Morality and "the meaning of life"

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Morality and "the meaning of life"

Post by arjand »

"What is the meaning of life?" is a question that has driven many to atrocities, to themselves and to others. In a wicked attempt to overcome the 'weakness' resulting from the inability to answer the question, some (eg Nazis) believe that they should live with a gun under their nose.

An often cited quote from Nazi Hermann Göring: "When I hear the word culture, I unlock my gun!"

Culture, art and music nearly disappeared during the Nazi rule.

It is easy to argue that life has no meaning because empirical evidence is impossible.

The implications in the modern era can be seen in science. It seems to be an ideal of science to abolish morality completely.

(2018) Immoral advances: Is science out of control?
To many scientists, moral objections to their work are not valid: science, by definition, is morally neutral, so any moral judgement on it simply reflects scientific illiteracy.
https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg ... f-control/

(2019) Science and Morals: Can morality be deduced from the facts of science?
The issue should have been settled by David Hume in 1740: the facts of science provide no basis for values. Yet, like some kind of recurrent meme, the idea that science is omnipotent and will sooner or later solve the problem of values seems to resurrect with every generation.
https://sites.duke.edu/behavior/2019/04 ... f-science/

Morality is based on 'values' and that logically means that science also wants to get rid of philosophy.

Some recent perspectives on philosophy by scientists at a forum of a university in Great Britain (Cambridge):
Naked Scientist Forum wrote:Philosophy is bunk.

...

You may describe philosophy as a search for knowledge and truth. That is indeed vanity. Science is about the acquisition of knowledge, and most scientists avoid the use of "truth", preferring "repeatability" as more in line with our requisite humility in the face of observation.

...

Philosophers always pretend that their work is important and fundamental. It isn't even consistent. You can't build science on a rickety, shifting, arbitrary foundation. It is arguable that Judaeo-Christianity catalysed the development of science by insisting that there is a rational plan to the universe, but we left that idea behind a long time ago because there is no evidence for it.

...

Philosophy never provided a solution. But it has obstructed the march of science and the growth of understanding.

...

Philosophy is a retrospective discipline, trying to extract something that philosophers consider important from what scientists have done (not what scientists think - scientific writing is usually intellectually dishonest!). Science is a process, not a philosophy. Even the simplest linguistics confirms this: we "do" science, nobody "does" philosophy.

...

Science is no more or less than the application of the process of observe, hypothesise, test, repeat. There's no suggestion of belief, philosophy or validity, any more than there is in the rules of cricket or the instructions on a bottle of shampoo: it's what distinguishes cricket from football, and how we wash hair. The value of science is in its utility. Philosophy is something else.

...

Philosophers have indeed determined the best path forward for humanity. Every religion, communism, free market capitalism, Nazism, indeed every ism under the sun, all had their roots in philosophy, and have led to everlasting conflict and suffering. A philosopher can only make a living by disagreeing with everyone else, so what do you expect?
When science is practiced autonomously and it intends to get rid of any influence of philosophy, the 'knowing' of a fact necessarily entails certainty. Without certainty, philosophy would be essential, and that would be obvious to any scientist, which it apparently is not.

It means that there is a belief involved (a belief in uniformitarianism) that legitimizes autonomous application of science (i.e. without thinking about whether it is actually 'good' what is being done).

The idea that facts exist outside the scope of a perspective (that is, that facts are valid without philosophy) has far-reaching implications, including the natural tendency to completely abolish morality.

Atheism (religion)

Atheism is a way out for people who would potentially (be prone to) seek the guidance that religions promise to provide. By revolting against religions, they (hope to) find stability in life.

no-god-400.jpg
no-god-400.jpg (35.86 KiB) Viewed 327 times

The extremity developed by atheism in the form of a dogmatic belief in the facts of science can result in practices such as eugenics, a scientific ideology that laid at the basis of the Nazi holocaust. The desire for a 'easy way out' by people that attempt to escape exploitation of their weakness (read: the inability to answer the question "What is the meaning of life?") would result in corruption to 'acquire qualities' in a way that is immoral.

Eugenics or 'racial hygiene' is trending again in 2021 and on its way to re-enter the main stage of politics.

Eugenics in 2021 as 'fix' for social problems
https://onlinephilosophyclub.com/forums ... =5&t=17062

An analogy may be the story about the Devil that attempts to overturn God with trickery and deceit. It describes a weakling that tries to become stronger than a perceived strength in others by attempting to escape nature with corruption. A choice for evil.

What is strength? From my perspective, it would be the optimal serving of life and to do so, what it would entail for humans would be philosophy driven/guided progress (i.e. intelligent life).

According to philosopher Aristotle, philosophical contemplation is the greatest human virtue.

Fear driven progress is an option but I do not believe that it is an intelligent option.

How would humanity be able to achieve a state of wise progress? As it appears, humans haven't even started to master morality for guiding their progress.

(2020) How we make moral decisions
The researchers now hope to explore the reasons why people sometimes don't seem to use universalization in cases where it could be applicable, such as combating climate change. One possible explanation is that people don't have enough information about the potential harm that can result from certain actions, Levine says.
https://phys.org/news/2020-10-moral-decisions.html

The scientists write that they "hope" that humanity / science will investigate the reasons why people sometimes do not use the "universalization principle" for moral considerations and decisions.

In 2020, the universalization principle appears to be the only method that is considered available for guiding human action and science.

How could the universalisation principle prevent a practice like eugenics or protect Nature when faced with a potential trillion USD synthetic biology revolution that reduces plants and animals to meaningless beyond the value that a company can "see" in them?

The applicability of the moral question "what is 'good'?" is evidence that the concept 'optimum' is applicable.

From a short term human perspective,'optimum' may be found in 'flow' and its corresponding mental extasis (an ultimate state of performance as a human being).

As a specie, and even as 'part of Nature', there is logically a similar 'optimal' state. For longer term survival, it may be important that the human is able to achieve synchrony with the optimum state of Nature.

Morality would enable humans to achieve such a state, by addressing the simple question "what is 'good'?".

Questions:

1) How can there be a place for morality when one thinks in science that facts are outside the scope of a perspective (that facts are valid without philosophy)? Asking attention for morality, despite the strong natural tendency for moral consideration embedded in human nature, would in theory be comparable to demanding a belief in God.

2) When morality is reduced to an empirical property of the social sciences, what theory could possibly prevent the idea that morality is an illusion?
If life were to be good as it was, there would be no reason to exist.
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Re: Morality and "the meaning of life"

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Many people in the modern world see 'having fun' as the highest goal or purpose of life.

When one uses value in the world as "meaning", what will happen when that value is lost? For example, when life may appear unbearable, how will one possibly find motivation to overcome the problems?

Overcoming problems is essential for progress in life. The fight to overcome problems makes humanity stronger. In my opinion, humanity should be driven to the extreme (by culture) to "not give up" and in order to enable success on that regard, it will be important to discover the meaning of life that makes motivation possible BEFORE value.

The simplest departure from pure randomness implies value. This is evidence that all that can be seen in the world - from the simplest pattern onward - is value.

The origin of value is necessarily meaningful but cannot be value by the simple logical truth that something cannot originate from itself. This implies that a meaning of life is applicable on a fundamental level (a priori or "before value").

Some people cannot accept the idea that 'having fun' is the meaning of life. Some people question deeper and upon the consideration that there must be a meaning of life to be able to consider an aim in life to be meaningful, they potentially discover a deep abyss with no ground in sight and may find great difficulty to establish a convincing (authentic) mindset that provides purpose - a driving force or motivation - for their individual life.

Authenticity may be the key. When one grasps for a ground, one can find that it is not so easy to accept the value in the world (e.g. having a good time) as the meaning of life.

Why does value exist? Why should one create value? Why anything at all?

One then derives at the question "What is the meaning of life?" which isn't about food or having a good time. It is about something deeper, about the origin of emotions, about the origin of a feeling of purpose and fulfillment, about the origin of anything at all.

People who question so deeply may be motivated by authenticity. Without authenticity on a deeper level, one would lose one's identity and mind. The question can make one aware that his/her mental foundation isn't as secure as one may expect to be normal, which may result in anxiety and ideas leading to suicide.

Authenticity and finding meaning in life may be a key for talent, art and human performance. Many talented and top performing people have struggled with the question, which shows that the origin of the question may be something fundamental and that despite having success, thousands of friends and a rich social life, the question (or inability to answer it) is just as critical.

It may be relevant to consider whether a purpose of life is applicable to be considered as precursor to any value in the world.
If life were to be good as it was, there would be no reason to exist.
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Re: Morality and "the meaning of life"

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The podcast "Camus and the Absurd" by Partially Examined Life about the French philosopher Albert Camus provides a semi-professional conversational perspective on the question by professors of philosophy.

Does our eventual death mean that life has no meaning and we might as well end it all? Camus starts to address this question, then gets distracted and talks about a bunch of phenomenologists until he dies unreconciled. Also, let's all push a rock up a hill and like it, okay?

https://partiallyexaminedlife.com/2009/ ... he-absurd/

Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche in The Genealogy of Morals (Third Essay) argues that in response to a lack of ability to answer the question "What is the purpose of life?, people will rather choose to commit suicide than to choose nothing at all.
If you except the ascetic ideal, man, the animal man had no meaning. His existence on earth contained no end; “What is the purpose of man at all?” was a question without an answer; the will for man and the world was lacking; behind every great human destiny rang as a refrain a still greater “Vanity!” The ascetic ideal simply means this: that something was lacking, that a tremendous void encircled man—he did not know how to justify himself, to explain himself, to affirm himself, he suffered from the problem of his own meaning. He suffered also in other ways, he was in the main a diseased animal; but his problem was not suffering itself, but the lack of an answer to that crying question, “To what purpose do we suffer?” Man, the bravest animal and the one most inured to suffering, does not repudiate suffering in itself: he wills it, he even seeks it out, provided that he is shown a meaning for it, a purpose of suffering. Not suffering, but the senselessness of suffering was the curse which till then lay spread over humanity—and the ascetic ideal gave it a meaning! It was up till then the only meaning; but any meaning is better than no meaning; the ascetic ideal was in that connection the “faute de mieux” par excellence that existed at that time. In that ideal suffering found an explanation; the tremendous gap seemed filled; the door to all suicidal Nihilism was closed. The explanation—there is no doubt about it—brought in its train new suffering, deeper, more penetrating, more venomous, gnawing more brutally into life: it brought all suffering under the perspective of guilt; but in spite of all that—man was saved thereby, he had a meaning, and from henceforth was no more like a leaf in the wind, a shuttle-cock of chance, of nonsense, he could now “will” something—absolutely immaterial to what end, to what purpose, with what means he wished: the will itself was saved. It is absolutely impossible to disguise what in point of fact is made clear by complete will that has taken its direction from the ascetic ideal: this hate of the human, and even more of the animal, and more still of the material, this horror of the senses, of reason itself, this fear of happiness and beauty, this desire to get right away from all illusion, change, growth, death, wishing and even desiring—all this means—let us have the courage to grasp it—a will for Nothingness, a will opposed to life, a repudiation of the most fundamental conditions of life, but it is and remains a will!—and to say at the end that which I said at the beginning—man will wish Nothingness rather than not wish at all.
What does it mean that the question has been a major subject in philosophy? What does the quest for the meaning of life imply?
If life were to be good as it was, there would be no reason to exist.
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Re: Morality and "the meaning of life"

Post by Nick_A »

Hi Arjand
What does it mean that the question has been a major subject in philosophy? What does the quest for the meaning of life imply?
It implies that we are on the Ship of Fools described by Plato in Book V1 of the Republic with the inner need to leave the ship but without knowing how. Then this need devolves from the need for truth into the debate over opinions and the struggle for prestige:
Imagine then a fleet or a ship in which there is a captain who is taller and stronger than any of the crew, but he is a little deaf and has a similar infirmity in sight, and his knowledge of navigation is not much better. The sailors are quarreling with one another about the steering -- every one is of opinion that he has a right to steer, though he has never learned the art of navigation and cannot tell who taught him or when he learned, and will further assert that it cannot be taught, and they are ready to cut in pieces any one who says the contrary.

They throng about the captain, begging and praying him to commit the helm to them; and if at any time they do not prevail, but others are preferred to them, they kill the others or throw them overboard, and having first chained up the noble captain's senses with drink or some narcotic drug, they mutiny and take possession of the ship and make free with the stores; thus, eating and drinking, they proceed on their voyage in such a manner as might be expected of them. Him who is their partisan and cleverly kaids them in their plot for getting the ship out of the captain's hands into their own whether by force or persuasion, they compliment with the name of sailor, pilot, able seaman, and abuse the other sort of man, whom they call a good-for-nothing; but that the true pilot must pay attention to the year and seasons and sky and stars and winds, and whatever else belongs to his art, if he intends to be really qualified for the command of a ship, and that he must and will be the steerer, whether other people like or not-the possibility of this union of authority with the steerer's art has never seriously entered into their thoughts or been made part of their calling.

Now in vessels which are in a state of mutiny and by sailors who are mutineers, how will the true pilot be regarded? Will he not be called by them a prater, a star-gazer, a good-for-nothing?
It does seem foolish to consider this beautifully complex lawful machine we call universe as meaningless and without purpose. Yet if we begin to understand its purpose we can find the purpose of Man within this great living machine.

Modern science rejects it since it implies a conscious source like the GOOD described by Plato or the ONE described by Plotinus. Rejecting a source, science prefers specialization as the path to eventually reveal meaning.

I've learned by experience that you've raised a question that leads to hostility because of the human tendency to allow the pursuit of truth to fall victim to the negative emotions of opinions.

If you would like to try we can do so. We would need four or five people willing to transcend their dependency on opinions and be willing to experience objective values as opposed to subjective values and conditioned morality. How can it be done when the world prefers the struggle over opinions? The world says no and insists on creating subjective values and conditioned opinions leading to tyranny and yes, even war.
To set up as a standard of public morality a notion which can neither be defined nor conceived is to open the door to every kind of tyranny. ~ Simone Weil
Even though it has atrophied to large extent, human beings have the ability to remember objective values. It is the quality of objective conscience which has always existed. How to remember what has been forgotten or what Plato called anamnesis. Who is willing to do it during the great struggle for the superiority of conditioned subjective values?
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace
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Re: Morality and "the meaning of life"

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Nick_A wrote: April 12th, 2021, 4:41 pm Hi Arjand
Hi!
Nick_A wrote: April 12th, 2021, 4:41 pmIt does seem foolish to consider this beautifully complex lawful machine we call universe as meaningless and without purpose. Yet if we begin to understand its purpose we can find the purpose of Man within this great living machine.
On what basis do you consider the Universe to be a (living) 'machine'? Did Plato consider the Universe to be a machine?

The following may be an example of why value and morality may be applicable with regard the existence of the Universe and the meaning of life, which, for example, includes rocks, crystals and minerals.

(2018) Is the Universe a conscious mind?
It turns out that, for life to be possible, the numbers in basic physics – for example, the strength of gravity, or the mass of the electron – must have values falling in a certain range. And that range is an incredibly narrow slice of all the possible values those numbers can have. It is therefore incredibly unlikely that a universe like ours would have the kind of numbers compatible with the existence of life. But, against all the odds, our Universe does.

Here are a few of examples of this fine-tuning for life:

The strong nuclear force has a value of 0.007. If that value had been 0.006 or 0.008, life would not have been possible.

https://aeon.co/essays/cosmopsychism-ex ... d-for-life

Recent evidence shows that rocks on earth developed the first photosynthesis by which the earth obtained oxygen that enabled life to arise. It started hundreds of millions of years before the first organic life forms existed.

(2021) Non-classical photosynthesis by earth's inorganic semiconducting minerals
Our work in this new research field on the mechanisms of interaction between light, minerals, and life reveals that minerals and organisms are actually inseparable.

Certain minerals can promote oxygen generation (formation of dioxygen molecules) and carbon fixation (producing organic compounds using carbon atoms from inorganic sources). In addition, these minerals can even act as photocatalysts for water splitting, producing hydrogen and oxygen from water, and for the conversion of atmospheric carbon dioxide into marine carbonate products. These combined processes may have played a transformative role on the entire primitive Earth, causing noticeable changes in atmospheric and maritime conditions to promote the evolution of early life forms.

https://phys.org/news/2021-01-non-class ... cting.html

The idea that rocks are meaningless may not be valid. When there is meaning, then there is applicability of moral consideration and it may also mean that the Universe is not a 'machine'.
Nick_A wrote: April 12th, 2021, 4:41 pmModern science rejects it since it implies a conscious source like the GOOD described by Plato or the ONE described by Plotinus. Rejecting a source, science prefers specialization as the path to eventually reveal meaning.
Do you believe that the Universe has a "First Cause" (is that what is meant with the term 'source')?

The concept causality has led major philosophers to believe that the Universe has a begin.

Aristotle: First cause, in philosophy, the self-created being (i.e., God) to which every chain of causes must ultimately go back.
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aristotle-causality/

Marcus Aurelius: The nature of the universe did once certainly before it was created, whatsoever it hath done since, deliberate and so resolve upon the creation of the world. Now since that time, whatsoever it is, that is and happens in the world, is either but a consequent of that one and first deliberation.

Spinoza: The Oneness of Everything
https://medium.com/personal-growth/spin ... 1a411085c9

It appears that the error is made to exclude the observer from the consideration.

A "First Cause" cannot logically exist because it implies a begin and a begin cannot precede an observer because a begin requires an observer to be possible.

Simple logic shows that the observer cannot have a cause or begin. A begin implies the start of a pattern and a pattern is bound by observation.

Recent scientific studies confirm that the observer precedes reality.

(2020) Do Quantum Phenomena Require Conscious Observers?
“Experiments indicate that the everyday world we perceive does not exist until observed,” writes scientist Bernardo Kastrup and colleagues earlier this year on Scientific American, adding that this suggests “a primary role for mind in nature.”
https://www.scienceandnonduality.com/ar ... -observers

How observers create reality
https://arxiv.org/pdf/1506.06774.pdf

A recent study suggests that all identical particles in the universe are entangled by their identical nature.

(2020) Is nonlocality inherent in all identical particles in the universe?
The photon emitted by the monitor screen and the photon from the distant galaxy at the depths of the universe seem to be entangled only by their identical nature. This is a great mystery that science will soon confront.
https://phys.org/news/2020-03-nonlocali ... verse.html

If all particles of the same kind in the Universe are entangled by their identical nature, it implies that the quality non-uniqueness is inherent in all particles in the Universe, which could be proof that the Universe is infinite and does not have a 'begin'.
If life were to be good as it was, there would be no reason to exist.
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Re: Morality and "the meaning of life"

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Arjand

On what basis do you consider the Universe to be a (living) 'machine'? Did Plato consider the Universe to be a machine?
"Do you wish to know God? Learn first to know yourself." - Abba Evagrius the Monk.
Isn’t our physical body a living machine as well? It is born, lives, and dies, as it is designed to do. Must the universe be any different? As Panentheism states: “The universe is the body of God.”

I agree that our existence takes place in a conscious universe, But consciousness is relative. The quality of consciousness in a mineral is not the same as the quality of consciousness in Man.

Consider the Ouroboras.

https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/201 ... -millennia
And the ouroboros is one of the most compelling, a symbol that has been the subject of awe and wonder for millennia. Literally meaning ‘tail-devourer’ in Greek, it has appeared in numerous forms in a wide array of contexts and geographies. In its original and most common variation, it depicts a snake eating its own tail in a closed circle. The ouroboros, however, isn’t Greek, and certainly isn’t a celebration of self-cannibalism. What, then, are its origins, and what does it signify?
Here comes the sun
The oldest-known ouroboros appeared on a golden shrine in the tomb of Tutankhamen – ‘King Tut’ – in Egypt in the 13th Century BC, after a brief lull in traditional religion brought about by his predecessor, Akhenaten. According to leading Egyptologist Jan Assmann, the symbol “refers to the mystery of cyclical time, which flows back into itself”. The ancient Egyptians understood time as a series of repetitive cycles, instead of something linear and constantly evolving; and central to this idea was the flooding of the Nile and the journey of the sun.
Do you believe that the Universe has a "First Cause" (is that what is
meant with the term 'source')?
The universe or creation is an expression of cyclical time. God or the ONE, our source: IS. Creation carries out the process or cycles of EXISTENCE. ISNESS is beyond the limitations of time and space While the process of existence or the body of God takes place within ISNESS, within NOW.

Jacob Needleman asks in the preface of his book “Lost Christianity”
What is needed is a either a new understanding of God or a new understanding
of Man: an understanding of God that does not insult the scientific
mind, while offering bread, not a stone, to the deepest hunger of the
heart; or an understanding of Man that squarely faces the criminal
weakness of our moral will while holding out to us the knowledge of how we can strive within ourselves to become the fully human being we are meant to be– both for ourselves and as instruments of a higher purpose.
This would be the goal of philosophy as the love of wisdom as opposed to the current struggle for dominant opinions. Can Man evolve to a quality of being where such understanding is the norm? What do you think?
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace
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Re: Morality and "the meaning of life"

Post by popeye1945 »

Morality is a mode a system of self-interest, invested with the responsibility for the life and well being of its subjects. A meaning to life in the physical world which is utterly meaningless, is the soul function of biological consciousness. The gods, witches, warlocks, and evil spirits in general have nothing to do with it. That's right from the talking snakes mouth!!
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Re: Morality and "the meaning of life"

Post by Nick_A »

popeye1945 wrote: April 13th, 2021, 4:14 pm Morality is a mode a system of self-interest, invested with the responsibility for the life and well being of its subjects. A meaning to life in the physical world which is utterly meaningless, is the soul function of biological consciousness. The gods, witches, warlocks, and evil spirits in general have nothing to do with it. That's right from the talking snakes mouth!!
Morality is the result of the devolution of conscience. Conscience is a priori emotional understanding. It is part of the structure of our universe and what sustains it so was always known. Morality consists of subjective earthly interpretations which furthers secular aims. They should not be confused.

"Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it." -Albert Einstein.

How many are emotionally intelligent enough to sense the difference between indoctrinated morality and objective conscience?
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace
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Re: Morality and "the meaning of life"

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"Morality is the result of the devolution of conscience. Conscience is a priori emotional understanding. It is part of the structure of our universe and what sustains it so was always known. Morality consists of subjective earthly interpretations which furthers secular aims. They should not be confused.

"Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it." -Albert Einstein.

How many are emotionally intelligent enough to sense the difference between indoctrinated morality and objective conscience?
[/quote]

Hi Nick,

As Nietzche pointed out autonomy and morality are mutually exclusive. Conscience like empathy does not arise unless there is identification with others, this preexisting, it could then arise out of a self-definition of one's self that one wishes/needs to maintain. Morality, empathy, conscience are naturally occurring in the state of nature, in species across the board. You have to explain to me this, objective conscience, unless it is the established morality of one's societal context.
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Re: Morality and "the meaning of life"

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To my mind science and morality are not competitors. One doesn't choose between them, as they are different, independent areas. The quote that science is without morality is true. Just as a hammer is neither moral nor immoral (though can be used in moral and immoral ways) science, for the purposes of this discussion, is like a tool that can be wielded.
"As usual... it depends."
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Re: Morality and "the meaning of life"

Post by popeye1945 »

LuckyR wrote: April 14th, 2021, 1:36 am To my mind science and morality are not competitors. One doesn't choose between them, as they are different, independent areas. The quote that science is without morality is true. Just as a hammer is neither moral nor immoral (though can be used in moral and immoral ways) science, for the purposes of this discussion, is like a tool that can be wielded.
Hi LuckR,
I agree, science and morality are not competitors, but in fact, science can be used to create a more rational morality than we presently have. The archaic systems of the past, really don't have a rational object for the focus of their moralities. Just as the physical world is meaningless, so too without the creative processes of consciousness there is no meaning to life. We bestow meaning upon the physical world as it relates to our own biology, apparent reality is a biological readout. Nothing in the world has meaning in and of itself, but only in relation to a conscious subject, this too applies to the individual, so in a very real sense, we are all we have. Seeing as we are all we have, should not the focus, the object of morality be our biology, our well-being. I find it difficult to understand how people could possibly disagree with this premise.
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Re: Morality and "the meaning of life"

Post by Nick_A »

popeye1945 wrote: April 13th, 2021, 11:23 pm "Morality is the result of the devolution of conscience. Conscience is a priori emotional understanding. It is part of the structure of our universe and what sustains it so was always known. Morality consists of subjective earthly interpretations which furthers secular aims. They should not be confused.

"Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it." -Albert Einstein.

How many are emotionally intelligent enough to sense the difference between indoctrinated morality and objective conscience?
Hi Nick,

As Nietzche pointed out autonomy and morality are mutually exclusive. Conscience like empathy does not arise unless there is identification with others, this preexisting, it could then arise out of a self-definition of one's self that one wishes/needs to maintain. Morality, empathy, conscience are naturally occurring in the state of nature, in species across the board. You have to explain to me this, objective conscience, unless it is the established morality of one's societal context.
[/quote]

Is autonomy based on conscience possible for all those psychological prisoners in Plato's Cave? I would say no. We cannot speak of self governing without first knowing what the self is. Who am I? Is it more than just a dominating part of ones psychological self.

To become inwardly free to self govern as a human being as opposed to dominating as a cave person is a very high aim.
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace
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Re: Morality and "the meaning of life"

Post by popeye1945 »

Hi Nick,

I think Nietzche's point was that morality is a social construct, the rules of the game. Someone who wishes to be completely autonomous is not constrained by rules, which would make them an anti-social character. I don't think actually anyone would choose to be utterly autonomous, accept perhaps some hermit in an unhealthy mental state.
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Re: Morality and "the meaning of life"

Post by Nick_A »

popeye1945 wrote: April 14th, 2021, 9:35 am Hi Nick,

I think Nietzche's point was that morality is a social construct, the rules of the game. Someone who wishes to be completely autonomous is not constrained by rules, which would make them an anti-social character. I don't think actually anyone would choose to be utterly autonomous, accept perhaps some hermit in an unhealthy mental state.
True, but the questions remain: what is conscience, who is capable of experiencing it, and what prevents us from experiencing objective conscience?
1948
"One never goes wrong following his feeling. I don’t mean emotions, I mean feeling, for feeling and intuition are one.” Albert Einstein, in Einstein and the Poet – In Search of the Cosmic Man by William Hermanns (Branden Press, 1983, p. 95. – conversation on September 14, 1948)
We can be free of the emotions of subjective morality but this doesn't mean freedom from conscience. Actually freedom from emotional morality can lead to the the experience of universal objective conscience.
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace
popeye1945
Posts: 345
Joined: October 22nd, 2020, 2:22 am
Favorite Philosopher: Alfred North Whitehead
Location: canada

Re: Morality and "the meaning of life"

Post by popeye1945 »

True, but the questions remain: what is conscience, who is capable of experiencing it, and what prevents us from experiencing objective conscience?
1948
"One never goes wrong following his feeling. I don’t mean emotions, I mean feeling, for feeling and intuition are one.” Albert Einstein, in Einstein and the Poet – In Search of the Cosmic Man by William Hermanns (Branden Press, 1983, p. 95. – conversation on September 14, 1948)
We can be free of the emotions of subjective morality but this doesn't mean freedom from conscience. Actually freedom from emotional morality can lead to the the experience of universal objective conscience.
[/quote]

Hi Nick,

You need to educate me here, I don't really have a handle on what you're talking about. What might universal objective conscience look like? It is an emotion I get that but doesn't conscience, in general, depend upon one's definition of one's self, if you do something out of character, out of your general definition of self it would be disturbing and require a re-defination--no more Mr nice guy! Are you familiar with Jung's collective unconscious, is it similar to that or would it be incorporated within that concept?
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