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Thread: Objective Morality

  1. #1
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    Objective Morality

    A friend of mine believes that morality is objective, that there is a right and a wrong answer to moral problems not based on mere opinion, that there are moral facts. His argument boils down to, "You should do what is right because you're alive" -- in his own words.

    I have a different take on the matter. I think that assuming certain goals there are better and worse answers to moral problems, maybe even right and wrong answers in certain cases. If we want to minimize violence in our own lives and societies there are certain moral standards to abide by that will be better to produce that outcome.

    But it's returning to first principles that makes me doubt that morality is truly objective. While we have socially and biologically primed goals such as survival and happiness I have yet to be convinced that these goals are rationally justifiable in themselves. They are a given. We generally value our lives, so we want to make sure they're protected, and enforcing certain moral codes in a society are conducive to that. But why value life? Why live? We just do. We're programmed to.

    At this time I believe that morality rests on a foundation of goals that have no rational justification, and therefore it might be said that morality has a subjective and an objective component. Though I'm not sure "subjective" is the best way to describe the underlying goals morality seeks to preserve I have yet to come up with a better word.

    Do you have any thoughts on the objectivity of morality? Does your spiritual system or religious path shed any light on this topic?

  2. #2
    God in the baking Sean R. R.'s Avatar
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    Re: Objective Morality

    Violence can be good for society. Overthrowing a dictator or otherwise totalitarian government comes to mind.

    On my path, each of us makes their own morality based on what is good for ourselves. Some include moral rules that improve their relationship with society in a general sense, others don't care so much. Most are a very mixed bag.

    Check out my blog! The Daily Satanist

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    Supporter Torey's Avatar
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    Re: Objective Morality

    "Objective morality" is a completely contradictory statement that cannot be rationalised.

    Morality is a human construct that centres around the concept of "right" and "wrong", two completely subjective considerations. There is nothing objective about morality.

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    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Objective Morality

    There are a couple of threads open right now where this video is applicable, but...

    I believe this sums up my position.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  5. #5
    Bronze Member Bartmanhomer's Avatar
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    Re: Objective Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by Torey View Post
    "Objective morality" is a completely contradictory statement that cannot be rationalised.

    Morality is a human construct that centres around the concept of "right" and "wrong", two completely subjective considerations. There is nothing objective about morality.
    I agree. Morality is very subjective than objective. Same things with ethics between law and chaos.

  6. #6
    Silver Member Tylluan Penry's Avatar
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    Re: Objective Morality

    Morality is often just a stick to beat the dog with.
    www.thewolfenhowlepress.com


    Phantom Turnips never die.... they just get stewed occasionally....

  7. #7
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Objective Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by Tylluan Penry View Post
    Morality is often just a stick to beat the dog with.

    Can I keep this?

    Is this an actually saying of some sort, or a Mrs. P quote?

    I'm thinking it belongs on a sampler and in a frame somewhere...I've gotten a wee bit into radical crafting lately.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  8. #8
    Silver Member Tylluan Penry's Avatar
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    Re: Objective Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by thalassa View Post
    Can I keep this?

    Is this an actually saying of some sort, or a Mrs. P quote?

    I'm thinking it belongs on a sampler and in a frame somewhere...I've gotten a wee bit into radical crafting lately.
    tHANK YOU! As far as I know it's just my own musings on the subject of morality - in fact I had a discussion the other day with someone who believed that there had been no moral compass before Christianity came along and provided on. I suspect (to the best of my knowledge) that this is a Mrs P quote. I tried googling it just now, but nothing comes up!
    www.thewolfenhowlepress.com


    Phantom Turnips never die.... they just get stewed occasionally....

  9. #9
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Objective Morality

    Everybody was a psycopath before Jebus Crispy.
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

    I can't do everything, but I can do something.

  10. #10
    Silver Member anubisa's Avatar
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    Re: Objective Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean R. R. View Post
    Violence can be good for society. Overthrowing a dictator or otherwise totalitarian government comes to mind.

    On my path, each of us makes their own morality based on what is good for ourselves. Some include moral rules that improve their relationship with society in a general sense, others don't care so much. Most are a very mixed bag.
    Point in case Hitler. The world couldn't stand by and do nothing. We had to take him out for the good of society.

    In my opinion, I view morals in a different way I suppose. I strongly feel that there are certain things that you generally are moral about. There will always be difficult decisions that you will have to ask if it is moral or not. However, I went to a catholic school for a while when I was a little girl and I was taught the golden rule (though that doesn't necessary apply I think). However, I still had grandparents with a great deal of morality in which rubbed off and my parent have morals that they taught me as well. We view morals differently and we should remember that when making a decision.
    Anubisa

    Dedicated and devoted to Lord Anubis and Lady Bast. A follower of the path of Egyptian Wicca.

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