An existential ethics

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Gary Childress
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An existential ethics

Post by Gary Childress »

I exist and there is no manual for how to exist. I just have to feel my way through it. When I do something bad, I feel bad. When I do something good, I feel good. I learn to do good by avoiding bad feelings. However, I can also become angry and allow bad feelings to persist or grow. It's very easy to act on anger sometimes and very difficult to subdue it or sublimate it. I want to feel good and so I try to do good. That's all I know.
Gary Childress
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Re: An existential ethics

Post by Gary Childress »

Or perhaps a more accurate description would be that I do things and feel bad or good from their results. However, there seems to be a mysterious link between certain things and results farther down the road, call it Karma or something. In that respect, it's difficult to link immediate actions with direct results, however, I do get the experience that what I did was wrong when a bad action that I perform toward someone is later done to me by someone else. And I seem to regret what I did to someone else, not because it hurt me at the time I did it to them but because what they did to me hurts me and I am unable to complain about it. I learn that it is wrong by having it done to me.
uwot
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Re: An existential ethics

Post by uwot »

Despite thousands of years of hand wringing, ethics is simple. Don't be a c unt.
Dubious
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Re: An existential ethics

Post by Dubious »

An adult as compared to a child would normally know it was wrong before it was done to him.
Gary Childress
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Re: An existential ethics

Post by Gary Childress »

Dubious wrote: Fri Nov 26, 2021 11:29 pm An adult as compared to a child would normally know it was wrong before it was done to him.
Not always. Sometimes we do things and don't realize we are hurting others until we have them done to us.
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: An existential ethics

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

All humans are "programmed" with an inherent potential moral faculty which is dormant and not very active in the the majority of humans at present.

Since 200,000 years ago this dormant moral faculty has been unfolding very slowly in the majority of humans while it has speeded up a bit in the last 100 years where the positive moral trend is very evident.

At present 2021 what we have is a collective moral state, say Moral State X.
In the present circumstance it is unlikely your personal moral state will change and even if you are lucky to change your moral state change drastically [very unlikely], it will be merely like a drop of rain into the ocean.

So it useless to humanity for you [as an individual] to assert, I do this, then I'll do that, etc., now or in 10 years time.

Since all humans are "programmed" with an inherent moral faculty with the DNA and manifest in the brain/mind, what we should do is to recognize and understand [now and ongoing] how to expedite the natural unfoldment of the moral potential in the next few generations and future generations.

If the human-moral-state collectively now [2021] is say rated at 100 [index] then we should expedite the increase to 120 in 50 years, 175 in 100 years and >200 thereafter.
When there is significant increase the majority in the future, gradually humans will be naturally and spontaneously be morally good with no impulse for evil.
Age
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Re: An existential ethics

Post by Age »

Gary Childress wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:02 pm I exist and there is no manual for how to exist.
None is EVER needed for how to exist.
Gary Childress wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:02 pm I just have to feel my way through it. When I do something bad, I feel bad. When I do something good, I feel good.
AND, sometimes when you do some thing 'bad' you feel 'good', and vice-versa, sometimes when you do some thing 'good' you feel 'bad'.
Gary Childress wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:02 pm I learn to do good by avoiding bad feelings.
But how did you learn to do 'bad', in the beginning?
Gary Childress wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:02 pm However, I can also become angry and allow bad feelings to persist or grow.
Well you OBVIOUSLY NOT YET grasped who and what 'you' REALLY ARE, nor what 'feelings' REALLY ARE, either.
Gary Childress wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:02 pm It's very easy to act on anger sometimes and very difficult to subdue it or sublimate it.
But WHY is it SO HARD or VERY DIFFICULT, for 'you', to subdue or even just eliminate 'anger' altogether?

This REALLY IS is a VERY SIMPLE and VERY EASY thing to do. That is; once you have the, and, KNOW-HOW.
Gary Childress wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:02 pm I want to feel good and so I try to do good. That's all I know.
Okay.

This explains a LOT about WHY 'you', adult human beings, were continually MESSING UP the 'world' you lived, and existed, in, in the days when this was being written.
Age
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Re: An existential ethics

Post by Age »

Gary Childress wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 11:00 pm Or perhaps a more accurate description would be that I do things and feel bad or good from their results.
When you do some thing and you obtain money from that doing that thing, then do you feel 'good' or 'bad' from those results?
Gary Childress wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 11:00 pm However, there seems to be a mysterious link between certain things and results farther down the road, call it Karma or something. In that respect, it's difficult to link immediate actions with direct results, however, I do get the experience that what I did was wrong when a bad action that I perform toward someone is later done to me by someone else. And I seem to regret what I did to someone else, not because it hurt me at the time I did it to them but because what they did to me hurts me and I am unable to complain about it. I learn that it is wrong by having it done to me.
Talk about living and existing in the 'dark ages'.
Age
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Re: An existential ethics

Post by Age »

Gary Childress wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 5:55 am
Dubious wrote: Fri Nov 26, 2021 11:29 pm An adult as compared to a child would normally know it was wrong before it was done to him.
Not always. Sometimes we do things and don't realize we are hurting others until we have them done to us.
Will you provide an example of when you did some thing to someone but did NOT realize you were HURTING them until someone did the same to you?
Gary Childress
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Re: An existential ethics

Post by Gary Childress »

Age wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 12:01 pm
Gary Childress wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 5:55 am
Dubious wrote: Fri Nov 26, 2021 11:29 pm An adult as compared to a child would normally know it was wrong before it was done to him.
Not always. Sometimes we do things and don't realize we are hurting others until we have them done to us.
Will you provide an example of when you did some thing to someone but did NOT realize you were HURTING them until someone did the same to you?
It's difficult to do so and, quite frankly, probably ineffable or impossible to adequately explain in words/absent experience. I had assumed many would know or would have had the experience I'm speaking of. If you haven't encountered an example yourself, consider yourself lucky. It's not a pleasant feeling to realize you did something to someone that harmed them that you didn't realize you did or didn't realize you shouldn't have done at the time.

But I'll give it a try in a way you might be able to grasp. The way you approach me is very annoying and demanding. Maybe you haven't had that experience from others or maybe you are simply acting out ways others have approached you. Or maybe you are doing it deliberately. If you're unaware, then you might have someone do it to you someday and you'll realize what you were doing "back in the days when this was written". If you are doing it deliberately, then hopefully, for you, Kharma balances out and there is no net excess or shortage on the "ledger" so to speak. Maybe I deserve it in that case. I'll just assume I do. I've been hard on you before and probably deserve the retribution.
Age
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Re: An existential ethics

Post by Age »

Gary Childress wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:28 pm
Age wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 12:01 pm
Gary Childress wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 5:55 am

Not always. Sometimes we do things and don't realize we are hurting others until we have them done to us.
Will you provide an example of when you did some thing to someone but did NOT realize you were HURTING them until someone did the same to you?
It's difficult to do so and, quite frankly, probably ineffable or impossible to adequately explain in words/absent experience.
I am pretty sure that just explaining what you just did to another human being would be quite a very simple and easy thing to do, in and of itself, although doing this might just feel very uncomfortable, for you. So, the actual behavior of just providing an example of the abuse ALL adults to do human beings is surely is NOT difficult to do at all, although doing so may feel very embarrassing and uncomfortable.

Also, we will NEVER know if just providing an example would be 'ineffable' or 'impossible' or NOT if you NEVER even attempt to provide an example nor an explanation. But there is CERTAINLY NO pressure to, NOR absolutely ANY obligation to, even attempt to provide an example, nor any explanation. But, 'examples' usually speak for themselves anyway, so an explanation was NEVER even being asked for here to begin with.
Gary Childress wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:28 pm I had assumed many would know or would have had the experience I'm speaking of. If you haven't encountered an example yourself, consider yourself lucky. It's not a pleasant feeling to realize you did something to someone that harmed them that you didn't realize you did or didn't realize you shouldn't have done at the time.
But I have experienced the realization that I did something to someone that harmed them that I did not realize at that time, (which they also are not yet aware of the harm caused) and I did not realize that I 'should' not have done that, at the time. I just did not come to the 'realization' because someone did the same to me.
Gary Childress wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:28 pm But I'll give it a try in a way you might be able to grasp. The way you approach me is very annoying and demanding.
What do you mean by, "The way that I approach you is ...". There are ONLY 'words' on a screen in front of you, ONLY. Surely, I am NOT that powerful that I can 'annoy' you by you just seeing some words, correct? And, there is absolutely NO 'demanding' AT ALL here, well from me anyway. I just asked you if you would provide an example of some thing, which you claimed happened to you, and that was all.
Gary Childress wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:28 pm Maybe you haven't had that experience from others or maybe you are simply acting out ways others have approached you.
What, exactly, are you referring to here?
Gary Childress wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:28 pm Or maybe you are doing it deliberately.
What does the 'it' word here refer to, EXACTLY?
Gary Childress wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:28 pm If you're unaware, then you might have someone do it to you someday and you'll realize what you were doing "back in the days when this was written".
If I am 'unaware' of what, EXACTLY?

Someone might do 'what' to me someday, which I might then realize 'what', EXACTLY, I am supposedly doing now, when this is being written?

Surely, you can explain what I am, supposedly, doing, without me waiting, for who knows how long, for someone to do 'it' back to me?
Gary Childress wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:28 pm If you are doing it deliberately,
Doing 'WHAT', EXACTLY?
Gary Childress wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:28 pm then hopefully, for you, Kharma balances out and there is no net excess or shortage on the "ledger" so to speak.
This all sounds a bit "spooky", or "off with the fairies", as some might say.
Gary Childress wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:28 pm Maybe I deserve it in that case.
Maybe you deserve 'WHAT', EXACTLY?
Gary Childress wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:28 pm I'll just assume I do.
You are absolutely FREE to ASSUME absolutely ANY thing. But, just remember, that just because you ASSUME some thing, this does NOT mean that 'it' is even close to being true, right, nor correct, let alone ACTUALLY being True, Right, or Correct.
Gary Childress wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:28 pm I've been hard on you before and probably deserve the retribution.
WHEN?

And, WHAT are you referring to, EXACTLY?

Also, and before I forget, if that was an attempt at you providing an example of when you did some thing to someone, but you did NOT realize you were HURTING them, until someone did the same to you, and there was ANY presumption that you were doing "back to me", what I do to you, and that this was somehow going to 'annoy', 'hurt', or 'harm' me, well just so you KNOW, there is NOT a single word NOR thing that you could that would 'annoy', 'hurt', NOR 'harm' me.

Look, if you just do NOT want to provide an example of when you have HURT or HARMED someone, and you did NOT realize that you did until someone HURT or HARMED you, then so be it. I have got absolutely NOTHING to lose here.

I was just CURIOS, and thought if you PROVIDED an EXAMPLE, then this might help 'me' and/or "others" to do MORE of what IS Right and LESS of what IS Wrong, so that LESS people get HURT, HARMED, and/or DAMAGED. That is all.

Furthermore, if what you wrote here was NOT an attempt to provide an example of when you HARMED someone, and did not know, then when you wrote; But I'll give it a try in a way you might be able to grasp. What were you referring to, EXACTLY?

And, could it be said that the rest you wrote after was just a DISTRACTION?
Gary Childress
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Re: An existential ethics

Post by Gary Childress »

Age wrote: Sun Nov 28, 2021 4:25 am
Gary Childress wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:28 pm
Age wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 12:01 pm

Will you provide an example of when you did some thing to someone but did NOT realize you were HURTING them until someone did the same to you?
It's difficult to do so and, quite frankly, probably ineffable or impossible to adequately explain in words/absent experience.
I am pretty sure that just explaining what you just did to another human being would be quite a very simple and easy thing to do, in and of itself, although doing this might just feel very uncomfortable, for you. So, the actual behavior of just providing an example of the abuse ALL adults to do human beings is surely is NOT difficult to do at all, although doing so may feel very embarrassing and uncomfortable.

Also, we will NEVER know if just providing an example would be 'ineffable' or 'impossible' or NOT if you NEVER even attempt to provide an example nor an explanation. But there is CERTAINLY NO pressure to, NOR absolutely ANY obligation to, even attempt to provide an example, nor any explanation. But, 'examples' usually speak for themselves anyway, so an explanation was NEVER even being asked for here to begin with.
Gary Childress wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:28 pm I had assumed many would know or would have had the experience I'm speaking of. If you haven't encountered an example yourself, consider yourself lucky. It's not a pleasant feeling to realize you did something to someone that harmed them that you didn't realize you did or didn't realize you shouldn't have done at the time.
But I have experienced the realization that I did something to someone that harmed them that I did not realize at that time, (which they also are not yet aware of the harm caused) and I did not realize that I 'should' not have done that, at the time. I just did not come to the 'realization' because someone did the same to me.
Gary Childress wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:28 pm But I'll give it a try in a way you might be able to grasp. The way you approach me is very annoying and demanding.
What do you mean by, "The way that I approach you is ...". There are ONLY 'words' on a screen in front of you, ONLY. Surely, I am NOT that powerful that I can 'annoy' you by you just seeing some words, correct? And, there is absolutely NO 'demanding' AT ALL here, well from me anyway. I just asked you if you would provide an example of some thing, which you claimed happened to you, and that was all.
Gary Childress wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:28 pm Maybe you haven't had that experience from others or maybe you are simply acting out ways others have approached you.
What, exactly, are you referring to here?
Gary Childress wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:28 pm Or maybe you are doing it deliberately.
What does the 'it' word here refer to, EXACTLY?
Gary Childress wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:28 pm If you're unaware, then you might have someone do it to you someday and you'll realize what you were doing "back in the days when this was written".
If I am 'unaware' of what, EXACTLY?

Someone might do 'what' to me someday, which I might then realize 'what', EXACTLY, I am supposedly doing now, when this is being written?

Surely, you can explain what I am, supposedly, doing, without me waiting, for who knows how long, for someone to do 'it' back to me?
Gary Childress wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:28 pm If you are doing it deliberately,
Doing 'WHAT', EXACTLY?
Gary Childress wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:28 pm then hopefully, for you, Kharma balances out and there is no net excess or shortage on the "ledger" so to speak.
This all sounds a bit "spooky", or "off with the fairies", as some might say.
Gary Childress wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:28 pm Maybe I deserve it in that case.
Maybe you deserve 'WHAT', EXACTLY?
Gary Childress wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:28 pm I'll just assume I do.
You are absolutely FREE to ASSUME absolutely ANY thing. But, just remember, that just because you ASSUME some thing, this does NOT mean that 'it' is even close to being true, right, nor correct, let alone ACTUALLY being True, Right, or Correct.
Gary Childress wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:28 pm I've been hard on you before and probably deserve the retribution.
WHEN?

And, WHAT are you referring to, EXACTLY?

Also, and before I forget, if that was an attempt at you providing an example of when you did some thing to someone, but you did NOT realize you were HURTING them, until someone did the same to you, and there was ANY presumption that you were doing "back to me", what I do to you, and that this was somehow going to 'annoy', 'hurt', or 'harm' me, well just so you KNOW, there is NOT a single word NOR thing that you could that would 'annoy', 'hurt', NOR 'harm' me.

Look, if you just do NOT want to provide an example of when you have HURT or HARMED someone, and you did NOT realize that you did until someone HURT or HARMED you, then so be it. I have got absolutely NOTHING to lose here.

I was just CURIOS, and thought if you PROVIDED an EXAMPLE, then this might help 'me' and/or "others" to do MORE of what IS Right and LESS of what IS Wrong, so that LESS people get HURT, HARMED, and/or DAMAGED. That is all.

Furthermore, if what you wrote here was NOT an attempt to provide an example of when you HARMED someone, and did not know, then when you wrote; But I'll give it a try in a way you might be able to grasp. What were you referring to, EXACTLY?

And, could it be said that the rest you wrote after was just a DISTRACTION?
Welcome to the forum, Age.
Gary Childress
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Re: An existential ethics

Post by Gary Childress »

Age wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 11:53 am
Gary Childress wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:02 pm I exist and there is no manual for how to exist.
None is EVER needed for how to exist.
Why are you so sure no manual is ever needed for how to exist? What if I do something wrong (even unforgivable) without my foreknowledge that it was wrong (or unforgivable)? It's not my desire to do wrong or unforgivable things.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: An existential ethics

Post by Immanuel Can »

Gary Childress wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:02 pm I exist and there is no manual for how to exist.
I understand, Gary, if you say, "I know of no manual." I don't know how one would know, in advance of all searching, "There is no manual."

Let us set aside the question of whether there is a written revelation of such things, one we might metaphorically term a "manual." Let us use "manual," for the moment, merely metaphorically, to mean "pre-existing set of values," or something like that. Shall we?

Okay, then let's ask this: if there is no such "manual," (i.e. no pre-existing set of values) then what critierial, what set of axioms, will we use in order to "find our way" existentially thorough life? Will not all choices of action, and all courses, look to us equally uncertain of value? Will not all options simply seem either strategically useful to us, on the one hand, or not strategically useful, on the other? But for what would we be "strategizing," then, since no value-criteria are available for us to know what is "strategic" either?

Existentially, what are we trying to become? What should we try to become? How can we even "find a way" in such an existential vacuum? How do we know when we've gotten off track in some way -- indeed, how would we know we aren't already off track? Where is the track? How shall we find it?

Listen to Nietzsche on this: "What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there still any up or down? Are we not straying, as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is not night continually closing in on us? Do we not need to light lanterns in the morning?"

So how does one "existentially" navigate the infinite empty space in all directions? What criteria do we use, as we "feel our way," so to speak, like blind men in an existential vacuum, a universe with no "manual for how to exist"?
Gary Childress
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Re: An existential ethics

Post by Gary Childress »

Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Nov 28, 2021 3:16 pm
Gary Childress wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:02 pm I exist and there is no manual for how to exist.
I understand, Gary, if you say, "I know of no manual." I don't know how one would know, in advance of all searching, "There is no manual."

Let us set aside the question of whether there is a written revelation of such things, one we might metaphorically term a "manual." Let us use "manual," for the moment, merely metaphorically, to mean "pre-existing set of values," or something like that. Shall we?

Okay, then let's ask this: if there is no such "manual," (i.e. no pre-existing set of values) then what critierial, what set of axioms, will we use in order to "find our way" existentially thorough life? Will not all choices of action, and all courses, look to us equally uncertain of value? Will not all options simply seem either strategically useful to us, on the one hand, or not strategically useful, on the other? But for what would we be "strategizing," then, since no value-criteria are available for us to know what is "strategic" either?

Existentially, what are we trying to become? What should we try to become? How can we even "find a way" in such an existential vacuum? How do we know when we've gotten off track in some way -- indeed, how would we know we aren't already off track? Where is the track? How shall we find it?

Listen to Nietzsche on this: "What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there still any up or down? Are we not straying, as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is not night continually closing in on us? Do we not need to light lanterns in the morning?"

So how does one "existentially" navigate the infinite empty space in all directions? What criteria do we use, as we "feel our way," so to speak, like blind men in an existential vacuum, a universe with no "manual for how to exist"?
I don't know. I guess that's the biggest question that exists in the realm of ethics. How do sinners navigate a world without atoning for all of our sins? I mean, sin (such as breaking most of the 10 Commandments) is so deeply rooted in my being that I don't know how to atone for it. I mean, I'd like to avoid going to hell but how do I atone for all my sins? They say, walk the path of Christ. Christ was murdered (pretty heinously too). Will "walking the path of Christ" entail being murdered? I'd love to think that God will protect me if I walk the path of Christ, but I don't know if I believe that Christ is God or rather that God incarnated himself in Christ or whatever. What if Christ was not God? Then what? I mean, for what little I know, Christ might have been God incarnate. But, I don't KNOW if he was (in "reality") or not. I don't even know what reality is aside from what I actually see, hear, smell and touch, or taste. And I don't know what science is other than descendants of monkeys playing with dangerous or volatile substances.

I mean science helps us in some cases, but in other cases, it seems like a means of creating greater evil.
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