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There are no objective moral truths.

 
 
agrote
 
Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2006 07:28 pm
I propose that there is no moral reality. Moral claims such as "it is wrong to kill" are not objectively true. They just reflect the views of particular societies, or the emotions of the speaker, or they are based on incorrect moral theories.

It might be true that killing people has "bad" consequences for me, and that might justify a claim such as "you shouldn't kill people". If I murder my neighbour, I might go to prison, and I don't want to go to prison. If that is what "wrong" means, then I'm okay with that.

But I object to the view that there is something objectively wrong about killing, or about any other action. If murder were socially acceptable in my society, and if for some reason I had no conscience, and felt no remorse for killing someone, then many people would say that it would still be wrong for me to kill my neighbour. I object to that view. I think that in such a scenario it would be okay for me to kill.

There are no moral facts.

This isn't what I want to believe, and it isn't what I used to believe... but I do believe it now. I intend to write my dissertation about it. I'd be very interested to hear what people think about my claim.
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stuh505
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2006 08:28 pm
You are correct. Right and wrong are relative terms, just like like and dislike. That dissertation is either going to be very short, or very long-winded!
0 Replies
 
echi
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2006 10:12 pm
It is wrong to kill your neighbor, especially if your neighbor is against the idea. No healthy person wants to be killed, and in that sense, it is correct to state that killing is objectively and morally wrong.
0 Replies
 
stuh505
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2006 10:27 pm
echi wrote:
It is wrong to kill your neighbor, especially if your neighbor is against the idea. No healthy person wants to be killed, and in that sense, it is correct to state that killing is objectively and morally wrong.


That is the most ridiculous attempt at an argument I've ever had. An argument is really just a relaxed form of proof so think about what you are saying in a precise manner:

Assumptions: No healthy person wants to be killed
Conclusions: Killing is wrong.

This conclusion is invalid. You need the following additional assumptions:

1) Only things that are "healthy people" can be killed. This is obviously false because a sick antelope can be killed.

2) Moral actions are approved by everyone. This is also false, obviously.

Finally, the one assumption you did make is false. People frequently want to die. And when they do it, it's called suicide...
0 Replies
 
echi
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2006 10:38 pm
stuh505 wrote:
echi wrote:
It is wrong to kill your neighbor, especially if your neighbor is against the idea. No healthy person wants to be killed, and in that sense, it is correct to state that killing is objectively and morally wrong.


That is the most ridiculous attempt at an argument I've ever had.
Had a few, have we?
Quote:
An argument is really just a relaxed form of proof so think about what you are saying in a precise manner:
Thanks, coach.
Quote:


Assumptions: No healthy person wants to be killed
Conclusions: Killing is wrong.
Not quite. My conclusion is that no HEALTHY person wants to be killed.
Quote:

This conclusion is invalid. You need the following additional assumptions:

1) Only things that are "healthy people" can be killed. This is obviously false because a sick antelope can be killed.
What are you talking about?
Quote:


2) Moral actions are approved by everyone. This is also false, obviously.
One more time... What are you talking about?
Quote:


Finally, the one assumption you did make is false. People frequently want to die. And when they do it, it's called suicide...
And healthy people do not commit suicide.
0 Replies
 
echi
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2006 10:42 pm
[CORRECTION]

My conclusion is that it is morally wrong to kill someone who does not want to be killed. Reasonable people agree (and there's your objectivity).
0 Replies
 
Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2006 10:47 pm
I agree with agrote. It seems counter-intuitive of course, but true anyway.
0 Replies
 
Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2006 10:48 pm
echi wrote:
[CORRECTION]

My conclusion is that it is morally wrong to kill someone who does not want to be killed. Reasonable people agree (and there's your objectivity).


Yet so many are in favour of doing so. It's legal in many states of the USA
0 Replies
 
echi
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2006 10:52 pm
Excellent point, Eorl. :wink: I contend, however, that support for capital punishment is not based on sound reason.
0 Replies
 
Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2006 11:02 pm
echi, subjectively you and I seem to agree that killing is wrong even in the case of capital punishment....but is it objectively wrong?

Is anything? I say no.
0 Replies
 
Adrian
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2006 11:15 pm
It is objectively moral to keep yourself alive.

It is objectively moral to pass on your DNA, thus keeping your species alive.
0 Replies
 
Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2006 11:35 pm
Adrian, how so?

That only works with the presumption that humanity itself is a "good" thing.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2006 11:42 pm
Morals, mores, and other norms are social constructions. They exist as subjective and inter-subjective phenomena (no human societies, no social norms). And that is an objective fact.
0 Replies
 
Adrian
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2006 11:44 pm
Eorl, Not really.

It is still objectively moral for a person to keep themselves alive and procreate, regardless of whether humanity is subjectively described as a "good" thing or not. There is certainly no way to objectively describe humanity as a "good" or "bad" thing.
0 Replies
 
Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2006 11:48 pm
Adrian, how so? How do you come to that position?
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2006 11:49 pm
Adrian, I can't tell what you mean by "moral".
0 Replies
 
Adrian
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Sep, 2006 12:05 am
JLN,

I work on the definition of moral as right.

Eorl,

To my way of thinking, about the only things you can absolutely say it is right for someone to do, are stay alive and breed. Then again now I think about it once a person has bred I would say that the staying alive part is no longer an absolute....so I'll get rid of that one.

It is objectively moral to pass on your DNA.

Forget about the staying alive part.
0 Replies
 
Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Sep, 2006 12:31 am
I can see what you are saying, but what makes it objectively right? If you're saying that's the only thing you see as being absolutely right, then that's still subjective.
0 Replies
 
agrote
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Sep, 2006 04:57 am
echi wrote:
It is wrong to kill your neighbor, especially if your neighbor is against the idea. No healthy person wants to be killed, and in that sense, it is correct to state that killing is objectively and morally wrong.


Why is it wrong to go against other people's wishes?

I would agree, for example, that rape is a nasty thing in that it causes extreme suffering to the victim. I agree with that. But why is it wrong to cause other people to suffer? What makes rape wrong?
0 Replies
 
agrote
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Sep, 2006 04:59 am
Adrian wrote:
It is objectively moral to pass on your DNA.


You still haven't explained why. What's wrong with not breeding?
 

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