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Old 11-01-2006, 05:28 PM   #56
Spider AL
@Spider AL
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Originally Posted by tk102:

Your arguments are interesting here and I think they highlight the limits to which morality can be considered objective.
On the contrary, my arguments showed that few people can be considered to be objective.

As an objective universal standard is quite simply the only way morality can exist at all, as detailed in posts above. If morality is not a universal standard, it doesn't qualify as morality.

Originally Posted by tk102:

Certainly the most intelluctual minds may be able to find objective truths without the need for peer review. The truths are "out there" as it were, waiting to be discovered. But this is where morality is different. It's not something that you put in a box and label. It is a fuzzy set of values assigned to an action.
I don't think you have any reasoning to back that statement up. Morality is frankly quite easy to define in clear-cut terms. Morality is the universal standard of behaviour that aims to minimise the negative impact of one (moral) organism's actions on all other beings. In any given situation there will be a course of action that presents itself which is more moral than all other available courses of action, by virtue of the fact that it causes the minimum amount of distress or injury to other creatures. The moral man seeks to take this most responsible course of action in preference to all others.

The values aren't fuzzy. Our perception of individual circumstances may be limited, our reasoning may be flawed. But- as an analogy- a mathematician who is incapable of comprehending all aspects of complex equations can only find fault in himself. He can hardly "blame the numbers" and keep a straight face.

Originally Posted by tk102:

There is no hard and fast way to accurately depict every nuance of either the impetus to act or the way the act is received. All we can describe objectively is the act itself. Morality, as Kant argued, does not lie in the outcome of the act, but in the motive of the act. Because we cannot know the actor's intent directly, we forced to subjective infer it from the act. Therefore the morality of an action whether a priori or a posteriori is relative to the interpretative abilities of those making the judgement.
Kant's arguments were undoubtedly revolutionary in his time, but they have dated poorly in many respects. Morality is in fact largely based on the anticipation of likely consequences, otherwise it ceases to be moral.

Some cases are clear-cut. Say... "If I stamp up and down on this frog, it will most likely be crushed, and expire. Therefore to stamp up and down on the frog is immoral."

Some cases are less clear-cut: "If I release this frog I found in my house into the garden, it might be tortured and eaten by next door's cat. If however I release it onto the street out front, it might be run over by a passing car. The likelihood of the frog dying by cat is slightly less than dying by car (the road is busy) therefore releasing it into the garden is more moral, as it will lessen the chance of any ill-effects to the frog that might occur directly due to my interference."

But just because some situations are more difficult to reason out than others, doesn't mean that there isn't an optimally moral course of action just waiting to be discovered. We don't create morality anew for each new situation we encounter, we merely apply the same basic principles, add a dash of intellect and hope to divine the truth. We won't always be able to. But that doesn't make the truth "relative".


Originally Posted by ET Warrior:

I'm confused.
Hmm, me too. It's certainly possible that I'm wrong about Windu being a troll, but a lot of what he does just screams "contrived" to me. Isn't it a Japanese proverb that "artlessness is the most difficult art"?

Or was that Michael Crichton.

[FW] Spider AL
Hewwo, meesa Jar-Jar Binks. Yeah. Excusing me, but me needs to go bust meesa head in with dissa claw-hammer, because yousa have stripped away meesa will to living.
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