• Echarmion
    1.9k


    Are you referring to a scenario where you wish someone harm, but don't actually do anything you expect to harm them?

    In that case I'd agree, such wishing is without moral relevance.
  • Echarmion
    1.9k
    Sure, it was the mindscape podcast, with guess Joseph Henrich. He has written a few books on the topic I saw.ChatteringMonkey

    Thanks!

    The question then presumably is how much is hard-wired and how much is left to culture?ChatteringMonkey

    Difficult to answer, certainly, but I see no indication stuff like the scientific method requires a specific cultural background to understand. And in terms of morality, there is some significant overlap in ground rules. You'll find very similar structures of mutual assistance in band-level societies across the globe, rules of hospitality, limitations on violent conflict within groups. These seem all based on basic logic.

    I do tend to throw that word around semi-consciously.... but they are indeed something more general and abstract. Examples would be something like freedom, security, quality of life etc. These are general ideas that capture the things we find the most important, and we use them as standards to measure other things by... and we also weight them against eachother to order them in some kind of hierarchy. That's where people typically will have different opinions, one person will value security over freedom, and another the other way around.ChatteringMonkey

    Could we say these are related to the "meaning of life"? That the values, insofar as they're not cynically used, are what you actually consider the conditions for your life's "success"?

    Yes ok, I agree with this insofar reason definitely plays and should play a role, but that role is I think ultimately only instrumental and not the bases of our valuations. So if you value X, then by way of correct reasoning you would get an objective answer to the question of how to act. But that value X is not objectively derivable from the world or reason alone, but comes from our affects. I'll try to explain what I mean with value below...ChatteringMonkey

    I think that there is one exception to this, and that is basically the principle to respect other valuations as equal to yours. Or put in other words to treat every other subject as an end (ultimate value) in itself. That's a position you can adopt regardless of what it is you value, because we can logically recognise that everyone could simultaneously adopt it without compromising anyone's values.
  • Book273
    209
    I have no problem letting people make their own choices, far from it. However, my question remains: If a man desires to do evil, but does good out of pragmatism, is he considered good or evil?
  • Book273
    209
    How can a man that wishes for evil and does good, therefore doing good by error, be a good man?Matei

    I would respond that said man is an inept, but evil man. Electing to do evil, failing at it, thereby accomplishing good, is still evil, as action and intent are in step and seek the same goal: evil. That the result is not evil does not change the intent and action behind the result.
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