Is morality objective or subjective?

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Terrapin Station
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Terrapin Station » February 11th, 2020, 4:27 pm

Sculptor1 wrote:
February 11th, 2020, 4:16 pm
Terrapin Station wrote:
February 11th, 2020, 3:56 pm


I read what you wrote and I'm addressing it. The phrase I'm putting in quotation marks is a copy/paste of part of what you wrote. That bit in quotation marks is saying something, isn't it? It's a claim about something, no?
You are not reading it. Please read it and stop adding your own **** to it.
I copied and pasted what you wrote. I put that in quotation marks. I didn't add anything to it. Now, I'm asking you a question about what you wrote, the bit that I'm putting in quotation marks.

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Sculptor1
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Sculptor1 » February 12th, 2020, 5:06 pm

Terrapin Station wrote:
February 11th, 2020, 4:27 pm
Sculptor1 wrote:
February 11th, 2020, 4:16 pm


You are not reading it. Please read it and stop adding your own **** to it.
I copied and pasted what you wrote. I put that in quotation marks. I didn't add anything to it. Now, I'm asking you a question about what you wrote, the bit that I'm putting in quotation marks.
and I said read what I wrote and stop adding to it.

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Terrapin Station
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Terrapin Station » February 12th, 2020, 5:12 pm

Sculptor1 wrote:
February 12th, 2020, 5:06 pm
Terrapin Station wrote:
February 11th, 2020, 4:27 pm


I copied and pasted what you wrote. I put that in quotation marks. I didn't add anything to it. Now, I'm asking you a question about what you wrote, the bit that I'm putting in quotation marks.
and I said read what I wrote and stop adding to it.
Again, I didn't add anything to what I'm quoting. What are you claiming I'm adding to it?

Seriously, sometimes it seems like this place is mainly used by folks in an asylum.

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Sculptor1
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Sculptor1 » February 12th, 2020, 6:37 pm

Terrapin Station wrote:
February 12th, 2020, 5:12 pm
Sculptor1 wrote:
February 12th, 2020, 5:06 pm


and I said read what I wrote and stop adding to it.
Again, I didn't add anything to what I'm quoting. What are you claiming I'm adding to it?

Seriously, sometimes it seems like this place is mainly used by folks in an asylum.
Stop looking in a mirror if you don't like it

Peter Holmes
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Peter Holmes » November 11th, 2020, 9:23 am

My companion OP, What could make moralty objective?, has been locked. So, by way of summary, here’s my argument against moral objectivism, including, where relevant, explanation of the theory of truth and theory of language I use to make the argument. And I apologise for the repetition.


1 Signs such as words can mean only what we use them to mean, and there is no other court of appeal. So what we call truth, facts and objectivity are what we say they are. For example, when we talk about factual assertions being true, that is what constitutes what we call truth. And what we mean when we say we know things is what constitutes what we call knowledge.

The idea that what we call such things as truth and knowledge may not be what we say they are comes from a metaphysical delusion. Unlike nouns such as dog and tree, abstract nouns, such as truth and knowledge, are not names of things of some kind that can be described, in the way we can describe dogs and trees.

Pending evidence for the existence of so-called abstract things, belief that they exist is irrational. But the myth of abstract things is ancient and pervasive.


2 What we call objectivity is independence from opinion when considering the facts. So, in this context, that there are facts is a given. And to ask if morality is objective is really to ask if there are moral facts.


3 We use the word fact in two radically different ways, to mean either a feature of reality (a state-of-affairs) that is or was the case, or a description of such a feature of reality. And only the second kind of fact - typically a linguistic expression – has a truth-value: (classically) true or false.

Most features of reality just are or were, neither true not false, because reality is not linguistic. The only features of reality that can have truth-value are factual assertions.


4 I define a factual assertion as an assertion that claims something about reality that may or may not be or have been the case. So a factual assertion has a truth-value: true or false. And we call a true factual assertion a fact.

A factual assertion is always contextual and involves a conventional use of signs. And as there are many ways to describe features of reality, there are many facts about any feature of reality, each true in its descriptive context. But though we invented different ways to talk about reality, we did not invent the reality that we talk about. A description is not the described.


5 A putative moral fact is either a moral feature of reality that is or was the case, or a description of such a feature of reality. And only the second kind of putative moral fact – typically a linguistic expression – has a truth-value: true or false.


6 Moral realists and objectivists claim that there are moral features of reality – moral rightness and wrongness – that are or were the case, so that there can be factual assertions about them that have truth-value.


7 To my knowledge, moral realists and objectivists have failed to prove that moral features of reality exist. And while that may not mean they do not exist, it does mean that to believe they do exist is irrational.


8 Given this, a moral assertion, such as ‘slavery is morally wrong’ is non-factual, does not claim something about reality that may or may not be or have been the case, and therefore does not have a truth-value.

Instead, the function of a moral assertion is to express a moral value-judgement about a feature of reality, such as genocide, slavery, rape, abortion, capital punishment, eating animals – and so on.

And needless to say, the consistency of a moral assertion with a goal or another moral assertion doesn't confer factual status and therefore objectivity on the moral assertion. The 'subjective goal-objective means' argument doesn't make morality objective.


9 Our moral values and judgements matter deeply to us. And we think of them as universal – applicable everywhere and for all time. For example, if we think slavery is morally wrong, we think it always was and will be morally wrong. To think otherwise would be morally inconsistent.

For these reasons, it is easy to think there are moral facts, so that morality is objective. It is an understandable misunderstanding.

popeye1945
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by popeye1945 » November 14th, 2020, 2:47 pm

The motivation is subjective, the actual desired outcome is objective. Anything man creates is biological extension, and morality if it is to be healthy must be based upon the biology that created it. If it is to be applicable across the board it must be based upon our common biology.

Peter Holmes
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Peter Holmes » November 15th, 2020, 8:05 am

popeye1945 wrote:
November 14th, 2020, 2:47 pm
The motivation is subjective, the actual desired outcome is objective. Anything man creates is biological extension, and morality if it is to be healthy must be based upon the biology that created it. If it is to be applicable across the board it must be based upon our common biology.
I disagree. At every step - from the choice of goal, to the choice of which criteria constitute the goal, to judgement as to whether an action is ultimately consistent with the goal, to the choice of priority in moral conflicts, to the choice of scope for moral concern - there's judgement and therefore subjectivity. There are no moral facts, but only moral opinions held by people, some of whom think their own moral opinions are facts.

popeye1945
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by popeye1945 » November 15th, 2020, 9:19 am

Hi Peter, If I am reading you right, a system of morality is not possible, at least one which is applicable across the board. If you were to entertain creating a moral system what might you base it upon? I imagine across the board it would be based upon various things as it is largely now, read conflicted spiritual beliefs. You seem to have broken it down quite nicely, I am interested how you would reformulate the various aspects into a new system, or is what we have, as good as it gets?

Peter Holmes
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Peter Holmes » November 15th, 2020, 10:06 am

popeye1945 wrote:
November 15th, 2020, 9:19 am
Hi Peter, If I am reading you right, a system of morality is not possible, at least one which is applicable across the board. If you were to entertain creating a moral system what might you base it upon? I imagine across the board it would be based upon various things as it is largely now, read conflicted spiritual beliefs. You seem to have broken it down quite nicely, I am interested how you would reformulate the various aspects into a new system, or is what we have, as good as it gets?
Hi. I think liberation from moral objectivism means recognising that we have to take collective responsibility for our moral values and rules - and their expression in law. So we have to decide if things like the subjugation of women, the oppression of sexual and gender difference, abortion, capital punishment, eating animals, and so on, are acceptable or not.

As for me, I'm for well-being for all equally, including some other species - very much as many or most people think. It's just a starting point, of course - but it seems a rational one to me.

popeye1945
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by popeye1945 » November 15th, 2020, 10:33 am

Peter, Yes, there is but one biology and a morality based upon that biology, for most for human morality. It is to be human behavior that we are concerned with, not the behavior of our animal cousins. That being said, I agree with your concerns, but those concerns are human concerns. I believe that for most morality must be based upon the life and well being of that human biology. The concerns you have stated would certainly fall into the realm of human morality,

Peter Holmes
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Peter Holmes » January 30th, 2021, 5:39 am

popeye1945 wrote:
November 15th, 2020, 10:33 am
Peter, Yes, there is but one biology and a morality based upon that biology, for most for human morality. It is to be human behavior that we are concerned with, not the behavior of our animal cousins. That being said, I agree with your concerns, but those concerns are human concerns. I believe that for most morality must be based upon the life and well being of that human biology. The concerns you have stated would certainly fall into the realm of human morality,
Just a very belated push back. I didn't take in what you say here, first time around.

Whatever facts we use to justify - which just means to explain - our moral opinions, they remain opinions, which are subjective. And others can use the same facts differently, or different facts, to explain different moral opinions. That's our moral predicament.

That we 'base' our morality on facts about human nature doesn't mean our moral assertions are facts, so that morality is objective. And to restrict moral concern to humans is to make a subjective decision. Nothing in reality makes that distinction objective.

In other words, I think you may be trying to smuggle in objectivity - but if I'm wrong, I apologise.

popeye1945
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by popeye1945 » February 3rd, 2021, 5:35 pm

Peter, I wrote quite a long response to your post, but it is lost in space somewhere. I'll responded again a little later.

popeye1945
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by popeye1945 » February 3rd, 2021, 6:19 pm

Peter, Yes well all one's meanings and values are subjective until they are put into action, into biological creativity/human creativity. When our ideas in the form of meanings and values are expressed it is in the form of systems and structures which without a doubt, are objects in the physical world, they are objectified by us. We are all subjective beings, that again is a commonality. With a common biology we experience our own bodies pretty much the same way, we also experience the physical world in much the same way, having common sensory systems. Our moral predicament is that we have made the proposition abstract when it needn't be, which has caused all kinds of confusion. Morality is subjective first, until we create it out there in the physical world, upon which it then becomes both subjective and objective, one can point to it, but it still subjectively valued. It simply does not make sense to base morality upon anything but the biology which created it, in it's own self-interest.

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Terrapin Station
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Terrapin Station » February 4th, 2021, 11:32 am

popeye1945 wrote:
February 3rd, 2021, 6:19 pm
When our ideas in the form of meanings and values are expressed it is in the form of systems and structures which without a doubt, are objects in the physical world, they are objectified by us.
The objective stuff doesn't literally have any values or meanings in it.

popeye1945
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by popeye1945 » February 4th, 2021, 9:33 pm

The objective stuff doesn't literally have any values or meanings in it.
[/quote]

Terrapin, Right! The physical world is in and of its self meaningless, in the absence of a conscious subject. It is the conscious subject that bestows meaning upon the physical world.

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