The point of studying ethics
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19-07-2017, 02:24 PM
RE: The point of studying ethics
(19-07-2017 02:12 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(18-07-2017 06:40 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  I think the notion of "better" can be objective in some cases. A better scientific theory is the one that is more accurate in describing the natural phenomena, I think it's implied by the definition of science.

Relativistic Mechanics is better than Classical Mechanics. I think this is pretty unambiguous.

This, too, is context-dependent. If I'm designing a machine to work in non-relativistic conditions, classical mechanics is "better" because it works just as well in that context, but is significantly easier to use. Real-life engineers very seldom bother to use relativistic mechanics.

You are right, I was wrong about that.

But I think knowing the context does not help making objective moral claims.
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19-07-2017, 04:41 PM
RE: The point of studying ethics
(18-07-2017 07:21 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  I really don't think there is much disagreement here. We all seem to agree that morality is subjective.

Heh. You should come over here, and meet Tomasia. Tongue

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19-07-2017, 04:46 PM
RE: The point of studying ethics
(19-07-2017 06:12 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  However, I do agree that people who think morality is merely subjective should avoid the hypocrisy of making strong moral judgments (a vaild judgment itself). They have some cognitive dissonance to work through.
Does "merely subjective" differ from "subjective"?

Because I do think that morality is subjective, but I don't think that robs it of richness or utility.

All human ideas are subjective.
That some of those ideas are about real things which exist in the real world independently of our conceptions, not withstanding.
Some of those conceptions we form out of whole cloth, as we need them; morality is one such.

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19-07-2017, 04:50 PM
RE: The point of studying ethics
(19-07-2017 07:52 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  Yes, the rules of engagement in war are different than in ordinary interactions. Anyone who would complain "The enemy lied to us!" would be removed from command.
What if one holds war itself to be immoral?
Does it even make sense to make finer moral distinctions in a context which by its very existence is immoral?

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19-07-2017, 04:52 PM
RE: The point of studying ethics
(19-07-2017 08:30 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  So really, somewhat like God in fact, you can't say anything much about morality until there has been some sort of agreement about what is being discussed.

More discussions hinge on this sort of point than most people like to admit. Wink

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19-07-2017, 10:40 PM
RE: The point of studying ethics
(19-07-2017 04:52 PM)Dr H Wrote:  
(19-07-2017 08:30 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  So really, somewhat like God in fact, you can't say anything much about morality until there has been some sort of agreement about what is being discussed.

More discussions hinge on this sort of point than most people like to admit. Wink

Indeed Smile

Just like with God, I often see people talking past each other for hours. Definitions are super important!

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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20-07-2017, 12:53 AM
RE: The point of studying ethics
(17-07-2017 02:53 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  
(17-07-2017 02:44 AM)BlkFnx Wrote:  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.)
The processes is only amoral so long as it's unguided(something I'm not all together sure it is [no I'm not referring to ID]). One of the more interesting things about people who just accept Darwinian "survival of the fittest" is that they do so without ever asking the question of what does it mean. Most people I have talked to assume like Darwin that it means survival of the most brutal. Only this theory does not work out in simulations, or in the real world.

The question must be asked then what does survival of the fittest mean? My biggest problem with most theories to date is that they make several assumptions. I think there is too much emphasis placed on kin-selection that ignores both personal and group selection.

restated what I said looks like this
1) How does this impact my survival/well-being long term? How does this impact my survival/well-being short term?
2) What is the benefit or potential benefit to me long term? What is the cost short term?
3) Do not do unto others what I would not want done unto me.
4) How does this impact the survival/well-being of my tribe long term? How does this impact the survival/well-being of the tribe short term?

My problem with kin-selection as the base for a theory of evolution is that it begs the question, why should the individual care about the group? This is especially true in the case of individuals who cannot pass on their genes, or what about heroic actions taken in regards to individuals outside one's own species? This is where empathy and identity come into play as far as I am concerned.

In human terms when considering your question I think you need to take into account not only Social Darwinism but also Dunbar. Once we surpass the Dunbar Number we develop abstractions which stand in for the larger group. "America" then becomes both a country and an individual. It is a country in that it has sovereign boarders within a specific geographical location. It is an individual in that "America" becomes a placeholder in our mind for individuals who belong to the larger clan. America as an individual is built of a commonly shared mythology about the clans past, its place in the world, and its future.

An interesting fact of clan structures is that there is no single clan structure. Even within the clan the local variation on the overall clan myth can cause further distinction. For example outside of the south individuals tend to identify themselves as "American", yet those from the south will identify themselves first by state and then by nationality. In this case instead of the breakdown being Clan(National), Tribe(Dunbar), the breakdown is Clan(National), Tribe (Sub-National), Sept (Dunbar). There are also further breakdowns for example two rival towns might identify themselves by their high school football teams in which case sub-tribe is inserted between tribe and sept. You get the idea.

*Note: There is a very real way in which an individuals tribe is a part of their identity, and in which an individual a part of the identity of the tribe.

Right now I am going through Why Nations Fail . If nothing else it is interesting. One thing I am interested to see is if the author addresses tribe and clan construction. I don't have very high hopes just from some things they have already said.
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20-07-2017, 04:51 AM (This post was last modified: 20-07-2017 05:28 AM by nosferatu323.)
RE: The point of studying ethics
(19-07-2017 10:40 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  
(19-07-2017 04:52 PM)Dr H Wrote:  More discussions hinge on this sort of point than most people like to admit. Wink
Definitions are super important!

Isn't the mere fact that there is no proper definition for morality enough for us to infer that it is not futile to talk about it?
I think Ethics is similar to Theology. Both are talking about something indefinite and both are pointless. I think these topics will eventually be removed from academic studies. It takes some time though.

Does it make any sense to talk about something entirely indefinite? Morality is defined in terms of right and wrong, but right and wrong are indefinite in themselves.

You can come up with your arbitrary definitions, but no one has been able to convince others about a definition throughout the history. Do you really hope that you can come up with a definition that others would agree with you on it?

I see it pretty clear that the notion of morality is inherently nonsensical because it assumes objectivity and subjectivity at the same time, it is incoherent, there is no way to fix it. I think we should forget about this incoherent term and replace it with "personal preferences" and keep it to ourselves, not imposing and applying our preferences on others. I think it's entirely a personal matter.
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20-07-2017, 05:41 AM
RE: The point of studying ethics
(20-07-2017 04:51 AM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  
(19-07-2017 10:40 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  Definitions are super important!

Isn't the mere fact that there is no proper definition for morality enough for us to infer that it is not futile to talk about it?
I think Ethics is similar to Theology. Both are talking about something indefinite and both are pointless. I think these topics will eventually be removed from academic studies. It takes some time though.

Does it make any sense to talk about something entirely indefinite? Morality is defined in terms of right and wrong, but right and wrong are indefinite in themselves.

You can come up with your arbitrary definitions, but no one has been able to convince others about a definition throughout the history. Do you really hope that you can come up with a definition that others would agree with you on it?

I see it pretty clear that the notion of morality is inherently nonsensical because it assumes objectivity and subjectivity at the same time, it is incoherent, there is no way to fix it. I think we should forget about this incoherent term and replace it with "personal preferences" and keep it to ourselves, not imposing and applying our preferences on others. I think it's entirely a personal matter.

And you'd be wrong.

See post #30.

Drinking Beverage

Big Grin

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20-07-2017, 07:41 AM
RE: The point of studying ethics
(20-07-2017 05:41 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(20-07-2017 04:51 AM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  Isn't the mere fact that there is no proper definition for morality enough for us to infer that it is not futile to talk about it?
I think Ethics is similar to Theology. Both are talking about something indefinite and both are pointless. I think these topics will eventually be removed from academic studies. It takes some time though.

Does it make any sense to talk about something entirely indefinite? Morality is defined in terms of right and wrong, but right and wrong are indefinite in themselves.

You can come up with your arbitrary definitions, but no one has been able to convince others about a definition throughout the history. Do you really hope that you can come up with a definition that others would agree with you on it?

I see it pretty clear that the notion of morality is inherently nonsensical because it assumes objectivity and subjectivity at the same time, it is incoherent, there is no way to fix it. I think we should forget about this incoherent term and replace it with "personal preferences" and keep it to ourselves, not imposing and applying our preferences on others. I think it's entirely a personal matter.

And you'd be wrong.

See post #30.

Drinking Beverage

Big Grin

Do you mean the flow chart? I looked into it. I don't think I fully understand all those processes. But it is ultimately your personal conception of morality, whatever that is. Even if your conception is accurate and definite, do you really think people will accept it from you? If you think so, go ahead and publish a paper on morality and maybe you can solve the eternal problem of lack of any proper foundation for morality.

I think using a flowchart diagram to express your personal idea of what morality is doesn't solve any real problem. It's ultimately subjective, whatever that is. Or maybe I'm not quite getting what you mean by that diagram?
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