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Is there an absolute morality?

Discussion in 'Ethics & Morality' started by Bradskii, Oct 23, 2021.

  1. stevevw

    stevevw inquisitive

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    But unlike other animals we have the ability to know right from wrong and have a sense of moral duty and to take responsibility for our actions.

    Humans have a moral sense because their biological makeup determines the presence of three necessary conditions for ethical behavior: (i) the ability to anticipate the consequences of one's own actions; (ii) the ability to make value judgments; and (iii) the ability to choose between alternative courses of action.
    human uniqueness | PNAS
     
  2. stevevw

    stevevw inquisitive

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    If you read the studies they state that moral behaviour was innate. That means its a natural part of being human. Some even say through evolution. So if thats the case then its something all humans inherit.

    Either way they state that this moral knowledge is something humans have just like how hunger is innate in humans. It states that this baby moral knowledge is the foundation for morality and lines up with adult morality. So it is something we all have and need unless the person hasnt got the capacity to know right from wrong.

    So the 25% difference you are talking about is not relating to some babies just not having this innate knowledge. Otherwise we would have to say that 25% of babies don't have the capacity to know right from wrong. That would be a silly consclusion as we know this is not the case. We all have a conscience. Only those without a conscience and have some mental disorder like a sociopath cannot know right from wrong.

    Infant’s expectations reflect an early-emerging concern for fairness. This possibility is consistent with recent speculation that a few socio moral norms-evolved to facilitate positive interactions and cooperation within social groups – are innate and universal though elaborated in various ways by cultures.
    (PDF) Do Infants Have a Sense of Fairness?

    People everywhere have some sense of right and wrong. You won’t find a society where people don’t have some notion of fairness, don’t put some value on loyalty and kindness, don’t distinguish between acts of cruelty and innocent mistakes, don’t categorize people as nasty or nice.
    All of this research, taken together, supports a general picture of baby morality.

    Babies probably have no conscious access to moral notions, no idea why certain acts are good or bad. They respond on a gut level.

    Morality, then, is a synthesis of the biological and the cultural, of the unlearned, the discovered and the invented. Babies possess certain moral foundations — the capacity and willingness to judge the actions of others, some sense of justice, gut responses to altruism and nastiness. Regardless of how smart we are, if we didn’t start with this basic apparatus, we would be nothing more than amoral agents, ruthlessly driven to pursue our self-interest.

    The Moral Life of Babies (Published 2010)

    The point made that babies know about morals on a gut level is interesting as this may relate to our intuition. We start out with this basic intuition already there. Then we can develop that and our intuition becomes more refined.

    Another interesting thing about this support is that it comes from other fields beside ethics like psychology and biology. So its findings seem to converge with other areas giving it more support.



     
  3. Ken-1122

    Ken-1122 Newbie

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    My bad; I must have mistaken you for somebody else.

    So…. You made the claim that Ice cream has intrinsic value because people value it. I retort humans valuing it does not make it intrinsically valuable, it has to have value in and of itself whether humans value it or not; and you claim I am making your point. Do you see the contradiction of your statements? IMO intrinsic value is a contradiction in terms because value has to be valued by others, and intrinsic means apart from others.
     
  4. Tinker Grey

    Tinker Grey Wanderer Supporter

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    It was a joke, a parody, a poe.
     
  5. Estrid

    Estrid Well-Known Member

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    Deletrd
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2021
  6. durangodawood

    durangodawood Dis Member

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    I dont understand how a thing could have value if no one values it.

    If value isnt a sort of regard that a being has for something.... then what is it?
     
  7. Estrid

    Estrid Well-Known Member

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    Lets look at it this way, by generalizing to food in,
    general
    Does food have intrinsic value?
    Kind of obvious answer in, as they say, mho.
    .
     
  8. VirOptimus

    VirOptimus A nihilist who cares.

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    Whenever you are shown to be wrong you just move the goalposts and continue.
     
  9. stevevw

    stevevw inquisitive

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    All I know is that it appears all ethical theories hold certain things as intrinsically valuable in one way or another. This is usually something like "Life" itself, happiness or human flourishing.

    Intrinsic value just means it doesnt depend on individuals or cultures to give it value. It has value in its own right. Like water for example. We can reason that water holds value as it sustains life not because we think it does but because it just does. The evdience is everywhere. Even before humans came along water has value for sustaining life.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2021
  10. stevevw

    stevevw inquisitive

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    Show me where I was shown to be wrong in my discussion with Moral Orel. The debate you stepped into was still about the same issue as to whether people can force others to conform besides morality.

    Moral Orel gave an example and I was refuting it. Thats what debate is about. He claims I changed the goal posts and I disagred so we were debating about that as well. He claims my link shows that 25% of children cannot know moral right and wrong and I disagree. I provided additional evdience to show that the studies actually say children have an innate knowledge of right and wrong. Innate means its inborn and natural and not something that some have and others don't.

    So we are making objections and argueing them out and no one is right or wrong at this stage. We were still on track until you stepped in with "humans are animals" which not only change the goal posts but topic as well.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2021
  11. VirOptimus

    VirOptimus A nihilist who cares.

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    You never accept that you are wrong.
     
  12. Estrid

    Estrid Well-Known Member

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    Not " anything" stolen. Depends on vircumstances.
     
  13. stevevw

    stevevw inquisitive

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    Ah is that whats its all about. Actually I have acknlwledge I am wrong many times. Come to think of it I don't think I have seen anyone admit they are wrong on this thread.

    But with issues like morality it has a history of both sides thinking they are right so no one admits their wrong. Thats their world view so each person is going to believe they are right. The ironic thing is under a subjective moral position I cannot be wrong anyway because my position that morals are objective would just be one of many views about morality and none would be wrong, "Just different".

    Yet it is you who are saying I am wrong in some truthful way without any evdience of that. So you are actually making a case that there has to be some right or wrong position for morality which means there must be someone must be mistaken. Thats why its important to have some support for assertions otherwise its just claim and counter claim in a never ending cycyle.
     
  14. VirOptimus

    VirOptimus A nihilist who cares.

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    .....

    No, thats not how it works. You seriously dont understand the different schools in moral philosophy.

    Have you even read Kant?
     
  15. stevevw

    stevevw inquisitive

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    Yes which means not everything has intrinsic value. We have to work out what has that value and what doesnt. The thing with food tastes is that it is subjective. One person may like chocolate and others don't for subjective reasons which can skew peoples thinking about values.

    Is it of real value independnt of peoples preferences, feelings ect or is this percieved value clouded by personal experiences. Whereas something like H2o can be seen as valuable in itself. Subjective feelings or preferences cannot devalue it because its value is seen in nature.

    Chocolate is the end product of other things. From what I understand the beans of cocoa plant taste horrible and bitter. So the chocolate we consume has been conccoted to cater to the market based on peoples desires and pleasure. So the value has more or less been created by marketers and is more like an a instrumental value.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2021
  16. Estrid

    Estrid Well-Known Member

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    Value is a human concept so value other than to people is meaningless.
     
  17. stevevw

    stevevw inquisitive

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    Yes I covers ethics in a couple of units at Uni as part of my degree in human services. This covered the basic like deonology (Kant) teleology (consequentialism) utalitarianism (Bentham, Mill) eudaemonism, and everything in between.
     
  18. stevevw

    stevevw inquisitive

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    I don't know about that. It seems all ethical theories make some things intrinsically valuable so its a fundelmental part of ethics.

    I think the debate is still open as to whether there are values beyond human subjective thinking. Nature seems to hold value in itself. We may come to appreciate or recognise that value. But to do that we must have the ability to value things and value them in degrees. So is this a case of part humans doing the valuing in their subjective way and part recognition of something of value outside humans innate in nature for example.

    If we look at nature and see water sustaining life, creatures with mechanism that allow them do all sorts of incredible things and ecosystems that work better than anything humans can make we would have to see some value in that in itself and not because some persons subjective view (which may be wrong) thinks its valuable. Logic tells us there more value in it than just what we think.
     
  19. VirOptimus

    VirOptimus A nihilist who cares.

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    Uhu, but have you read Kant?
     
  20. Moral Orel

    Moral Orel Proud Citizen of Moralton Supporter

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    There you go, now you're proving my point for me. These two sentences cannot both be true.
     
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