Science of Ethics
Posted: 12 February 2012 12:15 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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I was reading Sam’s articles about the science of good and evil, and realized that I’ve effectively set up a science of ethics in my organizational thinking.  I would make two very strong claims.  The first is that what is most ethical is that which elicits the most joy and least suffering for all beings concerned.  That this is what allows for the most aggregate freedom and exhibits the least aggregate aggression.  We can then have a metric with which to evaluate systems of thought and behavior by observing our reality and understanding it enough to cultivate these qualities.  I personally find this place, our earth, a very ugly place when considering these metrics as the defining quality of meaningful aesthetics.  I think the only game we really have in town is to make it more beautiful.

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Posted: 12 February 2012 04:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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What you’re describing is an 19th century idea called utilitarianism.  It’s so fundamental to modern thinking that any rational (as opposed to mystical) system of morality takes it as its own starting point, even if only implicitly and unconsciously.


You should read about it and you’d enjoy the writings of Bertrand Russell also.


You should read more and more widely. If someone suggests a book to read, you owe it to yourself to at least read the Amazon reviews to see if it’s something you should know about. The reason I say this is b/c you appear to reinventing the philosophical wheel in your posts. That means that you’re bright and creative but lack exposure to the thoughts of people who came before you also. The world is filed with such people and they don’t really contribute much in the end because instead of advancing knowledge or elaborating on knowledge or even reiterating constant truths any of which is a real contribution to society, they stay in their own worlds and reinvent ideas that other people have already had, and had better also.

 

I am trying to be nice here and any impression to the contrary represents a misunderstanding on the bearer’s part.

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Posted: 13 February 2012 08:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Well, I’m assuming that these philosophers you mentioned didn’t link together the ideas of more freedom = less aggression = less suffering.  Buddhism is the closest to this formulation that I know.  The only other area we seem to butt heads that I can assume you’re referring to from an educational standpoint is that I think education and cultural pressure carries much more weight than you give it credit for.  To be quite honest, I think I’m one of the best philosophers ever born, I think it sucks that this happens to just one person and so late in the human story, but it still happens to be the case that this is true.  My guess if I read these books is that I’d be bored.  I would be agitated that they didn’t refer to the profound effect sexual selection has on the species, agitated because I’d think of all the waste that occurred educationally because they didn’t point this out, and I probably wouldn’t see the formulation that I just laid out above.  Like I said, the buddhists come close to this formulation in some of their branches, and I think it is the accurate formulation.  Buddhism also has the idea of the Boddhisatva or person who dedicates their lives to reducing the suffering of all beings, although I think many of their tenets are unrealistic with respect to how reality actually works here.  I think pacifism has a place but should not be a vow, I think abstinence has a place but should not be a vow, veganism has a place but not everyone can manage it with their biochemistry.  Life is not always so black and white.  In some places it is, in some places it’s not.

[ Edited: 13 February 2012 11:05 AM by 0username0]
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Posted: 25 May 2012 05:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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You are right that we learn ethics as we go through adulthood and mature. However we also need to look more specifically at areas such as disease. The main diseases at least are caused by pathological stress that stems out of toxic relationships and these are grossly unethical. When we see how narcissistic/ antisocial people behave towards those around them we can see very clear examples of what is acceptable behavior and what is not. If you are interested you can see from my work on my blog what I mean. http://kyrani99.wordpress.com/

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Posted: 26 May 2012 01:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Right and wrong is mostly a matter of instinct, not learning. Social norms aside, all children are shocked the first time they see an animal killed. They know that life = good, things that harm life and/or kill = bad. This is a built-in value, from which all other values stem, and is part of the “moral compass”, for lack of a better term, we’re born with. It is empathy (what they feel for a harmed or killed animal), value and morality all rolled into one when we’re children. These things become differentiated as we grow older, but the source remains the same.

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Posted: 26 May 2012 08:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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gsmonks - 26 May 2012 01:25 AM

Right and wrong is mostly a matter of instinct, not learning. Social norms aside, all children are shocked the first time they see an animal killed. They know that life = good, things that harm life and/or kill = bad. This is a built-in value, from which all other values stem, and is part of the “moral compass”, for lack of a better term, we’re born with. It is empathy (what they feel for a harmed or killed animal), value and morality all rolled into one when we’re children. These things become differentiated as we grow older, but the source remains the same.

I agree with you in that there is a basic moral value or “moral compass” that is intrinsic as it is our essential nature. And in the large number of cases as you say a child that has been little adversely influenced by others will display an aversion to killing or harming of anything else be it human or animal.

However people are adversely affected sometimes even before birth, depending on the condition of their parents and most particularly their mother. A mother who is stressed badly will be unable to properly relate to her children. And I do not mean that she is abusive here. I mean that if she is stressed her heart is accelerated and not at rest conditions so her ability to mentally bond is affected. This causes problems for the child and values as a result are affected. The child becomes needy and hence selfish.

All people are affected to one extent or another. Thus we need to relearn, or to reconnect, (probably more correct to say), with their essential nature. This is part of the “no self experience”, which is really only an initial or fleeting form of an enlightenment experience. Under normal circumstances we are born and initially live within this, the direct experiencing of our essential nature. Unlearning or relearning, whatever we call it, is the reconnection process, a readjustment from the influence of others through inequality of relationship, which created the false self or ego-self, back to the original conditions in which we are born and which has been there with us all of the time. It is kind of like having a jewel in our pocket and forgetting it’s there and then finding it again.

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Posted: 23 September 2012 08:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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0username0 - 12 February 2012 12:15 PM

I was reading Sam’s articles about the science of good and evil, and realized that I’ve effectively set up a science of ethics in my organizational thinking.  I would make two very strong claims.  The first is that what is most ethical is that which elicits the most joy and least suffering for all beings concerned.  That this is what allows for the most aggregate freedom and exhibits the least aggregate aggression.  We can then have a metric with which to evaluate systems of thought and behavior by observing our reality and understanding it enough to cultivate these qualities.  I personally find this place, our earth, a very ugly place when considering these metrics as the defining quality of meaningful aesthetics.  I think the only game we really have in town is to make it more beautiful.

I agree.Earth is the most hideous realm there exist,but you can never define something without any comparison from the opposite right,which you can neither compare earth except what is logically the earth that you are thinking about.

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Posted: 23 September 2012 08:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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anneyours - 23 September 2012 08:34 PM
0username0 - 12 February 2012 12:15 PM

I was reading Sam’s articles about the science of good and evil, and realized that I’ve effectively set up a science of ethics in my organizational thinking.  I would make two very strong claims.  The first is that what is most ethical is that which elicits the most joy and least suffering for all beings concerned.  That this is what allows for the most aggregate freedom and exhibits the least aggregate aggression.  We can then have a metric with which to evaluate systems of thought and behavior by observing our reality and understanding it enough to cultivate these qualities.  I personally find this place, our earth, a very ugly place when considering these metrics as the defining quality of meaningful aesthetics.  I think the only game we really have in town is to make it more beautiful.

I agree.Earth is the most hideous realm there exist,but you can never define something without any comparison from the opposite right,which you can neither compare earth except what is logically the earth that you are thinking about.


Earth is beautiful beyond thought.
Sentient awareness.
Humming birds, wild strawberries and thunder storms.
Strangers talking about amazing things.

 

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