Objective morality

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Robin Yergenson
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Re: Objective morality

Post by Robin Yergenson » Thu May 03, 2012 11:59 am

Hi runamokmonk,

Thanks for engaging. I’ve reviewed your paraphrased my statements. For the most part you stayed consistent with my statements, but rationality is not a being, it’s a faculty that some beings have. Those that have it use it to grasp the way reality is. And objective morality is a system of morality that is based on objective conditions that comport with reality whether rational beings grasp those conditions or not. Objective morality is much like the notion of truth where truth is a proposition’s correspondence with the facts of reality that is independent of your grasp, your belief. It is important therefore to note that it is not whim based. It is not defined by your preference. You and I are rational beings who often are successful at using our rational faculty in this way, and that is in large part why we’re still alive. Road kill is a good example of beings who are unable to grasp reality in this way.

You say,
In my understanding, humans were social animals giving each other mutual aid and/or having moral sentiment before rights reciprocity. Some form of mutual aid is a requirement for tribal groups to form to begin with. So, it is not modern rights in which harmony or sociality came to arise.
Mutual aid is only beneficial if rights reciprocity is already present. Rights reciprocity is a “modern” term a more basic kind of mutual exchange where each allows the other to pursue his or her own happiness without either one stealing and preying on the other. It is because rights reciprocity is mutually more beneficial than stealing and preying on one another that it is an objective moral ought. And you say,
I am saying that I prefer to decide what my highest value is and it does not have to categorically be to my own continued existence or living and thriving (whatever that is actually defined as).
If you choose to ignore the traffic on the road like some other beings do, you will eventually become road kill, which is not beneficial to you, so you ought to grasp this fact and align your choices and actions to it. Yes, as a volitional being, it is your choice of whether you act in moral ways or immoral ways, but what is and is not objective morality is not your choice. It is something you need to discover and align to. When you choose to act in ways that are harmful, it is objectively immoral. Why? Because you are a rational being of type 8.a and not 8.b:
8. Rational beings can be grouped into two categories:
a. Those that stand to benefit and who therefore ought to prefer to live and thrive because it is in their nature as an organism qua organism (most people are of this category).
b. Those that do not stand to benefit (that relatively small category of people who’s quality of life is gone with little possibility of returning).
These are objective facts of reality that you need to discover and align to. They are not a consequence of mere preference. Here are some more examples of objective moral oughts for rational beings of type 8.a:

Generally speaking, rational beings ought to:

• Exercise
• Get enough sleep
• Honour contractual agreements
• Attempt to grasp pertinent facts
• Avoid undue risk of damaging themselves
• Eat nutritional foods and drink plenty of fluids
• Help others when the personal costs are not too great

Generally speaking, rational beings ought not:

• Get high on heroin
• Hate shinny red things
• Stone innocent rape victims
• Play Russian Roulette for thrills
• Jump out of airplanes without parachutes
• Look for ways to die in order to benefit others and then do so
• Donate their eyes, heart, liver, and kidneys and all their blood for the benefit of others

Do you agree with these two groups? What methods, principles, or essential qualities are we requiring in order to identify those that are of the first group from those of the second? The mores of society? Popular opinion? Arbitrary religious authority? Personal whim? What? Answer: personal benefit as defined by objective reality. Do you have a more essential quality that trumps personal benefit? If so, what?

Rob

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runamokmonk
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Re: Objective morality

Post by runamokmonk » Thu May 03, 2012 2:23 pm

Mutual aid is only beneficial if rights reciprocity is already present. Rights reciprocity is a “modern” term a more basic kind of mutual exchange where each allows the other to pursue his or her own happiness without either one stealing and preying on the other......
Mutual aid would come first. Rights is a concept emerging from moral sentiment.


I would not say it is simply this. But also more, such as the moral sentiment to help when others are need or in danger. Even monekys risk their lives to defend a severely hurt fellow money being attacked.

In a tribal group of humans not helping may be seen as immoral. This is also self benefit but one of mutuality, and so not selfish. Selfishness is defined as caring for oneself without regard for others.
......It is because rights reciprocity is mutually more beneficial than stealing and preying on one another that it is an objective moral ought. And you say,
And tribal groups survived, and continued the species population, using mutual aid. Is mutual aid, meaning giving and recieving support and help, in some group form, also an objective moral ought since this was beneficial, but also apparently allowed the species to propagate?


If you choose to ignore the traffic on the road like some other beings do, you will eventually become road kill, which is not beneficial to you, so you ought to grasp this fact and align your choices and actions to it. Yes, as a volitional being, it is your choice of whether you act in moral ways or immoral ways, but what is and is not objective morality is not your choice. It is something you need to discover and align to. When you choose to act in ways that are harmful, it is objectively immoral. Why? Because you are a rational being of type 8.a and not 8.b: .

This does not address higher values. This addresess surviving.

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runamokmonk
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Re: Objective morality

Post by runamokmonk » Thu May 03, 2012 2:27 pm

Edit

Robin Yergenson
Posts: 126
Joined: Sat May 07, 2011 6:00 pm

Re: Objective morality

Post by Robin Yergenson » Sun May 06, 2012 10:43 am

Hi Miles,

I had said, “If self sacrifice is moral, and if the self sacrifice is intentional, then it is a moral act. And if self sacrifice is immoral, and if the self sacrifice is intentional (because the individual put more value into things other than themselves), then it is an immoral act. Do you agree?” To which you responded,
I agree that it is not whim based and I agree with the necessity of consistency. However, it does remain an issue if one puts the primary basis on rational "self"-interest, such a scenario will need to be taken into account. However, as you have stated this scenario will be dealt with later.
I’m not sure if we’re communicating yet. I think we’re agreeing that the objective moral standard is the deciding condition on whether a thing is moral or is not moral, not one’s whim-based values. If so, then we can move through my list of claims. I agree with them all. How about you? If not, which one is the first that you have an issue with? The first two are definitions that are true by definition, so we may not need to discuss it further:

1. For this discussion, let’s define “rational being” as a conscious volitional acting being with the ability to form categories and concepts of the way reality is for the purpose of guiding choices and actions.
2. Let’s define “objective moral ought” as those actions that a rational being ought to do. They are a consequence of the conditions of reality, including their nature as organisms and as rational beings.
3. A moral action requires that it be consistent with an objective moral ought and that it be intentional.

Note that the quote that I opened this response with is a specific example of claim 3. Does this need further discussion or should we precede to the next claim.

Rob

Robin Yergenson
Posts: 126
Joined: Sat May 07, 2011 6:00 pm

Re: Objective morality

Post by Robin Yergenson » Sun May 06, 2012 10:46 am

Hi Metacrock,

I like that definition of ethics as the “rational philosophical disposition of value systems and their grounding in reality by rational means.” That doesn’t sound whim based since “grounding in reality” sounds pretty objective, right? But I wouldn’t agree that “social acceptance” or “older traditions and more universal traditions” are a sufficient grounding, even though they often do correlate with it. Stoning innocent rape victims is accepted by some societies, but it contradicts moral contracts involving rights reciprocity which is grounded in reality, and so it is not moral in spite of its social acceptance. And premeditated murder is not immoral because it fails to be accepted by most societies. It is immoral because it too, contradicts moral contracts involving rights reciprocity which is grounded in reality.

Rob

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runamokmonk
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Re: Objective morality

Post by runamokmonk » Sun May 06, 2012 10:58 am

I like that definition of ethics as the “rational philosophical disposition of value systems and their grounding in reality by rational means.” That doesn’t sound whim based since “grounding in reality” sounds pretty objective, right? But I wouldn’t agree that “social acceptance” or “older traditions and more universal traditions” are a sufficient grounding, even though they often do correlate with it. Stoning innocent rape victims is accepted by some societies, but it contradicts moral contracts involving rights reciprocity which is grounded in reality, and so it is not moral in spite of its social acceptance. And premeditated murder is not immoral because it fails to be accepted by most societies. It is immoral because it too, contradicts moral contracts involving rights reciprocity which is grounded in reality.

Where do the "moral contracts involving rights reciprocity" come from but from the moral sentiments of individuals in a community? You don't have such a thing outside of a community.

I don't think "rights reciprocity" is grounded in objective natural laws but from, the value of the golden rule principle, or fairness, applied in a more non-biased way (or objectively). In other words a principle, not biased, or less selfishly, toward oneself or ones group. Therefore, it is a value system based in principles and not a value system based toward the benefit of oneself.

Robin Yergenson
Posts: 126
Joined: Sat May 07, 2011 6:00 pm

Re: Objective morality

Post by Robin Yergenson » Sun May 06, 2012 11:11 am

Hi runamokmonk,

I had said, “Mutual aid is only beneficial if rights reciprocity is already present. Rights reciprocity is a “modern” term a more basic kind of mutual exchange where each allows the other to pursue his or her own happiness without either one stealing and preying on the other. It is because rights reciprocity is mutually more beneficial than stealing and preying on one another that it is an objective moral ought.” To which you responded,
Mutual aid would come first. Rights is a concept emerging from moral sentiment. I would not say it is simply this. But also more, such as the moral sentiment to help when others are need or in danger. Even monkeys risk their lives to defend a severely hurt fellow monkey being attacked.
If I am victimized by some predator and you intend to help me by providing mutual aid, is it likely that you are also the predator that intends to victimize me as you had done previously? No. Why? Because those who provide mutual aid to others are also those who do not steal and prey on others whether you make use of the modern term “rights reciprocity” or not. But I agree that moral sentiment is a big factor.

You say,
This does not address higher values. This addresses surviving.

Again,

Generally speaking, rational beings ought to:

• Exercise
• Get enough sleep
• Honour contractual agreements
• Attempt to grasp pertinent facts
• Avoid undue risk of damaging themselves
• Eat nutritional foods and drink plenty of fluids
• Help others when the personal costs are not too great

Generally speaking, rational beings ought not:

• Get high on heroin
• Hate shinny red things
• Stone innocent rape victims
• Play Russian Roulette for thrills
• Jump out of airplanes without parachutes
• Look for ways to die in order to benefit others and then do so
• Donate their eyes, heart, liver, and kidneys and all their blood for the benefit of others

Do you agree with these two groups? What methods, principles, or essential qualities are we requiring in order to identify those that are of the first group from those of the second? The mores of society? Popular opinion? Arbitrary religious authority? Personal whim? What? Answer: personal benefit as defined by objective reality. Do you have a more essential quality that trumps personal benefit? If so, what? What “higher values” are you referring to and how do you ground them?

Rob

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runamokmonk
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Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 2:34 pm

Re: Objective morality

Post by runamokmonk » Sun May 06, 2012 11:19 am

If I am victimized by some predator and you intend to help me by providing mutual aid, is it likely that you are also the predator that intends to victimize me as you had done previously? No. Why? Because those who provide mutual aid to others are also those who do not steal and prey on others whether you make use of the modern term “rights reciprocity” or not. But I agree that moral sentiment is a big factor.
I am saying "RIghts" is a concept. Do you then say animal social groups also are based in rights reciprocity or mutual aid? Or a form of symbiosis, mutual benefit, in the struggle against forces that may do it harm.

I said nothing about changing from being a predator to a friend in nature but some form of mutual support to then form sociality.

Humans are social animals and their social groups are imperfectly based on mutual aid and moral sentiment so to say objective morality is based in self benefit is to be arguing for~"rights reciprocity, after, the social groups have been formed, based on mutual aid and sentiment, and arguing that the real objective morality that is based in reality, is for the individual to have their highest value being for their own benefit."

What is the point?

Robin Yergenson
Posts: 126
Joined: Sat May 07, 2011 6:00 pm

Re: Objective morality

Post by Robin Yergenson » Sun May 06, 2012 1:50 pm

Hi runamokmonk,

You say,
I am saying "RIghts" is a concept. Do you then say animal social groups also are based in rights reciprocity or mutual aid? Or a form of symbiosis, mutual benefit, in the struggle against forces that may do it harm.
Of course “rights” is a concept. So is “mutual aid.” Both of them are valid concepts in that they do in fact comport with reality. And yes, to the degree that animals provide mutual aid, they are also providing the one that they are aiding a right, at the very least a right to be aided. And symbiosis is as good an example of reciprocating win-win benefit and rights reciprocity as you can find. They are essentially one in the same.

In your first response you said,
In my understanding, humans were social animals giving each other mutual aid and/or having moral sentiment before rights reciprocity. Some form of mutual aid is a requirement for tribal groups to form to begin with. So, it is not modern rights in which harmony or sociality came to arise.
Now you say,
Humans are social animals and their social groups are imperfectly based on mutual aid and moral sentiment so to say objective morality is based in self benefit is to be arguing for~"rights reciprocity, after, the social groups have been formed, based on mutual aid and sentiment, and arguing that the real objective morality that is based in reality, is for the individual to have their highest value being for their own benefit."

What is the point?
My point is that symbiosis, non-zero sum benefit, win-win benefit, rights reciprocity are all different ways of referring to what is in essence the same, and that this benefit is present when mutual aid is present. Mutual aid goes beyond rights reciprocity in that the later is a passive willingness to allow others their rights (like to pursue happiness) without actively preventing them from doing so, while the former is an active action to provide something (i.e. beneficial aid). And so, mutual aid entails rights reciprocity.

Again,

Generally speaking, rational beings ought to:

• Exercise
• Get enough sleep
• Honour contractual agreements
• Attempt to grasp pertinent facts
• Avoid undue risk of damaging themselves
• Eat nutritional foods and drink plenty of fluids
• Help others when the personal costs are not too great

Generally speaking, rational beings ought not:

• Get high on heroin
• Hate shinny red things
• Stone innocent rape victims
• Play Russian Roulette for thrills
• Jump out of airplanes without parachutes
• Look for ways to die in order to benefit others and then do so
• Donate their eyes, heart, liver, and kidneys and all their blood for the benefit of others

Do you agree with these two groups? What methods, principles, or essential qualities are we requiring in order to identify those that are of the first group from those of the second? The mores of society? Popular opinion? Arbitrary religious authority? Personal whim? What? Answer: personal benefit as defined by objective reality. Do you have a more essential quality that trumps personal benefit? If so, what? What “higher values” are you referring to and how do you ground them?

Rob

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runamokmonk
Posts: 339
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 2:34 pm

Re: Objective morality

Post by runamokmonk » Sun May 06, 2012 2:06 pm

Of course “rights” is a concept. So is “mutual aid.” Both of them are valid concepts in that they do in fact comport with reality. And yes, to the degree that animals provide mutual aid, they are also providing the one that they are aiding a right, at the very least a right to be aided. And symbiosis is as good an example of reciprocating win-win benefit and rights reciprocity as you can find. They are essentially one in the same.
I don't believe they are one and the same. I believe rights are a concept for govermental or value system ideas often using rational argument and which emerged from mutual aid and moral sentiments.

I believe "rights" are won by struggle from those who have been oppressed or lacked fairness or freedom from human systems/institutions. This struggle is also based on mutuality from forces which cause harm.



My point is that symbiosis, non-zero sum benefit, win-win benefit, rights reciprocity are all different ways of referring to what is in essence the same, and that this benefit is present when mutual aid is present. Mutual aid goes beyond rights reciprocity in that the later is a passive willingness to allow others their rights (like to pursue happiness) without actively preventing them from doing so, while the former is an active action to provide something (i.e. beneficial aid). And so, mutual aid entails rights reciprocity.

See above about rights. Mutual aid is an action or process providing some form of mutual support and or help against forces which may cause harm. Mutuality then may eventually somehow form social species and or groups. Why would any organism be concerned about anything but it's own benefit before social mutuality?

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