• Joshs
    4k
    Which one is the ‘system of ethics’?Banno

    Whichever one makes the most sense to you. You already have a system of ethics you prefer, which I would guess matches up with something between between Kant and Marx.
  • Banno
    19.2k
    Whichever one makes the most sense to you.Joshs

    I get to decide which one is right? Or is it that whichever one I choose is right (Relativism)? Or that it doesn't matter whch one I chose?

    So you agree with me that philosophy is not of much help in deciding between the various systems of ethics, that all it can do is set out the relationships between them. but you add that I get to choose whichever I prefer?

    What of my further point, that it's not down to me alone, but to us?
  • Joshs
    4k
    get to decide which one is right? Or is it that whichever one I choose is right (Relativism)? Or that it doesn't matter whch one I chose?

    So you agree with me that philosophy is not of much help in deciding between the various systems of ethics, that all it can do is set out the relationships between them. but you add that I get to choose whichever I prefer?

    What of my further point, that it's not down to me alone, but to us?
    Banno

    Whichever one you choose must earn and re-earn that privilege by validating its usefulness repeatedly in your relationships with others. Philosophy is vital to this endeavor , since a personal philosophy or worldview is what is being decided on. Worldview, personal philosophy, ethical system, these are all synonymous, so it makes no sense to say that a system of
    ethics we prefer doesnt help decide between various systems of ethics.


    Is that ‘relativism’ becuase its relative to your construal? I guess so, although you are arriving at the determination of its usefulness with the aid of results from many social interactions. Just because the way those interactions shape you is not identical to the way they shape others doesn’t mean this ‘relativism’ walls you off from others. It just means that agreed on ethics must be negotiated among individuals with somewhat differing vantages, while each ethical perspective must itself be open to constant test and adjustment as a result of social experience.

    So its down to ‘us’, but an ‘us’ which must take into account the vantages of its participants rather than attempting to swallow them up in a group anonymity.
  • Hanover
    9.1k
    To get to moral worth as the essence of being human one would need to claim that something is human if and only if it has moral worth.

    But there are things that have moral worth that are not human.

    Hence having moral worth if not the essence of being human.
    Banno
    It's just plain if, not iff. That moral worth is an essential element of humanity does not mean that all entities with that element be human.

    That an essential element of a cup is that you be able to drink from it doesn't make a river a cup it just makes a shattered cup no longer a cup.
  • Banno
    19.2k


    Sure, and an essence sets out both the necessary and the sufficient conditions.

    So it remains that, in answer to , ethical standing is no the essence of being human.
  • Hanover
    9.1k
    Nice. I like 'ethical standing' more too. 'Moral worth' sounds like a Christian apologist.Tom Storm

    All of this is religion. Don't let the terminology fool you. The difference in positions only being in how much we wish to admit to our religion. I accept mine full on.

    You say humans have moral worth because it's inherent in their being.

    I say humans have moral worth because of their divine essence.

    Tu-may-toe tu-mah-toe.

    I build my magical castles in the heavens. Yours are built from the ground, but all is magic nonetheless.
  • Hanover
    9.1k
    Sure, and an essence sets out both the necessary and the sufficient conditions.Banno

    Now we're debating what the essence of an essence is I suppose.
  • Tom Storm
    5.3k
    I build my magical castles in the heavens. Yours are built from the ground, but all is magic nonetheless.Hanover

    I can see that. Seems to me that most philosophy boils down to some kind of magic.
  • Banno
    19.2k
    Seems pretty clear. Do you disagree that the essence of a thing is what is necessary and sufficient for that thing to be that thing?

    Playing at scholasticism?
  • Jackson
    1.8k
    Seems to me that most philosophy boils down to some kind of magic.Tom Storm

    Please explain. That does not sound like philosophy.
  • Tom Storm
    5.3k
    I'm not a philosopher so for me much of what is discussed sounds like incantations and spells and often resembles some kind of shell game. The pea representing whatever form of truth you want to bet your worldview on. :wink:
  • Jackson
    1.8k
    I'm not a philosopher so for me much of what is discussed sounds like incantations and spells and often resembles some kind of shell game. The pea representing whatever form of truth you want to bet your worldview on.Tom Storm

    That is not philosophy. That is just opining.
  • Tom Storm
    5.3k
    Exactly. I already told you I am not a philosopher. Jesus.
  • Jackson
    1.8k
    Exactly. I already told you I am not a philosopher. Jesus.Tom Storm

    Goodnight.
  • Hanover
    9.1k
    Do you disagree that the essence of a thing is what is necessary and sufficient for that thing to be that thing?Banno

    I define an essence as "a property or group of properties of something without which it would not exist or be what it is."

    So, if the essence of a person is that he have moral worth, than an entity without moral worth is not a person.

    However, if a goat has moral worth, it is not a person simply because it shares a property with a person. It is also the case that a goat that has no moral worth can still be a goat because that property is not essential for goats.

    An essential element of mammals is that they breath air, which is also an essential element of birds, but birds aren't mammals.
  • Banno
    19.2k
    What's the point. Pedantic nonsense. You can define "essence" as purple egg yoke for all I care.
  • Hanover
    9.1k
    What's the point. Pedantic nonsense. You can define "essence" as purple egg yoke for all I care.Banno

    I didn't make that definition up.
  • Agent Smith
    8.1k


    Identity of indiscernibles.

    Is "technological correctness" a new concept? This is the first time I've heard of it. Care to explain what it is? Danke.
  • Tom Storm
    5.3k
    You say humans have moral worth because it's inherent in their being.

    I say humans have moral worth because of their divine essence.
    Hanover

    Actually, just getting back to this, I don't say that that humans have ethical standing (moral worth) as inherent. I am not sure how 'inherent' functions. As you have pointed out, that is very close positing a 'sacred'. I think society makes choices about how we identify or construct the human and one such act of intersubjective agreement is that humans have rights - which may in some instances equate with ethical standing, but I am not sure if it does.

    And yes, before you say it, it is likely that societies arbitrarily determine who is human and who is not, who gets rights and under what circumstances. My government has for many years violated the rights of refugees and Aboriginal people. If I say this is wrong, I say this as a consequence of my own presuppositions about such matters which do not contain any transcendental justification. But I am willing to concede that some of my formation in the area of moral thinking arises from my cultural Christianity.
  • Agent Smith
    8.1k
    @Hanover@Banno

    An essence of a rat are those qualities without which a rat would cease to be a rat.

    The essence of a definition (for a word) are the sufficient and necessary qualities that determine the correct application of that word. For example in the definition of a dog as a domesticated wolf, domesticated and wolf are individually necessary and collectively sufficient to identify a dog.
  • Deletedmemberzc
    2.5k


    Re "technological correctness," I found this article from 1996 - and not much else:

    https://www.jstor.org/stable/1576269

    It may be nothing.
  • Agent Smith
    8.1k
    Danke. I also want to know Athena's take on what "technological correctness" means.
  • Wayfarer
    16.3k
    I am thinking of aboriginal tribes that are destroyed by invaders who radically change their way of life, leading to the end of their social structure, and leading to alcoholism, and death. We destroyed the aboriginal tribes in North America and this caused untold human suffering. The same happened in varying degrees wherever Europeans went.Athena

    That's a very interesting question, but really it's one of history, economics and politics. The question in the OP could be re-phrased: what makes a human ‘human’? When people are abused en masse, we say they were ‘treated like animals’ or ‘treated like they were nothing’. And equal rights relies on recognising that all humans are persons, regardless of disability or ethnicity or what have you, which is the ground of the idea of rights. So I think that's the philosophical issue behind it.

    I don't say that that humans have ethical standing (moral worth) as inherent. I am not sure how 'inherent' functions. As you have pointed out, that is very close positing a 'sacred'.Tom Storm

    It's worth reflecting on the distant origins of 'essence' in Greek philosophy. It goes back, of course, to 'esse', which is simply 'what is'. The gist of the term is judgement - seeing what truly is. It sounds trite, but in the larger scheme, it might not be so simple, as any of us might be under the sway of some persuasive delusion or error of judgement that distorts our vision. (Science itself grew out of the attempt to correct for that.) But, in any case, notice the element of judgement - which is something characteristic of humans. And that's where I think morality enters the picture - because we can envisage how things might be, or ought to be, or ought not to be. It goes with the territory of self-awareness and language, of ideas of property and justice. I think that's a plausibly naturalistic basis for ethics.
  • Deletedmemberzc
    2.5k
    Cool, I was just curious about it. I've been thinking about the I don't doubt up and coming AI rights movement.
  • Tom Storm
    5.3k
    But, in any case, notice the element of judgement - which is something characteristic of humans.Wayfarer

    I think that's a helpful frame. Thanks.
  • Agent Smith
    8.1k
    Perhaps technological correctness is not the same thing as political correctness, but my hunch is being technologically correct is related to not offending machines (AI? If and when!) and their creators (computer scientists & engineers). Intriguing that the word "robot" means slave!
  • Agent Smith
    8.1k
    The problem as I see it is that we humans differ from other life-forms not by type (binary/present-absent) but in degrees (spectral/less-more). This makes it nigh impossible to construct a category for humans distinct from the rest of the animal kingdom and sometimes, even from plants.
  • 180 Proof
    10.2k
    Au contraire, monsieur ...
    What is essential to being a human being"?
    In addition to , courage seems to me most indispensably "human".
    You must go on. I can't go on. I'll go on. — The Unnamable
    In defiance, Sisyphus will "imagine Sisyphus happy".
  • Agent Smith
    8.1k


    How very parochial and lusterless my point of view is compared to yours.

    That said, in my humble opinion, courage & defiance are as impotent as hope - they really don't change the outcome do they now? What do you feel about different strokes for different folks?
  • 180 Proof
    10.2k
    "Courage & defiance" are, to my mind, nearly synonymous. And "the outcome"? What's "the outcome" of fitness or humor or relaxation? I'm all for live and let live (i.e. "different strokes ...") when the praxis is mutual, Smith; after all, there are many different pathways up the mountain or through the great maze yet some pathways are longer or steeper, more convoluted or more congested than other pathways. In short, I'm a pluralist (i.e. many different versions of X) and not a relativist (i.e. many different Xs). To each her own, no – origami paper or origami shapes? :fire:
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