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The Moral argument

KingDebater
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3/25/2013 1:31:36 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Can somebody explain to me why this argument is sound? Also, in a universe without God morality is subjective, so isn't the idea of objective morality really just God's opinion?
philochristos
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3/25/2013 2:57:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 1:31:36 PM, KingDebater wrote:
Can somebody explain to me why this argument is sound? Also, in a universe without God morality is subjective, so isn't the idea of objective morality really just God's opinion?

The argument is sound for the same reason any deductive argument is sound--because its premises are true and its conclusion follows from its premises. :-)

I'm just messing with you. I understand what you mean. You want to know why we should think the premises are true.

The first premise is true because moral obligations are imperatives, and imperatives can only come from persons. If nobody is issuing commands, then there are no commands. We don't have to do anything if nobody is imposing the obligation on us.

The second premise is true because there are actually things we're obligated to do or refrain from doing. For example, feeding and taking care of your own kids is something you ought to do, and mother stabbing and father raping are things you ought not to do.

You raise a good objection, though. If morality is grounded in God, then it would seem that morality is subjective in some sense. A subjective statement is a statement whose truth value depends on the subject making the claim. For example, "ice cream tastes good" is only true for people who like the way ice cream tastes. It's something true about the person making the claim rather than about ice cream itself.

If what makes moral true is God believing in them, preferring them, etc., then they are subjective, with God being the subject.

So in what sense are they objective? Well, what makes them objective is that they are binding on everybody else independently of whether anybody else agrees with them or not. It's not like ice cream in which maybe you think it tastes good and maybe I don't. If God says something is right, and I say it's not right, then it isn't the case that it's right FOR HIM and wrong FOR ME. Rather, it's right for him AND me because God has moral authority over me. He has the right to impose obligations on me. If God thought something was right, and I thought it was wrong, my opinion woudn't just be "true for me." Rather, I would actually be incorrect. I could be claiming that I don't actually have an obligation when in fact I do.

So I would agree that morality is subjective from God's point of view, but it is objective from everybody else's point of view since God's subjective preferences extend beyond himself and are binding on everybody else independently of whether everybody else agrees with them or not.

Here are some sources on the moral argument, what it means for morals to be objective, and why we should think God has anything to do with it:

The first four chapters of Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

http://www.amazon.com...

This is one of the simplest and easiest to understand presentations of the moral argument in my opinion.

Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air by Frank Beckwith and Greg Koukl

http://www.amazon.com...

This book primarily argues for moral objectivism, but the last chapter makes an argument for why God is necessary for objective morals. This book is also very easy to understand.

Moral Values and the Idea of God by William Sorely

http://www.amazon.com...

This book is pretty hard to understand to be honest with you. Read at your own peril.

"The Absurdity of Life Without God" by William Lane Craig

http://www.reasonablefaith.org...

This one argues for why God is necessary for objective morals among other things.

First Things by Hadley Arkes

http://www.amazon.com...

This book makes an argument for moral objectivism. It's harder to understand than some things, but it's at least easier to understand than William Sorely's book.

"A simple explanation of the moral argument" by Glenn Andrews Peoples

http://www.beretta-online.com...

Just as the title suggests.

"The conditional premise of the moral argument" by Glenn Andrews Peoples

http://www.beretta-online.com...

This one defends the premise that God is necessary for objective morals.

"The Revenge of Conscience" by J. Budziszewski

http://www.firstthings.com...

This one is a little different. It's an attempt to show that morals are objectively known by looking at the behavior of people who try to avoid its reality.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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3/25/2013 2:59:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 1:31:36 PM, KingDebater wrote:
Can somebody explain to me why this argument is sound? Also, in a universe without God morality is subjective, so isn't the idea of objective morality really just God's opinion?

If we assume God exists, then no, morality wouldn't be subjective. The reason for this, is that God's views on morality would be based on his objective nature. Thus, it wouldn't be subjective, he would be basing it on that which is objective.

I do think that the moral argument is incredibly weak though. There is no reason to think that morality can only be objective if God exists, and even if that's the case, there is no good reason to think morality is objective (and actually more reasons, to think it is subjective due to how different cultures handle morality).
philochristos
Posts: 2,614
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3/25/2013 3:01:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Here's a debate between Greg Koukl (author of Relativism) and John Baker (professor of philosophy at the University of Calgary) on whether objective moral truths exist:
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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3/25/2013 3:10:14 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 2:57:52 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 3/25/2013 1:31:36 PM, KingDebater wrote:
Can somebody explain to me why this argument is sound? Also, in a universe without God morality is subjective, so isn't the idea of objective morality really just God's opinion?

The argument is sound for the same reason any deductive argument is sound--because its premises are true and its conclusion follows from its premises. :-)

I'm just messing with you. I understand what you mean. You want to know why we should think the premises are true.

The first premise is true because moral obligations are imperatives, and imperatives can only come from persons. If nobody is issuing commands, then there are no commands. We don't have to do anything if nobody is imposing the obligation on us.

This doesn't make a lot of sense, and it is a non-sequitur. Morality can only be objective if God exists, does not follow from morality requires commands. Why couldn't rape be wrong, even if nobody commanded us not to? Until you answer this, your defense here is rather week.

The second premise is true because there are actually things we're obligated to do or refrain from doing. For example, feeding and taking care of your own kids is something you ought to do, and mother stabbing and father raping are things you ought not to do.

Who says these moral "oughts" aren't subjective? You haven't really argued for anything here..


You raise a good objection, though. If morality is grounded in God, then it would seem that morality is subjective in some sense. A subjective statement is a statement whose truth value depends on the subject making the claim. For example, "ice cream tastes good" is only true for people who like the way ice cream tastes. It's something true about the person making the claim rather than about ice cream itself.

If what makes moral true is God believing in them, preferring them, etc., then they are subjective, with God being the subject.

So in what sense are they objective? Well, what makes them objective is that they are binding on everybody else independently of whether anybody else agrees with them or not.

What reason is there to believe this is true? Your whole defense of objective morality, is nothing more than begging the question against subjective morality.

It's not like ice cream in which maybe you think it tastes good and maybe I don't. If God says something is right, and I say it's not right, then it isn't the case that it's right FOR HIM and wrong FOR ME. Rather, it's right for him AND me because God has moral authority over me. He has the right to impose obligations on me. If God thought something was right, and I thought it was wrong, my opinion woudn't just be "true for me." Rather, I would actually be incorrect. I could be claiming that I don't actually have an obligation when in fact I do.

If God exists, then morality is objective, yes. This doesn't mean, that morality can only be objective if God exists.


So I would agree that morality is subjective from God's point of view, but it is objective from everybody else's point of view since God's subjective preferences extend beyond himself and are binding on everybody else independently of whether everybody else agrees with them or not.

Here are some sources on the moral argument, what it means for morals to be objective, and why we should think God has anything to do with it:

The first four chapters of Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

http://www.amazon.com...

This is one of the simplest and easiest to understand presentations of the moral argument in my opinion.

Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air by Frank Beckwith and Greg Koukl

http://www.amazon.com...

This book primarily argues for moral objectivism, but the last chapter makes an argument for why God is necessary for objective morals. This book is also very easy to understand.

Moral Values and the Idea of God by William Sorely

http://www.amazon.com...

This book is pretty hard to understand to be honest with you. Read at your own peril.

"The Absurdity of Life Without God" by William Lane Craig

http://www.reasonablefaith.org...

This one argues for why God is necessary for objective morals among other things.

First Things by Hadley Arkes

http://www.amazon.com...

This book makes an argument for moral objectivism. It's harder to understand than some things, but it's at least easier to understand than William Sorely's book.

"A simple explanation of the moral argument" by Glenn Andrews Peoples

http://www.beretta-online.com...

Just as the title suggests.

"The conditional premise of the moral argument" by Glenn Andrews Peoples

http://www.beretta-online.com...

This one defends the premise that God is necessary for objective morals.

"The Revenge of Conscience" by J. Budziszewski

http://www.firstthings.com...

This one is a little different. It's an attempt to show that morals are objectively known by looking at the behavior of people who try to avoid its reality.
philochristos
Posts: 2,614
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3/25/2013 3:42:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 3:10:14 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
The first premise is true because moral obligations are imperatives, and imperatives can only come from persons. If nobody is issuing commands, then there are no commands. We don't have to do anything if nobody is imposing the obligation on us.

This doesn't make a lot of sense, and it is a non-sequitur. Morality can only be objective if God exists, does not follow from morality requires commands. Why couldn't rape be wrong, even if nobody commanded us not to? Until you answer this, your defense here is rather week.

I like to think that my argument was month, but since I wasn't trying to give a robust defense of the premise, I guess it's not surprising that it would come across as week. :-) My intention in that post was to give KingDebater a short answer, then point him to resources that go into more detail in case he wants to learn about the argument.

How could rape be wrong if nobody forbade us from doing it? Morals are obligations. They are imperatives. To say that rape is wrong is to say that you ought not commit rape. The moral imposes a restriction on your behavior, so it is essentially a command. Commands only come from minds.

This seems intuitively obvious. Whenever somebody tells you that you ought to do something you don't believe you should do, isn't your first instinct to say, "Says who?"? If nobody with authority says, then you don't have to do it.

The second premise is true because there are actually things we're obligated to do or refrain from doing. For example, feeding and taking care of your own kids is something you ought to do, and mother stabbing and father raping are things you ought not to do.

Who says these moral "oughts" aren't subjective?

I do. So does every other moral objectivist.

You haven't really argued for anything here..

It wasn't my intention to give an argument. It was my intention to give specific examples. If you don't think parents are obligated to feed their children, or that we ought not stab our mothers or rape our fathers, then I suppose I'd have to come up with a different example in your case.

Strictly speaking, I don't think objective morality can be proved. Rather, I think it's the sort of things that can be known without proof. If I wanted to persuade somebody that there were objective morals, I'd try to come up with examples that they would find hard to deny, and I'd ask them to be honest with themselves about it. It's easy to simply deny that something is objectively right or wrong, but it's not nearly as easy to actually believe the denial or to live consistently with it.

It may not be possible to prove objective morality to somebody who is stubborn enough to deny them no matter what, but for those of us who, when we are perfectly honest with ourselves, do not doubt that there are objective morals, the moral argument for God is quite persuasive.

You raise a good objection, though. If morality is grounded in God, then it would seem that morality is subjective in some sense. A subjective statement is a statement whose truth value depends on the subject making the claim. For example, "ice cream tastes good" is only true for people who like the way ice cream tastes. It's something true about the person making the claim rather than about ice cream itself.

If what makes moral true is God believing in them, preferring them, etc., then they are subjective, with God being the subject.

So in what sense are they objective? Well, what makes them objective is that they are binding on everybody else independently of whether anybody else agrees with them or not.

What reason is there to believe this is true? Your whole defense of objective morality, is nothing more than begging the question against subjective morality.

You misunderstand me. At this point, I wasn't trying to prove that they were true. I was trying to explain what it meant for morals to be objective in light of the fact that they originate with God. So no, I wasn't begging the question. You're just not following my train of thought.

It's not like ice cream in which maybe you think it tastes good and maybe I don't. If God says something is right, and I say it's not right, then it isn't the case that it's right FOR HIM and wrong FOR ME. Rather, it's right for him AND me because God has moral authority over me. He has the right to impose obligations on me. If God thought something was right, and I thought it was wrong, my opinion woudn't just be "true for me." Rather, I would actually be incorrect. I could be claiming that I don't actually have an obligation when in fact I do.

If God exists, then morality is objective, yes. This doesn't mean, that morality can only be objective if God exists.

Of course that's not what I was arguing at this point.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Pwner
Posts: 92
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3/25/2013 3:55:50 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I think the best argument for moral realism is something like this: We should believe things are as they are perceived to be until we have good reason not to. Some moral properties are perceived to be objective. Thus, until we have good reason to think otherwise, we should believe there are objective moral properties. P. S. Error theory sucks even if Richard Joyce is a stud.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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3/25/2013 4:10:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 3:42:45 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 3/25/2013 3:10:14 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
The first premise is true because moral obligations are imperatives, and imperatives can only come from persons. If nobody is issuing commands, then there are no commands. We don't have to do anything if nobody is imposing the obligation on us.

This doesn't make a lot of sense, and it is a non-sequitur. Morality can only be objective if God exists, does not follow from morality requires commands. Why couldn't rape be wrong, even if nobody commanded us not to? Until you answer this, your defense here is rather week.

I like to think that my argument was month, but since I wasn't trying to give a robust defense of the premise, I guess it's not surprising that it would come across as week. :-)

Well played, I realized I made the typo right after.

My intention in that post was to give KingDebater a short answer, then point him to resources that go into more detail in case he wants to learn about the argument.

How could rape be wrong if nobody forbade us from doing it?

Switching the burden of proof. I'm not necessarily claiming that morality is subjective, I'm claiming that the burden of proof is on the one making the argument, and since that is you, you must show why it couldn't be wrong if nobody forbade us. You cannot defend a premise with, "how could the premise be wrong?".

Morals are obligations. They are imperatives.

Moral choices are based off of emotion. If nobody felt sympathy or anger when they hear about girls being raped, nobody would feel obligated to stop it. If you are claiming that objective morals have to deal with commands, there is no reason to believe that is true. Why couldn't rape be objectively wrong, even if nobody is there to tell us not to do it? You must show that is the case.

To say that rape is wrong is to say that you ought not commit rape. The moral imposes a restriction on your behavior, so it is essentially a command. Commands only come from minds.

Why couldn't it be true that you ought not to commit rape, even if nobody is there to command you not too? If you put two people in a room, and one person doesn't rape the other one but decides to help them, why couldn't have been objectively moral, even if nobody told that person to do it? I do not think your argument adds up at all.


This seems intuitively obvious.

That you are wrong? Yes it does lol

Whenever somebody tells you that you ought to do something you don't believe you should do, isn't your first instinct to say, "Says who?"? If nobody with authority says, then you don't have to do it.

Not at all. It's intuitively true, that certain things feel wrong, and not because anybody has told me not to do it. This is where your whole argument falls apart. If I don't kill somebody, its not because my parents, God, or the government told me it was wrong...It's because I feel it is wrong due to certain emotions that most of us have. There are times however, when it certainly helps to have an authority figure to enforce morality, but "enforcing morality" is not the same thing as "grounding" morality. you have to show why morality has to be grounded in an authority of some kind.


The second premise is true because there are actually things we're obligated to do or refrain from doing. For example, feeding and taking care of your own kids is something you ought to do, and mother stabbing and father raping are things you ought not to do.

Who says these moral "oughts" aren't subjective?

I do. So does every other moral objectivist.

What reason is there to believe this is true?


You haven't really argued for anything here..

It wasn't my intention to give an argument. It was my intention to give specific examples. If you don't think parents are obligated to feed their children, or that we ought not stab our mothers or rape our fathers, then I suppose I'd have to come up with a different example in your case.

This all boils down to what you mean by "obligated". Do you mean, simply, have the feeling of obligation? Do you mean, obligated by the government and the rest of society? Obligated by God? I mean, I believe give ourselves obligations, and other humans do. I see now evidence, of an obligation given by a God like being.


Strictly speaking, I don't think objective morality can be proved. Rather, I think it's the sort of things that can be known without proof.

How so? I think morality being subjective is much more likely.

If I wanted to persuade somebody that there were objective morals, I'd try to come up with examples that they would find hard to deny, and I'd ask them to be honest with themselves about it. It's easy to simply deny that something is objectively right or wrong, but it's not nearly as easy to actually believe the denial or to live consistently with it.

So your only support is a fallacious appeal to emotion? Interesting...And I would have no problem in saying that raping a child isn't objectively wrong. It would be subjectively wrong, I think it's wrong, and so do most people, whether it actually objectively true on a cosmic scale or not doesn't matter. So, even if it's true that most of us think it's wrong, that doesn't mean it's actually true. It just means that's how we feel based on commonly shared emotions. Is it actually objectively true that The Godfather is a good movie? No, that statement is just an expression based on commonly shared emotions. It's true, but in a collectively subjective way.


It may not be possible to prove objective morality to somebody who is stubborn enough to deny them no matter what, but for those of us who, when we are perfectly honest with ourselves, do not doubt that there are objective morals, the moral argument for God is quite persuasive.

"If your perfectly honest with yourself, you will see I'm right". Horrible argument...


You raise a good objection, though. If morality is grounded in God, then it would seem that morality is subjective in some sense. A subjective statement is a statement whose truth value depends on the subject making the claim. For example, "ice cream tastes good" is only true for people who like the way ice cream tastes. It's something true about the person making the claim rather than about ice cream itself.

If what makes moral true is God believing in them, preferring them, etc., then they are subjective, with God being the subject.

So in what sense are they objective? Well, what makes them objective is that they are binding on everybody else independently of whether anybody else agrees with them or not.

What reason is there to believe this is true? Your whole defense of objective morality, is nothing more than begging the question against subjective morality.

You misunderstand me. At this point, I wasn't trying to prove that they were true. I was trying to explain what it meant for morals to be objective in light of the fact that they originate with God. So no, I wasn't begging the question. You're just not following my train of thought.

It's not like ice cream in which maybe you think it tastes good and maybe I don't. If God says something is right, and I say it's not right, then it isn't the case that it's right FOR HIM and wrong FOR ME. Rather, it's right for him AND me because God has moral authority over me. He has the right to impose obligations on me. If God thought something was right, and I thought it was wrong, my opinion woudn't just be "true for me." Rather, I would actually be incorrect. I could be claiming that I don't actually have an obligation when in fact I do.

If God exists, then morality is objective, yes. This doesn't mean, that morality can only be objective if God exists.
Rational_Thinker9119
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3/25/2013 4:16:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 3:55:50 PM, Pwner wrote:
I think the best argument for moral realism is something like this: We should believe things are as they are perceived to be until we have good reason not to.

This logic completely craps all over the logic which objects to gratuitous suffering. However, if you would like to use it, it still won't get you far.

Some moral properties are perceived to be objective.

Some moral properties are perceived to be subjective as well. Hence, why many people believe morality is subjective. Many people, also just let their emotions get the best of them, and don't like to admit that morality is not objective due to some internal guilt. That still, doesn't mean we can conclude that morality is objective by any stretch.

Thus, until we have good reason to think otherwise, we should believe there are objective moral properties. P. S. Error theory sucks even if Richard Joyce is a stud.

Same argument could be thrown at switched around buddy ;)
Pwner
Posts: 92
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3/25/2013 4:32:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 4:16:15 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 3/25/2013 3:55:50 PM, Pwner wrote:
I think the best argument for moral realism is something like this: We should believe things are as they are perceived to be until we have good reason not to.

This logic completely craps all over the logic which objects to gratuitous suffering. However, if you would like to use it, it still won't get you far.

Some moral properties are perceived to be objective.

Some moral properties are perceived to be subjective as well. Hence, why many people believe morality is subjective. Many people, also just let their emotions get the best of them, and don't like to admit that morality is not objective due to some internal guilt. That still, doesn't mean we can conclude that morality is objective by any stretch.


Thus, until we have good reason to think otherwise, we should believe there are objective moral properties. P. S. Error theory sucks even if Richard Joyce is a stud.

Same argument could be thrown at switched around buddy ;)

I think there is gratuitous suffering. Also, some moral properties being subjective wouldn't contradict others being objective, so the contrary perceptions aren't contradictory.

But, the argument I've outlined is the standard justification for moral realism in the philosophy of morality. All we need is the principle of credulity--which is fundamental to rationality--and for it to seem to someone that a moral property is objective--an item of common sense.
Rational_Thinker9119
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3/25/2013 4:57:01 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 4:32:05 PM, Pwner wrote:
At 3/25/2013 4:16:15 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 3/25/2013 3:55:50 PM, Pwner wrote:
I think the best argument for moral realism is something like this: We should believe things are as they are perceived to be until we have good reason not to.

This logic completely craps all over the logic which objects to gratuitous suffering. However, if you would like to use it, it still won't get you far.

Some moral properties are perceived to be objective.

Some moral properties are perceived to be subjective as well. Hence, why many people believe morality is subjective. Many people, also just let their emotions get the best of them, and don't like to admit that morality is not objective due to some internal guilt. That still, doesn't mean we can conclude that morality is objective by any stretch.


Thus, until we have good reason to think otherwise, we should believe there are objective moral properties. P. S. Error theory sucks even if Richard Joyce is a stud.

Same argument could be thrown at switched around buddy ;)

I think there is gratuitous suffering. Also, some moral properties being subjective wouldn't contradict others being objective, so the contrary perceptions aren't contradictory.

Fair enough. However, even though objective morality could exist, along with people's subjective views of morality (which may, or not be in line with the objective morality), it's still true that the question of moral truth is overall, a subjective matter or objective matter. Basically, either objective morality and subjective morality exist simultaneously, or only subjective morality exists. I see no reason to give the leg up to objective morality existing as well, seems like unneeded fat.


But, the argument I've outlined is the standard justification for moral realism in the philosophy of morality. All we need is the principle of credulity--which is fundamental to rationality--and for it to seem to someone that a moral property is objective--an item of common sense.

You are missing the point, entirely. Some people may perceive morality as existing objectively along with people's thrown in subjective spices, and some perceive it as only being subjective. These two contradict each other, and you have given no reason to give the leg up to your conclusion.

Also, it seems as if you are comparing deep moral questions to looking at an apple. Which is a huge mistake...The Principle of Credulity is best applied when dealing with a situation where you look at an apple, you perceive the apple is there, so it's rational to assume it really is there and it's not like your imagining it or you are in the matrix. However, when applied to moral questions like these, people's perceptions may not be based on that which is that credible, like emotions.

Basically, someone having an emotional feeling that something is objectively wrong, does not conclude truth like viewing, touching, tasting, and smelling an apple. When you use the word "perceive", it seems you are equivocating between "What we pick up with our physical senses" and "what we pick up from our emotions".

Yes, if I press a button on a TV and the channel changes, it's safe to say that I actually changed the channel. However, if I'm a Godfather fan and I perceive it as actually good based on the emotions it brought out in me, that in no way shape or form supports the notion that the Godfather is objectively a good movie.
philochristos
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3/25/2013 5:58:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 4:10:55 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 3/25/2013 3:42:45 PM, philochristos wrote:
How could rape be wrong if nobody forbade us from doing it?

Switching the burden of proof. I'm not necessarily claiming that morality is subjective, I'm claiming that the burden of proof is on the one making the argument, and since that is you, you must show why it couldn't be wrong if nobody forbade us. You cannot defend a premise with, "how could the premise be wrong?".

I'm not shifting the burden of proof. I'm not even attempting to debate with you. My question was rhetorical. I don't see how rape could be wrong if nobody forbade us to do it. If you think it could, then good for you. I don't have any burden of proof. If I really wanted to convince you, I'd have to assume the burden of proving something to you, but I'm not interested in doing that. If you don't agree with me, I'm sure I can live with it. Now, if you want to convince me to that I'm wrong, then you do have a burden because I'm not going to change my mind just because I haven't fulfilled my own burden of proving something to you.

Morals are obligations. They are imperatives.

Moral choices are based off of emotion. If nobody felt sympathy or anger when they hear about girls being raped, nobody would feel obligated to stop it. If you are claiming that objective morals have to deal with commands, there is no reason to believe that is true. Why couldn't rape be objectively wrong, even if nobody is there to tell us not to do it? You must show that is the case.

To say that rape is wrong is to say that you ought not commit rape. The moral imposes a restriction on your behavior, so it is essentially a command. Commands only come from minds.

Why couldn't it be true that you ought not to commit rape, even if nobody is there to command you not too? If you put two people in a room, and one person doesn't rape the other one but decides to help them, why couldn't have been objectively moral, even if nobody told that person to do it? I do not think your argument adds up at all.

Didn't I just answer this?

Whenever somebody tells you that you ought to do something you don't believe you should do, isn't your first instinct to say, "Says who?"? If nobody with authority says, then you don't have to do it.

Not at all. It's intuitively true, that certain things feel wrong, and not because anybody has told me not to do it. This is where your whole argument falls apart. If I don't kill somebody, its not because my parents, God, or the government told me it was wrong...It's because I feel it is wrong due to certain emotions that most of us have. There are times however, when it certainly helps to have an authority figure to enforce morality, but "enforcing morality" is not the same thing as "grounding" morality. you have to show why morality has to be grounded in an authority of some kind.

I've already explained that. And you seem to be confusing moral ontology with moral epistemology by claiming that because you "feel" morally obligated, that you therefore don't need an authority to tell you what to do. That is completely irrelevant to whether you can actually have an obligation apart from an authority.

The second premise is true because there are actually things we're obligated to do or refrain from doing. For example, feeding and taking care of your own kids is something you ought to do, and mother stabbing and father raping are things you ought not to do.

Who says these moral "oughts" aren't subjective?

I do. So does every other moral objectivist.

What reason is there to believe this is true?

Because that's what it means to be a moral objectivist.

This all boils down to what you mean by "obligated". Do you mean, simply, have the feeling of obligation? Do you mean, obligated by the government and the rest of society? Obligated by God? I mean, I believe give ourselves obligations, and other humans do. I see now evidence, of an obligation given by a God like being.

"Obligated" means to have something required of you, to have a duty, to be under imperative, to have an 'ought' that applies to your behavior, etc. It has nothing to do with your feelings or who is imposing the obligation on you.

Strictly speaking, I don't think objective morality can be proved. Rather, I think it's the sort of things that can be known without proof.

How so?

By moral intuition.

If I wanted to persuade somebody that there were objective morals, I'd try to come up with examples that they would find hard to deny, and I'd ask them to be honest with themselves about it. It's easy to simply deny that something is objectively right or wrong, but it's not nearly as easy to actually believe the denial or to live consistently with it.

So your only support is a fallacious appeal to emotion?

I make no appeal to emotions, fallacious or otherwise. I simply give examples and ask people to be honest about whether they think it's right, wrong, or neither.

And I would have no problem in saying that raping a child isn't objectively wrong. It would be subjectively wrong, I think it's wrong, and so do most people, whether it actually objectively true on a cosmic scale or not doesn't matter. So, even if it's true that most of us think it's wrong, that doesn't mean it's actually true. It just means that's how we feel based on commonly shared emotions. Is it actually objectively true that The Godfather is a good movie? No, that statement is just an expression based on commonly shared emotions. It's true, but in a collectively subjective way.

If that were really true, then wouldn't debate on moral issues be just as meaningless as debates on whether chocolate or vanilla tastes better? Wouldn't judging other people's behavior be irrational since to judge somebody is to pretend that they actually ought to have behaved differently than they did?

It may not be possible to prove objective morality to somebody who is stubborn enough to deny them no matter what, but for those of us who, when we are perfectly honest with ourselves, do not doubt that there are objective morals, the moral argument for God is quite persuasive.

"If your perfectly honest with yourself, you will see I'm right". Horrible argument...

That's a strawman. In fact, I wasn't making an argument at all.

Rational Thinker, you seem to be having a difficult time following my train of thought in this conversation. I don't hold that against you since I acknowledge that the fault could be my own in not explaining myself very well. But it is tiresome to go back and forth repeating myself and straightening out your misunderstandings. My original intention in this thread was not to give a robust defense of the premises of the moral argument, but you keep pressing me to do so anyway. you keep trying to suck me into a debate about it. You don't seem very interesting in understanding what I'm actually trying to say. Instead, you seem to be in fight mode. You act as if everything I say is meant to be an argument for a position I'm trying to prove. That makes me not want to continue.

Also, your reduction of morality to emotion is something I have serious problems with, but going into it would require a lot of explaining, and I'm pretty sure if I even begun to raise objections to it, I'd get sucked into another long debate with you in which I've got a burden of proof. I don't have a burden of proving anything to you I don't feel like proving. If I want to change your mind about something, then I'll decide whether it's worth the trouble of offering you arguments, and if you want to change my mind, then it's up to you to offer arguments. But this is not a formal debate, and neither of us has a burden of proving anything we don't feel like proving.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Rational_Thinker9119
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3/25/2013 6:19:13 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 5:58:25 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 3/25/2013 4:10:55 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 3/25/2013 3:42:45 PM, philochristos wrote:
How could rape be wrong if nobody forbade us from doing it?

Switching the burden of proof. I'm not necessarily claiming that morality is subjective, I'm claiming that the burden of proof is on the one making the argument, and since that is you, you must show why it couldn't be wrong if nobody forbade us. You cannot defend a premise with, "how could the premise be wrong?".

I'm not shifting the burden of proof. I'm not even attempting to debate with you. My question was rhetorical. I don't see how rape could be wrong if nobody forbade us to do it.

I don't see how it couldn't.

If you think it could, then good for you. I don't have any burden of proof. If I really wanted to convince you, I'd have to assume the burden of proving something to you, but I'm not interested in doing that. If you don't agree with me, I'm sure I can live with it. Now, if you want to convince me to that I'm wrong, then you do have a burden because I'm not going to change my mind just because I haven't fulfilled my own burden of proving something to you.

I'm just wandering what there is to actually back up the moral argument, you put in your 2 cents (on a debate website), so don't be shocked when someone calls you out on what you post.


Morals are obligations. They are imperatives.

Moral choices are based off of emotion. If nobody felt sympathy or anger when they hear about girls being raped, nobody would feel obligated to stop it. If you are claiming that objective morals have to deal with commands, there is no reason to believe that is true. Why couldn't rape be objectively wrong, even if nobody is there to tell us not to do it? You must show that is the case.

To say that rape is wrong is to say that you ought not commit rape. The moral imposes a restriction on your behavior, so it is essentially a command. Commands only come from minds.

Why couldn't it be true that you ought not to commit rape, even if nobody is there to command you not too? If you put two people in a room, and one person doesn't rape the other one but decides to help them, why couldn't have been objectively moral, even if nobody told that person to do it? I do not think your argument adds up at all.

Didn't I just answer this?

No, you did not address this issue. You just sad that you couldn't see how something could be moral, even if nobody is there to tell us. That gets us nowhere though, because there is nothing to back up that view.


Whenever somebody tells you that you ought to do something you don't believe you should do, isn't your first instinct to say, "Says who?"? If nobody with authority says, then you don't have to do it.

Not at all. It's intuitively true, that certain things feel wrong, and not because anybody has told me not to do it. This is where your whole argument falls apart. If I don't kill somebody, its not because my parents, God, or the government told me it was wrong...It's because I feel it is wrong due to certain emotions that most of us have. There are times however, when it certainly helps to have an authority figure to enforce morality, but "enforcing morality" is not the same thing as "grounding" morality. you have to show why morality has to be grounded in an authority of some kind.

I've already explained that. And you seem to be confusing moral ontology with moral epistemology by claiming that because you "feel" morally obligated, that you therefore don't need an authority to tell you what to do. That is completely irrelevant to whether you can actually have an obligation apart from an authority.

I believe in self-obligation, and obligations imposed by society and government. There is no evidence for any moral obligations from God.


The second premise is true because there are actually things we're obligated to do or refrain from doing. For example, feeding and taking care of your own kids is something you ought to do, and mother stabbing and father raping are things you ought not to do.

Who says these moral "oughts" aren't subjective?

I do. So does every other moral objectivist.

What reason is there to believe this is true?

Because that's what it means to be a moral objectivist.

I mean, what reason is there to believe the position you adhere to is true.


This all boils down to what you mean by "obligated". Do you mean, simply, have the feeling of obligation? Do you mean, obligated by the government and the rest of society? Obligated by God? I mean, I believe give ourselves obligations, and other humans do. I see now evidence, of an obligation given by a God like being.

"Obligated" means to have something required of you, to have a duty, to be under imperative, to have an 'ought' that applies to your behavior, etc. It has nothing to do with your feelings or who is imposing the obligation on you.

Yes, I do feel obligated to do good. However, that's self obligation due to my own conscious, and my view on morality.

Strictly speaking, I don't think objective morality can be proved. Rather, I think it's the sort of things that can be known without proof.

How so?

By moral intuition.

We all share the same intuition, that 'x' is wrong. However, there is no reason to think that 'x' is objectively wrong, over collectively subjective. My intuition tells me morals are like taste, most people like steak but some don't. Just like most people don't agree with raping boys, but some do. However, my intuition may be wrong. Intuition is not always the best source for truth.


If I wanted to persuade somebody that there were objective morals, I'd try to come up with examples that they would find hard to deny, and I'd ask them to be honest with themselves about it. It's easy to simply deny that something is objectively right or wrong, but it's not nearly as easy to actually believe the denial or to live consistently with it.

So your only support is a fallacious appeal to emotion?

I make no appeal to emotions, fallacious or otherwise. I simply give examples and ask people to be honest about whether they think it's right, wrong, or neither.

And I would have no problem in saying that raping a child isn't objectively wrong. It would be subjectively wrong, I think it's wrong, and so do most people, whether it actually objectively true on a cosmic scale or not doesn't matter. So, even if it's true that most of us think it's wrong, that doesn't mean it's actually true. It just means that's how we feel based on commonly shared emotions. Is it actually objectively true that The Godfather is a good movie? No, that statement is just an expression based on commonly shared emotions. It's true, but in a collectively subjective way.

If that were really true, then wouldn't debate on moral issues be just as meaningless as debates on whether chocolate or vanilla tastes better? Wouldn't judging other people's behavior be irrational since to judge somebody is to pretend that they actually ought to have behaved differently than they did?

It may not be possible to prove objective morality to somebody who is stubborn enough to deny them no matter what, but for those of us who, when we are perfectly honest with ourselves, do not doubt that there are objective morals, the moral argument for God is quite persuasive.

"If your perfectly honest with yourself, you will see I'm right". Horrible argument...

That's a strawman. In fact, I wasn't making an argument at all.
Rational_Thinker9119
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3/25/2013 6:37:08 PM
Posted: 3 years ago

If I wanted to persuade somebody that there were objective morals, I'd try to come up with examples that they would find hard to deny, and I'd ask them to be honest with themselves about it. It's easy to simply deny that something is objectively right or wrong, but it's not nearly as easy to actually believe the denial or to live consistently with it.

So your only support is a fallacious appeal to emotion?

I make no appeal to emotions, fallacious or otherwise. I simply give examples and ask people to be honest about whether they think it's right, wrong, or neither.


And I would have no problem in saying that raping a child isn't objectively wrong. It would be subjectively wrong, I think it's wrong, and so do most people, whether it actually objectively true on a cosmic scale or not doesn't matter. So, even if it's true that most of us think it's wrong, that doesn't mean it's actually true. It just means that's how we feel based on commonly shared emotions. Is it actually objectively true that The Godfather is a good movie? No, that statement is just an expression based on commonly shared emotions. It's true, but in a collectively subjective way.

If that were really true, then wouldn't debate on moral issues be just as meaningless as debates on whether chocolate or vanilla tastes better?

Obviously not. Moral issues can cause emotional and physical damage, which is much more important than issues of ice cream to most people. Even if they were both subjective, that doesn't mean that they have the same importance. That's a non-sequitur.

Wouldn't judging other people's behavior be irrational since to judge somebody is to pretend that they actually ought to have behaved differently than they did?

Not if you have goal behind said "ought". If the goal is to have a thriving society where people live in peace and without fear, then we objectively ought not to rape and kill people. That would objectively go against the goal no matter what anybodies opinion is. However, without that goal, it is true, that it, really doesn't matter. Thus, even if humans have a collectively subjective goal, the "ought" associated with that goal, could be considered objective. If I make up a subjective goal to run 10 miles for example, and I quit due to laziness at 8, it would be justified to say I ought to have ran the extra 2 miles. This is because there is now a a framework grounding this "ought". So, yes, if humans collectively have a goal to live in a society like 'x'. then something can objectively go against it, and we can actually say 'x' shouldn't have happened. If you call that objective or subjective, I don't know.


It may not be possible to prove objective morality to somebody who is stubborn enough to deny them no matter what, but for those of us who, when we are perfectly honest with ourselves, do not doubt that there are objective morals, the moral argument for God is quite persuasive.

"If your perfectly honest with yourself, you will see I'm right". Horrible argument...

That's a strawman. In fact, I wasn't making an argument at all.

Stating your point and attempting to back it up, is making an argument. Whether or not that was your intention, is a different story.


Rational Thinker, you seem to be having a difficult time following my train of thought in this conversation. I don't hold that against you since I acknowledge that the fault could be my own in not explaining myself very well. But it is tiresome to go back and forth repeating myself and straightening out your misunderstandings. My original intention in this thread was not to give a robust defense of the premises of the moral argument, but you keep pressing me to do so anyway. you keep trying to suck me into a debate about it. You don't seem very interesting in understanding what I'm actually trying to say. Instead, you seem to be in fight mode. You act as if everything I say is meant to be an argument for a position I'm trying to prove. That makes me not want to continue.

If you are not here to defend the moral argument, then with all due respects, I do not want you to continue.


Also, your reduction of morality to emotion is something I have serious problems with, but going into it would require a lot of explaining, and I'm pretty sure if I even begun to raise objections to it, I'd get sucked into another long debate with you in which I've got a burden of proof.

If you don't want to defend your position, then there is no point in stating it on a debate website. Just saying...
Rational_Thinker9119
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3/25/2013 6:39:56 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Correction

*So, yes, if humans collectively have a goal to live in a society like 'x', then something can objectively go against it (y) , and we can actually say 'y' shouldn't have happened. If you call that "ought" objective or subjective, I don't know.
philochristos
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3/25/2013 7:07:31 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 6:19:13 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I'm just wandering what there is to actually back up the moral argument, you put in your 2 cents (on a debate website), so don't be shocked when someone calls you out on what you post.

I'm not shocked. And you shouldn't be shocked in a discussion forum on a debate site when I don't feel like proving everything I say or treating every conversation as if it were a formal debate.

Why couldn't it be true that you ought not to commit rape, even if nobody is there to command you not too? If you put two people in a room, and one person doesn't rape the other one but decides to help them, why couldn't have been objectively moral, even if nobody told that person to do it? I do not think your argument adds up at all.

Didn't I just answer this?

No, you did not address this issue.

Yes, I did. I said, "Morals are obligations. They are imperatives. To say that rape is wrong is to say that you ought not commit rape. The moral imposes a restriction on your behavior, so it is essentially a command. Commands only come from minds. This seems intuitively obvious. Whenever somebody tells you that you ought to do something you don't believe you should do, isn't your first instinct to say, 'Says who?'? If nobody with authority says, then you don't have to do it."

Granted, you didn't find my explanation persuasive, but don't pretend like I didn't address the issue.

You just sad that you couldn't see how something could be moral, even if nobody is there to tell us. That gets us nowhere though, because there is nothing to back up that view.

Where is it supposed to get us? Why do I need to back it up? I'm just reporting autobiography. I'm telling you what I think.

I suspect you may have a misunderstanding about what I meant, though. You appear to think I'm saying that unless somebody tells me X is wrong, then I cannot know that X is wrong. But that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that X can't BE wrong unless somebody forbids X.

Who says these moral "oughts" aren't subjective?

I do. So does every other moral objectivist.

What reason is there to believe this is true?

Because that's what it means to be a moral objectivist.

I mean, what reason is there to believe the position you adhere to is true.

You mean why am I a moral objectivist? It's because I can't shake the belief that there are objective morals. I simply affirm the obvious.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
philochristos
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3/25/2013 7:38:16 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 6:37:08 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
And I would have no problem in saying that raping a child isn't objectively wrong. It would be subjectively wrong, I think it's wrong, and so do most people, whether it actually objectively true on a cosmic scale or not doesn't matter. So, even if it's true that most of us think it's wrong, that doesn't mean it's actually true. It just means that's how we feel based on commonly shared emotions. Is it actually objectively true that The Godfather is a good movie? No, that statement is just an expression based on commonly shared emotions. It's true, but in a collectively subjective way.

If that were really true, then wouldn't debate on moral issues be just as meaningless as debates on whether chocolate or vanilla tastes better?

Obviously not. Moral issues can cause emotional and physical damage, which is much more important than issues of ice cream to most people. Even if they were both subjective, that doesn't mean that they have the same importance. That's a non-sequitur.

It's not a non-sequitur. You just misunderstood my meaning again. Lemme explain myself a little better. Say two people want to argue over whether the statement, "Abortion is morally wrong," is true. It only make sense to have this argument if you believe there is some objective truth to the matter because unless there is some objective truth to the matter, then neither one of them is correct, and neither one of them is incorrect. If there are no objective morals, then having moral debates is just like arguing over whether peanut butter tastes good. There's no right or wrong answer to that question because it's subjective.

Now, I grant that apart from objective morality, one can still make a pragmatic case for why we ought to behave in certain ways. But a pragmatic ought is not the same thing as a moral ought. We ought to change the oil in our cars because it is advantageous for us to do so, but that doesn't mean we're being immoral if we don't. So I totally agree with you than an argument over whether we pragmatically ought to behave in certain ways is important, but that doesn't negate what I said.

So let me ask you again. If that were really true [that morals are only subjective, and not objective], then wouldn't debate on moral issues [i.e. debates on whether certain statements of morality are true or not] be just as meaningless as debates on whether chocolate or vanilla tastes better?

Wouldn't judging other people's behavior be irrational since to judge somebody is to pretend that they actually ought to have behaved differently than they did?

Not if you have goal behind said "ought". If the goal is to have a thriving society where people live in peace and without fear, then we objectively ought not to rape and kill people.

But that's a pragmatic ought, not a moral ought. I'm asking whether it would be rational to make moral judgments about people--e.i. to accuse people of immorality--if there are no objective morals, and if morality is subjective. Would it not be rationally incorrect to say that somebody is guilty of immorality if there are no moral obligations that actually apply to that person?

So, yes, if humans collectively have a goal to live in a society like 'x'. then something can objectively go against it, and we can actually say 'x' shouldn't have happened. If you call that objective or subjective, I don't know.

The important thing is that I wouldn't call it morality, so whether it's subjective or objective is moot as far as this conversation goes. That is using "should" in a different sense.

It may not be possible to prove objective morality to somebody who is stubborn enough to deny them no matter what, but for those of us who, when we are perfectly honest with ourselves, do not doubt that there are objective morals, the moral argument for God is quite persuasive.

"If your perfectly honest with yourself, you will see I'm right". Horrible argument...

That's a strawman. In fact, I wasn't making an argument at all.

Stating your point and attempting to back it up, is making an argument. Whether or not that was your intention, is a different story.

It wasn't my intention. I didn't state a point and then try to back it up. Just read what I said. I really don't think I was that unclear, and I can't imagine where you got your misinterpretation from.

If you are not here to defend the moral argument, then with all due respects, I do not want you to continue.

Argue with you or go away, huh? That's fine. Just as I'm under no obligation argue for and prove everything I say, you're under no obligation to have conversations that aren't debates.

Also, your reduction of morality to emotion is something I have serious problems with, but going into it would require a lot of explaining, and I'm pretty sure if I even begun to raise objections to it, I'd get sucked into another long debate with you in which I've got a burden of proof.

If you don't want to defend your position, then there is no point in stating it on a debate website. Just saying...

Really? There's no reason to talk unless we're going to be engaged in a debate? That's ridiculous. Just because this is a debate site doesn't mean every interaction has to be a debate. I'd tire of this place quickly if that were the case. Or at least I'd limit my interaction a lot more.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Rational_Thinker9119
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3/25/2013 7:53:56 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 7:07:31 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 3/25/2013 6:19:13 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I'm just wandering what there is to actually back up the moral argument, you put in your 2 cents (on a debate website), so don't be shocked when someone calls you out on what you post.

I'm not shocked. And you shouldn't be shocked in a discussion forum on a debate site when I don't feel like proving everything I say or treating every conversation as if it were a formal debate.

Why couldn't it be true that you ought not to commit rape, even if nobody is there to command you not too? If you put two people in a room, and one person doesn't rape the other one but decides to help them, why couldn't have been objectively moral, even if nobody told that person to do it? I do not think your argument adds up at all.

Didn't I just answer this?

No, you did not address this issue.

Yes, I did. I said, "Morals are obligations. They are imperatives. To say that rape is wrong is to say that you ought not commit rape. The moral imposes a restriction on your behavior, so it is essentially a command. Commands only come from minds. This seems intuitively obvious. Whenever somebody tells you that you ought to do something you don't believe you should do, isn't your first instinct to say, 'Says who?'? If nobody with authority says, then you don't have to do it."

Granted, you didn't find my explanation persuasive, but don't pretend like I didn't address the issue.

You just sad that you couldn't see how something could be moral, even if nobody is there to tell us. That gets us nowhere though, because there is nothing to back up that view.

Where is it supposed to get us? Why do I need to back it up? I'm just reporting autobiography. I'm telling you what I think.

I suspect you may have a misunderstanding about what I meant, though. You appear to think I'm saying that unless somebody tells me X is wrong, then I cannot know that X is wrong. But that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that X can't BE wrong unless somebody forbids X.

Who says these moral "oughts" aren't subjective?

I do. So does every other moral objectivist.

What reason is there to believe this is true?

Because that's what it means to be a moral objectivist.

I mean, what reason is there to believe the position you adhere to is true.

You mean why am I a moral objectivist? It's because I can't shake the belief that there are objective morals. I simply affirm the obvious.

Obvious to you, you mean. It's obviously a topic of debate, acting like your position's truth is just obvious, is nothing more than petty intellectual laziness.
Apeiron
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3/25/2013 8:06:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 7:53:56 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 3/25/2013 7:07:31 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 3/25/2013 6:19:13 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I'm just wandering what there is to actually back up the moral argument, you put in your 2 cents (on a debate website), so don't be shocked when someone calls you out on what you post.

I'm not shocked. And you shouldn't be shocked in a discussion forum on a debate site when I don't feel like proving everything I say or treating every conversation as if it were a formal debate.

Why couldn't it be true that you ought not to commit rape, even if nobody is there to command you not too? If you put two people in a room, and one person doesn't rape the other one but decides to help them, why couldn't have been objectively moral, even if nobody told that person to do it? I do not think your argument adds up at all.

Didn't I just answer this?

No, you did not address this issue.

Yes, I did. I said, "Morals are obligations. They are imperatives. To say that rape is wrong is to say that you ought not commit rape. The moral imposes a restriction on your behavior, so it is essentially a command. Commands only come from minds. This seems intuitively obvious. Whenever somebody tells you that you ought to do something you don't believe you should do, isn't your first instinct to say, 'Says who?'? If nobody with authority says, then you don't have to do it."

Granted, you didn't find my explanation persuasive, but don't pretend like I didn't address the issue.

You just sad that you couldn't see how something could be moral, even if nobody is there to tell us. That gets us nowhere though, because there is nothing to back up that view.

Where is it supposed to get us? Why do I need to back it up? I'm just reporting autobiography. I'm telling you what I think.

I suspect you may have a misunderstanding about what I meant, though. You appear to think I'm saying that unless somebody tells me X is wrong, then I cannot know that X is wrong. But that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that X can't BE wrong unless somebody forbids X.

Who says these moral "oughts" aren't subjective?

I do. So does every other moral objectivist.

What reason is there to believe this is true?

Because that's what it means to be a moral objectivist.

I mean, what reason is there to believe the position you adhere to is true.

You mean why am I a moral objectivist? It's because I can't shake the belief that there are objective morals. I simply affirm the obvious.

Obvious to you, you mean. It's obviously a topic of debate, acting like your position's truth is just obvious, is nothing more than petty intellectual laziness.

That is NOT intellectual laziness. Something that's obvious to someone can be prima facie justified and self-evident based on their experience. All you would have to do is give defeaters for such a basic belief, but in your lack of offering any sound defeater, philos is rational in believing what's obvious to him. And if I know philos, the man doesn't just look around the world and take it as is, he offers potential defeaters for himself and toys around with them. This isn't intellectual laziness, it's the best we limited perceivers have. What you're doing is raising the epistemic bar so unreasonably high when it comes to folks who you disagree with, then lowering it so low as to be a given for whatever you argue to be the case. That's all I've seen so far in your discussion. Let's see if it continues.
Rational_Thinker9119
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3/25/2013 8:17:19 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 7:38:16 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 3/25/2013 6:37:08 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
And I would have no problem in saying that raping a child isn't objectively wrong. It would be subjectively wrong, I think it's wrong, and so do most people, whether it actually objectively true on a cosmic scale or not doesn't matter. So, even if it's true that most of us think it's wrong, that doesn't mean it's actually true. It just means that's how we feel based on commonly shared emotions. Is it actually objectively true that The Godfather is a good movie? No, that statement is just an expression based on commonly shared emotions. It's true, but in a collectively subjective way.

If that were really true, then wouldn't debate on moral issues be just as meaningless as debates on whether chocolate or vanilla tastes better?

Obviously not. Moral issues can cause emotional and physical damage, which is much more important than issues of ice cream to most people. Even if they were both subjective, that doesn't mean that they have the same importance. That's a non-sequitur.

It's not a non-sequitur. You just misunderstood my meaning again. Lemme explain myself a little better. Say two people want to argue over whether the statement, "Abortion is morally wrong," is true. It only make sense to have this argument if you believe there is some objective truth to the matter because unless there is some objective truth to the matter, then neither one of them is correct, and neither one of them is incorrect. If there are no objective morals, then having moral debates is just like arguing over whether peanut butter tastes good. There's no right or wrong answer to that question because it's subjective.

I see your point, but as I've already said, if you have a goal in mind, then there is a right or wrong answer. Also, even though The Godfather being a better movie than Freddie Got Fingered is a subjective claim for example, one can still make more rational arguments in favor of that notion, than against, even though it's ultimately subjective. There is nothing in the universe, which makes The Godfather being a better movie than Freddie Got Fingered ontologically objectively true. However, it wouldn't be irrational to have that debate.


Now, I grant that apart from objective morality, one can still make a pragmatic case for why we ought to behave in certain ways. But a pragmatic ought is not the same thing as a moral ought.We ought to change the oil in our cars because it is advantageous for us to do so, but that doesn't mean we're being immoral if we don't.

This only means that it's not necessary for every pragmatic "ought" to be linked with morality, that doesn't mean that moral "oughts" aren't pragmatic "oughts". For example, it's not necessary that every word in the English language to be "nice", that doesn't mean that "nice" isn't a word in the English language. I see no reason, why morality cannot be based within this goal oriented framework.

So I totally agree with you than an argument over whether we pragmatically ought to behave in certain ways is important, but that doesn't negate what I said.

All you have done, is shown that there are pragmatic "oughts" that aren't linked with morality. That doesn't mean, that moral "oughts" aren't pragmatic "oughts".


So let me ask you again. If that were really true [that morals are only subjective, and not objective], then wouldn't debate on moral issues [i.e. debates on whether certain statements of morality are true or not] be just as meaningless as debates on whether chocolate or vanilla tastes better?

I already addressed this.


Wouldn't judging other people's behavior be irrational since to judge somebody is to pretend that they actually ought to have behaved differently than they did?

Not if you have goal behind said "ought". If the goal is to have a thriving society where people live in peace and without fear, then we objectively ought not to rape and kill people.

But that's a pragmatic ought, not a moral ought.

This just begs the question once again...What is there to back up the claim, that a moral "ought" isn't a pragmatic "ought"? Just because there are pragmatic "oughts" that don't deal with morality, doesn't mean that "oughts" that deal with morality, aren't pragmatic. Similar to how you can name sour candies that are not fuzzy peaches, that doesn't mean that fuzzy peaches aren't a sour candy. Get what I'm saying? Listing examples of pragmatic "oughts" that don't deal with morality, isn't enough to show that moral "oughts" aren't pragmatic "oughts".

I'm asking whether it would be rational to make moral judgments about people--e.i. to accuse people of immorality--if there are no objective morals, and if morality is subjective. Would it not be rationally incorrect to say that somebody is guilty of immorality if there are no moral obligations that actually apply to that person?

Once more, if there is a collective goal we have that deals with morality, then something can go against it. Even though this type of goal oriented framework isn't limited to morality, there is no reason why morality cannot be based within this framework. It actually makes the most sense.


So, yes, if humans collectively have a goal to live in a society like 'x'. then something can objectively go against it, and we can actually say 'x' shouldn't have happened. If you call that objective or subjective, I don't know.

The important thing is that I wouldn't call it morality, so whether it's subjective or objective is moot as far as this conversation goes. That is using "should" in a different sense.

As I've already stated, there are pragmatic "oughts" that don't deal with morality, that doesn't mean that morality cannot be placed in this pragmatic "ought" framework.


It may not be possible to prove objective morality to somebody who is stubborn enough to deny them no matter what, but for those of us who, when we are perfectly honest with ourselves, do not doubt that there are objective morals, the moral argument for God is quite persuasive.

"If your perfectly honest with yourself, you will see I'm right". Horrible argument...

That's a strawman. In fact, I wasn't making an argument at all.

Stating your point and attempting to back it up, is making an argument. Whether or not that was your intention, is a different story.

It wasn't my intention. I didn't state a point and then try to back it up. Just read what I said. I really don't think I was that unclear, and I can't imagine where you got your misinterpretation from.

If you are not here to defend the moral argument, then with all due respects, I do not want you to continue.

Argue with you or go away, huh? That's fine. Just as I'm under no obligation argue for and prove everything I say, you're under no obligation to have conversations that aren't debates.

Also, your reduction of morality to emotion is something I have serious problems with, but going into it would require a lot of explaining, and I'm pretty sure if I even begun to raise objections to it, I'd get sucked into another long debate with you in which I've got a burden of proof.

If you don't want to defend your position, then there is no point in stating it on a debate website. Just saying...

Really? There's no reason to talk unless we're going to be engaged in a debate? That's ridiculous. Just because this is a debate site doesn't mean every interaction has to be a debate. I'd tire of this place quickly if that were the case. Or at least I'd limit my interaction a lot more.
Rational_Thinker9119
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3/25/2013 8:20:41 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 8:06:15 PM, Apeiron wrote:
At 3/25/2013 7:53:56 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 3/25/2013 7:07:31 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 3/25/2013 6:19:13 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I'm just wandering what there is to actually back up the moral argument, you put in your 2 cents (on a debate website), so don't be shocked when someone calls you out on what you post.

I'm not shocked. And you shouldn't be shocked in a discussion forum on a debate site when I don't feel like proving everything I say or treating every conversation as if it were a formal debate.

Why couldn't it be true that you ought not to commit rape, even if nobody is there to command you not too? If you put two people in a room, and one person doesn't rape the other one but decides to help them, why couldn't have been objectively moral, even if nobody told that person to do it? I do not think your argument adds up at all.

Didn't I just answer this?

No, you did not address this issue.

Yes, I did. I said, "Morals are obligations. They are imperatives. To say that rape is wrong is to say that you ought not commit rape. The moral imposes a restriction on your behavior, so it is essentially a command. Commands only come from minds. This seems intuitively obvious. Whenever somebody tells you that you ought to do something you don't believe you should do, isn't your first instinct to say, 'Says who?'? If nobody with authority says, then you don't have to do it."

Granted, you didn't find my explanation persuasive, but don't pretend like I didn't address the issue.

You just sad that you couldn't see how something could be moral, even if nobody is there to tell us. That gets us nowhere though, because there is nothing to back up that view.

Where is it supposed to get us? Why do I need to back it up? I'm just reporting autobiography. I'm telling you what I think.

I suspect you may have a misunderstanding about what I meant, though. You appear to think I'm saying that unless somebody tells me X is wrong, then I cannot know that X is wrong. But that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that X can't BE wrong unless somebody forbids X.

Who says these moral "oughts" aren't subjective?

I do. So does every other moral objectivist.

What reason is there to believe this is true?

Because that's what it means to be a moral objectivist.

I mean, what reason is there to believe the position you adhere to is true.

You mean why am I a moral objectivist? It's because I can't shake the belief that there are objective morals. I simply affirm the obvious.

Obvious to you, you mean. It's obviously a topic of debate, acting like your position's truth is just obvious, is nothing more than petty intellectual laziness.

That is NOT intellectual laziness. Something that's obvious to someone can be prima facie justified and self-evident based on their experience. All you would have to do is give defeaters for such a basic belief, but in your lack of offering any sound defeater, philos is rational in believing what's obvious to him. And if I know philos, the man doesn't just look around the world and take it as is, he offers potential defeaters for himself and toys around with them. This isn't intellectual laziness, it's the best we limited perceivers have. What you're doing is raising the epistemic bar so unreasonably high when it comes to folks who you disagree with, then lowering it so low as to be a given for whatever you argue to be the case. That's all I've seen so far in your discussion. Let's see if it continues.

I'm just saying that the negation to his conclusion could be obvious to someone else. There actually has to be reasoning behind why the scales should be tipped in one direction, over the other.
philochristos
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3/25/2013 8:28:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 7:53:56 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
You mean why am I a moral objectivist? It's because I can't shake the belief that there are objective morals. I simply affirm the obvious.

Obvious to you, you mean. It's obviously a topic of debate, acting like your position's truth is just obvious, is nothing more than petty intellectual laziness.

Yes, I meant obvious to me.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
philochristos
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3/25/2013 8:44:48 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 8:17:19 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
This only means that it's not necessary for every pragmatic "ought" to be linked with morality, that doesn't mean that moral "oughts" aren't pragmatic "oughts". For example, it's not necessary that every word in the English language to be "nice", that doesn't mean that "nice" isn't a word in the English language. I see no reason, why morality cannot be based within this goal oriented framework.

I would agree that there is overlap between pragmatic oughts and moral oughts. Most things that are moral are also pragmatic. For example, it's not only wrong to abuse your wife, but it's also disadvantageous to do so. But the fact that something which is wrong is also disadvantageous or the fact that something is right is also advantageous doesn't mean that pragmatic and moral are the same thing. It just means there is a correlation between them, and there is overlap between them.

So I totally agree with you than an argument over whether we pragmatically ought to behave in certain ways is important, but that doesn't negate what I said.

All you have done, is shown that there are pragmatic "oughts" that aren't linked with morality. That doesn't mean, that moral "oughts" aren't pragmatic "oughts".

Yes, it does. And it seems like you ought (this is the rational ought, distinguished from the moral ought and the pragmatic ought) to agree with me, because there are objective truths about what is pragmatic. For example, it's objectively true that being kind to your wife is the pragmatic thing to do. If this pragmatic ought is also a moral ought, then it would make the moral ought an objective truth. But you deny objective moral truths.

Besides that, if pragmatism were the same thing as morality, then they should share every property in common. The fact that something can be pragmatic without being moral, or moral without being pragmatic shows that they are not the same thing, even if some things which are pragmatic are ALSO moral, and some things that are moral are ALSO pragmatic. "Pragmatic" and "moral" just have two distinct meanings. They're not the same thing.

What is there to back up the claim, that a moral "ought" isn't a pragmatic "ought"?

The dictionary, common use, specific examples, etc. I think I explained that enough already.

Just because there are pragmatic "oughts" that don't deal with morality, doesn't mean that "oughts" that deal with morality, aren't pragmatic.

I agree. I wonder if we're talking past each other at this point.

Similar to how you can name sour candies that are not fuzzy peaches, that doesn't mean that fuzzy peaches aren't a sour candy.

I agree. But it DOES mean that sourness is not the same thing as fuzziness.

Get what I'm saying?

Maybe. I'm not sure.

Listing examples of pragmatic "oughts" that don't deal with morality, isn't enough to show that moral "oughts" aren't pragmatic "oughts".

Yes it is. "Ought" carries a different meaning when you're using it in a pragmatic sense than when you're using it in a moral sense. When you use ought in a pragmatic sense, it means it's to your advantage whether it's right or wrong. When you use ought in the moral sense, it means there's an obligation whether fulfilling that obligation is advantageous or not. The fact that a moral ought coincides with a pragmatic ought doesn't change the fact that 'ought' has these two different meanings.

Actually, it has three meanings, because there's also the rational ought. If you believe all men are mortal and that Socrates is a man, then you ought to believe that Socrates is mortal. That's the rational ought. It is distinct from both the moral ought and the pragmatic ought.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Rational_Thinker9119
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3/25/2013 9:02:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 8:44:48 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 3/25/2013 8:17:19 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
This only means that it's not necessary for every pragmatic "ought" to be linked with morality, that doesn't mean that moral "oughts" aren't pragmatic "oughts". For example, it's not necessary that every word in the English language to be "nice", that doesn't mean that "nice" isn't a word in the English language. I see no reason, why morality cannot be based within this goal oriented framework.

I would agree that there is overlap between pragmatic oughts and moral oughts. Most things that are moral are also pragmatic. For example, it's not only wrong to abuse your wife, but it's also disadvantageous to do so. But the fact that something which is wrong is also disadvantageous or the fact that something is right is also advantageous doesn't mean that pragmatic and moral are the same thing. It just means there is a correlation between them, and there is overlap between them.

So I totally agree with you than an argument over whether we pragmatically ought to behave in certain ways is important, but that doesn't negate what I said.

All you have done, is shown that there are pragmatic "oughts" that aren't linked with morality. That doesn't mean, that moral "oughts" aren't pragmatic "oughts".

Yes, it does. And it seems like you ought (this is the rational ought, distinguished from the moral ought and the pragmatic ought) to agree with me, because there are objective truths about what is pragmatic. For example, it's objectively true that being kind to your wife is the pragmatic thing to do. If this pragmatic ought is also a moral ought, then it would make the moral ought an objective truth. But you deny objective moral truths.

Besides that, if pragmatism were the same thing as morality, then they should share every property in common. The fact that something can be pragmatic without being moral, or moral without being pragmatic shows that they are not the same thing, even if some things which are pragmatic are ALSO moral, and some things that are moral are ALSO pragmatic. "Pragmatic" and "moral" just have two distinct meanings. They're not the same thing.

What is there to back up the claim, that a moral "ought" isn't a pragmatic "ought"?

The dictionary, common use, specific examples, etc. I think I explained that enough already.

Just because there are pragmatic "oughts" that don't deal with morality, doesn't mean that "oughts" that deal with morality, aren't pragmatic.

I agree. I wonder if we're talking past each other at this point.

Similar to how you can name sour candies that are not fuzzy peaches, that doesn't mean that fuzzy peaches aren't a sour candy.

I agree. But it DOES mean that sourness is not the same thing as fuzziness.

Get what I'm saying?

Maybe. I'm not sure.

Listing examples of pragmatic "oughts" that don't deal with morality, isn't enough to show that moral "oughts" aren't pragmatic "oughts".

Yes it is. "Ought" carries a different meaning when you're using it in a pragmatic sense than when you're using it in a moral sense. When you use ought in a pragmatic sense, it means it's to your advantage whether it's right or wrong. When you use ought in the moral sense, it means there's an obligation whether fulfilling that obligation is advantageous or not. The fact that a moral ought coincides with a pragmatic ought doesn't change the fact that 'ought' has these two different meanings.

Actually, it has three meanings, because there's also the rational ought. If you believe all men are mortal and that Socrates is a man, then you ought to believe that Socrates is mortal. That's the rational ought. It is distinct from both the moral ought and the pragmatic ought.

So basically, you are saying that is even though there can be correlations between that which is advantageous and morally good, that doesn't mean that they are the same thing. This is true, and I will concede this if that is your point (I hope I'm not straw-manning your stance). However, there is nothing it seems, which negates that. It seems you have not shown how morality isn't just a subset of what is more advantageous.

My point, is that it may be true that there are advantageous things is not morally good, that doesn't mean that everything that is morally good, is not advantageous.

Also, even if what is advantageous isn't the same thing as morality, who says morality even is relevant then? Maybe the reason I don't rape little girls is because of emotions like anger, sadness, and sympathy when hearing about girls getting raped, and because it goes against the main goal most of our species has to thrive and be happy collectively. If you don't call that morality, then maybe the word "morals" doesn't matter, and we should call that something else.
philochristos
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3/25/2013 9:08:27 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 8:06:15 PM, Apeiron wrote:
And if I know philos, the man doesn't just look around the world and take it as is, he offers potential defeaters for himself and toys around with them.

Yeah, in spite of the fact that I'm too lazy to get into a debate right now over whether there are any objective morals, whether we can trust our moral intuitions, or whether God is necessary for morality, I have actually defended those claims elsewhere with more than "It's obvious to me."

Here's a debate in which I defended the claim that pretty much everybody apprehends morality as if it were objective, even if they deny it (with the possible exception of sociopaths).

http://philochristos.blogspot.com...

Here's a discussion where I went into even more detail about why we should trust our moral intuitions:

Part 1: http://strplace.wordpress.com...

Part 2: http://strplace.wordpress.com...

I'm Sam Harper, by the way, and "DoubtingEric" was the person I was talking to. If you don't want to read both of those, read Part 2. That's where I flesh my view out in some detail.

Here's a short blog post where I making an argument for moral realism from socipathy:

http://philochristos.blogspot.com...

Here's another short blog post where I argued that God is necessary for objective morality:

http://philochristos.blogspot.com...

Here's another blog post where I go into more detail on the meaning of objective v. subjective morality, and I argue that God is necessary for objective morality, and I try to straighten out some common misunderstandings people have about the moral argument (e.g. confusing moral epistemology and moral ontology):

http://philochristos.blogspot.com...

So yeah, it's not as if I've been unreflective about the whole thing. I like to debate, but sometimes getting into an on line conversation is like smacking the tar baby. The more you smack it, the more you get stuck, and I don't like endless conversations that get bigger and bigger and have no stopping place. I have spent hours on this conversation today, even while resisting the urge to go into detail and argue with Rational Thinker. Imagine if I had indulged him! I shudder to think about it.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
philochristos
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3/25/2013 9:18:53 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 9:02:55 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
So basically, you are saying that is even though there can be correlations between that which is advantageous and morally good, that doesn't mean that they are the same thing. This is true, and I will concede this if that is your point (I hope I'm not straw-manning your stance).

Yes, you understand me.

However, there is nothing it seems, which negates that. It seems you have not shown how morality isn't just a subset of what is more advantageous.

That's true. I haven't.

My point, is that it may be true that there are advantageous things is not morally good, that doesn't mean that everything that is morally good, is not advantageous.

I agree.

Also, even if what is advantageous isn't the same thing as morality, who says morality even is relevant then?

Well, it would certainly be relevant to the moral argument for God.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
philochristos
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3/25/2013 9:38:39 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 9:08:27 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 3/25/2013 8:06:15 PM, Apeiron wrote:
And if I know philos, the man doesn't just look around the world and take it as is, he offers potential defeaters for himself and toys around with them.

Yeah, in spite of the fact that I'm too lazy to get into a debate right now over whether there are any objective morals, whether we can trust our moral intuitions, or whether God is necessary for morality, I have actually defended those claims elsewhere with more than "It's obvious to me."

Here's a debate in which I defended the claim that pretty much everybody apprehends morality as if it were objective, even if they deny it (with the possible exception of sociopaths).

http://philochristos.blogspot.com...

Here's a discussion where I went into even more detail about why we should trust our moral intuitions:

Part 1: http://strplace.wordpress.com...

Part 2: http://strplace.wordpress.com...

I'm Sam Harper, by the way, and "DoubtingEric" was the person I was talking to. If you don't want to read both of those, read Part 2. That's where I flesh my view out in some detail.

Here's a short blog post where I making an argument for moral realism from socipathy:

http://philochristos.blogspot.com...

Here's another short blog post where I argued that God is necessary for objective morality:

http://philochristos.blogspot.com...

Here's another blog post where I go into more detail on the meaning of objective v. subjective morality, and I argue that God is necessary for objective morality, and I try to straighten out some common misunderstandings people have about the moral argument (e.g. confusing moral epistemology and moral ontology):

http://philochristos.blogspot.com...

So yeah, it's not as if I've been unreflective about the whole thing. I like to debate, but sometimes getting into an on line conversation is like smacking the tar baby. The more you smack it, the more you get stuck, and I don't like endless conversations that get bigger and bigger and have no stopping place. I have spent hours on this conversation today, even while resisting the urge to go into detail and argue with Rational Thinker. Imagine if I had indulged him! I shudder to think about it.

Oh, and here's another blog post where I explained some of the problems I have with reducing moral intuitions to emotions.

http://philochristos.blogspot.com...
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Nimbus328
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3/25/2013 10:18:33 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
There is emotional morality, like protecting one's children. This is seen in all mammals and is a product of evolution.

There is logical morality that overrides emotional morality. This is where we rise above the primal nature to a point where we can live together in harmony.

Even the logical morality runs into problems. Is it okay to kill a fat man? No.
What if there are three people about to be run over by a bus. By pushing the fat man in front of the bus you can divert the course, saving three. Would you do it?
Most people would say no.
Extend this to war, and suddenly killing is okay, for the greater good.

Morality is a relative structure of logic to allow a culture to live in harmony.

It looks different in America, Europe, and tribal people of the jungle.
Sidewalker
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3/25/2013 10:49:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I don"t really care about arguments for the existence of God, the universe is religiously ambiguous, belief in God is, and always will be, a matter of faith.

Arguments for or against belief in God are irrelevant because the basis of faith is not inferential reason, it is personal encounter with a transcendent aspect of reality. To believe in God is primarily to believe in the objectivity of the value and purpose that we experience, and that belief is not based on evidence or inferential reason; it is an axiom that makes a life of faith, of seeing all experience in the light of such objective value and purpose, possible. For me, this belief is confirmed primarily by the sense it enables me to make of my life experiences, it is also confirmed by the greater vitality, happiness, and moral dynamic that it brings to my life. I don"t postulate God, or try to prove God; it is simply a matter of how I relate to the world, for me the reality of God lies in the moral, liberating, and transcendent power and presence in my life that is established by this belief. Belief in God is simply a choice we make.

Whether or not there are objective values that would exist independently of human beings is not subject to any scientific or public method of verification. Consequently, objective morality is like belief in God, it"s a choice we make, and that choice lies between seeing morality primarily as a matter for prudential decision, or seeing it primarily as a matter of discernment and response. Our experiential reality includes values and purposes that are apprehended in and through ordinary experience, for me this makes morality a matter of discernment and response. While this doesn"t necessarily prove that there are objective morals, it does establish an ideal that calls on me to realize it, and that is compelling enough for me.

To live a good life is to live a balanced and harmonious life that fulfills the distinctive potentialities of human nature and reflects a sound perception of human possibilities. In the end, I think this is best accomplished by choosing to believe in the objectivity of values and purpose.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
philochristos
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3/25/2013 11:09:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I didn't choose to believe in God or in objective morality. I'm not sure I'd want to either. After all, if your belief is the result of a choice rather than being the result of seeing that it's true, then it's not a rational belief. Why would anybody choose to have irrational beliefs?
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle