Defining 'objective reality' (was Re: Subjective Morality)

Keith M. Elis (
Tue, 12 Jan 1999 23:17:08 -0500

Hal wrote:

> I don't know a definition [of 'objective morality'] which avoids
> circularity.
> Objective morality: a system for telling which actions are moral.
> Moral: the quality of actions in keeping with objective morality.

I'll deal with the components first:

objective, adj., known from that which is the case.

morality, n., one or more heuristics which limit the possible actions per circumstance to the correct actions per circumstance.

objective morality, n., one or more heuristics, known from that which is the case, which limit possible actions per circumstance to correct actions per circumstance.

To avoid the recursion Hal noted, I've chosen a regressive definition. All definitions are either tautologous or regressive. For some reason, infinite regress is more palatable than tautology for a lot of people. Though I've run into some who, for even odder reasons it seems, like tautologies better.

I'm not so sure about my definition of 'morality'. I figured morality limits possible actions to correct actions, just as physics limits conceivable actions to possible actions, and intelligence limits all actions to conceivable actions. I'm more confident about my definition of 'objective'.

Keith M. Elis