Arguments for Non-Subjective Morality

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Divine Insight
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Arguments for Non-Subjective Morality

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Post by Divine Insight »

In another thread The Tanager has requested a separate thread for his argument for the existence of a Non-Subjective morality.
The Tanager wrote: You made the claim that subjective morality exists in that other thread and this one. I am responding to that claim. I'm also willing afterwards to offer my own reasons for believing in non-subjective morality. If and/or how would one come to know what the non-subjective morality is would be an additional question, but it does not settle this one that we are talking about because of the claims you have made. After this discussion, start a thread on that and I'll share my thoughts.
I would be very interested to hear these arguments.
The Tanager wrote: If and/or how would one come to know what the non-subjective morality is would be an additional question
I agree. First we need to have reasons to even suspect that such a thing exists. I would like to hear those arguments first.

But yes, if those initial arguments are compelling (which I confess to being skeptic about already), a far more important question would be the question of how we could come to know what those moral rules are.

Without this additional knowledge the existence of a non-subjective morality would be useless. A system of morality whose content cannot be known would be meaningless.

So yes, we not only need to have arguments for the existence of a non-subjective morality, but we then need to know precisely what it contains without ambiguity.

Any ambiguity would bring us right back to having to subjectively guess what we think it might contain anyway. So that would hardly be useful and would instantly return us right back to a state of subjective morality.

So yes, we don't just need to know that an objective morality exists, but we also need to know precisely what it contains.
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Re: Arguments for Non-Subjective Morality

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Post by Divine Insight »

Artie wrote: If you think something can be right and wrong at the same time logical and rational arguments are wasted.
For a gay person being gay is right.

For someone who opposes being gay, then being gay is wrong.

They are both right simultaneously.

How can that be? Because morality is based on subjective opinions.

They can both be right relative to their own views.

The only way this would be a logical contradiction is if someone could produce an objective moral system that takes one side over the other and decrees the person holding the opposite opinion to be wrong.

But as long as morality is based on subjective opinions then multiple opinions can be simultaneously true relative to the people who hold those opinions.

There is no logical contradiction in this case.
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Re: Arguments for Non-Subjective Morality

Post #82

Post by Artie »

Bust Nak wrote:
Okay, but that doesn't tell me why you think logical and rational arguments are wasted on me.
Because you contradict what it says in the link.

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Re: Arguments for Non-Subjective Morality

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Divine Insight wrote:For a gay person being gay is right.

For someone who opposes being gay, then being gay is wrong.
Why would this person oppose being gay?

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Re: Arguments for Non-Subjective Morality

Post #84

Post by Divine Insight »

Artie wrote:
Divine Insight wrote:For a gay person being gay is right.

For someone who opposes being gay, then being gay is wrong.
Why would this person oppose being gay?
You'd need to ask them. I can assure you that such people exist. I can also tell you from experience that they often have different reasons why they oppose being gay.

Are you going to suggest that there are no humans on planet earth who oppose being gay and even oppose anyone being gay? They consider it to be "morally wrong". Many theists even point to the Hebrew Bible as evidence that their God opposes people being gay and had decreed it to be an abomination (i.e. a sin in the eyes of God).
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Re: Arguments for Non-Subjective Morality

Post #85

Post by Artie »

Divine Insight wrote:
Artie wrote:
Divine Insight wrote:For a gay person being gay is right.

For someone who opposes being gay, then being gay is wrong.
Why would this person oppose being gay?
You'd need to ask them. I can assure you that such people exist. I can also tell you from experience that they often have different reasons why they oppose being gay.

Are you going to suggest that there are no humans on planet earth who oppose being gay and even oppose anyone being gay? They consider it to be "morally wrong". Many theists even point to the Hebrew Bible as evidence that their God opposes people being gay and had decreed it to be an abomination (i.e. a sin in the eyes of God).
I was just wondering if morality was based on subjective opinion what's that subjective opinion based on in the first place? Other personal opinions? Otherwise it would have to be based on something non-subjective...

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Re: Arguments for Non-Subjective Morality

Post #86

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Artie wrote: I was just wondering if morality was based on subjective opinion what's that subjective opinion based on in the first place? Other personal opinions? Otherwise it would have to be based on something non-subjective...
Well this is what people constantly argue about anyway.

I've heard many people make what they believe to be "objective" arguments against gays.

They argue that gay relationships objectively ago against nature and evolution.

The only problem with that argument is that becoming a celibate priest or a nun accomplishes the same thing. :-k

Or even someone like myself who simply chose to never father any children. Is that an objectively immoral choice?

It instantly becomes highly problematic when we try to start arguing objective reasons to brand something as being "immoral".

And in the end, there will always be other people who will disagree with those arguments.

So it can be really difficult to try to make a case for any objective moral rules.

You suggest using the criteria of asking what's beneficial for the well-being of a society. But the answer to that question ends up being nothing more than human opinions. Let's not forget that Adolf Hitler was claiming to do everything he did for the well-being of German society. He believed that the Germans were a "superior race" and that other races should either be exterminated or forced into slave labor.

Let's not forget that similar arguments were being made against people of color in the USA prior to the Civil War. In fact there still exist White Supremacist groups that continue to make those kinds of arguments to this very day.

So deciding who's opinions should be viewed as being based on "objective facts" and who's should not, is not a clear-cut or unambiguous means of determining objective "truth".

Almost everything that humans argue for can necessarily be reduced to subjective opinions.

I don't see this as a bad thing. I just see it as a fact of reality. I mean if you want to talk about an objective fact of reality I would say that it's an objective fact of reality that all that exists when it comes to ideas of morality and how humans should live are human subjective opinions.

This doesn't need to be a bad thing. We need to work together to come to a consensus on how we as humans want to live.

That's clearly not an easy thing to do since different people hold strongly different opinions on precisely what this should entail. But recognizing that these concepts are open to human subjective views and opinions should be taken into consideration and we should work together to try to find common ground based on that foundation.

Otherwise, what is there?

No one can point to the "Stone of Absolute Morality" where all the absolute moral laws are carved in rock. So without that absolute objective source for moral rules, all that's left is for humans to decide for themselves what they will accept as being moral or immoral.

As far as I can see, that's just the way things are. I'm certainly not arguing for this because I want it to be true. If we could find a dependable "Stone of Absolute Morality" to tell us what the absolute objective moral laws should be that would be great.

But thus far no one has been able to produce such a thing. And "God Forbid" (pun intended) that they would point to the Hebrew Bible. I personally have serious problems with the so-called moral principles decreed within that collection of fables.
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Re: Arguments for Non-Subjective Morality

Post #87

Post by Artie »

Divine Insight wrote:You suggest using the criteria of asking what's beneficial for the well-being of a society. But the answer to that question ends up being nothing more than human opinions. Let's not forget that Adolf Hitler was claiming to do everything he did for the well-being of German society. He believed that the Germans were a "superior race" and that other races should either be exterminated or forced into slave labor.

Let's not forget that similar arguments were being made against people of color in the USA prior to the Civil War. In fact there still exist White Supremacist groups that continue to make those kinds of arguments to this very day.
Everybody you mention like Hitler and White Supremacist groups are all following objective morality and try to do what is beneficial for the well-being of their society, that which is objectively moral. They all agree that what is moral is what is beneficial for society, they just have different opinions on what is beneficial for society.

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Re: Arguments for Non-Subjective Morality

Post #88

Post by Divine Insight »

Artie wrote: Everybody you mention like Hitler and White Supremacist groups are all following objective morality and try to do what is beneficial for the well-being of their society, that which is objectively moral. They all agree that what is moral is what is beneficial for society, they just have different opinions on what is beneficial for society.
Exactly my point.

You had previously tried to hold up an idea of objective morality based on what is beneficial for society. But even that ideal amounts to nothing more than subjective human opinions because different humans have different opinions on what constitutes "beneficial for society".

So that cannot be used as a criteria for any objective morality because it's an ideal that is based on human subjective opinions to begin with.
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Re: Arguments for Non-Subjective Morality

Post #89

Post by Bust Nak »

Artie wrote: Because you contradict what it says in the link.
Well the obvious follow up question is, why do you believe that I have contradict anything in the link? You tired this same line of questions days ago here, your questions were all addressed. do you think it would go any differently the second time round?

Is it because you are unwilling to process anything other than from within the frameworks of objectivism? It's not difficult, you understand food taste initiatively, let go of your preconceptions, even if just for the duration of this discussion.

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Re: Arguments for Non-Subjective Morality

Post #90

Post by Artie »

Divine Insight wrote:
Artie wrote:Everybody you mention like Hitler and White Supremacist groups are all following objective morality and try to do what is beneficial for the well-being of their society, that which is objectively moral. They all agree that what is moral is what is beneficial for society, they just have different opinions on what is beneficial for society.
Exactly my point.

You had previously tried to hold up an idea of objective morality based on what is beneficial for society. But even that ideal amounts to nothing more than subjective human opinions because different humans have different opinions on what constitutes "beneficial for society".

So that cannot be used as a criteria for any objective morality because it's an ideal that is based on human subjective opinions to begin with.
Would it be beneficial for society if everybody in it killed each other? If a human had the subjective opinion that it would be beneficial, would it be?

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