Objective vs Subjective Morality

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brimstoneSalad
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Re: Objective vs Subjective Morality

Post by brimstoneSalad » Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:18 pm

Kaz1983 wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:50 am
We just have to agree to disagree I suppose.
We don't really do that here, but if you don't have a reply you can bow out of the discussion. The intellectually honest thing to do would be to admit agnosticism, however.

Believing something you can't make a coherent argument for isn't very sensible. That's called blind faith, and it's particularly bad when it has meaningful ramifications to others. E.g. the belief that morality is subjective could be harmful both in that you have no rational argument to oppose the practices of those who chose to follow a "morality" that causes harm to others, and that your beliefs support them in that option.

Much like, as the new atheists would argue, a religious moderate can act as a buffer to support the foundation upon which extremists offer by validating the correctness of scripture despite having different interpretations themselves.
And much like a race realist who *isn't* a Nazi none the less still acts to confirm the core beliefs that support Nazism -- the idea that race is a meaningful thing.

When you endorse subjective morality, even if your particular choice of moral practice isn't in itself harmful, it is harmful because you are supporting the validity of others' harmful views of morality and in effect encouraging them in that without having any rational argument to make against it.

If you disagree with something I'm arguing, you're welcome to explain why that is. If you genuinely don't understand something I'm explaining, just ask. But stop ignoring the core of my point here: that color is two distinct things; an objective fact of light and a subjective qualia of perception. Much like a "bat" can be a flying mammal or a sporting paraphernalia. The two things may or may not be related, but they should not be conflated.

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Post by brimstoneSalad » Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:24 pm

Sunflowers wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:25 pm
Like I say, you don't know your stuff, you just don't know that you don't.
You say that over and over, but the evidence here says you don't even know how to formulate a clear argument: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=4156&start=50
It's clear who here is Dunning-Kruger afflicted. And you throw tantrums when you don't want to follow forum rules. Very mature.

Sunflowers wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:25 pm
Whether propositions themselves are subjective or objective is a matter of debate (some think propositions are thoughts, for example, and thoughts - being mental states - are subjective entities).
No shit, that's precisely to the point of the ambiguity in the definition of mind-independent. :roll:
My point is that rolling anything into subjectivism that has come into contact with anything to do with a mind is not a productive definition, to the contrary it makes the whole discussion useless. Anybody who wants to do that as a matter of practice is only begging the question and is not being intellectually honest.

This is covered in the article which you decided not to read:
wiki/index.php/Objective-subjective_distinction
You might learn something if you read it.

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Post by Kaz1983 » Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:18 pm

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:18 pm
We don't really do that here..
Ok sir. Anyways..

Do you believe the external information is objective, whilst the perception of colour is subjective, right? You believe that colour starts as objective external information.. that information is then processed by a brain, correct?

If the answer is yes and yes - then you agree that our perception of colour is subjective, what I call red you might call green etc etc and that for the "external information" to be processed you require a subject/brain to do the processing - right?

Is my red, the same as your red:
https://youtu.be/evQsOFQju08g

External information = mind-independent
Processing of the information = mind-dependent

Ohhh and it doesn't change anything whether the "external information" is objective or not (I believe it is..). See if there was no subject/brain to process the "external information" there would be no colour.. got that?
Last edited by Kaz1983 on Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:14 pm, edited 12 times in total.

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Post by Kaz1983 » Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:20 pm

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:18 pm
When you endorse subjective morality...

.... it is harmful because you are supporting the validity of others' harmful views of morality and in effect encouraging them in that without having any rational argument to make against it.
In your opinion.

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Post by brimstoneSalad » Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:24 pm

Kaz1983 wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:18 pm
Do you believe the external information is objective, whilst the perception of colour is subjective, right?
The external information which is wavelength aka. color (a different meaning of color from the qualia) is objective, yes. The perception (the qualia) is subjective.
Kaz1983 wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:18 pm
You believe that colour starts as objective external information.. that information is then processed by a brain, correct?
Both are color, but different meanings of the term. One refers to the objective fact of wavelength (you can call that "wavelength color" if you want), one refers to the experience of color, which could be called "color qualia".
Different things.

The brain doesn't just process the wavelength directly, it processes a lot of other information to infer what the color might be under white light. And it can easily make mistakes in doing so.

The dress is a great example of that.

Image
Kaz1983 wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:18 pm
then you agree that our perception of colour is subjective, what I call red you might call green etc etc and that for the "external information" to be processed you require a subject/brain to do the processing - right?
That is the subjective qualia. As I've said many times, yes that part is subjective.

But color doesn't always mean qualia, just as "bat" doesn't always mean a flying mammal.
There is another meaning of color which refers to objective properties of the thing as per the physics of the wavelengths of light and how they interact with objects.

Do you not understand that there are TWO meanings of color here which are different?
Do you not understand that color, under one meaning, can be subjective as a qualia while the other can be objective as a fact of reality that's independent of observers?
Kaz1983 wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:18 pm
Ohhh and it doesn't change anything whether the "external information" is objective or not (I believe it is..).
If wavelength is objective, then the meaning of color that is a synonym of wavelength and means only that is also objective.

I don't understand why it's so hard for you to agree that color has objective and subjective meanings, and that the one that means "wavelength" is objective.
Kaz1983 wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:18 pm
See if there was no subject/brain to process the "external information" there would be no colour.. got that?
There would be no color qualia, but there would still be wavelength color.

Do you think that if there were no brains to process information that there would no longer be any wavelength?
If you agree there would still be wavelength, then why do you believe there would be no "color" under the definition that's the same as wavelength?

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Post by brimstoneSalad » Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:38 pm

Kaz1983 wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:20 pm
brimstoneSalad wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:18 pm
When you endorse subjective morality...

.... it is harmful because you are supporting the validity of others' harmful views of morality and in effect encouraging them in that without having any rational argument to make against it.
In your opinion.
Do you disagree with the new atheists that religious moderates who are still scriptural fideists can act to insulate and facilitate the development of extremism by confirming their core world views about god and the infallibility of scripture?
If so, maybe you should make a thread on that.

Do you disagree that objective morality would be a useful tool to convince rational people of different proclivities to a common moral framework? Without objective morality, the only compulsion you have is violence because if somebody holds an otherwise apparently consistent system that is abominable (as Ask Yourself puts it, they bit the bullet on a "retard holocaust") you run out of rational appeals.

Throwing out objective morality is throwing out a very important tool in the argumentative toolbox against people who are willing to sacrifice human rights to be consistent in abusing non-humans.

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Post by Kaz1983 » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:41 pm

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:24 pm
If you agree there would still be wavelength, then why do you believe there would be no "color" under the definition that's the same as wavelength?
Talking about definitions... I'm going by these 2 definitions of colour. The first one is from the Collins dictionary and the second is Cambridge's definition.
1. the colour of something is the appearance that it has as a result of the way in which it reflects light. Red, blue, and green are colours.

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/amp/english/colour
2. the appearance that something has as a result of reflecting light: for example:

A. the dress comes in blue, green, red, and other color.

B. some of the pictures in the book are in color, and some are in black and white.

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictio ... lish/color
What definition of colour are you basing your opinion on?

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Post by brimstoneSalad » Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:17 am

Kaz1983 wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:41 pm
Talking about definitions... I'm going by these 2 definitions of colour. The first one is from the Collins dictionary and the second is Cambridge's definition.
First, I'd say you can scroll down a little on the first one to a more detailed definition which includes clearly objective ones:
1.
a.
an attribute of things that results from the light they reflect, transmit, or emit in so far as this light causes a visual sensation that depends on its wavelengths

b.
the aspect of visual perception by which an observer recognizes this attribute
c.
the quality of the light producing this aspect of visual perception

d.
(as modifier)
Both a and c are more objective than the one you site.
The first deals with the attributes of the thing based on interaction with light, not observation, only limiting it ("in so far as") to the kinds of light that are visible (that is, we don't usually talk about the colors of UV light or microwaves because we don't have words for the colors outside our ability to see them).

C is talking specifically about the objective quality of light itself which is correlated to those perceptions (independently of whether it's perceived or not).

Could these definitions be more clear? Sure. But this isn't an encyclopedia of science or philosophy, thus the limitations you'll find -- which is to my main point here:

It's a fool's errand to try to use simplified definitions from an off the shelf dictionary to deconstruct philosophical or scientific concepts like this.

Take the common example of somebody who insists veganism is impossible because of something along the lines of everybody swallows their own saliva.
If a vegan is somebody who consumes no animal products, and humans are animals, and saliva is a product of us because we produce it, and swallowing is consuming... Do you see where I'm going here?

Standard dictionary definitions are good for learning a language because they don't give you more information than you need to get a general useful sense of the word 99% of the time, but if you attempt to apply these definitions to a complicated topic of philosophy their minor errors and inaccuracies will compound and lead you very quickly to absurdity (like being vegan meaning you can't swallow your own spit).

I could probably give you a small book-length lesson on prescriptive semantics, but the simplest way to understand it is this:
Language serves a purpose of communication. Definitions which further this purpose are correct, definitions which yield nonsense or fail to usefully differentiate different categories of things or concepts are wrong.

When it comes to usefulness, usage is very important, constrained only by coherence.
When we look at how most people use the word "color" and how most people would answer the paradox of an optical illusion, they would not say "Well the dress WAS white and gold, but now it's blue and black that you show it to me here" No. They would say. "Oh, I thought it was white and gold, I see now that it was really blue and black and my eyes were playing tricks on me"

People UNDERSTAND color as an objective property. It's a case where simple human intuition is actually backed up by the science too. People may not understand how optical illusions work, but they do understand that what they think they see isn't always what is.

In so far as it is possible to coherently define "color" as something that is conceptually compatible with the way people generally use and understand it then that is the most correct definition.

The bottom line is that the concept people have of color, while they may not understand much of anything about physics, is still more compatible with the definition used in physics and those other objective definitions than the definitions which limit it to a subjective qualia.

Make no mistake, I don't deny the validity of the definitions that deal with color as a qualia. They are secondary definitions based on usage and common understanding, but as long as we are precise as to whether we're talking about subjective qualia or objective physics then both of these definitions have great utility and further human understanding and communication on these issues. We really do need to have both definitions, because they both deal with important principles and help us understand those things. However, confusing the two definitions (the objective and subjective) or worse completely conflating them does the opposite of furthering understanding and communication.

If you ask what definition I use for color, it's either depending on the context. Physics is first, but I'm happy to talk about the qualia too as long as we're clear and nobody is denying the objectivity of the physical definition.
I wouldn't tend to follow a simplified dictionary definition, though. An encyclopedia of science or philosophy would be a lot more helpful.

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Post by Kaz1983 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:41 am

I was just talking about everyday colour "the apple is red" for example, that was what I was basing my claim "that if there were no humans, there would be no colour" .. the colours that we talk about, the colours we give names...

You kinda mentioned that:
brimstoneSalad wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:17 am
(that is, we don't usually talk about the colors of UV light or microwaves because we don't have words for the colors outside our ability to see them).
So if your definition of colour is:

1. an attribute of things that results from the light they reflect, transmit, or emit in so far as this light causes a visual sensation that depends on its wavelengths

Colour would exist independent of humans/brains.

See my definition of colour was:

1. the colour of something is the appearance that it has as a result of the way in which it reflects light.

In that case..

Colour would not exist independent of humans/brains.

At the end of the day - your definition of colour is more complex/detailed than mine, we probably should have agreed on a definition of colour before we started.

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Post by brimstoneSalad » Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:08 pm

Kaz1983 wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:41 am
I was just talking about everyday colour "the apple is red" for example, that was what I was basing my claim "that if there were no humans, there would be no colour" .. the colours that we talk about, the colours we give names...
And I said in a universe like our own but with no humans or other sentient life, there would be nobody there to name them. BUT those things would still be what WE (in our universe with humans) call red, blue, etc.
Colors would still exist in the objective sense, there just wouldn't be qualia there (remember, two definitions).

You suggested there would be no color as we know it, but there would be. We know color in the objective sense, not just the sense of qualia. There would be color as WE know it, there just wouldn't be anybody in that universe to know it. There wouldn't be any color as they know it, but only because they don't exist and they know nothing.

If you roll some dice under a cup and you don't look at it, it's still true that one of the numbers is up. Just because you don't look at it, you can still say it may be one, two, three, four, five, or six, etc for the other. They still have numbers as we know them... we're just not witnessing them and we don't know which the dice landed on.

The same way if we just took a language out of the equation.

If all of the English speakers in France were killed, things there would still be red, blue, green, etc. there.
And even if all of the French speakers were killed in England, there would still be rouge, bleu, vert, etc. there.

You don't need somebody standing in front of a ball and calling it red for it to be red. All we need is to understand the concept of red. And we do understand that concept, thanks to physics we understand it very well.

Kaz1983 wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:41 am
At the end of the day - your definition of colour is more complex/detailed than mine, we probably should have agreed on a definition of colour before we started.
I made the distinction of qualia on page 2 of this thread, right after you brought up color.
I continued to emphasize the distinction between the qualia or experience of color and the objective fact of it as understood through physics in pretty much every post since then for three more pages. Even being very explicit about these being two fundamentally different usages, as in my example of the word "bat" at the start of page 4.

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