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Is there such thing as objective morality?

DunderDwight
Posts: 15
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1/6/2016 2:00:00 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
As an atheist I have heard many Christians claim there is objective morality from the bible. Even if an argument doesn't come from religion, I do not believe there is such a thing as objective morality. There are many grays in morality such as killing in self defense or mercy killing or abortions or self euthanasia. If morality was objective there would be no argument in the first place as objective means fact, inarguable. Every moral question is subjective.

What does everyone else think?
Benshapiro
Posts: 3,966
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1/6/2016 2:28:11 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/6/2016 2:00:00 AM, DunderDwight wrote:
As an atheist I have heard many Christians claim there is objective morality from the bible. Even if an argument doesn't come from religion, I do not believe there is such a thing as objective morality. There are many grays in morality such as killing in self defense or mercy killing or abortions or self euthanasia. If morality was objective there would be no argument in the first place as objective means fact, inarguable. Every moral question is subjective.

What does everyone else think?

Yes I think objective morality is intuitively obvious.

Objective morality means that moral propositions could necessarily be true.

"Punishing an innocent person is wrong" is necessarily true.

"Child abuse is wrong" is necessarily true.

"Torturing babies for fun is wrong" is necessarily true.

Objective morality doesn't exclude moral subjectivity but moral subjectivism excludes any instance of moral objectivity. I've just given you 3.

It's also empirically verified across all known societies that theft, rape, and murder are morally unacceptable behaviors. It's insane to believe that such behaviors are so unanimously immoral under a subjective moral framework. Dispositions like "compassion, patience, diligence, generosity" are objectively good. Dispositions like "cruelty, hatred, greed" etc. are objectively bad. There's no way that "compassion" could be evil and "cruelty" could be good. But under moral subjectivism that is just as valid as the opposite being true. There's every good reason to be a moral objectivist.
distraff
Posts: 1,005
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1/6/2016 4:06:12 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/6/2016 2:28:11 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 1/6/2016 2:00:00 AM, DunderDwight wrote:
As an atheist I have heard many Christians claim there is objective morality from the bible. Even if an argument doesn't come from religion, I do not believe there is such a thing as objective morality. There are many grays in morality such as killing in self defense or mercy killing or abortions or self euthanasia. If morality was objective there would be no argument in the first place as objective means fact, inarguable. Every moral question is subjective.

What does everyone else think?

Yes I think objective morality is intuitively obvious.

Objective morality means that moral propositions could necessarily be true.

"Punishing an innocent person is wrong" is necessarily true.

"Child abuse is wrong" is necessarily true.

"Torturing babies for fun is wrong" is necessarily true.

Objective morality doesn't exclude moral subjectivity but moral subjectivism excludes any instance of moral objectivity. I've just given you 3.

It's also empirically verified across all known societies that theft, rape, and murder are morally unacceptable behaviors. It's insane to believe that such behaviors are so unanimously immoral under a subjective moral framework. Dispositions like "compassion, patience, diligence, generosity" are objectively good. Dispositions like "cruelty, hatred, greed" etc. are objectively bad. There's no way that "compassion" could be evil and "cruelty" could be good. But under moral subjectivism that is just as valid as the opposite being true. There's every good reason to be a moral objectivist.

How do you know that intuition always tells people to be moral? How do you know that intuition is right in this case and should be heeded more than logical argument?

Why shouldn't I instead use the amount of pleasure I get to determine what is right or wrong?
Double_R
Posts: 4,886
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1/6/2016 4:29:52 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/6/2016 2:00:00 AM, DunderDwight wrote:
As an atheist I have heard many Christians claim there is objective morality from the bible. Even if an argument doesn't come from religion, I do not believe there is such a thing as objective morality. There are many grays in morality such as killing in self defense or mercy killing or abortions or self euthanasia. If morality was objective there would be no argument in the first place as objective means fact, inarguable. Every moral question is subjective.

What does everyone else think?

Objective morality is practically an oxy-moron.

Morality is a system by which we evaluate actions and intentions by comparing them to a standard.

A standard is something we chose as our ideal scenario.

Ideal that which is desired.

Desire is by definition subject to the individual.

Once we begin with a standard, from that point we can objectively reach a conclusion via the laws of logic. However the standard will always be required as the basis and will always be chosen by the individual doing the evaluating.
Benshapiro
Posts: 3,966
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1/6/2016 4:38:27 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/6/2016 4:06:12 AM, distraff wrote:
At 1/6/2016 2:28:11 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 1/6/2016 2:00:00 AM, DunderDwight wrote:
As an atheist I have heard many Christians claim there is objective morality from the bible. Even if an argument doesn't come from religion, I do not believe there is such a thing as objective morality. There are many grays in morality such as killing in self defense or mercy killing or abortions or self euthanasia. If morality was objective there would be no argument in the first place as objective means fact, inarguable. Every moral question is subjective.

What does everyone else think?

Yes I think objective morality is intuitively obvious.

Objective morality means that moral propositions could necessarily be true.

"Punishing an innocent person is wrong" is necessarily true.

"Child abuse is wrong" is necessarily true.

"Torturing babies for fun is wrong" is necessarily true.

Objective morality doesn't exclude moral subjectivity but moral subjectivism excludes any instance of moral objectivity. I've just given you 3.

It's also empirically verified across all known societies that theft, rape, and murder are morally unacceptable behaviors. It's insane to believe that such behaviors are so unanimously immoral under a subjective moral framework. Dispositions like "compassion, patience, diligence, generosity" are objectively good. Dispositions like "cruelty, hatred, greed" etc. are objectively bad. There's no way that "compassion" could be evil and "cruelty" could be good. But under moral subjectivism that is just as valid as the opposite being true. There's every good reason to be a moral objectivist.

How do you know that intuition always tells people to be moral? How do you know that intuition is right in this case and should be heeded more than logical argument?

I didn't say nor agree with the statement that intuition always tells people to be moral. Our ability to know right from wrong is intuitive just like our ability to reason and utilize logic is intuitive. Morality and rationality are intertwined. Immanuel Kant said that "morality is a rational enterprise" and that holds true.

Why shouldn't I instead use the amount of pleasure I get to determine what is right or wrong?

If raping an infant gave someone pleasure would that be a proper way of determining that it was the right thing to do?
distraff
Posts: 1,005
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1/6/2016 4:47:49 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/6/2016 4:38:27 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 1/6/2016 4:06:12 AM, distraff wrote:
At 1/6/2016 2:28:11 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 1/6/2016 2:00:00 AM, DunderDwight wrote:
As an atheist I have heard many Christians claim there is objective morality from the bible. Even if an argument doesn't come from religion, I do not believe there is such a thing as objective morality. There are many grays in morality such as killing in self defense or mercy killing or abortions or self euthanasia. If morality was objective there would be no argument in the first place as objective means fact, inarguable. Every moral question is subjective.

What does everyone else think?

Yes I think objective morality is intuitively obvious.

Objective morality means that moral propositions could necessarily be true.

"Punishing an innocent person is wrong" is necessarily true.

"Child abuse is wrong" is necessarily true.

"Torturing babies for fun is wrong" is necessarily true.

Objective morality doesn't exclude moral subjectivity but moral subjectivism excludes any instance of moral objectivity. I've just given you 3.

It's also empirically verified across all known societies that theft, rape, and murder are morally unacceptable behaviors. It's insane to believe that such behaviors are so unanimously immoral under a subjective moral framework. Dispositions like "compassion, patience, diligence, generosity" are objectively good. Dispositions like "cruelty, hatred, greed" etc. are objectively bad. There's no way that "compassion" could be evil and "cruelty" could be good. But under moral subjectivism that is just as valid as the opposite being true. There's every good reason to be a moral objectivist.

How do you know that intuition always tells people to be moral? How do you know that intuition is right in this case and should be heeded more than logical argument?

I didn't say nor agree with the statement that intuition always tells people to be moral.

Then how do you trust it to confirm that morality exists if it is flawed?

Our ability to know right from wrong is intuitive just like our ability to reason and utilize logic is intuitive.

How do we know? Where did this knowledge come from?

Morality and rationality are intertwined. Immanuel Kant said that "morality is a rational enterprise" and that holds true.

Ok, then use reason to show there is a morality.

Why shouldn't I instead use the amount of pleasure I get to determine what is right or wrong?

If raping an infant gave someone pleasure would that be a proper way of determining that it was the right thing to do?

If there is no such thing as a "right" thing to do then this question is irrelevant. There is no such thing. I get very angry when this kind of rape happens and want something very bad to happen to this person. This feeling is also neither "right" or "wrong" morally speaking.
Benshapiro
Posts: 3,966
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1/6/2016 5:05:29 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/6/2016 4:29:52 AM, Double_R wrote:
At 1/6/2016 2:00:00 AM, DunderDwight wrote:
As an atheist I have heard many Christians claim there is objective morality from the bible. Even if an argument doesn't come from religion, I do not believe there is such a thing as objective morality. There are many grays in morality such as killing in self defense or mercy killing or abortions or self euthanasia. If morality was objective there would be no argument in the first place as objective means fact, inarguable. Every moral question is subjective.

What does everyone else think?

Objective morality is practically an oxy-moron.

Morality is a system by which we evaluate actions and intentions by comparing them to a standard.

A standard is something we chose as our ideal scenario.

Ideal that which is desired.

Desire is by definition subject to the individual.

Once we begin with a standard, from that point we can objectively reach a conclusion via the laws of logic. However the standard will always be required as the basis and will always be chosen by the individual doing the evaluating.

Under this logic:

Ideals such as intelligence, charisma, compassion, beauty, wealth, strength, health, and so forth, are ideals that are actually no better in comparison to ideals such as stupidity, repugnancy, cruelty, ugliness, poverty, weakness, and illness. Is it rational or irrational to believe that?

Anyone who desires to be cruel, hateful, racist, deceitful, greedy, etc, and use that as their moral standard is no better in comparison to a person who desires to be compassionate, loving, tolerant, honest, generous, etc. and use that as their moral standard. Is it rational or irrational to believe that?

Ideals are not inherently subjective because certain ideals are inherently rational while other ideals are inherently irrational.
Benshapiro
Posts: 3,966
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1/6/2016 5:22:18 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/6/2016 4:47:49 AM, distraff wrote:
At 1/6/2016 4:38:27 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 1/6/2016 4:06:12 AM, distraff wrote:
At 1/6/2016 2:28:11 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 1/6/2016 2:00:00 AM, DunderDwight wrote:
As an atheist I have heard many Christians claim there is objective morality from the bible. Even if an argument doesn't come from religion, I do not believe there is such a thing as objective morality. There are many grays in morality such as killing in self defense or mercy killing or abortions or self euthanasia. If morality was objective there would be no argument in the first place as objective means fact, inarguable. Every moral question is subjective.

What does everyone else think?

Yes I think objective morality is intuitively obvious.

Objective morality means that moral propositions could necessarily be true.

"Punishing an innocent person is wrong" is necessarily true.

"Child abuse is wrong" is necessarily true.

"Torturing babies for fun is wrong" is necessarily true.

Objective morality doesn't exclude moral subjectivity but moral subjectivism excludes any instance of moral objectivity. I've just given you 3.

It's also empirically verified across all known societies that theft, rape, and murder are morally unacceptable behaviors. It's insane to believe that such behaviors are so unanimously immoral under a subjective moral framework. Dispositions like "compassion, patience, diligence, generosity" are objectively good. Dispositions like "cruelty, hatred, greed" etc. are objectively bad. There's no way that "compassion" could be evil and "cruelty" could be good. But under moral subjectivism that is just as valid as the opposite being true. There's every good reason to be a moral objectivist.

How do you know that intuition always tells people to be moral? How do you know that intuition is right in this case and should be heeded more than logical argument?

I didn't say nor agree with the statement that intuition always tells people to be moral.

Then how do you trust it to confirm that morality exists if it is flawed?

You seem to be conflating two different statements. (1) intuition always tells people to be moral (2) intuition always makes us aware of right from wrong. You seem to be defending (2) while you only stated (1). Further, I didn't say that we *always* know right from wrong intuitively, I said that our ability to know right from wrong is intuitive.

Our ability to know right from wrong is intuitive just like our ability to reason and utilize logic is intuitive.

How do we know? Where did this knowledge come from?

There are some good examples here

http://consequently.org...


Morality and rationality are intertwined. Immanuel Kant said that "morality is a rational enterprise" and that holds true.

Ok, then use reason to show there is a morality.

"Punishing an innocent person is wrong." I basically just said the equivalent of "2 + 2 = 4"

Why shouldn't I instead use the amount of pleasure I get to determine what is right or wrong?

If raping an infant gave someone pleasure would that be a proper way of determining that it was the right thing to do?

If there is no such thing as a "right" thing to do then this question is irrelevant. There is no such thing. I get very angry when this kind of rape happens and want something very bad to happen to this person. This feeling is also neither "right" or "wrong" morally speaking.

There is no right thing to do when deciding whether or not to rape an infant? If you get angry and wish the infant rapist harm then aren't you expressing your frustration at his wrongdoing?
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,135
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1/6/2016 6:33:17 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/6/2016 2:00:00 AM, DunderDwight wrote:
As an atheist I have heard many Christians claim there is objective morality from the bible. Even if an argument doesn't come from religion, I do not believe there is such a thing as objective morality. There are many grays in morality such as killing in self defense or mercy killing or abortions or self euthanasia. If morality was objective there would be no argument in the first place as objective means fact, inarguable. Every moral question is subjective.

What does everyone else think?

I think if there are any moral absolutes, then objective morality exists. Murder is wrong. Rape is wrong. I'm sure you could come up with contrived situations where you could argue murder or rape is less wrong than the alternative, but it doesn't change the fact that these acts are horrible by default. BTW, I'm not a believer.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,135
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1/6/2016 7:25:40 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/6/2016 7:07:04 AM, DunderDwight wrote:
Why do we "know" things like murder and rape are wrong?

First, you need to click the "reply" button so those your are responding to will get notification. That's what I did for you. ;-)

Secondly, murder and rape cause suffering, deny freedom, devalue human life, etc. Basically, these actions are detrimental to human life.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
dhardage
Posts: 4,545
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1/6/2016 3:27:49 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
Please see my signature. Morality is a survival trait developed so humans could successfully live together in large groups and thrive. It's not 'objective', it's survival imperative.
Chaosism
Posts: 2,674
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1/6/2016 3:43:03 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/6/2016 5:22:18 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 1/6/2016 4:47:49 AM, distraff wrote:

Ok, then use reason to show there is a morality.

"Punishing an innocent person is wrong." I basically just said the equivalent of "2 + 2 = 4"

I just wanted to comment on this one, Ben. This example is flawed because the former issue is not a matter of moral right and wrong, but logical right and wrong. This is so because this is an analytical statement to which the truth value can be discerned solely by evaluating the definitions of the words, just like "all unmarried men are bachelors". I'll explain:

"Punishment" is an action that is specifically taken upon a person in response for a crime or otherwise unapproved action or inaction. "Innocent" directly indicates that this hypothetical person did not commit said action. The two terms create a contradiction; this is not a moral issue by itself.
Benshapiro
Posts: 3,966
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1/6/2016 4:02:20 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/6/2016 3:27:49 PM, dhardage wrote:
Please see my signature. Morality is a survival trait developed so humans could successfully live together in large groups and thrive. It's not 'objective', it's survival imperative.

Are you saying that morality is a human convention or are you saying that morality has a biological basis for aiding in survival?
Benshapiro
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1/6/2016 4:18:19 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/6/2016 3:43:03 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 1/6/2016 5:22:18 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 1/6/2016 4:47:49 AM, distraff wrote:

Ok, then use reason to show there is a morality.

"Punishing an innocent person is wrong." I basically just said the equivalent of "2 + 2 = 4"

I just wanted to comment on this one, Ben. This example is flawed because the former issue is not a matter of moral right and wrong, but logical right and wrong. This is so because this is an analytical statement to which the truth value can be discerned solely by evaluating the definitions of the words, just like "all unmarried men are bachelors". I'll explain:

Moral rights and wrongs are determined logically as well. Our moral standards have an objective foundation in our rational minds.

"Punishment" is an action that is specifically taken upon a person in response for a crime or otherwise unapproved action or inaction. "Innocent" directly indicates that this hypothetical person did not commit said action. The two terms create a contradiction; this is not a moral issue by itself.

People are punished for things they're innocent of all the time. You also left out the most important part. "Punishing an innocent person *is wrong*" why is it *wrong* to make someone suffer for bad behavior if they didn't commit bad behavior? This is a perfect example of how morality is based on rationality.
bulproof
Posts: 25,303
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1/6/2016 4:28:27 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/6/2016 4:02:20 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 1/6/2016 3:27:49 PM, dhardage wrote:
Please see my signature. Morality is a survival trait developed so humans could successfully live together in large groups and thrive. It's not 'objective', it's survival imperative.


Are you saying that morality is a human convention or are you saying that morality has a biological basis for aiding in survival?

Morality is most assuredly a human invention and convention.
dhardage
Posts: 4,545
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1/6/2016 4:29:36 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/6/2016 4:02:20 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 1/6/2016 3:27:49 PM, dhardage wrote:
Please see my signature. Morality is a survival trait developed so humans could successfully live together in large groups and thrive. It's not 'objective', it's survival imperative.


Are you saying that morality is a human convention or are you saying that morality has a biological basis for aiding in survival?

Both. It arose as a human convention when it began to form groups larger than families. It was necessary to let larger groups live together and thrive. Acts that ran counter to that survival imperative (murder, theft, etc.) were deemed 'immoral'. This is the common, shared morality of most human societies.
Benshapiro
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1/6/2016 4:39:11 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/6/2016 4:29:36 PM, dhardage wrote:
At 1/6/2016 4:02:20 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 1/6/2016 3:27:49 PM, dhardage wrote:
Please see my signature. Morality is a survival trait developed so humans could successfully live together in large groups and thrive. It's not 'objective', it's survival imperative.


Are you saying that morality is a human convention or are you saying that morality has a biological basis for aiding in survival?

Both. It arose as a human convention when it began to form groups larger than families. It was necessary to let larger groups live together and thrive. Acts that ran counter to that survival imperative (murder, theft, etc.) were deemed 'immoral'. This is the common, shared morality of most human societies.

Things can't evolve in order to achieve something else. Essentially you're saying that morality a trait that enhances survival so that's why we evolved a sense of morality.
dhardage
Posts: 4,545
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1/6/2016 4:44:03 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/6/2016 4:39:11 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 1/6/2016 4:29:36 PM, dhardage wrote:
At 1/6/2016 4:02:20 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 1/6/2016 3:27:49 PM, dhardage wrote:
Please see my signature. Morality is a survival trait developed so humans could successfully live together in large groups and thrive. It's not 'objective', it's survival imperative.


Are you saying that morality is a human convention or are you saying that morality has a biological basis for aiding in survival?

Both. It arose as a human convention when it began to form groups larger than families. It was necessary to let larger groups live together and thrive. Acts that ran counter to that survival imperative (murder, theft, etc.) were deemed 'immoral'. This is the common, shared morality of most human societies.

Things can't evolve in order to achieve something else. Essentially you're saying that morality a trait that enhances survival so that's why we evolved a sense of morality.

When humans discovered and developed the technologies (farming, animal husbandry) that allowed them to live in groups larger than families, their environment changed. A system that governed how these groups lived and interacted became necessary for the success of these larger groups and the concepts of what we now call morality developed as a survival response to this paradigm shift from hunter/gatherer to a more 'urban' farming/ranching and then manufacturing (making tools and implements for trade) system.
Chaosism
Posts: 2,674
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1/6/2016 4:44:52 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/6/2016 4:18:19 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 1/6/2016 3:43:03 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 1/6/2016 5:22:18 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 1/6/2016 4:47:49 AM, distraff wrote:

Ok, then use reason to show there is a morality.

"Punishing an innocent person is wrong." I basically just said the equivalent of "2 + 2 = 4"

I just wanted to comment on this one, Ben. This example is flawed because the former issue is not a matter of moral right and wrong, but logical right and wrong. This is so because this is an analytical statement to which the truth value can be discerned solely by evaluating the definitions of the words, just like "all unmarried men are bachelors". I'll explain:

Moral rights and wrongs are determined logically as well. Our moral standards have an objective foundation in our rational minds.

No, morality is founded on personal biases and derivative assumptions. For example, to say that killing is wrong (we'll assume unjustified), is based on our own natural biases for life over non-life, and life over death. Our biases are so implicitly ingrained in us that we just assume these preferences to be true (i.e. existence is better than non-existence). We are naturally adverse to death and suffering as an evolutionary trait, because those organisms who were so would avoid and oppose them more, thus, having a significantly higher rate of surviving to reproduce and passing on said traits [biases].

"Punishment" is an action that is specifically taken upon a person in response for a crime or otherwise unapproved action or inaction. "Innocent" directly indicates that this hypothetical person did not commit said action. The two terms create a contradiction; this is not a moral issue by itself.

People are punished for things they're innocent of all the time. You also left out the most important part. "Punishing an innocent person *is wrong*" why is it *wrong* to make someone suffer for bad behavior if they didn't commit bad behavior? This is a perfect example of how morality is based on rationality.

The first sentence I agree with, but it's not relevant. Yes, it's logically "wrong" (or false) because of the conflicting definitions, but that doesn't necessarily apply a moral "wrong" (immoral) value to it. The latter is based on personal bias against unfairness and suffering, and those who lack the capacity for concern won't assign a moral "wrong" value to it. One cannot equivocate logical wrong (false) and moral wrong (immoral). Just because you can present an example that no one appears to disagree with doesn't mean that it is objectively true.
AWSM0055
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1/6/2016 4:55:15 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
Morality is about as objective as the price of a potato...in other words, it's not.

For instance, what is the price of a potato? 2 dollars? 1 dollar? 3? Nobody REALLY knows for sure, objectively, what the price of a potato is worth. It's subject to opinion.

Does this mean, then, that I could sell a potato for 1,000,000 dollars? No, that's ridiculous. But it's still not objective.

Same with morality. Something like the morality of swearing is subjective. While killing somebody is also morally subjective, you have a good idea that it's wrong.

Besides, there are plenty of examples of when something like killing someone is subjective. If it was objective, then no one would deny that killing someone is wrong. Everybody (except for the delusional) would feel guilty of doing so. Furthermore, it could be demonstrated objectively that it is wrong.

But alas, the morality of killing someone is clearly subjective, as feelings are often involved in such decisions as "should I kill this person or not?". Wars are constantly fought, even when both armies have no real objective reason to participate in such killing. In ancient times, there were the gladiatorial games. There was also slavery.

Anyone arguing that morality is objective doesn't understand the meaning of the word.
"Evolution proves necessity is the mother of invention" - David Henson

"Calling my atheism a religion, is like calling my non-stamp-collecting a hobby" - MagicAintReal 2016

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Matt8800: "When warring men kidnap damsels of the enemy, what do they do?"

Jerry947: "They give them the option of marriage."

Matt8800: "Correct! You won idiot of the year award!"

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Benshapiro
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1/6/2016 5:15:07 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/6/2016 4:44:52 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 1/6/2016 4:18:19 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 1/6/2016 3:43:03 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 1/6/2016 5:22:18 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 1/6/2016 4:47:49 AM, distraff wrote:

Ok, then use reason to show there is a morality.

"Punishing an innocent person is wrong." I basically just said the equivalent of "2 + 2 = 4"

I just wanted to comment on this one, Ben. This example is flawed because the former issue is not a matter of moral right and wrong, but logical right and wrong. This is so because this is an analytical statement to which the truth value can be discerned solely by evaluating the definitions of the words, just like "all unmarried men are bachelors". I'll explain:

Moral rights and wrongs are determined logically as well. Our moral standards have an objective foundation in our rational minds.

No, morality is founded on personal biases and derivative assumptions. For example, to say that killing is wrong (we'll assume unjustified), is based on our own natural biases for life over non-life, and life over death. Our biases are so implicitly ingrained in us that we just assume these preferences to be true (i.e. existence is better than non-existence). We are naturally adverse to death and suffering as an evolutionary trait, because those organisms who were so would avoid and oppose them more, thus, having a significantly higher rate of surviving to reproduce and passing on said traits [biases].

The way we determine which meta-ethical theory is correct is by inference to the best explanation. We have a mountain of evidence (rational and empirical) supporting moral objectivism and little to no evidence to suggest that moral subjectivism or moral nihilism is correct. The problem I see is that you're constructing a theory around many unproven and unevidenced assumptions. For example, saying that killing is wrong is only wrong because we're implicitly biased towards living rather than non-living isn't an assumption that would should accept by fiat. Further, "naturally adverse to death and suffering as an evolutionary trait" is presupposing telos in evolutionary traits again. Evolution doesn't care whether the organisms it acts upon survive, reproduce, pass on the traits, thrive, etc. nor is it a means to that end.

"Punishment" is an action that is specifically taken upon a person in response for a crime or otherwise unapproved action or inaction. "Innocent" directly indicates that this hypothetical person did not commit said action. The two terms create a contradiction; this is not a moral issue by itself.

People are punished for things they're innocent of all the time. You also left out the most important part. "Punishing an innocent person *is wrong*" why is it *wrong* to make someone suffer for bad behavior if they didn't commit bad behavior? This is a perfect example of how morality is based on rationality.

The first sentence I agree with, but it's not relevant.

How isn't it? I can think of many examples of how it's relevant. Let's say Communist leaders in China want to silence a citizen for saying bad things about them. They allege he was guilty of murder knowing that he didn't commit the crime but punish him for it anyway. Was it morally wrong for them punish him for this crime he didn't commit?

Yes, it's logically "wrong" (or false) because of the conflicting definitions, but that doesn't necessarily apply a moral "wrong" (immoral) value to it. The latter is based on personal bias against unfairness and suffering, and those who lack the capacity for concern won't assign a moral "wrong" value to it. One cannot equivocate logical wrong (false) and moral wrong (immoral). Just because you can present an example that no one appears to disagree with doesn't mean that it is objectively true.

Right. Moral objectivism is affirmed if ethical sentences can express propositions that are necessarily true. While it doesn't affirm moral objectivism based on people's agreement, it does indicate (rationally and empiricslly) that it's true.
DPMartin
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1/6/2016 5:16:54 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/6/2016 2:00:00 AM, DunderDwight wrote:
As an atheist I have heard many Christians claim there is objective morality from the bible. Even if an argument doesn't come from religion, I do not believe there is such a thing as objective morality. There are many grays in morality such as killing in self defense or mercy killing or abortions or self euthanasia. If morality was objective there would be no argument in the first place as objective means fact, inarguable. Every moral question is subjective.

What does everyone else think?

In the case of Christians trying to get others to believe that all men are morally responsible to a certain set of rules, is horse dump. That comes from the desire of organizations that want to rule and or have influence over others even if they are not Christian.

Morals are a set of rules and or a agreement, and if one isn"t in agreement then one isn"t morally or ethically bond to those rules or agreement. No more than a Russian citizen is bond to obey US rules.

Actually, morals are relative (a different term is more popular today). Hence relative to those in agreement to the agreement. In the case of the God of Israel, He is in agreement with the Israelite and they are with Him. Hence there are times when He holds them accountable for that agreement or covenant. In the Garden, Adam was in a agreement also known as a commandment, with the Lord God. So in the case of Jesus Christ He is the agreement between the faithful and the Lord God of Israel. A new covenant by fulfilling the old covenants to God"s satisfaction.

But if one isn"t in agreement with God"s covenant then one isn"t bond to it. But the alterative isn"t pleasant from what I understand. Therefore if one insists to be with out his Maker then without his Maker he shall be.
Chaosism
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1/6/2016 5:48:02 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/6/2016 5:15:07 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 1/6/2016 4:44:52 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 1/6/2016 4:18:19 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
Moral rights and wrongs are determined logically as well. Our moral standards have an objective foundation in our rational minds.

No, morality is founded on personal biases and derivative assumptions. For example, to say that killing is wrong (we'll assume unjustified), is based on our own natural biases for life over non-life, and life over death. Our biases are so implicitly ingrained in us that we just assume these preferences to be true (i.e. existence is better than non-existence). We are naturally adverse to death and suffering as an evolutionary trait, because those organisms who were so would avoid and oppose them more, thus, having a significantly higher rate of surviving to reproduce and passing on said traits [biases].

The way we determine which meta-ethical theory is correct is by inference to the best explanation. We have a mountain of evidence (rational and empirical) supporting moral objectivism and little to no evidence to suggest that moral subjectivism or moral nihilism is correct. The problem I see is that you're constructing a theory around many unproven and unevidenced assumptions. For example, saying that killing is wrong is only wrong because we're implicitly biased towards living rather than non-living isn't an assumption that would should accept by fiat. Further, "naturally adverse to death and suffering as an evolutionary trait" is presupposing telos in evolutionary traits again. Evolution doesn't care whether the organisms it acts upon survive, reproduce, pass on the traits, thrive, etc. nor is it a means to that end.

I would actually like to see some of this mountain of evidence supporting moral objectivism.

Regarding my "living verses non-living" statement, can you objective demonstrate (without taking any preferences into account) that living is better than non-living? It is obvious that we value the well-being of a living organism (i.e. a cat) over a non-living object (i.e. a rock), but why is that? Can that be explained objectively (without considering preferences)?

Regarding evolution, in a previous exchange between us, I explained how survival is a result of the evolutionary mechanisms, not an intent. Evolution is not objectively a "means to an end". Those organisms that have a higher probability of survival subsequently have a high probability to reproduce, thus, perpetuating their kind. If an organism doesn't have any inclination for survival, it doesn't survive to reproduce, thus, suffering extinction. There is no driving will behind this process; evolution has not the capacity to "care".

People are punished for things they're innocent of all the time. You also left out the most important part. "Punishing an innocent person *is wrong*" why is it *wrong* to make someone suffer for bad behavior if they didn't commit bad behavior? This is a perfect example of how morality is based on rationality.

The first sentence I agree with, but it's not relevant.

How isn't it? I can think of many examples of how it's relevant. Let's say Communist leaders in China want to silence a citizen for saying bad things about them. They allege he was guilty of murder knowing that he didn't commit the crime but punish him for it anyway. Was it morally wrong for them punish him for this crime he didn't commit?

The issue isn't about whether it happens or not, and that has no impact on the matter of the validity of the statement you forwarded. I definitely agree that it occurs, but that is not the issue. And yes, I agree that was a morally wrong thing for them to do, but how does that render it an objective moral truth?

Yes, it's logically "wrong" (or false) because of the conflicting definitions, but that doesn't necessarily apply a moral "wrong" (immoral) value to it. The latter is based on personal bias against unfairness and suffering, and those who lack the capacity for concern won't assign a moral "wrong" value to it. One cannot equivocate logical wrong (false) and moral wrong (immoral). Just because you can present an example that no one appears to disagree with doesn't mean that it is objectively true.

Right. Moral objectivism is affirmed if ethical sentences can express propositions that are necessarily true. While it doesn't affirm moral objectivism based on people's agreement, it does indicate (rationally and empiricslly) that it's true.

I disagree with this; just because a proposition can be assigned a truth value, it doesn't make it objective. For example, I can issue the proposition, "pizza is the best food", and subsequently issue a truth value to it according to my judgment. In order to something to be objective, there must be some objective means of deriving said truth value, such as measurement.

As I said, the statement you issued will most likely receive a consensus agreement, but that doesn't represent all of morality. For instance, how do you determine the objective truth value of this proposition: "it is right to punish a deserving man with violent methods"? Since this statement is not true or false analytically, there is no logical truth value (i.e. not a tautology) to equivocate with a moral truth value, thus, removing the apparent certainly.
Chaosism
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1/6/2016 6:04:55 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/6/2016 5:48:02 PM, Chaosism wrote:
...For instance, how do you determine the objective truth value of this proposition: "it is right to punish a deserving man with violent methods"? ...

To clarify: by "deserving" In my proposition, I merely intend "deserving of punishment".
Benshapiro
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1/6/2016 8:16:29 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/6/2016 6:04:55 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 1/6/2016 5:48:02 PM, Chaosism wrote:
...For instance, how do you determine the objective truth value of this proposition: "it is right to punish a deserving man with violent methods"? ...

To clarify: by "deserving" In my proposition, I merely intend "deserving of punishment".

I'm at work so I don't have a lot of time to respond but I wanted to chime in on this one quickly then respond to your other points later.

That proposition doesn't seem to be necessarily true. It's conceivable that there is a rationally justifiable case where it wouldn't be right to punish a man deserving of punishment with violent methods. In my proposition there was no rationally justifiable case where it could be true. I also disagree with you that the (apparent) equivocation of the terms "wrong" in the logical sense rather than the mora sense is what made it appear certainly true. Just add the word "morally" before the word "wrong" and the truth of it doesn't change at all. "Punishing an innocent person is morally wrong"
12_13
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1/6/2016 8:22:56 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/6/2016 2:00:00 AM, DunderDwight wrote:
As an atheist I have heard many Christians claim there is objective morality from the bible. Even if an argument doesn't come from religion, I do not believe there is such a thing as objective morality...

I think there is objective morality and it is this:

'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Mat. 22:37-39
Therefore whatever you desire for men to do to you, you shall also do to them; for this is the law and the prophets.
Matt. 7:12

What do you think, is that objective if people do to others what they want to be done to themselves? If person does something against others will, isn"t" it objectively fair, if same is done to him?
DPMartin
Posts: 1,096
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1/6/2016 11:18:22 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
If there is such a thing as objective morality, it would seem that it would be that a man do what he agrees to do, and don"t agree to what is not within his power to do. But still it would require an agreement.
Double_R
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1/7/2016 2:26:07 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/6/2016 5:05:29 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 1/6/2016 4:29:52 AM, Double_R wrote:
Objective morality is practically an oxy-moron.

Morality is a system by which we evaluate actions and intentions by comparing them to a standard.

A standard is something we chose as our ideal scenario.

Ideal that which is desired.

Desire is by definition subject to the individual.

Once we begin with a standard, from that point we can objectively reach a conclusion via the laws of logic. However the standard will always be required as the basis and will always be chosen by the individual doing the evaluating.

Under this logic:

Ideals such as intelligence, charisma, compassion, beauty, wealth, strength, health, and so forth, are ideals that are actually no better in comparison to ideals such as stupidity, repugnancy, cruelty, ugliness, poverty, weakness, and illness. Is it rational or irrational to believe that?

That depends... What is your ideal? Do you have a desire to be intelligent over non-intelligent? Do you have a desire to be charismatic over having a dry personality? If so then these are better. If not then these are not better. You need to determine what your ideals are before the question of rationality can apply.

Anyone who desires to be cruel, hateful, racist, deceitful, greedy, etc, and use that as their moral standard is no better in comparison to a person who desires to be compassionate, loving, tolerant, honest, generous, etc. and use that as their moral standard. Is it rational or irrational to believe that?

The question of who is better is determined by the ideals of the person being asked. That's what makes these things subjective. Just because the vast majority of people prefer the latter does not make it objective. If you believe that then you do not understand what objective means (which would be strange since I've explained it to you literally dozens of times with no objection).

Ideals are not inherently subjective because certain ideals are inherently rational while other ideals are inherently irrational.

There is no such thing as an ideal that is inherently rational. What you are probably talking about are the statements you made earlier, which utilize your trademark ambiguity fallacies of smuggling in the ideas you are trying to prove.

"Punishing an innocent person is wrong" is necessarily true.

Yes, because punishment is by definition something that should not be done to an innocent person.

"Child abuse is wrong" is necessarily true.

Yes, because the concept of being wrong is embedded into the word "abuse".

"Torturing babies for fun is wrong" is necessarily true.

This one doesn't actually commit the fallacy, it is just incorrect since the statement is in fact subjective.