Einstein proved everything is relative.

Morality must also be relative, but relative to what?

I argue our morality is obviously relative to Humans, thus all moral arguments we are able to judge must reference a human mind.

Now that we know morality is relative to humans, how best to comport ourselves?

I argue we must obviously follow the path of least harm. It seems completely obvious to me we all must comport ourselves in a fashion which we exact the least harm on others and the world as possible.

Anything after these rules is up to the individual.


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Why does it seem obvious to you? Is it an emotional-based conclusion or one reached through logic? Where is morality seated? In the emotional mindset or the logical one?

I am speaking from my own perspective, so it is obvious to me.

The logic is in the statements: Human morality must reference humans. Do as little harm as possible because you do not wish harm done to yourself.

I guess it is both emotional and logical, but I can only argue from the logical side.

Human morality must reference humans. I'm good with that as a logical statement.

Do as little ham as possible because you do not wish harm yourself. That is a non sequitur from the previous sentence. It is based solely on subjective opinion, and I contest it is more emotional than logical.

Example:- my son enlists in the army and is expected to kill several people in another country, possibly more. Should I kill my son first so he doesn't go off and kill five other people?

Thanks for the critique. I see where I lose you.

Human morality must reference humans. Humans strive for as little pain/harm in their own experience as possible. Thus, Humans should do as little pain/harm to themselves and everything surrounding themselves as is possible.


I can see where you are trying to come from. However, unless you accept that the sense of morality you feel is subjective, we probably can't go any further.

I cannot stand to watch a human mistreat an animal. That is something instinctive in me, not learned or objective

Oh, I totally understand the moral choice is subjective to the subject. I can't make a moral choice for you and vice versa.

You and I are simpatico on animals. I have returned to a vegetarian diet to avoid supporting factory livestock farming.

Seems like you picked a pretty easy straightforward question ;)

The most important part of tackling a difficult question is to define your terms well.  This is especially true if it's a philosophical question (extra the case with ethics/morality). So try and give an extremely clear, unambiguous definition of:


"least harm"

and an explanation of what kind of matrices you'd use to work out the many different conflicts of interest and multiple outcomes.

Finally answer this question:

Is harm relative?

Is "least harm" relative?


You gotta start somewhere

Harm is relative. I personally feel little harm when I eat meat once every few days, but I know the animals have a different opinion.

As I said, every individual must figure out 'harm' from their own perspective.

I believe you understand when I say harm, but I cannot define it further than the dictionary without filling it with my personal ideas of harm.

Mmm. That sounds extremely vague. The problem with using terms that aren't explained in the least and leaving it all for subjective experience...is that the ethical system becomes hopelessly mired in entirely subjective processes which are ripe for human flaws like cognitive bias or "do harm to avoid possible greater harm" or "the needs of the many outweight the needs of the few (and you pick who the few are) or making it moral to do something most people think is harmful but as a masochist find great.

If you cannot work out even a basic definition of harm other than:

whatever you think might not be good for another person from your own subjective view"

then we can just reduce the whole concept to:

Don't be a dick.

I agree, Davis. But I can't define what others view as good/bad. Every individual must make these decisions themselves.

The holy books which declare 'objective' morality rules are woefully poor guides, as we all mostly agree. Even though the books sometimes advocate extreme violence, I know violence is a solution which weakens and could destroy both the aggressor and the victim.

Thus, I make the choice to advocate non-violence and do my best to follow the rule.

"Least Harm"...as if you can predict the future. For all we know Hitler may have saved all human life (e.g. is responsible for the death of some future leader who would have ended all human life on the planet.)

Even if you did predict the outcome from your action(s), try to get people to agree on the definition of "Least Harm".

I can't predict the future and neither can you. Please do not patronize me; you understand harm.

You know when your childhood friend hit you during an argument, you felt harm.

You know when you eat meat, an animal felt harm.

I do not attack humans and I do as little to attack animals as possible. I know just by living that I cause harm to others, but I do not wish to die so my goal is to do as little harm as possible while I live.


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