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There is no such thing as right and wrong. Morality is entirely fabricated. Watch

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    (Original post by RobML)
    Oh sorry; I thought you were arguing for the notion of objective morality.
    Btw I think the term you're looking for is intersubjective https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intersubjectivity
    Yh I think this is the word lol
    thanks
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    (Original post by Gucci Mane.)
    There is no such thing as objective good or evil, and no action is intrinsically right or wrong. Good and evil are completely subjective, and for the most part what we consider good or evil is just a reflection of social attitudes at the current time. For example, pedophilia was accepted in Greek times (men would have relations with teenage boys below the age of 16), but now its considered completely abhorrent.

    Discuss, rebutt, support, etc
    Descriptive relativism (a position that's been heavily criticised) does not necessarily entail moral nihilism. Your conclusion that "there is no right or wrong" simply does not follow from the simplistic argument you've presented.
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    (Original post by Gucci Mane.)
    There is no such thing as objective good or evil, and no action is intrinsically right or wrong. Good and evil are completely subjective, and for the most part what we consider good or evil is just a reflection of social attitudes at the current time. For example, pedophilia was accepted in Greek times (men would have relations with teenage boys below the age of 16), but now its considered completely abhorrent.

    Discuss, rebutt, support, etc
    Your argument doesn't support the conclusion that there is no objective morality. The fact that views on what is right and wrong have changed doesn't mean that there aren't correct moral views. The proposal that objective morality exists is simply the proposal that there is a logical and correct way for us to behave - ethics is about asking "how are we to live?"

    As it happens, I believe that objective moral values do exist. As the 19th Century moral philosopher Henry Sidgwick wrote: "the good of any one individual is of no more importance (from the point of view of the universe) than the good of any other". What drives all sentient beings to behave the way they do - what is the 'good' for an individual? Preferences. Every sentient being aims to maximise the satisfaction of its preferences, when it comes down to it.

    Yet, as we have seen, there is no logical justification for putting one's own preferences above those of others'. Thus, if we are to maximise our preference-satisfaction, which it is impossible not to do, it follows that we should be maximising the preference-satisfaction of all sentient beings - failing to do so would be to put our preferences above those of others, which is illogical.

    So, I do believe that there is an objective moral system, and its name is Preference Utilitarianism.

    It's also important to note that the majority of philosophers disagree with you on this (with those who believe in objective morality or moral realism outnumbering those who do not by more than two-to-one) and that a number of recent works have made good arguments in favour of objective morality, including Peter Singer and Katarzyna de-Lazari Radek in The Point of View of the Universe and Derek Parfit in On What Matters. Henry Sidgwick also laid a lot of the groundwork for this in his Methods of Ethics, but it's quite a dry read so I'd recommend The Point of View of the Universe in particular as they expand on his arguments.
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    (Original post by viddy9)
    Your argument doesn't support the conclusion that there is no objective morality. The fact that views on what is right and wrong have changed doesn't mean that there aren't correct moral views. The proposal that objective morality exists is simply the proposal that there is a logical and correct way for us to behave - ethics is about asking "how are we to live?"

    As it happens, I believe that objective moral values do exist. As the 19th Century moral philosopher Henry Sidgwick wrote: "the good of any one individual is of no more importance (from the point of view of the universe) than the good of any other". What drives all sentient beings to behave the way they do - what is the 'good' for an individual? Preferences. Every sentient being aims to maximise the satisfaction of its preferences, when it comes down to it.

    Yet, as we have seen, there is no logical justification for putting one's own preferences above those of others'. Thus, if we are to maximise our preference-satisfaction, which it is impossible not to do, it follows that we should be maximising the preference-satisfaction of all sentient beings - failing to do so would be to put our preferences above those of others, which is illogical.

    So, I do believe that there is an objective moral system, and its name is Preference Utilitarianism.

    It's also important to note that the majority of philosophers disagree with you on this (with those who believe in objective morality or moral realism outnumbering those who do not by more than two-to-one) and that a number of recent works have made good arguments in favour of objective morality, including Peter Singer and Katarzyna de-Lazari Radek in The Point of View of the Universe and Derek Parfit in On What Matters. Henry Sidgwick also laid a lot of the groundwork for this in his Methods of Ethics, but it's quite a dry read so I'd recommend The Point of View of the Universe in particular as they expand on his arguments.
    What's your argument for objective morality?

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    (Original post by viddy9)
    Your argument doesn't support the conclusion that there is no objective morality. The fact that views on what is right and wrong have changed doesn't mean that there aren't correct moral views. The proposal that objective morality exists is simply the proposal that there is a logical and correct way for us to behave - ethics is about asking "how are we to live?"As it happens, I believe that objective moral values do exist. As the 19th Century moral philosopher Henry Sidgwick wrote: "the good of any one individual is of no more importance (from the point of view of the universe) than the good of any other". What drives all sentient beings to behave the way they do - what is the 'good' for an individual? Preferences. Every sentient being aims to maximise the satisfaction of its preferences, when it comes down to it.Yet, as we have seen, there is no logical justification for putting one's own preferences above those of others'. Thus, if we are to maximise our preference-satisfaction, which it is impossible not to do, it follows that we should be maximising the preference-satisfaction of all sentient beings - failing to do so would be to put our preferences above those of others, which is illogical.So, I do believe that there is an objective moral system, and its name is Preference Utilitarianism.It's also important to note that the majority of philosophers disagree with you on this (with those who believe in objective morality or moral realism outnumbering those who do not by more than two-to-one) and that a number of recent works have made good arguments in favour of objective morality, including Peter Singer and Katarzyna de-Lazari Radek in The Point of View of the Universe and Derek Parfit in On What Matters. Henry Sidgwick also laid a lot of the groundwork for this in his Methods of Ethics, but it's quite a dry read so I'd recommend The Point of View of the Universe in particular as they expand on his arguments.
    Sentient beings wishing for a pleasurable life or satisfaction of their preferences do not reflect considerations of objective morality. Pleasure/misery are not in any way synonymous with moral notions of good/evil.



    I am not in any way religious, but this is a good excerpt from a debate where Sam Harris's perspective on objective morality based on the well-being of sentient beings is taken apart. The fact that creatures wish to experience pleasure does nothing whatsoever to show that such desires or the fulfilment of them reflect an objective moral good. Ought-is distinction.

    Where I would obviously disagree with Craig is his claim that objective morality is grounded in Yahweh, but he is correct in saying that on a purely naturalistic worldview there really is no such thing as an objective good or evil, merely a set of subjective, ever changing behaviours which help humans form relationships and build successful societies.
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    (Original post by Gucci Mane.)
    There is no such thing as objective good or evil, and no action is intrinsically right or wrong. Good and evil are completely subjective, and for the most part what we consider good or evil is just a reflection of social attitudes at the current time. For example, pedophilia was accepted in Greek times (men would have relations with teenage boys below the age of 16), but now its considered completely abhorrent.

    Discuss, rebutt, support, etc

    Two words: Junko Furuta.
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    (Original post by Ishea16)
    i dont see how you came to that conclusion as i never disagreed with OP
    i was merely pointing out my opinion, i said I 'believe', this is my way of deciding
    between right and wrong
    there are things that every one agrees on
    e.g stealing of an innocent is wrong, all would agree thats wrong as no one would want someone else stealing from them
    and thats why 1 person doesnt decide the law, the law is basically opinions of people living at the time at that place
    and the law is the minimum benchmark that shows right and wrong
    and these morality come from the people so it is personal but its not personal to a single person if most other people agree with it
    some people use religion to decide between right and wrong and that would be personal
    Mehhhh not really.

    The law, while in some regards is suppose to be a group morality it often resolves around the ideas of:
    The oppression of the few for the majority
    The oppression of the majority for the state
    The oppression of the state for the people

    In more recent times however (post ww2) we're starting to see intercontinental morals, whereas previously most countries and states didn't care about the effect their actions had on those from other countries as long as it benefited them in the long run.
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    (Original post by RobML)
    What's your argument for objective morality?

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    I've already given it. Every sentient being aims to maximise its own preference-satisfaction, yet there is no logical justification for putting one's own preference-satisfaction above that of other people's. Thus, if we are to aim to maximise our own preference-satisfaction - which it is impossible not to do - it follows that we should do so for others - to do otherwise would be to put our own preference-satisfaction above that of other people's.

    Ethics is about answering the question "how are we to live?", and the above argument tells us the correct way to live.

    (Original post by VV Cephei A)
    Sentient beings wishing for a pleasurable life or satisfaction of their preferences do not reflect considerations of objective morality. Pleasure/misery are not in any way synonymous with moral notions of good/evil.
    My argument doesn't fall prey to the is-ought distinction. My argument simply tells us the correct way to live given the facts about the universe. Call it morality, call it whatever you want: ethics to me aims to answer the question "how am I to live?". It so happens that there isn't a sentient being out there who doesn't think that preference-satisfaction is a good thing, and that we can't not aim to maximise our own preference-satisfaction, meaning that, logically, we should do the same for others.

    I am sympathetic to Harris' argument, but not fully convinced by it. It depends on how broadly one defines 'morality'. Is it not enough to simply observe an 'is', such as that suffering is inherently bad, and that the flourishing of sentient beings is inherently good? I don't think so, so I do believe in the distinction between is and ought. At the same time, if morality really is about 'good' and 'bad', then Harris' argument isn't as weak as it may seem. Indeed, Foot and Anscombe have both argued that people ascribe too much power to the word 'ought' - it isn't some magical binding force.

    If we're in the business of observing what is good and bad (relativists, for instance), and relativists do believe that some things are at least subjectively right and wrong, then when it comes down to it, well-being and suffering can be shown to be right and wrong, as Harris and others have shown. The alternative is moral nihilism, whereby you would say that your own well-being and your own suffering aren't even good or bad. But, the trap for them is that they still aim to maximise their own preference-satisfaction, despite logic telling us that their own preference-satisfaction matters no more than anyone else's. They would argue that it doesn't matter at all, yet they still can't get out of the trap. Seeing as they're in the trap, they should, logically, be aiming to maximise the preference-satisfaction of everyone else, in accordance with logic.

    You also say that the fact that sentient beings want to avoid suffering doesn't mean that suffering is an objective moral wrong. Yet, it is wrong to them, and to deny that it is wrong is to deny reality - if something is wrong for someone, it is wrong, full-stop. This wrong may be outweighed by more rights, but it is still wrong.
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    (Original post by viddy9)
    I've already given it. Every sentient being aims to maximise its own preference-satisfaction, yet there is no logical justification for putting one's own preference-satisfaction above that of other people's. Thus, if we are to aim to maximise our own preference-satisfaction - which it is impossible not to do - it follows that we should do so for others - to do otherwise would be to put our own preference-satisfaction above that of other people's.
    Yes but why should I care? There is no reason why we have to care about anyone else/thing. There is no god telling us to. We are jut a configuration of atoms with sentience.

    I would agree that your moral philosophy is the "correct" one myself. But the point is that we make a choice to go along with it. We don't have to do anything.
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    (Original post by viddy9)
    I've already given it. Every sentient being aims to maximise its own preference-satisfaction, yet there is no logical justification for putting one's own preference-satisfaction above that of other people's. Thus, if we are to aim to maximise our own preference-satisfaction - which it is impossible not to do - it follows that we should do so for others - to do otherwise would be to put our own preference-satisfaction above that of other people's.
    Neither is there any logical justification for not putting one's own preference-satisfaction above that of other people's. So neither does it follow that aiming to maximise our own preference-satisfaction means we should do so for others.
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    (Original post by viddy9)
    I've already given it. Every sentient being aims to maximise its own preference-satisfaction, yet there is no logical justification for putting one's own preference-satisfaction above that of other people's. Thus, if we are to aim to maximise our own preference-satisfaction - which it is impossible not to do - it follows that we should do so for others - to do otherwise would be to put our own preference-satisfaction above that of other people's.

    Ethics is about answering the question "how are we to live?", and the above argument tells us the correct way to live.



    My argument doesn't fall prey to the is-ought distinction. My argument simply tells us the correct way to live given the facts about the universe. Call it morality, call it whatever you want: ethics to me aims to answer the question "how am I to live?". It so happens that there isn't a sentient being out there who doesn't think that preference-satisfaction is a good thing, and that we can't not aim to maximise our own preference-satisfaction, meaning that, logically, we should do the same for others.

    I am sympathetic to Harris' argument, but not fully convinced by it. It depends on how broadly one defines 'morality'. Is it not enough to simply observe an 'is', such as that suffering is inherently bad, and that the flourishing of sentient beings is inherently good? I don't think so, so I do believe in the distinction between is and ought. At the same time, if morality really is about 'good' and 'bad', then Harris' argument isn't as weak as it may seem. Indeed, Foot and Anscombe have both argued that people ascribe too much power to the word 'ought' - it isn't some magical binding force.

    If we're in the business of observing what is good and bad (relativists, for instance), and relativists do believe that some things are at least subjectively right and wrong, then when it comes down to it, well-being and suffering can be shown to be right and wrong, as Harris and others have shown. The alternative is moral nihilism, whereby you would say that your own well-being and your own suffering aren't even good or bad. But, the trap for them is that they still aim to maximise their own preference-satisfaction, despite logic telling us that their own preference-satisfaction matters no more than anyone else's. They would argue that it doesn't matter at all, yet they still can't get out of the trap. Seeing as they're in the trap, they should, logically, be aiming to maximise the preference-satisfaction of everyone else, in accordance with logic.

    You also say that the fact that sentient beings want to avoid suffering doesn't mean that suffering is an objective moral wrong. Yet, it is wrong to them, and to deny that it is wrong is to deny reality - if something is wrong for someone, it is wrong, full-stop. This wrong may be outweighed by more rights, but it is still wrong.
    But we are aiming here to find ontological grounding for moral values and duties, in something that is truly objective, and completely independent of human thought or desire. In order for you to say "we have an objective duty to maximise everyone's preference-satisfaction", you would have to explain where that duty stems from and what makes it objectively true. You may consider it illogical to put our own preferences above others, but even if true, that wouldn't mean that doing so is a moral evil. Plenty of things humans do are illogical, but morally neutral; there is no objective moral requirement that we act logically. I don't agree with the statement either; there are perfectly logical reasons why humans put their own personal preferences above those of others.

    Suffering, again, is not an objectively moral wrong, it is merely a descriptive state, an "is". There doesn't have to be any moral value attributed to it at all. WLC explains this in the debate, and Harris didn't have a response; he simply asserts that creatures flourishing = moral goodness, which is unfounded.
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    (Original post by Ishea16)
    I believe right and wrong depends on how it affects people around you,
    if your actions will hurt someone then that's wrong,
    if it will make someone happy then chances are you are probably doing the right thing.
    You sound like a pussy
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    (Original post by Lucasium)
    You sound like a pussy
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    (Original post by RobML)
    Quite an empty argument. Why is hurting people wrong?
    Because it is (it's not really wrong to hurt people, sometimes it might be right to hurt some peoplet. But let's say that other people's suffering matters as much as your own suffering matters). There's no non-circular way to answer this question. Just as there is no non-circular way to answer the question of whether other people really are real.
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    (Original post by Sisuphos)
    Because it is (it's not really wrong to hurt people, sometimes it might be right to hurt some peoplet. But let's say that other people's suffering matters as much as your own suffering matters). There's no non-circular way to answer this question. Just as there is no non-circular way to answer the question of whether other people really are real.
    The reason to accept other people exist and are concious is that to not do so would have the potential to create massive harm (accepting it has no potential for harm). It's kind of a parallel of Pascall's wager. I can't see how you can apply this to the wrongness and rightness of things.
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    (Original post by RobML)
    The reason to accept other people exist and are concious is that to not do so would have the potential to create massive harm (accepting it has no potential for harm).
    I'm confused.

    You believe that "other people are real" should be accepted as true to prevent massive harm?? or should it be accepted because it is harmless to accept it?
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    (Original post by Sisuphos)
    I'm confused.

    You believe that "other people are real" should be accepted as true to prevent massive harm?? or should it be accepted because it is harmless to accept it?
    Well, to accept there are other minds like yours means you also accept they are capable of suffering. To think otherwise would lead one to act without considering others (and we all know how that goes down)

    Also, I don't believe that it is definitely unfalsifiable whether other minds exist or not. What you need to do is show that mental states are nothing but a correlate of physical states, and to do this you need to show that the non-physical has no way of interacting with the physical, which does seem to be falsifiable (also, showing that the non-physical may interact wth the physical is a problem that no philosophers have convincingly overcome).
    Excuse me if I'm not making sense (v. tired)
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    (Original post by RobML)
    Well, to accept there are other minds like yours means you also accept they are capable of suffering. To think otherwise would lead one to act without considering others (and we all know how that goes down)
    Right so you think that not accepting that other people are real has massive negative consequences. You think that's a reason to accept that the statement "other people are real" is true.

    But the same is true with the statement "other people's suffering matters" or "it's wrong to hurt other people". Not accepting it would lead to massive negative consequences .

    You had already assumed that people suffering is a negative consequence we should care about which is why you think there's reason to accept the truth of the statement "other people are real".

    But anyway I just wanted to make sure I understood you because the point is that it is definitely no reason to accept statements as true just because of possible consequences. It may be reason to pretend that a statement is true only to avoid disaster (although Pascal would have wanted sincere belief in God to avoid hell. God presumably would know who the true believers were and who were pretending to believe just to be saved in case He existed) but it's not reason to accept that it's actually true. Maybe that's what you meant.

    Also, I don't believe that it is definitely unfalsifiable whether other minds exist or not. What you need to do is show that mental states are nothing but a correlate of physical states, and to do this you need to show that the non-physical has no way of interacting with the physical, which does seem to be falsifiable (also, showing that the non-physical may interact wth the physical is a problem that no philosophers have convincingly overcome).
    Excuse me if I'm not making sense (v. tired)
    I don't see the relevance of this though. Nobody said that you don't have a brain or that your consciousness doesn't correlate with an actual physical brain. In fact, you may really be, ultimately, just a brain and nothing else. Your body might not really exist. Your consciousness is caused by an actual physical brain somewhere in the universe. But that's the only thing that exists, that physical brain which is causing or creating in some sense, your consciousness. Nothing else exists, not other people and definitely no other conscious, actual people.
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    (Original post by Sisuphos)
    Nothing else exists, not other people and definitely no other conscious, actual people.
    This is wrong, i'm afraid.
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    Thanks for all your responses.

    (Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
    Yes but why should I care? There is no reason why we have to care about anyone else/thing. There is no god telling us to. We are jut a configuration of atoms with sentience.
    There is a reason why we should care about others, but you're right that there's no reason to follow reason. Essentially, you're asking the question "why follow logic" or "why follow the correct moral philosophy?".

    To which I would reply: asking the question "why follow logic" is circular, because you're expecting a logical answer.

    This may not satisfy you, or the other posters, but as I said earlier, I think that the word "ought" is erroneously expected to have magical powers and compel us to do something, but it doesn't.

    My argument is that there is an objective moral system, or at least a "correct" one, but that there's no compulsion to follow it. But, then you'd be doing something "wrong", or "incorrect", which is the whole point.

    (Original post by RobML)
    Neither is there any logical justification for not putting one's own preference-satisfaction above that of other people's. So neither does it follow that aiming to maximise our own preference-satisfaction means we should do so for others.
    There is a justification - why should my preferences matter but those of other beings? A rational being would ask: What is the real nature of the situation of myself among numerous others? Is it really rational for me to care more about what happens to me than to other people?

    Consider that each other person's wants are just as real to them - indeed, "just as real," period - as yours are to you. That you experience what happens to you differently than what happens to them is just a subjective illusion. Furthermore, your reference to yourself as "I" and to others as he or she is a grammatical illusion of relative application. There is not a difference in kind between an "I" versus a "he" or "she" like there is between circles and squares. A being who seeks objectivity must believe that the feelings of others as real and valid as her own, and that "there is no inherent specialness about 'my' feelings or desires."

    (Original post by VV Cephei A)
    But we are aiming here to find ontological grounding for moral values and duties, in something that is truly objective, and completely independent of human thought or desire. In order for you to say "we have an objective duty to maximise everyone's preference-satisfaction", you would have to explain where that duty stems from and what makes it objectively true. You may consider it illogical to put our own preferences above others, but even if true, that wouldn't mean that doing so is a moral evil. Plenty of things humans do are illogical, but morally neutral; there is no objective moral requirement that we act logically. I don't agree with the statement either; there are perfectly logical reasons why humans put their own personal preferences above those of others.
    Without conscious life, morality isn't going to exist. So, if your definition of "objective" is "completely independent of human thought or desire", then you won't find what you're looking for. What I've outlined is the correct way to live, and seeing as ethics is concerned, ultimately, with the question "how are we to live?", I think this provides an answer - the answer.

    As I was saying to ChaoticButterly, asking "why ask logically?" is a circular argument, because you're expecting a logical answer. In other words, you're presupposing the existence of logic by just participating in this discussion. If you really want to be sceptical about logic, then go ahead, but then you'd have to withdraw yourself from arena of debate.

    There's no compulsion in my system of ethics, but that's besides the point: one can fail to maximise the preference-satisfaction of all sentient beings, but then one would be doing something illogical and incorrect.

    I'd like to hear some of the logical reasons people have for putting their preference-satisfaction above that of others.
 
 
 
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