A Moral Universe

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Terrapin Station
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Re: A Moral Universe

Post by Terrapin Station » September 13th, 2020, 4:00 pm

Angel Trismegistus wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 3:49 pm
Terrapin Station wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 2:57 pm


You can address it, but you'd need to start giving your explanation of how we get to normatives, too. I'm not going to go through some extended back and forth where you never deliver what I'm looking for, and I'm not about to just take your word that we'd get to it.
You apparently did not understand this sentence: "Just show me you have a passing acquaintance with the account you call inadequate and I'll answer your question directly."
Okay, so in the other thread you're talking about moral principles, how they're rooted in biology, and specifically you say that they're rooted in a survival instinct. And let's assume for the moment that this survival instinct is universal.

How do we get from the fact that the survival instinct is universal to any normatives? You don't at all address this.

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Re: A Moral Universe

Post by Marvin_Edwards » September 13th, 2020, 4:12 pm

Gertie wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 1:47 pm
Angel Trismegistus wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 1:09 pm

This sounds reasonable to me. I wonder if this answers Hume to the satisfaction of our Humeans?
It's a description of a process which includes a moral judgement. But it doesn't say how any particular facts of reality logically justify any particular moral judgement, or facts of reality generally logically justify Oughts
I'm not sure that we have anything other than the facts of reality to work with. For example, the the fact of our emotional reaction to eating when we are hungry is positive leads us to the conclusion that food is good. The fact that most animals will put up a fight if you try to drown them (or so I've heard) leads to the conclusion that animals find breathing to be a good thing and that the inability to breathe is very bad. The same will apply to observing adult animals resisting being caged leads us to conclude that they feel freedom is a good thing, because it gives us control over obtaining good things and avoiding harms.

Moral judgments as to what ought to be pursued (good) and what ought to be avoided (bad) are all around us and within us. So, the "what is" is where every "ought to" begins.

I don't think I've ever read Hume, or at least not the part where he mistakenly claims that "ought's" originate from someplace other than "is's".

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Re: A Moral Universe

Post by Gertie » September 13th, 2020, 4:30 pm

Angel
OK. Well I think most people don't have any problem understanding the Is/Ought distinction. And the prescriptive difference in language is doing the job of referencing a particular connotation morality has. Namely there's an additional (moral) consideration or obligation involved in Oughts. And as Oughts are usually about actions rooted in a particular way of thinking about ourselves and the world, yes the 'prescriptive' aspect goes deeper than language.
We can agree that "there's an additional (moral) consideration or obligation involved in Oughts." Check.
We can agree that "Oughts are usually about actions rooted in a particular way of thinking about ourselves and the world." Check.

Based on our further agreement, we can ask ourselves whether moral prescriptions account for the whole of morality without remainder? That is to say, does this obligation language, even if it reflects a line of thought deeper than language, exhaust moral reflection and moral expression? In other words, is there more to moral discourse (and the thought behind moral discourse) than Oughts?
Lets remember 'You can't derive an Ought from an Is' is a handy sloganised distillation, and is referring to the action-based aspect of morality, Oughts imply actions.

We can think more widely about the concept of morality or right and wrong in whatever way we want. As an explanation for conscience for example, as a spark of divinity within us bequeathed by being the creation of a perfectly good God. Or at the other end of the spectrum we can talk about what we've come to call 'moral' predispositions being an evolved survival adaptation. But I'd say only a prescriptive conclusion has any practical moral value and justification in the 'doing of' morality, rather than the 'thinking about' it, and that is the prescriptive role of Oughts.


So my bitesize answer is morality in action necessarily implies oughts imo. But reflection and discourse about the concept of morality (your question) doesn't have to.


We might also ask ourselves whether this pre-linguistic moral thinking is natural to man -- that is to say, is this deeper-than-language moral thought sourced in human nature? Or is it conditioned by the very discourse we have supposed it is deeper than?
What we've come to call 'morality' is sourced in evolved-for-utility human nature. And then honed by environmental factors, including conceptualised moral discourse about right and wrong, which is part of our cultural heritage.

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Re: A Moral Universe

Post by Gertie » September 13th, 2020, 5:01 pm

Marvin_Edwards wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 4:12 pm
Gertie wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 1:47 pm


It's a description of a process which includes a moral judgement. But it doesn't say how any particular facts of reality logically justify any particular moral judgement, or facts of reality generally logically justify Oughts
I'm not sure that we have anything other than the facts of reality to work with. For example, the the fact of our emotional reaction to eating when we are hungry is positive leads us to the conclusion that food is good. The fact that most animals will put up a fight if you try to drown them (or so I've heard) leads to the conclusion that animals find breathing to be a good thing and that the inability to breathe is very bad. The same will apply to observing adult animals resisting being caged leads us to conclude that they feel freedom is a good thing, because it gives us control over obtaining good things and avoiding harms.

Moral judgments as to what ought to be pursued (good) and what ought to be avoided (bad) are all around us and within us. So, the "what is" is where every "ought to" begins.

I don't think I've ever read Hume, or at least not the part where he mistakenly claims that "ought's" originate from someplace other than "is's".
That's not Hume's claim. Here's the passage we're discussing
“In every system of morality, which I have hitherto met with, I have always remark’d, that the author proceeds for some time in the ordinary way of reasoning, and establishes the being of a God, or makes observations concerning human affairs; when of a sudden I am surpriz’d to find, that instead of the usual copulations of propositions, is, and is not, I meet with no proposition that is not connected with an ought, or an ought not. This change is imperceptible; but is, however, of the last consequence. For as this ought, or ought not, expresses some new relation or affirmation,’tis necessary that it shou’d be observ’d and explain’d; and at the same time that a reason should be given, for what seems altogether inconceivable, how this new relation can be a deduction from others, which are entirely different from it … am persuaded, that a small attention [to this point] wou’d subvert all the vulgar systems of morality, and let us see, that the distinction of vice and virtue is not founded merely on the relations of objects, nor is perceiv’d by reason.”

David Hume, Treatise of Human Nature, ‘Moral Distinctions Not deriv’d from Reason’
Hume's point here is that you can't use reason to get to (in the sense of derive or deduce) Oughts from the Is state of affairs.

He's not disputing the state of affairs ('Is') of hunger feeling unpleasant (bad) and eating when you're hungry feeling pleasant (good).

Here's the wiki version which is easier to parse -
The is–ought problem, as articulated by the Scottish philosopher and historian David Hume, states that many writers make claims about what ought to be that are based solely on statements about what is. Hume found that there seems to be a significant difference between positive statements (about what is) and prescriptive or normative statements (about what ought to be), and that it is not obvious how one can coherently move from descriptive statements to prescriptive ones. Hume's law or Hume's guillotine[1] is the thesis that, if a reasoner only has access to non-moral and non-evaluative factual premises, the reasoner cannot logically infer the truth of moral statements.[2]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Is%E2%80% ... 0what%20is.

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Sculptor1
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Re: A Moral Universe

Post by Sculptor1 » September 13th, 2020, 5:13 pm

Angel Trismegistus wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 12:57 pm
Sculptor1 wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 9:38 am

No, it is you that is full of **** not me "SIR"!! lol
Your entire thread is simple wrong.
Since you insist on gutter-talk dismissals and don't appear to have anything more than that to contribute to the discussion, I'll ignore the rest of the errors in your post and advise you with the utmost sincerity to take a well-earned hike.
Postulates have to refer to something that makes sense.
Your are nonsense!

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Sculptor1
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Re: A Moral Universe

Post by Sculptor1 » September 13th, 2020, 5:16 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 1:16 pm
Sculptor1 wrote:And THAT is exactly why the US is a moral vacuum.
You really don't set no store by no shades of grey do you Sculp?
Completely to the contrary.

Just because something "is" X does not mean we "ought" to do Y.
I am exactly saying there are grey areas.

Fact there are more black criminals than white.

Now tell me what "ought" is it possible to conclude.

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Re: A Moral Universe

Post by Marvin_Edwards » September 13th, 2020, 6:11 pm

Gertie wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 5:01 pm
Marvin_Edwards wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 4:12 pm


I'm not sure that we have anything other than the facts of reality to work with. For example, the the fact of our emotional reaction to eating when we are hungry is positive leads us to the conclusion that food is good. The fact that most animals will put up a fight if you try to drown them (or so I've heard) leads to the conclusion that animals find breathing to be a good thing and that the inability to breathe is very bad. The same will apply to observing adult animals resisting being caged leads us to conclude that they feel freedom is a good thing, because it gives us control over obtaining good things and avoiding harms.

Moral judgments as to what ought to be pursued (good) and what ought to be avoided (bad) are all around us and within us. So, the "what is" is where every "ought to" begins.

I don't think I've ever read Hume, or at least not the part where he mistakenly claims that "ought's" originate from someplace other than "is's".
That's not Hume's claim. Here's the passage we're discussing
“In every system of morality, which I have hitherto met with, I have always remark’d, that the author proceeds for some time in the ordinary way of reasoning, and establishes the being of a God, or makes observations concerning human affairs; when of a sudden I am surpriz’d to find, that instead of the usual copulations of propositions, is, and is not, I meet with no proposition that is not connected with an ought, or an ought not. This change is imperceptible; but is, however, of the last consequence. For as this ought, or ought not, expresses some new relation or affirmation,’tis necessary that it shou’d be observ’d and explain’d; and at the same time that a reason should be given, for what seems altogether inconceivable, how this new relation can be a deduction from others, which are entirely different from it … am persuaded, that a small attention [to this point] wou’d subvert all the vulgar systems of morality, and let us see, that the distinction of vice and virtue is not founded merely on the relations of objects, nor is perceiv’d by reason.”

David Hume, Treatise of Human Nature, ‘Moral Distinctions Not deriv’d from Reason’
Hume's point here is that you can't use reason to get to (in the sense of derive or deduce) Oughts from the Is state of affairs.

He's not disputing the state of affairs ('Is') of hunger feeling unpleasant (bad) and eating when you're hungry feeling pleasant (good).

Here's the wiki version which is easier to parse -
The is–ought problem, as articulated by the Scottish philosopher and historian David Hume, states that many writers make claims about what ought to be that are based solely on statements about what is. Hume found that there seems to be a significant difference between positive statements (about what is) and prescriptive or normative statements (about what ought to be), and that it is not obvious how one can coherently move from descriptive statements to prescriptive ones. Hume's law or Hume's guillotine[1] is the thesis that, if a reasoner only has access to non-moral and non-evaluative factual premises, the reasoner cannot logically infer the truth of moral statements.[2]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Is%E2%80% ... 0what%20is.
Regarding:
"if a reasoner only has access to non-moral and non-evaluative factual premises, the reasoner cannot logically infer the truth of moral statements"
it still appears to me that Hume is incorrect.

What did Hume offer as an alternative for inferring the truth (or falseness) of moral statements ("ought" assertions)?

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Re: A Moral Universe

Post by Ecurb » September 13th, 2020, 6:12 pm

Sculptor1 wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 5:16 pm


Now tell me what "ought" is it possible to conclude.
Everyone "ought" to ignore Sculptor's posts.

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Re: A Moral Universe

Post by Marvin_Edwards » September 13th, 2020, 6:13 pm

Sculptor1 wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 5:16 pm
Steve3007 wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 1:16 pm


You really don't set no store by no shades of grey do you Sculp?
Completely to the contrary.

Just because something "is" X does not mean we "ought" to do Y.
I am exactly saying there are grey areas.

Fact there are more black criminals than white.

Now tell me what "ought" is it possible to conclude.
First, one ought to discover the reasons for the disparity.
Second, one ought to address those causes directly.

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Terrapin Station
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Re: A Moral Universe

Post by Terrapin Station » September 13th, 2020, 6:30 pm

Marvin_Edwards wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 6:11 pm
Gertie wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 5:01 pm


That's not Hume's claim. Here's the passage we're discussing



Hume's point here is that you can't use reason to get to (in the sense of derive or deduce) Oughts from the Is state of affairs.

He's not disputing the state of affairs ('Is') of hunger feeling unpleasant (bad) and eating when you're hungry feeling pleasant (good).

Here's the wiki version which is easier to parse -



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Is%E2%80% ... 0what%20is.
Regarding:
"if a reasoner only has access to non-moral and non-evaluative factual premises, the reasoner cannot logically infer the truth of moral statements"
it still appears to me that Hume is incorrect.

What did Hume offer as an alternative for inferring the truth (or falseness) of moral statements ("ought" assertions)?
Normatives aren't true or false. They're noncognitive. They're statements of dispositions or preferences that people have.

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Sculptor1
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Re: A Moral Universe

Post by Sculptor1 » September 13th, 2020, 6:38 pm

Ecurb wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 6:12 pm
Sculptor1 wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 5:16 pm


Now tell me what "ought" is it possible to conclude.
Everyone "ought" to ignore Sculptor's posts.
Let's start with you please

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Re: A Moral Universe

Post by Sculptor1 » September 13th, 2020, 6:39 pm

Marvin_Edwards wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 6:13 pm
Sculptor1 wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 5:16 pm


Completely to the contrary.

Just because something "is" X does not mean we "ought" to do Y.
I am exactly saying there are grey areas.

Fact there are more black criminals than white.

Now tell me what "ought" is it possible to conclude.
First, one ought to discover the reasons for the disparity.
Second, one ought to address those causes directly.
Thanks for your opinion.
But that is not a necessary conclusion.

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Re: A Moral Universe

Post by Gertie » September 13th, 2020, 7:04 pm

Marvin
"if a reasoner only has access to non-moral and non-evaluative factual premises, the reasoner cannot logically infer the truth of moral statements"

it still appears to me that Hume is incorrect.

Then how do you do it?
What did Hume offer as an alternative for inferring the truth (or falseness) of moral statements ("ought" assertions)?
He didn't, as far as I know.

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Re: A Moral Universe

Post by Marvin_Edwards » September 13th, 2020, 9:23 pm

Terrapin Station wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 6:30 pm
Marvin_Edwards wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 6:11 pm


Regarding:

it still appears to me that Hume is incorrect.

What did Hume offer as an alternative for inferring the truth (or falseness) of moral statements ("ought" assertions)?
Normatives aren't true or false. They're noncognitive. They're statements of dispositions or preferences that people have.
Theoretically, normatives are simply statistical means. They would state the most common dispositions and preferences (median or mean).

Rules that are shared influence the statistical norm, but that, of course, is not sufficient to make them right. Rules are considered more or less right, or more or less wrong, by applying the criteria of moral judgment: "the best good and the least harm for everyone".

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Re: A Moral Universe

Post by Marvin_Edwards » September 13th, 2020, 9:25 pm

Sculptor1 wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 6:39 pm
Marvin_Edwards wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 6:13 pm


First, one ought to discover the reasons for the disparity.
Second, one ought to address those causes directly.
Thanks for your opinion.
But that is not a necessary conclusion.
It's not a conclusion at all. It is the beginning of the resolution of the problem.

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