Is morality oppressive in and of itself?

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wannatodiveinto...
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Jul 11 2006 14:16

Mal they are probably all excellent books - I know I used to be in to the Red Queen stuff and a lot of population/evolutionary genetics.

Of course the great work on the discovery of DNA was the really difficult x ray crystallography by Rosalind Elise Franklin who gets written well down the list - no surprise there..

but

but

but

Exactly which one of those book will give me guidance in my "informer question"

Just knowing the physical/biological origin of a “social sense” doesn't really answer any of the actual moral questions.

If there are answers (and I doubt there are many absolutes – even murder can be hedged with conditions/justifications self defense etc etc) they will be socially negotiated - though exactly how I don't know!

ernie
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Jul 11 2006 14:39

Hi

Demogorgon303 I will look at Confucianism and wannatodiveintoyourocean I will have a look at Dao, however I do not agree with your dismissal of Confucianism

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Confucious and his shower weer just a bunch of wanna be advisors to rulers

you could say that about some of the ancient greeks as well. This type of argument lead nowhere, it is clear that Confusus was not a communist, but what he had to say about morals and ethics helps to understand how these questions were understood in ancient china.

Devrim, the reading group suggestion is very good. What is it about the way we formulate the question that you have problems with?

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Demogorgon303
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Jul 11 2006 14:46
wannatodiveintoyourocean wrote:
Ps: Confucious and his shower weer just a bunch of wanna be advisors to rulers. Daoism is far more worth a look. Google the Tao do ching – great little read.

Lao Tzu was just a bumbling idiot, haven't you read The Western Journey? wink

But seriously, I think Confucianism - whatever its origins - constitutes a major influence on China's ethical thought. It's the closest thing to a philosophical school that ancient China had. I'm not saying Taoism is not important, of course. I just think that it's probably closer to, say, Buddhism in terms of origin and approach whereas Confucianism is a smidgen closer to Greek Philosophy (although much less radical and far reaching) which was what I think ernie was asking for.

But, hey, I could be wrong, I'm no expert.

wannatodiveinto...
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Jul 11 2006 15:12
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Devrim

: Dawkins doesn't follow the 'group selection line'. He thinks the gene is the basis selection is the basis of selection.

I know that but selection at a gene level as opposed to at the level of individual often implies statistically that family, kin group are the only way to “save” or, at least, maximise the transmission of the most shared DNA (as opposed to the “DNA’s container eg the organism or even us!)

– This implication is one of the few things I like in him and it implicitly backs Kropotkin and gives socialibility among animals a basis in biology

– Gould would agree here to – actually the actual “scientific” differences between Gould and Dawkin are relatively minor.

Quote:
I did qualify it with 'lots of ideas', and 'to a certain extent'.

Point taken – I some times over react if only to provoke a row!!

Confucionism was the sophism (and actually socrates and co are quite unfair to the sophists!) of its time if you ask me - it is awful stuff - FIERCE conservative and concerned with keeping things going. But have a look your self - the annelects are on line peg it into google. The thinking is that most public confucionists were Taoists in private.

Taoism is meta phyisical anti realism writ large so yeese mightn't go for it. Try the Art of War - great auld read (pity the Americans didn't take a gander before invading Iraq - you'll find they break almost every one of the little recomendations as to how to conduct a successful combat)

http://www.chinapage.com/sunzi-e.html

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Jul 11 2006 15:34
wannatodiveintoyourocean wrote:
Quote:
Devrim

: Dawkins doesn't follow the 'group selection line'. He thinks the gene is the basis selection is the basis of selection.

I know that but selection at a gene level as opposed to at the level of individual often implies statistically that family, kin group are the only way to “save” or, at least, maximise the transmission of the most shared DNA (as opposed to the “DNA’s container eg the organism or even us!)

I don't agree.

wannatodiveintoyourocean wrote:

– This implication is one of the few things I like in him and it implicitly backs Kropotkin and gives socialibility among animals a basis in biology

– Gould would agree here to – actually the actual “scientific” differences between Gould and Dawkin are relatively minor.

The differences are minor in that they are both evolutionary biologists, and the media tended to overplay the disagreements, but there are still some important differences.

wannatodiveinto...
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Jul 11 2006 15:42

I think its more the implications that Dawkins draws from his science that can be problamatic.

The kin selection thing is just simple maths if you acept selection at a gene (eg DNA) level

- I'll row it out with ya another time (or even tomorrow on the boss's internet dime!)

- Gotta run unfortunately

Krossie

0001
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Jul 11 2006 15:56
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I think that morality is a form of ideology, but I do agree that co-operation is a fundamental aspect of human society, and its roots are in our genetic make up.

Morality is a form of ideology in that it consists of a bunch of ideas relating to the social needs of a group of people.

Any society (human or otherwise) requires co-operation. That society is a group which work together to achieve a particular goal. In the case of Human Society that goal is a happy life.

Human beings could not have survived as solitary creatures. If the human was not a social animal none of us would be here to today.

Human beings live in groups, groups require co-operation to exist. Co-operation requires a set of rules. That set of rules is either morality or rule by force.

Human's, supposedly, don't break society rules because they believe it's wrong to do so. Animals don't break (their) society rules because they will be physically harmed or killed for doing so.

Morality is nothing but a set of rules that keep groups of humans together. Without these rules there can be no co-operation and no society.

Oppression comes in when people decide what the rules are. Morality can not be oppressive (other than in the fact that all rules are necessarily oppressive) but applied morality could well be oppressive. Especially when it comes to enforcing moral rules.

wannatodiveintoyourocean raises a moral question:

Quote:
informers! Specifically in a revolutionary struggle were an informer must be dealt with but it’s NOT an immediately life threatening situation for “our side”.

Suggestions?!?!?

This is a question of how far is it morally acceptable to go in enforcing moral rules. It is in answerimg moral questions such as these that we discover how oppressive our morality is.

If there is no such things as 'morality' on the other hand, there is no question. Dealing with informers would be the same kind of thing as dealing with a tree that has fallen and blocked the road, or anything else that gets in the way. There would be no notion of 'acceptable behaviour' in dealing witrh the problem - anything that solves it is fine. Drive around the tree, cut it up, ignore the informer, kill the informer - whichever is most efficient.

ernie
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Jul 11 2006 17:44

Hi

What a great discussion and process of clarification.

On Dawkins and Gould, I have read both and not really understood the differences. The only real differences that I can see is that Gould is inclinded to draw on wider social theories, though Dawkins's unweaving the rainbow - what I have read of it- places science in its wider and artistic context. So a good discussion on what he really says will be interesting. All the more so given the weight of irrationalism in society.

0001 overall there is a real level of agreement. However,

Quote:
Morality is a form of ideology in that it consists of a bunch of ideas relating to the social needs of a group of people

is too sweeping a statement. For Marxism ideology is an expression of false consciousness, the distortion of thinking by class society consciously or not. In the investigations into primitive communism by the workers movement, and above all by Marx and Engles the expressions of consciousness are not seen as ideological because it has not been distorted by class society.

0001 also raises the question of ends justifying the means. This is a very important question and one that pre-occupied the workers' movement. Dietzgen wrote some very interesting analysis of this question, but I do not have it at hand, though the main thrust is that the means used have to be compatible with the ends.

ernie
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Jul 11 2006 17:59
"ernie" wrote:
Hi

What a great discussion and process of clarification.

On Dawkins and Gould, I have read both and not really understood the differences. The only real differences that I can see is that Gould is inclinded to draw on wider social theories, though Dawkins's unweaving the rainbow - what I have read of it- places science in its wider and artistic context. So a good discussion on what he really says will be interesting. All the more so given the weight of irrationalism in society.

0001 overall there is a real level of agreement. However,

Quote:
Morality is a form of ideology in that it consists of a bunch of ideas relating to the social needs of a group of people

is too sweeping a statement. For Marxism ideology is an expression of false consciousness, the distortion of thinking by class society consciously or not. In the investigations into primitive communism by the workers movement, and above all by Marx and Engles the expressions of consciousness are not seen as ideological because it has not been distorted by class society.

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Jul 11 2006 19:49
ernie wrote:

On Dawkins and Gould, I have read both and not really understood the differences

It is difficult to explain if you are not conversant with the literature. It is all about 'punctuated equilibrium', and the Neo-Darwinist synthesis. There is no argument about the basics of natural selection, but it is an argument about how natural selection works. Basically Dawkins said that Gould is pretending that things that fit into the synthesis are somehow 'revolutionary', and Gould said that Dawkins is a 'reductionist'. There is an unofficial Dawkins site with a lot of documents about the controversy: http://www.simonyi.ox.ac.uk/dawkins/WorldOfDawkins-archive/Catalano/the_g_files.shtml

ernie wrote:
What is it about the way we formulate the question that you have problems with?

I am not completly sure Ernie. I am very uncertain about the way you use the word 'morality', but I would have to read what you have to say about it in detail before I really comment. I think that you are understating the evolutionary base, and overstating the 'moral' one. If the ICC are discussing it you can send any texts to me at solkomunist@yahoo.com .

wannatodiveintoyourocean wrote:
I think its more the implications that Dawkins draws from his science that can be problamatic.

The kin selection thing is just simple maths if you acept selection at a gene (eg DNA) level

Yes, it is, and I do. Also though you have to accept that altruism exists in animals that do not recognise their kin, and must have evolved in those animals. In species with low population densities, it is quite likely that any other member of the species that a creature meets, is kin. Therefore, the argument is that kin selection goes beyond a purely kin basis, and into empathy with the rest of the species as a whole.

0001 wrote:

wannatodiveintoyourocean raises a moral question:

Quote:
informers! Specifically in a revolutionary struggle were an informer must be dealt with but it’s NOT an immediately life threatening situation for “our side”.

Suggestions?!?!?

This is a question of how far is it morally acceptable to go in enforcing moral rules. It is in answerimg moral questions such as these that we discover how oppressive our morality is.

If there is no such things as 'morality' on the other hand, there is no question. Dealing with informers would be the same kind of thing as dealing with a tree that has fallen and blocked the road, or anything else that gets in the way. There would be no notion of 'acceptable behaviour' in dealing witrh the problem - anything that solves it is fine. Drive around the tree, cut it up, ignore the informer, kill the informer - whichever is most efficient.

Actually that is what I would tend to go for, 'whatever is most efficient'. I don't actually like the word efficient, and would go more for 'whatever best served the struggle'

Just a little off the point, has anybody read Giles Dauve/Jean Barrot's 'For a World without Moral Order': http://troploin0.free.fr/biblio/moral_uk

I posted a link when this debate started, but I think we lost a day's posts, and it is no longer there.

Devrim

lem
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Jul 11 2006 20:37
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has anybody read Giles Dauve/Jean Barrot's 'For a World without Moral Order'

Yeah I have. Made me think, I guess.

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Rules limit people's freedom.

If you can only live in a community with rules (whioch is an interesting idea), and lets say you are more free in a community than by yourself, then it could be said that morality lets you be freed.

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If you lived alone on an island with no other sentient being there would be no morality.

The point I was trying to make before, is morality is generally thought of as a subspecies of value - morality is moral values. The interesting thing, is that you would still have other values, like "tasty" and "boring" and even "good", on a deserted isalnd. Myself I see little difference between good as in a good strawberry and good as in a (morally) good action. So, I guess that I'm saying, that although there can be no real moral rules, something very close to morality will be present.

What about not being cruel to animals on this island, or not masturbating. Right or wrong, some people consider these moral rules - that they ought to obide by. Are you suggesting that these are just false, if they are not backed up by a need to live in a community. Strange, to say that the status of ethical statements (that moral statement A is false and B true) is on the basis of how the person grounds them (In God, in humanity, or in the need to live in a community).

What I'm getting to in a round about way, is that no-one has defended, or really attcked, the notion of objective morals - a topic I find very interesting - though I am no expert! This is close to, I think, Habermas's theory of communicative action, which I think, is a tool for him to show that some world views justifying ideology, are false, regardless of whether the people subscribing to the ideology believe so. The parallel to objective morality seems obvious. Then there are countless moral theorists who attempt to ground objective morality (e.g. that killing is wrong and people ought not to kill, regardless of their beliefs on the subject) in God, and countless theorists who try to ground objective mnorality in a secular manner (much more difficult).

IMO without some kind of objective values, even the ideal speach situation, you can not say that communism is better than capitalism, or that genocide is wrong, or it is bad to die for your country. These statements would just be meaningless. But I would have thought that it would annoy libertarians. Though someone does mention

Quote:
false moral rules

difficult if morality is just a subjective feeling state.

wannatodiveinto...
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Jul 12 2006 11:37

Ok as I’ve stressed already the question of the origin of morality is of no huge importance for me. Certainly reduced explanations seeking lower and lower levels of “cause” are something I’m tired off and don’t particularly feel a need for. I’m not a total anti rationalist (yet!). But I don’t really see where this search for origin gets us either as anarchists or “philosophers of morals”

Are there are still eejits out there who still see themselves as “scientific socialists”!

But just to, very quickly, deal with this complete side issue as I see it:

1. On the level of “selfish” genes. Surely for example it is “worth it” on the gene level for a mother to feign injury and distract a predator for the rest of the family – even if she gets snaffled – 5 or 6 genotypes have a small chance to make into the future. Other wise she runs they become dinner – no transmission of genes what so ever.

Similarly for herd or swarm behaviour – which is very common in the animal kingdom.

This is not to deny the other side of the coin is that an injured animal may be kicked out of the heard and sacrificed to predators against it’s will!

But the idea of the survival of genes quite often implies as a strategy the apparently “altruistic” behaviour on an instinctual level witnessed by Kropotkin and more recent biologists some of whom are mentioned above. So a certain amount of fellow feeling may be selected for/programmed in.

So Dawkins gives it a bit of an under pining.

2. On the level of individual organisms. Population geneticists use game theory to come up with optimal competitive strategies for individuals. It turns out that if you use things like the prisoners dilemma but then iterate them over several generations surprisingly the “hawk” strategy isn’t the optimal one. What comes out ahead is one called tit for tat. Simply put this (for the prisoner’s dilemma) is that I don’t rat you out to the guards. Well I don’t unless and until you do it to me. Then I always do it! Now this is hardly pure altruism yet alone “a basis for morality” per sae. But it may explain, to an extent, some of our more social/cooperative instincts at a purely biological level. If that sounds confused there’s an excellent explanation here that even a mere philosopher could get:

Unknown Author, Evolutionary Stable Strategies,

http://www.urticator.net/essay/2/217.html

(I know cos we had it as a tutorial last year!)

Right lets move quickly to the important questions. People’s morality right now comes down to an immense and complex number of influences from genes to parents, religion, politics, friends, experience, society, schooling, advertising etc etc etc. It’s also changeable over time and people quite often “surprise themselves” Again I think the best route for us as anarchists will always have to be some non absolute moral system and things have to be taken on a case by case basis. Morality isn’t “given” fully wrapped up by science, politics, philosophy (any one for a wee drop of “categorical imperative”) or religion – it’s created actively and constantly. But how exactly that will happen is really quite a tough question.

– back to the informer – any takers? Devrims line that we should go for the most "efficient solution" is interesting - what is "most efficient" for the struggle - who decides and on what basis - these are the questions that need dealing with and which "origins" won't really help us with

lem
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Jul 13 2006 01:13
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non absolute moral system

Absolutely agree. In dealing with problems, like informers, I would guess that trying to maximize the good (strongly weighted towards moving the struggle forward, with a little consideration towards general sense of not causing too much suffering and death) would be an answer. In this respect, I see that someone who informs has forfeited solidarity.

Though I do think that huge amounts of suffering/death is not necessarily justifiable, and that its dangerous to think otherwise. Afterall, is it really just self interest that motiavtes us. Probably. Never considered it in my interests to commit overly indulgent acts of violence and suffering, doubt it ever will be.

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Jul 13 2006 01:20

Yes yes "non absolute moral system"...I am liking Lems views a lot tonight... smile

For me self-interest is not the primary driver - can it be for communists? Is it? A cue for another thread at some point me thinks...

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Jul 13 2006 06:03
wannatodiveintoyourocean wrote:
On the level of “selfish” genes. Surely for example it is “worth it” on the gene level for a mother to feign injury and distract a predator for the rest of the family – even if she gets snaffled – 5 or 6 genotypes have a small chance to make into the future. Other wise she runs they become dinner – no transmission of genes what so ever.

Similarly for herd or swarm behaviour – which is very common in the animal kingdom.

This is not to deny the other side of the coin is that an injured animal may be kicked out of the heard and sacrificed to predators against it’s will!

But the idea of the survival of genes quite often implies as a strategy the apparently “altruistic” behaviour on an instinctual level witnessed by Kropotkin and more recent biologists some of whom are mentioned above. So a certain amount of fellow feeling may be selected for/programmed in.

So Dawkins gives it a bit of an under pining.

2.On the level of individual organisms. Population geneticists use game theory to come up with optimal competitive strategies for individuals. It turns out that if you use things like the prisoners dilemma but then iterate them over several generations surprisingly the “hawk” strategy isn’t the optimal one. What comes out ahead is one called tit for tat. Simply put this (for the prisoner’s dilemma) is that I don’t rat you out to the guards. Well I don’t unless and until you do it to me. Then I always do it! Now this is hardly pure altruism yet alone “a basis for morality” per sae. But it may explain, to an extent, some of our more social/cooperative instincts at a purely biological level. If that sounds confused there’s an excellent explanation here that even a mere philosopher could get:

Yes, I agree with all that.

wannatodiveintoyourocean wrote:

– back to the informer – any takers? Devrims line that we should go for the most "efficient solution" is interesting - what is "most efficient" for the struggle - who decides and on what basis - these are the questions that need dealing with and which "origins" won't really help us with

Yes, I was aware of these problems when I was posting it. I think you are talking about it as a practical issue. I, however, was talking on a purely philosophical level. I was just saying that the needs of the struggle are the prime concern. Your question opens a lot of practical problems which I would prefer not to go into here.

Devrim

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Jul 13 2006 06:40
Lem wrote:
Though I do think that huge amounts of suffering/death is not necessarily justifiable, and that its dangerous to think otherwise. Afterall, is it really just self interest that motiavtes us. Probably. Never considered it in my interests to commit overly indulgent acts of violence and suffering, doubt it ever will be.

Lem, I don't think that it is the interests of the movement to commit 'overly indulgent acts of violence', and I think that historically you can see that the workers movement has never done this. Is it a question of whether it is 'justifiable' though, or is it just that 'indulgent acts of violence' don't serve the class struggle.

Devrim

wannatodiveinto...
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Jul 13 2006 10:18

Whats all this agreeing nonsense Devrim come now lets have rows!

Quote:
Yes, I was aware of these problems when I was posting it. I think you are talking about it as a practical issue. I, however, was talking on a purely philosophical level. I was just saying that the needs of the struggle are the prime concern. Your question opens a lot of practical problems which I would prefer not to go into here.

Devrim

See, in my view, being a nietzschian/persepctivist and a bit of an existentialist it always comes down to practical individual issues at the end of the day. My sad history of political involvement also tends me to this belief. So every abstraction from "we are determined by are genes" (you didn't say that I know but I've met some close to this view!!) to the "needs of the struggle" comes down to practical problems.

There is no ansolute morality and anarchists should start to think seriously on the issues that will face us should we ever "get lucky" with this struggle.

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Jul 13 2006 10:53
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On the level of “selfish” genes. Surely for example it is “worth it” on the gene level for a mother to feign injury and distract a predator for the rest of the family – even if she gets snaffled – 5 or 6 genotypes have a small chance to make into the future. Other wise she runs they become dinner – no transmission of genes what so ever.

But the mother runs a much lower risk of dying, and she won't (not that she really can) fight to defend her offspring if they are found.

There are of course many animals that will fight to the death to defend their young. Perhaps that is a case of morality surpassing logic. Whilst defending young is important due to hig infant mortality an adult capable of producing offspring is far more valuable and worth keeping alive. It can produce more offspring. Dependant young with no parent will die anyway.

I'm not sure about your view of evolution, if I've understood it correctly.

The biggest problem with evolution is that it does not do anything accurately or efficiently. For example sickle cell anaemia also gives protection against Malaria, there is never a single mutation that survives or not, there are hundreds, some survive, some do not, some go in pairs, others do not. Haemophilia, for example was never bred out. Evolution is a random process, one which we are now outside of and which we are actively subverting.

lem wrote:
If you can only live in a community with rules (whioch is an interesting idea), and lets say you are more free in a community than by yourself, then it could be said that morality lets you be freed.

lem I'm not sure that this makes sense.

Quote:
What about... not masturbating. Right or wrong, some people consider these moral rules - that they ought to obide by. Are you suggesting that these are just false, if they are not backed up by a need to live in a community. Strange, to say that the status of ethical statements (that moral statement A is false and B true) is on the basis of how the person grounds them (In God, in humanity, or in the need to live in a community).

Well it is morally wrong, you don't train for the mile by doing sprints, you don't want to leave a comrade unsatisfied.

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Lao Tzu was just a bumbling idiot

Not sure about that but people certainly like books full of truisms, especially if it is sold as mystical eastern wisdom.

wannatodiveinto...
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Jul 13 2006 11:46
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Jeff:Whilst defending young is important due to hig infant mortality an adult capable of producing offspring is far more valuable and worth keeping alive. It can produce more offspring. Dependant young with no parent will die anyway.

Yeah fair points - I was sort assuming some of the young might be old enough survive - I mean this is quite a common strategy in nature (birds especially) - you could argue that its better that real genes go forward then a potential set survive to potentially breed

In most cases of course the injury feigner is going to get away with it and not get eaten and that may be its value.

Another issue is if she knew it was the last set of kids but obviously there's no "knowing" involved conciously

Any way my real point is simply that both "altruistic" and "selfish" behaviour form our "moral" perspective can be seen in nature

Krossie

lem
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Jul 13 2006 15:50
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lem I'm not sure that this makes sense.

I think it does, though it is badly worded, and a bit heavy handed. If you're only free in a community, and you can only be in a community if you have moral rules, then you need moral rules in order to potentially be free. You could almost say that freedom is an expression of moral rules iywim

Quote:
Well it is morally wrong, you don't train for the mile by doing sprints, you don't want to leave a comrade unsatisfied.

I was trying to show that there could be moral rules on a desert (?) island

lem
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Jul 14 2006 01:37
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Moral philosophy, applied in particular to political philosophy is something of a special interest of mine.

Hi. That sounds interesting. What sort of questions are there on this topic?

Does no-one want to argue against objective morality? My understanding of subjective morality is that it cannot be valid for everyone (or it would be objective), and I would say that morality is universal in this respect, just there being no rule that applies in every situation.

Doesn't it bother people that when they say "scabs are bad" or "the holocaust was wrong" they are just expressing their emotions, and what they are saying isn't "true" - to say it is is just to assert your feelings again more strongly.

If there is no way of finding objective truth, then to disagree with someone is simply to disagree with their emotions (does that even make sense); how would anyone be able to convince anyone against burgulary if the rightness of it is just down to that persons response? Surely the answer to everything isn't to show that its not in the persons instersts, and wouldn't that rely on some kind of value external to the individual.

It seems a bit pesimistic, really.

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jef costello
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Jul 14 2006 01:56

well objectively something unethical is something that hurts an individual or society.

The is some difficulty in reconciling the two at times.

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If you can only live in a community with rules (whioch is an interesting idea), and lets say you are more free in a community than by yourself, then it could be said that morality lets you be freed.

This is very different to what you said next

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If you're only free in a community, and you can only be in a community if you have moral rules, then you need moral rules in order to potentially be free. You could almost say that freedom is an expression of moral rules iywim

Which is also wrong, if you use suppositions like this then you will end up able to say anything.

Let's say that Britain is a fascist state, if everyone was happy then that would mean that fascism is positive for the working class.

You can set parameters but bear in mind that they devalue your conclusions and sometimes prevent you reaching any.

I think that the argument you are looking for is that by protecting us from the excesses of other people's free will rule give us more freedom to exercise our own free will, even though it is limited. Which is true, although it does not have to be rules, my own conception of ethics manages this just fine.

Quote:
Well it is morally wrong, you don't train for the mile by doing sprints, you don't want to leave a comrade unsatisfied.

I was just joking here lem, I need to make funny jokes or start using smilies to stop this confusion.

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Jul 14 2006 02:21
revol68 wrote:
tell me Jef, how can there actually be an objective understanding of what is unethical?

How can one decipher that which "hurts an individual or society" without the subjective?

There is not a difficulty in reconciling the two at times, because there is no objectivity in the first place, the individual and society can not be crowbarred apart.

They cannot be crowbarred apart, but they are clearly seperate. For example I do not believe in the current treatment of premature babies, but few would argue for letting them die, even though that would benefit society and harm very few members.

Well nothing can ever be truly objective Revol, but that's a bit of a negative argument. It is hard to produce measures of pain and suffering or even of happiness/contentedness/unhappiness. However we can use psychology to work out things which would damage society.It's late and I have things to do tomorrow, so I'll take this up with you later.

lem
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Jul 14 2006 02:24
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Which is also wrong

confused Maybe someone else can help here, because I think that the deductive reasoning hearing is valid.

If you are free then you live in a community (no freedom otherwise)

If you live in a community then you are moral (no community otherwise)

Therefore if you are free you are moral.

Edit: I was, heavy handedly as I said, lifting points that a previous poster had made, and just asking if they still believe those points, considering the conclusion.

So you cannot be free without being moral

Quote:
Let's say that Britain is a fascist state, if everyone was happy then that would mean that fascism is positive for the working class.

If you say that anything which makes the w/c happy is poitive for the working class, then the reasoning is absolutely guarntueed. You must have made a mistake in the definitions.

Not sure about people using shifting defintions like this 8)

So you are a moral objectivist then? Hmm, I wanted to be convinced otherwise. I had a compromise lined up already embarrassed

Should be reading, really.

lem
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Jul 14 2006 03:16
revol68 wrote:
there is no objectivity in the first place, the individual and society can not be crowbarred apart.

It sounds a little as if you are substituting an objective morality with an intersubjective one. If the individual and society are inseperable, then what is good for one is good for society, and you would seem to be implying that the objective is replaced by subjective judgements brought into agreement. The response to this, and I don't know where it is supposed to lead, is that an objective medium between the two is required for this to happen.

This is where I bring up Levinas, again, and his view that objectivification is achieved through language - specifically the relation of the other through discourse, which is actually subtended by the ethical relation.

To be objective is to valid for everyone (including the other), so. through the conversation with the other, ethics becomes objective.

So, yeah, I agree that the subject and the other (or society) are inseperable in moral discourse; but that this requires an objective environment, and that the objective environment necessary for discourse, is, the ethical relation to the other (which, Levinas states, does objectify). IYSWIM

I really would like that to make sense.

lem
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Jul 15 2006 02:02
Quote:
As for the label, I don't see how discussion of it could be avoided since you called the thread - on a very atheist board - "Does evil exist?"

So are you a nihilist? Do you think that actions, can be good or bad? You don't come across as amoral when you talk about, say, anti-social criminals. In that case, why would "evil" have any less currency than "deeply unpleasent and wrong". IMO "evil" doesn't have to have religous connotations just because its a moral or ethical concept.

I think its worth pointing out that not all sociopaths are dangerous, and not all dangerous people are sociopaths. If you're talking about locking people up, I don't think it should be done under the pretence that they are somehow abnormal, rather that this is the practical way of peventing "evil" actions, actions that people agree cannot happen.

I do think that morality is an intersubjective phenomenon. If it isn't, why does anyone talk about what they like and don't like, ever, unless it has more validity; when mind states like like or disgust are shared, they become more objective or valid.

lem
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Jul 16 2006 12:39

"People who sincrely believe that morality is bunk because free will is an illusion (Or because there is no God, etc.) must reject moral restraints for themselves, and refuse to criticise others for behaving dishonestly or in other ways people may find wicked". This is internal moral scepticism, it seems to be what the sceptics believe.

*Shrug*

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Lazy Riser
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Jul 16 2006 13:04

Hi

Just because you can’t logically criticise dishonesty, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t punish it. Besides, there are good reasons why dishonesty should be punished other than the fact it is wicked.

Love

LR

lem
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Jul 16 2006 13:15

If you had said "kill" and we were left to guess about the motive, then maybe. Otherwise the criticism is implied, IMO.

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jef costello
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Jul 18 2006 11:20
lem wrote:
Quote:
Which is also wrong

confused Maybe someone else can help here, because I think that the deductive reasoning hearing is valid.

If you are free then you live in a community (no freedom otherwise)

If you live in a community then you are moral (no community otherwise)

Therefore if you are free you are moral.

Edit: I was, heavy handedly as I said, lifting points that a previous poster had made, and just asking if they still believe those points, considering the conclusion.

So you cannot be free without being moral

Quote:
Let's say that Britain is a fascist state, if everyone was happy then that would mean that fascism is positive for the working class.

If you say that anything which makes the w/c happy is poitive for the working class, then the reasoning is absolutely guarntueed. You must have made a mistake in the definitions.

Not sure about people using shifting defintions like this 8)

lem, my example was to show that you can prove anything if you use false premises, I can't tell if you're joking, either way I don't think you're addressing the point. You've also changed the point yet again and your conclusion is still based upon premises that you have invented.

.

You can be free without living in a community, you can be immoral and live within a community. Are you just trying to creat a paradox? I would argue that a free society is entirely possible. There is a tacit assumption that you would have desires to break the rules. As long as I choose to obey the laws, or have no desire to break them, then I am entirely free. In a society composed of people who are ethical there is no need for laws as no one would act in an 'immoral' way. Freedom is not about actually doing things, it is about having the ability to do them.

Quote:
Should be reading, really

me too