Article: The Clarity Of Amorality

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Re: Article: The Clarity Of Amorality

Post Number:#16  Postby XavierAlex » March 21st, 2014, 1:08 am

The OP, I daresay, is oversimplifying terms, such as morality and amorality, and many historical and cultural events and occurrences. While I totally agree in the attempt in clarity of thought, action, and deed, over sweepingly condemning something as good or evil, good or bad, or right or wrong. I won't tread into any argument that tries to prove in a universal moral code.

However simply wiping away morality as some by-product of religion, or as some semantic miscommunication, grossly neglects great traditions that eventually must make a judgment call. Perhaps this "article" is just for people who don't at all think about values and morality and claim that their judgments are right all the time. If one were to depend solely on valueless statements and descriptors to communicate codes of conduct, that would be the opposite of clarity altogether. The reason I think this is unclear on all levels is because secularism and moral relativism by nature do not clarify judgments made by others. Essentially it's like having an onion in the court room, and as the trial commences and questions asked, the onion unpeels to an empty center.

If this is purely a semantic issue and clarity, which is clearer in this example?

1. An umpire calls "Out!" The replay shows three strikes.

2. Or: the umpire stands before the microphone and says: "Well, the first pitch was slightly low. The first swing missed. The second pitch, the ball had a slight curve, along with the wind, and the speed seemed swift, therefore the ball is a strike, and that means, in the score so far the ball has passed over the plate twice. This means two strikes. In the game of baseball, upon three times the ball passes the home plate, without having been hit as a foul, it is what is known as 'Out'. Finally the ball has passed three times and therefore the batter missed, is out, and must go back to his bench and wait."

While I understand the article's point that in many cases people are unthinking of their words in general and use vague statements such as: "Morality comes from religion".

Those ancient societies truly were misinformed and simpletons, unlike today's world where we know so much more about things like amorality. They just saw a sun and said--Gawd. There's a tree--that must be a Gawd.

This "Clarity of Amorality" is negligent of major and minor cultural exchanges and assumes that any time the words, good, bad, evil, right, wrong, have no definition whatsoever and that a more secular or legal way of saying things is somehow better, which is biased and misleading. The only clear thing I think about it is that the title is an oxymoron.
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Re: Article: The Clarity Of Amorality



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Prescriptive vs. Descriptive

Post Number:#17  Postby Trollinginger » March 21st, 2014, 1:17 pm

The first article suggest that descriptive arguments that are aside from morality should be the only route. I disagree, because I think prescriptive moral definitions are coherent and useful. Descriptive theories are designed to point out a morality that already exists inherently within humanity, whereas prescriptive definitions do not suggest and inherent morality, but rather a defining method by which people can determine what should and should not be done based upon an established good.

I absolutely agree that there is ambiguity in descriptive theories, there is plenty of opportunity for clarity within prescriptive definitions, as that is what they are: definitions. A way to determine what is right and wrong based upon a given universal good.

I recently submitted my possible prescriptive definition of morality, and this post came shortly after. I can't help but wonder if my submission was rejected along the lines of the article's premise?
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Re: Article: The Clarity Of Amorality

Post Number:#18  Postby Rombomb » March 25th, 2014, 3:59 pm

Scott,

I'm kinda confused by your point. So either you're confused, or I'm wrong (, or we're both wrong).

Are you against the idea of people making moral judgements about other people's ideas/actions? (that's what I think your point is, so correct me if I'm wrong.)

If I'm right, then you are making a moral judgment that people who make moral judgements about other people are doing something they shouldn't be doing.

If I've misunderstood you, could you clarify what you are suggesting to people?
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Re: Article: The Clarity Of Amorality

Post Number:#19  Postby Steve3007 » April 3rd, 2014, 8:28 am

I don't think Scott has to be regarded as contradicting himself by making a moral judgement here. He could argue that he is simply making a recommendation, on the grounds of utility, that people should substitute recommendations (on the grounds of utility) in place of moral statements.

But, I think statements using the language of morality are still useful, simply as a shorthand for what could otherwise be a long-winded discussion of the subtle interplay of cause and effect and complex interwoven reasons, both short and long term, as to why a given course of action is judged to be more beneficial than another. In fact, I would say that is possibly a more accurate explanation of the origin of moral statements in the first place. They are (at their best) the culmination of years of collected wisdom and experience.

This is particularly apparent to me when discussing with my children what courses of action they should and should not take.
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Re: Article: The Clarity Of Amorality

Post Number:#20  Postby Rombomb » April 3rd, 2014, 9:41 am

Steve3007 wrote:I don't think Scott has to be regarded as contradicting himself by making a moral judgement here. He could argue that he is simply making a recommendation,

How is a recommendation (to do something) not a moral judgement?

As far as I can tell, a recommendation looks like this: Moral idea B is better than moral idea A (for specific context P) for reasons X, Y, and Z. Do you agree?
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Re: Article: The Clarity Of Amorality

Post Number:#21  Postby Wayne92587 » April 3rd, 2014, 10:38 am

Moral Law does not exist as suggestion, a recommendation;

Moral Law is do it this way or else, you have no Choice.

-- Updated April 3rd, 2014, 9:43 am to add the following --

Moral Law is," do it the way the Pharaoh tells you to do it or the Pharaoh will kick your ****".

-- Updated April 3rd, 2014, 9:51 am to add the following --

Historical Moral judgments are base upon the gleaning of Judgments born of Rationalizations, the Knowledge of Reality that has not been, can not be, will never be Experienced.
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Re: Article: The Clarity Of Amorality

Post Number:#22  Postby Rombomb » April 3rd, 2014, 11:06 am

Wayne92587 wrote:Moral Law does not exist as suggestion, a recommendation;

Moral Law is do it this way or else, you have no Choice.

Moral Law is," do it the way the Pharaoh tells you to do it or the Pharaoh will kick your ****".

Was the OP about moral law or about morality?

If the moral thing for me to do, right now, is to reply to you -- in the sense that replying to you is better (for me) than compared to, say, watching tv instead -- who is going to make me do it? No one, except for me. I choose to act. No one else can choose for me.
We are all fallible -- anyone of us can be wrong about any one of our ideas. So shielding any one of my ideas from criticism means irrationally believing that I have the truth.
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Re: Article: The Clarity Of Amorality

Post Number:#23  Postby Steve3007 » April 3rd, 2014, 1:15 pm

Rombomb:
How is a recommendation (to do something) not a moral judgement?


Because it's a statement of the form: "If you wish for this outcome then I predict the best course of action is this". Not a statement of what's wrong or right but of what, given a knowledge of cause and effect, would be most effective in achieving what I perceive to be your goals.

As far as I can tell, a recommendation looks like this: Moral idea B is better than moral idea A (for specific context P) for reasons X, Y, and Z. Do you agree?


I'd say it's more like: "Action A is likely to result in outcome X. Action B is likely to result in outcome Y. I believe, from past experience of you and other people, that you would prefer outcome X. Therefore I recommend action A, captain."

At least, that's how I think Scott was using the word. As I said, though, I don't agree with Scott's rejection of the use of moral language and the concepts of morality.
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Re: Article: The Clarity Of Amorality

Post Number:#24  Postby Rombomb » April 3rd, 2014, 1:48 pm

Steve3007 wrote:Rombomb:
How is a recommendation (to do something) not a moral judgement?


Because it's a statement of the form: "If you wish for this outcome then I predict the best course of action is this". Not a statement of what's wrong or right but of what, given a knowledge of cause and effect, would be most effective in achieving what I perceive to be your goals.


Let's examine that: "If you wish for this outcome [described as X, Y, and Z] then I predict the best course of action [as compared to action A] is this [B]".

So as far as I can tell, that's the same as what I said.
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Re: Article: The Clarity Of Amorality

Post Number:#25  Postby Steve3007 » April 3rd, 2014, 2:21 pm

But you introduced them as "moral ideas". i.e. ideas about what is morally right or wrong. My point was that they could be seen as simply the evaluation of amoral consequences.
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Re: Article: The Clarity Of Amorality

Post Number:#26  Postby Rombomb » April 3rd, 2014, 3:22 pm

Steve3007 wrote:But you introduced them as "moral ideas". i.e. ideas about what is morally right or wrong. My point was that they could be seen as simply the evaluation of amoral consequences.

What's an amoral consequence?

If you want to solve problem Y, and your idea for solving it is (moral) idea A, and if I show how your idea A fails to solve problem Y while idea B *does* solve it (and which you agreed), then you should act on idea B not A. Do you agree?

Ideas A and B are moral ideas. I don't know what you mean by amoral consequences.
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Re: Article: The Clarity Of Amorality

Post Number:#27  Postby Steve3007 » April 3rd, 2014, 3:34 pm

Mmm. I'm not sure what I meant by that either! I think I should have said "amoral evaluation of consequences" or something. Bad wording.

Do you not make a distinction between amoral advice as to the best course of action and moral advice?

Would you characterize the statement: "you shouldn't go outside without an umbrella if you don't want to get wet." as having any moral content? I think the OP was recommending that "moral" statements should be replaced with statements like this.
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Re: Article: The Clarity Of Amorality

Post Number:#28  Postby Rombomb » April 3rd, 2014, 3:38 pm

Steve3007 wrote:Mmm. I'm not sure what I meant by that either! I think I should have said "amoral evaluation of consequences" or something. Bad wording.

Do you not make a distinction between amoral advice as to the best course of action and moral advice?

Would you characterize the statement: "you shouldn't go outside without an umbrella if you don't want to get wet." as having any moral content? I think the OP was recommending that "moral" statements should be replaced with statements like this.

That is morality. One *should* do X (use umbrella) in order to solve problem Y (wanting to stay dry).

If he instead wanted to get wet, then he *should not* do X.

-- Updated April 3rd, 2014, 1:40 pm to add the following --

Note that there are immoral problems too.

An example of an immoral/evil problem is this: You want the whole world to obey Allahs laws instead of human laws (under threat of violence).
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Re: Article: The Clarity Of Amorality

Post Number:#29  Postby Steve3007 » April 3rd, 2014, 3:55 pm

That is morality. One *should* do X (use umbrella) in order to solve problem Y (wanting to stay dry).

If he instead wanted to get wet, then he *should not* do X.


So you'd see that as a moral question just because it's possible to use the word "should" in its wording? That seems odd to me. It suggests that pretty much every problem could be seen as a moral one.
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Re: Article: The Clarity Of Amorality

Post Number:#30  Postby Rombomb » April 3rd, 2014, 4:03 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
That is morality. One *should* do X (use umbrella) in order to solve problem Y (wanting to stay dry).

If he instead wanted to get wet, then he *should not* do X.


So you'd see that as a moral question just because it's possible to use the word "should" in its wording? That seems odd to me. It suggests that pretty much every problem could be seen as a moral one.

No. It's moral because there is a *human action* involved.
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