• Ourora Aureis
    36
    Experience is the totality of ones instances of qualia and mind. This is a pretty unique way of defining it, but you should understand the substance of its meaning though its contextual use below.

    Individuals value experience and arrange differing instances of experience into hierrachies, denoting their value in relation to eachother. This is a neccesary condition for the concept of value to have meaning. To value is to prefer over another (this doesnt mean you cannot have equivalent value).

    However, individuals do not exist only to experience an instance of qualia. Instances of qualia proceed the other, leading to chains of experience. These instances are not predetermined and are constantly influenced by our actions. Our actions are therefore valuable based upon the lines of experience they travel through. (No this isn't a debate about free will, to an individuals perspective, all outside factors appear to be predetermined).

    All ethical frameworks must refer either to some principle or experience itself (as we have a natural preference and rationality which can be used to ground our morality, subjectively of course).

    All principles are neccesarily arbitrary, since one can easy construct an anti-principle and yet it has the same effect in a moral framework. As explanations which use the same arguments must be considered equal in terms of explanatory value, all principles are in effect the same as all others. Since I can create a randomness principle, stating to commit acts randomly, it holds no weight for a moral framework to ground itself in.

    However, one cannot construct an anti-experience as it is not a conceptual ideal placed onto the world, but our reality. The mistake moral philosophers make is to ignore the quality of perspective. Principles must apply to the entirely of reality via what they are. However, you only experience yourself and your inherent inclinations, and rationality. Experience can ground an egoist morality, but principles are susceptible to other principles, it provides no grounding.

    No, experience is not a principle. The sensory inputs entering your eyes, and the preference for orange juice over apple juice are not conceptual ideas, but are natural values we hold and so can be used to ground an ethical egoist morality.

    I do not believe in the existence of objective categories, this includes moral or aesthetic values. However I believe value can be described just as langauge can, its simply subjective and can be molded to your personal use. However, just because something isn't "objective" does not mean it can be literally anything, you must follow your own set of rules if you choose to make a framework. Morality is simply a system to designate whether to commit to an action or not, just as the purpose of language is to communicate and store information, withoput consistency they are both meaningless.

    Surprisingly, some consequentialists who understand this inherent flaw of principles and degrade a belief in deontology, do not realise they themselves use principles to value "all conscious beings" even at the cost to their own experiences, and even in cases where they not do know of the existence of these beings (a hypothetical principle, arguably the worst kind).

    If you define morality as something completely seperate from what I'm describing here then thats fine but do not enter needlessly into a semantic rant. For all intended purposes, assume I have said "value-action system". Also, to avoid more semantic confusion, this isn't a psychological analysis but a model of morality.

    I would like those responding to suggest how principles could be used to ground morality and gives potential examples of such.
  • T Clark
    13.3k
    Morality must be fundamentally concerned with experience, not principle.Ourora Aureis

    To start, I agree that a legitimate morality is not concerned with principle. For me it's more personal, human than that. As for the rest of your position, I'm not sure I understand it or agree with it. I'll make some comments on specific things you wrote.

    Individuals value experience and arrange differing instances of experience into hierrachies, denoting their value in relation to each other. This is a neccesary condition for the concept of value to have meaning. To value is to prefer over another (this doesnt mean you cannot have equivalent value).Ourora Aureis

    As I noted, I don't understand what this means. As I understand it, value comes from inside us. It gets there by dint of our human nature and, later, from what we learn socially. I don't think this is what you mean when you talk about morality being concerned with experience, but I'm not sure. As I see it, moral values are founded in the fact we are social animals and we, more or less, like each other.

    This expresses my understanding of the source of morality well.

    No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature. Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution, the only wrong what is against it. A man is to carry himself in the presence of all opposition, as if every thing were titular and ephemeral but he.Emerson - Self-Reliance

    to avoid more semantic confusion, this isn't a psychological analysis but a model of morality.Ourora Aureis

    I don't think there is any legitimate discussion of morality without an understanding of psychological and social factors.
  • kudos
    383
    No, experience is not a principle. The sensory inputs entering your eyes, and the preference for orange juice over apple juice are not conceptual ideas, but are natural values we hold and so can be used to ground an ethical egoist morality.

    What would you say if knowing that you would choose to like orange juice, you instead chose to like apple juice. Does experience dictate that my choice is not true, and if so how would you tell the difference? What if instead of orange juice and apple juice we were talking about murdering someone who is, in our view, hated and despised by everyone? If you chose to murder this person, instead of following the everyday rule, could you still be moral so long as you got away with it?

    This is what is so difficult to stomach about it. Once your legal system caught up with you and punishment took effect, you would only then actualize your immorality; it is your freedom to do so, and this is part of the underlying principle. However, for the brief period of time in between when you committed the act and when you were punished, there wouldn't be any distinction. This is the missing link in the subjective portrait of the Ethical, where all perspectives become levelled towards indistinction. This view forgets everything in the heat of a moment, and in the process loses track of the concrete.
  • Philosophim
    2.5k
    Perhaps instead of experience, the term 'context' would be better?

    So one should not steal if you have plenty of resources, but stealing food is acceptable if you have no resources, all other options have been exhausted, and you're about to die of hunger.
  • Ourora Aureis
    36


    I do not think psychology or social factors are irrelevent to ethics but that for the purpose of my specific argument I think construing it as a model is more relevent. I am assuming here that we have values as just a product of our being, regardless of the particulars of how they arise, which is where I believe those factors would be more relevent.

    To express the paragraph you quoted with some more context: I think that there is no such things as "values" outside of the experience we value. When we say "I prefer the taste of orange juice to apple juice", I think that can be translated to "I prefer an experience involving the taste of organge juice to apple juice".

    There are infinite hypothetical experiences and we arrange these into hierrachies, aka we value them in relation to eachother. To state again, this isnt a psychological statement about how people view morality but a way of construing a basic idea that we have preferences for different experiences.
  • T Clark
    13.3k
    I do not think psychology or social factors are irrelevent to ethics but that for the purpose of my specific argument I think construing it as a model is more relevent. I am assuming here that we have values as just a product of our being, regardless of the particulars of how they arise, which is where I believe those factors would be more relevent.Ourora Aureis

    You're right. I just wanted to clarify that values do not come from any kind of moral code or principle. They come, as you note, as products of our being.

    To express the paragraph you quoted with some more context: I think that there is no such things as "values" outside of the experience we value. When we say "I prefer the taste of orange juice to apple juice", I think that can be translated to "I prefer an experience involving the taste of organge juice to apple juice".Ourora Aureis

    I don't think your analogy between my feelings for orange juice and my concern for other people is a good one. The desire to help people and not to hurt them is not a preference, it's an imperative, a drive.

    There are infinite hypothetical experiences and we arrange these into hierrachies, aka we value them in relation to eachother. To state again, this isnt a psychological statement about how people view morality but a way of construing a basic idea that we have preferences for different experiences.Ourora Aureis

    Again, I think calling conscience a preference is not right, at least not for me.
  • Ourora Aureis
    36


    I'm not sure I understand what you're trying to say with choosing to like something over another or the idea of a choice not being true.

    Morality can only be defined in relation to a certain set of values. You could do any action and if is in accordance with your values then it is moral by definition.

    I also dont understand your second paragraph and your reference to legal systems and principle.
  • Ourora Aureis
    36


    I think thats merely redefining principle. If someone can steal and improve their already good life then to do so in a way that allows them to avoid punishment must be a good for them. An improvement of experience is always good, regardless of method. The only case where it wouldnt be good is if you had an emotional reaction to the concept of stealing and felt bad afterwards in a way that would taint the gain.
  • Ourora Aureis
    36


    I think any values we hold are preferences of equivalent type. Prefering rock music and prefering no murder are fundamentally the same process in terms of how they affect action, which is what morality is about. While they differ in terms of emotional importance and how much we value them, that just places them at different levels in the hierrachy.

    Why do you think the term preference is unfit for some moral considerations?
  • Philosophim
    2.5k
    I think thats merely redefining principle. If someone can steal and improve their already good life then to do so in a way that allows them to avoid punishment must be a good for them.Ourora Aureis

    Generally principles are thought of as guidelines that should be applied in different circumstances. "You should not murder" is a principle. Principles, if taken without exception, usually have difficulty with contexts where perhaps the principle may not apply.

    Now we could go through all contexts and determine the best outcome, but that's not really a principle, but a measure of what to do in that particular situation.
  • T Clark
    13.3k
    Prefering rock music and prefering no murder are fundamentally the same process in terms of how they affect action,Ourora Aureis

    I disagree, but I don't think I can make a good argument for my position right now. I'll have to think about it some more. Thanks for the provocation.
  • Leontiskos
    2k
    I would like those responding to suggest how principles could be used to ground morality and gives potential examples of such.Ourora Aureis

    One way to see the problem with your view is to understand how we experience morality via principle. For example, when someone is accused (by themselves or by others) if they repel the accusation they will make a universalizable excuse, i.e. an excuse based on a principle. "You are on a diet, why are you eating a cookie!?" "Every dieter deserves an off-day once a week."

    This is because the rationality that underlies thinking and speech always involves universal or categorical premises, or principles. Paying attention to experience shows us that rationality and principles are part of experience.
  • kudos
    383
    Morality can only be defined in relation to a certain set of values. You could do any action and if it is in accordance with your values then it is moral by definition.

    Who is using the summarizing faculty of what these values are, and why can’t they determine the values to suit whatever whim or grounds they wish to justify any individual benefit? This view is purely idealistic, it assumes the values are fully knowable and concrete in order to gain distance from them (they’re ‘just values’ and nothing more) and subsequently equalize all values to however one wishes, which is not morality.
  • Ourora Aureis
    36


    Under that definition I think the base idea's we're presenting are similar. I personally use the word "experience" as it gets across an idea that we have a consciousness that values things as a prequisite to our existence. Ideas must be justified whereas base experience justifies itself. Pain requires no justification to be negative, its negative via our experience of it. Ofc one must remember this isnt an advocation of objective ethics, peoples base experiences will differ, hence ethical egoism arises.
  • Ourora Aureis
    36


    A flaw in your reasoning is that it involves other people. Functionally, morality is individualistic since action happens on the level of individuals, not collectives. If you mean to define morality as regarding the interplay between people then it is irrelevent to the idea I am presenting here, one of maximising values via actions.

    Humans are social creatures, we hold a level of cooperation for eachother. However, this also means we hold standards of eachother which creates the neccesity of "justification" when someone commits an action which goes against said standards. If it does not sate their values then they have an impulse and their own selfish justification to punish us. Although I'm speaking generally, this psychology wont apply to all humans.

    However, this isnt morality, its a result of cooperation. If you hid the jews in nazi germany then you'd be punished because you have gone against their "collective" value. Any justification you muster must neccesarily be one of principle because it must apply to values other than yours, aka the "collective" value.

    Simply saying you did something because "I was bored", "I was lazy", "I was in pain", are not convincing arguments since they only affect your values and not the values of those you are trying to convince. Hence, its entirely predictable that anyone with a basic theory of mind will not say selfish justifications and thus will provide collective justifications which easily become principles.

    We only justify acts as a means of social cooperation, not one of maximising value via actions. To ourselves we justify acts with their intended results. We study so that we can get better grades, we run so we can make it to the bus stop, not out of some principle to always reach the bus or always achieve academic success but from the experiences those actions will lead to. Principles do not exist within us before our rationalisations of action.

    "I ate the cookie because I wanted to".
  • Ourora Aureis
    36


    They entirely could construct their values to match their individual benefit, this is called ethical egoism and its the ethical philosophy I follow and advocate. However, this view doesnt assume values are some concrete thing in the world, but are simply a manifestation of preferences, I tried to describe in the 2nd paragraph of my original post.

    Im not sure what you define as morality, but I've described what I define it is in many of my comments. If our definitions disagree then we're simply having seperate conversations with a joint term.
  • Banno
    23.7k


    There seems to be something oddly passive in supposing that ethics be based on experience. As if you were nothing but an observer.

    Ethics and aesthetics are not about how things are, but about what we do. In science we look around to see how things are, in aesthetics and ethics we look around to see how we ought change how things are.

    Choosing an orange juice for yourself is neither here nor there, while choosing an orange Juice for everyone is an ethical act.

    It's what you do, not what you experience, that marks ethics and aesthetics, and defines the logic in use.

    Ethics is fundamentally concerned with actions, not principles or experience.

    Egoism is mistaking what you want for how you should deal with others.
  • Ourora Aureis
    36


    I dont believe there is a difference fundamentally between aesthetics and ethics, as in the preference for orange juice is equivalent to a serial killers preference for murder, theres no distinction just preferences. After all, why would there be a difference, that just seems like emotion.

    I am looking at value-action systems and I define those as ethics, actions made to maximise some set of constraints, and Im making the claim here that those constraints shouldnt include principles since they are contradictory by their very nature.

    Because actions can only be commited by individuals, ethics must fundamentally be centered around the individual.

    Do you simply dislike the term I am using? If so theres no need to argue further since it would just be semantics. If theres a true claim though, such as objective morality (which you could be hinting at idk) then please elaborate.
  • Banno
    23.7k
    I dont believe there is a difference fundamentally between aesthetics and ethics, as in the preference for orange juice is equivalent to a serial killers preference for murder, theres no distinction just preferences.Ourora Aureis

    Hmm. A preference for orange juice does not have the same impact on others as a preference for murder. Again, ethics is about how we relate to others. There is a difference between considering what you prefer and considering what others prefer. There is a difference between "I will only drink orange juice!" and "You will only drink orange juice!".

    Because actions can only be committed by individuals...Ourora Aureis
    That's somewhat contentious:
    Suppose you intend to visit the Taj Mahal tomorrow, and I intend to visit the Taj Mahal tomorrow. This does not make it the case that we intend to visit the Taj Mahal together. If I know about your plan, I may express (or refer to) our intention in the form “we intend to visit the Taj Mahal tomorrow”. But this does not imply anything collective about our intentions. Even if knowledge about our plan is common, mutual, or open between us, my intention and your intention may still be purely individual. For us to intend to visit the Taj Mahal together is something different.SEP: Collective Intentionality
    Visiting the Taj Mahal together looks to be something that fundamentally you cannot do individually. And visiting the Taj Mahal together is only one of many acts that require collective intentionality.

    What I wanted to draw your attention to is that ethics is not about experience so much as about action, especially actions involving others. In that regard your OP says very little about ethics. Might leave you to it.
  • Ourora Aureis
    36


    I think its just a semantic difference then. My idea of the term ethics is formed through how I concieve others using it, which is essentially describribing ethics as answering the question: "how should I act?". Common ethical topics such as the trolley problem, abortion, euthanasia, slaughter houses, etc. seem to suggest this to me.

    Of course definitions are just definitions, you can define a term however you like, but I think if ethics only exists in regards to other people then its simply an aspect of sociology, it seems to already have a field which looks into those types of questions.
  • Banno
    23.7k
    Sociology only tells us what we have done. Ethics is about what we do next. Ethics is not about how the world is, but what we should do about it.

    Sometimes "just a semantic difference" means "I hadn't considered that".
  • Ourora Aureis
    36


    We agree that ethics is concerned with action, however this means it is individualististic. You refer to cooperative actions that require multiple individuals but these can always be broken down into their individual parts, and us as individual beings have no control over the actions of other beings. To refer to this as a cooperative "action" is meaningless, since it's simply multiple actions from seperate people. There are cooperative effects, but no cooperative actions.

    .
    Again, ethics is about how we relate to othersBanno

    Part of sociology is the study of human social behaviour, if your definition of ethics refers to how people relate to eachother, then that's just sociology.

    There is a difference between considering what you prefer and considering what others prefer. There is a difference between "I will only drink orange juice!" and "You will only drink orange juice!".Banno

    Your view of ethics seems to be about forcing principles upon others. If my initial argument is entirely about how we should have unprincipled ethics, and you define ethics through principle, then thats clearly a semantic issue.

    Sometimes "just a semantic difference" means "I hadn't considered that".Banno

    You seem to be getting slightly hostile towards me here and since you're not engaging with my original point but bringing up semantics, I wont be responding anymore.
  • Banno
    23.7k
    You refer to cooperative actions that require multiple individuals but these can always be broken down into their individual parts, and us as individual beings have no control over the actions of other beings.Ourora Aureis
    That is a contentious issue, as I've pointed out.

    An individual can kick a ball into a net; but can't score a goal. Scoring a goal requires that they be participating in the social activity of playing a game. Playing such a game, it has been argued, is more than just the sum of the actions of individuals, just a scoring a goal is more than just kicking a ball into a net. See the article linked previously for more on this. If you are going to maintain your assertion, you might want to address it's critique.

    Part of sociology is the study of human social behaviour, if your definition of ethics refers to how people relate to each other, then that's just sociology.Ourora Aureis
    Again, sociology is about how people do indeed interact, but ethics about how they ought interact. These are quite distinct topics.

    Your view of ethics seems to be about forcing principles upon others.Ourora Aureis
    Not particularly, although ethics is as much about what others ought do as it is about what you or I should do. My preference is virtue ethics, although deontology and consequentialism have their place. "Principles", your term, also have their place - acting consistently, keeping one's word, and so on. You claim that "one can easy construct an anti-principle and yet it has the same effect in a moral framework", which seems quite puzzling. Acting consistently will have a very different outcome to acting inconsistently; not keeping your word will bring about a very different response from others to keeping your word, and so on. All principles are very much not in effect the same as all others.

    A shame that you sense hostility. You are of course not under any obligation to reply. The issues I have raised are substantial, not mere wordplay, but you may prefer not to address them.
  • Ourora Aureis
    36
    Scoring a goal is the result of many simulatenous and cooperative individual actions.

    Do you agree that people only have control over their own actions, the way they choose to interact with the world? If so then clearly the world outside of oneself appears to be already determined, with ones action the only changeable factor. This is the property of perspective that I believe many people seem to ignore in regards to ethics.

    If you seperate the scoring of a goal into its individual actions and actors, then you can clearly deduce that your individual action was neccesary for that result to exist. As I have suggested that ones action is the only chanagable factor from ones perspective, the scoring of that goal was indeed caused by only you, as not acting would cause the cessation of that goals existence.

    An action can be incredibly small and have a huge effect. An effect so large you can refer to it as being more than its parts. But even so, that remains simply a description of the magnitude of the result, and has no bearing on the action itself. Collective action is meaningless. Everyone affects the world, so the final result is a world affected by all.

    --------------------------------------------

    We do not have access to the world in its pure form, if that even makes sense as a concept. But we have access to our experience of the world, our conception and interpretation of it that our brain turns into qualia and thought.

    Since we are able to change the course of the world, aka our experience of it, a question arises. "How should the world be?" which translates into "What experience is good?" and more broadly "How should I act to maximise my experience?"

    This question is the one I care about and the one I define ethics as being the study of. Its also an innately egoist project, disregarding the question of how others should act as meaningless and implenting the concept of perspective into ethics. Unegoistic moral debates have gone on for thousands of years without end, I consider it a silly proposition and so I do not care about the questions it poses, this is why I suggest we may simply have different definitions and thus questions.

    In regards to virtue ethics, I dont think it commits to anything but semantic meanignlessness through words such as "character", "virtue", "vice", etc. But I also do not have much experience with it due to its lack of popularity in modern times. My post is more directed against deontological thought, as myself I am a consequentialist.

    --------------------------------------------

    A principle is not simply a consistency. Being consistent is simply being true to your values, set to a specific plan or goal. An example of a principle would be "Murder is immoral", its an undeniable rule that one must follow. The issue with this being you can create an equally consistent and logical anti-principle which suggests, "Murder is moral". All independent principles have equal rational basis.

    Principles are purely intellectual and so can fail from such basic reversals. However, experience justifies itself. Pain is not intellectual, it is negative within itself, and so cannot be reversed. This is the point of my original post, a far cry from the points you are discussing here.
  • Banno
    23.7k


    Consider this list of actions performed on a football field.

    1. Player A kicks the ball from the half to Player B.
    2. Player B kicks the ball to player C.
    3. Player C kicks the ball into the net.

    It lists the individual acts of three people. Notice that it does not include scoring a goal. These acts might by chance be performed on a field by a group of people utterly unfamiliar with the rules of soccer, in which case it would be very odd to claim that they were playing soccer. In order for the act of kicking the ball into the net to count as the act of scoring a goal, something more is needed:

    4. In a game of soccer, the act of kicking the ball into the goal counts as scoring a goal.

    Scoring a goal is not reducible to an act by a single individual. It requires the act to take place as a part of the communal activity of playing a game.

    All we do is move our bodies. But it does not follow that all actions are only bodily actions, and hence that all our actions are individual actions. Consider Davidson's classic example: flicking the switch, turning on the light, alerting the burglar. Alerting the burglar is not a bodily action. Or consider Anscombe's mass murderer, hand-pumping poison into the well. We would not accept as a defence: "All my acts are bodily motions, so all I was doing was moving my arm up and down, not poisoning the well!" Consider also the structure of our social world - this piece of paper only counts as money if we say so as a community; this piece of land is your property only if your neighbours agree; The very words you use only have meaning within the community in which you participate. The list is endless.



    But I also do not have much experience with it (Virtue ethics) due to its lack of popularity in modern times.Ourora Aureis
    Hmm. Virtue ethics is slightly preferred amongst professional philosophers. Deontology has a small lead amongst those who specialise in ethics. I don't know how you might have gauged it's "popularity" more generally. Quite a few folk would be happy with an ethic based on flourishing, as part of a community, through self-improvement.



    All independent principles have equal rational basis.Ourora Aureis
    I think I showed this not to be the case, since differing principles will lead to different actions, and hence have quite different results. A rational being will choose their principles on that basis.

    A principle is not simply a consistency.Ourora Aureis
    I quite agree. An example is not a definition. You say we ought avoid making use of principles, yet apparently advocate a principle something like "One should act to maximise one's experience". Odd, that.



    Anyway, I don't know your background, but perhaps these comments might point you towards things you may not have considered. Philosophy is not easy. Cheers.
  • Ourora Aureis
    36


    There exists an issue with language that I think needs addressing to tackle the question of collective action. Scoring a goal is considered both an individual action and a collective result. You can say Person X scored their team a goal, and that the team scored a goal. Hence, to specify, we should simply mark the state of a scored goal and be concerned with the actions that lead to that state.

    Nobody Acts Alone

    The state of a scored goal is the product of many peoples actions, but I'd argue its a product of quite literally everyone. The universe is a closed system, any interaction affects it and so contributes to its final state. The chained effect of all choices created the state of a scored goal. However, I then think the concept of collective action is meaningless, since all action would then be considered collective.

    Perspective Creates Cause and Effect

    Individual action however, has the special quality of perspective that I've mentioned, it is completely seperated from other actions. Each individuals action is only theres to make, its the only chanagable factor and so is the only existant "cause", with the "effect" merely being the experiences that procede it. This doesnt mean I deny the concept of cooperativity but that I posit the choices of others can never be anything but determined from your perspective.

    I've already kind of gone over these points in the previous post, I dont think its substantial to refer to multiple individual actions to suggest collective actions exist in any meaningfull way. To be meaningful, they must affect ethical decision making, otherwise the concept exists purely to designate a distinction that has no effect and so is irrelevent.

    All Actions are Bodily Actions

    I think so far your argument against bodily actions is the most substantial you've made against me since it attacks the concept of individual action that my ethic relies on.

    I argued why social justification doesn't make sense as an argument in regards to ethics already in my final response to Leontiskos. TLDR: Social justifications are seperate to moral justifications, it seemingly ignores deceit as a factor.

    However, even assuming truth, its clear that the experience created by the pumping action kills people via poisoning of the well. The "poisoning of the well" is the label given to that bodily action to refer to it, so the distinction makes no sense.

    In building a model, one should simplify as much as possible. Here, you suggest the idea of non-bodily actions, but if these can simply be described through bodily actions then they do not exist outside of name.

    If the term "scoring a goal" can be broken down into the individual bodily actions that compose it, then "scoring a goal" does not exist outside of a need to succictly convey the information of such and its associations to another individual. That it to say that its a product of language, but does not have any moral relevent within itself.

    Questions:

    1. Is there a difference between "scoring a goal" and the bodily actions that compose it?
    2. If there is a difference, is that difference morally relevent, does that difference change any moral decision one should make?

    I'll also remind you that my concern with ethics surrounds the choice of individuals, not some observation or description that changes nothing. Ethics exists to guide action so anything that does not do so is irrelevent.

    Valued Experience isn't Principled

    I dont like the suggestion that "One should act to maximise one's experience" is a principle since it's quite a semantic statement that doesn't get to the substance of what I was suggesting. I am very tuned against semantic arguments because they are by far the most prevelent thought killers in philosophy.

    The reason this isn't a principle is because its not a rule, but a definiton. Maximising ones experience is to improve said experience according to some set of values. To ought to do something is to do so because it has increased value. Hence, you ought to maximise your experience, by definition, since it would improve said experience according to your values. It's like if I was to say "One wants to listen to songs that one enjoys", this isn't a principle, its definitional.

    The reason I say this is to suggest that all value exists from the individual. Ethics is a psychotechnology for guiding action, I think most other ideas of ethics consists of useless semantic debate or "I disagree!" type discussions and so I dont care for it.

    My Background

    My background is just the development of my own ethical ideas over time, trying to expand some thought into ethical egoism which others havent seem to done. I dont have particular respect for any professional authority on philosophy. I think ideas should argue for themselves and derive from unique thought, not uniform education.

    Sorry for the late response.
  • Moliere
    4.3k
    The reason this isn't a principle is because its not a rule, but a definiton. Maximising ones experience is to improve said experience according to some set of values. To ought to do something is to do so because it has increased value. Hence, you ought to maximise your experience, by definition, since it would improve said experience according to your values. It's like if I was to say "One wants to listen to songs that one enjoys", this isn't a principle, its definitional.Ourora Aureis

    If a person is to maximize experience, then we have to have a way of measuring experience.

    How do you accomplish that?

    If the measure is whatever the individual wants, then there is no guide being provided for action -- "Do what you want" isn't hard when you know what to do, and is hard when you're trying to make a decision. That would mean there's no advice to be had in this egoism.

    How could it serve as a guide to action, then?
  • I like sushi
    4.4k
    I do not believe in the existence of objective categories, this includes moral or aesthetic values.Ourora Aureis

    Can you expand on this? especially in reference to aesthetics. Are you stating that aesthetics are merely an expression of the natural condition just as morals are, or something more nuanced?
  • kudos
    383
    I'm not sure what you define as morality, but I've described what I define it is in many of my comments. If our definitions disagree then we're simply having seperate conversations with a joint term.

    We should draw some distinction within this whole that we are calling 'morality' that is known intuitively in the world as multiple separate things. For instance, we have:

    Decision-Making: Difficult decisions where one must decide what is the 'right' thing to do based on some type of rationality (i.e. trolley problem). This rationality is normally informed and guided by our moral reason and the below four categories, but not necessarily so.
    Ethical Lifestyle: All the actions taken as an agent in the broader 'universal' world. i.e. "Ethos is a Greek word meaning 'character' that is used to describe the guiding beliefs or ideals that characterize a community, nation, or ideology" - Wikipedia
    Morality: The faculty of mediation of the actualization and rationalization of the Ethical Lifestyle, usually but not characteristically done by the individual qua reason. Employed when the Ethical Lifestyle does not reflect the underlying universal will and calls on that will to be categorically altered in a manner that is for itself. Ex. Kant's Moral Metaphysics.
    Conscience: The Moral as it is represented by individuals, and their propensity to represent it as their own determination. This need not be in keeping with good or virtuous behaviour, but it includes the 'programming,' as it were, of the individual to act in conjunction with Ethical Lifestyle and Morality. Modern philosophers often conflate this with the Ethical Lifestyle with the aim of redirecting it to moral or individualistic ends (i.e. morals are just 'social programming' and nothing more).

    As per my earlier post, what is the relationship between morality taken in this context and punishment? Can an individual ever be guided by conscience that is not correct?

    Morals refer to a good and a bad, and these are in no manner the exclusive product of our own imagining, they are also real and they affect us via moral reason and individual conscience. It follows that whether decisions and morality are deemed correct does not correspond to anything characteristically objective or subjective except in unphilosophical form as a kind naturalistic conscience.

    Someone can freely do evil disguised as morality, essentially pawning off their individual interest as the universal will. To me this sounds a lot like your Ethical Egoism, but I'm sure there is more to it and would be glad to hear you explain it in more detail. However, it is important to me to keep these four above categories separate. They aren't the only categories, but it is helpful not to think of them as interchangeable.
  • Ourora Aureis
    36


    Morality/Ethics is the study of the relationship between an agents values and actions. This is probably the most simplistic definition I can give.

    Decision-Making:
    When an agent makes a decision, they reflect upon values and act accordingly, so that these values are actualised through action.

    Ethical Lifestyle:
    Ethics does surround all actions taken by an agent within the world. However I dont understand the relation to "community, nation, or ideology" that is presented.

    Morality:
    I'm not sure what you mean by "universal will" here.

    Conscience:
    To me this appears to just be someones emotional connection to particular values and action. This to me is irrelevent in ethical thinking and simply serves as a hinderence to rationality.

    what is the relationship between morality taken in this context and punishment?kudos

    This question is too vague to answer. What do you mean by "relationship"? The state is not an agent but a collection of agents, it does not have values nor actions. However the morality of the agents that compose it can be reflected in the state and thus in the justice system.

    Can an individual ever be guided by conscience that is not correct?kudos

    If your definition is equivalent to my understanding, then a conscience is simply an emotion, its not a suitable guide for action. Impulses will lead to actions that will negatively affect your long term wellbeing. Nobody wants to exercise, but everyone wants to be healthy.

    Morals refer to a good and a bad, and these are in no manner the exclusive product of our own imagining, they are also realkudos

    I'm not sure what you mean by "real". Our values are simply preferences, and any claim into the "objectivity" of morality (whatever that means) has always failed since its an unfalsifiable claim. Just like all other unfalsifiable claims, it must be assumed to be false. At the very least it requires a definition of "objectivity" that can be examined.

    Someone can freely do evil disguised as moralitykudos

    I'm a moral anti-realist, so any conception of good or evil outside of preferences is simply someone trying to push their values upon another.

    Ethical egoism is a normative position stating that the values one should hold should be their own, not of others. It can also be seen as an individualistic perspective in ethics, allowing us to reach some conclusions about morality that others frameworks dont allow.

    Universal moralities are purely hypothetical by nature, and cannot function without a bias towards some set of predetermined values.
  • kudos
    383
    I'm a moral anti-realist, so any conception of good or evil outside of preferences is simply someone trying to push their values upon another.

    So what’s the point of having morals at all, or just so discussing them philosophically? What are they accomplishing without a collective realization?
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