From Moral Sense Theory to Moral Facts

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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Re: From Moral Sense Theory to Moral Facts

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Alexander_Reiswich wrote: Fri Jan 20, 2023 2:11 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Fri Jan 20, 2023 6:19 am I can easily avoid the term 'objective' and present the thesis that there are innate and inherent moral impulses within human nature that all human must aligned with accordingly to ensure the welfare of humanity. I can then rely on the Scientific FSK and a credible moral FSK to justify my thesis, QED, without mentioning the term 'objective'.
That's great -- it would clarify a lot. You see, when a philosophically minded audience reads a sentence like "[...] that all human must aligned with [...]" within the context of objective morality, we immediately interpret that as you making the argument that there's some kind of "cosmic ought" which is independent from (inter-) subjective human interests. But in reality, you are making an appeal to our common, rationally derived goals of ensuring the welfare of humanity. Therefore, the is-ought-dichotomy is never broken. It's just that your terminology leads us to believe that it was.
This is why - to avoid the confusion - I raised the thread;

Two Senses of Ought
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=39320

to differentiate the "cosmic ought", platonic 'ought' or God's ought from the scientific verifiable oughtness and ought-not-ness.
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Alexander_Reiswich
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Re: From Moral Sense Theory to Moral Facts

Post by Alexander_Reiswich »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 4:30 am This is why - to avoid the confusion - I raised the thread;

Two Senses of Ought
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=39320

to differentiate the "cosmic ought", platonic 'ought' or God's ought from the scientific verifiable oughtness and ought-not-ness.
I understand, but to be honest, I don't think it's a good idea to use the word "ought" in the second sense, like, ever. There's just far too much baggage attached to it.

I think calling it an impulse, instinct, predisposition or even a biological imperative would be much more helpful.

I'm not sure what the benefit is in attempting to reclaim classical moral language when there are more descriptive terms available. Sometimes better alternatives aren't available of course, and I can certainly sympathize in those cases. The term "Morality" in itself is problematic, but it's not easy to find a clearer alternative for the intended definition.
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: From Moral Sense Theory to Moral Facts

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Alexander_Reiswich wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 10:59 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 4:30 am This is why - to avoid the confusion - I raised the thread;

Two Senses of Ought
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=39320

to differentiate the "cosmic ought", platonic 'ought' or God's ought from the scientific verifiable oughtness and ought-not-ness.
I understand, but to be honest, I don't think it's a good idea to use the word "ought" in the second sense, like, ever. There's just far too much baggage attached to it.

I think calling it an impulse, instinct, predisposition or even a biological imperative would be much more helpful.

I'm not sure what the benefit is in attempting to reclaim classical moral language when there are more descriptive terms available. Sometimes better alternatives aren't available of course, and I can certainly sympathize in those cases. The term "Morality" in itself is problematic, but it's not easy to find a clearer alternative for the intended definition.
I believe the problem is not with the term 'ought' itself but rather the ideology and "ism" related to Hume's 'no ought from is' [NOFI].
Actually Hume's NOFI is a truism, thus shooting blanks.

You're familiar with Ayer, Moore and the Logical Positivists and now the Anglo-American analytics?
To Ayer, all moral statements, worst if claim to be factual, are meaningless and nonsense, period!!!

Here is a comment on Ayer's view:
Because of its adoption of the empirical verifiability criterion, Ayer's theory holds that all value statements are cognitively meaningless and all value judgments, including those of morality, are nothing but expressions of emotions.
This theory removes ethics from meaningful philosophical discourse and deems it to be a subject only for the social sciences.
This theory can be found faulty on many accounts. Not only can it be shown that by the existence of purely ethical arguments Ayer's theory is refuted but also
it can be shown that this theory is self-annihilating.
https://digitalcommons.uri.edu/cgi/view ... ext=theses
Then there is Moore's Naturalistic Fallacies,
In philosophical ethics, the naturalistic fallacy is the claim that any reductive explanation of good, in terms of natural properties such as pleasant or desirable, is false. The term was introduced by British philosopher G. E. Moore in his 1903 book Principia Ethica.[1]
Moore's naturalistic fallacy is closely related to the is–ought problem .....
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalistic_fallacy
Both Hume's and Moore's views had been and is being used at present by moral-facts-deniers like Peter Holmes & gang to hammer any other alternative thoughts to their ideology.
As you will note PH and gang do not do not give solid arguments to back their dogmatic stance and always fall back on Hume's NOFI and Analytics' ideology.

It is against such ideology and dogmatism of NOFI that I introduced the scientific oughtness or ought-not-ness to counter it.

Even if I use the terms "an impulse, instinct, predisposition or even a biological imperative would be much more helpful" they will still mock due to the dogmatic stance from their rigid ideology.

As you would have noted [you may not agree with], my main concern with morality is how humanity can increase the moral quotient [MQ] from 100 [2023 base] to say MQ of 1500 in 75, 100 years [2123] or more from now.
Then there will be minimal evil where each human [analogically a moral thermostat] will be striving [optimally] to improve toward a never-achievable-perfection as the moral standard.
In this case, there is no need to argue over the term 'ought' but focus on what actions to be taken to increase humanity's average moral quotient.

It is because the meaning of "morality" is not precisely defined in its alignment with human nature that we have no significant progress in moral & ethics within humanity at present.

One reason is the natural initial focus on the primal survival instincts, i.e. flight or fight, kill or be killed, tribalism, negative emotions, sex, etc. that are critical for survival in early humans.
Because humans are self-conscious these necessary instincts can be easily deviated from their intended use, i.e. genocides, rapes, murder, violence, etc. to become evil acts.

When we review whatever is about morality, one will note 'morality' is reducible to overcoming and reducing [an attempt to eliminate] the above evil acts.
Do you agree? If not, why?

Morality is confined to dealing with evil acts with its range of degrees of evilness.

Despite their possible heavy overlapping, the Philosophy of Morality & Ethics should not be mistaken for Philosophy of Virtues and Philosophy of Politics.
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Alexander_Reiswich
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Re: From Moral Sense Theory to Moral Facts

Post by Alexander_Reiswich »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 3:37 am It is against such ideology and dogmatism of NOFI that I introduced the scientific oughtness or ought-not-ness to counter it.
I wouldn't call this dogmatic, though -- these approaches are just conceptually different from yours. You're basically walking into a Go/Baduk tournament and demanding that they play chess with you. Why should they?

Look, you have to get to terms with what your goals are. If you want attention, then sure, bring chess pieces to a Go/Baduk tournament. If you want to win the chess tournament, you have to play chess. If you want to win the Go/Baduk tournament, you have to enter the Go/Baduk tournament.

Play by the rules of those you aim to persuade, defeat them at their own game. Don't complain that the others are cheating, when you're the one trying to play by your own rules.

You are, after all, claiming that you have a deep understanding of the scientific method, yes? The scientific method is ultimately a means to get results. If your current approach is not working -- and from what I can tell, it clearly isn't -- then change it.

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 3:37 am When we review whatever is about morality, one will note 'morality' is reducible to overcoming and reducing [an attempt to eliminate] the above evil acts.
Do you agree? If not, why?
I have researched quite a number of moral systems and my conclusion is that Morality can't possibly be reduced to a single idea or principle. All approaches can be useful in their own way -- the fundamental error always happens when we attempt to apply a very specific approach to Morality beyond it's proper bounds. So I, of course, don't disagree that reducing rape, murder, genocide, etc. can be considered valid "moral goals", but I don't think this is the only worthwhile aspect or interpretation of Morality.

I personally like Sam Harris' idea of the "moral landscape", as it correctly implies that Morality includes a multitude of viable moral peaks and valleys.

For example, if we look at Utilitarianism, the classical distinction is between "pleasure and pain". A more modern approach is to distinguish between "benefit and harm". Another variant is to attempt to satisfy a maximum number of interests/preferences. But we could also base Utilitarianism on other values such as truth/knowledge or freedom/autonomy. These are all perfectly valid goals -- it would be nonsensical to say that only of them is truly correct or objectively more important than the others.

For this reason, I believe that all such approaches to Morality are "subjective" in their nature, although as we have already established, I mean this in the sense of "derived on the basis of the interests of individuals or groups of people" ("viewpoint-based"), rather than derived without reference to individual viewpoints ("world-based"). As such, it would be invalid to claim that some of these moral approaches are "true" to the exclusion of the others.

However, if all conceivable interests are valid, this obviously can lead to them contradicting one another. This is why I believe there's a need for a "world-based" Morality, which can inform us of where the proper bounds of each viewpoint-based approach are, so that we can avoid those contradictions (without discarding them as a whole).
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: From Moral Sense Theory to Moral Facts

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Alexander_Reiswich wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 5:18 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 3:37 am It is against such ideology and dogmatism of NOFI that I introduced the scientific oughtness or ought-not-ness to counter it.
I wouldn't call this dogmatic, though -- these approaches are just conceptually different from yours. You're basically walking into a Go/Baduk tournament and demanding that they play chess with you. Why should they?

Look, you have to get to terms with what your goals are. If you want attention, then sure, bring chess pieces to a Go/Baduk tournament. If you want to win the chess tournament, you have to play chess. If you want to win the Go/Baduk tournament, you have to enter the Go/Baduk tournament.

Play by the rules of those you aim to persuade, defeat them at their own game. Don't complain that the others are cheating, when you're the one trying to play by your own rules.

You are, after all, claiming that you have a deep understanding of the scientific method, yes? The scientific method is ultimately a means to get results. If your current approach is not working -- and from what I can tell, it clearly isn't -- then change it.
I have no problem in understanding the moral-fact-deniers [PH & gang] are "correct" within the rules definition of their own games, i.e. it is so obvious the feelings, opinions, beliefs and judgment upon a thing is not the-physical thing.
As far as the moral fact deniers are concerned, it is My Way or the Highway just like how religious fundamentalists are sticking to their ideology.

The point is Morality is not about games of Chess or Go.
Morality is about the the game-of-life [& death] toward the long term welfare of humanity.
I argued the 'morality' of the moral-fact-deniers as driven by Hume NOFI will not be effective to sustain and promote the welfare of humanity in the longer run in the future.

It is so obvious the feelings, opinions, beliefs and judgments upon a thing is not the-physical thing, thus the former cannot be factual.
What I have argued is those feelings, opinions, beliefs and judgments upon a thing related to morality are reducible to the physical brain, neurons, neural correlates, algorithm, DNA, atoms and quarks. It is is these latter things which are the moral facts as established within a Moral FSK grounded upon the scientific FSK.

The point is, the trend is there are now mounting evidences of scientific based facts contributing to moral facts. Being scientific based, of course I am prepared to reject my thesis if proven wrong.

The moral-fact-deniers are not prepared to counter my claims with facts but merely by blaring their ideology [Hume's NOFI etc.] and rejecting my thesis without sound arguments.

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 3:37 am When we review whatever is about morality, one will note 'morality' is reducible to overcoming and reducing [an attempt to eliminate] the above evil acts.
Do you agree? If not, why?
I have researched quite a number of moral systems and my conclusion is that Morality can't possibly be reduced to a single idea or principle. All approaches can be useful in their own way -- the fundamental error always happens when we attempt to apply a very specific approach to Morality beyond it's proper bounds. So I, of course, don't disagree that reducing rape, murder, genocide, etc. can be considered valid "moral goals", but I don't think this is the only worthwhile aspect or interpretation of Morality.
To deal with a topic/thesis like Morality, one has to define precisely its meanings and the variables involved.
The more elements and variables you bring into a thesis the messier it will be.
If you have done a thesis, you would appreciate the taboo of taking in too many variables.

As I had stated there are many other 'good' elements e.g. virtues, which can be dealt with separately within the Philosophy of Virtues rather than Morality [as defined].
I personally like Sam Harris' idea of the "moral landscape", as it correctly implies that Morality includes a multitude of viable moral peaks and valleys.

For example, if we look at Utilitarianism, the classical distinction is between "pleasure and pain". A more modern approach is to distinguish between "benefit and harm". Another variant is to attempt to satisfy a maximum number of interests/preferences. But we could also base Utilitarianism on other values such as truth/knowledge or freedom/autonomy. These are all perfectly valid goals -- it would be nonsensical to say that only of them is truly correct or objectively more important than the others.

For this reason, I believe that all such approaches to Morality are "subjective" in their nature, although as we have already established, I mean this in the sense of "derived on the basis of the interests of individuals or groups of people" ("viewpoint-based"), rather than derived without reference to individual viewpoints ("world-based"). As such, it would be invalid to claim that some of these moral approaches are "true" to the exclusion of the others.

However, if all conceivable interests are valid, this obviously can lead to them contradicting one another. This is why I believe there's a need for a "world-based" Morality, which can inform us of where the proper bounds of each viewpoint-based approach are, so that we can avoid those contradictions (without discarding them as a whole).
If you were to reflect, 'pleasure and pain' [besides, fight or flight [in the 4Fs], kill or be killed, tribalism] are fundamental algorithm [program] that support the will-to-survive [will-to-live] for those living things with such consciousness.
The more fundamental algorithm to pleasure and pain is 'Benefit and harm' thus favoring or avoiding whatever contribute to the will-to-survive adapted via evolution.

Thus whether it is Utilitarianism or Consequentialism, both are reducible to the will-to-survive.
The will-to-survive or will-to-live is thus the most fundamental grounds of morality & Ethics which is objective, i.e. independent of any individual's opinion and beliefs.

If you want to establish a "world-based Morality" it has to be grounded to the objective will-to-live which is represented by the body, brain, neurons, neural correlates, neural algorithms, neurons, DNA, atoms and quarks.

Thus we may have subjective system of Morality and Ethics relative to the varied conditions they are in, they must be grounded the above objective will-to-live [scientific and physical].
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Alexander_Reiswich
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Re: From Moral Sense Theory to Moral Facts

Post by Alexander_Reiswich »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 11:36 am Thus whether it is Utilitarianism or Consequentialism, both are reducible to the will-to-survive.
But the "will-to-survive" of whom? That's the problem. For example, if we're talking about the "will-to-survive" of each individual person, we're arriving at moral subjectivism. If we're talking about the "will-to-survive" of a society / country we essentially get cultural relativism / nationalism.

The point is that depending on whose "will-to-survive" we focus on, automatically the "will-to-survive" of other interest groups becomes secondary. In this way various kinds of atrocities become justifiable. This is why any attempt at reducing Morality to a single source does not work.

This appears to not be a problem in your approach, because your theory is not really concerned with anything normative, such as what would constitute the morally right choice in a given situation or how to design moral laws, etc., but rather with general knowledge of what is beneficial for the survival and progress of our species. But this means that it's not really a theory of morality in any commonly understood sense, and it can't be used to answer classic moral questions. And that's my point: you're making an appeal for other people to accept your special model as to how we should think about morality, without acknowledging that your approach is distinct from the prevailing, common model(s). The easiest way to achieve this, in my opinion, is to develop a new terminology for it which is detached from moral terminology. Then, a case can be made as to why it would be a good idea to substitute the current way we think and talk about morality with your model.

You obviously don't have to do this, but I can guarantee you that no one will accept your proposition otherwise.
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: From Moral Sense Theory to Moral Facts

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Alexander_Reiswich wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 4:06 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 11:36 am Thus whether it is Utilitarianism or Consequentialism, both are reducible to the will-to-survive.
But the "will-to-survive" of whom? That's the problem. For example, if we're talking about the "will-to-survive" of each individual person, we're arriving at moral subjectivism. If we're talking about the "will-to-survive" of a society / country we essentially get cultural relativism / nationalism.
We are talking about the 'will-to-survive' of ALL human beings, all living beings on Earth and to any living beings if any in the Universe; so, according to your view, that would be universalism? not subjectivism nor relativism / nationalism?

The point is, the will-to-live is the fundamental ground of human nature which is a biological fact from the biological FSK, independent of subject's opinion and beliefs, thus objective.
The point is that depending on whose "will-to-survive" we focus on, automatically the "will-to-survive" of other interest groups becomes secondary. In this way various kinds of atrocities become justifiable. This is why any attempt at reducing Morality to a single source does not work.
You forgot?
I defined morality within a moral FSK as 'avoiding evil to promote good' which is grounded on the objective will-to-survive.
Atrocities which contra the 'universal' will-to-survive are evil and immoral, thus cannot be moral.
Why are atrocities immoral? It is because they are evil which contra the objective universal will-to-survive.
This is a reason why Morality must be reducible to an objective ground or reason, i.e. the will-to-survive that is shared by ALL human beings.
This appears to not be a problem in your approach, because your theory is not really concerned with anything normative, such as what would constitute the morally right choice in a given situation or how to design moral laws, etc., but rather with general knowledge of what is beneficial for the survival and progress of our species. But this means that it's not really a theory of morality in any commonly understood sense, and it can't be used to answer classic moral questions. And that's my point: you're making an appeal for other people to accept your special model as to how we should think about morality, without acknowledging that your approach is distinct from the prevailing, common model(s). The easiest way to achieve this, in my opinion, is to develop a new terminology for it which is detached from moral terminology. Then, a case can be made as to why it would be a good idea to substitute the current way we think and talk about morality with your model.

You obviously don't have to do this, but I can guarantee you that no one will accept your proposition otherwise.
The will-to-survive is the Normative which will ground all other sub-Normatives.

It is the actual ground for ALL moral issues i.e. classical and modern.

The problem with most of the current models of morality is the will-to-survive as the Normative is intuitively embedded within their moral models and they are ignorant of it, thus not recognized as a fact and the ground of their moral model.
This omission has hindered moral progress and even led to promote evilness.

For example "utilitarianism";
  • The greatest happiness principle is the ultimate standard of morality set up by classical utilitarianism.
    That classical creed conceives of good as happiness and holds that right actions are those which maximize the total happiness of the members of the community. Link
The problem with the above is the maximization of total happiness of the members of the community can be based on 'good' or 'evil', e.g. the Nazis then strove for the extinction of the Jews and others [evil as defined] in gaining maximum happiness by acting what is 'good' within their moral FSK.

You mentioned Sam Harris' Peaks and Valleys somewhere.
I am a fan of Harris as a neuroscientist and for his stance on Science as the future for Moral issues but I disagree with his utilitarianism basis for morality. Here are some of his quotes I favor;
  • The Moral landscape”—a space of real and potential outcomes whose peaks correspond to the heights of potential well-being and whose valleys represent the deepest possible suffering.

    Human experience shows every sign of being determined by, and realized in, states of the human brain.

    The goal of this book is to begin a conversation about how Moral truth can be understood in the context of Science.

    While many scientists now study the evolution of morality, as well as its underlying neurobiology, the purpose of their research is merely to describe how human beings think and behave.
    No one expects Science to tell us how we ought to think and behave.

    The more we understand ourselves at the level of the brain, the more we will see that there are right and wrong answers to questions of human values.

    Rather I am arguing that Science can, in principle, help us understand what we should do and should want—and, therefore, what other people should do and should want in order to live the best lives possible. Chap 2

    We can think more clearly about the nature of Moral truth and determine which patterns of thought and behavior we should follow in the name of “morality.” Hence, my main focus is on project 2. 2-35

    The brain regions involved in Moral cognition span many areas of the prefrontal cortex and the temporal lobes.
Harris' limitation of his Morality to utilitarianism without objective moral facts, could lend itself to the possibility of elements of evil [in the valleys] to maximize a group's well being.

But where we ground "morality as avoiding evil to promote good [or maximum happiness]" to the universal will-to-survive of ALL humans, it is impossible for morality to lead to evil. Maximization of anything that is evil is not moral.
As such, "utilitarianism" without any grounding to the universal will-to-survive [applicable to ALL humans] on one hand, can possibly be very evil and immoral.

So, my moral model based on the universal* will-to-live is very objective and effective for moral progress.
[note this universal is not the Platonic universal but a biological universal]
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Alexander_Reiswich
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Re: From Moral Sense Theory to Moral Facts

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Veritas Aequitas wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 2:19 am The will-to-survive is the Normative which will ground all other sub-Normatives.

It is the actual ground for ALL moral issues i.e. classical and modern.
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 2:19 am You forgot?
I defined morality within a moral FSK as 'avoiding evil to promote good' which is grounded on the objective will-to-survive.
Atrocities which contra the 'universal' will-to-survive are evil and immoral, thus cannot be moral.
Why are atrocities immoral? It is because they are evil which contra the objective universal will-to-survive.
This is a reason why Morality must be reducible to an objective ground or reason, i.e. the will-to-survive that is shared by ALL human beings.
The way you describe your position here is just as I understand it -- and it reinforces my observation that it can't be applied to real moral questions. But maybe I just fail to see the potential. Based on my understanding, you're arguing that people should value the entirety of humanity, possibly even all other life forms, ultimately "equally" on the basis of their will-to-survive. The problem, however, is that our individual interests are often not in alignment. The idea of altering or "optimizing" human nature such that each individual human can make the best possible moral choice at any given moment is nice and all. But it's so difficult that it's not even clear how to best approach this challenge. It's certainly not going to be achieved in the foreseeable future.

In the meantime, the question is how we should deal with the bazillion real, current moral problems that we're currently facing.

Here's an example: say a male refugee rapes a woman in the country that has welcomed him (say, a European country). How should we handle this violation in a morally correct way? If we deport him to his home country, there's a high likelihood he will be killed. If we imprison him, he'll receive free accommodation at the tax payers expense. Obviously, the death penalty is not considered a viable or humane solution, either.

I realize that the best solution according to your theory would be to prevent the crime from happening in the first place -- but clearly this is beyond our means at the moment. So the question is how we should deal with it right here and now, provided we, as a society, are interested and willing to work out the most objective response.

What I want to know is how exactly we should approach this problem, such that we don't have to rely on our personal preconceptions of fairness and justice. The idea is to refer to a methodology that is truly objective, such that multiple people can apply it independently from one another and still consistently arrive at the same (or equivalent) conclusions (everything else being equal). The questions we want to answer are these:

- what should we demand from the perpetrator?
- what should be our duties relative to the victim?
- what should be our duties relative to our society as a whole?

It should go without saying that I'm not asking for studies and research regarding these questions. The theory itself must be able to inform us about what we ought to do, at least in some general sense. I'm also not asking about what appears "reasonable", because this is the current status-quo. A moral theory must be able to answer these questions in a precise and predictable manner. If it can't, then it's simply not a moral theory.
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Re: From Moral Sense Theory to Moral Facts

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Alexander_Reiswich wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 2:56 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 2:19 am The will-to-survive is the Normative which will ground all other sub-Normatives.

It is the actual ground for ALL moral issues i.e. classical and modern.
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 2:19 am You forgot?
I defined morality within a moral FSK as 'avoiding evil to promote good' which is grounded on the objective will-to-survive.
Atrocities which contra the 'universal' will-to-survive are evil and immoral, thus cannot be moral.
Why are atrocities immoral? It is because they are evil which contra the objective universal will-to-survive.
This is a reason why Morality must be reducible to an objective ground or reason, i.e. the will-to-survive that is shared by ALL human beings.
The way you describe your position here is just as I understand it -- and it reinforces my observation that it can't be applied to real moral questions. But maybe I just fail to see the potential. Based on my understanding, you're arguing that people should value the entirety of humanity, possibly even all other life forms, ultimately "equally" on the basis of their will-to-survive. The problem, however, is that our individual interests are often not in alignment. The idea of altering or "optimizing" human nature such that each individual human can make the best possible moral choice at any given moment is nice and all. But it's so difficult that it's not even clear how to best approach this challenge. It's certainly not going to be achieved in the foreseeable future.

In the meantime, the question is how we should deal with the bazillion real, current moral problems that we're currently facing.
As I had stated, first we must defined 'what is morality' [avoid evil] and what morality must cover [the evil elements] which I stated must be exhaustive.
We need to focus on the basic elements of evil and NOT on the extensive variations that branches from it.
Take nutrition, within the 'bazillion' types of food, there are only 3 basic macro nutrients, i.e. carbohydrates, proteins and fats plus essential minerals and vitamins which we can focus on to deal with for effective nutrition.

Here's an example: say a male refugee rapes a woman in the country that has welcomed him (say, a European country). How should we handle this violation in a morally correct way? If we deport him to his home country, there's a high likelihood he will be killed. If we imprison him, he'll receive free accommodation at the tax payers expense. Obviously, the death penalty is not considered a viable or humane solution, either.

I realize that the best solution according to your theory would be to prevent the crime from happening in the first place -- but clearly this is beyond our means at the moment. So the question is how we should deal with it right here and now, provided we, as a society, are interested and willing to work out the most objective response.

What I want to know is how exactly we should approach this problem, such that we don't have to rely on our personal preconceptions of fairness and justice. The idea is to refer to a methodology that is truly objective, such that multiple people can apply it independently from one another and still consistently arrive at the same (or equivalent) conclusions (everything else being equal). The questions we want to answer are these:

- what should we demand from the perpetrator?
- what should be our duties relative to the victim?
- what should be our duties relative to our society as a whole?

It should go without saying that I'm not asking for studies and research regarding these questions. The theory itself must be able to inform us about what we ought to do, at least in some general sense. I'm also not asking about what appears "reasonable", because this is the current status-quo. A moral theory must be able to answer these questions in a precise and predictable manner. If it can't, then it's simply not a moral theory.
Yes, for me, the best solution - the moral solution - is to prevent the crime from happening in the first place which is a possibility.
Given our current psychological states, there is no effective solution to prevent rapes.

You need to take into account of 'rape' within the history of mankind.
In the early stages of human kind [say 100,000 years ago], women [maybe man] were simply rape by those who are more powerful than them.

As human kind evolved in time, the situation of 'rape' [evil and sufferings] gradually reduced on a human-wide basis where;
-tribes introduced their own laws on rapes,
-religions threaten rapes as a sin with hellfire, etc.
-governments introduced laws to punish rapists.
-increase in the level of empathy within humanity in time.
-NGOs are highlighting the sufferings of women who are raped
-etc.

So we have improved in prevention of rapes tremendously since 100,000 years ago with the current ongoing trend of improvements via the tribal, social, religious, political means.

What is critical is, what is driving the very slow improvements in the prevention of rapes throughout that 100,000 years of history is the underlying inherent moral potential is being activated, in this case very slowly.

AR: What I want to know is how exactly we should approach this problem, such that we don't have to rely on our personal preconceptions of fairness and justice.
This would be a task for politics and various social organizations and not for morality - cannot be dealt within a moral theory at present because we do not have the moral competence to do so effectively.
In this case the politicians, law makers and other relevant authorities has to be more effective to improve the current situations taking into account their respective conditions and limitation in each country which would be very subjective and thus cannot be universal.

Up the present we have to rely on religions, politics and the likes to deal with evil elements because the inherent moral potential within the majority of people are not active.
However while these non-moral interventions are holding the fort against evil, the moral potential is being activated slowly. This is evident by the improvements in the prevent of rapes and its related suffering from 100,000 years to the present.

As mentioned above, what is driving the improvements in the prevention of rapes throughout that 100,000 years of history is the moral potential being activated, in this case very slowly which is a problem.

Thus the critical task is how can be expedite the slowness in the unfoldment of the inherent moral potential?
This is why we need a Moral FSK and not the Political FSK to bring greater effective solutions in the prevention of rapes [& all other evil acts] and its related sufferings.

What you are asking for above [making moral judgments] is 'fire-fighting' the symptoms, what we need is a moral model [FSK] to tackle the deeper root causes.

In this case of relying on the Moral FSK [model], we have to understand the moral mechanisms and the moral facts in the brain and mind so as to improve its efficiency to the extent that all humans or the majority will increase the average moral quotient [MQ] from say 100 [2023] to 1500 [2075 or >] such that the individuals will not have the uncontrollable lust to rape another.

To achieve a MQ of 1500 in 2075 or >, humanity must start now from 2023 to recognize the moral potential, moral functions, moral mechanism moral facts within the human brain and mind, then strive to continually improve on the MQ in 75 or more years in the future.

One of the current limitations is we have moral facts deniers like Peter Holmes and gang who are resisting modern scientific knowledge related to morality thus hindering moral progress.


Note Harris' lament on this;
Many people believe that something in the last few centuries of intellectual progress prevents us from speaking in terms of “Moral truth” and, therefore, from making cross-cultural Moral judgments—or Moral judgments at all.
Having discussed this subject in a variety of public forums, I have heard from literally thousands of highly educated men and women
that morality is a myth,
that statements about human values are without truth conditions (and are, therefore, nonsensical), and
that concepts like well-being and misery are so poorly defined, or so susceptible to personal whim and cultural influence, that it is impossible to know anything about them.1

Many of these people also claim that a scientific foundation for morality would serve no purpose in any case.
Chapter 2 The Moral Landscape
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Alexander_Reiswich
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Re: From Moral Sense Theory to Moral Facts

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Veritas Aequitas wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 2:33 am To achieve a MQ of 1500 in 2075 or >, humanity must start now from 2023 to recognize the moral potential, moral functions, moral mechanism moral facts within the human brain and mind, then strive to continually improve on the MQ in 75 or more years in the future.
I don't think anyone is opposed to this very specific proposal (other than on semantic grounds), since it's not something that has to be enforced and is in essence just an educational effort. The question is how it should be approached. What concrete measures can be taken towards realizing it?
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Re: From Moral Sense Theory to Moral Facts

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Alexander_Reiswich wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 6:39 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 2:33 am To achieve a MQ of 1500 in 2075 or >, humanity must start now from 2023 to recognize the moral potential, moral functions, moral mechanism moral facts within the human brain and mind, then strive to continually improve on the MQ in 75 or more years in the future.
I don't think anyone is opposed to this very specific proposal (other than on semantic grounds), since it's not something that has to be enforced and is in essence just an educational effort. The question is how it should be approached. What concrete measures can be taken towards realizing it?
I think it's entirely stupid and his numbers are utter bullshit.
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Re: From Moral Sense Theory to Moral Facts

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Alexander_Reiswich wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 6:39 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 2:33 am To achieve a MQ of 1500 in 2075 or >, humanity must start now from 2023 to recognize the moral potential, moral functions, moral mechanism moral facts within the human brain and mind, then strive to continually improve on the MQ in 75 or more years in the future.
I don't think anyone is opposed to this very specific proposal (other than on semantic grounds), since it's not something that has to be enforced and is in essence just an educational effort.
The question is how it should be approached.
What concrete measures can be taken towards realizing it?
It is more of the necessary education effort [mere knowledge].
The task is how to rewire the brain of the individual to trigger moral progress within on a foolproof, natural and spontaneous basis.

The first task is to establish a Moral Framework and System [FSK].
Then we have to recognize the reality, there are objective moral facts in terms of the physical moral elements in the brain as stated in the OP.

We need to understand moral progress is possible -most are ignorant of the real moral progress driven by the inherent moral function because the progress is so subtle.
Note Harris mention of moral progress,
No one has ever mistaken me for an optimist.
And yet when I consider one of the more pristine sources of pessimism—the Moral development of our species—I find reasons for hope.
Despite our perennial bad behavior, our Moral progress seems to me unmistakable.
Our powers of empathy are clearly growing.
Today, we are surely more likely to act for the benefit of humanity as a whole than at any point in the past.
Chapter 5 - The Moral Landscape
Also note Steven Pinker's research on the relatively lesser violence at present compared to the past > 1000 years.
The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined
is a 2011 book by Steven Pinker, in which the author argues that violence in the world has declined both in the long run and in the short run and suggests explanations as to why this has occurred.[1]
The book uses data simply documenting declining violence across time and geography.

This paints a picture of massive declines in the violence of all forms, from war, to improved treatment of children.
He highlights the role of nation-state monopolies on force, of commerce (making other people become more valuable alive than dead), of increased literacy and communication (promoting empathy), as well as a rise in a rational problem-solving orientation as possible causes of this decline in violence.

He notes that paradoxically, our impression of violence has not tracked this decline, perhaps because of increased communication,[2] and that further decline is not inevitable, but is contingent on forces harnessing our better motivations such as empathy and increases in reason.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bette ... Our_Nature
Based on the evidence of Moral Progress over 1,000 years or even more as I had highlighted earlier, there must be something [factual] in the human brain & self that is driving this progress [whilst very subtle] so consistently over the last 1000 to 100,000 years.

Because it has to be factual, there is room for science [scientific FSK] to reconcile with morality [moral FSK] which will reveal objective moral facts.
Sam Harris wrote:A fuller understanding of what Moral life entails, however, would require a Science of Morality.
ibid
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Re: From Moral Sense Theory to Moral Facts

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Veritas Aequitas wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 3:26 am The task is how to rewire the brain of the individual to trigger moral progress within on a foolproof, natural and spontaneous basis.
How could this task be approached, exactly? Who would have to be involved, what concrete projects could be initiated, etc.?

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 3:26 am The first task is to establish a Moral Framework and System [FSK].
What does this mean, exactly? Would you say that you have already developed this system and it has to be communicated to and accepted by i.e. the scientific community?

Or does it need to be developed still? Maybe you can clarify what "establish" means and what that would entail.

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 3:26 am Then we have to recognize the reality, there are objective moral facts in terms of the physical moral elements in the brain as stated in the OP.
Could you provide us with a clear & precise definition what constitutes a moral fact and how it can be derived? As well as how a hypothetical moral fact can be falsified?
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Re: From Moral Sense Theory to Moral Facts

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FlashDangerpants wrote: Mon Jan 02, 2023 1:09 pm All his arguments for the last year or two have carried a quasi-religious yearning for DNA of all things to show him the meaning of life. And he's too stupid to ever notice.
It's embarrassing to watch.

Albert Einstein: The Definition Of Insanity Is Doing The Same Thing Over And Over And Expecting Different Results.
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Re: From Moral Sense Theory to Moral Facts

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Alexander_Reiswich wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 4:23 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 3:26 am The task is how to rewire the brain of the individual to trigger moral progress within on a foolproof, natural and spontaneous basis.
How could this task be approached, exactly?
Who would have to be involved, what concrete projects could be initiated, etc.?
The principle is to identify the specific neural mechanisms and then made changes and improvement upon it to achieve the intended results, i.e. moral competence.

There are many ways to do this, i.e.
1. The black-box approach
2. The direct approach on the specific neural connections.

1. The black-box approach
The black-box approach has been done throughout the history of mankind as in doing the right exercise to generate improvements in a specific skill set. The necessary techniques would have been acquired via trial and error by past practitioners.

For example, an amateur sport-person aiming to be of world class standards in any sport will have to go through the necessary improvements process, i.e. gaining the necessary knowledge and doing loads of practices with intelligence. This will correspondingly rewire the neurons in his motor cortex and other relevant parts of the brain.

Re Morality, there are already practices that supposedly increases one moral competence on a black box approach.
Note Vispasana Meditation that changes the brain connectivity to increase improve impulse control and compassion which can be verified via brain imaging.
http://www.andrewnewberg.com/
Dr. Andrew Newberg is a neuroscientist who studies the relationship between brain function and various mental states. He is a pioneer in the neurological study of religious and spiritual experiences, a field known as “neurotheology.” His research includes taking brain scans of people in prayer, meditation, rituals, and trance states, in an attempt to better understand the nature of religious and spiritual practices and attitudes.


2. The direct approach on the specific neural connections.
There are many cases of people becoming a genius or expert suddenly due to brain damage, drugs, out of the blue.
10 People Who Became GENIUSES from BRAIN DAMAGE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrYNJkwVwC4

The inference is there must be a sudden rewiring of certain neuronal set that change one to be a genius or expert out of the blue.
When we understand what changes are involved, we can make the relevant changes [foolproof] to generate the same results.

As I had stated somewhere, I have reasonable knowledge on neuroscience, to understand it is possible to identify the neural correlates specific to moral competences and in the future we will have the ability to target specific areas for improvement via neural rewirings [note on a foolproof basis].

Note Computational_neuroscience,
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computati ... uroscience
and many other fields of advanced knowledge, genetic engineering, biochemistry, molecular biology, etc.
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 3:26 am The first task is to establish a Moral Framework and System [FSK].
What does this mean, exactly? Would you say that you have already developed this system and it has to be communicated to and accepted by i.e. the scientific community?

Or does it need to be developed still? Maybe you can clarify what "establish" means and what that would entail.
Establish means set up the model i.e. the Framework and System of Knowledge with its Constitution, Principles, terms, definitions, assumptions, limitation, processes, just as how the scientific FSK is already established at present.

I have not develop my own moral FSK. What I have presented is the theory of how a credible FSK should be constructed.

Nope, the moral FSK need not be communicated to the scientific community.
In the legal FSK, scientific facts and truth are borrowed from the scientific community without the need to communicate [seek approval] to them.
In a court case, the persecutor will merely have to call the appropriate scientist who will rely on published scientific papers or do various experiments to confirm the scientific fact.
So it is the same with the moral FSK.

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 3:26 am Then we have to recognize the reality, there are objective moral facts in terms of the physical moral elements in the brain as stated in the OP.
Could you provide us with a clear & precise definition what constitutes a moral fact and how it can be derived? As well as how a hypothetical moral fact can be falsified?
I have already explained that many times to you.

An objective fact, truth or knowledge is conditioned upon a specific FSK, e.g. the scientific FSK.
An objective fact, truth or knowledge is thus derived from a moral FSK.
To be credible the moral FSK major inputs must be from the scientific FSK, which must be represented by justifiable physical referents in terms of neuronal sets, etc.

The objective moral fact, e.g. ought-not-ness-to-kill-human algorithm or neuronal set is a physical thing in the brain that inhibit the killing impulse.
Falsifiability: If this neural set is damaged, e.g. as in a malignant psychopath, then he will have the potential to kill humans.
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