Moral Relativism Vs. Absolute Morality, and Does morality evolve?
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25-10-2014, 05:37 PM (This post was last modified: 25-10-2014 06:27 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Moral Relativism Vs. Absolute Morality, and Does morality evolve?
Then the term is meaningless as you have arbitrarily chosen to slap the word "value" on some behaviors and not others without saying why or how.

What are the criteria for which behaviors are "value" behaviors, and which not ?
Are eating and pooping "values" ? You have not defined the word. What is the difference between a reflex and a "value" and how do you know the difference ?
Between "instinctual" behavior and moral behavior ? Between behavior driven by chemical overload and moral behavior ? Where exactly are the boundaries ?
You have arbitrarily chosen to apply subjectively, a term which you apply to random behaviors which YOUR BRAIN (has LEARNED in your culture), to interpret as "having value", YOU have made a subjective value judgement, and applied it to an observation, with no external "objective" criteria.

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25-10-2014, 06:37 PM
RE: Moral Relativism Vs. Absolute Morality, and Does morality evolve?
Values are not behaviors. This should be obvious. But, for us best to understand values, we can look at behaviors. For example, if a rat values the life of other rats, its behavior will reflect that value. But this doesn't mean that this value can't be overruled by another value such as self preservation. Values themselves may not be subjective as much as how we prioritize these values. Ok, let's get political...

Abortion. Pro-Choice v. Pro-Life. Both camps have the same values, but they have different priorities or attendance to those priorities. Based on the information 'believed' by either camp, they are behaving based on their common values, and the priority of those values. Pro-life values human life and as defined by their theology, a human zygote is a human life. The Pro-lifers still value choice, but not at the expense of another human. The Pro-Choice person can value life, but not non-viable, non-sentient, non-person life at the expense of another person's distress. Another example is...

An addict has values of honesty, fidelity, fairness, justice, self-preservation etc., just like anyone else. But for the addict, the addiction is a greater value priority and overrules these other priorities if the subject has to decide between them. This can be seen in religious people as well. When someone is irrationally capable of accepting a cultural dogma over demonstrable evidence, it isn't because they don't value the evidence, but rather they value their own dogma more. So, when we alter our priorities of values subjectively, our morality becomes subjective, and subsequently our behaviors will reflect that subjective expression. This is why I think the study of morality becomes so muddled. The values are the same, but the priorities of these values differ.

If we have the same common values, then we should see common morality (which we do). If we can subjectively alter the priority of these values, then we would see differences in moral systems (which we do). If we can see that the more complex these values become, the more potential for conflicts between these values and we would see them in cognitive dissonance (which we do).

So, we can't conflate behavior with values, and in addition, we cannot conflate behaviors with morals. But, they are related. And that relationship can be observably causable.
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25-10-2014, 06:46 PM
RE: Moral Relativism Vs. Absolute Morality, and Does morality evolve?
What seems to be "obvious" to you is not obvious to others. You still have not defined what a "value" is and what differentiates what you say you observe as a "value" from one that is not. There is no such "thing" as a "value". It's a LEARNED or innate electrical brain pattern. "It should be obvious" is no answer.

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25-10-2014, 06:57 PM
RE: Moral Relativism Vs. Absolute Morality, and Does morality evolve?
(25-10-2014 05:37 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Then the term is meaningless as you have arbitrarily chosen to slap the word "value" on some behaviors and not others without saying why or how.

What are the criteria for which behaviors are "value" behaviors, and which not ?
Are eating and pooping "values" ? You have not defined the word. What is the difference between a reflex and a "value" and how do you know the difference ?
Between "instinctual" behavior and moral behavior ? Between behavior driven by chemical overload and moral behavior ? Where exactly are the boundaries ?
You have arbitrarily chosen to apply subjectively, a term which you apply to random behaviors which YOUR BRAIN (has LEARNED in your culture), to interpret as "having value", YOU have made a subjective value judgement, and applied it to an observation, with no external "objective" criteria.
Actually I did define 'values'. Here it is again...
Values (noun) are tangible and intangible ideas, items, concepts, systems, behaviors, philosophies, etc. that reflects worth to an individual or a group of individual as desirable, important or useful.

Values are antecedents to behaviors. Morals that influence behaviors are dependent on how those behaviors affect (directly or indirectly) other living things.

I think I agree with you on subjective value judgment and how that relates to morality. I think we all do this as individuals and groups. As much as we try to be objective about morality, and even the priority of values, I don't think it is possible.

Eating and pooping are valued behaviors. Metabolism becomes a value that's derived from survival as a value. Thus, eating and pooping are values because we value metabolism, because we value survival. But, if we had to choose to either eat, poop or breath, we would most likely choose to breath because we value survival more than we value eating and pooping. This is a prioritization of our values in their simplest form.

I didn't choose the term "values" arbitrarily. I could have called it by any other name, and perhaps should have because of the confusion of the definition as I apply it here. But, the word "value" is the simplest term I could use to explain what I have observed as the best possible term to use. When people conflate this term with political or religious "values", then they are incomplete in the use of the term as it relates to how I'm applying it here.

I feel my biggest problem is either conveying the terms or concepts. Perhaps I need more analogies or metaphors to explain it in simpler terms. Thank you for the response.
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25-10-2014, 07:09 PM
RE: Moral Relativism Vs. Absolute Morality, and Does morality evolve?
(25-10-2014 06:57 PM)Mortimer Snerd Wrote:  Values are antecedents to behaviors. Morals that influence behaviors are dependent on how those behaviors affect (directly or indirectly) other living things.

Eating and pooping are valued behaviors. Metabolism becomes a value that's derived from survival as a value. Thus, eating and pooping are values because we value metabolism, because we value survival. But, if we had to choose to either eat, poop or breath, we would most likely choose to breath because we value survival more than we value eating and pooping. This is a prioritization of our values in their simplest form.

Now all you have to do is PROVE, scientifically that there are "antecedents" to behaviors." Does a rat think about whether it is going to poop ? Hahahaha.
Thanks for reducing your argument to a "reductio ad absurdam" all by yourself.

Neuro-science has already proven that decisions are made before we are aware of them. So if you do a literature search, your entire paradigm is already refuted, (even IF it made any sense, (which it does not).

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25-10-2014, 07:09 PM
RE: Moral Relativism Vs. Absolute Morality, and Does morality evolve?
(25-10-2014 06:46 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  What seems to be "obvious" to you is not obvious to others. You still have not defined what a "value" is and what differentiates what you say you observe as a "value" from one that is not. There is no such "thing" as a "value". It's a LEARNED or innate electrical brain pattern. "It should be obvious" is no answer.

I respect your point of view. I think trying to recognize 'value' as a 'thing' isn't that easy. Again, I'm looking at 'values' as an antecedent to behavior, much like the way a virus is to a sickness. We have accepted 'Germ Theory' based on the evidence, but this wasn't always so. It was suspected before we could see the pathogens that they were there and responsible for the illnesses. I'm proposing much the same thing. I think we will be able to observe these 'values' in the future, whether it be through genetic codes for the innate or electrical brain patterns for the learned ones. You seem passionate by your reply, thank you for responding.
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25-10-2014, 07:16 PM
RE: Moral Relativism Vs. Absolute Morality, and Does morality evolve?
(25-10-2014 07:09 PM)Mortimer Snerd Wrote:  
(25-10-2014 06:46 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  What seems to be "obvious" to you is not obvious to others. You still have not defined what a "value" is and what differentiates what you say you observe as a "value" from one that is not. There is no such "thing" as a "value". It's a LEARNED or innate electrical brain pattern. "It should be obvious" is no answer.

I respect your point of view. I think trying to recognize 'value' as a 'thing' isn't that easy. Again, I'm looking at 'values' as an antecedent to behavior, much like the way a virus is to a sickness. We have accepted 'Germ Theory' based on the evidence, but this wasn't always so. It was suspected before we could see the pathogens that they were there and responsible for the illnesses. I'm proposing much the same thing. I think we will be able to observe these 'values' in the future, whether it be through genetic codes for the innate or electrical brain patterns for the learned ones. You seem passionate by your reply, thank you for responding.

Your "theory" has already been debunked. See above. Then check out Dr. David Eagleman's (in Texas) research. So you have no proof. Only a "I think we will be able ... " There already is a huge body of research about decision-making which you are apparently unaware of.

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25-10-2014, 09:16 PM
RE: Moral Relativism Vs. Absolute Morality, and Does morality evolve?
(25-10-2014 07:16 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(25-10-2014 07:09 PM)Mortimer Snerd Wrote:  I respect your point of view. I think trying to recognize 'value' as a 'thing' isn't that easy. Again, I'm looking at 'values' as an antecedent to behavior, much like the way a virus is to a sickness. We have accepted 'Germ Theory' based on the evidence, but this wasn't always so. It was suspected before we could see the pathogens that they were there and responsible for the illnesses. I'm proposing much the same thing. I think we will be able to observe these 'values' in the future, whether it be through genetic codes for the innate or electrical brain patterns for the learned ones. You seem passionate by your reply, thank you for responding.

Your "theory" has already been debunked. See above. Then check out Dr. David Eagleman's (in Texas) research. So you have no proof. Only a "I think we will be able ... " There already is a huge body of research about decision-making which you are apparently unaware of.

I don't remember calling it a theory, but I have referred to it as a hypothesis. If you have a link to Dr. Eagleman's research that you are referring to, that would be nice. I can't find anything by him that is relative to "debunking" what I'm proposing. It you are aware of such a 'huge body of research', could you supply anything I can review. Thank you Smile
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25-10-2014, 09:39 PM
RE: Moral Relativism Vs. Absolute Morality, and Does morality evolve?
(25-10-2014 09:16 PM)Mortimer Snerd Wrote:  
(25-10-2014 07:16 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Your "theory" has already been debunked. See above. Then check out Dr. David Eagleman's (in Texas) research. So you have no proof. Only a "I think we will be able ... " There already is a huge body of research about decision-making which you are apparently unaware of.

I don't remember calling it a theory, but I have referred to it as a hypothesis. If you have a link to Dr. Eagleman's research that you are referring to, that would be nice. I can't find anything by him that is relative to "debunking" what I'm proposing. It you are aware of such a 'huge body of research', could you supply anything I can review. Thank you Smile

Google is your friend.
http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1993-97429-000
http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110831/f...7023a.html
http://exploringthemind.com/the-mind/bra...you-decide

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25-10-2014, 09:47 PM
RE: Moral Relativism Vs. Absolute Morality, and Does morality evolve?
(25-10-2014 06:57 PM)Mortimer Snerd Wrote:  ...
I feel my biggest problem is either conveying the terms or concepts. Perhaps I need more analogies or metaphors to explain it in simpler terms. Thank you for the response.

Nope. I think you just need to be careful with your use of term as noun or as verb.

You seem to me mixing the two.

value
noun
1. the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.
"your support is of great value"
synonyms: merit, worth, usefulness, use, utility, practicality, advantage, desirability, benefit, gain, profit, good, service, help, helpfulness, assistance, effectiveness, efficacy, avail, importance, significance, point, sense.
"the value of adequate preparation cannot be understated"
the material or monetary worth of something.
"prints seldom rise in value"
synonyms: price, cost, worth;
the worth of something compared to the price paid or asked for it.
"at £12.50 the book is good value"

2. principles or standards of behaviour; one's judgement of what is important in life.
"they internalize their parents' rules and values"
synonyms: principles, moral principles, ethics, moral code, morals, moral values, standards, moral standards, code of behaviour, rules of conduct, standards of behaviour
"society's values are passed on to us as children"

3. the numerical amount denoted by an algebraic term; a magnitude, quantity, or number.
"the mean value of x"

4. MUSIC
the relative duration of the sound signified by a note.

5. LINGUISTICS
the meaning of a word or other linguistic unit.
the quality or tone of a spoken sound; the sound represented by a letter.

6. the relative degree of lightness or darkness of a particular colour.
"the artist has used adjacent colour values as the landscape recedes"


verb
1. estimate the monetary worth of.
"his estate was valued at £45,000"
synonyms: evaluate, assess, estimate, appraise, assay, rate, price, put/set a price on, cost (out)
"his estate was valued at £45,000"

2. consider (someone or something) to be important or beneficial; have a high opinion of.
"she had come to value her privacy"
synonyms: appreciate, rate (highly), esteem, hold in high esteem, hold in high regard, hold dear, have a high opinion of, think highly of, think much of, set (great) store by, attach importance to, respect, admire, prize, cherish, treasure

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