What is Objectivity?
Generally, objectivity means the state or quality of being true even outside a subject’s individual biases, interpretations, feelings, and imaginings (WIKIPEDIA)
Is it possible to identify what human life is, and what human life does, with respect to Morality, using objective observation?
Summary of Evidence from Human Biology and Human History:
The project of life is tied strongly to the passing on of traits to future offspring. In as much as large populations allow for this goal to be achieved, Human life has increased its likelihood to continue to pass traits onto its offspring.
It’s important to note that increased population will have diminishing returns as resources become limited. In the potentially near future, increased population may negatively impact the ability of humans to pass on traits, but for most of human history this has not been the case.
Contributors to population growth (and therefore increased opportunity for trait passage) include technological advances, improving economic conditions, improved education, improved life expectancy, etc. Yet the literature suggests that government structures and policies have been instrumental in allowing for those technological advances, improved education, improved health, etc. to occur. Interestingly, the protection of civil rights contributes strongly as well.
Conclusion: The Human species throughout history has identified numerous human interactions and behaviors which positively contribute to the overall project of life. That is to say, we observe a link between Moral principles and their relation to human trait passage.
This includes civil rights, labor practices, health policies, resource distribution and access to education, etc.
The success of government structures in protecting civil rights, for example, is shown to positively correlate with the overall project of life.
These Moral Laws (That civil rights contribute to Life’s project, for example) can be observed through an examination of Human History. When Humans have adopted Moral principles, Life’s project has been improved.
Some Moral principles remain subjective. For example: “Do Not Lie” cannot be shown to contribute to life’s project.
Possible criticism and defense:
- Life’s project of replication should not be our starting point.
Defense: This is a form of cynicism. It is possible to deny the value of life, or to ask for Moral principles that hold no preference to Life, but this sets the context for Moral philosophy outside the bounds of what Humans are (Humans are life). It is therefore an absurd position. The philosophical question of whether life can be called “Good” or Bad” or “irrelevant” is a useless project which adds no value to the discussion. Science observes what life is doing, and in the context of what life is doing, Moral principles that serve life’s project are established. Outside of the context of what life is doing, Moral questions lose meaning.
- Human Life is related to all life. A singular focus on the Human species doesn’t encompass the totality of Morality.
Defense: This line of argument asks for a nod to sustainability and determining the moral principles concerning species co-existence. But this is only an expansion of the more narrowed view of Human morality I have covered.
- This doesn’t cover all Morals.
Correct. Some Morals remain subjective, while other moral principles are likely yet to be discovered.
- What if situations change drastically? Can drastic changes to Earth nullify the Moral principles we’ve discovered? Does this mean they aren’t objective?
Principles in the social sciences cannot be modeled mathematically as well as principles in the physical sciences. In Economics, measuring supply and demand’s impact on price is always an imprecise Science. This doesn’t mean we have not observed the tendency for increases in Demand and reductions in Supply to contribute to higher price points. Observed principles are not subjective (they exist regardless of one’s opinion) but they can be subjected to changes in the total set of variables that impact how those principles are applied.
TABLES, CHARTS, QUOTES and LINKS (SOMEWHAT-BIBLIOGRAPHY)
- Population increased from approximately 250 Million during time of Jesus to nearly 8 Billion today https://ourworldindata.org/world-population-growth/
|1 AD||285 Million|
|1100 AD||311 Million|
|1800 AD||969 Million|
|1900 AD||1.7 Billion|