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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 16 2012: Sam Harris makes a very valid argument that supports your statement, I agree with him.

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      Dec 16 2012: Among the Horseman of New Age Atheism, Sam Harris really is my favorite.
    • Dec 16 2012: Jimmy,

      But Sammy makes the assumption that moral values are about human well being. .... Excuse me, but has "everyone else" agreed to this ... or is it just his own subjective opinion....?
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        Dec 16 2012: That's just the thing, THAT IS the objective view on morality. If anything, as he says, morality must strive to minimize human suffering.

        Yes Daniel, everyone else has agreed to this, including you... :/
        And everyone has also agreed that there is a thing called the green house effect, everyone else has agreed that there is a heaven and hell...

        Excuse my sarcasm but your consensus to a scientific validation isn't needed at the moment.
        • Dec 16 2012: Jimmy,

          Did you forget about the question of morality in regards to the treatment of "other animals" ... do you eat "other animals" Jimmy ....?

          If you do so, then is it then morally acceptable in your eyes...? Do you agree with Nic, that the standard of measurement depends upon how "cognitively aware" they are of themselves...?

          Otherwise Jimmy, .. the millions of people who have never even heard of the greenhouse effect ... or heaven and hell ...???... Your point is totally missed here Jim. It makes no sense to me. Are you really trying to say that everyone has agreed to the idea that there is a heaven and hell .....??? Iol ... I really don't think so...

          What is it your really trying to say here....?
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        Dec 17 2012: Daniel,

        I do eat meat, and I find it morally wrong when taking a step outside of my own perspective, I'm gradually cutting down and in a while i expect to no longer eat meat. I don't find it morally wrong for the reasons you might think. I don't blame the lion for eating meat, it has no choice.
        I've been brought up eating meat, chopping the head of a chicken once or twice a week was customary when I was growing up, the reasoning was that our chickens lived good free lives where they could flourish, they had us to thank for that, therefore we had the right.
        I find eating meat wrong because of the environmental burden that comes with it. contrary to the lion we have a choice as we are omnivores.

        Yes, cognitive awareness has a part to play, I don't feel bad for smashing a rock. I rarely thingĀ“k about it when walking through the woods that thousands of insects that I can't see are probably getting smashed. A chicken, according to me, is less cognitive aware then say a chimpanzee or a dolphin, the later two I would not devour.

        What I'm trying to say is that you don't have to agree for it to be true. It's like gravity, while you might not understand it or even believe in it, it is still so.

        Now, from what I remember you're no fan of science, rather you're a man of faith and religion. Your beliefs are based on folklore (written ones but still) while mine are based on validation.
        We have not yet validated that there are moral truths, I don't consider it a theory yet, I do however consider it a very strong thesis and am prepared to go with this since it is according to me the best explanation for morality.

        I'd like to add that I believe that everything has an explanation that can (or could) at some point be verified.
        • Dec 17 2012: Jimmy and Nic,

          As the confusion here continues... It seems like we have been down this way before..

          You came into the discussion here about 60 comments too late. You can, if you wish, read up on them and see where you stand in relation to the "subjective / objective" nature of gaining knowledge. When you can make an intelligible comment on that point specifically, then it may be of interest to proceed in discussing the idea of "objective moral truths" with you.

          It is clear that neither you or Sam Harris have noticed, the fact that Sam makes the assumption that moral truths are something that must encompass "human well being" Isn't that already a "subjective judgement" ...?? It's a logical blunder.

          You, as well as Nic, the originator of this discussion, have not yet managed to grasp the fact that the word "moral" is like the word "art" Its a collective concept.Now I ask you, .. is "art" something "objective" ..? I assume that you'll answer no to this. ... Why is art not something objective? Not for the reason that "some people" (you and sam harris) agree that is art or not art. But because the word "art" is only existing on an "ideal" basis. It only exists as a collective concept! An IDEA with your head and mine.. art is a collection of "forms of expression". Be it musical, painting, building, etc.etc.etc. It has a million different meanings, all of which fall in under the single "collective idea" When one first puts "CONTENT" in under the word "art" then and ONLY then can the word have any real meaning. Thus, any objectivity or subjectivity can not be decided. There must first be a concrete "example" So, as S.H. does, presents a few concrete examples. This one being agreed upon, that one not. The point is here that the "IDEA" of UNIVERSAL MORAL TRUTHS" is only an "IDEA" Do you and Nic see this now ??

          Of course we could carry this discussion even further and ask how "real" ideas in themselves are. I have chosen not to.
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        Dec 17 2012: I agree Daniel. While I think sams human wellbeing is fine as far as it goes, it is not universally agreed.

        Also I'd extend it to conscious beings capable of suffering.

        Although perhaps there is a convoluted way of linking human wellbeing to not being cruel to animals.
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        Dec 17 2012: Ehm, no... I'm not here to convince you Daniel as I know from previous conversations that that will never happen... I instead hope that I caught most of the inbetweeners with my argument.

        I leave it to someone else to continue this conversation as I don't have the energy to do this, my time is more well spent elsewhere.

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