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Mighara Sovmadhi
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Avatar, more a fantasy, I suggested. For is it really absolutely inconceivable that someone might know right from wrong, truly, rationally, or whatever, once, somewhere? And if so why not imagine a fantasy world entire, based on such chances? (Indeed, that is half the point of the health-sense in TCTC.)

But now it seems strange to me, to say this. For let's suppose it's not inherently or necessarily of unavoidably or whateverly that some X is good or bad, right/wrong, w/e. Or, perhaps more precisely, let's say that this X being good is supposedly ineffable, as in there's nothing more we can say about it than "we just see it," like a color, and this ineffable exherence can be transferred in our imaginations just like a color. So wouldn't it be possible to stipulatively define a fantasy world where slowing raping kittens to death was not only good, but the best of all things?

But it seems to me that we actually can't shuffle moral essence around like that, even in our imaginations. Now, the immediately indicated reply is: well, what if in that world, X = mass kitten-rape/murder, is required to prevent Y = the destruction of every living thing altogether? I don't believe that could be true, either, though, even if this at least also seems less remotely conceivable even so (that is, it is sort of easier to see, slightly, how such a relation of causality could obtain than in the direct moral case.) Perhaps this goes to show that "the greater good" and the like, are not the arbiters of justice. OTOH it instead, to me, implies instead that (clearly?) something being right or wrong is not dependent on some naive summation of the best and worst under this or that circumstance.

On a deeper level, though, is the question of what a moral judgment is, followed by a question of whether good reasoning can be involved in forming some of these judgments. Our picture of what it is to judge something in moral terms, will strongly influence if not outright decide the shape of our picture of reason and morality's committed relationship.

Something really interesting from some older-times Prichard dude (can't really recall his name right now): let's say that obligatoriness (his go-to moral conception) applied to actions. Like, conceptually-logically-semantically, "Action X is obligated," precedes, "I am under obligation to engage in action X." We might immediately interrupt with, "Well, of course the one doesn't precede the other--they're equivalent--because the first option should've read, 'Action x by Person I is obligated.'" But this would just go to show Prichard's point, that obligatoriness is better represented first as an attribute of or attachment to a person who can act instead of some specific action type itself. Onora O'Neill says something similar about Kantian practical reason, noting that it doesn't work off the regular category-example/concept-instance scheme, like we don't take an already existent fact and then describe it in light of a concept (we don't see a table and its chair and bring into play abstractions of time and space), but we are judging a choice of our own instead, such as it is to be made, so that our judgment is future-oriented in a non-scientific, so to speak, sense.

Put like this, the idea is that it is not only quite odd, but quite incomplete or even mistaken, to imagine that moral judgments would be scientific, as parts of theories that predicted, not when a person would act in one or another way, but when certain acts would be ethically charged, and howso they would be. A moral theory does not, by speaking of valuable institutions or social stabilization or whatever, "predict" that I have an obligation to keep a promise when I make one under certain circumstances. It says that the one reality directly expresses the continuation into the reality of the other.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mighara Sovmadhi wrote:
@Avatar, more a fantasy, I suggested. For is it really absolutely inconceivable that someone might know right from wrong, truly, rationally, or whatever, once, somewhere?


Lot's of people know right from wrong. It's just that what is right or wrong tends to differ significantly from person to person. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IDK, moral relativism or whatever in ethics, reminds me too much of creationism in science. It is easy to show that people are loose with their moral vocabulary, harder to show just what moral judgments in some stricter sense they are actually making by their wordplay, and so on. For example, some people will often get hung up, for various reasons pertaining to a variety of (sub)cultural backgrounds, over the very use of the words "evil" ("too harsh") and "sin" ("too religious"). Nietzsche gripes (sort of? directly?) about saying "what a man ought to do" but repetitively asserts "musts" of his ideal men, seemingly oblivious of the equivalence in the language (or, more intricately, in the translation...) of "ought" and "must" ("must" covering both alethic and deontic modality). And I could go on...

... but, now, then, be this all as it may, we also might wonder about disagreements we know of personally. Indeed these are the ones that will most reliably come to mind. What form do they take? Are we referring to politically charged issues? Cases of accusation, false or otherwise? (E.g. let's say a man accuses his wife of cheating on him, and uses this in some elliptical way to justify cheating on her, even though it is not proven that she is guilty and she doesn't accept that even if she were, his own infidelity would obviously be acceptable then. Or who knows what?) Religious disputes? Ah, religion. Faith versus works, imparted versus imputed righteousness, and all the cloud of ethical (and ethically warped!) concepts attendant on the intellectual history of the Christian revolution...

Depending on how it is that people's "right" and "wrong" differ person to person, i.e. if it's merely verbally or if it's more, like politically or spiritually or philosophically, is there room in one disjunct for rational moral judgment (objectively true such judgments?!)?
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting subject. I do know that some people are more likely to become dependent or addicted (thus have addictive tendencies), than others but I think everyone has that same chance to be caught up in something like that. Especially chemicals, like meth and some of the Opioids(sp?)

Video games is much more a mental addiction although there is adreneline and dopamine that is released that is what typically brings you back over and over.. (just like with the telephone dings and buzzing that people cant seem to ignore) : Most people don't start gaming and immediately are addicted and the addiction has very little to no physical issues. Most start by playing a little and before they know it they are playing when they can, then they are playing in every waking minute when they arent working, then they start losing time at work because they needed to be logged on at X time to get X loot or to be at a raid. I played Everquest, then Everquest 2 and then World of Warcraft and there came a time when I would be up at 3AM most nights so I could do raids on the Planes, or slaying dragons in Skyshrine. My game friends had my personal number so they could call me if something was going on so I could log in..... So I fully understand how gaming can get out of hand. I dont game anymore, because I have a hard time not gaming, and because the games themselves are geared for you to need to be logged in longer and longer to do things that advance your gear.

Now chemical dependency... thats a tough one, because some chemicals change your brain chemistry to a point where you cant have fun (happiness) after you have done those drugs for just a short time. The things that used to be fun cease to be, the things that made you laugh before no longer seem funny. The only thing that gives you that feeling is the drug... typically those are Opiats (sp?) and Meth. Once you are truly addicted it changes you so much that your bounderies disappear and you will do things you never would imagine. Prostitution with either sex, stealing from family, ignoring your kids, selling your kids for sex, and of course most of those age you like mad. Someone doing meth for just a few years can look like they aged 20 to 30 years in a short time.

Alcohol is sneaky in that it takes time to really build up an addiction to Alcohol. But like many other drugs, people that were once addicted are prone to immediate relapse if they try to go back to those items even in small qtys. So I like to drink beer, but typically my limit is 2 beers... even over a 6 hour period it would be very rare for me to drink as many as 3 beers. There are weeks when I might drink a single beer when I get home each day. Then there will be times when I wont drink a thing for days on end. But for me, I have to be careful. My Grandfather was an alcoholic, my Father was a alcoholic and my Brother is an recovering alcoholic. So its something thats always at the back of my mind and it makes me keep grounded in the amount I drink.



so I kind of rambled a bit... but I do think that no one is immune to these addictions, but some people have more self awareness perhaps of their situation and at least for the non chemical addictions, can control it because of that.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2016 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SoulBiter wrote:
Interesting subject. I do know that some people are more likely to become dependent or addicted (thus have addictive tendencies), than others but I think everyone has that same chance to be caught up in something like that. Especially chemicals, like meth and some of the Opioids(sp?)


I think dependency (in my interpretation at least) is a the step before addiction. I know I am dependent on pain killers right now in order to function. BUT I have a hugely addictive personality and have to keep a close eye on it. My layman's version says when the what you have no longer works and you need more it is addiction. That is very simplistic but it works for my simplistic mind.

Addiction is a large word and encompasses so many things. Food is a major addiction for me that needs constant monitoring. But you can be addicted to the intangibles (IMO). My parents were addicted to drama. Huge, scene stealing fights. My brother is addicted to speed ( the motion, not the drug)I am addicted to isolation. All these things have a chemical reaction in your brain that produces dopamine. I guess what I am trying to say is things that take over your life and begin to control your behavior are most likely an addiction.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mighara Sovmadhi wrote:
Depending on how it is that people's "right" and "wrong" differ person to person, i.e. if it's merely verbally or if it's more, like politically or spiritually or philosophically, is there room in one disjunct for rational moral judgment (objectively true such judgments?!)?


It's always rational to the person making the judgement. Perhaps even objectively so (to them).

But unless we all had an identical shared morality it wouldn't be rational to everybody, since they would be applying different moral / whatever standards.

SoulBiter wrote:
I dont game anymore, because I have a hard time not gaming, and because the games themselves are geared for you to need to be logged in longer and longer to do things that advance your gear.


Yeah, that's why I don't play online games myself. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess using words like "rational" and "objective" does often come across as just a fancy way of approving of some judgment. However, a different sense would be with reference to judgments that resulted from prolonged self-questioning and careful attention to the art of inference and the like. Now maybe our moral assertions really aren't grounded in anything, i.e. they are not to be inferred--the attempt to find something to infer them from being rationalization, then. And maybe they're just special outbursts of emotion or feeling or whatever. Maybe. However, although I can imagine being emotionally invested in something I make a promise to (something X), and therefore, in an outburst of enthusiasm, saying, "I ought to promote X," whence the motive to believe in promises in the first place, i.e. to believe, "I ought to fulfill suitably made promises"? Is it just so that I have a system in place, to believe in, whereby I am suddenly invested with the incredible power to create moral obligations almost by fiat? But why do people go through the trouble of caring about their arbitrary moral concepts, then?

It's like, if egoism were true, for example, on psychological grounds even. If this were so, few to none would take as much time as massive numbers of people have, to prove egoism wrong. It is possible to imagine there being a few maniacs who would, in an egoistic world, seek to dupe others into believing them selfless; but if at heart we all knew we all are really selfish, even necessarily so, it would avail us next to nothing, if not outright just nothing, to maintain so widely such an opposed pretense.

So similarly if our moral judgments are not grounded in any legitimate inferences from anything, or cannot be so grounded in a negotiable form, and so on and on along this line--that is, if all talk of objectivity or rationality, here, is perspectival and hence implicitly dishonest--if saying, "I ought to do this," is like saying, "Hooray for me doing this!" (if the principle of the exclamation point can precede the ought-concept, that is!): if these kinds of things were so, then next to no one would take the time to defend the contrary notion.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mighara Sovmadhi wrote:
But why do people go through the trouble of caring about their arbitrary moral concepts, then?


Because they don't realise that they're arbitrary? They believe that they're objectively true, and therefore any right thinking person must surely follow those same precepts.

And any who don't are either wrong, misguided, or evil and need to be saved from themselves or prevented from acting otherwise.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
Because they don't realise that they're arbitrary? They believe that they're objectively true, and therefore any right thinking person must surely follow those same precepts.

And any who don't are either wrong, misguided, or evil and need to be saved from themselves or prevented from acting otherwise.

--A


I think this would more likely be true, so to say, if people's beliefs about what is right and wrong were less... changeable. The historical relativist, for instance, would speak of what was right for us once is wrong now, or whatever, but then what do we say of abolitionist and like reform movements? And anyway though it's true that people cling to simplistic moral judgments a lot, I daresay people often cling to simplistic judgments of all kinds, e.g. metaphysical ones (e.g. assuming that a certain definition of God is necessary for some empirical reason?!) as well as moral ones. Indeed, the trickiness of metaphysics could easily play a role in moral confusion, if a person were trying to objectively determine their moral beliefs with reference to obscure, incomplete, inconsistent, etc. concepts.

There is a temptation, to be sure, to try to offer a "debunking" kind of explanation of inaugural moral judgments, moral changes, etc. But these are like the everyone-is-always-selfish notion. As Rawls points out (quoting someone else IIRC), it is one thing to say that all of a person's interests are of a self, and another to say that all those are in the same self. A person has interests, and a person is a self (theoretically!), so a person has self-predicated interests. However, this says nothing about what the interests are actually about in substance, contrary to what the simple argument for egoism would conclude with. So we might claim (a) that people try to avoid pain and seek pleasure, for themselves and not for other people, enough to where they will contrive forms of judgment that cause a distinctively reliable kind of pain or pleasure, i.e. moral thought, so (b) we would do well to look for such an explanation of inaugural moral beliefs, to wit let's say Person X is raised to approve of some strange form of marriage and therefore feels upset when people disapprove of the institution in question: we are here and now (c) liable to attribute Person X's belief to something like a hedonistic egoistic motive. In other words we are claiming that whenever people make moral judgments, it is more likely that they are doing so in a fundamentally dishonest, self-deceived way--which ends up being a strange thing to worry about accusing them of.

EDIT: Also, do utilitarians or Kantians (for instance) often end up wringing their hands over what to do with "evildoers"? It doesn't quite seem so. In the worst case of an application of Kantian ethics in history (that I am aware of), the implicated Nazi officer didn't appeal to the theory to show that he directly had a right to kill Jews for being sinners, but rather that he had a right to simply assume the role of a nonresponsible cog in the Nazi genocide machine, even when that role was of such a major degree as his was(!). Similarly, though utilitarian arguments often *have been* used to directly license massive atrocities (by communists and American military forces variously, to name perhaps the most repeat offenders of this ilk), this has not been about labeling the victims as wicked or whatever. At least not altogether is this maintained (sometimes I see people say that Japanese civilians "deserved" to die during fire/atomic bombing raids, or that the upper class in the USSR "deserved" to be executed/GULAGed, or whatever).

The problem is not with a belief in an objective standard of right and wrong, it's with having such a standard as is inclusive of an obsession with retribution and authority. If moral facts are much more like promises than laws of physics, if they come from within us as artifacts of intentions, then even so they are as (or close to being as) objective as a building or piece of technology is, it seems to me. But this means that most people will decide what their own obligations are to such an extent that it would be out of place for people to constantly try to coercively order everyone's life according to some narrow vision of praxis, I suspect.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mighara Sovmadhi wrote:

The problem is not with a belief in an objective standard of right and wrong, it's with having such a standard as is inclusive of an obsession with retribution and authority. If moral facts are much more like promises than laws of physics, if they come from within us as artifacts of intentions, then even so they are as (or close to being as) objective as a building or piece of technology is, it seems to me. But this means that most people will decide what their own obligations are to such an extent that it would be out of place for people to constantly try to coercively order everyone's life according to some narrow vision of praxis, I suspect.


Well put.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The parable that I prefer involves defining rightness or goodness in action as the solution to a moral problem. By "moral problem" I mean something almost literally, though, like a problem on an academic test. Or at least not something to be glossed as troubling. So to advert to the promising case again, by making a promise, I create a problem in "moral algebra" that fulfilling the promise solves.

But the entire process becomes much more intricate when we try fitting larger and larger amounts of personal information about life and the world, into the equations...

EDIT: The intuitive slogan is, "To get the Joke, to win the Game, and to pass the Test," and like turns of phrase. That is, the object of moral algebra is a pure game-theoretic structure, preassumptive as it goes for judging action. That is, the ultimate way to describe an action as right or as promoting good or something, would be to say that the action gives a positive score in the Game, or something along that line; but this Game in turn is the Test (to pass this), so that one's score on the Test is the same as one's score in the Game. The relationship to a Joke is mediated by a paradox of existentialist absurdity, I think, though how to quite fit that concept to the others, has not become clear to me on reflection so far, I feel.

But so a corollary of the above is the idea that moral facts--obligations, virtues, utilities, whatever--are tiered in the Test itself, so that some "problems" are harder than others. The Test is like a Textbook, even, then, so to say, with, let's say, aretaic and promissory/contractual deontic logic occupying the regular plane, with an intermediary parareligious question before the presentation of an image of a "song of order" for a certain intersection/cluster of deeper/higher-level deontic ideas. The overarching idea, then, is that when we "construct" moral truth from within ourselves, this does assume an objective form akin to intentional architecture, as it were, but one that is highly dependent on the contingencies of local will and the like, but anyway it is required that certain procedures be followed to construct said truths, and the most general is that of pure deontic logic's primary sentence-structure, i.e. the one that ranges from the concept of wrong or evil or the forbidden, through the optional and the permitted to the obligated and that which is beyond obligation's call. And the more "difficult problems on the Test" are the "equations" for hyperobligated action, in some structural way even I would surmise is right to emphasize. So when we go beyond the call of duty, this is to construct a moral problem whose solution in action does not result in a finite, discrete quantity of decision-making for its satisfaction, but which is infinite (enough) so that whichever greater-than-sufficient quantum of value we assume down the line, counts so as to underscore the merit of the action to be inspired by and expressive of this score. It will be historically relative, how far some people have gone beyond duty's call, maybe (this is a conjecture I have never directly considered in detail, but it is highly suggestive in the context of historical relativism simpliciter). In fact there is much that is relative, let us suppose, in a constructed moral reality, since different people can well construct different such systems, it would seem. The universal discipline is only that in forming our abstract societies, we do so in a way that allows others to do so just in case they are not intrinsically opposed to the same universal allowance. The implicit story of moral life is the construction of the eudaimon city of antiquity and piety and technological singularity, to reference a few kinds of thought that betimes strongly indicate an affinity with the ideal(ity!) under discussion. But since the will that binds the world of good and evil into itself, or through or from itself, or whatever, does so on a personal level, it is not enough to appeal to the empty intent of some hyperintelligible Agent Intellect to define the content of the will's duty unto itself, in concrete life, but this has to be fixed by agents in their own right, by the by. If God exists it is true that, as a person, this entity has such a right of Its own, possibly, or some analog of this right. And it is of psychologically heuristic value to personify moral dynamics to some extent, so as to represent truthfulness or truth itself as a person, and to judge what is right or wrong about honesty and lying in light of this hyperfictional scheme. Or, in other words, the construction of moral fact is not just a social-intentional exercise of "we-intentions" as in Searle, but actually takes place, as far as moral knowledge is concerned, in the generation of certain orders in imaginative thought, which again is something under our control, under the power of the will, or which even can be seen as sort of the intuitive presence of free will in some fashion. But now anyway to think of the Test like it is a person, is to think in terms of a quasi-divine reality. Some people might choose, and presumably have more than less chosen, to do so, and this is where some belief in a God comes from... But again anyway, a person can only be obligated to what they know they are obligated to, so no one is obligated to take all the same problems on the Test since, as per the difficulty theorem, there are orders of information possible therein that require manifold levels of understanding to compile into specific, decidable "equations." So, for example, some people think they have a "calling" to a "religious" or "spiritual" or "mystical" life, or some such thing, because as Maimonides IIRC says, a prophet, or like figure, is really something like just a class of person who is more adept at using religious-spiritual-mystical concepts, of applying these categories, to the rest of the actual world. They are not morally superior to others, not even if they happen to pass the more difficult sections of the Test; for the difficulty is interesting in its own right, and not on account of its provision for higher scores than regular duty provides for. So, what is at stake in the higher dimensions of the Game? That is another story for another time...
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From The Thirteenth Step - that Perfect Circle album, comes another perspective from an "Outsider" to chemical dependency. This is a perspective from someone who doesn't understand the severity and difficulty of chemical addiction - that is, logic doesn't come into it. But the singer in this case is too logical:

PS. The song is awesome so I urge you to listen to it Very Happy

The Outsider

Help me if you can
It's just that this is
Not the way I'm wired
So could you please
Help me understand why
You've given in to all these
Reckless dark desires you're
Lying to yourself again
Suicidal imbecile
You're pounding on a fault line
What'll it take to get it through to you precious
Over this, why do you
Wanna throw it away like this
Such a mess, well I don't wanna watch you
Disconnect and self destruct one
Bullet at a time
What's your rush now, everyone will have his day to die
Medicated, drama queen
Picture perfect, numb belligerence
Narcissistic, drama queen, craving fame and all it's decadence
Lying through your teeth again
Suicidal imbecile
You're pounding on a fault line
What'll it take to get it through to you precious
Over this, why do you wanna
Throw it away like this
Such a mess, well I don't wanna watch you
Disconnect and self destruct one
Bullet at a time
What's your rush now, everyone will have his day to die
They were right about you
Lying to my face again
Suicidal imbecile
You're pounding on a fault line
What'll it take to get it through to you precious
Over this, why do you wanna
Throw it away like this
Such a mess, over this, over this
Disconnect and self destruct
One bullet at a time
What's your hurry, everyone will have his day to die
If you choose to pull the trigger, should your drama prove sincere
Do it somewhere far away from here

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