The point of studying ethics
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
16-07-2017, 11:19 AM
RE: The point of studying ethics
(16-07-2017 08:26 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  "Preferences" removes all gravity from the discussion. Preferences is a word used to describe things with essentially no consequence.

I disagree. Let's take the death penalty as an example. Some people prefer that terrorists like Osama bin Laden be put to death, and some people prefer that the death penalty never be used. It's only a matter of preference, but the consequence is substantial.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
16-07-2017, 04:51 PM
RE: The point of studying ethics
(16-07-2017 08:02 AM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  I think authorities need to pretend morality is something beyond personal preferences so they can control the behavior of individuals in human societies. Otherwise everyone will realize they might have different preferences and every one would behave according to his/her personal preferences. This would result in a chaos. This is not good for the well-being of our social structures.

I don't know where you live, but in America we live in a democracy where different people have different opinions. There is no one overriding authority, just the voters and their representatives.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Thoreauvian's post
17-07-2017, 01:06 AM
RE: The point of studying ethics
(16-07-2017 08:54 AM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  
(16-07-2017 08:26 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  "Preferences" removes all gravity from the discussion. Preferences is a word used to describe things with essentially no consequence.

"Ethics" is the discussion of matters that do have consequences. There's no need to conflate the two. Most of us have a conscience, which makes us care about those consequences. Some people don't, and to them, ethics must seem like empty talk indeed.

That's right, but those consequences are also a matter of "personal preference". For example, I am a religious fanatic and I think I should do anything to convert people so they can have a good eternal life, you are a secularist and you think you should do anything to help people with their freedom of choice. We have totally different moral values. You see, it ultimately falls to the personal preferences, I think there is no more real substance in it.

I hope you are exaggerating when you say you'd do anything. I certainly wouldn't do anything.

Are you saying you're not a secularist? Do you not believe people should be treated equally under the law regardless of their religious beliefs (or lack of)?

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
17-07-2017, 02:44 AM
RE: The point of studying ethics
(17-07-2017 01:06 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  
(16-07-2017 08:54 AM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  That's right, but those consequences are also a matter of "personal preference". For example, I am a religious fanatic and I think I should do anything to convert people so they can have a good eternal life, you are a secularist and you think you should do anything to help people with their freedom of choice. We have totally different moral values. You see, it ultimately falls to the personal preferences, I think there is no more real substance in it.

I hope you are exaggerating when you say you'd do anything. I certainly wouldn't do anything.

Are you saying you're not a secularist? Do you not believe people should be treated equally under the law regardless of their religious beliefs (or lack of)?

I think this is a good point. Even if it is not true that nosferatu323 is a secularist there are people out there who really do think that way. If in fact everybody thought that way (if the premise were true) then the result of such thinking would (I think rightfully) be extinction of the human race, and given our level of technology possibly the entire planet. It's the major reason i reject "The greatest good for the greatest number". Good let alone the greatest good is entirely subjective. It is impossible to find out what the majority thinks is the greatest good, let alone this leaves open the way for the sacrifice of the minority to the majority.

My own ethics can be summed up simply as
1) Survival of the fittest (this does not necessarily mean survival of the most brutal).
2) Be ye selfish.
3) Don't be a hypocrite.
4) Survival of the fittest.

I don't consider the question of survival of the species as I find the concept to be overly abstract and therefore not useful.

A question which I find might be relevant to the study might be the impact of magical thinking on individuals ability to justify what they consider to be unethical actions. I propose that an individual who indulges less in magical thinking is less likely to carry out what they might consider to be an unethical action.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
17-07-2017, 02:53 AM (This post was last modified: 17-07-2017 03:18 AM by Robvalue.)
RE: The point of studying ethics
(17-07-2017 02:44 AM)BlkFnx Wrote:  
(17-07-2017 01:06 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  I hope you are exaggerating when you say you'd do anything. I certainly wouldn't do anything.

Are you saying you're not a secularist? Do you not believe people should be treated equally under the law regardless of their religious beliefs (or lack of)?

I think this is a good point. Even if it is not true that nosferatu323 is a secularist there are people out there who really do think that way. If in fact everybody thought that way (if the premise were true) then the result of such thinking would (I think rightfully) be extinction of the human race, and given our level of technology possibly the entire planet. It's the major reason i reject "The greatest good for the greatest number". Good let alone the greatest good is entirely subjective. It is impossible to find out what the majority thinks is the greatest good, let alone this leaves open the way for the sacrifice of the minority to the majority.

My own ethics can be summed up simply as
1) Survival of the fittest (this does not necessarily mean survival of the most brutal).
2) Be ye selfish.
3) Don't be a hypocrite.
4) Survival of the fittest.

I don't consider the question of survival of the species as I find the concept to be overly abstract and therefore not useful.

A question which I find might be relevant to the study might be the impact of magical thinking on individuals ability to justify what they consider to be unethical actions. I propose that an individual who indulges less in magical thinking is less likely to carry out what they might consider to be an unethical action.

Survival of the fittest is a description of how natural selection works, and it's an amoral process. It already happens, without anyone needing to get involved. I'm not sure what it means to base your ethics on it.

(I know this is called Social Darwiminism. I also don't think it makes any sense. It appears to just be an abandonment of any kind of ethics, in other words anarchy.)

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Robvalue's post
17-07-2017, 06:37 AM
RE: The point of studying ethics
(17-07-2017 02:53 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  Survival of the fittest is a description of how natural selection works, and it's an amoral process. It already happens, without anyone needing to get involved. I'm not sure what it means to base your ethics on it.

(I know this is called Social Darwinism. I also don't think it makes any sense. It appears to just be an abandonment of any kind of ethics, in other words anarchy.)

In human communities, the fittest may be the most ethical, not the most selfish.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Thoreauvian's post
17-07-2017, 07:39 AM
RE: The point of studying ethics
(17-07-2017 06:37 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(17-07-2017 02:53 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  Survival of the fittest is a description of how natural selection works, and it's an amoral process. It already happens, without anyone needing to get involved. I'm not sure what it means to base your ethics on it.

(I know this is called Social Darwinism. I also don't think it makes any sense. It appears to just be an abandonment of any kind of ethics, in other words anarchy.)

In human communities, the fittest may be the most ethical, not the most selfish.

That's very true.

It seems strange to me that you'd find "whatever is making you the fittest" to be ethical. That seems to make the word meaningless, so again it seems like abandoning morality.

Trying to "model" society on natural selection is just a really dumb idea through and through, because it's not a fixed thing as you said. Society is already undergoing that process, and it will incorporate whatever you do into that process. So you're actually having no effect from that point of view, you're just altering the direction of it, not making it "more" like... itself? It doesn't even make sense.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Robvalue's post
17-07-2017, 07:42 AM (This post was last modified: 17-07-2017 08:01 AM by nosferatu323.)
RE: The point of studying ethics
(16-07-2017 04:51 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(16-07-2017 08:02 AM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  I think authorities need to pretend morality is something beyond personal preferences so they can control the behavior of individuals in human societies. Otherwise everyone will realize they might have different preferences and every one would behave according to his/her personal preferences. This would result in a chaos. This is not good for the well-being of our social structures.

I don't know where you live, but in America we live in a democracy where different people have different opinions. There is no one overriding authority, just the voters and their representatives.

I don't think Americans vote for their moral values. right?

I don't live in the US so please correct me if I'm wrong, I think moral values are imposed to people through other means. Such as media. For example there are many programs that promote LGBT rights, this causes a gradual shift in moral values of the society. Specially the younger ones who go to school. Who chooses which moral values are promoted? I don't think it's really the people who are choosing what materials appear in their media. In a capitalist country, naturally the richest people will have the privilege to have the most influence through channels such as media. So it is those people, who are not the representative of people and they are imposing the moral values.

BTW, those "representatives" are not always quite representative, are they? Is Trump truly a good representative of Americans? I don't think so.

Again since I have never lived in the US, I don't think my understanding is realistic. So please inform me how you, as an American, see this.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes nosferatu323's post
17-07-2017, 12:26 PM
RE: The point of studying ethics
(17-07-2017 07:42 AM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  I don't think Americans vote for their moral values. right?

I don't live in the US so please correct me if I'm wrong, I think moral values are imposed to people through other means. Such as media. For example there are many programs that promote LGBT rights, this causes a gradual shift in moral values of the society. Specially the younger ones who go to school. Who chooses which moral values are promoted? I don't think it's really the people who are choosing what materials appear in their media. In a capitalist country, naturally the richest people will have the privilege to have the most influence through channels such as media. So it is those people, who are not the representative of people and they are imposing the moral values.

BTW, those "representatives" are not always quite representative, are they? Is Trump truly a good representative of Americans? I don't think so.

Again since I have never lived in the US, I don't think my understanding is realistic. So please inform me how you, as an American, see this.

Some people vote for moral values, but most vote for what they think of as their economic interests.

While some moral values are enforced by government and laws, many are upheld by the media as you said. So I guess the moneyed interests behind the media were who you were referring to with this: "I think authorities need to pretend morality is something beyond personal preferences so they can control the behavior of individuals in human societies." Is that right?

I worry that Trump does indeed represent a significant portion of Americans, but recent polls give me hope that this is changing.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Thoreauvian's post
17-07-2017, 01:30 PM (This post was last modified: 17-07-2017 01:47 PM by nosferatu323.)
RE: The point of studying ethics
(17-07-2017 12:26 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(17-07-2017 07:42 AM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  I don't think Americans vote for their moral values. right?

I don't live in the US so please correct me if I'm wrong, I think moral values are imposed to people through other means. Such as media. For example there are many programs that promote LGBT rights, this causes a gradual shift in moral values of the society. Specially the younger ones who go to school. Who chooses which moral values are promoted? I don't think it's really the people who are choosing what materials appear in their media. In a capitalist country, naturally the richest people will have the privilege to have the most influence through channels such as media. So it is those people, who are not the representative of people and they are imposing the moral values.

BTW, those "representatives" are not always quite representative, are they? Is Trump truly a good representative of Americans? I don't think so.

Again since I have never lived in the US, I don't think my understanding is realistic. So please inform me how you, as an American, see this.

Some people vote for moral values, but most vote for what they think of as their economic interests.

While some moral values are enforced by government and laws, many are upheld by the media as you said. So I guess the moneyed interests behind the media were who you were referring to with this: "I think authorities need to pretend morality is something beyond personal preferences so they can control the behavior of individuals in human societies." Is that right?

I worry that Trump does indeed represent a significant portion of Americans, but recent polls give me hope that this is changing.
Thanks for the clarification.

Quote:So I guess the moneyed interests behind the media were who you were referring to with this: "I think authorities need to pretend morality is something beyond personal preferences so they can control the behavior of individuals in human societies." Is that right?

I didn't have a capitalism in my mind when I said that, but yes, I assume in US, as a capitalism, "authority" would refer to capitalists not the government. I speculate that capitalists would be somewhere above those "representatives" who do the law making, hence above the people in the hierarchy. Therefore they are the actual authorities, so moral values and other sorts of social values are ultimately imposed by those individuals.

I think in any society, even the ancient ones, moral values are a powerful tool for the authorities to have very firm and strong, but transparent control on people. I don't think democracies are an exception.

I'm not implying it's something "bad" however. I think without morality, we cannot have stable and coherent societies. But I find it kind of naive to assume that there is anything more serious about morality than being merely a constantly changing device to serve our societies.

I think morality has been one of the strongest solutions of nature for us to form our great and complex societies and for that reason, I respect all moral values within their respective societies and I see no reason not to accept contradictions between these values.

This acceptance of contradicting moral values is something that I want to emphasis on. Since I see a lot of intolerance when people observe that the moral values in a different country or in a different time, contradicts their own moral values.

I'm interested to know what do you think about tolerance towards contradicting moral values.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes nosferatu323's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: