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Understanding Objective Morality

Discussion in 'Ethics & Morality' started by Chriliman, Jan 16, 2020.

  1. Chriliman

    Chriliman Well-Known Member

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    I want to use the term “objective” in the sense that the reality of a thing is there whether you like it or not.

    Let’s consider Jane. Jane wondered across some land and decided to live there and farm it. She never purchased the land and has never considered whether it’s right or wrong to farm the land. Bob arrives and shows her documentation proving he owns the land and tells her to stop farming it.

    Has Bob introduces an objective source of right and wrong for Jane to consider?
     
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  2. Clizby WampusCat

    Clizby WampusCat Active Member

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    It all depends on Jane's morality? What does she base her morality on?
     
  3. Speedwell

    Speedwell Well-Known Member

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    No, he has merely raised a legal issue.
     
  4. grasping the after wind

    grasping the after wind That's grasping after the wind

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    No.
     
  5. grasping the after wind

    grasping the after wind That's grasping after the wind

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    The OP stipulated that objective morality is being assumed so replacing it with individual choice morality does not conform to the hypothetical's premise and does not therefore actually have any relevance to the question being asked.
     
  6. grasping the after wind

    grasping the after wind That's grasping after the wind

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    I do not see that an actual legal issue has even been presented. Guy shows up with some papers he claims are legal documents. Why should Jane believe they are genuine or that they are enforceable or that the supposed issuing agency has any real authority?
     
  7. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

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    I can picture it. As Jane wanders across the land she looks up in the sky in wonder, and probably is not that aware of ordinary things around her. But, also, she has been a little scatter brained in some ways, and is also homeless, and needs a place to live. Funny enough, she has some books in a backpack. One of them is a book on Georgism, which she had learned years back.
    (Georgism - Wikipedia) She kinda knows on some level that the air, the water, the land, the sky, they belong to all of us, all of humanity....

    Ok, she's idealistic, but she can also read. Let's think what could happen then...

    Jane remembers about Georgism and tries to teach Bob, and then he might or might not be humble enough to learn about Georgism. If Bob learns about Georgism though, it might not convince him to share the land, but instead he might make up rationalizations that seem quite rational, and he tells Jane some bad thing like "We are simple people, and we really don't feel we can welcome in all strangers, so we feel like you should move on."

    Or...maybe instead Bob is vaguely Christian, and something quite different could possibly happen....

    Suppose Bob remembers some things Christ said, instead.

    What if that first few days, before evicting Jane, Bob pulls down the old dusty bible he hasn't read, and opens it to a gospel and starts to read. Then, something happens, and Bob starts to remember some things Christ said to us, and finds them.

    Later, Bob says to Jane: "Welcome here. I was wrong to tell you you can't stay. Martha and I would love for you to become our neighbor. If you could just help with the hogs and chickens, and maybe help Martha some in the garden, we'd love to have you live here with us."
     
  8. Ophiolite

    Ophiolite Recalcitrant Procrastinating Ape

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    The OP states:
    The words are not "allegedly proving", but the absolute "proving". By this word choice the OP is asserting that the legality and authority are established.
     
  9. grasping the after wind

    grasping the after wind That's grasping after the wind

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    If the OP certifies that the guy is correct in claiming that the document does in fact hold legal authority then I would say there is a legal issue but as the OP has not stated what the objective morality is, how can anyone decide if Jane is faced with a moral dilemma or not? The OP has only assumed there is an objective morality in this hypothetical world but has neglected to explain what the tenets of that objective morality are. Until they are spelled out for us there is no way of knowing.

    Does the objective morality of this world state that farming a field one does not own is immoral? If so, then under the objective morality of the hypothetical world the OP has constructed, Jane is guilty of an objectively immoral act.
     
  10. theoneandonlypencil

    theoneandonlypencil Curb your enlightenment :^)

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    I mean, if we're being technical, there isn't really ANY 'objective morality'. We just...you know, do what our culture teaches us. Or, scientifically, whatever benefits us as a species.
     
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  11. grasping the after wind

    grasping the after wind That's grasping after the wind

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    We do more than just those two but it is true that morality is subjective. For my part, I consider God's subjective take on what is and is not good and bad as expressed in the Bible as my own moral guide and treat that in the same way I would as if it were objective.
     
  12. Ophiolite

    Ophiolite Recalcitrant Procrastinating Ape

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    You have highlighted one aspect of the ambiguity that permeates the OP. I'm not sure whether that ambiguity arises from poor expression, or muddled thinking. Perhaps @Chriliman will adress these uncertainties.
     
  13. theoneandonlypencil

    theoneandonlypencil Curb your enlightenment :^)

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    Well, of course, I believe in God and the bible, but speaking outside of religion and whatnot--the two I mentioned are pretty much the only ones. Besides that, religion is also largely a byproduct of culture too.

    I try to leave religion out of these debates because it always leads to a stalemate of 'why should I believe in the bible' etc.
     
  14. GOD Shines Forth!

    GOD Shines Forth! Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Per Paul:

    To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.—Titus 1:15

    One cannot count on many to assent to even basic truth any more. For them, everything is on the table. "Objective truth! Hmph! That’s your opinion."

    Believers have been given Truth from The Truth, the rest are blinded, leading each other into a ditch while saying, "We've got this!"
     
  15. HatedByAll

    HatedByAll New Member

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    The period of time and locality matter in this case even for legal purposes. If Jane improves the land and uses it continually for a period of time (as short as seven years in some jurisdictions) the land could legally be hers.

    Most cases of "squatters rights" are between neighbors. One neighbor maintains land for decades and then when the land is surveyed they find out it is their neighbors land. In those cases the squatting neighbor is both moral and the court may recognize the land as theirs.
     
  16. grasping the after wind

    grasping the after wind That's grasping after the wind

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    You must not have encountered too many people with different views on morality if you think other than religion those two positions on morality are the only ones. Some people have a very individual morality that does not take into account religion, science or culture but only personal preference. Some people believe in situational ethics that tend to discount religion, science and culture for pragmatism. Since morality is subjective, one can base one's moral tenets upon whatever one decides to base one's moral tenets on.

    Since this is Christian forums including religion in a debate seems to be unavoidable. The culture I live in and the religion I practice are not at all in synch. So to say religion is a byproduct of culture , I would disagree with. Sometimes that is true , sometimes the opposite is true as sometimes the culture is a by product of religion, and sometimes the two are at odds.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
  17. grasping the after wind

    grasping the after wind That's grasping after the wind

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    The truth is objective. What is, actually is and what is not, is not. The term subjective truth is a contradiction. Morality is not a synonym for truth.
     
  18. grasping the after wind

    grasping the after wind That's grasping after the wind

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    That is not a universally recognized legal principle. In my locality, there is no such thing as squatter's rights.
     
  19. Chriliman

    Chriliman Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the documents prove he owns the land so if she continues farming it then she is knowingly doing something objectively wrong, since there's objective documentation to prove it. No?
     
  20. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

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    Yet, of course, most everyone has a religion, just as you point to, even if it is for instance, themselves, or football, or whatever. Since there are endless 'religions' in that sense, but some cloak themselves also as moral in some way, it's interesting how James put it -- Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world -- and here, don't we have a kind of orphan or widow, really?

     
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