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The Necessity of Moral Realism (Moral Objectivism)

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Burning ghost
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Re: THE NECESSITY OF MORAL REALISM (MORAL OBJECTIVISM)

Post by Burning ghost » October 26th, 2018, 2:07 am

Morton -

I’m confused!
A sound argument is one whose premises are true and whose conclusion follows logically from them. A "valid truth" is one which is confirmable empirically or logically.
Is my confusion to do with the different kinds of logical terminology being used in different disciplines? As far as I know a VALID argument doesn’t need to be a TRUE argument and if an argument is seen as both VALID and TRUE it is SOUND.

Example (more for others than you Morton):

All bananas are purple
All purple things taste like strawberries
Therefore bananas taste like strawberries.

This is a VALID argument, but it isn’t a SOUND argument. I am struggling with the “valid truth” term you use.

Nature nurture: https://notpoliticallycorrect.me/2018/0 ... s-nurture/
High heritability estimates have been used as evidence for causation—that genes control a large part of the trait in question. This reasoning, however, is highly flawed. People confuse “heritable” with “inheritable” (Moore and Shenk, 2016). Heritability does not inform us what causes a trait, how much environment contributes to a trait, nor does it tell us the relative influence of genes on a trait. Moore and Shenk (2016) agree with Joseph et al (2015) and Burt and Simons (2014) that heritability studies need to end, but Moore and Shenk’s reasoning slightly differs: they say we should end estimates because people confuse “heritable” with “inheritable”. Likewise, Guo (2000: 299) concurs, writing “it can be argued that the term ‘heritability’, which carries a strong conviction or connotation of something ‘heritable’ in everyday sense, is no longer suitable for use in human genetics and its use should be discontinued.”
I’ve read through the whole article but I’ve watched several hours of Sapolsky’s lectures on youtube (I think it’s in the first vid. on behavioral genetics - highly recommended!) It’s no wonder people get confused because the technical jargon of genetics doesn’t marry with common parse.

Anyway, back to the whole moral conundrum. If we act as if rape, murder and torturing animals is wrong then we act as if these are truths. Then we can jump into the defintion of “truth.” We are on Earth. That is an actual truth not a logical truth. Theologians have made a century long career of playing games with inductive reasoning to confound pragmatic claims.

Another way to look at this would be to consider the weather. Will it rain tomrrow? Now, we can make reasonable predictions and in some cases pretty much guarantee an answer. When the future is less clear we still predict an outcome based on causal relations (experiential knowledge), but what will be will be regardless. In this case the weather tomorrow is viewed as deterministic (our ability to predict assumes there will be weather tomorrow.) One way or another the prediction is varified. When it comes to moral choices it’s much, much foggier (and I believe it is here or here abouts where Sausage Dog is rabidly trying to eek out something.) We may be faced with a moral problem - to kill or not kill or may be - and decide upon the “best” course of action. Obivously some actions taken, due to moral choices, can be seen to have diffrent results for different people. This doesn’t mean there is no objectively “better” action to make only that humans are different. The fact that there is no yard stick for measuring morality doesn’t mean we are unable to determine “better” or “worse” outcomes only that the event played out by our moral choices is not discrete (everyone is well aware that some apparent good/bad deed will flip-flop overtime giving benefits and hindrances alike; the trick is tilting it in your favour.)

Does any of this mean I am saying “torturing animals for fun is objectively wrong,” and claiming that it is a true statement? No, but neither does it say that I think it is an untrue statement. I am aware I could, under extraordinary circumstances, likely be tortured myself and conditioned to enjoy torturing animals. In such a case I would be blind to any moral issue even if someone pointed it out to me, yet I know I am a creature of empathy so mayeb I’d turn it around? Either way the point here is that it would take extreme measures to have me take pleasure in torturing animals. If I enefit from torturing animals then I move away from suffering - that is the point that matters most to me and the problem is judging the pay-off of a little suffering today for an over all loss in future suffering. Given that we cannot empirically measure this we’re left making predictions, trying things out and seeing what happens.

Embedded within all this, if you can see or not?, is the problem of claiming there is an objective moral good and then also denying free-will (meaning siding with strong determinism, or rather fatalism - many theologians fall down at that point because they want to have their cake and eat it!)
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Re: THE NECESSITY OF MORAL REALISM (MORAL OBJECTIVISM)

Post by GE Morton » October 26th, 2018, 10:10 am

Dachshund wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 1:38 am

I am familiar with the various standard criticisms of moral intuitionism as a meta-ethical theory, though I would like to propose that we can use another aspect of the phenomenology of moral experience to strengthen the case for moral realism/objectivism.

THE PHENOMENOLOGY OF DISAGREEMENT and DELIBERATION

People have disagreements about all sorts of things, sometimes they are about relatively silly or trivial matters such as whether miniature dachshund dogs make for better pets than miniature Poodles or whether milk chocolate is a better treat than dark chocolate. People also have disagreements about more weighty questions such as whether or not human actions influence global warming. These two kinds of disagreement are very different, and one way to see this is to consider the phenomenology of the disagreements, that is, to think carefully about what it FEELS like from the inside to engage in such disputes. In the case of disagreeing about chocolate or pet dogs, It feels like stating one's own personal preference, and perhaps trying to persuade the interlocutor into getting his own preferences into line. In the global warming case, it feels different; it feels like trying to get at an objective truth - one that is there anyway, independently of our personal beliefs and preferences ( Either human actions DO contribute to global warming or they DO NOT. Right ?

Now consider a serious moral disagreement, let's say it's a dispute about the morality of "blood sports", ( like, for example, fox hunting as it is traditionally practiced by the landed gentry in Britain). Suppose that you are engaged in such a disagreement yourself. Concentrate on imagining how it would feel for you "one the inside" - (if not about "blood sports"/fox hunting, then about some other issue you care deeply about). Perhaps you feel that there's nothing wrong with traditional-style British fox hunting and you're arguing with someone who thinks that this "blood sport" is morally wrong. How would you describe the phenomenology of the disagreement (?), that is, what does such a disagreement feel like for you; in particular, would you say it feels more like disagreeing over issues like which type of chocolate or pet dog is better, or does it feel more like disagreeing over factual matters like whether or not human actions contribute to global warming ?

Personally speaking, I find that being engaged in a disagreement about a serious ( non-trivial) moral issue feels exactly like being involved in a dispute about global warming ( like the one above) - it feels like it's about an objective matter of fact, that exists independently of us and our disagreement. Moreover, I think I can safely predict that this is how it feels for you, Mr Morton, as well ? So, in short, according to if "the phenomenology of disagreement test", morality seems to fall on the objective side of the fence, and this, I declare, substantially strengthens the case for metaethical theories of moral realism.

In conclusion I exhort you ( i.e; any reader of this post who is interested in determining whether ethics is inherently objective or subjective ?) to conduct your own phenomenological experiments and test for yourself whether or not what I say is true, the only requirement is a good imagination. (BTW: It goes without saying, of course, that only mature adults of at least average intelligence who are, generally speaking, well-adjusted and not afflicted with any type of clinical ( i.e. material) psychiatric disorder are eligible to "play").
That is an interesting argument, but someone's "feeling" that a moral judgment or principle is objective doesn't establish that it is, or even that it is sound. That feeling may motivate a thinker to pursue the question more intensively, but it doesn't settle it. How objective a proposition "feels" to someone is largely a matter of how strongly that person agrees with that proposition, and how important it is in his particular weltanschauung. But a proposition is only objective if its truth conditions are public, i.e., verifiable by all suitably situated observers. One's feelings about it are irrelevant.

I am myself a moral objectivist --- but because I believe some moral principles can be derived from a sound moral theory, not merely because I "feel" they are true.

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Re: THE NECESSITY OF MORAL REALISM (MORAL OBJECTIVISM)

Post by Eduk » October 26th, 2018, 10:19 am

Seems patronising to point out that wanting something to be true doesn't mean it is. Not sure why people get so confused about this concept. For example if I run head first into a wall I really really don't want that wall to be there.
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Re: THE NECESSITY OF MORAL REALISM (MORAL OBJECTIVISM)

Post by GE Morton » October 26th, 2018, 8:33 pm

Burning ghost wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 2:07 am
A sound argument is one whose premises are true and whose conclusion follows logically from them. A "valid truth" is one which is confirmable empirically or logically.
Is my confusion to do with the different kinds of logical terminology being used in different disciplines? As far as I know a VALID argument doesn’t need to be a TRUE argument and if an argument is seen as both VALID and TRUE it is SOUND.
Yes. "True/false" doesn't apply to arguments, only to propositions. And the conclusion of a valid argument is not necessarily true; "valid" means only that no logical errors were made drawing the conclusion from the premises. It does not imply that the premises are true. A sound argument is one which is valid and whose premises are true.
This is a VALID argument, but it isn’t a SOUND argument. I am struggling with the “valid truth” term you use.
"Valid truth" was a term you used in the post to which I responded: "No proposition is necessarily accepted by everyone, but that does make everyone necessarily ignorant to framing a valid truth, it only gives them the problem of convincing others."
Nature nurture: https://notpoliticallycorrect.me/2018/0 ... s-nurture/
High heritability estimates have been used as evidence for causation—that genes control a large part of the trait in question. This reasoning, however, is highly flawed. People confuse “heritable” with “inheritable” (Moore and Shenk, 2016). Heritability does not inform us what causes a trait, how much environment contributes to a trait, nor does it tell us the relative influence of genes on a trait. Moore and Shenk (2016) agree with Joseph et al (2015) and Burt and Simons (2014) that heritability studies need to end, but Moore and Shenk’s reasoning slightly differs: they say we should end estimates because people confuse “heritable” with “inheritable”. Likewise, Guo (2000: 299) concurs, writing “it can be argued that the term ‘heritability’, which carries a strong conviction or connotation of something ‘heritable’ in everyday sense, is no longer suitable for use in human genetics and its use should be discontinued.”
Again, you're equating the lack of clarity concerning the role each factor plays in a given trait with a lack of clarity in the two concepts. And it doesn't matter; neither serves as a rational basis for an "intuitive" belief.
Anyway, back to the whole moral conundrum. If we act as if rape, murder and torturing animals is wrong then we act as if these are truths.
I agree.
Then we can jump into the defintion of “truth.” We are on Earth. That is an actual truth not a logical truth.
The accepted terminology is "synthetic truth" (vs. "analytic," or logical truths, terms coined by Kant). As for the definition of "truth," I assume Tarski's definition: the proposition "Paris is the capital of France" is true if and only if Paris is the capital of France.

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/truth/

How do we know whether Paris is the capital of France? By traveling there and observing whether the Assembly regularly meets there, whether the various government departments have their principal offices there, etc. Every cognitive synthetic proposition contains a prediction: that if we do X we will observe or otherwise experience Y. E.g., "Snow is white" predicts that if we find ourselves knee deep in snow we will observe a lot of white. The proposition is true if, when doing X, the predicted experience occurs.
When it comes to moral choices it’s much, much foggier (and I believe it is here or here abouts where Sausage Dog is rabidly trying to eek out something.) We may be faced with a moral problem - to kill or not kill or may be - and decide upon the “best” course of action. Obivously some actions taken, due to moral choices, can be seen to have diffrent results for different people. This doesn’t mean there is no objectively “better” action to make only that humans are different. The fact that there is no yard stick for measuring morality doesn’t mean we are unable to determine “better” or “worse” outcomes only that the event played out by our moral choices is not discrete (everyone is well aware that some apparent good/bad deed will flip-flop overtime giving benefits and hindrances alike; the trick is tilting it in your favour.)

Does any of this mean I am saying “torturing animals for fun is objectively wrong,” and claiming that it is a true statement? No, but neither does it say that I think it is an untrue statement. I am aware I could, under extraordinary circumstances, likely be tortured myself and conditioned to enjoy torturing animals. In such a case I would be blind to any moral issue even if someone pointed it out to me, yet I know I am a creature of empathy so mayeb I’d turn it around? Either way the point here is that it would take extreme measures to have me take pleasure in torturing animals. If I enefit from torturing animals then I move away from suffering - that is the point that matters most to me and the problem is judging the pay-off of a little suffering today for an over all loss in future suffering. Given that we cannot empirically measure this we’re left making predictions, trying things out and seeing what happens.
You seem to be saying two things there, that 1) moral decisions are always context-dependent, and 2) that they often force a choice between the lesser of two evils. But the thrust of my original comment was to deny that the proposition, "Torturing animals is morally wrong," is self-evident. I agree that it is immoral, and would argue that judgment is objective. But it is not self-evident.
Embedded within all this, if you can see or not?, is the problem of claiming there is an objective moral good and then also denying free-will (meaning siding with strong determinism, or rather fatalism - many theologians fall down at that point because they want to have their cake and eat it!)
I'm not sure what you're saying there. Are you claiming there is a conflict between moral objectivity and free will?

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Re: THE NECESSITY OF MORAL REALISM (MORAL OBJECTIVISM)

Post by Burning ghost » October 27th, 2018, 3:17 am

Morton -

First of all the whole nature nurture debarcle (from link provided in previous post):
People appeal to moderate to high heritability estimates as evidence that a trait is controlled by genes. They then assume that because something has a high heritability then that it must show something about causation. The fact of the matter is, they do not. Heritability estimates assume a false dichotomy of nature vs nurture; it assumes that we can neatly partition genetic from environmental effects. It assumes that the higher a trait’s heritability the more genes control said trait. These are all false. One of the main ways that heritability is estimated is by the CTM (classic twin method). This method, though, has a ton of assumptions poured into it—most importantly, the assumption that DZ and MZ fraternal twins experience roughly equal environments—the equal environments assumption (EEA). Heritability studies are useless for humans; twin studies bias estimates upwards with a whole host of assumptions.
That was generally my point against the proposition that there is a distinct difference between “nature” and “nurture.” It is a convenient distinction made for simplicities sake. It used to be a battle between teo differing ideas with some adherring to the “blank slate” theory of knowledge - you know this and so do I. The idea of the tabula rasa is dead in the water. This is no t to say it isn’t useful to view phenomenon as being “nature” or “nurture.”

When I said “valid truth” I meant it as “sound.” What puzzled me was how you talked about “soundeness” and then about “valid truth” as if they were two different things ... I think I see what you were pointing out and it was exactly what I was pointing to as an inherent problem (inductive reasoning; the problem of inference.)

This problem gives rise to possibility of something “self evident” being called “true” (as in actually true when the premise of an argument is put under scrutiny.) The Paris example is a good enough one to work with here and the claim that “Paris is in France” is both “true” and “self evident” yet what Paris is and what France is is also “true” in the sense that it is “self evident” - yet we can question the meaning of these things and know that they are abstract ideas of delineation of land as well as indentity and even customs/culture. This is the kind of argument I see theologists making quite a bit and they plough ahead with it without thinking about the meaning they are destroying - that is with the belief in an omnipotent omnipresent deity whose will has shaped everything (obvious contrary points embedded when regarding a humans free choice in life and the apparent scope of the deity already knowing the course of history; such things are beyond our scope.)

The biggets problem I seem to be having here in explaining what I mean (irrespective of what Sausage Dog has posed) is the unpredictable nature of our choices. Sausage being a conservative fellow sticks to what he knows works just in case his assumptions about a “better” way meely appear to be “good” now yet play out to cause a much larger degree of suffering. We know, it is self evident, that some degree of conflict is necessary for human learning. Now there is another problem within this! That is when I talk of “suffering” I am refrring to the net suffering of humanity at large not merely some limited view of my “individual perspective” because my “indivdual” being is what it is within the fiel dof play of other indivduals - I am social and possess empathy, I think with words and write them because of the existence of others and express myself as a self among selves not as a separate entity nor as a community of my own emotional substrates playing out mechanicially against an envronmental backdrop (hence my insistance about the lack of distinction between the terms “nature” and “nurture” in reality rather than as a points of convenient distinction set out in order to explore the spectrum of knowledge.)

The context of moral choices is never fully realised. We are limited. Just like in physics we have no idea if there is one mathematical formula (be it an algorithm or some other yet to be sketched out mathematical “patterning” dinstinct from an algorithm) yet we plough ahead regardless because they patterns we put to use reveal more clarity (at least here and there!) and allow us to apply this knowledge in a self evident manner. Given we’re not privy to the underlying “structure” of the universe we have no idea about how constant or universal our perspective is we’re only here for a brief period of time and seemingly the experiments and observatons we make are solid enough to allow for a productive scientific age of discovery which we’re able to communicate now and send probes to Mars etc.

I don’t have any answers to all of this I a only setting out some form of argumentation for the necessity of morals as viewed as being true not arbitrary decisions of no meaning. If we ask if it is morally true that killing people is wrong then I would say “it depends” yet over all, in most common circumstances, I don’t regard “killing” as generally being something that reduces human suffering even though I know I cannot measure this in any practical sense. The “laws” of physics, just like moral “laws” may or may not be true - what is for sure is that I act out as if there is meaning because it is true there is meaning and I only have an understanding of things by way of them having emotional meaning to me.

1+1=2 is neither good nor bad. The application of this abstraction can be used badly though.

It is also true that suffering is bad (it is self evident), yet that doesn’t mean that suffering can be eradicated. Conflict is necessary for learning and conflict necessarily means a degree of suffering is involved.

Literally anyone can agrue against any premise set out unless it is restricted within abstract limite and using discrete elements - that is why people cannot have an opinion about the answer to geometrical questions regarding the proposrtions of triangles and such. The functoinal “world” of mathematics means there is a correct answer even though someone may arrive at the correct answer in many different ways - hence the logical principle of Soundness set out in order to make sure in math we don’t arrive at the right answer for the wrong reason.

To try and finish up here I would say the problem (and task of philosophy) is to distinguish the scope and limit of terms. When we say “Moral Relativism,” “Moral Realism,” and/or “Moral Nihilism,” there are many confusions involved because the subtlety of differences confuses (especially with the idea of “moral nihilism” for me!) and unless someone is mindnumbingly dogmatic they certainly stradle between the idea perspective in one way or another because we haven’t arrived at a definitive “truth” for everything and can only do so by setting out confined systems of rules in order to then apply to reality.

So in this sense when someone says this or that is a “chair” or that “torturing children is wrong” I understand them both as being true, but neither being logically meaningful because logic is an abstract system by which we’re able to predict outcomes and then apply emotive thoughts. I am not convinced of thsi beign absolutely correct though and it may well be that a certain level of emotional content punishes us - and now I could start off again along the inquiry of free will and the problems with expressing the philosophical jargon surrounding this issue such as “determinism,” compatiblism,” and a whole array of other items from which it seems to me impossible to ignore human morality (because our emotional appreciation is the canvas of human existence - it is a problem to say the least for the use of “logic”.)
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Re: THE NECESSITY OF MORAL REALISM (MORAL OBJECTIVISM)

Post by Burning ghost » October 27th, 2018, 3:23 am

Sorry if that is too obtuse. Best I can do in my lunch break :/

I’ll try and revive an old thread I made along these lines and see if we can look more closely at this there.

Sausage Dog -

I notice you’ve not bothered to respond to any of my questions (fair enough, that’s your choice.) I can only plead with you to distinguish between the difference in meaning of “objective” and “real” in terms of how you’ve outlined your moral stance?

“Objective”/“objectivism”/“empirical”/“rational” and all that jazz. What are teh limits at which our views start to dissolve? What is clear to you and what remains just out of sight?

Note: hopfully you can be less obtuse than I’ve been above.
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Re: THE NECESSITY OF MORAL REALISM (MORAL OBJECTIVISM)

Post by Steve3007 » October 28th, 2018, 3:42 am

viewtopic.php?p=322622#p322622
Fooloso4 wrote:
Steve3007 wrote:This is the central point that almost all discussions of the difference between moral relativism and objectivism boil down to...
A nice summary that gets to the foundation of the matter - the lack of a foundation on which to build a moral edifice. The moral absolutist sees the lack of a foundation as a defect of moral relativism, but it is not a defect, it is the condition of moral deliberation.
I think the main problem faced by the moral objectivist is that he has no means of reasoning with rival moral objectivists and is therefore compelled simply to use force; to fight or suppress dissent or simply shout in capitals. To go back to the foundations metaphor: Each competing moral objectivist has their feet firmly cemented into their respective immovable foundations. It seems to me that this is one reason why, since he arrived here, we've seen Dachshund continually reverting back to asserting things (usually with capital letters) - struggling to keep up the technique of reasoned argument - declaring, in some of his earliest topics, that groups whom he judges generally to hold political opinions that differ from his own should simply be banned from expressing them at the ballot box.

They say "you're entitled to your own opinions but not to your own facts". This adage is referring to empirical facts. Since Dachshund appears to place moral statements in the same category as empirical facts, I guess it's quite natural for him to conclude that people are not entitled to express political/moral views that differ from his own, and should be forcibly prevented from doing so, at least at the ballot box. Because, to his mind, allowing such disagreement is to allow the promulgation of lies.

It's strikingly similar to the way in which Trump sees negative opinions of himself as "fake news". In a mind where the existence of rival opinions is not acknowledged, clearly pluralism is not possible. To such a mind, anybody who disagrees with it in any way is simply lying. And telling empirically testable lies about people can legitimately be argued to be outlawed. It's a key feature of the legislation of lots of dictatorial regimes, such as China, Saudi Arabia, and (to a lesser extent) Turkey (but they're getting there). They tend to outlaw the expression of opinions that differ from those of the state/dictator by characterizing them as the spreading of lies that (they claim) promote unrest and civil strife.

Hence, when various explosive devices are sent to various high profile US Trump critics such as CNN, Trump's natural reaction is to suggest that they brought it on themselves because of their lies (a.k.a. their negative coverage of him) and his suggestion is that they should avoid future threats of violence by "cleaning up their act" - i.e. self-censoring. In other words: people who are critical of the dear leader are, by definition telling (empirical) lies, they are the enemies of the people, and regrettably but inevitably can expect the people to rise up in violence and intimidation against them until they toe the line and start showing the appropriate level of deference to their betters.

Fascinating, but deeply disturbing, to watch this process of the disintegration of a pluralist society in action! It's interesting to wonder whether something like the freedom of speech enshrined in the first amendment can protect against this. Freedom of speech means freedom to express dissenting opinions. But if those opinions can be successfully characterized as empirical lies, then the despot can argue (as Trump has explicitly done) that nobody has the right to tell these "lies" and that if they do, they should be prosecuted.

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Re: THE NECESSITY OF MORAL REALISM (MORAL OBJECTIVISM)

Post by Burning ghost » October 28th, 2018, 4:24 am

Steve -

Forgive me for pointing this out, but ou appear to be accusing Sausage Dog of one thing and then suggesting something very similar yourself by bringing into question whether certain people should be allowed to publicly express theri opinions, whether their freedom to speak should be inhibited?

Personally when it comes to society not presently being what you’d wish it to be, and apparently (from our own perspective) getting worse and worse, then rather than pin all the ills of the world on our political opponents it makes more sense to take the responsibilities of our own failings rather than shift them onto someone else. Who you oppose is not the first person you should attach blame to. If someone is in a position to do harm and you’re not in a position to lessen the perceived harm then who’s to blame more than yourself?

Reasoning can lead anyone down some nasty road if they don’t stop and think about possible harm caused and how best to measure the long term prospects against the short term detriments - we all do our best and we all fall short imo.
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Re: THE NECESSITY OF MORAL REALISM (MORAL OBJECTIVISM)

Post by Steve3007 » October 28th, 2018, 5:33 am

Forgive me for pointing this out, but ou appear to be accusing Sausage Dog of one thing and then suggesting something very similar yourself by bringing into question whether certain people should be allowed to publicly express theri opinions, whether their freedom to speak should be inhibited?
I can't spot anywhere where I've suggested that anyone's freedom of speak should be inhibited. Where did I do that?

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Re: THE NECESSITY OF MORAL REALISM (MORAL OBJECTIVISM)

Post by GE Morton » October 28th, 2018, 2:30 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
October 28th, 2018, 3:42 am

I think the main problem faced by the moral objectivist is that he has no means of reasoning with rival moral objectivists and is therefore compelled simply to use force; to fight or suppress dissent or simply shout in capitals.
That is too broad. While it may be true of some who profess to be moral objectivists, it is not true of all.

An objective synthetic proposition is one whose truth conditions are public; i.e, the empirical facts which would render it true are accessible to anyone, and will be observed by anyone suitably situated. A subjective proposition is one whose truth conditions are private, apprehensible only by the utterer. "Paris is the capital of France" is an example of the former. "I have a headache," and, "Beethoven was a better composer than Mozart" are examples of the latter.

Moral philosophy needs to be de-mystified. Devising an objective moral theory is no more difficult in principle than devising an objective theory concerning any other realm of phenomena, and the methodology is the same.

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Re: THE NECESSITY OF MORAL REALISM (MORAL OBJECTIVISM)

Post by Fooloso4 » October 28th, 2018, 3:05 pm

GE Morton:
Moral philosophy needs to be de-mystified. Devising an objective moral theory is no more difficult in principle than devising an objective theory concerning any other realm of phenomena, and the methodology is the same.
It is not because one has derived moral principles from a sound moral theory that we do not have babies in order to cook and eat them.

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Re: THE NECESSITY OF MORAL REALISM (MORAL OBJECTIVISM)

Post by GE Morton » October 28th, 2018, 6:40 pm

Fooloso4 wrote:
October 28th, 2018, 3:05 pm
GE Morton:

It is not because one has derived moral principles from a sound moral theory that we do not have babies in order to cook and eat them.
That is true. We do not refrain from eating babies due to any moral principle. We refrain because have a hard-wired aversion to it. Some of the things we do or refrain from doing, and deem moral or immoral, are done because of innate drives or dispositions, or because of powerful cultural conditioning. No moral deliberation is involved. Some of those imperatives and constraints are (rationally) morally defensible, others are not.

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Re: THE NECESSITY OF MORAL REALISM (MORAL OBJECTIVISM)

Post by Fooloso4 » October 28th, 2018, 6:52 pm

GE Morton:
We do not refrain from eating babies due to any moral principle. We refrain because have a hard-wired aversion to it.
And yet you said elsewhere:
The only duties and constraints binding upon moral agents are those derived from a sound moral theory.

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Re: THE NECESSITY OF MORAL REALISM (MORAL OBJECTIVISM)

Post by GE Morton » October 28th, 2018, 8:16 pm

Fooloso4 wrote:
October 28th, 2018, 6:52 pm
GE Morton:
We do not refrain from eating babies due to any moral principle. We refrain because have a hard-wired aversion to it.
And yet you said elsewhere:
The only duties and constraints binding upon moral agents are those derived from a sound moral theory.
Yes, I did. The only constraints morally binding on agents are those derived from a sound moral theory. That we sometimes refrain from doing immoral things for other, non-rational reasons doesn't change that.

Fooloso4
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Re: THE NECESSITY OF MORAL REALISM (MORAL OBJECTIVISM)

Post by Fooloso4 » October 28th, 2018, 9:20 pm

GE Morton:
The only constraints morally binding on agents are those derived from a sound moral theory. That we sometimes refrain from doing immoral things for other, non-rational reasons doesn't change that.
Are you claiming that prior to the development of sound rational moral theory there were no moral constraints on cooking and eating the baby? When do you think the development of sound moral theory occurred? Was there no distinctions between right and wrong or good and bad prior to that point? You have stated that at least with the question of eating babies it is “hard wired” so it cannot be a matter of convention.

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