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Why do some people fail to see Objective Morality?

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Easy Truth
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47 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

What about her explanations do you think are not good enough? The counterarguments to your questions you pose to people so far are pretty much things Rand directly addresses almost exactly.

Not sure which question you're referring too. It would be ideal to have the question and the answer from Rand. Then if it were not enough for me, I would comment.

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2 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

I suspect it's because the belief is that "Objective" means agreed on by all. Or universally agreed on. I have heard this definition many times.

Is this not a motivating premise behind this entire thread, that you are confused as to why people aren't coerced by your proofs?

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7 minutes ago, 2046 said:

Is this not a motivating premise behind this entire thread, that you are confused as to why people aren't coerced by your proofs?

It certainly could be. (although proving and coercion are different) The fundamental question is

-am I mistaken about what I am arguing?

or

-what are they not understanding? (assuming I am correct)

I now have some clarity about some of my mistakes. If there are more, would love to know about it.

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On 4/25/2021 at 5:21 PM, Easy Truth said:

I asked "Do you think that being killed for no reason by another is wrong?"

Instead of getting a yes, I god "There is no such thing as killing without a reason".

Just from reading PWNI you should get the idea that no one does anything for no reason at all. There is indeed no such thing as killing without a reason. 

On 4/25/2021 at 5:21 PM, Easy Truth said:

I asked "Aren't there things that you should do to have a life worth living"?

Response: "Why do you assume that everyone wants a life worth living"?

This is everything Rand addresses in "Objectivist Ethics". It's pretty much there throughout all of her fiction books. She is quite clear that you had to choose the idea that life is worth living, otherwise it really doesn't matter. 

I don't mind answering these questions, and helping you understand, but I don't know what to say if after 1,113 posts you are only just noticing that Oism is against your usage of a "universal value" earlier. 

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6 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

I don't mind answering these questions, and helping you understand, but I don't know what to say if after 1,113 posts you are only just noticing that Oism is against your usage of a "universal value" earlier. 

Yes, my usage was wrong. But there must be some minding. The statement about the amount of posts sounds like a shaming comment.  It doesn't do much to help understanding.

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I'm not sure there is a nicer way to put it. But to make something productive out of that comment, what I mean is that it is important - for yourself - to put more focus into understanding the nonfiction stuff. Not through simply talking here, but asking questions about the things you have read. People can help you better if you meet them halfway and show them what you are trying to understand. 

Edited by Eiuol
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5 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Well perhaps rather than attempting to show them that an objective morality would be in their interest, or trying to connect their interest to a wider concept of morality, challenge them to show your that adopting principles according to objective morality leading a flourishing life long term would be "wrong".

I will try that but up until now, the attack has been on the idea of "wrong". That there is no such thing.

Meanwhile I found this article that goes into the subject matter a little. 

Quote

Why is the seemingly straightforward concept of objective value so difficult for many people—especially those with a background in economics—to understand? The answer is that many economists confuse agent-relative value—value in relation to some valuer—with morally subjective value.

Historically, various economists—including Adam Smith and Karl Marx—were stymied by the nature of value. Consider some common examples of the problem in question: Why do diamonds typically cost more than water, even though water is essential to life? Why do some things that are quick and easy to produce cost more or sell better than do other things that require great time and resources to produce? Why do some manual laborers earn more than some highly educated professors earn? How can people exchange two items and both be better off, given that the number and type of goods remain unchanged by the trade? Why is a person generally willing to pay less for an additional good than he was willing to spend on a previously obtained good of the same type?

There is more of course at

https://theobjectivestandard.com/2014/06/economists-subjective-value-ayn-rands-objective-value-reconciled/

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Here is the meaning I was using:

Universal-Unconditional Values

In The Virtue of Selfishness, Ayn Rand identifies three values that she calls “cardinal.” (p. 27) These are reason, purpose and self-esteem. These are values to be actively pursued by all human beings in every moment of consciousness. Thus, I term these examples of “universal-unconditional” values. (3)

These broad values always have the same life-promoting relationship to every conscious human being. It is a fact for both Person A and Person B that these values are life-promoting for each of them, regardless of their individual circumstances.

https://objectivismindepth.com/2013/02/06/values-are-relational-but-not-subjective/

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2 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Then I request that you ignore my questions. There is no way for me to know what I don't know.

I'm saying that the things you don't know are in the book and essay I mentioned. That is the place you should start your inquiry. Maybe I came across as deliberately mean before, but my point is I'm pretty sure you know all the relevant primary material, so you should use more of that. You'll have an easier time.

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With a quick scan, tell me if I'm wrong: Is this topic to do with a rational and selfish code of ethics that needs to be extended to everyone, "universally"? In order for a proper code to be enjoyed including everyone "in a social context"? I believe that's not and never possible. A real and realistic society is surely the aim; doable soon, not waiting for the cows to come home, in some more rationally enlightened time. I think a social code shouldn't be confused with a personal moral code.

To put it this way, a rational egoist is also by necessity and definition an individualist, one who has conviction in individual rights and laissez-faire - but - any given individualist does not have to, will rarely be, a rational egoist. The former needs no more to subscribe fully to individualism as "an ethical-political concept [which] upholds the supremacy of individual rights, the principle that a human being is an end in him/herself, and that the proper goal in life is self-actualization".

(If he subscribes to the other 'leg' of individualism, "an ethical-psychological concept" - upholding only the authority of his own mind, not a necessary precondition although so much the better). 

It's like two channels that flow into one. The deep and narrow one, rational sefishness, carries the final and complete justification for all men's interactions "in a social context". The broader and shallower one will contain every personal ethical code actual and imaginable. A Hindu or libertarian or a Hindi-libertarian, and any other religious or secularist morality.

All, and Objectivists, will concur with this: "In a political-economic context, freedom means one thing and one thing only: freedom from physical compulsion". Whatever one's choice of code of ethics, that's "a rational society"..

Edited by whYNOT
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10 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Here is the meaning I was using:

Universal-Unconditional Values

In The Virtue of Selfishness, Ayn Rand identifies three values that she calls “cardinal.” (p. 27) These are reason, purpose and self-esteem. These are values to be actively pursued by all human beings in every moment of consciousness. Thus, I term these examples of “universal-unconditional” values. (3)

These broad values always have the same life-promoting relationship to every conscious human being. It is a fact for both Person A and Person B that these values are life-promoting for each of them, regardless of their individual circumstances.

https://objectivismindepth.com/2013/02/06/values-are-relational-but-not-subjective/

Note the term here is used in connection with three cardinal values.

Yes.  These values fit that description, food and water as well as shelter and clothing come close as well, at least no one I know can go without them.

 

 

As for the distinction between "Objective" and "Universal" in the context of morality I think we have discussed it enough, if not recently, in the past, to why I would not describe the Objectivist morality as universal nor believe it useful to use term universal to even describe it because of its connotations.

Morality is not a communal thing, nor does anything "communal" or "universal" in nature form part of morality's justification.  Objective morality is not any way derived from nor validated by its universality.  It is justifiable because when formulated properly it is applicable to the individual, it is effective on principle and long range for that individual's life.

Unfortunately, the term "universal" has collectivist connotations which detract from the individual focused nature of the subject.

 

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42 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Yes.  These values fit that description, food and water as well as shelter and clothing come close as well, at least no one I know can go without them.

Thanks, and that is all I was meaning to say. The word choice and connotations were unfortunate.

Your answers were very helpful to clarify that even these values are not "valued" by all humans. Some in fact don't want to live.

My basic explanation of objective morality has been: "based on the nature of a human being, wouldn't any and all humans value food and water?". Aren't the requirement to survive, an objective morality (right vs. wrong)? This explanation would have fit their need for it to apply to every human being. I was trying to bridge the gap with them.

But I walk away with the understanding that "no, not all humans want food and water". I realized that I can't bridge the gap with them. The guide to survive is not valued by all. I was wrong. That's all. No other connotations.

The issue of "communal values" never entered my mind, that is why I never commented on it.

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Why start with this?

42 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

"based on the nature of a human being, wouldn't any and all humans value food and water?".

why are you doing this?  what the obsession with "any and all" ??

 

42 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

This explanation would have fit their need for it to apply to every human being.

Why?   Why cater to a need which is irrelevant and in fact obstructs proper understanding of rational selfishness?

 

42 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

I was trying to bridge the gap with them.

What gap? 

What if you were speaking to a highly evolved rational dolphin, who was trying to live like a human and you were trying to tell him to stop? [out of left field I know]  You cant start with "we are all exactly the same" when you are trying to point out morality is a reality based individual thing.

 

What each person you speak to needs impressed upon him or her, is the idea that morality is about them individually and their relationship with reality - their knowledge of reality, their actions and interactions with reality, and the principles they use to guide the choices they make.

 

Politics... way down the line from ethics... that deals with how moral people can and should deal with one another.

 

42 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

Your answers were very helpful to clarify that even these values are not "valued" by all humans. Some in fact don't want to live.

My point is not that all humans don't value the same things or that some don't even want to live... my point is that whether or not I, anyone , or everyone else is/are suicidal nihilists or ignorant fools, YOU as an individual possessing rationality and free will can act in the context of reality to live as well as you can, using an objective morality.

The start of the discussion of morality relies upon wiping out of the mind, any consideration, of any and all other people... they are primarily irrelevant to ethics and its establishment.

 

I am afraid you are seeking to satisfy a need possessed by your friends (or perhaps yourself?), to find your ideas somehow socially acceptable, rather than holding them to the responsibility of independently thinking about what you are proposing in the context of each of their lives, individually.

 

Edited by StrictlyLogical
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1 hour ago, StrictlyLogical said:
1 hour ago, tadmjones said:

Whether or not a person dis-values water, water is an objective value for human flourishing.

Except when he is drowning..

:)

 

[I agree btw]

This illustrates the issue with them.   

Also, this is not friends, this is most people if you join a philosophy group, you will encounter this. 
 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

What if you were speaking to a highly evolved rational dolphin, who was trying to live like a human and you were trying to tell him to stop? [out of left field I know]  You cant start with "we are all exactly the same" when you are trying to point out morality is a reality based individual thing.

The idea is not to say "we are the same". But we have something in common, to survive. Wouldn't that be a reasonable starting point? Wouldn't it be true?

As I am thinking about your latest posts I suspect I see my conflation problem:

The only way I can reconcile this is around the fact that the concept "human" is not identical to "all humans".

That the concept "human" refers to "all humans individually".

That "human" means "human-ness" rather than "all humans".

And the concept "all humans" is not "human-ness".

And "objective morality" is in regards to "human-ness" rather than "all humans".

Is this what you are getting at?

Edited by Easy Truth
edited out sentence that made no sense
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11 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

The idea is not to say "we are the same". But we have something in common, to survive. Wouldn't that be a reasonable starting point? Wouldn't it be true?

As I am thinking about your latest posts I suspect I see my conflation problem:

The only way I can reconcile this is around the fact that the concept "human" is not identical to "all humans".

That the concept "human" refers to "all humans individually".

That "human" means "human-ness" rather than "all humans".

And the concept "all humans" is not "human-ness".

And "objective morality" is in regards to "human-ness" rather than "all humans".

Is this what you are getting at?

You wouldn't be trolling me would you? 

That would be a waste of time for you and me, and decidedly neither rational nor honest. 

 

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2 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

I have never been trolling you or anyone else in this forum.

We can let it go.

It's ok... just checking.

"human-ness" smacks of universals or essences as other philosophies conceive of them.... as such I would avoid such a term.

What's wrong with objective morality applying to, pertaining to, and for the benefit of, an individual human being?

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14 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

What's wrong with objective morality applying to, pertaining to, and for the benefit of, an individual human being?

There's no problem with that in particular, it should be an easy one to prove and to demonstrate.

They don't understand things like intrinsicism, universals, or what a concept is. But the issue of politics is what has brought up the question of objective morality in the first place. That is not the starting point in philosophy but it is the starting point in these types of discussions.

I actually don't know what morality they, in fact, envisage. The religious ones of course are predictable. But the non-god believers embrace skepticism. I am the one proposing the existence of something, they are simply saying "there is no such thing or anything like it" repeatedly. That morality is random, or simply tradition. Like it's in the air and you breath it in like virus. I don't know what a skeptic believes, only that in conversation, they don't believe anything proposed. And of course if you try to pin them down they say "I haven't thought about it" or "that it is your opinion".

I will be meeting two of them tomorrow and more of them on Saturday.

For now, thanks for your participation, I think you have helped me with a lot of my misunderstandings as always. The thread has been emotionally intense so I need to rest and let it percolate for a while.

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1 hour ago, Easy Truth said:

The only way I can reconcile this is around the fact that the concept "human" is not identical to "all humans".

The concept human refers to all individual humans that have existed, exist, or will exist. No, the concept is not itself identical to a particular human, because it is an abstraction.

1 hour ago, Easy Truth said:

That "human" means "human-ness" rather than "all humans".

Human-ness, the characteristic(s) that all humans share which determine or cause their behavior, are present in all people. In our case, that would be the capacity of reason. Your success or failure at using reason determines what kind of behaviors you take. Using the capacity is what makes people human.

1 hour ago, Easy Truth said:

And the concept "all humans" is not "human-ness".

The concept is more than that, but all humans share human-ness (they all share the essential characteristic "capacity of reason").

1 hour ago, Easy Truth said:

And "objective morality" is in regards to "human-ness" rather than "all humans".

Because all humans share the same human-ness (which you have determined to be the capacity of reason), you can determine an objective morality based on the successful use of whatever makes you human. Since we've determined that the capacity of reason is the thing that makes you human, this just means how to successfully use reason.

53 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

"human-ness" smacks of universals or essences as other philosophies conceive of them.... as such I would avoid such a term.

I think it it isn't so bad as long as we keep in mind that platonic Forms are invalid and that "-ness" really can only refer to the essential of a given concept.

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