• Frank Barroso
    38
    It is the moral theory that can't put its thumb on innate, human ethics.szemi

    It seems fairly straightforward to me that humans take whatever action they deem to produce a greater good for themselves and the people of importance to them, even if it is an evil action (idk if that counts as a moral theory).

    No longer do we live in small villages, where it is part of the culture to inherently fear the end of the whole rather than the individual. Morality might have changed a little since the evolutionary times, so it might be a little easier to do harm unto others. We see in animals its beneficial as a species to have cooperative traits but perhaps the cultural effect on our egos and then our egos effect on itself, might have more responsibility than an evolutionary standpoint.

    1. There are more ways of being evil than good. The surest proof of the above statement, in agreement to your theory that something can be both good and bad, is the old adage ''you can't make everyone happy''.TheMadFool

    Agreed; (might be irrelevant) following this assumption, we then must be confronted by the fact that every action we take in our lives is an inherently evil enterprise. What then, is the moral, virtuous young man to do? Do the world and the people around him Good by ending his butterfly effect. Or live under a moral bending of one's ethics simply doing the least harm as is available, due to what? Cowardice? And, if not cowardice, I'd love to hear what.

    2. Current moral theory is imperfect. God-based morality, Consequentialism, Deontic theory, are all flawed.TheMadFool

    I think its incorrect to assume there is a unanimous "current moral theory". Or idk, what is it?
  • MountainDwarf
    36
    it must be that Evil will, inevitably, win and Good lose.TheMadFool

    Ultimately or personally?
  • TheMadFool
    1.7k
    What then, is the moral, virtuous young man to do?Frank Barroso

    A virtuous man, to me, should hold morality as the highest goal. So, predictably, such a man will continue along the path of goodness, however ill defined it may be, to the end. What this end is depends on the people around him. Jesus didn't survive his company but the Buddha was well respected and lived to be 80.

    Or live under a moral bending of one's ethics simply doing the least harm as is available, due to what? Cowardice? And, if not cowardice, I'd love to hear what.Frank Barroso

    Cowardice? One could say that religious morals depend a lot on the fear factor. Hell is a sure way to make people behave. That's the stick. But we do have a carrot too - heaven. Irregligious morality has tried, very hard I think, to rid its foundations of fear - one should be good for goodness is an end in itself, not out of fear.
  • TheMadFool
    1.7k
    Ultimately or personally?MountainDwarf

    Ultimately.

    A little bit of science will help to clarify my view.

    Entropy, disorder, is always increasing. Order is necessary for any moral system. So, if science is true, disorder is the ultimate end of all things, including moral systems.
  • Frank Barroso
    38
    1. There are more ways of being evil than good. The surest proof of the above statement, in agreement to your theory that something can be both good and bad, is the old adage ''you can't make everyone happy''.

    2. Current moral theory is imperfect. God-based morality, Consequentialism, Deontic theory, are all flawed.

    Given 1 and 2 are true, it is necessary that suffering will multiply and happiness will diminish. It's like a ship, with food in short supply and only a broken compass to aid you in the voyage. The ship and the people on it are doomed.
    TheMadFool

    If we change the moral theory, the virtuous man can do good?
    or
    If the current moral theory remains and like before the virtuous man continues down his path, does he actually do any good? Are we still ultimately guided by a broken compass?

    every action we take in our lives is an inherently evil enterpriseFrank Barroso

    A virtuous man, to me, should hold morality as the highest goal. So, predictably, such a man will continue along the path of goodness, however ill defined it may be, to the end.TheMadFool

    Even with more ways of being evil than good, you believe he can do good?
  • Noble Dust
    1.3k
    Entropy, disorder, is always increasing. Order is necessary for any moral system.TheMadFool

    Entropy is increasing in the physical world, but that doesn't mean it's increasing in a moral sphere (or system). If so, this, then, doesn't follow:

    So, if science is true, disorder is the ultimate end of all things, including moral systems.TheMadFool
  • szemi
    12
    There are more ways of being evil than good. The surest proof of the above statement, in agreement to your theory that something can be both good and bad, is the old adage ''you can't make everyone happy''.TheMadFool

    Oops. Mad Fool, you have established, very firmly, in two separate places in this debate, that:
    1. Good = Truth
    2. Evil = Lie

    And yet,
    Yes, you can make everyone happy with a lie.
    In other words, your adage proves against your favour, as evil can make everyone happy. (As per your definition of evil.)
  • szemi
    12
    Agreed; (might be irrelevant) following this assumption, we then must be confronted by the fact that every action we take in our lives is an inherently evil enterprise. What then, is the moral, virtuous young man to do? Do the world and the people around him Good by ending his butterfly effect. Or live under a moral bending of one's ethics simply doing the least harm as is available, due to what? Cowardice? And, if not cowardice, I'd love to hear what.Frank Barroso

    Dear Frank, Darf and Dust, and AND ALL OTHERS WHO ARE JOINING THE DEBATE IN THIS LATTER STAGE, I am not sure if you had a chance to read all posts in this thread. The idea is that evil is not used in its normative meaning; it is used to denote nothing more and nothing less than a lie. The thread's creator willed it this way, and corrected some of us to keep to this definition.

    So the whole debate is a directed type of equivocation.

    We must not give in to the lure that we imagine that "evil" means actual bad, vile, will or deed. It means, simply, "lie". The thread's creator built his or her entire opening argument on this condition.

    Let's respect this condition, and not be fooled to think that "evil" or "bad" in this thread means anything other than "lie" or "falsehood".

    This is not my idea; the thread's creator asked us to observed evil in this capacity only.

    IF I am wrong in this assessment, then I ask the Mad Fool to please correct me and to please lay down the foundation of what word means what. We can't keep on arguing on a terrain of semantic quagmire where words change their meanings. I don't mind what rule you lay down, but I ask you, please, to stay consistent after the rule-laying.

    To me, you, Mad Fool, have said "good=truth, falshood/lies = bad." Then I took the liberty to understand "evil" as an equivalent to "bad". So far this is the situation in this thread. Please correct me or yourself, and then stay consistent with that correction.
  • szemi
    12
    So, it's more likely that someone will tell you a lie than the truth. Evil wins. Good loses.TheMadFool
    I have to correct myself: It is not I who took the liberty to equate "bad" with "evil". The structure of the argument and latter definitions, both by Mad Fool, the creator of this thread, begged for taking this equivalency as given.
  • TheMadFool
    1.7k
    I think its incorrect to assume there is a unanimous "current moral theory". Or idk, what is it?Frank Barroso

    That's my point. There is no single moral theory. Each has its own flaws - the ''broken compass''. Given that, no one can even dream of finding the path to goodness, whatever that means, in this world as it is.

    Combine that with evil = disorder/chaos and the inevitable conclusion is the failure of the good. Of course, the existence of chaos is debatable. Nature seems to be arranged in patterns but the chaos = evil equivalence is an ancient one e.g. war, riots, situations where the rule of law breaks down are equated with chaos, and these are evil.

    Entropy is increasing in the physical world, but that doesn't mean it's increasing in a moral sphere (or system).Noble Dust

    Are we not physical and does that not matter for anything we do, including morality? You raise a good point though. Entropy may be exclusively physical. Anyway, I didn't mean it quite so literally. I was merely referring to the numerical advantage evil has over good.

    Everything doesn't make a person happy. Every person has a specific, finite set of wants. They try to satisfy them through planning which are, again, finite and specific. Compare that to the multititude of ways in which even the best plans can backfire. Murphy's law: if something can go wrong, it will.

    So, evil wins and good loses.

    Yes, you can make everyone happy with a lie.
    In other words, your adage proves against your favour, as evil can make everyone happy. (As per your definition of evil.)
    szemi

    Yes, but is that real happiness?
  • szemi
    12
    So, evil wins and good loses.

    Yes, you can make everyone happy with a lie.
    In other words, your adage proves against your favour, as evil can make everyone happy. (As per your definition of evil.)

    — szemi

    Yes, but is that real happiness?
    TheMadFool
    That is not part of the thread. If you like, open a new thread with that theme. But this question of yours is not a retort of merit in this thread.

    But if you insist: yes, it's real happiness. Happiness is a feeling, and not a relationship to reality or to truth. Whether happiness is induced artificially or substantially, the happy person has no different experience in one way or the other.
  • TheMadFool
    1.7k
    Happiness is a feeling, and not a relationship to reality or to truth. Whether happiness is induced artificially or substantially, the happy person has no different experience in one way or the other.szemi

    You have a point. For instance when we watch a tragic movie we feel sad. There doesn't seem to be a requirement of factuality/truth for emotions. A lie and a truth both can elicit emotions of the same quality and degree.

    But, what do you make of this: Experience Machine?
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