Basic questions of the moral life

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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Basic questions of the moral life

Post by prof » Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:50 am

Here are some questions upon which I have been reflecting lately, and upon which I invite you to think of some solutions:

How can we maximize human fun and minimize human suffering?

How can we attain widespread prosperity?

How can we – perhaps with the help of machines that learn – converge on answers to the major problems holding back human progress? Do we need intelligent learning machines to teach us?

How will a super-intelligence module implanted in our bodies show us what we should want if only we knew what is in our self-interest for maximum benefit?

Will it take a super-intelligent learning machine to teach us that
Each human can only get by if that individual helps make it possible for others to get by.


What are our goals as individuals and as a society? How can we best align our shared goals with the goals programmed into Artificial Intelligence learning machines?


---Answers, anyone?

Suggested reading: http://myqol.com/wadeharvey/PDFs/HOW%20 ... SFULLY.pdf
.

prof
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Re: Basic questions of the moral life

Post by prof » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:51 am

Here is a passage from that book to which I made reference in the previous post:
e have examined how strife and conflict can originate – even in
our intimate settings -- if we don’t know our Ethics. Once we do
know Ethics, and how to practice it, we will defer to one another,
be considerate, and will, if need be, brush up on our human-relations skills. Is it not about time that we studied, and learned the fundamentals of this body of useful knowledge?

Yes, to restore harmony in situations of strife, and for each of us to attain
a quality life, Ethics is definitely needed in today’s world.
And it will eventually be included in the primary school curriculum,
especially if those familiar with the fundamentals of Ethics do
their part in making it happen.



Your comments?

Walker
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Re: Basic questions of the moral life

Post by Walker » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:01 am

prof wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:50 am
How can we attain widespread prosperity?
Vote for Trump. :wink:

prof
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Re: Basic questions of the moral life

Post by prof » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:21 am

:)
If someone these days asserts he is Napoleon, we would be justified in saying he has a Psychosis; since he is not in touch with reality.

If he slips in an out of reality, we would correctly call him a Borderline Psychotic.

The heads of national psychiatric professional associations have diagnosed the nice fellow to whom you refer as "a Borderline Psychotic" due to his narcissism, his sociopathy, his impulsiveness, and his slipping in and out of reality.

Is that who you want as a President of a major nation?

There is widespread agreement that one with the skill-set of a mafia Don is "the most dangerous man in America" If that individual lacks impulse-control, and he also has supreme power for executive action. Then when the going gets tough we are facing the prospect of the initiation by him of World War III or of planetary nuclear fallout.

Cheers! :wink:


........just kidding........
Last edited by prof on Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:02 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Walker
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Re: Basic questions of the moral life

Post by Walker » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:23 am

He's merely using tactics to drive the Left insane.

It appears to be working.

Certainly it occupies them with all the petty nattering.

prof
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Re: Basic questions of the moral life

Post by prof » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:09 am

Walker wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:23 am
He's merely using tactics to drive the Left insane.
Please define what you mean by "the Left."

Then tell us where you stand with regard to those concepts. Then justify your beliefs with good, solid reasons. Please.

Many studies have shown that the wealthier people get, the less empathy they show toward those less [materially] fortunate. There are exceptions, such as maybe Oprah Winfrey - she may not yet be a billionaire - but the tendency is for billionaires to be unable to identify with 'those common people."

Based on that, what makes you think that a certain chief executive (who will remain nameless) gives a damn about you??!!!
In the tax scam - oops, "tax reform" - that you will get by Christmas, you will in the first year of it, pay a bit less of a federal tax, and then in the following years pay more! Meanwhile, as you gain a dime, by this legislation deleting the Estate Tax, and the Alternative Minimum Tax, your President will thus gain Millions of lucre. [Pretty shrewd ... if you'd rather have shrewdness than wise leadership.]

Net Neutrality is now seriously threatened - by the personnel selected to head up the FCC. Soon it is likely you will be paying more for your internet services. Has the "swamp been drained" as promised, or is it now swampier?

I have often said that it seems to be morally okay to satire those would-be authoritarians and aspiring tyrants.
Last edited by prof on Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:52 am, edited 2 times in total.

Walker
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Re: Basic questions of the moral life

Post by Walker » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:33 am

The Left is a bit restrictive. Let's say, the establishment. Media, which overwhelmingly votes Democrat. The educational system, which overwhelmingly votes Democrat. The Washington industry of politics, which overwhelmingly votes Democrat. Progressives too, but they are not restricted to party affiliation. And so on.

President Trump doesn't know me from the man in the moon. So what?

Lower taxes, more money that was sheltered under Obamanism, wealth brought back into the economy. More investment, more economic growth, more jobs for working folks, and so on. Pretty basic.

Taxes are confiscated wealth that grow the government, not the life of you, or me.

Folks with money give to charity, and conservatives give much more than Progressives. For instance, the wealthy presidental loser that shall not be named gave to the Clinton foundation, and claimed that as a charitable donation. Sneaky and dishonest, that one. Charity is not the government. Robin Hood didn't rob from the rich to give to the poor. Robin Hood took back the wealth that government robbed from the people, to give back to the people.

prof
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Re: Basic questions of the moral life

Post by prof » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:54 am

Walker wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:33 am

Lower taxes, more money that was sheltered under Obamanism, wealth brought back into the economy. More investment, more economic growth, more jobs for working folks, and so on.
In the 1890s, the time of the Robber Barons, this concept - which today we speak of as "trickle down" - was known as "The horse and sparrow" notion. We (the working poor, or the Lower, and Middle, Middle Class) are the sparrows who follow behind the the horse, so that we can peck at the horse-droppings, thus getting something to eat.

Cutting taxes to generate civic prosperity and make for the Common Good didn't work then ....and it doesn't work now. Only the gullible and naive believe that if the wealthiest get far wealthier they are going to create more jobs, at better pay, and thus stimulate the economy. It just doesn't happen in reality.

Investments by the haves are being made in automation and robotics with a view to replacing workers, resulting in LESS JOBS, and less opportunities to rise into a better status of more comfortable circumstances - or to provide it for your children if not
yourself.

You are deceiving yourself if you believe that money trickles down in any sort of large scale. A solution would be some arrangement of gain-sharing in each business, or giving workers a voice on The Board of Directors [as is done in Norway and Finland.] Or maybe the Universal Basic Income grant proposed by Nixon, and which is in the 2016 platform of the Libertarian Party. See the article in Wiki about some of the experiments in this area and the results they produced.

We are getting into a discussion that may more-correctly belong in the Applied Ethics forum. ....but so what. Let's be interdisciplinary.


Comments?

Walker
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Re: Basic questions of the moral life

Post by Walker » Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:15 am

Well, money sure doesn't trickle up, because the poor don't have any.
Neither do they create jobs.

prof
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Re: Basic questions of the moral life

Post by prof » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:18 am

Walker wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:15 am
Well, money sure doesn't trickle up, because the poor don't have any.
Neither do they create jobs.
The above shows an example of black-or-white thinking: it assumes that money must either trickle up or trickle down.
It sees no other possibilities. It is the "either/or" blind-spot.

The problem is lack of quality jobs, that is, jobs paying a decent living wage. There are some jobs available, but they are either in service incdustries that pay a wage inadequate to support a middle-class lifestyle; or they are highly-teechnical and require advanced training - which takes some time to learn, but which will not pay much of anyting during the training period.
Many of the workers displaced today used to make $20 an hour; so they feel deeply the loss.

In Germany, during The Great Recession, when business was slow, employers kept workers on - because they cared about people. Here in the USA those good workers would have been layed-off (or dismissed) "to cut costs." When times got better, the German businesses, for several reasons, were glad they had carried these fine employees along.

Your views?

Walker
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Re: Basic questions of the moral life

Post by Walker » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:59 am

Prof, you introduced trickle into the discussion.

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Lacewing
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Re: Basic questions of the moral life

Post by Lacewing » Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:01 pm

prof wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:50 am
How can we maximize human fun and minimize human suffering?
I think everything is born from our way of thinking. There aren't specific steps or rules we can follow that will save us from that. Our way of thinking dooms or propels us through potential.

For example, when we choose clarity over noise... then that is what we'll have, regardless of the paths we're on. Same is true for when we choose connection rather than ego. Choices such as these really do change experiences and expand potential significantly.

We humans spend a lot of time defining answers and rules for rightness... in every direction we look. Yet, perhaps in the process of doing so, we somehow/must create the opposites (a probably ever-expanding list of wrongs) to validate and maintain our way of thinking. We may even become locked in a self-perpetuating, fully-contained drama -- that must continually reproduce and deny that anything else exists. Good-hearted people with the best of intentions could be fully engulfed in such a thing.

For many of us, our way of thinking is "precious" to us. We protect it like a most beloved pet. Protecting and maintaining such a thing requires noise and ego... not clarity and connection. I don't know if the vast expanse of humankind wants to give up their noise. It is their "artwork". :)

We can at least, individually, be aware of the choices and flexibility we make for our own way of thinking. I think other people can be inspired by that for themselves, if they're so inclined.

Walker
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Re: Basic questions of the moral life

Post by Walker » Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:07 pm

“You’re welcome.”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbibykUGAZU

Sneaky little rascal/sophist.

The jobs he mentions were government jobs.

The counties surrounding the government industry of Washington D.C. are the richest in the country.

The government confiscates wealth.
It doesn't create wealth.

It’s like a funnel. The rim is the country. The spout is D.C.

And his audience goes, "Wooooo!"

:roll:

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Eodnhoj7
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Re: Basic questions of the moral life

Post by Eodnhoj7 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:52 pm

prof wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:50 am
Here are some questions upon which I have been reflecting lately, and upon which I invite you to think of some solutions:

How can we maximize human fun and minimize human suffering?
Observing one over the other creates an imbalance. Take for example if one had a miserable week, so they go to a party to alleviate their suffering. The next day they wake up with a hangover and a bunch of regrets, causing further suffering. The question in itself results in an imbalance which leads to further suffering. The most rational approach would be to accept pleasure and pain for what they are and seek a balanced life through the discipline of "habit".


How can we attain widespread prosperity?
By redefining prosperity to the aquisition of necessity over want, with necessity in itself being conducive to a form of moral growth. Most prosperity is in itself not a form of prosperity at all considering those who "have" it must maintain a mindset where they are never satisfied with the present.

The simple truth is that prosperity and peace have become dirty words that people use to justify wars which act as the antithesis to the thesis they presented.


How can we – perhaps with the help of machines that learn – converge on answers to the major problems holding back human progress? Do we need intelligent learning machines to teach us?
If we create a machine to teach us, what is the difference between that and doing the idol worships our ancestral fathers committed? How can the created be greater than the creator?

How will a super-intelligence module implanted in our bodies show us what we should want if only we knew what is in our self-interest for maximum benefit?
It cannot show us what we should want because the machine is merely a projection of our want of control.

Will it take a super-intelligent learning machine to teach us that
Each human can only get by if that individual helps make it possible for others to get by.
Yes because it will give us a war to end all war. It will give us the blood bath we all secretly desire but are afraid to admit to and in turn we will annihilate all that we do not need...including the machine itself.


What are our goals as individuals and as a society?
Balance through discipline and moderation as a means to propogate the species through time/space.

How can we best align our shared goals with the goals programmed into Artificial Intelligence learning machines?
The question falls back upon itself: "How can we share the goals with the goals we created (programmed)?"


---Answers, anyone?
Morality and Ethics have failed us because we seek to progress past the vary foundations which formed them the Golden Rule as a form of physical, intellectual and spiritual reciprocity through reflection. Until people are able to self-reflect on the nature of the actions, and minimize the irrational ones through the application of belief and reason through disciplined habit, the invention of a machine to do our intellectual, spiritual and physical labor will weaken us to the point of being cripples...in which case the machine will have the moral obligation to destroy us do to our death through stagnation.

The simple truth is that mankind, because of its desire not to seek virtue through an atheistic form of reasoning, will only change through the application of force not rendered since the foundations of our memory.

Outlawing globalize banking, pornography, industrialize weapons manufacturing, and a whole host of other things which form the foundations for our "progressive" world would have to be a start. This is considering the premises of progress, as the annihilation of origins, by default is a suicidal group tendency based upon a collective self-hatred. Mankind hates himself, because of many percieved guilts, and creating a machine to replace man's intellectual, physical and spiritual nature is strictly a culturally observed form of suicide.


Suggested reading: http://myqol.com/wadeharvey/PDFs/HOW%20 ... SFULLY.pdf

.

osgart
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Re: Basic questions of the moral life

Post by osgart » Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:42 am

If we studied each great quality of character, and list those virtues, you'd find about 100 of them. I study virtue; virtuology even.

If mankind practiced to apply themselves to virtue the whole world would only prosper.

Discretion, compassion, deserve, charity, honesty etc. I consider those virtues. And they all work together as a complete and whole truth.

We humans evolved to compete, and a lot of us may not have the resources to be charitable. But the intention of charity is a good one.

A rich man might build his fortress of wealth, and riches, and economy, and exclude many people by nature of competition.

Nowhere in our system of government and economy seems to be any room for charity.

But is it cheaper to be charitable? And why disdain the poor who work menial jobs, or the disabled, or the as of yet uneducated.

We rely on all people to be safe, responsible citizens. And for most of history we have been either unable, or unwilling to help the poor.

Can we in this day and age rise above desparation, and merely surviving.

Is it right to foster cooperation?

And by what means do we do That? And what is the excuse for not doing so?

Too many people in the world? The poor make poor choices and don't deserve? Lose the weak?

Do these attitudes foster civilized society?

The economy alone won't give a hoot.

And the government must tax, for revenue. And many things must be done to ensure the future of society.

Are all are societal establishments living in the dark ages?

And is it hard times in the land of plenty for a reason?

What's the reason?

What would a system of cooperation look Like?

Should everyone be afforded opportunity to live?

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