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Morality:  Objective, Subjective, or somewhere in between?
Posted: 21 May 2006 05:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Eupraxsophy

[quote author=“jimmiekeyes”]I like the idea of defining terms, I like even more using simple words and not coining new ones, Eupraxsophy, is that what this is about?

UGH!

dougsmith wrote
“lol

Yes, poor Paul Kurtz ... it’s not the most felicitous word. Why not just say “the practice of wisdom”? Or, “wisdom in practice”? Or, “wise action”? Or something along those lines.

He means well though.

wink

dougsmith,
Paul Kurtz defined “Eupraxsophy” as “good practice based on wisdom” I believe that is the exact quote.
Bob

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Posted: 04 July 2006 10:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Ethics and morality are highly interseting. I know that a lot of what I think is wrong or right is based on emotion.

It is wrong to deny a person free speach. It is wrong to murder. It is wrong to take knowlege away from people.

But people can argue this, and—depending on your point of view—defend such actions:

Treason (comforting enemies)
Self-defense
Maintaining public order/preserving domestic tranquility.

It depends what one defines as objective, which is really funny.

I tend to hold that, generally, whatever makes the most people happy. But that fails, sometimes (like Germany electing Hitler). Sometimes, the majority must be unhappy for the sake of freedom or justice.

Some more cases would be overpopulation… murdering children, forced abortion, knowlingly spreading disease and famine, knowingly short-rationing people so they starve. That, to me, is an unethical way of handling the problem.

And so on.

Anger is a gift wink

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Our love of what is beautiful does not lead to extravagance; our love of things of the mind does not make us soft.—Thucydides, Book II

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Posted: 18 July 2006 02:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Per a suggestion from Roy a chunk of the discussion of this topic has been moved to the General category under a new topic, “The US Justice System, Good BAD Indifferent?” Amazingly it worked?
Jim

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Jimmie Keyes
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Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. (MLK Jr.)

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Posted: 25 September 2006 10:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Morality is objective in that it is based on what is good for humans, other animals and the enviornment .W e see that murder, rape, stealing ,etc, harms . Evolution caused us to inherit moral sympathy as part of our nature. It is a matter, as Kurtz is wont to say, to extend those sympathies across the planet.Bentham was right about pleasure and pain being our guides ,but that is for us normals,not psychopaths or sado-masochists. The inter-subjectivity makes for objectivity. It is a provisional morality , not relative or absolutist, as is science and as in science, we do have disagreements .  See Michael Shermer’s ” The Science of Good and Evil.” :idea:  rolleyes  :o :D

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Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism.He might be wrong!His cognitive defects might impact his posting. Logic is the bane of theists.‘Religion is mythinformation.“Reason saves, not that fanatic Galilean!
  ’ Life is its own validation and reward and ultimate purpose.”

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Posted: 23 October 2006 08:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Before we can really discuss this we have to clear up the confusion between ethics and morals.  They’re often but not always used interchangeably.  I see ethics as the basic philosophy on which any society is based, and morals as rules of behavior, sometimes, but not always derived from ethics.

We could call those, morals-1 (derived from ethics) and morals-2 (a basis of control).

Example.  You are driving at the speed limit in the left lane, and a large truck is also doing so in the right lane.  A car approaches at fairly high speed and flashes its lights.  You have two choices.  You can move to the right lane to let him pass (I define this as ethical - helping others accomplish their goals), or staying in the left lane and forcing him to drive at the speed limit (controlling the behavior of others).  You don’t know whether he’s out for a joy-ride or whether he has someone who’s injured lying in the back seat, and he wants to rush to the hospital. 

Morals-2 are relative to the person and have nothing to do with ethics.

Morals-1 are based on ethics and, like ethics are absolute, but absolute in a relative manner.  smile

Of course this seems to need a discussion on whether ethics are absolute or relative.

Occam

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Posted: 23 October 2006 10:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Neither,  but provisional and contextual . As Quentin Smith states:“So even if morality is not intrinsic to reality,but is created by humans, the mere fact that it is inter-subjectively valid among all humans, it applies to all humans, that’s a suffficiently strong       sense of objectivity to motivate and give humans reason to behave in a moral manner.” :?:  :!:  :!:

[ Edited: 29 July 2008 06:29 AM by Carneades [ lord griggs1947] ]
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Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism.He might be wrong!His cognitive defects might impact his posting. Logic is the bane of theists.‘Religion is mythinformation.“Reason saves, not that fanatic Galilean!
  ’ Life is its own validation and reward and ultimate purpose.”

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Posted: 03 October 2007 11:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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I think that before we think which   actions \ people are considered bad \ good, we need to have really good definitions of the terms “bad” and “good”. I don’t know of any, so I tend to stick with Ayer’s idea that these words are more emotional than meaningful.

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Posted: 04 October 2007 08:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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wandering - 03 October 2007 11:43 PM

I think that before we think which   actions \ people are considered bad \ good, we need to have really good definitions of the terms “bad” and “good”. I don’t know of any, so I tend to stick with Ayer’s idea that these words are more emotional than meaningful.

What about a simple Utilitarian view? “Good” actions maximize pleasure and minimize pain. “Bad” actions do the reverse. (That’s it, in a nutshell).

Or what about a Kantian view? “Good” acts could be universalized, and don’t treat people as ends in themselves. “Bad” actions cannot be universalized, and treat people as means to other ends. (In a nutshell).

There are others as well. They end up giving roughly similar answers in most cases.

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Posted: 29 July 2008 07:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Indeed, Doug.  Yes, the Benthamite pain and pleasure principle does so apply.
Now, subjectivity makes for objectivity - that is the paradox.  To paraphrase John Bevesluis in “C.S.Lewis and the Search for Rational Religion”: we have wide reflective subjectivity rather than the simple one of Lord Russell and Michael Ruse. ‘The Golden Rule [ and the Silver on s.g.] is not substantial moral rule from which we can deduce specific duties; it is a formal rule that requires impartiality. Its substantive is provided by our preferences; not,  as lewis would have us believe, in the sense of what we personally like or dislike, but in the very different sence of our judgments of approval and disapproval- judgments that are often at odds with what we personally like or dislike and based on the insight that, as a rational being,  I cannot reasonably ask people to     treat me in certain ways unles I am willing to treat them in the same ways. Such judgments are subjective in the sense that they originate in the feeling ot the people makeing them. But they are also objective in two important ways: first they are universal [Kantian,s.g.] and apply to everyone: second, they are based on the principles of equity and equallty of treatment. So from the fact that moral judments are subjective, it neither follows that they vary from person to person nor that they are just ’ private ideas’ in people’s minds.” That is the paradox.
  So the discernment of the effects of actions on humans,etc. causes our evolved moral sense and reason to ude our provisional, objective morality that we ever refine. And, contrary to theists, it is they rather than we who live off the other’s morality when they use reason and facts rather than the whims and taste of holy books! [ A survey shows that most Britons do use the pain and pleasure priniple and so forth when they do moral thinking rather than Christiianity.]
  Anon I shall note the disagreement between Smith and Beversluis on universal principles.
Cannot those who so vociferously bray that atheists cannot do morality not fathom that we can discern that putting acid on babies is quite wrong? It does not take God to do so! And Allah and Yahweh are such vile gods anyway!

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Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism.He might be wrong!His cognitive defects might impact his posting. Logic is the bane of theists.‘Religion is mythinformation.“Reason saves, not that fanatic Galilean!
  ’ Life is its own validation and reward and ultimate purpose.”

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Posted: 30 July 2008 08:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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skeptic griggsy - 29 July 2008 07:06 AM

Cannot those who so vociferously bray that atheists cannot do morality not fathom that we can discern that putting acid on babies is quite wrong? It does not take God to do so! And Allah and Yahweh are such vile gods anyway!

Atheism is just a rant and is morally ambiguous.  Atheistic morality is merely based on emotional consensus.  There could never be atheistic morality.  For example, humanism is a common term for atheism.  Most atheists, I assume, believe that adultery is immoral yet humanism implies that adultery increases the chances for more humans.  Therefore, adultery is immoral to atheism and moral to humanists.  This is a paradox. 

Theistic morality, on the other hand, is just someone’s subjective opinion.  Theism was wrong about cosmology and theism was wrong about anthropology.  There is nothing to base theistic morality to something that is objectively true. 

Morality can be deduced from the subject of subjects and relations.  We all know that subjects exist and that relations exist.  Relations are more than one subject combined together.  A subject can also be given to a relation.  Therefore, the subject of subjects and relations exists.  The subjects within a relation are intrinsic subjects and the subject given to a relation is an extrinsic subject.  Right can be defined as if an intrinsic subject is within an extrinsic subject.  Alternatively, wrong is if an intrinsic subject is not within an extrinsic subject.  As a family’s surname is an example of an extrinsic subject, adultery is wrong.  Adultery is an action not within the extrinsic subject.  This is how to objectively show that adultery is immoral without atheistic or theistic arguments.  There is something else worth including here….  An axiom of the subject of subjects and relations states that, “Related subjects do not combine for the same reason that unrelated subjects cannot separate.”  This is how to logically show that incest, homosexuality and cannibalism are immoral.  Again, no atheistic or theistic arguments were used here. 

The subject of subjects and relations is an objective system of emotion theory.  If you like, you can learn more about it here:
http://subjectsandrelations.com

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Posted: 30 July 2008 09:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Atheistic morality is merely based on emotional consensus.  There could never be atheistic morality.  For example, humanism is a common term for atheism.  Most atheists, I assume, believe that adultery is immoral yet humanism implies that adultery increases the chances for more humans.  Therefore, adultery is immoral to atheism and moral to humanists.  This is a paradox. 

Actually, there is no paradox because this is nonsense. Atheistic morality is simply morality without reference to a god. Even your system is an atheistic one since it seems to contain no reference to a god. And humanism is about the value and potential of human beings and in no way contains the notion that simply breeding more of us is an intrinsic good or that adultery is proper. You clearly don’t know what atheism and humanism are, so your critique of them is shallow and mistaken.

As for the system you propose, based on the sample below and the link you provide it appears nearly incoherent and founded entirely on arbitrary and entirely self-referential definitions. Yet since you seem to have a nearly religious conviction of its obvious truth despite this, I am suspicious of your claim to anything like an objective approach to morality. Perhaps you could lead us through your system a bit more slowly and with a critique of other systems that rests not solely on arrogant dismissiveness and blithe misinterpretation, and then we might have the foundations of a real discussion.

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Posted: 30 July 2008 09:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Morality is quite a quandary simply because of what morality is: the collective ideals of a group with the homeostasis of that group at the forefront of the cognition. For example, NAZIs killed Jews because they believed them to be a threat to their way of life. Christians persecute (and used to murder) atheists because they believe atheists threaten the Christian way of life.  Yet, a NAZI would not kill a NAZI because murder is immoral, and a Christian would not persecute another Christian because one must be tolerant of others. Put simply: Morality is what keeps society functioning in times of relative calm.

[ Edited: 30 July 2008 09:45 PM by Doc_Prospect ]
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Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius (and a lot of courage) to move in the opposite direction.
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Posted: 30 July 2008 09:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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As has been mentioned before the main problem is that every ethical system must stem from an axiom about what is good. What is good is subjective to each of us.

Moral objectivism, “the alternative” seems to start with an axiom which is subject. It seems moral objectivists beg the question.

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Dan

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Posted: 30 July 2008 11:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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mckenzievmd - 30 July 2008 09:16 PM

Atheistic morality is merely based on emotional consensus.  There could never be atheistic morality.  For example, humanism is a common term for atheism.  Most atheists, I assume, believe that adultery is immoral yet humanism implies that adultery increases the chances for more humans.  Therefore, adultery is immoral to atheism and moral to humanists.  This is a paradox. 

Actually, there is no paradox because this is nonsense. Atheistic morality is simply morality without reference to a god. Even your system is an atheistic one since it seems to contain no reference to a god. And humanism is about the value and potential of human beings and in no way contains the notion that simply breeding more of us is an intrinsic good or that adultery is proper. You clearly don’t know what atheism and humanism are, so your critique of them is shallow and mistaken.

Atheistic morality is morality without reference to a god or anything else.  Atheism doesn’t reference anything. 
You can define humanism however you want but that would be your definition.  In a shallow and generic sense, humanism is subjective to the benefit of the human species.  This is not always in the best interest of one’s family.  Family and human are two different subjects; they are not synonomous.

As for the system you propose, based on the sample below and the link you provide it appears nearly incoherent and founded entirely on arbitrary and entirely self-referential definitions. Yet since you seem to have a nearly religious conviction of its obvious truth despite this, I am suspicious of your claim to anything like an objective approach to morality. Perhaps you could lead us through your system a bit more slowly and with a critique of other systems that rests not solely on arrogant dismissiveness and blithe misinterpretation, and then we might have the foundations of a real discussion.

I’m sorry you didn’t like it.  Further discussion of subjects and relations would be irrelevant to this thread.  I started a thread aptly called “Subjects and Relations” in this philosophy section of this forum if anyone cares to discuss it further.  Morality is just one of its side issues.  The title of this thread caught my eye which is why I posted here.

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Posted: 31 July 2008 07:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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I looked more closely at the site JHuber linked. He is the only member of the forums and it’s explanation of subject-relations is nonsensical. IMO JHuber is the author of this goofy website and BS-ethics called subject-relations. He is probably trying to troll with is joke website and ridiculous claims about secular humanism. Why bother though?

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