• S
    7.5k
    Okay, thanks for confirming that your position is contradictory.
  • S
    7.5k
    A sincere speaking saying "It is raining" implies that said speaker believes it is raining -- but they are talking about the rain, and not their belief.
    — Moliere

    Indeed. Unless they're talking about the statement itself.
    creativesoul

    They wouldn't be talking about the statement itself, unless they didn't know how to speak properly.

    When a sincere speaker says "It's raining outside", unless they're mistaken, it ought be raining outside. If they're mistaken, it ought not be.

    When a sincere speaker says "I promise to plant you a rose garden on Sunday", unless they're mistaken, there ought be a rose garden planted on Sunday. If they're mistaken, there ought not.

    When a sincere speaker says "There's a beer in the fridge", unless they're mistaken, there ought be a beer in the fridge. If they're mistaken, there ought not.

    When a sincere speaker says "The cat is on the mat", unless they're mistaken, there ought be a cat on the mat. If they're mistaken, there ought not.

    We all know that this is true. That's how language, talking about the world and/or ourselves, works.
    creativesoul

    Quick tip: that's too many examples.

    This seems to have zero relevance to the is/ought problem and misses the point. You're basically just saying something along the lines that if the relationship between true and false statements and fact is as we expect, then we expect it to be this way. Yes. So what?
  • Terrapin Station
    6.8k
    it does not represent the nature of the action itself (which is itself right or wrong).Andrew M

    And evidence for that (the action itself being right or wrong) would be?
  • creativesoul
    4.2k


    I'm piddling around to see if some sense can be made of the claim that moral statements are truth-apt. Unfortunately, it seems to me at least, most moral discourse is being governed by outdated modes of thinking.
  • creativesoul
    4.2k
    Imagine a situation where we do not know whether or not a speaker is being honest/speaking sincerely. We have much different expectations from sincerity than insincerity. This cannot be properly accounted for and thus grasped by virtue of focusing upon truth conditions alone.

    Sincere speech does not match the world if it is mistaken. Insincere speech does not match the world, unless it is mistaken. We all know this, and our expectations and understanding regarding what we will find when we check differs accordingly.

    When someone believes that there is a beer in the fridge and says "There is a beer in the fridge", they are speaking sincerely. The sincerity aspect is determined by the speaker's belief, not by whether or not what they say is true. If we know that they are sincere, and we go look in the fridge and discover that there is no beer, then we know that they were mistaken.

    When someone does not believe that there is a beer in the fridge and says "There is a beer in the fridge", they are speaking insincerely. The sincerity aspect is determined by the speaker's belief, not by whether or not what they say is true. If we know that they are insincere(say we know that it is a joke), and we go look in the fridge and discover that there is no beer, then we know that they were not mistaken, because they did not believe that there was any beer to begin with.

    If all we focus upon is what it takes for the statement to be true, we learn nothing about the sincerity aspect, for we've separated the statement from the speaker. That is an ill-advised move.


    So the examples above were cases when we knew the sincerity/insincerity aspect. Sometimes we do not. When we're mulling through ways to check, we posit what should or should not be the case for sincere/insincere speech. What should or should not be discovered.

    When a sincere speaker says "There is a beer in the fridge", unless s/he is mistaken, when we go check - there ought be a beer in fridge.

    When an insincere speaker says "There is a beer in the fridge", unless s/he is mistaken, when we go check - there ought not be a beer in fridge.
  • Banno
    4.7k
    However, Banno's mistake is failing to realise that our standard in moral judgement stems from us! We're not making a comparison with anything external to ourselves. Banno is unconsciously making a comparison with his own standard of judgement, but erroneously thinks that he's appealing to objective morality. Not only is the notion of objective morality unsubstantiated, it would serve no purpose which isn't already met by our own standard of judgement. Banno simply judges kicking puppies to be immoral, as do I, with or without the chimaera of objective morality. Nothing else is required. The notion of objective morality is about as useful as a bottomless bucket.S

    Missed this. Perhaps you might use the @ tool a bit more.

    Of course standards of moral judgement stem from us. It's in the word "judgement" that this happens. It's something moral judgements have in common with all other beliefs.

    Judging that the cat is on the mat and that it is not good to kick puppies are pretty much the same, varying in content rather than in kind. And of course I'm making a comparison using my own standard of judgement... as if anyone could use some else's standard of judgement.

    The notion of objective morality is about as useful as a bottomless bucket. As is the notion of subjective morality.
  • Banno
    4.7k
    You can't just go by other people's views.Terrapin Station

    There was no "just". I suggested several tests that did not involve a panel of experts - patting the cat and washing the mat, just to see if they were what I thought they were.

    Fred is in the same position, whether he misjudges cats on mats or kicking puppies.

    Hence, moral judgements are much the same as other judgements; they do not form a special "subjective" class.
  • Mww
    277


    Then what notion of morality would be useful?
  • creativesoul
    4.2k
    Say we have a group of friends, one which we all know is a jester. S/he is prone to saying all sorts of stuff just to make people laugh. Outlandish stuff, and that's part of why it's so funny. We all know that s/he does not really believe what they're saying. We all know that it's a joke. They say exactly what they mean to say, they just do not believe what the statements mean.

    Imagine some scenario where our jester is a queen of the Rue Paul kind. They say, "Oh my God!", "If that girl says one more thing, I'm gonna just sew her mouth shut!"

    If that was spoken sincerely, if our jester believed what they meant, then there ought be a mouth being sewn shut if it says one more thing. But this ought is not on par with voicing our approval/disapproval of the behaviour. Rather, it's a confirmation of our knowing what the statement means.

    It's about understanding how language works, with particular attention being paid to sincerity/insincerity. We know our jester does not believe what they say, and as a result, we do not expect a mouth to be sewn shut. Since the speaker is insincere, there ought not be a mouth sewn shut if it says one more thing. Again, this ought is not on par with voicing our approval/disapproval of the behaviour. Rather, it's a confirmation of our knowing what the statement means.

    If one promises to plant a rose garden, then there ought be a rose garden planted.
  • Banno
    4.7k
    Folk seem to think ethics will be able to show them right from wrong. Philosophy will help you with conceptual inconsistencies. It won't tell you what to do. Yet no one here thinks kicking puppies is a good thing.
  • Banno
    4.7k
    Then what notion of morality would be useful?Mww

    So for example, your question implies that the way to judge morality is by its utility.

    Is it? Is what us useful, what is good?

    No.
  • Mww
    277


    No, philosophy won’t tell you what to do, that’s not it’s job. The moral philosophy of meta-ethics does nonetheless enable understanding of and judgements regarding implementation of actions.

    My moral inclinations would certainly prohibit me from kicking a puppy, but if the occassion warrants, which is impossible to foresee, then cute or not.....we’d have to see.
    ————————

    No, I had no intention of implying a way to judge morality. If the notion of objective morality is useless and the notion of subjective morality is useless, what notion makes morality useful?
  • creativesoul
    4.2k


    If everybody did X, would the world be a better place?
  • Mww
    277


    Damned if I know. I don’t even know if the world would be a better place if I did X.
  • creativesoul
    4.2k


    Well, let's fill in the variable and see!

    Let X be do whatever it takes to acquire wealth.

    One could steal, murder, lie, assassinate, etc. If everyone did this, the world would most certainly not be a better place...

    Would it?
  • Mww
    277


    That sort of empirically predicated maxim of mine alone, could never suffice as ground for a categorical imperative, so....no. The rest of the world may think differently.
  • creativesoul
    4.2k


    Not sure I understand you.

    If the rest of the world believes that assassinating, stealing, and torturing others is acceptable as long as it make one wealthy, are they wrong?
  • Mww
    277


    Sure they are, as far as I’m concerned.
  • creativesoul
    4.2k


    So...

    If what counts as being moral/immoral is relative/subjective, then they could not be wrong about it. There has to be something aside from our own moral belief that determines whether it is true, or false(wrong).

    X is wrong/immoral is not the same as X is believed to be wrong/immoral.

    In our case, the world would not be a better place. Thus, they are mistaken(hold false moral belief), and... if we apply the imperative as a standard of measure, they approve of immoral behaviour, because the world would not be a better place.
  • Mww
    277


    So.....

    Correct. They’re doing it objectively in the world, so it stands to reason they are being forced with wealth as the prize, equally objective, or their individual subjective moral dispositions facilitate determinations the consequences of which are such actions. Big deal...been that way since folks left the singular campfire for the multiple grass huts.
    ————-

    I never said it was.,
  • Mww
    277

    In our case, the world would not be a better place
    creativesoul

    ....is correct from the point of view of whomsoever should hold congruent judgement. This does nothing to explain or justify the morality of those in opposition to it, whose categorical imperative obviously differs and from which they necessarily judge themselves as not wrong.
  • Terrapin Station
    6.8k
    Hence, moral judgements are much the same as other judgements; they do not form a special "subjective" class.Banno

    What's any evidence of moral properties occurring extramentally?
  • creativesoul
    4.2k
    My moral inclinations would certainly prohibit me from kicking a puppy, but if the occassion warrants, which is impossible to foresee, then cute or not.....we’d have to see.Mww

    This is a common way to think about things after one has come to understand and thus incorporate the possibility of unexpected events altering one's beliefs, and/or of becoming painfully aware of our own fallibility.

    The odd thing though, is that you either can foresee an exceptional circumstance or it is impossible to foresee. I think you mean it's impossible to know whether or not unexpected unforeseen circumstances may take place that would warrant kicking the puppy. Certainly we could envision some.

    Reasonable people allow for exceptions when they are warranted. Good people do not let the exception become the rule.
  • creativesoul
    4.2k
    ....is correct from the point of view of whomsoever should hold congruent judgement. This does nothing to explain or justify the morality of those in opposition to it, whose categorical imperative obviously differs from which they necessarily judge themselves as not wrongMww

    This misses the point.

    There is no true/moral from my point of view but false/immoral from yours. That would be to say that the same behaviour is both moral/immoral. This is how moral relativity/subjectivity fails...
  • creativesoul
    4.2k
    Moral belief differs. How we deal with that is another matter altogether.
  • Mww
    277


    It doesn’t miss the point; it is the point. Mine anyway.

    To say that the same behavior is both moral/immoral, and have instances wherein such behavior is objectified in disparate happenstance, is the perfect reason for even having moral philosophy in the first place.
  • creativesoul
    4.2k
    Morality(having a 'sense' of what's morally right/wrong) is best understood as a human condition. We are interdependent social creatures by our very nature. As such we come to learn that there are some behaviours from others that we do not like. This is true of everyone, regardless of subjective particulars.

    Are there behaviours that none of us like done to us?

    Of course there are.

    We feel empathy for others if we observe them in situations that we know that we do not like.
  • creativesoul
    4.2k
    It doesn’t miss the point; it is the point. Mine anyway.

    To say that the same behavior is both moral/immoral, and have instances wherein such behavior I’d objectified, is the perfect reason for even having moral philosophy in the first place.
    Mww

    To say that the same behaviour is both moral/immoral is incoherent, and as such it is not acceptable.

    I'm not sure what you're trying to say about being "objectified".

    The objective/subjective dichotomy has no use here.
  • creativesoul
    4.2k
    Morality is distinct from other kinds of thought/blief about acceptable/unacceptable behaviour because it involves how humans treat each other and other sentient beings.

    Compare/contrast with using an appetizer fork to eat dinner.
  • creativesoul
    4.2k
    This does nothing to explain or justify the morality of those in opposition to it, whose categorical imperative obviously differs from which they necessarily judge themselves as not wrongMww

    That can be explained by virtue of looking at how all of us form our first worldview(replete with moral belief).

    Language acquisition.
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