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Why do some people fail to see Objective Morality?

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41 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

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.

Have fun!

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"Good" is not perceptually given, it has to be conceptually grasped. The question might be used as in invitation to explore what objective means as posited in that context.

First Objective does not mean Universal Second, without the choosing of life, there is no ought.  Only with an aim can you ought do something “if” you want to bring about your aim. A human b

Except when he is drowning..   [I agree btw]

On 4/25/2021 at 4:36 PM, Easy Truth said:

Recently I participated in a debate about the existence of Objective Morality.

Were you arguing specifically for Objectivist morality?  Or were you arguing the more general, abstract point of whether an objective morality can exist, without being very specific about what it is?  The latter would make it harder to make your case and easier for them to misunderstand.

Maybe it would help if you gave us more details about how the discussion started.

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35 minutes ago, Doug Morris said:

Were you arguing specifically for Objectivist morality?  Or were you arguing the more general, abstract point of whether an objective morality can exist, without being very specific about what it is?  The latter would make it harder to make your case and easier for them to misunderstand.

That doesn't make sense to me. "Arguing specifically for Objectivist morality" is like proving that 31 is prime, whereas "arguing the more general, abstract point of whether an objective morality can exist" is like proving that there is such a thing as a prime number. Not only should the latter be easier, but it is a prerequisite for the former.

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43 minutes ago, necrovore said:

That doesn't make sense to me. "Arguing specifically for Objectivist morality" is like proving that 31 is prime, whereas "arguing the more general, abstract point of whether an objective morality can exist" is like proving that there is such a thing as a prime number. Not only should the latter be easier, but it is a prerequisite for the former.

Prime numbers don't have nearly as much room for confusion as objective morality.

The most straightforward way to prove that there is such a thing as a prime number is to exhibit one, such as 31.

There is only one objective morality, but there are infinitely many primes.

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1 hour ago, Doug Morris said:

Were you arguing specifically for Objectivist morality?  Or were you arguing the more general, abstract point of whether an objective morality can exist, without being very specific about what it is?  The latter would make it harder to make your case and easier for them to misunderstand.

Maybe it would help if you gave us more details about how the discussion started.

Really?

I suppose it depends on the person, but I would assume that as a prerequisite for discussing the content, i.e the specific principles, and substance of a particular objective morality you would have to have established the framework within which to discuss, discover, identify and refine them, which framework already is sufficient to demonstrate the existence of objective morality.

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On 4/25/2021 at 4:36 PM, Easy Truth said:

why don't some people not see the "good" if it is Objective?

If something is objective, that does not guarantee people will see it, especially if they have been fed a big dose of opposed ideas.

Evolution is objective, but a lot of people don't see it, including at least two of my teachers in public school.

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2 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

I was talking about trying to reach the people Easy Truth was having trouble with.

Where, exactly, are you drawing the line between framework and content?

I'm not drawing a line, and I have not mentioned the term context nor am I trying to contrast it with a framework.

I'm time ordering the necessary concepts for even beginning to discuss any particular objective morality.

 

Like I said, I don't think you can talk about specifics falling within a class of new concept without having some kind of grasp of the new concept... a kind of abstract framework.  In that way putting in their mind the general idea of what an objective morality could look like and what its about, in broad strokes, comes before and makes possible introduction of specifics about a particular objective morality... otherwise their thinking will be untethered completely.  If they are inclined to philosophical discussions they would likely be able to deal with the abstract concepts forming the framework...imho.  

And the existence or plausibility of existence of it arrives before any specific examples or description of it.

 

 

 

Edited by StrictlyLogical
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8 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

Were you arguing specifically for Objectivist morality?  Or were you arguing the more general, abstract point of whether an objective morality can exist, without being very specific about what it is?  The latter would make it harder to make your case and easier for them to misunderstand.

The case for an objective morality can be made much more easily than Objectivist Morality.

For one thing, if you have to say this is from Ayn Rand, you will be seen as a mass murderer.

But that aside, the summary of Objectivism does not do it justice and you can't ask them to read multiple books essays etc., because they want it in a nutshell.

The summary of Objectivist Morality is not that easy to communicate, otherwise the population of Objectivists would be far higher.

The case for morality is not going to be morality defined as the guidebook for life but morality as in "right and wrong".

They believe that "right and wrong" has no basis in reality or logic. It is an invention like religion.

The case can be made that "right and wrong" can be Objective, knowable, determinable. Not priviledged knowledge for only a few to know.

In this way, the case for an Objective "ought to" is far more easily done than the totality of Objectivist morality.

It can be shown that if you want X, you are obligated to do "something". That you have to, the moment you want.
That you ought to, because you want. That you must, because you want.

If you don't, you lose, you fail, you do what is wrong based on that.

If you don't want, then the obligation goes away too.

At it's basics, the case has always been simple with cybernetics, or missile technology. If you have a target. There is a right way to hit it.

This right way is knowable, it can be figured out. It's objective (with all the definitions of objective)

That's all it takes to show that an Objective morality can exist.

The part that becomes far more complicated is "what is the target and why".

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8 hours ago, necrovore said:

"Arguing specifically for Objectivist morality" is like proving that 31 is prime, whereas "arguing the more general, abstract point of whether an objective morality can exist" is like proving that there is such a thing as a prime number. Not only should the latter be easier, but it is a prerequisite for the former

You can't demonstrate or prove that there is such a thing as primes as an abstract category of number in reality unless you prove that a specific number, say 31, is prime. You can't say that "since I proved that prime numbers exist, let me now discover which prime numbers exist" . In other words, to prove that prime numbers exist is to prove that 31, an alleged prime number, is in fact prime. You can't separate them. That's how you can have a theory of special relatively before you have a theory of general relativity relativity. In the same way, you could demonstrate a particular theory of objective morality without making the general case for objective morality. 

It's not so much a matter of whether you are demonstrating from in general or in particular, because you need to use both in the end. However, it depends on the person which approach you would use more of. The skeptical minded person I think would be better off seeing a specific instance of what you call objective morality. Somebody who has a tendency towards rationalism might be better off seeing a general case for objective morality to start. And even then, it depends on their educational background for which arguments they respond best to. Some people are well versed in philosophy, others not so much. 

 

Edited by Eiuol
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On 4/26/2021 at 11:17 AM, Easy Truth said:

...there is no reality based requirement to act a certain way for those who want nothing.

But there is. If you want nothing, then you must continually reject all thoughts of doing something. If your nose itches, you must resist the urge to scratch it. Resistance is an action too.

I haven't read this whole thread, so maybe I'm repeating someone else's point, but I think the deeper issue here is your method of thinking and arguing. When your opponent replied that there is no such thing as killing without a reason, you abandoned that line of questioning and moved on to another. Perhaps you should have stopped cold and figured out why you started down that line in the first place.

This thread is a good start to fixing your thinking, but even here you began with a title question about why other people can't understand something. I note that some here have been trying to re-orient you to thinking about yourself, which is where objective values begin. SL, for example, is helping you clarify your thinking and writing. I think that's the best place to start. And if it's an utter fog, try looking around at real examples and describing them. Don't get lost in advanced abstractions. Find a level at which you're comfortable and start over. 

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5 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

The summary of Objectivist Morality is not that easy to communicate, otherwise the population of Objectivists would be far higher.

Most Objectivists are not good at communication. None of the public figures are. No one has been remotely anywhere as good as Rand, and she was more provocative than she was a brilliant communicator per se. I think it is easy to communicate, as long as you have communication skills pretty well understood. It might be hard to understand Oist morality, or it might be hard for some people, but once you do understand it, there isn't that much to convey. It becomes a matter of finding different ways to explain the same thing.   

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8 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

But why?

I was emphasizing the Oist part for effect probably, because it's not a common skill anyway for anybody. But the other part of it is the tendency to offer up Rand's responses rather than adapting responses to the person when they ask things that Rand never addressed. That's what I've seen anyway. One other part might be the lack of people to emulate who are Oists. The academic people are interesting, but I wouldn't call them communicators to the average person. 

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12 hours ago, MisterSwig said:
On 4/26/2021 at 11:17 AM, Easy Truth said:

...there is no reality based requirement to act a certain way for those who want nothing.

But there is. If you want nothing, then you must continually reject all thoughts of doing something. If your nose itches, you must resist the urge to scratch it. Resistance is an action too.

No Swig, when you want nothing ... you are dead. You won't have to continually reject all thoughts of doing something.

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2 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

No Swig, when you want nothing ... you are dead. You won't have to continually reject all thoughts of doing something.

It is probably a misunderstanding of nothing. If you want "blankness" of Buddhist nirvana, he would be right, that would be wanting nothing to think about that nonetheless requires specific actions to achieve. You seem to be talking about nothing as in somebody who doesn't care one way or another. I think you are on the right track though that thinking the most direct way to argue for something of objective morality is a simple fact that people want values in life, and you can't achieve those values by any random method you want. 

 

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I guess my argument for objective morality would go like this:

First, establish objective reality. If your audience doesn't accept that, then there is no reason to continue.

Then, I'd do the "argument from the hamster":

  • If you want to keep a hamster alive and thriving, you have to follow certain rules.
  • The same thing is true if it's a human instead of a hamster, although the rules are more complex. (Humans don't thrive in cages.)
  • The same thing is true if the human you are trying to keep alive and thriving is yourself.

That argument should be sufficient to demonstrate that an objective morality exists. It doesn't say what the rules are, but that can be the next step.

p.s. I'm aware that this argument takes it for granted that the purpose of morality is to keep yourself alive and thriving. It's possible to explain why that is the proper purpose, but I'm not doing it in this post.

Edited by necrovore
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On 4/26/2021 at 10:10 AM, Easy Truth said:

Then would you agree that this subset of humans "all" are bound by reality and their nature (universally) to act a certain way (based on wanting a life worth living)?

In fact it starts with:

If you want something, you will be obligated to do something and/or to avoid something ... Always, absolutely and it applies to all of us.

This goes with the original definition of valuing, to keep or gain something, you have to DO or NOT DO certain things.

And if you want absolutely nothing, there are no obligations i.e. the state of amorality.

By bound I mean obligated to.

Is your set of amoral humans dead or alive? Are we talking about living people or corpses?

Edited by MisterSwig
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19 hours ago, necrovore said:

I guess my argument for objective morality would go like this:

First, establish objective reality. If your audience doesn't accept that...

 

Quite, the failure to see Objective Morality is premised on people not recognizing objectivity. No luck there, one is wasting one's time arguing against rooted subjectivity. When and if you have done explaining primacy of existence above consciousness, the nature of life, specifically the nature of man's life, his adherence to reality, the conceptual (and volitional) consciousness, the means of evaluation and necessity of objective values, of which one's own life is one's pinnacle necessitating one holds a hierarchy of values (the higher which are not to be given up for lower ones), the priority of objective virtues in keeping and creating value, the emotions as automatic consequence of that identifying and valuing, and you still have an accepting audience - they are ready to engage an objective philosophy ... inclusive of rational selfishness. The ethics can hardly be pulled up nor explained out of the context of the philosophy.

Edited by whYNOT
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On 4/28/2021 at 2:12 PM, Doug Morris said:

Were you arguing specifically for Objectivist morality?  Or were you arguing the more general, abstract point of whether an objective morality can exist, without being very specific about what it is?  The latter would make it harder to make your case and easier for them to misunderstand.

I should have said "Objectivist metaethics" not "Objectivist morality".  Sorry for the imprecision.

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