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:
- societal mores
- life experiences
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
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.
Well, I for one agree with what you're saying in terms of personal morality being relative to intelligence (intra-personal and inter-personal intelligence), personality, and society. I believe that moral positions become objective when you begin to speak of its inter-personal aspects; such as how one person's actions effect another person. For example, I can objectively say that torturing someone is wrong, because you are causing a personal being mental and physical pain, and it is wrong to cause pain to another person, because it is against their personal will, and as a person you would not want someone to put you through the same. So, unless you believe that pain is a good thing then we can say that it is a bad thing, in the sense that it is universally undesirable, and therefore, it is wrong to intend to cause another person pain. This is only contradicted in cases of self-defense. This isn't really a direct rebuttal of your argument though. The claim that a person's sense of morality is relative to their genes and environment is pretty much a fact.
When it comes to morality the most important factor is the society/environment, and so the state should and does create a standard of ethics that citizens are expected to uphold. All societies that wish to call themselves civil should have ethical standards that grant its citizens freedoms, as long as those freedoms don't directly interfere with the will of another person. That is why we have laws against murder, theft, rape, racism, and laws for entrepreneurship, freedom of information, speech, sight, sound, etc. The modern ethical standards implemented by the state are extropian in principle, but the state doesn't always live up to that principle; even in republican societies, because of the majorities influence on the policy makers.