Simon Paynton

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  • #40908

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Jesus bloody donkey crackers. What happened to you Simon? Where did you go wrong?

    Apparently, studying philosophy, and philosophers, makes people dogmatic and closed-minded towards doing new philosophy.  People are allowed to do new philosophy.  It’s interesting.

    #40907

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    people do act in selfish ways … the Problem of Evil

    Evil or moral badness is defined as people acting selfishly at the needless expense of others.  If they needed to be selfish, it wouldn’t be seen as bad.

    We could say that evil is the worst of this: when someone deliberately hurts others for the enjoyment of it.

    #40906

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    The word “needlessly” is not necessary because people do act in selfish ways. By that I mean they act to achieve their own interests first. They do not act to “ideal standards” to achieve “optimum outcomes”.

    There’s nothing wrong in putting one’s own interests first.  In fact, evolutionary ethics is based on inclusive fitness (the fitness of the individual).  It’s a case by case basis, how much we need to take care of ourselves, and how much we need to take care of others, in a given situation.  If someone is acting for their own benefit – if they are clever, they will still act according to ideal standards, so as to achieve the optimum result for themselves.

    Due to the relative nature of morality and the deterministic aspect behind our actions we cannot settle for a “one size fits all” moral theory.

    Morality isn’t one thing and can’t be sliced up in a single way.  But the various parts form a coherent whole.

    Dal and ice cream were never meant to go together: that would be a culinary abomination.  But intentions, actions and consequences are inescapably connected in real life.

    All these things may look disparate, but they can be described and placed within a coherent picture.

     

    #40897

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    @davis – so the answer is “just because”.  I’ve identified a weakness that you yourself have agreed with.  I’m sure a moral philosophy professor would not be so dogmatic.

    #40896

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    In the mundane routine of everyday life most people carry out tasks to serve their own personal interest or the interests of people they share their lives with. Those people in turn reciprocate with acts of their own. I admit at times their actions may reach some zenith of excellence but never when they realise it is Day 3 without food.

    That’s the messy core of morality, right there.

    the “problem of evil”

    This doesn’t negate my hypothesis at all, but supports it.  When people behave in a needlessly selfish way: when they are greedy, dominant, cruel etc. then this results in a less than optimum outcome.

    it was Pangloss in Westphalia who was obsessed with this notion of ideals.

    But surely he said that we do live in the best of all possible worlds (like a Polyanna(?)), when in fact, we don’t, pretty much because some people are evil when they don’t need to be.  If everything was as it needs to be, then we would live in the best of all possible worlds.  But since some people are needlessly selfish, then everything is not what it could be – they could have acted differently.  So, we don’t live in the best of all possible worlds.  But people behaving according to moral principles, with wisdom, produces an optimum outcome – the best world possible considering that there are evil people in it.

     

     

    #40889

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    @davis – explain why it’s not silly, pointless and dogmatic: “just because”.  Give some actual reasons based on real life or facts of some kind.

    In my opinion, this is an example of where conventional moral philosophy is unhinged from everyday life.  If the study of morality is a science of everyday life – something’s wrong if someone can’t give real-world reasons why something is so.

    #40886

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    There are advantages and disadvantages to all moral systems. None of them are inherently correct. None of them possibly could be as morality isn’t written into the fabric of the universe.

    By “correct”, I mean “factually accurate”.  If it is insisted that two complementary systems are mutually exclusive – this is just silly and pointless dogmatism.

    #40885

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    What are “ideal standards” and who sets them and on what authority?

    Ideal standards are virtuous performance of one’s work in carrying out the task.  For example, in fixing a car, in best practice one would do everything necessary to make sure it is done properly: don’t lose any pieces, make sure everything is tightened appropriately, leave the thing clean and tidy, whatever.  So, they are set by the demands of the job in hand, and by the person whose car it is, who is expecting to get back a perfectly functioning car.

    In the case of morality, the job in hand is to collaborate to thrive and survive together, whether that is by doing some particular collaborative task, or just living alongside one another in a group.  So, the requirement is to follow the social and practical ideals of cooperation, and these are moral ideals (egalitarianism, fairness, helping, diligence, commitment, etc.).  These are enforced by the self upon the self, and by the self upon others, in self-governance and mutual “partner control” on behalf of “us”.  After all, others are taking a risk by relying on me.

    we would then reach a point that could be described as “the best of all possible worlds” or I suppose, Utopia. This is not practical or reflective of how humans cooperate.

    We would reach an optimum outcome under the circumstances.

     

    #40878

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    If there were two sets of circumstances, with everything the same, and something needed fixing – if one person did their job well (living up to ideal standards) then the results are very likely to be better than if the other person did their job poorly (not living up to ideal standards).

    #40876

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    If the two aren’t mixed, then there’s something wrong with them, because in actual real life, the phenomena they seek to describe, are mixed.

    I’d rather study real life than -isms.  This is precisely my point: moral philosophy is mired in ignorance of its own making.

    #40874

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Until you educate yourself on this, discussion over.

    It’s pretty boring to be more into defending -isms than doing real philosophy.

    #40873

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    You could end up with the best of all possible worlds with that optimistic ideal.

    All other things being equal, higher quality cooperation would be expected to lead to higher quality results.

    #40865

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    @davis – so you can’t answer my question?  It’s not up for debate, that your theories might have something wrong about them?

    I would have thought it is much more interesting to think about how intentions, actions and consequences are connected, than to keep insisting that they are not, for no good reason, other than the inadequacy of the ideology.

    After all, a moral principle is an ideal way to be cooperative (or live in a family, or reproduce) just as there’s an ideal way to fix a car.  If we fix a car ideally, we expect it to work ideally.  Similarly, if we cooperate ideally, we can expect good practical, social and moral consequences.  To cooperate ideally requires a conscientious and prosocial attitude.

    #40861

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    1. Unambiguously the case, yes the two are exclusive…to say otherwise is to argue that something that is boiling is actually frozen.

    Don’t you want your theories to be correct?  Or do you just want to maintain your special theories, right or wrong?

    #40855

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Utilitarianism and deontological ethics cannot be bridged or merged or compromised. They are two totally different systems. Taking away the absolutism of deontological ethics would make it an entirely new system, as with taking away the flexibility of utilitarianism. It would not be utilitarianism anymore, but something new. It is very difficult to imagine how one could possibly create a coherent let alone effective moral system by combining the two.

    The problem is that people (apparently, for some reason) insist on the two being separate and exclusive.  If intentions, attitudes etc. lead to actions, and actions lead to consequences – they’re not separate, but connected by a thread of prosocial or antisocial intention.

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