Competing ethical theories - or a grand synthesis?

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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prof
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Competing ethical theories - or a grand synthesis?

Post by prof » Mon Jun 05, 2017 5:53 am

I posted these thoughts here: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=22133&p=315381#p315381
but they also belong here, in a dialog on Ethical Theory.


Taylor (1919-2003) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_T ... ilosopher) advocated Individual Ethics while Singer https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Singer advocates Social Ethics.

The two aspects (foci, perspectives) are not incompatible. We don't have to choose one over the other.

"Make something of yourself!" says Taylor. "Give something to others!" says Singer. [He goes so far personally as to tithe himself - allocate a part of his income to prescreened, sound, truly-altruistic charities.]

We need both branches of inquiry - Individual Ethics and Social Ethics - in a good Theory of Ethics. For such a theory, see the threads posted by prof here at the Forum, and be sure to read some of the papers or documents cited.
By these days, assisted suicide and triage of extremely-deformed and abnormal infants is {in some quarters} tolerated as acceptable, much more so than when Singer wrote the book, HOW SHALL WE LIVE? - (1993) -- So he is not so revolutionary any more. {His arguing for Animal Rights is still very-controversial though - but not with me.... I have no problem with it.}

Soon parents will be notified before a birth as to whether their fetus has a terrible disease, or any kind of brain damage, so they can abort the fetus before it becomes a baby. ....Technology sometimes can make life a little less stressful.

Further, if one values a conscious human Intrinsically, one would then want to reduce any needless suffering of that individual (and the same goes for one's loved pet animal) so Dr. Katz's theories about scientific Ethics embrace Dr. Singer's theory of suffering reduction whenever possible.

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Questions?
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Re: Competing ethical theories - or a grand synthesis?

Post by prof » Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:38 am

Furthermore, note that Dr. Katz's efforts at introducing Ethics into a scientific format also confirm Dr. Taylor's emphasis - especially when he (Katz) delves deeper into the four steps of moral development that R. S. Hartman taught: Know yourself, Accept yourself, Create yourself, and Give yourself. {See - http://www.myqol.com/wadeharvey/PDFs/BASIC%20ETHICS.pdf
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Re: Competing ethical theories - or a grand synthesis?

Post by prof » Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:50 pm

In his books Dr. Katz does not discuss animal ethics, but the principles to which he alludes can easily be extended to include animals. He thinks it would be plenty of an achievement to get humans to the point where they understood the priorities that are in their best self-interest - as the scientific findings indicate. The science shows how the human species can continue to exist, can even flourish. It will do this by - among other things - finding a balance, becoming aware of the web of the universe, seeing how everything fits.

This awareness, though, is an advanced stage of development which will be attained after everyone (or at least a critical mass) comprehend and practice the ideas to which his grand synthesis calls attention ...and, with the aid of other media, a tipping point is then reached. Early education will play a large role - as well as what the author refers to as "ethical technologies." They will also help eventually to bring about an ethical world.

It is highly-probable that anyone who takes seriously the content of earlier citations of papers recommended by me at this Forum, learns from them, and implements what is learned, will have a more-harmonious life, a happier life, and thus, in this sense, have a more-successful life.

The reader expressing a high degree of morality will by his (or her) living example be pursuing his own personal optimal self-interest. And we will all be winners to that extent.

Those who, as a result of what they learned from his writings, devote themselves to live an ethical life will be aware that the best way to teach ethics is by setting an example,

Questions? Comments?
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Re: Competing ethical theories - or a grand synthesis?

Post by prof » Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:35 am

Science is about what works. The claim is being made here {as well as in the book, How to live successfully} is that if you live by the principles offered in that book, then it not only will work in your own life, but also work to benefit the entire human race, in that it will make an ethical world more probable ...by the example you present and represent.

Living ethically will help you have a harmonious life; this is a testable hypothesis. And it is falsifiable; for if you ignore the principles and behave in a contrary way the theory predicts you will have friction and disharmony in your life.

Once a goal is projected it is possible to objectively determine the most effective way of achieving the goal,. It is possible to evaluate how realistic it is, by calculating the probability of that goal being achieved at all. Once agreement is gained that moral health is a desirable goal, because of the value and benefits that result, the sciences can help. They can answer questions such as: What are the features of moral health? How can one achieve it? What are steps that may be taken to reach this goal? What usually happens, in fact, to those who lack moral health?

Gravity still works. And harmony still works. Life has value. Value is based upon meaning. Every individual wants life to have some meaning. For if not, life is empty, devoid of meaning. When life has no meaning for an individual, he or she is likely to commit suicide, to end life. In an ethical society, one made up of ethical individuals, we can predict that spousal abuse rates, crime rates, suicide rates, and murder rates will be way down. And war will be nearly absent. Statistical studies will confirm this. Such a society or region or culture may have earned the right to regard itself as ethical.

In an ethical world people will live in harmony. The opposite of harmony is conflict, chaos, murder, and war.

Your views?

Londoner
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Re: Competing ethical theories - or a grand synthesis?

Post by Londoner » Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:15 am

prof wrote:
Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:35 am
Living ethically will help you have a harmonious life; this is a testable hypothesis. And it is falsifiable; for if you ignore the principles and behave in a contrary way the theory predicts you will have friction and disharmony in your life.
It is only a testable hypothesis if 'harmonious' and 'ethically' are objectively quantifiable. Everyone must be able to measure the person/society everyone must agree that the person has X degrees of 'harmoniousness' and Y degrees of 'ethicalness', such that we can plot one against the other.

Then, if we noted that Trump was 70 harmonious/50 ethical but Putin was 75 harmonious/45 ethical your hypothesis would have been falsified (as it would be by any single example).

But there is no such agreement. What is are the values for Trump? What are the values for Putin? What measurements are you using?
Once a goal is projected it is possible to objectively determine the most effective way of achieving the goal,
The hypothesis would only describe the relationship of 'harmoniousness' and 'ethicalness' as quantified. A hypothesis does not have a 'goal'. Remember, since we will now understand 'ethicalness' only as an objectively measureable quantity, i.e. as a material quality, then it will no longer have the meaning of being a moral imperative. For example, suppose we had decided 'ethicalness' was to be measured as 'monetary worth of donations to charity'. That would not be the same as the moral claim 'it is good to give to charity'; that would require a separate and different argument.
Gravity still works. And harmony still works. Life has value. Value is based upon meaning.

No, gravity does not 'work'. Gravity is not a thing, gravity does not have intentions. 'Gravity' is the name for the relationship between objectively measurable things. As I have explained, you can use 'harmony' as a description of the relationship of objectively measurable things, but then it would just be a fact, it would not have 'value' any more than gravity has 'value'.

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Re: Competing ethical theories - or a grand synthesis?

Post by prof » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:01 am

Londoner wrote:
Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:15 am
prof wrote:
Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:35 am
Living ethically will help you have a harmonious life; this is a testable hypothesis. And it is falsifiable; for if you ignore the principles and behave in a contrary way the theory predicts you will have friction and disharmony in your life.
It is only a testable hypothesis if 'harmonious' and 'ethically' are objectively quantifiable.
Once a goal is projected it is possible to objectively determine the most effective way of achieving the goal,
...
Gravity still works. And harmony still works. Life has value. Value is based upon meaning.

No, gravity does not 'work'. ... then it would just be a fact, it would not have 'value' any more than gravity has 'value'.
I respectfully thank you for your critical yet wise observations. It is true that in science we like exactitude and precision.

Let's be willing here for the moment to use ordinary language, to employ the common understanding of what people mean when they say "harmonious relations," although I am confident that Psychologists who specialize in Marriage Counseling have already figured out a way to make it objective and measurable. With a little research, or even with the help of Google, we could nail down the exact name of the best test out there that already measures this concept.

One's capacity to Intrinsically value is already measured with precision by the Hartman Value Profile [the HVP], a standardized test. {This notion, in Husserl's Phenomenology, is called "Intentionality," but there it is still vague. The HVP Test, in contrast, is projective, yet is at once definitely objective.}
Since, in Ethics (as science) the very definition of the term "Ethics" is: "that perspective on individuals which sees them as Intrinsic values," ... then it follows that those who are ethical exercise this capacity. to value others (and themselves) Intrinsically [rather akin to both empathy, caring, and appreciation.]

Gravity is a fact; it is a fact thhroughout the universe. Gravity (near the Earth's surface) is still operational - and it has value (at least for me.) I like the fact that when I may fumble and drop a small object above my table I can retrieve it by looking down at the table below where I dropped it, rather than it floating through the air somewhere maybe behind my head, or into the next room.) When I say "gravity works," I mean it is in effect, it''s operating as a force. {If one is still skeptical, arrange for him to step off the edge of a roof. Welcome that scholar (who over-values the Systemic value dimension) to the real world - where gravity occurs. Then it is possible he will cease to split hairs when discussing things. I say this with all due respect for those interlocutors who have a good mind, albeit somewhat rigid and closd.

And facts have value. Often. In appraisals, in court cases, and in daily life. Factual-appearing declarations are permeated with value connotations; and the better one knows the underlying facts the sounder his value judgments. And value - in the form of creativity - is merely a fresh recombination of known facts.

The point is that ethical individuals (as measured by the HVP) are far more likely to practice harmonious relations (as measured by the Life Counselors employing the latest and best tests that do introduce precision to this matter) than those who score low on these tests. I feel I can predict this with a high level of confidence. The outcome doesn't have to be controversial.

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Londoner
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Re: Competing ethical theories - or a grand synthesis?

Post by Londoner » Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:55 am

prof wrote:
Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:01 am
[
I respectfully thank you for your critical yet wise observations. It is true that in science we like exactitude and precision.

Let's be willing here for the moment to use ordinary language, to employ the common understanding of what people mean when they say "harmonious relations," although I am confident that Psychologists who specialize in Marriage Counseling have already figured out a way to make it objective and measurable. With a little research, or even with the help of Google, we could nail down the exact name of the best test out there that already measures this concept.
I do not see how that could be true. It would require us to have some objective way to measure 'marriage', but each marriage takes place between different individuals. The circumstances of the marriage can change, the character of the partners can change (as they get older), there are different expectations in different cultures and so on.

I would have thought the best judge of what is required for a harmonious marriage would be the individuals concerned (perhaps with the help of a dating agency). Alas, we see that even these individuals, who ought to have the most accurate information about what they want in a marriage, seem to frequently get in wrong.

However, if you think there is an agreed objective measurement of 'marital harmony' I would be interested to know about it!
One's capacity to Intrinsically value is already measured with precision by the Hartman Value Profile [the HVP], a standardized test. {This notion, in Husserl's Phenomenology, is called "Intentionality," but there it is still vague. The HVP Test, in contrast, is projective, yet is at once definitely objective.}
Since, in Ethics (as science) the very definition of the term "Ethics" is: "that perspective on individuals which sees them as Intrinsic values," ... then it follows that those who are ethical exercise this capacity. to value others (and themselves) Intrinsically [rather akin to both empathy, caring, and appreciation.]
There is a confusion there about the use of the word 'value'. People have values, meaning they have preferences. We can investigate and tabulate people's preferences and that will tell us something about those people.

But that is not information about 'value' itself. It might be a fact about me that I value X more than I value Y, but it tells us nothing about X or Y. It does not say I am right to value X over Y, or mean that anyone else must share my opinion.

Suppose we applied this to religion. Do we note the fact that Christianity is the largest and conclude that this shows that Christianity is objectively the correct religion, and therefore as rational beings we should all become Christians - Roman Catholics to be precise, since they are the largest denomination amongst Christians?
Gravity is a fact; it is a fact thhroughout the universe. Gravity (near the Earth's surface) is still operational - and it has value (at least for me.) I like the fact that when I may fumble and drop a small object above my table I can retrieve it by looking down at the table below where I dropped it, rather than it floating through the air somewhere maybe behind my head, or into the next room.) When I say "gravity works," I mean it is in effect, it''s operating as a force. {If one is still skeptical, arrange for him to step off the edge of a roof. Welcome that scholar (who over-values the Systemic value dimension) to the real world - where gravity occurs. Then it is possible he will cease to split hairs when discussing things. I say this with all due respect for those interlocutors who have a good mind, albeit somewhat rigid and closd.
No, we talk about the 'force of gravity' but that is not saying there is an agency, Gravity, which acts (or doesn't act) on the world. As I wrote, science describes the phenomena, what happens between objects. To posit the cause of the phenomena is to go beyond what is observable; then you are doing 'metaphysics'. As Newton himself wrote: I have not as yet been able to discover the reason for these properties of gravity from phenomena, and I do not feign hypotheses. For whatever is not deduced from the phenomena must be called a hypothesis; and hypotheses, whether metaphysical or physical, or based on occult qualities, or mechanical, have no place in experimental philosophy. In this philosophy particular propositions are inferred from the phenomena, and afterwards rendered general by induction

It is not about splitting hairs, but about what 'science' is.
And facts have value. Often. In appraisals, in court cases, and in daily life. Factual-appearing declarations are permeated with value connotations; and the better one knows the underlying facts the sounder his value judgments. And value - in the form of creativity - is merely a fresh recombination of known facts.
Facts are just facts. The value in the examples you describe derive only from us, from the use we are making of those facts.

For example, a used ticket is just a used ticket. We might say it 'has value' for me, to establish an alibi in the context of a court case, but we do not mean that the used ticket itself contains some physical, factual property which corresponds to this 'value'. When the court case is over, when I no longer have a use for that ticket, the 'value' of that used ticket will also be gone.

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Re: Competing ethical theories - or a grand synthesis?

Post by prof » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:04 am

Greetings Londoner

Okay.
Thank you for the clarification. Much of what you write is true. We have dialoged regarding these issues before, at three or four different websites. Since you seem to be unaware of the definition of "value" in the axiological literature, I have to wonder, Is there is any point in discussing this further, with anyone who does not do his homework? Some background reading is required, lest the little bit that I might say here be taken out of context. I feel like a Physicist who was asked: "Tell me all about the Science of Physics, in a few sentences, please. ...as I am busy." I write this with no condescension as I feel ignorant compared with your vast accomplishments in Philosophy. I strive to be ethical according to the definition Of "ethics" derived from the Axiom of Value, and the dimensions of value it generates -- oops. Excuse me. ...According to the dimensions value-researchers generate from that fertile Axiom - the breakthrough definition of "value," as "the fulfillment of the intension of the relevant concept. See the early chapters in http://wadeharvey.myqol.com/wadeharvey/ ... Course.pdf

Physics has gone further since Newton wrote his views on Natural Philosophy; and today many Cosmologists believe much of Newton's findings are passe. Yet I admire him. Much of what he did in Optics is still intact. Students of a science soon forget its founders. I thank you for keeping Newton's memory alive.

Yoours for Ethics,
prof

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Re: Competing ethical theories - or a grand synthesis?

Post by Londoner » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:29 am

prof wrote:
Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:04 am
Greetings Londoner

Okay.
Thank you for the clarification. Much of what you write is true. We have dialoged regarding these issues before, at three or four different websites. Since you seem to be unaware of the definition of "value" in the axiological literature, I have to wonder, Is there is any point in discussing this further, with anyone who does not do his homework? Some background reading is required, lest the little bit that I might say here be taken out of context.
I see. You could answer my points, but you just can't think how to put it in a way that somebody of my limited understanding could understand.
I write this with no condescension as I feel ignorant compared with your vast accomplishments in Philosophy.
Oh sure, no condescension at all.
I feel like a Physicist who was asked: "Tell me all about the Science of Physics, in a few sentences, please. ...as I am busy."
Not 'all' about the Science of Physics, just the very basics. For example, that it deals in 'testable propositions'. Or that it deals with 'phenomena'. The 'empirical'. Wicki manages to explain this in a few sentences under 'outline of physical science'.
Physics has gone further since Newton wrote his views on Natural Philosophy; and today many Cosmologists believe much of Newton's findings are passe. Yet I admire him. Much of what he did in Optics is still intact. Students of a science soon forget its founders. I thank you for keeping Newton's memory alive.
Oh dear. What are you a prof of? Because if you don't understand 'hypotheses non fingo' you don't understand science.

I'll try once more. Take a formula, like E=mc2. This describes a relationship that exists in nature, it relates to phenomena, which is why it can be tested.

But if I say the reason E=mc2 is 'because God wills it', that is not a testable proposition. We can observe the physics, see whether E does = mc2, but they cannot not tell us why. The 'Why' is metaphysics.. Somebody else might suggest that really E=mc2 is false, it only seems right because an evil demon is constantly feeding scientists false observations. Again, there is no physical experiment we can perform to show whether the God theory or the demon theory is the correct one because both of those theories are metaphysical.

Science accepts this. Science is accurate because it restricts itself to a description of phenomena. It doesn't say there is no such thing as ethics, or God, or purely subjective experience, but it accepts that these areas are outside science. They cannot be investigated using the scientific method.

I think that really you know this already. But if you don't, you need to try to get your head round it rather than wasting your time with all these repeated posts repeatedly asking for someone, anyone, to comment on a theory that is fundamentally incoherent.

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Re: Competing ethical theories - or a grand synthesis?

Post by prof » Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:23 pm

IIn 1546 John Heywood said "There are none so blind as those who will not see."

The first five chapters in that citation to which I gave you a link take up only 25 pages. Were they not written clearly? The author tried there to explain what the German/British/American Philosopher, R. S. Hartman contributed. IMHO,it was a profound contribution by that genius, one who did not settle for the conclusion drawn by G. E. Moore in PRINCIPIA ETHICA, who claimed that "good" is indefinable. Hartman made a breakthrough on the matter by doing 'what couldn't be done.' [Although very late in his life, Moore admitted that it could possibly be defined, but he still did not know how.]

Coming forward 7 years in time from his text, ETHICS: A College Course, to that writer's (2014) paper, BASIC ETHICS: http://www.myqol.com/wadeharvey/PDFs/BASIC%20ETHICS.pdf
In this selection, the first 18 pages are an effort to explain the same topics in another way, offering the proof as to why some dimensions of value found in nature, human nature, are worth more than others, and thus form a hierarchy. They can be logically ranked in a definite order. Hence some individuals can be mistaken in how they personally order these values; and thereby be committing value fallacies. {Since, as is shown, Ethics is a value science, these errors become Ethical Fallacies.}

Is it really too much to expect of a philosopher of your capacity -- and I thought I was offering a genuine compliment to you when I wrote that - yet it was interpreted as condescension - that he carefully read 25 - or even 18 - pages?!!!

Well I don't think so. It is NOT expecting a lot :!:


Anyone who does not exercise willful ignorance will not apply that Heywood quotation to himself, for if a shoe doesn't fit, why wear it
?

Londoner
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Re: Competing ethical theories - or a grand synthesis?

Post by Londoner » Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:12 am

prof wrote:
Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:23 pm
IIn 1546 John Heywood said "There are none so blind as those who will not see."
And as Jesus said: And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
The first five chapters in that citation to which I gave you a link take up only 25 pages....Coming forward 7 years in time from his text, ETHICS: A College Course, to that writer's (2014) paper, BASIC ETHICS:...
I have already looked at some of the references you give but they always fail to address the basic points. Nor do you. Some instances:
...offering the proof as to why some dimensions of value found in nature, human nature, are worth more than others, and thus form a hierarchy. They can be logically ranked in a definite order.
Consider what you have written. What do you mean 'some dimensions of value found in nature'? Where are they 'found in nature'; in astronomy, microbiology, geology? And what 'dimensions'? Mass, length, duration....?

And if you say these 'values' found in nature already have a 'dimension' then what do you mean by the additional claim that some are 'worth' more than others? Is 'worth' a different thing than 'dimension of value' ? If it is, where does this new thing 'worth' come from?

Things 'found in nature' are what they are, so what do you mean they 'form a hierarchy'. A tree and a stone differ in natural qualities, but they do not 'form a hierarchy'. We might put them in a hierarchy with reference to some purpose (as useful building materials), but we do not find that hierarchy in nature. A tree is not a substandard stone, or vice versa.

You continue: They can be logically ranked in a definite order. What does 'logically' mean in that sentence? It is just thrown in to add authority.

As philosophy, this makes it all so difficult to make yourself go on reading. It is like opening a science paper to find it starts; 'Logically the flatness of earth and other organisms are empirically mathematical...'

The paper you reference never addresses has many of the same problems. At page 16 we are still encountering statements like:
In my work I make the point that Ethics begins with the perspective that every individual is of uncountably-high value.
{I admit that that this proposition may seem to some as counterintuitive. So also are many physical science concepts. This fact
has not deterred technological progress. Isn’t it time we observed such progress in the moral field?}
But he never makes the point! We are just given this strange - and self-contradictory - phrase 'uncountably-high value' and it just wanders off. The next paragraph begins:
Here is the rational argument for the claim: Any single individual has more features than you or I can count, since each of his/her
myriad properties has its own (long list of) properties...
Do you not see this is self-contradictory? If we cannot count the number of properties of something, then we cannot calculate value based on the amount of those properties!
The amount of value, by definition and by observation, is based on the amount of properties.
No, it cannot be by both. If we know something by observation, then there must be the possibility that it might be otherwise. But if we know something by definition, there is no possible observation that could contradict it.

And so on. The points are never argued - there is no consciousness that there is anything here that needs to be argued! Instead the paragraph happily concludes:
Thus we may conclude that we would have an ethical world if the vast majority - as a result of education - believed strongly that each individual is highly valuable... Let’s take that as our assumption - our hypothesis to be fulfilled - and see what would happen.
I'm sorry I cannot hail this theory as the breakthrough that philosophy has been awaiting for millennia, but at least I have done the courtesy of responding to your posts. This is a forum for discussion. If you won't engage with my points, but just insist any failure to agree with you can only be the result of being too lazy to read your link, I will leave you to it.

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Re: Competing ethical theories - or a grand synthesis?

Post by prof » Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:03 pm

Greetings, Londoner

Because, my friend, you actually did do some {albeit perhaps a bit cursory or random} reading, this shows me you are a serious student. There was an essential section that was somehow overlooked, namely pp.7-9 of BASIC ETHICS. So, as a service to you and other readers, I'll reproduce these paragraphs here, since I have copyright ownership of them, having written the document.
[The Axiom, and the following results generated from this fertile concept, were devised or discovered by Robert S. Hartman, a profound and erudite philosopher. I was very fortunate to meet him while he was a Visiting Professor at M.I.T. He became the best teacher I ever had.]
META-ETHICS AND BASIC VALUE DIMENSIONS

With the Axiom of Value – which is the formal definition of the term “good” - and with standard set theory we will below demonstrate that once the axiom is applied to value itself, it comes up with three basic dimensions: S, E, and I. This is a logical procedure. ...

Something has value if it possesses some of the properties needed to fulfill its purpose (or its definition, or its intention.) If it has all the properties needed, let’s speak of it as good. A good x exemplifies its concept. (It has all the attribute s that - according to the meaning of that concept - things of that sort are supposed to have.) To illustrate, if a “ball” is supposed to be round and bouncy, and this item referred to as a “ball” is indeed round and it is bouncy, then it is “a good ball.” Your concept ion of “ball” may have many more requirements, but if this actual specific item has them all, then it is good (as a ball.) We note that value is a function of meaning, the more meaning, the more value. If something is meaningful to you, you are likely to consider it valuable, and the converse is also true.

...There are three kinds of number which mathematicians acknowledge: finite; denumerable; and nondenumerable. Or, to say it another way, finite , countable, and uncountable. [To illustrate, think of “7” (or the letter n in algebra), numbers which are finite. Then think of the integers: these numbers are countable but nonfinite since they go on indefinitely. And then think of the number of points in a continuous line segment, which is an uncountable number.] So a value which has only a finite amount of the properties required to fulfill its description (its concept’s intension) will be named S-value – where S stands for Systemic. A value that has only a denumerable (a countable) amount of properties will be spoken of as an E-value, where the E stands for Extrinsic. And a value that has a nondenumerable (an uncountable) amount of the property-names (attributes) which are needed to describe something (or someone) having uncountably-many properties {such as your mother, your wife, your dear friend, your priceless treasure, a museum-quality artifact, etc.) ...that value dimension we shall dub I-value, wherein I stands for Intrinsic. Intrinsic values are seen as gestalts, for if asked to list all the features of one’s girlfriend or mother, a person wouldn’t know where to begin to enumerate them – there are just so many. Enumeration is inappropriate and is not necessary.

I think we all agree that the formula 90 > 20 > 4 is true with regard to arithmetic. It is the same with the three basic dimensions of value - with regard to valuation. There are higher and lower infinities; for example, the number of curves in hyperspace is larger than the number of integers. A higher infinity is greater (in size) than a lesser infinity; which in turn is greater than a finite amount. An infinity of what? In this case, an infinity of meaning. And, as we explained earlier, value depends upon meaning.

The Systemic values arise by the fulfillment of mental constructs. They are constructed by the mind. They are defined into being: the result of postulation. Definitions are of finite length.
The Extrinsic values arise by the fulfillment of categories and classifications. E-values are worldly matters. And the Intrinsic values are the result of the fulfillment of uniquenesses, of situations to which we have
given ourselves, our involvements, our deep interests, our loves, our highest appreciations, our realities. Common applications of the dimensions are: I-values are people values and spiritual values; E-values are the value of things and stuff from everyday life, the daily material values; and the S-values are the Intellectual values. To fulfill in this context means for the actual (properties) to match the ideal picture of something or someone you have in your head.

"The name sets the norm” Hartman liked to say. By this he meant that the meaning of the concept that goes with the label you put on whatever you are valuing – the name – sets the norm: when you name (or designate, or associate a word to) an object, there is a meaning of that word that is associated with it. That meaning is the measure : it provides a norm for the object (of your attention) to fulfill. If it does match, if it does fulfill its concept then you will likely tend to consider the object to be a value, or to 'have value.' The logical Hierarchy of Values (HOV) is shown concisely in the formula I > E > S.

. Among the formula’s interpretations are: Life takes priority over materials; Health is more important than Wealth. Material (and wealth) are more valuable than theories, systems, ideologies and schools of thought. Also it tells us – as the old saying goes – “Life is larger than logic.”

It is ‘existential’’ because it affirms life – the life of individuals. That is one of the main thrusts of existential philosophy. [Cf. S. Kierkegaard, EITHER-OR].

One result we can derive from these definitions is that I-value is richer in properties than is E-value, and that E-value is richer in properties than S-value. These relationships, as you may recall, can be depicted in a formula, the HOV.
It is suggested that you remember that formula, since it provides an answer to many of your questions in your recent post. It can also be stated: - S < E < I.

Questions? Comments?

Nick_A
Posts: 3299
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:23 am

Re: Competing ethical theories - or a grand synthesis?

Post by Nick_A » Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:47 am

We can have many ethical theories but if we don't objectively distinguish good and evil,how good are these theories?
"Literature and morality: Imaginary evil is romantic and varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring. Imaginary good is boring; real good is always new, marvellous, intoxicating. Therefore "imaginative literature" is either boring or immoral (or a mixture of both). It only escapes from this alternative if in some way it passes over to the side of reality through the power of art— and only genius can do that." ~ Simone Weil
I know I am attracted to imaginary evil and repelled by imaginary good. It isn't easy learning to distinguish by experience the difference between objective evil and objective good. Ethical theories don't teach this. A person has to open to conscious experience and less of a slave to imagination.

prof
Posts: 979
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:57 am

Re: Competing ethical theories - or a grand synthesis?

Post by prof » Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:15 am

Greetings, Nick A,

"Evil" is a theological term for badness. "God" may be viewed as a theological term for goodness. More exactly, God is a bundle, a blend of all the Intrinsic Values rolled into one. For some examples of I-values: Liberty, Community, Integrity, Morality, Authenticity, Beauty, Truth, Love, Self-Actualization, Democracy, Honesty, Fraternity, Autonomy, Prosperity, Energy, etc., etc. Think of all the uncountably-high values combined into One - and you have a definition of "Gd." This also can serve as that Meaning of Life that so many are searching for. Some refer to this as: "My ever-present help." Some speak of it as "Infinite Substance, upon which I always can draw."

If you put your focus on this "invisible playmate" or whatever you want to call the universal force that is beyond the comprehension of mere humans; and if you employ your awareness of it as the personage to whom you address your thanks for any blessings that you appreciate ....anything that goes right in your life - or for Life itself {for G can be thought of as "the Life of lives" or the "Creator of all creativity," etc.} - then you see what a difference this makes in the world of your imagination - and you'll thank G for arranging for me to talk to you about it. Naturalist/Humanists or Atheists won't like my speaking in this vein, but I am trying to get you to be more positive in your outlook. You can't afford the luxury of a negative thought!

Why can't humans explain how G does it, how G hears your thoughts, and solves your problems? It is because of our size relative to the known Universe. We are to the Univese as a quark in an atom, in a cell in our thigh is to us. ...or maybe we're even tinier ! So how could we possibly see the Big Picture??? How could we understand or comprehend the Meaning of the Universe. We're just a speck on the surface of a minor planet of a minor star, located near the edge of a minor galaxy. I say 'speck' for even to say 'worm' would be an exaggeration. So it is essential that we have Humility.

In the Harman/Katz ethical theory we CAN objectively distinguish good from bad. R. S. Hartman did that when he founded Value Science. And that discipline serves as the meta-language for Ethical Science. ...which, in turn, serves as the antidote for - no, the counterpart for - Physical Science. Both are secular activities, although any given scientist may have his own personal view of G - or lack of it.

I quoted in this latest book, https://www.amazon.com/LIVING-SUCCESSFU ... B01NBKS42C
the Existentialist, Albert Camus, who wrote,"
A man without ethics is like a wild beast loosed upon this world.


Can it be that someone like that now occupies the highest office in the USA? Naah. That's rude. Instead I would compliment him by noting that he's the con-artist that con-artists would turn to when they want a con-artist. He's the circus barker that P. T. Barnum would admire enviously. ...(or the man-child: a 3-year-old in an adult body - who has yet to reach maturity - but may yet do so, if Heraclitus was right.)


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What did you think of the new paradigm for Ethics? When you read that book what were your impressions? Was it a superior ethical theory, or was it just another arbitrary philosophy? Please review it and let us know.

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