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Objective Morality
02-16-2010, 07:01 PM
Post: #1
Objective Morality
Is morality objective/universal? Or is morality acquired by ones culture and is therefore not absolute?

My stance is that morality is not absolute. Example: One might propose that killing a human is always morally wrong and therefore would be absolute, however, there are many situations where killing another human is morally correct such as self defense. Human sacrifice is even considered to be justified in some cultures and is therefore morally correct to them. Suicide is considered to be an immoral absolute, but when committing the act to save another it would be morally justified.

Think about this, when you seclude yourself from all civilization, does your morality really matter?
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02-16-2010, 09:27 PM
Post: #2
RE: Objective Morality
(02-16-2010 07:01 PM)lostsurf9111 Wrote:  Is morality objective/universal? Or is morality acquired by ones culture and is therefore not absolute?

My stance is that morality is not absolute. Example: One might propose that killing a human is always morally wrong and therefore would be absolute, however, there are many situations where killing another human is morally correct such as self defense. Human sacrifice is even considered to be justified in some cultures and is therefore morally correct to them. Suicide is considered to be an immoral absolute, but when committing the act to save another it would be morally justified.

Think about this, when you seclude yourself from all civilization, does your morality really matter?

Interesting premise, however, you cannot seclude yourself from civilization or societal pressures. Morality is subjective, but it is both an inward and outward force.
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02-17-2010, 11:06 AM (This post was last modified: 02-17-2010 11:09 AM by MSizer.)
Post: #3
RE: Objective Morality
I don't believe that morality is subjective at all. It is indeed objective, because it encompasses those normative behaviours which have the capacity to harm others. So for example (using an easy one), rape harms the victim always. It does not matter whether you commit it to a black person, a white person, someone who speaks spanish or french, nor whether you commit it next week or a hundred years from now. The victim will always be harmed by rape. Therefore, rape is immoral, and that's based on an objective principle (that the victim is harmed by it).

Therefore, whether a specific action is morally forbidden, permissible or obligatory is not a subjective matter, but indeed an objective one.

Therefore, morality is not absolute, but it is universal, and it is based on absolute objective principles.

What the hard sciences have done for medicine, neuroscience will do for ethics.
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02-17-2010, 11:27 AM
Post: #4
RE: Objective Morality
(02-17-2010 11:06 AM)MSizer Wrote:  I don't believe that morality is subjective at all. It is indeed objective, because it encompasses those normative behaviours which have the capacity to harm others. So for example (using an easy one), rape harms the victim always. It does not matter whether you commit it to a black person, a white person, someone who speaks spanish or french, nor whether you commit it next week or a hundred years from now. The victim will always be harmed by rape. Therefore, rape is immoral, and that's based on an objective principle (that the victim is harmed by it).

Therefore, whether a specific action is morally forbidden, permissible or obligatory is not a subjective matter, but indeed an objective one.

Therefore, morality is not absolute, but it is universal, and it is based on absolute objective principles.

Scenario: There is a massive epidemic of a highly contagious and usually fatal disease. A law is passed making it mandatory that everyone be innoculated against the disease. However a small percentage of those innoculated will have a bad reaction and die.

You are afraid of a reaction and do not want the shot. Is it moral for the authorities to hold you down and give it to you? Is it moral for you to resist when you could contract the disease and spread it to others? How contagious and how fatal does the disease have to be and how risky the innoculation to affect the answers? Is it simply the greatest good for the greatest number, which could be calculated mathematically, or does the potential use of force change anything?
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02-17-2010, 11:59 AM (This post was last modified: 02-17-2010 12:08 PM by Stereophonic.)
Post: #5
RE: Objective Morality
(02-17-2010 11:06 AM)MSizer Wrote:  ...rape harms the victim always...

Two points:

1) I imagine one could cook up some scenario where rape would not harm the victim--i.e., a woman in a medically induced coma, use of protection to ensure against pregnancy or disease, no witnesses to the act, and so on. Even where no obvious harm would follow, rape is still wrong.

2) How do we define "rape" when some Islamic countries allow nine-year-old girls to marry fifty-year-old men who already may have up to three other wives? This practice may be "legal" in those cultures, and if so, how can we call it "rape"? Who gets to define what rape is--do we just leave it up to each individual culture?

http://www.biblicaltraining.org/ --- http://www.ntwrightpage.com/
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02-17-2010, 04:22 PM (This post was last modified: 02-17-2010 04:29 PM by clarence clutterbuck.)
Post: #6
RE: Objective Morality
In some Muslim countries, four male witnesses are required to prove rape took place, which makes the crime impossible to prove, as any onlookers during a rape would most likely have been a party to the criminal act. A female unsuccessfully alleging rape may then, having admitted that illicit sexual intercourse took place, be executed or flogged and imprisoned for the crime of immoral conduct.

This state of affairs effectively condones rape and protects the perpetrators. The 2006 article linked below gives a figure of 3000 women imprisoned in Pakistani jails due to that country's unfair laws regarding rape and adultery. One reason given for why women in Pakistan often don't report rape, is because they fear being raped again at the police station.

Is rape wrong in such cultures?

http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/pakist...istan.html
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04-08-2010, 10:48 PM
Post: #7
RE: Objective Morality
(02-16-2010 07:01 PM)lostsurf9111 Wrote:  Is morality objective/universal? Or is morality acquired by ones culture and is therefore not absolute?

My stance is that morality is not absolute. Example: One might propose that killing a human is always morally wrong and therefore would be absolute, however, there are many situations where killing another human is morally correct such as self defense. Human sacrifice is even considered to be justified in some cultures and is therefore morally correct to them. Suicide is considered to be an immoral absolute, but when committing the act to save another it would be morally justified.

Think about this, when you seclude yourself from all civilization, does your morality really matter?

Think about this, murder is always and will always be wrong. There is no justification for it. Killing however is not wrong. There is a fundamental difference. Murder is selfish. Killing is selfless. Mortality is not dependent on society. Society has no say in what is right. Humans have no say in what is right. Only God has that power.
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04-10-2010, 08:33 PM
Post: #8
RE: Objective Morality
I believe some things are always wrong, and rape is an excellent example. I can't think of any situation where the sexual abuse of another being can be justified.

However, other areas of life are not so black and white.
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04-11-2010, 12:09 AM (This post was last modified: 04-11-2010 12:11 AM by Secular Hobbit.)
Post: #9
RE: Objective Morality
I believe there is such a thing as a universal morality that transcends all cultures, but I also firmly believe that we are not evolved enough to recognize true morality yet. It's not okay to sew your daughter's vagina together because it is your "custom"; and while we are on the subject of genital mutilation, it's not okay to snip your new born son's foreskin off either, it's a choice he should make.

Multiculturalism is an egregious philosophy since it permits immoral behaviour and renders us helpless to otherwise heinous acts. For example, someone used the example of rape in Muslim countries. I do think there is always a universal moral solution to any given situation but finding it may be beyond us until we have evolved the necessary tools to educate the globe and stamp out ignorance. A just, advanced society with a better understanding of mental disorders and psychopathic and sociopathic behaviours and how to stamp out or control these issues would necessarily eliminate the frequency of moral dilemmas. I can envision a secular, scientific society, all under the banner of a global government with minimal or zero crime; no prisons, no countries, no borders, over-the-counter cures for cancer, a transcendent morality. You have to remember, morality is man-made; to put it in perspective think how ridiculous it would be to ask the question "Was it moral for an asteroid to render the dinosaurs extinct?" I can also imagine an advanced alien species that would not have the first clue as to what morality even is; morality only exists because of immorality.

We would be 1,500 years ahead if it hadn't been for the church dragging science back by its coattails and burning our best minds at the stake
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04-11-2010, 12:55 AM
Post: #10
RE: Objective Morality
(04-08-2010 10:48 PM)Michael Yater Wrote:  Think about this, murder is always and will always be wrong. There is no justification for it. Killing however is not wrong. There is a fundamental difference. Murder is selfish. Killing is selfless. Mortality is not dependent on society. Society has no say in what is right. Humans have no say in what is right. Only God has that power.

Somehow I don't think it is God who prescribes the death sentence in your courtrooms. You sure got some weirdo beliefs there. Big Grin

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