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Subjective morality means no morality?
08-09-2013, 01:03 PM
Post: #1
Subjective morality means no morality?
OK first things first I for one do not think this but the reason I bring this up is as follows. Please bare with me on this.

There are, or at least was two YouTube users, one called Vertical Cadence who is now gone. I will explain why in a second. And the other who calls himself the Biblethumpingwingnut. There was a third guy who's user name is equally odd and most call him Sye for short so I will do the same here.

Anyway Vertical Cadence is an Atheist who lives in a town where it is dangerous to be an atheist. I don't know where this is exactly but it was this reason he gave when both Biblethumpingwingnut and Sye demanded he give them his full name and details before a Skype debate they were supposed to have or else it would not go ahead. Vertical Cadence told them his first name only (which is a common name and not one I am going to repeat here) and refused to tell them exactly where he lived, his full name and other personal details for obvious reasons.

Anyway they blocked him when he refused then Un-blocked him later when the live debate was about to start saying that the block was them joking and promising not to use his first name that he had given.

Well they lied. Not only did they lie but when he refused to give them his full name they went and somehow found it anyway and doc dropped him. As a result he has closed his channel and said he will never do any topic or future video to do with Atheism again due to the trouble it has caused where he lives.

Biblethumpingwingnut's response? "well he said morality was subjective so there was nothing wrong with doc dropping him since there is no right or wrong."

I could go on but as the title of this thread suggests the rest of the video in question basically suggests that because Vertical said morality was subjective that he was basically saying morals don't exist. Which wasn't what he was saying at all.

I know not all religious people are like this, in fact people from all sides are furious about this and somewhat worried about what is happening where Vertical lives right now based on the fact he has closed his channel and given up debating religion.

But what are your thoughts on this situation?
Have you come across this or similar tactics yourself before?
Does in anyway as the title of this thread asks, subjective morality mean no morality at all?
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08-09-2013, 01:12 PM
Post: #2
RE: Subjective morality means no morality?
I think the two religious nuts were completely in the wrong, and what they demonstrated is not at all what subjective morality means. The notion of "subjective morality" is plainly that what is right or wrong is largely determinate upon several factors. There are some things that are almost always wrong, like murder or rape. Then there are some, like petty theft, that greatly depend on the situation as to whether or not they're "wrong."

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08-09-2013, 01:34 PM
Post: #3
RE: Subjective morality means no morality?
(08-09-2013 01:12 PM)Satyros Wrote:  I think the two religious nuts were completely in the wrong, and what they demonstrated is not at all what subjective morality means. The notion of "subjective morality" is plainly that what is right or wrong is largely determinate upon several factors. There are some things that are almost always wrong, like murder or rape. Then there are some, like petty theft, that greatly depend on the situation as to whether or not they're "wrong."

Interesting. I've usually heard this concept described as "situation ethics".

In my experience, "subjective morality" is a buzzword used by religionists to claim that secular people can' have *real* morality if there isn't some sort of afterlife with punishment or rewards.
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08-09-2013, 01:40 PM
Post: #4
RE: Subjective morality means no morality?
"Situation ethics" differs in that it was stated to allow for certain actions outside of the moral scope so long as "love was served."

Take my example on theft. Given certain situations, it can be selfish, "love-less," and still not be "wrong" or "bad" because the situation has either forced it (more or less,) or no real harm has been done.

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08-09-2013, 03:49 PM (This post was last modified: 08-09-2013 03:49 PM by legend.)
Post: #5
RE: Subjective morality means no morality?
Extreme moral relativism would mean imply that different people and cultures can disagree about the defining nature of what makes something moral and that when there is disagreement that there cannot be resolution with neither party being right or wrong. However, if someone fails to act in accordance with their claimed moral values, than a moral relativist can still call them on it. In this case, I think announcing who he was would violate both parties claimed ethics. And really, that's what should matter to this party anyway. Regardless of whether vertical thought anything at all was moral, they presumably do and their actions violate that morality. They should therefore be ashamed of themselves.


That all said, I do not support strong relativism because I do not agree with the notion that what defines moral action is completely relative and I think there is some behavior that is claimed to be ethical but can in fact be determined more objectively to be bad.
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08-09-2013, 05:16 PM (This post was last modified: 08-09-2013 05:23 PM by Painkiller.)
Post: #6
RE: Subjective morality means no morality?
(08-09-2013 01:34 PM)LightBender Wrote:  Interesting. I've usually heard this concept described as "situation ethics".

Situation Ethics is a specific Ethical Theory developed by Joseph Fletcher and based around the idea that the Good act is the most Loving. It's not just the idea that you take individual situations and outcomes into account - that's acknowledged by a number of numative ethical theories, and is a feature of Teleological approaches to ethics (the broad school of morality which judges actions by their outcomes rather than the values or rules they subscribe to).

Quote:In my experience, "subjective morality" is a buzzword used by religionists to claim that secular people can' have *real* morality if there isn't some sort of afterlife with punishment or rewards.

It isn't. Subjectivist or Relativist Ethics describes an ethical theory or system that posits a degree of subjectivity to moral truths. Strong Relativist theories posit that moral truths don't exist at all, but like many philosophical concepts it's a spectrum. Some "religionists" (a word I personally can't stand) do use the argument you've said, but Subjective Morality is absolutely not a "buzz-word" they invented to allow themselves to do that. They're arguing that morality is meaningless unless it's objective and rooted in superhuman authority, so see subjective morality and meaning no morality at all.
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08-09-2013, 08:43 PM
Post: #7
RE: Subjective morality means no morality?
What is most abhorrent is that two religious people would try to hurt an Atheist. I mean what the heck? It kind of sounds like lynching from the 1800s. It's very startling that such attitudes still exist.

Obviously, believing that factors can determine morality other than deities and so forth does not necessarily mean that libertine nihilists will arise en masse from said philosophy and state that mass murder, etc is "not wrong". I suppose it's a slipper slope fallacy to suggest it will.

"To yield and give way to our passions is the lowest slavery, even as to rule over them is the only liberty." -Justin Martyr
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08-09-2013, 09:31 PM (This post was last modified: 08-09-2013 09:32 PM by rocketboy9000.)
Post: #8
RE: Subjective morality means no morality?
Personally I think there is no difference between "morality is what God says" and "morality is what I say"; because anyone (except atheists of course) can claim to speak for a god. Unless moral truths are grounded in an assessment of individual or societal impact, nothing prevents someone from claiming that their actions are moral according to some external source.
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08-09-2013, 09:42 PM
Post: #9
RE: Subjective morality means no morality?
Speaking for myself, I would feel very uncomfortable claiming to "speak" for my Gods.

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08-09-2013, 10:07 PM (This post was last modified: 08-09-2013 10:07 PM by shiverleaf15.)
Post: #10
RE: Subjective morality means no morality?
(08-09-2013 09:31 PM)rocketboy9000 Wrote:  Personally I think there is no difference between "morality is what God says" and "morality is what I say"; because anyone (except atheists of course) can claim to speak for a god. Unless moral truths are grounded in an assessment of individual or societal impact, nothing prevents someone from claiming that their actions are moral according to some external source.

Good point.

Divine command theory can lead to as much possibility of people claiming things are "moral" as can "subjective morality".

But that's the thing: though these possibilities exist, we need to avoid falling into slippery slope fallacies for both.

"To yield and give way to our passions is the lowest slavery, even as to rule over them is the only liberty." -Justin Martyr
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