to them. But that human societies should survive and cohere is a value-judgement, not a fact. (And our future porcine masters will think differently.) Given all the facts we deploy to justify our judgements, they remain judgements (opinions), not facts.
I do agree that the larger presumption that human societies should cohere is a value judgement. Ultimately I reach a subjective judgement life is better than death.

Belinda, I'm addressing this to you, because I'd like to know where you think my reasoning is faulty - if you do. (Univalence and I disagree, but I don't really understand her/his argument, so I'd be grateful to see yours. No worries if you're bored with it all.)

By the way - greetings from a fellow socialist!
Thanks for that. I appreciate your honest challenges as I'm here to learn so I am not bored in the least.
I am glad you are a socialist.
Thanks, Belinda.

I think the crux in our disagreement is this: you think an 'is' entails or can entail and 'ought'. So that a fact about society or human nature can entail a moral judgement. For example, if humans are naturally averse to killing people, then killing people is morally wrong. (Notice the 'if' - I'm not saying the antecedent condition is true.) And I think this is a mistake.

One way to recognise the mistake is to negate the antecedent (the fact) and see the consequence: if humans are naturally prone to killing people, then killing people is morally right. Now, we agree this doesn't follow. But if so, it doesn't follow in the first claim either. (Saying it does is just special pleading.) So we can't move from a fact to a necessary moral consequence. There can't be any entailment.

So I think your argument is about the evolutionary origin and social development of our morality. And I agree with your analysis completely. I just don't agree that explaining where our moral values come from means that our moral assertions are facts - that morality is objective. The fact that we have certain moral values doesn't mean that those values are facts.

Univalence
Posts: 492
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 6:28 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Univalence » Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:36 pm

Peter Holmes wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:41 pm
The fact that we have certain moral values doesn't mean that those values are facts.
Then you are necessarily arguing for dualism. Because no amount of empiricism is going to sway you.

You have drawn a distinction, to avoid a contradiction. It's how philosophy works.

Perhaps you are uneasy equating moral values with facts because of their apparent contingency?
But facts are contingent too. Most things we call "facts" are falsifiable.

What you seem to be trying to do is to put morality on solid foundation. Super-glue it so that murder is unquestionably and unarguably wrong, but "facts" aren't the solid ground you are looking for either. Because facts are also contingent.

if you couple the wrongness of murder to a fact that gets falsified, does that make murder right?

surreptitious57
Posts: 3637
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:09 am

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by surreptitious57 » Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:10 pm

Values and facts are not the same and are actually opposites as one is subjective while the other is objective
Everyone can agree on facts but not everyone can agree on values which vary from individual to individual
Facts are technically non falsifiable and any that are not were never facts to begin with but assumed to be

You can have a morality based on facts but facts themselves are not moral [ or immoral ]
For example utilitarianism is based on the principle of less harm between two or more available choices
The death of one person is more justifiable than the death of ten people because one is smaller than ten

Univalence
Posts: 492
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 6:28 pm

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Univalence » Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:25 pm

surreptitious57 wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:10 pm
Values and facts are not the same and are actually opposites
This is only a definitional distinction. If there exists an empirical way to measure values - they become facts.
surreptitious57 wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:10 pm
as one is subjective while the other is objective
That's still definitional distinction. The entity drawing the objective/subjective distinction is the subject.

So the objective/subjective distinction is subjective. Wot?
surreptitious57 wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:10 pm
Everyone can agree on facts
Like the fact that Earth is flat?
surreptitious57 wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:10 pm
Facts are technically non falsifiable and any that are not were never facts to begin with but assumed to be
But practically - they are.

surreptitious57
Posts: 3637
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:09 am

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by surreptitious57 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:09 am

Univalence wrote:
The entity drawing the objective / subjective distinction is the subject .
All distinctions are ultimately subjective because everything is mind dependent from our perspective
But the more rigorous ones are called objective to differentiate between them them and all the others

surreptitious57
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Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:09 am

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by surreptitious57 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:16 am

Univalence wrote:
Like the fact that Earth is flat ?
A single photograph from space is all that is needed to falsify this and we already have those
What flat Earthers believe is irrelevant because they are wrong and demonstrably so as well

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