From the moment of birth, all human beings value things. A baby will value the mother that takes care of her. When a human being reaches the age where they are able to obtain knowledge, they begin to discover that they have choices every moment of their day--whether to eat or not eat, sleep or not, fight or flight, live or die. The age will come where the child discovers that there is a connection between values and choices, and this is where ethics comes in.
Let me pause here to remind us that morality, in order to be objective, must also be rational. A rational man understands that he, as a Human Being, was born to live happily. Even when struggling, he finds happiness in the mere fact he is still alive to pursue greater happiness and achieve your values. I know for hundreds of situations, this shows to be the most difficult thing in the world. But the rational man knows that the beautiful thing about his life is that we, as Human Beings were also born with the power to withstand such challenges.
That power is Reason. This is our method of understanding ethics, and our ONLY method--as proved by my earlier refutations of the logical fallacies. Faith and force are by no means valid methods of gaining values, or creating happiness. You may say that many religious devotees are happy, but--from direct experience with religion myself, and dozens and dozens of types of religious people--these people do not understand the meaning of happiness any more than they understand the nature of God. This is hardly the point, however. The point is that life is not enjoyable for Man if he cannot live it happily, and in order to do that, he needs a proper code of ethics that is beneficial for HIM, and focuses on how he treats HIMSELF, not how he treats others.
We can now conclude that the proper ethical code for Man is Rational Egoism, for it follows logic, and it acts to achieve a Man's values and happiness. Do not confuse this with Egotism, which is what the general consensus believes to mean harsh selfishness, acting on one's own interest without any regard to values or principles whatsoever. Rational egoism integrates principles to values, and Objectivism, specifically, defines seven fundamental virtues that an Objective Morality uses in order to achieve one's values.
However, that is not the main topic of his board.
Though everyone has a unique set of morals, a universal standard may be possible. For good can be defined as selflessness, giving at the cost if the self while selfishness is harming or using others for self interest or pleasure. While gray situations exist, a universal mind can choose the lesser evil or greater good. There are hundreds of thousands of variables to consider but a god-like being with vast intelligence can determine the "perfect" path. As humans we wonder what that path or scale is. We can only guess, but the best way to do so is to live your life as an embodiment of good or evil - whatever that may be to you, a human being, on a rocky planet, in the Milky Way galaxy of an infinite universe in an infinite number of multiverses. God... That is a lot to think about, but true universal love can be possible. An example is seen with a computer - binary morality is a good explanation if we live in a giant simulation or in a universe that appears to be a giant cosmic computer program... So... Be good :) love others :) show mercy :) love justice :) don't hate your enemies :) and work for a better world, even if that means sacrifice ( material, happiness, your life, your desires for example). Hard isn't it. I know. Still we can try... All of us... At least I hope ...
Yes it exists and it's rooted in common sense even though not every moral question is common sense. We're all here, we're all alive, we all love pleasure, we all hate pain, we are all to some extent responsible for our own pleasure and pain and it's not practical to hold everyone absolutely responsible for everybody else's happiness nor would that be desirable. Morality is messy but you can't just say for example "eating cheetos is virtuous". Granted I don't think it's wrong but there's nothing morally virtuous about it either, it doesn't pertain to morality. If morality wasn't objective you could just say anything you wanted was "morality" and have it be equally correct.
It seems here that many people simply don't understand what objective morality is. Objective morality (or moral realism) is defined as "Moral realists are those who think that, in these respects, things should be taken at face value—moral claims do purport to report facts and are true if they get the facts right.", furthermore these facts are true or false independent of what independent of what anyone thinks. Once it has been defined there are two things that must be pointed out:
1 - Divine Command Theory doesn't qualify: Why? Because these moral facts must be true or false independent of anyone's opinion, including God's! If something is right because and only because God says so, then these moral facts are dependent upon God's opinion!
2 - This is far broader reaching than you think: An earlier poster has stated that under some circumstances, murder is right, what this fails to acknowledge is that most moral realists would heartily concur! In order to look for the truly objective moral facts we need to look deeper than at things such as murder, take for instance the principle that maximising suffering for the sake of maximising suffering is always wrong - such a statement is objective, and is clearly a form of moral realism/objective morality. If one is to take the notion of moral anti-realism seriously, they must genuinely believe that there is no moral difference whatsoever, beyond the arbitrary evolution of human opinion, between Hitler and FDR, between the South and the North in the civil war, or heck, even between Darkseid and Superman.
If there really is no difference between right and wrong, then sociopaths are perceiving the world more accurately than the rest of us. While we look at the world and perceive a difference between right and wrong that isn't really there, sociopaths see the world as it truly is--completely devoid of any right or wrong. But we all think sociopaths are crazy. That's why we consider it a mental illness. Their minds aren't working right. If we consider sociopathy to be a mental illness, that shows that we think a correctly working mind is a mind that perceives a difference between right and wrong.
Objective morality exists. When we say that objective morality exists, we're not saying we "like" or "dislike" some action like we "like" or "dislike" ice cream. It makes no sense to say that mint chocolate chip is objectively the best ice cream flavor. That's because people have different tastes, and that's okay when it comes to confections. But it makes perfect sense to say that rape is objectively wrong in all situations, for all people and at all times. When we speak of an act as being objectively wrong, we are speaking of the act itself, not our opinion of it. Just because people disagree about morality doesn't mean they're all right. To say they're all right violates the Law of Non-Contradiction.
In fact, take the actions of rape and torturing children for fun. There are no situations in which either of those actions are ever acceptable, and you have to be a pretty horrible person to claim that it would ever be acceptable to commit a heinous act of violence like rape against someone, or to say that torturing children for fun is justified if you feel it's right.
Concensus would likely say that Ideas DO exist, that Objective Morality is an Idea created by the Individuals Perception and therefore does exist. Though only in the hearts, the minds, the gleam of light through the tears of the newborn child, radiant in its ever powerful wings on a dream so far beyond the Moonlight, through the Fires and the Flames so far away Beyond Reality, Lost within my own mind, trapped inside you'll never find, but anyway I've gotta go... ON TOWARDS THE WILDERNESS MY QUEST CARRIES ON!
Yes, objective morality exists, whether we like to acknowledge it or not. Those that base their morals on a subjective source (one's self or another person) would say "no". If morality was a subjective matter, there wouldn't be an objective wrong - yet if one breaks a law, it is an objective wrong. It is counted as "wrong" because the law was broken, not because the action was judged good or bad by the person breaking the law. A ticket is not written based on ones interpretation of running a red light being good vs the cop saying it was bad, but rather breaking the law. For us to set up a citizen-voted law already proves that there is an Objective Moral Law in which we all agree that obeying the citizen-voted law is good. Those that break the voted-law know it is bad to break it and do break it trying to not be caught, ex. scams, bank robbers wearing masks, drug smuggling, radar detectors, statutory relations, the list goes on. True subjective morality would be chaos-breaking laws couldn't be viewed at as being bad and the law-breaker should then be judged according to his/her own morals and not according to any other person's morals. To judge someone by another person's morals would be against a subjective moralist's belief. Isn't that why so many subjective moralists oppose the idea of an Objective Morality?..."Don't judge me by your standards. What is right & good for you may be wrong & bad for me." Nothing personal against who you are. Just presenting an argument on Objective vs Subjective Morality. I would love to hear the opposition to this. It will only sharpen us both.
"The Great Courses" covers this and so does this new book, http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16241132-touching-a-nerve
YES! Even lower mammals are hard-wired for group-benefiting behavior.
YES! Humans ARE pack-animals. YES! It is born there and does not need religion. Humans will kill one to save five if they have to push a switch but struggle to kill one to save five if they have to, actually, push the one themselves.
Regardless of whether things are the result of an omnipotent creator of all things or the laws that govern the universe, the source of everything a man would call "evil" or "immoral", is also the source of everything a man would call "good" or "moral". The only logical conclusion is that what man calls "evil" and "immoral", MUST be something else. Unless, of course, one believes that God is wrong or that universal laws have been broken. Or, perhaps, believes that such things exist outside the reach and scope of the source of everything else, as uncreated, ungoverned things.In which case, how would they be perceived, at all, from within a created and/or governed universe?
God or no God, both sides of this argument are arguing the same thing - that there are things within the universe that operate outside the scope of the laws that govern it - things that "should not exist". Whether it is the atheists opinion of "religion" or the religious man's opinion of "evil", is irrelevant. The argument is moot.
Everyone is different, and no one will have the same opinions. Morals are not laws; there is no central thought on any morals, and therefore not everyone will feel the same way about moral issues. It isn't possible to put an overarching "good" or "bad" on everything, because not every moral issue is clear cut.
Morals are going to be different and unique for every person. For me, abortion is wrong. It is immoral and murder. For someone else. maybe it is perfectly moral and only a preventative measure. I seriously doubt that there are two people in the world that agree on every single issue. There morals would be different, even if only slightly.
Murder is not naturally wrong. Murder is wrong because we noticed that murder damages our society at an early point in our history. We decided to outlaw murder, not to appease a larger being but to allow our community to survive. Like the title suggest, our morality comes from whats best for us as a species to survive, rather than what is naturally correct.
Morality is a product of the mind hence its subjective not objective. Even with god its still the produce of a mind. Evil only means anything if there are people you think its evil. The idea that morality is from some magical code is meaningless, this code would only be "moral" if people thought it was moral
Nobody has ever been able to define an Objective (Natural/Empirical) Basis Which Defines Objective Morality, as such a basis is entirely non-existent. Theism claims God is the Basis of Objective Morality, yet God cannot be shown to exist, and therefore they still have no Confirmed basis for their Delusional concept.
Morality/ Ethics is entirely Subjective and alters within each culture.
Killing can be justified or unjustified, the rules change in each religion, so if God was a basis for Objective Morality, the basis in inconsistent, which cannot be considered Objective.
I can't see how there isn't a logical contradiction between opinion and objectivity. I cannot prove anything to be objectively morally correct or incorrect, and I can't see how I possibly could. Morality is just opinion, as a Muslim can think that drawing the prophet is evil and worthy of death, but a non-Muslim wouldn't think so. Neither of them are correct or incorrect, it's simply opinion.
I point you to the works of Zimbardo and his ''stanford prison experiment'', carried out in 1973. The gist of this experiment is that he took a handleful of students, spilt them into ''prisoners'' and ''guards'', made a makeshift prison, and just watched what happened. All of the students were given psychological and physical evaluations to ensure he had normal, stable and well-adjusted human beings. The results were horrifying; the study was intended to run for a fortnight, and was stopped by Zimbardo after 6 days of ''prisoners'' having meltdowns, the ''guards'' becoming increasingly abusive, violent and really starting to enjoy their power over the ''prisoners''.
Humans are only so good or bad as the situation allows them to be. As much as I wish I could say otherwise, this is the reality. Every single human being on Earth, under the right circumstances, could turn out being seen a evil, manipulative and cruel, even crazy.
It seems to me, that in order for there to be objective morality, there has to be someone, or something, higher than human beings that make the acts moral, or immoral. Furthermore, morality isn't only relative to different people, but to different situations as well. For example, take the idea that murder is wrong. Murder is ending a human life. So, in an objective morality, it is absolutely wrong to end another human's life. Most would agree. Unless, of course, that person was threatening your life, and you killed them in self defense. Objective morality judges the result of an action, not the motive. The opposite is true for relative morality. In other words, in an objective morality, you are wrong to murder someone, no matter what the motive for the action was. Because the end result is, you ended another human's life. However, relative morality looks at the motive for the action, meaning that murder isn't wrong if you end someone's life in self defense.
Most people look at morality in regards to the person, and not the situation. For that reason, the idea of relative morality is usually pretty unpopular. However, if you look at morality in regards to different situations as well, you'd see that in a lot of ways, people who believe in objective morality, really do believe in relative morality. They just don't know it, or are in denial.
There are no solid black or white answers to moral questions. Concepts of evil change from person to person. Take the issue of abortion, for example. Both sides of the debate firmly believe that morality and goodness are on their side while lambasting their opponents. So, there is no such thing as a defined sense of morality, objective or otherwise.