Are all actions ethically subjective? (Does Morality exist?)

Asked by: SmileyOstrich
  • Objective morality exists

    Morality exists and it is objective. Indeed, morality is a universal constant which humans become aware of via reasoning. It is a metaphysical matter and has been communicated mostly through religion in society.

    Morality is detrimental to our existence as human beings, without which humans would degenerate into utter savagery.

  • If Truth exists, so must Morality

    If we define truth as that which is agreed upon by a society, community or large group of people, then Morality could be defined as what is considered right and wrong by a society or community. This may be difficult to determine as knowing the "mean" values of a population is difficult to ascertain. Just because something is difficult to measure or is presently unknown however, does not mean that it does not exist. For those who would limit the interpretation of this question to the realm/context of each "unique" individual, then the question of a moral or ethical universe can certainly be answered from an individual centered basis. Nonetheless, a beach with billions of grains of sand tends to look the same from afar regardless of the individual variation of each grain of sand.

  • A matter of Quantification

    The argument regarding objectivity is, of course, one of semantics. The quality of an act being objective is then a matter of quantification, rather than perception. Moral objectivity then becomes an issue of objective judgement: what act, if any, can exist without human bias. If we look to quantify actions absent human bias, we are left only with actions carried out in the interest of survival, as survival is a physiological quality inherent in all species. It stands then that, objectivily, morality can only be quantified according to actions specific to our survival; therefore, survival is the only objective measure of morality.

  • If suffering and consequence are objective, then so is morality.

    Human suffering is objective because we can detect it behaviourally, neuroscientifically, biochemically, psychologically and anthropologically.

    Note that here, objective does not mean absolute -- it simply means that physical evidence is sufficient to draw shared conclusions, and that our conclusions can improve as our evidence does.

    Consequence is also objective. Anyone who doubts this is invited to step off a third-storey balcony in a spirit of optimism and self-empowerment.

    Morality can be defined as the principled and compassionate application of knowledge and insight to seek shared wellbeing and avoid needless suffering.

    Morality can therefore be derived and improved from observation and a better understanding of consequence. This is evidence, since the US Bill of Rights and the UN Declaration of Human Rights are intellectual artefacts of the Enlightenment that were never produced from the scientific knowledge of Bronze Age societies and their religions.

    However, an objective approach to morality does not mean that there will not be minor differences regarding appreciation of risk and benefit, or that pressure groups will not seek special pleading by trying to confound observations, challenge inference and undermine reason. Wisdom must be grown through a continuing and respectful conversation between anyone of good will who has knowledge or insights to contribute. It is through this that human morality has developed, and will continue to develop.

  • It is inescapably true; Doesn't Mean We Can't Have Morality and Ethics

    I've argued before in favor of the opposite point of view, but I've thought about it and it is inespacably true that all actions are ethically subjective. If you ask "why is X right or wrong?" then you could ask the same thing about what it is for ad infinitum and if you say it is right or wrong in and of itself then anybody could say that about anything, so that's subjective.

    This doesn't mean we can't have ethics or morality. This doesn't even mean we have to tolerate everything (if ethics and morality is subjective, it follows whether or not to tolerate this or that is also subjective).

    Not having any subjective ethics or morality is either being a psychopath or a push-over. The psychopath thinks "nothing is right or wrong, so I'll do what ever I want, even lie and say I think things are right or wrong if it suits my agenda." And the push-over thinks "nothing is right or wrong, all these qualities I have that people think are so nice are just my personal preference, so when others are mean or even taking advantage of me I won't object or try to stop them because it's just their personal way of doing things."

  • Morality does not exist.

    Existence can arguably be defined as perception, either perceiving or being perceived. Therefore because perception is undeniably subjective, the ethical evaluation of an action by perception is also subjective. This means that taking an ethical stance is purely an expression of an individuals subjective opinion of the perceived world and action around them. We can conclude the morality is not absolute, but is simply an expression of belief.

  • 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.

  • Morality is ambigous

    There are many situations in which there are no clear right or wrong. If morality existed, then how come not everyone agrees on what is right or wrong?, if there was no debate over any subjects whatsoever, and everyone agreed that specific actions were right and wrong, then it would be clear that there was a right and wrong, but since almost every debate has two sides, it shows that there isn't a clear cut action that is right or wrong

    Examples of this are things like death penalty and abortion, if you asked certain groups about these topics, they would have very different opinions, so therefore how can you say there is a clear moral answer to either when there is so much disagreement as to what it is.

    Also, you don't simply perform actions which are considered "Immoral" by others because they are considered immoral(Well very rarely anyway), you do it because you have a justification as to why you do it, if someone kills a nasty person, they may justify it with the person deserving it. If an act is truly immoral, then there would be no way of justifying it, but since you can justify most immoral deeds in certain situations, there is therefore no clear morality.

  • Morality is only what society chooses it to be.

    Morality is only what society chooses it to be. There is no objective code that everyone has to follow because everyone views,reacts to and feel things differently. A look at history can definitively prove that there is no such thing as an objective morality. Back then slavery and what we consider to be pedophile today was condoned. Murder in some cases was also condoned so this alone shows that our moral views are established by what the majority of society tells us.

  • Morality is not real, its a derivative of Emotions.

    Run over a puppy with your car, what do you feel? Step on ants, what do you feel? The fact is, you will have deeper feeling for the puppy than the ants. This is because puppy has emotions, ants don't. Humans are emphatic creature, we feel what others feel. Remember when you were young, when you do something "bad" and punished by your parents? The punishment itself has activated certain emotions (in this case, fear) that make us avoid repeating the same action in the future. As we grown up, it became some sort of common sense, and thus, morality is "born". Morality is a pre-conception installed into our brain through education and social interaction. Without it, we are capable of anything, we are invincible.

  • Morality is a man-made social construct.

    There does not seem to be any concrete evidence that a higher power has created us alongside rules for us to follow. When something is said to be moral, it depends on a person's views, with many factors influencing it such as religion. What might be moral to a Christian could be immoral to a Muslim and so on. The morality of an action completely depends on what sort of background you look at it from, and so morality is subjectively-based because of the differences in these backgrounds.

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