Iapetus wrote:Reply to Spectrum:
It is the imperative principle that for an effective Moral and Ethical System to work there must be an absolute 'good' to act as a fixed goal to ground all ethical decisions. Point is do you agree with this principle?
Otherwise everyone will be fighting with moving goal posts.
No, I certainly do not agree with this principle. Your assertion of the idea does not oblige others to believe the same thing. There are many philosophies which are not based on a ‘fixed goal’ and these include descriptive moral relativism, meta-ethical relativism, normative relativism and utilitarianism. Philosophers such as Baruch Spinoza, David Hume, Friedrich Nietzsche, Ruth Benedict and Edward Westermark have written in contradiction of the idea. Your problem with ‘moving goal posts’ suggests that perhaps, you have not encountered such ideas. There is not much that I can do about that.
The concept of 'moving goal posts' is always a sign of weakness in philosophy. Therefore I don't believe the philosophers you mentioned would buy the concept of 'moving goal posts' in doing their philosophy.
I believe all genuine philosophers will want to ground their philosophies onto fixed goals post if not as near as possible.
Note my proposals rely heavily on Kantian morality-ethics which I am very familiar with [a bit rusty at present]. No.. Kantian Morality is not deontological but rather it is system-based as I had been proposing.
I have explained what I see as the problem with ‘good’ and you have ignored it. You have made no attempt to define ‘good’ and seem to have no idea how to measure it. In which case, what is the point of using the word?
I am not interested in “some clues in various postings”. If you have an explanation, then offer it. If not, then your point has no validity.
Note it took me 3 years of full time study to get a good grasp of Kant's morality and ethics. Thus is not practical for me to throw in a nicely 'canned' point at one go in a very limited forum like this. Thus the best I can give are clues toward an understanding what is meant by 'good.' This is a very complex issue within the Philosophy of Morality.
Measurement of good and evil? Note the subject of axiology.
What is the point?
The concept of 'good' and 'evil' is critical to the Philosophy of Morality, thus how can we ignore these concepts.
The 'collective' I refer to is 'humanity' i.e. all humans.
Then why couldn’t you say so at the outset? This, by the way, increases your problems of explanation enormously because it requires everybody to accept the same ‘moral authority’.
You are expecting too much. In a complicated philosophical discussion like this, you cannot expect to be fed all the time.
Kantian Morality is not for now but setting up a continual improving system towards the future and yes, where ideally everyone accept the same 'moral' laws and ethical maxims because these moral laws are established and owned by the individual[s] themselves as a team.
How Kant Moral System works is setting the ideal and driving/working towards the ideal [knowing full well the ideal is an impossibility]. The ideal as a fixed goal post enable the setting of a benchmark for optimal continual progress using Gap or variance analysis.
Thus the mission is for humanity to develop each individual human from being apes [not to long ago] to being an uberman [Übermensch] with the highest moral-ethical competence.
As mentioned above humanity need fixed goal posts [the best one can arrive at] to guide and close the gap between the reality [what is going] and the ideal.
You have said that and I have told you that I disagree. And I am one of upwards of seven billion humans. What, therefore, are the odds that many others disagree with you?
Sorry it is too late for you, me and the rest of the present generation to get into this but the proposal is directed at future generations.
Point is we need to establish the ideals and generate effective strategies now so that humanity can progress more expeditiously towards the ideal in the future.
Note it is already happening in some ways at present but too slow at the present era, e.g. it took too long for the humanity to improve on the ethics related our near-abolishment of slavery [the ideal established within the UN].
You then spend some time trying to explain the concept of an ideal. I understand the concept. I even responded to your example – ‘killing is not permissible’ – in my last post. It was, by the way, an extremely poor example and I explained why.
Part of my explanation was as follows:
“But you also want to separate judgements into;
1. Judgment of the action, i.e. killing another human being,
2. Judgment of the person who killed.
It strikes me that this lands you with a logical and ethical dilemma. You have already made a pre-judgement of the action; it is not permissable. Furthermore, you have asserted that there are, “no ifs nor buts”. What, then, is the purpose of judging the person who killed? There is no point in anybody offering extenuating circumstances because, according to you, there can be none. There is no point, therefore, in having a trial because the decision has already been made. By judging the action, you have automatically judged the person who committed the action. The concept of justice has just flown out of the window”.
I don't think you understood my proposals fully on a system basis.
Yes, it is a pre-judgment but it it necessary as a grounding.
I stated 'Killing is not permissible, period, no ifs and no buts'.
This is the reason-justified ideal moral absolute which is not to be enforceable but merely to be used as a guide.
In practice the guide above will be used as;
1. A basis for individual morality since the above is set by oneself as part of a team.
2. A basis for political, the legislature and the judiciary because humans are not perfect.
Why do you say there is no trial?
There are two levels of trial here, i.e.
1. one moral and one ethical.
The individual and the community will understand, the killing is morally wrong but since this is not enforceable on the individual, the community and individual will have to do whatever is necessary, e.g. self-improvement. The individual may feel his guilt and promised not to do it again.
2. the legislature and the judiciary
The individual understand s/he is morally wrong, but also understand as an individual s/he is also subjected to the law established by politicians.
Within the judiciary the individual will be given a fair trial because s/he could not control his/her basic impulses for whatever reasons.
Now even when the killing is morally wrong, it could be legally wrong or legally right within the stipulated laws.
The advantage of this system is because there is moral ideal that killing is wrong, there will be a moral-gap
if it is found to be legally right. There are many cases where criminals got away with obvious murders, thus the moral-legal gap will drive humanity to find improvements.
Otherwise there will be resignation and indifference, i.e. 'what can we do because the laws are like that!'
This is one reason why the ideal moral absolute 'Killing of another human being is not permissible period, no ifs nor buts' is necessary. It is a fixed goal post to drive improvement and establish more refined justice for individuals.
I am conflating two points because they are intimately linked and I have just explained precisely why. To summarise; “By judging the action, you have automatically judged the person who committed the action”.
You don’t seem, however, to understand the implications of what I wrote. Your ‘moral principle’ - “Killing of another human being is not permissible, period! no ifs nor buts” - does not allow for a judgement of the human because that human has been prejudged. This has absolutely nothing to do with “total statistics and various analysis”. There is nothing in your ‘moral principle’ which requires a focus on “prevention and developing continual improvements towards the ideal on the long term basis”. What it does guarantee is that justice – consideration for the needs of all persons concerned in the light of the circumstances – is not something to even be considered.
Again you refuse to acknowledge why my system-based moral framework is necessary for continuous improvements.
I told you the moral-legal GAP will drive any conscientious person to seek improvement to close the gap. One of my forte is Variance Analysis between standards set and actual performance. This is a human default, note homeostasis and all sort of control mechanisms against standards.
This is why most effective and organized human beings set pre-judged standards
, e.g. budgets, etc. to compare their actual performance as a management tool.
The using of individual or society happiness, satisfaction, utility, etc. are too subjective and vague, thus difficult to manage moving goal posts.
I did not condemn 'evil Muslims' on a derogatory basis but fact is SOME Muslims [as with SOME humans] are by nature unfortunately born with an active evil tendency. This is a fact [subject to debate].
If you do not intend ‘evil’ to be used in a derogatory sense, then perhaps you could explain what you do intend by it. If something is a fact and it is subject to debate, then how is it a fact? If your argument is that some muslims are not nice (‘evil’ is your judgement but you don’t seem clear about how you are using it), then perhaps you can explain why that could not be the case for any other group of humans on the planet. Or even the totality of humans on the planet, since that is what you are writing about.
How can we progress on 'good' if we do not define what is 'evil'.
I define 'evil
' as any human act that is net-negative [sub-optimal] to the well being of the individual and thereto humanity. E.g. lying, stealing are low degree evil while genocide is the highest.
DNA wise ALL humans has an inherent evil potential to commit evil and approximate 20% [guess] are born with an active tendency to commit evil of some degrees. [lying, stealing, corruption, and the likes].
Note the concept of evil is getting trendy these days,
Conscience is actually a whole judiciary system within the person's mind.
I don’t care what you think it is; if it is in the person’s mind, then it is, as I said, ‘a personal thing’.
You seem to be ignorant of the what is takes in the Philosophy of Morality which must start with the individual[s] and not merely philosophy theories.
The critical factor to improve on the Moral-Ethical wisdom of humanity is to increase the moral competence of each individual via the appropriate neural connectivity [foolproof methods] in the individual's brain. This is the way to go in the future.
The individual has to be the defendant, the prosecutor, the judge and jury for his own actions within his own mind and psyche. So 'judgment' [as defined subsumption of minor premise to major premise] is very relevant within the individual mind.
This is meaningless to me and I see no relevance to your example of a ‘moral principle’, where judgement of the individual is automatically excluded.
see point above re focus on the individual.
Morality and ethical is not mainly a decision [trolley] issue for the individual.
Morality-ethics is not like when someone sees $10,000 cash on a street and start looking around to see whether there is any one around or start generating alternatives on what to do.
A good action is one that is made spontaneously based on the moral competence of the individual.
If one see $10,000 on the ground, the good person will spontaneously take it the proper authority and ensure it is given the owner or whatever is deemed right.
As mentioned earlier, I did not say we ignore the person's act. We need to deal with the individual through the political-legislature-judiciary system. This is not exactly a moral issue.
Your ‘moral principle’ prohibits any interpretation
of the person’s act. In that sense it makes the judiciary system largely redundant and destroys any concept of justice. And you say that “This is not exactly a moral issue”
Note my two levels of judgement mentioned above. Despite the ideal moral standard, the point is no humans will be perfect all the time, thus a judiciary system must be set up. The judiciary system is set up by politicians elected by the individuals and justice will be met within that system. If the gap analysis find weakness, then it can be changed via the laws based on consensus of all.
I stated easy because the judge do not have to entangle with moving goal posts and personal subjective opinion and beliefs.
You do not seem to understand that different people have different ideas. They may even have different ‘moral principles’. That is why we have a judiciary system, in order to apply judgements in relation to differing sides of the argument. If the resolution was easy, then the case would never have come to court. If you expect judgements to be easy, then you have no awareness of the complications.
Yes, different people will have different 'moral principles'. That is why an absolute moral principle [reasoned and justified] set up by each individual and agreed by all must be established to ground all variations.
'Easy' in my case is relative to the 'moving goal posts'. When there are 'moving goal post' then there are potential sectarian issues. The theists will not agree with the secular version. Within each there will be different factions and then we will have wars and violence because there is no common consensus at any level. Note the insistence on sh:t sharia laws.
My views promote and develop justice on a system-basis [for all humanity] and cater to the individual's circumstances.
That is precisely what they don’t do and I have explained, in great detail, why.
I find your views very narrow and lackadaisical.
If you encountered a lecturer with very high expectations and the highest he has given to any student so far is 80/100, you will resign to that, accept it and do the normal because there is no way you can do to change the lecturer's expectations.
Me on the other hand, I will set my preparation based on a standard of 300/100 [very ideal]. If I do not score 100%, there is a good chance I can score >80% near to 100%.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.