What could make morality objective?

Should you think about your duty, or about the consequences of your actions? Or should you concentrate on becoming a good person?

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Immanuel Can
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Immanuel Can » Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:41 pm

Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:19 am
I would try to avoid long discussions like the above.
Then brief I shall be.

Regarding the moral optimism you have, I see two elements: moral developmentalism (or moral evolutionism, anyway), and empathy as touchstone. Yet I think we have good reasons to be skeptical of both. If moral evolutionism is an easy thesis, why have the most grotesque, extreme and evil examples of human moral depravity (the Holocaust, the Killing Fields, the Purges, the Cultural Revolution, and so on) taken place in the last century; and why do such things continue? Should they not be being "evolved out" as we "develop"? But they aren't.

Let's just take one example: slavery, which you mention in specific. In three centuries, the 16th to the 19th, there were 12.5 million people transported across the Atlantic, mostly to Brazil, but around 388,000 landed in America. Of course, the trans-Saharan (Arab) slave trade was larger more cruel, more fatal, and of much longer duration than any of that, but we don't have reliable statistics on exactly how big it was: Njoku estimates 15 million. Today, there are in the world today between 26 million (by the very most conservative estimate) and 48 million (if you include all types of slavery, such as child, sex, etc.) people still enslaved, and those are the ones that we know about. That's not progress. So where is this moral evolution, in regard to slavery? Statistically, it's just not happening; rather, the opposite is. We're worse than ever.

Now, I also have to admit that I find your reference to Paul Bloom in support of empathy perplexing. I can only refer you to his recent book, appropriately titled "Against Empathy" as to why I am perplexed. I've communicated with Bloom personally, and I'm pretty sure he's not representing the view you suggest. He thinks empathy is insufficient as a moral driver and is far too easily misdirected. He catalogues the disasters of treating empathy as a touchstone. So even if people are discovering they have a lot of empathy-feelings, that doesn't argue that they are morally improving...just that they're having feelings.

I've also got to admit I'm fairly dubious Kant also would be in favour of the program of ethics you suggest. His interest was in the universally rational, and in obtaining something categorical and imperative, not a "guide"line or a suggestion, and not something people were not rationally obligated to follow -- and his expected applications would surely include the judiciary and politics, not merely the personal realm.. As for his teleology (and his Theism, of which Deism is a subcategory) you can certainly see it in CI #2, the "Humanity" formulation. However, there is no justification in Kant's argument of his claim that humans constitute "ends in themselves," though he insisted it must be believed.

But let all that be as it may. Still, I'd love to take you up on this offer:
Personally, God is an impossibility [proof available]
So I have to ask, what have you got on that?

Veritas Aequitas
Posts: 1524
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:41 am

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:20 am

Immanuel Can wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:41 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:19 am
I would try to avoid long discussions like the above.
Then brief I shall be.
Thanks.
Regarding the moral optimism you have, I see two elements: moral developmentalism (or moral evolutionism, anyway), and empathy as touchstone. Yet I think we have good reasons to be skeptical of both. If moral evolutionism is an easy thesis, why have the most grotesque, extreme and evil examples of human moral depravity (the Holocaust, the Killing Fields, the Purges, the Cultural Revolution, and so on) taken place in the last century; and why do such things continue? Should they not be being "evolved out" as we "develop"? But they aren't.
Yes, moral evolution and developmentalism.
The point in these is humanity must expedite its past and current tortoise pace of its processes given the inherent moral drive 'seedling' in our brain/mind.
Based on the current trend of the exponential expansion of knowledge, Information Technology, Artificial [General] Intelligence and general technology, I am optimistic of the possibility humanity can come up with a model to expedite the inherent moral function within the average human. [this need to be discussed in detail].

Yes, there were atrocities [genocides, etc.] in the past and even now but the fact is such atrocities [genocides recently by I.S.I.S] do not last forever because the inherent moral drive [little as it is now] will prevail to do something about it albeit very slowly after many casualties. This is why we need to expedite the moral processes to activate prevention rather than solving the problem after it has happened.

Btw, re atrocities the danger is getting greater along with the slower pace of moral development.
With easily accessible and cheaper WMDs the human species could even be exterminated by SOME Muslims who are inspired by their God who promised them eternal life and virgins when they kill non-Muslims. Thus regardless of what happened to the human species they [Muslims] will still end up in heaven with eternal life.

As such it is very urgent humanity expedite the moral evolution and development over the inherent evil tendencies to eliminate the threat of the possible extinction of the human species. The framework and system of Morality and Ethics would be to use Kant's guidelines [preferably] and with other framework and system. Btw, Kant's system also incorporate Consequentialism as a sub-system.
Let's just take one example: slavery, which you mention in specific. In three centuries, the 16th to the 19th, there were 12.5 million people transported across the Atlantic, mostly to Brazil, but around 388,000 landed in America. Of course, the trans-Saharan (Arab) slave trade was larger more cruel, more fatal, and of much longer duration than any of that, but we don't have reliable statistics on exactly how big it was: Njoku estimates 15 million. Today, there are in the world today between 26 million (by the very most conservative estimate) and 48 million (if you include all types of slavery, such as child, sex, etc.) people still enslaved, and those are the ones that we know about. That's not progress. So where is this moral evolution, in regard to slavery? Statistically, it's just not happening; rather, the opposite is. We're worse than ever.
Re specifically Chattel Slavery, the moral advancement albeit through the back door of the judiciary is that, we now have laws banning Chattel Slavery [ownership and trading of slaves] by ALL recognized nations.
We do not have that 100 or 50 years ago.
It is obvious this is an advancement and progress.

There will be but I don't think there are 26 million of "Chattel" slaves around the world where owners explicitly own their slaves legally or otherwise.
With the laws in hand as a leverage, the problem can be focused on the policing and enforcement.
Being humans, many will play the cat and mouse game with enforcement, thus we will have evil prone people who will try to exploits slavery of the vulnerables. Humanity thus will have to close whatever loopholes there are.

The legal path [whilst backdoor] is somewhat driven by the inherent moral drive.
The next step is to expedite the moral processes within the average person such that it is natural and spontaneous while continually improving it.

The non-Chattel slavery will have to be addressed. When we have raised the moral consciousness and improve to reduce illegal Chattel Slavery, the non-Chattel slavery will also be naturally weaned off.

Re empathy;
The increasing empathy within humans is only one element to the moral question.
There is the problem with blind empathy and compassion which will do more harm than good.
On the question of empathy we need to direct it toward effectiveness on a rational and wise basis.
Now, I also have to admit that I find your reference to Paul Bloom in support of empathy perplexing. I can only refer you to his recent book, appropriately titled "Against Empathy" as to why I am perplexed. I've communicated with Bloom personally, and I'm pretty sure he's not representing the view you suggest. He thinks empathy is insufficient as a moral driver and is far too easily misdirected. He catalogues the disasters of treating empathy as a touchstone. So even if people are discovering they have a lot of empathy-feelings, that doesn't argue that they are morally improving...just that they're having feelings.
As usual the Bloom's link was a quickie for me to demonstrate there is a talk of an inherent moral drive within humans. There are many other researchers who recognize, DNA wise, humans are endowed with a moral drive that is evolving and can be developed.

I did not say empathy is a touchstone but rather it is one critical element for the improvement of the moral drive within us. There are many who are driven by their empathy impulse blindly & stupidly and some got killed for being too kind. The empathy and compassionate [exception to higher animals and more active in humans] must be wisely and rationally modulated to avoid them being directed blindly.
I've also got to admit I'm fairly dubious Kant also would be in favour of the program of ethics you suggest. His interest was in the universally rational, and in obtaining something categorical and imperative, not a "guide"line or a suggestion, and not something people were not rationally obligated to follow -- and his expected applications would surely include the judiciary and politics, not merely the personal realm.. As for his teleology (and his Theism, of which Deism is a subcategory) you can certainly see it in CI #2, the "Humanity" formulation. However, there is no justification in Kant's argument of his claim that humans constitute "ends in themselves," though he insisted it must be believed.
What I had proposed in based directly [not secondary sources] on what Kant wrote in the Critique of Pure Reason and Critique of Practical Reason. I had spent years studying Kant.
Kant insisted politics & judiciary is independent of Morality & Ethics which is an internal self-development. That is why he wrote about the internal court where one is prosecutor, defendant, jury and judge plus the concept of conscience which are all within the brain/mind.

There is a big difference between relatively lowly theism and the higher rational deism especially in their consequences. Note the trails of evil acts by theists especially from Islam.

Kant insisted each individual must be treated as a end-in-itself and not a mean of another person to satisfy the interest of the other person. In this case, we need to interpret 'end' and 'mean' in its context.
Example as in slavery, a human being cannot be a 'mean' for another person's end [financial gains, control, ownership, exploited, abused etc.]
As such once humans can impute the above CI into their consciousness or subconsciousness, this principle will exude spontaneously in all their acts and thoughts. [this is not possible now but humanity must start to develop and expedite the process from now]
Kant justified his CI#2 in his books on morality and ethics.
But let all that be as it may. Still, I'd love to take you up on this offer:
Personally, God is an impossibility [proof available]
So I have to ask, what have you got on that?
I'll open a thread on this.

ETA,
here is ..
God is an Impossibility, i.e. moot.
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=24704&p=367813#p367813

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Immanuel Can
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Immanuel Can » Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:43 pm

Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:20 am
Immanuel Can wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:41 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:19 am
I would try to avoid long discussions like the above.
Then brief I shall be.
Thanks.
And so I shall remain brief, as you request.

I see no easy relationship between knowledge and goodness. The human race has more and more knowledge; that's empirically obvious. But it's not empirically obvious that this knowledge is used more morally.

The atrocities of the 20th Century are empirically verifiable. We can see that 148 million died in secular wars in the last century. In the developed world, we now routinely butcher our own children in utero, and don't even call it bad. People are still being shot in the streets, pornography and child-exploitation are on the massive increase, the radicals riot to prevent people speaking anything they don't like, minorities accuse us of being a culture of bigotry and oppression, and the Feminists accuse us of running a rape culture. (And as for chattel slavery, we might consider something like this: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wor ... 4689f9b68b)

I'm not seeing all the evolving goodness for which you hope. I suspect it's easier for we who live in the comfortable "developed world" to think everybody's on their way to being us. But they're not; and really, we're not so morally "developed" at all.

But there's a deeper problem: in the secular West, we now lack even the means to know or to mark when something is "good" or "evil." We still arbitrarily assert such terms (as when we say, "racism is evil,") but if someone asks even the very child-like question, "Why?" we cannot answer, without calling on propagandizing terms such as "because it's bad for human flourishing," or "because the majority (in a limited locale, always) doesn't approve."

We're floating without rational foundations, when it comes to morality. Kant was hoping to fix that.
On the question of empathy we need to direct it toward effectiveness on a rational and wise basis.
Yes, I agree. But now, what is "wise" and what is "rational"? How do we know?
DNA wise, humans are endowed with a moral drive that is evolving and can be developed.
"In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice...Nothing but blind, pitiless indifference. DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is. And we dance to its music." (Richard Dawkins)

Dawkins is right about this much: if DNA is all there is, and if our empathy is a product of DNA, then there's no reason to think it's directed to moral truth or goodness. It's directed to survival only, then.
Kant insisted politics & judiciary is independent of Morality & Ethics...
But my point is this: Kant does not depend on politics and the judiciary; but politics and the judiciary depend on Kant. If Kant is right, we want a judiciary and a political system that reflects his right morality, not one that is "independent" of it.
There is a big difference between relatively lowly theism and the higher rational deism especially in their consequences. Note the trails of evil acts by theists especially from Islam.
Islam's but one poor manifestation of a bad Theism. You can see that if you compare them to, say, the Quakers or the Anabaptists -- many devout Theists are famed for respect for human life, charity and pacifism. But Deism is a form of Theism, since both Theism and Deism answer the question, "Is there a God," with "Yes." And that's really all that's required by Theism, broadly considered.
But let all that be as it may. Still, I'd love to take you up on this offer:
Personally, God is an impossibility [proof available]
So I have to ask, what have you got on that?
I'll open a thread on this.

ETA,
here is ..
God is an Impossibility, i.e. moot.
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=24704&p=367813#p367813
I've commented there.

Veritas Aequitas
Posts: 1524
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:41 am

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:42 am

Immanuel Can wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:43 pm
I see no easy relationship between knowledge and goodness. The human race has more and more knowledge; that's empirically obvious. But it's not empirically obvious that this knowledge is used more morally.
As mentioned Morality & Ethics is independent of Politics and the judiciary. There is a tendency to conflate the legislative systems and laws with morality [since various definitions and crude proposals are floating around]. But within the Philosophy of Morality [as defined] we need to be mindful not to conflate them.

While there are are many political framework and system and an expansion of knowledge, there is no proper framework and system of morality & ethics like the Kantian one yet.
It is very possible, but even if we start now, I believe it will take another 50 years to arrive a crude framework that would entail loads of complex processes. So the best I can do at present would only to limit such a proposal to a theoretical discussion like we are doing here.
The atrocities of the 20th Century are empirically verifiable. We can see that 148 million died in secular wars in the last century. In the developed world, we now routinely butcher our own children in utero, and don't even call it bad. People are still being shot in the streets, pornography and child-exploitation are on the massive increase, the radicals riot to prevent people speaking anything they don't like, minorities accuse us of being a culture of bigotry and oppression, and the Feminists accuse us of running a rape culture. (And as for chattel slavery, we might consider something like this: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wor ... 4689f9b68b)

I'm not seeing all the evolving goodness for which you hope. I suspect it's easier for we who live in the comfortable "developed world" to think everybody's on their way to being us. But they're not; and really, we're not so morally "developed" at all.
It is the fact that we do not have a proper Framework and System of Morality and Ethics in place that the current state of evil and violence is getting worse on a net basis which could even threaten the extinction of the species.

But fortunately with the inherent moral drive, there are piecemeal efforts of the moral drive manifesting and being done. e.g. the legal ban of Chattel Slavery over the last 200 years and many example of moral improvements.

But we need [at least on a discussion basis] for a holistic and effective framework and system of morality and ethic to be established as soon as possible to deal with the current and potential evils and violence.
But there's a deeper problem: in the secular West, we now lack even the means to know or to mark when something is "good" or "evil." We still arbitrarily assert such terms (as when we say, "racism is evil,") but if someone asks even the very child-like question, "Why?" we cannot answer, without calling on propagandizing terms such as "because it's bad for human flourishing," or "because the majority (in a limited locale, always) doesn't approve."
Agree.
That is why we need a proper Framework and System of Morality and Ethics which will include what is 'evil' in contrast to good.
I have done extensive research on what is evil.
Note this by the way,
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/concept-evil/
We're floating without rational foundations, when it comes to morality. Kant was hoping to fix that.
Kant had already fixed that in theory but his ideas were too advance for his time and even now, but we are now ready to start work on building a proper system.
On the question of empathy we need to direct it toward effectiveness on a rational and wise basis.
Yes, I agree. But now, what is "wise" and what is "rational"? How do we know?
What is wise and rational will be grounded on the Absolute Moral Laws.
The challenge is how can we ground this Absolute Moral Laws as objectively as possible. [to be discussed]. Without such ground, the moral system will be like a ship without rudder amidst rocks within a terrible storm.
DNA wise, humans are endowed with a moral drive that is evolving and can be developed.
"In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice...Nothing but blind, pitiless indifference. DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is. And we dance to its music." (Richard Dawkins)

Dawkins is right about this much: if DNA is all there is, and if our empathy is a product of DNA, then there's no reason to think it's directed to moral truth or goodness. It's directed to survival only, then.
Dawkins is a scientist and not a serious philosopher.
Philosophers has been discussing Morality and Ethics for thousands of years, thus knowledge of empathy supported by Science will enhance the philosophy of Morality and expedite the inherent moral processes.

Moral truth and goodness are grounded on survival. This is the direction we need to look at in detail re grounding of reasoned absolute Moral Laws.
Kant insisted politics & judiciary is independent of Morality & Ethics...
But my point is this: Kant does not depend on politics and the judiciary; but politics and the judiciary depend on Kant. If Kant is right, we want a judiciary and a political system that reflects his right morality, not one that is "independent" of it.
In theory, the Kantian system will eliminate the need for politics and the judiciary to regulate good human behaviors. As mentioned morality and ethics is self-regulating within the internal mental system of the individual working as a team.
But we know there is no such thing as perfection in the empirical human world, so perhaps the legislative and judiciary will still be needed to deal with a very small percentile [say 1%] of deviants.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Immanuel Can » Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:01 pm

Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:42 am
It is the fact that we do not have a proper Framework and System of Morality and Ethics in place that the current state of evil and violence is getting worse on a net basis which could even threaten the extinction of the species.

But fortunately with the inherent moral drive, there are piecemeal efforts of the moral drive manifesting and being done. e.g. the legal ban of Chattel Slavery over the last 200 years and many example of moral improvements.
This sounds odd.

You're asking us to look at the last couple of centuries, and as we all know, it's a story of incredible atrocities that could, as you say, "even threaten the extinction of the species." But instead of being concerned, we're to have faith that people have this "inherent moral drive" that will save us all? And in spite of the fact that there are more chattel slaves in the world than ever, we're to take the legal ban from a few countries, and believe it proves that most countries or all countries are going to ban chattel slaves eventually -- even though admittedly, there are more chattel slaves in the world today than at any time in history? :shock:

A conclusion so utterly contradictory to the empirical evidence would seem hard to sustain. It looks a lot like blind faith, not like looking at the facts squarely, if you'll forgive me for saying so.
I have done extensive research on what is evil.
I'll be interested to hear what your research has taught you. How do you define evil?
The challenge is how can we ground this Absolute Moral Laws as objectively as possible. [to be discussed]. Without such ground, the moral system will be like a ship without rudder amidst rocks within a terrible storm.
Well, this is plausibly true. But the problem in the OP is how we justify any absolute moral laws. You say we're "ready for" it; how can you tell we are, and what do you propose as a way of justifying a moral absolute?
Dawkins is a scientist and not a serious philosopher.
Yes, I would agree. But you did refer to the existence of DNA as if it counted in the moral equation. Clearly, it does not; and the fact that even a Dawkins knows it doesn't should be troubling. For Dawkins has every incentive to WANT it to count for something. If it did, it would help him greatly with his no-gods-needed argument. But even he gets the point that the existence of DNA, or empathy associated with it, does not justify any particular value judgments.

When both sides of such an enthusiastic argument agree completely on a particular fact, that's very noteworthy. But Atheists like Dawkins and Theists like myself recognize that the existence of any particular feature of DNA is no argument for morality. It's just Hume's fact-value fallacy in another form.
Philosophers has been discussing Morality and Ethics for thousands of years, thus knowledge of empathy supported by Science will enhance the philosophy of Morality and expedite the inherent moral processes.

Moral truth and goodness are grounded on survival. This is the direction we need to look at in detail re grounding of reasoned absolute Moral Laws.
Nietzsche thoroughly refuted this idea. He saw pity (or empathy) as a weakness, a flaccidity, a decadence. It was the courage of the overman, the person beyond such things, that would carry the day, so far as he was concerned. And from a Darwinian perspective as well, empathy is at best an equivocal -- at worst a counterproductive -- feature of humanity. After all, if moral axioms are grounded in "survival," they're not grounded in empathy. For there is nothing at all "empathetic" about survival-of-the-fittest. In fact, empathy is an impediment to it: imagine if the lion began to pity the gazelle. The lion would starve.

So I think that's an argument you'd have to make, not just assert.
In theory, the Kantian system will eliminate the need for politics and the judiciary to regulate good human behaviors.

Well, only if every single person on earth became an absolutely consistent rational Kantian, he thought. He was not naive enough to think we could ever expect that outcome in reality. Hence your need for the conditioner, "in theory." In practice, not true.

I find your views a mix of admiration for Kant and also some admixture of a kind of Care Ethics centred around empathy. i don't think those two theories work together at all. Kant (at least as traditionally understood) is a pretty strict rationalist; but Care Ethics are based on gratuitous affect, not reason. And notoriously, feelings and reasons (or even facts) often don't line up.

Veritas Aequitas
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Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:41 am

Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:23 am

Immanuel Can wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:01 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:42 am
It is the fact that we do not have a proper Framework and System of Morality and Ethics in place that the current state of evil and violence is getting worse on a net basis which could even threaten the extinction of the species.

But fortunately with the inherent moral drive, there are piecemeal efforts of the moral drive manifesting and being done. e.g. the legal ban of Chattel Slavery over the last 200 years and many example of moral improvements.
This sounds odd.

You're asking us to look at the last couple of centuries, and as we all know, it's a story of incredible atrocities that could, as you say, "even threaten the extinction of the species." But instead of being concerned, we're to have faith that people have this "inherent moral drive" that will save us all? And in spite of the fact that there are more chattel slaves in the world than ever, we're to take the legal ban from a few countries, and believe it proves that most countries or all countries are going to ban chattel slaves eventually -- even though admittedly, there are more chattel slaves in the world today than at any time in history? :shock:

A conclusion so utterly contradictory to the empirical evidence would seem hard to sustain. It looks a lot like blind faith, not like looking at the facts squarely, if you'll forgive me for saying so.
I was referring to the improving trend since 200 years ago and eventual legal banning of 'Chattel Slavery' as an example relating indirectly to morality and the inherent moral drive.

I thought it is a well known fact, i.e. at present almost all* [not few] recognized nations has banned 'Chattel Slavery' based the UN Slavery Convention.
https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalin ... ntion.aspx
I read somewhere all have signed totally or in some form - have to find it.

Note the signatories;
https://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetai ... 18&lang=en

I don't believe slavery is still glaringly legal in any recognized country. Where?
Therefore there is no 'Chattel Slavery' where one can legally own and trade slaves.
Yes, there will be illegal slavery going on but humanity will have the legal leverage along with the inherent moral drive to reduce it or get rid of slavery eventually.
I have done extensive research on what is evil.
I'll be interested to hear what your research has taught you. How do you define evil?
I defined 'evil' in term of any human act or thought that is net-negative to the well being of the individual and therefrom to humanity. Those in bold are very loaded thus need some explanation.
Note this I mentioned in another post'.
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/concept-evil/

I am not referring to ontological evil re Satan or the Devil.
The challenge is how can we ground this Absolute Moral Laws as objectively as possible. [to be discussed]. Without such ground, the moral system will be like a ship without rudder amidst rocks within a terrible storm.
Well, this is plausibly true. But the problem in the OP is how we justify any absolute moral laws. You say we're "ready for" it; how can you tell we are, and what do you propose as a way of justifying a moral absolute?
Yes, the central problem is how to ground and justify any absolute moral principles [laws and rules misleading] as guides for ethical practices for the individual's internal development.
Dawkins is a scientist and not a serious philosopher.
Yes, I would agree. But you did refer to the existence of DNA as if it counted in the moral equation. Clearly, it does not; and the fact that even a Dawkins knows it doesn't should be troubling. For Dawkins has every incentive to WANT it to count for something. If it did, it would help him greatly with his no-gods-needed argument. But even he gets the point that the existence of DNA, or empathy associated with it, does not justify any particular value judgments.

When both sides of such an enthusiastic argument agree completely on a particular fact, that's very noteworthy. But Atheists like Dawkins and Theists like myself recognize that the existence of any particular feature of DNA is no argument for morality. It's just Hume's fact-value fallacy in another form.
Noted you are a theist. My apologies for the provocative but necessary OP.

The fact of an indication of the moral drive in babies has something to do with nature [DNA] and not nurture.

As I had mentioned morality has to be holistic and be developed with a Framework and System of Morality and Ethics. The 'empathy' neurons is merely on small element within the framework and system.
Philosophers has been discussing Morality and Ethics for thousands of years, thus knowledge of empathy supported by Science will enhance the philosophy of Morality and expedite the inherent moral processes.

Moral truth and goodness are grounded on survival. This is the direction we need to look at in detail re grounding of reasoned absolute Moral Laws.
Nietzsche thoroughly refuted this idea. He saw pity (or empathy) as a weakness, a flaccidity, a decadence. It was the courage of the overman, the person beyond such things, that would carry the day, so far as he was concerned. And from a Darwinian perspective as well, empathy is at best an equivocal -- at worst a counterproductive -- feature of humanity. After all, if moral axioms are grounded in "survival," they're not grounded in empathy. For there is nothing at all "empathetic" about survival-of-the-fittest. In fact, empathy is an impediment to it: imagine if the lion began to pity the gazelle. The lion would starve.

So I think that's an argument you'd have to make, not just assert.
Nope I am not banking on empathy alone and I have highlighted the danger of blind empathy. What is needed to develop a modulator for empathy to avoid the extreme.

Note Aristotle on emotion [anger] which is applicable to empathy;
Aristotle wrote:Anybody can become angry - that is easy, but to be angry
  • with the right person and
    to the right degree and
    at the right time and
    for the right purpose, and
    in the right way -
that is not within everybody's power and is not easy.
In theory, the Kantian system will eliminate the need for politics and the judiciary to regulate good human behaviors.

Well, only if every single person on earth became an absolutely consistent rational Kantian, he thought. He was not naive enough to think we could ever expect that outcome in reality. Hence your need for the conditioner, "in theory." In practice, not true.
This is why Kant's theory was too advance for his time.

I am optimistic, it is possible from now on due to the existing trend of an exponential expansion of knowledge, IT, artificial General Intelligence, advance technology as seen and experienced. We have mapped the once seemingly impossible Human Genome and now we are working on mapping the Human Brain.
http://www.humanconnectomeproject.org/

For a system to be effective we do not need all to participate, what is needed is the build up to a critical mass sufficient to trigger and sustain it. Note how the internet has exploded within the scenario of humanity.
I find your views a mix of admiration for Kant and also some admixture of a kind of Care Ethics centred around empathy. i don't think those two theories work together at all. Kant (at least as traditionally understood) is a pretty strict rationalist; but Care Ethics are based on gratuitous affect, not reason. And notoriously, feelings and reasons (or even facts) often don't line up.
I have stated Kant was not a strict rationalist especially after he was awoke from a dogmatic rationalistic slumber.

My proposals has nothing of do with Care Ethics around empathy in the forefront, definitely not solely dependent on empathy and compassion which is merely a small part of the whole Framework and System of Morality and Ethics which you have not understood [not necessary to agree] as I had presented it.

What counts in my proposals is there must be real changes in the wiring of neurons within individuals to effect an effective moral system. Don't imagine the worst on this, whatever it has to be gradual, fool proof and voluntarily.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Immanuel Can » Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:47 pm

Short again.
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:23 am
I was referring to the improving trend...
That's the point. The statistics clearly show that there isn't one.
the UN Slavery Convention.
Well, this isn't the first time the UN has failed to be effective. In fact, that's practically all they do.
I don't believe slavery is still glaringly legal in any recognized country. Where?
You saw the map. Whether it is nominally "legal" or not makes no difference at all to the victims of it. A nation can promise the moon at the UN, and then deliver nothing. That's what's happened with slavery.

Hardly evidence of moral progress -- it just shows that in addition to enslaving people, these nations are being less than honest at the UN.
...humanity will have..
.
Is this phrase a prophecy? Because the facts just don't support it right now.
I defined 'evil' in term of any human act or thought that is net-negative
"Negative" in what sense? Half of the items in the world are "negative," and half of the things are "positive," for any particular purpose one might specify. I would need a much more informative term to understand your definition.
to the well being
What is human "well-being"? What is it "well" for a human being to "be"?
of the individual
So not of the collective, the community, the nation or of humankind? For the desires of the individual are often quite different from these.
and therefrom to humanity.
So your claim is that if all individuals are doing "well" ( in whatever way that might mean), then all of humankind will also be doing well? The collective is nothing but the sum of its individuals, in your view? Just asking.
I am not referring to ontological evil re Satan or the Devil.
I figured that.
Yes, the central problem is how to ground and justify any absolute moral principles [laws and rules misleading] as guides for ethical practices for the individual's internal development.
Ah, I see. From your assumption above, that the collective is nothing but a bunch of "well-being" individuals, all that's important is that "internally" they "develop" (something?).

But you've still got a problem with the idea of "principles"-not-"laws-and-rules." For if the principles are correct, should not such laws and rules as human beings have conform to those principles? Or did you wish to have unprincipled laws and rules? That would seem unwise, would it not?
Noted you are a theist. My apologies for the provocative but necessary OP.
That's fine. It's not "provocative." I'm interested in hearing what people think about it, and in discussing to see what they've got. I don't feel "provoked" at all.
The fact of an indication of the moral drive in babies has something to do with nature [DNA] and not nurture.
But as you note, this is a "fact," not a proof of a value. it does not rationally follow from the fact that babies has some moral awareness that they are obligated to follow it, any more than the fact that they have an impulse to cry or grip means that they are obligated to do so for the rest of their lives. A fact does not issue in moral values, as Hume said.
I am optimistic, it is possible from now on due to the existing trend of an exponential expansion of knowledge, IT, artificial General Intelligence, advance technology as seen and experienced. We have mapped the once seemingly impossible Human Genome and now we are working on mapping the Human Brain.
http://www.humanconnectomeproject.org/
Knowledge also does not equate to morality. If it did, the most knowledgeable people would be the most moral, would they not? And a nation like Germany, advanced in art, literature, science and technology as it was, would never have used all that to commit the Holocaust. But they did. So I wouldn't look to the advance of knowledge or technology as a driver of morality. It's failed us in that regard very badly in the recent past.

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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:37 am

Immanuel Can wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:47 pm
Short again.
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:23 am
I was referring to the improving trend...
That's the point. The statistics clearly show that there isn't one.
the UN Slavery Convention.
Well, this isn't the first time the UN has failed to be effective. In fact, that's practically all they do.
I don't believe slavery is still glaringly legal in any recognized country. Where?
You saw the map. Whether it is nominally "legal" or not makes no difference at all to the victims of it. A nation can promise the moon at the UN, and then deliver nothing. That's what's happened with slavery.

Hardly evidence of moral progress -- it just shows that in addition to enslaving people, these nations are being less than honest at the UN.
...humanity will have..
.
Is this phrase a prophecy? Because the facts just don't support it right now.
You missed my main point and argued on the details instead.

Note,
  • 1. >200 years and prior: No legal statues from any recognized nations banning specifically 'Chattel Slavery' i.e. it is a free-for-all.

    2. 2018: Majority [almost all] of recognized nations has instituted to ban 'Chattel Slavery.'
Based on the above two statement of facts, isn't there a measure of improvements at least in terms of the existence of laws on slavery?
You deny this?
Are there prevalent activities of owning and trading of chattel slavery in the USA like they did with the black slaves from Africa?

I don't deny people will find loopholes and trade slaves in the blackmarket but that is beside the point re my presentation above.
Some will insists contractual employment is a form of slavery, maids are also slaves, debts is another form of slavery. Such deflections are merely rhetorics.

There is definitely improvement re 1 and 2 above. I am interested find out the reason and I inferred the change and improvement has something to do with the inherent moral drive within humanity.

Note 'Chattel Slavery' is merely one obvious example of the inherent moral drive on the move positively. The other not so obvious are the laws on racism, and many others. Surely basic lawfulness is better than lawlessness [ignoring freak exceptions].
I defined 'evil' in term of any human act or thought that is net-negative
"Negative" in what sense? Half of the items in the world are "negative," and half of the things are "positive," for any particular purpose one might specify. I would need a much more informative term to understand your definition.
to the well being
What is human "well-being"? What is it "well" for a human being to "be"?
of the individual
So not of the collective, the community, the nation or of humankind? For the desires of the individual are often quite different from these.
and therefrom to humanity.
So your claim is that if all individuals are doing "well" ( in whatever way that might mean), then all of humankind will also be doing well? The collective is nothing but the sum of its individuals, in your view? Just asking.
As I had mentioned the term net-negative and well being is very loaded, complex and extensive but I not going into the details here.

The basis of Kantian Morality and Ethics is a focus in the individual's mind in priority which will inevitably involve the collective, it is team-work as Team Human.
It is just like a symphony orchestra where the individual instrumental players must be an expert by himself first then only can he join the orchestra to be coordinated by a conductor.
But in the case of Morality and Ethics against evil, it a jazz orchestra without an individual conductor.
Yes, the central problem is how to ground and justify any absolute moral principles [laws and rules misleading] as guides for ethical practices for the individual's internal development.
Ah, I see. From your assumption above, that the collective is nothing but a bunch of "well-being" individuals, all that's important is that "internally" they "develop" (something?).

But you've still got a problem with the idea of "principles"-not-"laws-and-rules." For if the principles are correct, should not such laws and rules as human beings have conform to those principles? Or did you wish to have unprincipled laws and rules? That would seem unwise, would it not?
The individuals are all self-made team players and they as a group will act as one team and one mind.
The principles as grounded will be absolutely good and if adapted as laws and rules by the legislature [independent of morality] will be toward good all the time.
The fact of an indication of the moral drive in babies has something to do with nature [DNA] and not nurture.
But as you note, this is a "fact," not a proof of a value. it does not rationally follow from the fact that babies has some moral awareness that they are obligated to follow it, any more than the fact that they have an impulse to cry or grip means that they are obligated to do so for the rest of their lives. A fact does not issue in moral values, as Hume said.
I mentioned the indication the babies has an inherent moral drives.
The research's focus on babies [less than 12 months] is merely to isolate the thesis from the influence of elements of nurture.

It is not about the morality of babies behaviors with their family.
From that thesis the follow up is to determine the complex process and neural connectivity so that humanity can improve on the morality and ethics competence [Moral Quotient] of the average person.

The improvement process has to be objective thus it will take into consideration [measurable] human values.
Surely you can place some kind of relative numbers conservatively in term of evil between a genocide [say 9/10] and a common case of a murder [5/10] which is acceptable by the majority.
Note Axiology which can be refined and improved over time.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axiology
Axiology (from Greek ἀξία, axia, "value, worth"; and -λογία, -logia) is the philosophical study of value. It is either the collective term for ethics and aesthetics[1], philosophical fields that depend crucially on notions of worth, or the foundation for these fields, and thus similar to value theory and meta-ethics. -wiki
I am optimistic, it is possible from now on due to the existing trend of an exponential expansion of knowledge, IT, artificial General Intelligence, advance technology as seen and experienced. We have mapped the once seemingly impossible Human Genome and now we are working on mapping the Human Brain.
http://www.humanconnectomeproject.org/
Knowledge also does not equate to morality. If it did, the most knowledgeable people would be the most moral, would they not? And a nation like Germany, advanced in art, literature, science and technology as it was, would never have used all that to commit the Holocaust. But they did. So I wouldn't look to the advance of knowledge or technology as a driver of morality. It's failed us in that regard very badly in the recent past.
It is not wise to depend on the past and currently to pass such decisive judgment of the total rejection of any proposals.
This is typical of people who are resistant to change.
The introduction of the computers did initially cost a lot of employees to lose their jobs that involved tedious repetitions, e.g. typists, etc. Fortunately we do not have a majority then to side with the complainants who lost their job due to the introduction of computers.

The point is there are visionaries who can forecast the potentials in the future despite past and current failures and negatives.

It is the same with knowledge and morality.
The expansion of knowledge [noting its cons as well] will facilitate, expedite and advance the improvement in the Moral Quotient of the average individual. The opportunities here are endless if you care to open up and explore.

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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Immanuel Can » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:26 pm

Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:37 am
You missed my main point and argued on the details instead.
Actually, you missed mine, I'm afraid. But it can be made even more simply.

Laws that are not even remotely obeyed are useless. And those who sign treaties they do not keep are not good people. The existence of such treaties is a sign of moral failure, not progress.
As I had mentioned the term net-negative and well being is very loaded, complex and extensive but I not going into the details here.
That's a shame.

It's actually not "loaded, complex and extensive," so much as just vague. It's uninformative of anything to the point.
But in the case of Morality and Ethics against evil, it a jazz orchestra without an individual conductor.
This isn't Kant's view.

Remember that he was all about that which is "cateogrical" (i.e. without exceptions, universal) and "imperative" (i.e. must-be-obeyed). So devoted to that idea was he that he would have famously handed over a friend to the soldiers, just to avoid a lie; remember? That's pretty committed, I would say.

Kant is not about moral "jazz." That's a (post-)modern idea, with no place in his theory. It might be a misreading of the idea of "autonomous moral agent," perhaps. But Kant never understood an autonomous moral agent to be autonomous in the choosing of the moral precepts he or she would follow: those would be rational, and based on the CI, and would be the same for everyone. The "autonomy" only comes from the fact that each is supposed to be a rational agent -- not that that rationality would issue in morally different choices and outcomes in relevantly similar situations. He had no such belief.
Surely you can place some kind of relative numbers conservatively in term of evil between a genocide [say 9/10] and a common case of a murder [5/10] which is acceptable by the majority.
If I did, it would hurt your case. For genocide was taken to new heights in the last century, and is still going on -- particularly in places like the Middle East, but also elsewhere. And yet you argue we are morally improving.
It is not wise to depend on the past and currently to pass such decisive judgment of the total rejection of any proposals.
Actually, to fail to remember the past is notoriously to repeat its errors. One of the great curses of the Postmodern era is that we have forgotten history, because we have bought into the foolish claim that it's just "a story told by the winners." But our historical amnesia is very, very serious indeed -- we cannot even remember the horrors of the last century, and so we are turning again to socialism to save us. But it was by far -- it's not even close -- the most homicidal, destructive and economically-disasterous ideology of the last century.

So I'm going to argue we need more historical awareness, not less.
This is typical of people who are resistant to change.
Ad hominem, and non-sequitur.

More knowledge is better than less. A person with good historical awareness is BETTER equipped to manage change, not less well-equipped. It's only the historically unaware who think that "change" of any kind is always good, always forward looking, and always ends well. There are good and bad changes. So it's not wise to discredit historical awareness.
The point is there are visionaries who can forecast the potentials in the future despite past and current failures and negatives.
How do you locate these "visionaries," and tell them from the charlatans and pseudo-prophets who are leading you down a short course to disaster? You need some criteria for doing that: but since their prognostications are for the future, not the past, we would have no means to discern between a "good" vision and "bad" vision.

No doubt Hitler, Mao and Stalin were all "visionaries" of a sort. I doubt you wish to plug for them, though.

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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:50 am

Immanuel Can wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:26 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:37 am
You missed my main point and argued on the details instead.
Actually, you missed mine, I'm afraid. But it can be made even more simply.

Laws that are not even remotely obeyed are useless. And those who sign treaties they do not keep are not good people. The existence of such treaties is a sign of moral failure, not progress.
I started my point but you have missed it. You have missed it again and did not address my question, here again;
You missed my main point and argued on the details instead.

Note,
1. >200 years and prior: No legal statues from any recognized nations banning specifically 'Chattel Slavery' i.e. it is a free-for-all.

2. 2018: Majority [almost all] of recognized nations has instituted to ban 'Chattel Slavery.'
Based on the above two statement of facts, isn't there a measure of improvements at least in terms of the existence of laws on slavery?
You deny this?
Are there prevalent activities of owning and trading of chattel slavery in the USA like they did with the black slaves from Africa?

I don't deny people will find loopholes and trade slaves in the blackmarket but that is beside the point re my presentation above.
Some will insists contractual employment is a form of slavery, maids are also slaves, debts is another form of slavery. Such deflections are merely rhetorics.

There is definitely improvement re 1 and 2 above. I am interested find out the reason and I inferred the change and improvement has something to do with the inherent moral drive within humanity.
As I had mentioned the term net-negative and well being is very loaded, complex and extensive but I not going into the details here.
That's a shame.
It's actually not "loaded, complex and extensive," so much as just vague. It's uninformative of anything to the point.
Point is I have not gone into explaining in details.
Point with net-negative is some acts are deemed negative but they do have some positive side effects. Thus net-negative meant it is overall negative taking into account various conditions.
But in the case of Morality and Ethics against evil, it a jazz orchestra without an individual conductor.
This isn't Kant's view.

Remember that he was all about that which is "cateogrical" (i.e. without exceptions, universal) and "imperative" (i.e. must-be-obeyed). So devoted to that idea was he that he would have famously handed over a friend to the soldiers, just to avoid a lie; remember? That's pretty committed, I would say.

Kant is not about moral "jazz." That's a (post-)modern idea, with no place in his theory. It might be a misreading of the idea of "autonomous moral agent," perhaps. But Kant never understood an autonomous moral agent to be autonomous in the choosing of the moral precepts he or she would follow: those would be rational, and based on the CI, and would be the same for everyone. The "autonomy" only comes from the fact that each is supposed to be a rational agent -- not that that rationality would issue in morally different choices and outcomes in relevantly similar situations. He had no such belief.
I have asserted earlier, the soldier-lie scenario was merely a partial part of the whole Kantian Framework and System of Morality and Ethics which is not deontological.

Your insistence it is imperative all the way indicate your lack of understanding of Kantian Morality. The Kantian System of Morality is easily represented by the 'jazz' analogy where the individual progresses individually and gel into a team with others of the likes.

In a real situation, Kant would have lied, then review why he had to lie and how to take preventive measures to avoid the predicament but without compromising the absolute moral principle 'Thou Shall Not Lie'. This has to work on individual to global basis.
Surely you can place some kind of relative numbers conservatively in term of evil between a genocide [say 9/10] and a common case of a murder [5/10] which is acceptable by the majority.
If I did, it would hurt your case. For genocide was taken to new heights in the last century, and is still going on -- particularly in places like the Middle East, but also elsewhere. And yet you argue we are morally improving.
Note I was referring to placing values on each category of evil so that priority can be focused on the critical evil.

You cannot expect to get rid of evil acts immediately.
What is critical is the trend of how genocides are stopped and the attempts to prevent them.
I don't deny genocides are happening but the fact that all modern genocides has been stopped wherever it happened is a sign of improvement and a manifestation of the inherent moral drive. Note the contrast to genocides happening 100 to 500 or earlier.
It is not wise to depend on the past and currently to pass such decisive judgment of the total rejection of any proposals.
Actually, to fail to remember the past is notoriously to repeat its errors. One of the great curses of the Postmodern era is that we have forgotten history, because we have bought into the foolish claim that it's just "a story told by the winners." But our historical amnesia is very, very serious indeed -- we cannot even remember the horrors of the last century, and so we are turning again to socialism to save us. But it was by far -- it's not even close -- the most homicidal, destructive and economically-disasterous ideology of the last century.

So I'm going to argue we need more historical awareness, not less.
You missed my point again.
I don't deny the importance of history.
My point is we should not reject proposals outright because certain strategies has failed but rather we should find ways to improve viable strategies to prevent past errors.
This is typical of people who are resistant to change.
Ad hominem, and non-sequitur.

More knowledge is better than less. A person with good historical awareness is BETTER equipped to manage change, not less well-equipped. It's only the historically unaware who think that "change" of any kind is always good, always forward looking, and always ends well. There are good and bad changes. So it's not wise to discredit historical awareness.
Note my point re history above.
The point is there are visionaries who can forecast the potentials in the future despite past and current failures and negatives.
How do you locate these "visionaries," and tell them from the charlatans and pseudo-prophets who are leading you down a short course to disaster? You need some criteria for doing that: but since their prognostications are for the future, not the past, we would have no means to discern between a "good" vision and "bad" vision.

No doubt Hitler, Mao and Stalin were all "visionaries" of a sort. I doubt you wish to plug for them, though.
We don't have an efficient system at present.
This is why I am proposing an effective Framework and System of Morality and Ethics based on the Kantian system as a guide and wean off from a theological Moral system of immutable moral laws which in enforceable by a punishment of Hell for non-compliances.

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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Immanuel Can » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:12 pm

Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:50 am
You deny this?
Do you mean, "Do I deny that this signals moral progress?" Yes. Absolutely. There's no "moral progress" in a ban which the signatories promise to enforce, but then don't. It just makes the member nations liars, in addition to them remaining slave-traders. So they're even worse than before any such ban.
Are there prevalent activities of owning and trading of chattel slavery in the USA like they did with the black slaves from Africa?
Far worse, as a matter of fact. There were only 338,00 slaves in North America. (Millions went to Brazil, and even far more slaves were traded across the Sahara, to Arab nations, and far more of them died in the process.) Nowadays, there are not only more chattel slaves, but they are used worse. Much of the trade is child slavery and sex slavery. You wouldn't say that's an improvement, would you?
There is definitely improvement re 1 and 2 above.

I would disagree. The statistics show there is definitely NOT an improvement. So maybe you'd better show me what statistics you are using to imagine that slavery is diminished today, and that the member states of the UN are NOT trading slaves. It's very clear from all the available data that they are; and I could pile up sites and videos to prove it to you.
Point with net-negative is some acts are deemed negative but they do have some positive side effects. Thus net-negative meant it is overall negative taking into account various conditions.
The problem is with your word "negative." It's so vague that it describes half of the objects in the universe, with no differentiation between them. It says nothing specific at all.
I have asserted earlier, the soldier-lie scenario was merely a partial part of the whole Kantian Framework and System of Morality and Ethics which is not deontological
.
This is not relevant to the point. The point was that his morality was absolute, not that it was deontological. He allowed no exceptions, special circumstances or excuses for perceived outcomes. It was "categorical" and "imperative."
Your insistence it is imperative all the way indicate your lack of understanding of Kantian Morality. The Kantian System of Morality is easily represented by the 'jazz' analogy where the individual progresses individually and gel into a team with others of the likes.
Bad analogy. In jazz, each participant contributes a different kind of styling from the others. In Kantianism, the "right" thing to do, in any particular situation, is always the same. Always. So there's no "styling" one's own way there.
In a real situation, Kant would have lied,
Maybe. But he explicitly said he wouldn't. And if he did, he'd certainly have violated his own moral framework, and he'd have his own method to help him known he did.
What is critical is the trend of how genocides are stopped
I wish it were, but it's certainly verifiably not.
Note the contrast to genocides happening 100 to 500 or earlier.
The worst genocides were less than 100 years ago. By far, actually.
My point is we should not reject proposals outright because certain strategies has failed but rather we should find ways to improve viable strategies to prevent past errors.
No, of course not. I agree. But we should know about those failures, and not repeat our failures. We'll have enough new failures of our own, if history is any indicator, without also remaking those we made before.

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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:42 am

Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:12 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:50 am
You deny this?
Do you mean, "Do I deny that this signals moral progress?" Yes. Absolutely. There's no "moral progress" in a ban which the signatories promise to enforce, but then don't. It just makes the member nations liars, in addition to them remaining slave-traders. So they're even worse than before any such ban.
Are there prevalent activities of owning and trading of chattel slavery in the USA like they did with the black slaves from Africa?
Far worse, as a matter of fact. There were only 338,00 slaves in North America. (Millions went to Brazil, and even far more slaves were traded across the Sahara, to Arab nations, and far more of them died in the process.) Nowadays, there are not only more chattel slaves, but they are used worse. Much of the trade is child slavery and sex slavery. You wouldn't say that's an improvement, would you?
There is definitely improvement re 1 and 2 above.

I would disagree. The statistics show there is definitely NOT an improvement. So maybe you'd better show me what statistics you are using to imagine that slavery is diminished today, and that the member states of the UN are NOT trading slaves. It's very clear from all the available data that they are; and I could pile up sites and videos to prove it to you.
Problem is you are too hasty to defend for defending sake but unable to get my point.

Note there are two issues of moral progress here:

1. The change with the introduction of Laws to stop 'chattel' slavery since 200 years ago.
2. The numbers of 'chattel' slaves since 200 years ago and not.

Your problem is you keep conflating the two moral related issues.

I asked you with specific reference to introduction of Laws on 'chattel' slavery which is an evil act and thought
I argued there is 'moral progress' from lawlessness to lawfulness [laws in place] re Chattel Slavery.
You still have not given an answer to the above, instead you attempt to confuse it with its implementation and the results which are different issues.

Your argument is non-sequitor. It is like insisting there is no 'moral' progress in the enactment of laws on murders over lawlessness regarding murders because there are so many thousands of murders still going on.

So I am expecting a specific answer to, there is improvement of progress [related to moral] in the enactment of slavery laws from the lawlessness of slavery laws since 200 years ago. Yes or No.

Do not divert to statistics of the existence of 'chattel' slavery which is a separate issue and this is debatable.
Note my comparison is 'chattel' slavery i.e. legally owned slaves not on illegal trading of slaves.
The existing problem of child slavery is not 'chattel' slaver and besides that is a crime.
Point with net-negative is some acts are deemed negative but they do have some positive side effects. Thus net-negative meant it is overall negative taking into account various conditions.
The problem is with your word "negative." It's so vague that it describes half of the objects in the universe, with no differentiation between them. It says nothing specific at all.
I agreed it is vague, that is why I had said it is very loaded and need discussion in to its details which I am keeping in view - KIVing.
I have asserted earlier, the soldier-lie scenario was merely a partial part of the whole Kantian Framework and System of Morality and Ethics which is not deontological
.
This is not relevant to the point. The point was that his morality was absolute, not that it was deontological. He allowed no exceptions, special circumstances or excuses for perceived outcomes. It was "categorical" and "imperative."
The general accusation of Kant's Moral System is it is based on absolute moral laws and deontological [enforceable].
I have argued the absolute moral laws of Kant are not deontological and enforceable but rather they are to be used a guides only for continuous improvements.

How can you said you have read Kant and not understood the above?
It is likely you have not put in the necessary effort needed to get a grasp and understand [not necessary agree with] of Kant's view.
Your insistence it is imperative all the way indicate your lack of understanding of Kantian Morality. The Kantian System of Morality is easily represented by the 'jazz' analogy where the individual progresses individually and gel into a team with others of the likes.
Bad analogy. In jazz, each participant contributes a different kind of styling from the others. In Kantianism, the "right" thing to do, in any particular situation, is always the same. Always. So there's no "styling" one's own way there.
Yes, there is only one fixed goal post, which also implied music.
In 'jazz' all players synchronize towards [impossible] perfection but keep improving all the way as they keep playing more and more times together.
In a real situation, Kant would have lied,
Maybe. But he explicitly said he wouldn't. And if he did, he'd certainly have violated his own moral framework, and he'd have his own method to help him known he did.
Where there is any indication he would have lied, that would only be on a theoretical basis and not in practice.
What is critical is the trend of how genocides are stopped
I wish it were, but it's certainly verifiably not.
I meant actual genocides, e.g. Jews, Armenian, Yazidis, of Japanese Imperialism, Pol pot, etc. that had happened in the past were stopped, i.e. did not continue to the present. Are the Japanese still killing the Chinese in masses at present?

It is possible there could be mass killing in the future, but they are not likely to be in the genocidal numbers of the past and such genocidal incidents are likely to be rare in modern times.

But there is one exception with the potential extermination of the human species when evil prone Muslims get access to easy available cheap WMDs in the future. This potential of evil must be given serious attention.

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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Immanuel Can » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:18 pm

Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:42 am
Note there are two issues of moral progress here:

1. The change with the introduction of Laws to stop 'chattel' slavery since 200 years ago.
2. The numbers of 'chattel' slaves since 200 years ago and not.

Your problem is you keep conflating the two moral related issues.
No, actually, I'm not making that argument. I'm saying that there are two separate evils, that are now compounded with regard to chattel slavery.

1. There are more chattel slaves today, living in worse conditions, than at any time in history. (statistically verifiably true)
2. A second evil is that national representatives at the UN are lying, signing on to statements against slavery that they have absolutely no intention of following. (this I can also prove: do you want me to?)

In contrast, you seem to be arguing that the mere presence of such "statements against slavery" is some kind of indicator of moral progress. I see no reason at all to suppose that's true, because if enslaving is bad, then (worse enslaving + lying) is even worse. And I see no rational way to argue the opposite.

Besides: a secularist has no way to know that slavery is even "bad." He or she may "feel" it is, but slave traders "feel" it's not. So any appeal to "feelings" gives us no clarity. We need more, but secularism has no more in it, because it's metaphysically agnostic, methodologically speaking. It takes no side on issues of ultimate value.
So I am expecting a specific answer to, there is improvement of progress [related to moral] in the enactment of slavery laws from the lawlessness of slavery laws since 200 years ago. Yes or No.
I already answered: the answer is "No." These seeming "laws" are no "laws" at all; they are a nothing but a lie, and they are not being enforced. Lies are not good. Kant thought that too, as you know.
The general accusation of Kant's Moral System is it is based on absolute moral laws and deontological [enforceable].
I have argued the absolute moral laws of Kant are not deontological and enforceable but rather they are to be used a guides only for continuous improvements.
This explanation is clearly question-begging. It begs the question, "What is an improvement?" So in your view of Kant, how do we detect when something is "morally improved" and when it is not?
Maybe. But he explicitly said he wouldn't. And if he did, he'd certainly have violated his own moral framework, and he'd have his own method to help him known he did.
Where there is any indication he would have lied, that would only be on a theoretical basis and not in practice.
I said "maybe." I was conceding your point perhaps could be true, though I don't think it is. Kant was famed for his attempt to be rationally consistent in practice (Hence, the famous story of his timekeeping.). So I think it's probable he would have tried to be consistent.

But even if he didn't obey in practice what he preached in theory, as you suggest could be the case, then Kant would know he was being unethical, by the terms of his own system. The CI would convict him of rational and (he thought) moral inconsistency.
[Are the Japanese still killing the Chinese in masses at present?
Of course not. But that's a terribly poor argument. You may as well point out that Romans are no longer throwing Christians to the lions, and say, "Well, look: moral progress!" The stopping of one atrocity does not suggest moral improvement in relation to others, or in relation to the number of world atrocities.

Moreover, the Japanese were unspeakably cruel to the Chinese, but that was not an attempted genocide. The point was to abuse and enslave, not to eradicate the Chinese from the planet. So that's just an irrelevant case, so far as genocides are concerned. Mass killing is not the same as genocide.
It is possible there could be mass killing in the future, but they are not likely to be in the genocidal numbers of the past and such genocidal incidents are likely to be rare in modern times.
Statistically, they have become far more common in modern times. Again, this is statistically very clear. That is, unless you're wanting to eliminate the 20th Century from your reckoning, and act like the 18 years of the 21st are the totality of "modern times."
But there is one exception with the potential extermination of the human species when evil prone Muslims get access to easy available cheap WMDs in the future. This potential of evil must be given serious attention.
Fair enough. But Muslims are a good example of what we're talking about. They're still eliminating all Jews from Muslim lands, and killing Christians at about a rate of 100,000 a year. And the reasons? Their race and their religion. That would qualify as genocide, more plausibly than the Japanese-Chinese atrocities of WW2.

Veritas Aequitas
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:32 am

Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:18 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:42 am
Note there are two issues of moral progress here:

1. The change with the introduction of Laws to stop 'chattel' slavery since 200 years ago.
2. The numbers of 'chattel' slaves since 200 years ago and not.

Your problem is you keep conflating the two moral related issues.
No, actually, I'm not making that argument. I'm saying that there are two separate evils, that are now compounded with regard to chattel slavery.

1. There are more chattel slaves today, living in worse conditions, than at any time in history. (statistically verifiably true)
2. A second evil is that national representatives at the UN are lying, signing on to statements against slavery that they have absolutely no intention of following. (this I can also prove: do you want me to?)

In contrast, you seem to be arguing that the mere presence of such "statements against slavery" is some kind of indicator of moral progress. I see no reason at all to suppose that's true, because if enslaving is bad, then (worse enslaving + lying) is even worse. And I see no rational way to argue the opposite.
No, I was the one who initially raised the issue to reflect my original intention. Thus we have to keep to my original thesis question.
You keep deflecting my point to something else which is not relevant to my original issue and question.

My point is;
1. For more than 200 years [to even man first appear] there was no laws to ban Chattel Slavery.
2. Then the UN introduced the Slavery Convention in 1926 and by 2018 the majority of recognized nations has signed the Slavery Convention and banned Chattel Slavery.

I conclude based on 1 and 2 there is progress and advancement in term of laws on Chattel Slavery.
I further inferred the above legal progress is driven by the inherent moral drive within humanity. [based on research on morality on babies].

Chattel Slavery i.e. legally owning another human being as a chattel [object] is inherently evil against what is absolutely evil [to be discussed].

You are having a cognitive dissonance and dilemma on this because the Bible indirectly condoned chattel slavery, thus resisting my truths. That is the problem because that was grounded in an illusory God which issue immutable command and doctrines that cannot be changed with time.
This is where secular morality will prevail over theological morality [which Kant condemned and f 'd angrily].

At this stage I am not interested in a discussion whether there is a total elimination of chattel slavery and whatever form of slavery. This is off topic.
Besides: a secularist has no way to know that slavery is even "bad." He or she may "feel" it is, but slave traders "feel" it's not. So any appeal to "feelings" gives us no clarity. We need more, but secularism has no more in it, because it's metaphysically agnostic, methodologically speaking. It takes no side on issues of ultimate value.
I have argued we can establish what is absolute good and thus good. Slavery in whatever form will be classified as evil. This is a complex issue to convince you and others but I am confident of my stance on it.
Meanwhile we should be able to accept [qualified] the majority stance 'slavery is evil' based on the fact that the majority of countries are banning slavery.
So I am expecting a specific answer to, there is improvement of progress [related to moral] in the enactment of slavery laws from the lawlessness of slavery laws since 200 years ago. Yes or No.
I already answered: the answer is "No." These seeming "laws" are no "laws" at all; they are a nothing but a lie, and they are not being enforced. Lies are not good. Kant thought that too, as you know.
You are deflecting again.
The pertinent question is did these countries enact the Laws or not?
If they have enacted improper laws on Chattel Slavery which are not in line with the guidelines in the Convention there would be negative reports from the UN.
The general accusation of Kant's Moral System is it is based on absolute moral laws and deontological [enforceable].
I have argued the absolute moral laws of Kant are not deontological and enforceable but rather they are to be used a guides only for continuous improvements.
This explanation is clearly question-begging. It begs the question, "What is an improvement?" So in your view of Kant, how do we detect when something is "morally improved" and when it is not?
This will be measured again the fixed absolute moral principles to be established by all for all.
Maybe. But he explicitly said he wouldn't. And if he did, he'd certainly have violated his own moral framework, and he'd have his own method to help him known he did.
Where there is any indication he would have lied, that would only be on a theoretical basis and not in practice.
I said "maybe." I was conceding your point perhaps could be true, though I don't think it is. Kant was famed for his attempt to be rationally consistent in practice (Hence, the famous story of his timekeeping.). So I think it's probable he would have tried to be consistent.

But even if he didn't obey in practice what he preached in theory, as you suggest could be the case, then Kant would know he was being unethical, by the terms of his own system. The CI would convict him of rational and (he thought) moral inconsistency.
You are relying on the term "Imperative" but as I had advised that only a partial point of Kant whole argument.
What is 'imperative' to Kant's system is merely a guide.

Re genocides, unless you can produce total statistics, it is not likely there will be a repeat of 6 million people will be killed like what Hitler did to the Jews within that span to time. This will not happen again [except the Islam potential of total extermination] because there is an increase in the overall moral compass or Moral Quotient of the average humanity

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Immanuel Can
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Re: What could make morality objective?

Post by Immanuel Can » Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:25 pm

Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:32 am
You are having a cognitive dissonance and dilemma on this...
Actually, I'm not. Really, you must avoid ad hominems. They're irrelevant. The irony of you imagining you know what's motivating me psychologically is just too much.
At this stage I am not interested in a discussion whether there is a total elimination of chattel slavery and whatever form of slavery.
I understand why: you're wrong. Slavery is worse than ever, and every statistic shows it is. You didn't know, and you built an argument on the false premise that it was diminishing, and that people are getting better and better.

That's an argument I'd abandon too.
I have argued we can establish what is absolute good and thus good.
But you have not shown it. To "'argue" entails the provision of reasons to believe a claim is true, not merely the making of a claim. If I'm wrong, give me your "compass" so I can find "good" too. (That seems a reasonable request: and you'd be very unkind not to respond to it, if indeed you possess the logical "compass" we all lack.)

What are your criteria for "good"?
You are deflecting again...
More gratuitous psychologizing, instead of addressing the issue. And it's still merely ad hominem.
You are relying on the term "Imperative"
I'm not. Kant was. It's his chosen term.
What is 'imperative' to Kant's system is merely a guide.
You'll need to consult that dictionary again. It's quite imperative you do.
Re genocides, unless you can produce total statistics, it is not likely there will be a repeat of 6 million people will be killed like what Hitler did to the Jews within that span to time. This will not happen again [except the Islam potential of total extermination] because there is an increase in the overall moral compass or Moral Quotient of the average humanity
Well, this statement is about as clear an example of "faith" as one could find! All the historical evidence runs contrary, and no substantial reason exists to believe it.

Let me just give you one example. Over one billion -- a billion -- of our babies have been brutally butchered in utero since 1980. And you say no moral horrors comparable to the Holocaust could ever happen again!

I guess it depends on what you're willing to call a moral horror, doesn't it? :shock:

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