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A question for people who believe in Moral Absolutes

 
 
Reply Thu 21 Feb, 2013 07:27 pm
Moral absolutism is the belief that there is a universal right and wrong that is not dependent on individual beliefs or culture. What would you do if you gained new insight into the universal morality and discovered that your personal beliefs were wrong?

What if you now feel that homosexuals should be treated with respect, but found that the universal morality says that homosexuality is deviant behavior that should be repressed?

Or what if you now feel that abortion isn't morally acceptable under any circumstances and found that the universal morality says that abortion should be accepted as freedom?

Would you change your strong personally held beliefs if you found out that they contradicted with the Universal Morality? Or would you still stick with your own convictions?
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Type: Question • Score: 25 • Views: 30,295 • Replies: 804

 
View best answer, chosen by maxdancona
imans
 
  0  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 12:58 am
what support objectively rights out of everything is the true superiority

so the real question here, when u have a conscious perspective on true superiority what is ur reaction or thoughts???

would u identify urself being for false superiority and start living??

would u respect ur perspective objectively as else existence rights and start meanin urself out of all more relatively???

would u consider true superiority perspectives as objective value by realizin an evolution of urself towards ??

or would u think superiority being never u by tryin to invent then a reason of urself being independant of superiority by gettin closer to nothing as then ur identity source ???
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 07:41 am
@maxdancona,
The question here is; does anyone who believes in Universal Morality really let it sway their own lives and behavior. Since it is clear that people have vastly different views on what is right or wrong, most people's personal convictions will be wrong (i.e. contradict with the Universal view of "right and wrong").

This means that most, if not all, people will have moral convictions that are "wrong". Anyone interested in being a Moral person should be looking for ways they are wrong to change their moral convictions, right?

I think this is fair question; if there is a Universal Morality, and you find out that something you now find intolerable (i.e. marital rape or abortion) is acceptable, or if you find out something you now find acceptable (interracial marriage) is intolerable, what do you do?

If Absolute Morality is just about everyone doing their hardest to prove that their views are the Universal views, and no one changes their views to conform with Universal morality...

... then what is the point?
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Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 07:48 am
@maxdancona,
Can't help you with this one, Max.

I cannot even conceive of a "moral absolute."
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 09:55 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
Moral absolutism is the belief that there is a universal right and wrong that is not dependent on individual beliefs or culture. What would you do if you gained new insight into the universal morality and discovered that your personal beliefs were wrong?

Adapt my behavior to conform with morality.
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  2  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 10:05 am
I'm more for moral generalities.
0 Replies
 
Enzo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 10:11 am
@Frank Apisa,
What about rape is an absolute wrong? Can you think of any instance where rape is justifiable?
I personally prefer the complex simplicity of ethical maxims over moral absolutes.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 10:24 am
@Enzo,
Sure Enzo. Animals use rape (i.e. forced sex) as a way to ensure survival. It is certainly possible that without rape, we wouldn't exist as a species.

In our own history (speaking as a member of Western civilization) women were given as brides and had no choice in the matter. And until just 60 years ago in the US it was a wife's duty to have sex with her husband.

The morality in the Bible includes forced marriages and punishment for a woman who wouldn't have sex with her husband. This is a moral system that many Americans claim to follow.

And Joefromchicago will support the practice of rape, as long as it is acceptable under the Universal system Morality.
Enzo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 10:34 am
@maxdancona,
It comes very close anyway. As I said before it's not my cup of tea and would much prefer following ethical maxims, so I am going to decline the invitation to go out of my way to try to argue against you, although you do bring some valid points into the discussion.
Maybe Joe would, he seems like a guy who is firm believer in Moral Absolutes.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 10:44 am
@Enzo,
Quote:
Re: Frank Apisa (Post 5260512)
What about rape is an absolute wrong?


For the sake of this response...let's assume that I agree that rape is absolutely wrong.


Quote:
Can you think of any instance where rape is justifiable?


Since we are assuming that I agree that rape is absolutely wrong...I cannot.


Quote:
I personally prefer the complex simplicity of ethical maxims over moral absolutes.


Fine. The let's agree that ethical maxims are more important than moral absolutes (if they exist.)

But this thread is about whether or not Moral Absolutes exist.

And that was what my comment was direct toward.

I cannot even conceive of a Moral Absolute.
Enzo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 10:49 am
@Frank Apisa,
I didn't address the original OP because there are glaring errors. But if he really is talking about moral absolutes, then I have not deviated from what the OP is trying to accomplish.
For a moral absolute to exist, there must at least be one principle that should never be violated. And thus the topic of rape was brought up.

OP wrote:
Moral absolutism is the belief that there is a universal right and wrong that is not dependent on individual beliefs or culture.

Moral absolutism is not the same as Moral Universalism also known as Moral Objectivism.

Quote:
What if you now feel that homosexuals should be treated with respect, but found that the universal morality says that homosexuality is deviant behavior that should be repressed?

Moral absolutism is not the same as Moral Universalism...

... You get my gist.

"Moral absolutism: There is at least one principle that ought never to be violated. Moral objectivism: There is a fact of the matter as to whether any given action is morally permissible or impermissible: a fact of the matter that does not depend solely on social custom or individual acceptance." - Louis Pojman
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 10:59 am
@Enzo,
Thank you for that, Enzo.

I stand by my comment that I cannot even imagine a Moral Absolute.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  3  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 11:12 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
Would you change your strong personally held beliefs if you found out that they contradicted with the Universal Morality? Or would you still stick with your own convictions?

Same as Joefromchicago: adapt my behavior to conform with morality.

I am pro-gay-marriage and (with qualifications) pro-choice. But I would support throwing women and gays under the bus if something persuaded me that Jerry Falwell's beliefs are factually true. I would support the criminalization of abortion and gay marriage, if
  • the universe did, in fact, have a creator
  • this creator was, in fact, the source of all morality, and
  • he would, in fact, annihilate the Western Hemisphere,Sodom-and-Gomorrah style, for allowing abortion and gay sex.

So yes, I would yield to absolute morality.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 11:35 am
@Enzo,
Ok then Enzo,

Let's ask the same question using Moral Objectivism (in place of Moral Absolutism).

If you find out that "the fact of the matter" about rape (for example) contradicts with your personal conviction that rape is wrong, would you change your personal conviction and support rape?
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 11:40 am
@Thomas,
I wouldn't Thomas.

If such a creator did exist, I wouldn't change my personal convictions.

I would probably deal with the reality that a powerful dictator controlled my actions and submit to the rules.

This would not change my personal conviction that such a creator is wrong to make such arbitrary rules that cause pain to people I care about.

Since such a creator could presumably know my thoughts, I understand this might be a problem. I wouldn't commit rape even if God tells me to.

Enzo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 11:45 am
@maxdancona,
That is a pretty big "what if" but if such contradiction was somehow the case, I can't see myself changing my personal convictions and supporting rape. It just doesn't feel right and really it doesn't make sense to change my personal convictions just like that. Based on the maxim from ethic of reciprocity I really have a hard time going against my maxim and following such a universal moral absolute that rape = ok, because I wouldn't want to be raped, so reciprocally I wouldn't want others to be treated such way.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 11:57 am
@Enzo,
And that's the point. If your personal convictions are going to trump the Moral Objective or Moral Absolute or whatever you can the alleged Universal standard of morality, then this Universal morality is rather irrelevant (even if it does exist).
Enzo
 
  2  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 12:00 pm
@maxdancona,
But don't you think you're dabbling a bit in reduction ad absurdum with your example that takes this idea of universal standard of morality to absurdity and concluding that it is irrelevant?
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 12:01 pm
@Enzo,
Yep. That's exactly what I am doing.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 12:06 pm
@maxdancona,
I believe in Absolute vodka. I don't drink it too much because it's a bit pricey. Does that count?
 

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