Why I changed my mind


Well, that’s exactly it. If it’s not objective, that’s all it is–preference (whether individual or communal).

To invoke Godwin’s Law, who are we to say that “Hitler was wrong” if morality is not objective? Isn’t that just their societal preference?


By definition, morality would be subjective. Morality doesn’t disappear just because it is subjective.

I would like to call it subjective morality, like many people do.

When someone says that they are using logic and reason it is implied that they are applying logic and reason to premises.

I also don’t see why using logic and reason can not allow you to arrive at conclusions of what is good or bad. Can you explain?


By definition? No.


  1. conformity to the rules of right conduct; moral or virtuous conduct.
  2. moral quality or character.
  3. virtue in sexual matters; chastity.
  4. a doctrine or system of morals.
  5. moral instruction; a moral lesson, precept, discourse, or utterance.
  6. morality play.


Why would there have to be an objective morality in order for the vast majority of the world to think his actions were vile and terrible?


If morality is the result of subjective preferences, then morality would be subjective, by definition.

Am I missing the definition where it says that morality is objective?


Sorry, the post was incomplete and premature…

It is (usually) never my intention to simply negate or deny your point unless I have a specific point in doing so. Which I don’t, here.


You can think his actions were vile and terrible, but you have no basis to criticize or judge. The worst (or best?) you can do is say, “I don’t like that.” There is no foundation for the statement, "That was wrong (or bad or evil or whatever).


Sure I do. I have my own empathy, logic, and reason as the basis for my judgments.


No, but I think it’s important at this point to clarify the difference between “good” and “my preference” and between “bad” and “not my preference.” I mean, we’re not talking ice cream flavours here.


Why does your logic, empathy, and reason give you the right to judge another culture?


The agreement between large swaths of other humans using the same basis for determining morality is what gives it justification.


Arguably, a whole lot of people in Germany in the 1930s agreed that what was going on was right. How many is enough to determine “right” and “wrong”?


The rest of the world?


In 1807, after the majority of his life had been spent on it, William Wilberforce managed to get the Slave Trade Act passed in British Parliament, outlawing the slave trade. He worked his way to this point for decades, slowly gaining support and supporters until he made it happen. When he started (and even when the act was passed), those who were against the slave trade were a tiny minority in the world.

Was he “right” or “wrong”?


He was right, as shown by his ability to convince others and the progress of abolition of slavery over time. That argument has won because of its merits as judged by human empathy, reason, and logic.


And he won over a nation.

Conversely, Hitler won over a nation (a larger one, I think, in terms of population). He used human empathy, reason, and logic as well. Different motives. Different results.

Are you suggesting that “right” and “wrong” are determined “over time”?


Hitler caused people to ignore human empathy and stoked their emotions so that they would ignore logic and reason.


Not at all. He just encouraged empathy for one another while stoking fear of “the other”–the Jew, the homosexual, the Jehovah’s Witness. He used reason and logic (agenda-driven, of course), and some of the latest scientific theories (evolution of race) to support his insane nationalistic ideals.


You just agreed with me.

Nowhere in any scientific theory does it say that we should kill people of a certain race. Where are you getting that from?

If God had commanded Hitler to commit genocide, would that have made it moral?


It’s still empathy–the empathy of one northern European for another.

No, but evolution of race was really popular in the 1930s with all kinds of negative examples (not just in Germany), and the bedrock of Darwinism is “survival of the fittest.” Hitler painted the Jews (et. al.) as a threat to the nation, as well as people like homosexuals and the mentally ill, and justified their extermination using his slant of the theory.

Besides which, science offers no moral compulsions whatsoever.