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Nicholas Lukowiak


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There exist objective moral truths

I do believe there exist objective moral truths, such as, "a person being punished for something they did not do is wrong."

But, there exist counter arguments and positions which believe there are no objective moral truths, because ethical knowledge is usually subjective or relative which means they cannot be consider objective. Such as non-cognitivism and emotivism

Obviously the process to figure out what is objectively moral would be a difficult one, but can it be done? Consensually, empirically?

Are there objective moral truths? What are they?!?!


Closing Statement from Nicholas Lukowiak

Dear future interested reader,

IF there is anything to take from this closed debate, it is the fact one must define their terms and defend them in order to be 'right'. This creates monumental problems when debating with other people. So, try to stick with the most recognizable or common context of terms.

As far as being 'objective' I propose there is no way around being first subjective. While many believe since we are automatically subjective, we can never not be subjective. I see much error in this way of thinking, but appreciate the challenge of figuring out why. I believe in process/procedure in alignment with all of the universe. There is nothing that exist without evolving... Change in decay, [re]production, or [re]acting... Therefore, to assume there exist an 'objective truth' and then believing we can never know the exact nature of such... Seems counter-intuitive and only productive in a form of absurdity. The sciences are very successful building off of what is considered objective;by means of community, consistency and consensus.

Morality is individual. Ethics is the subject of morality. A moral decision is a personal one, not a communal thing. Although communities can dictate an individual's morals... The moral is still the individuals'.

I believe there are objective moral truths.

No one can make an argument genocide is proper or punishing an innocent is amazing! These thoughts are innately wrong for a reason... We are naturally endowed with wanting to seek social acceptance, and that involves questioning what we accept with how others treat us socially. If you, yourself, do not enjoy being harmed, what makes you think another would? What human doesn't want the basic needs of life?

What made people not want to accept my position is the immediate condition of the world... Well, the world, cultures, work in giant cultural cycles... Figuring them out helps.

Keywords: Prosocial selection and evolutionary psychology

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  • Dec 6 2012: Nicholas,

    Good question ! There have been several on TED before you that have had similar ones.

    I would have to answer no.

    The situation in question, or, what is demanded of the person in regards to this or that particular "moral act" is and has to be of a purely subjective nature. The measurement of the degree of good, according to the situation, might be the "moral" content of this ...and we must take into consideration the "inner development" of that particular person in the particular situation. The words "moral truths" is an abstraction. The content of the two words is not any "perceivable object" or any concrete reality within itself in any way. It is like the word "intelligence" or the word "love" ... words which are conditioned by external circumstances. The real content of the word is relative to the individual in relation to the situation.

    The content of the concept "objective moral truths" in this respect, cannot properly be called "objective" in that sense.... no less than one can have an "objective intelligence" or "objective love" As each person has his or her own "length of measurement" for their individual moral actions.
    However, I would say that the soul forces, that summon a particular moral action are quite real and operate in each of us "as individuals" regardless of race, creed, color, religion or culture. The force of empathy for example. Empathy is perhaps the major driving force for what we call a morality or moral code.
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      Dec 6 2012: Daniel,

      A few questions and responses:
      1. You believe in objectivity, but not in obj. morality? I think that is the case, but I am unsure.
      2. Are you being an emotivist or a non-cognitivist here?

      A. Please look at my responses to Pat and Edward to see if there are disputes there that are relevant to your thoughts. So I am not just repeating arguments and so that you may use their arguments to help yours.
      B. Please keep in mind I never deny subjectivity is a part of what is objective, in fact, I require such. With this in mind, how does that change what you think it is you are responding in the debate of objective moral truths?
      • Dec 6 2012: Hi again Nicholas,

        I took a quick look at your responses to Pat and Edward. I'm not sure they were so very fruitful for me for a starting point in our discussion.
        However, I do think your question is quite interesting and I would like to hear just how you see any form of "objective moral truths" in the world today. The question of the "subject / object" relationship is also an excellent one. There aren't really too many people that carry the nature of human perception so far that they actually gain a proper understanding of this relationship. Furthermore, it is indeed essential for understanding the nature of especially moral ideas. That you see the subjective as being something objective is already along my lines of thinking... and tells me as well that these thoughts are not new to you ... if we understand each other correctly...?

        Should we wander off in this direction of the subject / object relationship ( or the nature of thinking) we may need quite a few pages for comments....
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          Dec 7 2012: If there exist any type of objective moral truth today, we can find it in the small revolutions that are taking place on the internet (hacktivist), in smaller countries (like Syria), the atheist movements, the consistent spread of cultural knowledge...

          All of this is done by technology and desires; the very nature of these actions dictate the want of communication and brotherhood throughout the world. More and more we are uniting into one singular world and people enjoy it because it teaches them new perspectives and realities that they can add to their own persons and communities. I take the rapid interest in Eastern philosophy from cognitive science communities as a sign of this nature of communication and seeking brotherhood - we want to know the absolute truth and are doing so by our natures of looking for the objective ones.

          All of the above is something I gathered from a divergent process of thought. And what connects them all is information. Everybody is looking for more information, even if it just about what they already know, they want more of it. America has the terrible trend of worrying about what celebrities are doing on saturday, but at the same, they want to know because that interest them. We are able to have this rapid drive to want to know because there is now more than ever, an abundance of information at our finger tips. So much so, we have no education programs of how to filter all of this knowledge - it proves dangerous.

          To respond to your question further:

          Nothing is new, nothing is original. There are only new ways to express originality, through creative trials and efforts. Indeed my thoughts are not my own, I would never claim they are!

          The subjectivity each human has, does not need to be limited just one perspective. We should strive for mulitple consciousnesses, multiple ways of looking at life and by doing so we will see our thoughts do stack up with others to make objectives true.

          There will always be momentary exceptions

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