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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Question for moral objectivists
    #1622103 - 06/09/03 10:28 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

If there are indeed universal morals--things which are right or wrong no matter what an individual believes--is it possible to know what these morals are? If so, how?


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


Edited by silversoul7 (06/09/03 10:28 PM)


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Offline11polakie11
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Re: Question for moral objectivists [Re: silversoul7]
    #1622111 - 06/09/03 10:30 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

if you are talking universal in the physically cosmic sense then a comprehensive anthropological comparison between ever cultuer on this planet and every other would be necessarily.

if your speaking of universality in the planetary sense, you can perhaps attriube unversal morals to those which appear in every culture which has appeared and (and left record of its ethics) on this planet


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Question for moral objectivists [Re: 11polakie11]
    #1622125 - 06/09/03 10:34 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

By universal, I don't mean that everyone agrees with them. I mean that they are true no matter what, even if an individual does not believe it.


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Re: Question for moral objectivists [Re: silversoul7]
    #1622137 - 06/09/03 10:39 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

silversoul7 asks:

If there are indeed universal morals--things which are right or wrong no matter what an individual believes--is it possible to know what these morals are?

Yes.

If so, how?

1) Through observation of the physical laws of the universe and their relation to human existence

2) Through the application of reason (specifically logic) to the above

pinky



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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Question for moral objectivists [Re: Phred]
    #1622150 - 06/09/03 10:42 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

1) Through observation of the physical laws of the universe and their relation to human existence

2) Through the application of reason (specifically logic) to the above



Care to provide an example of using this process to come to a moral judgement?


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Invisible2Experimental
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Re: Question for moral objectivists [Re: silversoul7]
    #1622221 - 06/09/03 11:00 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

It would be impossible for a set of universal morals to be found In Todays world. I base that on the fact that, theres so many cultures and ways of life, that there could be No agreement amoung the myriad. Now if this:

"1) Through observation of the physical laws of the universe and their relation to human existence

2) Through the application of reason (specifically logic) to the above"

was applied way back when humans first were on the earth, then perhaps a set of True moral values could be establish, and passed on. But that is not a possibility now.


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OfflineCleverName
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Re: Question for moral objectivists [Re: silversoul7]
    #1622415 - 06/10/03 12:01 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

there are no universal morals...although society needs certain morals standards to avoid chaos...


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Question for moral objectivists [Re: CleverName]
    #1622458 - 06/10/03 12:19 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

there are no universal morals...although society needs certain morals standards to avoid chaos...



I agree, but I'm trying to get some feedback from people who see things differently.


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflineGernBlanston
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Re: Question for moral objectivists [Re: silversoul7]
    #1622472 - 06/10/03 12:22 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

There are only 2 universal morals, at least as the definition of morals seems to fall within this conversation... To quote Tom Robbins.

"Believe in nothing; everything is sacred."
"Believe in everything; nothing is sacred."


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Question for moral objectivists [Re: 2Experimental]
    #1623089 - 06/10/03 06:59 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

2Experimental writes:

It would be impossible for a set of universal morals to be found In Todays world. I base that on the fact that, theres so many cultures and ways of life, that there could be No agreement amoung the myriad.

You appear to be conflating "customs" and "tradition" with ethics. Further, something may be objectively immoral without being acknowledged as such by a given society -- see slavery and human sacrifice as just two examples of this.

Now if this:

"1) Through observation of the physical laws of the universe and their relation to human existence

2) Through the application of reason (specifically logic) to the above"

was applied way back when humans first were on the earth, then perhaps a set of True moral values could be establish, and passed on. But that is not a possibility now.


Why is it not a possibility now? If a given action was immoral when the population of the earth was a few thousand, by what process does it become moral when the population increases to a few billion? How have the physical laws of the universe and their relation to humans changed from then until now? How have the laws of logic changed from then until now?

pinky


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Offlineenotake2
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Re: Question for moral objectivists [Re: Phred]
    #1623192 - 06/10/03 09:17 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Say it is immoral to murder in any context. How would it come about that this is an 'objective' immoral action by your process?


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Invisible2Experimental
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Re: Question for moral objectivists [Re: Phred]
    #1623701 - 06/10/03 03:04 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Pinksharkmark writes:

"You appear to be conflating "customs" and "tradition" with ethics. Further, something may be objectively immoral without being acknowledged as such by a given society -- see slavery and human sacrifice as just two examples of this."

The question was about a UNIVERSAL set of ethics, and would it be possible to know them. I wasent comparing tradition or custom with ethics. Im saying that with so many cultures and ways of life in todays world it would be impossible to do . The fact that "something may be objectivly immoral without being acknowledged" has no bearing here on this discussion, because to even find something everyone can agree on, you would HAVE to use logic and reason, which would therefore require such acts as human sacrifice and slavery to BE acknowledged.... but it would never happen like I said. Your argument has no case to me


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Re: Question for moral objectivists [Re: 2Experimental]
    #1624117 - 06/10/03 06:13 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

2Experimental writes:

The question was about a UNIVERSAL set of ethics, and would it be possible to know them.

And the answer is, YES, it is possible to discover objective ethical principles which are equally applicable (i.e. apply universally) to all humans, whether any particular group of humans have discovered (or acknowledged) them yet. It is no different from the law of gravity -- it applies universally, even to those who have as yet no concept of its workings.

Im saying that with so many cultures and ways of life in todays world it would be impossible to do .

I realize that this is what you have asserted with no backup. I ask again that you demonstrate to us the procedure by which you determined that a set of ethical principles for a human population of, say, a million people distributed over a hundred cultures was valid, yet when applied to a billion souls distributed over a thousand cultures the same set suddenly becomes invalid.

The fact that "something may be objectivly immoral without being acknowledged" has no bearing here on this discussion...

Incorrect. It has every bearing on this discussion. Re-read the question posed in the very first post in this thread.

...because to even find something everyone can agree on, you would HAVE to use logic and reason...

The question was not "can we find something that everyone can agree on", the question asked was " is it possible to know what these morals are? If so, how?" It is in fact possible, and I outlined the process by which the possibility is to be actualized. The possibility that certain groups may choose not to use logic and reason in order to determine an objective ethics (but instead rely on divine revelation or tradition or the will of the majority to arrive at a subjective set of ethics) does not alter the fact that objective ethics exist and can be (and have been repeatedly) discovered by any individual or group which cares to expend the effort.

pinky


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Re: Question for moral objectivists [Re: enotake2]
    #1624188 - 06/10/03 06:41 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

enotake writes:

Say it is immoral to murder in any context. How would it come about that this is an 'objective' immoral action by your process?

In order to determine whether or not any individual may morally take the life of another individual (i.e. has the right to kill another), we first must determine what rights each individual has. And in order to determine THAT, we must first determine whether an individual has ANY rights at all. Therefore, the question that must be answered correctly before any of the others further up the logical chain can be addressed is: What are "rights" and do humans have them?

I'll supply a definition that most reasonable people would not disagree with:

A right is a moral principle defining and sanctioning a human's freedom of action in a SOCIAL context -- in the absence of other humans, no restrictions on actions are necessary.

Note that the concept of a "right" pertains only to ACTION -- specifically, to FREEDOM of action. It means freedom from physical compulsion, coercion or interference (including, obviously, freedom from being murdered) by other humans.

Rights are conditions of existence required by a human's nature for his proper survival. If a human is to live, it is RIGHT for him to use his mind, it is RIGHT to act on his own free judgement, it is RIGHT to work for his values and to keep the products of his work. If life is his purpose, he has a RIGHT to live as a rational being. Any group, any gang, any nation that attempts to negate a human's rights is WRONG.

There is only one FUNDAMENTAL right (all the others are its consequences or corollaries): an individual's right to his own life. It is an objectively verifiable fact that life is a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action; the right to life therefore necessarily means the right to engage in such action -- which means: the freedom to take all the actions required by the nature of a rational being (in the case of humans) for the support, the furtherance, the fulfillment and the enjoyment of his own life. Such is the meaning of the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If one rejects the premise that it is right for a human once born to attempt to continue to survive, then there is no need for any kind of discussion regarding ethics, subjective or objective.

For every individual, a right is the moral sanction of a POSITIVE -- of his freedom to act on his own judgement, for his own goals, by his own voluntary, uncoerced choice. As to his neighbors, his rights impose no obligations on them except of a NEGATIVE kind: to abstain from violating his rights (by murdering him, for example).

The concept of "rights" is the concept that provides the logical transition from the principles guiding an individual's actions to the principles guiding his relationship with others (ethics). It is the concept that preserves and protects individual morality in a social context -- the link between the moral code of an individual and the legal code of a society, the link between ethics and politics. Individual rights are the means of subordinating society to moral law.

An individual holds rights, not FROM "The Collective" nor FOR The Collective, but AGAINST The Collective -- as a barrier which The Collective cannot cross. These rights are a human's protection against all other humans.

To violate the rights of an individual (by murdering him, for example) is to interfere with the series of actions by which he sustains his existence. The only way to pretend that this violation is objectively moral is to claim that no individual has any rights at all.

pinky


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Offlinepsilyhunter
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Re: Question for moral objectivists [Re: silversoul7]
    #1624393 - 06/10/03 08:40 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

My father used to say that we ALL know what is right and what is wrong inside. Given the apparent subjectivity of those still small voices within us, I feel that no, there are no universal objective absolutes. We just all know whats right in our hearts, even if our hearts sometimes disagree. I only doubt this when I read Dostoyevsky! :wink: 


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Question for moral objectivists [Re: Phred]
    #1624399 - 06/10/03 08:43 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Are you ever going to give me an example like I asked for?


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Invisible2Experimental
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Re: Question for moral objectivists [Re: silversoul7]
    #1624558 - 06/10/03 09:36 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

you ask for something unanswerable im afraid


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Question for moral objectivists [Re: 2Experimental]
    #1624598 - 06/10/03 09:49 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

I figured as much. The way I see it, all morals lie on some unprovable premise about the value of something, such as life. You cannot prove that something is objectively valuable--only that it is valuable to someone or something, therefore making its value subjective. In order for something to be objectively moral, you would have to presuppose a deity to whom things have value.


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


Edited by silversoul7 (06/10/03 09:55 PM)


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Offlinedebianlinux
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Re: Question for moral objectivists [Re: silversoul7]
    #1624603 - 06/10/03 09:51 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

if you read and comprehend pinkshark's last post then you can see that which furthers your survival and happiness without infringing on any other's survival and happiness is by default universally morally acceptable... fill in the blanks at will and then try to calculate the equation yourself. you will find that in today's world of billions of people and their complex relationships that it is literally impossible to do much of anything without infringing on someone's survival and pursuit of happiness somewhere either directly or indirectly. such is the concept of the Moby's album "Everything is Wrong". I shall give you an example of a universally moral action: being a communal farmer.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Question for moral objectivists [Re: debianlinux]
    #1626196 - 06/11/03 01:19 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Bump for pinksharkmark


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