Morality

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Nicki
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Morality

Postby Nicki » Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:25 pm

Some members here sometimes comment that, regarding morality, some other member(s) don't know the difference between ontology and epistemology - the explanation given is that one refers to whether there's such a thing as right and wrong and the other refers to what's right and what's wrong. Sometimes however they also comment that if some things are always wrong no matter what anyone thinks, that means morality is objective (which they agree with). So I'm finding it a little confusing - what's the argument here exactly regarding ontology and epistemology? It's one thing to say someone doesn't understand the difference but for anyone who says that, what's your purpose using these terms? Please spin it out a little for a layperson :esmile:

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Re: Morality

Postby Kurieuo » Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:02 am

There is no argument regarding ontology and epistemology, ontology vs epistemology, or something such. Rather, it is more rather that the moral argument Christians make is an ontological argument, and Atheists generally nearly always respond to it epistemically.

So for example, when Christians argue simply that all humans are endowed with a moral law we all recognise which presses upon us, an Atheist normally inevitably responds with something like, "What is this moral law? The 10 Commandments!?" or, "You mean your moral God who commands Abraham to sacrifice his son, or Israel to slaughter woman and children in the OT?" Such responses appear to be more a "red herring" tactic which distracts from the actual argument made, which is merely that we all recognise a law of right and wrong.

If you want the moral argument spat out for a lay person, then visit my recent thread, Mere Christianity YouTube - CS Lewis Doodle and watch through those videos on CS Lewis' Mere Christianity. These videos get to the heart of any such arguments in I think a rather plain and detailed manner.
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Re: Morality

Postby PaulSacramento » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:58 am

A simple way to start understanding the issue is this:
Subjective morality = WHAT is good.
Objective morality/absolute morality = There IS a good.

In short, there are two discussions to be had and they are the subjective WHAT is good and the objective there IS a good.

See, there are things that even the most militant skeptic in regards to good will agree and they are, as examples:
Raping of infants
Stealing

We know this because there has never been a society or group recorded that views stealing and raping an infant as acceptable ( much less good).
This tells us that there is such a thing as GOOD and such a thing as somethings are NOT to be done.

We have evidence and proof that there is objective good and that not all that is good or bad is subjective.

So, morals are objective ( at least the root of moral is) and for that it must mean that morals MUST transcend the individual AND the group.

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Re: Morality

Postby Nicki » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:43 am

Kurieuo wrote:There is no argument regarding ontology and epistemology, ontology vs epistemology, or something such. Rather, it is more rather that the moral argument Christians make is an ontological argument, and Atheists generally nearly always respond to it epistemically.

So for example, when Christians argue simply that all humans are endowed with a moral law we all recognise which presses upon us, an Atheist normally inevitably responds with something like, "What is this moral law? The 10 Commandments!?" or, "You mean your moral God who commands Abraham to sacrifice his son, or Israel to slaughter woman and children in the OT?" Such responses appear to be more a "red herring" tactic which distracts from the actual argument made, which is merely that we all recognise a law of right and wrong.

If you want the moral argument spat out for a lay person, then visit my recent thread, Mere Christianity YouTube - CS Lewis Doodle and watch through those videos on CS Lewis' Mere Christianity. These videos get to the heart of any such arguments in I think a rather plain and detailed manner.


Thanks - I read most of Mere Christianity a little while ago (I should really finish it) but those videos are good. I think he was saying that details of moral codes differ from place to place (and time) but the basic idea that we should be decent and unselfish (whatever that means to the people) remains. Is that the gist of it?

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Re: Morality

Postby Nicki » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:57 am

PaulSacramento wrote:A simple way to start understanding the issue is this:
Subjective morality = WHAT is good.
Objective morality/absolute morality = There IS a good.

In short, there are two discussions to be had and they are the subjective WHAT is good and the objective there IS a good.

See, there are things that even the most militant skeptic in regards to good will agree and they are, as examples:
Raping of infants
Stealing

We know this because there has never been a society or group recorded that views stealing and raping an infant as acceptable ( much less good).
This tells us that there is such a thing as GOOD and such a thing as somethings are NOT to be done.

We have evidence and proof that there is objective good and that not all that is good or bad is subjective.

So, morals are objective ( at least the root of moral is) and for that it must mean that morals MUST transcend the individual AND the group.


Thank you. I was seeing a kind of contradiction between saying, 'some things are always wrong' and 'it's about whether there is a good and bad, not what is good or bad'. But are you saying the fact that everyone agrees on the morality of some actions shows that those morals are objective, or does it show that the 'good' in the universally-agreed good actions is objective? I'm confused again, but then I'm tired y:-/ y(:|

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Re: Morality

Postby Kurieuo » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:03 am

Nicki wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:There is no argument regarding ontology and epistemology, ontology vs epistemology, or something such. Rather, it is more rather that the moral argument Christians make is an ontological argument, and Atheists generally nearly always respond to it epistemically.

So for example, when Christians argue simply that all humans are endowed with a moral law we all recognise which presses upon us, an Atheist normally inevitably responds with something like, "What is this moral law? The 10 Commandments!?" or, "You mean your moral God who commands Abraham to sacrifice his son, or Israel to slaughter woman and children in the OT?" Such responses appear to be more a "red herring" tactic which distracts from the actual argument made, which is merely that we all recognise a law of right and wrong.

If you want the moral argument spat out for a lay person, then visit my recent thread, Mere Christianity YouTube - CS Lewis Doodle and watch through those videos on CS Lewis' Mere Christianity. These videos get to the heart of any such arguments in I think a rather plain and detailed manner.


Thanks - I read most of Mere Christianity a little while ago (I should really finish it) but those videos are good. I think he was saying that details of moral codes differ from place to place (and time) but the basic idea that we should be decent and unselfish (whatever that means to the people) remains. Is that the gist of it?

Yes, that noone believes selfishness to be honourable trait was one example. CS Lewis argues that there is a common thread that runs through all humanity which we all share, that those who disagree with the "law of nature" (aka "right and wrong") often try to overplay differences between people.

The crux of the argument is that we all feel this law of what is right and wrong pressing down upon us. Yet then, what is this we feel conflicted by within ourselves, and often feel burdened by when deciding between whether we should do what is right or that which benefits us? CS Lewis argues that we can't change this law we all feel pressing upon us, anymore than we can make 2+2=5. The law of nature is as real as math and something we acknowledge rather than construct.

Really, I think Lewis says it all in Mere Christianity, and I find those videos really help to digest his arguments more quickly and easily. If you follow and understand what he is saying, then you generally understand the moral argument regardless of certain terms often used when debating such that you may find confusing.
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Re: Morality

Postby PaulSacramento » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:56 am

Nicki wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:A simple way to start understanding the issue is this:
Subjective morality = WHAT is good.
Objective morality/absolute morality = There IS a good.

In short, there are two discussions to be had and they are the subjective WHAT is good and the objective there IS a good.

See, there are things that even the most militant skeptic in regards to good will agree and they are, as examples:
Raping of infants
Stealing

We know this because there has never been a society or group recorded that views stealing and raping an infant as acceptable ( much less good).
This tells us that there is such a thing as GOOD and such a thing as somethings are NOT to be done.

We have evidence and proof that there is objective good and that not all that is good or bad is subjective.

So, morals are objective ( at least the root of moral is) and for that it must mean that morals MUST transcend the individual AND the group.


Thank you. I was seeing a kind of contradiction between saying, 'some things are always wrong' and 'it's about whether there is a good and bad, not what is good or bad'. But are you saying the fact that everyone agrees on the morality of some actions shows that those morals are objective, or does it show that the 'good' in the universally-agreed good actions is objective? I'm confused again, but then I'm tired y:-/ y(:|


For people to agree on what is good or bad ( regardless of what they agree on) there means that there is an objective view that there is such a thing AS GOOD and the absence of that being BAD.
For their to be a subjective view of "A", there must first be an objective view that there is "A".

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Re: Morality

Postby PaulSacramento » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:58 am

Stealing is a fine example because in no culture and in no point of recorded history has stealing been viewed as good.
That stealing is not good is not subjective because no one agrees that it is good, so we have at least ONE case of a SPECIFIC act that is objectively NOT GOOD.

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Re: Morality

Postby RickD » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:33 am

PaulSacramento wrote:Stealing is a fine example because in no culture and in no point of recorded history has stealing been viewed as good.
That stealing is not good is not subjective because no one agrees that it is good, so we have at least ONE case of a SPECIFIC act that is objectively NOT GOOD.

I disagree. Stealing is good. For reference, see Dave Roberts in game 4, 2004 ALCS. ;)

Which makes stealing subjectively right, because it sucked for the Yankees.
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Re: Morality

Postby Nicki » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:30 am

PaulSacramento wrote:Stealing is a fine example because in no culture and in no point of recorded history has stealing been viewed as good.
That stealing is not good is not subjective because no one agrees that it is good, so we have at least ONE case of a SPECIFIC act that is objectively NOT GOOD.


Did you mean no society or culture has agreed it's good? I can imagine some hardened criminals would think it's very good to rob someone else for their own purposes as long as they get away with it. It could be argued that the vast majority of people agree it's wrong because they wouldn't want anything of theirs to be stolen and also because it's illegal. Criminals wouldn't want anything of theirs to be stolen either but I don't know if they'd think it was wrong exactly; they'd probably just be angry without caring about the morality of it. It does seem all societies have agreed on the morality of stealing and some other actions.

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Re: Morality

Postby PaulSacramento » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:18 am

Nicki wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:Stealing is a fine example because in no culture and in no point of recorded history has stealing been viewed as good.
That stealing is not good is not subjective because no one agrees that it is good, so we have at least ONE case of a SPECIFIC act that is objectively NOT GOOD.


Did you mean no society or culture has agreed it's good? I can imagine some hardened criminals would think it's very good to rob someone else for their own purposes as long as they get away with it. It could be argued that the vast majority of people agree it's wrong because they wouldn't want anything of theirs to be stolen and also because it's illegal. Criminals wouldn't want anything of theirs to be stolen either but I don't know if they'd think it was wrong exactly; they'd probably just be angry without caring about the morality of it. It does seem all societies have agreed on the morality of stealing and some other actions.


A criminal would NOT view it good if someone stole from them.

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Re: Morality

Postby Nicki » Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:05 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:
Nicki wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:Stealing is a fine example because in no culture and in no point of recorded history has stealing been viewed as good.
That stealing is not good is not subjective because no one agrees that it is good, so we have at least ONE case of a SPECIFIC act that is objectively NOT GOOD.


Did you mean no society or culture has agreed it's good? I can imagine some hardened criminals would think it's very good to rob someone else for their own purposes as long as they get away with it. It could be argued that the vast majority of people agree it's wrong because they wouldn't want anything of theirs to be stolen and also because it's illegal. Criminals wouldn't want anything of theirs to be stolen either but I don't know if they'd think it was wrong exactly; they'd probably just be angry without caring about the morality of it. It does seem all societies have agreed on the morality of stealing and some other actions.


A criminal would NOT view it good if someone stole from them.


No, but is that a sense of morality - right vs wrong?

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Re: Morality

Postby PaulSacramento » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:37 am

Nicki wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:
Nicki wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:Stealing is a fine example because in no culture and in no point of recorded history has stealing been viewed as good.
That stealing is not good is not subjective because no one agrees that it is good, so we have at least ONE case of a SPECIFIC act that is objectively NOT GOOD.


Did you mean no society or culture has agreed it's good? I can imagine some hardened criminals would think it's very good to rob someone else for their own purposes as long as they get away with it. It could be argued that the vast majority of people agree it's wrong because they wouldn't want anything of theirs to be stolen and also because it's illegal. Criminals wouldn't want anything of theirs to be stolen either but I don't know if they'd think it was wrong exactly; they'd probably just be angry without caring about the morality of it. It does seem all societies have agreed on the morality of stealing and some other actions.


A criminal would NOT view it good if someone stole from them.


No, but is that a sense of morality - right vs wrong?


Yes, that is a starting point.
Understanding that doing something/that something is wrong ( or good), regardless of anything else.
One may steal food to feed their children BUT that doesn't make it right, it merely makes it an act that may have needed to be done.

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Re: Morality

Postby melanie » Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:25 am

Rarely is there black or white but a whole lot of grey.
I don’t think that supports subjective morality but rather actually supports objectivity.
As the same narrative surrounds basic principles.
Thou shall not kill... but where does self defence come into play? Does revenge or retribution shift to murder when it’s premeditated?
Thou shall not steal....when not for greed but for love and survival it blurs the lines of morality.
Thou shall not commit adultry... when a person is abused and their abuser won’t allow a separation due to control, did they ever live up to the definition of a betrothed?
Thou shall honour thy mother and father....there are kids who have been terribly abused and mistreated by parents. Honour is not demanded but earned and so many parents haven’t earned that respect.
A misuse of objectivity has placed very vulnerable people into an atmosphere of abuse and neglect.
It is seen across society so the hypocrisy is viewed as subjectivity. The idea that there are circumstances that changes pretext, ergo a whole lot of grey, therefore no objective morality.
There are all kinds of situations, very rarely is anything black or white
But I don’t think that takes away from the basic principles of morality..
The same principles are echoed through every society, past and present but our narrative and/or our understanding of these principles differ.
Free will is a gift.
We must be free to make choices, every life choice is an expression of our will.
The grey that exists within morality is our definition of self and free will. We won’t always be right but we have the right to be wrong.
That is freedom
Freedom of self and spirit
Which is why I think we are destined to pertually confuse objectivity and subjectivity and never really know where the line is drawn.


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