Objective moral values may exist. A god doesn't.
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JoC, you wrote, “If you reject objective morality, anything and everything including murder, rape and theft are permissible.”
I reject your notion of objective morality. I don’t think murder, rape, and theft are (always) permissible.
Actually, IMO, I think there is some objective morality available. It does not, however spring from some gawd. It all comes down to how one defines the word ‘objective.’ In a nut shell, I define objective morality thusly: my rights end where yours begin and vice versa.
Fair enough, Cyber. So at least you do agree that there are some things that are some objective moralities - whatever that means. It sounds funny to me.
I forget. Was it you or angiebot who suggested the moral landscape by sam harris?
What do you think subjective means? Do you think it means that there is no way to have an opinion? Subjective morality just means that there is no universal unchanging morality. It doesn't mean that the is no morality. Morality is almost, by definition, subjective as it depends on a decision making process. The fact that we all use slightly different metrics to make our moral decisions means that it is a subjective thing... That we happen to agree on a majority of the moral questions is irrelevant and it can be easily explained by reciprocal altruism which is something that evolves within populations of social animals. I've explained this ad nauseum.
Furthermore, you've already tacitly admitted to the subjectivity of morality in an earlier post. You just refuse to say the words.
You're like the guy who won't say that he just got hit in a game of dodgeball... Either that or you lack an understanding of the words we are using here.
If I like a piece of music; whether or not I use an objective ruler of some sort to determine its quality can I not say that the piece of music is good? Someone else might disagree. Just because most people like a particular piece of music does that mean that it is objectively good?
Answers: 1)yes, I can still think and say that it is good or bad.
2)No, it does not. It is a matter of taste.
Let us not have to go into a detailed lecture about argumentum ad populum. And carefully read and explain the usage of the words were talking about. Note what I'm not saying:I'm not calling you stupid or ignorant... But I am calling you wrong. Possibly a little dishonest... But I'm not sure about that yet.
If we're having a philosophical debate it is recommended that you understand all the concepts and all the words, and fallacies involved. I dont attack the argument from morality after a mere five minutes of thought and a Wikipedia search. I wouldn't be so bold. I come at it with an understanding of logic(as it is a logical argument), an understanding of the concepts involved, the knowledge of the counter arguments and the counter to the counter arguments. I also spend a stupid amount of time reading and trying to come upon the best understanding of the world around me as is reasonably possible in my short time in the sun.
Consider this situation, AU.
A man rapes a woman. The man says he did so because the woman was wearing a short skirt and that it should be her fault. Depending on the country this situation happened, the trial would go very differently. Say this happened in the US but the man comes from a culture where the woman would be at fault.
People could tell him he’s wrong. But he could always come back with, “Why are you imposing your morality on me? I did nothing wrong according to my morality.” And then you’re stuck as you cannot tell him he’s wrong without “imposing your own morality on him”.
As opposed to recognizing that objective morality does exist. We can say categorically that what the man did was wrong barring anything his culture has taught him.
Subjective morality is just a fancier way of saying, “my morality”.
As unfortunate as you think that may be, that is the way it is. He can say that. And we can say he's wrong. And he can say we're wrong. That's sort of the point. If it was objective don't you think he would agree?
If it was objective we'd expect there to be a total consensus on every matter. Yet what we actually observe is that people all have different opinions on what's right or wrong.
And again, it makes no difference if most of us happen to agree with x or y.
Do you purposely misunderstand this or what?
@JoC: "The man says he did so because the woman was wearing a short skirt and that it should be her fault."
That was the situation in many Western countries until quite recently. I remember rape trials in the UK and New Zealand where the victim was brutally interrogated about her sex life, her attire, her facial expressions, etc. Lawyers would try to get rapists acquitted by demolishing the reputation of the victim.
Nowadays the only questions that matter are did the woman say "yes", and was she capable of giving consent (i.e., was she conscious, not drugged, and above the age of consent). It doesn't matter if she was walking around naked or had been a prostitute for 30 years. She still has the right to say "no".
I think that's an improvement in morality. Don't you?
There is so much wrong with this post I almost am daunted to try and unravel it, but here goes. Firstly when someone makes a choice as the man in your scenario did , it is asinine to try and blame another for either the choice or the outcome. Secondly whilst as men we can't avoid having urges, we do have autonomy over whether we go ahead and satisfy those urges with no regard for how it impacts others. Thirdly it is impossible to believe that anyone can't know how pernicious an act of rape is, and how much emotional trauma it causes. One has only to imagine themselves forcibly assaulted by someone physically stronger and it must be axiomatic that the act is barbarically cruel. Lastly in countries where this scenario wouldn't view the act as immoral on the part of the man, women have little or no rights, and it cannot be a coincidence then that the laws reflect misogynistic views, and not the morality of the act itself.
Either your morality cares whether people are deliberately and unnecessarily harmed, or it does not, but if it does then it is absurd to claim that such a moral view can't objectively see that acts like murder and rape are morally wrong.
"People could tell him he’s wrong. But he could always come back with, “Why are you imposing your morality on me?"
Only if he'd be quite happy to be raped himself, so your claim is rather silly.
" I did nothing wrong according to my morality.” And then you’re stuck as you cannot tell him he’s wrong without “imposing your own morality on him”"
Nonsense, as I said his "morality" is subjective because he accords a right to not be raped to himself but denies it to others. Nor do we really need to worry whether he'd be pk with being raped himself, as it is the harm that the act does that makes it wrong, and the rea; question would be would he be ok with being harmed emotionally or physically in a similar way.
You fucked up by posting enough information for me to track down the video. First off the video is of a ~12 week fetus, not a ~1 week old as you suggested.
Here is what the medical community had to say about this video:
So essentually what you have done agnostic believer, is to tell us lies, about lies.
See my reply to him Sat, 01/06/2018 - 11:01 n page 1.
You are so reading my mind, Nyar. Stop it!
Since AB raised the "pro life" propaganda film the silent scream, here's an extract of testimonies presented before a senate sub committee hearing on it.
"Additional medical opinions on the film, some critical and some supportive, were presented before a U.S. Senate subcommittee that was examining the question of fetal pain. Among the opinions expressed were those of Dr. Richard Berkowitz, whose criticism of the film was already mentioned above, and Dr. Ian Donald, a Scottish physician and pioneer of diagnostic ultrasound. Dr. Donald’s affidavit said that the fetal activities shown in the film “are not faked nor the result of artefact intentional or otherwise.” Nathanson himself appeared before the subcommittee and said that the film had portions that were shown in freeze frame or slow motion for clarification purposes but that it reverted to normal speed without any intention to deceive. On the issue of fetal pain, Nathanson said that the fetal reactions in the film infer that it is in pain, albeit at a “primitive level.” He also conceded that at this stage of development there would be no cognition of pain in the cerebral cortex."
>>>>Please note BILLY that in the last sentence that Dr Nathanson, whom you cited, admits it would be impossible for a foetus at that stage of development to feel pain, as there would be "no cognition of pain in the cerebral cortex"
So your own source admits what I posted about a foetus being unable to feel pain was true, oh dear. Again I sense an apology is never going to be likely from you. Based on past experience i doubt you'll even acknowledge you were wrong.
The jury is still out on if a fetus can feel pain under 20 months of gestation. Since that is so I would not allow for abortions in any time or any country Your still killing a potential human child being.
Good thing it’s not up to you then.
You know a lot who post on this site say they believe in basic human rights; In regard to the abortion argument here millions and I mean millions have been killed with no say this is another holocaust taking place in our midst. But it has become so common that people just accept it. I t is so common place we as a people don`t feel pain anymore for the other person in this country we have become desensitized to the whole process. our society is in big trouble with GOD almighty. You see Cyber we will pay dearly as a people for our decisions regarding the unborn.
@Agnostic believer: "20 months of gestation"
What are you talking about? Not even elephants gestate that long.
@AB Re: "The jury is still out on if a fetus can feel pain under 20 months of gestation."
Wow..... There are soooo many things wrong with that statement that I am at a loss of where to even begin. Then again, I'm fairly confident that statement speaks for itself, so I think I'll take a pass on this one. (Dear lord, I need an aspirin. *groan*)
Actually I don't get why being able to feel pain should be a factor at all. There are some people who aren't able to feel pain. Would it be okay to kill them?
@JoC Re: "Would it be okay to kill them?"
Depends on the crime they committed.
Objective morality is not possible for the following reasons. When you talk of things like furthering wellbeing and reducing the worst possible misery--- you are not really dealing with morality there. (Let alone the challenge of defining these terms such as suffering/wellbeing etc). Morality kicks in when you have to sacrifice a little bit of your wellbeing or increase your suffering for the benefit of another individual. Allowing someone to eat the food they earned is not an act of morality. But sharing your food with a hungry man is morality. Do you get the drift? There is an element of sacrifice required for an act to be deemed moral.
Now, the big question is why should I suffer or make a compromise for someone else’s benefit? Why should the society be more important than my SELF?
Science can’t provide an answer for that.
Hi, @valiya s sajjad, thanks for intervening. Why should the society be more important than my SELF? According to your own definition, because that could be considered an act of sacrifice... Also from the scientifical perspective, for both evolutionary and sociological reasons it is pretty obvious why is more advantageous one thing than the other. And I guess from Sam Harris' perspective (I've noticed you borrowed his words in your argument) it's also the moral thing to do since it's a way to reduce the worst possible misery, right?
I think you’ve missed my point. The idea behind reducing the worst possible misery is that everyone can live off well, right? But there could be situations where reducing the worst possible misery from one person’s perspective could be a highly immoral act in another person’s perspective? Here is an example. Let’s say an evil dictator is coming to attack our nation. Now, as moral citizens, we are required to go to war with this evil dictator. But if I go to war the chances that I will get killed are very high. From my perspective nothing can be more miserable to me than I losing my life. Therefore the best way that I can reduce my worst possible misery is by avoiding to take part in the war. But in the perspective of the nation, I have committed an immoral deed by evading the war. Thus reducing the worst possible misery could be moral or immoral depending on your perspective. That’s what makes it so subjective. I hope you get my drift.
" When you talk of things like furthering wellbeing and reducing the worst possible misery--- you are not really dealing with morality there. "
principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behaviour.
Why is promoting well being and reducing suffering not a laudable moral aim?
"Morality kicks in when you have to sacrifice a little bit of your wellbeing or increase your suffering for the benefit of another individual."
No it doesn't, if you HAVE to do something then by definition you have no choice, since morality is defined as the distinction between right and wrong behaviour, you necessarily must have a choice for any action to be moral or immoral.
"Allowing someone to eat the food they earned is not an act of morality. But sharing your food with a hungry man is morality. Do you get the drift? There is an element of sacrifice required for an act to be deemed moral."
Nonsense, you've simply constructed a scenario where sacrifice is the more moral choice, morality need not involved sacrifice, we could acknowledge that everyone has basic needs, and construct societies and laws that reflect this by focusing that societies efforts on producing enough so that everyone's basic needs are provided for.
"Now, the big question is why should I suffer or make a compromise for someone else’s benefit? Why should the society be more important than my SELF?"
You needn't, and society isn't, these are straw men arguments you've created to try and pull a deity out of a hat, again. Morality involves choice, it may on occasion require sacrifice, but sacrifice is not an essential component of morality.
You said: “Why is promoting well being and reducing suffering not a laudable moral aim?”
Exactly, it is a laudable moral aim indeed. But how exactly do you promote wellbeing and reduce suffering. It mainly has to do with compromising one’s own wellbeing to some degree. I can remove the suffering of a hungry man by sharing my hard earned money with him, right? There may be a few exceptions to this rule, but the bedrock of morality is always about some sort of a sacrifice.
You said: “No it doesn't, if you HAVE to do something then by definition you have no choice, since morality is defined as the distinction between right and wrong behaviour, you necessarily must have a choice for any action to be moral or immoral.”
Right and wrong behavior, yes. But what is right? It is to help the needy. The idea of a sacrifice is embedded in it. Similarly, in the notion of ‘wrong’ is the idea that you turn away from helping the one in need, or in other words unwilling to undergo a sacrifice.
You said: “… morality need not involved sacrifice, we could acknowledge that everyone has basic needs, and construct societies and laws that reflect this by focusing that societies efforts on producing enough so that everyone's basic needs are provided for.”
You are just playing word games here. Just try to explain the terms you have used and you will know that what you are saying is not any different from what I am saying. Okay, let’s say that everyone has basic needs as you say. The basic needs are “food, clothing and shelter” right? And naturally, any society will have some people who can’t afford these basic needs. And so, what the government does is it runs social security plans to help these people. But where does that money come from. It comes from the taxes of decent, hard-working people. In other words, the poor are helped through the taxes (sacrifice) of those who are better off. This is precisely what I am saying. At the core of any moral deed is an act of sacrifice, no matter how you try to dress it up. Paying taxes is indeed a sacrifice, which is why so many people find it hard to part with their hard earned money and try to evade taxes.
If there is any such thing as objective morality, it would be summed up as minimising pain and maximising pleasure.
When theists say they follow an objective morality, at best, they believe they follow a being who acts in line with their own conscience. At worst, they believe they follow a being that acts in conflict with their conscience, but believe their conscience is in error.
very well said sapporo,(applause) i couldn't agree more, one of the best comment ever.
short yet transparent.
1001 on the agree box please