Options

All my atheist morals

123468

Posts

  • Options
    MrMisterMrMister Jesus dying on the cross in pain? Morally better than us. One has to go "all in".Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    ... when all essential human morals are pretty much the same

    What?

    No.

    MrMister on
  • Options
    jothkijothki Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    And...Yar!: *confused* Is the atheist goal simply to become the antithesis of all world religions yet still maintain the most basic functions therof? Please explain the idea behind seperating yourself from religion and/or God...yet maintaining the essential idea of the Golden Rule or Ten Commandments.

    We're trying to avoid anything to do with religion whatsoever. The Golden Rule and parts of the Ten Commandments may have some good ideas in them, but if you remove the context of religion they are worthless. The goal is to develop a system of morality that doesn't require religion to back it up. If a bunch of guys in a desert thousands of years ago happened to reach the same conclusions, then, well, good for them.

    jothki on
  • Options
    ÆthelredÆthelred Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Aethelred wrote:
    Isn't that almost the entire point of religion? To give a moral code?



    Umm no.



    It's but a fragment of it...and if one is so morally lost that they need to cling to something to provide them moral fiber then...well..I would question whether or not they were still alive inside or not.


    The only excuse would be if you grew up someplace where there was already a severe lack of morality amonst those in local society.....and even then I'm sure theres still a very strong sense of right and wrong built into such a person..but this is digression..


    The context of religon as I and any other reasonable human being sees it is a belief in God...not belief that something MUST dictate every single thing in your life. The things I believe I believe not because I'm told to do so but rather because they hold some resemblence of sense to me. Sure, I have skepticism every now and again, but thats the whole point of faith...to "Not listen to the lies of the world.". I've had it explained to me that God is an umbrella..or rather holds one. Yes..it is feasible to go out from under that umbrella...but you're gonna get hella wet..yet you're not forever banned from going back under the umbrella. See..again...Morality is but one aspect.

    So if your 'sense' of morals goes against what the Bible says, you're okay? :|

    Æthelred on
    pokes: 1505 8032 8399
  • Options
    BlutrasereiBlutraserei Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Aethelred wrote:
    Isn't that almost the entire point of religion? To give a moral code?



    Umm no.



    It's but a fragment of it...and if one is so morally lost that they need to cling to something to provide them moral fiber then...well..I would question whether or not they were still alive inside or not.


    The only excuse would be if you grew up someplace where there was already a severe lack of morality amonst those in local society.....and even then I'm sure theres still a very strong sense of right and wrong built into such a person..but this is digression..


    The context of religon as I and any other reasonable human being sees it is a belief in God...not belief that something MUST dictate every single thing in your life. The things I believe I believe not because I'm told to do so but rather because they hold some resemblence of sense to me. Sure, I have skepticism every now and again, but thats the whole point of faith...to "Not listen to the lies of the world.". I've had it explained to me that God is an umbrella..or rather holds one. Yes..it is feasible to go out from under that umbrella...but you're gonna get hella wet..yet you're not forever banned from going back under the umbrella. See..again...Morality is but one aspect.

    So if your 'sense' of morals goes against what the Bible says, you're okay? :|



    *Wonders why he even bothered coming in here*


    I think you missed it....big time. And this is a common Atheist problem so don't take it to personally.


    MrMister wrote:
    What?

    No.


    You forgot to read essential. Seriously....by show of hands how many in here believe that rape, murder, and violence are wrong? Never mind, don't bother cause I can tell you now that none of you agree with it. Thus...essential/basic/normal....whatever you wanna call it


    jothki wrote:
    We're trying to avoid anything to do with religion whatsoever. The Golden Rule and parts of the Ten Commandments may have some good ideas in them, but if you remove the context of religion they are worthless. The goal is to develop a system of morality that doesn't require religion to back it up. If a bunch of guys in a desert thousands of years ago happened to reach the same conclusions, then, well, good for them.



    The bolded statement is hands down one of the most ignorant I have ever heard in my life. That's all I have to say on that. Worthless? Really? Are you shitting me? Go back and read those again and tell me whether or not they are, in fact, the essences of morality. Love thy neighbor as yourself. Chances are if you're doing that you're not having trouble with a good portion of the Ten Commandments or anything else for that matter.


    Please get it together people....If I have to sit through another session of Atheist after Atheist providing arguments based solely on trying come out on top or use sloppy logic do describe and argue something as simple as morals then I may just turn Agnostic to Atheism :P. So far all I've ever seen of it is just a strange and feeble attempt to escape religion to create a sect of your own people with their own beliefs and morals......which is a religion.

    Blutraserei on
    Tttnl.jpg

  • Options
    ÆthelredÆthelred Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Aethelred wrote:
    Isn't that almost the entire point of religion? To give a moral code?



    Umm no.



    It's but a fragment of it...and if one is so morally lost that they need to cling to something to provide them moral fiber then...well..I would question whether or not they were still alive inside or not.


    The only excuse would be if you grew up someplace where there was already a severe lack of morality amonst those in local society.....and even then I'm sure theres still a very strong sense of right and wrong built into such a person..but this is digression..


    The context of religon as I and any other reasonable human being sees it is a belief in God...not belief that something MUST dictate every single thing in your life. The things I believe I believe not because I'm told to do so but rather because they hold some resemblence of sense to me. Sure, I have skepticism every now and again, but thats the whole point of faith...to "Not listen to the lies of the world.". I've had it explained to me that God is an umbrella..or rather holds one. Yes..it is feasible to go out from under that umbrella...but you're gonna get hella wet..yet you're not forever banned from going back under the umbrella. See..again...Morality is but one aspect.

    So if your 'sense' of morals goes against what the Bible says, you're okay? :|



    *Wonders why he even bothered coming in here*


    I think you missed it....big time. And this is a common Atheist problem so don't take it to personally.

    Don't bother explaining it to us lesser beings then. How is providing a moral code not an integral part of a religion? You can't just make your own one up and still say you're part of that religion.

    Æthelred on
    pokes: 1505 8032 8399
  • Options
    Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Yar wrote:
    And right now we're still discussing whether acceptance of "joy, good; sorrow, bad" is enough to found the atheist ethic. As long as we can accept that axiom as true, as opposed to "God is Great" or whatever, then we can move on to develop whatever kinds of moral or ethical systems that we think logically stem from that, without ever needing to debate someone on whether or not religion is required for morality.
    I kinda thought the "atheist" part of the discussion was really just meant to highlight the idea of where we can get our morals (regardless of whether or not we all share the same ones) as we are not prone to taking them from a higher authority.


    (tl;dr, lemme know if I missed something somewhere)



    And you all plan on not having to discuss the athiest/religious perspective?

    I'm going to avoid the bias as much as possible being Christian myself, but...what? Why is it nessecary to develop a moral code separate from anything else? Morals are inherant within us regardless if you believe in any gods. I remember reading somewhere once...believe it was C.S. Lewis...about moral/celestial law (curse my memory and lack of book on hand) being something innate within all human beings whether you pay any attention to God or not.


    So...Vincent!: Your statement assumes that Christians or any other religions for that matter derive their morals, in whole, directly from scriptures or higher authority...when in fact the simple drive to be good people is where it comes from...same with Atheists. Granted there's a bunch of jackasses out there that get it wrong on so many levels, i.e.: Islamic extremists, Fundamentalists of any kind, and therefor its safe to assume that morality fails because of a lack of understanding or completely decayed moral fiber. Don't blame the scriptures or higher authority....but ever failing human wisdom.


    And...Yar!: *confused* Is the atheist goal simply to become the antithesis of all world religions yet still maintain the most basic functions therof? Please explain the idea behind seperating yourself from religion and/or God...yet maintaining the essential idea of the Golden Rule or Ten Commandments.


    Edit: random quote tag at the end O.o

    The point of this thread, using the OP as a simple rubric, is to have a rational/reason-based discussion about morality.

    Involving religion would not be conducive to that.

    If you would like to talk about religion and morality, start a thread and I will be happy to indulge you.

    Loren Michael on
    a7iea7nzewtq.jpg
  • Options
    jothkijothki Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    jothki wrote:
    We're trying to avoid anything to do with religion whatsoever. The Golden Rule and parts of the Ten Commandments may have some good ideas in them, but if you remove the context of religion they are worthless. The goal is to develop a system of morality that doesn't require religion to back it up. If a bunch of guys in a desert thousands of years ago happened to reach the same conclusions, then, well, good for them.



    The bolded statement is hands down one of the most ignorant I have ever heard in my life. That's all I have to say on that. Worthless? Really? Are you shitting me? Go back and read those again and tell me whether or not they are, in fact, the essences of morality. Love thy neighbor as yourself. Chances are if you're doing that you're not having trouble with a good portion of the Ten Commandments or anything else for that matter.

    The Ten Commandments are indeed worthless, as worthless as a mathematical theorem that isn't based on a postulate. They have a backing, but it is a backing that an atheist is unwilling to accept. The idea is for us to develop a fundamental basis for morality that we actually accept as true, and use it to develop our own system of morality.

    "Joy is good, sorrow is bad" may be a correct postulate. "Cheese is good" may very well be a correct postulate. "The stuff that has worked out well for centuries is good" may be a correct postulate, but we certainly don't need the Bible to figure out what we're already doing. "We should love our neighbor as ourselves because the son of god told us to do so" is not a correct postulate, so it is worthless and can be outright discarded. It may be a valid conclusion, but it should be ignored when actually developing a theory.

    Fortunatly, most nonreligious moral theories coincide fairly well with most religious moral theories, largely because they all tend to be ultimately be based on "the stuff that has worked out well for centuries is good" regardless of their justifications.

    jothki on
  • Options
    BlutrasereiBlutraserei Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    jothki wrote:
    jothki wrote:
    We're trying to avoid anything to do with religion whatsoever. The Golden Rule and parts of the Ten Commandments may have some good ideas in them, but if you remove the context of religion they are worthless. The goal is to develop a system of morality that doesn't require religion to back it up. If a bunch of guys in a desert thousands of years ago happened to reach the same conclusions, then, well, good for them.



    The bolded statement is hands down one of the most ignorant I have ever heard in my life. That's all I have to say on that. Worthless? Really? Are you shitting me? Go back and read those again and tell me whether or not they are, in fact, the essences of morality. Love thy neighbor as yourself. Chances are if you're doing that you're not having trouble with a good portion of the Ten Commandments or anything else for that matter.

    The Ten Commandments are indeed worthless, as worthless as a mathematical theorem that isn't based on a postulate. They have a backing, but it is a backing that an atheist is unwilling to accept. The idea is for us to develop a fundamental basis for morality that we actually accept as true, and use it to develop our own system of morality.

    "Joy is good, sorrow is bad" may be a correct postulate. "Cheese is good" may very well be a correct postulate. "The stuff that has worked out well for centuries is good" may be a correct postulate, but we certainly don't need the Bible to figure out what we're already doing. "We should love our neighbor as ourselves because the son of god told us to do so" is not a correct postulate, so it is worthless and can be outright discarded. It may be a valid conclusion, but it should be ignored when actually developing a theory.

    Fortunatly, most nonreligious moral theories coincide fairly well with most religious moral theories, largely because they all tend to be ultimately be based on "the stuff that has worked out well for centuries is good" regardless of their justifications.



    Hmm....I see. Well done :) . I still have qualms about disregarding a historic record of an idea we still use in the name of subscribing to the scientific method. Scientific method is all well and good....for the unknown, but we already know our morals. I may just avoid these threads anymore...I have no idea where the common Atheist comes from :?

    The point of this thread, using the OP as a simple rubric, is to have a rational/reason-based discussion about morality.

    Involving religion would not be conducive to that.


    I'm gonna say this once before leaving this nonsense alone. Did you just imply that there is no ration or reason in those that choose to believe in a God? This is something that also escapes me....the lot of religious folk are slated as this...yet....Atheists argue against something in which they don't even believe. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say the ration and reason involved in your's and religion's dispute amongst each other is...well..non-existent.


    Aethelred wrote:
    Don't bother explaining it to us lesser beings then. How is providing a moral code not an integral part of a religion? You can't just make your own one up and still say you're part of that religion.


    I'm not explaining the simple truth of what I've stated a couple of times in this thread. I speak of general Morality in its context of what is normaly acceptable in society. Which is to say that basic morals involve/include mannerisms that are peaceful and nonviolent and reason/ration based. These are ever-present in all people religious or not, and save for those that reject them and are consequentially IMmoral. You figure it out from there. If you can't then I'm not sure what else to tell you.

    Blutraserei on
    Tttnl.jpg

  • Options
    KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Yar wrote:
    Ketherial wrote:
    is harbored generosity which does not ultimately create any joy less good than generosity which does succeed in creating joy?
    Generosity that precognitively knows it won't create any joy cannot possibly be called generosity - it is anithetical.

    i consider the desire to aid others, even if one doesnt have the means to actually do so, to be generosity. is there some reason why a poor man cannot have a generous heart? or is your concept of generosity one which simply does not consider realistic capability?

    a poorer man, who donates a larger percentage of his meager assets is more generous than a richer man who donates a tiny portion of his considerable assets. instead of arguing numbers, can we just agree that the richer man would create more joy? if so, i find your proposal (e.g. joy and sorrow are the only axioms) to be problematic because i believe the poorer man is "more moral" than the rich man. to me, that translates into a moral code that does not only use joy as its sole or primary axiom.
    Ketherial wrote:
    what about compassion, even for the wicked? bravery, even in a situation where such bravery causes more overall suffering?
    Bravery that we know causes more suffering is not called bravery. Compassion for the wicked that we know only enables more wickedness is not called compassion.

    i disagree with your attempt to restrict terminology. bravery on the part of an "evil" man who directly causes suffering by his bravery is bravery nonetheless. same with respect to compassion. i think we will simply have to agree to disagree on this point.
    Ketherial wrote:
    the point i am continually trying to make is that the proposal that joy and sorrow are the end all be all is far too limited because it doesnt effectively deal with situations in which we purposely sacrifice joy or purposely choose suffering for things we consider better, "Gooder" than just joy. and i dont mean just better in the sense that less joy now means more joy later.
    Yes, that is what you mean. It is literally impossible for that not to be what you mean. You've failed to explain how something is "gooder" without ultimately being about more joy and less sorrow.

    like ive said, regardless of whether you consider it possible or not, regardless of whether we consider the situation in a vacuum or not, i find a generous poor man to be "gooder" than a stingy rich man who in actuality creates more joy. this is not a hard situation to understand.
    Ketherial wrote:
    a hero battles the villian in the final battle, knowing he will lose. he does in fact lose and the land falls into darkness. we reverse time and the hero, knowing he will lose, instead just sits down, hires a whore and enjoys his last moments. is he similarly as admirable as he was before time was reversed? on the joy / sorrow spectrum, the second situation nets more positive joy. but the first situation, regardless of the result (as they are both the same), create in us feelings of pride, greatness, wonder, good. why? if we are only focused on joy, why would we react in such a way? of course you are free to argue that the second choice of action is more moral and hence better than the first. if you do so, then we will simply have to agree to disagree. my morals and yours are simply different.
    I think as we get into higher-order hypotheticals like these, you'll realize that you and I agree very much on principled ethics vs. circumstantial ethics.

    There are a number of issues here. First, how can he know he will lose? Is he a precog?

    for me, it doesnt matter. maybe he's taking an educated guess. maybe the numbers are just too overwhelming. maybe he's a precog. it doesnt matter. i value the will to struggle against "evil", to in effect "never give up" even if the results are unchanged. i would grant positive moral value to such conviction even if it were on the side of the "evil" party (e.g. a villian who never gives up on trying to thrust the land into darkness).
    Second, think to yourself why it is better for him to fight instead. Is he an example to others? Is he following a code of ethics which, although not always guaranteed to create the most joy in each individual in each circumstance, still ultimately creates the most joy for the most people when that code is followed as a rule regardless of circumstance? If you spelled out in detail exactly why you think fighting the villain is the moral choice, and broke it all down to it's smallest bits, you'll find yourself back at what makes the world a better place via more joy and less sorrow.

    no, it is none of the things you mentioned. i think it is better for him to fight because "never giving in to evil" (and i use evil simply as a term for the universal negative, as viewed by the actor) is admirable in and of itself, regardless of whether or not such actions influence anyone else or anything else. it is something that again, i find to be axiomatically good (a sibling of integrity if you will).
    Because, as I've said repeatedly, the experience of patience, completely devoid of any context or circumstance, is a neutral and meaningless concept. It does not exist outside of context. You can't even call something "patient" unless you are within a context of events and decisions and such. Joy, however, is joy. It is pleasure. It is conceptually understood without any context whatsoever. And when all context is removed, it is literally impossible to conceive of it as anything but good.

    Patience is will. Joy is experience. Will is only valued for what it wills. Experience is valued for the experience itself.

    i think this is really the main point of our disagreement. for the exact same reason why you think joy is the only axiom, i think joy cannot be the only axiom. because perception can be manipulated, it can hypothetically be created by any kind of set up (e.g. purposely developing low standards or brain in a vat). hence, experiences are only partially meaningful with respect to morality because no specific requirements can directly result from them. maximizing joy could mean killing or not killing, helping or not helping, doing or not doing. it could mean anything depending on the circumstances at hand and hence are insufficient to deal with morality. generosity as an axiom provides desired direction where as joy only provides desired in-brain chemical result.
    Ketherial wrote:
    but the problem with your proposal is that it is temporal and as such can be segmented, separated and discussed in a vacuum. in order to make your proposal you must assume that joy and suffering can be measured for any section of time. as such, moral decisions become an empirical analysis. action a creates x joy and y sorrow and as such action a is moral if x > y and immoral if y > x.
    The problem is that you are assuming conclusions for me, ones that I do not hold. Never have I claimed that anyone but a deity could possibly measure the net gains and losses to total sorrow and joy, or know what they will ultimately be, when making a decision.

    no, i am assuming that you are trying to say something that has meaning. if we cannot measure net gains and losses, then what does "maximize joy, where joy is not measurable" mean? i cant imagine that this is your position. if it is, then i would appreciate an explanation of how this statement can ever be meaningful.
    Ketherial wrote:
    under your proposal, every action can be judged separately and empirically
    Absolutely not.

    why not? if joy is something that can be maximized, it must be something that can be measured. if it is something that can be measured, then it must be temporal. if it is temporal, it can be segmented. im not sure how you can say "maximize joy" but not reach the same conclusion.
    You keep trying to segment this into individual circumstances. I have no interest in that; I laid it out from the beginning that this is not about any particular person's joy or sorrow.

    im not sure how to respond because a lack of interest doesnt invalidate my response. if what we are trying to do is develop a system that will allow us to understand the scope of morality and in turn, make morally meaningful decisions, i dont understand how non-consideration (interest?) of individual circumstances can be a legitimate position.
    Ketherial wrote:
    would going back in time and murdering baby hitler be moral under your system? im not sure it would be in mine.
    It wouldn't. I think your fundamental misunderstanding of my position is that you seem to think I've provided a "system." I haven't; I've provided the axiom from which we can argue about systems. "Joy is good and sorrow is bad" is axiomatically true and the base of all morality. I never said that the axiom alone is enough to make a moral decision. You're skipping all of that and trying to apply the basic axioms directly to the most complex moral dilemmas. Well, I guess that's comparable to trying to perform a triple multi-variable integral using only the basic axioms of set theory. The truth is that everything you do in that complex mathetical operation does in fact exist only because of the basic arithmetic axioms, but you probably don't even consider those axioms directly, you use higher-order concepts and operations that you already have learned are reliably derived from those axioms. In this context, "patience" is one of the derived principles. But it is still based solely and entirely on the axiom.

    this is a good point and definitely a misunderstanding on my part. apologies. but i have also been arguing that competing axioms do exist which can outweigh or invalidate your joy axiom. please disregard any misunderstandings and let's continue our discussion regarding what i still consider to be an unresolved point. if i devolve into misunderstanding again, please let me know. the line is not as clear to me as it may be to those who have studied philosophy beyond college courses.
    Ketherial wrote:
    just as a note, i find your suggestions of absurdity to be totally irrelevent. your own proposal must necessarily assume that joy and sorrow can be measured as if there were some kind metaphysical balancing scale with joy on one side and sorrow on the other (an assumption by the way, which i find to be ridiculous, but at least useful). this entire discussion is situated in the very heart of absurdity. accept that and move on.
    I've never proposed this. It is my firm belief that such a scale does not exist in any fashion that a moral being could ever experience, and that it is folly to think that it does. That's why people debate morality but don't really debate mathematics. Nothing I've argued here relies on such a scale for happiness and sorrow, or assumes one exists. If one does exist, it is only for a supernatural being to whom our concept of "morality" is meaningless. Nevertheless, for us, joy is good and sorrow is bad, and we do our best with that. Our concept of morality is inconceivable beyond it.

    you say this, and then immediately say:
    You're not talking about simple morality, you're talking about judging someone. Again, you're imputing conclusions that don't necessarily follow from what I've said. I never said that joy is good and sorrow is bad and a person's judgment rests solely on the net amount of joy and sorrow they've created. Going out on a limb here, since you want this to be about judging people, I'd say that a person's judgment is about the net joy and sorrow they've created relative to the amount they reasonably could have created given their nature and nurture. And if someone works hard his whole life just so he can one day donate enough to change hundreds of lives, then yeah, he's better than someone who decidedly drinks his life away and then gives a dollar to ease his conscience.

    net joy and sorrow, amount, etc., are quantitative terms. please clarify what you mean because i think this discrepency in what you have posted is critical to the discussion.
    Anyway, judging the hobo has little or nothing to do with what the millionaire did. Let's make it a moral decision: Ketherial is presented only one of two options: he can accept 1% of a millionaire's wealth for his favorite charity, or 1% of a hobo's. Which should he take?

    is this a moral question? i thought morals were about who or what is "Gooder", not about who or what i can gain more real world value from. just because i can make more money from stealing doesnt make my choice more moral.

    in your hypothetical, i would of course go for the money. that doesnt make the rich man a more moral person than the poor man. at least not for me, even though i accept and assume that more money will create more overall joy.

    Ketherial on
  • Options
    MrMisterMrMister Jesus dying on the cross in pain? Morally better than us. One has to go "all in".Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    MrMister wrote:
    What?
    No.
    You forgot to read essential. Seriously....by show of hands how many in here believe that rape, murder, and violence are wrong? Never mind, don't bother cause I can tell you now that none of you agree with it. Thus...essential/basic/normal....whatever you wanna call it

    Is it wrong to kill a fetus? How about a week old child? Is it okay to attack civilian targets? Is it okay to attack military targets which will involve civilian casualties? Is it okay to use child warriors? Is it okay to hide in a civilian population? Is it okay to go on a suicide mission? Is it okay to order a suicide mission? Is it okay to torture POWs? Is it okay to ever revoke habeus corpus? Is it okay to racially profile? Is it okay to steal when you're starving? Is it okay to steal when you're hungry? Is it okay to murder someone in order to save others? Is it okay to refuse to help a dying man? Is it okay to make an example of someone? Is it okay to entrap someone?

    MrMister on
  • Options
    Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    The point of this thread, using the OP as a simple rubric, is to have a rational/reason-based discussion about morality.

    Involving religion would not be conducive to that.

    I'm gonna say this once before leaving this nonsense alone. Did you just imply that there is no ration or reason in those that choose to believe in a God?

    Would you like to start a thread so we can talk about it in good faith?

    Loren Michael on
    a7iea7nzewtq.jpg
  • Options
    DeathmongerDeathmonger Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    MrMister wrote:
    MrMister wrote:
    What?
    No.
    You forgot to read essential. Seriously....by show of hands how many in here believe that rape, murder, and violence are wrong? Never mind, don't bother cause I can tell you now that none of you agree with it. Thus...essential/basic/normal....whatever you wanna call it

    Is it wrong to kill a fetus? How about a week old child? Is it okay to attack civilian targets? Is it okay to attack military targets which will involve civilian casualties? Is it okay to use child warriors? Is it okay to hide in a civilian population? Is it okay to go on a suicide mission? Is it okay to order a suicide mission? Is it okay to torture POWs? Is it okay to ever revoke habeus corpus? Is it okay to racially profile? Is it okay to steal when you're starving? Is it okay to steal when you're hungry? Is it okay to murder someone in order to save others? Is it okay to refuse to help a dying man? Is it okay to make an example of someone? Is it okay to entrap someone?

    Everything's alright if you do it for the lolz.

    Deathmonger on
  • Options
    KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    MrMister wrote:
    Ketherial wrote:
    please forgive me, but i cannot help but think you are trying to evade the question. when we choose course of action a over b, we are necessarily judging a to be better than b.

    We are saying that a person in our situation should do a rather than b. However, that doesn't necessarily translate into a systematic methodology for weighting people's virtue--which makes sense, because Utilitarianism doesn't really care about 'virtue' very much anyway. Mostly it only cares about people's moral fiber insofar as encouraging them to be morally fibrous winds up advancing the greater good.

    but i dont see how that is anything other than a further sidestep. why should person do a rather than b? because a is more morally virtuous. and the logical corollary must be that a person who chooses moral decisions over immoral ones is more "virtuous". how can it be anything other than what i have stated?

    just because utilitarianism doesnt want to consider virtue doesnt mean that we can ignore the logical conclusions of the system.
    when yar says joy is the only morally meaningful variable, he must also necessarily conclude that the rich man is better (more moral) than the poor.

    No: if anything, one would say that "a person should promote joy as best they can" in which case the poor man has fufilled their obligation just as much as the rich. Your analysis is flawed.

    why is there a "as best they can" qualifier there? if joy / sorrow is the only moral axiom, then more joy must equate to better. once you qualify it with "as best they can" you are introducing a totally separate axiom, unrelated to the axiom of joy, which is what yar proposes as the only axiom. my analysis is dead on.

    Ketherial on
  • Options
    MrMisterMrMister Jesus dying on the cross in pain? Morally better than us. One has to go "all in".Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Ketherial wrote:
    but i dont see how that is anything other than a further sidestep. why should person do a rather than b? because a is more morally virtuous. and the logical corollary must be that a person who chooses moral decisions over immoral ones is more "virtuous". how can it be anything other than what i have stated?

    The rich man chooses to give a billion dollars, and the poor man chooses to give five. Both have chosen the most virtuous action from among all candidates available. Both are acting according to Consequentialist principles and both are fulfilling their moral duty.

    Holding a poor man responsible for not being able to give a thousand dollars would be like holding him responsible for not being able to fly. Being a Consequentialist doesn't make you stupid.

    The rich man's donation will help more people. It will also do more good. Does that mean he is a better person? Not in the ordinary sense of the term.

    MrMister on
  • Options
    KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    MrMister wrote:
    Ketherial wrote:
    but i dont see how that is anything other than a further sidestep. why should person do a rather than b? because a is more morally virtuous. and the logical corollary must be that a person who chooses moral decisions over immoral ones is more "virtuous". how can it be anything other than what i have stated?

    The rich man chooses to give a billion dollars, and the poor man chooses to give five. Both have chosen the most virtuous action from among all candidates available. Both are acting according to Consequentialist principles and both are fulfilling their moral duty.

    Holding a poor man responsible for not being able to give a thousand dollars would be like holding him responsible for not being able to fly. Being a Consequentialist doesn't make you stupid.

    The rich man's donation will help more people. It will also do more good. Does that mean he is a better person? Not in the ordinary sense of the term.

    exactly. in other words, we both disagree with yar. maximizing joy is not the only basis or axiom for morality.

    Ketherial on
  • Options
    MrMisterMrMister Jesus dying on the cross in pain? Morally better than us. One has to go "all in".Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Ketherial wrote:
    exactly. in other words, we both disagree with yar. maximizing joy is not the only basis or axiom for morality.

    "You should always maximize preference satisfaction" (a slightly more sophisticated formulation of Utilitarian principles) says nothing about how we judge people, except that we should judge them in such a way as to effect the greater good, since that's what we do for all our actions.

    Which boils down to encouraging everyone to do the most they can, and neither scorning anyone's heartfelt contribution nor letting anyone off the hook too lightly.

    I am not sure how, by saying that there is no call for scorning the poor man, I have brought into being some new set of moral principles previously unaccounted for.

    MrMister on
  • Options
    KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    MrMister wrote:
    Ketherial wrote:
    exactly. in other words, we both disagree with yar. maximizing joy is not the only basis or axiom for morality.

    "You should always maximize preference satisfaction" (a slightly more sophisticated formulation of Utilitarian principles) says nothing about how we judge people, except that we should judge them in such a way as to effect the greater good, since that's what we do for all our actions.

    Which boils down to encouraging everyone to do the most they can, and neither scorning anyone's heartfelt contribution nor letting anyone off the hook too lightly.

    I am not sure how, by saying that there is no call for scorning the poor man, I have brought into being some new set of moral principles previously unaccounted for.

    because under the sole axiom of joy = good, the equation does not compute.

    poor man doing the most he can = x
    rich man doing the most he can = 100x

    you are saying, in this situation, poor man's x = rich man's 100x on the moral scale. there must be an axiom or reason that addresses why. because if joy = good is the only axiom, then 100 joy > than 1 joy, not equal.

    Ketherial on
  • Options
    PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    The rich man chooses to give a billion dollars, the poor man gives five, and the corrupt charity organization buys a billion and five dollar yacht.

    And what about creating joy for yourself, ignoring everyone?


    And creating joy is all well and good and moral, but the problem with this paradigm is that it's not practical. It's not easy to continually seek joy and sometimes it's not even intuitive. There must be other factors that exist that determine what the 'right thing to do' is.


    Let's say some magical space fiat dust enters our atmosphere and makes everyone blissfully retarded. Then a space nanny comes and takes care of us forever and ever. No more wars, no more disagreement. No more anything other than a heck of a lot of joy? That sound good?

    Paladin on
    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
  • Options
    jothkijothki Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Ketherial wrote:
    MrMister wrote:
    Ketherial wrote:
    but i dont see how that is anything other than a further sidestep. why should person do a rather than b? because a is more morally virtuous. and the logical corollary must be that a person who chooses moral decisions over immoral ones is more "virtuous". how can it be anything other than what i have stated?

    The rich man chooses to give a billion dollars, and the poor man chooses to give five. Both have chosen the most virtuous action from among all candidates available. Both are acting according to Consequentialist principles and both are fulfilling their moral duty.

    Holding a poor man responsible for not being able to give a thousand dollars would be like holding him responsible for not being able to fly. Being a Consequentialist doesn't make you stupid.

    The rich man's donation will help more people. It will also do more good. Does that mean he is a better person? Not in the ordinary sense of the term.

    exactly. in other words, we both disagree with yar. maximizing joy is not the only basis or axiom for morality.

    I'm going to disagree with that. The rich man is maximizing joy to the greatest extent possible. The poor man is maximizing joy to the greatest extent possible. Both of their actions are equally moral.

    jothki on
  • Options
    KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    jothki, please see my subsequent post about why your statement necessarily requires that there be more axioms than just joy = good.

    Ketherial on
  • Options
    MrMisterMrMister Jesus dying on the cross in pain? Morally better than us. One has to go "all in".Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Ketherial wrote:
    you are saying, in this situation, poor man's x = rich man's 100x on the moral scale. there must be an axiom or reason that addresses why. because if joy = good is the only axiom, then 100 joy > than 1 joy, not equal.

    I'm saying that it's consistent to both hold that:

    1) the correct action is always the one that produces the most joy
    2) it is not necessarily correct to laud a person whose actions have produced more joy, or scorn a person whose actions have produced less

    2 is true despite 1 for exactly the reason that sometimes people simply do not have much opportunity to create joy. Furthermore, 2 does not represent a revision of 1, but merely an extrapolation.

    MrMister on
  • Options
    ÆthelredÆthelred Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Aethelred wrote:
    Don't bother explaining it to us lesser beings then. How is providing a moral code not an integral part of a religion? You can't just make your own one up and still say you're part of that religion.

    I'm not explaining the simple truth of what I've stated a couple of times in this thread. I speak of general Morality in its context of what is normaly acceptable in society. Which is to say that basic morals involve/include mannerisms that are peaceful and nonviolent and reason/ration based. These are ever-present in all people religious or not, and save for those that reject them and are consequentially IMmoral. You figure it out from there. If you can't then I'm not sure what else to tell you.

    The rest of the conversation is vastly more interesting than this, but I don't appreciate the condescension. Essentially you're saying religion just voices the constant morals humans have? That is to say, that religion has no moral message at all, other than affirming what society holds to be dear. I think MrMister pretty comprehensively demonstrated morals are neither 'essential' nor easy to agree upon, making your claim that no religion prescribes a moral code a dubious one at best. Changing attitudes over time illustrate most clearly than there's no heavily solidified innate sense of morals in man.

    Æthelred on
    pokes: 1505 8032 8399
  • Options
    KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    MrMister wrote:
    Ketherial wrote:
    you are saying, in this situation, poor man's x = rich man's 100x on the moral scale. there must be an axiom or reason that addresses why. because if joy = good is the only axiom, then 100 joy > than 1 joy, not equal.

    I'm saying that it's consistent to both hold that:

    1) the correct action is always the one that produces the most joy
    2) it is not necessarily correct to laud a person whose actions have produced more joy, or scorn a person whose actions have produced less

    2 is true despite 1 for exactly the reason that sometimes people simply do not have much opportunity to create joy. Furthermore, 2 does not represent a revision of 1, but merely an extrapolation.

    i dont think 2) adds anything nor does it explain why a generous billionaire can be equated to a generous poor man.

    1) the correct choice is the one that causes the most joy.

    to me, a necessary conclusion of this statement is: the more joy caused, the more moral the action.

    agree or disagree? why?

    second necessary conclusion: a higher joy producer is more moral than a lower joy producer.

    agree or disagree? why?

    im not really talking about actually lauding or scorning someone. people think im talking about judgment, but really judgment doesnt mean that much to me. im talking about the logical conclusions of the proposals on the table. if you say joy = good is the only basis for morality, then you must logically conclude that those who cause more joy are more moral than those who cause less.

    if you want to consider circumstances, ability, opportunity, etc., then you must back up each factor with a new axiom that addresses why we should consider those factors. why does considering these factors add to our concept of good? what is good about considering other factors? does considering other factors stem from a desire to maximize joy or from some other ideal, perhaps one about simply "doing your best"? is doing your best more or less important than maximizing joy?

    Ketherial on
  • Options
    DeathmongerDeathmonger Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Ketherial wrote:
    MrMister wrote:
    Ketherial wrote:
    you are saying, in this situation, poor man's x = rich man's 100x on the moral scale. there must be an axiom or reason that addresses why. because if joy = good is the only axiom, then 100 joy > than 1 joy, not equal.

    I'm saying that it's consistent to both hold that:

    1) the correct action is always the one that produces the most joy
    2) it is not necessarily correct to laud a person whose actions have produced more joy, or scorn a person whose actions have produced less

    2 is true despite 1 for exactly the reason that sometimes people simply do not have much opportunity to create joy. Furthermore, 2 does not represent a revision of 1, but merely an extrapolation.

    i dont think 2) adds anything nor does it explain why a generous billionaire can be equated to a generous poor man.

    1) the correct choice is the one that causes the most joy.

    to me, a necessary conclusion of this statement is: the more joy caused, the more moral the action.

    agree or disagree? why?

    second necessary conclusion: a higher joy producer is more moral than a lower joy producer.

    agree or disagree? why?

    im not really talking about actually lauding or scorning someone. people think im talking about judgment, but really judgment doesnt mean that much to me. im talking about the logical conclusions of the proposals on the table. if you say joy = good is the only basis for morality, then you must logically conclude that those who cause more joy are more moral than those who cause less.

    if you want to consider circumstances, ability, opportunity, etc., then you must back up each factor with a new axiom that addresses why we should consider those factors. why does considering these factors add to our concept of good? what is good about considering other factors? does considering other factors stem from a desire to maximize joy or from some other ideal, perhaps one about simply "doing your best"? is doing your best more or less important than maximizing joy?

    If everyone died of heroine overdose at the same time that wouldn't cause any unhappiness, unless the spirits of their ancestors got all cranky about it. That's just crazy china-man talk though, so yeah lets maximize joy?

    Morality is based on an idea of ultimate purpose as well as constraints on how to achieve it, methinks usually. Usually it's "happy perpetuation of people" but with the constraint of "not buttsechs on whales" or alternatively "no torture, genocide"

    So yeah, start putting up these axioms. Then discuss whether you like Romania or Bulgaria moar.

    Deathmonger on
  • Options
    MrMisterMrMister Jesus dying on the cross in pain? Morally better than us. One has to go "all in".Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Ketherial wrote:
    if you say joy = good is the only basis for morality, then you must logically conclude that those who cause more joy are more moral than those who cause less.

    No. We logically conclude that everyone should cause the most joy possible. Different amounts will be possible for different people.
    is doing your best more or less important than maximizing joy?

    Doing your best simply is maximizing joy. They do not diverge.

    There is a very basic idea in morality--for an action to be morally required it must be possible. You are never morally required to grow wings and fly, and a poor man is never morally required to give a thousand dollars to charity.

    MrMister on
  • Options
    BlutrasereiBlutraserei Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    MrMister wrote:
    MrMister wrote:
    What?
    No.
    You forgot to read essential. Seriously....by show of hands how many in here believe that rape, murder, and violence are wrong? Never mind, don't bother cause I can tell you now that none of you agree with it. Thus...essential/basic/normal....whatever you wanna call it

    Is it wrong to kill a fetus? How about a week old child? Is it okay to attack civilian targets? Is it okay to attack military targets which will involve civilian casualties? Is it okay to use child warriors? Is it okay to hide in a civilian population? Is it okay to go on a suicide mission? Is it okay to order a suicide mission? Is it okay to torture POWs? Is it okay to ever revoke habeus corpus? Is it okay to racially profile? Is it okay to steal when you're starving? Is it okay to steal when you're hungry? Is it okay to murder someone in order to save others? Is it okay to refuse to help a dying man? Is it okay to make an example of someone? Is it okay to entrap someone?


    An odd clause within the religious perspective makes it where those who are laden with guilt because of commiting to any of the above. They ask for forgiveness not just to relieve some of that immense pressure on their heart/soul/mind, but to better themselves and recognize the quintessential flaw in all humans..imperfection. Deeper still they probably believe it will save them from what they perceive to be subject to divine judgement. For instance...take killing another to save an innocent. I imagine a good person may do this in the heat of the moment and afterwards, even though it was an immoral and clearly dangerous person that he had slain....would still feel a manner of guilt towards killing another human being. He may pray to whatever God he chooses...but in the end I doubt this man will ever live down the guilt of prematurely ending another human's life. Exceptions to this may include some good ol' boys in the south somewhere :P, but you get my point, yes?

    Listing the stealing if hungry/starving bit is kind of iffy. The human instinct of survival often supercedes morality in "fight-or-flight" situations or in situations where one is fending for their survival. So I would say if you're starving, morality ceases to be pertinent to the starving individual, but other wise no, stealing wouldn't be a good thing.

    I think what better describes this is the fact that religion (Christianity anyway) provides a backup or brace for when morality temporarily fails...along with a basis to build you own upon. If you go by this basis you're more than likely to end up following the Bible or what not word for word, or maybe to point where you still live a good life..but cannot necessarily be called "immoral". I think the interpretation of religious morality is often taken to the extreme in places when it really shouldn't be....partly because you're dealing with human interpretation on more than one level. I.e.: Bible, reading the Bible, then interpreting it according to what you're taught, then interpreting it according to what you feel. Atheists often take the stand point that you do or you don't follow the Bible word for word....which is the exact thing that Martin Luther tried to get rid of.

    Would you like to start a thread so we can talk about it in good faith?


    Not really...the argument has no pertinence to my belief or method therof, yet I take resentment toward being stereotyped just cause a certain group of people somewhere showed a lack of reason/ration while holding beliefs similar to mine.



    And seriously...this is thread about Atheist morals...religion will find a way in whether you think it should be here or not. What with Atheism qualifying as a religion. And before someone corrects me...to follow something religiously doesn't need to hold the context of being a believer in a God of some sort. You can follow science, math, video games...a lot of things religiously.

    Blutraserei on
    Tttnl.jpg

  • Options
    MrMisterMrMister Jesus dying on the cross in pain? Morally better than us. One has to go "all in".Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    my opinion on a lot of controversial moral issues

    The point was that they're all to some degree controversial and in need of clear-headed examination. I strongly disagree with your opinions on almost all of them.
    And seriously...this is thread about Atheist morals...religion will find a way in whether you think it should be here or not. What with Atheism qualifying as a religion. And before someone corrects me...to follow something religiously doesn't need to hold the context of being a believer in a God of some sort. You can follow science, math, video games...a lot of things religiously.

    Apparently the way religion is finding its way into this thread is through you, because you have decided to hijack what was previously a discussion of different ideas in secular morality.

    Furthermore, your writing is incoherent: ellipses are not your friends.

    MrMister on
  • Options
    BlutrasereiBlutraserei Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    MrMister wrote:
    my opinion on a lot of controversial moral issues

    The point was that they're all to some degree controversial and in need of clear-headed examination. I strongly disagree with your opinions on almost all of them.


    Why? What's your take on them?


    And I'll just go ahead and ignore that casual poke at my writing. If you paid attention it would probably appear as more coherent.

    Blutraserei on
    Tttnl.jpg

  • Options
    Grid SystemGrid System Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Ketherial wrote:
    im not really talking about actually lauding or scorning someone. people think im talking about judgment, but really judgment doesnt mean that much to me. im talking about the logical conclusions of the proposals on the table. if you say joy = good is the only basis for morality, then you must logically conclude that those who cause more joy are more moral than those who cause less.
    This is where you keep on running in to problems. Utilitarians don't have to say anything about a person's moral standing at all if they don't want to. Utilitarians evaluate actions, not people. Yes, a utilitarian would say that the rich person has done more good. This does not seem wrong though.

    Even if utilitarians were to evaluate people on the basis of their actions, it would not result in the conclusions you propose. A person is not measured against other people, she is measured against herself. If she does the most good she can do then she is the best she can be. It doesn't matter if some other person happens to be in a position where she can do more good.

    Ultimately, I actually agree with you insofar as I think that to say "good is identical to joy" is to make a false statement. But you're coming at the problem all wrong. Don't talk about things that can be so easily reduced to pleasure promotion. Talk about intelligence or knowledge or art as being intrinsic goods worthy of moral consideration as well as pleasure/joy/happiness/whatever. You're not going to get anywhere if you keep up your current line of reasoning. It just doesn't work.

    Grid System on
  • Options
    KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    MrMister wrote:
    Ketherial wrote:
    if you say joy = good is the only basis for morality, then you must logically conclude that those who cause more joy are more moral than those who cause less.

    No. We logically conclude that everyone should cause the most joy possible. Different amounts will be possible for different people.
    is doing your best more or less important than maximizing joy?

    Doing your best simply is maximizing joy. They do not diverge.

    There is a very basic idea in morality--for an action to be morally required it must be possible. You are never morally required to grow wings and fly, and a poor man is never morally required to give a thousand dollars to charity.

    we still arent connecting here. and you're using ambiguous terms in non-consistent ways, like "something must be possible". creating matter/energy may be physically impossible, but earning more money and donating it certainly is not impossible. anyway, that's tangential.

    more importantly, youre making a bunch of conclusions without going through the logical steps.

    yar's axiom: joy = good. sorrow = bad.
    logic: a = a

    possible derivations:
    more joy = more good. more sorrow = more bad.
    one who creates more joy = one who creates more good.
    one who creates more good is gooder than one who creates less good.
    one who creates more joy is gooder than one who creates less good.
    one who creates more joy is gooder than one who creates less joy.

    so, why does the axiom joy = good necessarily spawn the rule "for an action to be morally required it must be possible". i see no connection between the two. for example, i could easily say, "moral rules are moral rules, regardless of whether they are possible. if you dont donate at least 100 then you are immoral."

    the axioms at hand provide no insight with respect to "possibility" and how such possibility connects to morality. hence, there must be another axiom for such moral rule.

    for example, another possible axiom might be:
    asking people to do more than they are able = bad. i dont really like that one. how about just generosity = good. ah! i like this one, because if we add it to our equation, it allows us to come to the "right" result.

    axioms:
    logic: a = a
    joy = good.
    generosity = good + x.

    derivations:
    one who creates joy + x = one who is generous.
    one who is generous + creates joy = one who creates joy + 2x.

    now depending on how much we value generosity (e.g. how much x weighs in comparison to joy) then we can easily come up with a situation where enough generosity (on the part of a hobo) will outweigh or equal the joy caused by the rich man.

    Ketherial on
  • Options
    Grid SystemGrid System Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Ketherial wrote:
    more importantly, youre making a bunch of conclusions without going through the logical steps.

    yar's axiom: joy = good. sorrow = bad.
    logic: a = a

    possible derivations:
    more joy = more good. more sorrow = more bad.
    one who creates more joy = one who creates more good.
    one who creates more good is gooder than one who creates less good.
    DOES NOT FOLLOW

    Grid System on
  • Options
    Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Ketherial wrote:
    more importantly, youre making a bunch of conclusions without going through the logical steps.

    yar's axiom: joy = good. sorrow = bad.
    logic: a = a

    possible derivations:
    more joy = more good. more sorrow = more bad.
    one who creates more joy = one who creates more good.
    one who creates more good is gooder than one who creates less good.
    DOES NOT FOLLOW

    Loren Michael on
    a7iea7nzewtq.jpg
  • Options
    KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Ketherial wrote:
    im not really talking about actually lauding or scorning someone. people think im talking about judgment, but really judgment doesnt mean that much to me. im talking about the logical conclusions of the proposals on the table. if you say joy = good is the only basis for morality, then you must logically conclude that those who cause more joy are more moral than those who cause less.
    This is where you keep on running in to problems. Utilitarians don't have to say anything about a person's moral standing at all if they don't want to. Utilitarians evaluate actions, not people. Yes, a utilitarian would say that the rich person has done more good. This does not seem wrong though.

    im not sure i see this as anything but a semantic difference. if utilitarianism proposes to be a moral system (weighing good and bad), then it must necessarily make conclusions regarding the good and bad of people who do good and bad things. again, just because one does not address the logical conclusions of a system does not mean that they dont exist.
    Even if utilitarians were to evaluate people on the basis of their actions, it would not result in the conclusions you propose. A person is not measured against other people, she is measured against herself. If she does the most good she can do then she is the best she can be. It doesn't matter if some other person happens to be in a position where she can do more good.

    why? what axiom is such rule based on?

    you could state that comparing against your (potential?) self is the axiom, but i would probably argue against that because i dont see how that axiom always contributes to the good and in fact i would argue that it sometimes contributes to the bad.
    Ultimately, I actually agree with you insofar as I think that to say "good is identical to joy" is to make a false statement. But you're coming at the problem all wrong. Don't talk about things that can be so easily reduced to pleasure promotion. Talk about intelligence or knowledge or art as being intrinsic goods worthy of moral consideration as well as pleasure/joy/happiness/whatever. You're not going to get anywhere if you keep up your current line of reasoning. It just doesn't work.

    although i totally disagree, i appreciate your advice. my point is, i dont at all think generosity (for example) is any more easily reduced to pleasure promotion than intellect.

    Ketherial on
  • Options
    KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Ketherial wrote:
    more importantly, youre making a bunch of conclusions without going through the logical steps.

    yar's axiom: joy = good. sorrow = bad.
    logic: a = a

    possible derivations:
    more joy = more good. more sorrow = more bad.
    one who creates more joy = one who creates more good.
    one who creates more good is gooder than one who creates less good.
    DOES NOT FOLLOW

    apologies, i'll add more axioms.

    2a > a
    2 good > good.

    not really that hard. you guys are being silly.

    Ketherial on
  • Options
    NoomNoom Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    But what if I make things way gooder for a few people while making things slightly less gooder for a large amount of people, but then those people are inspired by their less gooder situation and are driven to make things gooder for themselves.
    The first group of people are cats.
    Solve for x.

    Noom on
    sig.gif
  • Options
    Grid SystemGrid System Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Ketherial wrote:
    apologies, i'll add more axioms.

    2a > a
    2 good > good.

    not really that hard. you guys are being silly.

    ARG

    That's still not going to do it. You need the step that says "one who creates good is good". But that makes no sense if joy = good because applying the rule of substitutivity gives us "one who creates joy is joy" and I don't think that makes sense at all. If you were to change the axiom slightly so that it takes the form "one who creates [noun] is [adjective]" as you seem to want to do - and I'll just grant that it's possible to do so for the sake of argument - then we have "one who creates joy is joyous" which makes sense but is definitely not necessarily true. This may bring out the problem with a single axiom conception of goodness. I think G. E. Moore wrote a paper about something along these lines. Of course, a utilitarian can happily discard any idea of moral judgments of people and restrict his theory to judgments of actions. There is nothing wrong with doing that.

    Grid System on
  • Options
    jothkijothki Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Ketherial wrote:
    apologies, i'll add more axioms.

    2a > a
    2 good > good.

    not really that hard. you guys are being silly.

    ARG

    That's still not going to do it. You need the step that says "one who creates good is good". But that makes no sense if joy = good because applying the rule of substitutivity gives us "one who creates joy is joy" and I don't think that makes sense at all. If you were to change the axiom slightly so that it takes the form "one who creates [noun] is [adjective]" as you seem to want to do - and I'll just grant that it's possible to do so for the sake of argument - then we have "one who creates joy is joyous" which makes sense but is definitely not necessarily true. This may bring out the problem with a single axiom conception of goodness. I think G. E. Moore wrote a paper about something along these lines. Of course, a utilitarian can happily discard any idea of moral judgments of people and restrict his theory to judgments of actions. There is nothing wrong with doing that.

    There's no particular need to define the two meanings of "good" or "moral" as the same thing. Personally, I'd prefer to leave any particular action as inherently amoral. A perfectly moral person would be someone who chooses the combination of actions that produce the greatest possible happiness.

    jothki on
  • Options
    MrMisterMrMister Jesus dying on the cross in pain? Morally better than us. One has to go "all in".Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Ketherial wrote:
    more joy = more good. more sorrow = more bad.
    one who creates more joy = one who creates more good.
    one who creates more good is gooder than one who creates less good.
    Of course, a utilitarian can happily discard any idea of moral judgments of people and restrict his theory to judgments of actions. There is nothing wrong with doing that.

    Grid System is quite right. A system which exposes the best actions does not necessarily expose the best people, on the common understanding of the term.

    For example, a person who does good could be 'bad,' in the commonsense use of the word. A man who intends to poison me, but accidentally gives me lifesaving insulin instead would have done something with positive consequences, but would be colloquially referred to as evil. Someone who unknowingly delivered food aid to Africa which turned out to be poisoned would have done something with negative consequences, but would be colloquially be referred to as good.

    The only comment Consequentialist thought (necessarily) has on the merit of people is that which follows from it's central premise: namely, that we should encourage people to behave in such ways that maximize the good.

    MrMister on
  • Options
    KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    MrMister wrote:
    Ketherial wrote:
    more joy = more good. more sorrow = more bad.
    one who creates more joy = one who creates more good.
    one who creates more good is gooder than one who creates less good.
    Of course, a utilitarian can happily discard any idea of moral judgments of people and restrict his theory to judgments of actions. There is nothing wrong with doing that.

    Grid System is quite right. A system which exposes the best actions does not necessarily expose the best people, on the common understanding of the term.

    For example, a person who does good could be 'bad,' in the commonsense use of the word. A man who intends to poison me, but accidentally gives me lifesaving insulin instead would have done something with positive consequences, but would be colloquially referred to as evil. Someone who unknowingly delivered food aid to Africa which turned out to be poisoned would have done something with negative consequences, but would be colloquially be referred to as good.

    The only comment Consequentialist thought (necessarily) has on the merit of people is that which follows from it's central premise: namely, that we should encourage people to behave in such ways that maximize the good.

    now we are getting somewhere! from the above, another rule might be something like:

    good intentions may be > good results.

    now why is that? what axiom creates that rule? joy = good certainly does not. in fact, joy = good is in conflict with such rule because joy can only ever be a result; either there is joy created or there is no joy created. if joy = good were the only axiom, joy (good result) must be > good intentions (that cause no joy).

    i think we are in agreement here. even if you guys dont accept generosity per se as an axiomatic good, it seems that we at least agree that "joy = good" is a totally insufficient foundation for the moral codes we now hold. unless im still not reading you guys correctly.

    edit: btw, i dont think there is a need for an axiom that states one who does good = good. it's just a semantic issue.

    for example, we can just eliminate the people involved and just judge the acts:

    a = donating 10 joy of your 10,000,000,000 joy = good
    b = donating 1 joy of your 2 joy = good + x.

    if your only axiom is joy = good, then x must be negative (e.g. giving half of what youve got is not a more moral act than giving 1 billionth of what youve got, as long as youve got a lot). sounds pretty ridiculous to me.

    Ketherial on
  • Options
    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Generally speaking, intent is the way to judge the morality of a person. Their values are how you judge the potential of their intent. The benefit or harm of their actions, separated from the intent, are unrelated to the morality.

    Someone who intends to be helpful to others based on what they consider valuable, but whose values are ultimately harmful, is still moral.

    They're just also very very dangerous.

    Incenjucar on
Sign In or Register to comment.