Moral truths and the ethical 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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Re: Moral truths and the ethical life

Post by -1- » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:05 am

Belinda wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:03 am
Aren't you confusing trade and mutually beneficial competition with exploitation?
Out of curiosity, Belinda, how do you define these concepts:
- exploitation
- mutually beneficial competition
- fair trade?

I am not forcing you to define them, and if you ignore my request, that's perfectly fine.

Belinda
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Re: Moral truths and the ethical life

Post by Belinda » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:51 am

It depends upon what you intend by 'greed, -1-.

I gathered, perhaps mistakenly, that you were supporting 'greed is good' as a political slogan. While it's true that men have inherent motivation to eat enough it's also true that men have inherent motivation to forego eating when the food can benefit somebody else.

I define the difference between competition on the one hand, and greed on the other with the dichotomy knife of fear/love, which can cut to the real politics of most trade deals.

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SpheresOfBalance
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Re: Moral truths and the ethical life

Post by SpheresOfBalance » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:10 pm

prof wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:49 pm
Here is a fact about human nature: our brains
are prewired to seek out what is in our self-interest.
The problem is that we often don’t know what
actually is in our self-interest. For example, we fail
to gain the benefits that cooperation would yield for
us. Allow me to explain.

Science informs us that we survived as a
species (instead of becoming extinct as so many,
many other species have) because we learned to
cooperate on projects that we could not handle
alone. We set a goal to erect a bridge across a river
or to build a residence and we realized that the
project was too big to do by ourselves so we
enlisted the cooperation of others and we got it
done. There are benefits to cooperation. Many of
us are not aware of these benefits; we thus often do
things that are not in our true self-interest. It is a
moral truth that today we need more cooperation on
worthwhile goals that enhance the quality of human
life.

Ethics is concerned with how to live a good life,
how to be a good person, how to live the optimal
life, how to live well as we provide a quality life
for all. When we engage in self-defeating and counter-
productive behavior we are doing things that are no
t in our self-interest. In this new approach to Ethics
self-defeating behavior may be described as
conduct that rates a low degree on the morality
scale; or a low rank on a social happiness index.

Examples of such conduct would be violence,
ruthless exploitation (such as
holding slaves, or murder, or rape, , or even
disregarding worker safety standards.) Cheating
others, baiting and switching, engaging in angry
quarreling, polluting the planet which we all
inhabit, these are also forms of unethical conduct.

Ethics is concerned with harmonious human
relationships, and how to achieve them. There are
axioms in that body of useful knowledge named
“Ethics,” and logical deductions can be made from
those basic assumptions, those axioms. In the theory
governing ethics one learns about Ethical Fallacies,
which are mistakes in thinking with regard to moral
topics and moral practice.

What are the basic assumptions? Some values
are more valuable than others. How can we tell the
better from the worse? It has been shown by a
logical demonstration, a proof, that one
individual, having individuality, seen as ‘unique,’
is worth more than all the things in this world, and that one
material thing is worth more than all the babble, the
theories and systems and ideologies; a person is
worth more than a thing, and a thing is worth more
than a number. As we know, a thing can rust out
and be discarded; and a number can be erased.
Human life, though, is valuable, uncountably
valuable. That’s why it is wrong to murder or rape.,
or to connive and exploit, to enslave and deceive.

Those who understand these relationships can
be said to “know their values.” Once you know
your Ethics you will put people first. Then far be
low you will rank materialism and ostentatious
consumption. And you will also realize that
systems, dogmas, opinions rather than facts and
evidence, isms, labels, and stereotypes have the
lowest positive value to us.

For more information, further detzails, see: http://www.myqol.com/wadeharvey/PDFs/LI ... ourish.pdf
As usual Prof, "You're the Man!" You're so on the right track it's not funny! ;-) I notice how you learn and refine, the only way to truly know.

As usual my admiration for you, as one of the few even keeled philosophers on this forum. I truly don't believe you'll ever fall into the twisted human trap of becoming that thing which you fear. You know, to become insane, like, unfortunately, so many are!

I will always hope that you and yours are always healthy, happy and wise!


Everlasting, "Peace and peace of mind to you, my friend!" ;-)

prof
Posts: 970
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:57 am

Re: Moral truths and the ethical life

Post by prof » Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:05 am

.


Thank you, SpheresofBalance, for your kindness.

It isn't often that anyone around here shows respect, let alone appreciation. This may be a first [pointed in my direction] -- although one Forum member, in a private email to me, did have something nice to say about a manuscript I scribbled, and managed to get published for Kindle readers to download: Here are the words of the fellow with the nickname "Commonsense":
“How to Live Successfully is well written, is both comprehensive and succinct at the same time. Katz not only codifies the attributes of being an ethically-healthy person, but also gives readily comprehensible explanations of important concepts from value science.

...And here is a link to that book:
HOW TO LIVE SUCCESSFULLY: New knowledge in human relations (2017)
https://www.amazon.com/LIVING-SUCCESSFU ... B01NBKS42C


Have a great life :!: Best of luck. Thanks again for setting a good example as to how to read constructively, i.e., to gain whatever strands of value may be in a post, and make it part of your own now-more-educated viewpoint.

prof
Posts: 970
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:57 am

Re: Moral truths and the ethical life

Post by prof » Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:22 am

In this thread I have presented some moral truths, such as for example:

1) Some values are better than others.

2) We human beings are pre-wired to be self-serving. There are, however, two ways of being self-serving: we can pursue our self-interest or we can be selfish (self-centered.) Selfish people are not ethical. They are the opposite of what ethics is about.

3) It is in our self-interest to be considerate of others, respectful, polite, merciful, honest, and refined (rather than crude.) Ethical conduct "greases the wheels" of interaction.

4) Readiness to be of service - without martyrdom - makes life more meaningful. It is gratifying to know that you have made a difference, that your life was not in vain.


Now, continuing with the theme of this thread, the following
is the last installment of the argument that inspired the writing of this thread:

Since it is a fact of human nature, due to our brain wiring, that most everyone can sense injustice, once we know our Ethics we will seek Justice. We will want to achieve balance, we will want things to fit. Without Justice there is no Peace. If one desires peace, he or she will work for, or at least be an advocate for, Social Justice.

We have, in this paradigm shift, presented values in their correct order, from better to worse since we are aware that some values are of more value to us than others: caring (for purposes of ethics) is better than indifference. Positive values are better than negative values. What is .(i.e., what we usually perceive as) richer in properties is better than what lacks them. Value, we realize, is a function of meaning: the more valuable something is, the more meaningful it is to us, and the more meaning we find in something the more we will regard it as having value.

`In addition, we have in this new paradigm defined the discipline of Ethics as arising when one views an individual as possessing indefinitely-high value. We have offered some basic postulates. Now we will derive an implication of our fundamental definition of Ethics. If someone is that valuable, one wouldn’t want to harm him or her. Hence the implied imperative is: Do no harm!

As one works for social justice one is careful to avoid violence, and to employ nonviolent direct action. This is action, not passivity. And it inflicts no violence, no harm on other people. Recall that ethics is about caring. Take care of yourself, and take care of someone else.

Empower people from the bottom up. Give them a road to social upward mobility; provide opportunity. Also, foster community and take on responsibility. An Ethical motto is: “No rights without responsibility.” Falling into a state of dependency is not advisable.
We have displayed some moral truths and have reflected upon what is involved in living the ethical life.

The above discussion provides food for thought sufficient enough for now.


Your comments are welcomed.......
How do you feel about all this?

Belinda
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Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

Re: Moral truths and the ethical life

Post by Belinda » Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:38 pm

Prof wrote:
In this thread I have presented some moral truths, such as for example:

1) Some values are better than others.

2) We human beings are pre-wired to be self-serving. There are, however, two ways of being self-serving: we can pursue our self-interest or we can be selfish (self-centered.) Selfish people are not ethical. They are the opposite of what ethics is about.

3) It is in our self-interest to be considerate of others, respectful, polite, merciful, honest, and refined (rather than crude.) Ethical conduct "greases the wheels" of interaction.

4) Readiness to be of service - without martyrdom - makes life more meaningful. It is gratifying to know that you have made a difference, that your life was not in vain.
I too value enlightened self interest. Enlightened self interest supports cooperation whenever possible . It may be the case that there be value which transcends enlightened self interest as portrayed in the story about Abraham (not) sacrificing Isaac. However we cannot affirm what the Transcendent Good comprises unless we have a faith in some incarnation of it. Faith in this or that incarnation of transcendent good includes not only the dogma of religions ancient and modern but also the opinions of you and me. Moral codes don't transcend local and temporal opinion, and this includes Prof's moral code.

Now, continuing with the theme of this thread, the following
is the last installment of the argument that inspired the writing of this thread:

Since it is a fact of human nature, due to our brain wiring, that most everyone can sense injustice, once we know our Ethics we will seek Justice. We will want to achieve balance, we will want things to fit. Without Justice there is no Peace. If one desires peace, he or she will work for, or at least be an advocate for, Social Justice.
There is evidence that very young children who cannot understand moral philosophy or the prevalent moral code do support distributional equality.Or 'fairness'.
We have, in this paradigm shift, presented values in their correct order, from better to worse since we are aware that some values are of more value to us than others: caring (for purposes of ethics) is better than indifference. Positive values are better than negative values. What is .(i.e., what we usually perceive as) richer in properties is better than what lacks them. Value, we realize, is a function of meaning: the more valuable something is, the more meaningful it is to us, and the more meaning we find in something the more we will regard it as having value.
True, meaning cannot exist without values.However values cannot exist without meaning-seekers.The only meaning seekers we know of are certain mammals notably human animals.
Indifference to whether or not I eat foie gras is better than praising the eating of foie gras.This is to illustrate that negative values can be better than positive values."Positive values" are so often absolutist and dogmatic. Values are best to be founded upon the consequences of specified values. Even the best of criteria, such as those of science and of doubt itself, are bound up inside of some functioning culture of belief.

`In addition, we have in this new paradigm defined the discipline of Ethics as arising when one views an individual as possessing indefinitely-high value. We have offered some basic postulates. Now we will derive an implication of our fundamental definition of Ethics. If someone is that valuable, one wouldn’t want to harm him or her. Hence the implied imperative is: Do no harm!

As one works for social justice one is careful to avoid violence, and to employ nonviolent direct action. This is action, not passivity. And it inflicts no violence, no harm on other people. Recall that ethics is about caring. Take care of yourself, and take care of someone else.

Empower people from the bottom up. Give them a road to social upward mobility; provide opportunity. Also, foster community and take on responsibility. An Ethical motto is: “No rights without responsibility.” Falling into a state of dependency is not advisable.
We have displayed some moral truths and have reflected upon what is involved in living the ethical life. [
/b]

While it so happens that I endorse Prof's ethical values with their pragmatic possibilities and political outcomes, my agreement is not because Prof and I are privy to the dharma of existence itself. It's because Prof and I belong to the same or similar cultures of belief;cultures are embedded in time and place and are neither absolutely true nor outwith history.

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