Objective morality

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Re: Objective morality

Post by Metacrock » Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:52 am

fleetmouse wrote:
mdsimpson92 wrote:
fleetmouse wrote:
Ethics always involves human (and sometimes animal) well being though and whether it leans more to the individual or the group is just a modality of that underlying concern.
Careful, while well being is generally taken into account, it is not always the basis for decisions made, such as in Kant's deontology, which has more emphasis with treating people as an ends to themselves than making them happy. That would be considered superogatory.
That sounds sort of libertarian. I'm morally obliged not to enslave someone but not morally obliged to pour a bucket of water on him if he's on fire.
O you are not hu? how do you figure?
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Re: Objective morality

Post by fleetmouse » Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:58 am

Metacrock wrote:
fleetmouse wrote:That sounds sort of libertarian. I'm morally obliged not to enslave someone but not morally obliged to pour a bucket of water on him if he's on fire.
O you are not hu? how do you figure?
If he doesn't have his own bucket of water it means he's chosen to burn to death. That's what should happen in a free republic full of proud and liberated citizens.

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Re: Objective morality

Post by Robin Yergenson » Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:36 pm

Hi met,

You say,
As fleet said, Rob, you're just pouring ought sauce over ises. Even granting all your 'factual' claims, you haven't demonstrated that there is anything particularly 'ethical' about anything you say.

Some people may feel - and in fact many people around the world do - that's it's better to be a lean, hungry and cooperative person or culture than a fat, strong, competitive one. Even if it means a shorter, disrespected, and/or totally obscure life. Or at any cost whatsoever. They might feel their way of life - their happiness and contentment - is of greater value than even their survival. Better a dry crust in peace than a house full of feasting and strife, as the OT Proverbs say.

What is your argument with them? Why are they 'objectively' wrong? (After all, another 'real' aspect of nature is that 'winners' only last, at best, a few short decades - or in the case of cultures, maybe a few centuries - longer than 'losers,' in the end, we all just get old, weak, frail, and fall apart...)
And later you say,
...does 'well being' tell us anything? Is that an 'objective' ground for ethics? Since we don't know and can't prove what really "is," we can't even say what "well being" really looks like (at least not in the longer run), so how can we derive "oughts" from our (unprovable) theories and assumptions? Rob, in fact, is trying to derive a universal morality from some (kinda) lcd observations about what "is," about life and nature, but his cultural, socioeconomic & psychological biases come thru quite clearly, IMO...
My argument is that the individual volitional being is the one who is doing the thinking, choosing and acting, not the society. As such, it is the objective benefit of that individual that should be guiding his choices and actions, not the benefit of society. In most cases those things that result in net benefit to the individual also benefit society, but for the individual volitional being is the one who is doing the thinking, choosing and acting, society’s benefit is not at bottom, the individual’s benefit is. And also note that objective benefit is not whim based. Rather it is one of the "is-es" that we discover and align to.

Rob

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Re: Objective morality

Post by met » Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:24 pm

Okay, Rob, a question to clarify...

What if an individual chooses his or her group's benefit over their own self-benefit? (And many people, esp those from cooperation-oriented cultures or societies, will tend to do this.)

.... Is he or she making a 'wrong' choice, objectively?
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."
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Re: Objective morality

Post by Metacrock » Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:29 am

fleetmouse wrote:
Metacrock wrote:
fleetmouse wrote:That sounds sort of libertarian. I'm morally obliged not to enslave someone but not morally obliged to pour a bucket of water on him if he's on fire.
O you are not hu? how do you figure?
If he doesn't have his own bucket of water it means he's chosen to burn to death. That's what should happen in a free republic full of proud and liberated citizens.
LOL! :mrgreen:
Have Theology, Will argue: wire Metacrock
Buy My book: The Trace of God: Warrant for belief

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Re: Objective morality

Post by Robin Yergenson » Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:33 pm

Hi met,

I had said, “My argument is that the individual volitional being is the one who is doing the thinking, choosing and acting, not the society. As such, it is the objective benefit of that individual that should be guiding his choices and actions, not the benefit of society. In most cases those things that result in net benefit to the individual also benefit society, but for the individual volitional being who is doing the thinking, choosing and acting, society’s benefit is not at bottom, the individual’s benefit is. And also note that objective benefit is not whim based. Rather it is one of the "is-es" that we discover and align to.”
To which you responded,
Okay, Rob, a question to clarify...

What if an individual chooses his or her group's benefit over their own self-benefit? (And many people, esp those from cooperation-oriented cultures or societies, will tend to do this.)

.... Is he or she making a 'wrong' choice, objectively?
Yes. Since “benefit” is only coherent within the context of one who benefits, an actor who correctly acts to obtain benefit is acting to obtain benefit that is beneficial to him as objectively defined by reality itself. So then, when an individual chooses his or her group's benefit such that that individual suffers net loss, with respect to the context of that individual’s actions that he ought to pursue in order to obtain benefit, that individual is wrong to act that way.

Rob

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Re: Objective morality

Post by met » Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:37 pm

Does it follow from that that in my link above, the Ubuntu children - or at least the fastest running child in the group - is really ethically lacking if he or she doesn't try to get all the fruits for themselves? It would seem to.
Robin Yergenson wrote: .... an actor who correctly acts to obtain benefit is acting to obtain benefit that is beneficial to him as objectively defined by reality itself.
First. What about the children's own (subjective) sense of identity, belonging, right and wrong. Is that not real? It may only be subjective, but does it not have benefit? Their own psychological-cultural makeup is part of who they are and very disturbing to them to change in any deep way. Do we discard the children's word that winning all of it wouldn't make any one of happy, and reply that it SHOULD make them (at least the fastest one) happy? Isn't maintaining their own (subjective) cultural/psychological/emotional identity also a benefit to an individual and a part of their reality?

Second. Agreeing with you for the sake of argument, how do we know what's really an 'objective' benefit? How do we tell what reality really defines? How do we separate merely-apparent benefits from actual ones? We as a species disagree widely on what is real. The realities of, say, a Western atheist, an Ubuntu child, a fundamentalist xian, and a Buddhist monk are all as different as their ethics.

(In fact, the Buddhist monk might even argue with me that someone having their identity shattered may actually be to their benefit...)
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 » Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:35 pm

Hi met,

I had said, that since “benefit” is only coherent within the context of one who benefits, an actor who correctly acts to obtain benefit is acting to obtain benefit that is beneficial to him as objectively defined by reality itself. So then, when an individual chooses his or her group's benefit such that that individual suffers net loss, with respect to the context of that individual’s actions that he ought to pursue in order to obtain benefit, that individual is wrong to act that way.

To which you ask,
Does it follow from that that in my link above, the Ubuntu children - or at least the fastest running child in the group - is really ethically lacking if he or she doesn't try to get all the fruits for themselves?
No. Remember, we’re talking about net benefit, not some short sighted gain (hording the fruit) that results in the loss of a greater value (the loss of social acceptance and being socially ostracized for hording the fruit), and the self loathing that would follow. And you say,
… Isn't maintaining their own (subjective) cultural/psychological/emotional identity also a benefit to an individual and a part of their reality?
Yes, that’s why a narrow view of personnal net benefit is wrong. And you ask,
Second. Agreeing with you for the sake of argument, how do we know what's really an 'objective' benefit? How do we tell what reality really defines? How do we separate merely-apparent benefits from actual ones? We as a species disagree widely on what is real. The realities of, say, a Western atheist, an Ubuntu child, a fundamentalist xian, and a Buddhist monk are all as different as their ethics.
By grasping reality, which includes knowing oneself. The challenge here is precisely what forming categories and concepts of the way reality is for the purpose of guiding choices and actions, i.e. being rational, is all about.

Rob

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Re: Objective morality

Post by met » Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:45 pm

Robin Yergenson wrote:By grasping reality, which includes knowing oneself. The challenge here is precisely what forming categories and concepts of the way reality is for the purpose of guiding choices and actions, i.e. being rational, is all about.

I suppose the question here is whether anyone - except perhaps God -- is detached and objective enough to be 'rational' in that sense, whether any person of other entity (who does not have great supernatural powers and a wide overview) can really figure out 'right and wrong' or even what is best for ourselves? Your perspective seems to be optimistic on this question, but I'm baffled as to the extent we can form a such a model of reality' objectively (in your view) given the built-in social/psychological /cultural/physical-and-metaphysical limitations we all have that we were just talking about?

Are you saying that each person - or organism if you prefer -- tries to do the best thing for itself, according to its own paradigmatic overview, and therefore bases its morals 'objectively' on that larger outlook on the world? Or that there is one "true" POV that is discoverable?

Can we really 'know' reality objectively? Or is it mostly guesswork based in our upbringings and our preexisting, biased perspectives? How can we know what's ultimately good for us? How can we know what's going to happen, either after we die or before that?
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

Robin Yergenson
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Re: Objective morality

Post by Robin Yergenson » Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:06 pm

Hi met,

You had asked,
How do we know what's really an 'objective' benefit? How do we tell what reality really defines? How do we separate merely-apparent benefits from actual ones?
And I had responded,
By grasping reality, which includes knowing oneself. The challenge here is precisely what forming categories and concepts of the way reality is for the purpose of guiding choices and actions, i.e. being rational, is all about.
To which you responded,
I suppose the question here is whether anyone - except perhaps God -- is detached and objective enough to be 'rational' in that sense, whether any person of other entity (who does not have great supernatural powers and a wide overview) can really figure out 'right and wrong' or even what is best for ourselves? Your perspective seems to be optimistic on this question, but I'm baffled as to the extent we can form a such a model of reality' objectively (in your view) given the built-in social/psychological /cultural/physical-and-metaphysical limitations we all have that we were just talking about?

Are you saying that each person - or organism if you prefer -- tries to do the best thing for itself, according to its own paradigmatic overview, and therefore bases its morals 'objectively' on that larger outlook on the world? Or that there is one "true" POV that is discoverable?

Can we really 'know' reality objectively? Or is it mostly guesswork based in our upbringings and our preexisting, biased perspectives? How can we know what's ultimately good for us? How can we know what's going to happen, either after we die or before that?
I appreciate that being rational takes practice. Those who do it sufficiently well thrive. The others do not. The question that we’re wrestling with isn’t about whether being rational in order to discover moral actions is easy or hard. The question is, what gives rise to morality? Is it the volitional being’s objective values and benefits as defined by reality that we discover and align to (whether hard or easy), or is it something else?

Rob

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