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Do you think morality is objective (yes) or subjective (no)?

Asked by: ladiesman
  • Morality should be objective

    Objective morality allows for moral progression; where subjectivity would have us going around in circles. i.e. Slavery is wrong in Objective Morality. Slavery may be wrong NOW in Subjective Morality, but in a hundred years time, it might be the "moral" thing to do. In two-hundred years it might be immoral again.

    Objective morality forces us to acknowledge hard truths rather than self-deluded ideas of greater goods and greater evils. i.e. Stealing is wrong. Stealing food to feed our family IS still wrong, because we're stealing from other people's families. The subjective moralist would claim it moral due to necessity. Words fallen to deaf ears to the family they've stolen from.

  • There is only one right and wrong.

    Objectivity is the idea that there is only one right or wrong. This doesn't necessarily mean we can always know if it's right or not. But there either is a god or there isn't, you having an opinion on whether there's a god or not doesn't affect whether he exists or not. If he exists he exists whether you like it or not, If he doesn't he will not exist anymore than he does now if you believe in him. Moral subjectivity is how you get things like Hitler and such. We need to understand that certain things are right and certain things are wrong. Murder is always wrong, rape is always wrong. Whether society says it is or not doesn't matter it's still wrong.

  • The case for Objective morality.

    Objective morality is the idea that a certain system of ethics or set of moral judgments is not just true according to a person's subjective opinion, but factually true. Proponents of this theory would argue that a statement like "Murder is wrong" can be as objectively true as "1 + 1 = 2." Most of the time, the alleged source is God, or the Kantian Categorical Imperative; arguably, no objective source of morality has ever been confirmed, nor have any a priori proofs been offered to the effect that morality is anything other than subjective.

    The moral principles that people claim to be "objective" usually coincide very well with what they feel subjectively to be true. When pressed to provide justification, the person in question will usually just fail to understand that morality might not be objective, and might consequently grow increasingly doubtful or hysterical as the subjective bases of their arguments are progressively revealed, as has been observed in recent times.

    Most of the objective morals promoted today in the West are grounded in Christianity. Among Christians, it follows from the ideas of inherent human sinfulness and original sin that one's subjective moral instincts must be categorically classed as evil. Thus, say the Christians, one needs an external, objective source for morality. And — speak of the devil — there is such an external, objective source to be found at a nonspecific location in the sky, sitting on a throne.

    The Catholic Church originally admitted several sources for such morality, including human reason; but at the Protestant Reformation, when the principle of "total depravity" was promulgated to an unprecedented degree, human reason became very dodgy and the Bible became the only source that was not suspect. Hence, we see creationists arguing that there are no meaningful morals if Genesis 1 is not true to the letter.

    A common argument in favor of objective morality is to assert that all societies agree that murder is wrong. However, murder is by definition the unlawful taking of life, so any agreement is merely that people within a society should obey the rules of society. For the argument to have any validity, all societies would have to agree on which types of killing constitute murder, but even a cursory review of human history shows this is not the case. Infanticide, which one might think would be universally reviled, was perfectly acceptable to the Romans and Spartans. Human sacrifice has been practiced by cultures around the world, as have judicial executions. The slaughter of civilians in war was widely accepted until fairly modern times. Some cultures did not consider it murder to kill people from other nations. In the Edo period, samurai had wide latitude to kill peasants over the slightest discourtesy. Unless there is at least one type of killing that is universally considered to be murder, it cannot be argued that all societies agree that murder is wrong in any meaningful sense.

  • Immoral people don't want to accept the truth

    Most people can't recognise when a martial art instructor abuses his students because they only think of their self. The fact that people struggle to know the difference between right and wrong does not mean morality is subjective, it means they do not want to accept the truth - that they are pursuing the wrong goal.

    Morality is objective because humans will either be selfish, or both selfish and selfless simultaneously. If you do something for a selfish reason then it is wrong and you deserve to be punished, however if you do something right you deserve to be rewarded.

  • There are some things universally bad or good.

    There are things in life that regardless of your personal beliefs everyone agrees on being bad. For example it is accepted that killing someone with no reason is wrong, it is wrong to leave a toddler on their own in public. It is accepted that giving to charity is good, and that sacrificing yourself for others is heroic. In conclusion there are things objectively viewed as moral or immoral.

  • Depends on how you look at it.

    Yes, everyone tends to appear to have different moral beliefs. An act that one sees as immoral, another does not. This may be easily seen as subjective morality, but things are not always as the seem.
    If you ask anyone if the person closest to them should be harmed or killed, they would unanimously say "NO". If you ask them if something should be done to a person that harms or kills the person closest to them, they would unanimously say "YES". This is because of the in-group/out-group morality. People who give us something we feel we need, we consider them as one of our in-groups. Those that take away something we need or go against someone in our in-group we consider them part of one of our out-groups. Actions that you would find immoral to do to one of your in-group, you would condone for those in your out-group. This may be a bit confusing so lets use an example.
    War: Because of your military training, you tend to look at the other soldiers on your side as those in your in-group. The enemy would obviously be part of your out-group. In combat, even though you may not know anyone on either side, you defend your fellow soldiers with your life yet at the same time, try to kill the enemy soldiers. You basically know nothing about the people on either side yet determine who should be allowed to live or die based on your belief of who is in your in-group.
    This is not unique as just about every moral decision you make is based on who is in what group. As another example: Many/most people have no issue eating other animals. This is because the animals are not part of their in-group. The exceptions to this are vegans/vegetarians. They consider animals as part of their in-group but seeing that nobody considers plants as their in-group, it is okay to eat them.
    Fact is, this conditional morality is part of survival of self and a species. To protect yourself and your species, you need others to ensure the survival. This way they can give you what you feel you need to survive. It isn't even unique to humans as most other life forms have this same survival instinct. In the end, we all have the same basic morals, we just appear to have different ones because we each have different view of who or what is in our in/out-groups.

  • It has to be

    If there is an objective morality that exists but nobody believes in it then it has no effect on the world in any way shape or form. For something to be objective that has no effects unless people believe in it doesn't make any sense. Hence all morality is subjective.

  • There will always be a scenario in which something is right.

    Imagine if you were forced to choose between two options. One, do nothing and let 10 people die, or kill one person. Morally, I would choose the second. Therefore, for me at least, killing is not objectivity wrong. It can conceivably be a moral thing to do, in the right scenario. This logic can apply to any moral action. Therefore all morality is subjective not objective.

  • Morality is conditional

    Philosophers in the tradition of David Hume have been skeptical about objective truth in ethics because it would have to mean that moral propositions are true because they represent moral entities or structures of the world in which humans have interaction, as they do with physical objects. Moral standards are not material objects, we cannot point to them in the material sense. A 20th-century philosopher named Bernard Williams was also dicey about moral objectivity; his argument is that moral judgements are about what people should do and how they should live, they don't represent how things are in the outside world.

  • Nothing is 100% right or wrong.

    No matter what the circumstance, someone can bring up at least one "good" thing about it. For morality to be objective, there would need to be a definitive, set-in-stone non-man-made set of rules that explain morality completely.

    If God were proven to exist, morality would be objective. But because we justify our actions and we explain why something is right or wrong, morality is not objective.

  • Morality prevalent today is subjective in nature.

    Objective morality is the idea that a certain system of ethics or set of moral judgments is not just true according to a person's subjective opinion, but factually true. Proponents of this theory would argue that a statement like "Murder is wrong" can be as objectively true as "1 + 1 = 2." Most of the time, the alleged source is God, or the Kantian Categorical Imperative; arguably, no objective source of morality has ever been confirmed, nor have any a priori proofs been offered to the effect that morality is anything other than subjective.

    The moral principles that people claim to be "objective" usually coincide very well with what they feel subjectively to be true. When pressed to provide justification, the person in question will usually just fail to understand that morality might not be objective, and might consequently grow increasingly doubtful or hysterical as the subjective bases of their arguments are progressively revealed, as has been observed in recent times.

    Most of the objective morals promoted today in the West are grounded in Christianity. Among Christians, it follows from the ideas of inherent human sinfulness and original sin that one's subjective moral instincts must be categorically classed as evil. Thus, say the Christians, one needs an external, objective source for morality. And — speak of the devil — there is such an external, objective source to be found at a nonspecific location in the sky, sitting on a throne.

    The Catholic Church originally admitted several sources for such morality, including human reason; but at the Protestant Reformation, when the principle of "total depravity" was promulgated to an unprecedented degree, human reason became very dodgy and the Bible became the only source that was not suspect. Hence, we see creationists arguing that there are no meaningful morals if Genesis 1 is not true to the letter.

  • There is always a motive

    People always have reasons for doing things. Whether they are justified or not is the subjective part. No morality cannot be subjective because there is no way to definitively prove right from wrong. Some motives may seem twisted or contrary to yours, but you can't say that they are wrong for having a different view on something.

  • Read my abortion debate

    I'm in the process of debating whether abortion is morally permissible, and in there I explain the subjectivity of morality. Everyone has some moral code, but the extent of their moral code as well as the amount of self control that moral code exerts differs from person to person, therefore ultimately being subjective.


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ladiesman says2015-08-30T00:12:29.260
There is a meta-ethical idea that says "good and bad" are properties of situations, and "right and wrong" are properties of action.
vi_spex says2015-08-30T16:20:16.937
Morality is subjective guided by objective so absolute
vi_spex says2015-08-30T16:20:27.013
Like math
ladiesman says2015-09-01T01:11:36.787
Maybe what morality is the difference between what one be in favor of or do vs. What he/she is against or would not do.