love and heretics

It's better to light a candle than curse the darkness

More thoughts on morality and its level of objectiveness:

Objective morality, does not have to mean, a set of black and white absolute morals that everyone agrees to.
By making it mean such, and forcing the other side to say, morals are NOT absolute, and cannot always be the same in every situation.
Take lying. Some would say lying is absolutely always wrong. But even to save a life (the example usually used was in hiding a Jew in the nazi time)?

This lends itself to the notion, morality is subjective, which is interpreted as “on a whim”, or compared to what flavor of ice cream do you like?
But, we know that choosing a flavor of ice cream, or deciding whether to allow ones hair to turn grey, or choose to color it, do not have any impact on the suffering, or well-being/survival/happiness of society. Therefore to compare moralities subjectiveness to a preference of ice cream flavor makes the opposing position laughable. (to most-myself included).

Now, facts are objective, and provably true. Sometimes no clear facts exist about certain topics. AT this point opinions are produced. Opinions are subjective ideas , held by individuals, and are biased. Beliefs can be based off of facts or opinions. If subjective opinions are presented as if they are facts, we run into non-factually based beliefs. (where propaganda or persuasion are
suitable playmates)
Objective morals would need to be based upon facts, not a viewpoint/belief/or feelings.

Morality is indeed a full picture. Some aspects being important, and some less as far as their effect upon society and the individuals level of well being, or suffering.

The more important the aspect, the more important our level of objectivity.

I think what Sam Harris was representing was that we can indeed use facts to establish an objective morality.

Not any sort of might makes right, absolute authoritarian religious type morality, in fact, that would be a bit of an oxymoron to objective morality. An issue I had formerly with it being religious people who demanded the term objective be used with their own morality standards.

We can weigh what causes harm and what doesn’t. Which will include, and even promote exceptions. Murder bad, self defense good.
Lying bad, when used to deceive and cause harm, to save a Jew from a nazi camp? good.

So to be clear, objective morality doesn’t mean a list of do’s and don’ts of absolutes. But rather the ability to use facts , not opinions to establish in each situation what is right or wrong, or preferable terms, what is the best choice?

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5 Comments

  1. Interesting post and a difficult topic.

    • Thanks GC. And agreed on both points.

  2. “Sometimes no clear facts exist about certain topics”
    Yep.
    Great post on a difficult topic.

    • Thank you, LAMarcom

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