Could Science prove an "objective morality"?

Author: seldiora ,

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  • seldiora
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    After working through my previous argument and MisterChris's idea about objective morality, I thought of something interesting since most of my evidence was from science. Maybe science could prove objective morality?

    Idea: Because science is applied philosophy and the closest representation of the universe, it is the best idea we have which we should follow more than any other ideal. For example, it is beyond a reasonable doubt that the force of gravity exists, that the speed of light is a constant in a vacuum, etc. 

    As science tells us how things should act, logically, this extends to how humans should act as well. Again, we have nothing better to go on, because science is the only thing that can be proved time and time again, under countless different conditions and universally applicable. 

    Science tells us our genes and pre-determined instincts push us towards a specific set of morals. For example, we have evolved to naturally survive, because only those who survive long enough can reproduce their offspring. We have evolved to protect ourselves and our culture. These ideas have not changed regardless of where you are on earth, neither when in history you pick the person.

    Because there are inherent values that humans value and actions that we tend to do as science predict, science tells us the objective morality. After all, every other force in the universe has some law that affects it, not affected by human thought (except perhaps quantum mechanics).
  • seldiora
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    --> @Theweakeredge
    how's this? Better than my previous idea?
  • Theweakeredge
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    --> @seldiora
    No, because that justifies rape and murder. Next.
  • seldiora
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    --> @Theweakeredge
    okay, but what if we make exceptions for libertarianism? Like, science is correct, except when in case of humans' basic rights, as we have developed higher standard due to intelligence and consciousness. We retain rights to not be violated and to keep our lives, while all other ambiguous actions are decided by science.
  • zedvictor4
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    --> @seldiora
    Science is the application of intelligence and  knowledge to a question or problem...Currently still the preserve of humanity...Well only just.

    Do you think that Alternative Intelligence will be purely logical.....If so, then I suggest that A.I. will not consider the illogic of human morality, Mr Spock....You Vulcan softie.
  • Theweakeredge
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    --> @seldiora
    The problem there is that then its not objective, because the subjective bias of humanity comes into play, otherwise it would be perfectly moral for any creature not human to maul us, whatever, there has to be a subjective standard, else science would preclude murder from its list of immoralities. 
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @seldiora
    Maybe science could prove objective morality?
    Are you familiar with Sam Harris?
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @seldiora
    Step ONE,

    QUANTIFY MORALITY.

    you might like this example (in 2 minutes and 1 second), [LINK]
  • Wagyu
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    --> @seldiora
    I'm pretty sure this is what Sam Harris believes. 

  • Tarik
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    --> @Theweakeredge
    We as humans have the capacity to comprehend morality, therefore it’s objective because you can’t accurately articulate something that’s inherently arbitrary due to us all having different appeals of emotions, just as a thought experiment I’ll give you the floor and ask you to demonstrate subjective morality.

  • Theweakeredge
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    --> @Tarik
    Wrong. Based on the definition of objective, something is only objective if it true independent of the mind, I ask you to demonstrate that morality is that.
  • Tarik
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    --> @Theweakeredge
    Let’s take a look at the examples you used earlier like rape and murder, those two acts are immoral and that’s true regardless of ones mind.
  • Theweakeredge
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    --> @Tarik
    I'm sorry, but without an actual objective moral measurement, no, they are not. If you have no presumptions that humans or well-being matter morally, then those actions aren't immoral. This is the objective take, obviously, I view them as inherently immoral, because I have the presumption that sentience and well-being matter, but without that presumption, it isn't true. 

  • Tarik
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    No it’s still true because truth is still truth regardless of ones ignorance.
  • FLRW
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    Tarik is correct. Derek Parfit, an Oxford scholar whom is widely considered one of the most important and influential moral philosophers of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. , in 2011 produced a massive work on ethics titled On What Matters. This two-volume work covers a lot of ground, but one of its main claims is that morality is objective, and we can and do know moral truths but not because moral judgments describe some fact. Indeed, moral judgments do not describe anything in the external world, nor do they refer to our own feelings. There are no mystical moral or normative entities. Nonetheless, moral judgments express objective truths. Parfit’s solution? Ethics is analogous to mathematics. There are mathematical truths even though, on Parfit’s view, there are no such things as an ideal equation 2 + 2 = 4 existing somewhere in Plato’s heaven. Similarly, we have objectively valid moral reasons for not inflicting pain gratuitously even though there are no mystical moral entities to which we make reference when we declare, “Inflicting pain gratuitously is morally wrong.” To quote Parfit, “Like numbers and logical truths … normative properties and truths have no ontological status” (On What Matters, vol. 2, p. 487).
  • Theweakeredge
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    --> @FLRW
    Derek Parfit, an Oxford scholar whom is widely considered one of the most important and influential moral philosophers of the late 20th and early 21st centuries
    Which is neat that you're using his position to prop up your own position, but ideas are valuable on their own merit, not who thinks them up.

    To your actual argument, positing that morality is akin to mathematics. Mathematics is objectively true. Simple as that, now, all mathematics truly are, is a way to express our understanding of the objective laws and rules of the universe. Morality is not like that, there are no encoded morals in such laws of physics. There is no objective reason to value our lives over the sun, or the planet, or insects for that matter. This analogy is false, and does not apply, I think even you would regard that this is simple claims. The entire thing is built upon a non-sequitur, that somehow morality and mathematics are comparable. I see no reason to compare them as so. Why does the state or well-being matter, independent of the minds of such. I will not accept a position merely because it is claimed to be true.
  • Theweakeredge
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    --> @Tarik
    That is not a rebuttal. Objective is defined as something which is true independent of the mind. Therefore you would have to demonstrate this true on a moral axis before you could actually have a descriptor of those morals. Else admit that they're subjective, which I do, and I think that they are practically objective from my P.O.V as a human with a mind but in the objectivity of the universe? No, no they are not.
  • Tarik
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    Yes it is because you’re highlighting ones ignorance which isn’t logical in the slightest.
  • Theweakeredge
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    --> @Tarik
    You aren't even addressing the content of my rebuttal, just positing things ad hoc, there is no reasoning behind the applications of your arguments. I am giving you the definition of objective, and saying that the term necessarily can not apply to morality. At least not without evidence. Nowhere in my argument am I "Highlighting ignorance" to prove anything. 
  • Tarik
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    --> @Theweakeredge
    “but without that presumption, it isn't true. “

    This is you putting ignorance and rational on equal footing, let’s go with the mathematics narrative that FLRW used what if I were to say 1+1=2 but without that presumption it isn’t, what would you say?
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @Theweakeredge
    Wrong. Based on the definition of objective, something is only objective if it true independent of the mind, I ask you to demonstrate that morality is that.
    Well stated.
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @Theweakeredge
    ...and I think that they are practically objective from my P.O.V as a human with a mind...
    What are your "practically" "objective" "moral" "principles"?
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @Tarik
    ...used what if I were to say 1+1=2 but without that presumption...
    This is a classic CATEGORY ERROR.

    1 + 1 = 2 =/= I love you.
  • 3RU7AL
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    Mathematics is objectively true.
    Do you know what a TAUTOLOGY is?
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @Theweakeredge
    ...but ideas are valuable on their own merit, not who thinks them up.
    Well stated.