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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Skepdick
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Skepdick »

Belinda wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 3:27 pm RCSaunders, I am a little more optimistic than Skepdick about reality/nature/universe. I can well understand why Skepdick claims men are in constant tension with reality/nature/the universe. But I claim there is hope men can and do harmonise pleasantly to some extent with it.

This hope is religious I admit, as there is no evidence for this pleasant harmony.
Not much room for disagreement here either.

The eternal Human tension has been the tension between dualism (conflict) and monism (harmony).
And perhaps I used stronger words than necessary, but hey - it's all for dramatic effect

In the end - I just have a great disdain for the status quo. We deserve better. If we fail to "harmonise" with nature - we'll be the losers in the end either way. Nature doesn't care.
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RCSaunders
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by RCSaunders »

Skepdick wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 5:46 pm
RCSaunders wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 1:57 pm Yes, I am, but apparently you are not. When someone says, "this place sucks," they mean they do not like it. When someone says it about existence itself, it means they do not like reality. If I believed what you and Skepdick believe, I wouldn't like it.
Do you like reality, RCSaunders? Do you you like reality EXACTLY the way reality is?

If you do, then why do you keep trying to change anything?

Why do you keep trying to improve yourself?
Why do you keep trying to improve anything?

What's wrong with the status quo? Why do you keep resisting the status quo?

RCSaunders wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 1:57 pm If all one can see is, "All the living inhabitants of the universe(UNIVERSE=NATURE) have to contend with each other and with other forces which will destroy them," I wouldn't like it either. I cannot imagine what you think life is supposed to be, since you apparently find your actual life so discouraging that all you can see is that it isn't easy and that one must earn ("contend with ... forces which will destroy them") in order live.
Where in my language did you hear discouragement? Which part of "fuck reality! Dying is conforming - living is defiance!" do you hear discouragement exactly?

Where in "Fuck reality's rules - break them!" do you hear discouragement exactly?
RCSaunders wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 1:57 pm That's what life is. Life is doing and achieving.
Why do you need to do and achieve anything? Don't you like yourself EXACTLY the way nature made you?

RCSaunders wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 1:57 pm We are given life and the means to maintain it, and it is neither easy or always pleasant.
Do you even know the difference between "maintaining' and "improving" life?
RCSaunders wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 1:57 pm For most human beings, it is worth the effort, because one's own life is the source and means to all there is to be, have, and enjoy in this world. Living successfully is excruciatingly difficult but there is nothing more valuable than one's own life.

If the price of life is too high, if it's fraught with endless difficulties and challenge, if all you can see is the pointlessness of life that is not eternal and trouble free (like the theist's dream of heaven), or consider your own life a mote in the sea of ignorant vicious humanity doomed to extinction, why not give it up? What are you living for?
You are one confused moron.

If nature/reality/life is great/good EXACTLY the way it is, why are you suffering? Too true to Dostoevsky's stereotype perhaps? You are in love with the idea of your own suffering. You love the idea of struggling more than the struggle itself.

Your philosophical idiocy is so strong you are actually looking to disagree where no room for disagreement has been left available to you.
I hope you enjoy arguing with yourself. I neither believe or think any of those things, but if you want to think I do, feel free to argue with them.

I'm only sorry I couldn't make you understand what I actually think, because you would not find it that disagreeable, I believe. But don't worry about it.
Skepdick
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Skepdick »

RCSaunders wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 6:20 pm I hope you enjoy arguing with yourself. I neither believe or think any of those things, but if you want to think I do, feel free to argue with them.
I haven't accused you of any beliefs. I simply asked you a question.

Why do you keep trying to improve anything if you like reality EXACTLY the way it is?
RCSaunders wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 6:20 pm I'm only sorry I couldn't make you understand what I actually think, because you would not find it that disagreeable, I believe. But don't worry about it.
And whose fault is it that you can't express yourself in a way that I can understand you?
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RCSaunders
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by RCSaunders »

Skepdick wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 6:51 pm
RCSaunders wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 6:20 pm I hope you enjoy arguing with yourself. I neither believe or think any of those things, but if you want to think I do, feel free to argue with them.
I haven't accused you of any beliefs. I simply asked you a question.

Why do you keep trying to improve anything if you like reality EXACTLY the way it is?
RCSaunders wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 6:20 pm I'm only sorry I couldn't make you understand what I actually think, because you would not find it that disagreeable, I believe. But don't worry about it.
And whose fault is it that you can't express yourself in a way that I can understand you?
Blame me, if it will make you feel better.

I am curiosus about something, however. You wrote:
Skepdick wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 6:51 pm Why do you keep trying to improve anything if you like reality EXACTLY the way it is?
What exactly did I write that made you think I'm trying to improve anything, and what is it you think I"m trying to improve?
Skepdick
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Skepdick »

RCSaunders wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 7:24 pm What exactly did I write that made you think I'm trying to improve anything, and what is it you think I"m trying to improve?
Yourself? If nothing else.
Peter Holmes
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes »

Since what we call objectivity is independence from opinion with regard to the facts, so that the existence of facts is a given, my OP question is asking if there are moral facts: what has to be the case for there to be moral facts? Hence the long detour into the nature of facts - and the proliferation of OPs about them.

The argument that what we call truth, facts and objectivity aren't what we say they are is metaphysical nonsense. Signs can mean only what we use them to mean. And abstract words - such as morality, moral rightness and wrongness, truth, knowledge, beauty, justice, identity, and so on - aren't names of things that exist and can be described. The claim 'morality exists' is deluded nonsense. All we can do is explain how we use abstract words, their cognates and related words.

When the clucking and ruffled feathers subside, and the pixie dust settles, moral realists and objectivists can't show what and where abstract things are, and in what way they exist - so how there can be moral facts.

End of story? Nah. It's a mystical, religious belief - and such beliefs are super-hard to let go.
Skepdick
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Skepdick »

Peter Holmes wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 11:15 am Signs can mean only what we use them to mean.
Does that mean signs have objective meaning?

A yes/no answer will suffice.
Belinda
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Belinda »

Skepdick wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 12:42 pm
Peter Holmes wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 11:15 am Signs can mean only what we use them to mean.
Does that mean signs have objective meaning?

A yes/no answer will suffice.
Peter confuses signs with signals. Signs, unlike signals, are not intentional on the part of the the transmitter .
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes »

Belinda wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 1:42 pm
Skepdick wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 12:42 pm
Peter Holmes wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 11:15 am Signs can mean only what we use them to mean.
Does that mean signs have objective meaning?

A yes/no answer will suffice.
Peter confuses signs with signals. Signs, unlike signals, are not intentional on the part of the the transmitter .
A transmitter uses signs in a signal. Can you suggest a signal that doesn't consist of a sign or signs?
Belinda
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Belinda »

Peter Holmes wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 1:48 pm
Belinda wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 1:42 pm
Skepdick wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 12:42 pm
Does that mean signs have objective meaning?

A yes/no answer will suffice.
Peter confuses signs with signals. Signs, unlike signals, are not intentional on the part of the the transmitter .
A transmitter uses signs in a signal. Can you suggest a signal that doesn't consist of a sign or signs?
No because a signal is a species of sign /symbol. What distinguishes a signal is it's intended to convey a special message. Consider clinical examination of a patient by a doctor. The patient exhibits signs of trauma or disease(objective). The patient explains their symptoms (subjective). The patient signals they are going to vomit when they say "I need a bowl to be sick into").

"I need a bowl to be sick into " uses metaphor i.e. symbols as does all language. The utterance is also a sign to the doctor the patient feels nausea and perhaps had a head injury. The utterance is also deliberately intended by the patient to convey a clear message i.e. it's a signal..
Peter Holmes
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes »

Belinda wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:38 pm
Peter Holmes wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 1:48 pm
Belinda wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 1:42 pm
Peter confuses signs with signals. Signs, unlike signals, are not intentional on the part of the the transmitter .
A transmitter uses signs in a signal. Can you suggest a signal that doesn't consist of a sign or signs?
No because a signal is a species of sign /symbol. What distinguishes a signal is it's intended to convey a special message. Consider clinical examination of a patient by a doctor. The patient exhibits signs of trauma or disease(objective). The patient explains their symptoms (subjective). The patient signals they are going to vomit when they say "I need a bowl to be sick into").

"I need a bowl to be sick into " uses metaphor i.e. symbols as does all language. The utterance is also a sign to the doctor the patient feels nausea and perhaps had a head injury. The utterance is also deliberately intended by the patient to convey a clear message i.e. it's a signal..
We're using the word 'sign' in different ways. I think words are linguistic signs - as in signifier/signified. So I don't see your sign/signal distinction as significant in this discussion of what constitutes a fact. If you prefer: words can mean only what we use them to mean - and there's no other court of appeal.
Skepdick
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Skepdick »

Peter Holmes wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 3:37 pm Words can mean only what we use them to mean
Peter Holmes wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 3:37 pm We're using the word 'sign' in different ways.
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

So words can have as many meanings as they have uses? So that's infinitely many meanings then.

Why did you even bother with the word "ONLY" ?
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Belinda »

Peter Holmes wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 3:37 pm
Belinda wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:38 pm
Peter Holmes wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 1:48 pm
A transmitter uses signs in a signal. Can you suggest a signal that doesn't consist of a sign or signs?
No because a signal is a species of sign /symbol. What distinguishes a signal is it's intended to convey a special message. Consider clinical examination of a patient by a doctor. The patient exhibits signs of trauma or disease(objective). The patient explains their symptoms (subjective). The patient signals they are going to vomit when they say "I need a bowl to be sick into").

"I need a bowl to be sick into " uses metaphor i.e. symbols as does all language. The utterance is also a sign to the doctor the patient feels nausea and perhaps had a head injury. The utterance is also deliberately intended by the patient to convey a clear message i.e. it's a signal..
We're using the word 'sign' in different ways. I think words are linguistic signs - as in signifier/signified. So I don't see your sign/signal distinction as significant in this discussion of what constitutes a fact. If you prefer: words can mean only what we use them to mean - and there's no other court of appeal.
Leaving language out of the discussion you may be able to distinguish between signs and signals. If you will, think of a road sign with a graphic of rocks falling on to the road. This is commonly called a sign. And so it is. Actual rocks falling on to the road is also a sign of the very same event.The difference between the road sign and the falling rocks is the road sign signals the highway authority's intention to warn motorists.

When we do philosophy we try to be as explicit as we can. Explicit language makes use of fine distinctions.Now I have explained the fine distinction between sign and signal you might be able to make use of it when you are explaining something to do with semiology.
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Peter Holmes »

Belinda wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:55 pm
Peter Holmes wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 3:37 pm
Belinda wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:38 pm
No because a signal is a species of sign /symbol. What distinguishes a signal is it's intended to convey a special message. Consider clinical examination of a patient by a doctor. The patient exhibits signs of trauma or disease(objective). The patient explains their symptoms (subjective). The patient signals they are going to vomit when they say "I need a bowl to be sick into").

"I need a bowl to be sick into " uses metaphor i.e. symbols as does all language. The utterance is also a sign to the doctor the patient feels nausea and perhaps had a head injury. The utterance is also deliberately intended by the patient to convey a clear message i.e. it's a signal..
We're using the word 'sign' in different ways. I think words are linguistic signs - as in signifier/signified. So I don't see your sign/signal distinction as significant in this discussion of what constitutes a fact. If you prefer: words can mean only what we use them to mean - and there's no other court of appeal.
Leaving language out of the discussion you may be able to distinguish between signs and signals. If you will, think of a road sign with a graphic of rocks falling on to the road. This is commonly called a sign. And so it is. Actual rocks falling on to the road is also a sign of the very same event.The difference between the road sign and the falling rocks is the road sign signals the highway authority's intention to warn motorists.

When we do philosophy we try to be as explicit as we can. Explicit language makes use of fine distinctions.Now I have explained the fine distinction between sign and signal you might be able to make use of it when you are explaining something to do with semiology.
Thanks, but I think your sign/signal distinction is irrelevant in this discussion. (And your use of 'metaphor' and 'symbol' strikes me as bizarre.)

Yes, we do ordinarily use 'sign' to mean indication, evidence or even warning. But since Saussure, we have referred to words as signs bifurcated into signifiers and signifieds, and this is standard in post-structuralist discourse.

To use language is to use linguistic or other signs. And the point is that signs can mean only what we use them to mean. So 'intention to convey a clear message' is the given, and our argument over moral assertions is about the nature of that message.

I'm fully aware of the need for clarity and distinctions when we try to convey clear messages. Please can you explain how your fine distinction between signs and signals has a bearing on the nature and function of moral assertions? Perhaps I'm missing it.
Skepdick
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Skepdick »

Peter Holmes wrote: Tue Jul 07, 2020 8:12 am Thanks, but I think your sign/signal distinction is irrelevant in this discussion. (And your use of 'metaphor' and 'symbol' strikes me as bizarre.)

Yes, we do ordinarily use 'sign' to mean indication, evidence or even warning. But since Saussure, we have referred to words as signs bifurcated into signifiers and signifieds, and this is standard in post-structuralist discourse.

To use language is to use linguistic or other signs. And the point is that signs can mean only what we use them to mean. So 'intention to convey a clear message' is the given, and our argument over moral assertions is about the nature of that message.

I'm fully aware of the need for clarity and distinctions when we try to convey clear messages. Please can you explain how your fine distinction between signs and signals has a bearing on the nature and function of moral assertions? Perhaps I'm missing it.
You are missing that the whole system of language is a game of signaling between participants.

And the elephant you are missing is that without intent there is no sign.

If the clouds in the sky spelled out "Good morning". That's neither a sign nor a signal.

It lacks intent so it's just a fluke.
Last edited by Skepdick on Tue Jul 07, 2020 8:46 am, edited 2 times in total.
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