The debate "Morality is subjective." was started by
March 4, 2015, 9:28 am.
51 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 20 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.
renatus8993 posted 1 argument, PsychDave posted 6 arguments, epoche posted 6 arguments to the agreers part.
I_Voyager posted 15 arguments to the disagreers part.
Mrcolaman, Carina, PsychDave, project_mayhem, LeaderOfDiscussion, Blindness, Noel, Hjkp98, renatus8993, kennamarlaina1214, CX_LD_Ashley, mohan, sickboyblonde, ms_open_mind, ghettoturtle217, epoche, Electrogoose, Mike861, Razzakel, stantinou93, tr, Vivinary, keepscrolling and 28 visitors agree.
I_Voyager, yg, TheWrath, Cody, olilongboat, ThyDarkest, frozen_emily and 13 visitors disagree.
Have you considered my arguments?
Actually, now that I'm familiar with Syllogism, here's five.
1. Man is a natural body.
2. Natural bodies are objective, conditional upon those laws which could be there-in cataloged.
3. Man is objective
1. Objective man has a mental process upon which he relies on to determine correct actions to continue the mental process.
2. True knowledge is actionable.
3. Man needs true knowledge to function properly.
1. Morality is a condition of action.
2. Action is a function of mind.
3. Good is the achieved necessity for which the prerequisite state of "mind" is necessary.
1. Man needs true knowledge to function properly.
2. Good is the achieved necessity for which the prerequisite state of "mind" is necessary.
3. It is good for man to have correct knowledge which is applicable to his actionable health and continued living.
1. It is morally good for man to have correct knowledge which is applicable to his actionable health and continued living.
2. Man is objective.
3. Human morality is objective.
I may make many depending on which flavors you find dissatisfying, though this will not say anything about the quality of my cooking. Man has a limited, conditional will, which is always lagged behind reality. Man is not just randomly unchained and uninfluenced. Man is matter in motion and must adhere to his natural law. I could tell what you were doing with your syllogism, and do not accept the premise, and I am confident I can argue for the contrary, and describe a moral system there-from. Though I won't be able to confine myself to syllogism, or at least perhaps not without your help. I'm too much of a romantic and I enjoy the use of language just far too much.
Man has no free will? Are you prone to make laughable statements? I just applied my morals to interject a subjective notion on you by the way.
Though I do have theories that mankind can come to MORE objective moral states, states which are more aligned with the object, by the application of technology over time given the defined goal of "achieving the good", when "achieving the good" is aligned with producing objectively true knowledge in as common a form of understanding as possible. Will man achieve an objective moral consensus? Maybe, maybe not, but I'll conduct the experiments I need to throughout my life.
I don't imply that human beings are capable of being completely objective necessarily, and certainly not now. I would accept that mankind currently approaches morality through a subjective method, and that all determinations there-in can be called perhaps a "theory of James' morality" with the given name relating to any given individual. That theory is constructed using a number of methods unique to James, although at the end of the day this is a specific and reactive method. James' morality becomes the result of conditional sense perception, neurological responses/development and socialization. But the object exists around James, and James can be fortunate enough to know more seemingly objective knowledge, and by doing so make more ideal decisions. He can make decisions because he apparently can scan his own neurological data and form conscious determinations given it which influence brain patterns and development, and thus action. So it is possible to align your thoughts and actions with an objective notion to receive a better objective state. I believe that the open source method applied to science and software, combined with universal digital literacy, genetic literacy and a commonality of hardware knowledge would over short time develop the ability to modify the human condition. I believe that a combined political, literary, multi-media and open source technological method could be applied over thirty to sixty years to move man to this political state, and there-in the conversation can, by way of entropy, produce an ideal state for even a minority, which could spread like a meme and dominate as an objective rational power center. I believe this agency could determine accurately what decisions would produce a good and a bad given numerous conditions. Mind you, the "good" and "bad" contained within a given "morality" are further contained within the sub-strait concept that contains morality, that being the subset of mind; "human mind" makes for "human morality", and any conscious enough acting mind can thus have a morality relative to that mind-type.
I reject the notion that man has free will. I argue man has a limited, conditional will.
1. Man has free will
2. Men have different morals, values, beliefs, experiences, perceptions.
3. Man is subjective
Yes, I believe in the very small possibility of one coming close to epoche, but I don't believe it's humanly possible. This would take being aware of your biases, suspending them, realizing, learning, and embracing whatever you're evaluating as your own belief. Without prejudices, biases, conciousnessly and unconsciously, without question, interjection or inferring from your own morality, values, experiences and perceptions. No I very much doubt it's as easy as one may think it is.
You imply that human beings are capable of being completely objective. Do you honestly feel your life, from first knowledge gained by sense perceptions, to instincts, to habits, to knowledge allows you to be completely objective when evaluating any other thing from someone who lived a different life? Your generalizations do not apply on a global scale.
That would be the skill of the application of the effort to be objective, wouldn't it? And if we give into the thought that the subjective is true, then we do not apply that art, and though the objective exists, we skirt by unaware. And though we may fail in the effort all our lives, I think it is not folly to try to reach for that true thing, and to say "be damned all the impulse of power or pleasure, the truth is and near it I shall stand." And if the result is a failed communication because we could not reach beyond the barrier of human subjectivity, then at least we'll have known the failing to be the best we could achieve.
Yes, I do. And if I interpret you correctly, I would also agree. I would add this,
"The time is here
Time to be brave, while others fear
Fear the stars, the moon, and the Holy Ghost
It's what lurks in the dark that scares us the most
You're damned if you do, you're damned if you don't
What tomorrow brings is still the unknown
But can you condone? How to atone?
I'm so alone
How can I know I won't bemoan?
Every tale, needs its star and knave
Which part I play is yet to be unveiled
History: just what's agreed
Yet it will judge both you and me
Shield and swords, will win you wars
But in the end, the battle's for our hearts
Fought by bards
You look back in time
No-one heard the bells chime
You wonder how
How could they this allow?
Exactly the same
Are the questions aimed your way
When looking back on today
The time is here
Time to be brave, let others fear
We know the walls will fall
But out of the ashes a new day will dawn
We've enslaved the world
We have slaughtered, we've burned
All, in the name of our faith
Only a fool would except
Others to settle for anything less
The tide is about to turn
The sea has pulled away
Like small children we play
What is this?
Come take a look at all these fish!
As long as you spend
There is more for you to lend
Someone always saves us in the end
The time is here
Time to be brave, let others fear
We know the walls will fall
But out of the ashes a new day will dawn
We've enslaved the world
We have slaughtered, we've burned
All, while knowing what is best.
Might take a year or ten,
Generations of men,
We've passed the point of no return
Fifty-three days in fifty-three
Fifty-three steps for you to acknowledge your defeat
The last in line: Ultimus Romanorum
Evolution through revolution
A frozen river, enough to tip an empire
Stalingrad, Waterloo, Bastille, Poltava, Stamford Bridge,
At Manzikert ? it all would end.
Tough are times ahead
With care you tread
Before you know
Out we need to bow
Enjoy it while it lasts
Soon forgotten in the past
Our time here ended so fast
Open your eyes
All empires find their demise
The taller they are, the harder they fall
Is on the roll
Open your eyes
New powers are on the rise
So strong is our faith, (in that) the world stays as is
Until it hits, like shattering glass to bits
How did this happen? How could this happen?
How could the empire fall?"
End of an Empire by Turisas
Voyager, you clearly have some education in the philosophical realm, if so you would know grasp what epoche actually means.
I just can't envision one objective moral code. Even if we knew why everyone did what they did and could simulate it, what is right for one person is not necessarily right for another. If there can be two different views of the same situation that are mutually exclusive, for there to be objective morality, one would have to be right, and the other wrong (or both wrong I suppose). In what is now moral grey areas, like abortion, where conflicting views almost all have some merit, I can't conceptualize an objective way to define right and wrong since so much depends on situation, intention and history that a single objectively moral answer seems impossible.
It's almost mystifying that some would imply morality is objective. Morality is based off of subjective perceptions, biases, prejudices, experiences, cultural / family traditions, environmental, gender based, political, religious, economical and social standings*. One person's attempt at objective output is the other person's subjective input, vice versa; you are objective to you this is true, but you are subjective to other people according to their (see reasons above).
I agree that there are several psychological hurdles to jump over. Attribution bias is one good example, but you could probably find others. Such as the tendency we have to f**k with our own memory to make ourselves feel better about, or be more certain about our actions. I think if you are aware of a given set of biases you can compensate for it, even if imperfectly. And if you can do this, then there must be some function which can be selected for genetically and improved in prominence. It's a bit of a presumption, but I've got this idea in my mind of an artificial cortex which, in critique of how the brain transmits data, regulates as a higher and faster consciousness, conscious thought, and changes, or interrupts, certain signals flowing through the network. I certainly hope for something like that to be possible, and I expect there could be any other number of ways to approach augmenting the human cognitive experience so that it happens more rooted in reality.
I was presented with two universal morals in another debate with Sosocrates. I think that two competing viewpoints arise out of uncertainty over a given idea. Uncertainty arises from all sorts of reasons, from misinformation to ignorance, but I think at the end of the day there must be one correct statement, and if it can be made as rationally as possible, then I'd hope it would be possible to change people towards that goal. But I digress, the fact of objective morality does not necessarily mean the primacy of objective morality, nor the universal applicability of objective morality. It could be possible for one person who exists to have a wholly objective morality, and after failing entirely to influence anyone, he dies, murdered by someone who disagrees. And I would say this to be a wholly immoral act, but there is no law that states the moral good prevails.
I'm sorry if my argument wanders a bit, I've been taking care of a grumpy 5 month old and am a bit sleep deprived at the moment.
I had, and I still think it is overly optimistic. I can't say that we will never be able to model human perspective digitally, but with how easy it is to justify behavior I don't think it is feasible to reproduce everyone's views, even if we stuck to expressed views and ignored concealed motives. Further, I don't think a computer that gave a universal perspective would find much use in decision making because people already assume they know the motives, even though they are often incorrect. Attributional bias makes it difficult to give others the same benefits of the doubt that one gives them self, resulting in harsher judgment of others for the same action. Finally, how would universal morals deal with two mutually exclusive values. Some vegetarians feel that killing an animal is murder, most of society does not. How does one moral code encompass both viewpoints?
I was wondering if you had time to consider my response?
The internet is just a medium or tool (an amazing one though). It's as good as we use it. Like science, which is also just a thought structure, but one which appears to produce actionable results. It also can come to incorrect conclusions, because we are ignorant and are groping in the dark with our senses. We were stuck per-technology with using our senses to record data, and then our writing tools to jot down notes. The great shift was in creating observing technologies. What we do with writing isn't always good, and we can use writing just like speech to lie. And although we can start discussing digitally editing stuff, videos and photographs can be objective. This is what I mean by objectively recording memories.
We can't yet overcome certain observational barriers. We can't confirm that our senses are true, it just seems impossible to escape them, so much so that the "theory of an external reality" is the truest theory we have. And we can't observe the past, except in how we've recorded it, and it's true when it's true, and false when it's false, even when we perceive it to be true because it happened regardless of how we remember it. We can't percieve events on the smallest scale, we can't see past the barrier of the speed of light. But we have no other apparent barriers. Here and now we can create a world with objective memories of the now-present-turning-into-past, we will soon come to understand the human mind and genome so well we can replicate it in computers, and when we can build the human context, we can modify it and make it better at being objective, and by doing all this, especially by permitting each person as from THEIR perspective, to understand themselves on that level, and modify themselves given the data, we can create better unifying moral systems and make them based on a consensus of objective experience.
A good conundrum to bring up. Forgive me if I don't stick to Israel, as fair a topic as it is to choose. If I have the intellectual merit to go there, I will try to.
There are always observational barriers to knowledge. This is the source of all ignorance. The further we go into human past, the worse the state, because the harder it was for us to transmit knowledge. Heck, we had no knowledge to start from. Religions and nations emerge because people couldn't tell a truth from an untruth. It took millenia of philosophy and politics for us just to figure out that the world of imagination wasn't real. In Athens, we have materialists trying to come to objective conclusions like the existence of tiny, unobservable atomos of varying sizes making up all matter, and idealists like Plato saying there is a world of ideas all our minds take from to conceptualize things. This is the discussion of philosophy - is truth an internal or external experience?
The thing is, time always moves forward, and we are bound by natural law. If we do not try to record the past objectively, we won't. The Iliad is not an honest recount of the Trojan war, and Homer makes no attempt to be objective. His effort was social and political. Thucydides saw the effect of subjectivity on the records and opinions of people and noted it in his "On the Peloponesian War". He had his biases, but he stated first that his objective in writing that was to accurately record what happened. He demonstrates contemporary examples of how people had false-knowledge from the passing of rumors, and compared that to what was probably an incorrect recounting of history by Homer and other cultural historians. He wanted to make a treasure for all time, and he did well.
So, the battles over Israel might be described as a muddling of various perspectives of ignorance competing for the right to declare their cultural tradition as objectively true, with likely none having an objective claim. I doubt the Jewish people are chosen people, and I doubt Muhammad's claim to being the final and best prophet, and I doubt the claim that Christ was the son of god. Three subjective false-truths upheld as banners to manipulate the subjective ignorance of people. They lacked a Thucydides and all are trapped by immoral thought structures pushing them into eternal conflicts over eternal untruths. Untruths can go on forever, becasue they are infinitely wrong. If there was finite truth to any of those claims we could conclude upon it
That's an interesting concept, but it falls a little flat.
There are very few forms of true knowledge. Math and science are the only ones I can think of and neither of them really weigh in on morality.
You state that devices that make more solid our memory are morally good. I am interpreting that to mean things like books and computers that allow us to spread and preserve information. If this is the case, these are only morally good if the information being preserved is. Can you honestly tell me that everything on the internet is morally good?
As to the preservation of true history, who determines which version is true? People can't agree on the history of Israel, and it hasn't been around long on a global scale. For this to be a valid argument, there would need to be a true, unbiased account of history, and that I have never seen. Every author of history had their prejudices, their ignorances, and their bias based on perspective. How do you determine the true history when many of them are mutually exclusive? I will limit the question to Israel (since there is a great deal of documentation and it does not predate recorded history). Explain the true history of Israel, briefly, and their conflicts in the middle east. Were the Israeli to blame, were the Palestinians, Egyptians, etc?
This is a byproduct of the fact of ignorance, not the universality of subjective morality. We lack the knowledge to define a unifying moral code, so in our ignorance we become misinformed by the cultural memes around us. This fact of subjection can lead us to define unifying moral codes that are true despite perspective or relative location: the perpetuation of tools which enhance our perpection, make more solid our memory, improve our cognition, and clearly recall true events, are morally good because they help us understand wha actions we need to take to persist as percieving entities. And the more true knowledge I can obtain, the more aligned I will be on the topic. When people use moral systems from religion to confront science, they are confronting truth with subjectively accepted fiction. This is immoral since true knowledge is actionable, and false knowledge is only true to itself and leads to conflict and death over resources. That my culture has manipulated my subjective state to impart a bastardised Islamic morality does not justify the moral code, and when I chose to obey it and blow myself up, it was not a moral action. We all align when we understand the needs men have for medical and psychological health, and now in access to cognitive aids like free libraries or the internet, and soon to come, computer systems worn or implanted which will only further align people. And when they align to human thought structures (religions, nations, corporations, all only true unto themselves, but works of paper-fiction that need not be true) they will be the cause of misfortune; and when they align with objective truths, even objective self-truths, it will be lije energy running through an open circuit
If morality is objective, that means it is the same from any perspective. 1kg is 1kg no matter how you look at it. Subjective things change with perspective. If morality is objective, there should be one moral code for everyone. Look at the world and it is obvious that, while there are similarities, there is not a single moral framework but many mutually exclusive ones. Should we never kill, kill the unbelievers, kill guilty criminals, or kill everyone of a certain race?All of these are moral codes of people in the world.
I would argue that some of what you've described can fit into "objective morality", while others are irrelevant and as a people, socially and legally, are true because of the objectivity of consensus, and not the objectivity of being true.
Reality exists. We exist as parts of reality. Our circumstances are this moment in time, moving forward from the past. An impossible moral sense would be one of pure knowledge, knowing every state of every person in the world. If you had this, you could consciously arrange all people in the world through different methods to a hypothetical "ideal state". This state would not be magical, it would be a careful arrangement of personality traits, interests and circumstances.
We lack this ability, so we try to know as many circumstances and objective knowledge as possible in order to act in such away which allows us to continue to act in ways that prioritize ourselves as minds. All things there-in are objective - our neurological responses, our biological needs, our past.
So, naturally, objectively, morality changes, since it is always relative to the fact of the objective body. It is objective; our ignorance forces us to take a subjective approach to try to bridge our actions with that objective body, except in-so-far as we CAN take an objective approach (using science, using technology to collect data or whatever).
All murder is killing, but not all killing is murder. Sometimes killing is a moral necessity. Things change. My desire to kill is not relevant, only my need to kill.
Mood/experience doesn't define morality. Mood just is, just squirting in the brain. They are relevant for the sake of impulse, but they're only as relevant as they are, and towards the goal of sustaining that subjective experience. To prioritize the subjective experience as the moral starting point is to abandon morality altogether and say "do what you want". No rationality supports this. We live in a society of rules and checks and balances and scientific progress because we strive to be objective, and the more we can reduce the divide between the technological tools and the moment-to-moment experience, the more morally objective we can be. The more we must rely on our subjectivity, the more we rely on feelings to make up for our ignorance and by doing so, make decisions that don't achieve the rational goal of "mind" - being "mind" that can act on truths to retain the state of "mind".
If morality is not subjective, why do the moral implications change depending on the situation?
Killing someone is wrong. Unless it is in self defense, or an execution, unless you are against capital punishment, then it's wrong again.
Stealing is wrong, but if you have a good reason (stealing a loaf of bread to feed your starving family) it's less wrong. Stealing from the rich and giving to the poor is not only not wrong, it makes you a hero (Robin Hood).
Morals are subject to change based on situation, personal background, and even mood. How can you justify that they are not subjective?
morality is not subjective but objective. as I believe morality is used as tool of control and manipulation. that alone creates a state of objective quality. regardless of how its implied, the action defines the reaction. (causation)
If morality is subjective, then it is not true, and is not morality. Just subjective is. But morality is a matter of consequence and action, not perception and experience. These things happen because there are minds. Minds are computers that can act on memorized data and impulses give pnly sense perception. Those actions can be internally defined, but only so far as ther are aligned with reality will they succeed. Since mind is only relevant to mind in a universe of mostly not-mind, and mind needs to survive to be relevant to itself, and that survival is predicated on true actions, and true actions are predicated on true knowledge, the highest moral right is universal true knowledge and action thusly aligned. So my personal experiences and subjectivity is irrelevant, just a fact of reality, and when I don't align it rightly it can lead to my demise, which is a consequence oppositional to my subjective state.