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View Poll Results: Moral relativism?

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  • Yea.

    24 64.86%
  • Nay.

    13 35.14%
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Results 41 to 45 of 45

  1. #41
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    It must be understood that we are talking about a hypothesis here. The question isn't whether the original premise is true, but what conclusions would follow if the premise were. I'd think a person with such a fervant belief in dragons is probably very naive or crazy, because there appears to be no evidence that dragons exist. But if, for the sake of argument, dragons did exist, it would make sense for them to be accounted for.



    I basically think it's a matter of function. The more and more you describe dragons as entities which function like God does, the more applicable it becomes to the belief in God.

    As an added note, there are many different conceptions of God. My take on it varies significantly depending on whether we are talking about God as a cosmic, pantheistic entity, or some kind of wordly, interventionist diety. I personally believe in neither, but I would grant that the former is much more plausible than the latter.
    1)Suppose everybody has an innate instinct towards the belief that murder is wrong and altruism is right. Since we have assumed that this is the case, morality must be innate. Is that correct?

    This is regarded as the naturalistic fallacy and famously so.


    This is exactly the 'is/ought problem' that ajblaise mentioned in the OP. David Hume was the first to inquire into this matter in the 18th century.

    Hume's Moral Philosophy (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

    In the 20th century George Moore has expounded on this problem.

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    Moral Non-Naturalism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

    George Edward Moore (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)





    Naturalistic fallacy is the belief that what is natural is right because it is natural. This is a fallacy or an error of reasoning, or an erroneous methodology with regard to justification of morality because the term innate is irrelevant to morally justified.

    To put it very simply, it is one thing to say that something is 'natural' and it is another thing to say that something is 'right'.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    2)The existence of God or dragons alone does not justify morality. For instance if I were to say that morality is objective because God says it is, I would be comitting the fallacy of an appeal to authority. In condensed form, it is one thing to say that X says morality is objective, and it is another thing to provide reasons for why morality is objective.

    A theist can say God knows all things, therefore if he says that morality is objective, it must be true. In that case, the doctrine concerning objectivity of morality is true in its own right. Whether or not God pointed out that it is true it is irrelevant.

    In conclusion, God is not relevant to the question of whether or not morality is objective.
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  2. #42
    Senior Member placebo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    Moral relativism gets a bad rep, but let's take a look on what it actually means:

    In philosophy moral relativism is the position that moral or ethical propositions do not reflect objective and/or universal moral truths, but instead make claims relative to social, cultural, historical or personal circumstances.


    Now this stance is perfectly logical and reflects the reality of morals and ethics, because morals are in fact relative to social, cultural, historical and personal circumstances.

    Unless you believe in God given morals and ethical standards, I don't see a strong argument in favor of the natural rights theory. Some proponents of the theory state that human nature is proof of the existence of these rights, and they seem to confuse what they think ought to be with what actually exists. This is known as the Is-ought problem.
    Wth, I am kind of surprised. I am not a moral relativist. I understand where people come from when they say that morals are rooted in social, cultural circumstances, etc, but I feel that only applies to a certain degree.

    What people are essentially saying when they accept moral relativism is that all different societies' ideas of what is moral or not moral are all permissible. If one society accepts torturing young children or killing babies as ethically permissible, then the moral relativist must accept that it is as well. To be a moral relativist you would agree that the majority of society is correct, and so you conform to the norm of society and what they have decided is 'right' or 'wrong'.

    I am slightly uncomfortable with that idea. And what happens when moral values change in a society? Like when slavery became wrong? How can people be all over the place morally and go from one side of the coin to the other? If it's wrong now was it really ever right before? And is it acceptable to say that events such as the Holocaust were justified because that was their culture and that was their society at the time?

    Unfortunately I haven't studied ethics at all, and I'm not really constructing an argument here, but there are some questioning points against moral relativism.

    Moral relativism seems like a nice idea at first, but looking closely, I can't say I'm very comfortable with it. I feel that there might be some things that are either morally right or wrong, but then again I'm not really saying there is. But what is the strong justification for believing in moral relativism rather than moral realism?

  3. #43
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by placebo View Post
    Wth, I am kind of surprised. I am not a moral relativist. I understand where people come from when they say that morals are rooted in social, cultural circumstances, etc, but I feel that only applies to a certain degree.

    What people are essentially saying when they accept moral relativism is that all different societies' ideas of what is moral or not moral are all permissible. If one society accepts torturing young children or killing babies as ethically permissible, then the moral relativist must accept that it is as well. To be a moral relativist you would agree that the majority of society is correct, and so you conform to the norm of society and what they have decided is 'right' or 'wrong'.

    I am slightly uncomfortable with that idea. And what happens when moral values change in a society? Like when slavery became wrong? How can people be all over the place morally and go from one side of the coin to the other? If it's wrong now was it really ever right before? And is it acceptable to say that events such as the Holocaust were justified because that was their culture and that was their society at the time?

    Unfortunately I haven't studied ethics at all, and I'm not really constructing an argument here, but there are some questioning points against moral relativism.

    Moral relativism seems like a nice idea at first, but looking closely, I can't say I'm very comfortable with it. I feel that there might be some things that are either morally right or wrong, but then again I'm not really saying there is. But what is the strong justification for believing in moral relativism rather than moral realism?
    The recognition that all codes of morality are subjective cultural/societal constructs is hardly an endorsement of them.

  4. #44
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    Moral relativism gets a bad rep, but let's take a look on what it actually means:

    In philosophy moral relativism is the position that moral or ethical propositions do not reflect objective and/or universal moral truths, but instead make claims relative to social, cultural, historical or personal circumstances.


    Now this stance is perfectly logical and reflects the reality of morals and ethics, because morals are in fact relative to social, cultural, historical and personal circumstances.

    Unless you believe in God given morals and ethical standards, I don't see a strong argument in favor of the natural rights theory. Some proponents of the theory state that human nature is proof of the existence of these rights, and they seem to confuse what they think ought to be with what actually exists. This is known as the Is-ought problem.
    I voted no although the truth is somewhere in between. For example I've had someone tell me that that since gladiatorial games were allowed in ancient Rome, then murder is not an absolute taboo. However in ancient Rome it is illegal for an average citizen to willfully kill another average citizen (barring self-defence). In fact this is illegal in every known society.

    So we can say that there are moral principals which all societies universally follow, but the interpretation of those principals can sometimes vary based on a person's culture.
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  5. #45
    Senior Member placebo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    The recognition that all codes of morality are subjective cultural/societal constructs is hardly an endorsement of them.
    The 'recognition' of it, means you must accept it as being so. I'm not really saying that anyone is 'endorsing it', but that is what entails believing in moral relativism and that a moral relativist can't defend that any way is more right or wrong than another, so that things that seem rather evil like customary sacrifices or killing or genocide, are somewhat 'justified' by their opinion of what morality is. What I'm also saying is that I have trouble believing that morality works that way--that all moral statements are only subjective. What I'm suggesting is that there may be the possibility that not all codes of morality are only subjective, and that there may be a few moral facts about what is right and what is wrong.

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