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Refute Objective Morals

Mhykiel
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4/21/2016 5:43:27 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
I'm going to present a list of what I think the Objective Morals are.

The list is a standard by which we can judge behavior to be Morally "good" or "bad"

1. Good is doing God's will
2. A Good End Justifies the Means
3. A Good Subordinate patiently waits for their Superior
4. A Good person endures pain for another
5. A Good action is tempered by Love Wisdom and Strength

Anyone want to refute them?

((I know 1 is an easy target so perhaps we can save it for last, or a smaller portion of the whole))
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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4/21/2016 7:40:37 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
Great topic, Mhykiel. We might disagree on formulation, but we both agree that morality is objective (and here, I suspect I'm in a small minority among irreligious members here.)

At 4/21/2016 5:43:27 AM, Mhykiel wrote:
I'm going to present a list of what I think the Objective Morals are.

The list is a standard by which we can judge behavior to be Morally "good" or "bad"

1. Good is doing God's will
2. A Good End Justifies the Means
3. A Good Subordinate patiently waits for their Superior
4. A Good person endures pain for another
5. A Good action is tempered by Love Wisdom and Strength

Anyone want to refute them?

((I know 1 is an easy target so perhaps we can save it for last, or a smaller portion of the whole))

1) I think 1) is superfluous and subjective anyway, so let's look at 2-5:

2. A Good End Justifies the Means
Actually, means produce multiple ends. So if we want to know whether an action is good and how good it is, we have to look at all its consequences, not just its intended consequences. (This feeds into ethics, which hold us responsible for negligence and unintended consequences, but it begins with a moral awareness that what we intend isn't all that we accomplish.)

3. A Good Subordinate patiently waits for their Superior
This form of Good looks like a synonym of 'obedient' or 'loyal'. I'm not sure that either are necessary, and under some circumstances they could be counter-productive. As an example, I have a friend who works in air accident investigation, and she has a story about a Korean passenger liner that flew into a mountain because a subordinate made polite suggestions, patiently waiting for his superior to give the order to turn.

So... no... I don't think good preserves social order at the price of widespread hurt, harm and destruction. Rather I'd suggest that the only ethical job social order can offer is to help individuals identify, foster and preserve good.

4. A Good person endures pain for another
I'd agree with that, but use different language. The way I say it is: the measure of love is sacrifice.

5. A Good action is tempered by Love Wisdom and Strength
Close to my view, Mhykiel. I'd say that good is both enabled and defined by wisdom, compassion, and courage: the wisdom to know what matters, the compassion to care about what matters to others, and the courage to act on that, even when it's difficult or dangerous.

In any case, to me what makes it objective is that these qualities are independently recognisable right across our species. Whether this produces an objective species-level definition of good, or an objective universal definition of good might depend on how other intelligences behave. But I think it works for humans, and an awful lot of social animals, including birds and virtually all mammalian species.

A human notion of good is not just for humans. Suitably enabled, I think it works for pretty much every terrestrial species that lives socially and nurtures its young.
FaustianJustice
Posts: 6,223
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4/21/2016 11:16:10 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/21/2016 5:43:27 AM, Mhykiel wrote:
I'm going to present a list of what I think the Objective Morals are.

The list is a standard by which we can judge behavior to be Morally "good" or "bad"

1. Good is doing God's will

God commands me to kill.
2. A Good End Justifies the Means

Obviously, as God would only want what is good, ergo, killing whom God wanted me to kill is justified, and Good.

3. A Good Subordinate patiently waits for their Superior

I took my marching orders: I started to kill.

4. A Good person endures pain for another

I didn't -want- to kill people, and it was quite torturous to engage in, but ultimately, the ends justify the means, and I took my orders, and it was all Good because it came from God.

5. A Good action is tempered by Love Wisdom and Strength

Indeed, I made use of all those traits to prevent a prolonged suffering of those that God commanded me to kill.


Anyone want to refute them?

So.

((I know 1 is an easy target so perhaps we can save it for last, or a smaller portion of the whole))
Here we have an advocate for Islamic arranged marriages demonstrating that children can consent to sex.
http://www.debate.org...
SNP1
Posts: 2,403
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4/21/2016 3:15:11 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/21/2016 5:43:27 AM, Mhykiel wrote:
I'm going to present a list of what I think the Objective Morals are.

The list is a standard by which we can judge behavior to be Morally "good" or "bad"

1. Good is doing God's will
2. A Good End Justifies the Means
3. A Good Subordinate patiently waits for their Superior
4. A Good person endures pain for another
5. A Good action is tempered by Love Wisdom and Strength

Anyone want to refute them?

((I know 1 is an easy target so perhaps we can save it for last, or a smaller portion of the whole))

P1) If any person T is justified in believing any moral claim, then T must be justified either inferentially or noninferentially.
Due to the law of excluded middle.
P2) No person T is ever noninferentially justified in believing any moral claim.
It would be an appeal to intuition fallacy.
C1) If any person T is justified in believing any moral claim, then T must be justified inferentially.
Follows naturally from P1 and P2 (Either A or B, not A, therefore B).
P3) If any person T is inferentially justified in believing any moral claim, then T must be justified either by inference with some moral premises or by inference without any moral premises.
Since we need premises to justify, as concluded in C1, we now need to use either moral premises or non-moral premises (law of excluded middle).
P4) No person T is ever justified in believing any moral claim by an inference without any moral premise.
the is-ought problem. One cannot get prescriptive statements from descriptive statements without committing the naturalistic fallacy.
C2) If any person T is justified in believing any moral claim, then T must be justified by an inference with some moral premise.
Follows naturally from the premises.
P5) No person T is ever justified in believing a moral claim by an inference with a moral premise unless T is also justified in believing that moral premise itself.
You wouldn't believe you coworker when they say they saw Bigfoot unless you have a reason to believe your coworker.
P6) If any person T is justified in believing any moral claim, then T must be justified by a chain of inferences that either goes on infinitely or includes T itself as an essential premise.
Natural continuation of P5. Why believe your coworker? They are really smart. Why believe they are really smart? They have a PhD. Why believe they have a PhD or that it is relevant? etc.
P7) No person T is ever justified in believing any moral claim by a chain of inferences that includes T as an essential premise.
This is due to the begging the question logical fallacy.
P8) No person T is ever justified in believing any moral claim by a chain of inferences that goes on infinitely.
This is due to the infinite regress logical fallacy.
C3) No person is ever justified in believing any moral claim.
follows quite naturally from the above.

I originally got the above from this debate:
http://www.debate.org...

I would include a premise--conclusion argument for error theory, but I can no longer find the one I used to use.
#TheApatheticNihilistPartyofAmerica
#WarOnDDO
Mhykiel
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4/21/2016 10:23:32 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/21/2016 7:40:37 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Great topic, Mhykiel. We might disagree on formulation, but we both agree that morality is objective (and here, I suspect I'm in a small minority among irreligious members here.)

Thanks. See I'm okay saying Morals are subjective in that they are mind dependent. But even being mind dependent doesn't null there consistency in human nature.

I feel like we can argue over Morals subjective or objective, but what comes at the end of it. If we agree they are subjective then we have no moral framework by which to compare actions. BUT if we agree Morals are objective how might they be articulated?

I think Ethics is a study in legalization of actions, and I think it weird that Ethics attempt to discern moral behavior but haven't articulated the Basic Morals that the Ethicality of the actions are based on. Generally i think most Ethics boards follow a Harm vs Benefit, Honesty vs Privacy and so forth type considerations. Of course the question is begged: Why is Honesty morally superior to Lying?

So I started this thread in an attempt to articulate these objective morals. I did it late at night and off the top of my head, in hindsight I think I would prefer them to be written in a manner that elicits or motivates behavior instead of a comparison to moral behavior. We have Laws and they state what actions are "wrong" but people consider actions that are illegal. And the Laws may not be "good" laws. So could we articulate Objective morals in a way that we can compare actions to them and quantify their respective Moral value? That's what I intend to investigate.

I also wonder if Morals should be applicable to decision making process rather than actions taken.


At 4/21/2016 5:43:27 AM, Mhykiel wrote:
I'm going to present a list of what I think the Objective Morals are.

The list is a standard by which we can judge behavior to be Morally "good" or "bad"

1. Good is doing God's will
2. A Good End Justifies the Means
3. A Good Subordinate patiently waits for their Superior
4. A Good person endures pain for another
5. A Good action is tempered by Love Wisdom and Strength

Anyone want to refute them?

((I know 1 is an easy target so perhaps we can save it for last, or a smaller portion of the whole))

1) I think 1) is superfluous and subjective anyway, so let's look at 2-5:

I was just throwing noodles to the wall and see what sticks. An interesting thing I found about the Torah is that a mechanical etymological translation of Hebrew in Genesis ((I'm aware etymology doesn't convey accurate meaning)) the words for "Good" have roots in the word for "functional". The impression I get is that God created X and X was created for Y purpose. When X is performing Y purpose it is called "functional" and when it does not do Y it is "broken".. literally "broken" non functioning.


2. A Good End Justifies the Means
Actually, means produce multiple ends. So if we want to know whether an action is good and how good it is, we have to look at all its consequences, not just its intended consequences. (This feeds into ethics, which hold us responsible for negligence and unintended consequences, but it begins with a moral awareness that what we intend isn't all that we accomplish.)

Good point the consequences are not just what was intended. And they come into play as well. We don't have omniscient or future vision.


3. A Good Subordinate patiently waits for their Superior
This form of Good looks like a synonym of 'obedient' or 'loyal'. I'm not sure that either are necessary, and under some circumstances they could be counter-productive. As an example, I have a friend who works in air accident investigation, and she has a story about a Korean passenger liner that flew into a mountain because a subordinate made polite suggestions, patiently waiting for his superior to give the order to turn.

I through this out there because after traveling around the world I see some very common things of etiquette. One of those things in my negotiations with other people has been that subordinates are expected to wait on superiors. Sometimes at the start of negotiations with a tribal chief or what not, we would be purposely left to wait till they were ready. It was a not so subtle way of the Chief reinforcing that they are the one's in charge.


So... no... I don't think good preserves social order at the price of widespread hurt, harm and destruction. Rather I'd suggest that the only ethical job social order can offer is to help individuals identify, foster and preserve good.

4. A Good person endures pain for another
I'd agree with that, but use different language. The way I say it is: the measure of love is sacrifice.

I can agree with that. And he is a good example I think of the objective nature of Morals. I think it is pretty universal that "good" people are selfless and perform actions of altruism. I know some argue that these people are not really being selfless. That they run into a building because they want to be proud or whatever. Personally I would run into a fire to save people because I have empathy for them. I know that when the crud hits the fan it is a lonely place. And I am a strong tactically trained man. I can get to them and get them out. But I can't think of any selfish reason or emotion of why I feel "because they are in pain I should lessen it." That "should" I can only conjecture comes from an objective moral.


5. A Good action is tempered by Love Wisdom and Strength
Close to my view, Mhykiel. I'd say that good is both enabled and defined by wisdom, compassion, and courage: the wisdom to know what matters, the compassion to care about what matters to others, and the courage to act on that, even when it's difficult or dangerous.

Agreed.


In any case, to me what makes it objective is that these qualities are independently recognisable right across our species. Whether this produces an objective species-level definition of good, or an objective universal definition of good might depend on how other intelligences behave. But I think it works for humans, and an awful lot of social animals, including birds and virtually all mammalian species.

A human notion of good is not just for humans. Suitably enabled, I think it works for pretty much every terrestrial species that lives socially and nurtures its young.

Agreed I think when the ability for choice is present, morality can be applicable.

Like I said I wrote this up just before bed, but now even well awake I find the subject of articulating these objective morals to be difficult. I should do some research and see what progress may have been done historically.
janesix
Posts: 3,465
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4/21/2016 10:33:23 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/21/2016 5:43:27 AM, Mhykiel wrote:
I'm going to present a list of what I think the Objective Morals are.

The list is a standard by which we can judge behavior to be Morally "good" or "bad"

1. Good is doing God's will
Absolutely not. Personal judgement is essensial.
2. A Good End Justifies the Means
No
3. A Good Subordinate patiently waits for their Superior
No. Again, personal judgement is essensial in deciding what is good or not.
4. A Good person endures pain for another
Yes
5. A Good action is tempered by Love Wisdom and Strength
yes

Anyone want to refute them?

((I know 1 is an easy target so perhaps we can save it for last, or a smaller portion of the whole))
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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4/21/2016 10:42:18 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/21/2016 10:23:32 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 4/21/2016 7:40:37 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Great topic, Mhykiel. We might disagree on formulation, but we both agree that morality is objective (and here, I suspect I'm in a small minority among irreligious members here.)

Thanks. See I'm okay saying Morals are subjective in that they are mind dependent.
Actually, everything we conceive is mind-dependent. The key test for objectivity is whether they exist outside our predisposition to think of them. Psychology is the study of how humans think, and is essentially an objective study. If we define morality as the study of what nourishes, empowers, protects and sustains humanity then I'd call that objective too.

But even being mind dependent doesn't null there consistency in human nature.
Yes. Even if we wanted to call morality subjective, it could still be practical.

If we agree they are subjective then we have no moral framework by which to compare actions.
Yes, an extremely subjective account of morality produces moral relativism, which I think is both impractical and negligent -- despite many moral relativists embracing it for humane reasons.

BUT if we agree Morals are objective how might they be articulated?
Absolutely.

I think Ethics is a study in legalization of actions,
I'd say it's the formalisation of responsibilities and accountabilities, which is similar, but perhaps broader. We can have ethics even when there are no formal laws, and there's ethical enforcement even absent legal enforcement.

I think it weird that Ethics attempt to discern moral behavior but haven't articulated the Basic Morals that the Ethicality of the actions are based on.
Yes. It ends up being an appeal to custom, ignorance and prejudice, which I don't believe can produce justice.

Generally i think most Ethics boards follow a Harm vs Benefit,
The notions of harm and benefit are fundamental moral notions. Most other virtues are only considered desirable because they're thought to improve outcomes.

So I started this thread in an attempt to articulate these objective morals. I did it late at night and off the top of my head, in hindsight I think I would prefer them to be written in a manner that elicits or motivates behavior instead of a comparison to moral behavior.
Yes. I think that's a good way to proceed.

I also wonder if Morals should be applicable to decision making process rather than actions taken.
This brings in ethics again: what do we owe one another. We're beings capable of anticipating consequences. If we owe others consideration of consequence, then ethics bring potential consequence back to the domain of morality.

2. A Good End Justifies the Means
Actually, means produce multiple ends.

Good point the consequences are not just what was intended. And they come into play as well. We don't have omniscient or future vision.
Yes. Ethically I think we're allowed to be wrong. Just not for willfully negligent reasons.

3. A Good Subordinate patiently waits for their Superior
This form of Good looks like a synonym of 'obedient' or 'loyal'. I'm not sure that either are necessary, and under some circumstances they could be counter-productive. As an example, I have a friend who works in air accident investigation, and she has a story about a Korean passenger liner that flew into a mountain because a subordinate made polite suggestions, patiently waiting for his superior to give the order to turn.

I through this out there because after traveling around the world I see some very common things of etiquette. One of those things in my negotiations with other people has been that subordinates are expected to wait on superiors. Sometimes at the start of negotiations with a tribal chief or what not, we would be purposely left to wait till they were ready. It was a not so subtle way of the Chief reinforcing that they are the one's in charge.
There's absolutely benefit in yielding to wisdom, compassion and courage. It's desirable that those qualities appear in our leaders, but they don't always or just appear there.

4. A Good person endures pain for another
I'd agree with that, but use different language. The way I say it is: the measure of love is sacrifice.
I can agree with that. And [here] is a good example I think of the objective nature of Morals.
Yes, exactly.

A human notion of good is not just for humans. Suitably enabled, I think it works for
Agreed I think when the ability for choice is present, morality can be applicable.
Yes, and the wiser and more empowered we are, the more compassion and courage can be effective.
Like I said I wrote this up just before bed, but now even well awake I find the subject of articulating these objective morals to be difficult. I should do some research and see what progress may have been done historically.

This is a question I've pondered for some decades. I'll be interested in seeing what you produce, Mhykiel, and am happy to share thoughts if there's interest.