So lets clear something up: the two attributes objective/subjective and universal/relative are logically distinct. You can can have objective relativism ("What is moral is the law and the law varies from place to place.") and subjective universalism ("What is moral is just our opinions, but we all have the same opinions").

a fact of reality able to be investigated by science that is independent/prior to any of the mind's later acquisition of knowledge/content", versus "something that is not an independent/prior fact of reali

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Is there accessible discussion out there of why one might expect real world correlation between objectivity and universality.

I see that subjective universalism is logically coherent, but I wouldn't expect it to be true - it seems like too much of a coincidence that nothing objective requires people have the same beliefs, yet people do anyway.

Less Wrong views on morality?

by hankx7787 1 min read5th Jul 2012146 comments


Do you believe in an objective morality capable of being scientifically investigated (a la Sam Harris *or others*), or are you a moral nihilist/relativist? There seems to be some division on this point. I would have thought Less Wrong to be well in the former camp.


Edit: There seems to be some confusion - when I say "an objective morality capable of being scientifically investigated (a la Sam Harris *or others*)" - I do NOT mean something like a "one true, universal, metaphysical morality for all mind-designs" like the Socratic/Platonic Form of Good or any such nonsense. I just mean something in reality that's mind-independent - in the sense that it is hard-wired, e.g. by evolution, and thus independent/prior to any later knowledge or cognitive content - and thus can be investigated scientifically. It is a definite "is" from which we can make true "ought" statements relative to that "is". See drethelin's comment and my analysis of Clippy.