Ockham's Razor Morality?

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Juice
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Ockham's Razor Morality?

Post by Juice »

Morality is a code of conduct. A way by which a man approaches duty, responsibility and obligations in life. The way one concludes precepts of morality can be based on social, cultural or religious values. Also the way one conducts himself morally can be based on the products of individual reasoning.

One can pattern behavior on desires or specific needs and those can change predetermined moral concepts based on what is necessary for that moment.

In most societies laws and rules provide guidelines which can influence moral behavior or attitudes which are based on a common perception of what is moral or a normative value of moral behavior for the public good.

Ockham’s Razor is the perception that says when considering a circumstance or occurrence and all things are taken into account then the simplest explanation should hold or accepted.

Considering that moral concepts are often convoluted and subjective is it possible that an Ockham’s Razor approach can be applied to developing a common moral concept and approach?

Not withstanding “moral absolutism” or “moral universalism” can a precept for “Ockham’s Razor morality” be applied to all situations of moral incertitude or moral variability?

Also, not withstanding any mental impairment and the problems as those may produce, is it possible to consider that if a man always considers what is in his best interest that a Ockham’s Razor approach to morality can be achieved?
When everyone looks to better their own future then the future will be better for everyone.

An explanation of cause is not a justification by reason.
C. S. Lewis

Fight the illusion!
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pjkeeley
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Post by pjkeeley »

Interesting topic Juice. Morality is a strange thing. What seems like straightfoward moral reasoning to one person may seem abhorrent to another. Simplicity seems only one of many considerations and I'm not sure if Ockham's Razor can be easily applied.

In a way I think utilitarianism is an attempt to apply Ockham's Razor to morality. It begins by identifying good and bad in the most basic and empirical way possible: pleasure is good and pain is bad, and an action is therefore good or bad, right or wrong, for no other reason than that it causes more pleasure or pain overall. No other explanation of morality is as simple as this. However, utilitarianism frequently produces what I would describe as moral anomalies, and too often fails as a moral theory (in the opinion of most, including myself).

For example, suppose a peeping tom (pervert) has devised a way to watch his neighbour across the road getting undressed in her home, without her knowledge and without any possibility of being caught. He will gain immense sexual gratification and she will be no worse off; therefore, according to utilitarianism, he is permitted to watch her undress. Obviously, few people, especially non-utilitarians, would be willing to accept this conclusion. However, anyone attempting to counter the utilitarian argument must go about adding further pieces to the puzzle (such as the argument that everyone has a right to privacy, which requires further justification, since rights are an abstraction). Inevitably, the argument for why he shouldn't perve will be more complex than the simple utilitarian calculation of pleasure versus pain.

I think Ockham's Razor is useful in that it reminds us not to dream up fanciful explanations for things, but rather to assess the reality of the situation as simply as possible. In morality however I think the best arguments tend to address a plurality of moral theories, and as such good moral arguments are not always simple.
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Juice
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Post by Juice »

PJ-Of course your right, but my question, more to the point, is could a system be designed by which people are taught to do the greatest good for themselves?

Obviously in your example what this man does can be considered morally wrong in that no consideration is given to the woman and what her desires might be. Also, the man does what he does surreptitiously since he is fearful that openness of his behavior may have negative consequences. So now the man does not deal with fear and rejection and as such these can have a negative impact on his "self". Now if the man was able to "reason" those consequencies he may then be able to behave morally, by either asking permission or finding a more agreeable outlet for his proclivity which is less damaging to his "self" and thereby allows for a greater good to be done for his overall well being and that of the woman and society.

Such a learned approach, if possible, would allow for the simplest rationals of morality to be applied by a single person and there by not have to include societal judgments or contextual rules or laws.
When everyone looks to better their own future then the future will be better for everyone.

An explanation of cause is not a justification by reason.
C. S. Lewis

Fight the illusion!
ape
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Re: Ockham's Razor Morality?

Post by ape »

Juice wrote: Considering that moral concepts are often convoluted and subjective is it possible that an Ockham’s Razor approach can be applied to developing a common moral concept and approach?
Yes, Occam's Razor can be applied to a common moral concept and approach and to developing one.
Any true moral concept, like genius, is only apparently convoluted and subjective: it is really primarily also complicatingly simply and simply complicating.:)
Juice wrote: Not withstanding “moral absolutism” or “moral universalism” can a precept for “Ockham’s Razor morality” be applied to all situations of moral incertitude or moral variability?
Yes.
Juice wrote: Also, not withstanding any mental impairment and the problems as those may produce, is it possible to consider that if a man always considers what is in his best interest that a Ockham’s Razor approach to morality can be achieved?
Yes.
2 Corinthians 11
3But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in [Love and so in] Christ.
Tom Jefferson to Adams, 6.5.1814: "The doctrines that flowed from the lips of Jesus himself are within the comprehension of a child."
1 Corinthians 14:20Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.
Matthew 18
1At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
2And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
3And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
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Juice
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Post by Juice »

Apr-The question here of course is in what context to define morality? If something just feels morally wrong is that enough to initiate a moral right and if my moral compass is of such a mind to preclude another's moral compass how can each be evaluated to do what is morally just?

If my concepts of morality come from the teachings of the Bible through revelation how does that contend with those who reject the Bible and consider their revelations more right?
When everyone looks to better their own future then the future will be better for everyone.

An explanation of cause is not a justification by reason.
C. S. Lewis

Fight the illusion!
ape
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Joined: April 6th, 2009, 9:55 pm

Post by ape »

[quote="Juice"]Apr-The question here of course is in what context to define morality?
ape:
In all contexts.
Juice: If something just feels morally wrong is that enough to initiate a moral right
ape: Yes. But the right for what feels like a moral wrong is right Morality of Love for both right and wrong. The right is not the opposite to what felt morally wrong.
Juice:
and if my moral compass is of such a mind to preclude another's moral compass how can each be evaluated to do what is morally just?
ape: By their attitudes to the morally UNjust!
See Luke 18:9-14.
Juice:If my concepts of morality come from the teachings of the Bible through revelation how does that contend with those who reject the Bible and consider their revelations more right?
ape: Love is not just a Biblical idea: Love takes us outside of the bible since Love loves the Biblical and non-biblical, loves what in and what's out of the Bible, loves those who accept Love and those who reject Love, those who love and those who LOVE NOT: see Matthew 25:35-45. 5:43-48. This is how and why Love is unconquerable and conquers all. It's irresistible and unmovable.
wilmarr90
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Post by wilmarr90 »

does morality create to neutralize the strength of the strong and the one who benefit from it is the weak? correct or wrong?
boagie
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Post by boagie »

wilmarr90 wrote:does morality create to neutralize the strength of the strong and the one who benefit from it is the weak? correct or wrong?
Wilmarr, :)

Welcome to the forum!!! I would say that it is probably a survival tactic which allows for social cohesion. It is apparent in many life forms even if not developed to the same degree as that found in human societies. United we stand, divided we fall kind of thing. The individual is profoundly weak when compared to the power of community. The self-interest of the individual is served in community where true autonomy offers far less survival potential.
Last edited by boagie on August 15th, 2009, 8:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Juice
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Post by Juice »

wilmarr90- Wouldn't a true morality serve all of humanity no matter what the physicality of the individual as long as the affect was to have one and all achieve an equal moral character?
When everyone looks to better their own future then the future will be better for everyone.

An explanation of cause is not a justification by reason.
C. S. Lewis

Fight the illusion!
boagie
Posts: 1021
Joined: October 13th, 2008, 7:50 am

Post by boagie »

Juice wrote:wilmarr90- Wouldn't a true morality serve all of humanity no matter what the physicality of the individual as long as the affect was to have one and all achieve an equal moral character?
Juice,

What is mean't by a true morality? One can attempt to legislate human actions, but one cannot legislate human feelings. It might help here too to define character, not really sure that can be to easily molded into a desired form. I do not think you will find equality here, there is equality under the law, meaning we are all to abide to the same rules. The way of nature is it is not an even playing field--is not paticipation in society, sucess and/or failure largely the luck of the draw?
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