If your position, in essence, is "I don't know what you mean until you define your terms," then you couldn't hold even a simple conversation with someone.
OK, no need to be rude. I have found that the debates that I have learnt something from have usually started with a definition of terms. I didn't mean to offend you in asking this.
Obviously, the word "morality" has a well-established meaning, even if the concept of "morality" is open to debate. When I use the word "morality" I use it in its popular, well-established sense: a system of the principles regarding right and wrong conduct.
OK, we'll go with that. But can I remove the 'the
'? Or do we already know what the
priciples of right and wrong conduct are?
Assuming I can remove the 'the', if I say that it is 'right' for a person to take the experience of others into consideration, and 'wrong' not to, I think you would agree that my position is a moral one, is that right?
Can I take as your definition of 'moral importance':
(1) Affecting morality, that is, having an affect on a system of principles regarding right and wrong conduct
(2) something that morality applies to, that is, a thing that a system of principles regarding right and wrong conduct would have something to say about.
I'll assume the later, please correct me if this is wrong.
In my system of principles regarding right and wrong conduct (presuming you agreed my position is a moral one), clearly experience is morally important. In fact, in the morality I have outlined, experience is the only thing which is morally important.
If having lots of money is important to me, does that necessarily mean that having money is right or good? You've claimed that having experiences is important; I don't disagree.
Fair point. First, I would make a distinction between 'having experiences' (things happening to you) and 'experience' (consciousness, ability to 'feel'). It is to the latter I refer. I would say that something like having money is only important to you insomuch as it affects your experience. By my 'morality', this means that it is not 'morally important' in itself, only the affect it has on your experience is 'morally important'. This affect, obviously, could be either good or bad.
Just because I like to have lots of money doesn't mean that having money and obtaining more money is somehow the right thing to do. After all, a racist would claim that it is important to discriminate against minorities. Does that make discrimination the right thing to do?
A system of the principles regarding right and wrong conduct could well be that 'right conduct' is conduct which discriminates against minorities, and 'wrong conduct' is that which doesn't. This is not a 'morality' that I like or agree with, but I'm not sure if anyone could say that it isn't a 'morality', by the definition you put forward.
And I can't say by what standard we can judge the value of one 'morality' over another, unless we think there is a 'universal morality' against which moralities are judged.
We can, of course, look at the assumptions that underpin a morality, or the steps taken from these assumptions, for inconsistencies, or too great leaps. I favour the system I outlined, because it seems to me that the assumptions and steps are reasonable.
Then you're a utilitarian?
Certainly my position is consequentialist. It is quite possibly utilitarian. However, I say this wearily, because their are of course numerous forms of utilitarianism, and many bad arguments for it as well as good ones. I don't want to be faced with a straw man argument!
My position is a system of the principles regarding right and wrong conduct, a 'morality'.
Experience, in my morality, is morally important, because it is integral to how the morality differentiates between right and wrong. In fact, experience is not just the only thing that is morally important in this system. It is the only thing that is important at all! Everything else is important only insomuch as it affects experience.