Science, reason and moral questions
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05-05-2017, 07:06 AM
RE: Science, reason and moral questions
(04-05-2017 11:43 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  
(04-05-2017 07:11 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  You don't need any knowledge in order to live your life? Really? How do you rate different aspects of well being without first having a grasp of what wellbeing is? Blank out.

I said you don't need knowledge about morality. Please re-read my post. I didn't say you don't need any knowledge at all.

If you're suggesting that animals which live in groups have "knowledge about morality", then you're stretching that phrase to be rather meaningless. They're not going to even have conscious moral principles, most likely.

For even some humans today, and specifically our ancestor species, the morality comes straight from emotions/subconscious, whether they realize it or not. They just act accordingly. They may never have paused to consider what "moral principles" they are using. It's instinctive. Now we are more advanced and have to worry less about survival, we have the opportunity to ponder and to consciously evaluate our principles.

So you could say, as a tautology, any animal (including humans) that displays "moral behavior" has its own moral principles. Whether they are consciously aware of what those principles are, is a different matter. The principles are subject to change, particularly in humans, where we often do have the chance and ability to reflect. But these are highly personal, although due to evolution, there will of course be big overlaps. These overlaps do not represent objectivity. Well-being is such a vague term that it can't easily be measured. Everyone values certain aspects differently.

Again, I refer you to psychopaths. They have no morality. They have no moral principles, unless you include pure pragmatism as moral principles, which I think would make the term meaningless. They don't do things because they care about the well-being of others. They're not capable, in the same way as you and I. Successful ones mimic it because it's practical to do so. Some are so good at it that you'd never know. This is a scary prospect of course, because as soon as this stops benefiting them they can alter their behavior in extreme ways that those of us bound by morality could not easily do.

Clearly many people don't understand their own morality, because they think it comes "from God" rather than from their emotions and instincts, and indirectly from their ancestry.

For God's sake, will I ever shut up? I mean really. I bore myself to tears.

You don't bore me.


I didn't misread you, It's just that we have very different conceptions of morality. It's clear to me that you think morality consists of doing good for others. I Don't, or at least doing good for others is secondary.

What about farming? Does it require knowledge? You see I consider farming to be moral knowledge.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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05-05-2017, 07:20 AM
RE: Science, reason and moral questions
(04-05-2017 11:56 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  Let me say one more thing:

All behavior breaks down to pragmatism in the end, if you keep on pushing. But that doesn't mean it's all equivalent.

To me, the difference between pragmatic behavior and moral behavior is the motivation. Moral animals really care about other animals. They feel for them. A pragmatic animal such as a psychopath doesn't care, it just does whatever it takes to achieve what it wants. It will only go out of its way to help if there's ultimately something in it for them.

Acting morally makes you feel good, and you feel guilty when you act immorally. It's the actual act itself, not just the consequences, which get a response. It's driven by emotions. Pure pragmatism isn't, at least not in the same way.

OK I'll be quiet now Tongue

Also, I don't think all behavior breaks down to pragmatism. A lot of people's behavior breaks down to self destruction.

You think that the motivation for morality should be doing good for others, but why should this be the motivation? What about your own needs? What about your own well being? Does that factor into morality?

And what's wrong with getting something out of helping others? Why must helping others always be sacrificial?

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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05-05-2017, 10:07 AM
RE: Science, reason and moral questions
(05-05-2017 07:06 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  What about farming? Does it require knowledge? You see I consider farming to be moral knowledge.

Wut?
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05-05-2017, 10:55 AM
RE: Science, reason and moral questions
(05-05-2017 10:07 AM)big green mouth Wrote:  
(05-05-2017 07:06 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  What about farming? Does it require knowledge? You see I consider farming to be moral knowledge.

Wut?

That's right, farming is a moral action and it takes knowledge. Do you disagree?

You don't see the connection? How about the connection between morality and a steel plant?

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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05-05-2017, 12:51 PM
RE: Science, reason and moral questions
(05-05-2017 10:55 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  
(05-05-2017 10:07 AM)big green mouth Wrote:  Wut?

That's right, farming is a moral action and it takes knowledge. Do you disagree?

You don't see the connection? How about the connection between morality and a steel plant?

I'm afraid I don't see it. There may be many moral decisions made as one goes about the business of farming, and it's morally permissible to farm. But I don't see how farming itself is either moral or immoral. How you get to the conclusion that farming is "moral knowledge" is beyond me.
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05-05-2017, 02:33 PM
RE: Science, reason and moral questions
(05-05-2017 12:51 PM)big green mouth Wrote:  
(05-05-2017 10:55 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  That's right, farming is a moral action and it takes knowledge. Do you disagree?

You don't see the connection? How about the connection between morality and a steel plant?

I'm afraid I don't see it. There may be many moral decisions made as one goes about the business of farming, and it's morally permissible to farm. But I don't see how farming itself is either moral or immoral. How you get to the conclusion that farming is "moral knowledge" is beyond me.

Farming is a moral action because it provides something that we need to live and it definitely requires knowledge to farm. So any principles of proper farming are knowledge that we need to guide a moral action. I just need to integrate this this with my knowledge of what morality is and why we need it in order to make the connection that knowledge of farming is moral knowledge. It's not only morally permissible to farm, it's morally necessary. You don't have to be a farmer but you do need to produce something in order to live. My father in law is a farmer, By his actions he feeds thousands of people besides himself. I don't have the knowledge to do what he does. He doesn't have the knowledge to do what I do. But we can each trade some of our production for the things we need. So the knowledge that I use to produce what I produce is also moral knowledge. This knowledge enables me to provide the food I need to live. Now do you see the connection? If you want to see a concrete example of the abstract principle of morality, just visit a farm, or a factory, or a cobbler, or come over and see my woodcarving shop.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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05-05-2017, 02:46 PM
RE: Science, reason and moral questions
(05-05-2017 12:51 PM)big green mouth Wrote:  
(05-05-2017 10:55 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  That's right, farming is a moral action and it takes knowledge. Do you disagree?

You don't see the connection? How about the connection between morality and a steel plant?

I'm afraid I don't see it. There may be many moral decisions made as one goes about the business of farming, and it's morally permissible to farm. But I don't see how farming itself is either moral or immoral. How you get to the conclusion that farming is "moral knowledge" is beyond me.

Here's another question for you. If someone needs food, and I give them some food, would that be a moral action in your view?

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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05-05-2017, 03:49 PM
RE: Science, reason and moral questions
(05-05-2017 02:33 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  Farming is a moral action because it provides something that we need to live and it definitely requires knowledge to farm. So any principles of proper farming are knowledge that we need to guide a moral action. I just need to integrate this this with my knowledge of what morality is and why we need it in order to make the connection that knowledge of farming is moral knowledge. It's not only morally permissible to farm, it's morally necessary. You don't have to be a farmer but you do need to produce something in order to live. My father in law is a farmer, By his actions he feeds thousands of people besides himself. I don't have the knowledge to do what he does. He doesn't have the knowledge to do what I do. But we can each trade some of our production for the things we need. So the knowledge that I use to produce what I produce is also moral knowledge. This knowledge enables me to provide the food I need to live. Now do you see the connection? If you want to see a concrete example of the abstract principle of morality, just visit a farm, or a factory, or a cobbler, or come over and see my woodcarving shop.

Probably depends on what you farm.
If you farm tobacco, you might need to think about it before you get too high and morally mighty. Shy

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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05-05-2017, 04:53 PM
RE: Science, reason and moral questions
(05-05-2017 02:33 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  
(05-05-2017 12:51 PM)big green mouth Wrote:  I'm afraid I don't see it. There may be many moral decisions made as one goes about the business of farming, and it's morally permissible to farm. But I don't see how farming itself is either moral or immoral. How you get to the conclusion that farming is "moral knowledge" is beyond me.

Farming is a moral action because it provides something that we need to live and it definitely requires knowledge to farm. So any principles of proper farming are knowledge that we need to guide a moral action. I just need to integrate this this with my knowledge of what morality is and why we need it in order to make the connection that knowledge of farming is moral knowledge. It's not only morally permissible to farm, it's morally necessary. You don't have to be a farmer but you do need to produce something in order to live.

It's necessary for the goal of continued survival that we produce [food] or whatever. It is not a moral necessity. So, no, I don't think farming [or producing] is in and of itself a moral action. It is morally neutral, as the goal of survival in and of itself is morally neutral. I can further that goal by stealing, for example. That an action is taken in furtherance of that goal does not make it moral. Moreover, "moral knowledge" refers to the body of moral facts which [may] exist. It isn't simply knowledge that is incidentally involved in a moral action; the knowledge itself has to be of a moral character.
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05-05-2017, 05:01 PM
RE: Science, reason and moral questions
(05-05-2017 04:53 PM)big green mouth Wrote:  
(05-05-2017 02:33 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  Farming is a moral action because it provides something that we need to live and it definitely requires knowledge to farm. So any principles of proper farming are knowledge that we need to guide a moral action. I just need to integrate this this with my knowledge of what morality is and why we need it in order to make the connection that knowledge of farming is moral knowledge. It's not only morally permissible to farm, it's morally necessary. You don't have to be a farmer but you do need to produce something in order to live.

It's necessary for the goal of continued survival that we produce [food] or whatever. It is not a moral necessity. So, no, I don't think farming [or producing] is in and of itself a moral action. It is morally neutral, as the goal of survival in and of itself is morally neutral. I can further that goal by stealing, for example. That an action is taken in furtherance of that goal does not make it moral. Moreover, "moral knowledge" refers to the body of moral facts which [may] exist. It isn't simply knowledge that is incidentally involved in a moral action; the knowledge itself has to be of a moral character.
But I'm assuming that if I gave someone food who needed it, you'd think that that was a moral action? Would this be true?

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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