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On Subjective and Objective Morality

s-anthony
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9/20/2014 2:19:40 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
The individual who sees his, or her, perspective as one of many or relative to him, or her, alone will acknowledge the fact there are many different perspectives and in so doing have a more objective view of the world.

The individual who sees his, or her, perspective as being absolute, or objective, will see other perspectives as contrary to the truth and in so doing have a more partial, or subjective view of the world.
Dragonfang
Posts: 1,122
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9/20/2014 3:11:28 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
The existence of multiple theories or disagreement (say in science or math) does not imply the non-existence of independent or objective truth.

If you don't believe in objective morality you either have to go with the logical alternative of Nihilism like Nietzsche did, or go with self-refuting non-sense like subjective morality.
At least Nietzsche had intellectual integrity to admit the Reductio Ad Absurdum conclusion for Atheism as there is no known alternative basis for objective morality than an intelligent cause so far.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,254
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9/20/2014 3:22:22 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/20/2014 3:13:39 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 9/20/2014 2:26:19 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
You're such a Nietzsche wannabe lol.

I want to be a little bit of everybody.

Are you sure about that? http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com...
s-anthony
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9/20/2014 3:33:03 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/20/2014 3:11:28 PM, Dragonfang wrote:
The existence of multiple theories or disagreement (say in science or math) does not imply the non-existence of independent or objective truth.


If you don't believe in objective morality you either have to go with the logical alternative of Nihilism like Nietzsche did, or go with self-refuting non-sense like subjective morality.

Where in my OP did I say I don't believe in objective morality?

If subjective morality is relative to the self, how is it self-refuting? If something relates to the self, wouldn't it go to defining the self rather than refuting it?

At least Nietzsche had intellectual integrity to admit the Reductio Ad Absurdum conclusion for Atheism as there is no known alternative basis for objective morality than an intelligent cause so far.
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
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9/20/2014 3:35:34 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/20/2014 3:22:22 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 9/20/2014 3:13:39 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 9/20/2014 2:26:19 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
You're such a Nietzsche wannabe lol.

I want to be a little bit of everybody.

Are you sure about that? http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com...

I said a little bit and some more than others.
SamStevens
Posts: 3,819
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9/20/2014 3:54:11 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Define subjective: based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.

Define objective morality: Objective morality is the idea that a certain system of ethics or set of moral judgments is not just true according to a person's subjective opinion, but factually true.

Define morality: principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.

Subjective morality seems to be correct. If you look into the history of man, the morality changes a lot based on the opinions and attitudes at the time. Before, people would burn witches. Back then, it was acceptable. Now, that behavior is not acceptable. Before, it was a common practice to have slaves and whatnot. Now, it is strongly frowned upon.

It seems to be that our morality has changed and evolved over time and is not bound to a certain system of ethics.
"This is the true horror of religion. It allows perfectly decent and sane people to believe by the billions, what only lunatics could believe on their own." Sam Harris
Life asked Death "Why do people love me but hate you?"
Death responded: "Because you are a beautiful lie, and I am the painful truth."
Dragonfang
Posts: 1,122
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9/20/2014 3:55:03 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/20/2014 3:33:03 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 9/20/2014 3:11:28 PM, Dragonfang wrote:
The existence of multiple theories or disagreement (say in science or math) does not imply the non-existence of independent or objective truth.


If you don't believe in objective morality you either have to go with the logical alternative of Nihilism like Nietzsche did, or go with self-refuting non-sense like subjective morality.

Where in my OP did I say I don't believe in objective morality?

It is a general statement, not a reply to you.

If subjective morality is relative to the self, how is it self-refuting? If something relates to the self, wouldn't it go to defining the self rather than refuting it?

Lets go with this example: If you believe in subjective morality, then you have to accept that all morality have the same validity as yours, right? Well, this creates a liar's paradox.

Person A: Do you believe in the validity of my objectivist morality (Like one of the Abrhamaic religions)?

Now, the subjectivist is stuck in an dilemma with no alternatives. If he answers "yes", then the morality of, say Islam is true for the holder, then by definition it is true for everyone and subjective morality is false. If he answers "no", then the subjectivist betrays belief in objective morality and subjective morality is false.
blackkid
Posts: 29
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9/20/2014 4:06:06 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/20/2014 2:19:40 PM, s-anthony wrote:
The individual who sees his, or her, perspective as one of many or relative to him, or her, alone will acknowledge the fact there are many different perspectives and in so doing have a more objective view of the world.

The individual who sees his, or her, perspective as being absolute, or objective, will see other perspectives as contrary to the truth and in so doing have a more partial, or subjective view of the world.

It's completely false but man does it sound good!
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
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9/20/2014 4:41:58 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/20/2014 3:55:03 PM, Dragonfang wrote:
At 9/20/2014 3:33:03 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 9/20/2014 3:11:28 PM, Dragonfang wrote:
The existence of multiple theories or disagreement (say in science or math) does not imply the non-existence of independent or objective truth.


If you don't believe in objective morality you either have to go with the logical alternative of Nihilism like Nietzsche did, or go with self-refuting non-sense like subjective morality.

Where in my OP did I say I don't believe in objective morality?

It is a general statement, not a reply to you.

If subjective morality is relative to the self, how is it self-refuting? If something relates to the self, wouldn't it go to defining the self rather than refuting it?

Lets go with this example: If you believe in subjective morality, then you have to accept that all morality have the same validity as yours, right? Well, this creates a liar's paradox.

Saying I believe in subjective morality is not the same as saying I believe in the validity of all values. Saying my values are subjective is saying my values are not universally agreeable. If I were agreeable to all values, it could not be said my values are partial, or relative, to me.


Person A: Do you believe in the validity of my objectivist morality (Like one of the Abrhamaic religions)?

Now, the subjectivist is stuck in an dilemma with no alternatives. If he answers "yes", then the morality of, say Islam is true for the holder, then by definition it is true for everyone and subjective morality is false. If he answers "no", then the subjectivist betrays belief in objective morality and subjective morality is false.

If I believed your beliefs were valid, there would be no disagreement between us. This goes against the very nature of subjectivism. Subjectivity, in essence, is partial and therefore necessitates disagreement. If my views were in agreement with yours, I could not say they were distinctly relative to me.
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
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9/20/2014 5:13:11 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/20/2014 3:54:11 PM, SamStevens wrote:
Define subjective: based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.

Define objective morality: Objective morality is the idea that a certain system of ethics or set of moral judgments is not just true according to a person's subjective opinion, but factually true.

Define morality: principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.

Subjective morality seems to be correct. If you look into the history of man, the morality changes a lot based on the opinions and attitudes at the time. Before, people would burn witches. Back then, it was acceptable. Now, that behavior is not acceptable. Before, it was a common practice to have slaves and whatnot. Now, it is strongly frowned upon.

It seems to be that our morality has changed and evolved over time and is not bound to a certain system of ethics.

For me, as a part does not make sense apart from the whole, subjectivism does not make sense apart from objectivism. We may say we have partial, or relative, values that distinguish us as individuals, however I must add we also have values that transcend ourselves and distinguish us as a collective. Not all values are subjective; if they were, there would be no agreement among us; and, likewise, not all values are objective; if they were, there would be no disagreement among us.
SamStevens
Posts: 3,819
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9/20/2014 6:18:50 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/20/2014 5:13:11 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 9/20/2014 3:54:11 PM, SamStevens wrote:
Define subjective: based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.

Define objective morality: Objective morality is the idea that a certain system of ethics or set of moral judgments is not just true according to a person's subjective opinion, but factually true.

Define morality: principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.

Subjective morality seems to be correct. If you look into the history of man, the morality changes a lot based on the opinions and attitudes at the time. Before, people would burn witches. Back then, it was acceptable. Now, that behavior is not acceptable. Before, it was a common practice to have slaves and whatnot. Now, it is strongly frowned upon.

It seems to be that our morality has changed and evolved over time and is not bound to a certain system of ethics.

For me, as a part does not make sense apart from the whole, subjectivism does not make sense apart from objectivism. We may say we have partial, or relative, values that distinguish us as individuals, however I must add we also have values that transcend ourselves and distinguish us as a collective. Not all values are subjective; if they were, there would be no agreement among us; and, likewise, not all values are objective; if they were, there would be no disagreement among us.

To this day, there still no agreement on a lot of things, such as killing and whatnot, which shows a variety of personal influences, tastes, and opinions found throughout the world that show variety in morality.

In a way, it would be partially objective since there are things that a normal person would instinctively do , like protect your offspring. This example of protecting your offspring is found throughout the animal kingdom, with some exceptions.
"This is the true horror of religion. It allows perfectly decent and sane people to believe by the billions, what only lunatics could believe on their own." Sam Harris
Life asked Death "Why do people love me but hate you?"
Death responded: "Because you are a beautiful lie, and I am the painful truth."
Dragonfang
Posts: 1,122
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9/20/2014 6:49:34 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/20/2014 4:41:58 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 9/20/2014 3:55:03 PM, Dragonfang wrote:
At 9/20/2014 3:33:03 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 9/20/2014 3:11:28 PM, Dragonfang wrote:
The existence of multiple theories or disagreement (say in science or math) does not imply the non-existence of independent or objective truth.


If you don't believe in objective morality you either have to go with the logical alternative of Nihilism like Nietzsche did, or go with self-refuting non-sense like subjective morality.

Where in my OP did I say I don't believe in objective morality?

It is a general statement, not a reply to you.

If subjective morality is relative to the self, how is it self-refuting? If something relates to the self, wouldn't it go to defining the self rather than refuting it?

Lets go with this example: If you believe in subjective morality, then you have to accept that all morality have the same validity as yours, right? Well, this creates a liar's paradox.

Saying I believe in subjective morality is not the same as saying I believe in the validity of all values. Saying my values are subjective is saying my values are not universally agreeable. If I were agreeable to all values, it could not be said my values are partial, or relative, to me.

This is why the paradox violates the law of non-contradiction; the same principle cannot both apply and not apply to others. The moral relativist claims that people should agree with him/her when the assertion that there is no objective existence for morality is made. However, the subjectivist must acknowledge that his morality is a personal taste with no authority whatsoever, and there is no intellectual obligation to not disregard non-binding opinions that lacks reasoning, logic, or evidence. Thus, for the moral relativist to be consistent, he/she cannot give any reason whatsoever why we should agree with him/her.


Person A: Do you believe in the validity of my objectivist morality (Like one of the Abrhamaic religions)?

Now, the subjectivist is stuck in an dilemma with no alternatives. If he answers "yes", then the morality of, say Islam is true for the holder, then by definition it is true for everyone and subjective morality is false. If he answers "no", then the subjectivist betrays belief in objective morality and subjective morality is false.

If I believed your beliefs were valid, there would be no disagreement between us. This goes against the very nature of subjectivism. Subjectivity, in essence, is partial and therefore necessitates disagreement. If my views were in agreement with yours, I could not say they were distinctly relative to me.

It is either valid or non-valid; subjectivists must accept that it is as valid as their morality, which leads to contradictions. If some moralities are wrong, then some moralities must be right, which means objectivity.
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
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9/20/2014 6:54:50 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/20/2014 6:18:50 PM, SamStevens wrote:
At 9/20/2014 5:13:11 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 9/20/2014 3:54:11 PM, SamStevens wrote:
Define subjective: based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.

Define objective morality: Objective morality is the idea that a certain system of ethics or set of moral judgments is not just true according to a person's subjective opinion, but factually true.

Define morality: principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.

Subjective morality seems to be correct. If you look into the history of man, the morality changes a lot based on the opinions and attitudes at the time. Before, people would burn witches. Back then, it was acceptable. Now, that behavior is not acceptable. Before, it was a common practice to have slaves and whatnot. Now, it is strongly frowned upon.

It seems to be that our morality has changed and evolved over time and is not bound to a certain system of ethics.

For me, as a part does not make sense apart from the whole, subjectivism does not make sense apart from objectivism. We may say we have partial, or relative, values that distinguish us as individuals, however I must add we also have values that transcend ourselves and distinguish us as a collective. Not all values are subjective; if they were, there would be no agreement among us; and, likewise, not all values are objective; if they were, there would be no disagreement among us.

To this day, there still no agreement on a lot of things, such as killing and whatnot, which shows a variety of personal influences, tastes, and opinions found throughout the world that show variety in morality.

In a way, it would be partially objective since there are things that a normal person would instinctively do , like protect your offspring. This example of protecting your offspring is found throughout the animal kingdom, with some exceptions.

I agree there is a lot of disagreement, but to say we are in complete disagreement is to dismiss the other side of life in its entirety. If all were disagreeable, there would be no cohesion to us as a society; and, I dare to say as individuals. The individual finds meaning in the group; his, or her, identity is not forged alone but, also, by the group with whom he, or she, identifies. It is the dynamics of agreement and disagreement that make us who we are.
SamStevens
Posts: 3,819
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9/20/2014 6:56:05 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/20/2014 6:54:50 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 9/20/2014 6:18:50 PM, SamStevens wrote:
At 9/20/2014 5:13:11 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 9/20/2014 3:54:11 PM, SamStevens wrote:
Define subjective: based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.

Define objective morality: Objective morality is the idea that a certain system of ethics or set of moral judgments is not just true according to a person's subjective opinion, but factually true.

Define morality: principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.

Subjective morality seems to be correct. If you look into the history of man, the morality changes a lot based on the opinions and attitudes at the time. Before, people would burn witches. Back then, it was acceptable. Now, that behavior is not acceptable. Before, it was a common practice to have slaves and whatnot. Now, it is strongly frowned upon.

It seems to be that our morality has changed and evolved over time and is not bound to a certain system of ethics.

For me, as a part does not make sense apart from the whole, subjectivism does not make sense apart from objectivism. We may say we have partial, or relative, values that distinguish us as individuals, however I must add we also have values that transcend ourselves and distinguish us as a collective. Not all values are subjective; if they were, there would be no agreement among us; and, likewise, not all values are objective; if they were, there would be no disagreement among us.

To this day, there still no agreement on a lot of things, such as killing and whatnot, which shows a variety of personal influences, tastes, and opinions found throughout the world that show variety in morality.

In a way, it would be partially objective since there are things that a normal person would instinctively do , like protect your offspring. This example of protecting your offspring is found throughout the animal kingdom, with some exceptions.

I agree there is a lot of disagreement, but to say we are in complete disagreement is to dismiss the other side of life in its entirety. If all were disagreeable, there would be no cohesion to us as a society; and, I dare to say as individuals. The individual finds meaning in the group; his, or her, identity is not forged alone but, also, by the group with whom he, or she, identifies. It is the dynamics of agreement and disagreement that make us who we are.

True.
"This is the true horror of religion. It allows perfectly decent and sane people to believe by the billions, what only lunatics could believe on their own." Sam Harris
Life asked Death "Why do people love me but hate you?"
Death responded: "Because you are a beautiful lie, and I am the painful truth."
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
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9/20/2014 9:38:16 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/20/2014 6:49:34 PM, Dragonfang wrote:
At 9/20/2014 4:41:58 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 9/20/2014 3:55:03 PM, Dragonfang wrote:
At 9/20/2014 3:33:03 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 9/20/2014 3:11:28 PM, Dragonfang wrote:
The existence of multiple theories or disagreement (say in science or math) does not imply the non-existence of independent or objective truth.


If you don't believe in objective morality you either have to go with the logical alternative of Nihilism like Nietzsche did, or go with self-refuting non-sense like subjective morality.

Where in my OP did I say I don't believe in objective morality?

It is a general statement, not a reply to you.

If subjective morality is relative to the self, how is it self-refuting? If something relates to the self, wouldn't it go to defining the self rather than refuting it?

Lets go with this example: If you believe in subjective morality, then you have to accept that all morality have the same validity as yours, right? Well, this creates a liar's paradox.

Saying I believe in subjective morality is not the same as saying I believe in the validity of all values. Saying my values are subjective is saying my values are not universally agreeable. If I were agreeable to all values, it could not be said my values are partial, or relative, to me.

This is why the paradox violates the law of non-contradiction; the same principle cannot both apply and not apply to others. The moral relativist claims that people should agree with him/her when the assertion that there is no objective existence for morality is made.

The moral relativist does no such thing. Your very words contractict the very premise on which moral relativism stands. To the relativist, morality is a very personal matter. The individual decides that which is right or wrong for him, or her, and no one else. To say it is a system founded on complete agreement is ludicrous and contradictory. In fact, it is the absolutist who says there is but one truth; and, disagreement is inconsistent with that reality. It is the absolutist that intolerably tries to silence dissent.

However, the subjectivist must acknowledge that his morality is a personal taste with no authority whatsoever, and there is no intellectual obligation to not disregard non-binding opinions that lacks reasoning, logic, or evidence.

The authority by which the subjectivist establishes his, or her, sense of morality is one's own. Furthermore, who would better know that which is of any value to him, or her, than one's own self? The obligation for one to reject unreasonable, illogical, non-evidential opinions hopefully comes from one's self. You would think a reasonable, logical individual would not need to have someone tell him, or her, to reject such things.

Thus, for the moral relativist to be consistent, he/she cannot give any reason whatsoever why we should agree with him/her.

The moral relativist does not demand agreement; that's the function of the absolutist.



Person A: Do you believe in the validity of my objectivist morality (Like one of the Abrhamaic religions)?

Now, the subjectivist is stuck in an dilemma with no alternatives. If he answers "yes", then the morality of, say Islam is true for the holder, then by definition it is true for everyone and subjective morality is false. If he answers "no", then the subjectivist betrays belief in objective morality and subjective morality is false.

If I believed your beliefs were valid, there would be no disagreement between us. This goes against the very nature of subjectivism. Subjectivity, in essence, is partial and therefore necessitates disagreement. If my views were in agreement with yours, I could not say they were distinctly relative to me.

It is either valid or non-valid; subjectivists must accept that it is as valid as their morality, which leads to contradictions. If some moralities are wrong, then some moralities must be right, which means objectivity.

Subjectivism is the belief things are either right or wrong for the individual. As to where you got this notion subjectivism teaches the individual must accept all things as right and nothing as wrong baffles the hell out of me.

Now, objectivism demands agreement; it does not respect or condone dissent; may be you're confusing the two.
the_croftmeister
Posts: 678
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9/21/2014 11:00:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/20/2014 6:49:34 PM, Dragonfang wrote:
At 9/20/2014 4:41:58 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 9/20/2014 3:55:03 PM, Dragonfang wrote:
At 9/20/2014 3:33:03 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 9/20/2014 3:11:28 PM, Dragonfang wrote:
The existence of multiple theories or disagreement (say in science or math) does not imply the non-existence of independent or objective truth.


If you don't believe in objective morality you either have to go with the logical alternative of Nihilism like Nietzsche did, or go with self-refuting non-sense like subjective morality.

Where in my OP did I say I don't believe in objective morality?

It is a general statement, not a reply to you.

If subjective morality is relative to the self, how is it self-refuting? If something relates to the self, wouldn't it go to defining the self rather than refuting it?

Lets go with this example: If you believe in subjective morality, then you have to accept that all morality have the same validity as yours, right? Well, this creates a liar's paradox.

Saying I believe in subjective morality is not the same as saying I believe in the validity of all values. Saying my values are subjective is saying my values are not universally agreeable. If I were agreeable to all values, it could not be said my values are partial, or relative, to me.

This is why the paradox violates the law of non-contradiction; the same principle cannot both apply and not apply to others. The moral relativist claims that people should agree with him/her when the assertion that there is no objective existence for morality is made. However, the subjectivist must acknowledge that his morality is a personal taste with no authority whatsoever, and there is no intellectual obligation to not disregard non-binding opinions that lacks reasoning, logic, or evidence. Thus, for the moral relativist to be consistent, he/she cannot give any reason whatsoever why we should agree with him/her.


Person A: Do you believe in the validity of my objectivist morality (Like one of the Abrhamaic religions)?

Now, the subjectivist is stuck in an dilemma with no alternatives. If he answers "yes", then the morality of, say Islam is true for the holder, then by definition it is true for everyone and subjective morality is false. If he answers "no", then the subjectivist betrays belief in objective morality and subjective morality is false.

If I believed your beliefs were valid, there would be no disagreement between us. This goes against the very nature of subjectivism. Subjectivity, in essence, is partial and therefore necessitates disagreement. If my views were in agreement with yours, I could not say they were distinctly relative to me.

It is either valid or non-valid; subjectivists must accept that it is as valid as their morality,
This is where I would take issue with your reasoning. Subjectivism (at least on my interpretation of it) rejects exactly this sort of reasoning. Validity (to use your word, which is slightly misleading because of its close ties to logic) for a subjectivist is not a property of a moral code, but a property of a moral code for a person (let us for the moment assume that this is at least in principle possible)

Let C be some moral code.

You are characterising validity as some predicate V(...) such that V(C) asserts the validity of C.

The subjectivist instead claims
1. V(C,P) i.e. 'C is a valid moral code for person P'. A potential translation of the objectivist claim 'C is a valid moral code' is,

2. for all x: V(C,x) i.e. 'C is a valid moral code for everyone' (as opposed to just for a particular individual).

1 => 2. V(C,P) => for all x: V(C,x)
is not logically valid (at least not under any characterisation I'm familiar with). Therefore I can assert that your moral code is valid for you without accepting that it is valid for me. In this way it is possible to say objective things about morality without asserting that morality itself is objective.

There is an argument to be made that if all people are morally equivalent that then what is a valid moral code for one is a valid moral code for all. This however, is precisely what the subjectivist rejects (i.e. they assert people are not morally equivalent) and proving that morality is objective by invoking this assumption is unlikely to convince them. To demonstrate convincingly that subjectivism is wrong I believe you would have to have some argument demonstrating that I cannot hold two different codes for two different people (the part of the above proof that you glossed over)

which leads to contradictions. If some moralities are wrong, then some moralities must be right
This does not follow, wrong moralities do not entail right moralities. Some black crows does not entail some white crows.
which means objectivity.
This also does not follow, some right moralities does not entail all moralities are either right or wrong moralities.