• Hillary
    1.9k


    But it depends on your view of gods or God what the morals are then.
  • Deletedmemberzc
    2.5k
    How we know their morality is objective? If they have an objective (non-moral) principle to derive their moral from. How do we know that objective principle is objective? Because it is thought to exist independently of them.Hillary

    We know that they think their morality is objective. Just as we know that that this "objective principal... is thought to exist independently of them. "

    We don't know whether their morality is objective. We only know what they think of it.
  • Paulm12
    117

    Sorry I was probably unclear. I think any moral system that claims life has any cosmic value is making a claim about what is worthy of reverence, sacred, divine, etc. The question is how do we metaphysically justify this (other than just saying "I like it" or "I don't like it")?
  • Hillary
    1.9k
    We don't know whether their morality is objective. We only know what they think of it.ZzzoneiroCosm

    Yes, indeed. But what else can we do than think they are objective? Why do we think they are objective? I think for a lot of people it's the easy way. "Its just like that, so stop whining!" Somehow it's like putting the blame outside of yourself.

    Take abortion (a lot of ado about that in the US, so I heard). You can say it's God's fruit that a pregnant woman wears, so it can't be aborted, or if you think differently about God or gods,, it would be no problem. Now whose morality is objective? I go with the liberal view, but is that objective? To me yes. And the pregnant woman? Difficult!
  • Hillary
    1.9k
    The question is how do we metaphysically justify this (other than just saying "I like it" or "I don't like it")?Paulm12

    We need a wider metaphysical framework, a theology, or maybe a cosmology. How you view, say gods or God, seems to influence your morals. Maybe the best moral is to give all forms of life equal chances. So not necessarily about good and evil, which is just there, and the "evil" is somehow stimulated in modern society. But why should the bad be no good?
  • Deletedmemberzc
    2.5k
    But what else can we do than think they are objective?Hillary

    We can think they're subjective.

    Why do we think they are objective?Hillary

    We don't. I certainly don't. They do. And apparently you do.



    Now whose morality is objective?Hillary

    Neither. Both are subjective and reflective of the erroneous subjective belief that they're objective.

    Now whose morality is objective? I go with the liberal view, but is that objective? To me yes.Hillary

    The formula "X (any X at all) is objective to me" suggests a fundamental misunderstanding of the notions of subjective and objective. I suggest further research and further pondering of the notions of subjective and objective.

    Cheers. :smile:
  • Hillary
    1.9k
    We can think they're subjective.ZzzoneiroCosm

    But why should you want them to be subjective? It's a more human approach if you think that the morality people hold as objective are considered objective instead of projecting your subjectivity on them. :smile:
  • Hillary
    1.9k
    The formula "X (any X at all) is objective to me" suggests a fundamental misunderstanding of the notions of subjective and objective. I suggest further research and further pondering of the notions of subjective and objective.ZzzoneiroCosm

    I have pondered too much about this and have come to the conclusion that the idea of one and only absolute reality is a useless idea having its roots in Plato and Xenophanes. Plato's idea continued in science, and X's idea in theology. There are as many objective realities as there are living creatures.

    Cheers! :party:
  • Deletedmemberzc
    2.5k
    There are as many objective realities as there are living creatures.Hillary

    Again, this is mistaken. "There are as many subjective realities as there are living creatures." That makes some sense, at least. The above does not.

    The formula "X is objective to me" is more accurately rendered: "I have an (unwittingly erroneous) subjective belief that X is objective."


    Good to know you've been pondering it. :smile:
  • Hillary
    1.9k
    Again, this is mistaken. "There are as many subjective realities as there are living creatures." That makes some sense, at least. The above does not.ZzzoneiroCosm

    Again, you adopt an old view on objective reality. That view holds that there is one such reality. Which is ostensibly wrong. Just ask two different scientists about any subject. You might claim that in time agreement is reached, like in the ideal world of Popper, but in reality (there you go!) this is not so. Everyone has, sees, thinks, experiences another objective reality. You might claim that they think it to be objective and thus it is subjective, but that's you projecting your idea of objectivity. Which is subjective... :grin: .
  • Pinprick
    924
    What is good enough for scientists [regarding the latest and best formulation of reliable knowledge] ought to be good enough for the rest of us.Marvin Katz

    Are you able to objectively justify that “ought?”
  • Alkis Piskas
    1.3k
    I think, BTW, that ethics or morals (I can't really see the difference) is objective. What the objective morals are then depends on who you ask. And somehow a world in which the bad or evil is not allowed to exist seems a worse world than a world in which it can exist.Hillary
    Yeah, I know ... Ethics, morality and morals are used interchangeably in common language. That's why I have made a distinction and got "ethics" out of the basket with all kinds of fish, using it in a more strict way, i.e. as a philosophical sytem or branch. Wiki says, "Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that 'involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong behavior'. The field of ethics, along with aesthetics, concerns matters of value; these fields comprise the branch of philosophy called axiology." This is a totally different approach from what is assumed in common language.
  • Hillary
    1.9k


    Is axiology the "study of goodness and values"? Aesthetics included? I used to mix ethics and aesthetics up a lot. "What an evil painting". "What ugly bankrob!" "What a friendly well behaving statue!" "What beautiful murder!"
  • Alkis Piskas
    1.3k
    I used to mix ethics and aesthetics ...Hillary
    ... That's maybe how ethics look like after taking anesthetics! :grin:

    Anyway, good that you have finally sorted all this out! :smile:
  • Hillary
    1.9k
    That's maybe how ethics look like after taking anesthetics! :grin:Alkis Piskas

    :lol:

    A nice mix!
  • Marvin Katz
    96
    Greetings, Tom
    Your first paragraph quoted above informs me that you are using a different definition of "morality" than I am. I gave mine toward the bottom of my first post in this thread. Also gave further details in the third chapter of THE STRUCTURE OF ETHICS paper; a link to it is given at the top of my previous posst in this thread.

    agree with the thrust of your second paragraph. Any primitive assumption for a system (including a systematic Ethics theory - which is what I solicit your cooperation to help build) will be subjective.

    In my first post, the o.p. above, I tried to convey that a presentation of academic material in a classroom (no matter how technical) which can be properly described as 'objective' is in fact,inter-subjective. In stating this I think I may be in accord with Jurgen Habermas.

    My attempt to get this point across may not have been clear enough. The lesson (say in Ethics as science) was put on the whiteboard, and so in that one sense it is objective; yet anything said by humans has to be subjecttive, for we conceive of it, and we are conscious autonomous subjects.

    {We have freedom of thought even if we are in a Chinese concentration camp, or in a Gulag.} Many people, in recentt history, though, have been gaslighted and brainwashed by Donald, the disgrased defeated ex-president. They didn't know their Ethics, or their conscience was not awake upon first encountering him. An individuaal with a sensitive conscience would have immediately detected a phony and a grifter when he ridiculed and attempted to humiliate his fellow candidates for the nomination.
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k
    From a hedonic perspective (what else?),

    1. Morality is objective: Pain Bad. Pleasure Good.

    2. Morality is subjective: Differences in what is painful and what is pleasurable.
  • simplybeourselves
    2
    To do wrong is to cause harm. To cause harm can be measured objectively.
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k
    I dunno how courts calculates damages that have to be paid to the wronged party.
  • Ennui Elucidator
    466
    I dunno how courts calculates damages that have to be paid to the wronged party.Agent Smith

    For the sake of amusement:

    . . .

    This Court has sustained recoveries for future profits over four years based solely upon evidence of the profits of an established business for the past four years. We there approved an instruction which told the jury,

    "Damages are not rendered uncertain because they cannot be calculated with absolute exactness. It is sufficient if a reasonable basis of computation is afforded, although the result be only approximate."

    The ways compensatory damages may be proven are many. The injured party is not to be barred from a fair recovery by impossible requirements. The wrongdoer should not be mulcted, neither should he be permitted to escape under cover of a demand for nonexistent certainty. . . .

    Certainty in the fact of damage is essential. Certainty as to the amount goes no further than to require a basis for a reasoned conclusion. ...
    — Palmer v. Connecticut Railway, 311 U.S. 544 (1941)

    The fact of harm requires far more proof (certainty) than the quantum of damages stemming from the harm. Although this case is about lost profits, the general sentiment is there - defendants do not get rewarded by the fact that the difference between being unharmed and harmed is non-objective because the unharmed case is counterfactual. One cannot be "certain" or "objective" about that which isn't the case - one can only form a reasonable conclusion about what might have been. Granted, certain sorts of damages are more amenable to "objective" analysis because of the sort of harm suffered (e.g. the cost to replace a new 1993 Ford Focus destroyed when the defendant ran a fork lift into it), but other sorts are far more "subjective" and can result in wide variances in award/calculation.
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k


    Emotional distress damagss

    As the linked article suggests, calculating emotional distress damages is, at present, just approximating the "pain & suffering" the injured party had to go through. I'd advise utilitarian ethicists to keep an eye out for fresh developments in this particular area of law.
  • unenlightened
    7k
    To do wrong is to cause harm. To cause harm can be measured objectively.simplybeourselves

    Objectivity is obtained by demonstration. 'Show, don't tell' - as the novelist has it.

    If one believes in fair punishment, or in just war, or defends rugby or mountain-climbing, or fireworks, or surgery, then one believes in the virtue of measurable harm.

    Nevertheless, I think there is a property of harm, that I suggest it cannot be valued in itself, other things being equal. One can value gambling, and the excitement of gambling lies in the possibility of losing, but one cannot value losing itself because losing means losing what is valued; and likewise, the surgeon cuts flesh, harming it in order to heal it, and cannot value causing harm for its own sake, because to harm is to destroy/reduce value. Even the vandal destroys, not because destruction can be seen as good, but because it gives him some satisfaction to have agency and power in the world. And even the curious case of the masochist, who seeks out pain and damage to his own flesh, is seeking not the harm that is done but the peace of mind and release that the harm brings to him.

    So one can say in general that values are subjective in the sense that they arise in subjects, but that they are nevertheless potentially universal in the sense that subjects themselves have a common nature, that necessarily values health over harm, truth over falsehood, comfort over discomfort, etc. And yet, as we see, this fundamental necessity leaves plenty of room for disagreement and internal conflict, making the particularities seem almost arbitrary in the way they vary from one person to another and one culture to another. The world is unpredictable and the human world is radically unpredictable, and folks can make a case for lying, for torture, for war, and all manner of things that in themselves have objective negative value, but might possibly have positive consequences.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    2.2k
    I dunno how courts calculates damages that have to be paid to the wronged party. — Agent Smith


    For the sake of amusement
    Ennui Elucidator

    It's the same algorithm Netflix uses to make recommendations of what you'll like.
  • Yohan
    672
    My take:
    What's good and bad for me is objective.

    That I should be well rather than ill, is a personal preference.

    Put interpersonally:
    -Its objectively true that living beings value wellbeing.
    -Its objectively true that wellbeing is somewhat interdependent.
    -Its objectively true that when we harm our community, we are harming a community which we partially depend on for our wellbeing, therefore negatively effecting our own wellbeing.

    Put another way, there are objective truths about what is good and bad WITHIN the context of an interdependent community. But I don't see how good and bad can exist independent of the shared personal preferences of a community.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    2.2k
    But I don't see how good and bad can exist independent of the shared personal preferences of a community.Yohan

    That depends. If a person were to live in complete isolation, is it possible for good/bad to exist for him, or would every norm simply be about preference and practicality?
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    2.2k
    The world is unpredictable and the human world is radically unpredictable, and folks can make a case for lying, for torture, for war, and all manner of things that in themselves have objective negative value, but might possibly have positive consequences.unenlightened

    The "dark side" is generally an unsatisfactory position, and it it is unfortunate that it has as much validity as the "sunny side". Whatever the case, each side makes absolute demands, and holds hypocrisy in great contempt. And I can't think of anything that is more necessary or universal to morality.
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