Is Morality Black and White? Watch

Paranoid_Glitch
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I would think that if you conform to a religion, it may be, but in general is it?
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claireestelle
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For me i've always seen it to be grey. (i've never really conformed to a religion if that adds any information).
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queenint
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There are no such thing as morals. They don't exist objectively.
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Kindred
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No. On the whole there are good, bad and neutral things and in ordinary circumstances these would be pretty black and white with neutral being innaction and having no colour. Killing is wrong, giving is good etc.
In some circumstances however this changes. In general most religions and people would believe it is okay to harm somebody in the defense of yourself or another person for instance, despite harming people being considered wrong. This is something that is even reflected in law. In some religions and for some people thses circumstances are more rigidly set out, but for some it is eft somewhat more ambiguous. Still, in any case there are shades of grey.

In a black and white world you would be just as wrong for shooting the person who tried to shoot somebody as they would be if they shot the person. In reality though, the good of helping somebody and the bad of harming somebody mix to make grey.

There are no interactions in reality that have only one influence. They may be only subtle, but any decision has at least some mix of black and white. This doesn't always mean it will end in an ambiguous grey outcome, but it at least means that you have different shades of black and white.

Also, in a black and white world you could say that all good and bad things would be seen as just as good or just as bad as others. Stealing a sandwich would be just as bad as killing someody, because there are no shades or levels to badness.
Stealing a sandwich though is seen as a lesser bad act than killing becaus it has less consequence and more grey.
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skunkboy
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Morality is about how to act according to reality. So It all depends on 2 questions.

1. What is reality? Black or White?

2. How to know such reality? 5 senses? the sixth sense?

People have got different senses and beliefs. Some blind. Some deaf. Some are psychos. Some are psychics. Some are materialists. Some are idealists. So their realities are quite dissimilar. That's why people have got various standards of morality. :-)

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Yaboi
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(Original post by elizah)
There are no such thing as morals. They don't exist objectively.
This if we're talking about a 'moral compass'
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da_nolo
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Yes, morals are black and white. They are the acts and thoughts of what we "ought to do" and "ought not to do"
The only thing that differs is what a person is willing to do. We can all come to know what is moral (right or wrong), but accepting it and applying it is the part that gets us trap.

Some may say no. Providing a good and bad thing to make a grey area. Or that with so many differences in culture and practice - that we can only come to conclusion that morals are subjective at best.


(Original post by Kindred)
No. On the whole there are good, bad and neutral things and in ordinary circumstances these would be pretty black and white with neutral being innaction and having no colour. Killing is wrong, giving is good etc.
In some circumstances however this changes. In general most religions and people would believe it is okay to harm somebody in the defense of yourself or another person for instance, despite harming people being considered wrong. This is something that is even reflected in law. In some religions and for some people these circumstances are more rigidly set out, but for some it is left somewhat more ambiguous. Still, in any case there are shades of grey.

In a black and white world you would be just as wrong for shooting the person who tried to shoot somebody as they would be if they shot the person. In reality though, the good of helping somebody and the bad of harming somebody mix to make grey.
Knowledge is ours to obtain through thought.
In some cases, black and white are just misunderstood. In situations of self defense, perhaps these are not grey as it is an act opposite of acting as aggressor or attacker. A person's mentality and activity within a confrontation is not the same.

We can look at the affects of violence and killings have on a normal brain to consider self defense to be near that "edge" of morality. As violence changes how a person feels and thinks though this could occur quick or slow. For many actions a person may take during a confrontation can alter their persona into an attacker.

Considering how an act affects participants and persona of participants could lead to clearer moral understanding.


There are no interactions in reality that have only one influence. They may be only subtle, but any decision has at least some mix of black and white. This doesn't always mean it will end in an ambiguous grey outcome, but it at least means that you have different shades of black and white.

Also, in a black and white world you could say that all good and bad things would be seen as just as good or just as bad as others. Stealing a sandwich would be just as bad as killing somebody, because there are no shades or levels to badness.
Stealing a sandwich though is seen as a lesser bad act than killing because it has less consequence and more grey.
How much an act harms another is a guide to morality just as considering how much an act harms the advancing agent or the individual committed to an immoral act. Killing is not just worst than stealing for how much damage it may inflict on a wide arrange of people, but it removes at least one individuals ability to live. The ultimate prize and gift we can enjoy.

Stealing Food may be considered as less damaging - therefore closest to the "line" which we might (and many have) try to separate good and bad. There are several cultures that consider certain acts as more forgiving than others, in which stealing food has been identified as an act that is easier to forgive. These cultures influence western society today. Likewise, some are called to feed the thief. Our ability to forgive does not negate whether or not an act is bad, however.
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da_nolo
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(Original post by elizah)
There are no such thing as morals. They don't exist objectively.
Based on?


(Original post by skunkboy)
Morality is about how to act according to reality. So It all depends on 2 questions.

1. What is reality? Black or White?

2. How to know such reality? 5 senses? the sixth sense?

People have got different senses and beliefs. Some blind. Some deaf. Some are psychos. Some are psychics. Some are materialists. Some are idealists. So their realities are quite dissimilar. That's why people have got various standards of morality. :-)
In all examples provided, reality is the same. What differs is only our perception of reality, which does not reflect what reality is. For reality is existence. There is always something beyond our ability of observation.

This is same for truth. That which is true is always true. False is always false. Our desires or thoughts do not change this.

This is same for morality.
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Kindred
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(Original post by da_nolo)
Yes, morals are black and white. They are the acts and thoughts of what we "ought to do" and "ought not to do"
The only thing that differs is what a person is willing to do. We can all come to know what is moral (right or wrong), but accepting it and applying it is the part that gets us trap.

Some may say no. Providing a good and bad thing to make a grey area. Or that with so many differences in culture and practice - that we can only come to conclusion that morals are subjective at best.



Knowledge is ours to obtain through thought.
In some cases, black and white are just misunderstood. In situations of self defense, perhaps these are not grey as it is an act opposite of acting as aggressor or attacker. A person's mentality and activity within a confrontation is not the same.

We can look at the affects of violence and killings have on a normal brain to consider self defense to be near that "edge" of morality. As violence changes how a person feels and thinks though this could occur quick or slow. For many actions a person may take during a confrontation can alter their persona into an attacker.

Considering how an act affects participants and persona of participants could lead to clearer moral understanding.


How much an act harms another is a guide to morality just as considering how much an act harms the advancing agent or the individual committed to an immoral act. Killing is not just worst than stealing for how much damage it may inflict on a wide arrange of people, but it removes at least one individuals ability to live. The ultimate prize and gift we can enjoy.

Stealing Food may be considered as less damaging - therefore closest to the "line" which we might (and many have) try to separate good and bad. There are several cultures that consider certain acts as more forgiving than others, in which stealing food has been identified as an act that is easier to forgive. These cultures influence western society today. Likewise, some are called to feed the thief. Our ability to forgive does not negate whether or not an act is bad, however.
That is an interesting perspective and I can cetinaly see it as something people could believe, but personally I still see that morality doesn't just cover an act but also it's motivations and with such a vast variety of possible motivation there is just no way to can make it black and white, I think we're differing on that motivation part. I agree that certian acts are inherintely good or bad and tat could be pretty black and white, but in the real world I don't think you can seperate an action from a motivation to get moraity. I think morality IS that cultural viewpoint or specific motivation more than it is the action itself.

I guess the common kid's conundrem of white lies is a good example. Lieing is such a complex idea fir morality that it's been split into white lies and big lies. And although diseption is bad and thus lieing is bad I really don't see that you can put "your new hair looks lovely" into the same group as "that man raped me" becaue the motivation is so very different, even if the act is the same.

I still found it really interesting hearing your side, and I would agree that although it's not completely black and white most (acts their motivations) can be at least loosly catogorised as "good" or "bad", even if there are further complexities to consider within that. I just think we disagree a bit too much on where morality comes from and what exactly you are trying to catagorise. In a way I think we would be arguing two different points.
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da_nolo
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(Original post by Kindred)
That is an interesting perspective and I can cetinaly see it as something people could believe, but personally I still see that morality doesn't just cover an act but also it's motivations and with such a vast variety of possible motivation there is just no way to can make it black and white, I think we're differing on that motivation part. I agree that certian acts are inherintely good or bad and tat could be pretty black and white, but in the real world I don't think you can seperate an action from a motivation to get moraity. I think morality IS that cultural viewpoint or specific motivation more than it is the action itself.

I guess the common kid's conundrem of white lies is a good example. Lieing is such a complex idea fir morality that it's been split into white lies and big lies. And although diseption is bad and thus lieing is bad I really don't see that you can put "your new hair looks lovely" into the same group as "that man raped me" becaue the motivation is so very different, even if the act is the same.

I still found it really interesting hearing your side, and I would agree that although it's not completely black and white most (acts their motivations) can be at least loosly catogorised as "good" or "bad", even if there are further complexities to consider within that. I just think we disagree a bit too much on where morality comes from and what exactly you are trying to catagorise. In a way I think we would be arguing two different points.
Thank you.
To point out, I did say acts and thoughts. Motivation or the reason why an act is done,does in deed influence how we approach the act. I would say it is still our ability to forgive an act (since this is most common way to measure and recognize wrong doing) that portrays an act or thought as being more or less bad.

Easier to apply empathy for someone stealing to feed a family than it is for a person that just sees it as a way to get rich or have fun. However, like in cases of self defense where situations are more unclear, motivation as you call it, portrays when and how a person is no longer a victim but attacker. I identified this earlier as persona as I think this is how we may identify motivation. Unfortunately, much of this is only identifiable or at least more easily identified by action. Like shooting a person when they no longer pose a threat. But of coarse "posing a threat" is a difficult thing to identify as well.

I understand your final sentences and would agree we are seeing this at different points. There are indeed complexities within an event or act as well. which is why morality is so difficult.

Thanks again. have a fine day.
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queenint
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(Original post by da_nolo)
Based on?



In all examples provided, reality is the same. What differs is only our perception of reality, which does not reflect what reality is. For reality is existence. There is always something beyond our ability of observation.

This is same for truth. That which is true is always true. False is always false. Our desires or thoughts do not change this.

This is same for morality.
Yeah, but that's based on the assumption that reality is inherently objective, which is easily debunkable through a sceptical approach. We accept reality as it is presented to us by our consciousness but we have no way of knowing if our consciousness carries reliability and thus we have no way of knowing whether reality objectively exists or whether it doesn't. Your assumptions of reality and morality and truth are fundamentally based on what your consciousness perceives.

Reality and truth are not conceptually interchangeable. Nor is morality.

In some Middle Eastern countries, female genital mutilation is considered common practice and moral.
In the West, we'd consider that to be barbaric.
Which one is more moral?

It's not enough to jump to conclusions by saying that "people don't know anything and because people don't know anything yet some things are true that means that morality and reality and truth and everything else imperceptible to us and our consciousness is 100% TRUE AND EXISTS".

It's more nuanced and contextual than that.
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da_nolo
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(Original post by elizah)
Yeah, but that's based on the assumption that reality is inherently objective, which is easily debunkable through a sceptical approach. We accept reality as it is presented to us by our consciousness but we have no way of knowing if our consciousness carries reliability and thus we have no way of knowing whether reality objectively exists or whether it doesn't. Your assumptions of reality and morality and truth are fundamentally based on what your consciousness perceives.

Reality and truth are not conceptually interchangeable. Nor is morality.
I do not believe myself to using reality, truth, or morality interchangeably. I only understand that for things to exist, they are or are not. I would not say these things are interchangeable as some aspects differ. But All three either exist or do not exist. They are or are not.

In order for A to exist, we do not need to be aware of it. this would be our consciousness, no? Our ability to be aware to some thing. Even if our consciousness is partially aware of A, only our ability to comprehend A changes.

The skeptical approach commends what I have already stated. That our concept of what is does not portray that is with 100% accuracy. We perceive portions of it. So with something being objective, difference in perceptions can appear to be contradictions.

This issue comes up with police investigations when multiple witnesses describe the same event differently.

In some Middle Eastern countries, female genital mutilation is considered common practice and moral.
In the West, we'd consider that to be barbaric.
Which one is more moral?
We can come to an agreement on matters of morality though it can be obscured by opinion.

One thing to remember is that not everything existed at the same time. This adds in challenge to understanding something to being something we "ought to" or "ought not to."

It's not enough to jump to conclusions by saying that "people don't know anything and because people don't know anything yet some things are true that means that morality and reality and truth and everything else imperceptible to us and our consciousness is 100% TRUE AND EXISTS".

It's more nuanced and contextual than that.
That is not what I did nor said.
How bout this...our opinion is not the basis for something being subjective or objective.
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queenint
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(Original post by da_nolo)
I do not believe myself to using reality, truth, or morality interchangeably. I only understand that for things to exist, they are or are not. I would not say these things are interchangeable as some aspects differ. But All three either exist or do not exist. They are or are not.

In order for A to exist, we do not need to be aware of it. this would be our consciousness, no? Our ability to be aware to some thing. Even if our consciousness is partially aware of A, only our ability to comprehend A changes.

The skeptical approach commends what I have already stated. That our concept of what is does not portray that is with 100% accuracy. We perceive portions of it. So with something being objective, difference in perceptions can appear to be contradictions.

This issue comes up with police investigations when multiple witnesses describe the same event differently.

We can come to an agreement on matters of morality though it can be obscured by opinion.

One thing to remember is that not everything existed at the same time. This adds in challenge to understanding something to being something we "ought to" or "ought not to."


That is not what I did nor said.
How bout this...our opinion is not the basis for something being subjective or objective.
I don't think you fully read, or understood what I wrote.
Your assumptions of morality, of truth, and of reality is based on what your consciousness perceives.
You believe that morality exists because you've encountered something people like to call "morality" in the past.
You believe that reality exists because your consciousness provides you with a certain reality and you've read about it in books and heard people describe "reality".
You believe that truth exists because your consciousness has perceived what your consciousness believes to be the truth.
All these have a fundamental basis in your consciousness.
But since our consciousness can be questioned, so can the existence of objective truth and objective reality and objective morality.
They exist in your consciousness but you have no way of knowing whether they exist "objectively" or not.

"We can come to an agreement on matters of morality though it can be obscured by opinion"
Like what? I'd like to think that most people have morals, but all these have a fundamental basis in cultural and social context.
A 19-year old woman from Norway does not have the same morals as a 43-year old man from Somalia.
Since these morals exist subjectively in their minds, and they inherently have a basis in consciousness, there is no way for us to discern what is right and what is wrong.

Furthermore, your premise raises other questions as well: How do we discern these objective morals?
You argue that humans cannot 100% perceive "objective reality", that we only gain a very fragmentary view of reality. If that premise is true, then we can not perceive objective morals either.
So what exactly is the point? How does this benefit humanity in any way?
I mean, I only receive a very fragmentary piece of reality through my consciousness.
And, you know, morals exist objectively independently of my opinion.
And money, you know, has been proven to be good for our OBJECTIVE REALITY™.
So, I'd better go and rob that wealthy man for all that he's worth, because I'm a silly human who doesn't know anything about OBJECTIVE MORALITY.
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latisha88
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How bout this...our opinion is not the basis for something being subjective or objective.
If not for something being subjective or objective then, there is no opinion at all. People reason out by our experience, influence and based on facts.
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da_nolo
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[QUOTE=elizah;68376574]I don't think you fully read, or understood what I wrote.
Your assumptions of morality, of truth, and of reality is based on what your consciousness perceives.[Quote]
Yes, I get what you are trying to say. On those stances, I am either correct or incorrect in my claim. How I perceive each to be influences how I approach each and explain them. However, whether reality is as I said or is not would not be influenced by my perspective.

For example, I tell you my nails are black. Either my nails are actually black or they are not. Me thinking they are black - since I am blind and some jerk lied to me doesn't influence whether or not they are black.

I say, morality is as such. Reality is as such. We do not determine the world around us just because we think the world is a certain way.

You believe that morality exists because you've encountered something people like to call "morality" in the past.
No. the word morality conveys a concept that existed long before the word. Morality, such as knowledge, is learned. Through philosophical discussion we may come to a conclusion that we "ought to" or "ought not to." In order to come to this conclusion(s) we would have to recognize there are two possible outcomes.


You believe that reality exists because your consciousness provides you with a certain reality and you've read about it in books and heard people describe "reality".
If I believe reality exists. this whole time I have been saying that IF reality exists, it either does or does not. NO partial. NO grey area. No - well...its sort of okay or exist. which is comparable to TRUTH. Which is comparable to MORALITY. in the sense that things are or are not.

If A is not B and B is not A. then in any solution you have is either A or B. not both.

You believe that truth exists because your consciousness has perceived what your consciousness believes to be the truth.
No. I believe things exist or do not exist. Truth is a concept that things are correct or incorrect. They can not be both. In areas where they SEEM to be both, there are unknown factors include and we would not have a full picture.

for example. Ted and Bill each look at half a painting. Ted sees his half. Bill the other. Ted says a woman in the painting is wearing red dress. Bill says Blue. Is either statement true? There are 4 possible outcomes. Either the dress is blue, red, neither, or both. Excellent!!

All these have a fundamental basis in your consciousness.
But since our consciousness can be questioned, so can the existence of objective truth and objective reality and objective morality.
Key word. questioned. Even for a thing to be questioned, does not mean that thing does not exist. Because even your question would be product of your consciousness. Which you just stated can't be trusted. Well now there is a world of hurt.

Asking questions, however, may be the best way to use our critical thinking skills and develop some understanding of the world around us.

Thanks Aristotle. :beer:

They exist in your consciousness but you have no way of knowing whether they exist "objectively" or not.
In order for your conscious to exist, it must exist in some reality that is independent from it.


"We can come to an agreement on matters of morality though it can be obscured by opinion"
Like what? I'd like to think that most people have morals, but all these have a fundamental basis in cultural and social context.
A 19-year old woman from Norway does not have the same morals as a 43-year old man from Somalia.
Since these morals exist subjectively in their minds, and they inherently have a basis in consciousness, there is no way for us to discern what is right and what is wrong.
The two may talk and come to a common agreement, but even then they would share a correct or incorrect opinion on an objective concept. Different opinions on a what morality is does not suggest subjective morality as it does not dismiss objective morality. All it expresses is that we may act and think opposite to what is or is not.

For example, if person G kills person K. Through educated discussion and study we may come to the conclusion:

" What primarily makes killing wrong is neither its effect on the murderer nor its effect on the victim’s friends and relatives, but its effect on the victim. The loss of one’s life is one of the greatest losses one can suffer. The loss of one’s life deprives one of all the experiences, activities, projects, and enjoyments which would otherwise have constituted one’s future. Therefore, killing someone is wrong, primarily because the killing inflicts (one of) the greatest possible losses on the victim."

Just because person G is aware to this statement or thought does not mean he/she has to abide. That is the characteristic of morals; it is not like a law by which we can not act against.

Furthermore, your premise raises other questions as well: How do we discern these objective morals?
You argue that humans cannot 100% perceive "objective reality", that we only gain a very fragmentary view of reality. If that premise is true, then we can not perceive objective morals either.
You just said in your previous post that reality and morality is not interchangeable. I have agreed on that statement as I only compare a single aspect about each.

I have stated through thought and study. Discussion and research. We may understand morality better.

So what exactly is the point? How does this benefit humanity in any way?
I mean, I only receive a very fragmentary piece of reality through my consciousness.
And, you know, morals exist objectively independently of my opinion.
And money, you know, has been proven to be good for our OBJECTIVE REALITY™.
Did you trade mark that yourself?
Look....why do we study? why do anything? To better ourselves. we do not need to better ourselves but growth in some direction will occur regardless. I find it better to work on inner peace and relationships. For me, this is fun. does it show?

For humanity? Clear conscious. More efficient living. etc.

So, I'd better go and rob that wealthy man for all that he's worth, because I'm a silly human who doesn't know anything about OBJECTIVE MORALITY.
Actually you would. I mean, ever heard of "good conscious?"
I never said nothing is known...which is described by "doesn't know anything."
I would not say you know nothing either. We all pertain some knowledge.
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miser
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I don't think it's black and white. If we think of an action, we can describe it as good or bad. For example, stealing a friend's laptop is pretty bad, whereas helping a stranger across the road is pretty good. However, killing someone is even worse than stealing a laptop, and risking your life to save someone is even better than helping a stranger across the road. This indicates that there's a spectrum of moral behaviour, where there is 'white' behaviour, 'black' behaviour, and everything in between.
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da_nolo
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(Original post by miser)
I don't think it's black and white. If we think of an action, we can describe it as good or bad. For example, stealing a friend's laptop is pretty bad, whereas helping a stranger across the road is pretty good. However, killing someone is even worse than stealing a laptop, and risking your life to save someone is even better than helping a stranger across the road. This indicates that there's a spectrum of moral behaviour, where there is 'white' behaviour, 'black' behaviour, and everything in between.
Doesn't this just indicate there are different ways we react to a given event?
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Cremated_Spatula
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Black and White reasoning: Killing is always bad.

My reasoning: I think sadism is always bad. Killing or torturing someone out of pleasure, even if it's out of revenge, is wrong, it adds to the a cycle of suffering that needs to end. Killing may sometimes be necessary, I think it should be considered a last resort.

Black and White morality is simple. It doesn't justify or explain, it doesn't take into account individual variables and context.
I find people who are extremely black and white in their views often resort to over-simplifying things and jumping to conclusions.
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queenint
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Yes, I get what you are trying to say. On those stances, I am either correct or incorrect in my claim. How I perceive each to be influences how I approach each and explain them. However, whether reality is as I said or is not would not be influenced by my perspective. For example, I tell you my nails are black. I say, morality is as such. Reality is as such. We do not determine the world around us just because we think the world is a certain way.
If your nails exist, then they are either black or not.
If objective morality exists, then it's either right or wrong to kill people.

But morality doesn't exist. It doesn't exist as some particle or atom out there in the universe, or as a force operating on its own. It's not a set of rules given to us by a divine power. Morality as a concept is an idea, a thought, an opinion. It exists in the realm of consciousness. If reality exists, then your nails exist as dead cells. They are something extended, but morality isn't. Morality is culturally defined by humans. Nothing is thus inherently moral or immoral. It lacks universal or relative truth.

Even for a thing to be questioned, does not mean that thing does not exist.
Yeah, but the burden of proof is on the individual making the claim. If it's questionable, on what basis should I then believe in it?

In order for your conscious to exist, it must exist in some reality that is independent from it.
Sure, but that reality could be a vacuum or somewhere else, and it is not by necessity this reality.


You just said in your previous post that reality and morality is not interchangeable. I have agreed on that statement as I only compare a single aspect about each.
They aren't interchangeable, but the idea of morality exists in this reality. It doesn't exist as some universal force outside of it.

I have stated through thought and study. Discussion and research. We may understand morality better.
brb let me google "is the oppression of women bad" and let's find out the culturally defined moral of it which is relevant today in 2k16 and neglect what scientists and philosophers and great minds said about it 2500 years ago

Did you trade mark that yourself?
Yes.

Look....why do we study? why do anything? To better ourselves. we do not need to better ourselves but growth in some direction will occur regardless. I find it better to work on inner peace and relationships. For me, this is fun. does it show?
I like how you think. But. Studying is not the same thing as objective morality. In my opinion, we can NEVER discern what these objective morals may be because "study and research" doesn't work because that's affected by cultural and social context. Morality is affected by emotions and emotions are affected by cultural exposure.

Actually you would. I mean, ever heard of "good conscious?"
I never said nothing is known...which is described by "doesn't know anything."
I would not say you know nothing either. We all pertain some knowledge.
But how do I know if killing that old lady and stealing her money is wrong or right? I mean, I may be wrong and I may have an incorrect idea of Objective Morality.
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mrsuperguy
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I think this depends on where you get your understanding of morals from. Some people might say that there exists an objective moral standard (this may be god but not nesscerily) however being a moral nihlist I don't. I think morality is created in everyone's individual moral code and a given society's aggreagte of the morals codes of its population is translated into binding law. This means it's in theory possible to create a moral code that everyone agrees upon that covers every single possible eventuality which would mean you can objectivley judge the morality of anything against it. In lieu of this, it really becomes about how you interpret your own moral code and/or the collective moral code of everyone involved in the discussion which means even once you've aggreed on a moral code, you have to agree on the best interpretation of it. In this case there are definatley grey areas.
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Rock (198)
24.15%
Pop (202)
24.63%
Jazz (33)
4.02%
Classical (46)
5.61%
Hip-Hop (155)
18.9%
Electronic (54)
6.59%
Indie (132)
16.1%

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