The word morality, in basic terms, refers to the distinction of good from bad or right from wrong. The basis of such decision making is the subject of great controversy among scholars dealing with this field of study. This has led to the introduction of schools of thought such as subjectivism and objectivism with their respective variations therein. According to subjectivism, the definition of morality is based on the knowledge of individual on what is right or wrong. In this kind of thinking any perception can be dimmed right or wrong depending on the ability of the originator of this perception to defend it. Objectivism, on the other hand, looks at morality on the basis of principles that have already been set by the authority. As such, there are universal definitions of right or wrong and therefore one’s perception does not matter in defining morality. This response paper aims at answering the question of whether objectivism can be used as a foundational basis of morality determination.
Those arguing on the subjectivism realm cite the fact that the determination of a concept as morally wrong or right could only be done on the basis of a strength or weakness of a debate. The facts presented therein would be the only way to prove or disapprove the phenomenon existence. A position attained in one argument does not necessarily hold any water in any similar argument that would occur later if the facts presented were of a stronger or more convincing stand (Williams, 2012). This seems to be an unstable way of looking at issues as individuals facing new situations may not be able to make correct decisions. This leaves them in trial and error states because it is not always that an individual will have a correct answer to a problem (Rachels & Rachels, 2010).
The Argument for Objectivism
The argument for objectivism, on the other hand, moves towards the existence of universal truths which men must seek to understand before making any judgment. The Greek philosopher, Socrates, asserts that there is more than meets the eye and therefore the use of what is already known to man for argument in different cases is a display of ignorance of the existing knowledge hierarchies. According to Williams (2012), objectivism cites a distinction of truth and knowledge from individual perception and the need to search for this truth. This brings it out as a good and straight forward concept to base decisions on. The fact that the academic learning process is based on already defined knowledge confirms the importance of objectivity in decision making. Objectivism in such a sense provides a structured way in which people can base their actions and eliminate confusion in the process of decision making.
The confusion created by subjectivism can be demonstrated by the differences in perception that is displayed in the artwork making. In such industries a creation by one artist may have a very different meaning from what another perceives it to be. In an instance where one sees a bicycle wheel, another might see the expression of unity and strength. Straight forwardness in objectivity is, on the other hand, displayed in facts based on science where Musca domestica remains to be a name representing a housefly no matter which part of the earth one comes from. Such consistency in perception makes a decision making process fast and easy.
The use of objectivity as a basis of decision making provides an opportunity to benefit from truth thereby eliminating flaws that stem from illogical argument. Argument has to be based on more than it is already known to an individual. The search for an understanding of new phenomenon provides a chance to create mutual trust with other individuals with whom one interacts. This provides a chance for people to benefit more from the long-term relationships created. As an example, the use of objectivity in business is a chance to ensure that there is consistency in matters discussed in contracts. This brings about trust and understanding among the parties involved and provides for more business opportunities (Ciulla, Martin, & Solomon, 2010).
Even though the Nazis who carried out the Holocaust thought it was good in their own perception, it cannot be said that the massacre of people from a certain background is right. This example clearly demonstrates objectivity as a foundation of morality because it deprives any single individual the right of holding a negative or harmful opinion against another. Otherwise, the upholding of a contrary opinion would be an encouragement of anarchy.
However, there is a problem that sets in after accepting objectivity as a basis of morality. This is basically due to the fact that the originator of the objective rules of conduct may differ depending on the background of people in an argument. The non-definist religious authoritarianists who believe in different supernatural powers with different rules on morality will still clash thereby creating a dilemma. It becomes difficult to choose a single authority on which truth can be based on. The need to define objective morality on atheistic background also arises because of the possibility of non-existence of a supernatural deity who rules on morality (Rachels & Rachels, 2010).
In conclusion, the determination of morality must go beyond confirmation of concepts towards the adjustment of ideas and intentions to achieve results that have platforms applicable in most if not all situations. The use of objectivism provides such a platform by ensuring that people view phenomena on the same side. A few disagreements may arise here and there but the objective system with its prowess in consistency would still be able to provide a much needed platform of unity.