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Thread: Good & Bad, Subjective or Objective?

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    Good & Bad, Subjective or Objective?

    Just recently through the study I have been doing on Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union as well as Religions I have come to quite a perplexing problem.

    Is Good and Bad subjective or objective? For so long people have seen it as objective which is seen when people call others "evil" or when they say they did something for the "common good" or any other opposite of evil. However, since I am still trying to find what religion(s) are right for me I can not see the possibility of Good and Bad being objective since it depends which God you choose and how you interpret their texts so you can determine between good and bad.

    However, subjective seems to come short of the line. What I mean is that you would think there would exist an objective good and bad but as before it seems irrational unless you know which God is the real one. So if it is somehow subjective how can one ever determine whether he/she is a person of admirable or disgustful character? Since, if you think good and bad are subjective, so too are morals and values which follow good and bad which are all influenced by those around you as well as the environment and what you are subjected to throughout your life.

    Or is it perhaps that the idea of good and bad being subjective or objective; is, in itself, subjective, and that we can not know the answer to it?

    I hope this was clear. I was just typing while thinking. eyes:

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    I think it is subjective, but some behaviors are so detrimental or beneficial that nearly everyone considers them 'good' or 'evil', in which case they might as well be objective
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwordOfTheVistula View Post
    I think it is subjective, but some behaviors are so detrimental or beneficial that nearly everyone considers them 'good' or 'evil', in which case they might as well be objective
    Indeed. However, that would just show that "nearly everyone" is dominated by the same mode of thought which is apparent in Western popular culture and the very fine line of what is "acceptable" and what isn't.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elysium View Post
    Indeed. However, that would just show that "nearly everyone" is dominated by the same mode of thought which is apparent in Western popular culture and the very fine line of what is "acceptable" and what isn't.
    I don't think it has anything to do with western pop culture. I think nearly everyone with more than a couple brain cells can realize that certain activities are detrimental to society. Most of these same activities have been considered detrimental by most societies across the world throughout history.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwordOfTheVistula View Post
    I don't think it has anything to do with western pop culture. I think nearly everyone with more than a couple brain cells can realize that certain activities are detrimental to society. Most of these same activities have been considered detrimental by most societies across the world throughout history.
    Some societies think there is no difference between murdering and killing someone. Where as other societies think you can easily justify killing someone depending on the actions of that person.

    Anti-Racism is detrimental to more than just "society" but it is considered a godly occupation.
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    Considering good or bad is purely abstract I would call it subjective. Then again, the more I think about it, the more objectivity starts to make less sense to me. Since the role of objectivity is to avoid personal bias, objectivity is subjective to the individual in essence. Good or bad would be objective in that sense since it is collective based rather than individualistic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leof View Post
    Considering good or bad is purely abstract I would call it subjective. Then again, the more I think about it, the more objectivity starts to make less sense to me. Since the role of objectivity is to avoid personal bias, objectivity is subjective to the individual in essence. Good or bad would be objective in that sense since it is collective based rather than individualistic.
    Mmm. I hadn't thought about that. So you mean to say that it is objective because the group of people around you decides what is good and what is bad? From little groups of friends you hang out with to the rules of society?
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    It's subjective, but its not and shouldn't be a choice (or not entirely) and it being subjective doesn't degrade its value at all.
    It is subjective in that it is dependent on the subject and his role and position in the world in relation to other beings not in the sense that its up to the individual. It can be up to the individual for some individuals who are capable of that kind of hardcore moral introspection, but for the vast majority of people, myself included (although I am working on it) that kind of complete control over selfsubjectivity is not achieved.
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    I've though about this subject a lot, and there only really seems to be a limited number of positions that are logically defensible on this issue.

    For those that are religious, good and bad are objectively discernible, whether or not their religion is a delusion, for them there is an objective morality.

    For those that are atheists, deciding what is good and bad is considerably more difficult. The majority of the population in western countries are essentially atheistic, yet if you asked them if, for example, racism was wrong they'd say that it was absolutely was, and no other view was acceptable. People who are non religious and claim to objectively know right and wrong, good and bad, are generally unable to explain the source of their morality, in fact their morality is subjective and dictated to them by society and those who control it. Those in charge conceal the fact that the morality they preach to the public is subjective, because if the public knew then they would understand that the morality was no more correct than any other view.

    I tend to take the view that the only objective morality for an atheist derives from nature and biology. Seeing things from this perspective informs the way I think on most issues, for example I'm for Germanic preservation and against immigration because in nature the only way one group can move to the lands of another and start consuming their resources and destroying their way of life is if they have defeated them in battle, no such event has occurred with regards to the people coming to our lands. I'm also aginst long term welfare benefits because it artificially allows those unable to effectively compete for resources with others to outbreed the more naturally able members of society who are subsidising them.

    Obviously what is natural and what is not natural is up for debate, but so far I havn't encountered a more rational basis for an objective belief system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elysium View Post
    Mmm. I hadn't thought about that. So you mean to say that it is objective because the group of people around you decides what is good and what is bad? From little groups of friends you hang out with to the rules of society?
    That's pretty much where I was going with that. Since what you want out of life is where good and bad derives from essentially, something that is outside of that is going to be objective from a collective stand point but bias towards the individual. I just don't see any moral code accomodating a broad spectrum of people. We all don't want the same thing since self-gain is not supportive of group conscience (at least not consistently so).

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