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Partially Objective Morality?

MyDinosaurHands
Posts: 203
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2/25/2014 3:19:28 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Do you think that only some 'morals' are objective?

I think the best argument for the idea that some morals are objective is this:
Different perspectives on the morality of different actions is a reaction to differing amounts of empathy possessed by different groups. Empathy comes from knowledge/awareness. So it is possible that instead of subjectivity, you just have people who are lacking in empathy/knowledge/awareness and therefore missing out on the objective, empathy-derived truth.

I think a good example for this argument would be slavery. There was once a time when slavers saw their slaves as inhuman or subhuman, and therefore didn't look at them empathetically. Other people did though, seeing that they were humans and they were in pain. These other people imagined being in the slaves' (figurative) shoes, and realized this was wrong.

So is it possible that certain moralities aren't subjective, but just uninformed? That 'subjectivity' is just a product of lack of knowledge?

I don't subscribe to the above argument entirely, but I think it's interesting, and I'm wondering what DDO has to say about it.
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EndarkenedRationalist
Posts: 14,201
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2/25/2014 3:45:58 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/25/2014 3:19:28 PM, MyDinosaurHands wrote:
Do you think that only some 'morals' are objective?

I think the best argument for the idea that some morals are objective is this:
Different perspectives on the morality of different actions is a reaction to differing amounts of empathy possessed by different groups. Empathy comes from knowledge/awareness. So it is possible that instead of subjectivity, you just have people who are lacking in empathy/knowledge/awareness and therefore missing out on the objective, empathy-derived truth.

I think a good example for this argument would be slavery. There was once a time when slavers saw their slaves as inhuman or subhuman, and therefore didn't look at them empathetically. Other people did though, seeing that they were humans and they were in pain. These other people imagined being in the slaves' (figurative) shoes, and realized this was wrong.

So is it possible that certain moralities aren't subjective, but just uninformed? That 'subjectivity' is just a product of lack of knowledge?


I don't subscribe to the above argument entirely, but I think it's interesting, and I'm wondering what DDO has to say about it.

Okay. Now why is slavery objectively wrong?

To place value on a life not your own (or even your own, for that matter) is subjective. If your morality is related to might-makes-right, slavery is not immoral.

Yes, I do believe slavery is immoral, so no need to freak out.
MyDinosaurHands
Posts: 203
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2/25/2014 3:54:56 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
If your morality is related to might-makes-right, slavery is not immoral.
What if 99.9% of the world doesn't use might-makes-right as justification for slavery? What if the application of empathy is at such a high that nobody thinks slavery is ok? Do you think that would make it objective, or just something 99.9% of the world subjectively decides is wrong?
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MyDinosaurHands
Posts: 203
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2/25/2014 3:59:39 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Also, is anyone who decides on a certain morality because of a lack of information that would otherwise make them go to the other side, wrong? Or not, because morals are subjective? Are morals where knowledge determines what you believe objective because adding knowledge to the mix immediately puts you on a certain side?
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Sswdwm
Posts: 1,398
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2/25/2014 5:06:28 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/25/2014 3:45:58 PM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 2/25/2014 3:19:28 PM, MyDinosaurHands wrote:
Do you think that only some 'morals' are objective?

I think the best argument for the idea that some morals are objective is this:
Different perspectives on the morality of different actions is a reaction to differing amounts of empathy possessed by different groups. Empathy comes from knowledge/awareness. So it is possible that instead of subjectivity, you just have people who are lacking in empathy/knowledge/awareness and therefore missing out on the objective, empathy-derived truth.

I think a good example for this argument would be slavery. There was once a time when slavers saw their slaves as inhuman or subhuman, and therefore didn't look at them empathetically. Other people did though, seeing that they were humans and they were in pain. These other people imagined being in the slaves' (figurative) shoes, and realized this was wrong.

So is it possible that certain moralities aren't subjective, but just uninformed? That 'subjectivity' is just a product of lack of knowledge?


I don't subscribe to the above argument entirely, but I think it's interesting, and I'm wondering what DDO has to say about it.

Okay. Now why is slavery objectively wrong?

To place value on a life not your own (or even your own, for that matter) is subjective. If your morality is related to might-makes-right, slavery is not immoral.

Yes, I do believe slavery is immoral, so no need to freak out.

Here's a thought experiment.

Would slavery be immoral if it afforded them a better quality of life and well sing than their 'free' life. A real life application of this are those who deliberately get themselves convicted, since jail life is better than their existing one.
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Wocambs
Posts: 1,505
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2/25/2014 5:41:15 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
The best argument for objective morality, I think, is simply asking 'What right do you have to act the way you do?' and demanding a logical answer.

I mean, I think we can all agree that just because I can assert that '1+1=42', this does not make it a correct assertion, or that just because it would make me happy to assert that '1+1=42' does not make it a correct assertion. There is no reason why these fallacies should suddenly become permissible when discussing moral rights.

Also, if anyone cares to claim that 'Oh, but I don't care if my actions are justified or not': were that true, you would not be responsible for your actions in the slightest. If you did not think that you were somehow justified in acting in a certain way then you could not act in that way, unless you can explain how it would be possible for you to motivate yourself to act in a way that you simultaneously believe is a way in which you should not act.
EndarkenedRationalist
Posts: 14,201
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2/25/2014 11:19:08 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/25/2014 3:54:56 PM, MyDinosaurHands wrote:
If your morality is related to might-makes-right, slavery is not immoral.
What if 99.9% of the world doesn't use might-makes-right as justification for slavery? What if the application of empathy is at such a high that nobody thinks slavery is ok? Do you think that would make it objective, or just something 99.9% of the world subjectively decides is wrong?

So if the majority believes something, it's automatically right? What if 99.9% of the world believed slavery was acceptable?
EndarkenedRationalist
Posts: 14,201
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2/25/2014 11:20:03 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/25/2014 5:06:28 PM, Sswdwm wrote:
At 2/25/2014 3:45:58 PM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 2/25/2014 3:19:28 PM, MyDinosaurHands wrote:
Do you think that only some 'morals' are objective?

I think the best argument for the idea that some morals are objective is this:
Different perspectives on the morality of different actions is a reaction to differing amounts of empathy possessed by different groups. Empathy comes from knowledge/awareness. So it is possible that instead of subjectivity, you just have people who are lacking in empathy/knowledge/awareness and therefore missing out on the objective, empathy-derived truth.

I think a good example for this argument would be slavery. There was once a time when slavers saw their slaves as inhuman or subhuman, and therefore didn't look at them empathetically. Other people did though, seeing that they were humans and they were in pain. These other people imagined being in the slaves' (figurative) shoes, and realized this was wrong.

So is it possible that certain moralities aren't subjective, but just uninformed? That 'subjectivity' is just a product of lack of knowledge?


I don't subscribe to the above argument entirely, but I think it's interesting, and I'm wondering what DDO has to say about it.

Okay. Now why is slavery objectively wrong?

To place value on a life not your own (or even your own, for that matter) is subjective. If your morality is related to might-makes-right, slavery is not immoral.

Yes, I do believe slavery is immoral, so no need to freak out.

Here's a thought experiment.

Would slavery be immoral if it afforded them a better quality of life and well sing than their 'free' life. A real life application of this are those who deliberately get themselves convicted, since jail life is better than their existing one.

That depends on if you consider bettering the lives of others to be moral.