Is morality objective or subjective?

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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uwot
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by uwot »

Immanuel Can wrote: Wed Dec 11, 2019 5:05 pmI don't know what your personal motives are, as I said before, and I won't venture a guess. However, I've sorted out in my mind one very good reason why skeptics would not want to speak about standards of evidence. That's become quite clear to me.
We've seen your ontological, teleological and moral arguments as well as your personal testimony. We have pointed out why we don't find any of it compelling. It has also been pointed out that the fundamental difference is that you wish to believe something you cannot satisfactorily demonstrate, whereas others believe only that which can be demonstrated by objectively verifiable evidence, while reserving judgement on those things that may or may not be true. Further it has been pointed out that is all that is required to qualify as an atheist, yet you continue to insist that all atheists affirm that there is no god. Again, Mr Can, all atheism requires is that one does not believe any claim about supernatural beings; there is no compulsion to argue that such claims are false. That you cannot or will not accept that is strong evidence of intellectual weakness or dishosty. If it is weakness, you are stuck with it, but you could do something about your integrity.
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henry quirk
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Re: Pete

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"Henry, I know I said nuff said. But I appreciate your trying to find common ground, and I'm sorry that I didn't reciprocate."

No worries.
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attofishpi
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by attofishpi »

Immanuel Can wrote: Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:25 pmWhat does "evidence" look like to you?
I'll take your address to uwot and ask you Immanuel - what evidence do you have to share with us - of God or 'God'?
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Immanuel Can »

attofishpi wrote: Thu Dec 12, 2019 4:54 pm
Immanuel Can wrote: Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:25 pmWhat does "evidence" look like to you?
I'll take your address to uwot and ask you Immanuel - what evidence do you have to share with us - of God or 'God'?
I don't actually deal with uwot anymore, for reasons specified earlier.

But you're fine, and I'm going to then offer the same question I offered to P Holmes: what would you accept as "evidence" for the existence of God?
uwot
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by uwot »

Immanuel Can wrote: Thu Dec 12, 2019 6:22 pmI don't actually deal with uwot anymore, for reasons specified earlier.
Mr Can, I know, everyone reading this knows and, what really should be of most concern to you, you know that is dishonest. Will you really get into your heaven by telling porky pies? If so, is it worth it?
Skepdick
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Skepdick »

Peter Holmes wrote: Wed Dec 11, 2019 4:27 pm I don't set any bar anywhere, because it isn't my place to do so in this discussion.
It is your standard of evidence. Whose place is it to set the bar if not yours?
Peter Holmes wrote: Wed Dec 11, 2019 4:27 pm It would be irrational for me to dictate in advance what counts as evidence.
It would be irrational not to. If you actually have an objective standard of evidence (by your very own conception of 'objectivity') then you should have no problem committing to it a-priori any further discussion.

But let us be intellectually honest - we both know you have no standard, that why you are desperately trying to reserve judgment. You closet-subjectivist, you!
Peter Holmes wrote: Wed Dec 11, 2019 4:27 pm I need to see and assess the claim(s). If you want to declare them, why not throw caution to the wind - and just do so? I assume you think they're strong, or you wouldn't believe them yourself.
If you decide what is and isn't evidence AFTER you've had a chance to assess it, you (conveniently) leave yourself an opening to move the goal posts and play apologetics.

At this point I will flat out accuse you of being fully aware this to be the case. You are intellectually dishonest - that's why you are not willing to commit to a standard of evidence that you can later be held accountable to.

In courts of law you are innocent until proven guilty. In Philosophy - it's the other way around...
Skepdick
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Skepdick »

uwot wrote: Thu Dec 12, 2019 2:23 pm It has also been pointed out that the fundamental difference is that you wish to believe something you cannot satisfactorily demonstrate, whereas others believe only that which can be demonstrated by objectively verifiable evidence, while reserving judgement on those things that may or may not be true.
What sort of mental gymnastics do you need to perform and what sort of lies do you need to tell yourself in order to utter the above sentence, while also claiming to side with Feyerabend and understand and subscribe to underdetermination?

Your subjective standard of evidence is what determines what a "satisfactory demonstration" means to you. Only you know what your uncertainties and expectations are. Only you know what would make you suspend your disbelief.

For some people The Big Bang and the fact that we exist is a "satisfactory demonstration" for God. It is objectively verifiable that we exist. If you subscribe to the causal mindset (and I think you do), then God is the answer to the question "What caused The Big Bang?".

For some people the fact that we are talking about God is a "satisfactory demonstration" for God's existence. Ideas exist. God is an idea. Therefore God exists. It is objectively verifiable that we talk about ideas and God-ideas.

I wish to hold ideas which are useful. If God is a useful idea, then I wish to hold it. It reduces down to instrumentalism. What do you use the God-idea for?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underdetermination
In the philosophy of science, underdetermination is the idea that evidence available to us at given time may be insufficient to determine what beliefs we should hold in response to it.
How much more obvious than this does it get? Even if we all agreed on what is and isn't evidence, even if we were to establish an objective standard for evidence (which we can't), and we all agreed on all the facts there is no objective process by which you can start with evidence/facts and arrive at beliefs - we are stuck in the hermeneutic loop.

If you are going to be interpreting sense-datum/evidence/facts in any particular way, it sure begs the question: is time subjective or objective? If you side with Einstein it's non-sensical to separate space and time from spacetime - ergo. time is relative. If you side with Quantum Mechanics - Einstein is wrong. Who do you side with?

Believing in beliefs is the most idiotic idea in Philosophy. Methods work better than beliefs.

It is not coincidental that the problem of subjective standards of evidence corresponds to epistemic methodism and the problem of criterion.
Peter Holmes
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Peter Holmes »

Skepdick wrote: Fri Dec 13, 2019 10:40 am
Peter Holmes wrote: Wed Dec 11, 2019 4:27 pm I don't set any bar anywhere, because it isn't my place to do so in this discussion.
It is your standard of evidence. Whose place is it to set the bar if not yours?
Peter Holmes wrote: Wed Dec 11, 2019 4:27 pm It would be irrational for me to dictate in advance what counts as evidence.
It would be irrational not to. If you actually have an objective standard of evidence (by your very own conception of 'objectivity') then you should have no problem committing to it a-priori any further discussion.

But let us be intellectually honest - we both know you have no standard, that why you are desperately trying to reserve judgment. You closet-subjectivist, you!
Peter Holmes wrote: Wed Dec 11, 2019 4:27 pm I need to see and assess the claim(s). If you want to declare them, why not throw caution to the wind - and just do so? I assume you think they're strong, or you wouldn't believe them yourself.
If you decide what is and isn't evidence AFTER you've had a chance to assess it, you (conveniently) leave yourself an opening to move the goal posts and play apologetics.

At this point I will flat out accuse you of being fully aware this to be the case. You are intellectually dishonest - that's why you are not willing to commit to a standard of evidence that you can later be held accountable to.

In courts of law you are innocent until proven guilty. In Philosophy - it's the other way around...
I wonder why you're so excited, as usual, about this argument. Is it that you think your claims are true, and you want everyone else to agree with you? But then, you think there's no real distinction between truth and falsehood, objectivity and subjectivity, or, presumably, honesty and dishonesty. Who's to say which is which?

If your claims are true, they're false. And if there's no truth and falsehood, gives a shit about your claims.
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Skepdick »

Peter Holmes wrote: Fri Dec 13, 2019 3:47 pm Is it that you think your claims are true
Obviously! I think exactly the same thing you think.

If I didn't think my claims are true I wouldn't make them.
Peter Holmes wrote: Fri Dec 13, 2019 3:47 pm , and you want everyone else to agree with you?
Obviously! Same thing you want.
Peter Holmes wrote: Fri Dec 13, 2019 3:47 pm But then, you think there's no real distinction between truth and falsehood
Silly strawman. If there was a trivial distinction between truth and falsehood there would be no problem at all! Show me somebody who values falsehood over truth.

The problem is that your position is true.
And my position is true.
And henry's position is true.
And uwot's position is true.
And IC's position is true.

The problem is that you don't have an objective way to determine whose truth is most true.
Peter Holmes wrote: Fri Dec 13, 2019 3:47 pm , objectivity and subjectivity, or, presumably, honesty and dishonesty. Who's to say which is which?
Exactly the problem! Who decides?

I think I get to decide for myself.
You think you get to decide for yourself.
Henry, uwot and IC - they decide for themselves also.

Now you understand.
Peter Holmes wrote: Fri Dec 13, 2019 3:47 pm If your claims are true, they're false.

Strawman and a false dichotomy. Not-true doesn't mean false. It means "not true" from my reference frame - we subscribe to different axioms.

My claims are true from my perspective.
Your claims are true from your perspective.

How do you reconcile incompatible truths? That's the real problem.
Peter Holmes wrote: Fri Dec 13, 2019 3:47 pm And if there's no truth and falsehood, gives a shit about your claims.
The person making them.
Last edited by Skepdick on Fri Dec 13, 2019 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Peter Holmes
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Peter Holmes »

This is your customary nonsense, and I can't be bothered with it.
Skepdick
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Skepdick »

Peter Holmes wrote: Fri Dec 13, 2019 4:12 pm This is your customary nonsense, and I can't be bothered with it.
So you have nothing to say in response to my truth?

Q.E.D

Your inability to navigate around incompatible truths further speaks to your irrationality. How are we ever going to figure out "moral truth" (such as honesty or dishonesty) for ourselves if you can't even figure out "truth"?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aumann%27 ... nt_theorem
In game theory, Aumann's agreement theorem is a theorem which demonstrates that rational agents with common knowledge of each other's beliefs cannot agree to disagree.
uwot
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by uwot »

Skepdick wrote: Fri Dec 13, 2019 11:00 am
uwot wrote: Thu Dec 12, 2019 2:23 pm It has also been pointed out that the fundamental difference is that you wish to believe something you cannot satisfactorily demonstrate, whereas others believe only that which can be demonstrated by objectively verifiable evidence, while reserving judgement on those things that may or may not be true.
What sort of mental gymnastics do you need to perform and what sort of lies do you need to tell yourself in order to utter the above sentence, while also claiming to side with Feyerabend and understand and subscribe to underdetermination?
It's a thing called context.
Skepdick wrote: Fri Dec 13, 2019 11:00 amYour subjective standard of evidence is what determines what a "satisfactory demonstration" means to you. Only you know what your uncertainties and expectations are. Only you know what would make you suspend your disbelief.
That is substantially Mr Can's argument. Beyond it being empirical, I have no idea what sort of evidence would persuade me of any proposition.
Skepdick wrote: Fri Dec 13, 2019 11:00 amFor some people The Big Bang and the fact that we exist is a "satisfactory demonstration" for God. It is objectively verifiable that we exist. If you subscribe to the causal mindset (and I think you do), then God is the answer to the question "What caused The Big Bang?".
Well, if you wish to argue that therefore 'God caused the big bang' is true, then that is your subjective definition of 'true'. My own subjective definition of 'true' is something like 'That which obtains'. Which in the context of philosophy is a complete sentence.
Skepdick wrote: Fri Dec 13, 2019 11:00 amFor some people the fact that we are talking about God is a "satisfactory demonstration" for God's existence. Ideas exist. God is an idea. Therefore God exists. It is objectively verifiable that we talk about ideas and God-ideas.

I wish to hold ideas which are useful. If God is a useful idea, then I wish to hold it. It reduces down to instrumentalism. What do you use the God-idea for?
Having a laugh.
Skepdick wrote: Fri Dec 13, 2019 11:00 am https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underdetermination
In the philosophy of science, underdetermination is the idea that evidence available to us at given time may be insufficient to determine what beliefs we should hold in response to it.
For the record, I did my MSc in the history and philosophy of science, so I really don't need a wikipedia introduction to underdetermination. You'd be amazed at the number of times I've written underdetermined only to have it misread as undetermined.
Skepdick wrote: Fri Dec 13, 2019 11:00 amHow much more obvious than this does it get? Even if we all agreed on what is and isn't evidence, even if we were to establish an objective standard for evidence (which we can't), and we all agreed on all the facts there is no objective process by which you can start with evidence/facts and arrive at beliefs - we are stuck in the hermeneutic loop.
Well, that's where the blunt and certainly not flawless falsificationism comes in handy.
Skepdick wrote: Fri Dec 13, 2019 11:00 amIf you are going to be interpreting sense-datum/evidence/facts in any particular way, it sure begs the question: is time subjective or objective? If you side with Einstein it's non-sensical to separate space and time from spacetime - ergo. time is relative. If you side with Quantum Mechanics - Einstein is wrong. Who do you side with?
I refer you again to this: https://willybouwman.blogspot.com/2019/ ... -post.html
Skepdick wrote: Fri Dec 13, 2019 11:00 amBelieving in beliefs is the most idiotic idea in Philosophy. Methods work better than beliefs.
Well, I could be a language fascist and point out that it is silly not to believe in beliefs, because people demonstrably have beliefs. For my own subjective purposes though, I have interpreted what you say to mean that it is idiotic to hold a belief. Bit harsh; clearly some beliefs are idiotic, even dangerous, but mostly they're harmless.
Skepdick wrote: Fri Dec 13, 2019 11:00 amIt is not coincidental that the problem of subjective standards of evidence corresponds to epistemic methodism and the problem of criterion.
More wikipedia? It's a wonderful resource, but contrary what you appear to believe, it doesn't turn you into an expert.
uwot
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by uwot »

Skepdick wrote: Fri Dec 13, 2019 4:14 pmIn game theory, Aumann's agreement theorem is a theorem which demonstrates that rational agents with common knowledge of each other's beliefs cannot agree to disagree.
Aw now if only you'd read the article I wrote on Kuhn, you'd understand why philosophers of science don't accept that. Here's the pertinent bit:

The ‘theory-dependence of observation’ is this idea that exactly the same information can be interpreted in different ways. Kuhn argued that just as your worldview is influenced by your experience, so your scientific paradigm is determined in part by the education you’ve had. This led to accusations of relativism, which Kuhn tried to counter by saying that there are objective criteria for deciding between paradigmatic theories:

1. How accurately a theory agrees with the evidence.

2. It’s consistent within itself and with other accepted theories.

3. It should explain more than just the phenomenon it was designed to explain.

4. The simplest explanation is the best. (In other words, apply Occam’s Razor.)

5. It should make predictions that come true.

However, Kuhn had to concede that there is no objective way to establish which of those criteria is the most important, and so scientists would make their own mind up for subjective reasons. In choosing between competing theories, two scientists “fully committed to the same list of criteria for choice may nevertheless reach different conclusions.”

https://philosophynow.org/issues/131/Th ... _1922-1996
Peter Holmes
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Peter Holmes »

Skepdick wrote: Fri Dec 13, 2019 4:14 pm
Peter Holmes wrote: Fri Dec 13, 2019 4:12 pm This is your customary nonsense, and I can't be bothered with it.
So you have nothing to say in response to my truth?

Q.E.D

Your inability to navigate around incompatible truths further speaks to your irrationality. How are we ever going to figure out "moral truth" (such as honesty or dishonesty) for ourselves if you can't even figure out "truth"?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aumann%27 ... nt_theorem
In game theory, Aumann's agreement theorem is a theorem which demonstrates that rational agents with common knowledge of each other's beliefs cannot agree to disagree.
QED? What do you think you've demonstrated? The truth of a claim? And is that 'your truth'?

As I remember, you're not a Platonist; you don't think truth is an abstract thing of some kind which, therefore, may or may not exist somewhere, somehow. Is that right?

If so, you know the expressions 'my truth' and 'your truth' are incoherent. Truth isn't a thing, so it isn't a thing that can belong to people. And it isn't a thing that can be figured out. And neither is coherence or compatibility, and so on. Abstract things are misleading fictions. What can 'navigate around incompatible truths' possibly mean?

Everything you say demonstrates how mired in metaphysical delusion you way of thinking really is. And you're so excitedly determined to be right and show that I'm wrong - that you can't see it.
Skepdick
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Skepdick »

Peter Holmes wrote: Sat Dec 14, 2019 11:01 am QED? What do you think you've demonstrated? The truth of a claim? And is that 'your truth'?
I demonstrated that which was demonstrated.
Peter Holmes wrote: Sat Dec 14, 2019 11:01 am As I remember, you're not a Platonist; you don't think truth is an abstract thing of some kind which, therefore, may or may not exist somewhere, somehow. Is that right?
Truth is a concept. There are many conceptions of truth. They are ALL man-made.

Here's a short list of Truth-conceptions: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truth
Peter Holmes wrote: Sat Dec 14, 2019 11:01 am If so, you know the expressions 'my truth' and 'your truth' are incoherent.
Obviously! You keep parsing my sentences in your framework.

If you parse my sentences in my framework - they will be perfectly coherent to you!
Peter Holmes wrote: Sat Dec 14, 2019 11:01 am Truth isn't a thing, so it isn't a thing that can belong to people.
It's a concepts. Concepts belong to people. Who else would they belong to?
Peter Holmes wrote: Sat Dec 14, 2019 11:01 am Everything you say demonstrates how mired in metaphysical delusion you way of thinking really is.
For the 3rd time now - language (and logic, and Mathematics) is metaphysics. If I am marred in a delusion - you are stuck in here with me.

How do we get out?
Peter Holmes wrote: Sat Dec 14, 2019 11:01 am And you're so excitedly determined to be right and show that I'm wrong - that you can't see it.
"right" and "wrong" are moral claims. According to you - morality is something we have yet to figure out (for ourselves).

I am still waiting for you to demonstrate HOW we "figure it out". You can't even navigate your way past a philosophical disagreement, never mind a moral one.

Seems like a bit of a conundrum?

Obviously - I believe in objective morality (hence why I know you are wrong), but you don't - so it's just your opinion that I am wrong.

Why should your opinion trump my knowledge?
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