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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Dontaskme
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

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Immanuel Can wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 12:40 am

But something's got to be true about God, assuming, for the sake of the argument, that God does exist. And what access to information about that might we have?
The only thing you can be certain of is the information of your own existence, as and through your own self-awareness, the action of being aware of thought.

Anything outside of that arena, is and can only be sourced from within you. So when there is no more self-awareness, there's no more thought things to be aware of either. Like in deep dreamless sleep, where there is no thought of I, although I exist, but not in the way I THINK I do.

There does apparently seem to be a kind of matter and energy interacting with itself, which is neither dead nor alive, because it is not known when some thing first became alive assuming it was ever dead, and then just magically popped alive, and vice versa, it is not known when some thing is dead, assuming it was ever alive and then just poofed out of existence as if this alive thing is now dead.
It's like how can something alive ever be dead, or how can something dead be alive. This just doesn't make any rational sense.

So is this why something had to make sense out of the senseless, by making up belief as and through words that have been created from light and sound, and then are literally thought to exist and be absolutely true, even though these words are nothing other than when stringed together, make up some story, but ultimately made of pure make-belief, or pure dreamscape. This something must be nothing, or, this nothing is something, that all there is to it, that's all folks, there's simply nothing knowing itself, ain't that something.

No thought is required to be, although to know oneself to be requires thought, and thought is an unknowable phenomena, simply because there is no thinker in the entire universe than can make a thought happen or unhappen.
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Harbal
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Harbal »

Immanuel Can wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 6:00 am
Harbal wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 2:51 am
Immanuel Can wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 1:21 am
Well, if that were true, you couldn't reasonably believe in the Napoleonic Wars, or the Roman Empire, Or the British Empire, or even the existence of modern Brazil or Thailand, unless you happen to have been to those places.
How can we be sure there ever was, for example, a Roman Empire?
In a sense, we can't: not if the standard is, "I only believe in what I directly experience."
I even think we should be careful about trusting what we experience. If I saw the ghost of a long dead Roman centurion, I would know my senses were deceiving me, although that probably wouldn't be apparent to anyone observing my reaction at the time. People do experience such things, and a good many seem to think that they are witnessing reality.
Oh, sure we can list the artefacts we find. And sure, we can read what historians have reconstructed. And sure, we can ask questions like, "How did Europe become so heavily influenced by Latin?..." But all of that is inductive and indirect. The truth is that you and I were not there.
When the evidence for something reaches a certain level, it becomes sensible to start believing what it is pointing to. Historic events can very often be verified through lots of independent pieces of evidence that corroborate one another. In the case of the Roman Empire, the amount and diversity of the evidence is overwhelming. So, if we want to be sure we know the truth about past events, we need lots of evidence, and we need as many different kinds of evidence as possible.
And how can we know that each other exists? We've never met. You could be a bot...and so could I. Or you could be a 300lb woman from Denver, Colorado, pretending to be a retiree from Yorkshire, and I could be a 15-year-old Chinese acrobat from Wuhan, pretending to be something else entirely. Lots of things are possible, and very few certain, if we stick to the "I only believe what I experience" standard.
I guarantee you that the majority of posters on this forum will not be what they are presenting themselves as. So, although I don't think I have given you any reason to think I am a 300lb woman, it would be unwise of you to just assume that I am not.
It's also going to give us some serious problems with having new experiences, of course. Maybe one day one of us will be offered a chance to eat matoke or go on a hovercraft -- but we can't accept, because we won't believe matoke or hovercraft...we've not yet experienced either.
There would be nothing to prevent me from turning up for my hovercraft ride; I would soon find out if I had made a mistake in believing it existed. As for matoke; I don't know what it is, and, unusually for me, I'm not even curious.
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Walker »

Harbal wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 1:08 am
Walker wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 12:38 am Buddha say, look to the meaning and not the word.
You can't just pick one off the shelf at random, Walker; IC has warned us about choosing the wrong one. I'm going to play it safe and stay neutral.
When it comes time to pick you will pick the one you must pick, and you just may be surprised. You may find yourself saying about things you didn't understand ... now I understand. I'm sure it will be top shelf.

Better to know sooner than later, because when sooner all those paradoxes such as a world in a grain of sand, become perfectly reasonable. No one can really speak about later with any degree of accuracy other than probability, for obvious reasons.
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Harbal
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Harbal »

Walker wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 4:00 pm
Harbal wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 1:08 am
Walker wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 12:38 am Buddha say, look to the meaning and not the word.
You can't just pick one off the shelf at random, Walker; IC has warned us about choosing the wrong one. I'm going to play it safe and stay neutral.
When it comes time to pick you will pick the one you must pick, and you just may be surprised. You may find yourself saying about things you didn't understand ... now I understand. I'm sure it will be top shelf.

Better to know sooner than later, because when sooner all those paradoxes such as a world in a grain of sand, become perfectly reasonable. No one can really speak about later with any degree of accuracy other than probability, for obvious reasons.
What is this compulsion you and IC have that makes you want to get everyone else to believe what you believe? To be frank with you, Walker; if you are recommending it, I don't want it. :|
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Walker »

The compulsion is to say just the way it is, all the time. That requires always speaking the truth. It can be an intellectual challenge to do so appropriately. Of course, it will be the truth as I see it. Same with IC. Same with you.

Thank you for asking, Harbal. I don't say things to prescribe, they are merely offerings to be accepted or not. From what I hear of you, you have the peace of mind that many don't, and that's a good thing.

I wouldn't worry too much about what other folks say, if I were you. :|
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Immanuel Can »

Will Bouwman wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 9:38 am The essential thesis, that organisms evolve, has not been revised; that's why there are still "modern Evolutionists".
That "thesis" is very old. It long predates Darwin. In fact, if one researches the history of it, one cannot help but recognize that it was a theory in search of justification, rather than a theory that proceeded out of the available data. For long before there was anything to confirm it, there were people who were urgently trying to find some way to get it to work -- and to get God "out of the universe," so to speak.

Darwin was just the first one people found remotely plausible. But even he hasn't lasted. And we'll see how far the paradigm persists, since the data associated with it has been so equivocal and problematic for Darwinism.

However, the stakes are zero in all other cases but the human one. Let all other organisms have been "evolved," and man not, and it seems there are no implications for theology that are of any importance.
Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Nov 24, 2023 9:06 pmThat's the case that Atheist Thomas Nagel makes in Time and Cosmos...a little book but well worth the read.The question is whether the revisions proposed for Darwin are adequate to save him, or are rearguard actions designed to shore up a dying paradigm.
Well, the point made by Nagel in Mind and Cosmos is that science cannot account for mind.

That, and a bunch of associated phenomena.
Given the developments in AI, we may be about to find out.
That seems improbable, since AI is not genuine "intelligence" at all, but rather just sophisticated "programming." Nagel's point, though, is that if we, as scientific persons, are committed to the data, the data for a Darwinian explanation of these things does not really exist. And he worries that we are now committed to a paradigm that stands to stifle, rather than enhance, further scientific discoveries.

Nagel's conclusion is not that he wants Theism back. It's that he wants a new, secular paradigm to replace Darwinianism. Whether he has any hope of that is a good question.
Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Nov 24, 2023 9:06 pm
Will Bouwman wrote: Fri Nov 24, 2023 9:10 amAnyone who takes the theory of evolution seriously is compelled to accept that any truth in the biblical creation story is allegorical rather than historical.
No, they actually aren't. If we were to suppose that God used evolution as a mechanism to produce all species but one, that would be devoid of theological concerns...whether that explanation were right or wrong.
...there is no reason in Genesis to suppose evolution.
That's not a worry. Genesis isn't an exhaustive description of the divine method. So nothing is really said about that either way.
Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Nov 24, 2023 9:06 pmOnly in the case of human beings is the theory of Evolutionism a no-go. And there, you're right: it would have very serious theological implications. Fortunately, the case for human evolutionism has proved to be by far the weakest case for the theory that can be made, and the history of it is fraught with telling frauds and failures, such as the Monkey-to-Man theory, now embarassingly dead, but once held up as core orthodoxy in Evolutionist teaching.
Well, modern monkeys and man have common ancestors,
That's a flawed assumption, of course, one that relies on identifying similarity with identity. That's an old fallacy. In any case, modern Darwinism doesn't propose a common ancestor after the early primordial-ooze stage...certainly not monkeys or monkey-like beings anymore.
Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Nov 24, 2023 9:06 pmThat should worry us: if Evolutionists have manifestly lied to us in regards to the data before, then that's a great deal more than a historical revision of old data -- that's an outright fraud.
Charles Dawson, an amateur archeologist, was responsible for the Piltdown Man fraud. That was a lie and it fooled some people.

More than a few. It ended up on t-shirts and coffee mugs, in museum dioramas, in mass media, and -- most concerning of all -- in major scientific textbooks and in public education materials. In fact, it was a scientific "orthodoxy" of the middle of the last century. But Piltdown was only the first discovered failure of the monkey-to-man theory, as others were to follow. "Nebraska man" turned out to be built out of a peccary tooth. "Java Man" turned out to be a gibbon monkey. "Ramapithecus" was an orangutan. And the famous "Neanderthal Man" turned out to be a normal guy with a rickets-type disease...

In all of this, you can see the desperation to shore up a doomed theory: that men came from monkeys, which the Evolutionist community was determined to salvage, no matter what evidence it lacked, or even how many errors or outright frauds they had to approve. But that's a familiar phenomenon today: a community of information-controllers desperately trying to shore up a shaky narrative in order to induce public belief. It happens all the time. So we ought not to be surprised, really. There are research dollars and academic reputations seriously at stake in any retraction of something that has been widely-accepted and taught as scientific "orthodoxy." Revision, adjustment, reframing may be possible while still retaining the appearance of scientific objectivity; but full retraction is career-fatal, and destroys public scientific credibility. So retractions just don't appear very often.
Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Nov 24, 2023 9:06 pm..."compassion" for failed organisms is contrary to "survival of the fittest," of course.
Why "of course"? How do you think 'survival of the fittest' is understood in evolutionary theory?
I'm citing Nietzsche, actually. Here's what he wrote: "Pity, on the whole, thwarts the law of evolution, which is the law of selection...The weak and ill-constituted shall perish, and one shall help them to do so." (from The Antichrist)
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

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Harbal wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 11:26 am
Immanuel Can wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 6:00 am
Harbal wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 2:51 am

How can we be sure there ever was, for example, a Roman Empire?
In a sense, we can't: not if the standard is, "I only believe in what I directly experience."
I even think we should be careful about trusting what we experience. If I saw the ghost of a long dead Roman centurion, I would know my senses were deceiving me, although that probably wouldn't be apparent to anyone observing my reaction at the time. People do experience such things, and a good many seem to think that they are witnessing reality.
Well, this is the problem. You're right. And this is why people cannot help but "believe things." They don't know if even their own personal experience is reliable, sometimes. And to know that it is, they have to have faith that they are in a normal state of health, with normal cognition, not hallucinating, not drugged, not confused or making a mistake of some kind, not being fooled by somebody, and so on. That's a lot to have to believe...but one has to believe it all in order to trust one's own experiences.

And yet, we do it all the time...usually, without a second thought about what we're doing.
Oh, sure we can list the artefacts we find. And sure, we can read what historians have reconstructed. And sure, we can ask questions like, "How did Europe become so heavily influenced by Latin?..." But all of that is inductive and indirect. The truth is that you and I were not there.
When the evidence for something reaches a certain level, it becomes sensible to start believing what it is pointing to. Historic events can very often be verified through lots of independent pieces of evidence that corroborate one another. In the case of the Roman Empire, the amount and diversity of the evidence is overwhelming. So, if we want to be sure we know the truth about past events, we need lots of evidence, and we need as many different kinds of evidence as possible.
Sure. But let's be honest.

You and I began believing in the existence of the Roman Empire not because we visited the sites and handled archaeological evidence: we did it because a guy in a smart jacket, somebody with a reputation as a teacher, told us about the Roman Empire. And afterward, maybe we saw some part of the available evidence, but were already predisposed by his teaching to see it as evidence for the thing he described to us.

Most of our belief in Rome is very indirect, not to do with our own experience, and dependent on us trusting authorities. Hopefully, they're good authorities; but we're not really in a position to be certain of that, are we? So we take their word on faith, perhaps reassured by the readiness of our friends, classmates, or society to do so, as well...but not on our personal experience, as you were suggesting we ought.
And how can we know that each other exists? We've never met. You could be a bot...and so could I. Or you could be a 300lb woman from Denver, Colorado, pretending to be a retiree from Yorkshire, and I could be a 15-year-old Chinese acrobat from Wuhan, pretending to be something else entirely. Lots of things are possible, and very few certain, if we stick to the "I only believe what I experience" standard.
I guarantee you that the majority of posters on this forum will not be what they are presenting themselves as. So, although I don't think I have given you any reason to think I am a 300lb woman, it would be unwise of you to just assume that I am not.
:D I have some evidence you're not, but I'll take your point anyway.

Just lay off the fish 'n'chips, I guess... :wink:
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

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Sculptor wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 10:39 am If O of S is "inadequate" it is only because i has since been built upon.
In some ways, it's been destroyed...at least various aspects of old Darwinism have been...such that modern Evolutionists now disown many sections of the alleged "Origin" as specious or errant.

I recommend you read "The Devil's Delusion," by Berlinski. (Berlinski's an agnostic Jew, not a Christian.) It gives a nice summary of many of the ways in which Darwin went off track. Or maybe you could watch this, too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyxUwaq00Rc.
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

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Harbal wrote: Mon Nov 27, 2023 10:58 pm
iambiguous wrote: Mon Nov 27, 2023 10:38 pm
And, while you're at it, I'm still interested in exploring what you construe to be the most powerful scientific and historical evidence here -- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... SjDNeMaRoX -- in demonstrating the existence of the Christian God.
It obviously doesn't stop at the need to believe, there is also that other need to get others to believe. That must mean something; there has to be a clue in that somewhere. I mean, there are plenty of us here promoting atheism, but I'm not aware of anyone who cares enough to compile a playlist of videos in an attempt to increase their persuasive fire power. I don't buy the "duty to try to save us" chestnut, I'm afraid.
Again, from my own frame of mind, God and religion involve value judgments that revolve around the highest possible stakes. Most of us want to believe that human morality can be pinned down deontologically. And, trust me, when you are as fractured and fragmented as "I" am "here and now", moral obligations become something you are never quite willing to rule out. And most of us want to believe in immortality and salvation. Especially as you get closer and closer to the abyss.

This, however, is rooted existentially in dasein and in the Benjamin Button Syndrome. Or, rather, that still seems reasonable to me.

Though if anyone here is able to link me to an argument or to a video that might prompt me to nudge/yank myself up out of a truly dismal hole I've dug myself down into "spiritually", please, by all means, give it a shot.
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

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Immanuel Can wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 6:40 pm
Sculptor wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 10:39 am If O of S is "inadequate" it is only because i has since been built upon.
In some ways, it's been destroyed...at least various aspects of old Darwinism have been...such that modern Evolutionists now disown many sections of the alleged "Origin" as specious or errant.

I recommend you read "The Devil's Delusion," by Berlinski. (Berlinski's an agnostic Jew, not a Christian.) It gives a nice summary of many of the ways in which Darwin went off track. Or maybe you could watch this, too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyxUwaq00Rc.
Utter rubbish.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

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Sculptor wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 9:46 pm
Immanuel Can wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 6:40 pm
Sculptor wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 10:39 am If O of S is "inadequate" it is only because i has since been built upon.
In some ways, it's been destroyed...at least various aspects of old Darwinism have been...such that modern Evolutionists now disown many sections of the alleged "Origin" as specious or errant.

I recommend you read "The Devil's Delusion," by Berlinski. (Berlinski's an agnostic Jew, not a Christian.) It gives a nice summary of many of the ways in which Darwin went off track. Or maybe you could watch this, too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyxUwaq00Rc.
Utter rubbish.
You didn't read it. Interesting that you think you know what it is.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

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Harbal wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 4:26 pm What is this compulsion you and IC have that makes you want to get everyone else to believe what you believe?
I've answered that, of course, more than once; and you say you don't believe the answer.

But it doesn't really matter, to be perfectly honest. If what the speaker is saying is true, it's not relevant why he says it. If it's false, then all the sweet motives in the world won't make it good for you to believe.

Clearly, the question is not why the speaker speaks; it's whether or not what the speaker says is true.
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

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Immanuel Cant wrote: But something's got to be true about God, assuming, for the sake of the argument, that God does exist. And what access to information about that might we have?
Oh, indeed, if a God, the God does exist, that changes everything. It's either true that He is omniscient and omnipotent or it's not true. It's either true that He is loving, just and merciful, or it is not true. It's either true that He is a sadistic monster, or it is not true. It's either true that He is your God, or it is not true.

And as with all that we believe to be true "in our heads", we can either demonstrate it to others or we cannot.

As for information that might be accessed about God, most are indoctrinated as children to believe what is said to be true about God from Mom and Dad and from the ecclesiastics. Then around and around they go...God exists because the Bible says so and the Bible must be true because it is the world of God.

One of these Gods -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_r ... traditions -- perhaps.

Though, sure, it might be yours.

But, again, IC goes further than that. He claims that his collection of videos offers scientific and historical proof that the Christian God does exist.

He just won't explore that with me video by video. And, from my frame of mind, he seems far, far more eager to up into the spiritual clouds and encompass God "philosophically" than to zero in on the sort of proof that may well save souls! Why aren't those videos the thrust of his posting here? With so much at stake on both sides of the grave.
Last edited by iambiguous on Tue Nov 28, 2023 10:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

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Immanuel Can wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 9:49 pm
Sculptor wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 9:46 pm
Immanuel Can wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 6:40 pm
In some ways, it's been destroyed...at least various aspects of old Darwinism have been...such that modern Evolutionists now disown many sections of the alleged "Origin" as specious or errant.

I recommend you read "The Devil's Delusion," by Berlinski. (Berlinski's an agnostic Jew, not a Christian.) It gives a nice summary of many of the ways in which Darwin went off track. Or maybe you could watch this, too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyxUwaq00Rc.
Utter rubbish.
You didn't read it. Interesting that you think you know what it is.
I saw your video.
What a oke. Your must have such a tiny mind to find that at all convincing.
Very disappointed with you.

As for David Berlinski, he's a fiction writer, not a scientist.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Immanuel Can »

Sculptor wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 10:06 pm
Immanuel Can wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 9:49 pm
Sculptor wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 9:46 pm

Utter rubbish.
You didn't read it. Interesting that you think you know what it is.
What a oke.
:lol: Yep, okay.
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