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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runamokmonk
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Re: Objective morality

Post by runamokmonk » Sun May 06, 2012 2:18 pm

Actually,

The question, I was asking, was why the emphasis on the individual having it's highest value being for itself? Above, I pointed out that "rights reciprocity" is a value system based on principles rather than a value system based on biased self interest.

A value system based on principles, rather than biased self interest, would include fairness for oneself and also others.

So, why the emphasis on biased self interest and arguing for reciprocal rights?

Robin Yergenson
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Re: Objective morality

Post by Robin Yergenson » Sun May 06, 2012 11:08 pm

Hey runamokmonk,

I see we have a semantic difference on what rights are. Fine, we’ve wasted enough time on semantics. This is not interesting. You say,
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?
Maybe we should try to answer your question by going back to some of my earlier claims:

7. As a rational being wondering (in a philosophical since) what to do, the benefits motivating that being to act are with respect to him/herself as the actor, not “the good of society.” Society benefits from that being’s moral action because it is first and foremost beneficial to that being. Morality is therefore rooted in rational self interest, not society’s interest. Society is not the one willing and acting, rational beings are.
10. Since self benefit is the proper basis for objective morality, and since the life of the rational being is the context from which that benefit is measured, and since that benefit will lose context if the beneficiary’s life ceases to exist, the rational being’s life is therefore at bottom as his/her deepest value.
11. Rational beings generally benefit more from harmonious rights reciprocity, living in accord, and exchanging value for value than by stealing and preying on one another.
12. Given our lack of omniscience, we typically have to base choices and actions on our greatest probability for obtaining benefit. Harmonious rights reciprocity is one.
13. It follows then that in a social context, we ought to act in harmonious ways and we ought not act in predatory ways.

If you have problems with any of my prior claims then let’s go there first. But these claims are the answer to your question posed above. Self benefit is at bottom. Your “social mutuality” (my rights reciprocity) is only a concern and a basis for obligation because it results in greater probability for obtaining self benefit.

Now, will you answer my questions which I have posed for the umpteenth time? 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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Re: Objective morality

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

I see we have a semantic difference on what rights are. Fine, we’ve wasted enough time on semantics. This is not interesting. You say,
I don't believe it is a semantics difference as I told you the difference. "Rights" don't exist in nature, they exist in community. Community of a species that emerged from mutual aid.

Maybe we should try to answer your question by going back to some of my earlier claims:
Ok, and I will highlight the problems.
7. As a rational being wondering (in a philosophical since) what to do, the benefits motivating that being to act are with respect to him/herself as the actor, not “the good of society.” Society benefits from that being’s moral action because it is first and foremost beneficial to that being. Morality is therefore rooted in rational self interest, not society’s interest. Society is not the one willing and acting, rational beings are.

I am not talking about "society's interests", I am mainly concerned about higher values and principles.


[/b]10. Since self benefit is the proper basis for objective morality, and since the life of the rational being is the context from which that benefit is measured, and since that benefit will lose context if the beneficiary’s life ceases to exist, the rational being’s life is therefore at bottom as his/her deepest value.{b]

I am arguing that principles are mine. Your value system may judge me an immoral sinner. I will own that. But I will not own to being "irrational" for what my goals are, which do not require that my own self benefit be at highest value, for principles are my highest value.


Now, I ask again~

The question, I was asking, was why the emphasis on the individual having it's highest value being for itself? Above, I pointed out that "rights reciprocity" is a value system based on principles rather than a value system based on biased self interest.

A value system based on principles, rather than biased self interest, would include fairness for oneself and also others.

So, why the emphasis on biased self interest and arguing for reciprocal rights?
Last edited by runamokmonk on Sun May 06, 2012 11:48 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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runamokmonk
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Re: Objective morality

Post by runamokmonk » Sun May 06, 2012 11:34 pm

Your “social mutuality” (my rights reciprocity) is only a concern and a basis for obligation because it results in greater probability for obtaining self benefit.
No, it is not simply this. I do not deny self benefit and have not denied it. I am saying that a higher principle that I value would be greater than my personal self benefit. I gave you MLK as an example in another thread.

Robin Yergenson
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Re: Objective morality

Post by Robin Yergenson » Sun May 06, 2012 11:45 pm

Hi runamokmonk,

You say,
The question, I was asking, was why the emphasis on the individual having its highest value being for itself? Above, I pointed out that "rights reciprocity" is a value system based on principles rather than a value system based on biased self interest.
You added this last response before I had a chance to respond to your previous one, so I’ll respond again. Your “social mutuality” (my rights reciprocity) is only a concern and a basis for obligation because it results in greater probability for obtaining self benefit. That is because self benefit is the proper basis for objective morality, which in turn is because of my claim 7:

7. As a rational being wondering (in a philosophical since) what to do, the benefits motivating that being to act are with respect to him/herself as the actor, not “the good of society.” Society benefits from that being’s moral action because it is first and foremost beneficial to that being. Morality is therefore rooted in rational self interest, not society’s interest. Society is not the one willing and acting, rational beings are.

And you say,
A value system based on principles, rather than biased self interest, would include fairness for oneself and also others. So, why the emphasis on biased self interest and arguing for reciprocal rights?
Don’t be so quick to exclude self interest from a principled basis for objective values. Self interest is the basis. This is because we are rational being of type 8.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).

You do understand that you are this kind of rational being, do you not? So then, given that self interest is a most fundamental quality to your nature as an organism, you should therefore act in ways that have a probability of obtaining greater self benefit and you ought to avoid acting in ways that have a probability of resulting in greater net loss to self. This is a governing principle that is the fundamental basis for an objective value system. Fairness is not fundamental. Self benefit is. Fairness in the sense that each of us is obligated to distribute our wealth with those that have less, is not an objective moral obligation at all.

Rob

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runamokmonk
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Re: Objective morality

Post by runamokmonk » Sun May 06, 2012 11:55 pm

You added this last response before I had a chance to respond to your previous one, so I’ll respond again. Your “social mutuality” (my rights reciprocity) is only a concern and a basis for obligation because it results in greater probability for obtaining self benefit. That is because self benefit is the proper basis for objective morality, which in turn is because of my claim 7:

7. As a rational being wondering (in a philosophical since) what to do, the benefits motivating that being to act are with respect to him/herself as the actor, not “the good of society.” Society benefits from that being’s moral action because it is first and foremost beneficial to that being. Morality is therefore rooted in rational self interest, not society’s interest. Society is not the one willing and acting, rational beings are.

I disagreed. The community already exists based on mutual aid and moral sentiment. So why the emphasis saying that the real objective morality is based on self benefit when people already have principles

Don’t be so quick to exclude self interest from a principled basis for objective values. Self interest is the basis. This is because we are rational being of type 8.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).

You do understand that you are this kind of rational being, do you not? So then, given that self interest is a most fundamental quality to your nature as an organism, you should therefore act in ways that have a probability of obtaining greater self benefit and you ought to avoid acting in ways that have a probability of resulting in greater net loss to self. This is a governing principle that is the fundamental basis for an objective value system. Fairness is not fundamental. Self benefit is. Fairness in the sense that each of us is obligated to distribute our wealth with those that have less, is not an objective moral obligation at all.

You do realize, property rights, meaning capitalist property rights, are dependent on the state to enforce and support such rights. These "rights" are not based in some sort of natural law. It is created by the community.
Last edited by runamokmonk on Mon May 07, 2012 1:24 am, edited 4 times in total.

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runamokmonk
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Re: Objective morality

Post by runamokmonk » Mon May 07, 2012 12:06 am

Fairness in the sense that each of us is obligated to distribute our wealth with those that have less, is not an objective moral obligation at all.

But it is not in the self benefit of the poor to recognize such absolute property rights. So, they should change the rules or structure around to their benefit.

You are telling them that their self benefit is their deepest value.

This value system seems quite subjective.

Robin Yergenson
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Re: Objective morality

Post by Robin Yergenson » Mon May 14, 2012 12:27 am

Hi runamokmonk,

You say,
I don't believe it is a semantics difference as I told you the difference. "Rights" don't exist in nature, they exist in community. Community of a species that emerged from mutual aid.
I could just as easily say that your “social mutuality” does not exist in nature. It exists in community, but then we would both be wrong because communities are an integral part of nature. Again, semantic arguments are not interesting so please stop.

I have claimed,
7. As a rational being wondering (in a philosophical since) what to do, the benefits motivating that being to act are with respect to him/herself as the actor, not “the good of society.” Society benefits from that being’s moral action because it is first and foremost beneficial to that being. Morality is therefore rooted in rational self interest, not society’s interest. Society is not the one willing and acting, rational beings are.
You responded,
I am not talking about "society's interests", I am mainly concerned about higher values and principles.
Well good. Me too. So then, is there anything in claim #7 that you disagree with? And you say,
The question I was asking, was why the emphasis on the individual having its highest value being for itself?
When you act, are you acting based on your beliefs or someone else’s? Your beliefs. And are your beliefs always true, or are they attempting to be true but at risk of being in error? At risk of being in error. And are your principles and beliefs of what is beneficial to you (your values) also at risk of being in error? Yes. So then, are your values whim based? No, they are defined by reality itself. So then, when you say, “I am arguing that principles are mine,” of course they are yours, but they are not up to you. Do you understand that? And when you say, “This value system seems quite subjective,” what are you talking about? While value systems are only coherent in the context of a subject, what value system could be more objective than this?

Rob

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Metacrock
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Re: Objective morality

Post by Metacrock » Mon May 14, 2012 8:45 am

Robin I'd like to know your assumptions about consciousness? are you a determinist?

in the past you have intimated that you don't see yourself as a reductions. I see you as one. it seems like you are reducing moral thinking to biology. Now I am misunderstanding you I really apologize.It certainly seems your ethical axioms are very goal oriented and outcome oriented.
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Robin Yergenson
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Re: Objective morality

Post by Robin Yergenson » Tue May 15, 2012 7:07 pm

Hi Metacrock,

I sent a response yesterday morning but where did it go? I’ll try again. You ask,
Robin I'd like to know your assumptions about consciousness? Are you a determinist?
There is nothing we know with more certainty than immediate experience. Experiential consciousness, perception, and choice are not mediated and are therefore of that sort. Causality and material things are mediated by our senses and are therefore not known to exist with certainty. Don’t you remember my George Berkley influence? And you say,
In the past you have intimated that you don't see yourself as a reductionist. I see you as one. It seems like you are reducing moral thinking to biology. Now I am misunderstanding you I really apologize. It certainly seems your ethical axioms are very goal oriented and outcome oriented.
Much of what we perceive can be reduced to deterministic conditions. Even our genetic predispositions result in preferences that drive us to act in particular ways consistent with those predispositions. Our appetite for food, sex, and thrill are things that we are predisposed with, and to a large extent, they define many of our actions. But our ability to be rational, to grasp facts, including our nature, our deepest values, and the hierarchy of those values, allows us to make choices that are often counter to those predispositions, things like working, exercise, proper diet, and abstinence from things that are good in and of themselves, but that compromise deeper values. So no, I’m not a reductionist. I would say that my thinking is to some extent aligned with the first century BCE Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria’s “logos” which he uses in an attempt to integrate Judaistic Theism with Hellenistic philosophy, and which aligns very well with my position that reality itself dictates the universal self interest-based moral order that we then discover and align too. Are you familiar with it? The writer of the Gospel of John appears to have leveraged some of Philo’s notions on logos with the opening verses.

Rob

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