30 September 2011

Defining Objective Morality

There are people on the left of the political paradigm that spend much of their time arguing that morality is subjective. This couldn’t be further from the truth. A favourite argument by those trying to put this point across involves the existential belief of perspectivism, first defined by Friedrich Neitzsche. This philosophy states that there is no true objective knowledge, for all knowledge is based on certain perspectives. Supporters of existentialism, relativism, or postmodernism, are typically attracted to such ideas on the premise that it allows people to define their own existence.

This is a very romantic notion, and not one that I totally disagree with, though in reality this not only becomes impractical without objective truth, but it is also prone to logical fallacies suggesting that absolute knowledge is impossible. Relativists often suggest that there is no way to attain true objective knowledge, and thus it is basically pointless or na├»ve to try. This is a fallacious position because the search for objective truth is not about “knowing everything”, but rather the expansion of knowledge, making the search for objective truth invigorating given that this builds upon understanding with each new discovery.

Similar contradictions are used when relativists make moral arguments. Morals are cited as dependent on culture, religion, race, or any number of factors. These same people will then claim that they still uphold basic natural laws, such as laws against killing or theft, though the sheer inconsistencies enveloped in this relativistic school of thought carries no weight when truly scrutinised. I believe that many of its supporters know this deep down, and so rely on ad hominems, conjecture, and misdirection. Here is an example:

One of the many strawman arguments in this video is:

"An ought cannot come from an is; a value cannot come from a fact. Rather an ought can only come from an if, e.g. ‘if I want to lose weight I ought to lose weight.’ Thus all values come from if clauses, which are always subjective, never objective."
This is known as a fallacy of ambiguity, which relies heavily on pseudo-semantics to deconstruct an argument - in this case, Rand’s Objectivism. Being dragged into this form of abstract argumentation is typically a red herring, and is easy to pull apart once put into context. Once relativists actually commit to an argument their case unravels. I can demonstrate this in relation to the dieting example by stating that:

"The fact is that in order to lose weight a person reasonably ought to diet and exercise. Thus the objective reality regarding losing weight is that exercise and healthy eating are what makes this possible."
This exhibits no category errors, and clearly shows that ought can coincide with objective goals. However, I am honest enough to admit that this sort of esoteric language is merely a form of mental masturbation, and has no place in a practical discussion about morals or rationality. In the case of defining objective morality this requires something that works in a real world setting, as opposed to the solipsism that consumes the mindset of the relatively inclined. Anything that is repeatedly broken down or attacked by relativistic philosophy is prone to abuse by the likes of religion, or consequential fallacies such as the greater good. This is a threat to individual liberty because it is too easy to implement and argue for clauses providing exceptions to individual rights. The philosophy that combats this is the non-aggression principle:

This cartoon helps to demonstrate how the non-aggression principle states that the initiation of coercion with force, threats, or lies is illegitimate. This is the basis for any moral framework, and anyone that doesn’t believe this has a fundamental lack of respect for individual liberty. Under this guiding principle we all have an equal right to liberty, and we also have the right to defend ourselves against the use of force by using self-defence. This must be relative to the force being used against us – so using an axe to chop off the head of someone who punched you in the face is excessive.

Furthermore, any form of collective coercion is also illegitimate, so it is unacceptable to force someone to pay taxes, obey society for an alleged greater good, or sacrifice individualism for a collective. There is simply no justification for taking something from someone to give to someone else - an immoral act in the name of a moral one is still illegitimate. Thus taking away the rights of men to better serve women, as Feminism always does, is a violation of the non-aggression principle - the non-aggression principle is non-negotiable!

Many leftists will protest loudly against such ideas, and here lies the key to exposing the totalitarian roots to what this group upholds. Leftists will spend much time claiming to stand for individualism, though in reality they only stand for forced collectivism as they reshape society. Marx’s “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need”, and its various incarnations, is the subconscious and openly spoken mantra for the left, but what this groups fails to understand is that the state possesses nothing more than what it takes from individuals. Thus it is only by using coercion that the state can have something to give. It is intellectually and morally dishonest to claim that the state does anything more than this, though there are those that argue the state is what provides us with the landscape to live our lives.

Naturally this is false given that statists often refuse to accept that voluntary collectivism regularly occurs in nature, and that the state abuses the socioeconomic setting so that it can retain power, and ultimately filter wealth up to the inevitable ruling class – the conclusion of any structure that uses coercion to keep itself alive, for this ultimately infects every facet of human life. Social inequality is also used as an excuse to claim that without the state life as we know it would end, while the same group restricts the free market based on incorrect assertions about the free trade – the very mechanism that eliminates social inequality. I have repeatedly disproven all these ideas, though I will concede that the only threat to freedom is statism itself, for statists could never stand for a world without conditioning humanity to depend on forced collectivism.

This is RockingMrE – over and out!


  1. This is interesting but I'm still at a loss to understand what what you consider to be the basis of objective morality. I'm of a mind to reject the idea myself because I think moral relativism is what's illustrated by history. OK I admit our knowledge of history is imperfect but we can see from our current predicament that the moral strictures our masters impose upon us and that society accepts, albeit through the persuasion of the media, is in a state of flux. One year homosexuality is taboo, a decade later it's -Homophobia-. It's fickle and often subject to esoteric concernes or worse arbitrary doctrine.

  2. "but what this groups fails to understand is that the state possesses nothing more than what it takes from individuals. Thus it is only by using coercion that the state can have something to give."
    Which is setup nicely by the course of demonizing males, so that while they receive monies from the state, they can find it easily acceptable because they are only taking the money from the "evil oppressors" and not from the oppressed "good peoples".
    It's rationalization taken to its extreme. "I want what I want, so I choose to believe that it is a good thing to take from those that others say are evil, to satisfy those desires.". I don't think that for most of them, it's even a conscious thing. They just want it to be true so badly, that they can ignore the niggling little details.
    One of the things that I have noticed, in searching for more details about feminism and men's rights, is that seemingly all of the references that literature that is geared to back-up feminists, is notoriously devoid of graphs and charts, but heavy on worded summations... that generally seem to actually run counter to the enclosed data. In the literature that men use to support their claims, these(charts and graphs) feature strongly. The female directed data is couched in lengthy verbiage... possibly favoring the supposed female predilection for exposition. The male directed data is primarily with numbers and imagery.
    Which is possibly why men referencing these items have so much trouble swaying women, who are at least receptive to the possibility that feminism is wrong, from actually adapting to that possibility. We're basically pointing them to data that that can't comprehend, due to a difference in they way they compute it. we're trying to take a round peg of data and push it through a square hole of receptivity.