The basis of ethics and morality

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Re: The basis of ethics and morality

Postby andrewclunn » Sun Aug 16, 2009 7:47 pm UTC

Yes, but everything you just listed outside of family is gotten through purchases and exchange rather than community. And nobody gets to choose who their family is.
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Re: The basis of ethics and morality

Postby Kargoroth » Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:39 pm UTC

Yes but consider the level of cooperation needed for internet for example.

You need some ideas that go beyond personal motivation to get anything like complex todays society. Things to teach your children for example ;)
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Re: The basis of ethics and morality

Postby andrewclunn » Tue Aug 18, 2009 6:39 am UTC

Kargoroth wrote:Yes but consider the level of cooperation needed for internet for example.

You need some ideas that go beyond personal motivation to get anything like complex todays society. Things to teach your children for example ;)


I don't think that's true. The homeschooling material market is booming and private schools are out performing public schools in mass. And what of the internet? The last time I checked, ads and other revenue service are what enable most sites to exist. Or perhaps that's not what you were referring to?
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Re: The basis of ethics and morality

Postby Outchanter » Tue Aug 18, 2009 3:37 pm UTC

andrewclunn wrote:Rather than build morality around how you want the world to be, it's much better to build it around the kind of person you want to be.

Isn't that in itself a statement about how you want the world to be, and therefore a contradiction?

Since individuals interact with the world, I don't think individual morality can truly be separated from worldwide morality.

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Re: The basis of ethics and morality

Postby andrewclunn » Tue Aug 18, 2009 3:49 pm UTC

Sure it can, because I have control (well at least I claim to have control) over my own actions, but not the actions of the others. Therefore, I may select my actions based upon a desired outcome outside of myself, but the basis of morality would do better to be introspective by nature.
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Re: The basis of ethics and morality

Postby Outchanter » Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:45 pm UTC

andrewclunn wrote:Sure it can, because I have control (well at least I claim to have control) over my own actions, but not the actions of the others. Therefore, I may select my actions based upon a desired outcome outside of myself, but the basis of morality would do better to be introspective by nature.

All moral systems target the actions of the people who believe in them - even if those actions include attempting to convert others to the same moral system. All moral systems rely on people's willingness to follow them - even if this is only because obeying is preferable to outside punishment. So how is what you suggest different from other moral systems?

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Re: The basis of ethics and morality

Postby andrewclunn » Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:55 pm UTC

The difference in the moral system I'm advocating is not that it is focused on the 'follower' as opposed to changing the outside world. Many belief systems are like that. I am stating that those systems that derive morality from ethics, rather than the other way around (the ends justify the means rather than judging the morality of an action based on principles) will be very prone to misdirection and foolish heuristics. This was done to point out (what I see) as a fundamental flaw in morality systems like Utilitarianism. i am not claiming that the morality I advocate is the only self-analytical morality. I am simply claiming that self-analytic moralities are superior to consequence based moralities.
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Re: The basis of ethics and morality

Postby Outchanter » Tue Aug 18, 2009 5:18 pm UTC

I think consequence based arguments may be unavoidable. Even "we should follow self-analytic moralities because they're superior" sounds quite utilitarian at heart.

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Re: The basis of ethics and morality

Postby andrewclunn » Tue Aug 18, 2009 6:09 pm UTC

Outchanter wrote:I think consequence based arguments may be unavoidable. Even "we should follow self-analytic moralities because they're superior" sounds quite utilitarian at heart.


Oh, it's not that I'm opposed to consequence driven argument. But if evidence shows us that human beings operate better from a set of principles than from attempting to foresee the consequences of their actions in relation to guiding humanity toward a set goal. In other words, if some people say A is right and other people say achieving B is right, but following A is more effective at achieving B than actively attempting to consciously achieve B, then A is superior to B by both the standards of those who believe in A and those who believe in achieving B.
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Re: The basis of ethics and morality

Postby Kargoroth » Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:30 pm UTC

I do not think that there is necessarily a contradiction between consequence based ethics and principle based ethics, i see them merely as different viewpoints from which to aproach the basic questions "how should i act?" and "what should be our common consensus upon ethics be?"

To even know what we consider desirable we need to view ethics consequenceswise, as in "what are desirable consequences of our and other's actions and by extension of a valid ethic", what do we expect from them to achieve for us and others; on the other hand, to be able to express and to communicate those things, we need to abstract from these particular pleasant/unpleasant consequences to general principles; thus the necessety for general, imprecise guidelines...

Neither approach takes precedence over the other. The information loss/granularity associated with the process of abstracting from particular to general principles implies that sometimes obvious particular consequences demand for principles to be overridden, for example lieing to save lives or resisting an unjust law etc. Likewise one is often compelled to let momentary personal inconvenience or disadvantage slide for the greater good or longterm benefit of upholding a principle, even if it means no reward whatsoever, like respecting the rights of people we actually hate or something similar. Also, it is often (even most of the time) impossible to appraise the longterm consequences of a particular action in a chaotic world, but principles which are likely being followed by all provide the much needed stability with which one can navigate that chaos. It seems one can not escape those Hofstadterian strange loops in a formal system :)

That brings me to the limitation of strictly individualistic approach to ethics. It seems to me that building an ethic solely upon ones individual viewpoint is a little like trying to explain the function of a computer solely with the functional principle of a semiconductor transistor and electromagnetic equations, missing such concepts like "hard drive", "ram", "mainboard" and "monitor".

It sometimes seems to me that consequence based ethic is related to personal motivation, the basic level approach, and principle base ethics are related to the more emergent phenomena of group dynamics and communication, a more high level approach which by the virtue of its abstractness is more error prone but necessary nevertheless if one is trying to achieve any division of labor at all, not to mention this whole zoon politikon, human as a per definition social entity, thing.
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Re: The basis of ethics and morality

Postby Gumbo123 » Thu May 13, 2010 9:14 pm UTC

Utilitarianism--maximize happiness, minimize pain.
I think this is the only objective system because happiness is the only thing we perceive (as opposed to infer) as good. Most other moral systems seem to be based on intuition, and I don't know why that's a reliable criterion.

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Re: The basis of ethics and morality

Postby Dark567 » Thu May 13, 2010 9:24 pm UTC

Gumbo123 wrote:Utilitarianism--maximize happiness, minimize pain.
I think this is the only objective system because happiness is the only thing we perceive (as opposed to infer) as good. Most other moral systems seem to be based on intuition, and I don't know why that's a reliable criterion.



Happiness was just developed via natural selection though. (ie. those that did things that made them survive, and then got a good feeling, were more likely to survive then those that didn't). Once happiness and pain are viewed through this lens, they don't really seem to have any intrinsic moral value. They seem to be instrumentally valuable in making sure our species continues. This though is as you said something that we just intuitively believe is good, not something we have any evidence to prove.
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Re: The basis of ethics and morality

Postby Gumbo123 » Thu May 13, 2010 9:35 pm UTC

Happiness was just developed via natural selection though. (ie. those that did things that made them survive, and then got a good feeling, were more likely to survive then those that didn't). Once happiness and pain are viewed through this lens, they don't really seem to have any intrinsic moral value. They seem to be instrumentally valuable in making sure our species continues. This though is as you said something that we just intuitively believe is good, not something we have any evidence to prove.


Why does having traceable origins make happiness irrelevant? It is logically impossible not to feel that happiness is a good thing--happiness's value is something we objectively observe, which a distinct from an intuitive inference.
Even if that's not the case, I've yet to see a convincing rational argument for another moral framework.

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Re: The basis of ethics and morality

Postby snapshot182 » Thu May 13, 2010 9:54 pm UTC

Gumbo123 wrote:Utilitarianism--maximize happiness, minimize pain.
I think this is the only objective system because happiness is the only thing we perceive (as opposed to infer) as good. Most other moral systems seem to be based on intuition, and I don't know why that's a reliable criterion.
The process by which achieve happiness and minimize pain--the acts which are to be deemed moral or immoral--are left up to opinion. That's why it's not an objective moral system.

I think a stateless society would be the best possible existence for individuals, with all people living free from the tyranny of governments and free to live their lives without force or fraud being perpetrated upon them. A huge number of people disagree. I still think that anarchy would be for the greater good. So what? That doesn't mean that my opinion is better than yours. If I can't convince you, so what? You can't convince me that your system is better either. And we go back and forth.

That's why utilitarianism is not objective. It solely relies on the opinion of what is good. If there was an objective standard for good, then we would just do that, but then that wouldn't be utilitarianism.

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Re: The basis of ethics and morality

Postby Gumbo123 » Thu May 13, 2010 10:38 pm UTC

The process by which achieve happiness and minimize pain--the acts which are to be deemed moral or immoral--are left up to opinion. That's why it's not an objective moral system.

I think that's a separate question--morals are just goals, and the means to reach those goals is a different subject. If happiness is the only desirable thing, then utilitarianism is valid, regardless of how we go about implementing it.
Anyway, there are objective ways to formulate such a means, like science.

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Re: The basis of ethics and morality

Postby Dark567 » Fri May 14, 2010 2:39 am UTC

Gumbo123 wrote:
Why does having traceable origins make happiness irrelevant? It is logically impossible not to feel that happiness is a good thing--happiness's value is something we objectively observe, which a distinct from an intuitive inference.
Even if that's not the case, I've yet to see a convincing rational argument for another moral framework.


Yes but we objectively observe it not because it is morally good, but because it was selected via natural processes. What I am arguing is that there simply is no rational argument for any moral framework.
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Re: The basis of ethics and morality

Postby Vox Imperatoris » Fri May 14, 2010 3:05 am UTC

Dark567 wrote:
Gumbo123 wrote:
Why does having traceable origins make happiness irrelevant? It is logically impossible not to feel that happiness is a good thing--happiness's value is something we objectively observe, which a distinct from an intuitive inference.
Even if that's not the case, I've yet to see a convincing rational argument for another moral framework.


Yes but we objectively observe it not because it is morally good, but because it was selected via natural processes. What I am arguing is that there simply is no rational argument for any moral framework.


What would be a standard that is acceptable? That the good is intrinsic, existing as the good apart from any reason but its mystically inherent goodness? Our values, our standard of the good, do not have to be intrinsic to be valid. Our standard of value is life: by making the most basic choice of life over death, it becomes necessary to take certain actions in order to preserve life. That is our standard: what furthers our life as rational beings, and what hinders or opposes it? Our purpose is our own happiness: we achieve happiness by pursuing the actions befitting of a rational creature, by engaging our minds to make those decisions which will exercise our fullest potential. When we ask if an action is good or not, we are asking whether or not it objectively fits our purpose of extending life and affirming values that support life. This is a real, observable distinction: it either does or it doesn't (here is the distinction between our purpose and our standard: by pursing "happiness" without first establishing what brings it is putting the cart in front of the horse). The evil is simply another word for that which causes death and the degradation of life. The fact that we arose naturally instead of being plopped down ex nihilo doesn't even factor into the equation. It is an absolute that if we choose to live the life available to us on earth, we must take action to advance it, and this is the basis of ethics and morality.
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Re: The basis of ethics and morality

Postby snapshot182 » Sat May 15, 2010 10:32 pm UTC

Gumbo123 wrote:
The process by which achieve happiness and minimize pain--the acts which are to be deemed moral or immoral--are left up to opinion. That's why it's not an objective moral system.

I think that's a separate question--morals are just goals, and the means to reach those goals is a different subject. If happiness is the only desirable thing, then utilitarianism is valid, regardless of how we go about implementing it.
Anyway, there are objective ways to formulate such a means, like science.

I have to contend that morals are not goals. Morals are arguments containing the word ought. You can have valid or invalid moral arguments.

I would say happiness is the goal. It's been said, "You don't achieve happiness in order to achieve something else." However, going about this is different for everyone. You could try to maximize happiness for all in some manner, but not everyone would like it. So the very idea that utilitarianism can be a moral system implodes when it's implemented as an ethical theory, unless people are left to their own devices--and not under some overarching government which attempts to maximize happiness--making utilitarianism pointless.

Condensed: If the goal of utilitarianism is to maximize happiness, then you ought not implement utilitarian ethics in society.

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Re: The basis of ethics and morality

Postby Dark567 » Sun May 16, 2010 1:24 am UTC

Vox Imperatoris wrote:What would be a standard that is acceptable? That the good is intrinsic, existing as the good apart from any reason but its mystically inherent goodness? Our values, our standard of the good, do not have to be intrinsic to be valid. Our standard of value is life: by making the most basic choice of life over death, it becomes necessary to take certain actions in order to preserve life. That is our standard: what furthers our life as rational beings, and what hinders or opposes it? Our purpose is our own happiness: we achieve happiness by pursuing the actions befitting of a rational creature, by engaging our minds to make those decisions which will exercise our fullest potential. When we ask if an action is good or not, we are asking whether or not it objectively fits our purpose of extending life and affirming values that support life. This is a real, observable distinction: it either does or it doesn't (here is the distinction between our purpose and our standard: by pursing "happiness" without first establishing what brings it is putting the cart in front of the horse). The evil is simply another word for that which causes death and the degradation of life. The fact that we arose naturally instead of being plopped down ex nihilo doesn't even factor into the equation. It is an absolute that if we choose to live the life available to us on earth, we must take action to advance it, and this is the basis of ethics and morality.


Our standard of value is life? That seems to be making an intrinsic value out of life. Even if you say that we choose life and therefore should advance it, that is still a claim that our choices are intrinsically valuable. It is impossible to have any form of ethics(particularly any form of objective ethics) without resorting to an intrinsic value. You yourself above make about have a dozen things intrinsically valuable. Not only that but you fail to realize that someone could choose life, and then choose to be unhappy. You can't justify a need to be happy just by saying someone choose life.

A: I choose life
B:?
Therefore:
C: I should pursue my happiness.

This is pretty basic logic here, and even in the above, I am either making my choice or life intrinsically valuable.
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Re: The basis of ethics and morality

Postby Gumbo123 » Sun May 16, 2010 1:58 am UTC

I have to contend that morals are not goals. Morals are arguments containing the word ought. You can have valid or invalid moral arguments.

I would say happiness is the goal. It's been said, "You don't achieve happiness in order to achieve something else." However, going about this is different for everyone. You could try to maximize happiness for all in some manner, but not everyone would like it. So the very idea that utilitarianism can be a moral system implodes when it's implemented as an ethical theory, unless people are left to their own devices--and not under some overarching government which attempts to maximize happiness--making utilitarianism pointless.

Condensed: If the goal of utilitarianism is to maximize happiness, then you ought not implement utilitarian ethics in society.


First, I'm not sure what the distinction between goals and ought-arguments is. If the logic of utilitarianism is true, we ought to do whatever does the greatest good for the greatest number of people.
Second, you seem to be advocating rule utilitarianism, which is a kind of utilitarianism--obey the set of rules that maximizes utility.

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Re: The basis of ethics and morality

Postby nitePhyyre » Sun May 16, 2010 9:00 am UTC

snapshot182 wrote:I would say happiness is the goal. It's been said, "You don't achieve happiness in order to achieve something else." However, going about this is different for everyone. You could try to maximize happiness for all in some manner, but not everyone would like it. So the very idea that utilitarianism can be a moral system implodes when it's implemented as an ethical theory, unless people are left to their own devices--and not under some overarching government which attempts to maximize happiness--making utilitarianism pointless.

Condensed: If the goal of utilitarianism is to maximize happiness, then you ought not implement utilitarian ethics in society.

Dude, ethical frameworks aren't political frameworks. The question "What should the average man do in his day-to-day interactions with others?" is not answered with "Not be interfered with by a government."

snapshot182 wrote:The process by which achieve happiness and minimize pain--the acts which are to be deemed moral or immoral--are left up to opinion. That's why it's not an objective moral system. [...]
That's why utilitarianism is not objective. It solely relies on the opinion of what is good. If there was an objective standard for good, then we would just do that, but then that wouldn't be utilitarianism.

I don't understand the criticism here. Is it that utilitarianism doesn't spell out all the details of every single thing you should or shouldn't do? Or is it basically a complaint about the fact that utilitarianism asks one to make decisions with incomplete information?

I think any ethical framework that deals primarily with outcomes rather than actions will have such a problem.

Personally I like utilitarianism. Although I think it is very immature in its current form. Any system that purports to be based on "happiness" without a thorough discussion of dopamine, serotonin, fMRIs, etc. is fundamentally flawed.
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Re: The basis of ethics and morality

Postby morriswalters » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:31 pm UTC

I was unsure about how to enter this discussion. So I thought that I would put forth a statement of what I believe as a starting point.

I believe that Ethics/Morals are social constructs developed by societies to reduce conflicts thereby making it easier to live in groups. They have no absolute meaning outside of those societies. This assumes that groups are survival mechanisms which give the individual greater control over his environment then he would have on his own. For the individual, reproduction is the only absolute moral behavior if you believe that children are the point of our existence. All behaviors which support reproduction would be considered moral. All behaviors which interfere with reproduction are immoral or amoral. All other Ethics/Morals are abstractions or extensions of that behavior. The idea that Ethics/Morals are social constructs can be tested by trying to state a moral position that involves your behavior alone with no societal context. Think of it this way. You are the last man(or woman) on earth. Is there anything you can do that can be classified as absolutely immoral or unethical without the mirror of some other being to judge the behavior? In terms of commonalities among various societies, it is fairly easy to come up with "universal" Ethics/Morals that would be common to all groups. Most of the "Ten Commandments" could be considered "universal" ideals, since they discourage behaviors which could cause the group to fail in it's function. It's arguable that the parts of the "Ten Commandments" referring to God also serve this goal since competing theologies in one society are disruptive. This is what I believe.

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Re: The basis of ethics and morality

Postby Dark567 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:43 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:I was unsure about how to enter this discussion. So I thought that I would put forth a statement of what I believe as a starting point.

I believe that Ethics/Morals are social constructs developed by societies to reduce conflicts thereby making it easier to live in groups. They have no absolute meaning outside of those societies. This assumes that groups are survival mechanisms which give the individual greater control over his environment then he would have on his own. For the individual, reproduction is the only absolute moral behavior if you believe that children are the point of our existence. All behaviors which support reproduction would be considered moral. All behaviors which interfere with reproduction are immoral or amoral. ....


So your okay with rape?

I ask that seriously. If you say that the only thing that is moral is to reproduce, it follows that people who cannot attract a mate, should force matting upon someone.(This was actually suggested as a evolutionary source of rape in a college course of mine)
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Re: The basis of ethics and morality

Postby morriswalters » Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:42 pm UTC

Is reproduction what you think that rape is about? That's interesting. Okay, I'll play. If reproduction is the point of the rape than it is moral for the rapist. However not for the group. The stability of the group comes from not having to defend the pairings within the group. By offering this to members of the group, the ability to work on tasks is enhanced since pairings do not need to be defended all the time. Thus the basic tension where individual needs are balanced against the welfare of the group. The attitude of modern Christians to the children of rape is an example of this, the outcome of the act is moral, that is the child. The Ethical problem lies in not acting in the best interests of the group.

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Re: The basis of ethics and morality

Postby Salamander21 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:37 am UTC

Ok, I was intrigued to see a mention of Ayn Rand in this discussion, and as I consider myself an objectivist, I'd like to address some issues regarding logic.
Why is logic logical?

Ayn Rand explains logic very well, starting with the assumption that A is A.
"Logic is the art of non-contradictory identification. A contradiction cannot exist. An atom is itself, and so is the universe; neither can contradict its own identity; nor can a part contradict the whole."
Essentially, everything is itself, and not anything else.
Another assumption: Existence exists.
If you can read that, then your consciousness exists. Consciousness is what perceives that which exists, so that means that the words "Existence exists" also exist. This can be applied to anything; anything that your consciousness perceives exists.
Question: But when a person dreams, their consciousness perceives things that don't necessarily exist.
Answer: A consciousness is the collection of senses which convey external stimuli to the consciousness, external stimuli from other things that exist. When a person dreams, the things that they perceive are not the result of any external stimuli, meaning that they are not conscious, which is true; they are asleep.

Rand then writes: "No concept man forms is valid unless he integrates it without contradiction into the total sum of his knowledge."
(His knowledge being information conveyed to his fully conscious consciousness by his functioning senses.)
So logic is using the mind to create a concept of existence devoid of any contradictions.

I read somewhere earlier in the discussion someone ask how logic is possible, saying something like "In order to prove that logic exists, you must use logic, which is circular reasoning"

In answer to the argument that to prove logic one needs logic, I say this:
That argument attempts to use logic to disprove the existence of logic. To claim that that argument is true is to assume that it is false. This is obviously not possible, therefore the argument that logic does not exist is a contradiction, meaning it is false, meaning logic exists. This implies two possibilities, a world which I describe, in which there is no contradiction, and a world that is entirely contradiction. However, the very fact the you can read this means that this sentence and argument exist, which means that it is not a contradiction, that it is what it is (A is A), and that therefore there is an objective reality which can be observed using the senses and interpreted using logic.

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Re: The basis of ethics and morality

Postby morriswalters » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:50 pm UTC

Salamander21 wrote:Ok, I was intrigued to see a mention of Ayn Rand in this discussion, and as I consider myself an objectivist, I'd like to address some issues regarding logic.
Why is logic logical?


What does the question "Why is logic logical?" mean?
I would interpret to mean why is the study of reasoning ?rational?

Salamander21 wrote:Ayn Rand explains logic very well, starting with the assumption that A is A.
"Logic is the art of non-contradictory identification. A contradiction cannot exist. An atom is itself, and so is the universe; neither can contradict its own identity; nor can a part contradict the whole."
Essentially, everything is itself, and not anything else.


Would this be the same as saying that if you follow a chain of conclusions produced using logic and that the chain fails if any link fails? Or restated, reasoning is only as good as the assumptions which produce it. If not could you clarify?

Salamander21 wrote:Another assumption: Existence exists.
If you can read that, then your consciousness exists. Consciousness is what perceives that which exists, so that means that the words "Existence exists" also exist. This can be applied to anything; anything that your consciousness perceives exists.
Question: But when a person dreams, their consciousness perceives things that don't necessarily exist.
Answer: A consciousness is the collection of senses which convey external stimuli to the consciousness, external stimuli from other things that exist. When a person dreams, the things that they perceive are not the result of any external stimuli, meaning that they are not conscious, which is true; they are asleep.


This argument is fallacious. It fails when the chain breaks at the phrase "anything your consciousness perceives exists." It is certainly possible to demonstrate activities which your definition fails to take into account. Auditory or visual hallucinations for one. Since they occur while your awake and can be the result of external stimuli. An example would be nitrogen narcosis. The fallacy occurs because you have no reliable way to test your senses. So you can say "I think therefore I am." and it is a valid statement since the only thing needed to prove it is the thought, beyond that point you have to accept without proof.

Salamander21 wrote:Rand then writes: "No concept man forms is valid unless he integrates it without contradiction into the total sum of his knowledge."
(His knowledge being information conveyed to his fully conscious consciousness by his functioning senses.)
So logic is using the mind to create a concept of existence devoid of any contradictions.


This argument is fallacious. The fallacy occurs because of the assumption that a valid concept would not present contradictions because it is valid. Concepts can appear to be contradictory due to lack of complete knowledge. Contradiction implies the possibility that a concept is invalid not that it is in fact invalid. Sometimes you just have to integrate these things into to your sum total of knowledge and wait for more facts to resolve the contradiction.

Salamander21 wrote:I read somewhere earlier in the discussion someone ask how logic is possible, saying something like "In order to prove that logic exists, you must use logic, which is circular reasoning"

In answer to the argument that to prove logic one needs logic, I say this:
That argument attempts to use logic to disprove the existence of logic. To claim that that argument is true is to assume that it is false. This is obviously not possible, therefore the argument that logic does not exist is a contradiction, meaning it is false, meaning logic exists. This implies two possibilities, a world which I describe, in which there is no contradiction, and a world that is entirely contradiction. However, the very fact the you can read this means that this sentence and argument exist, which means that it is not a contradiction, that it is what it is (A is A), and that therefore there is an objective reality which can be observed using the senses and interpreted using logic.


I don't understand this reasoning.

Salamander21
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Re: The basis of ethics and morality

Postby Salamander21 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:59 pm UTC

Yes, thanks for pointing some of those errors out. I'm still not completely comfortable with my argument.
"Why is logic logical?" means why does logic, or more specifically, the use of logic, make sense? Or, in other words, "why is it valid"? Sorry if that was unclear.
Nitrogen narcosis, or anything else with a narcotic effect, causes hallucinations because it impairs either mental or sensory function, so I think that argument still makes sense. I define consciousness, for the purpose of the argument, as the state in which all senses and mental faculties are fully functional.
Salamander21 wrote:
Rand then writes: "No concept man forms is valid unless he integrates it without contradiction into the total sum of his knowledge."
(His knowledge being information conveyed to his fully conscious consciousness by his functioning senses.)
So logic is using the mind to create a concept of existence devoid of any contradictions.


This argument is fallacious. The fallacy occurs because of the assumption that a valid concept would not present contradictions because it is valid. Concepts can appear to be contradictory due to lack of complete knowledge. Contradiction implies the possibility that a concept is invalid not that it is in fact invalid. Sometimes you just have to integrate these things into to your sum total of knowledge and wait for more facts to resolve the contradiction.

Here, you are right. I should have added that the concept of existence devoid of contradictions is a concept of all existence. It is true that contradictions can appear to exist, but only with limited knowledge. If a contradiction appears to exist, either the reasoning leading up to the contradiction is faulty, or else at least one of the premises is false (meaning that knowledge is not complete).

I don't understand this reasoning.

That was my rather roundabout attempt at trying to say this:
Either logic exists or it doesn't. If it does, then everything makes sense, and this argument is valid. If it doesn't, then no argument is valid, as any argument must use logic in order to prove anything. Therefore, the argument that there is no logic is invalid.
(Of course, that is using logic. I challenge someone to prove the existence of logic without using logic :roll: )

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Charlie!
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Re: The basis of ethics and morality

Postby Charlie! » Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:31 pm UTC

Salamander21 wrote:(Of course, that is using logic. I challenge someone to prove the existence of logic without using logic :roll: )

Pff, easy peasy. I like logic, therefore it exists and is valid.
Some people tell me I laugh too much. To them I say, "ha ha ha!"

infernovia
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Re: The basis of ethics and morality

Postby infernovia » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:57 pm UTC

Salamander21 wrote:Why is logic logical?

Logic is transcendental, as Wittgenstein stated in the Tractatus. The statement is akin to asking, why does the real exist? Because we have defined the real as that which exists!

The superior question is "What is logic?" In anycase, it would be better if you read Wittgenstein rather than Rand on the basis of logic.

If you can read that, then your consciousness exists. Consciousness is what perceives that which exists, so that means that the words "Existence exists" also exist. This can be applied to anything; anything that your consciousness perceives exists.

So the words "existence exists" exists. But does the signified object that the symbol points to exist?

Question: But when a person dreams, their consciousness perceives things that don't necessarily exist.
Answer: A consciousness is the collection of senses which convey external stimuli to the consciousness, external stimuli from other things that exist. When a person dreams, the things that they perceive are not the result of any external stimuli, meaning that they are not conscious, which is true; they are asleep.

How horrible. Then when the person is reacting to things that do not exist (has no signified object), then he is not conscious? Then, when dealing with fictions like equality, truth, justice, freedom, one is said to be not conscious? And does our dreams not react to the temperature outside, the bed we sleep in, what we have watched before we went to sleep?

That argument attempts to use logic to disprove the existence of logic. To claim that that argument is true is to assume that it is false. This is obviously not possible, therefore the argument that logic does not exist is a contradiction, meaning it is false, meaning logic exists.

A lie. Just because one proves that one does not not exist, you are saying it means that it does exist. But that is silly, it could be nonsense, neither false nor true.


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