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#473743 - 04/27/12 11:07 AM Re: A Request [Re: Labyrinthine]
XUL Offline


Registered: 12/12/09
Posts: 238
Loc: Oslo, Norway
Originally Posted By: Labyrinthine
why they feel there is or isn't objective morality


I like to separate moral from moralism. Your moral is the standards you live by, such as they manifest themselves in what you actually do (or perhaps "the moral of your story", if you like), whereas moralism is a (slightly derigatory) word for various opinions on the matter, particularly opinions about what other people should and shouldn't do.

As for the question itself, I don't acknowledge that as an actual problem that's suited for cognitive processing. I'd rather call it a false dichotomy which is cleverly camouflaging a different issue entirely: The free will problem.
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#473756 - 04/27/12 04:21 PM Re: A Request [Re: XUL]
Janina Offline
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Perhaps you could put it this way?

Moralism is the idea of your moral as some supreme view which others should follow.

Most of religious wars for example seem to have this moralism at the base of the conflict. People think they know some supreme truth which others should follow cause it's the ultimate truth. This ends to moralism, idea of my moral as supreme to yours and your moral as questionable.

Just a thought!
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#473795 - 04/28/12 06:20 AM Re: A Request [Re: Labyrinthine]
Nufan Offline


Registered: 04/16/11
Posts: 51
Originally Posted By: Labyrinthine
Could someone who is good at framing questions and arguments, and using logic in philosophy, please take me through step-by-step as to why they feel there is or isn't objective morality?

It is very difficult to prove a negative, but I would believe it would be possible for someone to prove that morality only comes from human thoughts and feelings. (More specifically; humans form contracts and ethics systems based on varying foundations.)

I find Ayn Rand's arguments for objective morality lacking, but I've heard alternative explanations (other than "God says so") for objective morality; that morality is what is good for human beings, as we have evolved.

I find this lacking as well; good for what human being?

It seems very difficult to PROVE that it is always, independently wrong to kill the innocent or rob or rape, even though I feel that they are wrong, and would definitely want criminals punished, and would not want any of those things done to me or my loved ones.

Anyway, could anyone with say, a philosophy major for example (though that's not required of course) please explain why objective morality arguments are flawed, or in contrast how any real objective morality could exist?

(I now lean towards there being no objective morality for everyone, but that I set my own morals for myself, which are to a large extent based on my own rational self-interest. It's up to those with power over a jurisdiction to determine enforceable laws for all, based on varying foundational ideas; human rights, the word of God, equality, whatever.)



I don't want to be behind on this, but something unproven does not give any more worth. As in.. can you prove that to be good in life, a good life, one must give a hug every day? No you can't, but that does not give a proper weight to a theory that giving a person a hug every day will cause you to live a good life. Besides the questions of what is good, and what is a good life etc. The ability to prove something false does not constitute the truthfulness of the statement...

In other words... just because I can't prove it doesn't make it true. So the basis of you question to me is kinda flawed, in the way you ask it.

It is not entirely ones own happiness. One cannot entirely live for themselves and for what one can give to them. It sounds sound that one must live for themselves especially in western society. However, if everyone lived entirely for themselves, an argument against Rand would be (which had been put to her) the creation of public roads/highways. In her mind the person who needed these roads should purchase/acquire/make them. This maybe to some is logical but it is most definitely not practical.

As such Satanism is logical an practical. We do no devolve to pure logical thought, although it is entirely logical as well if you read through the ideas. They also involve a practicality of life.


Edited by Nufan (04/28/12 06:21 AM)

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#473797 - 04/28/12 06:44 AM Re: A Request [Re: Janina]
Nufan Offline


Registered: 04/16/11
Posts: 51
Janina you are right! Don't be so coy in your response smile

If one is entirely living by morals of a belief without any thought they are being naive, and unthinking, which can lead to prejudice and misunderstanding/violence. Although believe at least after the first 3 crusades were under the guise of religion, although were later turned out to blatantly about money. I could be wrong about this, as it has been told to me by professors, and history seems to find a way of changing itself from year to year...

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#473837 - 04/29/12 02:05 AM Re: A Request [Re: Janina]
XUL Offline


Registered: 12/12/09
Posts: 238
Loc: Oslo, Norway
Originally Posted By: Janina
Moralism is the idea of your moral as some supreme view which others should follow.


I disagree.

To me, moralism is all moral theory, whether it applies to (only) yourself or it is something you'd wish that the whole world would live by. As I stated, your true moral will quite inevitably show in what you actually do, regardless of what you say. It is, however, admireable (although not common) if these two are reasonably synchronised.

I suppose we could say that moral principles exist. Personally, I draw mine from an aesthetical view on myself and the world (or vanity, if you will), insofar that there are things I simply won't do -- because I judge them to be stupid, or ugly, or anything like that, which is displeasing to my aesthetical senses. What others do is of little interest to me as long as they aren't doing it specifically against me, or in violation of some agreement I have with them, or on my doorsteps, so to speak. As a general rule I don't expect much from the human monkey. Certainly not that "they" will show any consistency in their morals (but it never comes as any surprise that they have strong opinions on how things ought to be, usually paired with a quite baffling lack of will to actually perform any of those righteous and virtuous things that they hold up as such shining beacons of idealism).
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#473843 - 04/29/12 03:09 AM Re: A Request [Re: Janina]
Janina Offline
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Originally Posted By: Wikipedia

Morality is the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good (or right) and those that are bad (or wrong). A moral code is a system of morality (for example, according to a particular philosophy, religion, culture, etc.) and a moral is any one practice or teaching within a moral code. The adjective moral is synonymous with "good" or "right.


What I meant by my earlier post was the difference between Moral and Morality. I might use word "moralism" to describe something totally different and I appologize the possible confusion with the terms.

I donīt usually use the term moral because it has so strong religious topping, but sure we can talk about moral as an issue.

Moral in many cases have very strong religious or cultural colouring so calling it to universal entity would be little difficult to me.

I think moral as personal code of values or then view of values to larger population like certain religion, state etc. more than some universal law. For example. My home country does not have death penalty cause most of our PM:s and Juridical experts think it as immoral system, still we have lot of people who think death penalty is right. Now whose Moral here is right and whose wrong?

Taking not a stance for this question more here, I just try to express to differences between moral codes even inside one particular group. I could say moral is personal value, but when we start to tell others what is right or wrong then we are putting our personal morality to be supreme and start to limit the freedom of thought and speech to others. That kind of morality I called with the term moralism.

I do after all believe that human animal will have some kinda inner ethic system which teaches the values to us, but I canīt call it moral if I donīt define more specifically what moral do I mean. (Christian, Jewish, pacifistic, beastial etc.etc.)


Edited by Janina (04/29/12 03:23 AM)
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#473847 - 04/29/12 05:30 AM Re: A Request [Re: Labyrinthine]
Nufan Offline


Registered: 04/16/11
Posts: 51
I think the cultural approach to laws ends up becoming more of an argument for subjectivism, as it is broken down.

There is a definition for the minimum concept of morality from Rachaels, which is supposed to explain the basic idea of all moral decisions, which can determine if something is ethical: Effort to guide one's conduct by reasons, while giving equal weight to interests of each individual who will be affected by one's conduct.

I think that this is something most people could agree on for the most part, but it could be fuzzy in some ways.

This is not the golden rule, because that would be more like Guiding ones conduct in regards towards others on how I feel I would like to be treated.

Objectivism is basically that: The proper moral purpose of one's life is the pursuit of one's own happiness. (Wikipedia)

If you use the Minimum Concept of Morality in regards to Objectivism the theory goes against it, as objectivism is a personal pursuit of ones happiness and does not include any thought towards others.

Using other arguments against Objectivism would be, love/compassion/relationships, in which there it is right always to do what makes you happy morally. So if you are in a relationship with someone and you see someone better, you go entirely towards the other person. One can argue there is no such thing as love, and this would be a counterargument.

Another argument could be that if everyone was Objective we never would have anything get done publicly. Such as people who have jobs they hate, in order to be moral they would only pursue those things that make them happy. There would be very few manual labor people besides those that enjoyed it. There is also no public responsibility in objectivism, it is entirely personal.

Hope those are kind of ok arguments.

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#473865 - 04/29/12 02:17 PM Re: A Request [Re: Labyrinthine]
reprobate Offline

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Registered: 06/05/02
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http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/constructivism-metaethics/
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on "Constructivism in metaethics".

I thought this might provide an interesting counterpoint to some of the positions being taken in this thread. It shows that the objective/subjective morality discussion doesn't have to be about "from outside"/"from inside human values".

This is just one example among several approaches to ethics where moral values are objective, but do not come from outside of human interests and values.


Edited by reprobate (04/29/12 02:18 PM)
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#473866 - 04/29/12 02:25 PM Re: A Request [Re: reprobate]
Janina Offline
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Registered: 12/06/11
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Originally Posted By: reprobate
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/constructivism-metaethics/
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on "Constructivism in metaethics".



Very interesting article. Thanks Warlock for postingt it!
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#473893 - 04/30/12 05:07 AM Re: A Request [Re: reprobate]
Nufan Offline


Registered: 04/16/11
Posts: 51
Originally Posted By: reprobate
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/constructivism-metaethics/
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on "Constructivism in metaethics".

I thought this might provide an interesting counterpoint to some of the positions being taken in this thread. It shows that the objective/subjective morality discussion doesn't have to be about "from outside"/"from inside human values".

This is just one example among several approaches to ethics where moral values are objective, but do not come from outside of human interests and values.


This is going to take a while to absorb. I am not sure that I understand everything in the article. I thought Kant believed in somewhat "natural laws" such as the utmost in his mind that honesty was above all.

I could be reading this wrong, but this is saying there are moral truths, in such as there are basically truths about the world, i.e. Up is opposite of down, left of right. (I was going to use, the sky is blue, but that could be considered subjective smile )

It seems to rely heavily on reason, as it is denouncing other theories based on their lack of reason.

I am not sure if there could be a simpler way of saying all of this. Like an example would help me understand more than just the writings.

What I do like is that it has not been proven right, as no philosophical theory has been in about 2000 years. I do not mean there is no specific universal, just that there always seems to be an argument possibly against it, although at times weak. Every argument seems to have it's philosophical flaws, it is through reason, thought, and sense that we seem to choose that which seems to be most appropriate, or the "most right".

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#473917 - 04/30/12 10:30 AM Re: A Request [Re: Nufan]
reprobate Offline

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Yes. The view is, there ARE moral truths, AND they come from ourselves. We discover them by engaging in reasoning with one another.

Kant's word for moral freedom is "autonomy". It comes from a Greek word, meaning self-law. You must be free to give yourself a moral law of your own. But it must still be a moral law, not "anything goes". You must always act as YOU think is right, because you think it's RIGHT for anyone in your position (not because you think it doesn't matter, or because you have a double standard).

He contrasts autonomy with "heteronomy", meaning "other-law". If you treat the law as something foreign that's imposed on you, you're not being moral, even if you abide by it. For example, if a priest tells you "This is right, this is wrong, if you don't do what I say you'll go to hell", and you abide by those rules, not because you understand, accept and endorse them as moral values, but only because you're awed by God or afraid of hell, then you are NOT moral.

Satanists might put it this way. We reject all moral codes that are foisted on us from the outside. Satanism is about radical, defiant freedom. But that doesn't mean we don't believe in duties. We call duties "responsibilities", because we believe they emerge from our relationships to other people. I don't think I'm above criticism; I am prepared to answer for my actions to those who are affected by them, and to those whose opinion of me I value and respect.

That's essentially a kind of constructivism.
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#473923 - 04/30/12 12:38 PM Re: A Request [Re: reprobate]
XUL Offline


Registered: 12/12/09
Posts: 238
Loc: Oslo, Norway
Originally Posted By: reprobate
a kind of constructivism


To clarify my position: I don't think it's possible to determine any subject X's relative moral character until after the fact, which leaves it a moot point whether his or her moral (such as it manifests itself in choices of action taken, given situational circumstances so and so) emanates from a "subjective" or an "objective" source -- consequently, it all boils down to that same old canard: The free will problem. Keeping in mind, of course, that we all know what value one should place on what people (whom we don't know personally) say about their own moral standing.
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#474064 - 05/02/12 12:21 PM Re: A Request [Re: Janina]
StabAvery Offline

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Registered: 11/16/05
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Hi Janina, I used to tell people that I operate on my own system of morals and ethics. I tried really hard to make as much sense of my point of view to other people as I could. What I was misunderstanding, while I was reveling in my own greatness,was the fact that if two parties are not using the same definition for the words they are arguing (moral & ethic) than any further debate into the application of those words will result in a corrupted argument since you are both talking about different things in the first place.

You, Reprobate and Myself may all have a very good understanding of how we feel about morals and ethics, but without using the same definition of the word it is going to be very hard to clearly convey our thoughts.

What I learned from this is sometimes it is better to take a step back and use the word as it has been defined by society. Reprobate mentioned writing his dissertation for philosophy in an earlier post and I am willing to bet the words moral and ethic bring a fine tuned text book understanding to his mind since he has so much study on that topic.

My point is, I was trying to re-invent the wheel and say it in my own language. I also caught myself arguing with PhD. students about rudimentary topics because I was not using the common definition of words I was using my own creation.

Quote:

Originally Posted By: reprobate
I understood the point you were making. I just disagree with it.



Fair enough!

After all, we are just playing with the words here..


Playing with words causes confusion and all the knowledge in the world is pretty useless if you cannot understand it. This is not a "correction" to you Janina, just something I have picked up along the way.
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#474065 - 05/02/12 12:44 PM Re: A Raequest [Re: StabAvery]
Janina Offline
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Registered: 12/06/11
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Actually, I have been borned in country which has two official languages so english is just my third language. In that light it is great to get correction to my terminology more than fancy philosophical essays from other thinkers wink

In this discussion the problem is not so much language, but the idea where I tried to use moral as religious meaning (I see it very much as religious term) and change it to term ethic to describe my natural sense of 'moral values'.

Still in most parts I agree with the post of yours!
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#474068 - 05/02/12 01:29 PM Re: A Raequest [Re: Janina]
StabAvery Offline

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The language barrier is a tough one. That is why I brought up using society's structured definition of the words. If you think morals come from god and I think ethics are some kind of shoe, we are going to go through a lot of wine before coming to no conclusion. wink
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