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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?!?!

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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 7 2012: Hi again Nic.

    Just got home from work and read your response.

    We are now leading this discussion into the "reality" of thought now. This is a particularly esoteric question that must lead us further into the recognition of a spiritual reality that exists after (and also before for that matter) or physical existence. (...) For if you say that thoughts are a reality, then you must consider that they come from somewhere else, they remain in existence while I am "using them" and will as well continue their existence after my physical death. Is this what you mean?

    As Richard Dawkins continually harps on his idea of the "invisible spaghetti monster" ... this "idea" of his is then apparently "real" in your opinion .....(...) see what I mean now..? Not all ideas are "real"

    I don't mean at all to say that things must be able to be measured in order to be considered "real"

    The "idea" of "morality" is absolutely real. But it in itself has no "content" ... until we give it content. It is only available for our mind to grasp because we have first "thought" about it .... We as human beings think our way through to the "collective concept" ... just like the weather example. The snow, the rain, the cold, the heat ... all must be something ... .. we one day in our long forgotten past decided to call it weather. The animals have no "concept" of weather. They experience it of course. But the concept only exists in the mind that can observe the phenomena collectively and then put them all in a bag and say ..."Hey, all this stuff is happening in our environment every day, and it changes every day, but we can call it something ... lets call it "the weather"

    This is exactly the same with morality. There are an endless number of variations that can exemplify the word / idea "morality" But still it cannot be considered something objective in itself. A concrete example can of course be more or less moral depending upon the individual and the direct situation involved.
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      Dec 7 2012: I feel you suffer from an atomist delusion (I see it a lot with neoatheist)...

      Although a God may not be real because I think it so, the reality is my mind reacts in a certain particular way when I do think about God. This making the feeling of God a real thing, that can be measured - not God itself. However, if I was to look at everyone's brain when they think about God, I may not know exactly what God is, but I will know the relation between the real thought (emotion, memory, etc) and how the achieved that real thought - by thinking about God. Now this is a more realistic example, as it can be applied to the world - especially morality.

      An objective - is a consensual claim that exist due to consistency.

      People consistently believe in God, it does not make the idea true, but it makes it an idea.
      Now that is the same thing with morality; just because the thought exist does not make the answer true, but it makes the impression there is a true answer; there are in fact objective moral truths.
      Although there may never be one absolute answer (that was never the concern) but there will be in fact the most objective choice available upon attempting to be objective (by recognizing subjective methods to doing so).

      I am sure you are one of those "science is everything" kind of people...

      So let's look at how science is done; are you familiar with paradigms? Kuhn "structure of scientific revolutions"

      When an idea of objectivity is proposed (paradigm) those who are interested in working under this paradigm are able to do through theory as well as the already existing empirical facts.

      Now take a contemporary example: evolutionary paradigm - which dictates by looking at evolution process we are better equipped to handle social sciences.

      You, being this man of reason, cannot deny evolution is a key component to figuring out how our brain, body and minds work, right?

      Well by your expression, this objective theory is 'there' but not. Yet, it does so much, how?
      • Dec 7 2012: Hi Nic.

        No,no,no .. you've got me all wrong Nic.

        I have nothing to do with neo-atheism...

        Nothing to do with science....

        I'm just a regular guy. ... really !!
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          Dec 7 2012: Well then,

          We can both agree there are objective facts in this world - empirical data.
          We can both further agree those facts are used to make theory and to enhance theory.
          As Gerald suggested, objective morality is a theory, and finding objective moral truths is the same as finding data to enhance such a theory.
          I take into consideration that there already exist obj. moral truths, and have presented 5 or so statements here in this conversation - these would be existing data.
          So,
          In order for the theory to work out or not, requires the disputes if there are in fact examples/data that exist in order to strengthen the theory's plausibility.


          As far as this conversation is concerned I am getting feedback that since morals are automatically a personal thing, they are unlikely to objective. Yet, if we can find overlapping morals (even if 5% of the world is the exception) we can still say there are most like the objective moral for everyone that - punishing someone for something they did not do is wrong. As Gerald said "PROBABLY' going to 'work out' all the time as being obj. morals. Which is the first step to the fact they do exist, but the stress of figuring them out should still be apparent in the theory formation of obj. moral truths.

          Now, are we on a similar page?
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        Dec 11 2012: Oooooh, Nic, You misread Daniel and the insults are not necessary to make a point if you have a good point to make. But, as you requested, I will keep reading.

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