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December 8, 2012
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Why do people think morals are objective?

:iconeldynamite:
ElDynamite Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I believe morals are subjective/relative (I have a hard time establishing a difference >.< ) and there seem to be many people who believe otherwise.

Is there anything that supports the idea that morals are objective? Besides outdated holy books?
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:iconjericawinters:
JericaWinters Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2012
The best part is that even the idea (of thinking that morals are objective) is another arbitrary view point. :boogie:
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:iconkaikaku:
kaikaku Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Because if morals are subjective their whole way of thinking about them falls apart?

I'm not sure if morals are objective or subjective. If they're subjective, well, then they're still objective in the sense that we're all living things and there are some points of agreement that are for all intensive purposes universal. If they are objective, good luck figuring out what the perfect morally objective path is. There have been many cases where I wished there was a way to do right, but all paths seemed wrong. So I don't know. I wish I did.
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:icontaylor17387:
taylor17387 Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The only objective morals I've ever heard of, are either based in religion or in metaphysical "substances" like Plato's Ideas.
So the only way to have objective morality would be if there was something like the perfect Good existing somewhere, in the ideal plane. That, or believing that there's an all-knowing god, who tells us what's good and what's bad.
For people who believe that, knowing that other cultures have other morals makes no difference, because "good" and "evil" exist somewhere; they're not dependant of people's opinions or culture, just like physics. In fact, it could be possible that nobody agreed with these morals, and nonetheless, they'd still exist and they'd be true.

But there's a fair amount of people who don't believe in god or metaphysics, but that still believe that human rights and the like are good in themselves. I guess they've heard so many times that those rights are good, that they have forgotten that it was a group of persons the ones who established them. These are the ones who make no sense at all: either you believe in God or the "Idea of Good", or you can't have objective morality.
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:iconedwardspaghetti:
EdwardSpaghetti Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2012
It's either objective morality or rule of the stronger.
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:iconsaintofthedragons:
SaintOfTheDragons Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well morals govern the way we live, whether our morals are good or bad.
I assume you're talking about good morals being objective.
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:iconragerancher:
Ragerancher Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012
It's much simpler to think things are black and white rather than shades of grey. Generally religious people look for the simplest answers that are easiest to comprehend, require the least thought and understanding. They also generally like closure meaning a full explanation is prefered over a partial one even if the full explanation is completely flawed and the partial one has no flaws. Having an answer is more important than that answer being correct.

The laughable thing is they will claim objective morality and then will break their own rules all the time.
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:iconsolum-ipsum:
Solum-Ipsum Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
DEFINITION OF TERMS

Subjective: Based on one's own perspective.*
Objective: Based on another perspective.*

*In Tomist philosophy, the terminology is reversed since the object's action (impyling God is the ultimate Object) is applied on the passive subject (implying Creation is the ultimate Subject).

Absolute: Self-sufficient, free and ultimately axiomatic; a basis of further relation.

Relative: Defined only by its difference when compared to another element. A system of relative elements that does not trace back to an absolute source, as in case of a hermetic circle-relation, can only be nothingness, as it isn't given the principle to take the shape of.

Morals: Rules or laws which determine whether something is right or wrong for the subject to commit (including abstinence).

Determination: Assigning a quality to a subject, thus contrasting it from its environment by differentiation, giving it a unique identity.

CONTEMPLATIVE SESSION

If morals are absolute: Morals determine everything (e.g. God).

If morals are relative: Morals do not determine everything, however, they inherit a conditional definitive power (determination of right and wrong).

If morals are objective: Morals come from an environmental source.

If morals are subjective: Morals come from oneself.

RESULT

We have now defined four potential moralities that may or may not coexist: absolute objective, absolute subjective, relative objective and relative subjective. Further analysis and definition of terms is necessary.
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:iconeldynamite:
ElDynamite Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Don't define them separately. Moral objectivism/universalism: "Moral universalism (also called moral objectivism or universal morality) is the meta-ethical position that some system of ethics, or a universal ethic, applies universally, that is, for "all similarly situated individuals",[1] regardless of culture, race, sex, religion, nationality, sexuality, or any other distinguishing feature."
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:iconsolum-ipsum:
Solum-Ipsum Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Pfft. The more I think about this, the more complicated and confusing it gets for me.

Anyway, I believe that morals are a mental compass and Geiger counter that steers and directs one toward one's goals.

Objective moralism comes into the picture if one chooses the Absolute as one's goal, as in this case, the goal is the Object, compared to which the individual relates to.
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:iconlbthecc:
LBtheCC Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm of the opinion that if there is an objective morality, there's two possible forms of it.
1) Genetically programmed. There are behaviors that are programmed as "right" and "wrong" in your temporal and frontal lobes. It's programmed to protect the social structure of social animals. I imagine it's an "objective moral" for ants to defend the nest. You're basically protecting your gene pool by engaging in "morality."
2) An objective, divine Law that pertains to Good and Evil. This is, by virtue of our humanity, only dimly perceived. The holy books of various religions are therefore important to delineate an otherwise limited perspective of "Right" and "Wrong."

However, I'm of the opinion that morality can be both objective AND subjective. This goes back to #1 up there. Some behaviors are coded, and some behaviors are imprinted by experience. You learn socialized behaviors and gain an understanding of what your culture has taught you as "right" and "wrong."

As for #2, who knows? Maybe there IS some divine moral code. We obviously don't understand it, much less follow it. It certainly goes against the very nature of being human.
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:iconeldynamite:
ElDynamite Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
1) Apparently nearly every human's sense of right and wrong is skewed.

2) Which apparently only we follow and the billions before us completely missed.

Both these claims are outright outrageous.
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:iconlbthecc:
LBtheCC Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
1) There's considerable genetic variability, and with good reason. I think as we understand the connections between psychiatry, neuroscience, and outward social behavior better, it will make more sense. A good example would be those individuals with Antisocial Personality Disorder. Sure, they may have been raised by animals or somesuch, but there's a decent amount of evidence that there's genetic predispostion as well. A "normal" brain is simply whatever configuration is most prevalent in a given population. I have a theory that we're breeding more antisocial tendencies since we no longer need the clan to protect ourselves from predators. We are our own predators now.
2) Hence the reason for the rise of Deism and Pluralism.

Eh. Perhaps. 100% subjective is possible, I suppose. I tend toward thinking that it is majority subjective myself, but I toy with the idea of something underlying that the currently complex structure of morality is built upon.
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:iconeldynamite:
ElDynamite Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
1) The thing is, if you define "normal" as what is most common, then isn't that subjective based on the most common of the times?
2) Pluralism in itself is contradictory since many religions state that other religions are wrong.
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:iconlbthecc:
LBtheCC Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
1) Of course. It's mutable based on drift. But how mutable is it? Which aspects are more mutable than others?
2) Of course. It's a compromise between religious that can't compromise with each other, generally by people who don't fully understand them.
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:iconeldynamite:
ElDynamite Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
1) Defeating the point of it being objective.
2) And how does that support moral objectivism?
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:iconlbthecc:
LBtheCC Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Well you asked the question, and you got an answer. Why? These reasons.
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:iconeldynamite:
ElDynamite Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Let me put this another way: I'm asking, "Why is tomato not a fruit?" and you're saying "Because it has seeds." Your reasons don't support your answer.
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(1 Reply)
:iconblack-allison:
Black-Allison Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012
Morals are rules of thumbs installed to perpetuate a certain society. If a moral code becomes useless to an society (eg Roman women not being allowed to go outside) then we get rid of that moral code because it becomes unpopular.
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:icontotally-dead:
Totally-dead Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Just world hypothesis - Lerner.

Look it up.
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:iconeldynamite:
ElDynamite Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ummm... what about it?
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:icontotally-dead:
Totally-dead Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
My point is that that is exactly what you are talking about, only with a slightly more scientific view.
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:iconeldynamite:
ElDynamite Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
But if morals are subjective, that defeats the whole idea of the just-world hypothesis.
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:icontotally-dead:
Totally-dead Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Not once you have understood it, because right now you are completely wrong about what it is. IE the scientific hypothesis in this situation is not that the world is just. Quite the opposite.
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:iconeldynamite:
ElDynamite Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Okay I'm confused now, so the just-world hypothesis is the idea that the world is not just?
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:icontotally-dead:
Totally-dead Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
When I say look it up, I mean look it up.

Wikipedia explains it well enough.
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:iconeldynamite:
ElDynamite Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I did look it up, although I got exactly the opposite of what you said :|
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(1 Reply)
:iconstripedpower:
StripedPower Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012   Digital Artist
Morals are subjective. They might look like they're objective because many people are sharing the same set of morals.
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:iconwolfyspice:
WolfySpice Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
I do... but in a different way. Morality is subjective: it is based on the individual. But we're all human. We all bleed, we all cry, we all die. There's no point throwing our hands up in the air declaring 'morality is subjective!' when we come to a question of morality that we find difficult. We're all fundamentally the same. Morality is for ensuring our well-being as social creatures in our communities. We know what helps and hinders us; we have all of history to show that, and basic human empathy also helps. So, for practical purposes, morality is objective: well-being.

That does not mean it is absolute, of course.
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:iconeldynamite:
ElDynamite Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
As a basis, saying that morality ensures wellbeing as social creatures, there is not always a clear-cut answer to that. Would abortion help our well-being as a society? How about gay marriage? Objective morality is the idea that there's one universal law of morality. Even though we have morals to make our society a better place, those morals change over time and space. The goal of all social morality is typically to help the community, but that does not mean the way they do it is the same.
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:iconcarusmm:
carusmm Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
The only thing objective on earth is man's love of cake.
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:iconbryosgirl:
bryosgirl Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I never understood why anyone could ever say that morals are anything but subjective. Even from a religious point of view, you'd be hard pressed to find a religion that is consistent enough in its teachings to clearly define objective morals.
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:iconeldynamite:
ElDynamite Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Pretty much. Most holy books contradict their own teachings.
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:iconhametsunocharge:
HametsuNoCharge Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
They are subjective in that they are standards established to perpetuate a certain society. They are objective in that as a person you don't really have a choice in the matter. Your environment defines morals as what they are.

For example, even if you personally believe serial killing is the right thing to do, to the society in which you live it is probably immoral.
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:iconeldynamite:
ElDynamite Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well, objectivity is usually meant as in "XYZ is wrong, was always wrong, and always will be wrong, and anyone who dissents is wrong."
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:iconhametsunocharge:
HametsuNoCharge Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
In that case...probably because they don't want to believe it could be otherwise. If we followed ancient models of morality, I could accuse you of killing my father/brother/sister/mother/son/daughter and challenge you to a duel. The one who's still alive afterwards would be right.

Imagine how messy THAT would be if it were legal
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:iconeldynamite:
ElDynamite Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That would be really bad. I guess it would help overpopulation though, if you looked at it the other way :stare:
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:iconhametsunocharge:
HametsuNoCharge Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
lol...morbid, but true enough. On the other hand there would be a corspe pile up higher than the empire state building every 4 years RIIIIIGHT around election time.
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:icontheawsomeopossum:
TheAwsomeOpossum Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012
It depends on how you define objective. If you mean objective as in everybody agreeing, I'd be inclined to agree with you such morals don't exist. If you mean objective as in morals which are backed with a universal divine law, that might be a different story.
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:iconeldynamite:
ElDynamite Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Objective as in universal divine law. Everybody agreeing is subjective/relative.
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:icontheawsomeopossum:
TheAwsomeOpossum Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012
Well there definitely could be a universal divine law. I don't think everybody agreeing really connotates the idea of subjective, tbh.
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:iconeldynamite:
ElDynamite Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
There also definitely could be an invisible pink unicorn. Just saying.
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:icontheawsomeopossum:
TheAwsomeOpossum Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012
Of course there could be. But my God, who communicated with me already (thus I know he exists as far as knowing is possible) says that I shouldn't care about other Gods. Thus, Invisible Pink Unicorns wouldn't be my concern, if you know what I mean, sorta =p.
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:iconeldynamite:
ElDynamite Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Meaning that both the IPU and your God exist? That's a problem.
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:icontheawsomeopossum:
TheAwsomeOpossum Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012
I have no clue. I just know that I only need to worship my God.
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:iconebolabears:
EbolaBears Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012
I think religious types get trapped into thinking about morals that way.
They're the most likely to not understand history and science, at least in today's society.
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:iconeldynamite:
ElDynamite Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It would seem so. They value their holy books to be more truthful than anything science can tell us, and holy books give a set moral code.
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:iconebolabears:
EbolaBears Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012
They don't even value their holy books. They value the corrupt leadership of idiots who whisper things that appeal to dark hearts.
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:iconeldynamite:
ElDynamite Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Apparently so :iconmingplz:
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:icontimehasanend:
TimeHasAnEnd Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Hobbyist
Without morality we would be killing each other by now. So, yes morality is obviously objective.
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:iconbryosgirl:
bryosgirl Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Slavery, spousal abuse/rape, and genocide, along with many others, were all considered moral at one point or another. Morals change to meet a population's attitudes. The very fact that they can change indeed makes them subjective.
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