Wednesday. Fandango says he is moving house today, but nevertheless his Fandango-bot has published a Provocative Question once again. This week, he asks:
Is morality objective or is it subjective? If you believe it’s objective, what is its source? If you believe it’s subjective, how do you know whose concept of morality is correct?
I think this is quite a straightforward one, so I will keep my post short.
Let me try and illustrate what I think by an analogy to politics. We have an election, right, and we vote for the party which we think will govern best?
That’s pretty much it. We look at the results and see that our choice either won or lost. But our choice – or any choice – didn’t get 100% of the vote. So, there are some amongst us who thought that one of the other candidates would be a better choice. So, our choice was subjective. So was theirs.
Now, politics is not quite the same as morals, but the two are pretty similar. If our fundamental belief is that we help people less fortunate than ourselves, then that’ll probably translate to more left-wing politics. And vice versa. In fact political beliefs on many issues stem from people’s morals.
So, subjective for me. No brainer.
To the second part of the question, you don’t. Correct is subjective, anyway – what’s correct for me might not be for you. All we can do is to periodically review an issue, go through all the arguments for and against, and see what conclusions we now come to. In that way, I suspect people who think that morality is subjective are probably a lot less sure of their views than others. But I think that comes with the territory.
I do think, and it has become far more apparent after the stroke, that we live a lot of our lives in our heads, so as long as we are comfortable with our analysis of something, how could anybody say that our conclusions are incorrect? They might be ill-informed, but that doesn’t necessarily make them incorrect.