• hachit
    198
    First I'm not asking for what is right or wrong, rather were do our sense of right and wrong come from.

    Personally I developed this thesis:

    We start life with the need to continue our species existence.

    Then we move to develop them independently (divine command, unitilitarianism, and whatever else)
    then to form governments we use contractarianism.

    After these steps we try to spread our morality to others as a sense of approval, the idea being we don't want to live thinking we did something wrong (not wanting our morals challenged).
    Those were disagree with are our enemies and we treat them how our independent morals demand (so different for everyone).




    I'm sure I haven't covered all my bases so I'm asking for, people to point out my mistakes and contribute new ideas I haven't come up with yet.
  • S
    10.6k
    They simply stem from our conscience, which is our sense of right and wrong driven by certain emotions like guilt, indignation, vindication, sympathy, and so on.
  • hachit
    198
    true, but when I use only those I begin to wonder why they feel those emotions in the first place.
  • S
    10.6k
    true, but when I use only those I begin to wonder why they feel those emotions in the first place.hachit

    That explanation would be biological and evolutionary, I would think. That's more a question of science than philosophy.
  • SethRy
    152


    Analyzing your comments, it concludes that our experiences revolve around our moral objectivity. I think otherwise, because if it were to be by experience, then our moral ontology would be all subjective. There would be no objective morality.

    For example, if the Nazis succeeded in developing a universal basis on morality, then that would be seen as moral objectivity. The universalizing process affects our moral decisiveness, through experience. Our moral actions would then be basing on Nazi principle — The Nazi moral system would be identified universally as moral good, and obviously, that's not the case. But that does not imply it's objective. Thus;

    After these steps we try to spread our morality to others as a sense of approvalhachit
    _______________________________________________________

    rather were do our sense of right and wrong come from.hachit

    I believe our human moral ontology and moral grounds, as a theist, would be from God.
  • I like sushi
    1.2k
    Empathy, companionship, mutual goals, fair play and knowledge of pain/death.

    I find it useful to revert to the use of the terms “ethic” and “moral” where the ethical problem is culmination of individual moral attitudes.
  • Banno
    5.6k
    We start life with the need to continue our species existence.hachit

    An example fo the naturalistic fallacy. That we do, does not imply that we ought.
  • tim wood
    2.9k
    But not reason. Never reason. Reason has nothing to do with it. Human beings are incapable of reasoning out their ethics and morals. If they try to they just delude themselves. At every level of analysis it's all personal preference and feeling. Summary? Murder whom you like; it's only wrong if you feel that it is. Source: just ask mere-s, aka S.
  • S
    10.6k
    Analyzing your comments, it concludes that our experiences revolve around our moral objectivity.SethRy

    No, it doesn't. I wouldn't call that moral objectivity, anyway, because that would just be confusing.

    I think otherwise, because if it were to be by experience, then our moral ontology would be all subjective. There would be no objective morality.SethRy

    Yes, that's right. It is by our experience that we judge right and wrong. It is subjective. It is what we, the subjects, do based on our moral feelings. We often feel differently and judge moral matters differently, hence the need for ethics. But there's no correct and incorrect in the sense that there's a correct and incorrect in a disagreement over whether one plus one equals two. That's the mistake that many people make.

    The answer to why we experience these feelings is one giant step removed from meta-ethics, which is already one step removed from ethics. It's just science, like I said.

    I believe our human moral ontology and moral grounds, as a theist, would be from God.SethRy

    Fine, as long as you recognise that that's not philosophy. Well, unless you can pull something reasonable out of the hat. Otherwise it's just like saying something like, "I believe babies come from storks".
  • S
    10.6k
    But not reason. Never reason. Reason has nothing to do with it. Human beings are incapable of reasoning out their ethics and morals. If they try to they just delude themselves. At every level of analysis it's all personal preference and feeling. Summary? Murder whom you like; it's only wrong if you feel that it is. Source: just ask mere-s, aka S.tim wood

    You're a really bad listener. After 60+ pages of discussion where I explained my position over and over again, you still waste time making a fool of yourself by attacking a straw man.

    You truly do live up to your name, Tim nice but dim. Well, the latter half of it, at least.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.1k
    We start life with the need to continue our species existence.hachit

    Nah! We don't start thinking about the need to continue our species' existence until long after we've either done our share of reproducing (or we let somebody else do our share). What people feel is sex hunger. That takes care of continuing our species--and most other species too What keeps the species going is the "Boy, I'd like to fuck her!" reaction.

    Then we move to develop them independently (divine command, unitilitarianism, and whatever else) then to form governments we use contractarianism.hachit

    Nah! This is all after the fact. Long after the fact. This is theory about what we observe or think we observed.

    After these steps we try to spread our morality to others as a sense of approval, the idea being we don't want to live thinking we did something wrong (not wanting our morals challenged). Those were disagree with are our enemies and we treat them how our independent morals demand (so different for everyone).hachit

    Nah! Most of us do not have the opportunity to use morality spreaders on others. (They look just like manure spreaders. And sometimes it's the same old bullshit.)

    Morality arises out of intimate human interaction. Our first intimate human interaction is child/parent. Parents all have the problem of training their children to behave the way they want them to behave. Good behavior is praised; bad behavior is punished. The child figures out what is good and bad. As the child gets older, he learns the prevailing morality that his parents follow. Later on, the child -- now a philosophy major at University -- decides to rip up everything he knows about morality and starts thinking it through. Almost always he will conclude with what he started with, but if he goes and stays very far afield in his moral thinking, he may be deemed a complete asshole. Sometimes people get lost while they are far afield and end up here.

    Alas.

    People love each other and love becomes a standard of morality. We want to feel all warm and fuzzy about ourselves, and about a few other people. Not too many, though. We can feel warm and fuzzy about being nice to a few people; feeling warm and fuzzy about being nice to millions of people is impossible. Even Jesus felt warm and fuzzy about... oh, maybe a couple dozen. Par for the course. 11 of the 12, his mother of course; his dad; Lasarus; John, for sure. Probably not Judas, given the way things worked out.

    It's a circular process. It starts in the home; society shapes behavior in various ways. People fall in love and start another round. The parents want their children to behave so it isn't quite such a nightmare having them around.
  • Terrapin Station
    11.3k
    Morality comes from the way your brain works. Broadly, it stems from evolutionary development. We evolved into the sorts of creatures that both require a number of extended (over the course of many years) interactions with others of our kind in order to be able to survive long enough to reproduce, and being okay or not okay with certain behavioral interactions, both for ourselves and by proxy for others, helps in this regard. So that development was evolutionarily advantageous while not being enough of an evolutionary liability to be deselected overall.

    So we have innate dispositions to be okay with some interactive behavior and not be okay with other interactive behavior. Evolution doesn't work so as to produce a bunch of clones in this regard. But there are some broad things that are far more common than not.

    At any rate, the answer is that it's just a way that your brain works.
  • S
    10.6k
    Yes, that's a much better explanation than others. It's not God, or reason, or some abstract principle, or some mysterious extra-mental phenomenon. It's the limbic system.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.3k
    It's the limbic system.S

    Oh yes. The magical limbic system explains it all
  • S
    10.6k
    Why call it magical? Do you not understand or dispute the explanation, or some aspect of it?
  • praxis
    1.3k


    That doesn't explain, for instance, how some people can be pro-life and others pro-choice. There must be some "mysterious extra-mental phenomenon," at work too.
  • Terrapin Station
    11.3k
    That doesn't explain, for instance, how some people can be pro-life and others pro-choicepraxis

    "Evolution doesn't work so as to produce a bunch of clones in this regard."
  • S
    10.6k
    That doesn't explain, for instance, how some people can be pro-life and others pro-choice.
    — praxis

    "Evolution doesn't work so as to produce a bunch of clones in this regard."
    Terrapin Station

    Exactly.

    There must be some "mysterious extra-mental phenomenon," at work too.praxis

    No, that doesn't follow, unless you add some false premise along the lines of what Terrapin has said or what I suspect would be some other unfounded notion. I suppose if you want to explore this further, present a full valid argument, rather than one with one or more missing premises, so we don't have to guess your reasoning.
  • praxis
    1.3k
    There must be some "mysterious extra-mental phenomenon," at work too.
    — praxis

    No, that doesn't follow, unless you add some false premise along the lines of what Terrapin said or some other unfounded notion.
    S

    The 'mysterious extra-mental phenomenon' in the specific case that I mentioned involves concepts such as liberty (freedom to choose), and I guess the sacred (sacredness of human life). Though our moral intuitions may start out relatively the same, the culture we grow up in imbues us with concepts and divergent moral frameworks, like conservatism or liberalism.

    Our ability to cooperate on a large scale is more dependent on our ability to form and share concepts like liberty and sacredness than it is to inherent moral intuitions. Can any other species of mammal, for example, cooperate on the scale that we can? No, and what do we have to thank or curse for that? Mysterious extra-mental phenomenon.
  • S
    10.6k
    The 'mysterious extra-mental phenomenon' in the specific case that I mentioned involves concepts such as liberty (freedom to choose), and I guess the sacred (sacredness of human life). Though our moral intuitions may start out relatively the same, the culture we grow up in imbues us with concepts and divergent moral frameworks, like conservatism or liberalism.

    Our ability to cooperate on a large scale is more dependent on our ability to form concepts like liberty and sacredness than it is to inherent moral intuitions. Can any other species of mammal, for example, cooperate on the scale that we can? No, and what do we have to thank or curse for that? Mysterious extra-mental phenomenon.
    praxis

    No, that's not an explanation about the source of morality at all, that's just bringing up something which you judge to be good, namely liberty, and making a value judgement about human life, namely that it's sacred. That's a complete confusion of the subject matter. We're not supposed to be doing that. The opening post made that clear.

    That people have a variety of different ethical or political stances, whether influenced by the community or otherwise, ultimately stems back to human biology. Just what exactly do you think it is that's being influenced? It is us, and that obviously has to do with our brains, especially the limbic system which significantly relates to emotion.

    Explanations one, two, or ten steps away from the source of morality aren't particularly helpful. Nor is an explanation about, for example, what our ability to cooperate on a large scale depends upon, because you'd just be talking about something else. You think it's good to cooperate, so you're going off topic to explain why humans cooperate? But why? And obviously I acknowledge things like evolution and our planet and a whole bunch of other things that aren't mental phenomena, but that's getting at an explanation of an explanation. Like I said, that's just doing something like science or metaphysics. It's not close enough to morality to be as relevant as the kind of explanation that myself and Terrapin are presenting. Morality is about right and wrong, which is about our emotions, otherwise right and wrong are meaningless. Our emotions, in turn, have an explanation in terms of our biology, and our brains in particular, and the limbic system in particular. Of course, you could go off track in all kind of ways about why this is. You could talk about cosmology or physics or chemistry. If our planet didn't orbit the sun, we couldn't judge right from wrong. Is that the source of morality? No.
  • tim wood
    2.9k
    where I explained my position over and over again,S

    Which is exactly what you did not do, there or anywhere else I can find, and that I am quite sure you will not do here. What you did there is make the same claim you have made here. I understand you have your own beliefs - good for you! But that's all you got, based on what you write.

    I think there's no substance to your beliefs. If you differ, divert some of your skill with invective and insult into a well-written paragraph or two on that substance. I happen to believe that you cannot, you're unable, and that for the combined reasons that there is no substance, and that it's clear you take zero joy or delight in philosophic exposition or demonstration.

    "Philosophy is erotic," said a philosopher. A sentiment other philosophers subsequently endorsed. But yours is the affect of a man who's never been laid, or who's had very bad experiences. Bitter, but no joy. Show us that you can take joy, here. Make a competent and compelling, clear and explicit argument. We the ignorant await, and have been waiting, and we're getting restive.
  • praxis
    1.3k
    It's not close enough to morality to be as relevant as the kind of explanation that myself and Terrapin are presenting.S

    I began by showing the inadequacy of your explanation which, to reiterate, is its inability to account for divergent moral frameworks.
  • S
    10.6k
    Myself and others have explained why your straw men are straw men a million times, but for whatever reason, whether a lack of intelligence or a deliberate intent to misrepresent, you repeat them. I refuse to be drawn further into your bullshit, so I will try to make this my last reply to you on the matter.
  • S
    10.6k
    I began by showing the inadequacy of your explanation which, to reiterate, is its inability to account for divergent moral frameworks.praxis

    But you haven't actually done that, you just think you have. There is nothing whatsoever in my explanation which can't account for divergent moral frameworks. That's just your misunderstanding based on some faulty assumptions you have about my position. It's illogical to reason that my explanation doesn't account for what you say it doesn't, just because I don't grant your tangent about liberty, the sacredness of life, cooperation, etc.

    You haven't even begun to argue against me, logically speaking. But at least you have Tim for company.
  • hachit
    198

    That we do, does not imply that we ought.
    Correct like I, said I, I believe we start with that then make our own. I consider into my thesis that we may reject " the need to continue our species existence." in the future.

    Also ought implys "should", and as in my first statement "I'm not asking for what is right or wrong".
  • S
    10.6k
    "I'm not asking for what is right or wrong".hachit

    Some people here have real difficulty with that one. We've already had mention of liberty, the sacredness of life, cooperation, and murder. In another discussion, a harmonious community kept being mentioned.

    Now, I wonder what these things have in common...

    The answer is that they're all examples of things judged to be good or bad. And these are moral judgements founded in emotion. That's what our conscience is for, it is our sense of right and wrong. That comes from emotion, which comes from our brain, and the study of the brain is neuroscience, so that's what you need to know about to know in detail about this stuff. One can learn through a quick google search that the limbic system significantly relates to emotion.

    I focus on emotion because it is the fundamental connection to morality, to what's right and wrong. And what's right and wrong only makes sense in relation to our moral judgement. Reason is just a tool to order thought, and it is driven in ethical matters by our emotions first and foremost. Reason alone can't make morality what it is. Emotionless robots aren't moral agents. They wouldn't truly be able to understand morality or make moral judgements.

    Reason has pride of place in logic, where emotions have no place. But with ethics, reason is but a slave to the passions. Ethics is very much a matter of emotion. If you don't appeal to emotion in ethics, then you're doing it wrong.
  • tim wood
    2.9k
    The Source of Morals.

    Per my education, and subject to correction, this nutshell sketch. The original virtues were the virtue of the warrior king winning his wars - and protecting or bringing glory to himself and his people or both. This devolved to the idea of the king who was good even if he lost, good in terms of his other actions or his intentions. And this to the idea of the good man, good as to both actions and intentions, with a slow evolution to considerations of intentions.

    The time frame from inclusive of the Homeric ideals, of Achilles and Odysseus, and earlier, through to Kant and his deontology, the categorical imperative. Still a work in progress, though apparently and for the most an argument between Utilitarianism and Deontology, which is to say an argument that on one side is a little older than the US, at around 1760, and on the other, the mid-1800s.

    The Greek virtues of Aristotelian balance, Stoicism, and Epicurean acceptance were more essentially attitudinal than behavioral. Please, correction/refinement welcome!
  • javra
    768
    A perspective seeking to exit the merry-go-round:

    Suppose that all our “dos” are driven by “wants” … this including our doing of reasoning: since wants are emotive, as per Hume, reasoning is foundationally driven by underlying desires. Further suppose that our wants are in search of a resolution to that wanted. Reasoning, then, is arguably an optimal means of discovering how to best obtain and thereby satisfy our wants.

    Given any degree of realism (here not confused with physicalism), there will then be constraints to how these wants can obtain their sought after aim of resolution. These constraints will then—in some way or another—(pre)determine which actions can factually satisfy our wants and which actions (though intending to so satisfy) cannot.

    Those behaviors that factually satisfy our wants will then be logically correct means of so satisfying. They will be the right behaviors for us. And, since what we want is for our wants to be satisfied, right behaviors will constitute good, beneficial, behaviors for us. That aim, whatever it might be, that satisfies all our wants will then be conceptualized by us as complete good: “the Good” as Plato worded it.

    And vice versa: all our intentions and subsequent acts to satisfy our wants that are fallaciously conceived to so satisfy our wants will then be wrong behaviors to engage in—for they always lead to frustrated wants and, in due measure, suffering. They will be deemed to be bad behaviors by us for this very reason.

    To the same degree that there occur universal and fundamental wants among all humans (or mammals, or life in general), there will then also logically result aims that are universally good to that cohort considered. Being universally good, these aims will hold existential presence in manners that are impartial to the (sometimes fallacious/wrong) intentions of individual beings to satisfy their wants. In this sense, then, this universally good aim (or maybe aims) shall then, by certain definitions, be validly labeled that which is objectively good.

    Within this general train of thought, then, subjective want-driven good entails there being some objective good—which can be expressed as “that end which satisfies all wants”—that, whether or not obtainable within our current lifetime in complete form, is nevertheless pursued by all subjective beings.

    Discerning what this objective good is can itself be a fallacy of reasoning (a wrong/bad appraisal) or a discovery of what is in fact true (a right/good appraisal). Disparity between discernments of what is objectively good then leads to divergent ethical norms—as well as to, at times, what are labeled acts of evil by the society at large.

    ***This hypothesis is to illustrate that there is no entailed logical contradiction between subjective good/bad and objective good/bad.

    As to Hume’s dilemma when looked at from this offered vantage: figure out what the logically and factually correct aim is that satisfies your wants (this factually correct aim being an “is) and then you logically derive what should be done to get there (this being an “ought”) … thereby deriving ought from is.

    So, here, good and bad are determined by wants which naturally entail their own resolution as aim/goal--and this within the constraints of some form of realism.
  • praxis
    1.3k
    There is nothing whatsoever in my explanation which can't account for divergent moral frameworks.S

    I guess we’ll never know your accounting. :sad:
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