Objective morality

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Metacrock
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Re: Objective morality

Post by Metacrock » Sat Jun 02, 2012 7:13 am

So then, in the domain of morality, that leaves plenty of objective moral oughts that we have yet to discover but that are nevertheless, depending upon the particular circumstances, actions that we ought to do. And that's where we can be an allie with one another in exposing the areas of ignorance that result in error, the common enemy of all rational beings.
fine as far as it goes. My beef is with atheists (not including you) who try to derive meta ethics principles from facts of nature and genetics. ethics will always be a selection of values. that means it can't be the result of natural facts. that's a violation of Hume's fork. the only thing that puts in the "ought" is the value. In that sense it's relative but we get around its relativity by grounding it in something like logic.
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Robin Yergenson
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Re: Objective morality

Post by Robin Yergenson » Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:43 pm

Hi Metacrock,

You say,
My beef is with atheists (not including you) who try to derive meta ethics principles from facts of nature and genetics. Ethics will always be a selection of values. That means it can't be the result of natural facts. That's a violation of Hume's fork. The only thing that puts in the "ought" is the value. In that sense it's relative but we get around its relativity by grounding it in something like logic.
I think we are failing to communicate. I do derive objective morality, (meta ethics principles) from facts. Objective morality is not a “selection of values” in the sense that they are up to mere whim based preference. Rather, objective morality is precisely the result of natural facts, and to the extent that Hume’s fork conflicts with this fact, Hume’s fork is in error. Perhaps you missed those facts that I offered to Miles earlier, so allow me to present them again:
Things are the way they are and that does not necessarily mean that that they should be that way. This is certainly true with regard to piles of rocks, which way the wind blows, pre-rational forms of life, etc. But you need to be careful not to apply this naturalistic fallacy to objective morality, as you would thereby be committing a “relativistic fallacy” (probably not an officially sanctioned fallacy since I just made it up, but a fallacy nonetheless). There are plenty of academics who fall on both sides of this is/ought gap issue, so you should remain open to the evidence against it (okay yes, and for it). The relevant question is, can we determine how people morally ought to behave based on objective facts? And the answer is yes you can, and here’s how:

1. It is a fact that, at least generally speaking, the propensity to flourish is integral to our nature as an organism qua organism.
2. It is a fact that, at least generally speaking, as rational beings, we stand to benefit or to suffer loss by believing, choosing, and acting in particular ways.
3. It is a fact that, at least generally speaking, in accordance with our nature as organisms and in particular as rational volitional beings, in order for the one who’s doing the valuing, choosing, and acting to flourish, that individual ought to prefer to flourish, and that individual ought to act in ways that promote flourishing, and that individual ought not act in ways that adversely affect flourishing.
Now Metacrock, which of these claims do you disagree with and why (no appeals to authority please). If they are true then do you agree that these are what give rise to objective morality and that those who claim that objective facts provide the basis for objectively defining how people morally ought to behave are correct and that those who claim that objective facts do not provide the basis for objectively defining how people morally ought to behave are in error?

Rob

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Re: Objective morality

Post by mdsimpson92 » Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:44 pm

Robin Yergenson wrote:1. It is a fact that, at least generally speaking, the propensity to flourish is integral to our nature as an organism qua organism.2. It is a fact that, at least generally speaking, as rational beings, we stand to benefit or to suffer loss by believing, choosing, and acting in particular ways.3. It is a fact that, at least generally speaking, in accordance with our nature as organisms and in particular as rational volitional beings, in order for the one who’s doing the valuing, choosing, and acting to flourish, that individual ought to prefer to flourish, and that individual ought to act in ways that promote flourishing, and that individual ought not act in ways that adversely affect flourishing.
If I might add a bit of a MacIntyre spin, I would say that it is our function as rational creature to use reason to help ourselves flourish. As such because it is a function of ourselves we are able to bypass the is-ought problem by pointing to our innate telos.
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Re: Objective morality

Post by mdsimpson92 » Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:44 pm

Robin Yergenson wrote:1. It is a fact that, at least generally speaking, the propensity to flourish is integral to our nature as an organism qua organism.2. It is a fact that, at least generally speaking, as rational beings, we stand to benefit or to suffer loss by believing, choosing, and acting in particular ways.3. It is a fact that, at least generally speaking, in accordance with our nature as organisms and in particular as rational volitional beings, in order for the one who’s doing the valuing, choosing, and acting to flourish, that individual ought to prefer to flourish, and that individual ought to act in ways that promote flourishing, and that individual ought not act in ways that adversely affect flourishing.
If I might add a bit of a MacIntyre spin, I would say that it is our function as rational creature to use reason to help ourselves flourish. As such because it is a function of ourselves we are able to bypass the is-ought problem by pointing to our innate telos.

Later I might try to find that quote from MacIntyre. He's pretty much the guy that revived virtue ethics for many.
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Robin Yergenson
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Re: Objective morality

Post by Robin Yergenson » Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:43 pm

Hi Miles,

I had claimed,

1. It is a fact that, at least generally speaking, the propensity to flourish is integral to our nature as an organism qua organism.
2. It is a fact that, at least generally speaking, as rational beings, we stand to benefit or to suffer loss by believing, choosing, and acting in particular ways.
3. It is a fact that, at least generally speaking, in accordance with our nature as organisms and in particular as rational volitional beings, in order for the one who’s doing the valuing, choosing, and acting to flourish, that individual ought to prefer to flourish, and that individual ought to act in ways that promote flourishing, and that individual ought not act in ways that adversely affect flourishing.

You responded,
If I might add a bit of a MacIntyre spin, I would say that it is our function as rational creature to use reason to help ourselves flourish. As such because it is a function of ourselves we are able to bypass the is-ought problem by pointing to our innate telos.
I agree entirely. I see proper reasoning as our most fundamental moral ought, and I see the three facts stated above to be not so much a bypass as the very basis for refuting the is-ought problem. I haven’t read Macintyre but I see he states from the outset that, “there are no neutral standards available by appeal to which any rational agent whatsoever could determine" the conclusions of moral philosophy.” If the three facts stated above provide the basis for showing that oughts can be derived from what is (and I claim that they do), then what “is” provides us with an objective neutral standard for us to appeal to, don’t you agree?

Rob

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Metacrock
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Re: Objective morality

Post by Metacrock » Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:24 am

you have not done anything to turn an is into an ought. you never will. it can't be done. The only thing that makes' an ought is value. you can't derive values form genetics. you can say the preference of a value is encoded in genetics. That doesn't' prove it automatically becomes a ought. There are a lot of "ought nots" that are also encoded in genes. there is a gene for alcoholism. So I can say "we should be alcoholics. we have a gene that says we should" you can 'but that's destructive" well know do you get to the point where you say the greater value is non destructive?

There is probalby no genetic endowment for the value of being healing or constructive rather than destructive. that's the kind of cultural value that can't be rooted in genetics.

Of cousre reductive determinist assume everything is. you have no actual proof of it.

you can't demonstrate how genes lead to resolve the ensuing conflict between values.
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Re: Objective morality

Post by mdsimpson92 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:43 pm

Metacrock wrote:
you have not done anything to turn an is into an ought. you never will. it can't be done. The only thing that makes' an ought is value. you can't derive values form genetics. you can say the preference of a value is encoded in genetics. That doesn't' prove it automatically becomes a ought. There are a lot of "ought nots" that are also encoded in genes. there is a gene for alcoholism. So I can say "we should be alcoholics. we have a gene that says we should" you can 'but that's destructive" well know do you get to the point where you say the greater value is non destructive?
Let's see if I can at least get close. :mrgreen: To quote MacIntyre
But do we have evidence for such a change of meaning? To answer this question it is helpful to consider another type of counter-example to the "No-ought" conclusions from "is" premises' thesis. From such practical premises as "This watch is grossly inaccurate and irregular in time keeping" and "This watch is too heavy to carry around comfortably', the evaluative conclusion validly follows that "This is a bad watch". From such factual premises such as "He gets a better yield for this crop per acre than any than any farmer in the district", . . .. the evaluative conclusion is that "He is a good farmer." Both of these arguments are valid because of the special character of the concepts of a watch and farmer. Such concepts are functional concepts. . . . .
So while the is-ought problem is still useful, there are still loopholes in is for things with a function behind them. If there is an inherent function to humanity, then there can be something of a definition for a "good man." So to speak. I don't think he is against the is-ought problem, just that he believes there are natural exceptions to it in terms of values.
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Re: Objective morality

Post by runamokmonk » Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:59 pm

Not sure, but inherent function of humanity seems to be something similar with defining abstract man as man. Man as man. Man qua man.

Making an essence of abstract Real Man above real individual humans. The individual human being ought to be as the discovered real Man.

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Re: Objective morality

Post by mdsimpson92 » Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:15 am

runamokmonk wrote: Not sure, but inherent function of humanity seems to be something similar with defining abstract man as man. Man as man. Man qua man. Making an essence of abstract Real Man above real individual humans. The individual human being ought to be as the discovered real Man.
Close, though I don't think it quite does that. Anyways, there is the question of whether man actually has an inherent telos. The example i gave is one that is given by society.
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Re: Objective morality

Post by runamokmonk » Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:18 am

Given by society sounds like that may be social roles for those inside society. Is it? The good man is kind of vague. Invidual/s have revolted from what their functions were said to be, each person having their station or place, and changed things.

I think Jesus was disrupting this sort of thing. Last to be first, no differences between rich, poor, women men, greek or jew.

I think the organism qua organism idea seems to be faulty to me because the organism, as whatever it is, or acts like, would be acting as an organism however it acted like.

The organism acts, or behaves in such ways, than that it is how that particular organism is.

Instead of observing a particular, or class, of organism/s and describing it, there is a sort of definition of Organism as an argument, and then how one ought to be.

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