Andy Canivet writes: > >From: JS Bangs <[log in to unmask]> > >. > > > >Interesting. How do we reconcile the differences in subjective experience, > >then, when different people's expectations of morality may be wildly > >different, and neither can act without affecting the other? > > > >Jesse S. Bangs [log in to unmask] > > In short, wisdom. Ultimately, I think a minimal number of laws, axioms, or > precepts are required for any society - but the idea is that moral behavior > is a skill rather than a set of principles or guidelines for action. Moral > action becomes more like riding a bicycle than like programming a computer; > but as such, it is sticky and hard to talk about. Fortunately, its easier > to learn than to talk about I think - which seems to be what Socrates, the > Stoics, Taoists, Buddhists, etc. were all on about - even if we can't define > what is right, people can learn how to act rightly. Partly I think it comes > from a sort of Socratic dialog, but it also comes from training attention so > that we learn to observe and consider our own thoughts and emotions better, > before they can become harmful actions that we'll regret later. > I don't understand what this can mean. In my view, morality can be reduced to the following: A) A (probably fairly short) list of what is to be considered fundamentally desirable/undesirable, and the order of precedence of these things should they conflict. B) Judgements on how best to behave in order that the universe should be in as desirable a state as possible. A cannot be justified, and must be taken as axiomatic. Anyone attempting to formulate A will be guided by the existing A that they have inherited from biology and society, but it's not possible to say that any A is right or wrong without reference to some A, and from a purely objective viewpoint A is arbitrary, all you can ask for is that it be self-consistent. B cannot be complete, probably, as any set of rules will fail to cover some circumstances. In such circumstances individual judgement must be exercised. This is a seperate issue to the unjustifiable nature of A; there is no theoretical difficulty in justifying B, it's justified with respect to A. In some circumstances B will be extremely complex, and hard to define, but we can judge its rightness by whether it succeeds in acheiving A. In riding a bicycle, B may be so complex as to be uncommunicable, but it's easy to judge whether one can ride a bicyle or not, because we judge it by A: did you reach your destination without falling off? Perhaps I've fallen into some unperceived naivete, but that's my idea of the situation.