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Is morality consistent with the Humanism perspective?
Posted: 07 May 2010 06:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 166 ]
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Good, I can now stop thinking about it. Thanks, Occam.  grin

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Posted: 07 May 2010 11:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 167 ]
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George - 07 May 2010 08:47 AM
GdB - 07 May 2010 08:29 AM

[...] and able to reflection of future actions.

Disagree. I believe consciousness merely allows us to experience morality. The mechanism responsible for our future actions must happen at the unconscious level.

But don’t you see that this experience by being exactly this experience plays a causal role?

Take this example: say I have 2 completely different computers, e.g a PC and an IBM mainframe. Both have different programs running. I feed them with mathematical theorems and after a while just one character is show on the screen: a 0 or a 1. ‘0’ means true, ‘1’ means false, i.e. there is only one bit needed. Dependent on its truth or falsity, the person giving the theorems to the computer gets a cookie or not. Now how can we understand why he gets a cookie or not? The programs and the computers are completely different, so on a physical level nothing similarly happens. Still, both computers react with exactly the same 0 or 1. We well never be able to explain the ‘behaviour’ of the computers, save one: the idea of mathematical truth. Mathematical truth plays a causal role.

Now with morality it is similar, but not exactly the same. We can only understand morality, when it plays a causal role. The difference is that morality is not ‘truth capable’ in the same exact way as mathematical truth. It is very much related to the hardware (our bodies, its capability to suffer and to enjoy) and the software (culture and upbringing). But still hardware and software are not completely different. This is the basis that on one side the ‘computers’ can agree, on the other side, because their differences will continue, they will never get to a definitive agreement. Morality exists, because it plays a causal role. But it is not absolute, because the computers will never come to a final agreement (chances are even worse when there are 7 billion of them). But both computers are physical entities, the currents in it can be explained physically, but this explanation does not explain the morality, and surely does not explain it away.

Another way of seeing it is this: a (future) neurologist finds out exactly what happens in our brain when we are thinking about moral questions. How could he recognise this, when he did not have an idea from the beginning what morality is? And as next question he thinks about the possibilities this knowledge would give him. What m-ought he to with it? And so he realises that with his knowledge he did not get rid of morality only one tiny bit…

GdB

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Posted: 08 May 2010 12:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 168 ]
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GdB - 02 May 2010 11:36 PM
VYAZMA - 02 May 2010 10:54 AM
VYAZMA - 02 May 2010 07:35 AM

What we need to discuss is the mechanism inside humans that allows us to attribute “magical” properties to otherwise naturally occurring behavioral responses. This so called “moral dimension”.

The ‘moral dimension’ is supervening on the living brain, as is a story on inkspots (or pixels). Or propagating air pressure differences (also called sound).

No! Not you too? Are you joking about this? I thought you didn’t believe this kind of stuff.

So if you are standing for a big decision, you are investigating your brain? Or are you considering pro and contra arguments? And what is the difference between a random field of black and white pixels and the arguments we are interchanging here? From a pure material view it is the same, dark and white spots! You seem to fall in exactly the fallacy that was Doug talking about earlier in the thread: that moral properties in order to exist must exist ontologically independently.
I don’t belief in magical stuff: but I live in a world where cars, laws, consciousness, beauty, meaning, morality and love exist. Even if their physical basis is of course matter that behaves according natural laws. But explaining them in terms of the underlying material basis does not explain them away. And such explanations do not help us a bit when we must decide for an action in a certain situation.

GdB

In the sentence above: ‘Or are you considering pro and contra arguments?’ My whole perspective on this can be summed up like this- What is the difference between “You”(in that sentence) and “pro and contra arguments”(in that sentence)?
The fallacy is to assume that there is a “you” viewing these pro and contra arguments. That a “you” is supervening on these “arguments”.
By the way I learned the word “supervening” from you. Thanks alot!

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Posted: 09 May 2010 03:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 169 ]
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But both ‘me’ and ‘arguments’ exist: but of course they do not exist independently. Theyare implemented on the brain, in texts, pixels, black spots on paper. That they are ‘me’ and ‘arguments’ can only be seen on a ‘higher’ level.

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Posted: 15 May 2010 05:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 170 ]
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What a roaring silence…

GdB

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Posted: 16 May 2010 08:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 171 ]
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GdB - 09 May 2010 03:15 AM

But both ‘me’ and ‘arguments’ exist: but of course they do not exist independently. Theyare implemented on the brain, in texts, pixels, black spots on paper. That they are ‘me’ and ‘arguments’ can only be seen on a ‘higher’ level.

GdB

Sorry but I don’t understand this statement.
What does “implemented on the brain mean”? What is the “higher level”?

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Posted: 16 May 2010 10:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 172 ]
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VYAZMA - 16 May 2010 08:24 AM
GdB - 09 May 2010 03:15 AM

But both ‘me’ and ‘arguments’ exist: but of course they do not exist independently. Theyare implemented on the brain, in texts, pixels, black spots on paper. That they are ‘me’ and ‘arguments’ can only be seen on a ‘higher’ level.

GdB

Sorry but I don’t understand this statement.
What does “implemented on the brain mean”? What is the “higher level”?

You do not see the computer program when you are looking a single bits only. The computer program is the higher level, the bits the lower level.

GdB

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