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 »

surreptitious57 wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 5:45 pm
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
What you say is still confused: 'facts could indeed be false if reality was different'. Not so. A true factual assertion - a fact - can't be false, by definition.

And if '1+1=2' couldn't be false, it makes no sense to say it's true - or that it's a fact. But if a 1m long stick could not be 1m long, then it makes sense to say it's true that the stick is 1m long - that it's a fact.
surreptitious57
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by surreptitious57 »

Peter Holmes wrote:
If a fact is a feature of reality - a state of affairs - as philosophers tend to use the word
fact - then of course its independent from opinion and has nothing to do with the mind
All facts have to be demonstrated otherwise they cannot be accepted as facts even if they are true
And that cannot be done without a mind that truly understands the distinction between true assertions and false assertions
And how to determine that through critical assessment of all available evidence - otherwise known as the scientific method
So forgot about philosophy as science is the study of the observable Universe and it is science that deals in facts not philosophy
surreptitious57
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by surreptitious57 »

Peter Holmes wrote:
A true factual assertion - a fact - cant be false by definition
We are but finite beings with finite ability and so can not possibly know the absolute truth value of all facts
We therefore have zero choice but to operate from within this limitation because there is nothing else to do
We do not have the luxury of omniscience but instead the problem of induction so simply have to accept this
Peter Holmes
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes »

surreptitious57 wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 6:07 pm
Peter Holmes wrote:
A true factual assertion - a fact - cant be false by definition
We are but finite beings with finite ability and so can not possibly know the absolute truth value of all facts
We therefore have zero choice but to operate from within this limitation because there is nothing else to do
We do not have the luxury of omniscience but instead the problem of induction so simply have to accept this
The expression 'the absolute truth value of all facts' is a complete muddle. I don't know where to start with it. But thanks for engaging.
surreptitious57
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by surreptitious57 »

Peter Holmes wrote:
The expression the absolute truth value of all facts is a complete muddle
Very simply : we cannot know the future
So we therefore dont know which facts that are true now will not be true at some other point in time
New knowledge is waiting to be discovered but until it is discovered we wont actually know what it is
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RCSaunders
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by RCSaunders »

surreptitious57 wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 6:47 pm Very simply : we cannot know the future
So we therefore dont know which facts that are true now will not be true at some other point in time
New knowledge is waiting to be discovered but until it is discovered we wont actually know what it is
A fact does not change. Anything that is a fact is a fact for eternity.

If I had an accident on May 26th, it will be true for ever that I had an accident on May 26th, 2020, and no new knowledge can possibly change it. What do you think facts are?
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RCSaunders
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by RCSaunders »

Peter Holmes wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 5:23 pm 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.
You are absolutely right. To bad you couldn't explain that to the whole logical positivist and linguistic analysis crowd.
Skepdick
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Skepdick »

RCSaunders wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 8:12 pm A fact does not change. Anything that is a fact is a fact for eternity.
Then facts do not exists. Not in this universe anyway.

If you believe in "Eternity" and "immutability" then you are a theist.
RCSaunders wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 8:12 pm If I had an accident on May 26th, it will be true for ever that I had an accident on May 26th, 2020, and no new knowledge can possibly change it. What do you think facts are?
Facts are mutable, testable and falsifiable.

What you are describing is called "memories". There is no way for any human to verify whether what you are saying is true.
RCSaunders wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 8:19 pm You are absolutely right. To bad you couldn't explain that to the whole logical positivist and linguistic analysis crowd.
You can't explain it to anybody. Not just the logical positivists. Because you can't explain what an "explanation" is.

if you are arguing against verification then you are arguing against analytic philosophy.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_Dogma ... ductionism
Analyticity would be acceptable if we allowed for the verification theory of meaning: an analytic statement would be one synonymous with a logical truth, which would be an extreme case of meaning where empirical verification is not needed, because it is "confirmed no matter what". "So, if the verification theory can be accepted as an adequate account of statement synonymy, the notion of analyticity is saved after all."

The problem that naturally follows is how statements are to be verified. An empiricist would say that it can only be done using empirical evidence. So some form of reductionism - "the belief that each meaningful statement is equivalent to some logical construct upon terms which refer to immediate experience" - must be assumed in order for an empiricist to 'save' the notion of analyticity. Such reductionism, says Quine, presents just as intractable a problem as did analyticity.
Skepdick
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Skepdick »

Peter Holmes wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 5:23 pm 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.
Peter Holmes wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 10:40 am What you call 'within a framework' is what I call 'within a descriptive context'.
You are disagreeing with yourself.

The Mathematical fact 1+1=2 could be false if reality (read: the descriptive context, or the framework) was different.

And that is precisely the case.

1+1=2 is true in one descriptive context called "decimal number system"
1+1=2 is false in another descriptive context called "binary number system"

Whichever way you look at it you are dealing with problems of representation/interpretation.

"Reality" is whatever reality is - nobody knows, so nobody can say!

Human understanding of "reality" is linguistic.

If this linguistic object was called a triangle, then Earth would be triangular!
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Last edited by Skepdick on Fri May 29, 2020 4:09 am, edited 9 times in total.
Skepdick
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Skepdick »

surreptitious57 wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 3:27 pm This is too simplistic a statement because it implies that all truth is set in stone
It doesn't say or imply anything like that. Either something is true or it isn't.

"Not true" doesn't have to mean false. It just means that whatever "truth" is - this thing ain't got it.
surreptitious57 wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 3:27 pm But like many things it exists on a spectrum and so rather than black and white there are many shades of grey
I am starting to hate this metaphor more and more.

There's no such thing as "black". Black is simply the lack of color. White light is made of all colors. If you want to speak of nuance - speak of colors.

However many colors of truth you are talking about, are any of those colors not true?
surreptitious57 wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 3:27 pm This is necessary to emphasise the difference between objective and subjective truth which are not the same
If truth has colors, but none of those colors are "not true" - then what is the difference between the colors of truth?
surreptitious57 wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 3:27 pm Scientific or mathematical truth is more rigorous than personal truth for example
I don't see how. They are both axiomatic systems - they are all the same. What is the difference?
surreptitious57 wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 3:27 pm 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
But I am comparing them. You can have a less rigorous truth and a more rigorous truth.

If they are both true, why is rigour relevant?
Last edited by Skepdick on Fri May 29, 2020 7:05 am, edited 6 times in total.
Skepdick
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Skepdick »

RCSaunders wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 8:19 pm You are absolutely right. To bad you couldn't explain that to the whole logical positivist and linguistic analysis crowd.
Turns out I don't even have to prove you wrong. Science is already doing it.

Pattern recognition/categorization is a linguistic problem. in the sense that we are programming computers how to recognise and categorise things USING language.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-shot_learning
https://github.com/openai/gpt-3
Skepdick
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Skepdick »

Sculptor wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 6:58 pm Not even a self driving car can be explained to.
This is a laughable abuse of language.
Computers understand nothing.
Look at all of them scientists "abusing" language - not giving a fuck what you think!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_vision
Computer vision is an interdisciplinary scientific field that deals with how computers can gain high-level understanding from digital images or videos.
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Peter Holmes wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 10:40 am
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.
"You" pay attention!

OK, I can reconcile with 'descriptive context' but I insist 'Framework of Knowledge' is more critical and relevant.

Yes, any defined 'Framework of Knowledge' can produce facts.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fact
However there is a degree to the confidence level on the facts produced by each specific Framework of Knowledge.

I believe the most credible Framework of Knowledge at present is the Scientific Framework with produces scientific facts and truths.
Say, if we give a general rating on veracity to the Scientific Framework with its defined features of 100 as a standard, we can relative gauge the rating of other Frameworks of Knowledge.
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.
If the Scientific Framework is rated at 100, then based on the defined feature of the Astrological Framework, we will rate its knowledge at a consolation of 0.1/100.

It is the same for the divine 'fact' by theists, e.g. "God exists as real," personally I would rate that at 0/100.

A beauty contest organization is also a specific Framework of knowledge.
You cannot deny it is a fact and objective, Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa is the current Miss Universe 2019. I would rate such a fact at 50/100.

Depending on the credibility of the legal framework of say the USA, we could rate legal facts from USA at 70-80/100.

We can rate all other Framework of Knowledge based on what features of justification and verification for the specific Framework of Knowledge against the Scientific Framework's features of relying on justification, verification, testing of empirical evidences, assured repeatability of results, falsifiability, peer reviews and other essential features.
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.
I don't prefer "descriptive context" but I prefer a Framework of Knowledge where there is a constitution at its core, principles, processes, rules, assumptions, etc. that define the feature of a specific framework of knowledge.

As long as there is defined 'framework of knowledge' it will produce facts.

In the case of 'a stick is 1m long' that is a fact derived from a standardization of measurement Framework of knowledge.
There is no way that fact can stand alone by itself without reference to a specific Framework.
In that specific framework of metric measurement, there is an assumed standard of 'what is 1m'

Are you ignorant of this intersubjective process that establishes your so called 'fact' and truth-value, the stick is 1m long.
The metre (Commonwealth spelling) or meter (American spelling) (from the French unit mètre, from the Greek noun μέτρον, "measure") is the base unit of length in the International System of Units (SI). The SI unit symbol is m. The metre is defined as the length of the path travelled by monochromatic light in a vacuum in
1/299 792 458 of a second.

The metre was originally defined in 1793 as one ten-millionth of the distance from the equator to the North Pole along a great circle, so the Earth's circumference is approximately 40000 km.

In 1799, the metre was redefined in terms of a prototype metre bar (the actual bar used was changed in 1889).

In 1960, the metre was redefined in terms of a certain number of wavelengths of a certain emission line of krypton-86.

The current definition [metre] was adopted in 1983 and slightly updated in 2019.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metre
Yes, your stick is 1 meter long is independent of individuals' beliefs and opinion, but it is not independent of the collective opinion of those subjects who set and agree to what one meter is to be as the STANDARD METER.

Therefore what you think is an objective fact with truth-value independent of individuals opinions and belief, is fundamentally subjective, i.e. intersubjective with the consensus of subjects.
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.
Your assertion of the 'fact' -'the stick is 1m long' is fundamentally very subjective and based on the opinions of a group of people without justifications at all.
What feature of reality can possibly confirm the assertion 'the stick is 1m long'.

Note 'the stick is 1foot long' speculated to be based on the length of the foot of a person in authority, a king.

There is this story:
Probably the most common story of government setting standards of measurement is the story of King Henry I of England, who ruled England from 1100 to 1135. The standard for the "foot" was supposed to have been made by measuring the King's foot.
Link
Maybe it was a speculation, but the fundamental point is, what is a foot lenght is based on a very subjective origin that is made objective intersubjectively.

But my moral fact 'slavery is wrong' is justified from empirical evidence from various source of knowledge, e.g. anthropology, psychology, philosophical reasoning, etc.
This moral fact 'slavery is wrong' can be tested by asking everyone one on earth whether they would voluntarily want be a chattel slave, i.e. owned by another human or humans.

Hope you understand how your ignorance is exposed in the above?
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.
I am against Moral Realism in the sense of Plato's universals that exists independent of the human conditions and those pseudo-moral realism from theists.

My proposals are based on empirical-moral-realism i.e. objective moral facts that are justified with empirical evidences and philosophical reasoning, thus independent of individuals' beliefs and opinion but not independent of the collective subjects involved.

Btw, your objection to moral objectivism or moral realism is based on the principles of Philosophical Realism.
Those moral realists or moral objectivists are also relying on Philosophical Realism.
Thus you are kicking your own back when you condemns moral realism or moral objectivism.
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

RCSaunders wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 8:12 pm
surreptitious57 wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 6:47 pm Very simply : we cannot know the future
So we therefore dont know which facts that are true now will not be true at some other point in time
New knowledge is waiting to be discovered but until it is discovered we wont actually know what it is
A fact does not change. Anything that is a fact is a fact for eternity.
What are Facts??
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fact

Note the following "changeable" facts:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pluto
  • In 1930, Pluto was a Planet,
    • Pluto was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930 and declared to be the ninth planet from the Sun.
    then, in 2006, Pluto is Dwarf Planet,
    • in 2006, during their 26th General Assembly. That definition excluded Pluto and reclassified it as a dwarf planet.
Who knows, astronomers could rename that 'thing' as some thing else other than a 'planet' dwarf planet, etc.
If this cluster of rocks -now named Pluto - collide with a few large asteriod and become a larger body of rocks and other materials, that 'pluto which was a dwart planet' could be relabeled as a ordinary planet.

Do you understand our 'Sun' cannot be a 'Sun' till eternity.
The fact is our Sun is a dying star.
At some point in time in the future our 'Sun' will implode and disappear.
This is evident from evidence and inferences of what had happened to other stars which are the same as our Sun.
https://www.livescience.com/32879-what- ... -dies.html
If I had an accident on May 26th, it will be true for ever that I had an accident on May 26th, 2020, and no new knowledge can possibly change it. What do you think facts are?
You are very ignorant on this.
Your May 26th, 2020 in USA at the SAME REAL TIME could be May 27th, 2020 in Japan.

What is an "accident" is dependent on various subjective interpretations.
It is possible you may claim it is an accident, but the police and insurance companies do not accept your 'accident' as an "accident".

Can you deny your ignorance above?
Skepdick
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Skepdick »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Fri May 29, 2020 7:54 am OK, I can reconcile with 'descriptive context' but I insist 'Framework of Knowledge' is more critical and relevant.
You are taking too long to get to the point.

Philosophy too is a framework. Framework for what? Frameworks are theories.

Say we have a framework/theory of knowledge. What is knowledge used for?

What are frameworks/theories used for?
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