Proving absolute morals exist

  • Thread starter DB
  • Start date
134
0
Dawguard said:
So, I'm outed at last.
I was kidding, I apologise if I did not come off as such. Be a proud one if that's what you believe. (the latter I was being serious)

Sure they, but that approximation is simply our belief. Therefore when the laws change, it is becuase our beliefs have changed.
Yes...

I don't think that morals are insticts, simply becuase morals run contrary from instincts. If I've been having a horrible day, everything's been going wrong and then as I'm driving home someone cuts me off I might fell like ramming their car and beating the crap out them. Morals and fear stop me, and therefore my instincts and morals are in direct contradiction. If morals were nothing more then the reasoning out of instincts then they would become something similar to psycology
Yes...so far I agree with you. Your last sentence is a question I have. I wouldn't claim to state this as a "fact", as all I know is from personal experience. And I will admit I don't know as much as many people on PF. But my thinking on the subject thinks this is much more plausible than a God acting through devine will (with the info I have now). I've never, at any time in my life, heard any other voice in my head other than my own. Nobody pulling my strings, but me.
But alas, I still hope there is a God, even if he doesn't act in ways like we've been led to believe from people that had no other means to explain their feelings or the world around them.
(edit: the last part was just to let you know I don't intend to mock your belief system, if I take it that you are a religious person)
 
86
3
RVBUCKEYE said:
I was kidding, I apologise if I did not come off as such. Be a proud one if that's what you believe. (the latter I was being serious)
No offense: no need to apologize :approve:. I suppose I am more religious then most people here at PF, but in a different way then the irrationality most people associate with traditional fundamentalists.

RVBUCKEYE said:
Yes...so far I agree with you. Your last sentence is a question I have. I wouldn't claim to state this as a "fact", as all I know is from personal experience. And I will admit I don't know as much as many people on PF. But my thinking on the subject thinks this is much more plausible than a God acting through devine will (with the info I have now). I've never, at any time in my life, heard any other voice in my head other than my own. Nobody pulling my strings, but me.
But alas, I still hope there is a God, even if he doesn't act in ways like we've been led to believe from people that had no other means to explain their feelings or the world around them.
(edit: the last part was just to let you know I don't intend to mock your belief system, if I take it that you are a religious person)
I didn't mean for it to be a fact, but I should have made that clearer. I agree, it is more plausible, and I think that morals are a reasoning out of something, just not instincts. My personal opinion is that since we make ideas and abstractions out of everything we see or imagine, that morals are simply the emergent result of our imagination when interacting with other people. Using this theory, morals are the rules we use to govern our imagination: since we can imagine anything then there have to be certain things we imagine that we shouldn't do.
 
Last edited:
134
0
Dawguard said:
My personal opinion is that since we make ideas and abstractions out of everything we see or imagine, that morals are simply the emergent result of our imagination when interacting with other people. Using this theory, morals are the rules we use to govern our imagination: since we can imagine anything then there have to be certain things we imagine that we shouldn't do.
I may not be reading this correctly, when did your morals govern your imagination? I just don't follow. My imagination allows me to do anything, even stuff I shouldn't do. If you are intending to imply that we can use our imagination to weigh the pro's and cons of a future decision, I would likely agree. Although, I might not agree with the significance. I'm just not sure I see your vision of how this works. Maybe you can clarify before I make any incorrect assumptions.
 
86
3
RVBUCKEYE said:
I may not be reading this correctly, when did your morals govern your imagination? I just don't follow. My imagination allows me to do anything, even stuff I shouldn't do. If you are intending to imply that we can use our imagination to weigh the pro's and cons of a future decision, I would likely agree. Although, I might not agree with the significance. I'm just not sure I see your vision of how this works. Maybe you can clarify before I make any incorrect assumptions.
Sorry, my mistake. What I meant to say was that morals are the rules that govern the actions that result from our imagination. With animals they act entirely by instinct, probably the result of some part of their brain dictating their behavior. With humans we are not bound by what our instincts and neurology is. We can imagine anything, so our behavior is not dependent upon strict guidelines. We can do anything we want becuase we can imagine anything. Now, certain things we imagine are descrutive both to ourselves and society, but we still do them becuase nothing tells us not to.
Morals are what prevent us from litterally doing anything we feel like, or anything we want to do. True, they don't govern imagination, but they keep that imagination from becoming reality when it would do harm. Anyway, that's just my opinion about what morals are, and their actual being follows from their nature.
 
134
0
Dawguard said:
Sorry, my mistake. What I meant to say was that morals are the rules that govern the actions that result from our imagination. With animals they act entirely by instinct, probably the result of some part of their brain dictating their behavior. With humans we are not bound by what our instincts and neurology is. We can imagine anything, so our behavior is not dependent upon strict guidelines. We can do anything we want becuase we can imagine anything. Now, certain things we imagine are descrutive both to ourselves and society, but we still do them becuase nothing tells us not to.
Morals are what prevent us from litterally doing anything we feel like, or anything we want to do. True, they don't govern imagination, but they keep that imagination from becoming reality when it would do harm. Anyway, that's just my opinion about what morals are, and their actual being follows from their nature.
Let me introduce a new line of thinking to this discussion. Possibly it might shed some light on my reasons for imagination not being the key ingredient to explain morals. The concept is reflexes and reaction time. (slightly modified to parrallel what we know about simple reflexes, to my presumed effect on human behavior)

Simple reflexes by their nature are consistant throughout the human species so they are a good way to draw a conclusion about said species without cultural bias, imo. Simple reflexes are automatic. Your recieve a stimulus and you respond, no thinking required.

Then you have your Conditioned Reflexes. The difference between the two is that your simple reflexes still occur (instincts) but they are modified by prior experience. This leads me to believe imagination is just one of several means to have an experience. All of which ultimately lead to what actually governs our actions in a given situation.

But the key factor is reaction time. How much time do you have to react in a given situation. Do you have to take action immediately, or does time and situation permit for thinking? Would your reaction have been different if it was spur of the moment? I think in most cases it would/could. Even more so when it is a life and death decision, (a survival decision).

So it begs the question, is the cumulative effect of our conciousness to condition our reflexes so our reaction time is less? As a result of conciousness, (one component of which is imagination), we can now make a spur of the moment, yet informed decision. Morals, as we have been using/defining them, are just our way of classifying our knowledge of human behavior, through many experiences, cultures, and generations. (in situation "A", it would be most beneficial to my ultimate survival if I did condition "B") However, that would make the following true: If I was presented a spur of the moment decision in a situation I had never experienced/imagined/heard/thought about, my reaction would soley be based on my reflexes (instincts). Instincts are not always wrong. How can anyone, even God, judge you for that?
 
86
3
RVBUCKEYE said:
But the key factor is reaction time. How much time do you have to react in a given situation. Do you have to take action immediately, or does time and situation permit for thinking? Would your reaction have been different if it was spur of the moment? I think in most cases it would/could. Even more so when it is a life and death decision, (a survival decision).

So it begs the question, is the cumulative effect of our conciousness to condition our reflexes so our reaction time is less? As a result of conciousness, (one component of which is imagination), we can now make a spur of the moment, yet informed decision. Morals, as we have been using/defining them, are just our way of classifying our knowledge of human behavior, through many experiences, cultures, and generations. (in situation "A", it would be most beneficial to my ultimate survival if I did condition "B") However, that would make the following true: If I was presented a spur of the moment decision in a situation I had never experienced/imagined/heard/thought about, my reaction would soley be based on my reflexes (instincts). Instincts are not always wrong. How can anyone, even God, judge you for that?
Very interesting, it's something I haven't considered before. I'll have to come back once I've given it some time and thought. I don't want to shoot off something on the spur of the moment, only to regret it later.
 
134
0
I kind of adapted what was speculated in the "does conciousness work to make itself unneccesary" thread to relate to my point of view. It's a work in progress so make changes, or point out flaws. I'm waiting for Selfadjoint or Les Sleeth to chime in here and tell me how way off base I am.
 
86
3
RVBuckeye said:
Simple reflexes by their nature are consistant throughout the human species so they are a good way to draw a conclusion about said species without cultural bias, imo. Simple reflexes are automatic. Your recieve a stimulus and you respond, no thinking required.

Then you have your Conditioned Reflexes. The difference between the two is that your simple reflexes still occur (instincts) but they are modified by prior experience. This leads me to believe imagination is just one of several means to have an experience. All of which ultimately lead to what actually governs our actions in a given situation.

But the key factor is reaction time. How much time do you have to react in a given situation. Do you have to take action immediately, or does time and situation permit for thinking? Would your reaction have been different if it was spur of the moment? I think in most cases it would/could. Even more so when it is a life and death decision, (a survival decision).
This seems very similar to a priori and practical reason, a priori being simple reflexes and practical reason being conditioned reflex. During our life we seek to diminish a priori and use only practical reason to make our decisions, therefore making, as you said, informed decisions on the spur of a moment. The times when we can't do that we have to fall back on what is either conditioned to the point of simple reflex or fall back on the instinct of survival.

However, there is a very important difference between the pure reason of a priori and instincts though. Pure reason is designed to be uninfluenced by our experiences, but instincts almost entirely based on experience. We flinch from heat becuase from the past we know it hurts. Almost every instinct we have is derived from experience, so when dealing with a metaphysical concept such as morals we should seek to use only pure reason that is not baised by experience.

I'm not sure how this ties directly into morality, but we seek to explain all practical reason through a view of whatever a priori knowledge we have. Because of this our morality is directly tied in to our instincts, since they and a priori are directly linked. The key becomes to define morals using only pure reason, and then place that system within our instinctive choices. If we do this then we can avoid the unthinking reflexes of instincts, and use only pure reason to calculate the value of morals.

I'm not sure if this was what you were getting at, so please tell me if I've mis-interpretted you at all.
 
134
0
Dawguard said:
This seems very similar to a priori and practical reason, a priori being simple reflexes and practical reason being conditioned reflex. During our life we seek to diminish a priori and use only practical reason to make our decisions, therefore making, as you said, informed decisions on the spur of a moment. The times when we can't do that we have to fall back on what is either conditioned to the point of simple reflex or fall back on the instinct of survival.

However, there is a very important difference between the pure reason of a priori and instincts though. Pure reason is designed to be uninfluenced by our experiences, but instincts almost entirely based on experience. We flinch from heat becuase from the past we know it hurts. Almost every instinct we have is derived from experience, so when dealing with a metaphysical concept such as morals we should seek to use only pure reason that is not baised by experience.

I'm not sure how this ties directly into morality, but we seek to explain all practical reason through a view of whatever a priori knowledge we have. Because of this our morality is directly tied in to our instincts, since they and a priori are directly linked. The key becomes to define morals using only pure reason, and then place that system within our instinctive choices. If we do this then we can avoid the unthinking reflexes of instincts, and use only pure reason to calculate the value of morals.

I'm not sure if this was what you were getting at, so please tell me if I've mis-interpretted you at all.
First, it has been a pleasure discussing this with you and I appreciate your thoughtful responses.

Honestly, I've made several attempts to make heads or tails of what you wrote. I agree with your first paragraph, but the other two I keep getting hung up on. I just can't get over the sense that your definition of a priori is different from mine. Pure reason, imo, can't be a priori simply because the act of thinking/reasoning is equivalent to an experience. Thus not a priori.

I guess our discussion has branched off into what are the causes of morality, how does it develop, and what is the value of morality.

After having a child, I have been able to look, first-hand, at how his moral development is taking place. I can tell you, at age 4, he does not understand the notion of morals. He simply obeys rules to avoid punishment or to get a reward. (there's hints of understanding mind you, but these are a more recent development) So to suggest that we are born with the gift of morals, is absurd to me. True morals don't develop until a later age, and coincides with mental development, so the notion of a priori way of looking at morals is way off the mark, imo. There simply aren't any. It's all instinctual and for lack of a better word, selfish.

The causes of morality is nothing more than a human adaptation, like you said in your first paragraph, to make informed decisions on the spur of the moment. (I would add to aid in our ultimate survival) However, we only have this ability, due to our mental development.

Now, I think we agree, for the most part, on the value of morals when looking at the whole of society. So I don't think we should delve into this topic quite yet.

Look up Lawrence Kolhberg dissertation about moral development to better understand my point here.
 
86
3
RVBuckeye said:
Honestly, I've made several attempts to make heads or tails of what you wrote. I agree with your first paragraph, but the other two I keep getting hung up on. I just can't get over the sense that your definition of a priori is different from mine. Pure reason, imo, can't be a priori simply because the act of thinking/reasoning is equivalent to an experience. Thus not a priori.
Indeed, a difference of defenition here. From Kant,
By the term "knowledge a priori," therefore, we shall in the sequel understand, not such as is independent of this or that kind of experience, but such as is absolutely of all experience. Opposed to this is empirical knowledge, or that which is only a posteriori, that is, through experience. Knowledge a priori is either pure or impure. Pure knowledge a priori is that with which no empirical element is mixed up. For example, the proposition, "Every change has a cause," is a proposition a priori, but impure, because change is a conception which can only be derived from experience.
So, according to this, morals should be a priori since they are cincieved of by logical laws, but impure because they are derived from experience.

RVBuckeye said:
After having a child, I have been able to look, first-hand, at how his moral development is taking place. I can tell you, at age 4, he does not understand the notion of morals. He simply obeys rules to avoid punishment or to get a reward. (there's hints of understanding mind you, but these are a more recent development) So to suggest that we are born with the gift of morals, is absurd to me. True morals don't develop until a later age, and coincides with mental development, so the notion of a priori way of looking at morals is way off the mark, imo. There simply aren't any. It's all instinctual and for lack of a better word, selfish.
Alas, this is not a situation of which I can say I know anything about first-hand. However, just because he knows nothing about morals at a young age does not mean that morals are derived entirely for selfish or instinctual reasons. In fact, since morals are only thought of once people are able to reason, is evidance that they are concieved of impure a priori reasoning-only able to be thought of once the ability to coneptualize abstract reasoning is achieved, yet still greatly influenced by the experiences of life.
Once again, there is a confusion of terms when refering to a priori. When using that term I do not mean knowledge that we have with us since before all experience, only knowledge that is not derived primarily from experience. Calculus has (almost) nothing to do with experience and can be thought of only with imagination and the following of logical laws. It is a priori, even though humans cannot think of it when they are young. Morals, in my opinion, are the same.
 
134
0
Dawguard said:
Indeed, a difference of defenition here. From Kant,

So, according to this, morals should be a priori since they are cincieved of by logical laws, but impure because they are derived from experience.
Now I see the problem.:smile: I was using the definition :a priori, you were using the term: "Knowledge a priori". (just omitted the "knowledge" part). No prob. I'm only familiar with Kant, and have not read his works. Would you say he is a major influence in your logic? I'll make a better effort to read him if it would aid in our discussion.

Alas, this is not a situation of which I can say I know anything about first-hand. However, just because he knows nothing about morals at a young age does not mean that morals are derived entirely for selfish or instinctual reasons.
Maybe we could discuss this more. You seem to have hit on an interesting point. I'm not entirely sure whether they came about for selfish or instinctual reasons either. I guess, from my rationalle thus-far, I would have to say they did to be logically consistant. Is it selfish or instinctual to provide a functioning set of moral rules to aid in your childs survival? Is it a different type of instinct than survival of your self, to survival of your offspring? Which instinct wins out when having to decide?

(snip)Morals, in my opinion, are the same.
I think we agree.
 
4
0
nothing to contribute really but thought this might help. appologies for not using my own words but some ppl just can explain stuff better than i can.. *shrugs*

--
Kant: The Moral Order

Having mastered epistemology and metaphysics, Kant believed that a rigorous application of the same methods of reasoning would yield an equal success in dealing with the problems of moral philosophy. Thus, in the Kritik der practischen Vernunft (Critique of Practical Reason) (1788), he proposed a "Table of the Categories of Freedom in Relation to the Concepts of Good and Evil," using the familiar logical distinctions as the basis for a catalog of synthetic a priori judgments that have bearing on the evaluation of human action, and declared that only two things inspire genuine awe: "der bestirnte Himmel über mir und das moralische Gesetz in mir" ("the starry sky above and the moral law within"). Kant used ordinary moral notions as the foundation ffor a derivation of this moral law in his Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten (Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals) (1785).


From Good Will to Universal Law

We begin with the concept of that which can be conceived to be good without qualification, a good will. Other good features of human nature and the benefits of a good life, Kant pointed out, have value only under appropriate conditions, since they may be used either for good or for evil. But a good will is intrinsically good; its value is wholly self-contained and utterly independent of its external relations. Since our practical reason is better suited to the development and guidance of a good will than to the achievement of happiness, it follows that the value of a good will does not depend even on the results it manages to produce as the consequences of human action.

Kant's moral theory is, therefore, deontological: actions are morally right in virtue of their motives, which must derive more from duty than from inclination. The clearest examples of morally right action are precisely those in which an individual agent's determination to act in accordance with duty overcomes her evident self-interest and obvious desire to do otherwise. But in such a case, Kant argues, the moral value of the action can only reside in a formal principle or "maxim," the general commitment to act in this way because it is one's duty. So he concludes that "Duty is the necessity to act out of reverence for the law."

According to Kant, then, the ultimate principle of morality must be a moral law conceived so abstractly that it is capable of guiding us to the right action in application to every possible set of circumstances. So the only relevant feature of the moral law is its generality, the fact that it has the formal property of universalizability, by virtue of which it can be applied at all times to every moral agent. From this chain of reasoning about our ordinary moral concepts, Kant derived as a preliminary statement of moral obligation the notion that right actions are those that practical reason would will as universal law.

[snip]

http://www.philosophypages.com/hy/5i.htm#gdwl
--

1788
THE CRITIQUE OF PRACTICAL REASON
by Immanuel Kant
translated by Thomas Kingsmill Abbott

http://eserver.org/philosophy/kant/critique-of-practical-reaso.txt


useless trivia: those who understand Kant say he was mad :)
 
86
3
I'm sorry it took so long to respnd, I'll try to be more prompt in the future. Yes, I would say that Kant was a large influence in my logic and I have a well-thumbed book of his works. Before continuing though, I'm not sure how exactly you define morals and am slightly reticant to say anything. I'm not sure where're or how instincts come into the picture of morals, but it certainly is an intruiging thought. As you said too, this thread is spinning wildly off topic: perhaps I should start a new thread, but I'm not really sure what topic the discusion is now on.

As asnwer to your questions, I don't think it is either selfish or instinctual to teach children morals. If it is selfish we wouldn't bother to teach anything, we would just sit around and be lazy. If it was instinct to teach morals then that would neccesitate that morals and instincts are the same, or even closely related. As for which one is more important I think that is case-dependent, and there is no answer that can be held true for everyone.
 
134
0
Dawguard said:
If it was instinct to teach morals then that would neccesitate that morals and instincts are the same, or even closely related. As for which one is more important I think that is case-dependent, and there is no answer that can be held true for everyone.
Which is exactly my rationalle for believing morals are not absolute. :biggrin:
(of course, I could logically conclude something to be correct and be wrong)
I've also been tying to spend more time away from this computer now that the weather has turned a bit nicer here. I'll agree to end this thing if you will. Maybe someone else will pop in and put another spin on the discussion one day.
 
514
0
We would all agree that a stone does not have morals.
If one stone fell one another stone and cracked it in two pieces, there would be no moral implications involved.

Now, if the universe is composed of a gazillion stones, then one would agree that any action inside this lifeless universe would be without morals.

So, obviously, morals do not exist in matter without consciousness.
You need some kind of sensory system at the bare minimum to draw morals into the picture.
Now, I believe intent is very important.
Intent is something you cannot empirically prove, other than by what the person has said, or done, in the past, but that doesn't show empirical evidence about what the person was thinking.
I used intent as an example because it's one of those things that cannot be measured or quantified by math.
You can't create a mathematical formula for intent.

Therefore, obviously, the consciousness "cloud" (a word i like), is something that remains untouched by science or math.
My point with this is that the absoluteness of an event or object in the consciousness cloud changes and evolves.
I reiterate that without a conscious sensory system, morals would not exist, but inside the consciousness cloud(several conscious people in one cloud), there may exist an absolute moral.
As absolute as an abstract can get anyway.

The real headtwister of the theory is that we do not know what the objective world is.
To us, everything is subjective, we are just taught to see it objectively.
 
732
0
Absolute morals exist only if there is an increase in good in this natural world. I realize that we would have to define increase in good so I will say it is an increase in natural perfection. So now I have to define increase in natural perfection and will call it existence. I think we all know what existence is, since that notion is in our heads.

I also realize that my perspective has its bias but then we will have to explain existence another way.
 
86
3
Rader said:
Absolute morals exist only if there is an increase in good in this natural world.
How come? I would contest that absolute morals are possible, even if the world is rife with corruption and evil. The nature of morals has nothing to do with their practice in the world.
 
732
0
Originally Posted by Rader
Absolute morals exist only if there is an increase in good in this natural world.

Dawguard said:
How come?
Because we observe a change in this physical world in a direction that we can not explain through physical phenomena. We are the only animal which has an idea of what absolute morality might be. Why, because we have erroneous ideas of what it is now. Morality is a concept that if it is absolute all concepts would be absolute; we can only have a temporary idea of that absolute concept since physical systems are mutable, in other words brains interpret absolute concepts that are erroneous. Eventually those brains should evolve to a natural perfection of a knowing of what absolute morality is. To give you an earthly answer there might be no reason to kill, if no one had any reason to harm anyone.

I would contest that absolute morals are possible, even if the world is rife with corruption and evil.
Don’t you mean that because the world is rife with corruption and evil?

The nature of morals has nothing to do with their practice in the world.
You will have to explain a little more what you mean.

Let me make one thing clear from the start. It seems that many use the word moral as if it is a relative word, I do not. The meaning of moral to me is absolute; although I can not know exactly what that will be eventually be, I can have an idea of what it ought to be. In other words to kill for any reason is not moral but immoral. There is no dividing line; we only make one because we have not evolved to a natural perfection in which killing is not necessary under any condition.
 

Rade

Rader said:
.. In other words to kill for any reason is not moral but immoral. There is no dividing line; we only make one because we have not evolved to a natural perfection in which killing is not necessary under any condition.
I do not agree--it is perfectly and absolutely moral to kill for "self-defense", if one holds individual human life as an absolute (that is, no single person has a moral right to take my life, and when they make such an attempt, they forfeit their own right to life, hence the moral justification for self-defense). If I have a car accident and kill you by accident is that act immoral ?--seems like it must be so in your philosophy since a reason (accident) is found for your death. And, even the perfect God kills, many such acts recorded in various religions, thus it is unlikely that the "natural perfection" you seek is possible. If even the perfect God kills morally, what hope for imperfect humans ? Finally, it is logical that human behavior of "killing" (for various reasons, not the least of which is food) has a genetic basis. Now, if true, and if the genetics is understood, then it may be possible in the far future via genetic engineering for humans to reach your suggested state of "natural perfection".
 

selfAdjoint

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
6,764
5
The title of the thread is PROVING Absolute Morals. We are now down to people just venting their personal opinions. Should the thread be closed?
 
86
3
selfAdjoint said:
The title of the thread is PROVING Absolute Morals. We are now down to people just venting their personal opinions. Should the thread be closed?
Yes, it should. The same thing happened with another thread about morals, and the same off topic result is now here. The purpose that this thread was made for is not being served by the present discussion.
 
732
0
Rade said:
I do not agree--it is perfectly and absolutely moral to kill for "self-defense", if one holds individual human life as an absolute (that is, no single person has a moral right to take my life, and when they make such an attempt, they forfeit their own right to life, hence the moral justification for self-defense). If I have a car accident and kill you by accident is that act immoral ?--seems like it must be so in your philosophy since a reason (accident) is found for your death. And, even the perfect God kills, many such acts recorded in various religions, thus it is unlikely that the "natural perfection" you seek is possible. If even the perfect God kills morally, what hope for imperfect humans ? Finally, it is logical that human behavior of "killing" (for various reasons, not the least of which is food) has a genetic basis. Now, if true, and if the genetics is understood, then it may be possible in the far future via genetic engineering for humans to reach your suggested state of "natural perfection".

This thread is proving if absolute morals exist. I understand your perspective of absolute morality of the individual which is relative morality. That is why I contend and said that:

Morality is a concept that if it is absolute all concepts would be absolute; we can only have a temporary idea of that absolute concept since physical systems are mutable, in other words brains interpret absolute concepts that are erroneous. Eventually those brains should evolve to a natural perfection of a knowing of what absolute morality is.
Few would disagree that morality is not a concept; my hypothesis is that it is absolute for the very simple reason that our concepts become clearer and we find better solutions to the problems not the reverse. You can apply this to any concept you like but there is clear evidence in our thinking that brains interpret absolute concepts that are erroneous. The other choice would be that brains interpret concepts that are not erroneous. If you can falsify my statement, do it.
 
1,604
1
I would have thought the fact that humans have been arguing about "what is morally right and what is morally wrong" for thousands of years, and still we cannot agree on many important issues (such as abortion, genetic engineering, animal experiments, the death penalty, to name just a few) shows that there is no "absolute" right or wrong - many moral issues are (at the end of the day) simply matters of opinion. Ultimately one must take one's stand based on one's personal and subjective opinions.

Best Regards

MF

Humans put constraints on what they can achieve more often by their limited imaginations than by any limitations in the laws of physics (Alex Christie)
 
86
3
moving finger said:
I would have thought the fact that humans have been arguing about "what is morally right and what is morally wrong" for thousands of years, and still we cannot agree on many important issues (such as abortion, genetic engineering, animal experiments, the death penalty, to name just a few) shows that there is no "absolute" right or wrong - many moral issues are (at the end of the day) simply matters of opinion. Ultimately one must take one's stand based on one's personal and subjective opinions.
Logically, this does not offer any proof of anything. Just because we can't agree on what they are, does not mean that they, being absolute morals, do not exist. You might contend this implies, but it offers no proof or evidance, and is therefore invalid as an argument. If morals are but a matter of opinion, as you claim, what makes my opinion more right then yours? What if my opinion is that all life is worthless, what makes that wrong? The existence of morals makes them by neccesity absolute, or else they cease to exist. If morals change then it is logical that one action can be both right and wrong. Essentialy this removes any value to right and wrong, and the purpose of morals is gone. Relativism is inherently contradictory, and the only two options left are absolutism and nihilism. Much like the debate with god, it is impossible to completely prove or disprove either option.

I'm starting to feel like a broken record on this thread, and this will be my last post in it, or until some new idea sparks some life. In the end, I think nothing will truely change, and the debate will continue for ages to come. I doubt that I will change anyone's mind here, and the positions and arguments have been laid out in many ways by many people throughout this thread. If someone has a particuler argument, it has probably been already answered here.
 

selfAdjoint

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
6,764
5
Dawguard said:
Logically, this does not offer any proof of anything. Just because we can't agree on what they are, does not mean that they, being absolute morals, do not exist. You might contend this implies, but it offers no proof or evidance, and is therefore invalid as an argument. If morals are but a matter of opinion, as you claim, what makes my opinion more right then yours? What if my opinion is that all life is worthless, what makes that wrong? The existence of morals makes them by neccesity absolute, or else they cease to exist. If morals change then it is logical that one action can be both right and wrong. Essentialy this removes any value to right and wrong, and the purpose of morals is gone. Relativism is inherently contradictory, and the only two options left are absolutism and nihilism. Much like the debate with god, it is impossible to completely prove or disprove either option.
Yes, all the things yoiu find too dreadful to contemplate, that's what the rest of us claim is the objective situation. What good are absolute morals if nobody knows what they are and "ignorant armies clash by night" over different interpretations?

I'm starting to feel like a broken record on this thread, and this will be my last post in it, or until some new idea sparks some life. In the end, I think nothing will truely change, and the debate will continue for ages to come. I doubt that I will change anyone's mind here, and the positions and arguments have been laid out in many ways by many people throughout this thread. If someone has a particuler argument, it has probably been already answered here.
Sorry if we didn't roll over and play dead for you, but this is the world we and you inhabit. A world where high minded assertions are worth nothing if you can't back them up.
 

Related Threads for: Proving absolute morals exist

Replies
87
Views
14K
Replies
29
Views
8K
  • Poll
  • Last Post
3
Replies
73
Views
13K
Replies
16
Views
9K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
29
Views
11K
  • Last Post
4
Replies
80
Views
6K
  • Last Post
Replies
11
Views
4K

Hot Threads

Top