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Are moral values objectively real?

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Are moral values objectively real?
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Vic 2.0Posts: 23Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:51 pm

Post Are moral values objectively real?

I've been listening to a lot of William Lane Craig for the past few months. He presents a good argument in defense of his premise "Objective moral values and duties do exist", by simply appealing to our collective senses. We sense that at least certain things are truly right or truly wrong. We sense, for example, that it is morally wrong to torture an innocent child. And he adds that for any argument one might give to be skeptical of the reality of the moral realm, we can give parallel arguments for skepticism regarding the reality of the external world as we perceive it. IOW, we can doubt our physical senses in the same way we can doubt our moral senses. I think this is good grounds for justifying belief in objective morality.

What are some of your thoughts on this? Do you think that anything is objectively, truly wrong? Or is it just a product of culture, evolution, etc.? And if it is subjective, then how do we go about condemning those who torture and kill children for their own entertainment? Are they really no more wrong than we are? After all, if it's subjective and a product of culture and evolution, then what justifies our stance seems to justify theirs equally.
Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:00 pm
Gnug215ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 2498Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:31 pm

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Just saw this in the queue, making sure everyone sees it.

This kind of subject is really not my area.

Especially since I can't stand WLC.
- Gnug215

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Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:27 pm
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2199Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Vic 2.0 wrote:I've been listening to a lot of William Lane Craig for the past few months. He presents a good argument in defense of his premise "Objective moral values and duties do exist", by simply appealing to our collective senses.


No, he really doesn't.

The first thing to note is that values, being value-laden, cannot be objective. The notion of objective values is an oxymoron.

The second is that his appeal to our collective senses is essentially an appeal to intuition, a recognised fallacy.

All that aside, he's working backwards from his predetermined conclusion. I'll come back to this, because it plays an important part in your perception of his argument.

We sense that at least certain things are truly right or truly wrong.


Not really and, in fact, I'd argue that the terms 'right' and 'wrong' are incredibly unhelpful in this discussion. They paint scenarios as being binary, when they simply cannot be.

We sense, for example, that it is morally wrong to torture an innocent child.


I could think of a hypothetical in which torture of an innocent child could be morally justified, at least on Kalamity Kraig's terms.

And he adds that for any argument one might give to be skeptical of the reality of the moral realm, we can give parallel arguments for skepticism regarding the reality of the external world as we perceive it. IOW, we can doubt our physical senses in the same way we can doubt our moral senses. I think this is good grounds for justifying belief in objective morality.


The problem with paying any attention to such an inveterate liar is that, being well-educated in the art of intellectual flim-flam, he can make it look like he's got good arguments for anything. Unfortunately, once you unpack them, you realise that they're entirely founded on unjustified assumptions.

This is the bit I was going to come back to. Because he's working backward from his conclusion, it's trivial to find justification at every step backward. It's like a mystery author writing a novel and beginning with the reveal, which is a standard practice for that sort of fiction. Because every step backward naturally leads to the conclusion, the argument looks solid. It's only when you unpack it that you find the flaws.

What are some of your thoughts on this?


I think it's nonsense, and reflects a category error, in that it's treating rules as morals, when they're actually the antithesis of morals. I'll link to a more complete exposition at the bottom of the post.

Do you think that anything is objectively, truly wrong?


No, not least because 'wrong' is a subjective term, and extremely ill-defined.

Or is it just a product of culture, evolution, etc.?


Yep.

And if it is subjective, then how do we go about condemning those who torture and kill children for their own entertainment? Are they really no more wrong than we are? After all, if it's subjective and a product of culture and evolution, then what justifies our stance seems to justify theirs equally.


And this is what prompted me to reply, because it's the same false dichotomy that everybody commits when dealing with this. The options are not restricted to objective and subjective. There is a third way.

http://reciprocity-giving-something-bac ... otomy.html
Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:56 pm
MarsCydoniaUser avatarPosts: 504Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 4:15 pm

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

I abhor the "moral" argument because it really is, in my own subjective moral evaluation, completely immoral. When challenged, the apologists often simply falls back on an appeal to consequences/emotions.

But if you want, I'll explain why the moral argument of WLC fails to convince me:
Vic 2.0 wrote:I've been listening to a lot of William Lane Craig for the past few months. He presents a good argument in defense of his premise "Objective moral values and duties do exist", by simply appealing to our collective senses. We sense that at least certain things are truly right or truly wrong. We sense, for example, that it is morally wrong to torture an innocent child.

Just out of the gate, this is a fallacy. An "appeal to intuition/common sense" : believe that this (objective moral values) is true because you feel it to be true.

And indeed, a lot of people function as if it were true but functionning as if it were true does not mean it actually is. History is filled with exemple of things that were "intuitively" true but which turned to be actually false. Worse, in this case, WLC never demonstrate how we could ever test the truth of such an "objective moral values do exist" assertion. If "morally wrong to torture an innocent child" is an objectively true statement, how do you demonstrate that to someone who disagrees? Appealing to their intuition/common sense will do nothing at all to demonstrate the truth of it if their intuition/common sense runs contrary to it. And appealing to "most of humanity agrees" will not either, it would show its a mostly universal value but not an objective moral one.

(and in the piece you watched/read, did he use only these words? Because it's been pointed out to him that if that was "objectively true", he might wish to reconsider the "all-good" assertion concerning his god so he oftens add "for fun" to the end of it now).

Vic 2.0 wrote: And he adds that for any argument one might give to be skeptical of the reality of the moral realm, we can give parallel arguments for skepticism regarding the reality of the external world as we perceive it. IOW, we can doubt our physical senses in the same way we can doubt our moral senses. I think this is good grounds for justifying belief in objective morality.

There's two problem with this:
1. That the external physical reality we can perceive with our sense is equivalent to a metaphysical reality that we can perceive only through intuition.
2. That the problem of hard sollipsim has ever been resolved philosophically (as far as I know, no one has proposed a sound solution).

The first is a rather obvious false equivalence. Our physical senses are certainly not equivalent to our "metaphyscal senses" (which I don't believe even exists).
When it comes to our physical reality, there is plenty of tests and a consensus has been reached. As judged by how morality has differed and changed through the ages, the same cannot be said of morality.

I would like to hear more of these arguments which "challenge the reality of the physical realm" but until I do, I can only say:
Consider a rock. I think we can safely say that the properties of a rock can be largley agreed upon, universally within humanity itself. Then consider theft, can the same be said? What would the moral properties of theft be? How do we know? How do we find out?
Again, if someone's intuition of theft has complete different properties, how do you know which properties are the actually objective ones? How do we test it? And again, an appeal to "most of humanity feels the same" would only demonstrate a universal shared evaluation, not the objective existence of the moral properties of theft.

When people has a disagreement on the physical properties of a rock, there is usually a way to determine who is wrong and who is right. For theft however?

Second, WLC is right in that there are argument for skepticism for the world as we perceive it (hard sollipsim). The world around us might be an illusion, we could only be a brain in a vat or in the matrix but again the difference is how we perceive the physical and the metaphysical.

When it comes to the physical world, what I perceive and access is always the same thing and will probably be always the same thing (unless I suffer from some form of mental ilness): it is can reliably access something I perceive as real (and I'm rather stuck acting as if it is).

But when it comes to "metaphysical world" of morality? How do I know? Beyond my intuition? How can I compare my intution against the intution of someone else? If his/her intuition tells him/her something different, how do we determine who has it objectively right?

When it comes to this "objective moral reality" we're actually at an impasse because we have no way to reliably access it. If we can't actually demonstrate it's there beyond our intuition, how can we say it's actually there?

So both objective physical reality and "objective metaphysical reality of morality" might not actually exist, he's not helping his argument there. He's basically saying "you act as if physical reality is objectively real, why don't you grant that objective morality is real too? Pretty please?"

Vic 2.0 wrote:What are some of your thoughts on this? Do you think that anything is objectively, truly wrong? Or is it just a product of culture, evolution, etc.? And if it is subjective, then how do we go about condemning those who torture and kill children for their own entertainment? Are they really no more wrong than we are? After all, if it's subjective and a product of culture and evolution, then what justifies our stance seems to justify theirs equally.


As I've said previously, I find the moral argument to be immoral: it's pure attempt to guilt or scare people into believing a god exists. How, well you've demonstrated how at the end of your comment: And if it is subjective, then how do we go about condemning those who torture and kill children for their own entertainment? Are they really no more wrong than we are? After all, if it's subjective and a product of culture and evolution, then what justifies our stance seems to justify theirs equally.

The problem is, the moral argument is also a diversion. It's an apologist sleight-of-hand, trying to draw your attention to "how do you go condemning child torturers without god" and away from "how do you go condemning child torturers with god".

Because god doesn't solve moral issues, it only exarcebates them. From divine command theory to the Eutyphro's dilemma, they have no solution to the is/ought problem either!

And as soon as you question how the "objective morality" the likes of WLC claim exists, you realize that it is meaningless at best and completely abhorent at worst.
"Slavery is morally ok" - A public information message from the League of Reason's christians
Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:27 pm
Vic 2.0Posts: 23Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:51 pm

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Well there's a number of things to be said here. First and foremost, the argument that values MUST be subjective just sounds like an assertion to me. Why CAN'T there be a way things are supposed to be? I am not a Christian and will be the first to admit that Craig's moral argument doesn't succeed in showing that a god's existence is more plausible than not. But that doesn't mean his defense of that one premise isn't sound. And like I said, the "appeal to intuition" allegation can be leveled against our very belief in the external world (as we also merely sense this but cannot confirm its reality). So what goes for one unproven belief goes for the other.

And just because we can come up with hypothetical scenarios in which the torture of a child could be morally justified does nothing to refute the idea that it's at least SOMETIMES truly wrong (which is what I said). For example, can it be morally justified to torture a child JUST FOR FUN? Surely not. To think otherwise is to either deny the objective reality you are sensing, or fail to sense it. And of course your failure to sense something does nothing to refute the validity of my own SUCCESS in sensing it (this is another way we can parallel the skepticism of morality with skepticism of the external world).

Perhaps I shouldn't have mentioned Craig by name (I didn't realize anti-theism would be so rampant as to try and drag this discussion into the gutter of accusing him of being a liar). But if I must defend him as a good philosopher, I will probably do that as well (Why not?)

About "treating rules as morals", I'm afraid I don't understand your claim. I'm regarding the SENSING of a moral realm as evidence that morality is a real thing. It has nothing to do with rules, regulations, laws, etc.

Lastly, OF COURSE the options are limited to objective and subjective. These are polar opposites, and if something fails to be one it is automatically the other.
Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:28 pm
Vic 2.0Posts: 23Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:51 pm

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Also, it's very faulty logic to say that our physical senses are not metaphysical, when the very question IS "Are these senses giving me the real picture?" It's an ENTIRELY metaphysical question, on both counts.

It seems the parallel remains a good defeater of skepticism concerning the objectivity of the moral realm.

Oh, and the moral argument has nothing to do with "scaring people into theism". It doesn't even mention anything to be scared OF. I think you are just throwing random anti-theist caricatures at our boy Craig here. And unnecessarily so, because he isn't really the topic (ad hominem soup, anyone?)
Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:31 pm
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2199Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Vic 2.0 wrote:Well there's a number of things to be said here. First and foremost, the argument that values MUST be subjective just sounds like an assertion to me.


Do you value the same things I do? That value is a subjective construct is demonstrable.

Why CAN'T there be a way things are supposed to be?


Because then you're asserting teleology, which means that you're smuggling the conclusion into the premises, in the form of something that relies on the conclusion being true to support the premises.

But that doesn't mean his defense of that one premise isn't sound.


I suspect that you're using the term 'sound' in a non-technical sense, but it can't be sound, because it commits a crystal clear fallacy, which makes it unsound by definition.

And like I said, the "appeal to intuition" allegation can be leveled against our very belief in the external world (as we also merely sense this but cannot confirm its reality). So what goes for one unproven belief goes for the other.


I don't have a belief in the external world, so feel free to level that problem at somebody who does. You're wandering into ontology here, which I have little use for, being a scientifically-minded individual, and being aware that science must remain ontology free.

That said, our observation of morality isn't ontological, it's phenomenal, and we have no observation for its basis.

And just because we can come up with hypothetical scenarios in which the torture of a child could be morally justified does nothing to refute the idea that it's at least SOMETIMES truly wrong (which is what I said).


The fact that you're still using the term 'wrong' tells me that you simply scanned over that. Real morality requires thought, and simply can't be based on hard and fast rules. Rules of thumb are far superior.

Perhaps I shouldn't have mentioned Craig by name (I didn't realize anti-theism would be so rampant as to try and drag this discussion into the gutter of accusing him of being a liar).


He is a liar, demonstrably.

But if I must defend him as a good philosopher, I will probably do that as well (Why not?)


Not only is he not a good philosopher, he isn't a philosopher at all. He's an apologist. Despite having achieved terminal degrees in philosophy, he doesn't actually understand what philosophy is or its remit. It's one of the bane's of my life that education in philosophy has very little to do with the conduct of philosophy. I've written extensively on this topic.

About "treating rules as morals", I'm afraid I don't understand your claim.


Then perhaps you should have read the post I linked to, in which I dismantle this from first principles.

I'm regarding the SENSING of a moral realm as evidence that morality is a real thing. It has nothing to do with rules, regulations, laws, etc.


Of course morality is a real thing, it just isn't what you think it is.

Lastly, OF COURSE the options are limited to objective and subjective. These are polar opposites, and if something fails to be one it is automatically the other.


Utter bollocks. That they are polar opposites is irrelevant. That red and blue are polar opposites on the colour spectrum doesn't render the rest of the spectrum non-existent.

You should have read the linked post. You read a bit of a known liar and think you grasp the topic, but you haven't even scratched the surface.
Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:16 am
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2199Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Vic 2.0 wrote:Also, it's very faulty logic to say that our physical senses are not metaphysical, when the very question IS "Are these senses giving me the real picture?" It's an ENTIRELY metaphysical question, on both counts.


This is complete bollocks. I suspect that it would be difficult to be more wrong than this without the inclusion of a biro, three rubber bands and a time machine, and then it would probably be fatal. The physical CANNOT be metaphysical, not least because the prefix 'meta' means 'beyond'. Our sense deal with phenomena,. not noumena.

It seems the parallel remains a good defeater of skepticism concerning the objectivity of the moral realm.


Only in the mind of somebody whose study hasn't progressed beyond a lying fuckwit.
Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:18 am
AkamiaUser avatarPosts: 61Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 11:41 pmLocation: Alaska Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Vic 2.0 wrote:Perhaps I shouldn't have mentioned Craig by name (I didn't realize anti-theism would be so rampant as to try and drag this discussion into the gutter of accusing him of being a liar). But if I must defend him as a good philosopher, I will probably do that as well (Why not?)

Taking into account the topic of this thread, this would not help you in any way. Craig personally is irrelevant to the matter; the moral argument falls with or without him.

Even if you could somehow show that WLC is anywhere close to being a respectable philosopher, (and to be honest, I sincerely doubt you could achieve this feat) this specific argument simply doesn't work for reasons explained by the others in this thread.
The very thing that gives us humans our advanced cognitive abilities can also be our greatest weakness.
Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:59 am
Vic 2.0Posts: 23Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:51 pm

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Your question, again, PRESUPPOSES that moral values are subjective. But on the theory that they are objective, it translates "Do we recognize that the same things are morally right/wrong?" And of course it just doesn't matter, if we differ on what we sense morally speaking. Just like if you were blind and you didn't see a tree in front of you, it wouldn't stop it from existing objectively.

And what conclusion? Theism? Because I'm not even talking about that, at all.

As for your claim that you don't believe in the external world, I find that highly disingenuous. You don't believe that you're sitting in front of a screen with words from me on it? Seriously?

No, I don't think "real morality" DOES require thought. It's the very definition of objectivity that something is true/false regardless of what is thought about it. And so, because I believe it would be wrong to torture a child for fun even if everyone on the planet thought it was RIGHT, I believe morality is objectively real.

I don't agree that it's been shown Craig is a LIAR. At best, he's been wrong about some things, but it hasn't been proven that he's INTENTIONALLY been wrong, to my knowledge. Denying that he's a philosopher, though, doesn't help YOUR credibility as a source for the truth, I will say that.

Finally, it remains true that "objective" and "subjective" are the only two options. If something is real independent of the mind, then it's objective. If it is NOT real independent of the mind, it is subjective. There's no way around this.
Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:01 am
Vic 2.0Posts: 23Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:51 pm

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

And I obviously meant that the QUESTION of whether or not our "physical" senses were accurate was metaphysical. And so the parallel remains a good one.
Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:03 am
Vic 2.0Posts: 23Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:51 pm

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Akamia, it hasn't even BEGUN to be established that the premise is FALSE. But I would like to clarify: I wasn't assuming it was my mention of Craig's name that made people DISAGREE. I just think it's now going to be an unnecessarily intrusive topic (anti-theists in particular really hate the guy!)
Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:09 am
AkamiaUser avatarPosts: 61Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 11:41 pmLocation: Alaska Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Vic 2.0 wrote:Akamia, it hasn't even BEGUN to be established that the premise is FALSE. But I would like to clarify: I wasn't assuming it was my mention of Craig's name that made people DISAGREE. I just think it's now going to be an unnecessarily intrusive topic (anti-theists in particular really hate the guy!)
What are you, a personal friend of this man? Cool it. Again, Craig is irrelevant. We're all sick of him, but this argument has nothing to do with him. I bet he isn't even the first to come up with it.


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The very thing that gives us humans our advanced cognitive abilities can also be our greatest weakness.
Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:05 am
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2199Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Vic 2.0 wrote:Your question, again, PRESUPPOSES that moral values are subjective. But on the theory that they are objective, it translates "Do we recognize that the same things are morally right/wrong?" And of course it just doesn't matter, if we differ on what we sense morally speaking. Just like if you were blind and you didn't see a tree in front of you, it wouldn't stop it from existing objectively.

And what conclusion? Theism? Because I'm not even talking about that, at all.

As for your claim that you don't believe in the external world, I find that highly disingenuous. You don't believe that you're sitting in front of a screen with words from me on it? Seriously?

No, I don't think "real morality" DOES require thought. It's the very definition of objectivity that something is true/false regardless of what is thought about it. And so, because I believe it would be wrong to torture a child for fun even if everyone on the planet thought it was RIGHT, I believe morality is objectively real.

I don't agree that it's been shown Craig is a LIAR. At best, he's been wrong about some things, but it hasn't been proven that he's INTENTIONALLY been wrong, to my knowledge. Denying that he's a philosopher, though, doesn't help YOUR credibility as a source for the truth, I will say that.

Finally, it remains true that "objective" and "subjective" are the only two options. If something is real independent of the mind, then it's objective. If it is NOT real independent of the mind, it is subjective. There's no way around this.


If you're simply going to reassert, without engaging with the material provided you, then I have no interest in discussing this or anything else with you. Have a nice life.
Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:16 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2772Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Greetings,

I'd argue that hard solipsism - if not solipsism per se - is disproved by the fact that we have (evolved) specific senses to detect light, etc, which implies that these have an external reality.

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."
The Age Of Reason
Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:05 pm
momo666Posts: 28Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:25 am Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

First, let me mention that I myself am inclined to the view of Ethical Naturalism, although truth be told, I am rather ignorant on the subject.
Nonetheless, I wanted to share some thoughts on the line of reasoning you used, or better said, Craig uses.
By the way, please forgive any incoherence I might display. I am kind of tired.

I was thinking to shoot all my objections to this argument at once but seeing as the comment is already quite long, I will do them one by one. Not to mention, some of them have already been expressed by other members. As always, every time a subject appears on this forum, I am learning something new.

The argument is that since we sense that objective morality exists, that said sense can be used as a foundation for an argument for the existence of objective morality.
And since we sense that the external world exists, that said sense is used as a foundation for an argument for the existence of the external world.

The first problem I see with this is the implied assertion that your interlocutor accepts all the premises packed in that line of reasoning. Presumably if one were to ask you how do you get from "sensing" objective morality to actually proving it you would then reply with the question of how does one get from "sensing" the external world to proving the external world and why the double standard.
But that overlooks the possibility that your interlocutor might not accept the implied premises of your line of reasoning.

For me to make a difference between the external world and the "brain in a vat world" I first need to be shown that the said brain in a vat world exists. Suppose, for the purpose of analogy, that one were to assert there is this fruit called "vat apple" and this special kind of apple is not actually an apple but it behaves, under any possible test, like an apple; it looks like an apple, it tastes like an apple, it smells like an apple, it has the same DNA as apples. Every single characteristic you might test, it will show it to be an apple. Nevertheless, it is not an apple.
So this person asks you to prove to him how the apple you are eating right now is not a "vat apple".

What you are doing is forcing your interlocutor to accept the possibility that a mental concept you have not yet supported exists and then further force him to come up with a standard of differentiation/falsification of your own unsupported mental concept.

Think for a second how silly it would be to go to a person who eats an apple and ask him "How do you know the apple you are eating is not an apple ?" Isn't the matter at hand the same ?
You can pose the question, of course. "How do you know that this world is not a simulation ?" But just because you can create the sounds, does not make your question valid. I can express all sorts of mental concepts, all the way from weird multiverses to flying dragons but without justification they are simply constructs of my mind. I cannot even say they are possible, for me claiming such a thing forces me to justify certain parameters of these constructs. For example, it is possible for a seed to grow into a tree because I know the characteristics of a seed. But is it possible for my dragon to exist if I don't even specify what it is made of ? How can I say it is possible for something to exist if I have not properly described that something ?

You might say "But hold on, you still hold the belief that the external world is not an illusion right ?" But I would simply say that your question is meaningless. The illusion you speak of is a mental concept you created. What you are asking me is to prove how your undefined, unsupported, unfalsifiable mental concept does not exist.
It's like saying "X is defined as that which cannot be known" - "Now, show why X does not exist".

Another quick point. What do you think about your opponent asking how did you reach the conclusion that the world is a simulation/ it is possible that the world we are experiencing is an illusion ?
Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:41 pm
MarsCydoniaUser avatarPosts: 504Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 4:15 pm

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

In the future, you may wish to avoid tipping your hand (hinting that you reached a conclusion based on flawed reasoning) in your first comment and then confirm that tip in your second.

Vic 2.0 wrote:Well there's a number of things to be said here. First and foremost, the argument that values MUST be subjective just sounds like an assertion to me. Why CAN'T there be a way things are supposed to be?

Who made the assertion that moral values MUST be subjective? I did not make any statements about how they must be subjective while Hackenslash made a statement how they cannot be objective along an explanation why so it was not just an assertion.

Saying something is not objective does not necessarily mean they must be subjective unless you present that dichotomy in your argument and hackenslash appears to reject that dichotomy so the only person that came close to a "MUST" assertion is you (in your assertion that moral values MUST be objective or they MUST be subjective).

Vic 2.0 wrote:I am not a Christian and will be the first to admit that Craig's moral argument doesn't succeed in showing that a god's existence is more plausible than not. But that doesn't mean his defense of that one premise isn't sound.

You are not a very convincing non-christian or at the very least a non-theist because:
How did you come to the conclusion that Craig's moral argument doesn't succeed in showing god's existence? WLC's form of the argument is logically valid, meaning that if both of its premises are true, the conclusion of "god exists" inevitably follows.

So the only possible way to think that "Craig's moral argument doesn't succeed" in establishing god's existence is by thinking that at least one of the two premises is not true.

So if someone asserts the argument fails in its conclusion but believes the second premise is sound, the only logical conclusion is that this person believes the first premise is not true.

In that case, this person would be you. (Hint: both premises are flawed.)

Vic 2.0 wrote:And like I said, the "appeal to intuition" allegation can be leveled against our very belief in the external world (as we also merely sense this but cannot confirm its reality). So what goes for one unproven belief goes for the other.

So without these "parallel arguments", these issues still remains:
1. False equivalence. What goes for one does not go for the other just because of mere assertion.
2. Even if 1. not a false equivalence and these arguments are good, well great, that means we should not accept the reality of our physical world. How does that advance that we should not accept the "reality" of the metaphysical world?

Vic 2.0 wrote:And just because we can come up with hypothetical scenarios in which the torture of a child could be morally justified does nothing to refute the idea that it's at least SOMETIMES truly wrong (which is what I said). For example, can it be morally justified to torture a child JUST FOR FUN? Surely not.

Surely not? Ok, prove it. If someone were to say it "just sounds like an assertion to me", how would you show that it isn't?

Would you only appeal to intuition/common sense/etc.? Well it seems you would.

Vic 2.0 wrote:To think otherwise is to either deny the objective reality you are sensing, or fail to sense it. And of course your failure to sense something does nothing to refute the validity of my own SUCCESS in sensing it (this is another way we can parallel the skepticism of morality with skepticism of the external world).

So if someone does not sense the "objective morality" you are sensing, they're either lying or flawed. But "of course", they're failure to sense something does nothing to validate your own SUCCESS in sensing it.

So imagine one of the flawed persons that cannot sense "objective morality" you would go with "it's objectively morally wrong to torture a child for fun" but then another person comes and says "it's objectively morally wrong NOT to torture a child for fun", how would that person go about determining which one of you is telling the truth? Rather than think that you're both full of it?

Then imagine you and the "it's objectively morally wrong NOT to torture a child for fun" person approching another person and this new person in this new scenario says "I sense it too: it's objectively morally wrong NOT to torture a child for fun. To think otherwise is to either deny the objective reality you are sensing, or fail to correctly sense it", would that then "it's objectively morally wrong NOT to torture a child for fun" true?

If you two person sensing one thing, and one person, you, sensing the opposite. What test would show which one is correct? How is relying on entirely subjective intuition supposed to reveal a so-called "objective morality" to us?


Vic 2.0 wrote:Perhaps I shouldn't have mentioned Craig by name (I didn't realize anti-theism would be so rampant as to try and drag this discussion into the gutter of accusing him of being a liar). But if I must defend him as a good philosopher, I will probably do that as well (Why not?)

Really, who cares about Craig when the argument is flawed no matter which apologists uses it?

And please, do try to defend Craig as a good philosopher. Or as an honest one, I'll come back to this later.

Vic 2.0 wrote:Lastly, OF COURSE the options are limited to objective and subjective. These are polar opposites, and if something fails to be one it is automatically the other.

"OF COURSE the options are limited to objective and subjective" is just an assertion, dismissing out of hand any other possibility without a good reason, especially when a third option was proposed (not that I agree with Hacksenslash), does nothing to demonstrate that this dichotomy is correct and that there are no other possibilities. And "they are polar opposites" is indeed a poor reason to exclude other options as hackenslash explained.

Vic 2.0 wrote:Also, it's very faulty logic to say that our physical senses are not metaphysical, when the very question IS "Are these senses giving me the real picture?" It's an ENTIRELY metaphysical question, on both counts. It seems the parallel remains a good defeater of skepticism concerning the objectivity of the moral realm.

It really isn't. I'll highlight this again:
"So both objective physical reality and "objective metaphysical reality of morality" might not actually exist, he's not helping his argument there. He's basically saying "you act as if physical reality is objectively real, why don't you grant that objective morality is real too? Pretty please?"
... If ... that means we should not accept the reality of our physical world which in turns means we should not accept the "reality" of the metaphysical world. How does that advance the moral argument?"


Vic 2.0 wrote:Oh, and the moral argument has nothing to do with "scaring people into theism". It doesn't even mention anything to be scared OF. I think you are just throwing random anti-theist caricatures at our boy Craig here. And unnecessarily so, because he isn't really the topic (ad hominem soup, anyone?)

Did you miss the part where I explained this? I'll highlight it again:
the apologists often simply falls back on an appeal to consequences/emotions".
You yourself appealed to consequences, quote:
"how do we go about condemning those who torture and kill children for their own entertainment? Are they really no more wrong than we are? After all, if it's subjective and a product of culture and evolution, then what justifies our stance seems to justify theirs equally."

How apologists put it differs on the apologist but we often hear versions that there's no morality if isn't objective, so nothing, not murder, rape, etc. is wrong:
"That means that an atrocity like the Holocaust was really morally indifferent. You may think that it was wrong, but your opinion has no more validity than that of the Nazi war criminal who thought it was good." . That's an actual quote from apologists Norman Geisler and Frank Turek.

And you might want to look at what an ad hominem is.

Vic 2.0 wrote:I don't agree that it's been shown Craig is a LIAR. At best, he's been wrong about some things, but it hasn't been proven that he's INTENTIONALLY been wrong, to my knowledge. Denying that he's a philosopher, though, doesn't help YOUR credibility as a source for the truth, I will say that.

I'll follow this by paraphrasing a bit of you:
"Your ignorance that he's been shown to be INTENTIONALLY wrong does nothing to refute the fact that he was".
The fact of the matter is, WLC has been wrong about some things (namely, his knowledge of physics as he uses it in some arguments), was shown how he was wrong (by Sean Carroll and others) and he still kept using those arguments.
So, "denying that he's a liar, though, doesn't help YOUR credibility as a source for the truth, I will say that".

Vic 2.0 wrote: it hasn't even BEGUN to be established that the premise is FALSE.

And "denying that multiple issues have been raised with the second premises, though, doesn't help YOUR credibility as a source for the truth, I will say that".

So this is how I'll end this:
We've raised multiple issues with the "intuition defense" of the second premise so you haven't even begun to establish that it is true.

We don't have to show it is false, we simply don't have to grant it as true until you demonstrate it is.

So, go ahead.
"Slavery is morally ok" - A public information message from the League of Reason's christians
Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:16 pm
MarsCydoniaUser avatarPosts: 504Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 4:15 pm

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

And coincidentally, a blog I visit posted a link to this today:

I have not watched it yet. We'll see how well the premises hold to another commenter.
"Slavery is morally ok" - A public information message from the League of Reason's christians
Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:20 pm
Vic 2.0Posts: 23Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:51 pm

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

I very obviously HAVE engaged with the material provided by you guys (I posted SEVERAL arguments in response to your attempts to disprove the existence of objective moral values. It's YOU who have yet to respond, clearly.

Oh, and I'd like to add that this is NOT an appeal to intuition. Appeal to intuition is when you say to yourself "This makes sense to me, and therefore it's more likely to be true". By contrast, I'm not appealing to ANY initial thought or "common sense". I'm appealing to "senses" in the exact same way we use the word "senses" in our understanding of the PHYSICAL world.

momo666, perhaps you can pick up where others have left off, and respond to my counterarguments, if you are so inclined.

I don't think it follows that if you can't prove the "brain in a vat world" exists, that therefore you're immediately justified in thinking it doesn't. That's a non sequitur which, BTW (since the anti-theists here are STILL trying to make this thread about religion and Dr. Craig), is used frequently by anti-theists who say "There is no evidence that a god exists, therefore god doesn't exist". It's just a complete non sequitur.

Oh, and I'm certainly not tasking anyone to prove we are NOT brains in vats; that's not the point of the parallel. It's simply to show that since we believe (quite rationally!) in the external world as we perceive it on the basis of our senses, we're equally rational to believe in the moral realm on the basis of our senses too. Although the fact that we believe in the external world as we perceive it without evidence serves to crush evidentialism (which is, again, like the anti-theists' bread and butter), that's not the point of its mention here.

And now to answer your question, "What do you think about your opponent asking how did you reach the conclusion that the world is a simulation/ it is possible that the world we are experiencing is an illusion ?"

Well it's just a logical point of fact that the world we experience COULD be an illusion; that's hardly a controversial statement/question in philosophy. As for anyone who may believe the world IS a simulation, I'd say they must believe it on equal amounts of evidence as we have for OUR belief that it ISN'T a simulation (namely, zero evidence).

Now MarsCydonia asks,

"How did you come to the conclusion that Craig's moral argument doesn't succeed in showing god's existence?"

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.

So yes, I do disagree with one of the premises. The first one.

Oh, and I didn't mean to imply that I would necessarily be the one with a flawless sense of morality! I could very WELL be the one who's incorrect in a given dispute over the rightness/wrongness of something. I was merely pointing that, a disagreement does not preclude one side from being objectively right and the other being objectively wrong. That's obvious in our interaction with the physical world, and it should be equally granted that it could apply to the moral realm as well.

About your stubborn claim that the moral argument must be an appeal to consequence, I'm sorry it's just demonstrably false. At NO point does Craig say that because of the consequences otherwise therefore morality is objective. At no point does he use the consequences to try and convince people of theism. He uses the (perceived) need for a FOUNDATION of moral values to push his conclusion through. And that's why I said it's irrelevant, because as it turns out no one really needs a foundation for it at all.

On Craig's alleged dishonesty, you seem to simply reassert that he's been intentionally dishonest, without giving an example.
Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:12 am
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2199Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Vic 2.0 wrote:I very obviously HAVE engaged with the material provided by you guys (I posted SEVERAL arguments in response to your attempts to disprove the existence of objective moral values. It's YOU who have yet to respond, clearly.


I didn't see any sign that you'd read the post I linked to, not least because you made all the errors in your response that that post addresses.

Yeah, but I have yet to respond. That must be it.

He thrusts his fists against the post...
Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:14 am
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