Is Morality Objective?

I recently found two varying opinions on the objectivity of morality.

The shorter read is this reddit comment from user DeusExMentis. He says that morality could be referentially objective – that is, similar to how what is objectively south of me might be objectively north of you, what is objectively wrong in one circumstance might be objectively right in another. I think the idea certainly has some merit.

A much longer read is How Morality Has the Objectivity that Matters—Without God. The very short version is that statements like “It is wrong to kill unjustifiably” are not descriptive statements but judgement statements, so they are not objective in the sense that “2 + 2 = 4” is objective or subjective in the sense that “Chocolate is yummy” is subjective. Please actually read the article, though, as my summary is not nearly as good as his original ideas. Again, I think his ideas have merit.

Personally, I have said that morality has some objective principles, such as that suffering is bad, but subjective application. In other words, it is morally good to cause a child suffering by sticking a needle in her arm, thereby protecting the child from the greater suffering of smallpox, polio, chickenpox, mumps, measles, etc.

I think all three of these views are compatible to an extent; all three carry an idea of certain things being always wrong, at least in similar circumstances.

What do you think?


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