Proving absolute morals exist

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selfAdjoint said:
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 never claimed that anything was to dreadful to contemplate, so please don't put words in my mouth. I speak pragmaticly, that for a coherent society to exist there have to be rules about right and wrong. As for the second statement, surely you know that a belief cannot be vilified by the actions of its supposed adherents. People can kill and fight for any reason they want, but that only condemns the person, and not the belief. If this diminishes their worth in any way, it does not diminish their truth. There are countless true things in life that have no worth, but are none the less true. I ask, what is an alternitive to absolute morals that would be of better worth, if you still wish to have morals? Or would you prefer none?

selfAdjoint said:
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.
I'm not asking you to "roll over and play dead": if you notice I never said that I've made such a foolproof argument that it renders all others worthless. I admitted that I can't prove beyond a shadow of a doubt my position. I've admitted that the veracity of absolutism is without complete proof. But so is everything else when speeking of morals. My one assertation has been that if morals exist, they must be inherently absolute. Nothing more, and nothing less. If you wish to claim they don't exist, I will frankly admit I can't prove you wrong. However, this was more of a topic of relativism against absolutism, and that was what I was arguing for. As for backing them up, I will spilt the proof. One, I can't back up the existence of morals. Two, if morals do exist, they can only be absolute. This I believe I have proved, and if there is a flaw in my logic, please point it out.

Oh, by the way, I'm rather puzzled by your first part. What exactly is it that you think I thought was too dreadful to contemplate? I'm rather curious, since I don't ever remember saying that.
 
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Dawguard said:
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.
It is not possible to prove that "something does not exist" unless that something is "logically impossible".
The tooth fairy is a logical possibility. I cannot prove the tooth fairy does not exist, but it does not follow from the absence of proof that one should believe in the tooth fairy as an existing being.

There is much, much more to philosophy than "proving that something does not exist".

Best Regards

MF
 

selfAdjoint

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Darguard said:
for a coherent society to exist there have to be rules about right and wrong.
Well this is apparently a condition satisfied vacuously, as we used to say in math class. No existing society is coherent, and so what we precisely don't see is an agreed upon set of rules for right and wrong.

Is abortion murder or not? Is gay marriage an offense or not? Are illegal immigrants just criminals or not? We can't even agree what a plain piece of text means (Second Amendment to the US Constitution). I repeat, if there are absolute morals nobody knows what they are and there is no lack of self important preachers to give you conflicting opinions about them.

BTW you say I put words in your mouth, but I was responding to your attitude, not your words. I don't think you made your case. In my view you can't prove anything except from some assumed premises, not in mathematics, philosophy or anywhere else. That's all proof means, to derive something logically from something else. So if you have a "proof" that absolute morals exist then I ask what are the premises which you assume in order to reach that conclusion. And your premises seem to be like the statement i just quoted: wishful thinking.
 
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selfAdjoint said:
Is abortion murder or not? Is gay marriage an offense or not? Are illegal immigrants just criminals or not? We can't even agree what a plain piece of text means (Second Amendment to the US Constitution). I repeat, if there are absolute morals nobody knows what they are and there is no lack of self important preachers to give you conflicting opinions about them.
selfAdjoint is right.

Morals are based upon values. To suggest that there must be absolute morals implies that there must also be absolute values. To take abortion as an example : Whether this is right or wrong depends partly on when one believes that a human being has been "created". Is it at the moment of conception, or sometime during pregnancy (but if so exactly when), or at the time of birth? The Catholic church even view certain forms of contraception as wrong, which implies that we could even extend the argument back to times prior to conception. There is no "absolute" answer to the question of when a human being has been created, it depends to a great extent on how one defines "human being" - is it just the genetic information (in which case the moment of conception is the point), is it after the embryo has become a foetus, or is it at the point where the foetus is capable of living outside the womb? There is no universally agreed logically absolute definition - there are only different matters of opinion.

Definitions are, after all, just conventions. What "human being" means to one group of people may not be precisely what "human being" means to another group of people. There is no absolute definition of human being in absence of conventional use of the term.

If there is no absolute definition of a term, how can we possibly hope to have absolute morals which depend in part on how that term is defined?

Best Regards

MF
 

selfAdjoint

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moving finger said:
selfAdjoint is right.

Morals are based upon values. To suggest that there must be absolute morals implies that there must also be absolute values. To take abortion as an example : Whether this is right or wrong depends partly on when one believes that a human being has been "created". Is it at the moment of conception, or sometime during pregnancy (but if so exactly when), or at the time of birth? The Catholic church even view certain forms of contraception as wrong, which implies that we could even extend the argument back to times prior to conception. There is no "absolute" answer to the question of when a human being has been created, it depends to a great extent on how one defines "human being" - is it just the genetic information (in which case the moment of conception is the point), is it after the embryo has become a foetus, or is it at the point where the foetus is capable of living outside the womb? There is no universally agreed logically absolute definition - there are only different matters of opinion.

Definitions are, after all, just conventions. What "human being" means to one group of people may not be precisely what "human being" means to another group of people. There is no absolute definition of human being in absence of conventional use of the term.

If there is no absolute definition of a term, how can we possibly hope to have absolute morals which depend in part on how that term is defined?

Best Regards

MF

Very good post mf. And not just because you agree with me; you laid out the problems with realist morality (as opposed to nominalist, which I think we share), much better than I did.
 
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proving absolute morals exist...
Exactly.

The proof. Where is the evidence that absolute morals exist?

Can the proof be only that which is known as Plato's "philosoper king"?

If there is no absolute definition of a term, how can we possibly hope to have absolute morals which depend in part on how that term is defined?
Exactly.

There must be absolute definitions set down, by say the "philosopher king", so as to provide all individuals with the right starting point for discussion.

Speaking of the right starting point, absolute is about a priori.

Absolute is that which existed prior to you.

No matter whether or not I think that that action was right or not right, it absolutely was right or not right prior to me.
 
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selfAdjoint said:
BTW you say I put words in your mouth, but I was responding to your attitude, not your words. I don't think you made your case. In my view you can't prove anything except from some assumed premises, not in mathematics, philosophy or anywhere else. That's all proof means, to derive something logically from something else. So if you have a "proof" that absolute morals exist then I ask what are the premises which you assume in order to reach that conclusion. And your premises seem to be like the statement i just quoted: wishful thinking.
Let me sum up my statement. I have never said I could prove absolute morals. I have lost count of how many times I've said that I could not. There is no wishful thinking, since I haven't tried to prove the existence of absolute morals. I can't, nor have I ever said I could.
Right, we have that behind us, correct? No more misinterpretation. Moving on, I did say that relative morals are logically self destructive. I believe this has been proven, and I haven't seen any refutation of it. Next, I claim that morals are neccessary, since rules are needed. I believe we do live in a coherent society right now, as do many other countries in the world. This is because we have rules and laws, and without them there would be nothing but anarchy. Perhaps if you are an anarchist, then you can believe in a world without morals, but that encraoches on another topic which isn't due here. What is the justification for any law, except fundamental morals. Thus morals are needed, whether they exist or not.

I speak from a pragmatists point of view. I make no assumptions of proving impossible theories, or working out the great mysteries of the mind. I only say what works and what is needed. Whether morals exist or not we must believe that they do, and the only belief that can sustain itself is absolutism. It has lasted for thousands and thousands of years. You can argue that it has its drawbacks, and I agree. I don't say everythign caused by absolutism is good. Why, I'd even say there's as much evil caused by them as good. What I do say is that they are completely neccessary, and an inevitable part of human nature.

We seem to have reached an impasse: a spot in the road where no questions can be answered. Perhaps existentialists were right when they say that man is trying to find meaning in a meaningless life. Perhaps we ahve reached that point in human philosophy where we can go no further. I really don't care, since I don't give damn what lies behond the human mind. Morals are an inherent part of human nature, there to give us meaning and justification for everything we do. The only self-supporting system is absolutism. You can take it or leave, I really don't care. You seem to think that I'm arguing for the existence of morals, and trying to prove the impossible. Maybe that is because everyone else does, so you assume I do too.
 
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Dawguard said:
Morals are an inherent part of human nature, there to give us meaning and justification for everything we do.
Whilst I believe the foundations of moral behaviour in social animals can be explained by a deterministically emergent model with a combination of game theory and genetic evolution, I don't believe all moral rules are "inherent". I believe intelligent agents "invent" the loftier moral rules as an intellectual exercise to provide some kind of meaning and justification for particular beliefs and codes of conduct. Whether these loftier moral rules are arbitrary, or whether they have some absolute foundation, is debatable.

Best Regards
 
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Moral and natural laws.

An investgation of natural laws, and, in parallel, a defence of ethical objectivism.The objectivity, to at least some extent, of sciene will be assumed; the sceptic may differ, but there is no convincing some people).

At first glance, morality looks as though it should work objectively. The mere fact that we praise and condemn people's moral behaviour indicates that we think a common set of rules is applicable to us and them. To put it another way, if ethics were strongly subjective anyone could get off the hook by devising a system of personal morality in which whatever they felt like doing was permissible. It would be hard to see the difference between such a state of affairs and having no morality at all. The subtler sort of subjectivist (or relativist) tries to ameliorate this problem by claiming that moral principles re defined at the societal level, but similar problems recur -- a society (such as the Thuggees or Assassins) could declare that murder is Ok with them. These considerations are of course an appeal to how morality seems to work as a 'language game' and as such do not put ethics on a firm foundation -- the language game could be groundless. I will argue that it is not, but first the other side of the argument needs to be put.

It is indisuptable that morality varies in practice across communities. But the contention of ethical objectivism is not that everyone actually does hold to a single objective sysem of ethics; it is only that ethical questions can be resolved objectively in principle. The existence of an objective solution to any kind of problem is always compatible with the existence of people who, for whatever reason, do not subscribe. The roundness of the Earth is no less an objective fact for the existence of believers in the Flat Earth theory.(It is odd that the single most popular argument for ethical subjectivism has so little logical force).

Another objection is that an objective system of ethics must be accepted by everybody, irrespective of their motivations, and must therefore be based in self-interest. Again, this gets the nature of objectivity wrong. The fact that some people cannot see does not make any empirical evidence less objective, the fact that some people refuse to employ logic does not make logical argument any less objective. All claims to objectivity make the background assumption that the people who will actually employ the objective methodology in question are willing and able. We will return to this topic toward the end.

Some people insist that anyone who is promoting ethical objectivism and opposing relativism must be doing so in order to illegitamately promote their own ethical system as absolute. While this is problably pragmatically true in many cases, particularly where political and religious rhetoric is involved, it has no real logical force, because the contention of ethical objectivism is only that ethical questions are objectively resolvable in principle -- it does not entail a claim that the speaker or anyone else is actually in possession of them. This marks the first of our analogues with science, since the in-principle objectivity of science coincides with the fact that current scientific thinking is almost certainly not final or absolute. ethical objectivism is thus a middle road between subjectivism/relativism on the one hand, and various absolutisms (such as religious fundamentalism) on the other.

The final objection, and by far the most philosophically respectable one, is the objection on that moral rules need to correspond to some kind of 'queer fact' or 'moral object' which cannot be found.

Natural laws do not correspond in a simplistic one-to-one way with any empirically detectable object, yet empiricism is relevant to both supporting and disconfirming natural laws. With this in mind, we should not rush to reject the objective reality of moral laws on the basis that there is no 'queer' object for them to stand in one-to-one correspondence with.

There is, therefore, a semi-detached relationship between natural laws and facts -- laws are not facts but are not unrelated to facts -- facts confirm and disconfirm them. There is also a famous dichotomy between fact and value (where 'value' covers ethics, morality etc). You cannot, we are told, derive an 'ought' from an 'is'. This is the fact/value problem.

But, as Hume's argument reminds us, you cannot derive a law from an isolated observation. Call this the fact/law problem. Now, if the morality is essentially a matter or ethical rules or laws, might not the fact/value problem and the law/value problem be at least partly the same ?

(Note that there seems to be a middle ground here; the English "should" can indicate lawfulness without implying either ineveitability, like a natural law, or morality. eg you "should" move the bishop diagonally in chess -- but that does not mean you will, or that it is unethical to do so. It is just against the rules of chess).

Sceptics about ethical objectivism will complain that they cannot be exactly the same because moral rules like "Thou shalt not kill" contain an 'ought', an irreducibly ethical element. Let's look at what sceptics about natural laws say: their complaint is that a law is not a mere collection of facts. A law cannot be directly derived from a single observation, but it is not constituted by a collection of observations, a mere historical record, either. A historical record is a mere description; it tells you what has happened, but a law tells us what will and must happen. A description gives no basis for expectation -- the territory does not have to correspond to the map -- yet we expect laws to be followed, if we believe in them at all.

I do not propose to answer this challenge in its own terms -- that is I do not propose to show that a collection of mere facts does provide all by itself the required lawfulness. On my analysis, all individual laws depend on a general assumption -- a meta-law or ur-law -- that the future will follow the same general pattern as the past. The sceptic will object that this has been assumed without proof. My reply is that each individual law is tested on its own merits. Since at least some laws are thus shown to be correct a-posteriori, the lack of a-priori proof of the meta-law is not significant.

My further contention is that there is a different meta-law that needs to be posited for ethical rules. Just as someone who is engaged in the business of understanding the natural world needs a basic commitment to the idea that nature has regularities, so someone needs a basic commitment to moral behaviour in order to be convinced by ethical arguments. Ethical arguments do not and cannot be expected to convince psychopaths, any more than mathematical arguments can be expected to convice the innumerate. Whilst it is essentially correct that an evaluative conclusion cannot be drawn directly from a factual premiss, such a conclusion can be drawn with the aid of a bridging prinicple, (which is of course just our meta-law) e.g

1. I do not want to be murdered
2. I should do as I would be done by
3. I should not murder.

(2) is an example of a meta-law (or bridging principle or moral maxim), As ethical objectivism is a work-in-progress there are many variants, and a considerable literature discussing which is the correct one.
 

Gokul43201

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Any model (physical/philosophical) must be based on a set of axioms (else you've only got circular reasoning). The OP will have to show that there exists a unique set of consistent axioms (ie: all other sets of axioms are internally inconsistent).
 
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Originally posted by DB
"Proving moral absolutism vs relativism" in favor of absolutism.


It has been shown historicall, that cohesion can not be enforced, by forced, but by a "willing" heart yielding to the divinity within itself. Ethically speaking, in considering the letter of the law, vs the spirit of the law, is not to merely follow the law, but in fact to fulfill it, willing. Cohesion must therefore be the fulfilling of that divine part of a person that is truely himself.
In essense, one is to be "true" and allow himself to be shaped according to his "true nature".
The seeming contradiction is introduced only if one assumes that man is inherently bad. In his immature stagesof developement this may "appear" so, but once one becomes aware that he cannot be completely satisfied with anything other than his internal divine destiny wills, he is likely to feel "off course", fragmented, and untrue, and rightly so.
It is said that the labrynth is thourghly known. Therefore, does an acorn seed need to be forced to become an oak tree? No, with the proper introduction to a nurishing envirnment, the rest, is pretty much a no brainer.
Therefore to answer part of your question, Who can truely deny himself? Please comment.
Relativly speaking though,is man sufficient cause for himself? Obviously not, this suggest only that though he may be true, he of himself didn't establish the path he may be remaining true to. Please comment.

There is much to be said about this fascinating topic. For brevity, Burtrand Russlell's, "History of Western Philosophy" might be an excellant place for you to start.
 
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by a "willing" heart yielding to the divinity within itself.
What is meant by the "divinity within"? What does this mean? Once we agree what it means, then by what means do you know that it exists?

In essense, one is to be "true" and allow himself to be shaped according to his "true nature".
What is meant by the phrase "true nature"?

The seeming contradiction is introduced only if one assumes that man is inherently bad.
Good and bad are subjective terms. If person A's "true nature" (once we have agreed what that phrase means) results in actions which person B judges to be bad, then it follows that person A is "inherently bad" according to person B.

Is polygamy "good" or "bad"? Who is to judge? If it is judged "good" then why is it illegal in most parts of the world? If it is judged "bad" then what harm does it do?

Therefore to answer part of your question, Who can truely deny himself?
We need to agree what "true nature" means first.

Relativly speaking though,is man sufficient cause for himself? Obviously not, this suggest only that though he may be true, he of himself didn't establish the path he may be remaining true to. Please comment.
Nietzsche famously claimed that "causa sui" (to be the cause of oneself) was nonsensical (see http://www.moving-finger.com/papers/Swamp.pdf [Broken]. It follows that all things in the world are either caused by other things or are uncaused (random), and hence no finite being possesses ultimate responsibility for its actions. One's "true nature" (assuming that "true nature" means what ultimately determines one to act in the way that one does) is not something that one can control, hence one cannot be ultimately responsible for one's "true nature".

Best Regards

Moving Finger
 
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Nature

Moving Finger, the question of whether there is, "absolute good" or "absolute bad", needs a reference point. Otherwise, they can be used to mean anything. Which will take these forum posts to infinity and beyond.

For example, take the act of a snake eating a mouse. Is this "good" or "bad"? Well, here is where one should attempt to define the "reference point". We need it ( the reference point) in order to answer the question meaningfully and accurately. To find this reference point, one should ask, Good for what?, Bad for what?

This is the question one should be concerned with.

The question should go like this,

Act : A snake eats a mouse!

Question : Is this good (reference point coming up) --> for the snake's survival ?

Answer : Probably YES! since snakes need to feed in order to survive.

Question : Is this good (reference point coming up) --> for the mouse's survival?

Answer : NO! since it comes to an end!

Without agreeing on the reference point, these question are pointless! They can not be meaningfully answered. Good and bad are notches in a value system, therefore the value system has to be defined and agreed upon.

I can confidently say that no inanimate object has ever done any good or bad. Think about that for a while. Is that true? If so, Why? Why hasn't a rock(even an asteroid crashing into Earth and killing all life) done any good or bad?

Since rocks can not think, it can't assign value or reason, therefore; it cannot do "good" or "bad". We are the ones that judge the act to be good or bad. We can do that because we have those abilities.

When one asks, is there "absolute good or bad?" It is impossible to answer the question meaningfully without a point of reference.

What is the point of reference that is at the base of this question? That is a darn good question which we have to answer first before a meaningful answer can be given, If we do not, we will not see the forest, because the trees are in the way!

Lionshare
 
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All ethical propositions and moral propositions can be reduced to testable predictions of the natural world. Even a theist needs to agree on this, since his justification is, say, X is morally correct, because my holy scripture says so and the scripture is true. Those are two empirical statements.

"you ought to do X" <=> "you ought to do X, if X -> Y and Y is a normative proposition"

All attempts to justify moral propositions consists of logical arguments that rests om empirical facts. To show that something is morally unjustifiable, show that the empirical premises are factually wrong, or that the attempt contain logical fallacies. A morally justifiable act rests on correct empirical facts and contains no logical fallacies.

The "point of reference" is empirical facts.
 
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Moving Finger, the question of whether there is, "absolute good" or "absolute bad", needs a reference point. Otherwise, they can be used to mean anything. Which will take these forum posts to infinity and beyond.
Why does something which is supposed to be "absolute" need any reference point? Surely the whole point about an absolute measure of anything is that it is NOT defined relative to anything else. If it WERE defined relative to something else then it would be a relative measure, and not an absolute measure!

For example, take the act of a snake eating a mouse. Is this "good" or "bad"? Well, here is where one should attempt to define the "reference point". We need it ( the reference point) in order to answer the question meaningfully and accurately. To find this reference point, one should ask, Good for what?, Bad for what?
In other words, there is no absolute "good" or "bad" in the example of a snake eating a mouse - whether it is deemed good or bad depends on your reference point.

When one asks, is there "absolute good or bad?" It is impossible to answer the question meaningfully without a point of reference.
Which, as we have seen, is a contradiction in terms!
"absolute" means no reference point is needed - the corollary is that if a reference point is needed to judge whether something is either good or bad, then we making a relative, and not an absolute, determination of good or bad.
 
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Can you understand something absolute from a relative reference point?
All human perception and thought will inherently be relative, I mean how can a persons viewpoint be absolute.
 
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applied definitions!

Moving Finger, that would depend on how one applies the definition of absolute. If you apply it to mean the whole of existence, then it would be incompatible with "good". Good is a concept which exists in the value system we refer to as morality. It would be a contradiction in terms, as you say.

However, the word "absolute" is routinely and correctly used to define things within a particular realm. And not the whole of existence. Which is how he meant it!

Mathematicians use it for sets of numbers. Biologist use it to describe things which can only occur within certain species. Physicists use it to describe the nature of certain forces or atoms. In other words, what they can absolutely do or not do, given their "nature".(of atoms, or creatures or definition of numbers)

From this point of view, that question takes on new life. If we really want to answer the question and stop all this definition nonsense, we quickly start to realize one thing. The real question that is being asked is,

Does good exist at all?

Since "good" is a concept defined in a value system we refer to as "morality", the extremly deep question that is being asked is this, "Is morality Objective?"

All this could have been avoided had he postulated the question in a different way, ie "Is there such thing as objective good" or, Is morality objective!

But c'mon, give the kid a break! Look at the original post from over two years ago! He is struggling with these matters. Not definitions! Should he decide to come back and read up, lets and put forth a valiant effort and answer the question behind the question. Is Morality objective? You tell me!

Lionshare
 
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Can you understand something absolute from a relative reference point?
All human perception and thought will inherently be relative, I mean how can a persons viewpoint be absolute.
Perception is infallible. If perception is true, it is true. The only way you can say that your perception where fallible, is if you knew what the truth was, but that would make your perception true.
 
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If we really want to answer the question and stop all this definition nonsense
I am sorry, Lionshare, but the definitions which you call "nonsense" form the basis of all communications. If we cannot agree on the way that we define the terms we use then any attempt at communications is pointless.

There are many definitions of "absolute" to choose from. One example is "independent of arbitrary standards of measurement". Would you agree with this definition? (until we can agree what we mean when we use the word "absolute", there is little point in continuing the discussion).

Is Morality objective? You tell me!
all morality is subjective.
 
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Yes

I could not agree with you more!

Without agreeing on the definitions of words, we get very little done. As is evident in this case. But, if I say to the kid, "your question is a contradiction in terms, go on about your business", when it is clear what he is actually asking, that would be an even greater crime committed against the goal of successful communication than not agreeing on definitions.

So now, on to the matter at hand.

with that statement, "all morality is subjective." Do you meant to say that good and evil do not exist?

For example, Does that mean that a man who kills his own child, willingly and for no particular reason other than to see him die, is not wrong for doing so? Is it good? Is it neither? Are there any conditions one can put, or situations one can be in that would make it wrong? Or good for that matter?
 
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Does that mean that a man who kills his own child, willingly and for no particular reason other than to see him die, is not wrong for doing so?
You're loading this hypothetical question with value judgments.

Among other problems with your question:
Is a man who would kill his child 'to see him die' in his right mind?
I'd say no, so it really negates the idea of 'will'.

This is what they call a straw man argument.
 
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No straw man here..

this isn't a straw man setup!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

I'm asking him a question and awaiting his response.

In the straw man setup, I mis represent his point of view (say he means something I know he doesn't mean) then refute it. Usually, this is done with the goal of misleading a third party. For example, when a presidential candidate says so-and-so means X when he says Y which is wrong because of W, so vote for me!

So-and-so may have said Y but doesn't mean X (and you know this to be so) then refute it with W which convinces the people(who don't know any better) to vote for you.

In this situation, I structured the question in that way to eliminate misunderstanding. I mention that he is doing it willingly, so that it is understood that the father is not being coerced. For example, a terrorist may say to him, "kill your son, or I'll kill your son and wife).

I say that he does it "for no particular reason than to see him die", in case the son has some terminal illness that causes him considerable pain and asks the father to kill him.

I could have said, "One man kills another. Is this wrong?" But then the inevitable "well, it could be self defense" comes up.

BTW, people smoke and do a number of harmful drugs. Any of which can and have killed. The equivalent of playing Russian roulette with ones life (something people also do). All, acts done out of free will. Are they crazy?, Definitely. Can you argue it is not done out of their free will? I doubt that. Some may be ignorant, others know full well the implication and still do it. I do agree that a father who kills his son, is crazy. That however, is not the matter in question, the question is, if it's wrong. Crazy or not!

So, now that I've cleared it up. What do you think? Is it wrong?
 
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with that statement, "all morality is subjective." Do you meant to say that good and evil do not exist?

For example, Does that mean that a man who kills his own child, willingly and for no particular reason other than to see him die, is not wrong for doing so? Is it good? Is it neither? Are there any conditions one can put, or situations one can be in that would make it wrong? Or good for that matter?
"good" and "evil" (I would prefer to call it "right" and "wrong") in this context are value judgements placed upon a particular act or scenario by an observer, based upon that observer's value system. Most, if not all, humans would probably consider the willful killing of another human for no reason other than for pleasure to be "wrong", because most of us value a "human life" much higher than we value "selfish pleasure" (and most of us would consider the idea of getting pleasure by killing another human to be perverse anyway).

None of this means that morality is not subjective. It just means that it is possible to find some cases where almost all humans would agree on the rightness or wrongness of the situation.

But look at it from a bug-eyed green Martian perspective, if such Martians place a very low value on the individual lives of humans then he/she/it might say there is nothing wrong with a human killing its own child simply for pleasure.
 
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this isn't a straw man setup!
From your wikipedia reference:
"Oversimplifying an opponent's argument into a simple analogy, which can then be attacked."
In this situation, I structured the question in that way to eliminate misunderstanding.
No you didn't, you used a self-contradicting analogy. As I pointed out. You tried to get around specific arguments before they were even made, by setting up an overly simplistic representation of those arguments.

You should also try looking up the phrase 'loaded question' in wikipedia.
That's another logical fallacy that you are using here.
I'm hoping you just have poor debating skills. We all have things to learn.

So, now that I've cleared it up.
Cleared up? If I was misunderstanding you, wouldn't that be my call?
Once again you resort to rhetoric.
You didn't address my objection, you ignored it. You just used more words than most.
Nice dodge, but not very original.
 
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None of this means that morality is not subjective. It just means that it is possible to find some cases where almost all humans would agree on the rightness or wrongness of the situation.
This is something that seems to confuse a lot of people. The fact you can't find many people to disagree with you, doesn't mean you have truth in any kind of objective sense. It just means you have a consensus opinion.
 

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