Objective vs Subjective Morality

General philosophy message board for Discussion and debate on other philosophical issues not directly related to veganism. Metaphysics, religion, theist vs. atheist debates, politics, general science discussion, etc.
Frank Quasar
Junior Member
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:10 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Re: Objective vs Subjective Morality

Post by Frank Quasar » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:41 am

@brimstoneSalad I've noticed that you are now on good footing with Ask Yourself, your beef with him has been squashed, which is really good to hear. However, I did want to ask you the following questions on the matter, feel free to address them if you think they're worthwhile:

1) I'm not sure if you've seen Ask Yourself's "debunk" of your wiki pages, but what are your thoughts on his dismissal of criticism insofar as the NTT syllogism goes? His reasons were (1) he didn't "intend" the argument to be a formal argument, and (2) he didn't know anything about propositional logic, if I recall correctly. These reasons are terrible, and I doubt Ask Yourself is naive enough to think that they are sufficient. Not to mention the fact that the way he set out NTT was in a perfect setting for a typical formal argument, I think he's being dishonest with himself.

If anyone but Ask Yourself himself did this, then they would face such a terrible backlash and consistent humiliation. Since it's Ask Yourself, many people do not bat an eye to such a ludicrous statement, it's almost like it never happened.

2) Has Ask Yourself conceded that the original NTT syllogism was invalid, especially now that he understands more about formal logic?

He's quick to point out the invalidity of many competing formal arguments, be it with people like Superhumandance or Magnus. He obviously has an eye for this kind of thing now, I'd be surprised if he failed to spot the errors in his old ways, unless he's too stuck up to admit his faults?

User avatar
brimstoneSalad
neither stone nor salad
Posts: 9519
Joined: Wed May 28, 2014 9:20 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by brimstoneSalad » Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:45 pm

Frank Quasar wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:41 am
@brimstoneSalad I've noticed that you are now on good footing with Ask Yourself, your beef with him has been squashed, which is really good to hear. However, I did want to ask you the following questions on the matter, feel free to address them if you think they're worthwhile:
He's recognized the semantic issues with the old argument I think, the wiki kind of addresses these questions:

wiki/index.php/NameTheTrait_2.0%2B_(official)#History
The previous incarnation of Name The Trait had several issues (as discussed in that article) which led to us recommending strongly against its usage. The new formalization of Name The Trait (discussed here) has corrected for these issues and is formally valid ("informal validity" is subjective, and not a topic of this article). While a number of unofficial fixes have been recommended, this article covers the newest version (from 2 and up) recognized by the original author as authoritative.

Whether this formalization represents a new argument in terms of structure that replaces an invalid original argument or represents only a formalization of the original argument that corrects for informal semantic issues is moot. Arguments for the former appeal to early comments and original usage/presentation (discussed briefly in the old article), while arguments for the latter appeal to stated authorial intent. Given that the argument is valid now, its pedigree or relationship to the previous argument isn't particularly relevant to its current force or persuasive ability.

User avatar
Greatest I am
Full Member
Posts: 235
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:24 am
Religion: Other
Diet: Vegan

Post by Greatest I am » Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:42 am

Kaz1983

How does one decide what the greater good is when many attributes are subjectively based?

By his subjective opinion. Right?

Sure, one might just look at the body count, but if the two sides are close in numbers, my subjective opinion might favor the one side that has more women than men or vice versa.
Think of an issue like the morality or lack of it in misogyny here.

In objective moral tenets, I can only think of one or two that might be so, but most decisions you make will be based on your subjective opinion.

Regards
DL

User avatar
brimstoneSalad
neither stone nor salad
Posts: 9519
Joined: Wed May 28, 2014 9:20 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by brimstoneSalad » Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:27 am

Kaz1983 wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:46 am
brimstoneSalad wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:37 am
Don't even lie even if the world will be destroyed if you don't lie has nothing to do with outcome. Deontology is all about the acts themselves and whether they fit rules.
I get what you're saying but what I'm trying to say is, when it comes to deontology, it's about following the rules - same as consequentialism.
Not really what "rule" means in this context.
See "rule consequentialism" as a comparison. "Rules" are simpler tests than something that requires a detailed knowledge of empirical facts and probability.
E.g. rule consequentialism might say "Don't lie... because lying is usually harmful and you don't have enough information or personal objectivity to decide when it won't be" But still, the rule is "don't lie" and it lives along side MANY other rules like "don't steal", "don't murder" and so on.
It's one of a set of simpler guides to moral decision making.

Deontology is different, it doesn't care about the consequences at all in that sense, but none the less has rules, like deontology might say "Don't lie", "don't steal" etc. The reasoning for that is a little more contorted or sometimes just arbitrary.

But where we'd regard consequentialism to have rules is only specifically rule consequentialism, not consequentialism generally.

"Act in a way that will have the best consequences" may read like a rule, colloquially speaking and in the most general sense, but it's not really what we mean when we're talking about rules in this context. When speaking of "rules" here we're talking about something simpler to parse than an overarching maxim that you have to analyze (particularly in the context of outside information) to extract norms.
"Rules" in the most general sense apply to anything that's consistent, including logic itself and any system as per the laws of thought, so there's no getting away from that and it would not be a very good way of distinguishing ethical heuristics (like rule consequentialism) if that's all we meant. That would make the distinction kind of meaningless, and obviously not what we're talking about.
Kaz1983 wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:46 am
I should have explained it better - deontology has nothing to do with the outcome and consequentialism is all about the outcome. But both are heavily reliant on rules, that you must follow.
No, general consequentialism (non-rule-consequentialism formulations) like Utilitarianism only has one basic principle from which you must apply reason and evidence to derive correct behavior. It is most certainly not "heavily reliant on rules". It's as far from it as possible while still being a coherent framework. I feel like you're confused on what consequentialism is.

Now you could argue that Kantian deontology could maybe be used in a way that we evaluate every action independently and look at whether it's a Kantian style "contradiction" or not, thus the morality of all actions is derived from a single principle or something like that, you might be able to make an argument for exempting a particular monomaniacal Kantian approach as something unique... kind of a mess I'd rather not get into at the moment though.

Deontology = based on rules. That's not because it's just based on something at all, but because of the structure of the heuristic we're dealing with being broken down into easily assessed... rules.
One guiding principle that has to be reasoned from and particularly that needs external evidence applied to it does not equal "rules".

Kaz1983
Junior Member
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:27 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by Kaz1983 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:40 am

Sam Harris' objective morality is based on well-being.

He believes in object morality, he's a moral realist.

I base what is right and wrong on desire and I believe it to be subjective, at least in the beginning.

Science can tell you what you should value

NOT what you ought to value.

--------

Why don't we have ethical obligations to rocks?
Because in our opinion rock's can't desire not to suffer.

Health based on desire too.
The desire to live a long and healthy life.

You have positive desires i.e. pleasure
You have negative desires i.e. pain
You have right actions
You have wrong actions

The meaning of pleasure, something that is wanted whilst being experienced. 8-)

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

What was healthy 100 years ago, is unhealthy today.
What was right 100 years ago, is not right today

In Afghanistan the average age for a man is 51 years old
In Japan the average age for a man is 85 years old

Are both equally as healthy?

100 years ago the life expectancy in USA for a man was 51 years old. Today it's 79 years old.

Are both equally as healthy?

Because of culture.

Muslim women a force to wear a burqa - does that mean it's the right thing to do, just because it's cultural?

Because it happened 100 years ago..

Was slavery the right thing to do?

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

There many different right and wrong ways to fulfill your desires..

Just like there are many right and wrong answers on how to fill your desires to be fit & healthly.

Look at food, there are many different types of food that are healthy but..

There is a clear distinction between food and poison!.

The problem with answers to questions about right and wrong is all opinions are treated equal. Are all answers about what is right and wrong when it comes to health, all treated equal?

Does this mean that there are only right and wrong answers? And, that morals don't exist?

Can you believe that no morality exists but still believe in right and wrong - in a scientifically objective sense?

----------

Do you believed free will?

When do something, you do it because you desire to do it

You choose that desire cos it was the strongest desire.

Why was it the strongest desire, cos your thought that you would be the most pleasure from the desire.

The meaning of pleasure, something that is wanted whilst experiencing it. 8-)

----Example-----------

Your lying in bed and aren't sure whether to go to the gym but ultimately decide to go to the gym for a 30 minute work out. Why? Cos your desire to be fit & healthy, outweighed your desire to lie in bed and watch Netflix.

-------Example--------

You desire to give money to charity, cos you get the pleasure of knowing you are being a good person and you desire for your friends to think of you as a good person.

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

You do action X

Are you right or wrong?

1. You are doing X because you think it will maximize your pleasure.

Why do you do something if you decide to do it > you choose that desire because it was the strongest desire > it was the strongest desire because you think that it will give you the most pleasure.

Sunflowers
Newbie
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:16 pm
Religion: Other
Diet: Vegetarian

Post by Sunflowers » Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:01 pm

Sam Harris is not a professional philosopher. He has no proper expertise in ethics. He has a BA in philosophy. That's it. That does NOT make you an expert in ethics. He has no PhD in this area, no peer reviewed publications in analytic philosophy journals on this subject. His work is not discussed in analytic philosophy journals or books or conferences. Why? Because, in my opinion anyway, it appears to be amateurish worthless junk. It may have merit insofar as it inspires people to study ethics more seriously and to do so at university under the supervision of real experts and not hacks trying to sell books, but that's it.

User avatar
brimstoneSalad
neither stone nor salad
Posts: 9519
Joined: Wed May 28, 2014 9:20 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by brimstoneSalad » Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:03 pm

@Kaz1983 I'm lost, are you replying to me there?

@Sunflowers Harris is a popularizer. Nothing wrong with that, although of course there are issues with his recent crusade which aligns unfortunately with the alt-right.

Kaz1983
Junior Member
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:27 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by Kaz1983 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:16 am

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:03 pm
@Kaz1983 I'm lost, are you replying to me there?

@Sunflowers Harris is a popularizer. Nothing wrong with that, although of course there are issues with his recent crusade which aligns unfortunately with the alt-right.
Accident, was just listing a few things I was gonna send him. Sorry about that.

Kaz1983
Junior Member
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:27 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by Kaz1983 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:19 am

I'm starting to think I might put this in a subjective framework. I've never been comfortable being a objectivist, anyways. I'm still going to base my morality/what's right and wrong on desire. The desire to seek pleasure and the desire to avoid pain.

It's like the sky being blue, it's subjective - it's shared subjectivity, shared with every human on Earth and it is seen as an objective truth. But it's still subjective at the end of the day. That said, if somebody was to tell me it's red - they would be seen as dead wrong in the eyes of everybody else. But I cannot say that it is objectively true.

Well-being or desire, is the base of my morality (subjective or objective). It's just that it's objectives whether well-being or desire is important enough that you will base your morality on it. Or not.

Do you believe freewill?

The reason why I asked is, every time we do something it's because we desire to do it. Why do we desire to do it? Because that desire is stronger than the other (competing) desire(s).. why is that desire stronger?

It is stronger because we believe we will get more pleasure from that desire. So regardless of the action, as humans (and animals) we seek pleasure whenever we do something. Maximising pleasure is experiencing doing something that is wanted.

And we all want to avoid pain, unless you get pleasure from experiencing pain inflicted on you.
Last edited by Kaz1983 on Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
brimstoneSalad
neither stone nor salad
Posts: 9519
Joined: Wed May 28, 2014 9:20 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by brimstoneSalad » Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:35 am

Kaz1983 wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:19 am
I'm starting to think I might put this in a subjective framework. I've never been comfortable being a objectivist, anyways. I'm still going to base my morality/what's right and wrong on desire. The desire to seek pleasure and the desire to avoid pain.
Did you read the objective/subjective wiki article?
wiki/index.php/Objective-subjective_distinction

The value in objectivism is being able to make a case that appeals to reason rather than emotion.
Kaz1983 wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:19 am
It's like the sky being blue, is subjective - it's shared subjectivity, shared with every human on Earth and it is seen as an objective truth. But it's still subjective at the end of the day.
Just because something can be perceived by subjects doesn't make it subjective. The objective fact of the sky is the spectrum it's refracting, which is dominated by blue light as defined as a certain band in the spectrum. Whether to your eyes the qualia is one that to others seems red or green is irrelevant to the fact and its definition.

We have a thread on free will here:
viewtopic.php?t=4276

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 58 guests