QuantumTroll wrote:Because humans are social beings. No man is an island, and (barring sociopathic mental illness) aren't happy living just for ourselves. Competition among people makes sense in exactly one context: survival. If there are only enough resources (e.g. food) to feed 50% of the people you know, the stronger will make sure that they're in that 50%. Once you have your basic needs met, however, taking advantage of the weak doesn't provide you with any benefit. More probably, people around you will notice, starting thinking you're a jerk, and stop treating you with kindness. A recipe for a crappy life.met wrote:I think NOT!!!! The problem is OTHER PEOPLE'S PAIN doesn't actually hurt us! ... and since competition - ie predation on and/or exclusion of the weaker -seems to be woven very deeply into the everyday, natural order of things too, why shouldn't the stronger among us act in accordance with their nature (while PRETENDING to be moral whenever it suits them...) and take all they can for themselves?The "ought" derives so naturally that we see understanding of it even in animal behavior: you shouldn't cause others pain. That's the foundation of humanist morality and can be rephrased, reiterated, broadened, deepened, and discussed to no end. And quite objective...
Successful life-strategy, you say? Hitler shot himself in a bunker. Stalin was so afraid of his enemies that he executed or banished anyone who showed even an inkling of independent thought and drive, even his oldest friends. These men were historical greats, but I would hardly call their lives a success. But okay, you disagree, that is fine.The difficult thing for u would seem to be ... that strategy often works. Hitler and Stalin, for example, lived (or seemed to seemed to have had at least) much easier lives than those of many of their victims or those they exploited in that they didn't starve, they never went hungry at least..... So if using others without conscience, while pretending to be moral, can be a successful life-strategy, how do you frame an atheistic "objective" morality?
Because none of us is Hitler or Stalin. Most of humanity is quite ordinary. We need others and we need others to need us. If humans were sharks, you'd be right. The biggest, fastest, strongest shark gets the most food and is happiest. Humans, however, are more like sheep. A happy flock makes for a happy sheep.
QT, you seem to be claiming that "ethical" behavior works for MOST people, MOST of the time, or at least whenever there is sufficient peace and prosperity ... but how does that provide an "objective" ethical standard in a prescriptive sense?
I don't know if I disagree, except for the sake of argument ... but one thing for sure, only winners write history. If the Axis powers had won WW2 or the USSR had won the Cold War, those peep's stories would be remembered differently ....These men were historical greats, but I would hardly call their lives a success. But okay, you disagree, that is fine.