Go Back   The PokéCommunity Forums > Off-Topic Discussions > The Round Table
Reload this Page An objective morality

Notices
For all updates, view the main page.

The Round Table Have a seat at the Round Table for in-depth discussions, extended or serious conversations, and current events. From world news to talks on life, growing up, relationships, and issues in society, this is the place to be. Come be a knight.



Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1    
Old February 17th, 2014 (06:47 PM).
Flushed's Avatar
Flushed Flushed is offline
Tomato Soup
Silver Tier
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Gender: Female
Nature: Careful
Posts: 2,119
The idea is something I came across recently and I haven't seen it discussed here, at least lately, so I'd like to see what you think. Does an objective morality exist? Is there a definitive right and wrong that can proven by objective means? Culture, religion, etc., define a moral code, so is something like murder, which to my knowledge is seen by a majority as immoral, something that is only subjectively moral? Does the fact that a vast number of people follow similar ethics tell us that morality is at least somewhat objective? Essentially morality is a construct. But does this allow for other views of morality to be tolerated or justifiable, especially views that may be the polar opposite of what we think (to be honest, at the moment I can only think of instances like Hitler)?
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #2    
Old February 17th, 2014 (07:21 PM).
Sopheria's Avatar
Sopheria Sopheria is online now
AetherSpark
Crystal Tier
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: 闇と不思議の間
Gender: Female
Nature: Lonely
Posts: 2,125
This is a tough question. All my reasoning leads me to believe that it's subjective. Subjective means that different people have different moralities, which is demonstrably true, whether we agree with them or not.

The example that most people give is the obvious things like murder, stealing, rape, etc. But I think a better demonstration of the fact that morality is subjective is much less dramatic: look at followers of Jainism, for example. Their morality differs vastly from the predominant morality in the west because on their morality, killing is always wrong--even in the case of insects and small animals. On our western morality, there's not really a moral stigma attached to, say, killing a fly in your house. Clearly these are two separate moralities.

I believe there's as many moralities as there are people. But if someone were to claim that a particular morality was objective, they would have to prove that it's objective, and thus far no one's really been able to prove that any morality is objective imo...
__________________

"Every waking is a new journey."

~Master Aqua,
Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep



Reply With Quote
  #3    
Old February 17th, 2014 (08:00 PM).
The Dark Avenger's Avatar
The Dark Avenger The Dark Avenger is offline
Vengeance is Vine
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: The States
Gender: Male
Nature: Adamant
Posts: 1,900
Quote originally posted by Flushed:
The idea is something I came across recently and I haven't seen it discussed here, at least lately, so I'd like to see what you think. Does an objective morality exist? Is there a definitive right and wrong that can proven by objective means? Culture, religion, etc., define a moral code, so is something like murder, which to my knowledge is seen by a majority as immoral, something that is only subjectively moral? Does the fact that a vast number of people follow similar ethics tell us that morality is at least somewhat objective? Essentially morality is a construct. But does this allow for other views of morality to be tolerated or justifiable, especially views that may be the polar opposite of what we think (to be honest, at the moment I can only think of instances like Hitler)?
When we get to issues like murder, for instance, morality is equivocal. Is abortion fine? (under which circumstances?) Is self-defense fine? (Under which circumstances?) Is capital murder fine? (Under which circumstances) Further, what defines murder? We will all in a general sense say, murder is wrong, but at the same time, be able to condone some form of murder (as I think we definitely should in some instances!)

We get to issues such as, is it right to allow 10,000 people to die or take a 30% chance risk to save them, but have another population of 20,000 people die. Morality and social dilemmas are mired with complexities and overlapping dilemmas.

Beyond this, I would say being objective in sifting through these dilemmas and trying to resolve them the best way possible for a society, is still subjective.

Objective Morality would have to be inherent. The purpose of life is not known. Though, it certainly points to forming coalitions and dissolving coalitions. Atoms are constantly bonding and breaking apart and larger give life and influence over the life they create. Prokaryotes were the first forms of life on Earth composed of atoms. Single cells lacking a distinct nucleus. Over several billions of years these cells were at war, forming coalitions, and eventually eukaryotes developed out of this warfare, by which changed the game completely. With higher organization of DNA, atoms, through, cells were able to perform more complex organization. Thus, multicellular organisms. From there, warfare continued among mulitcellular organisms, forming more and more complex organization. In this, diversity was favored to ensure competitiveness of organisms, in that, fitness is defined by genetics in relation to environment. Now, why??? That is the question. Why do atoms behave the way they do...we might know how they perform, but that doesn't give us much to work with. Essentially this is where I forge a bridge between science and religion (well I prefer faith). The laws of nature and atomic behavior are responsible for us, who we are, how we act, why we do and feel the way we do. It's a matter of why, who, and/or what is responsible for atomic behavior ( laws of chemistry/physics) and its purpose (if any) can we discover true objective morality.

Excuse some of my simplification of the process of cellular evolution; it's simpler to understand and my field of study doesn't go much into biology/chemistry/physics.

Organized societies try to, by instating moral codes and laws, circumvent certain aspects of natural selection. Humans in societies inherit both genes and nationality/wealth/opportunities/duties among other things. Thus, natural selection, in a sense has been diluted, though I am not stating that is good nor bad. Though, anything that would protect the interests of a society or group of humans isn't exactly objective. conserving human existence on Earth in general isn't objective either. (or at least isn't proven to be.)
__________________

Artwork by Fairy+
Reply With Quote
  #4    
Old February 18th, 2014 (11:44 AM).
Raine's Avatar
Raine Raine is offline
Silver Tier
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Canada
Age: 21
Gender: Female
Nature: Gentle
Posts: 3,650
Individually, morality is definitely subjective because not everyone shares the same perspective or thoughts regarding the same issue. Like zomgitscathy mentioned, common situations where people do share the same morals would include murder, rape, etc.; they are globally recognized as "evils". Although I see that as being a culturally objective morality. Similar to individuals, different cultures may have different viewpoints regarding them; though using those examples would be counterproductive to my argument. Taking those specific situations out of the equation would mean focusing on other lesser known issues where morality and values can be the same within a culture and between individuals, but different from one culture to another.
__________________
And who knows: starting a new journey may not be so hard, or maybe it has already begun
There are many worlds, and they share the same sky - one sky, one destiny

— レイン · wonderland · love · achievements
Reply With Quote
  #5    
Old February 19th, 2014 (07:45 AM).
Orogenes's Avatar
Orogenes Orogenes is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Stockholm
Gender: Male
Nature: Gentle
Posts: 70
In my opinion, there is no such thing as pure objectivity; the closest thing might be natural laws that act pretty indiscriminately, however even concepts such as time/space do get a bit complicated when you get down to things like singularities...

Considering the "human world" though, objectivity for me can be thought of as a scale that you can move across with qualitative classifications such as "more" or "less" but are never able to reach an absolute state of. This regards everything from our taste in art/food etc. to political opinions and philosophy/morality. In a way, it is pretty natural how people want to turn to something bigger than themselves in order to justify their behavior; whether it is juridical law or a religious edict. The purpose of these kinds of prescriptions are not to point to an objective morality however, but to lay down some common behavioral conducts that people can stand behind and act according to. The alternative is that everybody is following a different set of standards, making it very hard to maintain a common society. These laws/moral codes that we develop to keep society together might, or rather ought to, change with the times in order to be relevant to what is required of them.

Change is a keyword here. Even within a singe individuals life, a person is able to change stance on a number of issues, depending on their life experiences and how they are interpreted. Context is thus another important thing; what might be morality right for one person at one time and place might not be equally appropriate for another set of circumstances and individuals.

In the end, it's up to each one of us to make up our own behavioral code and be able to stand by it, alternatively change it if we discover a better alternative along the way. We should always try to be open minded in the sense that we should strive to understand other people's points of view and respect them, even if we don't agree with them.

If we start believing in an objective morality, I think there is a danger that we'll get more likely to stop thinking critically and start trusting in some self proclaimed authority that is the interpreter of that "objective" morality - be it the state, an exalted religious figure or whatever. We should never just accept a code of conduct, philosophy or anything just because somebody says so, however hard we want those principles to be true. Also, If I believe in such as concept as an "objective morality", it's not too big of a stretch to start thinking that I have also discovered an objective and absolute "truth"; how can there be two different and opposing objective moralities? It follows that everybody else that does not share my opinion of that objective truth is the opposite - subjective and wrong. Being confident that my actions are "endorsed" by this "objective" code of conduct, a feeling of superiority might be natural, maybe giving me the "right" to assign punishment/judgment on those who don't share my opinions...

You probably see where I am going with this. I am not saying this chain of events will always happen in this particular fashion just because somebody thinks that they abide by a morality they perceive as objective, just that things start getting black and white quickly if we believe in absolute states of right and wrong, and the idea of an objective morality for me lies dangerously close to such reasonings...
Reply With Quote
  #6    
Old March 17th, 2014 (08:10 PM).
Konishi Konishi is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 14
Moral principles can be broken down into a set of axioms. Peoples have different values with respect to each axiom and scenarios based on those axioms.

Ethical dilemmas can occur where an action may favour one axiom but oppose another. When there are ethical dilemmas, morality becomes subjective.

There are some things done in Saudi Arabia, that aren’t done (or haven’t been done for a long time) in my country, that involve an ethical trade-off. The consumption of alcohol is a good example of this. Alcohol consumption has lead to losses in productivity, poor health, addiction, and the deaths of others. Banning alcohol would reduce those problems greatly, thus having ethical merit. Banning alcohol however, would be unfair to those who drink it responsibly, can open up a violent black market (e.g. gang wars during USA’s prohibition era), and can reduce tourism revenue. Alcohol prohibition is an example of subjective morality.

An action is objectively wrong morally when:
- It goes against an ethical axiom without favouring another ethical axiom.
- Or it goes against an ethical axiom so much while favouring another so little.

Murdering someone based on an insult, is objectively wrong. Cutting off the hands of someone for stealing a loaf of bread, is objectively wrong. Torturing someone for saying that God doesn’t exist, is objectively wrong. Stoning to death a rape victim, is objectively wrong.
Reply With Quote
  #7    
Old March 17th, 2014 (08:20 PM).
Corvus of the Black Night's Avatar
Corvus of the Black Night Corvus of the Black Night is offline
Wild Duck Pokémon
Gold TierCS
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: With the Birds
Age: 22
Gender: Other
Nature: Impish
Posts: 3,429
No. Objectivity does not exist, outside of the very basic concept of change and stagnancy. "Good" and "Evil" are man made constructs in an attempt to monitor man's behaviour.
Reply With Quote
  #8    
Old March 17th, 2014 (09:42 PM).
The Dark Avenger's Avatar
The Dark Avenger The Dark Avenger is offline
Vengeance is Vine
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: The States
Gender: Male
Nature: Adamant
Posts: 1,900
I almost want to reconsider how I framed my answer a bit.

Perhaps objectivity does exist to a degree, but nothing is absolutely objective (or at least known to be.)

For instance, science tries to examine the world more objectively, but can never escape their point of view as humans and their inherited thought mechanism/instincts. All things would then be both subjective and objective, on a scale.

Like altruism and selfishness. There is not one example of pure altruism. Just try it...it can always be traced back to some form of selfishness. Thus, the term reciprocal altruism. Example, a mother's love=genetic fitness. That's not to say altruism doesn't exist, it's purest form, of being nothing else or contrary to altruism just doesn't exist, other than in a hypothetical context. Rather, most things manifest themselves as multiple ideals, but to a degree.

So, perhaps, maybe, between two morals, one can more objective, even if it is still primarily subjectively influenced.

Not sure though. P'raps, some of you future philosopher kings might be able to weigh in on this.
__________________

Artwork by Fairy+
Reply With Quote
Reply
Quick Reply

Sponsored Links

You may also like.. (Beta)
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Minimum Characters Per Post: 25

Forum Jump


All times are UTC -8. The time now is 03:14 AM.