Morality is based on desire.

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Marvin_Edwards
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Re: Morality is based on desire.

Post by Marvin_Edwards » November 20th, 2020, 7:57 am

Wossname wrote:
November 20th, 2020, 4:14 am
Marvin_Edwards wrote:
November 19th, 2020, 6:44 pm
Marvin_Edwards » Yesterday, 10:44 pm

The reason someone is hurt by your lie is that it means they cannot trust you to tell them the truth, and that they may be injured by you in the future by a lie. The reason that you are hurt is twofold. You may have empathy with their hurt, because you too could be unnecessarily harmed by a lie in the future. And second, if you have a conscience, then it will make you feel guilt and blame until you learn that lying is a harmful thing to do. Once you learn that lesson, you can discharge those feelings.

What if I hate their guts, don’t care if they don’t trust me, am glad they are hurt, feel no guilt about it and would hurt them some more if I could?
Are you arguing that your hatred and sociopathy morally justify lying to someone? That would seem to be the case if someone were arguing that "morality is based on desire". Right? But I disagree with that. Morality seeks the best good and the least harm for everyone. Therefore a person's hatred and lack of empathy would NOT justify lying.
Wossname wrote:
November 20th, 2020, 4:14 am
You keep repeating the same message while ignoring all criticism of it. You are welcome to your views of course. But if you will not address criticisms or engage properly with the argument I suspect others will continue to find them unconvincing.
But I just did engage with your argument and demonstrated the flaw. Your argument attempts to justify lying that harms someone on the basis that you hate them. That clearly cannot be the basis for moral judgement. Agreed?

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Re: Morality is based on desire.

Post by Marvin_Edwards » November 20th, 2020, 8:07 am

Terrapin Station wrote:
November 20th, 2020, 7:45 am
Marvin_Edwards wrote:
November 19th, 2020, 10:51 pm


I asked you first, Jack, but you remained silent. Have you figured out yet that all moral arguments ultimately come down to the criteria of the best good and least harm for everyone?
That's obviously not my view as I explained above, but you're simply refraining from commenting on my explanation. I suppose maybe you think it's not worth bothering to comment on, since our views are not going to be reconcilable?
In this post, as in your post on Hume, you are arguing that morality is based upon our feelings of empathy as opposed to rational judgements. And Hume had made some comment that our "passions" should be our guide rather than our reasoning. You correctly point out that caring about doing the right thing motivates us to behave morally. I have argued that our feelings are insufficient guides to moral behavior, because our feelings are malleable and can be changed with better knowledge of what is objectively good versus what is objectively bad for people.

Did I miss anything?

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Re: Morality is based on desire.

Post by Marvin_Edwards » November 20th, 2020, 8:17 am

Terrapin Station wrote:
November 20th, 2020, 7:45 am
Marvin_Edwards wrote:
November 19th, 2020, 10:51 pm


I asked you first, Jack, but you remained silent. Have you figured out yet that all moral arguments ultimately come down to the criteria of the best good and least harm for everyone?
That's obviously not my view as I explained above, but you're simply refraining from commenting on my explanation. I suppose maybe you think it's not worth bothering to comment on, since our views are not going to be reconcilable?
Terrapin, your argument is usually nihilistic. From your perspective everyone makes up their own rules and there is no possibility of anything objective out there that can command agreement. You argue that "life is good" is NOT a universal starting place because some people would just as soon die as live. As far as I can tell, your position is that there is no foundation for moral judgement. Or, for anything else. You seem to challenge everything without putting forth any theory of morality of your own. So, how is anyone to deal with that? What would you recommend?

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Re: Morality is based on desire.

Post by Sculptor1 » November 20th, 2020, 8:29 am

Marvin_Edwards wrote:
November 20th, 2020, 8:07 am
Terrapin Station wrote:
November 20th, 2020, 7:45 am


That's obviously not my view as I explained above, but you're simply refraining from commenting on my explanation. I suppose maybe you think it's not worth bothering to comment on, since our views are not going to be reconcilable?
In this post, as in your post on Hume, you are arguing that morality is based upon our feelings of empathy as opposed to rational judgements. And Hume had made some comment that our "passions" should be our guide rather than our reasoning. You correctly point out that caring about doing the right thing motivates us to behave morally. I have argued that our feelings are insufficient guides to moral behavior, because our feelings are malleable and can be changed with better knowledge of what is objectively good versus what is objectively bad for people.

Did I miss anything?
Passions driving morals is everything, since the passions create all concern. Your own description of how morals are generated require the the base of emotions upon which reason works.

LIke most human activity, it is the most base passion that drives us to do anything at all. It gets us up in the morning.
Consider hunger. We cannot summon hunger, we cannot surpress it. There is a really good reason why some people are fat whilst others are thin. Ultimately it is differences in the balance of hunger and satiation given by hormones that respond to bodily conditions. Yes you can then apply reason; choice of foods and amounts. You can try to fool the urge to eat, and for those that need building up it they can force food into themselves that their body tells them they do not need.
But were it not for the body telling us to eat most of us would forget day by day, having to rely on reason we would wither away.
You do not get justice from a set of reasons. You are equipped with a "sense" of justice. You are xenophobic, homophobic, difference-phobic to varying degrees. But when you apply reason with a belief in universal fairness it is the feelings of goodness within you that make it so. In the same way some people see Mexicans, and black people as a threat, and rationalise their hatred with by various means.
Making laws with moral content exploits some human feelings, whist combating others. But in every event it is the passions that drive the project.
Logically, why should I care about any other person but myself?
Logically why would I even care about my own life and achivements?
Why would I take the trouble to live at all?

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Re: Morality is based on desire.

Post by Terrapin Station » November 20th, 2020, 9:20 am

Marvin_Edwards wrote:
November 20th, 2020, 8:07 am
Terrapin Station wrote:
November 20th, 2020, 7:45 am


That's obviously not my view as I explained above, but you're simply refraining from commenting on my explanation. I suppose maybe you think it's not worth bothering to comment on, since our views are not going to be reconcilable?
In this post, as in your post on Hume, you are arguing that morality is based upon our feelings of empathy as opposed to rational judgements. And Hume had made some comment that our "passions" should be our guide rather than our reasoning. You correctly point out that caring about doing the right thing motivates us to behave morally. I have argued that our feelings are insufficient guides to moral behavior, because our feelings are malleable and can be changed with better knowledge of what is objectively good versus what is objectively bad for people.

Did I miss anything?
I'm actually NOT arguing that morality is based on feelings of empathy. I'm also not saying that morality is not based on that--note the double negative there.

My view is that morality is based on dispositions or "feelings" about interpersonal behavior period (moral stances are more specifically dispositions on interpersonal behavior (which can be "the behavior of one towards onself, too) that one considers more significant than etiquette). Those dispositions or "feelings" may or may not be rooted in empathy. It depends on the individual in question, and it depends on the particular moral stance in question for that individual. The only thing all moral stances have in common in this regard is that they're rooted in how the individual in question's brain happens to be structured and how it happens to function.

"Doing the right thing" to any individual amounts to acting in accord with that individual's moral dispositions. There is no requirement for a motivation there. People naturally approve and disapprove of various interpersonal behavior. It's a way that our brains naturally work.

Moral stances are variable/changeable/malleable. There is no objective good/bad. There is no moral knowledge, because moral stances can not be true or false (knowledge requires truth values). So in noting these things, we're not forwarding objections to the view I'm expressing. We're rather reiterating truisms about what morality is/what its nature is.

I'm also not saying that reason is not involved beyond whatever our root or foundational moral stances are in a given instance. It's just that reason does nothing to provide the root or foundational moral stances.

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Re: Morality is based on desire.

Post by Terrapin Station » November 20th, 2020, 9:26 am

Marvin_Edwards wrote:
November 20th, 2020, 8:17 am
As far as I can tell, your position is that there is no foundation for moral judgement.
No foundation for objective moral judgments, correct. "Objective moral judgment" is an oxymoron, fueled by a misunderstanding regarding what morality is ontologically.
Or, for anything else.
There are plenty of objective things. And there are plenty of things that are not objective. It's simply a matter of accurately noting where and how various things occur in the world.
You seem to challenge everything without putting forth any theory of morality of your own.
I just explained my theory of morality a la a theory of what morality is/how it works. That's a descriptive theory.

I don't put forth a normative theory of morality, if that's what you're getting at, because there are no true or factual normatives.
So, how is anyone to deal with that? What would you recommend?
The way to deal with that is either to acknowledge that my metaethical (/ontological) theory about morality is correct, or to present specific, cogent objections as to why it's not correct.

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Re: Morality is based on desire.

Post by Gertie » November 20th, 2020, 9:28 am

Marvin
Fact - everything requires particular conditions to be met in order to Function in particular ways. Crystals, toasters, carrots, humans, etc.

Make your argument for why this has Moral implications for carrots surviving, thriving and reproducing. How Oughts are derived, and who or what these Oughts apply to.
I'm happy to make the argument again, but please don't complain that I am merely repeating myself when satisfying your request.

Morality is species specific. What we "ought to do" and "ought not do" to other members of our species is originally derived from our real needs. For the sake of argument, I assume Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is a sufficient working analysis of the real needs of human beings. Our needs motivate us to satisfy them, and our needs at lower levels of the pyramid must be sufficiently satisfied before we attempt to satisfy needs at the next higher level.

In addition to the real needs of individual persons (covered by Maslow), there are real needs of societies (e.g., rules for cooperation), and real needs of species (e.g., less global warming).

We call something "good" if it satisfies a real need we have as an individual, as a society, or as a species. We call something "bad" if it unnecessarily harms the individual, the society, or the species.

This rests on the notion of ''needs''. ''Real Needs'' like ''Good For'' is slippery use of language here, because it infers Interests. That's why I put it neutrally -


''Fact - everything requires particular conditions to be met in order to Function in particular ways. Crystals, toasters, carrots, humans, etc.''

And then asked you to make the argument for your Claim that particular conditions being met which enable organisms to survive thrive and reproduce have moral connotations.


Here's the kind of argument I haven't seen yet -


- Explains what it is specifically about the function of survival, thriving and reproduction of biological organisms which confers moral consideration.

- And how that special property logically entails Oughts.

Which

- Avoids tangential distractions.

- Avoids slippery language

- Avoids circular arguments

- If you are treating a premise as axiomatic, notes this.


I don't think you can come up with a sound argument which doesn't have some flaw or assumption which itself needs justification. That's not a personal insult, because I don't think there is one. But you're so committed to your position you unconsciously slide into such errors, I think we all can do that. But then they have to be chased down, explained, only for rinse and repeat. It's like whack-a-mole on a loop at this end.

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Re: Morality is based on desire.

Post by Wossname » November 20th, 2020, 9:37 am

Marvin_Edwards wrote:
November 20th, 2020, 7:57 am
y Marvin_Edwards » Today, 11:57 am
Morality seeks the best good and the least harm for everyone.

You keep saying this and have ignored all criticisms of it.

I am not sure one need be a sociopath or lack empathy to either hate someone or wish them harm. It might depend on your reasons here. But yes, my hatred might justify my behaviour (to me). Whether it does to you makes no difference to me. In the end, if I don’t care for your philosophical argument, whether it be logical or no (I say no and have explained why), it will not change my behaviour, or that, I suspect, of many others.

Understand that I think Hume is right in his notion that most people have some feelings for their fellows, but this is what needs to be worked on, explained, expanded, if we seek to improve peoples’ behaviour. Philosophy has a role, but it can’t do the job on its own. There is a psychology to be addressed, and if it is ignored all dry argument will not count for much.

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Re: Morality is based on desire.

Post by Terrapin Station » November 20th, 2020, 9:39 am

Yeah, as I've pointed out numerous times, functionally, needs hinge on wants or desires. Something like Maslow's needs assumes background wants/desires such as "to remain living," "to flourish," etc.

We could say that needs are always conditional. To obtain x, one needs y. While to obtain not-x, one needs z. The world independent of us, independent of our wants/desires couldn't care less whether x or not-x is the case. People, the sorts of entities that have wants/desires, are what care whether x or not-x is the case. And different people have different wants/desires, even if some of them are close to unanimous.

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Re: Morality is based on desire.

Post by Pattern-chaser » November 20th, 2020, 9:43 am

Marvin_Edwards wrote:
November 18th, 2020, 2:59 pm
Which brings us to, why is it morally wrong to lie?

Pattern-chaser wrote:
November 19th, 2020, 1:12 pm
Happily, morality is neither logical nor objective, so a personal and arbitrary response is appropriate and correct. Lying is morally wrong because it's morally wrong to deceive your companions.

Marvin_Edwards wrote:
November 19th, 2020, 1:24 pm
Why is it morally wrong to deceive your companions? (Still looking for the foundation of your morality...).

Because we say so, of course. Over many centuries, 'we' have decided that it is so, so it is. 🙄
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Re: Morality is based on desire.

Post by Pattern-chaser » November 20th, 2020, 9:45 am

Marvin_Edwards wrote:
November 19th, 2020, 1:22 pm
Morality is species specific.
You assert that morality is objective, but part of the meaning that "objective" carries is "universal".... 🙄
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Re: Morality is based on desire.

Post by Sculptor1 » November 20th, 2020, 10:58 am

Marvin_Edwards wrote: Morality is species specific.
Really??
Why not gender specific; age specific; nation specific; culture specific; history specific; church specific; state, county, town specific; street specific.
Why not individual specific??
What's your rubric?

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Re: Morality is based on desire.

Post by Marvin_Edwards » November 20th, 2020, 12:31 pm

Sculptor1 wrote:
November 20th, 2020, 8:29 am
Marvin_Edwards wrote:
November 20th, 2020, 8:07 am

In this post, as in your post on Hume, you are arguing that morality is based upon our feelings of empathy as opposed to rational judgements. And Hume had made some comment that our "passions" should be our guide rather than our reasoning. You correctly point out that caring about doing the right thing motivates us to behave morally. I have argued that our feelings are insufficient guides to moral behavior, because our feelings are malleable and can be changed with better knowledge of what is objectively good versus what is objectively bad for people.

Did I miss anything?
Passions driving morals is everything, since the passions create all concern. Your own description of how morals are generated require the the base of emotions upon which reason works.

LIke most human activity, it is the most base passion that drives us to do anything at all. It gets us up in the morning.
Consider hunger. We cannot summon hunger, we cannot surpress it. There is a really good reason why some people are fat whilst others are thin. Ultimately it is differences in the balance of hunger and satiation given by hormones that respond to bodily conditions. Yes you can then apply reason; choice of foods and amounts. You can try to fool the urge to eat, and for those that need building up it they can force food into themselves that their body tells them they do not need.
But were it not for the body telling us to eat most of us would forget day by day, having to rely on reason we would wither away.
You do not get justice from a set of reasons. You are equipped with a "sense" of justice. You are xenophobic, homophobic, difference-phobic to varying degrees. But when you apply reason with a belief in universal fairness it is the feelings of goodness within you that make it so. In the same way some people see Mexicans, and black people as a threat, and rationalise their hatred with by various means.
Making laws with moral content exploits some human feelings, whist combating others. But in every event it is the passions that drive the project.
Logically, why should I care about any other person but myself?
Logically why would I even care about my own life and achivements?
Why would I take the trouble to live at all?
If I may quote the Bible:
Matthew 22:35-40 NIV wrote:35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
The interesting thing about the Great Commandment is that it tells us to Love. Love is a passion. And if we Love Good (37-38), and love Good for others as we love it for ourselves (39), then everything else will work itself out (40). So, one might say that morality itself is love.

But how do we love effectively? That requires knowledge and judgement. For example, the overprotective parent may cripple a child's initiative, while another parent helps their child develop creativity and self-reliance. Both experience love for their child. But one is providing the child with what they really need.

Passion alone is an insufficient guide to moral behavior. We must also know what the person who is the object of that love really needs, and help them to acquire that. So, our behavior may be motivated by love, but it needs to be guided by knowledge and reason.

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Re: Morality is based on desire.

Post by Marvin_Edwards » November 20th, 2020, 1:31 pm

Wossname wrote:
November 20th, 2020, 9:37 am
Marvin_Edwards wrote:
November 20th, 2020, 7:57 am
y Marvin_Edwards » Today, 11:57 am
Morality seeks the best good and the least harm for everyone.
You keep saying this and have ignored all criticisms of it.
I don't think I've been ignoring criticism. I deal with it. For example:
Wossname wrote:
November 20th, 2020, 9:37 am
I am not sure one need be a sociopath or lack empathy to either hate someone or wish them harm. It might depend on your reasons here.
Typically, we hate and want to harm the person who harms us. That's the usual reason. If the person insults us, that would be a subjective harm, something that just hurts our feelings. If the person punches us in the nose, that would be an objective harm. In either case, we would want to do something to prevent them from harming us again. The moral response would be the one that minimizes future harm for both of us.
Wossname wrote:
November 20th, 2020, 9:37 am
But yes, my hatred might justify my behaviour (to me). ...
Hatred doesn't "justify" anything. The justification for doing something would be the harm that he caused you.
Wossname wrote:
November 20th, 2020, 9:37 am
Understand that I think Hume is right in his notion that most people have some feelings for their fellows, but this is what needs to be worked on, explained, expanded, if we seek to improve peoples’ behaviour.
I'm sure Hume is right that people do have feelings for their fellows. My problem is that those feelings do not always come with instructions. The question for morality is what is the best thing to do about those feelings. The best thing to do would be to find a way to minimize future harm. Given a specific case, we could probably figure out the most appropriate thing to do.
Wossname wrote:
November 20th, 2020, 9:37 am
Philosophy has a role, but it can’t do the job on its own. There is a psychology to be addressed, and if it is ignored all dry argument will not count for much.
Absolutely. Psychology studies human behavior and the thoughts behind it. Objective knowledge is better than prejudices and superstitions.

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Re: Morality is based on desire.

Post by Marvin_Edwards » November 20th, 2020, 1:42 pm

Pattern-chaser wrote:
November 20th, 2020, 9:43 am
Marvin_Edwards wrote:
November 18th, 2020, 2:59 pm
Which brings us to, why is it morally wrong to lie?

Pattern-chaser wrote:
November 19th, 2020, 1:12 pm
Happily, morality is neither logical nor objective, so a personal and arbitrary response is appropriate and correct. Lying is morally wrong because it's morally wrong to deceive your companions.

Marvin_Edwards wrote:
November 19th, 2020, 1:24 pm
Why is it morally wrong to deceive your companions? (Still looking for the foundation of your morality...).

Because we say so, of course. Over many centuries, 'we' have decided that it is so, so it is. 🙄
So. why did we decide that lying is wrong? Because truth has objective moral value. In order to deal effectively with reality, we need to know what it is. If father asks whether we filled up the gas tank while we had the car, and we lie and said we did, and he believes us and ends up stranded somewhere when he runs out of gas, then he has suffered an objective harm. And, when he gets home, we will too.

Hundreds of scenarios can be imagined where lying results in harm. Since morality seeks the best good and least harm, and telling the truth will usually produce better results than lying, lying is considered morally wrong. There are exceptions to the rule, of course. If the Nazis are at the door asking if there are Jews living here, it is morally better to lie, than for Anne Frank's family to be shipped off to Auschwitz.

The way we decide between two rules or courses of action is by weighing the benefits and harms of each, and then selecting the one that provides the best good and least harm for everyone.

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