Re: ESSAY: 'Debunking Hippy-Dippy moral philosophy'

From: Thomson Comer (
Date: Fri Jun 04 2004 - 07:29:05 MDT

---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
From: Marc Geddes <>
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 2004 17:40:40 +1200 (NZST)

> --- Thomson Comer <> wrote: >
> Your assertion that your
>> morality of beliefs is objectivly the truth is
>> utterly equivalent to you asserting that I am a
>> sinner, violating the principles of life according
>> to your god.
>Where did I ever make any such assertion? I wouldn't
>be so arrogant as that! ;) My assertion was that SOME
>form of morality is objectively the truth, not
>neccesserily mine! You have failed to grasp the
>objective morality postulate: if morality is objective
>there is a difference between KNOWLEDGE ABOUT morality
>and MORALITY ITSELF. I do not regard my knowledge
>about morality as being likely to be any more accurate
>than anyone else.

Your assertion that some form of morality is objectively the truth is equivalent to asserting your own - indeed, your assertion is your objective truth.

I reject your division between knowledge about morality and morality itself because morality is a subject that cannot be studied objectively. The only position any of us have to perceive morality is from our own ideological frame of reference, whether it is to attempt to diagnose real morality or to hypostulate on our own personal knowledge of morality. The only place the morality exists, for any of us, is within our ideological sphere. Because it cannot be studied in any manner, morality does not exist. It is equivalent to the existence of any other baseless ideological construct (god, spirit, samadhi, and so on) - human fantasy about imagined principles that cannot be observed or measured.

>Your other points establish nothing. I could use the
>same arguments to try to disprove the objective truth
>of any branch of knowledge at all. For instance
>someone could argue: 'We were entirely constructed by
>a random, evolutionary proccess, our beliefs come from
>our upbringing etc therefore we can't know anything
>objective about mathematics: maths is all opinion.'
>Of course that would be a non sequitor, just as your
>arguments against objective morality are.

You could indeed use the argument of evolution to disprove any other branch of knowledge - but there are bodies of recorded data that can be used to objectively resolve disagreements. Science is made possible by the awareness of patterns in the construction of the world and the ability to measure those patterns in order to learn about them.

Math is the worst example you could choose for this scenario - mathematics is a continuous meta-study of layers of abstraction in boolean logic. Math is defined by the principles of numeric reasoning, principles that recursively reinforce themselves (and before Godel, it could be said these principles were absolute - now we know that even math's completeness is questionable). Math is objective because an alternate opinion is, definably, wrong. Until one human is able to construct an entire history of knowledge about a new branch of mathematics with changed base principles, the objectivity of it will remain concrete. You cannot launch a rocket with desire.

You seem to be proposing that in the future, when moral studies are at a more advanced state (and how many thousands of years have we had thus far?), we will be able to objectively measure them and define ideological truths through scientific study. I do wonder what medium you would expect us to be able to perform this study - or is there no expectation, only the assertion that morality is an objective reality that will be studied by some future scientific power we cannot yet conceive of?

As it is, the history presented to us of human action is the least evidential indicator of an objective moral arrow of truth available - evidence to the contrary of your position.

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