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The Sandy Hook shooting: objectively wrong or subjectively wrong?

#71SystemafunkPosted 12/21/2012 7:35:21 PM
If gravity was merely "what god said it was" and 'g' varied based on his mood then yeah it'd be subjective too. 'g' was ~9.791 m/s^2 3000 years ago and it is today.

Yeah, the mass of the earth is not exactly the same all the time.

You don't know what you are talking about. Furthermore, God's morality does NOT vary either. In fact, that is MORE constant than the gravity of the Earth.
#72JonWood007Posted 12/21/2012 10:16:57 PM
This is where I'll have to disagree with you. What is murder? It's the illegal killing of another person. Murder IS that very subjective application of it that you mentioned early. You can't divorce it from that. In one society killing certain criminals is legal; in another it's murder. In one society killing an embryo is legal; in another it's murder.

With this logic you can merely say that laws are "objective"


Fair enough. Maybe I should just stick with the values = subjective, morals based on values = objectively effective or ineffective distinction I made earlier. I still think valuing life is probably one of the easiest and most self evident values out there, but yeah, I guess it is subjective to some degree.
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#73lastheroPosted 12/21/2012 10:22:59 PM

Just for the record, the person in question assumes they are moral. At the very least, that implies you believe in an objective morality, and that was the primary aim of my point, the self inconsistency of subjective morality. If however they believe they are moral based off of society, then they don't REALLY believe that they are actually moral. They believe in a different concept entirely. As for what changes, belief in God is not specifically about morality. It is about salvation. That said though, one who has truly found God, and knows Christ, has the fruits of the spirit.

Actually, I probably should have put that as a lower case G, on god - sorry fro the confusion. Because I'm not talking about your god in that example. Even if I accept that there is such a thing as objective morality and that a deity is the source of such morality, that does absolutely nothing to tell me anything else about that being, or even what his specific morality is. At best, it's an argument for deism.

Again, it requires at least the belief in objective morality itself. Even if the viewpoint seems subjective, actually moving from that to the level of saying that morality is subjective removes the impetus to further understand it. It leads to nihilism, which is the will to nothingness. It may not lead to ruin in the course of one person's life, but it will over generations.


And you know this how?

Human beings have been human beings for about, oh say, 200,000 years. For the vast amount of that time, we did not have religion, at least as we understand religion today. And we don't go around randomly killing each other, and we didn't devolve into rampant chaos. We came together as tribes and started to form societies, and there's no indication that your God or any god had anything to do with it.

As for it being subjective or not, what's there to 'further understand'? There's no way to know what these objectives values actually are - the only thing we have are a bunch of people's subjective ideas on what they are, and that's hardly anything to go on. Obviously people are going to tend to make God's morals out to be what they tend to think they are, and even if, IF, the deity in question chooses to spill the beans, theren's no way to tell between the real deal and the fakes.

That's what annoys me about this whole argument. It basically just trades one problem for another.

What I Think Is Right VS What Others Think Is Right

switches to

What I Think God Thinks Is Right VS What Others Think God Thinks Is Right

How is this an improvement? If anything, it makes it worse, because it's much harder to convince a person their wrong when they believe that the creator of the universe has their back. If you can just make up what you think this deity considers to be objectively moral, then you basically have carte blanche to do anything.

If you kill someone and say that you're justified because 'God told you it was okay because of X', who can counter that? The only thing that even measures up is 'God told me it was wrong because of X!' You can argue all you want, you can quote scriptures, but ultimately you're just fighting divine inspiration with divine inspiration - there's no concrete way to tell which side represents the being's actual command.
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#74Faust_8Posted 12/21/2012 10:51:45 PM
That isn't what happens in a nihilistic culture. That isn't my claim.

So you know what happens in nihilistic cultures? How? Where are they?

However, it doesn't change the fact that most of them, the ones still clinging onto their own subjective ideas of morality are self inconsistent.

The fact that you've...not given or alluded to at all? At least when talking to me.

I was talking about individuals.

Then it is a moot point. Individuals have no place in this argument because if all morality is subjective, it was not decided by an individual, or a few people, or a community. It was decided by entire cultures.

It doesn't change the fact that we are not having a discussion specifically about whatever societies tend towards. We are talking about whether or not subjective morality is simply a contradiction in terms. We are talking about whether or not subjective morality as a concept is inherently bankrupt. You trying to distract from that by pointing that not all members of a society of relativists will actually be internally nihilistic is beside the point.

What the bleeding hell? You were the one that brought up nihilism, and I countered that no society is ever nihilistic, which you have yet to answer. Where in history are these guys? Nor did I ever swing the conversation into what societies tend towards...did you profoundly misunderstand the entire point of what I said?

No it isn't.

Great argument.

Yes it is. Neener neener.

There is absolutely no reason that beauty would NEED to be objective to be valid. That is the difference. Morality needs to be objective because it deals with value. Value is not something self referential. Value is ontological. Beauty deals with aesthetics, which is by definition "in the eye of the beholder". It is an entirely introspective process.

"Value" is just about the must subjective thing there is. How could you say otherwise?

No, it relies on logic.

Then start using it instead of "but then murder is ok!" nonsense.

No it relies on the problem that if you refuse the notion of objective morality, you cannot actually declare murder wrong without cognitive dissonance. Beauty is nothing like that, because beauty does not involve people making actions that may or may not devalue something with value. Beauty is entirely personal. Morality is not.

Oh whaddaya know, more "murder is ok" nonsense. Again. Congrats of coming full circle.
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#75mrplainswalkerPosted 12/21/2012 11:06:21 PM
"Objective Morality" is just a smokescreen for "I'm right and you're wrong!"

Taking advantage of a recent tragedy for the sake of argument doesn't change this.
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#76SystemafunkPosted 12/22/2012 8:44:34 AM
I'm not talking specifically about any one thing. I'm talking about the general assumption of objective morality in the first place. The idea that we can't debate finer points from that assumption is absolutely untrue, and nothing I have said has given that impression, regardless of what SOME people might use it as (and I refuse to allow people to hold me to someone else's candle). The problem is that everyone seems to be arguing that objective morality is a cop out, and I am NOT using it as such. My broader point is not intended to justify any one particular moral maxim, but just to support the very broad assertion that morality that is not objective is empty and not self inconsistent. I do happen to think that murder is one of the easiest acts to justify being immoral, but that doesn't mean I was making that point in my argument.

Anyway, I'm not interested in further discussion until those things are understood. I'm also a lot more interested in a discussion where people disagreeing with me were actually disagreeing with what I have very clearly stated, rather than what they are reading into what I said. I've been in enough discussions on this board where people disagreed with me respectfully, and didn't resort to insults or cajoling, even subtle ones, and I treated them in kind. The moment people start insinuating that I am being intentionally obtuse or misleading though, when I almost never consciously do, is the moment that the discussion will go even less far than it would have otherwise. So if you are interested in going that route, I suggest you just don't even bother. Go spend your time helping someone out. Pick up an extra job, I have 3 jobs, or volunteer at a soup kitchen or something.
#77lastheroPosted 12/22/2012 8:52:09 AM
the moment people start insinuating that I am being intentionally obtuse or misleading
though, when I almost never consciously do,


Have you entertained the possibility that they're right and you're just not conscious of it?
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#78SystemafunkPosted 12/22/2012 9:07:46 AM
Again, I have no problem with people disagreeing with me. I do have a problem with people insinuating and acting as if I am consciously doing it. So if I am not doing it consciously, then how could someone actings as though I am possibly be right?

Did you ever think of that?

And for that matter, I always keep in the back of the my mind the possibility that I am wrong and try to guard against it.
#79lastheroPosted 12/22/2012 9:13:40 AM
Systemafunk posted...
Again, I have no problem with people disagreeing with me. I do have a problem with people insinuating and acting as if I am consciously doing it. So if I am not doing it consciously, then how could someone actings as though I am possibly be right?


How could someone acting as though you were even tell the difference between what you're doing consciously and unconsciously?
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#80SystemafunkPosted 12/22/2012 9:22:41 AM
What on earth is that supposed to mean? When people start accusing me of intentionally misusing words, then something about that seems to indicate intentionality. I don't know why I would think that....