Subjective Morality

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The Tanager
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Subjective Morality

Post #1

Post by The Tanager »

I started this post out of another discussion with Divine Insight. DI has made some arguments for morality being subjective. I'm still trying to get the terminology straight.
Divine Insight wrote:If morality is not absolute, then it can only be subjective. A matter of opinion.
We need to get our terms straight when talking about our human morality. I agree with you concerning 'subjective' being a matter of opinion. Objective, then, would mean not being a matter of opinion. Just like the shape of the earth is not a matter of opinion. X is good or bad for everyone.

Absolute vs. situational is a sub-issue concerning objectivism. The absolutist would say X is good or bad for everyone (and thus objectivism) no matter the situation. The situationalist would say X is good or bad for everyone but qualified by the situation.

In this phrasing, morality can be objectivist without being absolute. Now, I don't care if these are the terms we agree upon or not, but there must be some term for each concept I've presented. If you want to use "absolute" for "objective" above, that's fine. But you've got to tell me what two terms you want to use for what I termed the "absolute vs. situational" sub-issue.

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Re: Subjective Morality

Post #621

Post by Bust Nak »

[Replying to The Tanager in post #620]

I like it when people hold the door for me, I don't insist that people hold the door for me.

Here are some google definitions:

Desire: a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen.
Insist: demand something forcefully, not accepting refusal.

Seems pretty straight forward to me.

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Re: Subjective Morality

Post #622

Post by The Tanager »

Bust Nak wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 4:46 amI like it when people hold the door for me, I don't insist that people hold the door for me.

Here are some google definitions:

Desire: a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen.
Insist: demand something forcefully, not accepting refusal.

Seems pretty straight forward to me.
Yes, but you can insist for different reasons. One can demand something forcefully because they really, really want it. How is your 'insist' different than this? How is it not only a desire you have but an obligation on another person to follow your desire?

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Re: Subjective Morality

Post #623

Post by Bust Nak »

The Tanager wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 7:44 am Yes, but you can insist for different reasons. One can demand something forcefully because they really, really want it.
As opposed to demand something forcefully despite they don't really want it? That doesn't sound rational to me. What other reasons are there that doesn't boil down to really, really want it?
How is your 'insist' different than this?
It's not?
How is it not only a desire you have but an obligation on another person to follow your desire?
It's not only a desire with the addition of demanding it forcefully. I don't see how "demanding it because I really want it" would render the demanding part non-existent. Do you accept that I can desire that someone hold the door for me, without me demanding that they do? If it is possible then it follows trivially that there is a difference between desire and demand.

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Re: Subjective Morality

Post #624

Post by The Tanager »

Bust Nak wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 10:44 amIt's not only a desire with the addition of demanding it forcefully. I don't see how "demanding it because I really want it" would render the demanding part non-existent. Do you accept that I can desire that someone hold the door for me, without me demanding that they do? If it is possible then it follows trivially that there is a difference between desire and demand.
Yes, but that's not the difference I'm interested in. In post 612 I said that your obligation/authority seemed to be another way to say "I desire X." You said it wasn't the same thing. Now it seems like your obligation/authority is another way to say "I strongly desire X." Whatever the strength, that still seems to make obligation/authority no more than a desire.

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Re: Subjective Morality

Post #625

Post by Bust Nak »

The Tanager wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 7:53 am Now it seems like your obligation/authority is another way to say "I strongly desire X."
Why would it still seem like that to you when you've acknowledged there is a difference between a desire and demanding something forcefully? If there is a difference then it's not another way of saying the same thing.

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Re: Subjective Morality

Post #626

Post by The Tanager »

Bust Nak wrote: Tue Oct 27, 2020 8:43 amWhy would it still seem like that to you when you've acknowledged there is a difference between a desire and demanding something forcefully? If there is a difference then it's not another way of saying the same thing.
I've admitted there seem to be at least two kinds of desires you are talking about: weak and strong. If you demand something forcefully, then it is a strong desire, but it is still a desire. So, it still seems like your obligation/authority is a strong kind of desire and not something distinct from a desire. Yes, it's distinct from a weak desire.

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Re: Subjective Morality

Post #627

Post by Bust Nak »

[Replying to The Tanager in post #626]

If insisting on something forcefully is not something distinct from a desire then sure, obligation/authority is a strong kind of desire and not something distinct from a desire.

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Re: Subjective Morality

Post #628

Post by The Tanager »

Bust Nak wrote: Wed Oct 28, 2020 6:25 pmIf insisting on something forcefully is not something distinct from a desire then sure, obligation/authority is a strong kind of desire and not something distinct from a desire.
So, to revisit, in post 586 I said this:

"I know non-objectivists who say Johnny's action is moral, but that it doesn't match their preference if they were in the same moral dilemma. Neither is it talking about what a rational person would do. I think distinguishing the moral "should" from "this is my preference" would be the easiest fix, but you may see a problem in that which I don't."

Your obligation/authority is not the "should" talked about here, but saying "my preference" is strong. Under these terms, you have no moral "should."

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Re: Subjective Morality

Post #629

Post by Bust Nak »

[Replying to The Tanager in post #628]

I can accept that I have no "moral should," the way that you think what "moral should" means (whatever it is.) There is still a difference between insisting and not insisting, regardless of whether both are degrees of desires or not.

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Re: Subjective Morality

Post #630

Post by The Tanager »

Bust Nak wrote: Sat Oct 31, 2020 6:23 amI can accept that I have no "moral should," the way that you think what "moral should" means (whatever it is.) There is still a difference between insisting and not insisting, regardless of whether both are degrees of desires or not.
I agree. Then, isn't the one who dislikes child abuse yet says that Johnny's child abuse is moral the subjectivist proper rather than you? For they believe that no moral preference is true and that the moral should is judged in light of that fact.

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