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Started by xSilverPhinx, January 27, 2020, 02:41:49 PM
Quote from: Recusant on January 28, 2020, 05:51:06 PMAs I was typing a reply, I see that there's been an edit above. I'll carry on and post what I wrote (basically attempting to provide a definition of morality), then will consider any new material. No theists presenting their position here, so I'll put the god hypothesis aside. With that in mind, I think it can be said that all ethical systems known to humanity are human creations. Morality is a set of variable principles and guidelines that color and to some extent govern the interactions of our species.Considering the question of existence, I think that we exist most significantly as a species, just as any other organism does. By that I mean, individual members of the species are evanescent manifestations. They can affect the course of the species' existence, but the existence of the species as a whole doesn't depend on any individual. Rather, the individual's existence depends on that of the species. I think it's realistic to describe Homo sapiens as a conscious social species. As such, we describe and understand interactions between individuals and groups on a level we call morality. Some actions are "worthy," "proper," or "good" while others are not. This seems integral to the functioning of the species. Certainly, moral values vary widely over the planet and over time, but where there are human beings, there are moral values. In our species this understanding overlays (and to some extent has supplanted) instinct, which governs most other species. Just as instinct is a real thing, so is morality.I would also say that each individual person operates within society in accordance with ethical principles. In some cases there's a single principle that the only genuine moral good is gratification of the individual's personal needs and desires. Such a single-minded person might not acknowledge the existence of any moral principles, but their actions take place in a moral context, given that is how the species works.
Quote from: billy rubin on January 28, 2020, 06:55:47 PMthe post i deleted was just distracting from the interesting stuff....
Quote from: Magdalena on January 29, 2020, 04:20:52 AMQuote from: billy rubin on January 28, 2020, 06:55:47 PMthe post i deleted was just distracting from the interesting stuff....
Quote from: Bad Penny II on January 29, 2020, 10:48:51 AMThose donkeys are cute, I say they are and so does Google as do all right thinking people.Have donkeys judged by some to be cute got anything to do with nihilism?Of course they do, nihilists hate cute donkeys.Nihilists shouldn't hate anything.Yet they do.
Quote from: billy rubin on January 28, 2020, 06:55:47 PMthe post i deleted was just distracting from the interesting stuff.let me make sure i understand, recusant. i think you're asserting that human societies are shaped by evolution for sociality, and also exhibit modifications due to individual variation. and that the result is what we call morality, which in the end is defined a posteriori as being whatever behavioural mores a society exhibits.if that is true, then the society that gassed the jews in auschwitz has as justifiable a moral underpinning as the society which today repudiates it. not meaning to choose a callous example, but the anniversary of its liberation has brought it to mind. then the decision today as to what constitutes moral or immoral behaviour would appear to be based strictly on whether the behavior departs from currently and locally accepted standards.this has implications for whether it is right or wrong to impose behaviors on other societies. if that's what morals are, and no more, then there would appear to be no right or reason to interfere in foreign genocides or social oppression, since those things are demonstrably moral there by virtue of being accepted practice. yet we do that all the time, citing moral imperatives.how would your definition address that question?by the way, i wouldn't say that morality "overlays" instinctive human behavior. i think most all of our intraspecific relationships are behaviorally identical to those we describe as "instinctive" in other organisms. we just dress up our own instincts in an intellectual roccoco that we don't grant other animals.
Quote from: Recusant on January 29, 2020, 09:13:38 PMIs there any reasonable basis for morality at all? Is it merely whim and happenstance?
QuoteGiven the foundation I attempted to construct above, I think that morality can reasonably be based on the well-being of the species and the ecosystem upon which it depends. In our species systems of morality serve at least part of the function taken by instincts in most other species. I'd say that instinct's overall purpose in other species is improving chances of survival of the species. (I say "most other species" because there are indications that other intelligent social species may have rudimentary forms of morality.)I would acknowledge that reasoning from well-being of the species and ecosystem to narrow moral questions is not straight-forward. However, I think that it makes sense to work in the other direction: Is any given moral precept likely to promote well-being of the species? In your example of genocidal fascists, their local moral system did indeed view the mass slaughter of groups that the fascists have deemed harmful as a moral good. The rest of humanity disagreed. The fascists may say that they think they're promoting well-being of the species with their actions, but there is no scientific basis and no rational basis for the prejudices upon which they make that judgement. On the other hand, an attempt to exterminate a group of people merely because of their bloodline could in fact be harmful to the species. Diversity in a species is an important element in the toolbox the species can make use of to promote its survival. Secondly, in intelligent social species, I'd say that mental health is an important part of the continued survival of the species. I think a species that believes that it's a moral good to kill each other en masse because of irrational prejudices is not mentally healthy. If such a belief were to rule the day unopposed, I think the species may not have much of a future. In this light, opposing those who promote that belief appears to be a reasonable thing to do.
Quote from: Siz on January 27, 2020, 03:26:11 PM1. I live under the assumption that what I perceive (sense) IS reality. That is pragmatism stripped to it's most naked state!2. There is no objective meaning within or for existence within a multi-/uni-versal context.3. "Morality" and "existential meaning/purpose" are human/animal abstracts informed by organic firmware and social software.4. I am limited by my human/animal programming.
Quote from: xSilverPhinx on January 30, 2020, 12:13:01 PMQuote from: Siz on January 27, 2020, 03:26:11 PM1. I live under the assumption that what I perceive (sense) IS reality. That is pragmatism stripped to it's most naked state!2. There is no objective meaning within or for existence within a multi-/uni-versal context.3. "Morality" and "existential meaning/purpose" are human/animal abstracts informed by organic firmware and social software.4. I am limited by my human/animal programming.In the case of your first premise would you say that when you perceive (external stimuli translating to subjective experience) someone doing something you feel is the right thing to do in a certain situation then such 'moral action' is real? If yes, then what are the implications for moral nihilism?
Quote from: billy rubin on January 29, 2020, 10:17:17 PMQuote from: Recusant on January 29, 2020, 09:13:38 PMIs there any reasonable basis for morality at all? Is it merely whim and happenstance?i think ^^^this sums it all up. in my opinion, the answer to the question is no. there is no basis for any moral system that is more reasonable than for any other.
Quote from: billy rubin on January 29, 2020, 10:17:17 PMi say this because i can find no external scale of values that could be used to judge one system against another, and so all are equally valid or invalid.
Quote from: billy rubin on January 29, 2020, 10:17:17 PMto judge one system as morereasonable than another, or more real, or more valid, and so on, requires that you first establish what you are going to call "good," and assert that your "good" is better than other "goods."
Quote from: billy rubin on January 29, 2020, 10:17:17 PMmorality is a sticky subject, and in my opinion no system is more meaningful than any other. some are more useful, once one decides what "useful" means, and some are more congenial to whatever animal drives we might indulge. but whether any one has a fundamental reality that others lack is something iwould deny, based on my lack of belief in abstract "good" or "evil."