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Morality is not subjective

McBell

mantra-chanting henotheistic snake handler
When using the word "everyone" it makes the statement a generalization.

Yes, "god exists" is a generalization since (relating to "everyone") not everyone believes in god.

Since I haven't met every single person on the earth, I'd say personally majority of the people I came across with have morals. I find it difficult to believe that anyone would not have morals. and I know that I am not 100 percent correct. Unless their is a universal study that shows humans are inherited with morals, I don't see how I can logically and objectively say that no such person exists.

That's why a lot of people use "majority", "some", "a lot of us". or personally use pronouns rather than proper nouns to refer to a set of people with similar values even though they have different beliefs. It's to avoid generalization.

Once you say "everyone has morals."
Everyone believes in god
Everyone knows two and two is four.

Then, unless there is prove that all people do not just a percentage studied, where how can this be true?
*sigh*
we will have to agree to disagree.
 

JRMcC

Active Member
In essence, virtue ethics focuses on character, or on people aspiring for excellence in some particular ideal, rather than on labeling behaviors as "right" or "wrong." Put another way, the focus is on what sort of person you want to be. For example, a college student would do well to uphold a virtue of studiousness because this virtue is important to being a successful student (and presumably, a student wants to be a successful one). There are cultural expectations for personal character that play into the dynamic, often informed by social roles. It'd be expected that a counselor, for instance, embody the virtue of selflessness, as a good counselor must listen to the problems of their client without their own ego getting in the way. In both of these examples, there's no declaration that it is "morally wrong" if a student is not studious, or a counselor is not selfless. It just means they are probably bad at what they do. :D

That makes perfect sense.

It seems to me that, in simple terms, different humans understand reality differently because... well... they are different from each other and their environments are non-homogenous too. But I'm not sure this is what you were getting at?

So the way we think of morality is I guess determined by our understanding of the world. Though the way we implement morality varies, I feel that we all work toward the same good. In a sense most of us work toward the same ideal of goodness. That's not really an argument, that's just me thinking out loud.

I'm not sure I take your meaning or where you are going with this, but technically the sciences (yes, plural) are a practice (like riding a bike)? The common parlance of "Science (as if it is somehow singular... lol) is a body of knowledge" is... well... precisely that. Not quite what the sciences are... disciplines or practices.

I don't remember exactly where I was going with it, but maybe I was trying to say that there are many different types of knowledge. A lot of people seem to think that it's only knowledge if you can measure it.
 

JRMcC

Active Member
I would say..hey, that idea reflects a lot of different religious views, especially abrahamic ones, yet doesn't in any way mirror reality.

In my scenario I said Abrahamic religions do not exist! Read it again if you care at all. Which I don't blame you if you don't.

Look, even if every single human agreed with your particular moral set(of which there are many), that could, at best, provide the first stages of a case for that particular moral set being universally accepted by humans...which is still a far stretch from having it be some sort of universal law like gravity.

It's not quite like gravity. It's not like the physical sciences.
What I'm saying is that when you look at a painting and think about what it means or conveys, that's subjective.
When you see murder and think about whether it's right or wrong that's not subjective. If you think murder is ok there's something wrong with you.
 

JRMcC

Active Member
With morality, how can it be determined as to whether or not something is true without any objective measurements and no universal agree

That's a toughie. It can't be determined in the same way that physical facts can, with objective (or you should really be saying physical) measurements. Remember that science regarding the solar system is not universally accepted. That can't be a requirement for truth.

If one is a so-called physicalist then they will always agree with you and they wouldn't agree with me. I'm saying that there are objective truths that we can observe using our intuition, and that's a hard case to make. Especially to a Physicalist ( though I'm not saying you are one).
 

JRMcC

Active Member
If God isn't factoring into this discussion then it's a different ballgame, so just forget all that other stuff.

Forget the bible scenario?

I don't think we KNOW that those things are bad - we simply agree that they are. You and I share a similar morality because of a whole slew of factors, both biological and social. The fact that we recognize that our moral standard is different than those of the past, and will be different in the future, is evidence itself that morality is subjective, isn't it?

I think we both know and agree. This is obviously a hard case to make. I dunno, I think biological and social influences are suppressible. I might be brought up socially to believe in fictional Bible stories, but I if I truly realize that I only believed that then I will probably cast that belief aside. I'm sort of saying that if morality was just social then we would have a pretty easy time putting it aside. Think of other things that are just socially programmed.
The biological factors are obvious, but the biology argument leaves out a great deal of moral questions. I don't think biology can account for universal morality at all.

And again your last sentence I have to reject. If there is a moral truth (which we debating) then past or individual beliefs about morality to not affect that unchanging truth.

Precisely.
Time is irrelevant, really. We use it for measuring things and to help us put our existence into perspective - but it's good for very little else. Our understanding of time is also quite limited and subject to our vantage point of the Cosmos and our specific set of variables. There's not a Universal time, for example. A day on Earth has no equal anywhere else in the Cosmos, so far as we know, meaning that time as we measure it is good only for this one little ball of dust and means nothing elsewhere. There is no "Objective" Time.

Cool stuff :D

I'm not sure how you're referring to Objective Morality then. Is it just this thing to be discovered, like some loft version of morality that we are always striving towards?
If so, then you've done a wonderful job of defining subjective morality, a morality that's taken generations to hone before eventually become pretty globally accepted... That differs greatly from the claim of an objective moral code laid out before we were created, like the laws of nature.

I'm saying that if morality were subjective there would be no loft goal to strive for. Maybe we are hung up on words.
Actually my first sentence ^ there is really the main point of my whole argument.

If one's definition of objective always has to do with the physical, then what I'm saying can't be true. I guess I just have a different understanding of things.

As far as you last sentence... I don't think it was somehow laid out before creation. That would be one way that a human could understand it, but the reality of the universe is too much for humans to comprehend. I don't know how or why morality is objective. But I can say that given the circumstances it doesn't make sense (at least in my opinion) to call it subjective. Everyone behaves and talks like it's objective and then claims it's subjective; I just don't believe it. Doesn't mean I'm not learning a lot from this conversation though.
 
In my scenario I said Abrahamic religions do not exist! Read it again if you care at all. Which I don't blame you if you don't.
If that were the case, I very much doubt we'd be having this conversation.


It's not quite like gravity. It's not like the physical sciences.
What I'm saying is that when you look at a painting and think about what it means or conveys, that's subjective.
When you see murder and think about whether it's right or wrong that's not subjective. If you think murder is ok there's something wrong with you.
So that's your argument? Whoever doesn't agree with you, even though you seem to be incapable of explaining your rational, has something wrong with them?

Hubris.
 

McBell

mantra-chanting henotheistic snake handler
Ok you think killing children is only wrong if you believe it is. You're in the minority.
Actually, that is th truth of it.
Things are right or wrong because you think/declare them right or wrong.
It matters not one bit how many people agree or disagree with you.

Now if you can present a universally absolute moral...
Killing?
Nope.
Killing in self defense is not immoral.

Stealing?
Nope, it is not immoral to steal bread and water to survive.

the only "universally absolute" morals are the ones that are defined as immoral/illegal.
I.E. rape, murder.

And even then you get people who can't even grasp that concept.
I.E. "abortion is murder"
 

Shadow Wolf

Certified People sTabber & Business Owner
Remember that science regarding the solar system is not universally accepted.
That doesn't matter. When it comes to things such as rotations and orbits, we have a number of mathematical techniques that prove, beyond any shadow of a doubt, of many things that are going on.
That can't be a requirement for truth.
Objectivity is a requirement for truths that lie outside of subjective personal truths. It's why math is so important because it allows us to prove things without emotional judgements and subjectivity.
 
Ok you think killing children is only wrong if you believe it is. You're in the minority.
So, an appeal to emotion and an ad populum fallacy?

Gee how can I argue with that °eyeroll°

I like how you added the qualifier 'children' after the fact. What, is murdering adults not absolutely wrong enough for you any more?
 

ArtieE

Well-Known Member
I don't know how or why morality is objective.
Evolution and natural selection evolved organisms with instincts like the survival instinct and the instinct to procreate. Some behaviors are objectively good for successful survival and reproduction, some are objectively bad. From there comes our notion of behaviors being objectively good/right/beneficial/moral or bad/wrong/detrimental/immoral. The objectively right behavior is the behavior that is most beneficial and/or least detrimental to survival and successful reproduction. People have subjective opinions about what the objectively right behavior is.
 
Some behaviors are objectively good for successful survival and reproduction, some are objectively bad.
The qualifier 'for successful survival and reproduction ' is the subject for which behaviour can be measured as good or bad. What you have here is a measure of behaviour subjective to human survival.For them to be objective these behaviours would have to be 'good' or 'bad' regardless of any qualifiers.

From there comes our notion of behaviors being objectively good/right/beneficial/moral or bad/wrong/detrimental/immoral. The objectively right behavior is the behavior that is most beneficial and/or least detrimental to survival and successful reproduction. People have subjective opinions about what the objectively right behavior is.

Yes, this is probably where and why many draw their line in the sand, while yet others do not. I would say more define 'the good' against their God's will, and/or what is written in their holy texts.
 

ArtieE

Well-Known Member
Yes, this is probably where and why many draw their line in the sand, while yet others do not. I would say more define 'the good' against their God's will, and/or what is written in their holy texts.
Religions like Christianity is just a way of providing simple people with simple moral rules while wrapping them in a context that gives the believers more incentive to follow the rules.
 

URAVIP2ME

Veteran Member
You don't need an ancient book to tell you that stealing and killing is wrong, and just because you find those things wrong does not mean you promote or support Biblical law. For instance, many find nothing wrong with having sex outside of marriage, despite it being against Biblical law.

Right, one does Not need the Bible, or another ancient book, to tell you stealing and killing is wrong.
As Romans 2:14-15 mentions people of the nations do what is right ( Not to steal, murder, etc. ) because of: Conscience.
Unless damaged, people come equipped with a built-in conscience that guides.
If a conscience is ignored, then it can become hardened or calloused unfeeling like flesh branded with a hot branding iron.
Right, many find nothing wrong with fornication (porneia) because their conscience does Not bother them.
Just because one's conscience does Not bother them does Not mean fornication and adultery are acceptable according to the teachings of Christ.
 

URAVIP2ME

Veteran Member
Right, we do have a built in conscience and it generally tells us what's right and wrong, though it doesn't usually force us to do the right thing.
I would say we also have a built in ability to understand logic. And I don't think we should be doubting the objectivity of right and wrong much more than we should be doubting the objectivity of true and false.

Yes, ' generally ' tells us between right and wrong, but one's conscience can be ignored to the point that it finally becomes unfeeling and calloused like flesh branded with a hot branding iron - 1 Timothy 4:2

Because of free-will choices we are Not forced to do the right thing.( listen to conscience )
For that reason, one's conscience can either ' accuse ' us or ' excuse ' us.

Jesus used his built-in ability to not only understand logic but to use logical reasoning on the old Hebrew Scriptures as the basis for his teachings.
 

Shadow Wolf

Certified People sTabber & Business Owner
Right, many find nothing wrong with fornication (porneia) because their conscience does Not bother them.
But their conscious would bother them were they to kill someone. So, to those who follow the Bible such acts are unacceptable, but clearly many people do not have anything wrong with it, and yet they still have a conscious. So there is nothing inert that defines what morality is. The best we can say is we are "programmed" to express it, much like how we are "programmed" to seek social relations. But different cultures do express what we call morality differently, and there is normal some variation among the individual members of that culture.
Just because one's conscience does Not bother them does Not mean fornication and adultery are acceptable according to the teachings of Christ.
Within Christianity, but it does display the subjectivity of morality. And when we look out into nature, it's very doubtful we are the only animals with a conscious, as many group/social display a range of social norms, and even various forms for doing things that are against group norms. Bonobo culture, for example, is known for making male members who step out of line and start to act aggressive go away from the group and throw their tantrums elsewhere. They have huge orgies before eating to put everyone in a good mood and reduce the chance of conflict happening. Chimpanzees, they are the only other animal asides from humans known for ganging up on their own and murdering in cold blood. Elephants though seem as if they may be the most benevolent animal living today. And because even other animals have something that seems to fit the description of what we call morality, we cannot say they experience anything such as religion that we do, because even though we can define pro-social behaviors in humans and other animals, we can't consistently define religion among ourselves.
 

URAVIP2ME

Veteran Member
But their conscious would bother them were they to kill someone. So, to those who follow the Bible such acts are unacceptable, but clearly many people do not have anything wrong with it, and yet they still have a conscious. So there is nothing inert that defines what morality is. The best we can say is we are "programmed" to express it, much like how we are "programmed" to seek social relations. But different cultures do express what we call morality differently, and there is normal some variation among the individual members of that culture.
Within Christianity, but it does display the subjectivity of morality. And when we look out into nature, it's very doubtful we are the only animals with a conscious, as many group/social display a range of social norms, and even various forms for doing things that are against group norms. Bonobo culture, for example, is known for making male members who step out of line and start to act aggressive go away from the group and throw their tantrums elsewhere. They have huge orgies before eating to put everyone in a good mood and reduce the chance of conflict happening. Chimpanzees, they are the only other animal asides from humans known for ganging up on their own and murdering in cold blood. Elephants though seem as if they may be the most benevolent animal living today. And because even other animals have something that seems to fit the description of what we call morality, we cannot say they experience anything such as religion that we do, because even though we can define pro-social behaviors in humans and other animals, we can't consistently define religion among ourselves.

Yes, animals are conscious creation, but do Not have the spiritual capability as humans do in being religious - James 1:27
Animals for the most part go by instinct ( some eat their young ), whereas humans go by conscience.
 

Shadow Wolf

Certified People sTabber & Business Owner
Animals for the most part go by instinct ( some eat their young ), whereas humans go by conscience.
I'm pretty sure even many animals have a conscious. I've seen many dogs display shame and remorse, meaning they know they did something wrong. A wolf below the alpha displays submissiveness when upsetting the alpha. There are other animals that know and recognize when they have done something that is considered wrong within their group. But, I this seems to be only social animals. I would say non-social animals tend to behave in an amoral way. Snakes, for example, doesn't seem to display any real social or anti social behavior, it's really just if it can eat something or not, and if it can in it goes.
 

Deidre

Well-Known Member
As a Christian, I have certain views about morality, but still, it's pretty subjective. Our perceptions, experiences, and religious views (or non religious views) all come into play when we think about morality might mean to us, and for society.
 
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