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Talk:Morality

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Objectivity is not axiomatic ... "1 + 1 = 2."[edit]

The article falsely refers to the mathematical tautology "1+1=2" as objective truth. That is incorrect. Mathematics is axiomatic and therefore mathematic formulae are true by definition, they are tautologies, they are analytcial. Science, on the other hand, is not axiomatic. Scientific claims are not true by definition, but by comparison with facts, they are synthetical. Out of this reason, they cannot be proven in a strict sense and rely on inductive reasoning and always may be wrong. Mathematics can be strictly proven by deductive reasoning. Now, objectivity refers to scientific claims, but not to mathematical sentences. The writer of this article mixes up these different issues. — Unsigned, by: 178.82.204.60 / talk / contribs 16:27, 27 June 2015


The above states that objectivity is not axiomatic, but there is nothing in the definition of objectivity that hinders axiomatic truths from being objective. Objectivity is simply facts without bias or opinion according to any given dictionary. Mathematics is without bias because it relies on deductive reasoning in which the reasoning is founded upon axioms that must be accepted by the respected authorities in a given math field. Deductive reasoning eliminates the possibility of bias. Any bias included would simply make it wrong or fallacious. The axioms could potentially be seen as including bias, but there is no real reason to be suspicious other than mere skepticism. Science on the other hand is not an absolute truth creating machine, and involves statistics in which bias is repeatedly having to accepted due to certain conditions. Science has a system to check and balance the possible biases, but bias will always exist in the realm of statistics in a realistic world. Moreover, if math is not objective, since science relies so heavily on statistics, it would be impossible to conclude that science is objective. Therefore, if science is objective, math is objective.

An example of axioms and definitions not hindering objectivity is the very subject at hand: objectivity. Assume that objectivity cannot rely upon a definition or an axiom. Then when one goes to prove that 'x' is objective, one will conclude that 'x' is objective. However, 'objective' itself relies upon a definition or axiom, and therefore it is not objective. If something is not objective then how can it possibly be used in proving something to be objective (i.e if math is not objective, and if it is needed to prove science then science can not be objective). This is clearly absurd, the word objective can be used in proving something to be objective. However, this relies on the word objective to be objective. Thus, something that relies on a definition can still be objective. Otherwise, there is nothing objective because all language is defined, and "there is nothing objective" is yet another contradiction.

I'm new to this, so someone else can make this look right.

Consequentialism does not equate to relativism[edit]

I've noticed on this article that there seems to be a misconception that there is confusion over the meta-ethical stance of relativism and the normative ethical position of consequentialism.

In order for consequentialist ethics to work, there needs to be an objective morality, as the argument is that an action can be judged to be good or bad based on the consequence. This means that the action still can be judged as good or bad, and that good and bad are real things that actually exist.

Relativism is the cognitive claim that ethics are relative and exist on certain levels (which can be cultural, individual, etc...). This position does not lead to consequentialism necessarily. For example, cultural relativism holds that somebody is right or wrong on an action if their culture agrees that the action is right or wrong. Therefore, a deontological system would be a legitimate way of judging morality for some cultures.

The difference is obvious, as consequentialist argue that there is an objectively moral “right choice” to every situation, and that the “right choice” is the one with the best outcome. It is important to make the distinction between the two, as many moral realist have been consequentialist. Mill, for example, argued that good was objective and that it was equal to happiness. Therefore, in every situation, the right thing to do is that which produced the greatest possible happiness. This is an example of a consequentialist arguing that morals are not a matter of perspective, but are in fact objective.

Taking a stab[edit]

Since we have broken up the various types of moral relativism I thought I would elaborate various types of moral absolutism.

Moral skepticism is not baby eating[edit]

Please remember to anyone who wishes to edit this section that "Ethics" and "Morality" are separate terms in a philosophical context, a "moral skeptic" is not necessarily an "ethical skeptic". People seem to be editing this section assuming it's Objectivism / immoralism / or some form of justifying the holocaust and baby eating which is leading to understandable (but still misguided) gut reaction edits. Moral Skepticism is a school of thought where people have ethical convictions but do not think they can be justified or they can be called knowledge, not egoism. Material was simply added to an empty section from the philosophical academia, this sites mission statement may be pro-science and anti-crank but if you don't understand the idea you are removing from the website then you are behaving in the same way as theists who assume atheists can't be good people without god or have a similar gut reaction. If you really want to vandalise it at least read something like what is posted below so you aren't simply reading the name and making false assumptions about the content which I suspect is what is being done.

https://philosophynow.org/issues/103/Ethics_Without_Morals_by_Joel_Marks — Unsigned, by: 82.44.104.86 / talk / contribs

Speaking of gut reacting to other people’s edits — my reason for undoing you was that your edit was grammatically ill-formed. Now that you have offered a better phrasing, I left it in. Thanks for making the point on the difference between ethics and morality for all to see, though — I'm a philosophy student myself, and clarity is key. All the best, Reverend Black Percy (talk) 11:31, 28 March 2017 (UTC)

The morality without religion section[edit]

Fundamentally miss represents the christian view on the topic. They would say that right and wrong are written on our hearts. Anybody can listen and at least get some amount of moral guidance. while imperfect due to sin this moral compass can provide for a relatively good life. Jkevo (talk) 02:46, 28 September 2019 (UTC)
You must have missed the start where it says "Fundamentalist Christians often claim". There's a range of opinion on the issue, and the viewpoint that there is no morality without God is certainly something fundamentalists like to use to attack atheists. The gospels don't have a lot to say about the origin of moral feelings but the idea (due to Original Sin) that humans are basically depraved and horrible without the grace of God is found in many Christian thinkers; the Old Testament suggests that the Israelites are all set to go off into all manner of depravity without God smiting them every few minutes, which suggests they don't have a strong sense of right and wrong. --Annanoon (talk) 10:39, 15 October 2019 (UTC)