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 Clean Slate Ethics and Morality

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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Clean Slate Ethics and Morality   30.05.09 18:43

The rules (for this thread, at least):

1. No discussion pertaining to any deity, whatsoever. "Because god/bible/whatever said so" is not a CS approach, and thus doesn't belong in a CSCS website. There are always other threads, though.

2. Nothing should be without a reason. IOW, I think...Because... . I consider this to be one of the biggest flaws in current ethical theory (Although at this point, calling it a theory would probably be an insult to science). You can say "I think it's a good thing to feed the poor" in current ethics. For backup, "Don't you agree?" This is the bandwagon fallacy, in its worst manifestation. (Tirade over).

3. Hmmm... I guess remember that this is the CS- throw everything we have thought to this point out.

Of course, I have my own ideas, but then I think I'll wait a few posts to actually write them, and I would like to hear some other ideas, since it would be a good check on my own.
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Locksley



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate Ethics and Morality   30.05.09 21:40

Logically, I think Jesus Christ had it right with the Golden Rule. "Do to other people what you want done to yourself." You can base pretty much an entire moral philosophy on this.

Hold on, am I allowed to discuss what previous philosophers have said? Or do we have to come up with everything on our own, a la your clean slate interpretation?
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate Ethics and Morality   31.05.09 5:54

Locksley wrote:
Logically, I think Jesus Christ had it right with the Golden Rule. "Do to other people what you want done to yourself." You can base pretty much an entire moral philosophy on this.
Until you try applying it to a sadist. Or a follower of the crocodile God, who wants to be thrown to the crocodiles.

Meaning we need another rule, which we can take from the Hippocratic oath. 'First, do no harm.' With those two, we've got it sorted.

Until you need to decide what harm is. Then you have to add a third 'Do not do to someone what they don't want done to them'. That almost has it covered...

Unless the person can't communicate very well. Then you get back to the second, and have to decide what harm is.

Hopefully you can spawn your rights from those three. However, how do you get the right to free speech from them? You could argue it's more of a 'don't do this' system rather than a 'do this' system, then apply the 'if it's not banned, it's allowed' way of thinking.
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate Ethics and Morality   31.05.09 8:40

Locksley- feel free to bring any philosophers in, as long as their words are not considered law (Well, I know it probably goes without saying, but it couldn't hurt to preserve the "Clean Slate-ness" of this thread)

The killer question, for most moral theories, is "Why?". Therefore, that's what I'll ask.

Why should one Do to other people what you want done to yourself?

etc.

The problem with morality as I see it, and it goes much deeper than the codifying of the rules, is that there is no support for what people think "Good" is. To use the example in my first post, "It is good to feed the poor" Why? "Because it benefits them." Why does that matter? "Because it's the right thing to do." Why?

I don't think that there is an answer in this case, or at least no using moral structures as they really exist.
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Locksley



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate Ethics and Morality   31.05.09 14:22

You both raise good points.

For example, "good" could be interpreted as good of the entire human species. You could measure the success of a species by its population size, range, etc. In that case, rape/murder can be justified if it's best for the long-term survival of the species.

However, I think most people will disagree and choose to follow the theory of good as it applies to the individual and the community.
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate Ethics and Morality   31.05.09 15:19

Well, I say that using that justification, neither are true. I evaluate morals on the same level that I evaluate anything scientific, technological, societal, or even religious. It must answer a series of successive "Why's".

Call me a Nihilist, and in some senses, I am, but neither of these is correct without ample backup, and I have yet to find any.
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate Ethics and Morality   01.06.09 6:19

Morality based entirely on evolution comes down to: 'what offers me maximum chance of reproducing succesfully, and having offspring that do the same?' Humans are different, in that they sometimes deliberatly choose not to reproduce etc, and adopt strategies that offer greater chance for unrelated people to reproduce at the expense of their own reproduction.

Morality isn't rational. Anyway, you still haven't answered my suggestion for a moral system.

NoMoreLies wrote:
Locksley wrote:
Logically, I think Jesus Christ had it right with the Golden Rule. "Do to other people what you want done to yourself." You can base pretty much an entire moral philosophy on this.
Until you try applying it to a sadist. Or a follower of the crocodile God, who wants to be thrown to the crocodiles.

Meaning we need another rule, which we can take from the Hippocratic oath. 'First, do no harm.' With those two, we've got it sorted.

Until you need to decide what harm is. Then you have to add a third 'Do not do to someone what they don't want done to them'. That almost has it covered...

Unless the person can't communicate very well. Then you get back to the second, and have to decide what harm is.

Hopefully you can spawn your rights from those three. However, how do you get the right to free speech from them? You could argue it's more of a 'don't do this' system rather than a 'do this' system, then apply the 'if it's not banned, it's allowed' way of thinking.
There's no actually rationality behind it, yes, but it's fair and just.
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate Ethics and Morality   01.06.09 14:21

You want my answer?

A horrible mess just like every other system mankind has invented so far. It is, however, less self contradictory than what is in use today.

You've done a decent job of defining 'good' as it is generally seen, but there is still the question- Why do what's good?

Without a reason, fair and just are no better and no worse than unfair and unjust.

"Morality isn't rational"- I couldn't have said it better myself. There is no evidence as to why what is good is good, no particular reason. Therefore, it seems rational to put it in the realm of pink unicorns and fairies.

I propose an alternative to morality. One's life is a work of art, and one can make what one wishes with it. Of course my outlook will be different from yours, will be different from locksley's, will be different from anyone else's. However, there is only one "Why?" tbat can be asked. Two, I suppose. 1- Why is it a work of art?. The reason, from my outlook, is that everything humans do is art- art being defined as something made to be pleasing in some way, shape, or form, preferably an aesthetic sense.

The second "Why?" is "Why should I make my life/art aesthetically pleasing?"- and the answer is merely personal pleasure. If nothing else, there is suicide for those who don't care about their life/art.
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate Ethics and Morality   01.06.09 14:31

Okay. My life 'art' consists of making you miserable. I have a gun, and will shoot you if you try to stop me. Under your idea, what I'm doing is not wrong, so why shouldn't I?
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate Ethics and Morality   01.06.09 14:34

Absolutely correct, actually.

My life/art is contrary to that, so we would fight it out, or I would call the police, etc.

Edit: Reducio ad absurdum it may be, but valid nonetheless.
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate Ethics and Morality   01.06.09 14:37

But what gives the police the moral authority to stop me? What laws allow them to stop me? If you have laws, on what morality are you basing them, since you don't seem to like basing them on irratioanl morality?
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate Ethics and Morality   01.06.09 14:40

Actually, they have no moral authority to stop you. But in today's society it is illegal nonetheless, so I would use it to my advantage.
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate Ethics and Morality   01.06.09 14:44

Oh, so we've gone from talking about a CSCS to modern society?
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate Ethics and Morality   01.06.09 20:46

No, I was just pointing out that in today's society there are police to stop you from doing that, and I have no compunction to calling for help from then. In our clean slate I would call for help from other sources as well, or we could fight it out.
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate Ethics and Morality   02.06.09 3:52

Nihilistic Anarchy?

What kind of system is hat to use for a Cleansl;ate Citystate?! Besides, anarchy is the leaast stable form of government.
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate Ethics and Morality   02.06.09 21:09

Actually, no. My point is just that morality is entirely subjective. People have power because people give them power, and I think that if people could agree on a way to govern themselves, they would surrender their power to whoever it is.

It is entirely subjective- just because you recognize that other people have different ideologies, and those are just as valid as yours are, doesn't mean that you follow them. If my ideology is one of a Fascist, for whatever reason (although it's not), then I would support State Command Capitalism, and the removal of whatever rights the fascist leader calls for, although I recognize that libertarians dislike that.
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Locksley



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate Ethics and Morality   02.06.09 21:57

Surely morality isn't entirely subjective. What we need to decide upon are basic values and guidelines that a majority of people would find reasonable. I say majority rather than all, due to the fact that there are sadists,masochists, and what have you.
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate Ethics and Morality   03.06.09 4:09

Redsand11j wrote:
It is entirely subjective- just because you recognize that other people have different ideologies, and those are just as valid as yours are, doesn't mean that you follow them. If my ideology is one of a Fascist, for whatever reason (although it's not), then I would support State Command Capitalism, and the removal of whatever rights the fascist leader calls for, although I recognize that libertarians dislike that.
Yet you don't support a federal system, in which you could have your own ideology alongside other peoples, and if you changed your beliefs you could merely change state?

I recognise two rights: the right not to be harmed, and the right to move to somewhere with similar political ideology.
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