Morals, Not Memories, Define Who We Are

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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Veritas Aequitas
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Morals, Not Memories, Define Who We Are

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Sun Jul 05, 2020 10:30 am

Morals, Not Memories, Define Who We Are
https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... ho-we-are/

Have you ever wondered just what it is that makes you, you? If all your memories were to fade away, would your identity dissolve along with them? Would friends and family no longer perceive you to be the same person as before? For the 5.3 million Americans experiencing memory loss due to Alzheimer’s disease, these frightening questions are more than just theoretical.

Fortunately, science appears to suggest that being robbed of one’s memory does not equate with being robbed of one’s identity.

A new study has found that “who one is” is largely defined by one’s moral behavior, and not by one’s memory capacity or other cognitive abilities.

....
..the results highlight the need for future neurological interventions and clinical therapies that specifically focus on maintaining those cognitive faculties involved in moral function in the face of disease.
The implication is there is an inherent moral function that is generic to all human being, and thus the associated objective moral facts related to it.

commonsense
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Re: Morals, Not Memories, Define Who We Are

Post by commonsense » Mon Jul 06, 2020 1:24 am

The lead-in to the article and the title of the thread are misleading. There’s a distinction between who we are and who others think we are. The article has little to do with who we are and much to do with who other people perceive us to be.

Behavior cannot define a person, because there can be multiple motives for the same behavior. Behavior can define how others see us. Behavior is the only basis others have by which to identify us. But changes in perceived identity relate to the perceiver.

“Oh, he would never do that (e.g. cheat at cards)” or “That’s just not like him (e.g. to start a fight). These are often the statements after a relative or loved one has committed a (heinous) crime. These sentiments imply that perceived identity is influenced by moral behavior.

But an individual is made of his memories, of concepts and experiences, not by the impression others make of him.

Veritas Aequitas
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Re: Morals, Not Memories, Define Who We Are

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Mon Jul 06, 2020 5:42 am

commonsense wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 1:24 am
The lead-in to the article and the title of the thread are misleading. There’s a distinction between who we are and who others think we are. The article has little to do with who we are and much to do with who other people perceive us to be.

Behavior cannot define a person, because there can be multiple motives for the same behavior. Behavior can define how others see us. Behavior is the only basis others have by which to identify us. But changes in perceived identity relate to the perceiver.

“Oh, he would never do that (e.g. cheat at cards)” or “That’s just not like him (e.g. to start a fight). These are often the statements after a relative or loved one has committed a (heinous) crime. These sentiments imply that perceived identity is influenced by moral behavior.

But an individual is made of his memories, of concepts and experiences, not by the impression others make of him.
But note, once the person is diagnosed with the very serious stage of dementia, he would have lost his sense of self, personality, ego and "I-ness".
In this case, the question of "who we are" is irrelevant.

What is relevant thus, is "who we are" to those who are normal.

commonsense
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Re: Morals, Not Memories, Define Who We Are

Post by commonsense » Mon Jul 06, 2020 10:49 pm

Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 5:42 am
commonsense wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 1:24 am
The lead-in to the article and the title of the thread are misleading. There’s a distinction between who we are and who others think we are. The article has little to do with who we are and much to do with who other people perceive us to be.

Behavior cannot define a person, because there can be multiple motives for the same behavior. Behavior can define how others see us. Behavior is the only basis others have by which to identify us. But changes in perceived identity relate to the perceiver.

“Oh, he would never do that (e.g. cheat at cards)” or “That’s just not like him (e.g. to start a fight). These are often the statements after a relative or loved one has committed a (heinous) crime. These sentiments imply that perceived identity is influenced by moral behavior.

But an individual is made of his memories, of concepts and experiences, not by the impression others make of him.
But note, once the person is diagnosed with the very serious stage of dementia, he would have lost his sense of self, personality, ego and "I-ness".
In this case, the question of "who we are" is irrelevant.

What is relevant thus, is "who we are" to those who are normal.
Who we are, as unique, normal individuals, is defined by our memories, not by our morals. The unique array of memories that one has defines one as an individual, unique from a considerable number of other individuals.

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

Re: Morals, Not Memories, Define Who We Are

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:07 am

commonsense wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 10:49 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 5:42 am
commonsense wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 1:24 am
The lead-in to the article and the title of the thread are misleading. There’s a distinction between who we are and who others think we are. The article has little to do with who we are and much to do with who other people perceive us to be.

Behavior cannot define a person, because there can be multiple motives for the same behavior. Behavior can define how others see us. Behavior is the only basis others have by which to identify us. But changes in perceived identity relate to the perceiver.

“Oh, he would never do that (e.g. cheat at cards)” or “That’s just not like him (e.g. to start a fight). These are often the statements after a relative or loved one has committed a (heinous) crime. These sentiments imply that perceived identity is influenced by moral behavior.

But an individual is made of his memories, of concepts and experiences, not by the impression others make of him.
But note, once the person is diagnosed with the very serious stage of dementia, he would have lost his sense of self, personality, ego and "I-ness".
In this case, the question of "who we are" is irrelevant.

What is relevant thus, is "who we are" to those who are normal.
Who we are, as unique, normal individuals, is defined by our memories, not by our morals. The unique array of memories that one has defines one as an individual, unique from a considerable number of other individuals.
Yes, under normal circumstances, memories seem to be used if we do not suffer from serious dementia.

But seriously and fundamentally it is the morality, i.e. whether the person is defined as good or evil is primarily dependent on his morality, not his memory [secondary].

commonsense
Posts: 2112
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:38 pm

Re: Morals, Not Memories, Define Who We Are

Post by commonsense » Tue Jul 07, 2020 4:28 pm

Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:07 am
But seriously and fundamentally it is the morality, i.e. whether the person is defined as good or evil is primarily dependent on his morality, not his memory [secondary].
I disagree, as is obvious I’m sure to both of us. We will not agree ever, I think, on the roles of morals and memories in defining who we are.

I respect your position and readily understand the importance of morals in determining our status as good people or otherwise.

I do see your point, however I do not see that determining our moral status identifies us as individuals, distinct from all others.

Perhaps that is the source of our impasse—that one of us views defining people as sorting them into categories while the other sees defining people as separating one person from all the rest.

Perhaps the source of our impasse is that neither of us has yet accepted morals and memories as equal requirements in defining ourselves, rather than as primary and secondary factors.

Perhaps our difficulty arises from both of these—the meaning of defining who we are and the issue of primacy v equilibrium.

Veritas Aequitas
Posts: 4145
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:41 am

Re: Morals, Not Memories, Define Who We Are

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Wed Jul 08, 2020 2:23 am

commonsense wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 4:28 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:07 am
But seriously and fundamentally it is the morality, i.e. whether the person is defined as good or evil is primarily dependent on his morality, not his memory [secondary].
I disagree, as is obvious I’m sure to both of us. We will not agree ever, I think, on the roles of morals and memories in defining who we are.

I respect your position and readily understand the importance of morals in determining our status as good people or otherwise.

I do see your point, however I do not see that determining our moral status identifies us as individuals, distinct from all others.

Perhaps that is the source of our impasse—that one of us views defining people as sorting them into categories while the other sees defining people as separating one person from all the rest.

Perhaps the source of our impasse is that neither of us has yet accepted morals and memories as equal requirements in defining ourselves, rather than as primary and secondary factors.

Perhaps our difficulty arises from both of these—the meaning of defining who we are and the issue of primacy v equilibrium.
I believe there is a very fine line between whether it is moral or memory, but moral is ahead of memory* despite the very small difference on average.

*edited.
Last edited by Veritas Aequitas on Wed Jul 08, 2020 2:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

commonsense
Posts: 2112
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:38 pm

Re: Morals, Not Memories, Define Who We Are

Post by commonsense » Wed Jul 08, 2020 2:34 am

Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 2:23 am
commonsense wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 4:28 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:07 am
But seriously and fundamentally it is the morality, i.e. whether the person is defined as good or evil is primarily dependent on his morality, not his memory [secondary].
I disagree, as is obvious I’m sure to both of us. We will not agree ever, I think, on the roles of morals and memories in defining who we are.

I respect your position and readily understand the importance of morals in determining our status as good people or otherwise.

I do see your point, however I do not see that determining our moral status identifies us as individuals, distinct from all others.

Perhaps that is the source of our impasse—that one of us views defining people as sorting them into categories while the other sees defining people as separating one person from all the rest.

Perhaps the source of our impasse is that neither of us has yet accepted morals and memories as equal requirements in defining ourselves, rather than as primary and secondary factors.

Perhaps our difficulty arises from both of these—the meaning of defining who we are and the issue of primacy v equilibrium.
I believe there is a very fine line between whether it is moral or memory, but moral is ahead of moral despite the very small difference on average.
Of course you believe it to be that way :)

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