Started by winterbottom, May 06, 2008, 06:36:22 AM
Quote from: "penfold"However there is an uncomfortable tension here. We express morals as universal maxims.
QuoteWe say â€œx is wrongâ€ not â€œI wouldn't do xâ€. The latter may be correct, but we use the former, and with that we imply universal applicability.
QuoteIn other words 'conscience' while being subjective in nature is objective in content.
QuoteConscience is a capacity of judgement, and just as it allows us to judge ourselves it is also the mechanism by which we judge others.
QuoteSo if we have a 'conscience' we are doomed to talk and act as though morals are universal in nature (â€œif it is wrong for me then it is wrong for youâ€).
QuoteShort of a huge paradigm shift the problem still stands.
QuoteYour point about legalism is well taken, however once again it is not so simple. While the ultimate justification of any rule of law is law itself; the way we construct our laws is bound up in morality. What should be understood is that laws require enforcement, and that requires consent of the population. This consent can be won by force (think Myanmar or DPK) but in our societies consent is won by appeal to ideas of 'right and wrong' and 'justice'.
QuoteSo we still need a justification for moral statements. Arguing that such statements are inherently subjective may have the virtue of being true, but it ignores the pragmatic need for us to justify them.
QuoteIn fact I'm saying anything we claim as good is only good subjectively, because subjectivity is a fundamental attribute of goodness. The very concept of an "objective good" is an oxymoron.
QuoteHowever, I dispute the validity of arbitrarily defining moral in such a way as to automatically include the things we like and automatically exclude the things we dislike, and then trying to argue that our definition, arbitrarily chosen, somehow supports the thesis that morality isn't arbitrary.
QuoteOne man's heaven would be another man's hell.
Quote from: "dloubet"What is morality supposed to address if not the mental states of conscious beings?
QuoteThe mental states of conscious beings are objective and can be measured. Happiness is objectively different from suffering.
QuoteIf morality consists of maximizing the happiness and minimizing the suffering, and certain specific behaviors objectively contribute or retard that process, then I fail to see where subjectivity comes in when we label them moral and immoral.
QuoteThe only arbitrary thing is the definition of moral, not the items that fit that definition. Those items are not arbitrary since they have to fit the definition.
QuoteWhat if it doesn't consist of that?
Quote from: "dloubet"If we arbitrarily define morality as those behaviors that promote a peaceful and harmonious society, then can you agree that given that definition, objective morality is possible?
QuoteThen we can argue whether the definition is justified.
Quote from: "dloubet"It seems the weapon manufacturer's idea of morality is getting what I want at the expense of others.
QuoteThat seems to be the opposite of what everyone else means when they say morality.
QuoteIt's commonly understood that a morality is there to place limitations on behavior.
QuoteAre you offering consensus as your way of objectively justifying your definition of morality?
Quote from: "dloubet"Consensus is the means by which all words possess meaning and definition. Without consensus, words are just noises. Consensus on the meanings of words is what allows us to communicate with spoken and written language.
QuoteIf we can remove the religious baggage from the word, then maybe we can show that morality is not a property specific to one's favored religion, but instead can be shared by all.
QuoteYou, from what I can gather, seem to think that morality has no definition or meaning. Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong in this impression, but it seems your only statements concerning morality are that we can't make any statements concerning morality.