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Objective Morality: Yes or No

zack.stovall
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6/7/2011 10:04:48 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Is there one, single, solitary, objective moral fact that is irrefutable in any and all cases? Just one. Seems like the answer is no, which could mean that morality is simply an arbitrary social construct designed to maintain its own ends. I'm torn between thinking of Hobbes' Leviathan, in which any social contract we enter into is better than the abyss of the state of nature, but it seems like without a single unifying moral objective, that social contract seems pointless, and the net gain of entering into it is just as pointless.
Rob1_Billion
Posts: 1,300
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6/7/2011 10:33:52 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/7/2011 10:04:48 AM, zack.stovall wrote:
Is there one, single, solitary, objective moral fact that is irrefutable in any and all cases? Just one.

How about seven?
Lust
Greed
Envy
Pride
Gluttony
Sloth
Wrath

Whenever someone feels these emotions AND then chooses to act on them, immorality results. 100% of the time.
kfc
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
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6/7/2011 10:38:43 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/7/2011 10:33:52 AM, Rob1_Billion wrote:

Whenever someone feels these emotions AND then chooses to act on them, immorality results. 100% of the time.

Justification?
Rob1_Billion
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6/7/2011 10:40:53 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/7/2011 10:32:27 AM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
http://www.debate.org...

Cody, last week there was a thread where I asked you what you considered my moral stance (amoral, nihilist, objectivist, etc) and I went back to look what you wrote and couldn't find the thread. Do you remember what thread it was or could you just let me know basically what you thought?
kfc
Rob1_Billion
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6/7/2011 10:56:12 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/7/2011 10:38:43 AM, Cliff.Stamp wrote:
At 6/7/2011 10:33:52 AM, Rob1_Billion wrote:

Whenever someone feels these emotions AND then chooses to act on them, immorality results. 100% of the time.

Justification?

Bare assertion. Your welcome - LOL

J/K... well, I've only been able to demonstrate the point through example up until now... Although I can defend any and all examples, provided we are using correct definitions for our terms and being precise about distinguishing the different emotions at play. For example, one might say that being proud of one's child for winning a spelling bee, and then buying them an ice-cream cone is morally benign. Pride is experienced, and then an action based on pride leads to perfectly benign results (one might even say positive). This is a typical example where people are not being precise about what exactly is happening.

How I would describe such situation is that the parent is proud of the child and feels good, and then decides to act on the emotion of charity due to good feelings. Pride is not actually being sated in this case. To clarify, let's imagine the parent is in line at the ice-cream parlor and starts bragging about the child's success around other parents and children. Pride is a feeling of superiority, which is indeed being sated by these remarks. The results of this action, the ends, is that others are left to assume that their children are inferior. The proud parent is making the remarks to sate the emotion of superiority (bragging) - this is pride.

Using this sort of analysis is how I can show time and time again, no matter whether you or I pick the example, at how these seven intentions (the means) always produce ofgativity (the ends). I believe the ends never justify the means.

One important aspect of my theory is that there need not actually be 'right and wrong' established in the metaphysical sense. It's not necessarily metaphysically wrong for the parent to brag, it is simply a practice in inefficacy. IOWs, the parent is ruining his or her relationship with the community, teaching the child bad social skills, reinforcing the emotion by sating it, etc... so morality, for me, isn't as much about 'right or wrong' as it is about simply making the choices that are truly best for oneself and by extension society. This is why I'm not sure what exactly my category would be, since I'm only talking about efficacy and not some spiritual sense of good and evil when I talk about morality. Morality is simply the value of your decisions in terms of the equity you build for yourself as you make choices which are influenced by negative emotions throughout the day.
kfc
Merda
Posts: 322
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6/7/2011 11:19:23 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/7/2011 10:04:48 AM, zack.stovall wrote:
Is there one, single, solitary, objective moral fact that is irrefutable in any and all cases? Just one. Seems like the answer is no, which could mean that morality is simply an arbitrary social construct designed to maintain its own ends. I'm torn between thinking of Hobbes' Leviathan, in which any social contract we enter into is better than the abyss of the state of nature, but it seems like without a single unifying moral objective, that social contract seems pointless, and the net gain of entering into it is just as pointless.

No. Hume made sure of that.
My manwich!
Cody_Franklin
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6/7/2011 11:32:43 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/7/2011 10:40:53 AM, Rob1_Billion wrote:
At 6/7/2011 10:32:27 AM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
http://www.debate.org...

Cody, last week there was a thread where I asked you what you considered my moral stance (amoral, nihilist, objectivist, etc) and I went back to look what you wrote and couldn't find the thread. Do you remember what thread it was or could you just let me know basically what you thought?

Got it.

http://www.debate.org...

At 5/30/2011 1:19:27 AM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 5/30/2011 1:08:46 AM, Rob1_Billion wrote:
I'm a bit confused about what the difference between moral relativism and moral nihilism are... So moral nihilism is simply amoralism, moral relativism is moral absolutism - but different for each person? Is that right?

Well, there are different "flavors" of nihilism and relativism. If we're talking solely about normative theory, relativism is basically this position that, because moral standards differ from person to person (generally taken by relativists to be significant at the cultural level), we ought to tolerate all moral views, even if they contradict our own. I think it's sort of incoherent, because you can't make objective moral prescriptions which are literally based on relativistic meta-ethics.

Nihilism, on the other hand, is simply the view that nothing is right or wrong (which I think is the proper response to meta-ethical relativism). My debate with headphonegut gives what I think is a robust defense of the nihilist thesis.

I didn't find anything to even tell me about moral absurdism.

And the million-dollar question is: what am I? As absolutist as I am, I might actually technically be a nihilist as well. For I only view morality as efficacy. I view the seven sins from a non-religious perspective; by succombing to them you will always end up creating more inefficacy in your life than you started with. While I view these as objective and absolute, I'm not actually attaching a "good and evil" metaphysical idea to them. Does this make me a moral objectivist/absolutist/nihilist?

I would argue that your normative theory is inconsistent with your meta-ethics. You're clearly a meta-ethical nihilist because you don't subscribe to objective values or moral facts. But your normative arguments for "morality as efficacy" sort of dodge the meta-ethical problems by trying to redefine morality in a way which I honestly think makes it a different concept altogether.

In other words, you are a nihilist, but your theory about efficacy-morality uses the guise of ethics to score points for being a relatable theory.
Cliff.Stamp
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6/7/2011 12:22:52 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/7/2011 10:56:12 AM, Rob1_Billion wrote:

Using this sort of analysis is how I can show time and time again, no matter whether you or I pick the example, at how these seven intentions (the means) always produce ofgativity (the ends). I believe the ends never justify the means.

How are you determing that there is a "negative" result?
Rob1_Billion
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6/7/2011 2:26:52 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/7/2011 12:22:52 PM, Cliff.Stamp wrote:
At 6/7/2011 10:56:12 AM, Rob1_Billion wrote:

Using this sort of analysis is how I can show time and time again, no matter whether you or I pick the example, at how these seven intentions (the means) always produce ofgativity (the ends). I believe the ends never justify the means.

How are you determing that there is a "negative" result?

Wow "ofgativity" is quite the spelling error... I'm glad you were still able to interpret. Anyway, I think it's straightforward enough to label certain things negative. Of course the negativity will differ with each example... in this case, the proud parent is at the ice-cream shop, bragging about her child. This causes a sense of inferiority in the surrounding parents, which is clearly negative. Imagine we were both in line, standing with our respective children, and I start going off on how superior my child is at this, that, and the other thing. Your child is standing there listening, and by default must be part of the crowd that my child is superior to. This is the nature of pride, as well as nationalism. By waving an American flag in someone's face, for example, you are necessarily saying America is good compared to the alternatives - namely other countries. If there are people from other countries present while you are waving your flag around zealously, they are going to experience negative emotions. The nature of superiority, i.e., pride, necessarily incorporates those to be superior to. Those who are put in this inferior position are bound to feel badly about it and either lower their opinion of you or else strike back.

Exercising these emotions also fans the flames and creates a vicious cycle of repitition; in this case the example is pride. The proud, after asserting themselves, must continue to defend or else their pride gets hurt - this phenomenon is easy enough to demonstrate. People who brag often are necessarily in a very vulnerable position if criticisms are leveled at them. This creates the need for more defending and/or bragging. All the seven sins work this way - the more you exercise them, the harder it is to slow down the negative effects because your emotional state becomes mal-adapted to controlling them.

Otherwise, each example holds extra negatives which can be examined individually. The higher degree of the use, the higher degree of negativity that ensues.
kfc
Justin_Chains
Posts: 623
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6/7/2011 2:31:54 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Objective morality.... I would have to say that "morality" wouldn't the correct word to use. There are objective laws though. The duality of "love/fear" and "positive/negative", play a huge factor on self morality choices.

Make your choices in the space of love, and your reality will reflect this. Make your choices in the space of fear, and your reality will reflect this instead.

Love is the answer. Love your self. Love others. Love life.
OMGJustinBieber
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6/7/2011 2:32:04 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
By waving an American flag in someone's face, for example, you are necessarily saying America is good compared to the alternatives - namely other countries. If there are people from other countries present while you are waving your flag around zealously, they are going to experience negative emotions.

I actually don't find this. Obviously when a redneck starts going off about 'merica it brings up stereotypes, but I have no shame in saying that I'm proud to be an American for the values that the US represents. I'm not saying that other countries are bad, and I don't think to have patriotism you have to believe your country is the best. I think the "comparative" part is all in your head.
Merda
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6/7/2011 2:42:22 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/7/2011 2:32:04 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
By waving an American flag in someone's face, for example, you are necessarily saying America is good compared to the alternatives - namely other countries. If there are people from other countries present while you are waving your flag around zealously, they are going to experience negative emotions.

I actually don't find this. Obviously when a redneck starts going off about 'merica it brings up stereotypes, but I have no shame in saying that I'm proud to be an American for the values that the US represents. I'm not saying that other countries are bad, and I don't think to have patriotism you have to believe your country is the best. I think the "comparative" part is all in your head.

You're getting hung up on the wrong point. I think he's arguing that negative emotions= objective rightness or wrongness.
My manwich!
OMGJustinBieber
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6/7/2011 2:44:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/7/2011 2:42:22 PM, Merda wrote:
At 6/7/2011 2:32:04 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
By waving an American flag in someone's face, for example, you are necessarily saying America is good compared to the alternatives - namely other countries. If there are people from other countries present while you are waving your flag around zealously, they are going to experience negative emotions.

I actually don't find this. Obviously when a redneck starts going off about 'merica it brings up stereotypes, but I have no shame in saying that I'm proud to be an American for the values that the US represents. I'm not saying that other countries are bad, and I don't think to have patriotism you have to believe your country is the best. I think the "comparative" part is all in your head.

You're getting hung up on the wrong point. I think he's arguing that negative emotions= objective rightness or wrongness.

I was just commenting on one point of his post. I saw his 7 sins list, which I disagree with but Cliff already addressed that.
CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
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6/7/2011 3:16:50 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Before morality can be properly discussed, it must be defined.

Morality is word that can be used very liberally.

The only thing that can be objectively good is what is true.

The only thing that can be objectively bad is what is false.

Morality, the way that most people understand it can not be objective unless the reason for the morality is explained.

Most people describe morality as "What you ought to do" or "What is good". Ought to do for what? Good for what?

If this isn't made clear, you might as well be talking about nothing when talking about morality.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Rob1_Billion
Posts: 1,300
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6/7/2011 3:36:35 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/7/2011 11:32:43 AM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
Got it.

Thanks.

In other words, you are a nihilist, but your theory about efficacy-morality uses the guise of ethics to score points for being a relatable theory.

Sounds confusing. Perhaps more will come to light as time goes by.
kfc
Rob1_Billion
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6/7/2011 3:53:00 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/7/2011 2:29:12 PM, Cliff.Stamp wrote:
Are you making Harris's argument that negative = suffering?

Why wouldn't suffering be negative, exactly?
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Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
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6/7/2011 4:02:16 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/7/2011 3:53:00 PM, Rob1_Billion wrote:

Why wouldn't suffering be negative, exactly?

I assume you have some form of utilitarian viewpoint?
Rob1_Billion
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6/7/2011 7:03:49 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/7/2011 2:32:04 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
By waving an American flag in someone's face, for example, you are necessarily saying America is good compared to the alternatives - namely other countries. If there are people from other countries present while you are waving your flag around zealously, they are going to experience negative emotions.

I actually don't find this. Obviously when a redneck starts going off about 'merica it brings up stereotypes, but I have no shame in saying that I'm proud to be an American for the values that the US represents.

...as opposed to ___? My point: your statement necessarily implies that you aren't satisfied with the values of other countries. So the question becomes: which countries have values that are inferior to ours? Do our values trump the Chinese? The Canadians? If I go into a room full of people and say I am the superior athlete, artist, etc, then that 'superiority' cannot exist in a vacuum - I am necessarily saying that I am superior to them. It's interesting that most people cannot make this distinction and thereby let such an insidious character trait go unchecked. IMO, it's because people don't want to recognize it in order to justify their negativity towards those they do not respect. For instance, I would say that if you took a trip to many different countries, immersed yourself in the culture and really took time to know the people there, that you would stop being so specifically 'proud' about the people here as you recognize the strengths present in other cultures. You'd realize that your pride isn't so much a function of the strengths you percieve in Americans, but instead it is a function of the lack of perception of strengths you percieve in non-Americans.

I'm not saying that other countries are bad, and I don't think to have patriotism you have to believe your country is the best.

If the U.S. was performing poor in certain areas, you still would exercise pride in them? Not only is this nonsensical from a practical standpoint (being proud of failure), but it seems especially ignorant to say that you are specifically and (necessarily) blindly proud of your people for doing something that you know very well others do better. Why not just be proud of those who are doing it better? Is it because they don't live within your political borders that you are so hesitant to recognize them? This is pretty much bigotry, if you ask me.

I think the "comparative" part is all in your head.

Relativity is an inherent aspect of the universe, not an element in my mind. If I brag about myself or my country, then others who are not myself or part of my country are going to percieve that as an indirect statement towards them. If you brought your American flag and started waving it in other countries, it would be pretty ignorant to say that no one is going to feel a little resentful towards you - and justifiably so!
kfc
OMGJustinBieber
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6/7/2011 7:31:23 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
My point: your statement necessarily implies that you aren't satisfied with the values of other countries.

"I like X" does not imply that I don't like Y.

If the U.S. was performing poor in certain areas, you still would exercise pride in them?

When I say I'm proud to be an American I'm really referencing things like our republican form of government, our amendment rights, an the general idea that the US in 2011 is historically speaking, an extremely fortunate society. It crosses party lines, and while the teen pregnancy rate might be higher than in other nations or our test scores might be a little lower these aren't the issues that I'm referring to. I'm talking about the bigger picture.

Relativity is an inherent aspect of the universe, not an element in my mind. If I brag about myself or my country, then others who are not myself or part of my country are going to percieve that as an indirect statement towards them. If you brought your American flag and started waving it in other countries, it would be pretty ignorant to say that no one is going to feel a little resentful towards you - and justifiably so!

Some people obviously will feel resentful. But if someone came over to the US from France and spoke to me in a calm manner about their own positive opinions of France, I wouldn't take offense to that and anyone who views that as US-bashing needs to get over themselves. This is completely different from a French immigrant coming over here and being completely obnoxious about it, but as long as they're respectful I don't see it as dissing the US.
Rob1_Billion
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6/7/2011 8:29:07 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/7/2011 4:02:16 PM, Cliff.Stamp wrote:
At 6/7/2011 3:53:00 PM, Rob1_Billion wrote:

Why wouldn't suffering be negative, exactly?

I assume you have some form of utilitarian viewpoint?

Negative, Batman. Utilitarianism is subjective; I subscribe to rule deontology.
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Rob1_Billion
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6/7/2011 8:30:37 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/7/2011 2:31:54 PM, Justin_Chains wrote:
Objective morality.... I would have to say that "morality" wouldn't the correct word to use. There are objective laws though. The duality of "love/fear" and "positive/negative", play a huge factor on self morality choices.

Make your choices in the space of love, and your reality will reflect this. Make your choices in the space of fear, and your reality will reflect this instead.

Love is the answer. Love your self. Love others. Love life.

I can agree with this to a certain extent. "The law of love" has some definite merit.
kfc
Cliff.Stamp
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6/7/2011 8:37:28 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/7/2011 8:29:07 PM, Rob1_Billion wrote:

Negative, Batman. Utilitarianism is subjective; I subscribe to rule deontology.

The fact that the rules you ascribe to are subjective is one of the basic criticisms of deontological ethics. However your comments in the above certainly are utilitarian as you speak about minimizing suffering as your fundamental constraint.
Rob1_Billion
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6/7/2011 9:18:46 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/7/2011 7:31:23 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
My point: your statement necessarily implies that you aren't satisfied with the values of other countries.

"I like X" does not imply that I don't like Y.

Well sure; but notice that our conversation is light-years away from where we started. This is how everyone 'wins' arguments against me. I am defending objective morality, in particular the negative example of pride, and by extension nationalism. "I like x" doesn't address my argument at all. Allow me to get us back on track. We were discussing nationalism, which is necessarily the action of exercising your pride of your country. I take care to differentiate between feeling and action; everyone feels negative emotions; it's part of being human. But acting based on them is your choice.

Being proud of, let's say the American military, is fine. But taking that extra action, based on your feelings of superiority in this regard, is immoral. Being proud of the troops and then viciously waving your flag in the face of some non-American citizens to try and show them that you are superior ('you' in the sense that it is 'your' army) is an action based on pride. Simply "liking" the army has absolutely no bearing on my point.

If the U.S. was performing poor in certain areas, you still would exercise pride in them?

When I say I'm proud to be an American I'm really referencing things like our republican form of government, our amendment rights, an the general idea that the US in 2011 is historically speaking, an extremely fortunate society.

To what end are you "proud to be an American" in regards to your favorite idea of government? Logically, you would want others to "see the light" so to speak, in that they will begin to recognize that republicanism is the superior form of government. Now I've maintained throughout that I believe action and feeling are separate entities. Feeling proud of your governmental system is fine; acting to sate your perception of superiority is immoral.

Your example shows beautifully how pride/nationalism is immoral and how immorality=efficacy. If someone has an alternative form of government, e.g., communism, then what is the most effective way of demonstrating to them that they should smarten up and change?

I would argue EMPHATICALLY that you will be much more successful by letting the success of your system speak for itself. Offering to show them the techniques, helping them out in some way, etc. are positive ways of doing this - because they are not based on negative intention. On the contrary, flag-waving and defending the idea as the "American" way are only going to provoke communists et al. to wave their flags back, promote their country's way, and engage in unproductive emotionalist garbage themselves. I cannot stand when I see stupid commercials with patriotic music and that guy with the deep voice giving soft-spoken rhetoric about how Americans are great; GREAT PEOPLE DON'T HAVE TO REMIND YOU THAT THEY ARE GREAT. By making this rhetoric we are showing that there is actually disagreement about our greatness because we have to campaign it to maintain it.

It crosses party lines, and while the teen pregnancy rate might be higher than in other nations or our test scores might be a little lower these aren't the issues that I'm referring to. I'm talking about the bigger picture.

Oh yes, other countries are well aware of our faults. They are aware of our successes as well. Let's lead by example; if we're that good then they will be begging us to show them our methodology. Simply insisting that we are superior only causes them to resist and defend their methods through the same blind pride.

Relativity is an inherent aspect of the universe, not an element in my mind. If I brag about myself or my country, then others who are not myself or part of my country are going to percieve that as an indirect statement towards them. If you brought your American flag and started waving it in other countries, it would be pretty ignorant to say that no one is going to feel a little resentful towards you - and justifiably so!

Some people obviously will feel resentful. But if someone came over to the US from France and spoke to me in a calm manner about their own positive opinions of France, I wouldn't take offense to that and anyone who views that as US-bashing needs to get over themselves. This is completely different from a French immigrant coming over here and being completely obnoxious about it, but as long as they're respectful I don't see it as dissing the US.

Well this depends on the intent of the Frenchman. The Frenchman has two logical motives for listing the pros of French politics: charity or pride. If the Frenchman is genuinely concerned with our best interests, this will cause him to act in a certain way. If the Frenchman is acting to sate French nationalism, i.e., to exercise his pride of France, then this will cause him to act a different way. The Frenchan, as any political actor is concerned with, wants to get us to adapt his idea of politics. His goal, I would argue, would be much better served through genuine efforts at helping us rather than waving a flag in our faces and insisting France is superior.
kfc
Rob1_Billion
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6/7/2011 11:17:59 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/7/2011 8:37:28 PM, Cliff.Stamp wrote:
At 6/7/2011 8:29:07 PM, Rob1_Billion wrote:

Negative, Batman. Utilitarianism is subjective; I subscribe to rule deontology.

The fact that the rules you ascribe to are subjective is one of the basic criticisms of deontological ethics. However your comments in the above certainly are utilitarian as you speak about minimizing suffering as your fundamental constraint.

I'm not too fluent in the formalities; I am honestly pretty disturbed at the spectrum of moral philosophy and the resulting confusion as to whether anything is right or wrong that results. Therefore I've tried to steer clear of the established literature since it obviously has not been very successful in making any headway. After all; if morality is something that someone studies in a doctoral program then how is the commoner supposed to have a chance at gaining insight? We must be able to achieve moral simplicity in order to be successful as a society. Simply put, we have to get everyone to understand that acting morally is in their own self-interest! Right now the prevailing notion is that greed=success and morality is a fuzzy, subjective notion that is nothing more than a distraction from your prime goal of securing money. Morality is like a luxury afforded to those who have time to worry about such things, or else is compartmented in with religion and cleanly swept away. If people could understand that those who do good also do well, then perhaps we wouldn't have all the problems we currently do. Alas, my abilities to convince leave much to be desired and judging on how little ground we've covered in the last couple of thousand years on the subject I would say that it could be many thousands of years to go before anything really changes.
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Dmetal
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6/8/2011 12:28:45 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/7/2011 10:33:52 AM, Rob1_Billion wrote:
At 6/7/2011 10:04:48 AM, zack.stovall wrote:
Is there one, single, solitary, objective moral fact that is irrefutable in any and all cases? Just one.

How about seven?
Lust
Greed
Envy
Pride
Gluttony
Sloth
Wrath

Whenever someone feels these emotions AND then chooses to act on them, immorality results. 100% of the time.
Well, the problem here is that all these things have different meanings to different people. What does greed exactly entail? People will give different answers, and they will attribute different values to each.
Rob1_Billion
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6/8/2011 8:55:28 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/8/2011 12:28:45 AM, Dmetal wrote:
At 6/7/2011 10:33:52 AM, Rob1_Billion wrote:
At 6/7/2011 10:04:48 AM, zack.stovall wrote:
Is there one, single, solitary, objective moral fact that is irrefutable in any and all cases? Just one.

How about seven?
Lust
Greed
Envy
Pride
Gluttony
Sloth
Wrath

Whenever someone feels these emotions AND then chooses to act on them, immorality results. 100% of the time.
Well, the problem here is that all these things have different meanings to different people. What does greed exactly entail? People will give different answers, and they will attribute different values to each.

So we should not make any effort to refine our definitions of these words?
kfc
dcarvajal1990
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6/9/2011 1:04:15 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Morality can indeed be objective if you quantify it just as Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill sought to do through utilitarianism. I like this ethical theory because it allows us (society) to measure the consequences of our actions (through the net aggregate of pleasure and pain) instead of having a strict set of moral principles that we must adhere to all times and in all places. Pleasure and pain are easily quantified through biological processes that science is aware of. I admit that choosing pleasure over pain is somewhat of a principle to adhere to at all times however, what is pleasurable and what is painful may not be the same in all situations. I also believe this theory would make people in our society better critical thinkers and gives us a basis through which we can help people instead of some rigid obscure set of laws that not all of us may relate to. We have all felt what is pleasurable and what is painful thus, this adds the objective (the way to measure right and wrong) and the rationality behind this theory (I do not want to feel pain so others must not want to feel pain.) I admit there are some problems to this theory especially for the minority of people that may reduce the net aggregate of pleasure to society as a whole.
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
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6/9/2011 1:10:45 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/7/2011 11:17:59 PM, Rob1_Billion wrote:

After all; if morality is something that someone studies in a doctoral program then how is the commoner supposed to have a chance at gaining insight?

Now Rob that is a pretty interesting question.