Why all so-called rational moral systems are doomed to fail

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SecularCauses
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Why all so-called rational moral systems are doomed to fail

Post by SecularCauses » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:45 pm

There have been numerous attempts to come up with a logical, rational system of morality. It's been going on for a damn long time, and every such effort has failed miserably. It doesn't matter if we are discussing Kantian ethics or Utilitarian principles or some other "rational" system of morality, none have been successful. There are always some moral questions that appear to be poorly addressed by these systems.

Now, along comes neuroscience, and it is discovered that babies even at six months of age like those who help others and dislike those who harm others. We also have discovered that there are a number of different built-in moral intuitions that our mind has. While a culture may broaden or shrink a specific moral intuition, it cannot eliminate it or create a new one. Different individuals can give greater weight to one moral intution than another person does, and that can create moral issues among people.

And what we further find is that when it comes to moral questions, logic is primarily used to justify our moral intuitions. Logic, rational arguments, basically do not convince anyone of anything when it comes to moral questions, we just sling them out there to try to justify what we already believe is right.

This means, those philosophers, atheist movements, politicians, etc., who rely upon reason or logic to solve moral questions are destined to fail. People simply are not rational or logical when it comes to morality. It doesn't matter if one is a socialist a libertarian a religious fundamentalist, no one will ever be able to win a moral debate, to any significant degree, through the use of logic. And since our morality is irrational, people are largely irrational. As a species, we are limited by our nature, and our ability to reason seldom governs us. In any event, we now know that all moral philosophical systems that rely upon reason are practically worthless.

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stsoc
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Re: Why all so-called rational moral systems are doomed to f

Post by stsoc » Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:09 pm

or some other "rational" system of morality, none have been successful.
O rly?

viewtopic.php?p=121525#p121525

Omniscientone
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Re: Why all so-called rational moral systems are doomed to f

Post by Omniscientone » Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:59 am

If our morals aren't rational and more intuitive, then how do you believe they arose? Either answer seems to me to suggest objective morality. Do you believe in Objective Morality?

Also do you care to link me to the study. :D

SecularCauses
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Re: Why all so-called rational moral systems are doomed to f

Post by SecularCauses » Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:09 am

Omniscientone wrote:If our morals aren't rational and more intuitive, then how do you believe they arose? Either answer seems to me to suggest objective morality. Do you believe in Objective Morality?

Also do you care to link me to the study. :D
Our intuitions evolved. You can find the research in most neuroscience textbooks. The specific experiment with the babies, it was done by the Yale psychologists Kiley Hamlin, Karen Wynn, and Paul Bloom. The research was done in 2007. I think there is a link to the puppets they even used at www.yale.edu/infantlab/In_the_Media.html.

Let's assume morality is objective. So? How does that mean it is rational? It doesn't.

Omniscientone
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Re: Why all so-called rational moral systems are doomed to f

Post by Omniscientone » Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:46 pm

SecularCauses wrote:
Our intuitions evolved. You can find the research in most neuroscience textbooks. The specific experiment with the babies, it was done by the Yale psychologists Kiley Hamlin, Karen Wynn, and Paul Bloom. The research was done in 2007. I think there is a link to the puppets they even used at http://www.yale.edu/infantlab/In_the_Media.html.

Let's assume morality is objective. So? How does that mean it is rational? It doesn't.
Awesome thanks

I was just exploring the implications of morality not being rational. If it's not rational and arose from biological forces you could expect it to be the same in all human beings.

SecularCauses
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Re: Why all so-called rational moral systems are doomed to f

Post by SecularCauses » Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:28 pm

Omniscientone wrote:
SecularCauses wrote:
Our intuitions evolved. You can find the research in most neuroscience textbooks. The specific experiment with the babies, it was done by the Yale psychologists Kiley Hamlin, Karen Wynn, and Paul Bloom. The research was done in 2007. I think there is a link to the puppets they even used at http://www.yale.edu/infantlab/In_the_Media.html.

Let's assume morality is objective. So? How does that mean it is rational? It doesn't.
Awesome thanks

I was just exploring the implications of morality not being rational. If it's not rational and arose from biological forces you could expect it to be the same in all human beings.
Put it this way, when a physicist discovers that when a hot object touches a cooler object, something called heat flows from the hotter object to the colder one. Do you think the physicist then checks to see if this physical finding is "rational"? It never happens. The physical laws are the physical laws. The same is true with respect to morality. It evolved, so even assuming it is objective because it evolved, in what way could it be "rational" when other physical observations regarding the cosmos are not? It wouldn't be, which is exactly why all such philosophical systems have failed, and will continue to do so. The effort is as pointless as a chemist trying to say a chemical reaction is "rational." As long as we are bending over backwards trying to discover a "rational" morality, we will fail to observe what reality is. Is the thery of relativity "rational"? No, it just is.

prof
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Re: Why all so-called rational moral systems are doomed to f

Post by prof » Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:02 am

If I agree that a logical case is not persuasive to most people, with the exception of those good brains who admire and respect a good logical argument, then we need to find a way to discuss the ethical life with the average "person in the street." It would be mutually beneficial to raise ethical issues with them in order to increase their moral awareness, and eventually to work together to build an ethical world.

Many, if not most, are preoccupied either with paying bills, looking for work, family affairs, baseball (soccer or football, etc.), marxism, libertarianism, the bible (or some local fundamentalist text), or with some ideology to which they may cling fanatically. They may be too impatient to listen; or may not have the mental wherewithal to cope with any philosophical or scientific notions.

Nevertheless I will continue to attempt to increase Ethical awareness. I recently was apprised of an approach I had not tried before. I will present it as a new thread here. I'd love to hear what you all think (and feel) about it. Watch for it :!:

SecularCauses
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Re: Why all so-called rational moral systems are doomed to f

Post by SecularCauses » Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:54 am

prof wrote:If I agree that a logical case is not persuasive to most people, with the exception of those good brains who admire and respect a good logical argument, then we need to find a way to discuss the ethical life with the average "person in the street." It would be mutually beneficial to raise ethical issues with them in order to increase their moral awareness, and eventually to work together to build an ethical world.

Many, if not most, are preoccupied either with paying bills, looking for work, family affairs, baseball (soccer or football, etc.), marxism, libertarianism, the bible (or some local fundamentalist text), or with some ideology to which they may cling fanatically. They may be too impatient to listen; or may not have the mental wherewithal to cope with any philosophical or scientific notions.

Nevertheless I will continue to attempt to increase Ethical awareness. I recently was apprised of an approach I had not tried before. I will present it as a new thread here. I'd love to hear what you all think (and feel) about it. Watch for it :!:
The point is that we are not wired for logical arguments for morality. What is logical about caring for another human being who is hurt? Nothing. We are hard-wired with moral intuitions already in our brain. I cited to an experiment showing that babies as young as six months already prefer people who try to help others to people who try to harm others. The morality just is. It is irrational to try to make it rational. It makes no more sense to do so than it does to argue that our own sun we see burning in the sky is "rational." It just is. We can learn what morality is, how to manipulate it, but we cannot make it rational any more than we can make the oxygen we breathe into our lungs rational. That's precisely why philosophy has failed to uncover any rational system of ethics in 3,000 years of trying. The project itself was irrational, and thus, destined to fail.

prof
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Re: Why all so-called rational moral systems are doomed to f

Post by prof » Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:54 am

It sounds like you have really made up your mind, Secular Causes.

Going in with that mind set, I am confident that any system you examine from now on you will find that it confirms your bias.

Your reasoning seems to be that because a system has not been satisfying to you in the past, there will never be one that is satisfying in the future. You are not open to new discovery; you are time-bound.

I have reached a point where I think new social technologies will change the world for the better sooner than new reasonable arguments will. In this I concur with the conclusions of Bucky Fuller.

However, if the new social arrangements "coincidentally" agree with the recommendations of some logical coherent ethical system, I want to give that system credit that its findings are catching on.

If the hypothesis that individuals are of uncountably--high value leads to the implication that we ought to cooperate, that we are all in this together, that we should treat each other decently, that when it comes to material comfort 'enough is enough' (and there is no need to be greedy for more, more), that we should not rest until we minimize misery and destitution, and we empower everyone with opportunity to reach a minimum level of comfort and quality of life, that we should expand our in-group to be as inclusive as we can be, and develop our inner artist to bring out as much of our potential for excellence as we possibly can --- and if the new social arrangements, the emerging technologies correspond and enable these goals, then I give the theory lots of credit for its predictions that happier lives and more stability will be the result.

I give the Hartman/Katz system of Ethics gratitude for clarifying and ordering my comprehension of values.

{The new technologies may include the implanting of a computer chip with the power of Watson into the base of our brain; or it may be the crowd-sourcing capacity of the social networks to transmit information rapidly; or it may be evolution in education toward more Constructive Learning and Axiogenic education in values; or it may be the iphone and related developments. Or it could be the Zeitgeist movement. Or some integrated combination of all of them plus a few more.}

Axiogenic education [cf. Demerest & Schoof] teaches that we all have a capacity to create value and that life is better when we add value to each situation in which we find ourselves ...by going in the direction of Intrinsic valuation - very similar to what Husserl called "Intentionality."

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Notvacka
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Re: Why all so-called rational moral systems are doomed to f

Post by Notvacka » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:38 am

SecularCauses wrote:And what we further find is that when it comes to moral questions, logic is primarily used to justify our moral intuitions.
Yes. We are thinking beings. We need to rationalise our instinctive behaviour, to make it reasonable. That's not a bad thing.
SecularCauses wrote:Logic, rational arguments, basically do not convince anyone of anything when it comes to moral questions, we just sling them out there to try to justify what we already believe is right.
It's not that simple. Our instincts work on an emotional level, while we also have the capacity to think rationally. Heart and mind work together.
SecularCauses wrote:This means, those philosophers, atheist movements, politicians, etc., who rely upon reason or logic to solve moral questions are destined to fail.
No, it means that any moral system must gel with our innate moral intuition in order to be successful.
SecularCauses wrote:In any event, we now know that all moral philosophical systems that rely upon reason are practically worthless.
Not at all. You just need to be aware that reason alone is not enough.

prof
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Re: Why all so-called rational moral systems are doomed to f

Post by prof » Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:37 am

Greetings, Notvacka

Yes. You are absolutely right in what you say.

Plato, long ago, noted that we are "riding two horses." They are the emotions and reason. They pull us one way and another; but when they work together we move forward with stability and with sustainability.

When a sound value judgment is made we find that emotion is invested in it.

Secular Causes is correct that we have mirror neurons even as babies if we are normal. So empathy is built in to a normal person. And we do act first, and justify and rationalize it later. But if we have a good character our actions tend to be moral for the most part. The question then arises: how do we develop a (morally-)good character? My view is that if - through our efforts - there is an acceptable body of information known as 'Ethical Science' and/or the 'Study of Moral Sense', parents [and primary-school teachers] would draw upon it to help shape character.

chaz wyman
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Re: Why all so-called rational moral systems are doomed to f

Post by chaz wyman » Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:02 am

Omniscientone wrote:If our morals aren't rational and more intuitive, then how do you believe they arose? Either answer seems to me to suggest objective morality. Do you believe in Objective Morality?

Also do you care to link me to the study. :D
The degree to which morals fail to fit, is the degree to which the idea of Objective Morality is false.
As moral systems have continued to change since the dawn of history, it is clear that with each succeeding generation morals have failed to fit and have changed. Morals change to accommodate the contingencies of a continually changing history and are therefore not remotely objective in any sense I can think of.

The claim that morals are objective stems either from a misunderstanding of morals, or a misunderstanding of objectivity - or both.

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Notvacka
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Re: Why all so-called rational moral systems are doomed to f

Post by Notvacka » Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:28 am

prof wrote:So empathy is built in to a normal person. And we do act first, and justify and rationalize it later. But if we have a good character our actions tend to be moral for the most part.
Yes.
prof wrote:The question then arises: how do we develop a (morally-)good character?
Yes. But I think the more important, and much more difficult question is: how do we develop a (morally) good society?

chaz wyman
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Re: Why all so-called rational moral systems are doomed to f

Post by chaz wyman » Wed Nov 07, 2012 4:48 pm

prof wrote:So empathy is built in to a normal person. And we do act first, and justify and rationalize it later. But if we have a good character our actions tend to be moral for the most part.
Person A can act in a morally good way that person B considers morally bad.
prof wrote:The question then arises: how do we develop a (morally-)good character?
The question is; who has the power to define what is morally good and what is morally right.

prof
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Re: Why all so-called rational moral systems are doomed to f

Post by prof » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:37 am

"None are so blind as those who will not see."

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