SUMMA-BONUM

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Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2010 04:18 pm
Summa-Bonum, latin for supreme good.
As Ethical discussion has raged throughout the ages, we have never come to an agreement as to what is our supreme good, and so I tend to ask the question to see what answers our philosophyforum station can provide.
So what is our summa-bonum, what is it that surrounds us and gives legitamicy to our morality if there is one???
Any thoughts??? what is our goal?:rolleyes:
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2010 04:22 pm
@JFM phil,
Great question. Great theme. Is the summa-bonum transcendental? In other words, are we programmed to posit an ultimate good, at least on a personal level? Is the summa-bonum the wrapper on a universal numen?

I may be biased but the development of our mental faculties, both emotional and conceptual, seems pretty good. And if this is just the wrapper of a numen, so be it.
 
Scottydamion
 
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2010 04:28 pm
@JFM phil,
JFM;131981 wrote:
Summa-Bonum, latin for supreme good.
As Ethical discussion has raged throughout the ages, we have never come to an agreement as to what is our supreme good, and so I tend to ask the question to see what answers our philosophyforum station can provide.
So what is our summa-bonum, what is it that surrounds us and gives legitamicy to our morality if there is one???
Any thoughts??? what is our goal?:rolleyes:


I'm an existentialist, but I think if one would like to look for how to satisfy our natural desires it is prudent to research evolution, including the idea of memes as applied to biological evolution.

I'd rather think somewhat like Nietzsche and look forward toward a new kind of philosopher. I think our summa-bonum is ever changing or refining itself, and I would like to have a say in that change someday.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2010 04:55 pm
@JFM phil,
JFM;131981 wrote:
Summa-Bonum, latin for supreme good.
As Ethical discussion has raged throughout the ages, we have never come to an agreement as to what is our supreme good, and so I tend to ask the question to see what answers our philosophyforum station can provide.
So what is our summa-bonum, what is it that surrounds us and gives legitamicy to our morality if there is one???
Any thoughts??? what is our goal?:rolleyes:


It's summum bonum. According to Aristotle, it was happiness, because it is happiness that gives value to everything else we value, but happiness is, itself, beyond value, since there is nothing in terms of which happiness can be valued. According to Kant, it was what he called, "the good will". The motive to do what is right. Kant argued that it could not be happiness, for undeserved happiness is not a good thing. And the disagreement between Aristotle and Kant is the main battle about the summum bonum.
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Wed 10 Mar, 2010 05:14 am
@JFM phil,
JFM;131981 wrote:
Summa-Bonum, latin for supreme good.
As Ethical discussion has raged throughout the ages, we have never come to an agreement as to what is our supreme good, and so I tend to ask the question to see what answers our philosophyforum station can provide.
So what is our summa-bonum, what is it that surrounds us and gives legitamicy to our morality if there is one???
Any thoughts??? what is our goal?:rolleyes:
Taste and needs are individualistic and dynamic, in some enviroments and conditions something is Summa-Bonu, in others it sucks terrible.

If you look at fashion clothing, some may say certain things are Summa-Bonum, yet I wouldn't take any such haut coture into a trekking journey.

..so ..it all depends.
 
melonkali
 
Reply Wed 10 Mar, 2010 08:54 am
@HexHammer,
Individual tastes and needs... So we must consider "the good of the many" vs. "individual good" (or the potential for individual good)? I'd be interested in learning about some viable proposed solutions from the history of philosophy, as well as new and creative ideas, on this question. (Sure, I could fire-up the forklift and once again drag down the old 20-lb. "History of Western Philosophy" text, but first I'll try fishing among the more learned and creative minds here).

rebecca
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Wed 10 Mar, 2010 09:20 am
@melonkali,
melonkali;138254 wrote:
I'd be interested in learning about some viable proposed solutions from the history of philosophy, as well as new and creative ideas, on this question.
Excatly in which context?
 
1CellOfMany
 
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2010 09:11 pm
@JFM phil,
JFM;131981 wrote:
Summa-Bonum, latin for supreme good.
As Ethical discussion has raged throughout the ages, we have never come to an agreement as to what is our supreme good, and so I tend to ask the question to see what answers our philosophyforum station can provide.
So what is our summa-bonum, what is it that surrounds us and gives legitamicy to our morality if there is one???
Any thoughts??? what is our goal?:rolleyes:

I think that our summum bonum has evolved as we have evolved both physically, socially and spiritually. Now that humans have spread to most parts of the earth and have developed global communication and powerful technologies, I think our summum bonum may be global unity and cooperation. Most crime, it seems to me, comes from competition for resources and power. If people were guided by the principle of developing cooperation and unity, then poverty, warfare, pollution, and the other problems in the world today could be solved.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2010 10:15 pm
@melonkali,
melonkali;138254 wrote:
Individual tastes and needs... So we must consider "the good of the many" vs. "individual good" (or the potential for individual good)? I'd be interested in learning about some viable proposed solutions from the history of philosophy, as well as new and creative ideas, on this question. (Sure, I could fire-up the forklift and once again drag down the old 20-lb. "History of Western Philosophy" text, but first I'll try fishing among the more learned and creative minds here).

rebecca


Solutions to what, exactly?
 
Lost1 phil
 
Reply Sun 14 Mar, 2010 09:38 am
@JFM phil,
supreme good...

Take each of your working senses, think about the level you currently know as your highest experience at/of anyone of them...there it is "supreme good". Life is about attempting to match or top that level is it not?

Lost1
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 14 Mar, 2010 09:44 am
@Lost1 phil,
Lost1;139586 wrote:
supreme good...

Take each of your working senses, think about the level you currently know as your highest experience at/of anyone of them...there it is "supreme good". Life is about attempting to match or top that level is it not?

Lost1


The question is, what is the criterion or test for the supreme good? According to Aristotle, the criterion of the supreme good is, (1) that standard by which everything else is valued, and (2) that which, itself, is beyond value, since there is no other standard by which it could be valued. It is the standard.

Aristotle thought that only one thing met this criterion. Happiness.
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Sun 14 Mar, 2010 10:13 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;139587 wrote:
The question is, what is the criterion or test for the supreme good? According to Aristotle, the criterion of the supreme good is, (1) that standard by which everything else is valued, and (2) that which, itself, is beyond value, since there is no other standard by which it could be valued. It is the standard.

Aristotle thought that only one thing met this criterion. Happiness.
Nietzche wants to know if he blinked his eyes after he said that.

So Happiness. Would it flesh out what that means if we see Happiness as the standard for how we value the play Macbeth?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 14 Mar, 2010 10:37 am
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;139596 wrote:
Nietzche wants to know if he blinked his eyes after he said that.

So Happiness. Would it flesh out what that means if we see Happiness as the standard for how we value the play Macbeth?


It gives happiness to the spectators to watch a great play. There were great tragedies (Sophocles) in the time of Aristotle too, you know. I think that your problem concerns happiness.
 
melonkali
 
Reply Sun 14 Mar, 2010 11:58 am
@kennethamy,
melonkali;138254 wrote:
Individual tastes and needs... So we must consider "the good of the many" vs. "individual good" (or the potential for individual good)? I'd be interested in learning about some viable proposed solutions from the history of philosophy, as well as new and creative ideas, on this question. (Sure, I could fire-up the forklift and once again drag down the old 20-lb. "History of Western Philosophy" text, but first I'll try fishing among the more learned and creative minds here).

rebecca


HexHammer;138265 wrote:
Excatly in which context?


kennethamy;139458 wrote:
Solutions to what, exactly?


OK -- am I to understand, then, that insuring the "common good" of the many in no way infringes on the potential individual "greater good" of a few? Or vice versa? (I realize that I'm using "greater good" in an unorthodox sense of the term, but I trust you guys can follow.)

It's probably best to avoid using today's extreme example of "consumerism, capitalism, greed and wealth for a few at the cost of massive global human suffering", since that's such a "no-brainer". Does anyone here seriously doubt that this patent, widespread abuse of the principles of "economic freedom" is completely unacceptable? That the current situation represents government protections of oligarchy, not bona fide "economic freedom". That the need for a major paradigm change is obvious?

So, as an example, let's consider civil liberty vs. the law: what if some people, enjoying an "individual greater good" of freedom of religion, are allowed to go "outside the law" and commit acts which the law defines as treason, although the intent and consequence of the action carries no significant potential for real harm. What if I wanted to evangelize Osama bin Laden; what if I am a Catholic priest invited to hear his Confession?

(This is meant to be an absurd example. It is unlikely that bin Laden will seek Confession, but if he did, it would set up this violation of the Patriot Act. Don't get lost in the details.)

Should my individual "good", freedom of religion (or, in fairness, any belief system) become a universal principle of civil liberty, a "common good" for "the many" to enjoy?

What are the potential consequences of all men enjoying such liberty? In reality, a serious DEcrease in "the common good" which "the many" currently enjoy, since there is a good possibility that some of "the many" will abuse this freedom and start a war on home soil. Yet if only I (perhaps along with a few others) am allowed this freedom, will not "the many" rightfully question why I enjoy a "greater good" than they?

In an egalitarian or utilitarian society which places "the common good" of the many above any "potential greater good" of an individual, must I be deprived of this individual "greater good"?

If you suggest looking at the issue on an individual case-by-case basis, then who is the final judge? What standards can be fairly applied? What voice have "the many" in setting these standards and appointing the judges? Consider that such micro-management has never, at least not to my knowledge, worked in any large society, and importantly, why it has never worked.

If you suggest that no citizen should be found in violation of the law unless he actually commits "harmful action", then will you eliminate all pre-emptive and preventive laws? Is this a viable solution in an age of easily accessible "really big" weapons, even WMDs?

Is there a reasonable answer? Do I lose my individual freedom of religion, my individual "greater good" (in the sense I use the term in this post), for the sake of the "common good" of the many? In effect, does society rightfully take away my civil liberties for the safety and security of the many?

Am I missing the point when I am unable to consider summum bonum until I'm clear about whether we are talking about the potential summum bonum of an individual in a society or the summum bonum of "the many" in a society?

rebecca
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 14 Mar, 2010 01:36 pm
@melonkali,
melonkali;139626 wrote:
OK -- am I to understand, then, that insuring the "common good" of the many in no way infringes on the potential individual "greater good" of a few? Or vice versa? (I realize that I'm using "greater good" in an unorthodox sense of the term, but I trust you guys can follow.)

It's probably best to avoid using today's extreme example of "consumerism, capitalism, greed and wealth for a few at the cost of massive global human suffering", since that's such a "no-brainer". Does anyone here seriously doubt that this patent, widespread abuse of the principles of "economic freedom" is completely unacceptable? That the current situation represents government protections of oligarchy, not bona fide "economic freedom". That the need for a major paradigm change is obvious?

So, as an example, let's consider civil liberty vs. the law: what if some people, enjoying an "individual greater good" of freedom of religion, are allowed to go "outside the law" and commit acts which the law defines as treason, although the intent and consequence of the action carries no significant potential for real harm. What if I wanted to evangelize Osama bin Laden; what if I am a Catholic priest invited to hear his Confession?

(This is meant to be an absurd example. It is unlikely that bin Laden will seek Confession, but if he did, it would set up this violation of the Patriot Act. Don't get lost in the details.)

Should my individual "good", freedom of religion (or, in fairness, any belief system) become a universal principle of civil liberty, a "common good" for "the many" to enjoy?

What are the potential consequences of all men enjoying such liberty? In reality, a serious DEcrease in "the common good" which "the many" currently enjoy, since there is a good possibility that some of "the many" will abuse this freedom and start a war on home soil. Yet if only I (perhaps along with a few others) am allowed this freedom, will not "the many" rightfully question why I enjoy a "greater good" than they?

In an egalitarian or utilitarian society which places "the common good" of the many above any "potential greater good" of an individual, must I be deprived of this individual "greater good"?

If you suggest looking at the issue on an individual case-by-case basis, then who is the final judge? What standards can be fairly applied? What voice have "the many" in setting these standards and appointing the judges? Consider that such micro-management has never, at least not to my knowledge, worked in any large society, and importantly, why it has never worked.

If you suggest that no citizen should be found in violation of the law unless he actually commits "harmful action", then will you eliminate all pre-emptive and preventive laws? Is this a viable solution in an age of easily accessible "really big" weapons, even WMDs?

Is there a reasonable answer? Do I lose my individual freedom of religion, my individual "greater good" (in the sense I use the term in this post), for the sake of the "common good" of the many? In effect, does society rightfully take away my civil liberties for the safety and security of the many?

Am I missing the point when I am unable to consider summum bonum until I'm clear about whether we are talking about the potential summum bonum of an individual in a society or the summum bonum of "the many" in a society?

rebecca


Experience has shown that societies of human beings who sacrifice individual happiness for communal good, eventually achieve neither. Recently Communist societies, are an example.

Ants, bees, and other insects are, of course, are different.

I hope that Obama's America does not become another example of human failure. We require no further examples.
 
Greg phil
 
Reply Sun 14 Mar, 2010 01:51 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;132004 wrote:
It's summum bonum. According to Aristotle, it was happiness, because it is happiness that gives value to everything else we value, but happiness is, itself, beyond value, since there is nothing in terms of which happiness can be valued. According to Kant, it was what he called, "the good will". The motive to do what is right. Kant argued that it could not be happiness, for undeserved happiness is not a good thing. And the disagreement between Aristotle and Kant is the main battle about the summum bonum.

But see James Otteson (2004 i think :S) Actual Ethics where he argues for a theory of virtue and justice which integrates Aristoliant judgement and a Kantian conception of personhood (he argues for a Classical Libralist state and that we should use our reason to live happy and fufilled lives).
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Sun 14 Mar, 2010 11:51 pm
@JFM phil,
melonkali/rebecca

You really should learn the philosophy of the laconic, that would be very beneficial.

Imo you describe things very precisely, east of the moon, west of the sun ...but where the heck is that? Tbh I don't grasp the meaning in anything you just wrote.
 
1CellOfMany
 
Reply Thu 18 Mar, 2010 09:21 pm
@JFM phil,
melonkali;139626 wrote:
OK -- am I to understand, then, that insuring the "common good" of the many in no way infringes on the potential individual "greater good" of a few? Or vice versa? (I realize that I'm using "greater good" in an unorthodox sense of the term, but I trust you guys can follow.)

It's probably best to avoid using today's extreme example of "consumerism, capitalism, greed and wealth for a few at the cost of massive global human suffering", since that's such a "no-brainer". Does anyone here seriously doubt that this patent, widespread abuse of the principles of "economic freedom" is completely unacceptable? That the current situation represents government protections of oligarchy, not bona fide "economic freedom". That the need for a major paradigm change is obvious?

.....

Do I lose my individual freedom of religion, my individual "greater good" (in the sense I use the term in this post), for the sake of the "common good" of the many? In effect, does society rightfully take away my civil liberties for the safety and security of the many?

Am I missing the point when I am unable to consider summum bonum until I'm clear about whether we are talking about the potential summum bonum of an individual in a society or the summum bonum of "the many" in a society?

rebecca


There are certain principals which, if put into practice by the many, increase the potential good for each individual. (I am talking of a variant of the "social contract.") For example, if people practice keeping their agreements, it becomes possible to have unfettered exchange of goods and services. There is a common agreement that, before taking an item from the market, one will give the agreed-upon value in exchange. If there were not such agreements, who would bother to bring goods to exchange? Each individual would have to make do with what they could produce, or steal, for themselves. Some observation of your day to day life will turn up many ways in which cooperation amongst humans (sacrificing some selfish acts for the benefit of the many) make it possible for you to live in a civilization which, though flawed, manages to provide security, comfort, opportunities for happiness and for creative expression to many people.

You speak of the need for a major paradigm change, and I agree, but who knows what would need to change, let alone how to bring that change about? All of the evident problems in the world, such as consumerism, extremes of wealth and poverty, wars, a huge underground slave economy, the oppression of the many by the powerful, etc., are all symptoms of a general illness in the body of humankind. A true summa bonum would be a guiding principal which would lead us, as individuals in cooperation with others in the world, to a higher civilization: a civilization in which each and every individual would have a better, more satisfying life than anyone has in the present world.

I believe that the Oneness of Humankind is such a principal. It is a spiritual principal, as well as a guide to ethics. It leads to greater cooperation and to a great collective power. Would the United States have any power in the word if the states were not united? Would the United Kingdom be a major power if it were still made up of many small kingdoms? It is better that people work and strive together out of love for one another and for a higher good, than if they work together because the state forces them, (as under communism) or because they are pursuing a warped vision of world dominaton (WW 2 Axis Powers).

Here are some positive examples:
Full-Circle Learning
The Girl Effect - Home
 
north
 
Reply Thu 18 Mar, 2010 09:26 pm
@JFM phil,
JFM;131981 wrote:
Summa-Bonum, latin for supreme good.
As Ethical discussion has raged throughout the ages, we have never come to an agreement as to what is our supreme good, and so I tend to ask the question to see what answers our philosophyforum station can provide.
So what is our summa-bonum, what is it that surrounds us and gives legitamicy to our morality if there is one???
Any thoughts??? what is our goal?:rolleyes:


our Human survival
 
 

 
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