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Define Morality

 
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2015 12:15 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

Modern Western morality is based on the the myth of human rights. If there is no such thing as human rights... then Western ideas about about morality crumble.

Do you agree with that Joe?

Agree with it? I don't even understand what you're talking about.

Are you saying that human rights don't exist because rights don't exist, or are you saying that human rights don't exist because the western conception of human rights is incorrect?

As for western ideas about morality, those are not based on human rights. It's the reverse: the notion of "human rights" is based, in large part, on morality.

maxdancona wrote:
The problem is that there is no reason to believe that humans have rights. There is no science behind these rights. And this is a fairly recent idea. Throughout history most societies haven't had this idea of human rights.

More question begging. Are you suggesting that, if something cannot be scientifically proven, it cannot exist?
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2015 12:22 pm
@maxdancona,
Human rights always existed in a greater or lesser extent. When people gather together and decide to live in a village they abide by common rules of behaviour or are shown the door out pretty quickly.

Obviously moral behaviour is bound to having legitimacy to act a given way...that legitimacy is dependent on a very broad spectrum of elements...when true legitimate moral action is true forever whenever a similar situation comes up. This is as valid as mechanics, or Physics...
Problem is, as the cultural background changes, situations that apparently are similar become very distinct. Complex problems hardly have a yes or no approach on the long run. Circumcision may now be acceptable do to peer pressure having more importance then the superficial damage caused...it might not be true if in 50 years time such peer pressure diminishes...its is absolute in the sense that it has a Universal mechanics to it or it doesn't work. It is relative just like the whether, meaning rarely you can encounter exactly the same situation from one concrete example to the next.

Moral culture is the natural process by which the group re evaluates all the environmental conditions by which a given behaviour is deemed acceptable or not in a given context. it doesn't mean moral lost its Universal ground, but that Universality is hard to deal with when complexity is in the way.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2015 12:23 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
Of course it culture is relevant in ethics. Different cultures have wildly different ideas about ethics.

So what? If one culture believes that sacrificing babies is immoral, and another that thinks sacrificing babies is moral, are you suggesting that both cultures' beliefs regarding baby sacrifice are correct?

maxdancona wrote:
If you think that Western cultural views about ethics represent some universal truth, than so be it... but our ideas don't work very well outside of a similar cultural context.

Again, so what? Driving on the right side of the road works pretty well in the US, not so well in the UK. That's sociology, not philosophy.
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2015 12:26 pm
@joefromchicago,
I am saying two things.

1) That any idea of "human rights" is a myth. There is no reason for you to ascribe human being with any rights. There is no scientific reason. There are historical consistent human rights across cultures.

2) That your view of "morality" (as an absolute concept independent of culture) is based on an idea of human rights.

Your view of morality, as an absolute truth that can be based universally independent of culture, is based on a myth.

Which of these do you disagree with?
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2015 12:32 pm
@joefromchicago,
Quote:
If one culture believes that sacrificing babies is immoral, and another that thinks sacrificing babies is moral, are you suggesting that both cultures' beliefs regarding baby sacrifice are correct?


If you are asking this question from a Western European cultural context, then sacrificing babies is definitely immoral (after birth that is). If you are asking this question from an Incan perspective circa 1530, then sacrificing babies is moral.

That argument was settled rather decidedly on the side of the Europeans who went on to form the basis of our modern Western culture.

It is true that the cultures that kill babies after they are born have been subjugated or wiped out. Whether you think that the subjugation of indigenous cultures was a moral victory is an interesting question.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  0  
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2015 12:33 pm
@joefromchicago,
Let me see if I get this right so you believe social behaviour varies randomly form A to B culture for no good reason...that's sociology right ? In the UK they go driving in the right side of the road cause well...its fun.

No...social habits express adequate adaptation certified by the majorities behaviour that is natural and not superimposed by any supernatural power forcing on people against their will. Natural behaviour is always justified. In group natural behaviour is to be taught according to group peer pressure so the group can work efficiently. THIS IS ALSO NATURAL although you missed it because its not linear.

You know nothing Joe but you sure think highly of your linear packeting reasoning...
0 Replies
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  0  
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2015 12:54 pm
People ought to start understanding MORAL is a tool not an end.
It is a natural tool, it has universal rules, but its not an end in of itself. It has goals that have nothing to do with Morality.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2015 12:55 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

I am saying two things.

1) That any idea of "human rights" is a myth. There is no reason for you to ascribe human being with any rights. There is no scientific reason. There are historical consistent human rights across cultures.

2) That your view of "morality" (as an absolute concept independent of culture) is based on an idea of human rights.

Your view of morality, as an absolute truth that can be based universally independent of culture, is based on a myth.

Which of these do you disagree with?

All of them. As I pointed out, you have it backwards: morality isn't based on the notion of rights, rights are based on morality. And I disagree with your suggestion that the only things that exist are those things that can be scientifically proven. You still haven't explained that one.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  0  
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2015 01:01 pm
@joefromchicago,
...my English grammar at high speed sucks times ten but you are the one making a word salad... Mr. Green
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2015 01:02 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
If you are asking this question from a Western European cultural context, then sacrificing babies is definitely immoral (after birth that is). If you are asking this question from an Incan perspective circa 1530, then sacrificing babies is moral.

Why should it matter where I'm asking the question from? If baby sacrifice is simply a cultural more, then it's neither wrong nor right, regardless of what my cultural background might be. If, on the other hand, you're arguing that baby sacrifice is a matter of morality rather than just cultural norms, then you have to explain why culture is relevant to the analysis. Simply saying that one culture believes one thing and another culture believes the opposite won't suffice -- after all, one of the cultures might be wrong.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  0  
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2015 01:06 pm
@joefromchicago,
"wrong" is the wrong word there. Inadequacy when it happens is natural. Interestingly one can reverse the argument like Einstein would with time...your pov of inadequacy is not given from the same local conditions...obviously you cant possibly believe given the same exact conditions two different outcomes can unfold...

...morality is totally a social tool !
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  0  
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2015 01:18 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
. . . If you are asking this question from an Incan perspective circa 1530, then sacrificing babies is moral.
Are you unable to understand how incredibly vacuous your statement is?
0 Replies
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  0  
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2015 01:26 pm
Again, the correct pov for a tangible concept of Moral is inexorably linked with group fitness and survival. Not with right or wrong behaviour per se.
Natural behaviour is never wrong...it just unfolds from its causes.
Morality as a tool procures the common good of the group because it pays in efficiency at complex tasking. If the groups needs expanding, moral expands with it to extend effectiveness to the larger group forming. There is nothing else but this.

Yes yes it is Universal because it works the same everywhere. But its not Universal in the sense that preserves good behaviour for no good reason...there is no UNIVERSAL synchronicity for good behaviour. REALITY IS CONFLICT starting with physics and chemistry... Why should I extend individual sacrifice into a group which is not yet integrated with mine ? I personally don't gain anything...if my group does the same and it extends good practices into a group which has not the conditions to integrate itself with mine guess what happens ? yeah...my group gets screwed.

War when it happens, like everything else in the bloody Universe, happens for GOOD REASONS. The unavoidable kind of reasons. And if you don't believe that, then for Christ sake stop pretending you defend a rational or scientific vision of the world...its just hilarious !
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2015 02:19 pm
@neologist,
neologist wrote:
But what is morality?

Morality is a means by which we humans organize our survival of this world and each other. By extension, it is also a means by which we increase our common welfare. We do all this by endorsing character traits, rules, and actions that are conducive to these ends, and reprimand them when they're destructive of these ends.

neologist wrote:
Is it absolute, based on irrefutable standards?

I think morality itself is pretty close to absolute. The specific standards for evaluating character traits, rules, and actions may be refutable by empirical testing.

neologist wrote:
Is it based on premises derived from standards?

No, it arises from real-world experience with actions, their consequences, and the harm or benefit these consequences cause for people. The standards come afterwards, as a codification of these experiences and extrapolation beyond them.

neology wrote:
Is it relative, varying according to one's world view?

Only to the extent that identical actions have different impacts on human well-being in different parts of the world, and in different periods of history.

neologist wrote:
Does it require judgements based on our simple understanding of good and bad?

Our simple understanding of good and bad is a good start, but morality also requires the abstraction of this understanding into rules that are internally consistent and useful for informing our behavior in situations we haven't been in yet. One possible byproduct of developing these rules is the insight that our simple understanding was incorrect.

neologist wrote:
I am guessing we would all prefer to live in a "moral" world. What would that mean?

Actually, I don't think this is true. If I could live in a world that is immorally rigged in my favor, I might well prefer that. But if I have to live in a world where the rules are the same for everyone --- and I do --- I want those rules to take away as little as possible away from me in freedom while giving me as much as possible in security and welfare. For example, "murder is wrong" is a good moral rule because I lose very little by being barred from murder, and I gain very much by others being barred from murdering me. I think rules are "moral" to the extent that they offer us good tradeoffs in this sense.
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2015 02:21 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Quote:
War when it happens, like everything else in the bloody Universe, happens for GOOD REASONS. The unavoidable kind of reasons. And if you don't believe that, then for Christ sake stop pretending you defend a rational or scientific vision of the world...its just hilarious !

Modern science does not support determinism, let alone historicism (the idea that history follows laws like, say, we hope physics do)
Fil Albuquerque
 
  0  
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2015 02:47 pm
@Olivier5,
Olivier5 wrote:

Quote:
War when it happens, like everything else in the bloody Universe, happens for GOOD REASONS. The unavoidable kind of reasons. And if you don't believe that, then for Christ sake stop pretending you defend a rational or scientific vision of the world...its just hilarious !

Modern science does not support determinism, let alone historicism (the idea that history follows laws like, say, we hope physics do)


Modern science supports causation. It supports History in that sense but not the idea that you can know its complex causal process which is different. The happening of history and historical interpretations are two distinct things...
Quantum indeterminacy is of no consequence to this...explained by the experts themselves that say that indeterminacy is flatten down by averages and causation works perfectly fine at a macro level. Moreover, there are already deterministic models on the way for quantum behaviour which hints at a different tune then the one your playing not long in the future...Information theory is just one of the latest there are plenty others...they even talk about pseudo randomness now in maths...bottom line it boils down to magic or cause and effect. Which one do people buy at ?
Fil Albuquerque
 
  0  
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2015 02:52 pm
By the way perfect correlation and causation are not distinguishable. So time needs not be a fundamental property of reality for a counter against determinism. What changes without time is that fate is an ensemble of order instead of A causing B causing C...in both cases free will is bullocks..and its bullocks with a quantum world to once there is no agency without a causer.
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  0  
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2015 02:56 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Quote:
bottom line it boils down to magic or cause and effect. Which one do people buy at ?

It boils down to human agency, and hazard most of the time.

It is a mistake to believe that quantum indeterminacy does not apply at the macro level. E.g. most genetic mutations (the engine of evolution) are due to natural radioactivity, i.e. to quantum-level events that are unpredictable. Hence evolution is unpredictable.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  0  
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2015 03:00 pm
@Olivier5,
They are all put into question in the latest models for physics...along with it its far from safe mathematics can assert true randomness...

...funny enough quantum scientists are the first ones that state loud and clear their model makes no sense and has to be incomplete. That is to mean, flat out wrong !

If you want I post you some videos where the top of top creme de la creme in the fields state this openly !
Olivier5
 
  0  
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2015 03:02 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Don't take your wish for reality. Modern science is undeterministic. That's a fact.
 

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