Your Morals Aren’t Objective

Morality always feels objective from the inside, that’s how it works, but it also always takes a value judgement by a person about how they want the world to be to determine the ethical course of action in a given situation. Utilitarianism is no more objective as a moral system than the categorical imperative, and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is presupposing the value of lives or QALYs or happiness or not!misery or some other abstract number they pulled from thin air. Regardless, of how much math is attached to it, you can’t reason someone out of believing something they didn’t reason their way into in the first place. There is no objectively right thing to do, if someone doesn’t use your moral system, you’re not going to be able to convince them to start using your moral system by arguing for it using your moral system. Your ethical systems aren’t just a given and you can’t treat them as such. Importantly, it will hurt you if you try because it will skew your ability to predict how other people behave and make you miserable when you inevitably overcorrect and just see most humans as evil instead.

2 Comments

  1. “I am unable to convince anyone else my morals are objective correct” =/= “my morals are not objectively correct”

    “It is impossible for anyone in the universe to genuinely believe in this morality” =/= “this morality is not objectively correct”

    Just because I can’t make anyone else see things the way I do doesn’t change the correctness of my morality; is and ought are separate. Presupposing X doesn’t make X not objectively correct; it just makes X arbitrary, and arbitrary =/= not objectively correct also.

    “Importantly, it will hurt you if you try because it will skew your ability to predict how other people behave and make you miserable when you inevitably overcorrect and just see most humans as evil instead.”

    There is nothing in this world that says the correct moral system will not hurt you and make you miserable. That seems to be assuming that morality involves you being healthy and happy, which is not an assumption I make. Furthermore if I believe something to be morally correct then telling me that it hurts me is not going to make me change my ways because I care more about being a moral person than an unhurt one. If I cared more about making myself healthy and happy than about being a moral person then I would have free reign to go around abusing others for my own desires.

    1. So it took me a bit to respond to this because I wanted to actually give it enough of my attention to really reply properly.

      The concept of a truly objectively correct moral system is nonsensical to the point of not even being wrong, but appending it at the very least to “objectively correct for humans to follow” still doesn’t actually yield anything without axioms. It’s possible to have an objectively best set of actions to take given a particular set of moral axioms but you need the axioms and the values to build the morals around. Without “people being alive is good” there’s nothing for “it’s good to save people’s lives” to ground itself onto.

      It’s fine to have moral axioms, necessary even, but acknowledge that you are the source of those axioms and thus the morality you adhere to. The need for your morality to be objective, to be something that comes from outside of yourself, seems like a failure to take responsibility for your own ideals and a lack of true belief in the power of those ideals within the overall schema that is your mind. If you truly wish to serve those ideals, it is important to accept them as your own. They were not blasted into you from deep space, they arose within you, and you are all the more powerful for it. Don’t deny your own power by casting it as some other.

      Your ability as a living creature with consciousness, your sacred ability, comes from the fact that you can make these powerful forces arise within you, and you can learn to control them. From what you’ve written here, you seem almost afraid of that power. You seem to believe that if you truly did what you wanted and didn’t follow this moral system you have built for yourself that you would “run around abusing others for your desires,” but by denying this power you are trapping yourself in a box and limiting your potential both good and bad.

      Follow the desires of that which would, in the absence of your moral system existing, create that system anew. That is a power that is of you, of your soul, and when you let it flow through you unhindered, great things are possible.

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