Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
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06-01-2017, 08:50 PM
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
Most of our morality is enforced.

Perhaps all of it is.
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06-01-2017, 08:56 PM (This post was last modified: 06-01-2017 09:00 PM by mordant.)
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
(02-01-2017 09:07 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  I think you're problem is that your conflating empathy with other emotions triggered by it.
Yes, and I'm not even sure empathy should be classified as an emotion. It prompts an emotional response, but at base it is simply mirror neurons firing, allowing you to imagine what another is feeling, or how some action you might do would make them feel, or how they must feel about something that happened to them.

A special case of empathy is imagining a benefit to your future self, motivating you to forego short term benefits for greater hoped-for long-term benefits.

There is no particular emotion associated with any of this, rather it is recognition and mirroring. The emotion, if any, that arises from that depends on the context. You are probably thinking of empathy more in terms of how you feel when you watch one of those TV commercials showing abused puppies or cute kids at the Shriner's Hospital asking for donations, where you feel keenly the suffering or need of others. That produces feelings of sadness or injustice that you want to rectify, or paternalistic, protective feelings that you want to act on. But what about the negative aspects of empathy, such as your ability to imagine what it's like to live in a mansion and drive a Mazerati and to feel jealousy, want, greed as a result? That's empathy too. Empathy simply makes one being relatable to another through faculties of imagination.

And lo and behold, the being you're relating to doesn't even have to be REAL. It can be entirely imaginary, such as the above-mentioned "future self" or, ahem, a deity. Or it could be an embellished or distorted perception of a real being, like the street beggar you think is an innocent victim but is actually a con artist.
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06-01-2017, 09:32 PM
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
I like what you said above above empathy ... mirror neurons ... Theory of Mind stuff.

But I don't agree with this bit ...

(06-01-2017 08:44 PM)mordant Wrote:  
(06-01-2017 12:53 AM)Stevil Wrote:  The concept of morality does not assume human actors.
For an actor to be part of the moral landscape that actor must have a belief in right and wrong and must be capable of freely choosing between.

Any creature that fits that can be a moral actor, the actor doesn't have to be a human.
Exactly.

Morality is less nuanced and complex for, say, an Orca or a Chimp or a Gorilla, but it still exists. It is simply negotiated rules and conventions (implicit or explicit) for how to coexist or cooperate. For that all you need is a creature who has some social abilities and needs, which in turn provides some level of empathy. At the biological level, in other words, you need mirror neurons.
...

I think there is difference between a social injustice and a moral right/wrong.

The brain chemistry is the same - i.e. pattern recognition + empathy/affinity + detection of a deviation from an internal (natured/nurtured) baseline that triggers a feeling of personal or social injustice - but to make it a moral right/wrong rather than a social right/wrong one needs a articulation of reasoning. As far as we know, humans are the only species who are 'reason representers' with sufficiently developed language Apps to be able to conceptualise morality (as distinct from social emotions)

To me, that's the difference.

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07-01-2017, 01:55 AM
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
(06-01-2017 09:32 PM)DLJ Wrote:  I think there is difference between a social injustice and a moral right/wrong.

The brain chemistry is the same - i.e. pattern recognition + empathy/affinity + detection of a deviation from an internal (natured/nurtured) baseline that triggers a feeling of personal or social injustice - but to make it a moral right/wrong rather than a social right/wrong one needs a articulation of reasoning. As far as we know, humans are the only species who are 'reason representers' with sufficiently developed language Apps to be able to conceptualise morality (as distinct from social emotions)

To me, that's the difference.
Interesting thoughts.

"to be able to conceptualise morality (as distinct from social emotions)"
perhaps
to be able to conceptualise morality and layer it upon base social emotions
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07-01-2017, 08:35 PM (This post was last modified: 07-01-2017 08:38 PM by mordant.)
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
(06-01-2017 09:32 PM)DLJ Wrote:  I think there is difference between a social injustice and a moral right/wrong.

The brain chemistry is the same - i.e. pattern recognition + empathy/affinity + detection of a deviation from an internal (natured/nurtured) baseline that triggers a feeling of personal or social injustice - but to make it a moral right/wrong rather than a social right/wrong one needs a articulation of reasoning. As far as we know, humans are the only species who are 'reason representers' with sufficiently developed language Apps to be able to conceptualise morality (as distinct from social emotions)

To me, that's the difference.
I understand what you're saying, but I personally don't see it as an actual difference so much as a sophisticated embellishment, a greater level of abstraction in humans.

I don't think it's helpful to succumb to the notion that morality has some special property separate from societal norms; to me that is an artifact of people talking about it in mostly "spiritual" contexts for so long as well as a our hubristic tendency to want think of ourselves as having abilities and characteristics that are not just more elaborate, but also unique.

Morality arises from society and social reciprocity. It is more instinctive and less considered in lower beings, but all that's really needed for there to be shunning and ostracizing and excluding that comes fairly consistently from most members of the society for the same widely unwanted behaviors, is for the group to be willing to impose this pressure on the miscreant, and for the miscreant to care that the pressure is imposed because they have social needs and would suffer when excluded. The subjective experience of shame for being "bad" comes from loss of social standing that one psychologically needs, and the subjective experience of acceptance for being "good" comes from gain in social standing that one psychologically needs.

The only thing that "articulation of reasoning" adds to this is the ability to grasp more nuanced and sophisticated rules and behaviors, and to reflect more fully upon them, and of course for society to be more nuanced in enforcing or discouraging various behaviors, in recognizing valid exceptions to general rules, and the like.
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08-01-2017, 10:32 AM
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
(07-01-2017 08:35 PM)mordant Wrote:  
(06-01-2017 09:32 PM)DLJ Wrote:  I think there is difference between a social injustice and a moral right/wrong.

The brain chemistry is the same - i.e. pattern recognition + empathy/affinity + detection of a deviation from an internal (natured/nurtured) baseline that triggers a feeling of personal or social injustice - but to make it a moral right/wrong rather than a social right/wrong one needs a articulation of reasoning. As far as we know, humans are the only species who are 'reason representers' with sufficiently developed language Apps to be able to conceptualise morality (as distinct from social emotions)

To me, that's the difference.
I understand what you're saying, but I personally don't see it as an actual difference so much as a sophisticated embellishment, a greater level of abstraction in humans.

I don't think it's helpful to succumb to the notion that morality has some special property separate from societal norms; to me that is an artifact of people talking about it in mostly "spiritual" contexts for so long as well as a our hubristic tendency to want think of ourselves as having abilities and characteristics that are not just more elaborate, but also unique.

Morality arises from society and social reciprocity. It is more instinctive and less considered in lower beings, but all that's really needed for there to be shunning and ostracizing and excluding that comes fairly consistently from most members of the society for the same widely unwanted behaviors, is for the group to be willing to impose this pressure on the miscreant, and for the miscreant to care that the pressure is imposed because they have social needs and would suffer when excluded. The subjective experience of shame for being "bad" comes from loss of social standing that one psychologically needs, and the subjective experience of acceptance for being "good" comes from gain in social standing that one psychologically needs.

The only thing that "articulation of reasoning" adds to this is the ability to grasp more nuanced and sophisticated rules and behaviors, and to reflect more fully upon them, and of course for society to be more nuanced in enforcing or discouraging various behaviors, in recognizing valid exceptions to general rules, and the like.

Nothing wrong with the above except the word "but". That's exactly what it is ... a sophisticated embellishment. Thumbsup

You might reference "spiritual" whereas I would reference "breach of perceived social contract per scope of affinity" but other than that, I think we agree.


By the way... a general update for those who might still be interested in the diagrammatic version of morality that I promised earlier in this thread ... I'm now at 7,000 words and that's only the "is" section; I'm only just starting the "ought".

In the meantime, as a by-product, I have discovered what sleep is, what dreams are (and daydreaming) what happiness is and I'm working on a deal to start a new cult.

Not bad for a couple of weeks' work Big Grin

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08-01-2017, 10:47 AM
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
At work.

Awesome news!

The whole 'Ought' thing still has me perplexed after hearing an appologetic use the phrase. Looking forwards to reading.

As for cults? I can do a mean 'Fphtagn' if you need it. Big Grin
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08-01-2017, 10:54 AM
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
I already read Plato.

You guys got anything new?

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
Banjo.
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08-01-2017, 11:11 AM
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
(08-01-2017 10:54 AM)Banjo Wrote:  I already read Plato.

You guys got anything new?

Yup. I've decided that Plato was right. Aristotle done fucked things up.

I've taken morality back to its chemical foundations and discovered that there are indeed Answers in Genesis:

From Dance in a Volcano through dances of the flesh to mind-dancing it's all about equilibrium!




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08-01-2017, 11:15 AM
RE: Where is the Basis for our Judgments?
Mate that album is what, from 1976?

Old news again.

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
Banjo.
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