Is Morality Objective Or Subjective?

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

The forward ( > ) symbol indicates “responded to”.
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bbblackwell > CaoMishma
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I hear you saying that since you don’t think it’s feasible for people to accept personal responsibility en masse, and since they will always yield to some authority, it may as well be an authority that you deem more beneficial and less dangerous.

This is very different than saying that governments have a moral right to create and enforce legislation (presumably due to some political process which expresses the general will of the people).

CaoMishma > bbblackwell
I suppose I’m saying that, think it can be less dangerous, it’s danger depending on how submissive people are to their authority. I’m also saying If people learn it’s just humans just like them, then it wouldn’t be nearly as destructive.

bbblackwell > CaoMishma
Yes, I very much agree. The last question I have about your position is what do you think about that last point—Is there anything that people can do to create a valid moral authority that obliges the public to obey?

In other words, is it legit? Can some people have the moral right to command while others have the moral duty to obey, regardless of whether they agree with the command or not?

Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass > bbblackwell
If you can’t get enough people motivated to get rid of the most hated part of govt (by most) – the income tax- I don’t know how you can get them to get rid of “authority” in one big fell swoop.

CaoMishma > bbblackwell
I don’t know about morally but that is brought into question as to why one should obey. Ideally the authority would be carrying out the will of the people and defending their rights, this authority should be made to obey much of the same rules as well. Though due to fear people usually don’t carry out their duty against immoral authorities. So perhaps if most of the “laws” are based on what is moral and applies universally. Then, who breaks the law and does what is immoral will face consequences from the authority.

Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass
I think the term “obliges” is misused in the context of the discussion.

CaoMishma > Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass
on that point, I think the authority should be obligated to do what is right as well.

Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass > CaoMishma
As an attorney and political scientist, no one in the US is obliged to do anything.

CaoMishma > Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass
what about taxation?

Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass > CaoMishma
Many people do not pay taxes and no one is obliged to pay them. I don’t think the force of law constitutes being obliged, I think that’s just being forced. Many of my peers would disagree. They view law as creating something morally to obey. I don’t.

CaoMishma > Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass
“I don’t think the force of law constitutes being obliged”

Isn’t that what obliged means?

Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass > CaoMishma
Not to this attorney and political scientist/philosopher.

CaoMishma > Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass
What does it mean?

Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass > CaoMishma
I don’t think morality enters into being obliged by law or govt. It could and should, but most often it doesn’t. I don’t think you can be obliged to obey immoral force. For me, obliged means something that is imposed on an individual having no choice in the matter – being forced without regard to any moral issue. My peers would say you have a moral obligation to obey the law.

I would use the term duty, instead, as the sense of morality that guides the individual to perform a particular task or activity when living together with other humans. Choice is preserved.

CaoMishma > Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass
I agree with that, no law can really change what is moral. especially if you want morals to mean anything they are consistent and not based on one’s opinions.

bbblackwell > Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass & CaoMishma
I have no expectation of anyone doing anything, be it embracing full-on freedom, or demanding tyrannical order. I just know that the abolition of authority is a necessary component of aligning with our Will to thrive, and that each individual must make this choice for themselves.

And so I make the choice to embrace that, and to advocate it at every opportunity. When people say, ”But people won’t take responsibility and act morally, and they’ll always seek authorities to handle things” I want to ensure that no one can point to me to validate that argument. That’s what’s within my power to do.

Our role is not to gamble on winners, or to act and advocate based on speculations of others’ behavior. We are charged with having the care to seek Truth in earnest, and the courage to embrace it and try to exemplify it, whatever others may think or do.

If one does not believe that government has the moral right to cast down dictates that others are morally obliged to obey, then they have a responsibility to oppose such a system being imposed on others, regardless of whether they would prefer it to exist or not.

Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass > bbblackwell
And HOW is that “responsibility to oppose such a system” put into action which will produce the desired result – the ceasing to exist of said system? I’ve outlined a plan more than once but, have not been presented any other way.

bbblackwell > Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass
There’s nothing specific we need to do, only things we need to stop doing. So what action is there to take but to stop doing them? Better ideas and actions will fill the vacuum if the relevant parties are of authentic awareness.

The primary behavior that needs to stop is order following by police and military. They must cease to enforce legislation that contradicts Natural Law morality.

There is no action anyone can take to force this outcome, other than making the relevant knowledge available.

Evil is rooted in self-loathing, so its only victory is self-destruction. As you’ve suggested, we may need to try this again with a new species, but the door is not yet fully closed on humanity.

Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass > bbblackwell
“There’s nothing specific we need to do, only things we need to stop doing…There is no action anyone can take…”

That should be easy to accomplish…

“if the relevant parties are of authentic awareness.”

I think this may sum up your position – “If men were angels, no government would be necessary”. James Madison

ⒶMP3083
Since men are not angels, none are fit to rule. – Mark Passio

Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass > ⒶMP3083
And that goes to the second half of the quote – “If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary’. The founders, like Maison, believed that a government should be seen as the agent of the people, not their ruler. They had enough of rulers. They had just ousted one by blood and Life. Thus, for the first time ever – in America, in 1787 – the people themselves prepared their own written Constitution – one of laws and people, not of rulers. It not only protected them from the harmful acts of other citizens; more importantly, it protected them from their own government. The framers of the Constitution recognized that governments are made up of imperfect people who tend to abuse power. They believed, or at least hoped, that the people would be jealous of their power over govt and guard it with their Lives.

Unfortunately, as people with strong individual liberty ideals died off, they became replaced with people who wanted govt to rule over most aspects of their Life. And free people are free to give away their freedom and they did.

BastardChris > ⒶMP3083
Angels would not rule men nor desire to.

bbblackwell > Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass
As if government is a check against evil. The only thing it can do is magnify it. All government does is increase the power of one party over another; it doesn’t alter any party’s moral quality. It can’t clean anything, it can only make what’s dirty bigger.

And the means by which it increases power is by leveraging the breaking Natural Law. Just like a mugger can bet better leverage robbing you than by putting in the hours of work it took to earn that money. Government doesn’t derive its power by winning over hearts and minds to its bright ideas, it shortcuts all that by convincing them of one idea: letting them have a bigger stick.

I find it very difficult to believe that the occultists who birthed this nation did not understand all of this. In fact, I find it extremely unlikely that they were ever truly at odds with Europe at all, and if they were, it seems more likely that they were unwitting puppets of a larger game. If so, they were no doubt trying to establish their own rule, and this ambition was utilized to effect the desired ends of their more cunning European counterparts.

I don’t believe anything went wrong here. I think that we’re exactly where we’re supposed to be, according to a plan set forth before the first westward explorer set sail. People who shape nations are well aware of what government really is and how to use it. That’s 101 stuff for them, but for the dithering masses it’s like advanced alien calculus that they can’t wrap their head around to save their lives—literally.

”…And that’s why they’re kicking our ass, folks!” —Mark Passio

ⒶMP3083 > bbblackwell
“It can’t clean anything, it can only make what’s dirty bigger.”

That’s why I have more respect for janitors than government. What’s the difference? The differene is one cleans up, while the other makes a mess of the country. LOL

Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass > bbblackwell
Well, you’re certainly entitled to your beliefs. Btw, govt doesn’t do anything – people do . Like guns don’t kill people – people do.

ⒶMP3083 > Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass
“govt doesn’t do anything – people do”

We find ourselves often reminding statists of this very thing.

Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass > ⒶMP3083
And I have found myself reminding them that guns don’t kill people – people do.

Anarcraft > bbblackwell
If you try to convince a bad man to be good, you are insane. If I continue to try to convince good men to stop trying to convince bad men to be good, I am insane.

bbblackwell > Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass
Government is a lie used as a psychological tool to magnify evil. That is the objective definition of the word—no belief required.

Yes, people must use this tool for it to have effect in the world.

Yes, my historical ponderings are all subjective opinions/beliefs, though in this realm where no objective knowledge is possible, some version of this opinion is more probable than any other. Power-mongers seeking to control the world don’t take chances, they fix the game. A view of history that supposes these people behave like you and me is exceedingly naive.

For example: Bill Clinton, a husband and father, secretly screwed around with the secretary and his wife was mad, but made the tough decision to stand by her husband in this difficult time.

This pedestrian view, informed by TV dramas and the everyman’s common experience, has no bearing on the lives of these people. Far more likely than these people being a “married couple”, they are close associates in a satanic organized crime ring, and together helped to stage the whole Lewinski shit-show. Each of them is probably more interested in children of the same sex than any adult intern, or each other.

This is my belief, or opinion, but it’s the most reasonable conclusion, all things considered. Likewise with the birth of this nation and our current plight. The whole story where the common man gave the middle finger to the boss and won is something out of pro wrestling, not world history.

bbblackwell > Anarcraft
Are you telling me Juan is bad? And that I shouldn’t talk to him?

Anarcraft > bbblackwell
ABSOLUTELY! He is a narcissist. All narcissists are evil. Yes, talking to him is a waste of time and he only feeds off your energy. How many years has it been now????????????????????????

bbblackwell > Anarcraft
Hahaha Well, I’m not trying to convince him. I see our conversations being more about sharing ideas.

I don’t see Juan as standing in humanity’s way toward freedom. I believe he has a misconception, but I had worse myself (I used to support seemingly pro-freedom independent candidates like Jesse Ventura). We are all expressing certain aspects of the satanic conditioning, but this doesn’t make us irredeemable devils.

Men like Juan have no interest in dominating others, and will prove an asset in the new world with their tendency toward self-responsibility and cooperation.

Any idiosyncrasies in his personality have ceased to trouble me, as I believe he’s one of the good guys where it counts.

I would note here that my roster of mentors does not just include men like Mark Passio, but men like Fred Rogers as well.

Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass > bbblackwell
I cannot disagree that most governing bodies tend to become evil, either at the beginning or over time, ie: power corrupts. But it is not an absolute. I offer my local govt as an example. It is purely administrative in nature as it is given no power to rule over us because it IS us. We are self-governed as individuals and as a community. I would not be surprised if there are other such local govts in small communities. Thank you for your kind thoughts and words.

Anarcraft > bbblackwell
Well, continue to feed them your energy, no loss of mine. Oh, and I asked “How many years has it been?” but maybe you lost count like I did! Zero progress has been made I’ve made my case and I know when to stop, so…. The end.

bbblackwell
I absolutely understand where Anarcraft is coming from, and he’s right about dumping energy into black holes and getting nowehere. I’ve only been able to restrain myself rather recently, and I am much better for it.

The conversations I’m having here, I am enjoying, or I would desist quickly. This is no more an “energy dump” than time spent with a hobby or any evening with friends.

Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass > bbblackwell
“The conversations I’m having here, I am enjoying, or I would desist quickly. This is no more an “energy dump” than time spent with a hobby or any evening with friends.”

Ditto. Echo chambers are soooo boring.

Abdul > Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass
If I may ask something of you Juan, what are your thoughts on the subject of morality? I would be interested to hear your perspective on it.

Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass > Abdul
Well, my thoughts are formed from my perspective which is influenced by my personal observations and experiences. Given that, I view morality as a subjective thing. If it was inherent or universal in humans there would be no diversity of thought on morality. However, there is. I point to abortion as an example in the US. There are some shared thoughts of morality among humans, but I see no absolutes.

bbblackwell > Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass
There’s much diversity of thought on God, the origins of man and the cosmos, and nothing could be more intrinsic or apply more universally than that, but somebody has to be objectively correct, don’t they?

Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass > bbblackwell
“somebody has to be objectively correct, don’t they?”

Aye, there’s the rub. There’s always somebody who will gladly take that “honor” and lord it over those who willingly and even reluctantly accept it. The ideas of the divine right of kings and/or the idolization of man-gods come from such beliefs.

bbblackwell > Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass
Well yes, and this mostly only becomes a problem when they’re wrong.

If one says there is a God, and one says there is not, must not one of them be correct?

Does the fact that there’s a vast divergence of thought on the topic prove (or even suggest) that it’s a subjective matter with no definitive answer?

Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass > bbblackwell
“If one says there is a God, and one says there is not, must not one of them be correct?”

The problem is – neither can be proven to be correct. It is a subjective position. Likewise, morality. “Morality” can be and has been used as a tool of control by claiming some people’s morality is “wrong” which endangers those who are “right”. They must be dealt with.

bbblackwell > Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass
No, one can be proven correct once we take the time to actually define morality by the only rational standard that exists. It is a science, just like any other.

Nearly every person, when pressed cannot define what “right” and “wrong” mean, so they say it’s subjective; they equate it with preference.

We can say this about anything. It’s a cop-out. Why assert a non-definition when an apt definition is universally available?

ⒶMP3083 > Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass
“The problem is – neither can be proven to be correct. It is a subjective position.”

Is this a subjective position?

Abdul > Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass
So would you say that morality is absolutely subjective? Or does it have some objective qualities?

For example, you seems to like the idea of having diversity of thought (which I completely 100% agree with). What is it about “diversity of thought” that makes it preferable or a “good thing” in your eyes?

And if someone disagrees with this (lets say our governments), and as a result they enforce laws/regulations that limit diversity of thought, should nothing be done about it?

Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass > Abdul
Absolutes are rare so, I tend to stay away from them. Death is an exception. As I said above, there are some shared thoughts of morality among humans but, I see no absolutes. Diversity of thought enables the sharing of ideas from diverse peoples – that’s a good thing, imo. It opens up dialogue. It can spark imagination.

Fortunately for the US, the govt is restricted from limiting diversity of thought. However, that concept is being challenged after the political coup. I would consider such action as “immoral/wrong”, but others will think it is a good “right moral” idea. What are you willing to sacrifice should diversity of thought be outlawed? It has been in other countries. What have those people done? What can be done? For the most part, I and my family will not be affected because losing the ability to be on the internet, which is strictly an entertainment thing, will be replaced with activities that existed before the internet. We have no need to share our thoughts to outsiders.

What should be done is people should reject any govt laws/regulations that limit diversity of thought. Will they? If they do, will they be rounded up and put in re-education camps? Would that wake people up to action? I think not and have thought so for 50 years. So far I have been right.

Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass > bbblackwell
I don’t think anyone can prove God does or doesn’t exist. Therefore, imo, there is no way to rationally prove either position is correct. And due to diversity of thought, arguments exists supporting the subjectivity as well as the objectivity of morality. The subjectivity argument is more persuasive for me. And that is not a cop-out, your disparaging remark notwithstanding.

I am not convinced that “right” and “wrong” are not simply social constructs. There are those who believe they are and those who believe they are universal. I find more empirical evidence (observation) for the social construct position.

bbblackwell > Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass
I gotta say, not only do I not see any evidence for the position of subjective morality, I don’t see how it’s a position at all. To my mind, saying morality is subjective doesn’t even mean anything.

What’s it mean for behavior to be “wrong” by the subjective model? That you don’t like or prefer it? You may not like or prefer lacrosse, but does that make it an immoral activity?

How else can we define morality than as a standard for human behavior? But if the human is the standard for the very standard that he’s supposed to follow, then he’s just the standard for himself. If he wants to do something, just move it to the thumbs-up column. There effectually is no standard at all!

There appear to be only two rational positions: Either morality is objective, or it does not exist at all. I can see no way around this conclusion and have yet to hear any argument that would suggest one.

Abdul > Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass
“I would consider such action as “immoral/wrong”, but others will think it is a good “right moral” idea.”

Let’s say the example is now about “murder”. You consider such an action to be immoral/wrong, but someone else considers it to be moral/good. Can the murder of an innocent individual ever really be moral?

Can it ever be a rightful action? Or will it always be a wrongful action no matter what anyone thinks of it?

Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass > bbblackwell
And I gotta say, not only do I not see any evidence for the position of objective morality, I don’t see how it’s a position at all. UNLESS, the proponents of objective morality are actually trying to attain objective backing for what is merely their own subjective opinion of what is moral. This is the trick the religious have long played, inventing a god in their own image who can back them up by turning “I want …” into “God wants …”. What standard for human behavior is inherent and universal in ALL humans? And how can you prove it exists without observing and interacting with every human on Earth? An impossible task. So, said standard must be a result of your subjective position.

Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass > Abdul
OK. What is murder? Let’s start with that.

BastardChris
I’m not in the habit of telling others who to associate nor disassociate with. But as perceptive as you are, I’m caught off guard by your belief that Juan is not attempting to dominate others. Why would he make videos to smear Socrates when he’s (Socrates) is defending himself from the criminal court racket (that Juan was formerly apart of). My judgement falls on the other side.. Juan is absolutely a detriment working against liberty, peace, freedom and Truth. 50 years and he still denies that all taxes are theft. He may/will relent that “income tax” is theft/slavery but his double-standards and contradictions are not helpful in the pursuit of freedom and Truth—that’s not even to mention his professional dishonesty. Considering my respect for you, I’d usually reserve the possibility that I’m wrong. But I’m mostly certain it is you with the mis-judgement here. This is ALL the evidence necessary to draw my conclusion: [screenshot of Juan’s YouTube videos]

Albeit, if you don’t understand the evidence. Then you’d have to recognize the people that he’s calling “Sovereign Citizens” are merely defending themselves from the mafia (Juan’s former gang) Socraticaly—by asking pertinent questions. Each of these individuals that he’s smearing have never asserted that they are “Sovereign Citizens”. In fact, they deny and reject the notion of both “sovereignty” and “citizenship”. Marc Stevens (Juan’s primary target with these videos) has proven that “governments” and “citizens” do not exist. And dishonest Juan here, wants to put words in Socrates’ mouth like the dishonest scum bag that he is. I guess you’re only human if you fall for that bullshit.

Socrates: Would it be fair if the alleged prosecutor doesn’t have to prove his claims against the alleged defendent?

Juan: You’re a “Sovereign Citizen”!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnQNH_1klnc
There’s a 40 minute video with full context.. but if you can’t see it in 4 minutes… you don’t have the logical and ethical eyes to see it in 40 minutes.

If 4 minutes doesn’t cut it for less keen eyes, don’t bother even attempting to rebuke the Truth that Juan is a scum bag without listening to the 40 minute video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlLRD7pXCHM

And also, someone that is not attempting to dominate others would not wear “Legal Badass” in their screen-name as if to position themselves above others.

Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass > BastardChris
This is a prime example of someone who disdains diversity of thought because it differs from his beliefs. He cares not that my diverse thoughts are based on correct info vs Stevens’ incorrect info. Because I expose this incorrect info, Bastard is shaken and must lash out. Bastard is sure I am ” absolutely a detriment working against liberty, peace, freedom and Truth”. Yet, he rejects my Truth about law, court decisions and legal procedure for misinformation about them. Does misinformation enhance his liberty, peace, freedom and Truth?

While wallowing in his hatred for me, he makes wild accusations about my career, beliefs and the terms I use. For instance, I have never been a member of the criminal court racket. My career was in civil litigation fighting for people injured, crippled by the actions of big corporations, doctors, hospitals and Big Pharma. My career also included suing the govt for denial and violations of individual liberty and overreach. I’m a Legal Badass because I succeeded for my clients.

“Sovereign Citizen” – I describe that label in one of my videos. It is described just under the viewing screen on most all my videos. Stevens fits that description. As far as The Socratic Method, it appears people think that is just asking questions – any question. That’s incorrect. The Socratic Method is a tool for exploring, probing and challenging people’s beliefs and philosophies in the form of questions. It does NOT elicit the recitation facts. To the contrary, that’s all questions in court do – ask for relevant facts about a specific event. What and why you believe something is not relevant and would be object to on that grounds. Because I show this distinction, I am accused of disparaging Socrates and his Method. Apparently by someone who doesn’t understand the Method.

I’m used to these emotional outbursts by Stevens’ admirers. This is just another one. I hope it was cathartic for him.

bbblackwell > BastardChris
It’s difficult to distill the full breadth of my ideas concerning my association with Juan. He came here very soon after the server began, and I’m very familiar with what he’s put forth in text and speech during that time.

Some people’s thought is very cut-and-dry and we can make fairly definitive psychological evaluations based upon their comments alone. I don’t think Juan is one of those people. I think he’s more nuanced than many give him credit for, and I think many of his more troublesome characteristics are merely superficial personality traits that do not indicate much of relevance about his core position.

When I say I don’t believe he’s standing in the way of freedom, it should be taken in a relative context. As Abdul pointed out on veganism, we can barely survive in this society without undermining freedom & morality in many ways. If society were to move toward enlightened freedom, I don’t believe Juan would be challenging that progress. In fact, he could probably contribute much of practical value. He’s more in the camp of those who deem anarchism an unlikely goal than those who want domination to remain, with the hope that they can leverage its power.

I used to have him blocked so I could choose when to see his comments (they frustrated me often). I have since reconsidered, after getting to know him better. I still recognize those frustrating attributes, but I perceive them differently now. My opinion is that he’s a freedom advocate at heart, though unwilling to recognize what’s blocking him from seeing the position in the way we do.

We each have our line in the sand, but it behooves us to be on-guard against drawing that line so tightly that we alienate potential allies. I’m working very hard to be more understanding, to acknowledge intent and core values in people, to recognize that we’re all missing various pieces of the puzzle, and to highlight what people have right at least as much as what they have wrong.

bbblackwell > Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass
Do we need to observe every giraffe on Earth to assert that giraffes eat leaves? For nearly all intents and purposes the statement is valid. We needn’t overthink this. Science is the business of “true enough”.

Things have an inherent nature, humans included. There are conditions which support that nature, and conditions that inhibit it. Behavior that inhibits it is immoral, behavior that does not is moral.

Is that a rational basis for objective morality? What definition has stronger philosophical and scientific support?

We still have no valid refutation of my proof that “subjective morality” is an absurd, oxymoronic term. No one I’ve told it to has ever even ventured an attempt. To me, that says something.

What objection do you have to anything I’ve said here? How can it be otherwise? I see no way around it.

Abdul > Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass
“OK. What is murder? Let’s start with that.”

I would say murder is an unjust killing of an innocent being (or sentience).

Let’s use a clear example to demonstrate: there are two children playing around in a park. Let’s say they’re both about 7 years old and are having fun on the seesaw. These children are doing nothing wrong whatsoever, they’re just having a good time among themselves.

Suddenly from nowhere a stranger gets out his gun and shoots one of them in the head (instant death), for no reason at all… Is this not a grossly immoral action? Can this ever be a “moral/good” action even if someone claims such a thing?

Let’s say this murderer is now about to shoot the other innocent child, but you are there and you have a chance to stop him. Should you stop him, or not, and why?

Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass > bbblackwell
So, do giraffes have morals? It’s like you’re using the objective fact that giraffes eat leaves to support your subjective opinion of what is moral. We’re talking about human morals, right? The standard for human behavior, right? Humans with diversity of body, mind, action and experience, right? Humans don’t just operate on instinct, right? Weird comparison. I’ve yet to see you present any proof of said inherent standard that is universal to all humans. I say it is impossible to extrapolate such a standard to ALL humans. I could even say belief in said standard is absurd, but I won’t. Without proof of said standard of behavior existence, how could it be inhibited resulting in immorality? Btw, who determines there is such a standard and what empirical evidence was used to determine its scope?

You come up with a giraffe eating leaves example as support? Now, that’s absurd and in no way demonstrates subjective morality is absurd. There are two schools of thought on subjective and objective morality. Each have there arguments and believers. The believers think the other is wrong, your claim of absurdity notwithstanding. They can’t see any way around their position. We represent that divergence in belief. Although I am still open to some proof. My “proof” is the diversity of thought about morality across the planet.

Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass > Abdul
In your scenario that is murder and immoral, imo. Providing there were no mitigating circumstances beyond his control. It could never be a “good” action. “Moral” is a different thing. For me, that would go to the state of mind of the murderer. I would stop him under what is called, “in the defense of others”.

Abdul > Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass
“It could never be a “good” action. “Moral” is a different thing.”

Hmm, mind explaining how morals can be a different thing when you also say this action can never be “good”?

Perhaps the so called “morals” in the mind of the murderer are twisted (enough to make him commit an evil action), but regardless of what he or anyone else thinks, this action that he committed will always be wrong, no?

I also agree with you that this action can never be considered good, and if anyone claims otherwise, I say that they’re in the wrong (objectively so).

It’s perhaps similar to if someone claimed that 2 + 2 = 5, they would simply be objectively wrong for claiming that (there simply is no room for subjectivity in cases like these). Just to be clear, I’m not suggesting that morality is like math, but there are definitely some objective qualities that cannot be ignored e.g. gravity will always bring you down. If we jump off a cliff not expecting gravity to have any effect on us… Well, we would be dead wrong.

Do you agree with this? Or perhaps you have another insight that you could share?

Btw, I think it may be worthy to note here that morality can be relative, but not necessarily subjective, otherwise (like Brian suggests), saying morality is subjective is essentially the same thing as saying that morality doesn’t exist at all. In which case, someone claiming that this murderer’s action was wholly moral and good would be just as equally valid as you and me claiming that it’s not.

Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass > Abdul
The unjust killing of another human can never be a good thing. Whether it was “wrong” morally goes to the operation of the mind of the killer, imo. Perhaps he was totally insane, not in control of his mind or actions, not realizing he was killing an innocent. In other words, he was incapable of knowing “right” from “wrong”.

Math is a social construct. So, is morality imo at this time. The action of gravity, however, is not a social construct. These discussions have prompted me to research subjective morality. My cursory review finds I’m in line with Metaethical Moral Relativism (MMR) and Descriptive Moral Relativism (DMR) . Whereas according to subjective moral relativism, what’s right for you may not be right for me (and vice versa) – no one has any right to impose morality on anyone else.

I have not finished my research. I have started here: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-relativism/

bbblackwell > Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass
”…so far I have not seen evidence that there’s in fact a standard for human behavior beyond the objective facts required for sustaining life.”

Now this I can accept, IF I am interpreting this correctly (I’m reading it literally). This is one of the two logical conclusions that I claimed represent the whole of our rational options:

1. That morality does not exist.

2. That morality is objective.

This means that “subjective morality” is not truly a standard for man’s behavior (whatever else it may be) and that no alternative is likely to exist. It’s a position of amorality, which in no way means that one does not have personal values (which may be altogether loving and wonderful, even more so than those held by many claiming objective morality).

If we’re OK on these points, we have successfully reached consensus. As a separate matter, there is the argument in favor of objective morality, which I have mentioned partially, but would rather not delve into at this moment.

bbblackwell > BastardChris
It’s difficult to distill the full breadth of my ideas concerning my association with Juan. He came here very soon after the server began, and I’m very familiar with what he’s put forth in text and speech during that time.

Some people’s thought is very cut-and-dry and we can make fairly definitive psychological evaluations based upon their comments alone. I don’t think Juan is one of those people. I think he’s more nuanced than many give him credit for, and I think many of his more troublesome characteristics are merely superficial personality traits that do not indicate much of relevance about his core position.

When I say I don’t believe he’s standing in the way of freedom, it should be taken in a relative context. As Abdul pointed out on veganism, we can barely survive in this society without undermining freedom & morality in many ways. If society were to move toward enlightened freedom, I don’t believe Juan would be challenging that progress. In fact, he could probably contribute much of practical value. He’s more in the camp of those who deem anarchism an unlikely goal than those who want domination to remain, with the hope that they can leverage its power.

I used to have him blocked so I could choose when to see his comments (they frustrated me often). I have since reconsidered, after getting to know him better. I still recognize those frustrating attributes, but I perceive them differently now. My opinion is that he’s a freedom advocate at heart, though unwilling to recognize what’s blocking him from seeing the position in the way we do.

We each have our line in the sand, but it behooves us to be on-guard against drawing that line so tightly that we alienate potential allies. I’m working very hard to be more understanding, to acknowledge intent and core values in people, to recognize that we’re all missing various pieces of the puzzle, and to highlight what people have right at least as much as what they have wrong.

BastardChris > bbblackwell
After you beat your head on a wall long enough, eventually it will become numb. Yet, I have PROVEN malicious intent from Juan and he’s proven to attempt to smear people who are actually working for freedom with dishonesty and deceit. You dismiss these as “nuance” without even addressing the elephant in the room. A lifelong liar that is incapable of being honest—even with himself—cannot be and is not an ally of Truth.

Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass
Would love to see evidence that I am a “lifelong liar”, I’ve used “dishonesty and deceit” to “smear” people and that I have “malicious” intent. I think those are subjective characterizations by someone who has demonstrated his affinity to be a tyrant by kicking me out of a server, in which I violated no rules. He would like to see that happen here and is working to that end.

bbblackwell > Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass
With the giraffes, I was trying to illustrate two things:

1. That beings have a particular nature, both individually and as a group. Certain aspects of this nature are observable, or can be reasonably inferred.

2. That we need not encounter every member of a group to discern something practically valid about that group’s members (e.g. girafffes need energetic sustenance to survive).

You would grant these premises, wouldn’t you? If these statements are acceptable, then we have a basis for discerning morality as I’ve described (immorality = inhibiting the authentic expression of a being’s nature).

The definitive proof against subjective morality is that if man is the standard for morality, then morality cannot be the standard for man, and that if morality is not a standard for man, then it is nothing, as this feature is the essence of the concept.

This is the hurdle to be overcome by anyone who wishes to assert subjective morality, and I have never seen it accomplished.

The fact that varying opinions exist can be explained by the very common phenomenon of people misunderstanding objective aspects of the universe, and themselves. For instance, the workings of their own psychology, the shape of the Earth, diet and health concerns… all are hotly debated, but there is objective Truth to each one.

This does not prove objective morality, but it demonstrates the insufficiency of the “diversity of thought” argument as a proof for its subjective counterpart.

bbblackwell > BastardChris
I have never been satisfied with Juan’s philosophical work ethic. I don’t believe he’s earnestly and steadfastly seeking answers, as he seems content to stick with what he’s come up with so far.

He’s quick to agree-to-disagree, and I deem this insufficient in nearly all cases. I’ve seen him poke and prod flippantly, and enjoy watching passionate, deeply earnest people pull their hair out.

I’ve also seem him give respect, and contribute prolifically with relevant commentary. He demonstrates pride in life choices that he feels have enhanced freedom both public and private. He agrees or disagrees according to his take, regardless of his personal history with the speaker.

So, is the glass half-full or half-empty? As you likely have experienced, being a father, some will look at the child and say ”He looks just like his dad”, while another says, ”I don’t see it; he’s all his mother’s side!”

I think there’s room here for people to draw differing conclusions, both with justification. At the very least, I would deem folks like Juan to be the least of our problems as freedom advocates. I wholly acknowledge that this is all just my interpretation of a man I have never met in person, and that’s a debilitating impediment to evaluating such things.

Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass > bbblackwell
I agree with point #1. However, we are dealing with humans who have unique characteristics unlike most other beings and even other humans which makes point #2 an oversimplification to fit a narrative.

“The definitive proof against subjective morality is that if man is the standard for morality, then morality cannot be the standard for man, and that if morality is not a standard for man, then it is nothing, as this feature is the essence of the concept.”

This is simply your opinion. It would more appropriate if you would just present evidence that morality is objective, which seems to be lacking but abundant in theory. That is the hurdle to be overcome by anyone who wishes to assert objective morality, and I have never seen it accomplished.

To assert that differing views on the subject of morality as “The fact that varying opinions exist can be explained by the very common phenomenon of people misunderstanding objective aspects of the universe, and themselves.” is handy to use if you cannot produce evidence to support your position. True, there can be objective aspects of humans but no one has proven that morality is one of them. As you admit, “This does not prove objective morality.”

So, you are not impressed with my philosophical work ethic. Well, I have not made philosophy my field of endeavor, but many have and not ALL agree with your position. Are they lazy and not “earnestly and steadfastly seeking answers”? Do they “poke and prod flippantly, and enjoy watching passionate, deeply earnest people pull their hair out”?

The most rational thing you said so far, imo, is “I think there’s room here for people to draw differing conclusions, both with justification”. I think you should apply that rationale to the subject of morality. js

bbblackwell > Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass
Which part of that is simply my opinion? That morality is a standard for man’s behavior, or that standardization is a one-way street?

I suspect it’s the latter, but just think: If you are the rule-maker an may revise the rules at any time, then you are not truly subject to them. They just exist in your wake as you move along thinking and doing; they’re not out in front, guiding your course. They’re not a standard that you must conform to. Instead, you are the standard that they will reflect. How is this just opinion?

How can it be any other way than I’ve described?

Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass > bbblackwell
My position is, and I have not made any disparaging remarks about yours, that so far I have not seen evidence that there’s is in fact a standard for human behavior beyond the objective facts required for sustaining Life. There very well may be such evidence.

So far, I’ve just seen theory supported by irrelevant examples and/or questions. To me, there is more empirical evidence to support the subjective theory. I’m still not persuaded that morality is not a human construct derived from a social construct – or vice versa. I don’t think that makes me a narcissist, lazy, misinformed or drawing misguided conclusions. I have not made any conclusions about the state of morality – only observations of humans and their varying “morals”. I used to be an absolutists but the more I lived Life the more I questioned people who hold absolutist positions. They all seemed to have an agenda they were attempting to further.

I use “agree to disagree” because that is the civil way to respect another’s position without resorting to disparaging remarks or personal attacks.

bbblackwell > Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass
”…so far I have not seen evidence that there’s in fact a standard for human behavior beyond the objective facts required for sustaining life.”

Now this I can accept, IF I am interpreting this correctly (I’m reading it literally). This is one of the two logical conclusions that I claimed represent the whole of our rational options:

1. That morality does not exist.

2. That morality is objective.

This means that “subjective morality” is not truly a standard for man’s behavior (whatever else it may be) and that no alternative is likely to exist. It’s a position of amorality, which in no way means that one does not have personal values (which may be altogether loving and wonderful, even more so than those held by many claiming objective morality).

If we’re OK on these points, we have successfully reached consensus. As a separate matter, there is the argument in favor of objective morality, which I have mentioned partially, but would rather not delve into at this moment.

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