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The problem of Objective Morality. and why even biblical speaking it is subjective

Discussion in 'Ethics & Morality' started by Zed Aliz Zed, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. Ken-1122

    Ken-1122 Newbie

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    If that's what you truly believe, I am sorry for you

    K
     
  2. Ed1wolf

    Ed1wolf Well-Known Member

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    How do you know? The only way you could know this is if you know that the Christian God does not exist, and that requires omniscience which you don't have.


    Well we have strong evidence that He exists and that He has communicated with us in the Bible and it teaches us that one of the main purposes of the universe is to provide "school" for spiritual growth and spiritual growth is revealed by moral decisions.
     
  3. Ed1wolf

    Ed1wolf Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but theistic evolution is more rational.


    Yes, those are called races and almost all share certain basic morals as I explained above earlier.


    Yes and there have been separation, see above about races.

    But only theistic evolution is rational as stated above.
     
  4. Belk

    Belk Senior Member

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    No, it's not.

    You have no idea how evolution works do you?

    Ipsie dixit
     
  5. stevevw

    stevevw inquisitive

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    For a Christian the intelligence beyond humans would be God through the teachings of Jesus.
    Absolutely true is always true regardless of context, time, human opinion and can be contrasted against subjective or relative truth which will only be true for the person or context for which the truth is being applied to.

    Sorry about that. I guess it will depend on who the someone else is. If a human or alien then they are fallible so you cannot trust them to always be right. Christians trust in God through the teachings of Jesus and Jesus is without sin so there is no immorality in him. His example and teachings are absolutely good.

    Jesus said he was the son of God and that he is the way, the truth and the life and Jesus is infallible.

    Jesus was God incarnate while on earth and his life while on earth is an example of a perfectly good life without sin. His moral teachings stems from his own example. I guess it comes down to a matter of trust. Either you believe what Jesus said and did or you don't.

    I agree but that reason and logic will only apply to the person with the POV. You can listen to the other person but if you disagree with him your logic and reason cannot apply to them because under subjective morality you would be forcing your logic and reasoning about your morals onto them.

    Therefore this reasoning and logic would be subjective as well. It is different to use reason and logic to support objective morals which do not depend on an individuals POV. The reasons and logic will support morals beyond a human POV and stand indepnedent of any individuals POV.

    A person supporting subjective morality will see someone that claims objective morality as just another subjective view. But the person supporting objective morality will see that objective morals apply despite any human views including their own views. As mentioned the position Sam Harris and other atheist take is that objective morals can be scientifically verified because they support human flourishing. he problem with atheist positions like Sam Harris's is that it is hard to support objective morals without positing a moral law giver.

    So the Christian position on objective morals can also be substanciated by using the same logic and reasoning as Sam Harris and company except they say that the moralss come from God rather than just in nature. Also as mentioned earlier it can be shown that all humans act like there are objective morals despite them saying their morality is subjective. Most philosophical academics support objective morality as well. So there is a pretty strong case for objective morality.

    As you said what has the law got to do with morals about stealing so any wrong laws are not a reflection on a moral position according to you.
    Yes this would be objectively wrong and unjustified despite the Nazis thinking it was OK. But how can you determine if its right or wrong under subjective morality. This shows the danger of subjective morality in that it allows people to push their personal moral views and then claim their view is OK even if it is wrong.
    Objective morality is for anyone who wants to take that position with or without God. Sam Harris's is not the only person who subscribes to this position. It is reasoned from science so it is not really Mr Harris's view but a scientifically supported position. Many people on this forum supply support for their position from the words, statements, articles, videos from other people especially from experts who can be scientifically supported.

    You may not believe in God but that does not stop you from seeing the sense in having a divine agent that is all knowing and perfect setting our moral standards. If they were all knowing then they would know what certain moral views will lead to in being good or bad. If they were perfect then they would have no immorality in them and their morals would be the best possible ones for us that will give us peace, happiness and order. Imagine there was a divine agent like this who would you rather trust to guide you humans whio are fallible and have a history of leading people into prblems like wars and disorder or a divine agent who knew what was best for us.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  6. Redac

    Redac Regular Member

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    Perhaps, but when you take the position that morality is purely a matter of opinion, those two sentences are synonymous.

    The new information that would inform moral judgments is usually some sort of moral informatio

    It'd be a bit more accurate to say they're adopting their views to some standard external to themselves, even if that standard is simply a particular cultural standard rather than a hard, objective one.


    In which case all you're doing is telling me why rape is wrong for you to do. It doesn't apply to me.

    See, this indicates that perhaps you don't quite understand the implications of the position you're arguing for. This is a meta-ethical conversation, so we're not just talking about what people might think, but about what good and bad fundamentally are. When you propose that morality is a purely subjective notion, and that what is good and bad is purely a matter of individual perspective and opinion on a given matter, then what I said is absolutely how morality works. Your opinion is the only philosophically valid basis for judging what "right" is, and that judgment is only valid for your own actions (because it's a purely individual, subjective question); likewise, my own opinion of "right" is the only philosophically valid metric by which my actions can be judged, and ultimately I am the only one who can really make that judgment. You can judge my actions by some other standard if you want (e.g. your own thoughts of right and wrong), but to do so is completely invalid and meaningless.

    So yes, that actually is exactly how purely subjective morality works in a meta-ethical sense. Are you starting to see the problems I've been getting at?

    See above. Simply put, to state that what right and wrong fundamentally are is a matter of my personal opinion, while then holding me to some moral standard external to my own personal thoughts on the matter, is to be inconsistent. You either have to concede that my opinion is the ultimate authority on the morality of my actions, or you accept that I reasonably be held to some standard beyond my own opinions. You cannot do both.

    The difference is that your position on the matter ultimately leads to the conclusion that, because he thinks he is right, then he actually is right. Given that, you have no solid moral basis to, say, intervene to prevent rape.

    Do you seriously think laws against rape have no moral component to them? Belief in the immorality of forcibly raping someone did not come after laws against it were implemented.

    Almost all legislation of any sort has some moral premise implicit in it.
     
  7. Redac

    Redac Regular Member

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    The problem is that if I am a reasonable person, and I use my reasoning skills to consider the ethical position you're arguing for, then I come to the conclusion that your views are ultimately only valid for you. They have no relevance to me or anyone else in determining right or wrong unless we're looking at your actions, in which case our perspective is irrelevant because you are the ultimate authority on what you think.

    They use their perspective and opinion to judge, but they're usually going off some idea of right and wrong that's not just "whatever I think is right is right". Almost everybody behaves as if there's some standard external to their own opinion (even many people who wouldn't accept "objective" morality, but who would hold to cultural relativism or something like that).

    I don't believe in God, but regardless, no. The premise implicit here -- that disagreement with a given moral standard means it doesn't apply to the one who disagrees -- has not been established.


    Moral realism does not require that there be a specific "who".


    So a sort of consequentialism. Interesting, though slightly different from what I asked. This states that you base the moral value of your actions based on their consequences (rather than, say, intent, specifically how they affect your neighbor. It doesn't really establish how you know "helpful to my neighbor" actually is good, whether it applies to actions that have no effect at all on your neighbors, or whether that set of ethics can apply to your neighbors' actions as well as your own.

    Also, out of curiosity, how strong is that altruism? Would you do some sort of harm to a neighbor in order to protect yourself, for example?

    You are equating "real" or "objective" with "commanded by someone".

    I haven't become a believer since my initial posts in this thread, so your condescension is misdirected.
     
  8. Ygrene Imref

    Ygrene Imref Well-Known Member

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    So.... is it clear that morality is subjective now?

    Sixteen pages of (decent/good) arguing over the alleged objectivity of morality suggest the existence a reality of [extreme] subjectivity within morality - perhaps without people realizing it.
     
  9. Ken-1122

    Ken-1122 Newbie

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    I know the definition of morality; and the Christian God is not mentioned in this definition. If you don’t believe me, look it up.

    Who is this "we" you are referring to? You and your Christian friends? Like I said; based on faith.
     
  10. Ygrene Imref

    Ygrene Imref Well-Known Member

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    No god works on morality, because gods don't die. This is why people who seek "enlightenment" paths are often considered having "extreme," "weird," or "unacceptable" principles and philosophies. Entities that die follow morality within their own species, and culture. That "morality" is categorically subjective.
     
  11. Ken-1122

    Ken-1122 Newbie

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    Would it be fair to say; Objective morality is for Theists who believe in a higher power and subjective morality is for atheist who do not?

    Jesus never wrote anything down, so the only thing you know about Jesus is what other people wrote about him; and half the people who wrote about him contradicted each other.

    So how do you know the men who wrote about him were telling the truth? I’m a man; if I wrote something, you would be skeptical; so why don’t you apply the same skepticism to these men when they make claims about what Jesus said? And even if Jesus DID claim to be the son of God, how do you know HE was telling the truth? Most of the religious people of his time didn’t believe him; why do you?

    No; nothing is forced. You would be offering your logic and reasoning to them and it is up to them to accept it or not.

    The only way that would work is if you share the same moral base. If you do not, your arguments will fail

    Yes; but if his moral base is different than yours, this person claiming objective morality will show you that you are wrong according to his objective moral base; one that you disagree with; and you will show him he is wrong according to YOUR objective moral base, one that HE disagrees with. So at the end of the day nobody gets anywhere with your objective morality because the moral base varies from person to person.

    I kinda looked over that video, and I don’t see how you made the leap that he was promoting objective morality. I don’t think he even mentioned objective morality. He made the point that not all moral views should be accepted by society. that is a far cry from a single moral base which is objective morality. And who are some of these philosophical academics that support objective morality?
     
  12. Ken-1122

    Ken-1122 Newbie

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    It doesn't apply to you unless you choose to apply it to you. If you are interested in the truth, perhaps you would.
    You seem to be under the impression that under subjective morality your opinion is the only valid basis for which your actions could be judged. This is far from the truth; subjective morality doesn’t prevent others from judging your actions according to their moral base.

    Under Objective morality, you can judge my actions by your objective moral standard if you want, but if I disagree with your objective moral standard, your judging will also be completely invalid and meaningless

    No its not inconsistent, as I said before, nothing is going to stop others from judging your actions according to their morality; which is external to your own personal thoughts on the matter

    No it does not! It only means he BELIEVES he is right.

    Just because my moral basis is internal rather than external doesn’t mean my moral basis doesn’t exist.
     
  13. ToddNotTodd

    ToddNotTodd Iconoclast

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    Nonsense. Science can't say anything about morality because it's not equipped to. It's not what it does. Science can say for example that forcing someone to drink bleach will cause suffering to that person in specific ways, but it can't say whether forcing someone to drink bleach is "good" or "bad".

    Since I believe moral statements to be nothing more than expressions of preference, the idea of "objective morality" makes as much sense as saying it's objectively true that chocolate is good.
     
  14. Ed1wolf

    Ed1wolf Well-Known Member

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    I have said all along that His effects can be empirically observed not Him, such as the universe.
     
  15. Ed1wolf

    Ed1wolf Well-Known Member

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    According to scientists and philosophers effects have beginnings and/or change. The universe has both of these characteristics.

    Yes it does but it just doesn't admit that the cause is God, because it would violate "Science's" commitment to the philosophy of Naturalism. So they claim it was a quantum fluctuation that caused the universe.

    Actually there are ones that do make that claim. Such as Albert Einstein, Paul Davies, and Hugh Ross among others.


    I have provided the evidence and you have yet to refute it.


    No, it is backed up by science as I have shown above. Do you deny that eyes are for seeing and ears are for hearing? These are their real purposes, all biologists admit this except that they try to rationalize it away but they have always failed. The Big Bang theory backs up the belief that God created the universe. It proved that the universe had a definite beginning and is constantly changing and moving, thereby proving that it is an effect and therefore requiring a Cause.
     
  16. Redac

    Redac Regular Member

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    Truth? How do you know the truth? If moral truth regarding my actions is determined by something other than my own thoughts, then morality might be relative, or objective, or something else, but it ain't purely individual and subjective.

    It's relativism -- judging and assessing a given system from within the parameters and norms of that system
    -- boiled down to the individual level, the level of the subject. If you are going to argue that moral truths are a matter of a given person's opinion, then you have to accept that my authority on my own opinion is greater than your authority on my opinion.


    And? They can judge of they want, it just wouldn't have the same validity.

    Well, sort of. If there is an objective standard, you would be objectively wrong regardless of my own judgment or whether you disagree.

    People do so, but they also don't generally think of morality being about their own opinion. If they took your position, they would absolutely be acting contrary to the logical conclusions of their own meta ethical beliefs.

    If you argue that moral truths are determined subjectively, then his belief that he's right means that he is right. The two sentences become synonymous.

    But it does mean that for your opinion of moral truths to really have more weight or authority in judging my actions than my own opinion of moral truths, you have to appeal to something external to just our opinions of what is true.
     
  17. stevevw

    stevevw inquisitive

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    I think those who believe is a higher power or divine agent will support objective morality. I would say most atheists would support subjective morality but like I said there are some atheists who support objective morality.

    We know from history that people like the Jewish high priests appointed by the Romans Annas and Caiaphas as well as Pontius Pilate and Herod Antipas all mention Jesus as claiming to be the Son of and that's why he was crucified. Pilot states he can find no wrong in Jesus to crucify him. The basic story of Jesus is not contradicted and most scholars say that Jesus was a real figure.

    Jesus is also mentioned by non-biblical figures as someone who was claimed to heal people and performing many good acts. Most people acknowledge that Jesus was a good person and the fact that he has impacted on history and moved so many people shows his good example that has inspired many.

    As mentioned the basic story of Jesus is well supported. That Jesus was a religious figure who claimed to be the son of God, was said to performed miracles, had many good teachings and led a good life. Many people believed Jesus from the fact that from his short ministry and crucifixion and directly after his death the greatest growth of Christianity was seen which eventually became the main religion of the Roman Empire which initially tried to stop Christ and this has continued until today. It is funny as people seem to believe without question most other historical figures yet when it comes to Jesus they suddenly demand higher criteria for evidence.

    What I mean by forced is that as you have acknowledged it is up to the other person to accept or reject your POV. This shows that the logic and reason you use to arrive at your own POV can only apply to you.

    An objective moral base is independent of any individuals moral base. It is more about proving that there is a set of objective morals independent of humans views and therefore needs some independent support such as being scientifically verified or it can be logically shown that all people live like they believe in a set of objective morals. In that way, a moral would be like something solid that people cannot deny like the computer we are writing this post on. It is not reliant on peoples views and the computer exists despite peoples views saying it does not.

    Objective morality is similar to absolute truth. There cannot be more than one absolute truth as this is contradictory. To establish objective morality as the truth certain things need to be established. It is a bit like scientifically verifying something. So two people cannot be right as far as objective moral truths are concerned. I have posted some support for this such as with Sam Harris's method of establishing objective morality through logic and science.

    The video is only part of a longer video so you would need to do some investigating to fully understand Mr Harris's position. He goes into detail to support his position and you do not have to mention objective morality to support there being certain morals that stand no matter what in helping humans flourish which can be scientifically supported. He has actually written a book on the subject called "The Moral Landscape" and has been attacked by his allies who normally side with him when he is having a go at religion so Sam Harris's position on morality is well known.

    The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values is a book by Sam Harris published in 2010. In it, he promotes a science of morality and argues that many thinkers have long confused the relationship between morality, facts, and science. He aims to carve a third path between secularists who say morality is subjective (e.g. moral relativists), and religionists who say that morality is given by God and scripture. Harris contends that the only moral framework worth talking about is one where "morally good" things pertain to increases in the "well-being of conscious creatures". He then argues that, problems with philosophy of science and reason in general notwithstanding, 'moral questions' will have objectively right and wrong answers which are grounded in empirical facts about what causes people to flourish.
    The Moral Landscape - Wikipedia

    I do not know who the individual philosophical academics are that support objective morality. Like all surveys, they do not divulge who each individual is. The important thing is that they are philosophical academics who should know best about the topic of morality and the support comes from a good source.
    Preliminary Survey results | PhilPapers Surveys
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
  18. Ken-1122

    Ken-1122 Newbie

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    There are no scientific theories that address prior to the singularity that expanded to become the Universe as we know it, because they don’t know what happened prior to it. There may be some scientists who speculate or guess, but thats it; they are just speculations and guesses; thus far nobody knows what happened prior to the singularity.

    Oh so now there is a conspiracy among all scientists world wide to stifle Christian truths? Yeah; right! Christians are the richest and most powerful people on earth. Any scientist who can find scientific evidence to back up any Christian claims would be world famous and rich beyond measure. And you expect me to believe all scientists world wide are willing to turn down fame and fortune just to keep the conspiracy going? (LOL)

    Really? What Christian claims do these men claim are backed up by scientific theory?



    You provided evidence? I think not. You made claims; but you provided nothing (except for your logic) to back up those claims; like when you said beings exist in the universe then claim only beings can produce other beings. You need to provide something other than your word that shows it is impossible for beings to exist without the existence of prior beings.
     
  19. stevevw

    stevevw inquisitive

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    And yet we hear so often about how there is scientific support for beneficial mutations as opposed to negative and deleterous ones. People like Sam Harris are supporting the idea that there are certain moral positions that promote human flourishing and can be supported through scientific reasoning. I think the good he is talking about is similar to what helps people survive and similar to the science of evolution. It is more about behavioral science.

    Challenging the traditional philosophical notion that humans can never get an 'ought' from an 'is', Harris argues that moral questions are best pursued using not just philosophy, but the methods of science. Thus, "science can determine human values" translates to "science can tell us which values lead to human flourishing". It is in this sense that Harris advocates that scientists begin conversations about a normative science of "morality".[1]

    Sam Harris's case starts with two premises: "(1) some people have better lives than others, and (2) these differences are related, in some lawful and not entirely arbitrary way, to states of the human brain and to states of the world".[2] The idea is that a person is simply describing material facts (many about their brain) when they describe possible "better" and "worse" lives for themselves. Granting this, Harris says we must conclude that there are facts about which courses of action will allow one to pursue a better life.
    The Moral Landscape - Wikipedia

    The Science of Values: The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris
    The Moral Landscape represents an important contribution to a scientific discussion of morality.
    The Science of Values: The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris

    So if someone says it is OK to take your car for a joy ride because it is their moral view that material posessions should be shared you would regard this statement as being similar to someone saying they think chocolate is good.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
  20. durangodawood

    durangodawood Dis Member

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    Right. Somehow I misread your post. Sorry about that.
     
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