8
   

A better understanding about subjective concepts.

 
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Sep, 2012 10:13 pm
@reasoning logic,
I would say she talks a lot of sense. What is missing in that discussion is a "systems approach" in which at one level the individual is "the unit", at another "the family", at a third "the group" and so on. Each of these levels can have its own "operational logic" such that the presence or otherwise of specific neuoro-chemicals cannot be attributed simply to one level. (Consider humans to be like ants in a colony for example where at times the whole colony is generating chemical signals for a unified purpose).

What we call "morality" may simply be our rationalization of a "top down" mechanism beyond the reach/vision/understanding at the level of the individual (in the same way that an individual blood cell in a body cannot "know" its bodily function).

So the problem remains whether what we call "value" is relative to the individual as a "system" or relative to the group as a "system". Thus we have not solved issues such as whether "martyrdom" is "moral" which is somewhat disconcerting given the current trend in suicide bombings.
0 Replies
 
Razzleg
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Sep, 2012 11:58 pm
@reasoning logic,
fresco wrote:

opaque writings on color


i (un-sarcastically) lawled. Whether you intended this adjectival conjunction as funny or not, it's brilliant.

reasoning logic wrote:

Value is a force of nature.


The "law" of gravity is an abstraction; gravity operates as a condition of interacting bodies. The HOV operates, if it operates at all, within the same conditions. Values are not self-generated, they are comprised by interaction.

Let me make a old, cold Marxist point -- value is often a byproduct of use -- including social usefulness. Human beings do often make judgements, but the value of those judgements is determined by the consequences. The usefulness, ie benefit, of those consequences generally determines the value of that initial judgement.

reasoning logic wrote:

Example if I were question whether it is right or wrong for a society to have a huge income inequality gap in it, I would start with the smallest group of people I can think of and continue to build this group of people and see if income inequality would become "a logically right or wrong proposition."

If you could imagine that there were only two people in this world "you and your mother, or who ever you have the most empathy for " now try to imagine this other person having to work longer than you.

Lets say that you happen to be a little more intellectually advanced than your mother and you were able to think of a way for you and your mother to dig a canal that will bring water 3/4 of the way to your home.
Do you think that being you came up with this idea that you should not have to go for water anymore but instead let your mother do the toting? We do have to agree even if she totes all the water it is now less than what she use to.
Maybe you should be able to patten this new idea?

What if it was not your mother but instead your neighbor or a friend, Do you think that someone else should now be a servant of yours?

Lets talk about health care. When does it become logical to have insurance companies in a group of people?

If we were to start with you and your mother it would seem to be a ridiculous idea.


Well, if there were only two people, and health was an issue, and you were a doctor, then i hope that the care of one's mother would not be a huge monetary issue. Insurance companies do not seem to be necessary in that circumstance.

But doesn't the idea of a society of two -- oneself and one's mother, seem a trifle prejudicial? Doesn't that remove the aspect of anonymity that "society" requires.

i'm an advocate for national healthcare, but i think that its inception is a product of the value of other unknown individuals, unbound by sentiment.

reasoning logic wrote:
The problem that I see with dilemmas is that the rest of society who will be evaluating the outcome will view it as immoral in many cases, that is why a universal concept of morality needs to be established. If everyone could understand that wiping the Jews from the earth was immoral there would be no moral need to lie to protect innocent life from the Nazis.

If someone is in a moral dilemma and they thought that they had to make a choice I do not think that their action should be held against them as long as they did everything in their power to find a different solution. the most moral solution.

I know that we can put together some far out hypothetical moral dilemmas but this is reality, " such moral dilemmas coming to light in a world that has established a universal code of ethics and had taught it to everyone, would be in a much better position to deal with the outcome.


Are you insane? The act of hiding Jews from Nazis isn't a far-out moral hypothetical, but a historical fact. The moral value of that, or any other, act is a variable element constantly exposed to evaluation. No universal measure will make istelf available as long as action is undetermined. The HOV is a myth.

fresco wrote:

Zulus are not color blind and can learn to use our terminology for reporting "blue" versus " green". The significance of the point is that what we call "perception" includes cultural bias and local functionality regarding conceptual mapping. Consider for example that in medieval times the rainbow was "known" to contain four colors as it was thought to be a manifestation of the four gospels! Note also that the arbitrary "seven" colors reported nowadays has a lot to do with the association with the diatonic scale in music plus "the music of the spheres", hence the invention of the category "indigo" to make up "the seven".

BTW, you are correct in identifying "color" as a research microcosm for the study of cognitive concepts, You might be interested in the fact that it was consideration of color which led Wittgenstein to reject much of his own celebrated "logical" work in his Tractatus, in favor of a view of philosophy as "therapy" for exposing and dissipating pseudo-problems created by "language games". From that point of view Niels Bohr's famous comment "You are not thinking, you are just being logical" begins to make sense !


Oh, so you have read "Through the Language Glass"....This thread is going sideways. It's rare, these days, that i find an opportunity to be an ally of yours. Know that i am one today, i think.

fresco wrote:
So the problem remains whether what we call "value" is relative to the individual as a "system" or relative to the group as a "system". Thus we have not solved issues such as whether "martyrdom" is "moral" which is somewhat disconcerting given the current trend in suicide bombings.


i think that "value" is a product of of the regulative process that an individual consents to when integrating into a social system. Does that make sense?

PS: i think that martyrdom is ultimately amoral, challenging the (former) limits of the moral system in power, while demonstrating the needs that require morality's expansion to satisfy them...Just a perspective tho'...

(And i think that "martyrdom" is a difficult qualification to reach.)

fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Sep, 2012 02:54 am
@Razzleg,
Thanks for those comments. I have not in fact read "Through the Language Glass" but I will look out for it. By return, I think you would be interested in Varela's work on "embodiment" which refers to color as a microcosm.

http://books.google.co.uk/books/about/The_Embodied_Mind.html?id=QY4RoH2z5DoC&redir_esc=y

Note that Varela was a co-worker of Maturana who takes a "systems approach" to the definition of "life" and this has links with the work of Von Foerster (Second Order Cybernetics) and Prigogine (spontaneous formation
of structure in dynamic systems)

BTW I don't thunk an individual "consents" to rules. I agree with the "committee picture of self" which takes the concept of a "unified self" to be mythical or ephemeral. Whenever a moral decision is made by the committee, certain members are repressed, later perhaps to re-emerge with an "I told you so !"
0 Replies
 
reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Sep, 2012 06:34 am
@Razzleg,
Quote:
Well, if there were only two people, and health was an issue, and you were a doctor, then i hope that the care of one's mother would not be a huge monetary issue.


The only reason I try to view social issues from a smaller unit is to see what I can learn about morality. It is like looking at the Monte Hall problem in reverse so to speak. Looking at the Monte Hall problem having a thousand doors and working down to smaller units of doors helps me to see the logic of what is taking place and this is similar to how I am able to get a better understanding about morality in a societal setting.

I think that morality may be logically consistent just like the Monte Hall problem and what I would like is to have is other people prove me correct or incorrect on this issue.

Quote:
Are you insane? The act of hiding Jews from Nazis isn't a far-out moral hypothetical, but a historical fact.


I was not claiming that the act of hiding Jews from Nazis was hypothetical but claiming that you or me may have to do the same would be hypothetical.

What I was meaning by hypothetical is that there are some really good dilemmas and other illustrations that we can think up but for the most part we do not see them ourselves everyday.
0 Replies
 
reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Sep, 2012 07:16 am
We have many people who think that morality is not universal and that a concept of it can not be constructed in such a way.

It seems to me that we do have ideas that are universally accepted as being moral and some ideas that are immoral as well.

Can we all agree that honesty is universally accepted as a moral value? Surly someone can twist it to meet their needs but what will the answer be if I walked into any mosque or church around the world?

Can we agree that serial killing is seen as immoral in all societies? How about rape?

Surly a person can try and twist some of these things but will the people around the world who have empathy not be able to distinguish these moral and immoral acts from each other?
Mockingclown
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Sep, 2012 07:45 am
@reasoning logic,
I do not agree with your approach because you're going about it in the wrong way. Human behaviors does not really entail absolutes, but only universal and unconditional "ought to." There are physical laws that requires absolutes such as gravity, however with human behavior, there is no "pure" nature. There is no nature in humans that requires that they must always be peaceful and good to each other. And so, the logical method to go about this piece of information is to overcome a philosophical moral frame work to evaluate individuals actions itself. The greater importance is establishing a moral tenets and framework regarding behavioral actions. Theoretically, everyone understands the wrong behavioral acts. Therefore, it is important to weed out dangerous ideas about behavioral rules in an individual's mind such as justifying immoral acts under the rug of morality. So it is important to first create a framework, obviously tested to see if it holds with logical consistency, to evaluate behavioral rules, before evaluating specific individuals of actions.
It's all about integrating the economic concept of value preference into ethics.
reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Sep, 2012 08:05 am
@Mockingclown,
Quote:
Human behaviors does not really entail absolutes, but only universal and unconditional "ought to."


What I am interested in is how to construct a concept. Are you suggesting that all concepts are absolute? When I think of color and the the many shades there of I can only imagine that there may be some disagreeing on an absolute shade but none the less we do have shades in the concept.
Mockingclown
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Sep, 2012 08:23 am
@reasoning logic,
Must I repeat myself?
"first create a framework, obviously tested to see if it holds with logical consistency, to evaluate behavioral rules, before evaluating specific individuals of actions."

I understand your dilemma between moral absolutism and moral relativism which creates the shades of colors that you express.

So the best thing that makes sense is to create a human behavioral law theory that conforms to logic, reality, validity, accuracy, and aesthetics which is logically consistent, and empirically verifiable through statistics. This theory is the not the end all-be all, but it's a process, observing the abstract mapping of the past to the present to the future, yet not static, but with ample room to make corrections as necessary.

reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Sep, 2012 08:42 am
@Mockingclown,
Quote:
Must I repeat myself?


Sorry but that is what happens when you have someone like myself that does not have a good understanding of what you are talking about. that is not your fault but mine.

Quote:
"first create a framework, obviously tested to see if it holds with logical consistency, to evaluate behavioral rules, before evaluating specific individuals of actions."


You seem to have a knowledge that I do not have, "maybe you could give a layman's example of what you are saying so that maybe I can have the proper tools to address the problem in front of me.

Quote:
So the best thing that makes sense is to create a human behavioral law theory that conforms to logic, reality, validity, accuracy, and aesthetics which is logically consistent, and empirically verifiable through statistics. This theory is the not the end all-be all, but it's a process, observing the abstract mapping of the past to the present to the future, yet not static, but with ample room to make corrections as necessary.


An example or even better a good video that illustrates what you are talking about would be nice.
Mockingclown
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Sep, 2012 09:46 am
@reasoning logic,
The Macro system is what fails us, and far worse is that it has the greatest affect on us, directly, and indirectly. The ancestors of today's current species have been living in groups, even before homo sapiens evolved. You can't separate morality and society, and it is important to take into consideration society when taking into account morality. That isn't to say we are born as "blank states," because genetics do have some control but cultural, societal values are more influential on an individual. The society which individuals reside has a goal to pursue. Before the industrial world, the the goal of society was to serve the aristocracy, then after the industrial era the goal of society was to attain equality, and freedom, yet in a higher terms it largely tied with higher production, and efficiency. Thus it is possible to society to embed, preserve, and enhance moral values based on logic all the while pursing efficiency. If we teach equality, ethics, respect, and self discipline to our children etc is a good start. Morality is something that develops over time and changes. Ideas evolve, human interpretations vary, that doesn't not mean one society need to start wars and strife with another society because of a difference of opinion. People, especially lawmakers, need to understand that even though we may be exposed to comparable set of experiences we all derive different meanings out of such experiences.
The 2nd Treatise of civil Government by John Locke makes a good point in explaining the type of relationship the government must have with society, as well as the politics of it , and howbeit Locke's argument is based on God, his arguments holds perfectly well from an atheistic point of view.

reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Sep, 2012 10:28 am
@Mockingclown,
Quote:
Morality is something that develops over time and changes


This is where I differ from you. I think that it is our mores that change over time. To me morality is about right and wrong it is synonymous with "goodness" or "rightness." Immorality is the active opposition to morality.

From my understanding whatever is wrong has always been wrong even if we do not know any better, example. Slavery is wrong and has always been wrong.

Mockingclown
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Sep, 2012 10:55 am
@reasoning logic,
Morality is ever changing, learn to see it. Morality is dependent on social structures, changing experiences, new attainment of knowledge and beliefs, and acceptance and decline of principles and norms. What you suggest do not logically make sense. Morality derives from humans, and does not exist as it's own reality in space. It is dependent on individuals, and the individual's ability of change throughout history. Just open a World History textbook, and you'll see. Sacrificing infants, intercourse with temple prostitutes, pro-slavery, racism, war rape were all once thought to be morally acceptable or at least acceptable by congruous societies at one time or another in the past.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Sep, 2012 12:58 pm
@Mockingclown,
Am I right in concluding that Mockingclown is looking at morality as a sociological phenomenon and Reasoning Logic as a psychological one? In the sociological framework morals are social cultural constructions which, as such, vary across groups and time periods--they are understood relativistically. According to RI they must be viewed absolutistically. As such, slavery is evil no matter when or where, because as RI looks back in time and throughout the world he finds no place or time where and when it is morally acceptable. But according to Mockingclown, it was acceptable in ancient Greece and the Antebellum South.
I agree with both. Subjectively I consider slavery always evil and absolutely so. Objectively, I can see how it is evaluated according to time and place.
reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Sep, 2012 02:23 pm
@JLNobody,
Quote:
According to RI they must be viewed absolutistically. As such, slavery is evil no matter when or where, because as RI looks back in time and throughout the world he finds no place or time where and when it is morally acceptable. But according to Mockingclown, it was acceptable in ancient Greece and the Antebellum South.


I see it as never changing, "only our understanding of it changes. No matter how far we go back in time would we find you or Mockingclown wanting to be a slave rather than the slave master. It has always been wrong to go to battle and take your captives and make slaves of them even if the bible teaches it as if it is your moral duty.

We Know morality by not wanting the immoral acts done to us but there is much more to the understanding of morality than just that.
reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Sep, 2012 03:13 pm
@JLNobody,
Quote:
Am I right in concluding that Mockingclown is looking at morality as a sociological phenomenon and Reasoning Logic as a psychological one?


Maybe I have it wrong but I was taught by a sociology teacher that to understand sociology what you need to do is to step into the shoes of the other person "people" that you are trying to understand and if I were to step into the shoes of a slave I might not like what I see.
0 Replies
 
Mockingclown
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Sep, 2012 03:14 pm
@reasoning logic,
Can you not comprehend the asininity of what you just conveyed?
Believe whatever you want. Some people are just hopeless and not worth the time to correct. Your kind makes atheists look bad. But take this word of advice as I leave you in you obscene gully of ignorance, treading nonsense. Broadly generalizing and accusing an entire group of people of all thinking the same thing just shows you're an ignorant moron. People have been raping, pillaging, and going to war, with justification, centuries before the bible.
If you were raised as a Christian, and have left those teaching, and feel bitter and resent those that practiced Christianity, go take your drama to the pub, and don't go around griping like a stray mut.
reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Sep, 2012 03:21 pm
@Mockingclown,
Quote:
Broadly generalizing and accusing an entire group of people of all thinking the same thing just shows you're an ignorant moron. People have been raping, pillaging, and going to war, with justification, centuries before the bible.
If you were raised as a Christian, and have left those teaching, and feel bitter and resent those that practiced Christianity, go take your drama to the pub, and don't go around griping like a stray mut.


Where have I been stereotyping?

Do you find value in Ad hominems?
Mockingclown
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Sep, 2012 05:22 pm
@reasoning logic,
Look, a funny fellow.
You're stereotyping anyone who follows the bible.
Quote:
It has always been wrong to go to battle and take your captives and make slaves of them even if the bible teaches it as if it is your moral duty.


Regarding Ad hominems, is it my mistake in pointing out that you changed the subject of our discussion Mr. Red Herring.
Was it necessary? -No.
Was it a cheap shot against Christians? - Yes.
So tell me, are Christians and their teachings from the bible the only matters in this world that has taken cause for war, slavery, and taking captives?
I wouldn't have replied to you any longer, but what made me do it is that you claim yourself to be a Christian Atheist in another thread.
www.able2know.org/topic/17906-34#post-5114652
Quote:
Well you may have a point here because I consider myself to be a Christian atheist.

Yet, you see the bible with the teachings of Jesus to be something that "teaches it to be a moral duty" "to go to battle and take your captives and make slaves of them."
Make up your damn mind, will you?
reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Sep, 2012 05:40 pm
@Mockingclown,
Quote:
Yet, you see the bible with the teachings of Jesus to be something that "teaches it to be a moral duty" "to go to battle and take your captives and make slaves of them."
Make up your damn mind, will you?


I do not see the bible with the teachings of Jesus to be something that "teaches it to be a moral duty. I read and have an understanding of the bible. "not that I claim my understanding to be empirical"

What I see the bible to teach is a theology which is very far from moral philosophy.

As with anything else that one spends most of his or her time in they become more informed with, "whether it be football, rap music or anything else you will become more informed with it than if you did not have an interest in it.

When you become more informed with moral philosophy I would like to hear what you have to say about it but I will be honest about it and that is that you have a long way to go but don't the rest of us?
Mockingclown
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Sep, 2012 06:18 pm
@reasoning logic,
Now that we are back on subject of moral philosophy, I have few questions to ask you, and then in the end I want you to make a conclusion as to whether you still believe this:
Quote:
To me morality is about right and wrong it is synonymous with "goodness" or "rightness." Immorality is the active opposition to morality.


Q1) Do you agree that different people differ in their assessment of the same moral question?

Q2) Who would you save or rather would you push? Is it morally 'right' to save the five over the one, or vice versa?
http://yesbutstill.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/trolley2.jpg

Q3) Is eating meat morally wrong?

Q4) If a baby is born with only a brain stem, so that it can only breath and have a functioning heart, but missing all other major parts of the brain, is it morally permissible for the parents to volunteer the baby as an organ donor?

Q5) Is paying taxes a important moral duty?

Now I can assure that you won't get an unanimous answer if you ask around this same question to a random sample. You see, if your idea was correct and objective morality exists, we would have gotten a unanimous answer. And I'm not blaming you, or condescending you, as you did me, because of the entities that human intellect can grasp, moral values are the most difficult of ones.

From my assessment, in which I've explained in the previous posts, I believe in moral pluralism, in that moral reality consists of multiple and competing moral values, so an individual, such as I, can understand each internally consistent moral theory as explaining a part of moral reality and contributing something to an individuals moral understanding.

Your claim of one theory (Ethical Objectivism where ethical norms are true for all people at all times) to explain morality is not entirely accurate, far from it really.
 

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