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Old 06-28-2020, 09:30 PM   #176
Ryanb9
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Re: Question about the philosophy of morality and moral theories

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That's not really what I'm saying. What I'm trying to say anyway is more along the lines of "lying isn't wrong."

Q: Is lying wrong? Y/N
Q: Is killing a person wrong? Y/N

My guess is that when pressed most will answer N to both questions but immediately want to qualify their answer, a qualification that could very well take the form of "it's not wrong except when it is" or something to that effect.



I agree with that if we're just talking about a statement. But we're not. We're talking about logical propositions and in this case an A-form proposition used in argument. So while informally it's fine to read "Every dog is a quadruped" as a claim that every single dog in existence has four legs, that's not what the proposition means in a logical sense. In that sense it's simply saying "Dog is quadruped."

So your statement "all lying is unethical" would read simply "Lying is unethical." Now I don't believe not telling people the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is unethical, so I wouldn't agree. But not because I can imagine scenarios where it would be appropriate to lie, rather because I don't believe lying is inherently unethical, which is what I meant earlier when I said "lying isn't wrong." For me, it's the circumstances and intentions of the person that makes an act of lying, killing, etc. wrong or right, not the essential act itself.
I'm not finished understanding the above quoted yet, but i'm wondering, if someone says in a philosophical discussion, "dogs are brown," then is it true that the only way to take this is "all dogs are brown." This is the closest meaningful statement to the one that was made in such a situation.

Tbh I think we may be splitting hairs and getting a little deep. The reason I got started on this was when I read chez's statement about outlier cases or extreme scenarios not mattering. There cant be an extreme scenario to the statement "dogs are brown" because its not even clear what this statement means. But there can be to the statement "all dogs are brown" and this may be a strawman or it may be the closest meaningful statement to the one that was made.
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Old 06-28-2020, 10:08 PM   #177
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Re: Question about the philosophy of morality and moral theories

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What do you mean they are the default positions? What reasons do we have to assume these are the default positions? If anything the default positions would be neither--that it is neither right nor wrong to lie or to kill. Then, when the lying happens and the murdering happens, we look at the results and see if it is to our liking.
It's the default moral rule that most people do live by. No further justification is required. This may be clearer after the next bit.

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Person A kills person B, person B's brother kills person A. Person A's father then kills person B's brother, and so it goes, on and on, vengeful men serving justice. This of course is not to our liking as we need all four of these able-bodied men to fight our wars and till our fields.
So the justification for killing A is retaliation. Eye for an eye type morality

But what justification would we give for not killing C? The very question is odd because in general (or by default) not killing someone doesn't require any justification

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This scenario being plausible does not come apriori but rather from an understanding of human behavior -- jealousy, revenge, justice, etc. If humans only killed when it was ethical and right to do so, there's no way it would be illegal.

The fact that we observe something and make a decision about it being good to us or not, I dont think, can mean that our conclusion about the scenario is now the "default position."
Yes. There's nothing apriori about the rules of default logic. It's possible to imagine a world where by default we kill everyone unless we had a particular reason not to.
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Old 06-29-2020, 01:53 AM   #178
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Re: Question about the philosophy of morality and moral theories

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More the other way round I think i.e 'don't lie', 'don't kill' are the defaults with particular exceptions requiring justification. It matters that we get this the right way round because we don't need any particular justification to tell the truth or not kill someone - these are literally the default positions.

.
Hadn't even heard of default logic until you brought it up so I can't even say I disagree with you. But thanks for bringing it up; I definitely plan to get at a grasp of it. Pathetically, not because it might help me resolve some ethical issues but because based on what you've said the ramifications I foresee with machine learning.
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Old 06-29-2020, 01:57 AM   #179
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Re: Question about the philosophy of morality and moral theories

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I'm not finished understanding the above quoted yet, but i'm wondering, if someone says in a philosophical discussion, "dogs are brown," then is it true that the only way to take this is "all dogs are brown." This is the closest meaningful statement to the one that was made in such a situation.

Tbh I think we may be splitting hairs and getting a little deep.
Yeah. Just to answer your "dogs are brown" question there's a bunch of concepts (like concepts themselves) to unpack with traditional logic just to get started.
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Old 06-29-2020, 07:47 AM   #180
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Re: Question about the philosophy of morality and moral theories

"Dogs are brown" is a lie. Both regarding absolute and default logic. So we can discard the statement.

"Plants are green", on the other hand, can be true. Default logic comes to the rescue here.
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Old 06-29-2020, 08:32 AM   #181
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Re: Question about the philosophy of morality and moral theories

My dog is brown <---
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Old 06-29-2020, 10:27 AM   #182
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Re: Question about the philosophy of morality and moral theories

Some dogs are brown.

chezlaws cute dog is brown.
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Old 06-29-2020, 10:54 AM   #183
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Re: Question about the philosophy of morality and moral theories

chezlaw's dog is as honest as the day is long.


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Old 06-29-2020, 02:12 PM   #184
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Re: Question about the philosophy of morality and moral theories

It took me ages to find the Brown Dog statue in Battersea Park.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_Dog_affair
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Old 06-29-2020, 05:03 PM   #185
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Re: Question about the philosophy of morality and moral theories

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I'm assuming you have a rigorous theory of yuckyness.



If not then we have to stick to the true unless it isn't.
I use the MoralaMeter 5000 for all of my morality measuring needs.
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Old 06-29-2020, 07:47 PM   #186
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Re: Question about the philosophy of morality and moral theories

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I use the MoralaMeter 5000 for all of my morality measuring needs.

I use a bottle of gin or Six Pints of an IPA. Whichever is quicker.
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Old 07-01-2020, 12:01 AM   #187
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Re: Question about the philosophy of morality and moral theories

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It's the default moral rule that most people do live by. No further justification is required.
And what about southerners in the States in the time of slaves and plantations. Did they say to eachother "enslaving blacks is the default moral rule that we live by. no further justification is required"

Again, i'm using the technique of providing an example which shows that the statement proposed cannot be true. Appealing to the masses would be a valid thing to do only if the masses were infallible.
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Old 07-01-2020, 04:00 AM   #188
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Re: Question about the philosophy of morality and moral theories

Default logic is about reasoning, It doesn't determine or guarantee morality. What we would consider deeply immoral societies are captured by default logic just as much as once we consider more moral. Appeal to the masses has nothing to do with it but the prevailing norms do determine the better default rules. [BTW which default rules to use is a very serious topic]

Re the particular example. It's just clearly the case in our society that we generally don't have to justify not killing people (or telling the truth) while we generally do have to justify killing them (or lying). Maybe it doesn't have to be that way but it clearly is that way and so it's obvious which to use as the default rule.
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Old 07-01-2020, 04:01 PM   #189
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Re: Question about the philosophy of morality and moral theories

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Default logic is about reasoning, It doesn't determine or guarantee morality. What we would consider deeply immoral societies are captured by default logic just as much as once we consider more moral. Appeal to the masses has nothing to do with it but the prevailing norms do determine the better default rules. [BTW which default rules to use is a very serious topic]

Re the particular example. It's just clearly the case in our society that we generally don't have to justify not killing people (or telling the truth) while we generally do have to justify killing them (or lying). Maybe it doesn't have to be that way but it clearly is that way and so it's obvious which to use as the default rule.
I'm not sure if you understand my point. It is clearly the case that in our society we generally don't have to justify not killing people, but it clearly was the case in Aztec society that you did have to justify not killing people. From this, we can deduce that if someone was dropped into a society, not knowing which one it will be, and used an appeal to masses for his ethical guidance, he could pick one belief or the opposite of that belief, depending on where he landed. Therefore this cannot be used as a tool for someone who is seeking truth regardless of the society in which he landed. Its fine if you have a default rule, but what is not fine, in my opinion, is to bring that up in ethical discussions.
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Old 07-01-2020, 04:44 PM   #190
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Re: Question about the philosophy of morality and moral theories

Life matters. You don't take a life lightly. I think that is the default in all cultures. There's always a "justification"
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Old 07-01-2020, 05:05 PM   #191
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Re: Question about the philosophy of morality and moral theories

But I'm not using appeal to the masses as a tool. Default logic doesn't even remotely imply, or rely upon, you and I agreeing about what is moral. We all use default logic whether we realise it or not. I fear you're stuck in the common place of thinking that 'default' implies 'shared' or 'correct' or some such.

Your criticism with aztecs/etc doesn't apply to default logic in any way that it doesn't apply to standard deductive logic. Some think morality is about rules that are logically necessary or apriori rules or better rules. That's fine and it's equivalent, in part, to seeking some best or necessary default rules.
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Old 07-01-2020, 05:24 PM   #192
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Re: Question about the philosophy of morality and moral theories

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Life matters. You don't take a life lightly. I think that is the default in all cultures. There's always a "justification"
Well, this is not true. This is true of your current culture in the current time that you are living, yet you are applying it to all cultures at all times. The mongol horde, for an example, was a culture that was at direct odds with what you are saying, and it did quite well.
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Old 07-01-2020, 05:34 PM   #193
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Re: Question about the philosophy of morality and moral theories

They saw killing as important, for achieving their goals. They didn't kill each other systematically in their own group without a goal. They had to "justify" their killing. So you could say the default was kind of not to kill.

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Old 07-01-2020, 08:25 PM   #194
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Re: Question about the philosophy of morality and moral theories

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They saw killing as important, for achieving their goals. They didn't kill each other systematically in their own group without a goal. They had to "justify" their killing. So you could say the default was kind of not to kill.
It would be much more correct to say that they did what was in their interest, be it killing or not killing. When not killing was in their interest, they didnt kill. When killing was in their interest, their default moral position of "do not kill" that was pressed upon them by humans of the future was overcome, and they killed anyway.
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Old 07-01-2020, 09:14 PM   #195
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Re: Question about the philosophy of morality and moral theories

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It would be much more correct to say that they did what was in their interest, be it killing or not killing. When not killing was in their interest, they didnt kill. When killing was in their interest, their default moral position of "do not kill" that was pressed upon them by humans of the future was overcome, and they killed anyway.
I'm okay saying that 'gratuitous killing' or killing a person for no reason whatsoever has been universally wrong. But does that mean a certain sort of killing (gratuitous) is wrong OR a certain sort of gratuitous act (killing) is wrong? As per what I was getting at upthread, I'd say it means the latter.
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Old 07-01-2020, 09:18 PM   #196
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Re: Question about the philosophy of morality and moral theories

Life does not matter. At all. It has no intrinsic value.

That’s the default position.
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Old 07-01-2020, 11:05 PM   #197
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Re: Question about the philosophy of morality and moral theories

I'd say it's just human psychology primarily not to kill. But it can be debated. Humans also have the killing deep down: for getting food. But that concerns primarily animals. And, when you think about it, plants.
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Old 07-01-2020, 11:12 PM   #198
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Re: Question about the philosophy of morality and moral theories

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Life does not matter. At all. It has no intrinsic value.

Thatís the default position.
That's nonsense. Beer is good. That requires life. Therefore life matters.
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Old 07-01-2020, 11:25 PM   #199
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Re: Question about the philosophy of morality and moral theories

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I'm okay saying that 'gratuitous killing' or killing a person for no reason whatsoever has been universally wrong.
First, there is no such thing as gratuitous killing. If someone is killing they have a reason to do it. Greed, jealousy, entertainment, boredom, something. You disagree with their reason for doing it and call it gratuitous, but calling it gratuitous just means that you are saying your perspective of situation trumps the killers perspective of the situation -- that you are right and they are wrong in the analysis of the situation.

Second, nothing has been universally anything. But if it has, you are wrong, and it has been universally the other way. You are living in a time of little killing but this is a new development. Your country, I don't care where it is in the world, has not existed as long as the western roman empire did, and killing was rampant in that empire. Even the rich and famous were killed, all the time, and many of them only on suspicion without any evidence.

It is absurd to me to be born into a time and place and think that your way of doing things -- that is, the way things are done by everyone around you -- is the correct and ethical way of doing things, and then go on to say "thats the universal way things have always been done"
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Old 07-02-2020, 12:20 AM   #200
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Re: Question about the philosophy of morality and moral theories

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That's nonsense. Beer is good. That requires life. Therefore life matters.
I have been corrected. Yes, Beer is good. Having one right now in fact. Cheers!
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