Ethics in a nutshell...

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dawoel
 
Reply Mon 6 Jul, 2009 06:36 am
One heres no end of "what Is ethics?" and endless debates over what one "should" do and why?, and "are these things objective or subjective?" and "can we even deceide all our actions anyway?" Naturally as the "idea" of ethics (not the ethics themselves obviously) is a human creation, summing up ethics is a difficult things to do as it has been created from conflicting sources...but I think aristotle was onto something when he went into "Virtue Ethics". I tend to use that in combination with biology and basic psychology to work out my ethical questions, and thus here is what I think ethics is in a nutshell:

"Ethics is an inescapable result of our being a social species, and you see it in almost all of the animal kingdom. It is, in its most basic sense a recognition that other creatures exist, and a self set or accepted set of rules to act accordingly. The purpose being, to floorish, in a social environment. For wolf packs have strict rules, the alpha male only has authority over other males, the females fall under the alpha female's guidance and vice versa, also it is only the alpha pair that are aloud to mate, and only each other. If a wolf breaks the rules, they can be assulted even killed or banished from the group. In order to floorish and prosper, a wolf must accept the rules of wolf society, to recognise that other wolves exist. Humans are similar, but with much more complicated rules. Some of our rules are enforced more than others, the most serious being called "laws". Laws are in place to make sure everyone plays "fair", so that nobody takes advantage of each other, because if the human team or society is to prosper, we need to work togethar and that cannot be done if we are raping, stealing from and murdering each other. However, law only covers the rules of mere practical ethics, the more personal kind is largely left to individuals. For example, adultery is not illegal (at least in my country) because it isn't totally impractical for all society to have it around, I would however still call it immoral (unless its consentual), and that is because of a lack of virtue.
Virtues are the tools we utilise in order to apply our actions around others for the best results. So virtues like compassion, generosity, courage, happiness, loyalty etc, these all go down well in a social environment, and if someone deliberately ignores them they end up shuned, possibly assulted and even killed, just like with wolves. What can also result in this is if the moral agent utilises too much of any one virtue. Too little courage is cowardice, but too much is fool hardiness. Too little generosity is greedy, but too much can be suffocating. Too little compassion is callous, but too much is masochistic, too little loyalty is selfish, but too much is sycophantic...etc In order to get the best results and to make the most people happy one must find a balance of all one's virtues and be accepted as an "all-round-decent-human-being". Now none of this, has anything to do with "moral worthiness" which is non-existent in my opinion. People do moral or immoral (or amoral) acts because of their genetic profile and their past environment, its not their fault. This doesn't change the fact that we should praise people to allow them to associate good behaviour with good results, and to punish people to associate bad behaviour with bad results for this is basic behaviour psychology, listen to Pavlov! Also the use of the word "should", should not be made out of context really (although I do it all the time). "Should" only really makes sense if you say "should IF", for example IF you want to succeed in x, then you "should" do y. "Should" means, this will make x most likely. So that is it, we need to work togethar because that is what humanity does, it forms societies and groups, but in order to work togethar we need to respect each other's needs and drives and compromise with each other, so to that end we invent systems of rules that allow us to do this, the rules we call values, and the psychological tools we use to reach these values, we call virtues.
 
Exebeche
 
Reply Mon 6 Jul, 2009 04:38 pm
@dawoel,
Seems to be widely acceptable.
That's probably why there is no response.
 
ValueRanger
 
Reply Tue 7 Jul, 2009 06:49 pm
@dawoel,
Yes, too much, too little, more or less, is The Golden Ratio of ethics.
 
SpaceChimp007
 
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2009 06:45 pm
@dawoel,
dawoel;75297 wrote:

People do moral or immoral (or amoral) acts because of their genetic profile and their past environment, its not their fault.


(Hegel's spirit lives on...)

So do people have free will? If you say they don't, I would disagree.

If you think they do, yet still say maintain your position I don't understand. How can I have a choice in the matter, but not be responsible for making the choice?
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2009 09:00 pm
@dawoel,
Dawoel,... If any thing is a choice, immorality is...Morality is something most of us are unconscious of...At some point in our lives all of us have to prove we are people apart from the crowd, and so we do that most heroic of actions: we crap on morality...Why this individualism is thought to be individualistic when every one at some point does it is a question beyond answer...I guess when we think we are being bad we feel all alone in the world... OOooo look at me...I am stealing a chicken.... What man ever has been so daring???At some point we all join society, and it is always for the same reason...Morality is natural...We do not really have to think about it...Immorality consumes our thoughts...

---------- Post added 07-10-2009 at 11:13 PM ----------

ValueRanger;75782 wrote:
Yes, too much, too little, more or less, is The Golden Ratio of ethics.

It is all or nothing...No one can be a little bit immoral...If you will steal a dime you will steal a million, and if you will steal a million you will steal a dime... If you ever reach a point where you think you are going too far, you know you have already... I find that the moment I justify I am ready to cross a line...I don't bother...If it were right it would justify itself... If it is unjust, then I must justify it...Immorality is more work, especially when we realize that it injures society when society gave us life, and which all moral people will give their lives to...Consider what I say of justification... We can rationalize immorality... Morality is irrational, and cannot be fully rationalized.... What does it take to sacrifice for ones community, or for others???It feels right, but no part of it can be justified from the point of view of the individual... That is why outlaws are our heroes in this land of individualism... They are out for themselves...They take until they break...They can justify what they do, and cannot grasp why the average man does it his way, the way of society..
 
ValueRanger
 
Reply Sun 12 Jul, 2009 05:07 pm
@Fido,
Fido;76531 wrote:
It is all or nothing

Like a hierarchy of needs at any point in space and time, each has priori values in momentum.

A may be at level 1 or 2 of a black and white, life or death decision, while B may be at level 5 or 6 aesthetic (lesser need), listening to Bach.

The over exapansion of value sets dilutes the species and accelerates entropy, while the opposite is also true: the over contraction, such as limiting your choices to fight-or-flight states, equally accelerates entropy.

The sustainable human lies in the eloquent sequitur and the layered need (causality) at hand.

Can you identify Prime Mover, twice, thrice, etc., removed trajectories from this point? Or is an internet forum too far removed from more intimate interaction that our species has so successfully evolved on?
 
Fido
 
Reply Sun 12 Jul, 2009 09:26 pm
@ValueRanger,
ValueRanger;76885 wrote:
Like a hierarchy of needs at any point in space and time, each has priori values in momentum.

A may be at level 1 or 2 of a black and white, life or death decision, while B may be at level 5 or 6 aesthetic (lesser need), listening to Bach.

The over exapansion of value sets dilutes the species and accelerates entropy, while the opposite is also true: the over contraction, such as limiting your choices to fight-or-flight states, equally accelerates entropy.

The sustainable human lies in the eloquent sequitur and the layered need (causality) at hand.

Can you identify Prime Mover, twice, thrice, etc., removed trajectories from this point? Or is an internet forum too far removed from more intimate interaction that our species has so successfully evolved on?

You are missing my point... When I was younger, perhaps thirty years ago, A black man jumped in the Grand river, and began to drown... Now; I am not black, and I did not know the man, and I knew from experience that the river was dirty, more dirty than the straits where I learned to swim... But when that man began to drown, and it became certain that he would drown without my help, I went into that river and helped to save his life...I might have judged him without knowing him and found him guilty... I judged him, and found him human, and I could not watch him die doing nothing, and though I came near to dying myself, still I, and another man saved that Individual... In another age if that man had been one of mine, my clan, or my nation; then I may have given my all, and if he were of another group, then left him to his fate...There is a story from my home of a race to the island in which the white's boat heeled too far over and sank... The natives kept on and then looked for their prize... The families of the dead white wanted to lynch the natives... How could they win the race with the whites in their canoes??? In fact, some peoples even in Europe believed it was bad luck to save the drowning, that the waters take who they will and the sooner fed the sooner the rest are safe...

If you take my point, society however it is conceived is a circle with two sides, inside and out...Primitives were very conscious of this dicotomy... The near and the far, the high and the low...The line enclosing their society divided them from all the animals...Now, we do not consider the criminal is such a fashion; yet the police and others are free to brutalize the criminal, worse than one would treat any domestic animal without charges...It was once true in nearly modern Europe that anyone could kill an outlaw with impunity....That was one danger of excommunication, that if not otherwise brought to justice, the criminal could be killed by anyone...

Yet; as an expression of individuality there is nothing better than crime...Since moral behavior is unconscious for the most part it cannot be proof of free will... Yet, if morality is practiced consciously as part of a conscious life; then it is evidence of free will..When people are truly anti social, or when they are convinced individualists, or self possessed essholes; then immorality become natural, and unconscious, and not proof of any will of any sort...
 
ValueRanger
 
Reply Sun 12 Jul, 2009 11:13 pm
@dawoel,
Yes, visceral action is contained in the rational set.

Just how far apart can you make any bridgeable points?
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 13 Jul, 2009 05:13 am
@ValueRanger,
ValueRanger;76934 wrote:
Yes, visceral action is contained in the rational set.

Just how far apart can you make any bridgeable points?

Morality is not rational... No moral concept is rational...Physical concepts are rational... Can people find a reason to act morally??? Yes; but then they are acting rationally, and not morally as morality is found, naturally...Knowledge is not virtue...Knowledge is knowledge... We can know why people act morally and yet never be able to teach it; and the reason is that irrational behavior can be learned, but never systemitized; so not taught in a step by step fashion... When morality is learned is when a child is essentially too young for rational thought, when he, or she identifies with parents and siblings, and has no distinct self identity... Morality is emotional...You have to feel it... Immorality is always a rational affair, and for that reason is always justified...The really striking acts of morality, say, of laying down ones life for another are never justifiied from the perspective of the individual...Either reason has to give, or the sense of self must give for people to be moral since morality means sacrifice...
 
ValueRanger
 
Reply Mon 13 Jul, 2009 08:26 am
@Fido,
Fido;76959 wrote:
Morality is not rational... No moral concept is rational...Physical concepts are rational... Can people find a reason to act morally??? Yes; but then they are acting rationally, and not morally as morality is found, naturally...Knowledge is not virtue...Knowledge is knowledge... We can know why people act morally and yet never be able to teach it; and the reason is that irrational behavior can be learned, but never systemitized; so not taught in a step by step fashion... When morality is learned is when a child is essentially too young for rational thought, when he, or she identifies with parents and siblings, and has no distinct self identity... Morality is emotional...You have to feel it... Immorality is always a rational affair, and for that reason is always justified...The really striking acts of morality, say, of laying down ones life for another are never justifiied from the perspective of the individual...Either reason has to give, or the sense of self must give for people to be moral since morality means sacrifice...

In order for spacetime to persist, there must be bridgeable points. Logic and emotion are two singular balance.

Single~two, same~difference, and, the law of inverse proportion causes its equal and opposite action: dual-to-mono.

Is 1.618 a consistent equation?
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 13 Jul, 2009 03:55 pm
@ValueRanger,
ValueRanger;76986 wrote:
In order for spacetime to persist, there must be bridgeable points. Logic and emotion are two singular balance.

Single~two, same~difference, and, the law of inverse proportion causes its equal and opposite action: dual-to-mono.

Is 1.618 a consistent equation?

You have not proved that space or time exist let alone space/time...Space is full of matter, and time is never constant, so we have these two quasi ideas which help us put all of our reality into perspective, and yet, are only explainable in terms of the other... Space takes time, and time takes space... So; while they may be useful there is nothing to get hung up on...
 
ValueRanger
 
Reply Mon 13 Jul, 2009 05:27 pm
@Fido,
Fido;77082 wrote:
You have not proved that space or time exist let alone space/time...Space is full of matter, and time is never constant, so we have these two quasi ideas which help us put all of our reality into perspective, and yet, are only explainable in terms of the other... Space takes time, and time takes space... So; while they may be useful there is nothing to get hung up on...

A dialectical exercise: you have not not proved space and time exist.

Care to continue in this axiom that lacks your individual proof?
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 13 Jul, 2009 08:11 pm
@ValueRanger,
ValueRanger;77091 wrote:
A dialectical exercise: you have not not proved space and time exist.

Care to continue in this axiom that lacks your individual proof?


No!... I am trying to prove I exist, and if ethics do not exist as a moral concept, at least, then my existence becomes all the less certain...If we think of it we may become it; but for many of us it has become unnatural... We think we are moral because we are being forced too...At some point it will spell the end of society...If people are not getting their needs met by society why should they be a part??? Why not leave and slam the door behind???If you have the time, and you need the space...
 
ValueRanger
 
Reply Mon 13 Jul, 2009 09:16 pm
@Fido,
Fido;77120 wrote:
No!... I am trying to prove I exist, and if ethics do not exist as a moral concept, at least, then my existence becomes all the less certain...If we think of it we may become it; but for many of us it has become unnatural... We think we are moral because we are being forced too...At some point it will spell the end of society...If people are not getting their needs met by society why should they be a part??? Why not leave and slam the door behind???If you have the time, and you need the space...

Meeting needs is ending society?

Well, that axiom goes like this: when the need being met shifts to another, shift with the need.

So you negate existence, in favor of what posit?
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 13 Jul, 2009 09:46 pm
@ValueRanger,
ValueRanger;77130 wrote:
Meeting needs is ending society?

Well, that axiom goes like this: when the need being met shifts to another, shift with the need.

So you negate existence, in favor of what posit?

We work harder than savages worked for their existence, and our existence is no more certain than theirs... Should we not expect better from life and from each other???If we could all be just, we could easily demand justice...The problem is that so many of us buy into the exploitation of each other and of the environment, even when we know it is immoral, that being as guilty as the worst in business, or government, or religion; that we cannot demand what we know we do not deserve... If all would seek justice everywhere, we might demand justice always...We pay one hellova price for our subsistence... We do not have burn up our energy and our lives at the rate we do, nor our resources... We work at least three times longer than we need to only to find we must support all those we beat out of work... There is not much good to say about wage slavery, but the slave does have one thing going for him: In creating value he recreates himself... We damage ourselves with pointless over work at the same time that we deny to others the chance to recreate themselves in the process of creation...

I do not negate existence, but existence is being negated while we speak... I cannot verify existence, but as long as I live I can give testimony to life...Without ethics we deny the society that gave us life, along with the mother that gave us life...It is the great crime of Greek tragedies all over again: Parricide...Why is that such a crime???Is it ingratitude???Not even suicide so expresses a hatred of life like killing ones parents...It is the negation of existence...
 
ValueRanger
 
Reply Mon 13 Jul, 2009 10:11 pm
@Fido,
Fido;77134 wrote:
It is the negation of existence...

Yes, each of us, and therefore quantitatively, counters entropy as persisting with value addition.

So if you had the choice of building a better civilization with peer level ethicists, would you join them?
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 14 Jul, 2009 05:35 am
@ValueRanger,
ValueRanger;77136 wrote:
Yes, each of us, and therefore quantitatively, counters entropy as persisting with value addition.

So if you had the choice of building a better civilization with peer level ethicists, would you join them?

You know; it is possible to have an intelligent conversation apart from the gobbedlygook...

I would not try to join anyone trying to create ethics out of whole cloth...We all have some ethics if we have mothers who loved us...It is natural to cling to those who protect us when we are young, and it is more easy to expand that feeling to all of humanity than to create it new... It is emotional, and irrational... Why one person may act morally one day and not the next, or why one is moral and another raised identically is not will always be a mystery... Sure; science can shed some light on the situation, but we must see that just as some people are born with birth defects others are born some times with moral defects... The majority by far seem to be naturally moral, and there is little that philosophy can do to make them more so...If you want to do something, attack the economy of immorality... Capitalism would not stand a chance in a moral society, and it would not justify so much immorality... Virtue becomes an article of commerce...Liberty was once an article of commerce... Were the slave masters of our South wrong in saying they should be free to relocate their human property anywhere in their country???They were right, given the rules of property; but then it is the rules of property which are wrong -if not misunderstood...It is never free and clear any more than an individual is ever free and clear of society....
 
ValueRanger
 
Reply Tue 14 Jul, 2009 08:29 am
@Fido,
Fido;77156 wrote:
I would not try to join anyone trying to create ethics

You are in an ethics forum, and resist joining that which you espouse.

Are you here to make noise while you fall?

Check your inner compass.
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 14 Jul, 2009 09:28 am
@ValueRanger,
ValueRanger;77189 wrote:
You are in an ethics forum, and resist joining that which you espouse.

Are you here to make noise while you fall?

Check your inner compass.

I am a moralist, or you might say ethicist...For over two thousand years philosophers have been trying to teach ethics, and the one thing pinned on Socrates, that knowledge is virtue is par for that course...I would agree that people do wrong out of ignorance, but philosophy has taught more ignorance than truth, mainly because it served their purpose to... Individualism is what has grown out of Platonism...You must first separate the individual from his group to build a nation state with him...Since the state has order, and in a sense, peace without all the crazy mindless blood feuds of our past, then that should be good, right???No; the individual is a victim, but also a criminal... Stripped of the tradition authority of his community, and free to make his own way he more often than not runs to ruin...Well, this suits those many who combine in new communities for the purpose of riding the lame... And having the individual at peace there is no reason to give him justice, so people seek it elsewhere until they find war... The violence is no less, and the destruction is more profound; and all because we have the individual we think we can teach virtue to...His community is already virtue before it is crushed and robbed of its power over its own...In my opinion, communities should not be destroyed since they are the source of good, protecting their members, and policing them...Rather, if the line around each community is like a circle, then every larger circle should enclose every other until the circle of humanity encloses all... You do not reach a better man by destroying the ancient influences of his own...In ones community is the essential knowledge of good and evil, health and sickness, prosperity and poverty...Today, the last vestige of community, the family is under attack... Parents may have influence, but they have no authority...I would not dare reaise a hand to my child no matter how much she asks for it because she would report me... And ditto for teachers... The law makes them powerless at the same moment it makes me powerless to stand with them, even in the right...Yet, the joke is on both of us because if my child is left untamed, and uneducated, undiciplined and generally useless because the state will have it no other way, then it must support such ignorance on a vast scale...How does it help my child???How does it help me???It helps only the state and her lawyers to have such nonsense..The less community they have the more law they must have, with attorneys, judges, shire reeves, and jailers...Here in this land where law is king, we have three quarters of all the worlds inmates in our own prisons... Are we less lawful??? No!!! Law is more powerful, and yet not powerful enough... It creates the individual as a legal entity, and when it does so it creates so many criminals freed from community control...We still have the worst aspects of community control...Everyone blames the whole black community for the crimes of their individuals; yet they have no control over their own...They have no esprit de corp, no morale...Instead, it is every man for himself, so their ability as a community to improve their situation by cooperation is shot...

If you want morality you need to encourage communities...
 
 

 
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