• mcc1789
    39
    Hi all. What do you think of moral realism? Does it have things going for it, or not? What do you think are arguments in favor or against it?
  • InternetStranger
    155


    Well, health is the most common thing pointed to, as a thing good by nature. For instance, de facto (which is to say, though they are too thoughtless to see what they are doing, their betters infer it for them), the defenders of Steven Pinker think the idea of Progress is vouchsafed to human beings on the basis of improvement in medical techniques alone. But, also, intelligence might be named as a natural good, maybe strength. If this is true, one might suppose nature cares for humans, and that the question, how to live, answered in the form of wisdom, which then, in weaker copy comes out in law, might be intrinsic to the world rather than at bottom arbitrary.
  • Marcus de Brun
    450
    There is an argument for morals
    There is an argument for realism

    What do you mean by 'moral realism'?

    M
  • mcc1789
    39
    I'm a supporter of ethical naturalism, and I'd add happiness in general, or sophisticated pleasure (distinguished from ones which cause pain, like say drug use).
  • mcc1789
    39
    The view that morals, rather than subjective opinions, social constructs or nonexistent, are objective facts in some way. Here is a rundown.
  • InternetStranger
    155


    Boring. You simply evade an investigation by naming vacuous generalizations. It doesn't do us a protozoa of good to know someone is the support of this or that vacant rubric.

    Engage the straightforward examples given above or remain silent.
  • mcc1789
    39
    I wasn't trying to "evade" anything, just adding to your examples, and describing my agreement with them.

    How should I engage those? I don't get what you were expecting here.
  • InternetStranger
    155


    "How should I engage those? I don't get what you were expecting here."

    For instance, by asking, does it make sense that moral naturalism is rooted in the sense of basic goods. If so, how many are there? And howsofar can they be said to be truly good? For instance, is health truly good? What about someone who was healthy but living in a CIA prison cell, surrounded by Sesame Street music played at highest volume 24 7. And this went on for seventy three years, since the man was quite hardy. Also, the color scheme of the room was scientifically calculated to be the most revolting possible.
  • Marcus de Brun
    450


    I'm familiar with moral realism. However it falters when it encounters the devil of subjective interpretation of 'moral facts'

    Standard 'western' judicial systems attempt to apply moral realism using the 'law' as the ne plus ultra. Outside of the law there is no real final arbiter of a 'moral fact' morals are subjective. If however we use the notion of 'the greatest good' and a conclusive argument for this 'greatest good' can be made and agreed upon, the truth of a 'moral fact' might be accepted. Of course all of this depends upon 'who and how' the argument is made.

    M
  • Maw
    1k
    Insofar as human nature is real, insofar as human well-being is real, and insofar as human suffering is real (often in gratuitous forms), then it seems inescapable that moral realism is justified.
  • Marcus de Brun
    450

    Moral realism is of course entirely justified, however it is impossible because too many people are too stupid to accept that which is moral and that which is real.

    Think for a moment how the ridiculous concept of an 'interventionist God' contaminates both morality and reality.

    M
  • mcc1789
    39
    Okay. I think it does, but I'm not sure how many there are. Those you and I listed however would be there. As to I would say he's not going to be in good mental health then, even if he's otherwise healthy (which is not necessarily true-these things affect the rest).
  • darthbarracuda
    2.9k
    Classifying moral or aesthetic facts as "subjective" is usually just a prejudice. There's nothing spooky about morality or aesthetics, though (is mathematics spooky?). I do not think there is anything fundamentally different about descriptive and evaluative perceptions. That lighting a cat on fire is immoral is a clear and immediate perception, in the same way it is clear and immediate that there is an external world, other people exist, my thoughts exist, that two plus two is four, that certain forms of art are objectively better than other forms, etc.

    It seems to me that the skeptics are the ones who need to explain why moral facts are either always false or not truth apt, because upon immediate reflection it seems precisely the opposite. Unless we have a good reason to doubt, why shouldn't moral claims be truth apt and at least sometimes true?

    In practice, moral anti-realism falls flat on its face. How many moral anti-realists continue to argue for a moral position? Moral realism is implicitly assumed by anyone who wishes to seriously and sincerely discuss a moral issue.
  • mcc1789
    39
    I'm sorry, I misunderstood you then. There are of course always difficulties in getting something intellectually accepted. On the other hand, I don't think anyone fails to pursue happiness or health etc. So it could be argued they implicitly accept them, whatever else they may say.
  • mcc1789
    39
    An interestingly succinct argument.
  • mcc1789
    39
    I assume you mean by "impossible" it's impossible to get it universally accepted? That may be true.

    I agree, it is very damaging.
  • mcc1789
    39
    I agree, it seems like the burden lies on them, and it's a difficult onus. Some whom I've seen simply defend moral realism by rebutting attacks, thus leaving it by default.
  • Marcus de Brun
    450
    There are of course always difficulties in getting something intellectually accepted. On the other hand, I don't think anyone fails to pursue happiness or health etc. So it could be argued they implicitly accept them, whatever else they may say.mcc1789

    Not so: notions of happiness and health are not universals. All might pursue the concept but the concepts are entirely subjective. One needs real facts to determine moral facts.

    M
  • InternetStranger
    155


    "good mental health then, even if he's otherwise healthy"

    That's good, if I may presume to congratulate you. It seems one can say Health is ambiguous, if it extends to the brain? What is health? In the older discussion, one could speak of getting one's heart desire. What is health when one hates every aspect of the society one live sin, for example? It is perhaps an evil?

    On the other hand, most of the time, we do want to be healthy rather than sick. So, what follows from granting the Pinkerites that improvements in medicine deserve to be called Progress, rather than mere change? It seems, yet, a limited kind of Progress.
  • InternetStranger
    155


    You're amazingly boring. Try following the conversation and learning.
  • InternetStranger
    155

    "I don't think anyone fails to pursue happiness or health"

    Yes, so far as we stick to the dictionary that is true, but when we ask what people mean by happiness we get diverse notions. Outside the circle of the mere vague idea of happiness or health, or intelligence, there is a gaping neighing openness.
  • Marcus de Brun
    450
    Moral realism is implicitly assumed by anyone who wishes to seriously and sincerely discuss a moral issue.darthbarracuda

    If this were true there would be no need to discuss moral issues. the 'implicit assumptions' would be uniform, and they are not and will never be, quite simply because some people believe in faeries and magic and 'free-will' and God and the like.

    M
  • darthbarracuda
    2.9k
    Any philosophical position has its default with an agnosticism. Is morality objective or not? Before anything else, there is the question and the answer has yet to be found.

    The moral realist, in this debate, simply presents his evidence; evidence which is intrinsically resistant to doubt. This takes front and center stage because without this evidence, what we mean by "morality" would be fairly meaningless. The debate starts from moral perception, and revolves around whether this perception is or can ever be veridical.
  • Maw
    1k
    Moral realism is of course entirely justified, however it is impossible because too many people are too stupidMarcus de Brun

    It's not about (im)possibility. We always already find ourselves in a 'moral world' with others, and so the urgent question is: how do we act and engage with others, and how does that affect ourselves?
  • darthbarracuda
    2.9k
    If this were true there would be no need to discuss moral issues. the 'implicit assumptions' would be uniform, and they are not and will never be, quite simply because some people believe in faeries and magic and 'free-will' and God and the like.Marcus de Brun

    This is a non-sequitur. Why must people agree en masse for morality to be objective?
  • InternetStranger
    155

    "Is morality objective or not?"

    Boring. Try following the conversation.
  • InternetStranger
    155


    You're rehearsing vacant general questions. Follow the conversation to learn what philosophy is.
  • darthbarracuda
    2.9k
    Your rehearsing vacant general questions. Follow the conversation to learn what philosophy is.InternetStranger

    Mods, please.
  • InternetStranger
    155


    You waste all our time by not following the thread. And so retailing vapidities.
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