Moral Obligation.

Moral Obligation.
Desidude666
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#21 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Sep 28, 2009 - 4:01 AM:

Morality doesn't exist in existence - that one cannot be ingratiated or even expect morality as an obligation as it does not exist. However, one needs to comprehend that morality, while does not exist, is certainly a function in our existence, our need for functional morality develops it. Should we kill to survive, then morality has no value or function as it opposes our most primary goal of life, however, should we have to kill another who forms a part of our functional need to survive and sustain, then we impose morality based on the possibility against the harm to our functional existence. That said, when it meets certain requisites, morality may be imposed as a functional obligation and should the same functional morality oppose our primary needs, it is then non-obligatory and thus a rare non-functional reaction.

However, if you regard morality and ethics as non-existing without adhering to it's functional role to existence then you might be making a terrible error in judgment on reality. Rightly, morality does not exist, however, morality is a function - and is thus obligatory based on primary requisites.

That said, you have to be 'good'.

Edited by Desidude666 on Sep 29, 2009 - 3:47 AM
mutemaler
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#22 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Sep 28, 2009 - 4:21 AM:

Desidude666 wrote:
Morality doesn't exist in existence - that one cannot be ingratiated or even expect morality as an obligation as it does not exist....

No disrespect intented - because I think you mean this in a particular way (and you would have to be more specific about it) - but it is sheer nonsense to speak like this. For you or for anyone period. Everything we are and do is part of the universe(-plus), exists, is real.

When I talk about moralities, that they come and go, come into being, that there is not some 'one, single, absolute, eternal, static, and unchanging morality' that is then the measure of all things, the very last thing from my mind is to say that morality 'does not exist'.

Besides being an awkward phrase, 'doesn't exist in existence' would seem to imply that we are not part of the universe, and I sincerely doubt you want to assert that.

Maybe it is this deep-seated bias of our tradition which is the source of the misunderstanding, makes us so blind to the obvious, commits us to saying the ridiculous.

A worldview - literally how we see reality - which posits an "ultimate" reality which is static and unchanging, so much so that only the fruits of this strange way of seeing qualify for what it then calls "real existence", a "universal law", an "eternal truth", etc.

Edited by mutemaler on Sep 28, 2009 - 4:31 AM
Desidude666
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#23 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Sep 28, 2009 - 4:37 AM:

mutemaler wrote:

No disrespect intented - because I think you mean this in a particular way (and you would have to be more specific about it) - but it is sheer nonsense to speak like this. For you or for anyone period. Everything we are and do is part of the universe(-plus), exists, is real.


No, even taking that in consideration, you are then arguing for tangible morality not functional morality. Just because we walk doesn't mean 'walk' exists. Reality isn't our perceptions of what exists, it just exists irregardless.

mutemaler wrote:

When I talk about moralities, that they come and go, come into being, that there is not some 'one, single, absolute, eternal, static, and unchanging morality' that is then the measure of all things, the very last thing from my mind is to say that morality 'does not exist'.


Again, morality cannot exist as it's purely functional. You cannot have a moral universe because then you would have a chaotic universe - one that thinks about 'right' or 'wrong' before functioning. Your 'rights', or my 'rights'... in fact, where morality is concerned, we might not even agree to functional applications as well!

mutemaler wrote:

Besides being an awkward phrase, 'doesn't exist in existence' would seem to imply that we are not part of the universe, and I sincerely doubt you want to assert that.


Because it doesn't exist! We are part of the universe, but our functions are not. Their reactions might be, but not our functions - they are ours alone.

mutemaler wrote:

Maybe it is this deep-seated bias of our tradition which is the source of the misunderstanding, makes us so blind to the obvious, commits us to saying the ridiculous.


Or our mutual misunderstanding?

mutemaler wrote:

Our worldview, literally how we see reality, and one which posits an "ultimate" reality which is static and unchanging, so much so that only the fruits of this strange way of seeing qualify for what this view calls "real existence", a "universal law", an "eternal truth", etc.


Existence doesn't need human perception, that means we are irrelevant to reality in general, that's my point. And if morality is functional to us (as our moral zeitgeist has always been evolving) it is not entirely equally applicable to existence since we are within existence, not outside. Existence remains, irregardless or man or his functions.
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#24 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Sep 28, 2009 - 4:47 AM:

Desidude666 wrote:
...Because it doesn't exist!...

Our disagreement is rather deep, centers on the word exist. I'll think about it and get back, or see what others might have to say, get their input.

It might help to use an example which is not human. Vampire bats could be said to employ a morality, used in a wider sense now. It has to do with their feeding habits, that they share blood when they return because if they didn't the colony would not survive (they only are successful maybe every third night, and would themselves die by the third day if this system was not it place). It is selective (they only share with others who share), and it is learned as far as I know, it is passed down. But that probably doesn't matter here.

That "morality" is clearly real, it clearly exists to me. You would say it does not?

***

An experiment: Here is your last sentence, with the word bat substituted in for man/human:

"Existence doesn't need bat perception, that means bats are irrelevant to reality in general, that's my point. And if morality is functional to bats (as their moral zeitgeist has always been evolving) it is not entirely equally applicable to existence since they are within existence, not outside. Existence remains, irregardless of bats or their functions."

Does it still make sense?

***

You know what I was just wondering now, though? I think if we agreed on terms we might probably agree on more things than disagree. And yet this problem with the word "exist" and "is" remains. And I wonder if that is because we have a tendency to imbed this into proofs, or conflate an "is" with true. And what is hovering behind this discussion the whole time is justification. So is your use of the word "is" a kind of pre-emptive strike against this kind of justification? I wouldn't use it as justification, but I can imagine that others might (absoluters, a rather disagreement bunch). Even if you might not think so at first, is it possible that this type of attempt at eventual justification is playing a role here? To cut it off at the pass so to speak??


Edited by mutemaler on Sep 28, 2009 - 7:19 AM
laurawalton
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Posted Sep 28, 2009 - 12:12 PM:

mutemaler wrote:

"Existence doesn't need bat perception, that means bats are irrelevant to reality in general, that's my point. And if morality is functional to bats (as their moral zeitgeist has always been evolving) it is not entirely equally applicable to existence since they are within existence, not outside. Existence remains, irregardless of bats or their functions."

Does it still make sense?



To my mind, yes it does, in the sense that that morality is a way of describing or codifying interactions between entities, rather than being an entity itself. Another example would be gravitation; arguably, it does not exist as a thing itself, but is rather a set of calculations and theorems that more or less predictably describe the interaction between entities that have mass. If there are no mass-bearing entities in the vicinity, gravity does not function, therefore doesn't need to exist.

However, I think we're veering waaaay far away from worset's OP, which was, as has been pointed out, very practical and applied in nature. Perhaps a better question would be: if "morality" as used here describes interactions between individual humans and other entities, how does that set of codified theorems play out in individual vs. group dynamics? Specifically, what are the established, predictable parameters of an individual who adheres to a certain moral precept when confronted with a violation of that precept?

As you can see, I would tentatively argue that morality, as a theoretical function that exists in practice, is somewhat universal if sometimes contested and excepted, just like gravitation ;-)
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#26 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Sep 29, 2009 - 3:36 AM:

mutemaler wrote:

Our disagreement is rather deep, centers on the word exist. I'll think about it and get back, or see what others might have to say, get their input.

It might help to use an example which is not human. Vampire bats could be said to employ a morality, used in a wider sense now. It has to do with their feeding habits, that they share blood when they return because if they didn't the colony would not survive (they only are successful maybe every third night, and would themselves die by the third day if this system was not it place). It is selective (they only share with others who share), and it is learned as far as I know, it is passed down. But that probably doesn't matter here.


Again, whose blood? Is it moral to take something from another prior to consent? Really, how are leeches moral? If they are still, then morality differs to bats and leeches, right? If morality is that flexible, do you then think it has any real role in a universe built on constants?

mutemaler wrote:

That "morality" is clearly real, it clearly exists to me. You would say it does not?


It's not, the bats are real - not their behaviour or 'perspective' to social reactions. In fact to you it's morality, for them it could be natural behaviour? How is your morality to fit them? If it's not universally constant, it's not a part of the universe. That is our reality. So I would say it does not.

mutemaler wrote:

An experiment: Here is your last sentence, with the word bat substituted in for man/human:


Sure.

mutemaler wrote:

"Existence doesn't need bat perception, that means bats are irrelevant to reality in general, that's my point. And if morality is functional to bats (as their moral zeitgeist has always been evolving) it is not entirely equally applicable to existence since they are within existence, not outside. Existence remains, irregardless of bats or their functions."


Right, but then you are then asserting a term, that has been 'created' to mean different things to different evaluators - morality does not need to represent morality that is to you. To human beings, sucking someone's blood or robbing someone of his/her wealth (the same thing) might seem equivalent to 'evil' - but to the bat, it's a matter of survival, they don't survive if they don't perform.

As such, morality is not universal - despite you changing terms, the meanings might change. To the bat, morality might mean 'evil' as you are then denying their biological function to survive. Likewise, should I steal something from someone else, I would then be termed 'evil' based on modern morality - because it is 'wrong'. Stealing about 100,000 years ago was not 'wrong' as it would have enhanced survival - this constant evolution, changing and the lack of universal application is what lacks when defining morality in reality, rather than just a function for survival.

mutemaler wrote:

Does it still make sense?


Yes, if you consider the lack of applicability of morality outside the human social system.

mutemaler wrote:

You know what I was just wondering now, though? I think if we agreed on terms we might probably agree on more things than disagree. And yet this problem with the word "exist" and "is" remains. And I wonder if that is because we have a tendency to imbed this into proofs, or conflate an "is" with true. And what is hovering behind this discussion the whole time is justification. So is your use of the word "is" a kind of pre-emptive strike against this kind of justification? I wouldn't use it as justification, but I can imagine that others might (absoluters, a rather disagreement bunch). Even if you might not think so at first, is it possible that this type of attempt at eventual justification is playing a role here? To cut it off at the pass so to speak??


Probably since I am indeed justifying void of morality due to it's lack in universal applicability, wouldn't call it eventual though. I think one should always be open to new opinions and even ideas, so having said that, I cannot assert my opinions with complete and absolute infallibility, I doubt anyone in existence can or could. However, with that being said, I would also state that the only way out in discussing such complex issues would be to not think like yourself, adopting an external perspective always enhances understanding, I think.
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#27 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Sep 29, 2009 - 3:57 AM:

laurawalton wrote:

if "morality" as used here describes interactions between individual humans and other entities, how does that set of codified theorems play out in individual vs. group dynamics? Specifically, what are the established, predictable parameters of an individual who adheres to a certain moral precept when confronted with a violation of that precept?


Again, you are assuming that we are going to react to a certain moral function, and thus would be predictable in our action to a defined reaction. Even if it's functional, I don't really agree to the idea of predictability of our reaction to a moral action, since morality does not exist. By suggesting codification, we are assuming that we can dictate a set of variables whether in a 'group' or define individuals to respond and perform a set of functions, whether moral or otherwise, and always be able to predict behaviour, should it be a defined moral function.

The idea here is the non-existence of morality - you cannot control what does not exist hence should you want to mathematically interpret perimeters to control functional morality, you are looking to control functional response to circumstance (near infinity) - that is what makes it more of a volatile scenario. If you agree that morality doesn't exist (as it is functional) how can you define non-existing variables within a perimeter? And what perimeter anyway?

Where does predictability come into this? I think you've lost me.
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#28 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Sep 29, 2009 - 11:53 AM:

Desidude666 wrote:

By suggesting codification, we are assuming that we can dictate a set of variables whether in a 'group' or define individuals to respond and perform a set of functions, whether moral or otherwise, and always be able to predict behaviour, should it be a defined moral function.


In these terms, no, we can't; I agree with you. But in terms of general trends, which are indeed mathematically calculable by those with sufficient skills (not I!), behavior we would label as moral can indeed be measured and predicted, to within a certain margin of error.

Moral behavior has deeply biological roots, and on the part of humans, is mainly just an intellectualization/conceptualization of Darwinian species-continuation necessities. "Thou shalt not kill [indiscriminately and within your group]" is a moral principle that is enacted quite naturally in all mammalian groups; what would be the evolutionary advantage of running around wiping out your entire breeding population on a whim? No mammal does it; killing is mainly constrained to fights for territory or culling the weak or genetically undesirable.

(If anyone points out that the moral is actually "Thou shalt not kill, period," I'll point to the moral in action, rather than the moral in ideal. If we're disussing it as a type of measurable function, we must look at its practiced application.)


Or to take another one, "Love thy neighbor as thyself,"or, "Just generally be nice to people and try to get along." This is exemplified quite nicely by the bat example above; it's a cooperative urge that tends to ensure continuation of the group, hence the species. Yes, these moral behaviors are measurable, traceable, and can result in a certain degree of predictability. Another for instance....

Let's say we've discovered the existence of an hitherto-unknown species that exists in the Arctic Circle. Let's call them hoovaloos. We know certain facts about them: they're social, they're broadly mammalian, they're obviously adapted to survival in cold conditions, and they're blue. From these facts, we can formulate a good working theory of their moral behavior. All the normal "morals" will apply-- they don't kill each other at random, they engage in certain altruistic, group-enhancing behaviors, they avoid engaging in excessive inbreeding practices if at all possible, etc.-- as well as a few specialized morals that would only apply to them.

"Thou shalt pick fleas off thy neighbor because it's nice" probably won't apply, since fleas can't survive in that environment, so something like "Thou shalt cuddle up closely with thy neighbors at night," is more likely, given our parameters. And so on. We can predict their moral behavior, if not with 100% accuracy, then at least with a high degree of it, just by understanding morality as a type of functional interaction between living beings.

Now, on to individual humans, as this is where I believe things get dicey (in our minds, at least.)

Desidude666 wrote:

The idea here is the non-existence of morality - you cannot control what does not exist hence should you want to mathematically interpret perimeters to control functional morality, you are looking to control functional response to circumstance (near infinity) - that is what makes it more of a volatile scenario. If you agree that morality doesn't exist (as it is functional) how can you define non-existing variables within a perimeter? And what perimeter anyway?



After considering my own statement (that individual moral behavior is trickier) I have to say, no, it's not really that much less predictable. It's an extrapolation of basic animal morality, and as such, is generally in line with it. As individuals, we may engage in all sorts of thought experiments about what is or is not possible for us to do-- sure, we could go on a five-state killing spree for no real reason at all, and occasionally one of us does-- but for the most part, we don't. Sure, we could mate with our immediate family members-- again, some of us do, statistically speaking-- but in general, we don't.

We can make a mathematical theorem: "In any given population of x size, y percent of that population will choose to mate with non-familial genetic makeup," or, "In a given population of x size, with resource-distribution factor y and social cohesion factor z, w murders will be committed within the group in a year's time." The margin of error in each of these equations will be moderately high, but that doesn't lessen their predictive value, especially when the calculations are used relativistically.

No, these calculations are not exactly telling us which individual will commit which breech of general morality, but I'd venture out on a limb and say that something like that is close to possible, too. At least, something like that is attempted every day; high schools counselors, for instance, work with a codified set of factors for identifying "high-risk" students. What are these high-risk students, then, if not statistically identifiable individuals who are likely to behave in amoral ways? And the predictive quality of this method is quite high, unfortunately.

Even from an "I-centered" perspective, I can make reasonably accurate predictions about my moral behavior in a multitude of scenarios. I know, for instance, that if I have been slighted or unappreciated in one sphere of life (high resentment factor x, let's say) and I have made no great new contributions to the world of having been published, shown, or paid (low ego-reinforcement factor y) that I am highly likely to do silly things just to bolster my own flagging self-esteem, such as accepting dates with unsuitable people, or saying yes to yet another time-wasting "volunteer opportunity." Knowing this as an equation in my own moral function, with a high degree of personal predictability, is a method of controlling it...or at least it gives me the chance to attempt to modify it, in process.
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#29 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Sep 30, 2009 - 1:10 AM:

laurawalton wrote:


In these terms, no, we can't; I agree with you. But in terms of general trends, which are indeed mathematically calculable by those with sufficient skills (not I!), behavior we would label as moral can indeed be measured and predicted, to within a certain margin of error.

Moral behavior has deeply biological roots, and on the part of humans, is mainly just an intellectualization/conceptualization of Darwinian species-continuation necessities. "Thou shalt not kill [indiscriminately and within your group]" is a moral principle that is enacted quite naturally in all mammalian groups; what would be the evolutionary advantage of running around wiping out your entire breeding population on a whim? No mammal does it; killing is mainly constrained to fights for territory or culling the weak or genetically undesirable.


Limited predictability is always possible, if you consider this, even the most unpredictable of objects, living or otherwise, may be predicted on that scale of marginal error. However, when we are suggesting biological predictability, we are then looking at a high rate of judgment based on empirical biological evidence that will project such a scientific assertion.

That said, should we look to judge a behaviour of a Lion to moral functions, we might successfully limit it's volatility to the equation of predictability and to it's captors (in a controlled environment though, the analogy of a lion is due to it's hostility and the potential of a massive loss should the equation result in a negative) if correct, but what if the margin of error increases with differing variables? One does indeed then expand this to the possibility of this fluctuating margin of error, what are the margins and can they even be reduced at all due to the astronomical numbers involved, if not infinite even? Again, when we are looking at analytical understanding, we don't evaluate functional judgment because we can, we evaluate them because we can't. There are just too many variables to this, despite the empirical data, the computation is tremendous if not near infinite. And then if you suggest such a possibility, you then limit yourself to one subject. What about the rest...

We're talking at least 6 billion here, different, unique and possibly might react differently to every single moral subject! Perimeters defined do not assist our analysis since they are not universally applicable. If this experiment is conducted under restricted conditions, the data gathered is not valuable as the subjects assume the moral zeitgeist as the most valid answer to every moral query.

laurawalton wrote:


(If anyone points out that the moral is actually "Thou shalt not kill, period," I'll point to the moral in action, rather than the moral in ideal. If we're disussing it as a type of measurable function, we must look at its practiced application.)


I think it's a valid argument, but it still doesn't equate an 'ideal' to an action. It has to be then processed by a biological requisite, rather, biological pre-requisite to an action. It isn't a moral just because it's 'ideal'. That's my point.

laurawalton wrote:

Or to take another one, "Love thy neighbor as thyself,"or, "Just generally be nice to people and try to get along." This is exemplified quite nicely by the bat example above; it's a cooperative urge that tends to ensure continuation of the group, hence the species. Yes, these moral behaviors are measurable, traceable, and can result in a certain degree of predictability. Another for instance....


Traceable only if they become biological impulses! You didn't quite get what I presented up there, a bat's morality isn't what is moral to human beings. There are requisites to morality - vampire bats might live on blood, but human beings consider leeching immoral - so how can one impulse be moral and another be immoral if morality exists? If it's central, this concept of morality, everything moral is moral. We can't elect to use some that work for us and reject the rest that might not serve our requisites to ideal survival. This would then become a case for shifting moral zeitgeist.

A snakes' neighbour might steal it's eggs, so can the snake still love his neighbour? Since it cannot be applied universally, such concepts have no real meaning to existence. It only serves ***our*** function and evolves with us, and we are very selfish and immoral (based on our own understanding of morality) when we impose such morals on Existence. It's ours and not of what is.

laurawalton wrote:

Let's say we've discovered the existence of an hitherto-unknown species that exists in the Arctic Circle. Let's call them hoovaloos. We know certain facts about them: they're social, they're broadly mammalian, they're obviously adapted to survival in cold conditions, and they're blue. From these facts, we can formulate a good working theory of their moral behavior. All the normal "morals" will apply-- they don't kill each other at random, they engage in certain altruistic, group-enhancing behaviors, they avoid engaging in excessive inbreeding practices if at all possible, etc.-- as well as a few specialized morals that would only apply to them.


Formulate predictable theoretical moral behaviour? Or do you simply attempt to predict inferential impulsive behaviour since you don't even know that species? Even if you claim the possibility of theoretical formulation, I still think there are logical errors as you then need to distinguish morality from impulses. If you think it's moral to, say, for a mammal to feed some other mammal's offspring to it's own, you are then contradicting your own concept should you compare the, say Ten Commandments, to what is - that what just is. Because on one hand, it's moral to enhance the life span of your offspring, especially in such hostile conditions but then how moral is killing the offspring of another for your own (child/chick/kid you get the idea). It is also immoral to deny the right to live to another as well. How is that moral even on modern standards? Isn't then your analogy self-contradicting?

Is it moral only if applicable to ourselves? Are you then merely interpreting morality as a biological function, rather than it's functional social, and possibly purely impulsive nature? If animals are not sufficiently self aware, how can they deem themselves to be moral at all? Or are they moral to us, but instinctive to themselves? You get the idea.

Only applies if you consider us as evolved and part of the natural biology. If brought to life by the divine, then it just falls on deaf ears though. Not that I have anything against organized religion, but it's just too childish for me, just my opinion, this.

laurawalton wrote:

"Thou shalt pick fleas off thy neighbor because it's nice" probably won't apply, since fleas can't survive in that environment, so something like "Thou shalt cuddle up closely with thy neighbors at night," is more likely, given our parameters. And so on. We can predict their moral behavior, if not with 100% accuracy, then at least with a high degree of it, just by understanding morality as a type of functional interaction between living beings.


Exactly, who defines these perimeters (God/s?)? And under what definitions? Suppose should I define slavery as acceptable and part of the after-battle booty, is that then acceptable to our modern definitions of morality, wasn't it acceptable in the older days, how do we have our Geneva Convention? Again, the perimeters are limitations imposed based on our most modern requisites to survival. Rather, it's a selfish attempt to define what we 'may' need based on what we could 'lose'. Morality is, in various ways, immoral based on what is defined within our modern moral zeitgeist.

laurawalton wrote:

Now, on to individual humans, as this is where I believe things get dicey (in our minds, at least.)


Looking forward to it with anticipation.

laurawalton wrote:

After considering my own statement (that individual moral behavior is trickier) I have to say, no, it's not really that much less predictable. It's an extrapolation of basic animal morality, and as such, is generally in line with it. As individuals, we may engage in all sorts of thought experiments about what is or is not possible for us to do-- sure, we could go on a five-state killing spree for no real reason at all, and occasionally one of us does-- but for the most part, we don't. Sure, we could mate with our immediate family members-- again, some of us do, statistically speaking-- but in general, we don't.


Depending again on the moral zeitgeist? If you didn't know, certain Islamic sects inbreed (the same God, I assume, if it's Yahweh), this trend is in the mainstream too. They inter-marry (with their cousins) and breed within. At the same time, we have the idea of what is general. General where, in your social unit? Or the social unit of the Mormons (those old polytheistic sects)? Today, we look at polytheism as immoral in the West, don't we? How immoral is a mating commitment by a female at the trade-off of guaranteed livelihood by her mate? Should two parties agree on a mating ritual (agreement), the general morality (despite the fact that muslims are allows to marry up to 4 women in various common law countries still) thus defines what is moral based on the social moral zeitgeist. We don't mate with our siblings - not due to morality, but due to preferential genetic objectives. If you believe that old Adam and Eve story, their siblings did inter-breed as well, how can you have reproduction in a moral society with just a male and a female specimen - if the source for morality is singular, we then have a very immoral myth up your (morality advocacy) alley, do you then reject subscribing to this basic premise of Judeo Christian principle?

It's not like keeping various mates is morally 'bad' - it's not, should the mate be consenting (I don't believe in this nonsense though and this is purely hypothetical, am not condoning such behaviour, principals or lifestyles in *my* moral outlook that is a result of my upbringing) to the general judgment even. So aren't we then basing our instinctive decisions on inferential judgments from statistical data that might not even come from the general populace you represent in a discourse?

Really, the sheer diversity of modern morality kills it, even if it does 'exist' for the sake of this discussion!

laurawalton wrote:

We can make a mathematical theorem: "In any given population of x size, y percent of that population will choose to mate with non-familial genetic makeup," or, "In a given population of x size, with resource-distribution factor y and social cohesion factor z, w murders will be committed within the group in a year's time." The margin of error in each of these equations will be moderately high, but that doesn't lessen their predictive value, especially when the calculations are used relativistically.


Then aren't we assuming predictions for the purpose of replication and the obvious build of biological organism (that it mates most efficiently to retain itself?)? Even if your theorem is accepted (I have not really interpreted it, will do it later though) as a possibility to account for decisions - then I would have to underline if inbreeding is indeed immoral, inter-racial mating are immoral too, and most importantly, does the process of breeding when your very perimeters (Catholicism and chastity, if you retain what is mentioned) undermine fornication as a process at all.

Based on the defined example as perimeter, wouldn't then breeding itself be immoral? Perhaps how you do it with your mate, in whatever way, is thus immoral too? If you defy you perimeters, what then you do with theoretical prediction? Haven't you already defied the equation? Don't you then assume that the accepted perimeter is flawed? You got me a little lost again here though since the perimeter does not quite cover the non-linear nature of most biological organism.

laurawalton wrote:

No, these calculations are not exactly telling us which individual will commit which breech of general morality, but I'd venture out on a limb and say that something like that is close to possible, too. At least, something like that is attempted every day; high schools counselors, for instance, work with a codified set of factors for identifying "high-risk" students. What are these high-risk students, then, if not statistically identifiable individuals who are likely to behave in amoral ways? And the predictive quality of this method is quite high, unfortunately.


Again, you are then looking to converge instinctive functions with evolving mechanisms. That said, if councillors didn't exist to help troubled youth in the early years (bronze age), then is it at all within us as biological impulses, this morality? Or have these impulses been cultivated later?

I am not saying that morality is 'bad' or that it's imposed importance to our modern existence undermines us, maybe to a degree it does, but it still serves it's functional purpose. We cannot then define it as a pre-requisite to biological impulses, as you point and thus assume that it's a biological mechanism that is a factor within evolution. It is not.

I don't see logic in this, again remember I don't undermine morality for you or anyone else, it's just illogical. Should it 'exist' exist for you or someone else, probably if it makes you do and be 'right' so be it - however reality isn't as straight and linear. Nature is a brutal system of repetitions and it doesn't need to be 'right' to anyone/thing, let alone Man.

laurawalton wrote:

Even from an "I-centered" perspective, I can make reasonably accurate predictions about my moral behavior in a multitude of scenarios. I know, for instance, that if I have been slighted or unappreciated in one sphere of life (high resentment factor x, let's say) and I have made no great new contributions to the world of having been published, shown, or paid (low ego-reinforcement factor y) that I am highly likely to do silly things just to bolster my own flagging self-esteem, such as accepting dates with unsuitable people, or saying yes to yet another time-wasting "volunteer opportunity." Knowing this as an equation in my own moral function, with a high degree of personal predictability, is a method of controlling it...or at least it gives me the chance to attempt to modify it, in process.


Again, don't confuse yourself with instinctive decisions and morality. When you make a decision, you decide based on the incentive and trade-off. You do not date someone because that person offers no value to you, so you've defined him/her unsuitable, you are not calculating moral possibilities, you are calculating suitability that is based on your own defined variables.

(A = x(a + b + c + d)) for example, where A is your decision, and x would be your own motivation (the higher the integer, the more motivated?) and where others are your requisites to substitute, and maybe, just maybe, d might be morality, hopefully? Suppose you substitute motivation to 0 (you just don't like an action), despite d being infinity itself, you will still end up in the void - because it's your motivation.

That example attempts to mathematically (linear) illustrate that perhaps morality is instinctive - and your motivation for it decides it's influence? Not to mention d alone doesn't make it all up, you have other factors too. I doubt you'd want to be given away (as a son/daughter) to a mindless perverted crowd when they knock on your father's door, right? Exactly my point, motivation = 0, hence immoral. You prefer the company of a man/woman, x equates to 1 and increases as you understand the other party better through getting to know about them more? Higher the A, the more likely that you would act?

Just a disclaimer here:

I don't think you should date any man/woman unsuitable to you, neither am I advocating self analysis or changes on your decision-making, I don't think I can make such a judgment for someone else, but the issue here is the uneven assessment on morality.

Continuing:

It's an over-rated functional concept, and it's not really all-circumventing if you really get out of your room, climb aboard taller building and look at it from a 3rd perspective downwards without any significance but a balanced analytical and open mind. You should know what I mean then.

Edited by Desidude666 on Sep 30, 2009 - 1:30 AM
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#30 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Sep 30, 2009 - 1:20 AM:

Wosret wrote:
Are you saying that morals can only be self-enforced, and when they become law, or externally enforced that they become something else?

No.

So aren't moral habits enforced before they are adopted?

No.

Also, doesn't this necessitate a certain level of autonomy and self-governance in order to qualify one as a moral-agent?

No.

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