• Banno
    11.6k
    Meh. Your standard response.

    The metaphor you disparage is from Philosophical Investigations, with a long history in philosophical circles. But you would not know that. Your dismissing it as "stupid" tells us about you.
  • Bartricks
    2.8k
    So presumably you think that if a metaphor was used in philosophical investigations, then it is a good one regardless of what you're using it as a metaphor for? Brilliant. Have you seen the sketch 'Thick people' in the comedy series 'Jam'? You bear an uncanny resemblance to Rowena.
  • Banno
    11.6k
    Yep. Your standard ad hom.

    Yawn.
  • Bartricks
    2.8k
    Argue something Rowena.
  • Banno
    11.6k
    I did. You can't see it. That's how discussion with you goes.

    Three rebuttals, each unmet:

    From @T H E, that morality is a social phenomena, not an individual one.

    From @counterpunch, that Moral proscriptions are post hoc

    From me, that morality is not "made of norms and values", but of acts.

    Argue something, Bart.
  • 180 Proof
    3.1k
    Morality is not made of norms and values. It's made of acts. It's what one does that has moral import, not what one says, nor even what one values.Banno
    Yeah: morality is performative, not propositional; though we reflect on what can be said about it – 'descriptions', 'definitions', 'heuristics', 'values' (i.e. priorities), 'practical examples', etc – in order to comparatively study different moral justifications for (i.e. different assessments of the "moral import" of) what we do.
  • Bartricks
    2.8k
    Like I say, no point in debating with Rowenas
  • Banno
    11.6k
    I've no idea what a "Rowena" is.

    Don't you feel the least bit uncomfortable at repeatedly resorting to ad homs?
  • Bartricks
    2.8k
    Go derail someone else's thread. And if you want to know what a Rowena is, put "Jam - Thick People" into youtube.
  • Banno
    11.6k
    IF you do not wish your ideas to be critiqued, don't post them.
  • Bartricks
    2.8k
    If you've got no argument to make, go away Rowena.
  • counterpunch
    1k
    Well done for just ignoring the refutation and continuing to assert your theory.Bartricks

    What else can I do? Your "refutation" was direct contradiction offered without evidence. So I offered some evidence for my claim - that morality is fundamentally a sense, linking a video of a lower primate with what seems to be an innate knowledge of what getting screwed over looks like, and responding appropriately. I realise it's less than ideal - because the monkey is quite likely to be socialised with humans, but Jane Goodall reports similar morally oriented behaviours in chimpanzees in the wild; grooming, sharing food, and remembering who reciprocates and withholding such favours in future.

    The theory you're asserting (not defending) is the metaethical theory known as 'individual subjectivism'.Bartricks

    Thanks for the attempted pigeonhole, but my philosophical understanding is formed in relation to a bunch of theories; one of which is evolution, and assuming evolution is very substantially correct - morality is premised in the behavioural intelligence of social animals, and this devolves in turn to physiological intelligence, and ultimately, to the cause and effect 'truth' relation between the organism and reality.

    In short, morality is means of being 'correct' to reality for the social organism. Long before human intellectual intelligence occurred, looking out for each other, sharing food, grooming, fighting for the tribe - was behaviourally intelligent morality, in that it made the tribe better able to compete, and survive to breed to pass on their genetic predispositions to us.

    From this fact based conclusion, it follows that morality pre-exists intellectual apprehension - and so it must be that we philosophers have spent thousands of years seeking to define morality which is primarily, sensed. Presumably, that's why, in all that time, we have been quite unable to arrive at a definitive definition of morality, because it's a sense, not an ideal or an order. And it's like - you can identity regularities in humour, you can identify regularities in aesthetics, but you cannot define what makes something funny, or define what makes something beautiful. It just is.

    Similarly, you can identity what evokes the moral sense, and make a note "Thou shalt not do that again" - but that intellectualisation is not morality per se. It's a description of the workings of the moral sense, that is so uniform across peoples, it implies the existence of an objective moral order - without there actually being one.

    I could go on, explaining how this conception of morality is the only one that makes sense in relation to a range of other facts and theories. I can explain how it plays into religion, politics and the development of civilisations. Philosophically, I could explain how this approach obviates nihilism, and promotes the moral good - while undermining moral crusaders. I can explain how it works in child development, psychology, law. You slap on a label and then attack what you think your label implies. You have no idea.
  • Bartricks
    2.8k
    Yep, pointless debating with you. You're not addressing the issue, but you also won't be taught, so you know, tara.
  • counterpunch
    1k


    I have Cassandra Syndrome.
  • counterpunch
    1k


    You really don't.Bartricks

    Well okay then, let's go back to consider your assertion that:

    Morality is made of norms and values.Bartricks

    Where do norms and values come from? Do they grow on trees? Are they mined from deep in the earth? Do they fall from the sky when its very, very cloudy? Like it is inside your head!
  • counterpunch
    1k
    ↪Bartricks I did. You can't see it. That's how discussion with you goes.

    Three rebuttals, each unmet:

    From T H E, that morality is a social phenomena, not an individual one.

    From @counterpunch, that Moral proscriptions are post hoc

    From me, that morality is not "made of norms and values", but of acts.

    Argue something, Bart.
    Banno

    Bravo, only - my argument is more that morality is fundamentally a sense formed in the pre-intellectual, behaviourally intelligent ancestors of homo sapiens. It does imply that moral proscriptions are post hoc, in theory, at conception, but not for long. They are soon woven into the social fabric - and tested and refined, and subject to adaptions - ideally beneficial, but regularly detrimental. Detrimental adaptions of morality occur because misunderstood, they have the authority of an objective order - as opposed to something more democratic.

    I maintain that the sum of scientific knowledge is rightfully the objective order and morality is primarily subjective, but also inter-subjective, social, political - and so subject to social struggle to define. Our rightful place is the position Hume objects to; the bridge between the 'is' and the 'ought' - knowing what's objectively true, and feeling, and articulating what's morally right - on the basis of what's scientifically true.
  • Bartricks
    2.8k
    Bravo, only - my argument is more that morality is fundamentally a sense formed in the pre-intellectual, behaviourally intelligent ancestors of homo sapiens.counterpunch

    Oh, get a room already.

    Where do norms and values come from? Do they grow on trees? Are they mined from deep in the earth? Do they fall from the sky when its very, very cloudy?counterpunch

    You know London? Where does it come from? Where does London come from?

    That's called a confused question that only a very confused person would ask.

    Here's another:

    "where do moral norms and values come from?"

    They're not projectiles or cars. They're prescriptions and attitudes. Anyway, pointless saying any of this isn't it? They come from a moral foundry outside Sheffield.
  • Banno
    11.6k
    Understood - Please forgive the rhetorical flourish.

    There's a bit of the logic that I think interesting, but that is in danger of being overlooked; and it is similar to, but I think distinct from, @T H E's point. It's that moral judgements are inherently collective; and I don't mean that in the way that their conceptualisation is essentially a social enterprise like any other; but that they are judgements about what we, notI should do.

    SO my preference for gardening is about me, and while gardening may involve being social, is not inherently collective; it is a preference for what I might choose.

    But a moral preference is a preference not just for me, but for others; if it is morally reprehensible to do such-and-such, that holds not just for me but for everyone, at least everyone in similar circumstances.

    One does not suppose that because one has a preference for gardening, everyone ought also garden. This is not so for our moral preferences. We do expect others to follow them.

    That seems to be a crucial part of the logic, or grammar, of moral thinking.
  • counterpunch
    1k
    You know London? Where does it come from? Where does London come from?Bartricks

    The past.

    That's called a confused question that only a very confused person would ask.Bartricks

    The question you asked?!

    Here's another:

    "where do moral norms and values come from?"
    Bartricks

    I can explain where norms and values come from. The behavioural intellligence of hunter gatherer tribes - looking after each other to survive. Interestingly, it's why Nietzsche is wrong in his nihilism. He needn't have worried himself to death. Man in a state of nature could not have been an amoral, self serving brute - who was fooled by the weak. The human species could not have survived if primitive man were Nietzschian, and Jane Goodall et al., show that not even animals are animals!

    Why can't you explain where your supposed norms and values come from?
  • Bartricks
    2.8k
    The past.counterpunch

    Er, no.

    The question you asked?!counterpunch

    Er, no.

    I can explain where norms and values come from. The behavioural intellligence of hunter gatherer tribes - looking after each other to survive. Interestingly, it's why Nietzsche is wrong in his nihilism. He needn't have worried himself to death. Man in a state of nature could not have been an amoral, self serving brute - who was fooled by the weak. The human species could not have survived if primitive man were Nietzschian, and Jane Goodall et al., show that not even animals are animals!counterpunch

    No.

    Why can't you explain where your supposed norms and values come from?counterpunch

    I did. A moral foundry outside Sheffield.
  • counterpunch
    1k
    Understood - Please forgive the rhetorical flourish.Banno

    I would, but I fear that were I to condescend to forgive so minor an infraction, I should place myself on an impossibly narrow ledge with regard to my own behaviours!

    There's a bit of the logic that I think interesting, but that is in danger of being overlooked; and it is similar to, but I think distinct from, T H E's point. It's that moral judgements are inherently collective; and I don't mean that in the way that their conceptualisation is essentially a social enterprise like any other; but that they are judgements about what we, not I - should do..Banno

    Agreed. Robinson Crusoe cannot behave immorally, alone on a desert island. Moral behaviour is behaviour toward others, also imbued with a moral sense.

    SO my preference for gardening is about me, and while gardening may involve being social, is not inherently collective; it is a preference for what I might choose.

    But a moral preference is a preference not just for me, but for others; if it is morally reprehensible to do such-and-such, that holds not just for me but for everyone, at least everyone in similar circumstances.

    One does not suppose that because one has a preference for gardening, everyone ought also garden. This is not so for our moral preferences. We do expect others to follow them.

    That seems to be a crucial part of the logic, or grammar, of moral thinking.
    Banno

    Right. But "everyone ought to garden" could be a moral imperative under certain conditions. "Dig for victory!" for example. I think that's explained by the fact that morality is a sense - that occurs in the context of the hunter-gatherer tribe, because as you say, that implies any particular moral proscription is post hoc. Post hoc to the facts of the circumstances.
  • counterpunch
    1k
    I did. A moral foundry outside Sheffield.Bartricks

    Really? I thought norms and values came from the tears of angels, who look down upon us and despair!
  • Mww
    2.3k
    I maintain you also have a sense of moralitycounterpunch

    I maintain that (....) morality is primarily subjectivecounterpunch

    Robinson Crusoe cannot behave immorally, alone on a desert islandcounterpunch

    You had my support.....as clandestine as it may have been, tucked away in the back of the room here.....but now I’m having second thoughts.

    Better you fix it, elst the vultures get a freebie.
  • baker
    1k
    Why do you ask?Banno
    To get a context on the matter.
    You said earlier:
    Morality and ethics are about how one is to relate to others.Banno
    This view is far from universal. For some people, for example, morality is all about laws and rules: what matters is that one obeys laws, rules, and it doesn't matter how people feel about that or how they are affected by it.

    (Japanese society at large, for instance, is a good example of that.)
  • baker
    1k
    It's that moral judgements are inherently collective; and I don't mean that in the way that their conceptualisation is essentially a social enterprise like any other; but that they are judgements about what we, notI should do.Banno
    But the real question for assessing moral reasoning is _why_ we should do something and not do some other thing.

    For example, five people can say that we should not steal, but they can have very different reasons for prohibiting stealing. One will say that we shouldn't steal, because if we do, we'll be punished, and getting punished is bad and should be avoided. Another person will say that we shouldn't steal because if we do, other people will think ill of us, and we mustn't risk that. Yet another person will say that we shouldn't steal because the law says we must not steal. Etc.
  • counterpunch
    1k


    Thank you for bringing this to my attention, and thank you for your secret support. But I can't fix it. I must let the chips fall where they may. I said what I said, and if the reader - like Bartricks, for instance - would strip a few words from a sentence, the sentence from the paragraph, and the paragraph from the overall argument, and seek to use those few words to beat me with - I'll just have to cope with it as part of the rough and tumble of philosophical debate.

    I maintain that (....) morality is primarily subjectivecounterpunch

    I maintain that the sum of scientific knowledge is rightfully the objective order and morality is primarily subjective, but also inter-subjective, social, political - and so subject to social struggle to define. Our rightful place is the position Hume objects to; the bridge between the 'is' and the 'ought' - knowing what's objectively true, and feeling, and articulating what's morally right - on the basis of what's scientifically true.counterpunch

    I did say it - but would have phrased it differently with the benefit of hindsight.
  • Banno
    11.6k
    But the real question for assessing moral reasoning is _why_ we should do something and not do some other thing.baker

    Well, no. The real question is "What should I do, now, in this situation?". Assessing moral reasoning - deontology - is in danger of becoming a post-hoc exercise in self-justification.

    Rules don't make actions good or bad; it is easy to find examples of evil committed by following the rules. Consequences do not make actions good or bad; it is easy to justify acts of evil on the basis of their consequences.

    Hence my preference for virtue ethics. Deontology and consequentialism serve virtue.
  • 180 Proof
    3.1k
    Hence my preference for virtue ethics. Deontology and consequentialism serve virtue.Banno
    :up:
  • baker
    1k
    But the real question for assessing moral reasoning is _why_ we should do something and not do some other thing.
    — baker

    Well, no. The real question is "What should I do, now, in this situation?". Assessing moral reasoning - deontology - is in danger of becoming a post-hoc exercise in self-justification.

    Rules don't make actions good or bad; it is easy to find examples of evil committed by following the rules. Consequences do not make actions good or bad; it is easy to justify acts of evil on the basis of their consequences.

    Hence my preference for virtue ethics. Deontology and consequentialism serve virtue.
    Banno

    Different theories of morality saliently differ precisely on this one point: the issue of the motivation/justification for acting morally.

    Each such theory prefers or takes for granted a particular line of motivation/justification:
    "You should do X because God commanded it, and you must obey God."
    "You should do X because it's in your own best interest."
    "You should do X in order to show you're a good person."
    "You should do X because X is virtuous and virtuous acts are their own reward."
    "You should do X because it's the norm of the culture you're part of."

    And so on.

    Assessing moral reasoning - deontology - is in danger of becoming a post-hoc exercise in self-justification.
    The fact that some people sometimes lie about their intentions, motivations, justifications for acting one way or another does not detract us from operating under the assumption that people actually have intentions, motivations, justifications for acting the way they do.

    Do you actually think that moral issues can be adequately addressed without reference to the person's intention?
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