• Marzipanmaddox
    47
    (I'm new, just looking for a place to argue. Hopefully this will be ok.)

    Why is subjective morality respected?

    By my ken, morality is simple. It is a collective of people mutually sacrificing their natural freedoms in order to empower the collective. They all mutually refrain from doing things that are naturally within their power, and thus the society benefits.

    E.g. Murder, rape, people mutually forsake their natural ability to do these things, and society benefits. society becomes more stable, powerful and functional as a collective.

    The benefit here is the power of the collective, in that a cohesive collective of people will always overpower the individual, it will always be more capable of accomplishing things than the individual. When the individual cannot compete with the society, the individual dies out and this is why societies dominate and non-societal individuals are functionally non-existent.

    Immorality, in this sense, is the individual doing something that is contrary to this qualification. The use their natural freedom to act in a manner that harms the collective. Often times this goes against the mutually established moral code, the code of mutually sacrificed freedoms, but even if society allows for these actions, then they are still immoral so long as they reflect this condition.

    So things like smoking, obesity, etc. these are all immoral, because they harm society.

    They harm society, because the objective metric of benefit/harm I use is net yield over an indefinite period of time. All traditionally moral actions clearly increase the net yield of society over this time-frame, while immoral actions hurt this net yield. E.g. A society where murder is legal is less productive than a society where people don't murder each other... Obesity and smoking induce unnecessary expenses upon society, thus reduce net yield.

    The point I'm trying to make is, why respect subjective morality? Why respect the way somebody feels, their pain, their suffering, more than objective morality?

    If their suffering measurably increases the net yield of society, their suffering is good. If preventing their suffering reduces the net yield of society, then by my definition, alleviating their suffering is an immoral action.

    Traditional morality respected this to a very high degree, in that the suffering/death of the individual was and irrelevant when compared the well-being and success of society. E.g. If killing somebody would benefit society, then it is moral to kill that person and immoral not to kill that person.

    Subjective/empathetic morality is immoral in my eyes because it harms society and defends the individual, and beyond the argument of morality, this is contrary to civilization itself. Civilization has always been defined as protecting the collective at the expense of the individual. By protecting the individual at the expense of society, you are essentially arguing against civilization and in favor of anti-civilization.

    The subjective human experience has proven itself to be completely invalid in every hard science, and as every facet of this universe is defined by these hard sciences, human society is no exception to this rule. Knowing that there is a completely impartial, objective, and correct manner in which we could actually calculate morality that is correct, by the laws of the universe, as opposed to the opinions of humans, I see no reason to respect any subjective arguments as valid.

    If the subjective human experience was somehow a valid argument, this is never because of the feelings or suffering of that person. It is because those feelings and suffering directly translate into hard, quantifiable, and measurable outcomes that are in turn harmful to society.

    Essentially, the subjective experience of humans is only significant in so far that it actually produces hard, objective, and quantifiable results. If the hard results contradict or are at odds with the humans opinions, the human's feelings, or the human's ideals, then the subjective human arguments are outright incorrect and must be disregarded in favor of respecting the objective truth.

    The subjective human experience has never been a valid source of truth, as is seen in my common areas, where human intuition and their subjective vantage have caused them to draw false conclusions.

    A very common example would be Geocentrism, as by the human experience, it seems like the sun moves around the Earth, and people always thought this, but according to science, this is actually false.

    Hopefully this makes sense. Why use or defend a subjective metric in a universe that has proven to be entirely defined by objective metrics?

    If anything is unclear let me know, hopefully I can clarify.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    Why is subjective morality respected?Marzipanmaddox

    Because it's correct. Morality doesn't occur independent of persons. It's a way that people think about interpersonal behavior.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    the objective metric of benefit/harmMarzipanmaddox

    Independent of persons, where would we find a metric of benefit/harm? Where would we even find anything counting as benefit or harm?
  • Marzipanmaddox
    47



    Correctness by default is not subjective. That's the point I'm trying to make. If your argument is subjective, changes over time, influenced by opinion. There is not anything "correct" about it, it is just mutual consent upon a delusion.

    Look at math, something like simple addition, you can say the statement 2+2=4 is correct, because this is not subject to debate. It is correct because it is 100% valid, 100% accurate, 100% of the time. That's the standard of correctness I am defending.

    Morality is traditionally subjective, and thus it cannot be "correct" in the same sense as other hard, objective things such as science or mathematics. For any moral argument to be correct, it must be 100% accurate all of the time, 100% proven, these proofs must be 100% replicable, and this argument must be incessantly validated by the world around you. E.g. you add two groups of two, of anything, rocks, eggs, socks, you will always have 4 eggs, 4 rocks, 4 socks. This is the standard of correctness.

    For morality to be "correct" in this sense, it would need to be valid and accurate regardless of the existence of humans, independently from the context of humans. Meaning a true, correct, and legitimate standard of morality would be universal, in the same sense as addition, in that the formulas can always be used to measure actions, and calculate the quantifiable morality of any action at any given time.

    Any moral argument will be riddled with exceptions. Something like, "Killing people is immoral", there are plenty of legitimate reasons to kill people, and plenty of illegitimate reasons to kill people. The arguments that justify the moral stance that murder is bad are seldom objective, they seldom say that this is bad because the quantifiable result of murder is X units of "bad", meaning hard, objective quantity you want to use.

    I argue that morality is something that operates entirely independently from the existence of humans. That morality functions just like any other functional empirical standard within the universe, can be subjected to the same measurements, calculations, and formulations.

    Basically, morality, when you boil it down, strip away every subjective argument, and leave only the objective arguments, it becomes something similar to what I state at the beginning.

    Basically it is "The sacrifice of individual autonomy in order to benefit and empower the collective of individuals", meaning that anything qualifying under these conditions, of the individual sacrificing autonomy in a manner that benefits society, is a moral action.

    When you measure morality objectively, you are looking for a measurement, how can we measure the benefit of a moral action, and thus measure the morality of that action. The manner I argue morality should be measured is net yield to the society. So if society, as a whole, yields a measurable benefit from an action, something entirely objective like GDP, then that action is moral. The objective metric is opposed to subjective things like quality of life or happiness because these are dependent on the subjective human experience.

    As the purpose of morality, objectively, is to empower/benefit the society, the measurable aspect of morality would exclusively be defined by the influence upon society as a whole, not the influence upon any individual affected the process.

    TL;DR: Why not measure, quantify, and formulate morality in the same sense as any other hard science? To fail to do so is irrational. Science has clearly proven that this method, the scientific method is clearly the superior method, it produces far more reliable and quantifiable results than any other system.

    Everything in the universe can be quantified and measured, and that's what I'm arguing in favor of. Formalizing morality into a science, as opposed to letting it exist as a non-scientific area, functioning in a manner similar to religion that doesn't rely on any quantifiable or measurable metrics, that doesn't rely on formulaic standards to derive the correct answer.



    ~ ~ "How to quantify Morality" (IDK how to quote)

    I argue morality can be quantified, and I argue the most valid metric to measure morality is the benefit to the GDP of your society as a whole, over an indefinite period of time.

    When morality can be quantified, this means we can measure and prove that one action is more so moral than another, because we have objective and impartial calculations and measurements that validate these arguments. Why not turn morality into a hard science, as opposed to a non-scientific study?
  • Echarmion
    2k
    They harm society, because the objective metric of benefit/harm I use is net yield over an indefinite period of time.Marzipanmaddox

    What establishes this metric as objective, and how do we calculate net yield without using subjective value judgements?

    Traditional morality respected this to a very high degree, in that the suffering/death of the individual was and irrelevant when compared the well-being and success of society.Marzipanmaddox

    What are you thinking of when you say "traditional" morality?

    The subjective human experience has proven itself to be completely invalid in every hard scienceMarzipanmaddox

    Can you give an example of this?

    Essentially, the subjective experience of humans is only significant in so far that it actually produces hard, objective, and quantifiable results.Marzipanmaddox

    As before, could you give an example as to what you mean by this?

    A very common example would be Geocentrism, as by the human experience, it seems like the sun moves around the Earth, and people always thought this, but according to science, this is actually false.Marzipanmaddox

    But the reason geocentrism is false because it's an unnecessarily complex model with no predictive advantages over heliocentrism. It's still entirely fine to say "the sun rises in the east" if that's all the prediction you need.

    Correctness by default is not subjective. That's the point I'm trying to make. If your argument is subjective, changes over time, influenced by opinion. There is not anything "correct" about it, it is just mutual consent upon a delusion.Marzipanmaddox

    So, one cannot be correct about, say, the proper usage of words?

    Look at math, something like simple addition, you can say the statement 2+2=4 is correct, because this is not subject to debate. It is correct because it is 100% valid, 100% accurate, 100% of the time.Marzipanmaddox

    It's also 100% circular.
  • Magnus Anderson
    355
    There are people who are not willing to sacrifice themselves and others for the benefit of the collective. That's why they reject what you call objective morality.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    Correctness by default is not subjective.Marzipanmaddox

    First, how are you getting "Corretness is subjective" from my comment?
  • Marzipanmaddox
    47


    I numbered the reply to your comments.

    1. What establishes value? It's cash. As much as cash has a value that fluctuates, it can still be used as a metric that can be measured. Cash is effectively a substitute for everything, it is the intermediary between all things, and this is why it is a good general metric to use.

    The market value is far less of a subjective metric than sentimental value. That's all I'm trying to say. Even if it is not perfect, it is far closer to a functional measurement than pure feelings alone.

    2. Traditional morality, as in Good vs Evil, Virtue Vs Vice, the traditional morality as established by traditional religions.

    3. Subjectively, Socrates says man is made of earth, wind, fire, and water. Man is not made of fire despite the fact that he is warm, this is where humans draw a false conclusion based upon their subjective experience, and this is where we draw the conclusion "human suffering is always wrong" from. We don't like human suffering, thus we conclude it must be bad, and is always bad. This is not a particulary valid point, and it is the equivalent of "A child does not like broccoli, thus broccoli is bad for the child and an unhealthy food."

    4.

    An example of subjective vs objective yield. Four children are suffering, you have the ability to alleviate each of their suffering. Suffering causes the child not to funciton, it produces nothing. Each child always costs the same amount to keep alive, $10 a day. You are their boss/owner, they are your property.

    Child A: You stop his suffering, he becomes a valid worker, he is able to make money. He earns you $20 a day.

    Child B: You stop his suffering he becomes a semi-valid worker, he is able to make you money at a rate of $10 a day.

    Child C: You stop his suffering, he does not work. He produces no money for your society, but he does not cause any problems.

    Child D: You stop his suffering, he becomes a criminal, he does damage to your society at a rate of $10 a day. Keep in mind he does nothing when he is suffering.

    You can also kill these children.

    Here, the argument of "children should not suffer" is put into question objectively. Logically, Child A should never suffer, because you are losing potential profit when he suffers.

    Child B, while stopping his suffering does allow him to be a neutral investment. Costs $10 and Earns $10, it functionally has no different outcome than killing the child. A cost of $0 and earnings of $0. It is reasonable to save the child provided he produces children, but if he does not, there is no difference between killing the child and stopping his suffering.

    Child C, stopping his suffering accomplishes nothing. He still costs $10 to keep alive, and he accomplsihes nothing when he does not suffer. Spending energy to stop the child's suffering is 100% wasteful, because this changes nothing about the situation beyond his subjective experience.

    Child D, stopping his suffering clearly causes a problem. Your society is worse off when this child is not suffering, because he does damage to society that he could not when he was suffering. In this case, stopping this child from suffering is an immoral action, because it harms society.


    5. As for proper usage of words, you could still define that in a mathematical algoryhymic sense. A computer can speak in proper grammar, and this just indicates that it is dictated by an objective and empirical model, even if it is a complex one. There is no amount of opinion or feeling involved in speeking with correct grammar, when there is with philosophy.

    6. As for the circular aspect. I don't really know what you're trying to say. That math is "circular"? Math isn't even based upon logic, math is just a depiction and description of quantity in the world around you. If math is somehow circular logic, then the existence of quantity is equally as much so circular logic.

    Thanks for the reply. =)
  • Marzipanmaddox
    47


    Because you argue that philosophy is correct. Philosophy is entirely subjective. If philosophy is correct, that means correctness is somehow a subjective condition.
  • Marzipanmaddox
    47

    There are people who are not willing to sacrifice themselves and others for the benefit of the collective. That's why they reject what you call objective morality.

    If people reject the collective than they are not people at all. They are animals at best, and still, as even feral humans, much like many other animals, had some degree of social interaction, groups, families, packs, etc, then if somebody rejects all of these societies of mutual benefit, they cannot be considered a feral human at this point. These people rejecting a social existence are essentially rejecting their own existence, as their own existence has relied explicitly upon the collective success of the species.

    These people are degenerates, for lack of a better word, examples of devolution to have strayed so far from the baseline characteristics of what makes them human. Think of an ant trying to survive without a colony, it just dies. The species these humans are a pare of are explicitly defined by this self-sacrifice for the collective, and they have been defined in this way for thousands of years. To regress to a more primitive state is not a respectable stance at all. He may well deprive himself of opposable thumbs and thought at that point.

    Mutualistic and collective organisms are well known to the world, things such as ants and bees, and humanity has rapidly become a species that is very similar to these large-scale mutually co-dependent species.

    Essentially, is a wolf that rejects his fangs, even a wolf at all? Mutualism is the only reason human societies have been able to advance past farming, and to argue against it is to argue against civilization itself. It may seem unfair to have selflessness forced upon you, but that is truly the only option beyond being feral. If a man is to turn his nose up at selflessness, society must turn their nose up at this man. The man who condemns civilization, needs be condemned by civilization in the same respect.

    Mutualsim is the cornerstone of civilization. The pinnacle of mutualism is selflessness, identifying oneself only as a part of society, thinking only with respect to what is best for society and disregarding what is in one's own personal interest.

    The people who condemn mutualism and defend individualism must in turn be condemned by their civilization which was wrought entirely through mutualism, even if this mutualism was flawed and adulterated by self-interest.

    It's a matter of extremes. Pure individualism is feral. Pure mutualism is the pinnacle of civilization, the pinnacle of society, each person selflessly acting in the best interest of society and disregarding themselves, their pain, their suffering, their feelings, and their opinions completely. This means to stray towards one extreme is to be more feral, and this is contrary to the success of your society, as well as the success of the human race.

    Individualism can only be defended in instances where the collective is flawed or corrupt, and thus being selfless for this collective is less beneficial to society than being an individual. One can argue this will always be the case, that any collective is inherently corrupt, but even still, a corrupt collective will nearly always have more power and more capability than an individual. A corrupt civilization will often be more civilized than a feral individual, at least so long as there is selflessness and mutuality. The corruption just reduces the yield of that selflessness, it causes the selflessness to provide only 20% of the value it actually would in a purely mutualistic and entirely selfless society.
  • Echarmion
    2k
    What establishes value? It's cashMarzipanmaddox

    Cash represents value. If cash established value, there would not have been value before cash, but there clearly was. Humans establish value, and value is subjective. So you're starting with the way you subjectively value things and call it objective.

    The market value is far less of a subjective metric than sentimental value. That's all I'm trying to say. Even if it is not perfect, it is far closer to a functional measurement than pure feelings alone.Marzipanmaddox

    And just who is using pure feelings alone? Not everything even has a market value. What about environmental degradation or climate change? What is the planet worth?

    Man is not made of fire despite the fact that he is warm, this is where humans draw a false conclusion based upon their subjective experience, and this is where we draw the conclusion "human suffering is always wrong" from. We don't like human suffering, thus we conclude it must be bad, and is always bad. This is not a particulary valid point, and it is the equivalent of "A child does not like broccoli, thus broccoli is bad for the child and an unhealthy foodMarzipanmaddox

    Not all moral philosophy uses human suffering as the central metric.

    An example of subjective vs objective yield. Four children are suffering, you have the ability to alleviate each of their suffering. Suffering causes the child not to funciton, it produces nothing. Each child always costs the same amount to keep alive, $10 a day. You are their boss/owner, they are your property.Marzipanmaddox

    But there is nothing objective about reducing the value of the children to the value of their labor. What is Einstein's market value?

    As for proper usage of words, you could still define that in a mathematical algoryhymic sense. A computer can speak in proper grammar, and this just indicates that it is dictated by an objective and empirical model, even if it is a complex one. There is no amount of opinion or feeling involved in speeking with correct grammar, when there is with philosophyMarzipanmaddox

    But proper grammar and spelling are entirely based on human convention and thus, according to you, subjective and worthless.

    As for the circular aspect. I don't really know what you're trying to say. That math is "circular"? Math isn't even based upon logic, math is just a depiction and description of quantity in the world around you. If math is somehow circular logic, then the existence of quantity is equally as much so circular logic.Marzipanmaddox

    Math is decidedly not about describing quantity in the world around you, because there are no two identical apples. Math is an abstraction of such quantities that allows you to perform certain operations. I think it's a matter of some debate whether math is just a form of logic, but regardless it does not generate information by itself. Numbers are empty unless applied to some real-world scenario.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    Because you argue that philosophy is correct. Philosophy is entirely subjective. If philosophy is correct, that means correctness is somehow a subjective condition.Marzipanmaddox

    So philosophy can't make claims about (objective) facts in your view?
  • Marzipanmaddox
    47

    So philosophy can't make claims about (objective) facts in your view?

    No, it can't.

    If a philosopher says "I philosophize that rocks fall to the ground when thrown into the air", it stops being philosophy and instead just becomes a fact.

    Any time that philosophy makes any valid, impartial, and objective argument or claim about reality, at that point it stops being philosophy and becomes science. Philosophy is limited to the subjective arguments related to these things, because to have an impartial argument rooted in nothing but objective data and quantifiable formulas is no longer "subject to debate". It's subject to being tested, subject to being disproven, but it's not a debate.

    Philosophy, as I am familiar with it, is entirely subjective, it's just people's opinions about thoughts and the human experience. These people don't prove their arguments with data, with testable formulas, they defend them in a non-scientific manner.

    Something like, it is much more difficult to disagree with Newton's Laws in any valid and respectable manner than it is to disagree with somebody's philosophical argument. You can always disagree with a philosophical argument, and as there is no real standard or verity, no calculable metrics that inform you how truthful and actuate a statement is, how much more true or false a statement is, this means that validity is entirely subjective, it is entirely up to the opinion of the reader, and beyond that the opinion of the general public.

    The point being that something like science is never subjective, whereas philosophy always is. You can have a subjective, opinion based argument about hard quantifiable things, but that doesn't mean your argument is valid in the same sense as a hard, quantifiable argument about said hard, quantifiable things.
  • Marzipanmaddox
    47



    1.

    I'm not saying that value did not exist. I'm saying that value was not as clearly and objectively quantified before the existence of cash, which it wasn't. Bartering/haggling was far less standardized and far less accurate a way to represent value.

    The value of cash is determined with some degree of volatility and some degree of subjectivity, this is not particularly relevant because it is easily one of the most accessible, broadest, and most stable metrics to measure something like value.

    It may not be perfectly objective, but cash value is far more objective, far more static, and far more valid than using something like sentimental value. Even if it is imperfect, it is far closer to a perfect metric to measure value than any purely philosophical, ethical, moral, or otherwise baseless and non-quantifiable arugment.


    2.

    Everything has a calculable value, even if it does not have a market value. As for the planet, you calculate the amount of raw accessible resource, the amount of general yield per year in terms of renewable crops/resources. This is a base-value, and then a value-added per year.

    As for the cost of global warming, you can still calculate this too. You calculate the decrease in revnue, the decrease in yield that occurs when the planet is subjected to global warming.

    This is a broad undertaking, but there is nothing that exists within this universe that is not explicitly quantifiable, including the value of the planet, the cost of climate change.

    3.

    This is a fair point? So you agree that human suffering is a completely invalid metric and cannot be used to justify any argument? I reference this because human suffering, ethics, morality, and these sorts of philosophies of compassion are incredibly prevalent in Western society.

    4.

    The market value of Einstien. You can estimate this. As I said, everything in this universe is explicitly quantifiable, and even Einstein's vlaue could be estimated.

    You take the cost of keeping him alive, educating him, providing him area to work.

    His yield, as a physicist, as a genius, as somebody who has the capacity to make advancements in the field. You compare the rate at which he publishes paper, to the average value produced from an advancement in physics. You look at the percentile ranking, the quality and caliber of his papers, and how this relates to the value they produce.

    The yield, the extra value produced by this scientific discovery, when you look at the value over an indefinite period of time, becomes incredibly high, but it still exists.

    Think of the value created by things such as nuclear wepaons, nuclear energy, these sorts of valuable technological advancements that Einstein assisted in creating. You measure this value, similar to a patent, where his own discovery is "paid" a royalty within the existence of these things, as in this royalty, this % of the project that he is responsible for, this % of the value, is calculated as value that he produced. The same effect applies to influences within his field, where his discoveries influence latter discoveries.

    I'm not saying these are easy to quantify, but if something exists, it can be quantified.

    3.

    Grammar is defined subjectively, but the results it produces are quantifiable. Similar to philosophy, it is defined entirely subjectively, but it still produces quantifiable results.

    The value created by grammar is the capacity to communicate clearly, and obviously communication produces a very large amount of value. It creates the potential for value to be created, where without the existence of grammar we would not have it.

    Grammar functions despite the subjectivity because it doesn't need to be objectively optimized. Optimizing grammar and language would lead to increased yield, but it functions say at 80% capacity, earning 80% creating 80% of the potential revenue it could if it were optimized.

    Grammar, is similar to computer programming. As people are not constrained in the same ways as computers, the expense of having inefficient grammar and inefficient communication is not very high, and even still, grammar is a very efficient way to communicate despite this. Humans evolved the ability to say the most with the least amount of words, just because talking at length with an unnecessary degree of specificty is pointless.

    Computers have their own grammar and it looks nothing like huamn grammar, this is because computer programs were designed to optimize the amount of data you can fit into a certain amount of memory, and the English language is not optimizedin that respect, it is optimized with respect to clarity and efficiency of speech.


    „çÚ¹¬~uôŸíYáx÷ö¨¹ðf¾ºk+lá!O,e˜žGRkÄ~$ø'_ø{âÛŸøŽ¢¼·U}Ñ1häFVRzŽÞÄLLæqÉ¥ v®Gð7‹µo
    j>*Ótë"ÃiºDùW'·÷€îFq޹ьpA÷õ© QŠUÍ),ôÍ,imþ±©Á¦iVs^]Îá"†%,Ìsè+¯ø§ð¯Æ

    ‡ü%zÅôAâ–ßn¦6=œw‘ë_`ü$Ðt

    This is and example of what some kind of computer data looks like, and clearly humans cannot speak like that, even though this language is technically more optimized and more efficient because it takes up less space.

    4.

    As for math describing quantity. You're somehow confusing quality and attributes with quantity, these are not the same thing.

    A)Base:Object
    Type:Apple
    Color: Yellow
    Quantity: 1

    B)Base:Object
    Type: Apple
    Color: Red
    Quantity: 1

    When you add quantity, you have two apples. As for apples that are yellow, you only have one in quantity.

    It's not an abstraction, it's just that reality is more specific than pure and simple numbers.

    Even without the Apples, without any objects. Just

    A)Quantity: 1

    B)Quantity: 1

    Together, you have a quantity of two.

    Math still works perfectly. As for math creating information by itself, that's again unture. You can take pure math, existing without any relation to the real world, and then you can then in turn use this to create practical applications. The pure math still functions perfectly fine without reality, it's just that it can also be applied to reality.

    Something like trigonometry, angles. These function perfectly fine without reality. If you use pure math, you can derive something like the process of triangulation, without ever having to reference the hard, physical reality in which we live in.

    Math generates all of this information regardless of whether or not reality exists. Triangulation would still function mathematically even if reality did not exist. The thing is that we largely use reality to derive useful forms of mathematics, not that mathematics is somehow reliant upon or related to reality.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphere_packing

    Here, math can explain to you what the most space-efficient way to pack spheres is. It can do this in our reality, 3 dimensions, but it can also do this in 4,5,7,8 dimensional space.

    http://mathworld.wolfram.com/HyperspherePacking.html

    Despite the fact that we will never need to pack spheres in 8 dimensions, mathematical still functions despite the lack of reality, and it can still give you the correct answer on how to do this.

    Good comment.
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.8k
    The point I'm trying to make is, why respect subjective morality? Why respect the way somebody feels, their pain, their suffering, more than objective morality?Marzipanmaddox

    The difficulty with this apparently common-sense approach is that "objective" communicates universal applicability, and independence of individual beliefs, opinions, and so on. An objective morality would have to be universally accepted and agreed. After all, if it wasn't, it wouldn't be "objective", would it? And, to conclude, there is no universally accepted morality or moral code that I know of. I'm open to learning here: have I got this wrong?
  • Echarmion
    2k


    The problem I have with your approach to value, in general, is that value is always value to somebody. There is no "object" involved here, no cosmic table of prices. It's not objective.

    Using "market value" doesn't help, because market value is just value to market participants. An average measure of what an item is worth for an average participant. It's all inherently subjective.

    Take the value of gold. Gold is an important resource for e.g. circuits, but it's also used for investment and as ornament. It's value isn't based on any physical characteristics of the gold directly, it's based on what people think it's worth to them. Market values are interpersonal and not objective.

    That problem only gets worse when you get to goods that don't have a market. Sure you can come up with all kinds of formulas to establish hypothetical values. But that's all they are - hypothetical. They're subjective guesses on an already subjective metric.

    And at the end of the day, there is still the elephant in the room: what makes value the objective determinant of morality? "Value is quantifiable" is not a convincing argument.

    This is a fair point? So you agree that human suffering is a completely invalid metric and cannot be used to justify any argument? I reference this because human suffering, ethics, morality, and these sorts of philosophies of compassion are incredibly prevalent in Western society.Marzipanmaddox

    I am not sure I'd call them completely invalid, but I don't know think suffering is a good metric, as it leads to absurd results.

    Grammar functions despite the subjectivity because it doesn't need to be objectively optimized. Optimizing grammar and language would lead to increased yield, but it functions say at 80% capacity, earning 80% creating 80% of the potential revenue it could if it were optimized.Marzipanmaddox

    You seem to be using "optimized" and "objective" interchangeably, but I don't think they're the same thing. You can optimise e.g. information density for a given purpose, but that won't make the language more objective.

    As for math describing quantity. You're somehow confusing quality and attributes with quantity, these are not the same thing.Marzipanmaddox

    Actually that quantity is not an attribute is kinda my point. Quantity is not a physical property, it's a human abstraction.

    Math still works perfectly. As for math creating information by itself, that's again unture. You can take pure math, existing without any relation to the real world, and then you can then in turn use this to create practical applications. The pure math still functions perfectly fine without reality, it's just that it can also be applied to reality.Marzipanmaddox

    The math "works fine", but it doesn't tell you anything about reality. There are no perfect triangles or perfect spheres. To apply the math, you have to abstract reality into a model, apply the math to the model, and then interpret the results.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    No, it can't.

    If a philosopher says "I philosophize that rocks fall to the ground when thrown into the air", it stops being philosophy and instead just becomes a fact.
    Marzipanmaddox

    Sure. So what's an example of ontology that isn't making a factual claim (re objective facts) in your opinion?
  • god must be atheist
    2.9k
    The problem I have with your approach to value, in general, is that value is always value to somebody. There is no "object" involved here, no cosmic table of prices. It's not objective.Echarmion

    Mainly for @marzipanmaddox:

    A critic knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing. — Aristotle

    Price represents value, and because value is not uniformly distributed (it being a subjective quantity), the price may fluctuate.

    Sure an iPhone or a granularity-based tv is $X and $Y, respectively, and that's what it is. But second hand,the iPhone will have lost less of its price (because it loses less of its value) than the granularity-based TV set.

    A friend of mine, Victor I., used to say, "everything costs as much as someone else is willing to pay for it." And of where to hang out mostly in Toronto to pick up fares if you are a taxi driver, (Victor was), he'd say "The best spot to pick up fares is where the fares are."
  • Janus
    10.1k
    The only possible objective basis for morality, as far as we could ever determine, is the flourishing or languishing of the community.
  • Matias
    77
    Recently I had a little discussion with somebody who claimed that morality comes from within and that it is (therefore) totally subjective.

    I think that this claim is based on a misunderstanding. Just because we as citizens of a Western, liberal society can choose and adopt our moral values and rules, that does not mean that they come from within or are subjective. If they were, it would be up to any individual either to create or to sample his or her own morality, just as any DJ can create pieces of music by sampling from jazz, hip-hop, techno and even folk-music. No problem with that.

    Even if we leave aside the question whether I am really free to choose my moral values and rules, or if - as I think - that this choice is largely determined by my character, my peer-group and other influences, a moral system - unlike a piece of pop-music - has to be coherent and consistent. Just image a liberal like, say, Michelle Obama announcing that she has become a member of the NRA, and that she now holds homosexuality to be "against nature", probably even a sin. People would wonder if she is out of her mind.
    Now if morality really came from "within", it would be a result of my personal whims and predilections, and there is no reason why my whims should show any coherence or consistency (after all I can watch a splatter movie tonight and tomorrow go to a concert listening to a string quartet from Mozart).

    Therefore moral values and rules exist "out there", they are not objective like the moon, but they have a status that is beyond personal whims and predilections. I am (more or less) "free" to choose or adopt among existing moral systems (i.e. values and rules), but I am not their origin, which would be the case if they were "subjective" and that they "come from within".

    Another point liberal Westerners tend to forget: That we are able to leave the moral world of our family in order go "shopping around" in the market of existing moral systems is a privilege and an exception; it is not typical for morality as such. My guess is that if the vast majority of all people of the present or the past abandoned the moral system of their group (family, caste, class, village...) they suffered severe consequences, from being just the village weirdo, to being ostracized or even killed ("honor killings"). Those who take the moral world of the USA or Germany (as they are today!) to be representative for humankind in general must be really blinkered.

    Therefore the claim that morality is subjective is wrong, from a philosophical and from an anthropological point of view. Morality is a *social* phenomenon, even today in liberal societies.

    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
    Def. : "subjective": based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes or opinions; dependent on the mind or on an individual's perception for its existence
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    Recently I had a little discussion with somebody who claimed that morality comes from within and that it is (therefore) totally subjective.Matias

    That's my view. (Not that I'm the person you had the discussion with.)

    If they were, it would be up to any individual either to create or to sample his or her own morality, jMatias

    And indeed it is.

    a moral system - unlike a piece of pop-music - has to be coherent and consistent.Matias

    No idea where you're getting that notion from. (Assuming it even works where we're talking about utterances that do not have truth values.)

    Therefore moral values and rules exist "out there", they are not objective like the moon, but they have a status that is beyond personal whims and predilections.Matias

    What would that even mean? They're not objective like the moon, but they're not subjective either. What's the third option? (And if it's going to be "intersubjectivity," that doesn't amount to anything aside from the fact that people have subjective moral views that they can then utter objective agreement about, interact with other people with respect to, etc.)

    I am (more or less) "free" to choose or adopt among existing moral systems (i.e. values and rules),Matias

    I don't think you are, really. Just as with beliefs, we don't really choose them. That doesn't mean that we can't influence them at all--although it's not necessarily easy to influence them, but it's not like picking an ice cream flavor or something like that. You're going to believe what you do, feel what you do (about moral issues, etc.) because of dispositions you have, because of deep-rooted other beliefs and feelings you have, etc., where you didn't simply choose your dispositions.

    Another point liberal Westerners tend to forget: That we are able to leave the moral world of our family in order go "shopping around" in the market of existing moral systems is a privilege and an exception; it is not typical for morality as such. My guess is that if the vast majority of all people of the present or the past abandoned the moral system of their group (family, caste, class, village...) they suffered severe consequences, from being just the village weirdo, to being ostracized or even killed ("honor killings"). Those who take the moral world of the USA or Germany (as they are today!) to be representative for humankind in general must be really blinkered.Matias

    Here, you're confusing ways that one must behave publicly for practical purposes (to avoid being ostracized, jailed, lynched, whatever) with personal beliefs, feelings, etc.

    Morality is a *social* phenomenonMatias

    People interact with each other in many ways that are related to their moral views. That doesn't make the moral views the same as that interaction. That's putting the cart before the horse. If you don't actually feel that such and such behavior is right/wrong, permissible/impermissible, etc., then it's not a moral view that you hold (even though, for practical purposes, you might publicly act as if you do hold that view). Such feelings can't obtain socially.
  • Marzipanmaddox
    47


    here is no universally accepted morality or moral code that I know of

    You are correct in this. Just because we do not know of one, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

    Meaning, if we reduced all moral arguments to nothing but numbers, nothing but raw measurments that are completely independent from any subjective interpretation of these arguments. We would see trends and correlation that describe what part of objective reality it is that subjective morality is functionally optimizing.

    I argue that the something being optimized by traditional morality is the net yield of society, bascially how productive society is. A moral society increases much greater yields than an immoral society, and this objective benefit of greater yields is what allowed society so flourish. If morality only provided subjective yields, then a moral society would objectively be no more successful than a completely immoral society. The thing is that morality clearly produces objective gains, it produces a greater net yield over an indefinite period of time.

    By my assertion here, objective morality would just mean maximizing the net yield of society. The purpose of morality, that which legitimized morality, was the fact that morality led to increased net yields within the society. That society became more successful, and thus more powerful, thus morality comes to dominate the planet through means of overpowering and outcompeting the competition.

    This is to say, I would defend optimizing the net yield of society over an indefinite period of time, claim this argument is the trump suit of morality. So rather than have an argument about ethics, or any other subjective interpretation or morality, we can now measure an action, determine how much it increases or decreases the net yield of society, and since this fluctuation in net yield now functions as the definition of morality and immorality, this number is all you need to rely on, and can now ignore any subjective arguments.

    This does lead to atypical moral results, because suddenly murder/forced-euthanasia is now an incredibly common occurrence, just because, according to this standard of objective morality, these killings are measurably more so moral than allowing the person to live. E.g. A retired person, makes $0, costs $100 to keep alive. If you kill this person, the moral yield is $100 of good, while keeping them alive is -$100. This is morality with respect to the purpose of optimizing society and maximizing the success of society as a whole, as I would argue this is the only factor that legitimizes subjective morality, because without the objective gains provided by morality, it never would have been capable of overpowering rival social systems and thus coming to dominate the globe.
  • Marzipanmaddox
    47



    Yes, sure, money is flawed. This is a very fair point. I'm not defending money as perfect, I'm just saying that it has a higher degree of legitimacy than subjective value.

    As for measuring true value, take gold for instance. The perceived and subjective value is not really worth anything, save for the case when subjectivity becomes objective, so while the value is fallacious, it is still functionally valid because international markets "play god" and enforce this human delusion and fallacy as if it were fact. Even if it is untrue and fallacious, this is irrelevant because the fallacious value effectively functions the same way a factual value owuld in the world.

    This is the key point here. Even if value is subjective, the collective delusion, the mutually agreed upon delusion of the human race to functionally exist as if this fallacious value were actually factual is enough to validate cash value as an objective metric. Even if it truly is subjective and fallacious, it functions as an otherwise objective metric.

    Something like "A large man blocks a door way, he says "You can't go in there", you try to enter, he pushes you to the ground, every time you try." Here, it is certainly fallacious to argue that you cannot enter that doorway, because this is physically possible, but the influence of human behavior essentially makes that statement factual, even if the factuality here is artificial.

    The true value lies in circuitry and any other objecitve use of gold. To measure value you can calculate the raw capacity for work that gold has. You can say gold has this rate of capacity for current, works for this long of a time, the value of the work done by gold is on average X. While this pure value is hard to calculate, this is why the cash value is so valuable, because this while this is not true value , it is the functional value as agreed to, by the mutual delusion of people, and thus functionally factual.

    I don't have the mathematical capacity to dertimne the raw objective value of the work that is done by gold, but this, like all things in the universe, can be quantified, simply because the entire universe is finite and the interaction of all finite quantities within it is defined by a large array of equations.

    2.

    Yes, it is subjective, but a large amount of that is due to consumerism. A massive proportion of this subjective value within society can be stripped away if you strip away consumerism. When the people don't handle money, but instead only the enterprise, then the subjective value of money becomes much less subjective, the opinions of these people, in relation to Iphones or anything else, is no longe relevant because they don't have money.

    Think of an animal. A bull. People can easily quantify the value of food used to feed cows and land used to raise cows, because the cows themselves do not influence the subjective value of these things. The cost of land and food is just subtracted from the profit made from butchering the bull. The costs here function regardless of the bulls opinions of the land or the food. The same system can be applied to humans when their lives are simplified.

    The value becomes much easier to calculate when the humans have no say in the value, in the same sense that farmers will always buy the most economical food, the most economical pasture, to raise their cattle and thus reap the highest profit, the same can be done with respect to humans. Rather than a subjective investment based upon the human's opinons, it just becomes a matter of money in vs money out, money spent vs money made.

    It just becomes a matter of making the most amount of money while spending the least amount of money, over an indefinite period of time. The same system of optimization that is used in any other business. Clearly this can be applied to humans in the same respect as cattle or chickens, because cattle and chickens are animals, while humans are no less animals themselves.

    Just as there is no subjective value that arises from the cows subjective experience and opinions, there would be no question of subjective value of objects within the human society.
  • Marzipanmaddox
    47


    The only possible objective basis for morality, as far as we could ever determine, is the flourishing or languishing of the community.

    Yes, exactly this. 100% spot on. I argue the objective metric that would represent this is "net yield over an indefinite period of time. Communities with higher net yields over this timeframe are flourishing, and those with low or negative net yields are languishing. It's a matter of translating subjective or vague definitions into very specific and quantifiable representations of these same arguments.

    The argument akin to. "The bigger stick is bigger because it has more wood, the smaller stick is smaller because it has less." , when you don't define these with numerical representations, you create a subjective system where people can debate, there is no hard evidence that "yes, this stick is factually and unqeustionably longer than the other one."

    When you have measurements, you can firmly and unquestionably state that one stick is longer than the other. You can say that this stick is heavier than the other. If you ask somebody to hold two similar sticks, tell you which is longer, which is heavier, they will have trouble doing this through their own subjective ability to perceive length and value, especially when these sticks are similar in size and weight.

    When you use hard measurements, you can have a factual measurement for each of these sticks, and you can tell exactly which one is longer and exactly how much longer it is. You can tell exactly which one is heavier, and exactly how much heavier it is.

    This is the issue I have with subjective/non-quantified morality, is that it never gives you a hard, verifiable, and provable answer. It is always people shouting "My stick is longer!" , "No, my stick is longer!", it's this pointless and endless bickering that I can't defend, and this is why I argue we simply "measure the sticks", and the measurement I propose as an indicator of general morality is net yield of the society over an indefinite period of time.
  • Marzipanmaddox
    47



    You're deep into non-quantified arguments here, arguments entirely dependent upon the human conciousness, and that's not really where I have any sort of argument.

    I'm saying "If you measured the influence and impact of an action, what measurable results, indpendent from the human mind, would be present as definitive factors of moral actions"

    That, if you measured morality with nothing but numbers, what numbers would correlate with actions seen as traditionally "moral", what is this quantifiable, measurable, and objecitve benefit that is gained from actions that are traditionally viewed as moral or good.

    The objective benefit, the one that functions outside of the human conciousness, is the part that is relevant. The objective yield is what allowed morality to become a powerful and dominant force, to become the backbone of society. If there was no objective gain, then it would not have produced these incredible results. A moral society would have had no advantage in regards to power, cohesiveness, strength, or functional capacity when compared to immoral actions.

    Basically, if morality did not provide objective and quantifiable benefits, then morality would function as little more than a bauble. It would have no measurable impact on society, society would be no better or worse off with or without morality. I argue that morality benefits society, and this means there is an objective, quantifiable, impersonal, and impartial affect of morality on a human society, a benefit that they physically experience in the real world, outside of their body and mind, that then allows them to become more successful.

    I say that these hard quantifiable results of morality are the only aspects of morality that legitimize this concept. Without the objective gains, morality would be as illigitimate as homeopathic medicine or crystal healing. I would argue that morality is more so legitimate than these things, and this means the objective benefit can be quantified, in the same sense that science can do the same thing with aerodynamics to create formulas and equations that define the nature of aerodynamics.

    I argue the same can be done with morality, and when you quantify morality, you come to functional equations that can tell you, without and doubt, without any debate, which actions are more so moral than other actions. It goes beyond the question "Is this good", and it goes to "How good is this", it gives you a hard, verifiable measurement that explains exactly how good, how moral an action is.
  • Marzipanmaddox
    47



    The endless comparison of morality to money is reasonable, but you don't seem to understand the implications of this argument.

    Yes, morality, similar to money, is subjective. Despite this fact, look at the study of economics. Regardless of the subjective nature of the value of money, economics can still, always, reliably attempt to maximize the economic nature of a function, it maximizes how profitable and successful and business or enterprise can be, it maximizes how stable and functional the economy of a country can be.

    Yes, morality is similar to money, this means, by default, there needs to be a science that is the equivalent of economics for morality. Moral economics would effectively allow us to calculate and formalize morality, allow it to function in a way identical to economics, that reliably and beneficially potentiates our ability to maximize the economy of our actions, maximize how profitable and prone to success our decisions are. With moral economics, we could use "moral dollars" to weigh out exactly how moral one action is compared to another, just like how economics can understand the value of one commodity when compared to another, depsite the fact that these values fluctuate.

    We don't have a science of moral economics, and this is what I am arguing in favor of. Despite the subjective nature of both morality and money, money has produced the social science of economics, and there is no reason that morality itself should not have a comparably potent and potentiating science that allows society to understand morality on a quantifiable and measurable level, beyond the level of sheer opinions and feelings.

    As for the subjective nature of morality, I will explain my understanding of it.

    Morality, draws upon instinct, it draws upon psychological responses to external (and internal) stimulus. Morality essentially reflects this instinct of survivial, the instinct of survival causes us to feel a certain way about things, causes us to feel empathy, compassion, sympathy, anger, rage, etc because these feelings were essential for our survival in the wild. They were essential at least to the point where they potentiated the survival of the humans who experienced these feelings to the point where those who did not failed to compete with those who did.

    Morality is rooted in this "spider sense", this instinctive ability to feel a certain way in a certain situation, without really having to truly understand or quantify what is being done. This instinct is what allowed for animals to function and survive in groups, and these groups of people formed societies, and the societies were always able to overpower the individual due to sheer size and force.

    This animal instinct was perfectly valid in the wild, and clearly it was able to empower the humans to a point where all humans have these feelings. As there are nearly 0 people without any degree of emotional capacity, this indicates that the people, and even our animal ancestors, with these instinctive beneficial feelings that increased the probability of functional social cohesion eradicated those who didn't.

    That being said, we must understand that the basis of morality, the original seed from which the tree of morality grows, is that of instinctive hallucination which potentiates our suvival in the wild. The system of beneficial psychological hallucinations that allowed us to become successful in the wild clearly is not going to be optimized or designed to function in this domesticated environment which is clearly very different from the wild.

    Think of a tiger. The tiger's stripes allow it to blend in in the wild, to give it camoflauge. The orange helps it blend in with the setting sun. You take the tiger out of the jungle, and all of a sudden these natural advantages, which evolved over millions of years, that allow the tiger to thrive and dominate, suddenly become disadvantages.

    If you put a tiger into a city, clearly it's big orange coat is going to make it a clear target for any potential predators. Something that naturally evolved, to empower the tiger and propel it to natural greatness is now a clear disadvantage.

    Something similar really happened with moths.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peppered_moth_evolution

    These naturally evolved to be black and white spotted to blend in with tree bark. When the industrial revolution occured, this natural evolution was now a disadvantage, because the trees and other things were all coated with soot, they were much darker, and the natural camoflauge became a disadvantage in an unnatural society. This allowed the black colored moths to thrive, despite otherwise being incredibly rare to the point of being unheard of, because they thrived in the unnatural environment where their naturally less beneficial camoflauge suddenly became an advantage.

    Basically, the psychological tools, the instincts, that evolved within humans to ensure their surival in the wild are not adapted for life in an unnatural environment. You're trying to open a word document with notepad, and clearly when you do this, you will get an error, you will get nonsense in return.

    This psychological evolution of empathy, of mutual psychological hallucinations to increase the liklihood of our own survival by means of increasing the survival of the collective, is the basis of morality, it is where we draw our sense of right and wrong, why we hate needless violence and why we enjoy compassion. These sorts of emotional reactions gave us a powerful advantage in the wild.

    The issue is that we are no longer in the wild, but our minds, our instinct, still functions like we do.

    When the tools we have can no longer do the job we need them to, when our world has changed so profoundly from the time when we were wild animals, this means we should no longer try to rely upon these anceint tools, but instead modernize them, in the same sense that we have done with every other aspect of ancient human soicety. The weel has come a long way, a very long way since ancient times.

    Morality needs to experience this same progression of improvement and optimization through the scientific method. One may say morality has been improved since ancient times by philosophy, but philosophy is pre-science, it does not use the scientific method to prove it's points, and to use this system rather than the scientific method to determine what is good and what is bad is truly no different than trying to use alchemy to create medicine or cause chemical reactions, rather than actually using tested and proved chemistry that has been thoroughly studied via the scientific method.


    I'm not a communist. I'm just a realist. Nothing about this is utopian, it's just realistic and objective. I would argue that philosophy and morality are far more utopian, thus fallacious, thus delusional, than my own arguments. That is unless one means to say that philosophy is truly a dystopian art form.
  • Janus
    10.1k
    I think we're on the same page in some ways, although it seems I am much less convinced than you as to the definitive measurability of flourishing and languishing. Having said that, I think any suitably observant and intelligent and person with sufficient familiarity with two communities could fairly gauge which of the two showed the greater degree of flourishing.

    We could examine statistics; say which of two communities had the greater number of thefts, aasaults, rapes, murders and so on; but all that would show is which of the two had the stronger "moral fibre". (And this could also be skewed by one community having more effective law enforcement). We would still need to gauge the flourishing of the community, and I don't think that could be done in purely economic terms, because too many other factors might come into play, and wealth is not necessarily commensurate with happiness.

    So, I am not sure what we could precisely measure to determine flourishing. But, to repeat, I do think any suitably observant and intelligent person familiar enough with two communities under consideration could gauge it well enough. This would still be a small sample size though and would have to be repeated with many communities to validate it, insofar as a subjective assessment of flourishing could be said to be objectively validated. The best way to achieve this would be to have many observers and see if their assessments correlated I guess.

    Who will fund the study I wonder?
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.8k
    ...if we reduced all moral arguments to nothing but numbers, nothing but raw measurements that are completely independent from any subjective interpretation of these arguments...Marzipanmaddox

    I'm not sure that's possible. Because I'm not sure that moral arguments have components that are capable of being reduced to numbers and/or raw measurements. Moral arguments comprise complex, interconnected, abstract concepts; these do not easily reduce in the way you suggest. :chin:
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    You are correct in this. Just because we do not know of one, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.Marzipanmaddox

    Universal acceptance isn't objective at any rate.

    By the way, I'm still waiting for you to give an example of ontology that isn't making a factual claim (re objective facts) in your opinion.
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