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You keep using the word "maximum" in a way I am unfamiliar with
e.g. moral maximum = a way of acting that is moral to the greatest extent possible - is the most right/proper/good, etc.
(RE:I don't like the implications, therefore it cannot be true)
At no point does my line of reasoning come anywhere close to your summary of it here.
You:"This is why this nihilist line of argument us absurd and lacking in use altogether."
You felt it a sufficient rebuttal just to claim it is "absurd and lacking in use".
I know that nothing can be known
I (subjectively) know that humans cannot objectively know something - here is some evidence:
You: "Our measurement of anything and everything is subjective"
You: "All 'practice' is subjective as it is done by individuals."
You: "The act is done subjectively (by an individual) and if measured, it is measured subjectively (by an individual)."
RE:whatever exists must be moral since evolution allowed it to be successful
This notion is one that you presented earlier as my position and I already explained how it isn't.
So, "[t]he standard for morality is how well it lets us live or survive", yet whether something has been evolutionarily successfull (through survival) says nothing about its morality?
I don't know why you put value in quotes.
Because of your statements regarding the value/use of not having objective truths.
"The absurdity of this line of argument applies equally to it's own truth value."
"This is why this nihilist line of argument us absurd and lacking in use altogether."
If an objective truth exists, but is not actually knowable, does it have any value/use?
It also favors organisms that work together
This is a function of a group being mightier than an individual.
You put that in quotes even though I never said it.
I included the entire sentence which contained the quote as a preface to my reply.
I think you conflate "might" (as you put it) in the evolutionary process with "might" as the result of the process.
They are the same - you are seeing the might of the environment (e.g. the weather), etc., and I see the might of the individuals in a species to overcome those conditions.
Whether they are the same thing or different things, it is still might that is determining right rather than some (as yet unoffered) alternative.
You're still trying to make me religious
Actually, this question was meant to see if you would contradict yourself.
I asked: "Does the fact that humans get wiped out (by a comet, a virus, or anything else,) say something about the morality of humans?"
And you answered: "No."
I would like to know how you square that with your earlier statement:
"The standard for morality is how well it lets us live or survive."
If the standard for morality is how well it lets us live or survive, then how does us not surviving at all say nothing about our morality?
explain what you mean by maximum
Previously I offered, "if we say that objective morality is some theoretical maximum for morality..."
I don't see where you took issue with that description of objective morality, feel free to provide your own.
The absurdity of this line of argument applies equally to it's own truth value.
The heart of this argument is: I don't like the implications, therefore it cannot be true - again, similar to the religious argument.
What exactly is the "value" of evolution-based objective morality if all it says is that whatever exists must be moral since evolution allowed it to be successful?
Moral subjectivists claim there is no actual standard. Moral objectivists claim there is one.
And my question is whether there is a falsifiable difference between the two.
You are using the idea of evolutionary "might" synonymous with the "might"
Evolution favors the ability to be successful against a competitor, capture prey, etc. - "might".
Claiming that mightier traits persist in evolution is entirely different then claiming that "might makes right" is thus an ideal moral behavior.
I am claiming that might determines what behaviors exist and are enforced, etc. You are taking it further to say that what exists is "an ideal moral behavior".
Especially when said behavior is has not persisted as much as others and so is less "mighty"
I think you have to make up your mind on whether morality is more favored or less favored by evolution.
More intelligent animals are more likely to begin expressing moral behaviors.
I believe it s the other way around. Groups can be more mighty than individuals, but social interaction requires a bias towards honesty, empathy, etc, which in turns favor intelligence.
A virus that wipes us out doesn't necessarily hold any more moral weight than a comet wiping us out.
Does the fact that humans get wiped out (by a comet, a virus, or anything else,) say something about the morality of humans?
Aborted fetuses do not have civil rights.
I think there is a better argument for being pro-choice - abortion is done in self-defense to protect the mother from harm.
This doesn't require any of the usual fights around gestational age, etc. (since the opponents generally believe that they have a right to self-defense against fully grown adults.)
The usual argument made against are:
1) the baby has no intent to harm
- but self-defense does not require intent (do you have a right to self-defense against a virus, or rabid dog, or insane person, etc. if it does not have a clear intent to harm?)
2) amount of harm
- bringing a pregnancy to term requires at least a vaginal delivery or a c-section (along with other harms: mental, physical, financial, social, etc. etc.) People should determine what level of harm they should be able to defend themselves against (if someone breaks into your house to steal your t.v., can you shoot them?) and use that same standard of what is moral for their own self-defense and abortion consistently. (Besides what is moral, there are a few other considerations for whether it should be legal - e.g. effectiveness and cost of enforcement, etc.)
some group membership is actually objective
Not all people (and certainly not all animals) form groups.
The reason I reference groups is because this is how we evolved.
Evolution also favored spiders and aardvarks and bacterium, etc. etc. etc. Why is the way we evolved the objective maximum? Are our eyes objectively the best even though the eyes of the mantis shrimp, etc. are superior in several ways?
This is why this nihilist line of argument us absurd and lacking in use altogether.
Because something is lacking in use does not mean that it is not true. I think this is a major part of the underpinnings for those who want to believe in objective morality.
Whether reality exists at all is definitely not a given.
That we presuppose certain things because it is useful for us to do so does not mean those things are objectively correct.
All "practice" is subjective as it is done by individuals.
If all practice is subjective, then is there any falsifiable difference between:
'Objective morality exists, but is practiced subjectively'
'Morality is practiced subjectively without any objective morality'
You said that the acceptance of the self evident is a matter of faith.
I should have stated this more clearly - the faith part comes in how you believe the evidence you present relates to the definition in question.
You believe that the existence of morality (in some species), a subjective experience of better/worse, etc. are self-evident vis-a-vis an objective maximum. You must also believe you have evidence for more than just some of the necessary components, but evidence that is sufficient to make the case.
I could rephrase my position that certain moral behaviors are evolutionary "mightier" than the morality of "might makes right"
This would not dispute 'might makes right' - it would reinforce it.
My assertion is based on the decline of this behavior in humans as compared to other animals. This decline would not exist if evolution favored that moral behavior.
Evolution has resulted in extant species which are social and those that are nonsocial. So, does evolution favor social or nonsocial? Or, does it favor some blended ecosystem which differs at different times? Or, perhaps, does it not have intentionality at all?
the balance between group and individual well-being is a difficult one.
Is there an objective moral fact by which we can measure and find the right answer?
Humans are odd
If human morality is anomalous, doesn't that mean it is actually less favored by evolution than other behaviors?
We have no qualms with the destruction of billions of bacteria in one fell swoop, nor should we.
Actually we do have a concern - the potential for creating drug-resistant bacteria - which is why antibiotics are generally restricted to prescriptions etc.
If a successful virus comes along and wipes out the human race, what does that say about the morality of humans, or the morality of the virus, etc.?
In group honesty is a universal value.
As we've already covered, who is in the in-group is subjective (and changes from moment to moment) - when looking for a mate, all of the males who generally cooperate are now in direct competition with one another, etc.
People often lie to protect themselves, even from the in-group.
People lie to protect the feelings of people in the in-group - e.g. does my butt look fat in these, etc.
People (and other animals) lie to potential mates (can it get more in-group than that?)
You can make the exact same statement about reality.
Reality is always experienced subjectively. If there is such a thing as objective reality, it is beyond our attainability. (The same would be said with ideal health, etc.)
I think we can safely say that the two possibilities are:
Objective morality exists, but people only have a subjective perception of it - meaning subjective morality in practice, or
Objective morality does not exist - meaning subjective morality in practice
And we can exclude the possibility of objective morality in practice - correct?
You would have to point to the self evident
There are two parts - we would have to have an agreed upon definition of a thing and then I would have to show evidence that things exist within that definition.
For instance, if we say that objective morality is some theoretical maximum for morality - providing evidence that morals exist does not provide evidence that a moral maximum exists.
Providing the evolution of morals says nothing about the maximum, etc.
you assume it favors this in moral behavior
Are you asserting that evolution acts differently for moral traits than all other traits?
Some behaviors are specifically detrimental
If an action is detrimental to a specific member, but beneficial to another member or members, e.g. self-sacrifice - is it objectively moral, or immoral?
If a group of members is doing something detrimental and thereby dies out, but their dying improves success for the others, was their conduct objectively moral or immoral?
What about acts that are detrimental to one species, but beneficial to another...?
The question was personal.
Then it's also irrelevant.
different subjective opinions about facts
Name one objective moral fact.
Murdering those within ones group is never acceptable, no matter the group.
Humans have often killed members of their own "group" - mercy killing, the death penalty, sacrifices to the gods, etc., etc.
You're also demonstrating that to what group(s) a person would belong is subjective. If their moral actions shift based on in-group and out-group, then you have given more evidence that morality is, and has been, subjective.
Our measurement of anything and everything is subjective
Exactly. Therefore, even if there were an objective morality, humans, not having an objective way to access it, are left with a subjective perception of morality.
Accepting the self evident as true is not faith.
Completely false. Because you accept (believe/have faith) that something is self-evident does not make it objectively so.
claiming the onus of proof lies with your opposition
You are the one making a positive claim - that objective morality exists. The onus is certainly yours to provide sufficient reasoning to convince others.
Nowhere did I claim that this is the crux of morality.
You: "The standard for morality is how well it lets us live or survive."
Who is the "us"? You? The villagers? The Horde? All current humans? Future humans?
What action is moral when the "well-being" of one conflicts with the "well-being" of the other(s)?
the assumption that evolution favors a "might makes right" kind of moral behavior.
Evolution tracks very closely to "might makes right" actually. Competition for resources leaves the weaker individual or group dead.
very few people actually act that way.
Many people do not believe they are acting that way when in actuality they are.
We have setup a democracy in order to use votes as an indicator of might, but, at the end of the day, our democracy and Constitution, etc. relies on our might in defending them - see the Civil War, etc.
(I would also disagree that even the people who believe they are acting that way is "very few" - though this is relative.)
The species would die out.
If whatever anyone does leads to a surviving species, then anything ever done was moral - until such time as the species no longer exists whereby everything becomes retroactively immoral.
modern bubblegum atheism
If ancient Roman law - ei incumbit probatio, qui dicit, non qui negat - is considered "modern bubblegum", then you sure showed me…
I must have gotten that from one of the Kardashians - oh wait, maybe it was Bertrand Russel, Carl Sagan, et al. …
I'm going to show you how this works, son.
After that, maybe you'll figure out what you're doing with the quotes and slashes there gramps.
This is not my type of debate.
That would seem quite unfortunate for you since the vast majority of your posts and debates relate to atheism and morality.
You refute my argument, or you concede.
While the onus is yours, I did give evidence against your claim. The existence of moral dilemmas demonstrates that objective morality doesn't exist, or it exists and humans do not have objective access to it - leaving only a subjective morality. You tried to refute it and failed.
What in your subjective experience makes an argument more or less compelling?
Blowjobs. (Insert any subjective preference - money, wanting to please certain people, etc. etc.)
It's not the what that is important - it's that whatever the what is it is subjective.
We all feel it and we have historically believed it.
Those who believe in universal morals should try to name a few. Lots of people have raped, killed, tortured, etc. etc. etc.
This theory is counter to historical precedent.
Are you lacking in evidence that morals have changed throughout history?
Measuring health is difficult. That doesn't mean health is non-existent.
This gets to the epistemological argument I made earlier with Delvis.
Even if we presumed an objective morality (based on nothing), we would still have the question of whether humans can objectively access it to answer moral questions.
If the reading of the measurement is subjective, then you are still left with subjective.
I am not making a religious argument.
Depends on how you define religion - you are stating that something is true (or that you have faith that something is true) given no evidence (except that maybe a large number of people also believe it.)
I think we can agree that the crux of the issue is whether whatever evolution favors is, de facto, objectively moral. - though correct if necessary
So, I'll save the witty retorts that I wrote for each of the other evolution-centered arguments and just use this instead:
Picture a loving peaceful commune.
Now picture it being totally decimated by the Mongol Horde - every man woman and child killed.
They all died - therefore they were all immoral and Genghis Khan was objectively moral, right?
If roughly 1 in 200 men are descendants of Genghis Khan then he must have objectively been one of the most moral humans ever, right?
Lots and lots of rape just helps to ensure that your genes live on - that must be objectively good, right?
they are not standards themselves
The reason you find this line of argument deficient is that it does not provide an objective morality - which is what I am asserting does not exist.
What makes it compelling?
Different morals (and different religions and different moral interpretations within religions) are compelling to people based on their subjective experience.
your ipse dixit that evolution is not an objective foundation
onus probandi - the burden of proof is yours, not mine.
Some homes are objectively better at keeping out the weather.
An adobe mud hut is objectively better in the dessert than is an igloo.
False (which one is better at giving you water?)
The difference is that it can only be objectively better given a specific metric - e.g. keeping out weather. With objective morality - what is the metric and how do you measure it?
Even if you assert (out of hand) that the metric is survival, how do you measure it - how long humans survive as a species, how many people die every day while others live comfortably, were the Civil War or WWII moral wars even though many people died, etc., etc. ...
it was not presented (RE:the morality of survival itself)
ME:"To consider it a foundation for morality, you would have to start with the premise that success in terms of evolution (e.g. gene propagation) is morally good - not objectively established."
The standard for morality is how well it lets us live or survive.
Again, you're just claiming that survival itself is objectively moral.
What you are attempting to show is one (subjective) rationale for something being moral. (e.g. I think survival is a good thing, therefore people should behave thusly...)
We don't know today what actions we take will be lead to survival. We are making educated (some more than others) guesses based on things that have worked in the past.
As living things, it's what we do.
This would make the morals of other living things objectively good as well. (Now eating babies is fine with or without objective morality.)
No one argues the morality of the actions of dead people.
Aren't religious books filled with the actions of dead people from which we are supposed to derive morals?
"Living things live"
A tautology does not spawn objective morality.
By what standard do you determine how compelling someones moral opinion is?
Through my own knowledge, experience, etc. (Hence, subjective.)
the doctrine they are raised with
Right - a demonstration that it is the opinion derived from laziness/simplicity. An unexamined opinion does not magically become an objective one, it is a weak (in my opinion of course) subjective one.
The opinion that all moral opinions are equally valid
Again, from a subjective standpoint, opinions are not viewed equally. (There is no such thing as an objective moral opinion.)
RE:Evolution is not an objective foundation for morality
Yes it is.
More than your ipse dixit is required here.
Certain behaviors were more evolutionary successful.
(And the other arguments re: evolution)
You completely ignored the arguments:
A) What evolution favored in the past is not necessarily what it will favor under the current or future circumstances.
B) That morality improved survival says nothing of the morality of survival itself.
We cannot gauge our actions off that of other animals
We can look at animals and find behavior which demonstrates how evolution (an amoral process) formed their, and our, ideas of morality.