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The Sandy Hook shooting: objectively wrong or subjectively wrong?

#11kozlo100Posted 12/18/2012 10:26:54 PM
What HK said.

Also, classy C_Mat. Very classy.
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The problem, then, is that if subjective worlds are experienced too differently, there occurs a breakdown in communication. -- Philip K. Dick
#12Faust_8Posted 12/18/2012 10:44:52 PM
kozlo100 posted...
What HK said.

Also, classy C_Mat. Very classy.


Yeah, the insensitivity wasn't lost on me either. You don't REALLY think we don't see how you're using a recent, heart-wrending tragedy into guilt-tripping us into answering objectively do you C_Mat? This is still fresh in our minds, so you think "oh they won't answer subjectively because that seems more heartless."

Are you really this low? If you need to resort to underhanded tactics, what does that say about your position?

Don't EVEN try to deny it. Don't shame yourself further you cruel little opportunist.

Fricking Christ, they need to replace all the lawyer jokes with Christian ones if C_Mat is any indication. "Oh people died? What a wonderful time to tell you why I'm correct."
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The supernatural says that if you act a certain way you might avoid suffering. But reality says you came from the stars...
#13JonWood007Posted 12/18/2012 11:11:31 PM
Faust_8 posted...
JonWood007 posted...
Why not both?

Murder, IMO, is both objectively and subjectively wrong. Murder is one of those things that you'll find a prohibition against in every society. There may be debates in how it's enforced....in some cases like wars, executions, and even genocides, some societies may deem it okay. But all societies will ban murder to some extent. Why? Functionalism. Society cannot FUNCTION if you allow murder. The point of coming together and forming a society is first and foremost to increase our chances of survival. Of course, there's no big man in the sky (IMO) telling you what is objectively morally correct, this is up to us to decide, and is therefore subjective, but as I mentioned, it's objective too because it's probably one of the most important rules for societies to have, and society cannot function if murder is not prohibited, at least to a degree. Therefore, it's also objectively wrong.

Or, if you wanna put it another way, I'll go with what is said above, the whole objective vs subjective thing is pointless.


A 100% acceptance rate does not promote subjective to objective--that's not what it's about. Popularity of a moral rule is irrelevant to whether it's objective or subjective.

It's subjective if arrived at the conclusion ourselves. It's objective if some god or the very fabric of the universe laid it down as a law. That's what most people think of when they say subjective or objective.

To me, arguing for the immorality of murder with functionalism is an excellent way to argue that it's purely subjective. If it's objective, there doesn't even need to be a reason, and there would be no exceptions either.


Well I guess if you define objective as "determined by a man in the sky", but I consider that subjective still because said man in the sky still a conscious being with a specific perspective, and is therefore subjective. I know people will turn around and say God's perfect and that's what makes him objective? Does he conform to certain standards outside of himself? If so, then his objectivity is not much different than my own, while I'll cover later in this post. If he is perfect because he defines perfection, then we all become a law unto ourselves in a sense. We're all perfect in our own eyes, if we made moral systems that revolved around our own behavior. So that's pretty arbitrary.

I consider laws based on functionalism as objective mainly because of the results of not having one. People would kill each other, society would fall apart and cease to exist. You NEED it, there is no way you can live without it, therefore it's objective. However, its implementation is subjective. People may determine how to enforce it, who the laws apply to, in what situations, and people will come to different conclusions. These different conclusions are subjective. But the fact that a prohibition on murder is necessary in all societies for them to function at all is what IMO makes it objective.

Objective morals must be morals that all societies must share in order to survive. This is a pretty narrow definition IMO, and only applies to a few core morals, mainly related to murder and other intense forms of suffering. Even stealing would not fall under this definition because there is no need for a prohibition against stealing in a society in which there is no concept of property. Once you begin going beyond the bare essentials for any society to function, you begin to get into subjective morals, because said morals are based on human made conventions that do not need to be present in all societies.

If you disagree with this, I'm glad to discuss it further, it's kind of something I'm trying to work out myself in my head =P.
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#14JonWood007Posted 12/18/2012 11:31:40 PM(edited)
Also, one more thing, looking over your post. I kinda am arguing a prohibition against murder is objective because it is built into the fabric of the universe. Society literally cannot function without it, and that's how it's built in, there's no getting around the need for it, because without it, we would still be in a chaotic state of nature. Just to put it another way. Even if morals coming from human beings are subjective, our actions have real world consequences, and if there is some sort of behavior that needs to be prevented for any society to function, that is an objective moral, because the consequences of not having it are unavoidable. Under my definition, I'd argue that murder is not even necessarily an objective moral in an absolute sense. There are exceptions. Stuff like war, executing criminals, etc. now, we can extend the same rights and courtesies to others, and I'd argue we should, but this is more subjective than objective. It's an extension of an objective prohibition to groups that the law does not have to apply to, but should.

The thing is, this shooting does not fall under any exception. The kids and teachers shot are part of the target audience this law is meant to protect, seeing how they are citizens of the society that the law is made for, they're not outsiders, nor are they criminals, etc. So I'd argue that the shooting was "objectively" wrong.

I will agree, most morals are social conventions and are subjective. 99.9% of morals are. IMO, this does not make them any less important. I think it's a good thing that we try to respect life all around instead of just to a core group of people, I just have trouble saying it's "objectively" morally wrong under the definitions above...more like an extension of an objective moral as a result of an evolved moral conscience to people who do not NEED the moral for society to survive, but SHOULD be afforded the same protections when possible. This is kinda what I meant when I said that sometimes the implementation of objective morals is subjective....what's subjective is defining who the morals apply to.
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#153D_ShadoPosted 12/18/2012 11:36:33 PM
I kinda am arguing a prohibition against murder is objective because it is built into the fabric of the universe. Society literally cannot function without it, and that's how it's built in, there's no getting around the need for it, because without it, we would still be in a chaotic state of nature.

Not really. I can definitely imagine a world where murder was tolerated in some form, yet society didn't fall apart. For instance, the Wild West was like this. Yes it was chaotic compared to today (or was it?), but society still worked.

There's really no secular argument for murder being objectively wrong.
#16lastheroPosted 12/18/2012 11:47:35 PM
[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]
#17Faust_8Posted 12/18/2012 11:51:56 PM
Not really. I can definitely imagine a world where murder was tolerated in some form, yet society didn't fall apart. For instance, the Wild West was like this. Yes it was chaotic compared to today (or was it?), but society still worked.

I really, really, really hope your source on this isn't just western movies. Because the most bloodshed in any town back then was five.

Five gun deaths in one town. That was the bloodiest it EVER got. You're more likely to get shot today then back then.

Billy the Kid? Killed four people, unless you listen to Billy the Kid. Everybody else can only account for four kills by his hand.

The guns were **** back then. You could aim right and hit the guy next to him. It wasn't practical at all to go through life answering every problem with a gun that can't shoot straight.

Nobody cared about correcting the misconception because this was one lie we loved to swallow.
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The supernatural says that if you act a certain way you might avoid suffering. But reality says you came from the stars...
#18JonWood007Posted 12/19/2012 10:50:56 AM

Not really. I can definitely imagine a world where murder was tolerated in some form, yet society didn't fall apart. For instance, the Wild West was like this. Yes it was chaotic compared to today (or was it?), but society still worked.

There's really no secular argument for murder being objectively wrong.


In the wild west, only some forms of murder were tolerated. Gang members, for example, would not kill each other without good reason. To do so would undermine the integrity of the gang. So no, there's still some objectivity in there. It's how the rule is enforced that's subjective.

I also want to expand a little more on my theory in separating the difference between values and rules to regulate those morals. Values are subjective. Rules, in application, are more objectively good or bad. After all, when you make a rule to embody a certain value, you want that rule to enhance the value it's supposed to embody. Say we have a value on life expectancy. If this is our top priority, then we may make rules to enhance it. Murder is a given, but let's go beyond that. Let's look at, say, eating habits. Eating fatty food is objectively worse than eating healthy ones, because there are real world consequences to eating fatty foods. Let's look at health care. Societies with good health care systems objectively have better life expectancy than those who do not.

Ultimately, you may argue our values are almost always subjective, but in enforcing those values, there are objectively better and worse ways of going about them.

Tbqh, I just see the whole objective vs subjective thing to be silly....it reeks of theistic strawman arguments of "well if we dont have objective morals what stops us from killing everyone?" And I'd argue morality is both objective and subjective. Our feelings and all are ultimately subjective (even if they can be defended rationally), but throw functionalism into the mix, and look at what laws are needed for society to function on a basic level, and look at what laws best enhance our values, and we may find that some policies are objectively better than others.

Idk if these two views are compatible, but I'm just looking at ways for secular morals to be objective. The thing about secular morality is there is no one way to look at things, there are different lenses that can be used, and ultimately, all have upsides and all have downsides.
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#19DagorhaPosted 12/19/2012 7:20:31 PM
LinkFanatic posted...
Dagorha posted...
Objectively Wrong.

Not because of God but because taking the life of children to satisfy some measure of revenge is wrong in of itself.


That's still decidedly subjective.


how do you figure?
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#20LinkFanaticPosted 12/19/2012 7:44:22 PM
Dagorha posted...
LinkFanatic posted...
Dagorha posted...
Objectively Wrong.

Not because of God but because taking the life of children to satisfy some measure of revenge is wrong in of itself.


That's still decidedly subjective.


how do you figure?


Because there's no reason to think that revenge is objectively wrong, regardless of context.
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