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Author Topic: Discussion about ethics and morality, split from "Should miners collude to steal funds from wallet confiscated by US government?"  (Read 1659 times)
Loozik
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October 10, 2013, 10:07:30 PM
 #41

Your idea of morality being universal is rather flimsy when you label every counterexample as "immoral behavior". Also, laws don't exist or apply when vikings were raiding Britain/Ireland. "raiding" includes stealing, destruction, and raping women.

1. It is not my idea.

2. Yes, it is / seems flimsy given I did not (yet) substantiate it.

3. I have a problem with the current misuse of word ''law''; for a concept to be called law it must meet criteria of universality. Laws of physics and mathematics (abstractions) apply universally. One cannot make such a claim for abstractions called state laws (e.g. different state laws in North America and Europe, different laws for the so called government and different for the so called citizens).

4. Historical raiding (factually: stealing, destruction, and raping women) of Vikings in Britain or present raiding (factually: stealing, destruction, and raping women) of Americans in Iraq may be legal and may be ethical, but is still factually immoral because it involves initiating violence.
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Loozik
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October 10, 2013, 10:11:12 PM
 #42

Is there some shorter proof?
Or do I have to listen to hours of book content?
(*will skim over the pdf now*)

It is better to listen to the whole audiobook.
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October 10, 2013, 10:40:25 PM
 #43

Just skimmed over some some stuff in the proofs section:

He calls those "universally preferable choices"

Quote
1. Choices are almost infinite.
2. Most human beings make very similar choices.
3. Therefore not all choices can be equal.
4.Therefore universally preferable choices must be va
lid.

That's like saying we don't do everything randomly. Duh, obviously.
But those similar choices aren't that similar anymore if we view different time spans or cultures.
So I would argue that 2. is false.


He also uses premises that are false or biased
e.g.
From the biological proof
Quote
2. Man is the most successful organism.

That's biased, depending on what we define as "most successful" we could also call a lot of other organisms the most successful.


Well, I probably don't want to read all of that, it's quite tiresome to read/closely listen to 100+ pages of philosophical discussion in not your mothertongue.
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October 10, 2013, 10:49:30 PM
 #44

Morality is objective (like math, physics, etc.). Term morality have unfortunately been acquired by weirdos, preachers and idiots.

It cannot differ from one person to person (killing, stealing raping were morally wrong for your and my grandparents 1000 years ago and are morally wrong now for you and me). Ethics (from which the statist and religious laws and regulations are derived) changes over time (raping was ethical and legal a few thousand years ago).
Quote from: wikipedia
Ethics, also known as moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct.[1] The term comes from the Greek word ethos, which means "character".
therefore Morality == Ethics.

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Loozik
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October 10, 2013, 10:55:59 PM
 #45

Well, I probably don't want to read all of that, it's quite tiresome to read/closely listen to 100+ pages of philosophical discussion in not your mothertongue.

Don't read! Download the audiobook and listen when you have time. Listening is better if you are not a native speaker of English.
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October 10, 2013, 10:59:58 PM
 #46

Well, I probably don't want to read all of that, it's quite tiresome to read/closely listen to 100+ pages of philosophical discussion in not your mothertongue.

Don't read! Download the audiobook and listen when you have time. Listening is better if you are not a native speaker of English.
>trying to convince someone
>gets him to read an entire book instead of providing a summary

yeah that's not going to work well, especially on a forum.

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Loozik
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October 10, 2013, 11:06:13 PM
 #47

Well, I probably don't want to read all of that, it's quite tiresome to read/closely listen to 100+ pages of philosophical discussion in not your mothertongue.

Don't read! Download the audiobook and listen when you have time. Listening is better if you are not a native speaker of English.
>trying to convince someone
>gets him to read an entire book instead of providing a summary

yeah that's not going to work well, especially on a forum.

Grue, philosophy can be a complex stuff. Proving a math theorem may take tens of pages. Even greater effort needs to be put in the realm of philosophy.

My advise for him is not to read (he might get headaches given the length of the book). I advise him to listen (the audiobook is well recorded and pleasure to listen to).
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October 10, 2013, 11:52:27 PM
 #48

Grue, philosophy can be a complex stuff. Proving a math theorem may take tens of pages. Even greater effort needs to be put in the realm of philosophy.
Then you must have read the thousands of papers opposing moral objectivism. Surely I don't need to copy+paste those arguments in this thread?

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Mike Christ
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October 11, 2013, 01:17:18 AM
 #49

Just going by the first post (I have no idea what this convo is about)

Morality is subjective, because only the individual can decide what is and is not moral; if we can define morality as "things I would like to happen to me and things I would not", then we can make a comprehensive list on the things people generally don't like to happen to them, but we can never make this list complete, universal truths, for without people, morality ceases to exist; certainly, the gravity of the planet will remain, for this is not subject to how I feel about gravity, and the creatures of this planet will continue on without my opinion on their existing.

Anyway, there are a few common stances on morality, which can be answered by asking a simple question: "Would I like it to happen to me?"  Otherwise known as the golden rule.

We'll begin with killing:  "Would I like to be killed?"  The answer, if you're still alive right now, is likely "no, I would not like to be killed."  Ergo, killing other human beings is immoral, and letting other human beings live is moral.  Killing, then, is the #1 taboo of human living, as it's the difference, as obvious as it seems, between being able to tell what is moral and not moral, or doing anything else for that matter, and being dead.  Since we cannot experience life while dead, remaining alive is the #1 priority, for being robbed, or being raped, won't matter if you're not around to experience it.  This is tied simply to how we feel about being dead; if there was a definite afterlife and it was far better than this dump, I would be going.  For the most part, I'd enjoy staying alive right now.

Is theft moral?  We ask ourselves: "Would I like to be robbed?"  I'll wager the vast majority of us will say, "no, I'd like to not be robbed."  Ergo, theft is immoral.

Is rape moral?  We ask ourselves: "Would I like to be raped?"  The answer is comical, of course, since the very definition of rape is "unwanted sex", and so rape is, by no exception, immoral.

But let us consider, now, the definition of objective:

Quote
5. not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiased: an objective opinion.
6. intent upon or dealing with things external to the mind rather than with thoughts or feelings, as a person or a book.

Because morality is grounded entirely within human feeling, it can never, ever, be objective.  I cannot feel that 2 + 2 = 4; this is not a subjective statement, but cold fact.  If I felt 2 + 2 = 5, I would be told that I was incorrect, and rightfully so.  I can, however, feel sadness, or perhaps anger, but general displeasure all in all, when I am spat upon; I cannot base this on any fact in the universe besides how I felt about someone using their saliva to treat me as though I were less than human, for there is no "correct" or "incorrect" way to experience this.  This action means nothing without human beings to have an emotion about how this feels.  Of course, one person might be spit upon and enjoy it--some people enjoy far worse--but generally speaking, we don't like to be involuntarily spit upon; there is no fact involved, it is merely preference.  And of course, because we generally don't like being spat on, we could say spitting on people is immoral--of course, this is subject to personal preference.  Thus, to avoid being spat on, we do not spit on others.

If it so happened that people did enjoy being spat upon, it would generally be considered moral: this is the difference between a subjective statement, "Please spit on me I love this feeling", and an objective statement, "That dog is an eighty-foot flounder"; the first uses the subjective concepts of good and bad, while the second uses the objective concepts of right and wrong.

Morality is inseparable from emotion, and so morality must always, forever and ever, be subject, not object, and personal, not universal.  Though we can study ethics in an objective fashion, we cannot experience it while lacking emotion, for there is nothing in this world which you will have an opinion about that is not tied to how you feel.



I feel the need to make this very distinct, for there are people who continually mistake the #1 taboo of human existence as moral, because "God is the authority on the objective morality of the universe and God says it's okay to kill these heathens as long as it's in His name," or simply replace "God" with "the state" to get a more modern effect.  There is no universally recognized rule of morality, and the belief that this is so leads normally good-hearted people into positions of violence, such as "these unarmed civilians unrelated to my country are okay to kill because there's no law against it."  No; you are the only person on this planet who can decide what you consider as good and what you consider as bad, and the moment one agrees that initiating violence with the intent to kill is moral is the moment they lose their own humanity, for they have accepted the killing of others, and so bring death to themselves.

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October 11, 2013, 01:36:55 AM
 #50

Just going by the first post (I have no idea what this convo is about)

Morality is subjective, because only the individual can decide what is and is not moral; if we can define morality as "things I would like to happen to me and things I would not", then we can make a comprehensive list on the things people generally don't like to happen to them, but we can never make this list complete, universal truths, for without people, morality ceases to exist; certainly, the gravity of the planet will remain, for this is not subject to how I feel about gravity, and the creatures of this planet will continue on without my opinion on their existing.

Anyway, there are a few common stances on morality, which can be answered by asking a simple question: "Would I like it to happen to me?"  Otherwise known as the golden rule.

While being a good start, it's not flawless. Let's say you are masochistic, does that mean it's alright for you to inflict pain on others because you enjoy it?

Quote
We'll begin with killing:  "Would I like to be killed?"  The answer, if you're still alive right now, is likely "no, I would not like to be killed."  Ergo, killing other human beings is immoral, and letting other human beings live is moral.  Killing, then, is the #1 taboo of human living, as it's the difference, as obvious as it seems, between being able to tell what is moral and not moral, or doing anything else for that matter, and being dead.  Since we cannot experience life while dead, remaining alive is the #1 priority, for being robbed, or being raped, won't matter if you're not around to experience it.  This is tied simply to how we feel about being dead; if there was a definite afterlife and it was far better than this dump, I would be going.  For the most part, I'd enjoy staying alive right now.

Actually I disagree, I think heavy torture is the #1 taboo.
It is possible to make life so miserable for people that they would rather die.
I could come up with some cases where I would rather be killed than to live on (dieing a hero's death maybe or suffering too much) .

Death is something we have to experience anyway, okey we may miss out some good stuff if we die early and that sucks.
But if there is nothing after that, we don't have time to regret it. And if there is something, well then it wasn't the end.
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October 11, 2013, 02:38:06 AM
 #51

Just going by the first post (I have no idea what this convo is about)

It's a split of a thread.



Morality is subjective, because only the individual can decide what is and is not moral

Try this: math is subjective, because only the individual can decide what is and is not mathematical.

Do you see a problem? Neither morality nor math depends on a decision of anybody.


Because morality is grounded entirely within human feeling, it can never, ever, be objective.

try this: Because math is grounded entirely within human feeling, it can never, ever be objective.

Would you agree that one cannot use reason and logic to arrive at objective statements about math? Why wouldn't one be able to use reason and logic to arrive at objective statements about morality?


Morality is inseparable from emotion, and so morality must always, forever and ever, be subject, not object, and personal, not universal.

I disagree. Morality tells you universal principles of how the individual, every individual, should behave. Morality is not about how each individual subjectively feels he should behave.


Though we can study ethics in an objective fashion, we cannot experience it while lacking emotion, for there is nothing in this world which you will have an opinion about that is not tied to how you feel.

Ethics is subjective. It tells you what the so called god or the so called government or the so called lawmaker wants you to behave.


"God is the authority on the objective morality of the universe and God says it's okay to kill these heathens as long as it's in His name," or simply replace "God" with "the state" to get a more modern effect.

This is the essence of ethics, not morality.
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October 11, 2013, 04:21:40 AM
 #52

snip

I see your point on the #1 taboo, but either way, neither is desirable.  Certainly, if death was coming anyway, we wouldn't see it and attempt to get it over with; after all, we don't know what happens when we die, so we may as well enjoy what we got in case of the worst scenario, being, no afterlife.

If you're a masochist, you want pain; this doesn't mean that you want to inflict pain unto others (unless the other person is a masochist, then it's mutually beneficial.)  So this is actually two stances on morality; your right to receive pain if desired (or more broadly, your right to your own body), and your right to inflict pain.  It is moral to want for pain, since it would be immoral to deny someone of violence at their own volition (e.g. "I don't want to be denied the pain I desire, thus I do not want to deny others the pain they desire"); it is immoral to inflict pain upon a person who does want it (e.g. "I do not desire pain, ergo I will not inflict others with pain.")  The key point here is, if it's involuntary, it's immoral; there is no voluntary sex that is rape, there is no voluntary exchange of goods that is theft, there is no voluntary pain that is abuse, etc.

Of course, I say "It is immoral" with the implication that this is my stance on it; since I don't want pain inflicted on me, I find it immoral, but if someone else wants pain, more power to them.

A less obvious stance of morality would be whether to take one's shoes off before they enter a sacred place.  An even less clear stance is whether abortion is moral.

snip

Hey Loozik; I hate formatting quotes so I'll number the responses in order:

1. Yes, I found the other one Tongue

2. Where to apply math may be subjective, but the actual practice of math is not; there is no emotion inside of me which will take two or more numbers and formulate a new number.  Likewise, there is no correct or incorrect answer to "Is it okay to kill one person to save three?", because it's an opinion.  "I think not" being the good-or-bad subjection, "provably so" being the right-or-wrong objection.

If you're correct about morality not requiring a human being, surely computers are capable of these same distinctions, yet there is no computer (at least not yet) which can give you a correct answer to "Is it okay to kill one person to save three?", because even if it did, you would be incapable of discerning whether it's correct or incorrect--I say this because, though you may say it's correct, and I may say it's incorrect, neither of us can prove this as an undeniable fact, unlike whether 3 + 4 is 7; similarly, however, a computer is absolutely wonderful at the math, because there's no emotion involved with math, for math is unbiased and entirely disconnected from emotion (naturally anyway; I can imagine what an angry mathematician may look like) in its practice, and computers are great with problems that don't require empathy.

3. I don't quite understand; as far as I can tell, the practice of math doesn't need my feelings to work.  Now, whether I feel I can use math for this problem or that problem is totally up to me, but once I actually figure out how I'm going to use math, it is purely a game of numbers.

For example, I have a problem where I have one lover whose company I enjoy and another lover who is rich.  I can use math in my problem of morality (perhaps I will measure how much the first lover makes me happy vs. how much money makes me happy), but math will never output the statement "seeing two women at once is moral/immoral".  Math will only spit out objective, unbiased statements, whilst my own thoughts, or perhaps another's, will determine what is and is not good behavior; there was a point in time where slavery was moral.  This is truly frightening if morality is objective, for this means we must either accept that slavery is provably moral (as it was for a lot longer than it wasn't) or admit that we will never know what the true stance on slavery should be, as we got this one wrong for a very, very long time (and some might argue we're still getting it wrong.)

But again, I believe the simplest way to answer this question is to ask, "Do I want to be enslaved?"

If you could, can you give me an objective version of the last question?  And how might you answer it without taking your own feelings into consideration?

4. Morality cannot speak--again, this infers to "X said this and X is right for X is all knowing" or something similar; someone, somewhere, had an opinion and wrote it down somewhere, whether it's you or another authority.  Morality is something to be discussed and will never perfectly match every human being, else we would all agree on the same morals (though we generally do agree on many of them, we also don't agree on much.)  You're setting up a situation in which everyone must be Christianly, or hedonistic, or primitive etc., or else they're "incorrect", and we're faced again with the problem of figuring out which behaviors are correct (as opposed to desirable, a subjective concept) and which behaviors are incorrect (as opposed to undesirable.)  Morality did not exist before human beings, and ceases to exist without them (can a planet be moral?  Can the universe be moral?  Can a computer be moral?  Can the dirt be moral?)--ergo, morality is subject to the human experience.

5. & 6.  I believe ethics is like a collection of morals, so I don't see them as very different concepts:

Quote
ethics
eth·ics  [eth-iks]
plural noun
1.
(used with a singular or plural verb) a system of moral principles

But lets assume morality is objective and ethics is subjective; if this is true, we can easily, at this very moment, discern which branch of ethics is correct and which branch is not, since the only correct branch of ethics will contain every moral principle and shun every immoral principle.  So who, then, got it right?

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