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Are moral values objectively real?

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Are moral values objectively real?
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LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2950Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Vic 2.0 wrote:Laurens,
"Just because we sense things it doesn't mean that sensed something exists objectively."

Well precisely. And my point is that this goes for our so-called "physical" senses as well. And so while we can play the role of the eternal skeptic, sooner or later we'll have to choose between trusting our senses and rejecting what they're telling us.


The physical senses can be trusted the majority of the time because they because they provide a coherent, non contradictory, consistent basis for our perceptions. Not only that but these senses do not contradict what other people report that they experience with their senses. Of course philosophically speaking one might say that we are all being tricked consistently in agreement with one another and that our perceptions don't match reality, however it makes just as much sense to say its equally likely that something does exist externally and that we should trust our senses. We may not have 100% dead certainty but we have good reason to assume.

The same cannot necessarily be said for morality. For instance someone might "sense" that having an abortion is morally repulsive, but equally someone might get a similar sense about someone denying a woman's right to an abortion. Both people feel something is wrong, but the outcome of their both being right in their feeling is contradictory.

Sure there are lots of things we agree upon. Many of which are due to our evolution as a social species. The taboo against random unprovoked violence for instance. You'd never make it far in the group if you behaved like this. So it makes sense that those who survived were the ones predisposed to not wanting to randomly attack others without provokation.

"The first thing I would say is that culture can have a huge impact on what we sense. If we are to look at some of the food eaten in certain cultures, some cultures routinely consume things that would make us physically repulsed."

And so our senses can be altered by our environment and experiences. Now, first, I must point out that this can apply to truly objective things. Being around certain chemicals for extended periods of time may affect your ability to taste ANYTHING. But more to the point, I concede that there ARE subjective examples of taste as well as morality. So I wouldn't mean to imply that EVERYTHING is either right or wrong (unless we agree that "right" can just mean "okay", so as to conclude that the taste of broccoli and the act of playing basketball are "right"). But that of course doesn't mean that the very sense itself isn't telling something about that realm, whether it be about the "physical" realm or the moral one. And indeed that IS confirmed in experience, because sometimes a person might sense immorality in an event without even identifying it AS immoral (the same victim of the aforementioned child molestation being a prime example). But whether I like broccoli or not, I can taste it and by that sense confirm that it exists.


Yeah but now you are conflating the existence of broccoli with the value judgement. Broccoli exists we can agree on that. Child molestation occurs we can agree on that too. The value judgement broccoli is horrible/child molestation is bad do not exist by extension. One is simply inconsquential personal preference and the other is an extrapolation based upon reasoning. You appear to suggest that the answer to whether or not something is wrong exists even before that act ever occurs. Lets say there is an action that no one has ever done, or ever will do, is it written into the universe that said thing is wrong even though it has never nor will ever happen, or even potentially happen? Child molestation was wrong before human children existed? I think our morals come from society assessing an action and reasoning based on factors such as social harmony, ideas about rights, fairness and so. Once an action happens people decide whether it is wrong or not based on those factors. When something has been wrong for a long time it becomes ingrained and thus felt to be wrong. New information and factors come into existence as humanity progresses hence why some things such as slavery were deemed okay in the past but are now not. Your "sense of morality" postulation doesn't explain this.

I don't agree, either, that if the sense of immorality were there (when that torture was taking place) then it wouldn't have happened. I think it's simply a choice we make to ignore/downplay the senses we do experience. A person may be in great pain and refuse to acknowledge it with action. That pain is telling them to get to the doctor! And in such cases where it is ignored until it's too late, we don't deny that the person was in pain. We just say "They should've heeded their senses". Same for morality.

But real quick now, WERE those people wrong to torture children? Or were they justified simply because they thought they were?


Judging by todays standards those people were wrong. I'm sure they were also judged to be wrong in their day by some. I believe that even with the limited information available to them at the time those people ought to have been able to deduce that their actions were wrong and thus cannot have justified it even by their standards.
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Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:03 am
Vic 2.0Posts: 23Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:51 pm

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Hello Laurens,

I agree that there being no contradiction or incoherence in trusting our physical senses is part of why it's rational to do so. But the same could be said for morality.

"Not only that but these senses do not contradict what other people report that they experience with their senses."

Two things about that:
1. You are presupposing the trustworthiness of your "physical" senses again, by granting that these people you are seeing, hearing, etc. (which affirm that they're sensing what you are) are really there.
2. People DO report different things being seen, heard, etc. And the way we handle these situations regarding PHYSICAL senses is that we all agree that only one person can be right. This goes back to disagreements and why they don't imply a lack of objectivity on the matter, whether you're dealing with your physical or moral senses.

There is a reason Craig and others use examples of moral questions that are less controversial, and that is because they want to drive home the point without getting into another debate. And I agree with this method. So rather than asking if ABORTION is right or wrong, let's go back to the question "Is it morally wrong to rape and torture a little child for fun?" This, if anything, should get people in general agreement so that we can look at the implications of that consensus. WHY do we say this is wrong? Well it's because just imagining such a thing evokes that moral sense. That a small minority of people might fail to have this sense no more serves to undermine the objectivity of moral values than a blind man's inability to see light undermines the objectivity of it.

"Yeah but now you are conflating the existence of broccoli with the value judgement."

You're framing this statement to suit you. I do not REGARD my moral senses as "value judgments". I do not DECIDE it's wrong to torture an innocent child, I SENSE that it is. And you say "we can agree that broccoli exists", but that is only on the basis of you trusting your senses. Both that broccoli exists and that I exist is something your senses are telling you.

To answer your question about purely POTENTIAL atrocities, yes, I think those things are objectively wrong as well. I don't see why it would depend on whether or not it ever got done. Do you really think that if no child was ever molested, it would be OK until it happened? So you think morals come from society, I think societies have generally improved in RECOGNIZING morals.

ME: "But real quick now, WERE those people wrong to torture children? Or were they justified simply because they thought they were?"
YOU: "Judging by todays standards those people were wrong."

What was it THEN? Right? And do you concede that people sometimes ignore their senses, be they physical or moral? I appreciate you keeping it civil. I don't know how much longer I'll be posting on this forum. I was invited to share my perspective with you guys, and I think I've done that in spades! Hehe. But I don't want to cut out too early, either, so long as the feedback is original and we don't start just repeating ourselves.
Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:01 am
MarsCydoniaUser avatarPosts: 834Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 4:15 pm

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

"Is it morally wrong to rape and torture a little child for fun?"
"Slavery is morally ok" -
"I don't know how the burden of proof works in the mind of atheists but I don't have to prove my claims" -
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Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:11 am
LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2950Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Yes it is wrong to rape and torture a child. Why because reasoning tells me so. I can explain exactly why without appealing to a metaphysical sense.

It is reasonable to state that an individual has some autonomy over their body. Being that we inhabit it, and are in control over it and are subject to the emotions and physical sensations produced by it, it is reasonable to state that it is wrong for another to forcibly violate it and subject us to something physically and emotionally painful against our will. Our social and legal structure by and large reflects this as a right. This right, agreed upon by the vast majority of people in itself makes the act wrong. Indeed society would not exist had we not agreed upon this as a kind of moral 'contract' between individuals.

What evidence over than 'a gut feeling' do you have that morals exist separate from ourselves, our evolution, and our reasoning in some kind of Platonic way?

I don't think that if no child had ever been molested it would be okay. I never said that. It would just be off the radar. If it did happen we would quickly arrive at the conclusion that it was wrong based on reasoning.
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Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:22 am
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2374Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Fuck it:

Morality and the False Dichotomy

I just chanced across an old episode of the Atheist Experience with Matt Dillahunty and Jen Peeples from earlier this year in which a caller from Grand Blanc, Michigan attempts to argue for Kalamity Kraig's 'Moral Argument for God'.

Matt, in his inimitable style, fairly comprehensively demolishes the argument, but there's a lot of dancing around a point that almost invariably crops up and never really gets addressed in these discussions.

I'll include the video at the bottom of the post for anybody interested, but I want to take a different tack and address the elephant in the room.

Here's the short form of the argument:

P1. If god does not exist, then objective moral values do not exist.
P2. Objective moral values do exist.
C. Therefore, god exists.

As a claim to knowledge, this has about as much substance as Aristotle's claims concerning sexual dimorphism in human dentition. There are several obvious flaws that should be immediately apparent to anybody with more than two functioning neurons, yet somebody with a double doctorate in philosophy can't seem to spot them. Those problems are, non-exhaustively, abuse of the material conditional in P1, the oxymoronic concept of 'objective values' and, of course, our old friend the blind assertion. I'll come back to those to address later in the post, but my immediate concern is the false dichotomy between objective and subjective.

It's often thought that statements fall into two broad categories, objective and subjective, and it's almost always in these terms that this discussion is set. As always, we need to unpack some terms. Since the dichotomous terms are the easiest to address, let's look at those first:

What is meant by 'objective'? Simple: It means 'independent of mind'. It means that something is the case regardless of what anybody thinks about it.

And 'subjective'? Again, simple: It means 'dependent on mind'. It means that something may or may not be the case, and we can each come to different conclusions.

What about morality? What's that?

This is really where the whole thing starts to degenerate, not least because what we think of as constituting morality seems to be liberally interspersed with objective principles, such as that it's 'wrong' to kill or rape but, in the details, to contain much that seems subjective. Of course, trying to define 'right' and 'wrong' leads us further down the rabbit-hole, because we'll often disagree on the details of what is considered to be a right moral action and a wrong one. There are some general principles we can agree on, though, and these are the examples that are wheeled out as 'objective', and that are thought by the apologist to close down the discussion.

Morality is a social contract. It's the mechanism by which we, as a social species, can operate as social animals. It's a broad agreement that we should not unnecessarily inflict harm upon one another. The minutiae of that agreement will vary from place to place but, in general there are things that we can agree on. We can agree that harm is caused when one of us kills another. We can agree that harm is caused when one of us rapes another, or steals from another.

Some of these are not set in stone (well, unless you're of a particular theological persuasion). There are many moral dilemmas littering the ethics literature that show that it isn't always easy to spot what a right action is in a given situation. For example, is it immoral to lie? Yes? Is it wrong to lie to a Gestapo officer about the Jewish family hiding under your floorboards, knowing that revealing them will lead to their deaths?

The long and short of it is that morality requires thought. Having a rigid set of rules is actually counter-productive to moral progress, as can be seen all-too-readily in recent years, with atrocities rendered in the name of this or that deity, or this or that rule, often in a climate in which we're terminally unable to reach any sort of agreement on which interpretation of said rule or deity is the correct one, if any of them are (no prizes for guessing where my money is). With a strict set of doctrinal imperatives that must be adhered to without question, abuse is always on the horizon. Harm will always come to somebody. In such a climate, even mild disagreement on interpretation can get a lot of people hurt, oppressed, marginalised, encamped, decamped or killed, or any combination of those and a litany of other abuses to dignity and our persons.

More specifically, it requires discussion and thought. Rules are the antithesis of thought, and lead to conflict.

I've heard it asserted, on countless occasions, that Western morality owes its existence to Christianity. A vacuous assertion, devoid of any real basis. The simple fact that a set of rules undermines moral progress nullifies that assertion wholesale, and that's even before we get into the content. The first four of the classic ten commandments (there are actually six hundred and thirteen of them) are the utterances of a classic abuser - 'Do what I want and, if you report me to anyone, I'll hurt your family - forever!'.

Rules of thumb are far superior. They give you a baseline for what constitutes harm, while allowing the freedom to properly weight the moral consequences of any given action. I can agree that it's best most of the time to be truthful, but that this isn't to be taken as 'gospel', as little Rachael under your floorboards will attest with some relief.

By learning lessons from these and other situations, we've made progress over the centuries, as our species' moral compass has slowly ground toward magnetic North; abolishing slavery - though not everybody's caught on, founding of principles of equality - again, much progress to be made, I won't bore with a list but, in general, we're making progress, and most of that has come about by recognising that rigid application of fixed rules rarely has a good outcome.

In reality, we're extremely complex individuals when it comes to morality. The way we think about things in a moral context is coloured by all sorts of factors so, like any other area containing a large number of complex variables, it can be quite disordered. Education/inculcation/indoctrination are major but individual experience generates all sorts of biases, many of which we'd struggle to identify. Then we see studies from cognitive science on phenomena like 'priming'. This is an area of study in which people can be 'primed' toward certain decisions based on introduced stimuli. I recommend looking up Daniel Kahneman and his studies, including priming people to be selfish based only on seeing some representation of money, and a lovely one where students are primed to like or dislike somebody based only on the temperature of a cup that was handed to them some minutes prior to the interview. It's a fascinating area, and nails the whole free will debate to the wall for me, but it's only a sidebar to my purpose here.

So we can see that morality, often thought of as monolithic and fixed by many, is fluid and progressive, and must remain so.

So, is it subjective, then?

No.

I've talked before about the core assumptions of science. Here, I want to look at the first two:

1. There exist multiple observers (solipsism is false).
2. These observers can communicate their observations.

Why are these assumptions important? The first is important because, put simply, if solipsism is true, science is an illusion. The second is important because, taken together with the first, these introduce the star of today's show. The resolution to the dichotomy of subjectivity and objectivity: Inter-subjectivity.

Science progresses by ruling things out. It says, 'this hypothesis is in direct contradiction with observation, bin it'. That's it. Any remaining hypotheses that aren't directly contradicted are retained for further study, further generation of consequences until we find a consequence that isn't observed. Generally, the one that most elegantly explains the broadest range of observations, especially unexplained observations, will generally get the most attention, which is why string theory is still with us. These are reached by a broad consensus of specialists in the relevant field, who've checked the work, checked the observations, replicated the experiments themselves in many cases, and broadly, we can say that, under rigorous conditions, all these experts confirm that the proposed experiment does what it's supposed to and produces the predicted outcome. That keeps happening until we find an experiment that fails to generate the predicted outcome, or generates an outcome that the hypothesis implies will not be observed, and we whittle out hypotheses on this basis.

Morality is the same sort of framework. We all know that we feel shame or guilt when we knowingly do harm to somebody. Often, we'll feel shame and guilt when we discover later that an innocent- or benign-seeming act put others in harm's way - even one that, at the time, you couldn't know had moral implications. Evolution has given us a marvellous set of tools to help us in our interactions with the world as a social animal. Lots of lovely chemicals to infuse the brain with emotional states. We know how we'd feel if we were subject to such harm, because we're experienced with our brain chemistry, and have even found ways to trigger it artificially for recreation.

We're not the only ones, either. As much as some will scream that it's not possible, you can readily observe moral reasoning and its effects in animals. No dog owner can come upon the dog when it's had it away with your sausages and tell me that the look on its face is not guilt and shame. If you don't have a dog, watch an episode of Meerkat Manor. There's one who's always being naughty, and you can see the guilt in his behaviour even hours later when his behaviour is discovered. He's just like a human child. As for the artificial triggers, have a look at the Wiki page for Zoopharmacognosy (lit: animal drug knowledge; we don't yet know if any do it for recreation). Hey, Cheech, this cat knows his shit...

In summary, morality is neither subjective nor objective, but inter-subjective. It's no more nor less than the framework that allows us to operate successfully as social animals. It's an agreement, essentially, not to be a dick.

So what about that argument? Let's look at it again:
P1. If god does not exist, then objective moral values do not exist.
P2. Objective moral values do exist.
C. Therefore, god exists.

P1 is a lovely example of abuse of the material conditional. With such a conditional, it's possible to prove just about anything. I could, for example, quite simply prove that the moon is made of green cheese. Here:

P1. If Matt Dillahunty won the argument, the moon is made of green cheese.
P2. Matt won the argument.
C. Therefore, the moon is made of green cheese.

This little bit of absurdity is exactly the same in form as the moral argument. No doubt somebody will accuse me of an argumentum ad absurdum, but this is actually a valid reductio ad absurdum, because the form of the reasoning is exactly the same.

Aside from this abuse, the premise also commits the fallacy of blind assertion. There's no basis for asserting that god is required for objectivity, in morality or anything else, for that matter. Indeed, it's not a stretch to argue that, if morality is subject to the whims of a single individual, then it's subjective by definition.

Many attempts have been made to get out of this, but they all fail. The most common is simply to state that morals flow from god's nature (and indeed the apologist in the video does exactly this). This, rather than supporting the argument, fatally undercuts it, because if morality flows from god's essential nature, then god doesn't have any choice, which means that the source of morality is not god himself, but the nature imposed on him by the universe (god is a subset of the universe and cannot be the creator of it, an argument I'll be dealing with in a future post), which means that objective morality does not rely on the existence of god.

Another major issue with the premise is that it contains a howling oxymoron. 'Values' cannot be objective. It's kind of in the definition of the word. Values are value-laden, at the risk of tautologically saying the same thing twice.

Not only is there no logical justification for accepting the first premise as an axiom, there's actually good reason to reject it outright.

Moreover, on the basis of the foregoing discussion, even were we to accept, for the sake of argument, the veracity of the first premise, we can reject the second outright, because a) it contains the same oxymoron, b) it's factually incorrect, because there are not, nor can there be, objective moral values, nor indeed objective morality.

Also worth noting here that, as pointed out by Matt, the argument in toto commits one of the supernaturalist's favourite fallacies, the petitio principii, because the argument basically says God is morality, therefore god.

As is often the case with such arguments, it's not so much sophisticated as it is sophistry.
Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:04 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2956Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Greetings,

Vic 2.0 wrote:Meanwhile, hackenslash, you posted a lengthy comment to complain that I'm not going to that link (whereas, again, you could've just summarized it here) and you've completely neglected to engage with ANY of the arguments and counterarguments I've given. Face it, if there were a good refutation for my reasoning someone would've articulated it right here on the thread by now.

I'll return to this later.

Vic 2.0 wrote:Dragan Glas says,
"The basis for the dream has to come from somewhere."

Still not sure what you mean. If you mean it has to have a SOURCE, then I agree that for this to be a simulation there would need to be something making that happen. But remember, I'm not referring to the question "Is there a reality?" or "Do I exist?" I'm saying that we trust our SENSES to give us an ACCURATE picture of reality. I see no reason why a person shouldn't trust their moral senses in the same way.

We have evidence of a physical reality, as we do of our physical senses - we don't have any evidence of a "moral reality", as we don't of our "moral sense", other than the qualia of it.

In the absence of such evidence, why should we trust the latter's existence?

We can explain our moral sense based on nothing more than some combination of evolution and culture - this is the most parsimonious explanation.

For example, due to evolution we are social animals. That requires that we get on with others - we can only do that through behaving in accordance with the dictum, "do unto others as you would be done by", which has its equivalents across the globe. Those who did not behave sociably would have been isolated, and would be less likely to reproduce, thus whatever genetic basis existed for their anti-social behaviour would have failed to be propagated.

Thus culturally there were - are - drivers promoting social behaviour.

If you were brought up in a cannibalistic society, you'd accept that killing, and eating, humans was normal. If you - or someone else in the tribe - decided that you didn't want to do this anymore, you'd be considered "immoral" for not abiding by the tribe's customary practices.

It should be noted that, as Jared Diamond points out in his book The World Until Yesterday, that cannibalism - as a practice - does not survive contact with cultures that don't practice it.

Equally, if you were brought up in the proverbial "crime family", you'd accept it as normal that violence, including murder, was normal. Those not brought up in such environments, needless to say, would not find it normal, and - as a result - immoral.

Vic 2.0 wrote:Also, James, I appreciate your civil approach to this topic and to me personally.

Thank you for the compliment.

Vic 2.0 wrote:I won't be taking the time to watch videos, go to other pages, etc. because in my experience that's never profitable (at times, it turns out to not even be RELEVANT). But I know that if people have enough faith in the arguments provided elsewhere, they will be more than happy to summarize them here. I haven't linked to any of William Lane Craig's podcasts or his website, after all. I've given the points I think are good.

As you'll note, hackenslash has copy/pasted the article he wrote.

I would still urge you to watch the video posted by MarsCydonia as it is simpler that either he or I writing out a transcript of it for you to read. The video deconstructs Craig's moral argument - if you're basing any of what you're saying on it, then it's highly relevant to this discussion.

I would also add, with regard to your differences with MarsCydonia, that the fact that we're all here operating in something of a vacuum as to what are your beliefs is contributing to this misunderstanding.

MarsCydonia may be inferring that you're implying that anyone who denies a moral sense is in a similar position to the biblical position about atheists denying the existence of god.

You've indicated that you have no position on dualism, which may imply you're a pantheist of some description but this is unclear.

We're not sure if you have some unspoken beliefs behind what you're saying or whether this is merely an intellectual exercise on your part - that you're simply playing devil's advocate rather than believing for what you're actually arguing.

It would help if you clarified your beliefs for us, so there isn't any misunderstanding.

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:13 pm
Vic 2.0Posts: 23Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:51 pm

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Laurens, this isn't about what MAKES something right/wrong, but "reasoning" implies the assumption that human beings should thrive, so it is no better than the moral sense we typically appeal to. I flat-out reject the idea that when we're confronted with something like a case of child rape, we sit and reason out the details of why it is wrong. I think, if we're honest, we'll admit that it comes first and foremost from our senses.

hackenslash says,
"Morality and the False Dichotomy
I just chanced across an old episode of the Atheist Experience with Matt Dillahunty and Jen Peeples from earlier this year in which a caller from Grand Blanc, Michigan attempts to argue for Kalamity Kraig's 'Moral Argument for God'."

Immediately I'm sensing a bias against Dr. Craig here! Here's hoping that does not hinder their ability to reason!

Before I continue reading, though, I want to reiterate that I AGREE that Craig's moral argument doesn't work to suggest a god exists. I'm also hoping this post is not just about that, but about dealing with the existence of objective moral values.

So this person claims "objective vs. subjective" is a false dichotomy. They rightly understand that objective means "independent of mind" and subjective means "dependent on mind". I disagree with their assertion that morality IS a social contract. Social contract theory is just one of many moral theories, it certainly isn't the DEFINITION of "morality".

I agree that set absolutes in morality are going to lead to wrong actions. When it is said that morality requires thought, however, I feel this is trying to blur lines. As I said to Laurens, we can sense things WITHOUT much actual thought, and this too applies in the physical senses parallel.

"So we can see that morality, often thought of as monolithic and fixed by many, is fluid and progressive, and must remain so."

I would cut out "must remain so", because that sounds like we're DECIDING whether or not right and wrong works this way, which actually undermines the larger point I think both the author and myself are agreeing on. Better to say, "This is how morality works, and we should always RECOGNIZE that".

"So, is it subjective, then? No."

This person admits morality is not subjective. Great! And so if he/she fails to show that "objective vs. subjective" is a false dichotomy, then even they have agreed that it's objective ;)

"I've talked before about the core assumptions of science. Here, I want to look at the first two:
1. There exist multiple observers (solipsism is false).
2. These observers can communicate their observations."

That's good, they acknowledge Craig's point about the reality given to us by our observations not being a matter of fact.

"We all know that we feel shame or guilt when we knowingly do harm to somebody."

That's interesting, because to hear a couple people HERE tell it, they DON'T have these moral senses. I'm glad to see SOMEBODY'S being honest :P

"In summary, morality is neither subjective nor objective, but inter-subjective. It's no more nor less than the framework that allows us to operate successfully as social animals. It's an agreement, essentially, not to be a dick."

If morality is a framework, then it's SUBJECTIVE because it cannot exist without a mind. Depending on minds for its existence, it is purely subjective and it being inter-subjective doesn't keep it from being subjective at all.

And while I agree that the moral argument fails, the author's objection to premise 1 fails also. It seems to be assuming that no ARGUMENTS are given to defend premise 1, which isn't the case. And so the first premise they provide in their analogy is simply a false premise, incomparable to Craig's first premise in the moral argument. And they don't seem to be aware of Craig's answer to the Euthyphro dilemma, making them quite far BEHIND when it comes to Craig's arguments!

About the alleged oxymoron, I think at best this makes a good suggestion that maybe the statement should be reworded. But we all understand the meaning of the statement, which is why no one who's actually debated Craig in academia has wasted their time with this criticism.

Dillahunty's allegation also fails, because the argument DOESN'T say "God is morality, therefore god". It says "Morality exists. Morality probably WOULDN'T exist if there WASN'T a god. And therefore a god probably exists."

And let me just say in closing that, I WAS RIGHT! This long spiel was mostly irrelevant to my point, and I shouldn't have had to sift through it all looking for the alleged refutation of the existence of objective moral values. I was not here to argue for Craig's moral argument. Next time, just give the damn point that's relevant, please?
Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:29 pm
Vic 2.0Posts: 23Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:51 pm

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Dragan Glas says,
"We have evidence of a physical reality, as we do of our physical senses"

Where is the evidence then, Dragan? You can't appeal to the very physical senses you're trying to prove true; that would be a circular argument.

And I've already responded to how evolution ties in with belief in objective morality, as I have with the possibility of people simply being WRONG about it. The physical senses parallel applies to each of these points as well.

I thought that I had told you guys I was an atheist, but if not I have now! And you guys should probably not be worrying about my beliefs on other matters, lest that hinder your ability to be fair toward the arguments I'm giving on this subject. I cannot count the number of times an anti-theist has refused to hear me out and then upon discovering I'm an atheist too suddenly start listening.
Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:35 pm
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2374Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Dude, learn to use the quote function. I have no intention of picking out who said what to eviscerate your idiotic shit. Fix that, and I'll happily fuck up your arse-gravy.
Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:53 pm
Vic 2.0Posts: 23Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:51 pm

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

So all of a sudden, it's impossible to read what I typed? Hmmmm.

Off-topic: Does this forum have a moderator? You know, to kind of deal with people who are just plain being hostile?
Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:00 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2956Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Greetings,

Just to address something in your response to Laurens:

I agree that set absolutes in morality are going to lead to wrong actions. When it is said that morality requires thought, however, I feel this is trying to blur lines. As I said to Laurens, we can sense things WITHOUT much actual thought, and this too applies in the physical senses parallel.

Just because we're not aware of the thought process underlying our sensing of something doesn't mean that that process doesn't/hasn't occurred.

A recent study has shown that our emotions are cognitive.

Vic 2.0 wrote:Dragan Glas says,
"We have evidence of a physical reality, as we do of our physical senses"

Where is the evidence then, Dragan? You can't appeal to the very physical senses you're trying to prove true; that would be a circular argument.

As Feynman put it, those philosophers who believed that the plate of food in front of them didn't exist, died of starvation.

And I thought that I'd already answered this: *something* has to exist - to be the "source", to use your term - and it is that *something* that is physically real.

One might argue that there are shells-within-shells - ie, you can put as many layers between us and the ^something* - but the most parsimonious explanation is that the *something* is the (physical) reality we detect through our (physical) senses.

You might argue that this isn't "positive" evidence that we have physical senses - but it's a reasonable assumption.

Vic 2.0 wrote:And I've already responded to how evolution ties in with belief in objective morality, as I have with the possibility of people simply being WRONG about it. The physical senses parallel applies to each of these points as well.

How does evolution indicate - "tie in with belief in" - a objective morality?

Vic 2.0 wrote:I thought that I had told you guys I was an atheist, but if not I have now! And you guys should probably not be worrying about my beliefs on other matters, lest that hinder your ability to be fair toward the arguments I'm giving on this subject. I cannot count the number of times an anti-theist has refused to hear me out and then upon discovering I'm an atheist too suddenly start listening.

So, you're an atheist - of some description. Personally, I don't identify myself as such (agnostic atheist), as it doesn't tell anyone what I believe - when asked, I explain that I'm a humanist, specifically a secular humanist.

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
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Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:32 pm
Vic 2.0Posts: 23Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:51 pm

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

"Just because we're not aware of the thought process underlying our sensing of something doesn't mean that that process doesn't/hasn't occurred."

He said that REASON was how he determined something was wrong, not merely cognition (which you're right, could be an instant of thought process we're not even aware of). Clearly, that sort of process is not the same as reasoning. And again, our brains interpret physical senses as well, so the parallel continues to shut down skepticism of objective morality.

You said, "We have evidence of a physical reality, as we do of our physical senses"
I asked, "Where is the evidence then, Dragan? You can't appeal to the very physical senses you're trying to prove true; that would be a circular argument."

And now you say,
"As Feynman put it, those philosophers who believed that the plate of food in front of them didn't exist, died of starvation."

This of course ALSO presupposes the accuracy of the senses on trial. But you're actually highlighting the main point, which is to say we should trust our senses despite not being able to prove the truth of what they're telling us.

"And I thought that I'd already answered this: *something* has to exist - to be the "source", to use your term - and it is that *something* that is physically real."

And my response was to clarify that we're not asking if there is a sort of physical reality of some kind; we're asking should we trust our SENSES to give us the accurate picture of said reality.

"How does evolution indicate - "tie in with belief in" - a objective morality?"

I never said it indicated it, but I said that these things are compatible. It's just that, rather than saying "We evolved these senses, therefore they don't reflect an objective morality" (which sounds like a bit of a non sequitur to me anyway), we say "We evolved these senses, so that we could better DETECT objective rights and wrongs". And again, this is not unlike our physical senses, unless you think there was no such thing as light until we evolved eyes.
Sat Feb 25, 2017 5:37 pm
LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2950Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Vic 2.0 wrote:Laurens, this isn't about what MAKES something right/wrong, but "reasoning" implies the assumption that human beings should thrive, so it is no better than the moral sense we typically appeal to. I flat-out reject the idea that when we're confronted with something like a case of child rape, we sit and reason out the details of why it is wrong. I think, if we're honest, we'll admit that it comes first and foremost from our senses.


Yeah I will grant that there is nothing inherent to the universe which states that human flourishing ought to happen. But I'm not positing a platonic set of universal ethics that existed before humans did. Human beings desire to thrive, they want the best possible lives for themselves, and the best way to achieve that is if we all flourish together.

There is an extent to which our moral reasoning comes from the senses. We have elaborate neural networks that essentially mirror what we see in other people. If we see someone physically in pain and distress, our mirror neurons fire as though we were in that position ourselves. We empathise with others. So this is indeed a component, we can sense through empathy that rape and torture are wrong because we can imagine how it would feel if it were done to us. None of this exists outside of human minds.

I'm not saying we would ever need to sit down and debate it out if child torture had never occurred before. Using the framework of reasoning that we have already established we could quickly assess (as in a fraction of a second) that it was wrong.

What evidence do you have that a platonic set of moral ideals exist independent of minds? The argument that we sense things is not sufficient because I don't deny that our moral reasoning gives us a vague sense of right and wrong. Something can be clearly wrong, and we don't have to think about it because of our ingrained biological and cultural morality allow us to arrive at a decision in an instant. Somethings can be less clear. New moral quandaries occur all the time. One recent example is whether or not it is okay to use an actor's likeness after they have died. Do you get a gut response to that? Are you saying the answer to that is written into the universe somehow? Issues like this we need to assess and discuss to figure out whether they are right or wrong. If we can just sense what is right and wrong why do we so often debate moral issues? Why do some people hold a completely different set of morals? Why aren't we just born knowing perfectly the right thing to do in any situation? My postulation explains morals, yours adds a whole realm to it that you have not established at all.

EDIT:

Say the government wants to crack down on school attendance and they decide the best way to do so is to take people's children away from them and force those kids to live together and be educated together under constant surveillance in government facilities. They are not physically harmed, and are fed etc, but are in some distress at being separate from their families. Please explain why this is wrong using your moral framework.
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Sat Feb 25, 2017 7:18 pm
Vic 2.0Posts: 23Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:51 pm

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Laurens, the problem you run into when you think of morality that way, is that anyone who REJECTS the notion that human beings should flourish is every bit as correct as you are. And so on this view the child rapist is simply "acting unfashionably", as Craig has put it. If there's no right or wrong apart from human opinion, then every opinion is right, no matter how disastrous it may turn out to be for human flourishing.

And so "reasoning" will get you "what is most conducive to the well-being of humans". But it won't do anything to tell you what is right and what is wrong (unless you completely redefine these concepts).

"What evidence do you have that a platonic set of moral ideals exist independent of minds?"

The same exact amount of evidence I have that this keyboard my mind's telling me is real exists. Remember, I am not here to support the claim that objective moral values exist; I'm saying that the arguments to be SKEPTICAL of it do not work, because of this relentless and ever-appearing parallel.

"New moral quandaries occur all the time. One recent example is whether or not it is okay to use an actor's likeness after they have died. Do you get a gut response to that?"

Well here again the parallel can be used, because there are INARGUABLY "physical" stimuli of which we can have varying degrees of and even a total ABSENCE of detection. Think of a dog whistle, which we cannot hear at all! And so being able to pick up certain things with a sense but not ALL things hardly proves that sense to be veridical.

I will also reiterate that belief in objective morality doesn't require belief that all events/actions have moral significance. And so it may be the case that there simply is no right or wrong on that general issue (though there probably will be exceptions).

I'll also repeat that since people can physically sense (or fail to sense) different stimuli and even ignore the senses they do have, this does nothing to dispute the objectivity of what's being sensed in either case.

And the point is precisely that there IS no "moral framework" in terms of sitting down and making the decision. You can certainly sit down and try to figure it out, but my belief is that you're either going to get it right or get it wrong. But ultimately, I think most people who appeal to their moral senses on that question, and reject the idea of governments taking children away from their families in that way.
Sat Feb 25, 2017 8:24 pm
MarsCydoniaUser avatarPosts: 834Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 4:15 pm

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

So I could venture a guess if your comments are a honest failure to understand the criticisms or a the pretense of a failure to understand the criticisms to avoid adressing them...

But I don't mind going over it your claim of "misrepresentation":
MarsCydonia wrote:"You don't doubt question the reality of your physical senses so why doubt the metaphysical sense I assert you have. If you doubt it, you're a liar. I don't have to provide evidence it exists" is the whole of your "argument" so you're confusing "not at all" with "exactly".

So you pretend that the above is not your argument? Well, let's see if you can maintain that pretense with a serie of yes or no question:
1. Did you affirm that objective moral duties and obligations exist?
The correct answer is yes, quote "I believe morality is objectively real"

2. Have you presented evidence that objective moral duties and obligations exist or even believe you have to?
The correct answer is no, you have only appealed to a "sense", quote: "The argument is not to prove the existence of objective morality, it is to respond to skepticism of it"

3. Did you affirm that we should sense these objective moral duties and obligations (in other words: you assert we have some form of metaphysical sense)
The correct answer is yes, quote: "I do not DECIDE it's wrong to torture an innocent child, I SENSE that it is"

4. Did you affirm that this sense is similar to physical senses and should not be doubted because of its "similarity"?
The correct answer is yes, quote: "then about DEFENDING our trust in that sense by showing how a parallel attack could be leveled at the belief in the reality of the external world as we sense it".

5. Did you affirm that people that do not believe they possess this sense are either flawed or lying to themselves/are disingenuous?
The correct answer is yes, quote: "To think otherwise is to either deny the objective reality you are sensing, or fail to sense it" or "I think the person who claims to not have this sense is being disingenuous"

So when I say: "You don't doubt question the reality of your physical senses so why doubt the metaphysical sense (see 4) I assert you have (see 3). If you doubt it, you're a liar (see 5). I don't have to provide evidence it exists (see 2)", it seems to be fairly representative of your "argument"

Vic 2.0 wrote:You are now INTENTIONALLY misrepresenting my argument, because I've corrected you on this already.

So based on the above... You really should explain how each point was misrepresented and the quotes from your comments are inaccurate. Otherwise, I don't see how a reasonable claim of misrepresentation can be made at all on your part. While I can...

Vic 2.0 wrote:Again, I am NOT asserting that you sense morality (even though you yourself go on to affirm that you do, so I don't see what you're complaining about).

Well, actually, see 4 above. You asserted that I either "deny the objective reality I am sensing and/or am disingenuous or fail to sense it".

But about "INTENTIONALLY misrepresenting" a position, isn't that what you just did? I never claimed to sense morality. I said I have a sense of morality.

Those are two different things, do you need me to explain the difference?

So now that we've clarified who truly misrepresents whom, let's get back to your "argument":
MarsCydonia wrote:The argument is not to prove the existence of objective morality, it is to respond to skepticism of it. It is to say that I've no more reason to doubt MY moral senses than I do to doubt my "physical" senses (Remember that to call them "physical senses" as a way of asserting they're better established than the "metaphysical" sense of morality is to assume the accuracy of those senses, which are what's on trial to begin with - that is, again, circular logic)

The problem being: they are better established that this yet undemonstrated metaphysical sense of morality. Just because your skeptical of that, doesn't change that fact, does it?

But let's say you are right... (an hypothetical):
You say people should both trust their physical senses and their metaphysical senses because? (Wait, didn't I ask a form of this question half a dozen times already?)

Because are you not arguing that we should not trust our physical senses as all this could be a detailed dream, therefore we should trust a metaphysical sense is real? How does that follow?

And then there's this:
Vic 2.0 wrote:Well again this isn't the topic, but I will answer anyway. I think Craig's response to the Euthyphro dilemma (which is a good one) proves too much, to the detriment of the moral argument. Specifically and succinctly, if goodness IS god, essentially, and god just exists necessarily, it seems one could argue that MORAL VALUES just exist necessarily. So while objective morality is compatible with theism, it does nothing to make it more plausible than a world without a god.

Imagine this scenario:
"Someone has been listening to a lot to an apologist for the past few months. This apologist presents a good argument in defense of his premise "God exists", by simply appealing to our collective senses. We sense that at there is some creator objectively existing in a metaphysical realm out there. And he adds that for any argument one might give to be skeptical of the reality of this metaphysical realm, we can give parallel arguments for skepticism regarding the reality of the external world as we perceive it".

Or should we repeat this scenario with a slight difference:
"Someone has been reading a lot of H.P. Lovecraft for the past few months. H.P. Lovecrat presented a good argument in defense of his premise "The Great Old One exists", by simply appealing to our collective senses. We sense that at there is some alien yet powerful beings objectively existing in a realm between dimensions out there. And he added that for any argument one might give to be skeptical of the reality of this realm between dimensions, we can give parallel arguments for skepticism regarding the reality of the external world as we perceive it".

This "defense against skepticism of the moral realm" would be equally valid of skepticisim of god, the great old ones, ghosts, etc. wouldn't it?

Except for...? Especially since the objective morality WLC claims to sense is god himself. Therefore, why should you be skeptical of WLC and doubt that his metaphysical sense is accurate or trustworthy?
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Sat Feb 25, 2017 8:28 pm
LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2950Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Vic 2.0 wrote:Laurens, the problem you run into when you think of morality that way, is that anyone who REJECTS the notion that human beings should flourish is every bit as correct as you are. And so on this view the child rapist is simply "acting unfashionably", as Craig has put it. If there's no right or wrong apart from human opinion, then every opinion is right, no matter how disastrous it may turn out to be for human flourishing.


But it's not wholly about human flourishing, there are numerous other factors involved in moral reasoning. You can't just reject all moral reasoning and be on equal footing. The person who says its okay to eat babies has to explain why they are justified in violating all of our collective ethical reasoning. If they can't then they cannot say that they have a good reason to do it.
And so "reasoning" will get you "what is most conducive to the well-being of humans". But it won't do anything to tell you what is right and what is wrong (unless you completely redefine these concepts).


Right = decreases pointless human harm and suffering, or actively increases well being.

Wrong = increases pointless harm and suffering.

How do you define right and wrong? Do you not at least concede that moral reasoning has something to do with suffering and human flourishing?

"What evidence do you have that a platonic set of moral ideals exist independent of minds?"

The same exact amount of evidence I have that this keyboard my mind's telling me is real exists. Remember, I am not here to support the claim that objective moral values exist; I'm saying that the arguments to be SKEPTICAL of it do not work, because of this relentless and ever-appearing parallel.


I can't make sense of that argument. At all. You are saying your evidence is that you know it and that is that? Objective morals exist everyone, because someone said they know it.

The scepticism is completely justified by the fact that your only argument so far is; I know objective morals exist. If I said I know that they don't in the same way that I know my keyboard exists then I have just as much of an argument against it as you have for it.

"New moral quandaries occur all the time. One recent example is whether or not it is okay to use an actor's likeness after they have died. Do you get a gut response to that?"

Well here again the parallel can be used, because there are INARGUABLY "physical" stimuli of which we can have varying degrees of and even a total ABSENCE of detection. Think of a dog whistle, which we cannot hear at all! And so being able to pick up certain things with a sense but not ALL things hardly proves that sense to be veridical.


Again your whole argument is that you know objective morals exist. This isn't a coherent argument. I am presumably experiencing a similar mental perception of the world as you do, yet this has not convinced me in any way whatsoever that morals are objective.

I will also reiterate that belief in objective morality doesn't require belief that all events/actions have moral significance. And so it may be the case that there simply is no right or wrong on that general issue (though there probably will be exceptions).

I'll also repeat that since people can physically sense (or fail to sense) different stimuli and even ignore the senses they do have, this does nothing to dispute the objectivity of what's being sensed in either case.


So again you're just saying objective moral values exist because we sense it, and if you don't sense it or ignore it you're wrong because they do exist. I agree with you about gut feelings but I attribute them to culture and biological evolution. In what sense can our gut feeling about certain issues be said to be more than that?

And the point is precisely that there IS no "moral framework" in terms of sitting down and making the decision. You can certainly sit down and try to figure it out, but my belief is that you're either going to get it right or get it wrong. But ultimately, I think most people who appeal to their moral senses on that question, and reject the idea of governments taking children away from their families in that way.


Why do people reject the idea of governments taking children away from their families?
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Sat Feb 25, 2017 8:50 pm
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2374Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Vic 2.0 wrote:So all of a sudden, it's impossible to read what I typed? Hmmmm.


I never said it was impossible to read, it's that it's a royal pain in the arse to pick through it.

Off-topic: Does this forum have a moderator? You know, to kind of deal with people who are just plain being hostile?


I think you'll find I haven't breached any forum rules, and the hostility is reciprocal, given the utter rudeness of your entry here, along with your overweening arrogance given the paucity of your grasp of logic.
Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:50 pm
Vic 2.0Posts: 23Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:51 pm

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

MarsCydonia says,

""You don't doubt question the reality of your physical senses so why doubt the metaphysical sense I assert you have. If you doubt it, you're a liar. I don't have to provide evidence it exists" is the whole of your "argument"
So you pretend that the above is not your argument?"

See now YOU'RE being hostile, is this a common thing in these forums? Is it contagious? If so, I think I'll take my leave of you all after this series of responses. NO, I'm not "pretending" the above isn't my argument. I'm INFORMING you it isn't. And I explained exactly where the misunderstanding (on your part) lies... twice!

"Did you affirm that objective moral duties and obligations exist?"

I affirm that I believe objective moral values exist, yes.

"Have you presented evidence that objective moral duties and obligations exist or even believe you have to?"

Obviously not, because that was never the argument.

"Did you affirm that we should sense these objective moral duties and obligations (in other words: you assert we have some form of metaphysical sense)
The correct answer is yes,"

Utterly false. I never insisted that you do in fact have these senses. I strongly SUSPECT you do (and do believe the vast majority of people do), but would not presume to know for sure. And when I said "I do not DECIDE it's wrong to torture an innocent child, I SENSE that it is", that in no way is arguing with you about what you do/do not sense.

"Did you affirm that this sense is similar to physical senses and should not be doubted because of its "similarity"?"

Because of the parallel, yes, which I've defended at every turn (and you guys never come back to defend your objections, you just come up with new ones [or repeat the old]).

"Did you affirm that people that do not believe they possess this sense are either flawed or lying to themselves/are disingenuous?"

Oh absolutely.

"The problem being: they are better established that this yet undemonstrated metaphysical sense of morality."

Again, you guys keep claiming this but only have the "physical" senses which are on trial to use in support of the claim! Why can't you see that this is circular logic, presupposing the veridicality of the senses you're trying to prove are veridical?

"Imagine this scenario:
"Someone has been listening to a lot to an apologist for the past few months. This apologist presents a good argument in defense of his premise "God exists", by simply appealing to our collective senses. We sense that at there is some creator objectively existing in a metaphysical realm out there. And he adds that for any argument one might give to be skeptical of the reality of this metaphysical realm, we can give parallel arguments for skepticism regarding the reality of the external world as we perceive it"."

Well the simple (and I'm sure that, here, it's an unwelcome) truth is that belief in a god on the basis of experience WOULD be a properly basic belief in much the same way. This doesn't bother me one bit; I've no ax to grind on that topic. And even if I did, it's no REFUTATION of my argument, to point to the potential consequences of its acceptance and say "You wouldn't want that to happen, would you Vic?"
Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:28 am
Vic 2.0Posts: 23Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:51 pm

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Laurens says,
"The person who says its okay to eat babies has to explain why they are justified in violating all of our collective ethical reasoning. If they can't then they cannot say that they have a good reason to do it."

Or, they could turn it right back around on YOU, and ask why you're justified in violating THEIR ethical reasoning. Then if you can't do it, you cannot say you have a good reason either.

ME: "And so "reasoning" will get you "what is most conducive to the well-being of humans". But it won't do anything to tell you what is right and what is wrong (unless you completely redefine these concepts)."
YOU: "Right = decreases pointless human harm and suffering, or actively increases well being. Wrong = increases pointless harm and suffering."

See, that would be a redefinition. You are simply defining good AS what contributes to the flourishing of humans, making your argument circular and the question "Why is the flourishing of humans good?" incoherent (now translating "Why is the flourishing of humans the flourishing of humans?")

"How do you define right and wrong?"

Simply put, right is the way things ought to be, and wrong is the way things ought not to be.

"Do you not at least concede that moral reasoning has something to do with suffering and human flourishing?"

Depends on what you mean by "moral reasoning". Again, I SENSE that human beings should not be made to suffer unnecessarily. That's where I get my belief in objective moral values. I don't just invent a moral code and then call that "right".

YOU: "What evidence do you have that a platonic set of moral ideals exist independent of minds?"
ME: "The same exact amount of evidence I have that this keyboard my mind's telling me is real exists. Remember, I am not here to support the claim that objective moral values exist; I'm saying that the arguments to be SKEPTICAL of it do not work, because of this relentless and ever-appearing parallel."
YOU: "I can't make sense of that argument. At all. You are saying your evidence is that you know it and that is that?"

No, what I meant by "the same exact amount of evidence I have that this keyboard's my mind's telling me is real exists", I meant NO evidence. Absolutely none. But the way I "know" it is by my senses, which I trust in the same way that I trust my physical senses.

"If I said I know that they don't in the same way that I know my keyboard exists then I have just as much of an argument against it as you have for it."

What would that even mean? If you don't sense moral values, but do sense that your keyboard exists, these are certainly not the same!

YOU: "New moral quandaries occur all the time. One recent example is whether or not it is okay to use an actor's likeness after they have died. Do you get a gut response to that?"
ME: "Well here again the parallel can be used, because there are INARGUABLY "physical" stimuli of which we can have varying degrees of and even a total ABSENCE of detection. Think of a dog whistle, which we cannot hear at all! And so being able to pick up certain things with a sense but not ALL things hardly proves that sense to be veridical."
YOU: "Again your whole argument is that you know objective morals exist."

This is not a fair response to my answer. And while you're not being uncivil, I think this drying up of the topic is confirmatory that I should go ahead and leave this thread to the rest of you.

ME: "And the point is precisely that there IS no "moral framework" in terms of sitting down and making the decision. You can certainly sit down and try to figure it out, but my belief is that you're either going to get it right or get it wrong. But ultimately, I think most people would appeal to their moral senses on that question, and reject the idea of governments taking children away from their families in that way."
YOU: "Why do people reject the idea of governments taking children away from their families?"

Because first and foremost, they sense that it is wrong.
Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:45 am
Vic 2.0Posts: 23Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:51 pm

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

hackenslash, I suppose it wouldn't surprise me if it IS perfectly acceptable here to speak to your opponents the way you've spoken to me. But it's not the sort of environment I expected (particularly given the name "League of Reason"). I'm sorry that you think my way of speaking is comparable; that's surprising to me as well. But I do think I gave a VERY fair and effective analysis of the article you quoted for me and asked me to respond to. You can do with it what you will.

I'll be leaving now, and you guys can discuss whether or not you think I made any good points at all amongst yourselves. I think Craig's defense of that premise remains intact, particularly in light of the many WAYS in which the parallel works (which even shocked ME by the end of this discussion). I think it's far more obvious that right and wrong exist and we've simply evolved to sense it/sense it more accurately. I'm fine with your disagreement; my main point of coming here was that I was invited to share my thoughts. Cheers!
Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:52 am
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