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In Defense of a Non-Natural Moral Order
#1
In Defense of a Non-Natural Moral Order
We're born perceiving the world and ourselves through our mind. 

Somethings we recognize as existing solely in our mind: the dinner I'm imagining having, my preferences in clothes and music, things we recognize as subjective. Then there are things we recognize as existing independently of our minds, the table in my room, the sun outside the window, the color of my wife's dress, the two red apples in the fruit basket, things we recognize as objective. 

Where does moral goodness and badness fit in? We (or atleast those like myself) seem to acknowledge that they appear as objective. They don't appear to us as matters of our personal taste and preference. The wrongness of the holocaust, isn't merely because I don't like it. It doesn't seem to be wrong because society says so either. The wrongness appears to exist independently of my subjective preferences, as well as societies opinion of it. It would appear to us as wrong, regardless of what society thought of it. Societies, like that of German society seem to incorporate some collective delusion to deny this, like a society deluded into believing in a moon landing conspiracy, rather than as a society with different taste in fashion. 

When I tell my daughter she did something morally wrong, I'm not telling her it's wrong because I said it is, or wrong because I don't like it, nor am I telling her it's wrong because society, and others say it is. It's wrong in and of itself. (Some might chime in and suggest it's wrong because it's determinental to well being, but this just pushes the question back one step further, to the wrongness of doing things determinental to well being).

Good and bad appear to us (minds like mine) to exist objectively, outside of our mind, not as some construct purely within them. More like the table in my room, the sun outside my window, or the two apples in the fruit basket, than my taste in music, or some subjective desire, or aim I assigned to myself, or society imposed on me. It also seem to difficult to define, like an object we can see in front of us, but can't seem to properly describe, where the words fail to carry the entirety of it's meaning. 

Yet, this objectiveness is peculiar, because it doesn't appear to be reducible to any set of natural (scientific of historical facts). We're not going to be able to dissect the holocaust into all its material facts, and find a property called badness among it. 

Goodness and Badness appear objective, but non-natural/immaterial, exist in the way one might say of Plato's Form of the Good. As part of some sort of transcendent moral order. 

This moral order appears to have a weight to it as well, like the pressure and tension one senses when touching or moving a table, or picking up a dumbbell. There seems to be a freedom to goodness, and imprisonment to badness. The Nazi's appear imprisoned, while Bonhoeffer appears to be free. 

When we do things that are bad, this tension, appears like a rebelling, a violation of some primordial principle, rather than a committing of some social faux pas, it produces guilt, resentment, defiance, a desire to justify ourselves through lies and delusions, a weight on our shoulders. Where goodness, seems to exist as liberating in a way that badness is not, along side honesty and truth, a clear conscious, etc...

The goodness of the civil rights movement, abolitionism, that badness of the lynching trees, of the holocaust, seem so profoundly real, in a way that seems more real than anything else, including you or I. It seems easier for me to deny your existence, than the existness of the goodness and badness here. 

I'm curious to hear others' thoughts on this?

(Just to be clear, this isn't an argument for God, or some sky wizard, but just for a transcendent moral order, a belief in which doesn't require you to believe in God. Attempts to make it about a God would likely to be dismissed or ignored)
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#2
RE: In Defense of a Non-Natural Moral Order
How does this address the different perceptions of good and bad in different cultures?  If morality were transcendent, wouldn't all cultures have the same notions as to what constitutes good and bad?

Boru
'A man is accepted into a church for what he believes.  He is turned out for what he knows.' - Mark Twain
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#3
RE: In Defense of a Non-Natural Moral Order
(August 22, 2019 at 10:08 am)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote: How does this address the different perceptions of good and bad in different cultures?  If morality were transcendent, wouldn't all cultures have the same notions as to what constitutes good and bad?

Boru

People across cultures do have what's a called core morality. One that's shared universally across culture, social and political environments, etc.. You can take a variety of moral questions, and learn that people across the board respond to them very similarly. This core morality seems to be the foundation for their moral views, even if some aspects verge out particularly unique ways among them, particular when they involve competing moral principles.
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#4
RE: In Defense of a Non-Natural Moral Order
(August 22, 2019 at 10:15 am)Acrobat Wrote:
(August 22, 2019 at 10:08 am)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote: How does this address the different perceptions of good and bad in different cultures?  If morality were transcendent, wouldn't all cultures have the same notions as to what constitutes good and bad?

Boru

People across cultures do have what's a called core morality. One that's shared universally across culture, social and political environments, etc.. You can take a variety of moral questions, and learn that people across the board respond to them very similarly. This core morality seems to be the foundation for their moral views, even if some aspects verge out particularly unique ways among them, particular when they involve competing moral principles.

But you're still not addressing those things which are assigned different moral values in different cultures.

Boru
'A man is accepted into a church for what he believes.  He is turned out for what he knows.' - Mark Twain
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#5
RE: In Defense of a Non-Natural Moral Order
Not again...
Nay_Sayer: “Nothing is impossible if you dream big enough, or in this case, nothing is impossible if you use a barrel of KY Jelly and a miniature horse.”

Wiser words were never spoken. 
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#6
RE: In Defense of a Non-Natural Moral Order
(August 22, 2019 at 10:31 am)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote:
(August 22, 2019 at 10:15 am)Acrobat Wrote: People across cultures do have what's a called core morality. One that's shared universally across culture, social and political environments, etc.. You can take a variety of moral questions, and learn that people across the board respond to them very similarly. This core morality seems to be the foundation for their moral views, even if some aspects verge out particularly unique ways among them, particular when they involve competing moral principles.

But you're still not addressing those things which are assigned different moral values in different cultures.

Boru

I'm addressing that commonality. Or what lays at the heart of that commonality. In other words I'm not arguing over moral epistemology, but moral ontology. 

I'm merely referring to the perception of morality as something objective to us, regardless if some of our moral views on certain subjects differ. There's far more we as a whole have in common, than not in common. Goodness Badness seem to be about uncovering truth, than figuring out our preferences.
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#7
RE: In Defense of a Non-Natural Moral Order
(August 22, 2019 at 10:01 am)Acrobat Wrote: ...
I'm curious to hear others' thoughts on this?
...

Do you want the long answer or the short answer?

The short version is the definition of morality:

An evolved, human governance / continuity management system.
This system is an evolved extension (in the cognitive domain) of the pre-human immune system, endocrine and limbic system architecture and requires an ethical baseline (requiring memory), emotion-based thresholds, event-detection (e.g. deception detectors; a conscience) and reasoning (hence consciousness). It is enabled / influenced by chemical inhibitors and inducers and social constraints and drivers.

A longer answer would include the interaction of the individual and the environment. It's the latter that gives the illusion of 'objective'.

If you want a complete answer, it would involve algorithms (how we get from sense data to ethics) and a tentative map of the above mentioned 'ethical baseline', which hints at an explanation for transcendence, holocausts etc. Lemme know if you're up for that level of detail.
The PURPOSE of life is to replicate our DNA ................. (from Darwin)
The MEANING of life is the experience of living ... (from Frank Herbert)
The VALUE of life is the legacy we leave behind ..... (from observation)
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#8
RE: In Defense of a Non-Natural Moral Order
I thought we've already discussed this?

Morality is what I say is right.
Immorality is what I say is wrong.
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#9
RE: In Defense of a Non-Natural Moral Order
[Image: maxresdefault.jpg]
God(s) and religions are man made and the bane of humanity. 

Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most. Ozzy or Twain/take your pick
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#10
RE: In Defense of a Non-Natural Moral Order
(August 22, 2019 at 10:31 am)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote:
(August 22, 2019 at 10:15 am)Acrobat Wrote: People across cultures do have what's a called core morality. One that's shared universally across culture, social and political environments, etc.. You can take a variety of moral questions, and learn that people across the board respond to them very similarly. This core morality seems to be the foundation for their moral views, even if some aspects verge out particularly unique ways among them, particular when they involve competing moral principles.

But you're still not addressing those things which are assigned different moral values in different cultures.

Boru

Addressing that, from the realist POV, doesn’t require any shared core. It’s simply accepted as an observed fact. Whatever the true nature™ of morality is, descriptive relativism is true.

Moral disagreement, as it’s called, however....doesn’t have much to say on whether or not there are moral facts. Like above, there would be disagreement no matter the true nature™ of morality. If there weren’t facts, obviously.....but even if there were.

The one is explained by the other. Culture has a profound influence on moral agents.

(This actually cuts both ways. If there were no moral disagreement whatsoever, that wouldn’t rule out intersubjectivity any more than it does so in a given cultures broad agreement.)
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for a battle to commence then KPLOW, I hit em with the illness of my quill, Im endowed..with certain unalienable skills....  

-ERB


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