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is there a fundamental value that we all share?

 
 
Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2008 02:50 pm
concerning ethical debates, A.J. Ayer said that if ethical opinions were simply and expression of emotion, then all ethical debate would be pointless, because we would not be arguing anything objective. he suggested that the only way in which we could argue about such matters is if we all shared some fundamental values. if ethical opionions are just emotive, are there then any fundamental values that humanity shares, from which we can begin to discuss ethical matters in an "objective" manner?
 
Thomas
 
  3  
Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2008 02:56 pm
@existential potential,
- It is wrong to kill humans for no reason.

- It is wrong to rape babies for fun.

- Do unto others as you want them to do unto you.

Those three are pretty universal.

rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2008 03:03 pm
@existential potential,
Fundamental values tend to derive from the similarity of human emotions such as empathy and compassion. This is what we share in common which gives us a foundation from which to build morality and ethics.

The emotions are fundamental (and almost always similar), but the morality and ethics which spring from them are molded by various societal behaviors.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2008 03:09 pm
It's pretty much what Thomas said; "do no harm."
existential potential
 
  3  
Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2008 03:27 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Isn't Christianity the answer then, if we all believe that we should "do no harm"? what does "do no harm" mean? physical harm or emotional harm, or both?
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2008 04:38 pm
@existential potential,
ep, According to my "reality" gage, religion has not helped much when it comes to "do no harm." Maybe, even the opposite may have been the historical and contemporary fact(s).


It means both physical and mental harm.
Xenoche
 
  2  
Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2008 07:45 pm
@cicerone imposter,
When religious folk boast the moral high ground on matters of morality, they neglect the fact that their so called moral high ground is only applicable among those following their particular creed and is in direct conflict with hundreds of other religions all over the globe, how is fabricating a global schism of morality a good thing over ideas that most take for granted as animals. For example, a fundamentalist Christian would claim that there book is the moral foundation of which all should adhere, the same is said by all religious folk and their apparently infallible tomes. Within the confines of thier own religious peers this is all well and good, but within a supposedly secular society such as the United states, religious interference can be extremely destructive to the due process of supposed secular legislators especially when religious lobby groups start beating their drums and waving their crosses (as if possessing and flaunting a symbol of persecution was something that should be honored). So if religious morality is belittling of all not born in their particular sect, how on earth could they possibly claim such moral superiority? They shouldn't, but they do it anyway. Propaganda anyone?
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 11:26 am
@Xenoche,
It's so obvious how those of religion would advocate for the discrimination of gays and lesbians. They claim "marriage is between a man and woman," and is a sacred trust given by god. WHOA! So, we see divorce rates approaching, if not exceeding, 50 percent of marriages of heterosexuals. That's sacred? They want to use a word like "marriage" because of the ignorance and religious' beliefs to impose their own standard of morality while discriminating against their fellow humans while they break all the "moral rules" of marriage.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Sep, 2008 08:55 pm
@existential potential,
existential potential wrote:
if ethical opionions are just emotive, are there then any fundamental values that humanity shares, from which we can begin to discuss ethical matters in an "objective" manner?

Well, if ethical opinions are just emotive, then there's no reason to determine if there are any fundamental values that humanity shares, since those values wouldn't be ethical values. That's Ayer's point.

It is also fruitless to determine if there are any fundamental values that all of humanity shares, since one could always find exceptions to any ethical rule somewhere. Surely there must have been someone, at some time, who thought it was all right, for instance, to rape babies for fun. But then that sort of analysis just leads to moral relativism, which is nothing but a dead end.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Mon 8 Sep, 2008 09:02 pm
@Xenoche,
Xenoche wrote:
So if religious morality is belittling of all not born in their particular sect, how on earth could they possibly claim such moral superiority? They shouldn't, but they do it anyway. Propaganda anyone?

Why shouldn't they? Because we live in a pluralistic society? That just means that there is a higher order ethical rule (respect for divergent opinions) that trumps some lower order ethical rule espoused by the religious folks. But then that means you're not arguing against moral superiority per se, you're just arguing against their moral superiority. In other words, you are saying that religious folks who claim to be morally superior are wrong, because you are morally superior to them.
Shapeless
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Sep, 2008 09:56 pm
@existential potential,
Quote:
Isn't Christianity the answer then, if we all believe that we should "do no harm"?


In theory, a vague maybe. In practice... well, the historical record doesn't look too promising.
0 Replies
 
Xenoche
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Sep, 2008 12:32 am
@joefromchicago,
Good to see you don't have any issues reading joe.
0 Replies
 
salima
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 09:42 am
@existential potential,
Ethics is believing other people besides oneself also matter.
Sharing fundamental values would be satisfying basic needs for ourselves and others.
The farther we stray from basic needs, our needs begin to diverge; then we have to connect the value of the need to the individual and try to ensure that everyone's needs are met according to those which they have prioritized, meanwhile not thwarting anyone else from the same satisfaction.

The ideal would be not only to be able to discuss ethical matters objectively, but to reach ethical decisions objectively.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 09:48 am
@existential potential,
existential potential wrote:

concerning ethical debates, A.J. Ayer said that if ethical opinions were simply and expression of emotion, then all ethical debate would be pointless, because we would not be arguing anything objective. he suggested that the only way in which we could argue about such matters is if we all shared some fundamental values. if ethical opionions are just emotive, are there then any fundamental values that humanity shares, from which we can begin to discuss ethical matters in an "objective" manner?


It seems to me that even if there is no fundamental value we all share, we could still talk (and debate about) whether a particular fundamental value ought to be shared by us all even if it is not. Suppose we do not share the fundamental value that we should all be concerned about other people (a la John Donne). Can we not debate whether we ought to share this fundamental value?
Huxley
 
  2  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 12:03 pm
To a reasonable approximation that includes the majority of humans, I'd say a love of sex is a fundamental value.
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 12:42 pm
@existential potential,
No, I don't think there's any single value everyone shares, except perhaps self interest. There are; however, a whole boatload of values I think we all ought to share, but that's another issue.

Thanks
0 Replies
 
stevecook172001
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 12:45 pm
@existential potential,
existential potential wrote:

concerning ethical debates, A.J. Ayer said that if ethical opinions were simply and expression of emotion, then all ethical debate would be pointless, because we would not be arguing anything objective. he suggested that the only way in which we could argue about such matters is if we all shared some fundamental values. if ethical opionions are just emotive, are there then any fundamental values that humanity shares, from which we can begin to discuss ethical matters in an "objective" manner?

From my own readings, there are some common ethical values including:

Undesirability of incest (especially strong in women)

Undesirability of homicide and other forms of extreme violence (amongst social in-group members, including kin)

Undesirability of stealing (amongst in social in-group members, including kin)

Desirability of sharing of ones resources with kin (especially if they are closely related and/or are younger than the giver)

Desirability of maintenance of social face (maintaining a reliable social identity)

Desirability of equitable dealing with others and of just consequences of not dealing equitably with others (fairness)

I'm sure there are other I've not remembered

All of the above ethical behaviours tend to fall into two categories.

1) Kin selected altruism

This is where at the phenotypic level, on the face of it, the ethical behaviour in question appears to be without profit and also incurs potential loss. However, at the genetic level the behaviour can be seen to be self interested in that it furthers the interest of the genes that are shared between the phenotypes involved.

2) Non kin selected reciprocation

This explains all other ethical behaviours not covered by category (1).



Philis
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Jun, 2010 02:42 am
@existential potential,
Taking care of our or your children, wherever they are, is a natural human fundamental value.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Jun, 2010 02:19 pm
@existential potential,
Yes; we wish for good health and happiness for our children.
0 Replies
 
topnotcht121
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Jun, 2010 05:47 pm
@salima,
is the golden rule a good example?
 

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