TED Conversations

Scot Wilcox

TEDCRED 10+

This conversation is closed.

A unified moral code

OK, so on my other discussion "Do right and wrong exist?" there's a rather hefty debate raging on the existence of objective moral truths vs. subjective morality. I still hold that the only way to know any kind of objective morality is through personal communication with God. (If you'd like to dispute that with me, go to the "Do right and wrong exist?" discussion please.) I made the point that with subjective morality, nobody can agree with each other and any discussion of "what's the right thing to do about this issue?" breaks down into squabbling and nobody gets anywhere. Several of you on that other discussion claimed that by using reason and science, a unified moral code could be developed that the majority of mankind could agree with, a la Sam Harris. I disagree, I don't think it can be done.
So prove me wrong! Right here on TED, I want the TED community to hammer out a moral code. It needs to be applicable to daily life and issues of our time like illegal immigration, abortion, animal rights, environmentalism, government spending, business ethics, and income inequality. Don't worry about all the objective vs. subjective stuff, as long as it works. Go ahead. Define right and wrong in the way that will most benefit society. Be specific and measurable, and collaborate with everyone else. Once some kind of accord has been achieved, I'll try to put it to the test by suggesting a variety of moral dilemmas and we'll see if it holds. I doubt that we'll even get to that point, but go on, defy me!

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Feb 27 2013: Hi Scot,

    I followed your "right and wrong" debate for a short while but fell off. I got involved in another discussion on exactly the same subject. Also Sam Harris was mentioned. There were over 500 comments. Very engaging topic.

    To be the first to "throw stones" is not my "moral" juxtaposition but I will quickly try to point out that the whole idea of a universal moral code is ... an .... OXYMORON

    Thats right... in all caps.

    Morality is a phenomenon existing only within the individual. ... and nowhere else.

    It's 100 percent abstract. It's an empty bag. You can fill this bag with a million different example of moral codes, actions, laws, etc. But the concept "moral" is like the concept "beauty" ... It lives only within the individuals consciousness that is involved in the action under consideration. This action must then be "judged"
    Because the action demands a judgement from the observer or "subject" the value judgement is the combination of the individual observer together with the action at hand. Here is where the whole idea of morality arises. First, and always first in the individual.... Moral, or morality can not be found in the out world nature. It exists only within the depths of the individual human soul.

    It's like looking at a rainbow. You, the active observer, is totally necessary for a rainbow phenomenon to present itself
    You must stand in a particular position to the water mist and the sun. If your not in the right position, then the rainbow could not exist.
    Morality exists only at the mercy of a human thinking mind. ... and absolutely nowhere else.

    Sam Harris should go back to biology and leave philosophy alone.
    • Feb 27 2013: I can respect your view, that's fine. I believe otherwise, but that's ok. The point is, what about society? With no shared basis for making decisions, how do we solve problems like the ones listed above? Why have laws if there is no right or wrong? Anything goes, right?
      • Feb 28 2013: I have the solution Sir/Mam nd i suggest to once give me a chance please i sincerely want to do it .......................................
        Without any benifit except the best benifit Pleasure of my love my God.....
      • Feb 28 2013: Ur doing well Sir ill pray for u nd be pleased to play my part cause the secret is that humanity doesent need technology it needs a unified moral code to grow.......together.... A A

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.