• Count Timothy von Icarus
    2k


    I wouldn't say that x should follow from y is the same as 'entails'. Should or ought in are words of intention or preference.

    I agree that uses of "should" such as, "if you add two odds together the result should be an even," leave something to be desired as to clarity.

    But then g. seems to equivocate on this usage.

    If it shouldn't exist, then the answer "No" objectively shouldn't exist thus contradicting itself.

    But if "it shouldn't exist," is taken as "it is not good for it to exist," I don't think there is a contradiction.

    Let me rewrite the argument without the equivocation:

    e. If it is the case that there is some objective moral standard that concludes that [it would not be good for] anything to exist, that objective moral standard must itself exist.

    f. But if [that objective standard] exists, then according to itself, it [is not good that it] exists.

    g. If it is [not good] for anything to exist then it is not good for that objective moral standard to exist.

    I am not seeing a straightforward contradiction here. "Everything is bad and it would be better if there was nothing," might be self-refuting in a way, but it isn't saying the equivalent of p and not-p.

    That's about the gist. So if there is an objective standard of goodness that exists, it cannot logically conclude that it ought not to exist. For if it did, then that logically means it would be good if the objective conclusion did not exist. If we got rid of the objective morality based on its own conclusions then, we are left with only one answer, that there ought to be existence.

    Arguably, yes, such a claim would be self-refuting. But presumably the standard is saying "it would be better if everything did not exist," not "it would be better if this standard alone did not exist." In particular, I don't see how we are left with "only one answer." If there is no standard for what ought to be the case then our answer might as well be arbitrary.
  • Philosophim
    2.3k
    I don't think your proposition proves that existence as a concept is moral, only that the existence of an objective moral system is moral (which is somewhat redundant and tautological).finarfin

    No, because the question is not, "is the objective system moral itself?" The question is whether there should be existence at all. If the answer is no, then the very objective morality itself shouldn't exist. But if it shouldn't exist, then it cannot claim that other things should or should not exist as it should not exist itself. If it should not exist, then it should not be followed. It contradicts itself.
  • Philosophim
    2.3k
    g. If it is [not good] for anything to exist then it is not good for that objective moral standard to exist.Count Timothy von Icarus

    Lets continue.

    If its not good for the objective moral standard to exist, then according to itself, it ought not to exist.
    If we are to know that it ought not to exist, then we should destroy it, ignore it, or not follow it according to itself. The only conclusion we can make then is we ought to conclude that existence should be, therefore existence ought to be.

    Its a pretty clear contradiction from the conclusion. Any conclusion which leads to negating itself is irrational, and cannot be an existent objective morality.
  • finarfin
    38
    If it should not exist, then it should not be followed. It contradicts itself.Philosophim

    Yes, I agree. Therefore, an objective morality must advocate that its existence is just. But I don't see how that proves that the broader, universal concept of existence itself is moral, or how it shows that our or anything else's existence is moral (excluding the objective moral system, whose morality is a logical fact).
  • Philosophim
    2.3k
    Yes, I agree. Therefore, an objective morality must advocate that its existence is just. But I don't see how that proves that the concept of existence itself is moral, or how it shows that our existence is moral.finarfin

    Because it cannot answer the question, "Should there be existence?" in the negative without contradicting itself.
  • finarfin
    38
    Because it cannot answer the question, "Should there be existence?" in the negative without contradicting itself.Philosophim

    It only contradicts itself in one unique case, when the objective morality is referring to itself. We could modify the statement to be "Should (objects, humans, life, literally anything else) exist" or "should there be existence/should things exist outside of the moral sphere" and it could claim "no, that's not moral" with ease.
    That would hardly be advocating for existence as a whole
  • Philosophim
    2.3k
    It only contradicts itself in one unique case, when the objective morality is referring to itself.finarfin

    As long as you understand the answer to the fundamental question, you're ready for the next step. Its just a start. Compared to nothing, all existence is good. But It doesn't tell us if some existence is better than others. Yet when we have an objective fundamental to start with, we can build towards a more complete moral system not based off of subjectivity. I'll post the next part this weekend as this has to be digested in bits. If you want to see where I'm going to go, you can click the link I noted in the OP. I warn you though that's more of a note splash.
  • 180 Proof
    14.3k
    Consider:
    1. If "objective moral good" entails objective moral bad, and

    2. if "objective moral good" assumes "existence is good",

    3. then objective bad assumes existence is bad;

    4 therefore if "objective morality",

    5. then it necessarily assumes existence is both good and bad (i.e. "should be" and should not be) simultaneously – which is a contradiction;

    6. therefore either (A) "objective morality" is not possible or (B) "objective morality" does not necessarily assume (5) the contradiction "existence should be";

    7. however, objective morality is possible (e.g. disutilitarianism),

    8. therefore (B) objective morality does not necessarily assume (5) the contradiction "existence should be".
    — QED

    Show where my reasoning goes wrong and thereby defeat this counter-argument to the OP.

    (fyi – I'm traveling today so I'm on my phone and may not be able to post responses promptly.)
  • Philosophim
    2.3k
    No worry on the delay, have a safe trip!

    1. If "objective moral good" entails objective moral bad, and

    2. if "objective moral good" assumes "existence is good",

    3. then objective bad assumes existence is bad;
    — QED

    3 is incorrect. If there should be existence, then the absence of existence would be bad. We have nothing so far which notes, "This particular existence should not be," because we have not asked the question, "Should this particular existence be?" This question only entails the void of all existence, vs there being existence.

    Now, I will be building up in the next post up to the point where we can evaluate how to parse existence into existences, and logically determine that some combinations of existence result in overall lower existence then if they were not there. But before I can get to that part, the fundamental needs to be answered. If we realize that all existence is good when compared to nothing, then we have an objective base to build off of.
  • 180 Proof
    14.3k
    No worry on the delay, have a safe trip!Philosophim
    Thanks.

    3 is incorrect. If there should be existence, then the absence of existence would be bad.
    You're moving the goalposts: according to the OP, "objective morality" is conditional, not "existence". The objection above is incorrect.
  • Philosophim
    2.3k
    You're moving the goalposts: according to the OP, "objective morality" is conditional, not "existence". The objection above is incorrect.180 Proof

    I'm not understanding the point. Can you quote the part of the OP you're talking about?
  • 180 Proof
    14.3k
    ... according to the OP, "objective morality" is conditional, not "existence".
    —180 Proof

    Can you quote the part of the OP you're talking about?
    Philosophim
    Sure ...
    The point I will make below: If there is an objective morality, the most logical fundamental aspect of that morality is that existence is good.Philosophim
  • Philosophim
    2.3k
    Sure ...
    The point I will make below: If there is an objective morality, the most logical fundamental aspect of that morality is that existence is good.
    180 Proof

    That was just an intro sentence to sum up what you would read. Where do I note that objective morality is conditional in the argument? I feel the logic is pretty clear, so I'll sum it here again.

    Good is "What should be"
    I conclude that if there is an objective morality, it necessarily must answer the question, "Should there be existence?" with Yes.

    So this would mean that existence is good. The denial of existence would be bad. You say:

    3. then objective bad assumes existence is bad; — QED

    but that doesn't lead from anything I've stated in the OP. If good is what should be, bad is its negation. Thus the absence of existence entirely would be bad. In no way does the OP imply or assume that existence is bad.
  • Janus
    15.7k
    Good is "What should be"
    I conclude that if there is an objective morality, it necessarily must answer the question, "Should there be existence?" with Yes.
    Philosophim

    Do you mean something like 'If there is the Good, then existence must be good'? Buddhism proposes that the Good would be the end of suffering, and that all existence is suffering, which entails that existence is bad, something to be transcended.

    I'm not arguing for the truth of Buddhism, just pointing out that it's always going to be a matter of interpretation.
  • Philosophim
    2.3k
    Do you mean something like 'If there is the Good, then existence must be good'?Janus

    No, I mean the steps that I go through on the OP to reach the conclusion. If good is "what ought to be" and there is an objective morality, it must necessarily conclude "Yes" to the question of "Should there be existence?"

    I'm not arguing for the truth of Buddhism, just pointing out that it's always going to be a matter of interpretation.Janus

    For a subjective notion of morality, sure. Anything goes. This is not anything goes. This is a step by step process to prove certain conclusions that an objective morality must abide by.
  • 180 Proof
    14.3k
    From my counter-argument: both 1 and 2 (re: OP) together imply 3. If not, refute
    1. If "objective moral good" entails objective moral bad180 Proof
    i.e. show that the latter (bad) is not entailed by the former (good).

    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/904196
  • Janus
    15.7k
    No, I mean the steps that I go through on the OP to reach the conclusion. If good is "what ought to be" and there is an objective morality, it must necessarily conclude "Yes" to the question of "Should there be existence?"Philosophim

    What is the difference between there being an objective morality and there being The Good? What would there being an objective mporaity look like for you?
  • Philosophim
    2.3k
    What is the difference between there being an objective morality and there being The Good?Janus

    An objective morality would be an analysis of what good is apart from culture, emotions, or subjectivity.

    How do you define "The Good"? I'm not using that term here so I don't know what it means.
  • Philosophim
    2.3k

    Let me break it down another way for you then.

    1. If "objective moral good" entails objective moral bad, and

    2. if "objective moral good" assumes "existence is good",

    3. then objective bad assumes existence is bad;
    — QED

    Let me translate what you said in terms of what the OP is saying.

    1. If there is an objective moral good, then of course there must be an objective moral bad.
    2. An objective moral good concludes that existence is good.

    You state, "So an objective moral bad must conclude existence is bad." But that doesn't follow. We've concluded that an objective moral good must conclude that existence is good. In such a scenario the objective moral bad would be, "A lack of existence".

    I'm saying A = good !A = bad
    You're saying A = good, A = bad.

    So no, you cannot conclude from what I've written that what is objectively bad is existence.
  • Janus
    15.7k
    An objective morality would be an analysis of what good is apart from culture, emotions, or subjectivity.

    How do you define "The Good"? I'm not using that term here so I don't know what it means.
    Philosophim

    Such an analysis would need an objectively good object of analysis, and that object would be "The Good" if it existed.
  • Philosophim
    2.3k
    Such an analysis would need an objectively good object of analysis, and that object would be "The Good" if it existed.Janus

    Well, take a look at the OP, think about it carefully, and let me know if you think it works as a start. :)
  • Janus
    15.7k
    I already said why I don't think it works, because it all depends on what objective goodness is (assuming for the sake of argument that there is any such thing). For example, the Gnostics thought the created world is defective, objectively bad, because they believed it was created by a deluded, if not evil, demiurge. For the Gnostics escaping from this fallen existence to re-unite with the transcendent God (which they understood as The Good) was good and not this existence (which as I said they saw as intrinsically bad).
  • 180 Proof
    14.3k
    Okay, you can't ...
    1. If "objective moral good" entails objective moral bad
    — 180 Proof
    i.e. show that the latter (bad) is not entailed by the former (good).
    180 Proof
    ... so I stand by my counter-argument until someone (or myself) refutes it.

    :up: :up:
  • Philosophim
    2.3k
    Okay, you can't ...180 Proof

    If you want to claim I didn't, point out how. A repost of a few sentences that doesn't address my reply, nor attempt to clarify your position leaves you over there in a world I cannot reach nor understand.
  • Philosophim
    2.3k
    I already said why I don't think it works, because it all depends on what objective goodness is.Janus

    Where in the OP do I go wrong when I show you what objective goodness must be?
  • 180 Proof
    14.3k
    Your non-reply reply to my (i.e. showing that your previous objection to my counter-argument fails) speaks for itself, sir.
  • Janus
    15.7k
    Where in the OP do I go wrong when I show you what objective goodness must be?Philosophim

    You merely define it as "what should be". That doesn't tell us what should be, and since there are obviously many aspects of existence that, at least from a human point of view, should not be, it just seems inconsistent and unwarranted to claim that existence must be good if we assume (for the sake of argument) that there is an objective good, because even with that assumption the nature of that good we cannot know.
  • Philosophim
    2.3k
    Your non-reply reply to my ↪180 Proof (i.e. showing that your previous objection to my counter-argument fails) speaks for itself, sir.180 Proof

    I've tried my best but I genuinely don't understand what you're trying to say. Have a nice flight, catch you another time.
  • Philosophim
    2.3k
    That doesn't tell us what should beJanus

    The question was, "Should existence be?" Did you understand the logic that lead to the answer being "Yes"? Do you have some disagreement with it?
  • Janus
    15.7k
    Did you understand the logic that lead to the answer being "Yes"?Philosophim

    I've already told you why I disagree with it.

    But, I'll try a different tack (which amounts to the same thing):


    d. Assume the answer is no.

    e. If it is the case that there is something objective which concludes there should be no existence, that objectivity must exist.

    f. But if it exists, then according to itself, it shouldn't exist.

    g. If it shouldn't exist, then the answer "No" objectively shouldn't exist thus contradicting itself.
    Philosophim

    That it exists doesn't contradict the idea that the rest of existence shouldn't exist. That would only be so if it were the creator, as the 'Gnostic' example I gave shows. According to that account the Good is a transcendent God, not the deluded demiurge who created this world.

    So, you are conflating the (purported) existence of an objective good (however we might conceive that) with the actual existence of the world.
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