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Roots of Human Morality
 

kamui
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On first blush i don't think you know what you're talking about. But I'll be charitable and say you have something in mind that i can't understand. So at the risk of getting futher boggled down, what do you mean when you say "even when I am silent" supposedly I have an "absolute belief in myself?" lol what's the difference between absolute belief and belief or say absolute nonsense and nonsense, or absolute doubt and doubt or absolute memory and memory?


"I am" is not a "way of speaking".
You absolutely know you are.
It's an unconditional knowledge.
An a priori.
A transcendantal truth.
Not a language-game but a meta-rule that pre-determines all possible games.

Feel free to choose your own terminology.

It's the same thing with the existence of the world, your own finitude, etc.
Axiology (morality) has its own a priori/transcendantal truth/meta-rule too.
And that's the point of this thread.

yes it is relativism . Both science and pragmatism are relative to methods and concepts and what works. The difference between the two is science is an investigation of the physical world and its implications, while pragmatism is an armchair philosophical subject which posits concepts and states that what is true about these concepts is what works or what is useful.


Relativism is an epistemological position. You make it sound as if scientific method requires it. And it's not the case.
In itself, science doesn't say a word about the metaphysical nature of its objects. And, in itself, science doesn't say a word about epistemology. It works the other way around : epistemology is the philosophical foundation of science.
You can describe / define how good science is done all day long, it won't give you any argument in favor of relativism.


Instead of breaking down all my thoughts to what you can handle deal with them what i've written from their totality. Now i don't mean by totality some "absolute" lol I just mean taken what I written as a piece a limited whole.

Its logically absurd to take sentences here and there and objecting.


Check my posting history and you will see that i very rarely resort to this kind of "breaking down".
Then, ask yourself why i did it with your post.

Btw, thank you very much for your charity.


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kamui
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A quick thing about Wittgenstein.

Even if he thought that ethics was a matter which we can not speak, it doesn't mean that it is relative, inexistent or fictionnal.
Quite the contrary.
In Wittgenstein's perspective, what can not be spoken about can still be shown
"Ethics, if it is anything, is supernatural and our words will only express facts".

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pat
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Wrong response to the wrong person...

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Tiribulus
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kamui wrote:<<< Relativism is an epistemological position. You make it sound as if scientific method requires it. And it's not the case.
In itself, science doesn't say a word about the metaphysical nature of its objects. And, in itself, science doesn't say a word about epistemology. It works the other way around : epistemology is the philosophical foundation of science.
You can describe / define how good science is done all day long, it won't give you any argument in favor of relativism. >>>
Of course I absolutely agree. Science is every bit as contingent as man. Science is just as good at punctuating questions, and those the really big ones, as it is at providing answers, and those the relatively small ones.

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pat
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ephrem wrote:
Fletch1986 wrote:
ephrem wrote:
Fletch1986 wrote:
ephrem wrote:

Obviously I disagree, and there's evidence that it's not so cut and dry: http://medicalxpress.com/...s-morality.html


All that gives is one of the locations of the brain through which we act on and discover morality. Not the source.


Why can't we be the source?

Fletch1986 wrote:
ephrem wrote:

Obviously I disagree, and there's evidence that it's not so cut and dry: http://medicalxpress.com/...s-morality.html


All that gives is one of the locations of the brain through which we act on and discover morality. Not the source.


Edit: the reasons you cite in your previous post about the source of morality aren't convincing. We've had lots of time to experiment and find a way of living together that leads to a succesful society.


Is the second sentence in the edit your refutation? Finding ways to live together is a part of discovering morality.


For some reason accessing Tnation from work is difficult at times.

Finding ways to live together is how we create morality.

Partly genetic, partly culture, partly ideal = morality.


You cannot even create an original thought much less a high level order like morality. Morality has no basis in genetics. If there were no creatures, no physical objects at all, morality would still exist, it just would have no adherents.
Morality has been misinterpreted by culture, but you cannot seem to understand that morality is not necessary at any level for evolution. If anything in may ways it can be contrary to evolution.
Ideals have even less to do with it than the other things you mention.
The proof is in what morality is or what it's composed of. First, freewill.
Now whether you are a freewill or determinism advocate, you are still subject to a metaphysical higher order. You don't have a choice. It's one, or the other, and they are both metaphysical entities. Either we have choices as conscious objects, or we do not. In either case, we are not in control of that. It's not a human construct because humans didn't invent that which controls us. The pecking order of causal reality necessitates that that which you are subject to, is ahead of you in the causal chain. There is no way around that.
Second, you have two options 'good' or 'evil'. Humans cannot decide what action is good and what action is evil, we can only decide to take the evil or good option. We cannot make an evil option good or a good option evil by sheer will. Good is a metaphysical construct. And so is evil. What is good and what is evil has always been the case, eternally for it's not subject to time.

You are confusing the understanding of morality and morality itself. You'd have made an 'F' in my ethics class. If you cannot separate the understanding of something with the thing itself, you will not be able to understand many things.

Let's go back to math. If you put 2 apples in a basket and then added 2 more apples to the basket, then every conscious thing in the entire universe died simultaneously, you'd still have 4 apples in the basket. Morality is no different. Even if there is nothing that can act moral or immoral, morality still exists.

You're desire to make this a man-made thing is bordering on absurd. Man cannot have created morality because we cannot control what it is in any way. We can know it or not know it, we can understand it, or not understand it, but it is what it is, and there is nothing you can do about it.
You're kind of like a cave man, you put man at the center of the universe.

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Fletch1986
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pat wrote:
ephrem wrote:
Fletch1986 wrote:
ephrem wrote:
Fletch1986 wrote:
ephrem wrote:

Obviously I disagree, and there's evidence that it's not so cut and dry: http://medicalxpress.com/...s-morality.html


All that gives is one of the locations of the brain through which we act on and discover morality. Not the source.


Why can't we be the source?

Fletch1986 wrote:
ephrem wrote:

Obviously I disagree, and there's evidence that it's not so cut and dry: http://medicalxpress.com/...s-morality.html


All that gives is one of the locations of the brain through which we act on and discover morality. Not the source.


Edit: the reasons you cite in your previous post about the source of morality aren't convincing. We've had lots of time to experiment and find a way of living together that leads to a succesful society.


Is the second sentence in the edit your refutation? Finding ways to live together is a part of discovering morality.


For some reason accessing Tnation from work is difficult at times.

Finding ways to live together is how we create morality.

Partly genetic, partly culture, partly ideal = morality.


You cannot even create an original thought much less a high level order like morality. Morality has no basis in genetics. If there were no creatures, no physical objects at all, morality would still exist, it just would have no adherents.
Morality has been misinterpreted by culture, but you cannot seem to understand that morality is not necessary at any level for evolution. If anything in may ways it can be contrary to evolution.
Ideals have even less to do with it than the other things you mention.
The proof is in what morality is or what it's composed of. First, freewill.
Now whether you are a freewill or determinism advocate, you are still subject to a metaphysical higher order. You don't have a choice. It's one, or the other, and they are both metaphysical entities. Either we have choices as conscious objects, or we do not. In either case, we are not in control of that. It's not a human construct because humans didn't invent that which controls us. The pecking order of causal reality necessitates that that which you are subject to, is ahead of you in the causal chain. There is no way around that.
Second, you have two options 'good' or 'evil'. Humans cannot decide what action is good and what action is evil, we can only decide to take the evil or good option. We cannot make an evil option good or a good option evil by sheer will. Good is a metaphysical construct. And so is evil. What is good and what is evil has always been the case, eternally for it's not subject to time.

You are confusing the understanding of morality and morality itself. You'd have made an 'F' in my ethics class. If you cannot separate the understanding of something with the thing itself, you will not be able to understand many things.

Let's go back to math. If you put 2 apples in a basket and then added 2 more apples to the basket, then every conscious thing in the entire universe died simultaneously, you'd still have 4 apples in the basket. Morality is no different. Even if there is nothing that can act moral or immoral, morality still exists.

You're desire to make this a man-made thing is bordering on absurd. Man cannot have created morality because we cannot control what it is in any way. We can know it or not know it, we can understand it, or not understand it, but it is what it is, and there is nothing you can do about it.
You're kind of like a cave man, you put man at the center of the universe.


I understand what your saying about the hierarchy, but how do you think we can know what the laws of morality are? How do people find them out from your point of view?

Most people have a conscious which can help people figure it out. There's one mechanism. What other mechanisms or observations can we make to learn more about morality? Like hypothetically speaking, say I'm a total psychopath. No working biological tool to tell me what's right and wrong. Without learning from people who do have a conscious, how would one in the above scenario learn about the laws of morality?

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pat
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ephrem wrote:
Fletch1986 wrote:
ephrem wrote:

Obviously I disagree, and there's evidence that it's not so cut and dry: http://medicalxpress.com/...s-morality.html


All that gives is one of the locations of the brain through which we act on and discover morality. Not the source.


Why can't we be the source?

Fletch1986 wrote:
ephrem wrote:

Obviously I disagree, and there's evidence that it's not so cut and dry: http://medicalxpress.com/...s-morality.html


All that gives is one of the locations of the brain through which we act on and discover morality. Not the source.


Edit: the reasons you cite in your previous post about the source of morality aren't convincing. We've had lots of time to experiment and find a way of living together that leads to a succesful society.


Society doesn't need morality to survive. And didn't you say you didn't believe in freewill? If so the whole point is moot since with out choice there is no freewill. Which is something else we did not invent, choice. We didn't invent the concept of picking between two or more actions, we learned it, but we didn't create it.

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silee
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kamui wrote:
To silee :

no matter what one say on a theoretical level, in practice no one is truly "without foundation".
Some people simply refuse to examine and/or acknowledge their own foundation, but they still build upon it. Because one can not think without an ontology.

Forget what you think you know about Wittgenstein. Read Quine.
His work is probably the most serious attempt at relativism. Yet he does accept the irreductible necessity of an ontology.

To orion :

go read something, you hippy. :)




Foundations have to do with epistemology. I think quite the contrary as far as saying I have self knowledge this applies to my everyday life, i don't prove this, to even imply that's called for is strange. But that "self-knowledge" is a limited understanding of ones self, yes indeed. " know thy self" is a worthy life long goal or process. Remember the human being has a great capacity for self delusion. Now mind you I am not saying that we shouldn't strive for self understanding we should, its that its never complete or final, nothing like a base upon which to build indubitable knowledge of the self. So if you want to say you need " a foundation" for everyday living, I'd say fine but for me i know I can always say, " I thought i knew such and such about myself but I was just living a lie or living an illusion of sorts or I only knew a small amount and come to see that there is much much more"

Well as philosophers why should one forget such a seminal thinker as Wittgenstein?
Goodman is certainly a philosopher worth reading. He's much more interesting than Quine. But yeah it depends on what you can connect with or like.

On Quine as you talking about "from a logical point of view"?

I think all the American pragmatist are relativist when it comes to gaining knowledge or understanding of what interests us. I like Goodman cause he doesn't prioritize science over the arts they are just different ways of worlds.

I remember reading some of Charles Saunders Perice and he is certainly interesting. He was a believer in Christ from what I understand.

And then there is Richard Rorty, whom a professor of mine Robert Ackermann called a light weight lol

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kamui
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Foundations have to do with epistemology.


Yes.

think quite the contrary as far as saying I have self knowledge this applies to my everyday life, i don't prove this, to even imply that's called for is strange.


the contrary of what ?
I never spoke about "self knowledge" and your "everyday life".

But that "self-knowledge" is a limited understanding of ones self, yes indeed.
Remember the human being has a great capacity for self delusion. Now mind you I am not saying that we shouldn't strive for self understanding we should, its that its never complete or final, nothing like a base upon which to build indubitable knowledge of the self. So if you want to say you need " a foundation" for everyday living, I'd say fine but for me i know I can always say, " I thought i knew such and such about myself but I was just living a lie or living an illusion of sorts or I only knew a small amount and come to see that there is much much more"


I was speaking about your belief (it's a knowledge, actually) in your own existence.
And i was saying that it was an example of an ontological truth.
Nothing more, nothing less.
Whereas you know thyself or not, in this "delphic" way, is irrelevant here.


Well as philosophers why should one forget such a seminal thinker as Wittgenstein?


Ok. Let me rephrase this :
Forget about using him to make relativist arguments.


Goodman is certainly a philosopher worth reading. He's much more interesting than Quine. But yeah it depends on what you can connect with or like.

On Quine as you talking about "from a logical point of view"?


I gave you very specific reason to read him.
He made a very serious and very consistent attempt to "clean" ontology of its unnecessary elements. But he failed to eliminate ALL of them... precisely because it can't be done.

I think all the American pragmatist are relativist when it comes to gaining knowledge or understanding of what interests us. I like Goodman cause he doesn't prioritize science over the arts they are just different ways of worlds.

I remember reading some of Charles Saunders Perice and he is certainly interesting. He was a believer in Christ from what I understand.

And then there is Richard Rorty, whom a professor of mine Robert Ackermann called a light weight lol


Your professor is probably right. But what's your point ?

Edit :
"Oops, i did it again"

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silee
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kamui wrote:
A quick thing about Wittgenstein.

Even if he thought that ethics was a matter which we can not speak, it doesn't mean that it is relative, inexistent or fictionnal.
Quite the contrary.
In Wittgenstein's perspective, what can not be spoken about can still be shown
"Ethics, if it is anything, is supernatural and our words will only express facts".



You mean ethics is not relative to or for you. We don't know Wittgenstein's position in the Tractatus other than we can't speak of ethics because its outside of what can be said. Ethics wasn't his point in the Tractatus, it was to show the limits of language. Now In the Philosophical Investigations he changes his narrow *what can be said facts* (mine) into language games and shows us all the different things we do with language. Incidentally in a book on culture and values he does say of people who talk about God as something he can't understand.

His notion of showing lies outside of his main concern in the Tractatus. As you point out.

where in the Tractatus are you taking that quote from? Is that your interpretation? You used quotation marks which suggest that your quoting LW. but there that is your interpretation.. That might seem petty of me but a quote should be verbatim and where its your interpretation you should note it. And yes i know he says in 6.421 " it is clear that ethics cannot be put into words. Ethics is transcendental. ( Ethics and aesthetics are one and the same)."

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kamui
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It's not from the Tractatus. It's from "Lecture on ethics".
And i noted my interpretation. Just above the quote.

Ethics is transcendental


Which is what Pat, me, and a few others are saying in this thread.

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silee
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[quote]kamui wrote:
[quote]
Foundations have to do with epistemology.[/quote]

Yes.

[quote]think quite the contrary as far as saying I have self knowledge this applies to my everyday life, i don't prove this, to even imply that's called for is strange.[/quote]

the contrary of what ?
I never spoke about "self knowledge" and your "everyday life".

[quote]But that "self-knowledge" is a limited understanding of ones self, yes indeed.
Remember the human being has a great capacity for self delusion. Now mind you I am not saying that we shouldn't strive for self understanding we should, its that its never complete or final, nothing like a base upon which to build indubitable knowledge of the self. So if you want to say you need " a foundation" for everyday living, I'd say fine but for me i know I can always say, " I thought i knew such and such about myself but I was just living a lie or living an illusion of sorts or I only knew a small amount and come to see that there is much much more"
[/quote]

I was speaking about your belief (it's a knowledge, actually) in your own existence.
And i was saying that it was an example of an ontological truth.
Nothing more, nothing less.
Whereas you know thyself or not, in this "delphic" way, is irrelevant here.

[quote]
Well as philosophers why should one forget such a seminal thinker as Wittgenstein?[/quote]

Ok. Let me rephrase this :
Forget about using him to make relativist arguments.

[quote]
Goodman is certainly a philosopher worth reading. He's much more interesting than Quine. But yeah it depends on what you can connect with or like.

On Quine as you talking about "from a logical point of view"? [/quote]

I gave you very specific reason to read him.
He made a very serious and very consistent attempt to "clean" ontology of its unnecessary elements. But he failed to eliminate ALL of them... precisely because it can't be done.

[quote]I think all the American pragmatist are relativist when it comes to gaining knowledge or understanding of what interests us. I like Goodman cause he doesn't prioritize science over the arts they are just different ways of worlds.

I remember reading some of Charles Saunders Perice and he is certainly interesting. He was a believer in Christ from what I understand.

And then there is Richard Rorty, whom a professor of mine Robert Ackermann called a light weight lol[/quote]

Your professor is probably right. But what's your point ?

Edit :
"Oops, i did it again"[

you implied self knowledge, or what then do you mean by " I am , I want...." what are they indicative of? absolutes? absolute grammatical forms?

I never got worked up or bothered by Rorty.

What did you specifically want me to ready of Quine's?

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kamui
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What did you specifically want me to ready of Quine's?


On this specific topic : "Ontological relativity and other essays".

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Fletch1986
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kamui wrote:

What did you specifically want me to ready of Quine's?


On this specific topic : "Ontological relativity and other essays".


If it wouldn't trouble you too much, I'm also very interested in how you would answer the questions I asked Pat.

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silee
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kamui wrote:
It's not from the Tractatus. It's from "Lecture on ethics".
And i noted my interpretation. Just above the quote.

Ethics is transcendental


Which is what Pat, me, and a few others are saying in this thread.



That's only one way of seeing ethics there are other ways of making sense of it. A social psychologist could say that ethics is about group cohesion. D. Dennett might say that its an evolutionary phenomenon. Something that a certain people feel compelled to pursue.

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kamui
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That's only one way of seeing ethics there are other ways of making sense of it. A social psychologist could say that ethics is about group cohesion. D. Dennett might say that its an evolutionary phenomenon. Something that a certain people feel compelled to pursue.


A social psychologist doesn't study ethics, he may study ethical behavior.
An evolutionist doesn't study ethics, he may study ethology.

A physician may study vibrations, but he doesn't study music.

Yes, music is made of vibrations, but music is not vibrations.
Yes morality is made of behavior, but morality is not behavior.

It's what make a specific behavior good and another one evil.
in the same way, Good is made of "good for society" or "good for the specie" or "good for me". but those are examples/cases. Not the principle itself.

This argument is the very definition of reductionism. And is a logical fallacy.

How someone like Dennett doesn't see this is beyond me.

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kamui
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Fletch1986 wrote:
kamui wrote:

What did you specifically want me to ready of Quine's?


On this specific topic : "Ontological relativity and other essays".


If it wouldn't trouble you too much, I'm also very interested in how you would answer the questions I asked Pat.


I will try. Tomorrow.

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ephrem
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Pat:

I value your opinion because it forces me to reconsider my own, but I don't trust your opinion because it acts as the basis for your religious beliefs.

Despite your insistence morality is not equal to laws of physics just because they exist in the metaphysical realm. We can't break the laws of physics, but people violate morals rules each day.

You could argue that morality is objective if morality evolved as we as humans evolved and became something that defines us as human. We have big brains, we are bi-pedal and have opposite thumbs, and we developed culture, society and morality as a result of our evolutionary succes.

Without human beings 2+2=4 would still be true. Without human beings morality is meaningless.

Furthermore, your view of free will is superficial. We have a choice; we make choices everyday. This is not the issue, but you need to look further and try to understand why we make that choice and realise that, perhaps, we are not so free to make the choice we've made after all.

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Tiribulus
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ephrem's old man(nature) still bearing the broken image of God inherited from father Adam wrote:<<< Without human beings 2+2=4 would still be true. >>>
Absolutely true.
ephrem's new man(nature) dead in sin also inherited from father Adam wrote:<<< Without human beings morality is meaningless. >>>
Absolutely false. This is the ethical hacksaw that sinners use to surgically isolate the certainty of the morally neutral from the certainty of morality itself. They love the former and hate the latter and vainly attempt to use the one against the other.

Trib's old man is the brother of Ephrem's new man. Trib's new man is alive together with Christ and sees logic, math and morality as equally absolute and all three for the same reason and from the same source.

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silee
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kamui wrote:

That's only one way of seeing ethics there are other ways of making sense of it. A social psychologist could say that ethics is about group cohesion. D. Dennett might say that its an evolutionary phenomenon. Something that a certain people feel compelled to pursue.


A social psychologist doesn't study ethics, he may study ethical behavior.

Oh i see only a philosopher/theologian can study ethics heh?

An evolutionist doesn't study ethics, he may study ethology.
And you say that as fact? no only by your Platonist view of what you take ethics to be.
A physician may study vibrations, but he doesn't study music.

Ok I see your in your Socratic mode here lol

Yes, music is made of vibrations, but music is not vibrations.

Yes morality is made of behavior, but morality is not behavior.

well depends on how you define the situation to start with and what your interests are. There are always already many ways to make sense, not just one way.
It's what make a specific behavior good and another one evil.

in the same way, Good is made of "good for society" or "good for the specie" or "good for me". but those are examples/cases. Not the principle itself. Well again it depends on how one develops or doesn't develop what they take ethics to be. You might not like their starting point, but you don't have the final say no one does. Schools of thought can argue back and forth or simply dismiss the other as misguided or wrong. But the whole history of philosophy shows us that concepts are open to objections and critique.

This argument is the very definition of reductionism. And is a logical fallacy.
nah not so.
How someone like Dennett doesn't see this is beyond me.


Yes I know.

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pat
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ephrem wrote:
Pat:

I value your opinion because it forces me to reconsider my own, but I don't trust your opinion because it acts as the basis for your religious beliefs.

The fact that they coincide should give you pause. The process I went through was totally secular, and totally honest. I didn't try to guide it, I let it take me where it went. The absolute purity of logic, just happened to coinside with some of my religious beliefs, but not all of them. There are many things I had to rethink.

But if you're denying truth because you're afraid it may lead you to religion of some sort then you are limiting your own though based purely on bias. And that is something that should give you major pause. I never, ever brought up God or religion, you did. That's some thing else, that ought to give you pause. Because it's verifiable, just look back at the posts. You always brought up God. I may have answered, but I also tried to steer it away from that, yet you kept bringing it back.
The relgious bias presented here in this discussion has been yours alone, not mine.

Despite your insistence morality is not equal to laws of physics just because they exist in the metaphysical realm. We can't break the laws of physics, but people violate morals rules each day.

You cannot break the laws of morality either, you can ignore them to your detriment, but you cannot change them.
You can ignore the laws of physics. You can jump off a building with the impression you may float, but you will die. You may try to pretend an evil act is moral, but it's still evil, and it finds you in the end. You can call that what you want, karma perhaps. But it's just a simple fact that you violated a natural rule and the consequences of that violation, though not immediate will reciprocate with the exactness of Newton's Laws.

You could argue that morality is objective if morality evolved as we as humans evolved and became something that defines us as human. We have big brains, we are bi-pedal and have opposite thumbs, and we developed culture, society and morality as a result of our evolutionary succes.

Without human beings 2+2=4 would still be true. Without human beings morality is meaningless.

Not to other conscious beings with freewill. If there are any, they are subject to it too. Math is just as meaningless to things that cannot calculate it, but it's still universal. Uselessness does not speak to existence.

Furthermore, your view of free will is superficial. We have a choice; we make choices everyday. This is not the issue, but you need to look further and try to understand why we make that choice and realise that, perhaps, we are not so free to make the choice we've made after all.


Then your advocating determinism, you simply have to prove it to prove it's the way things are. Relegating 'choice' to an illusion, but you cannot prove 'choice' is an illusion anymore than you can prove that determinism is a reality. They can both be illusions, but then there both wrong, and what's the other option?

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pat
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I will have to address the rest tomorrow, I am beat....

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Tiribulus
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pat wrote:I will have to address the rest tomorrow, I am beat....
I actually miss you Pat, ya know that? =[

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silee
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Fletch1986 wrote:
pat wrote:
ephrem wrote:
Fletch1986 wrote:
ephrem wrote:
Fletch1986 wrote:
ephrem wrote:

Obviously I disagree, and there's evidence that it's not so cut and dry: http://medicalxpress.com/...s-morality.html


All that gives is one of the locations of the brain through which we act on and discover morality. Not the source.


Why can't we be the source?

Fletch1986 wrote:
ephrem wrote:

Obviously I disagree, and there's evidence that it's not so cut and dry: http://medicalxpress.com/...s-morality.html


All that gives is one of the locations of the brain through which we act on and discover morality. Not the source.


Edit: the reasons you cite in your previous post about the source of morality aren't convincing. We've had lots of time to experiment and find a way of living together that leads to a succesful society.


Is the second sentence in the edit your refutation? Finding ways to live together is a part of discovering morality.


For some reason accessing Tnation from work is difficult at times.

Finding ways to live together is how we create morality.

Partly genetic, partly culture, partly ideal = morality.


You cannot even create an original thought much less a high level order like morality. Morality has no basis in genetics. If there were no creatures, no physical objects at all, morality would still exist, it just would have no adherents.
Morality has been misinterpreted by culture, but you cannot seem to understand that morality is not necessary at any level for evolution. If anything in may ways it can be contrary to evolution.
Ideals have even less to do with it than the other things you mention.
The proof is in what morality is or what it's composed of. First, freewill.
Now whether you are a freewill or determinism advocate, you are still subject to a metaphysical higher order. You don't have a choice. It's one, or the other, and they are both metaphysical entities. Either we have choices as conscious objects, or we do not. In either case, we are not in control of that. It's not a human construct because humans didn't invent that which controls us. The pecking order of causal reality necessitates that that which you are subject to, is ahead of you in the causal chain. There is no way around that.
Second, you have two options 'good' or 'evil'. Humans cannot decide what action is good and what action is evil, we can only decide to take the evil or good option. We cannot make an evil option good or a good option evil by sheer will. Good is a metaphysical construct. And so is evil. What is good and what is evil has always been the case, eternally for it's not subject to time.

You are confusing the understanding of morality and morality itself. You'd have made an 'F' in my ethics class. If you cannot separate the understanding of something with the thing itself, you will not be able to understand many things.

Let's go back to math. If you put 2 apples in a basket and then added 2 more apples to the basket, then every conscious thing in the entire universe died simultaneously, you'd still have 4 apples in the basket. Morality is no different. Even if there is nothing that can act moral or immoral, morality still exists.

You're desire to make this a man-made thing is bordering on absurd. Man cannot have created morality because we cannot control what it is in any way. We can know it or not know it, we can understand it, or not understand it, but it is what it is, and there is nothing you can do about it.
You're kind of like a cave man, you put man at the center of the universe.

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I understand what your saying about the hierarchy, but how do you think we can know what the laws of morality are? How do people find them out from your point of view?
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Most people have a conscious which can help people figure it out. There's one mechanism. What other mechanisms or observations can we make to learn more about morality? Like hypothetically speaking, say I'm a total psychopath. No working biological tool to tell me what's right and wrong. Without learning from people who do have a conscious, how would one in the above scenario learn about the laws of morality?



Fletch You should take a course in philosophy. Also you should read the history of philosophy and the various schools of thought that are part and parcel of them. I believe it was Plato who said that if a man knows what is good he would will it. But then his student Aristotle came along and said " no he might know what is good but have a weak will". A philosopher named Alfred North Whitehead said that the"history of philosophy is footnotes to Plato and Aristotle" . They certainly have influence a great deal of philosophy. Taking a course in the history of philosophy would be a good place to start. Yeah I know you want to know about Morality and if its true for all time in all places, or if its Universally true and transcendental or Platonic, meaning that its reality is not up for question but that's just one point of view there are others and you will be exposed to others when you read more and get more involved. Philosophy is a kind of subject matter like many others that we either have a strong interest in or just a passing one. If its for you you have to familiarize yourself with what came before you so you know that such and such a philosopher or a school of philosophy dealt with say the problem of "other minds" or with "morality" or with " Knowledge" or what Beauty is i.e. aesthetics, or with "freedom versus determinism".


Oh and your question about the psychopath.. I take it that a psychopath is one that has no ability to empathize with others. So for them the concepts of right or wrong have no meaning. Now there might be philosophers who don't give these concepts much credence in the sense of them being fixed in stone and absolute , but from that its not the case they are psychopaths.

Does that help at all?

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Cortes
Level 4

Join date: Mar 2005
Location: Japan
Posts: 7145

kamui wrote:

That's only one way of seeing ethics there are other ways of making sense of it. A social psychologist could say that ethics is about group cohesion. D. Dennett might say that its an evolutionary phenomenon. Something that a certain people feel compelled to pursue.


A social psychologist doesn't study ethics, he may study ethical behavior.
An evolutionist doesn't study ethics, he may study ethology.

A physician may study vibrations, but he doesn't study music.

Yes, music is made of vibrations, but music is not vibrations.
Yes morality is made of behavior, but morality is not behavior.

It's what make a specific behavior good and another one evil.
in the same way, Good is made of "good for society" or "good for the specie" or "good for me". but those are examples/cases. Not the principle itself.

This argument is the very definition of reductionism. And is a logical fallacy.

How someone like Dennett doesn't see this is beyond me.


A very simple way stating this is that one is that one deals with what we do, while the other deals with what we ought to do. One is clearly firmly rooted in the physical world, the other can be nothing other than metaphysical.

I know you know this, kamui, and it is not directed at you.

Damnit, one lousy "lol," and here I am sliding right back down into the pitcher plant again, lol.

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