• Constance
    55
    I have this argument brewing in my head, and I think it works, but it begs for critical review.

    Consider: the ethical anti objectivist John Mackie's thesis (Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong) that there are no objective ethics, and he runs through R M Hare's objections, the notion that "value statements cannot be true or false" and Kant, Plato, Sedgwick, Aristotle, but I am not going through all this. His Argument from Queerness I find central, which is quite simple: ethics is just too weird to consider as objective, and here he cites G E Moore's non natural property. Mackie denies this both on epistemological grounds and well as ontological, the former focused on intuitionism, etc., the latter essentially: what in blazes would objective ethics even BE? Inconceivable.

    Mackie is wrong: To deny moral objectivism on the grounds that it is too weird implies a non weird standard already in place, and this would be, of course, empirical science. But how is it that empirical science is allowed to be the foundational basis for determining the nature of ethics? Ethics is about value, in its essence: If you want to really get the center of ethics, you have to give it its due analysis, after all, an ethical case is a thing of parts. On the one hand, there is its entanglement with the "facts" of the world. On the other, there is the metaethical, the "bad" and "good" of moral affairs. It is here, in the metaethical, that the essence of ethics has its objectivity and its reality.

    The question is, what makes the ethical shoulds and shouldn'ts what they are? Ethical goodness and badness, and we will simply call this ethical value and, are not like contingent value and judgment. A good knife is good, say, because it is sharp and cuts well, but this virtue entirely rests with the cutting, the goodness, if you will, defers to the cutting context. But change the conditions of the context and the good can easily become the opposite of good, if, e.g., the knife is to be used for a Macbeth production. Here, sharpness is the very opposite of good, for someone could get hurt. This is how contingency works, this deferring to other contextual features for goodness or badness to be determined.

    Ethical value, on the other hand, is very different, for once the context is taken away, and no contextual deference possible, there is the metavalue "presence" remaining. How so? Now we are in Moore's territory. Consider: You have a choice between the torture of one child for a hour, or the torture of a million children for, let's say an eternity (forget the foolishness of the idea). Utility clearly states the former over the latter, and even the most die hard Kantian deontologist would have to yield to the straight forward utility of this (Did Kant ever make any sense at all in ethics??). But here is the rub in this: the child torture for the one hour is in no way mitigated due to the "contextual" justification. You may have done the right thing, but the value in play is not at all effected by the conditions vis a vis the other children. In fact, there is no set of contingent conditions imaginable that undo or even mitigate the ethical value, the "badness" of the one child's torture. It is impossible to conceive of such a mitigation.

    What IS ethical badness as such? Try this thought on an empirical object, looking for the "empirical as such" and you get what I call mundane qualia, and, just ask Dennett, qualia is without meaning, or, very close to nonsense, and I think he's right on this. But, if you want to use this language, value-qualia is certainly not nonsense, for apply a lighted match to your finger for a few seconds, review the experience, and remove all contingencies, all talk that could contextualize it entirely out of the analysis, and there is the remaining "presence" of the non natural quality of value/ethical badness and goodness. It cannot be observed, but that burning finger is more than Wittgensteinian "fact" (and Wittgenstein knew this) like the fact that my shoe is untired of that the sun is a ball of fusion. Such facts are all contingent. The metaethical dimension of ethics is not. It is absolute, though, not absolute in the way it is taken up in a conceptual analysis (where analytical philosophy often goes so wrong), but in the injunction not to do something. This is critical to my position: I cannot tell you what an absolute is, for this would be beyond what language can do, not to put too fine a point on it. It only "shows" itself, in the same manner logic shows itself, but cannot reveal itself in the showing. It only reveals itself in the inherent injunction not to do (my example is negative. Doesn't have to be) something.
  • Pfhorrest
    3.9k
    :up:

    Mackie et al’s problem is in conflating “objective” with “descriptive”. Though to be fair “robust” moral realists do the same thing, so Mackie is right that their view is weird. But that says nothing against “minimal” moral “realism”, i.e. moral universalism, which doesn’t require that moral claims be descriptive and so can escape the problem into a nondescriptive cognitivism.
  • Constance
    55


    All such claims miss the point rather dramatically, which is to be expected from analytic philosophers. They hover over a problem on wings of categorial thinking (minimal moral realism??? you're kidding, right? I know you're not) having fun mingling logic and concepts, never touching the ground. Mackie and others needs to, perhaps, spend (well, he's no longer a living person) time in a Roman dungeon before he realizes that the world is, as Kierkegaard put it, qualitatively distinct from armchair theory.
  • Philosophim
    528
    I have always viewed these types of arguments as, "Too hard for me to solve, so I guess they can't be objective or real." I've seen the same "I give up" arguments against knowledge as well. My honest emotional feelings? I despise these weak and tired arguments. If you find it to be too hard to solve, admit it and give up. I respect that. If you have the utter arrogance to think that because its to hard for you, that it JUST must be the case that its unsolvable, I lose massive respect for the person.
  • khaled
    2k
    I have always viewed these types of arguments as, "Too hard for me to solve, so I guess they can't be objective or real."Philosophim

    Usually it’s not “too hard” it’s “outright impossible”. Because we can’t fix a starting point.
  • khaled
    2k
    In fact, there is no set of contingent conditions imaginable that undo or even mitigate the ethical value, the "badness" of the one child's torture.Constance

    Of course there are. Especially if they’re religious. Those can mitigate the badness of anything. But thankfully I don’t agree with any of them and I hope no one here does either.
  • Philosophim
    528
    Usually it’s not “too hard” it’s “outright impossible”. Because we can’t fix a starting point.khaled

    No, you are incapable of fixing a starting point. That's on a person's inability to do something. To claim, "I can't do it, and several other people can't do it, so its impossible" smacks of an over-evaluation of one's and other people's abilities. There is nothing wrong in saying, "I and others can't figure it out". But until it has been irrevocably proven that such things are impossible, claiming it is impossible is the equivalent of giving up while claiming, "And its because I'm really smart, but I can't do it."
  • khaled
    2k
    But until it has been irrevocably proven that such things are impossiblePhilosophim

    And when and how will this happen? What would you take as “irrevocable proof”?
  • Philosophim
    528
    And when and how will this happen? What would you take as “irrevocative proof”?khaled

    When it is logically shown that it must be the case that it is impossible. Proof by contradiction for example. There is no logical proof that such things are impossible. Just a bunch of arrogant thinkers who failed to conquer a challenge and come up with the excuse that "there's just no answer" to appease their wounded egos.
  • khaled
    2k
    When it is logically shown that it must be the case that it is impossible. Proof by contradiction for example.Philosophim

    Any application of logic requires premises. I’m saying we cannot fix moral premises. You’re saying we can. What I am saying is supported by observation that people find different things wrong. What do you say to support your position?

    But more importantly what would a “logical” proof of this even look like? How do you “logically prove” that ethical premises are not fixed? I’d say if you’re looking for empirical data, then there’s plenty to support that people see different things as wrong, so I don’t see the need for a “logical proof” here when you can clearly see, that we cannot fix these premises.

    Do you need “logical proof” that gravity works?
  • Philosophim
    528
    Any application of logic requires premises. I’m saying we cannot fix these premises. You’re saying we can. What I am saying is supported by observation that people find different things wrong. What do you say to support your position?khaled

    If you wish to have a serious discussion on this, that's fine. This, I greatly respect. If so, please state your premise clearly, then state the support of your premise. I do not want to summarize for you and put words or intentions you do not mean into your post. My statement is that there is no proof that it is impossible to create moral objectivism. If you disagree with this, supply your proof, and we will discuss.
  • khaled
    2k
    That moral premises are not fixed. There is no universal moral premises. That moral realism is bullshit. Same thing.
  • Philosophim
    528
    That moral premises are not fixed. There is no universal moral premises. That moral realism is bullshit. Same thing.khaled

    These are all statements. But none of these statements are supported by logical evidence. As an example, I can state just the opposite.

    That moral premises are fixed. There are universal moral premises. That moral realism is sound. Same thing.

    As you can see above, these are just statements. Instantly, you should be asking, "But you must give an argument or proof in support of these statements!" The request I have made is for you to prove your statements as logically sound and irrefutable. Can you do it? If you can, then I concede. If you cannot, then you understand where I'm coming from in this discussion.
  • khaled
    2k
    That moral premises are fixed. There are universal moral premises. That moral realism is sound. Same thing.Philosophim

    Ok. How do we come to figure out these fixed moral premises? Because as it stands it is very easily demonstrable that they are not self evident. Since different people consider different things right and wrong.
  • Philosophim
    528
    Ok. How do we come to access these fixed moral premises? Are there moral irrefutable commandments written on a rock somewhere or?khaled

    You misunderstand. I am not claiming evidence to these statements. They were an example for you to understand what a premise is, and that a premise needs evidence. I am asking you to explain why you have irrevocably proven that morality cannot have an objective basis. Take your premise, and present your logical argument which demonstrates why this must be true.

    How do we come to access these fixed moral premises? Are there moral irrefutable commandments written on a rock somewhere or?khaled

    These are simply questions. Not evidence, or logical thought. If you are to prove that fixed moral premises are impossible, you should have the answer to this question. As an example, think of someone stating in the 1600's, "It is impossible for humanity to figure out how to fly." There was no logical certainty or proof that humanity would never be able to fly. Only a question of, "Well if its not impossible, how do we do it?" A question that has not been answered yet is not a proven certainty that it has no answer.
  • khaled
    2k
    I assumed you were taking the opposite position so I was questioning that. What is your position then? Realist? Anti-realist? Something else?
  • Philosophim
    528
    I assumed you were taking the opposite position so I was questioning that. What is your position then?khaled

    Too long of a topic that should have its own thread so as to not derail the OPs! It is several pages long, and my attempts to post long posts here have often resulted in people who do not take it seriously. Feel free to check my post https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/9015/a-methodology-of-knowledge if you are interested in discussing an objective look at knowledge. Just do me a favor and read the entire thing before opening a discussion. People can't seem to read past part 2, even when I tell them the solution to their questions is in part 3 and 4.
  • Pfhorrest
    3.9k
    I have always viewed these types of arguments as, "Too hard for me to solve, so I guess they can't be objective or real.Philosophim

    Exactly.

    In the strictest sense, I agree that there might not be anything real or moral at all. But all we could do in that case is one of two things. We could either baselessly assume that there is nothing real or moral at all, and stop there, simply giving up any hope of ever finding out if we were wrong in that baseless assumption. Or else, instead, we could baselessly assume that there is something real and something moral – as there certainly inevitably seems to be, since even if you deny their universality some things will still look true or false to you and feel good or bad to you – and then proceed with the long hard work of figuring out what seems most likely to be real and moral, by attending closely and thoroughly to those seemings, those experiences.

    Usually it’s not “too hard” it’s “outright impossible”. Because we can’t fix a starting point.khaled

    Thinking you need a starting point is what makes it seem impossible.

    Any reason put forth in support of some opinion is itself another opinion, for which the justificationist must then, if consistent with this principle, demand yet another reason. But that in turn will be some other opinion, for which the same demand for justification must be made. And so forth ad infinitum. This can only lead to one of three outcomes:

    The most typical one is foundationalism. This abandons the principle of justification at some point by declaring some step of the regress of demands for justification to be self-evident, beyond question, without need of further support. That is transparently tantamount to dogmatism. Nevertheless, as I will soon explain, I have sympathy for the need to hold some opinions without them being rigorously supported from the ground up. I simply reject holding them to thus be unquestionable.

    Another possible outcome is coherentism. This appeals at some point to an earlier step in that regress as support for a later one, establishing a circular chain of reasons that together can then support other reasons. I am sympathetic to the coherency criterion employed here, as surely all of one's opinions must be consistent with each other, and finding inconsistencies is a good reason to rule out some opinions.

    But while that is a necessary feature, I think it is not a sufficient one: mere consistency is not enough to justify opinions in the sense demanded by justificationism, without again falling to dogmatism. For as that whole circular chain of reasons is then collectively unsupported and held as needing no further support besides itself, it is then, as a whole, tantamount to one big foundational, and therefore dogmatist, opinion.

    The last possible outcome, and the most honest application of justificationism (in that it never breaks from the demand for reasons, to hide instead in dogmatism), is infinitism. This accepts the infinite regress of demands for justification, leaving the initial opinion, any and every initial opinion looking to be supported, forever insufficiently supported. That leaves one unwarranted in holding any opinion, and so is transparently tantamount to relativism.

    Self-avowed infinitists do at least nominally hold that knowledge is still possible, and therefore conclude that it must somehow be possible to have an infinite chain of justification, even while acknowledging that it would be impossible for anyone to ever complete one in practice. While I am again sympathetic to this unending search for deeper and deeper principles to underlie our opinions, as I will soon elaborate, this infinitist position seems to me simply incoherent when framed as a form of justificationism: if you cannot ever complete the chain of justification, and you must have justification to have knowledge, then you cannot ever have knowledge.

    Most theories of knowledge are either foundationalist or coherentist, and most of those who reject both of those conclude that therefore knowledge is impossible, seeing infinitism to be as incoherent as I do. But a few philosophers, including Immanuel Kant and Karl Popper, have instead rejected the justificationist principle tacitly underlying all of those positions, and instead say, as do I, that it is not necessary to reject every opinion until you can find reasons to justify it; it is only necessary to reject an opinion if you find reasons to reject it, and it is acceptable to hold any opinion, for no reason at all, until such reasons to reject it are found.

    Like with coherentism, contradictions between different opinions are good reasons to reject some or all of them; and like with infinitism, this process of whittling away incorrect opinions is unending. But because both coherentism and infinitism tacitly accept the justificationist principle, neither of them quite adequately escapes the dilemma of either following it into relativism, or else abandoning it for dogmatism.

    When considering reasons to intend something rather than reasons to believe something, this anti-justificationism seems largely uncontroversial. Most people will accept that it is acceptable to do something simply because you want to do it, for no particular reason, so long as there is not a good reason not to do it. We don't demand that everybody stop doing anything at all until they can show that what they want to do is justified by the need to do something that is justified by the need to do something that is justified by the need to do something... ad infinitum. We instead just accept that they're free to do whatever there's no reason not to do.

    My rejection of justificationism includes that kind of freedom of intention, and to deny such freedom of intention, as in to insist that nobody does anything until it can be shown that there is a good reason to do so, would also qualify as a form cynicism in the sense that I am against here. But my rejection of cynicism also extends equally to a freedom of belief like that put forth by philosophers such as Kant and Popper. I say that it is not irrational to hold a belief or an intention simply because you are inclined to do so, for no reason; it is only irrational to continue to hold it in the face of reasons to the contrary.

    But in rejecting justificationism, I am not at all rejecting rationality, or the importance of reasons. I am still against dogmatism, as I have previously argued; against irrationally holding opinions in the face of all reasons to the contrary of them, or asserting them to others with no reasons to back them. I only hold, for the reasons I have shown, that such an anti-justificationist position is the only practicable form of rationality, the only one that leaves us with reasons from which to reason.

    Justificationism, if true, would make it impossible to ever rationally hold an opinion, instead insisting either that we hold no opinions, or else hold some core opinions to be, quite irrationally, beyond question. In rejecting justificationism, we make room to hold some opinions, still open to question, that can nevertheless serve as reasons to hold or reject other opinions.

    We do lose any hope of ever having absolute certainty in any of those opinions, as they all remain constantly open to question and revision. But justificationism never offered any hope of rational certainty anyway, only the irrational false certainty of dogmatism (or else none at all). And with justificationism out of the way we can at least begin to compare our tentatively held opinions against each other and progress towards sets of opinions that gradually make better models of both reality and morality.
  • khaled
    2k
    it is not necessary to reject every opinion until you can find reasons to justify it; it is only necessary to reject an opinion if you find reasons to reject it, and it is acceptable to hold any opinion, for no reason at all, until such reasons to reject it are found.

    Like with coherentism, contradictions between different opinions are good reasons to reject some or all of them
    Pfhorrest

    What makes a “good reason” for rejecting something? And why is it a good reason? Boom, another infinite regress/circular logic/dogma. I don’t think rejecting the justificationalist position is what’s actually being done here. All that’s being done is hiding it under one extra layer of unjustified belief (what makes a good reason for rejecting an opinion?)

    Now, instead of having to answer for why you believe in something, you have to answer for why you believe there is no good reason to reject the thing. Which is the exact same requirement. In both cases you’re asked to justify a belief, with all the problems that come with that. Just one is more roundabout.

    Justificationism, if true, would make it impossible to ever rationally hold an opinioPfhorrest

    I don’t think so. As I understand it, it would only make it impossible to insist on any opinion or other. It makes knowledge and certainty impossible. But most of us hold opinions we are not certain about anyways. It’s only the dogmatists that don’t. And even then, I don’t think it’s possible to truly believe something without question.

    I don’t think your position is any different from justificationalism, it just sounds different. It’s hiding the uncertainty behind an extra layer that makes us not think about it all the time. That’s all.

    Thinking you need a starting point is what makes it seem impossible.Pfhorrest

    I don’t think your position gets rid of the need, only obscures it.

    there is something real and something moral – as there certainly inevitably seems to be, since even if you deny their universality some things will still look true or false to you and feel good or bad to you –Pfhorrest

    Non sequitor. That it seems good for you doesn’t make it universal in any sense.
  • bert1
    610
    You may have done the right thing, but the value in play is not at all effected by the conditions vis a vis the other children. In fact, there is no set of contingent conditions imaginable that undo or even mitigate the ethical value, the "badness" of the one child's torture. It is impossible to conceive of such a mitigation.Constance

    Well, I'm not sure about that. From the perspective of someone who most of us would think is a selfish asshole, simply not being the kid in question renders their torture ethically neutral. But I'm a relativist, so I would say that. That's the contingent set of circumstances, the fact that I (i.e. selfish asshole bert1) could have been the kid, but phew!, I'm not.
  • Pfhorrest
    3.9k
    you have to answer for why you believe there is no good reason to reject the thingkhaled

    No, you don’t. That there is no good reason to reject anything is the default state of affairs. The onus is on those who want to change your mind to show that there is good reason to reject your current opinion. (“Good reason” doesn’t mean anything more than just “reason” here, the “good” isn’t doing any work, it’s just emphasizing that the reason is genuine and not a faulty non-reason in some way, which again doesn’t need to be proven, it’s the default state of affairs).

    I don’t think so. As I understand it, it would only make it impossible to insist on any opinion or other. It makes knowledge and certainty impossible. But most of us hold opinions we are not certain about anyways.

    I don’t think your position is any different from justificationalism, it just sounds different. It’s hiding the uncertainty behind an extra layer that makes us not think about it all the time. That’s all.
    khaled

    Justificationism is precisely the view that less than certainly is unacceptably and so we should be thinking about justification all the time. It’s a “put up or shut up” principle: prove your opinion or discard it. That leads inexorably to rejecting everything, or else abandoning that principle for some articles of faith.

    Being comfortable with uncertainty is the normal way of holding opinions though, because doing otherwise would logically require holding no opinions. I’m arguing against a bad philosophical standard, not against common practice.

    Back to the topic: People are commonly of the opinion that this or that is morally right or wrong. It’s justificationism to say “nothing is objectively right or wrong because you can’t prove that anything is”.

    “Show me moral certainty or reject all morality as baseless opinion” is bad philosophy: it’s just giving up, or worse, insisting that everyone else do so.
  • khaled
    2k
    That there is no good reason to reject anything is the default state of affairs.Pfhorrest

    This could be taken as a justificationalist’s dogma is my point. Which is why I don’t think your position is fundamentally different. You need to believe that there is no reason for you to reject your opinion that you’re not considering right now. Instead of just believing the opinion itself. Both come with the same issues.

    The onus is on those who want to change your mind to show that there is good reason to reject your current opinion.Pfhorrest

    You haven’t actually answered what constitutes a reason for rejecting an opinion. Is me saying “I don’t like your opinion” a good reason for you to reject your opinion?

    Back to the topic: People are commonly of the opinion that this or that is morally right or wrong. It’s justificationism to say “nothing is objectively right or wrong because you can’t prove that anything is”.

    “Show me moral certainty or reject all morality as baseless opinion” is bad philosophy: it’s just giving up, or worse, insisting that everyone else do so.
    Pfhorrest

    The first statement is not the second. I never said “reject all morality”. And it doesn’t even follow hat we should from that it’s baseless.
  • Pfhorrest
    3.9k
    This could be taken as a justificationalist’s dogma is my point.khaled

    "Could be" isn't "has to be".

    I arrived at critical rationalism (the rejection of justificationism) not via justificationist means, not by appealing to some deeper principle that entails it, but rather via critical rationalist means themselves, by finding a reason to reject justificationism and so being left with its negation the remaining possibility, adhering to that remaining possibility requiring no justification in itself.

    You need to believe that there is no reason for you to reject your opinion that you’re not considering right nowkhaled

    No, I only need to not believe that there is reason to reject it. There might be reasons to reject any of the things I believe, reasons that I'm not aware of yet. I don't have to actively believe that there are no such reasons in order to be warranted to hold those beliefs. I just need to be unaware of them. Holding a belief in the face of evidence to the contrary is irrational. Holding a belief without evidence for or against it is not. And the latter does not imply a belief that there is no evidence to the contrary, only that one is not aware of any such evidence, and so of any reason to reject a belief.

    If you committed to rejecting every belief against which there might be contrary evidence of which you are unaware, then you would be forced to reject all beliefs, forever, because absolute certainty is not possible. That is the very problem with justificationism, and a reason to reject it.

    You haven’t actually answered what constitutes a reason for rejecting an opinionkhaled

    In the first post of mine that you responded to, the bit you quoted said that logical contradiction is a reason to reject something. My argument above against justificationism implies that impracticality is a reason to reject that, which is contradiction with your goals ("to do X, don't do Y, because Y prevents X").

    Elsewhere I'd say that contradiction with phenomenal experience (of either an empirical or hedonic nature, depending on whether you're talking about descriptive truth or prescriptive goodness) is also a reason to reject (the respective kinds of) claims, but that ultimately boils down to impracticality as well (in that a notion of reality unconnected to what looks true is useless, as is a notion of morality unconnected to what feels good).

    The first statement is not the second. I never said “reject all morality”. And it doesn’t even follow hat we should from that it’s baseless.khaled

    To "reject as baseless" is a compound verb phrase, that means to deny its objectivity. It's not the simple verb "reject" and then baselessness as a reason for that.

    If you're saying there is no objective morality, you're saying that all moral claims are mere baseless opinion and so none are binding on anyone ("binding" in the sense that it'd be as wrong to deny them as they would be to deny an objectively correct claim about reality). That nothing is actually right or wrong, people just have opinions about it and none of those opinions are any better or worse than anyone else's.

    If your argument that there is no objective morality is "prove even one moral claim conclusively objectively correct", you're using justificationism to argue for moral relativism. The same thing could be turned around and used to "prove" metaphysical relativism too: "prove even one factual claim conclusively objectively correct".

    The best you can do is show that a factual claim is the most comprehensive and efficien) of the explanations thus far proposed for satisfying some aspect of the sum of all empirical experiences thus far had. And that's plenty enough for us to talk about what's objectively real or not.

    You can do just as well for moral claims, showing that something is the most comprehensive and efficient of the plans thus far proposed for satisfying some aspect of the sum of all hedonic experiences thus far had. That should likewise be plenty enough for us to talk about what's objectively moral or not.
  • khaled
    2k
    "Could be" isn't "has to be".

    I arrived at critical rationalism (the rejection of justificationism) not via justificationist means, not by appealing to some deeper principle that entails it, but rather via critical rationalist means themselves, by finding a reason to reject justificationism and so being left with its negation the remaining possibility, adhering to that remaining possibility requiring no justification in itself.
    Pfhorrest

    Sure. Just saying it is not doing much new.

    I don't have to actively believe that there are no such reasons in order to be warranted to hold those beliefs. I just need to be unaware of them.Pfhorrest

    But this results in how much you doubt each belief and at what point you decide that you have researched enough to belief something to continue to be arbitrary.

    With justificationalism, you believe something after investigating for a while and then coming up on a premise which you deem "self-evident", where that is is arbitrary (I think the other two solutions are BS). With this, you believe something after investigating for a while, and then coming up on a premise which you don't doubt, where that is is arbitrary. You are practically doing the exact same thing in both scenarios. There is no difference between what you're proposing and dogma-justificationalism.

    If you committed to rejecting every belief against which there might be...Pfhorrest

    I'm not. But I am committed to not elevating any belief to the status of being undoubtable.

    If you're saying there is no objective morality, you're saying that all moral claims are mere baseless opinion and so none are binding on anyone ("binding" in the sense that it'd be as wrong to deny them as they would be to deny an objectively correct claim about reality). That nothing is actually right or wrong, people just have opinions about it and none of those opinions are any better or worse than anyone else's.Pfhorrest

    Correct. Not sure what you mean by "better or worse" though. Obviously some are more conductive to certain goals than others. But if you mean that there is some objective metric by which to measure them then no, since we don't share these goals.

    The best you can do is show that a factual claim is the most comprehensive and efficien)Pfhorrest

    What constitutes "most comprehensive and efficient" is just as subjective as what constitutes "moral". You haven't gotten rid of the subjectivity in the least. For someone who believes that God has ordered them to wage war on a certain country, with the risk of suffering eternal damnation should they refuse to do so, the most comprehensive and practical thing to do is to become a terrorist.

    Where does objectivity come into this? As opposed to just inter-subjectivity mind you (where everyone happens to share the same starting premises)
  • Pfhorrest
    3.9k
    Just saying it is not doing much new.khaled

    compared to how real people normally think no. compared to the false standards raised for the sake of philosophical argument it is.

    There is no difference between what you're proposing and dogma-justificationalism.khaled

    there is a very important difference. the dogmatic justificationist (foundationalist) says that the premises they find self-evident constitute a reason why someone shouldn’t believe differently than they do. the critical rationalist admits of multiple unfalsified possibilites, and will say only that particular sets of possibilities have been eliminated, not which of the remaining set is definitely the right answer.

    I'm not. But I am committed to not elevating any belief to the status of being undoubtable.khaled

    Then you are not a justificationist, you are a critical rationalist. Welcome to the club, I’m not arguing against you... unless you actually are doing what you say you’re not, and don’t realize it.

    Not sure what you mean by "better or worse" though.khaled

    The same thing I mean for claims about reality, just involving a different facet of experience: hedonic rather than empirical.

    But if you mean that there is some objective metric by which to measure them then no, since we don't share these goals.khaled

    The objective just is the unbiased, so what is objectively good is what is good in an unbiased sense, in other words a shared sense. Just like what is objectively real is what (empirically) looks true and not false to everyone in every circumstance (but regardless of who does or doesn’t believe it), what is objectively moral is whatever feels good and not bad to everyone in every circumstance (but regardless of who does or doesn’t want it).

    What constitutes "most comprehensive and efficient" is just as subjective as what constitutes "moral".khaled

    I substituted that phrase for “best” be sure I thought you would cry “subjectivity!” at that. Sigh.

    Most comprehensive means actually account for all of the experiences of the type we’re trying to account for. For claims about reality, that means empirical observations (things “looking true”); for claims about morality, it’s hedonic experiences (things “feeling good”).

    Most efficient means in the way that requires the least effort. For claims about reality this means basically parsimony, simpler is easier and so better if you get the same output either way. For claims about morality this means more straightforward efficiency, like if you can do the same good with less work.

    Where does objectivity come into this? As opposed to just inter-subjectivity mind you (where everyone happens to share the same starting premises)khaled

    There is nothing more to objectivity than the limit of ever more comprehensive intersubjectivity, unless you want to appeal to things entirely beyond the realm of phenomenal experience, but there’s pragmatic reasons not to do that either.
  • Isaac
    3.6k


    Still peddling this?...

    As we've been through before "...actually account for" and "...requires the least effort" are no less subjective than the terms you started with. Unless between now and the last time we discussed this you've managed to come up with some truly unbiased measure of 'account for' or 'efficiency' - whatever they mean.
  • khaled
    2k
    compared to how real people normally think no.Pfhorrest

    That’s what I’m comparing to

    there is a very important difference. the dogmatic justificationist (foundationalist) says that the premises they find self-evident constitute a reason why someone shouldn’t believe differently than they do. the critical rationalist admits of multiple unfalsified possibilites, and will say only that particular sets of possibilities have been eliminated, not which of the remaining set is definitely the right answer.Pfhorrest

    Sure but if you’re going to suggest an objective morality then that’s more in line with the former not the latter.

    Saying “there is objective morality” while also holding that we can be wrong about it, is in absolutely no way different from saying there is no objective morality.

    Then you are not a justificationistPfhorrest

    Never said I was. I’ve been saying that critical rationalism doesn’t escape any of the problems you pointed out with justificationalism

    The same thing I mean for claims about reality, just involving a different facet of experience: hedonic rather than empirical.Pfhorrest

    what is objectively moral is whatever feels good and not bad to everyone in every circumstance (but regardless of who does or doesn’t want it).Pfhorrest

    I disagree that it has anything to do with hedonism. Punching people you disagree with feels good to everyone all the time. Yet is wrong. I don’t think it’s very difficult to come up with things that feel good but are wrong.

    There is nothing more to objectivity than the limit of ever more comprehensive intersubjectivity, unless you want to appeal to things entirely beyond the realm of phenomenal experience, but there’s pragmatic reasons not to do that either.Pfhorrest

    This makes objectivity no more than a popularity contest. Which I think is a very disingenuous way of defining it.

    And what are these “pragmatic reasons not to do that either”? If someone believes in God then it becomes very pragmatic to consider things entirely beyond the realms of phenomenal experience.
  • Isaac
    3.6k
    Theft feels good to everyone all the time. So is punching people you disagree with.khaled

    You should be wary of assuming others share your sociopathic world-view.
  • khaled
    2k
    I’ve never stolen anything. Hear it feels good though. But sure I’ll remove it.

    Do you ever plan on replying on the other thread btw?

    "...actually account for" and "...requires the least effort" are no less subjective than the terms you started with.Isaac

    We seem to agree on something for once though
  • Isaac
    3.6k
    I’ve never stolen anything. Hear it feels good though.khaled

    No, stealing where it only feels good is Kleptomania, it's a psychological illness, not a normal state of humanity. For most people it also involves remorse, guilt, anxiety, and negative empathetic feelings for the victim.

    Do you ever plan on replying on the other thread btw?khaled

    No. Figured we're just going round in circles, I've made my case.
  • khaled
    2k
    But there are countless situations where theft would overall feel good, but is still wrong. For example if you hate the victim’s guts. So what’s right and wrong doesn’t seem to have much to do with how the activity feels.
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