Author Topic: Let's rename objective morality  (Read 3125 times)

Let's rename objective morality
« on: February 26, 2017, 09:20:11 PM »
This is mainly directed at people who use the term objective morality similar to that of mattD@AE IE for any situation when deciding between actions one will be more and one less moral "objectively" against an agreed on standard (like welll being).
While I whole heartily agree with the concept, I often think we derail the fight by calling it objective morality. That term carries with it a lot of baggage implicitly to a theist discusser and the topic can then get bogged down in semantics.  While I don't disagree (double negative. Ms terry my 3rd grade English teacher is rollling her eyes) that objective is not wrong, I like the terms quantitative or qualitative   The latter is more accurate but the former more inline with the term objective.
Just my thought. Would love to hear feedback

42

Offline Baruch

Re: Let's rename objective morality
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2017, 07:05:55 AM »
For many on this subject, Objective = Objectivist = Ayn Rand.  Pretty reactionary, as was Ayn Rand.

If by objective, you mean .. something by common agreement, reached by pragmatic observation, then you will have a hard time finding this in discussions of morality/ethics/legality.

Personally I think it is OK to kill people, provided you kill the right ones.
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Re: Let's rename objective morality
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2017, 11:18:03 AM »
I'm using in a way I seem to think Matt dillahunty uses it. Objective in the term quantifiable. Or one action causes more harm or does more good there is more moral. This is the way he often debated on objective morality and answers theists who ask if he believes in objective morality. Unfortunately the most common theist impression of objective morality that I can gather is right or wrong irrespective of human opinion. This is toncontrast to relative morality. Matts argument is if we can agree on the standard then the morality of an action is objective with respect to the standard irrespective of our opinion. While true this is very different then the theist. So instead calling it qualitative (more less) makes more sense to me. Again it frees us of the charge that our morality is all relative. It is but not in the sense the theist is arguing.
Just my two cents.

Offline Solomon Zorn

Re: Let's rename objective morality
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2017, 02:14:29 PM »
Quote from: Awakepuddle
Unfortunately the most common theist impression of objective morality that I can gather is right or wrong irrespective of human opinion.

To avoid all kinds of semantic issues, it is best to stick with that definition, or risk being misunderstood.
If God Exists, Why Does He Pretend Not to Exist?
Poetry and Proverbs of the Uneducated Hick

http://www.solomonzorn.com

Offline Sal1981

Re: Let's rename objective morality
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2017, 03:14:18 PM »
Hard to pin down those two concepts together in a meaningful way. I mean, the way I see morality and ethics is entirely in human terms. So, it becomes a lot more meaningful to use "moral" or "ethic" in subjective terminology.

But this quickly becomes, as you say, pure semantics.
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" --- Richard P. Feynman

Re: Let's rename objective morality
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2017, 03:35:29 PM »
Semantics can get in the way. My limited experience in these conversations have at least shown that when I change the nomenclature they seem to get it or at least argue semantics less. These conversations are usually your morality is all relative (in truth I think all morality is relative but that's a different argument ) and not objective. To be objective it is right regardless of what you or I say.
My response is it's not relative but quantitative. If we agree a few base assumptions harm, well being, etc that are "good." Then all actions can be measured against this yard stick and be quantifiably better or worse. Therefore in relation to the agreed on yardstick our morality is not relative

The real crux is how do we agree on the yardstick or should it be a meter stick? But at lesser that's a better discussion then you can't be objectively moral without god.
Again just my limited experience. Thanks.

Re: Let's rename objective morality
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2017, 03:38:36 PM »
For many on this subject, Objective = Objectivist = Ayn Rand.  Pretty reactionary, as was Ayn Rand.

If by objective, you mean .. something by common agreement, reached by pragmatic observation, then you will have a hard time finding this in discussions of morality/ethics/legality.

Personally I think it is OK to kill people, provided you kill the right ones.

I agree that there are few universal truths or morals. There can almost always be a situation where a vacuous immoral action (e.g. Killing or stealing or lying) is actually the moral action. Hence morality is sitatuinal. But against a standard of good it is still quantifiable.

Offline Baruch

Re: Let's rename objective morality
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2017, 08:45:29 PM »
I'm using in a way I seem to think Matt dillahunty uses it. Objective in the term quantifiable. Or one action causes more harm or does more good there is more moral. This is the way he often debated on objective morality and answers theists who ask if he believes in objective morality. Unfortunately the most common theist impression of objective morality that I can gather is right or wrong irrespective of human opinion. This is toncontrast to relative morality. Matts argument is if we can agree on the standard then the morality of an action is objective with respect to the standard irrespective of our opinion. While true this is very different then the theist. So instead calling it qualitative (more less) makes more sense to me. Again it frees us of the charge that our morality is all relative. It is but not in the sense the theist is arguing.
Just my two cents.

This was developed by John Stewart Mill in the 19th century, but it has turned into consumerism.  Those who die with the most goodies, win.  This competition produces the most average goodies per person of the whole population.  Therefore the predation of the elite needs to be encouraged, rather than inhibited.  Basically today it is called neoliberalism.  So yes, we have agreed already, a car in every garage and a chicken in every pot, just as President Hoover promised us.
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Re: Let's rename objective morality
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2017, 09:00:35 PM »
This was developed by John Stewart Mill in the 19th century, but it has turned into consumerism.  Those who die with the most goodies, win.  This competition produces the most average goodies per person of the whole population.  Therefore the predation of the elite needs to be encouraged, rather than inhibited.  Basically today it is called neoliberalism.  So yes, we have agreed already, a car in every garage and a chicken in every pot, just as President Hoover promised us.
Sorry I got lost there. While hoovers campaign promise is great (not for me I'm vegetarian but you know) I'm lost confused how we got from morality to commercialism.
Finishing with the most stuff COULD be a criteria for some (trump?) but I personally don't think it's a good metric. Regardless I was describing how we measure the morality against a metric rather than defining the metric. Have i missed something ?  Thanks.
I'm a scientist not philosopher so I think linearly and maybe too concretely.

Offline Solomon Zorn

Re: Let's rename objective morality
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2017, 05:45:15 AM »
Sorry I got lost there. While hoovers campaign promise is great (not for me I'm vegetarian but you know) I'm lost confused how we got from morality to commercialism.
Finishing with the most stuff COULD be a criteria for some (trump?) but I personally don't think it's a good metric. Regardless I was describing how we measure the morality against a metric rather than defining the metric. Have i missed something ?  Thanks.
That feeling as if you missed the point of Baruch's contrarian tangents, is something you'll get used to.

 
Quote from: Awakepuddle
I'm a scientist not philosopher so I think linearly and maybe too concretely.
Although speaking in abstract terms is helpful, in some ways, to understanding the basic nature of making decisions, I find it helpful to be a little more concrete, when defining "good and bad." "Morality" is a rather blanket term, that encompasses a lot of diverse subjects. Is deciding whether to kill, really the same as deciding whether to steal? Or are those things really in the same category, as deciding who, when and how to fuck? Is my financial responsibility to my family, the same kind of duty as my obligation to be honest in court? Perhaps the only common thread, is making the best choice, given the alternatives that are within the power of the one choosing.

If it is a social question, I generally go with either "Suffer no man, what you would prefer not to suffer yourself," or the more imperative statement, "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." But I would never consider either standard to be "objective." All decisions are subjective, and no rule is sufficiently complex to cover all the nuances of life. Nevertheless, these two sides of the concept, of positive action producing positive reciprocation, can help guide a person well in life. They are mankind's best impression of a "Golden Rule."
« Last Edit: February 28, 2017, 05:48:41 AM by Solomon Zorn »
If God Exists, Why Does He Pretend Not to Exist?
Poetry and Proverbs of the Uneducated Hick

http://www.solomonzorn.com

Offline Baruch

Re: Let's rename objective morality
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2017, 06:48:01 AM »
Sorry I got lost there. While hoovers campaign promise is great (not for me I'm vegetarian but you know) I'm lost confused how we got from morality to commercialism.
Finishing with the most stuff COULD be a criteria for some (trump?) but I personally don't think it's a good metric. Regardless I was describing how we measure the morality against a metric rather than defining the metric. Have i missed something ?  Thanks.
I'm a scientist not philosopher so I think linearly and maybe too concretely.

Sorry you sound like a philosopher, not a scientist.  I don't mean that as an ad hominem.

So like Xeno who posts here, you want some sort of quality metric, a pseudo-number like GDP, to be used to measure average happiness?  His proposal is an actual social experiment (a contrived voting arrangement).  What experiment are you proposing, Mr Scientist?
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Re: Let's rename objective morality
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2017, 12:47:00 AM »
It is more of a thought experiment. I'm not defining social norms. Rather I'm describing a frame work of evaluating morality that can be considered independent of the individual observer and their personal bias. It is not numerical. Hence i proposed a qualitative term. They key of course is the metric. But the reason for the proposal as I previously mentioned was not to prove the validity of method (how do you do that if your method claims to be god) but rather give less hot button terms to relate to our theistitic colleges with and allow us to move past maybe one quagmire and potentially steer our conversations on to a more fruitful subject. In fact nowhere in my statement do I use the word truth nor have I proposed a metric mr philosopher.  I'm not trying Prove anything (or dispel a null either) so not sure where experimentation came from. I never claimed this was the only way to look at morality. I was merely pointing out a common argument and word choice that I thought could be changed.
It just seems that using the term objective morality carries with it baggage that while definitionally required is connatatively present. Instead let's just use something else that is equally definitionally true and does not have the attached societal or historic connotation

Offline Baruch

Re: Let's rename objective morality
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2017, 05:21:30 AM »
OK, lets use China as an independent observer of the US ... what will be the result?
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Offline Solomon Zorn

Re: Let's rename objective morality
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2017, 05:43:01 AM »
I agree with your contention, as I understand it, that those who have been using the term "objective," as a description for a morality that is agreed upon, rather than the commonly understood meaning that it is an imposed metric, are creating a semantic problem. I would add that this is especially true, when they are posting online, in lengthy threads, that may not be read in their entirety by newcomers to the discussion, who may have missed any kind of special definition that was given during the discussion, and assume the common definition.

I can't offer a word, off the top of my head, that would be a satisfactory replacement.

As I stated in my last post, I would take the issue a step further, and suggest that perhaps "morality" is too broad a term, for the diverse nature of the subjects it is applied to, which can often bear little resemblance to each other. But we work with what words will be best understood. So if I say that there is no objective morality, I am not contradicting Dillahunty's contention, but actually talking about a different subject.
If God Exists, Why Does He Pretend Not to Exist?
Poetry and Proverbs of the Uneducated Hick

http://www.solomonzorn.com

Offline Baruch

Re: Let's rename objective morality
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2017, 01:09:55 PM »
Moralists = hypocritical, delusional, deceitful ass holes.
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