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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 18 2012: Here is what i think:

    "Morality" is made out of two components.

    Let me explain.
    The first is the part of morality we are BORN with. It is derived from evolution. These are the behavioral petterns and traits that have proven themselves to be useful to survival in tribes/small groups. These include all the behaviors and reactions that FEEL right. And exclude everything that does not. So these are the basic "rules". These are common amongst almost every human in every culture, simply, because we all inherit them.
    BUT! That does not mean we all feel EXACTLY strong about them. There are variations in everyone, someone has the "group survival" the "social" values stronger than the other. I'm sure there are a lot of categories of morality and everyone has a variation of them. But we all share them to some extent.

    The second part is what we "learn". A child comes into this world with a behavior, that is useful for the survival, but only for the first couple of months. Then it learns. A child's brain is plastic. It shapes with every input. So does the childs behavior, his morals, his sense of right and wrong. Because the brain is like that. It needs to get adapted to the local, dynamic conditions, it can't rely on "inherited wisdom". And it needs to do it fast. And once the child grows older, his original values get changed and stirred up and twisted and some get stronger, some weaker, so that it has the best chance at survival, to find a mate, to live etc.

    And you can't tell a difference between the two parts, because really there is none, its the same morality you were born with, like a blueprint but with a unique variation of attributes, and then later changed to better suit your survival. Thats why there are different cultures with different moral values.

    That means there is no objective morality because everyone gets his morality shaped in a unique way.

    The original morality you are born with is just a framework, there to be changed.
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      Dec 19 2012: Edited* by your last statement,

      'Original morality' - would mean 'core' or 'basic' morality. So you may not want to directly admit obj. moral truths exist, but you have so indirectly suggested (just that) with your comment. Indeed they are shaped uniquely, but that does not dismiss we have fundamental moral systems. Which can be seen as overlapping into every individual.

      If we have evolutionary mechanisms designed to establish what we would call 'morality' a long with the ability to reflect on those mechanisms (cognition v metacognition)... I not only see this as a case for obj. moral truths I see this as an argument for public education of this world being terrible by not responding to our natural thoughts and behavior better, until we are proven 'abnormal'. In ancient times, they would have demanded students to question their own moral choices, and depending on the school system you look at, would of learned rhetoric, arithmetic and music as basic knowledge. Of course these schools would be for the elite, but I do not see how this style is expensive by today's standards...

      My point here is, if we have the instincts of morals, but have random chances of education to alter our instincts (to be bad or good or neither)... Then we can have to un/re - educate and set forth principles that are responsive to our human nature as well as premeditated on as being for the betterment of mankind: social thinking.

      If anything you should check out. . .How recently a group of researchers have proposed to study 'human evil' as a cultural concern, rather than an individual one - http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/07/science/07evil-excerpt.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

      Indeed their are cultural factors to deal with, but no cultural factor can dictate there being no obj. moral truths, but perhaps that said cultural factor may be able to prevent that truth from being illuminated and educated.

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