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Proof that morality is of some "value"

 
 
Reply Sun 1 Jan, 2012 09:59 pm
I think therefor I exist as a thinking thing, but I also know that my thoughts will cease to exist when my physical body is destroyed in what most would call reality. When my body didn't exist I wasnt yet a thinking thing, and when it is destroyed I will cease to think. Therefor my thoughts exist within or because of my physical body. My physical body depends on the external world to survive itself, and the external world can dramatically affect both my state of consciousness and my physical body. That proves my physical body that allows my thoughts to be exists within a larger thing. A thing that we call the external world. What it doesn't prove, however, is that our subjective perception of the external world is truly what the external world is like. Still now we know that the external world exists. 


Now that I have proved that our thoughts require a physical body to exist, and that the survival of that of physical body  itself relies and depends on the external world. Which would have to be a real thing. Let me try to prove why morality is more than an agnostic version of religion, and that our existence as thinking things together rely on if not require something like morality to exist. You see within this external world that we live in, there are also other things with physical bodies just like mine. Their physical bodies function and exist just like mine, and they appear to think just like I do. Therefor I believe that the only logical conclusion that one can come to from that would be that their bodies represent other thinking things that exist within this external world just like I do. 


Now let me elaborate a little bit on what I just said. The only reason I exist is because I think, my existence is my thoughts. Therefor to me the only things that truly matter, and are of any importance in the world are my thoughts and my existence as a thinking thing. I can not prove that my existence as a thinking thing and/or my thoughts are more valuable than any other thinking thing or it's thoughts. Therefor we can logically assume that we are equally valuable, so I must not do anything that might directly or indirectly affect and/or harm another thinking things existence in any way shape or form. What I'm trying to say is that our existence as thinking things together within this external world necessitates what we call morality. Without morality we could harm or destroy our existence as thinking things, and our existence together necessitates and depends on it. Therefore if one values his existence as a thinking thing, one must also value morality.


That's the best I could do tell me what you guys think?
 
solipsister
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Jan, 2012 11:52 pm
@Iminfinitydefined,
OK let's hug.

Don't forget that your morality requires that you do the best you can for your one true love.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Jan, 2012 03:44 am
@Iminfinitydefined,
Welcome to A2K !

Some of us old-timers have discussed "mind" for so long that it is difficult to get down to issues involving Descarte's cogito (I think therefore I am). We as a group, and philosophy in general, have moved on to such an extent that I am tempted to give the "Irish response"...."If it's Morality you're looking for, I wouldn't set out from here !"

My own view is that both "self" and its values are social constructions. Physicality may be a necessary aspect of "consciousness" but may not be a sufficient one. But no doubt you will get takers willing to discuss your thesis.
0 Replies
 
manored
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Jan, 2012 01:19 pm
@Iminfinitydefined,
Hum, I think you commited several logic errors there.

1. "I also know that my thoughts will cease to exist when my physical body is destroyed in what most would call reality". How do you know this?

2. "Their physical bodies function and exist just like mine, and they appear to think just like I do. Therefor I believe that the only logical conclusion that one can come to from that would be that their bodies represent other thinking things that exist within this external world just like I do. " Its not the only logical conclusion. One could also conclude that, despite their appareances, they are just parts of the external world and not thinking beings like yourself. Whats the difference between a true thinking being and a machine built to emulate a true thinking being? For the external observer, none.

3. " I can not prove that my existence as a thinking thing and/or my thoughts are more valuable than any other thinking thing or it's thoughts. Therefor we can logically assume that we are equally valuable" Being unable to prove that something is more valuable than another doesnt means they are equally valuable. It also depends of your definition of "value". What has value? What is valuable? There's no logical way to define this, what is or isnt valuable is entirely dependant of our emotions and feelings.
Iminfinitydefined
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Jan, 2012 05:09 pm
@manored,
1) if you say that we don't "know" if or not our existence as thinking things will cease to be after our physical bodies die, kill yourself. You will not do this, because you understand and know this fact. Using your logic knowledge is unattainable.

2) what's the difference between a machine that emulates a "true" thinking thing, and the thinking thing itself. If the machine does it's job nicely. Then They would both be thinking things.

3) I'm sorry, but our emotions and our feelings are part of the thinking thing experience. And the world value is defined in any dictionary.

If there is no logical way to define value. Then we can't logically define what a thinking thing is either, or the fact that I am. I mean what is I am? How do you define it.

When you over think something you end up not making sense, which is something that most philosophers do.
manored
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Jan, 2012 09:14 pm
@Iminfinitydefined,
Iminfinitydefined wrote:

1) if you say that we don't "know" if or not our existence as thinking things will cease to be after our physical bodies die, kill yourself. You will not do this, because you understand and know this fact. Using your logic knowledge is unattainable.
I will not do this, but its not due to the reason you stated. I wont do this simply because I am afraid of death, and cant see how dying would benefit me. But its not because I believe I will cease to exist if I die. In fact, I firmly believe the opposite, that is, that I will not cease to exist if I die.

Iminfinitydefined wrote:

2) what's the difference between a machine that emulates a "true" thinking thing, and the thinking thing itself. If the machine does it's job nicely. Then They would both be thinking things.
What I meant is... even if all the other people in the world look and behave just like you, that doesnt means they are the same as you. You do not hold all the information which would be required to be 100% certain of that. For example: Imagine this reality as you know it is a computer simulation, and all the other people are simulations being presented to you. Wouldnt this mean that even if they look and behave just like you, they arent true thinking beings like yourself?

Iminfinitydefined wrote:

3) I'm sorry, but our emotions and our feelings are part of the thinking thing experience. And the world value is defined in any dictionary.


Iminfinitydefined wrote:

If there is no logical way to define value. Then we can't logically define what a thinking thing is either, or the fact that I am. I mean what is I am? How do you define it.


Let me try to put it this way: The value of something is subjective: depends of the individual. That being the case, you cannot prove that something has value, because value is not objective, its subjective.

But that is only true if no convention exists. If you are abiding to a convention such as that, say, money is valuable, when you could prove to someone that something is valuable because it can be exchanged for money. But this kind of proving requires a convention, that is, both parties must agree with the same premise. So to prove that morality has value in the way you are trying to do, first both parties would need to agree that life is valuable. But if it applies only to people who agree life is valuable, when its not an universal rule.

Iminfinitydefined wrote:

When you over think something you end up not making sense, which is something that most philosophers do.
Not necessarly, its just that the philosophers tend to fail to express themselves understandeably, but that doesnt mean they dont make sense behind their confusing words.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  3  
Reply Tue 3 Jan, 2012 01:03 pm
Quote:
…when it is destroyed I will cease to think.


I know Manored asked this earlier, but please indulge me: HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT? I honestly did not understand your answer to Manored...and really did not consider it an answer at all.

Quote:
Now that I have proved that our thoughts require a physical body to exist….

Where did you “prove” that?
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Jan, 2012 02:16 pm
@Iminfinitydefined,
What does any of this have to do with morality?
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Jan, 2012 05:28 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Hey Frank ! You could be the proof you are looking for for life after death ! !
north
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2012 01:39 am
@solipsister,
solipsister wrote:
OK let's hug. Don't forget that your morality requires that you do the best you can for your one true love.


and reciprocal of course
0 Replies
 
Procrustes
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2012 04:55 am
@Iminfinitydefined,
I'm going to stay clear of the cartesian discourse in your post and concentrate on the threads title. I think you have to make sense of the relation between 'value' and the concept of morality. What proof do you have that a person's morals has 'value'? I can think of examples of a psychopath who 'thinks' killing people is 'good' or an empathic person who 'thinks' helping people is 'good' but does it make sense to say that that is proof their morals have 'value'? Obviously the 'value' of 'good' in these examples is quite different and intrinsically relative to the individual, but is this proof that morality is of some 'value'? I don't think so, because if you tried to define what is 'valuable' about morality you would end up with 7 billion (or there abouts) different definitions, and in the end, which definition would be ultimately be correct?
Iminfinitydefined
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2012 09:48 pm
@Frank Apisa,
okay we might not "know" that, but with everything that we know about our biology it would be logical to conclude that we will cease to think when we die. if you disagree you are making an extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary evidence.

our state of consiousness changes when something is affecting our physical body,
for example when you take drugs the way you think changes. therefore there is a relationship between our thoughts and our body. Before our physical bodies existed we were not yet thinking things. and it is logical to conclude that our thoughts will cease to exist when our physical bodies cease to exist. therefore our thoughts need a physical body to exist.
Iminfinitydefined
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2012 09:52 pm
@Procrustes,
read my post i think it will answer your question.
Procrustes
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2012 11:40 pm
@Iminfinitydefined,
I'm gonna have to go with joe on this one and say, what does this have to do with morality?
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2012 01:13 am
@Procrustes,
As I read it, he is trying to say " one's existence" is predicated on "co- existence of thinking things "....a principle he wishes to set up as a metric for "moral worth" as an alternative to religious sanctity. If that is what he means, by emphasis on "thinking", the principle is anthropocentrically selective. It cannot replace, say, the ecological alternative of "the sanctity of life".

From the point of view of "the social self", the principle of "do unto others" is merely pragmatically expedient and allows you to "live with yourself".
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2012 01:47 am
@Procrustes,
EDITED VERSION OF ABOVE
As I read it, he is trying to say the cogito on which " one's existence" is predicated also implies "the existence of thinking things of equal value"....a principle he wishes to set up as a metric for "moral worth" as an alternative to religious doctrine. If that is what he means, by emphasis on "thinking", the principle is anthropocentrically selective. It cannot replace, say, the ecological alternative of "the sanctity of life".

From the point of view of "the social self", the principle of "do unto others" is merely pragmatically expedient and allows you to "live with yourself".
Procrustes
 
  2  
Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2012 03:12 am
@fresco,
I get that existance (being) is predicate for thought, but 'value' is not in the order of existance or thinking. If anything, it is a form of perpective to treat things as valuable whether it be noumenal, physical, living or in-animate. But that perspective only creates the idea of 'value' and doesn't deal with the 'reality' of such things. It is a stretch to say because I exist therefore my good deed is worth something. If that were true I could stretch it to the point that my existance makes gold valuable. How does the cogito play its role in this? I don't see the connection in how a concept such as 'value' has anything to do with existance. To me one is made up the other just is. (By the way, how you interpreted that post is quite a stretch... and they call me Procrustes Wink )
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2012 07:35 am
@Procrustes,
You are correct.
He wrote
Quote:
I can not prove that my existence as a thinking thing and/or my thoughts are more valuable than any other thinking thing or it's thoughts. Therefor we can logically assume that we are equally valuable, so I must not do anything that might directly or indirectly affect and/or harm another thinking things existence in any way shape or form.


The unstated assumption is that one's own existence (as "proved" by the cogito )has "value", but that does not follow from the cogito.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2012 01:39 pm
@Iminfinitydefined,
Quote:
okay we might not "know" that, but with everything that we know about our biology it would be logical to conclude that we will cease to think when we die. if you disagree you are making an extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary evidence.


The claim I am making is that we do not know what happens when we die. WE SIMPLY DO NOT KNOW (or at least, I do not know). To suggest you know that we cease to think...is itself an extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary evidence—to suggest that “we can conclude that we cease to think” is just as extraordinary. In fact, any comment about what IS or IS NOT after death is extraordinary…and requires extraordinary evidence.

Your comment, “Now that I have proved that our thoughts require a physical body to exist…” is an extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary evidence.

Short of that extraordinary evidence…it seems that all that follows in your OP goes nowhere.

Fact is, however, the subject you raised is interesting and worth discussing. Is morality of value? I just think these preliminary comments are gratuitous, extraneous to the issue, and unnecessary.

With all the respect in the world, why did you include them…what value are they in the discussion of whether or not morals (whatever they are) have value (whatever that means)?
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2012 01:40 pm
@fresco,
Hey Fresco. Good to see ya. I am alive and well.
 

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