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Old 2012-10-20, 04:31   Link #21
Kimidori
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Philosophy lessons is compulsory in all university in my country for some reason, most people sleep through it though.
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Old 2012-10-20, 04:55   Link #22
Masuzu
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Philosophy, yes this I know well as often I am thinking.

However, as imparting my ideas to others goes I am not confident in.

Since before I've had difficulty in communicating.

Normally it isn't noticeable but that changes as soon as I start talking about more complex things.


However I shall try to say something for this thread at least.

This is one of the principles I live by.

"Truth has very little value, if any. What matters is 'sense', what makes sense is kept and what doesn't is thrown out...regardless of all evidence or 'truth'."
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Old 2012-10-20, 08:37   Link #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Philosophy is part of the humanities.

Since there seems to be an interest in the topic, but not much in the way of direction, how about someone start the ball rolling with a question or two? All philosophy begins with questions.

For example, what is "good"? Why should we be "good"?

Either try to answer those, or start another line of discussion with a set of questions of your own.
I would say that question has multiple answers depending on where your priorities lie. A utilitarian would say that good is anything that is beneficial or productive for society.

Thomas Aquinas would say that good is anything that moves us closer to "God".

I think the answer to that is many-fold but in more modern sense I believe most would think good is anything that brings us closer to "joy". Anyone can see with even a modicum of forethought that this will bite us in the ass one day.

So coming up with a set definition of "Good" is going to be difficult.
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Old 2012-10-21, 01:08   Link #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Philosophy is part of the humanities.

Since there seems to be an interest in the topic, but not much in the way of direction, how about someone start the ball rolling with a question or two? All philosophy begins with questions.

For example, what is "good"? Why should we be "good"?

Either try to answer those, or start another line of discussion with a set of questions of your own.
One word. Benefit.

Anything that is good is dependent on how and what kind of benefit is available. Of course, it takes into account the receipient too.
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Old 2012-10-21, 01:15   Link #25
NoemiChan
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Oh the old school.. One word could be discuss like forever and the sem is finished and we never yet met a closure... Many just don't want to give in... both the professor and students...
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Old 2012-10-21, 02:15   Link #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
For example, what is "good"? Why should we be "good"?
I would say the "Golden Rule" is a good place to start this particular discussion from.
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Old 2012-10-21, 02:16   Link #27
erneiz_hyde
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
One word. Benefit.

Anything that is good is dependent on how and what kind of benefit is available. Of course, it takes into account the receipient too.
Personally, I don't think the benefits alone constitute to what's good. Even 'evil' has it's own benefits. For example, 'inhumane' medical researches over the course of history, war which have been an indirect remedy to over-population since antiquity, etc etc.

I don't think we can define "good" in an absolute sense, or pinpoint what makes something "good" to a single cause. The definitions will always vary as social conditions change and a lot of factors are always in play.
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Old 2012-10-21, 02:43   Link #28
Masuzu
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The notion of 'good', as mentioned by others, is vague, complex, and difficult to pin down.

However it is necessary for us to know this, thus it is necessary for us to simplify it in such a way that we ourselves can use it.

Personally my notion of 'good' is, as Saintess mentioned, benefit.

I'll admit it now, here I am talking only about my own benefit, if I am to do something it must benefit me somehow.
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Old 2012-10-27, 01:37   Link #29
solidguy
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I think our society doesn't really give 2 craps about good. Good usually maintains the status quo where as bad seems to break it. Its in our instincts of self preservation to avoid bad as oppose to attaining good. Basically we define good by seeing it as opposing to bad. So what ever isn't bad would be a good place to start for finding what is good. The golden rule i believe is a good example. It isn't driven off some appeal to a greater good, it's more of an insurance that we ourselves do not have bad inflicted upon us.

I am nihilistic in my approach to morality. I believe it is immaterial, there is nothing essential about morality. It is a function of a sentient being hence it is subjective. There is no 'good' and 'bad' out there except that with which we assign as such. Good and bad, aswell as virtues are just words to me.

Last edited by solidguy; 2012-10-27 at 01:52.
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Old 2012-10-27, 11:00   Link #30
willx
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Kant's categorical imperative. Carry on.
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Old 2012-10-29, 07:30   Link #31
solidguy
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Ahhhh guts, just when you think you have a 'correct' view on things it all tumbles down. Such is philosophy
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Old 2012-10-29, 10:39   Link #32
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Originally Posted by willx View Post
Kant's categorical imperative...
...has been shown to be flawed, but I no longer fully remember how the rebuttals worked. Something along the lines of how Kant went in a roundabout way to basically confirm and reinforce Christian morality; more prosaically, Kant tried very hard to show it was possible to not just think of absolute morality but also to behave as though it does, in fact, exist. If I recall correctly, he produced the thesis in response to British empricism, which broadly pushed the view that if a concept cannot be experienced physically, then it cannot really be known.

Suffice to say that Western moral philosophy has long since moved on. Still, for anyone interested in learning how epistemology can be applied to the study of morality, Immanuel Kant's categorical imperatives are as good a place as any to start.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ascaloth View Post
I would say the "Golden Rule" is a good place to start this particular discussion from.
Do we practise "good" behaviour only because we hope others will do the same for us? Is "goodness" not its own reward?

Quote:
Originally Posted by erneiz_hyde View Post
I don't think we can define "good" in an absolute sense, or pinpoint what makes something "good" to a single cause. The definitions will always vary as social conditions change and a lot of factors are always in play.
Then what does it mean to label something like genocide "evil"? It may be the flip side of the dichotomy, but if we say that "good" cannot be absolutely defined, the same is also true for "evil".

Quote:
Originally Posted by TooPurePureBoy View Post
I think the answer to that is many-fold but in more modern sense I believe most would think good is anything that brings us closer to "joy". Anyone can see with even a modicum of forethought that this will bite us in the ass one day.
You'll have to explain what you mean by "joy". And, as you seem to already concede, you'll find that it's an incomplete definition of "goodness".
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Old 2012-10-29, 10:46   Link #33
willx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
...has been shown to be flawed, but I no longer fully remember how the rebuttals worked. Something along the lines of how Kant went in a roundabout way to basically confirm and reinforce Christian morality; more prosaically, Kant tried very hard to show it was possible to not just think of absolute morality but also to behave as though it does, in fact, exist. If I recall correctly, he produced the thesis in response to British empricism, which broadly pushed the view that if a concept cannot be experienced physically, then it cannot really be known.

Suffice to say that Western moral philosophy has long since moved on. Still, for anyone interested in learning how epistemology can be applied to the study of morality, Immanuel Kant's categorical imperatives are as good a place as any to start.
I was being facetious, I find any attempt at an establishment of "one" method of assessing, determining or measuring ethics and morality about as useful as an "infinite rulebook" -- but each and everyone one of them (well, most of them..) in conjunction are useful in seeing how humans approach their realities and interact with one another .. social contract, ho!
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Old 2012-10-29, 16:27   Link #34
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I was being facetious, I find any attempt at an establishment of "one" method of assessing, determining or measuring ethics and morality about as useful as an "infinite rulebook"
So basically you're saying that there is no objective morality.
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Old 2012-10-29, 17:31   Link #35
erneiz_hyde
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Then what does it mean to label something like genocide "evil"? It may be the flip side of the dichotomy, but if we say that "good" cannot be absolutely defined, the same is also true for "evil".
Indeed, I think so. There are at least two areas that I know of where you view what's good and evil: the action, and the intention/goal. And then there's the "method" (the lawful/chaotic scale from DnD) and the "scale" (from extreme to mild). As I said, there are a lot of factors, and I think it's because of this that an "absolute" definition is impossible. At least, I have yet to find a good enough definition that can stand on its own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaRealist
So basically you're saying that there is no objective morality.
I'm not him, but this is my view as well. That is not to say that I don't have morality, only my own definition of morality is probably my own (and not yours or somebody's, for example). I would add that I think what mounts to "objectivity" is really "collective subjectivity".
=====

Btw, does anyone know what this way of thinking is called?
Quote:
Fate does exist, but so does free will. Think of your life as driving along the road. There are lots of roads, each branching out or merge to each other, each represents some kind of consequence. The road is already laid out, and there are possibly infinite amounts of them, but it's you who decide which road to take.

Or like in programming. Fate is like one huge intricate program of lots of if-then-else and RNG and more complex functions all intertwined with each other in an unimaginable way, and is constantly asking you for input, with which the outcome will be decided. Even if there are random elements involved, the outcomes of each possible scenario has already been written. The program is solidly unaltered, but you decide the outcome.
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Old 2012-10-29, 17:34   Link #36
solidguy
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Something to do with probability metaphysics. Damn I had a friend who was doing his postgrad in this, wish I listened to him more often


edit: Wait wait not probability, I remember the word causality being dropped alot. Something like partial causality or imperfect causality?

edit edit: OOO I remember how we had this discussion now. I was discussing the Matrix with him and the different philosophical themes brought up in the film (I'm a film student). The Merovingian programme. Helping? Not helping?

Last edited by solidguy; 2012-10-29 at 17:57.
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Old 2012-10-29, 18:18   Link #37
Nightbat®
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erneiz_hyde View Post
my own definition of morality is probably my own (and not yours or somebody's, for example).
Funny, you think morality hasn't been instilled by your Family/teachers/friends/media?

A "Wild Child" would have no idea what 'good' means, it hasn't been part of a social system where we share or sacrifice, where we shame and guilt if not abiding by social ethics
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Old 2012-10-29, 18:22   Link #38
erneiz_hyde
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Funny, you think morality hasn't been instilled by your Family/teachers/friends/media?

A "Wild Child" would have no idea what 'good' means, it hasn't been part of a social system where we share or sacrifice, where we shame and guilt if not abiding by social ethics
By "my own" I didn't mean it's "inherent". It just means that it's my own personal definition of morality, based on my own experience.
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Old 2012-10-29, 18:22   Link #39
NinjaRealist
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Originally Posted by erneiz_hyde View Post
Btw, does anyone know what this way of thinking is called?
Are you saying you believe in predestination? If so, there are any number of philosophies that encompass this view point.

Are you saying that you believe in the almighty RNG? (aka that the only God is probability?) ? If so, I would call that philosophy Statistics or perhaps Game Theory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightbat® View Post
Funny, you think morality hasn't been instilled by your Family/teachers/friends/media?

A "Wild Child" would have no idea what 'good' means, it hasn't been part of a social system where we share or sacrifice, where we shame and guilt if not abiding by social ethics
As someone who has often had to kill animals for entirely utilitarian reasons, I believe that there is an instinctive feeling of sadness that empathic humans feel when they cause pain or death to another living thing. (This does not apply to people without empathy, like Sociopaths, Narcissists and people with Autism Spectrum Disorders)

Personally, I think this empathy is all that's needed to create a morality for one's self.

If you have empathy then social values will only be an expression of that. If you don't have empathy than any social values you have will be meaningless anyways.
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Old 2012-10-29, 19:47   Link #40
Nightbat®
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaRealist View Post
As someone who has often had to kill animals for entirely utilitarian reasons, I believe that there is an instinctive feeling of sadness that empathic humans feel when they cause pain or death to another living thing.
I sincerely believe that empathy is a very strong emotion that doesn't need much training
but to believe that even killing our food creates a feeling of empathy?
No!
That part is purely conditioned in a society where we never have to kill for food, actually, where killing is negatively treated in any case
(a society that you have been subjected to before starting utilitarian killing as well)

here I point to the empathy for food/empathy for that which you made an attachment with
Best working example I can think of is my grandfather (an oldfashioned farmer),
who had no emotional attachments to the animals he slaughtered (boiling chicks alive to feed to the pig),
but couldn't take his dogs to the vet to be put down and had to have someone else do it


Quote:
Personally, I think this empathy is all that's needed to create a morality for one's self.
No argument there

Quote:
If you have empathy then social values will only be an expression of that. If you don't have empathy than any social values you have will be meaningless anyways.
So, are we talking from an instinctive or indoctrinated PoV?
Where do emotions stop and taught behavior begin?

We instinctively form attachments (even to inanimate objects), but when it comes to empathy vs morals,
I believe empathy is where we care about those in our direct enviroment and social morals
when it concerns the impersonal people/(animals) of the world

Just look at how empathy went out of the window when the media showed looters in New Orlean
in the aftermath of Katrina were running off with luxury items
(which were the exceptions since most looters went for basic necessities)
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