Moral Relativity?

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I believe in moral relativity, since it strikes me as the only rational way of looking at things. That said, if everyone can choose, then everyone has to be allowed their own choice. So no theft, murder, exploration (at least, not without consent), and such, as that interferes with others' ability to choose for themselves.

theheroofaction:

I mean, to avoid flaming between any other moral objectionists as to where exactly the line is crossed I'll invoke godwin.
Now, we all hate the third reich,right?
They're a relatively small group who did what just about everyone would agree is wrong to what is a much larger group, that being everyone else.
Hence, they are objectively bad, pretty simple logic to that.

Wrong - you can find people who wouldn't agree with you. You can only determine that 3rd reich was wrong subjectivily. And judging from how people feel about the atrocities done by the US past to present, I'd say that had the Axis won the war, most people would be ok with what had taken place.

Smiley Face:
2)

Axolotl:

If there's an objective morality, what is it? Where did it come from? Whose is it?

I don't know what it is, just like I don't know what the reality is, that doesn't mean it's not objective. As the where it comes from, most likely it'll come from us, just a mathematics has. And as to ehose it is, nobodies, it'sw not something that can be owned, it's an objective concept it doesn't belong to anyone.

Here's the problem with your argument - you're saying that even though YOU don't know what objective morality is, and [extrapolating here] NO ONE has been able to demonstrate it, that doesn't prove there isn't one.

That's not what I'm saying at all.

Arsen:
Murder is universally wrong, regardless of culture. Unless of course, it involves something in terms of warfare, societal need, etc. AKA: Spartans chucking their babies off of cliff sides, people needing to hang deserters, etc.

Your statement is a contradiction. You state that murder is universally wrong and then gives examples of why it isn't.

Mortai Gravesend:

JoJoDeathunter:

Mortai Gravesend:

Just declaring that doesn't make it true. What reason is there to believe that claim? You have no proof that it is so.

Kaulen Fuhs:

Prove it.

You can't, and that is the point.

Happier is not inherently better; your value system simply states it is.

Both of you are seriously asking me to prove that happiness is better?! Well, do you prefer being happy or unhappy? That should give you the answer ;-)

And just a heads up, but I'm going to bed now so any more replies from me won't come for the best part of half a day, take that as you will.

But that isn't proof. There is no reason to believe that whatever I desire is somehow an objective moral fact. This is especially evident since people's desires can conflict, so what people want clearly is not a consistent or reliable source for truth. Using what people prefer as a source of truth is quickly dismissed by it being contradictory.

People's desires do conflict, but there is always one single root towards the maximum happiness. I won't pretend to know what that always is, I believe I have a good idea but you would need to know everything to see the best course of action every time.

HardkorSB:

JoJoDeathunter:
Some people won't accept the truth if it's under their nose

You're talking about yourself, right?

JoJoDeathunter:
Well, do you prefer being happy or unhappy? That should give you the answer ;-)

I prefer to be happy but what brings me happiness, might bring you suffering, and vice versa.
Again, Jeffrey Dahmer was happy when he ate people. According to your "objective morality", that makes eating people good.

I think I'm done with this thread but just for laughs, answer me these simple questions:
1. Do you know the objective moral code?
2. If you do, what are the objective rules (all of them, not just examples) and do you follow it (why?/why not?)? If you don't, how do you know it exists?

1) Yes, I do.
2) Here is the entire list of objective rules I follow:

Do undo others as you would have them do to you

I follow it best I can. Questions?

JoJoDeathunter:

Mortai Gravesend:

JoJoDeathunter:

Both of you are seriously asking me to prove that happiness is better?! Well, do you prefer being happy or unhappy? That should give you the answer ;-)

And just a heads up, but I'm going to bed now so any more replies from me won't come for the best part of half a day, take that as you will.

But that isn't proof. There is no reason to believe that whatever I desire is somehow an objective moral fact. This is especially evident since people's desires can conflict, so what people want clearly is not a consistent or reliable source for truth. Using what people prefer as a source of truth is quickly dismissed by it being contradictory.

People's desires do conflict, but there is always one single root towards the maximum happiness. I won't pretend to know what that always is, I believe I have a good idea but you would need to know everything to see the best course of action every time.

There's no reaso nto believe there is one way to maximum happiness. Further, you have yet to establish that maximum happiness is best. So far your only argument for it involves people's desires. But I've pointed out that is a flawed basis to determine truth.

Cpu46:

MonkeyGH:

Cpu46:

I would argue that we are born with a sense of Empathy. Strong enough to promote the formation of society but weak enough to prevent us from sacrificing our own basic needs for the good of a complete stranger without one of our other needs being satisfied.

Empathy towards what? A subjective sense of wrongdoing? Not much use if something hard wired may or may not be true if the system it is used upon is subjective.

Morals would have to be objective and hard wired into our minds in order for empathy to work alongside it, it seems. :)

em·pa·thy   [em-puh-thee]
noun
1.
the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.

We feel empathy with others. We know how it feels to be slighted so we are less likely to slight others. People with less empathy will slight others more often while people with more will forego their own benefit to make sure they don't slight someone else. It is more or less the golden rule in its purest form.

How it feels to be slighted? As in something wrong? I thought that was subjective.

Logiclul:

If something is used for good, then is it not good? How else do we determine if something is good, if not by the results it produces?

Right, because the end justifies the means.

I guess if I followed what you're saying...that is, if our lives are subjective, and murder is alright if I justify it properly (since morals are subjective), what is wrong with me just (hypothetically) killing you right now, on the spot, to end this argument. That would be one less argument in the world, it would make me happy, and would prevent you from creating any strife with anyone. It seems like that would follow logically, right?

Neither relative or absolute morality are perfect. Relative allows people like Hitler to do what they do with a clear conscience, but according to absolute morality, killing him would have been a sin.

Morality is relative.
You kill someone in self defense VS. you kill someone because you enjoy it.
One is considered OK, the other is not. Some people think it's immoral to kill animals, some think of it as food.
There are no set morals, only those liked by most people. Most people are morally opposed to killing so killing is immoral, that's to say, murder.
Legal or not, on the other hand, is not relative. That's based on texts and the rational conclusion of what they mean (or at least they are supposed to be rational).

MonkeyGH:

Logiclul:

If something is used for good, then is it not good? How else do we determine if something is good, if not by the results it produces?

Right, because the end justifies the means.

I guess if I followed what you're saying...that is, if our lives are subjective, and murder is alright if I justify it properly (since morals are subjective), what is wrong with me just (hypothetically) killing you right now, on the spot, to end this argument. That would be one less argument in the world, it would make me happy, and would prevent you from creating any strife with anyone. It seems like that would follow logically, right?

Yeah, I guess from your point of view, it may be a good thing to kill me.

Also the fact that we can have a never-ending argument on whether or not "ends justify the means" proves that there is no objective morality.

Jakub324:
Neither relative or absolute morality are perfect. Relative allows people like Hitler to do what they do with a clear conscience, but according to absolute morality, killing him would have been a sin.

It isn't a matter of which morality is better, it is a matter of which morality is reality. Also morality doesn't allow actions to take place, it just gives us personal justification for those actions (which is yet another way of speaking to its subjectivity). You can't criticize relative to objective reality as flawed systems, but you can criticize morality as a whole and say that it is an evil device which does more harm than good.

Logiclul:

MonkeyGH:

Logiclul:

If something is used for good, then is it not good? How else do we determine if something is good, if not by the results it produces?

Right, because the end justifies the means.

I guess if I followed what you're saying...that is, if our lives are subjective, and murder is alright if I justify it properly (since morals are subjective), what is wrong with me just (hypothetically) killing you right now, on the spot, to end this argument. That would be one less argument in the world, it would make me happy, and would prevent you from creating any strife with anyone. It seems like that would follow logically, right?

Yeah, I guess from your point of view, it may be a good thing to kill me.

Also the fact that we can have a never-ending argument on whether or not "ends justify the means" proves that there is no objective morality.

Jakub324:
Neither relative or absolute morality are perfect. Relative allows people like Hitler to do what they do with a clear conscience, but according to absolute morality, killing him would have been a sin.

It isn't a matter of which morality is better, it is a matter of which morality is reality. Also morality doesn't allow actions to take place, it just gives us personal justification for those actions (which is yet another way of speaking to its subjectivity). You can't criticize relative to objective reality as flawed systems, but you can criticize morality as a whole and say that it is an evil device which does more harm than good.

Logiclul:

Let me ask you a few questions, to clarify what you are saying here.

1. At what point in life (after we become self-aware) do we start recognizing right and wrong? Is it when our parents tell us? Is it when we get disciplined for doing "wrong"? Is it when we are legally old enough to start having a responsibility to our respective government? From what you are saying, we should become aware of right and wrong when we DECIDE right and wrong, not when it is told us. Also, moral relativity dictates that since we are all different, we should be at best, reluctant, but in extreme cases absolutely refuse to obey any laws laid down by default. If we decide what is right and wrong, then it should vary from person to person, and why don't we all just say: "Heck with the government, I can drive as fast as I like."

2. At what point in history did civil governments arise and why? We know of capital punishment existing as far back as 6000 years ago. Capital punishment only exists to punish a wrong that everybody agrees is wrong. We have civil government to create a structured system of government, but why? Why should I obey the rules of the road, why should I pay taxes? Why should I not kill, or rape, or steal, or abuse? Why do people live by a standard that (if you are right, if morals are relative) we should all disagree on?

3. How did we come up with the idea that murder might be right or wrong? If morals are relative, murder shouldn't even come into the equation. We should just be able to go out and kill people helter skelter without any problem, and it should be a normal part of our life. If morals are relative, then we shouldn't even be talking about them, cause relative morals, are no morals at all. They would simply not exist. The very fact that we are talking about morals (relative or absolute) shows a natural tendancy to care, and that implies that there is a reason to care.

4. If MonkeyGH were to kill you to end this conversation, we know he would be arrested, charged, and convicted of murder, and be put on death-row, or get life (depending on where he lives). WHY? If it is morally alright to kill you, why would he be punished for it? The government would certainly disagree with you in saying it is alright. They would prosecute to the full extent, but based on what? An objective moral law.

5. Why are civil laws objective, but moral laws are subjective? A person with a high enough blood/alcohol content while driving will be arrested whether he is 4'1" and weighs 120 lbs or 7'0" and weighs 300 pounds. The authorities don't care about the individual human physiology. Their laws are objective, and absolute.

6. (This stems from #5) Why are the laws of the government absolute? The people who make the laws obviously agree that we need absolute values... but how did they get to that conclusion? Is it just random chance that created the 'urge' for our legislators to make laws and decide what is right and wrong? If that is the case, then it should not have happened. Because Rome did it, Greece did it, the Carolingians did it, England did it, America did it. Is that all random chance? NO! We looked at examples from history, to see how others did it WRONG, and then built from that!

7 (Last one) If morals are relative, why do we fight with people? If you believe that you are right, but you also believe that everyone else is right, why do you still argue and (either mentally or physically) fight with people? Don't tell me you don't, cause everybody does. But if everybody is right, why don't we all just get along? Because it is a logical fallacy. If you are right, then you think I am right too, and you also think that Muslims are right, and Hindus are right. But look at the problem there: Muslims believe that they are the only people who are right, which then excludes them from being right in your mind because that means that not everyone can be right. Well, what about hindus? They believe that you have to live a perfect life in order to advance higher into society. That makes them exclusivists and exludes them from being right in your mind. Take me, I think that there are moral absolutes... that makes me believe that you are wrong, and therefore you can't believe that I am right. All of a sudden you are the only person who can be right, cause if everyone else is, then you are automatically wrong. But think about it, if you are right again, then everyone else has to be right too, but that means that you have to exlude them for you to be right, and it starts the endless circle of a logical fallacy that can never ever work.

Grichnoch:

Logiclul:

Let me ask you a few questions, to clarify what you are saying here.

1. At what point in life (after we become self-aware) do we start recognizing right and wrong? Is it when our parents tell us? Is it when we get disciplined for doing "wrong"? Is it when we are legally old enough to start having a responsibility to our respective government? From what you are saying, we should become aware of right and wrong when we DECIDE right and wrong, not when it is told us. Also, moral relativity dictates that since we are all different, we should be at best, reluctant, but in extreme cases absolutely refuse to obey any laws laid down by default. If we decide what is right and wrong, then it should vary from person to person, and why don't we all just say: "Heck with the government, I can drive as fast as I like."

2. At what point in history did civil governments arise and why? We know of capital punishment existing as far back as 6000 years ago. Capital punishment only exists to punish a wrong that everybody agrees is wrong. We have civil government to create a structured system of government, but why? Why should I obey the rules of the road, why should I pay taxes? Why should I not kill, or rape, or steal, or abuse? Why do people live by a standard that (if you are right, if morals are relative) we should all disagree on?

3. How did we come up with the idea that murder might be right or wrong? If morals are relative, murder shouldn't even come into the equation. We should just be able to go out and kill people helter skelter without any problem, and it should be a normal part of our life. If morals are relative, then we should even be talking about them, cause relative morals, are no morals at all. They would simply not exist. The very fact that we are talking about morals (relative or absolute) shows a natural tendancy to care, and that implies that there is a reason to care.

4. If MonkeyGH were to kill you to end this conversation, we know he would be arrested, charged, and convicted of murder, and be put on death-row, or get life (depending on where he lives). WHY? If it is morally alright to kill you, why would he be punished for it? The government would certainly disagree with you in saying it is alright. They would prosecute to the full extent, but based on what? An objective moral law.

5. Why are civil laws objective, but moral laws are subjective? A person with a high enough blood/alcohol content while driving will be arrested whether he is 4'1" and weighs 120 lbs or 7'0" and weighs 300 pounds. The authorities don't care about the individual human physiology. Their laws are objective, and absolute.

6. (This stems from #5) Why are the laws of the government absolute? The people who make the laws obviously agree that we need absolute values... but how did they get to that conclusion? Is it just random chance that created the 'urge' for our legislators to make laws and decide what is right and wrong? If that is the case, then it should not have happened. Because Rome did it, Greece did it, the Carolingians did it, England did it, America did it. Is that all random chance? NO! We looked at examples from history, to see how others did it WRONG, and then built from that!

7 (Last one) If morals are relative, why do we fight with people? If you believe that you are right, but you also believe that everyone else is right, why do you still argue and (either mentally or physically) fight with people? Don't tell me you don't, cause everybody does. But if everybody is right, why don't we all just get along? Because it is a logical fallacy. If you are right, then you think I am right too, and you also think that Muslims are right, and Hindus are right. But look at the problem there: Muslims believe that they are the only people who are right, which then excludes them from being right in your mind because that means that not everyone can be right. Well, what about hindus? They believe that you have to live a perfect life in order to advance higher into society. That makes them exclusivists and exludes them from being right in your mind. Take me, I think that there are moral absolutes... that makes me believe that you are wrong, and therefore you can't believe that I am right. All of a sudden you are the only person who can be right, cause if everyone else is, then you are automatically wrong. But think about it, if you are right again, then everyone else has to be right too, but that means that you have to exlude them for you to be right, and it starts the endless circle of a logical fallacy that can never ever work.

Interesting... so allow me to try to summarize your points:

It is not possible for morals to be based on experience because there must be a base of morals with which one learns at some point during their childhood (which obviously would throw us into a vicious circle if we believed that every human in mankind learned from their parents once we got to "the beginning").

You then decide, that if it seems no way for humans to have created morals, that society couldn't have either, and that then those laws hold no value and should not be served. So from that, all laws (which you say are objective) are meaningless.

Your final point is using a false premise, which as you might then imagine makes it flawed, so I cannot summarize it in any serious fashion. My response is as follows:

I begin by tackling your claim that it is impossible for humans to naturally come up with their own morals. It is human instinct (animal instinct, even) to protect the young. This is essential to all life, as one must protect their young in order to preserve the species, which is prime.

i: It is human instinct to protect the young, and thus doing so is of the utmost importance.

We then move from that and declare the following theorem:

p: Things which endanger and otherwise hurt the young are bad.

Now, we make set T of all things which are now bad and immoral to do. This set contains things such as murder and (later in society) drunk driving.

Set T is our basic moral principles of life. They are things which all parents possess to some degree (there are exceptions to this, however those cases are a completely different chain which we can safely ignore for now) and thus are things which every child gets exposed to and then learns.

So this is probably where you go: "Logiclul! You have just proven that there exist, at some point, morals which are objectively true!" To which I reply: "Grichnoch, no, we have done nothing of the sort! What we have done is prove that there are morals which are very likely to be subjectively true for humans."

You see, you learn of Set T, but that was an influence. There are many influences which one may have, and your reaction to those influences decide your morals (note: your REACTIONS decide your morals, thus it is in your individual hands to decide, and are thus not objectively and universally true). Many people go to church, where they teach Set T exhaustively, and have another set called C which has you adhering to the rules of the Church.

Many people will be (and have been) quick to point out that C and T are not the same Sets (only perhaps, members of the church will argue with those people). What is true, however, is that for the most part (and essentially this is exclusively true for roman times and times predating the Roman Empire) Set C was highly supportive of T. That is to say, that the canon of the church would not direct you away from the original teachings of T.

This is easy to consider, as those who founded the church, only had T to their name! But humans have independent minds, and will expand on their knowledge. This is what likely caused multiple churches (I try not to dabble in religion here. If I would, it may make my point much easier to prove, however that would be controversial and I wish for a surely agreeable decision), as people say "If T, then things which I will call C".

Now it should be easy to see that from that, people began to go "If C, then perhaps things such which I will call D". D being some form of law or idea, naturally, and as experiences began to happen, began to conflict with, perhaps, E. D and E both stem from T (making T an irrefutable point), but they seem to draw different conclusions (which is not unusual in logic).

Now to your final point. Your flawed premise is the following:

p2: If there is subjective morals, then all morals are surely conflicted by all.

Which, is not true, as it is extremely common for people to adhere to Set T, the set of all basic morals. That is because we are born with them, as proven above. This lets us restrict ourselves to the law, as we know that the law was decided by people who knew Set T, and that it is good to adhere.

That isn't to say, however, that subjective morals don't cause arguments! Look at abortion, at every medical ethics committee, murder; all of them are highly debated as there is moral friction between two sides. One which has stemmed so far from Set T to say X, and one to say Y.

There are two sides primarily on this argument, which shows that subjective morals still allow people to agree while also causing disagreements. The law is simply decided by majority. Just because the majority says some action M is moral, doesn't mean that it is. As the minority will say that M is not moral, thus making M a subjectively moral action, just like all actions.

Hopefully this has cleared up any questions you may have, but if not, feel free to let me know.

MonkeyGH:

Cpu46:

MonkeyGH:

Empathy towards what? A subjective sense of wrongdoing? Not much use if something hard wired may or may not be true if the system it is used upon is subjective.

Morals would have to be objective and hard wired into our minds in order for empathy to work alongside it, it seems. :)

em·pa·thy   [em-puh-thee]
noun
1.
the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.

We feel empathy with others. We know how it feels to be slighted so we are less likely to slight others. People with less empathy will slight others more often while people with more will forego their own benefit to make sure they don't slight someone else. It is more or less the golden rule in its purest form.

How it feels to be slighted? As in something wrong? I thought that was subjective.

Slighted as in being deprived of something you have come to expect or deprived of one of your basic needs. Not at all subjective.

Cpu46:

MonkeyGH:

Cpu46:

em·pa·thy   [em-puh-thee]
noun
1.
the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.

We feel empathy with others. We know how it feels to be slighted so we are less likely to slight others. People with less empathy will slight others more often while people with more will forego their own benefit to make sure they don't slight someone else. It is more or less the golden rule in its purest form.

How it feels to be slighted? As in something wrong? I thought that was subjective.

Slighted as in being deprived of something you have come to expect or deprived of one of your basic needs. Not at all subjective.

And you're saying that in no way relates to something of the moral variety? It's just straight up, basic need things?

TheIronRuler:

lionrwal:
I was having a discussion with my friend about his justifications for piracy, and he told me a story about "moral relativity." Basically it went that these two people murdered someone, and they claimed that it was because of moral relativity, and the judge gave them a very short sentence instead of life. If you don't know what it is, it's the belief that you can't impose your own morals on someone because there are no set morals for anyone. This was literally his only justification.

I do believe that people have different sets of morals, but I don't buy that someone could believe murder is good.

So what's your take on moral relativity?

.
But... Rule of the Majority... In a Democracy, the Majority usually DOES impose their morals like they do in not letting Gays marry in most countries (And killing them in some).
But in a multi-party system, not a retarded one like the USA's, Minority groups will fight for the welfare of their own minority...
Pirates aren't a minority group whose rights need to be protected... They are criminals.

Not sure If I would say that pirates are a minority. Personally I don't think I've ever met a person who hasn't pirated at least one song.

Also morality and law are really two different things. Morals are things you follow because you feel that they are the right thing to do. Laws you must follow or face the courts.

Logiclul:

Great wall of text

"subjective morals still allow people to agree while also causing disagreements."

You and I already determined that objective things allow that as well...(colors).

Your entire argument against Grich could be applied to almost anything. Colors. Shapes. Things you previously listed as objective.

What is your criteria for something objective?

baconfist:

TheIronRuler:

lionrwal:
I was having a discussion with my friend about his justifications for piracy, and he told me a story about "moral relativity." Basically it went that these two people murdered someone, and they claimed that it was because of moral relativity, and the judge gave them a very short sentence instead of life. If you don't know what it is, it's the belief that you can't impose your own morals on someone because there are no set morals for anyone. This was literally his only justification.

I do believe that people have different sets of morals, but I don't buy that someone could believe murder is good.

So what's your take on moral relativity?

.
But... Rule of the Majority... In a Democracy, the Majority usually DOES impose their morals like they do in not letting Gays marry in most countries (And killing them in some).
But in a multi-party system, not a retarded one like the USA's, Minority groups will fight for the welfare of their own minority...
Pirates aren't a minority group whose rights need to be protected... They are criminals.

Not sure If I would say that pirates are a minority. Personally I don't think I've ever met a person who hasn't pirated at least one song.

Also morality and law are really two different things. Morals are things you follow because you feel that they are the right thing to do. Laws you must follow or face the courts.

But laws are based on morals, or else they wouldn't exist. You can't tell an officer: "Well yes sir, I broke in to this house, but I think it was morally ok to that." He would say: "No, it wasn't. The law decides right and wrong, not you."

lionrwal:
I was having a discussion with my friend about his justifications for piracy, and he told me a story about "moral relativity." Basically it went that these two people murdered someone, and they claimed that it was because of moral relativity, and the judge gave them a very short sentence instead of life. If you don't know what it is, it's the belief that you can't impose your own morals on someone because there are no set morals for anyone. This was literally his only justification.

I do believe that people have different sets of morals, but I don't buy that someone could believe murder is good.

So what's your take on moral relativity?

Tell him that moral relativity, while completely valid, is an an idealistic scenario that never addresses the consequences. Everyone assumes that morals exist simply to tell us what is right and wrong. While they do this, they do it for a reason; that is to help support and build social groups. Imagine a world where everyone didn't blink an eye at the idea of murdering, stealing, and so forth if it benefited them. It is unlikely society would have reached the point it has; or if the species would exist at all if this were the case.

Now he may state something to the effect that piracy isn't nearly as detrimental to society as physical theft or murder and couldn't possibly lead to the downfall of civilization. However that wasn't the argument he made, he made a argument for moral relativism, which is an impractical approach on real world situations. It also makes the assumptions that morals are a construct of the individual, which is arguably wrong and thus the entire argument can be said to be unsound.

I could go on, but I'll leave it with these brief remarks. Philosophical ideas, such as moral relativism, should be used to define, predict, categorize, explain, and so forth. It shouldn't be used as a scapegoat to do whatever you want as it is both meaningless and dangerous (you can use valid, and even sound arguments to justify virtually every action, even conflicting actions). The whole point of moral relativity is to state that morals are inherently meaningless as they are subject to each individuals viewpoint. However this is arguably not the case. Morals can be said to extend beyond an individual and are controlled by and in a sense created on a social group level.

MonkeyGH:

Logiclul:

Great wall of text

"subjective morals still allow people to agree while also causing disagreements."

You and I already determined that objective things allow that as well...(colors).

Your entire argument against Grich could be applied to almost anything. Colors. Shapes. Things you previously listed as objective.

What is your criteria for something objective?

No, what we determined is that objective morality can not exist, as there are moral disagreements wherein both sides of the argument are morally sound.

You'll have to explain how my argument can be applied to shapes, and how shapes are objectively moral (???).

Also this captcha is ridiculous. There's no way I can read that.

Navvan:

lionrwal:
I was having a discussion with my friend about his justifications for piracy, and he told me a story about "moral relativity." Basically it went that these two people murdered someone, and they claimed that it was because of moral relativity, and the judge gave them a very short sentence instead of life. If you don't know what it is, it's the belief that you can't impose your own morals on someone because there are no set morals for anyone. This was literally his only justification.

I do believe that people have different sets of morals, but I don't buy that someone could believe murder is good.

So what's your take on moral relativity?

Tell him that moral relativity, while completely valid, is an an idealistic scenario that never addresses the consequences. Everyone assumes that morals exist simply to tell us what is right and wrong. While they do this, they do it for a reason; that is to help support and build social groups. Imagine a world where everyone didn't blink an eye at the idea of murdering, stealing, and so forth if it benefited them. It is unlikely society would have reached the point it has; or if the species would exist at all if this were the case.

Now he may state something to the effect that piracy isn't nearly as detrimental to society as physical theft or murder and couldn't possibly lead to the downfall of civilization. However that wasn't the argument he made, he made a argument for moral relativism, which is an impractical approach on real world situations. It also makes the assumptions that morals are a construct of the individual, which is arguably wrong and thus the entire argument can be said to be unsound.

I could go on, but I'll leave it with these brief remarks. Philosophical ideas, such as moral relativism, should be used to define, predict, categorize, explain, and so forth. It shouldn't be used as a scapegoat to do whatever you want as it is both meaningless and dangerous (you can use valid, and even sound arguments to justify virtually every action, even conflicting actions). The whole point of moral relativity is to state that morals are inherently meaningless as they are subject to each individuals viewpoint. However this is arguably not the case. Morals can be said to extend beyond an individual and are controlled by and in a sense created on a social group level.

While you're heading in the right direction, there ares still some things that need adressing.

How is this supposed to work? If a social group decides morals ultimately, then one of two things can happen:

1. Everyone who is completely and totally like-minded (and nobody truly is) gravitates toward each other, therefore forming so-called "utopias"... which we know don't exist, and therefore discount that idea.

2. People can't totally agree, and therefore, even if the majority decides on subjective morals, those morals become objective and absolute for the indivdiuals inside the group, and for those that don't totally agree with the morals forced upon them, the whole point of moral relatavism goes out the door cause their morals don't count, but other's do. So while you're idea saves subjective morality on one level, it destroys it on a fundamental level, because all of a sudden an objective moral system is forced onto individuals.(That said, I am not arguing for subjective morals).

Logiclul:

MonkeyGH:

Logiclul:

Great wall of text

"subjective morals still allow people to agree while also causing disagreements."

You and I already determined that objective things allow that as well...(colors).

Your entire argument against Grich could be applied to almost anything. Colors. Shapes. Things you previously listed as objective.

What is your criteria for something objective?

No, what we determined is that objective morality can not exist, as there are moral disagreements wherein both sides of the argument are morally sound.

You'll have to explain how my argument can be applied to shapes, and how shapes are objectively moral (???).

Also this captcha is ridiculous. There's no way I can read that.

Wait, we haven't determined that objective morality can't exist, you did, and that does not make it true.

What Monkey is saying is that just because we can disagree under a system of subjectiveness, does not mean that we can't also disagree under a system of objectivity. So saying that we can still disagree under subjectivity is not your ticket to heaven.

Monkey brought colors and shapes into it because they are things we know to be objective. But even though they are objective, we can see them subjectively. If I look at a cube with each side a different color, I can say I see a cube that is red, white, and black, but you might see white, black, and yellow because you are at a different angle. That does not change what the cube is.

The same with morality, what you believe to be true about morality does not change what it really is. How you react to moral law does not dictate what moral law is.

Jakub324:
Neither relative or absolute morality are perfect. Relative allows people like Hitler to do what they do with a clear conscience, but according to absolute morality, killing him would have been a sin.

Because what Hitler did was not objectively "bad". We as humans decided that, for our preservation, unmitigated murder was a bad thing to do, so we created a morality to uphold that idea.

Kaulen Fuhs:

Jakub324:
Neither relative or absolute morality are perfect. Relative allows people like Hitler to do what they do with a clear conscience, but according to absolute morality, killing him would have been a sin.

Because what Hitler did was not objectively "bad". We as humans decided that, for our preservation, unmitigated murder was a bad thing to do, so we created a morality to uphold that idea.

Wrong. Like Jakub said: "Relative allows people like Hitler to do what they do with a clear conscience."

You all are working under the assumption that all killing is murder. This is not the case. During wartime, it would have been perfectly reasonable to kill Hitler, it would not have been murder, because we were at war. He would have been a casualty. Capital punishment is not murder, it is justified consequences. Medically necessary abortion (to save the mother... ONLY) is not murder. So saying that objective morals dictate that killing Hitler would have been wrong is flawed, because in the case of wartime, killing is not murder, it is war.

Jakub324:
Neither relative or absolute morality are perfect. Relative allows people like Hitler to do what they do with a clear conscience, but according to absolute morality, killing him would have been a sin.

That's a horrible misunderstanding of what both relative morality and moral absolutism are.

Moral relativity does not 'allow' people to do anything at all. Further, it's counterpart would be moral universalism, not moral absolutism. Moral relativity is a meta-ethical stance.

Moral absolutism would not necessarily say that killing Hitler is wrong. Moral absolutism says that at least on particular principle should never be violated, regardless of the circumstances. It is not necessary for someone who believes in moral absolutism to have their absolute principle be that no one should ever be killed.

mellemhund:

theheroofaction:

I mean, to avoid flaming between any other moral objectionists as to where exactly the line is crossed I'll invoke godwin.
Now, we all hate the third reich,right?
They're a relatively small group who did what just about everyone would agree is wrong to what is a much larger group, that being everyone else.
Hence, they are objectively bad, pretty simple logic to that.

Wrong - you can find people who wouldn't agree with you. You can only determine that 3rd reich was wrong subjectivily. And judging from how people feel about the atrocities done by the US past to present, I'd say that had the Axis won the war, most people would be ok with what had taken place.

Like I said, I only picked them because they were somebody we could all agree to hate. That is, a group set out specifically for the elimination of all other groups.

It's groups for whom that isn't the motive that things get a little ambiguous.

Moreover, I never said that the popular opinion is always right, I was just using something we all love hating.

Mortai Gravesend:

Jakub324:
Neither relative or absolute morality are perfect. Relative allows people like Hitler to do what they do with a clear conscience, but according to absolute morality, killing him would have been a sin.

That's a horrible misunderstanding of what both relative morality and moral absolutism are.

Moral relativity does not 'allow' people to do anything at all. Further, it's counterpart would be moral universalism, not moral absolutism. Moral relativity is a meta-ethical stance.

Moral absolutism would not necessarily say that killing Hitler is wrong. Moral absolutism says that at least on particular principle should never be violated, regardless of the circumstances. It is not necessary for someone who believes in moral absolutism to have their absolute principle be that no one should ever be killed.

Wrong again. Relative morality *does* allow anyone to do what they want and justify it(in theory). Otherwise, what is the purpose of it?
It may not allow a person to do what they want in actuality(because various things [such as law enforcement] would stop them), but it allows them to hypothetically justify anything they want.
Secondly you are assuming again that kill = murder. It does not. To say that moral relatavists believe that all killing is wrong always is not true. We do believe that murder is wrong, but only under the proper definition of murder. We do believe that we(meaning humanity) are held to a strict code of conduct as defined by the morals we live by, but for you to make such specific comments such as "no one should ever be killed" is inaccurate and you should check your sources or have a serious talk with an 'absolutest'.

To an extent it's true, yes. There are things such as murder, rape and theft that are generally agreed upon to be evil, the "moral relativity" card is moot in those situations. On the other hand there are smaller things like gambling or sex outside of marriage where morals differ from person to person. For that kind of thing, moral relativity is applicable as far as I'm concerned.

I am choosing to opt out of this conversation because I can see that you all want to embrace blatant logic errors. Having come from multiple logic courses and hours spent studying the topic, I find it impossible to converse with someone who finds in nesseccary to suspend the laws of logic in order to make a point. I mean to insult noone here, but it is true. I am arguing based on the rock solid principles of universal logic, whereas you are suspending it completely, like El Presidente saying that morals are aboslute sometimes, but relative at others... Hmmm.

Thanks for the discussion.

Grichnoch:

Mortai Gravesend:

Jakub324:
Neither relative or absolute morality are perfect. Relative allows people like Hitler to do what they do with a clear conscience, but according to absolute morality, killing him would have been a sin.

That's a horrible misunderstanding of what both relative morality and moral absolutism are.

Moral relativity does not 'allow' people to do anything at all. Further, it's counterpart would be moral universalism, not moral absolutism. Moral relativity is a meta-ethical stance.

Moral absolutism would not necessarily say that killing Hitler is wrong. Moral absolutism says that at least on particular principle should never be violated, regardless of the circumstances. It is not necessary for someone who believes in moral absolutism to have their absolute principle be that no one should ever be killed.

Wrong again. Relative morality *does* allow anyone to do what they want and justify it(in theory). Otherwise, what is the purpose of it?

What do you mean 'again'?

Anyway, moral relativity doesn't allow anything. It's a position on the truth value of a moral statement.

Also, "Othrwise, what is the purpose of it?" is a terrible argument. It's an argument from ignorance. It also ignores that moral relativity doesn't need a purpose, it's a stance on the nature of ethics. Might as well ask the purpose of knowing a star exists a billion light years away.

It may not allow a person to do what they want in actuality(because various things [such as law enforcement] would stop them), but it allows them to hypothetically justify anything they want.

It doesn't ALLOW it hypothetically. It's not an ethical stance. It's a meta-ethical stance.

Secondly you are assuming again that kill = murder. It does not. To say that moral relatavists believe that all killing is wrong always is not true.

Actually "Never murder" isn't very much a moral absolutist principle because it is context specific, while moral absolutism ignores context. So I picked the word 'kill' rather carefully there.

I also didn't say that moral absolutists believe that all killing is wrong. Good grief, can you at least read my post before replying to me? I only said something about killing in reference to moral absolutists and even then I outright said that they needn't take that as a principle.

We do believe that murder is wrong, but only under the proper definition of murder.

Oh hahaha. You're trying to speak for moral relativists' ethical positions? Give me a break. You can't because moral relativism doesn't have any specific associated ethics.

We do believe that we(meaning humanity) are held to a strict code of conduct as defined by the morals we live by, but for you to make such specific comments such as "no one should ever be killed" is inaccurate and you should check your sources or have a serious talk with an 'absolutest'.

Oh so you're speaking for absolutists? Well they need a representative that can read basic things like me saying that they needn't pick a principle saying all killing is wrong. Oops.

Anyway, you're no representative of absolutists. That you made an ethical claim on behalf of all of them just goes to show that you don't even know how a moral absolutist is defined.

This immediately springs to mind. I may not be the first to bring it up, but I think it important to note that you're thinking of Moral Relativism.

Mortai Gravesend:

Grichnoch:

Mortai Gravesend:

That's a horrible misunderstanding of what both relative morality and moral absolutism are.

Moral relativity does not 'allow' people to do anything at all. Further, it's counterpart would be moral universalism, not moral absolutism. Moral relativity is a meta-ethical stance.

Moral absolutism would not necessarily say that killing Hitler is wrong. Moral absolutism says that at least on particular principle should never be violated, regardless of the circumstances. It is not necessary for someone who believes in moral absolutism to have their absolute principle be that no one should ever be killed.

Wrong again. Relative morality *does* allow anyone to do what they want and justify it(in theory). Otherwise, what is the purpose of it?

What do you mean 'again'?

Anyway, moral relativity doesn't allow anything. It's a position on the truth value of a moral statement.

Also, "Othrwise, what is the purpose of it?" is a terrible argument. It's an argument from ignorance. It also ignores that moral relativity doesn't need a purpose, it's a stance on the nature of ethics. Might as well ask the purpose of knowing a star exists a billion light years away.

It may not allow a person to do what they want in actuality(because various things [such as law enforcement] would stop them), but it allows them to hypothetically justify anything they want.

It doesn't ALLOW it hypothetically. It's not an ethical stance. It's a meta-ethical stance.

Secondly you are assuming again that kill = murder. It does not. To say that moral relatavists believe that all killing is wrong always is not true.

Actually "Never murder" isn't very much a moral absolutist principle because it is context specific, while moral absolutism ignores context. So I picked the word 'kill' rather carefully there.

I also didn't say that moral absolutists believe that all killing is wrong. Good grief, can you at least read my post before replying to me? I only said something about killing in reference to moral absolutists and even then I outright said that they needn't take that as a principle.

We do believe that murder is wrong, but only under the proper definition of murder.

Oh hahaha. You're trying to speak for moral relativists' ethical positions? Give me a break. You can't because moral relativism doesn't have any specific associated ethics.

We do believe that we(meaning humanity) are held to a strict code of conduct as defined by the morals we live by, but for you to make such specific comments such as "no one should ever be killed" is inaccurate and you should check your sources or have a serious talk with an 'absolutest'.

Oh so you're speaking for absolutists? Well they need a representative that can read basic things like me saying that they needn't pick a principle saying all killing is wrong. Oops.

Anyway, you're no representative of absolutists. That you made an ethical claim on behalf of all of them just goes to show that you don't even know how a moral absolutist is defined.

Hmmm. It's a common rule of the art of debate (which I have studied extensively), that the losing party always resorts to insults and accusations of ignorance when they know they are losing. Thanks for boosting my confidence and solidifying my standpoint Mortai. Your comments only serve as
1. Another case of 'debate loser tactics'
2. Insight showing me I am getting to you and you know it.

Thanks again!

Have a good afternoon all!

I tend to lean towards Moral nihilism but I do believe there are rules and order that society creates and uses to survive, depending on the society, I don't think a communist (Marxist) society would have the same rules of ownership as a capitalist one. Also ethics and other jazzy stuff regarding humans as special and stuff... What were we talking about again?

Grichnoch:

Kaulen Fuhs:

Jakub324:
Neither relative or absolute morality are perfect. Relative allows people like Hitler to do what they do with a clear conscience, but according to absolute morality, killing him would have been a sin.

Because what Hitler did was not objectively "bad". We as humans decided that, for our preservation, unmitigated murder was a bad thing to do, so we created a morality to uphold that idea.

Wrong. Like Jakub said: "Relative allows people like Hitler to do what they do with a clear conscience."

You all are working under the assumption that all killing is murder. This is not the case. During wartime, it would have been perfectly reasonable to kill Hitler, it would not have been murder, because we were at war. He would have been a casualty. Capital punishment is not murder, it is justified consequences. Medically necessary abortion (to save the mother... ONLY) is not murder. So saying that objective morals dictate that killing Hitler would have been wrong is flawed, because in the case of wartime, killing is not murder, it is war.

So... Jakub is wrong? He's the one who stated that, according to objective morality, killing Hitler would have been wrong

Edit: Perhaps it was my use of the word "unmitigated" that confused you? Hitler committed atrocities and plunged the world into a World War. I would hardly call killing him unmitigated.

Grichnoch:

Mortai Gravesend:

Grichnoch:

Wrong again. Relative morality *does* allow anyone to do what they want and justify it(in theory). Otherwise, what is the purpose of it?

What do you mean 'again'?

Anyway, moral relativity doesn't allow anything. It's a position on the truth value of a moral statement.

Also, "Othrwise, what is the purpose of it?" is a terrible argument. It's an argument from ignorance. It also ignores that moral relativity doesn't need a purpose, it's a stance on the nature of ethics. Might as well ask the purpose of knowing a star exists a billion light years away.

It may not allow a person to do what they want in actuality(because various things [such as law enforcement] would stop them), but it allows them to hypothetically justify anything they want.

It doesn't ALLOW it hypothetically. It's not an ethical stance. It's a meta-ethical stance.

Secondly you are assuming again that kill = murder. It does not. To say that moral relatavists believe that all killing is wrong always is not true.

Actually "Never murder" isn't very much a moral absolutist principle because it is context specific, while moral absolutism ignores context. So I picked the word 'kill' rather carefully there.

I also didn't say that moral absolutists believe that all killing is wrong. Good grief, can you at least read my post before replying to me? I only said something about killing in reference to moral absolutists and even then I outright said that they needn't take that as a principle.

We do believe that murder is wrong, but only under the proper definition of murder.

Oh hahaha. You're trying to speak for moral relativists' ethical positions? Give me a break. You can't because moral relativism doesn't have any specific associated ethics.

We do believe that we(meaning humanity) are held to a strict code of conduct as defined by the morals we live by, but for you to make such specific comments such as "no one should ever be killed" is inaccurate and you should check your sources or have a serious talk with an 'absolutest'.

Oh so you're speaking for absolutists? Well they need a representative that can read basic things like me saying that they needn't pick a principle saying all killing is wrong. Oops.

Anyway, you're no representative of absolutists. That you made an ethical claim on behalf of all of them just goes to show that you don't even know how a moral absolutist is defined.

Hmmm. It's a common rule of the art of debate (which I have studied extensively), that the losing party always resorts to insults and accusations of ignorance when they know they are losing. Thanks for boosting my confidence and solidifying my standpoint Mortai. Your comments only serve as
1. Another case of 'debate loser tactics'
2. Insight showing me I am getting to you and you know it.

Thanks again!

Have a good afternoon all!

Oh, look. An internet expert.

How quaint.

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