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The concepts of "good" and "evil" form the basis of our moral viewpoints, and science suggests we develop these viewpoints on an individual level with influences from our cultural upbringing. That is, it is suggested that all people (including the religious) take their moral viewpoints not from a book or a higher power but from an amalgamation of cultural ...


20

Atheist conceptions of the idea of God often rest on a straw man fallacy that portrays a theistic view of God as Russell's teapot or as the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Both of these conceptions view God as an object which is easy to argue against. These analogies of God as an object floating about in a gravitational field are weak, hence logical fallacies. ...


17

Whether or not God exists is an objective question with an objective answer, however the argument beginning Is it true that "X" exists in reality only when we are aware of having experienced it, or are aware of our potential of experiencing it is starting with a baseless assumption. It's kind of like assuming the strongest form of the anthropic principle....


16

It's useful here to remember the distinction (most clearly interrogated by Nietzsche) between the opposition "Good/Evil" and the opposition "Good/Bad". "Evil" is a theological term; it is ultimately grounded in some sort of dogma. "Bad", on the other hand, is a pragmatic term. That which is "bad" is merely "not useful". Thus, using the latter opposition,...


11

Is it true that "X" exists in reality only when we are aware of having experienced it, or are aware of our potential of experiencing it through our five sense organs, namely - eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin? I do not accept that proposition, or at least I do not accept that the definition of "reality" it implies is equivalent to common-use definitions ...


8

Welcome to this SE, Daniel. I think the problem with the argument is what you are trying to prove: how can I disprove that there exists an inherent privilege (an entitlement) to believe whatever you want? Even Patrick Stokes agrees that people are entitled to their opinions. He writes: If “Everyone’s entitled to their opinion” just means no-one has ...


7

So even if a person felt (subjective) what he was doing was right, that wouldn't, by societal standards(objective), be considered right. That's not what those terms — subjective and objective — mean. Subjective does not necessarily mean related to feeling; it simply means that it varies from person to person (subiectum is Latin for the agent in a sentence). ...


6

The distinction between formal and objective reality in Descartes is elucidated on Brown's web page. Formal reality refers to the reality of an object by virtue of the kind of thing it is (infinite, finite, modes/thoughts). Descartes view of formal reality is encapsulated in this online commentary: "When Descartes speaks of things as having more or less ...


5

This is the Sam Harris route to ignoring the difficulties with defining an objective morality (I assign it to him as he was, as far as I can tell, the most vocal and prominent early advocate of this position). It's really easy to define an objective morality, actually. It's just really difficult to justify it. Here's an objective morality: that which ...


5

I add to Ingos answer that you can at least kick some ethics out. Sidgwick in his third book, chapter 11.2, proposes a test for moral intuitions. Every intuition that passes the test is true. There are 4 steps: The terms of the proposition must be clear and precise. The rival originators of modern methodology, Descartes and Bacon, both stress this, ...


5

An obvious non-divine standard of good/evil is that found in Buddhist thought and philosophy: A state is evil because it leads to suffering; a state is good because it leads to happiness. In Buddhism, morals are both absolute and utilitarian; evil states can never lead to happiness, so they are intrinsically evil - but only for that reason, not based on ...


5

In one sense, there is no objective standard because "good" and "evil" are words, which are used by accord (but not objectively) to denote various states of affairs. Thus, any "objective" account of good and evil will first have to find some objective descriptor of states of affairs, and then argue that this comports sufficiently well to our conventional ...


5

Objectivity and neutrality aren't necessarily the same. Objectivity refers to taking a view or position on the available evidence. Neutrality refers to taking a view or position that is even handed. They are effectively synonymous if and only if the subject under question has valid positions both for and against. As an extreme example, take the Ickian ...


5

Here is one concept of objectivity, taken from SEP. Let's take objective properties to be qualities of an object that exist independently of a perception of that object; for example, the primality of the number 7, or the atomic mass of hydrogen. The intuition being that these facts would remain even if there was no one around to perceive them. In The ...


5

In this regard, if no one has experienced "God", it means "God" doesn't and cannot exist Not so long ago, no one has experienced diving the Mariana Trench; then someone did do so. Did the Trench not exist before? Imagine there were no humans (nothing intelligent on earth). Would that mean that the planet could not exists? 100 years ago nobody could even ...


5

A lack of evidence for something is not evidence for a lack of something. By the very nature of the concept, it is not possible to "prove" (or really empirically determine, since true proof struggles to exist outside mathematics) the non-existence of a God, because God is inherently a transcendent being who exists above the rest of reality, and as such God's ...


4

Consider the fact that humankind has, for the most part, entered secular modernity -- and that humanistic benevolent democracies are the norm in most wealthy countries; this would seem prima facie evidence there are indeed effective "non-divine" standards of good and evil. The problem is of course determining what exactly "good and evil" mean in the context ...


4

Objectivity can be considered as some sort of "pure information", in the sense that different people would have the same interpretation of it and would apply it in the same way. Information is rather different than communication, communication cannot be reduced to it. For a more extense debate on this subject, you may find this interesting: https://...


4

You state: it seems like Bob's attitudinal state is just another feature of the outside world. I am not sure this is true, but it is going to hinge sharply on what we mean by world. There's a really helpful feature of the Japanese language that actually helps with understanding whether this is subjective or objective, namely, that there's a different ...


4

For Kant mathematical objects are not pure objects of the understanding, although this view was later be adopted by Marburg neo-Kantians, who rejected his separate faculty of sensibility after non-Euclidean geometries were discovered. They are objects attached to pure intuitions synthesized by productive imagination, which is the constructive aspect of ...


4

You appear to be referring to self-selection bias. This is a well-known phenomenon in statistics, whereby self-selection into a category is correlated with other characteristics, and hence, inclusion in that category is not statistically independent of those other characteristics. This means that every field of expertise would be expected to attract a ...


4

I have more senses than sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. In a dark room, I can tell you whether my right elbow is straight or not, to give one example, without seeing it or touching it. Nor is it necessary that every observer be able to observe something. I've known some blind people, for example. If I put a pencil partly in a glass of water, ...


4

is it true that "X" exists in reality only when we are aware of having experienced it, Your definition does not state that you must be aware of having experienced it. Its plausible that there are many things you have experienced that you are unaware of. Some of those things could be objective. Airplanes objectively have an effect on ants. It's not ...


3

No, for the simple reason that "better" is itself a moral judgement. You could, however, show that one ethics is free of contradictions, but not the other. Or you could show that one ethics rests on arbitrary assumptions that are unlikely to be shared amongst men, while the other rests on assumptions that are widely accepted. The rapist, for example, could ...


3

Yes, assuming you have both agreed on a basis for comparison and a system of reasoning. That is, if you both (for example) agree that a better set of morals is one that ensures the greatest happiness for the greatness number of people, and you both agree that Western logic would be used to judge the arguments on either side, then yes, you could. It would ...


3

I think it normally doesn't. Nature has its way of associating feelings of pleasure to "good" things and unpleasant feelings to "bad" things. Just think about it: whenever we are wounded (physically, emotionally, or psychologically), we instantly recognize a sensation of pain. On the other hand, when extinguishing our thirst or hunger, when we are cool on a ...


3

Forgetting the particular example, but just dealing with pain/pleasure, determining the internal state of another being that is incommunicative is difficult. But you can at a simple first pass use other data than self-reporting, say, crying or wasting away (which I presume that you see in yourself as markers of pain/pleasure). How do we even know that other ...


3

Meta-ethics is not my cup of tea, but I remember reading those three guys' work in a seminar decades ago. This is my memory (impression) version of their work. There should be a lot of resources in SEP. The above three authors are important due to their places in meta-ethics. Mackie argued that moral facts do not exist in the world, and thus impossible is ...


3

To give a philosophy of science perspective, in ch. 6 of Science, Policy, and the Value-Free Ideal Douglas discusses eight different senses or kinds of objectivity. One of these (123-4) is value-neutrality, which Douglas characterizes as "taking a position that is balanced or neutral with respect to a spectrum of values." She argues that value-...


3

This is a very tricky issue. As you say, the words are often used sloppily or in differing ways. You're right to say that all objective facts are subjective, and one strategy to allow for this is to use the word 'inter-subjective'. People sometimes use 'objective fact' to mean a fact that is inter-subjective, verified by a shared subjective experience. It is ...


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