• Bob Ross
    1.2k


    Damn dude, to think I kinda took you seriously before

    Vaskane, insults do not help further the discussion: I am not interested in disrespectful, unproductive, and ingenuine comments.

    You still have of yet to properly defend your only point (that I have been able to decipher) which is that the moral and pragmatic categories of goodness are mistaken reductionisms of morality; and since you refuse to engage in the actual comments I made in our discussion multiple times now, I am going to assume you don't have any support for your claim (until you actually engage in it).

    now I know that Binary thinking has you skewed like fuck to the point you posit the US as "Good."

    I was not claiming that the US has only ever done good things; rather, that by-at-large they have been good for the development of humanity (especially in the west). This is not binary thinking at all: binary thinking on this subject would be to say that the US is either done 100% good or 0% good (i.e., 100% bad). Admitting there are degrees to it and conceding that they have also done bad things does not fit your narrative of me.

    I think it was the omnibenevelence of God comment that shows how blunderous your binary thinking is

    I have no clue what comment you are referring to: could you please quote it?

    You obviously have yet to go "Beyond Good and Evil," with that black and white duality of thought.

    With all due respect, you keep alluding to Nietzschien thought without being able to elaborate and backup those claims. Just to give you an idea where my head is at, I am very well versed in Nietzsche [believe it or not (; ], as he is one is one of my favorite philosophers; so it isn't helpful for me to understand your view when you simply make quick-witted, allusions to Nietzschien thought: you need to dive in deeper and explain and defend that position so that we can have a productive conversation. I tried to do that a while back by elaborating on my thoughts about Nietzsche, but you ignored it and, instead, sent this unsubstantive response (and I say that with all due respect: it is clear you put no effort into this response, and this makes it very hard for me to have a productive conversation with you).

    EDIT
    Also, just as a side note, "Beyond Good and Evil" is literally a work about, at its core, moral anti-realism. I just note that because I am not sure if you realize that Nietzsche is not arguing for merely that good vs. evil is a false dilemma (i.e., a mistaken reductionism); but, rather, he is arguing for the non-facticity of morality itself. If you are actually using that as your justification, then we will need to dive into metaethics; because my OP is about a moral realist position. Just food for thought (:

    I look forward to hearing from you,
    Bob
  • Bob Ross
    1.2k


    Okay, that is fine if you accept that. But it still stands that, since there are no concrete examples of these, they are no more provable than beings with pink and yellow spots. Just because YOU BELIEVE them to be true, it doesnt mean that they are. As your belief, that is fine, and i totally respect that, but if you want to state this as a fact, you need to back it up with proof. And there is no concrete proof from real life, as we know it.

    What exactly are you questioning the facticity of (in my view)?

    I never claimed that it is a fact that a 100% morally perfect entity exists. This was never something I even attempted to claim, nor would I.

    Whether or not we can 100% realize moral goodness universally is a separate question from (1) what moral goodness is and (2) what factually gets us closer to that state and (3) what helps us preserve our progress.
  • Pantagruel
    3.3k
    Goodness has two historical meanings: hypothetical and actual perfection.Bob Ross

    Your entire OP is based upon a false definition followed by an unending stream of equivocation between goodness and perfection, which are manifestly not the same thing, as pretty much everyone has agreed, except for you. Trying to further equivocate with harmony only makes your reasoning more precarious.

    The primary historical meaning of goodness is not perfection, it is virtue, which is understood to be independent of pragmatic concerns. This is why it is possible to do good, to do the right thing, even in the face of overwhelming odds, even when the right or good actions fail. This is the entire significance of deontological ethics. Indeed, many philosophers believe (and I agree) that actions which are done out of pragmatism do not qualify as moral; rather, only those actions which are done out of the sense of duty.
  • Beverley
    135
    What exactly are you questioning the facticity of (in my view)?Bob Ross

    I am questioning the idea of anything being perfect. I am saying that it could be impossible, or simply a made up concept, since there is no evidence of it. If this is the case, according to your definition, goodness also does not exist. Now, something is clearly amiss here. This would suggest that there is something wrong with your definition.
  • Beverley
    135
    Your entire OP is based upon a false definition followed by an unending stream of equivocation between goodness and perfection, which are manifestly not the same thing, as pretty much everyone has agreed, except for you. Trying to further equivocate with harmony only makes your reasoning more precarious.

    The primary historical meaning of goodness is not perfection, it is virtue, which is understood to be independent of pragmatic concerns. This is why it is possible to do good, to do the right thing, even in the face of overwhelming odds, even when the right or good actions fail. This is the entire significance of deontological ethics. Indeed, many philosophers believe (and I agree) that actions which are done out of pragmatism do not qualify as moral; rather, only those actions which are done out of the sense of duty.
    Pantagruel

    This makes so much sense to me. I haven't studied ethics, but this simply makes sense. Hooray!
  • wonderer1
    1.7k
    I am questioning the idea of anything being perfect. I am saying that it could be impossible, or simply a made up concept, since there is no evidence of it. If this is the case, according to your definition, goodness also does not exist. Now, something is clearly amiss here. This would suggest that there is something wrong with your definition.Beverley

    :up:
  • Beverley
    135
    And also, this whole notion that there is some kind of behaviour-transcending "perfection" can be utilized to justify any action that the believer believes is consonant with it. ie. it is a rationality which is conducive to the abuses of extremism. Very dangerous.Pantagruel

    This idea of universal perfection seems to get more bizarre the more I think about it.

    First of all, I still fail to see how we would proceed if everything was perfect. What would be the motivation to do anything?

    I suppose we could assume that once universal perfection was reached, there could be no going back, as in, nothing could slip back into imperfection because, well, everything would be perfect, so there would be no flaws, and therefore, possibility of regression. (Hmm, I can’t help but feeling a sense of being trapped in this case. It seems unsettling.)

    Okay so, if everyone was perfect then everyone would have to live in perfect equality, otherwise, one person would be at an advantage, and that situation would be imperfect. Everyone would need to have access to the same facilities, food etc If I had one more carrot than my neighbour, or Joe Bloggs who lives on the other side of the globe, then that would constitute an imperfection. And here we already begin to see how this situation seems impossible.

    Furthermore, there could be no illness, as that would be an imperfection. But if there was no illness, then surely people could not die. They could not die from failure of their bodies, but it would seem as if they could not die from accidents either, because they would be the result of imperfections. What about natural disasters? Well, an earthquake would represent a pretty bit imperfection, so that could not happen. But then the structure of the earth would have to be perfected somehow, as would the structure of all celestial bodies. The sun, for example, appears to be pretty destructive and imperfect, however, of course, we need the sun. Somehow, the sun, and all stars, would have to be changed, in fact, the whole structure and ‘design’ of the universe would need to change. Could it be done? It seems like utter nonsense to me.

    But strangely, if everything was perfect— which some may think would be extremely good— then conversely, it seems as if ‘good’ may not even be possible any longer. You couldn’t point to something and say, “That is a good…” because everything would be perfect, so one thing could not be better than the other. Also, if there was no hardship, and nobody needed to struggle or try, then a selfless act, carried out by someone who does not benefit from it, means nothing because that person doesn’t need any benefit because everything around them would be perfect. And anyway, there would be nobody that needed a selfless act. There would be no point in goodness. It seems as if goodness is only relevant in contrast to badness, but if there is no badness, then goodness would be irrelevant. So, this universal perfection, which is supposed to be ultimately good, cannot be good anymore, and seems to contradict itself.

    Is it just me, or does this perfect world seem to be the most annoying, boring and uninspiring place? I have a vision in my head of everyone walking around with some kind of fake smile on their faces (Maybe this is from a movie I have seen. I can imagine this as a movie, only the fake smiling people end up not being perfect as first thought and turn into mass murderers lol) However I try to picture this idea of a perfect world, it turns out being incredibly bad. But it could be just me.

    Also, I admit, there may be flaws in my assessment of a perfect universe, but I still think it would turn out being nonsensical.
  • Pantagruel
    3.3k
    Yes, we aspire to live in a human world of hopes and fears and joys and sorrows. You can't simplify that. People do good because they are or aspire to be good. Sincere actions can and do have value, regardless of their relative success, that is the tragi-comedy of the human existence, the disparity between what we expect and what happens, between what we deserve and what we get.
  • Leontiskos
    1.3k
    Your entire OP is based upon a false definition followed by an unending stream of equivocation between goodness and perfection, which are manifestly not the same thing...Pantagruel

    What is the relation between goodness and perfection?

    The primary historical meaning of goodness is not perfection, it is virtue...Pantagruel

    Is virtue (arete) unrelated to perfection?
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    2k


    Is virtue (arete) unrelated to perfection?

    Arete could also be translated as "excellence," and for Aristotle it was deeply related to perfection. This would be the use of perfection in sentences like "the glove is a perfect fit," or "thanks for working in my car, it's been running perfectly (without malfunction) ever since." This conception of perfection is grounded in function or purpose (telos).

    But the idea of "virtue," singular, as opposed to the "virtues," is a modern innovation. The virtues were those excellences a person needed to fulfill their social role, and they might vary depending on the sort of person you were. The virtues required of a knight are not necessarily the same as those required by a nun, or a teacher, etc.

    With the shift to market economies and mass production, social roles took on a declining importance in how people defined their lives. The products of people's labor was no longer largely consumed in the immediate community, so work could no longer be tied back to ones role in supporting the community (alienation). Thus, efforts were made to recontextualize ethics in terms of universal laws or principles — "what can said to be good in every case."

    There is an argument to be made that this is a mistaken outlook. Trying to develop ethics outside of a social context is like trying to develop a view of "the differences between men and women sans culture." It doesn't work because people don't live outside of a culture and community; ethics isn't practiced individually.

    There are places where fairly objective lists of the virtues still exist in our modern world, and these tend to be professions with defined "practices." For example, it probably be far easier for us to reach agreement on what makes someone a "good scientist" or "good doctor," than what makes someone a "good person." This is the sort of analysis where the virtues were originally intended. Aristotle sets out the "life of contemplation," as the highest sort of life, but maintains that one may be virtuous and flourish in other types of life.

    There are, of course, candidates for metavirtues that are required for all people to fulfill their roles. But modern ethics tends to focus more on the ethical nature of individual acts than "a good life," which is another complication. I personally find the older focus on the entire life/life narrative, "count no man happy/wise until he is dead," (Solon/The Book of Sirach) works better. The framing of good/bad in terms of free floating "acts" in a life makes it impossible to get a grip on the necessary context for ethical behavior.
  • Pantagruel
    3.3k
    Is virtue (arete) unrelated to perfection?Leontiskos

    Not at all. However I believe the more literal interpretation is "to excel", which certainly aligns with the fact that moral value aligns with actions.
  • Leontiskos
    1.3k
    But the idea of "virtue," singular, as opposed to the "virtues," is a modern innovation. The virtues were those excellences a person needed to fulfill their social role, and they might vary depending on the sort of person you were. The virtues required of a knight are not necessarily the same as those required by a nun, or a teacher, etc.Count Timothy von Icarus

    Well here is what Aristotle says:

    If this be so the result is that the good of man is exercise of his faculties in accordance with excellence or virtue, or, if there be more than one, in accordance with the best and most complete virtue.Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, 1098a15

    This is the central piece of his rough outline of the good of man (happiness).

    This is the sort of analysis where the virtues were originally intended. Aristotle sets out the "life of contemplation," as the highest sort of life, but maintains that one may be virtuous and flourish in other types of life.Count Timothy von Icarus

    On my reading Aristotle believes that phronesis is the staple virtue for the active life, for it includes the other virtues necessary for action, such as justice, temperance, fortitude, etc. It seems to me that these virtues will be necessary for the knight as well as for the teacher.

    I don't think it is wrong to say that the entry point for a study of virtue is that of professions, and secondarily, social roles, but I wouldn't say that the ancients spoke only about virtues and not about virtue. Plato and Aristotle consider this problem explicitly, and of course Socrates is constantly interested in the unified sense of a predicate.
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    2k


    The virtues are the skills and talents needed to attain eudaimonia. There are many, so speaking of "attaining virtue," singular, would be similar to saying one needs to "attain skill," or "talent" to be a good musician. It's true, but there are particular forms. The English-language history is interesting here because if MacIntyre's sources in After Virtue are to be believed, speaking of a single "virtue," as in "the singular skill of being good," didn't enter English discourse until 18th century.

    Plato does attempt to unify the virtues in the Protagoras, but in the sense that all virtues are born of knowledge, not that there is a single excellence required for "the good life." And of course Plato has a unified idea of the good, but that's not the same thing, although modern discourse has tended to flatten out "virtue" such that they start to become synonymous. "One must be virtuous to be a good person," becomes a tautology

    The point is not that the virtues are wholly dependant on one's vocation or social status; Aristotle's analysis applies across these distinctions. It's that they are seated and expressed within a context on an entire life, which necessarily includes the aforementioned, rather than being applied to individual acts (this follows with eudaimonia also being achieved across a lifetime and its legacy). In an ethics based on the moral value of individual acts, the focus on skill/habit tends to get lost.

    The polis shows up most robustly in contrast to thinkers like Hume, for whom morality must be about the concerns of the individual. For both Plato and Aristotle, there is a strong sense of a "shared good," e.g., Socrates' claims that it would make no sense for him to make his fellow citizens worse in the Apology. The point here is that there is nothing like the tendency to think in terms of "trade-offs," the way there is in modern ethical discourse, where we are always concerned with how much utility an individual must give up to obey some precept and "shared good," is just defined as "an instance where every individual benefits as an individual from the same good."
  • Leontiskos
    1.3k
    The virtues are the skills and talents needed to attain eudaimonia. There are many, so speaking of "attaining virtue," singular, would be similar to saying one needs to "attain skill," or "talent" to be a good musician. The English-language history is interesting here because if MacIntyre's sources in After Virtue are to be believed, speaking of a single "virtue," as in "the singular skill of being good," didn't enter English discourse until 18th century.Count Timothy von Icarus

    For the Greeks the term would be kalos as applied to human beings. For the Latins, beginning at least with Cicero, the term would be honestas. If what you say about MacIntyre is accurate then he seems to be missing these fairly obvious historical examples.* It is true that there is a simplification of moral vocabulary around the time of Hume, but I don't think it is at all correct to claim that before the 18th century there was no conception of virtue in the singular sense.

    Plato does attempt to unify the virtues in the Protagoras, but in the sense that all virtues are born of knowledge, not that there is a single excellence required for "the good life."Count Timothy von Icarus

    I would submit that in Plato's Republic justice is presented as the excellence of excellences, the keystone virtue that underlies the flourishing of the city and of the individual.

    What gives aptness and force to justice as "doing one's
    own business" is that so understood it becomes the excel-
    lence of excellences in a world under the rule of the Good.
    For that the Good rules can only mean that in its light each
    being is both good in itself and good as a part of the whole.
    But that is precisely what justice accomplishes in our work-
    ing world, which is a reflection of the realm of being: To be
    just according to Socrates is to be both good on one's own
    and good for others.
    — Raymond Larson, Introduction to the Republic, p. xlv

    The point is not that the virtues are wholly dependant on one's vocation or social status; Aristotle's analysis applies across these distinctions. It's that they are seated and expressed within a context on an entire life, which necessarily includes these things. . .Count Timothy von Icarus

    Okay, that's fair.

    The polis shows up most robustly in contrast to thinkers like Hume, for whom morality must be about the concerns of the individual. For both Plato and Aristotle, there is a strong sense of a "shared good," e.g., Socrates' claims that it would make no sense for him to make his fellow citizens worse. The point here is that there is nothing like the tendency to think in terms of "trade offs," the way there is in modern ethical discourse, where we are always concerned with how much utility an individual must give up to obey some precept and "shared good," is just defined as "every individual benefits as an individual from the same good."Count Timothy von Icarus

    I think this is right.


    * Unless your claim that "virtue in the singular is a modern innovation" is not drawn from MacIntyre.
  • Bob Ross
    1.2k


    Your entire OP is based upon a false definition followed by an unending stream of equivocation between goodness and perfection, which are manifestly not the same thing, as pretty much everyone has agreed, except for you. Trying to further equivocate with harmony only makes your reasoning more precarious.

    Literally every major use of the term “good” (or an equivalent in a different language) has been used, at its core, in one of the two senses. That is why I use the definition.

    By goodness being identical to perfection, I do not mean to exclude the possibility of degrees thereof: I am more than happy to agree that something can be 58% good and thusly not perfect. In other words, just to clarify, I am not saying that a thing is only good if it is perfect but, rather, that 100% goodness is identical to perfection.

    Although I may be misunderstanding you, it seems like your worry of equivocation [of the two] is predicated on the idea that I mean that something cannot be good, in any sense or degree, if it isn’t perfect.

    The reason I didn’t go into depth on this in the OP, is that I wanted to keep it short and sweet; and see where the conversations lead me. I could whip up a much longer, substantive OP if you would like.

    The primary historical meaning of goodness is not perfection, it is virtue, which is understood to be independent of pragmatic concerns

    Virtue is certainly an example of one of many uses of the term ‘goodness’ in a moral sense; and I can demonstrate how it is subsumable under my conception of moral goodness.

    Any and every virtue ever considered in a serious manner by people, especially experts in the field of study (even prior to there being a formal field of study for it), is virtuous in virtue of cultivating a character that habitually strives towards universal harmony and unity. My challenge to you is to give me any virtue, which is considered a virtue in any serious literature or by-at-large by any society, and I will show you how it is only virtuous, at its core, in light of my conception of moral goodness. (:
  • Bob Ross
    1.2k


    Oh, I see. Properties can have degrees; e.g., something can have the property of 'being functional' without being 100% functional. Something can have the property of 'being in self-harmony and unity' without being in 100% self-harmony and unity.

    Moral goodness when considered at 100% is perfection; but the lesser degrees, when a thing isn't quite at 100%, can still be considered good proportionally to what degree it sizes up to 'being in self-harmony and self-unity'.

    So, no, it isn't that nothing morally good exists; but, rather, that nothing 100% morally good exists. Perhaps we can find common ground there (;
  • Pantagruel
    3.3k
    Any and every virtue ever considered in a serious manner by people, especially experts in the field of study (even prior to there being a formal field of study for it), is virtuous in virtue of cultivating a character that habitually strives towards universal harmony and unity.Bob Ross

    I literally just gave you the virtue of duty, including the sense in which actions can be considered deontologically virtuous meaning they are intrinsically valued, independent of their consequences.

    The fact that you can ex post facto provide an explanation for something as being "harmonious" is not surprising, is it? With your penchant for creative definition your ability to explain almost anything would not surprise me.
  • Bob Ross
    1.2k


    You're not doing a good job of expressing your position, I'm only attacking you at certain points in order to uncover it more fully

    I see. Hopefully I can clarify my position as we converse.

    Conversely however, goodness obviously did not stem from the perspective of satisfying all needs, but rather from the perspective empowering the needs of the powerful few, and thus goodness obviously does not satisfy any condition of perfection

    My response to this still is:

    The historical analysis that you quoted here is all fine and correct, but you conclusion from it is not.
    In short, the farther back one goes into human history, the closer a person’s notion of (moral) goodness is to the most egoistic context of self-harmony and self-unity; and the farther forward goes into human history, the closer a person’s notion of (moral) goodness is the most universal context of self-harmony and self-unity. All Nietzsche is doing in the Genealogy of Morals is providing most of the justification for this (without meaning to). He just sees this evoluation as a shift in tastes towards universal harmony and unity as opposed to an actual objective (moral) progression towards it.

    So, yes, there are periods of history, a while ago, where it was common to define ‘good’ terms relative to the elite’s tastes or values; but, to my point, they still by-at-large recognized, implicitly at least in their notions of goodness, that what is good, in its most abstract form, is self-harmony and self-unity; which is self-apparent, in the case of an aristocracy, when one asks an elite noble what is good for them. People recognize almost innately the form of The Good when it comes to themselves: that’s why I think the most fundamental, primitive, and easily-understood context of moral goodness is egoism—it is incredibly obvious to almost anyone that what is best for them is to be in harmony and unity with themselves even if they cannot abstract out this form and apply it universally.

    This is my first conundrum, as Goodness stems from a person's own wants and desires, not perfection.

    If by this you are just talking about your belief that the term ‘good’ reflects nothing more than opinions of those who are very powerful, then I refer you back to my quote above.

    If you mean something more than that, then please elaborate so I can adequately respond.

    You boil that down to two parts too and not even in a contrasting manner as you were trying to do: Complete Disarray (imperfection) vs Harmony and Unity (perfection), then you make the blunderous error of saying "and Unity," well unfortunately, Harmony is a unity of two (or more) already, it's a coming together, a hybrid of two or more.

    You are correct that harmony is the union of two or more things into a peaceful congruence; but I merely add unity to emphasize the union of everything in question and not just the mere harmony of certain subparts. Perhaps I should come up with a better way of describing it, but I think it conveys the point.

    Secondly, complete disarray is the opposite of harmony [and unity]: the former is 100% disharmony [and disunity]; so I am not sure which part of the contrast you are saying is incorrect here.

    Which you then boil those down into a Higher and Lower Goodness

    No. Moral goodness is identical to self-harmony and self-unity; and the adjectives ‘higher’ and ‘lower’ are simply indicating the scope: the larger the context (viz., the larger the entity attributable to the property), the larger the good (i.e., the more good there is).

    I am not boiling down goodness to higher vs. lower; they are further considerations about the scope.

    The higher goodness being "that which is goodness in-itself."

    No. Goodness in terms of levels is just the hierarchical structure one can formulate of the analyzable scopes—i.e., the highest good is going to be universality with 100% goodness, the lowest as particularity with 0.000...0001% goodness, and all kinds of levels in between those two—like a spectrum.

    You've basically said what Nietzsche makes fun of in BGE 11: Or is it not rather merely a repetition of the question? How does opium induce sleep? "By means of a means (faculty)," namely the virtus dormitiva (the sleeping virtue), replies the doctor in Moliere,

    Nietzsche, in that quote, was criticizing Kant because he didn’t think that Kant supplied any real explanation of how synthetic a priori knowledge is possible. To try to be charitable, I am assuming you mean that this is analogous to by claim that the highest goodness is that which is universal harmony and unity; but, then, I don’t see how it is actually analogous: I gave ample justification for it.

    You: "The Higher Goodness is that which is Good in-itself!"

    As noted earlier, this is completely incorrect.

    You see with conundrums like these I can't really take your argument seriously

    Hmmm

    I mean you use Harmony as the extreme which contrasts complete disarray (Harmony is a middle ground betwixt multiples; hence it takes several notes to make a harmonic

    You are confusing my use of harmony with one specific use of the term: it doesn’t just mean resonation of things by finding a middle ground, like in musical tunes. Harmony is also, in a different but related sense, about peaceful congruence; which isn’t always finding the middle between two extremes.

    You mention the omnibenevolence of God here:
    When I say that historically people have used notions of goodness that refer to either hypothetical or actual perfection (in the sense that I outlined it in the OP), I mean theism as an example of it. It is not a coincidence that the historical progression even within theism about God’s omnibenevolent nature has evolved such that we have slowly understood it to be universal harmony and unity. — Bob Ross

    You're a dogmatist, through and through, and aren't very well up to snuff with Nietzsche... you think:
    quite frankly, he takes as granted the Dostoevskian idea that ~”without God, everything is permitted”

    Without elaboration, I have no means of responding adequately to any of this part. I stand by my critique of Nietzsche, and you didn’t even try to refute it.

    That said, sorry if I did actually offend you, take any actual insult as blustering/questionably ethical information probing.

    Although it may not have seemed like it, I am and have not been insulted by you (:

    I simply do not wish nor like to engage in ad hominems and unsubstantive banter. It’s not productive, and it doesn’t make either of us more knowledgeable nor better.

    And I did offer you an aphorism from BGE by Nietzsche, expressing the utility, the pragmatic goodness, of the use of opposites in language, even if their examples in the real world are often somewhere in between. Hot and Cold, Left and Right, Up and Down, Pragmatic and Moral, East and West, but even on the axis of East and West, there are 358 other degrees/angles (if only counting WHOLE NUMBERS).

    Yeah, I just don’t see these as reductionisms; other than that, obviously, conceptions and ideas are phantasms of the real world—but this is true of all language and renders this counter-argument trivial and useless.

    Bob
  • Bob Ross
    1.2k


    If me demonstrating how your examples are subsumable under my position is 'ad hoc'ing it' ('ex post facto'ing it') and 'thusly' invalid, then, Pantagruel, what are you looking for me to do to justify my position to you?

    How can I possibly convince you otherwise, if you see every possible justification as ad hoc explanations? I chose to ask you for a virtue so I can demonstrate how it is subsumable under my terms because I thought that would help you see my position; but it seems like, even then, you wouldn't. So, what would convince you? What can I do?
  • Pantagruel
    3.3k
    You cannot weld the objective quality of fitness for a purpose onto morality through the mere fact that we refer to both using the term goodness. They are not equivalent. Furthermore, the quality of being "harmonious" does not serve as a good identifier. How are we supposed to understand the meaning, by analogy with music (it's primary definition and origin)? How does that work for people who are tone-deaf? I think you need to re-think what you think it is you are proving, and to what end.

    Morality is and always has been about human actions, it is the essence of morality:

    The domain of morality is the domain of duty. Duty is prescribed behaviour. (Durkheim, Moral Education).

    I'll go with Emile Durkheim lecturing at the Sorbonne any day as one of my authoritative views on the basic nature of morality:

    (Moral) authority does not reside in some external, objective fact....it consists entirely in the conception that men have of such a fact; it is a matter of opinion, and opinion is a collective thing.
  • Bob Ross
    1.2k


    Here you go again not engaging in the conversation... :roll:

    Hey man, use whatever definitions you need to feel good about yourself.

    I am using the definitions that make the most historical sense when the historical notions of goodness are refined to the level of a conception.

    Part OneOn the Prejudices of Philosophers

    1

    The will to truth, which is still going to

    This is a completely irrelevant passage from Nietzsche, that doesn't address anything I said in my response nor the OP.

    You will fail as all the dogmatists did before you. In finding that elusive unicorn of "objective morality."

    Here go again asserting the Nietzschien assumption of moral anti-realism; without a shred of evidence to back it up.

    You're just foolish enough to think you're the first to see this concept of yours.

    When did I ever say that??? This is so disingenuous.

    Since any utility is good... be my slave and become utilized

    You are now importing your own view of what is good without any shred of justification for nor elaboration on it.

    Harmony still equates disarray, completely organized is the opposite of complete disarray Harmony is the synthesis between the two.

    Nope. I am using in the sense of "agreement or concord", "the quality of forming a pleasing and consistent whole", "pleasing arrangement of parts : CONGRUENCE", "internal calm: TRANQUILITY", etc. These are all colloquial definitions that fit what I am conveying.
  • Bob Ross
    1.2k


    Which is not the same thing as finding the synthesis between complete disarray and order. The latter is one particular instance of the former, and you are treating it as if they are equivocal.
  • Bob Ross
    1.2k


    I mean the peaceful congruence of all parts of a thing, when I say a thing is in 100% self-harmony. This is not equivocal to being the synthesis of two extremes.
  • Pantagruel
    3.3k
    I mean the peaceful congruence of all parts of a thing, when I say a thing is in 100% self-harmony. This is not equivocal to being the synthesis of two extremes.Bob Ross

    Yes, that's not the least bit abstract....

    Natural systems do not exist in a state of "peaceful congruence." Natural systems if anything exist in a state of far from equilibrium meta-stability governed by non-linear dynamics.

    I don't disagree with your desire to promote and investigate the idea of "harmony," and if that is all you are claiming, ok. But you need to step back from the many expansions and reductions and focus on one thing. What comes across is an attempt to foist a common-sense, naturalized umbrella encompassing everything that you feel aligns in some way with the notion of goodness, that does not in any way do justice to the notion of morality.
  • Bob Ross
    1.2k


    Let's hear about what isn't good in your philosophy. Or, since I can turn literally everything into utility everything and every action is good?

    Firstly, let’s take it one step at a time: do you agree or disagree with my response to your use of the term ‘harmony’? It is impossible for us to make any real headway, if you keep sporadically seguing into different points.

    Secondly, you have misunderstood the OP: I never argued that something is morally good if it has utility, nor that it is relative to utility. I strongly suggest you re-read the OP.

    Or do we have a 0-100 point scale we can't see, some sort of RPG statistic, that increases and decreases on the goodness scale depending on our collective actions and so long as we're in the 51% utilitarian "by at large" we are goodness?

    Firstly, you have to specify which type of goodness you are referring to. Here, I am assuming you mean moral goodness.

    Secondly, I would say that the property of moral goodness is ‘being in a state of self-harmony and self-unity’, and we attribute that property by degree of how well it sizes up thereto. E.g., something might have the property of ‘being straight’, such as a line, without actually being perfectly straight—the property doesn’t change here and it doesn’t itself have degrees but, rather, our attribution of that property to something does.

    No you're fucking not. You've had multiple people come here challenging your definitions and claims. Which has only served to highlight the self serving prejudice behind your position.

    Not a single person, as of yet, has provided much justification for this other than blanket assertions; and not much discussion has, unfortunately, been had about it. I am more than happy to discuss this further if you would like.

    Thing is you think God is Omnibenevolent. You're cute enough to think there is one, but even cuter than that is your God is omnibenevolent

    What???? Please re-read the OP: this demonstrates a clear lack of understanding of the OP. I never claimed any of this: not even in the responses I have made in this thread. Not once.

    Since you brought up with completely irrelevant point, I will clarify that I am, in fact, an agnostic: so, no, I do not believe in God or gods as I suspend judgment on it.

    Anything can be believed so continue believing in whatever it is that makes you feel good about yourself I guess. Sounds trolling, but wtf have all philosophers done? Believe in their own philosophy and their own prejudice.

    This is all completely irrevelant, ad hominem attacks...and 99% of them are completely false anyways. I am not a theist, and I don’t know where you got that idea (in this thread).

    Bob
  • Bob Ross
    1.2k


    Natural systems do not exist in a state of "peaceful congruence." Natural systems if anything exist in a state of far from equilibrium meta-stability governed by non-linear dynamics.

    How natural systems are has nothing to do with how they should be, in the sense that how it is does not directly inform us of how it ought to be. So I don't see how this is a valid counter to my position.

    What comes across is an attempt to foist a common-sense, naturalized umbrella encompassing everything that you feel aligns in some way with the notion of goodness, that does not in any way do justice to the notion of morality.

    Just to clarify, I am not claiming that morality is just about ‘what is morally good’: this is, indeed, an invalid oversimplification. It is about assessing what should be, and thusly what actions should be conducted, relative to the standard of moral goodness. The moral goodness analysis is only one piece of the puzzle.

    So, just to clarify, I am not claiming that it does complete justice to our notions of morality and not even goodness but, rather, moral goodness.

    Hopefully that helps.

    Bob
  • Pantagruel
    3.3k
    Just to clarify, I am not claiming that morality is just about ‘what is morally good’: this is, indeed, an invalid oversimplification.Bob Ross

    Indeed it is not, it is the essence of morality to be prescriptive.

    However, as a final note, I will say that, if your theory is accurate, it ought to be conducive to harmony (otherwise what is the point?) In fact, it appears to have had the exact opposite effect. Which tends to testify against its validity.
  • Bob Ross
    1.2k


    I agree that morality has a prescriptive element to it; but 'what is good' is not prescriptive at all. I very much subscribe to the ontological is-ought gap.

    However, as a final note, I will say that, if your theory is accurate, it ought to be conducive to harmony (otherwise what is the point?) In fact, it appears to have had the exact opposite effect. Which tends to testify against its validity.

    I don't understand: could you please elaborate?
  • Pantagruel
    3.3k
    I don't understand: could you please elaborate?Bob Ross

    Well your theory is about conduciveness to harmony as a kind of ideal. Kant's theory about the inherent morality of duty is expressed eloquently through his categorical imperative, "act only on that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law." The content and meaning of the theory and its expression are synonymous.

    So how does your theory contribute and conduce to what the theory describes? As I've observed, judging by the responses in this thread, it falls far short of producing any kind of harmony. If it doesn't either reflect or contribute to what it describes, of what value is it?
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