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Objective Morality and Truth

Danielle
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5/6/2016 9:03:23 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
Does the philosophical concept of objective morality mandate the existence of objective truth?

Can one exist without the other, and if so, which one?

Post your best arguments for objective morality that do not reference God.

(Then post your best arguments, even if you must reference God.)
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Adam_Godzilla
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5/7/2016 9:42:33 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/6/2016 9:03:23 PM, Danielle wrote:
Does the philosophical concept of objective morality mandate the existence of objective truth?

Can one exist without the other, and if so, which one?

I think they both exist together.
Post your best arguments for objective morality that do not reference God.

(Then post your best arguments, even if you must reference God.)

Objective morality exists if we define morality well enough. If we define it as simply bringing positivity in the world, (that, is constructing, building, assembling) then there are simply actions that are either moral or not.

For example, helping an old woman across the street is moral because it is constructive in terms of relationships to help others. If, you do not help the lady, it is anti-constructive. If everyone in the world decided not to collaborate or help each other, the world would go to ruins due to a lack of organisation.

The problem is that things like polygamy thus are objectively moral. But if we take into account other people's feelings and reactions then it is objectively immoral because of risking to anger people. If people are angry, society falls apart and it is deconstructive.

Thus morality is entirely dependent of people. Whatever angers or pleases them is what is moral. If not stealing or being polite makes people happy, then that's moral.

Things like killing animals is immoral. We are harming species and being destructive. We are also not making everybody in society happy while doing so. But it's necessary to kill at least plants so killing organisms is a grey line. It may be necessary and unavoidable, but is it also objectively immoral?

I don't have any religious views on this. What are your thoughts?
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skipsaweirdo
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5/8/2016 3:17:10 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/7/2016 9:42:33 AM, Adam_Godzilla wrote:
At 5/6/2016 9:03:23 PM, Danielle wrote:
Does the philosophical concept of objective morality mandate the existence of objective truth?

Can one exist without the other, and if so, which one?

I think they both exist together.
Post your best arguments for objective morality that do not reference God.

(Then post your best arguments, even if you must reference God.)

Objective morality exists if we define morality well enough. If we define it as simply bringing positivity in the world, (that, is constructing, building, assembling) then there are simply actions that are either moral or not.

For example, helping an old woman across the street is moral because it is constructive in terms of relationships to help others. If, you do not help the lady, it is anti-constructive. If everyone in the world decided not to collaborate or help each other, the world would go to ruins due to a lack of organisation.

The problem is that things like polygamy thus are objectively moral. But if we take into account other people's feelings and reactions then it is objectively immoral because of risking to anger people. If people are angry, society falls apart and it is deconstructive.

Thus morality is entirely dependent of people. Whatever angers or pleases them is what is moral. If not stealing or being polite makes people happy, then that's moral.
After decades of debating and giving seminars on numerous subject Oxford Prof. Antony Flew concluded objective morality is only possible if there is a supreme moral law giver. But everyone has an opinion. Mine is objectivity when it comes to what defines human behavior has too many variables to simply put a label on what's moral.
Things like killing animals is immoral. We are harming species and being destructive. We are also not making everybody in society happy while doing so. But it's necessary to kill at least plants so killing organisms is a grey line. It may be necessary and unavoidable, but is it also objectively immoral?
If killing animals is immoral how can carnivores survive. It clearly isn't moral or immoral, it is a necessity of nature. It isn't necessary to kill fruit bearing plant because taking their fruit won't kill them. Allowing some fruit for reproduction of the tree or bush etc.....would be necessary.
I don't have any religious views on this. What are your thoughts?
tejretics
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5/8/2016 6:02:57 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/6/2016 9:03:23 PM, Danielle wrote:
Post your best arguments for objective morality that do not reference God.

http://www.debate.org...
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
someloser
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5/8/2016 6:30:10 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/7/2016 9:42:33 AM, Adam_Godzilla wrote:
Thus morality is entirely dependent of people. Whatever angers or pleases them is what is moral. If not stealing or being polite makes people happy, then that's moral.
Which shows morality is not objective, but entirely subjective and subject to the whims of Man. It's somewhat similar to utilitarianism
Ego sum qui sum. Deus lo vult.

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keithprosser
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5/8/2016 7:36:32 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
Which shows morality is not objective, but entirely subjective and subject to the whims of Man.

This keeps cropping up. It seems that on DDO it has been decided that morality is subjective, but from what I can recall of the many threads about it all that as been shown is that moral judgements are subjective.

Slavery is considered immoral now, it wasn't 2000 years ago. Does that mean the morality of slavery is subjective? Was slavery really ok 2000 years ago? 2000 years ago people thought the world was flat - does that mean it was flat 2000 years ago?

2000 years ago people were mistaken about the shape of the world. Why couldn't the have been mistaken about the morality of slavery? Slavery was bad 2000 years ago - but people didn't know it was (except for the slaves, of course!), just as the world was round 2000 years ago but people didn't know it was.

If slavery is good/bad because people think its good/bad then that doesn't prove morality is subjective - it is defining morality as subjective.
Adam_Godzilla
Posts: 2,487
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5/8/2016 1:37:16 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/8/2016 7:36:32 AM, keithprosser wrote:
Which shows morality is not objective, but entirely subjective and subject to the whims of Man.

This keeps cropping up. It seems that on DDO it has been decided that morality is subjective, but from what I can recall of the many threads about it all that as been shown is that moral judgements are subjective.

Slavery is considered immoral now, it wasn't 2000 years ago. Does that mean the morality of slavery is subjective? Was slavery really ok 2000 years ago? 2000 years ago people thought the world was flat - does that mean it was flat 2000 years ago?

I agree.
2000 years ago people were mistaken about the shape of the world. Why couldn't the have been mistaken about the morality of slavery? Slavery was bad 2000 years ago - but people didn't know it was (except for the slaves, of course!), just as the world was round 2000 years ago but people didn't know it was.

If slavery is good/bad because people think its good/bad then that doesn't prove morality is subjective - it is defining morality as subjective.
Again, I think we need to define morality properly.
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keithprosser
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5/8/2016 2:42:57 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
I thnk defining morality is a tricky business. Let me approach this sideways.

How do you tell a square from a triangle, or a circle? Now you might be tempted to say 'I count the number of sides', but that isn't how you tell squares from triangle or circles. If you see a shape you classify it as a square, or a triangle whatever by a completely unconscious process. You tell a square from a circle because squares 'look square' and circles 'look round'. If you have some shapes around you try it now - is there any conscious process involved in telling the shape of something? If you don't like the shape example, consider colours. How do you tell what colour something is?

Moral judgement is a lot like that. We classify events or actions etc as 'moral' or 'immoral' without conscious processing. We don't need to - or we don't - calculate the net harm versus the net benefit of, say, a senseless murder. It is classified automatically and unthinkingly as 'immoral'. Just as we have an innate ability to classify shapes as "square" or "round" (etc) we have an innate ability to classify events and acts as "moral" or "immoral" 'without thinking about it'.

Of course our 'moral sense' is not infallible nor is it uniform across all individuals because brains differ. The point is that our moral sense gives us an initial 'point of contact' with what could be called 'Platonic morality' (because its not quite objective in the usual sense of being anything material). We can refine our sense of morality by rational thought, just as Euclid and Riemann refined our innate sense of geometric shapes. In short, 'normal people' judge senseless murder and rape because they actually are 'Platonically bad', which is - I think - what people generally mean by 'objective morality'.

Not my usual 'stick to the facts' post, but I can't think of a more sensible sounding way of putting the idea across!
Emgaol
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5/8/2016 5:00:32 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
"Slavery is considered immoral now, it wasn't 2000 years ago."
Agreed, the morality of slavery has changed.

"Does that mean the morality of slavery is subjective?"
If it is now considered immoral then yes, our moral concept has changed.

"Was slavery really ok 2000 years ago?"
According to the bible, slavery was condoned and furthermore it describes how a slave may be beaten. This bible of course was, and still is, the moral compass, the moral arbiter (as in; a person or group having the sole or absolute power of judging or determining.), the ultimate moral guide for millions of people. In other words, an objective morality. They did so, so that they didn't have to be responsible for their own thoughts. They passed that responsibility onto someone or something else because they were told that their own morals were inferior.

"2000 years ago people thought the world was flat - does that mean it was flat 2000 years ago?"
No, it was not flat 2000 years ago. To paraphrase your own statement; The world is considered spherical now, it wasn't 2000 years ago.
The earth was considered the centre of the universe 2000 years ago, now we know differently.
What do either of these statements have to do with morality?

We know better now because we have examined and questioned previous concepts. Thus we have learnt.

"Slavery was bad 2000 years ago - but people didn't know it was (except for the slaves, of course!)"
See, we have learnt. We have learnt that our own morals are superior to some old objective morality commandment.

To argue that slavery is now considered bad and thus should always have been considered bad is retrospective arrogance. I don't criticise or ridicule our ancestors for getting things wrong, because I realise their subjective views were ill informed and, in some aspects of morality, were simply misguided, as they were with the shape of the planet.

If there is any difference in opinion on what is moral or immoral, then morality is subjective. Many Muslims think it is morally correct to kill homosexuals and apostates. Hopefully, some time in the future, that belief will go into the same moral garbage bin as slavery. Unfortunately, it will not occur until individuals start examining their version of morality and accept that they, themselves are responsible for their own actions and not palm it off to some ultimate, objective moral authority.

"Why couldn't the have been mistaken about the morality of slavery?"
Indeed they were, because they took their reference from an objective moral authority rather than thinking about morality for themselves.

"If slavery is good/bad because people think its good/bad then that doesn't prove morality is subjective - it is defining morality as subjective."
You claim that it doesn't prove morality is subjective, then how else would you describe a difference of opinion on moral issues?
It's acknowledging and demonstrating the obvious, that people disagree on many things, including morality.

I don't know where you get your morals from, but I get mine from empathy. I stand by my subjective moral values, I don't hide behind some objective, immutable decree by others who have decided for me. I think about what is moral or immoral, it seems that you "...classify events and acts as moral or immoral, without thinking...".

It is because many people have stood by their own subjective moral values that most of society has finally realised that slavery is immoral.
keithprosser
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5/8/2016 6:44:09 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
then how else would you describe a difference of opinion on moral issues?
I would describe it as some people making an error of moral judgement.

I don't know where you get your morals from, but I get mine from empathy. I stand by my subjective moral values, I don't hide behind some objective, immutable decree by others who have decided for me. I think about what is moral or immoral, it seems that you "...classify events and acts as moral or immoral, without thinking...".

It seems to me you only think you disagree with me. For example, you say you get your morals from empathy. Well, yes. But do you actually consciously decide to be empathic? Isn't it an automatic reaction you cannot control? Isn't it something you do 'without thinking?' If you see the victim of injustice you may think 'That's wrong', but why you think 'Thats wrong' and don't think 'Thats good' is not a conscious thing.

I didn't go into it in my previous post, but empathy does seem to be a strong element in our moral sense. Psychopaths apart, we can't help but feel bad when someone else is hurt. It's built into us. It's not an "immutable, objective decree of others" it is a part of your psyche, put there by evolution and as such as much a part of you as your kidneys or liver.

In the Platonic view of morality your feeling empathy is not an arbitrary choice you make but a reflection of your perception of the Platonic morality that 'suffering is bad'. You feel bad when someone is hurt because it is bad when someone is hurt - empathy is the means by which that fact is communicated to you.

If, as you claim "I think about what is moral or immoral," then it is conceivable you can decide to think differently and decide senseless murder and slavery are moral. I do not think that is the case. I think you are incapable of thinking murder and slavery are moral (let's exclude fanciful scenarios for now). In theory maybe, but really and truly? Can you do it? Do you even want to try? Why not?

It is because I have faith that my moral judgements are not arbitrary that I put forward the notion of Platonic morality. You ask where I get my morals from? From the same place you do, from where everybody does. From a Platonic realm.
Double_R
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5/8/2016 9:32:54 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/6/2016 9:03:23 PM, Danielle wrote:
Does the philosophical concept of objective morality mandate the existence of objective truth?

Can one exist without the other, and if so, which one?

Post your best arguments for objective morality that do not reference God.

(Then post your best arguments, even if you must reference God.)

I don't think rational discussion on this subject is feasible without serious scrutiny of what these terms mean.

Truth is nothing more than the result of an assessment made by a thinking mind. More specifically, it's the result of comparing two things, the first being a statement. In most cases what you're comparing the statement to is existent reality, but in some cases you are comparing a statement to another idea created by a thinking mind. "A grand slam is worth 4 points" would be an example of the latter.

The first implication of this is that in a universe with no thinking minds, there is no such thing as truth. There would be no statements nor any act of comparison. So truth itself is not something that "exists" per se, it is more so a creation of thinking minds. When we talk about an objective truth, what we are really talking about is a statement that uses existent reality as a basis for comparison. "The Sun is hotter than the earth" for example.

This is why I reject the notion of objective morality, because there is no basis in existent reality to compare moral principals to. The best you can do is begin with a moral principal or standard, and then use reality as a basis to determine whether a statement meets that standard. But the standard itself will still be subjectively chosen.

So when it comes to the concept of objective morality, I only recognize it as the latter point I just made, which I do not consider objective.

With regards to the existence of objective truths, I would say that they are contingent on existent minds.
keithprosser
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5/9/2016 5:37:10 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
But the standard itself will still be subjectively chosen.
That does not explain why senseless murder would be 'subjectively chosen' as immoral virtually 100% of the time. There must be something intrinsic about senseless murder (call that something it X) that makes it more likely to be judged as immoral rather than moral.
If so, then senseless murder is judged immoral because of its 'objective' moral quality X.
Emgaol
Posts: 151
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5/10/2016 3:25:51 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
"I didn't go into it in my previous post, but empathy does seem to be a strong element in our moral sense. Psychopaths apart, we can't help but feel bad when someone else is hurt. It's built into us. It's not an "immutable, objective decree of others" it is a part of your psyche, put there by evolution and as such as much a part of you as your kidneys or liver."

You have taken my statement out of context. The full sentence was; "I stand by my subjective moral values, I don't hide behind some objective, immutable decree by others who have decided for me.". The phrase, "objective, immutable decree by others" relates to my subjective moral values, not to empathy itself.
Furthermore, even if empathy is part of my "psyche" then it too is subjective.

"In the Platonic view of morality your feeling empathy is not an arbitrary choice you make but a reflection of your perception of the Platonic morality that 'suffering is bad'. You feel bad when someone is hurt because it is bad when someone is hurt - empathy is the means by which that fact is communicated to you."

Ahh, so that's your entire argument; "...because it is bad...". Yeah, it just is. Next, it'll be "the vibe".

"If, as you claim "I think about what is moral or immoral," then it is conceivable you can decide to think differently and decide senseless murder and slavery are moral. I do not think that is the case. I think you are incapable of thinking murder and slavery are moral (let's exclude fanciful scenarios for now). In theory maybe, but really and truly? Can you do it? Do you even want to try? Why not?"

In another thread, I mentioned von Stauffenberg's attempted murder of Hitler. Would I consider that attempt immoral? After all, murder is murder, and murder is wrong isn't it? No, in this case, I would consider it morally correct. Simply declaring murder is wrong without considering the specific circumstances is just the act of an unthinking automaton.

"It is because I have faith that my moral judgements are not arbitrary that I put forward the notion of Platonic morality. You ask where I get my morals from? From the same place you do, from where everybody does. From a Platonic realm."

Actually I didn't ask where you get your morals from, I said I don't know where you get your morals from.
I'm not interested in your interpretation of Platonic morality or your imaginary "Platonic realm" (Oh yeah, it's the vibe). I stand by my own morality, I don't assign it to a book or to some other philosopher. You may choose to hide behind Plato if you wish, but I take full responsibility for my morals and my actions.
I don't know who to credit here but, "faith" is when you don't have good reasons for believing.
keithprosser
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5/10/2016 5:35:31 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
You're getting the wrong end of the stick, emg. I don't get my morals from Plato or anybody else. 'Platonic' refers to Plato's concept of 'Forms'. Plato's realm of forms is where perfect circles and other abstractions 'live'. It is not a physical realm we can contact with our senses but a realm we are in contact with via our intellect.

It is clear you consider attempting to assasinate Hitler was morally right. Why do you make that judgement? I suspect its because you believe something in like 'the greater good' - it could be something else, it doesn't matter for the argument. Whatever the reason, it is possible to ask why you make the judgement that 'the greater good' is what matters, and so on. Eventually it has to 'bottom out' to a belief that some bed-rock principle is a moral axiom - either that or accept that moral judgements are purely arbitrary which neither of us believes is case.

The Platonic view of morality is that such moral axioms are analogous to the perfect circles in Plato's realm of forms. That is to say they are accessible to the intellect but not to our regular five (or is it six?) senses.

As I would analyse things, someone who considers the attempt on Hitler's life 'immoral' because 'murder is bad, period' does not see the elements of the Platonic realm very clearly. They see it well enough to judge murder is bad, but not well enough to see the detail.

You preparedness to stand by your moral choices is a preparedness to stand by your intellect's perception of the Platonic realm. It is either that or it is a preparedness to stand by purely arbitrary choices based on nothing at all except your whims.

I agree with you about assassinating Hitler. I have no idea if Plato would because Plato originated the concept of a 'Realm of forms' so similar realms are called 'Platonic'.

Full blown Platonism is a bit far for many people who would prefer to think of 'realms' as figurative rather than 'real'. I tend to vaccillate between the two depending on my mood!
ViceRegent
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5/10/2016 1:28:50 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/6/2016 9:03:23 PM, Danielle wrote:
Does the philosophical concept of objective morality mandate the existence of objective truth?

Can one exist without the other, and if so, which one?

Post your best arguments for objective morality that do not reference God.

(Then post your best arguments, even if you must reference God.)

Without God, there is no objective morality or truth or anything.
keithprosser
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5/10/2016 1:56:08 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
Without God, there is no objective morality or truth or anything.
Well, thanks for sorting that out. I thought there might be more to it, but I guess I was wrong.
Emgaol
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5/10/2016 4:43:40 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
Morality: "The evaluation of actions with respect to prospective goals and consequences."
(Unfortunately, I can't name the source of that quote. I heard it, or read it, and thought it was interesting and that I'd study it later. Anyway, I introduce it here as a basis for our discussion.)

This is fine as a description of what constitutes morality, but it is worded objectively. Which means that to take the concept on, at an individual level, it must be re-worded to the first person, such as; My evaluation of my actions with respect to my prospective goals and consequences. An individual may claim that he agrees, and thus his morals are right/good.
We could avoid self-evaluation (and thus bias) with; Other people's (or another person's) evaluation of my actions with respect to my prospective goals and consequences. Now, this individual has a stronger case that his morals are right/good because he has verification from others.

I argue that it's not my evaluation, but other's evaluation of my actions which determines morality. However, I am also entitled to my evaluation of other's actions with respect to their prospective goals and consequences.

I see no reason to invoke some other source of moral guidance nor to claim some "realm" wherein some objective morality presumably resides.

Now, the fact that you and I agree that slavery is bad, which is also the consensus of the society in which we live is all fine and good, but what is more important are the reasons why we (and by that I mean each of us) consider it bad. The only way that we can examine the issue is when we have some individual who challenges that belief.
2000 years ago it was the consensus that slavery was good. Fortunately, many individuals put forward reasons as to why it is bad " society thus eventually changed because they challenged and contradicted the bible. Our society's morals have changed even though there may still be some weird people who think otherwise. From this I suggest that societal morality is a consensus of opinion on behaviours.

"It is clear you consider attempting to assasinate Hitler was morally right. Why do you make that judgement? I suspect its because you believe something in like 'the greater good' - it could be something else, it doesn't matter for the argument. Whatever the reason, it is possible to ask why you make the judgement that 'the greater good' is what matters, and so on. Eventually it has to 'bottom out' to a belief that some bed-rock principle is a moral axiom - either that or accept that moral judgements are purely arbitrary which neither of us believes is case."

The attempted assassination of Hitler is a specific example. To answer why I would make that judgement, would require specific reasons, not some airy fairy generalisation about "for the greater good". In fact, rather than "suspecting" my answer, why not just ask?

So, here's my answer: Von Stauffenberg and his co-conspirators had specific reasons for their actions, e.g., "The apparent purpose of the assassination attempt was to seize political control of Germany and its armed forces from the Nazi Party (including the SS) in order to obtain peace with the western Allies as soon as possible. The underlying desire of many of the involved high ranking Wehrmacht officers was apparently to show to the world that not all Germans were like Hitler and the Nazi Party.". The reasons and the purpose, were quite specific. That is why I consider the assassination attempt to be morally correct. Maybe you would like to ask more questions to see if we "bottom out" to some inane "moral axiom", however, as long as I remain focussed on the specifics and avoid attempts to invoke some general, non-specific principle, I believe we will not "bottom out".

It is when people try to derive a general (universal) conclusion from specific examples that they often come unstuck, such as; Every swan we've ever seen is white, therefore all swans are white.

Your suggestion that it "...has to 'bottom out' to a belief that some bed-rock principle is a moral axiom - either that or accept that moral judgements are purely arbitrary..." is a false dichotomy. One other option is that "moral judgements" (which you agreed are subjective), can be based on reasoning specific to the issue and the particular circumstances. An alternative to arbitrary (random choice or personal whim), is reasoned argument. Your pleas for "moral axioms", "platonic realm" and "arbitrary moral judgements" are merely claims for an objective morality.

The average serial killer or rapist attempts to conceal his actions because he knows that the consensus of opinion opposes his actions. He correctly concludes that he is not acting within the society. He has already discounted and discarded morality and acts merely on what brings happiness or satisfaction to himself. Do you think he is troubled by some axiom in a platonic realm? Or that he "does not see elements of the Platonic realm very clearly."? No, he doesn't give a damn. Just like the priests who lecture on morals yet privately engage in immoral acts, do you think they are really troubled? Or do they simply ask some "ultimate authority" for forgiveness for the sins that this ultimate authority has assigned to them? Yet he knows that if society found out about his activities, society would not forgive.

One moral principle (not an axiom) I try to maintain is; If the state doesn't condone murder then the state shouldn't commit murder. However, there are many cases which are specific examples for which I would advocate a violation of my general objection to state authorised murder. One example is Bittaker and Norris. https://en.wikipedia.org...

Finally, I would argue that general principles are not absolutes. To assign any moral statement as an axiom (that which is self evident) is to submit oneself to unquestioning obedience of authority. Each and every case should be examined, evaluated and considered independently on it's own merits.

Maybe you can come up with objective evidence to support a concept of objective morality.
My ramble and rant above was an attempt to give objective evidence to support a concept that morality is subjective and when subjects (individuals) act within a society, their morality is based on a consensus of opinion, but that opinion must always be subject to re-examination.
keithprosser
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5/10/2016 4:58:40 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
Von Stauffenberg and his co-conspirators had specific reasons for their actions, e.g., "The apparent purpose of the assassination attempt was to seize political control of Germany and its armed forces from the Nazi Party (including the SS) in order to obtain peace with the western Allies as soon as possible. The underlying desire of many of the involved high ranking Wehrmacht officers was apparently to show to the world that not all Germans were like Hitler and the Nazi Party.". The reasons and the purpose, were quite specific. That is why I consider the assassination attempt to be morally correct.

It seems strange that you only identify that it was "quite specific" as the basis of your judgement. Surely if I kill someone for a specific purpose it is not therefore moral. I'd guess you approve of the reason on other grounds that it is specific, but I better wait for you to confirm that before proceeding!
Emgaol
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5/10/2016 7:57:37 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
How about, I understand their reasoning and I concur.
If you could have given such good reasons why you should kill Hitler, then maybe like von Stauffenberg's co-conspirators, I would assist.
keithprosser
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5/10/2016 8:29:38 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
On what basis do you judge their reasons good? I don't really want you to answer that...! I just want to indicate than it leads to a chain of such questions that must 'bottom out' with a 'moral axiom', ie something you do not judge as good because of some more fundamental underlying reason but because it - even if only your opinion - is good.
Emgaol
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5/10/2016 9:22:17 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
I'd be happy to answer that question, but I think you are in a difficult situation in that you also agree with their reasoning.
I do understand what you are saying regarding "bottom out" but may I suggest that in order to do so, you invoked a separate independent circumstance, i.e., you committing a murder. So that we would then be discussing general hypothetical principles.

I can only suggest that it is like a criminal trial. The Court doesn't hear evidence from some other unrelated trial. They hear only evidence relating to this specific trial. They then consider morality on this case and this case only.
I think if you had persisted with a hypothetical scenario I'd have simply stated that it has no relevance to this case.

I think that my opinion as to whether something is good or not is not sufficient. I know I can be deceived so I like to confer with others on matters of importance. The more people that agree with me the more convinced I am that I'm making the right choice/decision. Of course, if some others disagree with me then I'd like to hear their reasoning. This is a lesson I learnt as a member of a jury.
keithprosser
Posts: 2,019
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5/11/2016 5:25:04 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
may I suggest that in order to do so, you invoked a separate independent circumstance, i.e., you committing a murder. So that we would then be discussing general hypothetical principles.


I don't quite agree. I think if we did discover where the morality of assasinating Hitler bottomed out it would not be 'Thou shalt not kill' but some other principle that is more general, such as 'act within your power to minimise total suffering'.

Returning to an earlier point, where does this leave psychopaths? The theory would suggest that such people have minds that do not perceive Platonic morality at all, or have only a hopelessly distorted view that leads them to make incorrect moral judgements. It is analogous to normal blindness or deafness. That might not be a great theory, but under subjectivism we have to concede that a psychopath's version of morality has validity equal to a normal person's. I think some posters on DDO have said as much... but I am not sure they believe what they said!

It is of course a bit arrogant to assume that I (or you, emg) sense platonic morality better than a psychopath, or than someone who crudely classifies all murder (or murder attempts) as wrong. It is arrogant ! But the assumption of being a good "seer of platonic morality" was really only to simplify exposition of the theory.

The point is that morality is defined 'somewhere out there' - what is good and what is evil are not arbitrary choices we make tat can go either way with equal validity. We al have a naive and innate glimpse of part of the platonic moral realm, just as we all have an innate sense of geometric shapes. We can explore and discover more of the platonic realm of shapes by disciplined rational enquiry (geometry), similarly we can explore and discover more of the platonic moral realm by disciplined rational enquiry. That process of rational enquiry could - in theory - show that trying to assassinate Hitler was morally wrong, or that genocide is morally praiseworthy, but I doubt it would. I don't think normal human intutions are that far out!
Emgaol
Posts: 151
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5/11/2016 12:08:01 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
"Returning to an earlier point, where does this leave psychopaths? The theory would suggest that such people have minds that do not perceive Platonic morality at all, or have only a hopelessly distorted view that leads them to make incorrect moral judgements. It is analogous to normal blindness or deafness. That might not be a great theory, but under subjectivism we have to concede that a psychopath's version of morality has validity equal to a normal person's."

If a psychopath's version of morality has validity equal to a normal person's, then what distinguishes a psychopath from a normal person?

"I think some posters on DDO have said as much... but I am not sure they believe what they said!"

"It is of course a bit arrogant to assume that I (or you, emg) sense platonic morality better than a psychopath, or than someone who crudely classifies all murder (or murder attempts) as wrong. It is arrogant ! But the assumption of being a good "seer of platonic morality" was really only to simplify exposition of the theory."

Again, what then separates us from psychopaths? It is interesting to note that one of the common characteristics of a sociopath is a lack of empathy.

"The point is that morality is defined 'somewhere out there' - what is good and what is evil are not arbitrary choices we make tat can go either way with equal validity. We al have a naive and innate glimpse of part of the platonic moral realm, just as we all have an innate sense of geometric shapes. We can explore and discover more of the platonic realm of shapes by disciplined rational enquiry (geometry), similarly we can explore and discover more of the platonic moral realm by disciplined rational enquiry. That process of rational enquiry could - in theory - show that trying to assassinate Hitler was morally wrong, or that genocide is morally praiseworthy, but I doubt it would. I don't think normal human intutions are that far out!"

Firstly, "somewhere out there" is not a definition. That phrase could apply to the location of intergalactic aliens.
Secondly, I believe that anyone (Ok, adults and children, not babies), given sufficient provocation, would commit murder.
However, some murderers do not have to have any reason for their act.
https://en.wikipedia.org...
Venables and Thompson were both 10 years old when they murdered James Bulger, so age is no barrier.

Some, like Bittaker, who I mentioned before, felt absolutely no remorse for his acts. In fact the only regret he had was that he had been caught. Bittaker was said to have an IQ of 138, so intellect doesn't prevent rape, torture and murder.

Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, two well to do college students who both came from extremely wealthy families in Chicago. The two plotted the kidnapping and murder of a 14 year old boy just so they could prove they were smart enough to get away with it.
https://en.wikipedia.org...

Studying circles, triangles and lines is fun and educational, but I'd argue that any attempt at rational enquiry of such cases would yield nothing but irrationality bordering on insanity. Which is precisely what psychiatrists, psychologist and some sociologists have been attempting to study for the last century. It's not just a matter of their platonic moral realm being somewhat clouded or fuzzy.
If you want a generalisation for most of these cases; They did it because they could.
keithprosser
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5/11/2016 5:32:56 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
It's not just a matter of their platonic moral realm being somewhat clouded or fuzzy.
I'm sure you appreciate it's not 'their' platonic realm that is fuzzy - there is one platonic moral realm and it would be their perception of it that is fuzzy. I'm sure you only slightly "mis-wrote" that bit!

I am enjoying this - you are proving very resistant to the my blandishments of Platonic morality! However I am taking a break from debates for a few days so mentally bookmark where we left off and I hope we continue this when I return.
Jerry947
Posts: 778
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5/12/2016 12:42:02 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/6/2016 9:03:23 PM, Danielle wrote:
Does the philosophical concept of objective morality mandate the existence of objective truth?

The existence of truth is obvious. No one can seriously deny that.

Can one exist without the other, and if so, which one?

Post your best arguments for objective morality that do not reference God.

Impossible. God is the only way for an objective moral law to exist.

(Then post your best arguments, even if you must reference God.)
Chaosism
Posts: 2,667
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5/12/2016 1:33:18 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/6/2016 9:03:23 PM, Danielle wrote:
Does the philosophical concept of objective morality mandate the existence of objective truth?

Can one exist without the other, and if so, which one?

Post your best arguments for objective morality that do not reference God.

(Then post your best arguments, even if you must reference God.)

I find the notion of "objective truth" to be incoherent. "Truth" is a description that we ascribe to a proposition or claim that indicates that it comports with reality. It's a concept that we humans invented as a useful tool to express this. "Truth", in of and itself, doesn't stand alone as a concept, except perhaps as a tautological description of objective reality, which is useless.