United Ethics

Discuss morality and ethics in this message board.
Featured Article: Philosophical Analysis of Abortion, The Right to Life, and Murder
Post Reply
User avatar
TokkoF
New Trial Member
Posts: 5
Joined: February 15th, 2018, 1:32 pm

United Ethics

Post by TokkoF » February 15th, 2018, 1:56 pm

Dear reader,

My background in electrophysiological neuroscience leaves me a tad blank when it comes to (ethical) philosophy. Nonetheless, I'm writing a book covering both, and more, subjects. Hence, I humbly request feedback on my notions in these forums. If you do reply kindly provide a little information on your background (e.g. teaching X at Y uni for Z years).

1. A general problem in ethics is the lack of a central theme, a firm foundation to stand upon, on which everyone agrees and build systemic conversations from. Albeit, if we assume the goal of all life is survival, then this can serve as a central theme. Bacteria, trees, cats and whatnot - all are, consciously or not, attempting to stay alive by any means necessary. The alternative is that they do no longer exist. This is a common thread throughout all biologic lifeforms. However, if we accept this simple notion then we could say that everything beneficial to our* survival is 'good' and everything disadvantageous to our* survival is 'bad'. Remember that everything happens out of "necessity". Of course we cannot know what is good or bad exactly beforehand, that is only evident in hindsight, however, this allows approximations to be made by experts and subsequently advancement in this field which is lagging behind the rest of science.

(*Our could be life in general or humans or more, it is controversial.)

2. My second notion is; 'Life is omnipotent due to the entropic/chaotic nature of the universe'. Every form of life is adjusted to thrive at its own environment. Because that environment keeps changing life becomes increasingly complex - because it has to remember a little bit about its past in order to be more adaptable.

3. I fully realise my third notion is a bit far-fetched and I fully grasp it cannot be answered, however, it is something to think about... What does it precisely mean to survive? Because we can only move in space, and not in time - we are dependent on it. If we were to graph our survival odds, it would steadily increase over time. If for instance our civilization would become multi-planetary, the odds would increase by a certain amount. However, with survival (y-axis) and time (x-axis), does this line ever reach 100%? Or is it asympotic and does it never 100%. Yet, what does it mean to reach 100% - Arguably, becoming independent of time may be the first step of our unified goal.

To understand my view on this; I provide two quotes.

"There may be things that are completely unknowable to us, so we must be careful not to treat the limits of our knowledge as sure guides to the limit of what there is." -Daniel Dennett

"I don't know if the optimists or the pessimists are right. But, the optimists are going to get something done." -Craig Venter

Thank you for time

p.s. I have way more ideas to discuss if you are really interested and give useful feedback ;-)

User avatar
Hereandnow
Posts: 1663
Joined: July 11th, 2012, 9:16 pm
Favorite Philosopher: the moon and the stars

Re: United Ethics

Post by Hereandnow » February 16th, 2018, 2:19 pm

TokkoF
Albeit, if we assume the goal of all life is survival
Survival? That is question begging: how is this the goal?

User avatar
Hereandnow
Posts: 1663
Joined: July 11th, 2012, 9:16 pm
Favorite Philosopher: the moon and the stars

Re: United Ethics

Post by Hereandnow » February 17th, 2018, 4:03 am

TokkoF
1. A general problem in ethics is the lack of a central theme, a firm foundation to stand upon, on which everyone agrees and build systemic conversations from. Albeit, if we assume the goal of all life is survival, then this can serve as a central theme. Bacteria, trees, cats and whatnot - all are, consciously or not, attempting to stay alive by any means necessary. The alternative is that they do no longer exist. This is a common thread throughout all biologic lifeforms. However, if we accept this simple notion then we could say that everything beneficial to our* survival is 'good' and everything disadvantageous to our* survival is 'bad'. Remember that everything happens out of "necessity". Of course we cannot know what is good or bad exactly beforehand, that is only evident in hindsight, however, this allows approximations to be made by experts and subsequently advancement in this field which is lagging behind the rest of science.
Trouble here is your analysis is founded on a term that issues from evolution: survival. This no way to address questions about the nature of ethics. Consider that something can be both good for survival and yet ethically reprehensible. Nature had its way and gave its progeny the means to tear and shred the flesh of its prey. But the idea of red in tooth and claw is not something that counts as an ethical condition. Nature is not at all ethically disposed; rather, it is entirely devoid of this. You can say that WE are ethically disposed, and we are nature, but then you would be looking for something IN us, calling it nature, and is distinctly ethical. And this is NOT survival, which is itself altogether without an ethical dimension. You cannot conceptually yield ethics out of survival as such; there must be something other than this to provide for your neuroscientific foundation of ethics.

2. My second notion is; 'Life is omnipotent due to the entropic/chaotic nature of the universe'. Every form of life is adjusted to thrive at its own environment. Because that environment keeps changing life becomes increasingly complex - because it has to remember a little bit about its past in order to be more adaptable.
This seems to boil down to, chaotic systems of nature produce life, and life eventually will overcome all pragmatic obstacles. See John Dewey, if you care to see a how ethics can be grounded in a human pragmatic system. He puts ethics and aesthetics squarely in the consummation of pragmatic resolutions.
3. I fully realise my third notion is a bit far-fetched and I fully grasp it cannot be answered, however, it is something to think about... What does it precisely mean to survive? Because we can only move in space, and not in time - we are dependent on it. If we were to graph our survival odds, it would steadily increase over time. If for instance our civilization would become multi-planetary, the odds would increase by a certain amount. However, with survival (y-axis) and time (x-axis), does this line ever reach 100%? Or is it asympotic and does it never 100%. Yet, what does it mean to reach 100% - Arguably, becoming independent of time may be the first step of our unified goal.
Why oh why are you trying to put survival at the center of a discussion about ethics? It's because you see an existing ethically endowed person a product of survival in time. You think, if you want to give all due analysis to anything human, just analyze the processes that went into the making, and evolution is exactly this: it is all about accidental genetic constructions that are conducive to survival and reproduction. But this is an endeavor to reduce a person to an evolutionary process. sounds like you should be headed in the direction of behaviorism, functionalism, pragmatism.

But this by no means at all brings genuine understanding to human ethics.

Burning ghost
Posts: 2039
Joined: February 27th, 2016, 3:10 am

Re: United Ethics

Post by Burning ghost » February 18th, 2018, 5:27 am

I agree with pretty much everything HAN says (It is possible to agree here but not elsewhere! haha!)

I would suggest you've pretty much found the problem that HAN highlighted and you've started to try and redefine "survival" to suit your needs. Drop that and simply use behavioral science as a way to frame the ethical system.

I had a thought yesterday that you may find useful to throw into the mix:

"Philosophy is the legislation of the Individual in society and Law is the legislation of the Society of Individuals."

Meaning that when we're talking about ethics we cannot part the social norms from the individual norms, and that we're in constant conflict trying to balance "right" and "wrong."

It is a tricky subject for sure. One in which the empirical sciences can offer data, but no comprehensive "law of nature."
AKA badgerjelly

Judaka
Posts: 223
Joined: May 2nd, 2017, 10:10 am

Re: United Ethics

Post by Judaka » February 18th, 2018, 7:35 am

TokkoF, I think you're entirely missing the point of ethics nor do I see any compelling reason here for me to care about anyone except for myself. I do dislike it when people try to simplify things because they believe "complexity is the problem".

User avatar
TokkoF
New Trial Member
Posts: 5
Joined: February 15th, 2018, 1:32 pm

Re: United Ethics

Post by TokkoF » February 19th, 2018, 12:17 pm

Thank you for your responses, I do believe we employ different definitions, so let’s make sure we understand each other.

@Hereandnow
Survival? That is question begging: how is this the goal?
I strongly suggest you read about Darwin

Trouble here is your analysis is founded on a term that issues from evolution: survival. This no way to address questions about the nature of ethics. Consider that something can be both good for survival and yet ethically reprehensible. Nature had its way and gave its progeny the means to tear and shred the flesh of its prey. But the idea of red in tooth and claw is not something that counts as an ethical condition. Nature is not at all ethically disposed; rather, it is entirely devoid of this. You can say that WE are ethically disposed, and we are nature, but then you would be looking for something IN us, calling it nature, and is distinctly ethical. And this is NOT survival, which is itself altogether without an ethical dimension. You cannot conceptually yield ethics out of survival as such; there must be something other than this to provide for your neuroscientific foundation of ethics

A simple way I use ‘ethics’: whenever there is a choice to be made (regardless if the creature is aware of the choice) – the ethical answer could be described by ‘is this choice good or bad?’ I here hypothesize, solely lies in the fact if the choice extends or shortens the life of that creature. Simply because without a creature in the first place there would be no choice to be made. Ethics requires life, and only those creatures with a sufficient consciousness can become (somewhat) aware of the choices they can make. Thus “Why oh why are you trying to put survival at the center of a discussion about ethics?” it seems obvious to do so. Any other definition of ethics would be futile, since if you would make a choice that results in the death of mankind which was (in your definition of ethics) ‘ethical’, you would be dead.

It's because you see an existing ethically endowed person a product of survival in time. You think, if you want to give all due analysis to anything human, just analyze the processes that went into the making, and evolution is exactly this: it is all about accidental genetic constructions that are conducive to survival and reproduction. But this is an endeavor to reduce a person to an evolutionary process. sounds like you should be headed in the direction of behaviorism, functionalism, pragmatism.

You may see these two words (ethical and nature) describing two distinct and unrelated concepts; ("but then you would be looking for something IN us, calling it nature, and is distinctly ethical. And this is NOT survival, which is itself altogether without an ethical dimension.)" We are not nature, that is a weird notion. Yes, this is exactly an endeavor to reduce a person to an evolutionary process. I do believe Trump is a fine example of a monkey (same as you and me by the way :)).

@Burning ghost
"Philosophy is the legislation of the Individual in society and Law is the legislation of the Society of Individuals."

Thanks, but I assume that Philosophy is generally defined as “the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language”.

Meaning that when we're talking about ethics we cannot part the social norms from the individual norms, and that we're in constant conflict trying to balance "right" and "wrong." It is a tricky subject for sure. One in which the empirical sciences can offer data, but no comprehensive "law of nature."

Exactly that is view of ethics which I aim to defeat. Because I think the ethics of your choices are based on your own interpretation and estimation of the consequences of that action, your ethics are based on your current knowledge and experience. This way you can interpret them as ‘guidelines for life in a particular place in a particular era’. But this raises an obvious problem. If right or wrong solely depends on the position of the judge, you get “the victor decides what is right or wrong”. A strange notion which we abided by for as long as written history, allow me to illustrate this with quotes
We will go down in history either as the world's greatest statesmen or its worst villains.” -Hermann Göring
A system of morality that is based on relative emotional values is a mere illusion, a thoroughly vulgar conception that has nothing sound in it and nothing true.” -Socrates
That's why I vouch for uniting ethics by centralizing around survival of life.

@Judaka
TokkoF, I think you're entirely missing the point of ethics nor do I see any compelling reason here for me to care about anyone except for myself. I do dislike it when people try to simplify things because they believe "complexity is the problem".

Nobody forced you to answer here :-) I'm not saying that complexity is the problem, that is your assumption.

Burning ghost
Posts: 2039
Joined: February 27th, 2016, 3:10 am

Re: United Ethics

Post by Burning ghost » February 20th, 2018, 2:21 am

TokkoF -

To put it in more simple terms. People are different in many ways, but they are also similar in many ways. The similarities culminate in social structures that correspond to our innate empathy and social interactions. We are "political animals" and within our human scheme we're diverse and create different pathways and explore our possibilities.

I prefer to view ethics as more of an acceptance of "death" than a static and unmoving approach to holding onto "life." Ironically I think the extreme view of immortality causes people to kill each other in order to claim an extra day or week of life.

Also, I imagine you can conjure up a scenario where "living" is less palatable than "dying"? I know I can! So, right there you've hit a wall. Sometimes dying is the better choice, and being someone who likes Jung's ideas I accept that parts of me have to die in order to change into something else (I don't mean that in an airy fairy way.)

I understand qualms against moral relativism. The opposite is not much better though - hence the birth of religious dogma.
AKA badgerjelly

User avatar
TokkoF
New Trial Member
Posts: 5
Joined: February 15th, 2018, 1:32 pm

Re: United Ethics

Post by TokkoF » February 20th, 2018, 4:07 pm

@ Burning ghost

Hm, acceptance of death and holding unto life are two different things in my opinion. That is where I also disagree with Albert Camus 'The literal meaning of life is whatever you're doing that prevents you from killing yourself.' The difference here is that I use survival as a broader term; I think that you and Camus view individuals as separate entities, while they are really not. Simply put, you seem to be judging a snapshot of the present and do not see the bigger picture. No single human can survive on his/her own, we need plants, bacteria and way more - we are all connected and depend on each other. That's why we're so strongly social dependent, copy behavior and form groups. If we add the dimension time, we get that all creatures constantly genetically diversify - humans are no exception, and if we are to survive in the long term (multi-planetary) we have to radically adapt/redesign our bodies. Juan Enriquez already mentioned this in his TED presentation; “It's unethical not to evolve the human body.” Why do you think Schopenhauer said “Everything that happens, happens of necessity.”

Do you see the connection? It's all aimed at the survival of the whole. So I can accept my death (which I have done years ago), whereas I refuse to accept the death of life/humanity. To this end I work my ass of to give us a little more time on this planet. So, the acceptance of death I personally see as more static than the ever-changing and ever-surprising struggles of holding unto life.

Burning ghost
Posts: 2039
Joined: February 27th, 2016, 3:10 am

Re: United Ethics

Post by Burning ghost » February 21st, 2018, 3:55 am

No, I don't agree. Ethics is more about "survival at what cost?" rather than survival in and of itself. You are using the term "survival" more as an altruistic premise here - fair enough. If so your general ethical preference is altruism.

I would agree to a degree, but I'd always find myself asking "What is the cost?" and "Is mere 'survival' the be all and end all?" - to the first question I can only guess, the second I firmly say NO, because I can imagine a future scenario where people live a tortured existence one that would induce lack of empathy or emotion; such an existence would be one in which humanity (which the altruist wishes to preserve in part) becomes completely "other."

Broadly speaking ethics is about weighing the pro's and con's of social change. Such changes necessarily alter our genetic course and change our biological make-up.

The problem, rather than the 'difference', you should address more closely I feel, is what you mean by 'survival'. At the biological level we don't 'need' bacteria and plants, we essentially ARE part of those organisms and without them we wouldn't live, just like without a lungs we'd die so to with bacteria and how it guides our actions via neurochemistry and perhaps even more subtle neural signaling pathways?

I was saying adherence to either "death" or "life" as some perfection is equally mono-polar. The acceptance of death means to understand the necessary end of life (and ALL life, eventually.) Beyond our cosmological models of the universe there is nothing we are capable of concerning ourselves with even hypothetically because life means we're limited.

Don't take this to mean I think we should just roll over and die either. I like life even though it is full of hardships and pain. What keeps me going is simple curiosity and appreciation of fleeting moments of beauty and love.

So when you say:
acceptance of death and holding unto life are two different things in my opinion.
I say they are not any different at all and I will not budge from that position. I don't accept one pole over the other; especially given I don't even know the heights they reach to nor where I am on the spectrum! Given that in common parse we term "death and life" as opposites they both require the other. One without the other means " " that!

A blind man experiences darkness as much as he experiences light. A blind man given sight for the first time only then understands "darkness" through experience. The conceptual framework is deadly important in how we locate ourselves as living beings and the communicative imprecision of language allows us to express and exchange experience in a very peculiar way.

"Ethics" is the linguistic expression of natural human emotions through social interactions and engagement, bound up in the language we use as if it holds more sway ocver the raw immediate personal experience of being; which in turn is necessarily bound up in empathic relation due to the hu8man ability to project our bodily self through time and space "as if" before or after, here and there, as this or that, him or her. That is the extraordinary property of the human animal which no other animal known can ecompass and express to such as degree that we can.

I think we're worth preserving and that humans are extraordinary. If our survival means we become "lesser" creatures then how can that be "good"? That is not to say I believe we've reached some pinnacle of biological being. Maybe we're doomed to fail, and already have; maybe some other species elsewhere in the universe is strides ahead of us and we're merely a distractional blimp in the event of the universes temporal "existence."

How far are you willing to push this "bigger picture"? Necessarily you'll hit a wall and have to attend to the matter at hand rather than some farflung speculation about what humans should or should not do or be.

I like the old "Know thyself" and simply add on "and do so by putting thyself out into the world to explore and measure thyself and thy sense of meaning." Biologically we absorb information and try and make sense of it proxy to our sense of being - I'll just continue to help that process flow as best I can and by doing so I've found greater and greater appreciation for life, and uncovered harder and harder tasks to engage with in life that I know I will likely never come to find an answer to. It doesn't perturb me in the slightest to die, it perturbs me to realise I have not lived enough and have spent much of my time (as maybe we all have) merely "surviving."
AKA badgerjelly

User avatar
Hereandnow
Posts: 1663
Joined: July 11th, 2012, 9:16 pm
Favorite Philosopher: the moon and the stars

Re: United Ethics

Post by Hereandnow » February 21st, 2018, 10:10 am

TokkoF
here hypothesize, solely lies in the fact if the choice extends or shortens the life of that creature. Simply because without a creature in the first place there would be no choice to be made
Consider: if there were no gravity, the universe would never have formed. There is gravity; therefore....everything that is understood to be the case in the universe is reducible to a discussion about gravity??

Judaka
Posts: 223
Joined: May 2nd, 2017, 10:10 am

Re: United Ethics

Post by Judaka » February 22nd, 2018, 10:01 am

I'm not saying that complexity is the problem, that is your assumption.
You seek to hegemonize approaches to ethics because you believe the problem is lack of hegemony in views, is that not what you said in your OP? Don't get me wrong, I'm not calling your approach tyrannical - I'm just saying that diversity of opinions isn't the problem and it rarely is. Not only is your attempt at reducing complexity impractical but it's also redundant - as even agreeing on some kind of fundamental basis for ethics would not resolve the various ideologies that would spring up regarding interpretation and implementation. The complexity will always be there and you cannot remove it.

All you can do is create a set of ethics which is good for you and good for others and promote it so that those who see things as you do, may take your valid set of principles to strengthen their principles which may lack proper implementation or consistency. If your views about interpretation and implementation become popular then perhaps laws can be based off them. That's how the real, complex world works.

User avatar
Hereandnow
Posts: 1663
Joined: July 11th, 2012, 9:16 pm
Favorite Philosopher: the moon and the stars

Re: United Ethics

Post by Hereandnow » February 22nd, 2018, 12:31 pm

TokkoF
here hypothesize, solely lies in the fact if the choice extends or shortens the life of that creature. Simply because without a creature in the first place there would be no choice to be made
But if you really want to do this: survival and reproduction are not stand alone terms, but rather are what determine what sustains within the organism through generations of gene pooling through what it is that survives. This "what it is" is simply what survives, and the the principle feature of this is value: the touch that causes pain that makes the organism recoil, thereby surviving better than competitors. And the same goes for the good stuff.
Value is what is the essential part of the survival machinery in question, and it is also the very center of any meaningful philosophical ethical debate. You need to start on this point, this essential binding of value to survival, and the competition that ensues.

Also, you would want to forward the idea that survival cannot be separated the things that rise out of it: when we speak of evolution, we speak of content as well, so evolution is to be taken holistically, as a concept that includes actual affairs and their feeling and experiencing, and not simply functionally. Survival never was just the business of surviving and reproducing; rather, it is the surviving and reproducing in this particular world environment. This allows you makes statements about value and ethics that are inherently about survival.

That is how I would do it.

Eduk
Posts: 1366
Joined: December 8th, 2016, 7:08 am
Favorite Philosopher: Socrates

Re: United Ethics

Post by Eduk » February 23rd, 2018, 4:54 am

Of course ethics can be described in existential terms. I can think of no morally correct action which contradicts existential concerns.
Having said that. While altruism is of existential benefit is it not also real? Or is it only an illusion? By which I mean can I be altruist because I am altruist. Or am I being tricked.

User avatar
TokkoF
New Trial Member
Posts: 5
Joined: February 15th, 2018, 1:32 pm

Re: United Ethics

Post by TokkoF » February 24th, 2018, 7:38 am

Thanks for the excellent feedback!

@Burning ghost
“Survival at what cost?”
Is a really important question; however I see ethics as having always been there, similar to the concept of survival, instead of us thinking to shape it now.
"Is mere 'survival' the be all and end all?"
The way I approach this problem is the following. I consider life and the universe and everything in it as a jigsaw puzzle, one which we don’t exactly know the number of puzzle pieces and don’t know what the final picture is meant to be – in fact, we are unsure of the number of dimensions this puzzle will be. Religion states ‘this is the final picture’ and that’s it, whereas scientists calculate the odds that a particular puzzle piece goes into the picture we already have. It is crucial not to judge the final picture – so, I can think, like you, of numerous future’s with variable courses, however I’m not going to judge. I’m merely looking at patterns which have held throughout life as we know it.
The problem, rather than the 'difference', you should address more closely I feel, is what you mean by 'survival'.
Thanks for pointing that out.
So when you say: acceptance of death and holding unto life are two different things in my opinion. I say they are not any different at all and I will not budge from that position. I don't accept one pole over the other; especially given I don't even know the heights they reach to nor where I am on the spectrum! Given that in common parse we term "death and life" as opposites they both require the other. One without the other means " " that!
For the individual, the single consciousness, this is true, however, if you see ‘life’ not as ‘personal’ – as just for your conscious self – then I find myself agreeing to disagreeing with you 😊. What is a self-sacrifice then?
A blind man experiences darkness as much as he experiences light. A blind man given sight for the first time only then understands "darkness" through experience. The conceptual framework is deadly important in how we locate ourselves as living beings and the communicative imprecision of language allows us to express and exchange experience in a very peculiar way.
Plato’s cave & the ‘imprecision of language’, which I think may stem from our ability to only perceive/recognize patterns, and label them, whereas we cannot perceive nor comprehend the variables that make up these patterns. Basically, We are not thinking machines we are feeling machines that think -Antonio Damasio. We are often ‘rewarded’ when we see every concept apart instead of together, if we judge every variable instead of the cluster; e.g. the theory of relativity.
"Ethics" is the linguistic expression of natural human emotions through social interactions and engagement, bound up in the language we use as if it holds more sway ocver the raw immediate personal experience of being; which in turn is necessarily bound up in empathic relation due to the hu8man ability to project our bodily self through time and space "as if" before or after, here and there, as this or that, him or her. That is the extraordinary property of the human animal which no other animal known can ecompass and express to such as degree that we can.
Yes, but humans can do so much more than that. Our consciousness stems from internal estimations of outcomes and allows us to be able to manipulate matter/nature/other animals. More consciousness, allows more manipulation; you can see this relation clearly I suppose?
I think we're worth preserving and that humans are extraordinary. If our survival means we become "lesser" creatures then how can that be "good"? That is not to say I believe we've reached some pinnacle of biological being. Maybe we're doomed to fail, and already have; maybe some other species elsewhere in the universe is strides ahead of us and we're merely a distractional blimp in the event of the universes temporal "existence."
Yes, or maybe aliens send an anti-matter bomb through a wormhole and it’s all over tomorrow before you read this ☹
How far are you willing to push this "bigger picture"? Necessarily you'll hit a wall and have to attend to the matter at hand rather than some farflung speculation about what humans should or should not do or be.
Well, to this question I simply cannot give an answer as I don’t know. My only point is that most humans see from their perspective, and focus their time and actions on the things they perceive. Like a dog that is only concerned with things in its direct vicinity. However, if we look at the patterns that have held, and assume life is about continuing rather than e.g. enjoyment or nothing in particular, then we can have some agreement – which allows new laws, aimed at survival to be made; consequently allowing humans to enjoy life for potentially much longer.
I like the old "Know thyself" and simply add on "and do so by putting thyself out into the world to explore and measure thyself and thy sense of meaning." Biologically we absorb information and try and make sense of it proxy to our sense of being - I'll just continue to help that process flow as best I can and by doing so I've found greater and greater appreciation for life, and uncovered harder and harder tasks to engage with in life that I know I will likely never come to find an answer to. It doesn't perturb me in the slightest to die, it perturbs me to realise I have not lived enough and have spent much of my time (as maybe we all have) merely "surviving."
I fully agree. It’s imperative to know yourself, what you can and cannot do in life. We cannot live solely in our imagination and are much happier if one submits, without a moment of contemplation, to his/her inner beast-like self.


@HAN
Consider: if there were no gravity, the universe would never have formed. There is gravity; therefore....everything that is understood to be the case in the universe is reducible to a discussion about gravity??
Who’s to say there was gravity before or after the big bang? These type of questions cannot currently, probably never, be answered. Gravity does play a fundamental role in this discussion; it does something we cannot do, influence time – but as we cannot see the entire scope of this discussion just yet, we are currently not ‘ready’ for it. You shouldn’t draw your conclusion so rapidly.
But if you really want to do this: survival and reproduction are not stand alone terms, but rather are what determine what sustains within the organism through generations of gene pooling through what it is that survives. This "what it is" is simply what survives, and the the principle feature of this is value: the touch that causes pain that makes the organism recoil, thereby surviving better than competitors. And the same goes for the good stuff.
Yes, I concur, we are currently adapted to survival on earth, by reproductive means – many theories already exist on alternative life-survival possibilities, like other DNA-structures, amoniacids etc.
Value is what is the essential part of the survival machinery in question, and it is also the very center of any meaningful philosophical ethical debate. You need to start on this point, this essential binding of value to survival, and the competition that ensues.
Yes exactly! This is how I try to do it, explaining why we choose certain values and what the consequences are. Good tip.
Also, you would want to forward the idea that survival cannot be separated the things that rise out of it: when we speak of evolution, we speak of content as well, so evolution is to be taken holistically, as a concept that includes actual affairs and their feeling and experiencing, and not simply functionally. Survival never was just the business of surviving and reproducing; rather, it is the surviving and reproducing in this particular world environment. This allows you makes statements about value and ethics that are inherently about survival.
That’s how I try to do it!

@Judaka
You seek to hegemonize approaches to ethics because you believe the problem is lack of hegemony in views, is that not what you said in your OP?
Well, here I was quoting Professor Julian Savulescu, when I saw his presentation.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not calling your approach tyrannical
The scientist in me has to say that any scientist can say that he/she can, of course, be wrong ^^.
- I'm just saying that diversity of opinions isn't the problem and it rarely is. Not only is your attempt at reducing complexity impractical but it's also redundant - as even agreeing on some kind of fundamental basis for ethics would not resolve the various ideologies that would spring up regarding interpretation and implementation. The complexity will always be there and you cannot remove it.
Yes, I agree with you, I attempt by no means to eradicate people’s ideologies, which would be not only futile, but also destroy an important part of 21st century human existance. This is not a way to shut doors on people, instead a way to open doors; this agreement, for instance, allows us to do scientific experiments on death-row criminals; even much more than that.
All you can do is create a set of ethics which is good for you and good for others and promote it so that those who see things as you do, may take your valid set of principles to strengthen their principles which may lack proper implementation or consistency. If your views about interpretation and implementation become popular then perhaps laws can be based off them. That's how the real, complex world works.
I do not expect everyone to understand or adhere to a set of ‘global’ ethics, merely implementing a transformation in people’s mind which will hopefully result into behavioral changes and perhaps even these laws you speak off.

@ Eduk
Of course ethics can be described in existential terms. I can think of no morally correct action which contradicts existential concerns. Having said that. While altruism is of existential benefit is it not also real? Or is it only an illusion? By which I mean can I be altruist because I am altruist. Or am I being tricked.
JP Satre – the problem I have with existentialism should be obvious by now – it is of course excellent, by far the best, for the individual (here meaning you cannot divide it further), however, it is beyond frightful for the group. If you consider every single human a cell in the body of the a giant human – and their role in society equivalent to the role in the body (for instance, military/police = immune system), and look at the human of your country – would you say that it stands a high chance for survival? WE (all humans) cannot hope to continue with this animalistic individual-based view. That’s why, like so many technologies, our minds/politics/ethics should learn/copy from biology too.

User avatar
TokkoF
New Trial Member
Posts: 5
Joined: February 15th, 2018, 1:32 pm

Re: United Ethics

Post by TokkoF » February 24th, 2018, 8:23 am

Oh, apologies, I do believe I forgot to respond to this section in particular;
@ Burning ghost
I can imagine a future scenario where people live a tortured existence one that would induce lack of empathy or emotion; such an existence would be one in which humanity (which the altruist wishes to preserve in part) becomes completely "other."

I was saying adherence to either "death" or "life" as some perfection is equally mono-polar. The acceptance of death means to understand the necessary end of life (and ALL life, eventually.) Beyond our cosmological models of the universe there is nothing we are capable of concerning ourselves with even hypothetically because life means we're limited.

Don't take this to mean I think we should just roll over and die either. I like life even though it is full of hardships and pain. What keeps me going is simple curiosity and appreciation of fleeting moments of beauty and love.
Well-put, perhaps indeed we are destined to die, however I cannot be 100% convinced of this - and because of that single truth, while looking back at the eternal struggle that is life - I believe it will continue to struggle for much longer than we anticipate. Some have suggested transcending life, becoming a deity or whatnot. The future's I can see are not wholly impossible, therefor I simply aim to strive towards them.

Post Reply