Is Morality A Standard For Human Behavior?

This is a transcript of a discussion from my Discord server.
https://discord.gg/3rhghRX

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bbblackwell
Seriously, tell me if this makes sense, because I just don’t see any way around it… This is my response to the moral relativist (many of you have heard this, but I really need to know if there’s any room for disagreement here):

Morality is a standard for behavior. If man creates it, he is the standard for it. If he is the standard for it, it cannot be the standard for him (he can simply adjust it the moment it would impose itself).

To say ”I think it’s wrong to insult people, but others may validly think otherwise”, is simply to state a preference, no different than one’s favorite beverage, type of music, etc. Calling some preferences “morality” is to cite a distinction without a difference. We don’t need two words for the same exact thing.

In addition, by this definition, morality is no longer a standard, but a changeable preference, and if it is not a standard—the key element of its definition—then it is nothing; i.e. it does not exist.

We can see that the word “morality” now means nothing… So here’s an idea: We have this circumstance whereby certain conditions support our thriving and others don’t. Punching someone in the face definitively makes their day worse, while riding your bicycle a mile away from them, or giving them food when they’re starving does not make their day worse.

Since we have this word just sitting around not being used, and since it has a very similar connotation to our old usage anyway, how about we use it to describe this circumstance whereby our actions inhibit or do not inhibit thriving?

Conclusion: Morality (by its only rational definition) exists, and is objective.

Abdul > bbblackwell
The most moral path is objective because it transcends subjective whims and preferences. Every life has a theoretical “perfect” trajectory that lets it reach its highest potential. That’s simply not gonna change on a whim by any means, because this perfect path is an objective standard. Like you said previously, morality is about alignment. How best we align ourselves to that perfect path is the objective measuring stick on how “moral” a particular action is (however, we don’t have the tools here to verify that with 100% certainly, that is only available from a higher level of existence/beyond death).

What we can verify here are the immoral actions. I think someone like Mark Passio does a great job of identifying those, but knowing which actions are wrongful behaviours tells you nothing about how you’re supposed to live your life. There also exist the most rightful behaviours (for you), but that is for each individual to figure out (that’s everybody’s spiritual path).

Subjective preference (that can be changed on a whim) are of the ego mind. Conflating that with “morality” is like conflating rights with wrongs (and unfortunately, this is where a lot of people are).

Our goal is to always align our subjective ego preferences to the preferences of our higher mind (which is always most moral by definition/by its nature). That’s another way to look at it: the most moral choices are the “preferences” of the higher mind, and these choices are most certainly conducive to our thriving (in the real sense).

It requires honest self-assessment and heartfelt discernment to make those kinds of choices. If everyone made those levels of choices all the time, we’d have heaven on earth.

bbblackwell > Abdul
As you know, I agree with this completely. I arrive at my conclusion: “Morality, by its only rational definition, exists…” because I think this is a key factor in the subjective vs. objective debate.

You and I will cite higher Will alignment, but I left this implied, rather than stated, for the simplified argument made above. Do you agree that the definition of morality necessarily implied by the assertion of its subjectivity is erroneous by its very nature? That it is not a valid conception, for the reasons noted above?

And that, since the subjective definition describes something that cannot exist, and since what’s described by the suggested objective definition very definitely exists, we are rationally obliged to define morality by this objective definition?

In my article on this subject, I noted one other possible definition, which is that morality is the will of God (I do not see this as different, but some may, depending on their conception of God). By the pedestrian conception of God, were He to exist, it could be possible that His dictates, or His will, could be a rational, valid definition of morality.

However, I went on to explain that since this is a far more dubious subject of certain knowledge, while the other is readily apparent, and since they are not mutually-exclusive (the will of God, if it can be known at all, could be reasonably presumed to be indicated by this readily apparent, natural circumstance of objective conditions for our thriving), then we are still rationally obliged to accept the offered definition as at least the most likely and most certain possible, by all measures.

Do you see any room for debate on this point?

holeymoley > bbblackwell
“Morality is a standard for behavior. If man creates it, he is the standard for it.”

Man-made morality is called ethics. It is subjective. True morality is immutable. It is objective.

Abdul > bbblackwell
“Do you agree that the definition of morality necessarily implied by the assertion of its subjectivity is erroneous by its very nature? That it is not a valid conception, for the reasons noted above?”

Absolutely. Claiming that subjective preference = morality, is basically the same thing as saying that morality doesn’t exist (which by extension is the same thing as saying that truth doesn’t really exist—which is obviously fallacious).

And I just had this discussion just the other day with Bernie Sandfrög. I hope I demonstrated to him that morality can and does have a valid usage, but he rightfully pointed out that it’s a word that has been grossly tainted and misused.

It’s like when people believe that anarchy = chaos, I mean, that’s a complete inversion of meaning right there, and I don’t think that was done by accident.

But we can’t just give in to such mind control, we gotta re-correct and re-align ourselves to the truth (which ironically is what morality is about—it’s such an important concept).

“And that, since the subjective definition describes something that cannot exist, and since what’s described by the suggested objective definition very definitely exists, we are rationally obliged to define morality by this objective definition?”

Nothing else makes better sense. If there’s a better explanation/paradigm, I’ll be at it first. I’m already presenting you with an understanding that goes beyond even what researchers who focus on moral philosophy teach (I mean, have you heard of an explanation like mine anywhere else? I haven’t either…).

I think at this point, the theory is sound, now it’s just about putting it to practice. If there exists a more refined/cleaner understanding, or an even more expanded understanding, I surely want to know it, but I don’t think the essence will be dramatically different.

The subjective definition is essentially 2 + 2 = 5 thinking. It’s just wrong, and wrongful thinking leads to a disastrous world (like ours).

Our best understanding is perhaps akin to a tautology (2 + 2 = 4 thinking). The reality of things however is more like 2 + 2 = 3.99999… (recurring), but our tautology is close enough, good enough, true enough.

“In my article on this subject, I noted one other possible definition, which is that morality is the will of God (I do not see this as different, but some may, depending on their conception of God). By the pedestrian conception of God, were He to exist, it could be possible that His dictates, or His will, could be a rational, valid definition of morality.

However, I went on to explain that since this is a far more dubious subject of certain knowledge, while the other is readily apparent, and since they are not mutually-exclusive (the will of God, if it can be known at all, could be reasonably presumed to be indicated by this readily apparent, natural circumstance of objective conditions for our thriving), then we are still rationally obliged to accept the offered definition as at least the most likely and most certain possible, by all measures.

Do you see any room for debate on this point?”


Fantastic stuff, I really should read some of your articles (I’m looking forward to that pokémon one.

And of course there’s room for debate, there’s always room for debate with me.

Well actually, it’s not a biggy. I think this approach works better with religious folks, but if I may refine this idea some more…

This does completely depend on the level of conception of “God” one has. This once again is one of those words that has been tainted, misused and manipulated beyond belief (quite literally).

The pedestrian conception of God (as you put it), is akin to the higher mind/will concept. In fact, I would treat it to be synonymous (for all practical purposes), so much so, when Christians or Muslims (or whoever else) put their hands up to pray to “God”, it is (technically) their own higher minds that they are calling upon. The higher mind’s primary job after all is to guide the physical mind, and there is a constant communication between the two throughout the lifetime (and death occurs once this communication ceases).

Tbh, this distinction isn’t even quite there, because in reality it all exists as one “wholistic system”. The higher/physical mind is simply an expression of the “soul”; we make this distinction/dissection simply because it’s easier for our own physical minds to understand and make use of it (metaphysically, it’s all just “One” thing).

God is One and All. The All (that exists) is the summation of all things (obviously). By that definition, every will is the will of God. There cannot be a will that is “separate” from God’s will, because all wills are its will, because it is everything… (and simultaneously transcendent—The One).

Once you are at this level of conception, “God’s will” is no longer that useful of a concept, because it is literally infinitely ubiquitous (i.e. it doesn’t really mean anything “special” anymore, and someone uttering it is likely just attempting bolster the will of their own ego—or someone else’s).

It only potentially means something if someone is carrying a more “pedestrian conception of God”, but that’s simply not an accurate/wholistic conception to begin with, so that needs to be addressed first.

However, expecting the average joe to know something about the metaphysical nature of reality is a long shot, and that limits what could be understood severely. I think this notion of “thriving” (in all facets) is a better universal approach; and more specifically, the “thriving of all” (as opposed to the thriving of one at the expense of another, or the thriving of the few at the expense of the many).

bbblackwell > holeymoley
That is a distinction many are incapable of making, unfortunately. Ethics is not a subject of valid physical defense, which invalidates 99% of man’s legislation.

holeymoley > bbblackwell
Because 99% of (wo)men have never been taught morality.

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