• Bob Ross
    1.3k
    If there is such a thing as "moral facts", then there is nothing to discuss, no room for philosophy, only for pedagogy, dogma, and proselytizing.

    For most moral realists, of course there is a need to discuss the moral facts so that we can discover them.

    Further, moral realism in its crudest form is the principle "might makes right". This means that what is right depends on whoever happens to have the upper hand, at any given time

    It absolutely does not. Moral realism is the position that (1) moral judgements are cognitive and (2) there are objectively true moral judgments.

    What you described is an anti-thesis to moral realism.
  • baker
    5.6k
    For the purposes of this discussion, what is your definition of morality?
  • Bob Ross
    1.3k


    For the purposes of this discussion, what is your definition of morality?

    In its most broad sense, the study of that which is right and wrong (viz., what is permissible, omissable, obligatory, and impermissible).
  • baker
    5.6k
    For most moral realists, of course there is a need to discuss the moral facts so that we can discover them.
    /.../
    Moral realism is the position that (1) moral judgements are cognitive and (2) there are objectively true moral judgments.
    Bob Ross
    If moral facts are something that some people still need to discover and some already know them, then on the grounds of what should the thusly ignorant trust those who propose to have said knowledge?

    Secondly, how do you explain that people disagree on what the moral facts are? And what should they do when they disagreee about them? And especially, when such disagreement is between people where one person has more socio-economic power than the other person?
  • L'éléphant
    1.4k
    For the purposes of this discussion, what is your definition of morality?

    In its most broad sense, the study of that which is right and wrong (viz., what is permissible, omissable, obligatory, and impermissible).
    Bob Ross
    So, you don't include your own personal choice, no matter what your society's rules are? I mean, your own personhood -- the internal dialogue that goes on inside your feelings and mind about justice and compassion and fairness?
  • Bob Ross
    1.3k


    Hello Baker,

    I apologize for the belated response!

    If moral facts are something that some people still need to discover and some already know them, then on the grounds of what should the thusly ignorant trust those who propose to have said knowledge?

    I am not following the relevance of this (to our original conversation): could you please elaborate? The current state of knowledge of moral facts doesn’t negate the possibility of their existence; and I would suppose that if a person doesn’t buy the arguments for moral facticity that another person is providing, then they shouldn’t trust them.

    Secondly, how do you explain that people disagree on what the moral facts are?

    People disagree all the time. Why would that negate the possibility or existence of moral facts?

    And what should they do when they disagreee about them? And especially, when such disagreement is between people where one person has more socio-economic power than the other person?

    Again, to me, this just seems irrelevant to whether moral realism is true. There could be moral facts, confusion between societies about what they are, and disagreement between people about moral facts at the same time.
  • Bob Ross
    1.3k


    Hello L’Elephant,

    I apologize for the late response!

    So, you don't include your own personal choice, no matter what your society's rules are? I mean, your own personhood -- the internal dialogue that goes on inside your feelings and mind about justice and compassion and fairness?

    I don’t define morality with a split between society and self: I define it as simply what is right or wrong, period. I am not saying that whatever society says is the standard, nor the individual but, rather, that morality is the study of what is right or wrong (period).
  • baker
    5.6k
    Secondly, how do you explain that people disagree on what the moral facts are?

    People disagree all the time. Why would that negate the possibility or existence of moral facts?
    Bob Ross

    It doesn't negate the possibility or existence of moral facts, but disagreement brings up problems of talking about moral facts, or anything else for that matter. Unless moral facts are somehow something that we can grasp directly, with direct insight, we probably need to learn what they are, and we do so through some kind of conversation with others.

    If there is such a thing as a "moral fact", then it must exist somehow independently of persons.
    How can people learn what the moral facts are?
    How can people know that they have the correct knowledge of moral facts?
    On the grounds of what should one person trust another to tell her what moral facts are?
  • baker
    5.6k
    I don’t define morality with a split between society and self: I define it as simply what is right or wrong, period. I am not saying that whatever society says is the standard, nor the individual but, rather, that morality is the study of what is right or wrong (period).Bob Ross

    And with this view, how do you account for persons?

    In what relation are persons to right and wrong?
  • Bob Ross
    1.3k


    Hello baker,

    If there is such a thing as a "moral fact", then it must exist somehow independently of persons.
    How can people learn what the moral facts are?
    How can people know that they have the correct knowledge of moral facts?
    On the grounds of what should one person trust another to tell her what moral facts are?

    Ultimately, the same way, I suppose, that we derive that there is something at all which exists independently of persons: intuitions and evidence.

    And with this view, how do you account for persons?

    In what relation are persons to right and wrong?

    Morality, as a definition, should include our metaethical commitments: so I say it is the study of what is right or wrong, period. However, I think that morality is an inevitable mixture of facts and non-facts (i.e., facts and tastes). The individual plays a part in it.

    Also, if I remember correctly, the person that I responded to with that quote was asking about “personal morality”, which I do not make such a distinction at all (even in the case that some [or even all] moral statements are contingent on subjects) because it draws an invalid line between what one thinks is right or wrong for themselves vs. universally: all moral statements should contain the element of obligation. I cannot say “stealing is always wrong” but caveat it with “personally”: either it is always wrong to steal, or it isn’t.
  • Bob Ross
    1.3k
    Everyone,

    Although there are still parts of my OP that I still consider true, I think that I have an answer (to myself) of the benefit, if true, of moral realism (and I thought I should share in here): moral realism, if true, would provide a means of living a better life irregardless of one's goals.

    To understand this, let's take logic as an example: the reality of our daily lives is fundamentally and inherently logical (i.e., adheres to laws of logic); and, consequently, irregardless of one's goals, it will be to a person's benefit to be logical in their execution of such goals. The more logical, the better it will be: period.

    Same thing with morals, if there really are moral facts, then they are, like logic, inherent in the reality of our daily lives and, thusly, irregardless of one's goals, it is to a person's benefit to consider and use them. Just like logic, adhering strictly to the facts may be hard or ruin our spontaneous pleasures; but, irregardless, our actions will be objectively better (in relation to whatever we are trying to accomplish) if we adhere to them.

    Like logic, we can abstract morals (if they hold any facticity) as not just useful for our own goals but useful for all goals; and, consequently, are worthy of exaltation as universal commitments.

    The valuing of the moral facts is certainly a non-fact, but this does not takeaway from the benefits of moral realism; and, likewise, although a hypothetical commitment is required to be obliged to the moral facts and it is most rational to abide by whatever is the consequences (objectively) of committing oneself to that hypothetical imperative, the commitment to acting as much in accordance with reality as humanly possible requires, as a consequence, the commitment to the moral facts.

    Let me know what you all think!
    Bob
  • Apustimelogist
    358


    To be honest, I'm not sure I see why belief in moral realism is required for any kinds of benefits you allude to
  • Bob Ross
    1.3k


    Imagine that there was a law ingrained into reality that governed objects (to some extent) where it was defined what is better/best: wouldn't aligning oneself with it benefit them?

    For example, no matter what my goals are, it is objectively better to be unified and self-harmonious in that goal to achieve it. If I want to achieve my goals, then I better align my actions with that form of unity and harmony. Of course, whether I want to optimally achieve my goals is up to me (subjectively); but the form of achieving it is not.
  • Apustimelogist
    358


    I was under the impression you were saying this would be a benefit even if moral realism were not true.
  • Bob Ross
    1.3k


    No, I was meaning to describe the benefits of moral realism if it were true; but I think most of my OP is actually still quite accurate: the only difference being that the moral facts may benefit one's morel non-facts. But, upon further reflection (again), I think that the moral facts are not fundamentally doing the 'heavy-lifting' in any ethical theory but, rather, the individual(s) which created it.
  • Bob Ross
    1.3k


    I do think Nietzsche got a lot of it right on morality, but I would say that I am taking it a step deeper than him; as he was a moral anti-realist through-and-through, whereas I would say that even if moral facts exist they are only useful insofar as they benefit the moral non-facts; and, so, the conversation is better invested into the non-facts and not the facts.
  • Apustimelogist
    358


    Ah, fair enough! I think I would agree.
  • Bob Ross
    1.3k


    I'm not going to argue with you about Nietzsche's view and the fact that he's already considered that and written about it. If the morality of customs (which moral facts) leads to the autonomous non-moral being as its ripest fruit of that process -- I would say that implies what your saying -- but not limiting it to "only beneficial to non moral facts" because the moral fact would indeed be beneficial for its own factual existence as its own proof there of basically, and it's that tension of morality that teaches the individual how to guarantee themselves as a future. It's like a "strange loop" that self references.

    I can't remember Nietzsche ever considering, in his works, the value of moral facts themselves; but only that they don't exist. The idea of "morality of customs" that you referenced was not consider moral facticity by Nietzsche but rather a socio-psychological stringing together of tastes, that is why you won't read anywhere in the Genealogy of Morals that morality is objective.
  • Bob Ross
    1.3k


    I agree; but my point is that I am positing that there really are moral facts which are not just mere interpretations of phenomena, and evaluating their worth. This is what I mean by saying that I am taking it a step further than Nietzsche.
  • Mww
    4.6k
    If you wanna feel like you're taking it a step further than Nietzsche go ahead, especially if it is the basis for some line of reasoning for youVaskane

    Well said. I say that, because it’s pretty much the same sentiment I offered in response to his “Making a Case for Transcendental Idealism”.
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