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Can moral statements be factually true?

Benshapiro
Posts: 3,966
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9/16/2016 5:28:30 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
Are any of the following statements factually true?

"Punishing an innocent person is morally wrong."

"Killing without proper justification is morally wrong."

"Raping an infant is morally wrong."

"Compassion is not morally equivalent to cruelty."

"Moral progress is possible."

"Some people can be wrong about their moral judgements."

"Slavery, genocide, human tracking, and gratuitous torture are morally wrong."

"What Hitler did to the Jews during Nazi Germany was wrong."

"generosity is morally superior to greed"

"humility is morally superior to boastfulness"

"kindness is morally superior to hatred"

"honesty is morally superior to dishonesty"

If you agree that any of the above is factually true, you're a moral objectivist.
Omniverse
Posts: 973
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9/16/2016 5:46:13 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/16/2016 5:28:30 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
Are any of the following statements factually true?

"Punishing an innocent person is morally wrong."

"Killing without proper justification is morally wrong."

"Raping an infant is morally wrong."

"Compassion is not morally equivalent to cruelty."

"Moral progress is possible."

"Some people can be wrong about their moral judgements."

"Slavery, genocide, human tracking, and gratuitous torture are morally wrong."

"What Hitler did to the Jews during Nazi Germany was wrong."

"generosity is morally superior to greed"

"humility is morally superior to boastfulness"

"kindness is morally superior to hatred"

"honesty is morally superior to dishonesty"


If you agree that any of the above is factually true, you're a moral objectivist.

Hi Ben.

I've been waiting for months now for you to show that, indeed, moral pronouncements can be objectively true. Alas, what I invariably get is a form of "human behaviour suggests as much", which just doesn't cut it, I'm afraid.

So perhaps you would like to take this auspicious opportunity to finally present your case for moral objectivism.

The floor is all yours.
Benshapiro
Posts: 3,966
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9/16/2016 5:50:59 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/16/2016 5:46:13 PM, Omniverse wrote:
At 9/16/2016 5:28:30 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
Are any of the following statements factually true?

"Punishing an innocent person is morally wrong."

"Killing without proper justification is morally wrong."

"Raping an infant is morally wrong."

"Compassion is not morally equivalent to cruelty."

"Moral progress is possible."

"Some people can be wrong about their moral judgements."

"Slavery, genocide, human tracking, and gratuitous torture are morally wrong."

"What Hitler did to the Jews during Nazi Germany was wrong."

"generosity is morally superior to greed"

"humility is morally superior to boastfulness"

"kindness is morally superior to hatred"

"honesty is morally superior to dishonesty"


If you agree that any of the above is factually true, you're a moral objectivist.

Hi Ben.

I've been waiting for months now for you to show that, indeed, moral pronouncements can be objectively true. Alas, what I invariably get is a form of "human behaviour suggests as much", which just doesn't cut it, I'm afraid.

So perhaps you would like to take this auspicious opportunity to finally present your case for moral objectivism.

The floor is all yours.

Thanks Omniverse.

For clarification, your position is that none of the statements listed in the OP are factually true. Correct?
Omniverse
Posts: 973
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9/16/2016 6:11:02 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/16/2016 5:50:59 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 9/16/2016 5:46:13 PM, Omniverse wrote:
At 9/16/2016 5:28:30 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
Are any of the following statements factually true?

"Punishing an innocent person is morally wrong."

"Killing without proper justification is morally wrong."

"Raping an infant is morally wrong."

"Compassion is not morally equivalent to cruelty."

"Moral progress is possible."

"Some people can be wrong about their moral judgements."

"Slavery, genocide, human tracking, and gratuitous torture are morally wrong."

"What Hitler did to the Jews during Nazi Germany was wrong."

"generosity is morally superior to greed"

"humility is morally superior to boastfulness"

"kindness is morally superior to hatred"

"honesty is morally superior to dishonesty"


If you agree that any of the above is factually true, you're a moral objectivist.

Hi Ben.

I've been waiting for months now for you to show that, indeed, moral pronouncements can be objectively true. Alas, what I invariably get is a form of "human behaviour suggests as much", which just doesn't cut it, I'm afraid.

So perhaps you would like to take this auspicious opportunity to finally present your case for moral objectivism.

The floor is all yours.

Thanks Omniverse.

For clarification, your position is that none of the statements listed in the OP are factually true. Correct?

No, Ben. At this point I am not referencing my own position. My curiosity lies elsewhere, namely on your case for moral objectivism.
Benshapiro
Posts: 3,966
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9/16/2016 6:26:23 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/16/2016 6:11:02 PM, Omniverse wrote:
At 9/16/2016 5:50:59 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 9/16/2016 5:46:13 PM, Omniverse wrote:
At 9/16/2016 5:28:30 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
Are any of the following statements factually true?

"Punishing an innocent person is morally wrong."

"Killing without proper justification is morally wrong."

"Raping an infant is morally wrong."

"Compassion is not morally equivalent to cruelty."

"Moral progress is possible."

"Some people can be wrong about their moral judgements."

"Slavery, genocide, human tracking, and gratuitous torture are morally wrong."

"What Hitler did to the Jews during Nazi Germany was wrong."

"generosity is morally superior to greed"

"humility is morally superior to boastfulness"

"kindness is morally superior to hatred"

"honesty is morally superior to dishonesty"


If you agree that any of the above is factually true, you're a moral objectivist.

Hi Ben.

I've been waiting for months now for you to show that, indeed, moral pronouncements can be objectively true. Alas, what I invariably get is a form of "human behaviour suggests as much", which just doesn't cut it, I'm afraid.

So perhaps you would like to take this auspicious opportunity to finally present your case for moral objectivism.

The floor is all yours.

Thanks Omniverse.

For clarification, your position is that none of the statements listed in the OP are factually true. Correct?

No, Ben. At this point I am not referencing my own position. My curiosity lies elsewhere, namely on your case for moral objectivism.

Very well then.

The correct moral theory will either be a position of moral realism or moral non-realism. There are no other options (via the law of excluded middle.)

The position that there are moral facts falls under moral realism.

The position that there are no moral facts, such as moral nihilism and subjectivism, fall under moral non-realism.

Thus, one of the following positions in this trichotomy must be correct:

Moral statements can convey factual truths.

Moral statements can only convey subjective truths.

Moral statements aren't capable of being true or false.

I'll stop here. Do you agree or disagree with the above so far?
Omniverse
Posts: 973
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9/16/2016 6:35:34 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/16/2016 6:26:23 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 9/16/2016 6:11:02 PM, Omniverse wrote:
At 9/16/2016 5:50:59 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 9/16/2016 5:46:13 PM, Omniverse wrote:
At 9/16/2016 5:28:30 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
Are any of the following statements factually true?

"Punishing an innocent person is morally wrong."

"Killing without proper justification is morally wrong."

"Raping an infant is morally wrong."

"Compassion is not morally equivalent to cruelty."

"Moral progress is possible."

"Some people can be wrong about their moral judgements."

"Slavery, genocide, human tracking, and gratuitous torture are morally wrong."

"What Hitler did to the Jews during Nazi Germany was wrong."

"generosity is morally superior to greed"

"humility is morally superior to boastfulness"

"kindness is morally superior to hatred"

"honesty is morally superior to dishonesty"


If you agree that any of the above is factually true, you're a moral objectivist.

Hi Ben.

I've been waiting for months now for you to show that, indeed, moral pronouncements can be objectively true. Alas, what I invariably get is a form of "human behaviour suggests as much", which just doesn't cut it, I'm afraid.

So perhaps you would like to take this auspicious opportunity to finally present your case for moral objectivism.

The floor is all yours.

Thanks Omniverse.

For clarification, your position is that none of the statements listed in the OP are factually true. Correct?

No, Ben. At this point I am not referencing my own position. My curiosity lies elsewhere, namely on your case for moral objectivism.

Very well then.

The correct moral theory will either be a position of moral realism or moral non-realism. There are no other options (via the law of excluded middle.)

The position that there are moral facts falls under moral realism.

The position that there are no moral facts, such as moral nihilism and subjectivism, fall under moral non-realism.

Thus, one of the following positions in this trichotomy must be correct:

Moral statements can convey factual truths.

Moral statements can only convey subjective truths.

Moral statements aren't capable of being true or false.

I'll stop here. Do you agree or disagree with the above so far?

Please, do go on.
I'd rather pass judgement after you've presented your case in its entirety.
Ramshutu
Posts: 4,063
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9/16/2016 6:42:05 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/16/2016 5:28:30 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
Are any of the following statements factually true?

"Punishing an innocent person is morally wrong."

"Killing without proper justification is morally wrong."

"Raping an infant is morally wrong."

"Compassion is not morally equivalent to cruelty."

"Moral progress is possible."

"Some people can be wrong about their moral judgements."

"Slavery, genocide, human tracking, and gratuitous torture are morally wrong."

"What Hitler did to the Jews during Nazi Germany was wrong."

"generosity is morally superior to greed"

"humility is morally superior to boastfulness"

"kindness is morally superior to hatred"

"honesty is morally superior to dishonesty"

If you agree that any of the above is factually true, you're a moral objectivist.

You continually, and obtusely confuse shared morality, with objective morality; and use this equivocation to show that there is some transcendental moral authority with loaded questions such as this.
Benshapiro
Posts: 3,966
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9/16/2016 7:20:42 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/16/2016 6:35:34 PM, Omniverse wrote:
At 9/16/2016 6:26:23 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 9/16/2016 6:11:02 PM, Omniverse wrote:
At 9/16/2016 5:50:59 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 9/16/2016 5:46:13 PM, Omniverse wrote:
At 9/16/2016 5:28:30 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
Are any of the following statements factually true?

"Punishing an innocent person is morally wrong."

"Killing without proper justification is morally wrong."

"Raping an infant is morally wrong."

"Compassion is not morally equivalent to cruelty."

"Moral progress is possible."

"Some people can be wrong about their moral judgements."

"Slavery, genocide, human tracking, and gratuitous torture are morally wrong."

"What Hitler did to the Jews during Nazi Germany was wrong."

"generosity is morally superior to greed"

"humility is morally superior to boastfulness"

"kindness is morally superior to hatred"

"honesty is morally superior to dishonesty"


If you agree that any of the above is factually true, you're a moral objectivist.

Hi Ben.

I've been waiting for months now for you to show that, indeed, moral pronouncements can be objectively true. Alas, what I invariably get is a form of "human behaviour suggests as much", which just doesn't cut it, I'm afraid.

So perhaps you would like to take this auspicious opportunity to finally present your case for moral objectivism.

The floor is all yours.

Thanks Omniverse.

For clarification, your position is that none of the statements listed in the OP are factually true. Correct?

No, Ben. At this point I am not referencing my own position. My curiosity lies elsewhere, namely on your case for moral objectivism.

Very well then.

The correct moral theory will either be a position of moral realism or moral non-realism. There are no other options (via the law of excluded middle.)

The position that there are moral facts falls under moral realism.

The position that there are no moral facts, such as moral nihilism and subjectivism, fall under moral non-realism.

Thus, one of the following positions in this trichotomy must be correct:

Moral statements can convey factual truths.

Moral statements can only convey subjective truths.

Moral statements aren't capable of being true or false.

I'll stop here. Do you agree or disagree with the above so far?

Please, do go on.
I'd rather pass judgement after you've presented your case in its entirety.

*Ahem*

So, whichever moral theory is correct will be determined between these three live options. To figure out which is the correct one, it will need to be determined by an inference to the best explanation of the data. We have information, obtained both rationially and empirically, that supports the existence of moral facts.

Important things to note before continuing:

First, consensus on moral statements has no impact on whether the truth of the statement is objective. Consensus, in the form of aggregate human behavior, *evidences* (but does not determine) which moral theory is correct.

Second, moral objectivism is not mutually exclusive with the position that there are morally subjective statements. Moral subjectivism, on the other hand, ONLY allows for morally subjective statements.

Third, moral realism (and moral objectivism accordingly), are positions about ontology, not epistemology. It doesn't matter how we came to know that there are moral facts. All that matters is if such moral facts exist. Nor does knowing that there are moral facts give them ontology (actuality). This ties in very well to what we are epistemologically justified in believing what is true.

Gotta get back to work. More coming.
bamiller43
Posts: 200
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9/16/2016 7:37:56 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/16/2016 5:28:30 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
Are any of the following statements factually true?

"Punishing an innocent person is morally wrong."

It's not morally wrong, it's a lack of justice, which has (or should have) little to nothing to do with morality.

"Killing without proper justification is morally wrong."
No

1 : "Raping an infant is morally wrong."
No. While most people believe this to be wrong (including myself) that does not make it so. I'm sure there is a way to prove scientifically that raping an infant is wrong.

"Compassion is not morally equivalent to cruelty."
The two terms are not equivalent at all. Relating them to morality makes no difference.

"Moral progress is possible."
This is an objective fact ABOUT morality, not a moral statement. In fact, the idea that morality can change from person to person or generation to generation is part of what makes it subjective.

"Some people can be wrong about their moral judgements."
No. In another person's opinion, they can be wrong. But they cannot be objectively wrong. For example: i believe that picking ones toes is morally wrong. Joe believes it is morally right. No documentation exists to support either claim, and so they are considered opinions. Opinions, by definition, are not objective.

"Slavery, genocide, human tracking, and gratuitous torture are morally wrong."
Refer to my response to what i labeled as point 1.

"What Hitler did to the Jews during Nazi Germany was wrong."
refer to 1.

2: "generosity is morally superior to greed"
This cannot be considered a fact.

"humility is morally superior to boastfulness"
Refer to my response above to what i labeled 2

"kindness is morally superior to hatred"
refer to 2

"honesty is morally superior to dishonesty"
refer to 2


If you agree that any of the above is factually true, you're a moral objectivist.

You are very much simplifying this argument. If someone agrees to only one of the facts above (except for 6), it means that they believe that that particular statement is objectively true. Not that they believe in moral objectivism. If they only disagreed with one of those statements, it would not make them a moral subjectivist. Now if they agree or disagree with all of them, they could probably be considered a moral objectivist/subjectivist (respectively). Don't attempt to extract data from a place in which data does not exist.
bamiller43
Posts: 200
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9/16/2016 7:48:54 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/16/2016 5:28:30 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
Are any of the following statements factually true?

"Punishing an innocent person is morally wrong."

"Killing without proper justification is morally wrong."

"Raping an infant is morally wrong."

"Compassion is not morally equivalent to cruelty."

"Moral progress is possible."

"Some people can be wrong about their moral judgements."

"Slavery, genocide, human tracking, and gratuitous torture are morally wrong."

"What Hitler did to the Jews during Nazi Germany was wrong."

"generosity is morally superior to greed"

"humility is morally superior to boastfulness"

"kindness is morally superior to hatred"

"honesty is morally superior to dishonesty"


If you agree that any of the above is factually true, you're a moral objectivist.

I would like to amend my earlier statement, as I did not know the true definition of moral objectivism at the time; i had gone only on context clues. It is true that if you agree that an objective moral statement exists, then you are a moral objectionist. That being said i agree with none of the above, save 6, which is not a moral statement.
Bennett91
Posts: 4,231
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9/16/2016 9:47:31 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/16/2016 7:20:42 PM, Benshapiro wrote:

We have information, obtained both rationially and empirically, that supports the existence of moral facts.

You've yet to present such evidence minus the mental gymnastics.
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
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9/16/2016 10:05:18 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/16/2016 5:28:30 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
Are any of the following statements factually true?

"Punishing an innocent person is morally wrong."

"Killing without proper justification is morally wrong."

"Raping an infant is morally wrong."

"Compassion is not morally equivalent to cruelty."

"Moral progress is possible."

"Some people can be wrong about their moral judgements."

"Slavery, genocide, human tracking, and gratuitous torture are morally wrong."

"What Hitler did to the Jews during Nazi Germany was wrong."

"generosity is morally superior to greed"

"humility is morally superior to boastfulness"

"kindness is morally superior to hatred"

"honesty is morally superior to dishonesty"


If you agree that any of the above is factually true, you're a moral objectivist.

They can if they're falsifiable.
Benshapiro
Posts: 3,966
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9/16/2016 10:50:58 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/16/2016 7:20:42 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 9/16/2016 6:35:34 PM, Omniverse wrote:
At 9/16/2016 6:26:23 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 9/16/2016 6:11:02 PM, Omniverse wrote:
At 9/16/2016 5:50:59 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 9/16/2016 5:46:13 PM, Omniverse wrote:
At 9/16/2016 5:28:30 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
Are any of the following statements factually true?

"Punishing an innocent person is morally wrong."

"Killing without proper justification is morally wrong."

"Raping an infant is morally wrong."

"Compassion is not morally equivalent to cruelty."

"Moral progress is possible."

"Some people can be wrong about their moral judgements."

"Slavery, genocide, human tracking, and gratuitous torture are morally wrong."

"What Hitler did to the Jews during Nazi Germany was wrong."

"generosity is morally superior to greed"

"humility is morally superior to boastfulness"

"kindness is morally superior to hatred"

"honesty is morally superior to dishonesty"


If you agree that any of the above is factually true, you're a moral objectivist.

Hi Ben.

I've been waiting for months now for you to show that, indeed, moral pronouncements can be objectively true. Alas, what I invariably get is a form of "human behaviour suggests as much", which just doesn't cut it, I'm afraid.

So perhaps you would like to take this auspicious opportunity to finally present your case for moral objectivism.

. . .The correct moral theory will either be a position of moral realism or moral non-realism. There are no other options (via the law of excluded middle.)

The position that there are moral facts falls under moral realism.

The position that there are no moral facts, such as moral nihilism and subjectivism, fall under moral non-realism.

Thus, one of the following positions in this trichotomy must be correct:

Moral statements can convey factual truths.

Moral statements can only convey subjective truths.

Moral statements aren't capable of being true or false.
. . .
So, whichever moral theory is correct will be determined between these three live options. To figure out which is the correct one, it will need to be determined by an inference to the best explanation of the data. We have information, obtained both rationially and empirically, that supports the existence of moral facts.

Important things to note before continuing:

First, consensus on moral statements has no impact on whether the truth of the statement is objective. Consensus, in the form of aggregate human behavior, *evidences* (but does not determine) which moral theory is correct.

Second, moral objectivism is not mutually exclusive with the position that there are morally subjective statements. Moral subjectivism, on the other hand, ONLY allows for morally subjective statements.

Third, moral realism (and moral objectivism accordingly), are positions about ontology, not epistemology. It doesn't matter how we came to know that there are moral facts. All that matters is if such moral facts exist. Nor does knowing that there are moral facts give them ontology (actuality). This ties in very well to what we are epistemologically justified in believing what is true....

I'll be focusing my case on support for the notion that moral statements can be factually true. In doing so, it logically follows that both moral subjectivism and nihilism is false.

As already stated, I intend to provide supporting evidence of moral facts in two ways: rationally and empirically.

I'll begin with what rational evidence exists in support of moral facts.

"Evidence" is defined as "the available body of facts or information indicating whether a proposition is true or false."

"Rationality" is defined as "the quality or state of being reasonable, based on facts or reason." Conversely, "irrational" is defined as "not logical or reasonable."

"Reasonable" means "having sound judgement; fair and sensible."

We can derive natural truths on a purely theoretical basis.
" . . . necessary truths, such as we find in pure mathematics, and particularly in arithmetic and geometry, must have principles whose proof does not depend on instances, nor consequently on the testimony of the senses, although without the senses it would never have occurred to us to think of them."
" ... we have a priori knowledge, but it does not offer intuition and deduction as the source of that knowledge. It takes our a priori knowledge to be part of our rational nature. Experience may trigger our awareness of this knowledge, but it does not provide us with it. The knowledge is already there."
http://plato.stanford.edu...

So, we have knowledge of certain things by virtue of our rational nature. Among these things are moral truths. Epistemologically, the objective basis for discerning between true moral statements and false moral statements is whether the statement is rational or irrational.

Note: If moral non-realism is true, moral statements cannot be determined to be rational or irrational. Whether the moral statement is rational or not entirely depends on whether it helps in achieving your ends. I believe that "raping an infant is immoral" is true but a child rapist may believe that "raping an infant is moral" is true. Both of our beliefs, if moral subjectivism is true, are rational. There wouldn't be such thing as a standalone "rational" or "irrational" moral statement.

Now, I will present to you a list of rational moral statements:

"Compassion is morally good"

"Treating people with respect and dignity is morally good"

"patience, humility, forgiveness, and courage are morally righteous traits"

"helping the less fortunate without expectation of reciprocation is noble"

"honesty is morally virtuous"

"cruelty is morally unrighteous"

Here are a list of irrational moral statements:

"Compassion is morally wrong"

"Treating people with respect and dignity is morally wrong."

"patience, humility, forgiveness, and courage are morally evil traits."

"helping the less fortunate without expectation of reciprocation is dishonorable"

"honesty is morally evil"

"cruelty is morally righteous"

And so on.

So, the first part of my case has been to list supporting evidence for the existence of moral facts by appealing to our rational nature, which also enables us to derive certain natural truths. We can objectively discern which moral statements are rational versus irrational on a purely theoretical basis.

The second piece of supporting evidence, empirical behavior, operates independently of the first. More on this coming.
illegalcombat
Posts: 632
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9/17/2016 12:26:28 AM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/16/2016 10:50:58 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 9/16/2016 7:20:42 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 9/16/2016 6:35:34 PM, Omniverse wrote:
At 9/16/2016 6:26:23 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 9/16/2016 6:11:02 PM, Omniverse wrote:
At 9/16/2016 5:50:59 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 9/16/2016 5:46:13 PM, Omniverse wrote:
At 9/16/2016 5:28:30 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
Are any of the following statements factually true?

"Punishing an innocent person is morally wrong."

"Killing without proper justification is morally wrong."

"Raping an infant is morally wrong."

"Compassion is not morally equivalent to cruelty."

"Moral progress is possible."

"Some people can be wrong about their moral judgements."

"Slavery, genocide, human tracking, and gratuitous torture are morally wrong."

"What Hitler did to the Jews during Nazi Germany was wrong."

"generosity is morally superior to greed"

"humility is morally superior to boastfulness"

"kindness is morally superior to hatred"

"honesty is morally superior to dishonesty"


If you agree that any of the above is factually true, you're a moral objectivist.

Hi Ben.

I've been waiting for months now for you to show that, indeed, moral pronouncements can be objectively true. Alas, what I invariably get is a form of "human behaviour suggests as much", which just doesn't cut it, I'm afraid.

So perhaps you would like to take this auspicious opportunity to finally present your case for moral objectivism.

. . .The correct moral theory will either be a position of moral realism or moral non-realism. There are no other options (via the law of excluded middle.)

The position that there are moral facts falls under moral realism.

The position that there are no moral facts, such as moral nihilism and subjectivism, fall under moral non-realism.

Thus, one of the following positions in this trichotomy must be correct:

Moral statements can convey factual truths.

Moral statements can only convey subjective truths.

Moral statements aren't capable of being true or false.
. . .
So, whichever moral theory is correct will be determined between these three live options. To figure out which is the correct one, it will need to be determined by an inference to the best explanation of the data. We have information, obtained both rationially and empirically, that supports the existence of moral facts.

Important things to note before continuing:

First, consensus on moral statements has no impact on whether the truth of the statement is objective. Consensus, in the form of aggregate human behavior, *evidences* (but does not determine) which moral theory is correct.

Second, moral objectivism is not mutually exclusive with the position that there are morally subjective statements. Moral subjectivism, on the other hand, ONLY allows for morally subjective statements.

Third, moral realism (and moral objectivism accordingly), are positions about ontology, not epistemology. It doesn't matter how we came to know that there are moral facts. All that matters is if such moral facts exist. Nor does knowing that there are moral facts give them ontology (actuality). This ties in very well to what we are epistemologically justified in believing what is true....

I'll be focusing my case on support for the notion that moral statements can be factually true. In doing so, it logically follows that both moral subjectivism and nihilism is false.

As already stated, I intend to provide supporting evidence of moral facts in two ways: rationally and empirically.

I'll begin with what rational evidence exists in support of moral facts.

"Evidence" is defined as "the available body of facts or information indicating whether a proposition is true or false."

"Rationality" is defined as "the quality or state of being reasonable, based on facts or reason." Conversely, "irrational" is defined as "not logical or reasonable."

"Reasonable" means "having sound judgement; fair and sensible."

We can derive natural truths on a purely theoretical basis.
" . . . necessary truths, such as we find in pure mathematics, and particularly in arithmetic and geometry, must have principles whose proof does not depend on instances, nor consequently on the testimony of the senses, although without the senses it would never have occurred to us to think of them."
" ... we have a priori knowledge, but it does not offer intuition and deduction as the source of that knowledge. It takes our a priori knowledge to be part of our rational nature. Experience may trigger our awareness of this knowledge, but it does not provide us with it. The knowledge is already there."
http://plato.stanford.edu...

So, we have knowledge of certain things by virtue of our rational nature. Among these things are moral truths. Epistemologically, the objective basis for discerning between true moral statements and false moral statements is whether the statement is rational or irrational.

Note: If moral non-realism is true, moral statements cannot be determined to be rational or irrational. Whether the moral statement is rational or not entirely depends on whether it helps in achieving your ends. I believe that "raping an infant is immoral" is true but a child rapist may believe that "raping an infant is moral" is true. Both of our beliefs, if moral subjectivism is true, are rational. There wouldn't be such thing as a standalone "rational" or "irrational" moral statement.

Now, I will present to you a list of rational moral statements:

"Compassion is morally good"

"Treating people with respect and dignity is morally good"

"patience, humility, forgiveness, and courage are morally righteous traits"

"helping the less fortunate without expectation of reciprocation is noble"

"honesty is morally virtuous"

"cruelty is morally unrighteous"


Here are a list of irrational moral statements:

"Compassion is morally wrong"

"Treating people with respect and dignity is morally wrong."

"patience, humility, forgiveness, and courage are morally evil traits."

"helping the less fortunate without expectation of reciprocation is dishonorable"

"honesty is morally evil"

"cruelty is morally righteous"

And so on.

So, the first part of my case has been to list supporting evidence for the existence of moral facts by appealing to our rational nature, which also enables us to derive certain natural truths. We can objectively discern which moral statements are rational versus irrational on a purely theoretical basis.

The second piece of supporting evidence, empirical behavior, operates independently of the first. More on this coming.

Appealing to rational nature...........OR appealing to our emotional nature ?

OMG, if you don' believe in OM then you believe that baby rape is okey, OMG your a monster ergo Objective morality exists.

I would like OM to be true but here is what you have to do, support OM exists......

1) Without assuming OM is true in the first place

2) Without appealing to emotion.
matt8800
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9/17/2016 3:09:13 AM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/16/2016 5:28:30 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
Are any of the following statements factually true?

"Punishing an innocent person is morally wrong."

"Killing without proper justification is morally wrong."

"Raping an infant is morally wrong."

"Compassion is not morally equivalent to cruelty."

"Moral progress is possible."

"Some people can be wrong about their moral judgements."

"Slavery, genocide, human tracking, and gratuitous torture are morally wrong."

"What Hitler did to the Jews during Nazi Germany was wrong."

"generosity is morally superior to greed"

"humility is morally superior to boastfulness"

"kindness is morally superior to hatred"

"honesty is morally superior to dishonesty"


If you agree that any of the above is factually true, you're a moral objectivist.

Yes, I am a moral objectivist. So is Sam Harris - https://www.youtube.com...

Science can answer moral questions.
matt8800
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9/17/2016 3:11:19 AM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/16/2016 9:42:46 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 9/16/2016 5:28:30 PM, Benshapiro wrote:


As usual, define morality.

Morality is behavior that causes more well-being than suffering to conscious beings.
intellectuallyprimitive
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9/17/2016 4:48:17 AM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/16/2016 5:28:30 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
Are any of the following statements factually true?

"Punishing an innocent person is morally wrong."
Circumstantial
"Killing without proper justification is morally wrong."
Circumstantial
"Raping an infant is morally wrong."
An infant lacks the ability to reason and to convey consent, ergo I find this statement accurate.
"Compassion is not morally equivalent to cruelty."
I find it rather arduous to accept that individuals are either inherently cruel or compassionate.
"Moral progress is possible."
Morality is a learning experience, and learning is progress, therefore morality can progress.
"Some people can be wrong about their moral judgements."
Any individual's moral values are subject to scrutinization and subsequent modification.
"Slavery, genocide, human tracking, and gratuitous torture are morally wrong."
These acts are repugnant.
"What Hitler did to the Jews during Nazi Germany was wrong."
From Adolph's perspective, it was not wrong but necessary.
"generosity is morally superior to greed"
Circumstantial
"humility is morally superior to boastfulness"
The former trait can be often valued more so than conceit as it pertains to social dynamics.
"kindness is morally superior to hatred"
Hatred is an intense psychological entity that can potentially be utilized for personal endeavors that could benefit an individual. It is circumstantial to juxtapose kindness and hate and which is more viable.
"honesty is morally superior to dishonesty"
Honesty can be preferred under certain circumstances, and on the other hand dishonesty could serve as viable method of benefiting an individual.
Bennett91
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9/17/2016 4:58:15 AM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/16/2016 10:50:58 PM, Benshapiro wrote:

We can derive natural truths on a purely theoretical basis.
" . . . necessary truths, such as we find in pure mathematics, and particularly in arithmetic and geometry, must have principles whose proof does not depend on instances, nor consequently on the testimony of the senses, although without the senses it would never have occurred to us to think of them."
" ... we have a priori knowledge, but it does not offer intuition and deduction as the source of that knowledge. It takes our a priori knowledge to be part of our rational nature. Experience may trigger our awareness of this knowledge, but it does not provide us with it. The knowledge is already there."
http://plato.stanford.edu...

So, we have knowledge of certain things by virtue of our rational nature. Among these things are moral truths.

This is why you'll always fail. You leap from 'mathematical truths exist' to 'therefore moral truths exist' w/o filling in the middle.

Epistemologically, the objective basis for discerning between true moral statements and false moral statements is whether the statement is rational or irrational.

Ha, and irrational and rational are defined by your limited scope of right and wrong. So tell me, how is the moral statement "Breast feeding in public is morally acceptable" rational or irrational?

Note: If moral non-realism is true, moral statements cannot be determined to be rational or irrational. Whether the moral statement is rational or not entirely depends on whether it helps in achieving your ends. I believe that "raping an infant is immoral" is true but a child rapist may believe that "raping an infant is moral" is true. Both of our beliefs, if moral subjectivism is true, are rational. There wouldn't be such thing as a standalone "rational" or "irrational" moral statement.

This is, as usual, an appeal to incredulity.
Bennett91
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9/17/2016 5:05:31 AM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/17/2016 3:11:19 AM, matt8800 wrote:
At 9/16/2016 9:42:46 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 9/16/2016 5:28:30 PM, Benshapiro wrote:


As usual, define morality.

Morality is behavior that causes more well-being than suffering to conscious beings.

Oh harm ethics, while appearing objective - all humans want to avoid harm - it's not really because harm is subjective based on the person experiencing it and common traits of the human condition don't really qualify as objective IMO.

Well-being is a subjective term.

Take for example female genital mutilation (FGM), I think Sam Harris has addressed this but I want to hear your take. To the Western eye such a cultural practice is repugnant. To the African populations that do this it is necessary to preserve their virginity and marriage prospects.

You could argue that FGM is wrong because it decreases the well-being of the woman by damaging her sexual organs. But, FMI increases her overall well-being due to the fact that if a woman in that society is not mutilated she will be considered impure and unfit for marriage, thus will not have any real means of financial support and will be shunned by the community - all of this decreasing her well-being.
Bennett91
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9/17/2016 5:14:27 AM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/17/2016 3:11:19 AM, matt8800 wrote:
At 9/16/2016 9:42:46 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 9/16/2016 5:28:30 PM, Benshapiro wrote:


As usual, define morality.

Morality is behavior that causes more well-being than suffering to conscious beings.

An even better example would be to look at western society - we consider it morally superior to more primitive cultures. Despite all the crime debt and suffering that accrues in such a society, which compared to native societies that had much less if none at all of these things it does not appear to be progress morality wise.
Skeptical1
Posts: 696
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9/17/2016 5:56:18 AM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/16/2016 9:42:46 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 9/16/2016 5:28:30 PM, Benshapiro wrote:


As usual, define morality.

My understanding is that basically we have two choices (with some variations thrown in):

1. Good and evil (morality being the thought or behaviour which exhibits or produces good or evil) are absolutes. That is, it they are unchanging and unchangeable. The problem with this approach is that, obviously, as individuals, we don't get to define the nature of good and evil if there is only one universal definition. Therefore, we need to look for some definition outside ourselves - for many people this is God. And the chief problem with the God theory, particularly in Abrahamic religions (other than as practiced by extreme fundamentalists) is that it does seem that the definitions of good and evil have changed considerably over time. Another problem is that given there are so many gods, whose god gets to be the one calling the shots? Is it Yaweh, Allah, Zeus or some other?

2. Morality has no intrinsic meaning. There is no cosmic force or being defining what good and bad are. As an individual, I have to decide for myself what good and bad mean. Societies also make these decisions on behalf of their citizens so that they can create rules by which people should be able to live harmoniously.

Many people who adopt the second approach take some position along the lines of good is that which causes the well-being of sentient creatures, rather than their harm. To me, this seems as good a starting point as any, and preferable to theory 1.

I do not understand why (other than for millennia of being told it must be) so many humans feel a need to assume that 1 is the correct position. It is our right and also our duty to use our brains to decide issues of morality, rather than to look to be spoon-fed them.
Envisage
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9/17/2016 6:59:21 AM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/17/2016 5:56:18 AM, Skeptical1 wrote:
At 9/16/2016 9:42:46 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 9/16/2016 5:28:30 PM, Benshapiro wrote:


As usual, define morality.


My understanding is that basically we have two choices (with some variations thrown in):

1. Good and evil (morality being the thought or behaviour which exhibits or produces good or evil) are absolutes. That is, it they are unchanging and unchangeable. The problem with this approach is that, obviously, as individuals, we don't get to define the nature of good and evil if there is only one universal definition. Therefore, we need to look for some definition outside ourselves - for many people this is God. And the chief problem with the God theory, particularly in Abrahamic religions (other than as practiced by extreme fundamentalists) is that it does seem that the definitions of good and evil have changed considerably over time. Another problem is that given there are so many gods, whose god gets to be the one calling the shots? Is it Yaweh, Allah, Zeus or some other?

2. Morality has no intrinsic meaning. There is no cosmic force or being defining what good and bad are. As an individual, I have to decide for myself what good and bad mean. Societies also make these decisions on behalf of their citizens so that they can create rules by which people should be able to live harmoniously.

Many people who adopt the second approach take some position along the lines of good is that which causes the well-being of sentient creatures, rather than their harm. To me, this seems as good a starting point as any, and preferable to theory 1.

I do not understand why (other than for millennia of being told it must be) so many humans feel a need to assume that 1 is the correct position. It is our right and also our duty to use our brains to decide issues of morality, rather than to look to be spoon-fed them.

Are you 'Skeptical One', aka 'Skeptic Alone'?
Skeptical1
Posts: 696
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9/17/2016 7:11:07 AM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/17/2016 6:59:21 AM, Envisage wrote:
At 9/17/2016 5:56:18 AM, Skeptical1 wrote:
At 9/16/2016 9:42:46 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 9/16/2016 5:28:30 PM, Benshapiro wrote:


As usual, define morality.


My understanding is that basically we have two choices (with some variations thrown in):

1. Good and evil (morality being the thought or behaviour which exhibits or produces good or evil) are absolutes. That is, it they are unchanging and unchangeable. The problem with this approach is that, obviously, as individuals, we don't get to define the nature of good and evil if there is only one universal definition. Therefore, we need to look for some definition outside ourselves - for many people this is God. And the chief problem with the God theory, particularly in Abrahamic religions (other than as practiced by extreme fundamentalists) is that it does seem that the definitions of good and evil have changed considerably over time. Another problem is that given there are so many gods, whose god gets to be the one calling the shots? Is it Yaweh, Allah, Zeus or some other?

2. Morality has no intrinsic meaning. There is no cosmic force or being defining what good and bad are. As an individual, I have to decide for myself what good and bad mean. Societies also make these decisions on behalf of their citizens so that they can create rules by which people should be able to live harmoniously.

Many people who adopt the second approach take some position along the lines of good is that which causes the well-being of sentient creatures, rather than their harm. To me, this seems as good a starting point as any, and preferable to theory 1.

I do not understand why (other than for millennia of being told it must be) so many humans feel a need to assume that 1 is the correct position. It is our right and also our duty to use our brains to decide issues of morality, rather than to look to be spoon-fed them.

Are you 'Skeptical One', aka 'Skeptic Alone'?

No, and I am coming to the conclusion I will need to get a new ID. I didn't realise Skepticalone existed when I took this nick, but it's too confusing - oh well...
Otokage
Posts: 2,351
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9/17/2016 7:36:03 AM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/16/2016 5:28:30 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
Are any of the following statements factually true?

"Punishing an innocent person is morally wrong."

Not factually true. There are no "facts" that I know which demonstrate that punishing innocent people is wrong. Pre-Columbian civilizations sacrificed innocent people and there are no evidences that the mentioned societies considered that morally wrong or punished it in any way.

"Killing without proper justification is morally wrong."

The assumption is quite void, because it implies that killing with proper justification is morally right. Since I'm confident I could always find justification for my acts (I'm very creative), I can not portray an scenario in which killing is wrong.

"Raping an infant is morally wrong."

Muslims might disagree with that. The paradign of morality in Islam actualy raped a 9 year old girl. What makes you right and not them? They are almost a cuarter of the world in numbers, so I think you should have pretty convincing arguments to offend so many people.

"Compassion is not morally equivalent to cruelty."

True, they are not equivalent feelings, so it only follows that they are not morally equivalent. Doesn't mean one is right and the other wrong.

"Moral progress is possible."

Within a subjective moral framework with clear purposes, yes, anything that progresses towards those purposes is a progress.

"Some people can be wrong about their moral judgements."

Wrong as self-inconsistent, yes. Wrong because they are inconsistent with you or society? No.

"Slavery, genocide, human tracking, and gratuitous torture are morally wrong."

There's no such thing as gratuitous torture. People kill and torture for a reason, always. About slave and genocide of course they are not universally morally wrong. Abrahamic religions do not ban slavery, so for most of the world slave shouldn't be wrong. Abrahamic religions do not ban genocide either, rather encourage it, starting by the genocides commited by God like the flood, Sodoma's destruction, etc.

"What Hitler did to the Jews during Nazi Germany was wrong."

To me? Yes. To nazis or jew-haters? I don't think so. Who is right?

"generosity is morally superior to greed"

It's different, plus greed borns from a necessity, and not sure satisfying a necessity can be considered wrong as an absolute.

"humility is morally superior to boastfulness"

It's socially more accepted in particular contexts. I don't know if Midde-Aged kings, Roman emperors, or High Society artists were expected to be humble, maybe that wasn't a very good trait according to their perspective.

"kindness is morally superior to hatred"

No.

"honesty is morally superior to dishonesty"

No.

If you agree that any of the above is factually true, you're a moral objectivist.

See, you don't have a problem in labeling people, but I do. Who of us is wrong? Subjectivism, my friend.
Bennett91
Posts: 4,231
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9/17/2016 7:52:19 AM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/17/2016 6:59:21 AM, Envisage wrote:


Why did you not respond to me in Shapiro's dull thread? Was I too rude?
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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9/17/2016 9:47:46 AM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/17/2016 7:52:19 AM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 9/17/2016 6:59:21 AM, Envisage wrote:


Why did you not respond to me in Shapiro's dull thread? Was I too rude?

Because I didn't really see it as very productive. It meant re-reading your interaction with Ben from post 1 (since you cited some of it in your responses), which (hopefully understandably) I wasn't too interested in doing.

Some parts of your post seemed fair and a lot of the others were a clear case of talking past me. Something like:

Me: Your argument B doesn't address Ben's argument A->C.
You: But B gives D...
Me: Still nothing to do with A ->C...

But your response is understandable, given that Ben barely did give a coherent argument, and you end up having to assume way too much of Ben's post to make it such.

I hate incomplete arguments, a complete pet hate, they leave people to subconsciously fill in the gaps and gives tendancies for people who already agreeing with the position finding it completely cogent, and people who do not already agree with the position thinking 'wtf is this sh*t'. You see it everywhere in politics, from virtualy any side.
matt8800
Posts: 2,077
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9/17/2016 2:44:57 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/17/2016 5:05:31 AM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 9/17/2016 3:11:19 AM, matt8800 wrote:
At 9/16/2016 9:42:46 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 9/16/2016 5:28:30 PM, Benshapiro wrote:


As usual, define morality.

Morality is behavior that causes more well-being than suffering to conscious beings.

Oh harm ethics, while appearing objective - all humans want to avoid harm - it's not really because harm is subjective based on the person experiencing it and common traits of the human condition don't really qualify as objective IMO.

Well-being is a subjective term.

Take for example female genital mutilation (FGM), I think Sam Harris has addressed this but I want to hear your take. To the Western eye such a cultural practice is repugnant. To the African populations that do this it is necessary to preserve their virginity and marriage prospects.

You could argue that FGM is wrong because it decreases the well-being of the woman by damaging her sexual organs. But, FMI increases her overall well-being due to the fact that if a woman in that society is not mutilated she will be considered impure and unfit for marriage, thus will not have any real means of financial support and will be shunned by the community - all of this decreasing her well-being.

Would it be better for a female's well-being to be born in a society that rejects FGM or forced to endure it because she lives in such a society?

I am sure medical doctors and psychologists would agree that a society that rejects FGM is more ideal to the individual female's overall life experience.
matt8800
Posts: 2,077
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9/17/2016 2:50:56 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/17/2016 5:14:27 AM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 9/17/2016 3:11:19 AM, matt8800 wrote:
At 9/16/2016 9:42:46 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 9/16/2016 5:28:30 PM, Benshapiro wrote:


As usual, define morality.

Morality is behavior that causes more well-being than suffering to conscious beings.

An even better example would be to look at western society - we consider it morally superior to more primitive cultures. Despite all the crime debt and suffering that accrues in such a society, which compared to native societies that had much less if none at all of these things it does not appear to be progress morality wise.

Why would you think primitive cultures dont have people that commit what would be considered crimes? Would you still believe that if you consider cannibalism, human sacrifice, murder and slavery of other tribes, ownership of females, etc?

Any comparison would need to be on balance. Some moral questions can be tricky but only because it is difficult to quantify what causes more or less suffering. The only thing that is missing is the data showing full impact.
bulproof
Posts: 25,274
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9/17/2016 4:23:28 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
Since morality is subjective is truth subjective?
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin