a reply to: dffrntkndfnml
To trace my line of thought to your original post... When I was playing with your syllogism, I thought to myself that about the challenge of trying to
quantify morality.I look at science and math as being disciplines that are more empirical in nature.I believe one's morality can progress, but I feel
my emotions coloured my response.
How is math empirical? Math has empirical applications, but numbers and sets themselves are human fictions. The number 2 isn't out there somewhere,
but is rather a label for the arbitrary grouping of a thing and another thing. It just so happens that the way arbitrary groupings behave is objective
in nature. Morality cannot be discussed without recognizing ones internal experiences which to me is more empirical than the number 2. The claims of
science ultimately all amount to claims about how things behave. When discussing morality part of what you discuss is how humans behave, and
psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and its functions, especially those affecting behavior in a given context.
Psychology tells us how the mind functions and under what circumstances a person may choose to act a given way. Psychology however isn't the whole
story is it? In every other discipline this would be the whole story. Geology, physics, quantum physics, biology, and astronomy all of these fields
require nothing more than the facts, how things behave. Yet inside you and I we do not experience only how humans behave. You and I have an idea of
how others ought to behave, and at times when we are wronged we expect the other people to recognize this standard of behavior and treat it as though
it is a real standard and not just a preference. We have all heard things, like "that was my seat I was there first" or "how would you like it if I
did that to you?", but rarely do we hear the response "To hell with your standard!" Rather we hear apology or an explanation of why in this
circumstance the person is not breaking that standard.
The purpose of the 2+2=4 analogy is to make my position on objectivity very clear. Its a simple example of what it means to be objective, though you
may have to specific base ten so people like nameless won't complain lol. But irrespective of human disagreement of the sum of 2+2 in base ten, the
sum is 4. In the same way, irrespective of human disagreement over what is fair, it is good to be fair. In other words, if someone thinks for example
one thinks that being fair is evil, and that people should be unfair that person is wrong in the same way the person who says 2+2 in base ten does not
equal four is wrong.
At this point, I don't think I can do better then then bringing up the Golden Rule, as the best way to objectify moral law.
This isn't going to give you the grounding you need for you are presupposing that which you are trying ground rather than deriving it from some other
thought. If we say the Good is that which follows the Golden Rule, then how are we to answer the question is following the Golden Rule Good? We may
say yes, but when asked why we would be left with because the good is that which follows the Golden Rule. So the statement, "following the Golden Rule
is Good," would mean nothing more than following the Golden Rule is following the Golden Rule.
As my name no doubt gives away I am a Christian theist. So I would say that ontologically the Good is that which is inline with the unchanging nature
of God and that it is part of human nature as image bearers of God to recognize when an action is out of line with the perfect nature of God. This is
what the Christian speaks of when they speak of they law written on your heart. It is the innate knowledge of God's nature that gives us the ability
to recognize moral and immoral actions.
So you may think we could turn this little I've done on you with the Golden Rule right back on me, right? So let's try it:
If we say the Good is that which is inline with God's unchanging nature, then how are we to answer the question is doing something inline with God's
nature Good? I may say yes, but why is doing something inline with God's nature good? Well I would define God as the greatest possible being, and to
save my self a little time I will just assert that moral perfection as a fundamental attribute can be derived from this definition. So the unchanging
nature of God is morally perfect, therefore anything inline with God's nature would by definition be moral perfection. It is important to keep moral
epistemology and ontology separate hear as I have mingled an explanation of my epistemology in here with my ontology. God's nature grounds what is
Good, and whilst our human nature gives us the ability to recognize right from wrong(this is a general statement not an one without exceptions).