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Is Objective Morality Superior To Subjective One?

The symbol of morality

Morality comes in many forms and influences us objectively and subjectively. But is it possible that one is better than the other? Is objective morality superior to subjective one? Let’s find out.

The human morality represented through a compass.
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Morality and ethics are the backbones of our social systems and cooperation. For centuries, our ethics have helped us survive through the toughest times with the help of a moral code.

These ethics can be anything such as social ethics, work ethics, and individual ethics. But one thing is similar in these ethics and morality we possess. We do so based on the survival of individuality, society, and cooperation.

Now, according to our society, people who go against the set moral principle are punished for their acts. For instance, killing an old person simply because he is old is against individual and social interests.

But it is not a one-sided judgment of just right or wrong. It has proper emotional reasoning behind our choice of not performing these acts. We don’t want the same thing to happen to us if we were in his place.

Morality, whether subjective or objective, is like an emotional framework that categorizes the individual and society, respectively. It is the reason why we refrain from acting against the interests of both the above.

So, “Is objective morality superior to subjective one?”

Let’s find out.

Why do we need proper value judgments?

“Have you ever wondered why we need a moral and ethical system?”

“What is the relevance of having value judgments for individuals and society?”

For instance, let’s consider a group of five men who are engaged in an important meeting to discuss their relationship issues. Now two of them are fed up with having so many commitments and want to leave their spouses.

The other two want to have an extramarital affair with other married women. Now, the fifth one is also disturbed with the burden of responsibilities but does not want to leave his family as it feels wrong and immoral to him.

The eternal moral compass of subjective values.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Likewise, value judgments are made to ensure that a person doesn’t lose a sense of personal reasoning concerning values, ethics, and principles. These judgments also skim down the moral dilemmas to form ethical opinions.

So, here are 3 reasons why we need proper value judgments.

1. Value judgments are the foundations of moral reasoning:

Moral reasoning is meaningless without value judgments. How else would we be able to make sense of someone’s behavior? Nothing goes past these judgments, which makes them the foundation of reasoning.

Also, these judgments can be both objective and subjective, depending on the person. Either it can be beneficial to a community or tribe, or an individual alone.

The logical sense of correct and incorrect is different from moral reasoning of right and wrong that weighs in every decision.

2. Value judgments impart structure to our unstable emotions:

This is true only when we are willing to deal with our emotions. A proper framework or a structure is essential to manage and regulate our unstable emotional reactions that can be messy and confusing in the long run.

Not only this, but value judgments also help us to be genuine and authentic on many different matters. They aid us in having a strict adherence to our emotional state.

Unstable emotional reactions are not at all good for individuals and society. Therefore, it is better to deal with them by imparting structure.

3. Value judgments are essential to survival:

Our survival depends on cooperation instead of competition. The reason is that cooperative skills require proper objective value judgments, understanding of which will lead to better chances of survival.

Having proper value judgments is the key to maintaining communal harmony and social welfare. Only by coming together and cooperating can we understand the cycle of life.

If the logical analysis is important to our survival, then so are value judgments. Both help us find a good solution to existential problems.

So, here are the reasons why we need value judgments.

But, “Is objective morality superior to subjective one?

Let’s find out about that in the next section.

Is objective morality superior to subjective one?

Well, morality is a complex thing to understand. After years of modifications and improvements in our values, we are unaware of their basis in reality. Do we need two different types of morals? I guess it’s still a dilemma.

However, the more important question is whether the objective or the universal morality is better than the subjective or individual one. The problem is we resonate with both, so we cannot decide between the two.

The common issue with people today is they try to value one over the other to find out which works in the long run. While objective morality might be useful for the community or tribe, it can’t guide individuals with a moral compass.

So, here are 5 ways how both objective and subjective morality is important to us.

1. Objective morality is tribal values, subjective morality is self values:

What are tribal and self values?

Well, as the name suggests, tribal values are the ethics of the community or group, while self values are that of an individual or self. Humanity is also the result of the self ones that help people understand the individual too.

Properly utilizing both the moral values can benefit society without compromising individual rights. Both types of moral systems also help in forming a progressive society.

2. Objective morality is harmony and peace, subjective morality is authenticity and stability:

Harmony and authenticity are very important traits that are used by both objective and subjective morality, respectively. These traits are also useful in alleviating human ethical experiences.

To be honest, establishing peace and harmony is vital concerning social elements to mitigate the conflicts between several groups. Both authenticity and stability mitigate the individual differences between people.

When we utilize them as moral systems, they help in creating a better world for both individuals and society.

3. Objective morality is stable, and subjective morality is dynamic:

We need both types of moral systems that are stable as well as dynamic. When moral systems are too rigid for society to accept new ways of feeling through things, we need the dynamic one, which can help in removing complications.

The objective morality or tribe ethics is stable and consistent. It has a more practical and universal application of moral principles. On the other hand, subjective morality or self ethics is dynamic and ever-changing due to the individual refining his moral principles.

Both stability and dynamicity are essential to govern the society with much consideration towards human ethics.

4. Objective morality considers altruism, and subjective morality considers empathy:

To live in a society, one has to take into account the interests of the people around them. For instance, magnanimity and altruism are two traits that represent the objective side of moral values.

On the other hand, the interests of the self are equally important. Empathy and Goodwill are two traits that represent the subjective side of moral values. Empathy is the need of the hour now to maintain social harmony.

It is through these traits that we identify the preference of an individual, which might lie towards objective or subjective morality.

5. Lastly, objective morality is influential, and subjective morality is sacrificial:

Influencing people and motivating them towards a cause is what objective morality makes us do. Many influential people and even religious figures have influenced others with their sense of morality.

However, subjective morality is not influential but sacrificial. It is the center of the personal code of ethics that values sacrificing oneself for bringing a new change or revolution.

Influencing people and sacrificing for a change both are significant in their own respects and must be valued for their unique ways of affecting humanity.

Final Words:

To sum up, subjective morality is as important as objective one. Neither is better or worse in any respect. We need both types of moral systems to make sense of things that can benefit humanity.

The traits give us a fruitful knowledge about the internal and external code of ethics. We can learn to incorporate and balance these types of moral values and make the world a better place.

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