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Is Morality Objective?
#51

Is Morality Objective?
(11-08-2018, 02:13 AM)Chas Wrote:
(11-08-2018, 01:37 AM)SYZ Wrote: Yes.  If I improve the quality of well water in Sudan from (say) 1500 number E.coli/ml to (say) 0 number E.coli/ml,
then that's an objective improvement, or a more acceptable standard.  There's nothing subjective about it at all.
Of course—relatively speaking—it's an improvement of the water quality too, but its degree of improvement is still
objective.  One can always argue the subjective point, but not the objective.

Not everything is objectively measurable.

Well, you said improvement wasn't (couldn't be?) determined objectively; that it was relative.

I was just making the point that some things could  be determined absolutely objectively.
Like measuring the potability of water.  It either is or it ain't.  Nothing subjective about that.

Deadpan Coffee Drinker
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#52

Is Morality Objective?
Quote:Is Morality Objective? 

Yes and no. Objectivity can be understood as a spectrum. Certain moral positions are more objective e.g. don't hurt children, they are derived from basic human tendencies, some are less objective e.g. be polite, they are based on more obscure human tendencies.
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#53

Is Morality Objective?
(11-08-2018, 02:56 AM)exodus Wrote:
Quote:Is Morality Objective? 

Yes and no. Objectivity can be understood as a spectrum. 

It could be, but that would be a misuse of the word in this context and seems to confuse rather than clarify.  
Things that have some supporting evidence will seem more objective and those without are clearly not. 

Quote:Certain moral positions are more objective e.g. don't hurt children, they are derived from basic human tendencies, some are less objective e.g. be polite, they are based on more obscure human tendencies.

Instead of "more objective", how about "more common"?  Behaviors that have evolutionary roots tend to be common to more societies and therefore appear "more objective".
Philosophy is about asking questions.
Science is about answering questions.
Theology is about avoiding questions.
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#54

Is Morality Objective?
(11-08-2018, 02:13 AM)Chas Wrote:
(11-08-2018, 01:37 AM)SYZ Wrote: Yes.  If I improve the quality of well water in Sudan from (say) 1500 number E.coli/ml to (say) 0 number E.coli/ml,
then that's an objective improvement, or a more acceptable standard.  There's nothing subjective about it at all.
Of course—relatively speaking—it's an improvement of the water quality too, but its degree of improvement is still
objective.  One can always argue the subjective point, but not the objective.

Not everything is objectively measurable.

Even when it is, whether a change is an improvement or not is still subjective. If the goal is more water that is safe for humans to drink then that is an improvement. If an E Coli could offer an opinion it would not be. A scientist looking to study E Coli might also see it as a negative. It is an objective change but not an objective improvement except within a framework that expresses a goal.
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#55

Is Morality Objective?
(11-08-2018, 06:23 PM)unfogged Wrote:
(11-08-2018, 02:13 AM)Chas Wrote:
(11-08-2018, 01:37 AM)SYZ Wrote: Yes.  If I improve the quality of well water in Sudan from (say) 1500 number E.coli/ml to (say) 0 number E.coli/ml,
then that's an objective improvement, or a more acceptable standard.  There's nothing subjective about it at all.
Of course—relatively speaking—it's an improvement of the water quality too, but its degree of improvement is still
objective.  One can always argue the subjective point, but not the objective.

Not everything is objectively measurable.

Even when it is, whether a change is an improvement or not is still subjective.  If the goal is more water that is safe for humans to drink then that is an improvement.  If an E Coli could offer an opinion it would not be.  A scientist looking to study E Coli might also see it as a negative.  It is an objective change but not an objective improvement except within a framework that expresses a goal.

Precisely.  Deadpan Coffee Drinker
Philosophy is about asking questions.
Science is about answering questions.
Theology is about avoiding questions.
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#56

Is Morality Objective?
(11-08-2018, 06:23 PM)unfogged Wrote:
(11-08-2018, 02:13 AM)Chas Wrote:
(11-08-2018, 01:37 AM)SYZ Wrote: Yes.  If I improve the quality of well water in Sudan from (say) 1500 number E. coli/ml to (say) 0 number E. coli/ml,
then that's an objective improvement, or a more acceptable standard.  There's nothing subjective about it at all.
Of course—relatively speaking—it's an improvement of the water quality too, but its degree of improvement is still
objective.  One can always argue the subjective point, but not the objective.

Not everything is objectively measurable.

Even when it is, whether a change is an improvement or not is still subjective.  If the goal is more water that is safe for humans to drink then that is an improvement.  If an E. coli could offer an opinion it would not be.  A scientist looking to study E. coli might also see it as a negative.  It is an objective change but not an objective improvement except within a framework that expresses a goal.

I'd have to disagree.  To suggest that an improvement in drinking water quality is not objective—but
subjective—is erroneous in my opinion.

And I can only assume that you're saying "If an E. coli could offer an opinion it would not be" with your
tongue buried firmly in your cheek?  Which doesn't help your argument either way.

Please clarify under what circumstances this could apply: "A scientist looking to study E. coli might
also see it as a negative".  And bear in mind I am talking specifically about potable water, and not
some disconnected  general research into bacteria.

And of course it's an objective improvement expressed as a "goal".  That's the whole point of objectivity.
Nobody on the planet is gonna say that there's ifs, buts, or maybes about improving drinking water
quality.  IE: there is no subjectivity involved.
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#57

Is Morality Objective?
(11-09-2018, 12:23 AM)SYZ Wrote: Please clarify under what circumstances this could apply: "A scientist looking to study E. coli might
also see it as a negative".  And bear in mind I am talking specifically about potable water, and not
some disconnected  general research into bacteria.

Somebody looking to study E Coli and uninterested in the potability of the sample would not consider the elimination of E Coli to be an improvement so under those circumstances the change is one for the worse. It is an objective change but it is not an objective improvement because "improvement" is relative to the goal. Yes, within the criteria of "we want more potable water" the sample with no E Coli is objectively better than the water with it but your example includes the implicit subjective wrapper of a standard for clean drinking water.

Quote:And of course it's an objective improvement expressed as a "goal".  That's the whole point of objectivity.
Nobody on the planet is gonna say that there's ifs, buts, or maybes about improving drinking water
quality.  IE: there is no subjectivity involved.

The fact that everybody would agree IF you are trying to increase the potability does not make it objective. The level of E Coli in the water is an objective fact. Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing depends on the subjective goal. Raw facts are objective regardless of subjective opinion but to apply words like "better" or "worse" to situations requires adding subjectivity.
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#58

Is Morality Objective?
(11-09-2018, 12:23 AM)SYZ Wrote:
(11-08-2018, 06:23 PM)unfogged Wrote:
(11-08-2018, 02:13 AM)Chas Wrote: Not everything is objectively measurable.

Even when it is, whether a change is an improvement or not is still subjective.  If the goal is more water that is safe for humans to drink then that is an improvement.  If an E. coli could offer an opinion it would not be.  A scientist looking to study E. coli might also see it as a negative.  It is an objective change but not an objective improvement except within a framework that expresses a goal.

I'd have to disagree.  To suggest that an improvement in drinking water quality is not objective—but
subjective—is erroneous in my opinion.

And I can only assume that you're saying "If an E. coli could offer an opinion it would not be" with your
tongue buried firmly in your cheek?  Which doesn't help your argument either way.

Please clarify under what circumstances this could apply: "A scientist looking to study E. coli might
also see it as a negative".  And bear in mind I am talking specifically about potable water, and not
some disconnected  general research into bacteria.

And of course it's an objective improvement expressed as a "goal".  That's the whole point of objectivity.
Nobody on the planet is gonna say that there's ifs, buts, or maybes about improving drinking water
quality.  IE: there is no subjectivity involved.

Is a pH of 7.0 an improvement over a pH of 6.5?  Or 7.5?  How about mineral content?  Is distilled water an improvement over spring water?  Rain water?

People have different opinions of these things - it's a matter of taste, of preference.

No one is denying there are objective facts about reality, just that there are important things that are not objective facts or measures.
Philosophy is about asking questions.
Science is about answering questions.
Theology is about avoiding questions.
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#59

Is Morality Objective?
(11-09-2018, 12:23 AM)SYZ Wrote: I'd have to disagree.  To suggest that an improvement in drinking water quality is not objective—but
subjective—is erroneous in my opinion.

They don't seem to grasp the difference between subjective and relative.
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#60

Is Morality Objective?
(11-08-2018, 03:10 PM)Chas Wrote: It could be, but that would be a misuse of the word in this context and seems to confuse rather than clarify.  
That might be true. Clarity is commonly as a result of oversimplification. A binary classification of propositions to objective and subjective is one of those gross oversimplifications. 

Quote:Instead of "more objective", how about "more common"? 
"more objective" says much more than "more common". "x is more objective than y" means there exists a relatively stronger justification for x compared to y, so in case they are mutually exclusive, it gives us a measure as which one is more reasonable to accept. Such a criterion is crucial to distinguish right from wrong within a moral framework. "x is more common than y" does not say anything about justifiability of x and y.
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#61

Is Morality Objective?
(11-08-2018, 06:23 PM)unfogged Wrote: It is an objective change but not an objective improvement except within a framework that expresses a goal.

1. Increasing the chance of survival is an objective goal for human species. 
2. Therefore an improvement to survival chance is an objective improvement.
3. Therefore those behaviors that contribute to such improvements are objectively moral.
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#62

Is Morality Objective?
(11-09-2018, 05:20 AM)exodus Wrote:
(11-08-2018, 06:23 PM)unfogged Wrote: It is an objective change but not an objective improvement except within a framework that expresses a goal.

1. Increasing the chance of survival is an objective goal for human species. 
2. Therefore an improvement to survival chance is an objective improvement.
3. Therefore those behaviors that contribute to such improvements are objectively moral.

But...is #1 an objective statement? Do species have "goals"?  Individuals have goals, but species?
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#63

Is Morality Objective?
(11-09-2018, 02:49 AM)Chas Wrote: Is a pH of 7.0 an improvement over a pH of 6.5?  Or 7.5?  How about mineral content?  Is distilled water an improvement over spring water?  Rain water?

People have different opinions of these things - it's a matter of taste, of preference.

No one is denying there are objective facts about reality, just that there are important things that are not objective facts or measures.

It's a matter of context, isn't it. For someone with bad acid reflux an alkalized water of 9.5 pH seems objectively like a pretty good idea based on basic chemistry. For someone without it, it would seem objectively irrelevant. They still might prefer it for a variety of reasons, but those reasons don't appear to be grounded in objective facts.
Amor fati.
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#64

Is Morality Objective?
(11-09-2018, 02:49 AM)Chas Wrote: Is a pH of 7.0 an improvement over a pH of 6.5?  Or 7.5?  How about mineral content?  Is distilled water an improvement over spring water?  Rain water?

People have different opinions of these things - it's a matter of taste, of preference.

No one is denying there are objective facts about reality, just that there are important things that are not objective facts or measures.

I have to disagree Chas.

The E. coli count in potable drinking water which makes it deadly or drinkable is not subjective.
It's an absolute value (ideally zero) and it's not a matter of "taste" or "preference".  (That's
shifting the goalposts anyway.)

And nobody has a different opinion about this.

Deadpan Coffee Drinker
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#65

Is Morality Objective?
A clay filter will safely remove all of the E.Coli from water. Someone could simply donate information to give a community access to fresh drinking water.

So I think morality is subjective as to how far it extends.
To yourself, friends and family, or other life forms.
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#66

Is Morality Objective?
(11-09-2018, 06:44 AM)jerry mcmasters Wrote: But...is #1 an objective statement? Do species have "goals"?  Individuals have goals, but species?

Once we observe an ant colony for example, we clearly see individuals having goals that extends to the whole species. The same holds for human species. Observation of human societies in sufficiently long time spans gives us clear evidences of goals that can be attributed to humans as a whole.
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#67

Is Morality Objective?
(11-09-2018, 09:46 AM)exodus Wrote:
(11-09-2018, 06:44 AM)jerry mcmasters Wrote: But...is #1 an objective statement? Do species have "goals"?  Individuals have goals, but species?

Once we observe an ant colony for example, we clearly see individuals having goals that extends to the whole species. The same holds for human species. Observation of human societies in sufficiently long time spans gives us clear evidences of goals  that can be attributed to humans as a whole.


All of life has a goal as a whole. Expansion and adaption.

That is why life has many different forms.
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#68

Is Morality Objective?
(11-09-2018, 05:20 AM)exodus Wrote:
(11-08-2018, 06:23 PM)unfogged Wrote: It is an objective change but not an objective improvement except within a framework that expresses a goal.

1. Increasing the chance of survival is an objective goal for human species. 
2. Therefore an improvement to survival chance is an objective improvement.
3. Therefore those behaviors that contribute to such improvements are objectively moral.

Increasing the chance of survival is a subjective goal of most humans.
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#69

Is Morality Objective?
(11-09-2018, 12:15 PM)unfogged Wrote: Increasing the chance of survival is a subjective goal of most humans.

Replacing humans with some other species in the above statement demonstrates its fallacy.

Increasing the chance of survival is a subjective goal of most ants.
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#70

Is Morality Objective?
(11-09-2018, 12:33 PM)exodus Wrote:
(11-09-2018, 12:15 PM)unfogged Wrote: Increasing the chance of survival is a subjective goal of most humans.

Replacing humans with some other species in the above statement demonstrates its fallacy.

Increasing the chance of survival is a subjective goal of most ants.

We are talking about different things; I don't equate innate with objective. Natural selection may have built in a survival instinct but that does not make it objective. There is no objective reason for ants to survive. There is no objective reason for humans to survive.
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#71

Is Morality Objective?
(11-09-2018, 12:54 PM)unfogged Wrote: We are talking about different things;

definition: A proposition has an objective basis when it can be verified by observable and reproducible evidences and there are no considerable evidences to support the negation of that proposition. 

If you have an alternative definition please provide.

Quote:There is no objective reason for ants to survive. There is no objective reason for humans to survive.

No reason is required. The claim is:

p: Survival is a goal of ant species.

1. There are ample evidences that verify proposition p 
3. Also there are no considerable evidences to support the negation of p
4. Therefore proposition p has an objective basis according to the provided definition of objectivity

The validity of this reasoning is not dependent on a "reason for survival".
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#72

Is Morality Objective?
(11-09-2018, 01:16 PM)exodus Wrote:
(11-09-2018, 12:54 PM)unfogged Wrote: We are talking about different things;

definition: A proposition has an objective basis when it can be verified by observable and reproducible evidences and there are no considerable evidences to support the negation of that proposition. 

If you have an alternative definition please provide.

Quote:There is no objective reason for ants to survive. There is no objective reason for humans to survive.

No reason is required. The claim is:

p: Survival is a goal of ant species.

1. There are ample evidences that verify proposition p 
3. Also there are no considerable evidences to support the negation of p
4. Therefore proposition p has an objective basis according to the provided definition of objectivity

The validity of this reasoning is not dependent on a "reason for survival".


I think the survival of species is impossible because of the adapting into different species or extinction will take effect. The ant itself is a colony of genes working towards the same goal as the colony of ants.
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#73

Is Morality Objective?
(11-09-2018, 11:34 PM)Snoopy Wrote: I think the survival of species is impossible because of the adapting into different species or extinction will take effect. The ant itself is a colony of genes working towards the same goal as the colony of ants.
(my bold)

"Species" is merely a way in which we categorize things, not something that "does not survive" due to adaptation. To the contrary, adapting into a different species is a way in which biological entities have been able to survive through the ages.
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#74

Is Morality Objective?
(11-10-2018, 01:15 AM)vulcanlogician Wrote:
(11-09-2018, 11:34 PM)Snoopy Wrote: I think the survival of species is impossible because of the adapting into different species or extinction will take effect. The ant itself is a colony of genes working towards the same goal as the colony of ants.
(my bold)

"Species" is merely a way in which we categorize things, not something that "does not survive" due to adaptation. To the contrary, adapting into a different species is a way in which biological entities have been able to survive through the ages.


Exactly.

When does a "species" appear or disappear?
To define something transforming into another "species" needs rules.

What happens to the anteater that stops eating ants?
What is the difference between different human species and race and when exactly does that line appear?


Species is subjective.

Smile
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#75

Is Morality Objective?
(11-10-2018, 02:00 AM)Snoopy Wrote: Exactly.

When does a "species" appear or disappear?
To define something transforming into another "species" needs rules.

What happens to the anteater that stops eating ants?
What is the difference between different human species and race and when exactly does that line appear?


Species is subjective.

Smile

I think your post does a great job in demonstrating what confuses people about the concept of moral objectivity. Species as a concept is very, very, very much not subjective. It is objective. The way we categorize species is arbitrary, but when you use the term "spotted owl" you refer to something objective.

What happens to the anteater that stops eating ants? After a while, I guess he gets hungry. Tongue

What is the difference between different human species and race and when exactly does that line appear? That is an ambiguity that allows for different/new categorizations of things. When you are debating moral issues, there are ambiguities as well. That doesn't make morality subjective. It makes it complicated.
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