Morality and Humanity

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boagie
 
Reply Sat 14 Apr, 2007 09:55 am
@Mr Fight the Power,
Mr. Fight the Power wrote:
I have never stated that isolation is necessary, only internal motivation.

Mr Fight the power,

This internal motivation is rather fuzzy,it seems to infer that modivation for action is generated within,when in fact, all modivation for action is really reaction and supplied by the physical world,you have a choice of how to react,you do not have a choice to not react,for a considered non-action would indeed be a reaction to that same stimulus.

"Just as a man can find beauty in the sunset, so can he find virtue in another man."

Actually,I don't know where you are coming from,from this,the analogy is a little puzzling,are you saying there is a biological link between individuals as there is to a sunset,or are you saying that virtue is an esthetic quality.What pleases us is often called virtue--------no?


It is very important here that Pythagorean and myself come to an understanding of your individual relative to his society, and just how he differs from the concept that Pythagorean and myself hold.This is again going to prove a stumbling block to further discussion if we fail to understand your concept of the individual.I would appreciate it if you could lay it out for us as simply as possiable,we could then perhaps relate it to the topic.I hope this is taken as intended,as I really do wish to understand your position.I think perhaps it just involves a greater autonomy of will then I afford my individual, though I am not positive.
 
Mr Fight the Power
 
Reply Sat 14 Apr, 2007 12:44 pm
@boagie,
boagie wrote:
Mr Fight the power,

This internal motivation is rather fuzzy,it seems to infer that modivation for action is generated within,when in fact, all modivation for action is really reaction and supplied by the physical world,you have a choice of how to react,you do not have a choice to not react,for a considered non-action would indeed be a reaction to that same stimulus.


You are equivocating motivation and reaction. Reaction is a leaf falling from a tree, a log floating downstream, and these are not examples of motivation. Motivation is will; it is that set of values, preferences, and desires that causes us to examine our situation and act.

Now, you can take the causal chain of determinism and render human motivation as nothing more than the falling of a leaf, and I would not argue against this. We have motivations that cause us to act and react in different ways, but these motivations are also just causal reactions themselves.

So we can effectively deny the value of all motivation objectively: as it is all a reaction to that initial "motivation". But subjectively, the prime motivation is that which is provided by our nature. It is not original, objectively, but it is the original source of all of our motivations subjectively. They are the values upon which we base all of our values. We cannot rebel against them, we cannot resent them; it is axiomatic that, due to our nature, that we are satisfied with them.

These are the motivations that we must foster and protect. To the universe they (like ourselves) just another manifestation of the laws that all is irrevocably bound to. To us, they are us. When we follow them we are most free, most happy, and most ourselves.

Quote:
Actually,I don't know where you are coming from,from this,the analogy is a little puzzling,are you saying there is a biological link between individuals as there is to a sunset,or are you saying that virtue is an esthetic quality.What pleases us is often called virtue--------no?


I only mean that a man can realize what is beautiful to him by watching a sunset, and likewise, he can realize what is virtuous to him by watching others act.

Quote:
It is very important here that Pythagorean and myself come to an understanding of your individual relative to his society, and just how he differs from the concept that Pythagorean and myself hold.This is again going to prove a stumbling block to further discussion if we fail to understand your concept of this individual.I would appreciate it if you could lay it out for us as simply as possiable,we could then perhaps relate it to the topic.


I don't know exactly what you want or how to put my thoughts simply without fostering misconception.
 
boagie
 
Reply Sat 14 Apr, 2007 04:39 pm
@Mr Fight the Power,
Mr Fight the power,

"I don't know exactly what you want or how to put my thoughts simply without fostering misconception."

Well if you understand the individual that pythagorean and myself are talking about,simply contrast your individual with what you understand is our concept.

A very eloquent response on the matter of modivation--thank you!
 
Mr Fight the Power
 
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2007 04:52 pm
@Pythagorean,
I think the greatest difference between my opinion of the individual and pythagorean's opinion is the acquisition of morality. It seems that Pythagorean holds the opinion that humans will behave without moral consideration if not for the rule of law. I, on the other hand, think that humans (most, some have natural barriers) can form an acceptable moral code on their own (that is without rule of law, not without society itself).

In fact, I take the opinion that rule of law tends to enforce immoral or at best, amoral behavior.

It is like an old theological question: Is a man moral because he obeys God or because he agrees with God?

EDIT: I don't know if that is actually an old theological question, but it seems to me like it should be.
 
boagie
 
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2007 07:09 pm
@Mr Fight the Power,
Mr Fight the power,

I think you have pinpointed the difficulty nicely.Personally I tend to agree with this stance,though in degree.You are correct to, it is not a new perspective but one dealt with in Rousseau's philosophy,it is the treatment of natural man and society.Great stuff!


http://www.iep.utm.edu/r/rousseau.htm#SH2b
 
Pythagorean
 
Reply Mon 16 Apr, 2007 12:21 am
@boagie,
Boagie, Mr. Fight The Power,

Sorry for my absence. I have been undergoing some medical tests since Thursday (light-headedness).

I hope you two don't mind if I try to jump back in on this important discussion now.

Quote:
Mr. Fight The Power wrote:

I think the greatest difference between my opinion of the individual and pythagorean's opinion is the acquisition of morality. It seems that Pythagorean holds the opinion that humans will behave without moral consideration if not for the rule of law. I, on the other hand, think that humans (most, some have natural barriers) can form an acceptable moral code on their own (that is without rule of law, not without society itself).

In fact, I take the opinion that rule of law tends to enforce immoral or at best, amoral behavior.

It is like an old theological question: Is a man moral because he obeys God or because he agrees with God?

EDIT: I don't know if that is actually an old theological question, but it seems to me like it should be.


The portrait that you have drawn regarding an innate, natural human morality is a compelling one and has some obvious merit. But I would point out to you that laws are made by individuals and so adherance to law also conforms to your idea of an innate morality. So that acquisition of morality via the law is also a subjective acquisition of morality via the original law-makers who created the original social institutions.

The original law-makers must have looked inside themselves and at other historical examples of human virtue in order to come up with a code that fit their subjective views regarding their project of society. They created what exists today as a living common-law.

The intention of law is, in my opinion, to form society itself, so that there can be no society, no language, no knowledge, and no 'world-structure' in which humans could orient themselves (and discover reality, and posit their priorities) without law. And since there can be no morality without the existence of immorality I would make a strong argument for the existence of immorality - of natural innate immorality. If we were to look at history we can see many examples of immorality. And the only correction to an immoral state of affairs would be the rectification of former immorality visa the imposition of law based upon the subjective determination of morality in opposition to what is considered immoral.

Also I think it is quite possible for whole nations and even the preponderance of the world's people to live in chaos and immorality, which they have done for many thousands of years in history. In fact, the question of whether evil can be stronger than good can only be asked by those who live in a luxury of goodness (i.e. in a pre-existing benevolent society). The rest of humanity who dwell without this luxury should know that evil is strongest and chaos the rule.

(I would compare the natural triumph of chaos and evil in the world with the notion that things tend to run down in physics. It takes energy and effort to make things run. Things tend naturally to burn out and fade away and die. Energy is always limited in nature, there is no perpetual motion machine, there is no free lunch, what goes up must come down. Evil and chaos rule by common inertia as well.)

The question arises whether or not the law is just, whether the law is good or bad. In order to determine that we need to be able to appeal to some outside (outside of the law) arbiter of what is right and wrong.

I think that confusion comes in at the point at which we consider that the law is for an earthly, or a worldly purpose and if we consder that there may be more to life and the universe than the earthly imposition of social regulations. There may be a higher plane of existence in which the law pales in significance to it. In this case the earthly law seems like a petty thing. But I would only suggest that we humans need to begin with an earthly, practical set of rules in order to climb to the highest peaks and to see whether or not the law is indeed just in certain cases. And also to climb up to the heights in order to see the temporal nature of all human created, earth-bound, low forms of pragmatic existence in relation to more divine and cosmic conceptions of a grander and more awesome law.

To put it bluntly, there might be something super-natural that is innate in (some) human beings (as in that value-creation potential). We are however, dependent upon the basic services of society, eg. education, language, and human examples, in order to ascend towards and fulfill this super-natural something beside which the earthly law looks so meager.
 
boagie
 
Reply Mon 16 Apr, 2007 06:55 am
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean,

Your absence has been felt,I do hope your tests do not indicate anything to serious.Your post along with that of Mr Fight the power's post has cleared much confusion.Personally I would differ with you in considering the supernatural, unless it were considered as a projection of the human psyche,a projection which then reflects back upon itself.Great post! I shall ponder this a bit more, before venturing a greater response.


 
mike9989
 
Reply Mon 16 Apr, 2007 10:48 am
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean wrote:
I have come to the conclusion that a truly human life cannot be seperated from morality. That every human concern is ultimately a moral concern. So that it is incumbent upon us as human beings to learn the virtues, to learn what virtue means.

And if it is correct that mankind was made in the image of God, then truly I have seen him lately in the faces of the weeping, in the expressions of the wounded, the ailing and the stricken.


I believe what you are trying to say is that as humans it is our responsibility to aid those in need, nurture the sick to health etc.

I would agree, if this is what you are saying, that those who are striken by no fault of there own should be aided by those who are able. I would presume, reading into you short poetic statement that virtue, you are suggesting is to help those less fortunate with no request in return and I would tend towards this view myself.

Correct me if I'm wrong! (not very good at poetry.)Smile
 
Logos
 
Reply Mon 21 May, 2007 04:31 pm
@mike9989,
Greetings;
Would those who used the word 'virtue(s)' in the previous threads here please define this? Thank You....Logos
 
ogden
 
Reply Fri 7 Dec, 2007 08:34 pm
@Logos,
lets be clear -Virtues are atributes that are valued. Courage and loyalty are virtues, even morality is a virtue.

Morality is a value system (or the function of it); right or wrong, bad or good. All human action is a result of individual values- I reach for a glass of water because I value it. Moral values are something more, something connected to empathy. How do my actions or inactions afect others? What are the values of my group? How do my values fit into the values of the group? Humans are social and must learn and constantly modify thier value systems within the group. Values rationalized by the group are not always moralistic, however. Nationalism, religion and race are all group deliniations that can cause individuals to act in oposition to individual morality. Someone who would never murder would kill for his country.

Society as a rule invokes organized value systems. Religious principals and common law are obvious value systems that standardize a groups morality.

I understand Pythagoreans original queston (correct me if im wrong) was: what is the appropriate response to the egregious suffering in the world, and what does it say about our morality if we cause or allow it? Our response should be to examin the resusts of our actions with empathatic response, striveing to reach out for the higher more developed value system that realizes we are indeed one group and that the demise of any individual in the group somehow diminishes us all.

Note: I am not well versed in phylosophy, I appreciate your understanding my somewhat ininformed train of thought, and encourage your enlightening comments, thanks:)
 
 

 
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