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Is Morality Objective?
#1

Is Morality Objective?
I think here's some great two videos on the matter of objective morality:





I've tried to talk to people about objective morality before... but it's hard getting through to people. So perhaps YouTube can help as these two videos are very accessible and easily understood by most people (I hope).
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
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#2

Is Morality Objective?
In short, no.

The first video is quite good at describing the basic issues and reasoning.

Since he mentions both, I will simply say Hume defeats Kant, one to nil.
Philosophy is about asking questions.
Science is about answering questions.
Theology is about avoiding questions.
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#3

Is Morality Objective?
I agree with the first guy point by point:



What he refers to as "axiomatic oughts" I have referred to a human nature, which is both objective and relative to us as a species and as individuals. In other words, you can build ought arguments from ought premises and be objective. So yes, morality can be objective in a scientific sense of the word.
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#4

Is Morality Objective?
I agree that there are some moral statements that we generally accept as being axiomatically true. But I don't think that they are true to the same reliable level that we accept the spherical shape of the earth as being true. I think that the guy who argued that we use objective in different scientific and philosophical senses made a good point, but I still don't think that acceptance of axiomatic moral truths is on the same level as accepting that the world is round. That the world is round is accepted as basically an unchanging fact with no exceptions. Things like our imperative to survive do change; in some circumstances we lose it; in some circumstances we set it aside if we have the fortitude to do so. Moral axioms are likely to have too many exceptions to be as reliable as the belief that the world is round. We continuously renegotiate the social contract.

I'm going to stop right there, because I am limiting my response to the specifics discussed in those two videos.
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#5

Is Morality Objective?
(10-31-2018, 02:01 PM)Chas Wrote: In short, no.

The first video is quite good at describing the basic issues and reasoning.

Since he mentions both, I will simply say Hume defeats Kant, one to nil.

Did you watch the second video?
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
Reply
#6

Is Morality Objective?
(10-31-2018, 02:32 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote: I agree with the first guy point by point:



What he refers to as "axiomatic oughts" I have referred to a human nature, which is both objective and relative to us as a species and as individuals.  In other words, you can build ought arguments from ought premises and be objective.  So yes, morality can be objective in a scientific sense of the word.

So you mean you agree with the second guy?
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
Reply
#7

Is Morality Objective?
(10-31-2018, 02:01 PM)Chas Wrote: Since he mentions both, I will simply say Hume defeats Kant, one to nil.

The idea that you can't get an ought from an is assumes that there is more to what is than what is.

Kant's moral framework is nonsensical as he's a deontologist and only consequentialism makes sense.

But objective morality does make sense consequentially.
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
Reply
#8

Is Morality Objective?
(10-31-2018, 04:39 PM)Yonadav Wrote: But I don't think that they are true to the same reliable level that we accept the spherical shape of the earth as being true.  

But there is a fact of the matter whether X causes someone to suffer or it doesn't.
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
Reply
#9

Is Morality Objective?
(10-31-2018, 02:32 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote: I agree with the first guy point by point:

What he refers to as "axiomatic oughts" I have referred to a human nature, which is both objective and relative to us as a species and as individuals.  In other words, you can build ought arguments from ought premises and be objective.  So yes, morality can be objective in a scientific sense of the word.

Only if you equate human nature with ought.  I see no sound reason to do so.
We are a product of evolution as are all other organisms.
Ought chimpanzees fling poo?
Ought wolves feed on still living animals?
Ought wasps paralyze prey so that their larvae can feed on living insects?
And so on.
Philosophy is about asking questions.
Science is about answering questions.
Theology is about avoiding questions.
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#10

Is Morality Objective?
(10-31-2018, 07:31 PM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote:
(10-31-2018, 02:01 PM)Chas Wrote: Since he mentions both, I will simply say Hume defeats Kant, one to nil.

The idea that you can't get an ought from an is assumes that there is more to what is than what is.

Kant's moral framework is nonsensical as he's a deontologist and only consequentialism makes sense.

But objective morality does make sense consequentially.

No, it doesn't.  Not everyone agrees what the consequences ought to.  Facepalm
Philosophy is about asking questions.
Science is about answering questions.
Theology is about avoiding questions.
Reply
#11

Is Morality Objective?
(10-31-2018, 09:04 PM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote:
(10-31-2018, 04:39 PM)Yonadav Wrote: But I don't think that they are true to the same reliable level that we accept the spherical shape of the earth as being true.  

But there is a fact of the matter whether X causes someone to suffer or it doesn't.

But there is a fact of the matter whether Y's suffering is more or less than Z's suffering.  
Or whether Q's suffering is necessary for a particular outcome.  
And so on.
Philosophy is about asking questions.
Science is about answering questions.
Theology is about avoiding questions.
Reply
#12

Is Morality Objective?
(10-31-2018, 07:29 PM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote:
(10-31-2018, 02:01 PM)Chas Wrote: In short, no.

The first video is quite good at describing the basic issues and reasoning.

Since he mentions both, I will simply say Hume defeats Kant, one to nil.

Did you watch the second video?

Yes.  The idea that, if not objective, morality is "just opinions".  Bullshit.  
The "just" is an attempt to minimize and does not belong in constructive discussion.

Morality has very real bases, especially our evolution.  
That does not make it objective and it most certainly eliminates "just opinion".
Philosophy is about asking questions.
Science is about answering questions.
Theology is about avoiding questions.
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#13

Is Morality Objective?
(10-31-2018, 09:36 PM)Chas Wrote:
(10-31-2018, 02:32 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote: I agree with the first guy point by point:

What he refers to as "axiomatic oughts" I have referred to a human nature, which is both objective and relative to us as a species and as individuals.  In other words, you can build ought arguments from ought premises and be objective.  So yes, morality can be objective in a scientific sense of the word.

Only if you equate human nature with ought.  I see no sound reason to do so.
We are a product of evolution as are all other organisms.
Ought chimpanzees fling poo?
Ought wolves feed on still living animals?
Ought wasps paralyze prey so that their larvae can feed on living insects?
And so on.

More like:

We ought to eat to survive.
We ought to get enough sleep to be alert in waking.
We ought to better ourselves to get by in life.
We ought to get along with others to thrive.

That sort of thing.  All are based on objective facts about ourselves and the world.

Morality is about optimizing our surviving and thriving as individuals in societies.
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#14

Is Morality Objective?
(10-31-2018, 10:28 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote:
(10-31-2018, 09:36 PM)Chas Wrote:
(10-31-2018, 02:32 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote: I agree with the first guy point by point:

What he refers to as "axiomatic oughts" I have referred to a human nature, which is both objective and relative to us as a species and as individuals.  In other words, you can build ought arguments from ought premises and be objective.  So yes, morality can be objective in a scientific sense of the word.

Only if you equate human nature with ought.  I see no sound reason to do so.
We are a product of evolution as are all other organisms.
Ought chimpanzees fling poo?
Ought wolves feed on still living animals?
Ought wasps paralyze prey so that their larvae can feed on living insects?
And so on.

More like:

We ought to eat to survive.
We ought to get enough sleep to be alert in waking.
We ought to better ourselves to get by in life.
We ought to get along with others to thrive.

That sort of thing.  All are based on objective facts about ourselves and the world.

They are based on hidden assumptions, e.g. we ought to survive, we ought to be alert. That sort of thing.
Also, define "better".  Objectively.

Quote:Morality is about optimizing our surviving and thriving as individuals in societies.

No, it's not.  It's about how we treat others.
Philosophy is about asking questions.
Science is about answering questions.
Theology is about avoiding questions.
Reply
#15

Is Morality Objective?
(10-31-2018, 09:38 PM)Chas Wrote:
(10-31-2018, 07:31 PM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote:
(10-31-2018, 02:01 PM)Chas Wrote: Since he mentions both, I will simply say Hume defeats Kant, one to nil.

The idea that you can't get an ought from an is assumes that there is more to what is than what is.

Kant's moral framework is nonsensical as he's a deontologist and only consequentialism makes sense.

But objective morality does make sense consequentially.

No, it doesn't.  Not everyone agrees what the consequences ought to.  Facepalm

So what? Not everyone (or anyone) has to agree... that's a fundamental misunderstanding of what objective morality actually is (or has to be). The earth doesn't move around the sun just because most people think it does... you wouldn't think people had to agree on any other matter of objective truth. Agreement =/= objectivity.

In fact, on the contrary, something is truly objective if it is true regardless of agreement or disagreement.
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
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#16

Is Morality Objective?
(10-31-2018, 09:40 PM)Chas Wrote:
(10-31-2018, 09:04 PM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote:
(10-31-2018, 04:39 PM)Yonadav Wrote: But I don't think that they are true to the same reliable level that we accept the spherical shape of the earth as being true.  

But there is a fact of the matter whether X causes someone to suffer or it doesn't.

But there is a fact of the matter whether Y's suffering is more or less than Z's suffering.  
Or whether Q's suffering is necessary for a particular outcome.  
And so on.

Necessary for one particular outcome doesn't make the suffering itself necessary. Suffering is only necessary when the suffering is necessary to reduce an even greater amount of suffering.
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
Reply
#17

Is Morality Objective?
(10-31-2018, 10:08 PM)Chas Wrote:
(10-31-2018, 07:29 PM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote:
(10-31-2018, 02:01 PM)Chas Wrote: In short, no.

The first video is quite good at describing the basic issues and reasoning.

Since he mentions both, I will simply say Hume defeats Kant, one to nil.

Did you watch the second video?

Yes.  The idea that, if not objective, morality is "just opinions".  Bullshit.  
The "just" is an attempt to minimize and does not belong in constructive discussion.

So you have no actual argument against it then?

How can morality not be just a matter of opinion if it isn't objective? If it isn't just a matter of opinion doesn't that make it objective?

Quote:Morality has very real bases, especially our evolution.  
That does not make it objective and it most certainly eliminates "just opinion".

So it's not just a matter of opinion but it's not objective either, according to you. That makes absolutely zero sense.
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
Reply
#18

Is Morality Objective?
(10-31-2018, 11:56 PM)Chas Wrote: They are based on hidden assumptions, e.g. we ought to survive, we ought to be alert.  That sort of thing.
Also, define "better".  Objectively.

Those are perfectly reasonable axioms. "Better"=closer to the axiom.

(10-31-2018, 11:56 PM)Chas Wrote:
Quote:Morality is about optimizing our surviving and thriving as individuals in societies.
No, it's not. It's about how we treat others.

Actually, it's both.
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
Reply
#19

Is Morality Objective?
(10-31-2018, 11:56 PM)Chas Wrote:
(10-31-2018, 10:28 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote: More like:

We ought to eat to survive.
We ought to get enough sleep to be alert in waking.
We ought to better ourselves to get by in life.
We ought to get along with others to thrive.

That sort of thing.  All are based on objective facts about ourselves and the world.
They are based on hidden assumptions, e.g. we ought to survive, we ought to be alert.  That sort of thing.
Also, define "better".  Objectively.

Where are the determinists when you really need them?  No, such things are not based on our assumptions.  They run much deeper.  They are based on our nature, which is an objective reality.

"Better" is pragmatically whatever is effective.  Circumstances alter cases.  What is important is how they are directed, as I clarify below.

(10-31-2018, 11:56 PM)Chas Wrote:
(10-31-2018, 10:28 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote: Morality is about optimizing our surviving and thriving as individuals in societies.

No, it's not.  It's about how we treat others.

You act as if how we treat others exists in a vacuum.  But since how we treat others changes with the circumstances, this is obviously not the case.  

We are goal-oriented creatures, and our goals are surviving and thriving.  I am asserting that morality only makes sense as an evolutionarily-developed strategy for intelligent, social creatures like humans to reach such goals.
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#20

Is Morality Objective?
(11-01-2018, 02:09 PM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote:
(10-31-2018, 09:38 PM)Chas Wrote:
(10-31-2018, 07:31 PM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote: The idea that you can't get an ought from an is assumes that there is more to what is than what is.

Kant's moral framework is nonsensical as he's a deontologist and only consequentialism makes sense.

But objective morality does make sense consequentially.

No, it doesn't.  Not everyone agrees what the consequences ought to.  Facepalm

So what? Not everyone (or anyone) has to agree... that's a fundamental misunderstanding of what objective morality actually is (or has to be). The earth doesn't move around the sun just because most people think it does... you wouldn't think people had to agree on any other matter of objective truth. Agreement =/= objectivity.

In fact, on the contrary, something is truly objective if it is true regardless of agreement or disagreement.

"Ought" is never objective.  It is a choice, not a fact.  That is, it is subjective, not objective.
Philosophy is about asking questions.
Science is about answering questions.
Theology is about avoiding questions.
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#21

Is Morality Objective?
(11-01-2018, 02:12 PM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote:
(10-31-2018, 10:08 PM)Chas Wrote:
(10-31-2018, 07:29 PM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote: Did you watch the second video?

Yes.  The idea that, if not objective, morality is "just opinions".  Bullshit.  
The "just" is an attempt to minimize and does not belong in constructive discussion.

So you have no actual argument against it then?

How can morality not be just a matter of opinion if it isn't objective? If it isn't just a matter of opinion doesn't that make it objective?

One's opinions can be (and usually are) based on facts.  The "just" is a lame attempt to deny that.

Quote:
Quote:Morality has very real bases, especially our evolution.  
That does not make it objective and it most certainly eliminates "just opinion".

So it's not just a matter of opinion but it's not objective either, according to you. That makes absolutely zero sense.

It most definitely is opinion, not "just" opinion.  Facepalm
Philosophy is about asking questions.
Science is about answering questions.
Theology is about avoiding questions.
Reply
#22

Is Morality Objective?
(11-01-2018, 04:53 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote:
(10-31-2018, 11:56 PM)Chas Wrote:
(10-31-2018, 10:28 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote: More like:

We ought to eat to survive.
We ought to get enough sleep to be alert in waking.
We ought to better ourselves to get by in life.
We ought to get along with others to thrive.

That sort of thing.  All are based on objective facts about ourselves and the world.
They are based on hidden assumptions, e.g. we ought to survive, we ought to be alert.  That sort of thing.
Also, define "better".  Objectively.

Where are the determinists when you really need them?  No, such things are not based on our assumptions.  They run much deeper.  They are based on our nature, which is an objective reality.

I didn't say things were based on our assumptions.  I said that his examples contained hidden assumptions.

Quote:"Better" is pragmatically whatever is effective.  Circumstances alter cases.  What is important is how they are directed, as I clarify below.

What is effective may differ from person to person, making it clearly not objective.

Quote:
(10-31-2018, 11:56 PM)Chas Wrote:
(10-31-2018, 10:28 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote: Morality is about optimizing our surviving and thriving as individuals in societies.

No, it's not.  It's about how we treat others.

You act as if how we treat others exists in a vacuum.  

I have no idea how you get that from what I said.

Quote:But since how we treat others changes with the circumstances, this is obviously not the case.  

We are goal-oriented creatures, and our goals are surviving and thriving.  I am asserting that morality only makes sense as an evolutionarily-developed strategy for intelligent, social creatures like humans to reach such goals.

And I would agree with that.  But "thriving" is not objectively determined.
Philosophy is about asking questions.
Science is about answering questions.
Theology is about avoiding questions.
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#23

Is Morality Objective?
(11-01-2018, 02:16 PM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote:
(10-31-2018, 11:56 PM)Chas Wrote: They are based on hidden assumptions, e.g. we ought to survive, we ought to be alert.  That sort of thing.
Also, define "better".  Objectively.

Those are perfectly reasonable axioms. "Better"=closer to the axiom.

Your "axioms" are not objectively determined.  "Better" is individually determined, not objectively true.

Quote:
(10-31-2018, 11:56 PM)Chas Wrote:
Quote:Morality is about optimizing our surviving and thriving as individuals in societies.
No, it's not. It's about how we treat others.

Actually, it's both.

No, it's not.  A person in isolation has no morality or need for any.  It is only interaction with others that defines morality.
Philosophy is about asking questions.
Science is about answering questions.
Theology is about avoiding questions.
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#24

Is Morality Objective?
It is worth noting that some ethicists (such as Kant) view treating oneself poorly as a moral transgression. Therefore, morality doesn't depend upon a social dimension.
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#25

Is Morality Objective?
(11-01-2018, 11:14 PM)Chas Wrote:
(11-01-2018, 04:53 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote: "Better" is pragmatically whatever is effective.  Circumstances alter cases.

What is effective may differ from person to person, making it clearly not objective.

I assert objective moral standards exist. However, many people still hold to subjective standards, like religiously indoctrinated ones. They are not the best people to consult about what is and isn't effective. The standard is what helps people to survive and thrive, not what is in accordance with religious dogma.
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