“Morality”
Posted: 04 April 2011 08:56 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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There is no morality in nature.
There is no such thing.
“Morality” has evolved in sentient organisms because
reciprocal-co-operation benefits the gene pool in which it occurs.
Simple as that.

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Posted: 04 April 2011 10:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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ehhhh…sentient beings are part of nature, right?

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Causality is nothing but an assumption about the non-reducibility of a model that correlates two or more events of physical reality.

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Posted: 04 April 2011 10:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Dark Energy - 04 April 2011 02:54 PM

ehhhh…sentient beings are part of nature, right?

 

Indeed.

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Posted: 04 April 2011 11:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Glad to assist in these matters of brutal misunderstanding.

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Causality is nothing but an assumption about the non-reducibility of a model that correlates two or more events of physical reality.

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Posted: 04 April 2011 03:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Dark Energy - 04 April 2011 03:50 PM

Glad to assist in these matters of brutal misunderstanding.

 


The term “misunderstanding” arises only within the assumption that “understanding” is possible.

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Posted: 04 April 2011 10:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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Self denial again. You are claiming that you understand that there can be no understanding. See the problem in there?
Without understanding,at any level, your postings are futile.

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Posted: 05 April 2011 08:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Dark Energy - 05 April 2011 02:46 AM

Self denial again. You are claiming that you understand that there can be no understanding. See the problem in there?
Without understanding,at any level, your postings are futile.

We’re back to the original problem.
The conceptual mind labels its observations of relationships between conceptually separated objects.
It calls its observations “understanding” and then assumes that there is such a thing.
I am saying that ultimately it “understands” nothing.
What is really known about gravity, light, magnetism, electricity or water?
The “understanding” that there is no such thing as “understanding” does validate the fact that there is such a thing.

And granted, my posts would be futile…..if there were such a thing as futility.

[ Edited: 05 April 2011 08:40 AM by toombaru]
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Posted: 05 April 2011 10:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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This is where your problem surfaces. You want it all and you want it now. Ultimate truth I mean. You’re not differentiating between some understanding and ultimate understanding and assume that some understanding is impossible without full ultimate truth. You simply equate understanding to ultimate truth. But listen up, only the religious define “understanding”  on knowledge of ultimate truth. What you present as an original thought on the emptiness of understanding is in fact the not too well artticulated discovery that meaning only arises in human thought as an intricate relation between words and as a relation between words and experienced reality. A discovery that was exposed in its full glory in early twentieth century by Wittgenstein. If words only can have any meaning to you when they are based from the ground up on ultimate truth than any attempt of you to communicate in words found in dictionaries made by man by definition is an act of self denial.


This all or nothing reasoning is typical for the religious creed. Religious believers too prefer to accept ultimate truth by faith over the limbo of “I don’t know”. They prefer to give meaning to a 2000+ year old book, even in hindsight, on the acceptance of its alleged ultimate truth over critical examination of its origins.


The thing is, science, our best means for truth finding so far, does not assume that there is such a thing as final understanding. It produces some understanding of experienced reality. It will never discover some hidden reality that is not causally connected to our experienced reality and vice versa if it is not causally connected at all than it has no meaning to humans at all. Indeed if we are all hooked up to some massive perverted brain in a vat experiment with absolutely zero change of detection from the inside than indeed I’d say the only reality that will ever be relevant to us is that same inside experienced reality.


Science produces tentative understanding that is connected to experienced reality through measures like reproducibility and predictibility, all defined within the framework of experienced reality. We can predict with some accuracy the path of the planets in the sky with our curent model. We can effectively fight several diseases, and so on. And tomorrow our models might be replaced by better ones. Does that mean that we have no understanding at all? That the word understanding is but a joke? Of course not, there are verifiable, reproducible, predictable results in experienced reality. And that is the basis of our “understanding”. Indeed an understanding that is OUR understanding, based on words and concepts we have all connected up to experienced reality. So really, understanding never meant ultimate truth to start with.

[ Edited: 05 April 2011 10:37 AM by Dark Energy]
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Posted: 05 April 2011 11:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Dark Energy - 05 April 2011 02:32 PM

This is where your problem surfaces. You want it all and you want it now. Ultimate truth I mean. You’re not differentiating between some understanding and ultimate understanding and assume that some understanding is impossible without full ultimate truth. You simply equate understanding to ultimate truth. But listen up, only the religious define “understanding”  on knowledge of ultimate truth. What you present as an original thought on the emptiness of understanding is in fact the not too well artticulated discovery that meaning only arises in human thought as an intricate relation between words and as a relation between words and experienced reality. A discovery that was exposed in its full glory in early twentieth century by Wittgenstein. If words only can have any meaning to you when they are based from the ground up on ultimate truth than any attempt of you to communicate in words found in dictionaries made by man by definition is an act of self denial.


This all or nothing reasoning is typical for the religious creed. Religious believers too prefer to accept ultimate truth by faith over the limbo of “I don’t know”. They prefer to give meaning to a 2000+ year old book, even in hindsight, on the acceptance of its alleged ultimate truth over critical examination of its origins.


The thing is, science, our best means for truth finding so far, does not assume that there is such a thing as final understanding. It produces some understanding of experienced reality. It will never discover some hidden reality that is not causally connected to our experienced reality and vice versa if it is not causally connected at all than it has no meaning to humans at all. Indeed if we are all hooked up to some massive perverted brain in a vat experiment with absolutely zero change of detection from the inside than indeed I’d say the only reality that will ever be relevant to us is that same inside experienced reality.


Science produces tentative understanding that is connected to experienced reality through measures like reproducibility and predictibility, all defined within the framework of experienced reality. We can predict with some accuracy the path of the planets in the sky with our curent model. We can effectively fight several diseases, and so on. And tomorrow our models might be replaced by better ones. Does that mean that we have no understanding at all? That the word understanding is but a joke? Of course not, there are verifiable, reproducible, predictable results in experienced reality. And that is the basis of our “understanding”. Indeed an understanding that is OUR understanding, based on words and concepts we have all connected up to experienced reality. So really, understanding never meant ultimate truth to start with.


Perhaps we should think of another word for understanding.


I was thinking something like….............phanta-fathomization

[ Edited: 05 April 2011 11:51 AM by toombaru]
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Posted: 05 April 2011 12:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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Dark Energy - 05 April 2011 02:32 PM

This is where your problem surfaces. You want it all and you want it now. Ultimate truth I mean. You’re not differentiating between some understanding and ultimate understanding and assume that some understanding is impossible without full ultimate truth. You simply equate understanding to ultimate truth. But listen up, only the religious define “understanding”  on knowledge of ultimate truth. What you present as an original thought on the emptiness of understanding is in fact the not too well artticulated discovery that meaning only arises in human thought as an intricate relation between words and as a relation between words and experienced reality. A discovery that was exposed in its full glory in early twentieth century by Wittgenstein. If words only can have any meaning to you when they are based from the ground up on ultimate truth than any attempt of you to communicate in words found in dictionaries made by man by definition is an act of self denial.


This all or nothing reasoning is typical for the religious creed. Religious believers too prefer to accept ultimate truth by faith over the limbo of “I don’t know”. They prefer to give meaning to a 2000+ year old book, even in hindsight, on the acceptance of its alleged ultimate truth over critical examination of its origins.


The thing is, science, our best means for truth finding so far, does not assume that there is such a thing as final understanding. It produces some understanding of experienced reality. It will never discover some hidden reality that is not causally connected to our experienced reality and vice versa if it is not causally connected at all than it has no meaning to humans at all. Indeed if we are all hooked up to some massive perverted brain in a vat experiment with absolutely zero change of detection from the inside than indeed I’d say the only reality that will ever be relevant to us is that same inside experienced reality.


Science produces tentative understanding that is connected to experienced reality through measures like reproducibility and predictibility, all defined within the framework of experienced reality. We can predict with some accuracy the path of the planets in the sky with our curent model. We can effectively fight several diseases, and so on. And tomorrow our models might be replaced by better ones. Does that mean that we have no understanding at all? That the word understanding is but a joke? Of course not, there are verifiable, reproducible, predictable results in experienced reality. And that is the basis of our “understanding”. Indeed an understanding that is OUR understanding, based on words and concepts we have all connected up to experienced reality. So really, understanding never meant ultimate truth to start with.

 

Can you see the problem when the term “morality” is accepted as an actuality and then its source is sought?
When the essential emptiness of self is apperceived, all terms that apply to its behavior become meaningless.
Factor out the self and free will and morality has no where to stick.

[ Edited: 05 April 2011 12:33 PM by toombaru]
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Posted: 06 April 2011 10:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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Can you see the problem when the term “morality” is accepted as an actuality and then its source is sought?
When the essential emptiness of self is apperceived, all terms that apply to its behavior become meaningless.
Factor out the self and free will and morality has no where to stick.

Morality is part of experienced reality for humans. Humans act on it or use it to explain their actions. It may eventually boil down to nothing more than a language game in which we are lured by our deceptive brains. But that does not render the phenomenon non-existent. Your question seems to suggest that a priori knowledge of ultimate origin of phenomena is needed to grant existence to the phenomenon in question itself. IOW you are restating over and over your claim that no truth exists without knowledge of ultimate absolute truth. The claim itself is an appeal to truth but knowing that it has no absolute basis should make you reconsider your claim.


As I have explained in my last post, your requirement has nothing to do with the meaning we define in terms of experienced reality. Feel free to suppose some unattainable reality forever hidden for human enquiry,like Kant supposed the Noumenon, but don’t infer from it that no meaningfull statements can be made in relation to experienced reality. It does not follow from the lack of access to absolute truth that all truth statements based in experienced reality are without meaning. On the contrary, meaning can only be rooted in experienced reality and can within that reality be defined in terms of predictability and explaining capability.


Compare this with the observation of Einstein that there is no special frame of reference in nature. Still every observer measures the same speed of light. Before Einstein every thinker who delved into the enigma of constant light speed in all directions figured that there had to be a special frame of reference. Einstein turned this around and took the contant lightspeed for every observer as a fundamental principle of nature. Hence he was able to better predict and model many natural phenomena.


Morality as a set of guidelines for human behaviour does not need free will, it only needs some understanding of causality, of the observed relation between action and consequences. Without a basis of free will in physical reality, there still is the perception of freedom, there is the feedback from thinking about the relation between actions and consequences on behavior in newly arising situations and there is growing control over our future with the aid of accumulated knowledge (science, medicine). We cannot will our actions from the ground up but we can influence our actions by learning about desired and avoidable consequences. Freedom evolves.

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Posted: 06 April 2011 09:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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Dark Energy - 06 April 2011 02:02 PM

Can you see the problem when the term “morality” is accepted as an actuality and then its source is sought

[ Edited: 06 April 2011 09:22 PM by toombaru]
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Posted: 06 April 2011 09:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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toombaru - 07 April 2011 01:14 AM
Dark Energy - 06 April 2011 02:02 PM

Can you see the problem when the term “morality” is accepted as an actuality and then its source is sought?
When the essential emptiness of self is apperceived, all terms that apply to its behavior become meaningless.
Factor out the self and free will and morality has no where to stick.

Morality is part of experienced reality for humans.

 


(t)
One could also say that angels are part of experienced reality for some humans.

I am suggesting that that which the mind labels “morality” is nothing but a naturally evolved consideration for others.
It is biologically advantageous to any gene pool when the individuals within help each other and those helping qualities are passed on to the next generation.
Cooperation, reciprocity and empathy are simply evolved qualities that help the organism survive and reproduce.
When he concept “morality” can be seen as the survival of the kindest it is stripped of its popular grandiose, puffed up meaning.

 

 


Humans act on it or use it to explain their actions.

 

 

 


(t)
I would suggest that humans re re-act to circumstances based on their acquired wiring and that their reactions can’t be called “moral” of “amoral” anymore than that of a helpful dog or horse.

 

 


It may eventually boil down to nothing more than a language game in which we are lured by our deceptive brains.

 

 


(t)
Indeed.
Words used to sort out word problems.

 

 

 


But that does not render the phenomenon non-existent. Your question seems to suggest that a priori knowledge of ultimate origin of phenomena is needed to grant existence to the phenomenon in question itself.

 

 

 

(t)
Au contraire.
I am saying that mind invents the idea “truth” and then sets out to discover the ultimate meaning of its own concept.
It can deal with those “things” that have a physical counterpart.
Those that do not will remain forever beyond its conceptual grasp simply because they exist only as ideas.

 

 

 


IOW you are restating over and over your claim that no truth exists without knowledge of ultimate absolute truth.

 

 

 

(t)
I am saying that there is no such thing as truth…......ultimate of otherwise.
What is “true” in nature?

 

 

 

The claim itself is an appeal to truth but knowing that it has no absolute basis should make you reconsider your claim.


As I have explained in my last post, your requirement has nothing to do with the meaning we define in terms of experienced reality. Feel free to suppose some unattainable reality forever hidden for human enquiry,like Kant supposed the Noumenon,

 


(t)
The thinking mind cannot “see” anything unless it has a name for it.
If it can be objectified it ain’t reality.
It’s a heck of a problem.
But only for the conceptual mind and its spurious self.

 

 

 

but don’t infer from it that no meaningfull statements can be made in relation to experienced reality. It does not follow from the lack of access to absolute truth that all truth statements based in experienced reality are without meaning. On the contrary, meaning can only be rooted in experienced reality and can within that reality be defined in terms of predictability and explaining capability.

 

 

(t)

Mind evolved to make connections.
It can predict the seasons and migrations.
The problem occurs when is mistakes its conceptual overlay for reality.

 

 

 

Compare this with the observation of Einstein that there is no special frame of reference in nature. Still every observer measures the same speed of light. Before Einstein every thinker who delved into the enigma of constant light speed in all directions figured that there had to be a special frame of reference. Einstein turned this around and took the contant lightspeed for every observer as a fundamental principle of nature. Hence he was able to better predict and model many natural phenomena.

 


(t)
The speed of light can be measured.
Determining the quality of truth or love is a little more difficult.

 

 


Morality as a set of guidelines for human behaviour does not need free will, it only needs some understanding of causality, of the observed relation between action and consequences.

 

 

(t)
That, I believe, is what Mr Harris tries to point out in his recent book.
Morality loses all relevance without free will.
If it is merely a reaction dictated by evolution the attempt to call it good or bad is just plain silly.

Mind conceptually separates its perceptions from within its personal, self-referential point of view.
Individual events exist only within its own frame of reference.
The quality of each event is determined by how it is imagined to help or harm the individual.

There are no separate events.
The imagined “choice” between them is an illusion: but the thinking mind of man can never see that.

 

 

 


Without a basis of free will in physical reality, there still is the perception of freedom, there is the feedback from thinking about the relation between actions and consequences on behavior in newly arising situations and there is growing control over our future with the aid of accumulated knowledge (science, medicine). We cannot will our actions from the ground up but we can influence our actions by learning about desired and avoidable consequences. Freedom evolves.

 

 

 

“Freedom” is another one of those loaded words.
I really have no idea what it means.

 

 

 


Thank you for your well thought out response.

I have enjoyed talking with you.

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