(Before we even speak about the word morality we need to have a good definition of good or bad what is usable objectively and unambiguous).
Meaning & Definition
When we use the words right or wrong what do we mean by these words and what is it about certain acts that make them wrong. So when we look at certain acts what do they involve to make us come to the conclusion they are wrong.
What do all morally right deeds have in common which set them apart from all morally wrong deeds?
Moral Act = Promoting well-being, happiness and health also demoting suffering, harm and pain. Immoral Act = Demoting well-being, happiness and health but promoting suffering, harm and pain.
Also understand that what i have stated is not subjective it is objective, it is not only my opinion that torture causes harm and affects well-being, because pain and suffering are real and measurable things. Just like how murdering promotes harm, so saving a life minimizes harm and also promotes the longevity of life.
We don’t need to agree that you feel pain or un-happiness when tortured for you to actually feel pain, just like i don’t need to agree that you’re dying for you to actually be dying.
A brain experiences happiness, joy, pain, an suffering so we can subject people to experiences whilst connected to a EEG (Electroencephalography). The EEG records activity in the brain, the activity it’s measuring is fluctuations of neurons. Now these experiences may be subjective to the individual but it is an objective occurrence.
But do we need certain technology to assert that rape or torture will cause suffering?
So we might give subjective accounts and descriptions through experience of events of joy, happiness, or pain and suffering but there still objective.
There is only Subjective!
Now we hit a problem because people might say it’s only my subjective personal opinion that something morally wrong can be defined as something “demoting well-being, happiness and health but promoting suffering, harm and pain”.
But it will be because there is no such thing as right or wrong definitions, the meanings we use for different sounds and letters will always be arbitrary and subjective. But what isn’t arbitrary and subjective is the thing you’re describing.
So if three people put there hand in fire, the pain they experience will be delivered in a subjective arbitrary description, but the pain is objective because it is inherent in all three.
Moral Facts Can’t Exist
Many people state that in order for objective morality - or even morality - to even exist we need moral precepts that admit of NO exceptions. For instance if it is wrong to kill it should always be wrong to kill.
So should we of killed Stalin, did he deserve to die?
So lets look at how we state a fact from a non-fact, in order to state something as truth we need to exclude certain ideas in order to state something as fact. So whenever we talk about facts certain opinions need to be excluded. And this is how we build a domain of expertise, this is what it is for knowledge to even count.
How is it that morality can’t subscribe to no exceptions, how can we state that every opinion has to count. How is it that every person or culture has a point of view what is valid and worth considering.
Did the Nazis have a considerable stand point on the longevity and welfare of Jews? NO! So how would of there point of view or values on morality and human welfare even be considerable.
So it seems in a sense we can state there’s right and wrong paths for the journey of humanity, and morality is relative to this domain. We can’t accept the difference in certain notions when it comes to human well-being anymore than on respecting different opinions on the safety standards of cars, houses or plains being built.
All of existence is subjective and relative. Perhaps hoping for an objective morality is the disease that we want to cure the inconveniences of having to actually deal with a being with opinions other than our own. We live in a relative universe with regard to the flow of time, how crazy to think that concepts regarding behavior should have a simple and codifiable, “one size fits all” solution. It seems like some people place their goal as getting to the point where we would all agree that what end the Nazis were trying to achieve was not worth the means. But of course if we ever achieved that state, we wouldn’t have had the Nazis. So if we eliminate the idea that everything has to be perfect at this exact second, and eliminate the idea that all solutions should be conceived of instantaneously, then we start approaching reality again. One (actually many) group plops their holy book out on the table and says “Here is our holy doctrine, defined with very exquisite delineators and outlining the truth with a capital ‘T’. What do you have? ” What if this challenge had been presented 3,000 years ago? What would the response have been? It would be that they don’t have anything substantial to present and no well accepted counter-points to make. Notice the need also for “well accepted” as a qualifier. And guess what? This exact challenge has been presented many times over and perhaps even in more ancient times. The more scientifically challenged your society is, the better chance you have of promoting your view point of God, Emperor, Holy man, Shaman, Witch Doctor, Spiritual Guide, etc.
So can you objectively define good? One way is to look at what actions affect other people and your realm of influence. Are you exploiting your position of power against another person’s idea of personal freedom of expression. Should everyone be left to their own devices so long as it does not conflict with another person’s ideas of the same freedom? Ultimately in pursuing the best optimal state for creation to advance we have to look at limiting the ability of individuals to interfere with another individual’s desired will. But even that we temper with the idea of an “age of consent”, or more simply that we have to guide our infants and cannot allow complete freedom for the under developed. The crucial points of interaction, one of which is where we believe robbing infants of their ability to express themselves however they please, are all extremely subjective. Where does this desire for objective law come from but an authoritarian position of trying to locate a god?
You can define “good actions” as those which promote the greatest amount of creation with the least amount of destruction very easily. But then it brings in the subjective view. Trying to reach an “optimal” state of objectivity is in itself an appeal to authority, or the search for authority. Requiring that an individual should have the master plan at this point in our social evolution or else we must give up pursuit of that goal and accept some tradition is preposterous. The solution is evolving in the cognitive arena. The scariest thing is to accept that we may not know all the answers. But that is also what drives our expansion.
Also, I get tired of people talking about “cognitive species” and “the human mind” as though these things were not team efforts. The human mind is not belonging to humans. It is a collective effort and should not be seen as anything separate from the Universe’s mind. “We” did not raise our consciousnesses out of mud. It was and continues to be a team effort. When people ask “why should the human conscious mind be considered with greater esteem than other consciousnesses”, it just strikes me as odd that someone cannot see first of all the progression, but second of all that “human consciousness” does not belong to humans, as a possession. It has been the work of everything that was not human.
All of existence is subjective and relative. Perhaps hoping for an objective morality is the disease that we want to cure the inconveniences of having to actually deal with a being with opinions other than our own.
I personally think that there is only two definitions of “objective morality” that can even be argued for, or as i prefer to call them “moral truths”.
The most common one we hear is a foundation of right or wrong what is innate in all man. I think the closest and most used example of this is a moral law passed down from God - who in most cases is the definition of GOOD. This moral law has been calibrated by God, and God sets the standard of what is right and wrong, so God is the definition of Good, and anybody who goes against these set moral standards are immoral. (This definition of objective is just an example to illustrate how all man would have a common moral foundation).
The other definition is my definition which is painted by Sam Harris. I personally think this is the only definition what is even logically coherent to even be used as a formula to get to the assertion of morally right and wrong acts or choices. Under this definition of morality, moral and immoral acts are relative and guided through the well-being of man. So if we look at immoral for instance:
Immoral Act = Demoting well-being, happiness and health but promoting suffering, harm and pain.
I think we can state that causing somebody pain is immoral, (so committing this act of inflicting pain against somebodies will is wrong, because it’s relative to there well-being). Now as i have stated our experiences and descriptions might be subjective and arbitrary but the actual pain is inherent in the person. So just because a human brain apprehends everything subjectively doesn’t mean we can’t state objective truths, because if this was the case mathematical truths - or any objective truth - wouldn’t exist.
Now we could say that 3 people out of 10 might think 5+5 is 12 but the remaining 7 says it’s 10. To me this just means that 3 people can’t perceive a mathematical truth. Just like if i remove my hand along with somebody who doesn’t feel pain, this just shows he can’t perceive pain for whatever reason makes him unable to perceive pain. Just like the 3 answering 5+5 who thinks it’s 12, they can’t perceive numbers for whatever reason stops them understanding numbers. But i think we can be rational and state that removing a hand is painful and 5+5=10.
So a man who thinks chopping off hands is ok and is indifferent to the thought of this act being right or wrong, under my definition is immoral, because i need my hand and i will feel pain, so he affects my well-being in a negative way.
On this premiss of morally right and wrong i think we can state that raping, murdering or harming somebody is wrong based on somebodies well-being. Because pain and suffering are real things, it’s not just my opinion that there wrong if they are real inherent - and in some cases measurable - effects or events.
A morale being is one who attempts to end suffering whenever and however possible.
Not bad, not bad at all Charwiz.
Morality is based like all other meaning on the experience of biology, you might say that apparent reality is a biological readout, it is objects evoked response from a biologically conscious subject, that which you experience is apparent to you, and you call it apparent reality. What is good or bad/wrong is what is good or bad to the well being of an individual biology and/or to a collective common biology, meaning species specific. Suffering is really a good measure for what is moral, it would probably serve us proper if when presented with a new speculation about a human behaviour or attitude to ask ourselves, does this increase suffering or does it decrease suffering. There is no such thing as objective morality, being a meaning itself it is the soul property of the biological subject and never the property of the world as object., until it is bestowed upon the objective world by a conscious subject.
Morality will develop by our need to survive as a group. and it started thousands of years ago, before religion. This would fit in with other post claim that religion came after conflict. What I mean is, now you have inherited biologically genetic traits that are deep within your subconscious that give you, your morality. I think you hinted toward this above. We were first a mob that later evolved into a tribe, the mobs or tribes that work better together survived, the mobs or tribes that did not work better together died out. The reasons that cause a tribe to work together better, were the ones that used subjective ideas such as altruism, not lying, not stealing, tribe bonding…etc. The tribes that did not use these died out. Therefore the genes of the tribes that did, not only survived. But developed an inner subjective belief system. That is still with us today. This is why no matter what country, what year, or what people, they will all have the same basic inner beliefs. I agree that, conflict came before religion. What happens is that people, have these inner feelings, or evolved genetic beliefs and they end up forming a religion, because of them. Depending on where they are and what their environment or cultural beliefs at the time determines what type of religion may be developed. However all these religions, at their core will be the same. They did not understand, where their beliefs came from, unless they were Buddhist, who believe that beliefs come from within. They believed their feelings came from outside and they called it GOD. They think of something that is all good, and they must please this God. This gives rise to dualistic thinking. Dualistic thinking is at the core of all conflict. Tribalism mixed with dualistic thinking. Later tribalism even evolved into political dogma, that exploits external religious belief systems for political gain. Causing more dualistic thinking. Dualistic thinking gives rise to all conflict. Morality evolved before religion.
Conflict evolved before morality
Morality evolved before Religion
Science evolved before Reason
If you take some eggs from a bird that builds a very long nest, and take those eggs away from the parent nest building birds, will they be able to build a nest? Will the nest be long, even though they were far removed from their parents? I believe they would not only build a nest but the nest will be long. Now, people call this instinct.
Now take the homo sapiens, this creature no matter where you find him, no matter what culture, no matter what continent, all have the same basic inner belief system of altruism, not kill, not lie, not steal, love they neighbor as they self, etc. These are traits that come deep within and are no different than the instinct of a long nest building bird.
Even cultures, that have never been exposed to Abrahamic, or any of the major religions of the world still have a basic inner belief system of doing good.
Babies that are born have been scientifically proven, in test. And being, too young for them to learn it from thier mother, show signs of basic morals.
Morality has to come from within, and is not only subjective but still evolving.
Conflict arose in the primordial pool when replicating molecules starved for sustenance to continue replicating, thus, continue in being, became the harsh reality of today, that life lives on life. The symbolic sign for which. is the snake consuming it own tail.
Moralities genesis is that of the self and an expanded concept of the self, such that we see in others, another self, one that suffers the sling and arrows of misfortune as we ourselves do.
Objective morality is nonsense, all meaning is subjective, thus, objective morality has the meaning of being, nonsense.