Question

RhadTheGizmo
Theist
Posts: 1191
Joined: 2007-01-31
User is offlineOffline
Question

(1) Is there an objective "right" and "wrong," "good" and "evil"? In the moral sense, of course.

If yes, what is the standard? i.e., what is the "precept" that distinguishes one from the other?

(2) If no, can an individual still act against another who he views as "subjectively wrong"?

If yes, what is the standard? i.e., upon what grounds?

If no, okay.

Just wondering.


Eloise
TheistBronze Member
Eloise's picture
Posts: 1807
Joined: 2007-05-26
User is offlineOffline
RhadTheGizmo wrote:(1) Is

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

(1) Is there an objective "right" and "wrong," "good" and "evil"? In the moral sense, of course.

I think, No.  There is a subjective moral standard possessed by intelligent beings, though, it's more commonly referred to as a 'conscience'.

 

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

(2) If no, can an individual still act against another who he views as "subjectively wrong"?

Yes, he/she can. But I think what you meant is more along the lines of what I would phrase 'should' and individual act against another who they view as subjectively wrong, and the point being that any act is only subjectively right or wrong, without some absolute precept to call on. 

 

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

If yes, what is the standard? i.e., upon what grounds?

If no, okay.

Just wondering.

You want me to claim an absolute standard or agree to pure moral relativity, right? As I said above, I think there is an absolute standard, the standard by which any human being can do absolutely anything they are capable of. I also believe that there exists an absolute moral standard, which is seemingly unattainable, but exists anyhow, which is that acting against anyone in any circumstance is immoral.

Now I know this sounds a little bit like an argument for Calvinistic Total depravity, since we humans seemingly can't possibly be moral in this world, but it's not in the sense that although I sort of agree with his basis I think Calvinism itself is one big ugly non-sequitur.

edit: I just noticed that my last paragraph can be construed to be a contradiction of the first paragraph because I haven't mentioned that I don't mix morality/immorality with right/wrong. That is, I don't see immoral as 'morally wrong' I don't see these as the same thing. Immoral refers to a perfect standard, the kind one would hold a omni-being God necessarily to, moral rightness or wrongness refers alternately to a set with finite parameters, such as, for example, the lifetime of a human being. A sense of absolute morality is just not calculable in such a limited scope.

Theist badge qualifier : Gnostic/Philosophical Panentheist

www.mathematicianspictures.com


RhadTheGizmo
Theist
Posts: 1191
Joined: 2007-01-31
User is offlineOffline
I don't want you to do

I don't want you to do anything E., I'm just trying to understand different ways of thinking. Smiling

Thanks for the clarification with "should"--it is definitely more accurate in what I ws going for.

Quote:

You want me to claim an absolute standard or agree to pure moral relativity, right? As I said above, I think there is an absolute standard, the standard by which any human being can do absolutely anything they are capable of. I also believe that there exists an absolute moral standard, which is seemingly unattainable, but exists anyhow, which is that acting against anyone in any circumstance is immoral.

Now I know this sounds a little bit like an argument for Calvinistic Total depravity, since we humans seemingly can't possibly be moral in this world, but it's not in the sense that although I sort of agree with his basis I think Calvinism itself is one big ugly non-sequitur.

With regard to this post.. I'm not really sure how you can say "no" to the first question and still say "there is an absolute standard."  Those two answers seem to be contradictory.. unless I'm missing something.

This is to say nothing of what you proceed to set as the "absolute standard"--I don't see anything inconsistent with making an "absolute moral standard" and at the same time seeing it is unattainable.

 


Eloise
TheistBronze Member
Eloise's picture
Posts: 1807
Joined: 2007-05-26
User is offlineOffline
RhadTheGizmo wrote:With

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

With regard to this post.. I'm not really sure how you can say "no" to the first question and still say "there is an absolute standard."  Those two answers seem to be contradictory.. unless I'm missing something.

Yep, I noticed that and edited, my bad, sorry.

Theist badge qualifier : Gnostic/Philosophical Panentheist

www.mathematicianspictures.com


RhadTheGizmo
Theist
Posts: 1191
Joined: 2007-01-31
User is offlineOffline
Quote:edit: I just noticed

Quote:
edit: I just noticed that my last paragraph can be construed to be a contradiction of the first paragraph because I haven't mentioned that I don't mix morality/immorality with right/wrong. That is, I don't see immoral as 'morally wrong' I don't see these as the same thing. Immoral refers to a perfect standard, the kind one would hold a omni-being God necessarily to, moral rightness or wrongness refers alternately to a set with finite parameters, such as, for example, the lifetime of a human being. A sense of absolute morality is just not calculable in such a limited scope.

You're going to have to clear this up a bit for me.. if you would.

For instance:
Quote:
Immoral refers to a perfect standard, the kind one would hold a omni-being God necessarily to

Immoral is merely "not moral."  This is, at least, in the way I understand it. 

If "moral" does not require a God nor a "perfect standard," then neither does "immoral"--I would contend.

Which leads to this:
Quote:
I haven't mentioned that I don't mix morality/immorality with right/wrong


Okay.. for the sake of argument, I will accept this idea that "morality" does not necessitate a right/wrong dichotomy.

Quote:
moral rightness or wrongness refers alternately to a set with finite parameters, such as, for example, the lifetime of a human being

Meaning, the "subjective morality"? Correct?

Quote:
A sense of absolute morality is just not calculable in such a limited scope.

While it may not be calculable.. is it nonetheless applicable? Whether or not an individual may be able to ascertain the "moral rightness or wrongness" of a particular act.. doesn't the phrase "absolute (moral) standard" sort of necessitate that the act is still "morally right or wrong"--whether or not anyone can rightly judge him from a moral standpoint.

 I ask because, if it is, I still wouldn't understand you're first answer of "no" to the question of whether there is an "objective right and wrong."

 


BMcD
Posts: 777
Joined: 2006-12-20
User is offlineOffline
I've gotta agree w/Eloise.

I've gotta agree w/Eloise. There's no absolute objective Right/Wrong. They're nice concepts to have, and conceptually, we'd like there to be absolutely correct versions... but in the end, morality is governed by the interaction of the individual within society, which is what informs and develops our conscience.

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


Visual_Paradox
atheistRational VIP!Special Agent
Visual_Paradox's picture
Posts: 481
Joined: 2007-04-07
User is offlineOffline
Quote:Immoral is merely "not

Quote:
Immoral is merely "not moral." This is, at least, in the way I understand it.


I must nitpick this statement. An action that isn't moral isn't necessarily immoral. For example, using the bathroom isn't a moral action, but it isn't immoral either. Three categories are needed: moral, immoral, and amoral.
 

 

Stultior stulto fuisti, qui tabellis crederes!


RhadTheGizmo
Theist
Posts: 1191
Joined: 2007-01-31
User is offlineOffline
You are correct.. after

You are correct.. after looking up the definition.. immoral is not the logical opposite of moral.  Suprising.  So, as such, my contention isn't accurate..

 

Fail for me.

 

Nevertheless, I'm still confused by E.'s post, and I think some of the questions still reflect my confusion with it, e.g., the calculable/applicable issue.


Visual_Paradox
atheistRational VIP!Special Agent
Visual_Paradox's picture
Posts: 481
Joined: 2007-04-07
User is offlineOffline
Was that an attempt at

Was that an attempt at mockery?


Eloise
TheistBronze Member
Eloise's picture
Posts: 1807
Joined: 2007-05-26
User is offlineOffline
RhadTheGizmo

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Quote:
edit: I just noticed that my last paragraph can be construed to be a contradiction of the first paragraph because I haven't mentioned that I don't mix morality/immorality with right/wrong. That is, I don't see immoral as 'morally wrong' I don't see these as the same thing. Immoral refers to a perfect standard, the kind one would hold a omni-being God necessarily to, moral rightness or wrongness refers alternately to a set with finite parameters, such as, for example, the lifetime of a human being. A sense of absolute morality is just not calculable in such a limited scope.

You're going to have to clear this up a bit for me.. if you would.

For instance:
Quote:
Immoral refers to a perfect standard, the kind one would hold a omni-being God necessarily to

Immoral is merely "not moral."  This is, at least, in the way I understand it. 

If "moral" does not require a God nor a "perfect standard," then neither does "immoral"--I would contend.

Okay, this is a good enough place to start. First I would say that, yes, moral doesn't require a God, but absolute morality definitely requires a perfect standard, and if you were to then postulate a God, that would be the standard to which you'd most likely hold it.

So God is not necessary to the question of absolute morality, only some concept of perfection which you could, if you chose to, then embody into an entity And it is not necessary to do so) is.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:


Which leads to this:
Quote:
I haven't mentioned that I don't mix morality/immorality with right/wrong


Okay.. for the sake of argument, I will accept this idea that "morality" does not necessitate a right/wrong dichotomy.

eeeexcellent... (finger tapping, Mr Burns style)

RhadTheGizmo wrote:


Quote:
moral rightness or wrongness refers alternately to a set with finite parameters, such as, for example, the lifetime of a human being

Meaning, the "subjective morality"? Correct?

Yes, that's right, but I'm not asserting it quite so nakedly as you might be supposing. If morality is a measure of acting against some one, then one can only ascertain morality within the limits of their capacity to act. As with the above example, a human life involves a finite ability to act within a finite time. So the moral sense of the human must be constructed within those limits. Absolute morality may or may not be unattainable in those limits, doesn't matter, because it is at least beyond calculating by the human given the differences in magnitude between a human life and all life.


RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Quote:
A sense of absolute morality is just not calculable in such a limited scope.

While it may not be calculable.. is it nonetheless applicable?

It may be applicable, but it would still mean nothing without the capacity to be perfectly moral and thus apply it.

Theist badge qualifier : Gnostic/Philosophical Panentheist

www.mathematicianspictures.com


RhadTheGizmo
Theist
Posts: 1191
Joined: 2007-01-31
User is offlineOffline
Quote:Was that an attempt at

Quote:
Was that an attempt at mockery?

Um.. In what way?

If you  mean mockery of myself, yes.

I seriously was conceeded your point.. not mocking in anyway you.


RhadTheGizmo
Theist
Posts: 1191
Joined: 2007-01-31
User is offlineOffline
Quote:It may be applicable,

Quote:
It may be applicable, but it would still mean nothing without the capacity to be perfectly moral and thus apply it.

Would mean nothing to an individual person.. for instance, a person could never rightly say "I act in accordance with this absolute standard of morality"--if your standard were applied--but, that is not to say that it is still completely without meaning, IMO.  Obviously we are talking about it... therefore it has some meaning. Smiling 


Eloise
TheistBronze Member
Eloise's picture
Posts: 1807
Joined: 2007-05-26
User is offlineOffline
RhadTheGizmo wrote:Quote:It

Edit: My head's much clearer today, which is a huge relief, and now that I can think straighter it has just occurred to me how I can clear this up with some definitions, so here would be the definitions that I am advancing in my posts above:

Morality - The notion of ideal conduct toward others.

Absolute morality - The ideal notion of ideal conduct toward others (ie act against no one)

Immorality - whatever falls below ideal conduct towards others

And to round it off ..

Amoral - acts that do not involve any aspect of conduct towards others.

-therefore-

in the absolute sense, any act that can be construed to be against another in any way are below ideal conduct and therefore immoral.

-however-

a reasonable sense of absolute moral conduct is inaccessible in a limited framework.

For example in a physical framework absolute morality basically equals absolute inaction in many circumstances (see below)

and so, since action is necessary for meaningfulness in terms of morality, rightness and wrongness need be inserted into the definition of morality in limited frameworks to quantify the values of individual acts.

-and hence-

Moral rightness - conduct quantifiably within ideal standards relevant to a given framework

Moral wrongness - conduct quantifiably below ideal standards relevant to a given framework

I think that's better, yes?

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Quote:
It may be applicable, but it would still mean nothing without the capacity to be perfectly moral and thus apply it.

Would mean nothing to an individual person.. for instance, a person could never rightly say "I act in accordance with this absolute standard of morality"--if your standard were applied--but, that is not to say that it is still completely without meaning, IMO.  Obviously we are talking about it... therefore it has some meaning. Smiling 

well yeah... sorry sloppy writing again, my head wasn't quite right this afternoon thanks to a little flu-ness. Anyhow, I mean to say that a limit on capacity - such as it is in the case of humans- is a limit on the meaningfulness of applying an absolute morality. So to say, if you're constrained to only physical actions then the applicability of your moral restraint as it goes to such actions is under the limits of your physical existence. 

To give a kind of lame (forgive me) and extreme example to demonstrate 'willing some one not to exist' could be construed under absolute morality as an act against another (consider their will to exist), but how can it count if, when you do it, nothing actually happens cause you're only human.

A more realistic, (and classic) example might be if you are under threat of death and you have two choices - fight or not. Fighting would be not moral in terms of absolute morality, sure, but how do you gauge the applicability of this absolute morality in a physical framework? On the other hand subduing your attacker with less than lethal force has a moral meaning, it is a quantifiable restraint within the scope of physical capacity.

In any limited case morality must be framed, basically, so even though an absolute moral standard is possible to conceive, if it makes no sense to hold it just confuses the process of making a moral choice.

Theist badge qualifier : Gnostic/Philosophical Panentheist

www.mathematicianspictures.com