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Are morals objective, or subjective

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    (Original post by The Socktor)
    "Only a Sith deals in absolutes. I will do what I must" - Obi-wan Kenobi.
    Well, that brings that debate to a close (he says, throwing away his book on Descartes for his Star Wars trilogy)
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    (Original post by Aoide)
    Many morals are universal and so commonly accepted they are treated as objective fact however this isn't the case. Just because no one disagrees with an opinion doesn't make it a fact. Morals are emotion based opinions which have no factual basis. This means they are completely subjective.
    They are?

    Murder in a loose sense is homicide with intent. But in the 18th century, killing one's own slave was legal. In Pakistan, honour killings are part of the culture. These are all murder by definition, but are/were socially acceptable.

    I think the evidence for moral absolutes is sketchy.
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    In my opinion, morals are subjective:
    All kinds of people have another imagination about moral.
    What is really justice?
    What values are right?
    These questions are an argument around the world.
    The humans are very different based on socialization, religion, culture, educations and
    experiences.
    Out of this reflection people have different morals.
    Which moral is the right one?
    A question which cannot be answered by nobody.
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    To play devil's advocate here (hold the negs):
    Is molesting a child not objectively wrong?

    And if your answer is "no", is that the same as saying it's ok, and perhaps making you a child molester yourself, or at least having their best interests at heart?
    (An actual argument I saw used repeatedly on various fora...)
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    (Original post by Mequa)
    To play devil's advocate here (hold the negs):
    Is molesting a child not objectively wrong?

    And if your answer is "no", is that the same as saying it's ok, and perhaps making you a child molester yourself, or at least having their best interests at heart?
    (An actual argument I saw used repeatedly on various fora...)
    Argument ad making-your-opponent-get-neg-repped-so-hard-they-leave-the-thread? Could work!

    If morality is not objective, then child molestation is not objectively wrong; no. That isn't to say that I'm a child molester, obviously... in fact, whether or not I think morality is objective has only very little to do with how I actually behave. It also doesn't mean that everyone should go out and start molesting children because it's okay now! It simply means that there isn't some actual property of the universe that makes molesting children wrong: nothing more.
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    This was an actual debate-became-flame-war I was involved in a few years back on a certain forum. I still have the fight archived.
    Some of the responses I got were, and I quote:
    "ANSWER THE QUESTION. ARE YOU GOING TO SAY THAT IT'S OK TO RAPE YOUR MOTHER AND FATHER BECAUSE IT IS JUST A SOCIAL TABOO, LIKE RAPING CHILDREN?"
    "ARE YOU WILLING TO ADMIT THAT IT'S OK TO RAPE YOUR MOTHER AND FATHER BECAUSE IT'S JUST A SOCIAL TABOO?"

    Since I disputed moral objectivism on that point, the person still thinks I'm a bona-fide kiddy raper half a decade later. True story.
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    Morals are definitely a subjective matter, since without the very thought process of us humans, morality as a concept would not exist. Morality stems from our environment, beliefs, and tends to be different from person to person. Two people may have contrasting morals simply based on upbringing and experiences in life.

    Morals are not facts, nor do they occur to all of us; clearly they cannot be objective.
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    (Original post by Implication)
    Argument ad making-your-opponent-get-neg-repped-so-hard-they-leave-the-thread? Could work!

    It also doesn't mean that everyone should go out and start molesting children because it's okay now! It simply means that there isn't some actual property of the universe that makes molesting children wrong: nothing more.
    I think anyone can do what they feel like when morality is subjective because only an individual's view of their own morals matter. Do you not believe it is important to attach some objective values to society regardless of the origin of those morals?
    Out of interest, are you a fan of the British legal system?
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    (Original post by Freiheit)
    I think anyone can do what they feel like when morality is subjective because only an individual's view of their own morals matter. Do you not believe it is important to attach some objective values to society regardless of the origin of those morals?
    Out of interest, are you a fan of the British legal system?
    Societal convention doesn't make morality objective.
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    (Original post by calisthenics)
    Societal convention doesn't make morality objective.
    My argument was not that the conventions of society makes morality objective. To rephrase my question more clearly: Is choosing and defining some morals as absolutes in society beneficial to society as a whole or not? The example used is the legal system. Do you believe that our legal system should be abolished?
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    Laws exist to regulate behaviour and promote order. Laws aren't even based on morals wholly, so it's a tenuous link you're building.
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    (Original post by calisthenics)
    Laws exist to regulate behaviour and promote order. Laws aren't even based on morals wholly, so it's a tenuous link you're building.
    If all morality is subjective, why should anyone regulate your actions as your act cannot be "wrong" it can only be different from a view held by someone else?
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    Because humans are social animals. Why is that so controversial and contentious? Laws are based often on pragmatism and not morality.
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    (Original post by tazarooni89)
    Of course morals are subjective.
    Exactly. I was unaware this was considered an actual source of controversy until this thread appeared. I'd consider someone the notion of 'objectively correct morals' to be completely backwards, dangerous even.

    Is there something i fail to see? :confused:
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    I don't really see how different a Paxman interrogation is to posting something controversial on TSR. (Someone correct me if I'm missing the point of this thread...)

    <3 x
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    Exactly. I was unaware this was considered an actual source of controversy until this thread appeared. I'd consider someone the notion of 'objectively correct morals' to be completely backwards, dangerous even.

    Is there something i fail to see? :confused:
    Why dangerous? to your own subjective life agenda?
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    (Original post by calisthenics)
    Why dangerous? to your own subjective life agenda?
    I'd say dealing in absolutes is a recipe for intolerance. Of course that is not necessarily so if we go by rigorous logic, but in reality, the only people you see actually implementing 'objective morality' is religious extremists.

    Being able to recognise the subjectivity of a decision allows you to more accurately assess the impact of your actions, i feel.

    But this is just an observation (a totally subjective one, may i add). It has nothing to do with 'objective' and 'morals' basically being antonyms.
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    (Original post by calisthenics)
    Because humans are social animals. Why is that so controversial and contentious? Laws are based often on pragmatism and not morality.
    I don't think laws can promote order if the order/standard set is subjective between individuals, this is what I was trying to say. I fail to see how the law can play any useful role in a society based on subjective laws. If person A gets sentenced to prison for murder should he not go to prison because his morals dictate murder is not wrong?

    PS- its just a friendly discussion and nothing more- response to the poster mentioning "Jeremy Paxman interrogation"
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    Definitely subjective.
    if a society condones/encourages something, it will be accepted as being morally right, if it doesn't then it's is morally wrong.
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    (Original post by Freiheit)
    I fail to see how the law can play any useful role in a society based on subjective laws.
    You do exactly what we do. We recognise that the majority of people think murder should not be allowed. Therefore it is not allowed. It doesn't matter if its 'subjective' or 'objective' - morals are all about majority opinion. If the minority don't like it, tough.

    The notion that all laws must be undisputedly, objectively 'correct' is ludicrous and almost makes me think you don't know what 'objective' is :lolwut: Not intending to antagonise, but it really is a ridiculous notion.

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