I've delved extensively into the realm of morality, paradoxically my favorite philosophical subject, albeit one I find both perplexing and perhaps the least mastered. However, this entry won't delve into the construction of my moral framework, as I've covered that ground extensively before. I ground it in well-being, drawing upon principles like the golden rule, empathy, and elements of selfishness to develop a comprehensive system. Instead, this entry serves as my defense of what I term moral subjectivism. To be clear from the outset, I don't assert that moral decisions and judgments are made subjectively. They are made in reference to a moral foundation and goals. The subjectivity lies not in the assessments and judgments themselves, but in the foundation, framework, and goals. This is what I aim to defend.
Before delving into the crux of our discussion, I want to be transparent about my philosophical stance. I tend to lean heavily into philosophical pluralism, refraining from fully subscribing to any singular philosophical position or "ism" with the exception of atheism. I appreciate and draw value from various philosophical perspectives and the insights of great minds from both past and present. With that clarification, I label my view on morality. The underlying framework, the essence of all morality, is ultimately chosen subjectively. While some might categorize it as reductionistic or even a form of naturalist realism, I hold a different perspective. However, before delving into the substance of this entry, I found it pertinent to address this aspect of my philosophical orientation.
With the preamble behind us, let's delve into the heart of the topic. I could straightforwardly dismiss the notion of objective morality. My entitlement to do so is rooted in the simple dependence of morality on humans. Objectivity implies independence from opinions, or minds. Given that morality is contingent upon the existence of humans, the very concept of objectivity is undermined (1A). While it might seem convenient to conclude here, this argument stands as one of the most formidable defenses of my position.
Let's now explore an argument from intuition, which appears to be the linchpin of many people's rationale for embracing objective morality. However, relying on intuition in this manner presents several issues. The primary concern lies in the misinterpretation of the strength of intuitional evidence. Intuition is considered evidence in many epistemological frameworks; however, it is inherently first-person and contingent upon the individual mind and their personal psychosocial states of mind. This intricacy raises questions about the reliability and universality of intuitional evidence in establishing the objectivity of morality (1B).
To clarify, I may intuitively feel that stealing is wrong, but practical considerations can readily override that intuition. The belief that theft is universally wrong becomes counterintuitive when nuanced scenarios are considered.
For example, if faced with the reality of having no money and a hungry child at home, the practical necessity of stealing bread and baloney to feed that child could easily supersede any intuition about theft being inherently wrong. When we factor in emotions like love and the naturalistic urge to care for one's children, these elements may even prompt a reversal of the initial intuition. This illustrates the intricate and context-dependent nature of moral intuitions (1C).
All prohibitions against theft stem from two considerations, neither of which inherently relates to morality. The primary consideration is rooted in one of the most prevalent motives driving human activities: self-service. The notion that "it's my stuff, I acquired it, collected it, claimed it... it's mine, so don't touch it" reflects a fundamental aspect of human behavior.
The second consideration is a practical prohibition for the harmonious co-existence of an inherently social species. Theft disrupts the social order, instigating tension in the society where an individual not only resides but also depends on for various aspects of life. The prohibition against stealing, therefore, serves not only individual interests but also the collective stability of the social fabric (1D).
This notion extends to almost all other moral issues, such as killing, rape, assault, and more, which we'll explore later. Currently, I've chosen theft as a focal point due to its inherent ambiguity. Personally, I don't perceive it as a moral issue but rather as a legal one. Its wrongness, in my view, aligns more with consequentialism—steal, and there will be consequences. While not inherently a moral issue, the negative repercussions often make it morally relevant, albeit within the framework of consequences and legality rather than intrinsic morality (2A).
It appears that the moral condemnation of killing also aligns with societal context and selfishness as the underlying reasons for why many perceive it as morally wrong. All life forms instinctually recoil in fear when our own lives are threatened. This raises the question of why this reaction is so deeply ingrained (2B).
This instinct can be traced back to one of the two primary biological imperatives: survival long enough to procreate. The second imperative is, of course, to procreate. These imperatives form the essence of not only human, but of all biology. The drive to survive underlies almost all primitive human functions and desires. It is the reason why, irrespective of our beliefs, humans instinctively prioritize self-preservation over the welfare of others (2C).
Yet, paradoxically, our survival is heavily dependent on our intellect and our capacity to collaborate with one another. This reliance on both individual intellect and societal cooperation reflects the complex interplay between our primitive instincts and the evolved characteristics that enable our survival in a world where intellectual prowess often surpasses physical capabilities.
The fusion of intellect and societal cooperation stands as the cornerstone of all normative and applied ethics. In stark contrast to other animal life, particularly as far as our observations extend, primates, with their unique ability to contemplate the abstract, including our own existence, play a pivotal role. This capacity for contemplation, intertwined with the inherent social nature of our species, has been the driving force behind the development of what we recognize as morality (2D).
More often than not, our understanding of moral issues is rooted in consequentialism. It advocates for individual freedom—do as you please—but emphasizes that actions carry repercussions and consequences. This interplay between abstract contemplation, societal cooperation, and ethical considerations forms a distinctive and influential aspect of human morality.
After tens of thousands of years of contemplation, societal cooperation, consequentialist laws/rules, and the transmission of perceptions of right and wrong from generation to generation, our moral intuitions have evolved. While intuitions are foundational, I believe our views delve deeper due to extensive contemplation. Let's momentarily set aside the influence of contemplation and assume that our intuitions are the sole basis for morality. I'd like to explore this thought experiment since many arguments against certain actions are often rooted in intuition (3A).
From my perspective, whether consciously or subconsciously, intuition is significantly influenced by background information and beliefs. Our biological selfishness, ingrained in our background information, dictates that harm or injury, at least to our own person is detrimental—a product of our instinctual drive to survive. Consequently, our intuitions lead us to perceive harming or killing someone as inherently wrong (3B). This forms the foundation of the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." This principle has been recorded for at least 500 years and on two different continents before the ministry of Jesus. It would be, at the very least, disingenuous to attribute the origin of this concept solely to Jesus or Jewish theology (3C).
A crucial aspect to bear in mind is that within the outlined context, constructing a formal argument or articulating why something is wrong is not a prerequisite. Our direct acquaintance with the belief that harm to oneself, which then extends to harming others, is deeply ingrained. There is no need for inference; it's a basic and direct understanding. Moreover, this intuition doesn't necessitate the existence of morality as an actual entity. The roots of this understanding lie in the human condition and the societal evolution of our species (3D).
This intuition explains the continuous march of perceived moral progress throughout the span of human existence. As our understanding of the human condition and societal dynamics evolves, so too does our collective intuition regarding what is perceived as morally right or wrong (4A).
Relying solely on intuition in moral arguments requires caution, as it proves to be a double-edged sword that cuts both ways. The stark contrast in moral intuitions is evident when comparing Islamic and Christian perspectives. For instance, Islamic intuitions may allow for actions like the killing and enslavement of Christians, beating of women, and even acceptance of practices like child marriage. This stark divergence is exemplified in debates such as the one between Muslim apologist Daniel Haqiqatjou (YouTube: Muslim Skeptic) and Christian apologist Mike Jones (YouTube: Inspiring Philosophy) on the acceptability of child marriage (4B).
The noteworthy point here is that despite both sides believing in the same God, their moral intuitions and perspectives on morality can be significantly divergent. This underscores the complexity and subjectivity inherent in relying solely on intuitions as a foundation for moral arguments.
This emphasizes the argument about how background beliefs strongly shape our intuitions. If an individual adheres to a belief system promoting the subservience of women to men, insisting on their compliance and obedience at all times, the resulting intuitions and those instilled in their children will likely lead to the moral judgment that women disobeying men is inherently wrong (4C).
A crucial point to consider is the relative weakness of these intuitions, as they often fail to effectively compel or dictate action. Take, for instance, the common intuition against murder. Despite the widespread existence of this intuition, it does little to prevent the occurrence of murders. In the United States alone, there is an annual average of 25,000 murders (CDC, 2021), showcasing the limited impact of this intuitive aversion.
Similarly, when examining the moral issue of theft, the prevalence of intuition seems inadequate in deterring such actions. In the US in 2022, there were reported cases of 4.7 million instances of petty theft, 42,104 burglaries, 4.4 million cases of grand theft, and one million stolen vehicles (Statista, 2022). This is in addition to the estimated theft in the billions of dollars annually from retail stores. These statistics highlight the inefficacy of intuition in curbing perceived imoral behaviors (4D).
Intuition serves as a crucial starting point, yet our failure to engage in reasoned discourse about moral principles leads to collective suffering as a species (5A). It is inadequate to simply presume that morality derives solely from intuition, and thus, claim objectivity. To truly understand what morality entails and strives for the most ethical world possible, we must employ reason. Reason becomes the indispensable tool in unraveling the complexities of morality and charting a course towards achieving a more morally enlightened global society (5B).
It would be remiss not to acknowledge that a significant majority of moral intuitions revolve around a central predicate—well-being. The primal foundation of most people's instincts regarding what is right or wrong, good or bad, seems intricately linked to the impact on well-being. It appears that considerations of harm or promotion of well-being form the core, while other aspects are often added ad hoc, almost as afterthoughts (5C).
A noteworthy observation before progressing is that intuitions are not fixed; they evolve with the growth of society. Our contemporary intuitions affirm the acceptability of being gay, condemn slavery, reject child marriage, and assert the equality of women to men (except for some fundamentally religious individuals). This societal progress influences the intuitions people develop, shaped by socio-economic backgrounds and, notably, religious beliefs (5D). It's this very evolution that explains the ongoing debates among fundamentalist Muslims and Christians who still contest the morality of homosexuality and the equality of women (6A).
Before proceeding, I want to emphasize the initial point I made about intuitions—they are inherently subjective. Rooted in each individual's mind for various reasons, the very nature of intuitions being predicated on individual cognition precludes them from being objective. Objectiveness, by definition, entails a stance that is independent of individual minds.
Furthermore, it's essential to note that appealing to mass intuition fundamentally constitutes an appeal to popularity. The fact that everyone seems to share a similar intuition does not inherently render that intuition objective or true. Unity in intuition does not equate to objectivity or inherent truth. All it truly suggests is a shared society and norms of said society (6B).
Let's circle back to the topic of objectivity towards the end of this entry. I want to first explore key points from Monotheism and articulate why the moral framework proposed by these faith traditions not only fail, but cannot be conceived of as objective.
Positing a creator, in my view, does little to further justify the existence of objective morality. Instead, I find the idea of a creator deity to be counterintuitive concerning morals. The actions and commands attributed to the god of the Bible, Torah, and Qur’an often run counter to the moral sensibilities held by many people (6C). It raises questions and challenges rather than providing a clear and unequivocal foundation for an objective morality.
Recently, I penned a two-part series titled "Stealing from God." In the first part, I delineated the perceived worst sins in contrast to what most people consider the greatest wrongs. The second part applied a similar comparison, exploring the Bible's stated prime directive set against the commonly held human perspective. The primary aim was to underscore a fundamental point – if God were the source of morality and the epitome of goodness, there should not exist a situation where its actions and commands are deemed immoral by the very thinking agents it purportedly created (6D).
This concern isn't confined to atheistic perspectives alone. Entire theodicies have been crafted in an attempt to rationalize seemingly immoral commands to better align with human sensibilities (7A). The prevalent idea is that, even if not immediately apparent to us, God must have morally justifiable reasons for such commands or actions. Essentially, it becomes a cop-out, suggesting that God's ways are beyond our comprehension, and we shouldn't question but simply accept them because, well, it's God (7B).
Three primary rationalizations come into play here. The first, famously articulated by William Lane Craig, gained notoriety as he defended the slaughter of the Canaanites (7C). For this, some dubbed him as the apologist who justifies genocide:
"So whom does God wrong in commanding the destruction of the Canaanites? Not the Canaanite adults, for they were corrupt and deserving of judgment. Not the children, for they inherit eternal life. So who is wronged? Ironically, I think the most difficult part of this whole debate is the apparent wrong done to the Israeli soldiers themselves. Can you imagine what it would be like to have to break into some house and kill a terrified woman and her children? The brutalizing effect on these Israeli soldiers is disturbing." (Craig (Reasonable Faith website), 2007)
This defense presents a myriad of issues, not the least of which is the absence of a well-established theology regarding the automatic innocence of children, a concept not explicitly present in the scripture (7D). William Lane Craig's defense appears to be shaped by his personal beliefs rather than a clear scriptural mandate, especially considering the lack of a definitive statement in either the Christian or Jewish theological framework that automatically grants children entry into heaven (8A). It's essential to examine this historical event within the context of Judaism, as it is a facet forced upon Christians due to the acceptance of the Torah (the first five books of Moses, included in the Old Testament) (8B).
Expanding on Craig's point, let's consider these children. Even if we grant the assumption that the children automatically ascend to heaven, it leads to a troubling scenario. They find themselves eternally separated from their parents, who supposedly deserved hell. Moreover, they share this heavenly space with the very individuals who orchestrated their deaths and the deaths of their parents. It is untenable to assume there were no infants and toddlers among these children. This, coupled with the notion that being put to the sword likely involved a brutal and agonizing death, paints a grim picture of brutality and an almost animalistic cruelty (8C).
The final aspect to scrutinize in this defense revolves around the Canaanite adults. It expects us to accept without question that not a single Canaanite adult was at least a decent person. The notion that every single one of them was so morally corrupt that they deserved to die in a brutal manner, either while their children watched or after witnessing the death of their children, and then face eternal damnation in hell, appears inherently absurd (8D). This simplistic characterization raises significant ethical and theological concerns about the fairness and morality of such a divine decree.
Transitioning from Craig's defense, the second and widely used justification for the god of Abraham acting immorally is rooted in the idea that, because he is God, his actions cannot be deemed immoral (9A). This stance posits that, as the creator and sustainer of life, God has the authority to do whatever he pleases with us. This analogy is akin to slaves telling one another that the master is master and can act without moral scrutiny. However, this argument poses a dilemma: if God can act without moral boundaries due to his creator status, it challenges the concept of free will, as our choices would seemingly counter God's will, yet God's will would ultimately prevail simply because he is God (9B).
Furthermore, if God can act unrestrainedly, the significance of Jesus' sacrifice, resurrection, and ministry is called into question, as God's unrestricted actions render these events seemingly moot. This perspective portrays God's actions as little more than a dog and pony show for his own gratification. It raises the question that if God can act unrestricted in ending life, he could have done the same with salvation and forgiveness, thereby rendering the story of Jesus utterly insignificant. This line of reasoning prompts a critical examination of the theological coherence and implications of such views on the nature of God and the central tenets of religious narratives (9C).
This is a crucial point that warrants thoughtful consideration. If God has the unrestricted authority to end human life as He deems fit, there's a logical conundrum when applied to salvation. The theological significance of Christ's sacrifice diminishes when juxtaposed with the apparent indifference towards human life in this theological perspective.
Furthermore, this presents a profound logical dilemma for theology. If God's nature is inherently good, then His commands should be intrinsically good. However, the notion that God can violate the terms of His own commands introduces a paradox – it implies that God is not bound by His own standard of goodness. This leads to an inherent contradiction, as a perfect being should not contradict its own nature. Additionally, this creates a situation akin to "do as I say, not as I do" from God. While God is free to act as He pleases, humans are expected to adhere precisely to God's commands under the threat of eternal punishment. This, in my view, results in an incoherent theological framework (9D).
The final rationalization is relatively new and involves the separation of God from creation. Similar to the ideas put forth by Van Till and John Calvin regarding the creator-creature distinction, this view suggests that because God exists in all possible planes of existence simultaneously, he cannot truly end our lives in the same way we can harm each other. This perspective appears peculiar in the context of Jewish scripture and theology. Moreover, it fails to reconcile the apparent incongruity of a being that issues moral commandments while seemingly exempt from adhering to those same standards (10A).
Furthermore, it seems plausible that even if God did exist, all morality would still be subject to the divine. Even if you define good as an aspect of God, the concept of good would still be contingent on God's existence, even if God serves as the ontological foundation of reality. The only way to reconcile this would be to posit the existence of some transcendent moral standard beyond God. Without such a transcendent moral standard, one finds oneself grappling with the challenge of defending actions that appear immoral, that are condoned, ordered, or carried out by God, as exemplified in Dr. Craig's somewhat feeble defense of the slaughter of the Canaanites (10B)
The apparent critique of monotheistic morality is essential for highlighting the contrast, particularly when theistic arguments assert that morality cannot be discussed without reference to God. This comparison becomes more significant when examining moral standards based on religious texts such as the Bible, Qur’an, and Torah. The claim is that these divine foundations often result in a less favorable moral framework compared to those rooted in principles like well-being (10C). Thus, it serves to challenge the notion that morality is inherently tied to a theistic worldview.
Within the framework built upon well-being, various actions mentioned earlier, such as the slaughter of the Canaanites, sending bears to kill children for mocking a man's baldness, human sacrifice, genocide, planetcide™, slavery, subjugation of women, and torture, are unequivocally deemed wrong (10D). This moral judgment holds not only in the present but also extends to the past and will persist as long as there are humans. The consistency of this moral stance emphasizes its independence from temporal and cultural contexts, reinforcing the idea that morality can be grounded in principles like well-being without a theistic foundation, and without a need for it being inherently objective (10D).
It appears peculiar that monotheists assert the objectivity of morality while simultaneously allowing for moral changes, particularly from a purportedly unchanging, perfect deity (11A). For the sake of this argument, let's assume that God exists and is the source of morality. Despite this assumption, morality would still be subjective, with God serving as the ultimate subject. Consider it in this way: Objectivity implies that something is the case independent of opinion and stance, yet, for the purposes of this argument, we can use the less stringent definition, where objective means independent of human opinion and stances (11B). Oddly, the many definitions of Objective, also undermines objectivity.
In the sense that it pertains only to human opinions, one could forcefully argue that God being the ground makes morality objective (11C). However, one point to consider is that morality, even within Christian, Jewish, and Islamic frameworks, morality has changed over time. This is known as the temporal context defense (TCD) (11C). When people raise objections to the morality of the Bible, citing cases like the slaughter of the Canaanites, the TCD is used to counter with the argument that it was a different time and a different context. The TCD is employed to address objections to biblical prescriptions for rape, slavery, and various forms of slaughter by emphasizing the temporal, historical and cultural differences (11D).
Here is where both the TCD and the allowance by God of different moral systems undermine the notion of objective morality. If morality is objective, even if just to humans, one of two positions should follow. Either we should still be in alignment with historical notions of morality, or those historical notions of morality should not have needed to change over time (12A). However, we find ourselves in a wildly different position, which does not follow if morality is objective. We understand that slavery is wrong, that the killing of the Canaanites was wrong, that wholesale slaughter in any regard is wrong. We even understand that despite the atrocities reported to have been committed in the Jewish and Christian scriptures, the Holocaust was morally wrong (12B).
The only major defense left for someone to offer here is that of Jesus and the new covenant. The idea, for the most part, is that all the atrocities and immorality that God allowed previously were leading to His redemptive plan and the advent of the Messiah, Christ Jesus, as mentioned in point. However, all this does is underscore that morality, even if independent from human opinion, shifts and adjusts to the whims and desires of God. If this is the case, it follows that morality is only such as determined by the current state of God's will, which contradicts the notion that God's nature is the good, as that should not change (12C).
When discussing Jesus, it's crucial to remember a pivotal point. In the Gospels, Jesus is reported to have explicitly stated that he had not come to change the law or the prophets. This stands as an affirmation and, at the very least, an acceptance of the occurrences detailed in the Old Testament and other Jewish Scriptures (12D). This affirmation is underscored in various ways. For instance, Jesus acknowledged aspects such as the common ancestry of all mankind traced back to Adam, the Noahic flood, and the significance of Passover. The last supper, a Passover celebration, holds particular intrigue as it serves as a commemoration and reverence for the Exodus story, wherein God's wrath led to the extermination of all the firstborn in Egypt (13A). Hence, it appears that appealing to Jesus as a deviation from the harshness of the God portrayed in the Old Testament is misplaced and rings hollow.
Even if a theist were to adopt the same framework as I do but posit that the goals stem from God, they encounter a significant issue. The dilemma lies in either accepting the existence of some transcendent goal that God is appealing to, or acknowledging that the goals are subjective to God (13B). If these goals are subject to God, they can be changed, altered, or manipulated at His discretion, mirroring what is observed in the given examples. The inherent ability to be changed or manipulated implies that morality, even if originating from God, is ultimately subjective (13C).
There is an array of ways that atheists argue for objective morality without invoking a deity. The two most common are: (1) morality is simply a brute contingency (brute fact) – it just is and does not have or need a further explanation, and (2) it is an intrinsic and necessary part of reality (13D). While there are other considerations, they do not seem relevant for these purposes. Having delved into a significant amount of atheistic literature, I am sympathetic to, but not convinced by, the cases made for moral realism or objectivistic morality from naturalism. However, I do not think either moral realism or objectivism needs to be true for us to have meaningful discussions, thoughts, or philosophies about morality (14A).
My preferred way of framing this issue is by drawing a parallel between morality and mathematics. I lean towards anti-realism with an agnostic stance about number realism. Even if numbers aren't real in an ontological sense, the mathematics that employs numbers is both necessary and objective. Here's what I mean: There is no conceivable world where 2+2=4 is not true. Similarly, because of this necessary truth, the sum of 4 is objective. It holds true irrespective of anyone's, including God's, opinion. We can also use logic to demonstrate what it means for something to be objectively true. P, therefore, Q is objectively true as long as the conditions of “if P, then Q” are satisfied.
Examining morality through this lens allows us to uncover objective moral facts in relation to the goal and foundation. We then utilize these facts to make moral judgments and assessments. This process becomes effortlessly manageable when aligned with a goal and anchored in a foundation. There's no inherent need for objectivity and certainly no necessity for a deity (14B).
With this context in mind, we can craft an argument. A simple one from mathematics is as follows:
Mathematics is considered objective, as demonstrated by the unchanging truth of mathematical statements like 2+2=4, which holds true across all temporal contexts, & possible worlds.
Morality, unlike mathematics, lacks inherent, universally agreed-upon axioms or principles that are true across all temporal contexts, & possible worlds.
Therefore, morality is subjective, as it relies on human values, cultural norms, and individual perspectives, making it contingent on subjective factors rather than universal, objective truths.
While the simplicity of this version appeals to me, it's essential to acknowledge a potential weakness in the argument lies in the assumptions underlying premise 2. Critics may argue that the true nature of morality is intricate and nuanced, surpassing the presented syllogism's straightforward depiction.
That said, the reason This entry has taken so long, is because of trying to craft a better version of that syllogism. Below, is what I think is the best version of my argument, in plain language.
Mathematics, particularly arithmetic, is universally acknowledged as objective and necessary. Its principles, such as 2+2 always equaling 4, hold true in any conceivable context.
The objectivity of mathematics is grounded in its logical and necessary nature. Mathematical statements are determined by logical principles and the inherent relationships between numbers, providing a foundation for objective truths.
Logic, when applied to mathematics, follows strict principles of validity. Mathematical deductions, governed by logic, result in objective and universally true conclusions.
Premise 4: Moral judgments, in contrast, lack the same logical necessity. Morality involves subjective evaluations influenced by diverse factors, including cultural, historical, and individual perspectives.
Logic, as applied in mathematics, adheres to the principle of validity where if P then Q is objectively true under specific conditions. The application of logic in mathematics leads to universally accepted truths.
Moral propositions, however, lack the same clear-cut and universally accepted logical principles. The conditional nature of moral judgments often leads to diverse and context-dependent conclusions, making moral truths subjective.
The absence of a universally accepted logical foundation in moral judgments contributes to the subjectivity of morality, where different individuals or cultures may arrive at distinct moral conclusions.
In summary, the stark contrast between the clear logical and necessary foundation of mathematics and the subjective, context-dependent nature of moral judgments highlights that morality lacks the same inherent logical and necessary basis as mathematics, thereby supporting the subjective nature of moral truths.
While these arguments represent my preferred stance on the subjectivity of morality, they aren't the sole perspectives we'll delve into here. This, after all, is a defense of subjectivism. The following argument serves as the culmination of all our discussions in this entry:
1.1 Human moral intuitions seemingly form the foundation of moral judgments.
1.2 These intuitions arise from evolutionary processes, societal influences, and background beliefs.
2.1 The concept of "ought" is inherently subjective, and only attains coherence in relation to a goal.
2.2 "Oughts" derive from individual and cultural perspectives, indicating subjective preferences.
3.1 Moral judgments often aim to promote well-being.
3.2 Well-being is subject to interpretation, leading to diverse moral viewpoints.
4.1 Cultural diversity in moral norms demonstrates the subjective nature of morality.
4.2 What is morally acceptable varies across cultures, and time, indicating a lack of objective standards.
5.1 Evolutionary psychology suggests that moral intuitions evolved to enhance social cohesion within specific groups.
5.2 Moral values are contingent on the needs and dynamics of particular social structures.
6.1 Moral judgments often stem from emotional responses.
6.2 Emotional responses vary based on personal experiences and cultural contexts.
7.1 Widespread moral disagreement across cultures and individuals supports moral subjectivism.
7.2 Objective moral facts would entail more consensus, which is not consistently observed in the nuance.
8.1 The relativity of moral truths to individual and cultural contexts implies the subjective nature of morality.
8.2 Objective moral truths would be universally valid, transcending cultural, temporal, and individual boundaries.
The observed diversity, variability, and disagreement in moral judgments are best explained by moral subjectivism, where moral truths are contingent on subjective foundations and goals rather than objective entities.
I want to conclude this entry with a sense of humility. I don't claim to be an expert; I am not. These views are not intended to be seen as definitive. They simply represent my perspective on the foundations of morality. I acknowledge the possibility of error or missteps in my formulation of the arguments presented here. If you believe there's room for improvement or if I've made an error, feel free to email me—I would appreciate the opportunity to self-correct. If you simply disagree, let me know, and we can engage in a thoughtful discussion. As always, let's continue learning, seeking truth, and engaging in philosophical exploration.
Sources: (Not Hyperlinked)