Morality is subjective

September 10, 2017, 10:42 am

Agree37 Disagree19


The debate "Morality is subjective" was started by Diogenes_of_Sinope on September 10, 2017, 10:42 am. 37 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 19 people are on the disagree side. That might be enough to see the common perception. It looks like most of the people in this community are on the agreeing side of this statement.

Diogenes_of_Sinope posted 1 argument, Nemiroff posted 7 arguments to the agreers part.
Muluken posted 4 arguments to the disagreers part.

Diogenes_of_Sinope, alexlooker, DrakeVonSchweetz, lito, Andronix, YoungVoicesof_Tomorrow, SirIntegra, Nemiroff, NJ150, the_Analyst, mustufa and 26 visitors agree.
Frank, officiallsse, mirah_luv, neveralone, historybuff, Muluken and 13 visitors disagree.

to sum it up.
contractarianism states that morals come from contacts, whether private contracts between individuals, or social contracts within a society, like laws and obligations. once you agree to an agreement or join a social group, it is a moral imperative to hold up your end of the bargain.

principle of universality is that what is moral is what can be attributed to everyone without contradiction or exception. for example, stealing is bad because if you wanted to steal some bread, everyone could steal, including stealing it back repeated to infinity and no-one would ever get to eat the bread creating dysfunction, and no exceptions just for yourself.

utilitarianism states that what is moral is what creates the most good for the most people. all of these have flaws, but all of them are obviously better than individual relativism.

2 days, 14 hours ago
replied to...

individual relativism is indeed stupid. why are you attacking the dumbest version of subjective morality? wouldn't it be a more effective argument to attack the strongest version of the view you disagree with?

how about contractarianism? utilitarianism? The principal of universality?

before I come across as some sort of know it all, I just finished a series on philosophy. a bunch of well produced 10 minute videos on YouTube. I'd highly recommend it to put us on the same page. It's philosophy, so it doesn't play favorites and pretty much points out flaws with all of them.

this is the link to the divine command view (your view) which is the first video on morality, besides an intro (about 5 total, 10 minutes each). it might save us days of back and forth so we can continue the discussion without unnecessary narration and me just quoting these videos.

individual relativism was mentioned, in passing, but it didn't get a whole video, because as you pointed out, it's very weak.

4 days, 16 hours ago

Individual relativism is best explained by the classic phrase, ?What?s good for you may not be good for me.? That is, individual relativism is the belief that the individual sets forth his or her own morality. Thus, one person cannot tell another person what is right or wrong according to this theory as each person must decide good from bad themselves.

Upon careful examination, anyone can see the great problem with this theory. For example, if person A (we?ll call him Adam) is driving along and person B (we?ll call him Bob) steals Adam?s car, Adam may say, ?Hey, that?s not right.? But according to individual relativism Bob would be justified in saying, ?Hey man, it?s not right for you but it is for me!? However, we all know that it is morally wrong for anyone to steal another person?s car. A judge in a court of law will let Bob know quickly about the failures of his philosophy when sentencing him to jail time.

5 days, 10 hours ago
replied to...

well we can condemn their actions based on our own moral values. wars have been fought for less.

As for Germany, one can say it's not their morality that changed but their situation and priorities. You can't view their "evil" without viewing the desperate state we put them in after the treaty of Versailles. have you never seen the post ww1 Germany pictures of Germans burning money for heat because it wasn't even worth the paper it was printed on? they were literally starving. what happens when you corner an animal? It bites back.

I'm sure you'll bring up the holocaust, and it was horrifying. but it's an open question about how much the average German knew about it, and it's amazing how much of a blind eye people can turn when faced with a charismatic leader and an empty stomach.

As for Hitler himself, he isn't anything new. one must ask why if God made us, he made us so prone to greed and power hunger. I understand free will, but those 2 seem to be integral and forefront in all people sometimes. it often seems more like we are slaves to greed rather than just a bad choice of free will. likely the difference between a tyrant and a nobody is simply opportunity and ability, not a lack of desire.

5 days, 17 hours ago
replied to...

Taking a car someone else paid for is wrong, no matter if you are not just a car jacker who doesn't work for police. Extortion at gunpoint is wrong, no matter if you get proceeds from a chop shop or a government paycheck.

6 days ago

You say morality is developed by culture not by individual relativism. yet there is still a huge flaw in the view. most people are horrified by the ruthless brutality of Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot, and extremist terror groups. However, if one accepts cultural relativism, then there is no basis for condemning such actions. For Hitler, he felt that he was doing the right thing according to his flawed moral viewpoint. Yet, cultural relativists hold no ground to condemn beheadings, gas chambers, and mass bombings if each culture establishes their own moral code.

6 days, 2 hours ago

also it's easy to say when looking at obviously immoral deeds, but if morality is not subjective, does that mean we should be able to easily differentiate in the grey where it's usually hard to tell what is moral? Where is the objectivity there?

1 week, 2 days ago

and yes, other societies did not see murder as wrong, like the Spartans, the Nazis... and just about every society of ancient times, including Christian ones (crusades, inquisitions, random peasants)

1 week, 2 days ago
replied to...

murder is wrong because we decided it is wrong. we as social beings were horrified at the implications of murder, so we banned it.

one view of moral philosophy is the universality principle. it states that you can't be the exception to the rule. imagine a world where you steal. now imagine a world where everyone steals all the time, including what you just stole. it won't function, thus we deem stealing immoral. likewise with murder. if every one is running around killing each other or being paranoid about being killed, society will not function. thus we deem it immoral.

1 week, 2 days ago

no response???

1 week, 3 days ago

so you don't think murder is actually wrong. It is just everyones opinion that its wrong? U as an atheist cant justify why it is wrong. because you have no standard of morality. if morality is subjective. then everything is subjective. even your claim that morality is subjective, is subjective.

3 weeks, 2 days ago

a) you are right. nothing is inherently wrong. we as a society decide it is wrong, therefore it is.

b) of course there are moral causes and human rights. but we as a society decide what those are. and they vary greatly by society.

c) of course rapists, Stalin and Hitler are different. because we as a society have determined what is wrong and they were very wrong.

3 weeks, 3 days ago

@history buff. Forget about religion. We know right and wrong. If there is one action that is morally wrong, such as torturing babies for fun or murdering 6 million people in the Holocaust is wrong, then God exists. I understand that the murders thought they were doing good but that doesn't mean that it was right. Even if Hitler somehow made everyone think that killing Jews was right, does that mean it is right? of course not!! Without God, then(a) nothing is really right or wrong,
good or evil, just or unjust(b) there are no true moral causes or human rights (c) Hitler, Stalin, child murderes, sex traffickers, rapists, etc are no different than me you or Mother Teresa. Since certain actions are clearly wrong, such as torturing babies for fun, then God exists.

3 weeks, 3 days ago

I don't understand your connection between subjective morality and subjective everything, especially physical things like rocks or sun.

sorry about the thumbs down, pressed the button by accident and this app doesn't allow to remove votes.

3 weeks, 3 days ago

how could morality possibly not be subjective? the idea of what is moral changes from person to person, let alone country to country or religion to religion.

and the morality espoused by religion changes all the time. for example the Pope once comanded faithful Christians to kill Muslims, and this would get them into heaven. nowadays we call that murder. no religion exactly the same morals today that they had 1,000 years ago. they all change over time. if morality were objective this wouldn't happen.

3 weeks, 4 days ago

I will simply ask, what evidence do you have that morality is subjective??

3 weeks, 4 days ago

I am a thiest who believes in objective moral values. I would like to point out that your claim is self defeating. If morality is subjective than everything else is subjective. And if everything is subjective, than isn't it just your subjective opinion that morality is subjective?? How can you trust anything you say... ur right you can't, because truth is merely just an opinion in you world view. I love the idea, but it is simply self defeating to say anything is subjective. That is an objective truth claim and only works in an objective worldview.

3 weeks, 4 days ago

so do you all think objective morality is more likely?

2 months, 1 week ago
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