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.
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
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.
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.
here is ..
God is an Impossibility
, i.e. moot.