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The Tanager
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:57 pm  Subjective Morality Reply with quote

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.
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 71: Sun Jan 12, 2020 5:36 pm
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Artie wrote:

Divine Insight wrote:
Your very criteria for morality is already a subjective notion open to human subjective opinions.
If one person claims that going around killing people for no good reason is good for society (moral) and another person claims that going around killing people for no good reason is bad for society (immoral) which one is objectively right DI?
https://thelawdictionary.org/immoral/


This type of argument is deeply flawed and has been shown to be so repeatedly.

What you are doing here is arguing for extreme cases while ignore the reality of the fact that moral questions are not that simple. Once you move away from questions of morality that most everyone will subjectively agree with, this idea of objective morality falls off very rapidly.

Moreover, the dictionary definitions that you point to are already human subjective opinions.

It's humans who have subjectively decided to define a concept "morality" based on what they subjectively think should be "Good for Society".

I've already exposed the subjective quality of this. Who's to decide what's good for society? Think

What if I go around killing other humans who are causing problems for society and are therefore not "good for society". Then my killings will be moral based on the definition of morality that you are supporting.

The system of morality that you are supporting here becomes extremely subjective and dependent on human subjective opinions. Precisely because we'll each have our own subjective opinions on what constitutes "good for society"

Historically people have argued that it's "good for society" to ban people of certain races, religions, or even political views from their societies. Some societies a have even embraced these arguments and have employed them into their social laws.

For example, why should a Christian society want to allow Muslims to practice and preach Islam in their Christian society? They could claim that this is "not good for society" and demand that all Muslims be banned from their society.

You are actually supporting a system of morality that is as subjective as it can possibly be. Who determines what constitutes "good for society"?

That ideal right there is already as subjective as it can be.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 72: Sun Jan 12, 2020 5:51 pm
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Divine Insight wrote:
By the way, what would you have to say to a serial killer?
I'd show him articles like this. "Brain Imaging Born Murderers: Study Shows Brains Of Mass Murderers Are Wired Differently"
https://www.inquisitr.com/3052145/brain-imaging-born-murderers-new-study-shows-b...

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 73: Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:35 pm
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[quote="Divine Insight"]
Artie wrote:

Divine Insight wrote:
Your very criteria for morality is already a subjective notion open to human subjective opinions.
If one person claims that going around killing people for no good reason is good for society (moral) and another person claims that going around killing people for no good reason is bad for society (immoral) which one is objectively right DI?
https://thelawdictionary.org/immoral/

Quote:

What you are doing here is arguing for extreme cases while ignore the reality of the fact that moral questions are not that simple. Once you move away from questions of morality that most everyone will subjectively agree with, this idea of objective morality falls off very rapidly.
Answer the question: If one person claims that going around killing people for no good reason is good for society (moral) and another is claiming it is bad for society (immoral) they would both be right if what is moral was subjective. Are they both right?
Quote:

Who's to decide what's good for society? Think
ROTFL. Nobody "decides" what's good for society. Nobody can "decide" that it's good for the society for everybody to go around killing each other. It's an objective fact that it isn't. That's why it's objectively immoral.
Quote:
The system of morality that you are supporting here becomes extremely subjective and dependent on human subjective opinions. Precisely because we'll each have our own subjective opinions on what constitutes "good for society"
And some are objectively right and some are objectively wrong proving that what is moral or immoral is objective.
Quote:
Historically people have argued that it's "good for society" to ban people of certain races, religions, or even political views from their societies. Some societies a have even embraced these arguments and have employed them into their social laws.
And were they objectively right or wrong? Did it improve their societies or not?
Quote:
For example, why should a Christian society want to allow Muslims to practice and preach Islam in their Christian society? They could claim that this is "not good for society" and demand that all Muslims be banned from their society.
One person could claim that it would be not good for society and another person could claim that it would be good for society. And according to you and your subjective morality they would both be right. How silly is that?
Quote:
You are actually supporting a system of morality that is as subjective as it can possibly be. Who determines what constitutes "good for society"?
Nobody. If it is good for the society the society will thrive and prosper, if it's bad for the society the opposite will happen. Every moral person just tries to do what is objectively good for the society in each situation. He may or may not be right, but that doesn't make morality subjective. It just means that each person has their subjective opinion about what the objectively moral thing to do is.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 74: Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:55 pm
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Artie wrote:

Answer the question: If one person claims that going around killing people for no good reason is good for society (moral) and another is claiming it is bad for society (immoral) they would both be right if what is moral was subjective. Are they both right?


It all depends on who subjectively defines what is mean by "good for society".

Some people feel that the world is overpopulated and that killing off a major portion of the population would indeed be good for society

Keep in mind that you are relying on the subjective judgement of killing people "for no good reason".

Who decides what constitutes a good reason to kill people?

What if I decided that reducing the size of the world's population a "good reason" to kill people?

What then? Would I still be objectively immoral for killing people?

According to your definitions of morality I don't see how I could be.

The very notion of "for good reason" is already a subjective judgement call.

Artie wrote:

ROTFL. Nobody "decides" what's good for society. Nobody can "decide" that it's good for the society for everybody to go around killing each other. It's an objective fact that it isn't. That's why it's objectively immoral.


How so? Maybe I think that the best thing for society is to end? After all I look around and see people suffering and constantly complaining that we live in a horribly evil world and they aren't happy with it, blah, blah, blah.

I can argue that the "Best thing for Society" is to end the suffering.

And so there you go. Even the very concept of what constitutes "good for society" is a subjective opinion.

And this is true even if you try to write it down your definitions in a dictionary. Writing down a subjective opinion doesn't make it objective.

Artie wrote:

Quote:
The system of morality that you are supporting here becomes extremely subjective and dependent on human subjective opinions. Precisely because we'll each have our own subjective opinions on what constitutes "good for society"

And some are objectively right and some are objectively wrong proving that what is moral or immoral is objective.


Says who? Who is the dictator of what defines "good for society"?

The very idea that decreeing that a society should never come to an end as being "good" is already a human subjective opinion.

You could argue that "semantically this is what we mean by good". But so what? Who invented human semantics? Human's did.

What you apparently can't see is that you are already using human subjective concepts and opinions as the foundation of your arguments for objective morality.

Who decides that it's "good" for human societies to thrive? Have alligators decided that this should be true?

Nope. It's a human subjective opinion. Why is this so hard to understand?

You're attempting to base objective morality on human subjective opinions.

Artie wrote:

And were they objectively right or wrong? Did it improve their societies or not?


Proclaiming that Improving a society is a "good thing" is already a human subjective opinion. We are the ones who have decided that we will view this as a "good" thing.

You seem to forget that there is no objective basis that improving anything is either good or bad in any absolute objective sense. Why should the universe care whether humans improve their situation?

The universe would need to care in some way for it to be objective. I don't mean that it would need to consciously approve. I simply mean that you would need to demonstrate that what humans do make any difference to the universe at all. If you can't show that, then how can you claim that what humans do is either good or bad?

Good or bad relative to what? Human subjective opinions?

Apparently that's exactly what you are arguing for.

You claim that humans have judged that to improve their societies is a good thing. But that's already nothing other than a human subjective opinion.

Can you show that this is a good thing objectively? What good does it do the universe? I'll bet that human activity has absolutely no effect on the universe whatsoever. In fact, considering that we have polluted our own planet, our continued existence could potentially be a "bad" thing relative to the universe as a whole. If we ever get loose to travel throughout the universe we could be a potential threat to the whole rest of the universe.

So ironically relative to the universe, the continued existence and development of humans might actually be a "bad" thing if you want to associate destruction with being "bad".

Artie wrote:

One person could claim that it would be not good for society and another person could claim that it would be good for society. And according to you and your subjective morality they would both be right. How silly is that?


It's not silly at all becasue I reject the idea of absolute objective morality.

Therefore to say that they are both 'right' is meaningless. Better off just saying that they hold different subjective views on a particular question.

Neither is objectively right, or objectively wrong. Human moral judgements are simply meaningless. Period.

It's no different from one human saying that chocolate ice cream tastes better than strawberry and vice versa. Who's right and who's wrong? Neither. They simply have different subjective experiences and therefore draw different subjective conclusions.

You could argue that they are both "right" in the sense that they are both describing their preference in taste. But if you're going to do that for the flavor of ice cream then why not also do it for moral opinions?

If one person judges that being gay is moral and another person judges that being gay is immoral, then yes, they are both right. They have both just voiced their own personal subjective opinions on morality.

Trying to decide which one is "objectively right" is the silly thing to do because there is no way to establish that. All that exists are moral opinions. There is no such thing as objective morality.


Artie wrote:

You are actually supporting a system of morality that is as subjective as it can possibly be. Who determines what constitutes "good for society"?
Nobody. If it is good for the society the society will thrive and prosper, if it's bad for the society the opposite will happen.


But who even decided that?

Who decided that it's "good" that a society should thrive and prosper and that it's bad for a society to not thrive and prosper?

That very notion right there is already a human subjective construct.

Humans have already made the subjective opinion that to thrive and prosper should be considered to be 'good' and that to do the opposite should be considered to be "bad".

So you've planted your entire objective moral structure on a foundation of human subjective views.

Artie wrote:

Every moral person just tries to do what is objectively good for the society in each situation. He may or may not be right, but that doesn't make morality subjective. It just means that each person has their subjective opinion about what the objectively moral thing to do is.


Well, if humans can't even decide what constitutes the best objective actions to take for society, then how can this be claimed to be an objective system of morality.

You've evaded all the important questions.

What about being gay? Is being gay objectively moral or immoral based on your proposed objective moral system?

If you can't say with certainty what the answer should be, then your so-called objective moral system isn't very effective.

What good is a moral system that cannot provide rock-solid answers to moral questions?

It might make for a cute philosophical armchair debate. But if it has no practical value in reality, then it's pretty useless.

Talk about silly. A proposed system of objective morality that can't even be used to determine what is or isn't moral is pretty silly, IMHO.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 75: Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:17 am
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Artie wrote:

If one person claims that going around killing people for no good reason is good for society (moral) and another person claims that going around killing people for no good reason is bad for society (immoral) which one is objectively right DI? Don't try to tell us that what is moral is subjective and they both are right...


How about I tell you that what is moral is subjective and they neither of them are objectively right? Nor are they objectively wrong.

Instead one of them is subjectively right, and the other subjectively wrong.

Quote:
https://thelawdictionary.org/immoral/

What about this definition (as offered by google) instead?

Immoral
adjective
not conforming to accepted standards of morality.

Quote:
Nobody can "decide" that it's good for the society for everybody to go around killing each other. It's an objective fact that it isn't.

But one can decide that people going around killing each other to be an accepted standard of morality.

Quote:
Every moral person just tries to do what is objectively good for the society in each situation.

False by counter-example. I am a moral person who never tries do what is objectively good for the society in each situation.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 76: Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:31 am
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Divine Insight wrote:
Talk about silly. A proposed system of objective morality that can't even be used to determine what is or isn't moral is pretty silly, IMHO.
I counted 26! questions in this post alone. Is there no limit to the number of questions you can ask? I suggest you ask one! question and then I'll answer it. And then you ask another one related to my answer.

All moral people use the objective morality system. We look at the situation from an objective point of view and try to do what is objectively right.


Last edited by Artie on Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:45 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 77: Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:35 am
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Bust Nak wrote:
False by counter-example. I am a moral person who never tries do what is objectively good for the society in each situation.
Interesting. Then how do you decide the moral course of action in each situation?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 78: Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:05 am
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Artie wrote:

Interesting. Then how do you decide the moral course of action in each situation?

I simply appeal to my personal taste.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 79: Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:34 am
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Bust Nak wrote:

Artie wrote:
Interesting. Then how do you decide the moral course of action in each situation?
I simply appeal to my personal taste.
What if your personal taste included going around killing people for no good reason?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 80: Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:11 pm
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Artie wrote:

What if your personal taste included going around killing people for no good reason?

Depends, does your scenario presuppose that an opposing taste against such things is not included? If not then it would be depend on which is higher priority.

Now suppose that this taste of going around killing people is not overridden by some other personal taste, then I see a number of alternatives: I would be out killing people for no good reason and getting into trouble for it; or I could be campaigning to have the law changed to allow random killings; or I could be acting like a normal person out of fear of potential consequences.

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