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Why do atheists believe in universal values?
Posted: 19 June 2012 02:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 61 ]  
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Tying this back to the earlier section, you mean that morality is an ongoing process of discovering what preserves the self and the species, right?

Except I never said that. You asked if I was saying that. I wasn’t , as explained in the post above this one. 

 

Is there anything else that we’re discovering as we investigate morality?


I’ll rephrase this so it doesn’t implicate me in saying something I never said, then I’ll answer the rephrased question which hopefully preserves the exact point you’re trying to get at.

 

What is it about investigating the natural world that leads to new discoveries about what is moral and immoral?

Here’s one example. When religion ruled the world, there was an easy explanation for   aberrant behavior we now recognize as symptoms of a specific illness, schizophrenia The pre-scientific explanation was the person had demons in them. They were possessed and the demons needed to be driven out. This was called “demonology”.  All sorts of treatments were devised, all of which amounted to torture.When not undergoing treatment , the mentally ill were chained to walls and consigned to dungeons. 


Then the church lost power and the medical model of mental illness took root which says that all disease, including mental illness,  is a biological phenomenon whose treatment should be guided by principles of natural-science and its methods.


So this is how we discovered a new fact about the world which then informed and redefined what we consider moral.


There are communities in America and the developed world today which reject this interpretation and continue to frame human behavior in terms of demons. They may have their beliefs, but they can’t have their treatments because the progressive parts of the world have redefined what is moral and immoral.


So this is also an example of what I was referring to earlier where something is at once universal in some aspects and culture specific in other aspects.

 

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Posted: 19 June 2012 03:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 62 ]  
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I don’t see how things like murder won’t get re-evaluated under the system of morality that you seem to be espousing


I am not espousing a system of morality. I am not systematizing.  Neither am I prescribing. I am describing how morality can be a product of the natural world.

. For example, there may come a time when a population is under the control of a sociopath, and in order to preserve the species, it is thought best to kill the sociopathic leader. In order to do so, however, society first has to get through the sociopath’s minions. In other contexts it might be called war, but if the most powerful nation in the world did it and could only be stopped by its own citizens, it might be called murder.


The fact that some cal it murder is not relevant.  Murder by definition of the unlawful taking of human life, so whoever makes the laws decides what’s murder.  The situation you’re describing is not unusual - were the Americans terrorists or freedom fighters in the American revolution?  Was society in the midst of legalizing terrorism then?  Were we trying to murder Hitler? Did that pose some philosophical conundrum to Western civilization? How did we ever sort it all out?  There is nothing remarkable here.


Murder is the unjustified taking of human life. It’s a word and concept all societies finds useful. The problem doesn’t lie with people making murder moral- that would be arbitrary morality- and no society does that. The problem lies with irrational belief systems like Christianity which do horrific things because they are guided by a false belief system.


So we have the Crusades and we have the abortion clinic bombings and we have the Timothy McVeigh’s and Christian Identity movement and the Dominionists movement which seek the overthrow of the United States government through violent means.


They all have a system of morality, but like the people in the middle ages or the Nazis or Pol Pot or Stalin or North Korea, they are guided in their actions by irrational belief systems.

 

It’s what Bertrand Russell said. The good life, the just society, is founded on two pillars-  love (empathy, a wish to do the right thing towards one fellow humans, as opposed to the wish to do the opposite) and knowledge. Without knowledge, love is a unable to achieve its aims. Without love, knowledge is just a tool for evil

 

 

[ Edited: 20 June 2012 01:48 AM by softwarevisualization]
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Posted: 19 June 2012 03:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 63 ]  
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On the deductive nature of morality—

I never said morality is deductive, I said it is not deductive.

I think it’s fair to say that a theory is not very good if it can’t predict anything.  Part of that is to think through the implications and wonder whether those thought experiments support the theory or not. In any case, if morality is just a preference for you, then this particular point is not important.

I don’t know what you’re getting at. I never said morality is just a preference. Please clarify. 

 

As far as the measuring the morality of an action by predicting outcomes, take medicine based on evolutionary theory and the denial of evolutionary theory by Christians (46% of Americans deny evolution) . Which leads to better medical outcomes? Which leads to treatments that help people?


All of immunology, germ theory, genetic therapy,  the science behind infectious diseases, the development of vaccines the identification and treatment of hereditary disease, all of microbiology is specifically dependent on evolution being true. If evolution stopped being true tomorrow, then those sciences would stop being able to produce the progress and therapies they produce.


So theories have consequences and outcomes and if your “morality” teaches you to deny reality , then there are consequences to that. Those consequences may be immoral by your own standards, and that should give you pause to reconsider your irrational belief system and understand where it’s gotten out of sync with reality.

 

Just an observation. You seem to be concerned with finding some way to systematically divine the morality of any given action.

 

 

 

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Posted: 19 June 2012 03:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 64 ]  
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I think this gets us pretty close to the crux of one of the underlying issues. Happiness is generally understood as a transitory emotion, and I think scientists may understand it as the by-product of the release of certain neurotransmitters.


If you offered that as your working definition of happiness, I wouldn’t ask about its existence because I have felt it. But you have explicitly rejected that notion of happiness (which I think is the common definition).


Stop. No, it’s not the common definition in the context in which it’s being used in this thread. We’re describing something much larger, something like “human welfare” or “long term welfare of humanity generally”. That’s what human happiness means in this context. The other definition is trivial.

I would even go as far as accepting long-term happiness as the integral of short-term happiness over a person’s lifetime. That brings us to hypothetical situations, however, of some people forcing other people to take “happy” drugs—since the people’s lives experience more of these neurotransmitters, it is quite possible that they feel happier over the course of their life than they would otherwise.


You would probably dismiss that as a straw man saying that happiness is more complex than that. In that case, I think it’s completely legitimate to ask if it actually exists, other than as an hand-waving abstraction to gloss over fundamental questions.

Does the long term welfare of human beings exist? Is that the question? The answer is yes.

When you describe happiness in some parts of your responses, I think you mean welfare, and I think your system of morality is some version of utilitarianism. If I remember correctly, utilitarianism fell apart when people started asking if utils actually existed.

 

You don’t remember correctly. That’s just what religionists say.  Today the same type fo take on morality goes by the name of humanism, which religionists hate also.

 

Apart form that, Utilitarianism was a specific philosophical movement with a certain set of beliefs started by JS Mill which said some things , many of which were good but as a specific movement it’s not active largely because so many of its beliefs have been absorbed by mainstream society. Launching an attack on JS Mill’s utilitarianism is anarchronistic in the extreme.

 

In particular, utils cannot be meaningfully combined or compared across people.

 


False, as shown earlier.

 

Another phrasing would be to ask if you’re trying to maximize welfare, what dimension of welfare are you trying to maximize?

 

It’s a good question waiting for a good answer. This is the part I referred to where morality is a process of discovery. Just because we don’t have pat answers to complex questions, what do you think follows from that? The falsity of the point I’m making? Complex questions have complex answers. Get used to it. Only in religion do complex questions have pat answers. In fact, that’s the whole POINT of religion. To make you feel like you have certainty , without actually having to do the work of gaining certainty through the slow acquisition of knowledge. Religionists just cut through all that and arrive at their conclusions, all of which are incorrect, and because they’re incorrect, also destructive in the extreme.

 

(overall wealth? average wealth? total population? population at or above a certain quality of living?) The answer cannot just be that “it’s complex” since when you optimize, you can really only optimize on one dimension. If you try to optimize on more than one dimension, you have to understand the relationship between the dimensions and you are back to effectively optimizing on just one dimension.

 

Yep, that’s why it’s complex. Not to mention it encompasses more things than just those.

 

Importantly, I am not asking how to optimize, but rather what metric to optimize on.

 


To quote Reagan, there you go again….

 

If your answer is to optimize on the human population at some future point in time (as some form of preservation of the species), that seems like an extremely crude and rather uninteresting metric—it might even be the case that allowing slavery could actually yield a higher number.

 

Of course, none of this discussion means anything if morality is just a preference to you.

 

Again with this. I hope I cleared this up.

If your answer is the length and/or of your own life (preservation of the self), that seems supremely selfish and again does not seem to rule out slavery. In either case, the original question is unanswered: what is the basis of an atheist saying that something is less moral?


You’re talking about Ayn Randers here, or at least, that’s as close to any perspective I can see. I am not talking about being selfish or raising selfishness up as some sort of guiding principle. Talk to the Ayn Randers. They’re essentially sociopaths trying to dress up what amounts to nothing grander than their natural sociopathic impulses in order to make those impulses seem somehow noble to others in society.


I mock them too.

The original question was about about absolutes and in particular about the basis with which an atheist can mock someone else’s morals.

 

When your morals tell you global warming is a hoax because you reject science and you reject science because you’ve been schooled that that’s OK to do by anti-evolutionary assholes and “prosperity gospel” greedheads,  when your religions tells you it’s OK to keep slaves God meant for it to be that way and you quote the Bible to prove your point - accurately I might add- and you take this nation to war over your “right” to own slaves based on Biblical teachings then I feel not only able to mock “morals” 
but positively obligated to do so and invigorated by doing it.

 

If the only answer is to say that the atheist can mock simply because he prefers blue instead of red, then this conversation will not be very meaningful.

 

Glad we’re not having that conversation.

 

[ Edited: 19 June 2012 10:25 AM by softwarevisualization]
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Posted: 19 June 2012 10:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 65 ]  
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I would even go as far as accepting long-term happiness as the integral of short-term happiness over a person’s lifetime. That brings us to hypothetical situations, however, of some people forcing other people to take “happy” drugs—since the people’s lives experience more of these neurotransmitters, it is quite possible that they feel happier over the course of their life than they would otherwise.


There’s something just goofy here that i need to address directly. Working out to the nth degree possible follow on consequences of a single fact- in this case the fact that a kind of happiness is dependent upon brain chemicals - which you then decontextualize and segregate from the rest of the facts about humans as though this one somehow represented the “ultimate” and only important fact about them,  is a weird thing to do.

 

The scenario you give here is something from a dystopian movie or sci-fi flick.. specifically this is the theme of the Matrix.


But The Matrix took a lot of its ideas from old philosophical hot topics of the 18th and 19th centuries, for example- what if everything around me is just an illusion put on me by some omnipotent demon… how would I know? 


People as diverse as Bertrand Russell and Leo Tolstoy strike on this idea as adolescents around age 11 or 12 ((and myself,  actually ) .


Tolstoy swung around quickly to see if he could catch the world going out and coming into being behind his back. I think Russell did the same thing.  I take the fifth. But the point is,  aside from entertaining these type of extreme ” it could be possible you know!!! ”  thoughts as children where it appears to be a natural part of growing up brainy, or as the idle content of momentary reverie, or as some basis for a movie script, what good are they? 


A lot of things could follow from a   lot of things, what are we going to spend our time thinking about? Do you know some school of thought that is espousing the injection of happy chemicals as a substitute for social progress?

 

This is also what Brave New World is about. The people engineered to be thetas (or whatever)  love nothing more than operating elevators fro the alphas, especially when they get to go to the roof.


This is not worth talking about. No one is proposing this and it doesn’t follow from anything anyone believes.


You might as well be pointing to the fact that when people are killed, their stuff stays behind, so isn’t anyone who believes that people die also plotting to kill as many people as possible in order to take their stuff?


No , actually, no one is doing that. No one is contemplating achieving happiness through mass drugging. No one is contemplating a lot of things that I can make an argument are direct follow on consequences of some factoid or another.


Your basic problem is you assume that because other people don’t claim their value system was written on a stone tablet and schelped down from a mountain a few thousand years ago, then those value systems aren’t *really* real to their bearers the way yours are to you and, as Maggie Smith might say- and in just the way she’d say it too-  ” with THOSE people , well, anything goes.”.


Either that or no one ever introduced you to the notion of a what a   “spurious argument”  is because you keep popping those off too.

 

[ Edited: 20 June 2012 01:43 AM by softwarevisualization]
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Posted: 19 June 2012 06:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 66 ]  
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If your answer is to optimize on the human population at some future point in time (as some form of preservation of the species), that seems like an extremely crude and rather uninteresting metric—it might even be the case that allowing slavery could actually yield a higher number.

In this and other statements you are effectively demanding to be handed a complete and correct definition of morality and when none is forthcoming, you’re implying that we therefore have no clear idea what we’re talking about.


Look, do you really not understand the general concept of maximizing long term human happiness? People get fed as opposed to starve. There is material equity in the world. People are free to pursue pro-social goals and prevented from pursuing anti-social ones. Disease is slowly beaten back. People engage in productive work which contributes to the growing welfare of their fellow humans. People give and receive love . People are happy with their lives and look forward to their days. That world is pretty far from the one we live in right now. Far enough so that the above description can serve as a goal post and things that move us in that direction are moral and things that do the opposite are immoral.


Did that clear things up for you? It’s a snarky question because I can’t believe there’s anyone who shows up to an online forum like this one who didn’t already get all that. So why are you pretending not to understand what is meant by the phrase long term human welfare? You grew up in the same society i did and you understand these concepts just like I do, whether you agree with them or not.  You’re playing a game in my view, and the game is,

“I’m going to pretend I have no idea what you’re talking about because I disagree with your conclusions. I am going to force you to articulate the specific details of an abstract thing, which details I will then endlessly nit pick, or else, if you fail to supply said details, I’ll claim that this is proof you really don’t know what it is you’re taking about. What did I do wrong? I only asked him for a definition of his terms, and see, he couldn’t supply it ! What could be more innocent than asking for just a basic definition?

 

That’s a game. 

 

if you really can’t imagine how human being could use the above to discriminate between two competing actions which sport obviously opposite polar moralities- help that person to their feet or shoot them and take their wallet, then what’s to say? Maybe you have a deficiency of some sort ? I have no idea. 

 

Your assertion that you at least want “what metric to optimize on” is vacuous because knowing what to optimize on in any situation complicated enough to not be just obvious is a disguised form of begging a mass of the most basic questions science is seeking answers to.

 

Amongst competing dimensions, there are many situations in which we don’t know what to optimize on.  If a kid is in a bad home where the parents fight, is it better to get a divorce or to stay together so the kid has a role model of the same gender? The thinking used to be one way, and now it’s shifted to the other. That’s because there’s no way to know short of doing longitudinal studies of the various good and bad outcomes, where “outcome” itself needs to be thoughtfully defined.

 

That’s because nature, including the little tiny microscopic slice of nature called “growing up with a dysfunctional family and its effects on the children”  is not   a thing which you can know through a mere act of deduction from an apriori moral system. You have to ask nature what the effects are and you have to ask in a way that yields clear answers.

 

If the idea of defining good and bad outcomes in the above experiment seems to you to be nothing more than pushing the definition of what to optimize on down the road, then either one of a few things is going on with you.

 

One possibility is that you simply are unacquainted with how sophisticated sociologists and psychologists are at making operational seemingly nebulous or abstract concepts such that they’re accepted as valid by their peers and also by anyone else who puts forth the effort to understand what’s being measured and how. They are extremely sophisticated in this regard and none of what they define smacks of anything arbitrary or unreasonable.  Ditto with their experimental designs.  We don’t do a good enough job at conveying the effectiveness of the theory and application of science at the grade school and high school level. Part of this is because in the 50s it was just assumed in an optimistic kind of way that the process and legitimacy of science and scientifically derived knowledge would be from then to all time forward the mark of modernity and no one would be enough of a lunatic to deny it.


Then came the whole fundamentalist revivalist movement in the 70s and oh my how wrong those forward looking, science and technology loving people from the 50s were.


Another possibility is you just poo poo the idea that science can guide our moral decisions in any non-arbitrary way. People who poo poo social sciences, or science generally, have no idea what they’re talking about and neither could they account for results in some other more plausible way. 


Of course, their own failure doesn’t bother them at all, because they have one standard for scientists whose work they don’t even understand, and quite another, much looser one for their own homegrown process of opinion-making.

 

Experimental science is nothing more than the most rigorous application possible of humanity’s accumulated knowledge of how to ask specific questions to nature and get clear answers. If there were a better way to acquire knowledge, it would be a part of science .


Finally , there’s the possibility that you really don’t give a shit in your heart if you’re right or not because even if you can’t defend yourself you STILL know you’re right because you read the Bible and the Bible is the final authority on everything and that’s that. Praise Jesus! puhRAISE be His Al-mighty   Name ! If that’s the case, then, well, whatever. Why are you here?

 

At the start of all this, I explained how morality can be a function of biology and have the properties of being at once in some aspects universal and in others culture specific and how this is neither mysterious nor is morality so arising merely arbitrary.

 

Then I gave you as good a working definition of what the overall goals of a moral system are as your faux-question warranted.

 

Then I showed you how what is deemed moral and immoral can change as a function of the continued acquisition of knowledge, which makes the morality / immorality evaluation of some - but not all- actions mutable, even as the definition of morality stays the same.

 

Finally in the above I showed you a concrete example of   science actively intersecting and clarifying what is the better course of action given two competing theories of what the moral thing to do is where each argument was plausible but the choice of actions dictated by the two arguments - divorce or stay together-  were fundamentally incompatible.


HTH

 

 

[ Edited: 21 June 2012 04:21 AM by softwarevisualization]
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Posted: 10 July 2012 12:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 67 ]  
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Hi softwarevisualization,


It seems like I’ve touched a raw nerve and/or have greatly annoyed you. That certainly was not my intention. While there are many snippets that I could respond to, I’ll try to focus on what I think is the fundamental difference between us in this discussion.


To summarize our positions:


Your position seems to be that there exists the concept of human welfare and that it is complex. Furthermore, I think you believe that we understand some amount of what increases human welfare, but that we’re still in the process of discovering and refining the concept.


I agree that life is complex, and while I agree that there is a lot of overlap among people in terms of what is desired, I disagree that there is one common societal scale. I agree that much of this absence of a standard can be attributed to our current inability to measure things and understand effects, but I disagree that science will ultimately be able to adjudicate between all conflict (even if we had “infinite” knowledge)—that is, science can answer questions such as “what values should we promote if we want to maximize X?” but not questions like “what values should we base our society on?”


A little more concisely, I think your answer to the question “what values should we base our society on?” is “well-being” / welfare. I believe that the idea of welfare is actually a fuzzy abstraction that hides differences among people. The divorce or stay together experiment is a great illustration of our difference in this aspect.

softwarevisualization - 19 June 2012 06:03 PM

If the idea of defining good and bad outcomes in the above experiment seems to you to be nothing more than pushing the definition of what to optimize on down the road, then either one of a few things is going on with you.


One possibility is that you simply are unacquainted with how sophisticated sociologists and psychologists are at making operational seemingly nebulous or abstract concepts such that they’re accepted as valid by their peers and also by anyone else who puts forth the effort to understand what’s being measured and how. They are extremely sophisticated in this regard and none of what they define smacks of anything arbitrary or unreasonable.


They might accept it as valid, but it seems like it is a little bit like their trying to answer the question “which is better, a square or a circle?”


Note that I am comfortable with uncertainty in measurement and with complexity. My point is that even if we understood the long-term effects of divorce or staying together, that doesn’t answer the question of what is preferable. If we knew what to optimize on, then knowing the long-term effects would certainly help us move in the desired direction. It seems very reasonable to me, however, that people presented with even very detailed information about a specific tradeoff (e.g. route A results in more independence; route B results in more bonding) can very reasonably choose differently. One might respond by saying that more independence leads to more X, which leads to more Y, which leads to more well-being. But if well-being is not somehow measurable (or could be measurable), then I think it is just assumed to exist.


Before we go too much further, I get the sense that my arguments simply don’t carry much weight in your eyes. It might be more effective, then, for me to point out that Sam Harris and Sean Carroll have already discussed this particular issue at length. I think that Sean cogently frames most of his points in two blog posts:


http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2010/03/24/the-moral-equivalent-of-the-parallel-postulate/
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2010/05/03/you-cant-derive-ought-from-is/ (Sam’s response to an earlier post is linked to from here)


I don’t know either individual well, but from what I gather, they are both respected outspoken atheists. Regardless of who you think won the debate, I think neither of us has advanced the discussion much beyond what they have already laid out. Sean has made other points that I haven’t made, such as “It’s not self-evident that maximizing well-being, however defined, is the proper goal of morality.” I also think that Sean has done a better job than I have of articulating the gist of my points in his section “There’s no simple way to aggregate well-being over different individuals.”


If you read the back-and-forth and think that Sam wins the debate, I think it’s unlikely that either of us are going to convince each other—it seems to me that Sean’s arguments trounces Sam’s. At the very least, however, I hope you will stop the “experts and everyone else think this and so should you” line of argument—because there is disagreement among everyone else and all of the experts on this issue.


As an aside, it’s interesting to me is that Sam comes from a philosophy background, and Sean from a physics one. In your earlier comment, you talk about sociologists and psychologists. I wonder if one’s academic background/leaning has a lot to do with where one comes down in this debate.


If you think we can advance the discussion, let me know. Otherwise, I’m at peace that we won’t see eye-to-eye.


Regards,
Jerry

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Posted: 23 September 2012 07:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 68 ]  
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jerryp - 31 October 2010 07:48 PM

Hi all,

I enjoyed watching Sam Harris’ interview with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. There was a question that jumped out at me—I sent Sam a PM about a week ago and didn’t hear back (understandably). Anyone else want to take a shot?

In The Daily Show clip, Sam talks about the Judeo-Christian God—Sam’s pronouncement is very negative, and the basis of that judgement is whether or not a concept like slavery increases or decreases harmony. Elsewhere, I think Sam uses a similar basis of whether or not a policy increases overall happiness within humanity.

The part that I’m hoping you can help me understand is: from an atheist and philosophical point of view, how can one value be elevated above another as a moral basis for all humanity? That is, I understand why one person can adopt a value of maximizing happiness for everyone. However, what “allows” that person to judge another person’s value as inferior? Why is it that increasing overall happiness is taken to be the universal value?

Thanks for your thoughts,
Jerry

Good quote.
It is not that he is allowed to judge another person’s value as inferior,nobody is allowed in fact,is just that he is allowed to express what he says that inferior is,thus his basis is that he thinks that his work is much better than another.

 

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Posted: 23 September 2012 08:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 69 ]  
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One can make certain generalizations in the form of morality based on human well being and/or happiness I believe. Morality itself is biologically based, we have a common biology which has a commonality of basic needs and sometimes even wants. Morality is if you like biological extension, a commonly agreed upon set of behaviors and values which constitute the common self interest of our common biology.

One could ask ones self, does this behaviour, this value, lessen suffering or does it increase suffering. It is a subjective belief in a certain amount of control over the external world, be that limited to one social context, at least here we believe we should have some control of that which can negatively effect our physical well being, the quality of the life we are able to live. Judgement of another’s behaviour within this frame of reference is not only OK it is of necessity if we are to have community. If you identify with another or others in suffering, compassion arises, and if you have compassion, you have the foundation of morality.

[ Edited: 23 September 2012 08:59 PM by boagie]
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Posted: 23 September 2012 09:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 70 ]  
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boagie - 23 September 2012 08:55 PM

One can make certain generalizations in the form of morality based on human well being and/or happiness I believe. Morality itself is biologically based, we have a common biology which has a commonality of basic needs and sometimes even wants. Morality is if you like biological extension, a commonly agreed upon set of behaviors and values which constitute the common self interest of our common biology.

One could ask ones self, does this behaviour, this value, lessen suffering or does it increase suffering. It is a subjective belief in a certain amount of control over the external world, be that limited to one social context, at least here we believe we should have some control of that which can negatively effect our physical well being, the quality of the life we are able to live. Judgement of another’s behaviour within this frame of reference is not only OK it is of necessity if we are to have community. If you identify with another or others in suffering, compassion arises, and you have the bases to form a morality.

There is no such thing as morality.
It is more likely that the gene pool of a tribe whose members care for each other will survive and reproduce better than one in which indifference rules.
What we call morality is biologically evolved behavior and is neither good nor bad.
It is not something that can be studied or encouraged.

 

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Posted: 23 September 2012 10:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 71 ]  
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“There is no such thing as right or wrong only thinking makes it so.” Shakespeare.  Of course, good and bad for us is biological determined, what is harmful to me, what diminishes me, what lessens the quality of my being, is to me, bad, bad as in undesirable.  In most instances what is deemed bad through this process is bad to all those whom share a common biology.

Morality is not a tangible thing like an object, it nevertheless exists, and of course it is biologically evolved, as we are biologically evolved. To say morality is not something that can be encouraged is obviously nonsense, society encourages its morality all the time, those who violate all our values and sensibilities we tend think of as monsters, criminal freaks.

[ Edited: 23 September 2012 10:13 PM by boagie]
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Posted: 23 September 2012 11:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 72 ]  
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boagie - 23 September 2012 10:11 PM

“There is no such thing as right or wrong only thinking makes it so.” Shakespeare.  Of course, good and bad for us is biological determined, what is harmful to me, what diminishes me, what lessens the quality of my being, is to me, bad, bad as in undesirable.  In most instances what is deemed bad through this process is bad to all those whom share a common biology.

Morality is not a tangible thing like an object, it nevertheless exists, and of course it is biologically evolved, as we are biologically evolved. To say morality is not something that can be encouraged is obviously nonsense, society encourages its morality all the time, those who violate all our values and sensibilities we tend think of as monsters, criminal freaks.

 

The mind observes self serving behavior and labels it “morality”.
It then mistakes its own label for an object.
It then tries to study something that has no actual existential reality.
There is no such thing as morality.

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‹‹ Dzogchen?      Response to "Moral Landscape" ››
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