The Origin of Morality Matters

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The Origin of Morality Matters

Postby Carleas » Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:15 pm

It's a philosophical truism that you can't get an 'ought' from an 'is'. And yet, we have good reason to believe that certain 'is' statements, i.e. mere descriptions of the world, must have a significant impact on how we think about 'ought' statements, i.e. morality.

Take two different descriptions of the universe, specifically of the origin of morality:
1) Morality is a handed down by a divine creator, who commands us to behave a certain way on threat of damnation.
2) Morality is an evolved trait in social animals, which has helped our ancestors survive.

These alternatives have implications for how morality works in these universes. For example, the question, "why should we obey morality", in universe 1 the answer might be, "Because otherwise you will suffer in an eternal afterlife", while in universe 2 the answer might be, "Because morality led to survival in the past and so we can expect it to lead to survival in the future." I don't know that either of these answers is right, but I know that the second answer is not right in universe 1, and the first answer is not right in universe 2.

The origin of morality matters for how we reason about morality. Even if the actual moral commands in 1 and 2 are the same, there are implications for metaethics, there are implications for who counts as a moral agent, there are implications for whether morality will change over time or otherwise be contingent on circumstance. But that entails that, even if we can't derive an ought from an is, it must be the case that is's constrain oughts: some part of morality must be derived from or defined in reference to the description of the universe.
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Re: The Origin of Morality Matters

Postby Magnus Anderson » Sat Oct 26, 2019 5:33 pm

How about "You ought to eat if you don't want to die"? That's an ought derived from an is. The is statement it is derived from is "People die when they don't eat".

Priests say "If you don't want to go to hell, you should not sin". Secularists say "If you want to have many descendants, you should not act immorally". Both have truth value. I am pretty sure what priests say is wrong for the simple reason that there is no such thing as hell.
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Re: The Origin of Morality Matters

Postby iambiguous » Sat Oct 26, 2019 6:59 pm

Magnus Anderson wrote:How about "You ought to eat if you don't want to die"? That's an ought derived from an is. The is statement it is derived from is "People die when they don't eat".


You've come back to this sort of thing before. Yes, if it's a fact that someone wants to live, it's a fact that they must eat. But: It's not so much that they ought to eat in an ethical sense so much as in a biological imperative sense.

But take the case of Bobby Sands...

He wants to live so he knows that he ought to eat. But he chooses to go on a hunger strike given this set of circumstances: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby_Sands#Hunger_strike

Conflicting goods as it were.

So I tend to focus more on extracting an ought from an is in contexts of this sort.

Ought Sands to start eating again, or ought the authorities give in to his demands.

That's that part where [to me] philosophy is of limited value. Unless, of course, any particular philosopher can in fact extract an ought here from all of the facts that everyone agreed upon back then.

Whatever we construe the origins of morality to be, we must still take that out into world and embed it in an particular context.
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Re: The Origin of Morality Matters

Postby Ecmandu » Sat Oct 26, 2019 7:25 pm

Iambiguous,

It's very common for animals to stop eating out of the loss of a loved one. They die from it.

Bobby sands loss was a particular type of Ireland...
It's not unusual in the animal kingdom ; which humans are a part of, to do such things.

The question morally is whether the IRA was correct or not, to get to the ethics of the starvation, the question is not on the starvation itself.
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Re: The Origin of Morality Matters

Postby Carleas » Sun Oct 27, 2019 12:23 am

(Forgive my lack of technical vocabulary here; I'm not sure what the accepted terms are so I'm going to use what I think are reasonable terms for what I assume are common concepts)

Magnus, this seems right. "You ought to eat if you don't want to die" is contingent, and I think people agree that contingent oughts can derive from is's. But, as iambiguous argues, there are also necessary oughts, which aren't thought to derive from is's. In deciding between conflicting goods, deciding which contingent ought we ought to pursue, we ostensibly appeal to some non-contingent ought.

But as Magnus points out, and as I think my argument here shows, there are no non-contingent oughts: all oughts are contingent on facts about the universe, and in particular facts about what morality is and where it comes from.


As I wrote the above, I had thought of a possible counterexample of a type of morality to which this argument doesn't apply: if morality derives from math, so that it's a sort of pure system where ever connection is necessary in the way that 1 = 1 is necessary, then maybe there is no real contingency, and we ought to act a certain way because that's how the concepts of 'ought' and 'act' and '[that certain way]' relate. I don't know of any moral system that takes this position, but I think it would be a counterexample if it were the case (it's a bit weird to say that "if x is the case, then there's no contingency in morality", but I actually think it makes sense here; ignorance isn't a true contingency).
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Re: The Origin of Morality Matters

Postby Silhouette » Sun Oct 27, 2019 1:42 am

Magnus Anderson wrote:How about "You ought to eat if you don't want to die"? That's an ought derived from an is. The is statement it is derived from is "People die when they don't eat".

The form of this is different to the "is-ought problem".

To use the same terms of eating and dying, the "is-ought problem" would apply to:
1) Eating stalls dying.
2) Eating ought to stall dying.
The issue with this is re-formulation of the above quote is more explicit when you phrase it in terms of the "appeal to nature fallacy":
1) The nature of eating is that it stalls dying.
2) The nature of eating ought to stall dying.

But back to the formulation used in the above quote, to say that "you ought to eat to stall dying" conflates the following syllogism:
P1: One ought to not want to die.
P2: Eating stalls dying.
∴ One ought to eat if they don't want to die.

As you can see from this syllogism, the ought is in the major premise, so the "ought" in the conclusion doesn't come from the "is" in the minor premise, it comes from the "ought" in the major premise.
Note too that the minor premise says nothing of how eating ought to stall dying - as in the previous reformulation that encounters the "is-ought problem", which the "appeal to nature fallacy" highlights more explicitly as logically fallacious.

In short: "You ought to eat if you don't want to die" is not an ought derived from an is, it's an "ought" derived from an "ought" in conjunction with an "is", which would be a fallacy to derive into an ought.
The question of the first premise then becomes "should one not want to die?" which is already an "ought" - so to derive further oughts from it concerning "whether one should eat" would not encounter the is-ought problem.


So to apply this all back to the OP:
Oughts need to be in the original premises to derive further oughts. They're never legitimately derived from any "is".
This explains the religious resort to "morality handed down by a divine creator", which was subsequently improved to "morality is an evolved trait in social animals", eliminating the need to pre-suppose the supernatural when only the natural suffices.

Correctly, the latter "morality" is a description of "what works", rather than a prescription of "what should work".
Prescriptions of morality commit the fallacy of Reverse Causation: things don't work because of morality, things are moral because they work.
This can easily be politicised since Conservatives commit the fallacy of the former and Liberals want to check if things still work best the same way by checking other ways - in case things have changed, which would in turn change morality. Conservatives don't like this, but at least things change slowly enough for Liberals to fail enough for Conservatives to claim "I told you so", but at least they succeed enough for morality to adapt to what works. Too much of either seems to be poisonous to slowly enough changing environments. This renders politics irrelevant in the face of the objective concern of "the rate of change of environments". Once this has been realised, "oughts" exit the picture altogether, releasing the concern over whether the "is-ought problem" might be commited or not. Objectivity deals only in what "is" as derived from what "is", eliminating the possibility of is-ought fallacies.
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Re: The Origin of Morality Matters

Postby promethean75 » Sun Oct 27, 2019 3:07 am

Conservatives commit the fallacy of the former and Liberals want to check if things still work best the same way by checking other ways - in case things have changed, which would in turn change morality. Conservatives don't like this, but at least things change slowly enough for Liberals to fail enough for Conservatives to claim "I told you so"


Lol, and that 'i told you so' is always a lucky guess. they claim to know in advance what will happen (when they don't), and then take credit if and when it does happen.
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Re: The Origin of Morality Matters

Postby Magnus Anderson » Sun Oct 27, 2019 4:48 pm

A non-contingent ought, as I understand it, is an ought statement the truth value of which does not depend on the state of any part of the universe.

In other words, if we say that a statement such as "Mary ought to abort her baby" is a non-contigent ought, what we mean is that its truth value does not depend on the state of any part of the universe.

The problem: to say that the truth value of a statement does not depend on any part of the universe is a contradiction in terms.

To say that a statement is true is to say that it accurately describes some portion of reality. Conversely, to say that it is false is to say that it inaccurately describes some portion of reality. It thus makes no sense to say that a statement can be true or false without any regard to what goes on in any part of the universe.

Thus, if we accept that ought statements have truth value, it follows that every ought is a contingent ought.

The question then is: do ought statements have true value? And in order to answer that question, we must understand what ought statements are. (A relatively simple task.)

An ought statement such as "X ought to do Y" is short for "X ought to do Y in order to attain their goals". That's either true or false, right?

Thus, the truth value of any ought statement depends on two portions of the universe:

1) what one wants (one's goals, values, desires, etc)
2) the portion of the universe that can obstruct one's attempts to get what one wants
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Re: The Origin of Morality Matters

Postby Magnus Anderson » Sun Oct 27, 2019 5:18 pm

Silhouette wrote:In short: "You ought to eat if you don't want to die" is not an ought derived from an is, it's an "ought" derived from an "ought" in conjunction with an "is".


The statement "You ought to eat if you don't want to die" does not say that one ought not want to die. It merely states what one ought to do if one does not want to die. As such, it is derived entirely from the observation that "People die when they don't eat".
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Re: The Origin of Morality Matters

Postby iambiguous » Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:15 pm

Magnus Anderson wrote: A non-contingent ought, as I understand it, is an ought statement the truth value of which does not depend on the state of any part of the universe.

In other words, if we say that a statement such as "Mary ought to abort her baby" is a non-contigent ought, what we mean is that its truth value does not depend on the state of any part of the universe.

The problem: to say that the truth value of a statement does not depend on any part of the universe is a contradiction in terms.


In my view, the problem revolves instead around the actual existential gap between what you and I and Mary think we ought to do in regard to her unborn baby and all that can be/must be known about universe itself in order that any of our assessments here can be construed as more rather than less substantial in regard to any particular part of it.

In other words, how is whatever the whole truth might possibly be here not contingent on that?

And who or what would we turn to in order to confirm it?

Just imagine taking your assessment here to Mary. Imagine her reaction to it given the gap between this philosophical concoction and the actual turmoil her situation might possibly have precipitated.

Magnus Anderson wrote: To say that a statement is true is to say that it accurately describes some portion of reality. Conversely, to say that it is false is to say that it inaccurately describes some portion of reality. It thus makes no sense to say that a statement can be true or false without any regard to what goes on in any part of the universe.


No, down here on Earth, the beam is focused instead on those who insist that Mary's unborn baby is in fact a human being and those who insist that no, in fact, it is just a clump of cells. And on those who insist that in fact bringing the unborn baby to term is only rational and moral outcome while others insist that forcing a woman to give birth is the only irrational and immoral outcome.

In this part of the universe anyway.

Then, from my point of view, you yank the exchange even further up into the stratosphere:

Magnus Anderson wrote: Thus, if we accept that ought statements have truth value, it follows that every ought is a contingent ought.

The question then is: do ought statements have true value? And in order to answer that question, we must understand what ought statements are. (A relatively simple task.)

An ought statement such as "X ought to do Y" is short for "X ought to do Y in order to attain their goals". That's either true or false, right?

Thus, the truth value of any ought statement depends on two portions of the universe:

1) what one wants (one's goals, values, desires, etc)
2) the portion of the universe that can obstruct one's attempts to get what one wants


How can this sort of assessment not revolve entirely around others agreeing with how you define the meaning of these worlds put in this order?

Words that then define and defend still more words entirely removed from the existential anguish that Mary may or may not embody. Depending largely on the manner in which her own "I" here has been shaped and molded by the manner in which I construe human identity out in the is/ought world.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: The Origin of Morality Matters

Postby Magnus Anderson » Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:55 pm

I wasn't responding to you, iambiguous. You didn't start this topic, remember ;)
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Re: The Origin of Morality Matters

Postby Silhouette » Mon Oct 28, 2019 12:03 am

Magnus Anderson wrote:The statement "You ought to eat if you don't want to die" does not say that one ought not want to die. It merely states what one ought to do if one does not want to die. As such, it is derived entirely from the observation that "People die when they don't eat".

Here we have the two statements:
1) "You ought to eat if you don't want to die", and
2) "People die when they don't eat".

Is it that the the "ought" in the former comes from the re-statement of the same sentence about what "is" in the latter?
Remove the subjective notion of "want" in the former and you can get the same statement: "You ought to eat to not die". It's equally true to say "You eat to not die", so does the "ought" provide any function here other than to stand in for a statement about what "is"?
What then is the distinction between ought and is?
Is it the case that you can insert "oughts" into statements about what "is" even if it's unnecessary to do so, when "ought" can also imply something other than "is"?

e.g.
1) "One ought to put one leg in front of the other to walk" makes sense, but it says nothing more than "Putting one leg in front of the other is necessary for walking".
2) "One ought not to lie" however has no such direct necessity with regard to what "is", so "ought" isn't a non-functional substitute for "is", and it does imply something about more than what "is".

If the conclusion "You ought to eat if you don't want to die" is not merely a conflation of the two premises "You ought to not want to die" and "Eating stalls dying", as you reject, then it is either functioning as an "is" or not functioning at all.
So either:
1) an ought comes from an ought,
2) an ought is being used in place of an is, or
3) an ought is redundant in a statement about what is.
Either way, an "ought" is still not coming from an "is".

I suggested in my previous post through the analogy of politics that "oughts" can be broken down into what "is" to eliminate the need for "oughts" at all. This is not the same as saying that an "ought" can be derived from an "is", it's saying that "oughts" are a mistake of ignorance compared to knowing what "is".

As above, "One ought not to lie" can be reduced to "If you lie, you will either lose trust if you are found out, or achieve an outcome that is not honest to reality and will either detrimentally fail or be detrimentally suboptimal". There's no ought here, but substituting an ought in serves like a recommendation contingent upon the consequences of what "is". This either falls into the category of "an ought is being used in place of an is" or "an ought is redundant in a statement about what is".

Again, either way, an "ought" is not coming from an "is".
"Oughts" are an error, which is why morality is a description of what works, and not a prescription of what should work. Reverse Causation here is the fallacy I pointed out, just as much as deriving an "ought" from an "is".

This should solve your issue with:
"The problem: to say that the truth value of a statement does not depend on any part of the universe is a contradiction in terms."
and
"it follows that every ought is a contingent ought."
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Re: The Origin of Morality Matters

Postby Magnus Anderson » Mon Oct 28, 2019 6:18 am

Not sure what your point is.

Every "ought" statement has an equivalent "is" statement. "You ought to eat if you don't want to die" is equivalent to "Eating is necessary for the continuation of life"

Every "ought" is derived from an "is" in the sense that for every "ought" statement O there is an "is" statement I not equivalent to it the truth value of which influences the truth value of O.
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Re: The Origin of Morality Matters

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:50 am

Carleas wrote:2) Morality is an evolved trait in social animals, which has helped our ancestors survive.
Isn't this literally a process where an ought is derived from is(es)?

I suppose another way of putting this is morality isn't in a vaccuum and we aren't in vaccuums. We are particular social mammals. Raping babies isn't good for us.
derive sth from sth

to get something from something else


And I haven't quite figured out where this takes me, but morality is. (and our desires are and our needs are)

Lizards on the other hand have quite different ises and hence oughts, these latter being ises also.
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Re: The Origin of Morality Matters

Postby Prismatic567 » Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:46 am

Magnus Anderson wrote:How about "You ought to eat if you don't want to die"?
That's an ought derived from an is.
The is statement it is derived from is "People die when they don't eat".
...

I agree with the above in a way but would extend it as follows;

If a human do not eat, he will die.
If all humans don't eat, the whole human specie will be extinct.
DNA wise all humans are programmed to survive at all costs till the inevitable to ensure the human species is not extinct. [exception exists only when the program is defective].
Thus all humans ought to eat.
This ought is derived from "is".
This 'ought' is reasoned out from facts, i.e. "is"

To reconcile the 'is' with 'ought' we can verify it with a scientific experiment [i.e. empirical is].
We can do this experiment by taking a sampling from the full range of humans on Earth, e.g. in terms of gender, age, race, countries, states, and all other demographic sectors.
Then we ask each the following question,
"Will you volunteer to kill yourself to death?"
Common sense will inform us no ordinary human will answer 'Yes'.
Those who answer 'yes' would likely be the mentally ill due to defects in their DNA, e.g. the certified heavily depressed suicidal person, and other mentally ill. The % of these people are like to be very minimal.

The above experiment and question can be extended to every ordinary human on Earth.
Common sense again will inform us, all will answer 'No!' [note exceptions as explained above]

From the above and imputing the Golden Rule, we can derive the primary 'ought,'
"No human ought to kill another human"
From there we will be able to derive a hierarchy of 'ought' with different weightages and values.

The origin of Morality is driven by the survival instinct [till the inevitable] and an inherent Faculty and Function of Morality within the human brain/mind that is slowly evolving just like how the human faculty of the reasoning and planning executive function had evolved from eons ago as distinct from the primates and other animals.
One of the parts of the brain that support this faculty of Morality are the presence of Mirror Neurons working with other parts of the brain.

The point here is while it is possible to reason out an 'ought' from 'is,' that "ought" as an ideal should never be enforced upon anybody but merely to be used as a GUIDE only to facilitate continuous improvement of narrowing the moral-ethics GAP.

The above are in accordance with Kantian Morality and Ethics
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Re: The Origin of Morality Matters

Postby Magnus Anderson » Mon Oct 28, 2019 10:22 am

Prismatic567 wrote:DNA wise all humans are programmed to survive at all costs till the inevitable to ensure the human species is not extinct. [exception exists only when the program is defective].


That would be WTL (short for Will to Longevity) which can be contrasted with WTP and WTMIJOT.

I am not exactly sure there is a single human being out there striving to live for as long as possible let alone that all human beings do so. How would you go about demonstrating such a thing?
Not that it's relevant to the thread, just curious.
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Re: The Origin of Morality Matters

Postby iambiguous » Mon Oct 28, 2019 6:25 pm

Magnus Anderson wrote:I wasn't responding to you, iambiguous. You didn't start this topic, remember ;)


Well, to the best of my knowledge, once a thread is begun ILP, members are permitted to respond either to the points raised in the OP or to the points raised by others in responding to them. It happens all the time. I merely suspect the is/ought distinctions that I make here between what someone concludes the origin of morality is and how those conclusions might factor into a description/assessment of a particular context are important to raise.

You will either address them or not. :-k
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Re: The Origin of Morality Matters

Postby iambiguous » Mon Oct 28, 2019 6:41 pm

If a human do not eat, he will die.
If all humans don't eat, the whole human specie will be extinct.
DNA wise all humans are programmed to survive at all costs till the inevitable to ensure the human species is not extinct. [exception exists only when the program is defective].
Thus all humans ought to eat.
This ought is derived from "is".
This 'ought' is reasoned out from facts, i.e. "is"


I'll admit that my own "technical" understanding of "is" and "ought" here may not be up to snuff.

But to argue that humans ought to eat or they will die seems less a moral obligation than a biological imperative. Similarly, to argue that the human species itself ought to survive is an assumption that is not able to be demonstrated in and of itself as a moral imperative. That too seems more a manifestation of biological laws embedded in the evolution of life on Earth.

It may turn out that everything we do here is entirely programed by nature. But to the extent that we do have a say in all of this how can it be determined that it is immoral/unethical to refuse to either eat or to survive? Going back to what one construes the origin of that to be.

How is that not instead largely embedded in particular contexts understood in particular ways by particular individuals?

The part that ever and always fascinates me the most here.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: The Origin of Morality Matters

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:17 pm

Magnus Anderson wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:DNA wise all humans are programmed to survive at all costs till the inevitable to ensure the human species is not extinct. [exception exists only when the program is defective].


That would be WTL (short for Will to Longevity) which can be contrasted with WTP and WTMIJOT.

I am not exactly sure there is a single human being out there striving to live for as long as possible let alone that all human beings do so. How would you go about demonstrating such a thing?
Not that it's relevant to the thread, just curious.
It is extremely unlikely. I mean, I see a lot of contented smokers for example. Then there are all people who love high-risk sports. There are men and even now women who re-up for military service - to be with the troops they know, to serve their country and so on. This is after being in wars where they see their comrades get killed. Sometimes precisely because they saw them get killed and want to prevent others they know from dying.

There are criminals who even when offered a way out of a dangerous criminal life do not take.

People who abuse all sorts of substances.

Most people trade off potential negative healthy effects for pleasure, powerful experiences, their passions.

People travel to dangerous places. Heck, so many people in the US decide to drive when they could just as easily take public transport - not all have this option, but many do. That decision right their radically increases their chance of death.

In many societies men especially put themselves at risk - hunting a lion alone, counting coup, exploring new areas - out of a sense of honor, to demonstrate courage, for the good of the tribe, to compete for status with other men and more.

It is not remotely just damaged individuals who will risk their lives, risk shortening their lives, for all sorts of reasons

because humans have many values - some can be categorized as WTP, some in other ways.
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Re: The Origin of Morality Matters

Postby Silhouette » Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:45 pm

Magnus Anderson wrote:Not sure what your point is.

Does the underlined bit not look like what my point is?

Silhouette wrote:So either:
1) an ought comes from an ought,
2) an ought is being used in place of an is, or
3) an ought is redundant in a statement about what is.
Either way, an "ought" is still not coming from an "is".

I then went on to suggest that oughts (e.g. about lying) emerge either from ignorance of more complex objective processes that can be explained purely in terms of "is" (useful for kids and the unintelligent/uneducated), or as a simplifying shortcut to bypass the need to fully understand these objective processes (to blackbox the need to put thought into social decisions for the sake of efficiency at the cost of being fully appropriate). Moral statements function as though certain rules simply "come into existence", as if commanded by a deity, or placed into your heart from divine origin, when really there's a reason that exists to explain why e.g. lying is a bad idea that can be explained completely in terms of "is". This exposes "oughts" as invalid in the first place - meaning they aren't merely "not derived from an is" like they try to be, but they don't validly exist in the first place.

That's not to say you can't use them in place of an "is", or redundantly, and still seem to make sense. This is what you're doing here:

Magnus Anderson wrote:Every "ought" statement has an equivalent "is" statement. "You ought to eat if you don't want to die" is equivalent to "Eating is necessary for the continuation of life"

Every "ought" is derived from an "is" in the sense that for every "ought" statement O there is an "is" statement I not equivalent to it the truth value of which influences the truth value of O.

My point is that this is either a mistake, or unnecessary - serving only to obfuscate.

The reason for correcting your counter point is that it allows us to correctly answer the OP:
Oughts are presented as though "1) Morality is a handed down by a divine creator, who commands us to behave a certain way on threat of damnation."
But in fact "2) Morality is an evolved trait in social animals, which has helped our ancestors survive." means there's an objective reason why morality emerged that can be explained purely in terms of "is", without requiring the conjuration of a mysterious source like a divine creator, who supernaturally bestows "oughts" to us. "Is" comes from "is", and "oughts" aren't derived from them, they're simply inserted unnecessarily.

To address the OP, as I already covered: "morality" is a description of "what works", rather than a prescription of "what should work", meaning it does change over time in line with the rate of change in environments, it's just that environments change slowly. Realising this makes sense of the barbarism permitted in older religious texts, and why some of it still applies. It also makes sense of why conservatives are useful to keep liberals in check but only in as much as environments are changing slowly - when environments are changing more rapidly, keeping the change and adaptation of morality in check does more harm than good.
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Re: The Origin of Morality Matters

Postby Magnus Anderson » Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:32 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:People who abuse all sorts of substances.


You mean drugs? I agree. However, it's important to note that just because people take drugs does not mean they do not strive to live the longest life possible. It could simply be the case that they are foolish i.e. that they falsely think (not necessarily consciously) that by taking drugs they are extending their lives. Note that I am not saying this is the case. I am simply saying that one must be aware of the distinction between irrationality (poor attempts at attaining certain goal) and different values/goals.

because humans have many values - some can be categorized as WTP, some in other ways.


The idea that people have different, algthough generally similar, values is much more convincing to me than the idea that every single human being (let alone every living being, not to mention every being, living or not) has the same exact values.
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Re: The Origin of Morality Matters

Postby Magnus Anderson » Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:57 pm

My point is that this is either a mistake, or unnecessary - serving only to obfuscate.


What is either a mistake or unnecessary? The statement that the truth value of the statement "You ought to eat if you don't want to die" is derived from the truth value of the statement "People die when they don't eat"? How is that either a mistake or unnecessary?
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Re: The Origin of Morality Matters

Postby Silhouette » Tue Oct 29, 2019 1:15 am

Magnus Anderson wrote:The statement that the truth value of the statement "You ought to eat if you don't want to die" is derived from the truth value of the statement "People die when they don't eat"? How is that either a mistake or unnecessary?

Inserting the "ought" into "You ought to eat if you don't want to die" is at least unnecessary to the truth value of "People die when they don't eat", if not a mistake - that's not to say there's anything mistaken in the true statement "People die when they don't eat", just that rephrasing it with an "ought" added in to mean the exact same thing as an "is", is unnecessary.

This is because "ought" can potentially carry with it implications that extend beyond "is", so using "ought" in place of "is" only looks like an "ought" derived from an "is", when really it's just an "is" derived from an "is" worded misleadingly.

At best you could say that an "ought" can be derived from an "is" if the "ought" is an "is", but this still only tells us anything about deriving an "is" from an "is" and how to mistake an "is" with an "ought", which is more than an "is" even if it can also be used as the same as an "is". But even accepting this example of trying to derive an "ought" from an "is" would not prove the general case, because "ought" can also imply more than an "is" in different examples. For example, if something is natural, it doesn't follow that it ought to be.
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Re: The Origin of Morality Matters

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:06 am

Magnus Anderson wrote:You mean drugs? I agree. However, it's important to note that just because people take drugs does not mean they do not strive to live the longest life possible. It could simply be the case that they are foolish i.e. that they falsely think (not necessarily consciously) that by taking drugs they are extending their lives. Note that I am not saying this is the case. I am simply saying that one must be aware of the distinction between irrationality (poor attempts at attaining certain goal) and different values/goals.
Yes, and they also simply could be compartmentalizing. They follow their desire for the drug, while at the same time not facing the damage this may be doing, while during the same days, cutting down on bad fats, exercising or in whatever way trying to extend their lives, never wanting to notice the contraditions in their lifestyle. IOW yes, they very likely do not say, heck, I will live a shorter life since I value the drug experience higher. On the other hand many others will consciously value quality of life, as evaluated in many different ways, higher than the quantity of months of a life.
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Re: The Origin of Morality Matters

Postby Prismatic567 » Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:20 am

Magnus Anderson wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:DNA wise all humans are programmed to survive at all costs till the inevitable to ensure the human species is not extinct. [exception exists only when the program is defective].


That would be WTL (short for Will to Longevity) which can be contrasted with WTP and WTMIJOT.

I am not exactly sure there is a single human being out there striving to live for as long as possible let alone that all human beings do so. How would you go about demonstrating such a thing?
Not that it's relevant to the thread, just curious.

As I had stated DNA wise all human beings will strive to survival at all costs at least till the inevitable fact of mortality.

DNA wise, all human beings are also programmed to let go of the above clinging to live as they get older when all the aggressive will to life are eroded due to the atrophy of the relevant neurons.
This is where suicides happen to younger people when the above program is initiated too early in life.

As mentioned [in theory] we can confirm the above by asking a sample of humans from every demographic or ask everyone on Earth the question 'Will you kill yourself to death'? It is feasible for such an experiment to be done when all people are connected to the internet in the future.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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