To begin with, I believe in ethical, moral objectivity. I believe there's no particular problem in proving this/make a good case for it.
1. That the
ethical system is flawless in the sense that there is no obvious allowance of
moral wrongdoing in it.
2. "...ethical claims are objective if it is possible
for agents who make them to do so correctly or incorrectly. Objectivity in this
sense implies the possibility of moral error.(3)" That is to say that moral
mistakes exist, not that moral errors are committed ethically.
claims are objective if they are 'answerable to substantial [ethical] facts and
properties in the world that exist independently of the contingent practice of
making those claims and the relevant attitudes of those who make them' (p.
4. "...ethical claims are objective if reasonable agents competent
with the concepts that constitute them would converge in 'favorable
circumstances of rational inquiry' (p. 7)(2).(5)" That is to say, in my opinion,
that there are objective moral duties in relation to the object in
From the book review of (1)(2)Hallvard Lillehammer's Companions
in Guilt: Arguments for Ethical Objectivity written by (3)(4)(5)Terence Cuneo in
the journal Mind Volume 118, Number 470, April 2009, ISSN 0026-4423.
also worth mentioning the book of Paul Bloomfield's Moral Reality, OUP, 2004
that the review mentions.
I see the description of an Ethical Objective
system as an (mathematical) intersection of the above 4 points. The Ethical
Objective system should thus satisfy the most strict and strongest requirements
for such a system. It's worth noting that it should be humanly possible to fit
into it with a least one member, one human being, and that it should live up to
general requirements of plausibility and reasonability.
One more thing: I
think it should be noted that "reasonable agents" mean people who are able to
separate right from wrong and are basically in agreement with the actual system
of ethics in question. If the case is otherwise, they fall into a different
group and are not relevant to the system that is being discussed. This may limit
the number of people who can adhere to that system quite severely, but that is
the nature of the current diversity of humanity.
I've made some additions
to the book review and as such the whole is more a new argument than a factual
instance that I like to address.
The framework for every Ethical
Objective System can be as extensive as every legal framework as I see it,
without imposing particular problems.
The further work to the Ethical
Objectivity is this. The obstacle one meets is concerning depth. I think the
human cognition decides the depth of the ethical system's reach, absolutely and
objectively, of the Ethical Objectivity discussed. If the human being can't have
knowledge about a deeper fact of nature then one can't also say that the human
being can commit any mistakes in that relation. It's therefore of no use to
point to a phenomenon that lies outside the normal or possible human cognition
because a sufficient ethically objective system isn't constructed at all to take
care of those phenomena's ethical content. No matter what, the ethically
objective system will therefore relate to our common life-world, the life-world
that one can actually say something objective about. It's therefore the case
that all hypothetical micro- and macro-phenomena are outside the domain that
actually can have some influence on the human being's ethical and moral life.
It's therefore not decisive to have absolute knowledge to have an efficient
ethical objective system as long as one does one's duties for the best in this
actual effective ethical objective system in what concerns information and
possibilities. In that kind of view, one can plausibly say that doctors in
ancient history may have been acting ethically objective in some cases, if not
all, of course, despite a very limited knowledge about the human body. It's
clear that science will form an outer frame for our life-worlds wherein this
Ethical Objective System functions as in the question of preventive measures
concerning Global Climate Changes and also about our limitations in size of
total world population that should or can exist without collapsing into chaos
and extinction of being examples of conscious beings capable of knowledge,
possibly effecting one's own salvation.
Consequently, let's look at
abortion again. What if two parties agree on the fact that guilt may not apply
for abortion because there are factors that speak strongly for and against as
well as the indeterminate status of the fetus to be removed, both on brain
function and emotional function(1) when the procedure is carried out? Thus,
abortion for these two parties remains a private, informed and "esoteric"
decision, yet respected by either party in companionship without
Hypothetically speaking, it's plausible to say that being a human
without an ethical system in the 21st century and aligning oneself with the
ancient humans and humanoids like the Cro-Magnons, seems just crazy! It's laying
such a waste to a whole heritage, legacy of philosophical civility! The ancient
humans before civilization can be said to be driven by evolutionary, biological
instincts! Nihilism, relativism or other destructive ethical approaches are
historically insensitive, possibly rationally insensitive, absurd or out of
As much as Paul Bloomfield makes the argument of having and
maintaining good physical health, I'd like to add the following:
It should be
possible to determine Integrity, Mental Health and Physical Health by keeping
one's ethics. People may fool themselves, but I think that the most sensitive
factor of these three, being Integrity, is very much affected by both bad
attitude/mindset and bad actions, altogether being bad morals and possibly bad
Through the arsenal of diagnostics like various lie-detectors,
(f)MRI-scans, interviews, somatic examinations and what have you it should be
possible to make good judgment on the status of these 3 factors, Integrity,
Mental Health and Physical Health. Any reasonable doubt can therefore be removed
for what kind of companion one is socialising with. Any person with substantial
deviation in either Integrity, Mental Health and Physical Health from the
characteristics that are condoned by exactly this Ethical Objectivity can thus
be excluded from the desirable group of people that comply with Ethical
Objectivity. The days of the Arguments of Companions in Guilt are consequently
It should be a fundamental belief that morality/ethics is to
respect rationality in others, also the potential of such in others, eg.
children. This doesn't capture ecology very well, but I can think of it as
intelligent/rational to allow nature and animals alike a natural life (for
various reasons) incl. agricultural/aquacultural. Thus, as this is a facet of
being rational as a person, every person should respect people with ecological
views and the ecological view therefore becomes the only ethical view in this
respect, a general starting point.
Rationality in this sense is nothing
mysterious. It's just the capacity to score well/great on IQ-tests, having a
fine, intelligent flow of thoughts and doing a good or great working
performance, whatever this may be, being in the stream so to
Although I've written about rationality above I like to write the
following to make it perfectly clear. There are (at least) two kinds of
Rationality that it's fair to speak of. One is the rationality according to
function, being the way you apply your mind to whatever problems, practical or
intellectual. The other one is rationality as in being of good mental health,
being well-developed. It should be clear that rationality is the top premise of
this Ethically Objective system that I ascribe and develop from a Neo-Kantian
This is a writing for removing any religious notion to the word
Rationality and thus the system of Rationality may seem reasonable to everyone.
I'm in doubt whether I. Kant has meant any religiousness at all with his
"kingdom of ideas". People have interpreted it this way, but I can't see that
there's a single factual instance of this in his text. Quite the opposite, I
think he thinks that the common person is able to make clever thoughts, to take
part in the "kingdom of ideas". I find this a much more charitable reading of
him and it makes him look better too!
Repugnance and appeal to
emotions/feelings/aestheticism are not any good way to get there even though I
support every argument that makes a good foundation for Ethical
It should be noted that people of good moral attitude and
behaviour seem better able to create and maintain, by keeping the duties, social
relationships both in symmetric and asymmetric terms.
I'm with Dr. Sam
Harris when he argue by objectivity of flourishing and happiness, potentially by
and in everyone, on TED Talks that some/all moral questions or some/all outside
spectrums of some/all moral spectrums can be answered by science. Now, I don't
know if this is consensus within a group of scientists and philosophers alike
and if this is documented by scientific articles. He does mention psychology and
neuro-science as two (obvious) angles to answer this scientifically. It must be
admitted by myself, whether or not Dr. Sam Harris agrees, however, that
flourishing and happiness are still normative, unscientific, ethical objectives.
One can indeed be relatively poor and still be generally happy and one can work
too much and thus flourish beyond one's happiness. It's also a question to what
ends we are supposed to be flourishing and happy. Where does this flourishing
and happiness lead to if there's no destination in sight? Isn't then life only a
matter of taste and artistry in life? What about doing extreme sports and other
activities where one does risk one's own life? The question is not so much a
matter of this risk-taking person's life, but this person's social connections,
possibly causing grief in these people by the risk-taking. Thus, it's yet to see
to what extent one can fully argue that the objectives of flourishing and
happiness can be scientific. Indeed, this scientific notion has implicitly some
kind of normative destiny to it that Dr. Sam Harris is in debt to
It's admirable of Dr. Sam Harris of denoting this "scientific",
given the normative objectives, and at the same time quenching the lunatics who
promote death and destruction. It's certainly worth a thorough scientific study
of what underlying causes there are for people's misfortunes when it's so
commonly known that most or all people like to be happy, flourishing or
(1)Remark concerning abortion by The Royal College of Obstetricians
and Gynaecologists (RCOG):
By The Royal College of Obstetricians and
"Fetal Awareness - Review of Research and
Recommendations for Practice".
* The fetus cannot feel pain before 24 weeks because the
connections in the fetal brain are not fully formed
* Evidence examined by
the Working Party showed that the fetus, while in the chemical environment of
the womb, is in a state of induced sleep and is unconscious
* The Working
Party concluded that because the 24 week-old fetus has no awareness nor can it
feel pain, the use of analgesia is of no benefit
* More research is needed
into the short and long-term effects of the use of fetal analgesia post-24
The full report:
this particular webpage, is published: 25/06/2010 (summary and
Game over! You lose, relativists and subjectivists! I'd say there
is no objection by the subjectivists and relativists that can overcome Ethical
Objectivity (now)! I've been meditating this for quite a while and I'm now at
peace by the preceding sentences. There is simply no chance to refute Ethical
The argument is not finished by these words and
remains to be made a paper of academic quality, if not a book.
By Terje Lea / Leonardo F. Olsnes-Lea, 2009 - 2010, 2012 - and still ongoing.
Lea, 11th November, 2009, 9th December, 2009, 11th December, 2009, 6th March,
2010, 24th March, 2010, 26th March, 2010, 12th April, 2010, 22nd April, 2010,
25th April, 2010, 26th April, 2010, 4th May, 2010, 10th May, 2010, 9th June,
2010, 28th June, 2010 and 24th October, 2010. Minor change of title,
18.11.2010. Now controlled under my new name, Leonardo F.