Moral Relativism

  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » Ethics
  3. » Moral Relativism

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

Reply Sat 8 Nov, 2008 06:41 am
Greetings to all...

I maintain that absolute constucts of morality do not exist, or, if they should somehow exist, they are unknowable and uncommunicable.

I think it's obvious that morality is relative. =)

I maintain that any conception of morality is relative to one's:

- intelligence
- education
- societal mores
- life experiences
- personality

Even if there was a system of absolute morality, each person who is capable of comprehending such a system is still subject to their individual interpretation and comprehension of that system. Therefore, in a pragmatic sense, absolute morality could exist, but would be impossible to communicate. Equally, if it did exist, it would be impossible for anyone to be certain of it.

I submit that it is impossible for two people to have the exact same comprehension of morality even if they both generally agree to the same principles. Their interpretation will still be unique.

I challenge anyone to disprove this claim. Very Happy
 
Khethil
 
Reply Sat 8 Nov, 2008 07:26 am
@OctoberMist,
Sorry, can't challenge it.

Morality is relative. I don't like it, I wish it wasn't this way, I think we (as humans) could come up with a moral set that could apply to us all, absent of culture, religion and other non "humanity-wide" needs. I know, I know... this isn't likely to happen, but I can dream... can't I Smile

But you're quite correct; like it or not, this is how it is. I've seen challenges to this in the past and chuckled as the silliness of their arguments emerged.

Thanks
 
Steerpike
 
Reply Sat 8 Nov, 2008 08:02 am
@OctoberMist,
OctoberMist wrote:
Greetings to all...

I maintain that absolute constucts of morality do not exist, or, if they should somehow exist, they are unknowable and uncommunicable.

I think it's obvious that morality is relative. =)

I maintain that any conception of morality is relative to one's:

- intelligence
- education
- societal mores
- life experiences
- personality

Even if there was a system of absolute morality, each person who is capable of comprehending such a system is still subject to their individual interpretation and comprehension of that system. Therefore, in a pragmatic sense, absolute morality could exist, but would be impossible to communicate. Equally, if it did exist, it would be impossible for anyone to be certain of it.

I submit that it is impossible for two people to have the exact same comprehension of morality even if they both generally agree to the same principles. Their interpretation will still be unique.

I challenge anyone to disprove this claim. Very Happy


You are the one making positive assertions. The burden of proof is with you. And since this is basically a "ethics is subjective" argument you are assuming what you think you are proving. You have proved nothing other than the question begging nature of your position. A position founded on logical falllacy is inevitably going to be logically false.
 
xris
 
Reply Sat 8 Nov, 2008 08:32 am
@Khethil,
Ill give it go at disputing your view..is personal morality of any consequence? we all have agreed views on certain moral attitudes and if the individual goes against them its not because they disagree with them its because they are morally corrupt.There is a distinct difference between morals and tribal weakness...certain aspects of peoples attitudes are usually through corrupt leadership becoming accepted behaviour through education..where religion corrupts the morals of its followers there is always a consensus who will rebel or be persuaded by logic that they are corrupt eventually...How am i doing??
 
OctoberMist
 
Reply Sat 8 Nov, 2008 08:39 am
@Steerpike,
Steerpike said:

Quote:

You are the one making positive assertions. The burden of proof is with you.


Now, that is quite a semantic cop-out if I've ever heard one. :rolleyes:
I gave my assertations and challenged people to argue against them.

Quote:

And since this is basically a "ethics is subjective" argument you are assuming what you think you are proving.


I'm not assuming anything; I'm making an supposition, which you glibly avoided with semantics. I didn't state that my position was absolute proof of anything nor that it was true. I asserted that I believe it was true.

Quote:

You have proved nothing other than the question begging nature of your position.


When you learn the difference in a statement of proof and a supposition, get back to me.
 
Steerpike
 
Reply Sat 8 Nov, 2008 08:40 am
@xris,
xris wrote:
Ill give it go at disputing your view..is personal morality of any consequence? we all have agreed views on certain moral attitudes and if the individual goes against them its not because they disagree with them its because they are morally corrupt.There is a distinct difference between morals and tribal weakness...certain aspects of peoples attitudes are usually through corrupt leadership becoming accepted behaviour through education..where religion corrupts the morals of its followers there is always a consensus who will rebel or be persuaded by logic that they are corrupt eventually...How am i doing??


Not a bad start.

Here is one based on formal logic:

Premise:

"There are no objective ethical truths."

The premise is logically self-refuting. This makes it necessarily false. Therefore, there are objective ethical truths.

If there are objective ethical truths, then ethics is not subjective or relative.

OctoberMist wrote:
I'm not assuming anything; I'm making an supposition, which you glibly avoided with semantics. I didn't state that my position was absolute proof of anything nor that it was true. I asserted that I believe it was true.



When you learn the difference in a statement of proof and a supposition, get back to me.


In calling it a "claim," you are asserting truth to the position.

What is the essential difference between making a "claim" and asserting it is true?
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Sat 8 Nov, 2008 08:51 am
@OctoberMist,
I agree that morality is relative, and so would the three great moral philosophers--Aristotle, Kant, and Mill. Aristotle sees morality a function of character, thus, relative. Kant sees morality a function of maxims turned into moral laws independent of action, thus, relative and even socially constructed. Mill sees morality a function benefiting the most people possible and, thus, relative. Anyway, that is an extremely brief overview of the three major schools of moral thought.
 
OctoberMist
 
Reply Sat 8 Nov, 2008 08:54 am
@xris,
xris said:

Quote:

Ill give it go at disputing your view


Thank you. Smile

Quote:

..is personal morality of any consequence?


I think so; I would say that personal morality is the basis of all actions we are inclined to take as individuals.

Quote:

we all have agreed views on certain moral attitudes and if the individual goes against them its not because they disagree with them its because they are morally corrupt.


I disagree with that. Could you give an example of a moral action that is absolutely agreed upon by all people? -- To everything there is an exception. The charge of 'moral corruptness' assumes that there is a absolute moral code of some kind.

Quote:

There is a distinct difference between morals and tribal weakness...certain aspects of peoples attitudes are usually through corrupt leadership becoming accepted behaviour through education.


Could you give an example of this?

Quote:

where religion corrupts the morals of its followers there is always a consensus who will rebel or be persuaded by logic that they are corrupt eventually...


Is there "always" a consensus?

Quote:

How am i doing??


It's a good start to an interesting discussion. Thank you for your reply.
 
OctoberMist
 
Reply Sat 8 Nov, 2008 09:02 am
@Steerpike,
Steerpike said:

Quote:

Premise:

"There are no objective ethical truths."


This premise ignores what I also said:

OM: "Even if there was a system of absolute morality, each person who is capable of comprehending such a system is still subject to their individual interpretation and comprehension of that system. Therefore, in a pragmatic sense, absolute morality could exist, but would be impossible to communicate. Equally, if it did exist, it would be impossible for anyone to be certain of it."

I asserted that it was possible for such a system to exist, but even if it did, such knowledge would be futile in any pragmatic sense of communication - therefore rendering the existence of the system useless.

Your premise is not my premise.

As to your comment about my use of the word "claim", I am asserting something that I believe. Surely you can differentiate between knowledge and belief, yes?
 
Steerpike
 
Reply Sat 8 Nov, 2008 09:16 am
@OctoberMist,
OctoberMist wrote:

Your premise is not my premise.


It demonstrates logical fallacy of the ethcial subjectivist/relativist view. That is sufficient.
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Sat 8 Nov, 2008 09:54 am
@Steerpike,
Steerpike,

Did you read anything in the reality and justice thread?

And what on Earth is your definition of a logical fallacy?

And, obviously morals are going to appear objective. Human values are very similar. But in order to be inherently objective, every human mind must have the same factors that contribute to defining one's own morals.

This proves that objective morality is not a reflection of society, nor is it possible.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Sat 8 Nov, 2008 10:20 am
@Holiday20310401,
Steerpike,

I'll have to agree. I'm completely confounded as to any bases of what you've typed. It literally, makes no sense whatsoever. I've left off replying to you (and to the other thread in which you claimed the same thing) since... well... there's no legitimacy on which to hold on to.

Perhaps try re-phrasing your counter-arguments. Its clear that many of us won't benefit from your insight if you simply keep repeating the same logic-based cliche's.

It'd really help. Thanks Smile
 
OctoberMist
 
Reply Sat 8 Nov, 2008 10:52 am
@Steerpike,
Steerpike said:

Quote:

It demonstrates logical fallacy of the ethcial subjectivist/relativist view. That is sufficient.
Oh, I see. So you're responding to something I never said.

That's a Strawman Argument.

And then you accuse me of utilizing logical fallacies? Laughing
 
Steerpike
 
Reply Sat 8 Nov, 2008 10:59 am
@Holiday20310401,
Holiday20310401 wrote:
And, obviously morals are going to appear objective. Human values are very similar. But in order to be inherently objective, every human mind must have the same factors that contribute to defining one's own morals.

This proves that objective morality is not a reflection of society, nor is it possible.



Irrelevant appeal to popularity.

Objective truth is not dependent on values or agreement.

OctoberMist wrote:
Steerpike said:

Oh, I see. So you're responding to something I never said.

That's a Strawman Argument.



No. Merely demonstrating the logical fallacy of the entire premise. Whether you specifically cited it or not is irrelevant.
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Sat 8 Nov, 2008 11:13 am
@Steerpike,
Steerpike wrote:
Irrelevant appeal to popularity.


I display this 'supposition' before this thread was even created in the reality and justice thread, which again, I doubt you've read.

Steerpike wrote:
Objective truth is not dependent on values or agreement.


Are we arguing truth or morals here? This thread is on moral relativism. Morals cannot be truth, only opinion. The only truth is in the consequences of the actions defined partially by the morals.



Steerpike wrote:
No. Merely demonstrating the logical fallacy of the entire premise. Whether you specifically cited it or not is irrelevant.


Fallacy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Begging the question - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
Steerpike
 
Reply Sat 8 Nov, 2008 11:23 am
@Holiday20310401,
Holiday20310401 wrote:
Are we arguing truth or morals here? This thread is on moral relativism. Morals cannot be truth, only opinion. The only truth is in the consequences of the actions defined partially by the morals.


If there are objective ethical truths, then those ethical truths are not only opinion. I have already demonstrated that is necessarily true that there are objective ethical truths.

The issue for philosophy is how to discern them.Smile
 
OctoberMist
 
Reply Sat 8 Nov, 2008 11:36 am
@Steerpike,
Steerpike said:

Quote:

No. Merely demonstrating the logical fallacy of the entire premise. Whether you specifically cited it or not is irrelevant.


But you didn't respond to my entire premise; you picked out the part that you wanted to respond to.

That's a Strawman Argument, no matter how you slice it.

Oh well; there's one at every party. Have a nice day. :flowers:
 
Steerpike
 
Reply Sat 8 Nov, 2008 11:43 am
@OctoberMist,
OctoberMist wrote:
Steerpike said:



But you didn't respond to my entire premise; you picked out the part that you wanted to respond to.

That's a Strawman Argument, no matter how you slice it.

Oh well; there's one at every party. Have a nice day. :flowers:


Do you even know what a strawman is?

Your premise is "moral relativism." That has been logically refuted. The refutation was direct and to the point. Whining about it is not going to change that.
 
OctoberMist
 
Reply Sat 8 Nov, 2008 11:53 am
@Steerpike,
Steerpike,

You didn't respond to the argument I made. You picked out the part that you thought you could disprove, but what you are trying to disprove is not what I said at all.

So basically you're arguing with yourself.

If you want to address my entire premise, I'll be happy to respond. If not, then I'm done discussing this matter with you.

Have a nice day. :flowers:
 
Steerpike
 
Reply Sat 8 Nov, 2008 12:14 pm
@OctoberMist,
OctoberMist wrote:
Steerpike,

You didn't respond to the argument I made. You picked out the part that you thought you could disprove, but what you are trying to disprove is not what I said at all.

So basically you're arguing with yourself.

If you want to address my entire premise, I'll be happy to respond. If not, then I'm done discussing this matter with you.

Have a nice day. :flowers:


You said it here:

OctoberMist wrote:
I think it's obvious that morality is relative. =)



:whip:

The other issue you raised was knowability of such a system.

If we can accept the necessary truth that there are objective ethical truths, then the process of how to discern these objective ethical truths becomes the next task.


How can we discern truth?
 
 

 
  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » Ethics
  3. » Moral Relativism
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 09/28/2021 at 08:11:19