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Is Morality Objective?

Is Morality Objective?
(12-22-2018, 04:51 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote: There are all kinds of cultures that have radically different ideas of what is "good", or what actually promotes the good or maximizes "well being". 
Should a 17 year-old immigrant girl be allowed to have an abortion if she wants one ? Is there agreement on that ? Is there an "objective" way to evaluate that ? Some cultures sacrificed their children to bring about a "good" effect with the god(s) they firmly believed were in charge of their world. Whose "well-being" should be maximized ? Should a 14 girl who is raped, be forced to carry the baby ? There are ALWAYS competing interests and claims that have to be considered. I often read the minutes of the hospital's Ethics Committee, and the cases are NEVER black and white or simple. If they weren't they would not be placed in front of the committee, or wasting their time. Saw one recently where a twenty year old, estranged from his parents, living with a friend, took LSD, and was severely injured and incapacitated. Who should be making decisions for him ? Is there an objective guide for that ? For most of the history of the ancient Near East, women were told whom they would marry, and men arranged the contracts. How did THAT happen, if there actually was some sort of "objective" morality in place. They thought they were doing the right thing. The polygamous men and women who practiced Mormonism thought they were doing the right thing. African parents who subject their daughters to genital mutilation think they are doing what is right. If morality is "objective, how is it all these people have different ideas about what that means ?

Real-life ethical dilemmas are messy and complex .. and there is no way a simple-minded "objective" morality can have anything to say or be of any value in guiding these real-life complex situations. There is never only one side whose interest needs evaluating or maximizing. What if the person involved has a totally different "cosmic model" (even an obviously flawed one) than everyone else involved ? Do they have the right to have their wishes honored ?

There is no actual thing as "natural law". 50 years ago, religious people were saying that same-sex couples were violating "natural law". Now we find out that every species on the planet has a small percentage who are oriented in an alternate way, including humans, and that the orientation is probably set by hormone "washes" in utero, and that choice is not possible. "Natural law" is nothing except what the culture one is raised in teaches its members to favor and dis-favor. Murder ? Nope. Soldiers can kill if they need to. Anthropology leads the way with regard to what morality is, and how it arose. Ethics teaches various theories of how morality may be applied, and there are MANY various ethical systems and theories. One of the most interesting I saw at Cal Tech was Carol Gilligan's "Duty to Care",    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethics_of_care

Think of it like the existence of God.  All sorts of cultures have a different opinion on the nature of God or gods.  And then there are atheists who say there isn't one.  All these varying opinions don't change the fact that objectively, God either doesn't exist, or does exist and has some nature.  Even if we are all wrong, that doesn't make the existence and nature of God subjective.  There is a truth that is not dependent on our guesses.
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Is Morality Objective?
(12-22-2018, 04:25 AM)jerryg Wrote:
(12-21-2018, 10:34 PM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote:
Quote:On a scale of 1 to 100, how much is a human life worth?  How much is a dog worth?  We can all come up with a lot of answers based on a lot of things.

But the point is that there is an answer that is independent of what we think. it doesn't matter if people disagree. That's besides the entire point. The whole point with objectivity is that people don't have to agree.

Do you think it is possible, that independent of human thinking, humans objectively have 0 value?

Possible? Yes. But I don't think it's a sound possibility. After all, even without humans around ... animal (and alien) suffering still matters.
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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Is Morality Objective?
(12-22-2018, 06:52 PM)jerryg Wrote:
(12-22-2018, 04:51 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote: There are all kinds of cultures that have radically different ideas of what is "good", or what actually promotes the good or maximizes "well being". 
Should a 17 year-old immigrant girl be allowed to have an abortion if she wants one ? Is there agreement on that ? Is there an "objective" way to evaluate that ? Some cultures sacrificed their children to bring about a "good" effect with the god(s) they firmly believed were in charge of their world. Whose "well-being" should be maximized ? Should a 14 girl who is raped, be forced to carry the baby ? There are ALWAYS competing interests and claims that have to be considered. I often read the minutes of the hospital's Ethics Committee, and the cases are NEVER black and white or simple. If they weren't they would not be placed in front of the committee, or wasting their time. Saw one recently where a twenty year old, estranged from his parents, living with a friend, took LSD, and was severely injured and incapacitated. Who should be making decisions for him ? Is there an objective guide for that ? For most of the history of the ancient Near East, women were told whom they would marry, and men arranged the contracts. How did THAT happen, if there actually was some sort of "objective" morality in place. They thought they were doing the right thing. The polygamous men and women who practiced Mormonism thought they were doing the right thing. African parents who subject their daughters to genital mutilation think they are doing what is right. If morality is "objective, how is it all these people have different ideas about what that means ?

Real-life ethical dilemmas are messy and complex .. and there is no way a simple-minded "objective" morality can have anything to say or be of any value in guiding these real-life complex situations. There is never only one side whose interest needs evaluating or maximizing. What if the person involved has a totally different "cosmic model" (even an obviously flawed one) than everyone else involved ? Do they have the right to have their wishes honored ?

There is no actual thing as "natural law". 50 years ago, religious people were saying that same-sex couples were violating "natural law". Now we find out that every species on the planet has a small percentage who are oriented in an alternate way, including humans, and that the orientation is probably set by hormone "washes" in utero, and that choice is not possible. "Natural law" is nothing except what the culture one is raised in teaches its members to favor and dis-favor. Murder ? Nope. Soldiers can kill if they need to. Anthropology leads the way with regard to what morality is, and how it arose. Ethics teaches various theories of how morality may be applied, and there are MANY various ethical systems and theories. One of the most interesting I saw at Cal Tech was Carol Gilligan's "Duty to Care",    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethics_of_care

Think of it like the existence of God.  All sorts of cultures have a different opinion on the nature of God or gods.  And then there are atheists who say there isn't one.  All these varying opinions don't change the fact that objectively, God either doesn't exist, or does exist and has some nature.  Even if we are all wrong, that doesn't make the existence and nature of God subjective.  There is a truth that is not dependent on our guesses.

And if there is, it is inaccessible and we have to operate anyway. 
(Both morality and the gods). 
Atheists don't say "there isn't one" The entire question is dismissed as not meriting even a discussion.
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Is Morality Objective?
(12-24-2018, 03:06 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:
(12-22-2018, 06:52 PM)jerryg Wrote: Think of it like the existence of God.  All sorts of cultures have a different opinion on the nature of God or gods.  And then there are atheists who say there isn't one.  All these varying opinions don't change the fact that objectively, God either doesn't exist, or does exist and has some nature.  Even if we are all wrong, that doesn't make the existence and nature of God subjective.  There is a truth that is not dependent on our guesses.

And if there is, it is inaccessible and we have to operate anyway. 
(Both morality and the gods). 
Atheists don't say "there isn't one" The entire question is dismissed as not meriting even a discussion.

Not even meriting a discussion? I don't know about that.
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Is Morality Objective?
(12-22-2018, 06:52 PM)jerryg Wrote: Think of it like the existence of God.  All sorts of cultures have a different opinion on the nature of God or gods.  And then there are atheists who say there isn't one.  All these varying opinions don't change the fact that objectively, God either doesn't exist, or does exist and has some nature.  Even if we are all wrong, that doesn't make the existence and nature of God subjective.  There is a truth that is not dependent on our guesses.

If there is a truth of god, it has yet to be discovered. Claiming "god" is subjective, as you've already stated. However, reason dictates that systematic methods of observation lead to a truth. Gravity, although it cannot be seen, shows itself as truth by evidential fact via objects falling from a height. God, although it cannot be seen, has not shown itself in any way.

God, from what I understand, tends to be one's personal delusion.  Nothing more.

In a world where the imagination of man runs rampant, it is no wonder that some would find comfort in a fantasy. Fantasy, however is dangerous when an individual cannot properly discern it from reality. God is no more real than fairies, both having been invented by the imagination.
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Is Morality Objective?
(12-22-2018, 06:52 PM)jerryg Wrote:
(12-22-2018, 04:51 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote: There are all kinds of cultures that have radically different ideas of what is "good", or what actually promotes the good or maximizes "well being". 
Should a 17 year-old immigrant girl be allowed to have an abortion if she wants one ? Is there agreement on that ? Is there an "objective" way to evaluate that ? Some cultures sacrificed their children to bring about a "good" effect with the god(s) they firmly believed were in charge of their world. Whose "well-being" should be maximized ? Should a 14 girl who is raped, be forced to carry the baby ? There are ALWAYS competing interests and claims that have to be considered. I often read the minutes of the hospital's Ethics Committee, and the cases are NEVER black and white or simple. If they weren't they would not be placed in front of the committee, or wasting their time. Saw one recently where a twenty year old, estranged from his parents, living with a friend, took LSD, and was severely injured and incapacitated. Who should be making decisions for him ? Is there an objective guide for that ? For most of the history of the ancient Near East, women were told whom they would marry, and men arranged the contracts. How did THAT happen, if there actually was some sort of "objective" morality in place. They thought they were doing the right thing. The polygamous men and women who practiced Mormonism thought they were doing the right thing. African parents who subject their daughters to genital mutilation think they are doing what is right. If morality is "objective, how is it all these people have different ideas about what that means ?

Real-life ethical dilemmas are messy and complex .. and there is no way a simple-minded "objective" morality can have anything to say or be of any value in guiding these real-life complex situations. There is never only one side whose interest needs evaluating or maximizing. What if the person involved has a totally different "cosmic model" (even an obviously flawed one) than everyone else involved ? Do they have the right to have their wishes honored ?

There is no actual thing as "natural law". 50 years ago, religious people were saying that same-sex couples were violating "natural law". Now we find out that every species on the planet has a small percentage who are oriented in an alternate way, including humans, and that the orientation is probably set by hormone "washes" in utero, and that choice is not possible. "Natural law" is nothing except what the culture one is raised in teaches its members to favor and dis-favor. Murder ? Nope. Soldiers can kill if they need to. Anthropology leads the way with regard to what morality is, and how it arose. Ethics teaches various theories of how morality may be applied, and there are MANY various ethical systems and theories. One of the most interesting I saw at Cal Tech was Carol Gilligan's "Duty to Care",    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethics_of_care

Think of it like the existence of God.  All sorts of cultures have a different opinion on the nature of God or gods.  And then there are atheists who say there isn't one.  (1) All these varying opinions don't change the fact that objectively, God either doesn't exist, or does exist and has some nature.  Even if we are all wrong, that doesn't make the existence and nature of God subjective.  (2) There is a truth that is not dependent on our guesses.

Hello, jerryg.  Thanks for sharing your perspective on this matter.  Out of curiosity, regarding (1), if everyone is wrong, why not look beyond our present thinking patterns (philosophies, god concepts, etc.) and explore new ways too interpret/understand reality? Regarding (2), if such a truth does exist, then why should it revolve around god concepts? Perhaps more intellectual creativity and vigor on the part of humanity is requisite in order to understand this "truth" (whatever that may be)? Thanks.
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Is Morality Objective?
(12-25-2018, 06:12 AM)Kernel Sohcahtoa Wrote:
(12-22-2018, 06:52 PM)jerryg Wrote: Think of it like the existence of God.  All sorts of cultures have a different opinion on the nature of God or gods.  And then there are atheists who say there isn't one.  (1) All these varying opinions don't change the fact that objectively, God either doesn't exist, or does exist and has some nature.  Even if we are all wrong, that doesn't make the existence and nature of God subjective.  (2) There is a truth that is not dependent on our guesses.

Hello, jerryg.  Thanks for sharing your perspective on this matter.  Out of curiosity, regarding (1), if everyone is wrong, why not look beyond our present thinking patterns (philosophies, god concepts, etc.) and explore new ways too interpret/understand reality? Regarding (2), if such a truth does exist, then why should it revolve around god concepts? Perhaps more intellectual creativity and vigor on the part of humanity is requisite in order to understand this "truth" (whatever that may be)? Thanks.

The trick is if everyone is wrong, we'll probably never know it, at least not as humans on earth.  But I'm all for thinking about it in any way you want.  Can't hurt.  And I only refer to God concepts in 2 because I was talking about God existing.  So for that discussion, you're kind of handcuffed to god concepts.  But I don't think confining a search to truth to just that is necessary.  Evee is showing that, as he's talking objective morality as an atheist, which I think is interesting, even if I can't quite nail down the details.
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Is Morality Objective?
(12-24-2018, 12:15 AM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote:
(12-22-2018, 04:25 AM)jerryg Wrote: Do you think it is possible, that independent of human thinking, humans objectively have 0 value?

Possible? Yes. But I don't think it's a sound possibility. After all, even without humans around ... animal (and alien) suffering still matters.

I guess I get hung up on 'still matters.'  Because I think 'to who?'  But you're saying, I think, that there doesn't need to be a who to to to.
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Is Morality Objective?
(12-25-2018, 03:33 PM)jerryg Wrote:
(12-24-2018, 12:15 AM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote:
(12-22-2018, 04:25 AM)jerryg Wrote: Do you think it is possible, that independent of human thinking, humans objectively have 0 value?

Possible? Yes. But I don't think it's a sound possibility. After all, even without humans around ... animal (and alien) suffering still matters.

I guess I get hung up on 'still matters.'  Because I think 'to who?'  But you're saying, I think, that there doesn't need to be a who to to to.

No, I'm not. I'm saying that the who doesn't have to be human. Suffering of all sentient beings matters to all sentient beings.
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.
The following 1 user Likes EvieTheAvocado's post:
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Is Morality Objective?
(12-22-2018, 06:52 PM)jerryg Wrote: Think of it like the existence of God.

As a lifelong atheist, I don't accept any tenet that claims that God or gods exist in the real world.
I'm actually ignostic, which means I seldom get involved with debates about supernatural entities.
Gods simply don't exist.  End of story.

Quote:All sorts of cultures have a different opinion on the nature of God or gods.

Very true, but that doesn't make any of these gods more likely to exist or more likely to be the
"correct" one.  In the 1st century, lots of people believed in unicorns, and in the 17th century lots
of people believed in leprechauns.

Quote:And then there are atheists who say there isn't one.

That's a very loose definition of atheism, and doesn't apply to me.  To deny the existence of
something presupposes the possibility of its existence. 

Quote:All these varying opinions don't change the fact that objectively, God either doesn't exist, or does exist and has some nature.
To use your own loose terminology; God doesn't exist.  There's no subjectivity or objectivity involved.

Quote:There is a truth that is not dependent on our guesses.

I agree.  Theists can only ever guess about their gods.  At best.  On the other hand, science involves no
guessing; we have replicable, empirical evidence for each and every scientific tenet.  And even though
science is yet to specifically define—say—gravity, we have viable evidence proving that the phenomenon
so named exists.  Theists are unable to prove that any physical phenomenon is caused by a purported
God, or gods.

—And here's a little exercise for you Jerry: Prove to me that leprechauns do not exist. I'm betting you can't.
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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Is Morality Objective?
(12-25-2018, 07:45 PM)SYZ Wrote:
(12-22-2018, 06:52 PM)jerryg Wrote: Think of it like the existence of God.

As a lifelong atheist, I don't accept any tenet that claims that God or gods exist in the real world.
I'm actually ignostic, which means I seldom get involved with debates about supernatural entities.
Gods simply don't exist.  End of story.

Quote:All sorts of cultures have a different opinion on the nature of God or gods.

Very true, but that doesn't make any of these gods more likely to exist or more likely to be the
"correct" one.  In the 1st century, lots of people believed in unicorns, and in the 17th century lots
of people believed in leprechauns.

Quote:And then there are atheists who say there isn't one.

That's a very loose definition of atheism, and doesn't apply to me.  To deny the existence of
something presupposes the possibility of its existence. 

Quote:All these varying opinions don't change the fact that objectively, God either doesn't exist, or does exist and has some nature.
To use your own loose terminology; God doesn't exist.  There's no subjectivity or objectivity involved.

Quote:There is a truth that is not dependent on our guesses.

I agree.  Theists can only ever guess about their gods.  At best.  On the other hand, science involves no
guessing; we have replicable, empirical evidence for each and every scientific tenet.  And even though
science is yet to specifically define—say—gravity, we have viable evidence proving that the phenomenon
so named exists.  Theists are unable to prove that any physical phenomenon is caused by a purported
God, or gods.

—And here's a little exercise for you Jerry:  Prove to me that leprechauns do not exist.  I'm betting you can't.

I think the context of my post has been missed.  The point is that there is an objective truth that has nothing to do with what people think.  I'm saying the same thing may apply to morality.  That there may be an objective truth, and if there is, claiming it's subjective because everybody has their own opinion on what it is may not be relevant.

And this is really just me thinking about what Evie was saying, not something I'm saying is true. Just pondering it.
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Is Morality Objective?
(12-24-2018, 03:49 PM)jerryg Wrote:
(12-24-2018, 03:06 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:
(12-22-2018, 06:52 PM)jerryg Wrote: Think of it like the existence of God.  All sorts of cultures have a different opinion on the nature of God or gods.  And then there are atheists who say there isn't one.  All these varying opinions don't change the fact that objectively, God either doesn't exist, or does exist and has some nature.  Even if we are all wrong, that doesn't make the existence and nature of God subjective.  There is a truth that is not dependent on our guesses.

And if there is, it is inaccessible and we have to operate anyway. 
(Both morality and the gods). 
Atheists don't say "there isn't one" The entire question is dismissed as not meriting even a discussion.

Not even meriting a discussion? I don't know about that.

I do ... I've been through the entire list of them, in Comparative Mythology. 
If you can define one, maybe ... but you can't. None of them are special. They are all made up projections   .... it's called anthropomorphism.
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Is Morality Objective?
(12-26-2018, 02:41 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:
(12-24-2018, 03:49 PM)jerryg Wrote:
(12-24-2018, 03:06 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote: And if there is, it is inaccessible and we have to operate anyway. 
(Both morality and the gods). 
Atheists don't say "there isn't one" The entire question is dismissed as not meriting even a discussion.

Not even meriting a discussion? I don't know about that.

I do ... I've been through the entire list of them, in Comparative Mythology. 
If you can define one, maybe ... but you can't. None of them are special. They are all made up projections   .... it's called anthropomorphism.

We're not limited to the one's they've already come up with.  We can make up our own. Just ponder where something else might even squeeze into things.
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