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Why do some people fail to see Objective Morality?

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Recently I participated in a debate about the existence of Objective Morality. It did not go well for me. I got argument for suicidal societies and people that belong in insane asylum's as if that is a viable society. When it came to the existence of Objective reality, it was easier to get (There is a fear of Objective morality because it seems to have a religions connotation as in God's morality outside of my judgements).

The argument or proof for the existence of Objective Morality in Society rests on a view of the single human in society.

The initiator, the cause, the motivated entity/agent interacting. All or most of these entities can't be insane, suicidal or pathological killers as there would be no society in existence by now.

But in describing what should be, it seems that it can only be done in via the ideal man in the ideal society.

As a direction, as a goal, that in fact may be the only way to do it.

But in discussions, many times, the pushback is, "why do you argue a Utopia that does not exist"?

People think that ethics of a utopia is not grounded in reality which is reasonable.

But how does one argue Objective morality without "how it can be ... if we behaved this way or that way"? Even though it is not that way right now or perhaps there is no example anywhere. It does not exist, but it is the best way to "be".

How does one argue the case for values that "should exist", when men are not ideal, when some are irrational and when some are evil.

Objective morality has an element of "the good pertains to everyone". So the question I get is why don't some people not see the "good" if it is Objective?

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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]

8 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

Recently I participated in a debate about the existence of Objective Morality. It did not go well for me. I got argument for suicidal societies and people that belong in insane asylum's as if that is a viable society. When it came to the existence of Objective reality, it was easier to get (There is a fear of Objective morality because it seems to have a religions connotation as in God's morality outside of my judgements).

The argument or proof for the existence of Objective Morality in Society rests on a view of the single human in society.

The initiator, the cause, the motivated entity/agent interacting. All or most of these entities can't be insane, suicidal or pathological killers as there would be no society in existence by now.

But in describing what should be, it seems that it can only be done in via the ideal man in the ideal society.

As a direction, as a goal, that in fact may be the only way to do it.

But in discussions, many times, the pushback is, "why do you argue a Utopia that does not exist"?

People think that ethics of a utopia is not grounded in reality which is reasonable.

But how does one argue Objective morality without "how it can be ... if we behaved this way or that way"? Even though it is not that way right now or perhaps there is no example anywhere. It does not exist, but it is the best way to "be".

How does one argue the case for values that "should exist", when men are not ideal, when some are irrational and when some are evil.

Objective morality has an element of "the good pertains to everyone". So the question I get is why don't some people not see the "good" if it is Objective?

Evasion is easy and ... easier to live by.

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4 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Evasion is easy and ... easier to live by.

Why would it be easier to live by? These are thinking people that are saying stuff like this.

One can't tell them "you are evading" without telling them what they are evading and why.

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I am not sure what they see or don't see but they believe that an Objective morality, or even universal values don't exist. They don't see that by nature, all humans want certain things. Once you include the insane and irrational and suicidal, their assertion becomes true.

They don't see the possibility that morality can be objective. Objective to them means, "that every one agrees to". So they will repeat, no one agrees on what is right or wrong.

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".

So I abandoned that line.

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"?

They only see morality as being a product of chance, or luck, tradition (it seems to me). They don't argue for something, only against the existence and possibility of a morality independent of what we may want in the moment. They emphasise the idea that "what you think is right is not necessarily what others think it is".

There are variations to this at different discussions but basically, Objectivity and a Universal Moral Code is seen as a means of control.

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11 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

I am not sure what they see or don't see but they believe that an Objective morality, or even universal values don't exist. They don't see that by nature, all humans want certain things. Once you include the insane and irrational and suicidal, their assertion becomes true.

They don't see the possibility that morality can be objective. Objective to them means, "that every one agrees to". So they will repeat, no one agrees on what is right or wrong.

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".

So I abandoned that line.

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"?

They only see morality as being a product of chance, or luck, tradition (it seems to me). They don't argue for something, only against the existence and possibility of a morality independent of what we may want in the moment. They emphasise the idea that "what you think is right is not necessarily what others think it is".

There are variations to this at different discussions but basically, Objectivity and a Universal Moral Code is seen as a means of control.

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 being, if he wants to flourish long range is bound by reality and his nature.  Everything flows from that.  Just recognition of facts of reality in the form of principles.

Morality is not intrinsic.

 

Edited by StrictlyLogical
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So one can argue that "the good that you see, is not necessarily "the good", it has to be discovered through a process.

They will of course argue "why should I believe you"?

As an aside I run into the following issue a lot:

I will ask "then you tell me how should one come up with your morality".

and the response is "I have not thought about it". As if "I don't know" means "what you say exists or does not exist".

There must be some fallacy that corresponds to this retort.

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5 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

So one can argue that "the good that you see, is not necessarily "the good", it has to be discovered through a process.

They will of course argue "why should I believe you"?

As an aside I run into the following issue a lot:

I will ask "then you tell me how should one come up with your morality".

and the response is "I have not thought about it". As if "I don't know" means "what you say exists or does not exist".

There must be some fallacy that corresponds to this retort.

If they choose life, want to flourish, start from there, assert that is the foundation of the good for the person.

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1 minute ago, StrictlyLogical said:

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 being, if he wants to flourish long range is bound by reality and his nature.  Everything flows from that.

This is very good and succinct. I was looking for something like this.

Ok, then I won't argue for universal values in all humans.

"A human being, if he wants to flourish long range is bound by reality and his nature.  Everything flows from that."

This is a subset of all humans as in some are suicidal etc.

Would you agree that this subset of humans "all" are bound by reality and their nature (universally)?

From what I am concluding, I should argue for those humans that want to flourish long range, there is a right and wrong that can be determined based on reality. They are in fact bound by something out there that is not GOD.

 

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15 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

This is very good and succinct. I was looking for something like this.

Ok, then I won't argue for universal values in all humans.

"A human being, if he wants to flourish long range is bound by reality and his nature.  Everything flows from that."

This is a subset of all humans as in some are suicidal etc.

Would you agree that this subset of humans "all" are bound by reality and their nature (universally)?

From what I am concluding, I should argue for those humans that want to flourish long range, there is a right and wrong that can be determined based on reality. They are in fact bound by something out there that is not GOD.

 

Each is bound by reality including his own nature.  

It is no more complicated than that.  

The existence of suicidal people is really quite irrelevant to your morality, except perhaps the principle of generally staying as far away from them as possible...

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15 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Would you agree that this subset of humans "all" are bound by reality and their nature (universally)?

Everyone, not just particular subsets, are bound by reality, period.  Regardless of any choice on the part of that person.

 

You are X, reality (including everyone else) is Y, and if you do Q in the context of X and Y, the result is C (most likely).

 

Whether or not you care about C, you are bound by causation.  You cannot jump off a cliff and expect the result to be that you finish writing your symphony a week earlier.

 

IF you choose particular results C (rather than merely wish for it), that is, if you care anything at all about consequences, or results, or outcomes, in life, and decide to act toward them, then your choices are bound and found by identifying the laws of causation, connecting X, Y, Q with various outcomes C, depending upon your choice of results C. 

Regardless of what C is, or whether long term or short term, your choices, the effective ones, are bound or defined or circumscribed by those laws of causality.

 

Finally, IF you choose life, to live, and to flourish, as a long term and continuing goal, then there are bundles of laws of causation which can be discovered and understood as principles for guiding action, so that you are moving towards and fulfilling that outcome.

Those principles constitute an objective morality.

 

Edited by StrictlyLogical
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17 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

and the response is "I have not thought about it". As if "I don't know" means "what you say exists or does not exist".

There must be some fallacy that corresponds to this retort.

It's not a fallacy. Take them at their word: they have not thought about it. That's why Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living. 

The reasons they haven't thought about it could range from evasion, to thinking it is not an important question, or even that the question never struck them before. 

 

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3 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Everyone, not just particular subsets, are bound by reality, period.  Regardless of any choice on the part of that person

Yes, of course. 

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.

We had a discussion regarding "duty" and "amorality", that if you don't want life, there is no morality. Without the desire to survive, the moral code, the guide is irrelevant. At least that is what I concluded from your posts.

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2 hours ago, Eiuol said:
19 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

and the response is "I have not thought about it". As if "I don't know" means "what you say exists or does not exist".

There must be some fallacy that corresponds to this retort.

It's not a fallacy. Take them at their word: they have not thought about it. That's why Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living. 

Its a form or this but not exactly:

The Argument from Ignorance (also, Argumentum ad Ignorantiam): The fallacy that since we don't know (or can never know, or cannot prove) whether a claim is true or false, it must be false, or it must be true.

This is a repeated tactic on their part. Kind of like "There is no objective reality, because I never heard of it". or "Until you prove it to me it does not exist".

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"I never thought about it" isn't an argument. "I never thought about it, therefore you are wrong" would be an argument from ignorance. To use Socrates again, when he pushed people to be explicit about their ideas, they either answered him with bad reasons or bad arguments, or got frustrated because they couldn't put their ideas into words. What he got people to do was to get people to think about it and create an argument for that position. When they did answer, they rarely argued from ignorance. 

Edited by Eiuol
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42 minutes ago, 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)?

You seem insistent on using the terms "all" and "universally" when they do not seem to conceptually add to the facts being expressed... superfluous baggage can cause confusion or be outright misleading.

42 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

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.

"us" is a distraction.  Morality is NOT some kind of communal activity.... they might think it is but it decidedly IS NOT.  Ethics does eventually give rise to politics but that is WAY farther down the conceptual trail.

 

42 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

We had a discussion regarding "duty" and "amorality", that if you don't want life, there is no morality. Without the desire to survive, the moral code, the guide is irrelevant. At least that is what I concluded from your posts.

I would not go so far as to say morality does not exist if you choose not to adopt it.  Redness is not only in the apple, or only in your mind, so rejecting morality is more like a willfull blindness to the facts of reality which give rise to flourishing.

Edited by StrictlyLogical
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15 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

You seem insistent on using the terms "all" and "universally" when they do not seem to conceptually add to the facts being expressed... superfluous baggage can cause confusion or be outright misleading.

Fair enough, that seems to be a bias on my part so ...

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

18 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:
58 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

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.

"us" is a distraction.  Morality is NOT some kind of communal activity.... they might think it is but it decidedly IS NOT.  Ethics does eventually give rise to politics but that is WAY farther down the conceptual trail.

Yes, agreed, but here I was differentiating that in this case, regardless of if you want life or not, if you want, you have an obligation. An it is not limited to those who want life. In other words, emphasizing that it is not a subset that was mentioned before.

21 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

I would not go so far as to say morality does not exist if you choose not to adopt it.  Redness is not only in the apple, or only in your mind, so rejecting morality is more like a willfull blindness to the facts of reality which give rise to flourishing.

I should have said no morality for that person. In other words I would have to agree with them that the statement "Objective morality does not exist for some" is true. In the sense that there is no reality based requirement to act a certain way for those who want nothing.

There is no necessity for a guidebook, a moral code, when you want nothing at all. You're not disagreeing with that, right?

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50 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

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

"universally" again

"worth" living is unnecessarily subjective, who determines when a life is worth living? (I won't quote Gandalf here)

And what's with the "subset" again... the relationship is between each person and reality

 

I don't want to put words in your mouth but you are asking if I agree with all the extra verbiage... and I do not.

 

57 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

I should have said no morality for that person. In other words I would have to agree with them that the statement "Objective morality does not exist for some" is true. In the sense that there is no reality based requirement to act a certain way for those who want nothing.

There is no necessity for a guidebook, a moral code, when you want nothing at all. You're not disagreeing with that, right?

Essentially correct. But I am saying also that, that aspect of morality which is out there, even for them, does exist, in the sense that the facts of reality are real, those potentialities are real, the causes and effects  are REAL, IF they act so-and-so and such-and-such they would reap the benefits, the path for a good flourishing life IS laid out before them, the "good book" so to speak, already written, whether they know it or not, they need only choose to discover its principles... and start acting towards that good flourishing life.

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1 minute ago, StrictlyLogical said:

I don't want to put words in your mouth but you are asking if I agree with all the extra verbiage... and I do not.

I know, I missed the word universal

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

2 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

But I am saying also that, that aspect of morality which is out there, even for them, does exist, in the sense that the facts of reality are real, those potentialities are real

We don't disagree, it's just a matter of how to argue it.

I have to separate the argument for "there is an Objective reality" vs. "there is an Objective morality".

Morality has to start with valuing. Value is not intrinsic. It's not exactly out there. It starts with consciousness reacting to a something. I am afraid of being confusing by saying that there is an aspect of morality out there, applies to all of us, but it only applies to a subset. There is a contradiction there.

But you're already helped me with the "universal issue".

Now, to move on to the issue of "Objective morality in a social context".

"If I want to live with others in a flourishing manner" or "If we are to flourish" we have to do or not do certain things.

Of course they will nail me on the issue of "you haven't defined what flourishing means", but I don't want to deal with that right now.

Ultimately their argument has always been "there is never agreement on what is right and wrong" (implying there can never be so why even talk about it). The issue is that "there is a right and wrong" independent of our consciousness (to be Objective), yet dependent on our consciousness because value is not intrinsic. Value is dependent on consciousness.  Almost like primacy of consciousness over value.

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17 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

Now, to move on to the issue of "Objective morality in a social context".

This is politics.  You cant get them to even start thinking about what that entails until they have accepted objective morality.

17 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

Ultimately their argument has always been "there is never agreement on what is right and wrong" (implying there can never be so why even talk about it).

Why are they obsessed with agreement?  (are we getting into politics now? are you dealing with sheep or people?)

Edited by StrictlyLogical
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3 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Why are they obsessed with agreement?  (are we getting into politics now?)

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.

They also believe that morality ONLY exists in a social context. As in it only applies between two people.

I have brought up the question of "if you were alone on an island, it is right or wrong to chop your right arm off" but you get responses like "well, what if it had gangrene in it" etc.

It requires a lot of patience to wade through their "non-good-faith" argumentation, but eventually one gets to a reasonable area (or that is the hope).

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36 minutes 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.

They also believe that morality ONLY exists in a social context. As in it only applies between two people.

I have brought up the question of "if you were alone on an island, it is right or wrong to chop your right arm off" but you get responses like "well, what if it had gangrene in it" etc.

It requires a lot of patience to wade through their "non-good-faith" argumentation, but eventually one gets to a reasonable area (or that is the hope).

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".  You could then dismantle each "wrong" in turn, as either actually being a good (for you) or as actually being a wrong according to your morality BECAUSE it is not good for you, not long range.

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23 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Ok, then I won't argue for universal values in all humans.

You have more than 1000 posts here. When you ask questions about universal values, it's like you literally just started reading Rand, but I know that's not true. 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.

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