• Mww
    658


    Pretty coherent to me, and quite acceptable. And there ya go. You’d probably find something to fill in the disparate behavioral blanks, to demonstrate how the morally worthy/unworthy dualism arises, if you altered your dialectical priorities.
    —————-

    Maybe, dunno. I’m not a child psychologist and I sure as hell don’t remember the formation of my first worldview. Doesn’t matter though; I know moral philosophy is adequate explanation for differential moral agency.
  • Janus
    7k
    Is not Bob's action moral or immoral on account of what would be the normal, or the most common, human attitude to it? — Janus


    No, per realism, that would merely be the common attitude or feeling about what was moral. A case in point is human slavery which common attitudes and feelings have progressed on. But it was always wrong irrespective of the common feelings, ideas or attitudes at the time. Conceivably in the future some of our own common attitudes might also be shown to be wrong.
    Andrew M

    Are you confident that common feeling was not always against slavery? Could it not be that the common people were simply not in situations that allowed them to act to bring it to an end, or even openly protest against it?

    In any case it would seem that our prosperous lives are dependent on slavery today; it's just that it is far enough away from our sight to allow us to pretend that we don't support it by consuming what we do.
  • creativesoul
    4.8k
    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.
    Mww

    This notion of being correct from a point of view...

    Is agreement equivalent to truth?

    No.
  • creativesoul
    4.8k
    ’m not a child psychologist and I sure as hell don’t remember the formation of my first worldview. Doesn’t matter though; I know moral philosophy is adequate explanation for differential moral agency.Mww

    We need not remember something to know it.

    Explaining the differences in moral belief requires knowing what belief is. I'm not sure any conventional philosophy has that right.
  • creativesoul
    4.8k
    They wouldn't be talking about the statement itself, unless they didn't know how to speak properly.S

    This coming from one who is talking about the statement...

    :snicker:
  • Banno
    5.1k
    Replacing "objective" with "extramental" doesn't change much.
  • Andrew M
    632
    And evidence for that (the action itself being right or wrong) would be?Terrapin Station

    That human beings share the same biology and need for self-preservation and well-being (including for offspring and allies). So moral language builds in that common standard.

    Note that there is a parallel situation with color perception. Most of us perceive a red traffic light as red. But blind people will not. Yet it is nonetheless the convention that the traffic light is red regardless of whether you are blind or even if no-one is around to see it at all.

    That's not because traffic lights have red percepts attached to them, but simply because the same perceptual standard is applied whenever we talk about traffic lights. It's the same with morality.

    Are you confident that common feeling was not always against slavery? Could it not be that the common people were simply not in situations that allowed them to act to bring it to an end, or even openly protest against it?Janus

    Perhaps that is so. Certainly basic human nature/biology hasn't changed in the time frame. Though knowledge and circumstances have.

    In any case it would seem that our prosperous lives are dependent on slavery today; it's just that it is far enough away from our sight to allow us to pretend that we don't support it by consuming what we do.Janus

    Yes, so it's an argument that can be made (or challenged) on moral grounds. That is, given that we value life and well-being, and that we can empirically investigate the world, what conclusions follow?
  • Terrapin Station
    8.5k


    Just as forthcoming as I expected specifying the evidence.
  • Terrapin Station
    8.5k
    That human beings share the same biology and need for self-preservation and well-being (including for offspring and allies). So moral language builds in that common standard.Andrew M

    The action itself is, for example, Joe murdering Bill. It's the physical action of Joe taking a gun, say, and shooting Bill in the head. It's been claimed that the action itself somehow has the property of being morally wrong (or whatever moral properties someone wants to claim).

    Or are we saying that we're not being literal in saying that the action itself has moral properties?
  • Terrapin Station
    8.5k
    This is essentially no different than discussing religious beliefs with Christians, say, and it's nothing like discussing something with people who are interested truth from a philosophical or scientific perspective, whatever the truth may be, whether it's what you'd ideally like it to be or not.
  • Andrew M
    632
    The action itself is, for example, Joe murdering Bill. It's the physical action of Joe taking a gun, say, and shooting Bill in the head. It's been claimed that the action itself somehow has the property of being morally wrong (or whatever moral properties someone wants to claim).Terrapin Station

    Yes. What Joe did was wrong. That seems like a perfectly ordinary and meaningful sentence to me. It is his action that we are condemning.

    From the Oxford dictionary definition for wrong:
    Noun: An unjust, dishonest, or immoral act.

    This is essentially no different than discussing religious beliefs with Christians, say, and it's nothing like discussing something with people who are interested truth from a philosophical or scientific perspective, whatever the truth may be, whether it's what you'd ideally like it to be or not.Terrapin Station

    Any worthwhile philosophical discussion involves paying attention to the logic of the language being used. And I notice that in our discussion, I've been the only one that has linked in and discussed the relevant science, including in the post that you previously responded to.
  • Terrapin Station
    8.5k


    The action itself isn't language, is it?
  • Andrew M
    632
    The action itself isn't language, is it?Terrapin Station

    No, it is not.
  • Terrapin Station
    8.5k


    Good, so let's talk about the action itself and whether the action itself is wrong.

    If we say something about language per se, we're getting off track, because the action itself isn't language.
  • Andrew M
    632
    As I've already discussed, the action itself is wrong. Whereas you seem to think that right and wrong are in the mind. Is that right?
  • Terrapin Station
    8.5k
    As I've already discussed, the action itself is wrongAndrew M

    Right. That's the claim.

    The challenge is for us to provide any evidence of that claim.

    We can't provide evidence of that by talking about language per se, because the action itself isn't language. We need to talk about the action itself and its properties. If the action itself has moral properties somehow, we should be able to in some manner point to those moral properties, provide some evidence of them, etc.

    Or else we'd need to otherwise justify our belief that the action itself has moral properties. That justification couldn't be that it's a common belief or a common way to behave (for example, linguistically). That's not at all sufficient (not to mention that any argument to the effect of "P is a common belief, therefore P" is the argumentum ad populum fallacy). Belief or behavior, no matter how common, can't be evidence that something (not itself the very same belief or behavior) is a particular way, because belief can easily be wrong, misconceived, etc., with behavior that reflects as much (and social influences go into particular beliefs/behavior becoming common, etc.)
  • Mww
    658
    If for some arbitrary rational agency, “Let X be do whatever it takes to acquire wealth” is a principle governing the determinate will, and
    assassinating, stealing, and torturing otherscreativesoul
    then becomes the imperative sufficient to accommodate that principle and serve as a volition determined by it, with “... as long as it makes (me) wealthy” as its end. Whether or not the world would be a better place is not deducible from that moral argument.

    For some other arbitrary rational agency who knows it is possible to acquire even great wealth from doing X in the form of simply buying a lottery ticket, or doing X in the form of simply being alive and present as the sole beneficiary of an estate of unknown Aunt Betty in Tupelo, at the same time knows, irrespective of actually doing either of those things, anything to do with bodily harm or otherwise criminal activity does not serve as justifiable moral worth. A different sense of moral worthiness is therefore all that’s required in order to qualify the conclusion as merely possible, that “the world would not be a better place” given under the auspices of the imperative demanding bodily harm and otherwise criminal activity in order to acquire great wealth.

    There is no room for belief; all sense of moral worth is the result of imperative objective action in compliance to a subjective principle. If one thinks conventional philosophy says belief has no objective validity, and if moral philosophy mandates objective validity in the form of consequential action, then it follows necessarily that belief has no place in moral philosophy.
    There is no room for agreement; obviously, herein, there isn’t anything to agree on. Where there is tacit moral agreement there is harmonious community, and even if such harmonious community is comprised of those who steal, etc., in order to make themselves wealthy, they are indubitably soon met with an altogether non-harmonious condition with which their contradictory moral worthiness will be forced to reconcile.
    There is no room for truth in the conclusion “the world would not be a better place” in the current moral argument, for the excruciatingly simple reason no such condition of the world is determinable by an imperative in itself. One may think it as possibility, even assign a probability to it, but he has not the means to determine the truth of it.
  • Terrapin Station
    8.5k
    imperative objective actionMww

    What is "imperative objective action"?
  • S
    9.7k
    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

    How do you reach that conclusion? :chin:

    If you're going to say that it's useless for determining an objective right or wrong, then obviously I agree. But it's misguided to seek an objective right or wrong.
  • Terrapin Station
    8.5k
    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

    I didn't pay much attention to Banno saying that (or I missed it altogether). He's conflating different senses of "judgment" there. Just like people sometimes conflate different senses of "opinion," a la "What's your opinion of x--did you like it?" and "Physicist Ben Salabim's opinion on the quantum hall effect is _____" Those two uses of "opinion" aren't at all the same thing.

    When we're talking about morality, we're talking about an evaluative assessment--some stamp of approval or disapproval, some expression a la "recommended" or "not recommended," and so on. That's not at all what we're talking about when we're talking about someone's belief or lack of the same about where animals are situated or not in the world. (a la "The cat is on the mat.")

    We could claim that the world itself, not just us thinking about it and stating our preferences, has stamps of approval or disapproval, properties of "recommended" or not, or any other evaluative assessments like that embedded in it somehow, attached to various facts, actions, etc. but we'd have to provide evidence of this.
  • Terrapin Station
    8.5k
    One thing that objectivists always overlook, by the way, is this.

    Let's say that Joe murdering Bill by shooting him in the head with a gun somehow has a stamp of disapproval embedded in it. It's somehow some sort of property of the action of Joe shooting Bill in the head--just like the velocity of the bullet is a property of that--that "you shouldn't do this action."

    Well, what bearing would that have on anyone feeling that they should do that action or not? Objectivists need an additional objective fact to the effect of "One should aim to match the objective stamps of approval/disapproval."

    What would that additional objective fact be a property of?

    And we'd probably need something like an infinite regress of that. We establish "One should aim to match the objective stamps of approval" as objective, and Joe says, "So what? I don't agree with that objective suggestion. I don't want to bother with objective stamps of approval, and in my view my feeling trumps the objective suggestion."

    So then we'd need "One should aim to conform to the fact that one should aim to match the objective stamps of approval" and so on.

    Joe wouldn't be getting anything wrong there. He agrees that there was an objective stamp of disapproval on his action and that it's an objective fact (of whatever mysterious thing it would be an objective fact of ) that one should aim to match the objective stamps of approval/disapproval. He just doesn't care. He'd rather act as he desires. So he's not getting anything wrong, he's not incorrect about anything, he's just behaving otherwise.

    So even if there were objective moral properties, they wouldn't do any good (except for people who haven't bothered to analyze that there's no particular reason for them to conform to the objective stamps of approval/disapproval, and who just unthinkingly or out of blind obedience conform.)

    The reason this problem appears here, by the way, is that even if there are objective evaluative assessments, there are still subjective evaluative assessments, too, and any particular subject need not care about the objective assessment over their own assessment.
  • S
    9.7k
    This coming from one who is talking about the statement...

    :snicker:
    creativesoul

    Yes, I am, and that's just as obvious as that they are not, assuming they're speaking properly.
  • Mww
    658


    Objective action is somewhat redundant, I know, but I used it in juxtaposition to the subjective principle. Sorry for the complication.

    In case you already figured that out, and to answer the question, the conception of an objective principle, insofar as it is obligatory for a will, is called a command of reason, and the form of the command is called an imperative, either thought a priori and put forth in a propositional conclusion pursuant to a philosophy, or, exemplified in the world as an act pursuant to a sense of moral worth.

    All imperatives indicate the relation of a freely determinate will to its necessary consequence, but humans, being....er.....all too human, may still find a way to disregard their own imperatives.
  • Terrapin Station
    8.5k
    the conception of an objective principle, insofar as it is obligatory for a will,Mww

    How would an objective principle (ignoring for a moment how there could be objective principles) be obligatory for a will?

    I'm going to try to avoid asking questions about everything you type, but you type a lot of stuff that seems rather dubious and/or inscrutable to me like that.
  • creativesoul
    4.8k
    For those who claim that some statements can be true, but not moral ones...

    What's the difference?

    What makes the one truth-apt, but not the other?
  • Terrapin Station
    8.5k


    The difference is whether our utterances are "matching" some state of affairs or not. If they're simply expressions of dispositions, feelings, etc., it's not an issue of matching something else, or "getting it correct."
  • Mww
    658


    I don’t mind; everybody’s philosophy stands a good chance of being dubious or inscrutable to somebody.

    Morality involves either action a posteriori or reason a priori. If he chooses to act at all, one usually doesn’t act unless he already knows what the act should be. If he is to explain in general how he is to act, he must use propositions to communicate his reasoning. Such propositions take the form of synthetic subject/predicate construction, re: if this is the case then I must do that because of this. In order to conceive his “must do” he must have a principle to base it on; he cannot conceive it reasonable, and his will cannot be obliged to determine, to shoot Bill because Pam hit a patch of ice and wrecked Bobby’s Mustang, when the moral situation requiring an objective principle has to do with, say, “...it is ok for people in the world to steal, kill and maim in order to increase personal wealth...” Here, in order to satisfy conceiving the objective principle “increasing personal wealth” in general, requires reason to formulate the imperative “do whatever it takes, such as stealing” which the will has determined as necessary to satisfy the obligation to increase personal wealth pursuant to a moral disposition saying “it’s ok for people....”

    It’s philosophy, man. Ain’t nothing etched in stone, but just has to be self-consistent and non-contradictory. It’s agreeableness is nice, but not required.
  • S
    9.7k
    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.
    — S

    This coming from one who is talking about the statement...

    :snicker:
    creativesoul

    Oh. I think I just realised why you found that funny. You misinterpreted what I said. I didn't mean that talking about the statement isn't speaking properly. I meant that if someone says "It's raining" then they're obviously not talking about the statement itself. They would only be talking about the statement itself in this instance if they didn't know how to speak properly. And to interpret that as though they were speaking about the statement itself would be a blatant use-mention error. So your reply to Moliere was ill-considered.
  • S
    9.7k
    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.Banno

    Different categories: one about morality, the other about a possible state of affairs.

    Different ways of reaching a judgement: I don't appeal to my moral emotions or any emotions at all in judging whether the cat is on the mat, whereas I appeal to my moral emotions when judging morality.
  • S
    9.7k
    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

    This is a very basic misunderstanding. I think that you're out of your depth here. You haven't demonstrated a contradiction under moral relativism. You've only demonstrated that you don't understand how moral relativism works. So step one for you is to learn how moral relativism works. Once you can demonstrate that you understand the basics of moral relativism, then you can move on to the next step.
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