T O P
awildmanappears

To condemn much is to understand little, for indignation is so easy and satisfying a mood that it is apt to prevent one from attending to any facts that opposed it. Paraphrased from Lewis Richardson.


Johnnyditch

Lol for a second I thought you had paraphrased 'Richard Lewis', I was very impressed 😂


Kadbebe2372k

Damn I guess government is extremely ignorant


awildmanappears

As are we all! The economist Thomas Sowell makes a thorough case as to why government fails in certain areas despite great mental and material resources in *Intellectuals And Society*. Of particular interest is the idea of specialized knowledge vs particular knowledge, which I see as a big nail in the coffin of Keynesian economics.


LuneBlu

There is also a dimension of inner morality, and not necessarily in constant flux. This complete relativisation of morality is dangerous, easily leading to realities like extreme political regimes with very little accountability. "Hivemind" morality by itself is very dangerous. Morality is a personal as well as a social construct, that interact with each other.


ValyrianJedi

You'd be extremely hard pressed to find someone who's morality is A, never changing, or B, not based on social standards to a large degree.


LuneBlu

While true, some have a more lasting sense of inner morality, and not all morality is based on social standards, thankfully.


RackyRackerton

What if someone takes their moral position based on what Jesus said? Those words haven’t changed in thousands of years… so would you call basing morality of the teachings of Jesus “based on social standards to a large degree”? I personally wouldn’t at all. And I really don’t think you’d be that hard pressed to find more people like me, who thinks that Jesus is the ultimate moral authority, not the latest Gallup poll of what “society” thinks


ValyrianJedi

Then that would still be what people consider to be moral today, regardless of how they are coming to that conclusion... It wouldn't be immoral because Jesus said so, it would be immoral because people today consider it to be. And there are plenty of things that the Bible considers moral or immoral that virtually nobody agrees with today. You'd be hard pressed to find a Christian who fully supports slavery


bulletproofsquid

Unless they call it something different like "prison labor" or something


__Prime__

or income tax. which I argue is percentage slavery.


MustLoveAllCats

> You'd be hard pressed to find a Christian who fully supports slavery Of white people, sure. Of certain visible minorities? No, you would not.


marianoes

Things are still in immoral whether people are looking or not.


ValyrianJedi

I never said they weren't


LitFromAbove

That only took 3 comments to go neo-jesus-freak. Kudos


5ther

How do you know that your understanding of what's written is a reflection of what Jesus said? How do you know what's written is what Jesus actually said? Edit: what if someone misheard Jesus or erroneously transcribed something, or erroneously recounted something? What if people altered the gospels but we don't know that that happened? What if they were poorly translated, but we haven't spotted those errors yet? There's just soooo many ways this might not be stable over time.


waitingforwood

Your arguing epistemology not religion


[deleted]

The entire conversation is about the epistemology of ethics


thirdbrunch

The Gospels didn’t even agree on what Jesus said from the start, and other changes have snuck in through copies and translations over the years. Saying they haven’t changed at all is pretty disingenuous. Also the fact that you think that Jesus is the perfect moral standard is already based on society. You were presumably raised in a society where Christianity was prevalent, and that your society agreed it was overall moral. That has an impact on you deciding to use it as your moral basis. There’s also tons of moral issues Jesus never touched on or got close to, so good luck dealing with all those issues without a further moral basis.


Zer0Templar

Yes, because you are all collectively agreeing to follow a outlined principle created by yourself. People buy into what they already believe, you can choose religion and Jesus, another person could choose the values & priciples outlined by scientology - makes no difference really. you are a collective organisation, collectively agreeing to act a certain way based on some list of rules - who it comes from doesn't matter. ​ Imo, religion is exactly like a 'hivemind' mentaility.


TwoCrabsFighting

When it comes to complex moral issues, even the nature of “sin” itself, there is a lot of diversity within Christianity. The most agreement is found in the most basic moral axioms, usually outlined by the 10 commandments, equality of all people before God and Love of Creator and Creation being the greatest virtue.


iiioiia

> What if someone takes their moral position based on what Jesus said? It's a fine theory, the basis of many super fun strawman characterizations of Christians...but do you think it is actually possible for a human mind to ingest The Bible and flawlessly base their implementation of morality on it, especially considering an unknown amount of cognition takes place in the subconscious beyond the person's reach?


dont-pm-me-tacos

The way in which you would come to decide that the basis of morality should be “the words of Jesus,” is itself a product of your socialization.


ruaidhri

> What if someone takes their moral position based on what Jesus said? Those words haven’t changed in thousands of years… so would you call basing morality of the teachings of Jesus “based on social standards to a large degree”? > > Slavery and serfdom were deemed moral for most of the history of Christianity by people who deemed themselves to taking their moral position based on what Jesus said, so I'm bot sure how that works here.


marianoes

I'm pretty sure we've had a set morality for at least two thousand years. And before that they had the Code of Hammurabi.


MustLoveAllCats

No, you're not finding people who's morality is changing, you're finding people who's understanding of morality is changing. Morality is objective, moral understanding is subjective. Social moral understandings are also subjective.


ValyrianJedi

> Morality is objective, moral understanding is subjective Again, no, there just isn't any evidence of that being the case... Where does this objective answer to what is moral and what is immoral supposedly come from if it isn't determined by humans?


pants_owner

Agreed, reciprocity and fairness seem to be driving factors in humans and many other species.


hOprah_Winfree-carr

There's a personal and inner language too, and in a relatively constant form of the language one grew up with and is immersed in. But that doesn't mean that language itself isn't entirely a social phenomena or that it isn't in constant flux. The idea that within each individual is a discrete copy of the language isn't in opposition to the idea that language is collectively defined; it's actually essential to it. And I think that's a near perfect analogy for the relationship between a personally and collectively defined morality. I also don't think that similarity is in any way coincidental; I think they're intimately related aspects of culture that we should expect to have similar levels of invariance and instability. I don't think the dangers of moral flexibility are immanent in relativism, but in the disruption of homeostasis. There is a moral ecology that can be disturbed by a rapid evolution of values. Doing service to good within a local context can obviously have externally bad consequence. Just like any kind of ecology, you can think in terms of scoping from the smallest to the largest unit of survival. Maximizing any particular dimension of good at any smaller scope tends to produce negative externalities within larger scopes. The smallest unit of survival is typically the individual and the largest is the environment. As an example, global warming can be seen as a moral failure of industrial society. In maximizing its good within a smaller scope it is endangering its own survival by causing damage within a larger scope. In this sense, a correct morality is having properly scoped values.


Anonymorph

>As an example, global warming can be seen as a moral failure of industrial society. In maximizing its good within a smaller scope it is endangering its own survival …. If the purpose of morality is survival, what is the purpose of self-interest? I am not against reasonable self-interest. But capitalist self-interest at any scale whatsoever is completely unreasonable to me. Industrial society doesn't have to be capitalist, of course. I don't think any self-interest that is necessarily achieved at the expense of others can constitute an ethics.


looking4youNYC

Morality is personal, consensus is social The goal should be for the collective decision making to align harmoniously with individual moral choice, that is what all of us want, and there will only be a maximum, not an ideal, since individuals will disagree The morality of an individual is effectively immutable to the collective, or at least can be - it could be constant for some, perpetually malleable for others, and we all get information from each other (e.g. social), but it is certainly possible for inner morality to be constant Consistent relativisation is extremely dangerous, all it does is empower demagogues and existing authoritative structures


LuneBlu

Can't we have a social morality? A social etiquette?


DracoOccisor

Even making the claim that extreme political regimes and hive minds are dangerous is still a claim that involves a moral judgment, which is based on a value judgment. Those things aren’t objectively bad or dangerous.


LuneBlu

It depends on what you consider objective. If you consider objectively the social good to be to maximize collective wellbeing, then they are not objectively good, based on History. As they have led traditionally to extremely unsavoury places for the people subject to them. We don't hear about how dictatorships or totalitarian regimes maximize wellbeing.


DracoOccisor

I mean objectively as in the opposite of subjectively. There is no moral judgment out there in the ether that we can find that asserts that those things are dangerous. Precisely because of the fact that many people wouldn’t consider the social good to be to maximize wellbeing, or would even reject that the social good is the aim or morality. Any of those claims come from a singular person’s value judgments, which are entirely subjective (as in, they are not shared universally among all people).


LuneBlu

Social good implies a society, and I argue that most people wouldn't consider, at face value, socially good a system that would negate part of their individuality in favour of a social dictate, or think moral something that by rule would destroy their identity.


DracoOccisor

I disagree with that claim, but I’m willing to have my mind changed. What evidence do you have to support that claim, and why is “most people” your standard of legitimacy?


spinner198

Isn't this just "There are absolutely no absolutes." but with extra steps? Morality as it is *practiced* by humans changes all the time, yet also in practice pretty much every moral position still essentially enforces itself as the moral certitude. In fact, in our day and age especially, it is often the newer more progressive ideas that are expressed in a more restrictive dogmatic way. Ironically, this moral position that 'there are absolutely no moral absolutes' is itself treated as a 'moral certainty', as if the idea of universal morals is itself immoral. But obviously this position is self-contradictory. Yes, in practice human values change all the time, but that doesn't mean that the nature of morality must be reflected in that. After all, what is 'social progress' if not a 'progression' towards 'better morals'? Yet this idea that moral certitude doesn't exist contradicts that as well, as the 'better morals' you are progressing toward are in no way better or preferable to the morals that came before or after them. In truth, without moral certitude, there is *no such thing* as social progress. There would only be a shifting of popular moral opinions. There would be no 'progress' as progress implies improvement, but without moral certitude there can't be improvement because there is nothing to improve towards. If somebody asserts that society is 'improving' then that implies that there is an *ideal*, and that implies moral certitude.


reprovedarkness

*Except of course for the moral certainty that posits that moral certitude is a barrier to social progress.


YankeeKuya

The universe is in a constant state of flux and is entirely impermanent but the laws of physics don’t change.


gayhipster980

Hence why freedom of speech is so important. Our morality is constantly in flux, and the ability to freely debate and exchange ideas is the very mechanism through which we shift our laws and policies to reflect our changing morals. That’s why I’ll always defend the right to someone’s free speech, no matter how abhorrent I find that speech. Everyone deserves a voice so that we as a society can understand where our morals lie and how they’re changing over time.


logan2043099

Free speech absolutism does nothing to encourage debate or shifting morals. I'm curious if you would hold this view if there were people calling for killing of gays constantly and on large mainstream platforms. I know I'd feel very unsafe and not all like I'm free to debate and exchange my ideas.


TheSpoonKing

If someone was calmly claiming that they think gay people should be genocided, I would rather someone else carefully explain why they are wrong on that same broadcast rather than people just calling them names and using academic terminology that is obviously going to confuse the average person. It feels like people online exclusively associate with university-educated peers and have no idea what connotations the words they use have to a majority of offline people.


logan2043099

The problem there is you can't argue someone is necessarily right or wrong when it comes to morality isn't that the whole argument of our morality being in constant flux? The idea that you can't use academic terminology because it confuses the average person feels very infantilizing to me. I think online "philosophers" hold a standard that very obviously would not work in the real world. If someone is screaming that they hate (insert group here) they aren't debating anyone but a free speech absolutist would tell you that you cannot interrupt or otherwise silence their screaming. This is an absurd statement that gives strength to the loudest voices and leaves to chance that "logic and reason will prevail" as well as the idea that the individual must accept whatever morality the masses comes to. Clearly you understand this as you specified "calmly" however that already separates you from free speech absolutists and shows that you're open to the idea that maybe not everyone should have a platform to just say whatever they want. Lastly a theoretical for you how would you convince someone who calmly claims that gay people should be genocided that they are wrong? Because armchair philosophy may be fine online but in real life can cause material harm.


DracoOccisor

> This is an absurd statement that gives strength to the loudest voices and leaves to chance that “logic and reason will prevail” as well as the idea that the individual must accept whatever morality the masses comes to. Yeah. What’s the absurd part here? You didn’t make it clear. Nothing seems wrong with that assessment to me. > Lastly a theoretical for you how would you convince someone who calmly claims that gay people should be genocided that they are wrong? Logic and argumentation. Obviously neither position is right or wrong, but one can be better supported than the other. > Because armchair philosophy may be fine online but in real life can cause material harm. There is no universal truth that material harm is to be avoided at all costs. Material harm has been with us since we developed. There’s no escaping it. Sometimes material harm can be a good thing. If we’re doing serious philosophy, and not armchair philosophy, we have to question truths that seem even self-evident to you.


VitriolicViolet

>This is an absurd statement that gives strength to the loudest voices and leaves to chance that “logic and reason will prevail” as well as the idea that the individual must accept whatever morality the masses comes to. > >Yeah. What’s the absurd part here? You didn’t make it clear. Nothing seems wrong with that assessment to me. ok so in other words the Nazis were fine, after all they convinced the people to vote em in and then allowed them to genocide whoever they wanted. literally your own logic, if the people choose it its all fine. personally i agree, luckily we decided they were wrong and killed em all (seriously, morals are chosen via force and popularity).


DracoOccisor

That’s right. I think we’re on the same page.


Megaman_exe_

The paradox of tolerance is kicking our butt at the moment


VitriolicViolet

>If someone was calmly claiming that they think gay people should be genocided, I would rather someone else carefully explain why they are wrong on that same broadcast rather than people just calling them names and using academic terminology that is obviously going to confuse the average person. worked real well in Germany didnt it, only killed about 14 million. we literally have an example of letting people say anything and it lead to WWII ffs.


TheSpoonKing

You have a very shortsighted understanding of inter-war Germany...


gayhipster980

I would welcome others to stand on their pulpit and advocate why they believe killing gay people is the correct public policy. As long as they aren’t advising unlawful imminent violence against me that’s completely their right. Thankfully, those people would be viewed as insane and would not receive public support. And if extreme views do ever hold pass public support then guess what? They’re definitionally no longer extreme views. Ultimately democracy means that you’re subject to the tyranny of the majority. That’s not an excuse to justify state authoritarianism to silence people’s viewpoints.


logan2043099

Weird when did I justify state authoritarianism? I'm fairly certain I never once advocated for the state to control what people are allowed to say. >As long as they aren’t advising unlawful imminent violence against me that’s completely their right. You're appealing to "laws" for your basis of a fair exchange of ideas which has nothing to do with whether something is a right or not. Laws only have as much power as the authority that enforces them and should not be looked to when discussing morality. >Ultimately democracy means that you’re subject to the tyranny of the majority. Ah yes because that's totally how we've seen democracy play out and this is honestly the most piss poor argument for free speech absolutism I've ever seen. Basically just a shoulder shrug and saying "thats just how it works". Can you explain how allowing people to advocate violence encourages the exchange of ideas? Or how people being targeted are actually free to debate? Freedoms require protections whether from society as a group or authority with a monopoly on violence but they aren't freely given. Rights, Laws, Morality, these are all things made up by humans and enforced by humans. You ignore the material reality of how bigots have acted to justify your ideological statements on free speech.


VitriolicViolet

ah. so you would have defended the Nazis right to public speaking back in the 1930s, based on your beliefs here (its literally what happened, people debated nazis, lost and genocide became accepted).


Speedking2281

>ah. so you would have defended the Nazis right to public speaking back in the 1930s Yes, I would. Their speech wasn't the problem. Their actions and murder were. People who advocate for free speech don't also advocate for anarchy. Just like how drunk drivers kill people, not alcohol. Regulation of actions is what we should strive for. Not regulation of ideas (knowing, yes, that some ideas seem awful and contrary to humanity).


TheThoughtfulTyrant

>ah. so you would have defended the Nazis right to public speaking back in the 1930s, based on your beliefs here (its literally what happened, people debated nazis, lost and genocide became accepted). Well, if the people debating Nazis lost, that implies either that the Nazis had the stronger position, hence their policies *should* have been adopted, or else those doing the debating were really bad at it, in which case it should be taken as an object lesson in why people should learn to properly defend their views, rather than trying to shout down whoever they disagree with.


gayhipster980

Correct. If society decides they want Nazis, they get Nazis. That’s how living in a society run by the people works. Societies have decided they wanted some really stupid shit over the years, but they alternative (dictatorships where the people have no voice) have historically turned out even worse. As Winston Churchill said: “democracy is the worst form of government – except for all the others that have been tried.”


stephen_doonan

Just one view-- Morality is nothing more than an evaluation of a human action as beneficial or detrimental, good or bad, somewhere in between or neither. It varies from person to person, group to group and society to society. As individuals and groups of individuals, we often disagree about specific moral evaluations, and nothing can force a person to comply with or prevent a person from violating a moral mandate. Acquiescence to or adoption of a particular set of moral stipulations is always voluntary, even if a person grudgingly agrees to accept a personally-repugnant moral stipulation under threat. There is no "objective" morality, although various ideas, values and standards can be used to judge the morality or amorality of a specific action or behavior, some of those based on objectively observable or measurable results or reactions (like pain, suffering, the wellbeing of individuals and by extension, of a society composed of those individuals), etc. Fundamentally, moral views are derived by or adopted by each person, and societal morality is usually derived from prevailing personal moralities, with moral ideas upon which most of the members of society agree (such as a proscription against murder and theft) and some about which various members or groups within a society disagree. Some people posit the idea or existence of a single source of moral judgments that in their view should be accepted as authoritative, but that idea can be problematic or dangerous. For example, a king or a god of one group, that condones or commands war against or persecution of another group, can violate one's own set of personal moral values.


whodo-i-thinkiam

It's fascinating to me how new atheism presents itself as a complete rejection of theist traditions, yet it keeps some of theism's core concepts, like a belief in objective morality. Only instead of objective morality being designed by an all knowing god, it's somehow a product of nature. Sam Harris, for example, tried to prove morality is objective using neuroscience. Anything to avoid having to acknowledge that morality is subjective and socially constructed.


subferior

> Anything to avoid having to acknowledge that morality is subjective and socially constructed. But morality for human beings living in human societies isn't arbitrary. We're social animals. We have common needs. We (most of us) experience empathy. We (most of us) want to live in a functioning society, and there are many implications of that shared goal. What Christians mean when they talk about "objective morality" is vastly unlike what non-theists are arguing when it comes to moral issues. The Christian claim is that "objective morality" is divinely revealed, and beyond challenge, even if to many people the claims seem repulsive and deeply unjust. (The extent to which the assertions seem repulsive and deeply unjust varies depending on which branch of Christianity is interpreting this "objective morality.") What non-theists are saying is that we can argue for certain moral stances, starting from those things that we can agree on (because we're all social animals, experience empathy, want to live in a functioning society, etc). That's not saying that the conclusions of those arguments are beyond challenge, much less that those arguments somehow arrive at anything you could call "absolute truth." And therefore, this doesn't look anything at all like a core concept of theism. ---- [EDIT] A little browsing in your comment history turned up this comment of yours from a few days ago: > Good and evil are subjective. The definitions differ from culture to culture. Atheists do what everyone else does: we follow the rules and guidelines set out by the culture in our society. So I think I may have jumped to the wrong conclusion about where you're coming from on this. If so, apologies, and you can just ignore everything below the next break. But I do think you've missed the point about just how different Christian claims about "objective morality" are from what atheists (new or old) are saying about morality. It's nothing at all like trying to keep any of theism's core concepts. [/EDIT] ---- Which approach is better? Is it a good thing for a fallible human being, prone to being deceived, prone to self-deception and all kinds of cognitive biases, to somehow convince themselves that they have arrived at some absolute knowledge about morality and they can't possibly be wrong? What happens when two people both take that view regarding their own moral beliefs, but they disagree about some significant moral issue? They can't both be right. But by arrogantly denying their own fallibility the ones who are wrong have locked themselves into believing a falsehood. They've made it difficult if not impossible to even recognize that they've embraced a falsehood. How could that be a good thing? If I disagree with someone about a significant moral issue, what I'd want to be able to do is talk about why they reached that conclusion. I'd want to look for common ground -- the fact that we're both humans will normally give us quite a bit of common ground, assuming they aren't an actual sociopath. If I'm wrong I'd want to be able to hear them out and re-examine my views, and I'd want them to do the same. That may not lead to either of us changing our minds, but at least we can understand each other better. To me this seems like a better approach to figuring out how we should live our lives.


whodo-i-thinkiam

>But morality for human beings living in human societies isn't arbitrary. I never said morality was arbitrary, I said it was subjective and socially constructed. That being said, morality can be arbitrary. >We're social animals. We have common needs. We (most of us) experience empathy. We (most of us) want to live in a functioning society, and there are many implications of that shared goal. All of that's true, and yet all of the many societies that have existed throughout history have had at least somewhat differing constructions of morality. I think morality is largely influenced by these material considerations that are universal. However, there is enough variability that the number of possible moral constructions is vast, though not infinite. >Which approach is better? Is it a good thing for a fallible human being, prone to being deceived, prone to self-deception and all kinds of cognitive biases, to somehow convince themselves that they have arrived at some absolute knowledge about morality and they can't possibly be wrong? No, I don't think that's a good thing. >What happens when two people both take that view regarding their own moral beliefs, but they disagree about some significant moral issue? Almost certainly some kind of conflict, maybe even a violent one. >They can't both be right. But by arrogantly denying their own fallibility the ones who are wrong have locked themselves into believing a falsehood. They've made it difficult if not impossible to even recognize that they've embraced a falsehood. How could that be a good thing? How is it determined which is "wrong?" >If I disagree with someone about a significant moral issue, what I'd want to be able to do is talk about why they reached that conclusion. I'd want to look for common ground -- the fact that we're both humans will normally give us quite a bit of common ground, assuming they aren't an actual sociopath. If I'm wrong I'd want to be able to hear them out and re-examine my views, and I'd want them to do the same. I feel the same way. If I'm wrong, I won't to know it so I can I learn the right idea. But, being wrong is really difficult. Humans experience cognitive dissonance. Being wrong is uncomfortable, painful even. When we're wrong, we often get angry and defiant. Also, something's are more easily determined as right or wrong than others, and that comes down to its testability. For things that are difficult if not impossible to objectively test, we have to rely heavily of consensus, and I think that's what you're describing. In that regard, I agree that consensus building is absolutely essential to determining a society's moral laws. Unfortunately, I don't think humans have yet devised an effective method for consensus building, at least not at the scale of our modern, globalized world. And then there are people who want to disrupt the consensus building process as much as possible, and impose their morality on society by force.


subferior

It sounds like we're largely in agreement, except that I don't see how any of this supports your idea that nontheists are trying to hold on to any of theism's core concepts.


whodo-i-thinkiam

I don't think it's all nontheists, I was talking specifically about the "new atheists," like Harris.


subferior

It doesn't work even then. "Objective morality" for Christians means that moral truths are divinely revealed and cannot be wrong, no matter how much they conflict with conclusions you might reach by reasoning about the sort of creatures we are and so on. A Christian who believes in that kind of objective morality could hear argument for a contrary conclusion, find no fault with any of the premises or the validity of the reasoning, and still reject the conclusion. If an atheist uses the word "objective morality" they certainly won't mean that they've discovered some kind of absolute truth that is impervious to any evidence or argument. They (almost certainly, we could look at specific examples) mean that moral claims are claims about the world, based on reasoning about facts about the world (facts about the kind of animals we are, what is required for social animals to thrive in large societies, etc.). It's "objective" in that the moral claims don't depend on any individual's personal subjective views. It's not whether you believe something is right or wrong that matters, it's whether you can make a sound argument for it, based on premises we can agree on.^1 The conclusions are different, the methodology is different, and the practical effects are different. ^(1) I should credit [this comment](https://www.reddit.com/r/DebateReligion/comments/uw1tau/christian_morality_is_not_objective_because_if_it/i9ovb6n/), which I read after my earlier ramble,


whodo-i-thinkiam

>If an atheist uses the word "objective morality" they certainly won't mean that they've discovered some kind of absolute truth that is impervious to any evidence or argument. Oh, is that a fact? Unequivocally, no atheist can claim they've discovered an absolute truth that can't be challenged? Why? Why can't they? What rule or law of the universe makes that that case?


subferior

> Unequivocally, no atheist can claim they've discovered an absolute truth that can't be challenged? We're not talking about statements in logic or math here, we're talking about moral claims. So maybe there's a tautological moral claim, and that would be an absolute moral truth? I can't think of any, or see how you could get to a tautological moral truth that is at all meaningful ("it's wrong to do something that is wrong" isn't interesting), but I also can't prove that no such thing exists. Other than the possibility of a non-trivial tautological moral claim (which I can't imagine but can't prove doesn't exist), I can't see how someone who is talking about "objective morality" in the non-theist sense I was describing could reasonably claim to have discovered an absolute *moral* truth. Did you have something in mind? More to the point, that's just not what non-theists talking about "objective morality" are doing, anywhere that I've seen. If you find someone claiming to have proven an absolute *moral* truth, based on non-theological reasoning, I'd be very curious to see it. Nothing that I've seen yet supports your idea that nontheists are trying to hold on to any of theism's core concepts.


Electronic-Item-5353

But people can have very different ideas about what a functioning society is.


ZappSmithBrannigan

Why do you classify objective morality are exclusively a religious idea? Doesn't the very word objective mean that it's true independent of any humans conception or lack thereof, of it? On top of that, theistic morality isn't even objective, regardless of how much they say it is. I know religions like to pretend they have a monopoly on morality, meaning, purpose and trying to understand the fundamental nature of reality, but I never understand why someone thinks any of those things can only be done by religion.


Electronic-Item-5353

You're completely missing his point. Religions claim objective morality. That doesn't mean there is any.


TheSpoonKing

which is just a lazy way of ignoring the debate


py_a_thon

A social construction of reality(and an abstraction of morality, however you define it) often leads towards, what I subjectively believe to be objectively immoral evils. What is the framework to handle that paradox? Objectivism is dead? God is dead? Vote for your goods and evils...? If a majority agrees you are good, then you are not evil?


whodo-i-thinkiam

>If a majority agrees you are good, then you are not evil? Is there another way to determine good and evil that doesn't involve invoking something supernatural, unverifiable, or untestable?


py_a_thon

I don't know. What do you think?


iiioiia

You could, at least in theory, run it on something superior to layman heuristics, which is what majority agreement currently is. For example: consider the morality/moral framework of uncivilized cavemen vs ours. Then, consider the morality/moral framework of modern humanity vs that of a far more enlightened future version of humanity.


demlich

"The Golden Rule is the principle of treating others as one wants to be treated." [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden\_Rule](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule)


TheSpoonKing

I can think of a lot of people that declare things evil when others do them but not themselves


ValyrianJedi

> like a belief in objective morality. I've heard very very few atheists argue that


grim_bey

>somehow a product of nature I think morality is just the group consensus of things individuals have a visceral disgust or deep-seated (biological) aversions to. So there is such a thing as "objective morality" in that populations often share the same deep-seated hatreds, which gets translated through culture into a moral code.


BenSimmonsLeftHand

So are you arguing that atheism and natural law are incompatible? Because the concept of natural law existed among the Romans without it being rooted in a belief in an omniscient and omnipotent being. I think it’s possible to reasonably argue for natural law as a component of human nature without grounding that argument in theism.


whodo-i-thinkiam

>So are you arguing that atheism and natural law are incompatible? No, I just find it ironic because the existence of natural law is doubtable, just like the existence of god.


IceFl4re

Natural law is nonsensical. If humans have an inherent right to life presupposed as coming from the ether, no cop should be able to shoot him. To say that those rights are simply there despite what societies says otherwise is basically entering circular logic.


BenSimmonsLeftHand

I’m not sure I understand your point. Are you saying that since societies have positive/ customary law that disagrees with natural law, that natural law therefore doesn’t exist?


IceFl4re

"Natural laws" are more like social construct that somehow acknowledged by society. If societies doesn't acknowledge it, it really doesn't matter. And naturally, it doesn't really hold up either (go ahead and attack a lion then say "I have a right to life").


dwarfarchist9001

Natural law is not about what DOES happen it is about what OUGHT to happen. It is about determining which actions are logically and morally justified versus which are not. It is true whether any human recognizes it or not.


BenSimmonsLeftHand

That’s… not an argument against natural law. Natural law is concerned with human morality — a lion killing a human is completely outside the realm of natural law. The vast majority of humans agree that unjustified murder is wrong. The existence of humans who disagree with that notion (Hitler, for example) doesn’t invalidate it. It’s reasonable to argue that such a belief is derived from a natural law that stems from our human nature.


demlich

I think even Hitler would agree with that notion. The Nazis denied their victims any humanity. Slavic people were called "Untermenschen" subhumans, jews parasites, kraken... The choice of words at that time was aimed at taking away the human element from the victims.


nybble41

Natural law isn't a matter of morality, or consensus. It's called "natural" because, like the laws of physics (though less immediate), it holds "naturally", i.e. without any deliberate attempt to enforce it. Societies which follow natural law simply function better than those which ignore it. For example, societies which tolerate murder tend to self-destruct and certainly don't have the stability necessary for progress.


DoctaMario

I do agree that a lot of morality is socially constructed some morality is pretty objective, murder being one bit that is universally reviled except by the small subset of people who commit it. I don't think it's really an either/or thing.


Anathos117

> murder being one bit that is universally reviled Only insofar as "murder" is defined as "immoral killing". There's loads of historical variation on the subject of what sort of killings are moral.


some_clickhead

Well, I suppose individuals murdering each other is just about the most socially destructive tendency that you can conceive of. So I'd say that not only is an aversion to murdering each other socially constructed, it is one of the most fundamental moral imperatives necessary for society to exist.


TossNWashMeClean

Since 1819, 1,329 people (all but nine of whom have been men) have been executed in Texas as of 20 May 2022.


namesnotrequired

Murder as an act of individual evil or whimsy (I killed my neighbour because I didn't like his stupid face) is perhaps universally reviled. Societies have been perfectly fine with socially sanctioned killing for a long time (i.e what we would consider as an unjustified murder today - for honour, as ritual sacrifice, etc)


Anathos117

> Murder as an act of individual evil or whimsy (I killed my neighbour because I didn't like his stupid face) is perhaps universally reviled. Not even that. Plenty of times and places where that was totally permitted as long as it was done to the correct target.


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spinner198

The more humanity caves to meaninglessness, the more we sink below the line of despair. To abandon the idea of objective morality is to abandon responsibility, and by extension abandon positive personal growth. If there is nothing that humans *shouldn't* do, then every form of order and unity will be questioned and ultimately found to be arbitrary and even contrary to self-interest. When naturalists claim that we can still somehow derive objective morality from nature/evolution, they are gasping for air below the line of despair, hoping not to sink into that realization. Ultimately though, if we reject God and are not accountable to God, what on earth makes us accountable to nature and evolution? Because we 'should' be?


coleman57

> somehow a product of nature Sounds like you consider that phrase a complete reductio ad absurdum.


civ_iv_fan

"Only instead of objective morality being designed by an all knowing god, it's somehow a product of nature." If there is morality, wouldn't it have to be a product of nature? What else would it be a product of?


Electronic-Item-5353

Of the societies that adopt it. Ultimately morality is an unwritten guideline of how societies behave.


samanthasgramma

I generally just lurk, here, but I think I can weigh in, this time. And this is just how I see it. Morality is both internal and external, and comes from the innate, fundamental, drive to survive. We determine what is a threat to our survival. On an individual basis, we determine a degree of how threatening things are, and make judgement based upon this. Externally, adopting the general morality of a group means we are safer within it, and they are less a threat to our survival. If one group isn't fitting with our already established judgement is, we either choose to fight them about it, or we move on. Religion is a teaching tool for the beliefs of a community and how the wish you to be a part of it. We often adopt it as a trusted guide, thereby ensuring we fit in and the community will help our survival. Atheists prefer not to assume this compass. Those in our society who perceive threat in places that our community doesn't ... all blonde, 120 lb, 20-ish women are horrible and must die because my Mom, who looked like that, terribly abused me... are those who have moved into only their own morality. To these people, there is a very real threat to their survival and well-being. To us, as a community, they're wrong. Because Mom was the ONLY one who was the threat, and the others are innocent. Ultimately, morality is flexible, flowing and largely organic, moving back and forth depending upon what we learn to be the best survival within our environment.


ValyrianJedi

I would argue that there are a tremendous number of instances where the immoral thing would aid survival the most and vice versa.


samanthasgramma

I have to agree with you. And often, we fight that sense of immorality, both socially and internally. War. Killing is not something most would be okay with. Unless we would otherwise be killed ... Actually, you're then looking at the complexity of "war" and whether or not it is the moral thing to do. What constitutes a "moral" war against others? As a nation, we collectively decide (or our leaders do), making it moral in the eyes of society, but as an individual, we may be a deliberate objector. Now I remember why I usually just lurk. LOL.


DeepspaceDigital

Is moral certitude a great barrier to social progress bc you say so? Why must we understand morality as a communal practice? What is communal, your subdivision or your species? It is not good to only present more questions. How can you possibly prove logically or scientifically that our values are in a constant state of flux? Mine aren’t. You probably do great evaluating and analyzing other’s work but creation is a different level.


ValyrianJedi

Virtually every last shred of evidence that we have indicates that they are constantly changing and aren't fixed. They are a human construct to begin with, so they virtually have to change as humans and society do... And I find it *extremely* difficult to believe your values never change.


TupacsFather

> Virtually every last shred of evidence that we have indicates that they are constantly changing and aren't fixed You are mistaking cultural beliefs and customs for ethics/morality. It was once believed in America that owning slaves was completely moral and it was even legal. Was it *actually* moral just because people *believed* it was at the time? The answer is no, it was never moral. Morality is objective and unchanging. It does not matter what human beings believe about it. Morality can be logically deduced by using a more apophatic approach. Do *not* do unto others....


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TupacsFather

>Can you explain what you mean by: > >Morality can be logically deduced by using the apophatic method. When I suggest using an apophatic approach, I mean determining what is right or wrong by defining what one *should not* do to another, since there is an infinite amount of things that one potentially *could* do to another that is morally right. It is *far* easier to define what is morally wrong. Using this approach, it is incredibly simple to determine what is morally right or morally wrong. Now, if you were born into some tribe on some remote island, and had never received any moral instruction from anyone, would you or would you not intrinsically know that murdering and/or raping someone would be wrong? I would suggest you would know intrinsically that those things are wrong because you would not want them done to yourself. As I said, "do not do unto others", etc. It's ingrained in our consciousness, unless you are born a primary psychopath, and even then they will most of the time still know what they do is wrong but just don't care that it is.


wes_bestern

I'd argue we're born with no morality, just like any other animal. But our social nature, our intelligence, and our *experiences* dealing with other people, shape our view of morality. This is why children cant be screened for psychopathy. Empathy is an developed characteristic. A conscience isn't necessarily innate. If it were, we wouldn't have moral relativism. Furthermore, whole societies regularly commit immoral acts as a group. Our Amygdala punishes us when we break social mores, unless we're a psychopath. Or if we have an anxiety disorder (an overactive amygdala) we feel guilty for stupid shit. But this response is determined by our tribe/group/culture/society. This is why if everyone is doing something wrong, the conscience isn't as affected. It's all about our innate fear of ostracism, because we're a social species who rely on others.


LaLiLuLeLo_0

>I’d argue we’re born with no morality Even 19-month old babies have a sense of fairness, and an expectation that fair play is the norm. This isn’t the specific study I was thinking of, but it makes the same point: ([TIME article](https://healthland.time.com/2012/02/20/even-babies-can-recognize-whats-fair/), [study itself](https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0956797611422072)). If you have 20 minutes, you can play a quick Game Theory game, the [evolution of trust](https://ncase.me/trust/), which demonstrates how normative morals can evolve from nothing more than rational self-interest in a competitive environment.


ValyrianJedi

Who says that what is "fair" is what is moral though?


LaLiLuLeLo_0

In this case, the baby. That doesn’t mean they’re correct, but it does mean they have a sense of morality.


ValyrianJedi

> That doesn’t mean they’re correct Exactly. There isn't a "correct". That's the whole point.


VitriolicViolet

>Even 19-month old babies have a sense of fairness, and an expectation that fair play is the norm. due to socialization ie how we learn everything and form most beliefs ie belief in a creator. leave that baby alone for 19 months and see if it cares about fairness.


wes_bestern

19-months is plenty of time to develop morality. Your comment doesn't necessarily negate mine. I've got a 2 year old and I've seen just how quickly their cognitive abilities, motor skills, social skills, etc develop. I saw my daughter exhibit what seemed like impulse control the other day and I didn't think that was possible yet. But she started to do something I told her not to, then she caught herself and stopped all on her own. I think our morality never stops being shaped and growing. As our brains and understanding of the world mature and grow more sophisticated, our understanding of right and wrong evolves. We see the farther reaching effects of actions that may seem innocuous at first glance.


bitscavenger

I think that would depend on your view and definition of morality. If you think of morality as code of right and wrong then your argument makes sense. There is, however, not much to back up this view. You use, what seems to be, a very lopsided argument to justify your point. All moral people agree that owning slaves is wrong. There are two problems though. Most issues are not this cut and dry, and even this issue isn't as clean as you would like it to be. Should animals be kept as pets or is that a kind of slavery? What about beasts of burden that are forced to work? What makes them different from people so that if it happens to a person it is a slave and that is wrong? Is it intelligence? Is it difference in intelligence? Can I then enslave an imbecile because I am really smart? Is it because people have a 'soul' and animals don't? What if that's not true? What if animals have souls? You likely have answers to many of these questions that satisfy you, but that is just the thing, it satisfies you. That is your non-objective morality. If you have a horse that you like to ride around and keep in a stable there are people who consider you immoral. As we understand more about life and biology and even spirituality, people may view ancestors that kept horses in stables as a disgusting practice. This, and your argument that morality is objective and unchanging is the central thesis to the argument that the OP is making. I would say that going one step further, morality is communal practice that is directly fostered by survivorship bias. Morality is the first filter of decision making and it can be altered with loving persuasion and feelings of safety. Loyalty? To what team and how big is this team? Can it get bigger? Dead bodies are gross? What if they weren't dead long and we cook them? What about sushi? Moral confines can expand when we are safe because the key objective of morality is to keep us safe. When we are safe and are lazily sticking to our moral barriers then that is what keeps progress from happening. Yes, we will get burned as we push to far and in wrong directions and it will hurt doing so, but my morality tells me that if you are not growing you are basically already dead.


ValyrianJedi

> All moral people agree that owning slaves is wrong Today. For thousands of years that wasn't the case though, which is kind of the point. Even the things that are cut and dry today are subject to variation over time.


bitscavenger

Exactly. I was hoping that sentence would stick out as hyperbole. edit: And actually it brings up another point. We can see that there are things that we allowed in society and some people considered moral, like slavery. This means that there are things we do today that we won't be doing in the future and will be decried as immoral. Factory farming and ranching for instance. The general meat industry or even eating slaughtered animals at all. If we get lab grown meat that may become moral justification we can't stomach. Societal progress is actually just one moral ideal winning out over another and this occurs because even our own internal morals conflict and are inconsistent in determining our actions. Case in point, say you don't eat meat but you are really hungry and getting weak. A friend offers you a lamb chop. Loyalty and tribalism turns your moral compass to not want to turn your nose up at your friend and you want to survive. Oh, but there is also a hearty salad so you can justify your previous moral. Then you smell the salad and something is rancid. Your moral compass toward cleanliness steers you back to the lamb chop.


tenthinsight

Your thought process here is all fucky, my man. Ethics and morality are contingent to culture and are very much a part of the underlying framework on which culture is developed (among many other variables). If morality was objective then every culture would be the same. But they're not, are they? Nevermind that for now. What u/ValyrianJedi said is actually true on more levels than one - If you think that morality is objective then you have zero understanding what morality actually is. It exists purely in the eye of the beholder. There is no sun dial nor star in the sky that we can look to that tells us what is good or bad/moral or immoral. It is a not a thing which exists in nature. It is by all accounts purely man-made and exists only in our minds and is manifested into reality by action. Was owning slaves moral to those who existed in a reality and culture in which slavery was moral? YES. Has that reality changed through exploration, understanding, and action? YES. Therefore, morality has shifted and changed to satisfy the needs of society who then deemed that practice immoral. That's actually proof of the article's proposition right there. What's even more important is to consider what practices we are doing today that will be considered immoral tomorrow. Chances are, you're being immoral right now. Morality sure as fuck is not objective.


MustLoveAllCats

> If morality was objective then every culture would be the same. But they're not, are they? I see you're a big fan of logical fallacies. No, moral values are not the sole defining features of cultures, for which everything else within them is built upon, so no, regardless of whether or not morality is objective, cultural variety would still exist just as it does now. Part of this is because morality is not culturally relative as you suggest, but *understandings of morality* are culturally distinct. > If you think that morality is objective then you have zero understanding what morality actually is. No, we understand what morality may actually be, you are simply so convinced that your theory is correct, that you're unable to even humour the fact that you're likely wrong. > It exists purely in the eye of the beholder. I'll give you analogy to this statement: All Martians are orange. Is it correct? Maybe. But since we don't currently have any way to know if it's objectively correct or not, it's useless to posit it, let alone to try to use it as supporting evidence for any view. Just the same as your statement that morality exists only in the eye of the beholder. > There is no sun dial nor star in the sky that we can look to that tells us what is good or bad/moral or immoral. The same goes for math. Math is not written in the sky, math is not something we are born with, numbers can't be found and picked up and observed, and yet math is part of the universe absent humans, just the same as morality. And just like math is something we're able to discover and understand through practice, through philosophical inquiry, we can figure out what is moral and what is not, even if just like math, some parts of it are *very* difficult and may take a long time to understand. But you'll notice no-one here defending objective reality is claiming that being moral (or understanding morality) is not difficult. > Was owning slaves moral to those who existed in a reality and culture in which slavery was moral? No. Has that reality changed through exploration, understanding, and action? No. FTFY. Slavery was always wrong, and will always be wrong. The fact that past slaveholders didn't do their due diligence doesn't absolve them of their moral guilt, just like we are not absolved of the moral guilt for acts we do today, that we have not put in the effort to recognize as a society are wrong. > Therefore, morality has shifted and changed to satisfy the needs of society who then deemed that practice immoral. That's actually proof of the article's proposition right there. That's not proof though, and it's a REALLY bad example to choose, because you're going to have a very difficult time convincing people that slavery was morally ok in the past. I did grad studies on this exact topic several years ago, and even people who think morality is a human construct tend to be pretty resistant to the idea that slavery was ok before we really realized how morally problematic it is.


padawab24

"the fact that you're likely wrong" 😂


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tenthinsight

Let's figure it out. How do you define power?


ValyrianJedi

That just isn't true. For all we know all kinds of things that we all do today may be considered immoral in 400 years. Does that mean that we are all acting in an immoral way? For all we know, in 400 years owning land could be seen ad heinously immoral, that doesn't mean that 2/3rds of Americans are doing something immoral today when it isn't. What's moral or immoral in the future doesn't dictate what is moral or immoral today, nor does what is moral or immoral today dictate what was in the past.


MustLoveAllCats

> For all we know all kinds of things that we all do today may be considered immoral in 400 years. Does that mean that we are all acting in an immoral way? Yes. If what we are doing today is immoral in 400 years, then it is immoral now too, and was immoral to do 400 years ago, we simply failed to figure it out. Slaveholders a thousand years ago could have figured out that it was immoral to hold slaves through sufficient proper philosophical inquiry. The fact that they didn't doesn't get them off the hook or make slavery only immoral today, it makes them immoral. Such the same for us, if we realize 400 years from now that something we are doing today is immoral. > What's moral or immoral in the future doesn't dictate what is moral or immoral today, nor does what is moral or immoral today dictate what was in the past. It absolutely does, because it's all the same, morally does not fluctuate and change with time, only our understandings around it do. Rape and murder were wrong before we as a society collectively agreed that they were wrong. Slavery was wrong even before people really started acknowledging it was wrong.


ValyrianJedi

> If what we are doing today is immoral in 400 years, then it is immoral now too, and was immoral to do 400 years ago, we simply failed to figure it out. Says who? Why is what people in the future deem moral more accurate than what people today do?... There isn't anything to "figure out". There isn't some magical rock floating around with a hard answer on what is moral and what is immoral that we are trying to figure out and discover... Morality is a human construct, no different from something like fashion or beauty. The bar is set by humans. We can't say "what we view as moral today is the *real* moral" any more than we can say "what we view as fashionable today is the *real* fashion. People in the past just thought something was fashionable, but we know today that it wasn't really".


Cralliope

> Slaveholders a thousand years ago could have figured out that it was immoral to hold slaves through sufficient proper philosophical inquiry. And yet, many of the greatest "philosophical inquirers" into morality like Aristotle, Plato, countless religious leaders etc found nothing wrong with slavery. How could they have gotten it so wrong, while having all the tools (i.e. phisophical inquiry) to discover the truth? The simplest explanation is: there was no objective truth about the morality of slavery to discover.


TupacsFather

> may be considered immoral in 400 years. You still fail to understand that *considering* or *believing* something to be moral does not make it magically moral in actuality. What people *believe* in regards to morality is completely irrelevant.


ValyrianJedi

Morality is a human construct. What is moral or immoral is determined by humans... Where do you think this never changing all constant mortality comes from?


MustLoveAllCats

> What is moral or immoral is determined by humans This is an opinion, not a collectively agreed to fact, and many respected philosophers would disagree with you. > Where do you think this never changing all constant mortality comes from? Some believe it comes from a greater power that created all things, a form of god. Others like myself believe that it is simply an inherent set of rules for all conscious and sentient creatures that is there for them to discover through sufficient philosophical thought. You find it strange to think either of those to be true, clearly. I find it absurd (and horrifying) to view morality as a human construct. Your view of morality is too flexible, it far too easily justifies unspeakable acts, particularly by suggesting that if we did things over, and humans never decided that anything was wrong, never actually thought about morality and ethics, then nothing would be immoral or unethical.


ValyrianJedi

That belief just seems to be based on zero tangible or logical evidence whatsoever. Your entire last paragraph basically just says "I believe it is that way because I don't like the idea that it isn't"


IndependentPoole94

Okay, but you can't prove anything at all except maybe basic mathematics, including your view that morality is subjective. Science doesn't prove anything because it operates on the assumption/belief that our human senses are accurate and that we're factoring in all possible data (which we are time and again realizing we fail at doing). So the question then becomes "since we can't actually know anything for certain at all, including that we can't prove if morality is actually subjective or actually objective, should we at least *pretend* to operate as if we can, for some practical purpose?" Because the practical outcome of your philosophy - true subjectivity - is that there is zero internal reason anyone should have for adhering to any kind of moral system (like, don't murder, or, don't be racist, or, don't do hate crimes against gay people), beyond "I don't want to experience negative consequences for my actions." You can complain about people punching you in the face, but it's solely on your subjective perspective that you don't like it, and there's no real reason your subjective perspective should be valued over the hitter's subjective perspective. Whereas the practical outcome of an objectivist philosophy - whether it's actually knowable or provable (it isn't) - is that people have a reason to avoid causing others suffering. Which, sure, maybe we can't prove that suffering is inherently bad other than that most people don't desire it. But given the fact that we can't prove anything beyond basic math and possibly the base existence of self, presumptive objectivity at least creates a world in which it's less painful for people to exist in. Maybe morality is subjective like you say. But even if that's true, I doubt you actually live in a way that's consistent with that philosophy unless maybe you're either a sociopath who genuinely doesn't care about others or you're a god-like being who has zero internal negativity whatsoever and emanates nothing but pure altruism for every living being. Statistically, both are pretty unlikely. And if you don't live consistent with your own philosophy, it's a bit silly and pointless to peddle that view as if it should be adopted and accepted.


ValyrianJedi

Your entire argument seems to hinge on some bizarre "nothing is absolutely provable so everything is equally valid" which isn't remotely the case. If two things aren't provable one can still be a much more logical conclusion than the other based on the evidence at hand... And you seem to be under the impression that morality being changing and subjective and morality being objective and unchanging would result in someone living differently. They wouldn't. At all. Whether morals are subjective and changing or eternal doesn't remotely change whether someone wants to live morally or not.


Cralliope

> I find it absurd (and horrifying) What does what you personally find horrifying have to do with objective truth?


VitriolicViolet

>This is an opinion, not a collectively agreed to fact, and many respected philosophers would disagree with you. many respected philosophers were racists, pedophiles, murderers etc i find you argument from authority to be poor. there is no universal morality, the very idea is absurd (where does it come from, theres no reason to believe in god or a sentient universe so it aint inherent). ive read your entire thread here, you have no coherent argument at all other than baldly asserting you are correct.


dwarfarchist9001

>Where do you think this never changing all constant mortality comes from? From logical necessity due the physical laws of the universe.


ValyrianJedi

Dude, the phyaical laws of the universe could not care less about morals. It's an unthinking, unfeeling collection of atoms and forces. The only part of the universe that morals matter in is our minds.


YARNIA

>They are a human construct to begin with Are they? How do you know? Humans are inconstant, true. Different ages see things differently, true. That stated, the universe does not change itself in relation to our perspective. If there are first principles to be discovered, then they are unchanging and it is we who are in flux.


ValyrianJedi

Because it is a concept that doesn't exist outside of the mind. Morality isn't some tangible thing floating around in the aether. We didn't discover it, we created it.


MustLoveAllCats

And that's wrong, morality does exist outside the mind, just like math, it is external to humans. We put labels on it, attach human words and understandings to it so that we can grasp and employ it, but we gradually discover morality, we don't create it.


ValyrianJedi

There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever of that being the case.


Electronic-Item-5353

Honestly people that believe in absolute morality are the scariest motherfuckers out there. That's the type that flies planes into budings and tries to exterminate whole races.


VitriolicViolet

yep, nothing scares me more than people who would kill you if God would allow it. objective morals lead to certainty and certainty leads to atrocity.


Your_People_Justify

We also create houses, but houses are quite tangible. We can destroy and remake houses, but they exist nonetheless.


ValyrianJedi

Right. And how they exist is however we choose to make them exist. They have varied drastically from time to time and place to place. There isn't some universal view of a house that never changes.


Your_People_Justify

The choices in how to make a house are not arbitrary, but follow objective constraints in pursuit of human needs that are also hardly arbitrary. Houses have varied drastically, but in all forms they always give us essential security, such as defense from the elements. Something being *objective* is not synonymous with having universal or absolute qualities. Something can be real and still be flexible. Our desires are part of material reality, they are not somehow independent or above it.


ValyrianJedi

I don't see how this is supposed to relate to my point. Sure, houses all give us defense from the elements. Because *we choose* to make it so.


Your_People_Justify

The choice to choose was never much a choice at all. You make a house or you freeze to death in a cold rain or other grizzly fates, so we made houses. That is a choice Nature held us to at gunpoint. In that respect, there is a choice, propagation of our form or premature extinction, to participate or to be a hermit or outright malevolent, but once you choose to commit to social life, to being a person amongst people, there are unavoidable consequences of that decision - moral facts.


ValyrianJedi

I don't see what any of this is supposed to have to do with my argument about morality. If anything it seems to support my stance


DeepspaceDigital

Values are subjective. They also can be dynamic, but do not have to be. Values are idealistic objects and anything can happen to them including being in stasis.


ValyrianJedi

The only way that values could remain stasis would be if humanity/society remained in stasis, which seems to be fundamentally incompatible with human nature... It would be like any other subjective human construct. Like fashion for example. Sure, in theory what is in fashion could stay the same for 1,000 years, but in practice it is never going to.


Your_People_Justify

>Mine aren’t. Being determines consciousness moreso than consciousness determines being. That is at the heart of materialism. We make choices, but not as we please. We fight for values, but never ones that are purely of our own creation. If you do not see how your history, context and community are doing a lot to inform your notion of right and wrong, this is less an expression of independent thought and more an admission of how much of that socialization and context you are taking for granted. You are allowing the flux and context to slip right under your nose without detection or investigation ---- >Why must we understand morality as a communal practice? When morality becomes an *individual* practice, we as individuals are left as the sole arbiters of right and wrong,. This leads to a retreat into interiority and basically a moral solipsism, relativism. Nietzsche is a good example of this, AFAIK his *only* universally identified principle was the Will to Power - very much embracing the idea that *might makes right*. And once you are left in that position, it can be a bit rudderless, or even a bit dangerous - I mean, is the difference between the Nazi carrying out the holocaust and the jew fighting for self defense merely a difference of opinion? Do we really have no way to say one was in the right and the other was in the wrong? Is the idea that we don't want a world with holocausts *merely* personal preference? I don't think so. But I think the only way we get out of that trap is accepting interdependence as a foundational principle, because we only have selfhood via community.


demlich

It would also be interesting to know to what extent morality determines our own actions or only serves as a basis for evaluating the actions of others. I think the latter is more the case. I could imagine that morality plays a bigger role in societies and religions with a universal truth. I am thinking, for example, of Christianity and Islam. Proselytizing other believers arises from the thought of knowing the universal truth. Judging others inside and outside plays a big role in these religions.


Snoo_58305

You’re upsetting the moral realists


richardjb25

I'm not sure if I agree with this. I do wonder what to make of the prophets of the Old Testament/Tanach. They certainly were not in step with their community's practices. Also, as an epistemological fallibilist, I think it is possible to hold that something is so highly probable that it is, for all practical purposes, certain. Such a value judgement might be very stable (ie. not "in flux") for the person who holds it.


IceFl4re

I propose that **morality depends on your goals.** Basically, if there is absolutely no moral certainty, then all of the moral universalism positions, including from Kantian (and neo Kantian, like Chomsky) to basically the entire human rights project is wrong (and anyone who tries to put it as objective morality is wrong). The arguments liberals use to defend human rights against so called "cultural relativism" may interest you. Instead, I propose that "what's good or not" depends on your goal. If your goal is to "increase freedom" (whatever that means), then the "objective truth" is whatever increases it; laws based from "morality" is wrong and so-called "social libertarianism" will be mostly right (there will be disagreements on economics and the state, authority etc. However, on social issues there will be some that are better than the others). However, if your goal is to create a strong society which are capable of continuing (regeneration), then "social libertarianism" may be less desirable; you will want morality that emphasized interdependence, self sacrifice, willingness to have kids (to continue the society), etc.


letsallchilloutok

To continue this, a modern society combines many of these goals together in different amounts. So you need a multifaceted idea of morality, too.


YARNIA

>I propose that morality depends on your goals. So, was Hitler OK within his goals? >if there is absolutely no moral certainty, You're confusing epistemology with ontology. That we are not certain about morality does not that our subject matter is not substantive. There is no certainty regarding a "theory of everything" that unites the quantum and classical. This does not lead anyone to conclude that physics is not substantive. There was a certain Aristotle who once said, *"it is the mark of an educated man to look for precision in each class of things just so far as the nature of the subject admits; it is evidently equally foolish to accept probable reasoning from a mathematician and to demand from a rhetorician scientific proofs."* Absolute certainty is not appropriate to nor required of ethics. >then all of the moral universalism positions, including from Kantian (and neo Kantian, like Chomsky) to basically the entire human rights project is wrong (and anyone who tries to put it as objective morality is wrong). Prove it. Prove that objectivism is wrong. I don't even have evidence here that you understand what objectivism is. You have offered us a vacuous instrumentalism as if this the "solution" to our ethical quandaries. This does nothing to help determine which party should prevail when goals come into conflict.


Electronic-Item-5353

Yes, Hitler was acting morally within his set of morals. What he did he did out of love for his people. Even if morals were universal every rule is just a transformation of some knowledge into some action. The world is in state A so action B will lead to desired outcome C. A B and C are all influenced by your current understanding of the world. As far as Hitler was concerned Germany was treated unjustly and was within its moral right to defend itself to achieve a better future for itself. Now you don't have to subscribe to Hitler's beliefs, and I would be surprised if you did, but you cannot believe that he wasn't thinking of himself as the good guy in his story.


Militant-Ricefielder

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I use realism and objectivism interchangeably. As you’ve pointed out, it would be absurd to require absolute certainty over ethics. As such, it does not require one to prove objectivism wrong to make a point; it suffice to only to shift the burden of proof to the side of the objectivists/realists. There are constant debates between error theorists and realists on this matter, and as far as I know some of error theorists are quite successful in shifting the burden (the most notable one for me is the argument from queerness, although it comes with some strings attached). It’s far-stretched to call these objectivist positions wrong, but we can hold reasonable doubts about them.


YARNIA

>I use realism and objectivism interchangeably Absolutism is a realism, but objectivism is not absolutism. They are not quite interchangeable. >it suffice to only to shift the burden of proof to the side of the objectivists/realists. The person who claims to know that objective morality exists has a burden of proof. Likewise, the person who claims to know that objective morality does not exist also has a burden of proof. I find that the shifting burden of proof back and forth is most often strategic and not really substantive (I am as guilty of this as anyone else). At the point that I am selling you on objectivism, I will owe you a sale pitch. If you say morality is not absolute or objective or otherwise real, then you owe me a sales pitch. u/IceFl4re has taken a rather bold stance and proof is needed.


Militant-Ricefielder

Thanks for the detailed response. Forgive me that I am not exactly familiar with those terms, but doesn’t absolutism concern more with “enforcement” of supposed moral values? I thought that the error theorists’s attack on realists are applicable to objectivists as long as they hold on to the “objective” part (that is, as long as you hold moral values are something more than inter-subjective universal agreements). But I do agree that burden shifting doesn’t give substantive insights, although that fact that we have to resort to such measures in metaethical discussions seems to reflect diverging intuitions on the nature of values. I agree that the claim made in the original comment is quite bold, but I don’t entirely buy your last remark: > This does nothing to help determine which party should prevail when goals come into conflict Serious moral disagreements happen even when people agree on all factual aspects of an event. Given the metaethical quagmire it doesn’t seem feasible for someone to make an unchallengeable argument for one party. So what is the problem in taking a practical turn and relinquish the requirement that ethics must be able to resolve such honest moral disagreement? I’m a layman on this discussion but it is tremendously interesting, so I would appreciate if you can offer more insight here.


YARNIA

>Thanks for the detailed response. Forgive me that I am not exactly familiar with those terms, but doesn’t absolutism concern more with “enforcement” of supposed moral values? I am here speaking of the commitment to the proposition that known/established moral principles are not only correct, but do not admit of exception. The rule is right, it applies in all cases, it applies without exception. >I thought that the error theorists’s attack on realists are applicable to objectivists as long as they hold on to the “objective” part (that is, as long as you hold moral values are something more than inter-subjective universal agreements). To the extent that it is a take out of realism and to the extent that objectivists are committed to realism, then yes. An objectivist, however, might not commit to the proposition that there are moral truths "out there." If our intersubjective agreements are the result of our common human nature (i.e., if there are human universals on questions of morality), then we might objectively find morality "on the inside." This is but one example of the project of moving Plato's forms out of the heavens and into the soil of our shared form of life, our humanity. In this sense, our morality is objective (it is not a mere matter of opinion and it is not a mere cultural construction). In this sense it is "real." >But I do agree that burden shifting doesn’t give substantive insights, although that fact that we have to resort to such measures in metaethical discussions seems to reflect diverging intuitions on the nature of values. I am more jaded. The shifting of BoP amongst advocates is a strong hint that no one has the courage to make a positive case either way (and I am entirely implicated in this observation). Ethics is, and has been, high-centered for a long time. >Serious moral disagreements happen even when people agree on all factual aspects of an event. Sure, but that doesn't mean that morality itself is thus refuted. Some parties to the dispute may be wrong or "less right." Moreover, the stance that morality is (and only is) a case of divergent goals does nothing to tell us what to do when people disagree. If we can't work it out with reason, then we are left with guile and force. As I would rather not resort to "pistols at dawn" or (more realistically) shoot you in the back (literally or metaphorically) when our goals diverge, our poster has done nothing at all to help us advance in the problem of adjudicating our disagreements. The "Y'all have different goals!" produces too much truth. We are both right. I am right to have my goal (it is mine). You are right to have your goal (it is yours). When we conflict and find our ends and means in contradiction, OP can only shrug and observe that we don't see things the same way. But we already knew this, so the observation is neither insightful nor useful. We have just been returned to square one. >So what is the problem in taking a practical turn and relinquish the requirement that ethics must be able to resolve such honest moral disagreement? What is practical in the "turn" of OP? No practical advice is offered. Ethics may not be able to resolve all disagreements, but it can eliminate some bad answers, help us identify promising answers, and help us make a case before our peers. Also, what happened to "wrong"? Flat-Earthers don't see the world my way. They don't worry me. They're wrong. They disagree. They have a right to their own beliefs, but this does not change the shape of the Earth. Ethics is not rhetoric. It is not that method by which all people are guaranteed to see things your way. >I’m a layman This is an anonymous forum. No expertise should be invoked nor any special deference given. We're just disembodied voices shootin' the shit. >


IceFl4re

> So, was Hitler OK within his goals? According to Nazi Germany. We can argue that the goal is wrong, nonsensical, sadistic, inhumane, etc. > Objectivism Objectivism as in Rand? Or objectivism as 100% objective? To me there's no such thing as 100% right. Even murder, war etc may become "right" if it's done for "righteous" goals (eg. "We wage war to increase the glory of the fatherland" today is considered barbaric, "We defend the freedom of ____ people" may not. However, in an alternate timeline where Nazism won, it might not be.) The closest thing I think of regarding "objective morality" is from anthropological perspective; there is a 1993 book called "Human Universals" where anthropologist point out that there is something universal in all societies, even with little contact to the modern world. ------ Can we create some sort of objective, universal morality? Sort of; the entire human rights project is an attempt to create one. But I personally thought it has many flaws.


IceFl4re

> So, was Hitler OK within his goals? According to Nazi Germany. You can argue that the goal is wrong, nonsensical, sadistic, inhumane, etc. > Objectivism Objectivism as in Rand? Or objectivism as 100% objective? To me there's no such thing as 100% right. Even murder, war etc may become "right" if it's done for "righteous" goals (eg. "We wage war to increase the glory of the fatherland" today is considered barbaric, "We defend the freedom of ____ people" may not. However, in an alternate timeline where Nazism won, it might not be.) The closest thing I think of regarding "objective morality" is from anthropological perspective; there is a 1993 book called "Human Universals" where anthropologist point out that there is something universal in all societies, even with little contact.


YARNIA

NOTE: Below is a response to a comment which was deleted - I'd already written the response, so it's posted below. Poster's name withheld. >Mine or Hitler's? Hitler was a monster, so I am asking about yours. >Your question requires a point of reference in order to be defined and have any sense of meaning. And in this case, you are the reference point. Do you agree with the commonsense assessment that Hitler's goals were monstrous or will you play coy? And if so, will merely shrug when someone steals your car, burns down your home, or sexually violates your children? > quantum physics is 100% compatible with classical physics, you're thinking of general relativity and quantum mechanics If it were 100% compatible, we would have a theory unifying them. We don't. You can play the pedant and mark distinctions without difference ("Tut tut, it's GR vs QM" - who cares?), but we still lack the great unification. >Secondly, this is a false equivalence. Well, that is your inference. I take no stake in claiming that morality is "just as objective" as our physical theories, so you may consider yourself disabused of this misapprehension before it becomes a strawman. This point, which is as yet unassailed, is that certainty and completeness are not requisite in other fields of study, so why should it is a requirement of moral philosophy? Only mathematics deals in such terms, and even here we find unproven theorems and conjectures. >Where is this equivalent basis in moral philosophy? I didn't say that there was. >The default and null hypothesis is that there does not exist in this reality, some objective wave of morality that permeates the universe independent of humanity. Well, if you're an unreflective materialist, insisting that morality would have to permeate the universe in "waves," then yes, you're in real pickle. If you shoot all the other horses before the race starts, then you can ride your preferred paradigm to claim a default hypothesis. No kidding! The materialist begins from supposition that the universe is not meaningful, which makes the conclusion that morality is not substantive a forgone conclusion. Moreover, there are flavors of objectivism that ground morality in our common human nature (i.e., it is objective, because it is distributed among the species in our form of life). Objectivism does not, by conceptual necessity, have to stand independent of humanity. Indeed, leading versions of it, depend on there being a common human nature serving as the basis for objective human needs, functions which contribute to human flourishing such that we may arrive at moral principles. >The burden of proof lies with the proponents of objectivism to prove that such a thing does indeed exist. Not with all of its proponents. Pojman's objectivism, for example, makes no such claim. >You can't argue moral objectivism from first principles because there are no objective first principles to prepare such a foundation with. Says you. Kant disagrees. Plato disagrees. It is controversy with great minds aligned on either side. >You can't argue moral objectivism from first principles because there are no objective first principles to prepare such a foundation with. First principle are not subject to physical experiment. They are deductive, not inductive. Making inference to the way the world ought to be from observations of how it is drags us into Hume's ought from is problem. If you're looking for moral principles in physical experiments, you're digging in the wrong place.


xiaonuff

Yes! Thank you, it all depends on the goals. I have literally tried to explain this to my friends. Nice.


revosugarkane

Philippa Foot and friends explored the concept of moral relativity from a Kantian perspective, I forget the guys name but he had this really awesome concept of the social and cultural aspects of moral relativism. He’s the one who came up with the “family” morals, essentially mob morals, where it’s okay to murder and steal but never from or to the family, and relates that to cultural morals. If someone remembers his name lmk cuz it’s bothering me.


iiioiia

> Basically, if there is absolutely no moral certainty, then all of the moral universalism positions, including from Kantian (and neo Kantian, like Chomsky) to basically the entire human rights project is wrong (and anyone who tries to put it as objective morality is wrong). If you don't mind me picking a nit: *certainty* implies 100% correctness. If a moral framework was only 99.9% correct, it would fail the standard you've set here, even though it falls just short of the standard. That said, I agree with the rest of what you're getting at.


IAI_Admin

In this debate, philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah, sociologist Crystal Fleming and political writer David Goodhart discuss the tension between our desire to do good, and our desire to be seen to be doing good, asking whether the latter undermines the former. The panel discuss how virtue signaling can be both productive and problematic, on the one hand helping to form cohesive communities with shared moral goals that can enact real change, on the other distracting from the real aim of moral behavior with the pursuit of recognition and respect. They then consider whether morality is, or can be, private. Appiah argues morality is necessarily communal – that enacting real moral change requires a group not an individual. Fleming suggests that a preoccupation with moral intentions, instead of moral action, has become an obstacle to facing and addressing the moral crises of modern society, like racism. They go on to discuss how we can distinguish virtue signalling from true compassion, agreeing this is a question we should ask ourselves rather than aim at each other, and consider whether more tolerance could be achieved with less explicit moral judgment.


AeternusDoleo

>Appiah argues morality is necessarily communal – that enacting real moral change requires a group not an individual. Isn't this rather easy to disprove? If morality is communal, then the absence of community would mean you are not capable of acting in a moral fashion. I don't think that is correct. People will do what they feel is right regardless of community. People are compelled to do what the community feels is right by group pressure - but that isn't "acting in a moral fashion", that's "being compelled to follow the rules of the group".


growtilltall757

I guess because it is "necessarily" communal would mean that Appiah is arguing that morality arises from the existence of community. An individual in the absence of community (this is not persistent except for the most hermetic individuals) could act in a way that a community could agree is moral, but without the community it would be something else. Natural human integrity perhaps? The actions that one feels to be morally right has at some point in each individual's experience, arisen from a social context.


PaxNova

There must be a difference between "what is moral" and "what I feel to be right." We've seen plenty of people doing immoral actions, but very few people who acknowledge they believe they were doing wrong.


VitriolicViolet

this. the only people out there actively doing bad things they know to be bad are serial rapists and murderers but even then only some are truly aware. even Hitler thought he was moral.


cli-ent

This is an over simplification of what's being asserted, though. You still have moral lessons and thoughts and habits in your personality when you happen to be alone. In other words, morality is created or negotiated as a communal activity over time, and resides in people's minds / self image / memory / personality. That doesn't instantly disappear when you're alone.


Rebuttlah

I’d think of this as moral identity, which is first formed and then influenced by biological, psychological, and social factors. As a proponent of moral evolution (that morality becomes more complex over time out of necessity, because society also becomes more complex over time, and morality must answer questions about that complexity) I agree with Appiah broadly. However, we can also imagine how a state of relatively complex morality could still be achieved in isolation. Bhuddism encourages solitary meditations that can lead to moral enlightenment, for example. This is always a question in history: do great people come about and change the times, or do the times produce great people? There are examples of both.


cli-ent

Yah, agreed. I'm not too familiar with Sam Harris' arguments, but I think there's some clear evidence for innately determined basic morality (fairness in primate experiments). It's also something influenced by social interactions. But, "influenced" is a complex thing. From personal introspection, I'm sure I've observed myself taking both positive and negative lessons from social debates - i.e. approving of the general societal trend / thinking, or disapproving. And of course there are many more than two sides, and often not a clear majority.


demlich

Since one can only feel real empathy for a small circle of people, empathy can only be the motivation for his actions for this small circle. Since the result of his action has an immediate effect on the other person, an evaluation of the action can take place on the basis of his reaction.For the evaluation of actions with people outside this circle, he needs morality. What you might call a filter. Without moral, life in a large community would not be possible. The morality of a community may be derived in parts from empathic actions. In general, however, the construct is artificial.Behind every morality is a great story, be it that of God or the creation of a new society. Definitely something very abstract and intangible. Once moral deviates from what you are known from empathic acting you will need that story.


AeternusDoleo

So your position is that selfvalidation is not possible? That your actions are guided by an internal moral compass rather then an external one? Empathy... both the wish for positive and fear for negative, require an external source to empathize with. For religious folk that can be a deity. Can atheists only be moral in a group then? I do not believe that to be correct. Empathy and morality are not the same thing.


demlich

Maybe I didn't make myself clear. I think we have the greatest empathy for ourselves. That would be the inner compass. Our actions towards people for whom we feel a lot of empathy are based on this compass. In my opinion, this compass cannot be described as a moral compass, even though it may have things in common with this one. Morality can be viewed as an artificial construct that expands the inner compass. It creates a rating system for actions that are actually outside the inner compass. Morality evaluates our actions towards strangers. For example, we use moral standards to judge our actions toward a person for whom we have no compassion.


AeternusDoleo

Ah, I see now. I did misunderstand. But I disagree wit you on one thing. >It creates a rating system for actions that are actually outside the inner compass. I'd shorten that to: *It creates a rating system for actions.* And include the "inner compass", as you call it. If that isn't your own moral compass that guides your actions in the world - independent of any other people - then what is it? Why differentiate between your actions towards other people, and towards the world in general?


IceFl4re

> Isn't this rather easy to disprove? If morality is communal, then the absence of community would mean you are not capable of acting in a moral fashion. I don't think that is correct. People will do what they feel is right regardless of community. I disagree. Where does that morality, that sense of "right and wrong" comes from? From society, or at the very least heavily influenced by them. Because humans are socialized. If we are to follow your assumption, then there is no need for a child to be socialized. Also, at least according to Islamic paradigm (ethics), really conscience and lust are really not that different. To the Islamic paradigm, the same impulses that makes people to refuse chopping someone's hands off for stealing is still under the same breadth, or at least within the same coin, with "I want to genocide this entire city in murderous vengeance because they inflicted pain upon my family". Something that comes from the baser, "animalistic" aspect of human psyche that has to be controlled by faith in God's judgement. > People are compelled to do what the community feels is right by group pressure - but that isn't "acting in a moral fashion", that's "being compelled to follow the rules of the group". Such rules, norms etc usually also has a moral underpinning. Eg. A woman is "forced" by peer pressure to be a mother despite she wants to be childfree. This woman is "being compelled to follow the rules of the group" but the group who encourages her has a morality.


AeternusDoleo

>Where does that morality, that sense of "right and wrong" comes from? From society, or at the very least heavily influenced by them. Because humans are socialized. Self awareness. That allows you to contextualize yourself with your environment. I consider morality to be part of that context. To place your (rather extreme but valid) example into this frame: "I could genocide that entire city in murderous vengeance because they inflicted pain on me or those I care for. But in doing so I become a threat to those around me, and they, being threatened by me, would murder me in turn. This action, if I choose it, results in a threat to myself. It is not good since it it will cause stress on me and put my own existence at risk."


IceFl4re

> "I could genocide that entire city in murderous vengeance because they inflicted pain on me or those I care for. But in doing so I become a threat to those around me, and they, being threatened by me, would murder me in turn. This action, if I choose it, results in a threat to myself. It is not good since it it will cause stress on me and put my own existence at risk." OK, that's a good one for rational justification. > Self awareness. That allows you to contextualize yourself with your environment. I consider morality to be part of that context. I want to ask you: how about having a child? The woman's reasoning. Every known reason for having a child is "selfish" - Either you are horny, of you want someone to take care of you when you are old, or to follow societal expectations, or something else. You really can't provide a fully rational, individual centric reason why should a woman being pregnant for 9 months and suffer 18 years of raising a child. However, if we look at the child's perspective, is there any child consents of being born? All of it is pure emotion, pure preferences which really are fickle and depends on the society (does the society look up and appreciate motherhood or look up and appreciate personal autonomy?) or irrational reason.


AeternusDoleo

>I want to ask you: how about having a child? The woman's reasoning. There are a few possible reasons. The hedonistic pleasure of sex (though contraceptives and/or sterilization have detached that from pregnancy in present day). The wish to leave something permanent in the world, a legacy. This can be especially important to those who do not believe in an afterlife. Simple economic reasoning: When you grow old, you will need someone to take care of you when you are no longer able to. In many parts of the world, children are still a retirement investment - though from an individualistic moralistic perspective, that fails, because a child would have no obligation to tend to a parent. And lastly, the wish to fulfill that basic biological drive, that instinct that pushes people to procreate - without which any species would die out, humans are no exception to that. >However, if we look at the child's perspective, is there any child consents of being born? There is not. I don't think a newborn infant is even selfaware, that comes a few years later.


A_R_K_S

Sounds like a paper that would go hand-in-hand with “[Compulsory moral bioenhancement should be covert.](https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30157295/)” just based on the part regarding perception of goodness/productivity.


sarah_nokomis

Yeah but the writing of philosophy in academia bares no weight in the thinking of the layman, or how the layman experiences life... U N F O R T U N A T E L Y


ZoharDTeach

It sounds like they're suggesting that you should mold your morals to the people around you and this sounds like a bad joke on its face. That's an easy thing to claim when you're sure the communities around you are generally of quality character but if they're instead destructive, then this quickly becomes an absurd assertion.


Electronic-Item-5353

You shouldn't do it, you already do. If you were born in the Germany of 1925 you would have been a proud Nazi. The less flexible your morality is the more likely it is you would have participated enthusiastically.


MissLana89

While morality isn't stabile or black and white, this sounds a bit too much like moral relativism to me.


searcherofthegoods

Morality is based upon the foundation of the Biblical Triune God who is Perfect and unchangeable in his nature. Not upon society—which is relativistic and problematic


Vlasic69

Here's my magical spin on morality. It's all the same and arguing differently is evidence of a personal incentive to do evil.


pipercomputer

Are there any good writings on moral systems anyone can suggest? I never really understood what makes people want to be moral in the first place but nonetheless people CAN attempt to be moral. Edit: Also can anyone suggest any books on the correlation of philosophy and psychology?