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The Sandy Hook shooting: objectively wrong or subjectively wrong?

#41BetaSquadronPosted 12/21/2012 9:53:29 AM
Asteroids and bears don't care about human life, so I don't see how it can be objective. Morality is the subjective judgments of humans who have empathy, guilt, reason, and what have you.

Also, the universal disdain for killing innocent life doesn't exist. There is the natural tendency to abhor killing innocent people, but it's easily overridden by all kinds of pretexts and justifications that have frequently been employed in wars throughout all of human history including today that are responsible for incredible acts of violence.
#42C_Mat(Topic Creator)Posted 12/21/2012 12:24:38 PM
Faust_8 posted...
It's a ridiculous answer, plain and simple. If it was even possible to justify it in a secular way, at all, then maybe it would carry some weight.

But you can't. There is not a single subjective morality viewpoint that would approve of it--not evolutionary psychology, not functionalism, not anything else.

That's why I say it's obtuse--even if you tried to come up with a hypothetical, I or anyone else with half a brain could shoot it down. You just grasped at a straw, the same as someone saying that allowing same-sex marriage means bestiality comes next.


I don't know why you're so stuck on bestiality. The answer is not ridiculous, I feel sorry for you that you don't understand it.

Secondly...how is this different from a god who apparently changes morality on a whim? Your god says its wrong to kill and then kills himself or commands others to kill. How is that not even more arbitrary and more subject to radical changes?


I have been over this with you and explained how God's morality does not change; if you still don't understand after I made it very plain for you, I'm not going to waste time explaining it again.

Not to mention that some prominent theists literally say anything God commands is moral. So if God commands you to slaughter babies, it is moral. But this is ok, and your (ridiculous, inconceivable) assertion is not? There is no stopping a command from God...but there are many obstacles in the way of "oh we just decided by committee that murder is ok now." Your morality is dependent on a whim, mine only slowly evolves over time by the consensus of everyone.

You're on the shaky ground here, not me.


You're apparently confusing absolute moral truths with objective moral truths.

Plus even if you're right...it makes no difference and we can't even know. The entire world acts as though I'm right. Every culture has their own morality, every culture's morality has changed over time, and even self-professed theists, who believe in a personal god who judges their actions based on written edicts, still commit crimes and "sin" as if that wasn't true. If you were right, wouldn't the world be different? And if you are right, how could we tell?


Almost everybody accepts that there's a universal standard of what is right and what is wrong, even atheists. Just because people disagree with what that standard is doesn't mean they don't think the standard exists.
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#43lastheroPosted 12/21/2012 12:30:52 PM
I have been over this with you and explained how God's morality does not change; if you still don't understand after I made it very plain for you, I'm not going to waste time explaining it again.


It actually doesn't matter much what God's morality is or if his is the only standard or any of that. Even if God is the objective moral law giver or whatever, we can't speak with him directly to learn what those moral laws are. If two people pray and say different thing about what God's moral judgment is in a certain situation, there's absolutely no way to tell which person is representing what God's actual morality is. As far as we're concerned, it's subjective, because our opinion of what God is and what he wants is subjective.
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#44C_Mat(Topic Creator)Posted 12/21/2012 12:39:37 PM
BashyMcFetus posted...
Attacking yours is defending mine. You use subjective morality, which is what I'm trying to show you, but you just keep ignoring it.. Your god did things which you consider wrong plenty of times in the past, but you defend it. You can only do that when you have subjective morality.


God is not subject to human morality. No theist is holds God to the human standard.

And attacking someone else's source of morality does nothing to defend your lack of a source.

Evolution isn't a sentient process. It doesn't have a goal. It just does. "Allow humanity to flourish", which is what your morality seems to be based on, is a subjective basis.


Were missing the point. Let me back up:

You said, "Conversely, the universal rulebook can say that murdering innocent children is always right and humans can then disagree."

I said, "It could. But it doesn't."

It really doesn't matter what the Universe's rulebook could have said, I'm talking about what our Universe's rulebook actually says: that murdering innocent children is wrong.

This universe is just a particular set of circumstances. If you agree that there are some circumstances where child murder could be the right thing to do, then you either have to show that such circumstances are impossible, or you have to agree that morality is subjective. I mean, really what you're doing here is saying "Hypotheticals don't count, because I say so".


No, I'm saying hypotheticals don't count because even if you could come up with an alternative hypothetical universe with alternative moral standards, I just don't see how it would have any effect on our current conversation.

So come up with that kind of hypothetical if you want, but I'm just warning you that I can't see how that wouldn't be a waste of time.
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#45C_Mat(Topic Creator)Posted 12/21/2012 12:42:32 PM
lasthero posted...
It actually doesn't matter much what God's morality is or if his is the only standard or any of that. Even if God is the objective moral law giver or whatever, we can't speak with him directly to learn what those moral laws are. If two people pray and say different thing about what God's moral judgment is in a certain situation, there's absolutely no way to tell which person is representing what God's actual morality is. As far as we're concerned, it's subjective, because our opinion of what God is and what he wants is subjective.


So your argument is:

People disagree over what God's will is; therefore, God's will does not exist.

Is this what you're going with? (by the way, Christians have a Bible that tells them God's objective will, it's not as though they're all reliant on prayers, which I agree can be subjective.)
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#46lastheroPosted 12/21/2012 12:49:54 PM
People disagree over what God's will is; therefore, God's will does not exist.


Didn't say that. But I would say that, as far as morality is concerned, it doesn't make much difference.

(by the way, Christians have a Bible that tells them God's objective will, it's not as though they're all reliant on prayers, which I agree can be subjective.)


Christians disagree on how strictly the rules should be applied, which ones should be followed, which ones are important to follow, et cetera. And to get that far, you have to assume that the Bible is completely free of the taint of men - that every book and every word is completely representative of God's will. And we also have the problem that there are moral problems that the Bible doesn't cover explicitly or at all, not to mention the possibility that, as our world grows, we might always encounter new moral problems as our situations change. And without the direct intervention of God, there is no way to know what his objective law says on those subjects.

So, really, even if there is a God and even if he holds ultimate truth about morality, what does it matter? What does it matter if there's an objective moral truth if all the means of determining what it is are subjective?
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#47SystemafunkPosted 12/21/2012 1:06:39 PM
That's still decidedly subjective.

I disagree Kori. His view that morality is objective may be subjective, but the paradigm itself is quite obviously objective. if something is inherent, then it is objective.

Would you agree that the outside world is objective? That is, regardless of the fact that some things are relative, that there are also some physical laws that are always true (in every relevant configuration of our universe)? Well, certainly someone stating that such was the case is still a subjective statement, but that does not take away from the fact that the fundamental assumption of physics, as well as the proposed worldview, is that there is something fundamentally objective about the physical world.
#48SystemafunkPosted 12/21/2012 1:15:30 PM
But you can't. There is not a single subjective morality viewpoint that would approve of it--not evolutionary psychology, not functionalism, not anything else.

Certainly there is. Amoral nihilism. You can't argue that all moral viewpoints would not disagree with that, because plenty of people, when presented with the idea that there is no basis for moral objectivity, then turn to the only other self consistent conclusion, which is nihilism. Obviously all viewpoints that accept the idea of "morality" would not approve of it, but that is because morality does not exist with the basic idea that "life has value", because if we do not have value, then our views do not either. But the nihilist argues that if that is not objective, then only nihilism is logically coherent, which they are 100% right about.

So why do we accept the fundamental assumption of objectivity in physics, but not in philosophy? Purely because of doubt? Who cares. We can doubt the existence of the physical world as well. It doesn't change the fact that the assumption of a subjective physical reality leads to just as much stupidity and lack of ability to actually have a discussion as does assuming fundamental subjectivity of something like value.

The moment you make this assumption that value is entirely subjective, is the moment that any and all opinions about it are equally valid, and the moment any and all discussion about it is actually objectively pointless, because, like it or not, logic is objective, and you cannot escape that conclusion. Not without admitting to cognitive dissonance at least.
#49SystemafunkPosted 12/21/2012 1:16:58 PM
So, really, even if there is a God and even if he holds ultimate truth about morality, what does it matter? What does it matter if there's an objective moral truth if all the means of determining what it is are subjective?

What does it matter if the physical world is objective if all our means of measuring it are subjective?
#50lastheroPosted 12/21/2012 1:22:17 PM
It doesn't.
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