In a subjective world, how do we judge the actions of others?

We live in a world of subjective morality, where moral positions are decided purely on opinion, they are but beliefs rooted in ideology and this presents a stark problem; which morality should we adhere to, given that no morality is objectively correct, true or just?


If something is written in law, this does not make it moral, acceptable or good; what laws should or shouldn’t be created or enforced is but purely a subjective opinion. There exists no objective reference to which you can measure the morality, acceptability or goodness of any law. However, we still require the law to be the artificially created moral standard to which to judge all citizens within society, because without it chaos would emerge for there would be no good or bad actions and we would lack any credibility to hold anyone accountable. Similarly, objective morality does not exist but we require a shared moral code on which to judge others, for a lack of an objective standard inhibits us from holding anyone accountable for their actions as they can justly claim differing beliefs in the face of accusation and judgement.

I’m confused, can you please elaborate?

Moral codes differ from person to person, and as a result, there is no standard by which to compare moralities; a world without a moral standard results in an inability to cast judgement on anybody’s actions. If a society cannot judge somebodies actions then how can it enforce rules, for you could claim to not subscribe to those rules; this causes dysfunction within a society, this creates chaos. In order to prevent this chaos, we require a moral standard by which to judge the actions of people, but if no objective moral standard exists, we must create an artificial standard. However, this begs the question; what morality should we elect as this artificially created standard? Who determines the standard? And these are just and difficult questions; I don’t believe that the decision making power should be placed in the hands of the few but in the hands of the many. We have kind-of addressed this issue of who gets to say what’s okay and what’s not through our democratic law; a system that attempts to harness the opinions of the masses to create and destroy rules by which the actions of all will be judged against. But, should we use the law as this standard? Perhaps… However, it would be awfully arrogant of me to assert this with conviction. All I know is that we require a moral standard by which to judge the actions of others, else we slide into chaos, and it seems that our reality has a distinct lack of an objective reality, so we must make do.

I believe that the law is a good starting point for a moral standard to be developed. It already exists, possesses the ability to enforce these rules and it’s not something that somebody can opt-out without leaving the country. Moreover, the law is a good standard to adopt because it doesn’t allow dogmatism, generally speaking, and it also permits evolution; an example of this is the abolition of slavery, which was prevalent and accepted until dissidents begun to emerge against this dominant philosophy. I think that most people can agree that slavery is wrong and always was wrong, and the abolition was a necessary step in the evolution of collective morality. Slavery is a prime example of something that societies got starkly wrong, and this error was corrected by force from those who believed in an opposing philosophy.

Furthermore, the law allows people who believe that the status quo isn’t the best way to exist to vehemently challenge dominant perceptions and philosophies; the law also allows for the pushback against reform, however, the philosophy and/or perception(s) that speak and act with the most conviction will emerge victoriously.

What do you think? Do you think that the law could be utilised as an artificially created moral standard by which to judge others; a standard that permits evolution, is enforceable and is inherent in our society?


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