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Offlinefresh313
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: Phred]
    #3518920 - 12/19/04 01:15 AM (16 years, 6 months ago)

morality cannot change as reality changes. objective morality cannot be based on what you see or what you think right now. morality can never change no matter what the circumstances, forseeable or not.


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OfflinePhred
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: Ravus]
    #3518948 - 12/19/04 01:19 AM (16 years, 6 months ago)

Ravus writes:

It is all just what we think is wrong or immoral. No matter how strong the emotion it stirs up inside of us, how we think "How sick! How evil! How immoral!" the fact that it is being done at all shows the subjectivity of that viewpoint.

Incorrect. What disgusts you is not necessarily immoral. Read the definition of moral (ethical) a few posts above this one. The one I proposed and deafpanda accepted. Do you also accept that definition?

The fact that some people choose to act immorally does not mean that those who recognize their acts as immoral are acting subjectively. All it means is they are capable of distinguishing right from wrong.

The human race in general, from which our view of morality is formed, sees baby-killing as much more "sick and evil..."

And why do you think that is the case? Because most humans are capable of grasping the fundamental difference between initiating force against another human and flouting the rules of fashion. One is a question of morality (ethics), the other is a question of personal taste.

pinky


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OfflinePhred
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: fresh313]
    #3519009 - 12/19/04 01:28 AM (16 years, 6 months ago)

fresh313 writes:

objective morality cannot be based on what you see or what you think right now.

Of course it can. As a matter of fact, it cannot be otherwise. You cannot base an objective code of ethics on "what I wish were true" or on "how things might be in al alternate dimension", it must be based on observable reality. To do otherwise is to propose an arbitrary (as opposed to objective) set of rules by which humans should live their lives -- based on a reality different from the reality in which those trying to live their lives operate.

morality can never change no matter what the circumstances, forseeable or not.

Incorrect. For example, if humans evolve to the point where they become indestructible and therefore immortal, the current rules of morality would no longer be valid.


pinky


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Offlinefresh313
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: fresh313]
    #3519042 - 12/19/04 01:32 AM (16 years, 6 months ago)

"But not all living entities require a code of ethics in order to continue their existence. A bacterium cannot choose to stop acquiring the values it requires to continue its existence, nor does it need to discover which values will continue its existence. There is no choice involved in their actions. The entire process is on autopilot. Bacteria have no need of a code of ethics. Such is not the case with human beings." - pinksharkmark

why do we require a code of ethics to continue life? we are life just like anything else even bacteria, all life operates on the same principle which is to survive at any cost. do you honestly think any living thing will say oh no that is unethical so i will die instead of doing it. that is the ultimate decision.


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Offlinefresh313
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: Phred]
    #3519077 - 12/19/04 01:39 AM (16 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

pinksharkmark said:
morality can never change no matter what the circumstances, forseeable or not.

Incorrect. For example, if humans evolve to the point where they become indestructible and therefore immortal, the current rules of morality would no longer be valid.

pinky




it would still be wrong to kill someone, as your conclusion states, you just cant do it anymore. morality can not change, the object it applies to can.


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OfflinePhred
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: fresh313]
    #3519210 - 12/19/04 02:14 AM (16 years, 6 months ago)

fresh313 writes:

why do we require a code of ethics to continue life?

Read my earlier posts in the thread. Asked and answered.

we are life just like anything else even bacteria...

Incorrect. Bacteria operate automatically. Humans don't. The concept of ethics (morality) is invalid for living entities which need not acquire new knowledge in order to acquire the values they require for their continued survival. Humans do need to acquire such knowledge.


pinky


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Offlinefresh313
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: Phred]
    #3519237 - 12/19/04 02:25 AM (16 years, 6 months ago)

"If there are living entities, but those entities can continue to exist qua living entities regardless of what actions they perform, there is no such thing as morality."

by this the only thing that is immoral is the killing of one living entity by another living entity. is that all you beleive morality entails?

"The concept of ethics (morality) is invalid for living entities which need not acquire new knowledge in order to acquire the values they require for their continued survival. Humans do need to acquire such knowledge."

what makes you think we need knowledge and values to survive?


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InvisibleMoonshoe
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: Phred]
    #3519303 - 12/19/04 03:01 AM (16 years, 6 months ago)

"Then by your own admission there is no morality."

again i repeat there is morality but only subjective morality.

"When you say that torturing babies is immoral, all you are saying in essence is that you happen to disapprove of those who torture babies. "

thats exactly what ive been trying to get across to you

"It has no more weight than saying you disapprove of women who appear in public with their face uncovered. "

ditto. you understand what im saying. except you dont seem to understand im saying it


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OfflinePhred
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: fresh313]
    #3519369 - 12/19/04 03:22 AM (16 years, 6 months ago)

pinky: "If there are living entities, but those entities can continue to exist qua living entities regardless of what actions they perform, there is no such thing as morality."

fresh313: "by this the only thing that is immoral is the killing of one living entity by another living entity. is that all you beleive morality entails?"

Re-read that line of mine again. Think it through some more. The line says neither that the only immoral action is the killing of one entity by another (and clearly it isn't -- carnivorous entities cannot continue their existence without killing other living entities) nor does it imply that this is all morality entails. The line in fact says nothing about what morality is at all, it merely points out that to an immortal entity -- one which will survive regardless of what actions it takes -- the concept of morality is inapplicable.

what makes you think we need knowledge and values to survive?

The fact that we do.

I suggest once again you read this entire thread. This has been asked and answered. A value is that which a living entity acts to gain and keep. Knowledge is required in order to ascertain which things (food, water, air etc.) are in fact of value to that particular entity. Some living entities -- i.e. bacteria -- need not acquire knowledge. Humans are not among that class of living entities. Humans must acquire the knowledge they need in order to continue to survive.


pinky


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OfflinePhred
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: Moonshoe]
    #3519386 - 12/19/04 03:32 AM (16 years, 6 months ago)

Moonshoe writes:

again i repeat there is morality but only subjective morality.

Again I repeat you are referring to something other than the concept of human ethics (morals) defined and agreed upon by myself and deafpanda.

thats exactly what ive been trying to get across to you.

Disapproval of an action or being offended or disgusted by another human's action is not equivalent to recognizing another human's action is immoral. Again, it is apparent you are not discussing the same thing deafpanda, mushmaster and I are.

In order for humans to attempt to continue their existence, they must both act in certain ways in order to continue their existence and refrain from acting in other ways. The act of covering one's face is neither required to continue existence nor does it prevent another human from continuing to exist. It is a morally neutral act. The act of torturing a young human to death both prevents another human from continuing to exist and reduces your own chance of continuing to exist. It is therefore not a morally neutral act. It is an objectively immoral act.

pinky


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Offlinecurious4
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: Phred]
    #3519489 - 12/19/04 04:35 AM (16 years, 6 months ago)

NO!


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: Phred]
    #3519609 - 12/19/04 06:44 AM (16 years, 6 months ago)

But not all living entities require a code of ethics in order to continue their existence. A bacterium cannot choose to stop acquiring the values it requires to continue its existence, nor does it need to discover which values will continue its existence. There is no choice involved in their actions. The entire process is on autopilot. Bacteria have no need of a code of ethics. Such is not the case with human beings.

incorrect. human beings do not require a code of ethics in order to continue their existence - this has been demonstrated in feral children, who, without any human interaction, have no concept of morality - they have no concept that other human lives exist, so they have no idea that it is immoral to kill. they have no concept of private property, so they have no idea that it is immoral to steal, and yet they SURVIVED, out in the wild. for these children, objective morality does not apply. how can this be? shouldn't objective morality apply to everyone?


You can argue that humans have no inherent right to exist, but by making that argument you invalidate the concept of ethics
...
If there is no such thing as an objective morality, there is no morality at all


these lines basically say the same thing - that if you believe morals are subjective, you CANNOT believe in morality at all. I honestly don't see how you come to such bizzare conclusions. can't you see how it's possible to believe in morality without believing in moral absolutes? can't you see how it's possible to recognize a person's right to exist without believing in inherent rights? things aren't as black and white as you would like to believe.

If that ever becomes the case (and clearly it never will) then a different fundamental principle be required as the base of objective morality. Objective morality is based on observable reality.
...
You cannot base an objective code of ethics on "what I wish were true" or on "how things might be in al alternate dimension", it must be based on observable reality. To do otherwise is to propose an arbitrary (as opposed to objective) set of rules by which humans should live their lives -- based on a reality different from the reality in which those trying to live their lives operate.
...
if humans evolve to the point where they become indestructible and therefore immortal, the current rules of morality would no longer be valid.



observable reality is not necessarily objective reality. this is where your confusion lies. when you say that these "objective morals" can change when "observable reality" changes, you are essentially admitting that they are not objective at all. in those quotes you are in a sense describing the dynamic, subjective and interpretive nature of morality. you are also admitting, perhaps unintentionally, that humans can change objective morality.









-----------------------------------------------


lets say that instead of all humans evolving to become immortal, just a small group evolves to this state. as you said, the group's "objective" morality would change to fit "obervable reality". now we have two groups living on the same planet, living in the SAME OBJECTIVE REALITY, with two completely different sets of morals - and they would BOTH BE VALID. is this not a clear case of RELATIVE morality?


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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: Phred]
    #3519886 - 12/19/04 11:44 AM (16 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

To review, you have said earlier in the thread you have no difficulty accepting my conclusions re morality as defined above if you accept that it is correct for an existing human to attempt to continue to exist




Yes, but be careful:

Quote:

Yet the definition above -- which we both agree on, remember -- presupposes that humans are in fact attempting to continue to exist.




Yes, they are attempting to do so. This is obvious. What is not obvious, and in my opinion not provable, is that it is morally right for them to do so. Of course I believe that it is, but I can't know it.

Quote:

You can argue that humans have no inherent right to exist, but by making that argument you invalidate the concept of ethics. Not just objective ethics but arbitrary ethics as well. Any ethics.




Let me make an analogy...do you believe that things can be inherently, objectively beautiful - as in beautiful independent of any observer? Saying that beauty is subjective, that there is nothing beautiful in itself, does not mean I can't appreciate beauty. People make their own ideas about what's beautiful and what's ugly. By saying this I am certainly not invalidating the concept of aesthetics, just as by saying morality is subjective I am not invalidating the concept of ethics.

I still have moral beliefs, just as I have aesthetic beliefs, but I make no claim of moral knowledge, since I think it's impossible.

I still debate what's right and wrong. I just don't believe my reasons, or anyone else's, for forming a moral belief are, or can ever be, infallible. They can only be better or worse than the reasons for believing the opposite.

Quote:

Your argument boils down not to "there is no such thing as objective morality", but "it is neither right nor wrong for humans to attempt to continue to exist". And that is a completely different assertion.




No, my argument is that morality is subjective. From this stance I can take any position on whether it is right or wrong for humans to attempt to continue to exist. I choose that it is right, or at least acceptable, but that this is unprovable (subjective).

Quote:

Note that one can make the same assertion about any observable phenomenon in the universe. "It is neither right nor wrong for a round pebble to roll down a hill," for example. Nonetheless, round pebbles roll downhill.




Sure they do, but you can never show that it is morally right for them to do so. It is correct that they do, but from this you cannot infer that it is morally correct that they should.

You seem to be saying that because humans do attempt to continue living, they should attempt to continue living, but that does not logically follow. You can say something like "in order to survive, humans must attempt to continue living", but this is not a moral statement.

To chop off the "in order to survive" bit you must first define morally right as that which promotes survival. If you are to do that, you must give your reasons for that definition. These reasons will be subjective.

Could you explain your reasons for believing that "it is right for humans to attempt to continue to exist"?

Quote:

Similarly, living entities attempt to acquire and keep the values (food, water, air) they require in order to remain in existence. That is how living entities behave in the observable universe. That is the nature of living entities.




Certainly, but this says nothing and implies nothing about the nature of morality.

Quote:

But not all living entities require a code of ethics in order to continue their existence. A bacterium cannot choose to stop acquiring the values it requires to continue its existence, nor does it need to discover which values will continue its existence. There is no choice involved in their actions. The entire process is on autopilot. Bacteria have no need of a code of ethics. Such is not the case with human beings.




We need no code of ethics to exist. A code of ethics is very helpful in a society, but to merely exist we don't need a code of ethics. We just need to know how to survive. We don't need to say that it is morally right to eat in order to eat.

To sum up this post, you cannot say that because x happens then x is morally right. Otherwise everything is morally right.

I would like your reasons for believing that "it is right for humans to attempt to continue living". I will try and show that they do not constitute logical proof.


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OfflinePhred
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: infidelGOD]
    #3519966 - 12/19/04 12:09 PM (16 years, 6 months ago)

infidelGOD writes:

human beings do not require a code of ethics in order to continue their existence - this has been demonstrated in feral children, who, without any human interaction, have no concept of morality - they have no concept that other human lives exist, so they have no idea that it is immoral to kill. they have no concept of private property, so they have no idea that it is immoral to steal, and yet they SURVIVED, out in the wild. for these children, objective morality does not apply. how can this be? shouldn't objective morality apply to everyone?

As was mentioned earlier in the thread, for individual humans living in isolation, morality as defined in this thread is a null concept. By its very definition, morality (ethics) requires at least two humans interacting in order to be a valid concept.

from the first post in the thread:
Quote:

there are those of us who share in the assumption that the non-initiation of force principle should be the ethical guiding force in human interaction.




From post # 3079598:
Quote:

There is an objective morality applicable to Homo sapiens sapiens, and it is as you describe -- the initiation (or credible threat to initiate) physical force (and by extension fraud) against other humans is demonstrably objectively immoral.




From post #3081811
Quote:

In a civilized society, actions which are not immoral (as tested against the fundamental principle we have been discussing in this thread) are permitted.




From post:3082022:
Quote:

It is indisputable that if a human is to survive, he must be left free of interference from other humans in order to do so.




From post #3082057:
Quote:

My position from the very beginning has been that man must act in specific ways in order to continue to exist, and that if other men prevent him from acting in those ways he will not continue to exist as a living entity.




From post #3082352:
Quote:

Rights are not mere social constructs, except in the sense that in the absence of "society", the very concept of "rights" is a null concept. A human on his own (on some remote landmass somehwere, for example) has no need of rights. He may do whatever his abilities allow him to do. However, when in the company of other humans, there is a difference between "abilities" and "rights". Silversoul recently posted a pretty good overview of this in a different thread.




From post #3508570:
Quote:

A more useful definition of morality (or ethics) is "a code of behavior by which humans live their lives". Or, to put it another way, the guiding principles by which a human's actions in a social context are either sanctioned or condemned. The purpose of ethics -- the very reason for the existence of the concept itself -- is to provide a code of values to guide human choices and actions.




can't you see how it's possible to believe in morality without believing in moral absolutes?

I repeat, morality (ethics) as defined in this thread is more than just feelings of approval or disapproval. Someone may disapprove of a woman showing her buttcrack in public yet not see such a display as immoral.

can't you see how it's possible to recognize a person's right to exist without believing in inherent rights?

No, and neither does the person who actually recognizes another human's right to attempt to continue to exist as opposed to someone who might not choose to interfere with that right through apathy, weakness, fear of reprisal, etc. But for the sake of argument, let's assume for a moment that it is possible. This does nothing to show that an objective code of morality (ethics) doesn't exist -- at most it shows that some humans accept that same code out of personal inclination without ever bothering to prove to themselves that it is objective.

observable reality is not necessarily objective reality.

Actually, it is. Not only is it observable, it is testable. We observe (and can verify through experimentation) that if humans have the values they require in order to continue to exist forcibly seized from them by other humans, they cease to exist.

when you say that these "objective morals" can change when "observable reality" changes, you are essentially admitting that they are not objective at all.

Not true. I point out that if (not when) the parts of observable reality relevant to human existence were ever to change, then the objective morality applicable to human existence on Earth today may also change. For example, if humans evolve to a point where they become indestructible and will survive no matter what actions they take or do not take, then the code of ethics (morality) applicable to human interaction today will no longer necessarily hold. An immortal being has in fact no need of morality, but that's a different topic.

But as long as humans face the same fundamental alternative -- existence or non-existence -- then only by interacting with each other following a code of objective morality can Homo sapiens sapiens continue to exist qua Homo sapiens sapiens.


pinky


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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: Phred]
    #3520009 - 12/19/04 12:23 PM (16 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

As was mentioned earlier in the thread, for individual humans living in isolation, morality as defined in this thread is a null concept. By its very definition, morality (ethics) requires at least two humans interacting in order to be a valid concept.




Main Entry: 1ob?jec?tive
Pronunciation: &b-'jek-tiv, ?b-
Function: adjective
1 a : relating to or existing as an object of thought without consideration of independent existence -- used chiefly in medieval philosophy b : of, relating to, or being an object , phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers : having reality independent of the mind <objective reality> <our reveries... are significantly and repeatedly shaped by our transactions with the objective world -- Marvin Reznikoff> -- compare SUBJECTIVE 3a c of a symptom of disease : perceptible to persons other than the affected individual -- compare SUBJECTIVE 4c d : involving or deriving from sense perception or experience with actual objects , conditions, or phenomena <objective awareness> <objective data>

You have just said that morality doesn't exist without people for it to apply to. If it was objective, it would.

This part of the definition sums it up:

Quote:

independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers




If morality was objective then it would be there for us to discover, not to create.


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InvisibleMoonshoe
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: Phred]
    #3520337 - 12/19/04 02:19 PM (16 years, 6 months ago)

"Disapproval of an action or being offended or disgusted by another human's action is not equivalent to recognizing another human's action is immoral."

ah right i didnt mean to say it was sorry, i was refering to an incidence when someone was disgusted or offended by someones actions BECAUSE it violated an established moral or ethical code.

what i was saying though is that although the reasons for the disgust may be different, in one case an ethical violation in another say, a fashion faux paux, it is objectively the same. All that is happening is that one individual is violating another individual (or group of individuals) system of preferances. There is no objective 'wrong' being done in either case.


"In order for humans to attempt to continue their existence, they must both act in certain ways in order to continue their existence and refrain from acting in other ways."

obviously. so are you saying that morality is defined as a system of actions conducive to survival? because that would be contradicted by common sense and the dictionary. It is not an ethical decision to feed yourself or to not stick your hand in a blender. For something to be considerd a moral or ethical choice it must be made out of a conception of right vs wrong or good vs bad, not out of a percieved benefit to survival chances.



" The act of covering one's face is neither required to continue existence nor does it prevent another human from continuing to exist. "

so again your definition of moral behaviour is behaviour that doesnt endanger your own life or the life of others. i think that is a faulty definition of morality. this is the real (dictionary) defintion of morality:

"The quality of being in accord with standards of right or good conduct.
A system of ideas of right and wrong conduct:"

your defintion of morality is : action that doesnt endanger your life or anothers life.

as you can see, your 'objective basis for morality' is in fact simply another subjective standard of right or good conduct, which has no validity outside your own personal beliefs and preferances. Your argument is essentially no more sound than saying morality is what god says is good, because it A priori assumes that your values, like valueing human life, are objective rather than subjective premises, while they are not.

"The act of torturing a young human to death both prevents another human from continuing to exist and reduces your own chance of continuing to exist. "

that makes it a destructive act, a dangerous act, a violent act, but not nescessarily an immoral act. refer again to the dictionary definition of morality. an immoral act is one that violates a standard of right or wrong, but that standard is nescessarily subjective, so this act is subjectively and not objectively immoral.

again your attempt to establish a 'objective' basis for morality is nothing more than another subjective system of right and wrong, and is no more objective or concrete than a belief in god. it is just your preferances oppinions and beliefs.


"it is therefore not a morally neutral act. It is an objectively immoral act. "

no, it is a subjectively immoral act, in that it violates yours and others subjective systems of right and wrong.


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: Phred]
    #3521058 - 12/19/04 05:47 PM (16 years, 6 months ago)

morality (ethics) requires at least two humans interacting in order to be a valid concept.

that is exactly what I'm saying! - "...without any human interaction, have no concept of morality". OF COURSE morals can't apply to isolated individuals. but if it was OBJECTIVE, as you claim, it would still be a valid concept - for example, it is still "right" for that isolated individual to attempt to continue exist, is it not?


From post # 3079598:

From post #3081811

From post:3082022:

From post #3082057:

From post #3082352:

From post #3508570:


yeah I get it. morality is a property of collectives, not individuals.
but if morality was objective, why does it matter if it's an individual or a collective? if morality was truly objective, it certainly would NOT be a null concept to an isolated individual (it might not be applicable to them, but it would not be a null concept - an isolated individual could still 'discover' objective morality). as the definition above says: independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers (whether it's applicable to them or not).


"can't you see how it's possible to believe in morality without believing in moral absolutes?"

I repeat, morality (ethics) as defined in this thread is more than just feelings of approval or disapproval. Someone may disapprove of a woman showing her buttcrack in public yet not see such a display as immoral.

what does this have anything to do with what I asked? I never said morals are simply feelings of approval and disapproval. I do think that morals can be rationally based on nature, emotion, desire, etc. it's just that I don't delude myself into thinking that I've discovered "objective" morality.


"observable reality is not necessarily objective reality."

Actually, it is. Not only is it observable, it is testable.

reading comprehension alert. I never said that objective reality is not observable or testable. I said that what is observed by humans is not necessarily objective reality. seeing as how this is a website about magic mushrooms, I don't think anyone here would disagree.


We observe (and can verify through experimentation) that if humans have the values they require in order to continue to exist forcibly seized from them by other humans, they cease to exist.

how does the fact that human beings die without food lead to objective morals? take me through the specific chain of reasoning, and I'll show that a subjective judgement has to come in somewhere.


I point out that if (not when) the parts of observable reality relevant to human existence were ever to change, then the objective morality applicable to human existence on Earth today may also change. For example, if humans evolve to a point where they become indestructible and will survive no matter what actions they take or do not take, then the code of ethics (morality) applicable to human interaction today will no longer necessarily hold. An immortal being has in fact no need of morality, but that's a different topic.

now we're getting somewhere. you acknowledge that "objective" morality can change when observable reality changes - that it is subject to local conditions of that reality. for example - for feral children living in isolation, morality does not apply, for immortals, morality (as we know it today) is irrelevent, for soldiers in war, normal rules of morality don't apply, in emergency situations, some "objective morals" can be compromised etc. etc. there are many real and hypothetical locally observed realities and they all have their own sets of "objective" morals because objective morals are based on observable reality, correct?

so would you then agree that morality is dynamic? or adaptive?
would you agree that morality can apply to localized realities (and be "objective" within those realities), but that there is no overarching, absolute, unchanging set of morals that governs how human beings should live their lives?


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Re: can you prove the existence of absolute, objective morality? [Re: Phred]
    #3526790 - 12/21/04 08:31 AM (16 years, 5 months ago)

Any response, pinky?


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