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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surreptitious57
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Re: More pointless jibber-jabber...

Post by surreptitious57 »

uwot wrote:
surreptitious57 wrote:
Even theories - which are the highest classification in science - are treated as being capable of falsification at least potentially
I have heard that line used by people defending evolution against the creationist claim that evolution is only a theory
This is falsely conflating one definition of theory [ non scientific ] with the other definition of theory [ scientific ]
Creationists who claim that evolution is only a theory are using the non scientific definition not the scientific one
The former is a hypothesis which could be true but which has either insufficient evidence to support it or none at all
While the latter is a fully tested hypothesis subjected to the rigour of the scientific method and potential falsification
These two definitions may apply to the same word but mean entirely different things and creationists take advantage of this
But the irony however is that evolution is actually the most supported theory in all of science - moreso than any other theory
surreptitious57
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Re: More pointless jibber-jabber...

Post by surreptitious57 »

uwot wrote:
theories are not the highest classification in science
They are - in science nothing is above them - there is a hierarchy :

Facts are individual truth statements about observable reality that have been subjected to the scientific method
Laws are a body of facts that pertain to a particular observable phenomena - such as gravitation for example
Theories are a combination of both facts and laws that explain a phenomena as fully as scientifically possible

Evolution / Quantum Mechanics / Electromagnetism / General Relativity are all theories because they
have such a comprehensive body of work supporting them - no classification above this exists in science
surreptitious57
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Re: More pointless jibber-jabber...

Post by surreptitious57 »

uwot wrote:
Newtons Law was not falsified by Einstein it was falsified by observations of the advance of the perihelion of Mercury
Gravity could not account for the discrepancy in the orbit of Mercury but General Relativity could
The observation was a prediction of GR and as it was accurate it demonstrated that it was an improvement on G
Before General Relativity the explanation for the discrepancy could only be observed as the reason was unknown
surreptitious57
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Re: More pointless jibber-jabber...

Post by surreptitious57 »

uwot wrote:
surreptitious57 wrote:
So falsification provides absolute knowledge while non falsification provides temporary knowledge
This is precisely why falsification in science has a much higher epistemological value than evidence
What if all non white swans become extinct ?
Evidence of their existence could still be found in the fossil record
But even if no evidence for one was ever found in the record then the statement all swans are white would still only be provisional
As not only would there have to be no evidence for any here on Earth but every single exo planet that could potentially support life
Since exploration of such worlds is beyond the capability of science then the statement could not be falsified
Even if every exo planet could be explored that would only be possible before we became extinct as a species
Black swans that existed on exo planets after our extinction could not be observed even though the statement would no longer be true
Since there are black swans then all this is academic but even if there was no evidence for any the statement could still not be falsified
Peter Holmes
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Re: Pete

Post by Peter Holmes »

henry quirk wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 3:16 pm I acknowledge it. Moral non-realists/non-objectivists can do good and bad things just as much as moral realists/objectivists.

:thumbsup:

But I think what matters is being rational and good, so that the fewer reasons we have for being irrational and wicked, the better.

Abortion is wicked. Human trafficking is wicked. The overall indifference the West has toward both is wicked. I could generate a long list of wicked things, all rooted in moral non-realism, a list that would rival a list you might compile of wickedness done out of a belief in moral fact.

Again: it's naive to believe rationality naturally bends toward the good.
Your claim that abortion is a wicked consequence of moral non-realism is a nice example of thinking a moral opinion is a fact. But there are moral realists who think abortion is not immoral, because a woman's reproductive autonomy and agency has to be paramount - so that forcing her to carry a preganancy to term is morally wrong. Abortion can be just as much a consequence of moral realism.

Rationality does not guarantee moral goodness. But is that an argument for the irrationality of moral objectivism?

There are no moral facts, so moral objectivism is irrational. And it provides a reason for some people to be wicked with a clear conscience, because they think their moral opinions are facts. (At least, I've never come across an exception to this rule.)

I get this. And in this same light: believin' there is no moral reality (moral fact) most surely can lead a man to rationalize all manner of wickedness (license and banal atrocity).
Okay, what conclusion follows? Since goodness and wickedness can follow from both moral realism and moral non-realism, isn't it rational to ditch at least one mistaken belief: that there are moral facts? Are you advocating irrationality on utilitarian grounds - so that people can carry on justifying their wickedness by pretending their are moral facts? What kind of utility is that?

Yes, moral non-realists and non-objectivists can do bad things. Is pretending there are moral facts the solution?
uwot
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Re: More pointless jibber-jabber...

Post by uwot »

surreptitious57 wrote: Thu Jul 30, 2020 6:06 amThis is falsely conflating one definition of theory [ non scientific ] with the other definition of theory [ scientific ]
I don't think there is much prospect of you and I agreeing on this. In my view calling a theory 'scientific' doesn't give it any protected status; it is still subject to potential falsification. However well supported, a theory is a theory. But then I return to your original criticism:
surreptitious57 wrote: Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:28 pm
uwot wrote:What anyone calls a fact is up to them
Actually its not because a fact by default has to be objectively true and also capable of demonstration
Are you calling this a fact?
surreptitious57 wrote: Thu Jul 30, 2020 6:06 amBut the irony however is that evolution is actually the most supported theory in all of science - moreso than any other theory
Fine by me if you are, but by your own criteria, how could you demonstrate it to be objectively true?
uwot
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Re: More pointless jibber-jabber...

Post by uwot »

surreptitious57 wrote: Thu Jul 30, 2020 6:08 amBefore General Relativity the explanation for the discrepancy could only be observed as the reason was unknown
I would argue that it still is. If by reason you mean the idea that gravity is caused by the warping of spacetime by matter, that is still theoretical.
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: Pete

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Peter Holmes wrote: Thu Jul 30, 2020 7:18 am
henry quirk wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 3:16 pm I acknowledge it. Moral non-realists/non-objectivists can do good and bad things just as much as moral realists/objectivists.

:thumbsup:

But I think what matters is being rational and good, so that the fewer reasons we have for being irrational and wicked, the better.

Abortion is wicked. Human trafficking is wicked. The overall indifference the West has toward both is wicked. I could generate a long list of wicked things, all rooted in moral non-realism, a list that would rival a list you might compile of wickedness done out of a belief in moral fact.

Again: it's naive to believe rationality naturally bends toward the good.
Your claim that abortion is a wicked consequence of moral non-realism is a nice example of thinking a moral opinion is a fact. But there are moral realists who think abortion is not immoral, because a woman's reproductive autonomy and agency has to be paramount - so that forcing her to carry a preganancy to term is morally wrong. Abortion can be just as much a consequence of moral realism.

Rationality does not guarantee moral goodness. But is that an argument for the irrationality of moral objectivism?
As usual your thinking as above is too shallow and narrow.

First an effective Moral Framework and System must be established.
The justified True Moral Fact regarding abortion from the Moral FSK is'
"no child-bearing human ought to have an abortion" period!!
But this is merely a GUIDE as a moral standard.

The justification for the above moral fact is;
-all humans are "programmed" for the reproduction of children to contribute to the next generation to ensure the preservation of the human species.
-if abortion is permitted, moral-wise this is open to all humans universally.
-with this unrestrained option, the human species could 'theoretically' be extinct in time, if every potential child is aborted.
-therefore the moral fact, conditioned upon the Moral FSK is;
"no child-bearing human ought to have an abortion" period!!

But note the above moral facts as a standard is merely a standard only.
There should not be any enforcement of the above 'policy'.

Since the above is only a standard, there is still room for abortion to be carried out but it is always constraint by the moral fact and standard.
Because there is a ceiling standard, this will enable humanity to resolve the problem of abortion at its roots causes and only allow abortion in justifiable unavoidable situations.

Without a justified moral fact of 'Abortion is not permissible' [period!!] there will no fixed goals and people will not be bothered to look at the root causes of abortion and its related problems, which is mainly due to uncontrollable lust and unmindful sex than other reasons.

Those who insist abortion is not immoral, thus do not adopt any standard guide for it are not empirical moral realists. Since options are given for one to decide whether to have an abortion or not, that would be moral relativism.
There are no moral facts, so moral objectivism is irrational. And it provides a reason for some people to be wicked with a clear conscience, because they think their moral opinions are facts. (At least, I've never come across an exception to this rule.)

I get this. And in this same light: believin' there is no moral reality (moral fact) most surely can lead a man to rationalize all manner of wickedness (license and banal atrocity).
Okay, what conclusion follows? Since goodness and wickedness can follow from both moral realism and moral non-realism, isn't it rational to ditch at least one mistaken belief: that there are moral facts? Are you advocating irrationality on utilitarian grounds - so that people can carry on justifying their wickedness by pretending their are moral facts? What kind of utility is that?

Yes, moral non-realists and non-objectivists can do bad things. Is pretending there are moral facts the solution?
In the case of empirical moral realism, the only output from the system is good [defined as justified] and never evil.
Whatever moral facts from the Moral FSK they have to be justified to be good [as defined] and never evil.
If people acted evil against the good maxims of the Moral FSK, the fault lies in the evil-laden people.
However an essential features of the Moral FSK is that it must have a "control system" to manage the evil inclined to be good [moral objectives] via fool proof self-development programs that are adopted voluntarily by the moral agents.
Peter Holmes
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Re: Pete

Post by Peter Holmes »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:07 am
Peter Holmes wrote: Thu Jul 30, 2020 7:18 am
henry quirk wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 3:16 pm I acknowledge it. Moral non-realists/non-objectivists can do good and bad things just as much as moral realists/objectivists.

:thumbsup:

But I think what matters is being rational and good, so that the fewer reasons we have for being irrational and wicked, the better.

Abortion is wicked. Human trafficking is wicked. The overall indifference the West has toward both is wicked. I could generate a long list of wicked things, all rooted in moral non-realism, a list that would rival a list you might compile of wickedness done out of a belief in moral fact.

Again: it's naive to believe rationality naturally bends toward the good.
Your claim that abortion is a wicked consequence of moral non-realism is a nice example of thinking a moral opinion is a fact. But there are moral realists who think abortion is not immoral, because a woman's reproductive autonomy and agency has to be paramount - so that forcing her to carry a preganancy to term is morally wrong. Abortion can be just as much a consequence of moral realism.

Rationality does not guarantee moral goodness. But is that an argument for the irrationality of moral objectivism?
As usual your thinking as above is too shallow and narrow.

First an effective Moral Framework and System must be established.
The justified True Moral Fact regarding abortion from the Moral FSK is'
"no child-bearing human ought to have an abortion" period!!
But this is merely a GUIDE as a moral standard.

The justification for the above moral fact is;
-all humans are "programmed" for the reproduction of children to contribute to the next generation to ensure the preservation of the human species.
-if abortion is permitted, moral-wise this is open to all humans universally.
-with this unrestrained option, the human species could 'theoretically' be extinct in time, if every potential child is aborted.
-therefore the moral fact, conditioned upon the Moral FSK is;
"no child-bearing human ought to have an abortion" period!!

But note the above moral facts as a standard is merely a standard only.
There should not be any enforcement of the above 'policy'.

Since the above is only a standard, there is still room for abortion to be carried out but it is always constraint by the moral fact and standard.
Because there is a ceiling standard, this will enable humanity to resolve the problem of abortion at its roots causes and only allow abortion in justifiable unavoidable situations.

Without a justified moral fact of 'Abortion is not permissible' [period!!] there will no fixed goals and people will not be bothered to look at the root causes of abortion and its related problems, which is mainly due to uncontrollable lust and unmindful sex than other reasons.

Those who insist abortion is not immoral, thus do not adopt any standard guide for it are not empirical moral realists. Since options are given for one to decide whether to have an abortion or not, that would be moral relativism.
There are no moral facts, so moral objectivism is irrational. And it provides a reason for some people to be wicked with a clear conscience, because they think their moral opinions are facts. (At least, I've never come across an exception to this rule.)

I get this. And in this same light: believin' there is no moral reality (moral fact) most surely can lead a man to rationalize all manner of wickedness (license and banal atrocity).
Okay, what conclusion follows? Since goodness and wickedness can follow from both moral realism and moral non-realism, isn't it rational to ditch at least one mistaken belief: that there are moral facts? Are you advocating irrationality on utilitarian grounds - so that people can carry on justifying their wickedness by pretending their are moral facts? What kind of utility is that?

Yes, moral non-realists and non-objectivists can do bad things. Is pretending there are moral facts the solution?
In the case of empirical moral realism, the only output from the system is good [defined as justified] and never evil.
Whatever moral facts from the Moral FSK they have to be justified to be good [as defined] and never evil.
If people acted evil against the good maxims of the Moral FSK, the fault lies in the evil-laden people.
However an essential features of the Moral FSK is that it must have a "control system" to manage the evil inclined to be good [moral objectives] via fool proof self-development programs that are adopted voluntarily by the moral agents.
Here's a moral principle: a person should have complete control over what happens to her own body, including her own fertility. And this is because a person owns herself. So forcing a woman to carry a pregnancy to term - risking her life - is morally wrong.

Your talk of empirical moral realism/objectivism amounts to nothing.

As I've said, probably more than once: whatever facts we use to justify a moral judgement, it remains a judgement. And others can use the same facts differently, or different facts, to justify a different moral judgement. And that's why morality isn't and can't be objective.
Belinda
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Belinda »

Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Note: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_r ... opulations
From the above 70% of the world's population are theistic, i.e. depend on their morality from a God which issue immutable moral commands, thus claimed to be 'objective'.

The other Moral Framework and System of moral relativism are not grounded and guided by highly credible moral facts.
The moral acts within the utilitarianism-moral-systems are led by a noose on merely desires and what is felt to pleasurable [happiness]. There is no absolute 'ought-not' to restrain anyone who kill other humans because their desire led them to kill and they feel the pleasure, happiness and the approbations with it.
Despite "There is no absolute 'ought-not' to restrain anyone who kill other humans because their desire led them to kill and they feel the pleasure, happiness and the approbations with it." social tradition including that of both arts and science is not only a field rich for the pickings but is also a moral base from which we can create newer and more suitable moral tenets.In connection with tradition history , stories of man's past , is where tradition we find tradition.

Rightly so, we are currently engaged in unpicking formerly received stories and assembling newer and better stories. Historians who work as investigative scientists and also historians who work as interpreters of evidence have methods that act to filter the probable and the improbable.History same as science has undergone paradigm shifts especially as to what history is for. Modern historiographers select evidence and frames from a really big field of inquiry and that can only be truer. We can now look at heroes such as Joan of Arc, or Muhammad, or Jesus of Nazareth, or George Washington from a variety of perspectives, see that certainty is a Bad Thing, and pick out the traditions that work and those that don't work.

Obviously "traditions that work" indicates a criterion to separate what works from what doesn't work. Here science can help, especially ecology. Freedom to live is felt in the innermost heart of each living being, + we now know how species and individuals within species need each other.
surreptitious57
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Re: More pointless jibber-jabber...

Post by surreptitious57 »

uwot wrote:
In my view calling a theory scientific doesnt give it any protected status it is still subject to potential falsification
However well supported a theory is a theory
I never mentioned anything at all about protection but was simply pointing out the different definitions of theory
All theories are subject to potential falsification because science is inductive - I have never suggested otherwise
Were quantum mechanics and general relativity perfect there would be no need for a theory of quantum gravity
surreptitious57
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Re: More pointless jibber-jabber...

Post by surreptitious57 »

uwot wrote:
surreptitious57 wrote:
uwot wrote:
What anyone calls a fact is up to them
Actually its not because a fact by default has to be objectively true and also capable of demonstration
Are you calling this a fact ?
Can a fact not be objectively true ? No because every one is objectively true based on all relevant evidence at the time
Can a fact be incapable of demonstration ? No because being able to demonstrate it is what ultimately makes a fact true
surreptitious57
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Re: More pointless jibber-jabber...

Post by surreptitious57 »

uwot wrote:
surreptitious57 wrote:
Before General Relativity the explanation for the discrepancy could only be observed as the reason was unknown
If by reason you mean the idea that gravity is caused by the warping of spacetime by matter that is still theoretical
The gravitational effect an object has on spacetime is directly related to its mass
The larger the object is the greater the warping of spacetime surrounding it will be

Dead stars collapse into neutron stars or black holes which between them have the greatest warping of spacetime so definitely not theoretical
Radio pulsars famously discovered by Jocelyn Bell in I967 and black holes successfully predicted by Einstein in I9I6 and finally discovered in I97I
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henry quirk
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Re: Pete

Post by henry quirk »

Is pretending there are moral facts the solution?

No more than pretending there aren't moral facts.

It would be great if there were a clear solution; there isn't.

Reason alone isn't enough (and rationality is a non-starter). Moral fact (as unsubstantiated belief or as hard reality) isn't enough.

Queer as it sounds: the gut (intuition or conscience, if you like) is the bridge that can carry one over the long haul. It can inform choice in ways reason or moral reality can't.

Anyway, thanks for the exchange, Pete.
Peter Holmes
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Re: Pete

Post by Peter Holmes »

henry quirk wrote: Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:58 pm Is pretending there are moral facts the solution?

No more than pretending there aren't moral facts.

It would be great if there were a clear solution; there isn't.

Reason alone isn't enough (and rationality is a non-starter). Moral fact (as unsubstantiated belief or as hard reality) isn't enough.

Queer as it sounds: the gut (intuition or conscience, if you like) is the bridge that can carry one over the long haul. It can inform choice in ways reason or moral reality can't.

Anyway, thanks for the exchange, Pete.
There are no moral facts, so there's no need to pretend there aren't. No symmetry there.

And I agree, reason alone isn't enough. We also need moral judgement and commitment.

And yes, of course we can rely on the gut, intuition or conscience to make moral judgements. But if there were moral facts, we wouldn't need to.

Thank you too, Henry.
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