Objective morality

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Re: Objective morality

Post by Metacrock » Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:08 pm

Robin Yergenson wrote:Metacrock, you say,
Robin you never got past the ought sauce comment that Fleet made. You are still just trying to treat a set of values as though they are facts based upon behavior. that doesn't work. It's in vogue in moral philosophy circles ala realism. I think that's the Rand influence and they are just mixed up.
And you are willfully evading the argument with comments about "ought sauce" silliness. Hope that works for you.
I never evade anything except cleaning the living room, taking out the garbage and stuff like that. Don't you remember the part of the argument where Fleet used that phrase? You are still making assumptions about your own value systems as though it transcends the realm of value and it doesn't.
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Re: Objective morality

Post by Robin Yergenson » Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:35 pm

Hi Metacrock,

Yes, I remember the “ought sauce” term as a way to evade my argument. You say,
You are still making assumptions about your own value systems as though it transcends the realm of value and it doesn't.
What the **** is a "realm of value?" I can’t tell what part of the statements I made previously that you disagree with. Now, without evading my statements, read what I say here and let me know specifically what you do and what you do not agree with. No “ought sauce” evasion tactics please. I say the thing that gives rise to morality is the volitional being’s objective values and benefits as defined by reality that we discover and align to (whether hard or easy). Specifically:

1. Objective benefits with respect to me do exist and are good for me as defined by reality itself (i.e. they are not whim-based), and
2. That as an organism, I want goodness and not harm, that
3. In order to obtain the goodness that I want, I ought to act in ways that obtain it and I ought not act in ways that do not.

The first two statements are factual is-es. Factual statement number 3 derives oughts from the prior two.

And I offered a comment on "value system." The value system that is relevant here is the one rooted in reality itself. They are the things that are of objective benefit to me and that I grasp as being such. The term “system” is necessary because it is also important to recognize a hierarchical order in those values so that I don’t pursue a lesser value at the expense of a greater value.

Rob

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Re: Objective morality

Post by Robin Yergenson » Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:21 pm

Hi met,

You say,
Meta says you are trying to "treat a set of values as if they are facts."
Yes,

1. It is a fact that objective benefits with respect to me do exist and are good for me as defined by reality itself (i.e. they are not whim-based), and
2. It is a fact that as an organism, I want goodness and not harm, and
3. It is a fact that iIn order to obtain the goodness that I want, I ought to act in ways that obtain it and I ought not act in ways that do not.

The first two statements are factual is-es. Factual statement number 3 derives oughts from the prior two. And you say,
I seem to disagree with you on metaphysical questions. ( You seem to feel that our metaphysical natures can be inferred from logic & I disagree, feeling that nothing metaphysical can be deduced by our brains since there is no logical reason for anything metaphysical to be comprehensible to our intellects, which are, after all, from any rational perspective, merely part of our survival equipment as 'organisms." )
I provided a direct response to your question. As for “metaphysics,” I doubt that you or anyone else even knows what they are talking about when they use the term, as is clearly exemplified by your brief commentary on it. And you say,
runamok seems to have trouble understanding how the actions of a figure like MLK can be understood in terms of 'self-interest." Here, I tend to agree.
I provided a direct response to his MLK question too. Regarding MLK’s personal benefit, I had said, “.... the satisfaction of hugely effecting the awareness of equality among men.” You say,
Something that extends beyond self-interest already seems implicit in that 'satisfaction' to me.
Satisfaction is the intrinsic quality of goodness realized. As such it has absolutely no coherent meaning beyond any context other than self. What are you talking about? And you say,
Also implicit in your acknowledgment that MLK had an opportunity to achieve "something much greater than we typically do on a given day." Isn't that 'something,' something that extends beyond his own mere self-interests? How, then, can that motivation really be termed "self-interested" and, if it lacks real self-interest, isn't that contradictory with your basic principles (as stated)?
Of course it is a fact that MLK benefited mankind. That benefit is “something,” but the “something” that I was referring to is the personal satisfaction in knowing in fact that you benefited mankind in that way. Goodness is only goodness if it is experienced. If I willfully do something that brings you goodness and me harm, I have acted inappropriately, even immorally. And you say,
Is that like arguing, eg, that some old man in a park somewhere is not being altruistic when he feeds the birds his breadcrumbs, since feeding them gives him personal "satisfaction" (at some level). But would the old man receive any satisfaction unless he had real compassion for the birds? Isn't caring about the birds still at the heart of his actions? Why otherwise, if he is not motivated for concern with the birds, would he care, why would he feel anything at all? Does the old man feed the birds to make his ego feel as if it had altruism, to feel that somehow his 'self' can be extended beyond its own puny boundaries? Is that how you would interpret such actions? If so, is that like the case with MLK? (i think you need to explicate this some more...)
Yes, that’s right. I feed birds because I experience satisfaction in interacting with them. The key here is not to lose sight with what’s at bottom. I’m the volitional actor, and it is the objective benefits with respect to me that do exist and that are good for me as defined by reality itself (i.e. they are not whim-based) that define my hierarchy of values. Again, they are not based on what the bird’s benefit, an oppressed people’s benefit, society’s benefit, or even God’s benefit. The reason to act is rooted in the objectively defined hierarchy of values of the volitional actor.

Rob

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Re: Objective morality

Post by mdsimpson92 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:48 am

Robin Yergenson wrote: Of course it is a fact that MLK benefited mankind. That benefit is “something,” but the “something” that I was referring to is the personal satisfaction in knowing in fact that you benefited mankind in that way. Goodness is only goodness if it is experienced. If I willfully do something that brings you goodness and me harm, I have acted inappropriately, even immorally. And you say,
I might have a bit of an issue with this considering MLK did willfully bring goodness to others and resulted in harm for him in the end, something he knew was a possibility as did many others who served in the movement and suffered for it. Most people benefitted greatly from it greatly and justice and equality enhanced, but what of those individuals who died as a result, they did not necessarily receiv this "satisfaction," or at least it is greatly outweighed by death or pain. Then again this is probably more of a knee-jerk reaction from me.

There is certainly a consequentialist train of thought behind this idea with a march larger focus on the individual rather than the community. Granted the ideal would be to find a way to harmonize these two things, but, as always, this is just an ideal. Practice is much harder and likely impossible. Not to say it still isn't worth pursuing.
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Re: Objective morality

Post by Metacrock » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:36 am

mdsimpson92 wrote:
Robin Yergenson wrote: Of course it is a fact that MLK benefited mankind. That benefit is “something,” but the “something” that I was referring to is the personal satisfaction in knowing in fact that you benefited mankind in that way. Goodness is only goodness if it is experienced. If I willfully do something that brings you goodness and me harm, I have acted inappropriately, even immorally. And you say,
I might have a bit of an issue with this considering MLK did willfully bring goodness to others and resulted in harm for him in the end, something he knew was a possibility as did many others who served in the movement and suffered for it. Most people benefitted greatly from it greatly and justice and equality enhanced, but what of those individuals who died as a result, they did not necessarily receiv this "satisfaction," or at least it is greatly outweighed by death or pain. Then again this is probably more of a knee-jerk reaction from me.

There is certainly a consequentialist train of thought behind this idea with a march larger focus on the individual rather than the community. Granted the ideal would be to find a way to harmonize these two things, but, as always, this is just an ideal. Practice is much harder and likely impossible. Not to say it still isn't worth pursuing.

You are not saying the outcome made his act moral so its' not conventionalist. A deontolgical act can benefit people, as long as you are not saying that moral aspect is derived from the outcome.
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Re: Objective morality

Post by mdsimpson92 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:09 am

[quote="Metacrock"]
You are not saying the outcome made his act moral so its' not conventionalist. A deontolgical act can benefit people, as long as you are not saying that moral aspect is derived from the outcome.
[/quote

I am not, but Robin seems to. The fact that it resulted in to the benefit of others and the self made it a "good" action. That is consequentialist thinking.

I am personally a virtue ethics person, which can be both consequentialist or deontological depending on the ethical system.
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Re: Objective morality

Post by Metacrock » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:37 am

mdsimpson92 wrote:
Metacrock wrote: You are not saying the outcome made his act moral so its' not conventionalist. A deontolgical act can benefit people, as long as you are not saying that moral aspect is derived from the outcome.
[/quote

I am not, but Robin seems to. The fact that it resulted in to the benefit of others and the self made it a "good" action. That is consequentialist thinking.

I am personally a virtue ethics person, which can be both consequentialist or deontological depending on the ethical system.
yes I agree. that is what I am saying too.Robin is consequential, I am not, I didn't think you were.
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Re: Objective morality

Post by Robin Yergenson » Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:32 pm

Hi Miles,

I had said, “…Of course it is a fact that MLK benefited mankind. That benefit is ‘something,’ but the ‘something’ that I was referring to is the personal satisfaction in knowing in fact that you benefited mankind in that way. Goodness is only goodness if it is experienced. If I willfully do something that brings you goodness and me harm, I have acted inappropriately, even immorally.” To which you responded,
I might have a bit of an issue with this considering MLK did willfully bring goodness to others and resulted in harm for him in the end, something he knew was a possibility as did many others who served in the movement and suffered for it.
I addressed this point in my earlier response to runamokmonk when I said, “We hop out into fast moving traffic to go to work every day. It’s a risk that could cost us our life, but the risk is justified given the opportunity that we have to be productive and exchange value for value. If we had foreknowledge that we would be hit head on and die, it would be immoral of us to go to work at that time. MLK was in a position to gain something much greater than we typically do on a given day, the satisfaction of hugely effecting the awareness of equality among men. He faced even more risk that we do as we fight traffic, but the risk/reward was justified. If he had foreknowledge that he would be assassinated on a given day, it would be have been immoral of him to put himself in harm’s way at that time, but he didn’t, so no, MLK was not immoral nor mistaken.” And you say,
Most people benefitted from it greatly and justice and equality enhanced, but what of those individuals who died as a result, they did not necessarily receive this "satisfaction," or at least it is greatly outweighed by death or pain. Then again this is probably more of a knee-jerk reaction from me.
I don’t get your point. People who suffered from the turmoil that ensued as our country became increasingly more aware of human equality were only morally accountable for that suffering if they willfully chose to suffer rather than to benefit.
There is certainly a consequentialist train of thought behind this idea with a much larger focus on the individual rather than the community. Granted the ideal would be to find a way to harmonize these two things, but, as always, this is just an ideal. Practice is much harder and likely impossible. Not to say it still isn't worth pursuing.
Consequences are the basis for why we act in any way at all. Both ethical egoists and ethical altruists are consequentialists. I’m saying that rational self interest is the right basis for moral action, while actions that have the best consequences for everyone except for the actor are not.

Rob

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Re: Objective morality

Post by met » Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:33 pm

Robin Yergenson wrote: Consequences are the basis for why we act in any way at all. Both ethical egoists and ethical altruists are consequentialists. I’m saying that rational self interest is the right basis for moral action, while actions that have the best consequences for everyone except for the actor are not.
is a mother or father voluntarily dying to protect his or her child an immoral act, then? (Most people wouldn't agree with that.)
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Re: Objective morality

Post by mdsimpson92 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:26 am

Robin Yergenson wrote: Consequences are the basis for why we act in any way at all. Both ethical egoists and ethical altruists are consequentialists. I’m saying that rational self interest is the right basis for moral action, while actions that have the best consequences for everyone except for the actor are not.
I understand that (for the most part, indeed there are some who willingly ignore consequences to only do actions they view at categorically "right") What I am trying to say is that you judge whether an action is good or bad based on its consequences and not the action itself.
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