The point of studying ethics
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
27-07-2017, 05:45 PM (This post was last modified: 27-07-2017 05:49 PM by DLJ.)
RE: The point of studying ethics
(27-07-2017 05:33 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  
(27-07-2017 05:11 PM)DLJ Wrote:  I suspect this is why it's still being talked about after all these millennia - we have failed to adequately define the damn thing.
Correct, and I think "stop trying" would be a reasonable decision.

But mum! I've only just started. Sadcryface2
I'm not abandoning 8 months work so lightly. Wink

(27-07-2017 05:33 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  
(27-07-2017 05:11 PM)DLJ Wrote:  ...
One agent is subjective; more than one agent, working with the same method and using the same data, can establish facts with ever increasing integrity.
I don't get this part. You are implying a single objective agent is incoherent, right? I don't see your point. I think a single agent can discover the scientific reality as we know it. I think the development of science has never been dependent on the multiplicity of the agents.

As long as the objective agent is committed to the scientific method, it can find new facts and add it to its established facts and progressively attain knowledge, alone. What is the problem with the single agent do you think?

Here we disagree. I can't think of a single currently accepted theory that has not run the peer review gauntlet.

A single agent is subjective by definition (depending on one's definition of 'agent').

Big Grin

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-07-2017, 06:30 PM
RE: The point of studying ethics
(26-07-2017 03:39 PM)whateverist Wrote:  To call something subjective is not to say it is just something we make up on a lark. I agree with Rob here.
I agree with that, as well.

--
Dr H

"So, I became an anarchist, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-07-2017, 07:05 PM
RE: The point of studying ethics
(26-07-2017 09:16 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  
(26-07-2017 03:24 PM)Dr H Wrote:  Whether they are all "irrational" is, I believe, a separate question.
That's what I'm concerned about. I think these people can be labeled as "not objective and/or irrational". Because they can't justify what they do using factual evidences.
I don't think that "not objective" and "irrational" are necessarily synonymous.

If, for example, someone has a vested interest in the outcome of a particular decision, they may want the decision to go a certain way, but that doesn't preclude them using objective evidence about the situation to inform their judgment. It may, however, influence them to expend more effort seeking evidence which seems to confirm their pre-existing bias, rather than impartially going after any available evidence. Their decision would certainly be subjective, but I don't think it could really be considered "irrational".

Quote:I didn't get that part. How the rational and objective person can justify this without having any intention beyond the ethics itself? Do I need to study ethics to know morality is subjective? I don't think so.
You need to study ethics to some degree to know anything about morals at all, including what they are. There are all sorts of levels of "study", of course. You don't necessarily have to go out and research a doctoral dissertation; you could just ask questions of people around you and put together your own picture.

But to simply pull the statement "morality is subjective" out of the air is anything but objective. And if you don't know what is meant by "morality", such a statement could possibly also be irrational. If there's absolutely no basis -- objective or subjective -- for the claim, what you have is essentially word-salad.

Quote:I agree, how ever I think your propostition is stronger than the one I claimed. Do you think "studying ethics for the ethics itself" can be justified for the rational and objective person? If yes, please elaborate on it.
I think we need to clarify what you mean by "studying ethics for the ethics itself".

I'm trying to imagine what that would mean, and I can come up with only two possibilities. Either one is studying ethics because they are seeking out a system of ethics to adopt in their own life; or one is studying ethics with the intent of formulating a new system of ethics, and seeks to understand what others who have gone before have done, so as to gather ideas and avoid old pitfalls.

I don't know that either of these is a necessarily invalid reason for studying ethics, although, as I said, I think the number of people who do so on this level are few and far between.

But not to wander too far from the point, what do you mean by "studying ethics for the ethics itself"?


Quote:I borrowed it from the other thread about morality.
Ah, ok. I thought I was having some weird kind of deja vu there, for a minute.

Quote:I accept what you say about moral judgments here and I'm no longer claiming moral judgements imply objectivity.

However, the objective and rational person is aware that his moral judgements cannot be supported by any evidences. Isn't it enough to prevent him making judgments, or at least declaring his judgments?
If this "rational person" lived entirely rationally -- ie., basically exclusively within his own mind -- I guess it's possible.

But most people don't live like that; we live in the real world, where we are required to make countless judgments, including moral judgments, every day, just to get through the day without serious mishap. Indeed, most of society at large would probably consider someone who lived exclusively in their own private rationality all the time to be rather irrational -- or at least decidedly odd.

Quote:"A rational and objective person does not make moral judgement, as he doesn't claim anything that cannot be supported by evidences"
I think it's obvious. If we assume the rational person makes subjective claims, he can say any kind of nonsense, which goes against his objectivity (not his rationality). e.g.
Rational Person: I think all politicians are wrong.
-: Why?
Rational Person: Because that's my definition of wrong.

It's rational, but since the person is also "objective", he won't make moral judgments or any subjective claims. What do you think?
It's an interesting point. Making up definitions -- particularly non-standard definitions -- on the fly, to justify one's own claims might be considered irrational in the larger context of human interaction. Yet it might be completely self-consistent to the person making the definitions.

So perhaps we have uncovered at least two different levels of "rationality": one being the completely logical and self-consistent formation of a system of intellectual ideas, which may or many not have any direct real world application; and the other being a sort of practical rationality, which not only makes sense of, but also allows us to function in the world.

Doesn't help us much with ethics, though; I think you can find examples of ethical systems in either category.

--
Dr H

"So, I became an anarchist, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-07-2017, 07:15 PM
RE: The point of studying ethics
(26-07-2017 10:05 PM)whateverist Wrote:  Perhaps it was Hume who said something to the effect that the chief use of rationality is to discover the limits of rationality - or was it reason and not rationality. I guess it works either way.
Interesting that you should mention Hume.
Nosferatu's thesis seems to be that absolute rationality should be the basis for what we like to call "morality" or at least "moral decision". Hume rejected that idea entirely; he opposed the rationalist's assertion that 'moral properties are discovered by reason'.



Quote:What makes you think an ideal rational person is a possibility?
Yes, I was also wondering that.

--
Dr H

"So, I became an anarchist, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-07-2017, 07:30 PM
RE: The point of studying ethics
(26-07-2017 10:46 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  I agree with that. In fact I'm trying to see whether morality is within the boundary of rationality or not, I'm trying to use reason to find the limits of reason concerning morality. If we infer that morality lies outside the boundaries of reason, maybe we can say we should avoid talking about it, with all the considerations that we are figuring out in this discussion. I personally think there is not much that can be talked about, and I find figuring out those things that can't be talked about to be the most interesting thing to discuss!
Hume asserts (in the Treatise of Human Nature, book 3) that moral impressions can only be considered from a social point of view, because one's actions are only "moral" or "immoral" with regard to how they affect others. How far pure rationality would take you there would, I think, depend on to what extent you were successfully able to objectify human inter-relationships.

Wow. Good luck with that.


Quote:What makes you think an ideal rational person is a possibility?
Quote:Ideal is subjective, I meant "an absolutely rational person". This would be a rational agent who infers his actions based on a formal system e.g., any kind of robot.

Robots are absolutely rational, aren't they? They may not be well informed about the reality, but they always have a rational justification for what ever they do and say.
I would say that -- lacking evidence of self-aware AI -- the actions of robots may only be judged "rational" or otherwise by human beings -- and hence are judged subjectively.

There exist, for example, robots whose sole purpose when activated is to immediately turn themselves off again. Is that rational? I suppose if one were concerned with infinitesimally increasing the overall entropy of the universe, it might be. But then one might question whether that concern itself were rational. Smile

--
Dr H

"So, I became an anarchist, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
28-07-2017, 01:36 AM
RE: The point of studying ethics
(27-07-2017 02:55 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  Of course. The great thing about language is that it is elastic. People have a lot of freedom in how they are using the words, it's not the case in logical reasoning though, words must be completely definite. Therefore, in this discussion we made it clear what we mean by rationality and irrationality, I think this is the only way to have a clear conversation, so we have to agree on something.

We don't agree at all - you appear to see nothing wrong with irrationality in general: The reason might be that you are imposing some negativity to the word "irrational". There is nothing wrong with irrationality and I think I never implied irrationality is undesirable where I - to use your phrase - impose some negativity to this word basing on it's definition.

Quote:I think "nothing is right or wrong about irrationality". The notion of right and wrong about irrationality or any other concept appear in presence of a context, when there is no context, the notion of right and wrong disappear. Irrationality or rationality, without any context, are neither right nor wrong. That's what I meant.

I don't agree with your take. If being irrational is being incoherent and lacking in clarity then it is wrong regardless of context, even if this case wrong would mean being hard to interact on daily basis thanks to incoherence of one behavior. No specific situation needed for irrationality to be seen in negative light.

Quote:Being rational during a sexual intercourse is most likely wrong, because rationality is undesirable for effective relationship during an intercourse, which is based mostly on subtle impulses.

Depends on what you mean by rational - I would say that is quite rational during said intercourse to:
a) don't care about partner pleasure if this is one night stand
b) care about partner pleasure if this is longer term thing

Therefore I object to asserting that it is most likely wrong.

Quote:It doesn't mean "there is something wrong about rationality".

It doesn't cause you used specific example contrary to earlier one about irrationality.

Quote:The notion of wrong appears in this context, without the context, there is nothing wrong with rationality, the same thing holds for irrationality and your example about gulags.

It seems to me that you just can't bring yourself to admit that your first example was worded wrong and GULag shown absurdity of it.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Szuchow's post
28-07-2017, 01:46 AM (This post was last modified: 28-07-2017 01:58 AM by nosferatu323.)
RE: The point of studying ethics
(27-07-2017 05:45 PM)DLJ Wrote:  
(27-07-2017 05:33 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  Correct, and I think "stop trying" would be a reasonable decision.

But mum! I've only just started. Sadcryface2
I'm not abandoning 8 months work so lightly. Wink

(27-07-2017 05:33 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  I don't get this part. You are implying a single objective agent is incoherent, right? I don't see your point. I think a single agent can discover the scientific reality as we know it. I think the development of science has never been dependent on the multiplicity of the agents.

As long as the objective agent is committed to the scientific method, it can find new facts and add it to its established facts and progressively attain knowledge, alone. What is the problem with the single agent do you think?

Here we disagree. I can't think of a single currently accepted theory that has not run the peer review gauntlet.

A single agent is subjective by definition (depending on one's definition of 'agent').

Big Grin
Quote:I'm not abandoning 8 months work so lightly. Wink
Good luck with that, let us know more about it when you are done with it Smile

Quote:A single agent is subjective by definition
I think your point is correct, but only when we assume there can be some sort of malfunction in sense-perception of the agent. For example if we have only one scientist, and he happens to be schizophrenic, he can't get us too far. This is a reasonable assumption that this sort of malfunction is possible, hence we need "a community of objective agents". If we assume there is no such malfunctions, you would still think that a single objective agent is incoherent?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
28-07-2017, 01:52 AM
RE: The point of studying ethics
(28-07-2017 01:36 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  
(27-07-2017 02:55 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  Of course. The great thing about language is that it is elastic. People have a lot of freedom in how they are using the words, it's not the case in logical reasoning though, words must be completely definite. Therefore, in this discussion we made it clear what we mean by rationality and irrationality, I think this is the only way to have a clear conversation, so we have to agree on something.

We don't agree at all - you appear to see nothing wrong with irrationality in general: The reason might be that you are imposing some negativity to the word "irrational". There is nothing wrong with irrationality and I think I never implied irrationality is undesirable where I - to use your phrase - impose some negativity to this word basing on it's definition.

Quote:I think "nothing is right or wrong about irrationality". The notion of right and wrong about irrationality or any other concept appear in presence of a context, when there is no context, the notion of right and wrong disappear. Irrationality or rationality, without any context, are neither right nor wrong. That's what I meant.

I don't agree with your take. If being irrational is being incoherent and lacking in clarity then it is wrong regardless of context, even if this case wrong would mean being hard to interact on daily basis thanks to incoherence of one behavior. No specific situation needed for irrationality to be seen in negative light.

Quote:Being rational during a sexual intercourse is most likely wrong, because rationality is undesirable for effective relationship during an intercourse, which is based mostly on subtle impulses.

Depends on what you mean by rational - I would say that is quite rational during said intercourse to:
a) don't care about partner pleasure if this is one night stand
b) care about partner pleasure if this is longer term thing

Therefore I object to asserting that it is most likely wrong.

Quote:It doesn't mean "there is something wrong about rationality".

It doesn't cause you used specific example contrary to earlier one about irrationality.

Quote:The notion of wrong appears in this context, without the context, there is nothing wrong with rationality, the same thing holds for irrationality and your example about gulags.

It seems to me that you just can't bring yourself to admit that your first example was worded wrong and GULag shown absurdity of it.

Quote:It seems to me that you just can't bring yourself to admit that your first example was worded wrong and GULag shown absurdity of it.
I just figured out you are right. I made a claim that "there is nothing wrong with irrationality". This is a moral judgement in itself. In fact I'm trying to show that moral judgements cannot be rationally justified and I'm trying to justify a moral proposition for you. That's inconsistent, my bad, I shouldn't have said that in the first place. Thanks for bringing this up.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes nosferatu323's post
28-07-2017, 02:02 AM
RE: The point of studying ethics
(28-07-2017 01:52 AM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  I just figured out you are right. I made a claim that "there is nothing wrong with irrationality". This is a moral judgement in itself. In fact I'm trying to show that moral judgements cannot be rationally justified and I'm trying to justify a moral proposition for you. That's inconsistent, my bad, I shouldn't have said that in the first place. Thanks for bringing this up.

No problem.

As for moral judgments which couldn't be rationally justified - killing is wrong cause it put social stigma on one and invites lawful retribution - prison or death row even. Nothing about empathy or suffering here, just appeal to one self interest. Seems quite rational to me, even if this remind me of religion and it's "morality" based on orders from head honcho.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
28-07-2017, 03:13 AM
RE: The point of studying ethics
(28-07-2017 01:46 AM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  ...
If we assume there is no such malfunctions, you would still think that a single objective agent is incoherent?

Semantically, yes.

I'd say it's a single subjective agent utilising objective processes.

Smile

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: