‹ First  < 7 8 9
 
   
 

Does Morality Really Have to do with questions of happiness/suffering?

 
boagie
 
Avatar
 
 
boagie
Total Posts:  125
Joined  28-12-2011
 
 
 
18 May 2013 14:47
 
clfst17 - 04 December 2012 04:39 AM
logicophilosophicus - 04 December 2012 04:32 AM

@boagle
“Consider it the well being of a common humanity…” Same problem of definition, with the added complication of “common humanity”. (Is it moral for a starving family to kill and eat their children, or their grandparents?) Defining happiness/wellbeing for an individual is already yay hard.

@clfst17
“...better brain states on average are defined as more moral…”
Defining good (better, best) is the basis of ethics. You can’t take it as given. What IS a “better brain state”? (I don’t mean non-dead or non-sick: I mean how is my brain state when I spend a pound on a pink ribbon better than on a can of beer?)

Defining what is good (better, best) intrinsically is the basis of ethics.  And the consensus is that it can’t be done.  Harris admits that.  But what most people mean when they talk about morality is what is good in terms of the suffering of conscious creatures.  That can be done now that we know a thing or two about brains.

There can be multiple peaks on the moral landscape.  But it’s not necessary to distinguish between a pink ribbon and a can of beer when all it takes to establish Harris’ position is an admission that, say, living 100 years in America with near-perfect health, a fulfilling job, and great relationships is a better life than living 30 years under a dictator while starving with no education, no clean water, etc.

@clfst17,

We are in agreement then, morality like any other meaning is biologically dependent, meaning is the interpretation of the experience of a biological subject evoked from us by the stimulus of the objective world or object.

[ Edited: 19 May 2013 06:35 by boagie]
 
 
boagie
 
Avatar
 
 
boagie
Total Posts:  125
Joined  28-12-2011
 
 
 
18 May 2013 15:03
 
logicophilosophicus - 29 November 2012 12:00 AM

@Boagle

You define morality in terms of “wellbeing” and wellbeing in terms of “self interest”. I should say RE-define, since morality always involves actions - considered if not necessarily enacted - despite one’s self interest.

“logicophilosophicus,

Yes morality does tend to evoke action or inaction but not before intent, action never comes before intent. The formation of intent depends on the experience of a biological subject/consciousness and generally speaking the sentiment of compassion which is the foundation of morality only arises when a subject in some degree recognizes through an expanded concept of self, the self in another, no identification with other, then no compassion will arise in the individual subject. This recognition of another self like myself with the capacity to suffer is the stimulus towards compassion. Well being and self-interest generally speaking are synonymous with biological survival, the which is not anti-life but supportive of life—or good and bad.

[ Edited: 18 May 2013 15:28 by boagie]
 
 
boagie
 
Avatar
 
 
boagie
Total Posts:  125
Joined  28-12-2011
 
 
 
18 May 2013 15:14
 
logicophilosophicus - 04 December 2012 04:32 AM

@boagle
“Consider it the well being of a common humanity…” Same problem of definition, with the added complication of “common humanity”. (Is it moral for a starving family to kill and eat their children, or their grandparents?) Defining happiness/wellbeing for an individual is already yay hard.


“logicophilosophicus,

No it is not moral for a starving family to kill and eat their children, it is amoral. This is not a civil condition that lends itself to morality, morality is a social construct, the necessity of biological survival strips away all previous definitions that do not spell survival of the biological subject. Our ancestors most assuredly engaged in cannibalism, thus we are here to post your comments.

[ Edited: 18 May 2013 15:32 by boagie]
 
 
‹ First  < 7 8 9