Objective morality

Discuss arguments for existence of God and faith in general. Any aspect of any orientation toward religion/spirituality, as long as it is based upon a positive open to other people attitude.

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mdsimpson92
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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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Re: Objective morality

Post by mdsimpson92 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:26 am

mdsimpson92 wrote:
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.
Within the consequentialist systems, no act is inherently good or bad, they are only judged as such based on the consequences. So what if we changed the results of the movement a bit, that it ended in failure and a larger were killed by KKK type groups or put into prison for an extended time. Is it now considered a "good" decision, disregarding the noblility of the goal they were trying to achieve?

I may need to do some rereading on some ethics articles later, there are always exceptions. (Currently reading 1984 and Lolita, not exactly fun reads but they are interesting in a sick way).

The difference I am making is not self vs. community (in the case of this comment) but consequentialism vs categoricalism.
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Re: Objective morality

Post by Robin Yergenson » Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:47 pm

Hi Miles,

Sounds like some heavy reading. I've been preoccupied with refuting the claim of the Copenhagen quantum physicists that probability is an intrinsic quality of matter. I'm also tackling Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity and the Lorentz Transformations which presuppose that the speed of light is always the same (universal) when viewed from different inertial reference frames, resulting in time and dimension varying for those reference frames. I'm hoping to demonstrate a logical contradiction in what it means to exist. Or it could be that reality is truely bizarre. We'll see...

You say,
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.
I have not been considering the two to be mutually exclusive. I judge whether an action is good or bad based on the consequences that are sufficiently probable to justify said action. We cannot see the future, so we need to act based upon probable consequences so that given a particular set of conditions, a particular “action itself” is the right action. You say,
Within the consequentialist systems, no act is inherently good or bad, they are only judged as such based on the consequences.
Then based upon that definition, I am not a consequentialist. You say,
So what if we changed the results of the movement a bit, that it ended in failure and a larger were killed by KKK type groups or put into prison for an extended time. Is it now considered a "good" decision, disregarding the nobility of the goal they were trying to achieve?
In order to provide for myself and my family, I ought to drive to work. Given my particular set of circumstances, it’s one of my moral requirements for living and thriving. If an inattentive driver swerves into me and kills me, it does not mean that I was immoral to be driving on that particular morning. I was doing the action itself as defined by my particular conditions and the probable consequences of the action itself.

Rob
Last edited by Robin Yergenson on Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Objective morality

Post by Robin Yergenson » Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:00 pm

Hi met,

You ask,
Is a mother or father voluntarily dying to protect his or her child an immoral act, then? (Most people wouldn't agree with that.)
The opinions of “most people” is not the basis for what morality is. That’s a bandwagon logical fallacy. We are genetically predisposed with a deep love for our offspring, so deep that when pitted against proper moral action, the consequence of living when we could have saved our child can in fact be a life not worth living. Such times deny us of proper moral choice at all, like having to choose to die in a flaming building or to die by leaping out the window.

Rob

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Re: Objective morality

Post by Metacrock » Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:52 pm

While it's true that popularity doesn't make something right, and appeal to popularity as proof of truth is considered a fallacy, it's also true that unanimity or near unanimity can also be considered as indicative of human and experience, and that can be check on reality. It has to be handled correctly in argument but it's not fallacious per se.

For example as a proof of religious instinct the fact that no culture has ever been non religious might be an indicative that humans have a religious instinct. The argument is not saying religion is trust because it's popular but that the conditions one would expect if this were true would be that all cultures are religoius and there you are.

in that case it's a matter of abductive reasoning.
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Re: Objective morality

Post by met » Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:11 pm

Right. If a moral system is described as 'objective,' some might expect it to encompass many widely-held tho less formally-stated human values, and to the extent it doesn't encompass them, many might feel its claim to be weaker. A system that would set self-interest even above the lives of our children might be suspect along those lines since that seems to contradict some of our deepest and widest intuitions. So, if a meta-ethical construction tends to look like that, as if it might incite us to that belief, well, that might need some more 'splainin'.
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Re: Objective morality

Post by Metacrock » Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:10 am

met wrote:Right. If a moral system is described as 'objective,' some might expect it to encompass many widely-held tho less formally-stated human values, and to the extent it doesn't encompass them, many might feel its claim to be weaker. A system that would set self-interest even above the lives of our children might be suspect along those lines since that seems to contradict some of our deepest and widest intuitions. So, if a meta-ethical construction tends to look like that, as if it might incite us to that belief, well, that might need some more 'splainin'.
Yes, and the dividing line is in the case of the fallacy it's the popularity that makes it true, in the case of the valid argument the "popularity" is only an indication of some more deeply rooted trait such as human need, instinct, psychological or something.
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Re: Objective morality

Post by Robin Yergenson » Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:00 pm

Hi met,

You say,
met wrote:Right. If a moral system is described as 'objective,' some might expect it to encompass many widely-held tho less formally-stated human values, and to the extent it doesn't encompass them, many might feel its claim to be weaker. A system that would set self-interest even above the lives of our children might be suspect along those lines since that seems to contradict some of our deepest and widest intuitions. So, if a meta-ethical construction tends to look like that, as if it might incite us to that belief, well, that might need some more 'splainin'.
I'm not aware of anything that still needs to be explained. We are genetically predisposed in other ways that can be both harmful to others and destructive to ourselves. Those predispositions are not a good basis for morality, whether popular opinion supports them or not.

Rob

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Re: Objective morality

Post by met » Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:08 pm

Rob, Thx for clarifying. Now I'll try to clarify my objection....

You said,
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....
Robin Yergenson wrote: We are genetically predisposed with a deep love for our offspring, so deep that when pitted against proper moral action, the consequence of living when we could have saved our child can in fact be a life not worth living.
IF morality rises from the volitional being's pursuit of benefits with respect to him/herself , how can any "proper moral action" ever lead anyone, as a consequence of a proper moral choice, to "a life not worth living?" That seems contradictory....so I'm not quite sure you've expressed what you mean clearly here..

(There's some others like that, but let's leave it at that one, for now.)
The “One” is the space of the “world” of the tick, but also the “pinch” of the lobster, or that rendezvous in person to confirm online pictures (with a new lover or an old God). This is the machinery operative...as “onto-theology."
Dr Ward Blanton

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Re: Objective morality

Post by Robin Yergenson » Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:32 pm

Hi met,

That’s a good question that does need clarification. You say,
IF morality rises from the volitional being's pursuit of benefits with respect to him/herself, how can any "proper moral action" ever lead anyone, as a consequence of a proper moral choice, to "a life not worth living?" That seems contradictory....so I'm not quite sure you've expressed what you mean clearly here.
I had said, “We are genetically predisposed with a deep love for our offspring, so deep that when pitted against proper moral action, the consequence of living when we could have saved our child can in fact be a life not worth living.” So in this case, the proper moral action to act in a way that results in long term self benefit is in conflict with the improper moral action to sacrifice our life due to our genetically predisposed deep love for our offspring. I’m not saying that both are moral. Now for the sake of clarity I will offer a rather harsh/disturbing example. The genetically predisposed deep love for our offspring is like a drug addict who is unable to overcome his addiction and instead finds a way to balance proper moral action with his need to get high. If he can find the right balance, then he experiences net benefit. Similarly since most of us can’t overcome our addiction/genetic predisposition to intimacy/love/sex followed by our addiction/genetic predisposition to a deep love for our wife and offspring so we find ways to balance and integrate these into proper moral action so that in most cases they result in net benefit in the self satisfaction experienced. But when that predisposition coupled with extreme circumstance of having to choose between our offspring’s life or our own, the predisposition can be so strong that we will sacrifice our own life, not because self sacrifice is the proper moral action but because the consequence of living when we could have saved our child can in fact be a life not worth living, like having to choose to die in a flaming building or to die by leaping out the twelve story window. Again, we are genetically predisposed in ways that benefit the selfish gene, but what benefits the selfish gene is often not what benefits me.

Rob

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