• S
    9.7k
    ↪Banno

    Just as forthcoming as I expected specifying the evidence.
    Terrapin Station

    Yep.
  • S
    9.7k
    It's basically the is/ought problem, isn't it? For any "is", there's always the open question of whether we ought to act this way or that in relation to it.

    I think that moral subjectivism is a superior model because, as the discussion between myself and Hanover testifies, for me, killing babies and whatnot is wrong, and I would reject any morality which says otherwise. I wouldn't just be like, oh, okay then, let's kill some babies.
  • Janus
    7k
    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?Andrew M

    I think this gives the clue. Moral principles are based on what we value, and commonly held moral principles on what is most universally valued. In that sense it is subjective because it is based on the valuations of subjects. So, if we want to live harmoniously with our fellows, we should not lie, steal, rape, murder and so on. This means that moral principles are always conditional upon that "if" that introduces what is (not necessarily universally) valued.
  • S
    9.7k
    I think this gives the clue. Moral principles are based on what we value, and commonly held moral principles on what is most universally valued. In that sense it is subjective because it is based on the valuations of subjects. So, if we want to live harmoniously with our fellows, we should not lie, steal, rape, murder and so on. This means that moral principles are always conditional upon that "if" that introduces what is (not necessarily universally) valued.Janus

    Spot on.
  • creativesoul
    4.8k
    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."Terrapin Station

    Here we go.

    Yes. Just like other true statements, a moral statement is true if it corresponds to fact/states of affairs/what has happened.

    Now...

    What part/role does meaning play?
  • creativesoul
    4.8k
    Morality(belief about acceptable/unacceptable behaviour) differs according to cultural, familial, historical, and other particulars.

    It does not follow from that that X can be both moral and immoral. It does not follow from that that "X is moral" can be both true and false, according to the particular morality in question.

    It follows that X is believed to be moral. Believing X is moral is insufficient for X being moral.

    It follows that "X is moral" can be called "true". Being called "true"(aside from being called "true" as a result of being the result of valid inference) is indicative of believing "X", and/or believing that "X" is true(assuming sincerity in speech). Being called "true" is insufficient for truth. Believing that "X" is true is insufficient for "X"'s being true.

    Moral Relativism conflates being called "true" with being so. Moral relativism conflates truth and belief.

    Next up... subjectivism...
  • creativesoul
    4.8k
    That which is existentially dependent upon human thought and belief is subjective. Everything that has ever been spoken, written, and/or otherwise uttered is subjective. All claims are subjective. If being subjective is ground for rejection...

    Well...

    Surely you get the point. Being subjective is something that all claims share. Therefore, the term itself cannot further discriminate between differing contradictory claims.

    It's useless for moral discourse.

    Special pleading will surely ensue!
  • Andrew M
    632
    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.Terrapin Station

    I pointed to it in your hypothetical when I said that Joe's action was wrong. We evaluate the hypothetical from our personal perspective. If you value life then you will also perceive that Joe's action was wrong. Whether you perceived correctly or not depends on whether life is valuable.

    That is the appropriate level of abstraction for talking about morality. See, for example, Dennett's personal stance (the fourth level of abstraction listed). And, as Dennett notes, it does not presuppose (or reduce to) the physical stance.

    I think this gives the clue. Moral principles are based on what we value, and commonly held moral principles on what is most universally valued. In that sense it is subjective because it is based on the valuations of subjects. So, if we want to live harmoniously with our fellows, we should not lie, steal, rape, murder and so on. This means that moral principles are always conditional upon that "if" that introduces what is (not necessarily universally) valued.Janus

    OK, so that leaves the question of whether something can be valuable even if it is not valued or recognized.

    The opposing answers to that distinguish moral realism from ethical subjectivism.
  • creativesoul
    4.8k
    If they're simply expressions of dispositions, feelings, etc., it's not an issue of matching something else, or "getting it correct."Terrapin Station

    Is that your disposition?
  • Terrapin Station
    8.5k
    Yes. Just like other true statements, a moral statement is true if it corresponds to fact/states of affairs/what has happened.creativesoul

    And any evidence at all of the moral properties we're corresponding to?
  • Terrapin Station
    8.5k
    Is that your disposition?creativesoul

    No. It matches what the world is like extramentally. Namely, no matter where you look, moral properties only occur in persons' heads.
  • Terrapin Station
    8.5k
    We evaluate the hypothetical from our personal perspective. If you value life then you will also perceive that Joe's action was wrong. Whether you perceived correctly or not depends on whether life is valuable.Andrew M

    Us evaluating something and us valuing something, our personal perspectives, our perceptions, etc. aren't properties of the action itself. If the moral property is a property of the action itself, it has to be in the action itself whether anyone evaluates or values anything at all.
  • S
    9.7k
    Remember step one. Don't get ahead of yourself.
  • creativesoul
    4.8k
    Yes. Just like other true statements, a moral statement is true if it corresponds to fact/states of affairs/what has happened.
    — creativesoul

    And any evidence at all of the moral properties we're corresponding to?
    Terrapin Station

    Who said anything about 'moral properties'?
  • creativesoul
    4.8k


    There are numerous variations of moral relativism, and moral subjectivism... If what I wrote doesn't apply to you, then either ignore it or expand upon my notion of subjectivism/relativism by setting out the difference between the general notion and your particular special one.
  • creativesoul
    4.8k
    Is that your disposition?
    — creativesoul

    No.
    Terrapin Station

    Really now. So you don't believe what you write?
  • S
    9.7k
    There are numerous variations of moral relativism, and moral subjectivism... If what I wrote doesn't apply to you, then either ignore it or expand upon my notion of subjectivism/relativism by setting out the difference between the general notion and your particular special one.creativesoul

    So you want me to teach you the basics of moral relativism, and show you where you're going wrong? An understandable request, but not the ideal solution for my part in this. How are you going to compensate me for my troubles?

    Let's start with what a contradiction is, and take a look at Aristotle's law of noncontradiction, which states that "One cannot say of something that it is and that it is not in the same respect and at the same time."

    Now, with moral relativism, it should be obvious to anyone with half a brain that there's a difference between wrong-relative-to-him and wrong-relative-to-me. Two different respects, not a contradiction. And moral relativism does not entail right and wrong in any sense other than this relative sense, so you cannot validly demonstrate an internal contradiction, no matter how hard you try, by attempting to smuggle in a different sense of right and wrong into your argument, hoping that no one will be astute enough to notice what you're doing. At least not while I'm observing, because you can't pull the wool over my eyes.
  • creativesoul
    4.8k


    I may not be able to pull the wool over anyone's eyes. I'm certainly not trying to. I'll grant everything you've said here.

    One cannot say of something that it is and that is is not in the same respect and at the same time.

    You are the 'one'.

    The something is a behaviour in question. Let the behaviour be called X. The respect is the moral respect.

    One cannot say that X is moral and X is not moral at the same time.

    What are you doing?
  • S
    9.7k
    One cannot say that X is moral and X is not moral at the same time.creativesoul

    Moral relativism doesn't do that. That it is moral to him clearly does not contradict that it is not moral to me. Both can be the case without contradiction.

    Your basic error is to fail to address moral relativism on its own terms.
  • creativesoul
    4.8k
    You are one. You are saying that X is moral, and X is not moral at the same time.
  • creativesoul
    4.8k
    If you said X is believed to be moral and believed to be not moral, there would not be an issue.
  • S
    9.7k
    You are one. You are saying that X is moral, and X is not moral at the same time.creativesoul

    Yes, in two different respects, or not at all. Hence there is no contradiction. The two different respects would be as I just explained.
  • creativesoul
    4.8k
    No!

    The respect of X is the moral aspect.
  • S
    9.7k
    Lol, you just don't get it, despite my explanation, which I think was very clear. Sorry I couldn't be of more assistance.
  • creativesoul
    4.8k
    Is being called "wrong" the same as being so?
  • creativesoul
    4.8k
    Is believing that X is wrong the same as X's being so?
  • S
    9.7k
    :rofl:
  • creativesoul
    4.8k
    ...there's a difference between wrong relative to him and wrong relative to me. Relativism does not entail right and wrong in any sense other than this relative sense...S

    So X's being wrong is determined solely by virtue of being contrary to one's belief.

    :yikes:

    If that were the case no one could ever be wrong, and everybody would be wrong all at the same time, in the same sense, and by the very same standard.

    Moral relativism conflates belief and truth.
  • Banno
    5.1k
    there's always the open question of whether we ought to act this way or that in relation to it.S

    You are aware that this is not the open question mentioned in the title, which is an argument against naturalist ethics presented by Moore?

    Though it worth asking.

    The Open Question argument claims to show that being good is indefinable - what he would have called a simple, but what we might be more inclined to call fundamental.
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