Subjective Morality

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So, we’ve been talking about subjective morality through the lens of various issues.

I’d like to put forward the problems I see with subjective morality.

First, it has been insisted that morality is subjective because there is no known objective measure for it. I insist that means morality is not provably objective, and might be subjective, but doesn’t prove it is not objective. We have no known measure, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a measure.

Second, subjective morality allows for the justification of actions that should not be taken.

For example, if the medical community changed the definition of person to specifically exclude black people, and change the definition of opinion to specifically exclude black people, then it would be argued that subjective morality is independant of black people, that they cannot, by definition, have an opinion. Then, if every person decidedes that black people should all die and be buried, then it would be perfectly acceptable by definition of subjective morality. There would be no one that would disagree, and no one would be hurt.

Last, we hold people to a greater moral rule by law, even without law precident. I’ll use the example of the Nuremburg Trials. There was a violation of Malum in se, not of any existing law. That is a legal term coming from latin which means “wrong in itself”. It is actually the basis for many many laws, and the foundation of most societies.

So, explain to me how killing all black people would be wrong, under subjective morality, if blacks weren’t defined as people, and couldn’t have opinions, and everyone else thought they should be killed. Explain how it would NOT be the morally correct thing, to kill all of them.

 
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You say that subjective morality (a term which I think you don’t quite understand) allows for the justification of actions that should not be taken.

Then you ask us to explain to you how killing all black people would be wrong, under subjective morality, if blacks weren’t defined as people.

How does this make sense? First you state that subjective morality does indeed allow for the justification of certain actions and then you ask us how, under subjective morality, certain actions would be considered wrong (therefore NOT justified).

 
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Originally posted by MyTie:

I’d like to put forward the problems I see with subjective morality.

First, it has been insisted that morality is subjective because there is no known objective measure for it. I insist that means morality is not provably objective, and might be subjective, but doesn’t prove it is not objective. We have no known measure, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a measure.

And that’s kind of similar to the problem when trying to prove God exists.

Second, subjective morality allows for the justification of actions that should not be taken.

It does? Where?

For example, if the medical community changed the definition of person to specifically exclude black people, and change the definition of opinion to specifically exclude black people, then it would be argued that subjective morality is independant of black people, that they cannot, by definition, have an opinion. Then, if every person decidedes that black people should all die and be buried, then it would be perfectly acceptable by definition of subjective morality. There would be no one that would disagree, and no one would be hurt.

Except for the part where popular opinion overrides decisions like that, most notably via a courtroom.

Also, I don’t know if you noticed this but… Subjective morality actually doesn’t justify that. At all. It just makes it so it can’t really be called objectively correct.

Last, we hold people to a greater moral rule by law, even without law precident. I’ll use the example of the Nuremburg Trials. There was a violation of Malum in se, not of any existing law. That is a legal term coming from latin which means “wrong in itself”. It is actually the basis for many many laws, and the foundation of most societies.

O…Kay, so how does this prove objective mortality, again?

So, explain to me how killing all black people would be wrong, under subjective morality, if blacks weren’t defined as people, and couldn’t have opinions, and everyone else thought they should be killed. Explain how it would NOT be the morally correct thing, to kill all of them.

Well with those axioms, you really couldn’t do much, partially seeing as how the objective definitions have been changed.

 
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That was, like, the longest slippery slope argument I have ever read. And one of the most nonsensical ones too.
If decisions like this have no reasonable justification they are not likely to prevail. Just look at American history and see your OP fall apart. Just because morality is subjective does not mean that every bullshit idea will automatically be accepted.

 
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All I see in OP is one big contradiction, actually.

 
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I insist that means morality is not provably objective, and might be subjective, but doesn’t prove it is not objective. We have no known measure, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a measure.

By default, we would need evidence for something to be objective. We aren’t sure what’s beyond the observable universe, so until then you can believe whatever you want about it, we won’t have evidence for it any way. There is no proof any type of objective morality exists, so you can have your own opinion about it.

subjective morality allows for the justification of actions that should not be taken.

This is a little silly. Let me give you an analogy. I can’t really fly because gravity pulls me down. This stupid natural law is in my way. This justifies that we have to walk and jump instead of fly. But believing that there isn’t any gravity doesn’t make gravity go away. Similarly, we can believe there is a supposed “objective morality”, but if no evidence has been found for it, we cannot accept it as truth. We people go our way restricted by natural laws and objectivity. Once we go subjective, there is no natural law stopping us from swaying either way. You are attacking the concept of subjective morality on a completely ridiculous level. Our subjective morality does not justify these actions, it makes them possible. Our fists make it possible for us to punch others. This is not the fault of our fists, it is the fault of our choice to punch. Subjective morality is not to be blamed for our actions.

For example, if the medical community changed the definition of person to specifically exclude black people, and change the definition of opinion to specifically exclude black people, then it would be argued that subjective morality is independant of black people, that they cannot, by definition, have an opinion. Then, if every person decidedes that black people should all die and be buried, then it would be perfectly acceptable by definition of subjective morality. There would be no one that would disagree, and no one would be hurt.

There is no natural law stopping this from happening. This gets its own paragraph, since it is important you understand it. No natural law prevents us from having varying opinions within the concept of subjective morality.

Luckily, the majority of people would disagree, so it would be downright foolish to implement something like this.

Last, we hold people to a greater moral rule by law, even without law precident. I’ll use the example of the Nuremburg Trials. There was a violation of Malum in se, not of any existing law. That is a legal term coming from latin which means “wrong in itself”. It is actually the basis for many many laws, and the foundation of most societies.

Nah. It was and is seen as wrong by the majority of people. Many war “crimes” may actually be legal, but the majority of people would agree that they should be illegal, and therefore punishable. No natural law told us to punish those people, no natural law punished those people, and no natural law defined it as wrong. It’s all us.

So, explain to me how killing all black people would be wrong, under subjective morality, if blacks weren’t defined as people, and couldn’t have opinions, and everyone else thought they should be killed.

You’re a little confused. “Wrong”, by definition subjective, implies someone thinks it is wrong. So, you’re asking me, who you just defined to agree with having them killed, why I disagree with the action. It’s inherently contradictory. If everyone on the planet thinks a certain painting is beautiful, it doesn’t make it beautiful by default, it makes everyone accidentally share the same opinion. You would ask someone why they dislike that painting when they actually like it. It makes no sense.

Explain how it would NOT be the morally correct thing, to kill all of them.

Because people think we shouldn’t. If you define everyone to think we should, then there is nobody left to think it was wrong.

 
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Anything you would not want done to yourself or someone you love, do not do to others.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Unfortunately a gray area forms when people want conflicting things done to themselves.

 
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If we are killing all blacks, well in this context they wouldn’t be people, so blacks, because they aren’t human to us anymore what would we be doing?
If they aren’t classified as human, wouldn’t we be wiping out a species completely?

If out of no where a new species came and could speak, have abstract thoughts, and all of that and weren’t trying to kill us, would it be morally correct to kill them all even if everyone wanted to?
No, not to most people because they have abstract thought like we do, and can speak what we consider languages with a little training.

The same thing applies, doesn’t it?

 
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Originally posted by tenco1:Except for the part where popular opinion overrides decisions like that, most notably via a courtroom.

So popular opinion decides right and wrong? If it was the popular thing to do to kill massive amounts of people, that would make it also the right thing to do?

 
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Originally posted by Darkruler2005:You are attacking the concept of subjective morality on a completely ridiculous level. Our subjective morality does not justify these actions, it makes them possible. Our fists make it possible for us to punch others. This is not the fault of our fists, it is the fault of our choice to punch. Subjective morality is not to be blamed for our actions.

So then what is wrong with murder?

 
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So then what is wrong with murder?

This question is asked with the assumption of objective morality implied. Let me explain it in a different way. Under objective morality, something is objectively defined (by an unknown force?) to be wrong. Under subjective morality, nothing is defined to be wrong, but can be held to be wrong by the majority of people. Murder is held to be wrong by the majority of people. Murder, in this case, refers to illegal killing. In other words, it’s the law deciding which killing is illegal and which isn’t. The law generally agrees with the majority of people which, in this case, means that murder is wrong in the eyes of the majority.

So popular opinion decides right and wrong? If it was the popular thing to do to kill massive amounts of people, that would make it also the right thing to do?

Yes, for the majority of people. Still working under the implicit assumption of objective morality.

 
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The moral views that are represented in laws are not necessarily the ones held by the majority, although that’s definitely how laws started out historically. Especially nowadays they are also often based on whether they can be justified. The arguments for laws must be strong enough to convince people. This and the public opinion is why cultural morals develop over time. There are new movements that get represented in laws, like the human rights movement.

 
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Originally posted by Darkruler2005:

So then what is wrong with murder?

This question is asked with the assumption of objective morality implied. Let me explain it in a different way. Under objective morality, something is objectively defined (by an unknown force?) to be wrong. Under subjective morality, nothing is defined to be wrong, but can be held to be wrong by the majority of people. Murder is held to be wrong by the majority of people. Murder, in this case, refers to illegal killing. In other words, it’s the law deciding which killing is illegal and which isn’t. The law generally agrees with the majority of people which, in this case, means that murder is wrong in the eyes of the majority.

So popular opinion decides right and wrong? If it was the popular thing to do to kill massive amounts of people, that would make it also the right thing to do?

Yes, for the majority of people. Still working under the implicit assumption of objective morality.

So if genocide is supported by law, and HELD by the majority to be right, is it morally right?
 
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Originally posted by MyTie:
So if genocide is supported by law, and HELD by the majority to be right, is it morally right?

To those who think it is, yes. To those who think it’s still morally wrong, well genocide would is legal, right?

 
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Originally posted by tenco1:
Originally posted by MyTie:
So if genocide is supported by law, and HELD by the majority to be right, is it morally right?

To those who think it is, yes. To those who think it’s still morally wrong, well genocide would is legal, right?

Disgusting. I’m so glad I don’t view the world through subjective morality. I’m so glad I don’t see a country that beheads others in a popular fashion, for not thinking like the government says they should, is seen as morally right “to them”. If you have empathy, these things should in the very least strike you as wrong, even if there are differing opinions.

Disgusting.

 
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Originally posted by EPR89:

The moral views that are represented in laws are not necessarily the ones held by the majority, although that’s definitely how laws started out historically. Especially nowadays they are also often based on whether they can be justified. The arguments for laws must be strong enough to convince people. This and the public opinion is why cultural morals develop over time. There are new movements that get represented in laws, like the human rights movement.

Agree. This can be seen especially in the case of constitutions. Where certain values of the constitutions lead to many laws made by the representatives of the majority being over turned by Judges. In many cases the majority and their representatives even uphold(at least they believe and claim they do) the specific values of the constitution that lead to their laws being overturned. But they disagree on the logical/legal consequences these values have. Mostly because personal and public Moral values are almost always a inconsistent mishmash of different and conflicting moral building blocks.

 
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Originally posted by MyTie:

Disgusting. I’m so glad I don’t view the world through subjective morality. I’m so glad I don’t see a country that beheads others in a popular fashion, for not thinking like the government says they should, is seen as morally right “to them”. If you have empathy, these things should in the very least strike you as wrong, even if there are differing opinions.

Disgusting.

What… What is your point here, exactly? That you would disagree with genocide being seen as morally right by the majority? That there are countries that do… Whatever the hell you’re talking about? Because, whatever it is, I don’t see it, especially with what you quoted.
 
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Oh look it’s this thread again.

 
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Originally posted by tenco1:
What… What is your point here, exactly?

How can I make it clearer? I said that I think it is disgusting that people think genocide is “morally right for them”. What is not clear about that? Read my friggin post.

 
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Originally posted by MyTie:

How can I make it clearer? I said that I think it is disgusting that people think genocide is “morally right for them”. What is not clear about that? Read my friggin post.

The thing about that, though, is… You. Made. That. Up.

Not the paranoia kind of made up, but this kind of made up, as in, you made up a hypothetical situation, and then proceeded to bitch about the people’s opinions in said hypothetical. (Again, that you made up.)

 
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You think so. They do not.

Suuuuubjeeeectiiiiiviityyyy.

 
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Originally posted by Captain_Catface:

You think so. They do not.

Suuuuubjeeeectiiiiiviityyyy.

I get my morals from the Bible. If there is a God, then my morals are actually objective. Can’t prove it, but that’s how it is. I’ve never had a group of people so readily admit to subjective morality. I usually end up trying to explain to people that they do subscribe to subjective morality and that it is awful. With this group, I am having trouble getting that far. I find myself in the quandary of having to explain why genocide is awful to them. It’s as if it is a perfectly acceptable idea, like pouring yourself a bowl of cereal.

 
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Originally posted by MyTie:

I get my morals from the Bible. If there is a God, then my morals are actually objective.

And if there isn’t, or just not the kind that the Bible says?

Can’t prove it, but that’s how it is.

If you can’t actually prove it, then you can’t call it objective, why haven’t you gotten that, yet?

I’ve never had a group of people so readily admit to subjective morality. I usually end up trying to explain to people that they do subscribe to subjective morality and that it is awful.

And forcing your morals on people is so much better, right?

With this group, I am having trouble getting that far. I find myself in the quandary of having to explain why genocide is awful to them.

Oh God… You didn’t get a word I said, did you?

First of all, I’m going to bet you that almost everyone here personally feels that genocide is wrong. Second, the people here are just trying to get you to understand that you can’t objectively say that any moral is wrong, and that includes the (actually unpopular) opinion that genocide is okay. Third, just because you can’t objectively say that certain morals are wrong, doesn’t mean that actions taken upon the are justified.

It’s as if it is a perfectly acceptable idea, like pouring yourself a bowl of cereal.

You mean the to people you made up?

 
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Oh hey look, another thinly-veiled attempt to force a pro-life agenda down everyone’s throats!
Oh boy!

 
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Originally posted by softest_voice:

Oh hey look, another thinly-veiled attempt to force a pro-life agenda down everyone’s throats!
Oh boy!

I’m not veiling anything. Pro-life is the way to go. Open up and I’ll gladly shove it down. In fact, this goes beyond abortion, into the entire world of morality.

Originally posted by tenco1:And forcing your morals on people is so much better, right?

If my morals are that genocide is wrong, or that we shouldn’t abort babies, or murder black people… then yeah… definitely. I am willing to force those morals on other people. Nearly all of civilized society is. I’m not going to hide from that fact. The difference is, I am saying that these things are wrong, absent of my opinion. I have no measure to prove that they are wrong, but I believe they are and would be, absent of my beliefs. One of us is wrong. Either morals are subjective, and there is no God, or there is a God, and these things are wrong in themselves. Because our opinions differ doesn’t prove subjective morality, just like it wouldn’t prove any objective thing wrong simply because I have an opinion about it.

I believe this is the crux of disagreements. I believe this is the heart of all issues. Religion. Abortion. War. Poverty. All of them. Subjective morality vs Objective morality. Only one side is right. All things are allowed under opinion, or some things are wrong in themselves. Society used to hold to the latter. Now, society is split. I have a feeling it will move to the former. I think that will lead us down a dark and scary road, where the majority opinions will try to legitimately hurt others, based on subjective morality. Then, after that, we’ll swing back to objective morality, where things are wrong and things are right, regardless of what is popular.