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Is morality objective or subjective?

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Felix
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Felix » August 15th, 2018, 5:52 am

Eduk: What do you think objective means?
Impartial, unbiased - this is not a math problem.
Your example requires personal judgement on quality of life.
What decision about a course of action does not require personal judgement? If someone committed suicide, would it be reasonable to conclude they were satisfied with the quality of their life?
For example there are a large number of species who would be doing rather better without humans. They may well find it 'good' for humans to not desire to live.
What makes you think my statement only applied to humans?
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

Eduk
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Eduk » August 15th, 2018, 6:36 am

If someone committed suicide, would it be reasonable to conclude they were satisfied with the quality of their life?
For quality of life to objectively be 'good' it cannot rely on feelings or opinions. That is what objective means, when everyone disagrees with you on your definition of objective it is because they understand the meaning of objective to be different to your understanding of the meaning of objective.
Anyway I grow bored of this pointlessness. Take my feedback or don't take my feedback, the choice is yours.
Unknown means unknown.

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Felix
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Felix » August 15th, 2018, 4:52 pm

Eduk: For quality of life to objectively be 'good' it cannot rely on feelings or opinions.
As I've said repeatedly in this thread, an objective assessment of quality of life would not be based on strictly personal feelings or opinions but on facts about human nature. Feelings and emotions are of course an aspect of human nature that must be taken into account and we would do so by considering the feelings and emotions that are common to all people (and sentient beings).
That is what objective means (i.e., a conclusion that does not rely on feelings or opinions), when everyone disagrees with you on your definition of objective it is because they understand the meaning of objective to be different to your understanding of the meaning of objective.
Only those who, like yourself, think there is only one definition of objectivity will disagree with me. More informed people understand that the meaning of objectivity differs according to the subject of inquiry, e.g., objectivity has a different meaning in psychology and the social sciences than it does in the physical sciences, and the latter "empirical" form of objectivity has no moral component.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

Eduk
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Eduk » August 15th, 2018, 4:58 pm

Good so we agree, we are both right. I am right that what you are saying isn't objective and you are right that it is objective. I'm glad we both 'learned' so much.
Unknown means unknown.

Judaka
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Judaka » August 16th, 2018, 7:38 am

Hey, Peter Holmes did you finally get tired of Immanuel_Can and decided to post this topic to discuss here instead? :D

Peter Holmes
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Peter Holmes » August 17th, 2018, 1:18 am

Hey, Judaka.

I posted here at about the same time - just to get a wider range of responses - and the discussions at the two sites have been interestingly different.

But you're right - persistent and determined misunderstanding-for-a-purpose does wear you down.

anonymous66
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by anonymous66 » October 13th, 2018, 3:02 pm

Peter Holmes wrote:
August 12th, 2018, 2:48 am
anonymous66 wrote:
August 11th, 2018, 6:56 am


Just to be clear, I wan't referring to your OP, but rather this post:


If you don't make judgments about assertions based on their ability to be falsified... Then I guess I don't understand your point 1 above. Could you clarify?
and if you don't believe that falsifiability is an issue, then why wouldn't you accept (at least in theory) that a desire could be right or wrong?
Whether I 'make judgements about assertions based on their ability to be falsified' is completely irrelevant in this context. The point is: there are two kinds of assertion - factual and non-factual - and moral assertions are non-factual. (Of course, these are factual claims, and you are welcome to contest and try to refute them.)

If, as I believe, there are factual and non-factual assertions, then, of course, falsifiability constitutes a major distinction between them. And my point 1 above is consistent with my argument from the start. I don't think the moral assertion 'this desire is morally right/wrong' makes a factual claim, because it expresses a value-judgement about a desire.

I'm sorry, but I just don't understand why you think there's some kind of contradiction in my argument. My obtuseness, no doubt. But thanks.
You used the phrase "of course" It's not obvious to me. How did you determine that falsifiability is important? Is your determination that falsifiability is important a fact or a value-judgment?

Peter Holmes
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Peter Holmes » October 13th, 2018, 10:01 pm

anonymous66 wrote:
October 13th, 2018, 3:02 pm
Peter Holmes wrote:
August 12th, 2018, 2:48 am


Whether I 'make judgements about assertions based on their ability to be falsified' is completely irrelevant in this context. The point is: there are two kinds of assertion - factual and non-factual - and moral assertions are non-factual. (Of course, these are factual claims, and you are welcome to contest and try to refute them.)

If, as I believe, there are factual and non-factual assertions, then, of course, falsifiability constitutes a major distinction between them. And my point 1 above is consistent with my argument from the start. I don't think the moral assertion 'this desire is morally right/wrong' makes a factual claim, because it expresses a value-judgement about a desire.

I'm sorry, but I just don't understand why you think there's some kind of contradiction in my argument. My obtuseness, no doubt. But thanks.
You used the phrase "of course" It's not obvious to me. How did you determine that falsifiability is important? Is your determination that falsifiability is important a fact or a value-judgment?
I define a fact as a true factual assertion - a linguistic expression that describes a feature of reality correctly, given the way we use the words of other signs involved.

If falsifiability is (as I believe) a constituting property of a factual assertion - because it claims something about reality that may not be the case - then my 'determination' (opinion?) about the importance of falsifiability is irrelevant.

That we value facts doesn't mean that facts are values. I think that's a sophistry.

Jklint
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Jklint » October 13th, 2018, 10:28 pm

Subjective in how it responds, objective in what it responds to.

Peter Holmes
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Peter Holmes » October 14th, 2018, 3:43 am

Jklint wrote:
October 13th, 2018, 10:28 pm
Subjective in how it responds, objective in what it responds to.
Sorry - what's the referent of the word 'it' here?

Jklint
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Jklint » October 14th, 2018, 3:57 pm

Peter Holmes wrote:
October 14th, 2018, 3:43 am
Jklint wrote:
October 13th, 2018, 10:28 pm
Subjective in how it responds, objective in what it responds to.
Sorry - what's the referent of the word 'it' here?
Morality since that's the subject of the OP.

Peter Holmes
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Joined: July 19th, 2017, 8:20 am

Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Peter Holmes » October 14th, 2018, 4:26 pm

Jklint wrote:
October 14th, 2018, 3:57 pm
Peter Holmes wrote:
October 14th, 2018, 3:43 am

Sorry - what's the referent of the word 'it' here?
Morality since that's the subject of the OP.
Thanks. I don't understand what
subjective in how it responds, objective in what it responds to
means with regard to morality.

Morality isn't an agent that responds to anything, subjectively or objectively.

Jklint
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Joined: February 23rd, 2012, 3:06 am

Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Jklint » October 14th, 2018, 4:35 pm

Peter Holmes wrote:
October 14th, 2018, 4:26 pm
Jklint wrote:
October 14th, 2018, 3:57 pm


Morality since that's the subject of the OP.
Thanks. I don't understand what
subjective in how it responds, objective in what it responds to
means with regard to morality.

Morality isn't an agent that responds to anything, subjectively or objectively.
Well, now I'm confused! I responded to the title of the OP "Is morality objective or subjective?" and gave in broad terms what would make it objective or subjective as I see it. Also, whether morality can be denoted as agent or not, it is definitely a "response" much of it encoded in law.

Peter Holmes
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Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Peter Holmes » October 15th, 2018, 1:56 am

Jklint wrote:
October 14th, 2018, 4:35 pm
Peter Holmes wrote:
October 14th, 2018, 4:26 pm

Thanks. I don't understand what means with regard to morality.

Morality isn't an agent that responds to anything, subjectively or objectively.
Well, now I'm confused! I responded to the title of the OP "Is morality objective or subjective?" and gave in broad terms what would make it objective or subjective as I see it. Also, whether morality can be denoted as agent or not, it is definitely a "response" much of it encoded in law.
Perhaps my OP question was unclear, for which I apologise.

What I meant by it was: do moral assertions express falsifiable factual claims - which means they're objective - or unfalsifiable value-judgements - which means they're subjective.

My conclusion is they must be subjective - for the reasons we've been debating in this thread. And I don't understand why you say morality is (or could be) 'objective in what it responds to'.

Why is the moral assertion 'slavery is wrong' objective in what it responds to? Can you explain what that means? Does it just mean that slavery is objectively (factually) morally wrong? And if so, can that claim be justified without begging the question?

Jklint
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Joined: February 23rd, 2012, 3:06 am

Re: Is morality objective or subjective?

Post by Jklint » October 15th, 2018, 4:14 pm

To begin with a correction.

My logic regarding morality in either state of S or O pertains to the bottom line in human nature, i.e., the ancient understanding that whatever your culture what I don't like done to me you also wouldn't like done to you. At that level I find morality as neutral and to that extent objective. How it responds to such infringements is left to the culture or society itself and therefore subjective.

Having said that, I admit that my original statement "Subjective in how it responds, objective in what it responds to", is far too simplistic. It's not wholly wrong but morality through the ages is far too complicated to allow it such a simplified conclusion.
Peter Holmes wrote:
October 15th, 2018, 1:56 am
What I meant by it was: do moral assertions express falsifiable factual claims - which means they're objective - or unfalsifiable value-judgements - which means they're subjective.

My conclusion is they must be subjective - for the reasons we've been debating in this thread.
I'm leaning more to the subjective myself but for different reasons. Morality manifests itself mostly as a playground of what connotes as moral or immoral relative to the age. In that regard I would completely refute the inclusion of "falsifiable" as having any reference to morality or moral matters. Morality is grounded within the structures of human psychology where any claim of falsifiable is not authorized as a true expounder of what is moral or not.

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