OST is closed for business but its spirit survives on my blog.
“But statements can be closer to or further from the truth, ”
Nope. Either true or false. I’m talking of course about atomic statements. Most everyday human statements are composite and in the sense that more or fewer of the atomic statements within a composite statement are true, the statement as a whole can be more or less true. But that’s not the point. An atomic statement is either true or false. That doesn’t mean that there is an absolute truth out there. If you go back to my first example, can you tell me which is closer to the truth “This tulip is red”, “This is edible sweet red growing ground” or “This is a red flower”? The purpose of the statement is not to establish truth. The statement is simply in itself either true or false. The truth value (of a statement) is established by evidence, not by merely making the statement.
Human language as you say (I think) can be vague but saying something imprecise does not mean that it is only half-way between truth and falsehood.
“—Every statement ever made was made by someone, and therefore is subjective. In a sense, every sentence presupposes the words “in my opinion” prefixed to it.”
If everything everyone said were said with the implied prefix of it being the speaker’s opinion, then your suggestion that every statement is subjective would be true. But not all statements are made with that implication (very few I would argue) and for that very reason your suggestion that everything is subjective is also false. You are simply assuming the conclusion.
But getting back to subject, the universe has value in itself and that value is both created and mediated socially (and I don’t just mean in humans either), which is where the perception of morality (i.e. of some things being strongly right or wrong) comes from. It is written in the statements we make and the actions we do (which are really the same thing). The supposed objective morality can’t exist because there is no medium in which the language of the morality can be written. The argument that objective morality is an abstraction is surely wrong because the very language you use to abstract it must be communicated by those you are extracting it from. In order for it to be abstract, you would need to extract it from humans as well. I would argue that the perception of the reality of right and wrong as something external truly comes from the nature of the real world itself. For those used to thinking platonically it is understandable that this would be misinterpreted as an absolute set of rules somewhere in the ether. Or even the case of a great dictat of God, it amounts to the same thing. The great dictat doesn’t make the universe valuable in itself, which to my mind is a fundamental creation principle in the Bible. God saw that it was good.
Sorry if I sound pretentious.