28
   

Moral Relativism. It may be right but it must be wrong.

 
 
joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 06:39 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
... I can certainly distinguish between times I am motivated by a sense of beauty, and times when I am motivated by a sense of morality.

No you can't. For you, the motivation is identical - whether something pleases you or not. The distinction you posit between something that is "moral" and something that is "beautiful" is largely a linguistic or social convention that you've borrowed from those who actually believe there's a distinction, but when you talk about "morality" you're not saying the same thing that they're saying. No doubt you've convinced yourself that there's a difference, but you're just fooling yourself.
aristotelian
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 08:53 am
@maxdancona,
Right, of course we can't objectively test whether or not we are in the Matrix. It's not objectively testable.

So then, the next question is: Is the Matrix relative?
If a person believes he is in the Matrix then is he in the Matrix?
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 09:09 am
@joefromchicago,
Quote:
The distinction you posit between something that is "moral" and something that is "beautiful" is largely a linguistic or social convention that you've borrowed from those who actually believe there's a distinction, but when you talk about "morality" you're not saying the same thing that they're saying. No doubt you've convinced yourself that there's a difference, but you're just fooling yourself.


Ok. So, any distinction is based on a linguistic or social convention. I am ok with that (although I wouldn't be surprised if there were an evolved human neurological difference between the two, not that it matters.)

What's your point?
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 09:25 am
@aristotelian,
I can't imagine a way that the Matrix is related to morality.

I am imagining if someone came to me and said "I am from outside the Matrix and you should't accept same sex marriage because outside the Matrix there is no homsexuality" (which, in a way, people are saying...)

First, I would want objectively testable proof that they actually had access to the Matrix (i.e. a reality outside my own) before I accepted what they were saying.

Second, I don't know if even with objectively testable proof it would change my personal moral standard that same sex marriage should be accepted.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 09:46 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

What's your point?

I could ask you the same question. You're participating in a discussion about morality and yet you don't believe there's such a thing as morality. What's your point?
aristotelian
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 09:56 am
@maxdancona,
Yeah - Max, you're missing my point. Just answer the question.

Is the Matrix relative?
If a person believes he is in the Matrix then is he in the Matrix?
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 10:10 am
@aristotelian,
Not only am I missing your point, I don't even understand your question.

The Matrix is a corny movie plot (which you claim is based on a philosophical idea). A person who believes they are in the Matrix is a little mentally unstable I would think.
aristotelian
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 10:12 am
@maxdancona,
The Matrix is based off a thought experiment proposed by Rene Descartes.

The question is: If I believe I'm in the Matrix, then does that mean I am in the Matrix?

I guess - which part of the question do you not understand. I'll try to walk you through it.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 10:13 am
@joefromchicago,
Quote:
You're participating in a discussion about morality and yet you don't believe there's such a thing as morality.


I think we are in agreement on the point.

Morality exists as a social construct. Of course I believe there is such a thing as morality (social constructs do, in fact, exist).

There is such a thing as morality just as there is such a thing a language, and there is such a thing as beauty. Just because something isn't universal doesn't mean it isn't real or meaningful.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 10:55 am
@maxdancona,
Without a universal binding of these abstract things with real property's I can't see how mechanical relations between them could occur...either beauty morality language etc are proper things with no variance or they aren't...I think true referring concepts like beauty or morality can only be negotiated in meaning and context to some extent because in the essential we fundamentally can and will agree...wasn't that the case and we would be alien talk to each other all the time...there is good reason to suppose that if we fundamentally agree then this abstract objects are real objects in themselves and not just the product of human social operations...
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 11:03 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
So what about Sitar music which some people believe is beautiful, but I believe is not beautiful at all (and experience as little more than noise).

We don't agree at all on what is beautiful. Who is right?
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 11:12 am
@maxdancona,
That was what my point earlier about functions tried to address..."Beautiful" is a precise function with a specific mathematical formulation ( speculation) that arises not only from the symmetry and organization of the notes themselves but from the relation with your psychological state of affairs...if the function itself has symmetry and order then beauty rather then noise arises as an experience...a different person may prefer a different style of music because a distinct object agent relation raises that precise function and symmetry...there are probably 1000 different ways of building a wall but a wall still is a wall enlightens what I mean...so in this precise context you can see how the object which is a relational function like beauty is universal although the agent objects interactions may vary...note that variance cannot be huge and that's why we as a society can come to agreement. If there wasn't any underlying order as foundation we would be talking alien to each other...
0 Replies
 
aristotelian
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 11:27 am
@maxdancona,
Right so Max, here's the deal...

You said morality, like beauty, is relative. Then you said, the reason why morality, like beauty, is relative is because, as with beauty, you can't objectively test it.

In other words - what you're saying is this: The key thing, the sufficient condition, that makes something relative is this: The thing is not objectively testable. Essentially: If a thing is not objectively testable then that thing is relative.

That was the principle you used to conclude the following:
Morality is not objectively testable. Therefore, morality is relative.
-----------------------------------

I am demonstrating that your principle is false through counterexample.
Your principle is: If a thing is not objectively testable then that thing is relative.

The Matrix is not objectively testable.
Yet, the Matrix is not relative.

Therefore your principle if false.
If a thing is not objectively testable <----- This condition is not a sufficient condition to show that a thing is relative.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 11:27 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
There is such a thing as morality just as there is such a thing a language, and there is such a thing as beauty. Just because something isn't universal doesn't mean it isn't real or meaningful.

Well, that certainly misses the point. Nobody would argue that morality isn't a social phenomenon. That addresses the question: "do people act as if there's something called 'morality?'" Most, however, would go further and ask: "what does it mean for an action to be 'moral?'" and "should people behave morally?"

Those are interesting questions, worthy of discussion. In contrast, "do people act as if there's something called 'morality?'" is a thoroughly banal question, not meriting much discussion at all. For some reason, though, you are satisfied with banality. I'm not sure why you'd want to broadcast that to everyone here, but there you are.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 12:30 pm
It is a rather vague and weak claim to solely assert that morality is the real expression of a social phenomena as that hardly explains its existence and clarifies nothing on its purpose...Morality is mostly the expression of a social need on which group efficiency tasking is dependent on a set of well established behavioural rules, an operating system, capable of effectively account for burden/reward just group relations minimizing overall energy cost/output and thus able to ensure group cohesion through maximizing productivity in common and private interests or goals. The basis for moral behaviour go figure is no more then a contract for a commercial relation reconciling individual/collective tensions and frictional stress, and as far as I am concern such is enough to explain its need and the motives behind its enforcement...
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 07:46 pm
@joefromchicago,
If was both accept that morality is a social phenomenon, then the answers to the other two questions seem simple enough. An action is moral if it is considered moral according to the standards of the social context in which it takes place. And people "should" behave morally by definition.

I don't think you are really accepting that morality is a social phenomenon.

And the question that no one is able to answer is that if morality is more than a human social construct, then what is it based on?

If one person believes that homosexuality is a barbaric, socially destructive act that should not be permitted and another person believes that a just society accepts homosexuality, how do you decide who is right in any objective way?

I find it funny that moral absolutists have taken both extremes on this issue (and many others).
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Jun, 2013 08:55 pm
@maxdancona,
An absolute account on morality wouldn't change the need for context nor moral rule would resemble any less relative from a naive perspective which in turn only hints at moral ruling as a complex issue.

I don't know why you find it funny that moral absolutists have reach different conclusions in moral problems unless you thinking any of them is some sort of reincarnation of Jesus Christ Buddha or something of the sort...why should moral absolutists have better knowledge then moral relativists ? Having some insight at a right path wont tell you an inch on moral correct decisions.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 06:10 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

If was both accept that morality is a social phenomenon, then the answers to the other two questions seem simple enough.

Yes, they seem simple enough, but, as evidenced by your answers, they're not. If morality is nothing more than conformity to social norms, then how is that different from etiquette or social mores? You still insist on a separate category for morality, but you can't identify anything that makes it unique. Which, of course, isn't surprising, considering that you don't believe in morality anyway.

maxdancona wrote:
I don't think you are really accepting that morality is a social phenomenon.

I don't accept morality only as a social phenomenon. You do. That's the difference.

maxdancona wrote:
And the question that no one is able to answer is that if morality is more than a human social construct, then what is it based on?

Reason - which, I hasten to add, is the same basis on which you base your assertion that morality is a social phenomenon.

maxdancona wrote:
If one person believes that homosexuality is a barbaric, socially destructive act that should not be permitted and another person believes that a just society accepts homosexuality, how do you decide who is right in any objective way?

See above.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 06:31 am
@joefromchicago,
There are several types social constructs- morality, beauty, language. They are related in that they are all part of a functioning society. But they are different in sense and function which is why we have different names for them. I don't think arguing over words is very helpful. We use words to express things we experience in the way we experience them.

But let's talk about reason. Reason only works when you start with basic precepts that you accept as fact. Once you have core axioms, you can use reason to build a logically consistent system of understanding. Often with sufficient axioms you can find the only logically consistent system of understanding based on your axioms.

We have done this in science, and we have the benefit in science that the axioms are mathematically precise and objectively testable. As you can tell, I find the "objectively testable" part is important. And science clearly has value in creating things we like to use (like computers and the internet).

Here is the problem with absolute morality. Each culture starts with different axioms and arrives at different systems of morality. There are many cultures with logically consistent systems of morality based on reason.

The big question is -- where do the axioms you are basing your morality come from? The axioms don't come from reason. They come from who you are and how you are brought up.

One of the axioms my morality is based on is equality. I don't believe that someone is inferior to me just because they have different ideas.

With this axiom, an absolutist view of morality is impossible.


Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 06:38 am
@maxdancona,
Quote:
One of the axioms my morality is based on is equality. I don't believe that someone is inferior to me just because they have different ideas.


Are you meaning that your view can be inter changed at any time with any other view ?
Why would you old on to a specific view then if you didn't truly believe it to be more powerful ?
 

Related Topics

is there a fundamental value that we all share? - Discussion by existential potential
The ethics of killing the dead - Discussion by joefromchicago
Theoretical Question About Extra Terrestrials - Discussion by failures art
The Watchmen Dilemma - Discussion by Sentience
What is your fundamental moral compass? - Discussion by Robert Gentel
morals and ethics, how are they different? - Question by existential potential
The Trolley Problem - Discussion by joefromchicago
Keep a $900 Computer I Didn't Buy? - Question by NathanCooperJones
Killing through a dungeon - Question by satyesu
 
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 12/04/2021 at 11:20:49