• T Clark
    13.3k
    When moral philosophy comes up on the forum I often avoid the discussion. My understanding of morals doesn’t really fit in with those generally discussed here. @Ourora Aureis recently started a discussion - Morality must be fundamentally concerned with experience, not principle - that I think addressed some of the issues I’d like to discuss, although I’m not sure I understood some of what he posted.

    Personal morality

    For me, personal morality includes the principle that guides me in my personal behavior and it’s very simple - to the extent possible, my actions will be in accordance with the guidance of my intrinsic nature, my heart if you will.

    From Emerson's "Self-Reliance."

    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

    Or this from Ziporyn's translation of Chapter 17 of the Chuang Tzu, one of the founding documents of Taoism.

    So the conduct of a Great Man harms no one, but he places no special value on humankindness and beneficence. His actions are not motivated by profit, but he does not despise those who slavishly subordinate themselves to it. He does not fight over wealth, but he places no special value on yielding and refusing it. He doesn’t depend on others, but he places no special value on self-sufficiency, nor does he despise the greedy and corrupt. If his own conduct is unconventional, he places no special value on eccentricity and uniqueness, and if his own action follows the crowds, he does not despise it as obsequious flattery. All the honors and stipends in the world are not enough to goad him to action, and all its punishments and condemnations are not enough to cause him shame, for he knows that right and wrong cannot be definitively divided, and that no border can be fixed between great and small. — Chuang Tzu

    What Chuang Tzu calls “Te” and Ziporyn translates as “intrinsic virtuosity” is a reflection of our deepest essence. Unlike Kant’s categorical imperative, it is not based on reason. I guess this sounds a bit like Nietzsche’s ubermensch. Although I haven’t looked into his philosophy deeply, I don’t think it is. Taoism is a profoundly humble philosophy. It doesn’t suggest a celebration of the will but rather a surrender of it.

    Moral principles

    As far as I can see, all formal moral philosophies, and certainly any philosophy that specifies how other people should behave, is not moral at all, or even really a philosophy. It’s a program of social control - coercive rules a society establishes to manage disruptive or inconvenient behavior
  • Vera Mont
    3.8k
    Yes, formal systems of morality are social, not personal. The two can co-exist without very much conflict in a society that functions well - that is, in which the overwhelming majority of members feel that they are useful and respected. Even there, some conflicts will arise, when individual conviction or proclivity is counter to the generally accepted norm.
    In a modern, diverse, dysfunctional society, those conflicts between personal and social standards arise several times a day. Mostly in minor matters, where the individual can either get away with an infraction or compromise his own principles.
    Either choice, multiplied by millions of people in millions of instances, can bring down a civilization.
  • Joshs
    5.4k


    . I guess this sounds a bit like Nietzsche’s ubermensch. Although I haven’t looked into his philosophy deeply, I don’t think it is. Taoism is a profoundly humble philosophy. It doesn’t suggest a celebration of the will but rather a surrender of it.T Clark

    What does one surrender the will to but another will? The will to nirvana, to nothingness, to surrender is still a willing. To stop willing is to cease to experience difference and becoming, since desire is just another word for difference.
  • Moliere
    4.3k
    To stop willing is to cease to experience difference and becoming, since desire is just another word for difference.Joshs

    Hrm!

    I'd separate those rather than saying they are the same. (EDIT: meaning here "desire" and "difference")

    Stopping-willing is like pulling a tree out of oneself imagined as ground. but difference and differance remain. the will to nirvana, i agree, is still a willing: it's another tree in the ground.

    Poetically speaking: the ground remains after the tree is pulled out
  • Joshs
    5.4k
    In a modern, diverse, dysfunctional society, those conflicts between personal and social standards arise several times a day. Mostly in minor matters, where the individual can either get away with an infraction or compromise his own principles.
    Either choice, multiplied by millions of people in millions of instances, can bring down a civilization.
    Vera Mont

    Many may argue that it is moral structures that prevent civilizations from unraveling. Perhaps T Clark’s point is that the reliance on moral principles may keep cultures from becoming more civilized, by fostering reliance on the violence of authoritarianism, punishment and social repression.
  • T Clark
    13.3k
    formal systems of morality are social, not personal.Vera Mont

    I was trying to say something stronger than that. "Formal systems of morality," what I called social control, are not really morality at all. They rules for the functioning of society. Rules against sinning, however that is defined, are no different than rules against parking derelict cars in your driveway or playing loud music at 2 am.
  • T Clark
    13.3k
    The will to nirvana, to nothingness, to surrender is still a willing.Joshs

    I'm not talking about nirvana or nothingness. Application of will is not the only way to act in the world. Looking at my own behavior, I can see that much of what I do I do without any kind of self-consciousness or intention. Taoism has a term, "wu wei." It means, roughly, acting without acting. Acting from our deepest nature. If you don't like that, you can just say conscience, although that's not exactly the same thing.

    It has always struck me that what we call morality grows out of our deepest human nature. We are social animals. We like each other... usually. We want to be around each other. We want to protect and take care of those we are close with - our family, friends, community.
  • T Clark
    13.3k
    Perhaps T Clark’s point is that the reliance on moral principles may keep cultures from becoming more civilized, by fostering reliance on the violence of authoritarianism, punishment and social repression.Joshs

    Although I think what you say is true, it's not exactly the point I was trying to make. I wasn't even arguing against what I called "social control." I think that's necessary in all but the smallest human groups and certainly kinder, gentler controls are better than coercion. Although that may be necessary, it's not morality. Rules against homosexuality are no more about morality than rules against reckless driving.
  • ENOAH
    731
    Chuang TzuT Clark

    I think what Emerson readily expresses, "Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this", Chuang Tzu was aware of. That all of the "things" ultimately constructing our morals, are just "things" arising from the evolution of difference. They are neither pre-existent nor absolute, but the contrary, constructed and projected to move our stories and project signifiers; things made-up and believed.

    As for following your heart, if there's an iota of thought, let alone reasoning, harsh as it seems to say (for one, because it seems impossible to avoid), I think you are not following the Way that Chuang tzu presumably did. That Way would be to follow your organic feelings or drives (we, in the human world of make and believe only construct feelings and drives as being ravenous and aggressive; in nature, eons of evolutionhave ensured that they work appropriately).

    As for the constructions and projections, I think Chuang would suggest, go along for the ride without any prejudice. Do that, and to the world, you might seem dimwitted and indifferent, even reckless in your lack of concern. But in your heart, you are always doing as your body naturally responds, so you are always doing right. While in the projected world, there is no right besides what has been constructed and projected from time to time.
  • ENOAH
    731
    What does one surrender the will to but another will?Joshs

    I would say (especially since the OP brings up Taoism) that this "will" so-called, is just that, a thing so called.

    But more to your point, what if you are surrendering the will--the incessant desires to make and believe unified in the made and believed subject, "I"--to no will, but rather to the organic aware-ing of the organic body in nature?

    The "heart" as the OP suggests. Since we are forced to construct and project, I'll put such a morality into brief and simplistic words (but by doing so, I have already misrepresented). When hungry I eat, enough to be satisfied. When tired, I rest. When with my group (for the now global village, everyone) I bond and cooperate; I mate and guide young ones. All of these, always insofar as to satisfy the organic needs of my body and my group (today, humanity in totality), neither more nor less.

    Applied to our inescapable world of make and believe, how does such a surrendering of the will to nature apply as a morality? We cannot drop out. History has made us something other than nature, and we cannot avoid it. But at least in the face of moral questions, act in accordance with our nature. When does it serve the body to rape or molest, murder, be taken away by constructions of emotions like greed and jealousy?

    Acting in accordance with the Tao, the Heart, or Heaven, for that matter, I think means acting in accordance with our often displaced nature. We need to surrender "I" and my will to my true nature.
  • ENOAH
    731
    We are social animals. We like each other... usually. We want to be around each other. We want to protect and take care of those we are close with - our family, friends, community.T Clark

    I completely agree. I think our Natures have been slandered by wrongful claims that it is tge seat of our (implicitly, uncontrollable) appetites.
  • Judaka
    1.7k

    For me, personal morality includes the principle that guides me in my personal behavior and it’s very simple - to the extent possible, my actions will be in accordance with the guidance of my intrinsic nature, my heart if you will.T Clark

    As far as I can see, all formal moral philosophies, and certainly any philosophy that specifies how other people should behave, is not moral at all, or even really a philosophy. It’s a program of social control - coercive rules a society establishes to manage disruptive or inconvenient behaviorT Clark

    The second quote is a more accurate description of what morality is, and holds in the majority of the contexts in which the term is used. Morality is "rules for the group, imposed by the group, for the benefit of the group". Let's explore this through an example, if I want to live in a clean society, simply practising what I preach will not suffice, I need a majority of peoples within my society to follow suit. To convince others to be clean, to dissuade others from littering or destroying/defacing property and to apply pressure to my local council to pay for cleaning and repairs. All my attempts to persuade, intimidate, coerce, compel, incentivise or punish to this end are part of morality. My local area may look unkindly at those who act dirty the area, demonising these acts and those who commit them to discourage the behaviour. Attempts to justify acts or conditions that run counter to these goals may be pounced on and criticised. This should all be familiar to you as the kinds of things that happen around all moral issues. This group aspect of morality is, to me, the defining feature.

    The first quote doesn't clearly delineate morality from any other personal motivation, not even greed or jealousy, which also come from our "intrinsic nature". There are many personal motivations which from the heart that are "good" but may conflict with morality, such as loyalty and love, which may lead to actions that "betray the group". For example, a father protecting his son from receiving justice out of love, even though he knows his son to be in the wrong. Morality in this case, the "right" thing to do, would be to think about the principles and rules that must apply to the whole group.

    The objectivity of morality is upheld by the power of the majority, which is what @Ourora Aureis fails to address when he compares moral opinions to preferences. To violate moral rules doesn't carry the same weight as disliking popular music or fashion, they are enforced across the entirety of society. The equality of the positions in philosophy is irrelevant. A moral position that is only believed by a small minority is nothing like a moral position believed by the majority and enforced by social and political frameworks through society.

    They rules for the functioning of society. Rules against sinning, however that is defined, are no different than rules against parking derelict cars in your driveway or playing loud music at 2 am.T Clark

    Those aren't mutually exclusive, most laws that exist for the functioning of society will have a moral element to them. In all moral issues it's the ultimate goal of each side to enforce themselves on a legal or political level.
  • javi2541997
    5.3k
    Moral principles

    As far as I can see, all formal moral philosophies, and certainly any philosophy that specifies how other people should behave, is not moral at all, or even really a philosophy. It’s a program of social control - coercive rules a society establishes to manage disruptive or inconvenient behavior
    T Clark

    Moral principles are part of the roots of each civilisation. From Orthodox or Christian moral values to Taoism. All of them have some pillars that guide people on how to behave properly in society. You understand them as 'coercive rules' but I personally believe it goes deeper than that. Moral principles are part of our culture. 

    I believe one example of my argument is the 'sacred' standard of respect for family members. In general, children owe respect to their parents, and vice versa. When this essential moral principle is broken, members of this community experience despair, existentialism, and even nihilism, among other things, because one of these moral (Christian) principles (or 'codes', if you prefer) is no longer present.

    They are embedded in us. It is difficult to imagine a community that could survive without those. Dostoevsky discusses this dilemma and sorrow in the majority of his books. But we've previously discussed this excellent author in our email correspondence, Clarky. :smile:
  • javi2541997
    5.3k
    In all moral issues it's the ultimate goal of each side to enforce themselves on a legal or political level.Judaka

    I agree. That is a good point. Law enforcement is one of each state's primary tools for upholding a moral code of conduct. It reminds me of when the Spanish government declared same-sex marriage legal in 2005. A section of Catholic groups opposed this because they believed it was unethical. Nonetheless, the Congress chose to enact legislation to protect the freedom of same-sex couples to marry since it was morally from a civil standpoint. Two opposing moral viewpoints were confronted. Fortunately, the law passed over the religion.
  • Ourora Aureis
    36


    We are born with value imbedded into our experiences. From the beauty of a desolate environment in rain to the misery of a sharp electric pain in ones spine, these experiences we live through do not require any justification to estimate their moral value, but that value exists via our very perception of them.

    Moral philosophers make the mistake of attempting to intellectualise the concept of value, when in reality they merely create rationalisations which justify their own value judgements of certain experiences. In such a way, these intellectual creations exist purely to coerce others into joining their judgements, using the common psychological need of humans to have the approval of others.

    A reaction to this would be ethical egoism, the ethical framework I follow. It declares that we ought to act according to our values, not the value judgements of others. In this way it seems similar to the idea of personal morality you hold. I think the most important part of using it as a framework is its declaration that morality concerns an individuals action and nothing else. Social contempt is nothing more than the natural inclination towards disgust. The Emerson quote works quite well with this framework.

    However, these social forces fail when someone who does not care for such judgements of others comes along. Nietzsche might refer to the idealised version of this type of person as the Ubermensch, someone who creates their own values. It is abnormal psychology which creates this person. However, this seems very different to the idea of value presented in the 2nd quote, which seems to suggests an uncaring attitude towards "great" and "small", which seems to just be a description of the average human who has little ambition.

    I don't think ethical discussion is negative, in fact I think poetic "wisdom" will always be an unsavoury replacement if we do not choose to delve deep into idea to understand them analytically. Just because value judgements cannot be objectively determined, does not mean we cannot find knowledge within such ethical frameworks acknowledging this truth.
  • I like sushi
    4.4k
    My understanding of morals doesn’t really fit in with those generally discussed here.T Clark

    I think it is more or less about feeling your around how other apply value to certain judgements in certain contexts compared to others. It is then about unpicking the rational claims laid out or, often enough, revealing that there are none whatsoever.

    Of course, this is further complicated when those espousing certain moral themes are so entrenched in them (or opposed to moral views) that they are effectively no longer doing anything I would call 'philosophical'. We can still attempt to point this out and find out where they took the wrong path and/or whether there is simply a misunderstanding in the concepts laid out.

    The terminology in this area is just as obtuse (if not more so) as every other field of philosophical inspection.
  • unenlightened
    8.9k
    We have eaten of the apple of self-awareness, and fallen into internal conflict between what we are and what we feel ourselves to be.

    To say that man is a social animal expresses this conflict - between the individual animal and the community. I identify myself as this — I am a social animal — and thereby fall into paradox such that any claim to social virtue is the expression of animal individuality. "I am that fool who prides himself on his humility." Or else I am the worse fool who thinks he is already the god-king.

    And so we fall into self-improvement, social improvement, and global improvement, as though through our internal conflict we can outthink that nature from which we spring. Yet one does not really have to go all the way to China; in our own Christian tradition, the individual conscience also reigns supreme. If you follow that internal voice, you cannot go wrong. (But on the other hand, you might well get crucified.)
  • Moliere
    4.3k
    And so we fall into self-improvement, social improvement, and global improvement, as though through our internal conflict we can outthink that nature from which we spring. Yet one does not really have to go all the way to China; in our own Christian tradition, the individual conscience also reigns supreme. If you follow that internal voice, you cannot go wrong. (But on the other hand, you might well get crucified.)unenlightened

    Well that's not fair.
  • unenlightened
    8.9k
    Well that's not fair.Moliere

    True. Fair would be that once you have fallen there is no redemption. Without guilt, there can be no virtue.
  • Outlander
    2k
    True. Fair would be that once you have fallen there is no redemption. Without guilt, there can be no virtue.unenlightened

    This remains glaringly and disgusting ignorant. Not toward you, not at all, I promise. But at the neglected possibility (which those ensnared no longer consider reality). Which in my opinion constraints and attempts to defile you. Of course, perhaps I'm wrong altogether and am just being silly. So let's return to simple base logic, 1 and 1, yes and no.

    I assume, properly I assure you, your definition of "fallen" is "to have failed". This I'm sure, in a true balanced and fair inquisition of words, creates possibility of an immoral environment. Say, one falls because of carelessness. This is not a quality to be reviled. Automatically. Perhaps someone convinced, due to one's natural trust and other nature, a certain element of interaction was in fact "just fine" (be this a particular plank on a bridge or an entire layer of interaction with reality).

    So, bear in mind we have not even reached your second or third, and perhaps even forth claim, (the second claim being redemption and third being guilt and virtue which you have neatly presented as bundled together, as, intrinsically locked or relatable).

    Let's unpack that, shall we. Redemption or "restoration to a prior state.". Surely we agree on this definition. So, from who's assertion? Yours or others? This a key question here, for it wholly determines where truth lays, from the observer or the observed. Completely shifts the dynamic as to what one truly speaks and, one would assume, expects a reply to.

    So, here we are. Barely getting to your second claim. What was that actually? Yes, guilt. Which you invoked (not to say created, as such is a common mindset, likely justified based on common occurrence, yet still removed from absoluteness for reasons evidenced by your need to frame or base your reply on such).

    Guilt. A feeling of conviction. That one is guilty of either one or two things: action or inaction. Can we agree on that? Yes, surely we can. For this is already predefined. So now we move on to another concept: Justifiably. A simple ideological usher to the possibility one's "guilt" (an incestual blood cousin of shame, I might add) is in fact wholly unjustified. Falsely, bearing in mind there is simply truth and non-truth. Perhaps one feels "guilty" they committed an action or inaction that led to death of an innocent loved one. Of course, my argument is, perhaps one's perception is simply that: a perception. Maybe someone, an outside actor, created the event of circumstance that led to such an action or inaction. Do you get what I mean? So, say, one failed to listen to one's now-deceased father in saying "this person is no good, he is absent of morals, and if you do not treat him as such, a thing a non-equal forever beneath thee, tragedy and hardship will occur, to the degree I am unable to prevent". And the daughter happened to end up partying with said male who in turn ended up becoming drunk and unable to respond to the, let's say, urgent communiques of her father, and thus said father perished before being able to conclude or legally define the details of his will that would have enabled her to secure wealth and riches, leaving such to be at the mercy of the state. For example. And as such she ends up as a homeless drug addict. As one example. The question remains, who truly "fell", that is to say, neglected one's responsibility.

    In short, the claim, your question is not an open-ended one, is demonstrably false. And remains a valid point of contention.
  • Moliere
    4.3k
    True. Fair would be that once you have fallen there is no redemption. Without guilt, there can be no virtue.unenlightened

    Ought I be guilty?
  • Moliere
    4.3k
    In a sense I ought be guilty.

    I have my traditions I come from which would say I am guilty.

    They would say I am guilty because of this or that.

    So I would be fallen, and thereby virtuous?
  • fdrake
    6.1k
    If you follow that internal voice, you cannot go wrong.unenlightened

    Definitionally so.

    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



    But the Magician knows that the pure Will of every man and every woman is already in perfect harmony with the divine Will; in fact they are one and the same. — Crowley

    Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. — Crowley

    What can be concluded from Emerson and Thelema is that there's no distinction between a right life and one lived without worry. Thus successful rationalisation is the core moral principle. Forgetting the distinction between who you are and the lies you may make yourself believe.

    Simply hope you are a good liar. And have others join in.
  • unenlightened
    8.9k
    Simply, there is no virtue in being un-fallen - innocence is the natural condition, and virtue arises from the fall along with vice as "knowledge of good and evil" - What philosophers call "moral knowledge". If you don't know good from evil, there is no virtue in doing good and no vice in doing evil, you just do what you do.

    (When I were a lad this stuff were taught in school; kids these days don't understand the language and tradition properly in the first place, and then get all superior and dogmatic in their ignorance, mistaking it for virtuous rationality and freedom from superstition.)
  • frank
    14.9k

    Particularly in relationships, I've had the opportunity to be on both sides: the asshole and the wronged party. I know what the crime feels like from both sides. That's helpful for understanding the golden rule.
  • 180 Proof
    14.7k
    ... my actions will be in accordance with the guidance of my intrinsic nature, my heart if you will.T Clark
    What makes this "guidance of my intrinsic nature" moral? Suppose you are an antisocial psychopath: is acting "in accordance" with psychopathy also moral?

    [F]ormal moral philosophy [ ... ] It’s a program of social control - coercive rules a society establishes to manage disruptive or inconvenient behavior
    Laws, legistlation & jurisprudence correspond to "social control". I think learning techniques of self-control (from e.g. exercises, stories, exemplars, dilemmas, conflicts, etc) which are independent of – not enforceable by – "social controls" is what primarily concerns moral philosophy.

    ... any philosophy that specifies how other people should behave, is not moral at all, ...
    Does this also mean that to specify "how other people should" reason, "is not" logic?

    Anyway, by "moral" do you mean (something like) 'cultivates flourishing'?

    ... or even really a philosophy.
     I suppose it depends on what you mean by "really a philosophy" in contrast to "really" not "a philosophy".
  • Vera Mont
    3.8k
    Many may argue that it is moral structures that prevent civilizations from unraveling.Joshs
    Many may argue. I can only report what I see. Where a group has consensus in its needs, self-image and values, the moral structure doesn't have to be enforced; it's taught to the young by example and taken for granted.
    As for civilizations (I don't want to quibble over the definition) they are generally authoritarian and require a legal edifice to uphold the tenets of their religious doctrine - the less equitable those rules, the more force is exerted to keep the civilization from unravelling. Whether they do or not doesn't depend on the stated principles, but on the degree to which the upper echelons corrupt those principles.

    I was trying to say something stronger than that. "Formal systems of morality," what I called social control, are not really morality at all. They rules for the functioning of society.T Clark
    This is certainly true of modern civilizations. However, there are different kinds of society - or there were; very few of the older kind are left. In primitive tribal societies, there could very well be a handful of severe taboos alongside a great many conventions of social behaviour.
    Rules against sinning, however that is defined, are no different than rules against parking derelict cars in your driveway or playing loud music at 2 am.T Clark
    That's a legal system, not a moral one. I doubt there are any societies left today in which the general population shares a belief system in which sins are perceived the same way by everyone, and the laws are made to prevent and/or rectify sins. Moral and legal are confused, sometimes deliberately.
    It's easy to impose rules if the populace shares the rulers' belief. What rulers do to encourage the 'correct' belief is launch propaganda campaigns - public brainwashing programs are nothing new, were not invented by Orwell - so that the majority support the prevailing system. But there is always resistance, holdouts, rebels, and, over time, increasing numbers who simply are not able to obey all the rules imposed upon them. So the rulership has to expend more and more of its resources on enforcement, until a third of the adults run afoul of law enforcement at some time.
    I consider that an unraveling.
  • Joshs
    5.4k


    I'm not talking about nirvana or nothingness. Application of will is not the only way to act in the world. Looking at my own behavior, I can see that much of what I do I do without any kind of self-consciousness or intention. Taoism has a term, "wu wei." It means, roughly, acting without acting. Acting from our deepest nature. If you don't like that, you can just say conscience, although that's not exactly the same thing.T Clark

    Willing, wanting, choosing, desiring don’t have to be thought of as volunteristic, as choosing in advance what we will. I would argue that we find ourselves choosing; we are compelled by the contextual circumstances we are thrown into to want and desire in specific directions prior to any reflection or consciousness. Self-conscious reflection occurs as a later and derivative mode of willing. This is the difference between unreflective mindful coping and abstract conceptual rationality. The latter is a derivative of the former, which is the fundamental way we engage with the world. Heidegger wrote:

    One cannot construct being-in-the-world from willing, wishing, urge, and propensity as psychical acts.The desire for this conversation is determined by the task I have before me. This is the motive, the "for the sake of which". The determining factor is not an urge or a drive, driving and urging me from behind, but something standing before me, a task I am involved in, something I am charged with. This, in turn—this relation to something I am charged with—is possible only if I am "ahead" of myself.

    As far as the notion of deepest nature, I would say that any desire or choice focals and gathers together a background of intricately connected thoughts and feelings that comprises our remembered history. It expresses and carries forward this whole intricate mesh of meanings. Willing is intentional in the sense that it arises as a relevant elaboration of our deeply integrated goals and expectations, despite the fact that we find ourselves choosing and willing before conscious reflection. This is what Francisco Varela calls ethical know-how.

    You might enjoy this:

  • Joshs
    5.4k


    Where a group has consensus in its needs, self-image and values, the moral structure doesn't have to be enforced; it's taught to the young by example and taken for granted.Vera Mont

    My favorite psychologist, George Kelly, made a distinction from. between aspects of social organization, the situation of sharing common ways or values, and understating each others motives.
    Kelly says:

    While a common or similar cultural background tends to make people see things alike and to behave alike, it does not guarantee cultural progress. It does not even guarantee social harmony. The warriors who sprang up from the dragon’s teeth sown by Jason had much in common but, misconstruing each other’s motives, they failed to share in a constructive enterprise and soon destroyed each other. For people to be able to understand each other it takes more than a similarity or commonality in their thinking. In order for people to get along harmoniously with each other, each must have some understanding of the other.

    This is different from saying that each must understand things in the same way as the other. In order to play a constructive role in relation to another person one must not only, in some measure, see eye to eye with him but must, in some measure, have an acceptance of him and of his way of seeing things. We say it in another way: the person who is to play a constructive role in a social process with another person need not so much construe things as the other person does as he must effectively construe the other person's outlook

    What most think of as a moral structure is only needed to the extent that people fail to see eye to eye on the interpretation of each others motives. It doesnt matter how closely individuals try to keep in lockstep with the larger society’s expressed values. They can never take for granted that they will avoid the need to morally blame and punish others if those values don’t include a means of understanding why other deviate from the normative expectations.
  • I like sushi
    4.4k
    A reaction to this would be ethical egoism, the ethical framework I follow. It declares that we ought to act according to our values, not the value judgements of others. In this way it seems similar to the idea of personal morality you hold.Ourora Aureis

    This is a hard gap to cross as there are effectively no moral values we can hold outside of social framework. Perhaps all morals are, are instantiated social necessities that communicate shared values systems. Outside of society morals are naught. Of course we are always partially attached through social means because it is nature to be social.
  • javi2541997
    5.3k
    Laws, legistlation & jurisprudence correspond to "social control".180 Proof

    Control? I thought the police department was responsible for 'controlling' us, and that the laws served as a guide to how we should behave. Even the jurisdiction and courts ought to control the 'controller' (police officers, militaries, politicians, jail officers, etc.).
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