Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
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29-12-2016, 08:02 AM
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
(24-12-2016 09:44 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I was talking about the difference between picking flavours (trivially) vs the difference between holding something as being immoral and then doing the immoral thing just for some variety.

Your counter then brought up the idea of someone trying our hunting animals. At no point did you claim that they previously thought hunting animals to be immoral.

My point, is that you don't just trivially do immoral things, you have to have some non trivial change of perspective, especially for something that you strongly believe to be immoral e.g. killing people.

There is a distinct difference between this and picking flavours of a drink.

I do not hold the position that people's moral beliefs cannot change, so I'm not sure where you are going with this conversation.

The thing is, you really don't get to choose what flavors you like. When it comes to preferences, it seems to be as more about discovery than about choice.

For example, I don't like black licorice. I can't just "trivially" decide to like it. It doesn't work that way. These things aren't "decided", but rather I "discovered" that I don't like it when I tried it for the first time. However, people's tastes and preferences change over time. Lot's of foods I didn't like when I was young, I very much enjoy now. Same with behaviors, and all other types of preferences.

Try to trivially switch your sexual preference.

My point is, drink flavor preference is just as trivial as any other. Your coke/pepsi analogy is no good. As Tomasia pointed out, it would be more like trivially deciding to prefer shit-flavored soda. It's not trivial that you prefer coke to shit(or beet, or black licorice)-flavored soda.

(24-12-2016 09:44 PM)Stevil Wrote:  This doesn't really address the the question.
Sure people belong to organisations for a sense of community.
But, why specifically, a church?
Churches sell/promote a view of right and wrong don't they?
Don't people look to church for guidance, don't they think the Lord is their shepherd. Aren't they wanting to be shown the path, the way?

IDK, you know I think it works both ways. Churches influence people, but people also influence churches. In some cases, I expect that people might abandon one particular church for another one that they feel is a better match for their preferences. In other cases, some one might try to change the churches official stance on a particular issue, as we have seen Catholic lighten up on divorce for example.

(24-12-2016 09:44 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I have no fear of the word guilt.
But I do recognise that if you don't believe you have done something wrong, then you don't feel guilt.

A boxer, for example, can punch their opponent in the head, they can cause great distress and pain and physical damage on their opponent. This doesn't mean that they don't have empathy for their opponent, but probably they don't feel guilt, it is the nature of the business, both fighters are getting into the ring to win and both understand the risks. A boxer isn't necessary a sociopath or phsychopath, they are doing their thing and it is no disorder for them to lack guilt for winning their fight and hurting their opponent.

I tend to agree with Tomasia on this. I don't have any moral beliefs at all, but I still get pleasure from doing something nice for someone. I don't have to believe that I am doing something "right" to feel this pleasure. Similarly, I don't have to believe I have done something wrong to feel negative emotion (guilt) when I'm mean to some one. Sometimes I feel guilt (or negative emotion if you prefer that label) for scolding my dog to hard. Because of this, I will show my dog affection in attempt to reconcile. From a moral beliefs stand point, I don't see anything wrong with skinning her alive and cooking her up for dinner, and eating dogs is common in many cultures, but in my household, we treat our dog like a member of our family. To summarize, I don't see anything wrong with beating my dog to death, but I would feel very bad if I did it, or if I let someone else do it.

(24-12-2016 09:44 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Please define good and bad (in an ammoral sense of course).
I do think it can be normal to feel empathy for someone, let's say you break up with a g-friend, she cries and stuff and you care for her and feel sad for her because you empathise, but that doesn't mean that you are feeling guilty.

When I say that something makes me feel good, i'm just saying that it gives me pleasure.

In regard to the girlfriend, suppose you are very insulting and mean to her and she ends up committing suicide. I would argue that even a person with no moral beliefs can still feel guilty, or have regret, or remorse, or whatever word you prefer.
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29-12-2016, 02:12 PM
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
(28-12-2016 01:39 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(28-12-2016 12:50 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Reference please.

I apologize, after rereading the thread, I realized I read one of Matt's post as yours. So it's perhaps better that I ask some questions.
Asking question would be a terrific approach. Shows perhaps you want to understand rather than to preach. Depends on your questions though.

(28-12-2016 01:39 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Matt is a moral nihilist, but indicated that he does feel guilt on occasions. You're a moral nihilist as well, do you feel guilt on occasions as well? Ever felt guilt for being mean to someone? Your wife, or kids, etc...?
I think it is important to define what we mean by "feeling guilt"
There is a difference between guilt and empathy we need to make sure we don't conflate the two.
1.Empathy is where you can understand and perhaps imagine feeling the sadness or pain that another is feeling.

2.Guilt is where you feel sad or awful about yourself because you believe you have done something wrong/immoral.

3.The grey area on this is where you recognise that your own actions have caused sadness or pain in another and you feel sad or awful about yourself even though you believe you made the morally correct choice.

Take note that items 2 and 3 require a person to know (or believe to know) what is immoral or moral. I have no idea what is immoral or moral because there is no method of discovery, and I refuse to just make up shit.

I do however experience empathy (item 1). I am sometimes sad or in pain and I can understand what others may feel like and I can imagine being in their place.
If I do something that causes someone sadness, for example I don't give my young children ice cream when they beg for it, I understand this can make them sad, sometimes they cry, I can almost feel the sadness that I have caused in them by not being their wish genie. This does not mean though that I feel guilty for their sadness.
When I eat meat I do not feel guilt for the animal having been killed to be my food, but I do understand that this has happened and I do feel empathy for the plight of my food.
When I get angry and yell at my kids I know I am illiciting fear, and anger in them, perhaps even sadness. I do know there is a more productive way of handling the situation. I know it was me who buckled to my own emotions, and behaved in a less than satisfactory way. I don't feel guilt though, I don't put myself down for not being perfect or for not having total control of myself. I might even apologise to my kids later to express to them that I took a path that (in high-insight) was over the top. But it's not something I dwell on or put myself down over. I look forward rather than backwards, I may try certain techniques to alter this behaviour in future. I recognise there are better ways and I act to improve future situations. I give the same leniency to my children that I give to myself, I do not try to instill guilt in them, we are all on a journey through life and seeking improvement rather than guilt and self deprecation for perceived mistakes.
I see my lack of "guilt" as being consistent with my moral nihilism and consistent with my growth mindset and consistent with my ideals of non judgement and acceptance approach to life. It does not mean that I lack empathy, It just means I am accepting of myself, who I am, my emotions, my outlook.

(28-12-2016 01:39 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Okay it’s becoming clearer as to what distinction you're trying to make, though trivial.
Your main appeal here is to the feeling of guilt and distress, more commonly found when people transgress their own moral values, but not typically found when switching preferences for soft drinks.

Now, it’s already been pointed out the feeling of guilt and emotional distress can be caused by a variety of other things, besides violating one’s personal moral values. My dog whining for pizza, or crying when left home alone might elicit a feeling of guilt and emotional distree though I did not violate any of my moral beliefs or values.
Yeah, I think perhaps our definitions of "guilt" may be different.
I'm suspecting that you are conflating empathy with guilt and perhaps adding the condition that it was you that caused the other to feel sad, even if you are right or wrong.
I'm thinking to be guilty you have to have done something "wrong", perhaps some doubts in your own mind as to the choices that you have made.
I think if you accept your own choices and stand firm on them, have no regrets then you perhaps won't feel guilt. You can still empathize with your dog though. Perhaps you can even feel that you have lost something with regards to your relationship with the dog, perhaps you perceive the dog has felt betrayed or let down by you. But if you stand by your decision there is no need to feel blame or apologetic towards your actions not meeting the dog's expectations.

(28-12-2016 01:39 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  In fact you indicated that you are prone to feel guilt and emotional distress as well,
No I didn't, perhaps that was MAtt

(28-12-2016 01:39 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Secondly you're still describing feelings here, every subjective category involves its own set of feelings and sensations. The same sensations and feeling that govern my food preferences, don’t govern my fashion taste, or musical preferences. They have their own unique set of positive and negative sensations, the stuff that makes me go “yum” and “yuck”.
Yeah, I think analogies have limited value.

If you are using music tastes as an analogy to the subjectivity of moral beliefs then you are treading on egg shells, especially being a theist in conversation with atheists. You have some perceived agenda (perceived by your atheist audience) in that you are taking the analogy too far and trying to include "whim" and ease of flip flop into the realm of their moral beliefs. As if they could choose to torture a puppy just for the hell of it (add some variance to their "boring" life) just as a pepsi lover might choose one day to drink a can of coke. The morals of a person (although they can be changed) aren't so fickle hence they won't like or agree with your analogy.


(28-12-2016 01:39 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  You brought up "not killing" vs "killing" as an example, pointing that how so different such a transtion would be from switching soft drinks. When a better example would have been switching from drinking coke, to drinking shit, or pulverized gym socks.
No, my example is better than yours, it expresses the point I was trying to make, it would be great if you got on board and listened and tried to understand rather than trying to prove me wrong.

(28-12-2016 01:39 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  While whether a person likes eating spaghetti more than shit is subjective, it not a subjective change we’re likely to do easily, as a “whim” as you put it, like switching between Coke and Pepsi.
Your example isn't very good at all, we can't subjectively choose to eat shit, we would get sick and perhaps die. Flies can eat poo, humans can't.

(28-12-2016 01:39 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  People have a variety of personal moral prohibitions, some as difficult to transverse as going from liking the taste or chocolate to cow manure. Others not so difficult to transverse when tempted. In fact people do so all the time, and we can’t say they’re always plagued by guilt about it. There’s plenty of christians masterbating, cheating on their wives, hardly riddled with guilt about it.
If you don't feel guilt about it then you don't believe that you have done anything wrong. Perhaps the Christian doesn't believe everything their church is telling them, perhaps the Catholic doesn't really believe their church is divinely guided and infallible. I must admit, it would be very hard to believe that shit.
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29-12-2016, 03:47 PM
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
(29-12-2016 02:12 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I think it is important to define what we mean by "feeling guilt"
There is a difference between guilt and empathy we need to make sure we don't conflate the two.
1.Empathy is where you can understand and perhaps imagine feeling the sadness or pain that another is feeling.

When I speak of the feeling of guilt, I’m literally speaking about the feeling here, or in other words the biological sensations that correspond to the label we give of“feeling guilty”. And being the biological creatures that we are, these sensations, that feeling, predates whatever labels, and beliefs we’ve attached to it. Just like the feeling of hate, love, empathy predate the formation of the words we use describe them. Guilt isn’t a feeling that formed waiting for us to attach a set of beliefs, and terms to it.

The feeling that arises when I hear my dog whine for pizza, or when left alone, the feeling I get when I speak to harshly to my wife, or when I might have done something I might hold as morally wrong, the basic sensations parallel each other, though in some cases they might be more intense or linger longer. And I doubt that you have some genetic deficit that has prevented you from experiencing such a common human feeling, even if you want to word it as something else, the feeling, the actual sensation is the same.

Quote:If you don't feel guilt about it then you don't believe that you have done anything wrong. Perhaps the Christian doesn't believe everything their church is telling them, perhaps the Catholic doesn't really believe their church is divinely guided and infallible. I must admit, it would be very hard to believe that shit.

And that’s silly. Our beliefs and feeling have no intrinsic link, there’s no absolute law that dictates that they go hand in hand. You can feel depressed without actually having anything to particular be depressed about. You can feel guilty without believing you did anything wrong. And you can believe you done something, wrong but not feel guilty.

I can believe I did something morally wrong, and not feel guilty about it. It would just mean that my body didn’t produce that particular chemical reaction, corresponding to the feeling of guilt. A psychopath can possibly see his actions as morally wrong, without his body needing to producing a corresponding guilty sensations.

Quote:see my lack of "guilt" as being consistent with my moral nihilism and consistent with my growth mindset and consistent with my ideals of non judgement and acceptance approach to life. It does not mean that I lack empathy, It just means I am accepting of myself, who I am, my emotions, my outlook.

Well I doubt you’re a mutant, so you don’t lack the feeling of guilt, you just lack certain beliefs about it. Just like, even though many people paint their empathetic actions as morally good actions, your lack of belief in morality doesn’t correspond to a lack the feeling of empathy.

Quote:I'm suspecting that you are conflating empathy with guilt and perhaps adding the condition that it was you that caused the other to feel sad, even if you are right or wrong.

No, I think the actual problem here is that your conflating the feeling of guilt, with the beliefs about it. Listen more carefully next time.

Quote:As if they could choose to torture a puppy just for the hell of it (add some variance to their "boring" life) just as a pepsi lover might choose one day to drink a can of coke.

I don’t find the idea of torture a puppy pleasurable. I can’t choose to find it pleasurable, I just don’t, unlike drinking mango juice, which is pleasurable. If thought that torturing puppies was as pleasurable as drinking mango juice, perhaps I’d give it a go.

Quote:Your example isn't very good at all, we can't subjectively choose to eat shit, we would get sick and perhaps die. Flies can eat poo, humans can’t.

It would be great if you got on board and listened and tried to understand. No one’s talking about the health effects of eating shit, just like we were not talking about the health effects of drinking pepsi, but taste. In fact in some cultures shit is delicacy, used for dipping sauce, etc.. Regardless of the effect on health, I can’t choose to find the taste of shit pleasant, just like my wife can’t choose to find the taste of olives pleasant, and I can’t choose to find the idea of torturing a puppy pleasurable.

Why don’t I go around raping babies, or torturing puppies, or going on a mass killing spree? The basic answer is because I find these actions disgusting. If people in general find such actions as not particularly disgusting, but pleasurable, something they might enjoy like others enjoy sex, we might have a lot more killing sprees, and torturing puppies going on.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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30-12-2016, 12:30 AM
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
(29-12-2016 08:02 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(24-12-2016 09:44 PM)Stevil Wrote:  My point, is that you don't just trivially do immoral things, you have to have some non trivial change of perspective, especially for something that you strongly believe to be immoral e.g. killing people.

There is a distinct difference between this and picking flavours of a drink.

The thing is, you really don't get to choose what flavors you like. When it comes to preferences, it seems to be as more about discovery than about choice.
Sure, but that isn't what we are exploring here.
We aren't saying that coke is now my favourite flavour, what we are saying is that I am today drinking coke even though I prefer pepsi because (on a whim) I decided to do something different.
This is different from choosing today to kill someone even though I might believe this to be immoral but (on a whim) I decided to do something different.

I'm trying to show that there is a difference with regards to our reluctance to do something we believe to be immoral as opposed to trivially picking a flavour which is different from what we usually drink. The analogy has some significant differences and it operates in a way to trivialise people's moral beliefs.
It tries to be ignorant about the important differences.

(29-12-2016 08:02 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  For example, I don't like black licorice. I can't just "trivially" decide to like it.
Sur, but if you decided to try black licorice again, you would't feel guit, you'd just screw up your face, spit it out and say "Yip, still don't like it" and then you would move on with your life. You wouldn't mentally punish yourself, or put yourself down for trying it.

(29-12-2016 08:02 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  I don't have any moral beliefs at all, but I still get pleasure from doing something nice for someone.
You think that pleasure is somekind of inbuilt biological response, rather than some self gratification for doing something you believe to be nice?

(29-12-2016 08:02 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Similarly, I don't have to believe I have done something wrong to feel negative emotion (guilt) when I'm mean to some one.
Please define guilt.
I'm trying to distinguish a difference between empathy and guilt. Guilt generally means you are guilty of some wrong doing doesn't it? Something that you may believe you ought to be punished for?

(29-12-2016 08:02 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Sometimes I feel guilt (or negative emotion if you prefer that label) for scolding my dog to hard.
Are you wrong to scold your dog too hard?
Do you feel regret, do you think you ought to be punished for doing an injustice?

(29-12-2016 08:02 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  From a moral beliefs stand point, I don't see anything wrong with skinning her alive and cooking her up for dinner, and eating dogs is common in many cultures, but in my household, we treat our dog like a member of our family.
I presume you have affection for your dog, you care and empathise with her.
I would expect you to have large discomfort and sadness if she were to endure pain or death.

(29-12-2016 08:02 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  To summarize, I don't see anything wrong with beating my dog to death, but I would feel very bad if I did it, or if I let someone else do it.
I'm assuming you would feel sad, anger, empathy if she met such a fate. But of course the emphasis here is on you, if your actions or inactions caused her to endure this fate. Why would you do this to your dog? That is the important thing. If you feel you have done wrong then you may punish yourself with guilt.


(29-12-2016 08:02 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  In regard to the girlfriend, suppose you are very insulting and mean to her and she ends up committing suicide. I would argue that even a person with no moral beliefs can still feel guilty, or have regret, or remorse, or whatever word you prefer.
I've not been in this exact situation.
I have had a friend who had a girl persue him, she told him if he didn't date her then she would kill herself. I advised him to keep a large distance for her, told him she seemed unhinged. If she killed herself then that is her doing not his.
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30-12-2016, 07:00 AM
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
Stevil,

I think the problem is that you're not willing to fully recognize the difference between actual guilt, and the emotion of guilt. Being guilty and feeling guilty are 2 totally different things. A psychopath can be guilty of murder, but totally lack the emotion of guilt, and likewise and person can have the sensation of guilt without a belief in right or wrong. For example, a soldier could be a moral nihilist, and fall asleep while on guard duty. While he is asleep we'll suppose his base is attacked and 50 of his fellow soldiers are killed. He can feel regret, remorse, guilt, etc., without a belief in real morality.

Stevil posted:
"When I get angry and yell at my kids I know I am illiciting fear, and anger in them, perhaps even sadness. I do know there is a more productive way of handling the situation. I know it was me who buckled to my own emotions, and behaved in a less than satisfactory way. I don't feel guilt though, I don't put myself down for not being perfect or for not having total control of myself. I might even apologise to my kids later to express to them that I took a path that (in high-insight) was over the top. But it's not something I dwell on or put myself down over."

You see, Tomasia (I'm guessing) and I would argue that it was the feeling of guilt that causes you to describe yelling at your kids as "less than satisfactory" or "over the top", and then to later apologize. You're feeling the same emotion Tomasia and I refer to as guilt. Whether or not it's accurate to call it guilt, I think we are talking about the same emotional response.
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30-12-2016, 07:38 AM
Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
(30-12-2016 07:00 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Stevil,

I think the problem is that you're not willing to fully recognize the difference between actual guilt, and the emotion of guilt. Being guilty and feeling guilty are 2 totally different things. A psychopath can be guilty of murder, but totally lack the emotion of guilt, and likewise and person can have the sensation of guilt without a belief in right or wrong. For example, a soldier could be a moral nihilist, and fall asleep while on guard duty. While he is asleep we'll suppose his base is attacked and 50 of his fellow soldiers are killed. He can feel regret, remorse, guilt, etc., without a belief in real morality.

Stevil posted:
"When I get angry and yell at my kids I know I am illiciting fear, and anger in them, perhaps even sadness. I do know there is a more productive way of handling the situation. I know it was me who buckled to my own emotions, and behaved in a less than satisfactory way. I don't feel guilt though, I don't put myself down for not being perfect or for not having total control of myself. I might even apologise to my kids later to express to them that I took a path that (in high-insight) was over the top. But it's not something I dwell on or put myself down over."

You see, Tomasia (I'm guessing) and I would argue that it was the feeling of guilt that causes you to describe yelling at your kids as "less than satisfactory" or "over the top", and then to later apologize. You're feeling the same emotion Tomasia and I refer to as guilt. Whether or not it's accurate to call it guilt, I think we are talking about the same emotional response.


Exactly!


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"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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30-12-2016, 07:54 AM
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
(30-12-2016 12:30 AM)Stevil Wrote:  
(29-12-2016 08:02 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  I don't have any moral beliefs at all, but I still get pleasure from doing something nice for someone.
You think that pleasure is somekind of inbuilt biological response, rather than some self gratification for doing something you believe to be nice?

Yes, to a significant degree. Evolution isn't concerned with your beliefs, but your behaviors and actions, the fact that a variety of our behaviors and actions like being nice often feel pleasant, feel good, should be no surprise here, because such behaviors tend to be conducive to reproduction and survival, communities, cohesion of tribes, etc... And what easier way to insure such actions are repeated, than making them feel good.

The feelings predate beliefs. If the feelings had to wait till we formed a language, and subscribed to a variety of beliefs about morality, we'd all be dead already

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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30-12-2016, 12:56 PM
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
(30-12-2016 07:00 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Stevil,

I think the problem is that you're not willing to fully recognize the difference between actual guilt, and the emotion of guilt. Being guilty and feeling guilty are 2 totally different things. A psychopath can be guilty of murder, but totally lack the emotion of guilt, and likewise and person can have the sensation of guilt without a belief in right or wrong.
OK, let's explore the dictionary definition of the word.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guilt_(emotion)
Quote:Guilt is a cognitive or an emotional experience that occurs when a person believes or realizes—accurately or not—that he or she has compromised his or her own standards of conduct or has violated a moral standard and bears significant responsibility for that violation.[1] It is closely related to the concept of remorse.

That's interesting isn't it? "cognitive", "when a person believes or realizes", "has compromised his or her own standards of conduct or has violated a moral standard and bears significant responsibility for that violation".

It seems to me that a lot of cognition and belief is required in order to experience guilt.


Matt, you have twisted what I actually said to mean something a bit different from what I said, in actuality you have unintentionally created a strawman for yourself to knock down.
Your thing about a psychopath being guilty of murder is not the a valid point.
I had stated that I accepted guilt as being related to be guilty but having an additional aspect on top of that. I had clearly stated that feeling guilt is built upon the actor believing that they themselves had done something wrong, i.e. they believe they have broken their own moral code.

A situation where a person is found guilty under law but personally believes they have done nothing wrong is a different matter and I fully accept that it is a different matter.

When are Tomasia and Matt going to agree that people can feel guilty in obviously learned situations (rather than biological) is situations such as having been taught to believe that masturbation is immoral, or sex being immoral when not trying to make babies or working on sabbath being immoral? There is no biological underpinnings to this, it is all cognitive, all learned, you don't even need empathy for these examples.


(30-12-2016 07:00 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  For example, a soldier could be a moral nihilist, and fall asleep while on guard duty. While he is asleep we'll suppose his base is attacked and 50 of his fellow soldiers are killed. He can feel regret, remorse, guilt, etc., without a belief in real morality.
I think that is a terrific point you have made here, though.
Guilt for not performing your occupational duty, rather than guilt for not performing your moral duty. I'll mull this over.

I do think that if he did feel guilt, then there would be a level of irrationality to it, because falling asleep was perhaps not in his control. But often people behave irrationally, especially when emotions are involved.

(30-12-2016 07:00 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
Stevil Wrote:"When I get angry and yell at my kids I know I am illiciting fear, and anger in them, perhaps even sadness. I do know there is a more productive way of handling the situation. I know it was me who buckled to my own emotions, and behaved in a less than satisfactory way. I don't feel guilt though, I don't put myself down for not being perfect or for not having total control of myself. I might even apologise to my kids later to express to them that I took a path that (in high-insight) was over the top. But it's not something I dwell on or put myself down over."


You see, Tomasia (I'm guessing) and I would argue that it was the feeling of guilt that causes you to describe yelling at your kids as "less than satisfactory" or "over the top", and then to later apologize. You're feeling the same emotion Tomasia and I refer to as guilt. Whether or not it's accurate to call it guilt, I think we are talking about the same emotional response.
Yes, possibly your definition of guilt conflates other emotions such as empathy as well.
When I say "less than satisfactory" I'm actually referring to my yelling as teaching the kids that yelling is the way to go and that this may produce many yellings (both ways) between me and my kids later in life. At the moment my kids are impressionable and my behaviours are being burnt into their being. It is my intent to develop them as active listeners, great negotiators and reasoned compromisers. I feel this will improve my life down the line. Hence I realise that yelling isn't the most satisfactory approach but my own emotions sometimes get the better of me. I instantly accept this and take note of the situation and try again next time. I spend no time beating myself up about my slip. I am human after all and do have emotions. Controlling those emotions is a challenge and is not bad of me to fail.
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30-12-2016, 01:01 PM
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
(30-12-2016 07:54 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  The feelings predate beliefs. If the feelings had to wait till we formed a language, and subscribed to a variety of beliefs about morality, we'd all be dead already
I don't accept that beliefs require language.
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30-12-2016, 06:27 PM
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
(30-12-2016 12:56 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(30-12-2016 07:00 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Stevil,

I think the problem is that you're not willing to fully recognize the difference between actual guilt, and the emotion of guilt. Being guilty and feeling guilty are 2 totally different things. A psychopath can be guilty of murder, but totally lack the emotion of guilt, and likewise and person can have the sensation of guilt without a belief in right or wrong.
OK, let's explore the dictionary definition of the word.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guilt_(emotion)
Quote:Guilt is a cognitive or an emotional experience that occurs when a person believes or realizes—accurately or not—that he or she has compromised his or her own standards of conduct or has violated a moral standard and bears significant responsibility for that violation.[1] It is closely related to the concept of remorse.

That's interesting isn't it? "cognitive", "when a person believes or realizes", "has compromised his or her own standards of conduct or has violated a moral standard and bears significant responsibility for that violation".

It seems to me that a lot of cognition and belief is required in order to experience guilt.

Cognitive OR emotional experience. My only point is that feeling the emotion of guilt is compatible with moral nihilism. A moral nihilist can have a negative emotional response when they realize they've violated their own standards of conduct (preferences), and we can correctly label that emotion as guilt. It's compatible in the cognitive sense as well though, because a moral nihilist can hold a belief that he has violated his own standards of conduct (preferences). I guess that belief would be an example of a cognitive experience we could describe as guilt.

Even if we agree that guilt requires belief, it most certainly doesn't require a belief in real morality.

Let me summarize with this.

When normally developed adult humans maliciously or neglectfully harm another person, they feel a negative emotion that we call guilt. When some is lacking this negative emotional response, we label them a psychopath. I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with being a psychopath, but lack of guilt is one of the primary defining characteristics.

If you feel negative emotion after yelling at your kids, that's guilt.
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