My attempt to define the moral landscape
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21-10-2014, 04:00 PM
My attempt to define the moral landscape
My stab at defining morality is as per below
"Morality is the distinction between right and wrong given an event caused by a moral agent with prior knowledge of right and wrong and having been in a situation where a choice was freely made (without coercion)."
To further define some of the terms use above:
1. A moral agent is an entity which has the ability to make choices and also has knowledge of right and wrong.
2. Morality is regarding actions made via choice by a moral agent where moraly significant alternatives are present.
3. Moral judgement is made with the distinction of actions/choices between "right" and "wrong"
4. Moral obligation means that a moral agent is bound in their behaviours to do the
"right" thing.
5. Normative statements can be applied to actions (actual or potential) of other moral agents such that claims of "oughts" and "shoulds", "ought nots" and "should nots" can be made and moral judgements of the choices and actions of others can be made.
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21-10-2014, 04:11 PM
RE: My attempt to define the moral landscape
THE (the) entire moral landscape? All of it? For everyone everywhere??


Dude....

When I want your opinion I'll read your entrails.
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21-10-2014, 04:24 PM
RE: My attempt to define the moral landscape
(21-10-2014 04:11 PM)WitchSabrina Wrote:  THE (the) entire moral landscape? All of it? For everyone everywhere??


Dude....

[Psst...you forgot to use the brackets]

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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21-10-2014, 04:25 PM
RE: My attempt to define the moral landscape
(21-10-2014 04:11 PM)WitchSabrina Wrote:  THE (the) entire moral landscape? All of it? For everyone everywhere??


Dude....
I'm not trying to define what is right and wrong.
Do you not agree that the moral landscape requires a moral agent?
Do you not agree that the moral landscape requires a moral agent to know the difference between right and wrong?

This is just the basics here. And this is just my own attempt. I'm quite happy for you to argue against anything I have stated or to add more to it. I'm not saying this is the definitive final product. Just a starting point for discussion.
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21-10-2014, 04:30 PM
RE: My attempt to define the moral landscape
(21-10-2014 04:00 PM)Stevil Wrote:  My stab at defining morality is as per below
"Morality is the distinction between right and wrong given an event caused by a moral agent with prior knowledge of right and wrong and having been in a situation where a choice was freely made (without coercion)."
To further define some of the terms use above:
1. A moral agent is an entity which has the ability to make choices and also has knowledge of right and wrong.
2. Morality is regarding actions made via choice by a moral agent where moraly significant alternatives are present.
3. Moral judgement is made with the distinction of actions/choices between "right" and "wrong"
4. Moral obligation means that a moral agent is bound in their behaviours to do the
"right" thing.
5. Normative statements can be applied to actions (actual or potential) of other moral agents such that claims of "oughts" and "shoulds", "ought nots" and "should nots" can be made and moral judgements of the choices and actions of others can be made.

The issue here is defining "right" and "wrong" and agreeing on any single moral agent.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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21-10-2014, 04:52 PM
RE: My attempt to define the moral landscape
(21-10-2014 04:30 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  The issue here is defining "right" and "wrong" and agreeing on any single moral agent.
But if we leave the defining of "right" and "wrong" for another discussion. And for the sake of this discussion just assert that there is a "right" and "wrong" whatever those may be.

I think we must assert that there is a "right" and "wrong" because without them how can we have a moral agent or a moral event?

When I say "moral agent" I am meaning a person rather than a moral event.

For a person to be considered a moral agent, they need the ability to distinguish between right and wrong, don't they?
for example, if we have a burying beetle (which commonly eat their own young), we don't consider that act immoral because we don't consider that the burying beetle has any idea that eating young could be wrong.
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21-10-2014, 05:00 PM
RE: My attempt to define the moral landscape
There are many ways you can have moral agency without there being a legitimate right and wrong in existence. There can be agreed upon reasons for moral discussion or perceived right by a group that doesn't think there is a real right. In cases where people embracing the social contract theory of morality this is sort of the case. They don't think there is a right or wrong but a better/worse for what they deem to be "morally" valued.

There are problems with this approach because people have different moral values and view the different events in different lights depending on their moral understanding.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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21-10-2014, 05:05 PM
RE: My attempt to define the moral landscape
(21-10-2014 04:52 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(21-10-2014 04:30 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  The issue here is defining "right" and "wrong" and agreeing on any single moral agent.
But if we leave the defining of "right" and "wrong" for another discussion. And for the sake of this discussion just assert that there is a "right" and "wrong" whatever those may be.

I think we must assert that there is a "right" and "wrong" because without them how can we have a moral agent or a moral event?

When I say "moral agent" I am meaning a person rather than a moral event.

For a person to be considered a moral agent, they need the ability to distinguish between right and wrong, don't they?
for example, if we have a burying beetle (which commonly eat their own young), we don't consider that act immoral because we don't consider that the burying beetle has any idea that eating young could be wrong.

OK, we leave right and wrong alone for now.

So the moral agent is one person? And this person knows right from wrong whatever those are. Now what?

To me your OP seems reasonable, the problem is when anyone attempts to define and appoint.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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21-10-2014, 06:23 PM
RE: My attempt to define the moral landscape
(21-10-2014 05:05 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  
(21-10-2014 04:52 PM)Stevil Wrote:  But if we leave the defining of "right" and "wrong" for another discussion. And for the sake of this discussion just assert that there is a "right" and "wrong" whatever those may be.

I think we must assert that there is a "right" and "wrong" because without them how can we have a moral agent or a moral event?

When I say "moral agent" I am meaning a person rather than a moral event.

For a person to be considered a moral agent, they need the ability to distinguish between right and wrong, don't they?
for example, if we have a burying beetle (which commonly eat their own young), we don't consider that act immoral because we don't consider that the burying beetle has any idea that eating young could be wrong.

OK, we leave right and wrong alone for now.

So the moral agent is one person? And this person knows right from wrong whatever those are. Now what?

To me your OP seems reasonable, the problem is when anyone attempts to define and appoint.

I am trying to define some boundaries (qualifying criteria). To ascertain when an event has potential to be a moral event or not.

If we don't have a moral agent, then I would think the event can't be qualified as a moral event e.g. if the actor is a burying beetle, or an infant, or a person whom doesn't understand right from wrong.

So it seems to me that the actor must know what is right and what is wrong, and must be presented with a choice between these.
This would mean that the morality of the action is dependant on the moral beliefs of the actor (the moral agent in question).

So if we have a thrid party observer whom has a different set of moral beliefs as that of the actor, this third party cannot assess the morality of the event because they don't know what the moral beliefs of the actor are.
It doesn't make sense for the third party to judge against their own moral beliefs because the actor has no knowledge or agreement with the third party's beliefs.
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21-10-2014, 07:25 PM
RE: My attempt to define the moral landscape
(21-10-2014 06:23 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(21-10-2014 05:05 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  OK, we leave right and wrong alone for now.

So the moral agent is one person? And this person knows right from wrong whatever those are. Now what?

To me your OP seems reasonable, the problem is when anyone attempts to define and appoint.

I am trying to define some boundaries (qualifying criteria). To ascertain when an event has potential to be a moral event or not.

If we don't have a moral agent, then I would think the event can't be qualified as a moral event e.g. if the actor is a burying beetle, or an infant, or a person whom doesn't understand right from wrong.

So it seems to me that the actor must know what is right and what is wrong, and must be presented with a choice between these.
This would mean that the morality of the action is dependant on the moral beliefs of the actor (the moral agent in question).

So if we have a thrid party observer whom has a different set of moral beliefs as that of the actor, this third party cannot assess the morality of the event because they don't know what the moral beliefs of the actor are.
It doesn't make sense for the third party to judge against their own moral beliefs because the actor has no knowledge or agreement with the third party's beliefs.

But we don't live in a vacuum, so while this may indeed be true, the 1st party has to account for the 3rd party's moral beliefs.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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