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Objective Morality?

BodhivakaBodhivaka Veteran
edited October 2013 in Buddhism Basics
Recently I've been struggling over the subject of objective morality; for example, when I consider various acts typically esteemed as immoral (such as murder, rape, slavery, genocide, etc), my immediate gut reaction is to affirm the objectively immoral nature of such things; nevertheless, I find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to logically defend such an assertion.

If objective morals actually exist, what is it that makes them objective? I realize that some people may attempt to invoke God as a means by which to solve this problem, but I personally find that solution to be rather unconvincing given the Euthyphro Dilemma.

With all that said, do you personally accept the existence of objective morality; and if so, how do you defend your position?
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Comments

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    Bodhivaka said:



    If objective morals actually exist, what is it that makes them objective?

    Karma. :)

    lobsterVastmindKundo
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    seeker242 said:

    Bodhivaka said:



    If objective morals actually exist, what is it that makes them objective?

    Karma. :)

    I was trying to come up with a good answer. You solved the issue (at least in my view).

  • BodhivakaBodhivaka Veteran
    edited October 2013
    seeker242 said:

    Bodhivaka said:



    If objective morals actually exist, what is it that makes them objective?

    Karma. :)

    It was my understanding that the Buddhist concept of karma had less to do with right and wrong, and more to do with cause and effect.

    Perhaps I'm mistaken, but doesn't Buddhism reject the idea that karma is some kind of cosmic justice system, rather than a natural and impersonal law of the universe?

    In any case, assuming karma was a cosmic justice system, would you say that karma is objective morality, or that it enforces objective morality? If the former, what makes karmic morality objective? If the latter, what is the source of the objective morality that karma enforces?

    The only way I can see objective morality existing is if there was an actual metaphysical force, essence or entity that not only enforced objective morality, but is objective morality; however, if such a thing were to exist, what would make it objectively moral? Why should be accept it as such? And what could it possibly be?
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited October 2013
    Bodhivaka said:

    seeker242 said:

    Bodhivaka said:



    If objective morals actually exist, what is it that makes them objective?

    Karma. :)

    It was my understanding that the Buddhist concept of karma had less to do with right and wrong, and more to do with cause and effect.

    Perhaps I'm mistaken, but doesn't Buddhism reject the idea that karma is some kind of cosmic justice system, rather than a natural and impersonal law of the universe?

    In any case, assuming karma was a cosmic justice system, would you say that karma is objective morality, or that it enforces objective morality? If the former, what makes karmic morality objective? If the latter, what is the source of the objective morality that karma enforces?

    Karma does deal with, and has everything to do, with right and wrong! But not because of some superior being who is going to punish or reward you, but precisely because of cause and effect. It's not about "cosmic justice" it's only because of cause and effect. The Buddha taught that some actions lead to more suffering and some actions lead to less suffering. This is why he gave the teaching on the 5 (or more) precepts and advised us to follow them. The precepts aren't good to follow because someone else believes that, or because we believe that, or because society believes that. They are intrinsically good to follow because of cause and effect.

    The objective thing about it is that bad actions (the cause) have bad results (the effects) and good actions (the cause) have good results (the effects). Using murder an an extreme example, murder is always bad action and will always have bad effects. It does not matter what anyone thinks about it. It does not matter how society views it, it will have bad effects no matter what. Karma is a universal law no matter what anyone thinks about it, therefore it is objective.
    "'I am the owner of my actions (kamma), heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir'...
    No one can escape this regardless of what they believe or don't believe.
    The only way I can see objective morality existing is if there was an actual metaphysical force, essence or entity that not only enforced objective morality, but is objective morality; however, if such a thing were to exist, what would make it objectively moral? Why should be accept it as such? And what could it possibly be?
    The force is your own mind, deep down. The problem with many people though is that they cant even see their own mind deep down. That "luminous mind" deep down is covered over by ignorance, but it's still there under the ignorance. When a person acts in opposition to that luminous mind, that makes bad karma. When they act in accordance with it, they make good karma. The Buddha completely uncovered his luminous mind and he fully understood it. So he came and taught people what is in accordance with it and what is in opposition to it. That is why he gave us precepts to follow.

    :om:
    JeffreyEvenThirdYishai
  • This question reminds me of a fascinating argument going on between philosphers as to whether or not science and logic can create an objective or universal morality. Sam Harris is probably most famous, for his appeal to Utilitarianism, otherwise stated as moral or ethical behavior should be to produce "the greatest good for the greatest number".

    But his theory has fatal flaws in my mind. After all, any theory has to be tested against reality. So, can a set of moral laws or standards of behavior be reduced to greatest good for the most people? And how does that not conflict with placing value on individual life?

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Okay, morality is not objective. Now, will all the vegetarians let me eat my hamburger in peace?
    riverflowBodhivakaKundo
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    vinlyn said:

    Okay, morality is not objective. Now, will all the vegetarians let me eat my hamburger in peace?

    Unlikely as that would be doing an injustice to the cows! ;)
  • TheswingisyellowTheswingisyellow Trying to be open to existence Samsara Veteran
    When you get down to it is all subjective, there is no fixed place to nail down what is right or wrong. I think we can only agree as a society what we deem right or wrong. I think a good place to start; do our actions cause harm? We feel pain and suffering and know that when we inflict harm on others they feel this as well therefore over time society has agreed upon laws; you don't kill, or steal from another- but even these are subjective. Is it okay to steal bread if one is starving? is it okay to kill another in defense? It strikes me that the theme that runs through most of societies codes is that certain actions, if done, cause harm to another. There is no fixed placed, other than the arbitrary and conceptual.
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    Bodhivaka said:

    Recently I've been struggling over the subject of objective morality; for example, when I consider various acts typically esteemed as immoral (such as murder, rape, slavery, genocide, etc), my immediate gut reaction is to affirm the objectively immoral nature of such things; nevertheless, I find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to logically defend such an assertion.

    If objective morals actually exist, what is it that makes them objective? I realize that some people may attempt to invoke God as a means by which to solve this problem, but I personally find that solution to be rather unconvincing given the Euthyphro Dilemma.

    With all that said, do you personally accept the existence of objective morality; and if so, how do you defend your position?

    Yes, if you mean objective in the sense of evolving from nature and operating within the framework psychological laws, but not in the sense of emanating from some supranormal source (e.g., see this, this, this, this, this, etc.).
    vinlyn
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    Jason said:



    Yes, if you mean objective in the sense of evolving from nature and operating within the framework psychological laws, but not in the sense of emanating from some supranormal source (e.g., see this, this, this, this, this, etc.).

    Good posts. :) Question Jason. :) In your first link you say:

    "Intentional actions rooted in greed, ill-will or delusion have the potential to produce painful feelings and are considered unskillful (akusala) and morally blameworthy, while intentional actions rooted in non-greed, non-hatred and non-delusion produce the opposite and are considered skillful (kusala) and morally blameless."

    But then you say:

    "Objectively speaking, I can't say that anything is right or wrong, but I have no trouble doing so subjectively."

    Is that not a contradiction? It seems to me you are saying in the first that "Intentional actions rooted in greed" are wrong but then you say that you can't say anything is right or wrong? What about intentional action rooted in greed? Are actions of that sort right, wrong or can you not say? Murder for example, if the definition of murder is and only is "killing out of hatred, greed or ignorance", would it not be correct to say it's inherently wrong? Precisely because, by definition, the action has defilement as it's root?

    :om:
    Jason
  • A fully objective view is Buddha. I'm not there yet.
    Kundolobster
  • The issue is that this argument is only relevant in relationship to an External Deity.

    It becomes kind of pointless and not possible to defend. Because without a God then all responsibility falls strictly to the individual. One doesn't have a God to blame or be helped by.

    And that's kind of where karma or the teachings of cause and effect play a roll, which is given by the second post lol.

    But ethics is a choice everyone has. Let me give you a round about answer. The question should be reframed into why be moral? Why be virtuous?

    And if one seriously questions and really contemplates both meditatively and through life experience, one will find oddly enough a similar answer amongst all humans who have experienced and really contemplated this issue. What we find is that virtuous minds are happier. And we intrinsically want what is happier.

    Most people utterly fail at understanding the relationship between happiness and how to become happy. They fail because they do not find out or make the link that virtue actually makes one freer and much more happier than any other thing.

    So to answer your question:

    Objective morality without a God is moot. But because we intrinsically move towards happiness and away from suffering and if we recognize casualty then it is very obvious that virtue is what makes us happiest.

    Of course not many people actually follow this, hence why this is called samsara or the wheel of suffering/ignorance of casualty/ignorance of nirvana.
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    seeker242 said:

    Jason said:



    Yes, if you mean objective in the sense of evolving from nature and operating within the framework psychological laws, but not in the sense of emanating from some supranormal source (e.g., see this, this, this, this, this, etc.).

    Good posts. :) Question Jason. :) In your first link you say:

    "Intentional actions rooted in greed, ill-will or delusion have the potential to produce painful feelings and are considered unskillful (akusala) and morally blameworthy, while intentional actions rooted in non-greed, non-hatred and non-delusion produce the opposite and are considered skillful (kusala) and morally blameless."

    But then you say:

    "Objectively speaking, I can't say that anything is right or wrong, but I have no trouble doing so subjectively."

    Is that not a contradiction? It seems to me you are saying in the first that "Intentional actions rooted in greed" are wrong but then you say that you can't say anything is right or wrong? What about intentional action rooted in greed? Are actions of that sort right, wrong or can you not say? Murder for example, if the definition of murder is and only is "killing out of hatred, greed or ignorance", would it not be correct to say it's inherently wrong? Precisely because, by definition, the action has defilement as it's root?

    :om:
    Maybe, but I don't think so. For one thing, in the first section you quoted, I'm talking about morality from the subjective standpoint (i.e., our actions, when rooted in x, are experienced as y: if x = skillful, y = pleasant and is conventionally-speaking considered morally blameless; if x = unskillful, y =painful and is conventionally-speaking considered morally blameworthy).

    Of course, I'd say it's also objective in the sense of evolving from nature and operating within the framework psychological laws. But since these laws depend upon our particular psychological makeup, and are more existential/subjective in that sense, I'd hesitate to say that they're objective and applicable to all living beings throughout the entire universe. Buddhist cosmology seems to lean in this direction, but I'm not yet convinced; just as I'm not entirely convinced that an animal killing another for food is the same as a person killing out of anger or jealousy, both due to potential differences in intention/motivation and the potential differences in psychological makeup.

    In essence, you can certainly define right and wrong, good and bad, skillful and unskillful, etc. in a way that makes them objective, and I guess it really all depends on how one defines 'objective' since people tend to use that word differently.
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran
    A fully objective view is Buddha. I'm not there yet.
    @lamaramadingdong -- Uhhhh ... how do you know what's fully objective if you're not there yet?
    Yishai
  • Because I recognize subjective views of mine all the time.
    lobster
  • sovasova delocalized fractyllic harmonizing great lakes Veteran
    intention is everything, my friends.


    there is so much pain and discomfort in the world, and in realms we can hardly imagine.

    weep and know

    and wish to take it all away! there is room for everyone in heart. may it be so, may it be so!
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    sova said:

    intention is everything, my friends.


    ...

    I don't agree.

    It also takes wisdom + competence.



  • Ahimsa (non-harm). Harming is bad karma whether self or other.
  • Our living yogic experience is subjective.
    Objective is based on speculation and collusion.
  • Because I recognize subjective views of mine all the time.

    One of the reasons we take refuge (confidence/trust) in the idolised three jewels.

    buddha, objective being
    sangha, objective beings
    dharma, objective means

    :clap:
    EvenThird
  • NevermindNevermind Bitter & Hateful Veteran
    seeker242 said:

    The force is your own mind, deep down.

    Deep down, or even on the cerebral cortex, human minds are not objective. They are often not even particularly rational. Anyone who pays attention to their mind would know this.
    poptartlobster
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited October 2013
    Nevermind said:

    seeker242 said:

    The force is your own mind, deep down.

    Deep down, or even on the cerebral cortex, human minds are not objective. They are often not even particularly rational. Anyone who pays attention to their mind would know this.
    I would say that is true of an ordinary mind, but not true of a mind that "sees things as they actually are" AKA an enlightened mind. :)

    "Things as they actually are" does not change from person to person or society to society. In other words, all beings have the same Buddha Nature. The qualities of Buddha nature are universally true. "Deep down", means your "Buddha Nature". When a person defies their own Buddha Nature, it makes bad karma. But Buddha Nature is nothing other than your own mind, just untarnished.

    :)
    lobster
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    Bhikkhu Bodhi explains it well I think. One of the best explanations I have seen of it personally. From here http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/waytoend.html#ch2
    Actions are distinguished as wholesome and unwholesome on the basis of their underlying motives, called "roots" (mula), which impart their moral quality to the volitions concomitant with themselves. Thus kamma is wholesome or unwholesome according to whether its roots are wholesome or unwholesome. The roots are threefold for each set. The unwholesome roots are the three defilements we already mentioned — greed, aversion, and delusion. Any action originating from these is an unwholesome kamma. The three wholesome roots are their opposites, expressed negatively in the old Indian fashion as non-greed (alobha), non-aversion (adosa), and non-delusion (amoha). Though these are negatively designated, they signify not merely the absence of defilements but the corresponding virtues. Non-greed implies renunciation, detachment, and generosity; non-aversion implies loving-kindness, sympathy, and gentleness; and non-delusion implies wisdom. Any action originating from these roots is a wholesome kamma.
    ...
    Some of the implications of the Buddha's teaching on the right view of kamma and its fruits run counter to popular trends in present-day thought, and it is helpful to make these differences explicit. The teaching on right view makes it known that good and bad, right and wrong, transcend conventional opinions about what is good and bad, what is right and wrong. An entire society may be predicated upon a confusion of correct moral values, and even though everyone within that society may applaud one particular kind of action as right and condemn another kind as wrong, this does not make them validly right and wrong. For the Buddha moral standards are objective and invariable. While the moral character of deeds is doubtlessly conditioned by the circumstances under which they are performed, there are objective criteria of morality against which any action, or any comprehensive moral code, can be evaluated.
  • NevermindNevermind Bitter & Hateful Veteran
    seeker242 said:

    Nevermind said:

    seeker242 said:

    The force is your own mind, deep down.

    Deep down, or even on the cerebral cortex, human minds are not objective. They are often not even particularly rational. Anyone who pays attention to their mind would know this.
    I would say that is true of an ordinary mind, but not true of a mind that "sees things as they actually are" AKA an enlightened mind. :)
    You mean if I like showed a green cup to an enlightened mind it'd be like, "hey, that's a green cup!" and I'd be like, "yeah, dude, that's a green cup." And then I'd go to a maximum security prison's death row and ask what those good people see.

    1st death row inmate: "That's a green cup"
    2nd death row inmate: "That's a green cup"
    3rd death row inmate: "That's a green cup"
    4th death row inmate: "That's a green cup"
    5th death row inmate: "That's a green cup"
    6th death row inmate: "That's a green cup"

    ... do you get the point yet? :p
    "Deep down", means your "Buddha Nature"
    Oh! Cuz generally speaking, in terms of the body/mind, deeper means more primitive. Oddly, it requires a fancy shmancy cerebral cortex to dream up all this objective Buddha Nature... stuff. :-/
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited October 2013
    Nevermind said:


    You mean if I like showed a green cup to an enlightened mind it'd be like, "hey, that's a green cup!" and I'd be like, "yeah, dude, that's a green cup." And then I'd go to a maximum security prison's death row and ask what those good people see.

    1st death row inmate: "That's a green cup"
    2nd death row inmate: "That's a green cup"
    3rd death row inmate: "That's a green cup"
    4th death row inmate: "That's a green cup"
    5th death row inmate: "That's a green cup"
    6th death row inmate: "That's a green cup"

    ... do you get the point yet? :p

    "Deep down", means your "Buddha Nature"
    Oh! Cuz generally speaking, in terms of the body/mind, deeper means more primitive. Oddly, it requires a fancy shmancy cerebral cortex to dream up all this objective Buddha Nature... stuff. :-/


    Yes I get the point. But you are looking at if from a different perspective than what I am meaning. In worldly scientific understanding, deeper may mean more primitive. But in Buddhist context, "deeper" by definition, means more wise and more wisdom. It's more like this. :)
    "Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is defiled by incoming defilements."

    "Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is defiled by incoming defilements. The uninstructed run-of-the-mill person doesn't discern that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person — there is no development of the mind."

    "Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is freed from incoming defilements. The well-instructed disciple of the noble ones discerns that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones — there is development of the mind."
    What is the nature of the mind when it is freed from defilement? It is the same as that of the Buddha. The Buddha taught the mind is "luminous" whether or not it is tainted by mental defilement.

    Ajahn Mun, the leading figure behind the modern Thai Forest Tradition, comments on this verse:

    "The mind is something more radiant than anything else can be, but because counterfeits – passing defilements – come and obscure it, it loses its radiance, like the sun when obscured by clouds. Don’t go thinking that the sun goes after the clouds. Instead, the clouds come drifting along and obscure the sun. So meditators, when they know in this manner, should do away with these counterfeits by analyzing them shrewdly... When they develop the mind to the stage of the primal mind, this will mean that all counterfeits are destroyed, or rather, counterfeit things won’t be able to reach into the primal mind, because the bridge making the connection will have been destroyed. Even though the mind may then still have to come into contact with the preoccupations of the world, its contact will be like that of a bead of water rolling over a lotus leaf."

    The "primal mind" in the context of Buddhism is not the "primitive mind" that you are talking about, but the most wise and luminous mind that the Buddha talked about.

    For the inmate example, it would not be a green cup, it would be more like showing the 5 skandhas to an enlightened person and they would say "impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, non-self." whereas the deathrow inmates would say "permanence, satisfactoriness, self."

    Because an enlightened person see things as they actually are and the deathrow inmate does not. Therefore the deathrow inmate makes bad karma and suffers and the enlightened person does not because the enlightened person thinks and acts in accordance with how things actually are.

    The truth of how things actually are is an objective truth with objective meaning "the state or quality of being true even outside of a subject's (or that of society or culture) individual biases, ideas, beliefs, interpretations, feelings, and imaginings"

    :om:
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    It seems to me that there is objective morality. Natural selection tends towards growth and leads to evolution.

    We have this sensation we call pain and it is a pretty good indicator of something being wrong. Our instinct is to ease our pain and for most of us it is easy to tell if someone else is in pain.

    Seems objective enough.


  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited October 2013
    Nevermind said:

    Oh! Cuz generally speaking, in terms of the body/mind, deeper means more primitive. Oddly, it requires a fancy shmancy cerebral cortex to dream up all this objective Buddha Nature... stuff. :-/

    Not to dream it up but to recognize it.

    "Green cup" would likely have a different meaning to an enlightened mind than a dim one. One knows it's just a trick of duality but uses duality as a tool and one mistakes it for being a green cup unto itself.

  • BodhivakaBodhivaka Veteran
    edited October 2013
    ourself said:

    It seems to me that there is objective morality. Natural selection tends towards growth and leads to evolution.

    We have this sensation we call pain and it is a pretty good indicator of something being wrong. Our instinct is to ease our pain and for most of us it is easy to tell if someone else is in pain.

    Seems objective enough.

    I'm not sure that argument works. Pain is certainly undesirable (for most), but the undesirability of something is ultimately irrelevant to whether or not it is immoral; for example, stubbing my toe is painful, but I'm unaware of anyone who would argue that a stubbed toe is immoral.

    Likewise, forcing someone else to suffer might very well be undesirable, but that in and of itself isn't enough to deem it morally reprehensible, for why should we esteem that which is undesirable as objectively immoral?

    As far as I can tell, for objective morality to exist, it must exist as something external from and independent of everything else (assuming such a thing is even logically possible).

    The problem is that even if some kind of external, independent metaphysical embodiment of a particular code of conduct did exist, why should we esteem it as anything more than a set of rules? Why suppose it to be "good?" This leads me to believe that perhaps objective morality isn't just nonexistent, but actually illogical and impossible.
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    Bodhivaka said:

    ourself said:

    It seems to me that there is objective morality. Natural selection tends towards growth and leads to evolution.

    We have this sensation we call pain and it is a pretty good indicator of something being wrong. Our instinct is to ease our pain and for most of us it is easy to tell if someone else is in pain.

    Seems objective enough.

    I'm not sure that argument works. Pain is certainly undesirable (for most), but the undesirability of something is ultimately irrelevant to whether or not it is immoral; for example, stubbing my toe is painful, but I'm unaware of anyone who would argue that a stubbed toe is immoral.

    Likewise, forcing someone else to suffer might very well be undesirable, but that in and of itself isn't enough to deem it morally reprehensible, for why should we esteem that which is undesirable as objectively immoral?

    As far as I can tell, for objective morality to exist, it must exist as something external from and independent of everything else (assuming such a thing is even logically possible).
    Why would one imply the other? It seems to me that a separate morality would imply subjectivity and not objectivity.

    I see it differently and would argue that for objective morality to exist it would have to be something inherent in all things and not separate.
    The problem is that even if some kind of external, independent metaphysical embodiment of a particular code of conduct did exist, why should we esteem it as anything more than a set of rules? Why suppose it to be "good?" This leads me to believe that perhaps objective morality isn't just nonexistent, but actually illogical and impossible.
    That isn't the point I'm arguing but objectivity depends on subjectivity and vice-versa. You are presenting a nihilistic approach but it isn't as easy as all that.


  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    genkaku said:

    A fully objective view is Buddha. I'm not there yet.
    @lamaramadingdong -- Uhhhh ... how do you know what's fully objective if you're not there yet?

    Besides, wouldn't a fully objective view be a half truth? How could a view be truly objective if it doesn't account for subjectivity?

    Ok, time to put the keyboard away for a while, my head is starting to ache a wee bit.

  • ourself said:

    Bodhivaka said:

    ourself said:

    It seems to me that there is objective morality. Natural selection tends towards growth and leads to evolution.

    We have this sensation we call pain and it is a pretty good indicator of something being wrong. Our instinct is to ease our pain and for most of us it is easy to tell if someone else is in pain.

    Seems objective enough.

    I'm not sure that argument works. Pain is certainly undesirable (for most), but the undesirability of something is ultimately irrelevant to whether or not it is immoral; for example, stubbing my toe is painful, but I'm unaware of anyone who would argue that a stubbed toe is immoral.

    Likewise, forcing someone else to suffer might very well be undesirable, but that in and of itself isn't enough to deem it morally reprehensible, for why should we esteem that which is undesirable as objectively immoral?

    As far as I can tell, for objective morality to exist, it must exist as something external from and independent of everything else (assuming such a thing is even logically possible).
    Why would one imply the other? It seems to me that a separate morality would imply subjectivity and not objectivity.

    I see it differently and would argue that for objective morality to exist it would have to be something inherent in all things and not separate.
    The problem is that even if some kind of external, independent metaphysical embodiment of a particular code of conduct did exist, why should we esteem it as anything more than a set of rules? Why suppose it to be "good?" This leads me to believe that perhaps objective morality isn't just nonexistent, but actually illogical and impossible.
    That isn't the point I'm arguing but objectivity depends on subjectivity and vice-versa. You are presenting a nihilistic approach but it isn't as easy as all that.



    Even if we assume objective morality could exist internally, it still doesn't answer the question of why we should view such an internally existent code of conduct as objectively good, rather than simply as a particular set of rules.

    For every alleged source of objective morality, it can simply be asked "And what is it that makes such and such objectively good?"

    For example:

    Q: What is the source of objective morality?

    A: Buddha Nature.

    Q: What is it that makes Buddha Nature objectively good?

    A: Buddha Nature is free from defilements.

    Q: What makes freedom from defilements objectively good?

    A: Freedom from defilements results in freedom from suffering.

    Q: What makes freedom from suffering objectively good?

    A: Freedom from suffering is desirable.

    Q: What makes that which is desirable objectively good?

    And so on and so forth ad infinitum.

    There seems to be no reason to consider any code of conduct as objectively good, no matter its source, origin, or place in the universe.

    To me, asking "what is the source of objective morality?" is like asking "what is the source of objective beauty?" The question is misguided, for objective beauty does not exist; its wholly subjective (beauty is in the eye of the beholder). Indeed, trying to find the "source" of objective beauty would seem ridiculous, and so it seems with trying to find the source of objective morality as well.

    As such, I think morality exists in the same way beauty does. It isn't nonexistent, but it certainly isn't objective.
    pegembara
  • NevermindNevermind Bitter & Hateful Veteran
    seeker242 said:

    Yes I get the point. But you are looking at if from a different perspective than what I am meaning.

    Obviously.
    In worldly scientific understanding, deeper may mean more primitive.
    Or it may mean more advanced. What are you talking about?
    But in Buddhist context, "deeper" by definition, means more wise and more wisdom. It's more like this. :)
    In a religious context, "deeper" could mean just about anything. It doesn't have to be true, it just has to be meaningful.
    The "primal mind" in the context of Buddhism is not the "primitive mind" that you are talking about, but the most wise and luminous mind that the Buddha talked about.
    Lol, you think that "primitive mind" is defiled in nature?
    For the inmate example, it would not be a green cup, it would be more like showing the 5 skandhas to an enlightened person and they would say "impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, non-self." whereas the deathrow inmates would say "permanence, satisfactoriness, self."
    Sorry, no, for the inmate it would just be a green cup. :-/
    Because an enlightened person see things as they actually are and the deathrow inmate does not. Therefore the deathrow inmate makes bad karma and suffers and the enlightened person does not because the enlightened person thinks and acts in accordance with how things actually are.
    If the enlightened person can't see a green cup then that's their problem. :p
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited October 2013
    Nevermind said:

    seeker242 said:

    Yes I get the point. But you are looking at if from a different perspective than what I am meaning.

    Obviously.
    Agreed! Obviously! But of course if you take people's comments out of context, you can disagree with them Ad infinitum. Although, I really don't see what the point of doing that is.

    :om:
  • NevermindNevermind Bitter & Hateful Veteran
    seeker242 said:

    Nevermind said:

    seeker242 said:

    Yes I get the point. But you are looking at if from a different perspective than what I am meaning.

    Obviously.
    Agreed! Obviously! But of course if you take people's comments out of context, you can disagree with them Ad infinitum. Although, I really don't see what the point of doing that is.

    :om:
    Better put, if we're not both talking about reality then there may not be much of a point.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    It's important to understand context in many, if not most statements. But I also think that "you're taking things out of context" is getting to be a bit cliche, and that's been fostered by politicians (more than anyone).
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited October 2013
    Bodhivaka said:

    ourself said:

    Bodhivaka said:

    ourself said:

    It seems to me that there is objective morality. Natural selection tends towards growth and leads to evolution.

    We have this sensation we call pain and it is a pretty good indicator of something being wrong. Our instinct is to ease our pain and for most of us it is easy to tell if someone else is in pain.

    Seems objective enough.

    I'm not sure that argument works. Pain is certainly undesirable (for most), but the undesirability of something is ultimately irrelevant to whether or not it is immoral; for example, stubbing my toe is painful, but I'm unaware of anyone who would argue that a stubbed toe is immoral.

    Likewise, forcing someone else to suffer might very well be undesirable, but that in and of itself isn't enough to deem it morally reprehensible, for why should we esteem that which is undesirable as objectively immoral?

    As far as I can tell, for objective morality to exist, it must exist as something external from and independent of everything else (assuming such a thing is even logically possible).
    Why would one imply the other? It seems to me that a separate morality would imply subjectivity and not objectivity.

    I see it differently and would argue that for objective morality to exist it would have to be something inherent in all things and not separate.
    The problem is that even if some kind of external, independent metaphysical embodiment of a particular code of conduct did exist, why should we esteem it as anything more than a set of rules? Why suppose it to be "good?" This leads me to believe that perhaps objective morality isn't just nonexistent, but actually illogical and impossible.
    That isn't the point I'm arguing but objectivity depends on subjectivity and vice-versa. You are presenting a nihilistic approach but it isn't as easy as all that.

    Even if we assume objective morality could exist internally, it still doesn't answer the question of why we should view such an internally existent code of conduct as objectively good, rather than simply as a particular set of rules.

    For every alleged source of objective morality, it can simply be asked "And what is it that makes such and such objectively good?"

    For example:

    Q: What is the source of objective morality?

    A: Buddha Nature.

    Q: What is it that makes Buddha Nature objectively good?

    A: Buddha Nature is free from defilements.

    Q: What makes freedom from defilements objectively good?

    A: Freedom from defilements results in freedom from suffering.

    Q: What makes freedom from suffering objectively good?

    A: Freedom from suffering is desirable.

    Q: What makes that which is desirable objectively good?

    And so on and so forth ad infinitum.

    There seems to be no reason to consider any code of conduct as objectively good, no matter its source, origin, or place in the universe.

    To me, asking "what is the source of objective morality?" is like asking "what is the source of objective beauty?" The question is misguided, for objective beauty does not exist; its wholly subjective (beauty is in the eye of the beholder). Indeed, trying to find the "source" of objective beauty would seem ridiculous, and so it seems with trying to find the source of objective morality as well.

    As such, I think morality exists in the same way beauty does. It isn't nonexistent, but it certainly isn't objective.

    That's just the thing... If there was a source for objective morality it wouldn't be objective. Most of us that know the difference between right and wrong know it because we feel it.



  • The biggest problem is, there is no way to test objective morality against any other moral system or none at all, to see if the results are any better. History has shown that morality is a fluid thing. For some cultures, compassion is a weakness. For others, compassion is the greatest moral virtue. So which is objectively correct? You have examples of success and failure both.
    Vastmind
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited October 2013
    Cinorjer said:

    The biggest problem is, there is no way to test objective morality against any other moral system or none at all, to see if the results are any better. History has shown that morality is a fluid thing. For some cultures, compassion is a weakness. For others, compassion is the greatest moral virtue. So which is objectively correct? You have examples of success and failure both.

    I think compassion could be seen as logical and would suggest the cultures that find it a weakness are on their way out or gone. For example, a group is stronger if they look out for each other. A group with compassion for each other will defeat one that doesn't care about each other whether it be through war or simple education. Likewise if we were to work together as a whole, we get a better understanding of the world/universe of which we are a part.

    Compassion isn't just some ideal, it has been developed through evolution because it is a benefit.

    Without it, we would not still be here.



  • CinorjerCinorjer Veteran
    edited October 2013
    ourself said:

    Cinorjer said:

    The biggest problem is, there is no way to test objective morality against any other moral system or none at all, to see if the results are any better. History has shown that morality is a fluid thing. For some cultures, compassion is a weakness. For others, compassion is the greatest moral virtue. So which is objectively correct? You have examples of success and failure both.

    I think compassion could be seen as logical and would suggest the cultures that find it a weakness are on their way out or gone. For example, a group is stronger if they look out for each other. A group with compassion for each other will defeat one that doesn't care about each other whether it be through war or simple education. Likewise if we were to work together as a whole, we get a better understanding of the world/universe of which we are a part.

    Compassion isn't just some ideal, it has been developed through evolution because it is a benefit.

    Without it, we would not still be here.

    You'd think so, but I've read where the citizens of Rome considered compassion a weakness, and they pretty much ruled the world. If the business of a society is kicking butt and taking the other tribe's stuff, then compassion for others isn't desirable as a moral quality. In the Old Testament, the Hebrews slaughtered men, women, babies, and even the pets of the cities and tribes sitting on land they wanted. And these people with their moral code which allowed slavery and genocide are held up as examples of enlightenment for us to follow. That pesky "Ten Commandments" that is supposed to be the basis for Western moral law. Because people don't really believe morals are objective and apply to all situations and people. "That was then".
    followthepath
  • BodhivakaBodhivaka Veteran
    edited October 2013
    ourself said:

    Bodhivaka said:

    ourself said:

    Bodhivaka said:

    ourself said:

    It seems to me that there is objective morality. Natural selection tends towards growth and leads to evolution.

    We have this sensation we call pain and it is a pretty good indicator of something being wrong. Our instinct is to ease our pain and for most of us it is easy to tell if someone else is in pain.

    Seems objective enough.

    I'm not sure that argument works. Pain is certainly undesirable (for most), but the undesirability of something is ultimately irrelevant to whether or not it is immoral; for example, stubbing my toe is painful, but I'm unaware of anyone who would argue that a stubbed toe is immoral.

    Likewise, forcing someone else to suffer might very well be undesirable, but that in and of itself isn't enough to deem it morally reprehensible, for why should we esteem that which is undesirable as objectively immoral?

    As far as I can tell, for objective morality to exist, it must exist as something external from and independent of everything else (assuming such a thing is even logically possible).
    Why would one imply the other? It seems to me that a separate morality would imply subjectivity and not objectivity.

    I see it differently and would argue that for objective morality to exist it would have to be something inherent in all things and not separate.
    The problem is that even if some kind of external, independent metaphysical embodiment of a particular code of conduct did exist, why should we esteem it as anything more than a set of rules? Why suppose it to be "good?" This leads me to believe that perhaps objective morality isn't just nonexistent, but actually illogical and impossible.
    That isn't the point I'm arguing but objectivity depends on subjectivity and vice-versa. You are presenting a nihilistic approach but it isn't as easy as all that.

    Even if we assume objective morality could exist internally, it still doesn't answer the question of why we should view such an internally existent code of conduct as objectively good, rather than simply as a particular set of rules.

    For every alleged source of objective morality, it can simply be asked "And what is it that makes such and such objectively good?"

    For example:

    Q: What is the source of objective morality?

    A: Buddha Nature.

    Q: What is it that makes Buddha Nature objectively good?

    A: Buddha Nature is free from defilements.

    Q: What makes freedom from defilements objectively good?

    A: Freedom from defilements results in freedom from suffering.

    Q: What makes freedom from suffering objectively good?

    A: Freedom from suffering is desirable.

    Q: What makes that which is desirable objectively good?

    And so on and so forth ad infinitum.

    There seems to be no reason to consider any code of conduct as objectively good, no matter its source, origin, or place in the universe.

    To me, asking "what is the source of objective morality?" is like asking "what is the source of objective beauty?" The question is misguided, for objective beauty does not exist; its wholly subjective (beauty is in the eye of the beholder). Indeed, trying to find the "source" of objective beauty would seem ridiculous, and so it seems with trying to find the source of objective morality as well.

    As such, I think morality exists in the same way beauty does. It isn't nonexistent, but it certainly isn't objective.
    That's just the thing... If there was a source for objective morality it wouldn't be objective. Most of us that know the difference between right and wrong know it because we feel it.



    I don't think to say that you "feel" the difference between right and wrong makes morality objective, either.

    For something to be ontologically objective, it must continue to exist even in the absence of the mind which comprehends it. For example, even if there is no mind to comprehend the existence of the universe, the universe still exists; as such, it is an ontologically objective entity.

    Colors, on the other hand, would be an example of something which is ontologically subjective. Colors do not exist outside of the human mind. Colors are simply the brain's subjective interpretation of light waves. For example, dogs do not see colors the same way humans do, but that doesn't mean dogs see the "wrong" colors, it just means their brains interpret light waves differently. Without a brain to interpret the light waves, color is nonexistent.

    Therefore, to say that we "feel" right or wrong leaves us with two options -- either (1) it is our feelings which determine right or wrong, thereby making morality subjective, or (2) our feelings are simply capable of realizing and correctly interpreting the external source of objective morality.

    If we choose option 1, we have no objective morality; if we choose option 2, we run into the problems I mentioned in my earlier post, which suggest that objective morality is impossible;
    thus, it seems the concept of objective morality is simply illogical altogether.

    To say that morality can be both internal and objective is self-contradictory, seeing as how a prerequisite condition of ontological objectivity is continued existence even in your absence.
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited October 2013
    Bodhivaka said:

    I don't think to say that you "feel" the difference between right and wrong makes morality objective, either.

    For something to be ontologically objective, it must continue to exist even in the absence of the mind which comprehends it. For example, even if there is no mind to comprehend the existence of the universe, the universe still exists; as such, it is an ontologically objective entity.

    You would have a hard time proving that though. That the universe exists separate from mind is an intuitive notion. One that doesn't seem too plausible since the universe has never been witnessed without mind.
    Colors, on the other hand, would be an example of something which is ontologically subjective. Colors do not exist outside of the human mind. Colors are simply the brain's subjective interpretation of light waves. For example, dogs do not see colors the same way humans do, but that doesn't mean dogs see the "wrong" colors, it just means their brains interpret light waves differently. Without a brain to interpret the light waves, color is nonexistent.
    If light exists so does colour because light is colour. It takes a brain to distinguish but mind and brain are not the same thing.

    If the universe exists without mind then so does colour but the universe doesn't exist without mind. This is dependant origination.
    Therefore, to say that we "feel" right or wrong leaves us with two options -- either (1) it is our feelings which determine right or wrong, thereby making morality subjective, or (2) our feelings are simply capable of realizing and correctly interpreting the external source of objective morality.
    We do feel what is right and wrong though. Most of us do indeed know that killing an unarmed old lady is wrong but because of conditioning and our shared delusion of separateness some are not able to realize and correctly interpret how causing suffering is wrong objectively.
    If we choose option 1, we have no objective morality; if we choose option 2, we run into the problems I mentioned in my earlier post, which suggest that objective morality is impossible;
    thus, it seems the concept of objective morality is simply illogical altogether.
    They are both right however.
    To say that morality can be both internal and objective is self-contradictory, seeing as how a prerequisite condition of ontological objectivity is continued existence even in your absence.
    Your absence doesn't imply an absence of mind... In fact, there is no such thing as your absence in the absolute sense.

    Show me somebody that thinks killing an unarmed old lady is not wrong and I will show you one sick individual. Being blind to the truth doesn't negate objectivity.

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited October 2013
    Cinorjer said:

    ourself said:

    Cinorjer said:

    The biggest problem is, there is no way to test objective morality against any other moral system or none at all, to see if the results are any better. History has shown that morality is a fluid thing. For some cultures, compassion is a weakness. For others, compassion is the greatest moral virtue. So which is objectively correct? You have examples of success and failure both.

    I think compassion could be seen as logical and would suggest the cultures that find it a weakness are on their way out or gone. For example, a group is stronger if they look out for each other. A group with compassion for each other will defeat one that doesn't care about each other whether it be through war or simple education. Likewise if we were to work together as a whole, we get a better understanding of the world/universe of which we are a part.

    Compassion isn't just some ideal, it has been developed through evolution because it is a benefit.

    Without it, we would not still be here.

    You'd think so, but I've read where the citizens of Rome considered compassion a weakness, and they pretty much ruled the world. If the business of a society is kicking butt and taking the other tribe's stuff, then compassion for others isn't desirable as a moral quality. In the Old Testament, the Hebrews slaughtered men, women, babies, and even the pets of the cities and tribes sitting on land they wanted. And these people with their moral code which allowed slavery and genocide are held up as examples of enlightenment for us to follow. That pesky "Ten Commandments" that is supposed to be the basis for Western moral law. Because people don't really believe morals are objective and apply to all situations and people. "That was then".
    They felt compassion for others was a weakness but they hadn't extended their sense of compassion beyond the Romans. If they had no compassion at all, they would have fallen much quicker.

    The Ten Commandments can't possibly be an example of objective morality because it claims a source that deems itself "better than". It is a form of control.

    followthepath
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited October 2013
    Truly objective morality would have to take into account each subjective experience without prejudice for it to be objective.

    Objectivity that doesn't include the subjective experience is just more subjectivity.

    Positing a source for objective morality is to posit a godhead but this just makes a subjective view into a "better" view.

    It could be argued that there has always been morality but we have just recently grown enough to tap into it.
  • BodhivakaBodhivaka Veteran
    edited October 2013
    You would have a hard time proving that though. That the universe exists separate from mind is an intuitive notion. One that doesn't seem too plausible since the universe has never been witnessed without mind.
    Yes, obviously its possible that the universe as we know it doesn't exist at all. In fact, it's perfectly possible that your name is actually Billy-Bob Johnson the 3rd, and that you're currently locked up in a white padded room due to your recurrent delusions of living on some planet you call "Earth" and interacting with some odd form of carbon based lifeforms known as "humans."

    I suppose I simply took the existence of the universe for granted. It's one of those foundational ontological assumptions I've made for the sake of practicality.
    If light exists so does colour because light is colour. It takes a brain to distinguish but mind and brain are not the same thing.

    If the universe exists without mind then so does colour but the universe doesn't exist without mind. This is dependant origination.
    This is simply incorrect. Color is nothing more than the brain's subjective interpretation of light waves. You may look at a particular frequency of light waves and see green, while another person might see blue. The reason for this is that the mind takes actual reality (light waves) and interprets it so as to create its own subjective reality (color).

    In fact, the brain doesn't even require light waves to create color. Take someone who experiences visual hallucinations, for example -- the brains of such people are able to create colorful objects in absence of light waves. The colors you see are entirely dependent on your brain's subjective interpretation of ontologically objective entities, and has no bearing whatsoever on the true nature or appearance of reality.

    As to your assertion that the universe does not exist without a mind, I doubt it. I imagine the universe will continue to exist even if conscious life forms cease to exist altogether.
    We do feel what is right and wrong though. Most of us do indeed know that killing an unarmed old lady is wrong but because of conditioning and our shared delusion of separateness some are not able to realize and correctly interpret how causing suffering is wrong objectively.
    You also feel happy sometimes, but that doesn't negate the fact that happiness is a subjective emotion which doesn't exist in the absence of conscious life forms. To say happiness exists is one thing; to say it exists objectively is a baseless claim. The same is true for morality.

    You see beauty, you feel pain, you taste flavor, you hear sounds, you smell odors, and yet all of things these are subjective experiences -- qualia which the mind creates by interpreting objective reality as something it isn't. Beauty, pain, sound, flavors and odors all exist, but they only exist subjectively. This isn't mysticism I'm spewing, it's science.

    The fact that you "feel" the difference between right an wrong doesn't make morality objective any more than feeling pain makes pain objective. All it means is that your brain follows an ontologically subjective code of conduct, which is most likely the mixed creation of both evolution and sociocultural influences.
    Your absence doesn't imply an absence of mind... In fact, there is no such thing as your absence in the absolute sense.

    Show me somebody that thinks killing an unarmed old lady is not wrong and I will show you one sick individual. Being blind to the truth doesn't negate objectivity.
    I don't know what you mean to convey in your first paragraph. How is there no such thing as my absence in an absolute sense?

    As for your second paragraph, all you've done is taken your personal, subjective morality and used it to determine whether or not someone else with a different personal and subjective morality is "sick." Who made you the moral authority? How do you know your moral code is right and the "sick" person's isn't? Both of you use the same yardstick to determine right and wrong -- your feelings. So who's right?

    Asserting objectivity doesn't make it so, either; especially when the alleged objectivity can't even be logically demonstrated.
  • ourself said:

    Truly objective morality would have to take into account each subjective experience without prejudice for it to be objective.

    Objectivity that doesn't include the subjective experience is just more subjectivity.

    Positing a source for objective morality is to posit a godhead but this just makes a subjective view into a "better" view.

    It could be argued that there has always been morality but we have just recently grown enough to tap into it.

    Can you provide any logical argument to support these beliefs?
  • In the study of morality, one huge problem with trying to find an objective set of behaviors or standard rules that serve for everyone is, morality is a tool that is shaped and subject to our desires and motivations. A slave owner has no problem whipping the slave and selling off her baby during the day and then being a loving father at night. The moral disconnect does not exist. Objectively, there is no reason not to turn other people into slaves as long as there is a benefit to the slave owning society.
    followthepath
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited October 2013
    Bodhivaka said:

    You would have a hard time proving that though. That the universe exists separate from mind is an intuitive notion. One that doesn't seem too plausible since the universe has never been witnessed without mind.
    Yes, obviously its possible that the universe as we know it doesn't exist at all. In fact, it's perfectly possible that your name is actually Billy-Bob Johnson the 3rd, and that you're currently locked up in a white padded room due to your recurrent delusions of living on some planet you call "Earth" and interacting with some odd form of carbon based lifeforms known as "humans."

    Are you having fun here or are you serious? I'm not sure what that was all about but either you're being disingenuous or you don't really understand what I'm saying.
    I suppose I simply took the existence of the universe for granted. It's one of those foundational ontological assumptions I've made for the sake of practicality.
    Again, did I say anything about the universe not existing?
    If light exists so does colour because light is colour. It takes a brain to distinguish but mind and brain are not the same thing.

    If the universe exists without mind then so does colour but the universe doesn't exist without mind. This is dependant origination.
    This is simply incorrect. Color is nothing more than the brain's subjective interpretation of light waves. You may look at a particular frequency of light waves and see green, while another person might see blue. The reason for this is that the mind takes actual reality (light waves) and interprets it so as to create its own subjective reality (color).
    Not really. The brain distinguishes between the colours within light but colour is not separate from light. If what you said was true, there would be no distinguishing between colours except subjectively but if I show a child a few different coloured slides, they will be able to pick out blue and green. If I paint my walls blue, I'd bet not too many people call it green.
    In fact, the brain doesn't even require light waves to create color. Take someone who experiences visual hallucinations, for example -- the brains of such people are able to create colorful objects in absence of light waves. The colors you see are entirely dependent on your brain's subjective interpretation of ontologically objective entities, and has no bearing whatsoever on the true nature or appearance of reality.
    We are talking about reality however and not memories of how reality looks.
    As to your assertion that the universe does not exist without a mind, I doubt it. I imagine the universe will continue to exist even if conscious life forms cease to exist altogether.
    And where exactly is the mind found within conscious beings? Can you find me a map of the body that shows the mind?
    We do feel what is right and wrong though. Most of us do indeed know that killing an unarmed old lady is wrong but because of conditioning and our shared delusion of separateness some are not able to realize and correctly interpret how causing suffering is wrong objectively.
    You also feel happy sometimes, but that doesn't negate the fact that happiness is a subjective emotion which doesn't exist in the absence of conscious life forms. To say happiness exists is one thing; to say it exists objectively is a baseless claim. The same is true for morality.
    Not according to the Dalai Lama... He makes the claim ( I'm paraphrasing) that all life forms want to be happy and as free from suffering as possible. It only logically follows to live and let live.

    If I want to live then it only makes sense others want to live. I don't want anyone to kill me so it is only logical that I do not kill anybody else.

    It simply doesn't make any sense to harm others.
    You see beauty, you feel pain, you taste flavor, you hear sounds, you smell odors, and yet all of things these are subjective experiences -- qualia which the mind creates by interpreting objective reality as something it isn't. Beauty, pain, sound, flavors and odors all exist, but they only exist subjectively. This isn't mysticism I'm spewing, it's science.
    But there it is again. Objectivity that doesn't take each subjective experience into account is not objective. Objectivity is the big picture but it is all the little pictures that make up the big picture.

    Objective means non-partial. If we exclude subjectivity it is partial. This is why Buddha points to the middle way. One extreme or the other guides the deluded.

    I think there is a reason the Golden Rules rears its head in so many religions of peace.
    The fact that you "feel" the difference between right an wrong doesn't make morality objective any more than feeling pain makes pain objective. All it means is that your brain follows an ontologically subjective code of conduct, which is most likely the mixed creation of both evolution and sociocultural influences.
    It's the way the universe unfolds. The way things go. There are no true opposites and so continuance has no opposite. Some see it as good and some see it as bad but it is the only game in town. Natural selection, evolution and the universe itself are goods that have no opposite.
    Your absence doesn't imply an absence of mind... In fact, there is no such thing as your absence in the absolute sense.

    Show me somebody that thinks killing an unarmed old lady is not wrong and I will show you one sick individual. Being blind to the truth doesn't negate objectivity.
    I don't know what you mean to convey in your first paragraph. How is there no such thing as my absence in an absolute sense?
    It means that mind could very well exist without the individual to use it. The brain could be a product of mind instead of the other way around. The second sentence just means that you cannot undo being here. What you do affects others and the environment.
    As for your second paragraph, all you've done is taken your personal, subjective morality and used it to determine whether or not someone else with a different personal and subjective morality is "sick." Who made you the moral authority? How do you know your moral code is right and the "sick" person's isn't? Both of you use the same yardstick to determine right and wrong -- your feelings. So who's right?

    Asserting objectivity doesn't make it so, either; especially when the alleged objectivity can't even be logically demonstrated
    Sorry but that doesn't hold any water with me. Rape and murder make the news for one reason... It is not the norm.

    Moral authority? As crazy as it may sound, objective morality couldn't exist if it came from an authority. It would have to be quite literally common sense. Ingrained through a kind of instinct like when mammels and birds had to develope nurturing to survive.

    Is nurturing good or bad? It just is the way things go because we naturally developed it.

    Same with compassion.
    Our survival depends on it.

    I mean... How logical do you need the point?

    Nirvana
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    Bodhivaka said:

    ourself said:

    Truly objective morality would have to take into account each subjective experience without prejudice for it to be objective.

    Objectivity that doesn't include the subjective experience is just more subjectivity.

    Positing a source for objective morality is to posit a godhead but this just makes a subjective view into a "better" view.

    It could be argued that there has always been morality but we have just recently grown enough to tap into it.

    Can you provide any logical argument to support these beliefs?
    First you would have to show me how the statements I made are not logical?

    I can see the last one being argued but I already said as much.

    Nirvana
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