Moral Beliefs as Prices

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Re: Moral Beliefs as Prices

Postby phyllo » Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:36 pm

phyllo wrote:
Your kid is someone's "random person".


WendyDarling wrote:
I'm still awaiting the X on his kid's life



These are non-sequiturs.
You omitted the second and third part of my post :
Your kid is someone's "random person".

If you think that it's okay to kill a random kid, then you are agreeing that it's okay for someone to kill your kid.

You're trying to avoid that implication by calling this a one-off event.
If you are prepared to have your kid killed in that consequentialist society, then just say so and we won't need to raise the point again.
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Re: Moral Beliefs as Prices

Postby phyllo » Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:44 pm

Guilt is an emotion, it isn't rational and it isn't drawing from some mystical layer of reality that tells you about right and wrong. You can be mistakenly guilty, and can simultaneously feel guilty and know that you did the right thing.
Humans feel emotions. It's part of our biology. If you want to pretend that's not a "layer of reality" and that humans ought to only reason and not to feel, then you're talking about some fantasy world.
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Re: Moral Beliefs as Prices

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:22 pm

Carleas wrote:Guilt is an emotion, it isn't rational and it isn't drawing from some mystical layer of reality that tells you about right and wrong. You can be mistakenly guilty, and can simultaneously feel guilty and know that you did the right thing.
Feeling badly about what you did to someone means, at the very least, that you are ambivalent about what you did. Saying that guilt, since it is an emotion, isn't rational, is confused.

There are no rational morals. There are just moral values built up based on what we care about and what we dislike. Without emotions there are no morals.

There are just practical judgments.

Do this and it leads to this. And no way to determine either what you want or what we think is good.

Unless you believe in God, which clearly you do not, you can have codes of behavior, like the rules of hockey, without emotions, but no morals.

And this is not a shot at atheists, since every one I've ever met is informed by their emotions in forming, justifying and understanding their morals.

Without emotions one does not function rationally in society. See Damasio the neuroscientist. Sure, doing math, you don't need emotions to be rational, but with other humans and society you will fail to make good decisions and even manage yourself rationally without contant input from the limbic system. Damasion goes into what happens when people with damage not longer have the limbic system tied into the loop.

So to say that guilt and emotions have no deep mystical.....etc., is a deep confusion.

Without emotions, there is no such thing as morals. There is just behavior and tactics.

And sure, one can feel guilt for things that are not wrong. But when you start killing people for money, you are giving your own mirror neurons and your own limbic system and your own yearning for closeness and good treatment the finger. You pretty much stopped being a social mammal. Now psychotics can be like this. And they lead limited lives.
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Re: Moral Beliefs as Prices

Postby Ecmandu » Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:24 pm

Alright then, carleas, you are still surprisingly holding your ground. So let's raise the stakes...

If you knew for a fact that if you tortured one random person forever, and that would make everyone else happy forever, but if you didn't torture that random person forever, everyone would be tortured forever besides them...

Do you see how absurd this looks?

For one, it's absurd. It's a false dichotomy.

People have pointed out repeatedly that if it's an unknown stranger, that person could be way more valuable than you... who takes a trillion dollars and gives it to charity (a perpetual system) - this random person may solve all poverty issues for all beings in existence, which a trillion dollars can't do.
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Re: Moral Beliefs as Prices

Postby Meno_ » Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:34 pm

Ecmandu wrote:Alright then, carleas, you are still surprisingly holding your ground. So let's raise the stakes...

If you knew for a fact that if you tortured one random person forever, and that would make everyone else happy forever, but if you didn't torture that random person forever, everyone would be tortured forever besides them...

Do you see how absurd this looks?

For one, it's absurd. It's a false dichotomy.

People have pointed out repeatedly that if it's an unknown stranger, that person could be way more valuable than you... who takes a trillion dollars and gives it to charity (a perpetual system) - this random person may solve all poverty issues for all beings in existence, which a trillion dollars can't do.



Ecmandu, however, but Jesus is such a figure, he took the totality of humanity on his shoulder for ever, given that the passion was eternal, never ending. The contradictory spiritual payoff was in line with the level of contradiction still sustained, by the sign of the cross.
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Re: Moral Beliefs as Prices

Postby Carleas » Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:59 pm

phyllo wrote:If you are prepared to have your kid killed in that consequentialist society...

What consequentialist society?
Carleas wrote:I'm not proposing a policy, I'm proposing a thought experiment

Carleas wrote:[T]he problem I'm proposing doesn't suggest anything about the future. Let's concede, if you require it, that this will be just the worst if it happens all the time, and just mentally insert into the hypo whatever additional props you need to limit it to a one-time offer to you and only you.

Carleas wrote:To clarify, I'm just not trying to extend the analysis to rearranging society so that what we're talking about happens all the time. I see the questions of "Should you do X in this one-off situation" and "Should we as a society make doing X a regular part of our everyday lives" as separate questions that it is consistent to answer differently.


Let me again compare "random person" to "random stock". A "random stock" has a calculable expected value. If we average all the prices of all the stocks, we get the expected value of a random stock. It's going to be a lot less than a lot of stocks, even though in theory if we picked one stock at random it could be the most expensive stock possible. The expected value combines the values of all outcomes with the likelihood of those outcomes. The expected value of a roll of the dice at the craps table is negative. The expected value of a fair coin flip is zero. The expected value of the random person functions just the same way.

I hope that this comparison makes clear that "BUT SOMEONE WITH VERY HIGH VALUE IS ONE OF THE POSSIBLE OUTCOMES!!!" is not a rebuttal. So long as every person in the set from which we're picking has a finite value, the expected value of a random person remains finite even if very valuable people are included.

phyllo wrote:If you want to pretend that's not a "layer of reality"...

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Saying that guilt, since it is an emotion, isn't rational, is confused.

I said that guilt doesn't "come from" a "mystical layer of reality". Phyllo seemed to be claiming that we could draw a syllogism like, "I feel bad, therefore we know what I did was wrong." That syllogism doesn't work, because guilt can be mistaken. Like hot sauce feels like burning and mint feels like cold, dumping a girlfriend can feel like being cruel even when we know it's the most compassionate thing to do.

You may feel guilty, but it's just another negative value that can be priced. It does not tell us very much about morality or reality.
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Re: Moral Beliefs as Prices

Postby phyllo » Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:07 pm

Phyllo seemed to be claiming that we could draw a syllogism like, "I feel bad, therefore we know what I did was wrong." That syllogism doesn't work, because guilt can be mistaken.

"I priced it, therefore we know what I did was right".

"I reasoned it out, therefore we know what I did was right".

Your pricing can be mistaken and your reasoning can be mistaken.

Guess that pricing and reasoning can't be used. Oh well, back to the drawing board.
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Re: Moral Beliefs as Prices

Postby Ecmandu » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:42 am

Carleas, as I stated earlier (and can you refute this?):

If every being is finite, there is no value to them, oblivion forever - no wrong, no right - certainly not your formula.

Value only truly comes into the picture of beings that are immortal or eternal in some way.

The moment you say that all lives have finite value, you refute your argument.

The moment you say they have infinite value, your argument becomes much more complex than you present.
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Re: Moral Beliefs as Prices

Postby Carleas » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:00 am

phyllo wrote:Your pricing can be mistaken and your reasoning can be mistaken.

Sorry, I took us off topic, I think your point is good, and I think mine didn't deserve the response.

Go back to:
Carleas wrote:I don't think that's true. As I argued above, you can feel guilty about things you know to be right. You can also feel guilty about things you haven't done: Wendy notes that she has experienced this, and the phenomenon of survivor's guilt is well attested.

Guilt is an emotion, it isn't rational and it isn't drawing from some mystical layer of reality that tells you about right and wrong. You can be mistakenly guilty, and can simultaneously feel guilty and know that you did the right thing.

I make two pretty bad points here that don't advance the discussion.

Forgive me for leading us astray, on reflection I don't think I'm clear on what role guilt is playing in the argument. If one chooses World A, one may feel guilty for the rest of ones life. I think there are a few questions here, but I'm not sure any change the outcome.
Case G: You do feel guilty your whole life
Case N: You don't feel guilty your whole life

Case G can be the case if
(1) Guilt is compatible with having done the right thing, and you have done the right thing; OR
(2) Guilt is incompatible with having done the right thing, and you have done the wrong thing.

Case N can be the case if
(1) Guilt is compatible with having done the right thing, and you have done the right thing.
(2) Guilt is incompatible with having done the right thing, and you have done the right thing.

This is how I understand your argument:
(a) we know that we would feel guilty killing a stranger (We are in case G);
(b) we know that guilt is incompatible with having done the right thing (so if we are in case G, we are wrong);
therefore
(c) we know that killing a stranger is wrong.

Is that what you're saying?

Ecmandu wrote:The moment you say they have infinite value, your argument becomes much more complex than you present.

I'm open to seeing some math here. In math as I know it, assigning infinities to constants has the weird outcomes I describe (e.g., you sending me all your money to help that guy with the cough). There may be math that says otherwise, but I predict that when you actually do that math out, you'll find that it works about the same way that the usual math does without the infinities.
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Re: Moral Beliefs as Prices

Postby Ecmandu » Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:34 am

Carleas, I wasn't even trying to "whoosh" you, but apparently, I did.

Think about this:

At some point in time, eventually, everyone obliviates. Zero. Nothing. EVERYONE!

Now here's the deal. If we know for a fact that everyone obliviates at some point, morality is meaningless. Torture someone for a trillion years, and then they obliviate! Horrid right? No, after they die it never existed.

So then comes you with some silly one off purchase for what? A trillion dollars? That's laughable in infinity. Especially if we all obliviate as infinity ticks.

So, my point was, unless everyone has consciousness forever, your argument contradicts itself as incorrect (ultimate oblivion for all beings = no good or bad)

So then we have to argue as if beings are immortal, to even humor your line of thought ...

The compelling argument from this standpoint is that everyone pick an unknown stranger to torture forever to make everyone else be in heavenly bliss.

To this, I would say that you don't understand existence well. That you are incompetent to even make your argument. To suggest that torturing someone forever so everyone else can totally and and absolutely enjoy life forever, is like talking about pigs flying (hypothetically) so that your inane posture can solve mathematically.
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Re: Moral Beliefs as Prices

Postby Carleas » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:12 pm

Ecmandu wrote:If we know for a fact that everyone obliviates at some point, morality is meaningless.

I disagree with this. Morality exists within people, it's not independent, but it is nonetheless a fact about the world at a specific point in time, in the same way that the meaning of the words I'm using are a fact of the world at this particular moment. After the heat death of the universe, no one will understand what I've written today, but they still have meaning today, and it is true today that, at time \( t _2 \) = [some time after the heat death of the universe], the statement "At \( t _1 \) = June 18, 2018, the words Carleas wrote were meaningful" will be true.

So too will we be able to construct statements that will be true at \( t _2 \) of the type that, at \( t _1 \), certain actions were wrong or immoral. The point being, those statements remain true after their subjects 'obliviate'.

And I think that fits with what I'm claiming here: it will also be true at \( t _2 \) that, at \( t _1 \), some stock was priced at some amount, some good was available at a specific location for a specific price, and, if I'm right, that some specific individual valued some specific moral belief at some specific amount of money.
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Re: Moral Beliefs as Prices

Postby Ecmandu » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:25 pm

Well, your disagreement doesn't change facts...

If people kept reproducing to last forever, but each of those people obliviate at death, there is factually no moral good or bad. People who think so would be delusional. I'm not talking about the cold death of the universe here, I'm talking about infinite birth and oblivion upon death. In that scenario, there is no morality as morality only exists based on a hypothetical future. If we know that ultimately there is no enduring future for anyone, then whatever happens to anyone is nothing at all. This contradicts any attempt to assume that anyone is doing the greater good.
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Re: Moral Beliefs as Prices

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:47 pm

Carleas wrote:
Ecmandu wrote:If we know for a fact that everyone obliviates at some point, morality is meaningless.



I disagree with this. Morality exists within people, it's not independent, but it is nonetheless a fact about the world at a specific point in time, in the same way that the meaning of the words I'm using are a fact of the world at this particular moment. After the heat death of the universe, no one will understand what I've written today, but they still have meaning today, and it is true today that, at time \( t _2 \) = [some time after the heat death of the universe], the statement "At \( t _1 \) = June 18, 2018, the words Carleas wrote were meaningful" will be true.

So too will we be able to construct statements that will be true at \( t _2 \) of the type that, at \( t _1 \), certain actions were wrong or immoral. The point being, those statements remain true after their subjects 'obliviate'.

And I think that fits with what I'm claiming here: it will also be true at \( t _2 \) that, at \( t _1 \), some stock was priced at some amount, some good was available at a specific location for a specific price, and, if I'm right, that some specific individual valued some specific moral belief at some specific amount of money.


K: I will try to answer without getting too far away from your original premise....

the idea that morality is somehow fixed within us is an assumption...
the fact is we have see people blow by conventional morality.....
psychopaths like IQ 45 don't even notice conventional morality.....
morality is something other people do, not psychopaths........

morality isn't inherent within us... it is taught... it is part of the
biases and myths and superstitions and habits that I often speak of......
that we are taught when we are young.... now, as we get older we think
that morality somehow was born in us... but look at children.... I am parent..
and we have to teach them what is right from wrong........ think George Washington
and his cherry tree.... morality is inherited from our society, state, schooling,
our culture.....it doesn't exist as posited by thinkers like Descartes...
put inside of us by god.....

now depending on the culture, your question isn't even a question because
of the existing "morality"..... Sparta or Rome for example, your question
wouldn't even make sense because they don't view morality that way.....

the fact we can talk about morality in the fashion that you are speaking of,
is a factor where we put a great deal of emphasis on money....
your very question reeks of culture bias... how do we understand
morality in terms of money and what does our culture value
more then anything else, money...…..

so we see morality in terms of money and another culture would
see morality in terms of god and his values or another culture might see
morality in terms of honor or perhaps in terms of Arete... the Greeks thought
in terms of excellence...….Arete means excellence....

now will your statement have meaning at some future date, no....
because of changes in the culture that will change even the meaning
of the words you use and will also change what our words mean....

read Milton's "Paradise lost" it is a morality play that no longer
means anything today because of changes in society since then.....…

it is simply a poem to read... not for its morality but for how
Milton approaches the subject matter...…….

we no longer approach morality like Milton did, we have changed because
of experiences and those experiences have made Milton no longer accessible
and the morality he promoted, irrelevant....

your point argues from a very specific time and place and culture.....

that we can see morality from a monetary viewpoint speaks to who we
are today.... and it doesn't say anything good about us........

it is not the question that you ask but the premise from which you can ask
that question....... the underlying thought is that morality can be somehow
be monetary based is directly something our culture can work with because
we are a monetary based culture.........

and our questions become monetary based.... a life has X value in money....
think of a society that would even have dared asked that question....
certainly not the Greeks or the Romans or the Middle ages or any
age afterwards, not until money became the driver of
our thought process......not until the "Modern" age.....

it is not enough to ask the question that you asked, but you have to
question the underlying basis of such a question........

what would Socrates have thought of your question?

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Re: Moral Beliefs as Prices

Postby Carleas » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:24 pm

Ecmandu wrote:[Y]our disagreement doesn't change facts.

True: we disagree, and at least one of us is wrong.
Ecmandu wrote:If we know that ultimately there is no enduring future for anyone, then whatever happens to anyone is nothing at all.

This doesn't follow. Compare it to the rules of an artificial game. It can be true that at time \(t_1\) the team was offsides, even if at time \(t_2\) the game is over and the teams have disbanded and a fair has been set up on the playing field rendering the concept of 'offsides' meaningless.

So too can we identify moral rules that apply now, that are rational and necessary now, and that will remain rational and necessary now (\(t_1\)).

Moreover, an enduring future is not sufficient for morality. Nothing about an infinity of time entails morality.


Peter Kropotkin wrote:I will try to answer without getting too far away from your original premise.

Thanks for this response, you make some points that hit directly at the original premise.

First, I do think morality is objective even if it's contingent. As I've argued elsewhere, morality has an identifiable goal (make the group survive); it is present in all normal humans as an instinct (though it isn't present in certain mentally handicapped people like psychopaths); and its specifics are learned. I think that accounts for its change overtime, and the need to teach much of it (but not all of it) to children.

Second, regardless of money's role in a specific society, money is also an abstract concept, and I'd argue that it can be applied to any society in which trade occurs (and possibly to others). As I've stated repeatedly, without justification or clarification, money mediates value. By that I mean that money is an external representation of value, and that anything one values, in whatever way they value it, can in theory be represented in monetary terms. This is clearly true for anything of value that people actually do buy and sell for money. But I would take it further. We (thankfully) no longer buy and sell people (at least openly, in the first world), but we can't get away from the need to estimate the monetary value of a human life so long as things we do buy and sell interact with human lives.

This doesn't have to be sinister. When we're building a car, we can keep adding safety feature indefinitely. We've literally build vehicles that can protect someone in a fall from space, we could make cars significantly safer than they are. The trade off is price. If I tell you that you can modify a car in a way that will reduce the odds that you'll die in it by .001% and it will cost you $10,000 to add that feature, you can either accept that exchange or not. And when you make that choice, you implicitly provide information about the price your life. If the probability of a reduction in death doesn't seem worth it, you are saying that the risk-weighted value of that increased safety is worth less than $10k, and we can work backwards from there to calculate an upper limit on the subjective monetary value of your life.

We can do something similar to compare across cultures, by taking aspects of human biology that are constant. Take something like "minimum nutrients necessary to fuel a human through their natural lifespan." That value is roughly constant across time and place. We can look at what that costs in modern society, that use that as a baseline to price other goods in places where money isn't used. If we know that food is traded for protection in some place and time, and we know that food bears a certain relationship to the minimum nutrients necessary to fuel a human through their natural lifespan, we can calculate how valuable protection is in that time and place. All we need is a series of relative measures, and as long as we can relate them back to something that preserves its meaning into our time and place, we can express the values in those others places and times, regardless of the role money played in those societies.

Finally, we can use these tricks to evaluate things that people aren't willing to sell for money. Something like honor or love, which by their nature can't be purchased in practice, can still be priced in theory, because in the course of human affairs we necessarily make tradeoffs between these values that reveal our preferences in a way that can be expressed in prices. And so, for example, the value of marriage is estimated to be about $100k/year:
The relative size of any two coefficients provides information about how one variable would have to change to maintain constant well-being in the face of an alteration in the other variable. To ‘compensate’ for a major life event such as being widowed or a marital separation, it would be necessary—this calculation should be treated cautiously but it illustrates the size of the coefficients—to provide an individual with ~$100,000 extra per annum. Viewing widowhood as an exogenous event, and so a kind of natural experiment, this number may be thought of as the ‘value’ of marriage.
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Re: Moral Beliefs as Prices

Postby Ecmandu » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:46 pm

Actually, it does follow. Morality in an ultimate sense is always solving as moot, when oblivion for all beings at some point for them is reality.

Like I stayed earlier, there must at a minimum, be one eternal life to eradicate this issue.

Playing a soccer game and then going for beers is not an analogy for infinite oblivion.

And yes, moral calculations cannot be made without some concept of a future, the idea of the exchange of goods in some moral calculus requires that it's possible to exchange them (hence future)
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Re: Moral Beliefs as Prices

Postby Carleas » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:26 pm

It seems like you're just restating your position, so let me present the dichotomy as I understand it, and you can either go with it or correct me:

Either
(A) you're claiming that humans are infinitely valuable, in which case you should show how that doesn't lead to absurd consequences like the coughing man;
Or
(B) you're claiming that morality doesn't exist, in which case no moral claim will satisfy you, and "moral beliefs can be priced" is at worst as empty a claim as "murder is wrong" (though the former may be compatible with moral claims like the latter being incoherent).
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Re: Moral Beliefs as Prices

Postby Ecmandu » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:53 pm

Carleas wrote:It seems like you're just restating your position, so let me present the dichotomy as I understand it, and you can either go with it or correct me:

Either
(A) you're claiming that humans are infinitely valuable, in which case you should show how that doesn't lead to absurd consequences like the coughing man;
Or
(B) you're claiming that morality doesn't exist, in which case no moral claim will satisfy you, and "moral beliefs can be priced" is at worst as empty a claim as "murder is wrong" (though the former may be compatible with moral claims like the latter being incoherent).


If humans know that they live forever in some way by default, then value becomes calculable because of continuity of consciousness towards an endless future.

If humans know that they don't live forever in some way, than suicide is the most ethical thing to do. Suffering is an easy one... if we knew infinite oblivion was the outcome of a painful death, then we never even had that pain or that death. If we are guaranteed a trillion years of unceasing joy, and then oblivion, people will still say "whats the point? I won't remember any of it, and people I supposedly help will obliviate as well, so did I do any good? No."

That's the point I'm making.
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Re: Moral Beliefs as Prices

Postby Arcturus Descending » Fri Jun 22, 2018 4:56 pm

Phyllo,

Considering someone to have little value does not directly translate into being prepared to kill .


lol This is certainly true. I was speaking of someone like a Hitler who's evil wreaked havoc on humanity or on the other side of that coin, someone like Hitler, who to many viewed him as someone to be valued and followed no matter what, without conscious thought
to what was actually occurring.

If someone was to do the deed instead of you, then would you consider it to be good and moral? The payment would go to fund noble causes, of course.


Insofar as Hitler or someone like him goes, I am not so sure that I would think in those terms. I might think in more practical urgent terms ~~ it was just something which had to be done. I think that I could again use Freddie's line: "Love is beyond good and evil.

Would someone actually have to think in terms of good and evil if it came down to stopping someone a Hitler? Call me a psycho but I do not think so.


I am not so money hungry. The money would go to the orphanage or to St. Jude's or to rescue animals.

That's what Carleas is suggesting ... "choose any charity, give to the poor" as the song goes.


I do not think Carleas' scenario works where I would kill Hitler. I would have to keep that a secret or it would not work. lol
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Re: Moral Beliefs as Prices

Postby Mowk » Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:40 am

Hello Flux Fans,

I've been following this a bit.

What is a given in Carleas' assertions is that a monetary based way of looking at things is a reality. (however much humanity, collectively have had the only hand in it.) Let's just say we made the whole of monetarism up and as such we can create anything else that makes better sense.

But given the thinking that because we made monetarism up, we are stuck with it, I can find a logical position that appears reasonable, within and limited to the constraints of his argument. Another possible distinction is the societal repercussions of murdering a random person. I don't care how much you would get for it, if the end result is a lifetime behind bars there is no price I would take to be put through that.

I sort of side with Phyllo in the insistence there is thinking available that doesn't involve monetarism.

Given world A, a society that practices monetarism, Carleas would be 'right', in a logically sound sense.
Given world B, a society that does not practice monetarist, there couldn't be a price.

I'd sure like this world a heck of a lot more if it looked more like B more than A. We are living under the results of A thinking and the questions are growing. Maybe it 'really' doesn't have to be the way it is.
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Re: Moral Beliefs as Prices

Postby Mowk » Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:51 am

Carleas,

How much are you going to pay an ape to kill another random ape? How much would the ape ask for?

Us human's, I don't suppose we are as smart.

How much would a whale ask for to randomly kill another whale.

Seems all species are willing to kill if the reward appears great enough, and sadly that's a pair of Nike shoes to some. But that's got nothing to do with money, although all actions come with a "price to play."

Are we required to "play"?

I do effort to limit my involvement in that game.
my goal in life is to die and no one notices.
in other words; to live as audaciously as possible while drawing the least attention. or at best, something vaguely similar.
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Re: Moral Beliefs as Prices

Postby Thanathots » Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:56 am

A random person? Fuck, I'd do it for free.
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Re: Moral Beliefs as Prices

Postby Mowk » Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:12 am

Thanathots wrote:A random person? Fuck, I'd do it for free.


Likely as example for the argument with the thinking. If some would do it for nothing what does that say about a price equation?

Clearly there are vast differences in the 'values' at play.
my goal in life is to die and no one notices.
in other words; to live as audaciously as possible while drawing the least attention. or at best, something vaguely similar.
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Re: Moral Beliefs as Prices

Postby Mowk » Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:47 am

Do we really want a system of valuation that is constrained solely on the basis of economics?

Some do, and that IS good.

Some don't and that IS also good.

How broadly are you able to see the question?
my goal in life is to die and no one notices.
in other words; to live as audaciously as possible while drawing the least attention. or at best, something vaguely similar.
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Re: Moral Beliefs as Prices

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed Jun 27, 2018 2:09 pm

Carleas wrote:
Karpel Tunnel wrote:Saying that guilt, since it is an emotion, isn't rational, is confused.

I said that guilt doesn't "come from" a "mystical layer of reality". Phyllo seemed to be claiming that we could draw a syllogism like, "I feel bad, therefore we know what I did was wrong." That syllogism doesn't work, because guilt can be mistaken. Like hot sauce feels like burning and mint feels like cold, dumping a girlfriend can feel like being cruel even when we know it's the most compassionate thing to do.

You may feel guilty, but it's just another negative value that can be priced. It does not tell us very much about morality or reality.
Humans, in general, feel guilt. The guilt is caused by morals, by empathy, by what we see are the results of our actions. How can that not have say very much about morality? Or the social reality of humans? There is no other rational ground to morals than human feelings. We can look at practical consequences, but that is not morals. Without emotions which are a part of our reality, we have no morals. We would simply have goals and methods.

This does not mean that guilt is always right - which is a sentence based on a very complicated set of issues.
But even if guilt is 'wrong' - again setting aside the complications here - it is real. It is semi-common to contrast emotions with reality. This is always confused - I understand the intent: emotions, just like thoughts, may be part of or caused by false models of reality. But emotions and related phenomena like guilt are always real. In a discussion of morals, they are central, real, social phenomena. Consequences and then of course causein their own right.

Guilt and morals are inextricably connected. As are other emotional phenomena.
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Re: Moral Beliefs as Prices

Postby Carleas » Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:24 pm

Mowk, what do think of this proposition: any thing that can properly be the subject of the game "Would You Rather" can be priced.

Followup: Would You Rather a random person die and you be given a billion dollars, or neither of those things happen?

There are of course limits to what money can be attributed to. "How much would you need to be payed for the whole global monetary system to be dissolved" is nonsensical. "How much would you need to be paid for all of humanity to go extinct?" raises similar issues. But let's say humanity goes extinct, but not you, and you live on with sex dolls and video games and candy or whatever. Some people would accept, and for them there is a price. No global economy, so money is meaningless, but insofar as that kind of life is achievable now and has a price now, we can calculate the price for that thing. It's admittedly an edge case that stretches coherence, but it's priceable in theory.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Without emotions which are a part of our reality, we have no morals.

I disagree with this, but as I said above, I think it's tangential to the issue here. It sounds like you think that guilt is compatible with having done the right thing (you acknowledge that guilt can be "wrong", i.e. you can feel guilty when you have not done anything wrong), so there is no syllogism from feeling guilty to having done wrong. Whatever their inextricable connection, guilt is not a sufficient condition for immorality.

Here, where the situation is weird and abstract, we should not be surprised if our hardwired faculties fail us, so a feeling of guilt is readily explained as a misfiring.

For more on morality not based on emotions, I would love to know your thoughts on this thread.
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