The First Question Of Ethics

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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RCSaunders
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The First Question Of Ethics

Post by RCSaunders »

The first question of ethics is:

Do individuals consciously choose their behavior?

If one believes anything other than conscious choice determines their behavior ethics is meaningless. It would make no difference if one kind of behavior were preferable to another if anything other than one's own conscious choice, like instinct, the subconscious, desires or feelings, genetic or inherited proclivities, cultural, economic, or educational influences determined what one does.

It does not matter at all what is right, wrong, good, or bad if you cannot choose to do what is right and good, and you cannot choose if something other than your choice determines what you do. If there is no conscious choice, there is no such thing as good or bad anything--everything is just what it is.
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Re: The First Question Of Ethics

Post by Gloominary »

That depends on which 1 of the 5 brain states we're in.

https://www.cwilsonmeloncelli.com/the-5 ... 20second).

Some spend most of their life in alpha, theta or even delta.
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RCSaunders
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Re: The First Question Of Ethics

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Gloominary wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:16 am That depends on which 1 of the 5 brain states we're in.

https://www.cwilsonmeloncelli.com/the-5 ... 20second).

Some spend most of their life in alpha, theta or even delta.
I hope you have not really fallen for this psycho-babble scam. It's just another, "motivational-training," and, "personal-development industry," scam mixed with psychological quackery, promising a shortcut to success, to the gullible. Did you really fall for it?
Peter Holmes
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Re: The First Question Of Ethics

Post by Peter Holmes »

RCSaunders wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:05 pm The first question of ethics is:

Do individuals consciously choose their behavior?

If one believes anything other than conscious choice determines their behavior ethics is meaningless. It would make no difference if one kind of behavior were preferable to another if anything other than one's own conscious choice, like instinct, the subconscious, desires or feelings, genetic or inherited proclivities, cultural, economic, or educational influences determined what one does.

It does not matter at all what is right, wrong, good, or bad if you cannot choose to do what is right and good, and you cannot choose if something other than your choice determines what you do. If there is no conscious choice, there is no such thing as good or bad anything--everything is just what it is.
Sorry for the lateness of this response, but I think your premise may be false, or at least dodgy.

I assume you object to the physical determinist argument against moral responsibility: that our choices - our behaviour - are fully determined by previous physical conditions (for example, in our brains), so that there is no 'I' - no free agaent - to make decisions and therefore be morally responsible. Can I ask why you think this argument is unsound?

I suggest there's a metaphysical assumption underlying the claim of agency - selfhood - and therefore moral responsibility - which a metaethical (and therefore metaphysical} assumption reinforces. Is the distinction between morally responsible and irresponsible agents - such as children below a certain age, and other animals - any more than a social construct? Is what we call moral rightness and wrongness any more than that?
Last edited by Peter Holmes on Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: The First Question Of Ethics

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RCSaunders wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:05 pm The first question of ethics is:

Do individuals consciously choose their behavior?
If they do not, then there is no such thing as ethics.

Ethics are about choices. If no genuine choices exist, then ethics are delusions. Or as you say,
If there is no conscious choice, there is no such thing as good or bad anything--everything is just what it is.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: The First Question Of Ethics

Post by Immanuel Can »

Peter Holmes wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:58 pm Can I ask why you think this argument is unsound?
Because if it were true, it would not need an argument.

Nobody can "change their mind" to believe an argument anyway, then.
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: The First Question Of Ethics

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

RCSaunders wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:05 pm The first question of ethics is:

Do individuals consciously choose their behavior?

If one believes anything other than conscious choice determines their behavior ethics is meaningless.
It would make no difference if one kind of behavior were preferable to another if anything other than one's own conscious choice, like instinct, the subconscious, desires or feelings, genetic or inherited proclivities, cultural, economic, or educational influences determined what one does.

It does not matter at all what is right, wrong, good, or bad if you cannot choose to do what is right and good, and you cannot choose if something other than your choice determines what you do. If there is no conscious choice, there is no such thing as good or bad anything--everything is just what it is.
The problem is you did not define what you meant by 'ethics' thus the responses will fly all over the place. 'What is Ethics?" should be the first question of Morality [Ethics].
Ethics synonymous with 'morality'.
Morality (from Latin: moralitas, lit. 'manner, character, proper behavior') is the differentiation of intentions, decisions and actions between those that are distinguished as proper and those that are improper.[1]
Morality can be a body of standards or principles derived from a code of conduct from a particular philosophy, religion or culture, or it can derive from a standard that a person believes should be universal.[2] Morality may also be specifically synonymous with "goodness" or "rightness".
-wiki
In my case, Morality is the PURE and Ethics is the APPLIED aspects of proper and the right human conduct in relation to what is good and what is evil.

Morality [Ethics] proper is not about a choice of behavior but that one's behavior must be spontaneous without any pause to deliberate on it before one act and the consequence of that behavior is in alignment with what is 'right' and 'good'. The above must be supported by a strong effective Moral Framework and System.

It is true human has the ability to rationalize their behavior consciously but this will leave open for evil people to act 'good' to please or deceive other while hiding their evil intentions.

You are not up to date.
Antonio Damasion has demonstrated that critical decision made consciously via reason are heavily influenced by emotions are other unconscious impulses.
  • Damasio's research in neuroscience has shown that emotions play a central role in social cognition and decision-making.
    The somatic marker hypothesis has inspired many neuroscience experiments carried out in laboratories in the U.S. and Europe, and has had a major impact in contemporary science and philosophy.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonio_Damasio
Thus the effective approach to Morality and Ethics is not focused making moral decisions consciously to choose the right behavior.
Instead what is needed is for all humans to adopt self-development programs to improve their moral competence so that whatever actions they do are spontaneously morally right without having to pause to think about it.

It is the same with any champion sportsperson of high caliber.
Genuine sport champions do not rely fully on conscious choice of what to do in a game but act spontaneously to win the game from years of repetitive practices.
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RCSaunders
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Re: The First Question Of Ethics

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Peter Holmes wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:58 pm
RCSaunders wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:05 pm The first question of ethics is:

Do individuals consciously choose their behavior?

If one believes anything other than conscious choice determines their behavior ethics is meaningless. It would make no difference if one kind of behavior were preferable to another if anything other than one's own conscious choice, like instinct, the subconscious, desires or feelings, genetic or inherited proclivities, cultural, economic, or educational influences determined what one does.

It does not matter at all what is right, wrong, good, or bad if you cannot choose to do what is right and good, and you cannot choose if something other than your choice determines what you do. If there is no conscious choice, there is no such thing as good or bad anything--everything is just what it is.
Sorry for the lateness of this response, but I think your premise may be false, or at least dodgy.

I assume you object to the physical determinist argument against moral responsibility: that our choices - our behaviour - are fully determined by previous physical conditioons (for example, in our brains), so that there is no 'I' - no free agaent - to make decisions and therefore be morally responsible. Can I ask why you think this argument is unsound?

I suggest there's a metaphysical assumption underlying the claim of agency - selfhood - and therefore moral responsibility - which a metaethical (and therefore metaphysical} assumption reinforces. Is the distinction between morally responsible and irresponsible agents - such as children below a certain age, and other animals - any more than a social construct? Is what we call moral rightness and wrongness any more than that?
The question seems clear. There is no premise and you can use any premise you like. If you don't consciously choose what you do, what is the point of ethics?

I won't assume, but what you wrote is a little turgid. You seem to be saying human beings do not consciously choose, is that right? If I'm mistaken about that, please clarify and I apologize.
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RCSaunders
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Re: The First Question Of Ethics

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Veritas Aequitas wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:49 am The problem is you did not define what you meant by 'ethics' thus the responses will fly all over the place. 'What is Ethics?" should be the first question of Morality.
I'm sorry VA. The question is only for those who have already passed Philosophy 101. If you don't know what ethics pertains to the question is not for you.

If you'd like to participate, here's the issue in simple form.

Whatever ethics means to you: what is the point of ethics if human beings do not consciously choose their behavior. If anything other than one's own conscious choice determines what they do, ethics cannot possibly matter, because they are going to do whatever they do, whether there are or are not any ethical principles.

Even simpler. If you don't choose what you do, what do you need ethics for?
Peter Holmes
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Re: The First Question Of Ethics

Post by Peter Holmes »

RCSaunders wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 11:41 am
Peter Holmes wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:58 pm
RCSaunders wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:05 pm The first question of ethics is:

Do individuals consciously choose their behavior?

If one believes anything other than conscious choice determines their behavior ethics is meaningless. It would make no difference if one kind of behavior were preferable to another if anything other than one's own conscious choice, like instinct, the subconscious, desires or feelings, genetic or inherited proclivities, cultural, economic, or educational influences determined what one does.

It does not matter at all what is right, wrong, good, or bad if you cannot choose to do what is right and good, and you cannot choose if something other than your choice determines what you do. If there is no conscious choice, there is no such thing as good or bad anything--everything is just what it is.
Sorry for the lateness of this response, but I think your premise may be false, or at least dodgy.

I assume you object to the physical determinist argument against moral responsibility: that our choices - our behaviour - are fully determined by previous physical conditioons (for example, in our brains), so that there is no 'I' - no free agaent - to make decisions and therefore be morally responsible. Can I ask why you think this argument is unsound?

I suggest there's a metaphysical assumption underlying the claim of agency - selfhood - and therefore moral responsibility - which a metaethical (and therefore metaphysical} assumption reinforces. Is the distinction between morally responsible and irresponsible agents - such as children below a certain age, and other animals - any more than a social construct? Is what we call moral rightness and wrongness any more than that?
The question seems clear. There is no premise and you can use any premise you like. If you don't consciously choose what you do, what is the point of ethics?

I won't assume, but what you wrote is a little turgid. You seem to be saying human beings do not consciously choose, is that right? If I'm mistaken about that, please clarify and I apologize.
Well, I apologise for my turgidity.

I assumed your unstated premise is that we can consciously choose, and are therefore responsible for our choices. And I was probing to see if you reject the determinist argument against the existence of libertarian free will. (I'm still wrestling with this.)

But my turgid point was about your conclusion: if we can't consciously choose what we do, that means moral rightness and wrongness are therefore meaningless or empty or redundant ideas. I'm just not sure that follows.

For example, if collective agreement about what counts as morally right and wrong is fully determined - because we're evolved social animals - then metaethical considerations about what really is morally right and wrong are actually redundant - like all metaphysical considerations.

What I want to say is that the choices we make are determined by the choices available, which are socially determined - and can, for example with the establishment of post-capitalist economic equality, be improved for everyone equally.

Your claim is that, if we don't or can't choose what we do, then ethics and morality are irrelevant. But I think that can be turned inside out. Because we don't or can't choose what we do, the determining conditions for what we do are critical - and that's where socially agreed - but evolving - norms for moral rightness and wrongness kick in.

And I suggest that's a realistic account of what ethics and morality have always amounted to - and the explanation for why moral objectivism, which is metaphysical, is a mistake.

Sorry if that was turgid again.
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henry quirk
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RC

Post by henry quirk »

Even simpler.

My level... :thumbsup:


If you don't choose what you do, what do you need ethics for?

Ethics is a matter for Free Wills, not robots.

Man binds himself; Roomba just pinballs.

-----

turgid
3300D55E-D195-467B-BC65-A61EC8674E98.jpeg
3300D55E-D195-467B-BC65-A61EC8674E98.jpeg (46.96 KiB) Viewed 317 times
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Re: The First Question Of Ethics

Post by RCSaunders »

Peter Holmes wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:00 pm
RCSaunders wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 11:41 am
Peter Holmes wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:58 pm
Sorry for the lateness of this response, but I think your premise may be false, or at least dodgy.

I assume you object to the physical determinist argument against moral responsibility: that our choices - our behaviour - are fully determined by previous physical conditioons (for example, in our brains), so that there is no 'I' - no free agaent - to make decisions and therefore be morally responsible. Can I ask why you think this argument is unsound?

I suggest there's a metaphysical assumption underlying the claim of agency - selfhood - and therefore moral responsibility - which a metaethical (and therefore metaphysical} assumption reinforces. Is the distinction between morally responsible and irresponsible agents - such as children below a certain age, and other animals - any more than a social construct? Is what we call moral rightness and wrongness any more than that?
The question seems clear. There is no premise and you can use any premise you like. If you don't consciously choose what you do, what is the point of ethics?

I won't assume, but what you wrote is a little turgid. You seem to be saying human beings do not consciously choose, is that right? If I'm mistaken about that, please clarify and I apologize.
Well, I apologise for my turgidity.

I assumed your unstated premise is that we can consciously choose, and are therefore responsible for our choices. And I was probing to see if you reject the determinist argument against the existence of libertarian free will. (I'm still wrestling with this.)

But my turgid point was about your conclusion: if we can't consciously choose what we do, that means moral rightness and wrongness are therefore meaningless or empty or redundant ideas. I'm just not sure that follows.

For example, if collective agreement about what counts as morally right and wrong is fully determined - because we're evolved social animals - then metaethical considerations about what really is morally right and wrong are actually redundant - like all metaphysical considerations.

What I want to say is that the choices we make are determined by the choices available, which are socially determined - and can, for example with the establishment of post-capitalist economic equality, be improved for everyone equally.

Your claim is that, if we don't or can't choose what we do, then ethics and morality are irrelevant. But I think that can be turned inside out. Because we don't or can't choose what we do, the determining conditions for what we do are critical - and that's where socially agreed - but evolving - norms for moral rightness and wrongness kick in.

And I suggest that's a realistic account of what ethics and morality have always amounted to - and the explanation for why moral objectivism, which is metaphysical, is a mistake.

Sorry if that was turgid again.
Not at all, but I think you misunderstand the point of the question.

My point is if you do not consciously use your reason to make choices between two more alternative possible actions, then you don't need any principles, or any other knowledge, actually. If you are taking a math test, you either solve the problems using mathematical principles to guide your thinking and answers, or something else determines your answers. If it's, "something else," you don't need math principles, but I doubt anyone would actually agree with that.

We haven't even gotten to the question of what ethical principles might be. The question is if one does not consciously think and choose what they do, what do they need any principles for, ethical or otherwise?
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Re: The First Question Of Ethics

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

RCSaunders wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 11:56 am
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:49 am The problem is you did not define what you meant by 'ethics' thus the responses will fly all over the place. 'What is Ethics?" should be the first question of Morality.
I'm sorry VA. The question is only for those who have already passed Philosophy 101. If you don't know what ethics pertains to the question is not for you.
This reflect badly on your ignorance of philosophy.

Note this thread I raised.
Is There a Definitive Definition of Morality?

Therein I linked this;
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/morality-definition/
.. two distinct broad senses:
a descriptive sense and a normative sense.
More particularly, the term “morality” can be used either
  • descriptively to refer to certain codes of conduct put forward by a society or a group (such as a religion), or accepted by an individual for her own behavior, or
    normatively to refer to a code of conduct that, given specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational persons.
This too broad categories are very contentious and each will insist the other is wrong.
If you'd like to participate, here's the issue in simple form.

Whatever ethics means to you: what is the point of ethics if human beings do not consciously choose their behavior. If anything other than one's own conscious choice determines what they do, ethics cannot possibly matter, because they are going to do whatever they do, whether there are or are not any ethical principles.
Both intuitive and consciously reasoned-actions are necessary in ethics.

Your thinking is too narrow and shallow.
It is even practical and rational to pause and consciously choose every action that is supposedly moral or ethical? Note the effort and stress involved, not to mention it is a stupid and ineffective thing to do.

A morally competent person will spontaneously help an injured person without pausing to decide whether he should help the person or not. He will do the same for every moral act.

A morally competent person will do what it takes to be done spontaneously but it is not a matter of doing things blindly but rather the wisdom and moral competence is already developed in the morally competent person via theory and effective practices and exercises.

Even if he do not consciously choose his moral actions, Morality and Ethics for the morally competent person matters is very critical in the sense he need to understand the principles and mechanisms entailed within morality and Ethics. This is very necessary so that he can enhance himself with all the necessary and practice to be potentially morally competent.
As such, when there is 'need' for moral actions, the person will just do what it takes without pausing to choose what actions to take.

It is only an exception that a moral competent person has to pause to think and consciously choose what moral actions to take, i.e. when he faces certain rare and complex moral dilemma. In this case, post hoc and on hindsight, the moral competent person will take this as a lesson and reflect on it so that should the same moral event arises, he will just act spontaneously.


Even simpler. If you don't choose what you do, what do you need ethics for?
This is why we need a definition first to understand its essence before to get to the objectives of ethics.
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Re: The First Question Of Ethics

Post by Age »

RCSaunders wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:05 pm The first question of ethics is:

Do individuals consciously choose their behavior?
Sometimes, and, sometimes not.

Do 'you' ALWAYS consciously choose your behavior?
Do 'you' NEVER consciously choose your behavior? Or,
Do 'you' SOME times consciously choose your behavior while at OTHER times do NOT consciously choose your behavior?

Once you answer these questions OPENLY and Honestly, then you will have thee Answer to your question.
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Re: The First Question Of Ethics

Post by RCSaunders »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat Jul 18, 2020 5:15 am This reflect badly on your ignorance of philosophy.
I'm ignorant of a lot of things, VA.
Thanks for deigning to engage such an ignorant person.
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