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    Thread: Morality and Ethics: Objective or subjective?

    1. #1
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      Morality and Ethics: Objective or subjective?


      Is morality subjective or objective? Explain.
      Are ethics subjective or objective? Explain.


      This'll be fun.
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      Isn't morality and ethics the same thing? Or I would say close enough to the same thing that people would have the same answer for both.

      I would say both are subjective unless you look at really basic principles like in this area it's against the ethics to kill someone since research shows that murder was very abundant in the area before church reform or something like that.

      I'm kind off curious how would anyone argue that it's objective instead of subjective.

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      If ethics and morality were objective I don't think we'd have quite as much problems as we do today.
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      Even if such a thing as objective ethics existed, we'd never know it for we cannot reach beyond our own subjectivity. It's up to us to choose.
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      A'ight, just let me put on my official philosopher gloves and clear my throat real quick to make this sound important.

      Ethics are generally considered what would be morals but are specific to a culture and religion. This could include wearing a hat on Monday, for example, in one culture and it would be considered unethical to do otherwise due to the religion.
      Morals on the other hand are completely unaffected by ways of the culture and religion. They are nearly objective by definition.

      I think we can all agree that killing a person without reasonable means (murder) is immoral and almost unanimously unethical, while studying the dead body is not immoral but unethical in some cultures and religions.
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      Unanimous =/= objective but your example is warranted.

      Murder is also ethics though, there are some cultures where it's justified. For example, there's this really backwards culture called Texas where they practice murder all the time, usually only against people who have been accused of murder themselves though. They call it Capital Punishment and they do the same thing in several other states. There's this other thing the whole country practices called war where they send our children off to murder people for freedom.
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      There are these people called Texans, as you specified earlier, that will always say no. The use of unanimous was more of literary flair than precisely defined jargon. As you can tell: I'm not at all that put together.
      I probably didn't communicate that clearly as I often do: Morals and ethics are almost identical, but ethics are culturally/religiously influenced while morals are from an unbiased view. The same situations apply to both, but they are different ways to approach it.
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      While I agree ethics are related to culture, I think morals are personal, not objective or unanimous. That's what I illustrated with my point, there's no such thing as an "unbiased view." Part of being a view is having a position to view things from and a bias is essentially a position. It kind of renders the whole thread useless because even if someone claims morals or ethics can be objective they're only making a subjective claim. Thereby, if morals really could be defined as you described, they would be irrelevant to think about.

      Morals, instead, is an individual's standards while ethics are the agreed upon values of the culture. Granted this is useless semantics, and the greek root moralis basically means ethics and customs. I'm still taking them as synonyms. And I don't mean to say your thread is useless, a lot of discussion can be had from the question "if morals are subjective, do we make them up? And if we make them up, do they have any value?"

      A lot of religious people argue that unless morals are given to us externally, they don't hold any value.
      Last edited by Original Poster; 02-02-2014 at 11:55 AM.
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      can you imagine a possible world in which setting a cute kitten on fire for no reason other than shits and giggles is morally permissible
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      Quote Originally Posted by OldSparta
      I murdered someone, there was bloody everywhere. On the walls, on my hands. The air smelled metallic, like iron. My mouth... tasted metallic, like iron. The floor was metallic, probably iron

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      Quote Originally Posted by Abra View Post
      can you imagine a possible world in which setting a cute kitten on fire for no reason other than shits and giggles is morally permissible
      I can, it would be similar to a world where people pull the wings off grasshoppers, or burn ants to death with a magnifying glass. Which is our world, the one we live in. It is slightly less permissible in places like the US but things like forcing dogs and chickens fighting to death are accepted in many places too.
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      I looked it up here: Difference btw. Ethics and Morals

      Theoretically, what religion puts upon you would be subsumed under ethics.
      But the religious keep claiming, that it is not so - that what they prescribe, including for example around the topic of sexuality, are objective moral values and duties.
      They argue, the only justification for objective moral values would be a divine being's commandments in any case.
      Neglecting, that we and also animals have social traits and an innate moral compass given to us by evolution, to discern good from bad, and that societies have means of generalizing those and enforcing them and that's all there is needed.
      Who upon suddenly loosing her faith would start acting immoral from then on?
      She won't, don't think so.
      Last edited by OpheliaBlue; 05-11-2014 at 02:19 AM. Reason: per member request
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      I'm going to go with subjective. There have been cultures throughout history where rape has been justifiable, so if there is some clear cut objectiveness to morality, then clearly we're an absolute mess. Not to mention that if you remove life from the universe, morality goes with it.

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      They're subjective upon our goals.

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      ERROR 404: SIGNATURE NOT FOUND

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      Quote Originally Posted by StephL View Post
      I looked it up here: Difference btw. Ethics and Morals

      Theoretically, what religion puts upon you would be subsumed under ethics.
      But the religious keep claiming, that it is not so - that what they prescribe, including for example around the topic of sexuality, are objective moral values and duties.
      They argue, the only justification for objective moral values would be a divine being's commandments in any case.
      Neglecting, that we and also animals have social traits and an innate moral compass given to us by evolution, to discern good from bad, and that societies have means of generalizing those and enforcing them and that's all there is needed.
      Who upon suddenly loosing her faith would start acting immoral from then on?
      She won't, don't think so.
      Because you have the power whether or not to invest belief in these "objective morals" and they're not irrefutably given to every human being, they're still inherently subjective. If they weren't subjective, you wouldn't have the option of not believing them.

      You're more correct in stating that much more morality is an evolutionary development regarding the evolution of pathos rather than genes. Religion itself follows along such evolution, as we can see through the way it mutated to acquire attributes such as the belief that it's objectively true to justify conquering and proliferating. In other words, if you think of religion like an organism, of course the followers will be told its moral system is objectively true, most of the religions that didn't believe in objective morality got conquered by the ones that did.
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      I see it the same way - there are no objective morals - I was just trying to point out, that it's not so, that there would be nothing compelling humans to behave nicely without the belief in god.
      There is, and it's deeply programmed into us - but it's not objective or binding - can't be.
      To bind people to - hopefully widely - agreed upon rules of conduct is the job of the state.

      I just had to think of something - can’t remember which Science Fiction writer it came from – that before the president of the USA can launch a nuclear strike he should have to personally cut the launch codes out of a live and obviously innocent child. It’s truly terrifying to think that it might be easier to launch a missile than to kill one child standing in front of you.

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      Yeah, that's a fun topic on reddit. People have downvoted me to oblivion because of my stance that you cannot white wash bad behavior with good behavior. Even if you need meat to be healthy, for example, that doesn't erase the suffering caused to animals in order to get it.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      OK, first of all, not all Texans are like that. Please don't generalize.

      So, I believe that a higher power made the universe. If this is true, then morality and ethics ARE subjective, but only from the point of view of the higher power. So like, if in the Bible God told the Israelites to kill everyone in the area, then that was moral at the time. Now, however, it is not, according to the Bible.
      Please don't take my biblical example as a reason to ignore my opinion. Some of can be logical creatures, while having beliefs completely different from your own.

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