We all make assumptions, but there are assumptions that we are forced to make if we want to interact with any part of reality. The first is that the universe exists. The second is that the universe is intelligible. The third is that models with predictive capability are more useful than models without predictive capability. These three assumptions may seem odd to think of as assumptions, but currently there isn’t a way for us to determine the validity of them. We assume them because it is practical to do so. Now the scientific method is what we use to determine specific and general characteristics about the universe, but even before we can use that, we must make three more assumptions. The first assumption of science is that there are natural causes for things that happen in the universe. The second is that evidence from the universe can be used to learn about those causes. The third is that there is consistency in the causes that operate in the universe. After making these six assumptions, you can begin to figure out the going-ons of our universe.
Morality is especially not objective. Your current morals are probably based solely on empathy and the influences of the environment you grew up in. So naturally, morality will be different from person to person. With that being said, I’m going to propose a moral code. Given that the first six assumptions I mentioned are true, I can make this assumption about morality. If something possesses the ability to suffer and doesn’t cause suffering, that is not in the best interest of the sufferer, it possesses the right to live free of suffering unless that suffering is in the best interest of the sufferer. The reason why this assumptions requires the first six assumptions to be true is that suffering itself can and is determined by science. Scientists understand how we feel pain fairly well. It’s not until we look at animals, that we share a very distant relative with, do we start becoming unsure on whether they experience suffering of any kind. For example, we don’t know if insects can suffer, but we’re convinced that mammals can. As for the part about suffering that is in the best interest of the sufferer, there are many aspects of life where we are forced to do things we do not want to do. Going to school as a child and paying taxes as an adult would be examples of this. You’re being forced to do something that may cause you to suffer, but it is still in your best interest to do it. Last but not least, you can lose the seventh assumption right if you cause something to suffer, where that something doesn’t benefit from the suffering. This allows for self defence and the defence of others.
“If something possesses the ability to suffer and doesn’t cause suffering, that is not in the best interest of the sufferer, it possesses the right to live free of suffering unless that suffering is in the best interest of the sufferer.”
This assumption is an odd addition to the other pragmatic assumptions, but in order to establish any form of a morality we need to, at least, make one more assumption on top of the other assumptions. This is my attempt at establishing an objective morality.
This morality doesn’t define what is good, but what is bad. It defines bad as suffering that is not in the best interest of the sufferer or senseless suffering. The reasoning behind this is that senseless suffering can be either physical or psychological damage.These damages cause stress to the thing experiencing it. That stress leads to even more health issues. It is scientifically detrimental, to the well being of anything, to senselessly suffer, thus a universe that doesn't contain senseless suffering is better, in terms of well being, than a universe that does.
“If something possesses the ability to suffer” is the first portion of this morality. In the scientific community, suffering is mainly observed through changes in behavior and comparing the anatomy that controls human pain to other animals. Like intelligence, we can’t quite quantify varying levels of suffering, but we can establish that certain things can suffer. This morality only honors rights to those who can suffer.
“and doesn’t cause suffering, that is not in the best interest of the sufferer” is the second portion of this morality. This portion establishes a way to lose the right essentially through cause senseless suffering to something else. This allows the sufferer to defend itself even through means of more suffering. In a case where excessive force is reached with self defense, the roles would become reversed. So you have to not be currently trying to cause senseless suffering.
“it possess the right to live free of suffering” is the third portion of this morality. This is where the right is actually applied. If the something meets the first two criteria, it possess the right to live free of senseless suffering.
“unless that suffering is in the best interest of the sufferer” is the fourth and final portion of this morality. This allows suffering to be cause as long as it is in the best interest of the one suffering. Forcing a child to go to school is an example of this. As is being forced to pay taxes as an adult. Once again, science should be used as an indication of what something’s best interests are. We can observe that people who don’t finish or even attend school lead worse lives. Not only financially, but in terms of safety, independence and overall quality.
The very foundation of this morality is an assumption. A blind assumption that is made only if the first six assumptions are true. We can’t test or verify any of them, but living your life becomes extremely difficult and impractical if they are not assumed. I argue, in terms of morality, that the same is true of the seventh assumption.