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

From: Marc Geddes (
Date: Fri Jun 04 2004 - 00:34:50 MDT

 --- Mike <> wrote: > Marc,
> Since you used the gravity example, I'll use a
> similar example. I think
> that saying there must be an objective morality is
> like saying there
> must be an objective time system. But in the end
> it's all relative to
> the observer, isn't it?

Nope. Bad example ;) Even in general relatively
there is still an objective ordering of events: Given
an observer that records event x and records event y
as occuring later than x, if light from x had time to
pass through the point where y occurred before y
occurred, then x is in the ASBOLUTE past of y for all

Time does have some flexibility yes, but there is
still an absolute ordering of events even in
relatively theory.

> Remove humans from the universe and where is
> morality? You can't say
> the same thing about gravity. Seems to me the
> concept of morality is a
> human invention. What morality is there in galaxies
> colliding, animals
> in the food chain eating each other, etc?

Remove humans from the universe you say? What about
any alien civilizations that might exist?

Don't be so sure there is no morality in: 'galaxies
colliding, animals in the food chain eating each
other'. There are theories of consciousness which
ascribe some degree of sentience to everything

> If you were the last human alive, and the race would
> die out after you
> were gone, is there anything you could do to be
> immoral?

Quite possibly. What about alien cilivizations else
where in the universe? Humans still living in
alternative branches of the quantum multiverse?
Humans in the past? Any other sentients that might
exist in the future? The actions taken by the last
human alive could still be related to all the things
mentioned, even if these actions only had a tiny

> To answer one of your questions, I think that there
> is no objective
> standard by which you can say that Ghandi is better
> than Hitler. It's
> only your rules of morality that tell you that
> Hitler is bad (and I
> would personally agree). But in some societies, the
> most vicious
> warrior gets the most honor and privilege. By his
> society, he's a hero.
> By their morality, he's doing everything right. And
> if you ask their
> opinion, they would tell you Ghandi is weak, a
> coward, and not someone
> to emulate. One obvious example of this is the
> Samurai in Japan a few
> hundred years ago. If they had to guess at the
> nature of the "objective
> morality", their guess would look nothing like mine.
> How can our
> moralities come from the same source and be so
> different?

Are our moralitites really so totally different
though? Deduct out the differences and I think you'd
still find a great common of commonality.

The answer
> comes when I answer your other questions:
> > by what standard would they define 'best'?
> > Why would it be good if people thought 'longer or
> > faster'? What is 'wisdom'? It would seem that an
> > objective morality is still implied.
> Doesn't "best" just end up being, in the long run,
> whatever maximizes
> your potential to survive and reproduce? The
> Samurai think best is
> being better with the sword. We think best is
> thinking faster. It all
> depends on where you live.
> Mike W.
'best' might possibly be related to whatever maximizes
your potential to survive, but even if this was so:
the fact that the laws of physics are the same
everywhere mean that there would still be some
objective standards for deciding what maximized
'potential to survive', no matter where you lived.

"Live Free or Die, Death is not the Worst of Evils."
                                      - Gen. John Stark

"The Universe...or nothing!"

Please visit my web-sites.

Science-Fiction and Fantasy:
Science, A.I, Maths :

Find local movie times and trailers on Yahoo! Movies.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:47 MDT