A discussion of the criteria you believe an ethical theory is supposed to have

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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A discussion of the criteria you believe an ethical theory is supposed to have

Post by prof » Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:03 am

The name of this Forum is "Ethical Theory." Hence I would like to ask all of you: what are the features of an ethical theory? Why describe a theory as 'ethical'?


Furthermore, what properties to do you believe a good ethical theory would have?


I would very much appreciate any light you could shed on this topic :!:

Thank you.

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Sir-Sister-of-Suck
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Re: A discussion of the criteria you believe an ethical theory is supposed to have

Post by Sir-Sister-of-Suck » Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:21 pm

State the definition of what morality is and show how said definition has been or can be objectively accomplished in reality. If you're claiming that an invisible basis exists which assigns an intrinsic good/evil to something in the world, show how that basis has existential quantification and can actually be conceived in a hypothetical universe.

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Re: A discussion of the criteria you believe an ethical theory is supposed to have

Post by prof » Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:14 am

Sir-Sister-of-Suck wrote:
Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:21 pm
State the definition of what morality is and show how said definition has been or can be objectively accomplished in reality. If you're claiming that an invisible basis exists which assigns an intrinsic good/evil to something in the world, show how that basis has existential quantification and can actually be conceived in a hypothetical universe.
Thanks so much, SoS, for a fine, well-thought-out contribution.

What you request has already been done ... by the ethical theory known as the new paradigm for Ethics, the Hartman/Katz theory. See - http://tinyurl.com/mfcgzfz
In that same paper,for the definition of the term "morality" and how it can be translated into real-life conduct, see pp. 29-35.

For a recent update and a discussion in more depth, see: -
http://wadeharvey.myqol.com/wadeharvey/ ... nce....pdf

As you will note, many of the early assumptions (that generate the rest of the ethical system) are true not only on theoretical grounds but also via empirical observations. In a science there is - by means of bridge laws [rules of interpretation] - eventually, as the theory evolves and improves, a one-to-one correspondence between the structure of the theory and the data it purports to explain and organize into usable form. Then engineers and designers take the results and creatively produce technologies which make our lives better.

As you know, from reading the selections, the order of priorities is displayed in the formula Hartman discovered that exists in the universe: I > E > S.

That is the case both by definition and by empirical experience. Facts bear out the truth of these relations.

For further details, see the o.p. here: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=19401

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Re: A discussion of the criteria you believe an ethical theory is supposed to have

Post by Sir-Sister-of-Suck » Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:00 am

Another thing is defining 'morality' in accordance to way that the person you're discussing it with is. If you don't, you're not talking about the same thing. Not necessarily the pragmatics of everything they believe in their moral theory, just the actual, grammatical definition. Though this is a bit of a tangent.

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Re: A discussion of the criteria you believe an ethical theory is supposed to have

Post by Sir-Sister-of-Suck » Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:04 am

prof wrote:
Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:14 am
What you request has already been done ... by the ethical theory known as the new paradigm for Ethics, the Hartman/Katz theory. See - http://tinyurl.com/mfcgzfz
In that same paper,for the definition of the term "morality" and how it can be translated into real-life conduct, see pp. 29-35.
The first part about an accomplished definition, I assume you mean, not an 'invisible standard'.

I'll have to look into his argument later because it's quite a mouth full

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henry quirk
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Post by henry quirk » Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:54 pm

Dr. Katz,

If folks did this...

Each minded his or her own business.

...and...

Each kept his or her hands to themselves.

...the world would mostly be a better place, yeah?

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Re: A discussion of the criteria you believe an ethical theory is supposed to have

Post by prof » Sun Jul 30, 2017 9:59 pm

I would like to hear your comments with regard to the following:

WHAT CRITERIA SHOULD A THEORY FULFILL?

Here is a proposed list of properties that a good ethical theory would at least have:

1) it contains variables in its axioms and may thus cover a wider range of applications than any of the rival theories when these variables are interpreted in terms of specific situations and events;

2) it provides a frame-of-reference to which more sub-models can cohere;

3) this paradigm is a synthesis of the prevailing conventional schools
of thought that the academy teaches, with its stress on character,
happiness; human dignity, universality, obligations, sanctions, conscience, varied phenomenological perspectives, etc., etc.

4) it has a logical thread of reasoning which binds the system together;
.
5) it has already been applied to a wide range of concrete issues and
has provided some sensible, tentative answers;

6) it is compatible with the many and varied forms of The Golden
Rule; - See http://www.religioustolerance.org/reciproc3.htm and
http://www.religioustolerance.org/reciproc2.htm

7) it incorporates principles such as the avoidance of causing
suffering; natural rights based upon human nature; cultural evolution;
avoidance of double standards, etc, etc.;

8} it has a calculus of values which enables deductions of new
principles;

9) Its definition of the term "Intrinsic Value” overlaps with and
confirms Phenomenology's conception of Intentionality.;

10) It manages to define "good" in a manner that avoids committing
The Naturalistic Fallacy propounded by G. E. Moore since the Axiom
of Value – hich defines “good” -- employs set theory and class-membership: thus good is not defined in terms of pleasure, preference; feelings, evolution, satisfaction, realization, nor any other naturalistic quality; thus it passes The Open Question Test;

11) it derives a series of 'ethical fallacies' and shows why they are errors in reasoning;

12) it is expandable and has what the renowned Philosopher of Science, Carl G. Hempel, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Gustav_Hempel speaks of as 'theoretical and Empirical import';

13) it can embrace multi-cultural schools of ethical thought such as
Shinto ethics, Confucianism, buddhistic ethics, taoist ethics, etc., which the major academic theories cannot comfortably do;

14) it has a theory of justice, of authenticity, of ethical evolution, of moral corruption, and is able to explain things that the other schools cannot;

15) it is able to define exactly what "Ethics" is as a study in its own
right; it also defines with some precision "morality" and "hypocrisy"
and shows how they vary inversely;

16) it applies to business and management and shares a common
Premise with the prevailing principle that drives enterprises, namely
To add value.

17) the meta-ethics for this theory is able to offer a precise definition
For key terms such as 'better,' 'appreciation,' 'bad,' 'fair,' 'ought',
'approval' etc, No other theory so far accomplishes this. For example the definition of better in the meta-ethics is this: “”X is better than Y” if and only if – all else being equal – X has more features than Y. Hence X is richer in meaning than Y is. (If, say, X refers to an appliance, one of the features may be ‘simplicity of use.’) If the concept is shifted to make it more specific, then the issue of weighting comes into play: the more specific and concrete the concept, the more valuable it is, the more it ‘weighs.’

We must be careful not to unintentionally shift the concept to a lower level of Abstraction. (Examples are offered in the paper "Ethical Explorations” by M. C. Katz) A better theory will have more predicates in its meaning since it applies to a wider range of data. Based upon reason, a reader, whether a student, or professional, will be able to decide which theory she/he wants to embrace. Each person may choose for himself. He/she may decide he wants the one that has more features relevant to the field and thus complies with the definition of "a better theory than the alternatives.”

For a theory that meets the above criteria, see the two citations to which links were offered in the third post of this thread.

So now tell us what you think. Is this list adequate? Can you supplement it? Would you offer different criteria? What are the features of what you want to see in an Ethical Theory? Do you agree that the above points are what could make an ethical theory "a good ethical theory"?
Last edited by prof on Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A discussion of the criteria you believe an ethical theory is supposed to have

Post by Sir-Sister-of-Suck » Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:09 am

prof wrote:
Sun Jul 30, 2017 9:59 pm
8) it has a calculus of values which enables deductions of new
principles;
At first I thought you were just really excited to talk about this point but I see what you did there

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Re: A discussion of the criteria you believe an ethical theory is supposed to have

Post by prof » Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:01 am

Sir-Sister-of-Suck wrote:
Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:09 am
[
At first I thought... but I see what you did there
Are you actually doing some reading in the works cited??

8)

If so, what are your impressions? Does the writing integrate Ethics into a logical synthesis?

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Re: A discussion of the criteria you believe an ethical theory is supposed to have

Post by Sir-Sister-of-Suck » Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:41 am

I'm not sure I'm catching on too well with your work, but digging through of chunk your paper it seems you follow a sort of utilitarianism that determines a base level of quality from definitions and descriptions of things. I won't put words in your mouth, though. Maybe I haven't read through enough, but I'm not sure how this would be applied exactly to reality.

Not saying you're necessarily doing it here, but I do see it in a lot of utilitarian arguments an equivocation made between the bad and good when speaking of quality, and the bad and good in a moral sense. In your chair example, I don't think something is simply 'good' if it just fulfills it's definition. I think 'good' is in fact usually just favorable superfluous details to the human phyche, often times not needed or even indicated in the concept. It seems like naming something a 'good chair' would be shifting the concept to something else as much as an 'easy chair' would be shifting it, by your own logic.

Somewhat relevant, I don't believe a murderer displays a true incongruence to his self-beliefs, because I can rephrase it to say that a murderer is against taking his own but not the life of others, in fact it would be more accurate. I think the tautology you give looks at it in a very blanket way that would never justify killing of any kind for anyone.

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Re: A discussion of the criteria you believe an ethical theory is supposed to have

Post by prof » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:26 pm

Sir-Sister-of-Suck wrote:
Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:41 am
I'm not sure I'm catching on ... Maybe I haven't read through enough...
Yes, that's true.

The system offered integrates Consequentialist concepts with Deontological concepts with Virtue Theory concepts with Shinto and Confucius concepts. Consequentialism has evolved from Utilitarianism, as you know.

A principle that is derived early on is: Do no harm. The empirical studies show that we don't always live up to our highest principles. Furthermore, the data reveals that we (98% of us) are aware of this fact, and that we regret it. Ideally we would like to comply with our moral principles, but do not manage to do so.

The science predicts that If you do aim to reduce needless suffering for yourself and others, you will have a higher quality life - according to your own evaluation - than if you did not.

Comments? Questions?

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Re: A discussion of the criteria you believe an ethical theory is supposed to have

Post by Sir-Sister-of-Suck » Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:02 pm

prof wrote:Yes, that's true.

The system offered integrates Consequentialist concepts with Deontological concepts with Virtue Theory concepts with Shinto and Confucius concepts. Consequentialism has evolved from Utilitarianism, as you know.
As I was replying to more of your comment, I had to look back to read through it more carefully. I actually started to understand more of the gist of it as I wrote on.

prof wrote:A principle that is derived early on is: Do no harm. The empirical studies show that we don't always live up to our highest principles. Furthermore, the data reveals that we (98% of us) are aware of this fact, and that we regret it. Ideally we would like to comply with our moral principles, but do not manage to do so.

The science predicts that If you do aim to reduce needless suffering for yourself and others, you will have a higher quality life - according to your own evaluation - than if you did not.
I understand that, but I'm just not convinced that's the same good and bad (quality) usually spoken about in the concept of morality. I'm also not convinced that working to be the most congruent self would always lead to positive outcomes. I think that my objection to your murderer example still stands.

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Re: A discussion of the criteria you believe an ethical theory is supposed to have

Post by prof » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:17 am

Sir-Sister-of-Suck wrote:
Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:02 pm
prof wrote:A principle that is derived early on is: Do no harm. The empirical studies show that we don't always live up to our highest principles. Furthermore, the data reveals that we (98% of us) are aware of this fact, and that we regret it. Ideally we would like to comply with our moral principles, but do not manage to do so.

The science predicts that If you do aim to reduce needless suffering for yourself and others, you will have a higher quality life - according to your own evaluation - than if you did not.
I understand that, but I'm just not convinced that's the same good and bad (quality) usually spoken about in the concept of morality....
No one was attempting to convince you it is the same. The term "morality" in the new paradigm for Ethics means something akin to authenticity; it is defined in the system in a very dynamic sense as meaning " one's conduct increasingly matching one's belief system (with regard to moral standards), and these beliefs themselves are expanding as one grows in moral insight - insight as to how ethical a human being can become."
As to "what is usually spoken about", this is vague, ambiguous, and confused. Like the word "socialism" there are about 20 definitions at least for the word "morality" in common usage; so why hold that (example of poor communication) up as something to which we ought to aspire?

[quote=Sir-Sister-of-Suck post_id=322951 time=1501538543 user_id=15115 I think that my objection to your murderer example still stands.
[/quote]
Yes it does. Are you contending though that there is nothing unethical about a murderer? My view is that a murderer is mixed up in his (or her) values, and is violating the Logical Order of Priorities, standing the derived scientific formula on its head - that formula that you learned about in the early pages of BASIC ETHICS: a systematic approach. The murderer also violates the very defining perspective of Ethics itself, which is that each conscious individual is to be seen as an uncountably-high value not to be defiled.

8) Thus each normal person deserves positive regard and the kind of respect you would give to any priceless treasure of value. ...IF you are (or would be) ethical :!:

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Re: A discussion of the criteria you believe an ethical theory is supposed to have

Post by Sir-Sister-of-Suck » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:38 pm

prof wrote:
Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:17 am
No one was attempting to convince you it is the same. The term "morality" in the new paradigm for Ethics means something akin to authenticity; it is defined in the system in a very dynamic sense as meaning " one's conduct increasingly matching one's belief system (with regard to moral standards), and these beliefs themselves are expanding as one grows in moral insight - insight as to how ethical a human being can become."
As to "what is usually spoken about", this is vague, ambiguous, and confused. Like the word "socialism" there are about 20 definitions at least for the word "morality" in common usage; so why hold that (example of poor communication) up as something to which we ought to aspire?
The problem with that is you start to sway from the same morality everyone else is talking about. You can re-define linguistics of any given idea in order to correspond with a logically valid notion, but that's not to say it's the same idea anymore. However, you seem to be looking for already established semantic rules in order to prove that it really means something else akin to 'authenticity', which would still sway it away from the same 'meaning' of morality, even in something like JSM "principle of utility". Certainly when talking about morality in something like divine command.
Yes it does. Are you contending though that there is nothing unethical about a murderer? My view is that a murderer is mixed up in his (or her) values, and is violating the Logical Order of Priorities, standing the derived scientific formula on its head - that formula that you learned about in the early pages of BASIC ETHICS: a systematic approach.

The murderer also violates the very defining perspective of Ethics itself, which is that each conscious individual is to be seen as an uncountably-high value not to be defiled.

8) Thus each normal person deserves positive regard and the kind of respect you would give to any priceless treasure of value. ...IF you are (or would be) ethical
I was suggesting that according to your own moral philosophy, murder may not even be wrong when considering the 'complete' priority of one; That a murderer affirms his own life very specifically. It's a selfish one, but not irrational as far as I can tell. I think you can only get in a way he affirms life yet is betraying that value by being willing to take life by ignoring the nuance of human psychology and blanketing it into principles in a way that leaves out the pragmatic details. In fact with this considered, I'm not sure anything would ever be wrong because human psychology never contradicts itself in such a way.

Violating the perspectives of ethics puts him outside the perspective of ethics. Things can only be judged if they're within the rules that actively apply, so if the murderer destroys those rules, why is he immoral? Just trying to follow your line of thinking.

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Re: A discussion of the criteria you believe an ethical theory is supposed to have

Post by prof » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:04 am

Sir-Sister-of-Suck wrote:
Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:38 pm
prof wrote:
Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:17 am
There are about 20 vague and ambiguous definitions for the word "morality" in common usage.. In contrast, the term "morality" in the new paradigm for Ethics is defined in the system in a very dynamic sense as meaning "one's conduct increasingly matching one's belief system (with regard to moral standards), and these beliefs themselves are expanding as one grows in moral insight - insight as to how ethical a human being can become."
The problem with that is you... re-define ...given idea in order to correspond with a logically valid notion ...

I'm not sure anything would ever be wrong ...

..Just trying to follow your line of thinking.

Thanks for trying!

I appreciate that you took the time to do some reading. You focused in on a weak argument, and you found something wrong. The idea that a murderer is 'a living contradiction' did not resonate with you. My point is that one who murders has incongruous values. You don't believe so. Okay. Thank you for the suggestion as to how I can improve the theory by omitting this line of arguing.

Was anything right about the effort behind the manuscript? Did you gain anything of value by reading it?

Is there a way - in contrast with fault-finding - to read a paper constructively?

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