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  1. #61
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    Re: Objective morality vs. subjective morality

    Quote Originally Posted by DIO
    Meh, nevermind, bro. I think I've said all I'm willing to say at this point. Thanks for taking the time to reply.
    Sorry to disappoint, I appreciate your input and guidance in the thread it has been a breath of fresh air.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

  2. #62
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    Re: Objective morality vs. subjective morality

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    I was mostly trying to illustrate a distinction that’s recognized in moral philosophy, but maybe charity is a bad example. Suppose you catch a baseball at a game, but instead of keeping it, you decide to give it to the special needs child near you in a wheelchair. In that case, it was certainly a good thing to do, but you weren’t obliged by any compelling, overriding reasons to do so – fact is, you could have kept the ball, and there’s no good reason to say that you ought not have done so. Sure, your feelings of personal obligation drove you to do it, but that feeling of obligation is arguably different than the obligation you have to, say, interfere with a rape in-progress.
    I'd say it's just a matter of degrees. If my morals say that I should be kind to children and also prevent others from being victimized, I would be morally obliged to take both of your hypothetical actions and I certainly would prioritize preventing the rape over giving the kid a ball but again, it's just a matter of degrees - one of them is a much more serious situation.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Whether you’re an objectivist or a subjectivist, you’re still simply picking a spot that you think is the right one to give you what you need to call it “moral”. With theistic objectivists, it tends to be divine command. With subjectivists, it tends to be reasons like the harm principle, principles of charity, principles of ethics, etc. But in any case, everyone picks a place that satisfies them. Objectivists pick a theoretical place where there lies an immutable, perfect, metaphysical standard that they can point to and say “There’s moral objectivity.” Subjectivists point to tangible reasons, that are useful for rational discussion, but that are nonetheless extremely vulnerable to varying opinion.

    Eventually everyone just has to pick a spot and find a way to be satisfied with it.
    But that assumes that objective moralist are blind to "true" morality and have to figure it out for themselves in the same fashion that subjectivists do. That's not necessarily the case. I recognize your argument that it appears that objectivists do not necessarily lead more moral lives than subjectivists and don't challenge it. But one can argue that EVERYONE'S moral character is ingrained by their "creator" and the reason we generally do not want to commit horrendous acts is because of the morality God has instilled us with whether we recognize the source or not. If this is true and one realizes that it is true, then their moral actions are based on a recognized objective source and they are picking an accurate spot, not just picking one that works for them.

    ---------- Post added at 11:28 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:14 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    People do all kinds of things and they all have reasons. In my opinion without God, "reasons" simply don't matter, because opposing ones can equally validly be held.
    Right, but as you said, it's your opinion. You are free to set the bar of "valid" reasons at ones that are based on God's morality but there's no particular reason that anyone else must adopt that bar.

    If someone else says that in their opinion the harm principle is the most valid basis for determining morality, I don't see why someone can't choose that basis for "valid" instead of the one you are forwarding.

    If we are in discussion mode, that's fine. You are telling us what you are thinking on the matter.

    And one problem that I think comes from your perspective as opposed to the "harm principle" is that the harm principle, if applied, will probably result in a more consistent benefit to people. What I mean is if we agree that morality comes from God, how do we determine what the correct moral actions are from that? Do we just open the bible and take everything literally? If not, how do we interpret it? Why not use a different religious text? How do we know the bible (or some other text) is an accurate indicator of God's moral edicts?

    Assuming we agree on which actions are moral and immoral, applying the harm principle (actually, the golden rule is very good also) should result in good moral actions instead of trying decipher God's moral wants from an objective source. Really, I'm more inclined to think that the harm principle and the golden rule are a better source of figuring out how God wants us to behave than what one can glean from religion.

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  4. #63
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    Re: Objective morality vs. subjective morality

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    Right, but as you said, it's your opinion. You are free to set the bar of "valid" reasons at ones that are based on God's morality but there's no particular reason that anyone else must adopt that bar.
    Well, isn't that the exact problem I have been pointing out?
    The context of my answer is apart from God.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    If someone else says that in their opinion the harm principle is the most valid basis for determining morality, I don't see why someone can't choose that basis for "valid" instead of the one you are forwarding.
    Indeed neither do I. Hence my objections.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    If we are in discussion mode, that's fine. You are telling us what you are thinking on the matter.

    And one problem that I think comes from your perspective as opposed to the "harm principle" is that the harm principle, if applied, will probably result in a more consistent benefit to people. What I mean is if we agree that morality comes from God, how do we determine what the correct moral actions are from that? Do we just open the bible and take everything literally? If not, how do we interpret it? Why not use a different religious text? How do we know the bible (or some other text) is an accurate indicator of God's moral edicts?
    I wouldn't argue from those things, I mean it can be.
    The point I would make here is at least the ballpark that the ball is being hit around is one where it can actually be right.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    Assuming we agree on which actions are moral and immoral, applying the harm principle (actually, the golden rule is very good also) should result in good moral actions instead of trying decipher God's moral wants from an objective source. Really, I'm more inclined to think that the harm principle and the golden rule are a better source of figuring out how God wants us to behave than what one can glean from religion.
    My position (not forwarded here) is that those objective moral values are written by God onto our hearts.
    That just like God gave us physical eyes to see, he gave us a moral sense so that we can possibly know the objective moral laws.
    Hence why the standard of judgment biblicaly, is the standard by which you judge everyone else. There is no possibly more fair measure.

    So for me, the reason we agree is because we are both objectively right, not because we just so happen to share an opinion.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

  5. #64
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    Re: Objective morality vs. subjective morality

    Quote Originally Posted by MT View Post
    1-"if moral obligations exist or not, objective truths about morality exist". (Moral facts)
    More confusing wording. And again, why is this even necessary? You really need to start expressing this one more clearly if you insist on using it. I suggest "Whether objective moral laws exist is a fact about morals."
    Quote Originally Posted by MT View Post
    2- if moral duties don't exist (and I would add moral values as Dio pointed out), then the objective fact would be that all actions are inherently amoral.
    Surely, you mean "if objective moral duties don't exist", and not simply any kind of moral duties? Any moral system can espouse moral duties without needing to appeal to an objective moral source. It again seems like you're defining "moral duties" as those derived from your objective source. You should take more care in the language you use if that isn't the case.
    Quote Originally Posted by MT View Post
    6. MT: "I am simply answered your question and giving an example of what those facts look like."
    Ok, so you're not saying that the objective moral law of not raping for fun actually exists, but that if objective moral laws existed, this is an example of what one would be. However, the question still remains: How did you determine that to be an objective moral law (regardless, for now, of whether those actually do exist)?
    Quote Originally Posted by MT View Post
    The former. I don't think I have to support the existance of God or the source of objective moral laws, or the existance of any specific moral obligation because while it is a position I hold, here I am forwarding that objective facts about morality exist and regardless of what they are the contradict the relativist position.
    But you've already granted that the "facts about morality" = "objective morals laws exist or they don't". I don't get how you can get from "it is a fact about morality that there may or may not be objective moral laws", to "therefore, the relativist position is contradicted". The fact about morality could very well be that objective moral laws don't exist, so how would that contradict relativism? Or are you using "facts about morality" to mean specific objective moral laws and are arguing that those do exist?
    Quote Originally Posted by MT View Post
    The ultimate or possible source is not necissary. (don't have to explain the explination).
    If your explanation has no explanatory power, then you do need to explain it.
    Quote Originally Posted by MT View Post
    Second, I am saying that the consequicence of the nonexistance of objective moral laws, is that we are still left with objecitive moral truths that contradict subjective morality in all it's forms.
    Again, if objective moral laws don't exist, the "fact about morality" (what you're calling here the "objective moral truths") is that those objective moral laws don't exist. How does the fact that objective moral laws don't exist contradict subjective morality?
    Quote Originally Posted by MT View Post
    See above, this is outside my argument line. IMO.
    No, you have repeatedly claimed that if objective moral laws don't exist, then we have no way of getting to an "ought". So under what you're arguing, objective moral laws must exist, since that is the only way we can arrive at an "ought". But you have not actually supported how that "ought" is arrived at.
    Quote Originally Posted by MT View Post
    I vote for the system where everyone is obligated to give me money.
    I really don't get why you try so hard to avoid so many questions. It makes you seem disingenuous, and isn't helping the discussion at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by MT View Post
    Yes, the objecitve moral truth that conflicts with the subjective statements in all forms.
    Again, how does the fact of whether objective moral laws exist conflict with subjective statements? The fact could very well be that there are no objective moral laws, and all the while we're still operating under our current secular moral systems, and there would be no conflict. Or are you using "objective moral truth" to mean specific objective moral law?
    Quote Originally Posted by MT View Post
    If you want to say the best thing we can do is pretend together to be shinny happy people, then fine. But it s still pretend, and is in conflict with reality.
    You need to stop committing the straw man fallacy whenever you represent moral systems which are not inline with whatever you believe about morality (what is that, btw?)

  6. #65
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    Re: Objective morality vs. subjective morality

    Quote Originally Posted by FUTURE
    More confusing wording. And again, why is this even necessary? You really need to start expressing this one more clearly if you insist on using it. I suggest "Whether objective moral laws exist is a fact about morals."
    A bit nit picky here, but I'll try to adopt that language.

    Quote Originally Posted by FUTURE
    Surely, you mean "if objective moral duties don't exist", and not simply any kind of moral duties? Any moral system can espouse moral duties without needing to appeal to an objective moral source. It again seems like you're defining "moral duties" as those derived from your objective source. You should take more care in the language you use if that isn't the case.
    Yes correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by FUTURE
    Ok, so you're not saying that the objective moral law of not raping for fun actually exists, but that if objective moral laws existed, this is an example of what one would be. However, the question still remains: How did you determine that to be an objective moral law (regardless, for now, of whether those actually do exist)?
    Yes it remains, but it is not really relevant to my point.

    Quote Originally Posted by FUTURE
    But you've already granted that the "facts about morality" = "objective morals laws exist or they don't". I don't get how you can get from "it is a fact about morality that there may or may not be objective moral laws", to "therefore, the relativist position is contradicted". The fact about morality could very well be that objective moral laws don't exist, so how would that contradict relativism? Or are you using "facts about morality" to mean specific objective moral laws and are arguing that those do exist?
    No objetive facts about morality is a referance to the inherent properties of things and actions.

    A thing can be inherently good, bad or neutral. If there are no objective moral laws, then all things are objectivly neutral.
    So any subjective projection onto actions is by definition in contradiction to the reality of that thing.

    I have used the idea of projecting(here meaning a mental projection, not like a movie projector) color onto a objectivly colorless object.
    And several other examples.

    Quote Originally Posted by FUTURE
    If your explanation has no explanatory power, then you do need to explain it.
    I don't see how that objection has been show to have any relevance.
    Because I have not named a source, such as God, for any objective moral laws, which I have also not forwarded actually exist.
    I have focused my responses on the possible objective truths about the inherent moral nature of actions, and how that inherently contradicts the subjective position.

    Quote Originally Posted by FUTURE
    Again, if objective moral laws don't exist, the "fact about morality" (what you're calling here the "objective moral truths") is that those objective moral laws don't exist. How does the fact that objective moral laws don't exist contradict subjective morality?
    Because an objective moral law would say "such and such is bad" or "One ought to do X".
    If those objective laws don't actually exist, then it is an objective fact that all such statements are false, as they do not reflect reality.


    Quote Originally Posted by FUTURE
    No, you have repeatedly claimed that if objective moral laws don't exist, then we have no way of getting to an "ought". So under what you're arguing, objective moral laws must exist, since that is the only way we can arrive at an "ought". But you have not actually supported how that "ought" is arrived at.
    Yea, because it is outside of my argument.

    I mean, suppose I was able to show that God must exist and is necissary. That may not show who he is, what he wants or if he even interacts with our
    Likewise, if I were to show that objective moral laws exist, that wouldn't necissarily show that we know what it is, or have access to them.

    Here, I am only arguing that we MUST seek objective moral laws, or else abandon any real concept of morality beyond common delusion.
    If objective moral laws don't exist, then we are stuck only with the delusion. So my objection to the relavitist is to not decive themselves into thinking they are espousing anything more than that.

    Quote Originally Posted by FUTURE
    I really don't get why you try so hard to avoid so many questions. It makes you seem disingenuous, and isn't helping the discussion at all.
    You said this
    Quote Originally Posted by FUTURE
    There very well may not be any objective morals which we could obtain from some nebulous place outside our reality, we just don't know. The bottom line, however, is that we are stuck together on this planet, and we're also stuck dealing with reality on reality's terms. The question we must then answer is "How do we go about finding the best way to co-exist on this planet?"
    So the question isn't really directed at me, and I disagree with the validity of the premise. Co-existance is in no way some inherent goal that we must all persue.

    So I answered with an answer that should make you re-think your assumptions because the answer is just as valid as any other answer.
    Namely, if you are asking me what I think is the best way, you are going to find that some answer that in a selfish manner.
    How does your position invalidate that?

    Quote Originally Posted by FUTURE
    Again, how does the fact of whether objective moral laws exist conflict with subjective statements? The fact could very well be that there are no objective moral laws, and all the while we're still operating under our current secular moral systems, and there would be no conflict. Or are you using "objective moral truth" to mean specific objective moral law?
    Re- what I said about objective truths about morality. Consider that idea, and let me know if or how it is unclear.
    Then consider what you mean by "subjective" morality and exactly what it is (in an objective sense).

    For example, what is the speed limit of the universe? (the speed of light).. apparenlty. It is a real objective law.
    Now consider what the speed limit is down your street. You may have a sign that says "25mph". In what way is that a real limit?
    Because it is a gov sign? What about the ones where kids have added a zero? What is the difference between those two signs?

    This is what is objectivly going on. The real objective speed limit is the speed of light, and you have decided to pretend along with the gov that it is actually 25mph.
    You don't pretend with the kids that it is 250 for fear of threat of force. If you don't care about any of them, then you do whatever you like (IE your dire tells you).

    Quote Originally Posted by FUTURE
    You need to stop committing the straw man fallacy whenever you represent moral systems which are not inline with whatever you believe about morality (what is that, btw?)
    I am not trying to represent what your argument is. I am trying to explain what your argument actually means and translate it into reality.
    Examine the above and tell me how I am wrong or mistaken about the factual observations.
    Is your set of morality really any different than the legal laws on the speed limit? Do you have any superior means than brute force and intimidation to make it "real" and "applicable" to others?


    This is where the Is/ought fallacy bites the subjectivist in the ass.

    Quote Originally Posted by WIKI
    The apparent gap between "is" statements and "ought" statements, when combined with Hume's fork, renders "ought" statements of dubious validity. Hume's fork is the idea that all items of knowledge are either based on logic and definitions, or else on observation. If the is–ought problem holds, then "ought" statements do not seem to be known in either of these two ways, and it would seem that there can be no moral knowledge. Moral skepticism and non-cognitivism work with such conclusions.

    Critics of religion have argued that the is–ought distinction threatens the validity of secular ethics, by, in the critics' view, rendering secular ethical systems subjective and arbitrary.[4]

    ---
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    (what is that, btw?)
    My position is that just as there are physical laws that govern the universe, there are moral laws that govern how we ought to act. We have access to these laws, just as we have access to reason and light(senses). We have been designed by our creator to perceive and conceive of these laws, and we are ,like him, moral creatures and agents.

    So, in order to even be a moral agent, acting in accordance to moral obligations. Those obligations must actually exist outside of the mind (also referred to as imagination), and we must have access to them.

    So if one would disagree that rape and murder for fun is morally wrong, they are broken and wrong, morally handicapped.

    (don't be tempted to divert to discussing that).
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

  7. #66
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    Re: Objective morality vs. subjective morality

    This is not really aimed at you mican, I'm just re-reading the thread and your the one to most directly address my argument.
    This is a recap of the state of the thread in relation to my arguments.

    To re-cap

    Quote Originally Posted by MT ORIGINAL ARGUMENT POST #2
    Argument A
    1) There are Objective Moral Truths.
    2) That moral truth is iether that there are objective moral laws, or that there are no objective moral laws.
    3) If there are no Objective moral laws, Then it is an objective truth that there is no moral right and wrong, no moral duty and all actions humans can take are objectively morally neutral.

    -Mican's rebutal
    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    I agree up until the very last thing you said. "Morally neutral" indicates that something falls in the middle of a scale as opposed to the scale not existing. So I disagree that without objective morality all human actions are objectively morally neutral. If there is no objective morality, then nothing is objective morally anything (good, bad, or neutral).
    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN post 16
    So if an action has absolutely no being to consider whether what happened is right or wrong, then morality never entered into the equation. "Morally neutral" means that someone considered the morality of something and then determined that the action does not qualify as good or bad. But if no one considered the morality, then it's not morally good, morally bad, or morally neutral.
    -MT's response
    Quote Originally Posted by MT post 8
    Neutral just means that it has no value good or bad.
    Any object or actor that is not a moral actor is considered morally neutral.
    Such things by definition have no bearing on morality.
    Quote Originally Posted by MT POST 14
    "Morality" is moral laws defining what is good and bad.
    To say that there is no morality is to say that there is no moral law, duty's or obligations.

    That statement by it's definition renders everything objectivly morally neutral.
    You can not define away objective reality because reality is objective. If things do not have inherent objecive value, there are ramifications to that, and the first is that they are neutral or zero valued.


    Question to opponent. Which point is the more reasonable/valid.

    Is it the case that in an objective sense, if moral laws don't exist, then things are neutral?
    or
    Is it that when we reject objective moral laws, we are also rejecting the possibility of moral neutrality?

    *note*
    Dio pointed out that this term is not morally neutral, but amoral. POST 17
    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/amoral



    -------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by MT ORIGINAL ARGUMENT POST #2
    Argument B
    The idea of "subjective morality" is not "morality" at all. Because it does not negate or over-ride the objective moral truth of all neutral. It is really an appeal to personal taste, likes and dislikes, and conflates ideas, mucking up the language.
    The supposing it were a fact fact that most people, or even all people personally disliking action X, that fact does not negate the objective truth that there is an objective neutral value on all actions.
    Here the clarification needs to be made that if no actual duty is created, then it isn't a moral system.
    This is where the definitions become vague as to if they are speaking of external reality, or brain states and imaginations.

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/moral
    Quote Originally Posted by LINK
    a : of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior : ethical moral judgmentsb : expressing or teaching a conception of right behavior a moral poemc : conforming to a standard of right behavior took a moral position on the issue though it cost him the nominationd : sanctioned by or operative on one's conscience or ethical judgment a moral obligatione : capable of right and wrong action a moral agent
    Take for example the first "of or relating to the principles of right and wrong.."
    Are those principles objective or subjective? If subjective, then all systems are "moral" systems and all actions can objectively be said to be moral as long as it lines up with any brain state. (again reality matters)

    That isn't helpful and is simply a truism and can be rejected on a whim.

    If however it is referring to an objective moral value, that rape for fun has the inherent quality of "wrong" or "neutral" (depending on if objective moral laws exist). Then we can make some sense of things and we can know that the subjective position is objectively false.

    As long as some objective fact exists, the idea of subjective morality is false, and none of the systems are actually "moral" systems and they are miss named.

    So there is a problem in the definitions themselves as it fails to make a philosophically important distinction. That is the one between actuality and imagination.


    http://www.dictionary.com/browse/subjective
    Quote Originally Posted by LINK
    1.
    existing in the mind; belonging to the thinking subject rather than to the object of thought
    So by definition, subjective morality is about the brain and not morality itself.
    Hence, my claim that it isn't really morality at all.


    -Response
    The only one I can see is the observation of society and how it operates.
    is/ought fallacy



    ---------------------------------------
    Conclusion.

    I don't think I have seen an argument that has gotten around the is/ought fallacy. Going beyond observation of what is ,be it in the brain or in the world, and creating an obligation for another person in external reality. No argument has been made as to why your brain state obligates me to anything or vise versa. And no one has tackled the interaction of projecting values where none exist in nature.



    Parting notes, if any part of the above arguments is unclear then I will be happy to answer direct questions. I appreciate all your input and responses. And leave you all to the last word, except for direct questions.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

  8. #67
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    Re: Objective morality vs. subjective morality

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Take for example the first "of or relating to the principles of right and wrong.."
    Are those principles objective or subjective? If subjective, then all systems are "moral" systems and all actions can objectively be said to be moral as long as it lines up with any brain state.
    I don't see how. If a system doesn't concern itself with right and wrong, then it's not a moral system regardless of whether it lines up with a brain state.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    That isn't helpful and is simply a truism and can be rejected on a whim.

    If however it is referring to an objective moral value, that rape for fun has the inherent quality of "wrong" or "neutral" (depending on if objective moral laws exist). Then we can make some sense of things and we can know that the subjective position is objectively false.

    As long as some objective fact exists, the idea of subjective morality is false, and none of the systems are actually "moral" systems and they are miss named.
    I don't see how you get there. I agree that if objective morality is true, then objective morality is false. But that does not mean that if objective reality is true, then subjective morality is false. If objective morality does not exist, then the objective reality is that morality is subjective.

    If morality is created in the human mind, it's still a system that relates to right and wrong and therefore is, by definition, a moral system.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    So by definition, subjective morality is about the brain and not morality itself.
    Hence, my claim that it isn't really morality at all.
    I don't see anything in the definition of "moral" that says that it's not about the brain or from the brain.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I don't think I have seen an argument that has gotten around the is/ought fallacy. Going beyond observation of what is ,be it in the brain or in the world, and creating an obligation for another person in external reality. No argument has been made as to why your brain state obligates me to anything or vise versa. And no one has tackled the interaction of projecting values where none exist in nature.
    This sounds like a straw-man argument. I never argued that my brain state obligates you to do anything nor is that an intrinsic part of subjective morality. If morality is subjective, the only person my personal morality obligates to do something is ME. I never argued that it obligates someone else nor does it need to obligate someone else before it fits the definition of "morality". If I think something is wrong, then I obligate myself to not do it.

    Likewise I think your notion that my argument engages in the is/ought fallacy is based on a straw man. I'm not sure if that's the case because I'm not sure how you are reaching the conclusion of Is/Ought is being employed.

    What have I said or is the inescapable of my outcome that says that something is moral just because it already is.

    ---------- Post added at 10:39 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:19 PM ----------

    ========================================

    NOTE: In this section, I'm being more conversational and not really challenging points.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I wouldn't argue from those things, I mean it can be.
    The point I would make here is at least the ballpark that the ball is being hit around is one where it can actually be right.
    Right as in more likely to behave in a way that is consistent with objective morality (as in God's rules)? I don't think that a belief in objective morality really does make much of a difference. If an objective moralist and a subjective morality behave in the exact same way (do the same amount of good and bad), then the objective moralists belief in objective morality didn't really make a difference in him being right (as in obeying God's morals).

    There is no evidence that objective moralists (those who believe that their moral positions are objectively correct) behave better than subjective moralists. In fact, it seems that those who are most staunch in their beliefs have a tendency to not behave well (think of terrorists who so believe that they are obeying God's objective will, that killing others is morally good) but then that's an impression - I haven't crunched the numbers so I can prove anything. But regardless, it's feasible that obj and subj moralists have roughly the same amount of good and bad morality so again, I don't see how it can be said that a belief in objective morality makes one more likely to behave in a more moral fashion or even in a fashion that is more in line with objective morals if they exist.

    If obj morals exist, then the objective moralist is correct in the claim that morals are objective but that doesn't seem to mean that he will do a better job at defining what is morally correct and act accordingly.

    Now, this is a different issue than what we have been debating so I don't consider this to really help my point or hurt yours. But it's worth talking about in our "discussion" section.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    My position (not forwarded here) is that those objective moral values are written by God onto our hearts.
    That just like God gave us physical eyes to see, he gave us a moral sense so that we can possibly know the objective moral laws.
    Hence why the standard of judgment biblicaly, is the standard by which you judge everyone else. There is no possibly more fair measure.

    So for me, the reason we agree is because we are both objectively right, not because we just so happen to share an opinion.
    Well, I half-agree with that. I do agree that if objective morality exists, then it is reflected in our innate morality (I believe that humans overall are morally good). And when I say "God" I mean in the more generic sense (as opposed to the God of the bible or any specific religion). But I don't see any innate advantage to using the bible as opposed to using one's own moral compass (which, again, was given by God even if the recipient thinks it's just in his mind). That's not to say that religion is worthless. I could agree that certain people do behave in a more moral way because of their adherence to a faith (but then that would go for any faith, save inherently destructive ones like certain cults, not just Christianity). And then there are people who behave destructively because of their faith - those people might have done better if they had remained secular. So again, in application, I'm not convinced that a belief in objective morality makes one behave better than a belief in subjective morality.

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  10. #68
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    Re: Objective morality vs. subjective morality

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    If morality is created in the human mind, it's still a system that relates to right and wrong and therefore is, by definition, a moral system.
    Here the use of the word "created" is too vague.
    If what is "created" exists only in the mind, then it is imaginary. There is nothing "principle" about imaginations.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    I don't see anything in the definition of "moral" that says that it's not about the brain or from the brain.
    You are looking at the wrong word. "subjective" is the word you should be seeing.
    That combined with "morality" literally means that you are not discussing morality, but the contents of the brain.

    As for morality itself, as it is concerned with how others should act, then it is not simply about the contents of ones brain. It's object must be external actions
    not simply brain states about those actions.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    This sounds like a straw-man argument. I never argued that my brain state obligates you to do anything nor is that an intrinsic part of subjective morality. If morality is subjective, the only person my personal morality obligates to do something is ME. I never argued that it obligates someone else nor does it need to obligate someone else before it fits the definition of "morality". If I think something is wrong, then I obligate myself to not do it.
    I don't believe that for a second. The idea that you don't hold that another person shouldn't rape is impossible for me to accept about you. Is that what I am to believe your position on morality is?
    As it is, we had a long discussion where you were saying the island people shouldn't act a certain way, or that they were acting immorally. That certainly didn't sound like you were limiting your morality to only yourself.

    ----
    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    NOTE: In this section, I'm being more conversational and not really challenging points.


    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    Right as in more likely to behave in a way that is consistent with objective morality (as in God's rules)? I don't think that a belief in objective morality really does make much of a difference. If an objective moralist and a subjective morality behave in the exact same way (do the same amount of good and bad), then the objective moralists belief in objective morality didn't really make a difference in him being right (as in obeying God's morals).
    Well, this isn't really so much a point about how people act, as the claims that are made.
    A claim about external reality has the ability to be right.
    VS
    A claim about a persona brain state is not even about external reality so as to effect others.


    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    If obj morals exist, then the objective moralist is correct in the claim that morals are objective but that doesn't seem to mean that he will do a better job at defining what is morally correct and act accordingly.

    Now, this is a different issue than what we have been debating so I don't consider this to really help my point or hurt yours. But it's worth talking about in our "discussion" section.
    I agree with this.

    I think this goes to if people really BELIEVE what they say. I think people do what they really believe.

    You may have heard the story of the motivational speaker who walked by the front row with a $100(or a large sum of money) and said to each person "This is yours!" Then he would ask each if they believed him, and they all said emphatically "yes!".
    He then got up to the podium and explained how people didn't believe him, because no one actually TOOK the money, and thus they were all shown to be lying to themselves.

    Jesus said the same thing when he said "they profess me with their mouths but their hearts are far from me".

    This is a human problem about beliefs, and it is also a main point against subjective morality, because no one can live their lives consistent with it. Not that they happen to not, but that it is not possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    Well, I half-agree with that. I do agree that if objective morality exists, then it is reflected in our innate morality (I believe that humans overall are morally good). And when I say "God" I mean in the more generic sense (as opposed to the God of the bible or any specific religion). But I don't see any innate advantage to using the bible as opposed to using one's own moral compass (which, again, was given by God even if the recipient thinks it's just in his mind). That's not to say that religion is worthless. I could agree that certain people do behave in a more moral way because of their adherence to a faith (but then that would go for any faith, save inherently destructive ones like certain cults, not just Christianity). And then there are people who behave destructively because of their faith - those people might have done better if they had remained secular. So again, in application, I'm not convinced that a belief in objective morality makes one behave better than a belief in subjective morality.
    Well the advantage would be predicated on it actually being God's word. I would say that anytime God speaks we should listen, be it our own moral compass or prophet, or the only begotten Son of God Jesus Christ.

    As to the goodness of man, I don't believe that. I believe in duality of man. Like the garden of eden, we have the knowledge of both good an evil in us, and choosing evil is natural to us.
    We are fallen and in need of a savior, and I believe everyone knows they are not perfect, they just don't want to connect that with needing to accept Jesus Christ as their savior. IMO (not directed at you personally) but it is a great lie to believe that we are essentially good, as it denies our fundamental need for a savior. "Good enough" comes up a lot.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

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    Re: Objective morality vs. subjective morality

    Quote Originally Posted by MT View Post
    Yes it remains, but it is not really relevant to my point.
    I don't see how it isn't. How am I supposed to simply accept your claim that it is an example of what an objective moral law would be if they existed? How did you determine it to be so? What if someone argues your claim that it would be an objective moral law and says, "No, that wouldn't be an objective moral law"? So far all you've done is make a personal moral pronouncement of the kind most people would make, except you left out the "I think -" (which you still haven't justified, btw), and claimed that this is what an objective moral law would be if they actually existed. That doesn't get us anywhere, because until you can support how you determined that it would be an objective moral law, you're just saying what you think and claiming without support that it is objective morality.

    Quote Originally Posted by MT View Post
    No objetive facts about morality is a referance to the inherent properties of things and actions.
    MT, you already confirmed in numerous posts that what you're calling facts about morality is the fact of whether objective moral laws exist. They maybe exist, or they maybe don't exist, and this is a fact about morality.
    Now you're saying that the facts about morality are the inherent properties of things and actions, which seems to be alluding to them being objective moral laws, which you already confirmed are not facts about morality. So which is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by MT View Post
    A thing can be inherently good, bad or neutral. If there are no objective moral laws, then all things are objectivly neutral. So any subjective projection onto actions is by definition in contradiction to the reality of that thing.
    If all things are neutral according to what you're defining as objective morality, that doesn't stop anyone from assigning values to those things according to another system (the only one which is demonstrated to exist, btw), and it is not a contradiction. This is exactly what we observe happening in the world.

    Quote Originally Posted by MT View Post
    I have focused my responses on the possible objective truths about the inherent moral nature of actions, and how that inherently contradicts the subjective position.
    Again, if the objective truth is that objective moral laws don't exist, then the subjective position doesn't contradict anything. You can't contradict something which doesn't exist. Further, arguing that there's a contradiction with something which has not been demonstrated to exist has no value until is has been. Also, even if you could demonstrate that there did exist some nebulous source of objective morality, a subjective moral system would be in contradiction with it only within the objective moral system - within the subjective moral system, there would be no contradiction according to that system, since it would still be serving its purpose.

    Quote Originally Posted by MT View Post
    If those objective laws don't actually exist, then it is an objective fact that all such statements are false, as they do not reflect reality.
    No, in a system which doesn't depend on an objective source for its morality, one can still make moral evaluations according to the goals and values of that system which are based on facts and reality. You again seem to be trying to define the terms in such a way that only your position is correct. I'm sorry, but that just isn't the case. We can still say "such and such is bad" and "one ought not do such and such" and be entirely justified and correct according to our moral system (again, the only one which has been demonstrated to exist).

    Quote Originally Posted by MT View Post
    Yea, because it is outside of my argument.
    So you retract all your statements regarding what you call "the is/ought fallacy"?

    Quote Originally Posted by MT View Post
    Here, I am only arguing that we MUST seek objective moral laws, or else abandon any real concept of morality beyond common delusion.
    Again, you seem to be trying to define the terms in your favour. Now you're calling them "real concepts of morality". Any moral system can have its own concepts of morality, and the fact that you think yours are the only real ones is irrelevant until you can support them. One could just as easily say "we MUST seek our own system of morals and determine how it would work best for us, or else abandon any possibility of having any successful morality beyond common delusion". The "common delusion" here being that there is a deity which has made some moral pronouncements which we ought to follow even though there is no "ought".

    Quote Originally Posted by MT View Post
    If objective moral laws don't exist, then we are stuck only with the delusion. So my objection to the relavitist is to not decive themselves into thinking they are espousing anything more than that.
    Again you are straw-manning the moral systems in use today by calling them "common delusion". This only demonstrates that you truly don't know what you're talking about when it comes to how morality works in the world right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by MT View Post
    So the question isn't really directed at me, and I disagree with the validity of the premise. Co-existance is in no way some inherent goal that we must all persue.
    Fact: Co-existence is the situation in which we find ourselves. Fact: Successfully co-existing will ensure our survival. This is the basis for the goals of any moral system.

    Quote Originally Posted by MT View Post
    So I answered with an answer that should make you re-think your assumptions because the answer is just as valid as any other answer.
    Not if it doesn't align with the goals of the moral system.

    Quote Originally Posted by MT View Post
    Namely, if you are asking me what I think is the best way, you are going to find that some answer that in a selfish manner. How does your position invalidate that?
    See above. Could you now answer the question truthfully, since I asked you what you thought?

    Quote Originally Posted by MT View Post
    Re- what I said about objective truths about morality. Consider that idea, and let me know if or how it is unclear.
    You've already contradicted yourself on how you're defining "objective truths about morality", so it's entirely unclear. Please define what you mean by "objective truths about morality". Are they the same as what you wrote above were "objective facts about morality"?

    Quote Originally Posted by MT View Post
    For example, what is the speed limit of the universe? (the speed of light).. apparenlty. It is a real objective law.
    Lol, I like your comparison, but for completely different reasons that what you may think. In any case, the only reason the speed of light is called a law is that it is (currently) considered impossible to travel faster under the laws of physics. We already have experiments which show that it may be possible to travel faster. Also, when used in the context of science, "laws" doesn't mean anything close to how we use laws with respect to traffic safety or morality. Your analogy is almost as bad as the whole "it's just a theory" mess. All it shows in the end is that we just don't know for sure, and therefore are left to deal with the whole morality question on our own, which is exactly what we see occurring.

    Quote Originally Posted by MT View Post
    I am not trying to represent what your argument is. I am trying to explain what your argument actually means and translate it into reality.
    You have not supported what you claim reality to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by MT View Post
    This is where the Is/ought fallacy bites the subjectivist in the ass.
    As supported by Dio and ignored by you, the is/ought problem bites everyone in the ass. Until you provide a response instead of merely claiming that it's out of scope for your argument, continuing to use is/ought to criticize only one side is wholly dishonest.

    Quote Originally Posted by MT View Post
    My position is that just as there are physical laws that govern the universe, there are moral laws that govern how we ought to act. We have access to these laws, just as we have access to reason and light(senses). We have been designed by our creator to perceive and conceive of these laws, and we are ,like him, moral creatures and agents.
    You have every right to believe that, but without support, you can't expect anyone to take you seriously.

    Quote Originally Posted by MT View Post
    So, in order to even be a moral agent, acting in accordance to moral obligations. Those obligations must actually exist outside of the mind (also referred to as imagination), and we must have access to them.
    According to secular moral systems (you know, those ones which actually exist and work), there is a completely different criteria determining who is a moral agent. Moral agency is an individual's ability to make moral judgments based on evaluations of right and wrong. You again seem to be defining the terms to suit your argument.

    Also, simply acting in accordance with a deity's moral pronouncements doesn't make you a moral agent at all, it just makes you a robot.

    ===========================

    Regarding the whole "morally neutral" question: "neutral" means something which doesn't have a value within the context of a system of values. Take a look at any example where neutral is used - there is always the outside context of a system where values are assigned. The word literally comes from the latin for "not either (of two)". Since we don't have the "either of two" with regard to objective moral laws, "neutral" is incoherent.

    Quote Originally Posted by MT View Post
    Is it the case that in an objective sense, if moral laws don't exist, then things are neutral?
    or
    Is it that when we reject objective moral laws, we are also rejecting the possibility of moral neutrality?
    The 1st statement should be corrected to "if objective moral laws don't exist, then nothing can be evaluated according to that objective moral system."
    The 2nd statement doesn't even make sense, since nobody's rejecting objective moral laws. They just haven't been demonstrated to exist according to how you define them. So again we're left dealing with the tough issue of morality on our own.

    Quote Originally Posted by MT View Post
    I don't think I have seen an argument that has gotten around the is/ought fallacy.
    Yup, as Dio explained, is/ought is an issue for both sides.

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    Re: Objective morality vs. subjective morality

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Here the use of the word "created" is too vague.
    If what is "created" exists only in the mind, then it is imaginary. There is nothing "principle" about imaginations.
    I'd say that's equivocation. I looked up the definition of "imaginary" and it pertains to the fanciful and nonexistent. Concepts that are created in the mind and not necessarily fanciful and nonexistent.

    Laws are principles that are created in the mind (think laws that are on the book against murder). So I don't really see a rebuttal so I will repeat that as long as a system concerns itself with right and wrong, it's a moral system - even if the system is generated from the human mind.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    You are looking at the wrong word. "subjective" is the word you should be seeing.
    That combined with "morality" literally means that you are not discussing morality, but the contents of the brain.
    There is nothing in the definition of mortality that precludes it from being content of the brain so this statement is incorrect.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    As for morality itself, as it is concerned with how others should act, then it is not simply about the contents of ones brain. It's object must be external actions
    not simply brain states about those actions.
    Morality regards concerning oneself with right and wrong. If a brain concerns itself with right and wrong, then it is engaging in moral issues. Whether action follows such consideration makes no difference. Just thinking "that is wrong" is to make a moral judgment and therefore is moral.




    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I don't believe that for a second. The idea that you don't hold that another person shouldn't rape is impossible for me to accept about you. Is that what I am to believe your position on morality is?
    As it is, we had a long discussion where you were saying the island people shouldn't act a certain way, or that they were acting immorally. That certainly didn't sound like you were limiting your morality to only yourself.
    But the issue is obligation. Yes, I say that those men should not rape anyone. But I didn't say that my pronouncement on the matter creates an obligation for them to not do as I say they should not do. I made no argument about others obligations to heed my morality so you have no such argument to attack and therefore your attack was against an argument I didn't make and therefore was attacking a straw-man.

    You are the one who has introduced the issue of obligations and duty to this debate so you cannot assume that I hold a particular position regarding obligations, shoot it down, and then say you've defeated my argument. If you want to introduce duty and obligation into the debate, you have the burden of making an argument regarding those issues before I have any burden to address the issue.

    ----



    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Well, this isn't really so much a point about how people act, as the claims that are made.
    A claim about external reality has the ability to be right.
    VS
    A claim about a persona brain state is not even about external reality so as to effect others.
    I can't really know what you mean without an example of two comparative claims. For example, are you referring to the same claim (like "murder is immoral") coming from both an objectivist and a subjectivist? Or are you referring to two separate claims coming from each. Since this portion is in discussion mode, I am more focused on figuring out what you mean exactly.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I think this goes to if people really BELIEVE what they say. I think people do what they really believe.

    You may have heard the story of the motivational speaker who walked by the front row with a $100(or a large sum of money) and said to each person "This is yours!" Then he would ask each if they believed him, and they all said emphatically "yes!".
    He then got up to the podium and explained how people didn't believe him, because no one actually TOOK the money, and thus they were all shown to be lying to themselves.

    Jesus said the same thing when he said "they profess me with their mouths but their hearts are far from me".

    This is a human problem about beliefs, and it is also a main point against subjective morality, because no one can live their lives consistent with it. Not that they happen to not, but that it is not possible.
    People can't live their lives consistent with subjective morality? I don't see why not. Since subjective morality comes from one's own mind, they only have to live consistently with their own morals in order to live in a way that is consistent with subjective morality. I suppose people may fall short of their own morals at times (such as being subjectively against greed but sometimes being greedy yourself), but then believers in objective morality are just as susceptible to falling short of their moral system.



    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Well the advantage would be predicated on it actually being God's word. I would say that anytime God speaks we should listen, be it our own moral compass or prophet, or the only begotten Son of God Jesus Christ.
    That's my point, though. If a subjectivist listens to his moral compass without realizing that it's actually the word of God, there is no effective difference between him and an objectivist as far as who behaves more morally. If rmorality is objective, the only actual advantage that the objectivist has is that his position is more factually correct (he might be wrong about a lot of things but at least he's right that morality is objective). But then if the subjectivist is right, then the objectivist just thinks he's following the edicts of a morally objective source when he's really just following subjective morality. So the difference between the two is pretty miniscule. There is no practical difference on effective outcome (neither behaves more morally) and the actual difference is not known (given we don't know if morality is objective or subjective).


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    As to the goodness of man, I don't believe that. I believe in duality of man. Like the garden of eden, we have the knowledge of both good an evil in us, and choosing evil is natural to us.
    We are fallen and in need of a savior, and I believe everyone knows they are not perfect, they just don't want to connect that with needing to accept Jesus Christ as their savior. IMO (not directed at you personally) but it is a great lie to believe that we are essentially good, as it denies our fundamental need for a savior. "Good enough" comes up a lot.
    I don't want to get too deep into any specific religion. But I will say that I think that spiritually, how we behave towards in each is much more important than what our religious/spiritual beliefs are. Assuming there's a God that's going to judge us, I think an atheist who is kind is doing better than someone who has strong religious beliefs but is awful to his fellow man.

    Assuming there is a God who has forwarded objective morals, an atheist who is kind to his kids is doing a better job at adhering to God's morals than a devout Christian who beats his kids.
    Last edited by mican333; April 13th, 2017 at 11:29 AM.

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    Re: Objective morality vs. subjective morality

    Hi there!

    I have not figured out how to quote from the OP yet, or even whether I am permitted to do this yet. So, this will make my reply a little difficult. I apologize for my lack of understanding.

    My opinion of objective morality verses subjective morality is that without an ultimate, objective, unchanging standard morals become arbitrary. Therefore, I argue that objective morality is necessary for morality. If relative, subjective standards are all we have then morality is nothing more than what one person, one group, one culture, or one society can force on another person, group, culture, or society.

    If good and evil are just preferences/tastes then what makes one persons relative preferences any BETTER than another's? (Force) If good and evil are preferences then truth is lost for there is no fixed standard or measure of appeal. The question becomes why is force good? In order for there to be "good" there must ultimately be a "best" in which to compare good to. With quantitative measures we have an empirical standard that we can measure crookedness against, a straight line. Qualitative values require a different standard, one that is not empirical but intangible and necessary for meaning. Thus, I contend they require a mind. There must necessarily be an ultimate moral law giver that is best and that has revealed what is good that we can compare values by. That standard, I contend, is the Christian God (which is another discussion to justify).

    Peter

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    Re: Objective morality vs. subjective morality

    Hey PGA2, Welcome to this thread!

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Hi there!

    I have not figured out how to quote from the OP yet, or even whether I am permitted to do this yet. So, this will make my reply a little difficult. I apologize for my lack of understanding.
    Click "reply with quote" button on the lower right. Then you can edit it down to part(s) you want to reply to.


    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    My opinion of objective morality verses subjective morality is that without an ultimate, objective, unchanging standard morals become arbitrary. Therefore, I argue that objective morality is necessary for morality.
    My argument is that whichever is true is the superior one. Objective morality transcends human opinion and therefore requires a "higher source" of morality which take precedent over human-created morality. One of the most typical notions for this is God. If there is a God and God is the arbiter of morality, then of course his (objective) morality is superior to any human-created (subjective) morality.

    But on the other hand, if there is no higher source of morality then objective morality is just a fiction and REAL morality is subjective. And for whatever weaknesses and limitation that subjective morality has, it's still superior to something that doesn't even exist.


    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    If relative, subjective standards are all we have then morality is nothing more than what one person, one group, one culture, or one society can force on another person, group, culture, or society.
    Okay, but it still works better than nothing at all. We generally don't go around murdering each other due to it being considered immoral by most. IF this moral position is subjective and therefore nothing more than opinion, it's still an opinion that generally keeps us from killing each other. So despite its limitations, it's a very good thing.


    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    If good and evil are just preferences/tastes then what makes one persons relative preferences any BETTER than another's? (Force) If good and evil are preferences then truth is lost for there is no fixed standard or measure of appeal.
    No, if subjective morality is correct, then the truth is that is no fixed standard or measure of appeal.

    The truth is the truth. Whatever is, is. If morality is subjective, then the truths is that morality is subjective.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    The question becomes why is force good? In order for there to be "good" there must ultimately be a "best" in which to compare good to.
    But if "good" is subjective then so is "best".


    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    With quantitative measures we have an empirical standard that we can measure crookedness against, a straight line. Qualitative values require a different standard, one that is not empirical but intangible and necessary for meaning. Thus, I contend they require a mind.
    Well, humans have minds.


    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    There must necessarily be an ultimate moral law giver that is best and that has revealed what is good that we can compare values by. That standard, I contend, is the Christian God (which is another discussion to justify).
    Well, that's quite a leap. I don't really see evidence that there is a higher moral source (nor have I seen evidence that there is not such a source), let alone that that source is the God of a particular religion.

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    Re: Objective morality vs. subjective morality

    Thank you Mican! I will address the majority of your argument tomorrow, hopefully. Thank you for the tips! I have started to incorporate them.

    A couple of points for now:

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    Well, humans have minds.
    Right, but your mind nor mine is a necessary mind. How do we determine whose intellect is valid when we disagree if there is no ultimate mind?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    Well, that's quite a leap. I don't really see evidence that there is a higher moral source (nor have I seen evidence that there is not such a source), let alone that that source is the God of a particular religion.
    True, it is a leap that I said needed justification, and I am happy to show you why I believe the proof is valid, and not a blind leap. It stems from whether the Christian God is most reasonable to believe in, and how you decide. My claim is that my Christian worldview can make sense of reality, existence. When I strip your beliefs (provided you are an agnostic or atheist) down to core beliefs that everything else stems from it does not.
    The Christian claim is that other worldviews borrow from the Christian system of thought in making sense of anything. So, the unchristian worldview lacks consistency.

    What authority do you believe is the highest authority if all authority is relative? Who gets to say? There are many different views of our origins, and logically only one can be true if any. So it also boils down to a question of epistemology. How do you know what you know? I would contend there is a difference between science and scientism. We can verify many things by repeated experimentation and observation. How do you observe or repeat origins? You have to interpret that data and who is to say, categorically, that what we see in the present is the way things happened in the past? We can't bridge the past to confirm that. We have to sneak in our presuppositions. Your worldview and my worldview interpret the data in different ways depending on where we start. We either start with God/ gods (a being/beings), or we start with no intentionality - blind chance happenstance. How does blind, chance happenstance explain anything? How is meaning acquired from it? Obviously, it is not. From the mindless scenario of the universe, there is no ultimate meaning or purpose. It just is, for no reason. Why do human beings seek reason, meaning and purpose in a supposedly meaningless universe, according to the one view of origins that denies personal being as responsible? God denying views can't make sense of existence or morality.

    So, making sense of morality is another validation. How does a relative being (and which one) make sense of what is good, what is right? There is no best we know of to compare goodness too unless God exists.


    The argument I enjoy the most is the prophetic argument. From the evidence we have from history (and the Bible is a historical source) I believe the argument is the most reasonable and I would invite you to refute its logic. Through this prophetic argument God confirms who He is. I see someone on this forum has briefly documented the position I support, but not to the degree I do (partial Preterism as opposed to my full Preterism). I would be glad to record my argument and see if someone can present a logical refutation, although this would be very detailed and take some time to develop let alone refute opposition.

    Peter
    Last edited by PGA2; June 29th, 2017 at 07:41 AM. Reason: Clarity of thought in a few sentences, plus grammar

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    Re: Objective morality vs. subjective morality

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    My argument is that whichever is true is the superior one.
    That is the problem with qualitative values. Who determines truth if there is no best reference point? Meaning becomes arbitrary, a matter of power politics and of who can force what on another. "Good" is only a preference, taste, or desire of those who hold sway over others. Why does power make something good? Is Kim Jong-un "good" in wanting to obliterate the USA? Who gets to decide? It can and does change from one individual to another. One culture varies with another, and within any give "society" there are subcultures. These subcultures may not believe the same things regarding right and wrong. There are people in these subcultures in the USA plotting harm on others because they do not share the same values. They don't believe they are wrong but you do.

    Qualitative values do not have the same empirical standard of verification as qualitative measures do. I can't physically measure the length or width of goodness. That is why we need a revelation from an omniscient, objective, unchanging, ultimate Being. The Bible, I believe justly so, claims to be that revelation. Logically, a Being who knows all things is objective in determining right and wrong. Best inevitably stems from His very nature. Best does not arise from our fallen nature because as fallen human beings we suppress the truth of God. We no longer look to Him as our source of righteousness but make up our own. This is the witness of history - humanity making all kinds of different standards that contradict.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    Objective morality transcends human opinion and therefore requires a "higher source" of morality which takes precedent over human-created morality. One of the most typical notions for this is God. If there is a God and God is the arbiter of morality, then of course his (objective) morality is superior to any human-created (subjective) morality.
    True! What is your higher source, if not an ultimate, personal Being? Since morality is a product of the conscious reasoning mind, my reasoning is that it must originate from an ultimate Mind or ultimately it means nothing.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    But on the other hand, if there is no higher source of morality then objective morality is just a fiction and REAL morality is subjective. And for whatever weaknesses and limitation that subjective morality has, it's still superior to something that doesn't even exist.
    What is real if this objective source does not exist? Which relative, subjective being(s) get to decide?

    The flaw in your thinking here (I believe) is that you continue to employ a standard ("superior") without having the best measure to compare superior to in determining superior. It begs the question of why what you believe is superior. Is it superior because you like it? What about my conflicting likes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Originally Posted by PGA2
    If relative, subjective standards are all we have then morality is nothing more than what one person, one group, one culture, or one society can force on another person, group, culture, or society.
    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    Okay, but it still works better than nothing at all. We generally don't go around murdering each other due to it being considered immoral by most. IF this moral position is subjective and therefore nothing more than opinion, it's still an opinion that generally keeps us from killing each other. So despite its limitations, it's a very good thing.
    Again, you smuggle in the word "better" and "very good" in the course of your statement. In relation to what? What is your final reference point of morality to determine this? (Says who?) Why is your opinion "better" is the question?

    You can't have good without a relationship to better, and better without a relationship to best. There has to be a comparison.

    In a random universe (without God as the reason), why should my biological functions comply with your biological functions regarding taking an "innocent" life? If I am just a circumstance of my physio-electro-chemical bodily make-up and reactions how can you condemn me for what my body does in killing another person because my chemical makeup and reactions are not the same as yours?

    I contend that we are created in the image and likeness of God, to a limited extent. He created us as conscious, moral, reasoning beings, so, deep down, we KNOW murder is wrong. The problem is that with the Fall of humanity (in Adam) we have lost touch with our Creator. We do not listen to His voice of reason. We choose our subjective understanding over His objective understanding, hence all the evil in the world.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    If good and evil are just preferences/tastes then what makes one person's relative preferences any BETTER than another's? (Force) If good and evil are preferences, then truth is lost for there is no fixed standard or measure of appeal.
    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    No, if subjective morality is correct, then the truth is that is no fixed standard or measure of appeal.

    The truth is the truth. Whatever is, is. If morality is subjective, then the truths is that morality is subjective.
    Subjective morality is nothing more than likes and dislikes - preference. What makes your likes any better than my likes? Nothing, if there is no ultimate standard.

    The basis of truth is concrete, fixed. Truth cannot change. EITHER something is good, OR it is not. It can't both be good and not good at the same time depending on the preferences of people. It loses its law of identity, thus becoming illogical.

    Whatever is, is, but if morality is subjective, then it loses its meaning for it can have contradictory meanings, resulting in irrationality.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    The question becomes why force is good? In order for there to be "good," there must ultimately be a "best" in which to compare good too.
    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    But if "good" is subjective then so is "best".
    No, best is not. It is the ultimate good. You can't get better than best, but you can get better than good and better than better.

    Peter
    Last edited by PGA2; June 29th, 2017 at 12:05 PM. Reason: Grammatical infractions

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    Re: Objective morality vs. subjective morality

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    That is the problem with qualitative values. Who determines truth if there is no best reference point? Meaning becomes arbitrary, a matter of power politics and of who can force what on another. "Good" is only a preference, taste, or desire of those who hold sway over others. Why does power make something good? Is Kim Jong-un "good" in wanting to obliterate the USA? Who gets to decide? It can and does change from one individual to another. One culture varies with another, and within any give "society" there are subcultures. These subcultures may not believe the same things regarding right and wrong. There are people in these subcultures in the USA plotting harm on others because they do not share the same values. They don't believe they are wrong but you do.

    Qualitative values do not have the same empirical standard of verification as qualitative measures do. I can't physically measure the length or width of goodness. That is why we need a revelation from an omniscient, objective, unchanging, ultimate Being. The Bible, I believe justly so, claims to be that revelation. Logically, a Being who knows all things is objective in determining right and wrong. Best inevitably stems from His very nature. Best does not arise from our fallen nature because as fallen human beings we suppress the truth of God. We no longer look to Him as our source of righteousness but make up our own. This is the witness of history - humanity making all kinds of different standards that contradict.
    But for any flaws that qualitative morality may have, it morality is indeed subjective, then qualitative is the only kind of morality that exists. In that situation, quantitative morality does not exist.

    So the only two choices is qualitative morality (which is the only kind of morality that humans actually have) and something that doesn't exist.

    I'd say that which does exist is superior to that which doesn't.

    And again, that's IF morality is subjective. I'm not saying that it actually is - only that IF it is, then it's the superior morality (since the alternative is just a fiction).


    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    True! What is your higher source, if not an ultimate, personal Being? Since morality is a product of the conscious reasoning mind, my reasoning is that it must originate from an ultimate Mind or ultimately it means nothing.
    If morality is subjective, then there is no higher source. Everyone has their own minds and their own moralities and we get together and hash it out for better or worse (since there's no alternative to doing that).

    But keep in mind that pretty much every society has a law against murder so whatever limitations that person-created morality may have it does result in laws that are good (assuming we accept that laws against murder are good). And whether it means something or nothing is dependent on what we think. I think it does mean something and therefore it does (to me anyway).




    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    What is real if this objective source does not exist? Which relative, subjective being(s) get to decide?
    People do.


    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    The flaw in your thinking here (I believe) is that you continue to employ a standard ("superior") without having the best measure to compare superior to in determining superior. It begs the question of why what you believe is superior. Is it superior because you like it? What about my conflicting likes?
    I'm saying that which exists is superior to that which does not exist. That's what I mean by superior.




    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Again, you smuggle in the word "better" and "very good" in the course of your statement. In relation to what? What is your final reference point of morality to determine this? (Says who?) Why is your opinion "better" is the question?

    You can't have good without a relationship to better, and better without a relationship to best. There has to be a comparison.
    Sure. Having laws adjacent murder is better than not having laws against murder based on the premise that the less murder we have the better.

    As far as the validity of the premise that "less murder is good", it's up to whoever considers this premise if it is accepted premise and of course I assume that all who read it here agree with it. So assuming you agree that "less murder is good", then you accept the conclusion that it's good that we have laws that prevent murder.

    You can raise questions about why this premise should be accepted but unless you intend to not have an opinion on the issue at all, you have to accept it or reject it.



    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    In a random universe (without God as the reason), why should my biological functions comply with your biological functions regarding taking an "innocent" life? If I am just a circumstance of my physio-electro-chemical bodily make-up and reactions how can you condemn me for what my body does in killing another person because my chemical makeup and reactions are not the same as yours?
    Those are questions, not arguments. Yes, I know that these questions raise issues that are worth discussing but I see no reason why I need to give an answer before you do so if you want to make a point regarding this, then make your argument.


    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    I contend that we are created in the image and likeness of God, to a limited extent. He created us as conscious, moral, reasoning beings, so, deep down, we KNOW murder is wrong. The problem is that with the Fall of humanity (in Adam) we have lost touch with our Creator. We do not listen to His voice of reason. We choose our subjective understanding over His objective understanding, hence all the evil in the world.
    And it's not my position on this thread that you are incorrect about that (nor is it my position that you are correct either). IF there is indeed a higher source of morality who has determined that X is immoral in an objective sense, then of course this source of morality is inherently superior to any mere human opinion on moral issues.

    But my argument is that when it comes to objective or subjective morality, whichever is correct is superior. So if your view about God is correct, then yes, objective morality is superior if for no other reason that it really exists. But likewise if objective morality does not exist then morality is subjective and therefore subjective morality is superior to objective morality.

    We both agree that objective morality is superior if it really exists. But do you agree that if objective morality does exist, then subjective morality is superior? If so, then we pretty much agree on everything. If not, why not?




    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Subjective morality is nothing more than likes and dislikes - preference. What makes your likes any better than my likes? Nothing, if there is no ultimate standard.
    Okay. But if that's the reality (which would be the case if objective morality does not exist) then you are just complaining about things being as they are.


    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    The basis of truth is concrete, fixed. Truth cannot change. EITHER something is good, OR it is not. It can't both be good and not good at the same time depending on the preferences of people. It loses its law of identity, thus becoming illogical.
    If morality is subjective, then good and bad vary from person to person. It would not be logical to say that there is an ultimate truth but that's just because that statement would be incorrect. But it would be logical to observe that people have their own opinions on good and bad and we can also observe that most are against murder and this has been codified into law in most societies. And most people, including you (I assume) and I, much prefer having such laws instead of not having these laws.


    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Whatever is, is, but if morality is subjective, then it loses its meaning for it can have contradictory meanings, resulting in irrationality.
    Okay but if that's reality, you are just complaining about reality being what it is.




    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    No, best is not. It is the ultimate good. You can't get better than best, but you can get better than good and better than better.
    Yes, best is. If what's best is subjective, then whatever I think is best is what's best (to me). If you mean that there can be no consensus on what's best, that's true. But that still doesn't stop people from subjectively saying that X is best.

    ---------- Post added at 06:41 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:18 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    True, it is a leap that I said needed justification, and I am happy to show you why I believe the proof is valid, and not a blind leap. It stems from whether the Christian God is most reasonable to believe in, and how you decide. My claim is that my Christian worldview can make sense of reality, existence. When I strip your beliefs (provided you are an agnostic or atheist) down to core beliefs that everything else stems from it does not.
    On this site I argue as an agnostic (which does not necessarily mean that I am one in real life) as I think that's the only position that is defendable with the available evidence. I think it takes faith to be either an atheist (hard atheist, anyway) or a theist (as in one must rely on something that they cannot emperically prove to maintain their believe).

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    The Christian claim is that other worldviews borrow from the Christian system of thought in making sense of anything. So, the unchristian worldview lacks consistency.
    I don't think agnosticism lacks consistently. An agnostic belief would be that we have inadequate information to know if what is described as God (intelligent creator of the universe) exists or not. All one has to maintain to be consistent is that neither the theist or atheist has provided enough evidence to remove doubt about God's existence or nonexistence.


    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    What authority do you believe is the highest authority if all authority is relative? Who gets to say? There are many different views of our origins, and logically only one can be true if any. So it also boils down to a question of epistemology. How do you know what you know?
    The agnostic answer to all of those questions would likely be "I don't know".


    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    I would contend there is a difference between science and scientism. We can verify many things by repeated experimentation and observation. How do you observe or repeat origins? You have to interpret that data and who is to say, categorically, that what we see in the present is the way things happened in the past? We can't bridge the past to confirm that. We have to sneak in our presuppositions. Your worldview and my worldview interpret the data in different ways depending on where we start. We either start with God/ gods (a being/beings), or we start with no intentionality - blind chance happenstance.
    Actually the scientific starting point is "I don't know". Science starts with observation. If there's nothing to observe that will lead one to be able to develop a theory or hypothesis regarding the origins of the universe, then they have no hypothesis or theory and therefore have to admit that they don't know. And I'm pretty sure that is the current state of science regarding the origins of the universe (in respects to whether it was created by an intelligence, that is).


    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    How does blind, chance happenstance explain anything? How is meaning acquired from it? Obviously, it is not. From the mindless scenario of the universe, there is no ultimate meaning or purpose. It just is, for no reason. Why do human beings seek reason, meaning and purpose in a supposedly meaningless universe, according to the one view of origins that denies personal being as responsible? God denying views can't make sense of existence or morality.
    You don't know that. Just because you ask some questions on this thread does not mean that an atheist cannot answer it. I'm pretty sure there are plenty of atheists who can explain the purpose and reason of life in their view.

    So I can't accept this statement as true.



    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    So, making sense of morality is another validation. How does a relative being (and which one) make sense of what is good, what is right? There is no best we know of to compare goodness too unless God exists.
    Okay. But so what? We aren't required to think that there is a best.



    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    The argument I enjoy the most is the prophetic argument. From the evidence we have from history (and the Bible is a historical source) I believe the argument is the most reasonable and I would invite you to refute its logic. Through this prophetic argument God confirms who He is. I see someone on this forum has briefly documented the position I support, but not to the degree I do (partial Preterism as opposed to my full Preterism). I would be glad to record my argument and see if someone can present a logical refutation, although this would be very detailed and take some time to develop let alone refute opposition.
    Well, I certainly can't accept an argument unless I hear it first and analyze it. If you can, present a summary. Assume for now that your evidence is valid so I can see if the argument logically makes sense.
    Last edited by mican333; June 30th, 2017 at 07:32 AM.

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    Re: Objective morality vs. subjective morality

    I liked your post, not so much in that I agreed with it (I don't) but because you have some good arguments and for the fact that you brought up many possible future areas of discussion.

    I will respond within the next few days to many of the points.

    Peter

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    Re: Objective morality vs. subjective morality

    I would like to break your last post into smaller bites.

    Post # 1

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    That is the problem with qualitative values. Who determines truth if there is no best reference point? Meaning becomes arbitrary, a matter of power politics and of who can force what on another. "Good" is only a preference, taste, or desire of those who hold sway over others. Why does power make something good? Is Kim Jong-un "good" in wanting to obliterate the USA? Who gets to decide? It can and does change from one individual to another. One culture varies with another, and within any give "society" there are subcultures. These subcultures may not believe the same things regarding right and wrong. There are people in these subcultures in the USA plotting harm on others because they do not share the same values. They don't believe they are wrong but you do.

    Qualitative values do not have the same empirical standard of verification as qualitative measures do. I can't physically measure the length or width of goodness. That is why we need a revelation from an omniscient, objective, unchanging, ultimate Being. The Bible, I believe justly so, claims to be that revelation. Logically, a Being who knows all things is objective in determining right and wrong. Best inevitably stems from His very nature. Best does not arise from our fallen nature because as fallen human beings we suppress the truth of God. We no longer look to Him as our source of righteousness but make up our own. This is the witness of history - humanity making all kinds of different standards that contradict.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    But for any flaws that qualitative morality may have, if morality is indeed subjective, then qualitative is the only kind of morality that exists. In that situation, quantitative morality does not exist.
    How could quantitative morality exist?

    There is such a reference to apply quantitative weights and measurements to - The International Bureau of Weights and Measures. That is the standard that we default to and compare actual weights and measures to determine accuracy and uniformity if discrepancy arises. We can measure because the standard is consistent in measuring for accuracy.

    How do you measure qualitative morality for truth? There is only one option that I know, an ultimate standard that is not physical since morality is not physical.

    There has to be something we put goodness up against that is best. (And morality is a mindful process. It requires a mind for there to be goodness) Otherwise, where is your unchanging reference point found? It is not. It could change tomorrow. Subjectivity just makes one up. Why is that good?

    My reasoning is that an actual tangible substance such as a length or a weight sets to physical systems of verification. Intangible, abstract ideas (a moral/morality) need another type of check because they do not comply with the five senses. You place the accuracy and verification on a popularity basis - if it makes you happy!

    The question is not whether morality is qualitative, it is. The question is how you measure an abstract quality? It is not something verified by an empirical system of measure. How do you grab hold of goodness or beauty or any value? There is NO quantitative about morality.

    1) Morality requires a mind.
    2) Morality requires an unchanging logical measure or the standard keeps changing and denies laws of identity.

    ***

    You raise the possibility below that morality may not be subjective by your if/then statements but I do not understand how it can be subjective and still be moral unless the subjective belief complies with an ultimate objective measure. So, my reasoning sees no other possibility but an unchanging, objective, final reference point - God!

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    [1]So the only two choices is qualitative morality (which is the only kind of morality that humans actually have) and something that doesn't exist.

    [2] I'd say that which does exist is superior to that which doesn't.

    [3] And again, that's IF morality is subjective. I'm not saying that it actually is - only that IF it is, then it's the superior morality (since the alternative is just a fiction).
    [1] Quite rightly, qualitative morality either is or it isn't. If there is no ultimate standard that we derive best from then all that is left is a preference. Is that what you are pushing for, your idea of happiness as the desired choice? As I have been arguing for all along - why is your preference any better than mine in such a case? You can't claim that it is. All you can do is take measures to enforce your standard. There is no justification for its goodness. Hitler or Kim Jong-un can impose their preference that opposes yours if they have the power to do so. What makes that "right?" You can't say their system is better or worse. All you can say is that you don't like it.

    But deep down (I believe) you know there is an ultimate standard because you fight just as hard to justify and establish your opinions as superior as I do mine. You think yours are BETTER than others, or else you would not hold to what you do or prefer - you would jettison the idea as inconsistent and illogical.

    That is why I see your system of thought as inconsistent. It can't produce an ultimate standard, one that is necessary of goodness. My system of thought can present what is required to make sense of morality.

    [2] If it is evil would it be superior?

    You make the case that because it exists it is better.

    Again, you beg the question that it is superior because it exists.

    [3] I don't see how morality can exist if it is subjective. Why SHOULD your thoughts be any BETTER than mine if there is no ultimate standard of reference? What I see existing, if there is no final reference, is your likes verse my likes or Kim Jong-un's likes. There is nothing right or wrong about it - it just is! If I can subvert your likes, I win! Then you follow my preference! It is just the way it is, unless you can turn the tables, in an evolutionary system.

    If there is no Creator, no ultimate standard, then you are a biological bag of atoms that does not NECESSARILY react to the environment in the same way my naturalistic biological bag of molecules does. What makes that good or bad? There is NO REASON why your bag of atoms SHOULD react in the SAME way that mine does.

    There is also no ultimate reason because if God does not exist, then there is no reason behind the universe - it is meaningless. It just IS. Just being does not make something good.

    If that is the case (no God) why do you expect to find either a reason why the universe is or moral reason in it? Ultimately, there is none; it just doesn't matter in the big picture. You certainly want there to be meaning; you just want that meaning to comply with your ideas of what it should be. The very fact that you SEARCH for meaning should hint at BEING behind the universe. Would it not be insane to search for something that does not exist? Does the universe have meaning? This is one of life's ultimate questions. If the universe does, and humanity keeps searching for it (and missing out on God) how did that meaning get into a physical universe?

    This brings up another point. If the universe is not a product of a personal being there is no intention behind it, or to it. Why would you expect the present to be like the past? Why would you expect the complexity in the universe to be sustainable? Einstein made a comment of God and dice - He doesn't play dice with the universe. How can a six be rolled constantly and repeatedly without intentionality? First, there has to be something that rolls the dice, then the dice would have to be fixed to continually roll the six - same force, same number of turns, same landing spot, etc. Natural laws show surprising consistency for no reason, if God does not exist.

    And why would you expect morality to arise from the amoral universe, something that does not have morality? I think your thinking has a lot of giant leaps in it. It just materializes the immaterial out of nothing. How does something physical produce something intangible?

    Peter
    Last edited by PGA2; June 30th, 2017 at 11:12 AM. Reason: Clean up my thoughts, add on, and correct grammar

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    Re: Objective morality vs. subjective morality

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    How could quantitative morality exist?

    There is such a reference to apply quantitative weights and measurements to - The International Bureau of Weights and Measures. That is the standard that we default to and compare actual weights and measures to determine accuracy and uniformity if discrepancy arises. We can measure because the standard is consistent in measuring for accuracy.

    How do you measure qualitative morality for truth? There is only one option that I know, an ultimate standard that is not physical since morality is not physical.

    There has to be something we put goodness up against that is best. (And morality is a mindful process. It requires a mind for there to be goodness) Otherwise, where is your unchanging reference point found? It is not. It could change tomorrow. Subjectivity just makes one up. Why is that good?

    My reasoning is that an actual tangible substance such as a length or a weight sets to physical systems of verification. Intangible, abstract ideas (a moral/morality) need another type of check because they do not comply with the five senses. You place the accuracy and verification on a popularity basis - if it makes you happy!

    The question is not whether morality is qualitative, it is. The question is how you measure an abstract quality? It is not something verified by an empirical system of measure. How do you grab hold of goodness or beauty or any value? There is NO quantitative about morality.

    1) Morality requires a mind.
    2) Morality requires an unchanging logical measure or the standard keeps changing and denies laws of identity.

    ***

    You raise the possibility below that morality may not be subjective by your if/then statements but I do not understand how it can be subjective and still be moral unless the subjective belief complies with an ultimate objective measure. So, my reasoning sees no other possibility but an unchanging, objective, final reference point - God!
    First off, there is nothing in the definition of morality that requires it to be unchanging and measurable.

    And also, you are not really rebutting my argument that IF morality is subjective, it is superior to objective morality.

    If morality is subjective then it's a FACT that it has no measurable qualities and there is no objective best for comparison. And while you can argue that it would be better IF there were an objective best for comparison, the fact is such a thing doesn't exist if morality is subjective.

    So if morality is subjective, we are not comparing qualitative morality to quantitative morality. We are comparing qualitative morality to something that doesn't exist.

    Here's an analogy that will put this into better perspective. If you need help moving, who's a better helper - your brother or superman? And like objective morality vs subjective morality, the answer is "it depends if superman exists or not". If superman exists, it's clear that he will be a better helper. He's clearly stronger and faster and you might not even need to rent a truck because he can fly everything to your new house. But if superman does not exist, then he's no help at all and your brother is a better option. You can point to the limitations of your brother (not very strong, pretty lazy, etc) but he's still better than nothing at all which is what you are getting if you are waiting for superman to help.

    It's the same principle here. If morality is subjective, all of the ways that objective morality is better than subjective morality doesn't really matter because those advantages don't exist. Morality plays a large factor in why some random stranger on the street doesn't kill you as you walk by. Whether morality is subjective or objective, it plays a major factor in keeping you safe. And if morality is indeed subjective, then subjective morality helps keep you safe. You can say that objective morality would do an even better job and you might be right about that. But if objective morality does not exist then it doesn't keep you safe just like superman, despite his powers, doesn't keep anyone safe either.

    So per my original argument, the morality that exists is the one that is superior.


    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Quite rightly, qualitative morality either is or it isn't. If there is no ultimate standard that we derive best from then all that is left is a preference. Is that what you are pushing for, your idea of happiness as the desired choice?
    Yes. But not my happiness or the happiness of any one man but the happiness of everyone in the word.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    As I have been arguing for all along - why is your preference any better than mine in such a case? You can't claim that it is. All you can do is take measures to enforce your standard. There is no justification for its goodness. Hitler or Kim Jong-un can impose their preference that opposes yours if they have the power to do so. What makes that "right?" You can't say their system is better or worse. All you can say is that you don't like it.
    Sure. But then A LOT of people decided that they didn't like Hitler's actions and took action to stop him. And please don't ask my why I think my ideals are better than anyone else'. I never made any such claim and subjective morality would hold that everyone's opinions are ultimately the same.


    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    But deep down (I believe) you know there is an ultimate standard because you fight just as hard to justify and establish your opinions as superior as I do mine. You think yours are BETTER than others, or else you would not hold to what you do or prefer - you would jettison the idea as inconsistent and illogical.

    That is why I see your system of thought as inconsistent. It can't produce an ultimate standard, one that is necessary of goodness. My system of thought can present what is required to make sense of morality.
    That argument is based on the premise that an ultimate standard is necessary. And making sense of something is not inherently superior to the alternative. Making sense means to "know the answer" but knowing the answer is only superior to not knowing if the person who "knows that answer" knows the correct answer. "I don't know" is a better answer to a question than an incorrect answer, even if the answer makes sense.

    In other words, you have to show that you know the CORRECT answer for your answer to have any real validity. Saying that you have an answer that makes sense doesn't really help matters unless you can show that the answer is also correct.


    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    [2] If it is evil would it be superior?

    You make the case that because it exists it is better.

    Again, you beg the question that it is superior because it exists.
    But do you challenge that premise? Either one agrees that the existent is superior to the nonexistent or they think that the nonexistent is superior to the existent or they have no preference.

    So which do you believe? Assuming you believe that the existent is superior, then you have no basis to challenge that.



    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    [3] I don't see how morality can exist if it is subjective.
    Why SHOULD your thoughts be any BETTER than mine if there is no ultimate standard of reference? What I see existing, if there is no final reference, is your likes verse my likes or Kim Jong-un's likes. There is nothing right or wrong about it - it just is! If I can subvert your likes, I win! Then you follow my preference! It is just the way it is, unless you can turn the tables, in an evolutionary system.

    If there is no Creator, no ultimate standard, then you are a biological bag of atoms that does not NECESSARILY react to the environment in the same way my naturalistic biological bag of molecules does. What makes that good or bad? There is NO REASON why your bag of atoms SHOULD react in the SAME way that mine does.

    There is also no ultimate reason because if God does not exist, then there is no reason behind the universe - it is meaningless. It just IS. Just being does not make something good.

    If that is the case (no God) why do you expect to find either a reason why the universe is or moral reason in it? Ultimately, there is none; it just doesn't matter in the big picture. You certainly want there to be meaning; you just want that meaning to comply with your ideas of what it should be. The very fact that you SEARCH for meaning should hint at BEING behind the universe. Would it not be insane to search for something that does not exist? Does the universe have meaning? This is one of life's ultimate questions. If the universe does, and humanity keeps searching for it (and missing out on God) how did that meaning get into a physical universe?
    I'm sorry but this all seems to say that you find the ramifications of there being no God to be disturbing. Disturbing ramifications of something being true is not evidence that it's not true. And if it true, the only alternative are things that are not true. It's better to learn an unpleasant truth and act on it than act on a premise that is false.

    To be clear, I'm not saying that it is true that morality is subjective, but if it is true and the ramifications of it being true are disturbing, it is not a valid reason for criticism. It's like discovering that one day our sun will explode and destroy the Earth. That's kind of disturbing but there's no point in criticizing this fact.


    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    This brings up another point. If the universe is not a product of a personal being there is no intention behind it, or to it. Why would you expect the present to be like the past? Why would you expect the complexity in the universe to be sustainable? Einstein made a comment of God and dice - He doesn't play dice with the universe. How can a six be rolled constantly and repeatedly without intentionality? First, there has to be something that rolls the dice, then the dice would have to be fixed to continually roll the six - same force, same number of turns, same landing spot, etc. Natural laws show surprising consistency for no reason, if God does not exist.

    And why would you expect morality to arise from the amoral universe, something that does not have morality? I think your thinking has a lot of giant leaps in it. It just materializes the immaterial out of nothing. How does something physical produce something intangible?
    First off, I argue as an agnostic, not an atheist. I am not arguing that God does not exist nor am I arguing that morality is indeed subjective. As a debater, I am just as open to the notion that God exists as the notion that God does not. So no, I'm not taking any giant leaps. I'm taking no leaps at all. And I also think that both the argument that God does exist and God does not exist contains large leaps. You've pointed out leaps in atheistic thinking and I'm sure atheists can point out leaps in theistic thinking ("What created God" is pretty common question atheists ask).

    And as I believe I said in this thread, questions are not arguments. If you ask "How can this happen?" and get no answer then the answer is "we don't know" as opposed to "Well, it didn't happen".

    So if you want to argue that God cannot not exist (and therefore must exist), you need to provide some level of evidence that he does.

    And I can provide answers to some of your questions but I choose not to as I think that will drag the debate way off topic. But please feel free to start a debate regarding God's existence. Seriously, I encourage you to do that. I think you have the right stuff for this debate site and we need new blood. I'd say start your own thread. If you don't know how, PM me and I'll help you get started.
    Last edited by mican333; July 1st, 2017 at 08:33 AM.

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    Re: Objective morality vs. subjective morality

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    First off, there is nothing in the definition of morality that requires it to be unchanging and measurable.
    Alright, then let's take a look at a moral issue. Which is the correct view of abortion? Is it a woman's right to choose or is it murder? Is the current view "right" or the opposing view held fifty years ago in your country (changed in part by Roe versus Wade)? Is the view held in Saudi Arabia on abortion a better view than in your country? If the next president of your country pushes the previously held view, and the Supreme Court (five conservatives and four liberals) overturns the current law, now what is the correct view and is it right now or was it right then? Who says?

    The view could flip-flop between right and wrong forever. So which is it? It can't be both good and evil if the Law of Identity is valid.

    The Law of Identity states: A = A.

    Does "A" actually equal "A" or is "A" something other than "A"? Is a dog a dog or is a dog a cat? Is "good" good or is it bad? Is something right or is something right actually wrong? Is abortion right or is it wrong? When the concreteness of value is turned on its head or lacks a definite home address (a nomad) or reference point, it opens the door to make it anything. It loses its identity. It loses its meaning. The very structure of language identifying concepts is thrown into disarray.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    And also, you are not really rebutting my argument that IF morality is subjective, it is superior to objective morality.
    I think the rebuttal is how you get to good from changing and opposing preferences? Which is the correct view? And can something that is good ever be bad?

    How do you get from "I like" to "You should?" How do you get from a scientific description to a moral prescription? Who decides what SHOULD be when everything is subjective/relative? Even your idea of happiness is problematic and probably quite different from mine, even if there are some commonalities, but what if it is opposite?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    If morality is subjective then it's a FACT that it has no measurable qualities and there is no objective best for comparison. And while you can argue that it would be better IF there were an objective best for comparison, the fact is such a thing doesn't exist if morality is subjective.
    No measurable qualities? What does that look like? You have a broad spectrum of possibilities. I don't understand how do you establish a moral without measures? If you don't have a basis for values how can you say something is right or wrong, good or evil? Please explain!

    A person can arbitrarily call something better but how if there is no best? Is it better because Mike likes it? Well, what about me who doesn't? Which relative view decides, and how?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    So if morality is subjective, we are not comparing qualitative morality to quantitative morality. We are comparing qualitative morality to something that doesn't exist.
    If morality is subjective, then there is nothing definite to fix the value. And I have no idea of how you can have quantitative morals? How do you grab onto a moral?

    And how can you compare qualitative morals to something that does not exist? There must be a measure otherwise there is no comparison (I'm thinking of Plato's Republic and the Cave with my last statement, if you are familiar).

    https://web.stanford.edu/class/ihum40/cave.pdf

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    Let me put this as an analogy. Let's say that you needed some help lifting a couch. Who's would be better at helping you, your brother or Superman? Now, you can say "Superman" because he is stronger than any human being and could lift your couch by himself. But you know that your brother is the better option because Superman doesn't exist.
    It appears to be your worldview that is ASSUMING either God does not exist, or there is no evidence for His existence. I am 100% sure He does, to make sense of anything. I know Superman is a fictitious character. As much as I am aware of anything, I know God is not fiction.

    I can make sense of life's ultimate questions only if God exists.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    It's the same principle here. [1] If morality is subjective, all of the way that objective morality is better than subjective morality doesn't really matter because it doesn't exist. [2] Morality plays a large factor in why some random stranger on the street doesn't kill you as you walk by. [3] Whether morality is subjective or objective, it plays a major factor in keeping you safe. [4] And if morality is indeed subjective, then subjective morality helps keep you safe. You can say that objective morality would do an even better job and you might be right about that. But if objective morality does not exist then it doesn't keep you safe just like Superman, despite his powers, doesn't keep anyone safe either.
    [1] You first have to establish how you can know better if morality is relative to subjective opinion. The problem is one of authority and motive. Whose authority and what motive? Is the motive a feeling, desire, what you like, a mere preference?

    Let me take an overused example:

    I like ice cream, and I believe that it should be a law that everyone likes ice cream because I think it is right to like ice cream.

    I have established a preference. I believe that it is good because I like it and I think everyone should feel the same.

    Now all I have to do is enforce my subjective preference, and I have established the same kind of relative, subjective morality you seem to be pushing. It doesn't matter that it is not right or wrong, just that I call it right because I like it. It doesn't have an objective best, but by force, I achieve the same goals that your relative individual preference does! Here again, there is no objectivity. I just like it and have the power to enforce it! Nothing wrong with that because I made the rule and am capable of applying the new law!

    [2] Morality plays a part, I would argue, because humans are made in the image and likeness of God, and deep down they know it is wrong to murder.

    [3] What is moral about my preference if someone else has a different idea about seeing you on the street for what he can get out of you - your money. He has no qualms about exercising that preference by murder, and in this particular part of town, this type of reaction is a common occurrence because of support by the gangs that control the neighborhood.

    [4] The term I object to is morality. If you want to call it subjective preference I'm okay with that. Once you call it subjective morality I want to know what its subjective measure is that makes it right? Subjective morality begs the question of why one opinion is better than another without a fixed reference point - best?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    So per my original argument, the morality that exists is the one that is superior.
    Superior to what? Do you want to make it superior arbitrarily? I know a curved or crooked line by comparing it to a straight line. What is the standard of best you use to establish superior? It appears to be whatever a person wants to make up because there is no fixed address.

    Peter

    ---------- Post added at 05:04 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:59 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    Quite rightly, qualitative morality either is or it isn't. If there is no ultimate standard that we derive best from then all that is left is a preference. Is that what you are pushing for, your idea of happiness as the desired choice?
    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    Yes. But not my happiness or the happiness of any one man but the happiness of everyone in the word.
    Subjective happiness is a relative thing. It can't include everyone because I can show that what makes you happy may not be what makes someone else happy.

    ***

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    As I have been arguing for all along - why is your preference any better than mine in such a case? You can't claim that it is. All you can do is take measures to enforce your standard. There is no justification for its goodness. Hitler or Kim Jong-un can impose their preference that opposes yours if they have the power to do so. What makes that "right?" You can't say their system is better or worse. All you can say is that you don't like it.
    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    Sure. But then A LOT of people decided that they didn't like Hitler's actions and took action to stop him. And please don't ask my why I think my ideals are better than anyone else'. I never made any such claim and subjective morality would hold that everyone's opinions are ultimately the same.
    But if Hitler achieved world dominance then you may very well have been one of the many millions considered undesirable. Just imagine the numbers of people he could have rung up to elimination.

    IMO, people think and imply their ideas are "better" even when their standards are fleeting. Why else would they believe them? Are they going to hold, by choice, something they know to be inferior? Not unless it serves a purpose.

    I don't think subjective morality necessarily holds that everyone's opinions are the same. There are so many views of what is right on any given topic that contradicts, so they can't be the SAME.

    Peter

    ---------- Post added at 05:19 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:04 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    But deep down (I believe) you know there is an ultimate standard because you fight just as hard to justify and establish your opinions as superior as I do mine. You think yours are BETTER than others, or else you would not hold to what you do or prefer - you would jettison the idea as inconsistent and illogical.

    That is why I see your system of thought as inconsistent. It can't produce an ultimate standard, one that is necessary of goodness. My system of thought can present what is required to make sense of morality.
    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    [1] That argument is based on the premise that an ultimate standard is necessary. [2] Nor is making sense of something superior to the alternative. [3] Making sense means to "know the answer" but knowing the answer is only superior to not knowing if the person who "knows that answer" knows the correct answer. "I don't know" is a better answer to a question than "knowing" the answer but being wrong.

    In other words, you have to show that you know the CORRECT answer, not just an answer that you believe makes sense.
    [1] Necessary because it can make sense of morality. That is the point I have been trying to drive home. How do you make sense of morality IF there is no fixed address, no ultimate standard, no final reference point for what good is?

    Isaiah 5:20
    Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

    [2] So is ignorance desirable? Would you rather not be able to make sense of something but just accept it regardless? If so, are you in a position to argue about it?

    [3] To know implies real knowledge, doesn't it? If you (used in a generic, not specific sense) are wrong, then you didn't know, you never knew, even if you BELIEVED you did. To know implies the person has the correct knowledge. This gets into the field of epistemology.

    ***
    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    If it is evil would it be superior?

    You make the case that because it exists, it is better.

    Again, you beg the question that it is superior because it exists.
    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    But do you challenge that premise? Either one agrees that the existent is superior to the nonexistent or they think that the nonexistent is superior to the existent or they have no preference.

    So which do you believe? Assuming you believe that the existent is superior, then you have no basis to challenge that.
    Yes, I challenge the premise on a few issues. How can something be superior if it does not exist? There is nothing to be superior over. I see you as trying to make a case for objective morality being non-existent. You first have to establish there can be morality if there is nothing objective to pin goodness upon to establish that morality. How do you derive morality when the standard used to determine it as right is constantly changing? It begs the question of why it is correct/right?

    Second, how do you know good or evil without something
    to fix good and evil too?

    ***
    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    I don't see how morality can exist if it is subjective.
    Why SHOULD your thoughts be any BETTER than mine if there is no ultimate standard of reference? What I see existing, if there is no final reference, is your likes verse my likes or Kim Jong-un's likes. There is nothing right or wrong about it - it just is! If I can subvert your likes, I win! Then you follow my preference! It is just the way it is, unless you can turn the tables, in an evolutionary system.

    If there is no Creator, no ultimate standard, then you are a biological bag of atoms that does not NECESSARILY react to the environment in the same way my naturalistic biological bag of molecules does. What makes that good or bad? There is NO REASON why your bag of atoms SHOULD react in the SAME way that mine does.

    There is also no ultimate reason because if God does not exist, then there is no reason behind the universe - it is meaningless. It just IS. Just being does not make something good.

    If that is the case (no God) why do you expect to find either a reason why the universe is or moral reason in it? Ultimately, there is none; it just doesn't matter in the big picture. You certainly want there to be meaning; you just want that meaning to comply with your ideas of what it should be. The very fact that you SEARCH for meaning should hint at BEING behind the universe. Would it not be insane to search for something that does not exist? Does the universe have meaning? This is one of life's ultimate questions. If the universe does, and humanity keeps searching for it (and missing out on God) how did that meaning get into a physical universe?
    [QUOTE=mican333]I'm sorry but this all seems to say that you find the ramifications of there being no God to be disturbing. Disturbing ramifications of something being true is not evidence that it's not true.

    Yes, I do find those implications disturbing for any number of reasons. How do you arrive at truth without an ultimate standard? The subjective person who gets to decide what is the truth is what worries me, especially when they have no final standard, thus use preference.

    ***

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    This brings up another point. If the universe is not a product of a personal being, there is no intention behind it, or to it. Why would you expect the present to be like the past? Why would you expect the complexity in the universe to be sustainable? Einstein made a comment about God and dice - He doesn't play dice with the universe. How can a six be rolled continuously without intentionality? First, there has to be something that rolls the dice, then the dice would have to be fixed to continually roll the six - same force, same number of turns, same landing spot, etc. Natural laws show surprising consistency for no reason, if God does not exist.

    And why would you expect morality to arise from the amoral universe, something that does not have morality? I think your thinking has a lot of giant leaps in it. It just materializes the immaterial out of nothing. How does something physical produce something intangible?
    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    [1]First off, I argue as an agnostic, not an atheist. I am not arguing that God does not exist nor am I arguing that morality is indeed subjective. [2] As a debater, I am just as open to the notion that God exists as the notion that God does not. So no, I'm not taking any giant leaps. [3] I'm taking no leaps at all. And I also think that both the argument that God does exist and God does not exist contains large leaps. You've pointed out leaps in atheistic thinking and I'm sure atheists can point out leaps in theistic thinking [4] ("What created God" is pretty common question atheists ask).

    [5] And as I believe I said in this thread, questions are not arguments. If you ask "How can this happen?" and get no answer then the answer is "we don't know" as opposed to "Well, it didn't happen".

    [6] So if you want to argue that God cannot not exist (and therefore must exist), you need to provide some level of evidence that he does.

    And I can provide answers to some of your questions but I choose not to as I think that will drag the debate way off topic. [7] But please feel free to start a debate regarding God's existence. Seriously, I encourage you to do that. I think you have the right stuff for this debate site and we need new blood. I'd say start your own thread. [8] If you don't know how, PM me and I'll help you get started.
    [1] Then as an agnostic you are arguing from the point of ignorance. I am arguing from the position of knowledge, of knowing. If you doubt that I do know, then it can be questioned, but I believe I can justify my faith in God reasonable.

    [2] I realize that you are arguing for a particular position and I am presenting what I think is most convincing evidence for the opposite position. I believe that you have been very reasonable in your inquiry into my argumentation. What I don't believe is that your worldview is consistent in what it would have to believe. If I dismantle your worldview by attacking its core presuppositions as to their sensibilities (or lack of sensibilities), I think that I leave you with the establishment of its inconsistencies. Once that happens then you will be left with the option of knowing that what you believe doesn't make sense and either looking for what does or living with the irrationality of your belief system.

    [3] Is non-being to being a leap or can you rationally explain it? Is something (and what is that something) devoid of morality producing something moral a massive jump or not? I would be interested in the explanation. Is something devoid of consciousness producing something conscious a leap of not? Again, how does this happen? Is something that has no rhyme nor reason creating reasoning beings for no reason a gigantic leap in the dark or not? It most definitely is to my mind, and I don't understand why IF it is not to your mind.

    [4] Logically, an eternal Being would not be created. He always is.

    [5] True, but questions can be used to draw out some problems in an argument, or other reasons, some of which I highlighted in another post. If I don't ask questions I can't clarify a point of misunderstanding or lead you to examine why you believe what you do. Thus, questions are most useful!

    [6] The impossibility (or unlikeliness of the contrary) is a good start. A good reason for God's existence, if you do not trust His word (which I would argue as my highest authority) is trying to make sense of anything without first presupposing Him. I claim His word is the greatest evidence for placing trust in Him when rightly understood. The reason I say this is because when properly understood I contend it is a most intricately connected unity in every book of the Bible that becomes unreasonable to deny. I say this believing I can demonstrate it logically.

    [7] I will try to do so soon. I was thinking about it when you encouraged me in your previous post.

    [8] Thanks! Appreciate that!

    Peter

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    Re: Objective morality vs. subjective morality

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Alright, then let's take a look at a moral issue. Which is the correct view of abortion? Is it a woman's right to choose or is it murder? Is the current view "right" or the opposing view held fifty years ago in your country (changed in part by Roe versus Wade)? Is the view held in Saudi Arabia on abortion a better view than in your country? If the next president of your country pushes the previously held view, and the Supreme Court (five conservatives and four liberals) overturns the current law, now what is the correct view and is it right now or was it right then? Who says?

    The view could flip-flop between right and wrong forever. So which is it? It can't be both good and evil if the Law of Identity is valid.

    The Law of Identity states: A = A.

    Does "A" actually equal "A" or is "A" something other than "A"? Is a dog a dog or is a dog a cat? Is "good" good or is it bad? Is something right or is something right actually wrong? Is abortion right or is it wrong? When the concreteness of value is turned on its head or lacks a definite home address (a nomad) or reference point, it opens the door to make it anything. It loses its identity. It loses its meaning. The very structure of language identifying concepts is thrown into disarray.
    No, it's not. The only reason that there is an apparent contradiction in the definition of morality is because you are not abiding by a correct definition of morality. Here is the definition of moral.

    "of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior"

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/moral

    So in the situation of abortion, a pro-choicer and a pro-lifer will have different moral positions about it. So they will be abiding by their own views of right and wrong. And both of their positions, by definition, are moral positions. There does not need to be an external arbitrator to officially say that one of them is right and the other is wrong in order for them to have moral positions.

    You are apparently going by the premise that morality is not morality unless there is an objective source of morality. That is not an accepted concept and therefor you will need to show that that is so before any argument based on that premise is valid.



    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    I think the rebuttal is how you get to good from changing and opposing preferences? Which is the correct view? And can something that is good ever be bad?

    How do you get from "I like" to "You should?" How do you get from a scientific description to a moral prescription? Who decides what SHOULD be when everything is subjective/relative? Even your idea of happiness is problematic and probably quite different from mine, even if there are some commonalities, but what if it is opposite?
    But those are not rebuttals. Those are questions. A rebuttal is a STATEMENT that shows that the stated position is wrong somehow.

    And if you are going to continue to present questions as arguments, you will be getting "questions are not arguments" from me with some regularity.



    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    No measurable qualities? What does that look like? You have a broad spectrum of possibilities. I don't understand how do you establish a moral without measures? If you don't have a basis for values how can you say something is right or wrong, good or evil? Please explain!

    A person can arbitrarily call something better but how if there is no best? Is it better because Mike likes it? Well, what about me who doesn't? Which relative view decides, and how?
    Again, that's a bunch of questions. None of those questions rebut my argument. So let me repeat my statement.

    If morality is subjective then it's a FACT that it has no measurable qualities and there is no objective best for comparison. And while you can argue that it would be better IF there were an objective best for comparison, the fact is such a thing doesn't exist if morality is subjective.

    But despite no rebuttal, I can respond to your questions a bit. Yes, if there is no "best" or external source of morality, then it is up to whoever to decide what is moral and what is not. And objectively, no one's opinion is better than another's. My opinion is only better than the next guy to those who think that my opinion is better.

    But let me point out that I am a nice guy (take my word for it). I'm quite honest and respectful to others and I'm often helpful and really try to not hurt or upset anyone. And all of these fine qualifies are based on my moral viewpoint. So if my moral viewpoint is subjective, then subjective morality is why I'm a good, helpful person. Who agrees or needs to agree with my moral position is not that relevant to the positive effects of my morality. So really, where my morality comes from (from a higher source or just instilled by upbringing and my own nature) doesn't really matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    And how can you compare qualitative morals to something that does not exist? There must be a measure otherwise there is no comparison (I'm thinking of Plato's Republic and the Cave with my last statement, if you are familiar).
    Again, questions. If you have a point, please state it directly. If you are asking a question because you don't know the answer, then you have no basis for an argument based on that question.


    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    It appears to be your worldview that is ASSUMING either God does not exist, or there is no evidence for His existence. I am 100% sure He does, to make sense of anything. I know Superman is a fictitious character. As much as I am aware of anything, I know God is not fiction.

    I can make sense of life's ultimate questions only if God exists.
    First off, I'm not arguing that God does or does not exist. But if we are going to examine the ramifications of subjective morality, then we must assume, just hypothetically, that there is no external source of morality. If you can't engage in the hypothetical of there being no external source of morality, then you cannot discuss the ramifications of such a thing being true and therefore cannot discuss subjective morality.

    Whether God does or does not exist is not question for this particular debate and therefore is off-topic.




    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    [1] You first have to establish how you can know better if morality is relative to subjective opinion. The problem is one of authority and motive. Whose authority and what motive? Is the motive a feeling, desire, what you like, a mere preference?

    Let me take an overused example:

    I like ice cream, and I believe that it should be a law that everyone likes ice cream because I think it is right to like ice cream.

    I have established a preference. I believe that it is good because I like it and I think everyone should feel the same.

    Now all I have to do is enforce my subjective preference, and I have established the same kind of relative, subjective morality you seem to be pushing. It doesn't matter that it is not right or wrong, just that I call it right because I like it. It doesn't have an objective best, but by force, I achieve the same goals that your relative individual preference does! Here again, there is no objectivity. I just like it and have the power to enforce it! Nothing wrong with that because I made the rule and am capable of applying the new law!
    I disagree. I think there is something wrong with that and my subjective moral position allows me to disagree with that. And also people generally think people having individual freedom is a moral positive so if you were to try to become dictator to force your moral views on everyone, you would likely meet so much resistance from those who disagree with you, that you wouldn't be able to do it. You would be stopped my morality.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    [2] Morality plays a part, I would argue, because humans are made in the image and likeness of God, and deep down they know it is wrong to murder.
    Completely irrelevant. Whether morality is or is not objective because God really exists is not a relevant topic of discussion to this debate. If you want to debate whether God does or does not exist, start a different thread for this issue.


    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    [3] What is moral about my preference if someone else has a different idea about seeing you on the street for what he can get out of you - your money. He has no qualms about exercising that preference by murder, and in this particular part of town, this type of reaction is a common occurrence because of support by the gangs that control the neighborhood.
    Okay, but that's not a rebuttal to my argument. The reason you are relatively safe in most areas in the US is because people are generally against attacking strangers. So there is a clear value for morality - it protects you. Whether their moral position is objective or subjective does not make a difference in whether it make you safer.



    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    [4] The term I object to is morality. If you want to call it subjective preference I'm okay with that. Once you call it subjective morality I want to know what its subjective measure is that makes it right? Subjective morality begs the question of why one opinion is better than another without a fixed reference point - best?
    First off, subjective morality is, by definition, morality so you can't really object to me using a word correctly (I guess you can but I will ignore such an objection). And to answer your question, subjective morality does not say that one opinion is better than another. So the question is irrelevant since it's based on a false premise.

    And also I've seen no rebuttal to my scenario (as in you saying that's incorrect or not applicable) so let me repeat it (in a shorter form). Superman being superior to your brother is entirely dependent on whether superman exists. If he exists, he's a lot of help. If he doesn't, he's no help. And the same goes for objective morality. If it exists, it's clearly superior to subjective morality. If it doesn't exist, then it's no help. If it doesn't exist, the reason you aren't regularly attacked in the streets is because of subjective morality, not objective morality (since it doesn't exist). So again, if objective morality does not exist, then subjective morality, being much more useful, is superior.




    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Superior to what? Do you want to make it superior arbitrarily? I know a curved or crooked line by comparing it to a straight line. What is the standard of best you use to establish superior? It appears to be whatever a person wants to make up because there is no fixed address.
    I'm going by the truism of that which exists is superior to that which does not exist. A real hammer will help you pound nails; an imaginary hammer will not be of any help.

    Pretty much by any indication of "better" that one can come up with, that which exists is superior to that which does not exist.



    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Subjective happiness is a relative thing. It can't include everyone because I can show that what makes you happy may not be what makes someone else happy.
    I didn't say that you can make everyone happy. But making people as happy as they can be is a very good goal for humanity. And of course many of the things that would make people happy are worthy goals. We would be happier in general if we cured cancer so we should cure cancer. We would be happier if we weren't killing each other, so peace is a worthy goal. And so on.




    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    But if Hitler achieved world dominance then you may very well have been one of the many millions considered undesirable. Just imagine the numbers of people he could have rung up to elimination.

    IMO, people think and imply their ideas are "better" even when their standards are fleeting. Why else would they believe them? Are they going to hold, by choice, something they know to be inferior? Not unless it serves a purpose.

    I don't think subjective morality necessarily holds that everyone's opinions are the same. There are so many views of what is right on any given topic that contradicts, so they can't be the SAME.
    Actually, subjective morality does hold that everyone's opinion is the same. There is no standard for measurement so one can't be officially "more" or "better" than any other so they must be equal. People can think that some opinions are better than others but subjective morality does not hold that.


    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    [1] Necessary because it can make sense of morality. That is the point I have been trying to drive home. How do you make sense of morality IF there is no fixed address, no ultimate standard, no final reference point for what good is?
    First off, I can make some level of sense of morality without bringing a deity into it. One could argue that morality is basically an evolutionary trait, something that helps us cooperate so that our species survives better and therefore the fixed point is what overall promotes the continuation of the species.

    But besides that, an answer is not correct just because it makes sense of something that won't make sense to you if you don't have the answer. As Neil DeGrasse Tyson said, the universe has no obligation to make sense to you. So if something doesn't make sense to you, that's not really a problem (except for you). And also when you find an answer that does make sense of something that before didn't seem to make sense, that does not mean the answer is correct.


    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    [2] So is ignorance desirable? Would you rather not be able to make sense of something but just accept it regardless? If so, are you in a position to argue about it?
    I wouldn't say that ignorance is desirable but if I can't make sense of something, then I will accept that I can't make sense of it because I have no other choice. If someone offers me an explanation that does make sense, it only really helps me if it's the correct answer. I don't want to accept an untruth just for the sake of feeling that something makes sense where it didn't before.

    Let me put things in order of preference.
    1. Truth
    2. Ignorance
    3. Untruth.

    Knowing the truth is best but if I don't know the truth, then ignorance is the next best thing. Any answer that will alleviate my ignorance must be truthful for it to be better than remaining ignorant. So I'm not that impressed with "making sense". The answer must be provably true before it is better than ignorance.




    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Yes, I challenge the premise on a few issues. How can something be superior if it does not exist? There is nothing to be superior over. I see you as trying to make a case for objective morality being non-existent. You first have to establish there can be morality if there is nothing objective to pin goodness upon to establish that morality. How do you derive morality when the standard used to determine it as right is constantly changing? It begs the question of why it is correct/right?
    I am not making the case that objective morality is non-existent. Please realize that if I ever indicate that it doesn't exist, that is for hypothetical reasons only in order to examine the ramifications of morality being subjective. You can't examine the ramifications of X without hypothetically assuming X is true.

    And your questions do not call into question morality at all. There is nothing in the definition of morality that indicates that it requires a consistent standard or that any particular moral position be "right". Your arguments seem to be sneaking in the premise that morality is actually objective and therefore morality does require external standards. It does not require those things so your questions are irrelevant to subjective morality.

    And the premise I forwarded was not regarding morality so your objection regarding morality did not address it so let me repeat it. Things that exist are superior to things that don't exist. If you reject this premise, please explain why you think that either things that don't exist are superior to things that exist or that the existent and non-existent are equal. And if you are asking "superior in what way", I mean pretty much every way. Again, a real hammer is more useful than an imaginary hammer. Please address this premise on its own terms instead of making your objection about something else.


    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Second, how do you know good or evil without something
    to fix good and evil too?
    That's a question, not an argument. If you want to argue that one cannot determine good and evil without a fixed point, then please state that directly.


    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Yes, I do find those implications disturbing for any number of reasons. How do you arrive at truth without an ultimate standard? The subjective person who gets to decide what is the truth is what worries me, especially when they have no final standard, thus use preference.
    First off, we are discussing morality and not truth. And as I said, finding the ramifications disturbing does not mean that it's wrong. I find the holocaust very, very disturbing but I don't think that it didn't happen because I find it disturbing. Likewise if you find subjective morality disturbing, that doesn't effect whether it's real or not.


    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    [1] Then as an agnostic you are arguing from the point of ignorance. I am arguing from the position of knowledge, of knowing. If you doubt that I do know, then it can be questioned, but I believe I can justify my faith in God reasonable.
    Perhaps, but that doesn't belong on this thread. Again, feel free to start a new thread about whether God exists or not. But that's not a relevant topic for this thread. This thread only deals in hypotheticals.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    [2] I realize that you are arguing for a particular position and I am presenting what I think is most convincing evidence for the opposite position. I believe that you have been very reasonable in your inquiry into my argumentation. What I don't believe is that your worldview is consistent in what it would have to believe. If I dismantle your worldview by attacking its core presuppositions as to their sensibilities (or lack of sensibilities), I think that I leave you with the establishment of its inconsistencies. Once that happens then you will be left with the option of knowing that what you believe doesn't make sense and either looking for what does or living with the irrationality of your belief system.
    I think it would be rather hard to find inconsistencies in the agnostic position. Obviously saying "I don't know" makes it kind of hard to nail down inconsistent beliefs. Please do not assume that I am an atheist either in argumentation or in person. I do not argue as an atheist and at this point I am not sharing what I actually believe.


    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    [3] Is non-being to being a leap or can you rationally explain it? Is something (and what is that something) devoid of morality producing something moral a massive jump or not? I would be inte rested in the explanation. Is something devoid of consciousness producing something conscious a leap of not? Again, how does this happen? Is something that has no rhyme nor reason creating reasoning beings for no reason a gigantic leap in the dark or not? It most definitely is to my mind, and I don't understand why IF it is not to your mind.
    But again, these are questions. I mean you are basing your argument against atheism on not know the answers to these questions so your arguments are based on your own ignorance. For all you know, an atheist could answer these questions very well. I could provide some answers to these question but I choose not to because this is actually off topic to this thread.

    So you not know the answers to these questions is not a particularly convincing argument against atheism.


    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    [5] True, but questions can be used to draw out some problems in an argument, or other reasons, some of which I highlighted in another post. If I don't ask questions I can't clarify a point of misunderstanding or lead you to examine why you believe what you do. Thus, questions are most useful!
    But your use of questions do not seem to be for seeking clarification but as a form of rebuttal. You even directly said:

    "I think the rebuttal is how you get to good from changing and opposing preferences? Which is the correct view? And can something that is good ever be bad?"

    That is not seeking clarification but attempting to rebut my argument by asking questions. Likewise if you are asking questions seeking for me to clarify something, then the question should be regarding what I said. Many, probably most of your questions, are not questioning something that I actually said.

    Again, you are primarily asking questions as a form of attack of the subjective viewpoint. And if you want to attack it, you should make statements regarding it, not ask questions about it.


    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    [6] The impossibility (or unlikeliness of the contrary) is a good start. A good reason for God's existence, if you do not trust His word (which I would argue as my highest authority) is trying to make sense of anything without first presupposing Him. I claim His word is the greatest evidence for placing trust in Him when rightly understood. The reason I say this is because when properly understood I contend it is a most intricately connected unity in every book of the Bible that becomes unreasonable to deny. I say this believing I can demonstrate it logically.
    A story coming together nicely and logically is not evidence that the story is true.
    Last edited by mican333; July 2nd, 2017 at 08:44 AM.

 

 
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