• schopenhauer1
    10.4k
    How does this work with billionaires sitting on their fortunes like Smaug and trying to tax them so you can provide for the common good? You're clearly causing at least some of them great harm, to hear them talk of it anyhow, and they are only going to benefit from the harmful tax in a rather indirect way.Count Timothy von Icarus

    I've said this in other threads.. I don't think personal ethics translates to political actions. I think there is such things as ethics in politics, but that is not political actions per se, but personal matters in how one acts in political situations. This goes down to meta-ethics. I think ethics is at the individual level, and "society" itself is not a target for ethics proper, but political actions. There can be good or bad political actions, even just or unjust ones, but it wouldn't be ethics we are discussing even if it is a value system or axiology. The locus has to be the individual for it to be ethical. What is "war" to an individual? It is a category error. What is "taxes" to an individual? It is misapplied if whether to tax this or that group that amount as "ethics". Its inherently aggregated, and aggregation into a concept (like social welfare, greater society, etc.) is now beyond the realm of (personal) ethics and into the realm of social axiology (politics).

    Or military conscription? Harming older people through climate change legislation that will have no meaningful impact in their lifetimes?Count Timothy von Icarus

    Same as above.

    As far as anti-natalism (I did start Ligotti's book, it's quite good), the principle of "you should never deprive someone of happiness or pleasure for no reason" would just cut the other way, no?Count Timothy von Icarus

    Yes it is.. You should never deprive someone of happiness or pleasure for no reason...This is precisely the ethic I am talking about. Happiness in this case, comes with much harm. No happiness (for someone who cannot be deprived) is no problem. No harm can be neutral if you want as well, but it's when harm occurs that the violation takes place. We just have to agree that causing harm (unnecessarily, not to remediate an already harmful situation) using the excuse of "promoting happiness" is unjust/wrong/misguided
  • T Clark
    13.3k
    I've said this in other threads.. I don't think personal ethics translates to political actions. I think there is such things as ethics in politics, but that is not political actions per se, but personal matters in how one acts in political situations. This goes down to meta-ethics. I think ethics is at the individual level, and "society" itself is not a target for ethics proper, but political actions.schopenhauer1

    This is an interesting way of putting it. I'll have to think about it.
  • Joshs
    5.4k


    Eg., - what does this mean? Can you do it in a sentence?

    The boundary of the self that we care about , and whose enrichment motivates our actions, isn’t physical or spatial , but functional. That is, we naturally embrace into the self all of the world that can be assimilated on enough dimensions of similarity. If we didn’t have this filter, our world would be an indecipherable chaos, as would our ‘self’.
    — Joshs
    Tom Storm

    The self is just a way of integrating experiences on the basis of compatibility or similarity. It is a continually evolving point of view or perspective that only maintains its unity by changing in a self-consistent manner as it incorporates and organizes new experiences. So the issue isn’t that of self vs other persons , but the limits of my ability to assimilate experiences that are too alien relative to my system of understanding. Sometime my own behavior appears alien to me , and i become unrecognizable to myself. By the same token. I can empathize so closely with those I love that they become part of my self.

    aybe you should start a thread (if there isn't one) on how we pursue moral quesions using the kind of approach you prefer. I can't see how it would work except as theory, given how society currently functions. What would need to change for such ideas to gain traction in a substantive way?Tom Storm

    The beauty of this way of thinking is that it can make our life profoundly more satisfying regardless of whether a single person besides ourselves embraces it. Unlike something like Marxism, its value doesn’t come from changing the world, but from changing our own interpretation of the intent and motives of others (and ourselves). Most of why we suffer from the actions of others comes not from their actions in themselves, but our inability to fathom why on earth they found it necessary to behave in ways that cause pain to those around them. We throw up our hands and resign ourselves to the idea that humans can be arbitrary, capricious, irrational, at the mercy of narrow instincts, drives, social influences. But this leaves us with profound stress and anger.
  • schopenhauer1
    10.4k
    This is an interesting way of putting it. I'll have to think about it.T Clark

    :up:
  • Leontiskos
    2k
    Are you saying that Susie might not be consciously aware that she is not doing her best?Joshs

    Yes, of course. Do you have a real argument against this or are you just going to appeal to the weird emotional stories you tell? Your theory is literally premised on fictional anecdotes you made up in your head.

    The irony is that these stories are dripping with blame and reproach, attempting to guilt-trip me into buying into your irrational system. "How dare you tell poor little Susie that she wasn't doing her best! You monster!" I do think that guilt-tripping on the basis of fictional shame-porn is a problem. :roll: I would imagine you could do better, especially given the fact that your strange accusation-based strawman followed my distinction between an assessment and an accusation ("The person in question need not even be told").

    I thought the morally responsible agent must be acting from free will?Joshs

    Perhaps you should try reading Aristotle on volition. I drove into town yesterday. Was I doing my best when I was driving? Of course not. Was I attempting to not-do my best? Of course not. Nor was I self-consciously aware that I was not doing my best. If I can drive well enough without doing my best then I will do that, because it requires enormously less effort. The habits that I have created around driving have to do with a balance between effort and conservation of energy, and that balance is not met by constantly expending the maximal amount of effort possible at each moment driving.

    When someone regrets something and says, "I shouldn't have done that," they are very often acknowledging that they were not doing their best. Indeed, it is hard to see how we could regret any decision at all if we are constantly doing our best. Those who think that they are at fault for everything and those who think they are at fault for nothing both have deep psychological issues. The world you are proposing is one full of narcissists who believe they are not at fault for anything and are beyond criticism.

    But my position is a prioriJoshs

    Of course it is, and it is highly irrational to have an a priori belief that everyone is constantly doing their best at each moment of their life. It's as if you don't even understand what the clause, "doing their best," means. Or you don't understand that effort is not always maximal.
  • Joshs
    5.4k


    The irony is that these stories are dripping with blame and reproach, attempting to guilt-trip me into buying into your irrational system. "How dare you tell poor little Susie that she wasn't doing her best! You monster!" I do think that guilt-tripping on the basis of fictional shame-porn is a problem. :roll: I would imagine you could do better, especially given the fact that your strange accusation-based strawman followed my distinction between an assessment and an accusation ("The person in question need not even be told")Leontiskos

    But you’ll notice in the story you were right about Susie not trying her best. It was just that she knew what was going on with her and the reason for it. I’m not blaming or reproaching you. But I will insist that
    claiming someone is not doing their best is an accusation, regardless of how you sugarcoat it. All forms of blame (including concepts like narcissism and laziness) are based in hostility, and as such are accusations, even if they masquerade as affectively neutral rational judgements. Hostility has no choice but to remedy a violence against the moral with a corrective which itself must be violent, a battle against a bad will. I don’t blame you for blaming, because I believe you’re doing the best you can, given how things seem to you, and your blameful approach is the best way for you to make progress on your thinking. I don’t mean your were determined by causes, I mean you have put a lot of work into thinking through issues of morality, and what you currently believe undoubtedly represents an achievement with respect to your younger self. I would say the same of the larger culture that embraces moral guilt and blame. They are moving in the right direction, so I encourage rather than blame them. My approach isn’t right for them until they’re ready to embrace it, on their own terms.

    I drove into town yesterday. Was I doing my best when I was driving? Of course not. Was I attempting to not-do my best? Of course not. Nor was I self-consciously aware that I was not doing my best. If I can drive well enough without doing my best then I will do that, because it requires enormously less effort.Leontiskos

    How did you know you weren’t doing your best? What kind of information should one look for to tell them where they stand with respect to ‘their best’? What aspect of a task seems effortful to us, and why? Does it depend strictly on the features of the task, independent of our own attitude toward it, or is the feeling that something requires too much effort a function of our interest in it? How many times do we say to someone, ‘wow, that task looks very hard, it must have required quite an effort’, and have them respond, Nah, I was enjoying myself so much it felt effortless’?

    Where we choose to focus our energy and attention, and our perception of the effort involved, is a in large part a function of what aspect of our situation we feel we can immerse ourselves most completely into. We choose to devote less effort in one direction in order to focus on another, more fulfilling one. From a skilled coping point of view, motivation can’t be defined in quantitative terms. Cognitive scientists and philosophers of mindfulness who study skilled coping argue that one is at one’s best not when one applies a plan and then accelerates one’s way through its performance by increments of degree ( I am doing better and better, trying harder and harder, because I am going faster and faster). The measure of doing one’s best from the vantage of skilled coping is about total attentiveness and immersion within the contextual changing demands of the task at hand, a ‘going with the flow’ rather than trying to force the flow into a pre-designed trajectory and endpoint. It’s about being responsive to the changing nature of the task rather than ‘forcing’ our will on it.

    When someone regrets something and says, "I shouldn't have done that," they are very often acknowledging that they were not doing their bestLeontiskos

    No, they are acknowledging that how things seemed to them at the time they made their choice, and how things seem them now , has changed. Often, new information comes to light that wasn’t available at the time one decided, and one berates and blames oneself for not having known this information earlier. Guilt is about second-guessing oneself: ‘I should have , could have’. It is 20/20 hindsight. But they were doing their best when they acted in a way that they now regret, and they are doing their best in now reflecting on that original decision in light of the new information which shows that their former self to have made a mistake.

    The world you are proposing is one full of narcissists who believe they are not at fault for anything and are beyond criticism.Leontiskos

    I didn’t say guilt isn’t useful. I said that we can transcend the notion of guilt as self-blame and moral culpability. As long as human beings constantly transcend their circumstances, constantly unfold new outlooks and cultural identifications, they will continually re-assess their relationships with others, and this will lead to feelings of guilt. While guilt is most often associated with our sense that we have sinned, at its core , it alerts us to the fact that , as we grow and change, we find ourselves dislodged from previous ties and loyalties. For instance, one can feel guilty for unintentionally betraying close friendships with co-participants in a fundamentalist religious community once one no longer embraces the religion’s credo. The feeling of guilt forces a new decision; do we try and conform, fit ourselves back into the social role that we have become dislodged from, or forge ahead and find ways to mend those broken bonds of trust by creating a new social role for ourselves, and friendships based on new dimensions of mutual understanding?
  • Leontiskos
    2k
    I’m not blaming or reproaching you.Joshs

    The absurdly emotional tale that you told indicates otherwise.

    But I will insist that claiming someone is not doing their best is an accusation, regardless of how you sugarcoat it. All forms of blame (including concepts like narcissism and laziness) are based in hostility, and as such are accusations, even if they masquerade as affectively neutral rational judgements.Joshs

    I’d say you’re about 300 miles off course. Underlying your thinking is the argument <Everyone should do their best, therefore everyone does do their best>. Not only is this argument invalid, but it also has a false premise.

    The question of whether someone is doing their best is a matter of fact which must be determined on a case by case basis, a posteriori. It is not an a priori necessity, as you have made it.

    “The Corvette is going 100 mph.” This is also a matter of fact that must be determined on a case by case basis. When a police officer uses his radar gun to determine how fast the Corvette is traveling, he is probing this matter of fact. The normative question arises second: how fast should the Corvette be traveling? With regard to this second question, the police officer will ticket the driver if the Corvette is traveling too fast (or too slow).

    “The Corvette is going 100 mph,” is a statement about the speed of the car, and cars can travel at different speeds. “Johnny is doing his best,” is a statement about the effort that Johnny is applying to some activity, and humans can apply different levels of effort. Step 1 is assessing the level of effort, which is a matter of fact. This step is like using the radar gun to determine the car’s speed. Contrary to your moralizing worldview, the assessment of effort is not yet a normative or moral matter. Step 2, the normative step, only arises when we want to judge how much effort Johnny should be applying to the activity. The answer to this question is not, “Johnny should always be applying maximal effort.” That is a stupid idea inherited from the Puritans, on a par with other stupid ideas like, “If a job isn’t done well then it’s not worth doing.”

    Again, when I am driving a car I am usually not trying my best. In ideal driving conditions it would be stupid to try my best, as this would be a needless waste of energy. In that case your moralizing would be perfectly backwards, and, “He is trying his best,” would be the accusation, as opposed to, “He is not trying his best.” It is not uncommon to ridicule someone in that manner, by noting that they are trying their best when they shouldn’t be.

    So if someone says to you, “Joshs, you aren’t trying your best,” and they mean it as a corrective, then you should 1) Ask yourself whether you are trying your best, 2) Ask yourself whether you should be trying your best. If the answer is no/yes, then you should thank them for correcting you, tell them you will try harder, and possibly ask their advice about how to improve. If the answer is not no/yes, then you should tell them why you disagree. Whatever you do, do not say, “I am a human being, and human beings always try their best, therefore I am trying my best.” They will probably just reply that they thought you were smarter than that.

    The broader question you are after is the question of whether it is ever prudent or legitimate to make a normative judgment.* Your proximate rejoinder would be something like, “Well, we should never presume to tell anyone that they should be applying a different level of effort than they are in fact applying.” I think this is completely wrong, but it is not worth addressing here. I would point you to my thread, “The Breadth of the Moral Sphere.”

    * A normative judgment about others, but perhaps also about ourselves.
  • Joshs
    5.4k


    “Johnny is doing his best,” is a statement about the effort that Johnny is applying to some activity, and humans can apply different levels of effort. Step 1 is assessing the level of effort, which is a matter of fact. This step is like using the radar gun to determine the car’s speed. Contrary to your moralizing worldview, the assessment of effort is not yet a normative or moral matter. Step 2, the normative step, only arises when we want to judge how much effort Johnny should be applying to the activity.Leontiskos

    What devices akin to a radar gun measure effort? I assume you want to focus your attention on the brain and what is taking place inside of it , rather than on other parts of the body. A decrement in bodily ‘effort’ can be due to many things, such as fatigue, injury, disease , aging. But we’re taking about mental effort, right? So do we use electrodes on the skull? An mri? The observations of a community? And don’t we want to distinguish physiological causes of performance decrements in the brain (physical fatigue, illness, lack of food or drink, excessive hate or cold) from those having to do with intent and motivation? Don’t we want to focus our attention where we believe a person uses physiological issues as an EXCUSE for not trying their hardest?

    It seems to me that this ‘mental’ effort, the decision to try or not to try as hard as one can , regardless of one’s amount of sleep or nutritional status, is a matter of engaging in a game whose rules are familiar to one, and then choosing to dial down one’s effort. So arent there two normative dimensions involved here, the criterion of success at the game, and the criterion of optimal vs suboptimal effort? For instance, let’s say the game I opt into is driving my car to work as fast as I can, because I’m running late. My goal is to shave off at least 10 minutes relative to my usual pace. It will be very clear to me whether I have succeeded in this normative goal. But whether I succeed or fail does not in itself say anything about how much effort I put into the game. That’s a different game, with its own norms. Although you have said we don’t always know whether we were trying our best, at least some of the time we know it, and in those cases maybe the simplest way to measure our effort is to use a verbal scoring system: On a scale of one to ten, how hard were we trying?

    Now , I have been claiming that we are always trying our best at something, so I reject the premise behind this scoring system. I would put it this way. We are always putting our effort into some game or other , but the criterion of success changes with changes in the game. When I am late for work, and I choose a game of speed, my criterion of success is different than when I am not playing the game of speed. There are times when I am in no rush, when I am in mood for a game of touring. The aim of this game is not to drive fast , or slow, but to drive in such a way that I am maximizing my engagement with the countryside around me. This can mean speeding up, slowing down, pulling over, changing route. I’ll know how successful I was at my game of touring by how satisfying the trip was for me, not by how fast I was going.

    Notice that it doesn’t make sense to say that , while touring, I wasn't trying my best at making time. The concept of speed didn’t come up for me because I wasn’t thinking along those lines at all. My point is, as I mentioned in an earlier post, that in understanding the relation between effort and performance, it is necessary to identify not just what we are not doing, but what we are doing. There are a nearly infinite variety of games we can opt to play, and we switch among them all the time. When we naively assume another is continuing the play the game we believe they are playing, we may not notice this shift in games. So we only notice their failure to perform within the rules we assume they are abiding by, and we fail to notice that they are already involved with a different game. The are still doing their best, but their effort is applied in a completely different direction, with different criteria of success.
  • Janus
    15.9k
    Again, when I am driving a car I am usually not trying my best.Leontiskos

    How do you define "doing your best"? I would define it as doing what the situation or task at hand requires so as to avoid negative outcomes. If you are paying adequate attention to the conditions—the road. traffic signals, other drivers and so on, such as to avoid an accident, or getting booked, then I would count that as "doing your best".

    You might say that if you failed to do your best then you might, for example, have an accident or be booked for speeding, but could that failure ever be counted as intentional? If you drive too fast, is it not on account of a failure of attention or an incorrect assessment of the likelihood of being booked or having an accident?

    Surely you would not intentionally lose attention or make a botched assessment? If not then I think it could be fairly said that you were doing your best, and your best was just not good enough in the particular situation (which should not be surprising since you are not required to be perfect in order to be said to be doing your best).
  • Leontiskos
    2k
    How do you define "doing your best"? I would define it as doing what the situation or task at hand requires so as to avoid negative outcomes. If you are paying adequate attention to the conditions—the road. traffic signals, other drivers and so on, such as to avoid an accident, or getting booked, then I would count that as "doing your best".Janus

    If you could do better are you doing your best? Is someone who is doing an adequate job doing the best job? See:

    Someone who is not doing their best is by definition not putting all of their effort into something. The reason we seldom do our best is because it is very difficult to put all of our effort into something.Leontiskos

    You might say that if you failed to do your best then you might, for example, have an accident or be booked for speeding, but could that failure ever be counted as intentional? If you drive too fast, is it not on account of a failure of attention...Janus

    In moral philosophy neglect is a failure involving intention or volition. "Attention" comes under our intention and volition, after all, and that is why it is not unjust to ticket speeders.
  • Leontiskos
    2k
    Although you have said we don’t always know whether we were trying our best, at least some of the time we know it, and in those cases maybe the simplest way to measure our effort is to use a verbal scoring system: On a scale of one to ten, how hard were we trying?Joshs

    Okay.

    I would put it this way. We are always putting our effort into some game or other...Joshs

    Except when we do things like sleep, but putting effort in and putting maximal effort in are two different things. I do not do my best when I drive in ideal conditions, but I do apply effort.

    I’ll know how successful I was at my game of touring by how satisfying the trip was for me, not by how fast I was going.Joshs

    Sure, I don't dispute any of this. It doesn't affect our topic. I don't expect you to have a very robust theory of the specification of human acts, but I think even bad theories arrive at the obvious conclusion that we don't always do our best.

    I would put it this way. We are always putting our effort into some game or other , but the criterion of success changes with changes in the game.Joshs

    So what? Attempting to achieve success is not the same as applying maximal effort. I can beat my three year-old nephew in a wrestling match with one hand tied behind my back. This has nothing to do with whether I am trying my best. The reason we shouldn't always try our best is because some things are easy, and do not demand our best.

    We could speak about acting in an optimal manner rather than applying maximal effort, and this indeed seems to be what you are interested in. Are human beings always acting in as optimal a way as they are able? This relates to the "broader question" I spoke to in my last post.

    There are a nearly infinite variety of games we can opt to play, and we switch among them all the time. When we naively assume another is continuing the play the game we believe they are playing, we may not notice this shift in games. So we only notice their failure to perform within the rules we assume they are abiding by, and we fail to notice that they are already involved with a different game. The are still doing their best, but their effort is applied in a completely different direction, with different criteria of success.Joshs

    We don't always misidentify another's "game," and even if we did, it remains true that we do not always apply maximal effort to the "games" we are self-consciously "playing." (I dislike speaking in Wittgenstenian metaphor. Our activities are not games.)

    I grant that there is a somewhat interesting way in which the contemporary mind sees effort as flat and unchangeable. To see the fault in this one might consider the case of an extreme rock climber who climbs free (with no safety rope) and compare him with the fellow who is walking to the coffee shop before work. The rock climber is exerting more effort in an absolute sense than the man walking to the coffee shop, and he is likely exerting maximal effort. Now compare the free climber with an identical climber who has a safety harness, and there will be a different level of effort vis-a-vis the same activity, ceteris paribus.

    The obvious conclusion once again arises unperturbed: human beings do not invariably do their best.
  • Janus
    15.9k
    If you could do better are you doing your best? Is someone who is doing an adequate job doing the best job?Leontiskos

    You're ignoring context. There is no reason to strive to do better in a task when the circumstances don't require it. How are you going to do better than attending as best you can in the moment to a degree sufficient to avoid speeding, attending as best you can in the moment such as to avoid colliding with other vehicles, pedestrians, trees, telegraph poles, safety fences and so on?

    How often do you fail to do your best when you are driving? How often do you inadvertently speed, drive recklessly, have accidents and so on?

    In moral philosophy neglect is a failure involving intention or volition. "Attention" comes under our intention and volition, after all, and that is why it is not unjust to ticket speeders.Leontiskos

    In moral philosophy neglect is a failure of being able to care or a failure of understanding the situation. No one deliberately fails to care or attend to what they understand should be attended to, but no one is perfect and may be distracted or fail to understand what is required or simply not be capable of good judgement.

    Ticketing speeders is not a matter of justice but a matter of deterrence. In Australia the resources are there to stop people from speeding. We have speed cameras at select locations, but we are always notified by signs as to where they are located. If they installed many more speed cameras and did not place signs to notify motorists as to the locations, they would soon stop motorists speeding due to the motorists unfailingly being fined when they did speed. But it seems the government doesn't really want to "stop speeding to save lives" as first priority—it seems first priority is revenue, a great deal of which they will lose if everyone stops speeding.

    To anticipate an objection, you might say that those who exceed the speed limit are not doing their best, but I would counter that when they speed they must, rightly or wrongly, believe they are driving safely, which would mean it is a failure of judgement. Either that or they are insane or uncaring. People can only care as much, and judge as well as their capacities allow.
  • Leontiskos
    2k
    There is no reason to strive to do better in a task when the circumstances don't require it.Janus

    And there is no reason to strive to do our best when the circumstances don't require it. If we can do better then we are not doing our best, and we both know that on your definition of "best" we can do better. Therefore your definition fails.

    How are you going to do better than attending as best you can in the moment to a degree sufficient to avoid speeding...Janus

    In order to do a better job than what is sufficient or adequate you simply go beyond what is necessary. One can apply more or less effort to the act or rule of not-speeding.

    In moral philosophy neglect is a failure of being able to care or a failure of understanding the situation.Janus

    No, that is ignorance.

    No one deliberately fails to care or attend to what they understand should be attended to, but no one is perfect and may be distracted or fail to understand what is required or simply not be capable of good judgement.Janus

    We are punished for neglect similar to the way we are punished for direct intention, and therefore neglect involves volition. I would suggest that you work on a theory which incorporates these facts, and really any introduction to moral philosophy will help you with that.

    You (and Joshs) could try to make an argument for ethics on determinism, and you could try to say that every time someone gets a speeding ticket it is not because they have neglected a (positive) duty but only because we want to deter or condition them. This is ultimately futile and logically incoherent, but you could try it. Nevertheless, I would not try such a thing before you understand the perennial understanding of justice, including what words like "negligence" actually mean. Better to understand the received and coherent approach before trying your hand at the newfangled determinism-morality.
  • Janus
    15.9k
    And there is no reason to strive to do our best when the circumstances don't require it. If we can do better then we are not doing our best, and we both know that on your definition of "best" we can do better. Therefore your definition fails.Leontiskos

    No, how can you do better than paying attention, driving within the speed limit and so on, which I outlined? Explain to me how you could do better than that, what doing better than that would consist in in that context.

    We are punished for neglect similar to the way we are punished for direct intention, and therefore neglect involves volition.Leontiskos

    You believe that it follows from the fact we are punished for neglect that volition must be involved? I don't see that, and in any case, you are changing the terms—I spoke in terms of failure of attention (a failure which is not deliberate) and failure of understanding the situation (which obviously also would not be deliberate). You could try to explain to me just what you mean by volition—is volition always deliberate according to you, for example, and then lay out your argument as to why volition would be entailed on the grounds that we are punished for neglect?

    Nevertheless, I would not try such a thing before you understand the perennial understanding of justice, including what words like "negligence" actually mean.Leontiskos

    What is the perennial understanding of justice according to you? The meaning of words is determined by their common usage(s)—what else could they be determined by?
  • Leontiskos
    2k
    No, how can you do better than paying attention, driving within the speed limit and so on, which I outlined? Explain to me how you could do better than that, what doing better than that would consist in in that context.Janus

    You are equivocating on effort and outcome. Doing or trying one's best is a direct measure of effort, not a direct measure of outcome. Supposing two people drive under the speed limit, it does not follow that each of them are applying equal effort to obeying the law. It does not follow that each of them are doing/trying their best to obey the law. Some are more conscientious and effort-applying than others in this regard. Your false argument is, <They both achieved the same outcome, therefore they both applied the same proportion of effort>.

    You believe that it follows from the fact we are punished for neglect that volition must be involved? I don't see that, and in any case, you are changing the terms—I spoke in terms of failure of attention (a failure which is not deliberate) and failure of understanding the situation (which obviously also would not be deliberate). You could try to explain to me just what you mean by volition—is volition always deliberate according to you, for example, and then lay out your argument as to why volition would be entailed on the grounds that we are punished for neglect?Janus

    I Googled a paper that might be helpful to you in this regard: "The Moral Neglect of Negligence." Again, an introduction to moral philosophy would probably be even better.
  • Janus
    15.9k
    Supposing two people drive under the speed limit, it does not follow that each of them are applying equal effort to obeying the law.Leontiskos

    One may have to apply more effort because they are less talented. That has no bearing on the argument. If we all drive as best we can within the limits of our abilities both physical and intellectual, such as not to speed or have accidents, what could doing better than that look like? Surely not neurotically straining to be even more attentive than the actual situation requires—that could actually be a negative, it could cause us to become stressed and lose attention.

    Of course, sometimes when we are stressed out we are not at our best, and then we might inadvertently speed and or have an accident. But we are not always the same, and when I talk about doing our best i mean our best at any given moment in any given situation. I say that if we fail at that it is on account of not being capable of adequately caring, understanding or physically functioning. and it can still rightly be said that we are doing our best at those times— not our best according to what we are, at optimum, capable of, but our best according to what we are in that moment capable of.

    I Googled a paper that might be helpful to you in this regard: "The Moral Neglect of Negligence." Again, an introduction to moral philosophy would probably be even better.Leontiskos

    When someone is apparently incapable of presenting their own arguments and condescendingly advises me to read a paper or educate myself I rapidly lose interest in further engagement with them.
  • Ourora Aureis
    36


    I completely disagree.

    First I have to state my belief that all values are equivalent, there is no difference between a moral or aesthetic value. From the dislike of murder to the love of orange juice, these concern the same type of preference known as a value.

    As such, all actions are driven by values, you cannot be devoid of them by the very nature of your existence. Morals do not matter to collectives as collectives do not exist, only individuals exist, and only individuals act.
  • I like sushi
    4.4k
    This sounds very much like nonsense the way you put it.

    I am guessing it is not nonsense though just badly expressed. Maybe explaining how your view does or doesn't cross over into solipsism? That might help others to understand.
  • Ourora Aureis
    36


    Im making no claim about the existence of other beings, but about perspective. I believe the universe exists outside of yourself, however you only have access to your interpretation of the universe, and your perspective. This idea is called indirect realism, has been confirmed in neuroscience in how the human brain operates, and so is currently the scientific concensus in regards to perception.

    For example, platos forms would be an idea against this viewpoint, but generally those ideas are quite old and lack evidence.
  • I like sushi
    4.4k
    You will need to back up your reasoning then.

    there is no difference between a moral or aesthetic value.Ourora Aureis

    How so? Explain why people believe there is a difference. By all means site any papers relevant in the cognitive neurosciences I am fairly well versed in that particular area.
  • Leontiskos
    2k
    There is a more serious and pertinent quandary underlying this recent discussion with @Joshs and @Janus, one closely tied to the moral decay of our age. It is that we have largely forgotten how to philosophically justify moral fault. The rejoinder to blame is not so much, "I was trying my best," as, "I didn't do it on purpose," which in a more technical sense is the idea that the evil which resulted from their action was not aimed at. The stumbling block here is the Thomistic doctrine that evil is never aimed at per se, and in seeing this truth our age erroneously concludes that moral fault is impossible. For Aquinas the key is to understand that moral fault is always ultimately a matter of negligence (i.e. culpable ignorance).

    I say this more as a bookmark than anything else, for I do not want to enter into the topic here, but an example would be the man who is pulled over for speeding, and who attempts to make an excuse for himself, "I wasn't speeding on purpose!" "I wasn't trying to break the law!"
  • Janus
    15.9k
    You are conflating the legal with the moral. If someone drinks and drives they are being negligent. If their ability to focus on the task of driving safely and/ or being physically coordinated enough to do it, is sufficiently impaired by the alcohol and they are unlucky enough to kill someone, they will not be excused and will be prosecuted and punished to a far greater extent than if they had not killed someone.

    From the point of view of the law concerning negligence, they have committed a greater crime than if they had merely driven without incident, but this doesn't seem right from a moral standpoint. Call this moral luck (or unluck).

    Another example is that someone might have a sudden and uncontrollable sneezing fit when driving and fail to see the pedestrian on the crossing and run them over and kill them. They will still be punished even though it was not their fault in any moral sense.
  • Ourora Aureis
    36


    If you are coming to ethics with a collectivist mindset then you most likely have different issues you think ethics concerns. However, anything outside of individual action is quite meaningless to me. I don't care about some social harmony, that has nothing to do with the issues I think ethics should be concerned with, aka action and values.

    In regards to the difference between moral and aesthetic values, there are people who define them different, I don't disagree. However, anyone can make a differentiation between any two ideas they like, but it doesn't make that differentiation substantive towards any end. Differentiation exists precisely to treat two concepts separately, however you need more than just different definitions to achieve this. Instead you have to apply an argument for how their difference is cause for the separate treatment. I don't know how you want me to explain that there is no difference, the burden is on you to suggest it. I cannot prove a negative.

    If your distinction is purely semantic and leads to no difference in regards to ethics, then it doesn't exist to me and the conversation is pointless. You have to make an argument substantiating the difference (which is not just defining it, otherwise I'll just go "I disagree" and we're on equal ground in regards to rationality).

    I'm not going to be providing any papers, you didn't ask me to prove any specific claim so anything I give you will seem random and you cant convince people by throwing random papers at them. If you want to gain an understanding, look into the predictive coding model in neuroscience (which seems to most plausible explanation to me) or provide a model which is backed by scientists which doesn't have indirect realism as its base to counter my belief. This is a discussion, not a lecture.

    Also to be clearer, indirect realism doesn't necessary mean no mind-independent objects exist, but that we don't experience them directly. Aka, indirect realism isn't incompatible with moral or aesthetic realism. I don't know your position on whether morals are mind independent or not, but I thought I should make that clear.
  • I like sushi
    4.4k
    I'm not going to be providing any papers, you didn't ask me to prove any specific claim so anything I give you will seem random and you cant convince people by throwing random papers at themOurora Aureis

    I asked this: How are aesthetic and moral values the same? You made the claim. If you are not willing to argue your case then I am puzzled why you are here at all.

    I was merely intrigued by what you meant. Sounds interesting.

    First I have to state my belief that all values are equivalent, there is no difference between a moral or aesthetic value. From the dislike of murder to the love of orange juice, these concern the same type of preference known as a value.Ourora Aureis

    I am curious what backing there is to this belief.
  • Ourora Aureis
    36


    I responded to your question in my 2nd and 3rd paragraph. Im not sure why you think I havent responded.
  • I like sushi
    4.4k
    Because you said you had a belief, I asked you to explain it and then you said why should I.

    If you cannot explain your belief, no problem. I will move on swiftly. Time for me to go and drink someone else's orange juice.

    Bye.
  • Ourora Aureis
    36


    Thats a pretty big simplfication of my reasoning. I think fundamentally theres a flaw with your epistomology if you're trying to get me to prove a negative.

    Alas, your free to leave at any time but I hope you'll think my ideas over. Goodbye.
  • Leontiskos
    2k
    You are conflating the legal with the moral.Janus

    So you think negligence pertains to the legal order but not to the moral order?
  • Janus
    15.9k
    So you think negligence pertains to the legal order but not to the moral order?Leontiskos

    Depends on what is meant by 'negligence'. Failing to feed and look after those who depend on you, your children or animals, for example, I would not consider to be morally acceptable.

    I don't think in terms of "moral order", but rather in terms of "moral compass". The morally important things are cared about, due to normal human feeling, by all who are not sociopathic, in my view. Morality is not "given from above" but issues from out of the depths of healthy human feeling and rationality.
  • Leontiskos
    2k
    Depends on what is meant by 'negligence'.Janus

    Well here is the first sentence of the article I linked above:

    The moral significance of negligence is regularly downplayed in the legal and philosophical literature. — Shiffrin, The Moral Neglect of Negligence

    You seem like someone who just hasn't thought or read about this topics much at all, to the extent that in order to discuss them on a philosophy forum you would need to do some homework first. I'm happy to talk after you do some homework. If you don't want to, that's your call.
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