objective vs. relative morality

What do you think of my conclusion in saying that objective morality means behavior codes that are present in the universe regardless of man’s existence, and that it [objective morality] asks to be taken as a universal law–like the law of gravity, while subjective morality states that morality is a behavior code which is relative to an end being pursued by a person[s], and not a universal code for behavior which exists regardless of whether people choose to acknowledge, be in favor off, or value it’s [objective morality] presence, furthermore that the breaking of such laws is judged by the universe itself as either good or bad objectively.

Disagreement is very welcomed.

I would state that you must find such laws in order to break,donating the existence of such laws in the first place,rather they be self contained, and not fullfilled,irregardless of speech,it likens the existence of something outside the known universe that which must and can only be revealed, making the code to which you have thought to have discovered and must conclude,blissfully unaware of the spoken word-undecifer

I understand your not smart, god will help you

not you

I make the universe
not me
no conclude,undecifer

trust me the jokes not on you
laugh a little

I don’t speak stupid. :frowning:

Isn’t saying the universe is the lawgiver the same as saying God is the lawgiver?

We can have objective morals that are selectively shaped. After all, groups that manifest superior morality and get along better will outperform groups that remain divided. So the morals themselves are necessarily ‘objective’, but at the same time there are clearly morals that remain superior to others and more effective than others.


I agree if that God is the pantheistic God, however not if you’re speaking of any personification of a God.

I’m not sure I understand. Are you saying objective morals are present in the universe, and we can choose which ones to accept? If so, then I don’t agree with this, because if there is moral objectivity in this universe, and it is as present as gravity, then choosing to obey one aspect of this moral code and not another will surely make you objectively bad.

I don’t agree that survival or power is the standard for measuring the objective superiority of the morality of a people. My problem is with the implications of there being an objective morality, not what the value of such things as survival or power is. Objective morality means it exists regardless of people, and with this I don’t agree. I’m not disagreeing with the value of power or survival to people. I am disagreeing that these things are valued in the universe regardless of there being an evaluator. That is what I think objective morality implies.

I disagree. I don’t believe that there clearly are morals that are superior to others and more effective than others because this assessment implies there are ends which are objectively valued as the intended ends for people.

I generally think that ‘survival’ constitutes not an end, but a medium. Different morals are effective for different situations, to be sure, but ultimately those moral systems that are better at helping society function continue while those that are detrimental to society fade. Sometimes it is a long death, because the effects are minimal, but the progress of history moves on.

And of course, the idea of morality without a moral agent (like humans) doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, so you can’t have morality be independent of humanity.

I feel I should state what I believe morality is so to clarify my position.

For me morality is a set of behavior codes which are followed so an end, which is valued by the person[s] implementing such behaviors as either good or bad, can be achieved.

In other words, morality is a means to an end. The ethics of a moral system is whether an act is deemed right or wrong. Whether an act is right or wrong depends on whether the end[s] valued are being achieved or not.

My problem with objective morality is that it implies objectively valued ends which are to be followed a certain way. Relative morality implies that these ends, that morality seeks to accomplish, are relative to a person’s desires. In other words, honor is not objectively valued by the ‘universe’, but it is an end which is valued by a person[s].

I disagree because you are implying that there is something which is objectively valued that survival is but a medium to. You are implying objective purpose of which morality is a how to guide in achieving.

I like the way you worded this concept. Yet if you can’t have morality be independent of humanity, then I suppose you don’t agree there is such a thing as objective morality?

I’m just arguing that morality is evaluated by its products. In order to be moral you need not only good intentions, but also good actions and good results. However, we can really only judge an act (as outsiders to it) by the results themsevles, especially the results as they play out over time.

It is a selective process, so while I am unsure that ‘objective’ is the right word, since it is contingent upon the situation and agent, but at the same time it isn’t totally subjective either because survival sets its own standard. That is what I mean by survival being a medium, because it encourages the propagation of morality in this instance. That doesn’t mean that survival couldn’t also be an end, but we aren’t looking at the situation from that perspective. It is all a matter of perspective.

Interesting. Thanks for giving me a new aspect to think about. This is a new subject for me, and it looked fairly back and white, until now. I’ll get back to you.

Objective morality does not and cannot exist. Unlike the laws of nature which can be clearly observed and defined, there is no way to make an objective assumption about the human race such as our actions. First off, humans are constantly evolving and changing whereas nature is consistent with its laws. How can we define objective morality when we are subjective beings to begin with? And if objective morality exists, why hasn’t the human race come to consensus on it? It’s not like objective morality is some hidden truth waiting to be discovered. Morality is a manmade concept. And if man is a subjective being how can any of our thoughts be objective?

That’s a very good point, and a lot of people interchange these terms. One quibble I have, though, is that many incorporate other characteristics into both “entities”.

For instance, one can say that universe is the lawgiver, without implying that our creator is the lawgiver.

Whatever the case, though, I am with Camus on this one. The universe is indifferent. Our ethics are our own.

Yeah, from a structuralist POV, it sounds like a good argument. The existence of something absent of any outside knowledge or influence makes it objective. However, you said it’s a behaviour code, so in the absence of humans, the rules have no purpose other than to serve their own ends of…doing what? Because by that logic anything that follows it is ‘subject’ to those rules.

Interesting :slight_smile:

Our ability to CREATE objectiveness is apparent. Although, our ability to follow it may not be so clear cut.

I would say no such objective code exists. The late Mortimer Adler (my favorite philosopher) made a clear, cogent argument, that moral behavior is tied to human needs. We shouldn’t steal, because our property is what we require for our existence. Is wrong to kill, not because of any ordain rule, but that it deprives a person of their need to live.

All ideas of morality must spring from our human needs and not our applied principles was Adler’s point. But, deductive logically, I can’t see how we could derive a univeral morality not tied emprically to our human experience.

Well I would place relative morality on the grounds of subjective perception and opinion, rather than purpose per se, because morality is about what’s supposed to be good for everyone, not just oneself, that’s why we always have these questions of whether morality exists for a person alone on an island. He has purpose, of course, but not other people. I think relative morality is a result of our limitations in apprehension, and morality in essence is about the common good. Our perception of what’s good can be distorted by 1. understanding the importance of some variables but not others, 2. not being able to perceive all the variables involved, 3. judging things according to how they affect us, or how we would be behaving psychologically if we made certain decisions, and not being able to see how different the parties involved are from you, and 4. indoctrination, like religion. I think our experience as human beings has to be subjective and limited, so our morality has to be subjective. Perhaps if you become an avatar you always know the best thing to do.

An objective morality most likely posits that there is a right thing to do. I’m more likely to believe that there isn’t always a right thing to do, and no rule to say there has to be.


I’m not sure I understand what you mean.

For morality to be objective, I think, the ethics must be means to some objective end. A behavior code in which, if followed, will yield favorable(objectively favorable) results. Survival is not THE end for morality to be objective. Sure, it would be nice to keep on living, but the means for which to do so do not mean the ethics that go with it are objective. No ends are objectively favorable, only subjectively.

Like I said before survival, while an end for which morality is a means to, is by no means THE purpose, or THE objective end for mankind. As such morality having survival as it’s end is not objective.

I’m not sure that you argued against my anit-objective position.

we can speculate that a set of circumstances create relationships, force dynamics, which make certain actions, by those caught up in these relationships, impossible or improbable.
These impossibilities can be viewed as rules, laws.

Temporality and the change it insinuates constitutes all rules and laws temporary as all truth is an ongoing process that can only be speculated over in hindsight and extrapolated by a limited amount of information.